Archive for July, 2009

Most Members of the Cambodian Rice Millers Association Do Not Get State Funds to Buy Paddy Rice to Store It – Thursday, 30.7.2009

Posted on 31 July 2009. Filed under: Week 623 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 623

“Phnom Penh: A three-page document with the names of medium and big scale rice millers in three districts of Battambang shows that they do not receive benefits from the Rice Millers Association. The source of such benefits is US$18 million that the government, through the Rural Development Bank, provides to the Rice Millers Association each year, to be distributed to rice millers that are members of the association, to buy paddy rice for storage. But the director of the Rural Development Bank, Mr. Son Kunthor, and the president of the Cambodian Rice Millers Association, Mr. Phou Puy, rejected this claim.

“Owners of eleven rice mills in Sangkae, Thma Koul, and Moung Russey districts in Battambang claimed that they have difficulties to gain benefits from the association. At least five of them said that they have never received any benefits since they became members of the Rice Millers Association.

“A member of the Rice Millers Association, Mr. Touch Kim Huot, told Deum Ampil by phone in the evening of 29 July 2009 that the Rice Millers Association had contacted him, inviting him to borrow money from the association, but the amount of money offered was very little, so that he could not do anything with it. He added, ‘Therefore, I didn’t borrow from them; I don’t want to risk anything, because the amount of money was too small. I have not borrowed money from the association for four or five years.’ According to this rice miller, the Rice Millers Association requires to deposit real estate before anyone can borrow money from the association. As he has only one piece of real estate, he cannot put it as mortgage to the Rice Millers Association. He might better ask for a loan from banks where, through mortgaging the same real estate, he can request much more loans.

“Another owner of a rice mill in Thma Koul in Battambang, Meng, said, ‘I have never asked for a loan, because there is no benefit from it.’ He said that when he first became a member of the Rice Millers Association, he attended their meetings, but after he found that there was no benefit from it, he then normally did not attend, even when he was invited for a meeting. Without criticizing anybody directly, this rice miller said, ‘Only their partisans can get something, as for us, we have never received anything.’

“Besides the above two rice millers, some others who have received small amounts of loans complained about the complicated procedures and the commissions to be paid. Responding to Deum Ampil via telephone, another rice miller, Cheng, said that the procedure to request for a loan from the association is complex. Just for submitting the forms, one has to pay money, and after having received a loan, one month interest is taken immediately. When paying back the loan, one has to spend more for service charges to the association, which is responsible for taking the money back to the state in Phnom Penh. He said, ‘I decide to ask for a loan from the Canadia Bank, because it is easier.’

“Another rice miller from the Ou Ta Ki commune, Thma Koul, Battambang, said, ‘The association can offer loans, but 5% of the total loan must be paid in advance, and the interest rate is 0.5% per month. Actually, this expense is comparable to private banks. Therefore, to ask for a loan from a private bank is easier. Another thing is that the association has never assigned any work or supplied rice for me; they share only with their special members.’

“They complained about their difficulties in receiving benefits from the Rice Millers Association, and this disappoints some members to almost not attend the meetings. However, this does not apply to all, as some rice millers close to the Rice Millers Association president and his relatives can receive some benefits.

“Last week, both the president of the Cambodia Rice Millers Association, Mr. Phou Puy, and the secretary general in charge of the above affairs, Mr. Son Kunthor, rejected the above information and moreover, Mr. Phou Puy toldDeum Ampil briefly, ‘Don’t believe those ghosts!'”Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #249, 30.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 30 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #249, 30.7.2009

  • Most Members of the Cambodian Rice Millers Association Do Not Get State Funds to Buy Paddy Rice to Store It
  • The Minister of Tourism: Despite Tourism Declining by 1%, Our Situation Is Better Than that of Neighboring Countries
  • The Number of A/H1N1 Cases in Cambodia Increased to Nineteen; the Singaporean Government Donates One More A/H1N1 Scanner to Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2009, 30.7.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Already Prepared Money for Paying the Fine in a Losing Case [this decision by the party is in contrast to what Ms. Mu Sochua herself had said earlier: that she would rather go to jail than pay a fine]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #457, 30.7.2009

  • Two of the Three Vietnamese [suspected] Murderers Who Killed a Khmer Officer in Banteay Meanchey Were Released [the provincial court claimed they were not the perpetrators]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6715, 30.7.2009

  • Australia Promises to Assist the [Cambodian] National Authority for Combating Drugs
  • A Poor Soldier’s Family with Too Many Children Seeks Manioc Tubers in the Forest to Mix them with Rice [Oddar Meanchey]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4958-4959, 29-30.7.2009

  • Former Thai Coup Leader Blamed the Government over Tensions at the Border; Thai Parliament Decided to Provide a Loan of More Than US$41 Million to Cambodia for Road Construction
  • Cambodian Tourism Now Sees Effects from the Economic Crisis [http://www.mot.gov.kh]
  • Cambodian and Vietnamese Ministers of Transport Agreed to Open Six More Border Crossings
  • Cambodian Officials Asked Vietnam to Help Crack Down on Illegal Wood and Wild Animals Exports [from Cambodia]
  • Two Young Men Died after Driving on a Motorbike, and They Hit a Car [Battambang]
  • An English Man Was Arrested for Pornography involving a Child under Fifteen Years Old [Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1761, 30.7.2009

  • Opposition Party and Civil Society Support The Financial Times Saying that Cambodia Takes Action to Stifle Opponents

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Higher Education Institutions Care Only about Profit while the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia for Assessing the Quality of Education at the Council of Ministers Is Asleep – Wednesday, 29.7.2009

Posted on 30 July 2009. Filed under: Week 623 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 623

Note:

The Accreditation Committee of Cambodia is to be a national independent higher education quality assessment body. It was established in March 2003 under the supervision of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, to develop standards of education in Cambodia.

Khmer Amatak had conducted research at state and private higher education institutions after the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Mr. Hun Sen, had voiced his concern that higher education does not have much quality, but the institutions are more concerned with quantity, and he blamed some universities to have poor management, especially over the quality of education required and set up by the Ministry of Education.

Khmer Amatak noticed that the quality of education at universities is still a major problem, even though there is a directive from Prime Minister Hun Sen. Khmer Amatak found some specific problems: most universities do not require their students to do assignments, and graduate assignments are written by hiring other people to do it, sometimes students are not required to defend their assignment results, lecturers offer the students’ test answers in advance, some students, especially those who are civil servants, attend classes irregularly and use different means to bribe their lectures so that they understand them, some lecturers do not have enough experience and teaching skills, some lecturers do not have sufficient time to do research, as they work also as civil servants, or they have to teach many sessions at different universities. Khmer Amatak found some other problems, like that the Ministry of Education does not conduct regular educational quality assessments at different higher education institutions, or pretends not to see the problem.

