Week 568

Week 568 – Sunday,2008-07-13: Nobody Is Above the Law – Also in Politics

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 568 |

The past week has been another challenge to observe and to compare: to observe and to compare how two different societies react to related – but different – affairs. Two affairs will be used for the comparison: the first again, like in the last three weeks, related to the Preah Vihear temple, and the second related to elections – or more precisely: to allegations of irregularities in elections.

While still many voices in Cambodia speak about the “victory” of Cambodia over Thai claims on the Preah Vihear temple, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Noppadon Pattama, who had conducted the negotiations with the Cambodian representatives, resigned on 10 July 2008 from his position. He did not resign because Thailand “lost” anything – he resigned after the Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled, with 8 to 1 votes, that the signature of Mr. Noppadon to the Joint Communique on 18 June 2008 was a violation of Article 190 of the Thai constitution. And this was actually a censure for the whole cabinet which had accepted on 17 June 2008 that the Joint Communique would be signed on 18 June 2008 – the cabinet should have sought parliamentary approval for the Joint Communique, as it is considered to be an international agreement.

This ruling, and many statements of the Thai government and of leaders of the opposition, did in no way deny the ruling of the International Court of Justice of 1962, that “the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia” – neither did the new UNESCO World Heritage Site confirm anything about the border between the two countries. It is important to remember that the Cambodian representative, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the Head of the Cambodian Border Committee, had signed “that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated… without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western area of the Temple.” And the map presented by the Cambodian side “shall supersede the maps concerning the ‘Schema Directeur…’ and as well as all graphic references… in Cambodia’s nomination file.”

And it continues: “Pending the results of the work of the Joint Commission on Land Boundary(JBC) concerning the northern and western areas surrounding the Temple… the management plan of these areas will be prepared in a concerted manner between the Cambodian and Thai authorities… to be submitted to the Word Heritage Committee… in 2010.”

“The inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List shall be without prejudice to the rights of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand on the demarcation works of the Joint Commission for Land Boundary (JBC) of the two countries.”

However often the claim may be made that now everything is decided and the future is clear is just disregarding the facts. Cambodia has achieved the listing – but the related area is extremely narrow (Section 1 of the new Cambodian map of 18 June 2008, which supersedes the former Cambodian plan). The Cambodian side has signed that the area to the north – along the entrance, where until now also many Cambodian vendors had their shops – is outside of the presently listed area. And the national border in the region is as undecided as it was left open in 1962.

The Thai authorities will, after the Constitutional Court ruling, be more careful in their future actions.

A similar discussion in Cambodia, on the details of what has been proposed and achieved by the Cambodian side will surely happen on the way preparing – “in a concerted manner between the Cambodian and Thai authorities” – a management plan by 2010, for the next meeting of the World Heritage Committee discussion on the Preah Vihear Temple.

Related to another issue, it may be interesting to observe some election related developments in Thailand.

In May 2007 the Thai Constitutional Tribunal found that the Thai Rak Thai party, which had won the majority of votes, had committed massive election fraud, and it was ordered to be dissolved. Its former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who had been ousted as prime minister in the meantime, and 110 party leaders were banned from politics for five years. New elections under an new constitution had led to the formation of the present Thai government.

But the present, new coalition government is facing another serious problem: deputy secretary-general Noppadol Polsue and Kittipong Promchaiyanand, another candidate from the Puea Pandin party, one of the five coalition partners in the government, will probably lose their right as elected member of parliament, after the Thai Election Commission informed the Thai Supreme Court that they should be removed, because they had committed election fraud in the last general elections in December 2007. If the court confirms this accusation, their party is also in danger of being dissolved.

Their crime: they were found guilty of arranging transport for people to attend their campaign rally and handing out cash to voters..

It will be interesting to see how the Cambodian National Election Committee will handle the various complaints already mentioned in the press: cars with government license plates used during party election campaigns, or high class cars with party stickers but without license plates participating in campaigns, apart from allegations of threats, and actual violent handlings, as well as accusations that party activists were violated by being run over by bigger vehicles of another party. One can only hope that the latest report: that a father and son were shot when returning form sports – the father, a politically active journalist died – will not signal the beginning of more violence. Much depends on how the public sees the political leadership reacting to this and other acts of violence.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )

Saturday, 12.7.2008: New Measures of the European Union for Biofuel Were Shown to ASEAN Countries

Posted on 13 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“In a regional workshop organized in Jakarta on 11 July 2008, the European Commission discussed its proposal for a new Directive (European legislation) on renewable sources of energy, including biofuels.

“Participants from all ASEAN countries attended this event. This workshop was chaired by Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, the Head of the European Commission Delegation to the Philippines, and important speakers in this workshop were senior experts from the Energy, and from the External Relations Directorates-General of the European Commission in Brussels. Also, officials of four ASEAN countries presented their countries’ policies about renewable energy and biofuel.

