Eliminating Illegal Settlements – Monday, 31.5.2010

Posted on 1 June 2010. Filed under: Week 667 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 667

“On Friday the Council of Ministers approved a circular for dealing with illegal settlements on state land.

“The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, said on Sunday, ‘The circular will help citizens and the government to eliminate anarchic settlements on state land in populated areas, in cities, and at public places [like parks, pedestrian lanes, etc.]. In the future we will eradicate illegal settlements at public places.’

“The circular aims at resolving problems at temporary settlements, also called anarchic constructions, that are built on state land, which results in the loss of road space for traveling, or there is no sanitation. The circular advises the local authorities to provide data about the actual number of such illegal settlements and the number of families, producing plans of these anarchic constructions in order to find solutions, to organize infrastructure and public services to support the life of the people.

“A legal expert of the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions [which works in 20 different countries around the world], Mr. Pen Sithorn, said that the new circular is not bad, but it depends on whether or not the implementation will involve also non-government organizations and the affected communities. He said, ‘The circular says it depends on the government what kind of participation from different sides they will allow.’

Note:

Additional information from the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions:

“A senior official of the Cambodia Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Chan Soveth, said on Sunday that the circular is good, but its enforcement is not as good as the contents stated in the circular, which makes people live in ever worse conditions. He added, ‘The government evicts people and accepts coordination from the authorities. They confiscate people’s land and deliver it to the rich and to companies, providing little compensation to people. Thousands of citizens have been affected by the policy of the government to force citizens to move to remote areas.’ He went on to say that even though citizens are living on state land, they have been living there for years before the land law was approved. Therefore, they should be offered solutions through the provision of new areas with proper living conditions.” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #142, 31.5.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 31 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #4, 30-31.5.2010

  • A Car Loaded with Paddy Rice Was Intercepted – there Were More Than 800 Kilogram of Turtles Hidden in It, to Be Exported to Vietnam [Kandal]
  • Disputes [through the exchange of statements quoted in the press] between [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit and [ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Creates Political Tension in Siam [Thailand]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2262, 30-31.5.2010

  • The Thai Authorities Released [207] Khmer Citizens Who Had Been Accused of Possessing Explosive Materials
  • Construction Workers on the Bokor Mountain Had a Car Accident while Getting Ahead of another Car – Two Died and Twenty Eight Others Were Injured

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #773, 31.5.2010

  • Oknha Ly Say Kheang, a Big Trader Destroying the Forest, Appeared in Sihanoukville after Having Escaped from Arrest for a While [he was arrested in late March 2010 over illegal wood trading and keeping some in storage. He was spotted driving a luxury car and relaxing in Sihanoukville]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #669, 30-31.5.2010

  • The Ministry of Interior Allows a Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian to Visit Ms. Meas Srey and Mr. Prum Chea [jailed for uprooting Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers in Svay Rieng]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6969, 31.5.2010

  • More Than 60 Persons [police, military police, soldiers, as well as a prosecutor, a commune chief and a village chief] Surrounded a Site where a Military Captain is Storing Luxury Grade Wood [seizing 922 pieces of wood, but the owner of the wood has not been arrested – Svay Rieng]
  • Cambodia Condemned the Persons Who Planted a Sea Mine [attacking a South Korean navy ship, killing 46 sailors] – They Cause Instability on the Korean Peninsular

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3893, 31.5.2010

  • Forced Evictions are against the Constitution and Cannot Be Legalized – Those Who Criticize This Should Not Be Stopped

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #142, 31.5.2010

  • Eliminating Illegal Settlements
  • The Authorities Seek to Arrest Citizens over a Land Dispute [with the Heng Development Company; two persons were arrested for inciting villagers go to protest in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s resident]
  • A US Company [Elixir Gaming Technologies] Received a License to Open a Casino in Takeo [this company plans to start constructing a casino late next year, spending US$8 to 10 million]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #51, 30-31.5.2010

  • An Environmental Officials: The Sesan Hydro Electric Dam II [planned to be constructed late next year] Will Not Flood Ratanakiri [but it might affect only four communes in Stung Treng]
  • Police Arrested a Man Who Raped His Three Step Daughters over a long Time [aged from 12 to 17 – Siem Reap]

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

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

When the Law is Not Being Followed – Sunday, 21.3.2010

Posted on 22 March 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 656 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 656

It was early in March, when Prime Minister Hun Sen was quoted having said that the year 2010 is the year in which brothels and illegal gambling sites shall be eliminated. And there were additional warnings, saying that such campaigns are for real: “Police and military chiefs had better leave their positions if they do not dare to crack down on brothels and gambling sites, being afraid of interventions.” That there would be resistance from people who benefit from the related trade is obviously expected. Even that such resistance can come from persons ‘higher up’ who scare lower level officials so that they do not do their duty.

This is serious. Even the head of the government foresees that there will be resistance – resistance within the structures of law enforcement – to implement the law.

What is even more serious is that it is assumed that some sections of the authorities commit large scale violations regularly and in front of the public. Though this is known – “everyone knows this problem” one paper writes – the same activities continue: the illegal selling of military material at the Tuek Thla market: military uniforms, but also many kinds of handguns and ammunition.

But now, The Mirror reported, that there was a large scale raid:

“This was not the first raid at the Tuek Thla market to stop the selling of bullets and of police and military uniforms. There had been several raids before, but these activities could not be eliminated, as many heads of police units and military commanders do not distribute the materials to the fellow police and soldiers under their command, but keep them and sell them to traders… some heads of police units and military police commanders benefit personally by taking their troops’ belongings, and transport them by car to sell them to traders…

“Therefore, the suppression at the Tuek Thla market is just an action that looks good, as sooner or later, such operations will start again..”

The newspaper report said that “the authorities confiscated hundreds of military uniforms and other materials from ten stalls, and arrested some sellers of those materials to educate them… the sellers are not the ones to be blamed.” Was anybody also punished for these illegal actions? The traders were educated – but what about those who supplied the illegal merchandise?

Now, will this finally change?

There was one special case which had been highlighted a something that hardly ever had happened before: a misbehaving general was arrested and brought to court! The case started to be public through a report, saying that the family of a ten year old boy had complained to the Prime Minister, that a one-star navy general went to a school, called out their son by name, and beat him up.

