Week 645

From 2009 to 2010 – Where Are We Heading? – New Year, 1-3.1.2010

Posted on 2 January 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 645

According to different criteria, there are various ways to find measures to evaluate processes and situations. There are absolute measurements with fixed figures, and there are relative considerations – comparing different figures, or situations, and how they relate to each other.

An interesting example for the latter approach is in a report, quoting a high ranking member of the National Assembly, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission for Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit, who is also chairperson of the Permanent Committee of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party; he admitted “that some government officials from the Cambodian People’s Party are corrupt” – qualifying the statement with two additions: Not all are corrupt, and: There are also opposition party officials who commit corruption.

To put corruption in this way into a wider context seems to indicate that, after all, it is not a major problem. But it does not change the fact that corruption is corruption.

But this is now going to change – an anti-corruption law, existing in different stages of being prepared since the mid 1990ies, several times promised to be adopted at specific points in time, had recently been announced to move to reality in 2009. At least the draft has been sent from the Council of Ministers to the National Assembly, but it is still being kept secret. Except for one or two point, according to the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers:

“The only details of the anti-corruption law that have been made public on Friday is the fact that the staff of NGOs are required to disclose their personal assets. Under the law, NGO workers are defined as public servants, and side-by-side with officials who are paid by the government, they must disclose their assets. ‘It is an obligation to do so, if you don’t do it, you are jailed,’ Mr. Phay Siphan is quoted to have said.

Though the text of the draft law has not been published, is is just assumed that the same disclosure requirements and threats of punishment will also refer to non-NGO public servants.

Phnom Penh Buildings

Phnom Penh Buildings

Some friends wonder how such gorgeous buildings – for personal use on the right, or for rent to many, on the left – could be built by public servants with their known small public remunerations. Can it be assumed that the ownership of such buildings will also have to be disclosed according to the not yet published law?

But why this secrecy about the draft? The spokesperson of the Council of Minister claims that “the draft law cannot be made public, because it has yet to arrive at the National Assembly. Once it arrives there, it can then be released to the public.” But is it not a contradiction that he himself discussed part of it already publicly: the regulations about NGO staff? The shutting out of the people to accompany the process of the drafting of a law over more that a decade is difficult to understand; after all, as Article 51 of the Cambodian Constitution describes the public holding high authority: “The Cambodian people are the masters of their country.”

It is interesting to see that the attitude of high level government officials to keep information and differing opinions away from the public is at present being challenged in India.

The Indian Junior Foreign Minister [a Secretary of State] Mr. Shashi Tharoor questioned – publicly and on the Internet – the usefulness of new rules to tighten the visa processes for long term foreign tourists as a measure to control terrorism. “Issue is not security vs. tourism, but whether visa restrictions protect our security. [The city of Mumbai] killers had no visas,” [which had left 166 people dead] he wrote on Twitter. After he had been reprimanded and ordered to keep discussions out of the public, and to understand the “political culture,” he defended himself in a press conference, pointing out that he tried to put the debate on security into the wider context of different aspects of reality. And on the Internet he wrote: “But thanks for all the kind words over the last 24 hrs. Appreciate the support!”

Observing the Khmer press, there are many instances where some cause is mentioned – but not some second cause, which, according to other sources, definitely relate to the first one. In this way, a well advised further look and discussion is not facilitated, or it is even avoided intentionally.

As the Mirror tries to look whenever possible into the wider context – that is: other news available in the Khmer press, sometimes only days, or weeks, or even months or years in the past, but also information publicly available on the Internet, sometimes also adding some questions. We will try to put more of such Links into the regular production from now on, hoping that this may foster reflection, debate, and sometimes action.

