Archive for June, 2009

Condemnations from Various Sides Against the Political Game Using the Court to Shut Up the Freedom of Expression – Monday, 29.6.2009

Posted on 29 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 619

Note:

Apologies for the delays in publishing the Sunday and Monday installments.

The Tuesday publication will also be delayed, because I am still traveling, returning from an Internet/ICANN conference in Sydney/Australia.

But you may use the opportunity to read the last editorial, Cambodia, an Island of Peace, if you have not yet done it. A click at the top of the page, every day – Have a look at last week’s editorial – opens the last editorial.

Norbert Klein

“It is clear that the condemnation by the Phnom Penh Municipal court of the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok [Mr. Hang Chakra] on 26 June 2009, to jail him for 12 months and to order him to pay Riel 9 million [approx. US$2,200] shows the political influence of the rich and the powerful of the country on the courts, notorious for being used as a tool of the Cambodian People’s Party.

“Many reactions were voiced, criticizing and condemning this judgment of the Phnom Penh Municipal court for not using the Press Law to deal with a journalist, but using the UNTAC Penal Code [created in 1992 for the transitional period under UN administration, during a time of continuing internal war] instead with the evil intent to jail a journalist.

“Among various reactions is also a statement from the spokesperson of the US Embassy, Mr. John Johnson, ion the day when the Phnom Penh Municipal Court played a political farce to convict the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok.

“The US Embassy official said, &apsIt is obvious that the court is used to shut up a voice criticizing the government.&aps

“This official added, ‘Free speech and freedom of the press are fundamental rights in democracies throughout the world, and public figures and politicians should be prepared to receive both praise and criticism from the people they govern as part of the democratic process.’

“But the mistreatment of journalists who only express their views to criticize the corruption of officials of the Hun Sen government, as well as the ignorance of the court not to use the Press Law but the Penal Code from the UNTAC era [1992/1993] to prosecute journalist for their use of the freedom of expression is described by the Asia Times as an obvious sign of the democratic development process which the Hun Sen government seems reluctant to face.

“Observers said that the judgment of the court against the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok appears to be in line with the anger of high ranking official of Mr. Hun Sen’s government against information published by Khmer Machas Srok, which is seen as touching sensitive points of Cambodian officials, which hinder the pursuit of their interest in corruption and their exercise of power to order the court to play a political farce stretching the law to prosecute journalists.

“An experienced lawyer and president of the Cambodian Defenders Project, Mr. Sok Sam Oeun, released a statement to react against the prosecution of the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, saying that the courts in Cambodia are not at all independent.

“This lawyer stated that all legal cases related to journalists have to treated according to the Press Law that was adopted after the UNTAC Penal Code. He explained, &apsThe new Press Law of 1995 was intended to replace the use of the UNTAC Penal Code in relation to journalists.&aps

“But normally, judges use just any law they want, when they intend to base a prosecution on the criminal level; they use the Penal Code even though those the Press Law, enacted later, made the previous law invalid.

“He said, &apsWe saw that the writing expressed a general view. As it is a general view, the Penal Code should not be used, and also, our Constitution states that just for expressing an opinion, no jail penalty should be imposed.&aps

“Officials at the courts are said to fear the influence of the powerful and the rich over the cases they handle. Thus, they did now anything to follow what those rich and powerful people wanted.

“The lawyer Suong Chanthan was ordered by the powerful of the government to sue the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, and he seems to misunderstand the law, when he said that this indictment is to implement the law.

“Thia is not a correct and just enforcement of the law, as also the reactions of civil society organizations and of the Club of Cambodian Journalists pointed out, that the court has to use the Press Law to deal with journalists, but not the Penal Code to penalize journalists. Suong Chanthan&apss words seem confused and he is not understanding the court system and the law. The role of the court is not to use its discretion to convict the accused, on the contrary, courts have to use law justly to ensure justice for the society.

“The defense lawyer of Mr. Hang Chakra, Mr. Chuong Chou Ngy, described this case differently from the lawyer Suong Chanthan, &apsIt is a political case, but the court is used as a tool to penalize a journalist&aps. He added, &apsThe newspaper published a political story. The person who took the initiative to file a complaint is politician. Therefore, this is absolutely a political case.&aps

“An official of a civil society organization said that the jail sentence for the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, is a sentence to shut up the voices and rights of journalists. The arrest of Mr. Hang Chakra sending him to the Prey Sar Prison clearly shows that the law is violated by the police and by the courts of the current ruling regime, that overturns justice in the Khmer society, as the accused had not received a conviction by the court when he was arrested, and thus, by law, he was not yet to be a prisoner, and the police and the court cannot stretch the law to arrest and jail Mr. Hang Chakra legally.

“The judge of the court hearing in Phnom Penh, Din Sivuthy, read the judgment in absentia, but considered it to be made in front of the accused, and the hearing was short and arranged quickly without the presence of Mr. Hang Chakra or his lawyer. This is a disreputable act of politics of the powerful who are ruling the country, which is notorious for corruption and for using the courts to prosecute journalists, attempting to restrict democracy, because the dictators fear that their power might inevitably collapse according to the trend of the democracy in the world.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #450, 28-30.6.2009

[This article does not state the content of alleged disinformation, for which Mr. Hang Chakrya was arrested.]

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 29 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #222, 29.6.2009

  • Gold Vendor Couple Are Shot to Rob Nearly US$10,000 [the robbers escaped safely – Phnom Penh]
  • The Six A/H1N1 Patients in Cambodia Are Being Treated and Are Recovering
  • The First Two A/H1N1 Flu Patients Died in Siam [Thailand]
  • North Korea and the United Sates of America Warn Each Other of Nuclear War

Deum Tnot, Vol.2, #71, 29-30.6.2009

  • An Explosion of Ammunition at the Tuol Krasaing Security Fortress [the bodyguard camp of the prime minister] Frightened People [there is no report yet of casualties – Takhmao, Kandal]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1982, 28-29.6.2009

  • The Norodom Ranariddh Party Changed its Name to Nationalist Party
  • America Provides [free English-learning] Scholarships to 90 Khmer Muslim Students

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #450, 28-30.6.2009

  • Condemnations from Various Sides Against the Political Game Using the Court to Shut Up the Freedom of Expression

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6688, 29.6.2009

  • The Cambodian People&apss Party Commemorates the 58 Anniversary of the Creation of the Party, and Calls for the Involvement of People to Strengthen the Defense Sector
  • The Draft Law on Demonstrations, which Intends to Create Sites to Express One’s Opinion Publicly, Is Not a Procedure to Block Out the Freedom of Expression [according a statement of the Ministry of Interior]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4932, 28-29.6.2009