Later some more explanations appeared: the boy had bullied the little daughter of the general, and the teacher had not protected the daughter adequately – so the general had actually also physically attacked the teacher.
The fact that this incident was not hushed up, but lead to a court case, motivated the former Co-Defense Minister Sisowath Sirirath to say in a letter to the editor of The Cambodia Daily:

“This is the sort of justice the Cambodian people need to see more of as we slowly move toward a more responsible society, a society that respects the rule of law and individual rights.

“People who wear uniforms are supposed to serve and protect us from harm, and not frighten us…

“I highly commend Defense Minister Tea Banh for his strong initiative in bringing this general to justice and allowing the Military Police to arrest him and to send him to trial, even in absentia, in Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court.

“The justice-loving people in Cambodia welcome with satisfaction the court’s decision. It is at least a step in the right direction.”

Actually, a very small step.

The accused did not show up in court, because he was now hospitalized – according to some report – for high blood pressure. But he was convicted to one year in jail. However, this sentence was immediately commuted to 10 days only. And as he is under Military Police surveillance in hospital, his days in hospital are calculated towards the 10 days verdict, so that he will be free after spending ten days in hospital.

There were other confusing reports:

  • Perpetrators Who Shot and Injured [three] Disabled People [guarding land in Kompong Thom] Are Out of the Net of the Law, while Some Victims Do Not Dare to Return to Their Own Homes [as the authorities are seeking to arrest them because of their protests against their eviction from the land]
  • Forestry Officials Intercepted a Car Loaded with Wood, but Let It Go Immediately after Negotiations [Stung Treng]
  • A Man That Produced Fake Johnnie Walker Whiskey Was Released by the Police because of His Strong Influence Relations [Phnom Penh]

What steps in the right direction are to be expected in these cases?

One long and detailed story was also published in full in The Mirror on Wednesday: The Order of Hun Sen to Prohibit Khmer Citizens from Gambling in Casinos Is Not Applied by the Owner of the Naga Casino, with detailed descriptions by a journalist who wanted to know.

“Based on Mr. Hun Sen’s order, Khmer citizens are not allowed to enter to gamble in casinos, but the Naga Casino allows Khmers to gamble freely. Some Khmers said that as long as you have money, you can enter the Naga Casino anytime and there are no problems.

“This casino is very lucrative, as it attracts addicted gamblers from small casinos that were closed by the government and it amasses all the profits alone here.

““Recently, Mr. Hun Sen reminded the Khmer authorities to close gambling sites and to restrict Khmer citizens from entering to gamble in casinos that operate with licenses, such as the Naga Casino and other casinos along the Thai and Vietnamese borders. Mr. Hun Sen warned that if any casinos, or the authorities monitoring them, permit Khmer citizens to enter, those casinos will be shut down and the police officials involved will be punished.”

The Mirror is looking forward to related information and we will publish it, when we find it.

Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

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

The Order of Hun Sen to Prohibit Khmer Citizens from Gambling in Casinos Is Not Applied by the Owner of the Naga Casino – Wednesday, 17.3.2010

Posted on 17 March 2010. Filed under: Week 656 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 656

“The Naga Casino, located in Phnom Penh, is operating to extract money from people addicted to gambling in Cambodia, earning colossal profits, while small casinos had been shut down by the Cambodian government, and those addicted to gambling include some officials, and even parliamentarians who frequently appear there.

“An official who used to go to the Naga Casino, said that all kinds of gambling devices, such as slot machines and electronic games, exist in the Naga Casino. For common people, they can gamble on the ground floor hall of the Naga Casino. But for big clients such as some oknhas, senior officials, and parliamentarians who are addicted to gambling, they gamble in special rooms on the upper floors.

“According to general observations, among 100 gamblers who enter to gamble, most of them lose. The Naga Casino might benefit from its clients up to 90% of the money they spend. This is completely different from other countries where casinos are allowed to retain just about 3% of the money from their clients [and pay back the rest as winning money to their clients].

“Some gamblers are informed by the casino about the many rewards, and there are advertisements to attract gamblers, making them more obsessed from day to day. Moreover, on the compound of the casino, clients can order food, drinks, and cigarettes for free.

“In the casino, there is music played for the addicted gamblers with singers wearing short skirts, showing their thighs to please the gamblers, after they have lost everything.

“Those addicted to gambling said that after 7:00 in the evening, many people rush into the large gambling hall that provides the impression as if they were attending a party, and most gamblers are Khmers, 95%. The rest of 5% are Asian nationals, such as Yuon [Vietnamese], Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese.

“Based on Mr. Hun Sen’s order, Khmer citizens are not allowed to enter to gamble in casinos, but the Naga Casino allows Khmers to gamble freely. Some Khmers said that as long as you have money, you can enter the Naga Casino anytime and there are no problems.

“Special cameras are set up in the casino for security reasons, and an internal security department of Mr. Sok Phal [a deputy commissioner of the National Police] is also present there. That means that the police can monitor all activities of Khmer citizens, including those of government officials, oknhas, and parliamentarians, who are addicted to gambling whenever they enter the Naga Casino, but still, there is no action taken by the government to close the casino. According to some unofficial sources, it is estimated that addicted gamblers, who enter the casino, bring with them each day at least US$3 to US$4 million to be lost there. This casino is very lucrative, as it attracts addicted gamblers from small casinos that were closed by the government and it amasses all the profits alone there.

“It should be remembered that before small casinos were closed countrywide, it was seen that a Malaysian investor and owner of the Naga Casino, Mr. Chen Lip Keong, donated to Her Excellency Bun Rany Hun Sen [head of the Cambodian Red Cross] US$1 million, thousands of garments, and an ambulance. After [the Director General of the National Police] Mr. Hok Lundy died in a helicopter crash in Svay Rieng, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced to revoke the licenses and to close slot machine casinos nationwide. This resulted in the transfer of clients of small casinos automatically to the Naga Casino.

“Recently, Mr. Hun Sen reminded the Khmer authorities to close gambling sites and to restrict Khmer citizens from entering to gamble in casinos that operate with licenses, such as the Naga Casino and other casinos along the Siamese [Thai] and Yuon [Vietnamese] borders. Mr. Hun Sen warned that if any casinos, or the authorities monitoring them, permit Khmer citizens to enter, those casinos will be shut down and the police officials involved will be punished.

