Week 545

Week 545 – 2008.02.03 – Learning from History – Painful but Important

Posted on 4 February 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

During this week, the day of 30 January 1933 was remembered in some countries as the day which in prepared the way towards the Second World War 1939-1945.

This historical commemoration of events 75 years ago relates to the fact that in Germany, the leader of the party that came out strongest in national elections, was appointed as head of government according to the legal provisions of the constitution. – This party had not received the majority of the votes, but the rest of the different other political parties were not cooperating with each other. This party enjoyed the backing of two important trends in society: it was supported widely in the population because it was appealing to feelings of nationalistic pride, and it was supported by a substantial part of the leadership of big industry.

Many Germans resented to see neighboring countries prospering, while Germany was still suffering from restrictions as a result of the First World War 1914-1918. In spite of all historic differences, the feelings looking back at that time in Germany are somewhat similar to the words in the Preamble of the Cambodian constitution of 1993:

“Accustomed to having been an outstanding civilization, a prosperous, large, flourishing and glorious nation, with high prestige radiating like a diamond,

Having declined grievously during the past two decades, having gone through suffering and destruction, and having been weakened terribly…”

Instead of remembering that suffering and destruction had also been a reaction to Germany’s own actions, but rather responding to awakening nationalistic emotions to re-establish the former strength of Germany, led to massive proud nationalistic demonstrations. The new administration, once in power, started to empower itself further, changing the course of history:

The leader of the emerging powerful nationalist-socialist party – the “Nazi” party – Hitler, appealed to sentiments that easily received broad emotional consensus:

    “The national government will regard it as its first and top priority to re-establish the unity of spirit and will among our people. It will protect and defend the foundations on which the strength of our nation is based. It will firmly protect … the basis for all of our morals, the family as the root of our national and government body.”

But then, soon books were forbidden by the government in 1935 which were considered to be critical, or not in line with what was considered to be “German culture.” A referendum had to be held in the former territory of Saarland in 1935, which had been made, after the First World War, part of a neighboring country – France – to be returned to Germany. And in the same year of 1935 legislation related to define German nationality was introduced to assure that the “German race” should be kept pure, by taking away German citizenship from millions of people who had been living in Germany, but who were of a specific ethnic and religious background – Jewish people.

To affirm and emphasize German identity as over against others, finally let to the Second World War. It is estimated that it resulted in the death of between 55 and 60 million people.

Commemorating the 30 January 1933, an article in the New York Times starts with the words, “Most countries celebrate the best in their pasts. Germany unrelentingly promotes its worst.”

And the article continues to list up existing and planned memorials:

  • the Holocaust memorial that dominates part of the center of the capital city of Berlin
  • construction will begin in Berlin on two monuments: one near the parliament building, to remember the murdered people of the ethnic group of the Gypsies; and another to remember to the gay and lesbian people systematically rounded up and killed because of their sexual orientation
  • a huge new exhibition was opened at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
  • at the Dachau extermination camp, a new visitor center will open soon
  • in the city of Erfurt a museum was dedicated to remember the murderous crematoriums
  • two exhibitions record the role of the German railway system, organized to transport millions to be murdered.

It happened often during the 17 years I work in Cambodia that foreign visitors asked me to help them to visit the Tuol Sleng and the Chung Ek genocide memorial places. And time and again I am at a loss to answer questions related to the low regard these centers seem to receive from the Cambodian public and the Cambodian authorities. Especially the Chung Ek Killing Fields memorial, with its administration contracted out to a business company, and its shop selling all kinds of general tourist memorabilia, but with no documentations and publications for sale which commemorate the victims of the Cambodian genocide, leaves many visitors doubly confused: about the history that happened, and about the lack of attention and consideration for this very history.

Some recent and current events pose the question anew: how is Cambodian society dealing with its own history?

The 50th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations between the two countries of Cambodia and China, mentioned during the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, referred to the longstanding friendship and the fruitful cooperation between the two countries. But the time when a large number of Cambodian people lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge regime, when the government of China was their main international supporter, was not mentioned.

It is expected that the highest ranking surviving functionary of the Khmer Rouge, the “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, will face the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – on 4 February 2008. On the one hand he has previously stated that he want to use this court to explain the historical realities of the 1975 to 1979 period. On the other hand it is known that he said in 1996, at the end of military fighting and the surrender of the last of the Khmer Rouge faction: “Let by-gones be by-gones.”

