Week 574

Week 574 – Sunday,2008-08-24: Transparency and Openness

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 574 |

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Saturday, 23.8.2008: Opposition Party Asks to Meet the King to Report about Irregularities during the Elections

Posted on 24 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

“The president of the Human Rights Party said that a request will not be made to the King to delay the meeting for the new National Assembly swearing-in ceremony, thinking that such a request would not be successful. The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, reported to Radio Free Asia, broadcast on Thursday night, that, considering the situation realistically, asking for help from the King hardly could get results.

“The president of the Human Rights Party, an ally of the Sam Rainsy Party, together rejecting the election results on 27 July 2008, said, ‘We will not make a request disturbing the King, because we know that previously, although we had made requests to him many times, he has no possibility to help us much, since everything depends on decisions by the government.’ In the meantime, the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party still retain the position to boycott the first session of the parliament, where the swearing-in of the parliamentarians should happen in late September 2008, if there is no proper solution for the complaints lodged by both parties. At present, the complaints of the Sam Rainsy Party are in the hands of the Constitutional Council, which is known as a tool of the ruling party, like the National Election Committee [NEC].

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, a well-known opposition party president in Cambodia, said that so far, both allied parties considered not to attend the meeting of the fourth term parliamentary swearing-in ceremony, and are seeking solutions for the complaints about the irregularities of the elections. He added that the opposition party is waiting for permission from the King to meet him and to report to him the problems that happened during the previous elections.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said also, ‘We wrote to the King to ask for permission to meet him, but there is no response from the Royal Palace yet; however, we will directly report to him when we have the opportunity to meet him.’ Regarding to this problem, a source close to the King said that the King will, sooner or later, agree with the request of the opposition party to meet him. As for the word ‘sooner or later,’ it is not known in how many days, while the NEC plans to announce the official results of the fourth term elections on 7 September 2008.

“According to the temporary results announced by the NEC on 9 August 2008, the Cambodian People’s Party will receive 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party will receive 26 seats, the Human Rights Party 3 seats, the Norodom Ranariddh Party 2 seats, and Funcinpec also 2 seats. Early in August, Prime Minister Hun Sen, the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, had warned Mr. Sam Rainsy, the opposition party president, that the opposition party cannot prevent the meeting to form a new National Assembly by boycotting it, and that if it dares to boycott, this will result in invalidating its parliamentary seats gained. This warning caused Mr. Sam Rainsy to react immediately, because they first stole the ballots, and then they want to grab the seats of the Sam Rainsy Party in the National Assembly without any feeling of shame.

“However, legal experts said that, according to Article 76 of the Constitution, the supreme law of the nation, a new National Assembly cannot hold its inaugural meeting, unless there are at least120 parliamentarians attending, otherwise that new National Assembly cannot function, and a new government cannot be formed. Therefore, if the Cambodian People’s Party of Hun Sen’s group dares to hold a session of he new National Assembly, claiming that it won the majority of votes in the National Assembly, it is against Article 76 of the Constitution – it would mean that the Cambodian People’s Party unreasonably violates the supreme law of the nation.

“Relating to the plan by the NEC to announce the official results of the elections on 7 September 2008, legal experts commented to the NEC that it should finish solving the many complaints of the opposition parties about irregularities during the election day and days before the elections. To finish solving complaints lodged by the opposition parties before the announcement of the fourth term national election result is to disregard criticism from national and international observers. Obviously, national and international observers had clearly criticized that the elections on 27 July 2008 did not reach international standards and were not fair and just, clearly shaming the NEC, which is using every means to hide its bad face.

“According to high ranking officials of the NEC, they said that although there are complaints to the NEC or to the Constitutional Council, the announcement of the fourth term parliamentary election results will be made officially as planed on 7 September 2008 at the latest, and all complaints will have been solved before the day when the election results will be announced. However, officials of civil society organizations said that the official results of the elections cannot be announced, unless the Constitutional Council has solved all complaints by political parties; if all complaints have not been solved, the election results cannot be announced on the date set by the NEC.

“The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party had announced to boycott attending the first meeting of the National Assembly on 24 September 2008, demanding a new vote, in order to provide justice to more than one million Khmer citizens who had lost their right to vote. Moreover, the presidents of both parties have collected many documents as proof regarding the irregularities of the elections to be sent to the United Nations and the European Community, to help to seek justice for Khmer citizens. Because the fact that one million of Khmer citizens lost the right to vote is a serious irregularity. If the results are to be announced by the NEC on 7 September 2008, it is not in line with the will of the Khmer citizens.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3556, 23.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 23 August 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2804, 23.8.2008

  • Building for Neuro Surgery and Building for the Treatment of Heart Diseases of Infants Inaugurated at Calmette Hospital


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1727, 23.8.2008

  • Illegal Vietnamese Fishing Boats Still Invade Khmer Seas [Kep]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #228, 23.8.2008

