Week 650

The Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Declaration – Sunday, 7.2.2010

Posted on 8 February 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

The Mirror carried already last week a report about the extraordinary speech of the Prime Minister: “It Is Time to Stop; Military Officials Who Do Illegal Activities Are Not Fit to Work in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces” – where he directly named several generals present, criticizing their unacceptable, corrupt behavior. During the present week, there were still positive responses in the press, including from sources not so close to the government. Human Rights Watch, a US based organization, often very critical of the political climate in Cambodia, also supported the Prime Minister’s warning to commanders over their corrupt, illegal actions. And the Prime Minister himself continued to speak according to the same line, when he attacked nepotism, warning that nobody should nominate relatives and partisans for public office.

But we got also another response: “Words are cheap, nothing will change.”

And another, also anonymous voice, calls it to be my idea – while I actually quoted Article 51 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia – that the Cambodian people are the masters of their country, because they can vote, saying, “Having rights is not enough. You’ve got to have the power to exercise those rights, so that they can be useful. That can also explain why the civil society has always failed in demanding for respect for human rights.”

These are pessimistic views, assuming and expecting that rights can be enjoyed automatically, while history shows in many different cultures that rights have to be fought for, even if they are written in the law, when other powers violate them.

The Prime Minister has spoken clearly.

According to a report in the Phnom Penh Post of 4 February 2010, “Farmers set to call soldiers to Kampot court,” saying

“A group of people in Chumkiri, Kampot, filed a complaint in the provincial court against members of an army unit they say are encroaching on their land and cutting down their fruit trees, escalating a standoff that began in 2001… The court complaint comes less than one week after Prime Minister Hun Sen warned top military officials to refrain from participating in illegal land-grabbing operations.

‘It is time to stop every activity involving illegal business or the support of illegal business. I don’t care how many stars or moons you have – I will fire you, and nobody will keep corrupt commanders in their seats,’ the Prime Minister had said at the end of a conference on military reform at the Ministry of Defense last week.”

So we will see.

But did civil society always fail in demanding respect for human rights? It is not clear on which basis this is said, and which understanding or misunderstanding of the term ‘civil society’ is used when saying so. First, there is no general, clear definition of this term. But it refers to all movements, associations, or individual citizens, independent from the state, whose aim is to improve policies, standards, or social structures, through common efforts. Civil society – that are organizations formed for these purposes – civil society organizations, non-government organizations, citizens action groups – but civil society is also all individual citizens in a social unit – be it a residential region, or a common interest group (for example enjoying sports or music, and caring together to see that the proper space is set aside for these purposes). Civil society is citizens who organize themselves to care for the quality of life where they live.

Civil society is also the majority of the citizens of Phnom Penh, who, in their majority, do not care that the Boeung Kak lake in this city is being destroyed, being filled up with sand for the benefit of some business interests to construct a commercial and housing center – though the plans have not even been made transparent and publicly know, leaving all the struggle for rights to the several thousand people who are directly affected, because they lose their traditional environment and with it also their means of living.

On 31 August 2008 The Mirror had reported the following: “Later in January 2008, Areyathor reported that Samdech Heng Samrin, the President of the National Assembly – and also a Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party – had signed a letter for the suspension of pumping of soil to fill Boeng Kak lake, and the paper reported also that the Phnom Penh governor and vice-governor allegedly disagree with each other about filling Boeng Kak lake.” We are not aware that the press has done any follow up on these reports. But the public is aware that the lake is gradually disappearing, that many residents had tried to organize themselves to jointly represent their concerns and demands, and that some of the remaining residents around the lake are at present living on top of rising dirty water, as the promised pumping for stagnant dirty water – as a result of the filing in of sand – was installed too late and is not strong enough.

Recently I had the opportunity to be in Myanmar, and to have dinner one evening at the Kan Taw Gyi lakeside – a wide park where hundreds of people enjoy walking around or sitting together, with a music stage, very many small restaurants, and a wonderful view. Phnom Penh is destroying such a possibility for its future.

The lake before being filled

The lake before being filled

The lake being filled

The lake being filled



.

At the Kan Taw Gyi Lake in Yangon/Myanmar.

At the Kan Taw Gyi Lake in Yangon/Myanmar.



.

Does civil society – the people in general in Phnom Penh – care? Or why not?

