Week 567

Week 567 – Sunday,2008-07-06: Access to and perception of critical information

Posted on 7 July 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 567 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

Having just returned to Cambodia from Thailand after more than three weeks, I am still struggling to understand how differently the public is made aware and deals with critical issues. Though I had less direct access to the media in Cambodia, I feel at a loss to understand some elements of this difference.

One basic problem is the different level of easily available detailed documentation related to the case. As a result I saw during the past weeks – in the press, in mailing lists and on blogs from Cambodia many repetitive references to the 1962 decision of the International Court of Justice which “finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia” – but this is broadly accepted, not contested in the Thai public. Newspapers, leaders of the government and of the opposition accept the 1962 International Court of Justice decisions that the Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia.

But the often repeated insistence by Cambodian voices that “the case” is therefore settled, is only partly true. Is there a Khmer translation of the 1962 ruling on which the public discussion is based? (Access to its full official English text is referenced in the Mirror editorial of 29 June 2008).

In olden times, there were no clear national boundaries between Cambodia and Thailand. The governments of Siam and of France decided in 1893: “There shall be a delimitation of the frontiers between the Kingdom of Siam and the territories making up French Indo-China. This delimitation will be carried out by Mixed Commissions composed of officers appointed by the two contracting countries.” In 1904 it was again decided to do an unfulfilled task, as the International Court of Justice said with some surprise in 1962: “It seems clear … that a frontier was surveyed and fixed; but the question is what was that frontier (in particular in the region of Preah Vihear), by whom was it fixed, in what way, and upon whose instructions? The difficultly in answering these questions lies in the fact that, after the minutes of the meeting of the First Commission on 2 December 1906, there is no further reference whatever, in any minutes of later meetings, to the question of the frontier in the Dangrek region.”

Further negotiations happened, more maps were produced, but the Court said in 1962 also: “The Court will, for the moment, confine itself to … an argument which the Court considers to be correct, namely that the map was never formally approved by the first Mixed Commission as such, since that Commission had ceased to function some months before the production of the map… The Court must nevertheless conclude that, in its inception, and at the moment of its production, it had no binding character.”

Even after 1962 until today, the border between both countries has never been mutually agreed upon.

When the Court accepted in 1961 to take up the case, it said: “This is a dispute about territorial sovereignty.” The present Thai reservations are not about whether Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia or not – it is about surrounding territories of about 4.6 square kilometer. Even one month before the present UNESCO meeting, there was no common position. And then quick acts followed each other:

22 May 2008: A 10 hours meeting between the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Noppadon Pattama in Paris resulted in a renewed confirmation that Thailand supports Cambodia in registering the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site. The Cambodian side agreed to register only the Preah Vihear temple, leaving the disputed area unresolved – but a new map had to be prepared.

17 June 2008: The Thai government approves the new Cambodian map, without making the content of the Cambodian proposal public in Thailand – creating suspicion of some secret deals – though announcing that a disclosure of the content would happen “within days.” But it was already revealed that the new Cambodian map claimed only an area of about 20 to 30 meters around the temple. While it was not reported when the Cambodian government had made the decision about the new map, members of the Thai Senate questioned whether the Thai government had violated the Thai constitution by making an international agreement which affects Thai territorial sovereignty – for which the constitution prescribes a decision by parliament.

18 June 2008: Already on the following day, the ministers of the two countries who had conducted the negotiations, signed a Joint Communique at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Joint Communique, reprinted in the press in Thailand, states: “The Kingdom of Cambodia strongly stresses that the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear is without prejudice to the demarcation work of the Cambodian-Thai Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) between Cambodia and Thailand… The Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.” And a map, signed by the head of the Cambodian Border Committee, explains the implications of these Cambodian decisions (see the map attached to the editorial on the Mirror of 29 June 2008).

29 June 2008:
The Thai Administrative Court ruled that the government had overstepped its authority.

3 July 2008: The Thai Constitutional Court accepted, in response to requests by members of the Senate and by embers of the Parliament, also to initiate an investigation into the constitutionality of the government’s action – related to the implications for the territorial integrity of the country.

4 July 2008: The Thai Constitutional Court summoned the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs to testify about his actions. The Thai government announced that they would, of course, abide by whatever their Constitutional Court decides.

Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear



Preah Vihear – 500 meter above the lower plain (source: Cambodian submission)

What I could not answer, while still in Thailand and being asked:

How does the Cambodian public evaluate the geographical situation, that the Preah Vihear temple lies more that 500 meter above the Cambodian surroundings, and historically was built to be accessed only by pilgrims coming from the north, presently Thailand?

How might the Cambodian side intend to operate the Preah Vihear temple in its integrity, as a place of cultural and touristic pilgrimage, claiming only a 30 meter stretch of land around it? (What would practically happen, if there were only 30 meters uncontested territory around Angkor Wat as a tourism site?)