  • Cambodian Watchdog Council Opposes Hun Sen Government’s Plan to Withdraw Complaint from the UN Security Council [over Preah Vihear Temple]
  • Hun Sen Doesn’t Dare to Visit Ta Moan Thom Temple Like [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Did, for Fear the Siamese [Thai] Black-Clad Soldiers [the special border protection unit] Might Stamp His Hand with an Admission Stamp [as they did with other Cambodian visitors, before they were allowed to enter the temple]
  • The Old Father of Monk Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on the accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] Begs King to Intervene [so that he can meet his son in Cambodia]
  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Won’t Be Able to Reach Its Goal as Former Leaders of the Killing Fields Regime Are Growing Old


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #80, 23.8.2008

  • Thai Troops Continue Invading Khmer Land at Ta Moan Thom Temple; Situation Is Still Tense; Thai Troops Move Border Marker into Khmer Land


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6431, 23-24.8.2008

  • Message of Prime Minister [Hun Sen]: Cambodia Maintains Stance of Stabilizing the Situation and Pushing Siam [Thailand] to Withdraw Troops [area not clearly specified in relation to the Cambodian map presented with the Joint Communique of 18 June 2008]
  • A Man Got Angry with Children Who Cried at Night, Argued with His Wife, Stabbed His Two-Year-Old and Three-Year-Old Daughters, then Hanged Himself; His Wife Escaped [Siem Reap]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3546, 23-24.8.2008

  • Opposition Party Asks to Meet the King to Report about Irregularities during the Elections
  • What the US Ambassador Said Is Right! [he said only a few Cambodian politicians are committed to help the Cambodian people]
  • Co-Lawyers of Khiev Samphan Still Demand that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Translate Tens of Thousands of Pages of Documents into French


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3391, 23.8.2008

  • [Unnamed source claims about some important SRP officials of the] Sam Rainsy Party Bargain for Positions at Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy, and Phnom Municipality

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Friday, 22.8.2008: US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

Posted on 23 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

A reader had asked, from far away: “What is a moto-taxi?”

Well – this is one:

Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

“Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia criticized Cambodian politicians who mostly do not put the interest of the nation and of the people as their highest priority, but they enter politics just because they want positions. Moreover, he said that it is necessary that opposition parties in Cambodia unite to become one force to compete with the ruling party.

“During an interview with Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said, ‘Few Cambodian politicians whom I met had dedicated themselves to help the Cambodian people; too many politicians are only interested in the positions they can get.’

“He added that the problem is that they do not think that they have to serve the Cambodian people. Although similar problems exists also in the United States, Mr. Joseph thinks that the problem is more serious in Cambodia than in the United States. He went on to say that it is important for Cambodia to have a sufficiently independent justice system to arrest corrupt people, and especially also politicians, to be convicted according to the law.

“An observer said that just a few months ahead of the elections, many Cambodian politicians left the Sam Rainsy Party to join the Cambodian People’s Party, causing almost a breakup among opposition party members. Those politicians had left to take up some [already promised] important positions in the government, such as secretary of state, undersecretary of state, or government advisor, making it difficult to protect their claim that they had changed their political party because they think of the interest of the nation as their highest priority.

“As for Cambodian politics in general, the US Ambassador thinks also that there are too many different opposition parties. He continued to say that as long as Cambodia has five or six opposition parities, they cannot compete with the ruling party. He said they should form an alliance, adding, ‘One opposition party will be stronger [than many opposition parties] and will gain strong attention from the Cambodian people.’

“Ms. Chea Vannath, a political observer, said that to unite or not is not a problem. Nowadays, opposition parties do not have enough to say to oppose decisions made by the ruling party. She said also that at present, Cambodia does not have a real democracy yet, because of a ruling system that upholds partisanship, is built on personal links of friendship and on familial relations, which needs to be cut down in order to promote new [qualified] people.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 22 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1726, 22.8.2008

  • Cambodia Asks Kuwait to Provide Assistance with Irrigation and Transport
  • Woman Strangled in “Chea Kong” Guesthouse [by unknown person – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • Rural Unmarried Woman Beaten until She Was Unconscious and Then Raped by [two] Young Men [two suspects arrested – Phnom Proek, Battambang]
  • North Korea Vows to Strengthen Armed Forces to Make War [while US-South Korean military exercises are conducted]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #79, 22.8.2008

  • Plane Crash in Spain Kills 153 People


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6430, 22.8.2008

  • At Ta Moan Thom Temple a GPS Receiver of an Official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Was Broken [officials of the Ministry of Culture consider the breaking of their GPS machine by a Thai soldier to be an act of looking down on the owner of the temple. – Other reports say that the Thai soldier who did it was immediately punished by his superior, and a formal apology was presented by the Thai military to the Cambodian visitors; the Cambodian visitors admitted that they had acted against the mutual agreement not to bring GPS receivers to the Ta Moan area; the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan admitted that he also broke the regulation and he also took a GPS to Ta Moan]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3545, 22.8.2008

  • National Election Committee Gives Green Light to Ministry of Interior to Take Action against Boeng Salang Subdistrict Second Deputy Chief Heung Ponlork and Boeng Tompun Subdistrict Chief [Suos Sarin – for issuing Form 1018 illegally – Tuol Kork and Meanchey districts, Phnom Penh]
  • The King Plans to Participate and to Open the National Assembly Session in Late September; the Sam Rainsy Party Still Maintains Its Position Not to Accept the Election Results
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: Sam Rainsy Party Rejects the Election Results until Election Is Held Again