.

Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

The Government of Finland Promised to Grant More Than US$9 Million to Cambodia for 2009 and 2010 – Saturday, 6.2.2010

Posted on 7 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: During the Cambodian development cooperation forum in Phnom Penh from 4 to 5 December 2008, the Government of Finland promised to grant US$9,086,107 to Cambodia for 2009 and 2010.

“The president of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Ponhea Chakrey Heng Samrin, said so during a meeting with the new Ambassador of the Republic of Finland, Ms. Sirpa Maenpaa, on 5 February 2010 at the National Assembly.

“He added that from 1992 to 2008, Finland has granted more than US$25 million aid to Cambodia. As for the trade relations between both countries, Cambodia exports products to Finland amounting to more than US$1.2 million, and Finland exports products to Cambodia of more than US$1.6 million.

“During the audience with Samdech Heng Samrin after she had submitted her diplomatic credentials to the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the morning of 5 February 2010, the Ambassador of Finland said that as an ambassador, she will encourage closer ties and cooperation between Cambodia and Finland, and the Government of Finland promised to keep on cooperating with Cambodia. Previously, both countries had cooperated in the field of administration and in projects to alleviate poverty among people living around the Tonle Sap Lake. She promised to encourage the Government of Finland to step up aid for Cambodia.

“The new Ambassador of Finland told Samdech Heng Samrin that some members of parliament of Finland plan to visit Cambodia in the middle of March, and they hope to meet with Samdech Heng Samrin and to have working sessions with some of the special committees of the National Assembly of Cambodia.

“Samdech Heng Samrin agreed with these plans and welcomes the upcoming visit from the parliament of Finland.

“Samdech Heng Samrin expressed his gratitude towards Ms. Sirpa Maenpaa, the newly appointed ambassador of the Republic of Finland, for spending her busy time to meet and to greet him. Also, Samdech Heng Samrin explained her the situation of Cambodia and its parliamentary institutions and the legislative process. Summing this up, he said that the current situation in Cambodia is stable and peaceful, thus, favorable for developments in all sectors.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5119, 6.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 6 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #407, 6.2.2010

  • One Khmer-Canadian and Two Khmer Accomplices Were Sentenced to Serve Eight Years in Prison and in Addition They Were Fined Riel 8 Million [approx. US$1,900, for Drug Smuggling – Phnom Penn]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2170, 6.2.2010

  • Cambodian Officials Demanded Google to Remove an Illegal Map from Their Website [showing that Cambodia loses some territory at the border]

Note:

Secretary of State at the Cambodia’s Council of Ministers Svay Sitha is quoted to have written to the Internet company Google, which makes maps of the whole world accessible, free of charge, to all Internet users, “We… request that you withdraw the already disseminated, very wrong and not internationally recognized map and replace it.”He calls the map “radically misleading,” “devoid of truth and reality,” and “professionally irresponsible.”

Actually, Google does not claim that its free service represents internationally recognized borders; it specifically posts a disclaimer which says:

  • 6. (a) GOOGLE AND ITS LICENSORS… MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY CONTENT OR THE PRODUCTS.

To illustrate the problem further, we bring several maps or sections of maps, followed by brief explanations.

Google Map

Google Map

Cambodian Claim towards World Heritage Listing

Cambodian Claim towards World Heritage Listing

The section of the Internet Google map of the Preah Vihear area has a white border line between Cambodia and Thailand – though the real border is neither marked nor agreed upon between both countries. The contours of the Preah Vihear Temple can be seen not only on the Google map, but also – the small, narrow shape in light pale red in the middle of the picture on the right– on the map presented by the Cambodian delegation in June 2008, explaining that for the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, Cambodia claims only, at that time, the temple and an area of about 30 meter around the main temple complex, as shown in the map – in light red – signed by the chair of the Cambodia Border Commission.

According to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee of 2008, when the Preah Vihear Temple was listed, this was done together with the following conditions written down in the minutes of this UNESCO commission:

    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 anything has been published, when the Cambodian government has invited the participation of the Government of Thailand and others to examine the policy how to operate this World Heritage site, including the map delineating the [contested] buffer zone and the management zones previously identified in presentation of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear, and a progress report about a management plan, including a “finalized map.”

