Week 550

Week 550 – 2008-03-09: Looking Further Beyond What Is in Front of Us Immediately

Posted on 10 March 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 550 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

Two issues called us during the past week to look out in space and time – into the distance, and also into the past and the future.

Before the visit of the new Thai prime minister to Cambodia, there was quite some agitated discussion in some newspapers around the issue of Preah Vihear, the ancient Khmer temple at the border to Thailand, and the process to have it registered as a United Nations World Heritage site. There was general, often not precise information what had happened at last year’s UNESCO meeting related to the issue, there were clear official statements by Thai government institutions that Thailand does not object, rather supports the intended designation, there were doubts expressed in the Cambodian press that the Thai position is true, and there were calls in the Khmer press like the following:

  • Keo Remy: No Reason for Cambodia to Negotiate with Siam over the Preah Vihear Temple


  • Having The Hague Court Verdict, Cambodia Should Not Discuss Anything with Thailand!

As these articles did not make it clear that they were based on reading the 207 pages of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting of 23 June to 2 July 2007 – specifically the pages 153 and 154 refer to Preah Vihear – nor about the Progress Report, which Cambodia had to present to the World Heritage Center by 1 February 2008, nor whether the calls in the Khmer press with reference to the Judgment of the International Court of Justice in The Hague of 15 June 1962, relating to the sovereignty of Cambodia over the Preah Vihear Temple – and its full text of 69 pages had been read before making these press statements. We therefore had related to them here in the Mirror last Monday.

Reading these texts makes it clear that the sovereignty over Preah Vihear has been finally settled – and this is also not being questioned by the Thai government. But it is equally clear that way back in 1962, the International Court of Justice in The Hague had pointed to the “uncertain character of the resulting delimitation in the disputed area” and the need for an “eventual production by experts of one party, at the request of the other, of a map” and the “non-binding character of a map at the moment of its production,” and especially stating that “interpretation of the treaty settlement is to be considered as a whole, including the map” – but a clear map, accepted by both sides, did not exist in 1962, nor had it been clarified and negotiated in the many years since.

Is there really no reason for Cambodia to discuss and to negotiate anything with Thailand? Or is it not – on the other hand – high time to use the present peaceful situation to do, what has not been done since 1962? The visit of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej seems to have passed without any unsettling events. But the need to clarify what was identified to be unclear in 1962 remains.

The other event of international significance is the International Women’s Day – referred to in the Khmer press repeatedly, and also in our Saturday’s full text translation.

Again it may be worthwhile to take an international look to appreciate the Cambodian situation.

A year ago, on 11 March 2007, the Mirror had pointed to an interesting coincidence: early events of women’s struggle for their rights as textile laborers had happened in 1834 in Lowell/Massachusetts in the USA – a women textile worker’s strike – in a town which is now one of the major centers of Cambodian immigration and settlement in the USA. And at present, it is again women textile workers who are frequently at the forefront of the struggle for just labor relations in Cambodia. There is ample historical reason to remember that the International Women’s Day is a day born out of unending suffering and struggles. It may be a problem that the present day’s “harmonious” integration of Women’s Day celebrations into society is also a subtle means to hide the fact that many serious problems still exists – problems of a nature that never could be solved I the past except by solidarity in struggle, struggle against those forces which were not welcoming that women have the same basic rights as men.

To contribute some material for such reflection, we provide here references on the Internet:

International Women’s Day designated by the UN:

“In December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. In adopting its resolution, the General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and an increase of support for women’s full and equal participation.”

The situation around the world:

It is not easy to know how many – or maybe it is more appropriate to say – how few countries in the world made the UN recommendation a reality and have created a national holiday for the International Women’s Day. Some fairly new references list 11, others list 23 countries – obviously the majority of them having or having had a socialist or communist orientation concerning the equality of women and men.

Commission on the Status of Women (often referred to as “CSW”) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.”

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights made this most important statement for this 7 March 2008:

Almost every country in the world still has laws that discriminate against women, and promises to remedy this have not been kept, the top United Nations human rights official said today, speaking on the eve of International Women’s Day.”

During a recent visit to the New Delhi, the capital of India, I was surprised that during a whole week, I had not seen one woman or girl riding a moto or a motorcycle herself, and maybe I saw only less than ten women during this week on the back seat of a motorcycle. When I came back to Phnom Penh, I was much more than before aware of the independence of women in Cambodia in participating in certain aspects of public life.

But that does not mean that the public declarations in the Constitution, and in many declarations of a wide variety of high and low institutions about the equality of women and men are a reality.

The United Nations had declared the theme for International Women’s Day 2008 to be “Investing in Women and Girls.”

But this still leaves the challenge for everybody, in every country, ant therefore also in Cambodia, to actually and in detail, do research, and not get to easily swayed into complacency by empty declarations, but to remember the words of Louse Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:

“Many States appear to have simply ignored the commitments they have made,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour stated. “It is shameful that, in the 60th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, fundamental rights are still not enjoyed by many women around the world.

In some cases, they suffer from multiple forms of discrimination, such as race, age or disabilities as well as their gender. Unless states take their commitments seriously, investing in women and girls will remain a matter of rhetoric.”

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Saturday, 8.3.2008: Chim Manavy: Women Dare to Break the Silence and Get Rid of a Culture Affecting Their Rights

Posted on 9 March 2008. Filed under: Week 550 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

“Phnom Penh: At the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March 2008, reporters of Rasmei Kampuchea interviewed Ms. Chim Manavy, the Director of the Open Institute, a local non-governmental organization working in many areas, including for the promotion of the role of women. Below is the content of the interview:

“Question: What do you think about the respect for women’s rights, in particular comparing the situation of one year ago?

