To Trust the Law Means to Trust that the Law is not only Written, but that It Is Implemented – Sunday, 29.8.2010

Posted on 30 August 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 679 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 679

Important Announcement

Would you please mouse-click, further up on this page here, on About The Mirror to read information about changes planned to be implemented, starting from 1 September 2010.

Thanks,

Norbert Klein
Editor of The Mirror

Social stability depends on a situation where the citizens trust that the law is implemented. Not every time when somebody thinks to be treated unjustly this is also true. But the fact that every week there are several reports of demonstrations of groups of people, in different parts of the country, who feel they are suffering injustice – mostly related to land use and land rights – should be a sign of alarm. Social stability can be enforced for some time, but that is different from social stability based on peace and justice.

In 2002, the Prime Minister had said in his opening speech to the Consultative Group Meeting between representatives of the Cambodian Government and representatives of cooperating countries and international institutions:

“We are conscious that corruption in the public machinery, be it judiciary or administrative or any other, increases transaction costs for everyone and reduces predictability in law enforcement and implementation of government’s policies… The government believes that enactment of adequate laws and regulations to prevent and punish corruption is crucial for addressing this problem.”

And in December 2005 he warned that if illegal land seizures were not brought under control, they could lead to a farmers’ revolution.

Are these words of the Prime Minister out of date?

Seeing that during many of present demonstrations people carrying pictures of the Prime Minister and the First Lady shows that many people still have hope in interventions by the Prime Minister to provide justice – even when they have lost confidence that the normal process of the courts will achieve this goal.

Violations of the law happen regularly and massively, as claimed in the Cambodian press, and this is also confirmed by high ranking officials of the government. Just to quote some examples from the current week reported in The Mirror:

  • Contraband Is Massively Imported while Members of the Authorities Are Collecting Colossal Amounts of Money
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Had Often Warned against It, but Frequently Heads of Some Institutions and Units Continue to Nominate Their Children’s Spouses or Other Relatives to Take Their Positions When They Retire
  • Tax Officers Who Collect Excessive Amounts of Money from Road Tax Payments Face Dismissal [so this is happening]
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Order to Intercept Forestry Crimes Is No Longer Followed [recently, there is more illegal wood transported]
  • Disabled Veterans and Retiring Civil Servants Complained about Difficulties to Get Their Salaries [as they were told to wait from day to day]

Not all press reports are verified – but if there are repeatedly reports about the same kind of violations, one would expect concerned statements from the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, explaining to the public what the authorities are doing to check what is going on to rectify what is wrong.

It is surprising that, instead, the spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Tith Sothea, when requested to look into problems in the way society is operating in spite of the regulations of the Constitution of 1993, made appeasing statements. He said that the government always rules the country following the law, adding, “If the opposition party wants further reforms beyond this, it has to wait until it wins the elections.” Many people who are convinced they suffer injustice do not want to see a complete political change, they just want to see that the laws and the Constitution of 1993 are really implemented.

When the 2010 report of Amnesty International drew the attention to the plight of thousands of Cambodian citizens suffering from forced relocations – in case of Group 78 in the Tonle Basak commune and other cases – the same spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers accused Amnesty International not to have studied the actual situation. Even accusations were made that such reports about the plight of Cambodian people asking for justice are only written to gain money for the writers. One might expect that the spokesperson would rather elaborate what the government is doing to help the people who have lost their homes, where they had had their livelihood – though poor – established for many years.

Will the Minister of Justice also be accused of “not to have studied the actual situation” for blaming the court system of not functioning according to the law, and therefore not delivering justice:

  • The Ministry of Justice Released a Letter to Warn Judges and Prosecutors Who Read Newspapers during Hearings and Assign Clerks to Assume Their Responsibility Instead

When a Delegation of the European Parliament recently visited Cambodia to study the medical sector, they observed the gap between what the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia says, and the realities they met. The Mirror carried repeatedly reports about sick people who could not get proper attention in hospitals if they were not able to pay first.

The public is not so much interested in claims by the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers that everything is all right. It would rather be interesting to read more about what measure are taken or planned to bridge the gap between the requirements of the Constitution – from which we quote here – than to be referred to a possible change by electoral vote, if the people want to see the Constitution implemented.

Some related quotes from the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia – always interesting and important reading:

  • Article 72: The health of the people shall be guaranteed. The State shall give full consideration to disease prevention and medical treatment. Poor citizens shall receive free medical consultation in public hospitals, infirmaries and maternities.
  • Article 74: The State shall assist the disabled and the families of combatants who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

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Samdech Dekchor: Isolation Sickness, Not to Work in Teams Does Not Lead to Success but to Danger – Friday, 4.6.2010

Posted on 5 June 2010. Filed under: Week 667 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 667

“Phnom Penh: In front of students and officials of the Royal University of Administration who received their degrees on Thursday, 3 June 2010, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, said that if somebody does not work cooperatively and works with a self-isolating attitude, such an approach does not lead to success but to danger.

“Presiding over the 54th anniversary of the creation of the Royal University of Administration, combined with the granting ceremony of degrees and certificates to students and to senior officials of the Royal University of Administration, held at the National Institute of Education, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘A person should not be isolated but working in a team – to work together leads to success. To isolate oneself is like a dangerous sickness. Such people believe that if they leave the country, the nation will collapse, and if they leave their province, the province will be ruined.’

“The head of the Royal Government added that in any institution, both in the Royal Government and in the ministries, not all people commit corruption. If there are 100 officials, only two or three are corrupt. Therefore the others will cooperate to eliminate corruption.

“The head of the government publicly announced during this event that the leader of the country, as well as fellow officials, are servants of the people to provide services to them and not to dominate the people.

“In this sense, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that the higher positions they hold, and the more powerful they are, the more they have to lower themselves down to listen to others.

