Disregarding or Facing Agreements in the Press? – Sunday, 22.8.2010

Posted on 23 August 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 678 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 678

The Mirror was created to mirror the Khmer language press – that is to focus on important dynamics in society, as they are reflected in the press. That includes also to observe when there seem to be discrepancies between different streams of reporting. And it includes also to observe what seems not to be reported in the Khmer language press, though one would expect it.

Monitoring what is going on includes also to observe the reaction to one’s own publication. The main website of The Mirror by now gets up to 10,000 visits per month (it started in January 2007 with zero – replacing the former edition printed on paper).

While observing this wide interest with satisfaction, it is also disappointing to see that some important pieces of information, related to the conflicts with Thailand, are regularly not reported in the Khmer press. If this impression is wrong, we would appreciate to be informed which publications and public documents in the Khmer press we missed. The Mirror does not have access to confidential information; what we use and quote is publicly available, especially on the Internet.

In response to careful, detailed documentations, where we asked for specific responses, if our documentation is deficient, so that we can correct and improve it, there was either no response – and the public debate continues as if it were not missing some important points – or I get mail saying just “You are completely wrong!” I do not mind to get such mail, if it points to where I am wrong – I appreciate corrections.

Therefore I am repeating here some essential points, and I will do so until they are receiving proper attention in the present situation of tensions.

I was utterly surprised, talking recently to a friend who is a regular reader: when I mentioned some of the facts which had been on The Mirror repeatedly, he had obviously missed them. He thought the controversies about the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage list were related to Thailand referring to maps drawn by Thailand, and therefore Thailand was denying that the whole area around the Temple of Preah Vihear was designated a World Heritage Site.

The contrary is true, according to the documents. Emphasis in the following sections is added during editing.

For Preah Vihear

From the Cambodian 2008 submission document, THE TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR – Proposed for the inscription on the World Heritage List (UNESCO), Edited by the Council of Ministers, PHNOM PENH, JUNE 2008:

On 6 May 2008 His Excellency Mr. SOK An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, welcomed his Excellency Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand… The meeting was conducted in a fruitful and constructive atmosphere to discuss ways and means of strengthening the neighborly cooperation for a further reach for long lasting cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand… The Kingdom of Cambodia strongly stresses that the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear is without prejudice to the demarcation work of the Cambodian-Thai Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) between Cambodia and Thailand; and the zoning (“Zonage” in French) stipulated in the document submitted by Cambodia to UNESCO shall not be considered as boundary line.

And finally, during a meeting in Paris (France) on 22 May 2008 between a Cambodian delegation led by His Excellency Mr. SOK An,…The Kingdom of Thailand reconfirmed its support for the Heritage Committee to be held in Quebec, Canada in July 2008. For its part, the Kingdom of Cambodia, in a spirit of goodwill and conciliation, accepted to inscribe the Temple of Preah Vihear on the List of the World Heritage, at this stage, without a buffer zone on the north and west of the Temple.

On 18 June 2008, a Joint Communique was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, including a map presented and signed by Mr. Var Kim Hong, the Head of the Cambodian Border Committee, which was – as far as we know – never presented in the media in Cambodia (again – any correction of this information is welcome), but it was repeatedly in The Mirror, including the Cambodian proposed map for the listing, the last time here. The text says the following:

1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription, at the 32th session of the World Heritage Committee (Québec, Canada, July 2008), of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached. The map also includes, identified as N.2, a buffer zone to the East and South of the Temple.

2. In the spirit of goodwill and conciliation, the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.

3. The map mentioned in paragraph 1 above shall supersede the maps concerning and including the “Schéma Directeur pour le Zonage de Preah Vihear” as well as all the graphic references indicating the “core zone” and other zoning (zonage) of the Temple of Preah Vihear site in Cambodia’s nomination file;..”

This is the last public map, a Cambodian map, which was to “supersede” – that is: to replace – the formerly used Cambodian maps.

As a consequence, this was decided:

The World Heritage Committee,

9. Notes that the property proposed for inscription is reduced and comprises only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves;…

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,…

15. Requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center, by 1 February 2009, the following documents: c) Confirmation that the management zone for the property will include the inscribed property and buffer zone identified in the RGPP [“revised graphic plan of the property”]; d) progress report on the preparation of the Management Plan)

All these points were to be implemented after convening this international coordinating committee, inviting the Government of Thailand and others, to work together and to present their results.

Questions:

– Why is the discussion in the Khmer media not referring to the official documents about the listing of the Temple of Preah Vihear, clearly limited in nature: “only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves.” This is not based on a map unilaterally drawn by Thailand, but it relates to what the Cambodian side had officially brought to the World Heritage Committee. – There were even statements from people in official positions saying: “There is nothing to be discussed with Thailand.”

– Why are the Khmer media disregarding that there were – from the beginning – the following requests by the World Heritage Committee: “to convene an international coordinating committee… inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand… [to provide the expected results] – a) a provisional map providing additional details of the inscribed property and a map delineating the buffer zone…” It has never been reported in the press that the Cambodian Government did invite the Thai Government according to this request by the World Heritage Committee. – There were even statements from people in official positions saying: “There are no buffer zones.”

