The Ministry of Interior Asked for the Establishment of Public Expression Compounds at Cities and Provinces – Saturday, 3.7.2010

Posted on 6 July 2010. Filed under: Week 671 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 671

“Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia asked all municipal governors to establish locations for public expression, following the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations.

“According to a letter from the Ministry of Interior to the district and municipal councils and municipal governors that Kampuchea Thmey received on 2 July 2010, signed by the Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations had been announced by Royal Decree 1209/025, dated 5 December 2009, to replace the demonstration law of 1991 of the State of Cambodia. According to Article 14 and 25 of the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations which becomes valid after six months, each province and city must create public expression sites, choosing appropriate compounds or centers in the areas under their authority which people can easily know and find to conduct peaceful demonstrations or to express their ideas publicly; the maximum number of participants is 200 people.

“The letter from the Ministry of Interior adds that in order to have agreements about the creation of public expression sites in provinces and cities, the Ministry of Interior called for meetings for internal discussion between district councils and governors to create public expression sites with a minimum size of 600 square meter (15 meter by 40 meter).

“Regarding the creation of public expression sites by the Ministry of Interior, the president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, who had led several demonstrations, Mr. Rong Chhun, spoke to Kampuchea Thmey in the evening of 2 July 2010, saying that it is not necessary for the authorities to create public expression sites, as this is a restriction of the freedom of expression, but the Ministry should allow the people to demonstrate at the places they want.

“Mr. Rong Chhun added, relating to the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations, he had often defended the opinion that citizens can protest at the places or institutions they prefer. He said that the creation of public expression sites is not necessary, as most citizens want to protest in front of the institutions where they want their protest to be heard. Therefore, when public expression sites are established far from such related institutions, their expression or protest will not be cared for.

“Mr. Rong Chhun went on to say that according to this Law on Peaceful Demonstrations, if any citizens does not protest at the places designated, they violate the law.

“In Phnom Penh, the authorities had checked a location at a park at the west of the Dragon Bridge [near Wat Phnom] to establish a public expression site in accordance with the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #22, 3.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 3 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol. 9, #2291, 3.7.2010

  • The Ministry of Interior Asked for the Establishment of Public Expression Compounds at Cities and Provinces
  • More Than 700 Cartons of Ecstasy [about one million tablets] Recently Imported Were Intercepted [five people including a Chinese man were arrested – Phnom Penh]
  • Traders Illegally Export River Sand Abroad by Using Old Licenses [previously, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that river sand must not be exported, but it is for local use only]
  • Samdech Euv [the former King] and Samdech Mae [the former Queen] Go to Beijing [for medical checkups]
  • Within Five Months of 2010, there were More Than One Million International Tourist Arrivals in Cambodia [an increase by 11% compared to the corresponding period in 2009 – according to the Ministry of Tourism]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6998, 3-4.7.2010

  • Japan Granted US$2.26 Million as Salaries for National Staff at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [from April to September 2010]
  • The Head of the Royal Government [Prime Minister Hun Sen] Ordered the Demolition of Reservoirs in the Regions 2 and 3 [in provinces around the Tonle Sap lake] in Order to Save the Tonle Sap Lake [as such reservoirs affect bio-diversity and the eco-system – the order did not say anything about the reservoirs in a third region]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3922, 3-4.7.2010

  • When Will Relevant Officials Declare Their Property as Required by the Anti-Corruption Law?
  • [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy: That Yuon [Vietnam] Removed Its Border Marker [Number 184 in Svay Rieng] Invading [Cambodian territory] Indicates Success in Protecting the Eastern Territory
  • The Ministry of Interior Requires All Municipal Authorities to Create Public Expression Compounds with a Minimum Size of 600 Square Meters

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5240, 3.7.2010

  • The Authorities Asked 70 Monks of the Srah Chak Pagoda to Leave the Pagoda Temporarily for Reorganization [after a monk secretly filmed nude girls bathing with holy water – Phnom Penh]
  • [The Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Asked Italy to Help Repair and Conserve the Preah Vihear Temple [according to his meeting with the Italian Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Michelangelo Pipan]
  • 449 People Having Cholera and Other 4,000 Alleged Cases Were Found [in Kampot, Koh Kong, Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Thom, Kratie, Pailin, Phnom Penh, Prey Veng, Pursat, Ratanakiri, and Sihanoukville, resulting from the use of unhygienic water, as there is a lack of water in the dry season; 60 people died already, according to officials of the Ministry of Health]

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The Club of Cambodian Journalists and the European Union Cooperate to Encourage the Free Flow of Information in Cambodia – Tuesday, 1.6.2010

Posted on 2 June 2010. Filed under: Week 667 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 667

“Phnom Penh: The Club of Cambodian Journalists and the European Commission Delegation to Cambodia jointly organized a workshop about public relations with the aim to strengthen press relations with other institutions, to foster the free flow of information in Cambodia.

“There were more than 20 participants from organizations supported by the European Union and the Senate that attend this important workshop.

