Week 500

Sunday,2007-3-18: 50 Years and 500 Weeks

Posted on 26 March 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

On 25 March 2007 celebrations of commemoration are held in Europe and in other countries having friendly relations with Europe, reflecting on the signing of the Treaty of Rome half a century ago by the representatives of six countries, initiating a new era of European history. It was a new beginning, based on the commitment to initiate fundamental changes between, and also in the countries that had to look back at a common history of frequent conflicts and wars against each other, including the wars of 1914 to 1918, and of 1939 to 1945, when the wars among European people and European nations had led to wars far beyond, so that these wars were called the First and the Second World Wars. The solemn words of the Treaty of Rome have to be read on the background of this history, which was to be put to rest and to be replaced by something fundamentally new:

    DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe,

    RESOLVED to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe,

    AFFIRMING as the essential objective of their efforts the constant improvements of the living and working conditions of their peoples,

    RECOGNISING that the removal of existing obstacles calls for concerted action in order to guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition,

    ANXIOUS to strengthen the unity of their economies and to ensure their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less favored regions,

    DESIRING to contribute, by means of a common commercial policy, to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade,

    INTENDING to confirm the solidarity which binds Europe and the overseas countries and desiring to ensure the development of their prosperity, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

    RESOLVED by thus pooling their resources to preserve and strengthen peace and liberty, and calling upon the other peoples of Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts,

    DETERMINED to promote the development of the highest possible level of knowledge for their peoples through a wide access to education and through its continuous updating,


50 years later – and in a European Community which has grown from 6 to 27 countries – this declaration has lead to profound changes, because from the beginning there was a serious will not only to share lofty ideas, but to actually restructure the different European national societies into a community based on common values, but embarking on this way which included the creation of common organs and functions, listed up here to show the practical functions of the new endeavor, operating through the following institutions:

Parliament, Council, Presidency, Commission, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions, Investment Bank, Investment Fund, Central Bank, Ombudsman, European Data Protection Supervisor, Office for Official Publications, European Personnel Selection Office, European Administrative School, and other agencies of the European Union.

When considering the future of ASEAN, there are often references made to the European Community, pointing out also to the very different historical contexts in which both communities were created and continue to develop. The globalized economy on the one hand, and the growing awareness of the threat for the future of human society from a misused and overused environment on the other, may provide some dynamism when rethinking the future of ASEAN and the wider Asian societies, beyond the bureaucratic arrangements for which the institutions of the European Community may provide some examples.

But there was a spirit of enthusiasm during the early years moving towards a united Europe which seems to be not much remembered and hardly mentioned in the present celebrations, which was also a driving force towards a united Europe: the organized and unorganized actions of young people who were impatient with the slow pace of the actions of the diplomats and politicians towards a new European community of peoples – not just of governments. Groups of students from France and Germany – historical “enemies” – were visiting each other during school holidays, traveling hundreds of kilometers on bicycle for mutual visits, sometimes clashing with the authorities of their respective countries when they broke down, in isolated symbolic acts, the barriers at border crossings between their countries, preempting the present situation. Now there are no more border controls when crossing from one country in the European Community into another.

There are some organizations to promote ASEAN, in some of the ASEAN member countries, organized “officially.” Remembering the emotional struggles of youth and students to get rid of the borders in Europe, and seeing the emotional concern often expressed nowadays to get the border markers established between different ASEAN member counties, the absence of any enthusiastic civic movements, especially of youth organizations, to engage in and to commit themselves to a deeper community among the people of the ASEAN member states is conspicuous. Celebrations, like the ones commemorating the beginnings of the European Community, may also serve as a challenge in other parts of the world to reflect bout how historical antagonisms can be converted into commitments to a common future.

The 50th anniversary of the European Community happens to coincide with the 500th week of the publication of the Mirror, a major historical event in Europe, and a very modest effort in Cambodia. While the initial intention in 1997 was to provide some access to the Khmer language print media for the English reading public, the Mirror tried from the beginning to be more than a news translation service. Mirroring the wide spectrum of opinions in Cambodian society, as they manifest themselves in print – often representing sectors of society which have conflicting positions – we try to help all voices to get attention, those more powerful and those struggling to be heard. The positive appraisals we get from time to time, from persons both closer to the government and from persons at a distance to the government, has been an encouragement to continue, in spite of obstacles put up – not from the Cambodian authorities – against this service. The voices of appraisal received showing that the Mirror is having the intended function, which we consider to be so important in Cambodian society: to present our readers not only with familiar, but also with unfamiliar voices, which both need attention, in order for a society to grow, where all its members find a place, with their common, and with their different visions towards the future, which has to be a future for all.

