Week 635

Credits, Extradition Agreements, and Reasons for Exemptions – Sunday, 25.10.2009

Posted on 26 October 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 635 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

Additional international loans from China and from the Republic of Korea have been agreed upon. As The Mirror quoted from reports this the week, during 2008 and 2009, about US$1 billion were received as loans from China, with an emphasis on infrastructure development. Besides these loans, also a grant was announced during the week of approximately US$15 million – half of it as grant aid, and the other half as a loan with no interest, to help overcome the suffering from recent floods and to restore infrastructure. Relief for the damage caused by the typhoon Ketsana is also forthcoming from the World Bank, Japan, Germany, and maybe from other sources.

In addition, during the visit of the President of the Republic of Korea, an amount of US$200 million in loans were agreed upon.

We are not aware that details about the timing and the terms of the re-payment obligations were published. Neither did we see any evaluation of the situation in terms of what is called a “sustainable external debt” – which is defined by some scholars of economics as “a situation where a country is expected to be able to meet its current and future debt obligations in full, without recourse to debt relief, rescheduling of debts, or the accumulation of arrears, and without unduly compromising growth.”

A number of agreements were signed, with China related to the infrastructure measures to be implemented with the loans, as we have mirrored before. With Korea, also a number of measures in other fields were agreed upon, among otheres also a mutual agreement on extraditions.

The role of extradition agreements, their validity, and possible exception, started to be discussed intensely after it had been reported that Prime Minister Hun Sen had offered to host his ‘eternal friend,’ the former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and he can come to Cambodia anytime, “and I prepare a house to welcome him.”

This announcement, immediately before the ASEAN summit meeting in Thailand, resulted in a series of responses and explanations back and forth, where we try to mirror the main developments.

The Thai Prime Minister countered with a statement that Thailand will ask to have the former Thai prime minister extradited if he comes to Cambodia, because of his conviction for a two years prison sentence, adding that he believes “the Cambodian leaders can clearly separate between politics and friendship.”

In spite of this, Prime Minister Hun Sen was quoted to have said, while in Thailand, “Thaksin can stay in Cambodia as a guest of Cambodia. He can also be my adviser on the economy.” And he added: “Many people talk about Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, why not talk about Thaksin? That cannot be referred to as interfering.”

In response, the Thai Prime Minister is quoted to have said: “I am concerned that he is seriously misinformed. I think there is clearly a misunderstanding of the situation if he compares the situation, as far as Thaksin is concerned and Aung San Suu Kyi. – I don’t know how many people share his view that Thaksin is like Aung San Suu Kyi. I doubt there are many, for fairly obvious reasons.”

Also the Cambodian government started to refer to misunderstanding and to clarifications. The Bangkok Post had reported: “Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has built a house for Thaksin Shinawatra to stay in his country whenever he wants to, Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said on his return from Cambodia” – but this was now denied and declared as incorrectly quoted by journalists. And though the possibility of an extradition was strictly rejected, “the Royal Government of Cambodia still maintains the firm position to maintain good relationships and cooperation in all sectors between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand.” The invitation to stay temporarily – not permanently, as was now stated, was to be considered to be “based on an humanitarian attitude, as Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen is a friend of Mr. Thaksin, and he helps him in a time of crisis, and this humanitarian attitude is not meant to interference in the internal affairs of Thailand.”

But so far the Thai side is not accepting such an interpretation. Also the Foreign Minister of Thailand expressed the hope that the Cambodian Prime Minister “would be able to distinguish personal affairs from the mutual interests of the two countries,” adding “I don’t know whether Prime Minister Hun Sen has invited Thaksin to visit Cambodia after he has served his jail term in Thailand or not.” If it were before serving his time in prison, the Thai government would seek his extradition in accordance with the bilateral treaty.

Such exchanges brought also other affairs again up for discussion: The Thai former deputy interior minister Vatana Asavahame, convicted for corruption, who is said to have fled to Cambodia to live here, could not be extradited because his offenses were committed before the extradition treaty came into effect in 2001. But the conviction of the former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra happened in 2008. Though the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had reported the conclusion of the Cambodia-Thailand Extradition Treaty on its website, the text is not available there.

The Thai government continues to consider an extradition request, as there are only two reasons mutually agreed upon for rejecting such a request: if a conviction was politically motivated, or if it was the result of a bias based on reasons of race, religion, nationality, or political views. There is no disagreement about the right of either side to reject an extradition. So the Cambodian government is entitled to “clarify the interpretation of the case of the Thai former prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, as it could be viewed as being politically motivated” as also reported as a Cambodian government position yesterday.

