Week 537

Week 537 – 2007-12-09: Persons or Structures? Persons and Structures!

Posted on 10 December 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537

We frequently pay attention to the interplay of different structures and institutions which make up our societies: the United Nations, the constitution, the World Trade Organization, families, the government, ASEAN, states, businesses, the legal system, unions, and many others. How are they being moved, how do they move? There are a lot of different dynamics at work, but often it is one individual person who sets something in motion – either actively by doing or just by saying something, or passively by being the object of wider interest by others. We randomly collect here some observations about different people from the past week. We are reminded that “news” is about real persons, and how they relate to other persons and to the challenges in our societies.

  • “Thai authorities arrest 300 to 500 male and female Khmer laborers every day and hand them over to the Cambodian side”

    So they know and still go, they must have strong reasons

  • “Khmer laborers in Thailand, legal or illegal, suffer many dangers, such as labor exploitation, sex trafficking, because there is no law to protect them”

    Which level of priority is given, by whom, to create protective legislation?

  • “12-Year-Old Chinese boy, in China, contributes $2,700 of his earnings from selling cans and bottles with drinks to AIDS orphans”

    Commitment to public service has no conditions – even the rich can participate

  • “Seven women accused of selling their own daughters to Alexander Trofimov in Sihanoukville, who is now detained on accusation of debauchery with underage girls”

    Business for the family – family relations totally broken. Why?

  • “Cambodian man rapes his 15-year-old daughter until she is more than five months pregnant”

    Also family relations, broken

  • “Five former Khmer Rouge leaders charged… the Khmer Rouge regime is blamed for killing approximately 2 million Cambodian citizens”

    Finally, after so many years. Five people were charged – they did it not alone

  • “More than 3 million Khmers were killed, but foreign countries say only 1.7 million were killed”

    Almost 30 years were not sufficiently used to clarify this point of public interest. Which foreign countries say so: France? Vietnam? The USA? China?

  • “Malaysian-Australian woman becomes Australian cabinet minister”

    When will something similar happen in Cambodia, proudly announcing the appointment of an immigrant, being made a cabinet minister?

  • “Bodyguard of a high ranking official pulls out gun and points it at motorcycle driver’s head”

    The power related to a public function is often irresponsibly mixed up with the power of an individual

  • “There is grabbing of land by powerful officials, there is grabbing by rich people, there is also grabbing by anarchic groups”

    If it happens at all levels, will it be controlled top-down, first at the highest level, to be widely seen as improving society?

  • “Prime Minister was opposed to listing of Cardamom Mountains as a World Heritage; it is a place for hydroelectric plants, electricity batteries for Cambodia”

    Caring for the public good of the country…

  • “Sam Rainsy disagrees to destroy national resources by hydroelectric power plants at Cardamom Mountain”

    …but not political power, but rational arguments to weigh both positions are needed, from both sides, in a democratic state

  • “Tsering Chungtak, Miss Tibet, gave up competing in the Miss Tourism contest in Malaysia, because she would have to be called Miss Tibet-China”

    With ethnic Cambodians in Vietnam, and ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia – does it help to understand this public action of a strong young woman? Yes, the legal situations are very different in every case, but the emotions?

  • “Two Taiwanese women arrested and 1.2 kg of heroine seized at Phnom Penh International Airport”

    They are responsible – more so are those behind them who used them

  • “Frightening collapse of embankment after dredging: houses of Lu Laysreng, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, and of some few other citizens met disaster at night”

    Other actions, evicting whole communities from their houses by human force, also bring disaster at night and at day

  • “Samdech Hun Sen agrees to suspend sand dredging countrywide”

    Not the concern that lakes should not be filled in, but only an administrative intervention seems to help. Probably at least for a while – as it is reported that forbidden dredging is done anyway during the night, at present

There are always people behind the news. People are in the news. The news is about people. The news relate in some way always also to us, the readers, challenging us to make up our minds, seeing us as actors in society, not only as spectators.

