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.

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Wednesday, 18.6.2008: Prosecutors Asked for Suspension of Sam Rainsy’s Immunity

Posted on 18 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

“The Phnom Penh Court sent a letter to the National Assembly president Samdech Heng Samrin through the Minister of Justice asking to suspend the immunity of the opposition party president Mr. Sam Rainsy over a case, numbered 693, dated 22 April 2008, from the Prosecution Office to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“A letter numbered 110 from the Prosecution Office to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court was sent, asking the National Assembly president Samdech Heng Samrin to suspend the immunity of the parliamentarian Sam Rainsy, a parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, over the lawsuit of Mr. Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on 22 April 2008, regarding Mr. Sam Rainsy, on the accusation of defamation and disinformation, which is a crime stated in the new Article 63 of the amendment of Article 63, and of Article 62 of the criminal law.

“It should be remembered that on 17 April 2008, at the Choeung Ek genocidal memorial site at Meanchey District, Phnom Penh, Mr. Sam Rainsy said publicly that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hor Namhong, was the chief of the Boeng Trabaek Prison during the Khmer Rouge Regime. He said that being the chief of the Boeng Trabaek Prison was not by chance; unless Khmer Rouge leaders ordered that he could be the prison chief, and that the prison chief was very powerful, that is why they do not want to try all of those [former] Khmer Rouge leaders.

“The same letter shows that after the opposition party leader Mr. Sam Rainsy said these words, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hor Namhong, submitted the lawsuit through Mr. Kar Savuth as his lawyer on 22 April 2008, accusing Mr. Sam Rainsy of defamation and disinformation. After an initial investigation, the Prosecution Office to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court checked and has collected evidence that Sam Rainsy is suspected of defamation and disinformation, and a proposal to suspend his immunity as parliamentarian from Phnom Penh was sent to the National Assembly. This letter was issued by the prosecutor Uk Savuth, but so far, the the National Assembly has not yet decided to suspend his immunity. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong, has won a court case in France against the Great Heroic King Norodom Sihanouk over the same issue; therefore he will continue to sue anyone who accuses him that he was related to the Khmer Rouge killing field regime.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #29, 18-20.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #73, 18.6.2008

  • [Minister of Information] Khieu Kanharith: If Thailand Would Still Prevent Cambodia to List the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, Cambodia Will Block the Entry of Tourists Coming from Thailand

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1670, 18.6.2008

  • There Is Disagreement after the Press Council of Cambodia Announced to Hold a Demonstration [in front of the court and the Ministry of Justice on 22 June 2008, in order to find justice for journalists and innocent people who have been unjustly arrested, but some newspaper editors-in-chief disagree with this plan]
  • A Cambodian Delegation Will Attend a Meeting about Drug Control Cooperation in Laos [with the attendance of Laos, Cambodia, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the UN Office for Drug Control]
  • A Korean Delegation Came to Study the Customs Situation in Cambodia [16 June 2008 – there was an exchange of methods on the modality to release goods from customs by using an electronic system, an Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and methods for the selection of goods to be imported, based on hazard management and taxation systems]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #592, 18.6.2008

  • The Government Should Take Action to Prevent Political Murders during the Election Period [especially during the campaign days and the election day]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #179, 18.6.2008

  • [Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president] Rong Chhun Accused the Kandal Authorities of Threatening the Owner of Punleu Chob Chet Restaurant [not to rent his restaurant to the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, to hold a workshop about “Rights and duties of teachers” on 16 June 2008]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #29, 18-20.6.2008

  • Prosecutors Asked for Suspension of Sam Rainsy’s Immunity
  • 93% of Cambodian Children Receive Education [according to a UNESCO report, but the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Mr. Rong Chhun said that the rate of children receiving education in Cambodia is not high because of child labor]
  • Mukh Kampul Military Sub-Operational Region Commanding Post Is Turned into a Place for Gambling [Kandal]
  • All Kinds of Animals in Chi Kraeng District [Siem Reap] Are Close to Extinction [because there are two places backed by the district governor to store animals for trafficking]
  • Garbage Dump in Phnom Penh Is Threatening Citizens’ Health [who live near it, because of its odious smell and of many flies]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3489, 18.6.2008

  • The Presence of Foreign Lawyers to Defend Civil Parties Might Provide Justice to Victims [of the Pol Pot regime] to Some Extent [this lawyers group of ten French and eight Cambodian lawyers created by Avocats Sans Frontières of France will assist in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal without charging money]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1324, 18.6.2008

  • Kem Sokha Prepared US$600,000 for the One-Month Election Campaign [according to a broadcast in Khmer by Radio France International on 16 June 2008]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4618, 18.6.2008

  • Crude Oil Slightly Declines [to US$134.60] after Rising to Nearly US$140 per Barrel

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3336, 18.6.2008

  • The United Sates of America Will Sends 80 Election Observers to Cambodia

Have a look at the last editorial – press freedom was strongly under threat

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Wednesday, 11.6.2008: Sam Rainsy Is Prepared to Let Himself Be Imprisoned in Exchange, so that Dam Sith Would Be Released

Posted on 11 June 2008. Filed under: Week 564 | Tags: , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 564

Sam Rainsy Prepares to Sue Hor Namhong, with [the former Khmer Rouge Leader] Ieng Sary as His Witness

“Phnom Penh: ‘The editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer Dam Sith should not be arrested, it is better to arrest me because this editor-in-chief just wrote repeating my words, saying that Hor Namhong was involved in the Khmer Rouge regime.’ This said the president of the opposition party, Mr. Sam Rainsy, to journalists at his party headquarters.

