The Authorities Intercept Wood Every Day, but Never Arrest the Wood Traders – Wednesday, 24.3.2010

Posted on 24 March 2010. Filed under: Week 657 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

“After the Cambodian Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, ordered to crack down on forestry crimes, the logging seems to continue even stronger, and some perpetrators drove luxury cars loaded with luxury wood in a procession of cars of high ranking officials to deceive the authorities.

“The authorities, including forestry administration officials, police, military police, and committees from the agencies from military and other units charged with suppressing forestry crimes and forestry criminals, intercepted cars and trucks loaded with wood and checked wood storehouses of some powerful people. But by now, the authorities have not arrested any traders to show their accomplishment to the Khmer public on television.

“According to a report from Siem Reap, on 22 and 23 March 2010, the military in Siem Reap deployed forces to intercept two trucks that were loaded with wood from different areas across Siem Reap, to be sold to Yuon [Vietnamese] traders who wait to buy it at a border crossing in Memut district, Kompong Cham.

“The report says that there is a well-known company that continues illegal wood trading by transporting wood by trucks every night.

“The report adds that a company that transports wood on trucks uses a license left from previous times and transports wood daily. This company had received a license to cut trees in Srae Nouy district. But now, there are no more trees there, and it continues to cut trees in the Prey S’ak region illegally.

“The same company also had the right to control the rubber plantation of Ta Mok [a former Khmer Rouge leader who has already died], but it did not plant any rubber trees – it chopped down all trees and then withdrew. Nowadays, it is operating at the Prum Teb Koulen Mountain conservation area.

“It is reported that the company, backed by some powerful people, regularly cuts trees and transports wood. After the trees have been cut, they will transport them on trucks across Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, and Kompong Cham, to be sold to Yuon traders through border crossing along the Yuon [Vietnamese] border.

“On Monday, the military intercepted about 100 cubic meters of wood in the Trapeang Prasat region. It is suspected that this wood is related to regional military official in Siem Reap.

“In the morning of 22 March 2010, mixed armed and other units’ authorities in Kompong Cham province, governed by Mr. Hun Sen’s brother, Mr. Hun Neng, checked seven different storehouses for wood. The authorities were composed of nearly 100 military police of the province and of the Memut district, soldiers from Region 4, forestry chiefs, forestry administration officials, and court officials.

“The seven storehouses are in Changkom Spean village, Tunloung commune, Memut district, Kompong Cham. Those storehouses are owned by different persons such as the well-known wood traders in Kompong Cham: Son Sam Ol and Chae Muoy.

“It is reported that the seven storehouses store more than 2,000 pieces of luxury wood, such as Beng and Neang Nuon, and those traders had prepared it to be transported to Yuon [Vietnam], but now the authorities took it to the forestry administration to wait for a solution according to the law. During checking everything, all the owners were able to flee.

“Nevertheless, in spite of the recent strong actions to intercept illegal wood trading, the authorities did never arrest any of the leaders of such trading. The persons who were arrested are mostly workers handling the wood on the trucks and the truck drivers. Organizers of the illegal trade have never been arrested, like the owners of the seven storehouses in Memut district raided by the mixed authorities on Monday, 22 March 2010.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #634, 24.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #442, 24.3.2010

  • The State Deleted the Names of More Than 20,000 Civil Servants from the Public Servants’ Salary Lists [“ghost names” of fake, or no longer eligible persons; it will save national resources and strengthen the monitoring of civil servants]
  • Yeay Mab, a Big Wood Trader along the Border [in Oddar Meanchey], Was Arrested while Other Wood Traders in Memut District [in Kompong Cham] Are Finding Powerful People to Help Them

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2209, 24.3.2010

  • Australia Grants More Than US$1 Million to Nineteen Organizations [working on agriculture, in the health sector, and on legal reforms] in Cambodia for 2010

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #634, 24.3.2010

  • The Authorities Intercept Wood Every Day, but Never Arrest the Wood Traders

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6916, 24.3.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Will Attend the First Mekong River Summit Following [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva’s Invitation [from 4 to 5 April 2010]
  • The Authorities Intercepted 757 Pieces of Luxury Wood Hidden by Traders [following the recent order of the Prime Minister to crack down on forestry crimes – Kratie]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3840, 24.3.2010