“He said, ‘We must think that we have to serve the people, but not to control them. Whether we hold high or low positions, we must listen to all arguments, and we must be honest to the people and do everything for them, but we must not do anything that affects them.’

“At the same time, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen announced again that he will be the candidate for the position of prime minister in the 2013 elections, and that he has the total support of the Cambodian People’s Party. He said, ‘If you want Hun Sen to be prime minister, you have to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party, but Hun Sen alone cannot work, he needs the support by the party.’

“Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians told Deum Ampil that the announcement about the candidacy as prime minister by Samdech Hun Sen does not mean that he will stay in this position forever. It depends on the upcoming votes by the people.

“The head of the Royal Government said that the activities of the Royal government in the previous terms and in the current fourth term show that the people support the government, and this will lead to success also in the next terms.

“On the same occasion, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen recalled the three core points of the Win-Win Policy of the Royal Government that have led to total national unity and to progress:

  1. Guarantee the security of both the possessions and the lives of all persons who leave Pol Pot to join the government.
  2. Keep them in their roles that they played before. If they are soldiers, let them still be soldiers. If they were police, let them be police. And if they were district governors, let them be in their positions.
  3. Recognize both that they were a movement and they are no more a movement.”

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #495, 4.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #495, 4.6.2010

  • Different Ideas between the Ruling and the Opposition Parties over the US$1.1 Billion Aid
  • Samdech Dekchor: Isolation Sickness, Not to Work in Teams Does Not Lead to Success but to Danger

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2266, 4.6.2010

  • Two Foreigners [living in Cambodia, a Bangladeshi and a Nepali] Were Sent to Court for Being Suspected as Members of a Terrorist Network [anonymous persons had written letters to some embassies, saying that there are foreign terrorists transiting through Cambodia – and then police investigated and arrested these two foreigners; but they claim that they are not involved]
  • A Tropical Storm Destroyed Twenty Houses, Injured Fifteen People, and Killed Six Cows in Khsach Kandal District [Kandal]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #775, 4.6.2010

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom People Will Celebrate [on 4 June 2010] the 61th Anniversary of the Loss of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Land [to Vietnam in 1949] while the Authorities of the Hun Sen Government Try to Restrict Them [this year the celebration is allowed only at the Samaki Reangsei pagoda in the Stung Meanchey commune, Meanchey district, Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6973, 4.6.2010

  • Cambodia Receives Pledges of US$1.1 Billion Development Aid [at the Cambodian Development Cooperation Forum 2010]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3897, 4.6.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Support the Rights and the Benefit of Workers Who Plan to Strike without Public Marching, for Three Days [to demand an increase of salaries, and to press employers to obey the labor law of Cambodia]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #186, 4.6.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Were Prevented from Visiting and Checking a Border Marker [in Takeo, as their visit was blocked by more than 30 armed forces and more than 50 local citizens]
  • The Government Declared to Fight Corruption [Prime Minister Hun Sen said that there are only a handful of corrupt officials, and the government will encourage other officials to fight corruption together]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5215, 4.6.2010

  • The Cambodian Embassy: Thai Police Tortured a Cambodian Worker [scars are seen on his body as a result of beating] to Get Him to Admit [that he was involved in destroying and burning a Thai bank; Cambodia asked Thailand to release him]
  • The Number of Vehicles Countrywide Increased to More Than One Million [there are 1,391,565 vehicles where 1,135,638 are motorbikes; according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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More Than 2,000 Ghost Names of Civil Servants Were Found – This Discovery Will Save the State More Than US$2 Million Each Year – Wednesday, 19.5.2010

Posted on 20 May 2010. Filed under: Week 665 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 665

“Phnom Penh: The third nationwide census on civil servants is scheduled to finish in late May 2010 in order to strengthen the management of civil servants more thoroughly, and to ensure work efficiency and transparency in the public administration; now it was found that the names of more than 2,000 civil servants are against the rules on the payroll on the national level, and this discovery will help save the state about US$2 million per year.

“According to reports and information from officials of the Council for Administrative Reform received in the morning of 18 May 2010, the census on civil servants conducted at the Council of Ministers discovered that this institution itself has up to 1,803 civil servants, which is a large figure.

“Officials said that the census will end in May, and it will be conducted also at six other ministries. After that, the census teams will continue their work at the provinces in mid June 2010. Officials claimed that more than 2,000 ghost names of civil servants found will save the government more than US$2 million each year. The salary of civil servant was, on average, US$81.40 per month by February. If it is multiplied by 12 months and then by 2,000, the amount is approximately US$2 million.

“Since the first term of the National Assembly until the present, in the framework of the implementation of public administration reforms, the Royal Government has conducted a census already twice, once in 1995, and once again between 1999 and 2001. The census found out that there were many civil servants who just had their names [‘ghost names’] on the salary lists, and the Royal Government decided to delete 17,685 names during the first census and 9,814 names during the second census, which helped prevent the government from wasting much money in each year.

“Based on the reports of the Council for Administrative Reform, by February 2010 the number of civil servants on the salary lists of the Council for Administrative Reform, receiving salaries in February 2010, were 176,829, 60,182 of them were women. They are classified into Group A with 28,547 civil servants; Group B with 52,706; Group C with 81,900; and Group D with 13,678 [no explanation how the Groups are defined given here].

“The average salary in February was US$81.40. The salaries are paid out in the following categories: base salaries 58.4%, special remunerations 33.1%, pedagogy funding [scholarships for trainees in teacher training] 1.8%, for child support [for children of civil servants] 1.4%, sponsoring the federation [unclear] 0.7%, support in case of accidents 0.4%, and special livelihood assistance 4.2% [no info available for the definition of the different salary sections].

