Week 563

Week 563 – 2008-06-08: Saving Energy and Using Energy Efficiently

Posted on 9 June 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 563 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

The price of one barrel of crude oil jumped up by UDS$11 during one single day during the past week, to US$ 139 per barrel. One year ago it was less than half this amount. The price of premium gasoline, now quoted at Riel 5,650 per liter, did not double during the past year. The voices which criticize the Cambodian government for not being able to stop this may hope to get some political credit for saying so; but while they may get such a response locally, it is clear that their criticism is missing the point: no government in the world, depending on the import of oil, has been able to control the degree of continuing price increases which are affecting all consumers of oil, and of the products and service which depend on oil.

The oil crisis found two quite differently oriented responses during the week: What to do with the international oil market, and What to do in terms of a more radical rethinking about the use of energy.

There had been a call from Germany and Japan on OPEC to increase oil production – similar to the recent call be the US president to Saudi Arabia. Similarly, on the domestic scene, the Minister of Economy and Finance summoned Cambodian fuel companies to discuss the price of fuel in Cambodia. Similar efforts have been going on time and again, and not only during the past, crisis ridden year. But the growing demand for oil has led to a long history of price increases – time and again going higher than predicted by wishful thinking and appeasing estimations, that “soon a more stable level would be reached.” With a definitely limited supply of fossil fuel in the world, there is no way that this could happen.

But this week brought also a number of reports looking beyond the consumption of oil – considering the saving of oil in small and in big ways.

According to a report from the Chinese Xinhua News Agency, ministers in charge of energy problems of the G8 countries [“Group of Eight” – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America] plus China, India, and South Korea, met in Japan “to step up efforts for energy efficiency so as to lower global market demands and cut greenhouse gas emissions.” It was not not only an effort to get more oil produced at lower prices, and at the end they announced the establishment of an International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, as an instrument to facilitate energy-saving measures and the transfer of related technologies. “The ministers believed that energy saving and energy efficiency is one of the quickest, greenest, and most cost-effective way to address energy security, climate change, and ensuring economic growth,” according to the declaration.

What is interesting, is that the Xinhua Agency produced, on the same web page, also a series of pictures from the Spanish capital city of Madrid, a country normally known for its conservative culture, explaining, “Naked protesters ride on a street in Madrid, on 7 June 2008. Hundreds of protesters hold a naked bicycle riding demonstration here on Saturday to protest against the expansion of the use of autos and call for bicycle riding instead of driving cars to reduce pollution as well as respecting the rights and interests of riders.”

Similar demonstrations have taken place in about 130 cities on five continents – an effort not only to speak, but to take action in a way that the public is strongly challenged: “We ride in order to draw attention to the oil dependency and the negative social and environmental impacts of a car dominated culture.”

Actually, the UN World Environmental Day, hardly considered in Cambodia, was held under the Topic “Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy” – and was promoting, among other things, also the use of bicyles in cities – and the preparation of the roads to make them safer for the use by cyclists.

In previous editorials of the Mirror, we had reported also on calls by the Cambodian authorities to save energy, and we shared observations:

6.1.2008 – Week 541: The Prime Minister “called on state institutions which use state fuel, that they should use fuel economically and not use it for work which is not work for the state, for example, gasoline of the state should not be used to go for a private drive on Saturdays or Sundays.”

16.3.2008 – Week 551: “All institutions should help to save electricity… Air conditioners should be set at 25 degrees centigrade…” On 13.3.2008, a circular had said: “‘the royal government has a policy that all cities and provinces should save electricity as well, in order to save national expenses…”

30.3.2008 – Week 553: “It was also noted, during the past weeks, that several movements of the Cambodian government – like the appeal to save electricity… were denounced by some as political maneuvers by the government.”

13.4.2008 – Week 555: We mirrored already twice during the current year that the Prime Minister strongly appealed to save energy – on 4 January 2008 and again on 13 March 2008. Probably the overall results of such appeals could be improved, and wider cooperation all over society could be increased, if the relevant authorities would publish data about what has been achieved, and what could be done better – for example in relation to power cuts in Phnom Penh. “At present, the situation is not transparent at all, in terms of fair distribution of power cuts, savings achieved, or other aspects of adherence to the advice of the Prime Minister. For an orderly, just, and peaceful development of society, especially in times before an election, transparency is crucial.”

Now, on 5 June 2008, there was also again a call by the Cambodian government, advising all state institutions to save electricity. But it comes still without any report back what happened with previous, similar calls. What did state institiutions do, what did cities and communes do?