“A student of the Norton University of Law, who asked not to be named, told Khmer Amatak that lecturers give students’ test questions before the exam, so that the students can prepare the answers. This student complained that they are not happy with such activities of their lecturers, because at the end there are no real exams, but just copying of lessons. This student added that they are hard working, obey discipline, and want to show their real ability through fair exams, because the results will prove their real ability and pride. Most students of this university are disappointed with the management committee, and especially with the rector for not taking any thorough measures to ensure the quality of education. They asked the board of directors of this university to strengthen the quality of education by checking the lecturers’ capacity, and posing strict discipline on lecturers and on students.

“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, issued a statement expressing serious concerns over the quality of the recent Grade 9 examinations. In this 2009 Grade 9 examinations, more than 91% of students passed. Mr. Rong Chhun criticized that this results does not reflect real quality. He blamed the Ministry of Education for lowering the passing scores from 250 points to only 230 points; moreover, the examinations were conducted poorly, like the contents of some exam papers were known and distributed ahead of the examinations, and observers were bribed by students. He asked to abolish the poorly conducted Grade 9 examinations, and requested to take only the semesters’ results and the students’ attendance records instead. To do so would save more than US$2 million, which could be used to increase the teachers’ salaries. What he had requested had been rejected by officials of the Ministry of Education.

Khmer Amatak is also observing the Grade 12 examinations [at present in their third day]. Mr. Rong Chhun said that there have been many irregularities. Students are allowed to bring with them papers they use for cheating in their examination rooms, students bribe examination observers, so that their cheating papers are not seized and that they are allowed to call outside to ask for help or for answers for their examinations, the bribes are low or high, depending on the subjects etc… He added that the Ministry of Education does not strictly implement the ordinances and the laws about the education system, and on education officials or observers. So far, there has not been any reaction from the Ministry of Education over what he has mentioned.

“Retired education officials voiced their opinion to Khmer Amatak, saying that Cambodia is encountering an education slowdown, since the quality of education in Cambodia has not responded to the quality standards required by the international labor market. According to a report by the United Nations International Labor Organization in 2007, among 10,000 Khmer graduating students each year, only 10% can find jobs. The same report showed that between 300,000 and 400,000 young graduating students are seeking jobs. According to the observation of the UN program and the national development strategic plan of Cambodia for 2006 to 2010, there is the highest rate of graduating young people ever, creating specific opportunities and challenges in Cambodia. Cambodia will have to face severe problems at the labor market for young people seeking jobs, and it is estimated that within five more years, the number of young people hunting for jobs will increase over 300,000. While Cambodia is already encountering serious problems at the labor market to absorb the young people, the number of young unemployed people will be more than the total growth of the labor force. Therefore this is a potential contributing to social instability, if there are no solutions.

“Does the Royal Government of Prime Minister Hun Sen have specific measures to strengthen the state and the private higher education? Education analysts expressed the concern that if the Royal Government does not take strict actions, the quality of education in Cambodia will fall into a deep crisis, and it will be difficult to restore the situation to normals as most educational institutions care only about profits. This analyst asked the Royal Government to check the operation of the national Accreditation Committee of Cambodia for educational quality assessment administered by the Council of Ministers, which so far does not take any action. In addition, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport has to conduct a thorough assessment of the education programs of all universities.

“A civil society official said that the Royal Government should consider the appointment of leaders of educational institutions, especially of those from the private sector, with persons of high positions in the government, making it difficult to do any real assessment.” Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #630, 29.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #248, 29.7.2009

  • Former Kandal Market Director and [Daun Penh] District Governor Signed a Permission to Allow [private electricity] Producers to Operate, Violating a Directive by the Municipal Governor
  • Two Foreigners [a Chinese American and a Pakistani] Were Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Drug Smuggling

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2008, 29.7.2009

  • The [Cambodian] Government Will Open a New International Border Crossing near the Preah Vihear Temple [5 km to the east of the temple, and the former border crossing will be closed forever – while the Thai government sees no reason to change the historical access route which was used for centuries and build new infrastructure]
  • A Man and His Wife, Who Killed a Family [of three] by Cutting Their Throats Were Sentenced to Life Imprisonment [Phnom Penh]
  • Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Granted an Audience to the New Ambassador of the Russian Federation [Mr. Alexander I. Ignatov]
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong: Russia Is a Good Friend That Has Helped Cambodia after the Pol Pot Regime; Twenty Five Khmer Students Receive Scholarships to Study in Russia Every Year

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #456, 29.7.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian and former Minister of Women’s Affairs] Mu Sochua Will Be Accompanied by Many Supporters to Go to Listen to the Judgment [on 4 August 2009, as a result of the Prime Minister’s defamation lawsuit against her]
  • The Krakor District Authorities in Pursat Warned [two] Forest Protection Activists [who collected thumbprints of citizens to request the government to ban logging and forest clearance by private companies – the list with thumbprints was confiscated]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6714, 29.7.2009

  • [Four] Women and a Man Were Arrested and Nearly 1 kg of Heroin Was Confiscated [Phnom Penh – the arrested persons are from Nigeria and from Sierra Leone)]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1760, 29.7.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay: The Government Is Creating a National Airline while Losing National Values [Cambodia cannot run a national airline on its own, it cooperates with a Vietnamese company]
  • [The spokesperson of the Council of Minister] Phay Siphan Called the Demand to Revise the Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple [by a member of the Thai Royal family] an Insult against the Thai King [as it was against the decision of the Thai King]

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The Royal Government Is Disappointed about Land Concessions Provided to Private Companies – Tuesday, 28.7.2009

Posted on 29 July 2009. Filed under: Week 623 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 623

“Low grade forest land, eroded partly because of a lack of forest coverage, has been provided as concession land to some local investors in order to develop agriculture and agro-industry, based on available land, but so far, some local investment companies have not acted and there is little action on some land while the owners of the companies put blame on the global economic downturn and say that they cannot do anything because there is no market demand.

“An official working at the Ministry of Agriculture, who asked not to be named, said recently that the Royal Government has provided millions of hectares of concession land in some provinces to some local investment companies to grow agricultural and agro-industry crops, in order to counter the global economic crisis. The Royal Government has successfully increased agricultural output during the last five years, making the economic situation in Cambodia to suffer only a minor crisis that did not affect the inflation rate, as the Riel remains stable so far. The concession of land focusing on local eroded forest land aims at promoting agriculture to withstand the economic crisis, and the Royal Government expected that those companies would produces paddy rice, and other agricultural and agro-industrial crops. But by now, those companies have not acted, and some companies are clearing the remaining forest very slowly, intending to delay developing the contracted concession lands.

