Week 578

Week 578 – Sunday,2008-09-21: Expecting to Know while Expecting Justice

Posted on 22 September 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 578 |

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Saturday, 20.9.2008: Keat Chhon: Fuel Prices Will Decrease to Riel 4,900 Early This Week

Posted on 21 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: Keat Chhon, Senior Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, said that from 22 September 2008, fuel sold at different fuel stations in the Kingdom of Cambodia will cost between Riel 4,900 [approx. US$1.20] and Riel 5,000 [approx. US$1.22] per liter.

“Mr. Keat Chhon said so, after a meeting with fuel companies in Cambodia, following Samdech Hun Sen’s order to decrease the price of fuel, after seeing that the price of crude oil on the world market dropped around 25%, but in Cambodia, there is only an approximate 10% decrease, which is not balanced yet.

“Regarding the improper decrease of the price of fuel, compared with the international market price, Mr. Keat Chhon explained that normally, when the price of fuel on the world market rose by 80%, fuel stations in Cambodia increased the price by 40% only. He continued to explain that the Royal Government of Cambodia, led by Samdech Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, had decided to provide subsidies as a challenge to the rising price of fuel.

“According to Mr. Keat Chhon, during a period of 9 months in 2008, the Royal Government has spent approximately US$200 million quietly in order to overcome the fuel price rise. Related to the efforts of the Royal Government in decreasing the price of fuel, Mr. Po Samnang, the director of the National Culture and Social Morality Center, who had tried to meet the Minister of Economy and Finance, said that he had sent a letter to the cabinet of Mr. Keat Chhon, asking him to encourage a decrease of the fuel price [from around Riel 5,000] to the range of Riel 4,100 [approx. US$1.00] or Riel 4,300 [approx. US$1.05] per liter in order to promote the living standards of the poor and of civil servants, who earn small salaries.

“However, Mr. Po Samnang’s effort was mocked by officials in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, saying, ‘You just drive an old car, why do you come to protest?’

“It should be noted that according to a source from the cabinet of the Minister of Economy and Finance, around 2 million liters of fuel are consumed per day. Therefore, if the Royal Government had decreased the price by Riel 100 [approx. US$0.02] per liter, the state will help consumers to save Riel 100 million [approx. US$24,500]. Nevertheless, what is interesting is that while the Minister of Economy and Finance had announced that the price of fuel will stay increased at around Riel 5,000 per liter, crude oil at the international market decreased from US$147 to US$91 per barrel on 15 September 2008 and rose again to US$97 on 19 September 2008.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1751, 20.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 20 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1751, 20.9.2008

  • Keat Chhon: Fuel Prices Will Decrease to Riel 4,900 Early This Week
  • Talk between Hun Sen and [Thai new prime minister] Somchai by Phone Has Good Results [both promised to solve the border disputes soonest – 18 September 2008]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Somchai Sends an Envoy to Meet with Mr. Thaksin in London to Ask for Ideas [for the creation of the new Thai ministers’ lists – according to the Bangkok Post]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #248, 20.9.2008

  • The Threat [by Prime Minister Hun Sen] to Sue the President of the Opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party Is a Shut-Up Policy; Lao Mong Hay [Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong]: Suing the Opposition Party President Will Bring Further Turmoil
  • [Secretary of State of the Ministry of Religions and Cults] Min Khin Colludes to Cheat the Prime Minister by Selling the Renakse Hotel [to a daughter of Ms. Chheung Sopheap, the director of Shukaku Inc., filling in the Boeng Kak Lake, without a publicly available, independent environment impact assessment]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #103, 20.9.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations [the Khmer Culture Foundation and the Cambodian Defenders Projects] Welcome the Decision by the Head of the Government to Send a Complaint against Thailand to the United Nations [19 September 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6455, 20-21.9.2008

  • Two Girls Were Abducted and Brought into the Jungle – a [12-year-old] Girl Was Raped, and Another Was Kept as a Hostage to Demand Riel 4 Million [approx. US$1,000 – 18 September 2008 – Baray, Kompong Thom]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3570, 20-21.9.2008

  • Khmer and Siam [Thai] Leaders Plan to Negotiate the Border Disputes during a [UN] Meeting in New York in Late September [according to foreign news agencies]
  • The Asian Development Bank Assessed that the Cambodian Economic Growth in 2008 Will Decline to 6.5% [because of the bankruptcy of important financial institutions in the US and because of the decline of the garment industries in Cambodia, a result of strong competition from other countries]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4699, 20.9.2008