It is now also remembered again that the Cambodian and the former Thai prime ministers have overseen the conclusion of big business deals. The Thai Samart mobile phone company was an early entrant into the Cambodian market, and in 2001 followed a 22 years agreement that the telecommunications company of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra will provide the main air traffic control services for the airports of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

The Mirror of 29 June 2008 carried information about the dramatic developments related to the accusations about financial irregularities, leading to a court case against the ousted former prime minister, so that he at the end requested the permission to leave the country briefly on bail – but the result was that he broke the promise of an early return to face the court. Only one episode is repeated here: the mistaken box of chocolate:

Three lawyers of the ousted prime minister were jailed for six month by the Supreme Court for attempted bribery and contempt of the court. They had visited the court to discuss when the former prime minister and his wife would appear at the court, and when leaving, the lawyers left a lunch box with Baht 2 million in cash – about US$60,000 – ‘for the court officials.’ When they opened it, a judge happened to walk by and saw it. The jailed lawyer said he just mistook the box – his wife had prepared some chocolate for the court staff, and he, by mistake, took the other box with the two million. Now the police is investigating where the money came from.

In the meantime, tensions between the deeply split political groupings in Thailand are also intensifying.
Another former army commander and former prime minister, General Prem Tinsulanond, a senior to the former army commander and former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, criticized that the visit of the latter to Cambodia, and the subsequent invitation to the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has opened the Thai political society to international interference.

It is very difficult to foresee what will happen next. All sides involved are also under pressure to prove their patriotic commitment to solve the problem of the area around the Preah Vihear temple, without alienating public natinalistic expectations to find a solution for “their” side.

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Cambodia Hosts Thaksin, but Not Permanently – Saturday, 24.10.2009

Posted on 25 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“Phnom Penh: In the evening of 23 October 2009, the Minister of Information and spokesperson of the Royal Government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, told Kampuchea Thmey, ‘Samdech Hun Sen did not say that he will provide a permanent house to Mr. Thaksin to stay in Cambodia. But, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra can come to Cambodia. Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen was quoted incorrectly by journalists.’ Many Thai senior officials, including Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjajiva and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban reacted strongly, saying that they will seek the extradition of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, if he comes to Cambodia.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia expressed the firm position not to extradite Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra to Thailand if he comes to Cambodia.

“According to the statement of the spokesperson of the Royal Government of Cambodia that Rasmei Kampuchea received on 23 October 2009, Cambodia will not extradite him in response to any request from the Thai government in case former Thai prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, comes to stay in the Kingdom of Cambodia, but the Royal Government of Cambodia still maintains the firm position to maintain good relationships and cooperation in all sectors between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand.

“The statement of the spokesperson of the Royal Government of Cambodia says that after the statement of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, on 21 October 2009, Thai senior leaders had issued follow-up statements confirming their position that if Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra comes to Cambodia, the Thai government will seek to have him extradited back to Thailand, based on a treaty signed by the governments of both countries in 1998.

“The spokesperson of the Cambodian government stated that according to the third article of the Cambodia-Thailand Extradition Treaty between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand, declared valid by Royal Decree 0799 dated 17 July 1999, both sides receiving requests for an extradition have the right to reject an extradition based on any of the following cases:

  1. Any side receiving a request for extradition can refuse the extradition if it considers the demand to be politically motivated,
  2. Any side receiving a request for extradition that has a well founded reason to assume that the request for extradition is made with the aim to use criminal procedures or to impose punishment on the individual accused, over reasons of race, religion, nationality, or political views, or if the position of the accused person is considered affected by the reasons mentioned above.

“The statement added that, based on the two points above, the Royal Government of Cambodia has the right to clarify the interpretation of the case of the Thai former prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, as it could be viewed as being politically motivated. The permission announced, saying that he could stay in Cambodia is based on an humanitarian attitude, as Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen is a friend of Mr. Thaksin, and he helps him in time of crisis, and this humanitarian attitude is not meant to interference in the internal affairs of Thailand.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2080, 24.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #319, 24.10.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Will Nominate [Thai former prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra as His Economic Advisor [he said in Hua Hin – site of the ASEAN summit meeting]
  • The Girl Adopted by a Woman [teacher] Who Tortured Her Was Found to Have Four Places where Her Bones Had Been Broken
  • Cambodia Hopes that Chinese Investors Will Come to Invest in the Special Economic Zone in Sihanoukville

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2080, 24.10.2009

  • The 15th ASEAN Summit Was Opened in Cha Am and in Hua Hin under Strict Security
  • Cambodia Hosts Thaksin, but Not Permanently
  • Cheam Yeap: If There Would not have been the 7th January [1979 – the day that Cambodian and Vietnamese troops were victorious over the Khmer Rouge regime], There Would Not Have Been the 23rd October [1991 – the Paris Peace Agreement]
  • Former US President [Mr. Jimmy Carter] and Volunteers Will Build [166] Houses [for poor people] in Five Countries in Asia [Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #516, 24.10.2009

  • [The vice president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Kong Korm Wants that Civil Society Should Be Allowed to Participate in Sessions of the National Assembly to Express their Ideas about such Cases as the Penal Code

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6787, 24-25.10.2009

  • Two More Khmer Citizens Were Surrounded, Shot at, and Arrested West of the Ou Chak Chraeng Area on the Dangrek Mountains [at the Thai side of the border in Oddar Meanchey]
  • Tragedy of a Shell Explosion: A Man Was Injured and His Pregnant Wife and His Daughter Were Killed [when they tried to take the gunpowder out of an old shell to sell the scrap iron – Kampot]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5029, 24.10.2009

  • ASEAN Established Its Own Human Rights Instrument under the Shadow of Disagreements [it is criticized that this organization will not have any power to work – and five of the ten Civil Society human rights activists which had been invited and traveled to the venue to meet the ASEAN government leaders were refused to participate – after reported interventions from the delegations of Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar]
  • A Vietnamese Man Was Arrested, Bringing the Total Number of Arrests to Eight in a Heroin Smuggling Case of Half a Million Dollars [Phnom Penh]

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South Korea Provides a US$200 Million Concession Loan to Cambodia over a Period of Three Years – Friday, 23.10.2009

Posted on 23 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“Phnom Penh: The South Korean president promised to the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia to provide US$200 million in concession loans for 2009 to 2012 to develop the Cambodian economy and society.

