Week 519

Sunday,2007-08-05: National and International – Moral – Challe

Posted on 6 August 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

During the past week, the issue of neighborly relations with Vietnam was addressed in different ways. It is again a reminder that – apart from many internal problems – the relation between Cambodia and its neighbors, and maybe more precisely, between the people – not only the states – is an issue which lacks clarity and requires regular self-critical attention, as it has led to so many tragedies in the past.

But one should not consider this only to be a problem between Cambodia and its neighbors. It is a much wider problem: it seem to be almost universal. The French philosopher Ernest Renan (1823-1892) wrote a famous essay “What is a nation?” in which he made the very critical statement, that a nation often seems to be “a group of people united by a mistaken view about their own past and a hatred of their neighbors.”

There are ample examples which seem to confirm this; there is so much unreflected, but obviously widespread conflict along these lines of “traditional” hatred: US-Americans hate Canadians, the British hate the Irish, Iraqis hate Iranians, Greeks hate the Turkish, Indians and Pakistanis have problems – all for different reasons, which do not stand up to rational investigation – especially, investigations and reflections which start with hate do not seem to lead to solutions. In a US White House press release from 26 May 2002, the US President, during a visit to France and a meeting with the French President, saw hate at the basis of present world conflicts: “And we – in the talk, I’m going to talk about — there’s been current — modern-day sacrifices. We still fight people who hate civilization. It was – or at least, civilization that we love, they can’t stand freedom.”

Actions based on this analysis have not overcome hate – the escalating violence and the thousands of lives lost testify to this.

The week made us face again with Cambodia-Vietnam relations in various forms, as we had reported: Wat Phnom Den Khang Cheung Head Monk Tep Sakhan had been defrocked on the accusation that he disturbed the harmonious Cambodian-Vietnamese relations – and then he disappeared, after, as reported, he had been picked up ad driven away in a car. Instead of an answer to the manifold concerns expressed and demands to the authorities to help clarify the whereabout of the disappeared person, who finally was reported to face a court in Vietnam, there was an explosives attack on the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Statue in Phnom Penh.

How can a way to peace with justice be found – not only in this case, but in a way that will lead to a different future, avoiding to fall back again and again into old and fixed emotions which have to be overcome, by working towards a better human community.

Renan saw a way ahead: “Nobody is a slave neither of their race nor their language, nor of their religion, nor of the course of rivers nor of the direction taken by mountain chains…” He knows, that this will not easily be accepted: “The best way of being right in the future is, in certain periods, to know how to resign oneself to being out of fashion.”

The King of Cambodia sent a message of congratulations to President Nguyen Minh Triet on the occasion of his re‑election as President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, saying that he believed that under President Nguyen Minh Triet’s clear‑sighted leadership, the traditional friendship and co‑operation between the two nations would continue to develop. Some people may say that such greetings fall under the verdict that they are not opportune and, to use Renan’s words, “out of fashion.” Others will agree with Renan: that in certain situations, the best way of being right is to dare to take steps which are considered not to be popular, but which may on the one hand break mistaken views about the past. And on the other hand they do not go along with the notion that mistrust or even hate of one’s neighbors are inevitable, but these attitudes have to be actively replaced by efforts towards mutual understanding and, eventually, to peace and cooperation – even if this is not popular.

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Saturday, 4.8.2007: Opposition Party Wants to Enter the Government after 2008 Election; Cambodian People’s Party Says It Has Already a Partner

Posted on 4 August 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“Phnom Penh: Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, which has been outside the government for two terms, told Koh Santepheap by phone on 3 August that the Sam Rainsy Party would not refuse to join with the Cambodian People Party [CPP], if such joint action would be in the citizens’ interests. However, a spokesperson of the CPP affirmed that the CPP has already a partner – i.e. Funcinpec, together in the current government, and the government wants that an opposition party exists in Cambodia as an expression of democracy.

