Archive for August 4th, 2009

There Are More Than 220,000 Clients of Sex Services in Cambodia – Tuesday, 4.08.2009

Posted on 4 August 2009. Filed under: Week 624 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 624

“Phnom Penh: Expert AIDS officials in Cambodia said that there are about 220,000 people who buy sex services in Cambodia, corresponding to 6% of the male population between the ages of 15 and 49.

“The deputy director of the National AIDS Authority of Cambodia, Mr. Tea Phalla, said during a training course to educate ‘Friends Educate Friends’ teachers on 3 August 2009 at the Ministry of Interior, ‘According to the observation of sex services in Cambodia, there are 220,000 clients of these services, corresponding to 6% of the male population between the ages of 15 and 49.

“Mr. Tea Phalla added, ‘In the last ten years, AIDS prevention has been a success, because police helped with this task.’ He went on to say that people selling sex services are afraid of the police, promoting the policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia to practice 100% condom use.

“He added that 14% of 400,000 men have girlfriends and sex partners besides their wives. ‘According to another observation, there are about 20,000 men seeking sex services each night in Cambodia at present.’

“Mr. Tea Phalla continued to say, ‘20% of the prostitutes use drugs, and it is hard to educate women who sell sex services not to use drugs.’

“The director of the AIDS Secretariat of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Pen Vibol, said during the training, ‘Condom use increased after the ‘Friends Educate Friends’ program had been created. We are proud of our efforts.’

“Mr. Pen Vibol added, ‘AIDS is still a hot and worrying problem in Cambodia; as for AIDS prevalence in Cambodia, compared with neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia has a higher rate.’

“The deputy director of Family Health International in Cambodia (FHI), Mr. Song Ngak, said, ‘FHI wants to see also that educational activities to prevent AIDS are included into the training school of national police of Cambodia.’

“He added that AIDS reached Cambodia in 1990s, in 1991 there were people confirmed to have HIV, more people which had been infected with AIDS were found in 1993, and the highest rate of AIDS infection occurred in 1996 and 1997.

“He added that people who died of AIDS from 1998 to 2002 did not receive treatment services as Cambodia did not have such possibilities at that time.

“Mr. Song Ngak continued to say that, ‘In 2007, approx. 3.1% of national police were infected with AIDS.’ [[Correction: 2003, not 2007!]]

“The head of the Medicine Management Office and director of the AIDS Program of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Hy Samet, said, ‘The AIDS Secretariat of the Ministry of Interior trains ‘Friends Educate Friends’ teachers to have skills in educating about AIDS and about sexually transmitted diseases, and to promote the health of the national police forces, in order to contribute to reduce HIV and AIDS infections in Cambodia.’

“Mr. Hy Samet stated that the ‘Friends Educate Friends’ training course will take five days, with 26 trainees, from seven provinces and cities.”Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #253, 4.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #253, 4.8.2009

  • The Director of the Phanimex Company [Ms. Suy Sophan] Ordered Machinery to Clear Citizens’ Housing [Kandal]
  • There Are More Than 220,000 Clients of Sex Services in Cambodia
  • The 319 War Refugee Families at Preah Vihear Have New Housing

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2013, 4.8.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Prepares to Establish a Foundation for Parliamentarians Who Lose Their Court Cases [and also for journalists supporting the party]
  • A Military Official Uses His Commander’s Name [name not given] to Intervene to Prevent 10 Cubic Meter of Luxury Wood from Aural District from Being Seized [Kompong Speu]
  • In the First Six Months of 2009, the Number of Deaths from Traffic Accidents Declined [there were 333 traffic accidents, 105 deaths, 318 seriously injured people, and 206 lightly injured people; compared to 2008, there had been 139 deaths – Phnom Penh]

Karpear Cheat, Vol.2, #13, 2-3.8.2009

  • MetFone [a telecommunication company from Vietnam] Signed a Contract to Sponsor the Cambodian Football League [with US$1.5 Million]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6719, 4.8.2009

  • Forest in the Boeng Melea and the Our Thma Dab National Parks Are Being Cleared to Claim Land [for private ownership – Siem Reap]
  • Fishermen Warn that They Will Protest against Land Filling [at the seashore in Kampot – as their lives depend on the sea and the filling destroy the habitat of sea fish. This land filling is also against PM Hun Sen’s order who had said that any development plans, that affect people’s benefits, must not be allowed]
  • [Minister of Information] Khieu Kanharith: Not All Information Can Be Provided, Especially Security Information

