Archive for April, 2009

The Capital Market Institute of Cambodia Prepares to Train Stock Exchange Personnel – Wednesday, 29.4.2009

Posted on 30 April 2009. Filed under: Week 610 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 610

“The Capital Market Institute of Cambodia prepares to train those who will work in the stock exchange, which is planned to be launched at the end of this year.

“The director of the Capital Market Institute of Cambodia, Dr. Chea Dara, said at the Paññasastra University of Cambodia, where he spoke about the potential and know-how of a stock exchange on Saturday, ‘We are preparing to cooperate with the Paññasastra University of Cambodia to train human resources in Cambodia for the stock exchange in early July.’ He continued to say that the plan for training is to be organized at the Paññasastra University of Cambodia, with expert teachers from the United States of America and from Cambodia, and with many other foreign experts.

“He added that the training can be 2 days, 2 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year. After having received this training, the students can prepare themselves to work in this field and to take tests at the Cambodian Stock Exchange Committee, to earn certificates before they work at the stock market.

“The deputy director of the Cambodian Stock Exchange Committee, Dr. Huot Pum, said by telephone on Monday that the opening of the stock exchange will create a labor market for those who have high knowledge and are graduated with banking and financial degrees to work in this field. He went on to say that it depends on the success of each stock exchange company to which extent they can offer employment.

“He added that the government has no intention to allow too many companies to enter this market, but only about 10 companies will be allowed to enter the market, and those companies have to have professionally qualified staff.

“Regarding the doubt whether this market can be launched at the end of this year or not, Dr. Huot Pum said, ‘According to the plan, we want this market to be launched by the end of this year. The process of organizing this stock market is progressing.’ He also said that recently, the Royal Government has just adopted a decree about related publications and the regulations for trafficking at the public exchange.

“Dr. Huot Pum said, ‘The process of developing this market needs time, and to talk about success: There is no progress unless there is involvement.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4879-4880, 28-29.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #63, 29.4.2009

  • Rik Reay Community Residents [in the Tonle Basak commune, Chamkar Mon district] Protest in Front of the Canadia Bank over Land Rights Violations

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #171, 29.4.2009

  • Cambodia Sets Up a [body temperature] Screening Machine at the [Phnom Penh] Airport to Prevent the Uncontrolled Entry of Travelers Who Have Contracted Swine Flu
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua: That I Sue the Prime Minister Is a Test of the Judicial System in Cambodia
  • Vietnam Plans to Establish Schools for Training Human Resources in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1930, 29.4.2009

  • Australia Grants Aid [US$3 million] to the National Radio Station to Implement a Local Good Governance Project
  • A Diamond Necklace Worth More Than US$7,000 Was Robbed from a General’s Home [robbers pointed their guns and shot two bullets to scare the general and his wife, and escaped – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #390, 29.4.2009

  • [President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Mony Claims a Gathering on 1 May 2009 Is Not a Demonstration but a Celebration of the International Labor Day

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6626, 29.4.2009

  • Meeting between Cambodian and Thai Senior Officials of the Ministries of Defense Is to Be Held Today
  • According to a New Tourism Law, Operators Who Do Not Have a License Will Be Fined Riel 20 Million [approx. US$5,000]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4879-4880, 28-29.4.2009

  • The Capital Market Institute of Cambodia Prepares to Train Stock Exchange Personnel
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: “If the Cambodian People’s Party Still Wins the Elections, Hun Sen Will Still Be Prime Minister for Life”
  • Prince Alfred [of Liechtenstein] Visits Cambodia for the First Time [and leads a delegation of scholars to help Cambodia evaluate the reality of progress in Cambodia, as well as to experience seeking peace in Cambodia, to be reflected to other countries to understand and change their views toward Cambodia]
  • Cambodian Environmental Official [Mr. Pak Sokharavuth, the deputy director of the Environmental Pollution Control Department and coordinator of the national ozone project of the Ministry of Environment] Gets an Award by the US Environmental Agency [for his strong involvement in protecting the environment of the globe]

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At the Cambodian-Laotian-Vietnamese Triangle Zone, Twelve Mining Companies Are Summoned – Tuesday, 28.4.2009

Posted on 29 April 2009. Filed under: Week 610 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 610

“Phnom Penh: Information about a meeting about development cooperation at the Cambodian-Laotian-Vietnamese triangle zone on 8 March 2009, under the presidency of the Minister of Commerce and Senior Minister, Mr. Cham Prasidh, shows that 12 mining companies in Mondolkiri [China Road and Bridge Corporation which holds two licenses, Mr. Huot Heng’s company, Mr. Moeung Son’s company, Mr. Seng Hock’s company, Ahnong Xin Industrial Investment, Oxiana Shin Ha Mining Company, China FORWIN Investment, ANQING (Cambodia) Invest Company, Cambodia Tonle Sap International Investment, OKSAN Cambodia, and Cambodia Hai Lan Mineral Company Limited] are committing remarkable offenses.

“According to information from the Mondolkiri governor, so far, some companies do not communicate to deliver reports, and some others hold expired licenses and have not come to ask to extend their licenses at the ministries in charge.

“The note sent by the Mondolkiri governor, Mr. Lay Sokha, says that if the directors of those companies do not respond, following the notification, the province will send reports to the ministries relating to the mining operations and to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, to take action according to the conditions stated in their contracts.

“In the notification, made available together with an attached list with the names of 12 mining companies licensed to operate in Mondolkiri, the authorities claim that these companies are committing remarkable irregularities.