“The same official added that not only the Ministry of Agriculture, but also the Royal Government, which had provided eroded forest land to those companies, do not understand their intention, avoiding to begin operations in response to the Royal Government’s aim. Most companies said that they have not finished clearing the remaining forest and land, or have not yet checked what kinds of crops to plant. These are pretexts they use so that they are not blamed by the Royal Government, though they do not fulfill the Royal Government’s plan to act against the economic crisis from which Cambodia is suffering like other countries. Even though the effect is small, the Royal Government is concerned about it.

“Cambodian economists said that if private companies would fulfill the intention of the Royal Government, Cambodia would be able to prevent inflation, including national and international economic problems of the people. Also the head of the Royal Government, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, had called on all farmers to do rice cultivation twice a year in areas with irrigation systems. If farmers can cultivate twice a year and not let their land lay unused, 80% of all farmers would be able to improve their living in some degree, starting from the struggle for their own family economy. As the people in these companies make little effort and do not involve many citizens, the Royal government is deeply disappointed about these local investment companies that have not fulfilled the Royal Government’s plan, which is to strongly encourage agriculture so that no agricultural land in Cambodia is left unused and does not produce anything of value.” Krong Long Vek, Vol.7, #162, 27.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #247, 28.7.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$33 Million for Three Big Projects [National Road 1 improvement project, creation of an aquaculture project in Sihanoukville, and a rural clean water supply project in Memut District, Kompong Cham]
  • A Swiss Construction Company [Holcim] Grants US$90,000 for the Conservation of Temple Paintings of the Bakong Temple
  • Two Old Women Were Murdered in [separate] Robberies, where One Was Shot to Death on a Road, and the Other Was Hit so that She Died at Her House [perpetrators have not yet been arrested – Phnom Penh]
  • Vietnamese Bank [the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam] Donates US$800,000 to the Cambodian Red Cross
  • President Nicolas Sarkozy Fainted while He Was Jogging [he was hospitalized immediately, his condition is reported to be stable]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2007, 28.7.2009

  • There Have Not yet Been any Deaths related to the A/H1N1 Virus in Cambodia; there Was No A/H1N1 Infection at the Olympic Market [according the Ministry of Health – though there had been several disturbing rumors]
  • Samdech Akkak Ponhea Chakrey Heng Samrin Asks Vietnam to Continue to Expand Investments in Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6713, 28.7.2009

  • Cambodia Angkor Air, the New National Airline of Cambodia, Was Inaugurated [on 27 July 2009 in Phnom Penh with an investment of US$100 million [from Vietnam], where Cambodia has a 51% share while a Vietnamese company has 49%]
  • A New Big Website for Staff Recruitment in Cambodia Is Operated [it is accessible here: http://www.camhr.com]
  • North Korea Is Prepared to Negotiate [but only] with the United Sates of America

Krong Long Vek, Vol.7, #162, 27.7.2009

  • The Royal Government Is Disappointed about Land Concessions Provided to Private Companies

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4957, 28.7.2009

  • [Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Rejected the Testimony of a Witness [Mr. Kok Sros] and a Torture Note [by the American historian David Chandler, based on an interview 10 years ago – it is claimed that the witness was a former Tuol Sleng Prison guard who claimed that Duch ordered every cruel torture against prisoners; however, Duch rejected that this person was a guard, and he demanded to be shown the staff lists for which it is claimed that there were more than 2,300 staff members]
  • Cambodia Sets New Date to Clear All Mines from the Country [2009 had been set as a goal, which had to be changed to 2020]
  • Riverbank Slid into the Mekong River, Taking Half of a Flat [fortunately, there was no casualty – Nirouth, Meanchey, Phnom Penh]
  • [Fifty] Remains of Vietnamese Volunteer Soldiers Who Died during the War in Cambodia Are Repatriated [to Vietnam]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1759, 28.7.2009

  • Global Witness Said that Senior Military Officials Collude with Foreign Companies to Exploit Mines Illegally [pointing to the names of Gen. Pol Saroeun and Gen. Meas Sophea, claiming they are involved in gold, cooper and other ore mining]

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The Number of European Tourists Declines in Siem Reap, but the Number of Asian and Local Tourists Increases – Monday, 27.7.2009

Posted on 28 July 2009. Filed under: Week 623 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 623

“Siem Reap: Tourism companies serving tourists in Siem Reap, and especially tourism agencies aiming at tourists from Europe, are deeply concerned and might go bankrupt, because the number of European tourists dramatically dropped in 2009.

“However, the Siem Reap Tourism Department shows in its report that even though the number of European tourist decreased heavily, the number of Asian tourists, and especially also local tourists, rose significantly. Therefore, there is nothing to worry.

“A tourist guide who asked not to be named, who works at Indochina Tourism, a well-know tourism company, said that early in 2009, the number European tourists declined, and if compared to 2008, it declined by about 40%. This guide added that in 2008, during the rainy season, they could guide four to five groups of tourists per month, but in 2009, there were at the most only two groups.

“According to this guide, the decline in the number of European tourists might result from two factors: the global economic crisis, and the rainy season. However, this guide is not totally hopeless, as in mid-October there normally comes the season of many tourists.

“Despite such a situation, the Ministry of Tourism tries its best to find strategies to attract tourists, such as local and international tourists.

“According to the first six months’ report of 2009 of the Siem Reap Tourism Department, within the first six months of 2009, 1,195,259 tourists came to Siem Reap. This number dropped by 0.65% compared to the same period in 2008, where there had been 1,203,190 tourists.

“The report says that there were 503,028 foreign tourists. Thus, their number declined by 13.9% compared to 2008, when there had been 578,794 tourists, while the number of local tourists was 692,267, which increased by 10.86% compared to 2008 with 624,369 tourists. The number of Vietnamese tourists, however, rose significantly.