  • [Human Rights Party President] Kem Sokha’s Younger Brother [Kem Sokhon, deputy secretary general of the Human Rights Party], Joined the Cambodian People’s Party [18 September 2008]
  • The Thai Prime Minister Works at the [old Don Muang] Airport [since the government building is occupied by demonstrators – 18 September 2008]
  • The National Election Committee Orders Sam Rainsy to Pay 10 Million Fine for Insulting [three top] Leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party [during the election campaign]
  • Cambodia Has Less People contracting Tuberculosis, while there Is Growing Resistance to Medicines Compared to Bordering Countries
  • Cambodia and Vietnam Encouraged to Exchange Commercial Products at a Volume of Approximately US$2,300 in 2010

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Friday, 19.9.2008: The United States Expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will No Longer Be Involved in a Corruption Scandal

Posted on 20 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“The United States expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will no longer be involved in a corruption scandal in the future, after the US pledged to grant US$1.8 million to the mixed tribunal to seek justice for the victims who died during the Killing Field regime. This information is based on statements of the spokesperson of the US Department of State Sean McCormack during a press conference in Washington on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 [see the full text at the end].

“Mr. Sean McCormack stated, ‘We believe that the court is now capable of meeting international standards of justice, and our decision at this time to identify funds reflects our belief that the court has the capacity to respond effectively and appropriately to these allegations.’ He said that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal still has more to do, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator from the United Nations side, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing.

“It should be remembered that previously, employees of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had repeatedly raised the problem of kickbacks in exchange for getting employed, but it was never officially announced that there were any perpetrators or who they are. As a result of suspicion, the UN Development Program office had suspended more than US$300,000 for a period of time, suspending the payment of salaries for Khmer staff in July. Then, the head of the Khmer Staff Department was removed from his position, as a big corruption leader at the Khmer side of the court, but it seems that nobody really dares to touch him.

“The international community and many donor countries, especially the United States, hesitated to grant more funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, because of the [not yet clarified allegations of a] corruption scandal. However, the United States, through its Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. John Negroponte, who visited Cambodia recently, pledged to grant US$1.8 million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, so that it can proceed smoothly. Mr. Sean McCormack added that the US Department of State had already shared information about this attempt to help Cambodia to try the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Mr. Reach Sambath, the spokesperson of the [Cambodian section of the] Khmer Rouge Tribunal, said that the granting of US funds is mainly a political sign, and the tribunal welcomes this decision by the United States as a correct one. He went on to say that although this grant is small, it is better than nothing, and though it comes late, it is better than nothing. Mr. Reach Sambath boasted that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is strongly committed and has created clear plans to deal with corruption, like by the nomination of two ethics monitoring officials, and the reassignment away of the director of personnel.

“This spokesperson hinted that the trial of Kang Kek Iev – called Duch, the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief – might happen in October or in November, after some procedural problems between the co-investigating judges and the co-prosecutors will have been clarified. Some officials of civil society organizations and observers are keenly observing this problem, because they want to see that the trial of the suspects to happens soon, in order to find justice for the victims. However, if there is more delay, the funds from the United States will be spent wastefully, and the Khmer citizens still do not see the light of justice.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has suffered from allegations of a corruption scandal, needs approximately US$50 million in addition, to cover expenses until 2010, out of which approximately US$10 million are to come from the Cambodian side, and approximately US$40 million are needed from the United Nations. At present, many observers are waiting to see whether the trial – which is planed to take place this late October – of Khiev Samphan, who had filed an appeal to be temporarily released from detention, will proceed smoothly or not. If the trial of Khiev Samphan in October faces complications and is delayed again, like it happened already on 23 April 2008, it is not easy for the tribunal to seek additional millions of dollars.

“Although the US government announced to ask for parliamentary approval for a grant of US$1.8 million to the [UN, not the Cambodian section of the] Khmer Rouge Tribunal budget during the recent visit by the US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, some observers of the processes of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal do not expect that this mixed tribunal can find justice for the victims who were killed during the killing filed regime, because previously, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had spent already millions of dollars wastefully, while Khmer citizens in general have been waiting for justice nearly 30 years. Furthermore, irregularities and a corruption scandal at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal have not yet been clarified.