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Saturday, 24.3.2007: CWCC Appeals To Change Attitude Toward Beer Promotion Girls – They Are Not Girls To Provide Sexual Services

Posted on 25 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Phnom Penh:, The Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center [CWCC] conducted on 23 March 2007 a workshop in La Paranda Hotel on the needs of beer promotion girls, which had many participants, such as staff members and distributors from various beer selling companies, representatives from civil society organizations, and beer promotion girls.

“Ms. Oung Chanthol, the director of the CWCC, stated in her speech that this workshop was conducted to contribute, with the policies of the Royal Government of Cambodia and of a number of beer selling companies, to improving the status of beer promotion girls. She hopes that this workshop will draw public attention to participate in improving the well-being of beer promotion girls. In addition, it will change the discriminatory assumption of men often thinking that all beer promotion girls are sex workers and pleasure seekers.

“Ms. Oung Chanthol added that the CWCC was established in 1997 to coordinate activities and to end severe violence against women and children, and to solve problems resulting from the lack of services to help vulnerable women and children. The purpose of the CWCC is to get rid of violence against women and children, to achieve equality, peace, and development for Khmer families and society. Therefore, the mission of the CWCC is to help to make women and children free from domestic violence, human trafficking, and rape, and especially to help them to make up their minds and to know how to help themselves through a number of programs, such as providing refuge facilities, counseling, the services of professional lawyers and investigators, assisting social integration, creating communities, providing education, and disseminating information about women and gender issues, and about scholarships for women]

“Her Excellency Chou Bun Eng, the Director of the Social Development Center of the Ministry of Women’ Affairs, said that the problems of beer promotion girls is one of many important problems which have been happening to migrant women as well, and also to women who work at other people’s houses, at restaurants and night clubs, and so on.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs will cooperate with a number of relevant organizations to conduct a workshop in the future, to which it will invite beer companies which employ beer promotion girls, beer promotion girls’ associations, and government officials, to hold discussions to seek appropriate solutions, to ensure that beer promotion girls will be free from sexual harassment and receive legal protection.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5999, 24-25.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1299, 24.3.2007

  • Prince Chakrapong Left The Court Just As The Party’s Campaign Procession Arrived

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5999, 24-25.3.2007

  • 90 Families [in Sihanoukville] Appeal To Samdech Hun Sen To Ask For Legal Land Ownership Titles
  • CWCC Appeals To Change Attitude Toward Beer Promotion Girls – They Are Not Girls To Provide Sexual Services

Moneaksekar, Vol.14, #3118, 24-25.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: “There Are Only Corrupt People Who Do Not Want That I Tell The Truth.” Ms. Tioulong Saumura [a member of the National Assembly, Mr. Sam Rainsy’s wife] Met Mr. Paul Wolfowitz [the director of the World Bank] to Discuss Problems of Corruption In Cambodia [while Mr. Sam Rainsy was campaigning for the Commune Council elections in Kompong Chhnang]
  • Prince Chakrapong Appeals [to the government] To Claim Debts From The Airlines Of Hun Sen’s Child And Nephew [Mekong Airlines managed by Hun Sen’s nephew, First Cambodia Airlines managed by Hun Mana, Hun Sen’s daughter]
  • If The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Is Still In A Standstill, Donors Will Cut Down Aid In 2007

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4244, 24.3.2007

  • Oknha Tan Seng Hak Detained [by court order] Over For Providing False Testimony And Counterfeiting Documents [involved in grabbing a 11-hectare land of a company]
  • South Korea: Peace And National Unity [said Mr. Chhay Sophal, a representative of the League of Cambodian Journalists, at a conference in Seoul]
  • Cambodia And ADB Discuss Development Of Cambodia [projects to reduce the poverty of rural Cambodian people by building irrigation systems, water supply, and rural roads]
  • Ms. Keat Kolney [Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon’s younger sister] Wants To Quietly Compromise With Villagers Over Community Land Of 500 Hectares [Ratanakiri]
  • Pakistan Wants Cambodia To Establish An Embassy In Order To Strengthen Trade And Tourism Relations

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Friday, 23.3.2007: Civil Society Said That 20 Percent Of Khmer People Lost The Right To Vote

Posted on 24 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Civil Society officials who are involved in elections cautiously said on Wednesday that there are approximately 20 percent of the people with voting age who lost the right to vote.

“These data came from interviews with people everyplace. It was discovered that there were only 1.5 percent among the people who do not care about the election. Besides these who are not interested, the loss of the right to vote came from difficulties caused by procedures of the National Election Committee [NEC].

“A Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL] official said that people in some areas did not receive information about elections, or the importance of the elections. Especially people working far away from their registered residences must spend a big amount of money traveling to vote. Therefore, the election that requires them to spend their money surely makes them not interested in it.