“According to officials of the Council for Administrative Reform, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen will visit the census office on 28 May 2010.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5201, 19.5.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #481, 19.5.2010

  • The Number of People Using Mobile Phones Increases to More Than Seven Million [according to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication]
  • A 71-Year-Old Man Raped His 11-Year-Old Step Daughter [he was arrested, Banteay Meanchey]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2252, 19.5.2010

  • Santuk District Forestry Administration Head Colludes with Traders to Actively Transport Wood without Caring about the Interdiction by the Royal Government [Kompong Thom]
  • Older Brother of the Head of the Health Department [Ms. Yim Sa’mean] Is Chief Drug Smuggler [he and his son were arrested, while his wife escaped – Sihanoukville]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #659, 19.5.2010

  • The Mondolkiri Authorities Press Thousands of Families to Deliver Their Land to the Mong Riththy Company

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6959, 19.5.2010

  • A Spy Aircraft of Siam [Thailand] Entered Khmer Airspace along the Border [according to the Sampov Loun district governor in Battambang]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3883, 19.5.2010

  • [Russey Keo district governor] Khleang Huot Will Not Likely Help Thirty Five Families That Have Been Informed by the Russey Keo Authorities to Remove Their House within Fourteen Days [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #174, 19.5.2010

  • The Director of the [Southeast Asian] Radio and Television Was Convicted to Be Imprisoned [for three years and a half] and to Pay Millions of Dollars [for breach of trust, regarding the accusation of siphoning away millions of dollars – Phnom Penh]
  • [More than 200] Villagers [from Koh Kong] Wearing Cambodian People’s Party Shirts Asked for Intervention from the Prime Minister [in Phnom Penh; over a land issue where the government provided concession land of 36,000 hectares to the Chinese company Union Development Group, that overlap their rice fields]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5201, 19.5.2010

  • More Than 2,000 Ghost Names of Civil Servants Were Found – This Discovery Will Save the State More Than US$2 Million Each Year
  • Several Trucks Loaded with Sand Were Driven on a Road Constructed by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency [JICA] in Kandal Stung District, Damaging the Road [Kandal]

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Mam Sonando Creates Democrats’ Club to Monitor the Process of Unification between the Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Parties – Monday, 26.4.2010

Posted on 27 April 2010. Filed under: Week 662 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 662

“Phnom Penh: Recently, Mr. Mam Sonando announced to create a new club – called ‘Democrats’ Club’ – to monitor the negotiations towards unification between the Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties. This is the goal of the club, according to the president of the Human Rights Party.

“The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, continued to express the intention to unite with the Sam Rainsy Party in order to be victorious in the upcoming elections, though the Sam Rainsy has not responded. Recently, Mr. Kem Sokha said that Mr. Mam Sonando has created a ‘Democrats’ Club’ to monitor the negations between representatives of the Human Rights Party and of the Sam Rainsy Party, to see which party is willing to unite, or if nobody intends to unite.

“During a recent talk with activists of his party in Prey Veng, Mr. Kem Sokha stated that there had been negotiations between officials of the Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties, but they did not lead to any agreement, as Sam Rainsy officials suspect that the Human Rights Party is demanding too many conditions that the Sam Rainsy Party could not accept, so that the process towards unification got stuck. Therefore, another group, called the Democrats’ Club, was now created to monitor the negotiations. This group aims to find out which party intends to unite, and which does not.

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that Mr. Mam Sonando created this group in order to monitor the process towards unification between the two parties. He said that he does not have any problems – if Sam Rainsy agrees, he will unite immediately. He stressed that his party wants to unite not because his party is weak, but to move together towards victory in the forthcoming elections.

“Mr. Kem Sokha went on to say that this move towards unity is not only for the parties that have seats in the National Assembly, but for all parties, even if they do not have any seats at present, as long as they want to unite with the Human Rights Party.

“Regarding Mr. Kem Sokha’s claim that Mr. Mam Sonando has created this Democrats’ Club to monitor the process towards unity between the Human Rights and the Sam Rainsy parties, Kampuchea Thmey could not reach [the Director of Sombok Khmum Radio] Mr. Mam Sonando for comments, as his phone could not be reached on Saturday afternoon of 24 April 2010. Previously, Mr. Mam Sonando had announced that he would send a request to the Ministry of Interior to ask for the creation of a ‘Democrats’ Club for Uniting Democrats.’ Now it is not yet known how far these plans have been progressing, but according to a source, Mr. Mam Sonando has fulfilled all conditions to request the Ministry of Interior to recognize this organization.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2232, 25-26.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 26 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #462, 25-26.4.2010

  • The United States of America [through the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carol Rodley] Praised that Forestry Crimes Are Intercepted and the Remaining Resources in Cambodia Will Be Preserved
  • Rain, Wind, and Lightning Killed Two Boys and Made Three Houses to Collapse in Kompong Cham

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #102, 26-27.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Confederation Union Calls for Participation [from the general public, civil servants, teachers, and workers] to March to Celebrate the International Labor Day on 1 May 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2232, 25-26.4.2010

    Mam Sonando Creates Democrats’ Club to Monitor the Process of Unification between the Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Parties
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Begins Enlarging National Road 6A [leading from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap] to Reduce Traffic Congestion
  • Three Hundred People Protest as Police Does Not Arrest a Perpetrator, but Held a Man Who Tried to Help [sending an assault victim to hospital, but that assaulted man died on the way, and the helper was arrested by police – Kandal]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6939, 26.4.2010

  • Police Raided a Drug Abusing Place and Arrested 38 Young People – Children of the Rich [Phnom Penh]
  • Siam [Thailand] Released Seven Khmers to Cambodia through the Choam Sragam Border Crossing after Holding Them Two Years in Jail [for entering Thai territory to illegally cut trees]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3863, 26.4.2010

  • The Opposition Party Wants to See that the World Bank Investigation Is Successful [about the development of the Boeng Kak lake area] so as to Provide Justice to Residents of the Boeng Kak Lake Community