“Khmer citizens inside of the country and abroad want that the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders should occur soon, as long as they are still alive, so that the real reasons that led to the killing of more than 1.7 million people during their time in power from 1975 to early January 1979 can be revealed. Therefore, if there is further delay, those former Khmer Rouge leaders might die before the trial takes place, because already at present, they became older, and some of them had been suffering from serious illness and had often been sent to Calmette Hospital.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3569, 19.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 19 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1750, 19.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen and Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Extend Friendly Wishes to Each Other; Amnesty Letter for Samdech Krom Preah Arrived at the Royal Palace on 18 September 2008
  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance Has Not Taken Any Action to Decrease the Price of Fuel Following Samdech Hun Sen’s Order
  • The Murder Case of the Journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Khim Sambo and his 21-year-old son] Reaches a State to Call Those Who Know Much to Be Asked [medical doctors of Calmette Hospital, editor of The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Dam Sith, editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer, staff of ADHOC and of LICADHO]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #247, 19.9.2008

  • [Opposition party President] Sam Rainsy Affirms that on 24 and 25 September 2008, There Will Be No Opposition Party Parliamentarians Present to Satisfy the Face of the Cambodian People’s Party


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #102, 19.9.2008

  • The Head of the Government Affirmed His Final Position Regarding some Political Issues Related to the Opposition Parties [he warns to sue Sam Rainsy for insulting the new National Assembly by saying that it is a thief, ghost, wind, and a Yuon (Vietnamese) National Assembly]
  • Vendors of the New Market Plan to Protest in Front of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen’s House [related to the plan to narrow their stalls]
  • US Military Medics [from the US Tripler Army Medical Center] for Smile, Sound, and Sight, Treat Khmer Citizens Free of Charge [from 10 to 19 September 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6454, 19.9.2008

  • Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat – สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์] Responds Positively to Continue to Negotiate with Cambodia [after Prime Minister Hun Sen’ request for negotiations]
  • Delegations from Hong Kong and from [South] Korea Look for Development in Sihanoukville [with plans build new towns, casinos, hospitals, stadiums, hotels, a public zoo, golf courses, resorts, and seashore and on-the-sea recreation sites, and also preserving a natural forest park]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #34, 19.9.2008

  • The United States Expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will No Longer Be Involved in a Corruption Scandal
  • [Sam Rainsy Party Deputy Secretary General] Mu Sochua: 20% or 21% of Khmer Citizens Lack Food [she raised this problem, based on a survey by the Cambodia Development Resource Institute]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4698, 19.9.2008

  • Cambodia Criticizes Thailand for Lying to the World by Announcing that the Ta Krabei Temple [located in an unmarked border region] Belongs to Them
  • Vietnam Sends Seventeen Khmer Citizens Home, Whom They Rescued from a Leaking Ship
  • Digging up of Khmer Ancestral Graves Happens Again in Thma Pouk [probably by artifact plunderers – Banteay Meanchey]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3411, 19.9.2008

  • The Court Summons Representatives of the Citizens and of the Company over the Boeng Kak Lake Land Dispute Today [after citizens had filed a complaint, requesting to stop the dredging of sand to fill the lake]

Cambodia related section of the press conference at the US Department of State on 16.9.2008
Source:
http://useu.usmission.gov/Article.asp?ID=B76C5503-996F-4F03-AAC0-749F4312BA5D

QUESTION: Did you manage to get answers to the two questions that I had at the end of the briefing yesterday,…[on] the Cambodia issue?

MR. MCCORMACK: As a matter of fact, we did. And I have on Cambodia – I have some –…
I’ll just read – I have a few points on this. I’ll read them off to you and see if they’re useful.

We are committed to helping Cambodia in its efforts to hold Khmer Rouge leaders accountable for their crimes. The State Department has notified Congress of our intention to provide $1.8 million to help the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the E-triple-C, complete its task. We believe that the court is now capable of meeting international standards of justice, and our decision at this time to identify funds reflects our belief that the court has the capacity to respond effectively and appropriately to these allegations.

While the court still has more to do, the ECCC has made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, the court must still take appropriate steps to address the current allegations and hold responsible those involved.

QUESTION: And this was – a similar message was conveyed by the Deputy [Secretary of State Negroponte] when he was there?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, the issue was discussed by the Deputy in Phnom Penh.

QUESTION: Yeah, but, I mean – but he told them that they were going to get the money.

MR. MCCORMACK: I have not spoken with the Deputy, so I can’t vouch firsthand for his message. But the issue was raised.

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Thursday, 18.9.2008: Mr. Yash Ghai Announced to Resign from His Position as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia

Posted on 19 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, whom many know well to be a person who dared to clearly criticize Mr. Hun Sen and who often created Mr. Hun Sen a headache, announced his resignation on Monday early this week.

