Archive for December 29th, 2009

Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late – Tuesday, 29.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The draft of an anti-corruption law has not yet been publicly released, though one part of this draft law was disclosed last week by the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers. When this part of the draft became widely known, it was either welcomed or mocked, as this law will require also staff of non-government organizations who earn little to declare their property.

“A point of this draft law likely aims at the director of an FM radio station who has lots of property, after he had received funds to support the station for nearly 10 years.

“However, a secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who asked not to be named, said that the draft has already reached the secretary general of the National Assembly.

“Officials of non-government organizations said yesterday that keeping the long-awaited draft law on anti-corruption out of the public eye is at odds with the spirit of a law that has to call for openness and transparency.

“Though the Council of Ministers approved the draft law to combat corruption more than two weeks ago, the secrecy that surrounds the law makes it impossible to properly discuss and analyze it, NGO workers said.

“‘I think the key approach is transparency,’ said Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

“‘I don’t know what the intent of keeping it secret is,’ he added.

“The Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan reiterated day-before-yesterday that the draft law cannot be made public, because it has yet to arrive at the National Assembly. Once it arrives there, it can then be released to the public.

“‘This is the proposed draft used internally by the government,’ Mr. Siphan said about the law, adding that he did not know when the draft would be forwarded to the Assembly for debate and passage into law.

“One of the only details of the anti-corruption law that has been made public on Friday is the fact that the staff of NGOs are required to disclose their personal assets. Under the law, NGO workers are defined as public servants, and side-by-side with officials who are paid by the government, they must disclose their assets.

“‘It is an obligation to do so, if you don’t do it, you are jailed,’ Mr. Siphan explained day-before-yesterday, adding that the law will take effect 60 days after being passed by the National Assembly.

“A political observer and the former head of the Center for Social Development, Ms. Chea Vannath, said that following the spirit of the anti-corruption law, the legislation should be available for public viewing and inspection, since it is such scrutiny which helps discourage and expose corruption. Keeping it confidential counters that principle, she said.

“‘If it is not transparent, it’s like you are fishing in the mud at nighttime,’ she said.

“‘How can you comment on the law without having a copy of the law?,’ she asked. ‘It’s a strange process.’

“‘The word “fighting corruption” equals transparency, openness, access to information,’ she added.

“Soeung Saroeun, senior operations and finance manager of the Cooperation Committee of Cambodia [CCC], a professional organization of NGOs, said his group has requested a copy of the anti-corruption legislation, but like others has yet to see it. Having not yet seen the draft law, Mr. Saroeun said the CCC could not comment. Nonetheless, he said questions remain about the draft law, particularly how it defined assets for NGO staffers.

‘”If we have to declare our assets, what do they mean by “assets”?’ he asked.

“NGO Forum Executive Director Chhith Sam Ath said he could not speak about the law until after reading it and consulting with other members in his umbrella group of non-government organizations.

“President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights Ou Virak echoed remarks that discussing the draft law was challenging, but he agreed that not only non-government officials should have to declare their assets.

“Mr. Virak said he had no problem listing NGO employees as ‘public servants’ and recommended more groups should also have to declare their assets.

‘”It’s a very positive step in the right direction,’ he said. ‘I personally welcome it.'” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009; a major part had been published already by the Cambodia Daily on 28.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #373, 29.12.2009

  • The Asian Development Bank Provides US$65.2 Million for the Development of Four Provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake [there are projects to strengthen education by providing technical and vocational training, to develop small scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area, and to develop the financial sector – US$30.7 million is provided by the ADB as loan and grant, US$19.1 million is from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and from the government of Finland, and $5.47 million is from the Cambodian government]
  • The Svay Rieng Court Rejects the Request of Mr. Sam Rainsy to Delay the Hearings to Wait for His Participation [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers – Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present abroad]
  • The Prime Minister Warned Overloaded Vehicles [saying that if some companies still abuse the law, those companies must be shut down and their operations will be stopped]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2136, 29.12.2009

  • The National Assembly Approved the First Chapter of the Draft on Expropriation
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Warned not to Misuse the Surname ‘Hun’ to Intimidate People [he said so during a ‘Hun’ family party at the Intercontinental Hotel]
  • Pneumonia Is the Major Killer Disease that Kills Nearly 2,000 Cambodian Children Each Year

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #706, 29.12.2009

  • America Condemned Siam [Thailand] for Deporting 4,000 Hmong Ethnic People Back to Laos [and warned that the United States might halt military aid and the joint Golden Cobra military exercises with Thailand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009

  • Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6843, 29.12.2009

  • A Man Raped a Three-Year-Old Girl – He Was Arrested [Kompong Speu]
  • A Thai General [Mr. Panlop Pinmanee] Announced to Demonstrate Requesting to Dismiss [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [in late January or early February, if the people would be ready to fight for democracy]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #77, 29.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Denies to Permit the 7NG Company to Construct a Bridge [connecting from Areyaksatr to the Hun Sen Park, saying it would affect traffic in the city and contribute to environmental impacts on the surrounding areas, creating noise pollution]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5085, 29.12.2009

  • Maternal Rate of Dengue Fever Declined 50% [from 67 deaths in 2008 to only 36 in 2009], but the Patient Rate Increased [from 9,232 cases in 2008 to 11,625 cases in 2009]
  • Three Monks Were Defrocked and Sent to Be Rehabilitated because of Drug Addiction [Banteay Meanchey]
  • An Australian Man Was Robbed and Killed in Sihanoukville [perpetrators are not yet identified]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1843, 29.12.2009

  • Parliamentarians from the Cambodian People’s Party Adopted First Chapter of the Expropriation Draft Law, while the Opposition Party Opposes

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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Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing – Monday, 28.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia needs millions of dollars for the control of garbage, while there is a forecast that the amount of garbage will increase by many more tonnes per day in Phnom Penh, in Siem Reap, and in Sihanoukville.

