Week 628

Is Every Khmer Citizen Equal Before the Law? – Sunday, 6.9.2009

Posted on 7 September 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

Well, Article 31 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia speaks very clearly:

  • “The Kingdom of Cambodia shall recognize and respect human rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of human Rights, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights.
  • Every Khmer citizen shall be equal before the law, enjoying the same rights, freedom and fulfilling the same obligations regardless of race, color, sex, language, religious belief, political tendency, birth origin, social status, wealth or other position.”

While talking to a number of people about the case of a person who spent four years – without having been presented to a judge for sentencing! – in prison, supposedly “by mistake” because the legal bureaucracy had forgotten about this person, accused of having stolen a second hand mobile phone worth US$15.-, I did not find anybody who thought that a rich person, or a person with higher level social and political connections, would have been in prison for four years in a similar situation. And this is the second, similar case within a month. The media report again and again – over the years – that many people in general do not believe that the courts bring justice equally to all.

It is a stark contrast to have, during the same week, the report that a former high ranking police officer, accused to have been behind an acid attack, is absolved from prosecution by a court, for insufficient evidence. She threatened the victim and her family members, who taped the threatening phone calls before the crime happened.

There is always the desperate hope that crude injustice will not happen again, or will happen less. The Minister of Justice admonished the courts not to give too harsh sentences. And this week, a prosecutor of the Supreme Court started to questioned the Kandal Court for illegally detaining a person for four years who is accused of a petty crime only. Will those responsible for the misconduct of justice be punished? Will the innocent victims of these events even get a financial compensation for the time they were jailed against the law?

This week, the president of the Cambodian People’s Party, who is also the president of the Senate, also called for moderation when applying the law against those who are economically week in society – pointing out that they have the power to vote!

On 18.1.2008, last year, The Mirror had carried a report saying that the President of the National Assembly signed a letter, asking for the suspension of pumping sand to fill the Boeng Kak Lake – and The Mirror carried an aerial picture showing the lake when it was still larger than now – a natural basin for floodwater, a place of recreation, a counterbalance to the urbanized areas. Many big cities in the world would be happy to have such a lake in their midst.

Now also the President of the Senate referred to the Boeng Kak Lake, reminded commune, district, and municipal governors and councillors to remember that the citizens are voters, while implementing the law. He said that “what is important is that proper solutions are offered to the residents, otherwise it will affect the members of our party, accusing them of disregarding the difficulties of the citizens.”

Such concerns were were hardly heard by other representatives of the state and of Phnom Penh city. And he added a reference to the implementation of new obligations required by the traffic law, saying, “Sometimes, the poor people have little money to afford to buy a motorbike to work as moto-taxi drivers, and sometimes, even our civil servants encounter difficulties and take their free time to work as moto-taxi drivers, to find additional income to support their family’s living. They face another difficulty when their motorbikes are confiscated to pay taxes… there has to be a practical understanding for our people and for our fellow civil servants who face difficulties in their livelihood.”

This was not a call to disregard and to not implement the traffic law – but law enforcement too has to be done in a balanced way, considering all participants in road traffic. Throughout the city, one can see police forces stopping motorcycle drivers who do not wear safety helmets, or who do not have rear-view mirrors on their vehicles. And while they are busily educating the poorer participants traveling on the roads, big cars without license plates – so they have also not paid taxes – pass by without getting attention, or being stopped, or getting confiscated as may happen to a motorcycle driver whose owner has not paid the license tax. There was not one day for months – when I travel around town on a moto-taxi – that I did not see several big cars without license plates.

This week, we mirrored that in May 2009, 132 people died in traffic accidents, and 442 people were seriously injured – the number of deaths countrywide had increased by 35% compared to the same period in 2008. And it was reported that in Phnom Penh, 67% of traffic accidents that happened during daytime were due to over-speed driving. Are those who cause many of these high speed accidents the same who are targeted by the campaign to fix rear-view mirrors to their motorcycles? The equality before the law needs also to be applied when enforcing the traffic laws equally – “regardless of sex, social status, wealth, or other position.”

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Khmer Language Teaching Is Included in a Thai Government Approved Curriculum – Saturday, 5.9.2009

Posted on 6 September 2009. Filed under: Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

“Though there have been some hostilities regarding border disputes, the Thai government has included Khmer language teaching into the state curriculum at many schools, following a request by the Khmer Language and Culture Association of Surin Province (LCASP).

“According to information received, the provincial Department of Education of the Province of Surin of Thailand has recently agreed to include Khmer language teaching into the curriculum at schools under the control of the Royal Government of Thailand, but the information does not specify at which levels Khmer language will be included.