Note:

Mr. Yash Ghai’s presentation at the UN International Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, was introduced by the the delegate from Japan:

“Japan introduced the review, rationalization and improvement of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Cambodia. It noted that Cambodia had made substantive progress since the mandate had been introduced in 1993. However, there were still issues and challenges to be tackled by the Government of Cambodia, such as land ownership, establishing the rule of law, ensuring independence of the judiciary, and others. Japan underlined the need for the international community to provide advisory services and technical assistance to Cambodia in order to address human rights issues that needed further improvement. It proposed renewal of the mandate for one year.”

15.9.2008 – Press release by the UN Office in Geneva

“In spite of this, Mr. Yash Ghai called thorough his statement in front of the UN International Human Rights Council in Geneva to encourage the United Nations to continue its activities in Cambodia in order to help Khmer citizens whose rights were heavily abused.

“It should be noted that Mr. Yash Ghai took the place of Mr. Peter Leuprecht, former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, in 2005, after this envoy did not get on well with Mr. Hun Sen’s government, because he seriously criticized the abuse of human rights in Cambodia.

Mr. Yash Ghai sated on Monday in Geneva, ‘The Cambodian government has already opposed the work of four UN envoys.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai said, ‘There is little improvement seen in Cambodia – this does not mean that there is no improvement – as there is a severe lack of seriousness in the court system and in important law enforcement institutions, and in protecting the rights of each person.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai added that the international community let him to face a war of words with the Phnom Penh government alone.

“In addition, Mr. Yash Ghai said, ‘It is most important that the person who will succeed me should be fully supported by the International Human Rights Council, that is, by the United Nations and by the international community.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai appeared to be sarcastic, when he said, ‘I cannot say that I earned much support,’ but he had the encouragement for Mr. Hun Sen, the Cambodian Prime Minister, who insulted him repeatedly.

“Mr. Yash Ghai said without hesitating, ‘Mr. Hun Sen called me to be stupid, and a lazy short term tourist.’ As for Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesperson, he called me a person with no civilization and lacking Aryan culture.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai continued, ‘Mr. Hun Sen also accused me of lying and that I was nominated just to receive a salary. Furthermore, Mr. Hun Sen described international human rights organization and me like animals. He humiliated Kenya which is my home country to be heading towards the killing fields, and Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that Kenyon citizens are rough and brutal.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai said also, ‘The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva did not protect me, and rejected to release a statement to clarify that I do not get paid. Therefore, I had to clarify this myself.’

“Yesterday there was no reaction from officials of the Phnom Penh government regarding Mr. Yash Ghai’s statement in Geneva on Monday.

“Nevertheless, on behalf of the European Community, Mr. Jean Baptiste Mattei, the French Ambassador to the UN International Human Rights Council, said, ‘The European Community Welcomes Cambodia’s decision to accept the continuation of the term for a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia.’

“Also, Ms. Juliette de Rivero, Geneva advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, expressed support for the continuation of a term.

“She assessed that Cambodia does have problems with UN human rights officials who hold the mandate, but she still wants to see this mandate continued.

“It should be remembered that the war of words between Mr. Yash Ghai and Mr. Hun Sen had attracted public opinion statements from many sources, strongly criticizing Mr. Hun Sen, saying that the Hun Sen government does not cooperate with Mr. Yash Ghai which affected Mr. Hun Sen’s reputation negatively. If the government would terminate the mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, it is feared that human right abuses will spread one hundred times more than before.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #246, 18.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 18 September 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #50, 18-24.9.2008

  • Citizens in Bavet Abandon Agriculture and Take up Services [some become vendors and some work in factories, restaurants, and casinos – Svay Rieng]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1749, 18.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Asks Thai New Prime Minister to Continue Negotiation [related to border dispute]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Wants Samdech Krom Preah to Return to Cambodia during the Pchum Ben Day [which will be celebrated from 28 to 30 September 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #246, 18.9.2008

  • Mr. Yash Ghai Announced to Resign from His Position as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • Sam Rainsy Asks Hun Sen to Give His Reasons Why He Is Not Asking for Support from the Co-Chairmen of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference over the Intrusion by Siam [Thailand] into Cambodia

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #101, 18.9.2008

  • Labak Khon Hydro-Electric Plant Has Serious Impact on Humans and on Animals [it will prevent the movement of fish to find food and to move to their normal refuge for laying eggs, which will affect the people living along the Mekong River]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6453, 18.9.2008

