A Census to Find Ghost Names of Officials of the Cambodian Troops Is Being Conducted – Tuesday, 13.7.2010

Posted on 14 July 2010. Filed under: Week 673 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 673

Note:

Sorry for the new delays – computer problems.
I hope to be back in Phnom Penh by the coming weekend.

Norbert Klein

“Officials of the Ministry of Defense began a countrywide census of military personnel in an attempt to cut out the number of ‘ghost soldiers’ from the salary lists of the Cambodian government. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Chhum Socheat, said on Monday that an annual census of all soldiers will be more accurate and thorough this year than those conducted in previous years.

“Mr. Chhum Socheat said, ‘It is an annual census to find out the number of real the soldiers and of the children of those soldiers, and to cut out the names of soldiers who have retired or who died, or are not present anymore.

“Under the arrangements for the census, which started last week, all soldiers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces are required to show up at their command posts. The soldiers will there be asked to identify themselves by showing themselves and their ID numbers, as well as to specify the number of children they have at present in the lists.

“Mr. Chhum Socheat added that the names of soldiers who do not show up will be deleted from the salary lists of the Ministry of Defense. All military officials and other personnel have to identify themselves before the end of this month. He added that officials believe that this year, the data will be accurate, because of the use of a computer system to store all documents, organized according to the received information. He said, ‘This time, we will conduct a census that is much more accurate than before. At the end, there will be hardly any ghost soldiers, due to the use of modern technology.’

“Mr. Chhum Socheat went on to say that he does not have detailed information about the current military forces or about the number of ghost names that the government had found in recent years. But he said that he will announce the results of the present census at the end of this month.

“Relating to this issue, a parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the government found 10,000 ghost soldiers and 10,000 ghost police in a study in 2008.

“He continued to say that the effort is being implemented after Prime Minister Hun Sen had encouraged all institutions, including the military, to cut out the number of officials who exist only by name. Mr. Cheam Yeap said, ‘We are conducting a more thorough census. No one can falsify it.’

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, Mr. Yim Sovann, said that he supports the census in the military. He said, ‘I support the census to find the real number of soldiers,’ adding, ‘the number of these not-existing soldiers wastes million dollars of our national resources. We wait to see the results.'” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #213, 13.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2299, 13.7.2010

  • US Under-Secretary of State [William J. Burns] Pays a Visit in Cambodia on 17 and 18 July 2010 [he will meet with officials of the government, of political parties, and of civil society organizations]
  • Police Checked a Storehouse and Found Many Tonnes of Fake Cosmetic Products in Veal Vong Commune [Prampir Makara district, Phnom Penh; a Chinese woman was arrested]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7006, 13.7.2010

  • The Angkor Sentinel 2010 Global Peacekeeping Operations Exercise Starts from 12 and will continue to 30 July 2010 [under the framework of the United Nations; the multi-nation exercise focuses on keeping peace in the case of riots by uprisings, terrorists, and criminals, and in the case of racial conflicts]
  • Yellow Shirt Leaders Demanded [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit to Cancel the Memorandum of Understanding about the Cambodian and Siamese Border from 2000 [claiming that it leads to a Thai territorial loss]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3930, 13.7.2010

  • [More than 100 veterans] Representatives of 620 Disabled Families [from Kompong Cham] Come to Ask for an Intervention by [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [in front of his residence in Phnom Penh] over a Social Land Allocation of 4,000 Hectares [to be distributed to them, but so far, they have not been provided with the land]
  • [Vice-president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Kong Korm: At Present the Powerful Are Creating Refugees Everywhere in the Country [as a result of evictions during land disputes]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #213, 13.7.2010

  • A Census to Find Ghost Names of Officials of the Cambodian Troops Is Being Conducted
  • The Russey Keo District Authorities Liberated More Than 250 People from a Company That Sends Workers [illegally] to a Foreign Country [to Malaysia – girls were locked up in a residence to receive training before they are sent; the owner of the residence and some other people were arrested – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5248, 13.7.2010