“However, the official described that there are many Khmer people who showed their willingness to participate in the elections to select their local representatives. But some had not enough documents to be eligible to vote, because they were forcibly evicted by government officials who had used tricks to grab their land which made them homeless [and therefore not able to register at their place of residence]. It was known that Khmer people who had suffered, really did not want to go to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. That is the reason why they were made to lose the right to vote, and this is an intentional act of the NEC, managed by [NEC chairperson] Mr. Im Suosdey and [NEC secretary general] Mr. Tep Nitha, both CPP supporters.

“According to Mr. Hang Puthea, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia [NICFEC], there have been recently irregularities under the supervision of the NEC. It was observed that the NEC did not care about or deal with complaints of other party representatives. The NEC allowed the CPP to violate electoral procedures as it wishes to make other parties have a standstill.

“The day of 23 March 2007 was already the eighth day of the Second Mandate Commune Council Election campaign.

“According to a report of COMFREL, it was seen that other parties were violated by CPP members in many cases during the election campaign, which is contrary to electoral procedures. Particularly, the Norodom Ranariddh Party has problems to which the NEC did not pay attention, as it is led by Im Suosdey.

“Meanwhile, there is a report saying that only a small number of the Khmer people who reach voting age in 2007 were registered in the new voting list, among the approximately more than 7 million voters.

Besides these, the 2005 existing voter list, which contained also one part of Yuon [Vietnamese] voters, was adopted. It clearly shows that the number of the Khmer young people who increase by 25,000 to 30,000 annually, do not receive adequate voter rights, same as the Khmer people who were evicted from various areas in the city of Phnom Penh, and the people involved in conflicts in the Boeng Pram area, Bavel, Battambang, and workers of rubber plantations in Kompong Cham.

Therefore, the majority of those who participate in the upcoming elections are CPP members and Yuon [Vietnamese] who are living in Cambodia.” Khmer Amatak, Vol. 8, #465,23.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1298, 23.3.2007

  • Singapore Has Intention To Invest In Sand In Cambodia [Mr. Lawrence Anderson, Singaporean Ambassador to Cambodia, mentions the project to buy sand for making glass]
  • Criticism That Authorities Were Unfair In Solving The Problem Of Buildings Occupied By Squatters [citizens residing along the seaside of the Royal Port, Koh Kong, were evicted]
  • Families Of Fishermen Who Lost Fishing Lot No. 4 Appeal To Civil Society For Help [Kompong Thom]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #465, 23.3.2007

  • Civil Society Said That 20 Percent Of Khmer People Lost The Right To Vote

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5998, 23.3.2007

  • Japanese Ambassador Praised The Royal Government Of Cambodia’s Efforts [peace and security for the people, developing the country, successes in international diplomatic relations]
  • [Phnom Penh Municipal Court] Claims That Prince Chakrapong Owes More Than One Million Dollar; The Norodom Ranariddh Party Held A Big Procession Today, As [party vice president] Prince Chakrapong Goes To Court
  • [Former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief] Heng Pov Was Sentenced To Seven Years In Jail [in addition to his existing life in jail], And [former First Deputy Chief of Penal Police Office] Ly Rasy Was Sentenced To Six Years For Illegally Detaining People
  • Official Meeting Between Singaporean And Laotian Diplomatic Officials And ADB Officials

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4243, 23.3.2007

  • The US Embassy Believes That The Prime Minister Will Use Revenue From Oil Appropriately To Develop The Country [US Ambassador Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli said about oil and gas revenue from 2009-2010 ‘I am optimistic that Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is a patriot, will try to make the country more developed like neighboring countries through the use of the resources to meet this target’]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2998, 23.3.20078

  • [Hong Kong-based] Asia Human Rights Committee Criticized the Cambodian Government For The Failure In Searching Perpetrators Of Major Crimes [murderers of Khmer singers and film stars such as Touch Sreynich, Piseth Pilika, and the event of 30 March 1997, when grenades were hurled on non-violent demonstrators led by Mr. Sam Rainsy in the front of the National Assembly, and the killing Chuo Chetharith, reporter of Ta Prum Radio, and so on]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #360, 23.3.2007

  • The National Assembly Closed its Plenary Session For Fear That Opposition Party Representatives Will Ask Hun Sen About Land Disputes
  • A Great Family Of Happiness In Cambodia — CPP Top Leaders Established Relationship By Marriages [among their sons and daughters]

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Thursday, 22.3.2007: Cambodia Wants More Japanese Investors And Tourists To Come

Posted on 23 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Phnom Penh: In the morning of 20 March at the Council of Ministers, a delegation of Asian-Japanese investors led by Mr. Vong Samang [responsible for investments of an Asian-Japanese center, the economist Dr. Vong Samnang is also an Adjunct Academic Staff of the Mekong University], held a meeting to discuss their work with Mr. Sok An, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Council Minister, to understand the real situation of investments in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The delegation consists of investors in a number of countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and Hong Kong, and also includes reporters and representatives of the Ministry of International Trade and Economy of Japan.

