Week 582

International Conflicts Require an Internationally Open Discussion to Find Solutions – Sunday, 19.10.2008

Posted on 20 October 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 582 |

While Cambodia is often – in statistics comparing income, corruption perception, education, and health care – not listed in the more positive regions. But when it comes to the freedom of the press – the printed press, not the media in general – Cambodia is positioned fairly high, compared to other countries in Asia, or in ASEAN.

The present tensions at the border with Thailand have revealed, however, another aspect: the limited coverage of international news. The same event, reported in Cambodia, may receive quite a different description in Thailand. We have recently tried to put some reports from Thailand next to the reports from within the country. This has also resulted in accusations that the Mirror supports Thailand’s position, disregarding the Cambodian one. It was neither our intention, nor do we think we have done it. But we think that responsible journalism includes the commitment to present a wide variety of reports and viewpoints – so that these can contribute to find an approach to the truth, which is not blindly bound by particular interests. To be confronted with a variety of different reports and facts will help to sharpen critical reflection – critical even against assumed self-interest, leading also to self-criticism, where it may be called for with good reasons.

As such an example of reflective-self criticism, which went even against a wider popular sentiment, a Thai newspaper, the Bangkok Post, published on 30 June 2008 a cartoon, warning that Thai nationalism, “following a leader” without considering where he leads to, may end in falling off the cliff.

Nationalism

Nationalism

Are there similar self-critical warnings against blind nationalism also in the Cambodian media? We would be grateful to be informed that they exist; we did not find much of this kind. We are rather concerned about the very rough and often rude language being sent around on the Internet from where we quote a few examples: “You walk into Cambodia one more step, you will Die like a DOG!” And at the same time when the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is proceeding, a considerable amount of a kind of battlefront solidarity can be found: “Former Khmer Rouge soldiers were never afraid of death” (fighting against whom?) – and the old gun, though rusty, is thirsty for blood. Do such build better neighborly relations? Do such voices not call for repudiation?

This week, we carried a report that a book about The History of Democratic Kampuchea – the Khmer Rouge regime – will become part of some educational curricula. This is very important. The discussions around the Preah Vihear problems reveal that there seems to be a wide consensus that important facts are well known – and therefore strong emotions can be rallied for certain opinions and actions. But it seems also that the actual information basis about the history is very thin, and therefore can easily be manipulated emotionally.

There was time and again the opinion expressed that the International Court of Justice has made the final decisions, and therefore there is nothing left to be discussed with Thailand. The brief decision of the court of 1962, “that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia” is often quoted in general terms, and it has also been accepted by the different Thai governments since that time – but that the court decision, published on 69 pages, was not decisive in establishing the final borderline between both countries, is not so widely known. To go into detailed, factual discussion in public would require to have this court ruling (and related documents) also available in Khmer translation for the public.

The manifold denunciations of aggressions and incursions against Thai personnel – already during the weeks and months long before there was armed conflict leading to the loss of human life, victimization by mines, and injuries by shooting – relate to the region to the north and to the west of the Preah Vihear Temple. We have still not found any single reference in the Khmer press how to understand these denunciations on the background of the Joint Communique of 18 June 2008 – signed by the representatives of the two Kingdoms of Cambodia and of Thailand, and of UNESCO. How should the presence of Thai troops – to the north and to the west of Preah Vihear Temple – be interpreted, considering that the Joint Communique says that “the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple,” and that the map appended “supersedes the maps… as well as all the graphic references… of the Temple of Preah Vihear site in Cambodia’s nomination file” previously presented to UNESCO with maps dating back to 1962, 1907, and 1904.

This position taken on 18 June 2008, internationally well known, as it was the final document presented for the listing as a World Heritage Site, has never been presented in the Khmer press – if it was, we apologize, and would appreciate to receive related information.

When some media and some civic organizations call on the government to lodge protests against the Thai presence – in these buffer areas to the north and to the west of the Preah Vihear Temple – referring to maps of 1907 and of 1904, they are probably not aware that these maps have been superseded by another map on 18 June 2008, presented on behalf of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Any international, and any bilateral negotiation will have to deal with the most recent legal position, on which both governments, in the presence of UNESCO, have agreed.

On 18 June 2008, a claim was made only, at this stage, for the tiny zone in the middle of the following map, marked in red and identified as 1.

Joint Communique map

Joint Communique map

This international conflict shows that information and news to be referred to cannot be pre-selected according to national criteria only. Sooner or later, the Joint Communique will have to be translated into Khmer and discussed publicly also in Cambodia. It forms also the basis for the creation of the joint management plan – to be developed together with Thailand – which has to be presented in February 2010 to the World Heritage Committee. The listing is not forever – some listings have been withdrawn in the past, where the contracting parties did not live up to their contracted obligations.

The Khmer press, in order to fulfill its role to provide the information for a responsible building up of public opinion, will have to find ways to facilitate a critical, and self-critical public discussion in Cambodia, which the Thai press if providing in Thailand. Otherwise Cambodia will be again more and more isolated internationally – and Cambodian people may think this is a situation imposed by the outside. But so far, his impression is a self-created isolation, as the Khmer press did not help to look into some most important official documents, which lead beyond popular nationalistic emotions.

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World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food – Saturday, 18.10.2008

Posted on 19 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“Phnom Penh: At present, starving people are more numerous than before – around 150 million people. This is according to a statement of the co-chair of the People’s Coalition on Food Security, Mr. Antonio Tujan, during a World Food Day celebration on 16 October 2008.

“Dr. Yang Saing Koma, the director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture – CEDAC – said during a press conference on 16 October 2008 at the organization’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, that around 100,000 families in Cambodia, corresponding to half a million people, lack food. In 2008, Cambodia faces the challenge of a food crisis because of the high price of food in the world. Mr. Yang Saing Koma added that CEDAC works with farmers from 2,000 villages countrywide and had discovered that 50%, or half of farmers who do rice farming, could not produce sufficient food during the year. Among 1.8 million farmers’ families doing rice farming, 500,000 to 600,000 families could not produce enough food. 800,00 families could afford to buy rice themselves over one month during the late rainy season.

