Controversies about Drug Rehabilitation Facilities – Tuesday, 2.2.2010

Posted on 3 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

Note:

Apologies, for technical reasons we do not have a translated article from the Khmer press today.

We bring, however, references to a hotly contested issue from these days.

Norbert Klein

Humanitarian News and Analysis, a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, recently carried a report from Phnom Penh dated 29 January 2010, quoting that a climate of “sadistic violence” exists in government-run drug rehabilitation centers in Cambodia.

“It works on the wrong assumption that what helps people with drug dependency problems is being tough, using hard work and discipline. But there’s no quick fix.” Mr. Graham Shaw, a World Health Organization (WHO) technical officer based in Cambodia, says that persons in charge of running such drug centers openly admitted some time ago that they did not have the skills to conduct proper drug assistance.

However, operators of drug rehabilitation centers denied the accusations that patients are held against their will and subjected to “sadistic violence” such as torture, rape, and humiliations. Mr. Nean Sokhim, the director of the My Chance Drug Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Phnom Penh, is the director of the civilian-run My Chance drug rehabilitation center in Phnom Penh. In a report, he says patients are treated well, receive three meals a day, and have job training opportunities, and nobody is forced to be in his center. But then:

  • Interviewer: So if someone tries to run away you give them drugs so they can’t escape?
  • Nean Sokhim: Yeah, yeah yeah.

The World Health Organization did an assessment and they said in their report that they estimated that it was close to 100 percent relapse for the people who have been in these centers.. “It’s just the wrong way to approach drug addiction. Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing condition. It’s not helped by a period of military drills and forced exercise.”

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #403, 2.2.2010

  • Human Rights Watch Asked for the Closure of 11 Rehabilitation Centers of Drug Addicts in Cambodia [claiming that there is mistreatment against them]
  • The Prime Minister Suggested to Ministers to Reduce Their Visits Abroad [to save national resources]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2166, 2.2.2010

    • Police Suppressed Gamble Site of Chae Muoy [colloquial for Chinese “sister”], Holding Nine Gamblers for a While and Then Releasing Them [Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
    • Anonymous Persons Threw Many Plastic Bags Containing Feces into [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva’s Home [Thailand]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #595, 2.2.2010

    • The Fact that Illegal Logging Still Occurs Is a Sign That Traders and Cooperating Officials Convey to Mr. Hun Sen, Telling Him that They Do Not Follow the Prime Minister’s Order [towards military officials to stop being involved in illegal activities]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6873, 2.2.2010

    • A Swedish Delegation [led by Mr. Jan Knutsson, the Director General for International Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden] Comes to Study the Reform Processes in Cambodia [such as the fight against corruption, the improvement of public services, the increase of salaries, and the strengthening of the capacity of civil servants]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #102, 2.2.2010

    • The Prime Minister Called on the Citizens Not to Create Religious Conflicts [he said so during a Buddhist ceremony in Kandal]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5115, 2.2.2010

    • Members of the Sam Rainsy Party Met Their Party President via Video Conference [while he is in France; he was sentenced in absentia to serve two years in prison for removing temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]
      Four People Died after a Truck Crashed into Their Motorbike from Behind [four of them rode on one motorbike; the driver of the truck escaped – Kompong Speu]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

    Advertisements
    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
  • From Announcing to Implementing Reforms – Sunday, 31.1.2010

    Posted on 1 February 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 649 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 649

    A problem faced by some powerful leaders is that they do not know what is really going on under their control – there is a layer of advisors and assistants who keep important information from reaching the top, or the arrangements for the activities of persons in high level leadership do not provide sufficient opportunities to see what happens on the ground.

    Some years ago it the Prime Minister traveled by car on a major road of the country, over which he normally used to fly by helicopter – and it was then reported that he was surprised about the poor state of the maintenance of the road, ordered its repair as a priority, and decided to travel by car more frequently to see some of the reality which he cannot see from high up in the air.

    Sometimes it is also questioned whether other important information is really reaching the Prime Minister, or whether it is filtered away by advisors and assistants.

    In 2003, there was a embarrassing situation, when one of his nephews, Nim Sophea, was accused to be involved in a shooting affair, which left three people dead and four others injured. The nephew was arrested and convicted, but in an appeals process he was declared to be not guilty (the main culprit had fled and was never found – if I remember correctly). Around that time, the Prime Minister said that even his nephew would have to face the court – though, at that time, the media had already reported that Nim Sophea was already in China. This information had not reached the Prime Minister, so he did not know.

    The Prime Minister’s speech on 28 January 2010, during the closing ceremony of a conference at the Ministry of Defense, is different: it shows that he knows very well what is going on. He did what was hardly ever heard before in public: he named several high ranking military leaders, present at the meeting – Sum Samnang, director-general of logistics and finance at the Ministry of Defence; Chao Phirun, director-general of materials and technical services; Ung Samkhan, commander of the Royal Navy; and Chhoeun Chanthan, chief of the senate president’s bodyguards – accusing them of corrupt actions: misusing their positions for their private business, using military equipment and personnel for personal gain, and wasting public property.

    “Do not be commanders that are only good at wood trading, illegal logging, land grabbing, and illegal fishery.” – “The role of the military is to fulfill obligations for the nation, not to guard your mangroves, please check this again! Please do not use soldiers and military machinery to serve individual interests.” As five-star general and top military leader, the Prime Minister said that “from now on, military officials who are involved in illegal activities are not fit to work in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.”

    Such public frankness led to immediate words of welcome from Mr. Yim Sovann, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, who noticed that these announcements for a new outlook into the future has an implication also for the past: “What I am happy about is that he acknowledged past misdeeds.”

    Also Mr. Thun Saray, the president of the human rights organization ADHOC, called for these new steps of reform to be put swiftly into action, pointing to a problematic weak link between high level policy directives and their implementation: “His speech is very good, but we also ask for its real implementation … sometimes when we take his speech to lower levels for implementation, they do not listen.”

    In spite of these special considerations, this is an extraordinary situation which does not happen easily: that the head of the government, the spokesperson of the largest opposition party, and a respected leader in civil society immediately agree.

    The reports of this week contain again material as in the weeks before, on which the words of the Prime Minister can be applied: “It Is Time to Stop; Military Officials Who Do Illegal Activities Are Not Fit to Work in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.”

    We just repeat some pieces of information from the past week:

    • Local Authorities in Ratanakiri Were Threatened to Be Killed by Soldiers Trading Wood [when they tried to block those soldiers transporting wood to Vietnam; finally the authorities could not seize the wood and could just report the case to higher levels]
    • The Pursat Authorities Close Their Eyes, Not Seeing the Strong Logging Activities for Luxury Wood in the Forest
    • The UN Envoy on Human Rights in Cambodia Assessed that the Government Showed Willingness to Strengthen Human Rights in Cambodia
    • Intensive Wood Trading Continues at the Cambodian-Thai Border while the Border Disputes Remain Unsolved

    The Prime Minister’s words were spoken in a specific context: referring to the reforms to happen in all sectors, including in the armed forces. That means, new procedures will have to be defined and applied. If this happens, the Prime Minister’s expectations may start to work: “It is time to end that some work in the military in order to use this as a shield to run their own businesses. If you wear ranking stars and cut trees, fellow soldiers will point at your face.”

    Fellow soldiers did not do so in the past, because they could not expect that they would be supported at higher levels, as also some of the examples repeated above from the past week show. It will therefore be decisive to see what procedural changes will be established, and how their implementation will be monitored – by the public and the media – and enforced by the relevant institutions of the state.