“The report adds that so far, there have been 116 hotels with 8,649 rooms, and 222 guesthouses with 2,912 rooms; 115 restaurants; 35 massage parlors where 3 are not licensed; 15 karaoke parlors where 7 are not licensed; and 140 tourism agencies. As for transportation services, there are 231 taxis, an association of 94 moto-taxis, an association of 217 boats, and 31 companies offering recreational and entertainment services.”Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2006, 26-27.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 27 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #246, 26-27.7.2009

  • A Big Gambling House in the Center of Phnom Penh Was Raided and More Than 80 Gamblers Were Arrested; the Owner of the Gambling House, Che Im, Was Arrested for a While, but Then Was Released again after a High Ranking Official Intervened
  • [The former Executive Director of the Center for Social Development] Seng Theary: I Will Struggle based on the Law, though There Is Little Hope [after she has been dismissed as through a court decision]
  • Vietnam Invests US$200 Million in Banking and in an Airline [in Cambodia]

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #74, 27-28.7.2009

  • The Minister of Post and Telecommunication [Mr. So Khun]: A Telecommunication Law Will Be Ready in 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2006, 26-27.7.2009

  • The Number of European Tourists Declines in Siem Reap, but the Number of Asian and Local Tourists Increases
  • A Plane in Iran Ran beyond the Runway and Exploded, Killing Seventeen People

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #455, 26-28.7.2009

  • Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister [Trương Vĩnh Trọng] Came to Join in the Inauguration of the Cambodian National Airline]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6712, 27.7.2009

  • Sixteen of [seventeen] Poor Citizens Hired to Transport Wood from the [Thai side of the] Dangrek Mountains Were Surrounded and Arrested by Siamese [Thai] Soldiers, and One Could Escape
  • The Ministry of Economy Has Licensed Six Insurance Companies [the Cambodian National Insurance (CAMINCO), the Forte Insurance, the ACLEDA Insurance, the Infinity Insurance, the Campubank Lonpac Insurance, and the Cambodian Reinsurance Company (Cambodia Re)]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4956, 26-27.7.2009

  • A Member of the Banteay Meanchey Council Was Stabbed to Death by a Group of Vietnamese Young Men [they got angry with him for he told them not to speak so loud in a restaurant – the police arrested three perpetrators who had escaped to Battambang]
  • American Troops Train Cambodia Navy [Sihanoukville]
  • Thai Investors Seek Investment Partners in Cambodia [Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1758, 27.7.2009

  • A Civil Society Person Said that Reforms in Different Sectors of Cambodia Cannot Move Ahead because of Political Interference from All Kinds of State Institutions [the director of LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek – Dr. Kek Galabru – said that reforms in Cambodia cannot grow when there is political interference. Recently more than 40 judges between the age of 60 and 66 were retired. Civil society official said this is just the beginning, but even the change of personnel will not be efficient if there is no judicial reforms in Cambodia. Dr. Galabru commented that reform cannot bring change as long as the the Supreme Council of Magistracy, the highest judicial institution and other institutions involve also politicians, and judges, prosecutors, and lawyers are not free from political influence. She added that now everything is involved in politics: the police, the military police, and also the universities.

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Comparing Notes and Actions – Sunday, 26.7.2009

Posted on 27 July 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

Shared and received information should elicit some kind of reaction. Reactions can have quite different forms – from a harsh public rebuff to silent reflection. If there were no reactions at all, the sharing of information would probably have to be considered to be useless.

The fact that the Mirror has been visited, since November 2008, at least 6,000 times per month, even up to 8,700 times in one month, is an encouraging sign that there are many readers who come back again. We would be happy, of course, if more readers would also respond to the Support the Mirror appeal in the right upper corner on the first page of every Mirror, and would click on the button:

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When facing the flood of news items in the Khmer press every day, and selecting some for translation and mirroring, there is always a process of reflections and looking for connections and comparisons and relations involved. But even when we put some news items together – like we do in today’s following text – such pairing might trigger the reflection: What if these different elements would be made to enter into some deeper interaction? What would this mean for Cambodian society?

It is up to our readers. Some readers may again use the Make a Comment box at the end of every page, and the result will show up under Recent Comments in the rightmost column of the Mirror page. Such sharing of observations and opinion may invite other reader to respond with different comments, linking ideas and persons in an exchange of opinion. Publishing on the Internet has made such participation much easier than the traditional Letters to the Editor, which are an important place where personal opinion is shared and public opinion is formed in many newspapers.

Some of the past week’s notes follow.


European Parliament Representative Will Come to Observe Ms. Mu Sochua’s Court Hearing

It did not happen, as far as we know – maybe not yet?

But why did people in the far away European Parliament even consider this? It had been explained that the trade and cooperation agreements between the European Union and its partners – the basis also for the Cambodian garment exports to Europe – deal in their first article with “respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights” which are to “inspire the internal and international policies of the European Union and Cambodia” and which “constitute an essential element of the agreement.”


After the return of the Prime Minister from his official visit to France, it was reported: “Mr. Prak Sokhon [a secretary of state who had been a member of the delegation] said that Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen asked France to continue granting aid like during more than 10 years in the past. Also, he asked France to continue… to assist the health sector, the educational sector, and other sectors.” And the French President promised it. Of course he does now decide this alone – he has to propose it to the French parliament and to academic institutions, which decide what actually can be realized. The framework within which the governments can act is set by the parliaments, and the parliaments watch over the implementation.

It is assumed that the Cambodian National Assembly works in a similar way, when it comes to public financial resources.

Article 57 of the Constitution says: “…The national budget shall be determined by law.”

Article 90: “The National Assembly is the only an organ which has legislative power, and performs its duties as provided for in the constitution and laws. This power shall not be transferable to any other organ or individual. The National Assembly shall approve the national budget, state planning, loans…”

Also in Cambodia it is the National Assembly which has the ultimate responsibility for the handling of financial affairs of the state according to the established laws and regulations. It is no surprise that it is similar for the European Union and the European parliament.


The Mirror had also reported: “Twenty Days after Visiting Cambodia, [the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and parliamentarian] Suthep Thaugsuban Lost His Parliamentary Seat [he resigned from parliament, but retains his position as a vice-minister – in this way he hopes to avoid the ruling of the Thai Election Committee, accusing him of having been involved in stock exchange trading – which is unconstitutional for parliamentarians]

Any surprise? Probably not in Thailand according to Thai law.

Article 120 of the Cambodia Constitution also says: “The functions of members of the Royal Government shall be incompatible with professional activities in trade or industry and with the holding of any position in the public service.” These Cambodian regulations are similar for “members of the Royal Government” in Cambodia, excluding them from “professional activities in trade or industry.” It may be not so clear to the public to which level of members of the government this applies – from senior ministers to under-secretaries of state? – and which range of professional activities are covered? Surely an important field, the more Cambodian trade and industries develop – from the newly created national airline to the increasing activities in the oil and other natural resources extracting industries.