“CEDAC found that this is because land to produce food does not increase. Although the agriculturally usable land of the whole country is six million hectares, but food can only be produced from more than three million hectares at the present time. Another factor is the lack of rain or that the rain comes late, and the irrigation system can serve only 40% of the total land. In Takeo and Kompong Chhnang, 80% of the farmers own rice fields smaller than one hectare per family.

“The executive director of the Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific [“- Empowering People for Change -”] Ms. Sarojini Rengam, said during the World Food Day on 16 October 2008 that this was a message to show the people’s strategies to solve the food crisis. This anniversary builds up public understanding about major factors that result in food crisis [chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides], and it acts to increase the people’s voice against new policies and their effects.

“A farmer, Bouen Sophal, who is the community representative of Dang Tung district of Kampot, who also attended this anniversary celebration, reported that some farmers in Kampot face difficulties to buy chemical fertilizer from Vietnam which is expensive. After the paddy rice is cultivated, the paddy rice is sold, but it is not enough just to repay the money for the chemical fertilizer. Farmers buy chemical fertilizer from different companies and merchants, and most of them borrow money from other people or are in dept, and after they sold their paddy rice, what they get is almost insufficient to repay the dept. During each cultivation reason, farmers sell tens of thousands of tonnes of paddy rice to Vietnam. When they run out of paddy rice to eat, they buy rice from Vietnam. Vietnamese rice is expensive and contains lots of chemical substances. This seriously affects their health. Nowadays, the farmers’ community at Dang Tung have organized a cooperative and have created twenty paddy rice banks to help any farmer who lacks food during the latter part of the rainy season, to rescue them from not being able to have food.

“Dr. Koma called on the government to expand more social cultivating concession land, rather than expanding economic concessions, to encourage farmers not to continue to sell their rice fields, to expand more community markets to facilitate the sale of the farmers’ products, and to increase and enlarge the farmers’ ability to produce and to keep seeds at their communities.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 18 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1771, 18.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Rejects the Intention to Send the Border Dispute Problem to the [24-25 October 2008] Asia-Europe Meeting [in Beijing, China]
  • In Five to Ten Years, Phnom Penh Will Have Grown [from 375] to 758 Square Kilometers [according to the Phnom Penh governor Mr. Kep Chuktema]
  • The UN Secretary General Calls on the World to Response to Starvation and Poverty


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #266, 18.10.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: I Still Hope that the Sam Rainsy Party Will Receive Positions in the National Assembly Commissions

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #120, 18.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Situation Turns Normal and Cambodia Continues to Be Patient to Solve the Problem Peacefully, Not Needing an Intervention from Other Countries
  • The Cambodian Government [through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Reacts against the Bangkok Post of Siam [Thailand] Which Made a Publication with No Basis in Reality [Cambodia Is accused of setting new mines]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Continues to Detain Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] until the Day of His Trial

Note:

Actually, the Cambodian chargé d’affaires at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok was given a document – an aide mémoire – with the request to respond after the Cambodian government would have compared notes – it is no an accusation against the Cambodian authorities, but a request “to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines” – describing also in detail some of the background for this request being presented in this way.

The following is quoted from the Bangkok Post:

“The Thai government viewed this incident [in which two Thai soldiers stepped on mines and lost limbs] with great alarm, as it indicated a violation of the 1997 Ottawa Convention to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines as well as a threat to international peace,” said the deputy director-general of the Information Department, Thani Tongpakdi.

“The Thai Mines Action Centre and other non-governmental organisations found the PMN2-type mines at Phu Ma Khua…

“The mines that were retrieved by the team also appear to be newly-planted as no rust was found on them,” said Mr Thani.

“The government wants Cambodian authorities to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines.”

“The Phnom Penh government submitted a report to the United Nations secretary-general in 2002 noting that 240 PMN2-type landmines from a total of 3,405 were transferred from its Interior Ministry to the Cambodian Mine Action Center for development and training.

“Thailand would like the Cambodian government to verify where the remaining mines are.”


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6476, 18-19.10.2008

  • Statement of the Ministry of Foreign of Cambodia: Unilateral Mine Clearing [by Thailand at Veal Intry] Is a Violation
  • The Budget for the Military Will Be Increased during This Fourth Term, the National Assembly Plans to Permit Samdech Hun Sen to Use Expenditures for the Military
  • Fuel Prices in New York – US$69.85 – and in London – US$66.32 – Drop to Almost the Price Level before the Increases
  • A Fax from Samdech Euv [the Father King] to the Minister of the Royal Palace Samdech Kong Som Ol [to grant US$1,000 to the wives or families of the compatriots who died because of the confrontation with Thailand, or who die from accidents at the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Temple, and the Ta Krabei Temple; for those who are injured, US$500 will be provided]
  • Old Mother [78] and [57] Daughter Were Robbed and Killed Cruelly [with a cleaver and an ax – the robbers are not yet identified – Koh Soutin, Kompong Cham]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3591, 18.10.2008

  • Khieu Kanharith Criticizes a Siamese Parliamentarian [Sukhumbhand Paripatra – สุขุมพันธุ์ บริพัตร – Member of Parliament with the Democrat Party; former Deputy Foreign Minister] Who Made the Accusation that There Might Be Forces of a Third Country Coming to Cambodia
  • International Community Expresses Concern over the Khmer-Siamese Border Dispute that Could Lead to Serious Armed Conflict [China, Malaysia, Singapore, the European Union, and the United States of America request Cambodian and Thailand to solve the dispute peacefully]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008

  • World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [Anupong Paochinda] Tells the Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat] to Resign


Have a look at the last editorial: If the alternative is peace or war, the option can only be peace.

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Cambodia Will Not Be Much Affected by the World Financial Crisis – Friday, 17.10.2008

Posted on 17 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“There are indications that the value of stocks at the stock exchanges in every country in Asia and in Europe dropped. Can Cambodia avoid this crisis? Experts expressed different opinions.

“Mr. Huot Pum, a professor of economics of the Royal University of Law and Economics, said that the financial crisis will not affect the Cambodian financial system, because Cambodia did not have a stock market, and the fields of insurance and of investors in Cambodia in general do not have much financial relations with the outside world. The Professor said, ‘It will not affect our financial system. Most banks in Cambodia do not have money to buy stocks from foreign countries.’ Mr. Sum Sonnisith, the secretary general of the National Bank said, ‘Our banking system is not affected by this crisis, because there is not yet a full integration into the world economy.’