“Based on that source, the agreement to include Khmer language into the curriculum was announced on 5 August 2009 in a press conference, where representatives of 30 to 40 primary and secondary schools from different districts of the province discussed the program to teach the Khmer language.

“According to that source, based on the official plan, Khmer language teaching at some state schools will be taught in two sessions per week, from primary school to secondary school, starting from Grade 1 to Grade 12, and this program will start beginning in the Svay District of Surin.

“Regarding the inclusion of Khmer language teaching into the curriculum, approved by the Thai government, a secretary of state of the [Cambodian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Koy Kuong, said on 4 September 2009 that he did not know about this, while the secretaries of states of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Chea Oueng and Mr. Chey Chab, could not be reached for comment, because they were busy in meetings.

“The vice-president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia [and professor of history], Dr. Ruos Chantraboth, said that the inclusion of Khmer language teaching by Thai government agencies into a state approved curriculum is good, if it is applied from primary to secondary education, because if they apply it only at universities, it is nothing new, as there have been Khmer language programs [at universities] since long ago. That is why some scholars in Thailand can use the Khmer language.

“He added that in Surin, there is an association of Mr. Chey Mongkol [who calls himself with his Thai name Chaimongkol Chalermsukjitsri on his own website], who is trying to teach the Khmer language to Khmer people there.

“Mr. Ruos Chantraboth talked about the history related to Thailand and Cambodia, saying that he did not remember the time when some provinces of Cambodia fell under the control of Thailand, but he said that there were many provinces that had been controlled by Thailand [see Historical Note on Cambodian-Thai relations in The Mirror of 20.8.2009].

“Mr. Ruos Chantraboth went on to say that the inclusion of Khmer language teaching into a state approved curriculum might be their politics to persuade Khmer people there to set themselves apart from the central Khmers [that is: from Cambodia], because if the [Thai] government would restrict its citizens, they might stand up to protest. Thus, this curriculum might show some Thai intentions; the inclusion of the Khmer language in a curriculum is not because they appreciate that Khmer is beautiful or friendly, or they want to strengthen the ties between both countries, but it is just a strategy.

“It should be noted that the Khmer Language and Culture Association of Surin Province, created by Mr. Chey Mongkol, aims to teach Khmer children there to know their own language.

“In the meantime, he had made efforts to expand his teaching and had requested the Thai government to include Khmer language teaching into the curriculum of the state, and now a source said that the Department of Education of Thailand has already agreed with this request.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2041, 5.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 5 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #281, 5.9.2009

  • The Prime Minister Announced to Provide Concession Land for Retiring Soldiers [for living on it and to doing farming]
  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [in southern Vietnam] Welcome the Visit of the Minister of Information to Organize Pchum Ben Commemorations There
  • America Grants US$34.8 Million for Health and Education Projects in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2041, 5.9.2009

  • Khmer Language Teaching Is Included in a Thai Government Approved Curriculum
  • In Soklyda’s Family Sent a Letter to Ask Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Help to Seek Justice for Them [over an acid attack related to former Military Police brigadier general Ms. Chea Ratha and her accomplices]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Orders the Ministry of Economy and Finance to Prepare Funding Sources for Retiring Soldiers
  • An Anti-Domestic Violence Organization Is Expanding Its Information Campaign [against domestic violence] through the Media

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #484, 5.9.2009

  • Khmer and Foreign Architects Regret that Buildings from French Colonial Times Were Sold and Destroyed by the Current Regime
  • [The opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Called the View, Expressed by an Australian House of Representatives Member, as Not Understanding the Downturn of Democracy in Cambodia [Dr. Brendan Nelson said during a recent visit to Cambodia, where he led a two days seminar at the National Assembly on effective parliamentary oversight techniques over the government, that democracy in Cambodia is heading towards improvement – see his Australian House of Representatives, and his personal web sites]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6747, 5-6.9.2009

  • The US Embassy Donates Military Material Worth Millions of Dollar [about US$6.5 million, including different second-hand items like 16,000 military hardhats, 4,000 bags, 6,000 bullet-proof vests, and other materials]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4991, 5.9.2009

  • More Khmer Women Dare to File Complaints for Divorce [because their husbands commit domestic violence, have extra-marital relations, disregard responsibility for family finances, gamble, or drink. – According to the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), at this organization women recorded to have filed 238 divorce requests in 2007, 302 in 2008, and 123 in the first six months of 2009]
  • The Apsara Authority Found and Excavated the First Ancient Iron Stove in Cambodia [Chi Kraeng District, Siem Reap]
  • The Air France Magazine Introduces Eco-Tourism in Koh Kong to the World

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Heart Diseases Are the Leading Cause of Deaths in Cambodia – Friday, 4.9.2009

Posted on 4 September 2009. Filed under: Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

“Phnom Penh: Heart disease is considered to be a disease that causes the highest cause of deaths for Cambodian citizens, compared to other diseases.