When it comes to the interpretation of the workings of a “multi-party liberal democratic regime guaranteeing human rights and the respect of law” – as described in the Preamble of the Constitution – there is obviously a wide gap between different assumptions. The president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation, Mr. Moeung Sonn, considered it as his civic duty to ask critical questions about the fairly massive deployment of electrical equipment at the symbol of Khmer culture and World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. He obviously did not forsee that his opinion would be considered as leading to public disturbance, so that he and others who shared this opinion – like Rasmei Kampuchea – might have to face the court; concerned that he might even have to go to prison, he went abroad.

In the previous week, we had also mirrored a voice from civil society, asking: If Those with a Role to Promote and Protect Culture Cannot Express Their Concerns about Culture, Who then Has the Rights to Do So?


That those who are accused need to be protected, while a court clarifies if the accusation stands rightly or not, is supported by a financial grant from France, after the French President had promised to the Cambodian Prime Minister that France would support developments in Cambodia. “France Provided US$126,000 Financing to the Association of Lawyers without Borders to Defend Plaintiffs at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.” Though this is not part of the expected larger assistance expected from France, it is a donation in line with the historical commitment of France for justice – a commitment which was in the mainstream of the French revolution.


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Cambodia and Vietnam Will Sign an Agreement for Joint Investment in the National Air Line on Sunday – Saturday, 25.7.2009

Posted on 26 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

“Phnom Penh: A partnership agreement for joint investment in Cambodia Angkor Air will be signed on this Sunday [26 July 2009] by the Cambodian Government and Vietnam Airlines. What will be signed is an agreement on investment for the airline, which will fly between Cambodia and Vietnam, and it will be the birth of a national airline of Cambodia after the previous national airline Royal Air Cambodge went bankrupt eight years ago.

“The secretary of state of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, Mr. Mao Havannal, said on 23 July 2009 that the agreement will be signed officially on 26 July 2009. And flights will be launched on 27 July 2009, and, as planned, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen will preside over this event.

“At the launching day on 27 July 2009, the company will begin when two delegations will be boarding, one will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An flying to Siem Reap, and the other delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An will fly to Sihanoukville.

“He added that for the first step, the Cambodia Angkor Air will start its flights on three routes: Phnom-Siem Reap, Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville, and Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City.

“Therefore, at the end of July, Cambodia will have its own national airline, after the former national airline had disappeared almost a decade ago in 2001.

“Mr. Mao Havannal said that the creation of a new national airline covers three important intentions: first, an sovereign state should have its own national airline, so that second, there is a balance in air traffic with Cambodia having its own flights, while foreign airlines can also fly to Cambodia, and third, to promote the growth of tourism in and to Cambodia.

“Royal Air Cambodge, the former Cambodian national airline, went bankrupt in 2001 due to management problems, wasting as much as US$30 million.  

“Thus, it is crucial that a new national airline has a more efficient management, to ensure that money can be earned for the sate, and the honor of Cambodia can be maintained.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4955, 25.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 25 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #245, 25.7.2009

  • America Continues to Grant Aid to the Mekong Sub-Region [consisting of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam] in Three Sectors [more than US$7 million for the environment, more than US$130 million for the health sector, and US$16 million for education]
  • Man Was Shot to Death and His Wife Got a Gun Pointed to Her Head to Demand the Key to Unlock a Safe to Take All Money [two of the three robbers are not yet identified – Battambang]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2005, 25.7.2009

  • Hundreds of Hectares of Flooded – Mangrove – Forest Used by Fish to Lay their Eggs Are Disturbed by Having Been Transferred to Private Ownership [but there is not yet any action taken by the authorities – Siem Reap]
  • The Government of Pakistan Donates Ten Computers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • The Number of Students to Take This Year’s Grade 12 Examination Is 88,698
  • There Remain More Than 2,000 km2 Considered Dangerous in Cambodia, because They Are Suspected to Be Landmined

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #454, 25.7.2009

  • The Center for Social Development Loses Funds, Causing 50 Staff to Have No Salaries [after donors had seen the conflicts in this organization]
  • An Official Related to a Cambodian Leader Chained a Woman to a Bed for Several Months and Took Tens of Thousands of Dollars and Jewelry [details in the Phnom Penh Post here]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6711, 25-26.7.2009

  • Judge Decided to Announce the Judgment of Ms. Mu Sochua on 4 August 2009
  • Citizens Welcome and Support the Authorities of All Levels after Four Sand Dredging Sites Were Closed
  • France Provided [US$126,000] Financing to the Association of Lawyers without Borders to Defend Plaintiffs at the [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4955, 25.7.2009

  • Cambodia and Vietnam Will Sign an Agreement for Joint Investment in the National Air Line on Sunday
  • Villagers Constructed Road, but They Were Bared by [Khov Chily] Company and a Villager Was Arrested [but was then released after other villagers protested – Kandal]
  • ASEAN Rejected Clinton’s Idea to Dismiss Myanmar as Member of the Association

Note:

Channelnewsasia reported:

“US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Thai television Wednesday that the regional bloc should consider kicking out the military-ruled member state if it does not free the Nobel laureate, who is on trial in prison.

But Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, speaking as current chair of the 10-state grouping, said that while ASEAN and the West ‘have the same goal, we cannot implement the same policy.’

“‘There are not enough grounds to do that (expel Myanmar). We have already done what we can under the ASEAN mechanism,’ said Abhisit, referring to the group’s public statements expressing concern over Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention.

“‘If Myanmar is expelled it will further isolate (the regime) and would that solve the problem?'”

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The Ministry of Interior Refused to Allow Chea Mony to Visit the Convict Heng Pov – Friday, 24.7.2009

Posted on 24 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

“The Prisons Department of the Ministry of Interior rejected to allow the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, to visit the former Phnom Penh police chief, convict Heng Pov.

“In a letter to the trade union on 23 July 2009, signed by he head of the Prisons Department, General Heng Hak, said that the convict Heng Pov is jailed at the Prey Sar Prison, and he is taken care of carefully by a doctor who checks his health regularly, his lawyer goes often to work and to observe him, his family frequently visit him, and he has received regular support. Therefore the Prisons Department thinks that a visit by Mr. Chea Mony to the convict Heng Pov, jailed at the Prey Sar Prison, as an humanitarian act, is not necessary.

“What is mentioned above by the head of the Prisons Department of the Ministry of Interior is in response to a request, dated 19 June 2009, to visit the convict Heng Pov by the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union, Mr. Chea Vichea.