The strong criticism against the Google map is surprising when one compares the maps which the Cambodian government’s Department of Geography produced for years, until recently, and which can be seen in many offices: they do not mention Preah Vihear at all, and the borderline does not even show that the Temple of Preah Vihear lies on Cambodian territory – according to a ruling of the International Court of Justice in 1962. The Google map does reflect this – though without indicating that there are contested buffer zones. The map of the Cambodian government’s Geography Department, issued in 2000, does not reflect this, but shows a borderline just as some Thai nationalists who reject the ruling of 1992 claim it. The Google map is showing Cambodia’s national interests clearer than the maps of the Cambodian government’s Geography Department.

Description of the Map: printed in 2000

Description of the Map: printed in 2000

Preah Vihear not mentioned, border shown in favor of Thailand

Preah Vihear not mentioned, border shown in favor of Thailand



.

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #599, 6.2.2010

  • France Criticized the Suspension of the Immunity of Mr. Sam Rainsy and of Opposition Party Parliamentarians in Cambodia
  • [Thai Deputy Prime Minister] Suthep Thaungsuban Ordered the Sisaket Governor and Siamese [Thai] Soldiers to Welcome [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [during his visit at the border on 6 February 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6877, 6-7.2.2010

  • The Chinese Ambassador [Ms. Zhang Jinfeng 张金凤] Finished Her Term of Service in Cambodia and Met the Municipal Governor [Mr. Kep Chuktema] to Say Goodbye

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5119, 6.2.2010

  • Bangkok Is Nervous Ahead of the Visit of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to the Border
  • The Government of Finland Promised to Grant More Than US$9 Million to Cambodia for 2009 and 2010
  • A Car Overturned Suddenly, Killing Two People and Injuring Eighteen [Siem Reap]
  • A Leader of the Red-Shirt Groups [supporters of ousted and fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Was Shot Dead after Demonstrating in Front of an Army Base

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Cambodian Commercial Scale Is Not Yet in Balance – Friday, 5.2.2010

Posted on 6 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, stated on 4 February 2010 during the inauguration ceremony of the new building of the Ministry of Commerce, ‘The Cambodian commercial scale for exports is not yet in balance.’

“He added, ‘Our foreign commerce amounts to about US$10 billion. But the Cambodian export is only something more than US$4 billion, while the imports to Cambodia amount to much more. The Cambodian-Thai bilateral trade is more than US$2 billion; the Cambodian-Chinese is more than US$1 million; and the Cambodian-Korean trade is more than US$2 billion. In total, it is more than US$5 billion.’

“To reduce this commercial imbalance, Samdech Hun Sen called on local investors to boost productivity for export, handicrafts, fishery, and other products to meet both local demands and that on foreign markets, because Cambodia has many markets such as China, Japan, Korea, the ASEAN countries, Europe, and other markets.

“Samdech Hun Sen continued to say, ‘Just as a first stage, China allowed us to export more than 318 types of products and later on 400 types, but Cambodia does not have products to be exported to China, and to member countries of ASEAN allowing Cambodia, Laos, and Burma to export to them. But Cambodia does not have products to be exported to those countries.’ Samdech Hun Sen went on to say, ‘Cambodia must strengthen its position for exports, like meat processing, eggs, vegetables, and other goods which can be sold to tourists who visit Cambodia. The creation of markets for farmers growing vegetables and raising animals, and the selling of their products to many shops, creates consistent commercial processes, and we do not need to import many things from abroad. In the meantime, those products must have quality, be attractive, and safe. The Ministry of Commerce has to assist to seek markets for these products and to encourage more exports so as to earn more profit.’

“Regarding the commercial scale issue, an economist of the Cambodian Economic Development Institute, Dr. Kang Chandararoth, spoke to Deum Ampil, saying, ‘The commercial scale is not in balance, because previously, Cambodia exported many not-processed products [to become final products]. Thus, it makes Cambodia lose value-added profits. Also, it is related to the size of places or of raw materials that we use to make those products, as the commercial infrastructure of Cambodia faces many shortages.’ He recommended, ‘Cambodia has to reform its transport infrastructure and its commercial laws to facilitate the operations of investors.’