“It is known that on the morning of 3 August, Mr. Sam Rainsy met with party leaders at a leader’s house in Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh, to discuss the strategy of the party, which includes:

  1. To join with the CPP to create the government after the results of the 2008 election.
  2. To discuss and seek ways to compete for votes from the CPP.
  3. To attract supporters from the Human Rights Party.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy continued that the political situation is changing. Responding to the question, ‘If the Sam Rainsy Party gets fewer supports than 50% + 1, will he decide to join with the CPP?’ Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the CPP also has its realism, and it does everything for the nation and for the Cambodian people.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the spokesperson of the Royal Government and of the CPP, said that the CPP has already its partner – i.e. Funcinpec, with which it is working in the current Royal Government. He went on to say, ‘We want an opposition party, in order to have democracy….’ He affirmed, ‘At present, there are many Funcinpec officials in the Royal Government, and we cannot give them up.’ Nevertheless, a source close to the Sam Rainsy Party recently said that about 64% of the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians want Mr. Sam Rainsy to lead the opposition party in such a way as to enter the fourth term government in 2008 after the parliamentary election. It is noticed that the Sam Rainsy Party has been outside the government for two terms.

“It is also noticed that CPP leaders once said that the CPP will continue to cooperate with Funcinpec as a partner, to create the government after 2008 election. However, it is predicted that the CPP will still win the majority, and the Sam Rainsy Party may be second. As for the other two parties – Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party – it is not known clearly which one will be the third.

“Responding to the question, ‘If the Norodom Ranariddh Party gets not much support in the 2008 election, will it join to create the government?’ Mr. Muth Chantha, the spokesperson of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, said, ‘Concerning this issue, I cannot make a comment and it depends on a decision of the leadership of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, especially of Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh.’

“Mr. Kem Sokha, the president of the Human Right Party, could not be reached for comment on 3 August. However, Mr. Keo Remy, a vice president of the Human Rights Party, did not make a comment in response to the question, ‘If the party gets not much support, will it join to create the government with another party?’ He said, ‘We are optimistic about being able to get votes because there are also people supporting our party.’

“Mr. Nov Sovathero, the spokesperson of Funcinpec, said to join with each other, or to join to create the government between political parties, is very good for the reconstruction of our nation. He stated, ‘It depends, however, on the party that gets much support or that wins the majority. If the CPP wins, the CPP will select a partner. If the Sam Rainsy Party wins, the Sam Rainsy Party will select a partner. However, Funcinpec was been announced by the CPP as their partner.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6109, 4.8.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 4 August 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1409, 4.8.2007

  • Government Prohibits Slaughtering on Buddhist Religious Days
  • Three Young Men Rape [17-year-old] Girl [two of them are arrested and one escapes – Aek Phnom, Battambang]
  • US Provides $80 Million Aid to Palestine [for security reform]
  • Lightnings Kills 141 People in China
  • More Than 100 People Die in Train Crash in Congo

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6109, 4-5.8.2007

  • Opposition Party Wants to Enter the Government after 2008 Election; Cambodian People’s Party Says It Has Already a Partner

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3228, 4-5.8.2007

  • Monk Tim Sakhan [who has recently been defrocked on accusation of perpetrating an offense against the Buddhist law, because he destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] Jailed by Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities on Accusation of Crossing Border Illegally [to Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4354, 4.8.2007

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community Demands Returning of Mr. Tim Sakhan from Vietnam [to Cambodia]
  • US$20,000 Counterfeit Dollars Seized in Kompong Thom [suspect is arrested]
  • Thai Army and Cambodian Army Cooperate with Each Other to Fight Malaria along Border

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #30104, 4.8.2007

  • World Bank Has a Very Important Role in Eliminating Corruption and Protecting Trees in Cambodia

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Friday, 3.8.2007: Raid on Site of Drug Production in Central Phnom Penh: Machine and More Than $90,000 of Counterfeit Dollars Seized

Posted on 4 August 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“A site of drug production was raided, the chief drug producer is arrested, a machine for producing drugs and nearly $100,000 worth of counterfeit dollars were seized by National Military Police officials led by Brigadier General Sea Sambath, deputy chief of the General Staff and chief of the Office of Information and Security.