During the last several years, we have seen that the respect for women’s rights has grown much, compared to before, because citizens have now a better understanding of human rights. During the same time, the government and civil society organizations pay also more attention to implement policies of gender mainstreaming. Women are encouraged to participate in many social activities. The Commune Council elections provided opportunities for women to show their capacities. They competed with their male counterparts to contribute to the development of their communities. Actually, during the Commune Council elections from 2002 to 2007, we saw an increasing participation of women in the leadership of the country. During the first Commune Council election in 2002, women who stood for election accounted for 919 or 8.16 percent of the total candidates. But at the second Commune Council election on 1 April 2007, the women who stood for election accounted for 21 percent of the total candidates. It made much a difference in relation to women’s participation in decision making. Women who were elected in 2007 as members of Commune Councils totaled 1,662 (but the Ministry of Interior’s figure was 1,683) or 14.64 percent. This was a satisfactory increase if compared to 920 or 8 percent in 2002.

What do Khmer women do to celebrate their day?

8 March is International Women’s Day. Not only Khmer women, but also women in many countries across the globe, celebrate the day. International Women’s Day is an international day to celebrate women’s achievements relating to economic, political, and socio-economic sectors. Many countries (such as Russia and the former states within the Soviet Union) across the globe include International Women’s Day into their culture. The day is not celebrated only in political terms, but it is also celebrated as an opportunity for men to express their love for the women around them. It is similar to Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Moreover, the topics of politics and human rights, set by the United Nations, has been widely discussed. Information about the struggle of women in the world, concerning political and social issues, have been revealed and analyzed.

“Everybody should do something to participate in celebrating the day according to their respective skills and means. Women can share their good experience with others, they can write poems and stories about themselves and others. These reflect women’s talents, or they are advocacy for the equality between men and women. Women dare to break the silence and get rid of a culture affecting their rights.

When the Open Institute inaugurated a Women’s Web Portal on the Internet, what kind of response have you received from the visitors, and what roles does the Women’s Web Portal play in disseminating the concerns of CEDAW – the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women?

The Women’s Web Portal is an activity of the Open Institute, supported by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development, the Open Society Institute [in the USA], InWEnt [in Germany], and UNESCO. The Women’s Web Portal rectifies some deficiencies in the information about women and their rights. It plays a role as an important tool to disseminate information, and it is a means to communicate and share knowledge with women and among women’s organizations. This will further strengthen existing networks of women relating to empowering women and to improving their work. As permanent member of the Cambodian NGO Committee on the UN Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Open Institute disseminates on the Women’s Web Portal this Convention, and is providing further comments of the Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW, and other relevant documents for men and women working on CEDAW related concerns. Such information is available on the Women’s Web Portal to promote gender capacity, to help women to use their rights in a balanced manner, and to help build women’s capacity so that they have more self-confidence and self-independence.

“The Women’s Web Portal is a meeting place for interested organizations to share information and to increase cooperation. Electronic information can spread across the country and the world, wherever the Internet can be accessed. Those who receive a lot of information will have much better understanding and can make better decisions.

“Until now, the Women’s Web Portal has attracted more than 300 readers. This figure is not surprising, as the country has only few users of information and communication technology. The readers of the Women’s Web Portal expressed their interest in and their satisfaction for the dissemination of laws and other information relating to rights, in the Khmer language, through electronic communication, which is easy to be researched and read, and is useful for them.

What do you want to say more about the International Women’s Day?

I see that global trends and the government’s goodwill have made the situation of Cambodian women turn for the better. The government promotes policies on gender mainstreaming, to be implemented by state institutions, civil society organizations, and in the private sector. However, discrimination against women still exists, as women have not yet received full support from men. This has also caused women to lack self-confidence. To change discriminative attitudes against women, women have to try their best to build up and to promote their capacities, so that they can influence other people, become key agents for social change, work towards progress, and contribute to build a society with knowledge and justice.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4535, 8.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 8 March 2008

Areyathor, Vol. 14, #1312, 8-9.3.2008

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Is Not Afraid of the Sam Rainsy Party’s Youth Movement, but He Is Afraid that Young People Will Be Cheated and Their Future Will Be Destroyed

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1587, 8.3.2008

  • Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia [ECCC] Lays Blame on Journalists [at an ECCC’s press conference, ECCC legal officials gave examples of interference by journalists related to Kaing Guek Eav – also known as Duch]
  • Cambodian Outstanding Mathematics Students Receive Two Silvers and One Copper Medal [Program for Young Researchers of Science and Mathematics, Malaysia, 3-6 March 2008]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6291, 8.3.2008

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Officials and Journalists Discuss that ECCC Press Rules Are Stricter than Cambodian Press Law [conference on press freedom hosted by the Cambodian Club of Journalists and the Documentation Center of Cambodia]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 8.3.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: Economy in Cambodia Has Failed [his arguments: corruption, high rate of unemployment, inflation]
  • On International Women’s Day, Mr. Sam Rainsy Appeals to Men as Husbands to Respect and Love Their Wives to Live in Happiness