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #155, 26.4.2010

  • Boeng Kak Residents Call for the Provision of Land Titles as the Master Plan [for the development of the area] Has Been Approved [by the Phnom Penh municipal governor – but not been published; it will be sent for approval by the Council for the Development of Cambodia]
  • Three People Died in Svay Rieng [because of diarrhea; the local authorities blamed them for eating unhygienic food]
  • A Suspect Was Arrested for Carrying a 6-Year-Old Girl to a Rice Field while She Was Asleep, and then He Raped Her [Takeo]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5181, 26.4.2010

  • China, Japan, Korea, India, and the ASEAN Countries Will Join to Perform Shows of the Buddha’s Life in Siem Reap [from 25 to 29 April 2010 to celebrate Visakh Bochea]
  • Laotian Soldiers Killed a Khmer Citizen and Arrested Two Others [accusing them of entering their territory illegally to cut trees]
  • Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the Thai government] Asked for the Dissolution of the Parliament within 30 Days, while the Government Ordered the Military to Crack Down on Them [no ultimatum date given]

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China Continues to Refuse to Become a Member of the Mekong River Commission – Tuesday, 6.4.2010

Posted on 7 April 2010. Filed under: Week 659 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 659

“Phnom Penh: China continues to refuse to become a member of the Mekong River Commission, but said that it will continue good cooperation with the Commission.

“The Minister of Meteorology and Water Resources, Mr. Lim Kean Hor, said so in the afternoon of 5 April 2010 at the Phnom Penh International Airport, after accompanying Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen to attend the first Mekong River Commission summit from 4 to 5 April 2010 in Thailand.

“Mr. Lim Kean Hor said, ‘All member countries of the Mekong River Commission try their utmost to encourage China and Myanmar to become members of the Commission. We have been doing this work for many years. But recently, the Undersecretary of State of Foreign Affairs of China announced that China will keep on cooperating with the Mekong River Commission to exchange information when the water gates are opened or closed during the rainy and the dry seasons etc…’

“Previously, there had been criticism about the bad impact of the construction of hydro-electric dams at the upper regions of the Mekong River in China, making the level of the downstream water shallower.

“Mr. Lim Kean Hor added that the level of the water becomes shallower because of climate change. Recently, there have been droughts at the upstream countries, like in China, Laos, and Thailand. The level of rain dropped and thus, the level of the water of the river dropped also. Therefore, the construction of the hydro-electric dams must not be considered as the root problem. He went on to say that for the construction of each dam, there had been very careful studies. Independent assessors were selected to assess the environmental impact of the construction of hydro-electric dams in the upper regions.

“Also, Mr. Lim Kean Hor talked about the participation in the International Mekong River Commission summit held in Hua Hin in Thailand, saying that the prime ministers of four member countries, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, and the Vice Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar and of China were present at the meeting. It was the first summit since the Commission was created 15 years ago. The summit focused on how to sustainably develop the Mekong River Basin in the four countries.

“Mr. Lim Kean Hor went on to say that during the summit, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen met with the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and China supports and encourages cooperation with Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5169, 6.4.2010

Note – Additional Information

The Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin states:

To promote, support, cooperate and coordinate in the development of the full potential of sustainable benefits to all riparian States and the prevention of wasteful use of Mekong River Basin waters, with emphasis and preference on joint and/or basin-wide development projects and basin programs through the formulation of a basin development plan, that would be used to identify, categorize and prioritize the projects and programs to seek assistance for and to implement at the basin level.

This declaration of principles is supported by practical requirements, by which all Member States committed themselves not to act independently, but in mutual consultation; the Dialogue Partners China and Myanmar did not make these commitments. The result is that the Member States can only administer together, what comes flowing down the Mekong River – after the upstream countries have decided themselves how much water may be used for hydro-electricity or for agricultural irrigation – that is not under a similar commitment for rules based cooperation.

Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement

Notification: Timely providing information by a riparian to the Joint Committee on its proposed use of water according to the format, content and procedures set forth in the Rules for Water Utilization and Inter-Basin Diversions.

Prior consultation: Timely notification plus additional data and information to the Joint Committee as provided in the Rules for Water Utilization and Inter-Basin Diversion, that would allow the other member riparians to discuss and evaluate the impact of the proposed use upon their uses of water and any other affects, which is the basis for arriving at an agreement. Prior consultation is neither a right to veto the use nor unilateral right to use water by any riparian without taking into account other riparians’ rights.

Proposed use: Any proposal for a definite use of the waters of the Mekong River system by any riparian, excluding domestic and minor uses of water not having a significant impact on mainstream flows.

In addition to the data and information required for Notification, the notifying State shall timely provide the Mekong River Commission Joint Committee with available and additional technical data and information on its proposed use of waters for an evaluation of impacts by the other riparian States.

The Malaysian News Agency Bernama reported

Climate Change To Blame For Mekong Droughts: Cambodian PM

PHNOM PENH, 6 April 2010 (Bernama) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday that blames on China over droughts of the Mekong River is baseless and the global climate change is to blame instead.

Hun Sen, who attended last week’s Mekong Summit in Hua Hin of Thailand along with other leaders and scientists, said: “They (some countries) are blaming China while China itself is being victimized by droughts.

“.. China’s Lancang River has no water, either,” the Xinhua news agency cited Hun Sen as saying here. “The upper part of China’s Yunnan province is also facing severe droughts, worse than Cambodia,” he said. “The level of water in the Mekong River totally depends on rain and the level of water fluctuates with the climate change,” said Hun Sen.