“National Military Police officials arrested the chief drug producer at 4:40 a.m. on 1 August 2007 opposite Holiday Amusement Club, along Street 65 in Srah Chak Subdistrict, Daun Penh District, Phnom Penh.

“This person’s name is announced by National Military Police officials as Lam Sokheng, aged 31, his address is House 308 at the junction of Street 265 and Street 150 in Tuek L’ak Pir Subdistrict, Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh; he is the chief drug producer and a trafficker.

“A military police officer said that due to the strict and firm order by Mr. Sao Sokha, the commander of the National Military Police, the Office of Information and Security of the National Military Police, led by Mr. Sea Sambath, the deputy chief of the General Staff and the chief of the Office of Information and Security, had investigated the group [of drug producers] for more than six months and had defined that the group is a large scale drug production and trafficking group, which led to a raid to arrest the chief drug producer and to seize many pieces of evidence.

“After the arrest of the chief drug producer, the Royal National Military Police experts searched two sites in Tuol Kork and Dangkao districts.

“The evidence seized by the officials is a black Escalade car with the temporary license plate number 9687, a modern short gun, serial number 3195, with nine cartridges, a cartridge container, two telephones, 870 amphetamine pills, 47 ecstasy pills, two small bags of ketamine, one big bag of tetamine, five pacts of crystalline methamphetamine of 2,496 grams, twelve drug-neutralizing pills, US$47, and Riel 1,024,000 [approx. US$250]. All pieces of evidence were seized from the culprit’s car.

“The National Military Police official continued that after collecting the evidence and the answers from the culprit, the officials continued to cooperate with prosecutor and the local authority of Trapeang Andoung Village, Trapeang Krasang Subdistrict, Dangkao, by confiscating a modern pills producing machine from the Yatai Instruments company, 339 kg of white powder equal to 339 bags, 200 grams of fine powder as well as a large number of substances for producing drugs. In the culprit’s house, #308 on the junction of Street 265 and Street 150 in Tuek L’ak Pir Subdistrict, Tuol Kork, officials seized $95,600 of counterfeit dollars, and three cartridges for a short gun.

“According to the culprit’s answers, he and his group had conducted drug trafficking since 2005. As for the machine for producing pills, it had just been imported about a month ago.

“The anti-drug authority officials said that the machine for producing drugs, which has been seized, is a modern automatic machine that can produce nearly 10,000 pills per hour. Such kind of machine has never been seized by officials before.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1408, 3.8.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 3 August 2007

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1258, 3-4.8.2007

  • How About Pong Peay Lake, Salang Lake, Tumpun Lake, Kak Lake, Chhouk Lake, and Bayab Lake? [there should be actions against filling of the lakes like the action against filling of Kobsrov Lake]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1408, 3.8.2007

  • Raid on Site of Drug Production in Central Phnom Penh: Machine and More Than $90,000 Counterfeit Dollars Seized
  • National Assembly Summons Representative of Ministry of Interior for Questioning about Disappearance of Mr. Tim Sakhan
  • Gifts from Samdech Ta [the Grandfather King] and Samdech Yeay [the former Queen] Carried to 43 Fire Victim Families in Tuek Thla Subdistrict [Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]
  • Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Receives German [Stuttgart City] Mayor [Wolfgang Schuster]
  • 160 People Die in Floods in Bangladesh

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #502, 3.8.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Explains to People Not to Be Deceived by Kem Sokha [President of Human Rights Party] Who Is a Tool of the Cambodian People’s Party

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3227, 3.8.2007

  • Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian, from Phnom Penh] Asks Ministry of Interior to Invite Preah Sangh Reach [Patriarch] Tep Vong to Explain Disappearance of Monk Tim Sakhan [who has recently been defrocked on accusation of perpetrating an offense against the Buddhist law, because he distroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia]
  • Leader of Cambodian Government Should Learn from His Friend of “Ten Thousand Years” about Actions against Corruption [in Vietnam]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4353, 3.8.2007

