Week 642

How can the law be set aside? – Sunday, 13.12.2009

Posted on 15 December 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

The Mirror is, in principle, an instrument that tries to do what it’s name says: to mirror what is in the news – and a mirror sees everything. It is not selecting what to show and what not to show. This is a high goal for a press review – it cannot be realized in our publication in quantity; but in quality it has to try to reflect major trends, even if some of them contradict each other.

Since some weeks, and with increasing clarity, two different ways to refer to the former Thai prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, can be observed:

  • The ousted former Thai prime minister, ousted by a military coup – compared to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar – his conviction for corruption is considered to be only a politically motivated move, he is considered as having created an economic model that assured him electoral victory, and therefore he is an appropriate adviser on economic affairs for the Cambodian political leadership and for Cambodia – and he is, after all, also an “eternal friend” of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
  • The fugitive former Thai prime minister was found guilty by the Thai Supreme Court and convicted to a two years prison sentence for corruption, helping his wife to buy an expensive piece of land in Bangkok, from public property into personal ownership, and way under the current market price. He had built up his telecommunications network to the strongest economic power outdoing other during his time in office. He therefore could afford to not only deposit a big fund for temporarily staying our of prison on bail, he could also afford to break his promise and lose this money – but he still is rich enough to travel around the world in a private jet aircraft, having achieved a (semi)permanent residence in exile in the financial center of Dubai.

He wielded power in 2003, during the anti-Thai riots which resulted in the ransacking of the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh and the destruction of other Thai property; later it was estimated that US$ 56 million went up in smoke during on night. But it was he who threatened the Cambodian Prime Minister to dispatch Thai paratroopers to Phnom Penh immediately, if the Cambodian government would not start to take action against the rioters within one hour. – Now again he wields power from exile, by successfully appealing to Prime Minister Hun Sen to pardon a Thai citizen accused to have been acting as a spy and convicted to 7 years in prison – most media describe that he did not appeal to the King who has the power to pardon, though the King finally granted the pardon. And this within three days – violating past practice that pardons for persons convicted to prison will only be granted after the prisoner has served at least two thirds of the time in prison – but in this case, only about 1% of the time had been served. No explanation has been given to the public why the Cambodian government is violating the history of it’s own practice.

The Thai government is, of course, obliged to try to implement verdicts of the Thai Constitutional Court, and therefore said it would request again for his extradition, but the Cambodian foreign ministry spokesperson Mr. Koy Kuong said such a demand would be “just a waste of time.” After all, Prime Minister Hun Sen had also said to consider the preset Thai government illegitimate, as it was formed on the basis of coalition agreements and not as a result of a direct popular vote. No wonder that the Thai government and other international observers ask how this can be reconciled with the traditional ASEAN practice of not interfering in the internal political structure of a member country.

A Cambodian Anti-Corruption Draft Law – still kept secret from the public, but already forwarded to the Assembly – has already passed the Cabinet in the morning of 11 December 2009. What will it’s provisions be? It was argued, since October 1993, when a draft first had reached the National Assembly, that an Anti-Corruption law cannot be operated without a new Penal Code. Now, there is a Penal Code.

One may try to imagine what the Cambodian governments reaction would be if another member state of ASEAN, like for example Malaysia, would entertain intensive communication with a major Cambodian opposition party in Cambodia, trying to change Cambodian court decisions

Nobody can hope for a solution by simply combining some arguments from both sides, like saying: “Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, the criminal convicted by the Thai high court for personal embezzlement, the adviser of the Cambodian government, is now commenting on what a new Anti-Corruption Law should contain. And which kind of violations of laws for personal gain, which kinds of misuse of high level power should be excluded from corruption investigation, when they have been committed by highly placed persons…”

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Cambodia Spends About US$20 Million Each Year on Pesticides – Saturday, 12.12.2009

Posted on 12 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

“Phnom Penh: A secretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Mr. Om Kimsea, said recently that according to a study, each year about 3,200,000 liters of pesticides are used, corresponding to about US$20 million, and 57% of those pesticides are applied to vegetables.

“Mr. Om Kimsea added that in agriculture, chemicals like anorganic fertilizer and agricultural pesticides are one of the most well known means farmers use due to their effectiveness. However, if those chemicals do not conform to proper technical standards [or if they are not used properly!!!], they might be hazardous to human health, to animals, and to the environment.

“Regarding this issue, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries is trying to find all necessary measures to deal with this complex problem.