Why is the Preah Vihear historical heritage receiving such strong emotional response in the Cambodian public, while events related to other sites of its national history, like the privatization of the Killing Fields Memorial to a Japanese business company, did not lead to any public reaction?

How might the Cambodian public react, when organizations in neighboring countries would call on UNESCO to disregard whatever the Constitutional Council of Cambodia might decide?

Is there a danger that massive anti-Thai violence like in 2003 might erupt again, or is there a similar public critical appeals against irrational nationalism in Cambodia, as it is being voiced in the Thai public against Thai nationalism?

Nationalism leads to disaster

Nationalism leads to disaster



Nationalism (source: Bangkok Post)

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Saturday, 5.7.2008: 2,600 Megawatt Hydro-Electric Plant to Be Built

Posted on 6 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: An official of the Ministry of Industry Mines and Energy said that Cambodia plans to construct the first big hydro-electric dam on the upper Mekong River in Kratie in northeast Cambodia, which can generate 2,600 Megawatts.

“Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry Mines and Energy, Mr. Ith Prang, said that the feasibility of this potential plan, to provide much electricity, is being studied by an expert company. Mr. Ith Prang stressed that if this plan could be implemented, the dam called Sambo Chumrues would be the first big hydro-electric dam in the history of Cambodia.

[As the name of the expert company is not mentioned, it is also not possible to easily verify how this gigantic plan relates to the Master Plan Study of Hydropower Development in Cambodia, made public by the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA – and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy on 19 July 2007, and planned to be still implemented through 2008, with the consideration that there is ‘Rich potential of hydropower but no master plan for orderly development’ – ‘Selection and prioritisation of 10 hydropower projects from environmental, technical and economic assessment’ – ‘Preparation of Master Plan of Hydropower Development with time horizon of 20 years’ – ‘Avoidance/mitigation of environmental impacts and development of priority hydropower projects for the national interests of Cambodia.’ – The study covers 29 potential much smaller sites in the same area for which now also the gigantic Sambo Chumrues plan is being studied]

“Mr. Ith Prang added that Cambodia would have enough electricity, and electricity could be sold to some neighboring countries as well in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, if the plan leads to positive results. Mr. Ith Prang expects that this plan might also help to attract investors and help poor citizens to have access to electricity at a cheap price.

“Nowadays, the price of electricity in Cambodia is still higher than in neighboring countries, such as Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, which is a factor that makes most investors, who want to invest in Cambodia, to hesitate. To attract such investors and to meet the shortage of electricity, Cambodia, which has its natural resources as its potential, has created an ambition to develop many hydro-electric dams in different potentially suitable areas.

“Last year, Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, said that Cambodia will function as a battery storage of Asia, when electricity is not just enough for the needs of the country, but can also be sold to other countries.

“Regarding this plan, Mr. Ngy San, a member of the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia [and Deputy Executive Director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia], said that Cambodia welcomes all development plans of the government to produce electricity, but he suggests that the government should check its plans carefully and should publish information widely to communities and non-government-organizations before it makes final decisions for such constructions, in order to avoid negative impacts on the environment and on the eco-system. Mr. Ngy San continued that what he is worried about most is that the construction of this huge plant might destroy the quality of water and the movement of fish, and it might block shipping on this river.

“Relating to these problems, the government must carefully consider the continuity of the environment and the communities living there before it agrees to investment plans of any company [see also International Rivers – people – water – life and the Foundation for Ecological Recovery].

“The director of the Sesan, Srae Pok, and Sekong Rivers Protection Network [also called ‘3S Rivers Protection Network’], Mr. Kim Sangha, said that the plans of hydro-electric dams always have more effects on the environment and the eco-system than providing economic benefits. He added that he does not oppose the government development plans, but if the government does not study the context very carefully in advance, there might be serious effects on the citizens’ living and on the environment, and it might create other problems in the future.

“On 13 June 2008, the Cambodian government approved laws for the constructions of two more hydro-electric plants with the power of 246 megawatt and 338 megawatt at Stung Tatai and Stung Russey Chhrum rivers [these regions are mentioned in the joint plan of Ministry Industry Mines and Energy together and JICA, mentioned above], besides many other plants being constructed, such as the Kamchay Hydro-Electric Dam in Kampot and the Atai Hydro-Electric Dam located between Pursat and Koh Kong, which can provide 193 megawatt and 120 megawatt respectively.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #41, 5.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 5 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1685, 5.7.2008

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Summoned Thirty Passenger Transporting Companies Advising Them Not to Increase Traveling Costs Four Days before and after the Election
  • In the First Six Months of 2008, Countrywide More than 2,000 Children Had Dengue Fever, and 23 Children Died