On 6 June 2008, practical public action was reported – though from India: the Prime Minister’s office did not approve a plan by the Minister for Decentralization to travel to the US and to Norway, the Tourism and Culture Minister, and the Shipping and Surface Transport Minister canceled their trips in view of austerity measures. Such publicly announced measures create confidence that the government acts.

Before knowing that “energy saving and energy efficiency” would be identified by the G8 energy ministers as “one of the quickest, greenest, and most cost-effective way to address energy security, climate change, and ensuring economic growth,” we had already mirrored on Monday a report about two NGOs working with similar goals: using energy saving methods which are a contribution to fight global warming and, at the same time, can also be used as carbon credit trading measures, bringing even financial returns for their saving of about 180,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during the years 2003 to 2007.

Is this method not known more widely in Cambodia? Or is it used but not so much reported? It appears that many methods of reforestation in Cambodia might also qualify for such financial rewards – though the question remains, of course, whether re-forestation is not counterbalanced by the many reports of de-forestation – as some random reports from the present week show, like we have them almost every week:

  • Gunman Cutting Down Trees in Ratanakiri
  • Trees in the Northeast Provinces and in Kompong Thom Continue Being Destroyed
  • Merchants Are Cutting Down Trees on Phnom Kulen

The 7th and 8th of the UN Millennium Development Goals share these concerns:

7.Ensure environmental sustainability

8.Develop a global partnership for development

Therefore we mirrored on Saturday the announcement of a scholarship scheme which is not just offering educational opportunities abroad in general, but which offers a clearly targeted opportunity for young entrepreneurs, to study information technology that is geared to new and resource-saving technologies and products in Germany – a combination of theory and applicable practice: information and communications technology, useful to start environment friendly businesses after returning back to Cambodia.

We wish the successful applicants all the best, and hope that the Khmer press will pay attention to such theory-and-practice combining efforts, as a contribution towards coming closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

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Saturday, 7.6.2008: German Government Offers Scholarships to Young Cambodian Entrepreneurs to Bridge Digital Divide

Posted on 8 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 | Tags: , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“With the aim to support developing countries in their efforts not to be excluded from important global processes and not to be hampered in the use of new and resource-saving technologies and products the German Government has decided to offer scholarships to bridge this digital divide.

“One of the possible negative results of the lack of information technology related knowledge is that productivity in developing countries is by international standards declining and the achievements of the UN Millennium Development Goals may be jeopardized.

“The programme is intended to enable young entrepreneurs from developing countries to successfully start up an information and communications technology (ICT) business in their home countries.

Konrad Zuse scholarships [named after the inventor of the world’s first functional program-controlled computer in 1941] are worth Euro 1.200 per month and granted for up to one year. This sum is intended to cover all expenses incurred in Germany for medical insurance, accommodation, food etc. In addition the German Government meets the cost of air travel for one return trip to Germany per beneficiary.

“For all beneficiaries individual training plans are drawn up tailored to their specific requirements as well as the sector in which they intend to start up their business.

“The training includes an academic component as well as internships in German companies active in the same sector as the prospective start-up.

“Further information is to be obtained on the website of the German Embassy Phnom Penh.

“Deadline for applications is 25 July 2008.”

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6365, 7-8.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 7 June 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1661, 7.6.2008

  • Samdech Euv [the Father King Norodom Sihanouk] Predicted the Fate of the Khmer Monarchy [that it will be dissolved again]
  • Children Living at Garbage Dump Site Face Health Problems and Illiteracy

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #171, 7.6.2008

  • LICADHO Asks the Ministry of Information to Allow the FM-105.25 Radio Station in Kratie to Be Reopened
  • Observers and Opinion Leaders of Cambodia [such as the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Voice Concerns over the Issue of the Preah Vihear Temple [with Thailand]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #26, 7-10.6.2008

  • Forrest Land in the National Angkor Park Has Been Enclosed by Merchants to Be Claimed and Owned

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6365, 7-8.6.2008

  • Cambodia Benefits from the Rice Price Increase; the IMF said the Cambodian Economy Remains Strong [6 June 2008]
  • Russey Keo Authorities Arranges Places to Build Prek Pnov Bridge Crossing the Tonle Sap River
  • German Government offers scholarships to young Cambodian entrepreneurs to bridge digital divide

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3480, 7-8.6.2008

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Does Not Allow Ms. So Socheat to Take [her husband] Khiev Samphan to Their Home in Pailin