    Please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    The Royal Government Requires Municipal Governors to Use Video Conferencing – Tuesday, 5.1.2010

    Posted on 6 January 2010. Filed under: Week 646 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

    “Phnom Penh: To reduce expenses and to improve the efficiency of the leadership role of all provincial and municipal authorities countrywide, the Royal Government of Cambodia requires the authorities to set up video conference facilities for cabinet sessions every Fridays.

    “A letter of the Council of Ministers dated 23 December 2009, sealed and signed by the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, informed all provincial and municipal governors in the Kingdom of Cambodia about Internet online meetings through the use of video conference facilities during cabinet sessions, following the wise instruction from the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, during a cabinet session on 4 December 2009.

    “The letter stressed that, based on the above reasons, the Council of Ministers would like to inform all provincial and municipal governors that the Royal Government has already set up video conference devices, which allow to have direct on-line meetings with the participation from the provinces and cities. To promote the efficiency of the weekly cabinet sessions, and to ease the smooth and timely reporting, as well as to cover other urgent issues the Royal Government is facing, the Council of Ministers would like to ask all provincial and municipal governors to attend the weekly cabinet meetings through the video conference facilities, on every Fridays starting at 8:30 a.m.

    “After receiving the letter, the Phnom Penh Municipality has already set up video conference facilities and started to officially operate them on 4 January 2010. Other provinces have also already made arrangements. This system is really important to connect offices outside of Phnom Penh with the Royal Government as well as with the Prime Minister. The aim of using video conferences is to enhance the efficiency of the work, and to reduce expenses of money, and to save time of the provincial and municipal governors, especially those in remote provinces. Also, the Royal Government wants to observe whether those governors work and are in the meetings, or where else they are, in order to avoid lying to the Prime Minister by just phoning, giving brief responses, now they can ask for instructions from the Prime Minister directly and on time.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6849, 5.1.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 5 January 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #379, 5.1.2010

    • Amnesty International Asked China to Disclose where the Uighurs Deported from Cambodia Are Living
    • A Lexus Hit a Three-Wheel Motor-Taxi near Calmette Hospital, Killing Two People [the offensive car was seized – Phnom Penh]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2142, 5.1.2010

    • The Prime Minister: Those Who Do Not Recognize the Importance of 7 January 1979 [when the Khmer Rouge Regime was overthrown] are Not Even Equal to Animals
    • An Anti-Drug Policeman Was Shot Dead in a Lexus [perpetrators are not yet identified – Kompong Cham]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #572, 5.1.2010

    • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Said There Is a Today because of 7 January 1979 while the Opposition Party Claimed Today Exists because of 23 October 1991 [the Paris Peace Treaties which (should have) ended the civil war in Cambodia]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6849, 5.1.2010

    • The Royal Government Requires Municipal Governors to Use Video Conferencing

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.2, #82, 5.1.2010

    • [About 70] Sereypheap Market Vendors Continue to Protest in Front of the Prime Minister’s Residence [after the authorities demolished the market]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5091, 5.1.2010

    • In 2009 There Were 622 Cases of Forestry and Wildlife Violation Crimes which Were Dealt with by the Authorities [compared to 2008, there were 615 cases; according to a report of the Forestry Administration]
    • Interior Police Arrested a Person Sending Threatening Messages to Kill an Advisor of the Royal Government [Phnom Penh]
    • Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Shot to Injure a Khmer Citizen Seriously [he went to find wild vegetables – at the Cambodian Thai-border]

    Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1848, 5.1.2010

    • [Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson] Mr. Yim Sovann: The Party Is Collecting Petitions from Cities and Provinces to Send Them to the King to Ask for His Intervention for Mr. Sam Rainsy [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    Mr. Ny Chakriya: The Provision of Land to Companies Is Pushing Citizens to Face Serious Problems – Wednesday, 16.12.2009

    Posted on 17 December 2009. Filed under: Week 643 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

    “Citizens from eight provincial and city associations met at the Sunway Hotel, to express their opinions about the loss of their land to businesspeople and to some powerful officials, including to private companies that have received concession land from the government.

    “Representatives of citizens came to protest, and to express their concerns about land grabbing committed by businesspeople and by some powerful officials.

    “The head of the investigating unit of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Ny Chakriya, said that in view of the provision of only small economic land concessions to citizens, it is found that in 2008, the government provided tens of thousands of hectares of land to private companies as economic concessions, where 225,090 hectares were provided to 71 private companies as economic concession land. The provision of many hectares of land by the government every year might lead to a lack of land for citizens in the future. Moreover, the provision of economic concession land to different companies, without caring about the impact on citizens, is a big problem, resulting in a situation where citizens, who own little land for cultivation, to have no land, because 80% of the citizens are farmers in rural areas.

    “Mr. Ny Chakriya added that forced evictions, where citizens lose ownership of land, victimize them easily. In 2008, there were 25 evictions involving 526 families or 66,095 citizens, who were evicted by force and did not receive any care or solution from state institutions that just use the words that there it is development. Tens of thousands of poor citizens live with fear with the development policy of the government, that frequently issues notifications to evict citizens from a district, a villages, or from a whole area, where they live legally, according to the land law, to leave their houses and land, accusing those citizens of setting up illegal settlements on state land, claiming that the land was taken for development through concessions, sale, or by leasing it to private companies. When such things happened, they ordered hundreds of armed forces and workers to help protect those companies, by shooting and using machinery to remove the houses of citizens, and to hit and to jail them, offering them little compensation, and vacating them to live in new locations that are remote and insecure and lack infrastructure.

    “In the meantime, ADHOC has released a statement about land issues, in regions where the citizens were accused and arrested, because the courts serve the interests of businesspeople and of companies. ADHOC voiced regret and concerns over land disputes, that are not solved in some provinces and cities by the authorities, making thousands of citizens to encounter problems, and resulting in family separations, as their representatives were continually accused and arrested over land disputes in Cambodia.

    “The statement of ADHOC says that according to its note about unsolved land disputes, there are not less than 200 cases each year, and not less than 250 citizens were accused by provincial and city courts, which produced fake evidence to sentence them to go to jail for years. At least there are 150 representatives of citizens and land activists imprisoned each year. The accusations and arrests of those citizens result from the incompetence to solve land disputes by the authorities at all levels who are biased, and did not provide justice to citizens. They did this to serve the interests of businesspeople and of companies, where some officials back them in each case.