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #41, 5.7.2008

  • 2,600 Megawatt Hydro-Electric Plant Is Planed to Be Built
    [Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith Supports the Creation of a Women’s Journalists’ Association
  • Thousands of Hectares of Forest Land in Varin District [Siem Reap] Are Being Cleared


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6389, 5-6.7.2008

  • At this Meeting of UNESCO in Canada: The Khmer Preah Vihear Temple Is among the 27 World Heritage Sites Proposed to Be Listed
  • Two Persons [a man and a 6-year-old child] Were Shot Dead [by Thai black-clad Special Border Police] Among Twelve People, Including Men, Women, and Children, When They Tried to Cross [illegally] into Thailand [3 July 2008 – Banteay Meanchey]
  • A 12-Year-Old Girl Was Raped and Drowned [in a shallow pond] in a Palm Oil Plantation [Prey Nub District, Sihanoukville – 4 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3504, 5.7.2008

  • International Human Rights Organization [Human Rights Watch] Pushes Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities to Return Tim Sakhan to Cambodia Soon
  • Kampot Election Committee Keeps [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua’s Lawsuit Unsolved [against a deputy village chief for the attempt to hit her with a motorbike, and against the Kampot municipality deputy secretary, for the use of a car with a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces license plate during a Cambodian People’s Party’s election campaign, and for twisting her arm, so that her blouse opened and exposed her body, when she tried to take a picture of the car’s license plate]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4633, 5.7.2008

  • Cambodia Is Strongly Determined to Implement Laws against Sexual and Human Trafficking
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Asserted that There Was a Clandestine Plan to Arrest Him [at an air force airport] to Start a Coup on 4 July 2008 [when he returned from his official visits to China and Brunei, but he directed his plane to land at the civilian international Suvarnabhumi Airport]
  • 1.5 Billion People Might Die because of Starvation [according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO]
  • Oil Price Increases to US$146 per Barrel [in New York]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3351, 5.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party [in Kratie] Sues the No-Longer-Opposition-Party President [Mr. Sam Rainsy] for Insult [of the current leaders, as he said that they are thieves who steal from the nation, during his election campaign]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Friday, 4.7.2008: Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned That There Might Be a New Boom of the Spreads of AIDS

Posted on 5 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: Many Officials are concerned that there might be another boom of the spread of AIDS in Cambodia.

“Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun, a program officer of the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance [KHANA], said on 3 July 2008 that the spread of HIV might explode again in Cambodia, because of the change in the attitude towards sex. He added that since the government has strengthened the law enforcement on sexual and human trafficking, most sex workers had left brothels to find clients by themselves. ‘Some still work in places of entertainment, and some work during the night at public places, making it very difficult for us to educate them.’

“Dr. Teng Kunthy, secretary general of the National AIDS Authority, said on 3 July 2008 that the number of men seeking sexual services at brothels declined to half of what it was before, but men find the services at places of entertainment by asking for it. If they are careless, they will risk to get HIV.

“According to the study, 96% of people having sex at brothels use condoms, but the percentage of men using condoms when they have sex with their girlfriends or with occasional contacts is not known.

“Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun said if they are careless even only once, they might be infected by HIV. He added, ‘We are so worried that if there is no preventive action in time, there will be another boom of a second wave of HIV infections, because men getting infected with HIV in this way might spread HIV to their wives and children, which will become a tragedy. He asserted that previously, it was easy to educate sex workers at brothels so that they understand AIDS, but now they work outside, making it hard to educate them, because we don’t know where they are and where they work; some work at massage houses, karaoke parlors, or other places of entertainment. Because of the above problems, we are worried about a second wave of an HIV infection like in 1997, which was the first wave of a strong spread of HIV. Since then, AIDS was fairly well prevented, but if we are careless, the infection might boom again.’

“In order to prevent these problems, Dr. Teng Kunthy and Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun said that education is very important, and in addition also special measures, and they requested that all places of entertainment should participate to give their staff the opportunity to understand AIDS. Nowadays, staff at places of entertainment have formed groups of friends, to educate their own friends team to help each another at their workplaces, and by educating their friends to use condoms with their clients or partners.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1684, 4.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1684, 4.7.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned That There Might Be a New Boom of the Spreads of AIDS
  • Dr. Keo Iev, Director of the Oral Fresh Water company Who Was Shot and Whose Gold was Robbed, Died [on 3 July 2008]
  • Solar Battery Charging Station [with 5.32 kilowatt] Is Created in Cambodia [with Japanese aid]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #191, 4.7.2008

  • Ban Sreymom, [Pailin municipal governor] Ea Chhean’s Wife, Is Well-known in Pailin in Relation to Land Disputes
  • [San Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay: Khmer Officials and Citizens Loose Approximately US$600 Million Gambling in Casinos Each Year