  • There Is No Information about the [Cambodia] Visit by the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, after There Had Been Opposition Expressed [against the suggestion by Thailand to jointly manage the Preah Vihear Temple area]
  • The Authorities Suppressed a Demonstration and Arrested 21 Garment Workers of the Sky High Factory, to Be Educated [3,850 workers demonstrated to demand that the factory owner stops keeping a group of gangsters to mistreat the workers]
  • Deaths from Lightning Strikes Continue: Five More People Died [two in Kompong Chhnang, two in Kampot, and one in Kompong Speu]

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Cambodia, an Island of Peace – Sunday, 28.6.2009

Posted on 29 June 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

At a time of increased tension at the border to Thailand, it is appropriate to remember again how the drafters of the Constitution of 1993, and those elected representatives who accepted it, described their vision of Kingdom of Cambodia in the Preamble of the Constitution:

Having endured sufferings and destructions and having experienced a tragic decline in the course of the two decades,

Having awakened, stood up with a resolute determination to strengthen the national unity, to preserve and defend Cambodia’s territory and its precious sovereignty and the prestige of Angkor civilization, and to restore Cambodia into an “Island of Peace” based on a multi-party liberal democratic regime guaranteeing human rights and the respect of law, and responsible for the destiny of the nation always evolving toward progress, development, prosperity, and glory,

WITH THIS RESOLUTE WILL We inscribe the following as the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

These words with the call for national unity were issued in 1993, while the armed and bloody conflict with one of Cambodia’s political groups – the Khmer Rouge – was still continuing in some parts of the country, even until 1996, against those who had joined to write this constitution.

After the sufferings and the destruction and a tragic decline – now a democratic, multi-party democracy where human rights and the law are respected: an Island of Peace!

How can this be upheld, when we had, during the past week, headlines like the following:

  • Cambodia Makes Every Possible Preparation, Including the Deployment of Troops, to Withstand a Thai Invasion
  • Hun Sen: I Am a Hot-Minded Person but Thoughtful in Taking Decisions to Avoid Bloodshed
  • Thailand Agrees to Reduce the Number of Soldiers at the Chak Chreng Area, and Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Sends a Deputy Prime Minister for Negotiations
  • Samdech Dekchor: I Accept Only One Explanation when the Thai Deputy Prime Minister comes to negotiate with Cambodia: That Is to Withdraw Thai Troops from Cambodia
  • The Khmer and the Thai Military Accuse Each Other over the Increase of Troops and Weapons along the Border

And later it was only reported that the Cambodian prime minister and the Thai deputy prime minister had met for two hours, after the Cambodian prime minister had said that the Preah Vihear temple status would not be on the agenda, but the Thai visitor could “raise the issue of withdrawing Thai troops from the border,” or, according to other reports, “to withdraw Thai troops from Cambodian territory.”

Unfortunately, the tension is still mounting, in spite of the declarations of the two prime ministers on 12 June 2009, to do everything to avoid armed conflicts, and rather expand cooperation between both countries in many fields. We had mirrored a report under the title A Meeting between Hun Sen and Abhisit Vejjajiva Leads to Many Good Results and Proceeds in Good Atmosphere

When such declarations of goodwill at the highest level are made public, they normally do not say whether and what kind of the crucial, still open details were discussed.

The present new round of tensions after the meeting of the two prime ministers was triggered by a Thai statement that Thailand wants to initiate discussions about the joint development of the area of the Preah Vihear temple, in the border area between both countries – a well frequented tourist site before the confrontation which started after Preah Vihear had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2008. The temple is located on uncontested Cambodian territory since the International Court of Justice declared this in 1962, but it is surrounded by an area contested between both countries, easily accessible only from Thailand, as it is situated on a high plain extending into Thailand, about 500 meter above the uncontested Cambodian territory to the south.

What is surprising in this respect is the fact that the Preah Vihear issue is treated quite differently in both countries, in terms of the very different involvements of the parliaments of both countries, and in terms of the information to the public about important details of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decisions in 2008.

The results of the negotiations – prior to the decisions of the UNESCO committee – were scrutinized by the Thai parliament. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, Noppadon Pattama, had to tender his resignation, because he had acted on international affairs that need the consent of the Thai parliament according to the Thai constitution. But he had not asked parliament for the necessary authorization.

On the other side, we are not aware when, or that, the Cambodian submissions were discussed in the Cambodian National Assembly. Even the map, presented by the Cambodian high level delegation, by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, and Senior Minister and head of the Cambodian Border Commission, Var Kim Hong, on 18 June 2008, was not even published in the Cambodian media, though it was an annex to a text with the grave implications:

Map presented by the Cambodian side on 18 June 2008

Map presented by the Cambodian side on 18 June 2008

1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription, at the 32th session of the World Heritage Committee (Québec, Canada, July 2008), of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached. The map also includes, identified as N.2, a buffer zone to the East and South of the Temple.

2.In the spirit of goodwill and conciliation, the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.

The adjacent map shows that only the narrow – probably 30 meters – area around the Preah Vihear Temple was claimed “at this stage.”

Map of clashes in the contested buffer zones.

Map of clashes in the contested buffer zones.

Most of the military clashes since happened in the “buffer zones” to the north and west of Preah Vihear – in the buffer zones which are contested areas. Both sides claim them as their territory.

What is more surprising is the fact that there is a strong emotionally commitment in the Cambodian public to maintain the Cambodian interests related to the Preah Vihear temple, while the public has not been informed through the media about important submissions by the Cambodian delegation (some of the documents published in English and French, and subsequently translated also into Spanish and Arab, to get the necessary UNESCO committee members’ votes) have not been translated into the Khmer language for the public. We reprint here part of the final decisions – only a part of long, legal texts – which have been accepted by the Cambodian government delegation in July 2008.

The World Heritage Committee,

Decides, on an exceptional basis, to accept, in view of the multilateral process leading to the elaboration of the supplementary report submitted in May 2008 by the State Party of Cambodia at the request of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the information submitted by the State Party beyond the deadline established in the paragraph 148 of the Operational Guidelines;

Recognizes that Thailand has repeatedly expressed a desire to participate in a joint nomination of the Temple of Preah Vihear and its surrounding areas;

Notes that the property proposed for inscription is reduced and comprises only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves;

Encourages Cambodia to collaborate with Thailand for safeguarding the value of the property, in view of the fact that peoples of the surrounding region have long treasured the Temple of Preah Vihear, and agrees that it would be desirable in the future to reflect its full values and landscape setting through a possible additional inscription to the World Heritage List that could capture criteria (iii) and (iv), which had been recognized by the Committee in its Decision 31 COM 8B.24.

Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards;

Requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, the following documents:

a)a provisional map providing additional details of the inscribed property and a map delineating the buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

b)updated Nomination dossier to reflect the changes made to the perimeter of the property;

c)confirmation that the management zone for the property will include the inscribed property and buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

d)progress report on the preparation of the Management Plan;

Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Centre by February 2010, for submission to the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010 a full Management Plan for the inscribed property, including a finalized map.

