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.

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There Is Sex Trafficking via Internet Websites – Saturday, 16.1.2010

Posted on 25 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648


Note:

The delays in publishing because of my international travel should be over by Tuesday.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: According to a report to sum up the work done in 2009 by the Phnom Penh Municipal Police and to establish directions for the work in 2010, it was fond that, because of poverty and unemployment, human trafficking and sex exploitation continued to increase in Phnom Penh. Most sexual exploitations is done in hotels, guesthouses, massage shops, and Karaoke parlors, and now, there appears a new form of sexual exploitation using Internet based information technology, organizing trafficking through websites on the Internet, to contact and attract children for sex. However, as a result of counter-measure actions, police cracked down in 74 cases; compared to 2008, there was an increase by 29 cases in 2009, and 91 perpetrators were arrested and sent to be dealt with by the courts.

“This report was published during a meeting to sum up the results of security and social order protection operations in 2009, and to establish directions for the work in 2010, organized by the Phnom Penh Municipal Police under the leadership of the Director General of the National Police, Mr. Net Savoeun.

“The report adds that the general trend of criminal offenses still poses complex challenges. Though the authorities tried very hard to handle it, the results were not yet satisfying, especially to find persons being searched, and to investigate persons being searched for which an arrest warrant has been issued, and other search requests, because some criminals escaped and return to Phnom Penh to gather and create new groups and repeatedly commit offenses, before police could finally get hold of them. As for drug concerns, it is also still a challenge for Phnom Penh where many persons that are being searched abuse drugs, including teenage people who secretly use drugs at hotels, guest-houses, or houses for rent, entertainment clubs, and at public places, increasing the number of drug abusers and creating a markets for local distribution to which drugs are supplied by foreign criminals.

“According to this report, there were 392 criminal offenses in 2009; compared to 2008, the number increased by 42 cases. Evidence seized included 13 rifles, 35 pistols, 7 cars, 141 motorbikes, and 11 mobile phones.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6865, 23-24.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 23 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #394, 22.1.2010

  • Malaysia Invests US$107.6 Million in Electricity in Cambodia [110 km north of Phnom Penh]
  • The Phnom Penh Police Chief [Mr. Touch Naruth] Promised to Suppress Gambling [on a daily basis]
  • Supporters of Mr. Obama Drop [from 70%] to 57% one Year after He Took Office

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2158, 23.1.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen Ordered to Demolish the Chhne Prampi Chon Construction [owned by the wife of the Sihanoukville governor] in Sihanoukville [saying that it can affects the environment and disturbs the relaxation of tourists along the beach]
  • Police Arrested a Norwegian Man for Taking a [15-year-old] Girl to a Guesthouse [Siem Reap]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #587, 23.1.2010

  • The Authorities Do Not Dare to Disclose the Names of the Wood Traders Who Hire Citizens to Cut Trees, but Threaten Citizens That Tried to Prevent Forestry Crimes [like in the northeastern provinces bordering Vietnam]
  • Military Police Arrested Three Nigerian Men for using Fake Dollar Notes

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6865, 23-24.1.2010

  • There Is Sex Trafficking via Internet Websites

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5107, 23.1.2010

  • [A pro-Sam Rainsy Party newspaper] Moneaksekar Khmer Is Allowed to Continue Publishing Again [after it had been closed for one year, as the government had sued it for defamation and disinformation – according to the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
  • Cambodia Asked South Korea to Help to Construct a Cambodian-Korean Friendship Bridge [across the Mekong River], but Korea Said They Need to Discuss Details First
  • Vietnam Offers Scholarships to 100 Cambodian Students for 2010

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ECPAT Cambodia: Rape of Women and Children Increased in 2009 to 322 Cases – Monday, 18.1.2010

Posted on 19 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

“Phnom Penh: Rape is, according to the law, as a serious crime – perpetrators and colluders can be jailed up to 20 years and they will also be fined. How did the situation of rape change in 2009 in Cambodia?

“End Child Prostitution, Abuse, and Trafficking in Cambodia (ECPAT) published figures of rape, of sex trafficking, and of debauchery based on reports in five local newspapers: Koh Santepheap, Rasmei Kampuchea, Kampuchea Thmey, the Cambodia Daily, and the Phnom Penh Post-vp, where there were 322 cases of rape reported. The number increased by 16.77% compared to 2008, where there had been only 268 cases, and by 6.52% compared to 2007, where there had been 301 cases. The 332 cases victimized 337 persons, among whom 202 were underage girls and 2 were boys. Most of the victims were Khmers, but there were also Vietnamese, Cambodian Muslims, and Australians. It should be noted that gang rapes [when two or more men rape one girl] increased to 29 cases – in each case there were 2 to 7 perpetrators involved, and 5 victims were killed after they had been raped.