“However, according to Mr. Huot Pum, this crisis might affect the economy, like the garment sector and the tourist industry, as Cambodia exports most of its garment products to the United States market. Regarding this crisis, Mr. Van Sou Ieng, the president of the Garment Manufactures Association of Cambodia, pointed out that the recent closing down of some garment factories in Cambodia resulted from the influence of the financial crisis in the United States.

“Mr. Vong Sandap, the secretary general of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said that more or less, the crisis in the United States will really affect Cambodia, for example, in the field of real estate, which is in stagnation. Mr. Sandap added, ‘Facing this crisis, the Cambodian government has taken some action by increasing the minimal capital to be kept by banks from 8% to 16%, and has set a limit for providing loans for buying real estate.

“As for Mr. Chan Sophal, the president of the Cambodian Economic Association, he did not deny the negative impacts of this crisis on Cambodia. Mr. Chan Sophal thinks that different influences relate to foreign investors. This economist analyzed, ‘When the crisis happens, some foreign investors, who have sustained negative impacts from the crisis, will not come to invest in Cambodia.’ On the other hand, this crisis might encourage some investors to look at some countries which are different, including Cambodia. In the period of three years, from 2005 to 2007, the economy grew continually, but this year, the economic growth will drops to 7% because of the rising price of goods. The present crisis will slow down Cambodian economic growth in 2008.

“Cambodia, which was suffered from more than thirty years civil war, has just started to implement a free market economic system early in the 1990s. Although there is such freedom and openness, the Cambodian economy has not had specific relations with the regional and international economy. That is why Cambodia could avoid the financial crisis in 1997 in Asia, and this time also, Cambodia does not get much affected. Cambodia does not benefit much from the international economy, but it also does not sustain much negative impact from the international crisis.” Cambodge Soir, Vol.2, #54, 16-22.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 17 October 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.2, #54, 16-22.10.2008

  • Cambodia Will Not Be Much Affected by the World Financial Crisis


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2819, 17.10.2008

  • Many Soldiers of Military Region 5 Started to Shoot, and They Burnt down Citizens’ Houses [of 415 families] to Grab Land [Kos Krolor, Battambang]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1770, 17.10.2008

  • Cambodian and Siamese [Thai] Regional Frontline Negotiations Achieved Good Results [both sides agreed to stop fighting and turn to negotiations through the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and through the Prime Ministers]
  • The Fuel Price Declines to Less than US$71 per Barrel


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #265, 17.10.2008

  • The Cambodian Watchdog Council Asks [Prime Minister Hun Sen] to Stop Negotiations and War [and send a complaint to the Court in the Hague and to the UN Security Council]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #119, 17.10.2008

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs]: Diplomatic Relations of Cambodia and Siam [Thailand] Remain as Good as Normal
  • The US Embassy: Cambodia and Thailand Must Seek Peaceful Solutions to End the Dispute Rather Than Using Armed Forces


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6475, 17.10.2008

  • Accusation that Cambodia Lays New Mines near the Border Is Rejected [by Cambodia]; War of More Than Three Decades Leaves Many Mines


Meatophum, Vol.52, #708, 17-25.10.2008

  • Cambodia Informed the UN Security Council about the Armed Conflict on 15 October 2008


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3590, 17.10.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Condemns Siamese Troops Invading Khmer Territory at Many Points [according a letter from the party]
  • The International Community Must Link Conditions with Aid for Cambodia [a suggestion of civil society organizations]
    Puth Theavy [a candidate for the Bar Association elections] Asked to Stop Gift-Giving to Buy Votes for the Elections to Choose the President of the Bar Association [according to the results, Lawyer Chiv Song Hak received 325 votes, so he is the new president of the Bar Association, the lawyer Puth Theavy got 123 votes, and the lawyer Ouk Phouri 8 votes]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4718, 17.10.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Welcomes Investment in the Field of Agriculture by Philippine Investors
  • Korean Experts Come to Present a Publication Related to Creating a Stock Exchange in Cambodia [to start in 2009]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3427, 17.10.2008

  • Opportunists [economic police] Block Vendors Fleeing from the Armed Conflict Border [to extort money –Oddar Meanchey]


Sangkum Khmer, Vol.7, #111, 16-22.10.2008

  • Cambodia Has a High and Worrying Rate of Hepatitis B Infections [according to a workshop by expert doctors from Singapore]

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Thursday, 16.10.2008: After an Armed Dispute, Cambodian Troops Still Control the Veal Intry Field

Posted on 17 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“Preah Vihear: Armed clashed occurred at 2:45 p.m. at the Veal Intry field, and then spread to other border areas and to the front of the Preah Vihear Temple market.


Note:

In a situation of conflict, it is important to see the opinion of both sides. We will therefore quote here, marked as Notes, some texts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and from other sources, as a contribution to foster mutual understanding, in the hope that negotiations, not violence, will lead to peace.

Thailand’s Reaction to Remarks by Cambodian Prime Minister

October 16, 2008

In response to questions from the media, Mr. Tharit Charungvat, Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Ministry Spokesman, said that Thailand is surprised by the remarks by the Prime Minister of Cambodia issuing an ultimatum to Thailand to move its military personnel out of the area adjacent to the Temple of Phra Viharn and threatening the use of force, which runs counter to the spirit of neighborliness and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), especially between fellow ASEAN member countries. This is also contradictory to international norms of settling bilateral issues through peaceful means as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Thailand has always tried to resolve its boundary issues with Cambodia peacefully through bilateral negotiations which have achieved satisfactory progress thus far. In this connection, the military of both sides have agreed to convene a special meeting of the Regional Border Committee (RBC) on 21 October 2008, which will be preceded by a meeting at the working level of the RBC on 15 October 2008.

