Week 501

Sunday,2007-4-1: The Votes Have Been Cast

Posted on 2 April 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

The votes in the second commune council elections have been cast, and we look forward to know the results.

This time – in between the campaign and the actual elections on the one hand, and the expectation of the results on the other – provides some time to reflect also on what it means to have elections.

Many of us remember the almost festive mood during the 1993 national elections, which obviously marked the beginning of a new era of Cambodian history. The people themselves, the majority of the people, all those who had achieved political adulthood, were to select their representatives, to draft a new constitution, and to install a new government. This process, happening during the presence and under the guidance of the United Nations Transitory Authority in Cambodia – UNTAC – was defined as an endeavor to establish an internationally widely recognized government of Cambodia. It was mainly interpreted as a process to bring to an end the decades of turmoil and war since the coup d’etat of 1970, the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975 to 1979, and the years of social and political reconstruction with the assistance and under the guidance of the Vietnamese authorities until 1989, whose military intervention had brought an end to the Khmer Rouge regime, until the government of the State of Cambodia, and the three resistance forces of Funcinpec, of the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front, and of the Khmer Rouge had negotiated – with international assistance – the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991.

The national elections of 1993 initiated the present period of history, initiated by an election in which more than 90 percent of the eligible voters actively participated. This very high level of voluntary participation in the elections corresponds to the statement of those whom they elected and who wrote the new Constitution:

The Kingdom of Cambodia adopts a policy of Liberal Democracy and Pluralism.
The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country.
All power belongs to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, the Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary.
The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate. (Article 51)

Ultimately, all power belongs to the people, even it they exercise their power through the “three branches” of the legislative, the administration, and the judiciary. Maybe it is important to remember this section of the Constitution more often, and not only at the times of elections.

It is no surprise that to understand, to accept, and to implement such a state of affairs is not easy. The heads of commune have been, in the past, appointed from somewhere outside of the commune, by the central power of the state, and at the local level, nowadays, they were not always experienced to act knowing that they are not above the people, but appointed by the people who hold the power in society.

The constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia of 1993 makes it very clear that this Kingdom is not an absolute monarchy as they existed in many countries in the past, when Article 1 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia states in its first article:

Cambodia is a Kingdom with a King who shall rule according to the Constitution and to the principles of liberal democracy and pluralism.

The French King Louis XIV (1638 – 1715), an absolute monarch. is remembered widely for his statement “L’état, c’est moi – The state: I am the state.” This is not the situation in which we live in Cambodia today. Not even the King, and nobody who holds office in the legislative, the executive, or the judicial branches of the state is above the Constitution, or above the laws which all depend on the Constitution.

Remembering these fundamental provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, where every person is under the same law of the Constitution – the Constitution which reminds everybody that the power belongs to the people – we wait for the results of the elections. And also for the explanations of the National Election Committee and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, which prevented the people to exercise their right to communicate freely during 31 March and 1 April by SMS, at the time of deciding how to transfer some of their power, according to the Constitution, to their representatives in commune councils. They are all to act under the same principles as the King, “according to the Constitution and to the principles of liberal democracy and pluralism.

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Saturday, 31.3.2007: Civil Society Organizations Said That The National Election Committee Caused Fear To The Citizen Who Are The Electorate

Posted on 1 April 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“The National Election Committee [NEC] ordered all mobile phone service companies on short notice to block all SMS communication [“short message service” – short text messages sent between mobile phones] prior to the election. In its statement of Thursday, 29 March 2007, the NEC requested the mobile phone companies to ban SMS messaging from 31 March to 3 p.m. of 1 April, claiming that SMS can be used as a means to do campaigning for political parties.

“Tep Nitha, the NEC Secretary General, said in the statement that now many Khmer people own mobile phones; therefore, they can receive messages for campaigning from political parties via SMS. He added that because 31 March and 1 April is the day that the law does not allow political parties to do campaigning, the NEC issued this order. He said, ‘This is what we have to do, we do it right according to the law.’

“Mr. Tep Nitha said that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication agreed to the order from the NEC. He confirmed that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication ordered three companies which provide mobile phone services – Mobitel, Camshin, and TMIC – to block SMS communication.

“A number of civil society organizations reacted to this order, saying that it is a act not based on a law, and unreasonable. A director [name not specified] of an NGO whose members participate to monitor the elections, said that the use of SMS to do campaigning is impossible, because even though some people own phones, they can not read SMS messages, because all messages can be written only in English. On the other hand, even if any party would want to use SMS for campaigning on the election day, it is impossible, because they do not know the phone numbers of all Khmer citizens.