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4535, 8.3.2008

  • Chim Manavy: Women Dare to Break the Silence and Get Rid of a Culture Affecting Their Rights
  • Funcinpec Lodges Complaint, Requesting Payment of US$1 Million in Compensation for Statement that Samdech Euv’s Daughter Has a First and a Second Husband [an official of the Norodom Ranariddh Party is accused for defamation and misinformation on Princess Norodom Arunrasmy, prime minister candidate of Funcinpec]
  • Thousands of Sam Rainsy Party Members in Phnom Penh Join Cambodian People’s Party [said CPP officials in a ceremony to welcome new members]
  • Director General [Lee Doo-Hyung] of the Korean Financial Supervisory Commission Arrived in Cambodia [on 6 March 2008, to examine the situation of economic development; he will cooperate to create a bond market in late 2009, according to information from the Ministry of Finance and Economy]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol. 3, #640, 8.3.2008

  • Hun Sen Has Many Kinds of Advisors: Special, Normal, Senior, Direct, and Indirect. [Editorial]

Have a look at last week’s editorial

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Friday, 7.3.2008: International Workshop On Military Simulation and Disaster Preparedness Planning

Posted on 8 March 2008. Filed under: Week 550 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

“An international workshop on military simulation and disaster preparedness planning was held on 6 March 2008 at Le Royal Hotel, presided over by H.E. Nhim Vanda, the First Deputy President of the National Committee for Disaster Management, representing the Royal Government of Cambodia, with the participation of ambassadors from other countries, representatives of the Ministry of National Defense, and 200 participants from 24 countries.

“The international workshop on military simulation and disaster preparedness planning was held for one day on 6 March 2008 in order to share experiences and find ways to reduce difficulties caused by disasters in a spirit of cooperation, good relations, and mutual respect, especially whenever disasters strike anywhere in the countries represented.

“In his address at the workshop, H.E. Nhim Vanda, a Senior Minister and representative of the Cambodian government, expressed his warm welcome to the multi-national planning team that strengthened the organization of the workshop today. On behalf of the National Committee for Disaster Management and the Royal Government of Cambodia led by Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the senior minister expressed his deep appreciation and thanks to the presence of the [US] Pacific Regional Military Commander, who is fulfilling his mission in close cooperation with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, increasing the capacity of the work of disaster management and emergency aid. Cambodia is one of the ASEAN countries that suffer from natural disasters, especially floods and drought.

“H.E. Nhim Vanda stated that Cambodia has many experiences in response to flood disasters which happen every year along the Mekong River. The disasters cause damage to many people’s lives and to public infrastructure, and obstruct socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Cambodia. With its effort to reduce disasters, Cambodia is focusing on disaster preparedness planning to ensure people’s livelihood, mostly in areas which rely on agriculture.

“H.E Nhim Vanda, the Senior Minister, said that to respond to the impact of disasters, the Royal Government of Cambodia set up the National Committee for Disaster Management in 1995. The roles and duties of the National Committee for Disaster Management are to take preventive measures to reduce disasters, such as providing emergency aid to disaster victims in a timely and effective manner.

“The National Committee for Disaster Management not only plays a coordinating role to respond to disasters in the country, but it also assumes the responsibility for coordinating efforts for response at regional and international levels. Therefore, the National Committee for Disaster Management not only builds a disaster response plan in the country, but also assists the ASEAN Secretariat in building mechanisms and procedures of ASEAN for regional cooperation for the work of disaster management. The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response was signed in Vientiane in Laos on 26 July 2005. After receiving approval and ratification from the supreme legislative organization [the National Assembly], the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia signed the Royal Decree promulgating the agreement on 15 February 2008.

“During the workshop, H.E Nhim Vanda confirmed that the workshop is not only important for the Kingdom of Cambodia, but also for the participating relevant organizations. The workshop will provide opportunities for government officials from 24 countries in order to build relations in a spirit of cooperation and respect, in particular in times when disasters are occurring anywhere in those countries.

“With the participation from important humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, H.E the Senior Minister said, ‘We will further increase the awareness about our respective systems and we will expand significant relations with each other.’

“The roles of ASEAN were prepared before and after signing the ASEAN agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response through the mechanism of National Committees for Disaster Management, and by discussing to organize an ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center) and by building a Standby Arrangement and Standard Operating Procedures (SASOP) for regional preparedness and coordination to respond to emergency aid. These efforts will help to improve the possibility of ASEAN to support each other in times of disasters.

“Therefore, the efforts for international cooperation in times of big disasters will be increased. As the population across the globe has been on the increase, many people have been victimized by disasters, in particular when they are forced to live in regions where they did not reside before. When a nation is progressing, the impact of disasters on the infrastructure is on the increase. The disasters which before had little impacts on some regions are now having a broader impact. The globalization affects the whole world, particularly the economy.

“H.E Nhim Vanda, the Senior Minister, confirmed that international large-scale response to the Tsunami and the earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004, and to other earthquakes in 2004, are indicators of international future cooperation to respond to disasters.

“’This workshop provides opportunities to all participants to improve the understanding about and the development of mechanism to respond and to work together in times of disasters in future.’