“The promise of such loan provisions was made during the two-day official visit of the South Korean President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, and his delegation in Cambodia on 22 and 23 October 2009. Together with the above concession loan, the governments of both countries also signed 9 agreements and memorandums of understanding to strengthen cooperation between Cambodia and Korea.

“After the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, on Thursday evening, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, told journalists that the Korean government is ready to provide donations in response to the destruction in Cambodia, recently caused by the typhoon Ketsana, and Mr. Lee Myung-Bak will send his Minister of Foreign Affairs to check the situation, and Cambodia will raise the requirements to repair roads, schools, and hospitals that were damaged by this typhoon.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong added, ‘In response to Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen’s request, the South Korean President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, agreed with the comprehensive and strategic partnership between Cambodia and Korea.’

“Regarding tourism, within the past five years, the Korean tourists’ arrival figures were still at the first position [in 2009 it will probably be Vietnamese tourists which provide the top number] with many Korean tourists visiting Cambodia. In this sense, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong went on to say, ‘Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen will offer 1 year visas for Korean tourists to encourage them to visit Cambodia.’

“During a dinner party, a Cambodian-Korea business meeting, on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘This visit shows more clearly that the Korean government always really cares about the close ties and and the cooperation between both countries, and the presence of His Excellency [Mr. Lee Myung-Bak] and Her Excellency [Kim Yun-Ok] as well as the Korean delegation and the business community will surely bring new success and achievements, with the efforts to help develop the Cambodian economy and society, continuing to strengthen and to expand the cooperation in all fields, including politics, security, economy, social affairs, and culture.’

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that Cambodia and Korea have been cooperating with the aim to ensure new opportunities, with the intention to mutually contribute and share benefits in order to achieve economic growth and poverty alleviation.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that the Cambodian-Korean ties and cooperation appear to be more noticeable, through the cooperation to implement different projects together, like the cooperation to organize the Angkor-Kyongju World Exhibition, joint investments, and the cooperation to create a Cambodia stock exchange market.’

“During the party, the South Korean President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, said also that he sees some positive points for future cooperation between both countries; first, in agriculture and bio-energy. In this sense, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak stressed, ‘Cambodia has high agricultural potential while Korea is experienced in modernizing rural areas of poor people via the New Village Movement countrywide.’

Second, the president focused on cooperation in forestry, and Korea promised to implement a project to plant trees on 200,000 hectares, which is a win-win policy to restore forestry, to produce bio-energy, as well as to create job opportunities. His project will become a fine project of cooperation creasing ‘green’ cooperation bilaterally, which can create proper carbon dioxide emission credits and help to control global climate change.

“The South Korean president added that the third field is cooperation in industry, to provide training and education services, where at present, there are more than 500 enterprises in Cambodia contributing to develop the Cambodian economy.

“The fourth field focuses on cooperation in building infrastructure, where since the 1970ies, Korea has a lot of techniques, capital, and experience, and has constructed infrastructure in Korea and in other countries in electricity, roads, and railroads.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong continued to say that the Cambodian-Korean cooperation has reached a comprehensive and strategic partnership, and both countries will boost this cooperation further.

“During this meeting, the heads of the two governments signed nine agreements:

  1. Extradition treaty;
  2. Conditional agreement between the Cambodian and Korean governments about economic development cooperation for 2009-2012;
  3. Agreement on cooperation between the chambers of commerce of Cambodia and Korea ;
  4. Cooperation agreement to produce publications between the Ministry of Information of Cambodia and the Korean Telecommunications Committee;
  5. Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries on mineral resources;
  6. Memorandum of Understanding on investments to plant trees and to control climate change;
  7. Memorandum of Understand on education, training, and research, between the Royal University of Agriculture and the University of Agriculture of Korea;
  8. Memorandum of Understanding on rice product investments for export; and
  9. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the oil sector between the National Oil Authority of Cambodia and the Korean Oil Corporation. The South Korean president also promised to accept 3,500 Cambodian workers more to work in South Korea, adding to the total number of Cambodian workers to South Korea to increase to 9,000.

“The South Korean president welcomes workers to South Korea, and he promised to help Cambodian women who are legally married to Korean men.

“During the two-day visit, the South Korean president, his wife, and the delegation, went to meet also with the Khmer King, Preah Bath Preah Boromaneath Norodom Sihamoni.

