The Appeals Court Delayed Hearing on Chea Ratha’s Case for the Second Time – Saturday, 7.11.2009

Posted on 8 November 2009. Filed under: Week 637 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 637

“The Appeals Court of Cambodia has delayed a hearing on former national military police officer Chea Ratha over the crime of an acid attack on Ms. Ya Sok Nim, the aunt of Ms. In Soklida, who had a lesbian relationship with Chea Ratha.

“The second delay was made again without giving a clear reason, like it was also with the first delay on 22 October 2009.

“Ms. Ya Sok Nim and her husband had written a letter to the Court of Appeals requesting it to reject the decision of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to release seven suspects that were identified by police as responsible for the acid attack.

“In the judgment, which had been openly criticized by police, a judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Mr. Din Sivuthy, ruled on 31 August 2009 to release Ms. Chea Ratha and six accomplices allegedly involved in the acid attack against Ms. Ya Sok Nim on 8 May 2008.

“Though there had been a strong challenge from Ms. Ya Sok Nim’s lawyer, the judge Sivuthy mentioned the lack of evidence as the basis for his decision, which was a surprise.

“After the court had pronounced this judgment, Ms. Ya Sok Nim and her relatives held a press conference, during which they re-played a recorded phone conversation, and in this conversation, a woman, identified as Ms. Chea Ratha, was threatening to use serious violence against Ms. Ya Sok Nim and her family. Some days later, she was attacked with acid.

“The Municipal Court has conducted hearings already twice where it finally decided to lift the accusation on two cases of acid attack from Ms. Chea Ratha. Seemingly, because of dollar power and probably a powerful person, the Court of Appeals delayed its hearings twice already.

“Ms. Ya Sok Nim’s letter, published by local newspapers on 25 September 2009, asked the Prosecutor General of the Court of Appeals to find justice for her. Mr. Uong Vibol and Ms. Ya Sok Nim wrote, ‘Your Excellency, to find justice for the victim… I and my wife, who suffers from the cruel activity of criminals… please help to order the prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to accept an appeal against the judgment by a group of judges led by Mr. Din Sivuthy who has lifted the accusations.’

“The crime of this acid attack on Ms. Ya Sok Nim is similar to other cases which happened previously in Cambodia.

“The victim and her family, members of civil society, and observers of the cruel acid attack against Ms. Ya Sok Nim are waiting to see whether the Appeals Court rejects the decision of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court or keeps this unjust judgment valid in the next hearing.

“The decision by a judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court caused the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice to establish a special committee, to review the courts’ work. The creation of this special committee had triggered criticism from people from professions of law and from civil society officials, saying that the government interferes in the institution of the courts.

“However, the Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, wrote to explain to Prime Minister Hun Sen that this new committee just reviews the courts’ work, where there had been frequent information about irregularities by releasing perpetrators.

“Police officials of the Ministry of Interior had complained that the police had tried very hard to arrest perpetrators, but the courts released them. Therefore they wait to see whether Ms. Chea Ratha does have the same fate like Ms. Khuon Sophal or not, the former wife of a high ranking official at the Council of Ministers.

“The life and the appearance of the actress Tat Marina [who suffered also an acid attack] were saved by American doctors. But she and her family had decided to flee from the country in order to wait there for justice to be achieved by the Khmer authorities. They wait to see when the authorities will prosecute Ms. Khuon Sophal and her accomplices.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #524, 7.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 7 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #330, 7.11.2009

  • The Court Sentenced a Man [Mr. Ruos Sokhet, a journalist of The Globe magazine] Who Threatened Mr. Soy Sopheap to Serve Two Years in Prison [for distributing disinformation by sending disparaging telephone text messages to the president of the Cambodia Television Network and to the director of Deum Ampil, Mr. Soy Sopheap]
  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Said He Wants to Get Divorced, while Princess Marie Said She Does Not [he appeared at the court as plaintiff over his divorce case without the presence of Princess Marie]
  • The Number of People Infected with the A/H1N1 Virus Increased to 313, while the Number of Deaths Remains at Four [in Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2092, 7.11.2009

  • Cambodian and Siamese [Thai] Army Commanders Promised Not to Interfere in the Diplomatic Dispute [between the two governments]
  • A [Vietnamese] Man Tried to Rape His [Vietnamese] Girlfriend, then Killed Her by Breaking Her Neck and Threw Her Body into a River [he was arrested – Kompong Chhnang]
  • America Will Not Withdraw Sanctions against Myanmar [if the generals in Myanmar, who hold power, do not make noticeable improvements toward democratic reforms]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #524, 7.11.2009

  • The Appeals Court Delayed Hearing on Chea Ratha’s Case for the Second Time
  • The King Asked Mr. Hun Sen to Check a Request to Pardon Mr. Hang Chakra [the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok who was convicted to serve one year in prison for disinformation]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6799, 7.11.2009

  • The Cambodian Ambassador Returned to Cambodia through the Poipet Border Crossing; Siam [Thailand] Warned They May Close the Border Crossings if the Dispute Continues
  • A [female] Garment Worker Died of an Electric Shock in the Golden Mile Factory [Phnom Penh]
  • The United Nations Evacuates Its Staff [of about 600] from Afghanistan [because of violent and bloody attacks at their living places during the last week by Taliban forces]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5041, 7.11.2009

  • Thailand Announced to Cancel the Agreements [on joint development] for Overlapping Zones [rich in gas and oil – according to The Nation] while Cambodia Said that this Is against International Law [as there is no point in the agreement mentioning a decision to cancel the agreement unilaterally]
  • A Draft Decree Relating to Mandatory Military Service Was Approved during a Session of the Council of Ministers [it deals with the conditions of the census, the selection, call-up, and the delay for youth that are busy with studies; in special cases there may be exemptions, while the authorities are starting to implement mandatory military services]
  • Car Hit Two Motorbikes, Killing Two People and Seriously Injuring One [no information given about the arrest of the perpetrating teenage driver – Phnom Penh]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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Different Challenges to Act? Different Conceptions of Communication? – Sunday, 29.3.2009

Posted on 30 March 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

Looking back at the end of a week to the past information carried, it is often difficult to understand easily what happened – or what not happened.

On Friday, we mirrored a report that in January 2009, there were 40 children under the age of six living with their parents in prisons. “The Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior is asking the Ministry of Economy and Finance to increase the monetary allowances for prisoners from Riel 1,500 [approx US$0.37] to Riel 2,800 [approx. US$0.69] per day, so that they can eat enough food.” And: “It should be remembered that children living with their parents in prison are not prisoners, and they must not receive any punishment…”

An increase from US$0.37 to US$0.69 per day is an increase of US$0.32 per day per person, that is $12.80 for all 40 children per day; that is $384 per month. For all 40 children for one whole year, this upgrade would cost $4,604.