“While Mr. Heng Pov was the Phnom Penh police chief, he was in charge of dealing with the murder of the former president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Vichea, on 22 January 2004, whereas the perpetrators have not yet been arrested for prosecution, besides the two men: Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen, who had been accused as murderers and then were convicted and imprisoned. Anyway, the two men, considered by civil society, [by UN institutions,] and by Mr. Chea Vichea’s relatives [as well as by the ILO and the former King] as murderers, were released [on bail] by the Supreme Court on 31 December 2008 [but no information about the ongoing investigations is made public].

“After having been refused a permission to visit the former Phnom Penh police chief, Mr. Chea Mony, the younger brother of Mr. Chea Vichea, expressed his regret and considers it as a new form of discrimination in Khmer society.

“Mr. Chea Mony said that Mr. Heng Pov used to be the Phnom Penh police chief and used to crack down on many offenses and crimes. He has both good and bad achievements. Therefore, to visit this former police chief is just to encourage him, while he was prosecuted to serve in prison for the rest of his life for many murders.

“Asked whether his visit to the former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov was intended to ask him about the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea about 5 years ago, Mr. Chea Mony responded that first, he just wanted to visit Heng Pov with his conscience being a Khmer national, the same as he is himself. His plan was not related to the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea yet.

“It should be noted that since Heng Pov was arrested in 2007, he had been accused and convicted for many murders and kidnappings. Heng Pov is now 50 years old, and he was convicted for at least 60 years in prison. This does not include the possible future convictions for some other cases that have not yet been solved by the court.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4954, 24.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 24 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #244, 24.7.2009

  • The President of the Siamese [Thai] Parliament Wants to Reduce Tensions, but He Did Not Talk about the Withdrawal of Troops [during his visit to Phnom Penh]
  • Two More Cases of A/H1N1 Were Confirmed in Cambodia [the number has increased to sixteen]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2004, 24.7.2009

  • The Case 001 [the trial of the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Duch] Has already Attracted 12,000 Visitors in the Public Audience [according to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • The [Danish organization] Human House Helps to Construct [more than 500] Houses for People to Relocate from the Meanchey Garbage Dump to a New Location in Udong [in 2011, this organization will build houses for 6,000 more families]
  • The Son of a Major Failed in Snapping a Diamond Necklace and Was Hit Unconscious by a Crowd of People [Phnom Penh]
  • Twenty People Died of the H1N1 Flu in Thailand within Seven Days

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #453, 24.7.2009

  • Human Rights Watch Accuses Hun Sen of Trying to Interfere with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [because he recently told the French President that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal should not accuse more former Khmer Rouge leaders – thus affecting the separation of the executive and of the juridical powers]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6710, 24.7.2009

  • The President of the National Assembly [Mr. Heng Samrin] Asked Thailand to Withdraw Troops from Cambodian Territory to Restore the Situation Like It Was before 15 July 2008

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4954, 24.7.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Warned the President of the Thai Parliament that the Border Dispute Could Affect the US$1.7 Billion Trade [between Thailand and Cambodia – the figure is from 2008]
  • Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh Will Create a Social Foundation
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Will Light Candles in Front of the Court, and Agreed to Pay the Fine for Ms. Mu Sochua [in the defamation case where she is accused by Prime Minister Hun Sen – if she is convicted to pay a fine]
  • Only Seven Hectares of Forest Are Defined for an Ethnic Minority Tribespeople Commune for Conservation and for a Graveyard
  • The Ministry of Interior Refused to Allow Chea Mony to Visit the Convict Heng Pov

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Prime Minister Urges Training of Traditional Wisemen – Thursday, 23.7.2009

Posted on 24 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

Note

We would like to mirror an article originally written and published in Khmer in Deum Ampil – but two pages in English were also included there, which we mirror here. Even though the arrangement of the paragraphs of this article in Khmer and in English is a bit different, both articles still keep the same content. Below is the original English version of the article from Deum Ampil:

“Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday urged both the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Ministry of Cults and Religion to train traditional Khmer wisemen. These respected and revered semi-mystic figures are experts in Khmer culture and folklore, and are an integral part of the many religious ceremonies that form much of the practice of Khmer Buddhism.

“This is not the first time the premier has asked authorities to train Wisemen, known in Khmer as Ajar [ អាចារ្យ ]. He also raised the topic recently during a speech in Kandal province.

“‘The wiseman tradition is in deep crisis in our country so that training Wisemen should be arranged by having teachers,’ Hun Sen said at the close of the National Forum of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts at Chaktomuk Hall.

“‘This is not an insignificant issue we have to think about because in the future the number of wisemen in our country will decrease,’ the premier added. ‘Some say that Hun Sen thinks about small thinks like this wiseman crisis, but it is a big story so we all must rethink.’

“The premier urged both ministries to arrange programs of training wisemen.

“‘In one year, if we have 5,000 weddings, we also need 5,000 wisemen, so our need for these people is very crucial,’ the PM stated. Criticizing the influx of foreign influences into traditional Khmer ceremonies, the premier remarked that ‘the cake cutting ceremony held at wedding parties is not our traditional manner, it is foreign culture and manners.’

“At the same time, the premier urged Cambodian artists, especially writers, to hone their craft and to try to use more locally relevant themes. ‘If they are able to do so, copying foreign stories should not be allowed – like two stories shown on Bayon Television which were not Cambodian themes, they were foreign themes.’

“During his speech, the PM also called on the Ministry of Information and affiliated media agencies to better promote Cambodian culture. By Sorn Sopheak” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #243, 23.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 23 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #243, 23.7.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen: Producers Should Stop Copying Foreign Films [reference mentioned is to two Thai films on Bayon Television, where Ms. Hun Mana is director general]
  • Prime Minister Urges Training of Traditional Wisemen
  • South Korea Promises to Provide US$40 Billion Aid to North Korea if They Agrees to Stop Their Nuclear Program

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2003, 23.7.2009

  • The [opposition] Sam Rainsy Party Plans to Hold a Candle Light Ceremony in Front of the Court [while former Minister of Women’s Affairs, now member of the National Assembly without immunity protection is facing defamation charges] to Seek Justice [Phnom Penh]
  • The 21st Century Eclipse Could Be Seen in Cambodia [on 22 July 2009] More Than 30%, which Is a Good Omen
  • 100 Citizens Went to Protest in Front of the Municipality after Police Arrested Their [two] Representatives [and accused them of attempting to murder a monk – Banteay Meanchey]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #452, 23.7.2009

  • Seng Theary [the publicly well known, active director of the Center for Social Development, recently dismissed in response to a request from a rival board, by a court decision, though the Ministry of Interior had confirmed that she is justified to hold her position] Calls the Ruling Power in Cambodia at Present a Dictatorships [in an interview with Radio Free Asia – see also the Note about the Center for Social Development in The Mirror of Friday, 10.7.2009]
  • Nine World Famous People Will Come to Cambodia, One by One, from October to April Next Year [responding to an invitation from the King and other Cambodian leaders; those people are:
    • Mr. Aaron Ciechanover, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry,

    • Mr. Jacky Chan, famous film star

    • Mr. Oliver Stone, film director and producer

    • Professor David J. Gross, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physics with H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek

    • Professor Eric S. Maskin, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics

    • Mr. Totin M. Visor [? phonetic ?], 1981 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences [the prize was actually given to Professor James Tobin]

    • Mr. Vladimir Askin [phonetic], famous violinist [unclear, maybe Vladimir Tsypin, violinist?, or Vladimir Ashkenazy, pianist?]