In the meantime, in accordance with its obligations under the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, Thailand has had to undertake de-mining efforts in the area adjacent to the Temple of Phra Viharn – an area which will be surveyed and demarcated by the Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC), set up under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in the year 2000. De-mining there is a necessary and urgent issue so as to ensure the safety of people and military personnel who pass through the area. The urgency of this issue was again underscored when two Thai para-military rangers lost their legs after stepping on landmines in the area on 6 October 2008 in the Thai territory in accordance with Siam-France Treaty of 1904. We are now also conducting investigations to verify whether the landmines in the area are old mines or recently deployed in violation of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention.

If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defense as provided for under the Charter of the United Nations, in order to protect our de-mining personnel and Thailand’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Thailand has always called for and remains committed to resolving its boundary issues with Cambodia peacefully through bilateral consultations under the many frameworks already in place. Indeed, as agreed upon by the Foreign Ministers of both Thailand and Cambodia at their meetings in Siem Reap and Cha-am on 28 July 2008 and 19 August 2008, respectively, both countries have committed themselves to exercise utmost restraint to avoid the possibility of armed confrontation. This was reiterated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat to the Cambodian side during his visit there on 13 October 2008. Thailand has strictly observed our said commitments and expects Cambodia to do the same.

“The sound of both light and heavy explosions echoed strongly in the jungle at Veal Intry, caused by hundreds of Thai para troopers who were sent to control the Veal Intry area and the Our Chak Chraeng point which are in Khmer territory.

“A Cambodian army commander said that at 9:30 a.m. on 15 October 2008, 380 Siamese [Thai] para-military troopers rushed through the Phnom Trop region and through the Veal Intry field; then they crossed the Our Chak Chraeng channel nearby. Siamese troops were impudent when they sent troops to the area; they started to fight the Cambodian troops to control the whole Veal Intry filed. That motivated Cambodian troops to fight back from the Phnom Trop point to the Veal Intry field, and the fighting spread to the front of the Preah Vihear Temple market.

“The fighting lasted two hours before it calmed, after the Siamese troops had asked to stop the fire for negotiations.

Reason of the Armed Developments

“If the Siamese troops would not have been sent again, the war at Veal Intry would not have happened. Previously over 80 Siamese black clad soldiers [special border protection unit] had withdrawn from Veal Intry after the negotiations on 14 October 2008. But on 15 October 2008, because of endless greedy ambitions of the Siamese there was armed conflict. This is because they look down on Cambodia, thinking that Cambodia would not dare to fight.


Note:


Thailand protests intrusion into Thai territory and shooting of Thai soldiers by Cambodian soldiers

October 16, 2008, 8:48 pm

      Regarding the clash between Thai and Cambodian soldiers on Thai territory on 15 October 2008, the Royal Thai Government lodged another protest with the Royal Government of Cambodia through an additional Aide-Memoire on 16 October 2008, the gist of which can be summarized as follow:

      1. Regarding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand’s Aide-Memoire of 15 October 2008, protesting against the shootings carried out by Cambodian soldiers on Thai soldiers who were peacefully patrolling along the Thai – Cambodian border within the Thai territory near Phu Ma Khua on 15 October 2008, a related incident took place in the vicinity of Pha Mor I Daeng between 14:25 – 15:00 hours on 15 October 2008, in which Cambodian soldiers intruded into Thai territory and opened fire, using recoilless guns, RPG, mortars, and rifles, on Thai soldiers who were positioned in the said area.

     2. Exercising their inherent right to self-defense as provided for by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, the Thai soldiers returned fire. This hostile action by the Cambodian soldiers resulted in further injury, bringing the total number of Thai casualties to seven persons.

     3. With reference to Cambodia’s accusation that Thai troops launched heavy armed attacks upon Cambodian troops stationed in three different locations in the area of Phra Viharn Temple, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand wishes to state that between 14.25 – 15.00 hours on 15 October 2008, there were two shooting incidents between Cambodian soldiers and Thai soldiers at only two locations. The first incident occurred at the coordinate of VA 644933 in the north of Khan Ma Pass, 900 meters from the Thai – Cambodian boundary line. The other incident took place at the coordinate of VA 655917, 400 meters from the boundary line. Both shooting incidents therefore did not happen at the locations indicated by Cambodia.

      4. The Royal Thai Government strongly protests against these acts of aggression committed in Thailand’s territory by Cambodian soldiers, in blatant violation of international law; and to condemn such constant intrusion and violation of Thailand’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.


Types of Weapons Used During the Clash at the Front Line

“Officials of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces at the battle filed reported that the fighting erupted first at Veal Intry, and the weapons mostly used were AK47, M16, M79, B40 and the rocket launchers DK75 and DK72, and explosives.

Numbers of Injuries and Deaths

“According to unofficial information from the troops at the front lines, during more than two hours of fighting, 20 Siamese soldiers were killed, 36 soldiers were injured, and 28 were arrested. As for Cambodia, there was one death and two injured soldiers. The heaviest fighting was at Veal Intry and at Phnom Trop


Note:

All other media known to us speak of two Cambodian people having lost their lives – Thai media say that no Thai persons lost their lives, and there are no reports of Thai prisoners of war..


10 Siamese Soldiers in the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda Put Down Their Weapons Instead of Fighting

“As soon as the sound of armed conflict was heard strongly from the front line, the Siamese soldiers stationed at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda put down their weapons and raised up their hands so that the Cambodians did not shoot them. These ten soldiers did not resist, they just wanted to survive. Now, they are being held arrested as prisoners of war, together with 18 other soldiers arrested at the Phnom Trop point and at Veal Intry. As for twenty other Siamese soldiers who had been at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak pagoda, they ran back into their territory, leaving their weapons behind. Now there is no presence of Siamese soldiers at the front line after this armed conflict.


Note:

The presence of a small group of Thai soldiers at the region of the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda had been negotiated and agreed upon some weeks ago. The Thai side seem to consider the remaining persons not to be under detention – and the Cambodian statement, that they are free to leave (though they preferred to stay) seems to confirm their special status.


Armed Conflict Occurred at Three Points [Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, Phnom Trop point, and Veal Intry]



Fighting Was Stopped at 4:00 p.m. after a Request from Siam to Negotiate

“At 4:00 p.m., armed conflict calmed down after Siam had asked for a suspension, in order to find a solution through negotiations. The Cambodian side agreed to negotiate with a Siamese front line commander. Major General Srey Dek met with a Siamese army commander with five stripes as a sign of his rank, to discuss the armed conflict and to shift to negotiations. However, the content of their discussion was not disclosed.