  • [Opposition Party president] Sam Rainsy Plans to Show Document Maps Kept in France since 1920 to Counter the Accusation by a Court [for removing temporary Cambodian Vietnamese border markers where he was convicted to serve two years in prison – as he claimed the border markers were on Cambodian territory]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #137, 24.3.2010

  • 2,000 Citizens Will Protest in Front of the Kompong Speu Court Today [if the court detains their representatives over the burning of the on-site office of the Phnom Penh Sugar company of Oknha and Senator Ly Yong Phat – Kompong Speu]
  • Two Oil Companies [Petro Vietnam and Total] Signed Agreements to Provide More Than US$20 Million to the Cambodian Government [for oil exploration – according to an official of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority who asked not to be named]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5158, 24.3.2010

  • Civil Society Encourage the Government to Create an Acid Law [to control the access to battery acid, often used for personal attacks]
  • Private Sectors Encourage the Government to Promote and Expand Direct Flights from Russia to Cambodia [to boost tourism]
  • The Minister of Finance of Singapore [Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam] Visits Cambodia [to strengthen bilateral cooperation]

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

Back to top

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

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]

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

Back to top

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

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 31 December 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1425, 31.12.2009

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

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #375, 31.12.2009

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2138, 31.12.2009

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6845, 31.12.2009

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5087, 31.12.2009

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

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1845, 31.12.2009

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

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

Back to top

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

Officials and Evil Merchants Collude to Open a Border Crossing to Transport Wood to Vietnam – Tuesday, 17.11.2009

Posted on 19 November 2009. Filed under: Week 639 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 639

Apologies for the delays, which may continue for some days, as I am attending the UN Internet Governance Forum meetings in Sharm el Sheikh/Egypt with a busy schedule, in a different time zone, and then traveling back to Phnom Penh. I try to be timely as much as possible.

Norbert Klein

“According to a broadcast of a radio station based in Washington D.C. in the United States yesterday, about strong illegal logging of luxury wood in protected forested areas in a national park in Ratanakiri, bordering on Yuon [Vietnam], carried out by merchants colluding with some persons in the local authorities, an official, who asked not to be named, claimed there is collusion to open a Khmer-Yuon [Cambodian-Vietnamese] border crossing illegally to export luxury wood from Cambodia to be sold to Yuon merchants.

“According to this source, a Ratanakiri official, anonymly spoke about collusion to open an international crossing between the Ou Ya Dav district in Cambodia and a province’s district on the Yuon [Vietnamese] side of the border, during the first six months of 2009, leading to estimation that over 400 trucks transported trees, cut the Khmer natural forest, were transported by merchants and illegal business networks, to be sold to Yuon merchants who wait at the border.

“As an example of continuing loggings of luxury wood, a case was mentioned where merchants hired villagers to cut trees in Taveng district in Ratanakiri.

“The Phav village chief in Taveng Krom commune, Taveng district, Mr. Pel Hin, was quoted as saying that he noticed that merchants came to villages and hired poor villagers to cut valuable trees in the forest, and they then bought them from villagers. The village chief expressed concern about forest destruction, forests being resources of the state, and that the destruction might spread to the Vireakchey National Park, established by Royal Decree at the Kantuy Neak [dragon tail] region, bordering on Laos and on Yuon.

“The village chief said, ‘I am really concerned. When I attended some meetings, I told the meetings that there are companies buying and selling wood in my village.’

“The secretary of thhe Taveng Krom commune, Mr. Boeung, recognized that there are illegal loggings and then the transport of luxury wood, but he claimed that this had happened only during the last few months. He said, ‘I saw much luxury wood at Taveng Krom commune brought from Taveng Leu commune. Merchants brought it here to sell it.’

“The Taveng district’s military police chief, Mr. Keo Vichet, expressed regrets, as he has very few forces, and therefore he does not know such cases.

“However, according to direct monitoring by Radio Free Asia late last week in Phav village about illegal wood transactions, workers were seen transporting luxury wood; some had 10 cm by 15 cm width bars, 1 meter long, being transported from the village to the river, to be loaded in motor boats of merchants for exports.

“A worker said that he was hired by a local Chinese merchant in Vern Sai district, Nhok Thong, an illegal luxury wood merchant who hires poor villagers to enter to cut trees in the forest.