The following are examples to show what this may mean, in relation to some specific, recent items:

We had these headlines:

  • A Cambodian Official [the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong]: Cambodia Will Not Be Affected, though the Siamese [Thai] Court Canceled the Preah Vihear Temple Support Agreement
  • A Siamese [Thai] Court Canceled the Joint Statements of Cambodia and Thailand during the Administration of [the former Thai prime minister] Mr. Samak’s Government [to support Cambodia to list the Preah Vihear Temple as a world heritage site]

Link:

We missed – since the beginning until now – any report in any media in Cambodia, showing what the Cambodian delegation had agreed to in July 2008 to the following, neither have we read about the preparation for the next meetin of the World Heritage Committee next month:

Explanation of the term “RGPP” under the following Point 6.:

  • 6. Noting that the State Party of Cambodia submitted to the World Heritage Center the revised graphic plan of the property (RGPP) included in WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B1.Add2 (hereinafter called ” RGPP”) indicating a revised perimeter of the area proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List.

From the text of the decisions and conditions listing the Temple of Preah Viher as a UNESCO World Heritge Site:

  • 14. Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards;
  • 15. Requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center, by 1 February 2009, the following documents:

    a) a provisional map providing additional details of the inscribed property and a map delineating the buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

    b) updated Nomination dossier to reflect the changes made to the perimeter of the property;

    c) confirmation that the management zone for the property will include the inscribed property and buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

    d) progress report on the preparation of the Management Plan;

  • 16. Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center by February 2010, for submission to the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010 a full Management Plan for the inscribed property, including a finalized map.

We are not aware that this “revised graphic plan” was anywhere made public in Cambodia. The original graphic plan, which had been presented by the Cambodian delegation, described only a very narrow strip of about 30 meter around the main Preah Vihear Temple as the requested area for the World Heritage Site listing.

We had these news items:

  • The Authorities Armed with Electric Batons and Shields Blocked [nearly 100] Sereypheap Market Vendors from Protesting in Front of the Residence of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [in Phnom Penh]
  • The Sereypheap Market Is Totally Demolished to Take the Land to Construct Flats for Sale; Market Vendors Can Just Cry

Link:

Other reports refer to a decision of the Prime Minister in June 2009, on a the policy for markets. After the Council of Ministers had released it on 16 June 2009, the vendors thanked the Prime Minister in writing. But now the Prime Minister’s deputy cabinet chief said that the case is not under the control of the Prime Minister.

But they have 25 years contracts, out of which only 13 are spent. Others have demolition equipment and electric batons. Who has the final say? What, then, is the value of a contract and of a promise?

We had this headline:

  • [The Thai Foreign Minister] Kasit Piromya Asked Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Stop Supporting Thaksin Shinawatra [in order to restore diplomatic ties]

Link:

Previously published Thai statements have always clearly based their requests to Cambodia on the fact that the former Thai prime minister has been convicted by Thai courts for a specific case of corruption, involving the sale of valuable public property to the – then – wife of Mr. Thaksin, and that, in addition, he has violated his bail conditions by not returning to the country, so that he is considered a fugitive criminal by Interpol.

But the spokesperson of the Cambodian Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia rejects the suggestions by the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs as a violation of sovereignty rights of Cambodia. “He should learn to respect a nation as a sovereign state. And recently we heard that Thaksin was appointed to another state” [Sri Lanka], as the Cambodia Daily reported about the statements by the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers.

It is reported that the Sri Lankan government firmly denied this.

But does it mean that a fugitive criminal – under an Interpol search warrant – can be considered to be welcome under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia?

We had this headline:

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Congratulated [19] Khmer Students for Winning Prizes from the Isles International University in Europe

Link:

In the Mirror, in a note to a Kampuchea Thmey headline, we had expressed some doubts about the event, about which the Cambodia Daily of 9 December 2009 had said 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….”

Now, the Isles International University claimed to have been “‘approved by the Minister of Education in the Brithsh Isles of Grea Brivtain’ [spelling errors in the original] 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.”

Advertisements, for example in the Cambodia Daily on 22.12.2009, with the names of the new Doctors and their pictures in academic gear, were placed by the Cambodian business conglomerate SKL Group Holding.

The group picture was prefaced by the text:

  • “Congratulations to all Graduates of Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Degree from Isles International University of European Union last 8th December 2009. The ceremony was held at the Hun Sen Cultural Center and being presided by Samdech HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
  • “To all Graduates who received the Grand Commander Order of the Noble World Order and Commander Order and Cavalier Order of the Noble World Order from King Albert II of Belgium.”