“According to information from an expert department in Mondolkiri reported to Koh Santepheap, these companies, at present in Mondolkiri, seem not to be afraid of anything. Some activities of some companies are illegal and are carried out openly, and the authorities from relevant sections do not touch them. They seem to benefit from these mining operations, and they do not even care to deliver reports of the results [of these mining operations]. Thus, the authorities of the Cambodian-Laotian-Vietnamese triangle zone convened a meeting to set new principles on 8 March 2009, and the Mondolkiri governor issued Notification #023, dated 21 April 2009, with a name list of the 12 mining companies attached, which Koh Santepheap copied for publication.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6635, 28.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #62, 28.4.2009

  • Foreign Co-Prosecutor Wants Public Hearing over the Disagreement to Accuse More [Khmer Rouge leader] Suspects
  • Ethnic Minorities [representing 15 ethnic minorities countrywide] Who Lost Their Land Demonstrate in Front of a Building where Donors and the Government Meet

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #170, 28.4.2009

  • Cambodia Will Take Measures against Swine Flu Which Is Shaking the World [according to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, the government plans to publish measures against swine flu]
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Had Already Lodged a Complaint against Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen at the Court
  • Clean Water Plant worth Euro 20 Million [approx. US$26,3 million] Is Inaugurated [it can produce 65,000 m3 of clean water per day, and this increases the capacity to produce 300,000 m3 clean water in total – Phnom Penh]
  • World Banks Provides US$15 Million to Boost Higher Education in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1929, 28.4.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Welcomes New ASEAN Summit with Partner Countries at Phuket Province in Thailand
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong Is Safe from Danger [after he fainted during the inauguration of the Cambodian Consulate in Lowell in Massachusetts]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6635, 28.4.2009

  • At the Cambodian-Laotian-Vietnamese Triangle Zone, 12 Mining Companies Are Summoned
  • The World Health Organization Declares an Emergency because of the Disastrous Swine Flu [after 103 deaths were reported to be caused by this flu, and more than 1,300 people were infected in Mexico]
  • There Is a Discussion to Establish a Tourist Station at the Poipet International Border Crossing Point [to accept tourists coming to Cambodia from Thailand]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1702, 28.4.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian and spokesperson] Mr. Yim Sovann: The Inclusion of Military and Police Generals in the Cambodian People’s Party Is Against Democracy [among the six new members of the Permanent Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party recently added, three are military and police generals]

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The Construction of Hydro-Electric Dams along the Mekong River Leads to Serious Dangers for Cambodia – Monday, 27.4.2009

Posted on 28 April 2009. Filed under: Week 610 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 610

“International experts warned last week that the construction of hydro-electric dams along the Mekong River will contribute to long-term and severe impacts on the environment and on the life of millions of people living along the Mekong River. Countries along the lower Mekong River region, including Cambodia, should consider the long-term impacts resulting from the construction of hydro-electric dams along the Mekong River.

“During a discussion about the development of hydro-electric dams along the Mekong River, organized by a center in Washington D.C. in the United States of America, a senior expert said that producing energy from hydro-electric dams built across the river is an out-of-date concept which has already made some countries to suffer from the consequences of such developments and now, they are reversing the destruction.

“Experts said that at present, among the 11 hydro-electric dams believed to be under construction in Cambodia and Laos, two hydro-electric dams are planed to be constructed in Cambodia. Companies from China, Siam [Thailand], Yuon [Vietnam], and Malaysia are involved in these developments, but China is most heavily involved by controlling four big projects. This number adds to the eight hydro-electric dams constructed by China or planned to be constructed in the upper regions of the Mekong River.

“Environmental and fish experts claimed that the construction of hydro-electric dams can change the flow of water, and they warned that the environmental impacts resulting from these constructions will appear on a large scale, which affects the life of people and destroys the spawning places of fish to lay their eggs, and the habitat of some important fish species.

“A regional director of the World Fish Center from an international organization based in Cambodia said that hydro-electric dams can block the movement of fish during the dry season between the low lying Mekong River basin and the upper Mekong River. That regional director added that actually, those dams form obstacles for the movement of fish; many species of fish move from the Tonle Sap River and from some flooded areas to the Mekong River and to branches of the river at the upper areas of Cambodia and Laos, some of them can move up to the north of Laos.

“Environmental experts mentioned that China had already operating three hydro-electric dams built across the Mekong River, and it is constructing and planning to construct five more dams. Cambodia had expressed concerns over the impacts of the construction of hydro-electric dams in China on the environment of the countries in the lower areas of the Mekong River. China constructed these hydro-electric dams without discussing it with the low-lying countries, and whenever there were protests, China always claimed that it had thought about the impacts in advance already.

“Among the hydro-electric dams planned to be built in Laos, one is located next to the Lbak Khon area of Cambodia, and this leads to agitated discussions and protests from environmental and fish experts, because this project will have serious impacts on the breeding and movement of fish and fish yields in Cambodia. According to the plan, this project will provide about more than 300 megawatt of electricity, which is small compared to the severely negative impacts. The vice-chairperson of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee, Mr. Sin Niny, told foreign reporters that the low-lying countries are waiting for results from that study. Environmental officials criticized that the construction of hydro-electric dams across the Mekong River in Laos will seriously affect the environment in Cambodia. Together with this concern, Cambodia is studying to construct a hydro-electric dam at Sambo in Kratie with investments from China; and the planning research for this project is expected to be finished in 2010.

“Environmental experts advised that countries at the lower areas of the Mekong River that need energy could decide to form a network to produce and distribute electricity in the region, and let the upper Mekong countries build hydro-electric dams in areas that do not affect the movement of fish much, and the energy produced should be distributed to other countries, because the Mekong River is the collective property of countries lying along the 4,000 km of the Mekong River. Experts suggested that the construction of a hydro-electric dam by Laos near the Cambodian-Laotian border, and the plan of Cambodia to construct several dams ought to be cancelled in order to avoid the impacts on the natural environment of both countries.

“As seen on maps, the Mekong River originates from the Tibetan plateau of China and extends over more than 4,000 km. It flows through the five countries of Burma, Laos, Siam [Thailand], Cambodia, and Yuon [Vietnam]. The Mekong River is among the four longest rivers of the word, it provides many fish to support the life of millions of people living along this river. In contrast, the construction of big hydro-electric dams in China as well as in Laos can affect the natural environment of this river seriously, and Cambodia will become a country which suffers the most, because Cambodia does not have any plan to prevent the impact from the construction of hydro-electric dams on the Mekong River.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3742, 27.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 27 April 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #169, 26-27.4.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Said She Would Go to Prison if She Would Lose the Lawsuit against Samdech Hun Sen
  • 30 Houses of Citizens Will Be Removed to Make Way to Construct a Roundabout at the Eastern Base of the Chroy Chongva Bridge
  • The Viettel Mobile Phone Company [of Vietnam] Will Offer Internet Connection to 300 Schools in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1928, 26-27.4.2009

