Week 633

Cambodia as a Member of the International Community of States – Sunday, 11.10.2009

Posted on 12 October 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

Serious questions surfaced during the week about the meaning of the consequences when a state has resolved to sign international covenants, and has entered into certain agreements of international cooperation.

The discussion of the draft Penal Code in the National Assembly, during several days on the way towards its adoption, revealed some surprising elements – some of a formalistic nature, others relating to substantive understandings.

Article 88 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia states clearly and simply: “The National Assembly sessions shall be held in public.”

When, on 6 October 2009, crucial draft articles were to be discussed, two members of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia were asked to leave the observation gallery. This was later explained to be a measure related to security concerns – but the same persons had attended the meeting unencumbered during previous days. – And it is remembered that ambassadors and several embassy staff members from different countries were prevented on 23 June 2009 to enter and to observe the session, when the immunity of a member of an opposition party was to be discussed.

The present debate took place several days after Dr. Surya Subedi, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, an intergovernmental UN body where 47 member states are represented, shared his first report to the Council on 1 October 2009. When Mr. Yim Sovann, a member of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party, referred to Dr. Subedi’s concern about legal provisions for the freedom of expression, Mr. Ai Khan, a member of the National Assembly from the Cambodian People’s Party, is reported to have said: “I do not know who Subedi is… he does not understand about the words criticizing, scorning, and defaming… I want to notify H.E. Yim Sovann: Do not raise a foreigner’s ideas for discussion here.” Mr. Cheam Yeap, a member of the National Assembly also from the Cambodian People’s Party, had also been reported to respond to a reference to Dr. Subedi as “a foreigner’s request concerning this.” And Mr. Chheang Vun, the chairperson of the Assembly’s Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Media and Information, rejected Dr. Subedi’s statements as a violation of Cambodia’s sovereignty.

Dr. Subedi had not been speaking just “as a foreigner,” in fulfilling a mandate given to him by the UN Human Rights Council. In response to having been told that all Cambodian court actions had been conducted in accordance with Cambodian laws, he had not spoken to violate Cambodia’s sovereignty, but stated that he was “concerned that the laws in question themselves fell short of the standards required by international human rights treaties and practice, and that Cambodia’s judiciary was taking a restrictive approach in interpreting these laws, ultimately leading to excessive restrictions on freedom of expression.” Dr. Subedi is just expressing what is assumed internationally and in general: when a state accedes to international human rights treaties, it is assumed that they will be adhered to – they are not “a foreigner’s opinion.” They are part of multilateral intergovernmental agreements being clarified.

The discussion of the draft Penal Code in the National Assembly showed that by Saturday, 10 October 2009, 525 of the 672 articles had been approved – without a single change, in spite of the many questions for clarification, or suggestions for changes by Assembly members of the opposition parties. This absolute unity of opinion of the deputies of the Cambodian People’s Party is at least surprising in view of Article 77 of the Constitution: “The deputies in the National Assembly shall represent the entire Khmer people, not only Khmers from their constituencies. Any imperative mandate shall be nullified.” Not one of them seems to have thought to pronounce a different position from the majority. And this while they are – by the Constitution! – not bound by any “imperative mandate” ordering them what position to take. It is no surprise that Ms. Mu Sochua, a member of an opposition party, asked in view of the way the debate did not lead to the slightest change of the draft, why to spend more time in such kind of discussion: “I think we should just put a stamp on it.”

Another serious conflict of understanding, difficult to solve, is the warning by the Prime Minister, “that the government will not accept, or even stop receiving foreign aid, if aid is linked with conditions. Recently, the government has canceled the assistance of the World Bank for a land registration program.”

This is obviously a double threat: not only a warning towards the members of parliament in the countries which have to discuss and to negotiate how much money from the taxpayers of their country they will make available for which purposes and under which conditions. As a person from ADHOC pointed out, it is a threat also against those people of Cambodia who might benefit from such international aid.

In the case of the World Bank, their conditions were actually what both sides – the World Bank and the Cambodian government – had agreed upon together, about a Land Management and Administration Program: under which conditions Cambodians living on a certain piece of land for a certain period of time could get an ownership title for this land. But when the World Bank discovered and raised their observation, that the agreement is not applied evenly, the Prime Minister canceled the cooperation. The Program was applied mostly in rural areas, but people in certain settlements in the city do not get land titles, but are “evicted” or, to use the new wording of the government, are “temporarily relocated” (which often involved massive violence).

The aid, of which the Prime Minister is reported to be tired, relate to “linking it with conditions about the respect of human rights, the solution of land disputes, resettlement of the poor, and especially the creation of an anti-corruption law, an old intent of Cambodia,” as a newspaper explained.

Various pronouncements of the Prime Minister over the years had stated clearly that these are also his own political goals, when he said that a new farmers’ revolution might happen if land grabbing continues, and it is the Prime Minister himself who had announced, over the years, the planned creation of an anti-corruption law.