“An official of the National Institute of Public Health, Dr. Chao Darapheak, said that according to a preliminary report from 14 provinces and cities in Cambodia, the mortality rates from cancer, heart diseases, and liver diseases have all increased among people over 40 years old. But heart diseases are the leading cause of deaths, as 19 out of 100,000 people die from heart diseases, followed by liver diseases with 8 deaths among 100,000, and cancer with 7 deaths among 100,000 people.

“Dr. Chao Darapheak added that the study about mortality rates in Cambodia was conducted from April to August 2009 by using already existing data. Fourteen provinces – Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kandal, Kep, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Speu, Kompong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, and Stung Treng, and Takeo – had sent reports to the National Institute of Public Health. Other provinces will send their reports later.

“He said that the study will be finished in October 2009. In Cambodia, the life expectancy of men is 54-55 years, and of women it is 58.”Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2040, 4.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #280, 4.9.2009

  • Samdech Euv [former King], Samdech Mae [former Queen], and the King Leave for Beijing [for medical treatment]
  • Siem Reap: Fishery Officials Sleep – and Instead, Police Crack Down On the Illegal Raising of Pork Fish

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2040, 4.9.2009

    Heart Diseases Are the Leading Cause of Deaths in Cambodia
  • A Strong Earthquake in Indonesia Killed 44 People, and Many More Are Missing; More Than 3,000 Houses Were Destroyed

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #, 4.9.2009

  • [A prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Cambodia] Ms. Chea Leang Questioned the Kandal Court for Detaining a Person for Four Years [without a sentence] for Stealing a Mobile Phone Worth US$15
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua: The Sam Rainsy Party Will Not Ask the US Parliament and the US Government to Reduce Aid for Cambodia during a Visit to the US Parliament Next Week

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6746, 4.9.2009

  • In May 2009 132 People Died in Traffic Accidents and 442 People Were Seriously Injured [the number of deaths countrywide increased by 35% compared to the same period in 2008]
  • Twenty Four Golden Mile Factory Workers Fainted [because of being exhausted and not having enough sleep – Phnom Penh]
  • The Russian Federation Boulevard [a portion in front of the Phnom Penh International Airport] Is Flooded after Three Consecutive Days of Rain

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4990, 4.9.2009

  • Micro Finance Institutions in Cambodia Are on the Way to Privatization
  • Micro-Finance Institutions Will Lower Interest Rates by 0.2 to 0.5 More [to serve the needs for loans of the citizens]
  • The One-Week Rain Put the Countrywide Drought to an End
  • It Is Time to Dredge the Mekong, the Basak, and the Tonle Sap Rivers, Which Have Not Been Dredged for More Than 30 Years [and they become at some points so shallow, making it impossible to use them for shipping – according to the Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, Mr. Lim Kean Hor]

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In Soklyda Recounted Events about the Acid Attack Related to Chea Ratha – Thursday, 3.9.2009

Posted on 4 September 2009. Filed under: Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

“Phnom Penh: In Soklyda, known to have had a relation with former Military Police brigadier general, Ms. Chea Ratha, participated in a press conference organized by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO).

“In the evening of 2 September 2009, LICADHO held a press conference at its headquarters with Ms. In Soklyda, Ms. Ya Soknim [her aunt], and her mother, where the three of them recounted in detail events related to the previous acid attack against Ms. In Soklyda’s aunt, Ms. Ya Soknim, and they accused Ms. Chea Ratha to be the person responsible for the attack.

“Ms. In Soklyda said, in between sobs, that Ms. Chea Ratha is a person involved in many previous cases of acid attacks including against [CTN commentator] Mr. Tith Polen and against her aunt, Ms. Ya Soknim.

“She added that there is much evidence to prove that Ms. Chea Ratha was involved in those cases, including voice recordings of phone calls; however, the court had decided to drop the charges against her, due to a lack of evidence. In the meantime, Ms. In Soklyda expressed concers about her own safety when Ms. Chea Ratha is now freed from charges and can return home.

“Ms. In Soklyda’s aunt, Ms Ya Soknim, who is the victim of an acid attack, said in the conference that she is worried about her safety, after the court had decided to drop the charges against Ms. Chea Ratha.

“Also, both Ms. In Soklyda and Ms. Ya Soknim, asked for intervention by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, over this case, and called for support to offer her asylum.