  • Cambodia Plans to Create Embassy in South Africa in 2008

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #30103, 3.8.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Rejected Yuon’s [Vietnam’s] Request for Him to Be Chief of the Movement to Lead Yuon Troops to Invade Cambodia in 1979 [according to Radio Free Asia]
  • Yuon [Vietnam] Denies to Have Been Involved in Khmer Rouge Regime
  • Former Monk Tim Sakhan Is Detained in Yuon [Vietnam] and Faces Trial to Be Imprisoned

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Thursday, 2.8.2007: Club of Cambodian Journalists Announces Competition for Investigative Articles

Posted on 2 August 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“Phnom Penh: The Club of Cambodian Journalists officially announced on 1 August the opening of a competition for investigative news articles, in order to encourage journalists with good achievements, and to strengthen Cambodian journalism in its role as observer, as well as to strengthen transparency in Cambodian society. This program is supported by the US Embassy in Cambodia.

“The Club of Cambodian Journalists announced the following prizes for the most professional and best investigative articles as follows:

  1. The winner will get a cup and a reward of US$1,100
  2. The 1st runner-up will get a cup and a reward of US$800
  3. The 2nd runner-up will get a cup and a reward of US$600
  4. The 3rd runner-up will get a cup and a reward of US$300

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said, ‘The competition looking for investigative articles is very important, it is an encouragement to journalists so that they more actively participate in revealing important facts in society in order to serve the public interest.’

“He raised the question how could we fight corruption, if corruption is not publicly revealed? Mr. Pen Samithi said, ‘This is the journalists’ role as observers of all activities in society. Journalists have a very important role in this respect.’

“He called on all journalists to participate in the competition of submitting investigative articles, which is important in two ways – enhancing professionalism, and participating in the construction of a clean Cambodian society.

“In its mission to promote journalism in Cambodia, the Club of Cambodian Journalists will try to arrange an investigative articles’ competition every year.

“The Club of Cambodian Journalists stated that all journalists working for printed or for electronic media, as well as students of journalism, have equal rights to participate in the competition (observing some rules set by the competition commission of the Club of Cambodian Journalists).

“The US Embassy in Cambodia has already expressed its will of providing support for the competition for investigative articles every year.

“Mr. Jeff Daigle, the spokesperson of the US Embassy in Cambodia, said ‘The US Embassy is happy to provide financial support to encourage Cambodian journalists who have good achievements in writing investigative articles, and I hope that many Cambodian journalists will participate in the competition.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4352, 2.8.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 2 August 2007

Cheat, Vol.10, #222, 2.8.2007

  • Forest Crimes in Angkor Chum and Varin Districts, Siem Reap, Increase

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1407, 2.8.2007

  • [Khmer Rouge] Court Releases Verdict to Temporarily Detain Duch for One Year
  • Man [Kent Frank] Sentenced in Miami to 40 Years’ Imprisonment on Accusation of Sex Tourism and Making Child Pornography in Cambodia
  • Two Men [Kim Tueun and Soen Than], Who Set Bombs at Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Statue, Are Detained on Accusation of Terrorism
  • IMF Director [Rodrigo de Rato] Vows to Continue to Help Cambodia
  • Iran Executes Two Journalists [of Kurdish News Magazine – by hanging on accusation of having weapons and joining with network to overthrow the government]
  • Vietnamese Pregnant Woman Dies of Bird Flu [Vietnam]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6107, 2.8.2007

  • 1.4 Million Ghost Names May Be Deleted from [voter] Lists; Sam Rainsy Party Asks for Cleaning of [voter] Lists to Guarantee Fair, Transparent, and Just Elections
  • Military Colonel Killed, Put in Freezer, and Abandoned in Kompong Chhnang [by unknown people]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3226, 2.8.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Considers Issuing of Khmer National Identity Cards and Cleaning of Voter Lists to Be Most Important Issue
  • Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian, from Phnom Penh]: Ministry of Interior Must Open Wide the Participation for Providing Opinions of Citizens in Implementing Centralization and De-Concentration [of administration]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4352, 2.8.2007