  • The Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers of Mr. Chea Mony Suspended a Strike [after the worker’s salaries have been increased to a minimum of US$61 per month]
  • Ever More Cambodian Tourists Visited Malaysia during the Last Five Years [there was an increase of about 20% each year; in 2009, there were 43,146 Cambodian tourists, and within four months of 2010, there have already been 15,837]

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Cambodia Warned UN Officials Not to Interfere in Cambodian Affairs – Friday, 9.7.2010

Posted on 10 July 2010. Filed under: Week 672 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 672

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia accused the director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Christophe Peschoux, claiming that he acted beyond his role when he criticized the deportation of two Thai red-shirt activists on Monday 5 July 2010, and the Ministry warned that such comment from him might make the government reconsider his presence in Cambodia.

“On Wednesday, 7 July 2010, the director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Christophe Peschoux, spoke to local media, saying that the deportation of the two Thais are ‘political decisions’ which lack appropriate procedure.

“In a letter dated 8 July 2010, the Ministry reminded Mr. Peschoux that he has no right to make such a criticism, as it relates to decisions within the exclusive right of the Cambodian government. The letter ends with the following remark, ‘Any such activities in future will make the Royal Government of Cambodia to decide over his presence in Cambodia.’

“This letter is similar to one sent in March to the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Douglas Broderick, which had warned to expell him from Cambodia for criticizing the process taken by the government for the adoption of the anti-corruption law.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said on 8 July 2010 that the letter was sent to Mr. Peschoux to alert him to respect a memorandum of understanding, signed on 1 January 2010 with the government. He added, ‘It does not mean that we want to expell him, but we just want to alert him.’

“Mr. Peschoux could not be reached for comment on 8 July 2010.” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #211, 9.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2296, 9.7.2010

  • Workers Will Receive a Minimum Salary of US$61 per Month from 1 October 2010 [before that, the minimum salary is US$50; the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, announced a plan to strike on 13, 14, and 15 July 2010 to demand an increase of the minimum salary to US$70]
  • Because of Jealousy, a Man Killed His Wife by Cutting Her Throat [he was arrested – Pursat]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7003, 9.7.2010

  • Cambodia Is Open for Equity Ownership by Foreign Investments [according to the World Bank, Cambodia will allow foreign investors to take up to 100% of ownership in all sectors, except for electricity and the ports]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3927, 9.7.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Plans to Hold a Press Conference [about the courts and justice in Cambodia on 15 July 2010] a Day Ahead of the Deadline to Pay a Fine [for losing in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s defamation case]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #211, 9.7.2010

  • Cambodia Warned UN Officials Not to Interfere in Cambodian Affairs
  • Defense Lawyers [of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea] Asked [the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] to Investigate Political Interference into the Affairs of the Tribunal [they said that the government is interfering to threaten the right of their client in judicial hearings; the government opposes to question government officials and investigations of other former Khmer Rouge leaders]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Decided to Detain the Second Wife of Oknha Khov Chily over the [failed] Murders [of the wife and a daughter of a Senior Minister of the Cambodian People’s Party, a former FUNCINPEC minister of Public Works and Transportation, Mr. Sun Chanthol – Phnom Penh]
  • The Green Light Is Given for Marriages between Cambodians and South Koreans [the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said that the ban on marriages is lifted after the Cambodian government has organized a clear monitoring mechanism against fake marriages and human trafficking]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5245, 9.7.2010

  • A Gay Man Was Killed and His Body Was Thrown Away at Kilometer 6 [of National Road 5, in the Russey Keo district of Phnom Penh; perpetrators are not yet identified]
  • Two People Died and Fifty Seven Others Are Having Severe Diarrhea [Svay Rieng]

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Siam Recognized Its Mistake in the Fatal Shooting of a Khmer Citizen and Sent a Compensation of Baht 30,000 – Tuesday, 29.6.2010

Posted on 3 July 2010. Filed under: Week 671 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 671

“Battambang: The head of the Cambodian-Siamese Phnom Dei border crossing station in the Sampov Loun district, Mr. An Saray, told Koh Santepheap in the morning of 28 June 2010 that Siam [Thailand] recognized their wrongdoing over the fatal shooting on a Khmer citizen last week. He added that Siam sent a compensation of Baht 30,000 [approx. US$920] to the victim’s family after the body of the Khmer citizen had been sent back to Cambodia on 24 June 2010.