  • [The president of the National Assembly and president of the Cambodian People’s Party] Samdech Chea Sim: [the vice president of the Cambodian People’s Party and Prime Minister] Samdech Hun Sen Will Be Prime Ministerial Candidate Forever as Long as the Cambodian People’s Party Still Wins the Elections
  • About 500,000 Children Die of Haemophilus Influenzae Type B – HIB – per Year [according to the World Health Organization]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6634, 27.4.2009

  • [More than 5,000] Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Gather Again in Bangkok
  • Nearly 6,500 Civilians Have Been Killed in Sri Lanka [according to the United Nations]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3742, 27.4.2009

  • The Construction of Hydro-Electric Dams along the Mekong River Leads to Serious Dangers for Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4878, 26-27.4.2009

  • [Thai Foreign Affairs Minister] Kasit Piromya Told America that Thailand Will Consider a Compensation Demanded by Cambodia [after an armed clash which burned down the market of the residents at the Preah Vihear Temple]
  • Two Trucks Collided and Caused Three Deaths and Injured Two People [Battambang]
  • An Unfortunate Man Who Was Jailed beyond His Imprisonment Period [of two years] Will Be Released Next Week [Kandal]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1700, 26.4.2009

  • Legal Experts [Dr. John Hall from the Open Society Justice Initiative and Dr. David Tolbert from the United States Institute of Peace and former U.N. assistant secretary-general and special advisor to the U.N. Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials] Said that the United Nations Should Withdraw if the Phnom Penh Government Does Not Investigate Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

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Responses to the Global Economic Crisis – Sunday, 26.4.2009

Posted on 27 April 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

As the crisis is global – it makes sense to consider not only what happens, and what is done in Cambodia.

One newspaper recollected a number of important international voices on trends of the Cambodian economic and social situation: “International Economic Experts Assessed that Cambodia Is Vulnerable due to Growing Poverty” – referring to recent statements by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. All of them come to somewhat similar – negative – predictions for the near future.

We had also mirrored voices representing the political leadership in Cambodia, dismissing these voices of warning – either accusing some of them, saying that their detailed and transparently presented data are intentionally falsified to present Cambodia in a negative way, or pointing to the special situation of Cambodia, where people who are dismissed into joblessness in the cities could easily return to their native villages and be integrated again into the rural family economy.

First of all it may be worthwhile to see that – in spite of warnings about the future – during this week there were also a number of reports about continued international economic assistance for Cambodia. It is not probable that such actions would have been taken, if the warning about negative economic and social developments would have been ill intended. In spite of such warnings, commitments to assist continue:

  • The German government will focus on cooperation to create hydro-electric energy and to develop small and medium enterprises – pointing into a direction of sustainability even under a situation of crisis. Another field of German cooperation aims at producing methane gas from processing garbage of the city of Phnom Penh – a similar orientation.
  • While Cambodia received since 1992 already around US$1 billion in loans from the Asian Development Bank, the same bank continued to provide more that US$50 million in new loans in 2008.
  • The European Community granted an additional amount of Euro 4 Million [approx. US$5.3 million] to Support Food-for-Work programs in Cambodia.

That there were also reports about the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, asking Korean investors to speed up their investments in Cambodia, and the Prime Minister being quoted to have said that investments by Japan do not yet meet what Cambodia wants – at a time when there are only 436 companies registered, compared to 862 one year ago – shows the urgent interest for a stronger involvement by these two economies in Cambodia – but they have their own problems. And it is surely not very attractive to increase their involvement in a country

  • where the Minister of Interior has to warns officials not to provide document where they faked their age,
  • where another riverbank collapsed destroying some houses – while an order of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology had been disregarded for weeks without enforcement by the authorities,
  • where the administration of the capital city of Phnom Penh suspects that some officials illegally connect to the public electricity network for personal use, and
  • where the government has not consented that complaints about suspected corruption can be reported – without fear of retaliation – to a credible institution of the choice of the complainer and not only to a Cambodian government sanctioned institution.

And – as I am at present in Germany, and as we had two reports about German cooperation in Cambodia during the week – a quick review of some German reactions to the global economic crisis. The International Monetary Funds predicted that the German economy will shrink by 6% in 2009, more than in any other industrialized Western European country. It will be a decline which never happened during the last 80 years. The worst recession after the end of the Second World War was in 1975 with a decrease in the economy of 0.9%.

In spite of these problems, the government does not plan to organize another special economic rescue package to promote economic activities through huge investments as some other countries do. Rather social support programs may be boosted – like extended payments for reduced working hour arrangements (instead of dismissals), and the covering of social security contributions to be taken over by the state is under discussion.

As there will be general elections in September 2009, one of the two parties in the present coalition government announced their program how to adjust the taxation laws to secure sufficient income for the state. The lowest, marginal tax rate is at present 14%, which is to be lowered to 10% – which will provide benefits for about 25 million people of the lowest income group (Germany has about 82 million citizens, plus more than 6 million foreigners). On the other hand, the highest tax rate is to be raised from at present 45% to 47% – an additional burden for about 1.5% of those who have to pay taxes.

Such taxation arrangements are related to Article 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, which states: “To own property carries obligations. It is to be used also to serve the well-being of the public.” Therefore, the present suggestions to change the taxation laws are based on the same understanding: Those members of the public who have greater resources have to exercise financial solidarity with those who have less. And Article 20 adds: “The Federal Republic of Germany is a state with a democratic and social orientation.” The public responsibility resulting from economic wealth is clearly defined as a basic element of society.

For comparison, Article 56 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia says speaks also of the “market economy”: “The Kingdom of Cambodia shall adopt the market economy system.” Any social restraint on the forces of the market is not mentioned.

In Article 16 is the only reference to the term “social” – however in a very limited sense: “The Queen of the Kingdom of Cambodia shall exercise activities that serve the social, humanitarian, religious interests, and shall assist the King with protocol and diplomatic functions.”

On the way to the Labor Day on 1 May in the coming week, it is appropriate to mention that the labor unions in Germany have an important publicly established role in society, being part of a state with a social orientation. They have contributed to the social stability and to the economic growth over the last decades, and they are again a major partner in the public discourse about the present economic predicament of Germany. To restrict their freedom of assembly or of organizing public manifestations at the occasion of the Labor Day is unthinkable; if it would be attempted, it probably would lead to a severe disruption of the social stability which continues to exist, in spite of all the economic problems.