Any reference by Thai representatives to a joint management of the Preah Vihear Temple area – by Cambodia and by Thailand – has been flatly rejected in the Cambodian public. But that is what the Cambodian delegation had agreed upon, when Preah Vihear was made a World Heritage Site, according to the minutes of this UNESCO committee. And according to the same mutually agreed upon decision by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the decision is up to be reviewed in 2010, in view of the joint management plan to elaborated by both governments.

The more time passes, the more it would be important that the Cambodian public is informed – publicly and in the Cambodian language – about the commitments made towards a joint administration of the Preah Vihear area. It had been an important tourism site, and it was expected it would receive more attention and more visitors after being made a World Heritage Site. Instead, tourism came to an almost complete standstill, and several persons from both sides of the border have lost their lives.



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In the First Six Months of 2009 the Transport of Cargo through the Ports Declined by 20 to 30 Percent – Saturday, 20.6.2009

Posted on 28 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

“According to a report of Friday, 26 June 2009, the Cambodian Freight Forwarders Association announced that during the first six months of 2009, the transport of goods through the major ports in Cambodia declined by 20 to 30 percent, and this was said to be the result of the global economic crisis.

“The secretary-general of the Cambodian Freight Forwarders Association, Mr. Sin Chanthy, told Deum Ampil on Friday at the Sunway Hotel, ‘After the events of the global economic crisis, the transport of goods at different ports in Cambodia has been affected, after buying orders from abroad had diminished recently.

“Mr. Sin Chanthy added, ‘According to a survey conducted recently, at the Kompong Som port, the export of goods has declined by 40% and at other companies, the transport by sea has dropped by about 20%.’

“Even though the commercial atmosphere in Cambodia is not yet dangerous, the director of the Sihanoukville port, Mr. Lou Kim Chhon, said during a workshop on Friday about the transport of goods from Cambodia, ‘In 2009, due to the global economic crisis, the transport of goods has declined by up to 18%, compared to 2008. Most transport of goods by sea is related to export and import to and from China and America.’

“According to Mr. Lou Kim Chhon, the payments for transport amounted to US$28 million in 2008, but in 2009, this amount does not increase, as the transport of goods declines gradually.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Ms. Tekreth Kamrong, said on Friday, during a workshop, organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Cambodian Freight Forwarders Association, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, that the government is still able to maintain a two digit national economic growth, which attracts some countries to invest more in Cambodia, such as in agriculture, in the garment industry, in transport services, and in other investment projects.

“Ms. Tekreth Kamrong added, ‘The Ministry of Commerce has international relations with various countries to attract investment to maintain the investment environment in Cambodia, in order to speed up the economy and to expand commerce to be comparable to other countries in the region.

“The deputy director of the Phnom Penh autonomous port, Mr. Ieng Veng Sun, told Deum Ampil on Friday, ‘Recently, the volume of transported goods has been rising during the last two weeks.’

“He added that at present, there is not much transport of textiles for export through the Phnom Penh port, but mostly textiles go through the Kompong Som port.

“Mr. Ieng Veng Sun went on to say that goods exported through the Phnom Penh port to the United States of America and to other countries are generally agricultural goods, but now they include also textiles.

“According to Mr. Ieng Veng Sun, in the first quarter of 2009, the transport by ship at the Phnom Penh port increased only by 10%, compared to 2008. Anyway, according to officials of the Ministry of Commerce, the cooperation between Japan and the ASEAN countries proceeded and commerce and investment has begun to be encouraging again. There will be an exchange of technical knowhow for the benefit of Cambodia for many sectors.

“Moreover, the speed-up of the economy is comparable to other countries, the Ministry of Commerce will encourage to draft many laws which can help to support the existing commerce and investment sectors, in order to attract more new investment into Cambodia.”Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #221, 27.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 27 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #221, 27.6.2009

  • In the First Six Months of 2009 the Transport of Cargo through the Ports Declined by 20 to 30 Percent
  • [Nearly 4,000] Workers [of the Sky High Garment Factory] Strike to Demand that the Owner Stops Feeding a Group of 20 Gangsters to Mistreat the Workers [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1981, 27.6.2009

  • The Grandson of a Car Dealer Drove a Car and Hit Another Car, then also Threw the Camera of a Journalist on the Ground [both cars were brought to a police station and a journalist lodged a complaint against the driver – Phnom Penh]
  • Two Cases of A/H1N1 Found on one Philippine and one Cambodian Man [there have been 6 cases so far]
  • King of Pop Michael Jackson Died at 50


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #434, 27.6.2009

  • [Editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok] Is Arrested in Battambang after the [Phnom Penh] Court Had Sentenced Him to Jail Him for 12 Months

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6687, 27-28.6.2009

  • Having Found [an unexploded] Bullet, a Child Threw It Against a Tree Stump, Killing Two and Seriously Injuring Two [Banteay Meanchey]
  • Cambodian Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Ms. Chea Leang, Is Nominated as Prosecutor at the Appeals Court

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3795, 27-28.6.2009

  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Military Accuse Each Other over the Increase of Troops and Weapons along the Border

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4931, 27.6.2009

  • US$ 50 Million Is Spent Wastefully on Illegal Drugs per Year [says Prime Minister Hun Sen; so far the number of drug abusers might be 46,300]
    America Sends Weapons to Somalia [to support the Somali government fighting against rebels]

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America Provides US$8.5 Million for Forest Conservation in Cambodia – Friday, 26.6.2009

Posted on 26 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

“A statement of the US-based Terra Global Capital said yesterday that this organization and Cambodia had signed an agreement about a project which intends to conserve 60,000 hectares of forest and solve problems for the local people who are cutting down trees to create charcoal to earn their living.

“The statement added that this project will be implemented in Oddar Meanchey and it is expected to continue over a period of 30 years. It is the first Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation project in Cambodia.

“The statement continued that Terra Global Capital had signed an agreement with the Cambodian Forestry Administration to deal with the [international] marketing of carbon credits for the forest which is being maintained by people. This organization will develop a method to measure and monitor the carbon dioxide locked away from the air by the conserved forest in that area, where the rate of deforestation was 3% between 2002 and 2006. This organization creates nine groups of forest communities comprising more than 50 villagers who join to conserve the forest to avoid the cutting down of trees to produce and sell carbon offset credits that will assist all people of that area.