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During the Three Quarters of 2009 so Far, 61% of Rape Victim Were Underage Persons – Saturday, 10.10.2009

Posted on 11 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Phnom Penh: The increasing number of rapes indicates that Khmer tradition is falling apart under the influence of bad foreign culture, spread through porn videos played at some coffee shops, and through drug abuse.

“Based on news from five local newspapers, Koh Santepheap, Rasmei Kampuchea, Kampuchea Thmey, The Phnom Penh Post, and The Cambodia Daily, information collected by End Child Prostitution, Abuse and Trafficking in Cambodia – ECPAT-Cambodia – shows in a Media Analysis of Rape, Trafficking for Sexual Purpose, Indecent Cases in Third Quarter 2009 [in Khmer] that there were 69 cases of rape involving 70 victims. To tally the numbers within the three quarters of 2009, there were 216 rape cases and 225 victims, where 137 of them, 61%, affected underage persons. It should be noted that an Australian woman, a tourist, also became a rape victim. [ECPAT-Cambodia is a member of the international network End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes – ECPAT International.]

“Compared to the corresponding period in 2008 with 211 cases, there were 5 cases more. The provinces and cities with a high number of rapes are Battambang with 43 cases, Phnom Penh 22 cases, Kompong Cham 19 cases, Kandal 18 cases, Pursat and Banteay Meanchey each 17 cases, Kompong Speu 12 cases, Takeo 11 cases, and the other cases in other provinces. There were 6 cases of rape-and-murder, where one young girl was raped by seven teenagers living in the same village and then murdered cruelly by cutting her throat and stabbing her several times.

“These inhuman acts were done by 261 suspects, among whom 20 were underage people. Most of the crimes were committed by Khmers, but there were also some cases involving others: 2 Koreans, 3 Vietnamese, 2 Thais, 1 Cambodian Muslim, and 1 case of a woman. Notably, gang rapes [where several teenagers raped one girl or woman] add up to 21 cases, where 2 to 7 perpetrators were involved in the gang-rape cases. There were 15 cases where both the victims and the suspects were underage people. As for the relations between the victims and the suspects, there were 103 cases where the victims were raped by their neighbors in the same villages, in 40 cases by family members and relatives, in 35 cases by people knowing each other, in 9 cases a boyfriend raped his girlfriend, and in 24 cases there is no report about the relationship. As for the law, 217 suspects were arrested, and 147 cases were sent to be solved by the counts, 56 cases were under further investigations by police, in 39 cases the suspects escaped, in 2 cases the suspects were released on bail, and 1 case was addressed out of the court system. There was only one case with a comparatively high verdict, in which the court indicted the suspect for rape, and the perpetrator then was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and was ordered to pay a fine of Riel 4 million [approx. US$975].

“There were some factors reported which were involved frequently in rapes cases, where there were 69 cases where the perpetrators used special opportunities, 47 cases were planned, 22 cases involved drug abuse and alcohol, 6 cases resulted related to watching porn movies and pictures, and for other cases no such circumstances were reported. There were 65 cases resulting from a situation where the victim stayed alone, 35 cases where the victim trusted to go with the suspect, 32 cases happened where the victims were attacked while sleeping, and 20 cases happened while the victims went out for a walk at night.

“During this time, there were 5 cases of human trafficking victimizing 8 women and 5 underage girls, 1 person was 1 Vietnamese. Compared to the same period in 2008, there was a decline of 3 cases. There were 8 suspects, including 1 Chinese man, and 2 were women. Four of them were arrested, and 3 were sent to be prosecuted by the court. Two suspects were under police investigation, and one escaped. There were no reports about how the suspects were convicted by the courts. Places of human trafficking are the road from Takeo to Banteay Meanchey, the city of Phnom Penh, Pailin, and Battambang.

“Within the same period, there were 11 cases of producing child pornography, involving 12 victims, where 10 were girls between the ages of 5 and 17. Among the 12 victims, 2 were Vietnamese and 10 were Cambodian. Involved in these cases were 11 suspects from age 19 to age 68, and most of them are tourists from America, England, France, Japan, and Switzerland. Nine of them were arrested and convicted to serve 3 years in prison. Those cases occurred in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Battambang, and Kandal.

