Week 595

Perception and Reality – Again – Sunday, 18.1.2009

Posted on 19 January 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

Thanks for your interest.

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

In the Mirror, we have taken up the public importance of perceptions several times over the years.

Actually, we had raised this question at the beginning of the publication of The Mirror on the Internet in January 2007, with reference to Prime Minister Dato Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia under the tile “Perception and Reality.” At his inauguration, he had pointed to the important role of perceptions held by the public – which may or may not conform to reality, but are nevertheless extremely important for the political situation of a country.

And Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar, as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, took up the concern for the role of perceptions, saying that “negative developments do not contribute to creating a climate of confidence in the world, which is vitally necessary for all of us, regardless of different faiths and beliefs, to live in peace and harmony.”

Not only the reality is important – but how it is understood and interpreted what is heard and seen – this too is extremely important. Some good things may be misunderstood as if they were bad. But if many things heard and seen result in negative perceptions, it can have deeply devastating consequences for a seemingly well functioning society.

This week, we list up some reports – really not knowing how the public can help to clarify what is confused, to avoid moving further down into the dark.

The international Human Rights Organization Human Rights Watch had, in its 2009 report covering the situation of many countries, also criticized Cambodia.

Human Rights Watch does not report only about notoriously criticized countries like Myanmar, but it deals also with the human rights situation – to name some more countries – in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and in the United States of America. Many of these countries take problems raised very seriously.

The brief Cambodia section of the Events of 2008 is followed by about 20 additional, detailed background documents

The content of all this is – unfortunately – not new: criticism of the criminal justice system, cases of intimidation, violence, imprisonments. Endemic impunity, rampant corruption, and illegal plundering of natural resources. And: Cambodia is due to be reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Commission in December 2009.

Most cases had been reported in the Khmer press during the year, quite a number also we had mirrored.

The official Cambodian reaction was reported in the Cambodia Daily as follows:

“Om Yentieng, head of the government’s human rights committee, dismissed the report’s findings, saying Human Rights Watch was defaming the country with lies and, in the process, making themselves foolish.

‘I refuse all of the accusations,’ he said, ‘they are just trying to make up things, or they just want to spoil heir name. They are playing the role as a puppet in order to gain an advantage for themselves.’”

(Cambodia Daily, 16 January 2009)

As an illustration of the gap between this perception and the reality we point to some reports mirrored during the past week – small and big events:

  • When people need public certifications or documentation, there are often no publicly displayed fees, saying transparently what is to be paid – “The price of a certificate, to get employment, to register the place of residence, or to get married is US$5.00, but the price goes up with its urgency – US$5.00 for one month – US$45.00 for 15 days, US$100.00 for one week, and US$150.00 for one day.” Similar arrangements may be in place in other countries too. But the report claims what is said to be general knowledge: “…these extra charges do not go to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.”
  • When a family had lost their new born son in a hospital formerly supported by Japan, the following financial dealings were reported. They had been going on for some time, but nobody had dared to speak up. – “There are notices written on the walls of the Japanese hospital with big Khmer letters on blue background, saying please do not pay anything to the staff, but only to the cashiers. Patients who are not able to pay for the services are invited to contact a monitoring group, and if someone asks for money in addition to the prescribed fees, they should be reported to the monitoring group. The service charges are approx. US$3.50 for a woman delivering her first baby; the normal room charge is approx. US$2.50 per night. – However, everything is different from the above prohibition notice. Each patient pays extra money in addition to the services, such as approx. US$10.00 to US$30.00 for doctors, approx. USUS$2.50 to each medical staff who injects three syringes three times per day etc. A woman said that, when the head of her baby appeared half way, first the doctors asked her how much money she would offer them. That woman offered them approx. US$12.00, but the doctors demanded more. Because she begged that that was all the money she had, they agreed. This is an incredible story, but that was what that woman said herself. Another woman staying in the next bed offered the doctors US$5.00, but only when they arrived at the sum of US$30.00 they agreed.”
  • When defense lawyers at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal were unable to get information about alleged kickbacks of Khmer staff – to higher level persons, for having received their positions – which would have satisfied them that there will be no unfairness in the trials, they finally filed a request for clarification of these corruption allegation at the Phnom Penh court. Now they feel intimidated by judges who prepare to sue them for defamation – instead of being grateful that the allegations could be refuted by a court forever.
  • When a delegation from the Senate and from human rights groups tried to inspect and to check forest sites allegedly cleared for planting rubber trees in Ratanakiri, the DM Group, the company under suspicion, prevented them from fulfilling their task.
  • When a Danish Woman had bought several thousand over-the-counter painkiller tablets with codeine, that can be easily and legally bought at many pharmacies all over Phnom Penh, and she tried to mail them at the Post Office – they are cheap here, and she hoped to sell them abroad to make some small extra money to support her son – she was arrested. Now she was convicted to serve 15 years in prison and fined approx. US$7,500 for drug trafficking. None of the press report said anything about any involvement with illegal substances.
  • When 234 families felt threatened as owners of their land by the Heng Development Company, they were satisfied that the Kandal provincial court had confirmed their land rights on 26 February 2007. But now the company deployed machinery and started to clear their land. When the legal owners protested, the company told them that the Kandal court had made a wrong judgment. The Military Police in Kandal Stung, led by their commander – a nephew of the director of the Heng Development Company – deployed 20 to 30 armed military police who opened fire with their AK-47 rifles – at least three men were seriously injured.
  • When it was reported that the US company PHI Mining had bought the Indochina Mining Corporation, now a subsidiary of PHI Mining, and that it now cooperates with the Cambodian company Angkor Metal Corporation, it was not big news. But maybe it had been big news before, and we had missed to see it – or it should have been big news. As we have mirrored yesterday, his cooperation relates to Cambodian natural resources , where the initial valuation of this copper ore area is estimated at USUS$1 billion. And we also mirrored yesterday that the Angkor Metal Corporation does not disclose much about itself in the way other companies do, though the US partner company writes that the “Founders of Angkor Metal Corporation include a son and a son-in-law of Mr. Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, thus ensuring political support to acquire and extend mining license.”
  • The Constitution of Cambodia says:

    The National Assembly shall approve the national budget, State planning, loans, financial contracts, and the creation, modification and annulment of tax. (Article 90)

    We do not have information about any public bidding for the financial contract for national mineral resources, which the Angkor Metal Corporation finally got, neither do we have information on the status of the National Assembly approval procedures for the project and loan agreements – in the range of US$500 million – which are, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, already signed by Cambodia and by Kuwait.