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Saturday, 8.12.2007: Samdech Hun Sen Agrees to Suspend Sand Dredging Countrywide

Posted on 9 December 2007. Filed under: Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537


“Phnom Penh: Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, agreed with a report of the Ministry of Meteorology and Water Resources and supports it, and also with a report of the National Committee for Disaster Management on the collapse of the river embankment in Koh Norea Village, Nirouth Subdistrict, Meachey District in Phnom Penh during the night of 5 December 2007, which happened because of dredging too much sand from the bottom of the river. And another, related problem is that the barrier of Koh Pech Island [close to the meeting of the Mekong and the Tonle Bassac rivers] slows the water flow to the Tonle Basak River, so the water flow hits Koh Norea Island.

“The Ministry of Metrology and Water Resources and the National Committee for Disaster Management reported on 6 December 2007, one day after the disaster of the collapse of the river embankment in Koh Norea Village, to Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, about this event, its impact, suffered damages, and an assessment of the causes of this event.

“Mr. Lim Kean Hor, the Minister of Meteorology and Water Resources, described – in the report to Samdech Dekchor – the causes of such a serious collapse of river embankment, being the result of the developments around Koh Pech Island in term of the technique used and the dredging of soil from the bottom of the river at the same time.

“As for the present developments around Koh Pech Island, the minister said that a hydrology working group is studying the water regime and it is organizing a master plan for the company that invests in Koh Pech Island, because what the company is doing at present seriously impacts the water flow of the river – it strongly changes the current of the river. Even more serious than this is the almost complete block of the small arm of the Tonle Basak River that turns the water current onto the base of the Preah Monivong Bridge. Concerning the technical aspects – technically it is the flooding that causes the collapse of the river embankment, especially at places where the current is strong; however, a collapse when water goes upstream is not as serious as when water goes downstream, because when water goes downstream, the water carries away the river embankment, that is with it a major part of the embankment soil. This causes a serious collapse of the embankment. Regarding the dredging of soil from the bottom of the river, at the area of the collapse of the embankment, there has been a lot of dredging taking out a large amount of sand to fill lakes and low areas nearby. After a Committee for Sand Management had been created, the area had been declared a completely prohibited area, and there were no more permissions for sand dredging; however, a number of wicked people secretly dredge the sand late at night.

“The Minister of Water Resources stated that measures for the future of Koh Pech Island must be technically developed, especially the company working on the development of this area must accept the results of the study by the Ministry of Meteorology and Water Resources. Otherwise, the changes of the water current will cause the Tonle Basak River to be shallower year by year, and the collapse of the embankment will continue forever. The company must build a concrete barrier to protect the river embankment at the base of Koh Pech Island, and probably three more water barriers to turn the current to the central river. The minister also asked Samdech Dekchor to completely suspend activities of businesses of all kinds dealing with sand temporarily and countrywide, in order to review the sites where dredging has been conducted so far, and to cancel the business licenses of these companies, after they are checked and when it is found that no permissions should be given to do more dredging at the bottom of rivers and streams.

“What was raised in the report of the Minister of Meteorology and Water Resources was agreed and approved by Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Prime Minister Hun Sen as measures to be taken on that same day.

“Separately, the report of the Committee for Disaster Management, where Mr. Nhim Vanda is the first vice-president, which had raised the same problems and a request regarding the collapse of the river embankment in Koh Norea Village, was also completely approved and supported by Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, in order to prevent any dangers the in future.

“It should be stated that during the night of 5 December 2007, there was a collapse of river embankment in Koh Norea Village into the river, 75 meters wide and 95 meters long, causing four houses of citizens to fall into the river, but there were no casualties of people or animals.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1513, 8.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 8 December 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2736, 36.12.2007

  • Government Decides to Suspend Sand Dredging Countrywide; Development of Koh Pech Island Impacts Water Current [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1513, 8.12.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Agrees to Suspend Sand Dredging Countrywide

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6213, 8-9.12.2007

  • After Arrest and Detention of Five Persons [Duch, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, and Khiev Samphan], US Shows Position of Supporting the Process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Phnom Penh Gets First-Class Award for Environment in Competition with More Than 400 Cities [in a campaign in London for environmental renovation]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3332, 8-9.12.2007