“ECPAT-Cambodia noticed that there was a slight increase in the number of rapes, and a slight decrease in the number of human trafficking, based on the information in those newspapers. But the number of victims who were underage is alarmingly high. Also there were cases of extreme cruelty like gang rapes and murders, while the number of suspects that were prosecuted is low. Therefore ECPAT-Cambodia appeals to relevant organizations and institutions, especially to the Royal Government of Cambodia, to strengthen law enforcement by the courts and the police, and to make the related laws widely known to the citizens. All parents have to be very careful about the safety of their sons and daughters, especially when they are very young.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #67, 10-11.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 10 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #307, 10.10.2009

  • Radio Free Asia Dismissed [two more staff members:] Sam Borin and San Sovityak
  • The Cambodian Red Cross Has US$570,000 to Assist Citizens Suffering from the Flood
  • Robbers Armed with AK Rifles Robbed Jewelry [worth approx. US$2,000] and Injured a Man Seriously [Kompong Cham]
  • Eighty Countries Support the Cambodian Candidacy as Member of the World Heritage Committee [at the 35th UNESCO General Conference]

Note:

During the last meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in June 2009, the following countries were represented on the committee:

Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, United States of America.

While there are at present 851 sites registered in 141 countries, the World Heritage Committee can have only 21 members.

According to its rules, there cannot be only countries on the Committee which have registered World Heritage Sites, it is not the primary task of committee members to defend the cases of their countries. Countries which want to be on the committee have to offer their services, according to the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, to fulfill the following tasks:

“to work for harmonious synergy among the Organization’s three main legal instruments for cultural diversity:

  • the World Heritage Convention of 1972;
  • the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of 2003; and
  • the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted by UNESCO in 2005.”

In addition, the members of the World Heritage Committee will have to work more on developing the following two fields:

  • “to develop the complementarity of science and culture, notably in the 80 sites which carry the twin labels of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program and World Heritage, and
  • to reinforce the link between biodiversity and cultural diversity.”

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2068, 10.10.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Powerful Who Protect Gangsters Must Be Punished
  • The Minister of Water Resources Considers Typhoon Ketsana as the Most Disastrous Ever for Cambodia [destroying infrastructure and crops]
  • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections (COMFREL) Is Concerned that Relocated Citizens [in the context of clearing sites where they used to live, to make place for business and high rise housing developments] Do Not Have the Right to Register for the Elections
  • A Journalist and His 4-Year-Old Son Were Killed in a Traffic Accident [they were hit by another motorbike – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #506, 10.10.2009

  • [Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarian] Mr. Cheam Yeap: An Anti-Corruption Law Could Not Be Created for Many Years, because the National Assembly and the Government Sent Its Drafts Back and Forth [but he said that it will be adopted within the first six months of 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #67, 10-11.10.2009

  • During the Three Quarters of 2009 so Far, 61% of Rape Victim Were Underage Persons
  • One Hundred More People Died in Landslides in the Philippines

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5017, 10.10.2009

  • The Defamation Complaint of Samdech Hun Sen [against Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua Will Be Heard Again on 28 October 2009
  • Siem Reap Town Became Like a Water Reservoir, after a Dam, Surrounding the Town, Had Been Built [improperly]
  • Nearly 2,000 Workers of the Tac Fat Factory Are Striking for Two Days with No Solution [after the factory had closed – Phnom Penh]
  • Vietnam Prosecuted Six People and Sent Them to Serve Six Years in Prison for Campaigning for [multi-party] Democracy
  • It Is Surprising! Obama Received the Nobel Peace Prize! [in 2009 for his hard effort to strengthen international diplomatic developments and cooperation among the people]

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The Head of the Royal Government Warned Donor Countries – Friday, 9.10.2009

Posted on 10 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Phnom Penh: Ahead of a meeting about the provision of development aid for Cambodia, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, warned donor countries not to link conditions with development aid for Cambodia.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen considers the linking of conditions with aid as being under more pressure than during the presence of Vietnamese experts in Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

“During the 30th anniversary celebration of the creation of the National Bank of Cambodia on Thursday, 8 October 2009, at the Chaktomuk Conference Hall, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia warned that the government will not accept, or even stop receiving foreign aid, if aid is linked with conditions. Recently, the government has canceled the assistance of the World Bank for a land registration program.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen told donors that the government welcomes the involvement to develop Cambodia, but donors should not interfere and link conditions with aid.

“Getting tired of conditions set by donors at present, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that, after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, though Vietnamese troops and experts came to Cambodia, Vietnam respected the independence of Cambodia. Decisions in politics and economy were under the authority of Cambodia, different from nowadays.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen stressed that at present, the development aid from the World Bank, from the International Monetary Fund, and from other donors forces the government to listen to their orders.

“In the meantime, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen appealed to donors and friends that assist Cambodia, to understand and respect the independence of Cambodia.

“Donors will meet the Cambodian government later in this year to announce development aid for Cambodia in 2010. After the international meeting in 2009, international development partners decided to provide about US$1 billion to Cambodia, linking it with conditions about the respect of human rights, the solution of land disputes, resettlement of the poor, and especially the creation of an anti-corruption law, an old intention of Cambodia.