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4609, 7.6.2008

Samleng Kamkor, Vol.1, #4, 7.6.2008

  • US$300 Million Planned to Be Spent to Subsidize Fuel Price in Cambodia in 2008 [according to a government estimate]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3327, 7.6.2008

  • During One Whole Term, Prime Minister Hun Sen Never Answered Any Question Orally in the National Assembly

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #674, 7-8.6.2008

  • The US and Vietnam Discussed Human Rights Problems [Vietnam promised to respect human rights and religious rights]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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Friday, 6.6.2008: Report of 2005-2006 Shows that 70 Percent of Sex Workers, Women and Children, Are Khmers

Posted on 7 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“According to a report based on a joint statistical research of organizations on sex exploitation from 2005 to 2006 received from 25 non-government organizations, in the period of two years there were 518 cases of sex exploitation of women and girls, and 179 of all women were considered to be sexually exploited victims.

“The Report showed that almost 70% of the women and children involved in sex exploitation are Khmers, 28% are Vietnamese, and 2% are Chinese; and among all the nationals with sexually exploited persons, 81% are Khmers, and 19% are Vietnamese, but there are no Chinese involved in this case.

“The report was organized by ECPAT International, and presented on 4 May 2008 in a workshop of anti-human trafficking groups’ working on the national level, meeting at the Sunway Hotel.

The report added that the decline of sex trafficking victims rescued by many organizations is not a sign of the change of trafficking in Cambodia, but it is the result of the reduction of services of such organizations.

“According to the statistics of the Ministry of Planning, 6.4% of the children countrywide under the age of 18 lost their fathers, and 1.7% lost their mothers. Their destinations of human trafficking are Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Koh Kong; and more than 20% of human trafficking is targeted to neighboring countries, mostly Malaysia and Thailand. Talking about Vietnamese, they were trafficked from Vietnam to Phnom Penh, but it is not sure yet whether they are originally from outside of Cambodia or not.

“Sex trafficking is classified into four main groups depending on age groups; the first group includes trafficking of girls under the age of 18 who were forced and deceived to do sex work, the second group includes trafficking of girls under the age of 18 who voluntarily do sex work, the third group includes trafficking of women over the age of 18 who were forced and deceived to do sex work, and the fourth group include trafficking of women over the age of 18 who voluntarily do sex work.

“Some girls under the age of 18 explained their situation by referring to losing their parents, because their parents left them, or because they divorced, or there were problems in their families such as debt and poverty. These were the reasons that made them leave their hometowns to find jobs; most of them were abducted and were sexually abused.

“Police rescued the persons in almost two thirds of all cases, then they were followed up by social affairs’ officials and non-government organizations. But what is interesting is that police were not the leading agency to send victims to rehabilitation centers, although they rescued most of them, and on the other side, non government organizations were the leading agencies to send the victimized to the centers; then their cases were followed by the police and by social affair’s officials.

“According to the data collected, most of the women and girls returned to do their previous jobs as sex workers, and few of them used the skills they had learned in the rehabilitation centers to secure their living differently.

“40 of the 117 cases reported to police led to investigations to find suspects from 2005 to 2006; and almost 83% of the investigations led to the lodging of complaints against the suspects for both the accusations of trafficking and of rape.

“80.8% of child trafficking investigations led to the arrests of the suspects, but compared to the cases of adult women, there were only 57.1% such cases leading to arrests.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6364, 6.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 6 June 2008

Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #35, 5-11.6.2008

  • Child Labor Remains Serious Problem, but the Situation Is More Secretive than before

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1658, 6.6.2008

  • Today’s World Environmental Day Is Held under the Topic “Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy”
  • Phnom Penh Is Facing a Serious Shortage of School Buildings [according to Mr. Om Kham Khuon, director of the Department of Education, Youth, and Sport of Phnom Penh]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #588, 6.6.2008

  • It Is a Shame that the Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Have the Courage to Participate in the Anniversary of the Loss of Kampuchea Krom Land
  • While Hun Sen Boasts about a Two Digits [economic] Growth, the World Bank Says 55% of Khmers Do Not Gain Benefits

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #170, 6.6.2008

  • [The Minister of Economy and Finance] Keat Chhon Summoned Fuel Companies to Discuss the Price of Fuel in Cambodia Which Is Higher than in Neighboring Countries [according to Secretary of Sate of the Ministry of Economy and Finance Mr. Chea Pengleag, who attended the nearly-two-hour meeting on 4 June 2008]
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ho Van: the Distribution of Voter’s Information Cards Is Very Unfair in Phnom Penh [because the National Election Committee only selects commune councilors of the Cambodian People’s Party]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6364, 6.6.2008