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #40, 4.7.2008

  • Community Sanitation and Recycling Organization Is Facing Market Crisis [to sell products to citizens – such as bags, vases, necklaces, or bracelets created from waste – because Cambodian citizens do not value these processed products]
  • Husband and Wife Were Robbed and Killed and Their Children Survived [on 3 July 2008 in Koh Sotin District, Kompong Cham]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6388, 4.7.2008

  • National Bank of Cambodia Announced Regulations to Be Implemented in Banks and Financial Institutions in Cambodia
  • The National Election Committee: From 26 June 2008 to 1 July 2008, There Were Forty Related Lawsuits Registered
  • Fifteen Hostages [eleven kidnapped soldiers and police, and three US defense contractors] Liberated from Colombian Rebel’s Camp [of the Revolutionary Arm Forces of Colombia – FARC] including Ms. Betancourt [a former presidential Candidate of Colombia with dual French-Colombian citizenship, on 2 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3503, 4.7.2008

  • Human Rights Officials [from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – and from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC] Push for Timely Trials of Ieng Sary and of Other Former Khmer Rouge Leaders, Being Afraid that They Might Die Like Pol Pot
  • World Bank Fails in Cambodian Army Reform


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4632, 4.7.2008

  • UNESCO [in Bangkok]: “It Is Too Late” for a Thai Protest Regarding the Preah Vihear Temple
    Cambodia [with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency – JICA] Could Hatch River Lobster Eggs for the Fist Time in Its History
  • [South] Korean Ministry of Finance and the Korean Busan Bank Signed an Agreement to Develop a Stock Market in Cambodia

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Thursday, 3.7.2008: Cambodian Official Asks Thai Politicians and Historians Not to Twist the Facts

Posted on 4 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: A Cambodian official urged Thai politicians and historians not to twist the facts about the history of the Preah Vihear Temple, which is being proposed to be officially listed as a World Heritage Site.

“In an interview with a Thai reporter from the Public Broadcasting Service TV [PBS] on the morning of 2 July 2008, Mr. Ho Vandy, the president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said that the Thai government must listen to the majority voices, but not to minority voices opposed to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site; and Thai politicians and historians must accept the truth, but not to twist the history, because it is important to maintain the relations and the cooperation between both countries.

“He added, ‘If Thai politicians and historians do not accept the facts, it will break the relations between both countries. When talking honestly with one another and acknowledging the facts of history, being a good neighbors and having good human relations will be of benefit to everything – both in tourism and in the economy of the two countries.’ He continued, ‘If Thailand has a good, human mind by accepting the facts, both countries and people will be peaceful.’

“He went on to say, ‘If Thailand still tries to hide the real history and to twist it, there will be endless difficulties and disagreements for the next generation.’

“The Preah Vihear Temple was legally declared by the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be under the sovereignty of Cambodia on 15 June 1962, by ordering Thailand to deliver the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, to withdraw its troops and people from the temple, and to give back to Cambodia all ancient artifacts taken from the temple.

“Mr. Ho Vandy asserted that the Preah Vihear Temple was already identified by the International Court of Justice in The Hague as belonging to Cambodia, based on its history. If Thailand helps to promote the temple to be listed as a World Heritage Site, there will be much benefit for both countries in developing tourism, because when the temple is listed, people around the world will be interested in visiting this temple, and they will spend money for Cambodians and for Thais living in the bordering provinces near Preah Vihear.

“Dr. Ros Chantraboth, a historian and vice-president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that in Siem [Thailand], in text books from Grade 1 to Grade 9, there are only two sentences which speak about Cambodia, but those books speak a lot about the history and other things of Laos, of Burma, of Vietnam, and of Malaysia. He continued, ‘Siem seems to pretend that there was no presence of Cambodia in Indochina.’

“He added that this misunderstanding is because of Siem articles writing that the Preah Vihear Temple belongs to its country and it is because of the lack of Siam publication about the reality of the history, and Siamese researchers always think that “this temple belongs to Siem.”

“He went on to say that in Samut Prakan Province, southeast of Bangkok, the Siem government built a park named ‘Thai ancient monuments’ or ‘Muang Boran Thai’ where all temples existing in Thailand are built in copies, including the Preah Vihear Temple, for Siamese and for researchers [and tourists] to visit.