“A number of NGO officials suspected that this order might be intended to restrict the freedom of communication of election monitors. They said that a number of organizations which monitor the elections, for example the Committee For Free and Fair Elections, had instructed their officials to use SMS to contact each other to report irregularities and other violations on the eve of the election day and on the election day.

“According to an unidentified NGO official, the order from the NEC seems to be intended to intimidate and frighten the electorate. He added that even thought the NEC wants to prevent the organizations which monitor elections from using SMS as a way to report irregularities and other violations during the elections, they can still contact each other by phone.

“A lawyer [who asked not to be identified by name] working for an NGO, said that baning SMS might be illegal. He said that the NEC has no jurisdiction to order the government, and even the government has no right to do anything unreasonable like this, because Cambodia was not in an emergency, for instance a coup, at war, or under attack by terrorists.

“Some observers were concerned that the ruling party would not act according to restricting orders of the NEC, especially on the eve of the election and on the election day. They said that in the past, even though the election campaign was finished, the state media as well as the media of the ruling party, especially television, still continued to broadcast activities that could affect the elections. They also said that the NEC does not seem to see this issue, but the NEC saw that the use of SMS via phone is influential instead.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, 31.3-1.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 31 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1305, 31.3.2007

  • On The Final Day Of The Commune Council Election Campaign, The Campaign Of The Cambodian People’s Party Was Conducted On A Large Scale
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Alleged That The National Election Committee In Kompong Thom Prevented Their Party From Campaigning On The Final Day Of The Commune Council Election Campaign

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3124, 31.3-1.4.2007

  • The Companies Of Two Businesspeople – Mr. Man Sarun And Mr. Sok Khong – Grabbed More Than 3,000 Hectares Of Land Of People In Memot [Battambang]
  • Civil Society Organizations Said That The National Election Committee Caused Fear To The Citizen Who Are The Electorate

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4250, 30.3.2007

  • Monitoring Drugs In the Mekong River Sub-Region – Cambodia Is Leading [in implementing drug control laws in a senior officials’ workshop on cross-border cooperation]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #172, 30.3-2.4.2007

  • 75-Year-Old Woman’s Name [Yon Choy] Was Deleted From The Voting List By A Village Chief [she said so in a Sam Rainsy Party conference in Takeo, because a village chief claimed said that she died already]
  • Citizens From 166 Families In Kompong Thom Demanded In Front Of The National Assembly The Rights To Occupy Land [two businesspeople had grabbed 682 hectares]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3004, 31.3.2007

  • The Commune Council Elections Will Not Be Able To Proceed In A Fair And Just Manner Tomorrow [said civil society officials and observers of the political situation in Cambodia]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #366, 31.3.2007

  • [Prey Veng Lawmaker and CPP senior official] Cheam Yeap Acknowledged That Top-Ranking Officials Of The Cambodian People’s Party Grabbed Citizens’ Land
  • The Constitution Allows The King To Pardon Prince Norodom Ranariddh Without Requiring A Proposal From Prime Minister Hun Sen

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Friday, 30.3.2007: Asia Development Bank Released Data About Economic Growth In Southeast Asia In 2007

Posted on 31 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“According to a prediction of economic growth of the developing countries in Asia in 2007 and 2008, prepared by the Asia Development Bank [ADB] and released on 27 March 2007, it indicated that the economic growth for Cambodia and the neighboring countries – Laos and Vietnam – would increase slightly. This growth reflects mainly an increase of investments in the garment sector.

“Meanwhile, the same report said that the Philippines expected to maintain the same level of economic growth with an increase of 5.4% of GDP [gross domestic product] in this year (2007) and of 5.7% in 2008. The Philippine government spending is expected to increase up to 17.9% of GDP, compared to an increase of 17.3% of GDP in 2006. It is also anticipated that other expenditures in the sectors of public works and transportation, telecommunication, and education will increase to 16.4%.

“At present, the service industry of the Philippines has become one of the main factor in encouraging economic growth, and this year agricultural products will increase by 3.9%. Moreover, in January 2007, a law on bio-fuel was adopted, so that there will be an increasing demand for sugarcane and sweet potatoes for producing ethanol. This measure is to prevent the Philippine’s economy from slowing down. According to the ADB report, the Philippines has to take urgent measures to keep its economic growth and to create many more well-salaried jobs for unemployed people, whose number is increasing from one year to another.