  • Brother-in-Law of [ousted former Thai prime minister] Thaksin [Somchai Wongsawat – สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์ – 61, married to Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister] Became Thai Prime Minister [after a vote in parliament on 17 September 2008]
  • Unknown Person Threw a Bomb with a Threatening Letter into the House of a Former [Cambodian TV program selected] “Freshie Girl [Ven Davin, but no explosion – Phnom Penh]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3568, 18.9.2008

  • The Cambodian Government Welcomes a New Person to Replace Mr. Yash Ghai as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • Sam Rainsy: We Are Not Afraid of Losing Positions and Salaries in the National Assembly
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: The Sam Rainsy Party Has Never Cried for the Position of Vice President and of Chairperson of Committees in the National Assembly


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4697, 18.9.2008

  • Japanese Investment Delegation Comes to Study Investment in Cambodia
  • American Man Is Arrested on Accusation of Keeping a 13-Year-Old Girl for Having Sex and for Committing Debauchery Acts [17 September 2008 – Phnom Penh]
  • There Were No Newspapers of Rasmei Kampuchea Available on 17 September 2008, because There Were People Driving a Car to Buy Them All [ Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4696, 16.9.2008, papers which had an article “Illegal Imports of Gas: There Was a Short Surprise because There Was Police, Then the Situation Turned Usual as if Nothing Had Happened” – Poipet, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Vietnam Started to Sell Bio-Fuel [at a price of Dong 16,500, corresponding to approx. Riel 4,000 per liter, on 15 September 2008, Hanoi]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3410, 18.9.2008

  • Fuel Price Slightly Decreases, but [there are allegations that pumps of] Fuel Do Not Deliver Enough but Call it a “Liter”

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Wednesday, 17.9.2008: Cambodian Film Wins Major U.S. Award

Posted on 18 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: A film produced by Khmer producers with the title ‘Facing the Truth’ won a high award in the United States during the Freddie Awards Celebration 2008; Freddie Awards are given in the United States for international health and medical media achievements.

“Oscar Awards [awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] are well known for the competition of films in general, but there is also a competition in which there are medical awards, the Freddie Awards, which is one among special awards. In this competition, health organizations from around the world participated. This award is an encouragement for such film productions worldwide.

“‘Facing the Truth’ was produced by Khmer Mekong Films, it is a 30-minute televised drama, describing the importance of HIV tests for pregnant women. Its content shows the countryside in Cambodia and it is a sad film reflecting the reality in Cambodian society.

“This film was submitted under two categories – fist under Prevention, and the second submission was in the category Infectious Diseases – among 32. The film was accepted as a candidate and surprisingly, it won the Number One Award in the field of Prevention, although there was strong competition from broadcasting corporations in Canada and from two big cable TV networks in the United States.

“‘Facing the Truth’ was produced as part of the campaign to promote AIDS prevention, which was led and organized by the program PMTCT (Prevention mother to child transmission of HIV) of the National Maternal Child Health Center of the Ministry of Health, and has been shown around Cambodia.

“This film was funded by the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, and in Cambodia also through the Global AIDS Program. Drafts of the film’s content and text of the conversation were produced by Khmer Mekong Films with assisting ideas from Madame Dr. Vong Sothearany, a coordinator of the program PMTCT (Prevention mother to child transmission of HIV) of the National Maternal Child Health Center of the Ministry of Health.

“This film was shot in and around Phnom Penh in ten days and has been shown at hospitals and health centers nationwide during a period of about two years. This movie was shown also on the Cambodian Television Network in June 2008, and more than two million citizens watched it.

“Mr. Matthew Robinson [the executive producer and owner of Khmer Mekong Films], said that this award is a great achievement, not only for Khmer Mekong Films, but also for the National Maternal Child Health Center of the Ministry of Health and for the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, and especially it is a reason of pride of all Khmers.

“It should be noted that the celebration, where this important award will be delivered, is organized to happen in Philadelphia in the United States on 14 November 2008. For that occasion, Khmer Mekong Films will send two staff members, as well as a film director, to receive the award.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #100, 17.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1747, 17.9.2008

  • The Untied States Plans to Invite Samdech Hun Sen for an Official Visit
  • Cambodia Steps up Cooperation and Exchange of Work Experiences against Corruption in ASEAN
  • Siamese [Thai] Troops Remove Citizens’ Housing at the Cham Sragam Border Crossing Point [Oddar Meanchey]
  • Thailand’s Supreme Court Issued an Arrest Warrant for [ousted prime minister] Thaksin [over corruption charges]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #245, 17.9.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Demand Reforms of the Election Law and Demand to Do Whatever Is Necessary to Assure by Law That the Opposition Parties Should Get Certain Positions in the National Assembly