    As stated initially, in public politics the perception of what is going on is often more important for the public democratic process than the reality – so we raised all the issues above – all based on information which was either in Cambodian newspapers, or which is available publicly on the Internet. Prime Minister Badawi had accepted, therefore, the need for self-criticism in searching for the reasons for such perceptions. But at the same time he considered it necessary to engage in identifying what he saw as “wanton violations of human dignity, natural justice, human rights and international law.”

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    The Heng Development Company Used Military Police to Shoot at Citizens in a Land Dispute – Saturday, 17.1.2009

    Posted on 18 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Would you like easy access to the editions of The Mirror directly by e-mail, and keep them on your harddisk? Or have a “newsfeed”? You can “subscribe” for free!

    Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (not here, but on the blue letters to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:

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    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “Kandal: At least three people were injured by Military Police in Kandal Stung, directly led by the Kandal Stung Military Police commander, Mr. Chun Vanny, shooting hundreds of bullets from AK-47 rifles at the citizens protesting against the Heng Development Company. Ms. Sieng Chanheng, the director of the company director, ordering between 5 and 7 machineries to trespass and clear to violate the people’s land, and this company deployed from 20 to 30 armed military police standing to protect the machineries – but they opened fire, shooting at the citizens as if they were their enemies, hitting some protesters, and injuring three men seriously.

    “This shooting of protesting citizens by Kandal Stung Military Police, against citizens trying to stop the activities of machinery of the Heng Development Company invading and clearing land, resulted in three injured people; this happened at around 9:30 a.m. on 16 January 2009, at a place at Region 94 in Ampov Prey village, Kandaok commune, Kandal Stung district, Kandal. The three men injured by the Military Police’s shooting are 1. Mr. Yean, 23, who lives in the Region 94 in Ampov Prey village in Kandaok commune; he was hit by one bullet on his right ear, 2. Mr. Ly Seyha, 28, who lives in Battachi village, Prek Hour commune, Takhmao; he was hit by two bullets on his right arm and on his stomach, and 3. Mr. Voeun Van, 20, who was arrested and it is not known where the bullets hit him.

    “The legal land owner are citizens who said that this land was handled in a verdict by the Kandal provincial court, Number 12‘V’ dated 26 February 2007, declaring that 234 families are the owners of the land. But now, on 15 January 2009, the Heng Development Company ordered machineries to grab the land and clear their rice fields, and on 16 January 2009, the people gathered to protest, but they were shot at by Kandal Stung Military Police, led by Mr. Chun Vanny, injuring three people, and making citizens to withdraw in order not to face more such cruel shootings.

    “The citizens said that they protested, but did not attack to burn the machines, they just hindered the Heng Development Company to use their machineries to bulldoze their land, which the Kandal provincial court had declared to belong to the citizens, while the company told them that the Kandal court had made a wrong judgment. They added that the Kandal Stung military police commander, Mr. Chun Vanny, who has just recently taken the position of commander, is a nephew of Ms. Sieng Chanheng [the director of the Heng Development Company]. Because of he emotional link of being aunt and nephew, this military commander led his forces to shoot at innocent citizens with no fear of the net of the law.

    “Regarding this cruel shootout, citizens ask the commander of the National Military Police, Mr. Sao Sokha, and the commander of the Kandal Military Police, to help to seek justice for the three victims.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #185, 17.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 17 January 2009

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1849, 17.1.2009

    • More Than 400 Families Suffering from a Fire which Destroyed Their Houses in Front of the Preah Kossamak Hospital Ask the Authorities to Allow Them to Enter the Area to Reconstruct Their Houses [Phnom Penh]
    • The United Nations Is Outraged with Israel’s Shooting on Its Aid Storehouse
    • All 155 Passengers Survived a Plane Crash into a River in New York City

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #328, 17.1.2009

    • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Expects the Government of the New US President Barack Obama to Press Yuon [Vietnam – regarding human rights violations against Khmer Kampuchea Krom people]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #185, 17.1.2009

    • The Heng Development Company Used Military Police to Shoot at Citizens in a Land Dispute
    • [The Minster of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong: Documents Asking for Millions of Dollars of Loans for Four Projects Were Already Signed by Cambodia and by Kuwait [1. Agreement to establish air traffic between Cambodia and Kuwait, 2. Increase tourism of Cambodia, 3. Memorandum of Understanding about Cambodian citizens to work in Kuwait, 4. Construction of a irrigation system at the Stung Sen, Kompong Thom, at around US$500 million]
    • 140 Families Came to Sleep [to protest] in Front of the Court Became More Angry! [because the court has not released their three representatives, arrested regarding a land dispute – Siem Reap]
    • Civil Society [the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association] Welcomes Decisions of the Supreme Council of Magistracy to Change Assignments of Judges and Prosecutors

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6554, 17-18.1.2009

    • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya] Asks [Thai citizens] Not to Engage in Politics which Create Disputes [with neighboring countries], and He Recognizes that Cambodia Had Suffered [under the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime]
    • A Thai Man Raped a Khmer Woman Worker of the SPT Company [a Thai road constructing company] Was Arrested [Banteay Meanchey]
    • Another High Ranking Leader of Hamas [Mr. Said Siam, Minister of Interior of Gaza] Was Killed by an [Israeli] Airstrike

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3668, 17.1.2009

    • Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party Prepare to Unite as One Party Next Week [according to Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhek Bun Chhay]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4797, 17.1.2009

    • Three Adults [a couple and a female servant] Were Killed by Cutting Their Throats, Leaving a Baby Crying and Crawling in Blood [perpetrators are not yet identified – Meanchey, Phnom Penh. Police broke the door open after hearing the crying baby]
    • A US Company [the PHI Mining Group with has bought the Indochina Mining Corporation, now a subsidiary of PHI Mining] Cooperates with a Khmer Company [the Angkor Metal Corporation – no website on the Internet] to Explore Mines in Preah Vihear
    • Thai Soldiers Leave [Burmese and Bangladesh illegal migrant] People on Boats to Die [by putting them on boats without engine floating on the sea – according to different press reports quoting survivors]

    Note:

    The Angkor Metal Corporation does not have a web site with standard information of its own, though there are references to it in other publications on the Internet.

