Week 577

Week 577 – Sunday,2008-09-14: Patience in View of What Has Been Agreed and What Is Made Known

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 577 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

There was obviously a reason to meet, and then to report about a meeting between two important groups in society under the headline: “Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important.” As the article showed, there is concern that the communication between these two groups does not work as smooth as it would be useful for an informed society, taking up problems which have to be taken up openly, so that problems do now grow bigger, leading to irritation and even confrontation.

But we have also an example where a complaint against a procedure considered unjustified led quickly to change – and this even across borders: on Monday we referred to a report that Thai border police at one border crossing point used dogs to sniff Cambodian travellers “from head to foot,” and have all ten of their fingers fingerprinted. On Friday, we had another report in response, that the governor of the Thai border province of Trat – someone must have informed him of the complaints – had intervened and apologized for the action of the Thai police, defusing the situation.

Just as a brief side remark: traveling to the United States of America during the last years, I am always being fingerprinted when entering the USA – though not all fingers – and I have often been “inspected” by dogs trained to detect drugs, sniffing on my luggage and on me.

But not all irritation finds such quick response. This case of a positive respone should be widely appreciated, as it can establish trust where there is suspicion. And if suspicion is not cleared up, it can lead to enmity, confrontation, and even violent conflict.

Responses from some Cambodian citizens, as mirrored on Saturday, to the statements by the Prime Minister about the tensions at the border with Thailand, raise the concern that they do not seem to be based on relevant information. But these reactions are partly understandable, because some extremely important information related to the tensions at the border have – according to our information – never been published in Cambodia. This question has been raised in The Mirror in the past, and we repeat the question to our readers again: Please let us know where and when the following documents were made available in any publication in Cambodia. If they were not yet made available to the public in Cambodia, while they are accessible internationally – and also in the media in Thailand and in discussions in the Thai parliament, transmitted on TV – the media in Cambodia have failed to report important facts, and by doing so have not helped to contribute to the effort to defuse a difficult, conflictive, situation.

On 18 June 2008, a Joint Communique was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on behalf of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and by the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO. This is the final document which was submitted towards the recognition of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. While the listing has rightly been celebrated, the Cambodian public was not made aware by the media in the country – and if it was done: please let us know where and when – of the following map, signed by the head of the Cambodian Border Committee as an “Attachment to the Joint Communique,” and of the related text in the Joint Communique, from which some section are quoted here.

New Map of Preah Vihear Temple for World Heritage Listing

New Map of Preah Vihear Temple for World Heritage Listing



The Joint Communique says among others:

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. In the spirit of goodwill and conciliation, 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.

3.The map mentioned in paragraph 1 above shall supersede the maps… of the Temple of Preah Vihear site in Cambodia’s nomination file.

On Saturday, we carried the following statements by some Cambodian citizens.

A person working in a civil society organization, was quoted as saying, “Cambodia has a precisely defined territorial integrity, has laws, and exists on the world map, therefore, it will not let any country with such an ambition swallow the country.”

Article 2 of the Constitution states: “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.”

On a map of the scale 1:100,000, one millimeter on the map correspond to 100 meters in nature. This is a general definition, such a map shows a borderline which is vague by around 100 meters. If the territory of Cambodia were so clearly defined as this person assumes, there would not be a need to work on the demarcatiion of the borders with the neighbors in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

When it comes to the Preah Vihear Temple itself, the situation is clear now, according to the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities: “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” – that is only the narrow strip of land immediately around the temple, marked in light red, in the middle of the map above – nothing more, not the region to the North (which had ben the main entrance from Thailand), nothing to the West where Thai soldiers entered.

The International Court of Justice said in 1992, “the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia” – this territory is described in the new map which supersedes the maps presented by the Cambodian side earlier on – “without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.” This relates to the World Heritage Site. If the border, in general, would be so clearly defined as the civil society officer assumes, there would not have been an agreement that Cambodia and Thailand will work on the difinition of the border later in his year – and not only on the border around the Temple of Preah Vihear.

Nobody has “an ambition to swallow the country” – to make such an allegation is to stir up bad feelings, while no political party in Thailand is questioning the 1962 court decision. But the adjacent border is not yet defined. The Thai soldiers are in contested areas – first they entered into the contested areas of the “buffer zone on the northern and western areas” of the Temple of Preah Vihear, at this stage not claimed by Cambodia as part of the World Heritage Site.

A law student of the Royal University of Law and Economics, spoke about Thailand using “many tricks in negotiations,” and he recommends, “as our priority, to send a complaint to the United Nations as soon as possible.” It would have been helpful to know what he considers to be tricks – and this in view of the publicly taken position of the Kingdom of Cambodia, as seen in the new Cambodian map and its description, a map “superseding” the maps formerly presented by the Cambodian side. It seem that Thai troops have been – regrettably – deployed only into contested areas with not yet clearly marked and mutually agreed borders, and not across borders already clearly defined. Only in this case Thai troops would commit an act of agression.