“In 2006, the unemployment rate in the Philippines increased to 8%. According to the ADB report on the prediction of economic growth, the major risk that prevented the prediction from going into detail about the economic growth of the Philippines in 2007 is the potential impact of the national elections, which are scheduled for May 2007.

“This report showed that ‘the Philippines needs to prepare a transparent and fair election in a peaceful way, if it wants to maintain its economic growth.’ It also said that the economic growth of the People’s Republic of China in 2007 and 2008 will increase dramatically. This economic growth encouraged the increase of export and of investment of asset. As for the economic growth of India in 2007 and 2008, it indicates the remarkable momentum [of the economy]. This economic growth came from exports in the sector of Information Technology and from other sectors of the industry. Furthermore, the Indian economy will increase by 8% in 2007 and by 8.3% in 2008. Overall, the economic growth in Southeast Asia will increase by 5.6% in 2007 and by 5.9% in 2008

“A recently released ADB report said that developing countries in Asia would have dramatic economic growth in 2007. According to the yearly report of the ADB titled ‘Asian Development Outlook’ released in Tokyo, Japan, on 27 March 2007, it predicted that the economy of the developing countries in Asia would increase by 7.6% in 2007 and by 7.7% in 2008. The same report indicated that the pressure of inflation would be down, responding to policies and measures taken in the region, which is in line with the recent decrease of the oil price across the globe.

“Mr. Ifzal Ali, the Chief Economist of the Economics and Research Department of the ADB, this multilateral development bank which has its seat in Manila, the Philippines, said, ‘Micro-economic management will ensure that the outlook of the economic growth of developing countries will receive satisfactory results.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6004, 30.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 March 2007


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1304, 30.3.2007

  • The Delegate Of The [US based] International Republican Institute From Iraq Met With [Mr. Osman Hasan] Muslim Leader In Cambodia [on the situation of Khmer Muslims]
  • The Ministry Of Health Filed A Complaint Against Five [unlicensed] Illegal Pharmacies

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #254, 29-30.3.2007

  • Policemen [in Kompong Thom] Play A Role As Forest Administrators But Caused Indignation To People [also set up checkpoints to take money]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6004, 30.3.2007

  • SMSs Will Not Be Available From 30 March And 1 April [as instructed by the Ministry of Post And Telecommunication]
    A Tiger Shark Of 2 Tons Was Caught In A Fisherman’s Net [Koh Kong]
  • Asia Development Bank Released Data About Economic Growth In Southeast Asia In 2007

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4249, 30.3.2007

  • In Three Years, the Global Environment Fund Will Provide From US$8 Million To US$10 Million To Cambodia To Protect The Environment And To Promote The Citizens’ Living Standard
  • Japanese Students [from the ‘School of Future Leaders’ in Japan] Seek Understanding About Samdech Hun Sen’s [strategy of] Leading The Country
  • Japanese-Cambodia Interactive Association Provided Aid Of US$198.745 To Cambodian Disabled People And Orphaned Children

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #171, 29.3.2007

  • ADHOC [Cambodian Human Rights And Development Association] Reported 32 Cases Of Threatening Political Activists And 4 Cases Of Murder

Rythisen, Vol.3, #21,30.3.2007

  • The Ministry Of Commerce Received Praise From Samdech Hun Sen [attracting investors to facilitate business, especially negotiating with some developed countries to lift trade barriers and tariff to open the door of the markets for Cambodian products]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3003, 30.3.2007

  • The Case Of Convict Heng Pov [the former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief] In The Federal Court Of Malaysia Might Be Delayed For Many Months
  • Cambodia-Thai Cultural Committee Held A Meeting On The Cultural Relations Between The Two Countries In Phnom Penh [1-Translating the royal histories of Thailand and Cambodia into the Khmer and Thai languages; 2-Producing VCDs about popular culture, music, dance, and other arts in Khmer and Thai languages; 3-Youth’s camping on a taking-turns basis; 4- Conduct modern concerts live on television in both countries]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #365, 30.3.2007

  • The Human Rights Watch Organization [in the US] Encouraged the Federal Board of Investigation [of the US] To Re-investigate The Case Of The Grenade Attack Of 10 Years Ago In Cambodia [in front of the National Assembly, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 200]
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] People [living in Cambodia] Prepare Themselves To Vote For The Cambodian People’s Party [they think that the CPP allowed them to live and do their business freely]
  • United Nation High Commissioners For Refugees Pays Attention To Khmer Krom Refugees

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Thursday, 29.3.2007: Civil Society Organizations Presented Big Land Disputes To Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen To Be Solved After The Authorities And Minister Sok An Were Unable To Do It

Posted on 30 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, a coalition of 23 human rights organizations, as well as the NGO Forum, the Community Legal Education Center, and Legal Aid of Cambodia, welcomed and declared their support for the statement of Mr. Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, about the settlement of disputes of land grabbed by a number of top-ranking officials of the Government of Cambodia.