“’Again, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to thank the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and the [US] Pacific Regional Military Commander for having recognized the key roles of the National Committee for Disaster Management in controlling and responding to emergencies in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Likewise, I would like to thank the participants from humanitarian organizations, from the ASEAN Secretariat, and other participants from 24 countries for their efforts to improve the multi-national cooperation in times of disasters.’ H.E. Nhim Vanda, the Senior Minister, confirmed, ‘I believe that the work and the results which have been achieved at the meeting will contribute to saving many people’s lives in times of disasters in future. Most important is the cooperation and the trust with each other. The workshop will bring fruitful results.’” Raksmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1287, 7.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 7 March 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #59, 7.3.2008

  • Criminal Heng Pov, former Phnom Penh Police Chief, Requests that His Hearing Be Televised [he has been convicted to serve 40 years in jail; his lawyer could not confirm when the next hearing will be held]

Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #13, 7.3.2008

  • CAMCONTROL Continues to Bring More Revenue to the Government than Planned [the plan was Riel 20 billion – approx. US$5.15 million – but CAMCONTROL earned 35.25% more]
  • US Ambassador to Cambodia: Assistance from the US Will Not Become Debt [he drew the attention that a loan is something Cambodia has to pay back, but assistance from the US will not become a loan requiring to be paid back. He added that China often gives loans]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1586, 7.3.2008

  • Ieng Sary and Nuon Chea [former Khmer Rouge leaders] Seem to Take Turns Going to Hospital [they are getting older and older]
  • 21 Families Express Their Concerns as Ek Phnom Authorities [Battambang] Take Their Land to Build Market [villagers claim to have lived there since 1979]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6290, 7.3.2008

  • One American Man Is Arrested for Taking Cambodian and Vietnamese Underage Girls [12 and 16 years old] to Guesthouse

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1287, 7.3.2008

  • International Workshop On Military Simulation and Disaster Preparedness Planning

  • Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4533, 6.3.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Praises Samdech Hun Sen for His Courage to Announce to Step Down if He Loses the Election
    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Said Agriculture Is a Strong Economic Growth Engine [the garment sector can be affected if the number of buyer in the US and Europe decreases, tourism can be affected by diseases like bird flu, or by terrorism – but agriculture provides food security]
    • Samdech Hun Sen Appeals to Have Peace and Security Protected for the Sake of Tourism [at the close of a tourism sector conference, he said two million tourists came to visit Cambodia in 2007 and brought US$1.4 billion to Cambodia]
    • Societe Concessionaire des Aeroports Receives US$5 Million Loan from World Bank to Improve Keng Kang Airport [in Sihanoukville, so it becomes an international airport]

    Sakal, Vol.15, #3188, 7.3.2008

    • Thai Prime Minister Samak Is Interested in Cambodian Market Due to Thai Economic Reasons

    Have a look at last week’s editorial

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    Thursday, 6.3.2008: Cambodians Enjoy Harmony With Cham Community

    Posted on 7 March 2008. Filed under: Week 550 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

    “Many parts of the world are suffering from bloody conflicts due to religious reason. In Cambodia, followers of various religions have been living in harmony with followers of Buddhism, which the Constitution defines it as the state religion [Article 43: “Khmer citizens of either sex shall have the right to freedom of belief. Freedom of religious belief and worship shall be guaranteed by the State on the condition that such freedom does not affect other religious beliefs or violate public order and security. Buddhism shall be the State religion.”]. However, some western diplomats express their concerns about the recent influx of some Islamists who have no tolerance in their mind.

    The Government has good relations with Muslim

    “Most Muslim in Cambodia are Cham people. The Cham community has never been oppressed by Cambodian governments from the past until now, except during the Khmer Rouge regime, when both Cham and Khmer people shared the same plight.

    “One can say that the Royal Government of Cambodia today has good relations with the Cham people. A number of Cham people have become very strong economically. For example, Mr. Othsman Hassan is a Cham millionaire, and he is now holding a position as Secretary of State at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.

    “Another good indicative example is the development of Cham women. As one sees the example in other parts of the world, some Muslim women live with the strictest tradition, but Cham women in Cambodia have made a lot of changes compared to the time of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime. President of the Cambodian Islamic Women Development Association Lok Chumteav Asiyah Ali Othsman, who delivered a speech during a meeting with Lok Chumteav Bun Rany Hun Sen in the morning of 1 March 2008, said that before 1970, 90 percent of Muslim women in rural provinces and rural towns across Cambodia could not read and write Khmer, even though they could speak the Khmer language. She added that at that time, there were very few Muslim women who were engaging in government work, in non-government organizations, and in companies, or who even participated in other small activities.

    “She also confirmed that from 1991 until now, young Muslim women went to school like men, both in rural and in urban areas. Even though some of their parents still live in poverty, their parents send their daughters to school until grade 5 and 6, and some get diploma degrees, and others receive higher education degrees, and some pursue their studies up to master degrees.

    “To confirm the change in the social situation of Khmer Muslim women of today, as opposed to the previous generation, she said that currently there is one Muslim woman as a senator, one Muslim woman is deputy secretary of state at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and five women are members of Commune Councils.

    “This is just an example of the politics of ‘good relations’ of the Royal Government of Cambodia regarding Muslim women. There are also many examples indicative of the support for Muslim men, the religion of Islam, and for the general Muslim community.

    Recognizing harmonious living, but with worries

    “About five percent of the Cambodian people follow Islam. In his report to American people in Washington via email, Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the US ambassador to Cambodia, said that Cham people always follow Islam without extremism, but harmoniously living with tolerance in society. The US ambassador added that Cham people do not feel that they are hated or treated unfairly, which can cause terrorism like in other countries across the globe. According to the US ambassador, in fact, Cham people are poor, but most of them have access to education. However, the US ambassador expressed also his concerns, “We are still worried about the recent influx of an Islam without tolerance.” At the time of the Khmer Rouge regime, all Cham mosques were destroyed, and almost all educated person (including the Cham) were executed. Unfortunately, a gap started again with funds from extremists who intend to impose a strict form of Islam on the Cham people.

    “However, the US ambassador did not give an actual example of what he had called ‘the recent influx of an Islam without tolerance.’