  • While Khiev Samphan’s Illness Gets Worse, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Brought Him Back into Detention
  • Cambodia [improved and] Ranked in 2nd Tier in the US Report on Human Trafficking in 2008
  • The National Election Committee Shows that there Are 8,125,529 Voters

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3479, 6.6.2008

  • Sar Kheng Dares Not to Explain the Problem that Cambodia Does Not Respect Minimum Standards in Curbing Human Trafficking

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4608, 6.6.2008

  • [Two] Experts of the US Senate Come to Study the [Cambodian] Oil Industry
  • The UN Provides US$1.2 Billion More to 60 Countries Most Seriously Affected by the Increase of Food Prices

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #673, 6.6.2008

  • The Government Starts to Create a Labor Court [according to Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training Mr. Oum Mean]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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Thursday, 5.6.2008: Mr. Sam Rainsy Says that Good Investors Will Not Come to Invest in a Country Where Leaders Are Corrupt-to-the-Bone like in Cambodia

Posted on 6 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“Observers said that the year 2008 is a most important year for Khmer citizens, for more than eight million voters, to change to a new leader to lead the government until 2013.

“However, early 2008 investments in Cambodia declined to nearly 50 percent of the period of three months, compared to the same period in early 2007.

“According to a summary report by the Council for the Development of Cambodia [CDC], in the period of three months, private investments in Cambodia covered in total US$253 million, which is less than that during last year, covering US$503 million. This report showed that foreign investment declined from US$282 million for the period of three months in early 2007 to US$162 million for the same period of early 2008; and also local investment declined from US$221 million for the same period of 2007 to only more than US$90 million in 2008.

“The CDC report added that in terms of foreign investments in the period of three months of 2008, Singapore ranked first with US$48 million, China ranked second with US$32 million, and South Korea ranked third with US$30 million. However, in the period of three months of 2007, the investments from China had been first with US$66 million, and South Korea had been third with US$38 million.

“An economic analyst said that the decline will affect the labor force, and economic growth will also decline. There are two reasons leading to this problem – the decline of garment exports, and the decline of the constructions of high rise buildings, flats, and houses, mostly by investments from South Korea. This decline might affect the everyday livelihood of citizens and might increase poverty.

“Regarding the above issue, Mr. Sam Rainsy, a famous opposition leader and an economist, criticized the government, claiming that the decline is because of corruption, which makes good investors not to dare to invest in Cambodia.

“He said, ‘It does not mean only the decline of quantity, but also the decline of quality, because there is more corruption in Cambodia than in other countries; therefore good investors will not come to invest in a country where leaders are corrupt-to-the-bone like in Cambodia, and companies that dare to invest in Cambodia are mostly problematic companies.

“The report of the CDC showed also that in 2007, the total investment covered US$2,700 million, of which US$1,200 million came form tourism, and US$708 million came from physical infrastructure and services, US$374 million came from industries and factories, and US$363 million came from agro-industries. In 2007 investment from China ranked first with US$461 million invested in big hydro-electricity plants, and South Korea ranked third with US$152 million.

“Some economic observers in Cambodia noted that investment in 2007 was lower than that in 2006, and in 2008 it will decline more than in 2007. This decline was mainly because of corruption and heavy bureaucratic procedures in important institutions, making big investors afraid of investing in Cambodia.

“Economic observers in Cambodia claim that some important state institutions which are full of corruption are the Council of Ministers of Cambodia, administered by Sok An, who is Hun Sen’s in-law, the Ministry of Economy and Finance managed by Keat Chhon, the former advisor to Pol Pot, the Ministry of Commerce administered by Cham Prasidh, Sok An’s in-law, the Customs and Excise office administered by Pen Siman, the CDC, and the Department of the Economic Police of the Ministry of Interior.