“It should remembered that one Khmer citizen in a group of four others was shot dead by Siamese [Thai] black-clad soldiers [from the special border protection units] on suspicion that the Khmer citizens tried to smuggle a motorbike illegally from Thailand to Cambodia. The Khmer citizen who was killed is Dim Doeu, 44. He lived in Trapaeng Prolet village, Santepheap commune, Sampov Loun district, Battambang. Three others who went with him managed to escape to Cambodia. The victim was suspected of illegally entering Siam and was shot at by Siamese soldiers at 6:40 p.m, on 23 June 2010 in Khao Chhorng Khet village, Klong Hat commune, Klong Hat district [all up to here phonetic], in the Sakaeo province of Siam, bordering Cambodia at the Ou L’hong village, Ta Sda commune, Sampov Loun, Battambang.

“Mr. An Saray said that even though Khmer citizens crossed the border illegally, Siam should not shoot to kill them, because it is against the agreement between both countries. He added that the agreement does not allow any side to use weapons or to arrest and torture citizens of any side who crosses the border illegally. Such a fatal shooting violates the agreement between the two countries. Mr. An Saray said that he had given the compensation from Siam to the victim’s family.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6994, 29.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #516, 29.6.2010

  • [The president of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the Senate] Samdech Chea Sim: The Cambodian People’s Party Fully Supports Samdech Hun Sen as Prime Ministerial Candidate for a Long Term [he said so during the 59th anniversary of the creation of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • Four People Were Arrested and Fake Money [fake US dollar notes] of More Than US$50,000 Was Seized [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2287, 29.6.2010

  • Cambodia Denied that a Chief Bombing Suspect in Thailand Entered Cambodia [the Bangkok Post published an article on 27 June 2010, accusing Cambodia of providing shelter to two persons who are considered to be the main instigators of the bomb explosions during the recent confrontations in Bangkok]
  • Traffic Accidents Kill, on Average Each Day, Four People [countrywide]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6994, 29.6.2010

  • Siam Recognized Its Mistake in the Fatal Shooting of a Khmer Citizen and Sent a Compensation of Baht 30,000

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3918, 29.6.2010

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Demanded the Fourteen Countries that Had Participated in the Paris Conference [1991] to Review the Agreements They Signed Related to the Territorial Integrity of Cambodia
  • After the Koh Kong Court Released Some Forestry Officials [but they are under observation], Wood Traders Being Detained also Hope to Find Ways to Get Out [through bribery]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #203, 29.6.2010

  • Citizens from the Anlong Veng District [Oddar Meanchey of more than 50 families] Ask for Intervention by the Prime Minister [they said that the location where they are required to relocate does not have adequate infrastructure; on 25 May 2010, the authorities burnt down houses of more than 100 families to evict them – claiming they are living in a National Park area]
  • The Authorities Continue to Eliminate Reservoirs around the Tonle Sap Lake [so far six reservoirs have been demolished because they affect bio-diversity and the eco-system of the Tonle Sap Lake region; there are 240 such reservoirs]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5236, 29.6.2010

  • The Government Announced to Add US$5 to the Salary of Garment Workers [so their minimum salary increases to US$61 per month; according to the Ministry of Labor]
  • Mr. Chea Mony Was Again Elected as Head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers without Competing Other Candidates

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Patterns to Guide Reforms – “Starfish” or “Spiders”? – Sunday, 17.1.2010

Posted on 18 January 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

Any regular observer of the media in Cambodia knows that in spite of all the positive developments, since 7 January 1997 (the end of the Khmer Rouge regime), since the time of the UNTAC administration 1992/1993, and since the establishment of the Kingdom of Cambodia, there is a variety of different, sometimes opposing interpretations or observations of what has happened.

This is normal in any society. And for the political world of the Kingdom of Cambodia, this state of affairs is also confirmed to be appropriate by the Constitution which says in its Preamble:

“…to restore Cambodia into an ‘Island of Peace’ based on a multi-party liberal democratic regime guaranteeing human rights and the respect of law, and responsible for the destiny of the nation always evolving toward progress, development, prosperity, and glory…”

This describes a process: “to restore” means that the goal is not yet reached. But how to reach it, when even the understanding of what is going on at present is so divergent?