    “It should be noted that land disputes have occurred continually in Cambodia relating to poor citizens facing businesspeople and some powerful officials, so that citizens were evicted by force, and evacuated from their houses, to grab their land for businesspeople and for companies.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1834, 16.12.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 16 December 2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #363, 16.12.2009

    • The Cambodian Economy Is to Grow by 3% to 4% in 2010, [according to the 34th annual conference of the Federation of ASEAN Economics Associations in Phnom Penh]
    • The Director of the Sambok Khmum Radio [Mr. Mam Sonando] Said He Will Enter Politics Again [if the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party unite for the next term elections; he does not have the intention to form his own party]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2125, 16.12.2009

    • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Injured 15 Persons of the Authorities at the Border [after a clash – but the Sam Rainsy Party denied this information]
    • The Cambodia-Vietnam Insurance Company Operates with Cambodian Angkor Air [in providing flight insurance]
    • Climate Negotiators in Race against Time [the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warns that negotiators face a race against time to prevent the meeting ending in failure, after developing nations staged a five-hour walk-out]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #556, 16.12.2009

    • World Bank: The Number of Poor People in Cambodia Increased by 3%, or More than 400,000, Adding to the Previous Number of Millions of People [because of the impact of the global economic crisis on the economy of Cambodia]
    • The Khmer Authorities’ Strange Procedures in Preventing Security for Mr. Thaksin in Cambodia [when he arrived at Phnom Penh to release the Thai spy, the Cambodian authorities allowed national and international journalists to take pictures and ask questiond without restrictions – but during his lecture on economics, his security was protected very strictly – journalists were not allowed to take pictures or even to listen to his lecture]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6832, 16.12.2009

    • A Beauty Contestant Winner Was Attacked with Acid to Destroy Her Beauty, [while she was in a hairdressing salon, by two unidentified men – Phnom Penh]
    • Twenty Four Kampuchea Krom People Seek Intervention from the Government to Live in Cambodia, after Thailand Sent Them Back

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #68, 16.12.2009

    • Thaksin Shinawatra Promised to Develop the Cambodian Agriculture [by creating two model family farms], while Thailand Sets Conditions for Cambodia to End the Dispute [requesting to dismiss Mr. Thaksin as economic advisor and withdrawing the derogatory words insulting the Thai judicial system; but the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia said these conditions are nonsense]
    • China Warned the Refugee Organization [of the United Nations] in Cambodia Regarding [22] Uighur People [who are seeking asylum in Cambodia, saying, ‘It should not be a heaven for criminals’]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5074, 16.12.2009

    • The Chinese Company [KH Qinglong Mining Investment Group – phonetic] Presents an Investment Plan to Explore Minerals in Cambodia [on 2,000 square kilometers in Kampot and Preah Vihear]
    • Thaksin Shinawatra: Just by Exporting Rice Alone, Cambodia Could Earn US$1 Billion [he said during a meeting about agricultural development, at the government house, prepared by the Council for Development of Cambodia, suggesting to the Cambodian government to encourage the provision of loans to Khmer poor farmers to do cultivation, in order to maintain food security and especially to have surplus for export]
    • [About 400 people, including officials from the Ministry of Environment, representatives of civil society, and of other relevant institutions, students, and citizens:] Cambodia Demands that World Leaders Agree on a Fair-for-All Global Climate Agreement Soon

    Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1834, 16.12.2009

    • Mr. Ny Chakriya: The Provision of Land to Companies Is Pushing Citizens to Face Serious Problems

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    Carbon Dioxide Emissions Become a Means for Cambodia to Ask for Money – Wednesday, 9.12.2009

    Posted on 10 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

    “Criticism will have no influence in making Cambodia, a poor country, to reduce the emission of CO2 which pollutes the environment. But the provision of funds is the best way to help to reduce the emissions that lead to global climate changes.

    “While the government will express its position during the discussions about climate change in Copenhagen, the coordinator at the national level of the office of climate change of the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Tin Ponlok, said, ‘We should not focus on the problems of industrialized countries.’

    “Mr. Tin Ponlok added, ‘As many industrialized countries as possible must provide specific financial support to help developing countries to adapt themselves to the impacts from climate change.’

    “His appeal was based on the core agenda of the discussion at the climate conference in Copenhagen, which is being held during 11 days, where Cambodian officials from some relevant ministries will encourage the provision of more financial support for the efforts of this country to reduce the impact from climate change.

    “In November, during the final discussions about climate change in Barcelona, the developed countries decided not to reply to requests for financial support, which would require them to prepare resources from 1% to 5% of their countries’ GDP for a fund on climate change for poor countries.

    “In Copenhagen, developed countries are trying to estimate how much resources they should contribute, and they consider whether a reduction of CO2 emission by 40% by 2020 is too high or not, which would mean to be at a comparable level with the amount of emissions in 1990, a goal that developing countries are appealing to achieve.

    “Mr. Tin Ponlok said that Cambodia is the one, among the 8 most vulnerable countries, under threat from climate change, that was selected into a pilot program of the World bank, the Climate Resilience project, which aims to expand efforts to combat the impacts from climate change, and it is expected that Cambodia will not be able to reduce CO2 emission unless financial support, especially for new technologies, is increased.

    “Mr. Tin Ponlok spoke to participants, students, officials from non-government organizations, and government officials, saying, ‘It will not happen through the market economy, unless developed countries provide funds to least developed countries, otherwise we can not join significantly to reduce our CO2 emissions.’

    “According to the World Bank’s estimation, US$10 billion in total per year have to be provided for climate change assistance to developing countries, compared to the estimated annual needs, US$75 million is for adaptation, and US$400 billion for the reduction of impacts from climate change.

    Note:

    The numbers in the previous paragraph do not match. We bring therefore a section of a World Bank Study which was probably the background for the Cambodian newspaper report above:

    The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change
    New Methods and Estimates

    The Global Report of the Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change Study
    Consultation Draft

    Four lessons stand out from the study:

    First, adaptation to a 2° Celsius warmer world will be costly. The study puts the cost of adapting between 2010 and 2050 to an approximately 2oC warmer world by 2050 at $75 billion to $100 billion a year. The estimate is in the upper range of existing estimates, which vary from $4 billion to $109 billion. Although the estimate involves considerable uncertainty (especially on the science side), it gives policymakers—for the first time—a carefully calculated number to work with. The value added of the study lies in the consistent methodology used to estimate the cost of adaptation—in particular, the way the study operationalizes the concept of adaptation.

    From a 109 pages World Bank document: The Costs to Developing Countries of Adapting to Climate Change (strangely enough it is not dated, but probably still recent).

    “In a report of the World Wildlife Fund last month, Phnom Penh is considered the 3rd most vulnerable city in Asia regarding climate change, together with Calcutta. The World Wildlife Fund said that Cambodia is vulnerable to the impacts from climate change, such as droughts and floods.

    “Mr. Tin Ponlok added, ‘Developing countries, especially the least developed countries, are the victims of climate change.’

    “He went on to say, ‘We are not at the root of the problem,’ adding, ‘developed countries must act, and developing countries can join voluntarily.’

    “However, regarding this position, environmentalists thought that putting all the burden on developed countries can make poor countries have a pretext to develop differently as they like [without considerations for the environment].

    […]

    “In a new report in October, the NGO Forum on Cambodia said that the government should open the market for decentralized energy production. In addition, a statement released yesterday by the Asian Development Bank voiced some concerns about future consequences that the developing countries in Asia may create for the environment.

    “The Asian Development Bank said, ‘While the emissions of CO2 on average into the atmosphere is in a low level at present, when the economy grows, incomes increase, then most emission of CO2 will come from vehicles, electricity plants, and deforestation.’ The CO2 emission in the world by developing countries in Asia might increase up to 40% easily, before or by 2030.

    “The power development plan of Cambodia for 2010 to 2020 calls for the construction of coal fired electricity generators at 9 places, which will add more CO2 emission from Cambodia, and 9 hydro-electric dams.

    “Though they made an appeal for decentralized power systems, the executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, Mr. Chhit Sam Ath, said recently in an interview, ‘The developed countries should really commit themselves to reduce greenhouse gases in their countries, and compensate developing countries for damages on those countries, as they do nothing [for substantially polluting the environment].’

    “He added, ‘Compensation should be provided in the form of the transfer of technologies, capacity building, and financial support for developing countries, so that they have the ability to deal with climate change problems.