“On 3 Mach 2007, the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] authorized the Prime Minister to remove any party members from their positions who were involved in land disputes. Recently, the Prime Minister noted that these serious land disputes had caused instability in Cambodia. Therefore, it is necessary to solve these disputes to ensure the right to own land with stability for the development of Cambodia.

“A host of NGOs expressed strong support for this new policy, and they would like to cooperate in seeking solutions so that this policy will be successfully implemented. In the past, NGOs worked often on disputes about land grabbed by top-ranking officials. Each case of these land disputes had specific documents that proved the involvement of a number of top-ranking officials of the Government of Cambodia, and these cases affected the living standard of communities and of local people, the natural environment, animals’ refuges, national cultural properties, and the good heritage of Cambodia.

“All NGOs would like to express their respect for the good will of the Prime Minister who recently declared to protect the interests of the people and the whole society. They hoped that the Prime Minister would implement this policy more effectively.

“Thun Saray, the coordinating director of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, said, ‘As the defender of human rights, we would like to express our congratulation and support, to encourage the preventing of serious land disputes from occurring, which affect the livelihood of the common people. We would like to propose the urgent investigation and settlement of land disputes – for which we have submitted documentation today; this provides an opportunity for the Royal government of Cambodia to clearly show that it has the resolute position to transform the society into a state of law, and that the state is serious and strict with the settlement of these problems which were caused by some top-ranking officials of the government.

“Ms. Dr. Pong Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], the president of the local human rights group LICADHO , a member of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, said, ‘In the past, the problems of land grabbing happened all the time, it was one of the big problems that affected the people’s living standard and made them face the loss of their land for residences and crop production.’ Concerning these problems, even though the people tried to protest and complain to the authorities and the courts, there was still no solution for them. She said she would like to support the initiative of Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen in solving land disputes for people and confiscating state land to return it to the state. This initiative is very important to solve land disputes and return the land grabbed by top-ranking officials to the poor people. She also said that, as the head of a civil society organization, she would continue to watch over this action.

“Mr. Chhit Sam Ath, the Executive Director of the NGO Forum, said, ‘NGOs would like to support the resolute determination of the Prime Minister who initiated a policy and actions related to the punishment and removal of top-ranking officials who were involved in grabbing people’s land and state properties through the use of violence, intimidation, fraud, as well as taking advantage and using other ways to encroach on land. NGOs observed that in the past, there were efforts of the authorities at all levels in the governmental structure, to seek solutions for these land disputes. But the authorities’ actions were limited, and the authorities did not dare to confront the top-ranking officials who had grabbed land. On the other hand, NGOs also recognized that the authorities’ effort and the contribution of various NGOs encouraged the settlement of a number of land disputes, but the major cases of land disputes could not be settled.

“NGOs hoped that the Prime Minister would take action to solve these major issues as he had promised.

“Mr. Huon Chhon Dy, the acting president of the Community Legal Education Center, stated that all documents provided by NGOs showed clear evidences about land grabbing, and these cases were related to some officials. ‘We would like to appeal to the Government of Cambodia to take appropriate measures to solve land disputes and to ensure the rights for land for the Khmer people.’ He said that, as the acting president of a local NGO, ‘we really want to see that state land, grabbed by some top-ranking officials, is being returned to the state, so that the state can manage the land for the public interest of Cambodia and its people.’ In the meantime, he said that he wanted to see measures taken to condemn the officials who are stubborn and not willing to return to the state the land that they encroached upon.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3002, 29.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 29 March 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2665, 29.3.2007

  • In 2003-2004, 1319 Cases Of Rape And Human Trafficking Happened In Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1303, 29.3.2007