Reading the documents, it seems that Thailand is not insisting on some unilaterally drawn Thai maps, but looks forward that the documented decisions of the World Heritage Committee be implemented.

For the Border

This is a different legal issue from the World Heritage Listing (though, of course, related).

In order to demarcate the border between the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding “on the Survey and Demarcation of Land Boundary” was concluded between the two countries in June 2000, long before the Preah Vihear World Heritage Listing was on the agenda of the relevant UNESCO committee. This Memorandum is related to the whole stretch of the border. That the whole length of the approximately 800 km border is to be demarcated shows that both sides agreed that this is not yet done – there is not yet mutually agreed border. Both sides agreed on this – otherwise they would not have signed this joint agreement.

While there is frequent reference to this Memorandum of Understanding from 2000 in the Khmer press, it was quite difficult to find it in Cambodia, also consulting with several persons from the media did not help. One e-mail request to a friend in Thailand immediately provided a source on the Internet.

But there is a noteworthy difference in the handling of the related task: While in Thailand, related government officials and agencies are accountable to the Thai National Assembly about what they do related to the border – the executive is monitored by the legislative – we are not aware that either the Cambodian National Assembly nor the Khmer press have requested similar information to monitor the activities of the Cambodian government officials and agencies involved. The different legal arrangements under the different constitutions of both countries result in different procedures.

Shortly after Prime Minister Hun Sen had made his conciliatory declaration about a win-win solution by mutual dialogue without a winner and a loser, several statements from various other sectors of the government were released, strongly blaming Thailand and calling for multilateral negotiations. The Prime Minister added his voice – but more recent news say that there still may be a bilateral meeting between the two prime ministers soon in Brussels at an ASEN meeting.

Whatever the future will bring in terms of bilateral or multilateral meetings – the written submissions and the documented decisions will have to be faced. To continue to disregard them can hardly bring the solution where both sides win, the goal that Prime Minister Hun Sen has seen as important for all.

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The Ministry of Industry Cooperates with JICA to Strengthen Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Cambodia – Wednesday, 23.6.2010

Posted on 25 June 2010. Filed under: Week 670 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 670

Note:

Apologies – delays of the publication may occur until 17 July 2010 because of my international travel.

Norbert Klein
At present still in Brussels/Belgium at the meetings of ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

“Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy cooperates with the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] with the intention to strengthen and to encourage the productivity development of small and medium scale enterprises in Cambodia.

“The head of the Department of Industry of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Meng Sak Theara, said to Deum Ampil on 22 June 2010, that the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, and JICA, an organization of experts experienced in the development of small and medium scale enterprises, is carrying out projects to promote the capacity and productivity of small and medium scale enterprises in Cambodia to be more competitive, and they are also publishing strategies that small and medium scales enterprises can use.

“He added, “The Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, and JICA, having experts in assisting the study of shortages and challenges of each enterprise, assigned an analyst to work out ways to be better able to engage in competition to increase productivity.

“He added also, ‘The Ministry is cooperating with JICA to fulfill two important tasks. First, to organize a work team to directly check factories and enterprises by choosing six companies to implement policies under the guidance of the Ministry and of JICA. The second task is to create different policies to promote productivity and competition.

“An advisor of JICA, Mr. Miyashita Yuichiro, talked on 22 June 2010 during the workshop about the experiences of Japan in encouraging the development of small and medium scale enterprises, and about the implementation of programs in Cambodia, saying that Japan always cares about and supports the Royal Government Cambodia, and at present, JICA is expanding its private sector activities in Cambodia, especially for the development of small and medium scale enterprises.

“He added that the collaboration between the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy and JICA will be able to guarantee the sustainable development of small and medium scale enterprises in Cambodia.

“An Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Heng Sokong, said that in 2009, hand made products of small and medium scale enterprises comprised up to 99.7%, while the macro enterprises contributed only 0.3% [among the 100%, the macro enterprises contribute only 0.3% of that total percentage in this field].” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #511, 23.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #511, 23.6.2010

  • The Ministry of Industry Cooperates with JICA to Strengthen Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2282, 23.6.2010

  • Sixty One Suspects [40 men and 21 women] related to Human Trafficking and Rape Were Brought to Courts in the First Six Months of 2010 [there were 140 victims, 26 were under the age of 15]
  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Plan to Check [Cambodian-Vietnamese] Border Markers in the Ponhea Kraek District this Morning [23 June 2010 in Kompong Cham, as they suspect that there is a loss of Cambodian territory to Vietnam]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #688, 23.6.2010

  • Oknha Khit Meng and Oknha Sok Kong Are Excluded from the List of Persons to Declare Their Property as Required by the Anti-Corruption Law [because both of them do not hold any position in government]
  • The Fulbright Program Provides Scholarships to Seventeen Khmer Students to Further Their Education in the United States of America