Here are some other figures to which we referred during the week, as they had appeared in The Mirror:

  • US$200,000 were donated by the Japanese Government to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • US$18 Million had been loaned to the Government, but the World Bank might withdraw them
  • US$7.07 million were spent for the Senate in 2008
  • US$12.6 million are provided to Cambodia by the World Bank to expand international trade
  • US$100 Million is a loan from the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group to expand a mobile phone network
  • US$35 million on loan from Japan for the construction of clean water production

And US$4,604? Of course all these other moneys were not designated to feed 40 children under six in prison, and the paperwork on the way from the Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and then the search where, in the national budget to find US$4,604, also takes its time, while sorting out regulations.

But: “It should be remembered that children living with their parents in prison are not prisoners, and they must not receive any punishment…” Who is in charge? Who cares? Who could even care to get things moving, without being in charge?

= = =

But there were other problems to be faced, and not only by 40 children, but by the whole nation.

Not many publications have a prestigious history like The Economist from London. It began publishing in 1843 and has continued as a weekly magazine until the present. In 2007, it had a world wide circulation of more than 1.3 million.

In addition to its publications, The Economist has also a research arm, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and it is regularly organizing Economist Conferences around the world. Such a conference was held early this year also in Cambodia, on 16 February 2009 in Siem Reap, under the heading: Business Roundtable with the Government of Cambodia – On the verge of a breakthrough? [see The Mirror report in Rasmei Kampuchea of 13.2.2009] The Prime Minister was a keynote speaker at this conference. It was considered a special event that an Economist Conferences had been organized and was held in Cambodia. This had been announced:

Key issues to be discussed included:

  • In light of recent oil and gas discoveries in the Gulf of Thailand, what is the government doing to settle border claims with its neighbors?
  • With predictions that oil could start flowing by as early as 2011, how will the government manage Cambodia’s newfound wealth?
  • In evaluating the investment climate, are private equity firms being overly optimistic?
  • What new business opportunities are there for investment in Cambodia’s much needed infrastructure?
  • Given the recent boom in property development and construction, is greater regulation of the industry necessary and if so, what impact will this have on property investors?
  • How will Cambodia’s garment industry deal with greater competition from China and Vietnam? What is being done to boost efficiency in this important industry?
  • With a recession hitting the US, what is Cambodia doing to diversify its export markets?
  • How will the government offset growing inflation and an increase in commodity prices, particularly of oil?
  • Is Cambodia’s economy ready to move away from de facto “dollarization” to the Riel and what will this mean for business?

That this event was planned – as the many other Economist Conferences around the world – for high level business leaders, was obvious from the admission prices to participate in his one-day-only event:

US$ 990 Early Registration Fee (by 9 January 2009)
US$1,250 Standard Registration Fee
US$1,000 Corporate Network Members’ Fee

These high level conferences are prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is described on their own Internet website with the following ambitious words:

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world’s foremost provider of country, industry, and management analysis. Founded in 1946 when a director of intelligence was appointed to serve The Economist, the Economist Intelligence Unit is now a leading research and advisory firm with more than 40 offices worldwide. For over 60 years, the Economist Intelligence Unit has delivered vital business intelligence to influential decision-makers around the world. Our extensive international reach and unfettered independence make us the most trusted and valuable resource for international companies, financial institutions, universities, and government agencies.

The appreciation for the fact that Cambodia had been the site of an Economist Conference turned into hostility, after – on 19 March 2009, the Economist Intelligence Unit published a 34 pages document: Manning the barricades – Who’s at risk as deepening economic distress foments social unrest?

In this document, the basic methodology of compiling the document is laid open, for three possibilities, asking If things feel bad now, how much worse could they get? – and it describes the third and worst possibility with the following words:

Failing confidence in the Dollar leads to its collapse, and the search for alternative safe-havens proves fruitless.
Economic upheaval sharply raises the risk of social unrest and violent protest. A Political Instability Index covering 165 countries, developed for this report, highlights the countries particularly vulnerable to political instability as a result of economic distress…

The political implications of the economic downturn, informed by the results of the Social and Political Unrest Index, are discussed at length in the second half of the report.

The full report, in both PDF and HTML format, is available online at http://www.eiu.com/special.

Putting a lot of detailed data from many countries through these procedures, which contain among others also terms developed by the Political Instability Task Force at the George Mason University in the USA, which elaborate also about further terms which we quote here:

Economic distress appears to be almost a necessary condition for serious instability, but it is not a sufficient one. There are many instances of declines in GDP per head that have not been followed by political instability. It is only when economic distress is accompanied by other, underlying or structural features of vulnerability that there is a high vulnerability to or risk of serious outbreaks of political and social unrest.

Defining political unrest

We define social and political unrest or upheaval as those events or developments that pose a serious extra-parliamentary or extra-institutional threat to governments or the existing political order. The events will almost invariably be accompanied by some violence as well as public disorder. These need not necessarily be successful in the sense that they end up toppling a government or regime. Even unsuccessful episodes result in turmoil and serious disruption. The assessment of what constitutes a “serious threat” still requires judgment and can be arbitrary, but this is a step forward from having no definition at all.

Political Instability Index

The overall index on a scale of 0 (no vulnerability) to 10 (highest vulnerability) has two component indexes—an index of underlying vulnerability and an economic distress index. The overall index is a simple average of the two component indexes. There are 15 indicators in all—12 for the underlying and 3 for the economic distress index.

As a result, a table is automatically calculated from the hundreds of data collected. We quote only the beginning of the resulting Political Instability Index of Rank, Country, and Score:













1

Zimbabwe8.8
2Chad8.5
3Congo Kinshasa8.2
4Cambodia8.0
4Sudan8.0
6Iraq7.9
7Cote d’Ivoire7.8
7Haiti7.8
7Pakistan7.8
7Zambia7.8
7Afghanistan7.8

Naturally, this ranking for Cambodia on Position 4 (from 165, with some countries sharing the same ranking number) was received with surprise, and even rejection. Considering the final results, it was quickly dismissed as a report supposedly produced with a hidden agenda against Cambodia. – More surprising is how the Cambodian embassy in England reacted against the Economist Intelligence Unit’s report, which misunderstands the report as made up of arbitrary statements targeting Cambodia – and therefore asking the Economist Intelligence Unit to “issue a retraction.” This is misunderstanding is obvious from the following excerpts of the letter of the Cambodian ambassador to the Economist Intelligence Unit:

Dear Sir,

On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am writing to express my deep concern and disappointment with your latest report, “Manning the Barricades” in which you highlight Cambodia as one of the countries most at risk of suffering serious social unrest as a consequence of the on-going global financial crisis.