  • Nhim Vanda [Vice-President of National Committee for Disaster Management] Tells Hun Sen to Stop Sand Dredging by Sok Kong [Director of Sokimex Company] because It May Make Bayon TV Station Sink [ironic]
  • Father of Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam] Calls for Help to Bring His Son Back from Yuon [Vietnam]
  • On 10 December, Mr. Yash Ghai [UN human rights representative] Will Hold Press Conference at UNDP Likely on Land Disputes in Ratanakiri

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4457, 8.12.2007

  • Impact of Decline of Dollar Value and of Increase of Fuel Prices on Those Who Have Low Income
  • Three Angry Soldiers, from Whom a [15 kg] Musk Deer They Had Hunted Was Seized by Conservation Park Officials, Used Guns to Threaten the Officials to Get the Musk Deer Back; They Were Arrested and Sent to Court

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Friday, 7.12.2007: Miss Tibet Gives Up Contest for Being Forced to Be Named as Coming from China

Posted on 9 December 2007. Filed under: Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537

“A woman from Tibet said on Wednesday that she has withdrawn from a beauty contest in Malaysia because the organizers accepted pressure from the Beijing government and informed her, when the process was already half finished, that she would be excluded from the contest unless she would add the word ‘China’ to her ‘Miss Tibet’ sign.

“Ms. Tsering Chungtak, aged 22, told reporters after she returned to New Delhi, the capital of India, that she had been accepted to participate in the first part of the Miss Tourism competition for one week already, but later she was informed of the choice either to wear a sash saying ‘Miss Tibet-China’ or she could not participate any longer.

“No government officials from Malaysia were prepared to give any comment.

“People from 30 countries are competing to get the title of Miss Tourism, which will be given after the election on Saturday.

“Ms. Chungtak was wearing a sash inscribed ‘Miss Tibet’ over her long yellowish dress. She said, ‘This was not acceptable for me.’

“Ms. Chungtak said that the organizer of the competition had told her already on 1 December about the Chinese objections saying that a Tibetan could participate only under the condition to be called a Tibetan Chinese.

“She said, ‘When I was allowed to participate in the first part, I thought that there was a change in the policy of China.’

“Ms. Chungtak is a student of sociology in a New Delhi university. She had been selected as Miss Tibet in 2006 at a contest in northern India, in the town of Dharmasala, where many Tibetan exiles live, and there is also the seat of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1512, 7.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 7 December 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1512, 7.12.2007

  • Royal Government Urges Adoption of Draft Law on Management of Capital City, Provinces, Towns, and Districts
  • 74 Meters of Embankment in Koh Norea Collapses; Four Houses Fall into River [Meanchey, Phnom Penh]
  • Soil of Many Mountains Faces Being Depleted because It Is Expensive [and people dig it out – Sihanoukville]
  • Fake and Unlabeled Medicines Are Still Sold in Pharmacies and Sub-Pharmacies [countrywide]
  • Government and UN Provide Funds to Help Protect River Dolphins in Kampi [Kratie]
  • Miss Tibet [Tsering Chungtak] Gave Up [Miss Tourism] Contest [in Malaysia] for Being Told to Be Named as Miss Tibet China

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #67, 7-8.12.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Disagrees with Project to Destroy National Resources [by hydroelectric power plants] at Cardamom Mountain Area

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6212, 7.12.2007

  • Two Taiwanese Women Arrested and 1.2 kg of Heroine Seized [at Phnom Penh International Airport]
  • Frightening Collapse of Embankment: Houses of Mr. Lu Laysreng [Deputy Prime Minister, Funcinpec] and of other Citizens Met Disaster at Night [of 5 December]
  • Two Journalists [of Sangkum Thmey] Accused of Causing Crash of Wood Transporting Truck Which Killed a Person in Pursat [by chasing the truck]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3331, 7.12.2007