  • [The court] Summoned The Owner Of A Diamond Shop [in Phnom Penh] And A Member Of The Board Of Directors Of The Sam Rainsy Party To Appear In The Court About Buying Land From Oknha Tan Seng Hak
  • [Funcinpec Secretary General] Mr. Nhek Bunchhay Welcomed Samdech Prince Ranariddh’s Complaints Because He Is Innocent

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6003, 29.3.2007

  • [Opposition lawmaker] Mr. Son Chhay Took A Motion [of the Boeung Kak area residents] To The Phnom Penh Municipality; The Authorities Promised To Help The Citizens On 3 April 2007
  • The Republic Of India Helped To Provide Training On Techniques Of Defusing Explosives

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4248, 29.3.2007

  • The Royal Government Of Cambodia Prevents Khmer Laborers From Being Sent To Work In [the military crisis zone of] Southern Thailand

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #364, 29.3.2007

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Agreed To Receive A Motion From The Citizens Who Live In The Boeung Kak Area [three requests: 1. Cancel the contract signed by Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Kep Chutema, with Oknha Lav Meng Khin, the president of a company, 2. Issue legal titles for land ownership and residence permits, 3. The municipality has to ask permission from all families living in this area, if the municipality intends to develop this area affecting their residences]
  • Khmer People Overseas Told Khmer People In The Country To Vote Just For The Party Which Serves The National Interest

Sakal, Vol.15, #3169, 28.29.3.2007

  • On 2 April, There Will Be A Demonstration In Order Not To Recognize Election Results For The Sam Rainsy Party [at least one thousand persons from seven provinces will demonstrate in Phnom Penh against the results of the commune council elections, if the number of candidates from the Sam Rainsy Party decreased, as the Sam Rainsy Party prepares a mass demonstration on land disputes after 1 April, the 2nd mandate election day]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3002, 29.3.2007

  • The Norodom Ranariddh Party Is Getting More Popular, While The Ruling Party Is Fearful And Chooses To Use Threats [cruel murder of a Norodom Ranariddh Party activist in Sihanoukville]
  • People Understand That The Sam Rainsy Party Received Money From Top-Ranking Officials Of The Ruling Party
  • Civil Society Organizations Presented Big Land Disputes To Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen To Be Solved After The Authorities And Minister Sok An Were Unable To Do It

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Wednesday, 28.3.2007: Khmer Rouge Leaders’ Formula Of Jailing And Killing Innocent People Had Been Still Used Up To 1998

Posted on 29 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“Even though the Khmer Rouge Regime was overthrown on 7 January 1979, Khmer Rouge leaders continued to mobilize forces in large jungle regions, especially in the western border zone. They still used boastful language, lies, cruelties, and their unconditional language had still been used in this regime to rule the country.

“A 9-page type-written document, titled ‘Records of Introducing Ta Proeuk on 15 February 1998,’ began with brusque language: ‘I would like to inform you of our internal situation of the past; we see only easiness but no difficulty, we see only winning, but not losing. Now for our internal situation, if we are not at ease, we will lose, because the Anlong Veng section created confusion about money and business. Their slogan is ‘Leaders have money, I have no money, so we have to do business to have money. Their money-making method is to take scaly ant-eaters [a kind of animal] from Anlong Veng to sell at Romiet, and when they return, they buy goods to sell to our members in Anlong Veng. Most of businesspeople are handicapped people and women who do business using bicycles, oxcarts, motorbikes, and cars. The problem is not a problem of doing usual business, but it touches the root of politics. To talk to the point: enemy spies are getting active. The enemy wants to brake our car so abruptly that our car might overturn. But the only problem is whether we stay resolute or not resolute.’

“It is assumed that this document was prepared in the area of Anlong Veng, when they called brigade chiefs also from other regions to attend meetings. The person who introduced a person to others was not a low-ranking person, without specifying the real name, but he used the secret name ‘Ta Proeuk.’ Who was Ta Proeuk? According to past research, even asking former soldiers or commanders of Khmer Rouge soldiers, they tried to hide the truth by not saying who was ‘Ta Proeuk,’ and Ta Proeuk – the person introduced by somebody else – was also not an usual person. There was one phrase saying, ‘Now is a time of militarization, it is not a time for politicization. At this time, I am not free, and I have not had a meeting for guidance, and our political school also does not remind us…’

“On the fourth page of the document, at Roman number II – speaking about the national and the international situations surrounding Cambodia – there is the sentence, ‘Therefore, the Cambodian situation requires to use strong words about the suppression, but the election kept still proceeding.’ There was another point saying, ‘I read an American magazine untranslated, saying that America uses harsh words, but our radio counter-attacks it, it is not afraid…’

“In the same document, there was a description of the plan to disturb the 1998 national elections, saying who was assigned to be responsible for disturbing the elections in which region. Through the analysis of this document we know that Ta Proeuk was a supreme leader in the Khmer Rouge leadership structure who as hiding in the jungle. If one compares the words of this document, they are identical to the theory of the Khmer Rouge leaders in the regime of ‘Democratic Kampuchea.’ There was another phrase saying, ‘The situation is like that, the enemy is like that, we are like that. As long as we can achieve these three directions, we will win.’