Your scaremongering allegations are highly dangerous as they could be construed as actively inciting unrest. They also happen to be a gross distortion and misrepresentation of Cambodia’s true position and there can be no justification for these claims.

May I suggest that it is insulting for you to claim that Cambodia is more politically unstable than the war-torn nations of Iraq and Afghanistan…

You also appear to have rather arrogantly dismissed any serious evidence which contradicts your own claims; not least that provided by the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, who only in February 2009 addressed a Business Round Table event co-hosted by your own organisation.

You may recall that the Prime Minister used that occasion to record that Cambodia had just enjoyed a decade of blistering growth, more than doubling its per capita GDP between 1998 and 2007. He attributed this great success to political stability, forging deeper integration with the global trade and investment communities; and improved macro-economic management.

You also seem to have ignored Cambodia’s sizable oil and gas deposits, its wealth of natural resources as well as its growing reputation as a “must visit” tourist destination and as a center of enterprise and investment….”

It is extremely unfortunate that the result of an analysis of hundreds and hundreds of international data, which fully agree with the assessment of Cambodia’s economic growth during the last years, is not seen for what it says: that countries which had a high growth rate based on factors now being eroded by the international economic crisis, are facing a more serious danger of disrupting instability than countries which have been anyway politically instable, and economically at a low level. The Economist Intelligence Unit is not questioning past achievements – but it is sounding a warning that these achievements are now facing a most serious challenge, and therefore the new situation merits utmost attention.

This week’s reflection is much longer than usual.

It was written with the hope to improve communication between Cambodian and international voices, which is often mis-communication: while facts are presented with an invitation to rationally discuss them, they are emotionally dismissed. This is not useful, and ways have to be found to communicate better.

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The Municipal Court Upholds the Decision that the Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Not Be Dealt with – Tuesday, 10.2.2009

Posted on 11 February 2009. Filed under: Week 599 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 599

“Phnom Penh: The Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided to uphold the decision that the complaint of the foreign defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea, the Brother Number 2 of the Khmer Rouge regime, will not be dealt with. This is based on a judgment by the deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Mr. Sok Kalyan, on 5 February 2009. This judgment was published on Sunday.

“Deputy Prosecutor Sok Kalyan, responsible for handling the case, told foreign defense lawyers of the former president of the Khmer Rouge National Assembly, that the complaint regarding corruption allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will not be taken up to be settled.

“Yesterday, on Monday evening, 9 February 2009, Mr. Sok Kalyan clearly explained the decision, that the corruption allegations case will not be taken up, because the evidence does not state that a crime is imminent, and the perpetrators are not known.

“Deputy prosecutor Sok Kalyan added that normally, when deciding to take up a case, a prosecutor decides to address a fact by pointing to individuals involved in a crime. But checking all evidence in the complaint of Mr. Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers, nothing indicates that a crime is imminent to happen in relation to the accusation about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Mr. Sok Kalyan added that another point is that the complaint of Mr. Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers is a defamatioin complaint and does not point out why individuals are suspects in this corruption case. They say that it was just heard that there was corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, but there is no document to prove the nature of what is called corruption. And it does not point out clearly to the individuals suspected of receiving bribes.

“This refusal to take up a corruption case at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal was made after the prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had summoned Mr. Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers to question them, to defend their case one or two times, and he had planned to summon many other witnesses for questioning.

“Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi said as a plaintiff that Mr. Nuon Chea’s foreign defense lawyers are surprised that the Municipal Court decided not to take up the case. He had met with the deputy prosecutor, Mr. Sok Kalyan, on Wednesday [4 February 2009] morning, and he had been told that there were plans to question many other witnesses. However, within just 24 hours, this decision was reversed.

“Mr. Nuon Chea’s foreign defense lawyers have not yet decided how to appeal this decision. Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi said that the foreign defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea must think carefully, before they appeal, as they have two more months to present a complaint to the Appeals Court, to take up the corruption complaint at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to be dealt with.

“However, finally Mr. Sok Kalyan concluded that the a decision not to work on this corruption complaint is possible because there is no imminent pressure. This is so, because the prosecutor checked the different procedures based on evidence, and there is no evidence proving an immediate danger of crimes being committed, as had been the original accusation.

“On 8 January 2009, the foreign defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea, Mr. Michael Pestman, Mr. Victor Koppe, and the assistant lawyer Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi, as plaintiffs, lodged a complaint at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. In the complaint the foreign defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea asked to clarify corruption allegations at the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. They claimed that corruption would affect the process of hearings of the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Talk about a corruption scandal at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal started in early 2007, when the Open Society Justice Initiative released a corruption report. But officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal at the Cambodian side, as well as government officials, denied it and considered this corruption scandal to be just a claim without a basis facts.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4816, 8-9.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #10, 10.2.2008

  • Mr. Hun Sen Curses Critics Distorting Facts to Fall into the 800th Level of Hell [cursing civil society, non-governmental organizations, and opposition parties that criticize the Cambodian government, saying that it lets some local companies backed by powerful officials to use armed forces to evict citizens from their houses to grab their land and throw them out into the suburbs, and criticize that foreign aid for Cambodia is wasted, and corruption makes citizens poorer and poor, resulting in a big gap between the rich and the poor]


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #114, 10-11.2.2009

  • Some Casinos Let Khmers Enter Which Is against the Prime Minister’s Order
    National Real Estate Appraisal Association of Cambodia Is Inaugurated under the Presidency of [Minister of Economy and Finance] Mr. Keat Chhon


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1868-#1879, 8-10.2.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Denies that [ousted Thai prime minister] Thaksin Is in Koh Kong [as claimed by Bangkok Post]
  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation Calls on Monks to Attend the 2nd Anniversary Demonstration Celebration this Morning [to remember a demonstration held by Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks in Kleang province [now Sóc Trăng province] in Vietnam
  • A Bad Forest Fire at Southern Australia Killed 128 People [present estimate may be up to 230]
  • Russia Allows the United States of America to Transport Military Supplies through Russia to Afghanistan


Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #338, 10.2.2009

  • [1,055] Staff of the Railway Station Demand 20% Increase of Their Salaries Following Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen’s Words [who had promised that their salaries would be increased]
  • The Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia – NICFEC – and the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMREL – Will Not Deploy Observers for the [district and provincial/city council] Elections on 17 May 2009 [they said that their organizations are facing financial problems, and COMFREL added that these indirect elections are useless]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #340, 8-10.2.2009