On 30.12.2009, the Cambodia Daily reported in a lengthy, detailed article under the headline Belgian Foreign Ministry Stumped by King Albert II Honors: “The Belgian government and royal palace have said they have no knowledge of the provenance of honors named after Belgian’s reigning monarch, King Albert II, that were recently awarded in Cambodia.”

One might expect that the story comes to an end here: an unfortunate fraud. But the revelations from the Belgian authorities did not result in embarrassment in Cambodia. The Cambodia Daily reports:

The office of one recipient said: “Generally, whenever they give him a medal, he must be happy. The university must have a network in Belgium.”

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap, who was awarded the Grand Commander Order of the Noble World Order of King Albert II, is quoted to have said: “I do not have any information about this award, but the Belgian government gave it to me…”

Actually, it did not.

The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers is quoted to say that “Isles plans to open its Cambodian branch after carrying out a six-month feasibility study that will begin in January… Sooner or later, Cambodia will have an IIU campus… We must study the market first.” He added that “the Isles’ Cambodian campus will be the organization’s first anywhere in the world…”

It has no accreditation in any country to give supposedly high academic degrees in any country, it has fraudulently given doctoral degrees and Royal Orders which are of no academic or royal dignity – but it is obviously still welcome to apply for accreditation in Cambodia; only “We must study the market first.” Is this the main criterion for the future of the country?

Where are we heading?

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The Sereypheap Market Is Totally Demolished to Take the Land to Construct Flats for Sale; Market Vendors Can Just Cry – Thursday, 31.12.2009

Posted on 31 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“Phnom Penh: There was a protest by the Sereypheap Market vendors in the Veal Vong commune, Prampi Makara district, Phnom Penh, after they received a notification from the local authorities on 29 December 2009. In the morning of 30 December 2009, the authorities, armed forces, and prosecutors of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided to remove the market, based on a warrant of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“In the morning of 30 December 2009, some armed forces were found deployed since 3:00 a.m. until 12:00 o’clock in the compound of the Sereypheap Market, when the enforcement of warrant began, while all vendors were shouting to protest, raising banners and photos of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen and of Her Excellency [his wife]. Finally, the protest could just make them cry, as the authorities implemented the warrant by deploying security forces around the area of the market, locked the gates of the market, and totally demolished the market.

“In the morning of 30 December 2009, all the market vendors did not agree with the warrant and marched to the residence of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen near the Independent Monument, but their march was blocked by security forces who dispersed the march into different groups. Anyway, in the morning, about 10 vendors arrived at the Independence Monument. Then, some police and other representatives of the authorities came to coordinate the actions and suggested all the vendors should go to gather under the Boddhi tree in front of the Botum Vatei pagoda, or to gather in front of the National Assembly. The vendors agreed with the coordination by the authorities, but while another group of other vendors reached the Monivong Boulevard at the corner of the Ou Russey twin roads, the Sereypheap Market was already totally destroyed and demolished by the authorities.

“By the evening of 30 December 2009, there were no interventions from any institutions for the protesting vendors, when the stalls in the market had been totally removed.

“It should be noted that on 29 December 2009, 200 vendors wrote a letter to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, counting that the Sereypheap Market vendors make contracts every three years. But on 1 December 2009, the director of the market issued a notification to order the vendors to stop selling anything from 31 December 2009, as he will take the land to build flats. The notification to the vendors to stop their operations in the Sereypheap Market is a violation of the contract with the director of the market, Mr. Lim Kimpheng, and this affects the poor livelihood of the vendors who earn an income by selling things to raise their families, which does not enable them to find new places, as they have no land for cultivation to support their living.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2138, 31.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 31 December 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1425, 31.12.2009

  • The World Bank Prepares to Help Cambodia [to improve livelihood of citizens whose houses were demolished and who are encountering evictions, taking away their land for “development”]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #375, 31.12.2009