  • Club of Cambodian Journalists Announces Competition for Investigative Articles
  • Samdech Krom Preah Lives on Fifth Floor of a Small House in Kuala Lumpur

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #468, 2.8.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Asks Hun Sen to Take Action against Other Dishonest Companies Like He Did against the Long Ching Company
  • Im Chhun Lim [Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction] Orders to Demolish Illegal Constructions of Ngov Chhay Sun [businessman – Phnom Penh] at Old Stadium

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Wednesday, 1.8.2007: ASEAN Ministers of Foreign Affairs Agree on Creation of Regional Human Rights Committee

Posted on 2 August 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“Phnom Penh: ASEAN ministers of foreign affairs agree to create a Regional Human Rights Committee despite initial opposition from Myanmar.

“According to a report from the Associated Press on Monday, 30 July, all leaders of the ASEAN ministries of foreign affairs have decided to create a Regional Human Rights Committee, though ASEAN still has some human rights problems, especially Burma.

“The same source said that the creation of the committee is to promote democratic reforms in the region.

“The decision on Monday is an historical one for ASEAN, because it is the basis for an agreement on the creation of a Regional Human Rights Committee, which had been proposed for more than two years, but has only now been approved, because Burma, a country which is ruled by the military, had raised strong objections.

“At present, Burma is still strongly criticized by the international community over human rights violations and over the detention of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s most prominent politician. The creation of a human rights committee is considered to put pressure on Burma; however, ASEAN has still the tradition that one country cannot interfere in another country’s internal affairs.

“The 40th conference of ASEAN ministers of foreign affairs is held in the Philippines. All leaders of ASEAN ministries of foreign affairs meet for five days, from 29 July to 2 August.

“The member countries of ASEAN are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, [Singapore,] Thailand, and Vietnam.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4351, 1.8.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1406, 1.8.2007

  • Kang Kek Iev Called Duch Is Taken for Questioning in the Tribunal
  • Samdech Hun Sen Says Influence of Female Fox Devil [referring to Uk Phalla, Prince Ranariddh’s unmarried partner] Caused Amendment of the Constitution [to replace old voting rules, introducing “50% plus 1” rule for important decisions in National Assembly]
  • Two Suspects of TNT Explosives Bombing at Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Statue Arrested [they are Kampuchea Krom Khmers]
  • [illegally] Constructed Flats in Compound of Long Ching Residence [at Kobsrov Lake] Demolished

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #501, 1.8.2007

  • After More Than 13 Years, Anti-Corruption Law Is Still Not Adopted

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6106, 1.8.2007

  • Funcinpec Speaks against Leaflets Criticizing Preah Mohavirak Khsatr [the Great Heroic King – leaflets linking him to Khmer Rouge regime]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3225, 1.8.2007

  • Hun Sen Does Not Rely on Court in Taking Action against Long Ching Company, He Orders Demolition of Buildings

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4351, 1.8.2007

  • ASEAN Ministers of Foreign Affairs Agree on Creation of Regional Human Rights Committee
  • Ministry of Education Pushes Ministry of Interior to Join to Prevent Irregularities During High School Exams [on 6-8 August]
  • Five Main Chinese Newspapers [Travel, Channel, Shanghai Morning Post, Oriental New Daily, and Shanghai Times] Invited [by Ministry of Tourism]
    to Visit Cambodia
  • Oral District Citizens Hand Over 35 Chain Saws to Forestry Officials

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #30101, 1.8.2007

  • Khiev Samphan Says if Khmer Rouge Had Not Existed, Cambodia Would Have Fallen into Yuon’s [Vietnam’s] Hands

Samleng Polroth Khmer, Vol.14, #635, 1.8.2007

  • National Election Committee Asks Government for US$17 Million for 2008 Election