From the past week, we present an example of such conflicting views:

11.1.2010:
Chea Mony: That Demonstrations and Strikes Decreased Does Not Mean that there Are Proper Working Conditions
…the decline in numbers is not due to better working conditions, but due to restrictions imposed by the government on demonstrations and strikes, especially due to suppression of workers movements by the local authorities…

Deum Ampil contacted the secretary of state [of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training], Mr. Oum Mean, to comment on the claim of the free trade union leader, but he did not make any comment, saying that he was fulfilling his mission in a province, and then shut off his mobile phone.

And a response:

12.1.2010:

An Official of the Ministry of Labor Rejected the Claim of [the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers], Chea Mony, about Working Condition [the deputy director of the Department of Labor Disputes of the Ministry of Labor said that this is because most strikes did not follow the procedures of the labor law, according to which demonstrations and strikes have to be announced to the authorities in advance]

To have different views is not a surprise. But this poses the question about the methods to reach solutions. There are different models: to impose an intended goal to be reached – or to try to work out a consensus among those involved and affected. The Constitution clearly favors the latter method:

Article 35:

  • Khmer citizens of either sex shall be given the right to participated actively in the political , economic, social and cultural life of the nation.
  • Any suggestions from the people shall be given full consideration by the organs of the State

Article 51:

  • The Kingdom of Cambodia adopts a policy of Liberal Democracy and Pluralism.
  • The Cambodian people are the masters of their country.
  • All powers belong to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, the Royal Government and the Judiciary.
  • The Legislative, Executive, and the Judicial powers shall be separated.

While it is clear who is the master of the country – the people – how this works out – through the National Assembly, the Royal Government, and the Judiciary – is an ongoing dynamic process which also includes differences and conflicts of opinion, as is normal in a pluralistic liberal democratic society.

It is interesting that more recent sociological research shows that in modern societies, there are more and more movements and events happening without central leadership at the top, but in a decentralized way, which makes it also more and more difficult to control them centrally.

A bestselling book in the USA analyzes such trends – co-authored by the former director of the National Cyber Security Center of the USA who is now president of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN – the organization that monitors and coordinates the highly decentralized operations of the Internet – under the title The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations (originally it had been planned to be published as “The Decentralized Revolution”):

 Starfish and the Spider

The Starfish and the Spider

IT’S A STARFISH WORLD AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT

One thing that business, institutions, governments and key individuals will have to realize is spiders and starfish may look alike, but starfish have a miraculous quality to them. Cut off the leg of a spider, and you have a seven-legged creature on your hands; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one. Not only that, but the severed arm can grow an entirely new body. Starfish can achieve this feat because, unlike spiders, they are decentralized; every major organ is replicated across each arm.

But starfish don’t just exist in the animal kingdom. Starfish organizations are taking society and the business world by storm, and are changing the rules of strategy and competition. Like starfish in the sea, starfish organizations are organized on very different principles than we are used to seeing in traditional organizations. Spider organizations are centralized and have clear organs and structure. You know who is in charge. You see them coming.

Starfish organizations, on the other hand, are based on completely different principles. They tend to organize around a shared ideology or a simple platform for communication – around ideologies like Al Qaeda or Alcoholics Anonymous. They arise rapidly around the simplest ideas or platforms. Ideas or platforms that can be easily duplicated. Once they arrive they can be massively disruptive and are here to stay, for good or bad. And the Internet can help them flourish.

So in today’s world starfish are starting to gain the upper hand.

Source: The Starfish and the Spider, by Brafman and Beckstrom, Portfolio Hardcover (October 5, 2006), ISBN-10: 1591841437

Does this insight also have a meaning for the future of Cambodia? Will it move towards more and more centralized power – or will the decentralization and deconcentration process, operated as part of the administrative reforms, get more weight? A statement by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior from 2005 seems to aim at this for the structures of public administration, when he says:

“In this regard, the provincial/municipal governor is not the controller of commune/Sangkat. Rather, the provincial/municipal governor plays the role of a facilitator and coordinator to support communes/Sangkats.”