Frequently, to sue Thailand at the International Court of Justice in The Hague is also pondered – but so far the press has not reported in detail on which grounds such a legal suit would be based. As this is not a court to persecute criminal actions, both countries involved in a dispute must accept the jurisdiction, which mostly implies that mutual negotiations should have been conducted – which have failed to lead to an agreement. In this case, these negotations – to define the borderline on the ground – have not yet been conducted. It had been announced that the Cambodian and the Thai border commissions would meet probably in October to plan their work.

So the real challenge remains: how to create and improve an environment of mutual trust. Surely by supporting the words of the Prime Minister when he said that “it is better to fight with legal methods” than to consider war. But to do so will be difficult, as long as the mutually elaborated legal agreements are not laid open to the public. We hope that they will even be translated into the Khmer language and published, so that the Khmer citizen, committed to preserving the positions of Cambodia, can also read in their own language what has been internationally agreed and signed in the name of the Kingdomof Cambodia.

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Saturday, 13.9.2008: Siam Is More Impudent – Cambodian Patience Is Running Out

Posted on 14 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen affirmed his position towards Siam [Thailand] that the incursion by Siamese troops makes the patience of Cambodia running out. He said so during a regular session of the Council of Ministers yesterday morning on 12 September 2008.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesperson, said that during the session, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen presented his firm position to the members of the Royal Government, to protect the territorial integrity against the intrusion by foreign troops.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith continued that Samdech Hun Sen said during the session that Cambodian patience becomes thinner and thinner after Siamese Troops become more impudent by invading very old temples along the border. Legal choices are to send a complaint to the Security Council of the United Nations, and a suit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague might happen in the meantime as two responses by Cambodia, while the Siamese side seems to consider Cambodia to be a very cowardly country.

“Samdech stated that Cambodia is tired of wars, but this does not mean that Cambodia is afraid of wars. We are tired of civil war, but we are brave to fight any foreign country that has the ambition to violate our territorial integrity.

“That does not mean that Cambodia wants war, but Cambodia does not accept an incursion not respecting the law, and not respecting the sovereignty of a country.

“Mr. Chan Saveth, an investigating official of a civil society organization, said, ‘We support the speech by Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, representing a clear position about Cambodia’s patience. Cambodia has a precisely defined territorial integrity, has laws, and exists on the world map, therefore, it will not let any country with such an ambition to swallow the country.’

“Mr. Chan Saveth expressed his view that this support is not to encourage the government to start a war, but to find ways to send a complaint to the United Nations. He said, ‘I want to affirm again that if the position of the government is as clear as mentioned above, the citizens and the civil society organizations will provide 100% support, but the government has to review its complaint to the UN Security Council it had previously lodged and then suspended. If the government revokes the suspension, it is a sign of not accepting the impudence of the Siamese troops invading along the Cambodian border.

“Mr. Chan Saveth added that Cambodia has no history of invading other countries. Therefore, what Prime Minister Hun Sen said is acceptable, because our patience is limited.

“Mr. Un Phalla, a law student of the Royal University of Law and Economics, said, ‘I support Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, something which has never been heard since Siamese troops invaded along the border.’

“Mr. Un Phalla continued, ‘We are hurt, as Khmer students, when hearing that Siamese troops increase their invasion along the border and use many tricks in negotiations. Therefore, my support is not to encourage Samdech to start a war, but to refer to the legal basis as our priority, by sending a complaint to the United Nations as soon as possible.’

“Prince Sisowath Thomico said that if talking about territorial integrity, every Khmer citizen does not want to see an incursion by foreign countries. Prince Thomico added ‘Regarding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, it is now not only me who is supporting it and who is happy, but also many citizens, when they hear such courage of a leader who represent the will to protect the territorial integrity.’

“Prince Thomico said also that the government has to put all territorial issues on the table to be solved together, and all political parties should not show different attitudes toward this problem. Internal opposition [among parties] is one thing, but territorial issues are of nationl concern.

“The head of the government showed also his position on the plan of the opposition parties not to attend the inaugural session [of the National Assembly], saying that this is their problem – and the government does not care about it, because it is better for the whole nation to think about the border issue. The citizens have already voted to give their power to their representatives [the elected members of the National Assembly], so if they do not want the seats they won, the seats should be given to others who can work. Now, the government is caring about the border issue, because the citizens expect the new term government to solve the issue.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that Samdech Hun Sen said during a council of ministers’ session that concerning the Cambodian and Thai border disputes, we are strengthening further legal documents to be sent to the International Court of Justice and to the Security Council of the United Nations about the incursion by Siamese black clad soldiers [of the Thai special Border Protection Unit] at Khmer temples.

“Samdech also said regarding the confrontation, ‘We just avoid armed fighting, as it is better to fight with legal methods. Thai black-clad soldiers invaded Cambodian territory at the Keo Sekha Kirisvarak pagoda, which is 300 meters away from the Preah Vihear Temple, on 11 July 2008, after this temple was listed as a world heritage site on 7 July 2008. Then, Siamese troops have tried to control several other temples of Cambodia along the border in Oddar Meanchey.’