Not to deal with past injustice, without anything mentioning about what was done wrong in the past, is sometimes praised as the Asian way of dealing with the future. That this does not work is obvious from the tensions which break up again and again between Japan and the countries of China, Korea, and others, which suffered injustice from Japan in the past. And the present public debate about the legacy of the former Indonesian president Suharto shows again: it is not an alien, Western posture, to ask for historical justice. To evaluate the many positive achievements of the former president, without considering the 500,000 to 1 million deaths suffered in Indonesia after the military coup by him, is not acceptable in Indonesian society.

Maybe in Cambodia, to deal with the major, historical problems relating to millions of lost lives will be easier, when it becomes normal in society to face and to deal with more specific and easily identifiable smaller problems – like the case of the suspected murderers of a labor union leader from 2004 – even the former King had expressed his doubt that the due process of law was followed when they were convicted. Not the legal institutions themselves, but now again the lawyer of the accused and civil society has to ask that their Supreme Court appeals hearing should be held soon.

Maybe, if members of the public society would more often and more naturally speak up when even smaller cases went wrong, the big and burdensome events of Cambodian history might also get better attention.

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Saturday, 2.2.2008: China Prepares to Provide Loans of US$55 Million to Cambodia

Posted on 2 February 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

“Phnom Penh: The government of the People’s Republic of China prepares to provide low-interest loans of US$55 million to Cambodia, while China will allow Cambodia to export an extra number of goods into China without collecting taxes on them. This was announced by Mr. Yang Jiechi, the Chinese foreign minister, as he met to discuss in the afternoon of 1 February with his counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Hor Namhong.

“After both sides discussed for approximately half an hour, the Cambodian and the Chinese foreign ministers held a joint press conference.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong said that he considered the present tour of the delegation, led by the Chinese foreign minister to Cambodia, as the first top-level visit from the People’s Republic of China to Cambodia during the 50th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Both sides agreed, in view of the long-term good friendship and the active and fruitful cooperation between the two countries, which have been established by the former Father King Norodom Sihanouk and other persons of top-ranking leadership until now, there are now also His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who are the successors to further strengthen the relation between the two countries.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong informed the Chinese side about the current situation in Cambodia, about politics and the economy, which show improvements in all the sectors, while Cambodia is experiencing a high rate of economic growth. This growth cannot be seen without relation to the assistance received from the Chinese people and the Chinese government. Taking the opportunity, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong profoundly thanked the Chinese people and government for providing Cambodia with a lot of assistances in all sectors.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong said, ‘We have agreed that China’s investment in the hydropower sector, worth nearly US$1 billion, is very important for the development of the economy and for investments in Cambodia.’

“He added, ‘We have also agreed that both ministries of foreign affairs would hold meetings frequently and regularly to support the cooperation in all sectors, including on the international stage.’

“Mr. Yang Jiechi also thanked and highly evaluated the Cambodian government for always supporting the One-China Policy of the People’s Republic of China, and for strongly protesting against acts calling for the independence of Taiwan, using the trick to ask for membership in the United Nations.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong confirmed that the Cambodian government still considers the island of Taiwan as a province of the People’s Republic of China, and this province cannot be separated from China, even though some tricks are attempted to do so. He further stated that past tricks of Taiwan, and eventual future tricks, cannot cause dangers in the region.

“Particularly in relation to the development of the Cambodian economy, Mr. Yang Jiechi continued to support the investment in hydropower in Cambodia, also encouraging many more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia, and China will make preparations to provide for more duty-free arrangements for goods coming from Cambodia. Nowadays, the Chinese side provides such arrangements for more than 400 items from Cambodia being exported to China without paying import tax.

“According to Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, the Chinese side provided Cambodia in the past years with low-interest loans of US$300 million for the construction of infrastructure, and with these loans, Cambodia built two bridges and four sections of national roads.

“Mr. Yang Jiechi stated that China is prepared to grant Cambodia further loans of US$55 million, to build the road from O Pong Man, Steung Treng, to Ban Lung, Ratanakiri, after the completion of National Road 7 towards the Lao border.

“Mr. Yang Jiechi expressed the hope that both countries of Cambodia and China would continue to improve their friendly relation and their cooperation, and China always supports Cambodia’s role on the international stage.

“Availing himself of the opportunity, Mr. Yang Jiechi invited Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong to pay a formal visit again to the People’s Republic of China soon in 2008.