“The mission of the delegation to Cambodia is to understand the real situation and to seek opportunities to invest in Cambodia. At this discussion, the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An extended a welcome to the members of the delegation who have the intention to invest in the Kingdom of Cambodia, a country with peace and democracy. Now the fields of commerce, tourism, and investment have been increasing in Cambodia.

“The Deputy Prime Minister requested the delegation to look for opportunities of doing business to export agricultural products and processed goods, because Cambodia has much potential for agriculture and it has an international port which makes it easy for export. As for the sector of tourism, the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An told the delegation that every year the number of tourists increases by approximately 30 percent, and in previous years, Japanese tourists coming to Cambodia were leading. But at present, Korean tourists are leading.

“Mr. Sok An said that at present, in regard to the sector of energy and power in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the price of electricity is a little bit high, but in the future, the Royal Government of Cambodia hopes that the price of electricity will decrease, because at present, Cambodia is building many hydro-power plants.

“In the afternoon, the delegation had an audience and discussed their work with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Council of Ministers to understand the climate of investment in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“According to Mr. Eng Sophaleth, an assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr. Vong Samang told Samdech Prime Minister that the mission of the Japanese investment delegation, which came to visit Cambodia at this time, was supported by JETRO from many countries such as the Japanese JETRO, the Thai JETRO, the Singaporean JETRO, the Vietnamese JETRO, and so on. The director of this Asian-Japanese center asked for recommendations from Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen to indicate the climate of investment in Cambodia for the whole delegation. Related to the visit of Samdech Hun Sen who will come to Japan in the near future, representatives of the Japanese delegation requested Samdech Hun Sen to say what Cambodia wants.

“During the discussion, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen briefly informed the whole delegation about the Cambodian history and of eight priority areas that the Government of Cambodia has set out. Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodia wants that more Japanese investors come to Cambodia, because Japan is a country that provides much aid to Cambodia, and it is also the one country which provides more assistance to Cambodia than any other country. First, the Japanese investment in Cambodia is small. Second, Samdech Prime Minister requested the provision of credits to Cambodia, because Japan has one kind of credit which a low interest rate of 0.01%. Samdech Prime Minister confirmed that Cambodia wants this kind of credit very much to help encourage Cambodia to move ahead on the road of development. Third, Samdech Prime Minister said that he wants Japan to provide grants to build the bridge [over the Mekong river, on the main road to Vietnam] soon, because now the last stage of research might have been completed already, and this bridge is a life line of Cambodian economy, and it is also one of the Asian Highway bridges. Fourth, Samdech Prime Minister said that he wants the Japanese Prime Minister to pay a formal visit to Cambodia, because 50 years ago, the former Japanese Prime Minister, who is the grandfather of the current prime minister, paid a visit to Cambodia. Therefore, Samdech Prime Minister wants to have the 50th anniversary visit of the Japanese Prime Minister, who is the grandchild of the former Japanese Prime Minister.

“In regard to the climate of investment, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen added that the climate of investment in Cambodia is favorable for Japanese investors, and in the short run, he will pay a visit to Japan and sign agreements on the encouragement and protection of Japanese investors.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5997, 22.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 March 2007

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5997, 22.3.2007

  • Cambodia Wants More Japanese Investors And Tourists To Come
  • [More than one thousand] Khmer Muslims Held A Campaign Procession [in Phnom Penh] To Support The Cambodian People’s Party In The Elections
  • A Round-Table Meeting Was Held To Set Out Strategies For News Coverage Of The Khmer Rouge Trials [presided over by the Minister of Information and the Canadian Ambassador to Cambodia]

Moneaksekar, Vol.14, #3116, 22.3.2007

  • Three Trucks Of Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers Entered Khmer Territory While Cambodia Is Launching Commune Council Elections; It Made People Worried [Takeo]

Rasmei Kampuchea,Vol.15, #4242, 22.3.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Granted An Audience To An Ambassador Of Pope Benedict XVI [Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio; the ambassador is committed to help improve the livelihood of Cambodian people]
  • The US Ambassador Praised The Process Of Commune Council Elections In Cambodia [Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli stated that during voter registration; he observed that the names of many citizens were registered; and the administrative tasks of the authorities, that are responsible for the elections, were going smoothly]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #165, 21-22.3.2007