“Samdech Hun Sen added that ‘in relation to the situation before, we understood the Thai government related to the incursion, which was firstly caused by the Thai opposition party. So far, we are patient at the highest level, but our patience was shaken again and again by the Siamese troops, making our patience to run out.’ Samdech emphasized that this issue cannot be solved without going to the International Court of Justice.

The Situation at the Ta Krabei Temple

“The situation at the Ta Krabei Temple is somewhat better, after the Siamese troops withdrew from the temple, about 300 meters from the Cambodian border.

“Mr. Neak Vong, the commander of Brigade 42, reported to Kampuchea Thmey that after tense discussions, the Siamese troops agreed to withdraw from the Ta Krabei Temple at 2:30 p.m. of 11 September 2008. He went on to say that 170 Siamese soldiers withdrew from the Khmer temple and took positions in their territory, about 300 meters from the border. As for the Cambodian troops, their numbers are now balanced. So the situation at the Ta Krabei Temple starts to be better, but the troops are suffering from very cold weather, because there is rain every day.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1745, 13.9.2008

Note:

Please have a look at the Editorial of 14.9.2008: you may click with the mouse cursor here; it relates in terms of the content,

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 13 September 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1745, 13.9.2008

  • Siam Is More Impudent – Cambodian Patience Is Running Out
  • Thailand Postpones Session of Parliament, as Samak Is Rejected [by coalition parties to take position of prime minister again]
  • [Norodom Ranariddh Party secretary general] You Hokry Sues Serey Kosal [a member of Funcinpec] for Riel 100 Million [approx. US$25,000, accusing him to have defamed him in a broadcast over Sambok Khmum Radio in the Voice of the Monarchy Program on 30 May 2008]; Serey Kosal Warned He Will Sue Back for Riel 1 Billion [approx. US$250,000] Compensation [over illegal acts during the elections and election campaign]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #243, 13.9.2008

  • Secretary General of the National Assembly [Mr. Leng Penglong] Asks [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Take Action [to investigate Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] Hun To over Beating the Parliamentarian Nuon Vuthy [from the Sam Rainsy Party]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6449, 13.9.2008

  • When Patience Runs Out, There Might Be a Complaint Sent to the International Court of Justice, and If if It Is More Serious, a Complaint Will Be Sent to the Security Council [of the United Nations – according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech regarding border disputes with Thailand]
  • The United States Provides US$24 Million for Economic Growth [actually, this grant aid of US$24 million is clearly designated for the health sector – this money for health projects operated by NGOs will be monitored by the Cambodian government]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3564, 13-14.9.2008

  • Democracy Crisis and Irregularities during the [fourth term] Elections Will Be Revealed in Front of US Assistant Secretary of State [who will arrive in Cambodia next week]
  • The Increase in the Number of Members of Ministries Will Threaten the Cambodian Economy [the ranking members of ministries will increase to nearly 400, which means the fourth term government will have to cover the expenses for these high ranking officials]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4693, 13.9.2008

  • This Week the Chinese Owners of Three Factories Ran Away [after bankruptcy – Phnom Penh]
  • Land Prices on the Cambodian Market Fell 5% to 10% [according to the Real Estates Accessing Association of Cambodia, because of many reasons – not only the elections, but also influenced by the international economic crisis, border disputes, and reforms in the government]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: Numbers – how to evaluate them: which realities do they really represent?

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Friday, 12.9.2008: Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important

Posted on 13 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Representatives of the Club of Cambodian Journalists asked all politicians to communicate better with the media if they think that the media are important.

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said during a Roundtable Discussion to Review the Media Coverage During the Elections in the morning of 11 September 2008, that during every election, the media were considered to be most important for conveying messages to the citizens in rural areas as well as in the cities, to understand the election processes, and to know the parties that participate in the electoral competitions. Therefore, the media become political hostages during each election period, and after the elections are over, there has been always criticism by some parties against the media, saying to have shown bias, and to not have published enough about their specific party.

“Mr. Pen Samithi added that some parties did not have spokespersons, and if journalists wanted their phone numbers, they could not get it. How can they report? If the politicians want good publicity, there should be better communication from now on, not just one month before the elections. If communication start so late, it is hopeless.

“Mr. Pen Samithi said that he has never seen that any political parity contacted the media for reporting, and if the journalists wanted to contact them it was difficult. He went on to say that almost all parties have no media policy; so how can the media report? He said that if political parties think that the media are important, they have to communicate properly with the media, and not just blame the media after the elections, because earlier on, when the media approached the parties during the time of the elections, almost all such contacts were limited or were set under conditions to do this or to do that – but the media do not set any conditions in turn.

“Mr. Keo Sothea, the editor-in-chief of Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, said that during the discussion in the morning, his newspaper had raises some negative points which have to be criticized, in order that they are corrected and there will be improvement. Some newspapers always write only negatively related to the government, but as for some needs or weak point, they do not seems to dare to write them, and to report about improvements by the government is an issue which is difficult to trust, because people have to think what a real improvement is, and what a lack thereof is.