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #100, 17.9.2008

  • Cambodian Film Wins Major U.S. Award
  • The Government Reacts to the Publication by the Bangkok Post [saying that Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Thailand should consider to give up the position of president of ASEAN temporarily; saying that Prime Minister Hun Sen never used the words ‘must’ or ‘should’ related to that position]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6451, 17.9.2008

  • Regarding the Problem that the Opposition Parties Will Not Attend the First Session of Parliament, Samdech Dekchor Said: They Do Not Recognize the Election Results, but They also Do Not Abandon Their Seats


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3567, 17.9.2008

  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: Members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party Will Not Take the Salaries from the Prime Minister [responding to the threat by Prime Minister Hun Sen that he will not release salaries to opposition party parliamentarians who boycott the first session of the National Assembly]


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1360, 17.9.2008

Tuesday, 16.9.2008: Samdech Hun Sen: The Government Will be Formed on 25 September 2008

Posted on 17 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said on 15 September 2008 that the fourth term government will be announced officially on 25 September 2008, a day after the first session of the fourth term National Assembly.

“The head of the Cambodian Government and the vice-president of the winning party told journalists in the evening of 15 September 2008 that the date for the creation the government and for the session of the National Assembly will not be changed. In the morning of 24 September 2008, the first session [of the National Assemly] will be held under the presidency of the King. In the evening of 24 September 2008, the members of the National Assembly will swear in the Royal Palace. As for the morning of 25 September 2008, the National Assembly will hold a meeting to create the new government. The Council of Ministers of the new government will hold its first meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 26 September 2008.

“Besides talking about the formation the government and about the first session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen also emphasized that wheter or not all will attend the session is their problem, because in Cambodia, the winning party does not become hostage of the losing parties. Without caring about the announcement of a boycot by the Sam Rainsy Party and by the Human Rights Party, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that he had told Mr. Say Chhum, the head of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, to sugggest slates of candidates for the nine committee of the National Assembly. He said, ‘We will not wait for them.’

Furthermore, the head of the Cambodian People’s Party that won the elections, warned that if the recently elected members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party and from the Human Rights Party will not attend the swearing-in ceremony to establish their validity as members of the Natinal Assembly, they will not receive salaries; this time, there is no exception.

“The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party had jointly announced their position again on 15 September 2008 that the 29 newly elected parliamentarians, 26 from the Sam Rainsy Party and 3 from the Human Rights Party, will not attend the first session and the swearing-in ceremony together with the Cambodian People’s Party. This position was raised by the presidents of both opposition party leaders also during a meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, and both of them hope that he might be able to coordinate between the opposition parties and the ruling party.

Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha Meet … to Ask for Support

“During a closed door meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. John Negroponte, in the evening of 15 September 2008, Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, and Mr. Kem Sokha, the president of the Human Rights Party, jointly spoke about the recent elections, and about the distribution of positions in the National Assembly, to secure what these opposition parities’ leaders claim: a balance of power…

“Related to what was mentioned about the elections during the meeting between the opposition party leaders and the US Assistant Secretary of State, a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that what the opposition parties’ leaders had stated is just a traditional strategy of opposition parties: they put up some obstacles in order to finally get some positions in the National Assembly. However he believes that although the US Assistant Secretary of State meets also with leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, it will be the same. There will be no change made by the Cambodian People’s Party that won the elections. The Parliamentarian Cheam Yeap said that now, the time for the opposition parties to protest is over, because the Cambodian People’s Party is prepared for marching. He said, ‘We will work alone in the National Assembly, both president and vice president of the National Assembly, and all positions to chair the nine committees of the National Assembly, belong to the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“During the fourth term parliamentary elections on 27 July 2008, the Cambodian People’s Party won 90 seats of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, the Sam Rainsy Party won 26 seats, the Human Rights Party won 3 seats, Funcinpec won 2 seats, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party won also 2 seats. Because of these results, Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha had announced to reject results, while many national and international observers, amog them from the United States and from Japan, had claimed that some irregularities could not affect the election results.