“As planned, the South Korean president and the delegation will visit the well-known Angkor Wat Temple of Cambodia in Siem Reap on Friday morning, before he travels to Hua Hin in Thailand, to attend the 15th ASEAN summit from 23 to 25 October 2009.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #318, 23.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #318, 23.10.2009

  • Football Betting on the Internet Is Still a Concern though the Government Had Ordered to Close Legal [gamble] Companies [according to a letter sent to Deum Ampil by an anonymous woman whose husband always goes to bet on football matches through the Internet]
  • South Korea Provides US$200 Million Concession Loans to Cambodia for Three Years [for economic and social development]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2079, 23.10.2009

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vejjajiva Warned that Thailand Will Seek to Have [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Extradited if He Comes to Cambodia [the Thai Prime Minister said that he believes that Cambodian leaders can clearly separate between politics and friendship, and will not interfere with internal affairs of Thailand]
  • Two Big Trucks Loaded with Wood Were Seized, but Were Then Let Go Secretly [Siem Reap]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #664, 23.10.2009

  • To Develop Former FUNCINPEC Headquarters to Be a Taxi-Car Station Threatens the Security of the French Embassy [official of the French Embassy expressed concern about terrorism and security – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #515, 23.10.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Celebrates the 18th Anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreement

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6786, 23.10.2009

  • A Meeting between [Prime Minister] Hun Sen and [Thai former prime minister] Chavalit Yongchaiyudh Gets Discussed in Bangkok, and Thaksin Shinawatra Immediately Expressed His Appreciation to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [to host him in Cambodia as a friend; the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, said that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra will face an extradition request if he comes to Cambodia, based on the extradition agreement between Cambodia and Thailand]
  • A Plan for a New Satellite City Called U-City in the South of Kandal Estimated at US$1 Billion, Was Signed [by the Global Digital Media Group of South Korea and Green Gold Holding, based in France, which is planned to be constructed from 2008 to 2023]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #32, 23.10.2009

  • The National Assembly Starts to Discuss a Law about [Cambodian] Child Adoption [ with much discussion about adoptions of Cambodian children by foreigners – though the important Article 21 relates to the necessary qualifications of both foreign and Khmer adopting parents: no criminal records, good character, and love and the ability to raise children]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5028, 23.10.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Plans to Come to Cambodia, though the Bangkok Government Warned to Seek His Extradition [according to The Nation quoting an unnamed high ranking security official]
  • Cambodian Government Officials Stressed that the Paris Peace Agreement of 1991 Will Be Used for Solving the Border Issues with Thailand
  • A Woman Handed Money [US$105] to Her Husband to Pay It Back to the ACLEDA Bank, but He Used It for a Drinking Party [and gambling], She Got Angry and Hit Him Twice by a Phkeak to Death [a long handle knife – she was arrested – Kampot]
  • The Number of Vehicles Increased to Almost 1.3 Million [1,296,755 motorbikes and 248,523 cars/trucks [counting registration by August 2009], excluding the vehicles using police and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces number plates, though such cars are found in increasing numbers again, in spite of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stop using such number plates privately]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1814, 23-25.10.2009

  • [The president of the Human Rights Party] Kem Sokha Does Not Demand the Sam Rainsy Party to Change Its Name, but to Unite
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia Asked the Siamese [Thai] Government to Arrest the Perpetrator That Shot a Khmer Citizen to Death [at the border]

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Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Consider the New Demonstration Law as a Constraint on the Power of the People of Cambodia – Thursday, 22.10.2009

Posted on 23 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“The National Assembly has adopted a demonstration law limiting demonstrations to not more than 200 people. This law is considered by the opposition parties as a restriction of the power of the people in Cambodia. However, government representative claimed that this new law helps maintain social stability.

“During the session of the National Assembly yesterday, 21 October 2009, 76 parliamentarians out of 101 raised their hands to adopt this demonstration law, while the parliamentarians from the Sam Rainsy Party and from the Human Rights Party did not.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy told reporters in the morning of 21 October 2009, ‘At present the government cares only about cracking down on demonstrations and wants to eliminate the right of citizens who have reasons to protest.’ The people will get angry and feel pain when they want to present what they demand, but cannot do it though their demands are right. The government does not solve the citizens needs, but wants to intercept their presention.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy stressed that the Sam Rainsy Party wants to organize the country rightly, to eliminate the root causes of demonstrations, but the government just eliminates the demonstrations. Regarding the law limiting the number of people to only 200 to participate in a demonstration, Mr. Sam Rainsy said that it is a ban anticipating the expression of the power of the people in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘They do not want that large scale demonstrations can be held. If large scale demonstrations are held, the state fears the power of the people. People take power to control the country to serve the real benefit of the people, but not to serve the benefit of any dictatorial party or any dictators or their groups.’

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the Sam Rainsy Party does not support this law, as it has gaps which the state could use as a pretext to prevent people from demonstrating peacefully. It abolishes citizens’ right to express their opinions through peaceful demonstrations.