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The Royal Government Adopts the Draft of a Policy about the Development of Ethnic Minority Tribespeople – Saturday, 25.4.2009

Posted on 26 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“Phnom Penh: The Royal Government adopted a draft for a policy about the development of ethnic minority tribespeople in an attempt to promote their knowledge and skills, in order to enhance their capacity, and to promote their living standard through sustainable development which completely depends on the use of natural resources.

“During the meeting of the Council of Ministers in the morning of 26 April 2009 under the presidency of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the draft of a policy about the development of ethnic minority tribespeople, drafted by the Ministry of Rural Development with assistance from the United Nations Development Program, from development partners, and from some other relevant institutions, was adopted in order to contribute to maintain, protect, and conserve the cultures, traditions, beliefs, customs, and languages of ethnic minority tribespeople living in Cambodia.

“During that meeting, also another draft for the registration of land and the rights of land use of the ethnic minority tribespeople’s communities in the Kingdom of Cambodia was adopted, to present perspectives, intentions, and legal requirements for the registration of land by the ethic minority tribespeople’s communities, land that can be registered as collective property, with collective rights of use, and control of the land by ethnic minority tribespeople.

“At the end of the meeting, a draft decree about procedures for the registration of ethnic minority tribespeople’s land, aiming to define principles, mechanisms, and procedures for the registration of ethnic minority tribespeople’s land as collective property was adopted. As for the rights to use and to control the land, the communities are eligible to have collective property, as recognized by the law, such as right of inheritance, the right to use, and the right to exploit, but all collective property cannot be sold or transferred to any person who is a member of the community, except if any member of a community leaves that community.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4877, 25.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 25 April 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #168, 25.4.2009

  • Amnesty International Assesses that Human Rights in Cambodia Progressed Not Much [however, the chairperson of the Cambodian government’s Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Om Yentieng, dismissed this report, saying the assessment of this organization is different from the real situation in Cambodia]
  • Heavy Rain Caused Flooding, Falling Trees, Falling Traffic Lights, and Traffic Jam in the City [on 24 April 2009, Phnom Penh]
  • Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister Declares to Cancel the State in Emergency in Bangkok and in Five Provinces

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #388, 25.4.2009

  • A Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party Adding Six More Members to Its Permanent Committee Is Like Adding Weight to [the influence of Prime Minister] Hun Sen

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1927, 25.4.2009

  • [President of the National Assembly] Samdech Heng Samrin: Russian Investment in Cambodia So Far Has Been More Than US$600 Million

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6625, 25-26.4.2009

  • On the Upcoming International Labor Day, the Government Bans Any Activities which Might Affect the Social Order
  • The National Election Committee Destroys More Than 16 Million Ballots in 27,606 Packages; this Was the Second Destruction

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3734, 25-26.4.2009

  • New UN Envoy Vows to Encourage Hun Sen Government to Fulfill Its Obligations Following the International Human Rights Treaties

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4877, 25.4.2009

  • The Royal Government Adopts the Draft of a Policy about the Development of Ethnic Minority Tribespeople
  • A Lawyer of the Government Sues [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua after She Announced to Sue Samdech Dekchor [accusations not mentioned here]
  • Australia Seeks Support from Cambodia to Become a Member of the Asia-Europe Meeting – ASEM – and Supports Mine Clearance in Cambodia

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Campaign to Identify Those Who Illegally Connect to State Electricity Lines – Friday, 24.4.2009

Posted on 25 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“Because of frequent electricity cuts at public places such as at parks, traffic lights, and road lights, and the shortage of expert electricity maintenance staff, and the lack of different materials, the administration of the municipality, that is the Phnom Penh municipal governor, summoned, in the morning of 23 April 2009, relevant officials from all lower levels for a meeting about the electricity for public lighting, in order to identify and assign clear responsibilities.

“There is suspicion about some bad officials who illegally connect to state electricity, like to connect to electricity to use it for advertisement banners and for different other uses. When officials pointed their fingers at each other regarding this issues, the Phnom Penh municipal governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema, ordered to create a working team to go around to check the electricity systems, in order to identify wicked people – he gave one week for this campaign.

“Mr. Kep Chuktema said, ‘For Phnom Penh, electricity is really important, especially for security and for orderly traffic. Therefore, we have to strengthen electricity security, taking this with high responsibility. Even though we are a state institution, the Phnom Penh Municipality has to pay every month for the daily consumption of electricity, and if we fail to do so, the electricity will be cut off, like it is done also for all citizens – per year, the municipality has to pay more than US$1 million.’ Mr. Kep Chuktema added that if electricity is used in the right way, there is no problem. But he suspects that some bad people illegally connect to state electricity, tapping into the public lighting system, such as to connect to advertisement banners, or night vendors, who sell mixed juice or other things, and connect to electricity sources for which the Phnom Penh Municipality has to pay (instead of them), and the municipality did not know anything about it for many years.

“The director of the Department of Public Work and Transportation, Mr. Nhem Saran, reported, said that public lighting, managed by the Phnom Penh Municipality, such as lighting at different parks and roads and traffic lights, is at 32 parks, at 779 lighting poles set up, 4,844 lighting poles along roads, and 43 traffic lights. There is no problem with the electricity at different parks, since the electricity is cut off when electricity systems encounter disturbances. Also, it is because some bulbs are burnt out, and because of the negligence of some electricians. As for the lighting systems along the roads, some lamps have been damaged, hit by cars or trucks, which makes it difficult for the administration to have them repaired immediately.

“An expert official on electricity, from the Department of Public Work and Transportation, in charge of such work, raised many reasons to the Phnom Penh municipal governor as well as to the whole meeting, saying that at present there is a lack of control of electricity, the working team has only 40 officials and lacks means for monitoring – as they have to use their own means and tools for fixing problems. Moreover, the unit lacks expert electricians and tools used to identify the location of underground cables when they are cut, and sometimes they have to dig up the land for more than 60 meters to find which section is cut. The traffic light system is difficult to control technically, because there are six different types and six different control programs. This official requested the Phnom municipal governor for more electricians, more means, and more tools, and especially to immediate supply tools and spare parts.