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1350, 22.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Shares Parliamentary Power to Its Members Introducing Half-Term Positions
  • Death Threat by E-mail [from preahvihear@yahoo.com] against the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Mony [the e-mail said if Chea Mony joins the Cambodian People’s Party he will be able to find the murderers of Chea Vichea, it he joins the Sam Rainsy Party his fate will be the same as his brother Chea Vichea – who was murdered. The e-mailer said he doesn’t advise Chea Mony which way to go, but he should have some powerful people to protect him – or he will be followed and murdered]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

  • US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

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Thursday, 21.8.2008: Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia

Posted on 22 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574


Apologies: The link to the Joint Communique and the attached map – see further down – had been broken. It is now fixed. Thanks to the alert from a reader.

“To clarify one’s position by kneeling down under the pressure of the diplomatic politics by Siam [Thailand] or to say that the Hun Sen government is defeated by the Siamese [Thai] diplomatic warfare regarding the incursion by Siamese troops to control the Preah Vihear Temple and the Ta Moan Temple regions – these are two prominent positions to describe the representatives of the Hun Sen government. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Hun Sen government, promised Siam to revoke Cambodia’s complaint to the UN Security Council about the incursion by Siam into Cambodia, and the Hun Sen government also agreed to beg Siam, by withdrawing its troops unilaterally from the Preah Vihear Temple region, so that Siam also withdraws its troops from Khmer territory.

The press in Cambodia – the Khmer press and the international press alike – have not published (as far as we know – if we are wrong, please inform us) the extremely important Joint Communique, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Royal Government of Cambodia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, on 18 June 2008. This was the last joint submission to the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, which led to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. The full document and the appended map [‘the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached’ to the Joint Communique] is here; (it is a big file of 1.3 MB). To read the Joint Communique and to see the attached map, you need to have the free Adobe Reader or a comparable software installed – you can download the Adobe Reader here.

We strongly recommend to have a look, especially also at the map with a tiny stretch of land in red, claimed as the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

This document is available internationally, it has been published various time in the Thai media. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs signed this document, relating to national sovereignty and territory integrity, without asking the Thai parliament for a decision, led to a verdict by the Thai Constitutional Court, accusing him of overstepping is responsibilities, and thus violating the Thai constitution – so he had to resign.

This document – co-signed in the name of the Kingdom of Cambodia – is also the basis for much public opinion in Thailand about the Cambodian government. It is surprising – and important to note – that this document of high international value, is not, or not easily, available to the Khmer public.

It seems that many arguments in the Khmer press are either not aware of this document, or avoid to see it, because of its bewildering implications. To analyze the content of the document might lead to some different conclusions and arguments, different from what is nowadays in the press. We provide today some references to the Joint Communique and invite our readers to appraise the situation, comparing and relating it to the Joint Communique and the new Cambodian map.

We would, of course, be happy to see some such reactions in the Comments you may write – or in e-mail to myself, the editor of the Mirror, at mirror@gmx.org

“This information was made known after a two-day-meeting on 18 and 19 August 2008, and especially, after a high ranking delegation of the government of Cambodia, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hor Namhong, accompanied by senior representatives of the Minister of Interior of Cambodia, also came to visit the Siamese King at his palace in Hua Hin.

“Explaining that this is to express sympathy and friendship among good neighbors, between Cambodia and Thailand, and to avoid confrontation between Siamese troops invading and Khmer troops protecting its territory, Hor Namhong and the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang reported the same content about the results of these negotiations. Hor Namhong said that Cambodia agreed to withdraw a complaint against Siam’s incursion into the Preah Vihear Temple region to the UN Security Council; representatives of the Hun Sen government consider this to be a concession towards Siam so that they agree to withdraw also their troops from Cambodia.

“Moreover, Hor Namhong said also that in response to an order by Hun Sen, Cambodia agreed, on its side, to please Siam by promising to recall the Khmer troops from the Preah Vihear Temple region of Cambodia.

“Hor Namhong said, ‘We will withdraw all troops from the Contested Regions. We will withdraw also the complaint to the UN Security Council.’

“Cambodia filed a complaint to the UN Security Council to ask for intervention, asking to convene an urgent meeting, to solve the confrontation between Cambodian and Siamese troops, after Siam had invaded Khmer territory on 15 July 2008. However, the complaint of Cambodia to the UN Security Council was suspended by a phone call from the Siamese Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on 24 July 2008 to Mr. Hun Sen, requesting him to suspend this complaint (it seems to be a very interesting books), one day before the UN Security Council would have discussed it.

The Khmer press speaks, in general, in general terms, of the invasion into Khmer territory, without considering the declarations of the Cambodian representatives, especially also the new map presented by Cambodia – not bu Thailand! – with the Joint Communique, which says:

“1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription… of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached…

2….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.”

On 15 July 2008, Thai troops moved into the “northern and western areas of the Temple” which were not claimed by Cambodia “at this stage” as part of the territory of the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple, listed as a World Heritage Site.