Armed Conflict Finished, but Siam Continues to Sent More Modern Weapons

“Although the armed conflict at the Preah Vihear Temple region finished, according to information from front line soldiers, Siamese solders armed with modern weapons are sent from behind the front. The present Siamese activities are not the sign of an intention to stop the war.

The Situation at the Ta Moan and the Ta Krabei Temples Is Quiet


Siam Asks their Citizens to Leave the Border Area

“When the clash began, Siamese troops started to remove their citizens away from the border. Moreover, Siam called on all Siamese people in Cambodia to be prepared to leave.

At the Poipet Border Crossing, Citizens Are Surprised

“Officials of the Banteay Meanchey municipal cabinet concerned, and Khmer vendors at the Rong Kluea market [in Thailand] transport their belongings from the market worriedly after they had received the information that war had erupted at Veal Intry. Citizens at Poipet are still afraid and do not dare to do their business at the Rong Kluea market, because Siamese troops arrived at the market. Although there was turmoil, the Poipet border crossing point is not closed, because Siamese and Cambodian businesspeople still exchange goods as normal, except for vendors at the Rong Kluea market, that had closed their stalls very quickly.

The Situation at Pailin Is Normal


There Is No Armed Conflict at the Koh Kong Border Crossing Point, but Troops Are Built Up


Siamese Army Commander Anupong Paochinda Announces to Prepare to Fight

“Mr. Anupong Paochinda (อนุพงษ์ เผ่าจินดา], the Siamese Army Commander-in-Chief, had announced to be prepared to fight against Cambodia. This army commander told the Siamese cabinet ministers that their troops are prepared to fight, if they receive an order from the government. However, this army commander said that they will not start fighting as long as Cambodia does not begin, only then they will fight in self-defense.

“High ranking officials of Cambodia raised the question who protects oneself, because Siam initiated the event by sending troops to invade Cambodian territory. On 15 October 2008, Siamese soldiers were sent to the Preah Vihear region. Is it known in Siam whether or not there was a Siamese troop presence before 15 October 2008 in the Preah Vihear region? It is Siam that did violate the territorial integrity of Cambodia. Although there were many negotiations, Siam always finds tricks to violate the right of Cambodia.


Note:

On 18 June 2008, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers So An had signed a Joint Communique with Thailand and UNESCO, for the Royal Government of Cambodia, that “the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple,” and that a map appended “supersedes the maps… as well as all the graphic references… of the Temple of Preah Vihear site in Cambodia’s nomination file” previously presented to UNESCO, where maps dating back to 1962 and 1907 had been appended.

This 18 June 2008 Joint Communique [the file size of this PDF document, the text and the map, is 1.3 MB PDF], signed for the Royal Government of Cambodia – together with a representative of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO – to leave the question of ownership of the areas to the north and west of the temples undefined until further negotiations, is rarely, if ever, reported in the press in Cambodia. However, it is well known in Thailand.


Siamese Troops Left in Cambodia Are Not Allowed to Be Armed

“Cambodian military officials said that the Siamese soldiers that are arrested as prisoners of war in a place on Khmer territory are not allowed to be armed, but if they want to leave, we allow them, but they are not allowed to take food like before, but Cambodia cooks rice for them.

Siamese and Cambodian Regional Commanders Will Negotiate This Morning

“Officials of the Ministry of Defense said that General Chea Man and the Siamese regional commander will meet urgently at the red house point in front of the Preah Vihear Temple on Siamese territory. The meeting by both sides will discuss the armed conflict, and how to mutually arrange to stop any such armed conflict in future. But the Cambodian side said already that Cambodia did not initiate it, it is Siam that always causes endless problems. Cambodia told the Siamese side already that if the negotiation fails, we should take the problem to the United Nations, together with Thailand, but Siam broke its promise given to Cambodia, but in contrast, they continue to send troops steadily into Khmer territory.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1769, 16.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 16 October 2008


Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #90, 15-21.10.2008

  • The Prime Minister Continues to Open the Door for Opposition Politicians [to join the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • The Ministry of Agriculture Allows to Import 800 Pigs per Day to be Distributed by Four Companies, but One of Them Plans to Import Additionally 20,000 pigs [worrying local pig feeders]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1769, 16.10.2008

  • After an Armed Dispute, Cambodian Troops Still Control the Veal Intry Field
  • Dramatic Drop of the Fuel Price Concerns the Middle East, while Fuel Companies in Cambodia Are Very Happy [because they are benefiting by selling fuel at a high price]
  • North Korea Permits UN Monitors to Return to the Nuclear Sites


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #264, 16.10.2008

  • Kol Sokhom [a businesswoman] Asks [Police General] Hok Lundy to Take Action against Khem Veasna [the president of the League for Democracy Party, accusing him of taking her land to be sold]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #118, 16.10.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The Cambodian People’s Party Might Loose Some Seats during the Elections in 2013, but Still, It Will Win
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Secretary General Eng Chhay Ieng Resigns [resignation letter of 14 October 2008, keeping his promise to resign made on 7 and 9 May 2008; the party has not yet reacted]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6474, 16.10.2008

  • The Attempt [by a workers’ solidarity group] to Sell Rubber Resin [at double the price a middle-man pays, directly to a trader] Caused a Dispute in Ratanakiri – Police Shot out the Tires of the Loaded Truck and Harvesters [of the resin] Burnt It


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3589, 16.10.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: Election Report of the European Community Shows Problematic Elections
  • Khmer Prime Minister Plans to Ask More Than US$300 Million from China to Support the Fourth Term Package Government [according to his speech during an economic forum on 14 October 2008]
  • Leader of the Opposition Party Criticizes that the Government Disregards the Paris Agreement [of 1991 in which the signatories, also Thailand, guarantee the territorial integrity and the respects for human rights and democracy in Cambodia]


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1370, 16.10.2008

  • A Book The History of the Democratic Kampuchea Will Be Included into some Study Programs


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4717, 16.10.2008

  • The King Goes to Participate in the Summit of the Francophone Countries held in Canada
  • France Grants More Than US$3 Million to Support the Development of Agriculture

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Wednesday, 15.10.2008: European Community Observers Said that There Were Deficiencies during the Fourth Term National Election Which Do Not Conform with International Standards

Posted on 16 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“On 14 October 2008, the European Community held a press conference at Le Royal Hotel to present the final observation report of the fourth term parliamentary elections on 27 July 2008, as well as to provide clear recommendations to guarantee that the election system in Cambodia will comply to international standards, following democratic policies.