But the process, documented in the independent news website K7, is dragging on – naturally – very long, some say too slowly – though moving into the right direction.

The vision of the starfish, the aspirations of the organized civil society, and “the people” tend, of course, to move sometimes faster, and further, and into directions that cannot be foreseen.

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In 2009 Tax Income Amounted to US$595 Million – Tuesday, 12.1.2010

Posted on 13 January 2010. Filed under: Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“The tax department announced that in 2009, the tax income amounted to about US$595 million, approx. US$49 million per month, and in 2010 the incoming tax is expected to be about US$52 million per month.

“On 11 January 2010, the tax department held a meeting to give a comprehensive report on its work in December 2009, chaired by Dr. Pen Simon, the Director-General of Cambodian Customs, appointed by the Royal Government, with participation by other customs officers from all provinces. Dr. Pen Simon said that in December 2009, the tax income was Riel 219,000,000,000 or US$52 million, which increased by about Riel 23,000,000,000 [approx. US$5.75 million], compared to December 2008. He said that in 2009, customs officers collected about Riel 2,491,000,000,000 or approx. US$595 million in total. On average, that is about Riel 208,000,000,000 [approx. US$52 million] per month, exceeding the plan by more than 3%.

“He stressed that in 2009, customs officers suppressed illegal trafficking and imposed fines of more than Riel 23,000,000,000 (approx. US$5.5 million) which was 50% higher than 2009. Dr. Pen Simon said that in 2010, the tax administration is challenged by a plan to aim at a higher collected amount of about Riel 217,000,000,000 per month [approx. US$54 million], while the global economic and the financial crisis is strongly influencing the growth of the GDP, reducing exports leading to reduced taxes. He added that this requires the tax administration to accelerate reforms both in management, monitoring, and implementation, and in establishing more effective taxation policies and measures to suppress tax evasion.

“He requested that in 2010 customs officers in mobile tax monitoring units in all provinces have to investigate and to suppress products being trafficked effectively. Information about a basic law and other regulations recently approved have to be shared with all tax officials. Departments for tax crime prevention and suppression have to be strengthened to work efficiently. No illegal checkpoints should be established to collect money illegally. Officials have to check suspicious activities, for example of vendors who produce fake tax stamps and and fake vehicle licenses, including cases where officials are faking them. Services for the specification of vehicle identification papers have to be established quickly, in order to avoid delays because of improper reasons.

“He went on to say that in 2009, goods being moved across some special crossing point were about 20%, but there were not many crimes, and further assessment is necessary. In addition, Mr. Pen Simon told customs officers that they have to control the export and import of vegetables and fruits by vendors in general, and prepare procedures to collect taxes from already identified motorbikes on certain lists.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5097, 12.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #385, 12.1.2010

  • An Official of the Ministry of Labor Rejected the Claim of [the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers], Chea Mony, about Working Condition [Mr. Chea Mony claimed that there are still bad working conditions for garment workers, and there were less demonstrations and strikes because of restriction imposed by the authorities; however, the deputy director of the Department of Labor Disputes of the Ministry of Labor said that this is because most strikes did not follow the procedures of the labor law, according to which demonstrations and strikes have to be informed to the authorities in advance]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2148, 12.1.2010

  • Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Shot Dead Three Khmer Citizens at the Border [accusing them of illegally cutting down trees in Thai territory]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #715, 12.1.2010

  • Four Uighurs Deported from Cambodia Received the Death Penalty from the Chinese Authorities [12 others were imprisoned from 5 years to for the rest of their lives, and only a woman and her small child were released]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #577, 12.1.2010

  • War of Words between [the Cambodian Prime Minister] Hun Sen and [the Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva  Calmed Down while Siam [Thailand] Does Not Care about Restoring Diplomatic Ties

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6855, 12.1.2010

  • A Sugar Factory in Koh Kong Will Be Organized under the Guidance of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [the launching date is not yet known]
  • In 2009 Violent Crimes Decreased by 55 Cases Compared to 2008 [there were 440 cases in Phnom Penh in 2009]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.2, #87, 12.1.2010