“Stating this in a press conference which lasted nearly an hour, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. yesterday 10 June 2008, Mr. Sam Rainsy asked to arrest him in exchange for the release of Mr. Dam Sith, who has no guilt.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said the arrest of Mr. Dam Sith is a totally political issue, and it might affect the upcoming election. ‘I consider it to be political war, or the failure to buy Mr. Dam Sith and arresting him, in order to intimidate the Sam Rainsy Party before the election.’ Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘Mr. Dam Sith just reported the words I had said in his newspaper, related to Hor Namhong’ case. So, if they want an arrest, they should arrest me, because I said these words. Mr. Sam Rainsy stressed, ‘I talked about Hor Namhong by relating him to the Khmer Rouge regime, but I just repeated the words of Samdech Euv [the Father King] Norodom Sihanouk. Therefore, if they want to arrest Sam Rainsy, they must firstly arrest Samdech Euv.’

“He said, ‘I consider the arrest of Mr. Dam Sith to be illegal, also because he was arrested on a Sunday, which is a day when the [court] administration is normally not operating.’

“Mr. Sam Rainsy added that they should release Mr. Dam Sith soon. Now, there are already reactions from everywhere over this arrest. There are international observers who prepare to join as election observers in Cambodia soon, but now consider to cancel their travel to Cambodia, as long as this journalist is not released.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy referred to some documents, showing that Mr. Hor Namhong was formerly head of the Boeng Trabaek prison during the Khmer Rouge regime. Mr. Sam Rainsy also instructs two lawyers, Mr. Chuong Choungy and Mr. Kong Sam On, to sue Mr. Hor Namhong. Mr. Sam Rainsy requests Ieng Sary to be his witness in this lawsuit. However, he must first sue him at the Phnom Penh court, in order to clarify the procedures, whether the Khmer Rouge Tribunal allows Ieng Sary to be his witness or not. Previously, Mr. Hor Namhong sued at the Phnom Penh court, suggesting to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to let Kang Kek Iev, alias Duch, to be his witness, but this request has been rejected by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy uses a document from Rasmei Kampuchea when they had interviewed Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, now using this document to accuse Mr. Hor Namhong, saying that he was loyal to Ieng Sary during that period. Mr. Sam Rainsy also said that during the period of Democratic Kampuchea, Mr. Van Piny had been the chief of the Boeng Trabaek prison – called the ‘K17 Prison, – and when he resigned, Mr. Hor Namhong replaced him in this position; his wife was head of the women’s unit, and one of his sons was head of the children’s unit.

“This is the explanation of Mr. Sam Rainsy with some documents as reference to link Mr. Hor Namhong to the Khmer Rouge regime.

“Mr. Hor Namhong has rejected the accusation, saying that in the Khmer Rouge regime he was not the chief of Boeng Trabaek Prison, but he said he was also a victim. With a similar accusation, Mr. Hor Namhong had sued and won against Samdech Euv already – so why does Mr. Sam Rainsy want to dig up this old story? What Mr. Sam Rainsy raised by repeating Samdech Euv’s words means that he had already made a mistake, because a court has already decided that Mr. Hor Namhong was the winner in that court case.

“In this press conference, Mr. Sam Rainsy expressed also concerns that the monarchy might be dissolved. Now, some politicians claim the monarchy to belong be their own party, which might bring problems in view of the constitution, and also result in problems for the throne. Mr. Sam Rainsy considers that there may be an aim to eliminate the opposition party, then to send the King into exile abroad, and change Cambodia into a country under a dictatorship.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1664, 11.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #118, 11.6.2008

  • [Father King] Samdech Euv: The King Norodom Sihamoni Does Not Abdicate, but the King Might Be Exiled Abroad [according to his letter on 9 June 2008]
  • The Power of the Criminal Chea Ratha’s Money Might Free Her from the Net of the Law [she has millions of dollars and knows many high-ranking officials, so she could bribe corrupt officials of the court]
  • The Number of Tourists Increases, but Their Money Is Collected by a Foreign Merchant [referring to Oknha Sok Kong]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1664, 11.6.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Is Prepared to Let Himself Be Imprisoned in Exchange, so that Dam Sith Would Be Released
  • Cambodia Will Eliminate Serious Child Labor Entirely by 2016
  • Meeting with Movie Producers to Find Solutions for Crimes of Producing Illegal Videos [on 10 June 2008]
  • Man Failed to Rape a Woman, But then Hit and Killed Her with a Hoe [Preah Vihear]
  • Entire Cabinet of South Korea Offers Resignation from Their Positions because of Public Anger about Beef Imports [on 10 June 2008, after demonstrations against the government’s agreement to open the markets to US beef imports]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #590, 11.6.2008