  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Will Summon Three-Star General Heng Hong to Question Him about Taking another Man’s Wife [in view of the new monogamy law]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6573-#6573, 9-10.2.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Recommends that the Production of Films Related to Monks Must Pass through the Ministry of Cult and Religion, and Samdech Sanghareach [the head of one of the two Buddhist Orders, in order to avoid problems]
  • 20 Universities from Britain Start to Exhibit together Their Information to the Education Sector in Cambodia
  • Many Bullets Were Shot in the Air to Threaten Citizens Not to Construct Houses; the Provincial Governor Issues Order to Arrest Five Soldiers [Preah Vihear]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3682-#3683, 9-10.2.2009

  • Ethnic Minority People in Bu Sra Commune, Pechr Chenda District, Mondolkiri, Prepare to Protest against the Khov Chily Company Again [over a land dispute – according to human rights officials]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4816, 8-9.2.2009

  • The Municipal Court Upholds the Decision that the Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Not Be Dealt with
    Thailand Announces to Open the Border Crossing to the Preah Vihear Temple, while Cambodia Denies to Do the Same [the Cambodian government said what Thailand announced is just to reopen a Thai national park along the border near the Preah Vihear Temple]
  • Cambodian Embassy in Britain Reacts to the Global Witness Report [saying that it is stupid]
  • Japanese Investors Come to Study to Improve the Transportation Sector in Cambodia
  • A Thai Tourist Airline [Bangkok Airways] Offers Flights from Cambodia to Samui Island [in Thailand, starting from now until 30 June 2008]
  • Cambodia Confiscated Nearly One Kilogram of Heroin at the [Phnom Penh International] Airport [and a Taiwanese man was arrested]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3482, 8-9.2.2009

  • Around 200 Olympic Market Vendors Were Surprised when the [Thay Boonrong] Company Detained One of Their Representatives Yesterday [after vendors decided to send a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, to ask for his intervention regarding the rising prices of vendors’ stalls in the market]

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A Report Shows that Cambodian Youth Still Encounter Difficulties to Find Jobs – Saturday, 24.1.2009

Posted on 25 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“Phnom Penh: A new report shows that Cambodian youth encounter many difficulties when seeking jobs, and also employers find it difficult to recruit qualified youth with skills. On 22 January 2009, the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center – CJCC – and an employer association, the Cambodian Federation of Employers & Business Associations – CAMFEBA – which is recognized by the Royal Government of Cambodia and by many international organizations, representing employers in the Kingdom of Cambodia, especially on work problems – organized a national workshop for youth on the topic ‘Youth and Employment,’ to publish an important survey report about youth employment in Cambodia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training.

“This workshop was presided over by a secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training, Mr. Pich Sophoan; around 400 students from different universities and youth associations participated in the event.

“The report was based on a survey which had been sponsored by the UN International Labor Organization – ILO. It represents a first crucial step to promote understanding and social dialogue about some of the most important issues for the future of Cambodia: that is the mismatch between supplies and requirements on the labor market.

“CAMFEBA had hired BDLink to conduct a large survey of youth and employers, about their difficulties and expectations regarding skills and youth employment. This survey is part of a project for youth and social dialogue of the employer federation CAMFEBA which is still in progress. This project was initiated by CAMFEBA and the Employment Sector Office of ILO in Geneva, under a project of the Social Dialogue Sector, funded by the Norwegian government. Starting its implementation from June 2007, this project aims to create proper employment and promote youth opportunities to seek income by matching the supply and the requirements of skills on the labor market, and to create relations between relevant agencies to present development policies for youth. More importantly, this project is focused on the creation and coordination of social dialogue among trade unions, the Royal Government, and employers, by dealing with difficulties and concerns, in which these three fields have similar interests, and for which they have to find solutions.

“The survey was conducted with around 2,200 youth and 220 employers from five provinces and cities, such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kompong Cham, and Svay Rieng. They were asked about their views regarding some problems such as access to education, to training for quality in education, and about work requirements, experiences in job seeking, and about the kinds of skills demanded on the labor market.

“Youth is facing difficult decisions about important problems in their lives, such as family responsibilities, studies, choosing a job, study tours, and employment opportunities. One important point among many key points found during the survey is that youth encountered difficulties in making decisions, because they did not have sufficient access to the right information.

“For instance, when they had to decide what they would do when they finished high school, more than two thirds of the students just depended on their parents. Information provided by schools or by teachers or self collected information about the labor market were not influential factors for their decision making. Likewise, only 33% of the students at universities and at other educational institutions made their decision which skills to study on their perception about demands for those skills on the labor market.

“This discovery shows how important it is that agencies of the government, educational institutions, employers associations, trade unions, and different non-government organizations work out measures to provide useful information about the different fields of study, and to give guidance for selecting their future work.

“What makes the survey different is that it looked at work problems from the point of view of the employers. High-ranking officials operating for the development of the different sectors of the economy must survey these opinions about skills needed among the Khmer youth.

“Talking about educational requirements, about 96% of the employers demanded youth with broad education when they need staff, and 72% demanded even bachelor or master degrees. These requirements were in high demand by non-government institutions, in business, and in various careers, but they were hardly demanded for work in hotels and in factories.

“In the area of business, many employers expressed their concerns about the lack of skills needed on the labor market. Employers need workers with skills who have the ability to do productive work, in order to be encouraged to improve their commitment to move ahead, but such skills were always missing. Only 13% of the employers believed that the graduates had enough, or almost all qualifications needed for their work.

“As shown below, more than half of the employers said that it was true that they seek expert staff with decision making skills based on correct analyses. The results of this survey show clearly in which ways the students need to be educated in schools and up to universities in Cambodia.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6560, 24-25.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1855, 24.1.2009

  • The Thai Minister of Foreign Affair [Mr. Kasit Piromya] Invited Khmer Embassy Officials in Bangkok to Have Lunch Together before Visiting Cambodia [to discuss the solution of border disputes]
  • There Were 51 Crimes, Killing 63 People in Phnom Penh in 2008 [1,012 perpetrators were prosecuted]
  • Workers of the Yongwa Factories Still Protest, but There Is No Violence [Kandal]
  • Traffic Police Have Hope Again, after the Municipality Keeps on Providing Money for Their Encouragement, like Previously [each Phnom Penh traffic police official receives Riel 10,000 per month, corresponding to approx. US$2.50]
  • The 22-Day War in Gaza Killed 1,330 Arab People and Injured 5,450 [while Israel lost 3 civilians and 10 soldiers]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #330, 24-29.1.2009