“Regarding the strengthening of public lighting, Mr. Kep Chuktema ordered to recruit ten additional qualified electricians for this work for all districts under the control of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation. The Phnom Penh Municipality will offer materials such as cars for the electricians, computers, and spare parts immediately, by allowing them to be taken from commercial suppliers, and the Phnom Penh Municipality will pay for it.

“At the same occasion, Mr. Kep Chuktema instructed expert officials to pay attention to monitor and observe the lighting systems regularly at the main roads into the city, at important boulevards, and at important places like at the buildings of the top institutions of the government, to make sure that the supply of electricity is not cut.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6632, 24.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 24 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #60, 24-26.4.2009

  • Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly Are Strongly Restricted in Cambodia

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #167, 24.4.2009

  • The Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Ministers of Defense Will Meet at Siem Reap to Negotiate to Avoid Armed Clashes
  • The Canadian Embassy in Phnom Penh Will Close in May [to save expenses, and the diplomatic relations of Canada with Cambodia will be handled from Bangkok]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1926, 24.4.2009

  • [Ousted Thai prime minister] Thaksin Receives the Citizenship of Nicaragua and Holds a Nicaraguan Diplomatic Passport [several Central American states provide such services in exchange for certain payments of money or for making investments]
  • [Three] Cambodian Students Won Three Medals [gold, bronze, and honorable] in the United States of America among Students from 60 Countries [on the topic: ‘Initiative to solve problems related to the consumption of energy’]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6632, 24.4.2009

  • Campaign to Identify Those Who Illegally Connect to State Electricity Lines
  • [Khmer Rouge top leader] Pol Pot Created the Tuol Sleng Prison, [former Khmer Rouge senior leader] Son Sen Implemented It, and [former president of the National Assembly] Nuon Chea Observed It [claimed former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Kek Eav, alias Duch]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3740, 24.4.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Sues [Prime Minister] Hun Sen for Defamation for [the symbolic amount of] Riel 500

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4876, 24.4.2009

  • Bullet Cartridges Belong to the Military, so Who Is behind the Attack against [leader of the yellow-shirt or pro-government demonstrators] Sondhi Limthongkul?
  • Football Betting in Siem Reap Is Run Quietly but on a Big Scale
  • The Government Plans to Create a Foundation Supporting and Developing Agriculture
  • Vietnam Arrested Two Cambodian Drug Smugglers
  • Two Tamil Tiger Insurgent Leaders Defect [to the Sri Lankan government]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1699, 24-25.4.2009

  • Monk Tim Sakhan Accused that the Supreme Leaders of the Monks, Tep Vong and Non Ngeth, Followed the Orders of Yuon [Vietnam – to arrest and send him to Vietnam – now Monk Tim Sakhan receives temporary asylum from the UNHCR in Bangkok]

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UNDP Is Not Afraid of Phay Siphan’s Threat – Thursday, 23.4.2009

Posted on 24 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“A secretary of state and spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, told the media that the United Nations Development Programs – UNDP – is to be held responsible for anything, if staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (from the Cambodian side) cannot receive their salaries at the end of this April 2009.

“Mr. Phay Siphan said so after the UNDP reconfirmed that it will not release funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal as long as the corruption allegations or the kickback issue have not been solved.

“It should be noted that all funds administered by the UNDP for the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders were frozen last year after there had been allegations that the Cambodian staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had to pay kickbacks in order to get employment at this tribunal.

“However, the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, reacted so that it sounds like a threat, saying ‘The government’s role is not related to this problem. It depends on the donors and on the UNDP.’

“Mr. Phay Siphan emphasized, ‘If there are irregularities resulting from the UNDP’s attitude, the UNDP must be held responsible alone.’

“It should be remembered that, regarding the funds for the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, it was said that even though there was a request by the Australian government, the UNDP still disagrees to released the funds for the Cambodian side, because the corruption allegations have not yet been solved.

“Australia, which granted US$456,000 to the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in April 2008, said last week that because of general developments to prevent corruption at the tribunal, it is prepared to release the funds frozen by the UNDP last year, after Cambodian staff reported to the UN about the kickback issue.

“Australia made this announcement immediately after a failed negotiation on 8 April 2009 between the United Nations and the government to create new programs against corruption at this tribunal.

“The UNDP said that it cannot release the Australian funds, because the kickback issue has not been solved.

“The UNDP said in a statement, ‘The UNDP received a request from the Australian government to release its funds to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – ECCC. The position of the UNDP is that there must be solutions for these allegations.’

“After careful internal monitoring over the latest progress, and in accordance with accountability principles administering UNDP/government projects, the UNDP is not in a position to release the funds now.

“The Cambodian side of the ECCC must spend around US$300,000 per month for salaries of its 251 staff members. While this tribunal did not have sufficient money in previous weeks, Japan granted US$200,000 at the last minute to solve the problem of salary payments for March. Salary payments will be a problem again this month.

“The head of the Public Affairs Office of the ECCC, Ms. Helen Jarvis, said, ‘We are working on this problem, and that is all I can say.’

“The Japanese Embassy refused to comment whether it will provide funds to the tribunal for April as before or not, but a spokesperson of the embassy said via email, ‘Japan is observing the situation closely with other donor countries.’

“On Tuesday, the UNDP said that its stance is not changed, and while they are worrying about the Cambodian staff and their salaries, they cannot be held responsible for it alone.

“The UNDP said in its statement via email, ‘There are some allegations, and the UNDP cannot release the funds until those problems have been handled.”

“The statement of the UNDP added, ‘Anyway, the funds administered by the UNDP are not the only source of funds for the Cambodian side at the tribunal. Besides donors, who join in bilateral ways, also the Cambodian government itself had promised to provide support as their funds for the Cambodian side in the tribunal.’

“The request by Australia for its funds was made after the failed negotiation between Cambodian and the United Nations on 8 April 2009 about the creation of new mechanisms against corruption in the tribunal.