“I am not defending China, but I am saying this only to provide justice for China,” Hun Sen said, adding that he had a separate talk with China and Laos on the sidelines of the Mekong Summit in Thailand.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #453, 6.4.2010

  • A Wood Storehouse of the Canadia Bank in the Cultural Village [of Siem Reap] Was Raided, and Hundreds of Cubic Meters of Wood Were Found
  • The King Will Visit Japan in May 2010 [to strengthen bilateral ties]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2220, 6.4.2010

  • A Short Armed Clash Broke Out on the Trop Mountain, but No Soldiers Were Wounded [Cambodian military official said that Thai soldiers began shooting at Cambodia trenches first]
  • Battambang Forestry Chief Arbitrarily Locked up Two Newspaper Agents [of Kampuchea Thmey and Koh Santepheap as they tried to question him about a car loaded with charcoal that was blocked to extort money]
  • Brigadier General Tep Phirum Was Accused of Unintentionally Causing Injury [to an English woman by his gunfire – Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6927, 6.4.2010

  • The National Assembly Adopted the Draft Law about Co-Ownership of Buildings by Foreigners
  • Regarding Forestry Officials Trading [918 pieces of] Ebony, a Court Decided to Detain Mr. Ouk Kimsan, while Mr. Vann Sophanna Was Not Detained [Koh Kong]
  • More Than 26 Tonnes of Fish Died of Poison, a Second Time Case in 2010, and the Fish Breeders Blame an Ethanol Company [Kandal]

Meatophum, Vol.54, #766, 5-10.4.2010

  • A Countrywide Census to Find Ghost Names of Civil Servants Will Start on 6 April 2010

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3851, 6.4.2010

  • Surprisingly [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Prohibits [ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra from Entering Cambodia while Red-Shirt Groups [his supporters] Are Demonstrating in Bangkok

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #146, 6.4.2010

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Praised [Cambodian Prime Minister] Hun Sen after the Surprising Position Taken on [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra [Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he will not allow Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra to use Cambodia as a political basis against the Thai government]
  • Eleven Citizens Who Were Arrested for Blocking National Road 2 Were Released [they continue to protest over a land dispute with a company – Kandal]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5169, 6.4.2010

  • The Leaders of the Member Countries of the Mekong River Commission Recognized Climate Change Problems as Priority
  • China Continues to Refuse to Become a Member of the Mekong River Commission
  • A Remorque Moto Turned over and Killed Two Men, where One of Them Held Four Yama [Ecstasy] Tablets in His Palm [Phnom Penh]

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The Ministry of Commerce Announced It Earned Riel 129,949 Million – Friday, 26.3.2010

Posted on 27 March 2010. Filed under: Week 657 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

“The Minister of Commerce, Mr. Cham Prasidh, said that in 2009, the Ministry was able to earn Riel 129,949,000,000 [approx. US$31 million] for the nation.

“Mr. Cham Prasidh said during a meeting of the Ministry of Commerce on 24 March 2010 that the income came only from public services that the Ministry provides to private companies.

“The services operated by the Ministry to get income include the registration of commercial operations and of commercial trademarks, the provision of certificates to certify the origin of products, and the checking of product quality, especially for food products for export and import, and for products sold at local markets.

“According to a report on the work in 2009 and on setting goals for 2010, 3,116 trademarks were registered in 2009, where only 698 were trademarks of local companies. Also, in 2009, the Ministry registered commercial operations for 2,045 companies which declined by about 26.5%, compared to 2008. Among those companies, only 39 companies were new companies, a drop by 2.5%.

“The same report added that though the registration of commercial operations declined, foreign investors from Vietnam, Korean, China, Malaysia, and Singapore significantly continue to trust the economic conditions and the political stability in Cambodia.

“The same source continued to say that the registration of export permits, based on the conditions and the origin of the products, covered 243 factories and 26 shoes factories. Those factories employ 320,834 workers who earned about US$27 million as monthly salaries.

“The exports to the United States of America amounted to about US$1.518 billion, which dropped by approximately US$471 million. The exports to Canada were US$198 million, declining by US$4.9 million compared with 2008. The exports to the European Union amounted to US$655 million, a drop by about 18%.

“Exports to other countries also declined. The exports to the American continent, excluding the United States of America and Canada, were about US$34 million, a downturn by about US$11 million. The exports to Europe, excluding the European Union countries, were about US$33 million, a decline by around 23%.

“The report adds that most products that Cambodia exported were garments and other textile products, shoes, rice, handicrafts, beer, and agricultural products, such as pepper.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5160, 26.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 26 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #444, 26.3.2010

  • [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy: The Temporary [Cambodian-Vietnamese] Border Markers Cost Cambodian Territory [he bases this statement on a 1:100,000 French colonial map of 1952, deposited at the United Nations in 1964, and a 1:50,000 map printed by the US Army in 1966]
  • The Spokesperson of the Siamese [Thai] Army Rejected [the Cambodian information] that Many Siamese Soldiers Were Killed by Cambodian Soldiers [during armed clashes at the border region near the Preah Vihear Temple]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2211, 26.3.2010

  • The Foreign Trade of Cambodia Declined in 2009 [to US$10 billion, a drop by 10.4%]
  • Three Laotian Men Were Arrested in Daun Penh District [Phnom Penh] for Drug Smuggling

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #636, 26.3.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: After the Anti-Corruption Law Becomes Valid, the Sam Rainsy Party Will Propose a Law Which Sets Up Proper Salaries for Civil Servants

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6918, 26.3.2010

  • Three Suspected Robbers Were Sentenced by Citizens [they stole a motorcycle and were beaten by a mob to death, as police could not stop the beating – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3821, 26.3.2010

  • Sam Rainsy: What I Showed [the map and documents] Is Not for Defeating Any Individual [but for the sake of the country], and Prum Chea and Meas Srey Should Be Released as a Humanitarian Gesture [they are in jail for removing border markers in Svay Rieng]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #139, 25.3.2010