“Mr. Hor Namhong said also, ‘We will withdraw the troops unilaterally form the disputed regions to express the good will of Cambodia, to avoid a confrontation that might lead to armed conflict.’

“What is seen is that Siam has a landslide victory in its diplomatic warfare, hiding its military incursion into Cambodia, when the head diplomat Hor Namhong, on Hun Sen’s order, agreed to do everything by kneeling down to totally beg Siam – like through the promise to revoke the complaint against Siam to the UN Security Council, and to announce to withdraw the Khmer troops from Khmer territory first, so that Siam agrees to withdraw its invading troops also.

What is called here “Khmer territory” seems to be part of the area contested between both countries – but more specifically in this case – an area outside of the perimeter claimed by Cambodia for the listing by the World Heritage Committee – see the note above.

“Observers and experts officials said that the Hun Sen government made Cambodia to be a looser, because that territory belongs to Cambodia, as stated in the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1962. If Cambodia dares to order its troops back to the region again, Siam will take the opportunity to use this as a reason to order its troops to control Khmer territory. It is not believed that there will be proper and just solutions in the meetings attended by foreign affairs ministers, interior high ranking officials, and the Cambodia’s Border Committee, to guarantee that Siam will give up its invading ambition ordering its troops to control Cambodian territory.

“Getting out from the Khmer-Siamese foreign affairs ministerial meeting on 18 August 2008 in Hua Hin, and then visiting the Siamese King, Hor Namhong said that the Khmer and the Siamese sides agreed to leave only ten soldiers at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, and twenty soldiers close to the pagoda, in order to lessen the confrontation by both sides.

The Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda lies in the ‘buffer zone on the… western areas of the Temple’ which was ‘at this stage’ not claimed by the Cambodian negotiators as part of defining the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

“Furthermore, the head of the Khmer diplomats Hor Namhong said that, as a concession which is quick like an arrow, aiming to defuse the confrontation between the troops of both sides, that the government of Cambodia agreed to withdraw all its troops from the border, and will turn to negotiate peacefully through meetings between the border commissions of both countries.

“In the meantime, regarding about the movement of troops by Siam into the Ta Moan Temple on Khmer territory in the western Dang Rek Mountain region, it was kept as a separate issue. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang said that it was not on the agenda to discuss the Ta Moan Temple issue, and both sides agreed to deal with it next time.

“This shows that it is a strategic trick of Siam in the diplomatic field to create new problems, while Cambodia is weak in this field, as well as in the field to defend the nation.

“Both sides claim that the solution for the disputes at the Preah Vihear Temple is to plan to look for border markers, to clearly mark the border lines. To say so is another political trick of Siam, since, in general, they know that a verdict in the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 15 June 1962 clearly stated, by basing its verdict on the French and Siam treaties of 1904 to 1907, signed by both sides about the Khmer and Siam borders lines, which was marked in an official map in 1908.

The court, in a very lengthy document publishing its verdict, stated that the court

‘…by nine votes to three, finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory
under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’

The text of the verdict clarifies things related to the temple; it does not clarify the border questions in the region. That is why both countries agreed that the next step necessary now is to work on the border demarcation.

As a related question, it would be interesting to know how the different border clarifications – with Laos, with Vietnam, and with Thailand – which have been already accomplished something, or which need still to continue to work, relate to Article 2 of the Cambodian Constitution:

‘The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1/100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969.’

This statement seems to imply that all border questions which all neighbors are already solved – otherwise, how could there be finite, clear, detailed numbers?] – but many sections of the borderline with neighboring countries are not yet solved..

“Just having seen that the Hun Sen government agreed to kneel down to beg Siam with promises that Cambodia will withdraw its troops, even from the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia, to please Siam so that they withdraw their troops from the areas where they invaded Cambodia, allows everyone to knows that the Hun Sen government is very weak diplomacy, as well as militarily to defend its territorial integrity. How can Khmers then hope that Cambodia, ruled by the Hun Sen government of the Cambodian People’s Party, will not lose Cambodian territory, because they serve the interests of themselves or of factions among the leaders of Siam and of the Hun Sen government?” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 21 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1725, 21.8.2008

  • Kuwait Asks to Establish Its Embassy in Cambodia and Kuwait Will Come to Invest in Cambodia
  • Thai Opposition Group Asks Britain to Extradite Mr. Thaksin for Trial


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

    Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #78, 21.8.2008

  • Price of Gasoline Is Reduced [by Riel 400 to 500, approx. US$0.10] after the Government Had Asked for Reductions
  • US Ambassador to Cambodia [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Will Hold His Final Press Conference on Monday 25 August 2008 [his mandate ends]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6429, 21.8.2008

  • Latest Information from Preah Vihear Temple Area: Number of Delegations, Donors, and Tourists Declines


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3544, 21.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: I Do Not Trust the Constitutional Council; They Wants to Finish the Cases Whenever They Want
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: The Price of Fuel on the Cambodian Market Is Still High because There Are Not Many Companies Competing with Each Other


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4673, 21.8.2008

  • [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong Compares the Negotiations [over the Preah Vihear Temple] to a Steam Roller [that it is slow but still moving]
  • The European Community Puts a High Value on Elections and Vows to Continue to Help Cambodia