“Mr. Kol Panha, the executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – said that the media must be examined, because media are most important for sending information to the citizens who are the voters, and the media have a very significant role in the process of democracy. If someone is not listening or watching the media about the election process, or does not know any political parties, they will not be able to freely and broadly voice their opinion. However, if a publication spreads a lie, it really affects the voters strongly.

“Mr. Kol Panha continued that the media are important, therefore journalists have to be neutral, they have to have morality, and journalistic skills, so that voters receive broadly based information. He added that when the elections approached, most media showed a certain reluctance towards the government, as taking up certain things might lead to conflicts, and rather raised mainly different, positive points for comments, but seldom criticizing the government. Also, he expressed his regret that during the elections in 2008, there was serious incidents related to the media: the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo, a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, and the arrest and detention of Mr. Dam Sith, the editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer. He said that whether one agrees or not, such cases somewhat frighten other journalists and they think a lot before they write.

“Mr. Kol Panha asked to include also the Equity Program [produced by the UNDP] into programs related to the National Election Committee [NEC]. Laws should be created to punish any media that have committed wrongdoings, but there should not be prison term punishments.

“Mr. Chhay Sophal, a member of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said that this discussion will continue further, regarding the above suggestions.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 12.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 12 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1774, 12.9.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Loses Another Parliamentarian [at the Cambodian People’s Party headquarters in Phnom Penh, on 11 September 2008, there was a celebration to accept Mr. Chrea Chenda as a member of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • Troops of Cambodia and of Thailand Begin to Be in a Stronger Confrontation at the Ta Krabei Temple [Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #242, 12.9.2008

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] said the Price of Fuel in Cambodia Should Be Decreased to Riel 3,800 [approx. US$0.93] per liter [as fuel in Cambodia costs Riel 5,700 [approx. US$1.40] per liter, the price of fuel at the world market had been US$148 per barrel, but it now decrease to US$100 per barrel, so it dropped by one third at the free markets, so price of fuel in Cambodia should be decreased to Riel 3,800 [approx. US$0.93] per liter as the highest
  • .


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #97, 12.9.2008

    • The Royal Government allows to Import Pigs from England to Be Crossbred in the Country [according to Oknha Mong Riththy, a member of the Senate and co-leader of an agricultural and agro-industrial working group, on 10 September 2008, during a meeting between pig farmers and the government at the Phnom Penh Hotel]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6448, 12.9.2008

    • There Are More Than 20,000 Legal and Illegal Khmer Laborers Outside of the Country, the Largest Number Is in Thailand [according to Mr. Ya Navuth, executive director of CARAM Cambodia, who said that more than 18,000 Khmer laborers, both legal and illegal, are working in Thailand]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3563, 12.9.2008

    • New US Ambassador to Cambodia Is Worried about Corruption in Cambodia [Ms. Carol Rodley is the first female US Ambassador appointed to Cambodia by President Gorge W. Bush]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4692, 12.9.2008

    • Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Wife of Dankao District’s Police Chief [wife of Mr. Bon Sam At was brought to be questioned by police in early September 2008, accused to have issued uncovered checks for more than US$20,000 – Phnom Penh]
    • Governor of Trat [in Thailand] Apologized after Thai Police at the Hat Lek Border Crossing Point Had Used Dogs to Sniff and to Lick Khmer Citizens [Koh Kong]
    • Ratanakiri [authorities] Withdraw More Than 300 Hectares of Forest Land from a Military Official [the Ratanakiri authorities freed 312 hectares of forest land in Bar Keo district which was illegally controlled by Colonel Leng Hong]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 12.9.2008

    • Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important

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  • Thursday, 11.9.2008: Response to the Opinion Piece Published in The Nation, which Undermines Friendship by Saying ‘When Cambodia Cries Wolf’

    Posted on 12 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

    “Mr. Julio A. Jeldres, Samdech Euv’s [the King-Father’s] biographer, wrote a letter-to-the-editor of an English language newspaper in Thailand, The Nation, on 5 August 2008, in response to an opinion piece of a Thai citizen [published on 1 August 2008, who used the name Bangkokian] under the title ‘When Cambodia Cries Wolf.’

    Koh Santepheap would like to unofficially translate this respons, written in English, translating it into Khmer and publish it.

    Note:

    The response, Ambassador Jeldres’s letter-to-the-editor, was re-published in the Daily Documents section of website of Their Majetis Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the King-Father and the Queen Mother of Cambodia – by the Royal Cabinet of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, on 9 September 2008.

    For the English Mirror, we link therefore the the royal website – by a mouse click here, the original text becomes available.