“The Taveng district governor, Mr. Kim Toeu, recognized that there are illegal wood businesses.

“Regarding this issue, Taveng Forestry Administration official in Ratanakiri recognized that there are such activities, involving merchants and some evil officials. He said about the loss of trees, ‘As for the activities and crimes in any specific district, those districts have to be responsible respectively.’

“Poor villagers from different villages, like Sieng Soy, Taveng Leu, Dambouk villages… have been contacted by merchants who have relations with some evil officials, using money to hire them to cut valuable trees in the forest and sell them to those merchants who go to buy trees in villages, such illegal activities happened repeatedly during recent months, as they are not afraid of the law.

“Those sources said also that many cubic meters of luxury wood were found, piled up at many places in areas near the Yuon border, in order to facilitate the transport in order to sell the wood to Yuon merchants who wait near the border crossing.

“The official of the province, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying that the illegal transport of wood is most actively done during the night. According to his estimation since June 2009, the luxury wood cut by hired poor villagers was loaded onto more than 400 trucks, to be transported for sale to Yuon merchants.

“They cannot understand why forest crimes destroying state resources still exist, even though Prime Minister Hun Sen had promised in 2001, with words like swearing an oath, that he would give up leading the government, if his government was not able to crack down on illegal logging and illegal transport starting from 1 January 2002.

“This seems difficult to understand, and observers notice that even Oknha Try Pheap, an advisor of Prime Minister Hun Sen, had been frequently accused by people in communities at different provinces, such as Pursat, of hiring poor people to cut valuable trees to be transported and sold to merchants from outside of the country.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #531, 17.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #338, 17.11.2009

  • The Head of the Government Shook Hands for the First Time with President Obama in Singapore [both leaders agreed to intensify relations in order to promote economic and social development in Cambodia]
  • China Has Invested More Than US$6 Billion in Cambodia within 15 Years

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2100, 17.11.2009

  • Cambodian and Siamese [Thai] Troops at the Border Move towards Friendship [Thai army commanders had told the Khmer army commanders that they will be seek confrontation with the Cambodian troops]
  • Cambodia Has Received Investments Amounting to More Than US$1.5 Billion from Vietnam [in aviation, banking, oil, gas, agriculture, and tourism – according to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Tram Bac Ha]
  • UN Commissioner [Dr. Nafis Sadis]: Other Countries Should Learn from Cambodia about the Fight against AIDS [Cambodia reduced the occurence of AIDS from 2% in 1998 to 0.9% in 2006]
  • ASEAN-US Ties Become Closer with the Historic Summit [the USA promised to step up its cooperation with ASEAN, described as one of its important partners, to promote peace and security in the region]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #676, 17.11.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Warned to Fly from India to Cambodia on 19 October 2009 Crossing Siamese [Thai] Airspace, while Bangkok Prepared to Arrest Him

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #531, 17.11.2009

  • Officials and Evil Merchants Collude to Open a Border Crossing to Transport Wood to Vietnam
  • Protesters against the Suspension of Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [by 24 Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians and supporters] Marched in Front of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Residence [in Phnom Penh]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Considers Dissolving the Parliament to Hold New Elections while Yellow Shirt Demonstrators Are Accusing Thaksin Shinawatra as a Traitor, Selling National Territory

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6807, 17.11.2009

  • The National Assembly Suspended Mr. Sam Rainsy Immunity over the Removal of Border Markers at Chantrea District [in Svay Rieng]
  • A M79 Shell Exploded among Yellow Shirt Demonstrators [government supporters], Injuring Twelve People [Thailand]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #47, 17.11.2009

  • Cambodia Allowed a Thai Official to Meet the [Thai] Man Accused of Spying [by copying documents about the flight schedules of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to be sent to Thailand] while There Is Still No Solution for the Diplomatic Disputes
  • Mr. Obama Stated that the United State and China Do Not Need to Be Adversaries [during their political history, they had been, but then got on with each other. They got on in some sectors, but not in all]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5049, 17.11.2009

  • Thailand Rejected Indonesia’s Role to Solve the Dispute with Cambodia
  • Cambodia Is Worried about Khmer Workers in Thailand, but the Thai Ambassador Said that There Is No Problem
  • Mr. Obama Encouraged Myanmar to Release Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [Burmese elected democracy leader]

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

Back to top

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

Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia – Sunday, 15.11.2009

Posted on 18 November 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 638 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 637

Several mails I had received during the week requested what this week’s editorial should be about. Agreed. The visit of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra to Cambodia has more than any other recent event received wide international attention – at the same time it resulted in bringing a range of different and opposing issues to the surface, beyond the straightforward political tensions.