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4963, 4.8.2009

  • The Number of People Confirmed with A/H1N1 Flu Increases to 21 in Cambodia
  • Vietnamese People’s Army Grants Materials to Cambodian Army to Produce Maps
  • The Authorities Have Not Taken Action against Nearly 100 Unlicensed Sand Dredging Sites in Kandal Stung District [Kandal]
  • Land Cruiser Hit a Motorbike, Killing Two Persons and Injuring Three [Siem Reap]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1764, 4.8.2009

  • [Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Rejected a Witness [Mr. Kek Dan] Who Claimed He Worked as Medic of the S21 Center

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.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

Fishery Crimes in Russey Keo: Fishery Officials Go to Collect Money from Boats Every Day without Caring whether It Is Spawning Season for the Fish or Not – Monday, 3.8.2009

Posted on 4 August 2009. Filed under: Week 624 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 624

“Phnom Penh: Anarchic irregularities in the realm of fishery happen every day, both during the season while the water is rising, and in the spawning season when all fishing is banned by law in all regions. Practically, in Russey Keo, Phnom Penh, many crimes against the fishery legislation are occurring along the Tonle Sap River without any intervention, like against many places that raise pike fish [a predatory fish that is forbidden to be raised in rivers, as it attacks and eats smaller fish], and it is reported that fishery officials are corrupt.

“Police and a group of fishery officials come to collect money from most of the Cham [Khmer Muslim] fishermen in Chrang Chamreh commune [Phnom Penh] every day, taking Riel 10,000 [US$2.50] from each boat without caring whether it is the season of receding water or the season of rising flood water for the fish to spawn. They just come to collect money from the boats owned by Khmer, Cham, Chinese, and Yuon [Vietnamese] fishermen.

“According to the same source, there are about 400 fishing boats in Russey Keo, and if one includes those in Prek Phnov, there might be as much as 1,000 boats.

“Thus, every day fishery officials can earn millions of Riels, and this does not yet include the bribes they get from the Vietnamese people who raise fresh pike fish at many places.

“Regarding the crime of raising fresh pike fish, it is reported that there are many places where fish creels are used, mostly owned by Vietnamese people, they are put into the river and covered with bamboo rafts, and their houses are built on top of the rafts.

“The same source added that most houses on the Tonle Sap Lake have fish creels stored on their roofs which belong to Vietnamese people or, as they are called, Yuons.

“And the water of the rivers in Cambodia become muddy because forestry officials ignore their tasks and let Vietnamese people do things as they want, after receiving bribes.

“There are many other big affairs about which Kampuchea Thmey had received information, and then informed officials of the Chaktomuk Fishery Office, so that they take action on them, but they got very angry with the Kampuchea Thmey agents and told them that next time, if they want to inform them about any fishery crimes, they have to first submit forms, so that they can prepare plans and personnel. If they are told to do anything immediately, they have no personnel.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2012, 2-3.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 3 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #252, 3.8.2009

  • Cambodia Will Send a Letter of Condolence Today at the Occasion of the Death of the Former First Woman President of the Philippine [Phnom Penh]
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Prepares to Collect Donated Money from Supporters to Pay Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen], if Mu Sochua Loses Her Court Case [according to the Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson, Mr. Yim Sovann]
  • The President of the Philippines [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] Calls for the Release of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [the Burmese elected democracy leader]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2012, 2-3.8.2009

  • Fishery Crimes in Russey Keo: Fishery Officials Go to Collect Money from Boats Every Day without Caring whether It Is Spawning Season for the Fish or Not

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6718, 3.8.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Opposes the Construction of a Market [at the Preah Vihear Temple to replace the previous one destroyed by fire]; Siam [Thailand] Complained that Cambodia Violates the Memorandum of Understanding [of 2000], but Cambodia Responded that the Market in the Prasat Village Had Been Created before that Memorandum of Understanding
  • During the First Day Campaign Enforcing the Traffic Law, 3,438 Drivers Were Fined and Instructed [for not wearing helmets, not having fixed rear-view mirrors, and not having number plates – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4962, 2-3.8.2009

  • The People&apss Power Heroine Corazon Aquino Died [she was the former president of the Philippines who had overthrown the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines]
  • Robbers Robbed Jewelry Sellers in Siem Reap Taking Away 600 Chi Gold [approx. US$69,000], Riel 44 Million [approx. US$11,000], and US$9,000
  • Australia Sends Stock Exchange Experts [to assist Cambodia]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1763, 3.8.2009

  • Samlot People Warn that if the Government Seizes their Land, They Will Struggle to Death

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3491, 2.8.2009

  • [About 100] Tunlob Market Vendors in Takeo Gathered at the Residence of the Prime Minister in Takhmao [to protest against the owner of the market who requires them to buy stalls which are expensive, after the market had been rebuilt]

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.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Different Bits of Information – Questions for All to Consider – Sunday, 2.8.2009

Posted on 4 August 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 623 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 623

Foreign Investors Are Coming to Cambodia – Thai Investors Seek Investment Partners in Cambodia – Vietnam Invests US$200 Million in Banking and in an Airline – and even though the number of European tourist decreased heavily, the number of Asian tourists rose significantly. The number of tourists from Vietnam is now higher than that from Korea, which had been top for several years. “Therefore, there is nothing to worry.”