“The drafts Directive, which is expected to be adopted early next year, has set the policies for renewable energy for all states which are members of the European Union, so that the use of renewable energy among the use of other energy resources in the European Union will increase. This Directive is part of the climate change policies of the European Union, and it aims to define renewable energy goals on the national levels, setting joint obligations in order to achieve a use of 20% of renewable energy, and setting minimum goals to use at least 10% of energy in the form of renewable energy, such as biofuel, in transportation, by 2020, which has to be accomplished by all member states.

“Consequently, it is expected that bioenergy production in Europe will increase, and the import of plant oil used in biofuel in Europe will also increase.

“Therefore, this Directive also sets requirements for the environmental sustainable production of biofuel, to guarantee that biofuel, which is part of the renewable energy policy of the European Union, is produced by using sustainable methods which do not harm the environment. The European Commission will regularly check and report on the influence of bioenergy production on the prices of food, although recent analysts showed that there is only little impact.

“Southeast Asia is a region which produces a lot of plant oil, especially palm oil. This Directive will create many new opportunities for all of the Southeast Asian Countries, because it will likely lead to increasing imports from oil producing countries into the European Union.

“With the price of oil at current levels, more use of renewable energy is seen as a good choice for the economy. Moreover, these forms of energy also contribute to guarantee the security of energy supply, and they contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission.

“However, some hazards for the environment were also pointed out regarding the use of biofuel. The sustainability requirement has to guarantee also that the biofuel policy is not against the goals of environmental protection. The same requirement will be implemented for biofuel produced in the European Union as well as in other countries outside of the European Union. Therefore the same requirements everywhere do not present an obstacle against trade. This requirement aims to achieve a minimum level of the emission of greenhouse gas, and it aims to follow some other required conditions related to the environment, especially to protect bio-diversity.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1691, 12.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 12 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1691, 12.7.2008

  • New Measures of the European Union for Biofuel Were Shown to ASEAN Countries
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong: Khmer Artifacts Stolen from the Preah Vihear Temple by Thailand Will Be Reclaimed Back [he stated during a press conference on 8 July 2008]
  • Metered Taxis Started Their Business in Phnom Penh [by Global (Cambodia) Trade Development Co. Ltd., a Chinese company] [on 11 July 2008]
  • Pailin Has Still 207.8 Square Kilometer of Land Infested with Landmines [according to Mr. Heng Ratana, deputy director of Cambodian Mine Action Center – CMAC]
  • [Former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Ranks Sixteenth among the 40 Richest People in Thailand


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #197, 12.7.2008

  • [President of Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Asks [Minister of Education] Kol Pheng to Intervene in the Case of Lost Salaries of Teachers in Remote Areas
  • “The Line of Those Who Steal from the Nation” and Some Dishonest Businesspeople Are Cleaning Their Names through the Preah Vihear Temple [by distributing money to help citizens and soldiers there]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #47, 12.7.2008

  • Only 200,000 [of 340,000] Workers Will Go to Vote [because of the rise of the price of goods and of transport – according the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers Mr. Chea Mony; but the secretary-general of the National Election Committee Mr. Tep Nitha Rejected this number]
  • Khmer Citizens Are Disappointed with the Flow of Thai Pigs into the Country
  • Situation in the Middle East Is Tough after Iran Tested Its Missiles


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6395, 12.7.2008

  • [Mr. Khim Sambou] A Reporter of Moneaksekar Khmer [a Pro-Sam Rainsy Party newspaper] and His Son Were Shot by [two] Unidentified Men after Returning from Exercising at the Olympic Stadium [the father died after he was referred to hospital while his son is in a serious condition – 11 July 2008]
  • Director of KCBN Travel [Oknha Heng Tola] Plans to Spend His Company’s Money to Gather Tourists and Bring Them to the Preah Vihear Temple [every week in order to help the people living at the mountain, after the border-crossing was closed by the Cambodian authorities]
  • The United Nations Asks for US$300 More for Burma


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4639, 12.7.2008

  • President of the Puea Pandin party [which is part of the coalition government of Mr. Samak] of Thailand Escapes from an Arrest Warrant [over a corruption case] to Hide Himself in Poipet [according to Thai media on 11 July 2008 – he and another candidate were found guilty, after the Thai Election Commission had asked the Thai Supreme Court to revoke their electoral rights, after they had been found to have arranged transport for people to attend their campaign rally, and had handed out cash to voters]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3357, 12.7.2008

  • Civil Society Wants to See Khmer Politicians to Be Brave like Siem [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Nappadon Pattama] Who Resigned from His Position

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Friday, 11.7.2008: Civil Society Worries about Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Which Is Becoming More Restricted for Both Journalists and for the People

Posted on 12 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Officials of local human rights organizations said that Khmer people begin to dare to express their opinion regarding problems they deal with. However, the freedom of expression of citizens is limited and often not welcome by the authorities. ‘Nowadays, they threaten us to leave, and if we do not follow their orders, they will not agree. Now, they are observing us; people living to the West of our place seldom talk. Sorry! Now soldiers arrive, I would like to stop talking. They are following me.’