“Human rights activists of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) pointed out that some conditions of donors aim, for example, at encouraging the Cambodian government to respect human rights or to address corruption, but not to apply pressure on the government. In this way conditions direct the implementation of laws and fill gaps of the government, so that the aid can reach the poor, and Cambodia becomes a state of law.

“ADHOC activists asked the government to soften their position and to accept aid to assist Cambodia’s poor people, rather than to reject international support, as the country needs aid.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5016, 9.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #306, 9.10.2009

  • Health Agents Seized 327 Types of Expired Medicines [Phnom Penh]
  • German Government Provides Aid for Ketsana Victims [the assistance of US$37,000 through the World Food Program, supporting to secure the survival of more than 30,000 people affected in Cambodia]
  • Natural Disaster Impacts Tourism in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2067, 9.10.2009

  • Capital of International Reserves of Cambodia Increased to US$2,522 Million [by 21% by August 2009 despite the global economic crisis; said Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • 733 Families in Khvav Commune Eat Manioc Instead of Rice and Call for Aid [Siem Reap]
  • A Notorious Robber and His Son Were Gunned Down by Police when They Shot Back

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #658, 9.10.2009

  • Phnom Penh Becomes More Flooded after the Shukaku Development Company Fills the Boeng Kak Lake [with sand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #505, 9.10.2009

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6774, 9.10.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$1.4 Million for Mine Clearance [in Cambodia]
  • The 30th Anniversary of the Creation of the National Bank of Cambodia Was Celebrated
  • A 11-Year-Old Girl Was Lost for a Night and Was Found Dead with Both Eyes Gouged Out [Kampot]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #22, 9.10.2009

  • Mr. Hun Sen Said that if High Ranking Officials of Cambodia Go to Testify [at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal], It Is Like Killing the Suspects [since they are the ones who overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime; he said so after the foreign co-investigating judge summoned six high ranking officials of the government to testify]
  • [Twenty one] Civil Society Organizations [that work on human rights and provide legal assistance] Asked the National Assembly to Exclude Defamation from the Penal Code
  • More Than 2,000 Workers of the Tac Fat Factory Protested after the Factory Closed [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5016, 9.10.2009

  • The Head of the Royal Government Warned Donor Countries
  • There Is Much Aid from Japan [US$1.7 billion since 1993], but There Is Very Little [Japanese] Private Investment [only US$129.9 million or 0.6% of the total foreign investment to Cambodia]
  • Vietnam Announced to Support the Candidacy of Cambodia as a Member of the World Heritage Committee

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1804, 9-11.10.2009

  • The World Bank Said that More Than 60,000 Workers Lost Their Jobs Creating Hazard for the Cambodian Economy

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There Is Concern about Gem Depletion while Pailin Expert Official Claimed 50% Still Remain – Thursday, 8.10.2009

Posted on 9 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Pailin: Valuable gem ore in Pailin is facing depletion at present, because wicked merchants are using machinery to aggressively extract large amounts of gems, while expert officials said that they did not know anything, but now they will take action.

“According to officials of the province, merchants deploy machinery to extract gems at two sites at the Phnom Teuk Chenh region in Teuk Chenh village, Stung Kach commune, Sala Krao district, Pailin. According to that source, there are two groups of merchants who use gem sieving machinery to extract large amounts of gems in that region. The Stung Kach commune chief, Mr. Kang Chheng, told Koh Santepheap via telephone in the morning of 7 October 2009 that he did not know that merchants are extracting large amounts of gem in an area under his control by using such machinery. This commune chief said that he is at present busy with checking the election voter name lists. Therefore, he has not gone to check the sites where merchants are extracting gems.

“But an official, who asked not to be named, said that the two groups of merchants have been running their operations for many years, and they always move to every place in Pailin to explore and extract gems. But they set up also permanent sites at the Phnom Teuk Chenh region since January 2009. Among the two merchant groups, one is controlled by Sreng Kong Sri, and this man lets Dy, called Ta Sak Sar, lead the group, but who is controlling the other group is not known. The same source said that the authorities should not say that they knew nothing about the use of the machineries and the merchants who actively explore gem, because they have operated for many years, and if there were no permissions from the authorities or from expert officials, how could those merchants have done so?

“Regarding the above issue, the head of the Department of Industry, Mines, and Energy of the Province, Mr. Ea Hoeun, told Koh Santepheap in the morning of 7 October 2009 that before, he had known that there were really merchants who extract gems, adding ‘But we summoned and told them to stop their operations, and to remove all machineries a few days ago already.’ Anyway, according to citizens living in the Phnom Teuk Chenh region, in the morning of 7 October 2009, all machinery was not yet removed, but it was just seen that the operations were suspended, simply because those merchants had been informed to remain quiet temporarily to see the situation. It is believed that the operations will start again after there is green light from expert officials.

“It should be noted that many types of gem ore in Pailin, especially in the town, were almost totally exhausted by Siamese [Thai] merchants during the wartime in Cambodia. However, Mr. Ea Hoeun claimed that there still might be 50% of valuable gems remaining, except in the area of the town itself, where there is little left.