  • Foreign Judges Warn Of Walking Out Of The [Khmer Rouge Trial] Court Because Mr. Ky Tech, [president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Created Problems [trying to charge high fees] For International Lawyers
  • Mr. Rong Chhun, [president of the Independent Teachers’ Association], Said That Students Were Forced By Some Parties Into Party Membership [he wrote to Kol Pheng, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports; that a number of political parties put pressure on school directors and teachers to force their students to participate and to support them]

Sakal, Vol.15, #3168, 22-23.3.2007

  • Angkor Wat Is In The Second Ranking In The World [temporary ranking of 21 international world heritage sites on the website http://www.new7wonders.com, the final results of votes by Internet users in different countries to be made public on 7 July 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal]

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Wednesday, 21.3.2007: The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Planned To Commit Corrupt Practices Over The Case Of Illegal Khmer Laborers In Thailand

Posted on 23 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

Apologies from the editor

A late transmission of some translations on 21.3.2007 resulted in delays, and we are still derailed from our normal schedule of publishing something every day. I hope we will have caught up with normal routine at the latest by the end of the week.

Norbert Klein


The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Because of being poor, Khmer citizens left their home country to look for work in a foreign country. Even though these Khmer citizens met difficulties, they decided to be illegal Khmer laborers because of problems of their livelihood.

“There are approximately 20,000 illegal poor Khmer laborers in Thailand. But the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training issued an announcement, dated 21 January 2007, which leads to exploitation of Khmer laborers in foreign countries. The ministry commits corrupt practices not only in the country, but also in a foreign country, like in Thailand.

“The ministry’s announcement allowed to take money from illegal Khmer laborers who are working in Thailand, at the rate of Baht 1,500 [approx. US$] per person, to give them identity cards to live temporarily in Thailand. On 17 May 2005, a meeting was held to issue identity cards for illegal Khmer laborers in Thailand, by taking Baht 1,500 from each laborer; at that time there were 72 Khmer laborers registered.

“The Khmer laborers went, assuming to have their names registered to get permits of temporary residence in Thailand, but the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, cooperating with the Khmer Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, did a bad job, which resulted in a situation that the Khmer laborers’ names were not legally registered. The letter No. 173 from Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, reported to the head of the government about the failure of registering the names, and issuing identity cards for the illegal Khmer laborers in Thailand to stay temporarily in Thailand, because only 72 Khmer laborers were registered. The announcement by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, signed by Mr. Seng Lamnove [position not specified], required to work to register illegal Khmer laborers for temporary residence from 23 April to 30 June 2007, and it also required that each laborer pays Baht 1,500. This announcement was not appropriate, because it required that each laborer has to pay Baht 1,500; and there were only 72 Khmer laborers registered to obtain temporary legal residence in Thailand. The Khmer laborers who are working in Thailand had to spend a lot of money to receive identity cards to stay temporarily in Thailand.

“In an interview with Khmer laborers, they stated that, first, they had to ask their Thai bosses to go to have their names registered, and their bosses did not allow them easily to go. Second, they had to spend Baht 5,000 to 15,000 Baht to travel from their place of work to the place where the identity cards are issued. Third, they had to pay Baht 1,500 for their identity cards issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. Fourth, they had to pay Baht 3,900 to 5,000 for a medical checkup. Fifth, they had to spend time and more money to have work permits issued in Thailand, so that they could work in Thai factories. Therefore, the Khmer laborers who are working illegally in Thailand have to spend several ten thousand Baht so that they can work legally in Thailand. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training which is the guardian of the Khmer citizens, should have helped its citizens, but it committed corruption by taking money from the Khmer laborers who are getting therefore even poorer.

“Mr. Keo Remy, a representative of the Sam Rainsy party, said yesterday morning, ‘I will write to His Excellency Vong Soth, the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, in order to clarify in the National Assembly the reason why the ministry took Baht 1,500 from each illegal Khmer laborer.’ He added that he asked the ministry not to take money from these illegal laborers. He was concerned that the Khmer laborers could not have enough money to apply for legal identity cards, and he was also afraid that Thai bosses might conceal this kind of information from Khmer illegal laborers.

“He added that he had many discussions about the Khmer illegal laborers, and he asked the Minister in charge of labor and vocational training to clarify the reason for their actions in the National Assembly. He confirmed, ‘I will invite the minister to clarify this problem in the National Assembly.’ Approximately 20,000 Khmer laborers who are working illegally in Thailand continued to be cheated by their Thai bosses; for example, they do not receive their agreed salaries, some were sold on to another foreign country, and some were jailed in Thai prisons. Therefore, they are appealing to the Cambodian government to help them.” Reach Seima, Vol.2, #164, 20.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1296, 21.3.2007

  • The An Hui Province Of China Wants To Cooperate With Cambodia in the field of agriculture, the provincial governor Wen Haiying stated her intention to Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Container Vehicle Run Over and Injured One Municipal Police