“The director of Community Forestry International, Mr. Mark Poffenberger, who initiated this project said, ‘The success of the Oddar Meanchey project opens the door to long-term financing for Cambodia’s national community forestry program, which could eventually encompass and protect over 2 million hectares of forest.’ The plan in Cambodia is under a project supported by the United Nations called Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, which aims to help developing countries to conserve their forests.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #220, 26.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 26 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #220, 26.6.2009

  • The Prime Minister Orders the Eight District Governors [in Phnom Penh] to Curb Down on the [public] Playing of Porn Movies
  • America Provides US$8.5 Million for Forest Conservation in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1980, 26.6.2009

  • The Human Rights Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Recognizes Improvements in Cambodia, but There Are Still Some Further Needs
  • H1N1 Is Not a Worrying Disease, but It Should Not Be Neglected [according to the Minister of Health, Mr. Mam Bunheng, and the World Health Organization official, Mr. Michael O’ Leary]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #433, 26.6.2009

  • The Prime Minister Has Just Acknowledged and Stated Publicly that the Preah Vihear Temple Belongs to Cambodia Due to the Achievements of the Former King [Norodom Sihanouk]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6686, 26.6.2009

  • Troops Follow Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen&apss Order to Protect the Territory: Not to Lose Even One Millimeter and Not to Claim Even One Millimeter of Their [Thai] Territory
  • A/H1N1 Flu Is Found in Four American Citizens [in Phnom Penh]
  • The Prime Minister and the Ministers Are the Same, but Members of the Opposition Are Also the Same; Samdech Dekchor: “I Had My Health Checked Already, and There Is No Problem for 2018” [to stand as the prime ministerial candidate in the national elections]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3794, 26.6.2009

  • The Prices of Goods and of Gasoline Continue to Rise, while the Cambodian Government Faces Criticism of Corruption

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4930, 26.6.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: I Accept Only One Explanation [when the Thai Deputy Prime Minister comes to negotiate with Cambodia]: That Is to Withdraw Thai Troops from Cambodia
  • 2,700 Workers of the Nankuang Garment Factory Strike to Demand that the Factory Reemploy Two Trade Union Leaders [dismissed when they tried to create a trade union in this factory; it is against the labor law to prohibit the establishment of a trade union – Phnom Penh]
  • Two Men Called Their Friend to the Kim Hong I Guesthouse and Killed Him to Rob His Motorbike – Phnom Penh]
  • A Man Kills a 7-Month-Pregnant Woman, Cutting Her Throat to Rob a 5 Chi Platinum Necklace [the perpetrator was arrested – Takeo]

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Nixon Papers Show Democrats Endorsed Cambodia Invasion – Thursday, 25.6.2009

Posted on 25 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

Deum Ampil took the following report from the Washington Post of 24 June 2009

“Five days before U.S. and South Vietnamese troops made their surprise move into Cambodia on 29 April 1970, then-President Richard M. Nixon got the approval of the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee for that action, according to documents released yesterday by the Nixon library.

“The unexpected U.S. incursion into Cambodia came as a surprise to the American public, most members of Congress, and the new Cambodian government. What followed were a series of public demonstrations in Washington and later at Kent State University in Ohio, which, in turn, expanded the opposition to the war.

“In a 24 April 1970 telephone conversation with Senator John C. Stennis (Demorat-Mississipi), who was then chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Nixon said the administration was going to provide arms to the Cambodian government to prevent its overthrow by pro-communist elements, and continue secret B-52 bombing raids, ‘which only you and Senator Russell know about.’ Richard Russell (Democrat-Georgia) was the former committee chairman.

“‘We are not going to get involved in a war in Cambodia,’ Nixon reassured Stennis. ‘We are going to do what is necessary to help save our men in South Vietnam. They can’t have those sanctuaries there’ that North Vietnam maintained.

“Stennis replied, ‘I will be with you. . . . I commend you for what you are doing.’ Several days earlier, in a memo to then-National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, CIA Director Richard Helms proposed a plan to covertly deliver thousands of AK-47s and other military equipment to the Cambodian government with help from Indonesia. Yesterday, about 30,000 pages of documents were opened to the public at the National Archives facility in College Park and the Nixon library in Yorba Linda, California, part of a staggered declassification of papers and tapes from the Nixon years.

“The memos and tapes shed light on fateful moments of Nixon’s second term, the Associated Press reported, among them a peace deal with North Vietnam, changes in domestic and foreign policy, and management of the Cold War. They also give insights into a well-known characteristic of Nixon and his aides – a hair-trigger sensitivity to political rivals and quick resort to machinations against them.

“A 1972 meeting between Nixon and his chief of staff produced an informal directive to ‘destroy’ Democratic vice presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton, according to scribbled notes among the documents released yesterday that referred to Eagleton as a ‘pip-squeak.’

“In a 1969 memo, Nixon’s staff assistant describes placing the movements of the Kennedys under observation in Massachusetts after Senator Edward M. Kennedy drove off a bridge in an accident that drowned his female companion. The materials show Nixon as sharp-witted, crude, manipulative and sometimes surprisingly liberal in comparison with mainstream Republicans today. In one letter, he solidly endorses the Equal Rights Amendment, saying that for 20 years ‘I have not altered my belief that equal rights for women warrant a constitutional guarantee.’ The amendment failed.

“The library posted online more than 150 hours of tape recordings. The tapes cover January and February 1973, spanning Nixon’s second inauguration, the peace deal with Hanoi, and the trial and conviction of burglars whose break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex precipitated the coverup that wrecked Nixon’s presidency. He resigned in August 1974 under threat of being forced out by Congress.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #219, 25.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #219, 25.6.2009

  • Nixon Papers Show Democrats Endorsed Cambodia Invasion

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1979, 25.6.2009

  • Phnom Penh Traffic Police Chief [Tin Prasoeur] Is Reshuffled by Major Heng Chantheary
  • Mr. Obama Condemns Unjust Violence in Iran [which strongly restricts demonstrations in Tehran]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6685, 25.6.2009

  • Fist Cases of A/H1N1 Flu Is Reported in Cambodia, Found on an American Female Student and a Canadian Woman and a Philippine Man Who Are Suspected to be Infected [Phnom Penh]
  • A Report of the World Wildlife Fund in Cambodia Says that Porpoises Almost Become Extinct [because of polluted water of the river] – but It Is Dismissed [by the Committee for the Conservation and Development of Porpoise Tourism Sites of the Council of Ministers, and it demands this organization to correct its report]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3793, 25.6.2009

  • The Municipality Can Only Warn Oknha Khy Pov’s Company [David Construction, by revoking the license of this company] over Constructed Roads with No Quality
  • The Resignation of a Foreign Co-Prosecutor Is a Loss for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4929, 25.6.2009

  • [Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Prays to Jesus Christ to Ask for Pardon from the Dead People
  • [Foreign co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] Robert Petit: My Leaving Is Not Related to Misunderstandings with My Colleague [who is the Cambodian co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Ms. Chea Leang, for she opposed his suggestion to accuse more former Khmer Rouge leaders who are holding positions in the government]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1737, 25.6.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay Said that the Cambodian People’s Party’s Government and National Assembly Do Not Try to Create an Anti-Corruption Law, but Encourage Laws to Restrict the Rights of Citizens to Demonstrate