  • 700 Citizens of the Amleang Commune Continue Their Protest to Demand the Release of Their Representatives [detained for burning down the on-site office of Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s sugar company in Kompong Speu]
  • Human Rights Watch Asked Cambodia to Amend the Sub-Decree about Refugees [as the present one does not provide enough protection procedures to prevent deportation according to the international convention, which the Cambodian government signed so that Cambodia became a member]
  • The Government Plans to Create Public Housing for Poor Citizens for Long Range Rent Periods [of up to 50 years]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5160, 26.3.2010

  • The Ministry of Commerce Announced It Earned Riel 129,949 Million
  • The Law about Ownership by Foreigners of Upper Floor Houses Will Be Adopted by the National Assembly Next Week
  • The Siem Reap Authorities Intercepted a Third Wood Storehouse, Seizing 523 Pieces of Wood [about 15 cubic meters] and 66 Round Poles

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #442, 24.3.2010

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2209, 24.3.2010

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6916, 24.3.2010

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

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3840, 24.3.2010

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5158, 24.3.2010

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

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In 2010, Officials Who Use Their Positions to Extort Money from the People Will Not Be Tolerated – Tuesday, 16.2.2010

Posted on 16 February 2010. Filed under: Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

“Phnom Penh: 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. This was declared by an official during the convention in the morning of 15 February 2010 to reflect on the work during 2009, and to determine the targets for 2010; the meeting was chaired by the Phnom Penh governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema.

“During this annual convention, Mr. Kep Chuktema advised all civil servants and all armed personnel to continue to be strictly honorable towards the people, so that they have confidence and trust in the services provided, though previously, some officials used the opportunity of their positions to extort money from the people. But now, he warned, saying that officials doing such bad activities will no longer be tolerated.

“The governor went on to say that only by obeying discipline and with heightened responsibility can the efficiency of the work and its results increase. He added, ‘Considering 2009, Phnom Penh can be proud for having cooperated well with each other, effectively deploying our forces to prevent and intercept crime, the activities of gangs, the illegal use of weapons, gambling, human and sex trafficking, and drug related crimes.’

“He continued to say that in 2010, what remains to be done is to focus more on such issues as public order, car parking facilities, traffic jam, illegal construction sites, and violations of the regulations regarding the use of pedestrian’s sidewalks. Also, he shared the information that Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen had ordered the Phnom Penh Municipality to create ties with the Intervention Brigade 9 of Division 3, stationed at the battlefield in the Preah Vihear area. ‘It is a new obligation for all of us to support the battlefield which is a great pride for the people in Phnom Penh.’

“During the convention, the Phnom Penh governor delivered a new car the Tuol Kork district command station, as a reward for its previous hard work.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5127, 16.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2178, 16.2.2010

  • [The spokesperson of the Royal Government, the Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: Cambodia Welcomes the Thai Position [to solve the border disputes bilaterally], but He Questioned whether Thailand Is Willing to Do so or Not [recently Cambodia had suggested to settle the border issues internationally, but Thailand suggested to Cambodia to solve them bilaterally]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6885, 16.2.2010

  • An Outbreak of Diarrhea with Vomiting Caused 38 People to Be Hospitalized; One Villager Died, Leaving His Children Behind; Medics Call for More Sanitation [Kompong Chhnang – there is an ongoing public controversy: some experts say there is an outbreak of Cholera, which requires a different treatment from diarrhea – but the authorities maintained that it is not Cholera, and even if it were, the treatment is the same]
  • [Eighty eight] People Gathered at the Provincial Administration to Ask for the Removal of a Corrupt Village Chief [as he sold village land secretly for his own benefit – Kompong Speu]
  • Siam [Thailand] Sent Three Khmer Kampuchea Krom People to Cambodia from Detention in Bangkok [they failed to seek asylum in a third country]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #112, 16.2.2010

  • The President of the Human Rights Party [Mr. Kem Sokha] Calls for Unity [with other parties, to compete with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5127, 16.2.2010

  • In 2010, Officials Who Use Their Positions to Extort Money from the People Will Not Be Tolerated
  • The Spokesperson of the Government Told Journalists to Be Careful when Translating Words [he reminded foreign journalists and foreign agencies in Cambodia to do so, otherwise the Prime Minister will appear to have done wrong and is then criticized for it; as an example, he said that the Cambodian Prime Minister challenged the Thai Prime Minister to ‘swear’ that he and his family should die if he claims that Thailand did not invade Cambodian territory, but some English newspaper incorrectly translated it as if he had ‘cursed’ the Thai Prime Minister]
  • Four Banks Provided Loans for an Electricity Plant Powered by Coal to be built in Sihanoukville [the OCBC Bank, the Maybank, the AmBank, and the Bank of China jointly offered US$140 million in loans to a Malaysian company, the Cambodia Energy Limited, to establish a 100 megawatt electricity plant]
  • Two Motorbikes Crashed into Each Other, Killing Two People and Seriously Injuring Three Others [Pursat]

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The Preah Vihear Authorities Sold More Than 70 Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood Seized from Illegal Wood Traders – Saturday, 13.2.2010

Posted on 14 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

“Preah Vihear: The Preah Vihear authorities decided to sell 76 cubic meters of luxury wood, including wood of the second quality type, on 10 February 2010, without putting it up for pubic bidding. The wood had been seized by combined provincial forces [where forestry administration forces, military police, and police may cooperate] from illegal wood traders in 2009.

“In the afternoon of 10 February 2010, it was seen that more than 20 wood traders and forestry administration officials were collecting Beng, Kronhoung, Neang Nuon, and Thnung wood and 8 cubic meters of second quality wood onto nine trucks.

At 15:36, civil servants of the Preah Vihear Municipality said that they saw three trucks coming into the Preah Vihear Municipality compound to take the wood. Those trucks [made by the Korean company] Hyundai, were each loaded with 30 cubic meters of wood. At that time, journalists came to ask about compliance with the law regarding the permission for the transport of such wood, but the Tbaeng Meanchey district forestry administration chief, Mr Mom Sophal, said that journalists should not publish anything about it, and he would not provide a legal document from the forestry administration showing that it is allowed to sell the wood.

