Human Rights Watch Criticizes Cambodian Military, but Cambodia Dismisses the Criticism – Saturday, 10.7.2010

Posted on 11 July 2010. Filed under: Week 672 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 672

“Phnom Penh: Human Rights Watch [“Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice”] criticized the Cambodian military for being involved in forced evictions.

“This criticism is made as Cambodian military forces cooperate with the US army to organize a big military exercise starting on Sunday next week.

“According to a report from New York issued on 9 July 2010, Human Rights Watch said that the joint military exercise, which the United States of America decided to organize in Cambodia, will affect the US commitment to promote human rights in Cambodia.

“Human Rights Watch said that Cambodian military forces are used to protect the interest of private companies [see Phnom Penh Post of 2 June 2010] and to evict Cambodian people by force in order to grab their land. In addition, Cambodian armed forces beat and sometimes shot at Cambodian innocent people over land disputes.

“Human Rights Watch asked the United States of America to suspend its military aid to Cambodia, where it granted about US$1.8 million in 2010 for the construction of a military training center.

“Anyway, high ranking officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia dismissed this criticism, adding that the cooperation between Cambodia and the United States of America continues.

“The spokesperson and Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant General Chhum Socheat, said that what was mentioned by the Human Rights Watch was without clear basis and thus it is unreliable. Cambodian troops have never committed anything as criticized [see Phnom Penh Post of 10 May 2010].

The Asian Human Right Commission (AHRC) has learned that on November 14, 2006, three villagers were allegedly assaulted in relation to a land dispute by members of the military from the ACO command headquarters (tank headquarters)

“The spokesperson of the government, Minister of Information Mr. Khieu Kanharith, said that the Cambodian armed forces are used to protect and to maintain security and social order, and every country uses armed forces, also the United States of America. But the government has never ordered troops to grab people’s land.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said that the criticism of Human Rights Watch is unnecessary and useless.

“He added that the relations of Cambodia and the United States of America are smooth in all sectors, both in such fields as diplomacy and military. These ties will continue without change.

“It should be noted that the criticism of Human Rights Watch was made a week before Cambodian forces start to cooperate with the US Pacific Command to jointly organize a big multi-national military exercise and training from 17 to 30 July 2010. Twenty six countries will join in this exercise which is named Angkor Sentinel 2010.

“The multi-national exercise is organized with the aim to strengthen the capacity of military forces for peacekeeping missions in the region and in the world.

“Lieutenant General Chhum Socheat said that twenty six countries will participate in the military exercise which is divided into two parts: a ‘command post’ exercise in Phnom Penh in the Intercontinental Hotel, and field training exercise at the area of the ACO [‘allied command operations’?] Tank Command Post in Kompong Speu, along National Road 4.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5246, 10.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 10 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2297, 10.7.2010

  • The Appeals Court Determined 9 August 2010 as the Date for the Hearing of the Border Post Removal Case [on opposition party president, Mr. Sam Rainsy]
  • After Taking Out Money from a Bank, a Man [a factory accountant] Was Robbed and US$3,500 Was Taken Away [there may have been two or more robbers involved, but they are not yet identified – Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7004, 10-11.7.2010

  • A Cambodian Muslim Man Got Drunk and Started a Shootout in a Cambodian Muslim Village, Killing Two People and Injuring Five Others Before He Escaped [Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3928, 10-11.7.2010

  • It Has Been Two Years Already, but the Authorities Still Cannot Arrest the Perpetrators Who Fatally Shot [Moneaksekar Khmer] Journalist Khim Sambo and His Son
  • Human Rights Watch Wants the United States of America to Engage in Strengthening of Human Rights During the Participation to Organize a Multi-National Exercise in Cambodia [the “Angkor Sentinel” exercise is part of the 2010 Global Peace Operations Initiative, an effort jointly run by the US Departments of Defense and of State to help train peacekeepers]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5246, 10.7.2010

  • Human Rights Watch Criticizes Cambodian Military, but Cambodia Dismisses the Criticism
  • [Former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch Asked to Change His Foreign Defense Lawyer Mr. François Roux [the Khmer Rouge Tribunal agreed to his request]
  • The King Called on All Development Partners of Cambodia to Provide Financial and Technical Support for Forestry Reform in Cambodia
  • A Man Raped a Two-Month Pregnant Woman and Then Killed Her in a Rice Field [he was arrested – Preah Vihear]

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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]

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Opposition Party Parliamentarians and Civil Society Officials Stated that the Government Does Not Implement the Constitution – Friday, 30.10.2009

Posted on 31 October 2009. Filed under: Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

“On the occasion of the 5th Coronation Day of Preah Karuna Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, high ranking officials from the opposition parties, who are parliamentarians, and national and international observers, pointed to the Cambodian government’s obligation and need to implement the supreme law of the country by creating and reforming at least two institutions of Cambodia.

“A parliamentarian from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, agrees with the idea of an international observer, Mr. Lao Mong Hay, and of a civil society official of Cambodia as well of a parliamentarian [from the Human Rights Party], Mr. Kem Sokha over the duty that the King at present fulfills, especially the idea that the government must create and progress two supreme institutions led by the King.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 23:
The King is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Khmer Armed Forces. A Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Khmer Armed Forces shall be appointed to command the Armed Forces.

Article 24:
The King shall serve as Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Defense to be established by law.