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, 5996, 21.3.2007

  • Strong Reaction Against A Statement That Samdech Mae Is Yuon [has also some Vietnamese ancestors]; The Palace Issued an Announcement To Reject It [the Ministry of Information asked Sralanh Khmer to publish a corrections; Senator Om Monnorine, a sibling of Samdech Mae, emphatically denounced the text also]
  • Today [21 March 2007] Heng Pov [now in prison] Gets On The Cutting Board [metaphor for being tried in court] Over The Case Of Kidnapping A Korean National
  • Sam Rainsy Party Rally Vehicle Collapsed: 2 Killed, 11 Injured When Driving On A Dam [Kompong Cham]
  • Cloudy Weather [during dry season] Will Continue Two More Days

Moneaksekar Khmer, 14, 3114, 20.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Little Donations From Corrupted People Will Keep Poverty From Present To Future Generations

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4241, 21.3.2007

  • 304 Houses And 2 Schools Were Destroyed; 3 People Were Killed In Battambang; 45 Houses In Banteay Meanchey Were Destroyed, 1 Was Killed
  • Mrs. Keat Kolaney [a sister of the Minister Of Finance Keat Chhon Appeared In Court Over The Case Of Grabbing 500 Hectares Of Land [she said she bought the land from villagers at their request at the cost of $180/per hectare; civil society is waiting to see what actions the court will take]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #164, 20.3.2007

  • The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Planned To Commit Corrupt Practices Over The Case Of Illegal Khmer Laborers In Thailand
  • The US [Ambassador] Is Not Happy To See The Court Being Used To End Samdech Krom Preah’s Political Life

Reachea Thibbatay, Vol.2, #51, 20-25.3.2007

  • Major Historical Achievements Of Cambodian People’s Party and Policies For Development of the Communes For the Years 2007 to 2012
  • It Was the Activity of Leaders of Cambodian People’s Party Who Worked To Re-establish and Protect the Monarchy, The Throne, And the Royal Regime
  • One More Dirt Road Paved – Another Donation Of The Three Samdech [Heng Samrin, Chea Sim, and Hun Sen] – Was Constructed By Sophann Construction Company [Note: this company belongs to the owner of this newspaper]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2996, 21.3.2007

  • The US Ambassador Pays Attention To the Life Skills In Rural Areas [such as fixing bicycles, gardening, germinating mushrooms with Children studying at schools in Ratanakiri]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #358, 21.3.2007

  • Son Chhay Pushes The National Assembly Today To Include Into Its Agenda The Schedule For The Prime Minister To Come And Clarify Issues Related To Land Grabbing
  • Members Of The Khmer-Yuon Border Committee Hold A Meeting [to discuss installing border poles]

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Tuesday, 20.3.2007: The Disabled And Veterans Criticize The Creation Of Solidarity Chests

Posted on 21 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Phnom Penh: Because the war disabled used to serve the interests of the country and dared to sacrifice their lives for the citizens, the Royal Government of Cambodia, led by Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, never ignores them and often pays attention to them through Mr. Tea Banh, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, who prepared a policy of subsidies for the Cambodian war disabled, and then transferred this system to the Ministry of Social Work, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, to get further assistance and to implement it. However, the disabled people’s livelihood is still difficult, because they cannot get employment to earn their living like other normal people do. Therefore, their living depends totally on a small amount of money based on the system of subsidies from the Royal Government of Cambodia, which they receive irregularly. Because they receive their subsidy only irregularly, a number of the disabled people had to borrow money in order to solve their daily needs, even though they are always at the losing end.

“Having seen these difficulties of the disabled, the Ministry of Social Work, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation sought a way and issued the Circular No.007, dated 10 September 2006, announcing that veterans, who want to borrow money through the system of subsidies, are required to register their names at the municipal or provincial Departments of Social Work, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, to fill out forms, requesting to borrow money officially from the system of subsidies.

“The municipal and provincial Departments of Social Work, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation had to hurry to find out who is a member of the veterans’ community, and to create a veterans’ solidarity chest, to overcome their difficulties. Just having heard of this circular, all of the disabled people were immediately so happy as if they would go to heaven, because the creation of veterans’ solidarity chests in cities and provinces would enable them to live appropriately. But it seemed to have been a happy attraction for the disabled only for a while, and at the end, they were sad instead. Moreover, they suffered much more than before, because the solidarity chests had not yet been created at every department, though the government had stated that this would happen.

“An old man who had a handicapped leg, said, on condition of anonymity, that he and other disabled people in Preah Vihear had not received the January 2007 money through the system of subsidies. Even though this month [March] nearly finishes, no one dares to borrow as before, because they are afraid of the Ministry’s circular. In a number of provinces such as Takeo, the disabled people did not even receive the subsidy for January 2007. They complain that the Ministry did not actively encourage the creation of veterans’ solidarity chests in many cities and provinces with transparency and effectiveness.