Kampuchea Thmey could not reach Ms. Chea Ratha for comment in the evening of 2 September 2009, but her lawyer, Mr. Keo Ya, had claimed that his client was not involved in that acid attack, and that she can return back [to Cambodia] soon. Also, Mr. Keo Ya hopes that the Royal Government will offer the position of Military Police brigadier general back to his client.

“The president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Mr. Chiv Keng, could not be reached for comment by phone in the evening of 2 September 2009.

“Regarding the announcement of the verdict by the Municipal Court, Ms. In Soklyda, LICADHO, and the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, released a joint statement in the evening of 2 September 2009, calling the decision to drop the charges against Ms. Chea Ratha and her accomplices a display of impunity in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“It should be remembered that on 21 August 2009, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court announced to lift the accusations against seven suspects involved in the acid attack against Ms. In Soklyda’s aunt, claiming that there was insufficient evidence to put the burden on them.

“After Ms. In Soklyda’s aunt had been attacked with acid, the authorities had arrested two people for involvement in the attack and they said that Ms. Chea Ratha was the most important person of this case. After that, Interpol had issued a red warrant in 180 countries to arrest Ms. Chea Ratha.

“Since then, Ms. Chea Ratha has hidden herself, and recently, after the court decided to drop charges against her, a news source said that she will return home soon.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8,#20,.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 3 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #279, 3.9.2009

  • The Leadership of the Police in Phnom Penh Deployed Thousands of Persons, but They Are Still Unable to Arrest Robbers and Thieves
  • The European Unions Provides Cambodia with US$15 Million to Increase Food Security
  • The Siamese [Thai] Parliament Allows Its Border Committee to Demarcate the Border with Cambodia [at areas near the Preah Vihear Temple]
  • Official: Workers Got Poisoned because the [Maurea Garment Corporation] Factory Used Too Many Chemicals

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #20, .9.2009

  • In Soklyda Recounted Events about the Acid Attack Related to Chea Ratha
  • The Tonle Sap Authority Held a Meeting to Define the lakes of Cheung Ek, Boeng Tumpun [in Phnom Penh], and Four Other Lakes in Takeo as State Property
  • The Sasakawa Foundation Will Hand Over a Project to Create Artificial Human Limbs to Be Controlled by the Government in 2012

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #482, 3.9.2009

  • Australian Parliament Members Explained Their Role to the Khmer National Assembly and to the Senate [how they check their government to be under parliamentary control – Phnom Penh]
  • In Soklyda Tried through the Press to Beg Hun Sen [and his wife] – Considering Them as if They Were Her Parents [to help find justice for her family over an acid attack, after the Municipal Court had decided to lift the accusation against Ms. Chea Ratha and her group as suspects]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4989, 3.9.2009

  • The International Co-Prosecutors Have the Right to Ask for More Investigations [the Khmer Rouge Tribunal regulations allow investigations on more former Khmer Rouge senior leaders besides the current five former Khmer Rouge leaders in detention]
  • America [through a human rights official, Mr. Luis C. de Baca, newly appointed US Ambassador-At-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons] Praises the Fight against Human Trafficking in Cambodia
  • The Asian Development Bank: Cambodia Has the Lowest Percentage of Internet Users [in Asia – Cambodia is ranked fourth from the bottom of a list, as less than five people among 100, on average, use the Internet; the third is Bangladesh; the second, East Timor; and the first, Burma, while the country with the highest percentage of Internet Users is South Korea where there are 80 people among 100, followed by News Zealand, Singapore, and Japan – and China is the country with the highest number of Internet users in the world]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1786, 3.9.2009

  • Kronhoung Trees [luxury wood] in Stung Treng Are Being Cut Down like by a Storm, while the Authorities Just Sit and Wait to Take US$700 per Cubic Meter [as bribe to allow the transport of the wood]
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked for Contributions [from Sam Rainsy Party supporters] to Construct Party Headquarters worth US$20,000

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Does Cambodia Continue Sea Sand Exploitation to Be Exported to Singapore or Stop It? – Wednesday, 2.9.2009

Posted on 3 September 2009. Filed under: Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

“After the supply of sand supply from four countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam – has been reduced, Singapore turns to Cambodia as a new sand supplying country, because it is in only a short distance away for the supply.

“During primary tests to dredge sea sand in Cambodia by some local companies, a Cambodian-Singaporean study groups has cooperated to assess the deposits of natural sand and the possible impact on the environment which may be caused from sand dredging. According to results from scientific studies by an official expert in sea bio-diversity who asked not to be named, Singapore needs about 3.6 billion cubic meter of sand. At present, Singapore needs 2.5 billion cubic meters more for filling spaces of water to connect many islands to become land. Thus, Cambodia has the sufficient capacity to supply sea sand to the market of Singapore, as this country plans to spend approx. US$8 billion to import sand from Cambodia to meet the country’s demand within the next 10 to 15 years.