“Mr. Om Kimsea went on to say that the Ministry has created a mixed program for crop management for training farmers in the skills to manage crops to grow well and to provide high yields by considering the sustainability of the production, its economic efficiency, and the protection of the citizens’ wellbeing and of the environment, aiming to guarantee food security and food safety. He continued to say that this program focuses on reducing the use of chemicals, especially of agricultural pesticides in agriculture, in order to boost sustainable agricultural practices. Besides, the Ministry cooperates with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Industry, and other relevant institutions regarding agricultural pesticides, their security, and the wellbeing of the citizens. He added that the Ministry works also with non-government organizations, national and international, to encourage the implementation of work related to this sector, to function efficiently and to improve gradually.

“He said that in the meantime, the Ministry is carefully checking international laws, such as the codes of procedures about the distribution and use of agricultural pesticides, like the Rotterdam Convention about chemicals and agricultural pesticides in international trade, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, in order to regularize and to expand the checking on trade and the use of agricultural pesticides in Cambodia.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2122, 12.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 12 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #360, 12.12.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Sent 24 Khmers from Kampuchea Krom to Cambodia [through the Poipet border crossing], and They Ask the Head of the Government for Asylum
  • A Greek Man Was Sentenced to Serve 5 Years in Prison for Debauchery with a Child [Phnom Penh]
  • [Thai ousted fugitive former prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra: I Want to Return to the Country to Serve the People, but I Do Not Want to Be Prime Minister [he stated, via live television, to his supporters, red-shirt demonstrators]
  • In America 10,000 People Died of A/H1N1 [and there are worldwide (?) more than 50 million cases of people infected with A/H1N1]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2122, 12.12.2009

  • Cambodia Spends About US$20 Million Each Year on Pesticides
  • The Anti-Corruption Draft Law Has Already Passed the Cabinet in the Morning of 11 December 2009 [the draft has been discussed and approved during a cabinet meeting and will be sent to the National Assembly]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #553, 12.12.2009

  • A Khmer Court Sentenced a Siamese [Thai] Spy to Seven Years in Prison, but Will Release Him in Less Than Seven Days
  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Citizens Celebrated the 61st International Human Rights Day in Phnom Penh [mentioning difficulties as well as the desperate need for human rights respect for Khmer Kampuchea Krom people who are at home in Vietnam]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6829, 12-13.12.2009

  • The Cambodian King Pardoned a Thai Convict; the Puea Thai Party Demands [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya and First Secretary of the Thai Embassy [in Cambodia] to Resign
  • Japan Granted US$170,880 to Three Provincial Departments of Education, Youth, and Sports

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5071, 12.12.2009

  • The Cambodian King Granted a Pardon for a Thai [alleged spy] Engineer; on Monday, He Will Be Released
  • Seeking Snails at a Ditch, Two Sisters [9 and 10 years old] Drowned [Kompong Thom]
  • A Taiwanese Boyfriend and Girlfriend Were Detained for Bringing Heroin for Their Friends in the Prey Sar Prison [Phnom Penh]

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Fifty Percent of All Vegetables Are Imported from Vietnam to Meet the Daily Demands – Friday, 11.12.2009

Posted on 12 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

“Phnom Penh: About 50% of all vegetables eaten in Cambodia are imported from Vietnam. This is seen from the vegetables at the Deumkor Market in Phnom Penh, the biggest vegetable distribution market.

“The head of the Deumkor Market, Mr. Thong Heng, said that companies licensed by the Ministry of Agriculture mostly import vegetables from the Trapeang Phlong border crossing in Kompong Cham every day with three trucks, carrying 30 tonnes of vegetables each. Another border crossing for imports from Vietnam, that is near and easier, is the Koh Thom district crossing in Kandal. Also, there are special companies, importing vegetables both on land and on water ways.

“Kandal residents said that because too much vegetables are imported from Vietnam, the crops they grow themselves get blocked, and they cannot compete with the cheaper prices of vegetables imported from Vietnam. They stop expanding the land where they cultivate something, and some families abandon their land, because they cannot continue producing economically.