“The U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, who is also in charge of relations with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, said that at that time, he left a request on the table [of the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sok An] and he will not return to conduct additional discussions.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #386, 23.4.2009

Note:

See the report in the Mirror of 10 April 2009, with the text of the statement of UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs:

“The United Nations continues to believe that for the ethics monitoring system to be credible, the staff should have the freedom to approach the ethics monitor of their own choice and put forward complaints without fear of retaliation. Such freedom of choice is an important element of a trustworthy ethics-monitoring system.”

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 23 April 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #166, 23.4.2009

  • Cambodia Prepares to Host the Asia-Europe Meeting [ASEM] in May 2009; Cambodia Supports Russia as a Candidate to Participate in ASEM
  • Fire Occurred on Four Consecutive Days and Destroyed 300 Hectares of Forest in the Ek Phnom District [Battambang]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1925, 23.4.2009

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Will Add Six New Members to Its Permanent Committee [Mr. Keat Chhon, Mr. Sao Sokha, Mr. Net Savoeun, Mr. Yim Chhay Ly, Mr. Kun Kim, and Mr. Meas Sophea – to the existing 30 members]
  • Orphans Cooperate to Create a Short Education Film for Publication around the World [Phnom Penh]
  • Another Section of the Riverbank Collapsed and Two Houses of Citizens Fell into the River
  • Tens of Thousands of Civil Sri Lankan Citizens Flee from Disputed Areas

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #386, 23.4.2009

  • UNDP Is Not Afraid of Phay Siphan’s Threat

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6631, 23.4.2009

  • “Duch” Recognizes Crimes at the Tuol Sleng Prison or “S-21 Center”, but Said that [the former president of the National Assembly] Nuon Chea and [the former Khmer Rouge leader] Son Sen Were His Superiors
  • Thailand: The Economy Drops by 5% in 2009

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3739, 23.4.2009

  • International Economic Experts [Asian Development Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Economist Intelligence Unit] Assessed that Cambodia Is Vulnerable due to Growing Poverty

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4875, 23.4.2009

  • [483] Ethnic Minority People Sue Ratanakiri Deputy Governor [Mom Saroeun] for Taking More Than 400 Hectares of Forest Land in Andong Meas District
  • Netherlands Will Continue to Support the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Samdech Dekchor: Investments by Japan Do Not Yet Meet What Cambodia Wants [he encourages more Japanese companies to come to invest in Cambodia]
  • The Ministry of Tourism Prepares Working Team to Go to Advertise [Cambodian] Tourism in Kuwait

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1698, 23.4.2009

  • [The director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia] Chhang Youk: Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Shows that the Incompetent Administration Has to Be Changed
  • Citizens Suffering from Siamese [Thai] Shelling [which blazed their market stalls] at Preah Vihear Ask for Compensation [from Thailand]

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Cambodia Increased Debt to the Asian Development Bank in 2008 by More Than US$50 Million – Wednesday, 22.4.2009

Posted on 23 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“A new report from the Asian Development Bank shows that in 2008 Cambodian owes the Asian Development Bank up to US$53.8 million.

“The report published by this bank on the Internet during the Khmer New Year’s days said that among the ten member country of ASEAN, Cambodia is also a country receiving loans from this bank.

“The country members of ASEAN are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“The report added that only Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam owe this bank in 2008. However, the amount of money that Cambodia owes this bank is not much compared to others.

“Cambodia owes only US$53.8 million, while Vietnam has US$789.7 million, the Philippines US$940 million, and Indonesia up to US$1,085 million.

“Besides funds for projects owed by Cambodia, this bank supports also some projects with grant aid at a total amount of more than US$36 million. Those projects are road control projects worth US$4.8 million, health supporting projects worth US$1.8 million, a public finance administration project for rural development worth US$6.7 million, another public finance administration project for rural development worth US$4.1 million, an emergency food aid project worth US$17.5 million, and a project to promote standard toilets worth US$2 million.

“Since 1992, Cambodia received around US$1 billion in loans from this bank.

“According to the report, since 31 December 2007, Cambodian has approximately US$947.34 in debts. Therefore, if adding up to the debts of 2008, it increased to US$1,001 million.

“So far, among all ASEAN countries, the country that owes this bank the least is Singapore with owes approximately US$181 million only. Then, Burma owes US$530 million and Cambodia US$1,001 million. Laos owes US$1,211 million, Malaysia US$1,997 million, Thailand US$5,388 million, Vietnam US$6,294 million, the Philippines US$10,772 million, and Indonesia US$23,523 million. The country that has no debts is Brunei.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4874, 22.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #58, 22.4.2009

  • [President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Mony Calls on Participation [by citizens, civil servants, and workers] to Demonstrate on 1 May 2009 [the International Labor Day]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #165, 22.4.2009

  • 52 People Died of Traffic Accidents in Five Days during the Khmer New Year [and 233 of the 457 injured people suffer from serious injuries]
  • Siamese [Thai] Police Cooperate with the International Police Agency Interpol to Search for [ousted Thai prime minister] Thaksin

Deum Tnot, Vol.2, #65, 22-23.4.2009

  • The Number of Companies Registered [at the Ministry of Commerce] Declines due to the Global Financial Crisis [from January to March 2008, there were 862 registered companies while during the same period in 2009, there were only 436]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1924, 22.4.2009

  • A New 38-Storey-Bank Building [of the Vathanak Bank] Will Appear Soon [in 2011 in Phnom Penh – according to Governor Kep Chuktema]
  • Khmer Consulate in Massachusetts Will Be Inaugurated This Weekend
  • [The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong Asks Korean Investors to Speed Up Investments in Cambodia
  • Many Delegations [of more than ten countries] Walked Out of the [UN] Conference on Racism while the Iranian Leader [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] Was Making a Speech Criticizing Israel

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3738, 22.4.2009

  • UNDP Maintains Its Stances Not to Release Funds to the Cambodian Side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal because of the Unsolved Kickback Issue
  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Is Considering to Grant Asylum to Tim Sakhan in the United States of America

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4874, 22.4.2009

  • Cambodia Increased Debt to the Asian Development Bank in 2008 by More Than US$50 Million
  • Samdech Dekchor Again Calls On Workers and Employers to Obey the Laws and Handle Labor Disputes Peacefully
  • The European Community Grants Euro 4 Million to Support Food-for-Work Programs in Cambodia


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The Court Presents Another Witness of Duch’s Atrocities at the M-13 Center – Tuesday, 21.4.2009

Posted on 22 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“The court hearing former Khmer Rouge leaders continued its trial in the morning of 20 April 2009 about the role and responsibility of Kaing Kek Eav, alias Duch, at the M-13 prison center in the Amleang region in Kompong Speu’s Thpong district. The court presented another witness, Chan Voeun – male, 56 – who claimed that he worked under the order of Kaing Kek Eav, alias Duch, at the M-13 Center. This new witness counted executions made directly by Kaing Kek Eav while this suspect still claims that he had never killed people himself, but admitted that he ordered executions following the party’s policy.