“It should be noted that in the morning of 1 February, Mr. Yang Jiechi was granted an audience with His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and in the afternoon the Chinese foreign minister was also granted an audience with Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“Mr. Yang Jiechi arrived in Phnom Penh in the evening of 31 January, and he will conclude his formal visit to Cambodia in the morning of 2 February, leaving for China by a special flight.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 16, #4505, 2.2.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 2 February 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1561, 2.2.2008

  • Four Parliamentarians [actually three parliamentarians – Ahmad Yahya, Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Cham; Sin Pinsen, Funcinpec parliamentarian from Prey Veng; So Victor, Funcinpec parliamentarian from Svay Rieng; and Mam Buneang, member of a Funcinpec committee] Leave the Party [a source says the three parliamentarians are to become advisors to the government]
  • Indonesian Government Debates to Give Title of “Hero” for Mr. Suharto [former Indonesian president]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3380, 2-3.2.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations Do Not Want Setting a Special Place for Citizens to Hold Demonstrations

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4505, 2.2.2008

  • China Prepares to Provide Loans of US$55 Million to Cambodia
  • Delegation of European Parliament Will Arrive in Cambodia Early Next Week

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3243, 2.2.2008

  • International Community Finds that at Present Corruption in Cambodia Spreads Seriously

Sakal, Vol.15, #3184, 1-7.2.2008

  • [Funcinpec President] H.E. Keo Puth Rasmey: No Party Will Win over Cambodian People’s Party; [Minister of Information] H.E. Khieu Kanharith: Cambodian People’s Party Will Get More Than 80 Seats in New National Assembly [from 2008 elections]

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Friday, 1.2.2008: Cambodian-American Relationship Notably Improved

Posted on 2 February 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

Federal Bureau of Investigation opens its Legal Attaché office in Cambodia

“Phnom Penh: The Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], which is a main part of the United States of America government, officially inaugurated its Legal Attaché office in the afternoon of 31 January, after a warm welcome by high ranking officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller, the FBI director, together with Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the US ambassador to Cambodia, jointly symbolically pressed a
button to inaugurate an FBI office in Cambodia, which is located in the US embassy.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller told the press that ‘Cambodia is an important country to have an FBI representative office.’

“He stated that the office has two staff members, including Mr. Laro Tan (a Cambodian-American), as the head of the office in Cambodia.

“The FBI director, who is paying a two day visit to Cambodia, added that the reason why they just open this office here is because in the past, the US had not owned a suitable building, but right now, the US has an embassy which is firmly established in Cambodia. He claimed that ‘the relationship between the FBI and Cambodia will be improved after opening this office right here.’ He added that ‘the FBI will strengthen the relations and the cooperation with the government [of Cambodia], exchanging information to jointly fight against terrorism.’

“The FBI office was inaugurated after Mr. Robert S. Mueller had met with many high ranking government officials. In the morning of 31 January, he met with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen at his Takhmao villa in Kandal.

“Mr. Eang Sophalet, a personal assistant to Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, said that Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that the relationship between Cambodia and the US right now is progressing well. Samdech Dekchor continued that the US has helped Cambodia by providing many kinds of assistance, such as humanitarian, to combat against terrorism, and against money laundering and human trafficking.

“Samdech Dekchor requested the US to continue to help further in these sectors.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller thanked the Cambodian government, especially Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, for allowing the US to operate the FBI Legal Attaché office in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Moreover, he noted that, so far, Cambodia has provided very good cooperation in the fight against terrorism, money laundering, and human trafficking etc.

“Mr. Robert stated that the US will continue to cooperate with Cambodia in the fight against terrorism, money laundering, and human trafficking.

“In the morning of 31 January, Mr. Robert S. Mueller separately met with officials from the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism.

“Mr. Om Yentieng, an advisor to Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and vice chairperson of the secretariat of the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism, who represented the Cambodia side, welcomed and highly appreciated the visit of the US delegation by saying, ‘This is a very important and busy trip, but it is an expression of friendly relations and intense cooperation; and it is also a visit that can bring a new step in strengthening and deepening the very good and friendly relations towards cooperation in the future.’