“Exporting sand to Singapore is a big source of national income for Cambodia. It is an opportunity to seek national income to counter and alleviate the social and economy impacts resulting from the global economic crisis.

“However, the dredging of too much sand has resulted in many objections, saying that it will affect the environment seriously, damaging the bio-diversity of fish, squids, crabs, and shrimps. There is the non-biased opinion that sand dredging should be operated only at places where the gathering of natural sand opens blocked waterways.

“The above expert continued to say that the opinion voiced above [to extend large scale sand dredgng] is not based on evidence and scientific data. Therefore, there needs to be a thorough analysis based on broad scientific data to make a careful assessment in order to ensure that the seeking of national income is acceptable for the environment and the society.

“Many scientific data related to the natural formation of sea sand from geology, oceanography, informatiin about the natural formation of seashores, and natural dynamics that influence the formation of sea sand, must be gathered to analyze the impact on the environment and the society, and to study the possibility for exploitation.

“According to research by this expert, sand is formed from three sources: 1. From core rock during early geological periods; 2. From the flow of water in river systems leading into seashore regions; 3. From movements at the sea bottom and surrounding regions and at the high sea.

“Regarding sea resources such as sea fish, crabs, squids, shrimps etc., so far they do not have an high economic value. There is little yield from the sea each year, and the number of fishermen is declining. This is also because the Cambodian sea is shallow, and not favorable for fish to lay eggs. Camong fish [phonetic] can live and lay eggs at a depth of 30 to 40 meters. According to research between 1983 and 1986, the yirld of natural sea fish in Cambodia was only little over 50,000 tonnes.

“One expert believes that Cambodia, with a seashore of 435 km, and with a sea area of 21,216 sqkm, which can be divided into four regions, has the potential to supply sea sand to the Singaporean market without much serious impact from sand dredging as mentioned by some critics. Considering physical and chemical factors, it can have an effect only for a short period, because after nine hours at the latest [after sand dredging], the situation it will return to the normal condition. The loss of life supporting elements and slides down of the seashore will not happen, if dredging sites are properly located, because sand that can be dredged is 30 km away from the seashore.

“In order to conduct (economically and environmentally) successful sand dredging, primarily, some technical conditions must be fulfilled: 1. Proper definition of sites; 2. Study sand deposits at the sea bottom by conducting Serab Smapling Vibrocoring seismic and Bathymetrie Surveys, and by analyzing tests to define the sand and the chemical consistency of the sand. 3. Define and use environmentally friendly sand dredging machines, like the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger or the Cutter Suction Hopper Dredger.

“At present, the average price of sea sand is US$3.20 per cubic meter. Therefore, if Cambodia intends to supply the market with 2.5 billion cubic meters within 10 to 15 years, it can earn US$8 billion as national income. According to different studies, the tax rate for exporting sand is US$0.20 per cubic meter for the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Energy, corresponding to US$500 million; US$0.25 per cubic meters for the Taxation Department corresponding to US$625 million; US$0.7875 for the the CamSAB shipping agency, corresponding to US$1,868 million; and US$0.0025 for CamControl, corresponding to US$6.25 million.

“Based on the above tax rates, the total income sources becoming state and other related units, will amount to up to US$3.1 billion.

“Nevertheless, according to the above expert, the provision of many concession sites [for sand dredging] is not a proper way for sea sand exploitation. According to previous research, the Sand Control Committee, administered by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, has provided concession for 224 sites at the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Basak rivers, resulting in a variety of different consequences. There is not much income made for the national budget; furthermore, it affects the environment and the society. Sea sand dredging is not different from river sand dredging if the provision of dredging sites at the sea is given to as many different interests as at the rivers, and the sea environment will be affected, because the private sector that can receive concession regions with less sand resources, cannot use sand dredging methods which adhere to technical standards. For example, in order to lease a somewhat old Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger, which can dredge 10,000 cubic meters of sand per day, they need to pay US$2 million, and the export of sand per month must not be less than 1.5 million cubic meter. Why coulde the private sector join in using natural resource worth US$4.9 billion of the state to make benefits for themselves? If such activities continues 30 to 40 years, does the nation have resources for the country’s development in the future?