“The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, spoke to journalists expressing the same view as Mr. Sam Rainsy: that this demonstration law banishes people’s power in Cambodia, especially when citizens want to demonstrate to demand that leaders resign from their positions. He said, ‘For example, citizens may want to demonstrate over politics… to demand that some leaders resign.’

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that in countries that practice democracy, people can hold demonstrations to demand that some leaders leave their positions – which is called people’s power. While in Cambodia, it is now to be assumed that the Ministry of Interior will not allow this kind of manifestation, using the reasoning that it might be against national security, or against safety and public order. These are pretexts that governments use to prevent the people from demonstrating. Mr. Kem Sokha said that also the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians do not support this law.

“When asked whether this law interdicts people’s power or not, Mr. Kem Sokha said, ‘Of course. We see the direction. After we heard the words of the parliamentarians of the ruling party, it seems that they are afraid of the power of the people.

“A democratic regime is a regime where power can be changed peacefully, and leaders are established through general elections. But if the elected leaders act against what they had promised, citizens can demonstrate for a change of power.

“An investigating official of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Mr. Oum Sam Ath, said that limiting the number of people who can participate in a demonstration is not right for a country that practices democracy.

“This demonstration law also requires demonstration leaders to inform the authorities in advance, and Mr. Oum Sam Ath explained that the need to request for a permission, and this 5-days in advance, requires then to wait to see whether the demonstration is permitted or not – which is a new restriction, including the limitation of the number of demonstrators. This law is not according to the concept of democracy.

“However, a representative from the Ministry of Interior claimed during the session of the National Assembly since a few days ago that this law ensures social stability.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Nuth Sa An, said that the Ministry will ask the government to develop a policy how to publicize this law among the citizens.

“Though this law limits the number of people to 200 who can join a demonstration, Mr. Sam Rainsy said that this is not acceptable, and the Sam Rainsy Party plans to hold big demonstrations in the future. Mr. Sam Rainsy said that a planned big demonstration – though a specific date has not yet been set – is a demonstration to assemble tens of thousands of citizens victimized by land disputes from the provinces and cities countrywide.

“It should be noted that people’s power exists in many countries in the world, like in the Philippines, in Siam [Thailand], and in Indonesia.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #514, 22.10.2009

Note:

Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 51:
The Kingdom of Cambodia adopts a policy of Liberal Democracy and Pluralism.
The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country.
All power belongs to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, The Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary.
The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 October 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1416, 22.10.2009

  • Three Korean Men Raped a Karaoke Parlor Woman in a Room while She Was Drunk [they were arrested – Siem Reap]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #317, 22.10.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Shows the Green Light to Receive [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra and He Prepared a Residence [in Cambodia] for Him as a Friend
  • The Number of People Confirmed with A/H1N1 Has Increased to 202 Cases, and the Number of Deaths Remain at Three
  • The Iranian Government Asked to Step Up Cooperation with Cambodia [especially between the parliaments of the two countries – according to the Iranian ambassador to Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2078, 22.10.2009

  • 143 Countries Promised to Support the Cambodian Candidacy as a Member of the World Heritage Committee
  • A House Was Burnt Down Completely because the Firefighter Trucks Did Not Come, though They Had Been Called [Siem Reap]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #514, 22.10.2009

  • Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Consider the New Demonstration Law as a Constraint on the Power of the People of Cambodia

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer edition], Vol.1, #31, 22.10.2009

  • The Civil Aviation Authorities Will Write a Letter to the Government to Permit Siem Reap Airways to Fly Again
  • Cambodia Cannot Sell Rice to the Philippines this Year [because there is high local demand after typhoon Ketsana hit Cambodia]
  • Burma Rejects Request [of ASEAN] to Release Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [Burmese elected democracy leader]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5027, 22.10.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech [Hun Sen]: Mr. Thaksin Can Come to Cambodia Anytime He wants and I Prepare a House to Welcome Him
  • Exclusive Interview of Rasmei Kampuchea with the South Korean President, Lee Myung-Bak [he said ‘Samdech Hun Sen cares very much about the development of the Cambodian economy, and both of us have similar views and intentions on many problems;’ the investment by Korea in Cambodia increased 75 times within 12 years from 1997 to 2009; Mr. Lee Myung-Bak is a close friend of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and he had been nominated as advisor to Mr. Hun Sen in 2000]
  • Cambodia Reacts against some Thai Members of Parliament for Suggesting to Prevent Cambodia from Becoming a Member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1813, 22.10.2009

  • A Promise Was Made Again [by government officials from the Cambodian People’s Party] to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law by the Middle of Next Year

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Cambodia Signed Two Investment Projects Worth US$60 Million during the Inauguration of the China-ASEAN Expo – Wednesday, 21.10.2009

Posted on 22 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“Nanning: The 6th China-ASEAN Expo – CAEXPO [第六届中国—东盟博览会 – 20–24.10.2009, in Nanning, in the Province of Guangxi – 广西省南宁市 – China] started officially on Tuesday, 20 October 2009, under the presidency of Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Li Keqiang [李克强 – Pinyin: Lǐ Kèqíang], the Laotian Prime Minister representing the ASEAN countries, and the Secretary General of ASEAN [Dr. Surin Pitsuwan]. On the inauguration day of the trade exhibition, Cambodia signed two investment projects worth US$60 million.