“Mr. Om Yentieng said that the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism is smaller than the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces of the US. However, our National Committee on Counter-Terrorism is based on three principles: first, that national and international forces cooperate right here; second, it is a center to exchange all information on espionage between all national and international intelligence institutions; and third, this national body fulfils its role as a center to coordinate all national forces fighting against terrorism.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller thanked for the warm welcome and for the hospitality from the Cambodia side, and he said that just shortly before this, he met with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, then with Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, the minister of interior, and particularly right now he discusses with the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism, where several sectors, including police, military police, as well as other military and civilian officials, are represented.

“Mr. Robert said during the meeting, ‘The friendly relations and the cooperation between Cambodia and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation have a firm basis,’ and he stated that he ‘hopes and believes that, in future, we will strengthen and extend the relations and the cooperation further.’

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller stated that he will provide assistance to Cambodia, especially for the training of Cambodian law enforcement officials, and also give equipment and materials for combating terrorism and other crimes, including cross border crimes, and human and drug trafficking.

“At the same time Mr. Robert S. Mueller showed his intention to help Cambodia combating another new type of crime, which is computer crime. This relates to the crime of virus programming to destroy computer systems; for this kind of crime laws exist in the USA. Even though in Cambodia such a law still does not exist, he stated that he will provide training to combat this kind of crime.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller expressed enthusiasm and highly appreciated that Cambodia has permitted the opening of the Legal Attaché office, which is also called the FBI representative office in Cambodia, located in the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, headed by Mr. Laro Tan, the FBI office chief, who came here for the first time to work. It is important that Mr. Laro Tan has a Cambodian background, which can help to facilitate to have more progress in the relationship between Cambodia and America.

“According to a source from the US Embassy in Cambodia, Mr. Robert S. Mueller’s visit here is part of his trip to two other countries, China and Vietnam.

“It is noted that Mr. Robert arrived in Cambodia on 30 January.

Mr. Robert S. Mueller became the sixth director of the FBI on 4 September 2001. Before working in the FBI, Mr. Mueller had many different experiences: as a lawyer, and he also was US Deputy Attorney General as well. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and has a Master Degree in International Relation from New York University in 1967, and he received [after having served in the military] a law degree from the Faculty of Law of the University of Virginia in 1973.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4504, 01.02.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 1 February 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #37, 1.2.2008

  • Mr. Robert Mueller, Director of US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Came to Cambodia before the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs [Yang Jiechi]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1560, 1.2.2008

  • Opposition Party Criticizes Draft Law on Demonstrations [as the law makes the leaders of demonstration responsible for any damages or violence caused by demonstrators]
  • More Than 10,000 Water Wells with [natural contamination by] Arsenic Found in 2007 [in 21 provinces and towns of Cambodia]
  • Mr. Khieu Kanharith [Minister of Information] Spent $1,400 to Repay a Monk, so that a Poor Woman [with three little children who is accused of deception] Is Freed from Detention [Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6260, 1.2.2008

  • Chhun Yasith [head of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters organization in the USA] to Be Sent to Court; Cambodia Cooperates with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to Fight Terrorism, Various Crimes, and Money Laundering

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3379, 1.2.2008

  • Creation of Quick Reaction Group [by Cambodian Government – to counter negative information ] Is to Help to Hide Corruption of the Cambodian People’s Party
  • When Ruling the Country, a Sam Rainsy Party Government Will Create Quick Reaction Group for Solving Issues of Increasing Prices of Gasoline and other Goods
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Embassy and Yuon Consulates in Cambodia Are Only Protecting Their Immigrants [and do not engage much in other activities]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4504, 1.2.2008

    • Cambodian-American Relationship Notably Improved
    • German Government Provides More Than $1 Million for Demining in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey
    • A [South] Korean Company [SCF (Cambodia) Co., Ltd] Comes to Invest in [agricultural] Production and Animal Production
    • Siem Reap Needs 300,000 Cubic Meters of Sand per Year for Its Development

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Thursday, 31.1.2008: Fortythree Khmer Reporters Threatened

Posted on 1 February 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

“A report about the Cambodian reporters’ situation in 2007 released yesterday morning at Phnom Penh Hotel by the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists found that there were at least 43 Khmer journalists who were threatened in 2007, and besides that, others were facing the courts with powerful people accusing them.

“The Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists considered the situation of reporters in 2007 as cruel and savage.

“Mr. Um Sarin, the president of the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists, reported that a journalist in Pursat province was threatened with arson, a journalist in Battambang had a gun put to his head, and a journalist’s house in Svay Rieng was attacked with a grenade. These are the worst events for journalists in the past year 2007.