“Mr. Martin Callanan, the head of the European Community election observers group, made in the press conference some important recommendations of the European Community regarding requirements to guarantee an independent and unbiased state of the election authorities and the media in Cambodia. He added also that the European Community presents recommendations to improve the legal system and framework controlling the elections, a well as voter registration and the education for voters.

“Mr. Martin Callanan, the head of European Community election observers group, presented some recommendations to reform the election process as follow:

“The Cambodian government must take action to guarantee that the National Election Committee is a body that is fully independent, in order to promote trust and acceptance among all political parties and voters.

“The legal system and the framework controlling the National Election Committee, especially the different pieces of legislations and procedures, should be made to be easier to understand, and they should be consolidated.

“The Form 1018 [to be provided as identification to some voters at polling stations] should be abolished before any election in the future.

“The Ministry of Interior should increase the distribution of election information cards and improve the monitoring process.

“Village chiefs should not be allowed to play a major role to distribute election information cards.

“The Cambodian government and the National Election Committee should start an open discussion to find choices to facilitate and to improve procedures for voter registration.

“An atmosphere of free and unbiased publication must be created of independent institutions to monitor publications. Institutions of the government, including the National Election Committee, and civil society organizations, should give priority to participate and to broadly educate the citizens with specific goal sets.

“Mr. Martin Callanan continued that the fourth term parliamentary elections were better and peaceful. However, the elections still had deficiencies and did not clearly follow international standards – which also resulted in a lack of trust from citizens and from election administrators.

“Mr. Martin Callanan spoke also about human resources and measures of the state, using mostly officials of the ruling party, especially, it was reported that information, donations, and money were distributed to voters. He added that the Cambodian government must take action to guarantee that the National Election Committee is an independent body, in order to provide trust to political parties that participate in the elections, and to the Khmer citizens.

“Mr. Martin Callanan went on to say that village chiefs should not be provided with a major role to distribute election information cards, and the government and the National Election Committee should organize discussion meetings, so that the elections are improved and become better acceptable.

“Different relevant institutions must set clear resting time, related to election activities and the campaign.

“Mr. Martin Callanan said that when there are complaints from political parties that participated in the elections, particularly related to the election results, there must be very just solutions. In the meantime, the National Election Committee must monitor the accounts of each political party and the money that each political party has.

“Regarding the murder of a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer on 11 July 2008 before the fourth term parliamentarian elections, Mr. Martin Callanan encouraged the Cambodian government to investigate and arrest the murderers to be punished according to the law, in order to provide clear information about the murder of this journalist.

“As for the investigation to find the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo, a Moneaksekar Khmer journalist and his son, Khat Sarinpheata, on 11 July 2008, when they came from their evening exercise at the Olympic Stadium, the [US] FBI and the Khmer authorities have finished drafting a wanted poster with a sketch of the faces of the murderers, using identification provided by witnesses who were at the site of the murder.

“Also, civil society organizations demand that the authorities speed up the investigation to arrest the murderers who killed Mr. Khim Sombo and his son, to be prosecuted according to the law, after the FBI helped to draft a sketch with the faces of the murderers. Civil society organizations said also that the murders of journalists have started since 1992, and the authorities have never arrested the murderers and those who are behind them, to be convicted according to the law; therefore, when they write and criticize anything related to powerful, rich, and corrupt people, journalist always face threats and murder.

“Observers of the fourth term national elections in Cambodia acknowledge that the assessments in the report of the European Community observers are in line with the real situation related to the irregularities during the elections. This means that the 27 July 2008 elections have not reached international standards, therefore it is necessary to reform the National Election Committee urgently, so that the next election will not suffer from irregularities.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3588, 15.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1768, 15.10.2008

  • [Former] Khmer Rouge Who Killed [an English] Deminer [and his Khmer translator at Anlong Veng] Were Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison
  • A Royal Family Member [Prince Sisowath Chakreynupol, a personal assistant to Prince Thomico] Announced to Volunteer to Serve the Army to Protect the Country
  • A Court Decided to Unjustly Arrest and to Jail a Rape Victim [a man who raped her promised to marry her, but finally, his parents arranged to marry him to a daughter of a village chief, and the raped woman was accused of attempting to kill that man – Kompong Chhnang]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #117, 15.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Increases Troops and Deploys Tanks and Cannons along the Border
  • The Authorities Constructed a Sewage System with the Wrong Technology and Now Demands US$3,000 from the Citizens [to repair the system – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6473, 15.10.2008

  • There Is No Fighting at the Intry Field; Cambodia Announced that All Siamese [Thai] Withdrew before 12:00 a.m. [of 14 October 2008, the ultimatum set by the Cambodian Prime Minister – but the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares: “What we can confirm is we haven’t done any withdrawal… We think we are doing our duty on our land… If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defense.”]
  • The International Buyers’ Forum Still Buys Garments from Cambodia Which Is a Good Information for the Textile Industry which Is Worth US$2.6 Billion [according to the International Finance Corporation and ILO]
  • [Kampot] Residents Are Afraid of Flying Pieces of Stone and Do Not Dare to Go to Their Cultivation Fields, because a Company is Blasting in a Quarry to Get Gravel [for sale]
  • The Leader of the Philippines [President Arroyo] Asks ASEAN to Discuss the Financial Crisis


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3588, 15.10.2008

  • European Community Observers Said that There Were Deficiencies during the Fourth Term National Election Which Do Not Conform with International Standards
  • Promise to Conduct Judicial Reform While this Field Is Notorious for Corruption Is Just a Promise Made to Get Aid [the promise was made by Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An during a meeting with the donor community]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4716, 15.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: “Chinese Economic Growth Does Not Threaten Asia” [but it is an opportunity for countries next to China and for ASEAN countries to benefit from investment, commerce, and other sectors from China, since it is an Asian country with the biggest reserve capital]
  • Drugs Spread to Everywhere in the Country [according to Mr. Lour Ramin, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs. 35.1% of drug users in Phnom Penh contracted AIDS in 2007]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3425, 15.10.2008

  • A Decision on the Bail Request of Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] Will Be Announced on 17 October 2008

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: We all need peace, not war.