“Officials of the Cambodian government, leaders of the opposition parties, as well as officials of civil society organizations, consider the visit by the US Assistant Secretary of State to be a sign of stronger bilateral ties between Cambodia and the United States, and also, the visit strengthens future democracy in Cambodia. Before leaving Cambodia, Mr. John Negroponte will hold a press conference in the morning of 16 September 2008 regarding his three-day visit in Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4695, 16.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2811, 16.9.2008

  • People’s Housing at and near Boeng Kak Lake Begin to Be Flooded Gradually – They Ask the Municipality to Intervene by Pumping out Water as Soon as Possible [due to continuing heavy rain, together with sand dredging filled into the lake]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1747, 16.9.2008

  • [Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: Investigating Information Is Fundamental [he said during a UNESCO sponsored workshop about writing investigating reports – that are deeper than daily information]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #99, 16.9.2008

  • One Should Think of Plastic Pollution [Dr. Mok Mareth, the Minister of Environment, said that leafs of lotus and of bananas can be converted to be fertilizer when they are disposed off, but plastic cannot]
  • The Government Will Increase Rice Exports to Foreign Countries by the End of 2008
  • Daun Penh District Deputy Police Chief Releases Thief Who Bit and Robbed a Foreigner [because there was no lawsuit from the victim]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6451, 16.9.2008

  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Histories: the Preah Vihear Temple Was Built before There Were Siamese Nationals there
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Calls Fuel Price to Be Lower; Price at World Market Drops by 25% while in Cambodia It Drops by 10% Only
  • [Thai Special Border Protection Unit black-clad] Soldiers Arrest Khmer Spouse on Accusation of Using Fake Baht


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3566, 16.9.2008

  • Prince Ranariddh Might Return to Cambodia in Late September
  • Khmer Military and Police Protecting the Border Want to See the Government Send a Complaint to the United Nations the Sooner the Better


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4695, 16.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Government Will be Formed on 25 September 2008
  • Samdech Dekchor: Cambodia Understands Thailand, but It Must Not Continue the Presence of Troops on Khmer Territory [because of the political crisis in Thailand]
  • The Philippines Support Cambodia’s Position to Solve Disputes with Thailand [peacefully]


Veasna Khmer, Vol.7, #3408, 15-16.9.2008

  • The Increase of Electricity Needs Results in Frequent Electricity Cut-Offs

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Monday, 15.9.2008: The Ministry of Defense Calls for the Recruitment of Soldiers

Posted on 16 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“General Phan Nguon, a military official of the Ministry of Defense, provided information to students and youth who have the intention to become soldiers to serve the nation. The recruitment procedures were announced through the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Television [TV5] yesterday morning, while Siam [Thai] black-clad soldiers [from the Special Border Protectin Forces] continuously invade Khmer territory in the west.

“The announcement said that the Ministry of Defense informs students and youth who have the intention to become officers and soldiers to register – and then future officers are required to undergo a four years training, while the normal soldiers are required to go through a six months training.

“The announcement shows several entry points, but it focuses, for the first intake, on the army. The training of the recruits may be inside or outside of the country, and the Ministry points out that both male and female students are being addressed, who have graduated with a high school diploma or have grades comparable, and have the intention to volunteer to become members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – if this applies, interested persons should complete one of the following forms:

Four years training course of the thirteenth intake active soldiers
Four years training course of the first intake for army officers

“The announcement provides detailed information to the volunteers how to become soldiers, and explains how to complete the forms at the Office of Personnel of the Armed Forces Headquarters opposite of the Lux Cinema, and at other town and provincial military outposts countrywide. The date to accept forms starts from the day of the announcement until 26 November 2008, daily and any time of the day.

“The announcement for the recruitment of soldiers is made while a neighboring country of Cambodia invades Cambodian territory in western regions, especially the Siamese [Thai] thief that invades to occupy Khmer Temples along the border at many places, like the regions near the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Thom Temple, the Ta Krabei Temple, the Chub Kokir region, and some regions in Anlong Veng and Oddar Meanchey. As for the number of Khmer soldiers, claimed to be around 120,000 to 130,000, it appears that this is only a number, but in fact, there are probably less than half of this number. Because when the nation is in danger, like when the Siamese thief invades the country, there are not enough soldier to respond.

Note:

In the last Editorial we referred to some of the more delicate, and still not discussed problems between both countries; it can be accessed also here.

“Mr. Yim Sovann, the head of the Fourth Committee of the National Assembly and a high ranking official of the Sam Rainsy Party, informed Khmer Machas Srok about the number of soldiers he had received from the Ministry of Defense, ‘For now, I doubt that the number of soldiers is between 120,000 and 130,000, because now, when there is an invasion by a foreign country, like at the western border, the government appears to hesitate to respond; there are not enough troops sent for patrol. Therefore, our soldiers exist only in numbers, but the real number of soldiers is likely to be insufficient, because of corruption, as it is not known where the real soldiers are.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that as for the police, he had been informed also that their number is 50,000.