    “A coordinating official on climate change of the non-government organization GERES, Mr. Heng Pheakdey, agreed with this idea.

    “He said that developing countries like Cambodia need a proper and ambitious agreement in which industrialized countries must commit themselves to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases more strongly and more quickly. This aid should be linked with conditions that can be accepted.

    “He added, ‘Nevertheless, it still depends on the government to use those resources to invest in renewable energy and to provide incentives to attract more investments in this sector.’

    “The executive director of Oxfam America in Cambodia, Mr. Brian Lund, wrote in an email, saying, ‘It is very important that the least developed countries, including Cambodia, create different systems to work towards climate change.’

    “He added, ‘Remember that this is a global issue, so everyone is concerned whether the funds are spent properly and that the poorest and most vulnerable countries are supported.’

    “However, it is expected that developing countries and also the least developed countries will be willing to help to care for the environment, but they should avoid using environmental reasons as a basis for asking for funds.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1829, 9.12.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 9 December 2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #357, 9.12.2009

    • [The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats – CALD – Nominated [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua as the Chair of the CALD Women’s Caucus
    • Samdech Ta [the Grandfather King] and Samdech Yeay [the Grandmother Queen] Sent Best Wishes to Samdech Chea Sim to Recover Soon [he is being treated in Singapore for hypertension]
    • Samdech Hun Sen Will Leave to Laos Today to Attend the 25th South East Asian Games

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2118, 9.12.2009

    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Congratulated [19] Khmer Students for Winning Prizes from the Isles International University in Europe
    • The Official of the World Health Organization [Dr. Michel Thieren]: 30,000 Cambodian People Have Diabetes

    Note:

    Also the Cambodia Daily of 9 December 2009 described the event, stating that 19 “senior officials, lawmakers and businessmen were awarded doctoral degrees yesterday morning by the Isles International University, an organization that appears to be an international diploma mill with strong links to the discredited Irish International University… which was exposed as having no links to Ireland’s educational system in 2006, after having awarded honorary degrees to a number of politicians, including to the premier himself….”

    The member of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the study was free, “but he paid $20,000 to have his thesis translated from Khmer to English,… Mr Mong Reththy said he had also paid $20,000 in the process of earning the doctorate.”

    In an information sheet distributed at yesterday’s ceremony, Isles International University claims to have been ‘approved
    by the Minister of Education in the Brithsh Isles of Grea Brivtain’ in an apparent reference to Great Britain. However, IIU’s name does not appear on a list of accredited, degree-awarding universities provided yesterday by the British Embassy in Phnom Penh.”

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #692, 9.12.2009

    • Samdech Norodom Sihanouk [the former King] Enters a Hospital in Beijing [for medical checkups] while [the President of the Senate] Chea Sim, Is Recovering from His Illness in Singapore
    • The Cambodian Angkor Air Is Served by Vietnamese Staff, and It Is Not Appropriate to Say that It Represents the Nation

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #550, 9.12.2009

    • Khmers who Live Abroad Held a Non-Violent Demonstration in Front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva in Switzerland [demanding real freedom and democratic rights for the Khmer people]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6826, 9.12.2009

    • The Department for Criminal Affairs of the Ministry of Interior Arrested Two Black Men for Using Fake Credit Cards [Svay Rieng]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #63, 9.12.2009

    • The Human Rights Party Asked the Ministry of Interior to Disclose the Number of Immigrants [in Cambodia]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5068, 9.12.2009

    • The Thai Spy Was Sentenced to Serve 7 Years in Prison and Ordered to Pay Riel 10 Million as a Fine [approx. US$2,500; for releasing information about the flight plan of former Thai prime minister, convicted and fugitive from his two years prison conviction for corruption, claiming that the disclosure of the flight plan affected the public order and security of Cambodia. Flight plans in most countries are always kept public, as a measure to facilitate the exchange of flight plan information for air traffic safety]
    • A Strong Woman Cheated a Korean Investor for Millions of Dollars [about US$10 million] and Was Arrested [Phnom Penh]
    • A Traffic Accident Grabbed Lives of Four People, because They Got Drunk, Riding Motorbikes and Hit a Car [coming from the opposite direction – Kompong Speu]
    • The European Union Grants an Additional US$1.3 Million for Human Rights Projects in Cambodia

    Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1829, 9.12.2009

    • Carbon Dioxide Emissions Become a Means for Cambodia to Ask for Money

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    The United Nations Climate Change Conference – Sunday, 6.12.2009

    Posted on 7 December 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

    From 7 to 18 December 2009 the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP 15 – will convene in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. It will be the most intensively prepared and biggest of these conferences, and the large number of highest level government leaders who have announced that they will participate is an indication that there is a widely shared awareness that the world is facing a real crisis.

    The report from the introductory briefing by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC – its more formal name – Yvo de Boer, says:

    “The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen will be a turning point in the fight to prevent climate disaster. The science demands it, the economics support it, future generations require it. In early December, negotiators, ministers and world leaders will assemble in the Danish capital to give the people of all nations a strong answer to this common, global threat of climate change.

    “In a briefing to the press less than two weeks ahead of the historic UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15), UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer spoke about his expectations for the meeting, which he described as a ‘historic turning point.’

    “In particular, a successful outcome in Copenhagen requires ambitious emissions targets from industrialized countries, as well as stable and predictable finance to support mitigation and adaptation actions by developing countries – with USD 10 billion a year up to 2013 needed to kick-start immediate action.

    “Success in Copenhagen, he said, can put the world on a low-emissions growth path and ensure that poor and vulnerable nations are in a position to adapt to the effects of climate change.

    “Underlining that there is no time to lose, and that the stakes are too high for political self-interest, Mr. de Boer called on countries to work in a spirit of cooperation and compromise to seal the deal in Copenhagen.”

    Actually, it is not one conference, but a cluster of different conferences with different, specific tasks:

    “COP 15 will be held in conjunction with the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), the 31st sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the 10th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the 8th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).”

    And there will be even ample possibility for virtual participation in COP 15 through the Internet:
    http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_15/virtual_participation/items/5092.php

    A commentary by the Mayor of the City of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg, under the title THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL, points to the facts that whatever the assembled governments decide will only lead to results if the international framework will be implemented locally, and that means often that this happens only after fighting for its implementation at the local level. “And local and state elected officials understand that voters care about climate change and expect their cities and states to do their part,” so that those who want to be elected have to respond to the legitimate expectations of the people.

    That requires especially cities to implement “bold steps to address climate change through transportation policy, energy efficiency, and urban planning,” making sure that “existing buildings are more energy efficient,” including and up “to revitalize parks.”

    Such considerations provide a link back to our own situation, when following the events during the next two weeks – and beyond into an uncertain future. What will it mean, to act locally, when one considers even only the few points mentioned by the mayor of New York – for the bold steps Phnom Penh has to take: for future plans for the ever increasing local traffic, for energy efficiency of the many buildings – old and new – which waste a lot of electricity for air-conditioning, as they were not designed with the goal to save energy, and for the preservation of open spaces in and around the city?

    Please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    The National Assembly Prepares to Release the Salaries of Personnel through a Bank, and to Collect Taxes on the Salaries – Monday, 30.11.2009

    Posted on 1 December 2009. Filed under: Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

    “Phnom Penh: Personnel of the National Assembly (not to be confused with the 123 parliamentarians) is required to receive their salaries through a bank account and to pay taxes for their salaries; according to the plan, this will start from January 2010.