“In the morning of 7 October 2009, Koh Santepheap could not reach the two groups of merchants for comment via telephone. Commune officials said that they had all switched off their phones.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6773, 8.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #305, 8.10.2009

  • The European Union Granted More Than US$7 Million for Livestock Programs in Cambodia from 2005 to 2010
  • The Director of a Health Center Cursed Journalists [and human rights officials] when They Asked about a Dead Patient [whose body was put in a room together with other patients for many hours], and about Electricity Cut-Offs [Poipet]
  • Cambodia Will Investigate Alleged Organ Transplants and Human Trafficking [Agnes Chan – 陳美齡 and 陈美龄- Chén Měilíng; in Japanese: アグネス・チャン – a Hong Kong-born singer and a Good Will Ambassador of the Japan Committee of UNICEF, was quoted by the Japan Times as saying that in Cambodia, some babies are sold for adoption or for organ transplants for Yen 5,000 – approx. US$56, while some teenagers are bought for labor or for marriage for less than Yen 10,000 – approx. US$112]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2066, 8.10.2009

  • The Company That Has Sufficient Qualifications and Offers Much Benefit to Cambodia Will Win the Bidding to Explore Oil in Region 4
  • The United States of America Helps Train Officials of the Cambodian Mine Action Center [and grants US$200,000]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #504, 8.10.2009

  • [The president of the National Assembly] Mr. Heng Samrin Said that Ms. Mu Sochua Has the Right to Express Her Opinion at the National Assembly [he said that some journalists and radio stations misunderstand that Ms. Mu Sochua would be absent because she does not have immunity, but actually, she has her other rights as a parliamentarian]
  • Twenty One Police Generals [over the age of 60] Were Sent into Retirement
  • Calmette Hospital Charged Money from an A/H1N1 Swine Flu Patient [claimed the family of an A/H1N1 patient who died recently, after Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Minster of Heath, Mr. Mam Bunheng, had announced that all A/H1N1 patients will be treated free of charge]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6773, 8.10.2009

  • There Is Concern about Gem Depletion while Pailin Expert Official Claimed 50% Still Remain
  • Worldwide Petroleum Services [not easy to identify on the Internet] Is Interested in Exploring Oil in Region 4 [in the Cambodian sea]
  • Samdech Euv [former King] and Samdech Mae [former Queen] Donate US$50,000 to the Cambodian Red Cross [to assist citizens suffering from typhoons and floods]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #21, 8.10.2009

  • Six High Ranking Officials [the president of the Senate, Mr. Chea Sim, the president of the National Assembly, Mr. Heng Samrin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, and two more senators] Are Summoned by a Foreign Investigating Judge to Testify over Case 2 at the Khmer Rouge Trial
  • An Article to Protect Underage People Was Adopted
  • The Price of Rubber Increased by 37% within the Last Nine Months [from US$1,419 per tonne in January to US$1,950 in October 2009]
  • The Philippines Needs Aid of US$74 Million [for about one million people who suffer from typhoons and floods]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5015, 8.10.2009

  • Samdech Euv [former King] Wants to Die as Soon as Possible [he said that living too long is difficult]
  • Five People Died of Drowning on the Same Day [Kompong Cham]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1803, 8.10.2009

  • [Illegal] Football Betting Is Thriving like Mushrooms after [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Ordered the Cambosix [gambling] Company to Close

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Mr. Kem Sokha Encourages Merger between the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party – Wednesday, 7.10.2009

Posted on 7 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Again, the president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, encouraged speeding up the merging of the two opposition parties, the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party. The president of the Human Rights Party said that the merger should be made as soon as possible, because Khmer people in the country and abroad want to see these two opposition parties of Cambodia to merge to become one strong party to defeat the party with communist tendencies which is ruling the country.

“Mr. Kem Sokha told reporters during a press conference Tuesday evening [6 October 2009] that within half a year (of National Assembly vacations), he had visited Canada, the United States, and Europe. At every place he went to he met Khmer people, and they always asked one most important question: whether democrats can unite or not, and why not. The Human Rights Party responded by telling what this party has done so far.