“The first investment project is for mineral exploration, with investments amounting to US$50 million, and the second project is for tourism, worth US$10 million. This is according to Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Pak Sokhom, who informed journalists during the exhibition in Nanning, China.

“The 6th China-ASEAN trade exhibition is held for 5 days and started on Tuesday morning [20.10.2009] with the presence of the representative of the host country, the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Li Keqiang, the Laotian Prime Minister – the head of the event organizer for ASEAN, the ASEAN Secretary General, and representatives from all ASEAN countries.

“At the exhibition stalls of Cambodia, there were – beside many agricultural products displayed such as rice, corn, soy beans, and fruit – also jewelries, made from precious gems, displayed at many stalls, furniture, handicrafts, and information about investment projects of many companies in Cambodia.

“The Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Pak Sokhom, said that this year, Cambodia has 80 stalls at the exhibition, with 46 private companies from Cambodia participating, and a delegation of 246 officials from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Agriculture. He added that Cambodia chose a topic for the China-ASEAN Expo this year: The Sihanoukville Port Is a Charming Port. It is written so as to focus on encouraging investment in the Special Economic Zone development project in Sihanoukville. The plan and posters of the Special Economic Zone development project in Sihanoukville are displayed at the entry of the exhibition hall for Cambodia, attracting many visitors.

“On Wednesday evening [21.10.2009], a conference about the Special Economic Zone development project in Sihanoukville will be held for foreign investors, including those not from from China or from ASEAN countries. There are other foreign investors from America, Australia, France, Japan, and Korea.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5026, 21.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2077, 21.10.2009

  • Nuth Sa An: The New Demonstration Law Will Punish Members of the Authorities that Side with Demonstrators
  • The Prime Minister Will Leave to Attend the ASEAN Summit on 23 October 2009 [in Thailand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #513, 21.10.2009

  • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Sam Rainsy Shows His Position to Cooperate with the Government to Prevent Demonstrations in Cambodia [as demonstration are the last choice for people, he suggested to the ruling party to cooperate with the SRP to seek solutions before demonstrations are held – if solutions are found, people do not need to demonstrate]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6784, 21.10.2009

  • In the Last 20 Years Cambodia Has Encountered 12 Floods, Killing 1,125 People and Wasting More Than US$300 Million, and Drought Five Times, Wasting US$140 Million [according to the Minister of Environment, Mr. Mok Mareth]
  • The Authorities Confiscated Two Boats Loaded with Luxury Wood [in Kratie and Stung Treng]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer edition], Vol.1, #30, 21.10.2009

  • [The Minister of Economy and Finance] Mr. Keat Chhon: The Declining Cambodian Economy Will Grow Again by 2.1% this Year [to 5% based on agricultural output]
  • The World Health Organization Will Provide A/H1N1 Flu Vaccines to Cambodia [WHO plans to distribute 60 million doses of A/H1N1 vaccines to developing countries in November 2009]
  • The Authorities Build 3,000 Meters of Steps to the Preah Vihear Temple [to be built alongside the ancient stone steps]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5026, 21.10.2009

  • The Royal Government Expects that the South Korean President Will Bring Complete Support for Cambodia [during his visit on 22 October 2009]
  • Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Shot Dead Another Khmer Citizen Who Cut Trees at the [Khmer-Thai] Border
  • Cambodia Signed Two Investment Projects [mineral exploring and tourism investments] Worth US$60 Million during the Inauguration of the 6th China-ASEAN Expo – CAEXPO [第六届中国—东盟博览会 – 20–24.10.2009, in Nanning, in the Province of Guangxi – 广西省南宁市 – China]
  • China Called for Closer Cooperation between China and ASEAN [source]
  • The Cambodian [in Battambang, Mr. Van Thy] Can Design Drying Machines for Agricultural Product on His Own [after he having studied agriculture in Vietnam]
  • Thai Former Prime Minister Chavalit, Who Joined the [Puea Thai] Party Supporting [the Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Will Visit Cambodia and Meet with Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [privately] before the ASEAN Summit [later, REUTERS reported “Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has offered to host his ‘eternal friend,’ fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, at any time, state television reported on Wednesday]

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The World Food Program Plans to Provide Food to 108 Million People in 74 Countries Including Nearly One Million Cambodian People – Tuesday, 20.10.2009

Posted on 21 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635 – Tuesday, 20.10.2009

“Rome: Because the number of starving people increases beyond the number in previous reports, today (World Food Day – 16 October 2009), the World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations calls on the world to remember that more than one billion people do not have enough food to eat.

“The executive director of the World Food Program, Ms. Josette Sheeran, said, ‘Actually, the “World Food Day” is also “No Food Day” for 1 among 6,000 persons [Late addition: Apologies for a grave error during the process of preparing the manuscript: it is “1 among 6 persons” – a much more serious situation. And, according to the original English version we now replaced the former rendering “Word Without Food Day” with “No Food Day.”] in the world in this year. It should be remembered that more than one billion people will not have enough food to eat this year. We cannot change this problem. Therefore, our challenge is to make “No Food Day” become “World Food Day” for hundreds of millions of people who do not have sufficient food to eat.