The disparities start with the wording, how the visitor is called in national and international media: the possibilities extend from the fond description of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra as an “eternal friend” by Prime Minister Hun Sen, to the more neutral description when referring to the “former Thai prime minister ousted by a military coup,” to the references – and this not only in part of the Thai press – to the “convicted fugitive, because of corruption, and who finally violated the bail requirements and fled the country to avoid going to prison.”

This is the first controversy.

The Cambodian government did not only refuse to live up to the Cambodian-Thai extradition agreement, “considering the prosecution and legal process against Thaksin Shinawatra as a politically motivated proceeding,” and therefore even handed back the Thai documents submitted to seek Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s extradition. On the other hand, the Thai government and part of the Thai media felt that already that extending an invitation and offering the function to be an adviser to the Cambodian government were an insult to the legal system of Thailand.

As a public reaction in Thailand, the popularity of the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, almost tripled, with appruval rates of 24% in September to 69% recently, according to a poll.

The interpretation of Prime Minister Hun Sen, that the present Cambodian-Thai dispute is basically a personal dispute between the two prime ministers, was not shared in the international press. More fundamental problems were touched upon: What does it mean for the international standing of a country when a search warrant by Interpol can be dismissed, after the fugitive, who is being sought under a “red alert” warrant, after a bail violation, and after a criminal conviction for corruption in dealing with the sale of valuable public property to a family member, up to the grotesque $60,000 event of the mysteriously mistaken box of chocolate.

How would such events be dealt with under a Cambodian anti-corruption law, due to be adopted by the National Assembly since a decade ago? If actions of corruption are committed in combination with political ones, are they then no longer subject to criminal prosecution?

There were several rumors and denials – that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra would fly together with the Cambodian Prime Minister to the APEC meetings in Singapore.

Surprising also, that the Cambodian Prime Minister compared him to Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. In an interview with Times Online, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra said: “There are some similarities there, but not really everything. The similarity is we won elections, we rule the countries. We’ve been ousted by the coup d’etat and we come from the people. We are democratically elected leaders and we come from the majority of the people – a big majority, not just a small majority. She’s under house arrest, I’ve been kicked out of the country.”

The Cambodian government has never found such strong critical words against the ruling military in Myanmar. Will the Cambodian government also accept such advice and change its position? The statement “I’ve been kicked out of the country” contrasts with the fact that the self imposed exile abroad started with breaking bail arrangements with the Thai law enforcement authorities, traveling abroad without the promised return.

But the invitation to Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser may lead to a second kind of controversies.

Press reports in Cambodia were not enthusiastic about his speech in front of 300 selected economists. The Cambodian Daily said that his address “primarily dealt in generalities and contained little that Cambodian economists will not already know.” Not only that: Some of his advice runs contrary to some of the traditional approaches of Cambodian economic practice.

Thakshin Sinawatra became the favorite politician among a majority of the rural population in Thailand because of his new policy of favoring them directly, with debt relief and village loan funds administered by the local communities themselves. The revenue of the public and the private sector should, first of all, be directed towards the poorest sector of society, is his advice. Large scale land leasings to big companies in favorable relation with the government, leading to considerable groups of the rural population losing their land, coming to demonstrate in Phnom Penh, asking for justice, as happens so frequently in Cambodia, are not compatible which the vision of Thaksin Shinawatra’s economic policies.