  • Cambodia Returned the Cambodian Air Traffic Service (CATS) Back to Control of [the Thai] Samart Company [which had been suspended because control by foreigners of the company had been declared a security risk
  • [Thousands of] Red Shirt Group [supporters of the Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Demonstrated against a King’s Advisor [Mr. Surayud Chulanont]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5097, 12.1.2010

  • In 2009 Tax Income Amounted to US$595 Million
  • Phnom Penh Health Officials Are Seeking Funds for Spraying Insecticide against Mosquitoes [after citizens complained there are lots of mosquitoes in the city]

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Chea Mony: That Demonstrations and Strikes Decreased Does Not Mean that there Are Proper Working Conditions – Monday, 11.1.2010

Posted on 11 January 2010. Filed under: Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“Phnom Penh: The president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers stated that there were more than 100 demonstrations and strikes held by workers in 2009, but this number is less than in previous years. However, the decline in numbers is not due to better working conditions, but due to restrictions imposed by the government on demonstrations and strikes, especially due to suppression of workers movements by the local authorities.

“Generally, demonstrations and strikes do not achieve 100% results, but only through them can problems of workers get solved up to 70%. He said that when demonstrations and strikes are conducted by workers, there can be solutions, but if not, there are not any solutions for their problems. He added, ‘We do not use demonstrations and strikes as a weapon to trouble factory owners or the government, but it is because some factories do not respect working condition regulations at all, and strikes are held because the relevant ministries are incapable of implementing the law. Thus, the procedures to demonstrate and to strike is a good way for workers, or it can be considered as a good medicine to solve their problems.’

Deum Ampil contacted the secretary of state [of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training], Mr. Oum Mean, to comment on the claim of the free trade union leader, but he did not make any comment, saying that he was fulfilling his mission in a province, and then shut off his mobile phone.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #384, 10-11.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 11 January 2010

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #93, 11.1.2010

  • [The president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Mr. Chea Mony Asked the United States Not to Impose Taxes on Garment Products Exported from Cambodia to the United States

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #384, 10-11.1.2010

  • Chea Mony: That Demonstarations and Strikes Decreased Does Not Mean that there Are Proper Working Conditions

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2147, 10-11.1.2010

  • A Major Shot About 10 Times into the Air [reason unknown], but the Authorities Did not Dare Not to Arrest Him [though there were soldiers at a nearby post, and also military police and police did not arrest him – Prampi Makara district, Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6854, 11.1.2010

  • Nearly Two Tonnes of Quails and Hundreds of Bottles of Johnie Walker Whisky [of no quality] Were Burnt or Destroyed [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.2, #86, 11.1.2010

  • Prices of Gasoline Start to Rise Again [to about US$1.07 Premium and US$1.04 Regular per liter in Cambodia after the price at international markets for crude oil increased up to US$90.25 per barrel]
  • Officials [of the Ministry of Health] Are Concerned about the Spreading of Cholera in the Dry Season [because of unsanitary living conditions]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5096, 10-11.1.2010

  • The Svay Rieng Court Will Open the Hearing on [opposition party president] Sam Rainsy on 27 January 2010 [over the removal of border markers]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1853, 11-12.1.2010

  • The Court Will Convict Five Citizens and Mr. Sam Rainsy on 27 January over [the removal] of Border Marker 185
  • [Former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch Will Be Indicted and Added into Case 002 with [four other] Khmer Rouge Top Leaders [Nuon Chea, Khiev Samphan, Ieng Sary, and Ieng Thirith]

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Friday, 22.8.2008: US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

Posted on 23 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

A reader had asked, from far away: “What is a moto-taxi?”

Well – this is one:

Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

“Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia criticized Cambodian politicians who mostly do not put the interest of the nation and of the people as their highest priority, but they enter politics just because they want positions. Moreover, he said that it is necessary that opposition parties in Cambodia unite to become one force to compete with the ruling party.

“During an interview with Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said, ‘Few Cambodian politicians whom I met had dedicated themselves to help the Cambodian people; too many politicians are only interested in the positions they can get.’