“All the disabled people would like to request the Ministry of Social Work, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation to encourage action, so that veterans’ solidarity chests really materialize. Even though the solidarity chests are not yet created all over the country, they would like to have at least one or two departments which have solidarity chests, regardless whether they are in a city or in a province, so that they can depend on these departments to seek aid when they meet financial difficulties.

“The disabled people’s satisfaction about the information on the creation of solidarity chests was replaced by their sufferings, because the chests seems not to be working effectively and transparently.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1295, 20.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Apyea Kret, Vol.6, #57, 19.3.2007

  • H.E Keo Remy Requests Vietnamese Assembly To Help Resolve The Problems Of Khmer Krom Rights

Kampucheabot, Vol.11, #243, 19-20.3.2007

  • Samdech Chea Sim: The Cambodian People’s Party Will Rule For Hundreds Of Years; Samdech Hun Sen Will Continue To Be Prime Minister For Many More Mandates

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1295, 20.3.2007

  • The Disabled And Veterans Criticize The Creation Of Solidarity Chests
  • The US Ambassador Expresses His Views About The Trial Of Prince Ranariddh, The Election, And The Oil Resources

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5995, 20.3.2007

  • Surprising Information About An Insult: Samdech Euv [the Father King] And Samdech Mae [the Queen of the retired Father King] Sue the Sralanh Khmer Newspaper

Meatophum, Vol.51, #635, 20.3.2007

  • Preah Moha Ghosananda Was Give The Title Of Great Spiritual Leader After His Death

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4240, 20.3.2007

  • Unexpected Rain And Storm Destroyed 16 Houses; Lightning Strikes Killed Two People [Battambang Province]
  • Cambodia Will Host A Meeting Of ASEAN And European Officials In 2009
  • Poverty Reduction Fund Of Phnom Penh City Residents Reaches The Amount Of Riel 4.589 Billion (approx. US$1.2 million)

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2995, 20.3.2007

  • Pov Panhapich Situation Has Improved, But She Is Seeking Help From Generous People; Police Have No Clue For Finding Murderer

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Sunday/Monday, 18/19.3.2007: Ky Tech And His Group Created Obstacles To The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Demanding A Big Amount Of Money From Foreign Lawyers

Posted on 20 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“The project for the trial of Khmer Rouge leaders, charged of killing more than 1.7 million Khmer people, is not going smoothly, because there has been disagreement between Khmer judges and foreign judges over procedural rules for the tribunal [“Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed during the Period of Democratic Kampuchea (Extraordinary Chambers or ECCC)”].

“Meanwhile, the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, led by [its president] Mr. Ky Tech, who shamelessly made an issue of taking fees rather than seeking justice for Khmer Rouge victims, is threatening to destroy this tribunal.

“Even after Cambodian judges and foreign judges have held discussions for ten days in order to seek a compromise — a solution to the problem of procedural rules of the tribunal — the disagreement between Cambodian judges and foreign judges has not yet been solved. It was also said that one has to wait until 30 April 2007 to know if there is a solution.

“The issue of fees was raised by Mr. Ky Tech and his group who decided that foreign lawyers are required to pay thousands of dollars in order to be admitted to fulfill a function as a defense lawyer for a person accused in the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

“It is observed that Mr. Ky Tech and his group took the opportunity to make money under the pretext of implementing a law, by requiring foreign lawyers to pay approximately US$5,000 to work at the tribunal where Khmer Rouge leaders are being tried.

“The requirement stated by Mr. Ky Tech’s group of lawyers, who use the name of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia to seek money, wants to order foreign lawyers to pay US$500 each for an application of membership in the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia. If then, a foreign lawyers were actually selected to represent a client, they would have to pay an additional US$2,000, and they would also have to pay in addition US$200 per month in fees. Each of the foreign lawyers would thus be required to pay a total of approximately US$4,900 per year.

“Representatives of foreign lawyers spoke about seeking a compromise with Cambodian lawyers concerning the issue of requiring foreign lawyers to pay these US$4,900 each for the permission of defending cases in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“Mr. Ky Tech, the president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, told a local foreign language newspaper that the reason why he required foreign lawyers to pay nearly US$5,000 each per year is that he understood that, in their role, each foreign lawyer can make US$1,000 per day and US$30,000 [sic] per year.

“But lawyers from ADHOC [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association] said that to make the quality of defending and trying meet international standards, foreign lawyers, who are highly qualified, are required to participate; that is to say, money should not play a big role.