“At the same time, the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists reminded the public also that the perpetrators of these attacks have not been brought to justice, resulting in impunity, which encourages criminals to make further attacks.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the spokesperson of the Hun Sen government, who attended the conference yesterday, admitted that the situation and safety of journalists in Cambodia was still not good.

“However, the Minister, who is from the Cambodian People’s Party, also spoke covering up scandals of the government by blaming some reports as lacking in proper professionalism and ethics.

“It is noted that in late December 2007, the Minister used to issue a ban against [offending] cartoons and using rude words toward government officials, which is an effort to protect the government’s image, while it is publicly known that the government, ruled by Hun Sen, has also plenty of bad aspects.

“Thus it shows that the Ministry of Information is the main shield to protect the government, and it is also a threat for journalists. It is to note that this Ministry has never served the interests of the press, even when a court took the opportunity to use the UNTAC Transitional Criminal Law to ill-treat reporters, while the Law on the Press Regime had already been in effect for ten years, the Ministry still closed its eyes and ears. And just recently, reporters struggled themselves to insist that law enforcement should use the Law on the Press Regime toward reporters, when they are facing others relating to their work.

“It is reported that on 28-29 December 2007, editors-in-chief from various media institutions met in Sihanoukville [see also ‘KAF-Partner Club of Cambodian Journalists Hosts the 4th Cambodian Editors’ Forum‘] and released a joint statement, including 12 points, which mainly focused on the request to the government, to relevant institutions, especially to the courts and all law enforcement officials, to use the Law on the Press Regime to solve cases which may come up between the media and concerned bodies, and to stop the use of the UNTAC Transitional Criminal Law that led to reporters being arrested and detained.

“At that time, the forum noted that in the past, there was now a trend of suing journalists with the charge of having provided false information, after no longer treating cases of defamation as criminal cases. The forum considered this change as an intent to continue to arrest reporters, as this affect the press freedom in the Kingdom of Cambodia, by using gaps of the law to persecute journalist who perform their duties.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.02, #102, 31.01.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 31 January 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #36, 31.1.2008

  • Mr. Kem Sokha [president of Human Rights Party]: When the Human Rights Party Wins the 2008 Elections, It Will Cancel Land Concessions Given to Foreigners and Provide Them to Khmer Citizens

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1559, 31.1.2008

  • People of Chankrang Commune Accuse Commune Chief [Ran] of Selling Thousands of Hectares of Forest Land [Kratie]
  • League of Cambodian Journalists Strengthens Its Force in Provinces and Towns Countrywide

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #102, 31.1.2008

  • Fortythree Khmer Reporters Threatened

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6259, 31.1.2008

  • Ministry of Information’s Reaction: Taprohm Radio Warned of Reading Newspaper Articles and Adding Commentary
  • European Union Sends Peacekeepers to Darfur Border Regions

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3378, 31.1.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Nationals Rush to Enter Cambodia to Prepare to Vote on 27 July 2008
  • Foreign Co-Lawyer [Victor Koppe] for Nuon Chea Files Complaint Demanding Change of Judge [Ney Thol – because he is also the head of the Military Court]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4503, 31.1.2008

  • A Pursat Deputy Governor [Dom Kimdy and his 83-year-old mother] Died and Another Deputy Governor [Ok Mony] Seriously Wounded in Traffic Accident [29 January – Moung Russey, Battambang]
  • Veachar Khmer Publisher [Sy Ty] Held by Police on Accusation of Intentionally Breaking Someone’s Car Wing Mirrors [29 January – Kompong Speu]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #614, 31.1.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Calls for US Federal Bureau of Investigation to Release their Investigation Reports on the Grenade Attack on 30 March 1997 in Phnom Penh

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Wednesday, 30.1.2008: Ieng Sary Hospitalized

Posted on 31 January 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

Tribunal Officials Concerned about Health of Five Former Khmer Rouge Leaders in Detention

“Phnom Penh: A Khmer Rouge tribunal official said on 29 January 2008 that Mr. Ieng Sary, 76, was admitted to Calmette Hospital at mid noon of 28 January, to have his hypertension checked by doctors and to have a medical checkup for his chronic diseases. The statement of this official is parallel to the announcement of the pre-juridical process of Nuon Chea, which is due to be held on 4 February.