“The above words are the words of two women living in Kampot, who tried to tell journalists about being followed by local authorities, like also other people in the district who are being evicted from their land.

“Regarding the freedom of expression of these citizens, the president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO] Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru] stated that in the last few years, the authorities try to prohibit that people gather to express their opinion – but the authorities object by raising security concerns as their reasons.

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek said, ‘Especially, when workers want to hold a demonstration for something, they hardly ever obtained a permission, though they apply. Our government restricts gathering and marches to express opinions. Sometimes, just expressing something about the borders, there will be problems – the government uses the court to punish those who have expressed their own opinions.’

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek, observing the situation of the freedom of expression in Cambodia, added, ‘In a democratic regime, the government is created by the people, and such a government will work for the people; if it is a government created by the people, it must join with the people to develop the country. So the government must contribute by providing enough information that the government does this and does that, it provides forest concession to whom, it wants to build a dam there, or want to develop something here; the people must be provided with enough of this type of information. If the people have obtained such information, they have to gather and to talk; for this, they need freedom of expression.’

“Institutions to which the problem of freedom of expression in Cambodia relates, includes the law drafting institutions, the law implementing institutions, the courts, institutions which provide public information, non-government organizations, and also citizens in general.

“The Cambodian Center for Human Rights president, Mr. Ou Virak, who observes the situation of freedom of expression in Cambodia, stated that Khmer citizens nowadays dare to express their opinions regarding problems they are facing. However their free expression is hindered by the authorities.

Mr. Ou Virak added that Cambodia has laws as well as a Constitution guaranteeing freedom of expression. But on the other side, those laws are not fairly applied by the authorities. He continued, ‘If we look at the implementation, we have police, judicial officials including prosecutors, and the government – important agencies to implement the law, but nowadays, judicial officials, who have the duty to implement the law show much bias. They do not allow people to express their opposing opinions, and even people within a party can often talk only about their party, without being able to talk also about negative points.’

“Mr. Ou Virak went on to say, ‘‘As for the media, Cambodia has laws regulating the flow of information, but those laws have not been implemented efficiently to protect journalists. He added, ‘We see that recently, the courts have been used to restrict the freedom of expression by closing a radio station, and by arresting Dam Sith [the Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer], while there are cases where the government did not investigate the cases threatening and physically abusing journalists or activist who are not on the side of the Cambodian People’s Party. Therefore we say that the courts have not fulfilled their duties; contrarily, they are used by the government to restrict the freedom of expression.’

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said that the freedom of expression and press freedom in Cambodia are on the way of improving during these last few years. He added, ‘If we want that people act like in a country where there is Internet in almost all houses, this is impossible. But in practice Cambodia has the ability for qualified action we can take well, but we have to try more, to catch up with other countries, because we are far behind, including in technology and in other fields.’

“However, Mr. Pen Samithi stated also that journalists still face many difficulties to find sources of information, especially information about the government relating to politics.

“Recently, besides the arrest of some journalists on the accusation of defamation and disinformation, according to an investigative report of LICADHO, at least three citizens have been shot dead by the authorities when protesting for land in Preah Vihear province.

“In 2008, Mr. Chan Savet, an investigative officer of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – said that because of the land protest, at least 36 citizens have been detained, and 6 citizens are under being searched.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3356, 11.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 11 July 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2792, 11.7.2008

  • The Enthusiasm about the Preah Vihear Temple Makes the Election Propaganda Move to the Background; Not Many People Are Interested in It


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #131, 11.7.2008

  • Samdech Euv [Father King Norodom Sihanouk] Asks Khmer and Siem [Thai] Citizens to Maintain Good Relations by Not Considering the Preah Vihear Temple as a Dispute [according to his letter issued on 9 July 2008]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1690, 11.7.2008

  • The Government Allows Citizens to Have Children as They Want, but They Must Take Care of Their Health [according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s letter to welcome the World Population Day on 11 July 2008]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Order Private Companies to Create Bus Stations [for long distance buses coming to Phnom Penh] at Suburban Phnom Penh [to reduce traffic congestion in town – according to Mr. Chea Bunthoeun, director of the office of transportation of the Department of Public Works and Transport]
  • Sudan Militants Raided and Killed Seven UN Soldiers in Darfur [9 July 2008]
    G8 Leaders Promise to Solve Food and Oil Crisis


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #196, 11.7.2008

  • [Opposition Party president] San Rainsy: The Evidences We Have in Our Hands and the Witnesses Are Enough to Win against Hor Namhong by Law