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6989, 23.6.2010

  • Samdech Euv [the former King], Samdech Mae [the former Queen], and the King Make a Private Visit to Vietnam [from 22 to 25 June 2010]
  • Cambodia and France Signed an Agreement to Cooperate in Repairing the Ba Puon Temple [in Siem Reap, with a grant of Euro 480,000 or approx. US$589,000] and to Fight against Fake Medicine Products [with a grant of Euro 123,500 or approx. US$151,500]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3913, 23.6.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: Cambodia Should Change the Habit of Praising Itself and Should Stop Cursing International Organizations That Criticize Something in Cambodia [the Secretary General of the Council for Administrative Reform, Mr. Ngor Hongly, had praised that the Royal Government of Cambodia has determined that the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency, and the national development plan are successful. The two strategies aim to enhance the macro-economy and the development with sustainability and equity, and poverty reduction. Mr. Son Chhay regarded this speech as boasting]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #199, 23.6.2010

  • Vietnam Wants to Establish Flights from Đà Lạt [Da Lat – a touristic area in southern Vietnam] to Angkor [in Siem Reap]
  • 257 Military Trucks Donated by China Arrived in Phnom Penh

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5231, 23.6.2010

  • Expert Official [the head of the Border Committee of Cambodia, Mr. Var Kim Hong]: [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy’s Map Is Fake [he claimed that the 1:100,000 map deposited at the United Nations in 1964 does not have grids, while the map that Mr. Sam Rainsy published on the Internet has grids; the Phnom Penh municipal court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Sam Rainsy for faking public documents and spreading disinformation]
  • The German Ambassador [Mr. Frank Markus Mann] Would like to see Cambodia Returning to Normal Diplomatic Relations with Thailand

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The European Union and Cambodia Launched the First Wind Power Electricity Generator in Cambodia – Thursday, 21.1.2010

Posted on 21 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

Note:

From Friday, 22 to Monday 25 January 2010 I plan to travel to attend the first BarCamp in Yangon/Myanmar. This may result in delays in the publication of The Mirror. Apologies.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Tram Iv; the Belgian Ambassador, Mr. Rudi Veestraelen; and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia, Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, together inaugurated the first Wind Power Electricity Generator in Cambodia on 20 January 2010.

“The Wind Power Generator was constructed under a project of Euro 1.2 million (US$1.74 million), and jointly funded by the Sihanoukville Port Authority (48%), by the government of Belgium (28%), and by the European Commission (24% through the Asia Pro Eco program). This pilot project intends to show that renewable energy, especially that from wind power, is an effective energy source for Cambodia and for Southeast Asia.

“Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno said, ‘I believe that this project makes an important contribution to create sustainable solutions to reduce environmental pollution and other challenges in energy, relating to the development of the Sihanoukville port. Actually, energy is necessary for the development of the area to become an economic hub in order to increase employment.’

“Mr. Jacques Dezeure, Flanders Technical Representative for Environment and Infrastructure in Asia of the Ministry of the Flemish Community, Department of Environment and Infrastructure Flanders, said, ‘The electricity generated by wind power at the Sihanoukville port is vital not only for the port, but also for Cambodia as a whole.’

“The production of electricity through a Wind Power Electricity Generator will be carefully monitored, financed by the government of Belgium, and the real amount of energy produced will be carefully checked. It is expected that the electricity automatically generated by wind power, for the first time in Cambodia [on this scale], will serve as an energy source and a leading model also for other ports in the region to consider using renewable energy.

“It should be noted that in September 2001, the Minister of Mobility, Public Works and Energy in Flanders, Belgium, led a delegation to Cambodia, signed a friendship agreement with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia, and visited the Sihanoukville port. After the visit, both countries’ delegations established a plan to supply electricity at the Sihanoukville port aiming at totally depending on renewable energy.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5105, 21.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 21 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #393, 21.1.2010

  • [Thai ousted and figurative prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Arrived in Cambodia Quietly while the Situation in Bangkok Becomes More Tense [between red-shirt demonstrators, supporters of Mr. Thaksin, and the Thai government; no detailed plans for this third visit was specified, no press briefing will be held]
  • A [16-year-old] Teenage Boy Was Arrested for Raping and Killing a 9-Year-Old Girl in Srae Treng Village [he confessed he raped and killed her because he was angry as “she was looking down on him” – Kratie]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2156, 21.1.2010

  • The World Health Organization Will Provide One Million Doses of A/H1N1 Vaccine to Cambodia [first, 300,000 doses will be delivered in February; so far, there have been 553 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 in Cambodia]
  • A Car Crashed into a Motorbike, Separating the Motorbike Driver’s Body into Two Pieces [Svay Rieng]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #722, 21.1.2010

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #505, 21.1.2010

  • [Vice-President of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Kong Korm: Mr. Sam Rainsy Is Accused over Politics and Therefore [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Should Address It, but Not Use the Courts

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6863, 21.1.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: I Belong to the Cambodian People; I Got the Power through Elections [he said during the 6th Asian Economic Forum on 20 January 2010: if he loses the election in 2013, he will leave the position of power]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #94, 21.1.2010