“The head of the Department of Agronomy, Mr. Nouv Ratana, acknowledged this and estimated that vegetables imported from Vietnam amount to 30% to 40% of the daily demands. Most imported vegetable types are those that our Khmer citizens cannot grow in all seasons, like carrots, onions, potatoes, and white cabbage, etc. Moreover, certain crops cannot be grown for different reasons, especially tomatoes, for which the Vietnamese have special techniques to grow them in all seasons. “Mr. Heng Sokhom said, ‘We frequently found that some vegetables have poisonous substances, but before we can identify them clearly at laboratories, the sellers have already sold and distributed them all.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5069-5070, 10-11.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 11 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #358-359, 10-11.12.2009

  • Eighteen Human Rights Organizations Celebrated the 61st Human Rights Day Successfully [while the Phnom Penh authorities provided security]
  • ADB Provides US$30 Million for the Tonle Sap Basin Development [a loan to find new measures to boost the incomes and the livelihood opportunities of thousands of poor households in the Tonle Sap Basin region]
  • Two Young Sisters [16 and 17 years old] Were Attacked with Acid All over Their Bodies by [two] Unknown Persons [on a motorcycle – Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2120-2121, 10-11.12.2009

  • Cambodia Received the Agreement [by the member countries of the Ottawa Anti-Landmine Treaty] to Extend the Time to Clear Mines for Ten More Years [in 1991, there were 4,500 square kilometers infested by landmines, at present, there are still 650 square kilometers]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Must Leave His Office, Dissolve the Parliament, and Conduct New Elections Immediately [demanded thousands of red-shirt demonstrators, supporters of the ousted and convicted for corruption former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]
  • The Number of People Infected with A/H1N1 Rose to 487 in Cambodia

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #551-552, 10-11.12.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Appeals to the Government to Be Brave to Recognize Human Rights Violations in Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6828, 11.12.2009

  • A Storehouse with Hidden Valuable Kronhoung Wood Worth Tens of Thousands of Dollars Was Intercepted in the Center of Siem Reap
  • The Bodies of two Khmer Citizen Shot Dead on Different Days for Entering to Cut Trees [in Thai territory] Illegally Were Sent Back through the Choam Sagam Border Crossing

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #64-65, 10-11.12.2009

  • [Convicted] Thai Spy Decided Not to Appeal while Chavalit Plans to Come to Cambodia
  • The Mother of the Spy Asked [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra and [Puea Thai Party president] Chavalit to Help Her Son [who was sentenced to serve 7 years in prison for spying, as he copied the flight plan documents of Mr. Thaksin]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Warned Khmer Citizens Not to Enter Thai Territory Illegally
  • IMF: Downturn of Garment Sector and Banking in Cambodia Exist due to their Weak Structures
  • The Call Price Conflict [between different mobile phone service providers] Was Brought to an End [according to a notification signed by the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Mr. So Khun, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, on Monday: from now on all mobile phone companies are not allowed to charge less than US$04.5 per minute, both call-in and call-out]
  • Cambodia Plans to Create Public Transport Systems [within five more years, in order to reduce traffic jams: bus and sky rail services]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5069-5070, 10-11.12.2009

  • The International Human Rights Day of 10 December Was Celebrated with Marches and Statements about Human Rights Violations
  • The Senate Marked the 61st International Human Rights Day
  • In Cambodia, There Are More Than 300,000 Enterprises, Employing More Than 1.4 Million Workers [according to the National Institute of Statistics of Cambodia of the of Ministry of Planning]
  • 50% of all Vegetables Are Imported from Vietnam to Meet the Daily Demands

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1830-1831, 10-11.12.2009

  • Civil Society: The Fight against Corruption Starts with Independent Courts
  • The European Union Considers Civil Society as an Important Partner to Encourage Cambodia towards More Respect for Human Rights and Democratic Practices
  • Opposition Party, Civil Society, and the United Nations Expressed in Similar Ways that Human Rights Are Being Violated Seriously in Cambodia

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United Nations International Human Rights Day – Thursday, 10.12.2009

Posted on 11 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

Message at the occasion of the United Nations International Human Rights Day, from the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations. Human Rights Day serves as a yearly landmark to remember the victories won in the long struggle to respect the dignity of all human beings. But its main purpose is to mobilize against major threats to human rights, namely poverty, discrimination, gender inequality, climate change and terrorism. “Embrace Diversity. End Discrimination” is the motto of this 61st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration.

This motto is particularly pertinent in the contemporary world that has become more diverse than ever before. Migration flows at national and international levels are increasing. Continuing economic hardship, armed conflicts and tensions between communities in all parts of the world have pushed thousands to abandon their homelands in search of a better future.

These movements deeply affect all societies. Our major challenge today is to promote harmonious relations among people of different ethnic origin, culture, religion or belief. Ignorance and fear, accentuated by the ongoing economic and financial crisis, is a fertile ground for discrimination and new prejudices to arise. We must not let this happen.