“Some officials of civil society organizations mentioned that in the Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum meeting on 19 and 20 June 2007, the power addicted Hun Sen, head of the Royal Government of Cambodia, promised the international community and the donor countries that he would adopt an anti-corruption law soon; however, after the international community and the donor countries had agreed to provide aid of nearly US$600 million to Cambodia, he did not keep his promise. In contrast, he let corruption spread further than before, making foreign investors not to come to invest in Cambodia.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3478, 5.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 5 June 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #114, 5.6.2008

  • The Accused Chea Ratha Hires a Lawyer to Sue [against the warrant of the Phnom Penh Court prosecutors and investigating judges] to Open a Way Back for Her to the Country, Saying that a Third Person Was behind the Acid Attack [on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1658, 5.6.2008

  • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Khiev Samphan’s Illness Gets More Serious [according to his wife, Mr. Khiev Samphan cannot speak and is partly paralyzed]
  • [Prime Minister] Samdech Hun Sen Announced that He Will Not Participate in the Election Campaign
  • The US Will Provide Nearly US$1 Million for the Preservation of the Phnom Bak Khaeng Temple [according to the US Embassy in Phnom Penh]
  • The Government Advises All State Institutions to Save Electricity
  • Price of Land and of Houses in Phnom Penh Stays Still High

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #169, 5.6.2008

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association Strongly Condemned Phnom Penh Authorities [for prohibiting them to commemorate at a public site, the 59th anniversary of France cutting Khmer land off and giving it to Yuon – Vietnam – but to hold it at the headquarters of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association with limited space, also criticizing the arrests of monks like the Vietnamese government did]
  • Investment Declines, because There Is Serious Corruption

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6363, 5.6.2008

  • Merchants Are Cutting Down Trees on Phnom Kulen; It Is Reported that There Are Ten Sites Splitting Trees
  • Cambodia Ranked 21st [with a high rate of primary and a lower rate of secondary education] among 129 Countries ranked by UNESCO
  • Korea Intends to Plant Trees and Preserve Forests in the Angkor Area where there Are Temples [according to Mr. Hun Sen’s assistant Mr. Ieng Sophalet]
  • Robbers with AK Assault Rifles Shot Dead Husband and Wife to Take a Gold Box [on 3 June 2008 – Battambang]
  • Vietnam Opens Way for the Construction of a Nuclear Plant

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3478, 5.6.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Says that Good Investors Will Not Come to Invest in a Country Where Leaders Are Corrupt-to-the-Bone like in Cambodia
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Kuoy Bunroeun Asked the National Election Committee to Include People from Political Parties to Join in the Distributions of Information Leaflets [4 June 2008]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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Wednesday, 4.6.2008: Patriarchy Leads to Gender Inequality in Society

Posted on 4 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“Phnom Penh: The word ‘gender’ is still new for most people and most countries of the world. Different definitions of this word have been given, and they always change according to the times.

“Responding to this problem, Action Aid invited Ms. Kamla Bhasin, who is a well-known gender trainer from India, to talk to more than ten Khmer journalists from different newspapers and radio and television stations in Phnom Penh last weekend.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin said ‘gender’ does not simply mean ‘equality between men and women.’ Society is the determinator, not nature, and sex is a biological factor. She added that ‘gender’ is not only a new word for Cambodia, but also in other countries of the world.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin explained, ‘What determines the inequality of gender in society comes from adhering to patriarchy’ [What Is Patriarchy? by Kamla Bhasin]. She continued that patriarchy as a social system is not a recent phenomenon; it has been strengthened gradually since around 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

“She went on to say that patriarchy [literally: ‘father-rule’] in the world has lasted more than 2,500 years, and it can hardly be changed, because of capitalism and the creation of institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other strong institutions. These institutions do not allow any changes in patterns of social administration..

“There are many evidences showing that patriarchy leads to gender inequality. Fifteen years ago the International Labor Organization conducted studies on work inside and outside of the house and on agricultural work, and it found that two thirds of the work was done by women, but they got only one tenth of the income; and among all of the world’s property, only one percent was owned by women.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin stressed, ‘Violation of girls and women happens also because the world upholds patriarchy, creating inequality in society. However, gender relations can always change according to the times.’ She continued. ‘Violation of women because of the inequality in society happen on different levels: in the heart, in feelings, and in the economy.’

“She added, ‘Gender talks about society, sex, and biology, which are defined by human society; humans can determine their biology, animals can not.

“Ms. Kamla Bhasin said, ‘Although societies based on patriarchy cause gender inequality affecting women, patriarchy also affects men, because not all men are strong.’

“In the field of the media, what is the situation of gender inequality, when a society upholds patriarchy? Does the press show patriarchal tendencies or not? The answer is that there probably must be such a tendency. According to research by the Women’s Media Center of Cambodia from 1996 to 1999 on 37 newspapers and 2 magazines, focusing on 3,083 articles, there were only 5% of all articles talking about women and focusing on poor and victimized women.