  • [South] Korea Asks Cambodia to Support Investments in Mineral Resources and Energy in Cambodia
  • Many Houses of Members of the Women’s Coalition for Peace and Development Were Destroyed by a Group of Soldiers [15 August – over land disputes – Srae Ambel, Koh Kong]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3390, 21.8.2008

  • Eng Chhay Eang Resigns as Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, Causing Political Doubts
  • Ministry of Agriculture Prepares to Allow Import of Pike Fish [from Vietnam – making officials in the provinces at the border unhappy, as they have been well off from pike fish smuggling]

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Wednesday, 20.8.2008: A British Newspaper Says that If Hun Sen Does Not Change the Way of Ruling, Poor People Will Seek Different Means to Achieve Justice

Posted on 21 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

“Regarding endless land disputes almost everywhere in Cambodia under the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen, The Guardian, a British newspaper, published an article on Sunday about the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party, which had changed Cambodia from a dictatorship to a free market country, making the economy to develop very quickly, and building pagodas, roads, bridges, schools, and cinemas. However, the newspaper said that this free market system led to speculation in real estate properties such as buildings and land for profit; heritage is for sale, and the US dollar became their king.

“The article in The Guardian, which was quoted by Radio Free Asia for broadcasting yesterday, noted that land, owned by citizens since the 1980ies, can now be lost easily, because of the invasion by some capitalists who are close to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The Prime Minister is generally regarded as part of a ‘nouveau riche’ kleptocracy that siphons off foreign aid and ignores protests about human rights. It is said that Hun Sen used to care about the poor people for a long time, but it is regrettable that Hun Sen now cares only about the rising value of real estate properties and does not care to strengthen the nation, where the society suffers from an imbalance of concerns for justice for the economy.

The Guardian of Britain continued, ‘If Mr. Hun Sen had honorably resigned from his position in 1998 [after the surrender of the Khmer Rouge], he would have receive a good name among world leaders in history.’ This newspaper said that Hun Sen brought peace to Cambodia, but he has sacrificed the poor on the altar of an economic boom. This newspaper compared Hun Sen to some leaders of Brazil and Bolivia in South America who originally came also from the poor sector of society, but he has no plan to protect the poor who suffer under the powerful

[It is interesting that this detailed rendering of the article in The Guardian does not render the reference to the Khmer Rouge who ‘were backed militarily by China and diplomatically by the west’.]

“This well-known British newspaper went on to say that although Hun Sen is smart and intelligent and has political skills, Hun Sen’s success was based on survival, not on a vision for the future. If Hun Sen does not change his way of ruling, poor people will seek different means to achieve justice.

“Political and economic observers in Cambodia agree with the analysis of this article published on Sunday, 17 August 2008, in The Guardian, considering it to be an analysis that is in line with the current situation in Cambodia. Actually, Prime Minister Hun Sen, the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, also comes originally from a peasant class background, but he does not protect the weak farmers at all who are violated by powerful people. Obviously, farmers, who suffer from land grabbing by high-ranking officials, dishonest oknhas, wicked merchants, and military officials, come regularly to protest in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house at the ‘Tiger Cave’ Tuol Krasaing, but there are no effective solutions coming from Hun Sen for the victimized farmers.

“Political and economic observers in Cambodia added that just some days after the fourth term elections on 27 July 2008, suddenly land disputes erupted again brutally, such as in Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Mondolkiri, Kratie, Kompong Chhnang, Kandal, Svay Rieng, Kampot, and Battambang. These reoccurring problems have not been solved by the National Authority for the Resolution of Land Disputes, administered by Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister of the Council of Ministers. Therefore, some officials concerned with social affairs assume that there might be more serious land disputes, under the soon to be formed fourth term government, than there were under the third-term government.

“ These officials said that the fourth term government will be again led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, but Hun Sen does not have any clear policies to solve land disputes; therefore, land disputes will really erupt in all provinces countrywide. Another point is that those who use their power and violate citizens by grabbing their land are mostly high-ranking officials, dishonest oknhas, wicked merchants, and military officials, all are from the Cambodian People’s Party, and Hun Sen does not dare to disturb them. At last, a land revolution might break out, as predicted by Hun Sen himself, because the patience of the victimized citizens is limited, if the government does not take any action to solve the problems in time.

“Economic analysts said that the fourth term government, again led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, as vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, might not lead to real growth of the national economy, because Hun Sen does not have economic skills and he can only borrow money from foreign countries and ask for funds from the international community, to extend the breath of his government. Moreover, Hun Sen does not have any clear policies to fight corruption; he just says so to make it sounds nice, like the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, had clearly criticized. Even inflation and the price of fuel and of goods are skyrocketing, which affects the daily life of citizens – but Hun Sen is incompetent to solve these problems.