  • If Sam Rainsy Party Wins Elections to Lead the Government, It Will Combat Corruption and Provide Medical Treatment to Citizens Free of Charge
  • Sok Kong [Director of Sokimex Company] Dredges, Making Villas of Lu Laysreng [Deputy Prime Minister] and Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture] Sink [at river bank, Meanchey, Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1254, 7.12.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen: Only Government Is to Decide on Natural Resources

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4456, 7.12.2007

  • Khmer Mchas Srok Publisher [Ten Borana] Is Summoned to Appear in Court on 12 December, Based on [defamation] Lawsuit of Mr. Cham Prasidh [Minister of Commerce]
  • Land Slide at Koh Norea, Making Villagers Become Refugees

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Thursday, 6.12.2007: Samdech Prime Minister Shows Position on Land Issues, Oil, Minerals, and Hydroelectric Energy

Posted on 8 December 2007. Filed under: Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537

Apologies for the long delay – the manuscripts were not ready in time.

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said, ‘How can globalization be discussed if one country imposes sanctions against an other country – what is then the meaning of globalization? Thus, isn’t it like facing a situation of cold war?’ Samdech Prime Minister said so on the morning of 5 December at the Hotel Le Royal, during the opening ceremony of a workshop on the Cambodian Trade Integration Strategy for 2007, responding to opportunities and facing challenges, which was organized by the United Nations Development Program [UNDP] in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce.

“Samdech Prime Minister said that the situation is not normal for Cambodia: from 1979 to 1985 it had a planned economy, and from 1985 to 19991 it had a planned plus a market economy. From 1992 up to now, it is perfecting the market economy, but this is not yet finished, the process of the perfection of the economy still continues. Cambodia entered the World Trade Organization [TWO] before Vietnam and Russia because of our own efforts. [The separation between direct speech and ‘story telling’ is not clear in original, throughout.] However, we must not forget that there are so many norms and so many compromises required to serve the goals of the WTO membership. Previously we said we need to make efforts to promote our entry into the WTO by focusing on these efforts in the country. Now there are still the requirements of the WTO, and there are also urgent reforms in the country. We have to make more efforts in the country so that we can sit in the WTO. We are not accepted to sit in the WTO unless we are qualified.

“Samdech Prime Minister stressed that all depends on two aspects, which are the options for economic growth: the fields of garment exports and of tourism. But this is not enough; as for agriculture, only rice production alone is not enough. Regarding rice, if rice is still produced according to old habits, it is very clear that we will face big problems losing more trees turning forests into land for farming. Therefore our solution here is to strengthen the capacity of raising the productivity on the existing land, using irrigation techniques, and also other technologies in agriculture.

Concerning the habit of Khmers, if there are five persons in the family they must have one hectare of land; and if there are ten in a family, they must have two hectares of land. If this habit continues, it is impossible – and we should not forget that there is so much said about land issues. It is necessary to remember that land issues really exist. I acknowledge this.

There is grabbing of land by powerful officials, there is grabbing of land by rich people, but there is also grabbing of land by anarchic groups under the slogan ‘To win is to get land, to lose is to get compensation money.’ Concerning this issue, a deputy governor of Preah Vihear and some others officials have already been arrested.

Samdech Prime Minister said that the lack of land is caused by an increase of population. If you came to Cambodia maybe 28 or 29 years ago when Phnom Penh was under the genocide regime, no people were living in Phnom Penh, it was empty. Cambodia did not have even one city, it did not have a currency, and it did not have markets. Cambodia was not like it is now. Nowadays Phnom Penh has traffic jams, as a worst case example. It is now completely different from before.

“Samdech Prime Minister recalled his meeting with the director of the department for Southeast Asia of the Asian Development Bank by saying that several months ago, the orientation of thinking changed from spending of money from oil – which is the experience of Nigeria – to turning to getting money from oil. In Cambodia, we cannot think about spending money while the oil is still under the ground under the seabed, but we are already accused of corruption. What we have to do is to negotiate with those companies, so that they share lots of benefits with Cambodia – that is the way of looking for money successfully. We should not yet decide which fish are to be grilled and which fish are to be cooked as soup, as they are still in the water. Now we have to find ways to catch fish, and many fish.