    “Observers said that there was a crackdown on the groups involved with terrorists of the Jemaah Islamiya movement who came to Cambodia under the shelter of using the sign of the Umm Al-Qura school, located in Russey Chroy commune, in Mukh Kampoul district, in Kandal, along National Road No. 6A since 2003. This is an example of the presence of extremists [in case the Supreme Court does not reverse the previous judgments]. After a crackdown in 2004, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court opened a hearing to sentence six persons, including persons from Egypt and Thailand, to life imprisonment. After the Appeals Court had maintained the same verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, now the Cambodian Supreme Court had opened a new hearing to try the case on 27 February 2008. The fate of these persons will be announced by the court on 12 March 2008.

    “If one thoroughly examines the politics of good relations with the Cham people, this is only one means to prevent the influx of an extremist Islam into Cambodia. In particular, concerning politics, the Cambodian government should also pay attention to the investments of the Cham community.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #2, 5.3.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 6 March 2008

    Angkor Kampuchea, Vol.2, #11, 6.3.2008

    • The Confiscation of a Memory Stick from the Camera of the Angkor Kampuchea Editor Is a Violation of the Freedom of the Press [after he tried to get information about a conflict between the owners of a gas station and police, and took pictures along National Road 5, Kompong Chhnang, when police and staff a the station were arguing with each other]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1585, 6.3.2008

    • Ten Activists from the Human Rights Party Detained, as They Seemed to Conduct Political Activities [at a market. Parliamentarian Keo Remy said they did only economic research]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #2, 6.3.2008

    • Cambodians Enjoy Harmony With Cham Community
    • The National Election Committee [NEC] Is Short of US$3 Million for the Elections [total expected cost: US$17 million

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6289, 6.3.2008

    • “If you’re going be angry, don’t play; don’t play if you are going to be angry” [Prime Minister Hun Sen refers to Prince Ranarridh trying to seek a pardon]
    • Two South Korean Dating Companies Are Ordered to Close [due to the suspicion that they are engaged in human trafficking, but Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng refuses to reveal the names of the companies]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3404, 6.3.2008

    • Hun Sen Criticizes the Use of Funds from the World Bank [he said too much money is spent for foreign consultants, adding that the library annex cost almost US$1 million, while his building cost only $400,000]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4532, 5.3.2008

    • Cambodia and Egypt Push to Have a Bilateral Cooperation Committee [to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. In a meeting with Secretary of State Mr. Uch Borith, Mr. Tamer Khalil, the Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs of Egypt, requested that Cambodia supports the Egyptian candidacy for the position of director of UNESCO, to be voted upon soon]
    • European Union Announces to Provide Civil Society with Euro 3.6 Million for Poverty Reduction
    • Prime Minister Orders Not to Use Car Sirens on the Russian Federation Boulevard [he said only top leaders, or national and international delegations, should use sirens – after an armored bank vehicle and an ambulance with Noun Chea, – who is under arrest at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – passed by the Royal University of Phnom Penh, while the Prime Minister delivered a speech]
    • Minister of Culture Criticizes that a Smart Boys and Smart Girls Contest Brings No Cultural Gain [organized on television by CTN]

    Sralanh Santepheap, Vol.3, Vol.43, 5.3.2008

    • Poipet Border Police Causes Foreigners to Look Down on Cambodian Government [police requires foreigners to pay extra money without explaining any reason]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3264, 6.3.2008

    Have a look at last week’s editorial

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    Wednesday, 5.3.2008: Different Ideas on Preparing National Athletes

    Posted on 6 March 2008. Filed under: Week 550 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

    “Phnom Penh: Mr. Som Sokyee, the Deputy President of the National Sports Training Center, said that his center was seeking to increase the rations and the pocket money for national sportsmen and sportswomen.

    “However, some athletes would prefer to eliminate spending of money for collective meals and for accommodation, but to give the money for meals and for accommodation directly to the sportsmen and sportswomen so that they can manage these by themselves.

    “Mr. Som Sokyee disagreed with this request for money to help solve their daily living expenses. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports had created the National Sports Training Center with the aim at giving sportspeople enough energy to receive training to enhance their sporting skills.

    “He added that the rations for each sportsperson is Riel 15,000 per day [approx. US$3.75], and the pocket money for each of them is Riel 120,000 per month [US$30]. This year, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is negotiating with several ministries to increase the ration from Riel 15,000 to Riel 25,000 [US$6.25], and the pocket money from Riel 120,000 to Riel 150,000 [US$37.50].

    “Mr. Hem Thon, the Secretary General of the Khmer Swimming Sport Federation, mentioned also that with strong sportspeople, technical skills and mental skills go together. He added that nowadays, mental stress is a serious problem, because during the season of selecting sportspeople, much money is spent on gasoline to ride motorbikes to get the meals. If there would be an accident riding a motorbike, who will be responsible?

    “Mr. Hem Thon expressed his intention to ask the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to pay the rations for sportspeople directly to them, so that they manage them themselves.

    “Mr. Bun Sok, a Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, explained that sportspeople need sufficient calories to train and to improve their sporting skills. Therefore they must get appropriate food, ensuring that they have enough energy for the training. He added, “If we pay the rations to them to manage them by themselves, the money might be spent not only for themselves, but also for their families. Therefore they might not have sufficient food to gain enough strength in order to engage in the training.

    “At present, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the National Sports Training Center prepare appropriate meals for selected national sportspeople for nine months each year.

    “Mr. Thong Khun, the President of the Cambodian Olympic Committee, considers the action by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to be reasonable.