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Foreign Diplomats Are Disappointed with the National Assembly for Withdrawing the Immunity of Two Parliamentarians and with Hun Sen’s Warning about Interference – Wednesday, 24.6.2009

Posted on 25 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

“Diplomats who wanted to enter to listen to the meeting about the withdrawal of the immunity of two Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians are greatly disappointed, as the National Assembly did not allow them to enter, and that Prime Minister Hun Sen had warned the international community not to interfere with this case in a speech from Krang Yov [Kandal]. The deputy head in charge of the British Embassy, Ms. Elizabeth Evan, who was outside of the National Assembly as security guards prevented her from entering, said, ‘Diplomats from the US, Germany, from the UK, and from the French embassy appeared at the National Assembly and regrettably were not allowed to go in. We don’t know why they did this.’ Not only Ms. Elizabeth Evans who was barred, but also the German ambassador, Mr. Frank Marcus Mann, and the Chargé d’Affaires of the French Embassy, Mr. Roland Le Marchand expressed their disappointment at the National Assembly as they were prevented to enter. [Normally the sessions of the National Assembly are open to be observed by the public.]

“In the National Assembly, the microphones for the Sam Rainsy parliamentarians were all switched off in order to prevent them from expressing their opinion. This shows a well-prepared plan of the National Assembly, controlled by the Cambodian People’s Party, which attempted to silence not only the opposition party, but also to lock out foreign diplomats in Cambodia, so that they could not know the procedings to remove the immunity of two Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians at the same time. The case of the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Ho Vann was not even included in the agenda to remove his immunity on Monday. Only Ms. Mu Sochua had to face the discussion to revoke her immunity during a [previous] meeting of the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly.

“Outside of the National Assembly, armed forces were deployed, concerning and attracting the diplomat’s attention. The concern is that the freedom of expression is completely suppressed, when even the international [diplomatic] community is not allowed to observe anything. This prompted the spokesperson of the US Embassy, Mr. John Johnson, to say that his embassy is ‘surprised and disappointed’ because of the decision not to hold the meeting publicly. He added, ‘It is a worrying problem if the Cambodian people are not allowed to witness and take responsibility for the activities of their elected parliamentarians in the National Assembly.’

“Many observers expressed similar opinions to that of the diplomats. Opposition party parliamentarians, wearing masks [as symbols of being silenced], said that it is unjust that the members of the Cambodian People’s Party in the National Assembly did not consider the national interest, but cared only about the interest of the party and of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Ms. Mu Sochua said, ‘Our country is facing danger, as the court system is influenced by higher powers.’

“The parliamentarian and spokesperson and the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, condemned the withdrawal of the immunity of Ms. Mu Sochua and of Mr. Ho Vann, and consideres it as a threat to, and a restriction of the freedom of expression of the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians. He added that it is the strongest restriction ever imposed on the Sam Rainsy Party, compared with the many obstacles that it had already experienced, which have also been clearly observed by the international community.

“The international community could only stand outside and see the injustice that was oppressing the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians, as even these diplomats were not permitted to go into the National Assembly to observe the meeting. This strongly makes them interested in, but disappointed with the National Assembly, led by the honorary president of the Cambodian People’s Party Heng Samrin. However, [the Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarian and chairperson of the National Assembly’s Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking, and Audit] Cheam Yeap claimed that the withdrawal of the immunity of two persons, of Ms. Mu Sochua and of Mr. Ho Vann, was included in the agenda, and is in accordance with the law.

“The international community, observers, as well as the local civil society are not only disappointed, but also regret very much what has happened, because it violates the law and the rights of parliamentarians who were installed into their positions through elections, and everything is not in accordance with the law. On the contrary, these were only actions following the anger and the feeling of the powerful. Thus, the international community, with the presence of their diplomats outside the National Assembly on Monday, expressed their disappointment.

“Despite this disappointment, Prime Minister Hun Sen had already warned against any inference into the internal affairs of Cambodia. This warning was a preemptive action of Prime Minister Hun Sen, as he knows that the Cambodian government will be pressed by the international community regarding the withdrawal of immunity of two Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians at the same time.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3792, 24.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #218, 24.6.2009

  • UNESCO Dismisses Request of the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister “to Jointly Register the Preah Vihear Temple”
  • Cambodia and Myanmar Find Land that Can Be Rented to Establish Embassies [in both countries]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1978, 24.6.2009

  • A Branch of the Sacom Bank [of Vietnam] Is Opened in Cambodia
  • Expert Officials Spray Pesticides on Trucks Importing Pigs from Thailand to Prevent Infectious Diseases

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #431, 24.6.2009

  • The Head of the UN Human Rights Office [Mr. Christophe Pescheux] Denies Trying to Take Duch Abroad [as accused by Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • An American Research Organization [Heritage Foundation] Says There Is 80% Corruption in the Cambodian Economy

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6684, 24.6.2009

  • A Site Illegally Producing Mreah Prov [large softwood tree] Oil at the Kravanh Mountian Range Is Found and 142 Containers of Mreah Prov Oil [ingredient to produce ecstasy], Equal to 5.7 Tonnes, Are Confiscated

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3792, 24.6.2009

  • Foreign Diplomats Are Disappointed with the National Assembly for Withdrawing the Immunity of Two Parliamentarians and with Hun Sen’s Warning about Interference

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4928, 24.6.2009

  • International Co-Prosecutor [Robert Petit] of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Resign [on 1 July 2009 for personal and family reasons]
  • Thailand Sends Troops and Artillery to the Border while Its Deputy Prime Minister Will Come to Cambodia on Saturday
  • Brunei Prepares to Buy 1,500 Tonnes of Rice from Cambodia
  • UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights [Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi] Says He Will Cooperate with Cambodia on Human Rights

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The Immunity of Two Parliamentarians of the Opposition Party Was Removed at the Same Time – Tuesday, 23.6.2009

Posted on 23 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

“Phnom Penh: The National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia decided to remove the immunity of two parliamentarians from the opposition party on 22 June 2009.

“The two opposition party parliamentarians, whose immunity was removed at the same time, are a parliamentarian from Kampot, Ms. Mu Sochua, and a parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, Mr. Ho Vann. The Immunity of these two parliamentarians was withdrawn officially on 22 June 2009, in order to open the way for the courts to continue legal procedures regarding complaints of Prime Minister Hun Sen and of 22 military officials against them.

“The event to decide to remove the immunity of these two parliamentarians was observed by many civil society organizations as well as by representatives of several embassies. After the National Assembly had voted to remove the immunity of these two parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party, other parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party and of the Human Rights Party walked out of the National Assembly, with masks to convey that the freedom of expression is restricted, and these two parliamentarians without immunity protection said that this decision is not just, and some civil society organizations announced to demonstrate, if these two parliamentarians are brought to the courts.