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Tuesday, 31.7.2007: Buddhism Is Used as Folding Screen for Politics

Posted on 1 August 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“As the period approaches when the monks observe the traditional practice of ‘choul vossa’ [“the rainy season enters” – and every monk has to stay in their particular pagoda, and their food is limited], it is observed that visitors to Buddhist pagodas carry huge candles as well as different supplies, such as food and oil for lighting, to provide these to the monks who now have to stay in their pagodas throughout Cambodia. This is a good Buddhist tradition which Khmer citizens have practiced for a long time. During the ceremonies of donating huge candles, it is now observed that officials of all levels, especially officials who are power holders of the Hun Sen regime, carry huge candles to pagodas. Without considering this carefully, it seems that the power holders of the current regime highly respect and love Buddhism; however, when one considers this properly, it is known that they use Buddhism only as a political folding screen to hide behind, but they do not promote Buddhism. Why do we dare to say so, while officials of the Hun Sen regime carry huge candles to pagodas?

“If we are not wrong, to promote Buddhism does not depend only on carrying huge candles to pagodas. Buddhism can progress, if the Buddhist institutions and the Buddhist leaders are not influenced and do not suffer from interference by power holders. At the present time, it is clear that the Buddhist institutions suffers from interference by power holders in Cambodia. Senior leaders of Buddhism are influenced by power holders, who do everything to protect their ranks and positions, but not to protect Buddhism. Why do we dare to say so?

“The act of the Hun Sen authorities, of Samdech Patriarch Tep Vong and Samdech Head Monk Nun Nget over defrocking the Wat Phnom Den Khang Cheung Head Monk Tep Sakhan is clear evidence that all of them use Buddhism only as a shield for political ambitions. Samdech Patriarch Tep Vong and Samdech Head Monk Nun Nget ordered the defrocking of Head Monk Tep Sakhan on the accusation that he broke the harmonious Cambodian-Vietnamese relations. This defrocking is completely political. The Buddhist institutions have a role to promote Buddhism by instructing the dharma and punishing monks who commit misdeeds towards Buddhism, but not a role to take responsibility for the unity between Cambodia and Vietnam. Samdech Patriarch Tep Vong and Samdech Head Monk Nun Nget act in contradiction to Buddhism, confusing Buddhist regulations.

“Concerning the current power holders, do they really respect, love, and promote Buddhism, when they build pagodas, carry huge candles, and salute the monks? Who ordered police and military police in 1998 to beat and wound the monks, hitting them on the head so that they were bleeding? Were they not power holders of the Hun Sen’s regime? We still remember that at that time there was a demonstration against vote fraud, and the demonstration was suppressed with bloodshed by the police and the military police. Seeing the violence, monks held a pilgrimage for peace, and then the power holders ordered the police and the military police to beat the monks cruelly. What is such an act of the power holders towards the monks, who have nothing besides the dharma?

“We think that the act of carrying huge candles to pagodas and the act of carrying money to build pagodas alone are not sure signs that all those powerful people respect and love Buddhism. Our greatest teacher, the Buddha, advised the Buddhist laypeople not to kill other people, and not to steal other people’s things. Do the powerful people of Hun Sen’s regime practice the Buddha’s advice at present? The fact that the current power holders take money from corruption to build pagodas, to build temples, to provide money to the monks, or to carry huge candles to pagodas, is all deception only. The money gained from corruption and from stealing from the nation and from the people is meaningless. When Buddhist laypeople carry something to provide to the monks, they always chant, ‘…these things are honestly and earned with virtue….’ Is that true for the money of tens of thousands of dollars, and of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which the powerful officials use for religious purposes, is it honestly and earned with virtue?