“The flow of food aid is at the lowest level within the last 20 years, while there are more starving people due to the impacts from rising food prices, from the global financial crisis, and from more climate change.

“This year, the World Food Program plans to provide food to 108 million people in 74 countries in the world, including nearly one million Cambodians. But serious shortage of fund leads to the reduction of food to be distributed to some countries, and to temporary suspension of aid in some other countries. So far, donor countries have granted approx. US$2.9 billion in aid to the World Food Program which plans to spend US$6.7 billion in total for 2009.

“Ms. Sheeran added that during these decades, the World Food Program can supply food to about 10% of the men, women, and children who are starving in the world. But this year is the first year that the agents of the World Food Program seem not to be able to achieve its goal. As an agency to respond to emergency needs, the World Food Program has encountered many unexpected demands in 2009, like the response to the recent flood in the Philippines.

“As for Cambodia, the World Food Program said that even given the development that has been achieved in recent years, Cambodia is still considered as a country with starvation placed at high emergency levels, and it is among 36 countries in the world where there is a very high number of children suffering from malnutrition. Since 1979, the World Food Program has closely cooperated with the Royal Government of Cambodia, with other agencies of the United Nations, and with non-government organizations to alleviate starvation and malnutrition in Cambodia. The overall aim of the World Food Program in Cambodia is to improve food security among starving people through many programs related to education, health, and nutrition, to rise the living standard, and to sustainably build up against natural disasters and against other shocks. In 2008, the World Food Program supported nearly one million of the poorest people and of people with food insecurity.

“To celebrate the ‘World Food Day’, an event was jointly organized under the concerns of achieving food security during the crisis’ by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Food Program in Takeo. The World Food Program Representative to Cambodia, Mr. Jean Pierre De Margerie, said that achieving food security is still a challenge for thousand of poor and vulnerable people of Cambodia. The follow-up impacts from the rising food prices and the global economic crisis worsen the level of vulnerability in Cambodia, especially in regions hit by the typhoon Ketsana. He added, ‘Efforts to work collaboratively and the good coordination from all relevant partners are the best way to accomplish a regular and sustainable food security in Cambodia.'” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6783, 20.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2076, 20.10.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Told Citizens that the State Will Not Collect Fees for Listening to Radio and for Watching TV [after there was a request by the chairperson of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation Propaganda and Information of the National Assembly to collect such fees]
  • Four Robbers Robbed the Srae Prang Village Chief’s House, Taking Kathen [a Buddhist ceremony] Money [approx. US$5,000], and Shot His Son to Death [Kompong Cham]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6783, 20.10.2009

  • The World Food Program Plans to Provide Food to 108 Million People in 74 Countries, Including to Nearly One Million Cambodian People
  • More Than 300 Fishermen Protested in Front of the Municipality as Fishing Yields Drop to Almost Zero because of [sea] Sand Dredging [Koh Kong]
  • The Head of the Eye Department [of a Korean university] of [South] Korea Promised to Continue to Provide Eye Treatments and to Train Cambodian Ophthalmologists [by sending Korean volunteers, as they did since 2007]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #29, 20.10.2009

  • The Khmer Prime Minister Asked Global Witness to Stop Criticizing the Cambodian Government of Cutting Trees [the Prime Minister said during the First National Forum on Climate Change that global warming is first of all the result of economic activities in rich countries – the cutting of trees in a small country will now have global consequences]
  • Husband and Wife Who Tortured a Girl Are Detained at Prey Sar Prison [Phnom Penh]
  • The Ministry of Interior Announced to Fine Overloaded Trucks Seriously [as they create traffic hazards]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5025, 20.10.2009

  • The National Assembly Continues to Discuss the Demonstration Law
  • A 64-Year-Old Man Raped Two Young Girls [8 and 9 years old – he was arrested – Pursat]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1811, 20.10.2009

  • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Sam Rainsy: We Do Not Want Peace like Peace for Slaves [he said so while the National Assembly was discussing the defamation law

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China Provides Colossal Aid to Develop Cambodian Infrastructure – Monday, 19.10.2009

Posted on 20 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, said that the government of the People’s Republic of China decided to provide more aid and loans for infrastructure development in Cambodia during the visit of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen to Sichuan to attend the inauguration of the 10th Western China International Economy and Trade Fair – 中国西部国际博览会.

“The Deputy Prime Minister said so during a press conference in the morning of 17 October 2009 at the Phnom Penh International Airport after the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, had returned from China.

“The Deputy Prime Minister stated that during the visit, the secretary of the communist party of China in the Province of Sichuan provided the Prime Minister 50 motor pumps, 30 tractors, and 30 agricultural trucks. Also, the Province of Sichuan offers scholarships for students and for civil servants to receive training there. Besides this, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen officially negotiated with the Chinese Prime Minister, and he has achieved many results for the country including US$260 million in loans in response to a Cambodian requests to China from 2008, for 5 projects:

  1. Construction of 2 roads – National Road 62 from Kompong Thom to Tbaeng Meanchey in Preah Vihear and National Road 8 from Anlong Chrey to Meun Chey in Prey Veng;
  2. Construction of a irrigation system in Battambang;
  3. Construction of National Road 76 from Sen Monorum to Dac Dam in Mondolkiri;
  4. Creation of a flood controlling system in Kompong Trabaek district in Prey Veng; and
  5. Construction of electricity supply nets around Phnom Penh for poor people.