    “It should be noted that this year, the National Sports Training Center will select national sportspeople for 20 sports events, including 203 sportsmen and 63 sportswomen. They will be trained by 51 coaches and will be under the supervision of 23 trainers.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 16, #4532, 5.3.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 5 March 2008

    Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #57, 5.3.2008

    • Kem Sokha: Our Current Leaders Have No Capacity to Develop the Country, but the Capacity to Help their Relatives to Become Tycoons

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1584, 5.3.2008

    • Cambodian Tourists Are Concerned that the Beach in Sihanoukville Might Be Lost [as it is under the control of private companies]
    • 155 Sam Rainsy Activists Declare to Join the Cambodian People’s Party [Kandal]
    • Three Injured by UXOs in Different Districts of Pursat [2 March 2008]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6288, 5.3.2008

    • Judges Bring a Woman Charged with Adultery to Court for the First Time [she was married to a Cambodian man who is now living in the US, but she re-married without letting her husband know; she was released on bail]
    • 43 Families Living on National Forestry Land Are Ordered to Leave [villagers request help to give them alternative living space, Banteay Meanchey]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4532, 5.3.2008

    • Illegal Logging In Sesan [Ratanakiri] Is Aggressive [but authorities do not intervene]
    • Phnom Penh Governor Suggests to Districts to Create Funds to Support Elderly Women [he said so during International Women’s Day]
    • Different Ideas on Preparing National Athletes

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #637, 5.3.2008

    • The US Ambassador to Cambodia Says It Is Normal for Parliamentarians to Change the Party

    Wat Phnom, Vol.14, #1343, 5.3.2008

    • Sok Kong and Phanimex Companies Encroach on Land Legally Owned by Villagers in Prek Pra, Even Land of a Relative of the Prime Minister Is Also Violated
    • People in Sandan Threaten to Have Land Title Revolution [after provincial governor withdraws their land titles which villagers hold since a long time]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial

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    Tuesday, 4.3.2008: Phnom Penh City Will Stop Bus Business in the City by the End of 2008

    Posted on 5 March 2008. Filed under: Week 550 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

    “To solve the problems of daily traffic congestions in Phnom Penh due to the growth of the population and the increasing number of vehicles, the governor of Phnom Penh, Mr. Kep Chuk Tema issued a strict announcement: to prohibit large passenger buses from operating on the roads of Phnom Penh by the end of 2008. This is the second reminder for all bus owners who are doing business in Phnom Penh. A representative of the governor, Mr. Chreang Sophan, held a meeting last week in the meeting hall of the Phnom Penh municipality with the participation of relevant officials and representatives from bus companies, in order to widely disseminate the information about the end of large bus traffic in Phnom Penh at the end of 2008.

    “The deputy governor of Phnom Penh, Mr. Chreang Sophan, said at the meeting that this is the second time that the Phnom Penh municipality has disseminated such information, so that all owners of bus companies can be prepared in advance to seek appropriate and suitable locations which will not affect the public order. As for this regulation, City Hall is determined to implement it because at present, the authorities are facing severe challenges from traffic jams, as the growth of the population and the increase of the number of vehicles go beyond estimates. Mr. Chreang Sophan added that, concerning solutions for the above problem, City Hall has nothing but this regulation. It is necessary, and it is also the first step to take, for large and long buses, which cause major problems leading to traffic jams. As for next steps, other vehicles which cause traffic jams will also be brought under control, so that traffic congestions can be avoided. Even though City Hall knows in advance that the measure will affect the feelings of some people, City Hall will still not hesitate to carry out this regulation, because many people support this plan. It should be remembered that there are complaints about parking and traveling buses. Business owners are not considerate of the difficulties they cause to other passersby, when their buses are parked everywhere along public streets, which causes heavy traffic congestions and serious inconveniences.

    “In the meeting, an official of Phnom Penh Municipality said that at present, Phnom Penh has grown to have a population of 2 million people, there are 160,000 cars, and 60 motorbikes [surely this number in the original is wrong] with license plates, apart from the cars and motorbikes without license plates, together with cars and motorbikes with provincial license plates entering the city, and together with Tuk-Tuk taxis, and large buses. In particular, the disrespect of traffic laws is one of the main causes of traffic congestions. The same official confirmed that from the end of 2008 onwards, City Hall would order that large-sized buses have to stop at suburban areas, such as along Road No. 271, Road No. 273, Road No. 598, Road No. 90, National Road No.1 at the area of Chbar Ampov, National Road No. 2 at the area of Chak Angrae, National Road No. 4 at the area of Choam Chao, and National Road No. 6 at the area of Prek Leap. Particularly, the number of buses which will be allowed to operate in Phnom Penh will be also clearly defined, and it will be necessary to ask for permission from the government.” Neak Cheat Niyum, Vol.3, #42, 4.3.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 4 March 2008

    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2759, 4.3.2008

    • 11 Year-Old Girl Was Raped and Killed Along Tonle Basak River by an Unknown Person [decomposing body was found]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1583, 4.3.2008

    • The Theme for the Woman’s Day of 2008 Is ‘Women and Social Development’
    • Monthly Meeting of the Phnom Penh Municipality Pushes Tax on [unused] Land