“Mr. Son Chhay, a leader of the Sam Rainsy parliamentarians, said, ‘I hope that Cambodia will in the future create a Supreme Council of National Defense which, according to the Constitution, must be under the presidency of the King with the role as Chairman of that Supreme Council of National Defense.’

“Mr. Son Chhay agreed with a statement of a senior researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong, Mr. Lao Mong Hay, in this point.

“Dr. Lao Mong Hay sees an obligation of the government, as stipulated in the Constitution of Cambodia, to create a Supreme Council of National Defense with the King as Chairman. So far, according to a statement of Mr. Lao Mong Hay, the government formed by the Cambodian People’s Party, with Mr. Hun Sen as the Prime Minister, has not discussed the creation of a Supreme Council of National Defense under the oversight by the King.

“Everything in the defense sector is seen being organized and decided directly by Prime Minister Hun Sen. This leads to criticism that the defense system of Cambodia is not conform with the Constitution of the country, which states the need to establish a Supreme Council of National Defense led by the King.

“The founder of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) – a large human rights organization in Cambodia, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], said that in the five years since the coronation of Preah Karuna Preah Bath Norodom Sihamoni, it is seen by the public that in general, he cares for humanitarian affairs for his citizens. She expressed her concern related to a point of the Constitution which says that the King takes the thrown, but does not take the power.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 7:
The King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern.
The King shall be the Head of State for life. The King shall be inviolable.

Article 8:
The King of Cambodia shall be a symbol of unity and eternity of the nation.
The King shall be guarantor of the national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the protector of rights and freedom for all citizens and the guarantor of international treaties.

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek said, ‘I regret that the Constitution states that the King reigns, but is not involved in political affairs, so that he could fulfill many other duties according to the constitution.’

“The Constitution of Cambodia stipulates that the King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern, though, according to another article, it makes the King responsible for the territorial integrity of Cambodia, for the protection of the rights and the freedom for all citizens, and for an independent court system, though he does not have the power to decide anything, and can only be burdened by the mistakes decided upon by the government.

“A parliamentarian and president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, noted also the point in the Constitution which states that the King must not be involved in politics, and that the King does not have power, as at present, the power is controlled by the government. According to his opinion, the King should be given the possibility to ensure the respect for human rights and the independence of the court system, as well as the right to pardon journalists and human rights activists who are jailed by government authorities. He stressed that at present, unless there is request from the government, the King does not decide to an amnesty, but Mr. Kem Sokha thinks that the government should not prevent the King from granting an amnesty.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 27:
The King shall have the right to grant partial or complete amnesty.

“Senior politicians from the opposition parties and from civil society organization official expressed their ideas under the impression that the King seems to be restricted in fulfilling his duties which are stated as his rights, as stated in the Constitution, to help his people.

“Besides expressing good wishes to the King at the 5th Coronation Day after he succeeded his father, some scholars want to see the country’s Constitution implemented properly by the government, like by organizing the National Congress, which, as stated by the supreme law of Cambodia, is to be held annually under the chairmanship of the King. It is an event to remember the National Congress held by the current King’s father, Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, to provide an opportunity for the citizens to express their concerns, hopes, and wishes, as well as to question the prime minister about how the country is ruled, while now, the Cambodian People’s Party government, especially Prime Minister Hun Sen, said that it is not possible to hold such a congress.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article :
Article 147:
The National Congress shall enable the people to be directly informed on various matters of national interests and to raise issues and requests for the State authority to solve.
Khmer citizens of both sexes shall have the right to participate in the National Congress.
Article 148:
The National Congress shall meet once a year in early December at the convocation of the Prime Minister.
It shall proceed under the chairmanship of the King.
Article 149:
The National Congress adopts recommendations to the Senate and the National Assembly, and to the Executive branch for reflection.
The organization and operation of the National Congress should be determined by law.

“But according to the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Right Party, and to national and international observers, the government could do what is stated in the Constitution, if the government had a real intention to do it.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #520, 30.10.2009

.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #323, 29.10.2009

  • About 20% of Cambodian Citizens Live under the Threat of Food Insecurity [because of the rising prices of food, the economic crisis, and natural disaster which bring more burden; according to an under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries]
  • The Number of People Who Died from A/H1N1 Infection Increased to 4, and there Are 239 Infected People
  • This Year, 391 Boats and 25,501 Boat Racers Will Join for the Competitions [at the Water Festival]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2085, 29.10.2009

  • [The Thai ousted prime minister] Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra Plans to Come to Cambodia Soon to Thank Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [but a date has not yet been specified; according to the Bangkok Post]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #668, 29.10.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Continues to Seek Justice [over a defamation sentence] at the Supreme Court, before Paying a Fine [Riel 16.5 million, approx. US$4,100] to [Prime Minister] Hun Sen

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #520, 30.10.2009

  • Opposition Party Parliamentarians and Civil Society Officials Stated that the Government Does Not Implement the Constitution

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6792, 30.10.2009

  • Reaction from the Cambodian Embassy: The Nation Makes Nonsense and Makes Itself Disreputable [a response to an editorial of the Thai newspaper, The Nation, published on 25 October 2009, claiming that some words in that editorial insulted Prime Minister Hun Sen, by saying, ‘You can take a man out of the forest, but you cannot take the forest from that man…’]
  • A Man Who Threatened Mr. Soy Sopheap [a CTN television presenter and the director of Deum Ampil] via Phone Was Detained [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #36-37, 29-30.10.2009