“According to a study by the Korean International Cooperation Agency on environmental problems in three big cities in Cambodia, garbage is a major problem at present and in the future.

“The same source added that by now, in Phnom Penh there are about 1,100 tonnes of garbage discarded each day; in Siem Reap 88 tonnes; but there is no figure of the amount of garbage in Sihanoukville. Anyway, the amount is probably not much less than that in Siem Reap.

“According to these figures, it is forecast that in the future, because the three cities are centers of the economy and of tourism, except for Phnom Penh, which is also the center of administration, politics, and culture; garbage will heavily increase, while even the current garbage sites cannot handle the present situation.

“The current garbage site in Phnom Penh is located in the Choeung Ek area, after the [previous] Stung Meanchey garbage site was full and then had to be closed. However, the new garbage site cannot take in the increasing amount of garbage in the city.

“In Siem Reap, the garbage site is at the Trapeang Thom area, and in Sihanoukville at the Koh Ta Thon area.

“Relating to garbage issues, the South Korean experts who conducted the study, said that to ensure the depositing technically and to control the processing of the garbage, the three cities need to enlarge their garbage sites.

“A South Korean expert, Mr. Yun Hee Kim, said in Phnom Penh in an interview in mid December 2009, that in Siem Reap, in Sihanoukville, and in Phnom Penh, the amount of garbage will increase, and it is necessary to seek new garbage sites. He added, ‘The garbage site of 30 hectares in Dangkao can serve only until 2013.’

“He added that in Siem Reap, a larger area has to be sought for the Trapeang Thom area. He went on to say that at present, the area, of about 2 hectares, can accommodate only 130 to 150 tonnes of garbage per day, while the amount might rise up to 1,048 tonnes per day.

“As for Sihanoukville, it is not much different from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

“He continued to say that the Koh Ta Thon garbage site covers only 8 hectares of land and has been operated since 1995. In 2010, the province needs a new garbage site of at least 18 hectares to prepare to deposit an increasing amount of garbage.

“Regarding the problem of garbage, an environmental official, who asked not to be named, said that garbage is a major problem that Cambodia is facing at present.

“He went to say that garbage control encounters many kinds of problems because of lack of funding, adding, ‘We are concerned about garbage bins, citizens’ knowledge, garbage sites, beautification [of the city], and about sanitation.’

“He said, ‘We can just voice our concerns, but if there are no funds, nothing can be done.’

“He continued to say that nowadays, also, there are many projects on garbage, including the plan to create garbage classifying bins to ease the work to recycle garbage. ‘We are seeking investors to recycle garbage, but no ones come yet.’

“He stressed, ‘Many foreigners are interested in garbage processing in Cambodia, but most can only promise something; like at the Stung Meanchey garbage site, there was a plan to build an electricity plant [doing garbage incineration], but now it is quiet.’

“According to the same official, so far, most of the garbage in Cambodia is not recycled, but he does not have figures.

“He added, ‘Talking about garbage in Cambodia, almost 99% is not recycled, because it is disposed in a mix. We recycle some types of garbage, but it is only when it is selected for compost or for scrap objects [of plastic or metal] scavenged for selling.’

“Concerning the recycling of garbage, the report of the Korean International Cooperation Agency said that as much as 93.5% of garbage is discarded at the garbage site, 0.10% is burnt, only about 0.30% is recycled, and 6.10% is thrown away disorderly [not at the garbage site].

“In Siem Reap, 67% of the garbage is disposed of at the garbage site, recycled garbage is 11%, and 22% of the garbage is discarded illegally. For Sihanoukville, there are no figures given.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

Garbage Separation Singapore

Garbage Separation Singapore


Prepared for recycling - in Germany

Prepared for recycling - in Germany


Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 28 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #372, 27-28.12.2009

  • Vietnam Will Invest Billions in Cambodia
  • Government Officials Announced to Provide Legal Shelters to the 24 Khmer Kampuchea Krom People

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2135, 28.12.2009

  • Thailand Intends to Sue Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen at the United Nations [if his remarks affects the Thai government]
  • Samdech Euv [the retired Father King] Sent Letters to Welcome the Three Samdechs [the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, and the President of the Senate] after They Were Promoted to Five-Star-Generals
  • Within One Year 210 People Died in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh and 1,003 People Were Injured [compared to 2008, 266 people died]
  • Phnom Penh Residents Complain that There Are Lots of Mosquitoes

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #705, 28.12.2009

  • The 6th Cambodian Editor’s Forum Called [on the Prime Minister to write to] the King to Pardon All Journalists in Detention [asking also that courts should not issue detention orders for journalists before court hearings]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #565, 27-28.12.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy: The Cambodian People’s Party Is Afraid of Protests of People Who Lost Their Rice Fields at the Border, and Uses the Courts to Intimidate Them
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)] Criticized Cambodia for a Development Path That Leads Workers to Work Abroad

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6842, 28.12.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$2 Million to Build a Center for Storing [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Document with a Building at the Council of Ministers
  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Military Officials and Other Representatives of the Authorities Celebrated Together to Welcome the Year 2010 [at the border]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #76, 28.12.2009

  • Cambodia Will Receive Investments of US$6 Billion from Vietnam [to invest in power generation, food processing, fertilizer production, rubber plantations, and health care in Cambodia]
  • Two Soldiers in Preah Vihear Died from an [accidental] Grenade Explosion
  • Cambodia Angkor Air Achieves Profits [but no figures are given]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

    Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1842, 28.12.2009

  • The Defense Lawyer of Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked the [Svay Rieng] Court to Delay the Hearing in Court [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]

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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