“The research found also that there were only 18 articles correctly talking about gender inequality, and only 4 articles showed noticeable positive actions of women in society. However, what is interesting is that 53% of news producers and presenters were women.

“It also showed that influential people in the field of the media, especially in Cambodia – most of the owners of the press, of newspapers, and also of radio and television stations – were men, also the major administrators. Most of the journalists were also men.

“Violations of women are part of the gender inequality in a society; but they are more serious in India than in Cambodia; it was found that in Indian society, 40% of married women are victimized by violations from their husbands, because of a variety of reasons.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4606, 4.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #113, 4.6.2008

  • Fuel Price is Riel 5,650 per Liter [premium gasoline]; [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Is Incompetent to Stop It
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Held the 59th Anniversary about France Cutting Their Land and Giving It to Yuon [Vietnam]
  • [Poipet immigration police chief] Pich Saran and His Partisans Extort More than Bath 1,000 [approximately US$31] per Citizen to Complete the Forms to Enter Thailand

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #71, 4-10. 6.2008

  • Mondolkiri: There Are Officials and Merchants behind Phnong Minority Tribespeople to Claim Land that the State Gave to the Khov Chily Company

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1658, 4.6.2008

  • Survey Results on the Use of Drugs and on the Creation of a National Level Intervention Plan Have Been Released
  • Wicked People and Merchants Stir up Citizens to Clear Forest to Own It [then buying it from the citizens at low prices] in Phnom Srok [Banteay Meanchey]
  • Storm Destroyed Twenty Seven Houses in Prey Chhor District [Kompong Cham – on 2 June 2008 – killing a man]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #25, 4-6.6.2008

  • The Cambodian Center for Human Rights Asked the Government to Discuss the Preah Vihear Temple Issue Publicly [2 May 2008]
  • Income from Tourism in Cambodia Will Increase to US$3,200 Million in 2015 [from US$1,400 million in 2007 – according to the Minster of Tourism Mr. Thong Khon]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4606, 4.6.2008

  • Thai Soldiers Prohibit Khmer Citizens to Do Rice Farming and to Build a House along the Border [they have claimed that the land has not yet been clearly marked]
  • Patriarchy Leads to Gender Inequality in Society
  • A Gifted Cambodian Student [from Sisowath High School] Won the Bronze Medal from the 20th Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3325, 4.6.2008

  • The US Will Release the 2008 International Trafficking in Persons Report [at 10:00 a.m. of 4 June 2008 in the US Department of State Press Briefing Room]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #671, 4.6.2008

  • In Seventy Five Years [1932-2007], Thailand Had Eighteen Coups [three coups had failed and two resulted in bloodshed]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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Tuesday, 3.6.2008: Five Organizations Sign a Memorandum with the Ministry of Social Affairs

Posted on 4 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“Phnom Penh: A memorandum for a project for a period of three years has been signed at the Ministry of Social Affairs between the Minister of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Mr. Ith Samheng, and five other organizations – the International Committee of the Red Cross, Handicap International Belgium, Handicap International France, the Cambodia Trust, and Veterans International Cambodia, on 2 June 2008, with the goal to create appropriate employment opportunities.

“Mr. Ith Samheng said that, based on the Rectangular Strategy of the third term royal government of Cambodia, and based on the 1993-2002 and the 2003-2012 Millennium Policies for persons with disabilities, the Ministry of Social Affairs has set six strategic goals for the field of people with disabilities – first, to concentrate on promoting the basic rights of persons with disabilities, second, to strengthen and expand self-dependent groups of persons with disabilities; third, to strengthen and expand the rights of persons with disabilities to join social activities; fourth, to strengthen professional training programs for persons with disabilities; fifth, to guarantee the creation of appropriate employment. This depends on rehabilitation measures for restoring possibilities for appropriate employment, which require non-pharmacological interventions to prevent serious disabilities by such treatments which use physiotherapy, the provision of artificial and of supporting limbs, and the provision of assisting tools for mobility; and sixth, coordinate and facilitate the traveling of handicapped people to public places. Separately, the restoration of the possibility of appropriate employment is a very important service which has brought many successes.

Additional Information from page 8 of a Five Year Plan 2004-2009 of the UK based Cambodia Trust website

Millennium Development Goals

The priority for Governments, UN agencies and major development organizations, is to meet the [Eight] UN Global Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Unfortunately, the Goals do not make specific reference to disabled people. Most major development organizations have failed to include disabled people in their mainstream poverty alleviation programs.