    • Ms. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine [together with Mr. Luc Montagnier], and
    • Mr. José Ramos-Horta, the President of East Timor and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6709, 23.7.2009

  • The National Policy for Ethnic Minority Tribespeople in Cambodia Was Published [the ethnic minorities of the eastern provinces constitute about 1% of the population – their habitat is under threat by “development” encroaching on their traditional land. The present document contains suggestions to the National Assembly, the Senate, and the Constitutional Council how their rights could be secured by future legislation, assuring sustainability and the protection and promotion of their cultural heritage]
  • 578 Families Living under Tents [in Phnom Penh] Prepare to Ask the Government to Get Land Assigned to Live along the Khmer-Siamese [Thai] Border [after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that poor people have the right to receive and own land at border regions]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4953, 23.7.2009

  • Law Permitting Foreigners to Owner Upper Floor Houses Has Been Drafted
  • China Needs from 40 to 50 Million Tonnes of Cassava per Year from Cambodia [according to an official of the Ministry of Agriculture]
  • Fourty-one People Were Killed and 263 Were Injured by Traffic Accidents in Takeo in the First Six Months of 2009
  • The National Road 5 from Banteay Meanchey to Battambang Begins to Get Damaged Gradually [it was built in 1996], Officials Said that This Road Is of Poor Quality [the damaged portions will be repaired]

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The Municipality Announced that Following Samdech Dekchor’s Recommendation, There Are No Development Plans for Any Markets – Wednesday, 22.7.2009

Posted on 22 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

“Because of the wise recommendation of the Prime Minister of The Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, which was clearly announced, there are no permissions for any markets in Phnom Penh to be re-developed, after there had been protests by vendors who halted their operations at their stalls when they knew that somebody would invest in their market to replace it by a new one. The major reason why vendors absolutely rejected the plan is because they had seen many previous negative models, where, at the end, vendors were required to buy stalls from the new market owners. But then another new surprising case happened at the Kandal Market, when vendors heard that there were plans to develop their market into a supermarket.

“Responding to the protest by Kandal Market vendors in front of the Municipality on 20 July 2009, the Phnom Penh Municipality issued a notification on 21 July 2009 to inform the public that there are no permits for any development plans for any markets. Koh Santepheap would like to publicize the notification as follow:

The Kingdom of Cambodia
Nation Religious King
The Phnom Penh Municipality
(Logo)
Phnom Penh, 21 July 2009
Notification

Recently the Phnom Penh Municipality noticed that there was various information going around about attempts to develop this or that market, and especially about a plan to develop the Kandal Market in Phsar Kandal I, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. The Phnom Penh Municipality would like to confirm that in response to the vendors’ requests, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, decided officially and made it known through the Notification 811, dated 16 June 2009, to stop the re-development of all markets in Phnom Penh. This is a very wise decision of the Royal Government, overriding any other legal documents relating to this case.

Therefore all vendors are requested to continue their operations normally and calmly, and they should not believe any incitements originating from some dishonest people who try to take the opportunity to make benefits for themselves by provoking the vendors to demonstrate, wasting both their time and their benefits.

The heads of the Phnom Penh police and military police will look for those who provoke to disturb public order so that they can to be convicted according to the law.

The Phnom Penh Municipality

(Seal)

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6708, 22.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #242, 22.7.2009

  • Cambodia Buys 60,000 Tonnes of Salt [at about US$6 million] from China to Meet Local Demand
  • Japan Dissolved the Parliament and Prepares to Conduct Elections ahead of the End of the Term
  • Cambodia Welcomes the Creation of an ASEAN Visa Arrangement [which helps encourage and facilitate tourists to visit Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2002, 22.7.2009

  • Two Koreans and Two Khmers Are Brought to Court over the Case that a 17-Year-Old Young Woman Was Brought to Be Raped at the Khusan Hotel [Phnom Penh]
  • At Present, Investment from Russia Increased to More Than US$600 Million [in tourism and trade, while in 2007, it was only US$21.2 million]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #451, 22.7.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Has Refilled 30% of the Trenches [their soldiers had dug] in Khmer Territory

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6708, 22.7.2009

  • The Municipality Announced that Following Samdech Dekchor’s Recommendation, There Are No Development Plans for Any Markets
  • The Global Witness Is Dishonest; the Cambodian Embassy in Great Britain Asks Several Countries to Take Action against Global Witness [because this organization had suggested to cancel Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visa to Britain – the embassy appeals not to support Global Witness and to stop accepting Global Witness representatives in their countries]
  • Two Died and One Was Seriously Injured in Separate Electric Shocks [Phnom Penh]
  • 91% of the Students Passed the Grade-9 Examinations [this year, 130,415 of 143,199]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4952, 22.7.2009

  • The Ministry of Health Asks Khmer Citizens Not to Travel to Thailand Due to the A/H1N1 Flu
  • Ms. Mu Sochua Decided to Go to Her Court Hearing without a Lawyer [over a defamation complaint by Prime Minister Hun Sen, after the court rejected to accept the lawyer Sok Sam Oeun as her defense lawyer, claiming that Mr. Sok Sam Oeun had not asked the court to recognize him as her defense lawyer]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Nominated a Japanese Woman [Ms. Maeda Yūko – 前田優子 – more data in English and in Japanese (requires Japanese script installed) as the Spokesperson of the UN Side of the Tribunal
  • Profile of Ms. Maeda Yūko

    Ms. Maeda obtained Master’s degrees from the University of Bradford (UK) in 2008 and Michigan State University (USA) in 1997 in the fields of African Peace and Conflict Studies and Journalism, respectively, after she received a Bachelor’s degree from Nihon University (Japan) in the field of Journalism in 1988. Ms. Maeda recently served as Public Information Officer of the United Nations Mission in Liberia. She has extensive experience in the field of journalism in a multi-cultural environment, as she worked as associate and business editor of The Cambodia Daily newspaper (Cambodia), reporter of the Cadillac Evening News (USA), and reporter and assistant editor of Kobe Shimbun newspaper (Japan). With regard to Cambodia, Ms. Maeda founded and represented the NGO Women Against Silence to help rape survivors by implementing empowerment activities, in addition to her work with The Cambodia Daily newspaper.