    “On 25 November 2009, 73 persons employed at the National Assembly, in positions of directors and deputy directors of departments, are preparing documents and have their photos taken to fill in application forms to open accounts at the ANZ Royal Bank. This is the first step. Next comes the filling of forms by normal staff of the National Assembly – their total number is not given. But it is known that those staff are under the administration of the secretariat of the National Assembly, where at present, there are 1,200 staff members and some other contracted persons.

    “Officials of the National Assembly in charge of this work said that the National Assembly organizes to release the salaries through a bank, following public financial reforms of the Royal Government. Also, this eases the release of the salaries for civil servants at other cities and in the provinces, as they need not come to collect their salaries in Phnom Penh, and it improves the efficiency of the management of resources. The release of salaries to staff of the National Assembly through a bank will begin in January 2010.

    “The private ANZ Royal Bank received the exclusive right from the Cambodian government to handle the release of the salaries of civil servants and officials of all ministries and institutions. This agreement was made in mid 2007.

    “The head of the commercial communication section of the ANZ Royal Bank, Mr. Nou Netra, who is organizing the documents to open bank accounts for the staff of the National Assembly, said that so far, the ANZ Royal Bank has already prepared to release the salaries for 35 of the 36 state institutions, and it has been operating at 27 ministries.

    “Meanwhile, personnel of the National Assembly will also have to pay taxes on their salaries, which had been decided to begin in October 2009, but the National Assembly had asked to delay it until early 2010.

    “During a meeting between the secretariat of the National Assembly and tax officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance last week, tax officials mentioned the order of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen regarding the collection of taxes on salaries of civil servants at all ministries and state and private institutions.

    “Monthly salary taxes will be collected in accordance with the amendment of the taxation law that was published to be used on 31 March 2003.

    “The ranges for the collection of taxes on staff salaries are set as follows:

    • from Riel 500,001 [approx. US$125] to Riel 1,250,000 [approx. US$312]: 5%
    • from Riel 1,250,001 to Riel 8,500,000 [approx. US$2,125]: 10%
    • from Riel 8,500,001 to Riel 12,500,000 [approx. US$3,125]: 15%
    • more than Riel 12,500,000: 20%.

    “It should be noted that the total number of staff of the National Assembly and the total amount of their salaries are not given. But the amount of their salaries depends on their experience and certified level of education. Normal staff who are high school graduates earn more than Riel 600,000 [approx. US$150], and heads of departments earn Riel 1,200,000 [approx. US$300] and above.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5060, 29-30.11.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 30 November 2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #349, 29-30.11.2009

    • Army Commanders at the [Cambodian-Thai] Border Meet Each Other More Often and Play Sports, while Diplomatic Ties Are Still Tense
    • Cambodia Will Ask to Extend the Time Necessary to Clear All Mines from Cambodia for 10 More Years [at a an international conference in Colombia about mines and other explosion devices]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2111, 29-30.11.2009

    • A Branch Director of the Acleda Bank in Kompong Cham and His Girlfriend Were Arrested for Taking Nearly Half a Million Dollars [Phnom Penh]
    • A Court Decided to Release a Man Accused of Rape and of Taking Photos to Extort Money [from his sister-in-law, due to lack of evidence – Phnom Penh [according to another source, the man tried to catch her for committing adultery with another person]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #542, 29-30.11.2009

    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann: There Should Be No More Tensions, while the Border Issues near the Preah Vihear Temple Are Being Solved

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6818, 30.11.2009

    • To Eliminate Gender Inequality, there Must Be an Increasing Number of Women Officials [according to a workshop organized by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #56, 30.11.2009

    • [More than 100] Sam Rainsy Party Members Defected to the Cambodian People’s Party [however, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann. said that the number was exaggerated, because there were only two or three members who defected]

    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1478, 30.11.2009

    • Nine Types of Foodstuff [6 tonnes] Worth US$200,000 Arrived as Humanitarian Aid from South Korea [to assist victims of the typhoon Ketsana]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5060, 29-30.11.2009

    • The National Assembly Prepares to Release the Salaries of Personnel through a Bank, and to Collect Taxes on the Salaries
    • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Asked Cambodia to Consider Asking for a Loan [from Thailand, to construct a road with the amount of about US$41 million] again, as the Military Commanders Promised that there Will Be No Armed Clashes
    • Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldiers [that is from the Special Border Protection Unit] Shot at a Group of Khmer Citizens, Killing One Youth [they had entered the forest to cut trees on Thai territory – Oddar Meanchey]
    • The National Assembly Asked the Government to Provide Documents and to Explain the Border Demarcation [with Vietnam]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    Lecturers of the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture Wait to See How Chan Sarun Takes Action against Chan Nareth – Friday, 27.11.2009

    Posted on 27 November 2009. Filed under: Week 640 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 640

    “The rector of the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture, Mr. Chan Nareth, is accused by lecturers working under his administration of being involved in corruption to take between US$300,000 and US$400,000 university resources each year.

    “A local website wrote, following the claims of many lecturers, staff, and civil servants of the university, that Mr. Chan Nareth took the money, income of the university, for himself alone, while lecturers, staff, and civil servants receive only small salaries that cannot even support their daily living expenses.

    “The lecturers describe on the website their accusation against the university rector Chan Nareth, claiming he commits corruption for his own interest, and at present he has luxury cars and several residencies.

    “The Royal University of Agriculture is located in the Meanchey district of Phnom Penh; it is also called the Chamkar Doung School or the Chamkar Doung University of Agriculture.

    “The lecturer Chhum Phetlun wrote on the website that since 1999, this university started to charge tuition fees from its students, for the studies that began in 2000, so it brings in US$300,000 to US$400,000 each year. This large amount of resources was not shared with lecturers, staff, and civil servants of the university to assist their family livelihood, but Rector Chan Nareth took it alone. Because they can no longer bear the greed of their director, they decided to disclose this case through the media in order to inform the leaders so that they take action to seek justice for lecturers, staff, and civil servants of the university.

    “Earlier on, 72 lecturers, staff, and civil servants had thumbprinted a demand addressed to Mr. Chan Nareth to add US$6 per hour to the hourly remuneration decided by the state [for the lecturer’s remuneration], and to add additional payments for civil servants, who earn US$80 per month, and for other staff who earn US$50 per month, starting from 2010.

    “The lecturer Chhum Phetlun added that previously, being afraid of the power and influence of Rector Chan Nareth, all lecturers, staff and civil servants did not dare to protest, or to report anything to higher level leaders. But now, because of the rector’s greed to take US$300,000 to US$400,000 per year for himself alone, they cannot stand it any longer, and are not afraid any longer, and they decided to report it to the media to help to bring this message to the leaders, especially to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Mr. Chan Sarun, to learn about the difficulties of lecturers, staff, and civil servants of the Royal University of Agriculture of Chamkar Doung.

    “Adding up the amounts of US$300,000 to US$400,000 each year from 2000 to 2009, it comes to as much as US$2,700,000 to US$3,600,000.

    “Yesterday [26 November 2009] Khmer Machas Srok could not reach Rector Chan Nareth, who is being accused, for a comment.

    “Analysts said that in this case, Mr. Chan Nareth probably did not dare to take the money alone, there must be some other higher leaders with whom he shared it, so that he can be happy above the pile of difficulties of many lecturers, civil servants, staff, and workers.