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Tuesday, 14.10.2008: US Chargé d’Affairs: Some NGOs Include Politics into Their Agenda

Posted on 15 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“The US Chargé d’Affairs to Cambodia said that some organizations do not follow their organizations’ policies, but they include politics into their agenda.

“As the fourth term Royal Government plans to discuss legislation to control non-government organizations, to be adopted early during this new term, and responding to questions by journalists, how the laws to control non-government organization might affect civil society and non-government organizations, Ms. Piper Campbell, the US Chargé d’Affairs to Cambodia, stated during a medical visit to treat people’s sickness at Srae Cham Leu Village, Ou Chrov / Prey Nub / Sihanoukville, that different countries have different ways to control non-government organizations, because not all non-government organizations work well. The creation of laws to control non-government organizations is not a simple problem; the government must use words properly to create controlling legislation to make the life of some organizations easier, as they do important work in Cambodia.

“She added that we are here to see how this legislation will be applied. She said also that it is important that Cambodia must have laws to control non-government organizations, because there are also some organizations that include politics into their agenda and go against their organization’s policies.

Note:

Please compare the related discussion on 4 October 2008, especially the statement by Mr. Thun Saray., the director of the human rights NGO ADHOC”

“Mr. Thun Saray said that civil society organizations never cause trouble, but they help the society and the poor. Are civil society organizations afraid of such a law? No. This was the response that Mr. Thun Saray gave immediately. He clarified that if that law aims to facilitate our work, there is no problem, but if that law aims at limiting the activities of civil society organizations, there are two points to be worried about. The first relates to the finance of non-government organizations if they were administered by the government. This point might be a major obstacle for the activities of civil society, if the government would try to create any trouble. The second point relates to the prohibition for civil society to be involved in politics – but it is not clearly stated what political activities are. Mr. Thun Saray worries that this point might be used to stop the activities of any organization. He raised as an example that an organization, which does activities to strengthen democracy or human rights, might be accused to be involved in politics.”

“She continued to say that some organizations do not show what their positions and intention are. During a previous event, she had met leaders of the Cham community and told the Cham leaders that they should ask where the aid, that is provided to them, comes from. The former US Ambassador, Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, had said that there is no aid without something in return; so the recipients should ask themselves what they have to do after receiving money. If that aid relates to any obligation that they should not do, they should not accept the aid.

“Regarding the question by journalists which organization did not follow their own policies, she responded that previously, some non government organizations with extremist tendencies planned to set bombs at the British Embassy, but after this was discovered, the government closed those organizations and expelled their foreign staff from Cambodia who was involved in this case.

“When journalists asked about the dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, Ms. Piper Campbell, the US Chargé d’Affairs to Cambodia, pointed out that the port visits by the US navy do not relate to the dispute between both countries. As for the previous port visits by the navy of other countries, like China, France, Russia, and Australia, it was not to take Cambodia into any conflict, but she appreciated that Cambodia has good relations with those countries, which led to port visits by the navy of those countries.

“She went on to say that the visit of the Destroyer USS Mustin to Cambodia was the third US naval visit, while 54 ships of the same type are fulfilling their mission in different parts of the world. The visit by the US navy is a sign of the commitment to strengthen the relations of the United States with Cambodia and with the Cambodian people, and in future, such visits by the navy will become regular events.

“The sailors of the navy have done various types of humanitarian work, like repairing schools, and providing medical treatment for citizens in Sihanoukville.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1767, 14.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 14 October 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2818, 14.10.2008

  • The Yuon [Vietnamese] Who Dredge Sand Are More Powerful Than the Kien Svay District Authorities, Motivating Citizens and Travelers to Criticize the Authorities to Be Incompetent [every day, sand dredging starts from 3:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., disturbing the residents and making the road muddy and difficult to travel]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1767, 14.10.2008

  • US Chargé d’Affairs: Some NGOs Include Politics into Their Agenda
  • Municipal Police Cry for the Municipal Governor to Help Solve the Flood Problem – Water Levels at Their Office Is up to Their Knees [already more than two weeks – Phnom Penh]
  • Massage Shop Owner Wrestled a Woman’s Head to Choke Her [because she had contradicted him – while he is her boss – Kandal]
  • Russia Fired Three Intercontinental Missiles Successfully


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #116, 14.10.2008

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong: If Thai Troops Cross the Canal to the Intry Field into Khmer Territory, There Will Be an Armed Conflict
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Plans to Arrest Two More Suspects [in 2010, but their names are not disclosed by the tribunal]
  • [A 28-year-old female] Owner of a Noodle Soup Restaurant, the Phnom Penh Thmey Restaurant, Was Gunned down [reason is not known – Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6472, 14.10.2008

  • Samdech Euv [the Father King]: Those Who Are against former Thai prime ministers] Samak and Thaksin Have Got Defeated by Another Competition [because the new Thai prime minister is the husband of the beautiful youngest sister of Thaksin Shinawatra]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3587, 14.10.2008

  • European Community Will Announce the Final Report of their Observer Mission of the [July 2008] Parliamentary Elections
  • Some of the Donors from the International Community Might Be Lost [for Cambodia] because of Corrupt Leaders and Officials [the international community of donor countries plans to meet on 28 October 2008 to decide on further aid to Cambodia]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4715, 14.10.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Samdech Dekchor: The Intry Field Will Become a Life and Death Battle Field If Thailand Does Not Retract Their Troops [said he after meeting Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Sompong Amornvivat on 13 October 2008]
    30 Percent of the Residents at the Preah Vihear Temple [corresponding to more than 100 of the 319 families] Left Their Homes [being afraid that armed conflict between both countries might break out]
  • The Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia: Approximately 30 Percent of Workers Do Not Yet Have Identification Cards
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Somchai Wongsawat: To Resign and to Dissolve the National Assembly Cannot Solve the Turmoil [12 October 2008]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3424, 14.10.2008

    • Price Sirivudh Affirmed about Members of the Royal Family to Stop Entering Politics [he announced during his press conference at the Le Royal Hotel on 13 October 2008 that he leaves politics, adding that to enter politics or not is the right of members of the Royal Family]

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Monday, 13.10.2008: US Chargé d’Affairs Encourages the Cambodian Government to Create Laws to Control Income from Oil and to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law

Posted on 14 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“A US high-ranking diplomatic official in Cambodia expressed concern over the absence of laws to control income from natural gas and of oil in the gulf of Cambodia, for which the government cooperates with a US company. This US diplomat voiced also concerns that Cambodia does not have anti-corruption legislation according to international standards.