  • Orphanages Care for More Than 10,000 Children [at present there are 221 orphanages, 21 of them belong to the state]
  • The Government Will Provide Social Concession Land [more than 20,000 hectares] to Veterans and Families of Dead Militants
  • Among 100 Real Estate Companies, Only 38 Have Licenses [the unlicensed companies will be charged Riel 5 million, approx. US$1,250]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5033-5034, 29-30.10.2009

  • The Appeals Court Decided to Uphold the Conviction of the [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua for Defamation against the Prime Minister [though her defamation suit against the Prime Minister had not been dealt with by the court
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asked the United Nations to Assist in Overcoming the Impacts of the Typhoon Ketsana
  • A French Delegation Will Visit Cambodia at the End of This Month [to strengthen the Cambodian-French friendship]

.

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Reasons Why Investors from Korea Fail in Cambodia – Friday, 23.1.2009

Posted on 23 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“Seeming to be floating towards failure of their long term investments in Cambodia, while the global financial crisis expands, investors in construction and in real estate from Korea are seeking interventions from Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the outstanding Prime Minister of Cambodia.

“The director of the Public Internal Financial Control framework which also represents investors from Korea, Mr. Kim Suan Mok [phonetic], said that because Cambodia has Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen as the cleverest and most intelligent Prime Minister and leader, more investors came to invest in Cambodia unexpectedly.

“Mr. Kim Suan Mok added that being a leader with high determination, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen provides opportunities to investors to invest billions of dollars in Cambodia. They expect to receive warmth from the leadership of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen as well as support from the Council for the Development of Cambodia; for example Mr. Kim Sun Sok [phonetic] has invested more than US$2 billion in Cambodia, with other investors also having billions of dollars.

“However, the financial crisis which is plaguing the world seems to drive investors in Cambodia more towards failure than towards hope for potential profit from investments in Cambodia. Mr. Kim Suan Mok said that the financial crisis results in a decline of real estate prices in the world by 50%. This led to bankruptcy for some banks. Mr. Kim Suan Mok emphasized that big financial institutions lacking capital had to announced that the world is in crisis, and some financial institutions have to minimize their operations.

“The more than US$2 billion investment mentioned by Mr. Kim Suan Mok is a huge contribution for the Cambodian economy, but some problems, related to skyrocketing prices of real estate in Cambodia, seem to encourage investors to abandon their projects. This will become a bad model for investors having invested their capital, then they will transfer it out again..

Mr. Kim Suan Mok noticed that prices of real estate in the word dropped sharply, but real estate owners in Cambodia seem not to care for world developments and changes. Because the price of real estate in Cambodia is too high, compared to the world market, some investors have given up their plans to buy real estate for investment. Moreover, it is not only investors who worry, but also many Cambodian people are seriously affected by this problem.

“Mr. Kim Suan Mok added that most investors from Korea face failure in Cambodia, and only 10% of them achieve success with their plans. This failure is he result of the fact that most investors did not know the cultural and commercial situation in Cambodia well. Another important point is that investors find it very difficult to find real information leading to success. So far, some investors from Korea have given up their long term investment plans and just wait and see whether the situation of the financial crisis might change soon.

“To support investors so that they have the opportunity to invest in Cambodia for a long period, investors ask the government to help ease the general legal framework for investments, such as the rights to buy and own land for a long period, and not only to lease land from the state for a period of 99 years. The Cambodian government itself should broaden the actual opportunities for investors.

“Also, Mr. Kim Suan Mok appealed to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to publish information about the changed global economic situation in order to persuade real estate owners in Cambodia to sell their real estate to investors at prices which are in line with world market price levels.

“Mr. Sung Bunna, director of the Bunna Realty Group and director of the Khmer Real Estate Appraisal Association, said that prices of real estate in Cambodia are fixed and have not declined like in other countries. This is a big problem for investors. Facing the general financial crisis, Mr. Sung Bunna asked the Cambodian government to help rescuing the real estate situation in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sung Bunna estimated that at present, many Cambodian citizen rush to sell their real estate in a narrow market; that means there are many people who rush to sell, while the number of buyers is small. This situation will make the prices of real estate in Cambodia drop dramatically in the near future, and the government should release some money to buy real estate from businesspeople and from banks which might lack money, in order to avoid Cambodia from falling into a crisis.

“Mr. Sung Bunna added that whether the price of real estate in Cambodia will recover again soon or not depends on the confidence of Khmer citizens, but not on foreign investors. Even real estate companies around the country joined as an associations to prevent the price of houses to drop further. In another separate case, more than 730 construction companies are not likely to leave their plans being orphaned too long, and that will be the time when the Khmer real estate sector will be in a good condition again, at the latest in 2010.