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that Khmer people in the country and abroad answered instead of him that if we do not unite, we will lose, but if we unite we will win. ‘This is the answer from people for us, for democrats and patriots, to consider.’ Mr. Kem Sokha added, ‘The Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party made a joint statement on 15 January 2009 at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters, but we see that so far, we have not achieved anything, while people are waiting to see the creation of a movement, a democratic movement for change, where two parties come together.’ But when people asked what progress was made, he could not tell them anything. He said, ‘But we established a working team for discussion, where each party has four members. The members from the Sam Rainsy Party are Mr. Son Chhay, Mr. Yim Sovann, Mr. Kim Suophirith, and Ms. Mu Sochua, and the members from the Human Rights Party are Mr. Nhem Bonharith, Mr. Ou Chanrith, Mr. Keat Sokun, and Mr. Chour Chung. There have been eight meetings already, but no progress has been made. That is why people are concerned, and they encourage that there should be significant progress made, in order to provide them hope. He went on to say, ‘The Human Rights Party calls on all political parties and patriots to join, to sit down and discuss to organize the conditions and political policies to create a new party, to participate in the next elections. We think that we have to sit down together to discuss, and if all of us claim that we are democrats and want change, we need to win the elections. We cannot win the elections unless we merge. If not, we will not win. If we do not merge, we do it to lose. And if we want to win, we have to merge.’

“Mr. Kem Sokha said that there is no official response yet. The meeting has not received a response: which points are acceptable and which points are not. He said, ‘We still maintain the same stance. And we make another appeal to other parties to continue to negotiate. The Sam Rainsy Party did not respond anything to us. We want to merge to create a new party or an ally for others. We want the new party to be created based on democracy, but not based on any individuals, and want to stop individual power; we also suggest to limit some terms, but this is not a condition set by the Human Rights Party.’

“Yesterday, the Human Rights Party released a statement to express its position to create alliances with other political parties finally towards a merger.

“The statement said that the Human Rights Party thinks that it is the right time for democrats to meet and to discuss transparently, prioritizing the fate of the nation, to consider creating a new party following requests of Khmer citizens, after we have created a democratic movement for change on 15 January 2009. About one year after the fourth term elections, there have been concerns over the political situation, about integrity, freedom of expression, the economy, and social problems in the Kingdom of Cambodia which are problematic. Based on direct visits by Human Rights Party leaders in many communes in the country and abroad, many Khmer compatriots who love democracy, ask the Khmer political parties and the politicians who claim that they are patriots and democrats, to unite to create a new party to win the next elections.

“‘The Human Rights Party would like to stress again its position to inform the public that the Human Rights Party is already prepared to merge with other politicians, parties, and patriots to create a new political party with democracy as its basis.'” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1702, 7.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #304, 7.10.2009

  • The Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam Wants to Invest to Develop the Stock Exchange in Cambodia
  • The Hong Kong Trade Development Council: US$10 Million for the Promotion of Cambodian Companies

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2065, 7.10.2009

  • Doctors Saved the Live of a Girl [through an operation], but Her Mother Died of A/H1N1 [the number of deaths in Cambodia increased to three – Phnom Penh]
  • Because His Wife Has a Mental Disorder, a Man Raped His Daughter since She Was 9 Years Old [now she is 16, and the man was arrested – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #503, 7.10.2009

  • The UN Secretary General: Urbanization without Clear Planning Forces Millions of People to Face Hazards
  • Different Civil Society Leaders Expressed Different Ideas about the Creation of a Bodyguard Commanding Office of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [an official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Chan Soveth, said that it will help control bodyguards of Prime Minister Hun Sen and halt people from pretending to be his bodyguards for their own personal interest, while officials of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Mr. Oum Sam Ath, said that disorder will continue to exist, if this new unit is not controlled properly]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6772, 7.10.2009

  • Clarifying Statement Responding to the Accusation that the Government Implements a Policy to Evict Citizens by Force [the Council of Minister explained that it does not relate to “evictions” but to temporary “relocation” of citizens]
  • North Korea Plans to Resume Multilateral Talk Again

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #20, 7.10.2009

  • Cambodia Increases Budget for Development [from US$82 million in 2009 to US$100 million for 2010]
  • UNDP: The Quality of Life Index of Cambodian People Drops by Six Points [among 182 countries to 137th, below Congo, but above Burma]
  • 500 Workers Protested at the Ministry of Labor [demanding the ministry to intervene after 1,000 workers had been dismissed illegally by the Sky High Factory – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5014, 7.10.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Asked to Exclude Articles Related to Defamation, Insulting, and Distortion [from the Penal Code draft], but It Was Rejected by the National Assembly
  • Siem Reap Plans to Spend Riel 3,000 Million [approx. US$750,000] to Restore Roads after the Flood Receded
  • Japan Will Increase Official Development Aid for Cambodia by 40% [for 2009]
  • In September 2009 36 People Were Killed in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh
  • Working in Japan One Can Earn Much Income, but There Are Not Many Khmer Workers There [a worker can earn up to Yen 70,000 per month, approx. US$700; no total number of Khmer workers in Japan is given]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1702, 7.10.2009

  • Mr. Kem Sokha Encourages Merger between the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party

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Cambodia and Vietnam Cooperate to Create a Company for Rice Export to International Markets – Tuesday, 6.10.2009

Posted on 7 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Commerce and Senior Minister, Mr. Cham Prasidh, said that many private companies in Cambodia still do not have the ability to buy up paddy rice from farmers and to mill it for export to international markets. Therefore, the cooperation between Khmer and Vietnamese companies now is to help Cambodia to create a modern rice milling house to produce rice for export to international markets in the future.