“The Charge d’Affairs of the European Commission Delegation to Cambodia, Mr. Rafael Dochao Morena, said during the workshop that ‘Public relations are very important in delivering information to the public and to strengthen relations between institutions and the public. The participants in this workshop will gain knowledge about basis concepts of public relations.’

“The Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, pointed out the importance of the workshop, saying that it is a field that the Royal Government of Cambodia supports, in order to ensure press freedom.

“This 5-day workshop, from 31 May to 4 June 2010, aims mainly at encouraging the free publication of information to serve the public interest. Participants will learn theory and actual experiences for effective press relations. Through the presentations of many speakers, experienced in both public relations and the press, participants will gain basic knowledge to help public relations officials or information officials from different organizations and institutions to fulfill their duties more effectively with the press in Cambodia.

“The president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, Mr. Pen Samitthy, said that some organizations and institutions complain about their difficulties in working with journalists. Some criticize that the press does not help publish information about their activities, while journalists complain that they lack access to information that they should cover, for their publications to the public. He said, ‘Because of such complaints, the Club of Cambodian Journalists sees that there is a gap of understanding between public relations officials of different organizations and institutions on one side, and journalists on the other.’ He added that everybody must know clearly that the priority mission of journalists is to publish information that serves the public interest, but journalists cannot be propagandists who serve the interests of specific organizations or institutions. It is the duty of public relations officials or information officers to encourage the publication of activities of their organizations or institutions. For the benefit of the press, the workshop aims at organizations and institutions to have their own information officers in order to effectively offer information to journalists. This is also the goal of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, always encouraging the appointment of spokespersons at many institutions to ensure public access to information.

“The Club of Cambodian Journalists is an independent organization, created to serve the interests of journalists and to protect them, as well as to promote press freedom and to strengthen journalism in Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5212, 1.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #492, 1.6.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The Chinese Government Talks Less but Does Much
  • Two People Died and Five Were Wounded, and Many Houses Were Destroyed in Siem Reap [by a rainstorm]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2263, 1.6.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Inaugurated the Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge at Prek Kdam [across the Tonle Sap river – Kandal]
  • A Family [husband, wife, and their son] Were Convicted to Serve 20 Years in Prison for Killing a Kompong Thom Fishery Official [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #670, 1.6.2010

  • [The acting president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Kong Korm Said That China Provides Aid to Cambodia without Setting Any Conditions, but China Receives Concession Land to Exploit Mineral Resources from Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6970, 1.6.2010

  • Children Faced Violation in 2009: There Were 278 Cases of Human Rights Violations against Children, 209 Cases Were Rape [according to the Khmer Census League and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), announced during the International Children Day]
  • [About 300] Ou Russey Market Vendors Asked [the Prime Minister] to Restrain the Roth Sensopheap Company [as this company, the market administrator, requires them to pay many types of fees, affecting their livelihood]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3894, 1.6.2010

  • [The Sam Rainy party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann Said that the Government Should Provide Concession Land with Contracts from 40 to 50 Years Only [so far, contracts for concession land were mostly for up to 99 years], and He Does Not Want to See that Contracts Lead to the Mistreatments of Citizens and to Land Disputes

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #183, 1.6.2010

  • Cambodia Needs More Than US$6 Billion for a Five-Year National Development Plan [from 2009 to 2013; according to a decision of the National Assembly]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5212, 1.6.2010

  • The Prime Minister Wants to Hold Military Exercises to Show [257] Military Trucks Donated by China [worth Yuan 100 million [approx. US$15 million]; this aid will be delivered on 18 June 2010]
  • 155 Families Filed Lawsuits against the An Marady Rubber Plantation Company after They Received Notifications that the Company Will Evict Them from Their Village [Kompong Cham]
  • The Club of Cambodian Journalists and the European Union Cooperate to Encourage the Free Flow of Information in Cambodia

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Mr. Hang Chakra Vowed to Continue to Write According to His Conscience as He Did Previously – Monday, 19.4.2010

Posted on 20 April 2010. Filed under: Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

“The editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, has just been released from Prey Sar prison on Tuesday last week, a day ahead of the Khmer New Year, and he vowed that he will continue to publish his paper according to his conscience, constructively also criticizing the government.

“Mr. Hang Chakra told the Phnom Penh Post on Sunday, ‘I could not believe that I would be released a day ahead of the Khmer New Year. I am so happy that I can meet my family.’ Mr. Hang Chakra added that he will try to publish his Khmer Machas Srok papers again next week, after a suspension early this month due to financial reason, and he will continue to criticize the government with the attempt to constructively contribute to the nation and to fight corruption. He said, ‘I will continue to publish the paper with my conscience, to criticize corrupt people among government officials, to serve the readers and the society. I hope that the readers will still support me.’

“It should also be known that, before Hang Chakra had been released, he wrote a letter of apology to Prime Minister Hun Sen one month after he was convicted, and he promised that he will not write to accuse anyone of corruption without evidence, if he would be released.

“Mr. Hang Chakra is the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, a newspaper that has a tendency towards the Sam Rainsy Party. He was convicted to serve 12 months in prison, and he was fined to pay Riel 9 million (at present approx. US$2,200) on 26 June 2009, for defaming Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, after he had released several texts accusing cabinet officials of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An of being involving in corruption without intervention.