    One such source of information about many companies from around the world is the Alibaba site – a service to search for big and small companies, presenting the companies’ history and profiles, size, activities, and information about the owner of the companies and their legal representatives. The following is the sketchy listing about the Angkor Metal Corporation – neither a web site is given – a method where many, even small companies, present themselves to the public, nor is there any information given in the field “Legal Representative/Business Owner” – and this for a company which may control up to US$1 billion of natural resources of Cambodia!

    More information is given by the PHI Mining Group, the partner of the Cambodian Angkor Metal Corporation, including a map of the copper mining area, roughly between Siem Reap and the Preah Vihear area; the map obviously presented by the Cambodian Angkor Metal Corporation shows the border between Cambodia and Thailand, and the Preah Vihear Temple to be located inside of Thai territory.

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Located in Sroyong Commune, Kolean, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia, one of potential biggest reserves of copper ores in Southeast Asian region with mineralized material likely to amount to several millions of MT [metric tonnes].
    • Angkor Metal Corporation [AMC] has already been granted exploration license for a total area of 192km2 (19,200ha), in which 2.5km2 is fully surveyed with promising commercial exploitation ability.
    • Founders of AMC include a son and a son-in-law of Mr. Hunsen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, thus ensuring political support to acquire and extend mining license.
    • High copper content of averaging 25-32% as a result of sample analysis conducted by a prestigious mining analysis center of Vietnam with cutting edge analyzing equipment. Moreover, mining technology for copper ore is not so complex, thus generating a high economic value.
    • Mineralized material is estimated to be 500,000MT and may amount to several millions of MT.
    • Initial valuation of this copper ore area is estimated at US$1 billion.

    OWNERSHIP

    • PHI Mining Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Indochina Mining Corporation, has signed an agreement with Angkor Metal Corporation to acquire a 51% ownership in this joint venture.

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    Promoting 70 More Military Officers Leads to More Serious Inflation – Friday, 16.1.2009

    Posted on 16 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Would you like easy access to the editions of The Mirror directly by e-mail, and keep them on your harddisk? Or have a “newsfeed”? You can “subscribe” for free!

    Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (not here, but on the blue letters to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:

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    And follow the questions.
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    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Defense Tea Banh said that there are 70 military officers among a group of generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces who were promoted to the rank of one-star general in 2008, in a ceremony on 31 December 2008. Tea Banh, mentioning the six-month confrontation at the border region during disputes with Siam [Thailand], said that generals from all provinces were promoted according their accomplishments and successes in defending the nation.

    “Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Tea Banh – suspected by some people not to be of Khmer descent – said, ‘We have laws for the appointment of officers in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, from low to high levels, and appointments are based on the special positions in the military and in any specific region where troops are deployed.’

    “It should be noted that in March 2006, Minister of Defense Tea Banh said that there were 613 generals ranking from one star to four stars in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. However, on Wednesday, Tea Banh did not mention how many generals from one star to four stars exist at present. This creates a strong interest among observers of the field of national defense in Cambodia, while this field loses its importance to a considerable extent.

    “According to a figure in 2006, it was estimated that each one-star general could only have 179 soldiers under his command among the 110,000 soldiers in Cambodia at that time. Figures from 2004, released on the website of a World Security Organization, allow to compare figures with the US armed forces, where there were 876 generals, and for each general there were 1,347 soldiers, both male and female. A journalist in Thailand, an expert in security affairs, said in an email on Wednesday that the newly promoted 70 generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces seem to be too many, but the awarding of such ranks is frequently based on political reasons.

    “Nevertheless, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Defense Tea Banh said that the promotions giving higher ranks is completely based on qualifications, but not on political considerations. Also the Preah Vihear RCAF commander Sam Bopharath said that he is one of the military officers promoted, and he was given the rank of a brigadier, having been a captain before. This Preah Vihear military commander said, ‘I was promoted to be a one star-general, after I have worked for 30 years in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

    “He went on to say that this promotion is part of the administrative reform of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, requiring all regional commanders to hold the rank of one-star general. As for Neak Vong, the chief of the General Staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces of the Fourth Region, assigned to be positioned at the Ta Moan temple region along the Cambodia-Siam [Thai] border, he said that the ranking is based on active work and long term experiences in military affairs. He added, ‘I have worked for the Ministry of Defense nearly ten years, but I am not yet appointed to be a general; I am still a major.’

    “It should be noted that among the expenses in the 2009 national budget of up to US$1,8 billion, the Hun Sen government increased the expenses for the national defense, in order to improve this field to be stronger. In the meantime, observers of the national defense in Cambodia said that in order to strengthen the national defense, corruption in the Ministry of National Defense and in the Military General Headquarters must be eliminated urgently, otherwise the effort to strengthen the military will not receive good results, because corruption in the Ministry of National Defense and in the Military General Headquarters has previously even taken away hats, shoes, and clothes of military officers and of soldiers countrywide. Therefore, the elimination of corruption in the field of national defense is crucial, so that it can be compared to neighboring countries.