“In the hearing which was not transmitted live on television and radio like before, the number of participants in the hearing dropped more than expected, and compared to the previous times the number of participants dropped by almost half. Court officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal recognized that the number of attendees as well as of journalists declined. This is because there was no wide broadcast announcement about Kaing Kek Eav’s hearing, and information did not reach the citizens who want to observe it, and also journalists are not aware of the continuing hearings. However, the court is blamed because of the absence of many participants.

“The spokesperson of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – called the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Mr. Reach Sambath, acknowledged the lower number of participants, because the court did not pick them up like at previous times. Compared to the first hearing on 30 March 2009, the number declined by about 50%. This is because the announcement about the follow-up hearing process yesterday, on Monday, was not shared widely, and the transportation of citizens was not organized as normal. Nevertheless, officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal said that they will fix this problem.

“It is noted that Kaing Kek Eav’s hearing yesterday was quieter than before. Previously, hearings were published through the National Television of Cambodia and through the National Radio. Moreover, there were brief announcements by some local private television stations. But yesterday, the media, which had previously made announcements about the hearings did not publish anything as before. This made the number of attendees decline, compared to previous hearings.

“Regarding the hearing, facing the new witness, Chan Voeun, who put blame on the suspect Kaing Kek Eav over the killings at the M-13 Center, Duch claimed that the explanation or description by the witness Chan Voeun is 100% untrue. Furthermore, what Chan Voeun said, is mostly based on what was said from person to person during the time of responsibility of Duch, while he was the chief of the M-13 Prison Center. Duch responded that the argument of the witness is absolutely untrue, but what the witness said is just what he heard from other persons.

“Chan Voeun, 56, claimed that he was a staff member under direct orders by Kaing Kek Eav while he was the chief of the M-13 Prison Center in the Amleang region, where Chan Voeun lived, near Kompong Speu’s Thpong district. Chan Voeun said that Duch killed people himself many times which led to rumors about the atrocities of the M-13 Center’s chief. Chan Voeun’s claim was dismissed by Duch, saying that he had never killed people himself, but he did ordere some torture. Torture was made to extract answers over the responsibility of some suspects, under the same political ruler of the party. Anyway, Duch admitted some wrongdoings leading to the end of many people’s lives in the M-13 Center in Kompong Speu’s Thpong district.

“The trial process of former Khmer Rouge leaders is facing concerns over the shortage of funds. As for the number of participants, it becomes less and less mentioned as people see that it seems there is an intention for an extension. The hearing of Duch will continue until Thursday. Then, there will be a break. The whole process will be finished in July with a judgment about Kaing Kek Eav’s fate. Awaiting justice for Kaing Kek Eav’s responsibilities as chief of the S-21 Prison Center where nearly 20,000 innocent people were killed, seems to have taken so long.

“Kaing Kek Eav is the only person who remembers, explains, and acknowledges some truth about the killings of people during the Khmer Rouge Regime between 15 April 1975 and 7 January 1979. As for [former head of state] Khiev Samphan and [former president of the National Assembly] Noun Chea, they always deny that they were involved in ruling the country which led to the killings of innocent people.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3737, 21.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #164, 21.4.2009

  • Ms. Mu Sochua Warns that She May Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [for defamation over her rough handling last year by police, tearing her blouse open]
  • Cambodia Will Lack Salt Next Year [because salt yield declines due to bad weather – according to the Department of Industry of Kampot]
  • Vietnam Is Ready to Help the Military Sector in Cambodia [by exchanging and sharing experiences]
  • Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Prepare to Demonstrate Again Next Week

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1923, 21.4.2009

  • [Former Khmer Rouge top leader] Pol Pot’s Shoes and [two] Cameras, Used for Taking Photos of Tuol Sleng Prisoners, Are Put for Sale [for US$500,000 by a former Khmer Rouge photographer, Mr. Nhem En]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Supports a Methane Gas Investment Project by a German Company [the International Environmental Consulting] at the Stung Meanchey Garbage Dumping Site

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6629, 21.4.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: Cambodian Senior Militaries’ Arguments Are Not Made about Invading Others’ Territory, but about Defending Our Territory
  • Three Men of Different Nationalities [Greek, French, and Khmer-Thai] Were Arrested for Debauchery [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3737, 21.4.2009

  • The Court Presents Another Witness of Duch’s Atrocities at the M-13 Center

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4873, 21.4.2009

  • A Real Estate Company [the Bunna Realty] Said that the Renting of Buildings Declines Dramatically [by between 30% and 40%]
  • Thaksin Accused the Thai King after the Attacks on His Advisors [saying that the King knew the planned coup to oust him]

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Cambodia Is a Heaven of Alcohol though No Thorough Study Has Yet Been Conducted – 11-20.4.2009

Posted on 21 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“The abuse of alcohol among Cambodian citizens is said to be increasing, and now Cambodia seems to be a big heaven and market of alcohol in the region.

“This claim had been made after it has been found that the number of entertainment clubs, beer gardens, and different places for drinking are increasing in Phnom Penh.

“A coordinator of the Youth Council of Cambodia, Ms. Mao Puthearath, said recently that the number of nightclubs, beer gardens, and different places for drinking increases everywhere both in the city and at various other population centers in the country.

Rasmei Kampuchea was not able to find the figure of nightclubs, beer gardens, and places for drinking by 6 April 2009, but according to the actual scene, those places can be found at almost every major roads and places in Phnom Penh.

“Ms. Puthearath added that the Youth Council of Cambodia does not have data on this, and she concluded that this increase is a worrying signal for Cambodia.