  • Former Minister of Economy of Australia [Mr. Peter Costello] Comes to Cambodia with a Plan for a Foundation [with US$600 million – still to be raised] for Agriculture in Cambodia
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)] Asked for the Creation of a Law to Halt Using Acid as a Substance for Attacks in Personal Conflicts leading to Anger [by controlling the sale of acid]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5105, 21.1.2010

  • By 2020 100% of Cambodians Must Have Access to Electricity [says the Ministry of Industry – using hydroelectric power and electricity imports from Vietnam]
  • The European Union and Cambodia Launched the First Wind Power Electricity Generator in Cambodia [Sihanoukville]
  • The Government Destroyed More Than 1,000 Motor Saws [in Kratie]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1860, 21.1.2010

  • Human Rights Officials [of LICADHO, of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, and of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)] Demand that There Should Be Many Representatives [10 to 20] for Talking with the Government [the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia had discussed civil society representation with the prime minister]

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Building Confidence Requires Transparent Application of the Law – Sunday, 10.1.2010

Posted on 11 January 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 646 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

Drafts for an anti-corruption law have been under consideration since 14 years, but now a draft was finalized by the Council of Ministers in December and sent to the National Assembly. The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers had declared – in response to expressed public interest its content – that it is still secret until it reaches the National Assembly.

This did not prevent him to disclose what we reported in the Mirror in our New Year’s comment:

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

A New Year’s surprise is the news that – though the draft sent in December must have reached the National Assembly by now – it will not be debated until April at the earliest. The promise, that this draft will be made public after sending it to the National Assembly, is now added to the long list of not kept promises which led do the past delays.

And it has to be remembered that in the past, drafts of laws were available for public consideration during the often long processes of their preparation. Why not also now?

Such delays give only rise to rumors and speculations. For example, one voice claimed to know that the requirement to disclose personal assets will not apply to every low level public servant at the local level, but only to those elected into public functions, or higher level public servants appointed by sub-decree and decree. But as the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers said that also NGO workers will be considered to be public servants required to disclose their personal assets – at which level will this apply?

Whatever the reason for this promise of disclosure after transmission to the National Assembly not fulfilled, it does not build trust among the public.

A state of law is a situation where everybody – both law enforcement and the citizens – know the rules and what can be expected. The rule of law does not have much flexibility – like to apply or not to apply the law under specific circumstances. It is not a question of convenience when to apply it, or on whom not to apply it. Trust in the rule of law – trust that justice will prevail in society – is based on the confidence that the law is applied equally on every person, without any difference of social status of economic power.

This week brought some complex problems to the public.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia were established, after long and complicated negotiations between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations, as an independent court to clarify what had happened during a clearly defined and limited time of the Khmer Rouge regime, and to find justice for crimes committed.

After similar warnings by the Prime Minister, now the President of the Senate and of the Cambodian Peoples Party stated that he is concerned that war might break out, if more than the five people presently facing the court would be indicted. This gives not only the impression that highest level leaders of the state do not have confidence that the law enforcement agents, the courts and the police, and in addition other armed elements of the state are able to control and maintain public order. It raises the question whether the decision to establish the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia as an independent court, by agreement with the United Nations, is valid or can be conveniently be revoked.

Of course legal agreements can be revoked – with good reasons when they do not serve justice: the Mondolkiri provincial authorities canceled the concessions of 50 companies that did not do for what they had been contracted.

The removal of markers at the border with Vietnam by the president of the Sam Rainsy Party – in response to claims by Cambodian farmers that these border markers cut them off from some of their farming land – leads almost day-by-day to new levels of conflict. He committed what he says was a symbolic act to point to the loss of land. A court and leaders of the government point out that this was – whatever the motivation behind – an illegal act for which the courts find a response based on the law. The fact that most recently Mr. Sam Rainsy is quoted with a statement that he will agree to let the court convict him, if the arrested farmers are released and their land is returned, offers a deal. But as in the case of suggested restrictions on the independence of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, it is not easy to see how a deal could be made, which would allow the course of the law to be deviated. Present appeals to the King, asking for his intervention, do not show how this could legally happen; a Royal Pardon can be contemplated only after somebody is convicted.

The disclosures by publicly known persons, children in their twenties of high ranking parents, about the tremendous wealth at their disposal – a residence of US$500,000 and another residence of US$200,000 and a rubber plantation of 400 hectares – Porsches, Bentleys and Humvees, and a US$500,000 Mercedes McLaren SLR – automatic assault rifles, Glock pistols and a sniper’s rifle – provide an interesting field for the new anti-corruption law, once it is in place – plus the question whether all these weapons are legally licensed, and on what grounds. There were, over time, repeated shooting incidents reportedly by children of high ranking parents, who used firearms, but not for self-defense or protection against violence.