“Cambodia should turn to look back to 10 years ago, when Singapore imported sea sand from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Now, these countries reduce or stop exporting sand to Singapore. They have two reasons: 1. These four countries also need sea sand for developments in their own countries; second, the politics of these countries aim to compete with Singapore in the fields of the military, the economy, and the industry in the region, as Singapore is a leading country in ASEAN, both in ports and the transfer of goods in the region.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4988, 2.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #278, 2.9.2009

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Sent a Message to Congratulate the Japanese New Prime Minister [Mr. Hatoyama Yukio]
  • People Infected with A/H1N1 Flu Have Increased to 31 [in Cambodia]
  • Heavy Rain Flooded the Kolab Center Block and People [from about 30 families] Demand Their Money Back from the Village Chief [before, each family had been required to pay between US$20 and US$30 for putting a new sewage system, and for repairing the road, but so far, nothing has happenedt – Srah Chok, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2038, 2.9.2009

  • America Accepts Three [American] Suspects [from Cambodia] to Be Convicted in the USA for Child Sex Abuses

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #644, 2.9.2009

  • Illegal Wood Transport Occurs More Heavily in Stung Treng

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #481, 2.9.2009

  • Ya Soknim [Soklyda’s aunt, a victim of an acid attack] Cried until She Lost Consciousness after Hearing that the Court Has Lifted the Accusation against Chea Ratha and Her Group [they had been accused for an acid attack against her]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6744, 2.9.2009

  • Passengers Must Be Careful; According to the Forecast: Bad Weather due to Rain, Thunderstorms, and Lightnings Will, Will Continue until 5 September 2009
  • The First Tallest Canadia Commercial Building [at 119 meters high, corresponding to 30 floors] Will Be Inaugurated in October [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4988, 2.9.2009

  • Does Cambodia Continue Sea Sand Exploitation to Be Exported to Singapore or Stop It?
  • The Government and the Opposition Party Express Different Opinions after the Japanese Opposition Party Won the Elections [Minister of Information claimed that Cambodian-Japanese ties will not be affected, while the opposition party said that Japan will take more thorough attitudes when providing aid to Cambodia ]
  • A Representative of Mr. Obama Discussed Human Trafficking [in Cambodia, with the Minister of Social Affairs, Veteran, and Youth Rehabilitation, Mr. Ith Sam Heng]
  • The World Bank Continues to Support Cambodia with US$60 Million to Implement Some Projects [projects for rural investment and local good governance]
  • [The Rubbish collection company] CINTRI Expands Its Service to Four Suburban Communes [Tuol Sangkae, Phnom Penh Thmey, Chrouy Chongva, and Chbar Ampov I in Tuol Sangkae district, Phnom Penh]; the Authorities Warn to Be Strict, Cutting off the Electricity Supply to Houses That Do Not Pay the Electricity Bills
  • Two Taiwanese Men Were Arrested for Border Crossing Drug Smuggling [Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #17, .9.2009

  • Ethnic Minority Villagers in Ratanakiri Continues to Demand Ms. Keat Kolaney [younger sister of Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon] to Release 500 Hectares of Land Back to Them
  • The Mobitel Mobile Phone Company Sues the Beeline MobilePhone Company for Stealing System Code Numbers

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Vietnam is Cambodia’s Third-Largest Export Market – Tuesday, 1.9.2009

Posted on 2 September 2009. Filed under: Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

“The representative of Vietnam in Cambodia said that Vietnam is Cambodia’s third-largest export market.

“The Vietnamese ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Ngô Anh Dũng [Ngo Anh Dung], said at the CTN television Sunday round table discussion, broadcast on Sunday, 30 August 2009, ‘Vietnam is Cambodia’s third-largest export market among Vietnam’s commercial relations with many countries’ Mr. Ngo Anh Dung added, ‘Cambodia is the 16th largest importer of Vietnamese goods.’

“He went on to say, ‘So far, Vietnam has more than 100 companies and enterprises operating in Cambodia, and by now, there has been more than US$700 million investment in total.’ He added that the investment of more than US$700 million does not include some big projects.

“The ambassador to Cambodia continued to say that ‘Big projects are projects such as the creation of a fertilizer factory, joint venture business operations, the production of rice for export, agricultural product factories, the project to construct the Sesan 2 Hydro-Electric Dam in Stung Treng, and many other companies.’ He added that Cambodia has agricultural potential, and Vietnam has closely cooperated with Cambodia in rubber plantations.

“He said, ‘Vietnam plans to cooperate in the energy sector, and in exploring mineral resources, investing in telecommunications, and in other developments in all sectors’, adding that Cambodia and Vietnam are connected by roads so that transport by vehicles to exchange commercial goods is easy, and we have a waterway for transport on the Mekong River.