[Actually, doing some Internet research in Thai and in English, only the term ‘เมืองโบราณ – Muang Boran’ – could be seen an all sites I found (I may have missed some, though); none uses the term ‘เมืองโบราณไทย’ – ‘Thai Ancient City.’ This Ancient City is often considered to be the world’s biggest outdoor museum, covering about 80 hectares/320 acres of land in a shape similar to the country of Thailand, with more than 100 original size or scaled down models of historical monuments. It was designed and funded my the private funds of a rich Thai businessman, Lek Viriyapan (1914 – 2000). Before the Ancient City could be built, its founder and his research team traveled to all buildings to be included, and for many years these studies were published in the Muang Boran Journal. The park includes also a replica of the Preah Vihear temple, and the journal has photos, several of them showing the Cambodian flag, and the inscription over the entrance in big Khmer letters: ‘ប្រាសាទ​ព្រះវិហារ’ [Prasat Preah Vihear] and below, in smaller letters in English, ‘Preah Vihear Temple’ – and three Cambodian flags are clearly seen on the picture of the stairs leading up to the temple – there is no doubt that the Ancient City in clear pictures describes Preah Vihear as under Cambodian authority. The temple of Phimai in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima is another example of Khmer culture (and in some of the sites visited also described as such). The ‘Ancient City’ is in no way leaving any doubt that this is Cambodian culture and territory, but, like Phimai, there are many other historical sites in present Thailand, showing the former extension of Khmer culture. – Editor]

“Dr. Ros Chantraboth asserted, ‘The Ancient City was constructed in 1972, ten years after Siem lost the hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague that legally established that the Preah Vihear Temple was to be under Khmer sovereignty. He added, ‘In reality, Siem has never used this to explain it to its people.’

“He recalled that the International Court of Justice in The Hague decided to deliver the sovereignty of the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, based on 1904 and 1907 maps that were drawn by France for Cambodia at that time, and those maps were not contested by the Thai government at that period. The 1962 verdict gave ten years to Siem to appeal, in case it found new evidence proving that the Preah Vihear Temple belongs to Thailand, but when the deadline was over on 15 June 1972, Thailand did not appeal against the verdict until today.

“According to Article 10 of the condition of the World Heritage Committee, world heritage listings only include cultural heritage, they do not include borders of countries; and both countries have still to negotiate about the [unsolved] border issues.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4631, 3.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 3 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1683, 3.7.2008

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Samak Talked with Samdech Hun Sen More than Half an Hour via Telephone about the Preah Vihear Temple Issue [according to Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government spokesperson, and he said that Mr. Samak asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to calm the Cambodian people]
  • The Royal Government [of Cambodia] Welcomes the Creation of an Investment Bank [by Tong Yang Investment] to Attract Capital from South Korea
  • Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL]: Security in the Election Campaign Is Better than in 2003


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #190, 3.7.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general] Ms. Mu Sochua Appealed to the Prime Minister’s Wife to Check Again the Dispute [that led to the destruction of houses and to the eviction of people from their land in Chhouk District, Kampot] between People and Military Officials


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #39, 3.7.2008

  • ILO: Working Conditions at Garment Factories Are Still Good


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6387, 3.7.2008

  • Dr. Keo Iev, Director of Oral Cleansing Water Company [producing for the Cambodian Red Cross], Was Shot by Robbers and a Gold Box Was Taken, when He Returned from the Olympic Market [he is in a very serious condition, because the bullet went into his left eye and broke through his head – 2 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3502, 3.7.2008

  • Vietnamese Authorities Released Tim Sakhan Silently [on 30 June 2008, who had been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, who was jailed in Vietnam], but They Have Not Sent Him Back to Cambodia [and when traveling during one month, he has to be accompanied by the Vietnamese authorities]
  • Hearing Verdict of Ieng Sary’s Appeal, where He Requested to Be Out of Detention, Will Be Announced by the ECCC on 3 July 2008


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4631, 3.7.2008

  • Cambodian Official Asks Thai Politicians and Historians Not to Twist the Facts
  • The National Cultural and Social Moral Center Plans to March [supporting the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple, with about 3,000 participants] to the Thai Embassy
  • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Deploys Nearly 100,000 Election Observers to the Twenty Four Cities and Provinces
  • Agreement Protecting Cambodian-Japanese Investors Will Be Put in Practice in Late July
  • Prohibition of Marriages to Foreign Countries Will Be Lifted Soon [according to an official of the Ministry of Interior]
  • Seventy Cambodian Youth Delegates Will Visit Japan Next Week [as part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESEYS)]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3349, 3.7.2008

  • Many Challenges for the Election Result because of Low Education and Illiteracy

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Wednesday, 2.7.2008: Australia Announced to Provide US$30 Million to the Electric Energy Sector in Indochina

Posted on 2 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“The Australian Foreign Minister announced that his government will provide US$30 million to help develop electric energy in the three countries of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

“According to the announcement by the Australian Embassy on 1 July 2008, Mr. Stephen Smith, the Australian Foreign Minister, spoke about providing these funds during his visit in Vietnam.

“Mr. Stephen Smith announced that Australia will provide funds to countries in Asia to meet their urgent needs for the supply of electricity with sustainability.

“Mr. Stephen Smith said that ‘Australia will proved more than US$30 million through the World Bank for the period of four years, in order to improve the supply of electric energy in rural areas, to reduce the loss of energy during distribution, and to push the development of methods to use new sources of electric energy in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.’