  • Government Officials Deny the Allegations of the International Organization Human Rights Watch
  • The Owner of the Yongwa Factory Agrees to Pay a US$50 Bonus to Each Worker, but Asks Them to Wait [until February – according to the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Mony]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6560, 24-25.1.2009

  • A Report Shows that Cambodian Youth Still Encounter Difficulties to Find Jobs
  • [Two] Robbers Wearing Soldier Uniforms Pointed Guns at Gold Seller and Robbed Gold Worth Nearly US$30,000 [they are not yet found – Siem Reap]
  • On His First Day at the White House, Mr. Obama Focused on Economic Issues and the Middle East, and the Guantánamo Prison [in Cuba]
  • In 2008, Nearly 4,000 Civilians Were Killed in Afghanistan
  • Natural Catastrophes Killed 235,816 People in 2008 [among them, 138,366 people were killed by the cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, 87,476 people were killed by the earthquakes in China, and the rest were killed in other countries]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4803, 24.1.2009

  • Black Money of Tens of Thousands of Dollars Was Found Related to Officials’ Collusion about Illegal Fishing at the Tonle Sap Lake
  • Prime Minister [Hun Sen] Considers the Position of Thailand to Be Soft for the Border Disputes
  • The Minister of Public Works and Transport [Mr. Tram Iv Tek] Asks Japan to Support the Construction of the Neak Loeang Bridge [over the Mekong on the way to Vietnam]
  • Korea Provides High Life Insurance to Workers [around US$20,000, compared to Thailand, which provides only around US$1,000 – no information given what kind of life insurance Cambodian companies provide for their workers]
  • Investors from the US State of Ohio Come to Study Possibilities for Agricultural Investment in Cambodia
    Red-Shirt [anti-government] Demonstrators Announced to Hold a Big Demonstration on 31 January 2009 [Thailand]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has to Open Access to Information Broadly – Monday, 22.12.2008

Posted on 23 December 2008. Filed under: Week 592 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 592

“To be a model for the world, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, created by the Phnom Penh government and by the United Nations, should have a broader access to information, or make it at least comparable to the tribunal, supported by the United Nations which convicted the initiator of the genocide in Rwanda.

“Early last week, some civil society organizations, observing the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, had presented strong recommendations, asking for open and broad access to information at this tribunal, emphasizing, ‘The public should be aware of the progress of the confidential investigations carried out by the tribunal.’

“This recommendation, one among four recommendations presented by civil society organizations, including the Cambodian Defenders Project, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, the Khmer Institute for Democracy, the Cambodian Justice Initiative (which is a section of the Social Justice Initiative), is said to help improve the potential of the tribunal.

“The civil society organizations said, ‘The fact that the accused are still in custody during the investigation processes results in a demand for public information about the status of the investigation processes.’

“This statement added, ‘If the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have to provide positive examples for the judicial system in Cambodia, this court has to guarantee transparency immediately, and strengthen the involvement and discussion with different non-government organizations again.

“Other recommendations relate to the monitoring by the United Nations side of the court, by the UN law office which brings the leaders of both side, Cambodia and the United Nations, together at the administration of this court, and finally, pointing to the important role of donors for the management of the funds provided to the court.

“The head of the Public Affairs Office at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Ms. Helen Jarvis, said that recently, the court conducted two events published through television, about the decisions of two hearings of the court and also a joint statement by the co-prosecutors was issued.

“She added, ‘It is absolutely surprising that they talked about a lack of transparency.’

“The coordinator of the Cambodian Justice Initiative, Mr. Long Panhavuth, said that the long process of investigations by the tribunal make the publics tired, as it is still not possible to predict what the court really continues to do, especially when the rest of the hearings will start.

“Mr. Long Panhavuth asked, ‘How many witnesses have the co-prosecutors interviewed during this month? How many times did the investigators travel to investigate something at other places during this month? The publics want to know these things.’

“’A good experience for Khmer compatriots and for the Khmer Tribunal will be the trial of the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch, early in 2009. We would like to show the activities of a tribunal supported by the United Nations that convicted a man, who is accused to be the initiator of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which led to the killing of around 800,000 people, to spend the rest of his life in prison.’

“On Thursday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – ICTR – announced that Théoneste Bagosora was convicted for ‘genocide, crimes against humanity, and for war crimes.’

“If the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is really independent, we believe that information about the different investigations by the co-prosecutors and by the co-judges should not be hidden further, but it must be rather be broadly open, so that the public can know it.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.309, #, 21-23.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 22 December 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1826, 21-22.12.2008

  • The Co-prosecutors Rejected a Request to Release Khiev Samphan [a former Khmer Rouge leader out on bail, on the grounds that his lawyer’s request is against legal procedures of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Bird Flu Patient [from Kandal] Recovers and Leaves Calmette Hospital
  • North Korea Accused South Korea of Sending an Agent to Assassinate [North Korean President] Mr. Kim Jong Il
  • South Korea Withdraws All Troops from Iraq
  • Medals Sent to US FBI and IRS Agents Who Helped Cambodia to Break the ‘Cambodian Freedom Fighters’ Case
  •  

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #309, 21-23.12.2008

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has to Open Access to Information Broadly
  • [Phnom Penh governor] Kep Chuktema Is More Powerful Than the Court – He Dares to Pardon Vang Sreyno [a well-known film star, who caused an accident, damaging the lion statue at Samdech Preah Sanghareach Chuon Nath Memorial, but sent a letter of apology to the municipal governor]

 
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #164, 21-22.12.2008

  • Minority Tribespeople Burnt Machinery of the Khov Chily Company after One-Week of Protests Failed [against land clearance of tribal land by the company – Bousra commune, Pechr Chenda, Mondolkiri]
  • The Municipality Will Receive a Loan for the Phnom Penh Municipality [for public lighting in the city – according to Governor Kep Chuktema who just returned from France]
  • The 53rd Anniversary That Cambodia Became a Member of the United Nations Will Be Celebrated This Morning [21 December 2008]
     

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6531, 22.12.2008

  • A Journalist [of a not well-known newspaper, Kampuchea Pachobon] Was Arrested for Being Involved in Gold Shop Robberies in Pursat, Disgracing Other Journalists
  • The Proposed Composition of the Thai Government Was Accepted by the King; [Prime Minister] Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Government Has 36 Members
  • The United States of America Will Send 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan

 
Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1393, 22.12.2008

  • A Chinese Man, Who Cruelly Kidnapped a Chinese Woman in Central Phnom Penh, Was Subdued [the woman was injured because the kidnapper stabbed her cheek]