“At the eighth page, at Roman number IV, it talks first about internal measures, saying, ‘We just gather them to make them live in one village, we distribute land for them. They have at most 50 families. In case they are bad, they must be put into prison.’

“Therefore, even up to 1998, Khmer Rouge leaders continued still to be cruel, because traditionally they gathered people into one village and jailed innocent people, and killings continued even though their regime was overthrown.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4247, 28.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1302, 28.3.2007

  • [A group of] Muslims [led by Oknha Osman Hasan] Came To Cambodia To Campaign For The Cambodian People’s Party

Khmer Amatak, Vol. Vol.8, #467, 28.3.2007

  • In Kandal, Norodom Ranariddh Party Supporters’ Voting Cards Were Taken Away By Local Authorities [of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • A Christian Missionary [François Ponchaud] Of The Pope Who Said That Venerable Tep Vong Is A Politicized Monk, Does Not Know Anything About Buddhism

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6002, 28.3.2007

  • An Open Letter Of Khmer Judges In France Was Submitted To the UN Secretary General [issued by a Committee of Khmer Rouge Victims in France, saying that the Khmer Rouge leaders’ tribunal is a crucial task for the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia, to provide justice to two million victims]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3121, 28.3.2007

  • When Election Day Is Approaching, A Strong Current To Change Old Commune Chiefs May Emerge

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1163, 28.3.2007

  • Even Famous Actors Join The Cambodian People’s Party [such as Neay Kren, other names not specified]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4247, 28.3.2007

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Declared That It Will Provide Rewards To Election Officials [1-US$300 for commune election committee officials; 2-US$3,000 for provincial election committee officials; 3-US$30,000 for National Election Committee officials]
  • Cambodia And Vietnam Signed Cooperation Agreement On Archives
  • Khmer Rouge Leaders’ Formula Of Jailing And Killing Innocent People Had Been Still Used Up To 1998

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #170, 28.3.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Sued [Funcinpec General Secretary] Nhek Bunchhay About Two Criminal Cases In The Phnom Penh Municipal Court [counterfeiting documents of Funcinpec and breach of trust]
  • 60 Percent Of Garment Workers Do Not Go To Vote [they have no money to spend to travel to their places of registered residence]
  • [Leader of Sam Rainsy Party working team] Ho Van Warns Newspapers Which Wrote About The Truth Of Boeung Kak Area [bribery of party members]
  • The Chief Of O’Russey Market Is Destroying Mr. Chea Sim’s Votes [the market security guards prevented Sam Rainsy Party activists from entering the market to distribute party leaflets]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3001, 28.3.2007

  • [Honorary Cambodian People’s Party Chairperson] Heng Samrin Hopes They Will Win 90 Percent [in the commune council elections], Which Is An Admonishment For The National Election Committee To Work Carefully

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #363, 28.3.2007

  • The Former Editor-In-Chief [You Saravuth] Of Sralanh Khmer Arrived In Norway [he fled in 2006 to Thailand after Oknha Hun To, a nephew of the Prime Minister filed a complaint against him about disinformation: saying that Oknha Hun To grabbed thousands of hectares of people’s and state land in the northeast of the country]
  • Farmers [of Srae Ambel village] Lost In A Land Dispute With The Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat [there is no solution for them even though they appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen for help]

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Tuesday, 27.3.2007: The Punishment Imposed On Domestic Child laborers In Cambodia

Posted on 28 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“The problem of children in Cambodia is a major problem that deserves public attention. Many organizations conducted their studies on related problems, such as the exploitation of child labor, the rape of street children, and other problems affecting children. Few organizations conducted studies on the punishments imposed on domestic child laborers, and no organization had done any detailed study on this subject, even though they realized that punishments were improper and an important topic that needs attention.