“Mr. Sung Bunna appreciates the real estate market in Cambodia which grew strongly in 2008 and provides good economic growth for Cambodia. The prices of real estate might drop dramatically due to the economic crisis, while some businesspeople and banks might encounter a financial crisis and therefore rush to sell their real estate to have financial resources for their trade – but this will have a negative impact on the Cambodian economy; that is, the Cambodian economic growth will drop sharply, making it difficult recover in the future.” Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8004, 23-25.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #9, 23-27.1.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Solving Border Disputes with Thailand Has to Be Done Together with the International Community [because it is useless to solve disputes bilaterally]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #109, 23-29.1.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Prohibits the Import of Agricultural Products from Cambodia [after a meeting between the Thai Prime Minister and his officials to ban the import of agricultural products and to prevent the illegal entry of workers from Cambodia for economic reasons]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1854, 23.1.2009

  • Nearly 10,000 Workers of the Yongwa Factories Held a Violent Demonstration [demanding to release the annual saving money of US$50, which was normally provided to each worker in January – Takhmao, Kandal]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #329, 23.1.2009

  • If There Is No Solution [for land disputes with the Heng Development Company and shooting by military police at people] on 23 January 2009] Kandal Stung Residents Will Protest in Front of the National Assembly
  • The Presidents of Unions and Civil Society Ask the Government to Arrest the Real Murderers for Prosecution [who shot dead Mr. Chea Vichea, the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia. On 22 January 2009, around 200 people marched with flowers to the site behind Wat Langka where Mr. Chea Vichea was shot dead]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #332, 23-27.1.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mr. Kasit Piromya] Asks to Meet also with [the president of the opposition party] Mr. Sam Rainsy [during his official visit on 25 January 2009 to discuss border disputes]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #190, 23.1.2009

  • Position of Mr. Ke Kim Yan Is Finished – He Is Replaced by Mr. Pol Saroeun as the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces [8 other high ranking military officials are also assigned]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3673, 23-29.1.2009

  • Appeals Court Begins Investigations to Seek the Real Murderers Who Killed Mr. Chea Vichea

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4802, 23.1.2009

  • More Than 300 People Were Arrested during an Operation to Suppress Fishing Crimes, and People Were Detained for Questioning
  • US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] Talks about the Economic Crisis and about Military Relations with Cambodia
  • A Man Took, Tortured, and Raped a 10-Year-Old Girl while Her Grandmother Was Asleep [he was arrested – Kompong Cham]
  • The Director of a Milk Powder Company [mixing melamine plastic into the milk] Was Sentenced to Imprisonment for Life, and Two Others Received the Verdict of Capital Punishment [China]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3673, 23-29.1.2009

  • The Victims Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces that Victims of the Khmer Rouge Regime Can now to Lodge Complaints against the Suspect Kaing Gek Eav, Called Duch [the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief, within 10 days before the first hearing on 17 February 2009]

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8004, 23-25.1.2009

  • Reasons Why Investors from Korea Fail in Cambodia

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Outlook into 2009 – Sunday, 11.1.2009

Posted on 12 January 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

Observing a wide range of discussions about the future, there are two fields which get most prominent attention: the economy – and the state of law.

As the Cambodian economy – internationally – depends much on the export of garment products and on international tourism, and on a construction boom, we did mirror related reports:

The garment industry was a sure bet in the past – in every of the previous years, this sector grew by 15% to 20%. But this was not an assurance for the future. The situation is bad, but not too bad, some observers say:

In Cambodia 73 factories were closed in 2008, making nearly 25,000 workers unemployed. But 64 new factories opened, absorbing 10,000 new workers. – The export of garments to international markets dropped by 2%, while before, it was expected that it would drop by between 5% and 7%. Therefore the global financial crisis affected this sector very little.

Others are more careful to express their hope: While at present the future looks really to dark, things may change:

Presently received orders will be finished by February and March 2009, and there are no buying orders for May and June 2009.

But buyers from the United States of America probably wait until the new president takes his position in mid January, then they will continue buying.

Investments in the construction industry are also facing big problems:

All construction projects of high rise buildings to develop the city to become a modern city are mostly based on foreign investment in Cambodia. Therefore large scale investments, like those by Korean investors planning constructions for the city, are delayed.

The labor unions say that 30% of the construction workers are laid off, and various projects are suspended; and it is forecast that in 2009 the decline will continue.

And tourism?

The Minister of Tourism recognized that the global financial crisis and the confrontation with Thailand in the Preah Vihear region slows the number of tourists to Cambodia down, but Cambodia will make all efforts to guarantee the safety of tourists, and to promote the further growth of tourism.

The loss of everyday jobs and income for the families is a consequence resulting from the decline in the number of tourists to Cambodia since July 2008.

Such reductions in the economic possibilities are also reflected in the cautious employment policy of the government for new graduates, in spite of the fact that their number is increasing year by year:

The Cambodian government decided to reduce the recruitment of new civil servants from 9,000 to 8,000 to work at different ministries and departments in 2009.

To reduce employment alone will not be sufficient. We will watch out for reports about other determined decisions how to contain and to save expenses.

The plan to spend US$10 million on public lighting in Phnom Penh is surprising in this context. Even if it is intended to do this with a foreign loan, it is not only a liability to be paid back; after the investment is done, a lot of electricity will have to be paid for. Public taxpayer money will have to be spent regularly for the electricity, and this money will go to the producers of electricity; more and more private companies will profit from this.

Of course there is the hope for big oil money in the futue. And the international community has pledged around one billion dollars of aid for 2009.

The scholarly wisdom from the field of Economics and of Business Administration has not prevented a global economic meltdown of a size never before experienced. Now there are many efforts under discussion, what kind of political will and political action is needed to control the economic problems so that they do not get totally out of control. The myth about the “self-regulatory powers of the market” led into global crisis; new bold legislation and new government interventions are now being called for internationally.