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6447, 11.9.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 11 September 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1743, 11.9.2008

    • Cheam Yeap [a Cambodian People’s Party parliametarian]: Opposing Actions of Sam Rainsy Look Like a Competition [for high reputation] in the National Assembly [Ms. Mu Sochua, the Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary general, said that the Sam Rainsy Party will send a letter to request a pardon from the King for the absences in the first session of the National Assembly planned for 24 September 2008]
    • [Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An: Cambodia Will Not Leap Backwards in Fighting Terrorism [stated during the opening of a workshop about the implementation of anti-terrorist legislation on 8 and 9 September 2008]
    • Victims of Tree Flling when a Tree Fell on Their House Ask Apsara Authority to Pay Compensation [10 September 2008 – Siem Reap]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #241, 11.9.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Clearly Affirms Absolute Position Not to Attend the First Session of the National Assembly on 24 September 2008 [because of irregularities during the elections]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6447, 11.9.2008

    • Response to the Opinion Piece Published in The Nation, which Undermines Friendship by Saying ‘When Cambodia Cries Wolf’


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3562, 11.9.2008

    • Mr. Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Criticizes Much Expenses of the National Assembly Budget


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4691, 11.9.2008

    • European Observers: The Claim that 1.7 Million Vietnamese Had Voted Is a Pumped-Up Number [this reaction was voiced from Brussels, Belgium, on 9 September 2008, against a report that 1.7 million Vietnamese went to vote during the fourth term parliamentarian elections]
    • Siamese [Thai] Troops Are Increased in Chub Angkunh, and They Prevent Cambodian Troops to Patrol [Oddar Meanchey]
    • Siam [Thailand] Troops Try to Enter the Ta Krabei Temple, but Are Prevented by Cambodian Troops [Oddar Meanchey]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3406, 11.9.2008

    • Investigating Agency of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation Will Arrive in Cambodia on 11 September to Investigate the Murder of the Journalist Mr. Khim Sambo and his [21-year-old] son [who were shot dead in the evening of 11 July 2008 near the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh]

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    Wednesday, 10.9.2008: The King Summons the 123 Parliamentarians for a Session on 24 September

    Posted on 10 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

    “Phnom Penh: The King, Preah Boromaneath Norodom Sihamoni, summoned the 123 parliamentarians for the first session of the fourth term National Assembly on 24 September 2008.

    “Mr. Yem Bonharith, the secretary general of the Human Rights Party, said in the evening of 9 September 2008 that the Human Rights Party had received three letters from the King, summoning the members of the National Assembly to attend the session on the coming 24 September 2008. He added that regarding the first session of the fourth term National Assembly, the Human Rights Party follows the order of the King. However, he said that the Human Rights Party is waiting for the King’s response regarding a letter of the party dated 4 September 2008 about a separate swearing-in ceremony and about irregularities of the elections. The Human Rights Party still maintains the position not to accept the irregularities during the elections. The party president, Mr. Kem Sokha, is in Europe to present evidence related to the irregularities during the elections.

    “Mr. Cheam Yeap, a member of the Cambodian People’s Party, said that based on Article 76 of the Constitution, the King will summon the 123 members of the National Assembly for the first session of the fourth term National Assembly. If parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party and of the Human Rights Party boycott to attend the first session of the fourth term National Assembly, it is their own responsibility. He continued that having received invitation letters from the King, the 90 members of the Cambodian People’s Party will attend this session.

    “According to the Constitution, after the King has opened the session, the fourth term National Assembly will proceed under the presidency of the eldest parliamentarian, Mr. Chea Soth, 85, assisted by the five youngest members as secretaries of the National Assembly.

    “Ms. Mu Sochua, the Sam Rainsy Party secretary general, affirmed the position of the Sam Rainsy Party in the evening of 9 September 2008, demanding a separate swearing-in ceremony, separate from the Cambodian People’s Party and from other parities that had recognized the election results. She went on to say that if the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians could not receive a separate swearing-in, they will not attend the first session of the National Assembly on 24 September 2008. She added that a separate swearing-in ceremony does not need to be a big event. A small one is also acceptable, and it can be celebrated anywhere. If the King would not be able to attend it, he can also assign a representative.

    “The Sam Rainsy Party had written to the King requesting a swearing-in on 25 September 2008 in order to have it on a different day from the Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarians. Ms. Mu Sochua continued to say that the Sam Rainsy Party is waiting for the King’s response. Concerning the invitation letters by the King, she said, ‘We will write a letter in response to the King to affirm that our position remains unchanged.’

    “The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians do not want to swear together with the Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarians, accusing the Cambodian Peoples Party of stealing ballots during the elections on 27 July 2008. Nevertheless, every complaint by the Sam Rainsy Party and by the Human Rights Party had been rejected by the Constitutional Council, and the time for protests has been closed.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4690, 10.9.2008

    Note:

    The area where our colleague working on the headlines lives is suffereing from severe flooding – we are in a period of the Rainy Season with heavy rains in the Phom Penh region, while, for example, some regions in Kompong Speu and Takeo suffer from a lack of water, so that in some areas the rice seeds could not yet be planted.

    We will supply today’s headlines a soon as our colleague is again free to work on them.

    Norbert Klein
    Editor

    Note:

    Headlines posted only at 23:15 Phnom Penh time on Thursday.