    “Some experienced military officers said that even though at present, Cambodia has many generals, their abilities are still limited, because their promotions do not depend on real skills and work experiences, and on the struggle to serve the nation. In contrast, they receive their ranks for political reasons, which leads to a serious inflation of ranks, making their positions less valuable, and the stars on their shoulders are just worn for decoration.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3667, 16.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 16 January 2009

    Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #5, 16-18.1.2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #107, 16-20.1.2009

    • Israel Is Seeking Cooperation in Economy and Investment in Cambodia [according to a diplomatic visit by the first secretary of the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, Mr. Tzahi Selzer, in Cambodia]
    • The 7NG Company Will Wait for Three More Days, Offering US$20,000 [for residents] in Exchange for Leaving [the Dey Krahom region]
    • Cambodia Plans to Create [Cambodian National] Television Representative Office in Beijing [according the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
    • A Danish Woman Is Convicted to Serve 15 Years in Prison and Fined Riel 30 Million [approx. US$7,500 for drug trafficking. Actually, she bought several thousand of over-the-counter painkillers with codeine that can be easily and legally bought at street-side pharmacies throughout Phnom Penh; she was arrested in Phnom Penh when she tried to mail them abroad]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1848, 16.1.2009

    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Presented the Potential of Natural Resources of Cambodia to Kuwait Investors [during his visit to Kuwait]
    • To Let Their [10-year-old] Daughter Work for Other People in Phnom Penh for Pay Is Like to Let Them Mistreat Her; When a Girl Could Not Bear It Any Longer, She Escaped from a House and Asked for Help from the Police [she could no longer bear the work and the mistreatment, and could not go to school as had been promised to her parents; she escaped and she wants to return to her parents in Battambang]
    • The Chinese Economy Reaches the Third Rank in the World [after the United States of America and Japan – the Chinese government estimates that the economic growth of 11.9% in 2007 can grow up to 13%]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #184, 16.1.2009

    • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Create an Alliance to Form a Democratic Political Movement

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6553, 16.1.2009

    • The Co-Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Decided to Set the Date for the Hearing of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief ‘Duch’ in March
    • A Detestable Man Who Raped His [12-year-old] Daughter while His Wife Was at the End of Her Pregnancy Was Arrested and Brought to the [Preah Vihear] Court

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3667, 16.1.2009

    • Promoting 70 More Military Officers Leads to More Serious Inflation
    • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Summons Khmer Rouge Tribunal Officials to Question Them about Corruption

    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1403, 16.1.2009

    • The Ministry of Health Seeks Self-Governing for State Hospitals [in Phnom Penh, in order to make them autonomous in finance, hoping that this will lead to better health care for patients]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4796, 16.1.2009

    • India Asks Cambodia to Produce Grains That Can Be Exported to India [according to a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the new Indian ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Sachdeva]
    • In 2008, Khmer Tourists Traveling Abroad Decline by 200,000 [with a total number of 760,000, if compared to 2007, because plane tickets were too expensive while the fuel price skyrocketed]
    • More Than 1,000 [Palestinian] People Died in Gaza [since the war started 19 days ago – among them, more than 300 were children and 76 were women – during the same time 13 citizens of Israel died – 4 in Israel, and 9 while invading Gaza]

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    A Teacher Who Dares to Tell the Truth Is Threatened to Be Dismissed from a School – Thursday, 15.1.2009

    Posted on 16 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Would you like easy access to the editions of The Mirror directly by e-mail, and keep them on your harddisk? Or have a “newsfeed”? You can ‘subscribe’ for free!

    Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (not here, but on the blue letters to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:

    Get The Mirror delivered by e-mail

    And follow the questions.
    .

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “Civil society officials in Cambodia and abroad expressed concern about the freedom of expression in Cambodia. The authorities of the government threaten activists of trade unions, teachers, civil servants, human rights officials, and democrats.

    “The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Kompong Thom, who is a teacher of the high school in Triel, Mr. Sun Thun, was investigated by an inspection team of the Provincial Department of Education, and they plan to dismiss him. He is accused of causing anarchy and insulting leaders of the government while teaching students.

    “Civil society people abroad noticed that Mr. Sun Thun is a model teacher who dares to express his opinion actively according to the Constitution, and who dares to criticize corruption and injustice in the society, illegal logging, and human rights abuses committed by some leaders in the government and by other relevant officials.

    “Civil society officials who are members of a group monitoring the situation from outside of the country absolutely condemned the activities of officials of the Department of Education of Kompong Thom and of the director of this high school for threatening and trying to make the consciousness of other teachers insensitive, so that they do not to criticize leaders of the school and government leaders, even though they live under pressure and suffer human rights abuses and earn small salaries.

    “Members of a monitoring group abroad voiced concerns that Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly and the right to education suffered serious setbacks in 2009, because the government uses a scenario acting through the ministry, provincial departments, school leaders, or other institutions, to put pressure on teachers and other civil servants. A group observing Cambodia based in Kristiansand [Norway – there is an office of the NGO Save the Children, Norway] would like to ask national and international organizations to help intervene in this case at the Triel High School, and to urge the Cambodian government to respect the Freedom of Expression, the right to education, and the Freedom of Assembly for meetings by Khmer citizens.

    “The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, asked the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport, Mr. Im Sethy, to keep Mr. Sun Thun as a teacher at the Triel High School in the commune of Triel, Baray district, Kompong Thom.
     
    “Mr. Rong Chhun wrote an official letter on 14 January 2009, saying that the argument of the director of the Triel High School and of the Department of Education of Kompong Thom, to request the Ministry of Education to reassign Mr. Sun Thun away from the Triel High School, was not right, and that Mr. Sun Thun had not committed any wrongdoing.

    “Mr. Rong Chhun emphasized that according to the questions Mr. Sun Thun was asked, according to a report about the administration and financial inspection team regarding Mr. Sun Thun’s words which were broadcast by Radio Free Asia about wells, prices of birth certificates of Grade 9 students, iron for constructing small schools, and about Mr. Sun Thun’s disagreement to remove a stall selling small things from the school compound – all these points cannot be considered to be wrongdoings of Mr. Sun Thun and are not applicable as reasons to reassign him away by force.

    “Mr. Sun Thun told a news agency that he did criticize corruption, about the cutting of wages for hours worked by teachers, and he had criticize bad leadership of the present leaders.

    “The deputy director of the Triel High School, Mr. Ouch Phally, said that Mr. Sun Thun criticized the leaders of the government while teaching students.