Will there be questions by some agencies – nothing is know yet – to investigate how such riches could be collected, while the modest salaries of the parents are known and cannot account for such extreme wealth. One of the children interviewed said: “Your parents give you all these things. You can’t say no. If someone gives you cake, you eat it.” A anti-corruption commission will not be satisfied with such an answer.

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Mondolkiri Canceled Economic Land Concessions of 50 Companies – Saturday, 9.1.2010

Posted on 9 January 2010. Filed under: Week 646 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

“Mondolkiri: The Mondolkiri provincial authorities had decided to cancel the concessions of 50 companies that had planned to invest in agriculture in Mondolkiri, because those companies do not operate.

“According to different sources of information, some companies received economic concession land in Mondolkiri, but they do not develop anything following their contracts, and some cut trees and sold them, affecting the lives of the citizen. Therefore, the authorities decided to cancel the concession contracts of those companies.

“The new Mondolkiri provincial governor could not be reached for comment regarding this issue, because he had a meeting. The Mondolkiri deputy governor, Ms. Si Sokuntheary, could not be reached either, as she was busy. Anyway, according to a notification by the Mondolkiri authorities dated 4 January 2010 that Kampuchea Thmey received on 8 January 2010, the Mondolkiri authorities announced to cancel the concessions for land of 50 companies located in Mondolkiri. This was done by a letter dated 25 December 2009 of the Mondolkiri authorities canceling the legal validity of the concessions giving control over concession land by 53 companies. But 3 companies asked for a delay.

[…]

“The present notification of the authorities identified the three companies which had asked for a delay: the Heng Heang Siv Chanthou company, the Green Resources company, and the Agri-Resources company. The notification stressed that the canceling of 50 concessions became valid from the day it was signed. In the meantime, the authorities emphasized that they will not take responsibility for any companies that continue to operate, violating this notification, and the authorities informed the companies that really intend to invest there, to come to contact the Mondolkiri authorities.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2146, 9.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 9 January 2010

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1426, 8-9.1.2010

  • [The president of the Cambodian People’s Party and president of the Senate] Samdech Chea Sim Is Concerned that War Could Break Out if the [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Indicts More People

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #383, 9.1.2010

  • The Royal Government Approved the Draft of a Cambodian-Chinese Consular Agreement [to promote the free flow of trade]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2146, 9.1.2010

  • Mondolkiri Canceled Economic Land Concessions of 50 Companies
  • A Traffic Accident Killed Three People and Caused Two Motorbikes to Be Destroyed by Fire [a car hit the motorbikes – Svay Rieng]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #576, 9-11.1.2010

  • [Two] Families Victimized by Yuon [Vietnamese] Land Grabbing and Detained by the Khmer Authorities Asked for Intervention by the King [over the removal of border markers]
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Will Agree to Let the Court Convict Him if the Arrested Farmers Are Released and Their Land Is Returned

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6853, 9-10.1.2010

  • A Strong Press Makes Democracy More Lively; as a Basis, Journalists Need to Have Knowledge about the Law and to Have Ethic Positions [according to a training course organized by the Club of Cambodian Journalists]
  • Vietnam Invited Mr. Obama to Pay an Official Visit [to attend the ASEAN summit in October 2010 in Hanoi]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5095, 9.1.2010

  • Three Companies [Si Chan Thun Development and Investment, Green Development, and Si Ngea Development] in Preah Vihear Are Late in Planting Rubber Trees after They Received the Right from the Ministry of Agriculture to Do so
  • The First Video Conference Cabinet Meeting Was Held Successfully [Phnom Penh]

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China Provides Additional Aid and Loans of US$1.2 Billion to Develop the Cambodian Economy – Tuesday, 22.12.2009

Posted on 23 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“The government of the People’s Republic of China had decided to provide aid and loans of US$1.2 billion to Cambodia to foster economic and social development.

“The decision to provide aid and loans was made public in the evening of 21 December 2009, during a meeting between officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia led by Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen and the Chinese Vice President, Mr. Xi Jinping [习近平], during his three day visit to Cambodia.

“The spokesperson of the Royal Government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, spoke to journalists during a press conference, after the signing ceremony on 14 agreements, saying, ‘During this discussion, the Chinese government made public to provide aid and loans of US$1.2 billion to Cambodia, in addition to the US$930 million in loans that China has provided since 1992.’

“In the meantime, 14 agreements were signed by officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia and by officials of the Chinese government, in the presence of the Cambodian Prime Minister and the Chinese Vice President:

  1. Exchange note on the construction of a new office building for the Senate
  2. Exchange note on the restoration and conservation of a temple in Takeo
  3. Agreement about economic and technical cooperation with a grant of Yuan 50 Million [approx. US$7.3 million]
  4. Agreement about economic and technical cooperation with a loan of Yuan 50 Million [approx. US$7.3 million]
  5. Framework agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 57B
  6. Framework agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 59
  7. Agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 57B
  8. Agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 59
  9. Agreement about a general loan for the use of favorable loans for buyers
  10. Framework agreement on the provision of communication equipment to the Ministry of Economy and Finance
  11. Agreement about favorable loans for buyers for infrastructure at the Kompong Trabaek River in Prey Veng
  12. Agreement about favorable loans for buyers at the project to construct the national road from Sen Monorum to Dac Dam in Mondolkiri
  13. Agreement about favorable loans for buyers at the project to construct power lines to distribute electricity to areas around Phnom Penh
  14. Agreement on transport and infrastructure cooperation

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith added that during that discussions the Chinese vice president raised some points, including the request to increase visits between leaders of the two countries, the promotion of the exchange of political experience, and cooperation to support more Chinese enterprises in Cambodia, and the request for cooperation in the region and internationally.