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #46, 11.7.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Mr. Son Chhay Asks [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Take Action against Cars That Have No Number Plates [but are used for the election campaign]
  • Cambodia Plans to Send Laborers to Work in Qatar [according to undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training Oum Mean]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6394, 11.7.2008

  • More than 10 Million Ballots and 32,000 Bottles of Non-Erasable Ink [to mark one finger of people who have cast their ballot] Are Prepared for the Election
  • Thai Foreign Affairs Minister [Noppadon Pattama] Resigned – 10 July 2008 – from His Position [after the Thai Constitutional Court decided that his 18 June 2008 signature on the Joint Communique with Cambodia about the Preah Vihear Temple violated the constitution as he did not ask for parliamentary approval]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4638, 11.7.2008

  • Prince Sisowath Thomico Is Not Happy with Sam Rainsy Who Uses His Parents’ Name Regarding the Lawsuit [by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong]
  • Singapore Petroleum Company Started to Drill Oil in Block B [since 8 July 2009] [some ownership information: “SPC Cambodia Ltd (“SPC Cambodia”) holds a 33.33% participating interest in Block B. SPC Cambodia was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPC Production Company Ltd. which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPC.”]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3356, 11.7.2008

  • Civil Society Worries about Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Which Is Becoming More Restricted for Both Journalists and for the People
  • Do Authorities Close Ms. Chea Ratha’s Case by the Power of Money? [regarding an acid attack on TV presenter Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Thursday, 10.7.2008: Korea Began to Be Interested in Investing in the Silk Sector in Cambodia Which Has Potential

Posted on 11 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Phnom Penh: Some days ago, Mr. Son Kunthor, advisor to the Royal Government on employment and small scale enterprises, and secretary-general of the One-Village One-Product Movement, met with Mr. Lee Wan-Taek, general director and Mr. Kim Won-Don, director of the Kwangsung International Foundation of the Republic of Korea [all names phonetic].

They have expressed interest to develop the silk sector in Cambodia, because this country has favorable conditions for mulberry tree planting and for silkworm raising, and has enough labor, especially Cambodia can have also markets for silk products. Also, this aims to strengthen cooperation between Cambodia and the Republican of Korea. He added that this project will help to cover the needs for the production of silk products, as now there were between 300 and 400 tonnes imported every year into Cambodia.

“He continued that as the first step to develop the silk sector, about 1,200 hectares of land to plant mulberry trees is needed to encourage people to join to plant mulberry trees as family planting, and the company will ask the Korea International Cooperation Agency – KOICA – to train Cambodian farmers in related techniques. He went on to say that seeds of mulberry trees will be imported from Korea and will be handed to farmers after Korean experts have checked the techniques.

“Mr. Kim Won-Don mentioned the future goal, that as the last step, special buildings to feed the silkworms will be constructed, and to study the silk; it is planned to spend US$4,927,000. He added that according to their estimation, this project will produce 86 tonnes of silk in the first year, 180 tonnes in the second year, and the production will increase continually.

“Mr. Son Kunthor welcomed this important initiative on which the government is focusing, and it is strongly supported, considering that it contributes to reduce poverty among Cambodian people. He added that to implement this project, firstly, it is necessary to find locations or areas that have favorable conditions for mulberry tree planting and for silkworms feeding. A major issue is the shortage of capital of approximately US$1,500 for farmers to plant mulberry tree on one hectare, as well as the construction of special buildings to feed the silkworms, and materials to separate the silk from the silkworm cocoons.

“He continued that he will discuss this project in detail with relevant ministries, because recently, representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] in Rome and of the One-Village One-Product Movement conducted research to evaluate its potentiality, and Cambodia had mentioned the project to ask for technical assistance from FAO to develop the silk sector in Cambodia in four provinces, including Takeo, Kampot, Siem Reap, and Banteay Meanchey.

“Mr. Son Kunthor also mentioned to the Korean side that a Chinese company, Chongqing (New Star) Enterprise Group, promotes the development of mulberry tree planting to feed silkworms in Chumkiri District, Kampot, which is now being organized to be a community of mulberry tree planting to feed silkworms, under the leadership of Mr. Nim Chandara, an undersecretary of state of the Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Relations.