Surprising is also his emphasis on the need of reconciliation and good neighborliness between Cambodia and Thailand, in order to foster Cambodia’s economic development, including the promotion of Thailand and Cambodia together for international tourism, presenting themselves as a “joint destination.” This runs against many recent antagonistic trends: the Thai government had proposed to submit Preah Vihear together with the Cambodian government to the World Heritage Committee, which was flatly rejected by the Cambodian side. During the last year there were even plans discussed in Cambodia to create an international airport 500 meters below the mountain range where Preah Vihear is situated, which is conveniently accessible from the north, from Thailand. This plan, to exclude the natural access to Preah Vihear – and therefore tourism via Thailand, was soon given up again as economically completely unreal. The public outcry some years ago, when Bangkok Airways had named one of its airplanes Angkor Wat – while other planes are named according to other international destinations, promoting tourism to these places – has no place in this context. The Cambodian Daily reported his emphasis on the need for cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia, as the two countries’ economic fortunes are inextricably linked – adding: “Of course, not all my compatriots see it that way right now.” Those who see it differently in Thailand are assumed to suffer from being shortsighted, driven by false patriotism.

One may ask whether the anti-Thai actions of 2003, when the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh was ransacked because of a baseless rumor, resulting in further arson so that the hardware damage alone of that night was estimated at US$56 million, and the tensions before and after the designation of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, would also fall under a similar verdict by Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, that a false patriotism is in the way also in some of the Cambodian attitudes and actions.

It is surprising to consider how future suggestions of the new economic adviser of the Cambodian government will be handled, while land conflicts in rural areas continue, further large scale leasings of land are under consideration inviting countries from the Middle East to start agro-business ventures, and Japanese companies are considering to create new large tree planting schemes in Cambodia.

Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s suggestions may not only be unwelcome in his own country. They run counter to major trends of present day Cambodian big business.

.

Please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

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

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]

.

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

Back to top

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

The Financial Sector in Cambodia Employs 14,698 People – Tuesday, 27.10.2009

Posted on 28 October 2009. Filed under: Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

“Phnom Penh: All banks and micro-credit institutions in Cambodia employ 14,698 Cambodian persons, according to a report from the National Bank of Cambodia.

“The report of the National Bank issued recently said that banks and micro-credit institutions provide jobs for 14,698 people.

“The report shows that all commercial and other special banks create jobs for 9,550 citizens in total, while micro-finance institutions employ 5,148 people.

“According to this report, all banks in Cambodia recognized by the National Bank provide a variety of numbers of jobs. The banks employ between 13 to 6,128 persons, while the micro-finance institutions employ freom 6 to 1,024 persons.

“Based on the report, the job market in the banking and micro-finance sectors has achieved a moderate growth rate. In 2007, all commercial and other special banks provided 6,869 jobs, while in 2006, they could employ only 4,624 persons. Micro-finance institutions employed just 3,511 persons in 2007, and only 2,503 persons in 2006.

“By now, there are 24 commercial banks, 6 specialized banks, 18 micro-finance institutions, 26 rural credit operators, and about 60 organizations handling credits.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5031, 27.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #321, 27.10.2009

  • India Promised to Provide US$15 Million in Loans to Cambodia [for economic and social development]
  • The Ministry of Health Warned Clinics That Offer A/H1N1 Vaccine [saying that the vaccine has to be approved by the Ministry of Health]
  • [Anonymous] Robber Stabbed a Man [to death] to Rob His Motorbike – He Escaped Safely [Siem Reap]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2082, 27.10.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor’s Statement [about Thaksin] Does Not Affect the Cambodian-Thai Relationship [according to Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjajiva]
  • A Philippine Man Was Convicted to Serve 25 Years in Prison, and Fined to Pay Riel 80 Million [US$20,000] for Cross Border Drug Smuggling [Phnom Penh]
  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Does Not Want to Celebrate His Birth Day [on 31 October 2009, but he does not provide any reason]
  • Bombs Exploded against the Government in Baghdad, Killing 147 People

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6789, 27.10.2009

  • The Phnom Penh Authorities Prepare 6,530 Uniformed Forces to Maintain Order during the Water Festival [from 2 to 4 November 2009]
  • Six Communes in Russey Keo District Are Flooded by Rain [Phnom Penh – the Russey Keo Deputy governor, Mr. Kob Sles, blames climate change – but according to other sources, residents blame the unchecked filling of natural ponds and lakes by property developers for the disaster]
  • A Monk Beat a Nun to Death, then Took Off His Robe and Hid in a Temple [he was arrested – Banteay Meanchey]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5031, 27.10.2009