“Economic analysts continued to say that economic growth in 2008 will be lower than in 2007, and economic growth in 2009 will decline further compared to 2008, because of corruption and bureaucracy in important state institutions, where such affairs are spreading stronger without any intervention. This means that the government, led by the same incompetent prime minister and state institutions controlled by the same corrupt officials, will not make the economy grow; even foreign loans will be lost because of corruption. This will make poor citizens to suffer more, because the little economic growth is only for the benefit of corrupt officials and for partisans of powerful leaders.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3543, 20.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Areyathor, Vol.15, #1351, 20-21.8.2008

  • [Bayon Television] Director-General Hun Mana [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s daughter] Accuses Sophon Magazine of Defamation and an Extortion Attempt for US$3,000 [from her staff member – the magazine wrote an article titled, ‘Does Sim Solika have a love triangle relation?’]


Chhanteak Kaun Khmer, Vol.1, #1, 20-27.8.2008

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Is Eying the Position of President of the Constitutional Council
  • Many Illegal Sawmills Operate in Prey Nob District [Sihanoukville]


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #82, 20-26.8.2008

  • [Kompong Cham Governor and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s older brother] Hun Neng Considers Khmer-Siamese [Thai] Border Dispute to Be a Military Exercise between a Battlefield Front and a Rear Battlefield [cooperation between troops and people]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1724, 20.8.2008

  • [US Ambassador Joseph A.] Mussomeli: Historically, Relations between America and Cambodia Have Never Been as Good as They Are These Days


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #77, 20.8.2008

  • No New Agreements at the Meeting [about Preah Vihear between Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers] in Hua Hin [Thailand]
  • 70% of Vegetables at the Phsar Daeum Kor Market Are Imported from a Neighboring Country [that is from Vietnam]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3543, 20.8.2008

  • A British Newspaper Says that If Hun Sen Does Not Change the Way of Ruling, Poor People Will Seek Different Means to Achieve Justice
  • Sam Rainsy: Sam Rainsy Party Has Appropriate and Strong Evidence to Reject Election Results


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4672, 20.8.2008

  • [Deputy Chief Observer of the European Union’s Election Observation Mission] Graham Elson: [4th Term Parliamentary Election] Was Good but It Did Not Reach International Standards

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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Tuesday, 19.8.2008: Cambodian Section of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Creates Mechanism against Corruption

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

“Phnom Penh: A Mechanism against corruption, a committee at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, was created on 15 August 2008 by the Cambodian section of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, in order to receive complaints from Khmer staff who face, see, or hear that corruption is committed in this institution. Mr. Reach Sambath, the spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, said last week that the mechanism against corruption is led by two high ranking officials of the tribunal – Judge Kong Srim, the president of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and Ms. Helen Jarvis, the head of the Public Affairs Office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, who act as observers and as complaint receivers.

“According to Mr. Reach Sambath this mechanism was created to suppress corruption at the Cambodian section of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, as there were such accusations again and again; although previous audits had not showed that there was corruption at the tribunal, last week there was again an accusation that there was corruption among Khmer staff, and officials of the United Nations reported that its internal oversight office in New York is checking complaints regarding corruption lodged by Khmer staff. The accused corruption is that staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal of the Cambodian side had to pay one part of their salaries as kickback to officials of the Royal Government so that they could receive position at the Cambodian-UN mixed court created to try former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Mr. Reach Sambath said the creation of a mechanism on the Cambodian side against corruption was welcomed by more than 250 employees of the tribunal who attended a meeting last Friday. In that meeting, the Judge Prak Kim San, head of the ECCC Pre-Trial Chamber, was quoted by Mr. Reach Sambath as saying, ‘When I came to work here, I heard about accusations regarding corruption. It is a shame for our tribunal, and we must create a mechanism to suppress it.’ Mr. Prak Kim San added, ‘Those who had given money to them [officials of the government] must stop, and those [officials of the government] who had received money have to be prepared to go to jail.’ Also, Mr. You Bunleng, a co-investigating judge, stated, ‘Those who had given money are wrong, and those who had received money must be punished.’ As for Mr. Kong Srim, the President of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, who has been appointed to be head of the observers of the ethics monitoring group, was quoted also by Mr. Reach Sambath that he pledged to successfully achieve the action against corruption, calling on the Khmer staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, ‘Anyone who sees and hears about corruption, please report to me (through named letters or anonymously – all that will be checked), and I will punish those who have committed wrongdoings.’

“Because of the corruption accusations, the United Nations Development Program [UNDP], which administers one part of the donor funds for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, had ruled to suspend the salary payment funds of the Khmer staff of US$300,000 temporally. The postponement created problems for the Cambodian side to provide salaries to its staff for July, but this was then solved, after Japan allowed the Cambodian side to use Japanese funds to provide the salaries to the staff. Regarding the creation of a mechanism against corruption, a UNDP spokesperson said Saturday, that the UNDP has not yet received any information. When asked when +UNDP will release the suspended salaries to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, [another UNDP staff] Mr. Men Kimseng said they cannot yet say that.

“The creation of a mechanism against corruption has been cautiously welcomed by officials of civil society organizations who work with Khmer Rouge cases. Mr. Chhang Youk, the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said that the creation of such a mechanism is good to provide trust and a positive posture towards different donor countries and to shows cooperation with them, while they are concerned that there is corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. However, the creation of a mechanism against corruption was considered by Mr. Chhang Youk also to be a problem. He explained that it will make donor countries to lose trust, because the current corruption is systemic, and the creation of a mechanism will make the problem bigger. The director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia said, ‘I think it would be better if the Khmer Rouge Tribunal would create better mechanisms to deal with its administration.’