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #85, 10-16.9.2008

    • [Ambassador Julio A. Jeldres] The Official Biographer of Samdech Euv [the former King] Criticized the Thai Newspaper The Nation [regarding an opinion piece written by Bangkokian, saying that Cambodia has raised the Preah Vihear issue to be solved by the Non-Aligned Movement]


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1742, 10.9.2008

    • A Delegation of the Mine Action Authority of Iraq Comes to Study the Mine Clearance Situation in Cambodia
    • Mr. Bush Orders to Recall 8,000 Soldiers from Iraq [leaving 138,000 soldiers, reassigning the replacement to go to Afghanistan instead]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #240, 10.9.2008

    • It Is Not Known When the Hun Sen Government Will Have Finished Solving the Dispute with Siam [Thailand]
    • James Bond [this person does not exist – it is the name of a role in a series of movies, played by different actors over the years – it is not clear who is actually involved in these Cambodia related plans] Plans to Develop 4,000 Hectares of Land in Siem Reap with Kol Sokhom [a businesswomen and head of LLK Company – projecting tall buildings as condos, resorts, hotels, casinos, and centers, all according to international standards]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #95, 10.9.2008


    Meatophum, Vol.52, #704, 10-13.9.2008

    • The Government Has Prepared US$2.5 Million for Constructing Infrastructures in a Period of Three Years [2009-2011]
    • The Thai King Signed a Royal Decree to Appoint a New Minister of Foreign Affairs [Saroj Chavanavirat]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3561, 10.9.2008

    • Yuon [Vietnam] Allows Khmer Kampuchea Krom to Celebrate Phchum Ben Day to Hide Human Rights Abuses


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4690, 10.9.2008

    • The King Summons the 123 Parliamentarians for a Session on 24 September
    • Two Criminals [after escaping from prison] Kidnapped a [5-year-old] Girl to Demand US$20,000 in Ponhea Kraek [Kompong Cham] but they Killed The Girl
    • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Was Forced to Resign because of [having a commercial contracted relatinship for a] Cooking Program on Television [9 September 2008]

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    Tuesday, 9.9.2008: Royal Family Members Will Form a New Party after the Creation of the Government

    Posted on 9 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

    “Phnom Penh: According to a royal family member who used to be a politician, the some royal family members plan to form a new party after the creation of the new term Royal Government.

    “Prince Sisowath Thomico, an advisor to the Great Heroic King Norodom Sihanouk, informed Rasmei Kampuchea in the evening of 8 September 2008 whether it is true or not that some members of the royal family plan to form a new party – but he has already discussed it, seeing that in the next term government, the monarchy will loose its voice completely, because he is not sure who are real monarchists at present – whether, in Funcinpec, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay [the Funcinpec secretary general] or Mr. You Hockry [the secretary general of the Norodom Ranariddh Party] are real monarchist; therefore he is concerned about the loss of the monarchists’ voice.

    “Prince Sisowath Thomico added, ‘I have emphasized that the creation of a new party should wait until a new Royal Government is formed, because the Cambodian People’s Party had declared to follow the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime as a general direction; this is theerefore the time that the monarchists who love the King, and the Great Heroic King, and the monarchy, unite to help the Royal Government to follow the track [of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum tradition]. But we cannot assume that they will follow that track. Therefore, if they do not follow that track, we should find ways so that the monarchists express their voice, to remind the Cambodian People’s Party of their promise, and to remember the track that the Sangkum Reastr Niyum walked; the creation of a new political parity may be a measure that might lead to other related measures.’

    “Prince Sisowath Thomico said that the present considerations about the creation of a party are just to serve as a brief discussion, and there is not yet any clear policy. Asked who would be the leader if the members of the royal family would create another party, Prince Thomico responded that that was a difficult question, because if the National Assembly adopts a new law to prohibit members of the royal family to enter politics, they themselves would not be able to enter politics. However, if the National Assembly does not adopt such a law, many members of the royal family want him – Prince Thomico – to be the president.

    “Mr. Kol Panha, the executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – renarked to Rasmei Kampuchea that the creation of a party by members of the royal family is their right, but the royal family should not create too many different parties, because unity among parties will make them strong, and if too many parities are formed, the royal family parties will not be strong.

    “Mr. Kol Panha continued that at the present time, there are many people with the right to vote, and the youth of the new generation does not know much about the line of the royal family. Therefore a party created by royal family members might be weaker than other parties which were created earlier. Mr. Kol Panha said also that if a party, that is planed by the royal family, is really formed, the monarchy and politics would be strengthened.

    “Regarding the creation of a new party by the royal family, a credible source hinted that the logo of that party would be the ‘Throne’ and its motto ‘The King and the tenfold qualifications of the King [charity, morality, sacrifice, honesty, softness, austerity, calmness, peacefulness, patience, respect for the law] and sovereignty.’