There is new movement also in Cambodia in the field of the role of law.

The new year started with an almost unexpected news from the past: after five years of doubts and mistrust in police and in court actions, related to the 2004 murder of the labor leader Chea Vichea, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were released on bail, because, as the Supreme Court judge Dith Munty explained, there is a lack of clarity: the case needs further investigation, as there were gaps in the procedures, and there is insufficient evidence.

There will have to be a lot of explanation to be done, why previous investigations were not done correctly, and how it was possible that gaps in the procedures – which had been pointed out by many, including by the former King – could not be rectified without keeping two persons in prison for five years.

Now the police waits already one whole week for the green light from the court to start the new investigation. It is probably the correct procedure now to wait for the court again. When there is a lack of clarity, new investigations are to be made, according to the law, independently from any outside influence, also independent from the executive branch of the government, according to the Constitution of the country.

Article 51 of the Constituton says:
“The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country. All power belongs to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, The Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary. The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate.”

But it is at least surprising that the effort by three persons, accredited by the Bar Association of Cambodia to act at the courts in Cambodia, met with difficulties when hey tried to file a law suit. They want to initiate a clarification by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court about allegations of irregularities at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. They had not been able, in spite of their efforts over several months, to receive certain pieces of information – as we had mirrored on Friday, 9.1.2009, in detail from the Khmer press.

What is even more surprising – not based on any legal expertize, but just on common sense – is that the appeal to a court of law to bring clarity, is not welcome, but is met by an expression of regret. The national judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia criticized this appeal to a court with the argument, that they had entered into service at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on the basis of a Royal Decree, signed by the King.

This case brings a basic problem of perception to the public, whether this society will live up to its constitution, where an independent judiciary is to find out what is right and what is wrong, or whether positions of rank will have precedence. Do the national judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia not trust that the courts can fulfill their duty?

The fact, that a person had an illustrious career to which he was properly appointed, is no reason not to clarify by the courts and on the basis of the law in a transparent way, whether a person has acted properly or not. When Heng Pov, who was, over the course of time, undersecretary of state, and assistant to the Minister of the Interior, and then police commissioner of the city of Phnom Penh – who had had all the proper appointments – was put to the test by the courts, he failed and is now in prison.

Whoever is innocent, should be happy to have this finally confirmed by a normal, public court. Why not?

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Looking Back and Looking Ahead – Sunday, 4.1.2009

Posted on 5 January 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 593 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 593

The beginning of a new year always challenges us – to look back, and to look ahead. In both cases we may gain some orientation. We know, more or less, what happened – but do we understand why? Are we satisfied with what we know? What do we like to continue, and what to change?

Or do we try to look more into the future than into the past? Looking forward to 2009 – but is it with fear, or with hope? May be we have our own clear plans what to do – but will we be ale to make things work out, because many others have the same hopes – or not?

Obviously, we cannot get all the lifetime prosperity, harmony, and affection which people wished for us so that the New Year would be a Happy New Year. But could we, maybe, foresee and say more – not for us as individuals, but for the society were we live?

The last couple of days provided two strong indications about that – but of a contradicting nature.

A paper reported that the president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had said – though without using these words – that we do live in a society which is not governed by the law.

Quite a strong statement – because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court court “lacked judges for hearing 6,500 cases in 2008. Being unable to solve many cases like that, makes that hundreds of accused persons are detained beyond the legal limit, which states that the detention of an accused or of a suspect can be up to a maximum of six months. Then they have to be brought to court for a hearing, and if the court cannot find them to be guilty, they must be released immediately. However, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and Khmer courts in different provinces do not abide by this legal procedure, and continue to detain thousands of people for many years without conviction, which is against legal procedure and seriously violates the rights of the accused.” By the end of 2007, there had even been 9,200 such unsolved cases.

Not some uninformed and ill-intended observers said this, but the president of the Phnom Penh Municipal court.

And the future?

The president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court “acknowledged that Khmer courts are not yet quite in good order; therefore all Khmer courts need many more years to improve.”

The Court Watch Bulletins of the Center for Social Development describe what the accused – guilty or not – will have to endure for years to come (according to the time line given by the president of the Municipal Court): “The municipal court conducted hearings for three criminal cases every day, and half of those hearings lasted only not more than 20 minutes. So the period for hearing each case was very short, just enough to read the verdicts by which the court defined punishments, or defined who were the losers and the winners in a conflict. The result is that each case is not clearly analyzed according to the procedures of the law, and according to the facts. Therefore it is seen that frequently the rich and high ranking officials won cases against poor people, and against people who are not powerful in society.”

The president of the Municipal Court states now that one of the reasons for these regular violations of the law is a lack of staff at the courts: there are not enough judges and not enough prosecutors! There is no reason to doubt this. But we do not remember to have seen, in the press over the years, that the leadership of the courts, the leadership of the Ministry of Justice, the leadership of the government as a whole – responsible in different ways to upheld a state of law – has decried this situation, leading to regular gross violations of basic rights of citizens according to Cambodian laws, and initiated urgent efforts to rectify this situation.

The situation has an even worse aspect, when one considers that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng was quoted to have acknowledges that there is corruption among high ranking police officers.

But is all his going to be rectified – not immediately, but consistently, and step by step, without unnecessary delay?