  • The Financial Sector in Cambodia Employs 14,698 People
  • Cambodian Troops Increase Alert at the Border after the War of Words between Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen and [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit
  • Sam Rainsy Led Villagers to Remove Border Markers [set by the Cambodian and Vietnamese border committees] and the Government Accused Him of Destroying State Property

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1816, 27.10.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy parliamentarian] Son Chhay: The Prime Minister Has Never Appeared in the National Assembly to Question Him According to the Law Since 1993

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

Back to top

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

There Is Concern about Gem Depletion while Pailin Expert Official Claimed 50% Still Remain – Thursday, 8.10.2009

Posted on 9 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Pailin: Valuable gem ore in Pailin is facing depletion at present, because wicked merchants are using machinery to aggressively extract large amounts of gems, while expert officials said that they did not know anything, but now they will take action.

“According to officials of the province, merchants deploy machinery to extract gems at two sites at the Phnom Teuk Chenh region in Teuk Chenh village, Stung Kach commune, Sala Krao district, Pailin. According to that source, there are two groups of merchants who use gem sieving machinery to extract large amounts of gems in that region. The Stung Kach commune chief, Mr. Kang Chheng, told Koh Santepheap via telephone in the morning of 7 October 2009 that he did not know that merchants are extracting large amounts of gem in an area under his control by using such machinery. This commune chief said that he is at present busy with checking the election voter name lists. Therefore, he has not gone to check the sites where merchants are extracting gems.

“But an official, who asked not to be named, said that the two groups of merchants have been running their operations for many years, and they always move to every place in Pailin to explore and extract gems. But they set up also permanent sites at the Phnom Teuk Chenh region since January 2009. Among the two merchant groups, one is controlled by Sreng Kong Sri, and this man lets Dy, called Ta Sak Sar, lead the group, but who is controlling the other group is not known. The same source said that the authorities should not say that they knew nothing about the use of the machineries and the merchants who actively explore gem, because they have operated for many years, and if there were no permissions from the authorities or from expert officials, how could those merchants have done so?

“Regarding the above issue, the head of the Department of Industry, Mines, and Energy of the Province, Mr. Ea Hoeun, told Koh Santepheap in the morning of 7 October 2009 that before, he had known that there were really merchants who extract gems, adding ‘But we summoned and told them to stop their operations, and to remove all machineries a few days ago already.’ Anyway, according to citizens living in the Phnom Teuk Chenh region, in the morning of 7 October 2009, all machinery was not yet removed, but it was just seen that the operations were suspended, simply because those merchants had been informed to remain quiet temporarily to see the situation. It is believed that the operations will start again after there is green light from expert officials.

“It should be noted that many types of gem ore in Pailin, especially in the town, were almost totally exhausted by Siamese [Thai] merchants during the wartime in Cambodia. However, Mr. Ea Hoeun claimed that there still might be 50% of valuable gems remaining, except in the area of the town itself, where there is little left.

“In the morning of 7 October 2009, Koh Santepheap could not reach the two groups of merchants for comment via telephone. Commune officials said that they had all switched off their phones.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6773, 8.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #305, 8.10.2009

  • The European Union Granted More Than US$7 Million for Livestock Programs in Cambodia from 2005 to 2010
  • The Director of a Health Center Cursed Journalists [and human rights officials] when They Asked about a Dead Patient [whose body was put in a room together with other patients for many hours], and about Electricity Cut-Offs [Poipet]
  • Cambodia Will Investigate Alleged Organ Transplants and Human Trafficking [Agnes Chan – 陳美齡 and 陈美龄- Chén Měilíng; in Japanese: アグネス・チャン – a Hong Kong-born singer and a Good Will Ambassador of the Japan Committee of UNICEF, was quoted by the Japan Times as saying that in Cambodia, some babies are sold for adoption or for organ transplants for Yen 5,000 – approx. US$56, while some teenagers are bought for labor or for marriage for less than Yen 10,000 – approx. US$112]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2066, 8.10.2009

  • The Company That Has Sufficient Qualifications and Offers Much Benefit to Cambodia Will Win the Bidding to Explore Oil in Region 4
  • The United States of America Helps Train Officials of the Cambodian Mine Action Center [and grants US$200,000]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #504, 8.10.2009