“However, it is really regrettable that some casinos owned by oknhas, who are investors and who are from the Cambodian People’s Party, especially also the Naga Casino, do not follow Mr. Hun Sen’s order. The Naga Casino has more clients of Khmer nationality entering to gamble, after Mr. Hun Sen ordered to close gambling sites and to ban Khmer citizens from going into the casinos to gamble, simply because the Naga Casino is not afraid of Mr. Hun Sen’s order since it had donated money and materials to the Cambodian Red Cross. At present, the Naga Casino seems open for Khmer citizens and offers a lot of incentives for gambling there.

“An agent of Khmer Amatak could get into the casino very easily, because guards did not ask him for his identification card. The agent wonders why the guards, especially the police of the Department of Information and Investigation of the Ministry of Interior posted there, do not care about Mr. Hun Sen’s order not to allow Khmers to enter the casino to gamble. The agent reached the ground floor and the upper floors and found that Khmer citizens, especially officials and businessmen of medium range, were openly gambling happily, as they did not need to hide themselves, as they would have to do at prohibited gambling sites, and they do not need to travel to casinos along the borders, which takes much time and money.

“Because of the growing number of Khmer citizens who enter the Naga Casino to gamble, this casino announced to recruit more staff to add to the current number of 2,000. According to information from the Naga Casino, more than 2,000 new staff are going to be recruited into the casino.

“Observers said that Mr. Hun Sen’s order is applied only to Khmer citizens who are poor and powerless, but it is not applied to all of the powerful, investors, oknhas, and especially not in big casinos with close relations to the Cambodian People’s Party, as they provide much financial support to officials of the Cambodian People’s Party and some humanitarian organizations. Typically, the owner of the Naga Casino consolidates his position by contributing millions of dollars and materials to the Cambodian Red Cross, and he seems to consider Mr. Hun Sen’s order as supporting his casino business, making him earn more profit than before, as there is no more competition from small gambling sites.

“Regarding the case of the Naga Casino, it is said that it is not afraid of anyone except of Mr. Hun Sen. Thus, to open the casino for Khmer citizens to enter is not something new, but it is just to attract Khmer citizens, to take their money, and to use it to bribe powerful officials. If Mr. Hun Sen really has the intention to suppress all gambling, he should dare to remove the ‘social worms’ that are making Khmer citizens to become poorer, and that are using casinos and other incentives to attract Khmer citizens. Also, it results from the weakness of the law enforcement authorities of the Cambodian government.

“The Naga Casino seriously violates the law about the suppression of gambling and it particularly violates Mr. Hun Sen’s order.” Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #745, 17.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #436, 17.3.2010

  • Sex Workers Call for the Permission to Continue Their Work to Sustain Their Lives
  • Forestry Crimes in Mondolkiri Continue Strongly

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2203, 17.3.2010

  • The Chinese Government Invites Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Visit China in Late April [2010]
  • The New Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia [Mr. Pan Guangxue – 潘广学] Promised to Support Cambodia [to further strengthen ties, solidarity, and cooperation between both countries]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #745, 17.3.2010

  • The Order of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Prohibit Khmer Citizens from Gambling in Casinos Is Not Applied by the Owner of the Naga Casino/li>

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #628, 17.3.2010

  • Forestry Officials Intercepted a Car Loaded with Wood, but Let It Go Immediately after Negotiations [Stung Treng]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6910, 17.3.2010

  • A One-Star Navy General Was Convicted to Serve One Year in Prison [for beating a boy and two teachers], but He Will Be Jailed Only 10 Ten Days and Then He Will Be Released [his position was suspended, but he will need to ask for permission from the prosecutors if he wants to go anywhere; at present he is hospitalized in Sihanoukville]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3834, 17.3.2010

  • The Anti-Corruption Law, Which Is a Tool to Protect and Hide Corruption, Might Become Valid only at the End of 2011

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #132, 17.3.2010

  • About 1,000 Villagers of Amleang Commune Protested in Front of the Phnom Penh Sugar Company [as it used machinery to clear their farmland – Kompong Speu]
  • First Agricultural Prison Is Opened [in Kravanh district, Pursat, on an area of 100 hectares, to train prisoners to do farming]
  • A Vietnamese Company [Vietnam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Investment Corporation] Studies a Project to Construct a Hydro-Electricity Dam in Stung Treng

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5152, 17.3.2010

  • The Government Plans to Publish the Commercial Law on the Website of the Ministry of Commerce [soon]
  • Blood Was Splashed [from bottles by red-shirt demonstrators, supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] in Front of the Government’s House, while [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Is Hiding in an Unknown Place

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

The Law and the Environment of the Law – Sunday, 21.2.2010

Posted on 22 February 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

Very often, when some international media, or some voices in Cambodia deplore what is seen as violations of human rights or just other forms of suffering of some people when their living space – they land on which they lived and the small shelter they built on it – is taken away, the justification is often to say: But it is done according to the law!

While this is sometimes open for controversial interpretations, in other cases it may be perfectly true. But this still does not mean that those who are at the weaker end of the conflict do not suffer, whether they know the law or not.

But there are obviously also cases where it is surely quite difficult for the public to understand the complexity of some legislation – and if it is not easy to understand the rules, there is a lower motivation to follow them – though this is normally wrong not to follow the law.

During the municipal annual reflection meeting looking back at 2009, the Governor of Phnom Penh proudly mentioned that as part of clean-up operations in crime prone environments, also gambling was targeted – all together 1,152 gambling sites had been intercepted. – And in the same week we report that a new casino starts to operate: US$100 million have been invested to create 6,000 jobs.

Surely both elements of this report are based on some laws. Whether the difference is easy to understand or not, is a different question.

About the same meeting of the Phnom Penh municipality it is reported: “The firm position of the Phnom Penh Municipality in 2010 is not like that in 2009; it will not allow dishonest officials to keep on committing bad activities towards the people… previously, some officials used the opportunity of their positions to extort money from the people. But now, [Mr. Kep Chuktema, the Phnom Penh Governor,] warned, saying that officials doing such bad activities will no longer be tolerated.”