“Samdech said that now we will, on 14 January, inaugurate a cement factory in Kampot which has high a capacity that can replace imports, and we will continue to use this cement for construction. So far, other counties have produced cement for decades, they have used up nearly all raw materials. Therefore Samdech Prime Minister told the Singaporean ambassador to consider importing cement from Cambodia to Singapore, because there is a lot of construction going on there.

“Concerning an iron factory in Rovieng district, a study shows a possible output of 300 million tonnes. If we produce only 3 million tonnes per year, we can produce for 100 years. As for bauxite, Australia provided primary data for Mondolkiri. Samdech Prime Minister rejected considerations of conservationists putting conservation over development. Samdech choses development, ‘Though it is a conservation area, it still has to be developed; don’t worry too much!’

Samdech Hun Sen observed also critically that climate change does not happen because of small Cambodia, while big countries release smoke into the air and poison the air; is this not clear?

“Samdech reminded his audience that at an ASEAN conference he had said that it is very unfair that many benefits go to big countries that release smoke… as for small countries, they get blamed; if they create just a little pollution, others start to shout at them. Some countries cut almost all trees for their own development, but now they ban those who cut just a small portion: now it is prohibited here and there. What Cambodia does based on Khmer sovereignty should not cause too much surprise.

“Samdech Prime Minister had strongly opposed the listing of the Cardamom Mountains as a World Heritage Site, because it is a place for the construction of hydroelectric plants which are an electricity battery for Cambodia. These things belong to the Khmers, so their use is to be discussed – such as the Tonle Sesant and Tonle Srae Pok river areas, which are all places for the construction of hydroelectric plants, ‘We have to do it …. Big investments cannot be made if there were no markets. We produce things, we sell them to Vietnam, and Vietnam sells things to Cambodia. As for Battambang and Siem Reap, they have already done it also – one company invests in the construction of electricity supplies while Thailand sells electricity to Cambodia. Samdech criticized some schemes for just caring about co-financing arrangements back and forth, while bidding has not yet been done because a consultant has not yet been found, or the consultant has not yet declared how to divide the co-financing, so we cannot act yet.

“Regarding the negotiations to buy electricity from Vietnam, Samdech Prime Minister asked Vietnam to sell 200 megawatts, and Cambodia will pay it when Cambodia will have completed the Sesant I and Sesant II hydroelectric plants – i.e. Cambodia will return electricity to Vietnam. The same with Thailand, when we will have completed the Stung Me River hydroelectric plant, we will sell electricity back to Thailand. This is part of what is called the ‘integrated framework.’

“UNDP and the Ministry of Commerce had also jointly made announcements about related issue.” [The original text contained several difficult to interpret passages.] Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6211, 6.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 6 December 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1511, 6.12.2007

  • US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues [Clint Williamson] to Visit Cambodia
  • 450 Workers of Jin Chov [garment] Factory Say the Factory Is Notorious for Violating Workers’ Rights [Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]
  • Phsar Kandal Market Gold Seller Wounded with Bullets and Robbed of More Than $100,000 [Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]
  • Mr. Bush Will Visit Middle East in January

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #532, 5.12.2007

  • Soldiers in Cambodia at Present Become Guards to Protect Land for Businesspeople and Their Chiefs

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #66, 6.12.2007

  • US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues Comes to Cambodia to Monitor Irregularities in Khmer Rouge Tribunal Administration
  • Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association Threatens to Hold Large Demonstration against Increase of Gasoline Prices
  • Press Freedom in Cambodia Is in a Narrow Box

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6211, 6.12.2007

  • Samdech Prime Minister Shows Position on Land Issues, Oil, Minerals, and Hydroelectric Energy
  • Airline Law Adopted: Hijacking Is to Get Life Imprisonment; Flight Attendants Must Speak Khmer Also
  • World Food Program Provides Cambodia More Than $56 Million [aid] for 2008-2010