“A parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, told reporters that Ms. Mu Sochua and Mr. Ho Vann are victims, and therefore, ‘we see that there is no balanced relation between the court and the executive body. In addition, Mr. Yim Sovann accused the National Assembly of violating its internal rules and the position of parliamentarians.

“Mr. Yim Sovann called on the international community to put pressure on Cambodia.

“As for Mr. Ho Vann, whose immunity was removed, he said that he had already clarified everything and did not expect that the National Assembly would clarify in its records the reason for removing their immunity. Ms. Mu Sochua, despite having no immunity, announced that she would continue to struggle based on the law against Samdech Hun Sen until the end. She said that she will appeal even though the Municipal Court might decide to withhold her appeal.

“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, said that he will lead a demonstration, if Ms. Mu Sochua is brought to court. But he emphasized that such a demonstration is not only to support opposition party parliamentarians, but also to support parliamentarians of the Cambodian People’s Party, if they suffer injustice.

“The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, Mr. Ho Vann, was sued on 20 April 2009 by 22 military officials for defamation and incitement to commit successful and unsuccessful misdemeanors, 22 people who had received [military] degrees. Ms. Mu Sochua has sued the prime minister for defamation, after she held a press conference with the lawyer Kong Sam On on 23 April 2009.

“Presiding over an inauguration of the Hun Sen Krang Yov High School in S’ang, Kandal, on 22 June 2009, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, warned against any outside interference, while the legal procedures to strip the opposition party parliamentarians for defamation are proceeding.

“Samdech Dekchor stated, ‘Some foreigners and other people: Please don’t disturb the law. And if there is an attempt to disturb the legal procedures, then we have the law and the procedures to act against those troublemakers. The court is used to avoid violence, because if problems were not solved according to the law, there would be anarchy. We strengthen the law and the procedures. Thus, you can say what you want, but make sure it does not affect the rights of others, since they have their own rights and they are humans, not animals.’

“Samdech added that ‘we begin strengthening democracy and also the state of law, but not an anarchic democracy. However, democracy must be accompanied by the state of law. Even though you are parliamentarians, if you do wrong, the court will prosecute you. But before a prosecution, the court has to remove their immunity.’ He continued to say, ‘They shouted that we [the government] are corrupt. As for them, they do not own companies, and they do not do rice cultivation, they are just members of an opposition party and of non-government organizations, but why do they have money for airline travel to go abroad and to sleep in five stars hotels? Just traveling abroad twice costs as much as the construction of a school building; where do they get the money to cover such expenses?'” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1977, 23.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #217, 23.6.2009

  • The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Cooperate to Improve Irrigation Systems and to Help Rural Development Communities in Cambodia [by signing a joint cooperation agreement]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #19, .6.2009

  • The Immunity of Two Parliamentarians of the Opposition Party Was Removed at the Same Time

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6683, 23.6.2009

  • The Arrest of the French Editor-in-Chief of a Magazine Is Confused [a French man who was arrested recently for owing more than US$20,000 to a printing house is not the editor-in-chief of that magazine, but the real one had escaped to France – Phnom Penh]
  • Mr. Obama Declares to Prepare to Withstand North Korea

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3791, 23.6.2009

  • Kratie Is the Province with Leads in the Export of Luxury Wood Abroad
  • Traffic Accidents and Armed Robberies Still Increasing in Phnom Penh

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4927, 23.6.2009

  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Recovers from His Leukemia
  • After Six Month of Marriage and Failing to Have Sexual Relationship, a Man Soaked Himself and His Wife with Gasoline and Set Fire to Kill Himself and Her [Oddar Meanchey]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1735, 23.6.2009

  • That the Government Allows Yuon [Vietnam] to Occupy Tens of Thousands of Hectares of Land at the Border Regions Is Not Different from Selling Land to Vietnam

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The Number of Offices Being Rented Declined by 50 Percent, but the Price of the Rents Declines Only Slowly – Monday, 22.6.2009

Posted on 22 June 2009. Filed under: Week 618 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 618

“Phnom Penh: The number of clients who rent offices declined by 50%, but the prices of rents in Phnom Penh do not get much cheaper.

“The director of the Bunna Realty Group, Mr. Sung Bunna, said by telephone on Friday morning that offices for rent in Phnom Penh do not find enough renters, motivating some condo and apartment owners to reduce their rent prices by 10% to 20%, but some other office owners do not lower their prices.

“To lower the rent prices does not necessarily mean that the problems can be solved, and Mr. Bunna said, ‘In an economic atmosphere like the present one, to lower the rent prices will damage our general price structure at the market. Our investment atmosphere was good until early this year, but now it is not. However, the future will be better.’

“But he added that the rent prices of condos and apartments in Cambodia are lower than in neighboring countries. Offices for rent in Cambodia are classified in three classes. Class A: Rent prices are between US$20 and US$30 per square meter; Class B: Rents cost US$13 to US$20; and Class C: US$8 to US$13.

“He went on to say that foreigners rent those three classes of offices, but a remarkable number of local businesspeople also rent offices.

“The president of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, said on the same day that most predictions expect that the economy will rise again in 2010. As Cambodia depends a lot on the global economy, therefore Cambodia will only recover after the global economy recovers.

“He added, ‘The economic downturn paralyzes the real estate market, but too high a rise can also not be maintained in a sustainable way.’

“He continued to say, ‘If the economy recovers, there will not be many offices left for rent, because of the large demand, and because our countries attract many investors.

“‘Are the many constructions sites for condos and for apartments just to beautify the atmosphere with a supply surpassing the demand in the present Cambodian economic atmosphere?’

“To this question, Mr. Chan Sophan responded, ‘I think that there is not a supply beyond the demand, if the economy becomes again normal.'” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4926, 21-22.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 22 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #216, 21-22.6.2009

  • Cambodia Makes Every Possible Preparatoion, Including the Deployment of Troops, to Withstand a Siamese [Thai] Invasion
  • Hun Sen: I Am a Hot-Minded Person but Thoughtful in Taking Decisions to Avoid Bloodshed
  • The British Prime Minister [Gordon Brown] Admits that He Might Leave His Position in the Near Future

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6682, 22.6.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Does Not Allow Any New Investments by Private Companies to Construct New Markets in Phnom Penh
  • Five Months After Their Divorce, a Man Got Angry with His Former Wife Who Has a New Lover. He Cut Her Throat to Kill Her [then he cut his own throat to commit suicide but survived – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3790, 22.6.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Agrees to Reduce the Number of Soldiers at the Chak Chreng Area, and [Thai prime minister] Abhisit Sends a Deputy Prime Minister for Negotiations

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4926, 21-22.6.2009

  • The Number of Offices Being Rented Declines by 50 Percent, but the Price of the Rents Decline Only Slowly
  • Cambodia and France Agree to Cooperate in Prehistoric Research at the L’ang Spean Site [Ratanak Mondol, Battambang]
  • Air France Pays £15,000 [approx. US$24,000] to Each Victims’s Family as Compensation [related to the recent plane crash]

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Why Are the Thai-Cambodian Relations Not Kept More Transparent? – Sunday, 21.6.2009

Posted on 22 June 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 617 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 617

On Saturday, 13.6.2009, we carried the translation of a very positive retrospect: A Meeting between Hun Sen and Abhisit Vejjajiva Leads to Many Good Results and Proceeds in Good Atmosphere, based on statements by an assistant of the Cambodian prime minister. Now, some days later, the climate has definitely deteriorated. What has caused this change of the atmosphere?