It is only through mutual respect, understanding, constructive dialogue and acceptance of the right to be different that we will diffuse tensions and build more peaceful multicultural societies.

The Durban Review Conference held earlier this year voiced a message of solidarity with all those who remain excluded, marginalized and discriminated. UNESCO is working actively to translate this message into fact because we are committed to the principles of non-discrimination and respect for cultural diversity.

Promoting exchange and dialogue among cultures counts among our top priorities. Dialogue alone will enable us to look beyond our differences and prejudices and to realize that we are united by many common dreams, aspirations and challenges.

Cultural or any other specificity must be aligned with respect for fundamental freedoms. When it comes to the full implementation of human rights, there can be no compromises. Respect for cultural diversity can never justify partial violation of human rights on the grounds of cultural relativism. This is why UNESCO attaches great importance to clarifying the notion of the right to take part in cultural life. It could mark an important step in protecting cultural diversity and lifting possible misconceptions. The other two rights within UNESCO’s mandate – the right to education and the right to freedom of opinion and expression – are instrumental to safeguard cultural diversity.

The 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures provides an ideal platform for promoting tolerance, mutual respect and dialogue among cultures. These values are the foundations of a new humanism, a universal vision rooted in a profound respect for human dignity, fundamental rights and the diversity of cultures. This vision compels each and every human being to feel an engaged sense of responsibility towards the other and the safeguarding of our planet.

Indeed, the hopes of the world are turned towards the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. It is our shared responsibility to make concrete commitments towards present and future generations, and to extend full assistance to all those who are directly affected by climate change. UNESCO will be actively engaged in the follow-up to this Summit, through initiatives that encompass education, culture and the sciences, in full respect of human rights.

Let us join forces to reaffirm our determination to make universal human rights a common standard of achievement for all, a reality for everyone.

Note:

The next regular publication of the Mirror, after the present public holiday, is planned for Friday, 11 December 2009.

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Carbon Dioxide Emissions Become a Means for Cambodia to Ask for Money – Wednesday, 9.12.2009

Posted on 10 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

“Criticism will have no influence in making Cambodia, a poor country, to reduce the emission of CO2 which pollutes the environment. But the provision of funds is the best way to help to reduce the emissions that lead to global climate changes.

“While the government will express its position during the discussions about climate change in Copenhagen, the coordinator at the national level of the office of climate change of the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Tin Ponlok, said, ‘We should not focus on the problems of industrialized countries.’

“Mr. Tin Ponlok added, ‘As many industrialized countries as possible must provide specific financial support to help developing countries to adapt themselves to the impacts from climate change.’

“His appeal was based on the core agenda of the discussion at the climate conference in Copenhagen, which is being held during 11 days, where Cambodian officials from some relevant ministries will encourage the provision of more financial support for the efforts of this country to reduce the impact from climate change.

“In November, during the final discussions about climate change in Barcelona, the developed countries decided not to reply to requests for financial support, which would require them to prepare resources from 1% to 5% of their countries’ GDP for a fund on climate change for poor countries.

“In Copenhagen, developed countries are trying to estimate how much resources they should contribute, and they consider whether a reduction of CO2 emission by 40% by 2020 is too high or not, which would mean to be at a comparable level with the amount of emissions in 1990, a goal that developing countries are appealing to achieve.

“Mr. Tin Ponlok said that Cambodia is the one, among the 8 most vulnerable countries, under threat from climate change, that was selected into a pilot program of the World bank, the Climate Resilience project, which aims to expand efforts to combat the impacts from climate change, and it is expected that Cambodia will not be able to reduce CO2 emission unless financial support, especially for new technologies, is increased.

“Mr. Tin Ponlok spoke to participants, students, officials from non-government organizations, and government officials, saying, ‘It will not happen through the market economy, unless developed countries provide funds to least developed countries, otherwise we can not join significantly to reduce our CO2 emissions.’

“According to the World Bank’s estimation, US$10 billion in total per year have to be provided for climate change assistance to developing countries, compared to the estimated annual needs, US$75 million is for adaptation, and US$400 billion for the reduction of impacts from climate change.