 
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4774, 21-22.12.2008

  • Journalists in the Asia Pacific Region Request Governments, Journalists Organizations, and Other Relevant Bodies to Care about Their Safety [from 1996 to 2008, there were more than 1,400 journalists worldwide murdered, where at least 125 of them died in the Asia Pacific Region – according to a two-day meeting of journalists in Jakarta, Indonesia]
  • In Cambodia, a Frog Species Was Found with Green Blood and with Dark Blue Bones, Phnom Kravanh Mountain Region [according to Fauna and Flora International]
  • A Car Hit a Truck from Behind, Decapitating the Car Driver and the Head Fell on the Ground [Pursat]
    Scanner “Multibarette 64” [a heart scanner which costs nearly US$1.5 million] Installed at the Calmette Hospital
  • Cambodia and the United States of America Announce to Continue Cooperation Between Their Law Enforcement Forces

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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Tuesday, 22.7.2008: In the First Six Months of 2008, There Were 3511 Traffic Accidents and 903 People Died

Posted on 23 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

“Phnom Penh: From year to year, there are more and more traffic accidents which led to an emergency alert about this catastrophe that is more devastating than AIDS and mines’ accidents. During the first six months of 2008, the total number of traffic accidents was 3,511 which killed 903 people; it increased 17%, compared to the same period of the first six month of 2007.

“According to a report from Lieutenant-Colonel Luy Chhin, who heads a road traffic office – General Trey Pho Khan of the Department of Public Order of the Ministry of Interior confirmed this report – which also Khmer Sthapana received on 21 July 2008, the number of traffic accidents of all the 24 provinces and towns increased markedly.

“The report shows that during the first six months of 2008, there were 3,511 traffic accidents countrywide, which killed 903 people – 705 male and 198 female; the number of accidents increased by 519, equal to 17% more, compared to the same period of 2007, when there were 2,992 accidents and only 724 people died. The 3,511 traffic accidents resulted in 903 deaths, 2,856 seriously injured people, 3,390 lightly injured people, the destruction of 306 heavy vehicles, among them 1,154 cars, 3,646 motorcycles, 305 other vehicles; 397 pedestrians were also affected.

“Major Suos Sokha, deputy director of the vehicle registration management office, and of the department for the registration of boats and ships of the Ministry of Interior, reported to Khmer Sthapana on 21 July 2008 the reasons that lead to the increase of traffic accidents in the first six months of 2008: these are driving in violation of traffic laws with 1,560 cases, riding motorcycles without helmets with 778 cases, not obeying priority traffic rights with 502 cases, driving while being drunk with 439 cases, speed racing with each other with 349 cases, and 261 cases of careless driving etc…

“It should be noted that the statistics of road traffic accidents in 2007 countrywide, report 5,870 cases which caused 1,434 deaths, 1,121 males and 313 females were killed; 4,860 people were seriously injured, 5,540 people were lightly injured, 528 heavy vehicles, 1,871 cars, 5,607 motorcycles, and 444 different vehicles were destroyed, and US$2,699,784 was wasted.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #55, 22.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Chakraval, Vol.16, #2795, 22.7.2008

  • As the First Step of Negotiations, Thailand Requested Cambodia to Withdraw the Troops from the Land They Presently Control; the ASEAN President [Mr. George Yeo – simplified Chinese: 杨荣文; traditional Chinese: 楊榮文; pinyin: Yáng Róngwén – Singaporean Foreign Minister and at present ASEAN Chair*] Asked Both Sides to Be Patient and Solve the Dispute Based on Good Relations; the Situation of Having Deployed Troops on Both Sides of the Border at the Preah Vihear Temple Is Still Tense

* “The ASEAN Standing Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Foreign Minister of the country-in-chair, is mandated to coordinate the work of the Association in between the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meetings.”

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1699, 22.7.2008

  • The 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Was Held in Singapore [discussing the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, evaluating the destruction by the Nargis tropical cyclone in Burma, and talking about the integration of ASEAN constitutions, and about regional security – 21 July 2008]
  • Three People Were Arrested by Military Police after Chopping a Leader of Workers to Death [after losing money to the victim while gambling – Ratanakiri]
  • Ms. Su Kyi Will Be Released Soon [Military Junta of Myanmar informed the ASEAN members that the opposition leader, Ms. Aung San Su Kyi, might be released in about six months]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #55, 22.7.2008

  • In the First Six Months of 2008, There Were 3511 Traffic Accidents and 903 People Died
  • The Thai Side Requests Cambodia to Accept Three Principles [during the negotiations on 21 July 2008: 1. Thailand requested Cambodia to withdraw its troops, and Thailand will also withdraw its troops to avoid an armed confrontation. 2. The benefits from the Preah Vihear Temple should be handled as a joint operation, from which Cambodia gets 60% and Thailand gets 40% 3. Cambodia and Thailand should cooperate with each other to clear mines from the Preah Vihear Temple region and from other surrounding areas together]
  • US$2,000 Announced Reward to Be Given to Anyone Who Provides Information That Leads to the Arrest of the Criminal Who Abducted a [Swedish] Girl from Her Mother [the six-year-old girl, Alicia, has been abducted by her father, Torgeir Nordbø, from Sweden, when he visited her; he is believed to be hiding in Cambodia]
  • [Fishery] Crimes During Prohibited No-Fishing Season Increase [Siem Reap]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #66403, 22.7.2008

  • Obama Promises to Withdraw Army from Iraq If He Wins the Election [but he will send 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3518, 22.7.2008

  • [Former Khmer Rough Leader] Khiev Samphan Still Has No New Defense Lawyer


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4647, 22.7.2008

  • Police Are Deployed at Gold and Money Exchange Shops because of Security Concerns [Banteay Meanchey]
  • Five Outstanding Cambodian Students Went to Take Part in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Vietnam


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3365, 22.7.2008

  • Japan Sends 23 Election Observers for Sunday 27 July 2008
  • Neak Loeang Electricity Company Still Charges Riel 3,200 [approx. US$0.80] per Kilowatt [in Phnom Penh the price is Riel 610, approx. US$0.15 per kw]

Click here – and have a look at the last editorial – The Cambodian-Thai border crisis develops while the Khmer public is not aware what the Cambodian government representatives had agreed upon, to get the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site, on a most narrowly defined piece of land.