Media in Thailand and then in Cambodia reported that the Thai prime minister had said Thailand would request that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee review the listing of the Preah Vihear temple, when this committee meets for its 33rd Session next week. And he added that the inscription of the Preah Vihear Temple so far had led to conflict between the two countries – an undeniale sad reality.

The rection of the Cambodian prime minister was very strong. These are the words as reported in a publication in Thailand:

“I think that as a prime minister of one country, his words infringed on the sovereignty of [Cambodia],” Hun Sen said, adding that during his visit last week to Phnom Penh, Abhisit failed to raise the issue in talks with the government.

I hope that his aim will not be successful, and I hope that UNESCO will not be stupid enough to go along with his gambit.”

We do not know which words were actually used, and what is an extended interpretation by the media or a result of the translations between Thai, English, and Khmer back and forth.

But there are sections in documents from 2008 to which we have repeatedly referred in the Mirror, pointing out that they were – as far as we could find out – never translated into Khmer for publication in the Khmer language press, containing important elements also relating to the present discussions. We quote some sections from them again:

World Herigage Committee Decision: 32 COM 8B.102

The World Heritage Committee,

. . .

4. Expressing gratitude to the governments of Belgium, the United States of America, France, and India for providing support for the work of experts to assist in this effort, and to the governments of China and Japan, as well as ICCROM, for providing valuable expert input to this process,…

6. Noting that the State Party of Cambodia submitted to the World Heritage Center the revised graphic plan of the property (RGPP) included in WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B1.Add2 (hereinafter called ” RGPP”) indicating a revised perimeter of the area proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List,

7. Decides, on an exceptional basis, to accept, in view of the multilateral process leading to the elaboration of the supplementary report submitted in May 2008 by the State Party of Cambodia at the request of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, the information submitted by the State Party beyond the deadline established in the paragraph 148 of the Operational Guidelines;…

9. Notes that the property proposed for inscription is reduced and comprises only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves;

10. Considers further that archaeological research is underway which could result in new significant discoveries that might enable consideration of a possible new transboundary nomination, that would require the consent of both Cambodia and Thailand;

11. Encourages Cambodia to collaborate with Thailand for safeguarding the value of the property, in view of the fact that peoples of the surrounding region have long treasured the Temple of Preah Vihear, and agrees that it would be desirable in the future to reflect its full values and landscape setting through a possible additional inscription to the World Heritage List…

12. Inscribes the Temple of Preah Vihear, Cambodia, on the World Heritage List…;

13. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

The Temple of Preah Vihear, a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases on an 800 meter long axis, is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment.

Authenticity, in terms of the way the buildings and their materials express well the values of the property, has been established. The attributes of the property comprise the temple complex; the integrity of the property has to a degree been compromised by the absence of part of the promontory from the perimeter of the property. The protective measures for the Temple, in terms of legal protection are adequate; the progress made in defining the parameters of the Management Plan needs to be consolidated into an approved, full Management Plan;

14. Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards;

15. Requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center, by 1 February 2009, the following documents:

a) a provisional map providing additional details of the inscribed property and a map delineating the buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

b) updated Nomination dossier to reflect the changes made to the perimeter of the property;

c) confirmation that the management zone for the property will include the inscribed property and buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

d) progress report on the preparation of the Management Plan;

16. Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center by February 2010, for submission to the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010 a full Management Plan for the inscribed property, including a finalized map.

It has – to our knowledge – not been reported in the Khmer press, that a number of the conditions described in the World Heritage Committee’s decision of July 2008, requiring international cooperation, and specifically cooperation between the governments of Cambodia and the government of Thailand, have been or have not been fulfilled. If we missed to see such reporting in the Khmer language press, we would highly appreciate to be informed about relevant sources.

It is therefore not just an idea of the Thai prime minister, but it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage procedure, to reconsider pending problems, as can be seen in the UNESCO announcement for the next World Heritage Committee to meet in Sevilla, Spain, from 22 to 30 June 2009.

The World Heritage Committee will consider requests for the inscription of new sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List when it meets for its 33rd session in Seville, Spain, from 22 to 30 June 2009.

Thirty new properties in total were submitted for inscription on the World Heritage List this year:

. . .

The Committee will also review the state of conservation of the 30 World Heritage properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and may decide to add to that list new properties whose preservation requires special attention. The List in Danger features sites which are threatened by a variety of problems such as pollution, urban development, poorly managed mass tourism, wars, and natural disasters, which have a negative impact on the outstanding values for which the sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List.

When the Club of Cambodian Journalists held the Fifth Editors’ Forum of Cambodia under the motto ‘Assessments by Editors of the Situation of Access to Information’ on 27 December 2008, a report on their findings and requests “to play a better role as conveyor of messages from citizens to the Royal Government and from the Royal Government to citizens,” specifically mentioned also as a problem:

Access to information related to the Preah Vihear border disputes

In spite of the questions left open by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and the specific requests for further clarification, including between the governments of Cambodia and Thailand stated in the UNESCO documents, it is surprising that the Khmner press, which carried varios critical articles about the fact that Thai representatives, during some border meetings, used the Thai language version – Pra Viharn referring to the Preah Vihear temple – while the Khmer press did not translate and publish the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decisions in Khnmer. It seems that the Khmer public is not much aware about what the Khmer government representative in this process actually agreed upon.

To do so would not only show what actually – and in detail – was decided. It would also be a contribution to inform the Khmer reading public about that some of the often repeated claims “that there is nothing to be discussed with Thailand anymore – everything is clear” is not true. The hard work to elaborate the details and to work towards mutual agreements has not yet started.


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Who Are the Africans in Cambodia? – Saturday, 20.6.2009

Posted on 21 June 2009. Filed under: Week 617 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 617

“Phnom Penh: In recent years, a new group of foreigners are found increasingly in Cambodia, especially in Phnom Penh: black people from Africa. Khmer people normally call white people formed any country ‘Barang’ [this Khmer word is formed mimicking the French phonetic word ‘France’ → ‘farance’ – ‘farang’ – because the French were the first Westerners which could be seen often in Cambodia]. Cambodians became used to seeing them and their way of life and behavior. Since the establishment of the French colonial protectorate 1863 [until now, there have been mainly white people who come to live and to do business in Cambodia. Now, black foreigners started to appear in Cambodia. Khmer people are more or less interested who these African people are, they attract attention from Khmer people who want to know what their work and function in Cambodia might be.