  • Thailand Announces to Abolish Visa Fees for Tourists until March 2010
  • More Than US$2 Million Will Be Spent for Grade-12 Examinations Early Next Week

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #17555, 22.7.2009

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France Promises to Provide Priority Financing to Cambodia during the Visit of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen – Tuesday, 21.7.2009

Posted on 22 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

“A Cambodian high ranking official said that providing financial resources to Cambodia to develop the country is a priority, announced by French leaders during the official visit of Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen to Paris on 13 and 14 July 2009, to attend the National Day celebrations of France, which included the observation of a military parade.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen left Cambodia on 9 July 2009 and returned safely on 19 July 2009. During the visit, he went also to England to attend the graduation ceremony of his eldest son.

“An official of the delegation of the prime minister, Mr. Prak Sokhon, said that the visit of Samdech Dekchor to France is the highest level visit ever where the timing for meetings had been prepared to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister François Fillon [“le blog de François Fillon – la France peut supporter la vérité (the blog of François Fillon – France can support the truth)“], and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner during the busy time to celebrate the National Day, and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs also invited the Cambodian Prime Minister to have lunch on 13 and on 14 July 2009.

“Mr. Prak Sokhon said during the press conference at the Phnom Penh International Airport that most French leaders considered the visit and the participation of Samdech Hun Sen and the delegation, and their observation of the military parade celebrating the French National Day, as an honor for France and the French people, and also as a new opportunity for developing both countries’ ties, following the history that both countries have together from the past to the present. Mr. Prak Sokhon added that during the discussions, France promised to provide funds to Cambodia, especially, President Sarkozy confirmed again and again that there will be provision of aid.

“Mr. Prak Sokhon added that Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy said that France is prepared to help Cambodia, and Cambodia can depend on the friendship and support of France. The President added that the promise to provide financing for the development of Cambodia will continue and it is a priority for France.

“According to Mr. Prak Sokhon, both sides expressed agreement during the discussion with the three French leaders, to intensify the ties between both countries, and they agreed to speed up this process towards better cooperation. Samdech Dekchor informed the French leaders about the decision of the Royal Government to provide a concession for Block 3 to the Total petroleum company of France, which, after proper discussions and assessments, was welcomed by France, both by the state and by the private sector, and it is expected that the investment in Cambodia by this French company will benefit and promote new trade and economic ties.

“Regarding the Preah Vihear region, Samdech Dekchor told France that the Royal Government of Cambodia has the position to prevent the current dispute between Cambodia and Thailand from spreading and affecting other sectors of both countries’ cooperation or affecting other regions along the Cambodian-Thai border. Related to the court faced by former Khmer Rouge leaders, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen told the French leaders that it is proceeding smoothly, despite some minor technical problems, adding that to seek justice for the Cambodian people, who are victims of a genocidal regime, must be in line with maintaining the peace that was achieved with difficulties in the past.

“Mr. Prak Sokhon went on to say that responding to questions from the French leaders, whether the Khmer Rouge ideology or Khmer Rouge forces remain in Cambodia, Samdech Hun Sen said the political and military structure of the Khmer Rouge was dissolved through a Win-Win policy, and the Khmer Rouge ideology does no longer exist in Cambodia. But Samdech warned that the court hearings of four Khmer Rouge leaders should be handled carefully to prevent that they threaten the peace that is now in Cambodia.

“Mr. Prak Sokhon continued to say that Samdech Dekchor asked France to continue granting aid like during more than 10 years in the past. Also, he asked France to continue to offer doctorate and master degrees to Cambodian students, and to assist the health sector, the educational sector, and other sectors.

“Mr. Prak Sokhon added that during the discussion, both sides agreed to encourage the creation of a cooperation committee for both countries as soon as possible, in September or October, in order to intensify the ties between both countries. This will relate to technology and to administration, and the private sector and France will send French agencies for development which will provide loans in response to requests from Cambodia, and France will put its major investments into that committee in order to consider and to encourage French investment in Cambodia.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2001, 21.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #241, 21.7.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party president] Sam Rainsy Refused to Provide Information to Deum Ampil [he said he did not want to talk to Deum Ampil and suggested they should ask the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, instead, about the unification plan of the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party]
  • [Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Praised [former Tuol Sleng Prison guard] Him Huy’s Testimony because It Was Clear and Highly Responsible

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2001, 21.7.2009

  • France Promises to Provide Priority Financing to Cambodia during the Visit of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen
  • Cambodia Will Host the Asian Parliamentary Meeting on Poverty Alleviation [on 27 and 28 July 2009 in Phnom Penh]
  • Soldiers Have Found Three Temples and Two Old Wells near the Ta Moan Temple [Oddar Meanchey]
  • The Ambulance of the Kien Svay Referral Hospital Hit an Old Man to Death while His Wife Was Gravely Injured [the ambulance and the motorbike were brought to a police station for further clarification – Phnom Penh]
  • Khmer Food Cooking Book Created by Street Children [of the NGO Friends] Wins an Award in France [as the best cooking book from Asia in 2009, among 22 other countries]
  • Sixteen People Were Killed and Five Were Seriously Injured in a Helicopter Crash in Southern Afghanistan

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6707, 21.7.2009

  • [About 200] Kandal Market Vendors Went to the Municipality to Protest against a Market Development Attempt [Phnom Penh]
  • While a Female Teacher Was Driving with Her Two Nieces on a Moto to Distribute Wedding Invitation Letters, a Car Hit Them, Killing Her and one Niece, while the Other Niece Was Seriously Injured [Kompong Thom]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Inaugurated a New Garbage Dump at Choeung Ek; There Are, on Average, 1,000 Tonnes of Garbage per Day

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4951, 21.7.2009

  • Singaporean Army Commander-In-Chief Accepts the Request to Help Train Cambodian Soldiers
  • The MH Bio-Energy Company [from Korea] Inaugurates a New Petroleum Station [Kandal]
  • 86 Families of the [evicted] Group 78 Community Received US$8,000 Compensation Each from the Phnom Penh Municipality
  • Siam [Thailand] Tells Its Citizens to Stop Drinking and Smoking Wine and Cigarettes Imported Illegally from Cambodia, as this Is Dangerous

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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