“Eliminating world poverty is unlikely to be achieved unless the rights and needs of disabled people are taken into account.”

Cambodia’s goal

Cambodia has added a ninth target to these goals: Millennium Development Goal 9 – to move towards zero impact from landmines and UXOs by 2012. One quotation from this document is of specific importance:

“A victim assistance framework [for victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance] needs to be developed on a national scale that is rights based and not a disability model. Victim assistance must move much more into mainstream development programs and the self-help movement.

The challenge to develop victim assistance through mainstream poverty reduction programs requires developing co-operative strategies with a network of NGOs. Just as the disability sector in Cambodia needs to develop a rights-based approach, so victim assistance needs to be thought of in terms of integration with society and not as a separate group.” (Unpublished paper, UNDP, December 2003).

“Mr. Ith Samheng stressed that the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation has encouraged and facilitated international non-government organizations to provide services for fruitful rehabilitation measures towards appropriate employment. Nowadays, the provision of such services include the production, the distribution, and the repairing of artificial and supporting limbs, the provision and maintenance of wheel-chairs and other support tools to ease mobility, physiotherapeutic treatment for the restoration appropriate employment in the community, and other services like special arrangements for the provision of meals, for special housing, financial support for moving around, social sponsorships, and training.” Koh Santepheap, Vol. 41, #6361, 3.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #112, 3.6.2008

  • Officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Removed Portraits of Kampuchea Krom Khmer Monks at Wat Samaki Rainsey [to investigate for fake monks who joined the demonstration in front of the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh]
  • Political Murders Have Increased to Twenty One Cases; Civil Society Is Concerned about this Effects on the Election Results

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1657, 3.6.2008

  • Phnom Penh [Municipality] Prepares More than 4,000 Forces for Election Day
  • The Military Junta in Burma Said Its Responses to the Tropical Cyclone Are Very Fast [1 June 2008]
  • Thai Opposition Group Vow to Continue Demonstrations on the Roads to Grow Much Stronger [to push the Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6361, 3.6.2008

  • US Delivered [31] Trucks to Cambodian Troops, Twenty Nine More Will Be Delivered to Make Them Sixty
  • Five Organizations Sign a Memorandum with the Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Leaders of Germany and Japan Called on OPEC to Increase Oil Production [1 June 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3476, 3.6.2008

  • Khiev Samphan Is Seriously Ill [according to co-defense lawyer Say Bory] at the Calmette Hospital and Might Die and Take with Him Many Mysteries [this is a concern expressed by civil organizations]
  • [Cambodian] Police Suggest to the Main Office of Interpol in France to Help Arrest the Accused Chea Ratha [by distributing Ms. Chea Ratha portraits to more than one hundred countries]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4605, 3.6.2008

  • Two Khmer Women Are Free from Being Sex Slaves in Taiwan [they were brought back to Cambodia by CARAM Cambodia and the Migrant Forum Asia]
  • Prime Minister [Hun Sen] Wants the King [Norodom Sihamoni] to Prohibit the Use of the Monarchy in the Election Campaigns

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3324, 3.6.2008

  • Serey Kosal Had Sued [Funcinpec] Secretary-General Nhek Bun Chhay at the Phnom Penh Court [over the accusation of abusing the political law and violating Funcinpec statutes and internal rules]
  • Lack of the Implementation of Regulations Is a Serious Violation of Child Rights [according to the Center for Social Development]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #670, 3.6.2008

  • A Ceremony to Announce the Use of Book Publications and Books on AIDS Was Held [by the National AIDS Authority and UNESCO on 2 June 2008]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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Monday, 2.6.2008: Carbon Dioxide Is Becoming the Source of Income to Support Environmental Actions in Cambodia

Posted on 3 June 2008. Filed under: Week 563 | Tags: , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 563

“An environmental expert said that now carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere all year long, which is considered to be polluting the atmosphere, is becoming a major source of income to support environmental actions in Cambodia.

“Mr. Nop Polin, the Information and Public Relations Officer of GERES Cambodia, said on 26 May 2008 that now, his organization is one among other non-government organizations working in poor countries through carbon credit trading related to carbon dioxide savings.

“He stated, ‘Nowadays, we are processing actions in Cambodia through volunteer carbon credit trading.’

“He added that by selling carbon credits it is possible to receive funds. Carbon credits are certified in documents stating the quantity of carbon dioxide saved, issued by the audit organization for carbon dioxide emissions [the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change], and they are paid for with funds from the volunteer carbon dioxide emissions market. The volunteer carbon credits market has been created by organizations and industrial companies – one side is emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the other side is taking different actions to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, like by replanting trees, or by using solar energy, with prices mutually agreed without any imposed regulation.