“He went on to say that an employment and small-scale enterprise organization, and the committee to encourage the One-Village One-Product Movement, together with the Kwangsung International Foundation [?] will further study this project carefully.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4637, 10.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 10 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1689, 10.7.2008

  • UNESCO Listed Twenty Seven New Places as World Heritage Sites
  • The King Called Compatriots [on 9 July 2008] to Continue to Preserve Forests and to Plant Trees as Much as Possible
  • Forestry Chief Does Not Dare to Explain Forest Crimes at Prasat Sambour [Kompong Thom] on the Pretext that There Is No Order for It
  • G8 Leaders Agree to Reduce Emissions that Lead to Global Warming to Half by 2050


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #195, 10.7.2008

  • [Cambodian People’s Party official and Minister of Rural Development] Ly Thuch Acknowledged His Wrongdoing [of using money to buy citizens’ mind to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party] and Agreed to Compensate Riel 5,000,000 [approx. US$1,200] to the Plaintiff [Mr. Heng Chanthuon, Sam Rainsy Party President in Pursat]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #45, 10.7.2008

  • [Opposition Party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Went to Give Explanations to the Municipal Court over Mr. Hor Namhong’s Lawsuit [without being summoned]
  • Some Investors Wait to See the Political Situation after the Election


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6393, 10.7.2008

  • Price of Oil Dropped to Around US$136 per Barrel [on 8 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3508, 10.7.2008

  • Corrupt Officials and IMF Have Different Evaluations about the Economic Growth in 2008 [according to Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, he expects that the Cambodian economy will increase from 8% to 9%, while the IMF predicts that it would decline to 7%]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4637, 10.7.2008

  • Korea Began to Be Interested in Investing in the Silk Sector in Cambodia Which Has Potential
  • UNESCO: The Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple Is a Historical Success and It Is a Symbol of the Cambodian Government
  • Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Keep Ms. Ieng Thirith in Detention [former Khmer Rouge leader]
  • Cuba Is Still a Target Country for Cambodian Students to Seek Education [eight Cambodian students won scholarship to study there]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Samak’s Party Might Be Dissolved after the Supreme Court Has Sentenced Former House of Parliament Speaker Yongyuth Tiyapairat [for vote buying – Thailand]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3355, 10.7.2008

  • Asian Human Rights Watch is Concerned about the Whereabouts of Tim Sakhan [who had been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] after He Had Been Released from Yuon [Vietnamese] Prison

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

Wednesday, 9.7.2008: CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming

Posted on 9 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] has finished a project to help improve the living standards of the poor in five southern provinces of Cambodia in June 2008. This project was funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction [JFPR] though the Asian Development Bank for a period of five years, and US$1.3 million were spent.

“However, what CEDAC has to think about is, after the project has finished, to choose actions that can guarantee the continuity of what has been built up. In a discussion held late June, the governor of Batheay District, Kompong Cham, raised previous experiences that there used to be many organizations assisting this district, but when their project fund came to an end, there was no continuity at all. Villagers are afraid that CEDAC might repeat the same situation when it runs out of funds. But local authorities that observe CEDAC evaluate that the project implementation of CEDAC has achieved many good results. The improvement of the living standard of the poor at the targeted community led, to some extent, to a reduction of poverty.

“Eight outstanding representative farmers from Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, and Takeo asserted that their families and the members of their communities are richer, because they have attended different training courses about practices of techniques by CEDAC. There they learned how the community can save money, how to breed animals and fish, or to conserve trees, to grow crops, to do rice farming based on natural methods etc., all of which is closely related to marketability of the products.

“Mr. Lang Seng Houn, a local coordinator, said that the participation by local authority representatives from villages, communes, and districts cooperating with farmers’ communities is an important factor that brings poverty alleviation at those target places. Wherever there is participation by local authorities, those places will develop more quickly.

“Mr. Lang Seng Houn showed figures that among 192 villages from five provinces, 14,300 families benefited from the project. the number of farmers who cooperated is 7,300, the living standard of 500 families changed greatly; 5,900 families experienced an average change, and 800 families got poorer. The number of women who have changed their attitudes and abandoned their old habits is 3,500, and the number of youth under the same category is 900. And 1,500 of the poorest families who sold their labor to have some income have changed their living standard and have become independent farmers; the livelihood of farmers in general is better. Generally, they can earn 80% more from the increase of the agricultural production and from the reduction of other expenses. They have stepped up the basis for this to retain the continuity of their production teams, and 718 teams have saved money – they have 6,000 families as members so that they are able to link their products to markets. Each family earns from Riel 1.4 million to Riel 2.6 million [approx. US$340 to US$635 per farming season] from their agricultural products; those are 427 families in Kompong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, and Kompong Cham. Their income is from paddy rice, from the breeding of chickens and pigs, and from the planting of vegetables and other crops.

“Dr. Yang Saing Komar [dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development, International University, Phnom Penh] pointed to key measures contributing to the sustainability when there are no more external funds. What can replace funds for farmers’ communities to guarantee the continuity of their activities are human resources who have been trained with all skills since five years, always with a link to market mechanisms. All agricultural products created by the community must be taken to markets by the farmers, and they have to sell their own products. Money saved in the community is capital to replace the external funding and can guarantee the sustainability of their community. Production and the link to markets are key methods to develop the rural economy to become active. Trained persons, 995 human resources of the community, will be the main and strong activists who can continue to develop the community without depending on external funds.