During last year the law was not kept by all, as the Governor says, but nothing happened – during this year, however, the law has to be kept. What is the difference? It is the same laws – so will those who did not keep it last year be convinced to now keep it? It is not reported that those, whose money had been extorted, did get it back, nor that whose, who had used the opportunity to misuse their positions for their personal gain were punished. What is changed?

The authorities set again a deadline for illegal pharmacies to apply for licenses – that about half of the more than 2,000 pharmacies operate without a licenses, is known, exposing the public to dangers.

There were also reports about special initiatives by the Prime Minister, either to clarify some gray areas related to the use and registration of cars, or, more seriously, that past and present violations of the law by military personal, which went so far unpunished, should stop.

Some time ago, the Prime Minister had ordered to remove RCAF license plates from private cars to avoid irregularities. A member of the National Assembly from an opposition party found out: “But recently, there appear again several cars using RCAF number plates, and such number plates are used even on some foreigners’ cars and on private trucks for [private] businesses; this can be considered as an illegitimate use of state cars for business, and driving for personal pleasure.” This impression cannot be avoided when one sees who is using some cars with RCAF license plates, and where, and when. But – says the Ministry of Defense – all is now legal. Where private cars are used with military license plates, they have been “contracted” to the state. Does this lead to clarity? Why would anybody contract one’s private care to the state? Why not the other way round: If a state owned vehicle is used also for private purposes, why is it not leased to the private user for an appropriate fee, with a private license plate?

That the new emphasis on the enforcement of the new traffic law is not only leading to a better compliance with the law, becomes clear from the following report – again by a parliamentarian of an opposition party (the much larger number of parliamentarians from the government party were not reported to take such personal initiatives to strengthen the rule of law): Traffic police established check points to extort money from citizens near the Chroy Changva bridge, where police stop and “check” cars and trucks to make them pay money without giving our receipts – keeping some money for themselves, and sharing some with their next higher level superiors.

And the new, strong statements against forest crimes? “The transport of luxury wood in the Thala Barivat district of Stung Treng continues without any disturbance by the authorities.”

The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi, reported after his second visit to the country on 26 January 2010, that he is encouraged from his positive meetings with Cambodian highest level political leader, as he saw especially progress in the strengthening of legal frameworks: “The Government has been receptive to some of the suggestions, including developing binding national guidelines on land evictions, making the law-making process more transparent by sharing draft legislation which has an impact on human rights issues with the wider community, and creating a Government and civil society forum in order to foster an environment of cooperation to strengthen democracy and human rights in the country.”

As so often in the past, it has to be repeated again and again: Not only the quality of laws, but their implementation is decisive.

Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

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

The First Meeting about the Implementation of the National Strategic Plan to Stop Violence against Women – Thursday, 18.2.2010

Posted on 19 February 2010. Filed under: Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

“Phnom Penh: The Open Institute, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, held the first consultative meeting on the topic ‘Participating in the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women, and the Importance of Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Combat Violence against Women.’

“Opening the meeting in the morning of 17 February 2010, a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Sy Define, said that the meeting was the first one held by a government institution with a civil society organizations on this issue, and it was organized after the government had published the ‘National Action Plan about the Prevention of Violence against Women’ last year. She stressed that even without reference to specific figures, rape and violence against women appear in new ways, and all forms appear more frequently and more cruelly. This is a concern for the government as well as for non-government organizations.

“She added that a major challenge for the prevention of violence against women, which needs to be addressed immediately, is the victims’ fear and shame. She emphasized that the victims often try to hide what happened, and even as there are more rapes happening, there is also the increased tendency to hide them. This is because women feel ashamed and they are afraid of being treated with contempt by the society, and also the knowledge of citizens in many communities is limited, including the knowledge about the legal procedures to appeal to the courts which require the victims, mostly the poor, to pay money.

“Based on the above issues, Ms. Sy Define called for more publications of laws about rights and other measures that are important for preventing and reducing violence against women, where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role.

“ICT provides a modern and fast way of communication using computers or mobile phones; it can reach us wherever we are, as far as the communications network extends. It provides easy and quick access to a collection of all kinds of information.

“Regarding this issue, the Executive Director of the Open Institute, Ms. Chim Manavy, said that this meeting is really important for reflecting about violence against women and the intersection between this problem and Information and Communication Technology. In many countries around the world, women’s networks and organizations use the Internet and communicate, using these technologies, to share their experiences and to gather resources and support for their activities, and organize for the creation of global strategic actions. She said that in Cambodia, however, most women have not developed the habit and the ability to use the Internet and to communicate through it to support their activities like it happens in other countries.

“She added, ‘Recently, there is more recognition of the intersection between violence against women and the instruments for electronic communication [with computers and mobile phones]. Violence against women and ICT have an impact on establishing fundamental freedoms and human rights.’

“But Ms. Manavy raised also other examples, saying, ‘While mobile phones and websites can benefit women who suffer violence, seeking information and assistance, some wicked persons use the same technology for exploitation, sending images violating women’s rights, which are human rights.’

“Relating to the negative use of ICT, Ms. Sy Define called on women to be aware of this problem and to join together to control it and to use ICT to combat such wrongdoings.

“She emphasized that the government alone cannot achieve the Millennium Development Goals for 2010, which state [as Goal 3] ‘Promote gender equality and empower women,’ without cooperation in many fields with non-government organizations and development partners to promote the capacity, knowledge, strength, and courage of women.

“She also asked all women’s and other institutions to join to encourage the use of ICT to help prevent violence against women as well as domestic violence, following the National Action Plan about the Prevention of Violence against Women.

“During the meeting held at the Hotel Cambodiana, participants from more than 40 institutions working on women and rights presented their results from separate observations about violence against women and domestic violence, and discussed to share their experiences, knowledge, lessons learned, other strategies, and the use of ICT to prevent violence against women and domestic violence.