“Mr. Cham Prasidh said that even though Vietnam can export rice of more than 6 million tonnes per year, it has to pay taxes for the exports while Cambodia, a poor country among 49 other similar countries in the world, is allowed by 27 European countries not to pay taxes on exports. Before 1 September 2009, the export quota of Cambodia was still valid, and it allowed Cambodia to export only 6,000 to 7,000 tones of rice to Europe, but now, Cambodia can export up to one million, if it intends to, without paying export taxes. Thus, a Vietnamese company that invests in Cambodia will surely bring great benefits.

“Mr. Cham Prasidh said so on 5 October 2009 while he presided over a signing ceremony between Cambodian and Vietnamese companies to create a new company, the Cambodia-Vietnam Food Company (Cavifoods), to buy paddy rice from Khmer farmers to be milled to produce rice for export to international markets. Mr. Cham Prasidh added that there are very few irrigation system issues that Cambodia needs to address – it is the buying and selling and export problems which are challenges to be solved at present and in the future, because there needs to be much capital to be spent to buy paddy rice from farmers.

“Mr. Cham Prasidh expressed his satisfaction to see that Vietnamese investors had deiced to invest to also create a fertilizer factory in Neak Loeang [Prey Veng], a good strategic location, since Cambodia does not need fertilizer only for rice agriculture, but also for many other crops. Recently, there was also fertilizer imported from Vietnam, but that was no-quality fertilizer, imported by dishonest people, making Khmer farmers to spend double, to have the fertilizers they need, and this affects the friendships between the people of both countries. Thus, establishing a fertilizer factory in Cambodia is a great opportunity, as it will help Cambodia to increase its potential to export more agricultural products.

“Vietnam said that Vietnamese companies have prepared US$200 million to buy paddy rice from Cambodian farmers, and it ensures there will be no shortage of capital to buy paddy rice. This is good news for Cambodian farmers.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6771, 6.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #303, 6.10.2009

  • The Government Rejected Proposal of [the president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun to Increase Teachers’ Salaries to Riel 1 Million [approx. US$250 per month, saying that the request does not have a clear basis]
  • In Kratie: More Than 7,400 Hectares of the Rainy Season Paddy Rice Are Being Flooded by the Mekong River Flood
  • The UN Calls on the International Community to Help the Philippine Typhoon Victims

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2066, 6.10.2009

  • Police Cracked Down on a Big Group Producing and Smuggling Drugs and Arrested Seven People [Phnom Penh]
  • The Flood Is Threatening the Banteay Chhmar Temple [Banteay Meanchey]
  • Taliban Militants Attacked Two Front Posts, Killing Eight US Soldiers and Kidnapping More Than Twenty Afghan Soldiers

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6771, 6.10.2009

  • Cambodia and Vietnam Cooperate to Create a Company for Rice Export to International Markets

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #19, 6.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Creates His Own Body Guard Commanding Office [separating it from the Division 70, which is responsible for ensuring the security of all politicians and generals in Cambodia]
  • The New Government of Japan Continues to Grant Aid to Cambodia [according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Okada Katsuya – 岡田克也]
  • South Korea Prepares to Sign an Agreement to for Mineral Exploration in Cambodia [during a visit of President Lee Myung-Bak to Cambodia in October 2009]
  • Conflict [over the call costs] between Mobitel and Beeline [mobile phone companies] Is Sent to the Prime Minister

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5013, 6.10.2009

  • Thai Prime Minister and Parliamentarians [from the Puea Thai Party] Argued over Delivering a Tape to Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen; the tape recorded the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kasit Piromya, criticizing the Cambodian Prime Minister]
  • The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand Agreed to Cooperate in the Emerald Triangle Zone [to ensure economic growth and development and to reduce the poverty of people of the three countries in the zone]
  • The National Assembly Adopted 260 Articles of the 672 Articles of the Penal Code Draft

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1801, 6.10.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Authorities Blocked the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association to March to Celebrate the Teachers’ Day [saying it would affect security and public order – Phnom Penh]
  • The Asian Human Rights Commission: It Is 16 Years since the Cambodian Government Has Not Created Some Important Laws [like a anti-corruption law, laws on land ownerships, regulating the independence of the courts, prison reform, and assuring the freedom of expression]

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Child Mortality Rate in Cambodia Is Declining – Monday, 5.10.2009

Posted on 6 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Phnom Penh: Child mortality rate in Cambodia is declining, a good sign for Cambodia to possibly achieve the Millennium Development Goals of Cambodia.

“Most directors of various hospitals at provinces and cities claimed there are now better health condition for children in the country.