    “This source went on to say that a party to be created by members of the royal family does not yet have a name, but a small number of people from the Cambodian People’s Party, some activists from Funcinpec, from the Norodom Ranariddh Party, and from the Sam Rainsy Party who were former Funcinpec activists, will join.

    “It should be remembered that previously, Funcinpec was considered to be the royalist party, a party led by members of the royal family and created by the [former King, the] Great Heroic King Norodom Sihanouk, and then the Great Heroic King had handed it to his beloved son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Funcinpec, a product of the former Great Heroic King, was strongly supported during the first term elections in 1993. Nevertheless, later on, under the rule by Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Funcinpec had become weaker and weaker until now, when it finally split and almost disappeareds. How much success will the plan to create a new party by members of the royal family achieve, while the Cambodian People’s Party is ruling the country and gained a landslide victory in the previous elections?” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1741, 9.9.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 9 September 2008

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1741, 9.9.2008

    • Royal Family Members Will Form a New Party after the Creation of the Government
    • 100 People in the Samraong Saen Commune Got Diarrhea; It Is Assumed that They Got Cholera [6-7 September – Kompong Leaeng, Kompong Chhnang]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #94, 9.9.2008

    • Samdech Krom Preah [Prince Norodom Ranariddh] Pushes Cambodian People’s Party to Create a Government Soon; [Minister] Khieu Kanharith: the Cambodian People’s Party Has Not Considered the Norodom Ranariddh Party as a Partner
    • Teachers in the Provinces Rush to Be Transfered to Phnom Penh; Officials of the Departments and of the Ministry [of Education] Are Well Off [and teaches in the provinces have to spend from US$700 to over US$1,000 to get their papers processed to be transferred to Phnom Penh]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3560, 9.9.2008

    • Cambodia Owes More and More Debt to Foreign Countries; Poor People Are Increasingly in Misery
    • A Member of a Working Group of the Cambodian People’s Party Exposes Irregularities in the Election [threats and vote buying in some districts in Kompong Cham]
    • Yuon [Vietnamese] Rush to Enter Cambodia Illegally, and Secretly Do Gold Mining in Ratanakiri after the Cambodian People’s Party Has Won the Election


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4689, 9.9.2008

    • Poverty Alleviation and Social Economic Development Are Also Main Factors for Actively Participating to Fight Terrorism
    • World Bank Puts High Value on Cambodian Economic Growth
    • Customs Collected Taxes of Riel 256,000,000,000 [approx. US$63 million] in August
    • Phsar Leu Market Committee of Sihanoukville May Earn Nearly US$200,000 from Clean Water and Power Supplies

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    Monday, 8.9.2008: Inflation Affects the Livelihood of the Poor

    Posted on 9 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

    “Phnom Penh: While the price of fuel increases, everything increases also, but when thr price of fuel in the world declines much, the prices of goods in Cambodia do not seem to go down, affecting the livelihood of the citizens, especially of the poor. High ranking officials of the National Bank of Cambodia have recognized signs of inflation in Cambodia.

    “According to a report of the first six months of 2008, issued by the National Bank of Cambodia, inflation in Cambodia increased to 37.2%, which seriously affects the everyday life of the citizens.

    “Mr. Chea Chanto, the governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said that the major issue is the remarkably rising inflation during the early part of 2008. There was increasing inflation, because Cambodia faced the world economic situation which was bleak, and this resulted from a combinatiion of factors, such as the turmoil in the financial and credit markets of industrialized countries, as well as the rising prices of fuel and of food worldwide, particularly the increase of the price of rice.

    “It is not known whether what is mentioned here is appropriate or not, but according to observations at the markets in Cambodia, it seems to be almost a habit that when prices of all types of goods increase, they later hardly decline, and if there is a decline, it is small.

    “The price of fuel rose dramatically in the world from US$100 to US$147 per barrel in July 2008, and in August, the price of fuel in Cambodia increased also considerably to Riel 5,650 [approx. US$1.40] per liter. However, when prices of fuel in the world declined to US$112 (a US$35 drop), fuel prices in Cambodia declined to Riel 5,400 [approx. US$1.33] only, which seems not to be equivalent to the world influence.

    “As for the prices of goods at the markets in Cambodia, they do not decline much, making people to say that when prices rise, they later hardly decline. Prices of goods seem to remain stable – Somaly rice costs Riel 4,000 [approx. US$0.99]/kg, Phka Malis rice Riel 3,100 [approx. US$0.77]/kg, Neang Menh Riel 2,500 [approx. US$0.62]/kg, pork Riel 20,000 [approx. US$4.95]/kg, beef Riel 23,000 [approx. US$5.68]/kg, chicken Riel 18,000 [approx. US$4.45], fresh pike fish Riel 15,000 [approx. US$3.70]/kg, dry salty pile fish Riel 32,000 [approx. US$7.90]/kg, and sugar Riel 2,200 [approx. US$0.54]/kg.

    “Now, not only the prices of goods of daily consumption increase, but also the prices for bicycle and motorbike parking at different markets increased also.