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6287, 4.3.2008

    • Japanese Warship Collides with Cambodian Freight Ship in Ho Chi Minh Port [no injuries, Japanese Defense Minister may resign to take responsibility]
    • European Community Plans to Send 200 Election Observers to Cambodia
    • Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, Minister of Defense, Will Visit Japanese Defense Forces [4 to 8 March 2008, to strengthen cooperation]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3403, 4.3.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Supporters Both Inside and Outside of Cambodia Are Still Firm With the Party
    • Senior Officers of Funcinpec Are Angry with Chakrapong as He Told Samdech Euv [the Father King] that Funcinpec Will Only Win Two Seats; More Seats Can Only Be Won by a Blessed Miracle

    Neak Cheat Niyum, Vol.3, #42, 4.3.2008

    • Phnom Penh City Will Stop Bus Business in the City by the End of 2008

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4531, 4.3.2008

    • Thai Prime Minister Does Not Object to the Plan to List the Preah Vihear Temple As a World Heritage Site
    • Champei and Raing Phnom Trees Are Bought to Be Sold to Thailand [Plumeria Alba and Shorea Siamensis are getting less and less, they are known to be traditional medicine plants]
    • Amnesty International Agrees to Correct Its Report [regarding forced evictions]

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #636, 4.3.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Warns Currently Ruling Party about Prediction of Its Victory Before the Election
    • Head of Teachers’ Association [Mr. Rong Chhun] Request Minister of Education Kol Pheng to Pay Teachers in Time

    Have a look at last week’s editorial

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    Monday, 3.3.2008: Thailand Conducts Preah Vihear Temple Campaign Before Thai Premier’s Visit to Cambodia

    Posted on 4 March 2008. Filed under: Week 550 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 550

    “Phnom Penh: When Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej arrived in Cambodia on Monday of 3 March 2008, the issue of Preah Vihear Temple seemed to come along with him to discuss it with Samdech Dechor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia.

    “Even though Thailand officially declared that it supports Cambodia’s efforts to list Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], Thailand, in fact, does not have the willingness to do so, as we have looked into the news events released by Thai newspapers prior to the official visit of Mr. Samak Sundaravej to Cambodia.

    [In view of the importance of good mutual understanding, we refer in this issue also to some documents of international organizations, and others from the Thai side, so that our readers can get a broader picture.]

    “The Thai campaign against listing Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site is seen through monitoring of reports by large Thai newspapers prior to Mr. Samak Sundaravej’s official visit to Cambodia, after he became Prime Minister of Thailand. For a period of one month, starting from early January to late February, major Thai English language newspapers, including The Nation and the Bangkok Post, have published at least four sensitive articles concerning listing Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. To conclude, the publications of the newspapers reflectis the stance of Thailand, which uses the border issue to obstruct the process of putting Preah Vihear Temple on the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO.

    “The Bangkok Post, on 26 February 2008, reported that, ‘Mr. Samak told General Anupong Paojinda and General Boonsrang Niempradit on Monday that his government still has its firm position to expect to see the demarcation of the border in advance.’ As for an issue released one week ago – on 19 February 2008 – the English language Bangkok Post said, “A shared cultural heritage is again at the center of a tug of war.” According to the analysis, in seven other articles of The Nation and the Bangkok Post, Thailand has the intention to have the border issue solved first, by giving the reason that Thailand is losing land, and its sovereignty is violated, for deciding to wait with listing Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.

    “But as for Cambodia, the listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site is considered not to be a border issue. Mr. Hor Namhong, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was quoted by The Nation on 22 February as saying that the Phnom Penh government was ready to declare that the process of listing Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site would not affect the border demarcation [which has still to be negotiated later], so as to put [later] markers on the Cambodian-Thai border.

    “Under the pressure of the Thai military, it was expected that Mr. Samak would take up the issue of Preah Vihear Temple to talk with Cambodian leaders [actually, the Thai side had publicly declared that Preah Vihear is not on their agenda, though they expected it would be raised by the Cambodian side], even though his visit is paid in a diplomatic manner, in order to introduce himself to other South-East Asian leaders, as he has recently became prime minister. He has his reasons to talk about this issue, in order to make the Thai military, which had ousted Thaksin Shinawatra from the position of prime minister through a military coup d’état, happy and hopeful of reducing tensions in Thailand’s internal politics. But the Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying that the issue [of the Cambodian-Thai border demarcation in the Preah Vihear area] has still to be negotiated, and it will be solved through diplomatic channels when he meets with Mr. Sok An, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, in Bangkok [actually, the Bangkok Post of 22 February quoted Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama as saying the issue would be discussed between Mr. Var Kim Hong, the head of the Cambodian Border Committee, and the Thai Foreign Ministry’s Legal Affairs Department chief, Mr. Weerachai Pladisai]

    “It is known that Mr. Sok An is the leader of the Cambodian mission to list Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. But according to the plan of the two-day visit on 3-4 March, Mr. Samak does not have a meeting with Mr. Sok An in person in his program, even though he meets with Samdech Dechor Hun Sen, and King Norodom Sihamoni grants him an audience. In preparation, before visiting Cambodia, Mr. Samak had asked the Thai military to give him detailed information about Preah Vihear.

    “Is Thailand successful in opposing the listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee?

    “According to the Decision: 31 COM 8B.24 of the above committee, the committee approved that the Preah Vihear Temple will be officially listed as a World Heritage Site at the 32nd session in 2008. But the Thai campaign against listing Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site can cause trouble, and can make a number of countries, which receive economic benefits from Thailand, hesitate in supporting Cambodia, as they are afraid of disappointing their economic partner, namely Thailand.