    “Therefore, they wait to see what measures the higher level leaders of the relevant institutions, especially the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chan Sarun, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, will take on Mr. Chan Nareth, if this scandal is true.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #540, 27.11.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 27 November 2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #347, 27.11.2009

    • Two Boys, Seven and Eight Years Old, Are Accused of Raping a 5 Year-Old Girl [Banteay Meanchey]
    • Two Girls [13 and 14 years old] Died in a Pond when They Took Clothes there to Wash [Kandal]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2109, 27.11.2009

    • Soldiers Patrolled the Border and Stepped on a Mine Left from Wartime, Resulting in One Death and One Injured in Thma Da Commune [Pursat]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #540, 27.11.2009

    • Lecturers of the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture Wait to See How Chan Sarun Takes Action against Chan Nareth

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6816, 27.11.2009

    • Asia Pacific Regional Conference about the Prevention of Violence against Woman and Children Was Held [in Siem Reap; and a 16-Day Campaign to combat violence against women and children was launched]
    • Terrible Trick: [Three] Men Cheated a Woman to a Guesthouse; Some Raped Her and Some Took Pictures of Her [Nude] Body to Extort Money from Her [they were all arrested – Phnom Penh]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #55, 27.11.2009

    • Duch Hearings Will Finish Today and the Judgment Will Be Announced in 2010
    • A/H1N1 Has Killed Five People [and the number of infected people has increased to 472 in Cambodia]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5058, 27.11.2009

    • A Thai Official from the Ministry of Defense and the Mother of the Thai Alleged Spy Will Meet Him Today
    • Robbers Shot to Rob a New Series Motorbike [then they escaped; the victim died at a hospital – Phnom Penh]
    • Siamese [Thai] Police Found 6,000 Explosives and 8 Guns Prepared to Welcome [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [during his visit to Chiang Mai]
    • Vietnam Approved the Plan to Create a Nuclear Power Electricity Generation Plant

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    Report of the National Audit Authority Does Not Show the Amount of Lost Money – Thursday, 5.11.2009

    Posted on 6 November 2009. Filed under: Week 637 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 637

    “At the Hotel Cambodiana there was a press conference organized by the National Audit Authority on 30 October 2009, to present an audit report about the management of public finances, which had been checked from 2002 to 2009. But the report was only for 2006.

    “The general auditor, Mr. Ut Chhon, stated in the conference that this report only s negatives, but he did not respond in detail to questions of journalists like: ‘According to the audit results, how much money was lost by corruption each year?’

    “During the conference, which lasted for several hours to share information through the report presented, there were four main points, which included 12 important items about resource management and the audit results included. Those important points are the same mentioned also in a book of 100 points in a report written by the Sam Rainsy Party in 2003.

    “The report speaks about tax on unused land, which is in line with the policy of the Sam Rainsy Party. As a result of the audit it was found that there were many cases where tax was not paid for unused land, while several companies received concession land from the government of more than one million hectares, where the state has not set appropriate costs for leasing this land.

    “The report speaks about this point, stressing that the Ministry of Agriculture, on behalf of the whole government, had signed agreements with more than 70 companies from 1992 to 2006, to provide more than one million hectares of concession land for development, and most agreements were made, deciding that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy and Finance are responsible for assessing and for setting the costs for leasing of the land. But by 2007, the assessment and setting of costs for leasing this concession land was not fully implemented in accordance with the above decision. The Ministry of Economy and Finance agreed with the audit report on this point.

    “The National Audit Authority, established in 2000 ,started to work in 2002, and has worked by now for seven years. But this institution has only just now released a report, and the opinions was expressed that it was released to satisfy what donors want. Anyway, the auditor general, Mr. Ut Chhon, told journalists that the release of the report is done based on the will of the government, not because of pressure from any other country.

    “Mr. Ut Chhon added that the audit of the working team had discovered some problems, like at some tax institutions, collecting taxes at the border, and monitoring and assessing the tax to be demanded for goods loaded in containers by some companies – this was difficult, and the assessment of tax collection covers only about 25%.

    “He spoke also about the management of state property, and about the licensing of ownership of state property, where many of such cases occur in cities and provinces countrywide.

    “According to the report consisting of more than 500 cases, it is said that corruption led to the loss of much state resources.

    “When asked whether the general auditor can assess how much tax was lost every year, Mr. Ut Chhon said that he cannot say anything, and that every country is the same. But he added that only England made the amount of the lost money publicly known.

    “At the end of the conference, Mr. Ut Chhon said that he expects that the release of this report will promote better relation between the public and the National Audit Authority, in order to ease the work of his institution in the future.

    “However, what the national and the international public want is to know the amount of money missed because of corruption, and they want to see that the results of the audit explicitly identify negative points, especially about the loss of national resources.

    “Recently, the US Ambassador in Phnom Penh, Ms. Carol Rodley, said that corruption in Cambodia amounts to a loss of state resource of about US$500 million each year. This speech had invited strong reactions from government officials.

    “Analysts said that the National Audit Authority released the report just to satisfy donors.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #521-522, 31-5.10-11.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 5 November 2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #325-328, 31-5.10-11.2009

    • Cambodia Appointed [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin as Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor [on 27 October 2009]
    • Thai Parliamentarians Had Arguments over Thaksin’s Case [about the extradition to send him back if he comes to Cambodia]
    • 25,000 Condoms Will Be Distributed to Boat Racers [during the Water Festival]
    • The Government Provides US$4 Million to Set Up Pumping Machines to Pump [flood] Water from the Russey Keo District [Phnom Penh]
    • Cambodia Will Build a Nine-Storey Hospital [near the Calmette Hospital offering high standard health services with help from Denmark]
    • On the Second Day [of the Water Festival] a Boat Racer Died after a Boat Sank; the Audience Is Careful about the A/H1N1 Virus [Phnom Penh]
    • A Police Official [and another man] Raped a Virgin and Compensated Her With Only One Million Riel [approx. US$250; so they were not sent to court to be convicted – Phnom Penh]
    • The National Independence Day This Year Will Be Celebrated on 8 October [rather than on the normal 9 November in order to help the King attend the event – according the Permanent Organizing Commission for National and International Ceremonies]
    • Police and Fishery Officials Put the Blame on Each Other for Arresting Fishermen to Extort Money [Kompong Thom]
    • Cambodia Will Increase the Military Budget to US$277 Million in 2010 [while in 2009, it was US$223 million]
    • American Economy Grew by 3.5% in the Third Quarter [according to AFP]
    • 187 Countries Demands the USA to Withdraw the Ban of Transportation to Cuba

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2086, 31.10.2009

    • World Bank: The Asian Economy Recovers [because of timely stimulating resources made available by some countries like China and South Korea], but in Cambodia, there Is No Imprevement Yet
    • Cambodia Confirmed Again Not to Extradite [the ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to Thailand [if he comes to Cambodia]
    • A Danish Man Was Arrested in Poipet for Having Sexual Relationships with Many Young Girls
    • Three Orphans Were Tortured by the Director of an [orphan] Center, They Were Found with Marks on their Bodies [he was arrested – Kandal]
    • A Trach Tree Fell on a Poor House [because of strong wind], Killing Two People [a mother and her daughter] and Injuring Three [Mondolkiri]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #521, 31.10.2009