“Responding to the Chinese vice president, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that Cambodia asked for the increase of visits at all institutional levels, like at city and at provincial levels, between both countries, and this request was agreed upon by China.

“Also, in the discussion, China promised to foster more tourism exchanges, and to continue to support Cambodia with funds, like though more loans for Cambodia. In the meantime, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen asked China to continue to create more exchange scholarships for Cambodian students to go to China.

“The Prime Minister also asked China to help to repair other temples in Cambodia, as there are many more needing preservation, and this request was welcomed by China. The head of the government stressed its position that Cambodia adheres to the One-China Policy, and the Royal Government expressed its gratitude towards China for continuing to support Cambodia, especially now China is also giving care and treating the illnesses of the former Khmer King Norodom Sihanouk.

“Also, China asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to clear unexploded ordnance in the areas where the railroad is to be constructed in Cambodia, and to provide warm cooperation for the Chinese officials in this work. Cambodia responded by agreeing and welcoming the requests of China.

“By now, China is the country that provides the most aid to Cambodia to developing the society and the economy, to reduce the poverty of Cambodian people, and Chinese aid has functioned successfully.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #367, 22.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #367, 22.12.2009

  • China Criticized America while America Criticized Cambodia over Deporting the Uighur People
  • China Provides Additional Aid and Loans of US$1.2 Billion to Develop the Cambodian Economy

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2130, 22.12.2009

  • [The Former Minister of Social Affairs of the Khmer Rouge Regime] Ieng Thirith Was Charged with Three Crimes [genocide, war crimes, and other crime, which consist of killings, torture, and harassment of religious persons]
  • The Cambodian-Russian Bilateral Trade Amounted to More Than US$30 Million within 9 Months for This Year
  • Cambodian Doctors Appeal to the People to Trust Cambodian Doctors [rather than traveling abroad to seek medical treatment that costs more money]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #701, 22.12.2009

  • The Authorities Must Identify the Wood Traders Who Hire Poor Citizens, to Enter Thai Territory [illegally] to Cut Trees and Are Victimized Continually [shot at by Thai soldiers]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #560, 22.12.2009

  • The US Department of State Condemned the Phnom Penh Government That Deported Uighur People to the Chinese Government
  • Two Thousands People Protested against Environment Officials Grabbing 5,000 Hectares of Land in Mondolkiri

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6837, 2.12.2009

  • A DK82 Shell Was Used as a School Bell, but It Exploded, Killing Three People and Injuring Three Others Seriously; It Was Fortunate that this Happened on a Sunday, when there Were no Students [Oddar Meanchey]

Krong Long Vek, Vol.7, #165, 21.12.2009

  • A Non-Government Organization [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)], Asked the Government to Stop Providing Concession Land [saying that it affects thousands of families of villagers in Cambodia]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #72, 22.12.2009

  • China Thanked Cambodia for Deporting the Uighur People
  • A Daughter Asked [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Help Intervene to Free Her Father, Mr. Hang Chakra [saying that he fell ill in the Prey Sar prison; the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison for disinformation over corruption of high ranking officials]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5079, 22.12.2009

  • Cambodia and China Signed 14 Exchange Notes and Agreements Covering US$1.2 Billion [no clarity about the relation of grant aid to repayable loans]; China Announced that Cambodia Is an Absolute Political Cooperation Partner of the Chinese Government
  • America Condemns Cambodia for Deporting Chinese Ethnic [Uighur] People [saying that it violates international law (the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, which Cambodia signed), warning that it might affect the ties between Cambodia and America]
  • [The Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva: [the Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Has to Come First to Serve His Time in Prison before Negotiating

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1838, 22.12.2009

  • [The Minister of the Council of Ministers] Sok An Assigns [senior minister in charge of border affairs] Var Kimhong to Explain the Setting of Border Markers at the National Assembly on 24 December 2009

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When Is It Possible to Trust, or Not to Trust the Law? – Sunday, 20.12.2009

Posted on 21 December 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 643 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

Several events during the past week provide a lot of food for thought. Some cases have been extending over several weeks before they came to a surprising end, others started only recently – but in their mutual links, they leave the public with a lot of questions.

It is not the task of the media to respond to many of these question – but to collect information and to share it publicly. How the answers have to be found, for the whole society, is clear according to Article 51 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia: “The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country. All power belongs to the people.” This is the starting point, so the people need to know what is going on.