“Mr. Hang Chakra denied he is related to the rumor that he is joining the Cambodian People’s Party and will stop criticizing the government. Mr. Hang Chakra clarified, ‘No institution can press me to change my conscience, as I spend my own money to publish my papers, and my paper is still alive because of our readers.’

“The head of the Criminal Department of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Pov Bunthouen told the Phnom Penh Post on Sunday that Mr. Hang Chakra was one of the 42 prisoners who were released earlier than expected who were on the list to be released, while the punishment of 119 others on the list will be reduced. He said, ‘We are preparing to organize a Visakh Bochea ceremony (on 28 April 2010). I have not yet checked all documents, and I expect that all those documents in the lists that will be checked after the ceremony.’” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #150-151, 12-14.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

Monday, 19 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #486, 11-19.4.2010

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] Set Up New Plans to Boost the Economy [ASEAN leaders promised to cooperate to restore the economic and financial sectors by eliminating commercial protectionism and to open free markets]
  • Robbers Robbed a Jewelry Seller at the Canadia Market, Taking Away Nearly US$10,000 [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2225-2226, 11-19-.4.2010

  • The Phnom Penh Authorities Offer Two Options for 257 Families Whose Houses Were Burnt Down in Boeng Kak [they will be allowed to reconstruct houses on a plot of 3.9 by 5 meters at the burnt area, but the authorities will not provide them with land titles – or they can settle on a plot of 5 by 12 meter in Chaom Chau commune, Dangkao district where the authorities will provide them land title. So far, 165 agreed to take the 2nd option]
  • The Cambodian-Chinese Prek Kdam Bridge [across the Tonle Sap River in Kandal, constructed with a loan from China and US$28,783,644 from the Cambodian government] Was Opened for Traffic
  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Sent a Letter of Condolence at the Occasion of the Death of the Polish President [who was killed in plane crash]
  • Cambodia Asked the Head of ASEAN to Immediately Convene a Meeting to Reduce the Tensions in Thailand [but Thailand rejected it as previously usual for all members: No interference into internal affairs!]
  • Nearly 60 Cubic Meters of Luxury Grade Wood Found in Dangkao District, belonging to a [Kompong Cham] Forestry Head [the authorities are seeking to arrest him – Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6932-6932, 12-19.4.2010

  • 579 People Were Seriously and Slightly Injured or Killed in Traffic Accidents during the Khmer New Year [49 people were killed this year, compared to 2009, when 52 people were killed]
  • More Than US$87 Million Is Provided [by donors] to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for 2010 and 2011 [ announced by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Clashes Broke Out in Bangkok, Killing 20 People and Injuring 842; and 28 Police and Soldiers Had Been Held as Hostage [by red-shirt demonstrators]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3856, 12-18.4.2010

  • The Constitutional Council Rejected a Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians’ Request which Heng Samrin Had Rejected Before [for the government to temporarily suspend putting border posts]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #150-152, 12-19.4.2010

  • Cambodian and Thai Soldiers Clashed along the Border, when there Was an Invasion from Thailand [Thai soldiers demanded Khmer soldiers to remove a wooden house which has been constructed there over ten years, but Khmer soldiers disagreed; four Thai soldiers were injured while Khmer soldiers were not – Oddar Meanchey. In the meantime it was reported that the soldiers of both sides withdrew from the area, and also, that this information is not correct; we cannot just trust ONE information in such a situation, but be aware of frequent inconsistencies and changes – but we “mirror” them, not knowing if there will be coming more changes]
  • The United States of America Greeted Cambodia at the Khmer New Year, while the Cambodian Prime Minister Praised Troops [stationed along the Cambodian-Thai border]
  • [Five representatives of] Amleang Commune Residents Came [to Phnom Penh] to Ask for an Intervention from Mr. Hun Sen [over a land dispute with Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s sugar company in Kompong Speu]
  • The Ministry of Health Calls on Citizens to Stop Using [Kemlotlanhthomcaocap – Spelling/wording not sure] Cosmetic Foam Imported from Vietnam [after a woman in Banteay Meanchey died after she used it]
  • Prices of Petroleum at Big Fuel Stations in Cambodia Increased Also after Prices of Oil at the International Markets Rose [a liter of premium quality is US$1.12 and the normal quality is US$1.07]
  • Mr. Hang Chakra Vowed to Continue to Work According to His Conscience as He Did Previously

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5174-5175, 11-19.4.2010

  • The Top US Diplomat [Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Secretary of State of the USA] Vowed to Strengthen Cambodian-American Ties [recalling good cooperation between the USA and Cambodia]
  • Luxury Grade Wood [about 100 cubic meters] Was Found in the Sambara Resort and Spa Hotel [in Siem Reap]
  • The President of Poland Is among the 132 People Who Were Killed in a Plane Crash in Russia
  • Within the First Two Months of 2010 Cambodia Attracted Investment of US$116.5 Million [for 15 projects in agriculture and the garment sector, from China, Singapore, and Vietnam]
  • The Ministry of Tourism Expects that 2010 Will Be the Year That Tourism Recovers and Grows by 10% [or to 2.4 million tourist arrivals]
  • The Army Commander-In-Chief Anupong Paochinda and Opposition Party President Chavalit Support the Dissolution of the Parliament, after a Clash Which Cost 21 Lives [Thailand – This headline shows also the need to follow developments carefully to verify what is going on; in the meantime it is reported that the military, under General Anupong Paochinda, has taken over the responsibility to maintain security in Bangkok, after the police had not been able to do so]