“Also, the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, stated on 3 February 2010 in a press conference at the Phnom Penh Hotel, ‘The Ministry of Tourism will improve tourism services, including the creation of various attractions.'” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #406, 5.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 5 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #406, 5.2.2010

  • The Cambodian Commercial Scale Is Not Yet in Balance
  • The National Authority for Combating Drugs Reacted against a Human Rights Watch Report [rejecting accusations that there is mistreatment of people held at rehabilitation centers]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2169, 5.2.2010

  • Civil Society Official [the director of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, Mr. Thun Saray]: Because of [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Acts It Is Difficult to Help Him [as he acted against the law: Mr. Sam Rainsy removed temporary border markers and was sentenced to serve a two-years prison term]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #731, 5.2.2010

  • [Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries] Chan Sarun and [the Director General of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture] Ty Sokun Do Not See the Forestry Crimes in Cambodia

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #598, 5.2.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson and parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: The Increase of Electricity Prices Shows the Government’s Incompetence to Develop the Economy

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6876, 5.2.2010

  • Human Rights Conditions in the 2009 Report Are Better Than in 2008, Especially There Was Not Imprisonment for Defamation [according to the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #105, 5.2.2010

  • The Prime Minister Will Visit Preah Vihear This Weekend [on 6 February 2010]
  • Five Khmer Fishermen Escaped from Thai Boats and Fled to East Timor [after they saw their Thai boat owner throwing the body of a Khmer fisherman over board who had gotten sick and died]
  • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC): The Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Was Restricted [in 2009]
  • The UN Studies the Copy Right Law Situation in Cambodia as Copyright Legislation Is Not Properly Implemented

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5118, 5.2.2010

  • [Puea Thai Party president, former general, and former Thai prime minister] Chavalit: The “People’s Army” Now Have Already Had Their Leader [he rejected a request for him to lead the so called “people’s army,” a group in the Thai military supporting the Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Samdech Dekchor Told a Story about Two Buddhist Elders Who Were Friends – Thursday, 4.2.2010

Posted on 4 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, told a story as a reminder for greedy persons. He told this story while presiding over the graduation ceremony of 1,266 master degree, bachelor degree, or associate degree graduates of the Vanda Institute in the morning of 3 February 2010 at the National Institute of Education [associate degrees are for people who do not have a high school certificates; they cannot earn a bachelor degree, unless they first spend one year to earn an associate degree].

“Samdech Hun Sen told a story about two Buddhist elders who were friends. One was a good person and the other was a bad person who did only evil things. When they died, the good Buddhist elder was born as Indra [the head of angels] and another became a leper. One day, Indra saw his friend, the former evil Buddhist elder, begging. He decided to help him by using his magic powers to make him again a normal person, as requested by his Buddhist elder friend. After he became a normal person, he got angry with a commune chief, for whom he worked, and he asked Indra to make him a commune chief. Then, he got angry with the district governor, and he asked Indra to make him a district governor… until he became a king. One day, Indra invited his friend to visit him at his place. There, he saw that Indra’s place was beautiful, and Indra had many beautiful girls serving him. The former Buddhist elder, who was now already a king, asked Indra to share half of his place with him. Seeing that his friend was greedy, Indra decided to make him again a leper what he had previously been.

“Samdech Hun Sen considered the idea of this story as a symbol of the endless desires of human beings, but he linked it also to those who become officials through the help of their partisans, but not through testing their own ability, and this is a problem about which also the Royal Government must be careful. He added that officials who are endlessly greedy will be demoted to return to their previous positions, or they will even be imprisoned.

“Samdech Hun Sen considered this graduation ceremony as a success of higher education institutions, such as they exist both as state and as private institutions. Such institutions can measure the capacity and the quality of the students’ knowledge and of the institutional education, based on the large number of students who graduated and get jobs in society. This can be considered a success in education, especially for those graduates who can create their own jobs; moreover, they have the ability to create jobs also for other citizens.

