After Moeung Sonn, Three Newspapers Are Involved in Complaints about Drilling into Some Walls at the Angkor Wat Temple to Attach Electric Bulbs – Thursday, 16.7.2009

Posted on 17 July 2009. Filed under: Week 621 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 621

“After the president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation, Mr. Moeung Sonn, was convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday, government lawyers hinted that three others newspapers are also involved in complaints over the drilling of some walls of the Angkor Wat Temple to attach electric bulbs, and this reporting troubled the government.

“It is said that the information in those newspapers seemed to trouble Cambodia, indeed, they intend to incite and to create misunderstandings.

“According to the lawyers, the three newspapers include two pro-government newspapers and an opposition newspaper.

“The pro-government newspapers are Rasmei Kampuchea and Kampuchea Thmey, and the opposition newspaper is Khmer Machas Srok, whose editor-in-chief is now jailed in the Prey Sar Prison for criticizing corruption among high ranking officials in the Council of Ministers.

“However, according to court officials, they do not know the fate of Khmer Machas Srok sued by the government for publicizing information about drilling into some walls at the Angkor Wat Temple to attach electric bulbs. But as for Rasmei Kampuchea and Kampuchea Thmey, these have been already reported to the court, but this intervention had been made quietly so that the public could not know about it.

“It should be noted that in May 2009, information about drilling into some walls at the Angkor Wat Temple to attach electric bulbs was considered to be a hot and sensitive issue for the Cambodian government.

“The president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation, Mr. Moeung Sonn, had gone directly to see the site, and he claimed that there was drilling into some walls of the Angkor Wat Temple to create square holes to set up electric lighting which damaged that Khmer national priceless heritage.

“But at the end, because of the words he spoke after he obviously went to check, he was sued for incitement and disinformation by the Council of Ministers, which controls the Apsara Authority [the ‘Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap’].

“Mr. Moeung Sonn, now in France, was sentenced by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in absentia to two years in prison and fined Riel 15 million [approx. US$3,750 – but other papers says Riel 7 million] on 14 July 2009. Moreover, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued an arrest warrant following the judgment.

“Fearing the danger because of his recently expressed opinion, Mr. Moeung Sonn called on the master of the country, [Prime Minister] Mr. Hun Sen, to help to intervene to dismiss the accusation against him.

“Nevertheless, officials of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court said that Mr. Moeung Sonn’s case appeared somewhat difficult to forgive, because his comment at that time strongly embarrassed the government in front of the national and international public, especially the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sok An, who allowed the Sou Ching company to fix electric lighting. But the electric installation was later removed.

“[Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An [having been requested to explain the situation to the National Assembly on 19 June 2009] responded in the National Assembly about the drilling: that it did not pose any damage and that even UNESCO experts also agreed.

“Regarding what the Deputy Prime Minister had said, it is questioned why the Sou Ching company had removed the electric wiring so quickly when it was already claimed that it leads to no impact, and why not let it be there? This is seen as surprising. But it is not the time to talk what they have seen, because at present the powerful use prisons as an important method to warn those who dare to speak the truth.”Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1751, 16.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 16 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #237, 16.7.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Closes Its Website on the Internet after Cambodia Warned About It [ http://www.ilovethailand.org. – Actually, this site is still accessible outside of Cambodia]
  • Human Trafficking Becomes More Serious due to the Global Economic Crisis [urging people to seek jobs in foreign countries – according to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs]
  • More Than US$1 Million Is Spent to Relocate the Garbage Dump from Stung Meanchey to Choeung Ek [Phnom Penh]
  • 168 People Died in a Plane Crash in Iran

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1997, 16.7.2009

  • A Meeting between Hun Sen and Sarkozy: Cambodia Can Always Depend on Friendship and Support of France
  • Officials of the Asian Foundation Said that Human Trafficking Occurs in Every Country

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #447, 16.7.2009

  • Human Rights Watch Criticizes the Hun Sen Government for Using the Courts as a Tool to Stifle Opposition Voices

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6703, 16.7.2009

  • In Eight More Months Cambodia Will Have an Undersea Optical Fiber Cable Like Neighboring Countries [improvement will also connect some areas around the Tonle Sap Lake, and Kompong Cham, Kratie, and Stung Treng, connecting also to Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, China, and Vietnam. Funding of US$66.21 million [aid or loan? – not stated in the text] is from China]
  • The Surprising Demonstration against an Electricity Supplier in Neak Loeang Is Finished [the supplier agreed to reduce the price from Riel 1,700 – approx. US$0.40 – to Riel 1,200 – approx. US$0.30, and the price will be reduced every three months by Riel 100, approx. US$0.02, until it is Riel 700 – approx. US$0.20]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4947, 16.7.2009

  • Sarkozy Said that France Will Do Everything Possible for Cambodia [during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen – with with reference to the economic conditions, the potential of oil resources, and the restauration of the Bapuon Temple with French aid, irrigation systems, and infrastructure. President Sarkozy will consider the possibility to visit Cambodia in response to an invitation extended by Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Children Living on the Water in Pursat Do Not Have the Opportunity to Go to School because of Their Poor Living Conditions
  • In the First Six Months of 2009 94 People Died in Kompong Chhnang from Traffic Accidents and Other Natural Disasters [like storm and lightning]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1751, 16.7.2009

  • After Moeung Sonn, Three Newspapers Are Involved in Complaints about Drilling into Some Walls at the Angkor Wat Temple to Attach Electric Bulbs

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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[…] may have been drilled into ancient temple walls to hang the lights. A foundation president and three newspapers are being sued for embarrassing the government by revealing that the walls had been treated like a […]


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