  • A Cambodian Official [the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong]: Cambodia Will Not Be Affected, though the Siamese [Thai] Court Canceled the Preah Vihear Temple Support Agreement
  • The Battambang Authorities Arrested a Wood Trader for Burning a Bridge in Samlot District [to block the way of the authorities who went to crack down on illegal wood transports]
  • Cambodia Expects to Receive Up to 3 Million Tourist Arrivals in 2010 [because there are plans to create more tourism sites at the northeast and the southwest – according to the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2138, 31.12.2009

  • [The Minister of Economy and Finance] Mr. Keat Chhon: The Cambodian Economy Will Recover in 2010 [by achieving 3% growth in 2010, while in 2009 it was 2%]
  • The Sereypheap Market Is Totally Demolished to Take the Land to Construct Flats for Sale; Market Vendors Can Just Cry

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6845, 31.12.2009

  • A Siamese [Thai] Court Canceled the Joint Statements of Cambodia and Thailand during the Administration of [the former Thai prime minister] Mr. Samak’s Government [to support Cambodia to list the Preah Vihear Temple as a world heritage site]
  • The Former [Thai] Convicted Spy Sivarak [who shared the Flight Plan of Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Will Come Back to Cambodia to Continue Working in the Cambodia Air Traffic Services [CATS, as an engineer]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #79, 31.12.2009

  • Seventy Four Communities in the City Face Evictions [among 410 poor communities in Phnom Penh, 74 have received letters to inform them to leave their communities; Mr. Ny Chakriya of ADHOC said that the government always uses the pretext of development to evict citizens from the city, not offering proper compensation. However, the Phnom Penh deputy governor, Mr. Man Chhoeun, said, ‘Development is for all of us, but not only for a certain group. We clean the city which is part of developing the city’]
  • The Government Will Deliver the CATS Company Back to Thailand [to be controlled by the Samart Corps]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5087, 31.12.2009

  • Cambodia Will Not Make any Change to the Environment at the Border Regions with Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • [The Thai Foreign Minister] Kasit Piromya Asked Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Stop Supporting Thaksin Shinawatra [in order to restore diplomatic ties]
  • [The Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An: Only 5% of Youth between the Age of 18 and 23 Can Enter College [lower than Laos 12%, Indonesia 17%, the Philippines 28%, and Thailand 40%]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1845, 31.12.2009

  • Civil Society Expressed the Concern over [future] Evictions of Citizens from Their Communities after the Expropriation Law Has Been Adopted
  • The Authorities Armed with Electric Batons and Shields Blocked [nearly 100] Sereypheap Market Vendors to Protest in Front of the Residence of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [Phnom Penh]

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The Royal Government Released a Sub-Decree about Obligatory Military Service – Wednesday, 30.12.2009

Posted on 31 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The Royal Government of Cambodia issued a royal sub-decree about the conditions and modalities for a census for the recruitment, the conscription, and for the possible delays for youth who are studying, and for citizens under special conditions, and about the law for the implementation of military service.

“The sub-decree, signed by the head of the Royal Government, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, states that it aims to define the conditions and modalities for a census for the recruitment, the conscription, and the possible delays for youth who are studying, and for citizens under special conditions, and about the law for the implementation of military service. It aims to protect the territorial integrity and the national sovereignty, and contributes to the reform of the military sector, strengthening the foundation of the forces for national defense, developing citizens physically, as required by the country, and training in national defense skills.

“The sub-decree describes a National Commission for Military Service, which has the Minister of Defense as its head, the Minister of Interior or a secretary of state as the deputy head, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces [RCAF] as another deputy head, the Minister of Economy and Finance or a secretary of state, the Minister of Planning or a secretary of state, the Minister of Health or a secretary of state, the Minister of Labor or a secretary of state, the Minister of Social Affairs or a secretary of state, and the secretary of the Public Affairs Secretariat, the director general of the National Police, the commander of the National Military Police as members, and director of personnel of the Ministry of Defense as a secretary.