“We think that people who do evil and use Buddhism as a shield for politics will sooner or later disappear. Khmer citizens more and more know about the wickedness of those power holders who use Buddhism as a shield to deceive Khmer citizens. We hope that in the very near future, Cambodia will have a new and democratic government that distinguishes clearly between state affairs and religious affairs. We also hope that in the very near future, Cambodia will have senior leaders of Buddhism who will not play a role similar to the role of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or of a court, and not be Yuon [Vietnamese] puppets. We hope that there will be new senior leaders of Buddhism, to promote Buddhism by daring to sacrifice themselves to protect Buddhism, not persons who fear more to lose their ranks than that Buddhism might fade away.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3224, 31.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1405, 31.7.2007

  • Governor [Khim Bor] and Deputy Governors [He Kan and Cheng Nhanh] Are Removed [over filling Kobsrov Lake] as a Warning against Governors and Deputy Governors of Other Provinces and Town over Misdeeds
  • Baliley Villagers Accuse Mr. Lu Laysreng [Senior Minister and Minister of Rural Development, Funcinpec] of Grabbing Five Hectares of Land [Banteay Meanchey]
  • Israeli Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] Announces US Aid of $30 Billion for Defense
  • Thailand Deploys More Than 2,000 Troops in Bangkok [to prevent demonstration against military government]
  • Thailand Arrests 30 Muslim Rebel Suspects [in South]
  • Deaths in Floods in Indonesia Increase to 134
  • 69 Miners Trapped in Coal Mine because of Floods in China

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6105, 31.7.2007

  • Removal of Kandal Provincial Governor [and deputy governors]; Mr. Sar Kheng: Royal Government Cannot Have Officials Who Commit Misdeeds
  • Cambodian Center for Human Rights Supports Removal of Officials in Order to Protect Kobsrov Lake
  • Officials Are Deployed 24/7 [day and night] While Suspects Are Being Hunted [over bombing at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Statue]
  • Fire Swallows 42 Houses Early Morning [30 July] in Phnom Penh [Russey Keo]
  • US Will Sell Weapons Worth $20 Billion to [Persian] Gulf [Saudi Arabia and five other countries]
  • Deaths in Floods in China Increase to Nearly 700

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3224, 31.7.2007

  • Buddhism Is Used as Folding Screen for Politics
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: It Doesn’t Matter Whatever the Purpose, I Condemn the Bombing

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4350, 31.7.2007

  • Japanese Prime Minister [Abe Shinzo] Loses Elections, but He Doesn’t Agree to Leave Power

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3010, 31.7.2007

  • It Is Complicated to Solve Border Issues with Siam [Thailand] and Yuon [Vietnam]
  • Survey [by Cambodian Economics Institute] on More Than 100 Companies Affirms that Many Expenses for Business in Cambodia Are Caused by Corruption
  • Diplomats and International Organizations Continue to Criticize Cambodia for Most Serious Land Crisis

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Monday, 30.7.2007: Bombs Set at “Ten Thousand Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statute While Kampuchea Krom Khmers Demand Finding Monk Tim Sakhan

Posted on 31 July 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“On Sunday morning of 29 July 2007, Khmer officials found locally hand-made bombs placed by unknown people in the park opposite Wat Botum in Phnom Penh.

“The officials were very much concerned, finding the bombs at the “Ten Thousand Year” Khmer-Yuon [Vietnamese] Friendship Statue, where early morning at 5:20 on 29 July one bomb had exploded.

“After the scare about the explosion of a locally made bomb, Khmer officials found two more locally made bombs; the second bomb exploded by itself at 11:15, and the third bomb was destroyed by Cambodian Mine Action Center experts, using their technical procedures, at 11:50 on the same 29 July 2007.

“The bombing by unknown people did not kill or injure anybody.

“According to Mr. Chan Saveth, an official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC], the authorities arrested four people who had been staying under the trees opposite Wat Botum, for questioning and to make a report.

“The four people who were arrested are Chhay, Yi, Ta Yeak, and Rak. After the police arrested and questioned them, the four people were taken away in order to draw rough sketches of the people whom they had seen who set the bombs, to show their drawings to the officials.