“She went on to say, ‘The signal of the increase in the numbers of such clubs and entertainment places is a signal showing that Cambodia is becoming a heaven of alcohol at present.’

“Based on Ms. Puthearath conclusions, the increase in the number of places providing alcohol is also a signal telling that the number of citizens who like drinking alcohol increases also.

“The president of the Cambodian Center for Peace and Development, an organization that had studied the abuse of alcohol among 1,400 Cambodian citizens in seven provinces in late 2008, Mr. Yong Kim Eng, said that the number of alcohol abusers in the country is worrying.

“He added that the study found that 58% of the citizens interviewed, between the age of 18 and 25, are addicted to alcohol.

“It also found that among alcohol abusers, 41% like drinking white rice wine produced in the country, 37% like drinking beer of different brands, 13% like medical wines [alcohol mixed with different herbs or animals, like snake], and 5% like whisky – produced locally or imported. However, this study did not note how much they drank per day, and which different types of alcohol was imported, but Mr. Yong Kim Eng said that there are many types of alcoholic drinks on the market in the country.

“He said, ‘Just whisky alone, we cannot count all brands; therefore, it is no necessary to talk about beer – there are many types.’

“At present, the institution known to have the figures of alcoholic drinks produced locally is the Ministry of Industry. As for the figure of alcoholic drinks imported into Cambodia, it is administered by the Ministry Commerce and the custom tax institutions, but Rasmei Kampuchea cannot have the statistics about the number of alcoholic drinks trafficked on the markets from these institutions.

“According to advertisements in different publications, there are not less than 20 types of alcoholic drinks such as whisky, beer, and red wine. However, at the markets, there are more than that number, and obviously, if one walks into beer gardens, there are beer selling women from not less than 30 brands, pleading clients to buy their beer.

“Some of those beer brands are named like cars or like horses.

“A beer selling woman working in a beer garden at Ou Baek K’am said that since she became a beer selling woman, she has sold beer from countless brands.

“A woman who asked not to be named said that since 2006, she cannot remember how many brands she sold, because there are too many.

“This woman said, ‘When I cannot sell one brand many, I shifts to another company. Sometimes, I sold no less than five different brands of beer per month.’ She added that some companies for whom she had worked, imports various brands of beer.

“She counted briefly, ‘As much as I could remember, I used to sell beer such as Holland, Singha, whisky, Leo, Tiger, Horse; oh! There are too many and I could not remember all.’

“Concerning this issue, Mr. Yong Kim Eng expressed a concern that the abuse of alcohol at present is not banned, but instead, it is encouraged. Moreover, the companies make open advertisements on the media, which is a dangerous signal for society.

“He added, ‘Previously, alcoholics were seldom liked, but at present, it is different. Before, they were disapproved, but now they say that those who are not able to drink, are not real men or really human. Before, it was said that drinking beer affects the health, but now they advertise that it makes people healthy, handsome, clever, energetic, and they even get awards.’

“He continued to say that if there is no action taken, there might be problems in the future, especially on youth.

“This claim is in line with what Ms. Puthearath had stated. Ms. Puthearath said that the advertisements of alcoholic drinks seem to be very open, adding that those advertisements might be an attraction or encouragement for youth to abuse alcoholic drinks even more.

“She went on to say, ‘Economic growth is good, but the increase in the number of alcohol abusers is not. Drunkenness will result in many dangers for youth and for the nation.’

“Alcoholic drinks can encourage people to seek unsafe sex services, make them highly prone to an AIDS infection. It can make them lose self-control and have traffic accidents, and can also make people become immoral and even criminal, daring to commit immoral acts like rapes, which makes such people to become real criminals.

She added, ‘They are the important for the nation, but if they are drunk, on whom can the nation on.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4869-4871, 11-20.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 20 April 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #163, 11.4.2009

  • The [planned] ASEAN Summit Was Accompanied by the Presence of Thousands of Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #192119-22, 11-12.4.2009

  • US Secretary of State Sends Good Wishes to Khmer Citizens for the Khmer New Year
  • The ASEAN Summit Was Cancelled Immediately; ASEAN Leaders Were Flown Out by Helicopters

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #384, 19.4.2009

  • [Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng Warns Officials Who Have to Retire to Stop Preparing Document to Change Their Age

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6626-6628, 11-20.4.2009

  • Suspect Duch Admits that He Ordered Torture and Executions [of about 300 people in the M-13 prison in Kompong Speu]
  • Cambodian Students Reached the Semi-Final in an International Law Competition [in the United States]
  • A Man and His Wife Selling Gold Were Shot Dead [robbers are not identified yet – Kampot]
  • About 20,000 Japanese Companies Want to Relocate Their Factories from China [because of the global financial crisis]
  • Mr. Thaksin Encourages His Supporters to Join Negotiations to Unite the Nation

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3735-3736, 11-20.4.2009

  • The Monk Tim Sakhan Will Meet UNHCR Officials to Seek Asylum [according to Khmer Kampuchea Krom human rights officials, Monk Tim Sakhan is now in Thailand where he became a monk again on 11 April 2009]
  • The Cambodian People’s Party Recovers when [the second deputy president of the National Assembly and the secretary-general of the Cambodian People’s Party] Say Chhum Can Work as Normal Again [he is severely ill]
  • Legal Professionals and a Civil Society Organization [the Cambodian Defenders Project] Encourage the United Nations to Keep on Discussing Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4869-4871, 11-20.4.2009

  • Cambodia Is Heaven of Alcohol though Study Is Not Yet Thoroughly Conducted
  • Experts Are Concerned about the Presence of Many Foreigners Coming to Invest in Tourism at the Southwest of the Country [because Cambodian citizens might face unemployment in this sector]
  • [Former Phnom Penh police chief] Heng Pov and [three of] His Followers Are Jailed for Eighteen Years for Shooting Koh Santepheap Editor-in-Chief
  • 100 Bullets Aimed at Murdering Yellow-Shirt Leader [Mr. Sondhi Limthongkul] at the Center of Bangkok [doctors said that his life is no longer in danger from a bullet wound on his head]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abbhisit Suspends His Visit to Cambodia while Cambodia Warns Citizens Not to Go to Bangkok
  • Aid of the German Government Focuses on Hydro-Electric Dams and Small and Medium Enterprises
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