“The director of the Vanda Institute, Mr. Heng Vanda, said that besides the graduates here, 8,122 students are earning accounting and audit degrees. By now, there have been 3,845 students who have graduated [from his institute]. He added that by 2010, the institute has already constructed five buildings with 5 stories and 79 rooms on a piece of land of 3,000 square meters, and they plan to build a 7-story building with 77 rooms on another piece of land of 1,200 square meters next to the old main building.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5117, 4.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 4 February 2010

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1430, 4-5.2.2010

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Starts Collecting Land and House Taxes in 2010, though the Ownership of some Land Is Contested or the Land is Left Unused

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #404, 4.2.2010

  • Officials Said that Income from Tourism in 2009 Amounted US$1,560 Million [it declined by 1% compared to 2008]
  • The European Union Gives Euro 2 Million More for Cambodian Food Security [by 2010, the total fund is Euro 5.3 Million, approx. US$7.4 million]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2168, 4.2.2010

  • A Former American Teacher Was Sentenced to Serve Six Months in Prison and then Willa Be Expelled from Cambodia [for debauchery with three underage girls – Phnom Penh]
  • Obama Maintains a Firm Position to Meet with the Dalai Lama though China Warned against such a Meeting

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6875, 4.2.2010

  • Bird Flu [H5N1] Is Spreading and Killed Tens of Thousands of Ducks in Koh Andaet District [in Takeo]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #104, 4.2.2010

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Warned that Nobody Should Nominate Relatives and Partisans as Officials
  • 250,000 Children [between the ages of 12 and 17] Are Suffering from Labor Exploitation [in agricultural and industrial sectors, and in other sectors; according to an estimate by the Ministry of Interior]
  • Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Began to Demonstrate against the Thai Government.

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5117, 4.2.2010

  • While Parents Were Busy Helping to Take a Woman to Hospital, Their Three Children Drowned and Died [Pursat]
  • Samdech Dekchor Told a Story about Two Buddhist Elders Who Were Friends

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1869, 4.2.2010

  • Hun Sen Warned that if Siam Dares to Invade, Cambodia Will Fight Back

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Pawn Shops are Becoming Legal – Wednesday, 3.2.2010

Posted on 4 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: Recently, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced through newspapers to inform vendors who want to run pawn shop operations to apply for a license very soon, because such operations can now be legalized. This information shows that pawn shop operations become legal.

“An official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said on 12 January 2010 that the ministry had issued an announcement about the provision of licenses for the operation of pawn shops to accept, buy, and sell pawn property, and for the operations to accept collateral via transfer. Based on this notification, those who intend to run or are already running pawn shop operations can apply for licenses so as to make their operations legal.

“According to the law, quoted for the announcement about the operation of pawn shops that Rasmei Kampuchea received on 1 February 2010, a license for such operations to accept, buy, and sell pawn property costs Riel 2,000,000 [approx. US$470] per year, and a license to open a branch costs Riel 1,000,000 [approx.US$235]. And a license for the operation to accept collateral via transfer costs Riel 1,000,000 per year and only Riel 500,000 [approx. US$120] to open a branch. The operation to accept collateral via transfer, according to the official’s explanation, is also a kind of pawn shop operation, but documents for the sales and for the buying are issued.

“Based on this notification, to run an operation to accept, buy, and sell pawn property, an owner needs to have a minimum capital of Riel 80,000,000 [approx. US$19,000], and needs to deposit 10% into an account of the ministry. As for the operation to accept collateral via transfer, a minimum capital is Riel 40,000,000 [US$9,500] is needed, and a deposit of 10% into the account of the ministry. That deposit can be taken out only when the ministry permits it.

“But the announcement does not define interest rates. They will be based on mutual agreement, but should not be against the law [but it is not said here what the law says].

“It is questioned how a license can protect the sound operation. An official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said, ‘If you have a license, your operation is legal. When the authorities go to check the operation, it is already legal. But if you operate illegally, to only then apply for a license cannot help.’

“It should be noted that previously, there was no need to have a licenses to run a pawn shop. Last year, immediately after the head of the government had issued an order, police strongly suppressed pawn shops, seizing pawn property at pawnshop unreasonably though there was no law, making some people to fear also when running such a shop now. Now, there is a law – but will there be major trouble again?” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5116, 3.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #404, 3.2.2010

  • Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldiers [of the Thai special border protection unit] Surrounded and Shot at [a group of] Khmer Citizens [who were hired to illegally enter Thailand and cut trees to be brought back to Cambodia], Injuring One [seriously] and Eleven Others Managed to Escape from the Shooting [at the Cambodian-Thai border]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2167, 3.2.2010

  • A Survey of the [US based] International Republican Institute (IRI): 79% Said that the [Cambodian] Government Is on the Right Track [it was conducted in 2009 with 1,600 Khmer citizens countrywide]
  • A Man Was Arrested for Raping a 5 Year Old Girl [Kompong Thom]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #596, 3.2.2010