“Most of them walk in small groups, and they often meet each other at different places of business [like department stores or petrol stations], and some have their own cars like other foreigners [and Cambodians]. Sometimes, their activities along the roads show what their jobs are. For example, some wear sport suits and carry a football, so they are footballers. Some others wear proper normal clothing: they are restaurant owners, businesspeople, or English language teachers.

“How many black people are in Cambodia?

“In general, these African people rent housing in Phnom Penh, and they rarely go to other far away places in the countryside – different from Indians and people from Sri Lanka whose job it is to sell mosquito nets and second hand garments in Cambodia.

“According to the president of the Nigerian Association in Cambodia, Mr. Gabriel Ken Gadaffi, many African people are living in Cambodia, and most of them are Nigerians. Mr. Ken added that so far, there have been about 300 Nigerians who had registered as members of his association. This is only the number of names that had been listed, and this does not include those who have not registered. Besides Nigerians, some other black people came from other countries, such as Ghana, Cameroon, and Congo, but he does not know the number of those other nationals. But personally, he estimated that there are about 1,500 Africans in Cambodia, including the Nigerians.

“Some footballers were cheated by brokers

“There are many reasons that bring Africans to Cambodia. Mr. Ken – he is over 40, a lecturer who teaches at several private universities in Phnom Penh – came to Cambodia six years go. At that time he did not intend to live in Cambodia as he does now. His intention was to visit Cambodia and then to continue to a third country. But in Cambodia, having the academic degrees of a doctorate and a bachelor, and a certificate as a football instructor, he could find jobs at some schools, and then he decided to continue to live with his wife and children in Cambodia.

“While sitting and taking with a friend from Ghana in a supermarket, Mr. Pachuk Wu, a Nigerian, said that he is a businessman and had heard of the potential of the garment production in Cambodia. Therefore – during a journey to establish business contacts in Southeast Asia, he came to contact also some companies in Phnom Penh to investigate the possibility to set up a company in Cambodia, as Mr. Pachuk Wu wants to export garments to Africa.

“Many Africans are footballers, playing at different football clubs in Cambodia. They are Nigerians, Cameroonians, Ghanaeans, and Congolese. But there is a problem. Some Africans, at the time of deciding to come to Cambodia as a footballer – many Nigerians are expert footballers – had been cheated by brokers in their countries who convinced them that the job as a footballer in Cambodia could earn them high salaries. The president of the Nigerian Association, Mr. Gabriel Ken Gadaffi, explained that some companies operate as brokers and announce to recruit any footballer who want to play at football clubs in other countries. Some were told that to play football at clubs in Cambodia could earn high salaries. and they are told that the living condition in Cambodia are favorable. Together with the intention to gain experience to achieve future fame, they had finally decided to come to Cambodia.

“As an athlete and president of the Nigerian Association, Mr. Ken said that in Cambodia, payments for footballers vary depending on each club and on the capacity of each footballer. He added that their salary is between US$300 and US$1,000, but the ones who get such a high salary are not many. But with such a small salary as also mentioned it is difficult for Africans to support their living in Cambodia.

“Discrimination and difficulties in extending visas to stay in Cambodia

“The people who get a low salary, have to seek, finally, part-time jobs. Most are teaching. A small number of those who have just arrived cannot find a job in a football club. Therefore, they have to contact their family at home to ask for monetary support. Some have to borrow a little money from their friends until they can find a job. Most of them find jobs as teachers of English.

“Also, there are problems in seeking jobs. The color of their skin is a source of racial discrimination. Mr. Ken recounted that some schools and restaurants do not want black staff. Worst of all, some guesthouse owners do not want to rent rooms to them. Some leaders of schools think that if they recruit white teachers, they could have more students. Mr. Ken asked, ‘Why do some people discriminate against black people? There are good and bad people in every nation.’ Mr. Ken said that he had visited some Nigerian people at the Prey Sar Prison and there, he saw more white prisoners than blacks. He added that he does not support any dishonest black person or any criminals who have been arrested recently, and he even ticked out the names of those Nigerians to be referred to the Nigerian Embassy in Philippine [for assistance].

“Another question that Nigerian people want to ask is why it is very difficult to extend the period of staying in their visas in Cambodia. The high prices asked are not the only problem. Also, Cambodian authorities seem not to want to extend their visas. Mr. Pachuk Wu, who has just arrived in Cambodia more than one month ago, complained, ‘Why is it so difficult for us to receive an extension of the period of staying for the visa in Cambodia? Is it because we are Nigerians? He said he has to pay US$45 for one-month for staying in Cambodia.

“According to Mr. Ken, at the last day of the period permitted to stay in the visa, they have to go to a neighboring country to ask there for a visa to reenter Cambodia.

“The authorities seem to think that Nigerians are bad people. But don’t forget that because of visa problems and because of discrimination, some African businesspeople have decided to invest rather in neighboring countries and not in Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4925, 20.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 20 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #215, 20.6.2009

  • [French] Editor-in-Chief of the French Magazine Eyes in Eyes [phonetic from Khmer] Is Summoned to the Court as He Owes Nearly US$20,000 to a Printing House [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1975, 20.6.2009

  • [1,000] Workers of the Tac Fat Garment Factory Demonstrate and Block National Road 2 at Chak Angrae Leu, Causing a Three Hour Traffic Jam [to demand that the factory owner releases their money: a small part of their salaries : the money demanded is in the range of US$3, US$5, and US$10]
  • Thai Forces Shot Dead Three Suspect Insurgents and Arrested Five Others in Fighting in a Southern Province

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #429, 20.6.2009

  • The National Assembly Postpones the Discussion to Suspend Mu Sochua’s Immunity to Monday [22 June 2009]. as She Has to Go Abroad [and will come back in early July]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6681, 20-21.6.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen] Encourages to Draft Regulations to Allow Foreigners to Buy Not-Ground-Floor Houses in Order to Promote Trust for Investment [in Cambodia]
  • Missile Shield Is Set Up at Hawaii to Prevent a North Korean Missile Attack

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3789, 20-21.6.2009

  • [Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An Blames [president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation] Moeung Son Who Caused Turmoil when He Reported about Drilling [holes to fix electrical lamps] at the Angkor Wat Temple

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4925, 20.6.2009

  • Who Are the Africans in Cambodia?
  • Four Murderers Who Shot Dead a Meul Phlov Journalist and a Girl Are Arrested [the murderers are soldiers. they aimed at robbing the victim’s car – Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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