“In the three hours meeting, participants offered recommendations and sought to identify key priorities for cooperation between civil society organizations and government institutions to develop joint strategies to effectively prevent violence against women, to encourage gender equality, and to empower women. Ten other organizations cooperated and attended the meeting: Cambodian Women for Peace and Development, the Cambodian Defenders’ Project, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (NGO-CEDAW), the Project Against Domestic Violence, Legal Aid of Cambodia, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, the Women’s Media Center, Positive Change for Cambodia, Pharmaciens Sans Frontières, and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO).” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5129, 18.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 18 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #413, 18.2.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen: Cambodia Never Plants New Mines along the Border [he said so in response to some accusations, especially by Thailand]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Create Senior Citizens Associations Soon in the Eight Districts
  • Seventy One Journalists Were Killed in 2009 Worldwide [including 33 in the Philippines; according to the Committee to Protect Journalists]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2180, 18.2.2010

  • More Than 100 Cleaners at the Angkor Resort [of the Apsara Authority] Protested over the Late Payment of Their Salaries [Siem Reap]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Signed an Agreement to Create a Digital Tribunal [with the Stanford University and the Berkeley War Crimes Study Center of the University of California]
  • Report: America and Pakistan Arrested the Head of the [military wing of the] Taliban

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #605, 18.2.2010

  • A Casino of Oknha Ket Theang Worth US$100 Million Will Open Next Week [in Bavet, Svay Rieng, at the border to Vietnam – he said that his casino can offer jobs to about 6,000 Khmer citizens]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3811, 18.2.2010

  • Avoiding to Respond to Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians’ Questions [over border issues] Shows the Irresponsibility of the Government

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #114, 18.2.2010

  • Thirty One People Died in Traffic Accidents within the Three Days of the Chinese New Year [in Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5129, 18.2.2010

  • The First Meeting about the Implementation of the National Strategic Plan to Stop Violence against Women
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Education Plan to Create a Navigation School to Improve Waterway Traffic Safety [this navigation school is for youth of the next generation to get training, based on proper educational standards to obtain a license. Before, the provision of shipping licenses depended on the testing and questioning previous experience of piloting ships or motor boats, but there was no training offered. Two or three years ago the Phnom Penh port started training for its personnel, but it was not open for the public]
  • The Transport of Luxury Wood in Thala Barivat District Continues without Any Disturbance [by the authorities – Stung Treng]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1876, 18.2.2010

  • [A Sam Rainsy parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay Asked [the Minister of Interior] Mr. Sar Kheng to Check Road Traffic Police Activities that Establish Illegal Check Points to Extort Money from Citizens [he raised a case near the Chroy Changva bridge where police stop cars or trucks to make them pay money unofficially which they keep for themselves or share some with their next higher level officials]

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

The Yuon Authorities Prohibit Vietnam Airlines to Pick Up European Parliament Members from Cambodia to Yuon [Vietnam] – Wednesday, 24.12.2008

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

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 592

 
“Vietnam Airlines and the Yuon [Vietnamese] authorities prevented two members of the European Parliament to travel by plane from Cambodia to Yuon yesterday, on 23 December 2008, under the pretext that there will be a huge demonstration by Yuon citizens in Hanoi against the presence of the two European Parliament members.

“This prevention by the Yuon authorities happened when the two European Parliament members planned to meet parliament members and officials of the Hanoi government to talk about the demands for human rights and freedom for tribal Montagnards, and about the demands for full freedom of religious practices, and for the rights for Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks and citizens, who are living in their homeland under the control and restrictions of their right by the Hanoi government, and about the demand for the release of Monk Tim Sakhan and five other Kampuchea Krom monks in Kleang [former Khmer name – now the Trăng Province of Vietnam] who are in jail.
 
“At 12:40 p.m. on 23 December 2008, Mr. Marco Panella and Mr. Marco Perduca, members of the European Parliament, arrived at the Phnom Penh International Airport to get into a plane of Vietnam Airlines to Saigon. But before they got into the plane, they had to wait for a period of time and then, Vietnam Airlines gave them a letter which is not from the Vietnamese government, but it is a letter of a Vietnamese travel agency, the Vungtau Intourco Hanoi saying, ‘According to a request by the Vietnamese Embassy in Rome in Italy, regarding the visas proposed for permission to travel to Vietnam from 18 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, Mr. Marco Panella and Mr. Marco Perduca have to show documents about their work program for their visit to Vietnam, according to Vietnamese laws about visas to enter Vietnam.
 
“Vietnam Airlines added that it could not contact the European Parliament members [who were traveling] to ask for their work program in Vietnam, according the Vietnamese law; therefore, Vietnam Airlines notified them that the company cannot allow them to board he plane to Vietnam.
 
“Mr. Marco Perduca told journalists in a press conference at a park in front of the Hotel Le Royal in the afternoon of 23 December 2008. According to information he got from the Italian Embassy in Hanoi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam delivered the information that there are letters of Vietnamese citizens opposing the presence of both of them. That is the reason why the Vietnamese government is worried that it cannot protect the security for them and the Vietnamese government suggested both of them not to travel to Vietnam.
 
“Mr. Marco Perduca went on to say that both of them come to visit Cambodia and after that, they will move to Vietnam for an unofficial visit. In Cambodia, he met Khmer Kampuchea Krom communities and monks on Sunday of 21 December 2008, and he met also members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party. They will continue their travel to Vietnam to meet government officials as well as members of the Vietnamese parliament. They will visit Khmer Kampuchea Krom communities, members of the Catholic church, and Montagnards, and will demand the release of five Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks who are being jailed, and demand to send Monk Tim Sakhan to be sent back to Cambodia and to release a 90-year-old man, a religious leader, who is being held in his home. He added that according to officials of the Italian Embassy in Hanoi, their visas have not yet been canceled, and parliament members and government officials of Vietnam are prepared to greet them. It is strange what happened at the Phnom Penh International Airport of Cambodia, preventing them to get on the plane to fly to Vietnam.
 
“Mr. Marco Panella said that it is a simple thing that two of them want to travel to Vietnam to meet with government officials and parliament members of Vietnam, but they could not even get into the plane. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy told that there is no change and the visas to Vietnam are still valid. As for the information that there will be demonstration against them when arriving Vietnam, he said that it is an honor if Vietnamese citizens hold demonstration against them and that the Vietnamese authorities cannot protect both of their lives.
 