Note:

The numbers in the previous paragraph do not match. We bring therefore a section of a World Bank Study which was probably the background for the Cambodian newspaper report above:

The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change
New Methods and Estimates

The Global Report of the Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change Study
Consultation Draft

Four lessons stand out from the study:

First, adaptation to a 2° Celsius warmer world will be costly. The study puts the cost of adapting between 2010 and 2050 to an approximately 2oC warmer world by 2050 at $75 billion to $100 billion a year. The estimate is in the upper range of existing estimates, which vary from $4 billion to $109 billion. Although the estimate involves considerable uncertainty (especially on the science side), it gives policymakers—for the first time—a carefully calculated number to work with. The value added of the study lies in the consistent methodology used to estimate the cost of adaptation—in particular, the way the study operationalizes the concept of adaptation.

From a 109 pages World Bank document: The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change (strangely enough it is not dated, but probably still recent).

“In a report of the World Wildlife Fund last month, Phnom Penh is considered the 3rd most vulnerable city in Asia regarding climate change, together with Calcutta. The World Wildlife Fund said that Cambodia is vulnerable to the impacts from climate change, such as droughts and floods.

“Mr. Tin Ponlok added, ‘Developing countries, especially the least developed countries, are the victims of climate change.’

“He went on to say, ‘We are not at the root of the problem,’ adding, ‘developed countries must act, and developing countries can join voluntarily.’

“However, regarding this position, environmentalists thought that putting all the burden on developed countries can make poor countries have a pretext to develop differently as they like [without considerations for the environment].

[…]

“In a new report in October, the NGO Forum on Cambodia said that the government should open the market for decentralized energy production. In addition, a statement released yesterday by the Asian Development Bank voiced some concerns about future consequences that the developing countries in Asia may create for the environment.

“The Asian Development Bank said, ‘While the emissions of CO2 on average into the atmosphere is in a low level at present, when the economy grows, incomes increase, then most emission of CO2 will come from vehicles, electricity plants, and deforestation.’ The CO2 emission in the world by developing countries in Asia might increase up to 40% easily, before or by 2030.

“The power development plan of Cambodia for 2010 to 2020 calls for the construction of coal fired electricity generators at 9 places, which will add more CO2 emission from Cambodia, and 9 hydro-electric dams.

“Though they made an appeal for decentralized power systems, the executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, Mr. Chhit Sam Ath, said recently in an interview, ‘The developed countries should really commit themselves to reduce greenhouse gases in their countries, and compensate developing countries for damages on those countries, as they do nothing [for substantially polluting the environment].’

“He added, ‘Compensation should be provided in the form of the transfer of technologies, capacity building, and financial support for developing countries, so that they have the ability to deal with climate change problems.

“A coordinating official on climate change of the non-government organization GERES, Mr. Heng Pheakdey, agreed with this idea.

“He said that developing countries like Cambodia need a proper and ambitious agreement in which industrialized countries must commit themselves to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases more strongly and more quickly. This aid should be linked with conditions that can be accepted.

“He added, ‘Nevertheless, it still depends on the government to use those resources to invest in renewable energy and to provide incentives to attract more investments in this sector.’

“The executive director of Oxfam America in Cambodia, Mr. Brian Lund, wrote in an email, saying, ‘It is very important that the least developed countries, including Cambodia, create different systems to work towards climate change.’

“He added, ‘Remember that this is a global issue, so everyone is concerned whether the funds are spent properly and that the poorest and most vulnerable countries are supported.’

“However, it is expected that developing countries and also the least developed countries will be willing to help to care for the environment, but they should avoid using environmental reasons as a basis for asking for funds.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1829, 9.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #357, 9.12.2009

  • [The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats – CALD – Nominated [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua as the Chair of the CALD Women’s Caucus
  • Samdech Ta [the Grandfather King] and Samdech Yeay [the Grandmother Queen] Sent Best Wishes to Samdech Chea Sim to Recover Soon [he is being treated in Singapore for hypertension]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Will Leave to Laos Today to Attend the 25th South East Asian Games

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2118, 9.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Congratulated [19] Khmer Students for Winning Prizes from the Isles International University in Europe
  • The Official of the World Health Organization [Dr. Michel Thieren]: 30,000 Cambodian People Have Diabetes

Note:

Also the Cambodia Daily of 9 December 2009 described the event, stating that 19 “senior officials, lawmakers and businessmen were awarded doctoral degrees yesterday morning by the Isles International University, an organization that appears to be an international diploma mill with strong links to the discredited Irish International University… which was exposed as having no links to Ireland’s educational system in 2006, after having awarded honorary degrees to a number of politicians, including to the premier himself….”