“Mr. Sok Sam Oeun, the director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said that the creation of a mechanism against corruption might somewhat increase the donor countries’ trust, but as for him, he does not believed that it is an efficient mechanism against corruption, because previously, we always created different institutions, but there was no implementation. Nevertheless, Mr. Sok Sam Oeun waits to see future results, saying, ‘If there is really a clear intention, they will achieve their goal.’

“As for Ms. Pong Chiv Kek, also known as Dr. Kek Galabru, the director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – she said that the creation of a mechanism is good, but it is not sufficient yet; there must be further clear investigations to see whether there was corruption, as charged, or not, so that donor countries trust again and provide more aid, in order that the process of the tribunal to try former Khmer Rouge leaders can proceed to the end.

The director of the Office of Administration of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia promised to resign if corruption where he is involved is found

“Mr. Sean Visoth, the director of the Office of Administration for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, was quoted by Mr. Reach Sambath during the meeting for the creation of the mechanism against corruption last Friday as saying that he will resign, if there is corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, especially if there is any case which relates to himself. Mr. Sean Visoth said his many years’ efforts aimed to make the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to proceed smoothly, and if there are such corruption accusations, he is disappointed. Mr. Sean Visoth pledged in front of Khmer and foreign staff last Saturday, ‘If there were corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and especially, if it relates to me, I will resign.’ Regarding the promise by Mr. Sean Visoth, Mr. Reach Sambath said that the director of the Office of Administration for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia considers the fight against corruption as a major issue.

“Mr. Chhang Youk considered the promise by the director of the Office of Administration for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to resign to be a too big promise that is beyond what the donor countries expect regarding the accusation that some kickback had to be paid by staff members. However, Mr. Chhang Youk said that the director of the Office of Administration for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia wanted to show his good will to cooperate honestly, so that the tribunal moves ahead. As for Ms. Pong Chiv Kek, she considered the promise by Mr. Sean Visoth to resign if he was found involved in corruption to be a good thing, but the corruption issue does not relate to individual persons only. Therefore, the promise is not sufficient, and there must be clear investigations with proofs, in order to regain confidence. Ms. Pong Chiv Kek said that the corruption issue should not become an obstacle for the work to seek justice for the victims who are anxiously waiting for it; there should be careful investigations.

“However, Mr. Reach Sambath, the spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, stressed that what the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has tried so far, including the creation of a mechanism against corruption, show that the tribunal thinks highly about the fight against corruption, so that everyone can focus on the work to seek justice for the victims, because this is most important for human beings.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #76, 19.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1723, 19.8.2008

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Visited the Preah Vihear Temple Area [on 18 August] While [Minister of Cambodian Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong and [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Tej Bunnag Had a Private Meeting


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #76, 19.8.2008

  • Cambodian Section of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Creates Mechanism against Corruption
  • The Mekong Times [Phnom Penh] Decides to Suspend Its Publication [after six months for lack of financial resources]
  • Report [of the Council for the Development of Cambodia] Says Investments from Abroad Increase but Local Investments Decline


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3542, 19.8.2008

  • Village Chiefs and Commune and Subdistrict Clerks Provide Information to Mr. Sam Rainsy about Irregularities in Issuing Form 1018 [election ID papers]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4671, 19.8.2008

  • [Cambodian] Soldiers at Ta Moan Thom Temple Get Sick and Need Emergency Aid [malaria – Oddar Meanchey]
  • Kompong Cham Authority Takes More Than Riel 700 Million [approx. US$175,000] to Help Forces Who Protect Preah Vihear Temple
  • 450 Families at Boeng Kak Lake Area Demand Housing and US$5,000 [in exchange for leaving the area – Phnom Penh]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3388, 19.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy and [Human Rights Party President] Kem Sokha Curse Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] After Sam Rainsy Had Boasted about Getting 60 Seats and Kem Sokha Had Boasted about Getting 50 Seats
  • Funcinpec Leaders Tell Their Provincial and Town Officials that There Is No Reshuffle
  • Disappointed Funcinpec Group Wants to Return to Samdech Krom Preah

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension in the Post-Election Period while waiting for the official election results and a new government

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Monday, 18.8.2008: Ministry of Interior and Federal Board of Investigation Discuss Details How to Find the Murderer Who Shot the Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist to Death

Posted on 19 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

“Last Monday, US embassy officials in Cambodia reported to journalists that the [US] Federal Board of Investigation [FBI] and Cambodian police officials are discussing details that are needed to be clear for the cooperation to investigate the murder of a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, Mr. Khim Sambo. The spokesperson of the US embassy in Cambodia, Mr. John Johnson, said that the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia and the FBI are discussing details on how the Cambodian side and the FBI should cooperate with each other to investigate to seek the murderer who killed the journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, Mr. Khim Sambo, and his son, Khat Sarinpheata.