“Journalists continued to ask where the wood was being transported to. A wood trader appeared to claim that journalists did not need to ask such a question. He seemed to have appeared just to protect the wood by saying a few words, and then he became silent.

“After that, the head of the Tbaeng Meanchey district forestry administration strongly warned the journalists, saying that if they wanted to know whether the sale of the wood had been legalized or not, they should ask the Preah Vihear forestry administration chief, and he then stopped saying anything more.

“At the same day at 16:33, journalists contacted the Preah Vihear forestry administration chief, Mr. Pol Khamnara by phone, to clarify the case that wood traders had come into the Preah Vihear Municipality compound to take the wood away, but he said he was in Phnom Penh to attend a court hearing related to the case of the deputy governor Mr. Meas Saroeun, and as far as he knew, the Municipality allowed the wood to be transported to Prey Veng, and he suggested that if the journalist wanted to know more, they should ask the district forestry administration chief Mr. Nong Khemarin. When journalists approached Mr. Nong Khemarin, he said that those wood traders had received a legal permission to take the wood away. But when journalists asked him about the related legal document, he said that he had not yet seen it, so he had nothing to show. As for the Preah Vihear governor, Mr. Oum Mara, he could not be reached for comment as phone calls could not get through.

“It should be noted that during the last four years, there have been more truck transports by nearly 10 trucks loaded with Beng, Kronhoung, Neang Nuon, and Thnung wood. Whenever journalists asked for legal documents, the forestry administration chiefs claimed that the wood transports had been permitted by the law, but they never allowed journalists to see the documents.

“They frequently used the names of ministers [claiming that the ministers supported them] to warn the journalists.

“At 17:00., the journalists received a phone call from an official of the Preah Vihear court who said that he had not seen any legal documents. That official explained that the seized wood can be sold only after the court issues a permit allowing the forestry administration to put it up for bidding first.

“In Preah Vihear, luxury wood is being transported by wood traders all the time, and every time when they transport luxury wood out of the province, the phones of the relevant officials are all switched off, or nobody answers the phone calls. Kronhoung wood is being transported on various routes. Some goes through Nation Road 62 [towards Phnom Penh], and more than half of the remaining wood is transported by the wood traders from Sra Em village to Trapeang Prasat district and on to Oddar Meanchey, crossing Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, and Kompong Cham, to be sold at the Vietnamese border.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5125, 13.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 13 February 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2176, 13.2.2010

  • A Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldier [in the uniform of the Thai special border protection unit] Who Came to Lay Land Mines in Cambodia, Was Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison
  • An Anti-Maritime-Mine Naval Ship [of the US Navy] Arrived in Cambodia for Joint Exercises [with the Cambodian navy]
  • One Million Red Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Prepare to Demonstrate in Thailand on 20 February 2010

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6883, 13-14.2.2010

  • The Shukaku Company Is Actively Developing the Boeng Kak Lake Area and So Far, 50% of the Lake Has Been Filled with Dredged Sand [only the sand filling is described as its “actively developing” activities – a construction and management plan – what is to happen on the adjacent land from which the residents are evicted – has not been made public]
  • At 9:00 A.M. of 11 February 2010, a Cambodian Flag Was Erected on Wat Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak, also called Wat Prasat [at the border with Thailand, in a contested buffer zone]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5125, 13.2.2010

  • The Preah Vihear Authorities Sold More Than 70 Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood Seized from Illegal Wood Traders
  • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Khiev Samphan Said He Was a Powerless Head of State of the Khmer Rouge Regime
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development Granted US$13,3 Million [for poverty reduction projects, and for the development of small-scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area]
  • The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization Announced that there are Serious Diarrhea Cases [but denied it is cholera [[as claimed by others on the basis of bacteriological proof]] and therefore declared there is no need to declare a cholera emergency]
  • A Truck Drove over a Female Garment Worker and Killed Her [Phnom Penh]

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The Government Reduces Recruitment of Civil Servants Due to Economic Meltdown – Monday, 5.1.2009

Posted on 5 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“According to information from a high ranking official of the Council of Ministers, the Cambodian government decided to reduce the recruitment of new civil servants from 9,000 to 8,000 to work at different ministries and departments in 2009.

“The secretary-general of the Councils for Administrative Reforms of the Council of Ministers said that the reduction of recruitment of new staff by 1,000 can help the Cambodian government to avoid budget problems, while the Hun Sen government does not have sufficient capacities to accommodate the former plan.

“Moreover, the secretary-general of the Councils for Administration Reforms of the Council of Ministers added that the government must thoroughly monitor the recruitment of staff in the new year, otherwise the total expenses will increase too much, while the salaries of civil servants are increased by 20% every year. Regarding what is mentioned above, the deputy director of the Department of Policy, Economy, and Finance of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that it is because the national economic growth dropped, so the Ministry of Economy and Finance must save from all expenses for different operations.

“It should be noted that every year, thousands of graduates apply to work at state institutions, but the government can employ only 8,000 of the most recent graduates. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports can absorb 5,000 graduates to work as teachers; a newly employed staff member receives a salary of around Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] on the average, while a remaining staff receives around Riel 250,000 [approx. US$62] per month. According to the numbers from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the government spent in 2008 US$85 million of the annual national budget of around US$1.5 million for salaries of the more than 200,000 civil servants in total.

“In 2009, the fourth-term package-voted government, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, plans to spend US$1.8 billion, but the projected expenses must be restricted, including expenses on office operations and on salaries. An economist agreed with the reform measure of the government, but to add and to reduce civil servants, as the labor market of the private sector drops also, will cause the labor situation in Cambodia to be worse. This means that unemployment will increase in 2009, as economic growth drops to only slightly more than 4%.