“Mr. Komar added that for economic activities money is needed, ‘and we have money which was saved in our community.’ By 2011, this organization has the ambition to increase the money-saving community up to 4,000 villages countrywide, without borrowing loans or depending on foreign donor countries.

“This fund will become a basic experience which can lead to a successfully functioning market that carries great responsibility for the society, especially for the living standard of farmers, and for food security for customers, which can guarantee sustainable development at the basis.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1688, 9.7.2008

  • The Thai Constitutional Court Ruled that a Joint Communique Signed between Cambodia and Thailand Violates the Thai Constitution [as the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs acted without parliamentary endorsement]
  • The Ministry of Health Distributed More than 80 Tonnes of Abate [chemical substance that is put into stagnant water to kill mosquito eggs and larvae] to Prevent Dengue Fever
    Thousands of Thai Demonstrators Shouted at the Police to Take Action in [deposed former prime minister] Thaksin’s Case Soon [corruption and misuse of power]
  • South Korean Police Warn They Will Use Hot Actions to Suppress Demonstrators against US Beef Imports
  • Thai Rebels [in a Muslim southern Thai province] Attacked a Car Carrying Students; Two [Thai] Soldiers Were Killed and Three Students Were Injured [7 July 2008]
  • [Helicopter of] America Attacked a Wedding Ceremony in Afghanistan [killing at least 22 people]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #602, 9.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Dare to Create Ministry of Immigration [related to illegal Vietnamese]
  • Ou Chrov District Police Chief [Mr. Ing Song You] Runs a Big Casino in Balat Guesthouse [Poipet]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #44, 9.7.2008

  • The Preah Vihear Temple Was Listed as a World Heritage Site [8 July 2008]
  • [Traffic] Accidents Increase because of [traffic] Law Violations


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

  • CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming
  • Situation at the [Preah Vihear Temple] Border Crossing Was Quiet while Cambodia Was Beating Drums and Firing Fireworks to Express Satisfaction about the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Social Network against Child Labor Was Inaugurated in Siem Reap
  • European Commission Plans to spend 1,000 Million Euro against Food Crisis


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3354, 9.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Did Not Participate in Political Parties’ Forum about Anti-Corruption Law [8 July 2008]

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

Tuesday, 8.7.2008: Cambodia Includes Agricultural Mechanization into the Agricultural Production System of Farmers

Posted on 8 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Phnom Penh: Senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries said that nowadays, a relevant section of the agricultural sector of Cambodia is including agricultural mechanization for Cambodian farmers countrywide, to increase their production capacity, and to increase the quantity of agricultural production and its quality and to attract markets.

“A group of agricultural technical officials said that the inclusion of agricultural mechanization, such as the use of ploughing and harvesting machines, paddy seed transplanting machines, tractors, “hand held tractors” [for ploughing wet rice-fields before planting], threshing machines, paddy milling machines etc., into the planting, harvesting, and production and manufacturing system, is being accepted, and gladly preferred by farmers. The group of expert officials has tried to provide training, as well as tests for manufacturing and production officials, continually showing the use of agricultural machines in the agricultural production to farmers at the basis.

“According to statistics about agricultural machines and production tools in a report to a meeting to cover all work of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 2007-2008 and the goals for 2008-2009 for the Cambodian agriculture countrywide, there are approximately 4,475 tractors used, 34,639 “hand held tractors”, 131,702 water pumps, 395 harvesting machines, 8,036 threshing machines, and 38,680 paddy rice milling machines. This shows that more and more farmers understand mechanization and the importance of different uses of agricultural machines for their production in agriculture.

Farmers in the northeastern provinces of Cambodia said that they prefer to use agricultural machines, because they save more time than using traditional measures, such as ploughing by using cattle, or transporting by using ox-carts. Moreover, they do not have to care about food for their cattle, or to take care and to protect them from diseases, and after they have used the machines, they can do other tasks. In Cambodia, more and moe farmers prefer to use machines, since the government began reforms starting in 1987 by a widely open free market mechanism. Most farmers produce to feed their families, some places began agricultural production for trading, because agricultural mechanization and other agricultural techniques were spread by experts into the agricultural system. Until 1987, only the state used agricultural machines, and agricultural officials organized programs to plough farmers’ land every year at the beginning of the rice planting season.