“Mr. Ngô Anh Dũng said, ‘Recently, Cambodia and Vietnam have inaugurated Cambodia Angkor Air with investment capital from Vietnam to promote tourism between both countries.’ He added, ‘There will soon be railroads from Sihanoukville to Ho Chi Minh City and to other countries in ASEAN.’

“Regarding the potential of tourism in Cambodia, like natural sites, ancient temples, and other places attracting tourists, Mr. Ngô Anh Dũng said, ‘Now people of both countries, of Cambodia and of Vietnam, cross the border without visas – they cross in and out easily. He added, ‘The number of Cambodian tourists to Vietnam has increased 88% in 2009.’

“The cooperation in economy and trade has increased to US$1.6 billion in 2008, and the Cambodian and Vietnamese Ministers of Foreign Affairs want to see the exchange in trade to be as much as US$2 billion in 2010.

“The head of the Vietnamese rubber enterprise federation office [in Cambodia], Mr. Leng Rithy, said on 30 August 2009, ‘The Vietnamese rubber enterprises signed a deal with both governments in 2006 to cooperate, as planed, with Cambodia. He added, ‘The Ministry of Agriculture provided more than 50,000 hectares of land to eight Vietnamese companies to grow rubber trees, and by now, within two years from 2007 to 2009, rubber trees have already been planted on 20,000 hectares.

“He went on to say, ‘In 2010, it is planned to plant trees on additionally 20,000 hectares more, and by 2015, rubber trees will have been planted on 100,000 hectares. Also, there is concern by some members of the National Assembly related to the land of 100,000 hectares leased to Vietnamese companies to plant rubber trees in Cambodia.

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Cham, Mr. Mao Monyvann, talked to Deum Ampil via telephone on 31 August 2009, expressing his view, ‘The Cambodian government leased many hectares of land with long time leases of more than 90 years, creating concerns losing our Cambodian territory.’

“Mr. Mao Monyvann added, ‘Cambodia also has experts for rubber plantations, and if Cambodian companies were responsible for planting rubber trees, that would be great.’

“As for now, Mr. Ngô Anh Dũng said, ‘Vietnam has four goals for good cooperation with Cambodia: First, both countries should be good neighborings; second, build on our traditional friendship; third, the cooperation should extend to all sectors; and fourth, it should be long lasting.’

“He added, ‘Both countries have a joint border of more than 1,200 km, where Vietnam has 10 provinces and Cambodia has 9 provinces.

“A commerce official of the Vietnamese Embassy to Cambodia, Mr. Yim Kimhan, told a foreign press reporter, ‘Cambodia has potentials for Vietnam, and Cambodian people will turn to Vietnamese goods instead of Siamese [Thai] goods.’”Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #277, 1.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #277, 1.9.2009

  • Vietnam is Cambodia’s Third-Largest Export Market
  • Twenty Eight Plaintiffs [among 93] Boycotted the Hearing [against former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Duch, in order to express their dissatisfaction towards the decision of the head of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to reduce the rights of their lawyers to make conclusive statements]
  • The Authorities Suspended the Operations of the Maurea Garment Corporation Factory Temporarily after 69 More Workers Fainted
  • Singapore Donates Third [A/H1N1] Scanner
  • A Man Raped His Daughter Twenty Times – because She Could not Bear It, She Sued Him at the Police to Arrest Him [Kandal]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.6, #47, 31.8.2009

  • Petroleum without [import] Tax Is Heavily Imported [by businesspeople from Thailand] to Siem Reap like Rain during the Pchum Ben Season

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2037, 1.9.2009

  • 38 Tonnes of Fish Died because of Getting Poisoned by Sewage Discharged from the MPH Bio Energy Company; the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy Orders to Stop the Operation of the MPH Bio Energy Company [Phnom Penh]
  • Samdech Euv [former King] and Sam Mae [former Queen] Will Go to Beijing for Medical Checkups [early September 2009]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6743, 1.9.2009

  • The Municipal Court Announced to Lift the Accusation against Ms. Chea Ratha [and her group, over an acid attack against the actress In Soklida’s aunt – Phnom Penh]
  • The Japanese Democratic Party Wins over the Conservative Party Bringing a Historical Change [after 50 years of the conservative party having the majority – with 308 seats against 115 seats]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4987, 1.9.2009

  • Former King: “If I Die, Please Cremate the Body…” [in Cambodia]
  • [The president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Mony Praises Prime Minister Hun Sen for Not Suing Him [for giving a supposedly false testimony, that the government was behind the murder of his older brother Chea Vichea]
  • Colombian President [Álvaro Uribe] Is Infected with A/H1N1 Flu

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Samdech Chea Sim Asks for Understanding during the Traffic Law Implementation – Monday, 31.8.2009

Posted on 31 August 2009. Filed under: Week 628 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628

“The president of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and also the head of a Phnom Penh municipal coalition working team, Samdech Akak Thoma Pothisal Chea Sim, reminded commune, district, and municipal governors and councilors to ensure more trust towards citizens who are voters, and to understand them while implementing the traffic law.