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Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late – Tuesday, 29.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The draft of an anti-corruption law has not yet been publicly released, though one part of this draft law was disclosed last week by the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers. When this part of the draft became widely known, it was either welcomed or mocked, as this law will require also staff of non-government organizations who earn little to declare their property.

“A point of this draft law likely aims at the director of an FM radio station who has lots of property, after he had received funds to support the station for nearly 10 years.

“However, a secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who asked not to be named, said that the draft has already reached the secretary general of the National Assembly.

“Officials of non-government organizations said yesterday that keeping the long-awaited draft law on anti-corruption out of the public eye is at odds with the spirit of a law that has to call for openness and transparency.

“Though the Council of Ministers approved the draft law to combat corruption more than two weeks ago, the secrecy that surrounds the law makes it impossible to properly discuss and analyze it, NGO workers said.

“‘I think the key approach is transparency,’ said Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

“‘I don’t know what the intent of keeping it secret is,’ he added.

“The Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan reiterated day-before-yesterday that the draft law cannot be made public, because it has yet to arrive at the National Assembly. Once it arrives there, it can then be released to the public.

“‘This is the proposed draft used internally by the government,’ Mr. Siphan said about the law, adding that he did not know when the draft would be forwarded to the Assembly for debate and passage into law.

“One of the only details of the anti-corruption law that has been made public on Friday is the fact that the staff of NGOs are required to disclose their personal assets. Under the law, NGO workers are defined as public servants, and side-by-side with officials who are paid by the government, they must disclose their assets.

“‘It is an obligation to do so, if you don’t do it, you are jailed,’ Mr. Siphan explained day-before-yesterday, adding that the law will take effect 60 days after being passed by the National Assembly.

“A political observer and the former head of the Center for Social Development, Ms. Chea Vannath, said that following the spirit of the anti-corruption law, the legislation should be available for public viewing and inspection, since it is such scrutiny which helps discourage and expose corruption. Keeping it confidential counters that principle, she said.

“‘If it is not transparent, it’s like you are fishing in the mud at nighttime,’ she said.

“‘How can you comment on the law without having a copy of the law?,’ she asked. ‘It’s a strange process.’

“‘The word “fighting corruption” equals transparency, openness, access to information,’ she added.

“Soeung Saroeun, senior operations and finance manager of the Cooperation Committee of Cambodia [CCC], a professional organization of NGOs, said his group has requested a copy of the anti-corruption legislation, but like others has yet to see it. Having not yet seen the draft law, Mr. Saroeun said the CCC could not comment. Nonetheless, he said questions remain about the draft law, particularly how it defined assets for NGO staffers.

‘”If we have to declare our assets, what do they mean by “assets”?’ he asked.

“NGO Forum Executive Director Chhith Sam Ath said he could not speak about the law until after reading it and consulting with other members in his umbrella group of non-government organizations.

“President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights Ou Virak echoed remarks that discussing the draft law was challenging, but he agreed that not only non-government officials should have to declare their assets.

“Mr. Virak said he had no problem listing NGO employees as ‘public servants’ and recommended more groups should also have to declare their assets.

‘”It’s a very positive step in the right direction,’ he said. ‘I personally welcome it.'” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009; a major part had been published already by the Cambodia Daily on 28.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #373, 29.12.2009

  • The Asian Development Bank Provides US$65.2 Million for the Development of Four Provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake [there are projects to strengthen education by providing technical and vocational training, to develop small scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area, and to develop the financial sector – US$30.7 million is provided by the ADB as loan and grant, US$19.1 million is from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and from the government of Finland, and $5.47 million is from the Cambodian government]
  • The Svay Rieng Court Rejects the Request of Mr. Sam Rainsy to Delay the Hearings to Wait for His Participation [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers – Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present abroad]
  • The Prime Minister Warned Overloaded Vehicles [saying that if some companies still abuse the law, those companies must be shut down and their operations will be stopped]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2136, 29.12.2009

  • The National Assembly Approved the First Chapter of the Draft on Expropriation
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Warned not to Misuse the Surname ‘Hun’ to Intimidate People [he said so during a ‘Hun’ family party at the Intercontinental Hotel]
  • Pneumonia Is the Major Killer Disease that Kills Nearly 2,000 Cambodian Children Each Year

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #706, 29.12.2009

  • America Condemned Siam [Thailand] for Deporting 4,000 Hmong Ethnic People Back to Laos [and warned that the United States might halt military aid and the joint Golden Cobra military exercises with Thailand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009

  • Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6843, 29.12.2009

  • A Man Raped a Three-Year-Old Girl – He Was Arrested [Kompong Speu]
  • A Thai General [Mr. Panlop Pinmanee] Announced to Demonstrate Requesting to Dismiss [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [in late January or early February, if the people would be ready to fight for democracy]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #77, 29.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Denies to Permit the 7NG Company to Construct a Bridge [connecting from Areyaksatr to the Hun Sen Park, saying it would affect traffic in the city and contribute to environmental impacts on the surrounding areas, creating noise pollution]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5085, 29.12.2009

  • Maternal Rate of Dengue Fever Declined 50% [from 67 deaths in 2008 to only 36 in 2009], but the Patient Rate Increased [from 9,232 cases in 2008 to 11,625 cases in 2009]
  • Three Monks Were Defrocked and Sent to Be Rehabilitated because of Drug Addiction [Banteay Meanchey]
  • An Australian Man Was Robbed and Killed in Sihanoukville [perpetrators are not yet identified]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1843, 29.12.2009

  • Parliamentarians from the Cambodian People’s Party Adopted First Chapter of the Expropriation Draft Law, while the Opposition Party Opposes

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The Cambodian Prime Minister: China Becomes the Constructor of the Longest Sections of Roads in Cambodia – Friday, 13.11.2009

Posted on 15 November 2009. Filed under: Week 638 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 638

Apologies for the delays, which may continue into the coming week, as I am attending the UN Internet Governance Forum meetings in Sharm el Sheikh/Egypt with a busy schedule, in a different time zone. I try to be timely as much as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Stung Treng: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, said that China becomes the country that has constructed the most roads in Cambodia, sections of road of more than 1,500 km, which had been constructed, are being constructed, or are planned to be constructed. Moreover, China has provided loans to construct bridges with a total length of 3,014 meters, for which in total more than US$800 million have been offered for road construction and more than US$100 million for building bridges. Besides, there are hydro-electric projects in some provinces with 700 megawatt power, costing approx. US$1.7 billion.

“Samdech Dekchor said so during the launching of a construction site on National Road 78 in the morning of 12 November 2009: ‘The site to construct and to restore National Road 78, starting at 121 km from Ou Pong Moan in Stung Treng, to Ban Lung in Ratanakiri, is to be covered by red gravel, 6 meter wide; it was started with a loan from the People’s Republic of China, also with 5% contributed by the Royal Government.

“The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Tram Iv Tek, stated that the construction of this road will take 40 months, the width will be broadened to 11 meters, it will be paved according to the Double Bituminous Surface Treatment, following the 3rd standard of China, with 13 bridges of together 903 meters, and 126 culverts. It will cost US$73.3 million, to be paid by a loan provided by the People’s Republic of China, together with a 5% share from the Royal Government of Cambodia. But this amount does not cover expense for taxes, the state’s burden importing materials and other means for the construction, and for clearing mines and unexploded ordnance along the road.

“The National Road 78 branches off from the National Road 7 in Ou Pong Moan in Stung Treng, leading to Ou Ya Dav at the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. But a another portion of National Road 78 from Ban Lung to Ou Ya Dav is being constructed with a loan from Vietnam, and has already been finished 90%.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that National Road 78 has the characteristic of serving for both internal and regional integration. This road contributes to provide advantages for integration in the country as well as connecting to economic centers in Stung Treng and Ratanakiri, in order to encourage economic and social development in Cambodia, to reduce the gap between the urban and the rural areas. It also helps to promote the livelihood of citizens in the Northeast through facilitating transport, commerce, the exchange of agricultural products, and industry, and to encourage cooperation and development in the triangle zone of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, through the Ou Ya Dav boarder crossing in Ratanakiri and through the connection of National Road 7, which is the Asian Road 11, from Vientiane in Laos to the Sihanoukville International Port. In addition, National Road 78 serves nature tourism, because the Northeast is a green area, rich in beautiful big lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and forest. It is also rich in many types of mineral resources and fertile soil that is favorable for agro-industrial crops, where rubber trees are prioritized.

“On behalf of the Royal Government and the Cambodia people, Prime Minister Samdech Dekchor expressed great gratitude towards the Chinese people and the Chinese government for assisting and supporting Cambodia. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that among the 11 road construction projects of more than 1,200 km that will be subsequently opened in 2010, including the roads that the government builds by its own resources, as many as 7 projects are implemented with Chinese loans.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen encouraged the Shanghai Construction Company and the Kwang Ju Vanan [? – phonetic] technical monitoring consultancy to take good care of the implementation to construct the crucial National Road 78, so that is has the quality compatible with the technical standards, and so that it is finished as planned or before the deadline.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5046, 13.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 13 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #33531.2009

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Denied the Information that [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Will Go to Singapore [with Prime Minister Hun Sen, to attend the ASEAN-US summit]
  • A Red-Shirt Group [of about 50 people] Came to Meet Thaksin Shinawatra at the Siem Reap Airport
  • A Man Led a Young Woman to a Restaurant but Was Shot Dead by an Anonymous Person [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2097, 13.11.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Is Glad to Share Economic Knowledge with Cambodian Officials [he spoke to more than 300 Cambodian economic experts at the Ministry of Economy and Finance]
  • A [44 year-old] Man Raped His 84-Year Old Mother until She Fainted [he was arrested – Svay Rieng]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #774, 13.11.2009