“Agricultural mechanization, which is being promoted by experts in the Cambodian agricultural production system, will become an important measure to increase agricultural productivity, and production will be more efficient, both in terms of the quantity and quality of production, and it will lead to greater productivity of paddy rice for food and for export. Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1687, 8.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2791, 8.7.2008

  • Khmer Fishermen Complain about Difficulties to Do Fishing in the Khmer Sea, because They Loose to Siamese [Thai] Fishing Boats [which have modern fishing equipment, and they [the Thais] are allowed to do fishing in the Khmer sea by Khmer authorities who collude with them, receiving colossal money]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1687, 8.7.2008

  • Cambodia Includes Agricultural Mechanization into the Agricultural Production System of Farmers
  • The Korean Research Foundation for the 21st Century and INHA University Opened Training Courses about Information Technology [programming, website design, Internet] for Khmer Students [at the Royal University of Phnom Penh]
  • Thai Military Supreme Commander [Boonsang Niempradit] Dismissed Rumors about a New Coup


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #43, 8.7.2008

  • Migration of Khmer Workers to Other Countries Might Affect Their Election Rights


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6391, 8.7.2008

  • Optimism of the Owner of the Temple: Official Decision [on the listing as a World Heritage Site] Depends on UNESCO, Not on a Thai Court
  • Samdech Euv [Father King Norodom Sihanouk]: The Fear to Lose the Monarchy Has No Basis, because the King [Norodom Sihamoni] Is Excellent
  • General Administrator of the National Bank Shows that the Cambodian Economy in 2008 Increases 9.5%
  • OPEC President [Chakib Khelil]: Oil Price Will Continue to Rise [because of the falling value of the US dollar]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3506, 8.7.2008

  • Hearing Results of [former Khmer Rouge leader, Ieng Sary’s wife] Ieng Thirith, about Her Appeal to Be Released from the Detention Center Temporarily, Will Be Made Public Tomorrow
  • Mr. Um Sara, presenter of the Punleu Pleung Tean [“candle light”] Program [of the Sam Rainsy Party on Sambok Khmum Radio] Was Warned to Be Killed by Murderers


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4635, 8.7.2008

  • Thailand Is Likely to Fail to Stop the Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple; Thai Military Commander Asks Thai People to Be Calm over the Decision of UNESCO
  • Just Society Party and Khmer Anti-Corruption Party Concluded an Agreement to Unite with One Another [7 June 2008]
  • Vietnam Takes Strict Action against Illegal Fuel Export into Cambodia [by closing all gasoline stations near the Cambodian border – according to Việt Nam News]
  • 28 People Died and 141 Were Injured by a Bomb Explosion at the Indian Embassy in Kabul [Afghanistan]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3353, 8.7.2008

  • Most Luxury Cars with Labels of the Ruling Party, Used for the Election Campaign, Do Not Have Number Plates

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Monday, 7.7.2008: Corrupt Official Nhek Kosal Vithyea Is Appointed as a Member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Observation Unit of the Council of Ministers With a Position Equal to a Secretary of State

Posted on 8 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“A doctorate title holder who is well-known for committing corruption and for being immodest, Nhek Kosal Vithyea called Victor, a former director of the state communications company Telecom Cambodia, was removed from his lucrative position, based on a proposal from officials of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication by the Sub-Decree #367 ANKr.KT, dated 8 May 2008.

“Before he was removed from the position of director of Telecom Cambodia by this Sub-Decree, dated 8 May 2008, to work at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, Mr. Nhek Kosal Vithyea was also removed from the position of advisor to Samdech Akkak Moha Thommak Pothisal Chea Sim, President of the Senate of the Royal Government of Cambodia by the Royal Decree NS/TKT/ 0907, dated 6 September 2007, because this man’s hands are full of corruption in the telecommunications sector.

“Separately, there is a private company, called Pacific Communication Pte., investing in the telecommunications sector. Ms. Song Nimul, Mr. Nhek Kosal Vithyea’s wife, was a candidate for the position of director, and she used to stand as the direct representative of Mr. Nhek Kosal Vithyea, in order to sign and to accept a 35-year license, dated 3 November 2005, from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, which temporarily earned money from corruption, by redirecting international mobile phone traffic illegally, a procedure that was then stopped by police on 29 May 2008, according to letter #182 SchN, dated 8 February 2008, from the Council of Ministers.

“The action that the Royal Government taken against Pacific Communication Pte., ordering them to compensate the state through the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, based on the letter #182, dated 8 February 2008, of the Council of Ministers, shows that the Royal Government, through the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication with H.E. So Khun as Minister of Post and Telecommunication, recognized Pacific Communication Pte. as belonging to Nhek Kosal Vithyea who is a civil servant, owning a crooked company which stole from the nation.

“As if to wash away his shame, the corrupt Nhek Kosal Vithyea was recently appointed as a member of the Economic, Social, and Cultural Observer Unit of the Council of Minister, by Royal Decree NS/0508/463, dated 3 May 2008, which gives him a position equal to that of a secretary of state.

“This means that Mr. Nhek Kosal Vithyea can no longer hold a position of an Excellency under the power of Samdech Akkak Moha Thommak Pothisal Chea Sim, and that is why he turned to be now under the tutelage of H.E. Sok An, a Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers, who is Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen’s in-law.