    • Report of the National Audit Authority Does Not Show the Amount of Lost Money
    • The Impact from Sand Dredging to Fill the Boeng Kak Lake Killed a Man and His Four Sons from an Electric Shock in the Sewage System [the electricity got into the water and shocked the man when he waded through the water in his house; then the children were also electrocuted when they waded through the water to help their father, thinking he had fainted and fallen because of fainting]
    • Yuth Phouthang Was Replaced as Koh Kong Governor [by the Srae Ambel district governor, Mr. Bun Leut] while [Phnom Penh Municipal Governor] Kep Chuktema Is Also Facing to Be Replaced [according to a person who asked not to be named]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6793, 31-1.10-11.2009

    • A Siamese [Thai] Court Sentenced Twelve Khmer Citizens to Serve Five to Eight Years in Prison for Entering Thai Territory to Cut Trees [Cambodia will appeal]
    • A Khmer Citizen Was Shot, Injured, and Arrested while Six Others Managed to Escape Back to Their Village [they climbed the Dangrek Mountains to cut trees – a local official said that they were in an the area where there are not yet border markers set up]
    • A Tragedy Happened at a Flooded House, Where a Man and Four Children Were Electrocuted [because of flooding] while His Wife and the Another Son Were Seriously Injured [Russey Keo district, Phnom Penh]
    • The Audit Authority Wants to See Income and Expense Outside of the National Treasury, Especially Foreign Aid, to Be Checked Thoroughly
    • Man Raped His Daughter and Another Man Rapped His Niece – Both Girls Are Six Years Old [both men were arrested – Banteay Meanchey]
    • The Authorities Lodged a Complaint at a Court against Mr. Sam Rainsy for Removing Temporary Wooden Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Markers

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #38, 4.10.2009

    • The Water Festival Finished Successfully, but the Number of Visitors Declined [to about one million] Compared to Last Year [because of economic problems of the people and because of the typhoon Ketasana]
    • South Korea Grants More Than US$200,000 [to Cambodia] to Restore Damages Caused by the Typhoon

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5035-503, 31.10.2009

    • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Reduced Tension [between Cambodia and Thailand] by Saying that He Will not Come to Cambodia
    • The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology Informs that the Rain in the Rainy Season Has Come to an End
    • Asian Development Bank: Cambodia Is Among 19 Countries where More Than 10% of the Population [of about 14 million in Cambodia] Live in Poverty
    • The National Assembly of Cambodia Will Ask the “Duma” – the Parliament of Russia – to Encourage the Russian Government to Cancel the US$1.5 Billion Debt That Cambodia Owes
    • Because he Got Jealous, a Man Attacked His Wife with a Khvev [a long handled knife] and Cut Her Throat to Kill Her [he was arrested – Kos Krolor District, Battambang]
    • [Hundreds of] Thai Demonstrators Demanded that Their Government Closes the Border Crossings, and Recall their Ambassador from Cambodia [because Cambodia does not agree to withdraw the Cambodian troops and villagers from the contested 4.6 square km area around the Preah Vihear Temple]
    • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy Denied that He Removed the Wooden Border Markers [and said that local citizens did it – according to the cabinet of the Sam Rainsy Party]
    • A Man Lured a [14-year-old] Girl to Rape Her Seven Times [he was arrested – Battambang]
    • A Buddhist Elder Raped a Six-Year-Old Girl [he was arrested – Battambang]
    • A Tropical Storm Killed at Least 57 People in Vietnam

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    The Use of Agricultural Chemical Pesticides Is Still Popular despite Knowing that They Are Dangerous – Friday, 13.2.2009

    Posted on 14 February 2009. Filed under: Week 599 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror

    “Phnom Penh: Even though there are reminders from officials of the Ministry of Agriculture to be careful when using agricultural chemical pesticides, at present, many farmers at different places said that they still cannot give it up. Farmers in Kandal said that the use of agricultural chemical pesticides is still a crucial method that cannot be given up so that their crops provide good yields to meet the markets and their needs. In the meantime, experts found that there are up to 147 types of agricultural chemical pesticides sold on markets, and among them between 40 and 50 types strongly harm the health of consumers.

    “Mr. Nob (name provided by the writer), 48, a farmer in a commune of Kandal S’ang district, said that so far, he still uses agricultural chemical pesticides, although he knows that they can affect his health and that of the consumers, because there is no choice.

    “Kandal borders on Phnom Penh, and it is a province which supplies agricultural products, such as vegetables and fruits to the markets in Phnom Penh and in other provinces. Some districts along the lower Mekong and Basak rivers are also sources of vegetables.

    “Mr. Nob is a farmer growing many kinds of crops, such as cabbage, salad, and [edible] Khatna flowers in his village, in order to supply them to the markets in Phnom Penh. The method he uses to take care of his crops until they provide yields is to use agricultural chemical pesticides that he can buy easily from different places in his locality.

    “He said, ‘I must use them so that my crops grow well, and if I do not use them, worms will eat all the crops.’ According to his description, he and his villagers have so far not seen any official experts in agriculture coming to instruct them and to explain the impact of the use of agricultural chemical pesticides, and to start to produce natural poison or natural fertilizer, although nowadays, the Minister of Agriculture and some organizations are encouraging citizens to cut down on the use of agricultural poison or chemical fertilizers, saying one can change to natural fertilizer and natural methods of pest control.

    “Responding to this problem, the Svay Prateal commune chief in S’ang, Kandal, Mr. Nuon Soeun, said that agricultural officials did never come to explain the impact of the use of agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer, but previously, there were organizations coming to help educate farmers some time, but the farmers seemed not interested in it. He added that natural pesticides are likely more difficult to produce and more tiring than to use chemical pesticides.

    “He went on to say, ‘I also used to produce poison to prevent insects from destroying some types of crops, it takes half a month at least to find the resources and to mix them. As for chemical pesticides, I just go to the market to buy them, mix them with water, and apply it on crops; that’s all.’

    “According to his experience, to produce natural poison to prevent insects, farmers need to find many different resources such as the bark of the Sdao tree, the poisonous fruit of the Sleng tree, and the poisonous bark of the Kantuot tree, and soak them in water that is then used to apply to the crops. He said that doing so is complicated and can make farmers get tired of it. According to information from him, among more than 3,000 families, most of them take up cropping, and up to 90% of them use agricultural chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizer.

    “At present, the Ministry of Agriculture, especially the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chan Sarun, who always goes directly to different localities countrywide, appeals to farmers to change their habits from using agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer to using natural poison and natural fertilizer. The change, that the Ministry of Agriculture wants, is to ensure the health of the farmers themselves and also of the consumers; that is to care for the quality of soil and water – without any poison. Many hazards might happen because farmers use chemical pesticides without proper instruction from experts. Also, the ministry encourages its officials to go to educate farmers at their localities about these problems.

    “The S’ang district governor, Mr. Khim Chankiri, and the director of the Kandal Agricultural Department, Mr. Bun Tuon Simona, denied what residents had mentioned: that expert officials never reach out to them to instruct them about the impact of chemical pesticides, and they said that these problems are what they actually are focusing on.

    “Mr. Chankiri added that before, district officials went to instruct them about these problems, and moreover, the department had sent officials. He continued to say, ‘Most of them thought it was wasting their time, instead of working on cropping, but they did take part. This is why they said that there was never any official going to educate them regularly.’ As for Mr. Tuon Simona, he said that so far, the agricultural department went to educate them regularly about how to create natural fertilizer and many different measures to protect crops and prevent impacts of the use of agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer.