“Mr. Reach Sambath, the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s spokesperson, told Koh Santepheap by phone that Mr. Ieng Sary had been brought to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh to have a medical examination for his hypertension related ailments. He continued, ‘We have made all efforts to treat him.’

“Mr. Eang Udom, Ieng Sary’s defense lawyer, said that Mr. Ieng Sary had suffered a serious relapse of heart related diseases, and on 29 January he was still hospitalized, waiting for medical help from Calmette doctors. The lawyer added, ‘He is suffering from a serious heart disease, that is why he was sent to the hospital, right now he is being observed by the doctors.’

“Mr. Reach Sambath added that ‘it is normal for older people to have hypertension, the patients are asked to take medicine regularly, because if they do not take it, it can cause problems; however, we consider all means to help him, providing highest attention; we are not careless.’

“It is noted that Mr. Chhit Chhoeun, as known as Ta Mok, had been detained by the military court in Phnom Penh for many years; later on, he suffered from serious ailments and was sent to a hospital. He died in the Ketumealea Hospital a few day later, on 23 October 2006.

“Mr. Reach Sambath continued that so far, the other accused, besides Mr. Ieng Sary, are in normal health. However, the five defendants are all old, they can face blood vessel or heart related aliments like Mr. Ieng Sary, while they are waiting for their hearings at the court.

“Mr. Ieng Sary and his wife had been brought to the Khmer Rouge tribunal in the early morning of 12 November 2007, charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Mr. Ieng Sary and his wife were the former Khmer Rouge Number Three and Number Four top leaders, who were arrested and have been jailed at the Khmer Rouge tribunal after Duch, the former chief of Tuol Sleng prison, and Nuon Chea, the former president of the People’s Assembly of the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

“On 28 January 2008, 28 judges of the Khmer Rouge tribunal met for their third plenary session to discuss the court’s performance every half year. In that meeting, Mr. Kong Srim, chairing the session, said that the investigating co-judges have been conducting their investigations of the defendant Ieng Sary, charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, and had issued a warrant to temporarily detain the defendant.

“Mr. Kong Srim added that the five defendants have been charged and are temporarily detained for only four months, starting from the date when the investigative requests were issued.

“During the last few months, there were hints that the Khmer Rouge tribunal does not have sufficient money, and the funds can run out by April 2008, while legal processes have been done only for one of the former Khmer Rouge leaders, that is for the bail request for the defendant Duch. The date for the judgments has not yet been set, while before it was considered that the Khmer Rouge tribunal is a three years project and it was expected to cost US$56.3 million.

“Mr. Kong Srim claimed that ‘we start the year 2008 with a great success.’ He added that the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is the smallest one of the international courts, and it has also the lowest budget. ‘We have around 300 staff members (200 national employees and 100 international staff members).’” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6258, 30.1.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #35, 30.1.2008

  • Cambodian Senior Officials Prepare Documents to Register Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site on 1 February
  • Prach Chan [Battambang governor] and Chhay Sareth [Pursat governor] Collude with Businesspeople to Cut Trees Illegally in Pursat and Battambang

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1558, 30.1.2008

  • [Robert S. Mueller, III] Chief of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Visits Cambodia for Two Days [30-31 January]
  • Official [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet chief Hing Bun Heang] Requests through [Sou Phirin, Siem Reap governor, who is] Advisor of Hun Sen, that Action Should Be Taken against Monks Using Mobile Phones [as he considers it as running against Buddhism]
  • Opposition Party Seeks Supports in [garment] Factories [towards coming elections]
  • Young Man and His Three Friends Rape His Girlfriend [he and one of his friend are arrested – Dangkao, Phnom Penh]
  • Uncontrolled Violence in Kenya: Deaths Increase to Nearly 1,000
  • Deaths from Bird Flu in Indonesia Increase to 100

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #553, 30.1.2008

  • Hun Sen Wants to Advise UN, Forgetting that He Spends State Money without Thinking about the People [mocking]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #101, 30.1.2008

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: If Sam Rainsy Party Wins Elections, It Will End the Collection of Toll Fees on National Road 4 and on Other Roads
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Deployed [helped by Vietnamese associations] in Khmer Garment Factories

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6258, 30.1.2008

  • Ieng Sary Hospitalized
  • 41 Young People Use Drugs in Guesthouse [they are arrested – Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3377, 30.1.2008