  • [Former Koh Kong Governor] Yuth Phouthang Was Appointed as a Government Advisor with a Position Equal to a Minister, while [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh’s Connections Expand their Influence in Koh Kong [the Srae Ambel district governor, Mr. Bun Leut, was named Koh Kong governor – Mr. Tea Banh was born in Koh Kong]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #528, 13.11.2009

  • The Complaint and the Intention to Suspend Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity Are Politics to Threaten and to Restrict this Opposition Party [according to the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovan]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6804, 13.11.2009

  • The National Assembly Announced that in the Session on 16 November 2009 Next Week It Is Planned to Suspend the Immunity of [the president of the opposition party] Sam Rainsy [to make way for the Svay Rieng Municipal Court to open an investigation regarding his participation in the removal of six teamporary wooden border markers on the Cambodian-Vietnamese Border]
  • The Political Dispute between Bangkok and Phnom Penh Is Tense, while the Military Situation at Preah Vihear Is Not

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #45, 13.11.2009

  • The Authorities Provide More Than 20,000 of Forest Land to Citizens in Kompong Thom [for conservation and for serving everyday living]
  • Kampot Citizens Chased Vietnamese Fishing Boats Away [that used illegal fishing tools in Khmer maritime region, while the local authorities do not care about it]
  • Russia Will Invest in Hydro-Electricity in Stung Treng [approx. US$2 billion to create 1,000 megawatt capacity; according to the chairperson of the Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5046, 13.11.2009

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister: China Becomes the Constructor of the Longest Sections of Roads in Cambodia
  • A Siamese [Thai] Engineer [of the Cambodia Air Traffic Control company] [since 2000 Cambodian air traffic contral is operated as a Joint Venture with a private Thai company] Was Arrested for Stealing Documents about the Flights of Thaksin Shinawatra and of Samdech Hun Sen, to Send Them to Siam [Thailand]
  • Thaksin Shinawatra Wants Cambodia to Advertise Jointly to Encourage Tourism in Thailand, Laos, and Burma

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China Provides Colossal Aid to Develop Cambodian Infrastructure – Monday, 19.10.2009

Posted on 20 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, said that the government of the People’s Republic of China decided to provide more aid and loans for infrastructure development in Cambodia during the visit of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen to Sichuan to attend the inauguration of the 10th Western China International Economy and Trade Fair – 中国西部国际博览会.

“The Deputy Prime Minister said so during a press conference in the morning of 17 October 2009 at the Phnom Penh International Airport after the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, had returned from China.

“The Deputy Prime Minister stated that during the visit, the secretary of the communist party of China in the Province of Sichuan provided the Prime Minister 50 motor pumps, 30 tractors, and 30 agricultural trucks. Also, the Province of Sichuan offers scholarships for students and for civil servants to receive training there. Besides this, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen officially negotiated with the Chinese Prime Minister, and he has achieved many results for the country including US$260 million in loans in response to a Cambodian requests to China from 2008, for 5 projects:

  1. Construction of 2 roads – National Road 62 from Kompong Thom to Tbaeng Meanchey in Preah Vihear and National Road 8 from Anlong Chrey to Meun Chey in Prey Veng;
  2. Construction of a irrigation system in Battambang;
  3. Construction of National Road 76 from Sen Monorum to Dac Dam in Mondolkiri;
  4. Creation of a flood controlling system in Kompong Trabaek district in Prey Veng; and
  5. Construction of electricity supply nets around Phnom Penh for poor people.

“Among the US$260 million in loans for 5 projects, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen asked China to use the remaining US$30 million to build the second Chroy Chongva bridge [in Phnom Penh] to help reduce traffic congestion.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong added that in 2009, Cambodia requested China in two phases for support of 11 projects worth US$593 million in total. In the fist phase, there are US$297 million for 5 projects:

  1. Construction of a road of 179 km from Thma Koul district in Battambang to the Thai border worth US$95 million,
  2. Construction of roads along the Cambodian-Thai border from Pailin to Koun Damrei worth US$73 million;
  3. Improvement of National Road 6 by creating 4 roads of 40 km worth US$57 million;
  4. Enlargement of the Phnom Penh Port worth US$30 million; and
  5. Water resources development at the Steung Keo river in Kampot worth US$42 million.

“The second phase worth US$296 million consists of 6 projects:

  1. Construction of the Takhmao Bridge and 21 km railroad worth US$42 million;
  2. Construction of Road 42 of 91 km from the Thnol Toteung to Chum Kiri district in Kampot worth US$48 million;
  3. Improvement of National Road 5 from Phnom Penh to Prek Kdam to have two lanes for going and two lanes for returning worth US$36 million;
  4. Construction of a dam at the Pursat river worth US$60 million;
  5. Construction of electricity networks in rural areas wroth US$50 million; and
  6. Construction of a hydro-electric dam in the north worth US$55 million.