    “However, according to another farmer in another province and some other people, they said the same about the presence of agricultural officials. They said that they rarely saw agricultural officials going to meet farmers, except when there were ceremonies to accompany their higher officials. Actually, relating to this problem, obviously there should be more active outreach by experts than before, rather than pointing to the statements of higher officials. They often assume that lower officials are inactive for different reasons, or they create just project expenses about non existing tasks. Therefore, farmers cannot receive what the Minister wants.

    “Regarding this problem, the director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC], Dr. Yang Saing Koma, said that generally, the use of agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer has become already a habit of the farmers. Thus, to change them, takes time and needs participation.

    “He added, ‘If the use of chemical products has already become their habit, it is most difficult to change.’

    “By now, there are hundreds of types of agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer on the local markets – according to a study by the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture .

    “The project coordinator of CEDAC, Mr. Keam Makarady said that in 2008, the center found there were up to 147 types of agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer at the markets all over Cambodia, among which 53% were imported from Vietnam and 37% from Thailand. Among them, from 40 to 50 types can enter into vegetables and fruit, when pesticides are administered on them.

    “He emphasized, ‘Talking about chemical substances, we found 147 types, but talking about commercial names of pesticides, there are up to 606 types.’

    “According to the findings of the center in 2007, there were only 132 agricultural chemical pesticides on the market, and 472 commercial names. Therefore, within one year, all his increased greatly.

    “He said that that those kinds of pesticides are harmful to the health of users, particularly farmers, who use and touch them directly.

    “Based on Mr. Makarady words, those pesticides can directly affect farmers, for example they cause getting dizzy and having to vomit, they can damage the stomach and the bladder, cause skin diseases, and weaken the health. They indirectly affect also consumers who eat their products, especially chemical pesticides that can enter into vegetables and fruit.

    “Relating to the use of agricultural chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer, a farmer in Kandal, who grows banana, said (by not mentioning his name), that – in order to meet their demands – farmers use those chemical pesticides. He added that if they grow and their products depend only on the nature, farmers cannot harvest enough to meet the demands of the market.

    “He emphasized, ‘After a banana tree loses its flowers, it takes three months for bananas to ripe. But if chemicals are applied, they can make it ripe within two months. Just apply chemicals one or two times, and small bananas grow really big, and they look as if they had been pumped up like a balloon.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4820, 13.2.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 13 February 2009

    Cheat Khmer. Vol.1, #17, 13-15.2.2009

    • The International Monetary Fund – IMF – Warns about Serious Effects on the Cambodian Economy [if the government does not have proper measures to prevent the effects of the global economic slowdown]
    • The United Nations and the Ministry of Interior Join to Fight Torture

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1872, 13.2.2009

    • [The president of the Cambodian People’s Party and president of the Senate] Samdech Chea Sim Still Supports [the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party and prime minister] Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [he said that the Cambodian People’s Party is still strong and has no internal splits, and that he still supports Mr. Hun Sen to be the prime ministerial candidate of the party]
    • More Than 40 Families Protest in Front of the Municipality with Accusations that Their Land Is Violated [Oddar Meanchey]

    Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #341, 13.2.2009

    • The Opposition Parties Asks Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Explain the Global Witness Report and to Arrest the Perpetrators to Be Convicted

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #343, 13.2.2009

    • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Orders the Council of Ministers, Administered by Sok An, to Take Action against [the former commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces recently removed] Ke Kim Yan according to the System of Laws [seizing all his machineries, and recalling all soldiers defending his land, to return to their barracks]
    • The Organization World Education Reminds [Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport] Im Sethy to Reinstate Mr. Sun Thun at His Previous Place [Mr. Sun Thun was removed from a high-school to teach at a lower-secondary school, accused of defaming government leaders during his teaching]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #202, 13.2.2009

    • Plan to Collect Taxes in 2009 Might Yield Up to US$500 Million [no figures for 2008 provided for comparison]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #63, .2.2009

    • Minister of Information [Khieu Kanharith] Asks the Region Marketing Director of the Voice of America [Mr. Neal Lavon] to Help Officials of the National Television [by sending them to receive training in the United States of America]
    • The Ministry of Interior Does Not Allow to Hold an Extraordinary Congress of the Norodom Ranariddh Party on 15 February 2009 [because the acting president of the Norodom Ranariddh Party did not legally give the right to Mr. Em Sitha, with his signature, indicating that he is the representative of the party]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3686, 13.2.2009

    • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Still Ban Khmers to Build a Pagoda Fence Near the Border in Kompong Cham’s Memut District [even though it is not in Vietnamese territory; the district governor, Mr. Chek Sa On, the person who signed the permission for the construction is also the person who came to prohibit it, said that it is a problem on the national level]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4820, 13.2.2009

    • The Use of Agricultural Chemical Pesticides Is Still Popular despite Knowing that They Are Dangerous
    • In Ten More Years the Cambodian Economy May Have a Stronger Competitive Position [according to a leading institution in organizing conferences]
    • Note (from the announcement):

      Economist Conferences

      Siem Reap, 16 February 2009

      Fees: US$990 Earlybird fee (register by 9 January 2009) – US$1,250 Standard fee

      Business Roundtable with the government of Cambodia – On the verge of a breakthrough?

      “His Excellency Prime Minister Hun Sen has confirmed his support and will deliver the opening keynote address at the event.

      …Cambodia’s prospects as both a tourist destination and a center for enterprise and investment – on paper at least – appear bright.

      …Cambodia will continue to struggle to reassure the international community that the political system itself is sound and fair… How the new government responds to stabilize the economy, and address pressing issues such as poverty and public-sector corruption, will have a significant bearing on the country’s attractiveness to foreign direct investment.

      Key issues to be discussed include:

      • In light of recent oil and gas discoveries in the Gulf of Thailand, what is the government doing to settle border claims with its neighbors?
      • With predictions that oil could start flowing by as early as 2011, how will the government manage Cambodia’s newfound wealth?
      • In evaluating the investment climate, are private equity firms being overly optimistic?
      • What new business opportunities are there for investment in Cambodia’s much needed infrastructure?
      • Given the recent boom in property development and construction, is greater regulation of the industry necessary and if so, what impact will this have on property investors?
      • How will Cambodia’s garment industry deal with greater competition from China and Vietnam? What is being done to boost efficiency in this important industry?
      • With a recession hitting the US, what is Cambodia doing to diversify its export markets?
      • How will the government offset growing inflation and an increase in commodity prices, particularly of oil?
      • Is Cambodia’s economy ready to move away from de facto ‘dollarization’ to the riel and what will this mean for business?”
    • The UN World Food Program Will Grant US$25 Million for Project Implementations in Cambodia
    • The Economic Policy Committee Asks the Government Four Points in order to Reduce Taxes to Help the Garment Sector [the four measures are: 1. Reducing burdens of taxes, and other expenses. 2. Improving commerce, especially garment export. 3.Commercial financing, and 4. Improving professional relations and responsibility by all sides in the frame of law]
    • Leaders of Different Religions from 16 Countries Meet in Cambodia [they are from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, England, India, Italy, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Uganda, United State of America, and Vietnam]
    • The Financial Crisis Makes Cambodia to Loose US$676 Million, and 44,600 Workers to Loose Employment

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3484, 13.2.2009

    • Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Prohibits Rohingya Refugees to Enter Siam [Thailand]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

    And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

    Back to top

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

    Next Entries »

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