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3330, 6.12.2007

  • Allowing Private Companies to Owe Money for Long Time Is a Trick of Ministry of Finance Leaders to Get Benefits
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Visits Supporters in Districts in Kratie

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4455, 6.12.2007

  • It Is Suspected that Corruption Exists in Road Construction Projects in Six Provinces [Kompong Speu, Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Thom, Kratie, and Prey Veng]Valued More Than $10 Million

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Wednesday, 5.12.2007: Nineteenth Synthesis Report of ILO Shows that Strikes Declined from 20 Percent to 13 Percent

Posted on 6 December 2007. Filed under: Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537

“The 19th synthesis six-month report of the Better Factories Cambodia Project of the International Labor Organization [ILO], which was released on 31 October 2007, states that strikes for which workers failed to comply with one or more legal requirements at garment factories declined from 20 percent to 13 percent, compared to the previous report, among the workers employed to work in all factories.

“The report also shows that nearly half of the number of factories, which had been monitored during the last six months, have employed 500 to 2,000 workers and other employees, and their situation has been notably improved, ensuring that working overtime is to be conducted only voluntarily, and there is no punishment against workers and employees who refuse to work overtime. The report continued that 81 percent of the factories, which have been monitored, have at least one trade union, 7 percent interfered with the freedom of association to form professional organizations, and 4 percent engaged in anti-union discrimination.

“Half of the top ten non-compliance issues relate to occupational safety and health, including the arrangement of chairs, lights, ensuring the presence of nurses in the factories, creation of a policy for occupational safety and health, and creation of committees for occupational safety and health.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4454, 5.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Angkor Cambodia, Vol.1, #5, 5-12.12.2007

  • Widespread Tree Cutting [countrywide] While General Election Approaches

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1510, 5.12.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Recalls Sharing of Power with Cambodian People’s Party [after 1993 Election]
  • [Drunken] Bodyguard of a High Ranking Official in Phnom Penh Pulls Out Gun and Points It at Motorcycle Driver’s Head [he is arrested – Siem Reap]
  • [Russian President] Mr. Putin Welcomes Success in Election, but Western Countries Say There Was Vote Fraud

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #65, 5.12.2007

  • Leaflets in Pailin Criticize Former King of Being Involved with Khmer Rouge

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6210, 5.12.2007

  • Report of International Labor Organization Says Labor Conditions at [garment] Factories Are Slightly Improved
  • National Assembly Discusses Airlines; It Calls for Old Planes Not to Be Imported to Carry Passengers in Cambodia
  • Asian Development Bank Will Provide Money [approximately $130 million – not stated whether it is aid or loan] for Flood Protective Project in Cambodia

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3329, 5.12.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Trees Are Ruined; Government Gets Only More Than $2 Million Income per Year
  • Civil Society Concerned about Atmosphere during 2008 Election

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4454, 5.12.2007

  • Nineteenth Synthesis Report of ILO Shows that Strikes Declined from 20 Percent to 13 Percent
  • Prince Thomico: Leaders at National Level Want Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] to Be Supreme Advisor to the King
  • More Than 3 Million Khmers Were Killed, but Foreign Countries Say Only 1.7 Million Were Killed during Khmer Rouge Regime
  • Russian Embassy Holds Press Conference on Elections in Russia
  • US Company [Crown Beverage Cans (Cambodia) Ltd.] Opens Factory in Cambodia

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #567, 5.12.2007

  • Sam Rainsy: If I Hold Power Even for Only One Term, Public Servants, Police, Soldiers… Will Get Appropriate Salaries

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Tuesday, 4.12.2007: Khmer Rouge Tribunal Decides to Continue to Detain Duch

Posted on 5 December 2007. Filed under: Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537

“In a hearing on the afternoon of 3 December 2007, the co-prosecutors of the Khmer Rouge tribunal delivered a verdict, deciding to continue to detain Khang Khek Ieu, also known as Duch, without allowing him to be released on bail.

“After he had been arrested and detained by the Military Court for more than eight years, Khang Khek Ieu, the former chief of the S-21 prison, also called Tuol Sleng, was sent to be questioned to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, and it was decided by the co-prosecutors to charge him, and the co-judges decided to detain him in late July 2007. But then, Khang Khek Ieu appealed to be released temporarily, waiting for the trial.