    “Analysts said that the border issue and listing Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site are two totally different problems which demand separate solutions. Therefore, the border issue should be solved together by the border committees of both countries on the basis of friendship. The border issue is not the responsibility of UNESCO, which is a purely cultural organization. If UNESCO makes any decision in relation to the border issue, it can make people misunderstand that the organization has a political rather than cultural character, unlike what is stated in its charter. Moreover, it is contrary or not respectful of the decision of the International Court of Justice. It should be remembered that the International Court of Justice in The Hague decided, on 15 March 1962, with the support of a 9-to-5 vote, that the Preah Vihear Temple is within the sovereignty of Cambodia. Therefore, Thailand has the obligation to withdraw troops, police, or guards or sentries who are stationed at Preah Vihear Temple or the nearby regions on the [not yet demarcated] Cambodian soil.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 16, #4530, 2-3.3.2008

    [We make the full text of the relevant UNESCO decision avaliable at the end of this article for the reference of our readers – it shows in detail the different steps mutually agreed upon by the delegations of both countries, including the need of certain measures of preservation by international cooperation, for which Thailand had offered its support. – We do not have information about the Progress Report, which Cambodia had to present to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008.]



    Thirty-first session, Christchurch, New Zealand

    DECISIONS ADOPTED: – full text of 207 pages

    Here only pages 153 and 154, related to Preah Vihear:

    Decision: 31 COM 8B.24 of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, taken at Christchurch, New Zealand
    23 June – 2 July 2007

    The World Heritage Committee,

    1. Having examined Documents WHC-07/31.COM/8B and WHC-07/31.COM/INF.8B.1,
    2. Having taken note of the following statement by the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee which has been agreed to by the Delegation of Cambodia and the Delegationof Thailand:The State Party of Cambodia and the State Party of Thailand are in full agreement that the Sacred Site of the Temple of Preah Vihear has Outstanding Universal Value and must be inscribed on the World Heritage List as soon as possible. Accordingly, Cambodia and Thailand agree that Cambodia will propose the site for formal inscription on the World Heritage List at the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee in 2008 with the active support of Thailand.They also agree that the site is in need of urgent attention and requires international financial and technical assistance and close cooperation between them.They further agree that it is essential to strengthen conservation and management at the site including by the development of an appropriate management plan, as required under paragraph 108 of the Operational Guidelines, that will ensure the future protection of this property.They understand, following consultation with the World Heritage Centre, that financial and technical assistance for the development of a management plan will be available through the World Heritage Centre’s International Assistance programme.
    3. Recognizes that the Sacred Site of the Temple of Preah Vihear is of great international significance and has Outstanding Universal Value on the basis of criteria
      (i), (ii) and (iv), agrees in principle that it should be inscribed on the World Heritage List and notes that the process for inscription is in progress;
    4. Requests the State Party of Cambodia to strengthen conservation and management at the site by making progress in developing an appropriate management plan, which progress will enable its formal inscription by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;
    5. Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit a progress report to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008.

    The following is a reference to the Judgement of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, 15 June 1962, relating to the soverignty of Cambodia over the Preah Vihear Temple – full text of 69 pages. The preface to the judgment – following here – shows, however, that the court was aware of the “Uncertain character of resulting delimitation in disputed area” – it is not know to us which of the necessary measures have been, or have not been, taken in the meantime since 1962.

    Territorial sovereignty.-Title deriving from treaty.-Treaty clauses establishing frontier along watershed line as delimited by Mixed Commission of Parties.-Uncertain character of resulting delimitation in disputed area.-Eventual production by experts of one Party, at the request of the other, of a map.-Non-binding character of map at moment of its production.-Subsequent acceptance by conduct of map and frontier line by other Party.-Legal effect of silence as implying consent.-Alleged non-correspondence of map line with true watershed 1ine.-Acceptance of risk of errors.-Subsequent conduct confirming original acceptance and precluding a denial of it.-Effect of subsequent treaties confirming existing frontiers and as evidence of Parties’ desire for frontier stability and finality.-InterPretation of treaty settlement considered as a whole, including map.

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 3 March 2008

    Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #55, 3.3.2008

    • Keo Remy [vice-president of Human Rights Party]: No Reason for Cambodia to Negotiate with Siam [Thailand] over the Preah Vihear Temple
    • Ken Sara [president of Student Movement for Democracy] and Chea Mony [leader of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Plan to Hold a Large Demonstration and Strike to Demand the Reduction of Prices of Gasoline and Other Goods, and to Demand an Increase of Salaries [for garment workers and public servants]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1582, 2-3.3.2008

    • Angkor Wat Faces Being Damaged Due to Development [environmental destruction]

    Karpear Cheat [“National Defense], Vol.1, #1, 29.2-1.3.2008

    • Having The Hague Court Verdict, Cambodia Should Not Discuss Anything with Thailand! [over Preah Vihear Temple]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #120, 3.3.2008

    • US Ambassador: Cambodia Should Manage Oil Output Properly and Transparently

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3402, 3.3.2008

    • Appointment of Advisors Is to Get Money to Serve the [Cambodian People’s] Party

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4530, 2-3.3.2008

    • Thai Conducts Preah Vihear Temple Campaign Before Thai Premier’s Visit to Cambodia
    • Cambodia and Vietnam Late in Border Demarcation [because Cambodia has only two technical groups and Vietnam cannot produce border marks on time]
    • Clearing Forests Countrywide because of Increasing Land Prices
    • [A white Toyota] Lexus Car with a Military License Plate Hit a Moto Taxi Driver and Killed Him, Then Escaped [29 February – Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3261, 2-3.3.2008

    • European Community to Send 150-200 Election Observers [to Cambodia]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial

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