“He added that the problem is that they do not think that they have to serve the Cambodian people. Although similar problems exists also in the United States, Mr. Joseph thinks that the problem is more serious in Cambodia than in the United States. He went on to say that it is important for Cambodia to have a sufficiently independent justice system to arrest corrupt people, and especially also politicians, to be convicted according to the law.

“An observer said that just a few months ahead of the elections, many Cambodian politicians left the Sam Rainsy Party to join the Cambodian People’s Party, causing almost a breakup among opposition party members. Those politicians had left to take up some [already promised] important positions in the government, such as secretary of state, undersecretary of state, or government advisor, making it difficult to protect their claim that they had changed their political party because they think of the interest of the nation as their highest priority.

“As for Cambodian politics in general, the US Ambassador thinks also that there are too many different opposition parties. He continued to say that as long as Cambodia has five or six opposition parities, they cannot compete with the ruling party. He said they should form an alliance, adding, ‘One opposition party will be stronger [than many opposition parties] and will gain strong attention from the Cambodian people.’

“Ms. Chea Vannath, a political observer, said that to unite or not is not a problem. Nowadays, opposition parties do not have enough to say to oppose decisions made by the ruling party. She said also that at present, Cambodia does not have a real democracy yet, because of a ruling system that upholds partisanship, is built on personal links of friendship and on familial relations, which needs to be cut down in order to promote new [qualified] people.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 22 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1726, 22.8.2008

  • Cambodia Asks Kuwait to Provide Assistance with Irrigation and Transport
  • Woman Strangled in “Chea Kong” Guesthouse [by unknown person – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • Rural Unmarried Woman Beaten until She Was Unconscious and Then Raped by [two] Young Men [two suspects arrested – Phnom Proek, Battambang]
  • North Korea Vows to Strengthen Armed Forces to Make War [while US-South Korean military exercises are conducted]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #79, 22.8.2008

  • Plane Crash in Spain Kills 153 People


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6430, 22.8.2008

  • At Ta Moan Thom Temple a GPS Receiver of an Official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Was Broken [officials of the Ministry of Culture consider the breaking of their GPS machine by a Thai soldier to be an act of looking down on the owner of the temple. – Other reports say that the Thai soldier who did it was immediately punished by his superior, and a formal apology was presented by the Thai military to the Cambodian visitors; the Cambodian visitors admitted that they had acted against the mutual agreement not to bring GPS receivers to the Ta Moan area; the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan admitted that he also broke the regulation and he also took a GPS to Ta Moan]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3545, 22.8.2008

  • National Election Committee Gives Green Light to Ministry of Interior to Take Action against Boeng Salang Subdistrict Second Deputy Chief Heung Ponlork and Boeng Tompun Subdistrict Chief [Suos Sarin – for issuing Form 1018 illegally – Tuol Kork and Meanchey districts, Phnom Penh]
  • The King Plans to Participate and to Open the National Assembly Session in Late September; the Sam Rainsy Party Still Maintains Its Position Not to Accept the Election Results
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: Sam Rainsy Party Rejects the Election Results until Election Is Held Again


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1350, 22.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Shares Parliamentary Power to Its Members Introducing Half-Term Positions
  • Death Threat by E-mail [from preahvihear@yahoo.com] against the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Mony [the e-mail said if Chea Mony joins the Cambodian People’s Party he will be able to find the murderers of Chea Vichea, it he joins the Sam Rainsy Party his fate will be the same as his brother Chea Vichea – who was murdered. The e-mailer said he doesn’t advise Chea Mony which way to go, but he should have some powerful people to protect him – or he will be followed and murdered]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

  • US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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Wednesday, 2.4.2008: 48 Houses of Citizens in Samaki Village Fell into the River, and Two People Are Missing

Posted on 2 April 2008. Filed under: Week 554 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 554

“Over a distance of 70 meters dozens of houses fell into the Tonle Sap River on 1 April 2008. Five people were injured and had to be rescued. One child was missing due to the collapse.

“The authorities were evacuating people who reside along the bank of Tonle Sap River in Samaki village opposite of the Psar Touch milk-production factory, in order to avoid any danger of continuous landslides.