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Tuesday, 15.7.2008: Teachers’ Livelihood in Cambodia

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Week 569 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 5689

“Mr. Thong Boran, director of the Department of Personnel of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport, said that since 2002, the government has said to create a new salary system for civil servants, by stating that the salary of civil servants must be increased 15% every year. In 2007, all civil servants received 15% more, and in July of the same year an additional 8% was added. In 2008, the government increased the salary of civil servants again – all of them get a 20% increase to their salaries. Separately, since 1 April 2008, the government has increased the salaries for teachers and for school administrators by an additional 10%, and the family allowance for wives and children of those teachers and civil servants was raised 100%.

“The government considers the Ministry of Education as a priority ministry among four ministries – the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries; the Ministry of Rural Development; and the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport has taken teachers from some areas which have an over-supply of teachers to re-assign them to work in areas where there are not enough teachers, by giving them one-time financial encouragements. If they were re-assigned from one village to another, they get Riel 300,000 [approx. US$75]; for a change from one commune to another, they get Riel 500,000 [approx. US$125]; for a change from one district to another, they get Riel 800,000 [approx. US$200]; for a change from one low level land province to another, they get Riel 1,000,000 [approx. US$250]; and if they are re-assigned from one province to another remote province, they get Riel 1,500,000 [approx. US$375]. The Ministry has added another Riel 40,000 [approx. US$10] to the total salary of teachers in difficult areas (areas with difficulties with communication, with a low population density of less than 10 persons per square kilometer, frequently flooded areas, or areas which often suffer from natural calamities, and border regions).

“Teachers who teach in towns of remote provinces such as Ratanakiri, Mondolkiri, Stung Treng, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Koh Kong, and Pailin received an additional Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.50 per month, and in other remote areas besides those towns, Riel 60,000 [approx. US$15] was added monthly.

“Moreover, each teacher gets a monthly health care allowance of Riel 1,500 [approx. US$0.38]. For teachers who do their work well and are ranked first, they will get Riel 120,000 [approx. US$30], those who rank second will get Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] and those who rank third will get Riel 80,000 [approx. US$20]. The Ministry also sponsors teachers who teach on Thursdays [primary schools in Cambodia do not have classes on Thursday] giving them Riel 20,000 [approx. US$5] when they teach on a Thursday. For primary school teachers who teach mixed classes – teachers that teach students from different grades in the same room and in the same session – if two levels are combined they get 60% of their salary added, and if three levels are combined, they get 80% of their salary added. Teachers who teach two turns [normally each teacher teaches only morning classes or afternoon classes, but some teachers teach two turns, teaching both morning and evening classes], they will receive an additional 100% of their base salary. In total, nowadays each teacher gets a salary between Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] and Riel 560,000 [approx. US$140] per month.

“However, although the government has continually increased the salaries for teachers, the increase is not balanced with the dramatic increase of the price of goods in the markets.

“The prices of fuel and of food have increased everywhere in Cambodia as well as in some other countries of the world. These increases have strongly affected civil servants, especially those who live with salaries like teachers have them.

“A male teacher said that his salary can buy only 50 kg of rice. So he has to do also something else to support his family to have enough income each month. Therefore he does not have time to prepare his teaching or to do research to develop good lessons for his students.

“A female teacher asked the Ministry to provide the salary on time – even as the salary is small; but the payment should not being too late, extending the pay day from one month to another month or to another one-month-and-a-half, because teachers face difficulties since they do not have an income besides their salary.

“A male teacher, who has worked as a teacher for nearly 30 years, said that his salary could be spent for him alone for breakfast, but he must spend it carefully so that it can be enough for one whole month; and if he buys cigarettes or other food, this salary is not enough. Although he has a difficult life, he still teaches, because his conscious makes him feel responsible to teach students.

“A male teacher would like the government to help to take action so that the prices of good could decrease – it would not be necessary to increase the salaries, if the prices of goods could be decreased.

“A female teacher, who has worked as a teacher for five years, said that she lives alone, renting a house for Riel 40,000 per month [approx. US$10], and she gets a salary of only Riel 160,000 [approx. US$40] per month; it is difficult to cover expenses when she is sometimes ill.

“A male teacher said that his house is more than 20 km away from his school, and his motorbike consumes one liter of fuel per day for traveling to teach the students. Because now the price of fuel increased, his salary is not even enough to buy fuel. He uses his time in the afternoon to seek more income by teaching English at a private school, making it impossible for him to have time to think about new good methods to teach his students to be better qualified.

“A male teacher, who has been relocated from Prey Veng to teach at a school at a Phnom Penh suburb, said that he has to rent a house for Riel 80,000 Riel [approx. US$20] per month, and the price of water and of electricity in Phnom Penh is also expensive. His salary, even with the allowance of 10% from the Ministry, is spent in only half of a month on meals. He said that he really does not want to take money from the students, because most of his school’s students are poor like himself, but to have enough for his livelihood, he has to take money from the students. He asks the government to intervene to decrease the price of goods, so that his salary can match with the expenses for a longer period of days.” Extracted from Tumpeang Snong Russey Magazine by Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6393, 15.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1693, 15.7.2008

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Samak Commits Himself to Change the Constitution in Order to Increase Political Stability [saying he intends to have the constitution changed, especially the second paragraph of Article 237, which says that a party can be dissolved if its leaders are found guilty of electoral fraud, which is like a “deadly poison for politicians”]


Karpear Cheat, Vol.1, #6, 15.7.2008

  • Young Generation of Businesspeople Are Highly Interested in Information Technology
  • Cooperation with Lutheran World Federation Cambodia Program Improves Livelihood of the Poor by Strengthening Community at Villages for Development
  • Members of the Military and of the Police with Four Golden Stripes on their Epaulets Increase to Eighteen, and some Ministers Also Hold Four Gold Stripes [Military leadership: 1. General Tea Banh, 2. General Ke Kim Yan, 3. General Pol Saroeun, 4. General Meas Sophea, 5. General Nhek Bun Chhay, 6. General Chay Saing Yun, 7. General Tea Chamrath, 8. General Om Yon, 9. General Moeng Samphan, 10. General Kun Kim, 11. General Neang Phat, and 12. General Nhim Vanda; Police leadership: 13. General Hok Lundy, 14. General Em Sam An, 15. General Khat Savoeun, 16. General Dul Koeun, 17. General Kieng Vang, and 18. General Sin Pensen]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #607, 15.7.2008

  • [Siem Reap Governor] Su Phirin Is Disrespectful to Say that the Preah Vihear Temple, before It Was Listed as a World Heritages Site, Was in a Contested Area


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #49, 15.7.2008

  • Cambodian National Research Organization [CNRO] Accused [Supreme Patriarch] Samdech Tep Vong of Connecting Buddhism with Politics [by allowing monks in Cambodia to vote for political parties]
  • Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] Asked the Ministry of Agriculture to Find Methods to Control the Momeach Tnot [Brown Plant-Hopper? – please let us know if you know. – Editor]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6393, 15.7.2008