“There are two kinds of child punishment. The first kind is physical punishment: beating children by hand or using other objects, kicking them, pulling their hair, forcing them to live in an unsafe place, making them work too much, and inflicting burns or threatening them. The second kind is making children embarrassed or degrading them, such as mistreating them with contempt, or moral abuse, isolating them, or not taking care of them.

“The most worrying factor is punishment that Cambodian people use as a way to educate and discipline their children in their families, claiming that it is a good and correct way, and it is also usual, because they do not consider the impact of punishment imposed on children. On the other hand, a number of organizations’ research shows some similarities and differences about the punishments imposed on children.

“A comparative research by UNICEF (2001) shows that among the 500 children of a sample group aged from 9 to 17, who were going to school in Cambodia, 20% of them said that they had experienced many incidents of severe violence, and 44% of them said that they had been beaten by their parents.

“According to a survey on the physical punishment on 1,801 children, conducted by the Norwegian organization Save Children, in cooperation with the Departments of Education in Phnom Penh, Kompong Chnang, and Siem Reap, it showed that 72% of the children were punished by their fathers, and 28% of them had scars from having been wounded. 67.15% of the children felt upset and saddened by the punishments.

“At a center of World Vision it was discovered that among a group of 193 street children in Phnom Penh, 34% of them said that they left their homes to live on the streets because of violence and punishments.

“A research of a Cambodian women’s rights organization showed that children are the easiest target for violence by their fathers and mothers. Their mothers express their anger toward them, because many of their mothers are beaten by their husbands. In a national survey on risk taking behavior of youths in 2004, conducted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, it showed that among 9,388 young people, 26% of those who were interviewed said that domestic violence occurred in their own families almost every ten days, and 14.4% of them said that domestic violence had happened more than once. Concerning domestic violence, 65% of this violence is the result of drinking alcohol, and in 38% it is caused by misunderstandings. Other causes are poverty (28%), gambling (16%), infidelity (14%), and ignorance (11%). 74% of young people said that mothers are vulnerable to domestic violence, whereas 50% of daughters and 41% of sons are considered to be vulnerable groups.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #4246, 27.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2664,27.3.2007

  • [The opposition party leader] Sam Rainsy Was Surprised About The News Of A Case Of Corruption, Taking US$300,000 Related To The Boeung Kak Area Investment
  • Internews Network Held A Workshop On How To Report On Investigations

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1301, 27.3.2007

  • The Sultan Of Brunei Will Pay A Formal Visit To Cambodia In Early April
  • Cambodian Economy Will Continue Its Improved Growth [manufacturing, industry, agriculture, tourism; especially the export of textiles and shoes are leading in encouraging economic growth]
  • Information And Education On Leprosy For Garment Workers In Garment Factories [through the National Program For Leprosy Control]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6001, 27.3.2007

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Be In Deadlock Because Of The Controversy Raised By Foreign Lawyers
  • 62-Year-Old Elephant Was Stolen And Killed For Its One-Meter Ivory Tusks [in Ratanakiri]
  • International Missions From Iraq And From Japan Came To Observe The Commune Council Elections In Cambodia [12-member delegation from Iraq supported by the US based International Republic Institute, and 10 Japanese observers]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4246, 28.3.2007

  • The National Sub-Committee For Women’s And Children’s Iron Deficiency Control Is Lacking Support And Funds
  • The Punishment Imposed On Domestic Child Laborers In Cambodia

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3000, 27.3.2007

  • Does Sam Rainsy Receive US$60,000 Per Month From [Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An In Exchange For Keeping Silence On Three Important Issues? [first, attacks of the Prime Minister; second, no more discussion about the grenade attack in front of the National Assembly 1997; third, no more references to the revelations by Heng Pov, the former Municipal Police Commissioner, now in prison, who claimed that leaders and top-ranking officials of the Cambodian Government were involved in major criminal cases]
  • [The president of COMFREL] Koul Panha Claimed That The Ruling Party Used State Funds And Materials To Serve The Interests Of Their Own Party

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #362, 27.3.2007

  • Vietnamese Doctors Reduced The Medical Fees For Panhapich From US$500 To US$100 Per Day
  • A Tragedy Of 10 Years Ago – The Grenade Attack In Front Of The National Assembly, For Which The Police Has Not Yet Finished Its Investigations

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Sunday/Monday, 25/26.3.2007: Signing Ceremony For The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation Fund And For The East Asia Youth Exchange Fund Between Japan And ASEAN

Posted on 27 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“According to a statement by the Japanese Embassy on 23 March, a signing ceremony on US$52 million for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation Fund, and on approximately US$196 million for the East Asia Youth Exchange Fund between Japan and ASEAN, which is a contribution by Japan to the ASEAN countries, took place on 23 March 2007 at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. Mr. Aso Taro, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Sithong Chitnhothinh, the Laotian Ambassador to Japan, representing the ten ASEAN countries, signed documents that confirm the transferring of money and that regulate the use of these funds.