“He went on to say that through this policy it is attempted to keep the balance in the atmosphere against global warming and climate change, which are threatening the world day by day. Those who release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and those who take actions to reduce emissions must achieve a balance between the release of carbon dioxide and environmental protecting actions, aiming to make them equal to achieve a zero increase balance.

“He explained it with an example, ‘If a company releases one tonne of carbon dioxide [the unit to calculate carbon credits], that company must pay us to replant trees, or to take any actions that can also achieve to offset the emission of carbon dioxide by one tonne.’ So far, in order to guarantee the continuity of the global environment, the use of carbon credits, by using carbon credit trade in a voluntary carbon market, becomes a new commerce for some countries; Cambodia has only two non-government organizations working in this field. The two organizations are cooperating with some organizations in other poor countries to expand their work through funds from the sale of these carbon credits. The two organizations are the Center for Study and the Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] and GERES Cambodia.

“Mr. Nop Polin said that his organization has progressed by depending on finance from carbon credit sales since 2003, by teaching citizens to use new improved cook stoves that can reduce the use of wood and charcoal, and can reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by about one tonne per year.

“He stressed, ‘Through the wood saving project, we have been able to save since 2003 to 2007 180,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is considered to correspond to carbon credits, selling them on the European market, where the carbon credits are sold for between US$5 to US$15 per tonne in the volunteer carbon markets.’

“Mr. Minh Le Quan, the head of the Climate Change and Renewable Energy Unit of GERES, said that the above mentioned actions are the beginning of a new era for developing countries to work on global climate change. He continued, ‘Previously, it was assumed that the only method for publishing and for taking action depends on funds, but now we can start to think about carbon markets to help those who are among the most seriously affected victims of climate change.’

“He went on to say that this process will ease the burden on the funders of the project, and it can can help to reduce many more tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and help to improve the living standards of citizens all over Asia.

“He stressed, ‘Carbon credit financing is a new current, to provide funds through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.’

“Mr. Nop Polin said that citizens can join in this commerce if they have the ability to create clear plans and to form action groups.”

(In cooperation with the NGO Forum on Cambodia)
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4604, 1-2.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 2 June 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #111, 2.6.2008

  • Gunman Cutting Down Trees in Ratanakiri Threatened the Life of a Man Who Is Living in the Forest Community and Who Is an ADHOC Activist
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmer Association Urged the US Senate to Adopt Law 3096 [that protects the rights of Kampuchea Krom Khmers in Vietnam – 26 May 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1656, 1.6.2008

  • The United Nations: Myanmar Forces Attacked People Victimized by the Tropical Cyclone to Leave Their Camps [to return to their destroyed villages]

Khmer Eak Reach, Vol.2, #9, 1-7.6.2008

  • LICADHO Warns about the Increase of Land Disputes

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #167, 1-3.6.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: How Can Teachers Go to Study when Their Salaries Are Low Like These Days?

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6360, 2.6.2008

  • During the Fourth Week of Early May, Journalists Faced Many Noticeable Problems
  • LICADHO: 70% of All Problem Cases Reported That Relate to Children in 2007 Are Sexual Abuse Cases; 203 Little Girls Were Abused
  • More Than 6,000 Persons Received Medical Treatment from US Soldiers [29 May 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3475, 2.6.2008

  • Trees in the Northeast Provinces and in Kompong Thom Continue Being Destroyed [according to non-government organizations]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4604, 1-2.6.2008

  • Carbon Dioxide Is Becoming the Source of Income to Support Environmental Actions in Cambodia
  • Thai Prime Minister [Samak Sundaravej] Warned He Will Use Force to Halt Demonstrations against Him [31 May 2008]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3323, 1-2.6.2008

  • The National Election Committee Announced that Information Papers Will Be Distributed on 5 June 2008 [to those who are on the election lists]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #669, 2.6.2008

  • The Club of Cambodian Journalists Asked [the Minister of Foreign Affairs] Mr. Hor Namhong to Withdraw a Lawsuit against the Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Dum Sith, accused because he reported the content of another lawsuit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs]
  • Border Problems with Laos Will Be Solved in June [according to Mr. Var Kimhong, the chairperson of the government’s Border Committee]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Setting priorities – what to do to remove some dangerous obstacles, to get safer roads

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