“Samdech Akak Thoma Pothisal Chea Sim said so when he presided over a ceremony in the morning of 29 August 2009 at the headquarters of the Cambodian People’s Party, to announce the names of leaders of the coalition working team to assist districts, and to introduce a plan of instructions to strengthen village leaders in Phnom Penh. On that occasion, Samdech Chea Sim said, ‘Our Cambodian People’s Party has a long-term strategic goal – it is to rule the country hundreds of years more. But whether this is possible or not depends on the citizens and on us, the leaders, and if all citizens lose faith in us, it will be difficult to attract their votes.’ He went on to say that in October, the election registrations will start. However, he saw recently that there had been demonstrations to demand a reduction of some taxes at some provinces, but there were no such cases yet in Phnom Penh, and he hoped that there will be proper solutions.

“Another thing is related to the Boeng Kak issue in Phnom Penh. Samdech Chea Sim has agreed with the development of Phnom Penh, but what is important is that proper solutions are offered to the residents, otherwise it will affect members of our party, accusing them of disregarding the difficulties of the citizens. Sometimes, the poor people have little money to afford to buy a motorbike to work as moto-taxi drivers, and sometimes, even our civil servants encounter difficulties and take their free time to work as moto-taxi drivers, to find additional income to support their family’s living. They face another difficulty when their motorbikes are confiscated to pay taxes.

“Samdech Chea Sim said that he understands the need to implement the traffic law, but also, there has to be a practical understanding for our people and for our fellow civil servants who face difficulties in their livelihood.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2036, 30-31.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 31 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #4, 30-31.8.2009

  • Forty Two AIDS Families at the Tuol Sambou Village Encountering Shortage of Clean Water and of Life Extending Medicines
  • Six Forestry Officers Were Convicted over Logging [they were accused by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for taking bribes to allow logging in forests in Preah Vihear, Kompong Thom, and Siem Reap]
  • Cambodia Takes More Actions to Prevent A/H1N1 during the Cool Season [so far, there have been 26 confirmed cases of A/H1N1]
  • A Korean-Made Truck Drove Over Two People and Killed Them in Meanchey District [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2036, 30-31.8.2009

  • Politicians and Civil Society [the president of Funcinpec, Mr. Keo Puthreasmey, the executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections, Mr. Hang Puthea, an investigating official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, Mr. Ny Chakriya] Support Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen’s Policy to Withdraw Troops [from the Khmer-Thai border]
  • Sixty Nine Workers Fainted because of Inhaling a Poisonous Chemical Substance at a Factory [Maurea Garments Court in Phnom Penh]
  • Pigs Injected with Sleep Inducing Drugs [not to make any noise – using Diazepam: “It is used for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety”] and Imported Illegally from Thailand Were Intercepted – Veterinary Medical Officials Said the Health of People Eating Their Meat Can Be Affected [Poipet]
  • Samdech Chea Sim Asks for Understanding during the Traffic Law Implementation

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #643, 31.8.2009

  • The King and the Cambodian Royal Family Do Humanitarian Activities to Help Poor and Hungry People

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6742, 31.8.2009

  • Two People Died, and Six People Were Injured by Lightnings; Two Cows Were Killed, and One Person Drowned [Kompong Thom and Pursat]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4986, 31.8.2009

  • The World Bank and the Government Find Ways [to address challenging problems of Cambodia] to Strengthen Good Governance
  • An Average Family in Khmer Society Becomes Smaller; Families in Rural Areas Still Prefer Having Many Children; the Population of Cambodia Will Rise [from about 14 million at present] to 18 Million in 2025
  • Officials Said that there is no more a Scarcity of Electricity in Phnom Penh [after the government has connected to an electricity net from Vietnam, buying electricity]
  • Siamese [Thai] Police: Cambodian Beggars in Pattaya Province Are Cheated and Forced to Beg for Money for Siamese [Thai] People

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3497, 30.8.2009

  • Both the Authorities and Expert Officials Stay Quiet over the Illegal 10-Floor Building [Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1783, 31.8.2009

  • The Government Cancels Plan to Sue [the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Mony [for providing a supposedly false testimony, claiming that the government was behind the murder of his older brother, Chea Vichea], Surprising Civil Society

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