  • Beijing Will Come to Mark 50th Chinese-Cambodian Diplomatic Anniversary on the Day of the Trial of Khmer Rouge Brother Number 2 [Nuon Chea – 4 February]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4502, 30.1.2008

  • Chevron Requests Further Support [from Prime Minster] for Being Partner with Cambodian Government

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #613, 30.1.2008

  • [Hun Sen’s eldest son] Hun Manet Appointed Chief of the Intervention Unit [riot police] of the National Military Police

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Tuesday, 29.1.2008: Samdech Dekchor Calls for the United Nations to Collect Money to Save Victimized Regions

Posted on 30 January 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

Svay Rieng: The Cambodian Prime Minister called on the United Nations to use its resources to help areas in the world facing a crisis, rather than wasting it for missions to Cambodia.
“Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said during an inauguration ceremony of the Hun Sen Svay Rumpear Secondary School at Kilometer 13 in Svay Teab district, which cost US$440,000, initiated by General Sao Sokha, the National Military Police Commander in Chief, that Cambodia is a UN member which is obliged to pay an annual contribution to the UN, thus we have the duty to appeal to the world body to save its money to spend it on countries in crisis.

“Mr. Yash Ghai, a Kenyan citizen, a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, got a new verbal attack from Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, who had suggested the UN send Mr. Yash Ghai to work in Kenya, which is in a critical political crisis.

“Samdech Prime Minister told the participants that he spent his time to follow the events in Kenya very closely. According to Samdech, the violence in Kenya is frightening. 81 people were killed on 27 January, in a conflict among tribal groups, and the government forces had shot innocent people. Samdech also stated that a newspaper had a cartoon of a UN staff going to enjoy hunting animals, while violence and killing occurs in Kenya.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen added that apart from the time of the Pol Pot regime, Cambodia will not fall into violence like Kenya, and the UN should select people who are better than Mr. Yash Ghai to work with Cambodia. They should not hire a weaker person to work with Cambodia.

“The regions facing crisis and killings are Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and some other areas that Samdech Dekchor stated the UN should allocate all resources to those victimized regions, rather than wasting them in Cambodia.

“Early this month, when getting attacked from Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [that he gets his salary for writing bad reports about Cambodia], Mr. Yash Ghai, who had called Cambodia as country without law, stated that he dose not get a salary from the UN for his missions to Cambodia.

“Samdech Prime Minister said that flying in first class planes and staying in five-star hotels costs much more than a salary, and he should be aware that these expenses are paid by the UN, to which Cambodia, as a member, has paid a part to this top world body.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1557, 29.1.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #34, 29.1.2008

  • To Close the Entrance from Thailand to Preah Vihear Temple Is the Khmer [Cambodian] Government’s Right [reacts government’s spokesperson Khieu Kanharith against Thai authorities that oppose putting Preah Vihear Temple as a world heritage site]
  • Civil Society Organizations Pray, Demanding Justice for the Not Really Murderers Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [accused of killing Chea Vichea in 2004, leader of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia]

Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #7, 28-29.1.2008

  • US Ambassador [Joseph A. Mussomeli]: All Aid Is with Conditions

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1557, 29.1.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Calls for the United Nations to Collect Money to Save Victimized Regions
  • Keang Vang [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kampot who has just been expelled]: Getting out of Sam Rainsy Party Is Like a Rabbit Getting Free from a Cage
  • Burma Arrests 96 Opposition Members

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #552, 28.1.2008

  • Deforestation and Transportation of Wood Still Persist in Kompong Cham, Kratie, and Stung Treng

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #100, 29.1.2008

  • After 2008 Elections, a Sam Rainsy Party Government Would Increase Salaries for Workers to $50-$60
  • Civil Society Officials Affirm that Court Has No Evidence to Accuse Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun
  • Cambodian People’s Party Weakness Is that It Does Not Resolve Immigration Issue

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6257, 29.1.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Asks UN to Use Funds to Help Victimized Areas Rather Than to Waste Them in Cambodia [on trips of Yash Ghai, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia]
  • Achievement of Criminal Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner, now in jail]: Chak Angrae Kraom Electricité du Cambodge Chief [Kim Pov Daravuth] Got [shot and] Disabled for Life for Cutting off [unpaid] Electricity [Phnom Penh]
  • Mr. Sou Phirin [Siem Reap Governor] Appointed as Advisor to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen

Meatophum, Vol.52, #675, 28-31.1.2008

  • Mr. Keang Vang Returns to Funcinpec [from Sam Rainsy Party]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4401, 29.1.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor: “Human Resources Development Is Still Priority in Policy of the Cambodian People’s Party”
  • Cambodia Shares Condolences at the Occasion of the Death of Former Indonesian President Suharto
  • Chinese Minster of Foreign Affairs [Yang Jiechi] Will Visit Cambodia in Late January
  • Telecom Malaysia Will Invest $100 Million in Cambodia

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3239, 29.1.2008

  • President of the Norodom Ranariddh Party [Prince Ranariddh] Participated by Submitting a Statement Representing a Cambodian Political Party, [at the Centrist Democrat International Asia Pacific Forum on 25-27 January 2008] in Indonesia
  • Keang Vang [expelled from the Sam Rainsy Party] Declares He Will Ask Back the Money of Tens of Thousands of Dollars Which Eng Chhay Ieng [secretary-general of Sam Rainsy Party] Had Borrowed from Him to Gamble
  • Samdech Krom Preah Says Khmers Must Join Together and Beware so that Cambodia Will Not Become Champa Again, and Like Kampuchea Krom [which was taken by Vietnam] – so It Has to Change Leaders

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Monday, 28.1.2008: Suharto’s Death Announced

Posted on 29 January 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

“An Indonesian senior police official reported that former President Suharto, who had been in power with an iron fist for 32 years in Indonesia, died on 27 January 2008 in Jakarta, at the age of 86 years.

“A Jakarta district police official, Mr. Dicky Sondani, told the press that the former president died at 13:10 local time. Dr. Mardjo Soebiandono, the head of the medical team, assessed Suharto’s health condition shortly before his death as very serious. The Indonesian media networks immediately changed their TV broadcasting programs to transmit live from the hospital, showing one of Suharto’s daughters crying.

“The Indonesian former president was suffering from multiple diseases, including of the heart, the lung, the kidneys, and the digestive apparatus. During the last three weeks that Suharto was suffering serious conditions, his burial place had been openly prepared. The Indonesian Air Forces have arranged five airplanes in Jakarta, to bring Suharto’s coffin and his relatives to central Java, where his body will be buried.

“Suharto had been toppled by mass street protests in May 1998 at the end of his political career. He used to be considered the Father of the Development of Indonesia, but he was also found to be the most corrupt leader in the world. According to certain evaluations, Suharto and his family have amassed between US$15 and 35 billions. The attempts to bring him to court failed many times due to his poor health. Now a week of official mourning was declared, and the Indonesian national flag was lowered to half-mast in front of the president’s office.

“Suharto, who was the Father of the National Development of Indonesia, was also an atrocious commander during 1965 and 1966, wiping out the Indonesian communist party and its alleged alliances, causing the death of 500,000 to 1 million people. As a ruler, who cracked down on his political opponents, he crushed also separatist uprisings and occupied East Timor, which led to the killing of one third of the citizens of East Timor.

“Shortly after the announcement of Suharto’s death, his body was sent to his house in a Jakarta municipality. The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla had paid a condolence visit to Suharto’s family in the afternoon of 27 January. Suharto’s body will be buried on 28 January in the central part of Java.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6256, 28.01.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 28 January 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #33, 28.1.2008

  • Human Right Party Will Hold Extraordinary Congress in February to Select Prime Ministerial Candidate to Lead the Government If It Wins the Elections

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1556, 27-28.1.2008

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Asks Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Clarify Seven Points [related to the implementation of the Rectangular Strategy] at the National Assembly
  • 16th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum [held on 19-24 January in Auckland, New Zealand] Focuses on Economic Cooperation in APEC – “Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation”
  • Kien Svay District Police Arrest Eight Robbers [Kandal]
  • Vietnam Sentences Three Drug Traffickers to Death
  • Sweden Sells Six Fighter Planes to Thailand
  • Pakistan Successfully Tests Missile

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #99, 28.1.2008

  • Lawyer for Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [accused of killing Chea Vichea in 2004, leader of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Asks Supreme Court to Hold [appeal] Hearing Soon

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6256, 28.1.2008

  • Suharto’s Death Announced

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3375, 28.1.2008

  • Civil Society Officials Want an Independent Institution for Hearing Cases, Besides the National Election Committee
  • Thieves Stole CNN Reporter’s Camera, Denigrating Khmer [Cambodia – Phnom Penh]

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