“The sub-decree adds that census for obligatory military service will be conducted by the military service committees of the communes from January to March every year. Recruitments will be made in early August every year, and the military service commissions of the commune have to issue the invitations to the citizens whose names are listed in the census lists and who live under their control, to attend to the recruitment process and the medical checkup, to prepare them for military service.

“This sub-decree states also the conditions for a delay for youth who are studying, stating that the youth who can receive a delay are: students during studies to finish their courses; students preparing to take exams for higher education, for higher degrees, or for associated degrees, and for high school and lower secondary school certificates; and students receiving scholarships to study abroad and students preparing to further their education abroad.

“The sub-decree offers also delay in military service for citizens under special situations. These are citizen who are the only labor force in their family and are the breadwinner of the family; citizens who have not yet reached the age to do full labor, or who are too old, or disabled; citizens who are the only child whose father or mother lost their life in the battlefield; citizen who live in a one-child-family – a family with only one child and the mother, or a child-and-father family; citizens who lost their husband or wife and have many children to raise; citizens who are receiving treatment for illness; citizens who have to leave the country with their parents to fulfill a long-term mission abroad; civil servants who have to fulfill a task abroad more than 3 months; lecturers and teachers who are working under the Ministry of Education; workers who are experts in their factories or enterprises, where a skilled replacement cannot be found immediately; and employers who are responsible leading in expert positions in their enterprises and cannot find a replacement.

“As for the calls to military service, the sub-decree states that citizens who volunteer to fulfill their military service are the first ones to be conscripted. A lottery system will be used if there are more, or less, persons than needed who want to start their military service. The commissions have to conscript citizens for military serve based on the required numbers. The commune military service commissions have to send the draft notices to the conscripted persons directly through the commune authorities or its unit heads, to ministries, departments, factories, enterprises, or educational institutions, within at least 30 days before the day the conscripts are required to appear.

“It should be noted that the military service law of the Kingdom of Cambodia defines the age of affected citizens to be from 18 to 30, and women can make their service as citizens through voluntary services. This sub-decree is directed at Khmer citizens in general who are civilians, workers, employees, employers, students, civil servants, and citizens who have two nationalities and live permanently in the Kingdom of Cambodia.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2137, 30.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #374, 30.12.2009

  • A Man Lured a 5-Year-Old Girl and Raped Her Four Times [he was arrested – Sihanoukville]
  • Major Leaders [from the UNHCR, the United States, and Australia] Criticized [Thai] Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjajiva for Deporting Hmong People Back to Laos

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2137, 30.12.2009

  • The Royal Government Released a Sub-Decree about Obligatory Military Service
  • Wood Traders [in the military] Burnt Two Bridges to Block the Authorities Who Went to Crack Down [Battambang]
  • A Policeman of the Ministry of Interior Used a Pistol to Hit a Person on the Head and Shot Three Times in the Air [he was detained – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #557, 30.12.2009

  • The National Assembly Adopted the Expropriation Law, though Some Articles Make Citizens to Lose Benefits

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6844, 30.12.2009

  • UNHCR Dismissed the Request of Khmer Kampuchea Krom People for Asylum because They Are Cambodian Citizens
  • The Head of the Supreme Court of Vietnam [Mr. Trương Hoà Bình – Truong Hoa Binh] Visited Cambodia to Seek Cooperation [with the Supreme Court of Cambodia, such as in the general field of laws, and in the training of judges]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #78, 30.12.2009

  • [The president of the Senate and of the Cambodian People’s Party] Mr. Chea Sim Encouraged the Strengthening of Discipline for Khmer Monks
  • Phnom Penh Organizes a Three-Day Exhibition [from 30 December 2009 to 1 January 2010] to Celebrate the Founding of Phnom Penh [575 years ago – at Wat Phnom]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5086, 30.12.2009

  • Civil Society Is Not Satisfied as the National Assembly Adopted the Expropriation Law
  • The Ministry of Education and Metfone [a Vietnamese mobile phone company] Signed a Memorandum of the Understanding Worth US$5 Million about the Provision of Internet Services to Public Educational Institutions and the Provision of Scholarships