  • Survey Findings of IRI [for 2009] Show that 52% of Khmer Citizens Are Still Poor and Become Poorer

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6874, 3.2.2010

  • 4,400 Victims Lodged Complaints in Case 002 [of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal where five former Khmer Rouge leaders are accused]; and [former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch’s Judgment Is Being Drafted by the Judges
  • The National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia Asked the Government for an Increase of the [minimal] Salary of Workers to US$93 per Month in 2010 [from 2006, the minimal salary is US$45]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #103, 3.2.2010

  • Cambodia Builds the Biggest Irrigation System in Battambang [planning to spend US$61 million, cooperating with the Chinese government in order to increase rice production for export]
  • Cambodia Conducted an Emergency Rescue Exercise at the Airport [assuming a plane were on fire – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5116, 3.2.2010

  • Pawn Shops Are Becoming Legal
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The Best Way to Equally Distribute Benefits from the Economic Growth Is to Build Irrigation Systems for the People

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Controversies about Drug Rehabilitation Facilities – Tuesday, 2.2.2010

Posted on 3 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

Note:

Apologies, for technical reasons we do not have a translated article from the Khmer press today.

We bring, however, references to a hotly contested issue from these days.

Norbert Klein

Humanitarian News and Analysis, a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, recently carried a report from Phnom Penh dated 29 January 2010, quoting that a climate of “sadistic violence” exists in government-run drug rehabilitation centers in Cambodia.

“It works on the wrong assumption that what helps people with drug dependency problems is being tough, using hard work and discipline. But there’s no quick fix.” Mr. Graham Shaw, a World Health Organization (WHO) technical officer based in Cambodia, says that persons in charge of running such drug centers openly admitted some time ago that they did not have the skills to conduct proper drug assistance.

However, operators of drug rehabilitation centers denied the accusations that patients are held against their will and subjected to “sadistic violence” such as torture, rape, and humiliations. Mr. Nean Sokhim, the director of the My Chance Drug Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Phnom Penh, is the director of the civilian-run My Chance drug rehabilitation center in Phnom Penh. In a report, he says patients are treated well, receive three meals a day, and have job training opportunities, and nobody is forced to be in his center. But then:

  • Interviewer: So if someone tries to run away you give them drugs so they can’t escape?
  • Nean Sokhim: Yeah, yeah yeah.

The World Health Organization did an assessment and they said in their report that they estimated that it was close to 100 percent relapse for the people who have been in these centers.. “It’s just the wrong way to approach drug addiction. Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing condition. It’s not helped by a period of military drills and forced exercise.”

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #403, 2.2.2010

  • Human Rights Watch Asked for the Closure of 11 Rehabilitation Centers of Drug Addicts in Cambodia [claiming that there is mistreatment against them]
  • The Prime Minister Suggested to Ministers to Reduce Their Visits Abroad [to save national resources]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2166, 2.2.2010

    • Police Suppressed Gamble Site of Chae Muoy [colloquial for Chinese “sister”], Holding Nine Gamblers for a While and Then Releasing Them [Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
    • Anonymous Persons Threw Many Plastic Bags Containing Feces into [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva’s Home [Thailand]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #595, 2.2.2010

    • The Fact that Illegal Logging Still Occurs Is a Sign That Traders and Cooperating Officials Convey to Mr. Hun Sen, Telling Him that They Do Not Follow the Prime Minister’s Order [towards military officials to stop being involved in illegal activities]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6873, 2.2.2010

    • A Swedish Delegation [led by Mr. Jan Knutsson, the Director General for International Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden] Comes to Study the Reform Processes in Cambodia [such as the fight against corruption, the improvement of public services, the increase of salaries, and the strengthening of the capacity of civil servants]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #102, 2.2.2010

    • The Prime Minister Called on the Citizens Not to Create Religious Conflicts [he said so during a Buddhist ceremony in Kandal]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5115, 2.2.2010

    • Members of the Sam Rainsy Party Met Their Party President via Video Conference [while he is in France; he was sentenced in absentia to serve two years in prison for removing temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]
      Four People Died after a Truck Crashed into Their Motorbike from Behind [four of them rode on one motorbike; the driver of the truck escaped – Kompong Speu]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
  • Eight Companies Will Invest in Agro-Industry Crops on More than 50,000 Hectares of Land – Monday, 1.2.2010

    Posted on 1 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

    “Phnom Penh: The Royal Government, represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Mr. Chan Sarun, and representatives of eight companies signed, on 29 January 2010, contracts on agro-industry crop investment on more than 50,000 hectares of land. Most investments focus on rubber plantations in three northeastern provinces of Cambodia.