“Mr. Marco Panella continued to say that the European Parliament members aim to demand the Vietnamese government for rights and freedoms for Montagnards, for Catholics, and for Khmer Kampuchea Krom citizens and demand the release of five Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks, including Yen Toun, Ly Soeung, Kim Moeun, Thach Soeun, and Theun, who are jailed by the Vietnamese authorities in Kleang province [now Trăng Province of Vietnam] in 2007 as well as to send Monk Tim Sakhan back to Cambodia.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3647, 24.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 24 December 2008


Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #100, 24-26.12.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: Creating an Expert Group to Limit Fuel Prices Is Better Than the Prime Minister’s Begging [to fuel companies to reduce fuel prices]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1828, 24.12.2008

  • The Prices of Fuel Stay Still after an Appeal by Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [gasoline is around Riel 3,100 per liter, corresponding to approx. US$0.77]
  • The Manager and the Owner of Mikado Club Who Have a Website to Sell Cambodian Woman’s Sex Services Were Apprehended [they are still detained in order to conduct further investigations]
  • The Ministry of Environment Encourages the Media to Publish Environmental Problems in Detail


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #166, 24.12.2008

  • Tourists Guide Groups Support the Adoption of a Tourism Law to Be Applied in Cambodia for the Cities and Provinces


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6533, 24.12.2008

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong Goes to Preah Vihear; Military Officials Reject War Rumor
  • New Thai Government Held a Swearing-in Ceremony [with 36 members]


Mate Neak, Vol.1, #15, 24-30.12.2008

  • Income of the Naga Casino Increased [the biggest casino in Cambodia released figure for six months of 2008, showing that the its income increased by 26%, compared to the same period last year, corresponding to US$25.5 million]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3647, 24.12.2008

  • The Yuon Authorities Prohibit Vietnam Airlines to Pick Up European Parliament Members from Cambodia to Yuon [Vietnam]
  • US Embassy Official [Mr. John Johnson] Said that Robberies on Foreigners Increased
  • [Former Prime Minister and Human Rights Party Vice-President] Pen Sovann: If Hun Sen Is Strong, Let the National Television Publish the “2 December” Documentary Film That I Have [reacting against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent criticism, for Mr. Pen Sovann had written in a recently published book “Autobiography of Pen Sovann and the Fundamental Reason of Cambodia’s History,” that he was the Father of “2 December 1978” – the date of the creation of the National United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea (NUFNSK) – and that Prime Minister Hun Sen was really his follower during the early days of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea – 1979–1989; Pen Sovann was deposed and arrested 1981 and imprisoned in Vietnam for 11 years]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4776, 24.12.2008

  • Because the Road Was Too Dusty Making It Impossible to See, a Car Collided with a Truck, Resulting in Two Deaths and Seven Injured People [Thma Puok, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Man Hit His Wife After Childbirth to Death [the man escaped, leaving his children – Prey Veng]
  • The Puea Thai Party [พรรคเพื่อไทย] Demands Removal of the New Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya, because he was involved with the People’s Alliance for Democracy demonstrators, who occupied two airports and he said that it was a happy organization; if he is not removed, the Phua Thai Party groups will demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok]
  • China Provides Nearly US$19 Billion to Taiwan [to create warmer ties between both territories]

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 ( 3 so far )

Wednesday, 9.7.2008: CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming

Posted on 9 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] has finished a project to help improve the living standards of the poor in five southern provinces of Cambodia in June 2008. This project was funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction [JFPR] though the Asian Development Bank for a period of five years, and US$1.3 million were spent.

“However, what CEDAC has to think about is, after the project has finished, to choose actions that can guarantee the continuity of what has been built up. In a discussion held late June, the governor of Batheay District, Kompong Cham, raised previous experiences that there used to be many organizations assisting this district, but when their project fund came to an end, there was no continuity at all. Villagers are afraid that CEDAC might repeat the same situation when it runs out of funds. But local authorities that observe CEDAC evaluate that the project implementation of CEDAC has achieved many good results. The improvement of the living standard of the poor at the targeted community led, to some extent, to a reduction of poverty.

“Eight outstanding representative farmers from Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, and Takeo asserted that their families and the members of their communities are richer, because they have attended different training courses about practices of techniques by CEDAC. There they learned how the community can save money, how to breed animals and fish, or to conserve trees, to grow crops, to do rice farming based on natural methods etc., all of which is closely related to marketability of the products.

“Mr. Lang Seng Houn, a local coordinator, said that the participation by local authority representatives from villages, communes, and districts cooperating with farmers’ communities is an important factor that brings poverty alleviation at those target places. Wherever there is participation by local authorities, those places will develop more quickly.

“Mr. Lang Seng Houn showed figures that among 192 villages from five provinces, 14,300 families benefited from the project. the number of farmers who cooperated is 7,300, the living standard of 500 families changed greatly; 5,900 families experienced an average change, and 800 families got poorer. The number of women who have changed their attitudes and abandoned their old habits is 3,500, and the number of youth under the same category is 900. And 1,500 of the poorest families who sold their labor to have some income have changed their living standard and have become independent farmers; the livelihood of farmers in general is better. Generally, they can earn 80% more from the increase of the agricultural production and from the reduction of other expenses. They have stepped up the basis for this to retain the continuity of their production teams, and 718 teams have saved money – they have 6,000 families as members so that they are able to link their products to markets. Each family earns from Riel 1.4 million to Riel 2.6 million [approx. US$340 to US$635 per farming season] from their agricultural products; those are 427 families in Kompong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, and Kompong Cham. Their income is from paddy rice, from the breeding of chickens and pigs, and from the planting of vegetables and other crops.

“Dr. Yang Saing Komar [dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development, International University, Phnom Penh] pointed to key measures contributing to the sustainability when there are no more external funds. What can replace funds for farmers’ communities to guarantee the continuity of their activities are human resources who have been trained with all skills since five years, always with a link to market mechanisms. All agricultural products created by the community must be taken to markets by the farmers, and they have to sell their own products. Money saved in the community is capital to replace the external funding and can guarantee the sustainability of their community. Production and the link to markets are key methods to develop the rural economy to become active. Trained persons, 995 human resources of the community, will be the main and strong activists who can continue to develop the community without depending on external funds.

“Mr. Komar added that for economic activities money is needed, ‘and we have money which was saved in our community.’ By 2011, this organization has the ambition to increase the money-saving community up to 4,000 villages countrywide, without borrowing loans or depending on foreign donor countries.