“The Economic, Social, and Cultural Observer Unit, which is under the control of H.E. Sok An, was created by the Royal Decree #30 ANKr.BK, dated 26 July 2004, and all members of the Economic, Social, and Cultural Observer Unit are appointed by Royal Decree.

“H.E. Nhek Chroeng, a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, who is Mr. Nhek Kosal Vithyea’s father, is also a member of the Economic, Social, and Cultural Observer Unit, who was appointed by the Royal Decree NS/RKT/0804/172, dated 5 August 2004.

“Independent law experts are so surprised, because, as mentioned in letter #2544BT, dated 2 October 2007, from [Minister of Post and Telecommunication] H.E. So Khun, who sent it to H.E. Sok An, this man should have been punished for embezzlement of state funds, based on Article 37 of the Transitional Criminal Law. However, this corrupt man Nhek Kosal Vithyea was assigned to be a member of the Economic, Social, and Cultural Observer Unit of the Council of Ministers, with a rank equal to the position of a sectary of state. This means that his corrupt person was free form punishment, and was even promoted as an encouragement.” Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #22, 7-8.7.2008

Background Information

PROVISIONS DATED SEPTEMBER 10, 1992 RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY AND CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE APPLICABLE IN CAMBODIA DURING THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD

Article 37: Embezzlement by Public Officials
1.Any elected official, civil servant, military personnel or official agent of any of the four Cambodian parties to the Paris Agreement, or any political official who, while performing official duties or tasks related to such duties, with a view to owning or using, misappropriates, sells, rents, embezzles for personal profit or for that of a third party, property, services, money, personnel, any advantage, document, authorization or any function belonging to any public authority, is guilty of the felony of embezzlement of public property and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of three to ten years.

2.The court may remove the convicted person from elective office and may also prohibit him or her, after serving the sentence, from standing for election or from holding any position in the public administration for a period of two years.

3.The penalty for this felony shall also include a fine of double the sum of money or value of the property embezzled.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 7 July 2008


Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #22, 7-8.7.2008

  • Corrupt Official Nhek Kosal Vithyea Is Appointed as a Member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Observation Unit of the Council of Ministers With a Position Equal to a Secretary of State


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1686, 6-7.7.2008

  • Thai Embassy: The Gunman Who Shot Dead Two Cambodian People [at Banteay Meanchey] Is Not a Thai Soldier
  • Keo Iv’s Wife Said [after he was robbed and killed] that the Property Robbed Was Worth More than US$200,000


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #600, 7.7.2008

  • [President of the Cambodian People’s Party and President of the Senate] Chea Sim “Agreed” that Hun Sen Can Be President Candidate for the Next and Next Terms, if the Cambodian People’s Party Still Wins the Elections
  • Kompong Chhnang Fishery Chief [Keo Thay] Asserted that [Minister of Agriculture] Chan Sarun Orders to Take US$5,000 to US$6,000 from Each [fenced off fishing] Ground [from those boats getting access]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #193, 6-8.7.2008

  • [Director of the Asia Division, Human Rights Watch] Brad Adams: The Bloodshed Event on 5-6 July 1997 Was a Coup to Take Power from Funcinpec [he said so during an interview on Radio Free Asia]
  • Thai Foreign Minister Traveled to Québec to Oppose the [World Heritage Site] Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple [Canada]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #42, 6-7.7.2008

  • Do 100 Pieces of Wood [about 10 cubic meters] Have Wings to Fly from the Ministry of Interior at Midnight?
  • Selling and Drinking Alcohol Will Be Prohibited for Two Days around the Election Day
  • There Is Sexual Trafficking and Drug Dealing at the ‘Building’ Area [a partly destitute building in Phnom Penh]; Some Brothel Owners Said that They Pay [monthly] Money to Police Officials of All Levels


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6390, 7.7.2008

  • Car Driven by a [Korean] Foreigner Hit a Motorbike and Brought Five People, Including Adults and Children, to a Horrible Death [Dangkao District, Phnom Penh]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3505, 7.7.2008

  • Twelve Organizations [from the United States, New Zealand, Canada] Rejects Siam’s [Thailand’s] Request [opposing the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple] Which Is against the Verdict of Court of Justice in The Hague
  • The Ministry of Interior Should Issue a Statement for Khmer Citizens to Stop Entering Siam
    Khiev Samphan Has Not yet Decided to Choose a New Khmer Defense Lawyer [after his former co-lawyer Mr. Say Bory resigned]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4634, 6-7.7.2008

  • LICADHO: The Number of Child Sex Abuses Sees No Decline [for the first six months of 2008, there are 86 abuses of children, in which 54 cases are child sex abuses with 56 victimized children]
  • The Ministry of Economy Signed Another Agreement With the [Korean] Financial Supervisory Commission [after singing a memorandum of understanding with the South Korea Busan Bank]

Have a look at the last editorial – without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...