In addition to the usual stories about foreign grant aid, accepted – or expected – to continue to flow, there were also reports about voluntary donations, publicly reported, from private business – the examples we quote are from external sources. To what extent is such a culture of voluntarily sharing for public interest purposes also developing within the Cambodian business community, or among Cambodian individuals who can consider their private property as a basis for generous sharing? Behind the official grants from Japan are, of course, the resources of Japanese people, who share them through the channels of their government:

  • Swiss Construction Company Holcim Grants US$90,000 for the Conservation of Temple Paintings of the Bakong Temple
  • Khmer Machas Srok Expresses Appreciation to The Phnom Penh Post for Granting Money to Mr. Hang Chakra [in prison for 12 months for alleged disinformation and defamation]
  • The Vietnamese Bank for Investment and Development Donates US$800,000 to the Cambodian Red Cross
  • Japan Grants More Than US$33 Million for Three Big Projects [National Road 1 improvement, aquaculture project in Sihanoukville, rural clean water supply in Memut, Kompong Cham]

“So there is nothing to worry?” There are also strange gaps

“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” – then probably there should be also hardly any job openings here:

A New Big Website for Staff Recruitment in Cambodia Is Operated

This assumption was completely wrong: there is a huge number of job openings, all clearly arranged according to 30 job categories and 30 locations, in Phnom Penh and in the provinces. Why this discrepancy? There had been frequently, over the years, some criticism of the educational system, not being aware of and geared towards the labor market. Instead of some hesitating remarks, now the Prime Minister has contributed his view:

“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…

“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.”

Even if a solution is far away and a complex task, it seems that the place where the necessary action is not being taken has been identified. Instead of tasking the Ministry of Education with serious reforms of the educational system, a kind of super-ministry was created in the form of the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia. It will be interesting to see what kind of consequences the clear analysis of the Prime Minister will have on the structure “ which so far does not take any action” according to analysts of the system.

There were more occasions where the Prime Minister sharply criticized members of the administration. We quote another report from this week:

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘Since a long time, the riverbank [in Kandal] was not repaired, but just now when the water rises, they get started. Now the water broke some parts of the riverbank, and I almost want to hit the Kandal provincial governor one day. After I phoned him and gave an order, the work started – if I had not phoned, nothing would happen.’
“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen also repeated his previous recommendation to look at the roads. Samdech explained, ‘When I say again to look at the roads, that means: first, there must not be illegal check-points along the roads, and second, if the road is damaged, it must be repaired.

“His warning is not only aimed at the Kandal provincial governor, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen encouraged also other governors in Cambodia to be highly responsible in repairing roads in their respective regions, and they should build more recreational places without waiting for the prime minister to shout and give orders before they take any initiative.”

So there is negligence at high levels in the administration? There are illegal check-points? Were there not orders given years ago to abolish them?

Obviously severe problems exist in some layers of the administration which wield power:

  • 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 – Who?
  • Sixteen of Poor Citizens Hired to Transport Wood from the [Thai side of the] Dangrek Mountains Were Surrounded and Arrested by Thai Soldiers, and One Could Escape – Who in Cambodia can hire people to illegally cross into Thailand in this military security area around the Preah Vihear Temple?
  • Former Kandal Market Director and District Governor Signed a Permission to Allow [private electricity] Producers to Operate, Violating a Directive by the Municipal Governor – Does he now know the rules?
  • The Krakor District Authorities in Pursat Warned Forest Protection Activists [who collected thumbprints of citizens to request the government to ban logging and forest clearance by private companies ] – Do they not also protect the forest? In whose interest are the officials working?

Here, we did not take up any of the many international voices expressing concern about the state of affairs in Cambodia. Whenever international voices raise some concern, they are frequently rebuked by official voices in Cambodia: They are biased and inaccurate, they really do not know what is happening in Cambodia!

Obviously the Prime Minister knows, and sometimes his patience is almost running out in view of what is happening in the administration.

Please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...