    “It should be noted that Mr. Sun Thun, a teacher and president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Kompong Thom, has enough rights to express his opinion through the press, he has the right to negotiate with leaders from all levels in the educational institution according to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Chapter 3, Article 41 and 42, the Common Statute of Civil Servants [?] of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Chapter 55, Article 36, the Law on Education in Chapter 7, Article 37, and the treaties of the International Labor Organization which guarantee to citizens of both sexes the right to express opinions, the rights of association, and the right of negotiations.

    “Mr. Rong Chhun believes that Mr. Sun Thun will receive justice after an investigation by the administration and financial inspection team. Activities of the director of the Triel High School and of leaders of the departments, related to rancor and about discriminating related to the freedom of association, and to revoke any teacher can be made as long as they have committed serious wrongdoings about which the school director or the leaders of the department had advised them two or three times, following administrative regulations, but if they still not change, then their supervisors can suggest to the Ministry of Education to help to advise them. Mr. Sun Thun has no wrongdoings, and his supervisors never summoned him before to advise him, but there was immediately the request to remove him by force; this goes against the administrative procedures.

    “Therefore Mr. Rong Chhun believes that Mr. Sun Thun will receive justice by keeping him to teach the students at the Triel High School.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #326, 15.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 15 January 2009

    Kampuchea Thngai Nis, Vol.5, #396, 15-22.1.2009

    • Sok Sam Oeun Is Ordained as a Monk after the Supreme Court Released Him on Bail [after five years in] Jail [convicted for murdering the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Vichea in January 2004]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1847, 15.1.2009

    • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Opens a Pretrial Conference for the Hearing of Kaing Gek Eav [also known as Duch, former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] This Morning

    Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #324, 15.1.2009

    • New Video Document with the Title “Who Are the Khmers in Kampuchea Krom” Is Produced by the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association [based in the USA]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #326, 15.1.2009

    • A Teacher Who Dares to Tell the Truth Is Threatened to Be Dismissed from a School

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #183, 15.1.2009

    • People Who Pull Carts with Merchandise [many of them children] Kneel Down to Beg Customs Officers Extorting Their Money [they earn around Baht 50 [approx. US$1.45] from one trip [over the border to Thailand and back in Poipet], but they have to pay between Baht 20 and Baht 30 to each post – they are very poor, but officials seem to have no mercy for them, extorting even the little money they earn with hard work]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6552, 15.1.2009

    • The Ministry of Information Reacts to the Allegation that the Royal Government Will Attempt to Limit Publishing through the Internet [made by the Association for Protection of Journalists in response to press reports]
    • Two Young Men Took Turn Raping a [16-year-old] Girl until She Fainted; when Brought to Be Investigate, They Were Released [even though they confessed to the police that they did it, but they were released because one of them promised to marry the victim, and the other promised to help to pay for the victim’s family for her wedding – Svay Rieng]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3666, 15.1.2009

    • The United States of America Encourages the Cambodian Government to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law Soon [according to a speech by the Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Ms. Piper Campbell]
    • Co-Prosecutors of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Send a Witnesses’ Name List to the Judges for the Trial of Duch
    • Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister [Abhisit Vejjajiva] Asks the Cambodian Government Not to Raise the Border Disputes for Discussion by the ASEAN Summit [while the spokesperson of the Cambodian government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, responded that Prime Minister Hun Sen will raise the border disputes for discussion with Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva at the ASEAN Summit]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4795, 15.1.2009

    • [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An: It Is Not Necessary to Define when an Anti-Corruption Law Will Be Adopted [because the government is not apathetic about corruption and has taken action to crack down on both large and small scale, and all kinds of corruption – he said during a meeting to greet the new director of the World Bank for the Asia Pacific region, Ms. Annette Dixon]
    • The “DM Group” Prevented a Human Rights Group [of 20 people, including German legal people working at the Senate] to Check Forest Sites Cleared for Planting Rubber Trees in Ratanakiri
    • A UNDP Expert [Ms. Jaye Sitton]: Members of the National Elections Committee Have to Resign from Political Parties [so that the National Election Committee becomes neutral and independent]
    • The Asian Development Bank and Development Partners Provide US$80 Million Grant Aid to Cambodia [to improve good governance, commerce, and health services]
    • The US Government Grants Nearly US$2 Million for Conserving and Maintaining Temples and Ancient Artifacts in Cambodia

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3473, 15.1.2009

    • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee] Asks the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to Investigate More [former Khmer Rouge] Suspects

    Samleng Yuweakwey, Vol.2, #5, 14-17.1.2009

    • A Journalist [of Meatophum] Was Stabbed to Death to Rob His Motorbike, One Robber Managed to Escape, the Other One Was Arrested and Almost Beaten Dead [by a crowd of people – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

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    Positions of Judges, of Prosecutors, and of Clerks Are Reformed on a Large Scale – Wednesday, 14.1.2009

    Posted on 15 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

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    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “Phnom Penh: The fourth term Royal Government starts to implement reform strategies for the court system as the first priority by beginning to change the positions of judges, of prosecutors, and of clerks countrywide on a large scale.

    “The Minister of Justice, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana, told the Kampuchea Thmey that the Royal Government plans to reshuffle court leaders countrywide, but not depending on wrongdoing as the only reason.

    “He said that the reform of the court system was made the first priority in order to be in line with the political mechanisms of the new term Royal Government in the second phase of the Rectangular Strategy.

    “He went on to say that as the basis of good governance it is necessary to build the legal basis; if the resources of those who implement the law at the basis are not strong and fair, good governance will not function smoothly as it is needed.

    “Mr. Ang Vong Vathana said also that reforms of court officials will be made by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy in this morning on 14 January 2009. Reshuffles of court officials are not made only with judges, with prosecutors, and with clerks, but also with court presidents. However, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana did not mention the names of those who will be reshuffled, but just told primarily that a prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Mr. Ouk Savuth, will be replaced by Mr. Yen Chakriya. Mr. Ouk Savuth will be appointed to work as deputy prosecutor of the Appeals Court.