“Among the US$260 million in loans for 5 projects, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen asked China to use the remaining US$30 million to build the second Chroy Chongva bridge [in Phnom Penh] to help reduce traffic congestion.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong added that in 2009, Cambodia requested China in two phases for support of 11 projects worth US$593 million in total. In the fist phase, there are US$297 million for 5 projects:

  1. Construction of a road of 179 km from Thma Koul district in Battambang to the Thai border worth US$95 million,
  2. Construction of roads along the Cambodian-Thai border from Pailin to Koun Damrei worth US$73 million;
  3. Improvement of National Road 6 by creating 4 roads of 40 km worth US$57 million;
  4. Enlargement of the Phnom Penh Port worth US$30 million; and
  5. Water resources development at the Steung Keo river in Kampot worth US$42 million.

“The second phase worth US$296 million consists of 6 projects:

  1. Construction of the Takhmao Bridge and 21 km railroad worth US$42 million;
  2. Construction of Road 42 of 91 km from the Thnol Toteung to Chum Kiri district in Kampot worth US$48 million;
  3. Improvement of National Road 5 from Phnom Penh to Prek Kdam to have two lanes for going and two lanes for returning worth US$36 million;
  4. Construction of a dam at the Pursat river worth US$60 million;
  5. Construction of electricity networks in rural areas wroth US$50 million; and
  6. Construction of a hydro-electric dam in the north worth US$55 million.

“Mr. Hor Namhong stressed that both in 2008 and 2009, Cambodia receives nearly US$1 billion in loans from China for infrastructure development, such as roads, bridges, and dams, which is the second sector supporting economic development and promoting livelihood of citizens [the first being agriculture]. Besides these loans, Chinese Prime Minister granted Yuan 100 million [approx. US$15 million] to Cambodia, where Yuan 50 million is grant aid, and another Yuan 50 million is loans with no interest, and Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen will use this money to help citizens suffering from floods and to restore infrastructure.

“During his visit at China, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen met also the Sri Lankan and Vietnamese prime ministers.”
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2075, 18-19.10.2009

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Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 19 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #314, 18-19.10.2009

  • High Ranking Cambodian Army Officers Visited the Border [to boost morale and check the military situation]
  • A Court Jailed [an official of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport,] Nhem Vandoeun at the PJ Prison [which is said to have better living conditions compared to other prisons], but Did Not Send Him to Prey Sar Prison [for – corruption related to the issuing of number plates for vehicles]
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong: I Have No Fear, though [the president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Sam Rainsy Is Collecting More Evidence [over the defamation appeal of Mr. Sam Rainsy]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2075, 18-19.10.2009

  • China Provides Colossal Aid to Develop Cambodian Infrastructure
  • One Institution Has Two Offices in Poipet [there are two Cambodia-Thai Border Coordination Offices controlled by two different generals]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #662, 19.10.2009

  • The Court Singled Out Two Accusations against [the head of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police anti-drug-trafficking office ] Touch Muysor [for bribing and for illegally possessing about 8,000 methamphetamine pills at about US$100,000] and Detained Him Temporarily at the Prey Sar Prison [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #512, 18-20.10.2009

  • The World Bank and Japan Want to Help Restore Infrastructure Damaged by Typhoon Ketsana, but Need that Cambodia Deliver an Accurate Report

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6782, 19.10.2009

  • The United Arab Emirates Promised to Offer Tourism Scholarships, to Create an Agreement Encouraging Direct Flights to Cambodia, and to Help Develop Human Resources [in tourism]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #28, 19.10.2009

  • The European Union Said that Cambodia [through Cambodia Angkor Air, created by a joint investment by Cambodia and Vietnam] Has Only the Right to Book Tickets [to Vietnam, to its partner airline, as Cambodia Angkor Air is at present not yet recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO]
  • [Nearly 2,000] Workers of the Tac Fat Factory Who Had Been Protesting, Knelt Down at the Prime Minister’s Car Procession [when he returned from China, to ask for his intervention related to the factory closing]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1470, 19.10.2009

  • A Saleswoman Was Stabbed to Death by a Robber in Her House [the perpetrator escaped – Kandal]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5024, 18-19.10.2009

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong: The Cambodian Prime Minister Might Raise the Border Dispute [around Preah Vihear] at the ASEAN Meeting
  • The Maldives Held a Cabinet Meeting under Water [calling for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions ahead of a UN climate change conference in December 2009, because the country is only 2 m above the sea level and will be under water in 60 or 70 years if global warming continues like now]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1810, 19.10.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Expects to Receive New Evidence to Present to the [French] Court to Question [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong [relating to his role in the Boeung Trabaek Camp for returning intellectuals during the Khmer Rouge time]

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