“After the appeal was received, the co-judges of the Khmer Rouge tribunal held the first public hearing for two days on the mornings of 21 and 22 November 2007, but the verdict was not delivered immediately, it was delayed.

“At 2 p.m. on 3 December, the Khmer Rouge tribunal held another hearing to deliver the verdict regarding Duch’s appeal, announcing a final decision, to continue the detention waiting for the trial.

“So far, the co-investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge tribunal had issued warrants for bringing five of the last surviving former Khmer Rouge leaders to be questioned, and it was decided that all of them were at the same time charged with accusations of serious crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes. However, all five of them – Duch, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirity, and Khiev Samphan – appealed to be released on bail. In spite of this, until now only one of the five appeals was taken up by the co-judges for this hearing, i.e. the appeal of Duch.

“It should be stated that the Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled the country for nearly four years, is blamed for killing approximately two million Cambodian citizens, or for letting them die from sickness, lack of food, or for being forced to do very hard work.” Chakraval, Vol.15, #2735, 4.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2735, 4.12.2007

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Decides to Continue to Detain Duch

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1509, 04.12.2007

  • The Kôbe Bussan Company of Japan Invests in an [agro-industrial] Plantation on 1,300 Hectares of Land in Memut [Kompong Cham]
    Chinese Man Dies from Bird Flu [China]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #64, 4.12.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: I Still Demand the Arrest of Perpetrators of the Grenade Attack Opposite the National Assembly to Be Brought to Court

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6209, 4.12.2007

  • Japan Provides US$521,000 Aid to Study Construction Plan of Kompong Cham Hospital
  • Koulen District People Receive Medical Treatment from US Marines

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3328, 4.12.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Affirms that to Combat Corruption, the Sam Rainsy Party Should Get Votes in Order to Change Leader
  • Hun Sen Warns Prince Ranariddh not to Intend to Be Father of National Reconciliation
  • If There Is No Solution at Fortune Garment Factory, There Will Be Strikes Countywide

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4453, 4.12.2007

  • Malaysian-Australian Woman [Penny Wong] Becomes Australian Cabinet Minister

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3199, 4.12.2007

  • A Number of Villagers in Russey Keo District Continue to Live in Sewage because of Incompetent Authorities [Phnom Penh]
  • Gasoline Price Goes Up to Riel 4,550 per Liter [in Cambodia]

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Monday, 3.12.2007: Cambodia and Thailand Discuss Laborers; 50,000 Khmer Laborers Are Legal and Approximately 130,000 Are Illegal in Thailand

Posted on 4 December 2007. Filed under: Week 537 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 537

“Siem Reap: The issue of Khmer laborers going to find jobs in Thailand is still complicated, and it is not yet known how to solve it, though there have been many actions taken which were expected to solve the issue. However, the results are still negative. For instance, at the Poipet border crossing, the Thai authorities arrest 300 to 500 male and female Khmer laborers every day and hand them over to the Cambodian side, and similar things happen also at other border crossings.

“Khmer authorities at the borders observe Khmer laborers who illegally enter Thailand through these corridors to find jobs, some of them enter Thailand and return home during the same day, some go as far as Bangkok, or they even go to find jobs in Malaysia. According to officials of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, the number of Khmer laborers in Thailand is approximately 180,000, out of which approximately only 50,000 are considered to be legal.

“The sixth conference of senior officials, and the third conference of ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand on laborers were finished on 29 November at the Apsara Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap, after the representatives of the two countries had discussed for two days. The conferences were held in order to seek measures to solve some issues, so that Khmer laborers can enter to work in Thailand legally. The delegates who participated in the conferences include senior officials from the relevant ministries of the two countries, such as Mr. Seng Kakada, secretary-general of the General Department of Labor of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who is the leader of the Cambodian delegation, and Mr. Manoon Punyakiriyakorn, Director General, Department of Employment of the Kingdom of Thailand, is the leader of Thai delegation.