“He added, ‘In Cambodia, only 6% of all families have access to electricity. Australia will provide US$12,300,000 to support the expansion of the supply of electricity to 13,000 families and to some enterprises in rural areas.’

“He continued, ‘Some funds will also be provided as loans to guarantee new investments for new energy resources, and to provide cookers using bio-substances to reduce the effect by greenhouse gas and by the pollution of the atmosphere.’

“This initiate was made based on the basis of a strong cooperative program which has been used previously in Cambodia. The government of Australia will provide approximately Australian Dollars 61,200,000 (approx. US$56,600,000) as development aid for Cambodia from 2008 to 2009 (from June 2008 to July 2009). The priority sectors of this cooperation include agriculture, rural development, the health sector, and law and judicial reforms.

“Nowadays, Cambodia has only about 230 megawatt of electricity for the supply in cities and other populated areas, and in order that all citizens have access to electricity, Cambodia needs more than approximately 1,000 megawatt.

“According to the plan, the Cambodian government intends to distribute electricity countrywide by 2010, and important electric sources are to come from investment in hydro-electric plants and from imports from other countries.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4630, 2.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #126, 2.7.2008

  • Environment Protection Organization in Battambang Puts Limits on Seize of [illegal] Wood and Extorts Money
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Remembered the Day on which Yuon [Vietnam] Arrested Tim Sakhan


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #75, 2.7.2008

  • Thailand Withdrew Support to List the Preah Vihear Temple; Cambodia Warns to Boycott Thai Goods and Close Border Crossing at the Temple Forever


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1682, 2.7.2008

  • [Former Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Thom who left the party to join the Cambodian Peoples Party] Sok Pheng Will Sue Khmer Machas Srok [a pro-Sam Rainsy newspaper], if It Continues to Publish News which Affect His Honor


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #36, 2.7.2008

    Corruption and Nepotism Are Barriers for Youth to Seek Jobs

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6386, 2.7.2008
Nowadays, There Are More Than One Million Illiterate Citizens in Cambodia, and more than 820,000 of Them Are Women
Most Poor Citizens of Cambodia Work in the Agricultural Sector
Hearing Was Opened over the Case of the Explosion [on 29 July 2007] at the Cambodia-Vietnam Monument [1 July 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3501, 2.7.2008
People in the Law Profession and Civil Society Believe that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Not Release the Chief of the Murderers [of “Democratic Kampuchea”] Ieng Sary [on bail]

Raksmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1329, 2.7.2008
The [Phnom Penh] Municipality Warned [on 30 July 2008] about the Uses of Chemicals Which Are Illegal, to Retain the Quality [of food]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4630, 2.7.2008
Australia Announced to Provide US$30 Million to the Electric Energy Sector in Indochina
Cambodian Economy Rises after Joining the World Trade Organization
Senior Minister Keat Chhon Attended the Europe-Asia Meeting [ASEM] in South Korea
Oil Price Increase to Nearly US$144 per Barrel

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3348, 1.7.2008
Police Official of the Cambodian People’s Party Used a Car with a Number Plate of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces for Election Propaganda; He Twisted an Arm of Ms. Mu Sochua [deputy secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party] and Pulled Her Blouse Away to Expose Her [to prevent her from taking pictures of that car – Kampot]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Tuesday, 1.7.2008: Capacity and Quality Are Required at the Labor Market Inside and Outside of the Country

Posted on 2 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: According to a source from the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Cambodia will create a National Occupation Agency soon to help prepare and support exporting part of its labor force to foreign countries. Mr. Pich Sophan, the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, values to export part of the labor force to foreign countries through labor migration as very important for Cambodia both now and in future, because it contributes to provide income to gain international financial resources in order to support the Cambodian economy, and it can also improve the capacity and the skills of Khmer laborers after they return to the country.

“Nowadays, Cambodia is facing an increasing labor force which is estimated to be approximately 300,000 persons each year. The Royal Government has tried to deal with this labor force by attracting investors to Cambodia and by accepting graduates to work under this challenge. However, it is not enough; what is important is the involvement of the private sector.

“Obviously, besides about 500 garment and shoe factories which are employing about 500,000 laborers during the period of six months in early 2008, the Royal Government has gained US$1,000 million from foreign investment, which is US$300 million more than during the same period of last year. This number is not high enough for the Royal Government to solve the ongoing unemployment problem. However, the capacity and the quality of the laborers are also problems. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training shows that at present, there are 4,400 legal laborers from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand in Cambodia.

“Nevertheless, Mr. Chea Mony, the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, disagreed that number of foreign laborers could become even higher, and he called on the Royal Government to carefully monitor this in order to uphold the state tax income and to follow the laws. On the other hand, the Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Uom Mean, evaluated it as a positive sign in the era of globalization, and the mutual exchanges of foreign labor is also showing the start of new developments in Cambodia – it is the use of human resources that have special skills.