The Supreme Court Released Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun on 31 December 2008 on bail – they had been arrested on 28 January 2004 and were convicted to serve 20 years in prison by the Phnom Penh court, for killing the labor union leader Mr. Chea Vichea on 22 January 2004.

But the president of the Supreme Court explained now that the present decision – to release them on bail – was made because the murder of the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia needs further investigation, as there were gaps in the procedures, and there is insufficient evidence.

This decision was widely welcomed – as it initiates a reconsideration not only of what really happened five years ago, but it will also be necessary to clarify:

  • What went wrong with the investigation of the police, and why?
  • What went wrong at the initial court procedures, when evidence offered by the defense was disregarded, and why?
  • What went wrong when the Appeals Court on 12 April 2007 upheld the convictions of Born Samnang and of Sok Samoeun, in spite of many indications raised in the international and national public – including by the former King – that the initial process was flawed, and why was there no new investigation ordered by the Appeals Court?

There is hope that the present decision of the Supreme Court will lead to justice for the two persons who spent already five years in prison.

But tis is only one side of the problem. The Supreme Court created an opportunity like never before, to go into detail, to clarify what went wrong and why, and who may have to take responsibility for what went wrong, and bear the consequences according to the law.

Not a revision of old, or the promulgation of new legal procedure will make Cambodia a state under the law – only the strict application of the law will help to bring change.

There was never a better chance for this than since the recent decision by the Supreme Court.


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Amnesty International Asks the Supreme Court to Release Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun without Any Condition – Thursday, 25.12.2008

Posted on 25 December 2008. Filed under: Week 592 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 595

“On 31 December 2008, the Supreme Court plans to hold a hearing for two suspects who are accused murders who shot dead the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Vichea, on 22 January 2004 where the Appeals Court kept the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicting each of them to serve 20 years in prison.

“In the meantime, Amnesty International released a statement asking the Supreme Court of Cambodia to release the two suspects, Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun. While they are being held in prison, the real murderers and colluders are still free from being brought to be convicted according to the law regarding the murder of this trade union leader.

“Amnesty International said in its statement that the Supreme Court must release the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun immediately. Both of them were arrested by the authorities a few days after Mr. Chea Vichea was killed by unidentified murderers in the morning of 22 January 2004 at a newspaper stall at the west of Wat Langka; the two suspects will be before the Supreme Court on 31 December 2008,after the Appeals Court upheld the conviction verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to send them to jail for 20 years, even though prosecutors had claimed that there was not enough evidence to convict both of them.

“Amnesty International added that there was tortures to extort confessions from the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, intimidations of witnesses, and intervention of politics into the implementation of the law. Also, in the detention, there were illegal activities conducted against the two suspects. The Amnesty International suggests for independent investigations in order to bring the real murders to be convicted.

“A researcher of the Amnesty International, Ms. Brittis Edman, said that confessions of the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were obtained by beating in detention by police, and the promise of awards was used to provide evidence for the court to sentence them to serve 20 years in jail unjustly.

“She added that the two suspects, Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, withdrew their fake confessions and the court cannot considers their confessions as evidence to convict them because they were obtained by force.

“Ministry of Interior spokesperson Khieu Sopeak denied these accusations and said that the court has not rejected to continue investigations by the authorities, and the authorities wait to follow the court’s decision.

“Local and UN human rights organizations in Cambodia went to conduct investigations in a village in Neak Loeang – where Bon Samnang’s girlfriend’s house is – during the Chinese New Year, and villagers asserted that Bon Samnang was at that happy time among them and with his girlfriend, and that he is not the murderer who shot Mr. Chea Vichea to death.

“Also, the former King had said that Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are not the murderers who killed Chea Vichea. Every year, officials of many human rights organizations regularly gather for a prayer according to Khmer tradition, like releasing birds and floating balloons, to give signs of the demand to the court to release the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, to be free like other Khmer citizens.

“Mr. Chea Vichea’s younger brother, Mr. Chea Mony, had called on the court to release the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, saying that they were not the real murderers. A woman who was a newspaper seller at the west of Wat Langka, where Mr. Chea Vichea was murdered on 22 January 2008, had written to the Appeals Court from Bangkok in Siam [Thailand] before she left to a third country, after receiving the right to asylum, saying that she had seen the murderers clearly, and Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, who are being detained, are not the real murders who killed Mr. Chea Vichea. But she could not say it immediately when the event had happened, because the police prohibited her from making a statement, and they made her to say what police planed for her to tell journalists and officials of national and international human rights organizations [before she fled abroad in fear].

“Heng Pov, who is the former Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief, now a prisoner convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to have been involved in many crimes, to serve more than 60 years in prison, is considered by officials of human rights organizations as an important witness to help Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun be free from the 20-year prison term conviction [because Heng Pov, who arrested the two suspected during his power, had said that both of them are not the real murderers]. Officials of human rights organizations ask the judges and prosecutors to allow the authorities of the government to call Heng Pov as a witness in the hearing of the Supreme Court, which is planned to happen on 31 December 2008 next week.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3648, 25.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 25 December 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1829, 25.12.2008

  • Awarding Ceremony for Three Cambodian Journalists Competing to Write ‘Reporting on Rural Development’ [Ms. Kang Kalyan from Cambodge Soir won the first price receiving US$700, followed by Mr. Tieng Mongkul from Sahakum Kien Svay winning $500, and Ing Chamroen from Cambodge Soir on the third rank winning US$300.
  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya – กษิต ภิรมย์] Apologized [to all Thai citizens for what he said during a press conference: that the demonstration to occupy two airports was a happy event]
  • Brazil Buys Weapons from France Worth US$12,000,000,000