“Mr. Hor Namhong stressed that both in 2008 and 2009, Cambodia receives nearly US$1 billion in loans from China for infrastructure development, such as roads, bridges, and dams, which is the second sector supporting economic development and promoting livelihood of citizens [the first being agriculture]. Besides these loans, Chinese Prime Minister granted Yuan 100 million [approx. US$15 million] to Cambodia, where Yuan 50 million is grant aid, and another Yuan 50 million is loans with no interest, and Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen will use this money to help citizens suffering from floods and to restore infrastructure.

“During his visit at China, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen met also the Sri Lankan and Vietnamese prime ministers.”
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2075, 18-19.10.2009

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Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 19 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #314, 18-19.10.2009

  • High Ranking Cambodian Army Officers Visited the Border [to boost morale and check the military situation]
  • A Court Jailed [an official of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport,] Nhem Vandoeun at the PJ Prison [which is said to have better living conditions compared to other prisons], but Did Not Send Him to Prey Sar Prison [for – corruption related to the issuing of number plates for vehicles]
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong: I Have No Fear, though [the president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Sam Rainsy Is Collecting More Evidence [over the defamation appeal of Mr. Sam Rainsy]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2075, 18-19.10.2009

  • China Provides Colossal Aid to Develop Cambodian Infrastructure
  • One Institution Has Two Offices in Poipet [there are two Cambodia-Thai Border Coordination Offices controlled by two different generals]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #662, 19.10.2009

  • The Court Singled Out Two Accusations against [the head of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police anti-drug-trafficking office ] Touch Muysor [for bribing and for illegally possessing about 8,000 methamphetamine pills at about US$100,000] and Detained Him Temporarily at the Prey Sar Prison [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #512, 18-20.10.2009

  • The World Bank and Japan Want to Help Restore Infrastructure Damaged by Typhoon Ketsana, but Need that Cambodia Deliver an Accurate Report

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6782, 19.10.2009

  • The United Arab Emirates Promised to Offer Tourism Scholarships, to Create an Agreement Encouraging Direct Flights to Cambodia, and to Help Develop Human Resources [in tourism]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #28, 19.10.2009

  • The European Union Said that Cambodia [through Cambodia Angkor Air, created by a joint investment by Cambodia and Vietnam] Has Only the Right to Book Tickets [to Vietnam, to its partner airline, as Cambodia Angkor Air is at present not yet recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO]
  • [Nearly 2,000] Workers of the Tac Fat Factory Who Had Been Protesting, Knelt Down at the Prime Minister’s Car Procession [when he returned from China, to ask for his intervention related to the factory closing]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1470, 19.10.2009

  • A Saleswoman Was Stabbed to Death by a Robber in Her House [the perpetrator escaped – Kandal]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5024, 18-19.10.2009

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong: The Cambodian Prime Minister Might Raise the Border Dispute [around Preah Vihear] at the ASEAN Meeting
  • The Maldives Held a Cabinet Meeting under Water [calling for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions ahead of a UN climate change conference in December 2009, because the country is only 2 m above the sea level and will be under water in 60 or 70 years if global warming continues like now]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1810, 19.10.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Expects to Receive New Evidence to Present to the [French] Court to Question [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong [relating to his role in the Boeung Trabaek Camp for returning intellectuals during the Khmer Rouge time]

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To Persuade the United States of America to Reduce Import Taxes of Garment Products Might Face Difficulties – Tuesday 13.1.2009

Posted on 14 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

“In a meeting about textile problems among ASEAN member countries, organized in Phnom Penh last week, the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia encouraged all garment exporting countries in the Southeast Asian region to join to persuade the United States of America to reduce import taxes. This encouragement was made because the garment industries of many exporting countries, including Cambodia, are being affected by the meltdown of the global economy.

“The Minister of Commerce of Cambodia, Mister Cham Prasidh, notorious for corruption, said that persuading the USA is crucial for exporting markets, and it might help to face the economic crisis. Mister Cham Prasidh added, ‘When there is such a global financial crisis, what you see is the decline of demands. How long can our garment sectors stand with this crisis? As we know, we all, more or less, depend on the market of the USA, and this is the reason why we have to continue to try to persuade the USA to be interested to provide us import facilities with reduced taxes or with no tax.’

“Moreover, Cham Prasidh, an in-law of [the Minister of the Council of Ministers] Sok An, went on to say that the garment sector can continue progressing as long as all ASEAN member countries cooperate to expand markets in the region, before receiving better conditions from the USA. Also the deputy director of the Indonesian Textile Association expressed support with what was mentioned above, saying that this was probably a difficult time which needs an immediate solution among ASEAN member countries. Particularly, there must be an encouragement to cooperate in order to compete on the world markets while all countries are facing this financial crisis.

“It should be noted that from 1999 to 2004, the USA provided garment importing quotas to Cambodia without charging import tax. After the Multi-Fibre Arrangement [also known as the international Agreement on Textile and Clothing, 1974 to 2004] system ended, Cambodia has to pay 12.5% tax on average, making prices of garment products from Cambodia becoming more expensive, and it is difficult to compete with products from many other countries in Asia, such as China, Siam [Thailand], Yuon [Vietnam], Indonesia, and Bangladesh; most of these countries also depend on markets in the USA and in Europe.