“Mr. Seng Kakada told Koh Santepheap that the conferences were organized by the Ministry of Labor with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Defense – those who are in charge of border affairs, and the Council of Ministers. He continued that the conference was divided into two parts – i.e. the sixth conference of senior officials, and the third conference of ministers, after the two countries – Khmer [Cambodia] and Thailand – had signed a memorandum in 2005. The conference is to be held in turn once in Cambodia and once in Thailand.

“Mr. Seng Kakada stated that as an outcome of the sixth conference, which had already finished, the two countries welcomed, at the ministerial level, that Thailand had agreed to provide an office for the different Cambodian ministries to continue their work in Thailand by 30 June 2008. It was also agreed at this time that both sides will create a mixed committee each, with the participation of the relevant ministries and institutions of the two counties, in order to think about the repatriation back home of the Cambodian laborers who went to work illegally in Thailand, and to make arrangements for Khmer and Thai laborers so that they can cross the border in the morning and return in the evening, and to create a technical working group to discuss legal procedures, and they will consider what kinds of letters or papers to be issued, so that laborers of the two countries can cross the border easily. The Cambodian side asked the Thai Ministry of Labor also for technical assistance related to the exchange of information data, it will be possible to send data to Khmer laborers who entered Thailand already for a long or a short time, so that the ministries of labor of the two countries have the same system and can see the same data.

“According to the figures provided, the number of Khmer laborers who have entered to work in Thailand is up to 180,000, but the number of those who have entered Thailand legally is approximately 50,000 only. Mr. Seng Kakada called for Khmer laborers who want to go to work in Thailand, or those who have already gone, to be legal, not illegal, because so far it happens easily that they suffer many dangers, such as labor exploitation, sex trafficking, and they suffer especially from different sicknesses, because there is no law to protect them; if they enter Thailand to work legally, they will also be legally protected.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6208, 3.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 3 December 2007

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #21, 3-4.12.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Is Hungry for Power, He Wants to Create a Coalition Government with Strongman Hun Sen

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1508, 3.12.2007

  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen Participates in World AIDS Day Activities
  • Crude Oil Price Will Jump to $100 per Barrel; Cambodia Cannot Avoid Increasing Oil Prices in General
  • [Cambodian] Muslim Man Rapes His 15-Year-Old Daughter Until She Is More Than 5 Months Pregnant [he escapes – S’ang, Kandal]
  • US Warship USS Kitty Hawk Returns to Japan [after China had refused to allow it to moor at Hong Kong Port]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #531, 3.12.2007

  • If Hun Sen Still Holds Power, Corruption Still Spreads

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6208, 3.12.2007

  • Cambodia and Thailand Discuss Laborers; 50,000 Khmer Laborers Are Legal and Approximately 130,000 Are Illegal in Thailand
  • [12-year-old] Chinese Boy Contributes $2,700 of His Earning from Selling Cans with Drinks and Water Bottles to AIDS Orphans [China]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4452, 2-3.12.2007

  • [Chhang Youk, Director of Documentation Center of Cambodia: ] If Duch Were Released on Bail, This Would Meet with a Historical Reaction [by the Cambodian people]
  • Rate of Interests for Poor People Is High, because Most Capital Is Abroad

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3198, 2-3.12.2007

  • Prices of Goods announced on Bayon TV Are Lower Than Real Prices in Markets
  • Land of Boeng Thom Lake Is Sold at $200,000 per Hectare [Kien Svay, Kandal]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #565, 2-3.12.2007

  • Seven Women Are Accused of Selling Their Own Daughters to Alexander Trofimov [who invests in a hotel and resort on Kos Pos Island, Sihanoukville, and is now detained on accusation of debauchery with underage girls]
  • Khmers Abroad Call for Khmer Citizens to Select Real Democratic Leader
  • Five Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Arrested; There Are Plans to Arrest More
  • It Doesn’t Matter Whether Politicians Have One or Two Nationalities, the Important Thing Is Whether They Serve the Nation or Betray It

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