“However, the requirement of taking fees, which Mr. Ky Tech and his group considers to be important, without caring about justice for the Khmer Rouge victims, attracted criticism from foreign lawyers as well as observers and activists for the cause of justice.

“The foreign lawyers who want to temporarily participate in the Khmer Rouge tribunal protested that it went too far to require each foreign lawyer to pay thousands of dollars in such a way, because they do not work as professional lawyers in Cambodia for a long time, as Khmer lawyers do.

“As for Mr. Chang Youk, the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, he openly criticized the Cambodian Bar Association President Ky Tech for considering fees as more important than doing justice. Mr. Chang Youk said that what the Bar Association of Cambodia does, ‘is considering money rather than justice.’

“He criticized that these Cambodian lawyers should not waste their time because of this issue of money. The issue is delaying the trial process. Mr. Chang Youk said that when this issue occurred, it consumed already one month; and he referred also to the disagreement about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s procedural rules which are very important for the process of the court procedures to try the Khmer Rouge leaders in order to proceed smoothly.

“Mr Reach Sambath, the spokesman of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, said that he hoped that international law and Cambodian law would be combined together soon, so that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal could move forward.

“Observers were concerned that if a solution to the problem of the tribunal’s procedural rules could not be found, the court for the Khmer Rouge trial might melt away at the end of April.

“As for some foreign judges, observers said that they might withdraw themselves from this court, if international standards were not upheld, and there were also political issues which interfere in this trial again and again.

“There have been three meetings between the UN-appointed judges and the Cambodian judges since December 2006 until now, and even though a number of problems were solved, they have to wait until 30 April to listen to the result of the last joint judges meetings.” Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #463, 19.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Sunday/Monday, 18/19 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1294, 18-19.3.2007

  • Health Service Is Not Very Good While People Are Required To Pay Too Much
  • India Has Plan To Create An English Center In The Royal Academy Of Cambodia [Ambassador to Cambodia Mr. Aloke Sen met Mr. Sok An]
  • Porters Whose Business It Is To Pull Luggage Carts Have Concern To Be Impoverished [they can hardly make ends meet to cover their need – Poipet border crossing]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #463, 19.3.2007

  • Ky Tech And His Group Created Obstacles To The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Demanding A Big Amount Of Money From Foreign Lawyers
  • Prominent International Politicians In Asia, Europe, and America, Are Supporting Samdech Krom Preah [Prince Ranariddh] And Condemning The Court Of Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party [internationals condemned the trial against the Prince which prevents him from joining the 2008 general elections]
  • Senior Officials From The Cambodian People’s Party Acknowledge That The Failure To Solve Land Disputes Is A Threat To The Ruling Party

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, 5994, 19.3.2007

  • First Workshop On Insurance Regarding Oil Wells In Cambodia
  • Human Rights March Completes Its Way With Cooperation From Authorities At All Levels [marchers spent 16 days walking from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap]

Moneaksekar Khmer, 14, #3113, 19.3.2007

  • The Chinese Influence Versus The US Influence [translation from The Christian Science Monitor: in 2007, the USA lifted its ban on direct aid to the Cambodian government. The US ambassador said the changes have nothing to do with the recent discovery of oil, or with other countries. The US approved US$15 million for democracy in this country. Also China has deep influence on Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4239, 18-19.3.2007

  • LICADHO Official: 67 Laborers and Fishermen Are In Malaysian Jails
  • Court Calls Prince Chakrapong Over The More Than One Million Dollars He Owes [but the Prince is not in Cambodia]
  • Registration Fee To Become Member Of The Extraordinary Chamber Of The Court Of Cambodia Is An Obstacle While Finalizing The Internal Regulations For The [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2994, 18-19.3.2007

  • Internal Regulations For The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Are An Obstacles, As Judges Have Political Stance

Sar Noeung Khmao, Vol.8, #195, 19-20.3.2007

  • Income From Certificates Of Good Conduct From The Ministry Of Justice Should Be Paid To The National Budget [the set price is Riel 5,000 (approx. US$1.30) but people normally pay $10 to $20 for “express service;” so far, this income has not been transfered to the national treasury; they just transfered Riel 2,500 for each certification]
  • Director Of CamControl Earns More Income For The Nation Than Planned [they earned Riel 24,284,915,649 [approx. US$6,3 million] in 2006; Riel 15,25 million [approx. US$3,95 million] more than expected
  • Cambodia And Australia Sign Memorandum Of Understanding On Cambodian Criminal Justice Assistance Project For Phase 3 [by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Ambassador Lisa Filipetto; the project started in 1997]
  • A Vietnamese Company [Tay Nam] Is Interested In Agro-Industrial Investments In The North-Eastern Part Of Cambodia [planned investment capital is US$14,056,022 for rubber and cashew plantations]

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