The next point is (still according to the same Article 51): “The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, the Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary” – about which the constitution adds an important point of clarification: “The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate.”

The people elect the legislative, which appoints the executive, and the judicial power cares that new laws conform to the Constitution and are implemented properly.

The past week saw several events where the public cannot easily understand how public procedures work and laws and applied – and this is in some cases made more difficult because the press does not cover some areas in detail. The following is just a series of descriptions. How they are to be understood is not clear in all cases.

An employee handling air traffic control information at the airport shared information over the telephone about the Flight Plan of the private jet-plane of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra. This employee was convicted to seven years in prison for allegedly having engaged in an act of spying. But according to some public media reports, information about the flight plan was shared with the Thai embassy only 20 minutes after the plane had already landed. In addition, in many countries, flight plans are in principle public, not secret (except for military aircraft in combat or military training). Were flight plans not publicly available, in national and in international Flight Information Regions, there would be a lot of near or real accidents in flight. We tried to find any information in the press about the legal status of Flight Plan related information – we did not see any.

In this, and in some other of the cases, the Mirror does not claim to have all information publicly available, though we try. If there is important information publicly available but we missed it, we are always grateful to receive additional information in the form of Comments.

The legally convicted spy was freed by a Royal Pardon within less than a week – in response to requests by representatives of the opposition party of a neighboring country, and, as the Prime Minister said, also in view of the concerns and the love of the mother of the convict to her son. That the convicted spy was set free was welcomed widely, including by the Thai government.
As a general reaction, the Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian Mr. Son Chhay said that the Prime Minister had suggested a Royal Pardon to the King, though the court had claimed to have enough evidence for a legal conviction to serve seven years in prison, so the Prime Minister might also initiate the procedures to have the Khmer people set free, now in prison over land disputes, who were jailed when they just protested when the land they were living on for many years was taken away.

Surely there are many mothers caring for their sons in a similar way as the mother of the convicted Thai spy.

The former Thai prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, now often also identified as a billionaire because of the huge economic gains of his telecommunications companies during his time as prime minister, had been ousted from office by a bloodless military coup. But later, he was also convicted for corruption – related to the sale of public property to his wife, and three of his lawyers were arrested, arrested of leaving about US$60,000 to officials at the Thai high court, handling his case. During the appeal process, he asked for bail to leave the country for some business in China for some days – but he did not keep the conditions of the bail agreement and stays ever since in other countries.

When Mr. Thaksin, in legal terms a convicted fugitive, was invited to Cambodia as an adviser to the Prime Minister on economic affairs, the Thai government made an extradition request based on a Cambodian-Thai extradition agreement. The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was reported to have refused to even receive the documents from the Thai embassy, claiming the conviction by the Thai courts was politically motivated. Interpol sees this differently: Interpol is prepared to help locate Mr. Thaksin as a convicted fugitive.

On Saturday, 19 December 2009, the Cambodian authorities arrested and handed over 20 Uighur people to the Chinese authorities, that had asked for their extradition, claiming they are criminals (though two of them are said to be children). They applied for recognition as refugees with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees – UNHCR – in Phnom Penh, but the UN interviews with them had not yet been finished. They were not, in legal terms, convicted for anything in China, there had been no court hearings on them. “They were led to Cambodia by the leader of a terrorist group, but I do not want to mention the name,” Mr. Khieu Sopheak, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, is quoted. And the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, is quoted to have said that they were deported to China “because of Cambodia’s obligations as a sovereign state.” Obviously this would apply to both China and Thailand.

In addition, Cambodia has signed the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, adopted by the United Nations in 1951. The regional spokesperson of the UNHCR called the deportation, before the end of the interviews, a “grave breach of international refugee law” – to which Cambodia had actually subscribed.

The Thai government declared that a normalization of diplomatic relations with Cambodia would require that Cambodia terminates the agreement with Mr. Shinawatra as economic adviser, and not to continue to call a legal conviction for corruption as politically motivated. But the spokesperson of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said these conditions are “nonsense.” Prime Minister Hun Sen added that relations with the Thai government cannot be normalized, unless the present Thai government is replaced.

Such statements are of a dimension which has never existed before in ASEAN, with a tradition of not interfering into the internal affairs of another country, like calling for a change of government. Even in relation to the present military leadership of Myanmar, ASEAN states have only called for the institution of a democratic process in Myanmar.

The Nation of Bangkok wrote in an analysis:

“The dispute is one thing, but the most important thing is that the incident not pose a risk to Asean solidarity,” Tommy Koh, chairman of the grouping’s task force, was quoted as saying by [the Chinese] Xinhua News Agency. “I’ve asked my colleagues how they would have felt if [a neighboring country] had done to us what Hun Sen did to Thailand,” said one Asean diplomat even before the Thai-Cambodian conflict deteriorated into a spy farce and relations sank to new lows. An expert on Asean affairs said: “No other Asean leader in the grouping’s long history has ever called for the destruction of a neighboring government. This is beyond everything we have experienced.”