    “The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Agriculture. The chief of the cabinet of the ministry, Mr. Hong Nareth, informed Rasmei Kampuchea, saying, ‘After the Minister of Agriculture had received the authorization from the head of the government, we organized this official contract signing ceremony.’ The 8 companies received economic concession land of more than 50,000 hectares for investment. Among the 8 companies, 1 company is from Malaysia, 1 from South Korea, 4 are from Vietnam, and 2 are local companies.

    “Based on the contracts, he said that the Malaysian company will invest in agro-industry crops on more than 7,800 hectares of land in Mondolkiri. The South Korean company will invest to plant rubber trees on 6,600 hectares of land in Kratie. The companies from Vietnam will plant rubber trees and agro-industry crops, raise animals, and establish processing factories on 20,900 hectares of land in Kratie and Ratanakiri. Local companies will invest in rubber and agro-industry crops plantation on 16,900 hectares of land in Kratie.

    “Speaking on behalf of the Royal Government, the Minister of Agriculture welcomed the investments by all investors that respond to the Royal Government’s needs. He considered the official decisions and deals at this time as mutual beneficial contributions and joint development efforts for Cambodia to reduce poverty, to create employment, and to transfer agro-industrial techniques to Cambodian people.

    “The minister reminded all companies which have received the right to invest that they have to implement their activities according to the contracts. In the meantime, the ministry is ready to cooperate to ensure that the investment becomes successful.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5113-5114, 30-1.1-2.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 1 February 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #401, 30.1.2010

    • Human Rights Watch Backs Prime Minister’s Warning to [army and navy] Generals [over their illegal actions and corruption]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2164-2165, 30-1.1-2.2010

    • An Armed Clash Broke Out at Point 532, Resulting in the Death of a Siamese [Thai] Soldier [Khmer soldiers claimed that Thai soldiers started shooting at Khmer soldiers first, when they tried to approach the Thai soldiers to ask why they came into Khmer territory]
    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The Draft of an Anti-Corruption Law Has an Article about Property Declaration [all officials, such as military and police officials and politicians, are required to declare their property, otherwise they will be punished; but he did not predict when this law will be approved]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #593, 30.1.2010

    • The Ministry of Interior Said It Decided to Dismiss the Police Official [a second lieutenant] Oung Dara Who Raped a Woman in a Karaoke Parlor [already in October 2009 in Phnom Penh, by now his whereabouts are not known]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6871-6872, 30-1.1-2.2010

    • A Siamese [Thai] Student Who Tried to Enter the Preah Vihear Temple at Noon [illegally] Was Held
    • Two Robbers Robbed a Gold Seller, Taking Away 500 Chi of Gold [approx. US$66,500] and Riel 4 Million [approx. US$930 – Phnom Penh]
    • Swiss Musicians Played Music to Entertain Prisoners [in Kampot; this event was organized by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, LICADHO]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #101, 1.2.2010

    • The Start of a Car Manufacturing Company’s Operations [a branch of the Korean Hyundai Motor Company] Was Postponed [to be established in Koh Kong by the end of this year, as the construction had been affected by bad weather]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5113-5114, 30-1.1-2.2010

    • Eight Companies will Invest in Agro-Industry Crops on More Than 50,000 Hectares of Land
    • A Mother [who had high blood pressure] and Her Son [who had mental disorders] Jointly Committed Suicide [by hanging, as they could not find money to support their lives – Phnom Penh]
    • A Woman Was Arrested for Driving a Car and Killing a Motor-Taxi Driver by Causing an Accident, and Injuring Another Person Seriously [Phnom Penh]

    Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1867, 1.2.2010

    • [The Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson and parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Encouraged [the Prime Minister] to Arrest Corrupt Senior Military Officials so that They Can Be Convicted

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

    Liked it here?
    Why not try sites on the blogroll...