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1844, 30.12.2009

  • [The Svay Rieng Court] Issued an Arrest Warrant for Mr. Sam Rainsy [he removed temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers – Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present abroad]
  • [The high ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party and chairperson of the Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking, and Audits of the National Assembly] Cheam Yeap Recognized that Some Government Officials from the Cambodian People’s Party Are Corrupt [in response to a publication of a US magazine, in which a foreign journalist criticized that children of Cambodian government officials and of oknhas compete with each other to show off their luxury cars bought with their parent’s money. And the journalist criticized it that they got much money from illegal activities, like illegal logging or committing corruption. In response, Mr. Cheam Yeap said there is really corruption committed by some officials from the CPP, but not by all. But he added that opposition party officials also commit corruption]

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Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late – Tuesday, 29.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The draft of an anti-corruption law has not yet been publicly released, though one part of this draft law was disclosed last week by the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers. When this part of the draft became widely known, it was either welcomed or mocked, as this law will require also staff of non-government organizations who earn little to declare their property.

“A point of this draft law likely aims at the director of an FM radio station who has lots of property, after he had received funds to support the station for nearly 10 years.

“However, a secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who asked not to be named, said that the draft has already reached the secretary general of the National Assembly.

“Officials of non-government organizations said yesterday that keeping the long-awaited draft law on anti-corruption out of the public eye is at odds with the spirit of a law that has to call for openness and transparency.

“Though the Council of Ministers approved the draft law to combat corruption more than two weeks ago, the secrecy that surrounds the law makes it impossible to properly discuss and analyze it, NGO workers said.

“‘I think the key approach is transparency,’ said Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

“‘I don’t know what the intent of keeping it secret is,’ he added.

“The Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan reiterated day-before-yesterday that the draft law cannot be made public, because it has yet to arrive at the National Assembly. Once it arrives there, it can then be released to the public.

“‘This is the proposed draft used internally by the government,’ Mr. Siphan said about the law, adding that he did not know when the draft would be forwarded to the Assembly for debate and passage into law.

“One of the only details of the anti-corruption law that has been made public on Friday is the fact that the staff of NGOs are required to disclose their personal assets. Under the law, NGO workers are defined as public servants, and side-by-side with officials who are paid by the government, they must disclose their assets.

“‘It is an obligation to do so, if you don’t do it, you are jailed,’ Mr. Siphan explained day-before-yesterday, adding that the law will take effect 60 days after being passed by the National Assembly.

“A political observer and the former head of the Center for Social Development, Ms. Chea Vannath, said that following the spirit of the anti-corruption law, the legislation should be available for public viewing and inspection, since it is such scrutiny which helps discourage and expose corruption. Keeping it confidential counters that principle, she said.

“‘If it is not transparent, it’s like you are fishing in the mud at nighttime,’ she said.

“‘How can you comment on the law without having a copy of the law?,’ she asked. ‘It’s a strange process.’

“‘The word “fighting corruption” equals transparency, openness, access to information,’ she added.

“Soeung Saroeun, senior operations and finance manager of the Cooperation Committee of Cambodia [CCC], a professional organization of NGOs, said his group has requested a copy of the anti-corruption legislation, but like others has yet to see it. Having not yet seen the draft law, Mr. Saroeun said the CCC could not comment. Nonetheless, he said questions remain about the draft law, particularly how it defined assets for NGO staffers.

‘”If we have to declare our assets, what do they mean by “assets”?’ he asked.

“NGO Forum Executive Director Chhith Sam Ath said he could not speak about the law until after reading it and consulting with other members in his umbrella group of non-government organizations.

“President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights Ou Virak echoed remarks that discussing the draft law was challenging, but he agreed that not only non-government officials should have to declare their assets.

“Mr. Virak said he had no problem listing NGO employees as ‘public servants’ and recommended more groups should also have to declare their assets.