    Note: Article 21 of the Cambodian Constitution:

    Upon proposals by the Council of Ministers, the King shall sign decrees (Kret) appointing, transferring or ending the mission of high civil and military officials, ambassadors and Envoys Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Upon proposals by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, the King shall sign decrees (Kret) appointing, transferring or removing judges.

    “Mr. Ang Vong Vathana stressed that these reappointments are normal, but some court officials are replaced also due to wrongdoings, and some hold their positions already four years and must be reshuffled. Nevertheless, most of these reforms, as they relate to court officials, are only a change from one place to another place.

    “Previously, the court system was strongly criticized for being corrupt, and most victims were poor people while most people who won court cases were the powerful.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1846, 14.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 14 January 2009

    Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #3, 14.1.2009

    • The President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights [Mr. Ou Virak]: Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom in Cambodia Are Limited [in 2008, because journalists were threatened to be sued at courts, jailed, and murdered, while the authorities have not found murderers or those who support them for prosecution]

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #106, 14-15.1.2009

    • The Embassy of Nepal Asks to Build of Pagodas in the Nepalese Style in Cambodia

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #16, .1.2009

    • Positions of Judges, of Prosecutors, and of Clerks Are Reformed on a Large Scale
    • A Canadian Man Was Arrested for Debauchery [with four underage children, two boys and two girls – Kompong Cham]

    Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #323, 14.1.2009

    • The United States of America Decides to Grant Military Aid of More Than US$600,000 [to Cambodia]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6551, 14.1.2009

    • In 2008, There Were 268 Crimes of Rape Committed [with 285 victims – among them 165 were underage – and 340 perpetrators were involved, compared to 2007, there were 301 cases]; This Inhuman Act Is Still an Extremely Serious Issue
    • Eclipse of the Sun Will Occur on 26 January 2009 and Cambodia Can See This Natural Phenomenon on Chinese New Year
    • [Around 300] Students and Villagers Block a Road to Stop the Transporting of [ about 50] Trucks Loaded with Stone [the transportation damages the road, causes dust, and creates disturbing noise – Siam Reap]
    • Nearly 200 Million People Start to Travel to Their Home Towns [to celebrate the Chinese New Year on 26 January 2009]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3665, 14.1.2009

    • Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea Said that They Are Being Intimidated by Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [who prepare to sue them back for filling request for the clarification of corruption allegation, considered to be a defamation, and a disgrace for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]

    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1402, 14.1.2009

    • A Korean Man Shot by Another Korean Man Died at the Calmette Hospital [two other perpetrators are not yet found]
    • A Man Who had Killed a [three-year-old] Girl and Her Grandmother with Acid Was Arrested [in Kampot]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4794, 14.1.2009

    • The Cambodian Prime Minister Starts an Official Visit to Kuwait
    • Dey Krahom Dispute: The Municipality Offers US$20,000 [to 91 families still not prepared to move away], but he Residents Disagree
    • World Bank Grants a Loan of US$10 Million to Develop the Agriculture
    • The Royal Government Provides a Loan of US$15 Million to the Cambodian Rice Millers Association to Buy Paddy Rice for Stock
    • Ms. In Soklida Wants to Withdraw Nearly US$30,000 from the [Cambodian] Canadia Bank [from a joint bank account with Ms. Chea Ratha, with whom she had an affair and who is now hiding in a foreign country being accused of involvement in an acid attack against Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]
    • Siamese [Thai] Troops Prevented a Khmer Company to Continue Constructing Fences [for building a casino] at the Cham Border Crossing [Anlong Veng, Oddar Meanchey]

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    To Persuade the United States of America to Reduce Import Taxes of Garment Products Might Face Difficulties – Tuesday 13.1.2009

    Posted on 14 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Would you like easy access to the editions of The Mirror directly by e-mail? You can ’subscribe’ for free!

    Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (it is to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:

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    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “In a meeting about textile problems among ASEAN member countries, organized in Phnom Penh last week, the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia encouraged all garment exporting countries in the Southeast Asian region to join to persuade the United States of America to reduce import taxes. This encouragement was made because the garment industries of many exporting countries, including Cambodia, are being affected by the meltdown of the global economy.

    “The Minister of Commerce of Cambodia, Mister Cham Prasidh, notorious for corruption, said that persuading the USA is crucial for exporting markets, and it might help to face the economic crisis. Mister Cham Prasidh added, ‘When there is such a global financial crisis, what you see is the decline of demands. How long can our garment sectors stand with this crisis? As we know, we all, more or less, depend on the market of the USA, and this is the reason why we have to continue to try to persuade the USA to be interested to provide us import facilities with reduced taxes or with no tax.’

    “Moreover, Cham Prasidh, an in-law of [the Minister of the Council of Ministers] Sok An, went on to say that the garment sector can continue progressing as long as all ASEAN member countries cooperate to expand markets in the region, before receiving better conditions from the USA. Also the deputy director of the Indonesian Textile Association expressed support with what was mentioned above, saying that this was probably a difficult time which needs an immediate solution among ASEAN member countries. Particularly, there must be an encouragement to cooperate in order to compete on the world markets while all countries are facing this financial crisis.

    “It should be noted that from 1999 to 2004, the USA provided garment importing quotas to Cambodia without charging import tax. After the Multi-Fibre Arrangement [also known as the international Agreement on Textile and Clothing, 1974 to 2004] system ended, Cambodia has to pay 12.5% tax on average, making prices of garment products from Cambodia becoming more expensive, and it is difficult to compete with products from many other countries in Asia, such as China, Siam [Thailand], Yuon [Vietnam], Indonesia, and Bangladesh; most of these countries also depend on markets in the USA and in Europe.

    “However, since many years, the garment sector became the biggest source of income for Cambodia, and it provides employment to more than 350,000 workers in around 400 factories countrywide. Since 2004, garment exports to world markets increased between 20% and 25% every year. Among the income from the export of garment products of US$2.7 billion in total in 2007, the USA absorbed products from Cambodia – especially garments – and the highest level was more than US$1.9 billion, compared to US$600 million for the export to markets in Europe, and US$146 million for the export to Canada.