“Ambassadors and representatives of all ASEAN member countries also attended the ceremony.

“ASEAN countries set the year 2015 as the time when they hope to achieve the creation of an ASEAN Community. and they make great efforts towards internal integration. ASEAN countries have been the ‘drivers’ of cooperation in East Asia, and the progress and unity of ASEAN will be beneficial not only for ASEAN itself, but also for the whole region. Mr. Abe Shinzo, the Japanese Prime Minister, said that the extension of youth exchange programs with ASEAN and other East Asian countries, from high school to university students, will form the basis to develop a regional vision for the future. Mr. Abe Shinzo also said that the purpose is to consolidate solidarity among the countries in Asia, and that the extension of youth exchange program will lay the foundation of such solidarity. For this reason, Mr. Abe Shinzo declared on 15 March 2007 that Japan would provide approximately US$315 million for the East Asia Youth Exchange Program. From this fund, approximately US$196 million as been decided to be already now transferred into the account of the ASEAN Secretariat.

“Prime Minister Abe Shinzo declared at the tenth Japan-ASEAN summit meeting held on 14 January, that he would provide a contribution of US$52 million to support and enhance the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6000, 26.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Sunday/Monday, 25/26 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1300, 25-26.3.2007

  • The Public Is Wondering Why The Streets Around The Royal Palace Have Been Blocked Off Without Real Reasons [for eight days]
  • The Father King’s Message Expressed Thanks For Samdech Krom Preah Who Provided Support And Justice To The Father King And The Mother Queen [who suffered from unfair criticism by local newspapers that accused the Mother Queen of being of Vietnamese descent]
  • Election Campaigns Of The CCP And Of The Sam Rainsy Party Resulted In A War Of Words At Poipet

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #466, 26.3.2007

  • [The director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights] Kim Sokha Said That The Citizens No Longer Trust Mr. Sam Rainsy [the opposition party leader]
  • The Khmer Krom Federation With Members In Different Countries Of The World Strongly Reacted Against Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities’ Having Defrocked Khmer Krom Monks
  • Betrayers [Funcinpec General Secretary Nhek Bunchhay And Deputy President Lu Lay Sreng] Are Getting Weaker Because Many Funcinpec Officials Joined The Norodom Ranariddh Party

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #252, 24-26.3.2007

  • Sokha Hotel Company Suspected Of Selling Fake Tickets To Foreigners For Visiting Angkor Wat

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6000, 26.3.2007

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh Requested The King To Refuse To Recognize The Court’s Verdict Which Sentenced Him To 18 Months In Prison And Ordered Him To Pay US$15,000 In Compensation
  • Signing Ceremony for the ASEAN Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation Fund and East Asia Youth Exchange Fund between Japan and ASEAN

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3119, 26.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: We Do Not Use Presents Like The Ruling Party Does, But We Respect The Rights Of The Citizens Who Are The Owners Of Their Votes

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4245, 25-26.3.2007

  • [Five Council of Ministers staffers were arrested for] Taking The Name Of The Council Of Ministers To Extort US$100,000 From A Land Owner [in exchange of not initiating procedure to confiscate a piece of land]
  • Japan Provided Cambodia A Concessionary Loan Of Yen 2.632 Billion [approx. US$22.3 million] For Electricity Network Development [by the Japanese Bank of International Cooperation]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #168, 26.3.2007

  • Logging Offenses Are Increasing In Siem Reap

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2999, 25-26.3.2007

  • Voice Of America Said That The Norodom Ranariddh Party Is The Major Opposition Party

Sar Noeung Khmao, Vol.8, #196, 2007

  • The Royal Government Of Cambodia Declared Its Strategy Against Corruption [1-Prevention, 2-Law Enforcement, 3-Public Support]
  • A Number Of Members Of The Bar Association Want To Be Addressed As “Excellency” Which Would Make It Easier For Them To Practice As Professional Lawyers

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