“ECPAT Cambodia added that these rape cases were committed by 381 perpetrators where one was a woman. Besides Khmer perpetrators, there were also Khmer Muslims, Thais, Vietnamese, and Koreans. 317 of them were arrested, and 235 were sent to courts. 47 escaped and 2 others were not arrested. Among all cases, 66 are still under further investigation by local authorities, in 2 cases the perpetrators were released, and 1 case was solved out of the court system. There were only 6 cases reported where perpetrators were convicted to serve 3 to 20 years in prison, and they were ordered to compensate the victims or the victim’s families with US$1,000 to US$2,500. If we look at the relation between perpetrators and underage victims, it is found that 143 children were raped by their neighbors or persons they know, 27 were raped by their fathers, step fathers, or adopted fathers, 16 were raped by other relatives, and 2 were raped by their teachers.

“The provinces and cities with most rape cases were Battambang with 61 cases, Phnom Penh with 42 cases, Kandal with 30 cases, Banteay Meanchey with 26 cases, Pursat with 25 cases, Kompong Cham with 24 cases, and Kompong Speu and Takeo both with 17 cases. Some factors were found triggering these cases, which include: perpetrators had easy opportunities [to commit rape], victims stayed or went somewhere alone with the perpetrators, or they attend celebrations at night, victims were asleep or having a bath, and in other cases the perpetrators were heavily drunk, or had prepared their plans in advance, or they had frequently watched pornographic movies.

“Based on the above figures, law enforcement by the relevant authorities, especially the courts, remained limited, as giving impunity to perpetrators continued, and this was also because the publication of laws by different relevant institutions was not yet done intensively, and there was carelessness of victims and of the victims’ parents.

“Also, there were 7 cases of sex trafficking (compared to 2008, there were 17 cases and 2007, there were 16 cases) which resulted in 11 victims where 7 of them were underage and one was Vietnamese. Those cases involved 15 perpetrators where 3 were women: 2 Koreans and 1 Chinese. 1 perpetrator was the victim’s friend, and the other was committed by an acquaintance. 13 of the perpetrators were arrested, 5 cases were sent to the courts, 1 escaped, and 2 other cases are under further investigations by the local authorities. Sex trafficking occurred in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Pailin, Takeo, and Banteay Meanchey. There are no report about how the perpetrators were prosecuted.

“In 2009, there were also 18 cases of debauchery with children, involving 24 victims. Among them, only 1 was not underage, 4 were boys, and 1 was Vietnamese. These cases were committed by 18 perpetrators, where 4 were Khmers, 3 French, 2 Canadians, 2 Americans, 1 English, 1 Swiss, 1 Thai, 1 Danish, 1 Israeli, and 1 Greek. Most of them were tourists, but there were also teachers among them, and a foreign monk. 17 of them were arrested and sent to court, and 1 escaped. There were 3 cases brought for hearings where the perpetrators were sentenced to serve 1 to 5 years in prison, and they were ordered to compensate the victims with US$1,000 to US$2,500. 9 of those cases happened in Phnom Penh, 2 cases in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, and Banteay Meanchey each, and 1 case in Battambang, Kandal, and Koh Kong.

“ECPAT Cambodia noticed that rape in Cambodia continued to occur at a worrying and high level, and most victims were underage, especially in the case of rape. The number of cases brought to be heard at the courts was not so high, simply because of out of court arrangements. ECPAT Cambodia and other related organizations appealed to law enforcement institutions, especially to the police and to court officials, to strengthen and to ensure effective law enforcement. Education about the laws and other related topics should be extended. Also, parents should raise the notion of carefulness with their children, especially with underage girls and other vulnerable groups, not leaving them alone in whatever circumstances.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6860, 18.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 18 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #390, 17-18.1.2010

  • Rice Buyers from Europe Plan to Export 50,000 Tonnes of Cambodian Rice on the International Market
  • [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-Moon Will Visit Haiti, UN Seeks US$562 Million Aid

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2153, 17-18.1.2010

  • The Cambodian Government Sends Condolences and Donates US$50,000 for Earthquake Tragedy Victims in Haiti

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #582, 17-18.1.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Party Officials Asked the Head of the Svay Rieng Court to Allow Them to Visit the [two] Khmer Farmer Victims [detained over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6860, 18.1.2010

  • ECPAT Cambodia: Rape of Women and Children Increased in 2009 to 322 Cases
  • Since 1996 and up to 2009, Japan Provided more than US$200 Million in Loans for the Sihanoukville Port Development
  • The Number of Earthquake Deaths in Haiti Might Reach 200,000

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #91, 18.1.2010

  • The UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur [Mr. Surya Subedi] Starts His Second Visit, Beginning This Monday [18.1.2010]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5102, 17-18.1.2010

  • Since [border] Disputes Started, Thai Soldiers Shot and Killed Eight Khmer Poor Citizens and Injured 20 [accusing them of cutting trees illegally in Thai territory]
  • A Car Loaded with Fish Crashed into a Motorbike, Killing Two People and Injuring One [Siem Reap]

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A Government Official Claimed Human Rights Violations Dropped, while Civil Society Found They Increased – Thursday, 14.1.2010

Posted on 15 January 2010. Filed under: Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“The chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Mr. Om Yentieng, said that in 2009, human rights violations decreased compared with previous years, but civil society officials claimed they increased.