The member of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the study was free, “but he paid $20,000 to have his thesis translated from Khmer to English,… Mr Mong Reththy said he had also paid $20,000 in the process of earning the doctorate.”

In an information sheet distributed at yesterday’s ceremony, Isles International University claims to have been ‘approved
by the Minister of Education in the Brithsh Isles of Grea Brivtain’ in an apparent reference to Great Britain. However, IIU’s name does not appear on a list of accredited, degree-awarding universities provided yesterday by the British Embassy in Phnom Penh.”

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #692, 9.12.2009

  • Samdech Norodom Sihanouk [the former King] Enters a Hospital in Beijing [for medical checkups] while [the President of the Senate] Chea Sim, Is Recovering from His Illness in Singapore
  • The Cambodian Angkor Air Is Served by Vietnamese Staff, and It Is Not Appropriate to Say that It Represents the Nation

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #550, 9.12.2009

  • Khmers who Live Abroad Held a Non-Violent Demonstration in Front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva in Switzerland [demanding real freedom and democratic rights for the Khmer people]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6826, 9.12.2009

  • The Department for Criminal Affairs of the Ministry of Interior Arrested Two Black Men for Using Fake Credit Cards [Svay Rieng]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #63, 9.12.2009

  • The Human Rights Party Asked the Ministry of Interior to Disclose the Number of Immigrants [in Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5068, 9.12.2009

  • The Thai Spy Was Sentenced to Serve 7 Years in Prison and Ordered to Pay Riel 10 Million as a Fine [approx. US$2,500; for releasing information about the flight plan of former Thai prime minister, convicted and fugitive from his two years prison conviction for corruption, claiming that the disclosure of the flight plan affected the public order and security of Cambodia. Flight plans in most countries are always kept public, as a measure to facilitate the exchange of flight plan information for air traffic safety]
  • A Strong Woman Cheated a Korean Investor for Millions of Dollars [about US$10 million] and Was Arrested [Phnom Penh]
  • A Traffic Accident Grabbed Lives of Four People, because They Got Drunk, Riding Motorbikes and Hit a Car [coming from the opposite direction – Kompong Speu]
  • The European Union Grants an Additional US$1.3 Million for Human Rights Projects in Cambodia

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1829, 9.12.2009

  • Carbon Dioxide Emissions Become a Means for Cambodia to Ask for Money

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The Prime Minister Warned Environmental Experts in Relation to the Construction of Hydro-Electric Dams – Tuesday, 8.12.2009

Posted on 9 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

“On 7 December 2009, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia warned some environmental experts who frequently criticized and mentioned endless impacts from the construction of hydro-electric dams. At this point, the Prime Minister stressed that environmental impacts from hydro-electric dams really exist, but there are also much benefits from them, and the construction plans have been studied thoroughly.

“During his visiting to check the construction process of the hydro-electric dam at the Kamchay river in Teuk Chhou district, in Kampot on Monday morning, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said, ‘The construction of the hydro-electric dam at Kamchay really creats floods in the upper areas, but it helps us with some points, including:

  1. It helps create power of 193 megawatts;
  2. It helps to control floods; and
  3. It ensures that our Teuk Chhou [natural resort] has water both in the rainy and in the dry season.’

“It should be noted that this hydro-electric dam in Kampot will be finished in 2012, 112 meters high. By 7 December 2009, 47 meters have been constructed. The Royal Government contracted the construction to a Chinese company. After that, the company can sell the electricity and this will last for 30 years.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen spoke about the site for this electric dam, saying, ‘If there had been no coup to oust King Norodom Sihanouk [in 1970], His Majesty would have created hydro-electric dams, and the burden would not have been left for us at present – but there was a political disturbance.’ In the meantime, according to the head of the Royal Government, more hydro-electric dams will be built in the future to supply power to the Cambodian people countrywide, and reduce petroleum consumption.

“At this time, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen emphasized, ‘Ten hydro-electric dams are being studied and being planned. Now we construct this hydro-electric dam in Kamchay, and we are building four other dams in Pursat, including the hydro-electric dams at the Atai river with 120 megawatts, at the Tatai river with 246 megawatts, at the Russey Chrum river with 338 megawatts, and at the Cheay Aren river with 108 megawatts. These hydro-electric dams will generate power for the citizens at the provinces along the Siamese [Thai] border.’

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that the government spends about US$20 million per year to ensure the electricity supply for the citizens in Phnom Penh [the government spends US$20 million every year on generating electricity so that it is not too expensive]. To have [affordable] electricity for consumption generated from petroleum, the Royal Government has to cover the expenses.