  • The Government Should Not Be Indifferent about the Dramatic Flow of Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants to Cambodia [no specific information about a ‘dramatic flow’ provided in the article]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6368, 11.6.2008

  • One [of two] Youth Was Seriously Hit by a Crocodile when They Were Trying to Catch It in a Pond [Kompong Chhnang]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4612, 11.6.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations Urge the Cambodian Government to Focus on the Effects that Might Be Created by the Construction of a Hydro-Electricity Plant in Laos
  • [Chea Sovannareach,] A Cambodian Student Wins the World Mathematics Gold Medal in an Internet Based Test
  • Thai Opposition Party Urges to Claim the Preah Vihear Temple, but [Thai Foreign Minister] Nophadon Patama Said It Is Too Late

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3330, 11.6.2008

  • Garbage Is a Hot Issue in Phnom Penh Which Has Not Been Solved by the Authorities

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #677, 11.6.2008

  • Seventeen Cambodian Graduates Prepare to Travel to Study in the United States under the Fulbright Program

Have a look at last week’s editorial: Realizing that energy problems are not simply oil problems – so what shall we do?

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Monday, 21.4.2008: Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong Sues Mr. Sam Rainsy

Posted on 21 April 2008. Filed under: Week 557 | Tags: , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 557

“Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Hor Namhong plans to sue Sam Rainsy Party president Mr. Sam Rainsy for linking him to the Khmer Rouge leadership.

“Mr. Sin Bunthoeun, the chief of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [and International Cooperation], said in the afternoon of 19 April 2008 that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Hor Namhong will prepare documents to sue Mr. Sam Rainsy for exaggerating the facts about him. Mr. Sin Bunthoeun said, ‘H.E. Hor Namhong is also a victim, and his two sisters who returned from France were detained in the Boeng Trabaek Prison and were later taken to be killed at Choeung Ek.’ Mr. Sin Bunthoeun said that Mr. Hor Namhong plans to hold a Buddhist ceremony to commemorate his two sisters soon.

“The chief of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not know yet how much compensation Mr. Hor Namhong will demand from Mr. Sam Rainsy; he only said that Mr. Hor Namhong will meet his lawyer, Mr. Kar Savuth, on Monday and discuss it with him.

“Mr. Hor Namhong has planned to sue Mr. Sam Rainsy after the opposition party president accused him on 17 April 2008 at the Choeung Ek Killing Fields Memorial in a Buddhist ceremony to commemorate victims of Khmer Rouge. Local newspapers quoted Mr. Sam Rainsy’s speech, which said that Mr. Hor Namhong was the chief of Boeng Trabaek Prison. He continued that to become the chief of the Boeng Trabaek Prison was not by chance, unless one was authorized by the Khmer Rouge. The chief of the prison was very powerful. Mr. Sam Rainsy also accused the Cambodian government of not wanting the trial of the [former] Khmer Rouge leaders to happen. He also used the occasion to push for the Khmer Rouge trials to be held soon.

“In the afternoon of 19 April 2008, Rasmei Kampuchea tried to contact Mr. Sam Rainsy by phone but could not reach him. His assistant just responded that Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present in the United States of America, and he will return to Cambodia on 29 April 2008.

“It is known that previously, Mr. Hor Namhong won two cases, against the former King Norodom Sihanouk, and against the The Cambodia Daily over accusations that he was the chief of Boeng Trabaek Prison of Khmer Rouge times.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4568, 20-21.4.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 21 April 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1620, 20-21.4.2008

  • World Bank Plans to Provide Aid for Good Governance in Cambodia
  • UN Official [Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, of the UN, Mr. Warren Sach] Interested in Speed of Seeking Justice for Genocide Victims

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #572, 21.4.2008

  • Removal of the Thief Who Stole from the Nation [Telecom Cambodia general-director] Nhek Kosol Vithyea by Hun Sen Makes Employees in Telecom Cambodia Feel Released

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #137, 20-22.4.2008

  • [Funcinpec secretary-general] Nhek Bun Chhay Explained that Funcinpec Will Be Able to Retain the 26 Seats

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3439, 21.4.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asks the Cambodian People’s Party President [and Senate president] Chea Sim to Push for Calling an Extraordinary Session [of the National Assembly] to Adopt the Anti-Corruption Law
  • The Track of Human Rights Violations in Cambodia and in China Are Worrying

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4568, 20-21.4.2008

  • Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong Sues Mr. Sam Rainsy
  • [Former Khmer Republic President] Lon Nol’s Son [Lon Rith] Arrived in Phnom Penh [on 20 April 2008] to Enter Politics
  • Cambodia Lacks Direct Flights from China and Europe Which Have Potential for Tourism

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3290, 20-21.4.2008

  • Funcinpec Seeks Possibility to Join with Sam Rainsy Party

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How irrational emotions may be a block to see reality and its challenges

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