“As for Mr. Sok Sina, a Research Associate of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, he said that he welcomes only foreign laborers with special skills, because they can provide experience and knowledge to our Khmer laborers.

“According to the evaluation above, the quality of laborers is very important when seeking employment in the country, and also when considering to export labor to foreign countries.

“Mr. Rice Grand [phonetic], an expert in development skills in the International Labor Organization [ILO], said that Cambodia can export part of its labor force, but it is necessary to further extend training.

“The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports Mr. Pit Chamnan said that in 2010, the number of students attending higher education will rise to more than 230,000, for which better education is required. Mr. Jean-Boris Roux, the president of the French and Khmer Chamber of Commerce, acknowledged that educating students with different skills to meet the needs of the labor market is most important to develop the country.

“However, he acknowledged that there is some progress in education, but the quality is limited, making it difficult for different companies to find staff who has the needed skills and high capacity. On 13 June 2008, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, head of the Khmer Royal Government, instructed the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports to focus on education in the sector of mining and of energy, which will become an important labor market in the next few years.

“As for the exporting of laborers to foreign countries through the ITS and EPS systems [meanings not clear – any suggestions from our readers?], the Ministry of Labor has sent nearly 4,000 laborers to work in South Korea, more that 7,000 laborers to Malaysia, and nearly 20,000 to Thailand.

“Mr. Seng Sata, a department director of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, said that the Ministry of Labor is contacting four other countries to find labor markets for Cambodian laborers who have the skills needed, such as in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada. At present, there are two organizations that help to develop national qualification standards, ILO and KOIKA of South Korea. Therefore, from now on, to meet the needs of local and foreign labor markets following the development of the country, Khmer laborers must develop to be laborers who have the respective capacities and qualities.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1681, 1.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1681, 1.7.2008

  • Capacity and Quality Are Required at the Labor Market Inside and Outside of the Country
  • Ieng Sary [former Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs] Is Seriously Ill so that He Could Not Sit and Listen during the Court Hearing [on 30 June 2008]
  • The King Calls Citizens to Vote According to Their Own Conscience
  • Cambodian Delegates Go to Attend the Annual Summit Meeting of the World Customs Co-Operation Council in Belgium
  • Road in Front of the Royal Palace Blocked from Marching or Shouting by Political Parties
  • Gold Sellers of Nine Stalls Robbed in Odongk Market, and Jewelries Worth about US$300,000 Were Taken [Kompong Speu]
  • Thousands of People Revolted against the Chinese Police over One Teenage Girl’s Death [after police claimed that she committed suicide by drowning, while the people claimed that she was raped and killed by throwing her into a river by a son of a local official in Guizhou Province – 贵州省 (simplified) – 貴州省 (traditional)
  • Mugabe Sworn in to Take the Position [of Zimbabwean president] after an Election Which Is Not Trusted Widely


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #146, 1.7.2008

  • Great Heroic King [Norodom Sihanouk] Warned Funcinpec [not to use his portraits for election propaganda – 30 June 2008]
  • Chief of Stung Treng Forestry Officials Is Accused of Releasing Seized Wood of Seven Cubic Meters
    Youth Are Concerned about the Spreading of Drugs in Cambodia
  • Cambodia Needs a Laboratory to Analyze How Many Elephants Are still Free in the Nature


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3500, 1.7.2008

  • Police Are Busy with the Election Propaganda Allowing Merchants to Import Contraband into Cambodia Actively


Prachea Chun Khmer, Vol.15, #34, 30.7.2008

  • Community Based Eco-Tourism Guarantees to Have Good Tourism Products [where the community created a tourist resort by using natural or cultural resources as the attraction, and people in the community can benefit from tourists by selling products created by them, moreover the natural and cultural resources of the community will be preserved with the strong involvement by people of that community]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4629, 1.7.2008

  • Thai Opposition Party [Democratic Party] Lodged a Motion against the Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple [as a World Heritage Site on 30 June 2008, as it cuts the wider environment off according to the map produced by Cambodia, without having national borders in the area clarified, which the 1962 International Court of Justice decision had left open, and recommended mutual clarification, which was still not done during the more than 40 years which passed]
  • US Ambassador Admires Club of Cambodian Journalists for the Competition of Writing Investigating Articles [Mr. Om Layum from Rasmei Kampuchea ranks first, Mr. Leang Deluch from Cambodge Soir ranks second, and Mr. Ung Sophea also from Cambodge Soir ranks third]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Monday, 30.6.2008: Cambodia Needs Many Midwives to Guarantee the Safety of Mothers and Infants during Childbirth

Posted on 30 June 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Experts of the World Health Organization and experts of maternal and infant health said that the health of mothers and infants during childbirth in Cambodia causes much concern, and this is the result mainly of the shortage of midwives.