‘”It’s a very positive step in the right direction,’ he said. ‘I personally welcome it.'” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009; a major part had been published already by the Cambodia Daily on 28.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #373, 29.12.2009

  • The Asian Development Bank Provides US$65.2 Million for the Development of Four Provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake [there are projects to strengthen education by providing technical and vocational training, to develop small scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area, and to develop the financial sector – US$30.7 million is provided by the ADB as loan and grant, US$19.1 million is from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and from the government of Finland, and $5.47 million is from the Cambodian government]
  • The Svay Rieng Court Rejects the Request of Mr. Sam Rainsy to Delay the Hearings to Wait for His Participation [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers – Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present abroad]
  • The Prime Minister Warned Overloaded Vehicles [saying that if some companies still abuse the law, those companies must be shut down and their operations will be stopped]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2136, 29.12.2009

  • The National Assembly Approved the First Chapter of the Draft on Expropriation
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Warned not to Misuse the Surname ‘Hun’ to Intimidate People [he said so during a ‘Hun’ family party at the Intercontinental Hotel]
  • Pneumonia Is the Major Killer Disease that Kills Nearly 2,000 Cambodian Children Each Year

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #706, 29.12.2009

  • America Condemned Siam [Thailand] for Deporting 4,000 Hmong Ethnic People Back to Laos [and warned that the United States might halt military aid and the joint Golden Cobra military exercises with Thailand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009

  • Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6843, 29.12.2009

  • A Man Raped a Three-Year-Old Girl – He Was Arrested [Kompong Speu]
  • A Thai General [Mr. Panlop Pinmanee] Announced to Demonstrate Requesting to Dismiss [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [in late January or early February, if the people would be ready to fight for democracy]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #77, 29.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Denies to Permit the 7NG Company to Construct a Bridge [connecting from Areyaksatr to the Hun Sen Park, saying it would affect traffic in the city and contribute to environmental impacts on the surrounding areas, creating noise pollution]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5085, 29.12.2009

  • Maternal Rate of Dengue Fever Declined 50% [from 67 deaths in 2008 to only 36 in 2009], but the Patient Rate Increased [from 9,232 cases in 2008 to 11,625 cases in 2009]
  • Three Monks Were Defrocked and Sent to Be Rehabilitated because of Drug Addiction [Banteay Meanchey]
  • An Australian Man Was Robbed and Killed in Sihanoukville [perpetrators are not yet identified]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1843, 29.12.2009

  • Parliamentarians from the Cambodian People’s Party Adopted First Chapter of the Expropriation Draft Law, while the Opposition Party Opposes

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Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing – Monday, 28.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia needs millions of dollars for the control of garbage, while there is a forecast that the amount of garbage will increase by many more tonnes per day in Phnom Penh, in Siem Reap, and in Sihanoukville.

“According to a study by the Korean International Cooperation Agency on environmental problems in three big cities in Cambodia, garbage is a major problem at present and in the future.

“The same source added that by now, in Phnom Penh there are about 1,100 tonnes of garbage discarded each day; in Siem Reap 88 tonnes; but there is no figure of the amount of garbage in Sihanoukville. Anyway, the amount is probably not much less than that in Siem Reap.

“According to these figures, it is forecast that in the future, because the three cities are centers of the economy and of tourism, except for Phnom Penh, which is also the center of administration, politics, and culture; garbage will heavily increase, while even the current garbage sites cannot handle the present situation.

“The current garbage site in Phnom Penh is located in the Choeung Ek area, after the [previous] Stung Meanchey garbage site was full and then had to be closed. However, the new garbage site cannot take in the increasing amount of garbage in the city.

“In Siem Reap, the garbage site is at the Trapeang Thom area, and in Sihanoukville at the Koh Ta Thon area.

“Relating to garbage issues, the South Korean experts who conducted the study, said that to ensure the depositing technically and to control the processing of the garbage, the three cities need to enlarge their garbage sites.

“A South Korean expert, Mr. Yun Hee Kim, said in Phnom Penh in an interview in mid December 2009, that in Siem Reap, in Sihanoukville, and in Phnom Penh, the amount of garbage will increase, and it is necessary to seek new garbage sites. He added, ‘The garbage site of 30 hectares in Dangkao can serve only until 2013.’