  • Teachers’ Livelihood in Cambodia
  • FBI Announced to be Prepared to Help Hunt for Murderers [of Mr. Khim Sambo, journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, and of his son]; Twelve Cambodian Journalists Have Been Murdered So Far
  • Expert Committee in Cambodia Releases Information about Number of Rapes, Human Trafficking, and Sexually Motivated Vices During Two Trimesters


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3512, 15.7.2008

  • More than 2,000 Workers of the W&D Factory Held a Strike Claiming the Factory’s Boss Does Not Care for Good Working Conditions
  • Four Khmer Citizens Got Poisoned in Pursat from Yuon [Vietnamese] Packed Noodles of the ‘Chicken Leg’ Brand


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4641, 16.7.2008

    Thai Military Leader [Supreme Commander Boonsang Niampradit] Insisted that the Government Should Revoke its Supporting Statement for Cambodia [obtained without parliamentary decision and therefore violating the Thai constitution]
    Thailand Has Other Issues besides Preah Vihear: the Economy Declines [because of inflation and decreasing investment]
    American Military Suffers Big Tragic Loss in Afghanistan [nine soldiers died during an attack by insurgents near the Pakistan border]

Have a look at the last editorial – The struggle towards openness and access to information happens in many places – and it may help to mutually learn from other experiences.

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Wednesday, 9.7.2008: CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming

Posted on 9 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] has finished a project to help improve the living standards of the poor in five southern provinces of Cambodia in June 2008. This project was funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction [JFPR] though the Asian Development Bank for a period of five years, and US$1.3 million were spent.

“However, what CEDAC has to think about is, after the project has finished, to choose actions that can guarantee the continuity of what has been built up. In a discussion held late June, the governor of Batheay District, Kompong Cham, raised previous experiences that there used to be many organizations assisting this district, but when their project fund came to an end, there was no continuity at all. Villagers are afraid that CEDAC might repeat the same situation when it runs out of funds. But local authorities that observe CEDAC evaluate that the project implementation of CEDAC has achieved many good results. The improvement of the living standard of the poor at the targeted community led, to some extent, to a reduction of poverty.

“Eight outstanding representative farmers from Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, and Takeo asserted that their families and the members of their communities are richer, because they have attended different training courses about practices of techniques by CEDAC. There they learned how the community can save money, how to breed animals and fish, or to conserve trees, to grow crops, to do rice farming based on natural methods etc., all of which is closely related to marketability of the products.

“Mr. Lang Seng Houn, a local coordinator, said that the participation by local authority representatives from villages, communes, and districts cooperating with farmers’ communities is an important factor that brings poverty alleviation at those target places. Wherever there is participation by local authorities, those places will develop more quickly.

“Mr. Lang Seng Houn showed figures that among 192 villages from five provinces, 14,300 families benefited from the project. the number of farmers who cooperated is 7,300, the living standard of 500 families changed greatly; 5,900 families experienced an average change, and 800 families got poorer. The number of women who have changed their attitudes and abandoned their old habits is 3,500, and the number of youth under the same category is 900. And 1,500 of the poorest families who sold their labor to have some income have changed their living standard and have become independent farmers; the livelihood of farmers in general is better. Generally, they can earn 80% more from the increase of the agricultural production and from the reduction of other expenses. They have stepped up the basis for this to retain the continuity of their production teams, and 718 teams have saved money – they have 6,000 families as members so that they are able to link their products to markets. Each family earns from Riel 1.4 million to Riel 2.6 million [approx. US$340 to US$635 per farming season] from their agricultural products; those are 427 families in Kompong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, and Kompong Cham. Their income is from paddy rice, from the breeding of chickens and pigs, and from the planting of vegetables and other crops.

“Dr. Yang Saing Komar [dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development, International University, Phnom Penh] pointed to key measures contributing to the sustainability when there are no more external funds. What can replace funds for farmers’ communities to guarantee the continuity of their activities are human resources who have been trained with all skills since five years, always with a link to market mechanisms. All agricultural products created by the community must be taken to markets by the farmers, and they have to sell their own products. Money saved in the community is capital to replace the external funding and can guarantee the sustainability of their community. Production and the link to markets are key methods to develop the rural economy to become active. Trained persons, 995 human resources of the community, will be the main and strong activists who can continue to develop the community without depending on external funds.

“Mr. Komar added that for economic activities money is needed, ‘and we have money which was saved in our community.’ By 2011, this organization has the ambition to increase the money-saving community up to 4,000 villages countrywide, without borrowing loans or depending on foreign donor countries.

“This fund will become a basic experience which can lead to a successfully functioning market that carries great responsibility for the society, especially for the living standard of farmers, and for food security for customers, which can guarantee sustainable development at the basis.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1688, 9.7.2008

  • The Thai Constitutional Court Ruled that a Joint Communique Signed between Cambodia and Thailand Violates the Thai Constitution [as the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs acted without parliamentary endorsement]
  • The Ministry of Health Distributed More than 80 Tonnes of Abate [chemical substance that is put into stagnant water to kill mosquito eggs and larvae] to Prevent Dengue Fever
    Thousands of Thai Demonstrators Shouted at the Police to Take Action in [deposed former prime minister] Thaksin’s Case Soon [corruption and misuse of power]
  • South Korean Police Warn They Will Use Hot Actions to Suppress Demonstrators against US Beef Imports
  • Thai Rebels [in a Muslim southern Thai province] Attacked a Car Carrying Students; Two [Thai] Soldiers Were Killed and Three Students Were Injured [7 July 2008]
  • [Helicopter of] America Attacked a Wedding Ceremony in Afghanistan [killing at least 22 people]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #602, 9.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Dare to Create Ministry of Immigration [related to illegal Vietnamese]
  • Ou Chrov District Police Chief [Mr. Ing Song You] Runs a Big Casino in Balat Guesthouse [Poipet]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #44, 9.7.2008

  • The Preah Vihear Temple Was Listed as a World Heritage Site [8 July 2008]
  • [Traffic] Accidents Increase because of [traffic] Law Violations


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

  • CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming
  • Situation at the [Preah Vihear Temple] Border Crossing Was Quiet while Cambodia Was Beating Drums and Firing Fireworks to Express Satisfaction about the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Social Network against Child Labor Was Inaugurated in Siem Reap
  • European Commission Plans to spend 1,000 Million Euro against Food Crisis


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3354, 9.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Did Not Participate in Political Parties’ Forum about Anti-Corruption Law [8 July 2008]

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

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