“Ms. Piper Campbell, the US Chargé d’Affairs to Cambodia talked to journalists on 12 October 2008, while leading a delegation to visit the third navy vessel of the Untied States which moors in the sea of Cambodia at Sihanoukville, that there is cooperation to explore natural gas and oil with a US company in the gulf of Cambodia. The US government is a country which strongly demands that proper anti-corruption laws should be adopted.

“While the US oil company Chevron comes to invest millions of dollars in Cambodia, this makes the US government worry about the absence of some laws in Cambodia, like anti-corruption laws and laws to control income from the oil industry.

“Ms. Piper Campbell, the US Chargé d’Affairs to Cambodia, added that in the future, there will be a meeting between donor countries and Cambodia, and she will reaffirm the demand for the adoption of anti-corruption legislation. At the same time, donor countries will demand that Cambodia should have proper laws with transparency to control the income from oil.

“Ms. Piper Campbell went on to say that the Cambodian Government does not need to wait for the income from the exploitation of oil and gas, before creating related laws, but those laws must be developed from now on in order to control and encourage Cambodia to become a rule-of-law country and to have effective measures to help develop the national economy through the creation of adequate legislation.

“Ms. Piper Campbell affirmed that the US government had checked each paragraph of the drafts for an anti-corruption law carefully. It would be better if donor countries were allowed to jointly consider the drafts of anti-corruption legislation, so that they could provide ideas for points that they might consider useful or not useful for such draft laws, and it is fundamental that the Cambodian government cares so that the adoption of the anti-corruption law moves ahead.

“Ms. Piper Campbell expects that the anti-corruption draft law will be discussed and adopted by the National Assembly soon, and then will be put into practice. She added that even when an anti-corruption law will have been adopted by the National Assembly, it is necessary that proper legislation monitoring systems will efficiently monitor the law enforcement.

“The US Chargé d’Affairs to Cambodia pointed out that the US government, like other donor countries to Cambodia, is waiting for the adoption of legislation to control income from oil exploitation in the gulf of Cambodia as well as an anti-corruption law. She said that everyone knows the serious impact of corruption, that is why they want to see an anti-corruption law and other laws adopted, because corruption blocks the national economic development.

“As for the exploration to exploit oil, for which the Cambodian government cooperates with the US Chevron company, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, a former US Ambassador to Cambodia, had voiced his concern over the oil exploitation, and he had encouraged the creation of laws to control the income from natural gas and oil, and he had demanded that the Cambodian government adopts an anti-corruption law that follows international standards.

“The strongman, Hun Sen, the Khmer Prime Minister, had promised the international community, that is the donor countries of Cambodia, to send the draft of an anti-corruption law to the National Assembly to be adopted. However, since more than ten years already, such anti-corruption legislation has not yet been seen. Recently, Hun Sen has again promised to send an anti-corruption draft law to the fourth term National Assembly to be adopted soon, after the adoption of criminal procedures by the National Assembly, because some articles of the anti-corruption law relate to these criminal procedures.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3586, 13.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 13 October 2008


Amnach Reas, Vol.1, #25, 13-19.10.2008

  • The Growth of the Garment Industry Motivates Children of Poor Citizens to Drop out from School [in order to become workers to support the family income]
  • Residents at the Dey Krahom Region [at the Building Block area] Demand Market Prices [for the land where they live, for leaving the area – Phnom Penh]
  • The National Road 6 in Kompong Cham Starts to Break up [because of overloaded trucks and heavy rain]
  • Permanent Sand Dredging by Vendors Is Dangerous for People Living along the River [because the river bank might break in]


Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #40, 13-14.10.2008

  • Led by the Leaders of the Cambodian Government during the Third Term, 152 Millionaires Were Given the Title of Oknha [this title is awarded to persons who have made a high donation considered to be in the public interest]
  • The Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia – FTUWKC –Asks the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training to Help Intervene with Factories and Enterprises to Allow Time for Workers to Get their Khmer National Identification Documents Made


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6471, 13.10.2008

  • In the Period of Three Quarters in 2008, There Were 211 Rape and Debauchery Cases, and 244 Victims [132 victims, corresponding to 59%, were underage children, and 18 victims were killed – according to ECPAT Cambodia]
  • Information about Border Disputes with Siam [Thailand] Increases the Number of News Readers; a Reader: “I Spend Riel 1,200 per Day for a Newspaper to Observe the News”
  • The United States Removed North Korea from Their Black List of Countries Supporting Terrorism


Mate Neak, Vol.1, #8, 13-19.10.2008

  • The United States and England Asked Siam to Follow Agreements with Cambodia [according to the text, they asked both countries – Cambodia and Thailand – to cooperate]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3586, 13.10.2008

  • US Chargé d’Affairs Encourages the Cambodian Government to Create Laws to Control Income from Oil and to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law
  • The Residents Disagree to Leave the Boeng Kak Region, and the Phnom Penh Authorities Accused Non-Government Organizations to Provoke the Protests
  • Prince Sirivudh [advisor to the King] Will Make a Press Conference This Morning to Clarify His New Position about Entering or Not Entering Politics for Members of the Royal Family [at the Le Royal Hotel]
  • World Economic Crisis Might Affect Aid for Cambodia [which receives more than US$600 million every year]


Sokreth, Vol.1, #1, 9-15.10.2008

  • Politics Is What Youth Do Not Want to Think about [because they are afraid of it]

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