“He added that in Siem Reap, a larger area has to be sought for the Trapeang Thom area. He went on to say that at present, the area, of about 2 hectares, can accommodate only 130 to 150 tonnes of garbage per day, while the amount might rise up to 1,048 tonnes per day.

“As for Sihanoukville, it is not much different from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

“He continued to say that the Koh Ta Thon garbage site covers only 8 hectares of land and has been operated since 1995. In 2010, the province needs a new garbage site of at least 18 hectares to prepare to deposit an increasing amount of garbage.

“Regarding the problem of garbage, an environmental official, who asked not to be named, said that garbage is a major problem that Cambodia is facing at present.

“He went to say that garbage control encounters many kinds of problems because of lack of funding, adding, ‘We are concerned about garbage bins, citizens’ knowledge, garbage sites, beautification [of the city], and about sanitation.’

“He said, ‘We can just voice our concerns, but if there are no funds, nothing can be done.’

“He continued to say that nowadays, also, there are many projects on garbage, including the plan to create garbage classifying bins to ease the work to recycle garbage. ‘We are seeking investors to recycle garbage, but no ones come yet.’

“He stressed, ‘Many foreigners are interested in garbage processing in Cambodia, but most can only promise something; like at the Stung Meanchey garbage site, there was a plan to build an electricity plant [doing garbage incineration], but now it is quiet.’

“According to the same official, so far, most of the garbage in Cambodia is not recycled, but he does not have figures.

“He added, ‘Talking about garbage in Cambodia, almost 99% is not recycled, because it is disposed in a mix. We recycle some types of garbage, but it is only when it is selected for compost or for scrap objects [of plastic or metal] scavenged for selling.’

“Concerning the recycling of garbage, the report of the Korean International Cooperation Agency said that as much as 93.5% of garbage is discarded at the garbage site, 0.10% is burnt, only about 0.30% is recycled, and 6.10% is thrown away disorderly [not at the garbage site].

“In Siem Reap, 67% of the garbage is disposed of at the garbage site, recycled garbage is 11%, and 22% of the garbage is discarded illegally. For Sihanoukville, there are no figures given.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

Garbage Separation Singapore

Garbage Separation Singapore


Prepared for recycling - in Germany

Prepared for recycling - in Germany


Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 28 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #372, 27-28.12.2009

  • Vietnam Will Invest Billions in Cambodia
  • Government Officials Announced to Provide Legal Shelters to the 24 Khmer Kampuchea Krom People

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2135, 28.12.2009

  • Thailand Intends to Sue Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen at the United Nations [if his remarks affects the Thai government]
  • Samdech Euv [the retired Father King] Sent Letters to Welcome the Three Samdechs [the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, and the President of the Senate] after They Were Promoted to Five-Star-Generals
  • Within One Year 210 People Died in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh and 1,003 People Were Injured [compared to 2008, 266 people died]
  • Phnom Penh Residents Complain that There Are Lots of Mosquitoes

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #705, 28.12.2009

  • The 6th Cambodian Editor’s Forum Called [on the Prime Minister to write to] the King to Pardon All Journalists in Detention [asking also that courts should not issue detention orders for journalists before court hearings]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #565, 27-28.12.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy: The Cambodian People’s Party Is Afraid of Protests of People Who Lost Their Rice Fields at the Border, and Uses the Courts to Intimidate Them
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)] Criticized Cambodia for a Development Path That Leads Workers to Work Abroad

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6842, 28.12.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$2 Million to Build a Center for Storing [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Document with a Building at the Council of Ministers
  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Military Officials and Other Representatives of the Authorities Celebrated Together to Welcome the Year 2010 [at the border]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #76, 28.12.2009

  • Cambodia Will Receive Investments of US$6 Billion from Vietnam [to invest in power generation, food processing, fertilizer production, rubber plantations, and health care in Cambodia]
  • Two Soldiers in Preah Vihear Died from an [accidental] Grenade Explosion
  • Cambodia Angkor Air Achieves Profits [but no figures are given]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

    Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1842, 28.12.2009

  • The Defense Lawyer of Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked the [Svay Rieng] Court to Delay the Hearing in Court [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]

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