“48 houses of 58 families, who live in Group 20, Samaki Village, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh, located along National Road No. 5, opposite the Samaki Market, fell into the Tonle Sap River at 3 p.m.

“The authorities said that 48 houses of 58 families collapsed into the Tonle Sap River, so that five people had to be rescued from the water when their houses collapsed. The rescued people were one child and four old people.

“Kop Sleh, the deputy governor of the above district, said that the collapsed houses were built in a disorderly manner along the river bank.

“He added that the authorities were evacuating the residents along the river bank for fear that the collapse might continue.

“He considered the collapse to be a natural disaster, giving as the reason that now we are in the dry season when the current of the river is weak. A collapse might happen more probably during the rainy season, when the current is much stronger. As for the people who were victimized by the disaster, the authorities are looking for a location for them to live for the time being, in order to wait for permanent solutions later.

“He denied that the collapse was caused by sand dredging operations, even though local people claimed that there were ships dredging sand along the Tonle Sap River at night. According to information from the scene, two children disappeared while their parents were out doing their business.

“This is the second incident after the collapse of the Koh Norea river bank, located in Nirouth, Meanchey, Phnom Penh. That disaster caused the loss of many houses and assets.

“The collapse of the river bank caused citizens’ houses to fall into the river in the afternoon of 1 April 2008 at Samaki village, Russey Keo district. The collapsed land is more than 70 meters long and 30 meters deep. The authorities are seeking for any more missing people.

“Victims said that if the collapse had happened at night, many people would have died, as they return to their houses after their work or business.

“Citizens blamed private companies for causing the collapse of the river bank due to sand dredging operations at night, even though Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered the relevant ministries to ban private companies from dredging sand in the river.” Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #76, 2.4.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #76, 2.4.2008

  • 48 Houses of Citizens in Samaki Village Fell into the River, and Two People Are Missing
  • [Human Rights Party president] Kem Sokha: That Hun Sen Agrees to Provide Allowance of US$6 to Workers Is Political Demagogy; [president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Chea Mony: Provision of Allowance of US$6 to Workers Is Success of the Trade Union
  • After Elections, Human Rights Party Government Will Decrease Prices of Goods and Gasoline and Increase Salaries for Public Servants and Workers
  • Prampi Makara District Police Seize Citizens’ Motorcycles at Night to Extort Money [Phnom Penh]


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #63, 2-8.4.2008

  • Prime Minister Agrees to Review of Property Rights along Cambodian Railway


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1608, 2.4.2008

  • Government Will Take Action against Provocative Activity Calling for a Demonstration [demanding decrease of prices of goods and increase of salaries for public servants and garment workers]
  • Cambodia and Qatar Officially Establish Diplomatic Relations
  • New Constitution Draft in Burma Bans [Burmese elected democracy leader] Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi from Holding Power [because she had been married to a foreigner]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #568, 2.4.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Nephew [name not mentioned] Spent US$800,000 Within One Week Only, Surprising Europe [according to Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s speech on Sambok Khmum Radio]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #128, 2.4.2008

  • [Former Director of Electricité du Cambodge] Tan Kimvin’s and His Partisans’ Corruption Resulted in a Loss of More Than US$36 Million of State Income [in 2007 – according to an official of Electricité du Cambodge]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6312, 2.4.2008

  • Frightening Accident Tragedy [collision between a mini bus and a truck] that Killed Eleven People and Injured Eleven Others at Cashew Plantation [1 April – Cheung Prey, Kompong Cham]



Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3428, 2.4.2008

  • 24 Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Call for Citizens to Attend a Non-Violent Demonstration Demanding Decrease of Prices of Goods and Increase of Salaries
  • [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh Calls for Yuon [Vietnamese] Troops to Come to Help to Maintain Security during General Elections, Causing Mixed Reactions

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4556, 2.4.2008

  • World Bank: Cambodia Faces Inflation but This Does Not Effect Economic Growth
  • Opposition Party Beats Political Drum because of Increasing Prices of Goods

Have a look at last week’s editorial: “using an iron fist to administer justice”

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