“An official of the Ministry of Defense, who is a former KPNLF soldier of the [US supported] Khmer People’s National Liberation Front [until 1992] of Louk Ta [Grandfather] Son San, said that many soldiers of the divisions of the six military regions in Cambodia, as well as those in towns and provincial military outposts, exist only as numbers, but their salaries are taken by their commanders.

Note:

When one sees the many luxury class extremely expensive Landcruiser car with military license plates on the streets, such an outrageous assumption becomes undertstandable. I had to travel to many different countries in the couse of my life and work – in no other country I have seen luxury cars with military license plates.

When the country needs soldiers, some divisions with nominally nearly 10,000 soldiers have only around 300 to 400 soldiers, including drivers, and those who guard the land and the houses for their division chiefs.

“The same general, who is a former KPLF soldier, continued to say that whatever their affiliation – with the State of Cambodia, or with the former ANKI [Armée Nationale du Kampuchea Independent – National Army of Independent Kampuchea – the former military arm of FUNCINPEC] , or with the KPNLF, or the former followers of Gneral Sak Sutsakhan [who had separated himself from the KPNLF] – their high levels leaders have abandoned them, especially those soldiers who fought in the battlefields in Battambang, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, and Siem Reap, they have been forgotten, and some of their land and housing had been grabbed by the powerful and by the rich.

“However, that former KPLF soldier said that as for the military commanders, specifically those who served the State of Cambodia [1989 to 1993], at present almost all still are in their positions, though most of them have fat potbellies. The official went on to say that the Ministry of National Defense lacked everything during this last period,: it lacks fuel allowance, and the salaries for the soldiers are small and often paid with delays, which contrasts with the salaries of the members of the National Assembly, saying that Ministry of Defense expenses are budgeted as US$267 million for one year.

“Although the Ministry of Defense faces a shortage of solders, there are always thousands of soldiers to protect the Prime Minister Hun Sen, and more than forty tanks which are not broken down, are always on alert for the security of the Prime Minister alone.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #244, 14-16.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 15 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1746, 14-15.9.2008

  • Former Parliamentary Candidate of the Sam Rainsy Party Reveals Insider Information [Mr. Chrea Chenda, who joined the Cambodian People’s Party said that the leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party commit corruption]
  • Siam [Thailand] Invades the Trap Mountain and Warns Khmer Soldiers to Retreat [Preah Vihear area – no precise information given whether it relates to the area the Cambodian side has not claimed in the document for the World Heritage listing, or to other areas]
  • More Than 2,000 Workers of the King Maker Shoe Factory Ask Their Manager to Obey Working Condition Regulations [the factory is located in a special economic zone in Svay Rieng]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #244, 14-16.9.2008

  • The Ministry of Defense Calls for the Recruitment of Soldiers
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Plans to Take Father of Tim Sakhan to Visit His Son Directly in Vietnam


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6450, 15.9.2008

  • Hundreds of People Collect Around 40,000 Liters of Fuel Leaking into Rice Fields from Overturned Fuel Tanker Truck [Kompong Trach, Kampot]
  • Price of Fuel Drops from More Than US$140 to US$97 per Barrel [1 barrel corresponds to 117.35 liters, and it drops US$0.37 per liter], but in Cambodia It Drops Only Riel 400 [approx. US$0.10] per Liter


Mate Neak, Vol.1, #5, 15-21.9.2008

  • Citizens from Four Districts of Kandal Criticize the Arrangements and Technique Putting Culverts [some houses are connected, some are not – Kien Svay]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3565, 15.9.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Decides to Publish List of Ministers on 22 September; Funcinpec Asks for 100 Positions as Government Advisors
  • The Government’s Patience Motivates Siam [Thailand] to Look Down and Invade Cambodia More Strongly


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1359, 15.9.2008

  • The Royal Government of Cambodia Prepares Complaints to the International Court of Justice after Staying Patient for Two Months with Siam Invading [Prime Minister Hun Sen decided that officials of the government prepare different relevant documents to send complaints again to the UN Security Council and even to the International Court of Justice]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4694, 14-15.9.2008

  • Japan Tries to Encourage Its Investors to Come to Cambodia
  • Clinton Foundation Announces to Seek Donations to Help to Preserve Forest


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3408, 14-15.9.2008

  • The King Asks the Sam Rainsy Party to Look into the Law [which states that the first session of the National Assembly has to be held within sixty days after the elections, and all parliamentarians elected have to attend the session summoned by the King]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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