  • [The president of the National Assembly] Mr. Heng Samrin Said that Ms. Mu Sochua Has the Right to Express Her Opinion at the National Assembly [he said that some journalists and radio stations misunderstand that Ms. Mu Sochua would be absent because she does not have immunity, but actually, she has her other rights as a parliamentarian]
  • Twenty One Police Generals [over the age of 60] Were Sent into Retirement
  • Calmette Hospital Charged Money from an A/H1N1 Swine Flu Patient [claimed the family of an A/H1N1 patient who died recently, after Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Minster of Heath, Mr. Mam Bunheng, had announced that all A/H1N1 patients will be treated free of charge]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6773, 8.10.2009

  • There Is Concern about Gem Depletion while Pailin Expert Official Claimed 50% Still Remain
  • Worldwide Petroleum Services [not easy to identify on the Internet] Is Interested in Exploring Oil in Region 4 [in the Cambodian sea]
  • Samdech Euv [former King] and Samdech Mae [former Queen] Donate US$50,000 to the Cambodian Red Cross [to assist citizens suffering from typhoons and floods]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #21, 8.10.2009

  • Six High Ranking Officials [the president of the Senate, Mr. Chea Sim, the president of the National Assembly, Mr. Heng Samrin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, and two more senators] Are Summoned by a Foreign Investigating Judge to Testify over Case 2 at the Khmer Rouge Trial
  • An Article to Protect Underage People Was Adopted
  • The Price of Rubber Increased by 37% within the Last Nine Months [from US$1,419 per tonne in January to US$1,950 in October 2009]
  • The Philippines Needs Aid of US$74 Million [for about one million people who suffer from typhoons and floods]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5015, 8.10.2009

  • Samdech Euv [former King] Wants to Die as Soon as Possible [he said that living too long is difficult]
  • Five People Died of Drowning on the Same Day [Kompong Cham]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1803, 8.10.2009

  • [Illegal] Football Betting Is Thriving like Mushrooms after [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Ordered the Cambosix [gambling] Company to Close

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

Back to top

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

The Municipality’s Plan to Cut Down Illegal Constructions in the City – Thursday, 29.1.2009

Posted on 30 January 2009. Filed under: Week 597 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 597

“Phnom Penh: In the morning of 28 January 2009 the Phnom Penh authorities held a meeting at the meeting hall of the municipality which was presided over by a deputy Phnom Penh municipal governor in charge of cadastral work, Mr. Mab Sarin; also the deputy chief of cabinet of the Phnom Penh Municipality, Mr. Koet Chhe, the director of the Department of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Mr. Chhay Rithisen, all district deputy governors, and some other relevant officials participated. The major intention of this meeting was to awaken and to encourage cadastral officials to focus on preventing illegal constructions happening, and to improve the situation by taking action to reduce illegal constructions.

“The deputy municipal governor, Mr. Mab Sarin, said, ‘We are really embarrassed that we have enough commune and district authorities and expert officials, but no one seems to knows that illegal constructions are going on in their localities until the construction is finished; when citizens informed them, they said they were surprised. We do not believe that the authorities do not know when illegal constructions are going on, because no one knows better about every construction than the local officials. We meet therefore to discuss methods to achieve solutions, and somebody must take real responsibility for such problems. If you still say that you do not know, you will receive administrative punishments or be shifted out from work.’

“Mr. Mab Sarin added, ‘We do this in order to cut down illegal constructions. The authorities do not want to start conflicts with anyone; that is, the authorities have to enforce the laws which have been made. Previously, letters were issued to stop some illegal constructions, but until there were solutions reached, most of the constructions had almost been finished, and the administrative work was slow, exactly because of the lack of action of the district authorities.’

“The director of the Department of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Mr. Chhay Rithisen, admitted that some of his officials are really afraid to stop illegal constructions of the rich and of powerful officials, because sometimes, when they take action, there were complaints lodged at the courts against those officials, and they suddenly and unexpectedly became the accused. He requested that, regarding the above problem, the municipality should create a committee at municipal level, like a committee to check excavation pits and buildings sites, where all agencies cooperate, including armed forces, so that it will be efficient, because until now, ‘when we go to check illegal constructions, our people were prohibited to enter by bodyguards of the owners of the construction sites, and sometimes cadastral officials were even arrested.’