“Dr. Cheang Konitha, an official of the World Health Organization in Cambodia, said that the health of mothers and infants is a major issue to which Cambodia should pay attention, because there are many maternal and infants’ deaths every year. She said, ‘It is estimated that about 2,000 Cambodian women and infants died every year during pregnancy or during childbirth.’

“Dr. Kum Kanal [Director of National Mother and Child Health Center] said that maternal and infants’ deaths during pregnancy and until 42 days after childbirth are higher than in other countries in the region. He said, ‘The number of maternal and infants’ deaths in our country is a bit better than that of Burma, and it is comparable to that of Laos; but if compared to that of Vietnam and Thailand, we are much worse.’

“He continued that there are three major reasons that makes the death rate in Cambodia so high, which include the late detection and control of illnesses, and the late referring to special care. As for other countries, their services are faster. He added that the delays are because there is a shortage of midwives, and most Cambodian citizens do not understand the importance of health centers.

“Dr. Cheang Konitha said that according to the national health statistics in 2007 in Cambodia, there were only 3,184 midwives, and this number is not enough to guarantee the safety of mothers and infants during childbirth.

“She said that there are more than 100 health centers that have no midwife at all, and 78% of women give birth to their children at home, 55% of whom give birth assisted by traditional midwives who have not obtained training in midwifery skills.

“Mr. Kum Kanal denied the numbers describing the shortage mentioned above, claiming that because of the efforts of the government, so far, among all of the more than 900 health centers in Cambodia, only 72 or 73 centers do not have a midwife. However, he admitted that Cambodia still lacks thousands of midwives, but he is not sure about the real number of the shortage.

“Officials of the Human Resource Development Department of the Ministry of Health could not be reached for comment on 28 June 2008.

“Ms. Cheang Konitha said that as a national standard, each health center needs one to two midwives. As for hospitals that have three sections, some need six to eight midwives, or seven to ten or fifteen to twenty; and areas without health centers also need midwives.

“Regarding the shortage of midwives in Cambodia, regional experts of the World Health Organization said in a workshop organized in Hanoi that the reason for the shortage of midwives in Cambodia is an economic problem.

“Mr. Kum Kanal mentioned that this is the true reason; the low salary is the major reason, and the shortage of encouragement is also a cause. Young people of the next generation in their teens are not very much interested in this skill.

“He asserted, ‘We have five midwife training schools, but there are only 200 midwives graduating from those schools each year. He went on to say that according to this number, we need up to ten more years to have enough midwives.’ Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4528, 29-30.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 30 June 2008


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #125, 30.6.2008

  • Co-Lawyer Say Bory Resigns from the Position of Defense Lawyer of Murderer Khiev Samphan [because he is unhappy and does not get on well with his French partner, lawyer Jacques Vergès]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1680, 29-30.6.2008

  • A Deputy Village Chief Was Tied and Dragged to Be Killed behind His House by [three] Anonymous People [Kompong Cham]
  • A Journalist in Kompong Thom Was Surrounded by a Group of Illegal Wood Merchants and Was Seriously Injured
  • North Korea Destroyed Nuclear Powerplant Tower


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #594, 30.6.2008

  • There Was an Attempt to Murder Mr. Sut Dina, Activist of the Norodom Ranariddh Party and Parliamentarian from Battambang [his car was shot at after returning from an election campaign in the province]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #188, 29.6-1.7.2008

  • Police Arrested Boss of the Macao Casino in Bavet and Sent Him to Phnom Penh at Midnight [according to a worker of this casino]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #36, 29-30.6.2008

  • National Angkor Museum [in Siem Reap] Overlooks National Writing [by not using Khmer letters besides the two sign which says “National Angkor Museum” in Khmer]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6384, 30.6.2008

  • A Dam Was Opened [by Su Ching Company] Swirling and Sinking Thirty Big and Small Boats and [Floating] Houses [Siam Reap]
  • Fauna & Flora International Helped Fight against Drug Crimes in Cambodia [by seizing thirty tonnes of Mraes Prov Phnom Oil made from a tree, which is an important substance to produce the drug Ecstasy]
  • The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Plans to Create a Training School of Movie Producing Professionals [by cooperating with Korea in order to restore the movie sector in Cambodia]


Meatophum, Vol.52, #695, 1-5.7.2008

  • Cambodia Plans to Create National Job Agency


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3499, 30.6.2008

  • It Is a Major National Security Issue after Banks Were Found to Be Money Laundering Places [according to security observers]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4528, 29-30.6.2008

  • Cambodia Needs Many Midwives to Guarantee the Safety of Mothers and Infants when During Childbirth

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3346, 29-30.6.2008

  • Civil Society: Situation in the 2008 Election Campaign Is Good
  • The Current of Deforestation in Siem Reap Increased Strongly, but No One Takes the Responsibility [to solve this issue]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more informaion from Thailand and Cambodian documentation.

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