“There are some ideas that the consumption costs of electricity in Cambodia will be cheaper through the use of the power from hydro-electric dams that were and are being constructed in Cambodia; the government contracted the construction of most dams to Chinese investment companies. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen went on to say that just 200-300 megawatts or 400-500 megawatts are very small amounts of power for Chinese investment companies, because they have built already hydro-electric dams with the power of thousands of megawatts.

“To conclude, the construction of hydro-electric dams, to some extent, helps prevent environmental impacts as it reduces the emission of polluting smoke from the use of petroleum.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #356, 8.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #356, 8.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warned Environmental Experts in Relation to the Construction of Hydro-Electric Dams
  • The Electricity Cost Will Drop to US$0.10 per kw/h [after the Kamchay hydro-electric dam will be finished in 2012, said Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • The Asian Development Bank Has Provided Loans of US$1.000,14 Million for Development in Cambodia [since 1992]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2118, 8.12.2009

  • The Vice President of China Will Visit Cambodia Officially Late This Month [following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s invitation, and some agreements will be signed]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #549, 8.12.2009

  • The Opposition Parties and the Ruling Party Have the Same Position as the Civil Society: to Organize the Anti-Corruption Day [in Phnom Penh and in eight provinces on 9 December 2009]
  • The Lawyer of the Siamese [Thai alleged] Spy Will Ask for Pardon from the [Khmer] King if He Is Found Guilty

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6825, 8.12.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Shot Dead a Person at the Dangrek Mountains, Injured One, and Arrested Eight Others [they went to cut trees illegally]
  • The Municipal Court Will Open the Hearing on the Thai Alleged Spy under the Eyes of Bangkok [on 8 December 2009 – Phnom Penh]
  • Three Died and One Was Seriously Injured by Four Different Accidents [three traffic accidents and one drowning – Kompong Thom]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #62, 8.12.2009

  • Kompong Thom Police Arrested Seven More Representatives of Citizens over a Land Dispute with a Vietnamese Company [Tan Bien Company]
  • [The President of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the Senate] Mr. Chea Sim’s Heath Recovers [in Singapore, from hypertension – according to Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5067, 8.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister: China Is Constructing a Big Battery for Cambodia [referring to five hydro-electric dams which can generate nearly 1,000 megawatt]
  • Phnom Penh-Stung Treng Bus Burnt, after Hitting a Motorbike Rider to Death [Stung Treng]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1828, 8.12.2009

  • Opposition Party Parliamentarians Will Go to Check the Border at the Disputed Point on 14 December 2009 [Svay Rieng]
  • The Government Agrees to Receive a Small Amount of Money by Allowing Siamese [Thai] Fishermen to Destroy Khmer Sea Fish

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Cambodia and Vietnam Step Up Their Cooperation in the Fields of Economy and Development – Monday, 7.12.2009

Posted on 8 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

“Sihanoukville: The Kingdom of Cambodia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam signed several agreements, especially about the economy and about investments towards the development of the country.

“High ranking officials of Cambodia and of Vietnam again expressed a common position during the 11th Cambodian-Vietnamese bilateral committee meeting about cooperation in economy, culture, science, and technology, on 4 December 2009, at the Independence Hotel in Sihanoukville. There, an Aide Memoire of the meeting was also signed. It was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, and by the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem [Phạm Gia Khiêm].

“The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ung Sean, spoke to journalists after the meeting, saying that the Aide Memoire signed is a new success in strengthening the close and the longer term relations, as well as the cooperation between both countries. He added that the results achieved are a response to intentions of the leaders of both countries, as well as of the people.

“Mr. Ung Sean added, ‘I noticed that the Cambodian-Vietnamese committee meetings are getting to a deeper level from year to year, because of the stability and the speedy growth in both countries. The Cambodian economy has also achieves progress, though it is less than that of Vietnam. Thus, what we have achieved at present reflects the economic growth and the social progress in both countries. I hope that all relevant ministries and institutions with their representatives here will use the Aide Memoire as a guide for the cooperation between both sides – Cambodia-Vietnam and Vietnam-Cambodia – in order to accomplish what we have noted down in this document.’

“Mr. Ung Sean added, ‘During the meeting, there were some issues for which we have not yet achieved solutions, and they will require further discussion. In the meantime, he asked all relevant ministries and institutions to continue to discuss them to achieve in next year’s meeting what we have not yet achieved. Some tasks need further research and decisions from top political leaders, without which other institutions of both countries cannot make decisions directly.’