The present situation will probably be remembered in the history of ASEAN as a new turning point, testing the very fabric of the ASEAN community.

Finally, the meaning and the role of the law is extremely tested in another way in Cambodia itself: There are two cases, where the president of the largest opposition party, and leader of the government, are quoted to have said that they have no respect for the calling of a court:

  • The opposition party president, Mr. Sam Rainsy: I Do Not Care about the Court That Serves the Ruling Party Only [he was sued by the Svay Rieng Municipal Court for removing temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that all recently summoned witnesses, who are presently holding high offices in the Royal Government – like the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Economy and Finance and he himself – do not need to cooperate with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

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Within 10 Months Cambodian-Vietnamese Trade Amounted to US$1.04 Billion – Friday, 18.12.2009

Posted on 18 December 2009. Filed under: Week 643 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

“A high ranking official of the Vietnamese government said that within 10 months of 2009, the Cambodian-Vietnamese trade rose to US$1.04 billion, and the most import from Vietnam to Cambodia is petroleum, and the most export to Vietnam is rubber.

“The deputy director of the Asia – Pacific Market Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Mr. Dao Ngoc Chuong [phonetic], said on 16 December 2009 while he attended a business and an investment forum in Cambodia that within 10 months of 2009, the Cambodian-Vietnamese trade increased to US$1.04 billion.

“According to Mr. Chuong, much of the trade is export from Vietnam to Cambodia, while imports of goods from Cambodia to Vietnam did not amount to much.

“He added that goods exported from Vietnam to Cambodia include petroleum, US$362 million; iron, US$104 million; machines and motor vehicle spare parts, US$32 million; plastic, US$31 million; food, US$30 million; textiles, US$25 million; sea food, US$14 million; paper, US$10 million; screws, US$8 million; ceramic, US$6.7 million; electric cables, US$6.2 million, and other products.

“The products that Cambodia exports to Vietnam are rubber, US$52 million; wood and wood products, US$31 million; tobacco, US$7.2 million; and scrap metal and products, US$1.5 million.

“The amount of the trade exchange between Cambodia and Vietnam increases every year. Practically, the figures show that it amounted to as much as US$1.64 billion in 2008, US$1.2 billion in 2007, and only US$935 million in 2006.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5076, 18.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 18 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #365, 18.12.2009

  • The Confirmed Cases of A/H1N1 Increased to 513, and the Number of Deaths Rose to Six [in Cambodia]
  • Cambodia and Vietnam Signed Two Agreements [during the visit of the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam – one agreement about cooperation in energy, industry, and mineral resources, and another about water way transport]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2127, 18.12.2009

  • [Svay Rieng] The Court Summoned [opposition party president] Sam Rainsy over the Removal of Temporary [Cambodian-Vietnamese] Border Markers [on 28 December 2009]
  • The Cambodian Prime Minister: Relations with the Thai Government Cannot Be Normalized [unless Bangkok’s current government is voted out of office]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #699, 18.12.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Dared Not Ask [the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam] Nông Đức Mạnh [Nong Duc Manh] to Solve the Human Rights Violations against the Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [in Vietnam]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #558, 18.12.2009

  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association and the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Asked the Khmer and the Siamese [Thai] Kings to Pardon Journalists [jailed in Cambodia] and Workers [imprisoned in Thailand]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6834, 18.12.2009

  • The First Secretary of the Thai Embassy Will Appear to Clarify Notes about Thaksin’s Plane [two or three days later – according to the spokesperson of the Thai government, Mr. Panitan Wattanayakon]
  • Twenty New Chain Saws Were Hidden in Second Hand Clothes [but were intercepted – Banteay Meanchey]
  • A Hundred and Six Cambodian Students Will Continue Their Studies in the Kingdom of Thailand in 2010 [Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the scholarships are granted by the Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, a generous person, not from the Thai government]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #70, 18.12.2009

  • A Khmer Citizen Shot by Thai Soldiers [when he went to cut trees illegally in Thai territory] Is Waiting for His Death [in his home because he has no money for hospitalization – Oddar Meanchey]
  • The Ministry of Land Management Is Building 118 Offices Countrywide [spending $20,000 to $30,000 each to promote and ease the construction and real estate sectors]
  • Rich Countries Promised to Grant US$22 Billion in Copenhagen

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5076, 18.12.2009

  • Within 10 Months Cambodian-Vietnamese Trade Amounted to US$1.04 Billion
  • Cambodia and Vietnam Announced to Open Trade Crossings Facilities at the Mekong River
  • [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Promised to Attract Foreign Investors to Develop Tourism in Cambodia
  • Two Motorbikes Collided with Each Other while Overtaking a Car, Resulting in Three Deaths and Two Injured People [Kompong Cham]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1836, 18-20.12.2009

  • More Than 100 Countries [at UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva] Appealed to Cambodia to Implement Global Human Rights Policies

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 11 December 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6828, 11.12.2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #356, 8.12.2009

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2118, 8.12.2009

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6825, 8.12.2009

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5067, 8.12.2009

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

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1828, 8.12.2009

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

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