    “Nevertheless, the garment sector in Cambodia is being affected by the decline of garment demand on the US market, after this country, the most powerful country, faced a serious economic meltdown since 2008. The Minister of Commerce of Cambodia said that the garment export from Cambodia to international markets declined by 2% in 2008, so that the government expects that the USA will have policies to promote this sector again. But economists and other experts said that this expectation seems to be baseless.

    “The president of a garment factory association in Cambodia recently said that when the economy falls down like this, the USA also needs to help itself. Now, Cambodia is worrying, because so far, around 60 factories have gradually closed and approximately 25,000 workers lost their employment. From April 2009 on, there are little buying orders, and prices have to be lower than before, making many factories to face serious losses.

    “Civil society officials observing the garment sector in Cambodia assessed that in mid 2009, 20 more factories will finally close, because they cannot cover losses by bank loans which are also strongly restricted. In the meantime, a foreign economist said that the situation of the Cambodian garment sector might be out of trouble in at most one or two years, when the economy of the USA is expected to grow stronger again. This means that the decline of the garment sector in Cambodia has to wait until the economy of the USA grows strong again, while tens of thousands of Khmer workers of this sector loose their employment and incomes.

    “Analysts criticized that corruption in the Ministry of Commerce, managed by Cham Prasidh, and in the Ministry of Labor, administered by Vong Soth, is also a reason making the garment sector in Cambodia face serious decline, because corruption in these two ministries encourages garment factory owners to pay much kickback while their businesses do not earn much profit. Therefore, in order to prevent that the garment sector continues to decline sharply, the Hun Sen government must take action to eliminate corruption urgently, so that factories owners do not decide to close their factories and one after the other leave Cambodia.”Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3664, 13.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

    Tuesday, 13 January 2009

    Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #2, 13.1.2009

    • The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO] Published 84 Cases of Human Rights Violations in the Fourth Quarter of 2008

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1845, 13.1.2009

    • The Plan to Expand the Capacity of the VietTel Company Is Supported by Prime Minister Hun Sen [VietTel is a telecommunications company from Vietnam, and this company aims to help promote development in Cambodia, especially in education by providing Internet access to schools and by creating a foundation to help the government to alleviate poverty]

    Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #322, 13.1.2009

    • The Leader and His Terrorism Partisans [of four people who were involved in the setting of explosive devices in Phnom Penh recently] Were Accused by the Court of Creating Illegal Armed Forces, and of Terrorism
    • Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng Said that Cambodia Is Not a Drug Producing Country
    • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Negotiate to Create an Alliance

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #181, 13.1.2009

    • More Than 60 People Protest in Front of the Provincial Primary Court to Ask for the Release of Mr. Hun Sengly from Jail [he was a representative of 415 families in Kos Krolor district in Battambang and was arrested in August 2008 regarding a land dispute]
    • The Indian Embassy Reacts to the Deaths of Three Indians [in a car accident in Dangkao district in Phnom Penh, and demands the government to take action against the driver who caused the accident – one day after the accident, he escaped from a private hospital and from his house in Phnom Penh]
    • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva Received the Majority of Votes in By-Elections [his party and their allies won 20 of the 29 seats]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6550, 13.1.2009

    • A Farmer Couple Brought Their Children back from a Hospital [in Phnom Penh]; the Husband Died along the Road because of Pain [when he complained about strong pain , the taxi driver dropped him and his family along the road where he died – Kien Svay, Kandal]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3664, 13.1.2009

    • To Persuade the United States of America to Reduce Import Taxes of Garment Products Might Face Difficulties
    • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Prime Ministers Will Discuss Border Disputes in Hua Hin [in Thailand during the ASEAN Summit from 27 February to 1 March 2009 – according to the Bangkok Post]
    • Can the Japanese Aid [of around US$21 million, promised by Japan on 11 January 2009] Make the Hearings of Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Proceed Soon?
    • Result of the Investigation about Illegal Logging in the Kantuy Neak [Ratanakiri] Region Is Not Yet Revealed [four park rangers who were reported to be missing during a mission returned to the Vireakchey National Park, they were not missing, they were on a 15-day patrol in the park]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4793, 13.1.2009

    • Producers of the Opera “Where Elephants Weep” Apologize, as It Was Prevented to Be Shown in All Television Channels, Offensive Scenes Will Be Changed [after complaints by the Buddhist orders]
    • Motorbike Competing with a Truck Collided with Another Truck Coming from the Opposite Direction, Causing Three Deaths [Kompong Speu]

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    “After My Son Was Born, He Died; His Weight Was 3.5 kg” – Monday, 12.1.2009

    Posted on 13 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Yesterday, Monday 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Would you like easy access to the editions of The Mirror directly by e-mail? You can ’subscribe’ for free!

    Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (it is to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:

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    Monday, 12.1.2009

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “Phnom Penh: Ms. Socheata (name changed to maintain her safety) who was at the end of her pregnancy, she started having labor pains, had hot and cold flushes, and she was starting to lose amniotic fluid. That happened in the night of 1 January 2009. She was brought by her family to the National Maternal Child Health Center – which many people still call the ‘Japanese Hospital’ – because she regularly went there for prenatal examinations.

    “Mr. Sambath, her husband (also name changed to maintain his safety), said that he brought his wife to the emergency room, and his first task was to pay money. Then they checked the dilatation of the uterine cervix, and the doctors said that during that night her uterine cervix had not opened, and they told them to go back home.

    “The Japanese Hospital, the National Maternal Child Health Center, is located in Srah Chak, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. This hospital is at the west of Wat Srah Chak. Japan had assisted this hospital, and even though Japan had stopped assisting this hospital two or three years ago, it is still called the Japanese Hospital by the people. The director of this hospital is Dr. Kum Kanal.

    “On 4 January 2009, at 1:30 p.m., Socheata started again having strong labor pains; so she came to let doctors check for the second time. Mr. Sambath said that in more than 16 hours, since 1:30 p.m. of 4 January 2009 to 4:20 a.m. of 5 January 2009, the baby was still alive, but due to carelessness, the baby finally died.