“The Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, said in the meeting, ‘During this discussions, high ranking leaders of the both countries worked very hard, and we can conclude that success can be achieved through mutual trust, which includes solidarity and cooperation between both countries.’

“He expressed his appreciation for the increasingly effective and transparent cooperation from day to day, which is in line with the progress of the country, and this brings also new changes for the administration.

“Mr. Ung Sean said that during the meeting, 26 points for cooperation were discussed:

  1. In the education sector: Vietnam continues to grant 100 long-term scholarships and 450 short-term scholarships to Cambodia.
  2. In the field of agriculture: Cambodia continues to cooperate with Vietnam in the plantation of rubber. For this, 100,000 hectares of land have to be found, according to the request by Vietnam.

Besides this, both sides discussed also pest control, as insects destroy crops, and also the protection of some rare animals was on the agenda, so that they do not become extinct, to be achieved by the suppression illegal trafficking in these endangered species. The most important thing are good border relations, and both countries continue to demarcate the border, to be finalize in 2012.

“Also, there was discussion about cooperation in the construction of hydro-electricity dams along the Sesan II river, and both sides will try to avoid impacts on the environment. As for consulates and immigration offices, both sides decided to offer visas for Vietnamese tourists to visit Cambodia up to 30 days, while before visas were given only for 14 days.

“Relating to visas for Cambodian and Vietnamese workers, both sides agreed as a policy to allow workers with sufficient documents to stay for one year.

“In the land transport sector, Cambodia encourages Vietnam to finish the construction of National Road 78 from Ou Ya Dav to Ban Lung in Ratanakiri soon. Vietnam promised to finish it by 31 January 2010. Meanwhile, both sides promised to seek funds to build the Chrey Thom bridge soon. As for border demarcations, both sides gave orders that border markers put already must be maintained in place, but it must be ensured that there is no negative impact on the interests of both sides.

“Regarding investments, Cambodia noted Vietnam’s request to talk about the signing of a agreement to abolish overlapping double taxes.

“According to news from the Vietnam News Agency, published on 5 December 2009, Vietnam plans to invest US$2 billion in 2010.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2117, 6-7.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 7 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #355, 6-7.12.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Claimed that There Will Be No War, while the Cambodian-Siamese [Thai] Diplomatic Dispute Is Still Tense
  • Puea Thai Party President [General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh] Believes that the Alleged Spy Siwarak Will Be Released

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2117, 6-7.12.2009

  • Cambodia and Vietnam Step Up Their Cooperation in the Fields of Economy and Development
  • Samdech Hun Sen: Fighting and Intimidating Each Other Is Outdated
  • Fire Burnt Down 27 Houses in Poipet

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #690, 7.12.2009

  • [The President of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the Senate] Chea Sim Was Sent for Emergency Medical Attention to Singapore because of Hypertension

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #548, 6-7.12.2009

  • Different Opinions Were Voiced over the Permission of the Cambodian Government for Yuon [Vietnamese] Workers to Work in Cambodia [officials from the Sam Rainsy Party and from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) said that this will affect the labor market of Khmer citizens]
  • Amnesty International and Khmer Historians Explain that a New War Cannot Happen because of some more Summons for More Former Khmer Rouge Leaders [to appear at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6824, 7.12.2009

  • A Man Killed His Wife because of Jealousy, and then Escaped [Sihanoukville]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #61, 7.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warned Citizens Not to Enter Thai Territory Illegally [to cut trees or to do something illegal, in order to avoid arrest and being shot dead by Thai authorities]
  • In 2009, the Number of Deaths in Traffic Accidents Is Rising, but the Number of Injuries Declines [there were 5,543 traffic accidents countrywide within eight months of 2009, where 1,209 people died, while during the corresponding period in 2008, there were 1,100 deaths caused by 6,827 accidents]
  • Thai Fishing Merchants Seek New Licenses in Koh Kong [to enter Cambodian maritime territory to do fishing; the licenses are valid for 6 months]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5066, 6-7.12.2009

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Launched the Construction of a Road [from Oddar Meanchey to Siem Reap], Rejecting a Thai Loan Offer
  • Four Female Teachers Were Dismissed, Accused of Taking Money from the Students; then All Teachers Started to Strike, Halting all Teaching [demanding the Department of Education to allow the four dismissed teachers to resume their work – at the Bak Touk primary school in Phnom Penh]

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