“The officials who destroyed the locally made bombs were led by General Hok Lundy, the director general of the National Police, Touch Naroth, the Municipal Police commissioner, Mr. Kep Chutema, the Phnom Penh municipal governor, and many other officials, including Mr. Khem Sophoan, the director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, who led the experts who destroyed the unexploded bomb.

Mr. Suon Rindy, the cabinet chief of the Phnom Penh municipality, told journalists that the setting of bombs at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Statue is political destruction, while the Cambodian political situation is stable.

“The setting of three locally made bombs at the “Ten Thousand Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statue on the morning of 29 July was committed, while the leaders and monks of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association as well as ADHOC and LICADHO [the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights] demand the Phnom Penh Government to clarify the whereabouts of the Monk Tim Sakhan who was defrocked on 30 June 2007 and taken away in a car.

“The Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, ADHOC and LICADHO suspect that Monk Tim Sakhan, the head monk of Wat Phnom Den in Kiri Vong district, Takeo, is being detained in Yuon [Vietnam].

“Mr. Ny Chakrya, an ADHOC observer, and Monk Yoeung Sin, the president of the Kampuchea Krom Monks’ Association and at the same time head monk of Wat Samaki Reangsey, as well as Mr. Sam Ath, a LICADHO observer, and Mr. Tim Thiem, the father of Monk Tim Sakhan, demand the Cambodian authorities to clarify where the monk Tim Sakhan is; if he is dead, his body has to be shown, and if he is in jail, it is necessary to allow that he can be visited.

“Monk Yoeun Sin and Mr. Thach Setha, the president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association and a former Sam Rainsy Party senator, once had warned that there would be a large demonstration in Phnom Penh, demanding Mr. Hun Sen’s government to show where the monk Tim Sakhan is, who was defrocked by the authorities on 30 June 2007 and taken way without leaving any information.

“The setting of bombs at the “Ten Thousand Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statue makes human rights officials concerned about the safety of activists of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, as this may lead to unjustified accusations, which might lead to the arrest of the leaders of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association in Cambodia.” Thngay Nis, Vol.14, #618, 30-31.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 30 July 2007

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1404, 29-30.7.2007

  • Krom Preah Demands Car Back from Serey Kosal [former deputy secretary-general of the Norodom Ranariddh Party who has recently joined Funcinpec], the Car Is Pawned Off
  • Thai Government Will Deploy Troops to Control Demonstrators [against the results of the military coup]
  • Mr. Gorbachev Criticizes US Imperialism

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #500, 30.7.2007

  • One of Three Locally Made Bombs Set in an Attempt to Destroy the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Memorial Opposite Wat Botum Exploded

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6104, 30.7.2007

  • Attempt to Destroy the Vietnamese Troop Memorial: Terrorists Used TNT Explosives with Fertilizer to Produce the Bombs, They Used a Remote Control Units to Make One of the Three Bombs Explode

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3223, 30.7.2007

  • Local Bombing at Khmer-Yuon [Vietnamese] Friendship Statute Stuns the Whole Phnom Penh
  • Holding Congress to Select Town and Provincial Party Representatives Countrywide Is Democracy of Sam Rainsy Party

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4349, 29-30.7.2007

  • Krom Preah Demands Land Cruiser Back from Serey Kosal after Serey Kosal Has Joined Funcinpec

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3065, 29-30.7.2007

  • Duch to Be Taken from Military Prosecution to Be Detained in New Detention Building of Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • UN to Appoint New Chief of Human Rights Office [in Cambodia – Christoph Peschoux] Who Is a Historian about Khmer Rouge Issues

Thngay Nis, Vol.14, #618, 30-31.7.2007

  • Bombs Set at “Tens Thousands Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statute While Kampuchea Krom Khmers Demand Finding Monk Tim Sakhan

Toussanak Khmer, [no volume number] #219, 30-31.7.2007

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Government Sends More Yuon Nationals to Sell Grilled Potatoes [mocking at the influx of illegal Vietnamese immigrants who sell grilled potatoes in Cambodia]

Go to last week’s editorial

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