“This fund will become a basic experience which can lead to a successfully functioning market that carries great responsibility for the society, especially for the living standard of farmers, and for food security for customers, which can guarantee sustainable development at the basis.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1688, 9.7.2008

  • The Thai Constitutional Court Ruled that a Joint Communique Signed between Cambodia and Thailand Violates the Thai Constitution [as the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs acted without parliamentary endorsement]
  • The Ministry of Health Distributed More than 80 Tonnes of Abate [chemical substance that is put into stagnant water to kill mosquito eggs and larvae] to Prevent Dengue Fever
    Thousands of Thai Demonstrators Shouted at the Police to Take Action in [deposed former prime minister] Thaksin’s Case Soon [corruption and misuse of power]
  • South Korean Police Warn They Will Use Hot Actions to Suppress Demonstrators against US Beef Imports
  • Thai Rebels [in a Muslim southern Thai province] Attacked a Car Carrying Students; Two [Thai] Soldiers Were Killed and Three Students Were Injured [7 July 2008]
  • [Helicopter of] America Attacked a Wedding Ceremony in Afghanistan [killing at least 22 people]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #602, 9.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Dare to Create Ministry of Immigration [related to illegal Vietnamese]
  • Ou Chrov District Police Chief [Mr. Ing Song You] Runs a Big Casino in Balat Guesthouse [Poipet]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #44, 9.7.2008

  • The Preah Vihear Temple Was Listed as a World Heritage Site [8 July 2008]
  • [Traffic] Accidents Increase because of [traffic] Law Violations


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

  • CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming
  • Situation at the [Preah Vihear Temple] Border Crossing Was Quiet while Cambodia Was Beating Drums and Firing Fireworks to Express Satisfaction about the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Social Network against Child Labor Was Inaugurated in Siem Reap
  • European Commission Plans to spend 1,000 Million Euro against Food Crisis


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3354, 9.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Did Not Participate in Political Parties’ Forum about Anti-Corruption Law [8 July 2008]

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

Friday, 4.7.2008: Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned That There Might Be a New Boom of the Spreads of AIDS

Posted on 5 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: Many Officials are concerned that there might be another boom of the spread of AIDS in Cambodia.

“Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun, a program officer of the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance [KHANA], said on 3 July 2008 that the spread of HIV might explode again in Cambodia, because of the change in the attitude towards sex. He added that since the government has strengthened the law enforcement on sexual and human trafficking, most sex workers had left brothels to find clients by themselves. ‘Some still work in places of entertainment, and some work during the night at public places, making it very difficult for us to educate them.’

“Dr. Teng Kunthy, secretary general of the National AIDS Authority, said on 3 July 2008 that the number of men seeking sexual services at brothels declined to half of what it was before, but men find the services at places of entertainment by asking for it. If they are careless, they will risk to get HIV.

“According to the study, 96% of people having sex at brothels use condoms, but the percentage of men using condoms when they have sex with their girlfriends or with occasional contacts is not known.

“Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun said if they are careless even only once, they might be infected by HIV. He added, ‘We are so worried that if there is no preventive action in time, there will be another boom of a second wave of HIV infections, because men getting infected with HIV in this way might spread HIV to their wives and children, which will become a tragedy. He asserted that previously, it was easy to educate sex workers at brothels so that they understand AIDS, but now they work outside, making it hard to educate them, because we don’t know where they are and where they work; some work at massage houses, karaoke parlors, or other places of entertainment. Because of the above problems, we are worried about a second wave of an HIV infection like in 1997, which was the first wave of a strong spread of HIV. Since then, AIDS was fairly well prevented, but if we are careless, the infection might boom again.’

“In order to prevent these problems, Dr. Teng Kunthy and Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun said that education is very important, and in addition also special measures, and they requested that all places of entertainment should participate to give their staff the opportunity to understand AIDS. Nowadays, staff at places of entertainment have formed groups of friends, to educate their own friends team to help each another at their workplaces, and by educating their friends to use condoms with their clients or partners.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1684, 4.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1684, 4.7.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned That There Might Be a New Boom of the Spreads of AIDS
  • Dr. Keo Iev, Director of the Oral Fresh Water company Who Was Shot and Whose Gold was Robbed, Died [on 3 July 2008]
  • Solar Battery Charging Station [with 5.32 kilowatt] Is Created in Cambodia [with Japanese aid]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #191, 4.7.2008

  • Ban Sreymom, [Pailin municipal governor] Ea Chhean’s Wife, Is Well-known in Pailin in Relation to Land Disputes
  • [San Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay: Khmer Officials and Citizens Loose Approximately US$600 Million Gambling in Casinos Each Year


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #40, 4.7.2008

  • Community Sanitation and Recycling Organization Is Facing Market Crisis [to sell products to citizens – such as bags, vases, necklaces, or bracelets created from waste – because Cambodian citizens do not value these processed products]
  • Husband and Wife Were Robbed and Killed and Their Children Survived [on 3 July 2008 in Koh Sotin District, Kompong Cham]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6388, 4.7.2008

  • National Bank of Cambodia Announced Regulations to Be Implemented in Banks and Financial Institutions in Cambodia
  • The National Election Committee: From 26 June 2008 to 1 July 2008, There Were Forty Related Lawsuits Registered
  • Fifteen Hostages [eleven kidnapped soldiers and police, and three US defense contractors] Liberated from Colombian Rebel’s Camp [of the Revolutionary Arm Forces of Colombia – FARC] including Ms. Betancourt [a former presidential Candidate of Colombia with dual French-Colombian citizenship, on 2 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3503, 4.7.2008

  • Human Rights Officials [from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – and from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC] Push for Timely Trials of Ieng Sary and of Other Former Khmer Rouge Leaders, Being Afraid that They Might Die Like Pol Pot
  • World Bank Fails in Cambodian Army Reform


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4632, 4.7.2008

  • UNESCO [in Bangkok]: “It Is Too Late” for a Thai Protest Regarding the Preah Vihear Temple
    Cambodia [with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency – JICA] Could Hatch River Lobster Eggs for the Fist Time in Its History
  • [South] Korean Ministry of Finance and the Korean Busan Bank Signed an Agreement to Develop a Stock Market in Cambodia

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

Back to top

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

Thursday, 19.6.2008: Situation of Women Promoting Beer Does Not Improve

Posted on 20 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

“In May, Sophea and seven other women promoting the sale of beer [to customers in restaurants – commonly called “Beer Girls”] presented a letter to the management of Cambodia Brewery, located in Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh. The eight women represented other 300 women promoting Tiger Beer. These representatives asked for the increase of their salaries from US$70 to US$100 for women who have worked more than ten years. However, so far, there is no response to their request.