“The US embassy spokesperson in Cambodia, Mr. John Johnson said, ‘The Ministry of Interior of Cambodia and the FBI are deciding how to cooperate with each other, but an official decision has not yet been made.’ Regarding this issue, national and international observers are carefully following these events, because the cooperation between the FBI and the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia, administered by Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, may soon lead to identify the murderer. Especially they want to know the real reasons for the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son, so that justice can be found for the victims and their family.

“It should be remembered that a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, Mr. Khim Sambo, 47, and his son Khat Sarinpheata, 21, were shot dead by the murderer on a road near the Olympic Stadium on the evening of 11 July 2008, while they were riding on a moto back from exercising in the Olympic Stadium. Previously, General Touch Naroth, the Phnom Penh police chief, had said that police had drafted a ‘wanted’ circular with a sketch of the face of the suspected murderer with the cooperation of witnesses at the site of event, and with the victims’ family. They do not know when the police will publish the sketch of the murderer who killed Mr. Khim Sambo and his son in public.

“Recently, General Touch Naroth, the Phnom Penh police chief, had stated his suspicion that the reason for the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son might be individual rancor on Khat Sarinpheata. However, investigating officials of local human rights organizations do not agree with this assumption of General Touch Naroth, because the murderer shot Mr. Khim Sambo before shooting his son, Khat Sarinpheata. As for the victims’ family, they claimed that Khat Sarinpheata never had disputes or rancor with anyone, and they suggested that police should continue to carefully investigate this case.

“Senior officials of the Sam Rainsy Party stated their opinion that the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo might be involved with politics, because Mr. Khim Sambo was a pro-opposition party journalist. Another point is that Mr. Khim Sambo and his son were killed during the fourth term parliamentary election campaign. The murder of Mr. Khim Sambo makes the editor-in-chief and all staff of Moneaksekar Khmer concerned very much about their own safety when traveling and going to cover information, and they would like to call on the police to arrest the real murderer to be prosecuted soon.

“Since the murderer of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son, since the evening of 11 July 2008 until Monday, 18 August 2008, more than one month has passed, but the police has not showed their clear position seeking the murderer. Therefore, it is very good that the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia and the FBI of the United States are discussing details together for the investigation to seek the murderer who killed Mr. Khim Sambo and his son. Because of cooperation in the investigation between the Cambodian police and the FBI, the murderer and those who have ordered it might not be able to escape from the law.

“Officials of human rights organizations in Cambodia noted that sine 1994, twelve journalists have been shot dead, but police has never arrested the murderers to be prosecuted. Because the FBI of the United States now cooperates with the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia to seek the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo and his son, national and international observers hope that the murderer will be arrested to be punished soon.

“It should be noted that on 16 July 2008, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia issued an official statement related to the shooting dead of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son. The statement of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia called on the police of the government of Cambodia to undertake full, quick, and trustworthy investigations to bring those who committed this crime to the court, to be tried in order to also clear any suspicions about the reasons for the murder.

Moneaksekar Khmer and national and international journalists as well as officials of human rights organizations in Cambodia hope that, with the cooperation between the FBI and the police of the Ministry of Interior, the murderer who killed Mr. Khim Sambo and his son might be found to be prosecuted soon. Moreover, searching for the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo and his son might put an end to the culture of impunity of killing journalists in Cambodia also. While the murderer of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son is being hunted to be prosecuted, other criminals may not dare to kill other journalists, knowing that they cannot escape prosecution according to the law.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3541, 18.8.2008


Apologies – now we have the headlines only – text translation is coming later. This can happen when working with very limited resources.

Norbert Klein

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 18 August 2008


Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #31, 18-19.8.2008

  • Cruel Armed Forces Trampled Yesterday on Will of Demonstrators against Siamese [Thai] Thieves Who Invade Khmer Land [17 August 2008 in Phnom Penh – demonstrators led by Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Rong Chhun and the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia president Chea Mony were dispersed]
  • Funcinpec Continues to Support Cambodian People’s Party to Create a Big-Headed Royal Government


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1722, 17-18.8.2008

  • A Number of Invading Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Have Withdrawn from the Disputed Area
  • Prince Thomico: Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Can Return to Cambodia if He Stops Entering Politics


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #224, 17-18.8.2008

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh Wants the Position of President of the Constitutional Council instead of Ek Sam Ol [according to a Royal family member]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3541, 18.8.2008


  • Ministry of Interior and Federal Board of Investigation Discuss Details How to Find the Murderer Who Shot the Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist to Death
  • Sam Rainsy Party Continues to Submit Complaints to the Constitutional Council over Irregularities in the Elections
  • Observers Do not Trust It Will Be Possible to Eliminating Corruption at Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Cambodian People’s Party Officials Concerned about Reshuffle of Provincial and of Town Governors, and of Police Chiefs


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4670, 17-18.8.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen] Confirms: No Reshuffle of Provincial Leaders


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #33, 17-18.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Goes against Election Results Just Protesting to Get Positions in National Assembly Committees
  • Electricity Companies in the Provinces Start to Increase the Fees – in Line with Cambodian People’s Party Policy [mocking]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – in this post-election period when many things are not yet settled, there is apprehension while waiting

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