“However, since many years, the garment sector became the biggest source of income for Cambodia, and it provides employment to more than 350,000 workers in around 400 factories countrywide. Since 2004, garment exports to world markets increased between 20% and 25% every year. Among the income from the export of garment products of US$2.7 billion in total in 2007, the USA absorbed products from Cambodia – especially garments – and the highest level was more than US$1.9 billion, compared to US$600 million for the export to markets in Europe, and US$146 million for the export to Canada.

“Nevertheless, the garment sector in Cambodia is being affected by the decline of garment demand on the US market, after this country, the most powerful country, faced a serious economic meltdown since 2008. The Minister of Commerce of Cambodia said that the garment export from Cambodia to international markets declined by 2% in 2008, so that the government expects that the USA will have policies to promote this sector again. But economists and other experts said that this expectation seems to be baseless.

“The president of a garment factory association in Cambodia recently said that when the economy falls down like this, the USA also needs to help itself. Now, Cambodia is worrying, because so far, around 60 factories have gradually closed and approximately 25,000 workers lost their employment. From April 2009 on, there are little buying orders, and prices have to be lower than before, making many factories to face serious losses.

“Civil society officials observing the garment sector in Cambodia assessed that in mid 2009, 20 more factories will finally close, because they cannot cover losses by bank loans which are also strongly restricted. In the meantime, a foreign economist said that the situation of the Cambodian garment sector might be out of trouble in at most one or two years, when the economy of the USA is expected to grow stronger again. This means that the decline of the garment sector in Cambodia has to wait until the economy of the USA grows strong again, while tens of thousands of Khmer workers of this sector loose their employment and incomes.

“Analysts criticized that corruption in the Ministry of Commerce, managed by Cham Prasidh, and in the Ministry of Labor, administered by Vong Soth, is also a reason making the garment sector in Cambodia face serious decline, because corruption in these two ministries encourages garment factory owners to pay much kickback while their businesses do not earn much profit. Therefore, in order to prevent that the garment sector continues to decline sharply, the Hun Sen government must take action to eliminate corruption urgently, so that factories owners do not decide to close their factories and one after the other leave Cambodia.”Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3664, 13.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #2, 13.1.2009

  • The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO] Published 84 Cases of Human Rights Violations in the Fourth Quarter of 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1845, 13.1.2009

  • The Plan to Expand the Capacity of the VietTel Company Is Supported by Prime Minister Hun Sen [VietTel is a telecommunications company from Vietnam, and this company aims to help promote development in Cambodia, especially in education by providing Internet access to schools and by creating a foundation to help the government to alleviate poverty]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #322, 13.1.2009

  • The Leader and His Terrorism Partisans [of four people who were involved in the setting of explosive devices in Phnom Penh recently] Were Accused by the Court of Creating Illegal Armed Forces, and of Terrorism
  • Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng Said that Cambodia Is Not a Drug Producing Country
  • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Negotiate to Create an Alliance

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #181, 13.1.2009

  • More Than 60 People Protest in Front of the Provincial Primary Court to Ask for the Release of Mr. Hun Sengly from Jail [he was a representative of 415 families in Kos Krolor district in Battambang and was arrested in August 2008 regarding a land dispute]
  • The Indian Embassy Reacts to the Deaths of Three Indians [in a car accident in Dangkao district in Phnom Penh, and demands the government to take action against the driver who caused the accident – one day after the accident, he escaped from a private hospital and from his house in Phnom Penh]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva Received the Majority of Votes in By-Elections [his party and their allies won 20 of the 29 seats]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6550, 13.1.2009

  • A Farmer Couple Brought Their Children back from a Hospital [in Phnom Penh]; the Husband Died along the Road because of Pain [when he complained about strong pain , the taxi driver dropped him and his family along the road where he died – Kien Svay, Kandal]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3664, 13.1.2009

  • To Persuade the United States of America to Reduce Import Taxes of Garment Products Might Face Difficulties
  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Prime Ministers Will Discuss Border Disputes in Hua Hin [in Thailand during the ASEAN Summit from 27 February to 1 March 2009 – according to the Bangkok Post]
  • Can the Japanese Aid [of around US$21 million, promised by Japan on 11 January 2009] Make the Hearings of Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Proceed Soon?
  • Result of the Investigation about Illegal Logging in the Kantuy Neak [Ratanakiri] Region Is Not Yet Revealed [four park rangers who were reported to be missing during a mission returned to the Vireakchey National Park, they were not missing, they were on a 15-day patrol in the park]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4793, 13.1.2009

  • Producers of the Opera “Where Elephants Weep” Apologize, as It Was Prevented to Be Shown in All Television Channels, Offensive Scenes Will Be Changed [after complaints by the Buddhist orders]
  • Motorbike Competing with a Truck Collided with Another Truck Coming from the Opposite Direction, Causing Three Deaths [Kompong Speu]

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