    “Mr. Sambath complained, ‘Because we are poor, they left my wife unattended; the baby boy died before he knew anything and had not yet seen the sunlight.’ Also, he asked Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the Minister of Health, Mr. Mam Bunheng, to help seek justice, or to provide a proper solution, and especially not to let this bad model continue, endangering more lives of lovely babies and wives.

    “In the afternoon of 5 January 2009, Mr. Sambath phoned Mr. Mam Bunheng and told him the story, and 15 minutes later, the director of the National Maternal Child Health Center, Mr. Kum Kanal, was made to be very busy. In the evening of 6 January 2009, there was a meeting about the death of Mr. Sambath’s son, led by Mr. Kum Kanal. That was what was known.

    “Some staff of the Japanese Hospital who love justice told Rasmei Kampuchea in the afternoon of 7 January 2009 that there is systematic corruption, and that there are persons who cover this, who are not afraid of anyone, except the director. They went on to say that at the National Maternal Child Health Center, the number of patients declined to almost half of what it had been before. Patients go to the Calmette Hospital, and furthermore, some staff left to work there. In January 2009, there was information that there will be an investigations about irregularities at the National Maternal Child Health Center by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Inspection. The staff of the National Maternal Child Health Center want to perform good work, but some of them are committing crimes by using babies as hostage to press their parents for money.

    “A former undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, who experienced the same as Mr. Sambath with his son, expressed deep regret, and he said that some doctors do not have mercy and sympathy for human lives.

    “There are notices written on the walls of the Japanese hospital with big Khmer letters on blue background, saying please do not pay anything to the staff, but only to the cashiers. Patients who are not able to pay for the services are invited to contact a monitoring group, and if someone asks for money in addition to the prescribed service fees, they should be reported to the monitoring group. The service charges at the National Maternal Child Health Center are Riel 14,300 [approx. US$3.50] for a woman delivering her first baby, and Riel 73,000 [approx. US$18] for a woman delivering her second or third baby; the normal room charge is Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.50] per night.

    “However, everything is different from the above prohibition notice. Each patient pays extra money in addition to the services, such as: Riel 40,000 [approx. US$10] or 50,000 [approx. US$12.30] or US$30 for doctors, Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.50] to each medical staff who injects, outside of the working hours, three syringes three times per day (it is not known whether they use government provided or private medicine), Riel 2,000 [approx. US$0.50] for bathing a baby, Riel 2,000 for cleaning the wounds of a woman, and there are other cases where patients are treated for money outside the government services [using this public hospital to treat patients privately and earn money from private persons] during the mornings; each medical staff earns at least Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] for services outside the public system.

    “A woman staying at Room 215 on the first floor said that, when the head of her baby appeared half way, first the doctors asked her how much money she would offer them. That woman offered them Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.30], but the doctors demanded Riel 70,000 [approx. US$17] from her. Because she begged that that was all the money she had, they agreed. This is an incredible story, but that was what that woman said herself. Another woman staying in the next bed offered the doctors US$5.00, but only when they arrived at the sum of US$30.00 they agreed.

    “Regarding these wrong and unauthorized expenses, the director of the hospital, Mr. Kum Kanal, and the Minister of Health, Mr. Mam Bunheng, could not be reached for comment.

    “Mr. Sambath brought his wife back from the hospital, and could only tell this story to other people. ‘He said that his dead baby was a son. They told me that he was not born prematurely, and that he weighed 3.5 kg, but he died.’

    “They did not agree to deliver the body of his baby to him to celebrate a proper funeral for him.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4792, 11-12.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 12 January 2009

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1844, 11-12.1.2009

    • [The president of the National Assembly and honorary president of the Cambodian People’s Party] Samdech Heng Samrin Leads a Delegation of the National Assembly to Visit Laos and Vietnam
    • Primary Schools in Suburbs Lack 50 Buildings Corresponding to 1,000 Rooms [each room can accept between 60 and 70 students – Phnom Penh]
    • A Man Was Arrested by Police for Raping a Six-Year-Old Girl [Kampot]
    • Cholera Killed 500 Buffaloes in Krakor District [Pursat]
    • In 2008 Unemployment in the United States Reached a New Record [there were 2.6 million unemployed people]

    Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #321, 12.1.2009

    • Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Decides to Attend the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand [held from 27 February 2009 to 1 March 2009]
    • The Documentation Center of Cambodia provides Khmer Rouge History into the Curriculum [of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #324, 11-13.1.2009

    • Prince Ranariddh Responds to Insult by Hun Sen [that there are people preparing documents to ask for positions from him; Prince Ranariddh asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to release the names of those people]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #180, 11-12.1.2009

    • Fishery Official: During this Moon-Month of Khneot 10,000 Tonnes of Fish Could be Caught to Make Prahok for the Citizens
      Japan Donates Machines to Help with Mine Clearance in Cambodia [of more than US$4 million]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6549, 12.1.2009

    • Japan Promises to Encourage a Project to Construct a Neak Loeang Bridge Soon [in Prey Veng – according to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs , Mr. Nakasone Hirofumi]
    • There Were 34 Crime Cases Less in 2008 Than in 2007 [there had been 224 cases in 2007]

    Meatophum, Vol.53, #718, 12-17.1.2009

    • The Price of One Certificate [for Khmer citizens, to get employment, to register their place of residence, or to get married in a foreign country] Is US$5, but the Price Goes Up and Down Whether It Is Urgent or Not! [US$5 for 1 month – it takes one month to receive a certificate, US$45 for 15 days, US$100 for one week, and US$150 for one day; but these extra charges do not go to the Ministry of Economy and Finance…]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3663, 12.1.2009

    • [The president of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy: If There Is No Decentralization, There Is No Democracy [on 31 January 2009, the Sam Rainsy Party will hold a decentralization congress, summoning all its 2,660 commune council members countrywide]
    • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Will Take Action according to the Complaint of Corruption Allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [filed by foreign co-defense lawyers of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea – according to the president of the Municipal Court, Mr. Chiv Keng]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4792, 11-12.1.2009

    • ”After My Son Was Born, He Died; His Weight Was 3.5 kg”
    • The Group Who Planted Explosive Devices Belongs to a “Front for Uniting the Nation” [four suspects are arrested]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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