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #311, 25.12.2008

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Communities Condemn Hanoi [for preventing two members of the European Parliament to go to Vietnam]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #167, 25.12.2008

  • Local Fuel Companies Reduce the Fuel Prices, but the Prices of t Goods at Markets Remain Unchanged


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6534, 25.12.2008

  • There Are More Than 600 Newspapers and Magazines and 18 Journalists’ Associations, but a Representative to ASEAN Has Not yet Been Found [according to the Ministry of Information]
  • US$1.4 Million Is Needed for the Organization of the District-Provincial and City Council Elections [which are planed to be held between 15 January 2009 and 15 June 2009]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3648, 25.12.2008

  • Amnesty International Asks the Supreme Court to Release Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun without Any Condition
  • [Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister] Ieng Sary Has Serious Heath Problems [his legs swells] and He Was Sent to the Calmette Hospital, Causing More Serious Concern [that he might die before truth is revealed]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Plans to Summon Six More Suspects to the Court [according to the international co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Robert Petit; however, a date was not mentioned]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4777, 25.12.2008

  • Hundreds of Logs [around 400 cubic meter] Cut and Piled up near a Rubber Plantation of a Military Officer in Ratanakiri [but his assistant said that the logs were cut for building two big bridges in Ratanakiri, as proposed by citizens; forestry officials have not yet taken action to seize the logs]
  • The Ministry of Interior Said that the Royal Government Has a Plan to Divide Russey Keo into Two Districts [because of the rapid growth of the number of citizens, its large size, administration management, and the rapid growth of development]
  • Vietnam Delivers [sixteen] Documentary Films Related to the Khmer Rouge Regime to the Documentation Center of Cambodia
  • Man with His Girlfriend Drove on a Motor Taxi and Hit a Parked Truck Loaded with Gravel, Causing Two Deaths and Inuring One [the motor-taxi driver and the woman died while the man was seriously injured – Sihanoukville]
  • North Korea Warns It Will Destroy South Korea to Ashes [it accuses South Korea of trying to create war]
  • Michael Jackson Has Lung Problems and His Left Eye Is Almost Blind

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

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Friday, 10.10.2008: Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis

Posted on 11 October 2008. Filed under: Week 581 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 581

“During every election to choose a president for the Bar Association in Cambodia, there were always harsh confrontations because of disagreements, that led one person who had lost an elections not to agree to hand over the position to the winner of the election. Because of the previous challenges related to the position of president of the Bar Association, the Bar Association is very careful, being afraid that similar problems might appear again during the elections for a new president of the Bar Association

“Members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who stand as new candidates for the position of president, are very agitated and anxious, because they want the elections to come soon, so that they know who is competent to be the new-term president of the Bar Association to replace Ky Tech, who is the present president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“A member of the Bar Association, who asked not to be named, reported that the elections to choose a new president of the Bar Association will be held at the Hotel Cambodiana on 16 October 2008 with more than 500 lawyers attending. Ky Tech is not allowed to stand again as a candidate for the election of a president for the Bar Association.

“The restriction by the Bar Association [regulations] for Ky Tech to stand again as a candidate for the forthcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia leaves some people, who support Ky Tech, unhappy, because when Ky Tech is no longer president of the Bar Association, they will loose their backing. Even Ky Tech himself is unhappy with the restriction for him to stand again as a candidate for another new term.

“Sources from the Bar Association said that the following persons are candidates for the election of a new president of the Bar Association: 1. Nou Tepirith, 2. Khieu Sophal, 3. Puth Theavy, 4. Ouk Phouri, and 5. Chiv Song Hak. The five candidates have two days or 48 hours to lobby the members to support them before the elections.

“A candidate said that the upcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association are essential. If lawyers are not independent and do not take a moral position, it creates an impossible situation; therefore, whichever candidate is elected, that person must transparently and independently work for the Bar Association.

“Previously, the Bar Association was not very independent, which caused some harsh and disorderly situations in the Bar Association. Another problem was that some government officials and politicians infiltrated the Bar Association, previously led by Ky Tech; moreover there was also discrimination and nepotism.

“It should be noted that after the elections in 2004, Ky Tech, the president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, did not hand over his position to Mr. Suon Visal, who had won the elections, creating a conflictive situation which was a heavy burden on the Bar Association.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 10 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1764, 10.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Puts More Troops and Canons in Front of the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Burmese Ambassador to Cambodia [Mr. Aung Naing, 61] Died from Illness in SOS Hospital [8 October 2008]
  • Mr. Rong Chhun [president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Announces to Demonstrate against the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister [who plans to visit Cambodia on 13 October 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #260, 10.10.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Do Not Move to Become Members of the Commissions of the National Assembly [because the Cambodian People’s Party did not discuss the nominations for the composition of the National Assembly’s leaders with the Sam Rainsy Party]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #113, 10.10.2008