“Sophea decided to protest, because she has worked as a beer promoting woman for thirteen years, but the salary she gets cannot support her son’s study. These women explained that staff who has worked less than six years get US$50 per month, and if they have worked beyond six years, they get US$70. She continued, ‘Because the salary is not enough, some even sell sexual services. Some restaurants have rooms for having sex. I have seen many of my colleges who agreed to do this because of the money.’

“Mr. Ian Lubek, a professor from the University of Guelph in Canada who is an advisor to the Siem Reap Citizens for Health, Educational and Social Issues [SiRCHESI International] has conducted studies about the hazard to beer promoting women since 2000. His latest study had been conducted since April 2008 in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with 400 women. He explained, ‘Our latest numbers show that the situation of beer promoting women has not improved.’

“Mr. Ian Lubek thinks that the claims by Sophea and her colleagues are right. He stated, ‘The beer producing companies which are members of the Beer Selling Industry Cambodia [BSIC] – including Cambodia Brewery, Cambrew/Carlsberg, Heineken, and Guinness – have increased their sale by 50% between 2006 and 2008.’ He said that each night, women promoting beer can sell an average of 24 liters, equal to three boxes of beer. He concluded that if these women would get US$6 commission per box like at some other companies, which are not members of BSIC, they could be able to earn up to US$400 per month, in addition to their salary. Mr. Lubek calculated that women promoting beer need an average salary of US$132 so that they can live under the present circumstance where the price of goods increase like these days. He added that some companies that are members of BSIC had announced a new system to make more money available, based on work performance, but only a small numbers of women say that they get such money.

“Sophea stressed, ‘Our claim is absolutely justified. The quantity of our sales increased, and the price of beer increased too. In the restaurant where I promote beer, previously Tiger Beer was sold for US$1.50 per bottle, but now it is sold for US$2.90. Therefore, the company has the possibility to increase our salaries.’

“According to Mr. Lubek, only 19% of women promoting beer from the companies that are members of BSIC are currently satisfied with their jobs. As for another group of 34%, they said that they had to force themselves to be prostitutes, and 18% of them sell sexual services at their places of work. He continued that to prevent the sale of sexual services, the companies that are members of BSIC created in 2006 a code of ethics [for the companies], but this code has not been implemented well.

“Ms. Bunny, deputy director of the Men’s and Women’s Network for Development in Cambodia that supports 300 beer promoting women in Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, and Phnom Penh, criticized the working conditions related to companies that are members of BSIC, and she proposed that those companies should provide a minimum salary of US$80 to the beer promoting women. She explained, ‘I do not want to work for those companies, because I want to get a salary of over US$50 per month.’ She, like more than 200 women of her association, gets commissions from the restaurants where she works. The commission she gets is US$8 per box. She said, ‘So I earn more than US$100 per month.’

“Ms. Bunny explained, ‘Doing this job, we have to face a situation of getting tired, of gang-rapes [where a group of men rape one woman], and just simple sexual rape.’ She added that the agreements between some non-government organizations and those companies are not efficient. Four among ten members of her organization had been gang-raped, especially those in Phnom Penh. She went on to say, ‘When a woman negotiates with a guest and agrees to go with that that guest, she often faces two to three more men, and the woman can do nothing against it.’ Each of the beer promoting woman has at least once sold sexual services for US$10 or US$20. She admitted, ‘For me, I have sold sex three times, because I needed money.’ Those who seek more income by selling sexual services are mostly women abandoned by their husbands, who have children as their special burden; but other women agreed to have sex with guests because they had been threatened with weapons.

“Mr. Ian Lubek said that so far, an increase of salaries has not been confirmed, although it is a very important condition to stop the sale of sexual services. He mentioned SiRCHESI International’s work as an example. In 2006, this organization freed 27 women promoting beer from their dangerous work places. This organization has organized training courses for hotel workers and arranged their employment in its eight cooperating hotels, where they can earn US$120 per month. ‘That was the time when they could stop to sell sexual services.’” Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #37, 18-25.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 19 June 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #37, 18-25.6.2008

  • Situation of Women Promoting Beer Does Not Improve
  • In Poipet, the Cambodian People’s Party Raises the Construction of Roads as Election Propaganda
  • Mr. Kem Sokha: ‘If the Human Rights Party Wins No Seat, I Will Resign from the Position of Party President Immediately’


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1671, 19.6.2008

  • Samdech Prime Minister Granted an Audience to the New Head of UNDP in Cambodia [Mr. Douglas Broderick]
  • Cambodia Celebrated the World Day against the Desertification [on 17 June 2008 with the topic ‘Fight against the deterioration of soil nutrients for the future of agriculture’]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #180, 19.6.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Corruption in Cambodia Is Difficult to Prevent, because It Relates to Politicians


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6375, 19.6.2008

  • Japan Decided to Provide More than US$2 Million [actually more than US$2,950,000] for the Process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Responding to a Request by the Government
  • 52 Story Building Construction Began in Grand Style; GS Engineering and Construction Company Makes a Huge Investment in Cambodia


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3490, 19.6.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Parliamentarians Ask the Government to Show the New Map of the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Khmer Citizens Face Eviction from Their Houses while Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Live Peacefully


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4619, 19.6.2008

  • The Head of the Government Decided to Join a UN Preparedness Program [identity of the program not clear – by sending around 500 troups from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to join]; He Also Decided to Sell 120,000 Tonnes of Rice and Send Agricultural Experts to Guinea [responding to a request by the Prime Minister of Guinea – 18 June 2008]
  • While the Election Day Is Getting Nearer, Illegal Transportation of Wood in Siem Reap Is Increasing
  • Thai Anti-Government Group Raise Its Country’s Issue to the Preah Vihear Temple [by accusing the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Noppadon Pattama of delivering land around the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, in exchange for investment concessions for the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to run gambling casinos in Koh Kong]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3337, 19.6.2008

  • Phsar Daeum Kor Market Chief [Mr. Hong Heng] Collects Money Everywhere Causing Vendors in the Market to be Angry

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

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

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