“The deputy chief of cabinet of the Phnom Penh Municipality, Mr. Koet Chhe, said that previously, when cadastral officials and district authorities went to stop illegal constructions, both sides did not get along with each other well, because there was no cooperation at all. Sometimes, when the authorities went to stop or crack down on illegal constructions, powerful officials had letters from higher officials permitting their constructions. ‘However, as the Phnom Penh authorities, we have enough possibilities, and we are willing to use them, and if there are problems, we also have two lawyers to get the courts involved.’

“Mr. Koet Chhe went on to say that from now on, the municipal authorities will go to check all localities regularly, and the relevant local authorities must be responsible for all illegal constructions. This plan is to achieve improvements. ‘That means that we must not let illegal constructions spread like mushrooms, and the local authorities must hold responsibilities in their respective localities. ‘

“Illegal constructions not only cause anarchy, but also affect the beauty of the city.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6564, 29.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 29 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1859, 29.1.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy Lost His Cases against [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong in France. A French court convicted him of defaming th Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong by writing that he was involved with the Khmer Rouge regime as the former Boeng Trabaek prison chief]
  • Samdech Krom Preah Reacts Against the Statement of the Democratic Front of Khmer Students and Intellectuals [he reserves the right to sue any individual or group that says or writes something defaming him]
  • An Ambulance of the Bopha Meas Clinic Competed for an Injured Person with a [state] Ambulance of the Kossamak Hospital, like Taxis Fighting for Customers [when the ambulance of the Kossamak Hospital arrived at the site of a traffic accident on 27.1.2009, staff of the Bopha Meas ambulance rushed to lift the victim into their ambulance and drove away – this violates the ban by the Ministry of Health for all non-state ambulances to assist patients]
  • Sun Chanthol [the former Minister of Public Works and Transport] and Neav Sithong [Kompong Cham parliamentarian] Leave Funcinpec to Join the Cambodian People’s Party

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #192, 29.1.2009

  • Dey Krahom Residents Filed Motion to the King and to the National Assembly to Help to Intervene to get the US$20,000 Compensation for Each Family
  • Local Civil Society Official [Mr. Moeung Son – founder of the Khmer Civilization Foundation] Voices Concern about the Spread of Chinese Culture over Khmer Culture [although some state institutions were found closed during the Chinese New Year, the Minister of Information said that no government officials stopped to work]
  • During Three Days of the Chinese New Year, More Than 20,000 Tourists Visited Sihanoukville, and Four People Died in Traffic Accidents
  • America Will Deploy 20,000 Marines to Afghanistan [in six to eight months]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6564, 29.1.2009

  • The Municipality’s Plan to Cut Down Illegal Constructions in the City
  • Cambodian Army Commander Is Unhappy when Siamese [Thai] Army Commander Led Troops into the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Area without Information
  • Peruvian Ambassador Is Interested in the Potential of Tourism in Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4807, 29.1.2009

  • Financial Crisis Might Put Cambodia to Face Human Trafficking [a project coordinator for an United Nations Inter-Agency, Lim Tith, said that after workers loose their employment abroad, not all of them will return to their homeland, because they need income to improve their livelihood and maintain their honor – and these reasons can be used as a trap to easily harm workers to be trafficked]
  • Forestry Chief Insulted and Hit [Thngai Nis] Journalist’s Head with a Torch, and Military Police Shot to Threaten Him Not to Take Pictures of Loading Wood into a Train [Kompong Chhnang]
  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen]: Cambodia Already Created Measures to Face the Global Economic Crisis [he said that the government had prepared a budget of more than US$500 million, now also suggested by the Sam Rainsy Party to face the crisis]
  • The Prime Minister Prohibits Councils of the Capital, of Provinces, Cities, and Districts, to Create Ties with Taiwan [in order to abide by the one-China policy]
  • [Four] Robbers Notorious for Robbing Gold Stalls in Many Provinces, Are Arrested by Banteay Meanchey Military Police
  • In 2008 the French Embassy Provided More Than 3,200 Khmer Citizens with Visas to Live in France
  • Thailand Prohibits the Distribution of one Issue of The Economist because of Writing about the Royal Family

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

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

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