“The director of the Kratie Referral Hospital, Dr. Ou Khilay, said that though Malaria and respiratory diseases are increasing in the province, the child mortality rate from these diseases and other infectious diseases declined, compared to last year.

“He added that since the province has received equity funding from the government to help pay for poor people to receive health services, more people, both adults and children, have come to hospitals.

“The director of the Serei Saophoan Referral Hospital in Banteay Meanchey, Dr. Eav Daravuth, said that the mortality rate in the hospital dropped because of better strengthening and more efficient treatments. He added that there is still occasional child mortality, mostly resulting from late referral to the hospital.

“According to observations on population and health in Cambodia, the rate of 85 deaths of children under the age of one year in 2005 has declined to 66 deaths among 1,000 births. The rate of 124deaths of children under the age of 5 among 1,000 births between 2000 and 2005 has dropped to 83 deaths.

“The director of the National Child Hospital, Dr. Chhuo Imeng, said via telephone yesterday that while there are no ravaging diseases, we saw that some diseases, emergency ones, had killed children because of late referrals. He continued to say that the mortality rate of newly-delivered infants is high due to many factors, like the delivering of babies without expert midwives, no pre-check on pregnant women, and some babies are born with insufficient weight.

“He added that the diseases frequently found in the hospital that killed most children are respiratory disease, diarrhea, dengue fever, asthma, and malnutrition.

“He went on to say that anyway, the child mortality rate is declining, dropping about 1% to 1.3% at the hospital at present.

“Also, vaccinations helped to reduced the child mortality rate a lot.

“The director of the vaccination program, Professor San Chansoeun, said that the provision of seven types of vaccines, which cover 90% of the children, has contributed to reduce the child mortality rate considerably. He added, in 2010, the vaccination program will add Hip vaccine [“Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacterium that infects the lining of the brain, causing meningitis”] into the program which can protect children from inflammation of the lung and from meningitis.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5012, 5.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 5 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #302, 4-5.10.2009

  • The Siem Reap Authorities Start to Clean Up the Town after the Flood Receded
  • Oxfam Appeals for Urgent Aid [for Cambodia after the destruction caused by Typhoon Ketsana]
  • [The Former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Kaing Gek Eav’s 001 Case Will End on 23 November 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2063, 4-5.10.2009

  • The Number of People Confirmed with A/H1N1 in Cambodia Increased to 101
  • A Woman Was Detained for Gathering 27 Rural Girls for [three] Korean Single Men to Choose among Them to Become their Wives [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #656, 5.10.2009

  • Nearly 10,000 Families in Tuol Sangkae District Asked [Prime Minister Hun Sen] to Help over the Pumping of Water by Boeng Kak Lake Development Company [Shukaku, that pumps from the Boeng Kak lake and releases it into their housing area], Flooding Their Houses

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #502, 4-6.10.2009

  • The Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation President [Mr. Thach Ngok Thach] Supports America to Ask [President] Obama’s Administration to Continue to Restrict Yuon [Vietnam over religious and human rights restrictions – Recently US Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. Michael Michalak, told the Human Rights Commission that the freedom of religion in Vietnam is between. An organization of the Tom Lantos Commission that had conducted observations directly claimed that there is no change. Vietnam had arrested religious leaders like protestant and catholic leaders. Also, the deputy director of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Mr. Michael Cromartie told a human rights committee of the US that the human rights violations in Vietnam do not change either, different from what the US Ambassador in Hanoi reported].

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6770, 5.10.2009

  • In July 2009, 108 People Were Killed in Traffic Accidents and 1,192 Vehicles Were Damaged [declining by 13% compared to the same period in 2008]
  • A Boat Sank in the Khmer Sea during Typhoon Ketsana, but It Was Found in Vietnam: Four People Had Died and One Survived [Sihanoukville]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #18, 5.10.2009

  • Boeng Kak Residents Filed a Complaint to the World Bank [they said that the land registration project of this bank did not help protect them from evictions – They said so because the World Bank did not protect them. They accused that World Bank missed to conduct sufficient checks on the implementation of the Land Management and Administration Program of the Government of US$38.4 million, resulting in reducing their gihtsrights to control their land and to protect them from evictions].
  • Cambodia Continues to Strengthen Troops and to Construct Roads at the Border [Preah Vihear]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5012, 5.10.2009

  • Child Mortality Rate in Cambodia Shows Declining Trends
  • Samdech Hun Sen Told the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Six Countries [Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam] that He Will Stand as a Prime Ministerial Candidate Again in 2013

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1800, 5.10.2009

  • This Year the Ministry of Education Recruits 5,000 Teachers, but It Should Not Forget to Ask the Government to Consider Increasing Teachers’ Salaries to Riel 1 Million [approx. US$250 per month] so that They Can Have a Proper Living Standard [there are more than 100,000 teachers countrywide]

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