“In the last report of the International Labor Organization about youth employment in Cambodia, the number of youth capable for work, between the age of 15 and 24 seeking jobs every year, was given as around 275,000, and this becomes a big concern for Cambodia. It is expected that this number will increase more, if the labor market is still not growing. In the meantime, officials of some non-government organizations also expressed concern about Khmer citizens facing unemployment and earning no income to support their lives.

“Officials of some organizations pointed out that Hun Sen’s government should not reduce recruitment of new civil servants in 2009 by using the economic meltdown as a cause. In contrast, the government should eliminate corruption and bureaucracy in important institutions in order to collect money lost in corruption to be used rather as salaries for new civil servants working to serve the national interest. Also, the fourth-term package-voted government should adopt an anti-corruption law soon, so that a large portion of international aid is not lost in corruption.

“Previously, independent observers had criticized serious corruption and bureaucracy in some important institutions, which make the national budget to loose hundreds of millions of dollar, but Prime Minister Hun Sen does not take action to eliminate corruption in those important institutions. Important institutions which have been plagued by corruption are a heavy burden, and they have been criticized by different circles: they are the Council of Ministers administered by Sok An, the Ministry of Economy and Finance administered by Keat Chhon, the Ministry of Commerce administered by Cham Prasidh, Hun Sen’s in-law, the Customs and Excise Department administered by Pen Siman, the Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Anti-Economic Crime Police Department, as well as the court system.

“Observers said that at present, corruption and bureaucracy in the Ministry of Commerce is not different from that in the Council of Ministers. Therefore, recently there was a corruption scandal in the Ministry of Commerce, regarding the creation of a new department – the CamControl Department to be controlled by Mak Picharith. The creation of a new department leads to strong competition between Mak Picharith and Cham Prasidh’s son-in-law, Cham Borith. Many officials of the Ministry of Commerce said that the strong competition for power by both of them will unavoidably explode like a volcano soon.

“Many officials of the Ministry of Commerce said that if corruption can be eliminated effectively in the Ministry of Commerce, salaries for 9,000 new civil servants are not a problem. Therefore, Prime Minister Hun Sen must take action to crack down on corruption in the Ministry of Commerce immediately, in order to collect budget resources, for the salaries of new civil servants to be recruited to serve the nation. The Hun Sen government should not take the meltdown of the economy as a reason to reduce the number of newly to be recruited civil servants for 2009. Observers added that the economic crisis in Cambodia seems not relevant to the recruitment of only 9,000 new civil servants. The Hun Sen government should reconsider this again in order to avoid embarrassment, because in 2009, the government will spend up to US$1.8 billion, and moreover, it is granted nearly US$1 billion in aid to sustain its breath.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3657, 5.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 5 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1838, 4-5.1.2009

  • A Journalist [of Chhanteak Koun Khmer] Taking Photos of a Dessert Seller for Pleasure Was Arrested as if He Were a Robber [putting him in a police car; however, the authorities said they just invited him to receive some advises for his wrongdoing, though it is not clear what he did wrong – Siem Reap]
  • Bush: [Rocket] Attacks by Hamas on Israel Is ‘Terrorism’
  • Muslim Countries around the World Demonstrate against the Attacks by Israel on Gaza

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #319, 4-6.1.2009

  • [President of the Human Rights Party] Kem Sokha: The Prevention for Human Rights Party Parliamentarians to Climb to the Preah Vihear Temple [to distribute donations] Is An Extreme Discrimination and Partisan Attitude

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #175, 4-5.1.2009

  • Health of the Former King Gets Better
  • Dry Paddy Rice Plants in Two Districts [of 200 hectares] Are Destroyed by the [Cambodian] Heng Development Company [in Ampov Prey and Kandaok communes, Kandal Stung, Kandal]
  • The Permission to Import too Many Pigs from Thailand Kills the Economic Breath of Khmer Farmers
  • China and Vietnam Finished Border Disputes

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6543, 5.1.2009

  • Two Suspects Are Arrested for Setting Explosive Devices; This Is Terrorism against the 7 January Victory Anniversary [to frighten people not to participate in the celebration on 7 January 2008 – said the Minister of Information and spokesperson of the government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
  • Drunk and Noisy 68-Year-Old Man Was Hit by His Wife with a Hoe on His Head and Died [after he hit his wife first in an argument, Svay Rieng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3657, 5.1.2009

  • The Government Reduces Recruitment of Civil Servants Due to Economic Meltdown
  • [Former member of the Central committee of the Cambodian People’s Revolutionary Party, Cambodian Ambassador to Hanoi, and some time Minister of Foreign Affairs during the State of Cambodia, now vice-president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Kong Korm: On 2 December 1978, There Were Yuon [Vietnamese] Troops Controlling and on 7 January 1979, There Were Yuon Experts from Hanoi with Direct Power Around Cambodia in All Sectors and Levels [and so on 7 January 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime broke down]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4786, 4-5.1.2009

  • The Ruling Party [the Cambodian People’s Party] Will Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of 7 January as the Biggest Event Focusing on Border Protection [with 80,000 people participating at the Olympic Stadium]
  • Minister of Public Works and Transport [Tram Iv Tek]: All Roads from Phnom to the Provinces Will Be Constructed during the Fourth Term
  • [Thai] Fortune Tellers: The New Siamese [Thai] Government Cannot Live Long and Bloodshed Will Continue; ASEAN Secretary General [Mr. Surin Pitsuwan] Supports Thailand to Host the ASEAN Summit Meeting

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3469, 4-5.1.2009

  • The Municipality Has No Plan to Punish the David Construction Company of Oknha Khy Pov for Constructing No-Quality Roads, already Damaged

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.

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