  • The Cambodian Mine Action Center Announced to Seek Aid for Mine Clearance [annually, between US$10 and US$11 million is spent to clear around 27 square kilometers from land mines]
  • The Open Society Justice Initiative Requests Donor Countries of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Set Conditions so that There Is No Corruption [a brief press statement is here – the full 17 pages document “Recent Developments at the ECCC: October 2008” can be downloaded there by a mouse click on the icon presented there]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6469, 10.10.2008

  • During the First Nine Months, the Number of International Tourists Increased by 10.11% Compared with 2007 [to 1,389,557]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

  • Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis
  • Because of Tense Situation in Siam [Thailand], Khmer Workers Rush to Return Home
  • [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay Asks Hun Sen to Nominate Former Secretaries of State and Under Secretaries of State [from Funcinpec] as Advisors


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1368, 10.10.2008

  • [A 17 year-old] Youth Was Rolled Over by a Truck, Completely Destroying His Body into Pieces of Flesh that Could Not Be Recognized [Dangkao, Phnom Penh]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4712, 10.10.2008

  • The National Assembly Recognized Seventeen Newly-Elected Parliaments from the Cambodian People’s Party to Replace Those [from the CPP] Who Had Resigned [because they were appointed to ministerial positions – and the validity of the three elected members from the Human Rights Party as members of the National Assembly was also established – after a special swearing-in ceremony for all, presided over by the King]
  • The Appeals Court Sentenced a Russian Millionaire [Alexander Trofimov, 41] to Serve Six Years Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting Children under the Age of Fifteen [reducing the original sentence of 13 years imprisonment we had reported on 14.3.2008]
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [General Anupong Paochinda] Promised Not to Make a Coup [after the worst turmoil on 7 October 2008]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3422, 10.10.2008

  • Phnom Penh Authorities Warn about Plans to Demonstrate during the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister’s Visit [according to the Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naruth]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: Consensus about law enforcement in a society is easy to achieve, when the leadership shows to enforce it equally for all.

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Thursday, 31.7.2008: US Ambassador Expressed Disappointment about Release of Russian Millionaire

Posted on 1 August 2008. Filed under: Week 571 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 571

“A statement from the US Embassy in Cambodia reported the reaction of Ambassador Mussomeli regarding the release of a Russian millionaire, who was accused of raping many Cambodian little girls. He mentioned that for several years, Cambodia has shown a strong commitment to fight human trafficking. Samdech Prime Minister, many ministers, like the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Justice, and of Women’s Affairs, as well as other public officials have testified to the world, how the Royal Government of Cambodia is committed to protect children and other citizens who are easily affected. Also, the world has congratulated Cambodia for this work. ‘We are very disappointed about the release of the Russian millionaire – who has raped children – after the Sihanoukville Court had imposed only a minor punishment on this person. The release of the criminal and the punishment imposed on this person do not fit the crimes committed.’

“Serious punishment is the most effective method to send a message to persons who rape children, that such crimes will never be forgiven. In this case, the court actions strongly affect the nation and the Cambodian children, by sending a wrong signal to those who plan to abuse children sexually. It threatens and destroys the strong efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to suppress rape and human trafficking in Cambodia.

“Regarding this reaction of the Ambassador, it was not possible to contact the court officials for comments
in the evening of 30 July 2008.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6411, 31.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 31 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1707, 31.7.2008

  • German Minister [Ministry of Economy and Technology, Michael Glos] Congratulates the Cambodian People’s Party for its Victory
  • The Birth Spacing Is an Important Measure That Helps Save Lives of Mothers and Infants


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #61, 31.7.2008

  • Court Rejected Request by [Funcinpec’s new president] Keo Puth Rasmey to Withdraw Lawsuit [of Funcinpec against Prince Norodom Ranariddh – 30 July 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6411, 31.7.2008

  • US Ambassador Expressed Disappointment about Release of Russian Millionaire
  • Supreme Court Upholds the Verdict of the Appeals Court That Convicted Prince Ranariddh to 18 Months Imprisonment
  • The Gathering of Protesters by the Sam Rainsy Party in Public Was Prevented, It Had to Be inside of the [Sam Rainsy Party] Headquarters [30 July 2008]
  • Mr. Radovan Karadžić [former Serb Bosnian leader, accused of genocidal crimes] Sent to the International Criminal Court in The Hague in the Netherlands [30 July 2008]
  • Cholera Killed 172 People in Indonesia [according to AFP]
  • South Korea Imports US Beef for the First Time After a Five-Year Suspension


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3526, 31.7.2008

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Waits for More Funds while the Health of the Accused Deteriorates Alarmingly


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4655, 31.7.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Will Form a Coalition Government with Funcinpec, Led by [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay; the Government Removed Funcinpec President Mr. Keo Puth Rasmey from the Position of Deputy Prime Minister [because, on 29 July 2008, he suggested to the Supreme Court to withdraw the lawsuit against Prince Ranariddh], and Prince Sisowath Sereyrath Was Removed from the Position of Government Advisor [because he joined a declaration with three other parties, questioning the fairness of the elections on 28 July]
  • The Number of Deaths by Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh in July Amounts to 30% of the Total Number Countrywide
  • Kuwait Prime Minister [Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Arabic: صباح الأحمد الجابر الصباح Sabāh al-Ahmad al-Jābir as-Sabāh) Will Visit Cambodia Three Days [he will arrive in Cambodia on 3 August 2008]

Click here to have a look at the last Mirror editorial – where we provided detailed information about the 2003 election results, to compare them with the election results of 2008, as they become available.

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