    “Ms. Srey Sitha, 49, whose husband is a civil servant with a salary of Riel 200,000 [approx. US$49.43], has four children. She was carrying a basket and went with not much hope to do the shopping. She said that she lives in Boeng Salang and was heading to the Phsar Deumkor Market to do the shopping. Before, she spent only Riel 5,000 [approx. US$1.24] when she did the shopping, but now, although having Riel 20,000 to Riel 30,000 [approx. US$7.41], she could not manage to buy delicious food.

    “She added that according to her husband’s salary, more than Riel 6,000 [approx. US$1.48] can be spent per day, and as for her, the state offers her [a dependent’s allowance of] Riel 6,000 per month (before it had been Riel 3,000); how can the money be managed? At least Riel 40,000 [approx. US$9.89] to Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.36] is needed to be spent per day (Riel 20,000 for food, Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.47] for fuel for her children’s and her husband’s motorbikes, and Riel 10,000 for her children for additional tutoring classes) – and this does not yet include rice for breakfast.

    “A teacher of a high school in Phnom Penh, who uses his free time to work as a moto taxi driver, said that his salary is Riel 300,000 [approx. US$74,15], but it is not enough for his family, because even calculating the amount of fuel and of rice for breakfast, already Riel 10,000 is gone. If he would not drive a moto taxi to earn more money, how could the life of the family be supported? He added a Khmer saying, ‘The teacher has a good wife, but when he is poor, she complains’ [mocking the teaching profession, known to receive low salaries]. ‘I don’t know whether my students want to follow me to become a teacher who is poor like this.’

    “As for workers, they complain similarly. Srey Oun, 29, from Kompong Thom, works in a factory in Tuek Thla, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh. She earns between US$60 and US$70 per month, and she complained that everyday, she works like a slave of the Chinese owner, and she does not know clearly whom her work feeds more [her or her boss]. She earns US$60, out of which US$10 is paid for the rent where she stays, US$5 for utilities, US$20 per month for her meals, US$1 for rice as breakfast – corresponding to US$30 per month – and US$10 for traveling to visit her hometown every month. So there is no money left to feed herself and her parents. She said, ‘I do not want to work in the factory very much, but if I stay at home, there is nothing to do, so I just bear it until I die.’

    “A retired civil servant said that if one considers the prices of goods at the current markets, there is only suffering; for him, like for other civil servants, if he would not work hard to find part-time jobs, he could not expect to survive; his stomach will shrink and the whole family will die. At present, approximately 34% of the citizens earn less than US$1 per day. However, the number of officials of the government increases, and they are wasting the state’s resoources, because too many positions and roles have been created.

    “Mr. Kouy Sarun showed the gap between the rich and the poor through a poem, ‘The rich is rich with much wealth, while the poor lacks everything forever; the rich buy beef for their dogs, while the farmers who feed the cows eat Prahok.’ [preserved fish]” Amnach Reas, Vol.1, #21, 8-14.9.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 8 September 2008


    Amnach Reas [the title is written in Khmer, then in Roman letters trascribed, and then in English translation: The

      People’s Power], Vol.1, #21, 8-14.9.2008
      Inflation Affects the Livelihood of the Poor


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1740, 7-8.9.2008

    • [Cambodian National Research Organization director] Dr. Heang Rithy: If Sam Rainsy Wants to Protest [against election results], He Should Not Be Stupid Like This [but he has to create a clear policy plan for the elections]
    • Man, Who Loses Court Case [over land issue], Is Ordered by Court to Unearth His Wife’s Body from the Tomb [located on the contestedland – Baribour, Kampong Chhnang]
    • Makeshift Truck Sets Off Anti-Tank Mine, Killing Five People in Koun Kriel Commune [Samraong, Oddar Meanchey on 5 September 2008]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #239, 7-9.9.2008

    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay: Cambodia Might Have a New Revolution if the Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Reform the Leadership System Following Democratic Principles
    • Illegal Logging Continues Seriously in Ratanakiri


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #93, 7-8.9.2008

    • Trees in Oral Mountain Are Illegally Cut in Great Numbers [Kompong Speu]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #64, .9.2008

    • Are Neighbor’s Acts Good or Bad? At the Cham Yeam Border Crossing [in Koh Kong], Siamese [Thai border protection officials] Have Dogs Sniff Khmers from Head to Foot [checking for drugs]; at the Choam Border Crossing [in Oddar Meanchey], the Palms of Their Hands and All Ten Fingers Have to Be Fingerprinted [by the Thai immigration police] before they allowed Cambodians to enter Thailand]
    • Oral District Military Police Burned [illegal] Sawmill in the Jungle [5 September 2008 – Kompong Speu]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4688, 7-8.9.2008

    • A Bodyguard’s Gun Went Off by Itself, Killing a [27-year-old] Woman; He Was Released by the Police, but Not Sent to Court [Kien Svay, Kandal]
    • Approximately 450 to 500 Dogs Are Needed for Dog Meat Restaurants saain Phnom Penh per Day [according to a Municipal veterinary]

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