“Mr. Om Yentieng stated that the human rights conditions in Cambodia were better than in previous years. But he did not offer a percentage of the increase and of the decrease. He added that a better human rights situation exists in all sectors, because of a better understanding of the law by citizens. Also, the capacity of the authorities at most ministries and institutions did advance. He continued to say that the promotion of and the caring for human rights issues mentioned in the Rectangular Strategy are now in practice.

“Regarding this case, an investigating official of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Mr. Oum Sam Ath, told Deum Ampil that in 2009, according to the findings of LICADHO, there were as many as 904 cases of human rights violation in 14 provinces and cities. He added that those cases consist of violations against general human rights, against women’s rights, and against children’s rights. Compared to 2008, there was an increase by 54 cases, as in 2008 there were only 846 cases. He went on to say that most violations of general human rights occurred all the time, including evictions, assaults, and murders. As for women and children, the number of rapes increased. He stressed that major problems, which led to the increase is that the court systems was not independent, and the understanding of the field still seems to remains limited. Therefore, the authorities frequently did compromise when there were offenses or crimes. Another point is that often perpetrators were not arrested for prosecution by the courts. There are other related problems that stimulated the increase of rapes against children and women, like foreign pornographic videos or drug abuse.

“He continued to say that there is more increase of violations in Phnom Penh than in other provinces. He said if human rights violations continues, it will contribute negatively to the situation of the whole nation. Moreover, foreign countries will see Cambodia as a country where sufficient actions are not taken against offenders.

“Also, an investigating official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Chan Soveth, said that freedom of expression, impunity, land disputes, evictions, and different laws which relate to human rights in Cambodia are of concern. All civil society organizations notice that the freedom of expression is in a worrying situation, because some civil society officials were sued by government officials. The immunity of some parliamentarians was suspended, and they are indicted at the courts. As for impunity, he said that it is rising higher, and there is not yet an independent monitoring of the conditions. Mr. Om Yentieng said that he is pleased and welcomes talks about human rights issues in Cambodia, if anyone does not agree with his aforementioned claims.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #387, 14.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 14 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #387, 14.1.2010

  • A Government Official Claimed Human Rights Violations Dropped, while Civil Society Found They Increased
  • [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong Will Not [bilaterally] Meet [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya during the [ASEAN ministerial] Meeting in Vietnam

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2150, 14.1.2010

  • [Thai Deputy Prime Minister] Suthep Thaugsuban Responded to Samdech Hun Sen that His Government Will Have a Very Long Life
  • The Ministry of Health Vows to Completely Eliminate Illegal Pharmacies and Their Branches and Clinics by March 2010

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #717, 14.1.2010

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Warned to Arrest Any Parliamentarians Who Are Addicted to Gambling

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #579, 14.1.2010

  • Mr. Hor Namhong Orders an Investigation to Find the Place That Produces Shoes on which an Image of the Angkor Wat Temple Is Printed [considering it as in insult]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6857, 14.1.2010

  • Drunken Man Ended His Wife’s Life Cruelly in Front of Three Daughters [out of jealousy – making his five children become orphans; he was arrested – Kandal]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.2, #89, 14.1.2010

  • Cambodia Condemned Thailand over a Shootout Which Killed Khmer Citizens at the Border
  • [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Will Visit Cambodia in Late January while Red-Shirt Demonstrators [his supporters] Prepare to Demonstrate in Bangkok

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5099, 14.1.2010

  • The American Embassy Sponsored Training on Information Technology at the Ministry of Justice
  • A Terrible Earthquake Tragedy Occurred in Haiti [thousands of people died]

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 11 January 2010

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #93, 11.1.2010

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

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

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6854, 11.1.2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Building Confidence Requires Transparent Application of the Law – Sunday, 10.1.2010

Posted on 11 January 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 646 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

Drafts for an anti-corruption law have been under consideration since 14 years, but now a draft was finalized by the Council of Ministers in December and sent to the National Assembly. The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers had declared – in response to expressed public interest its content – that it is still secret until it reaches the National Assembly.

This did not prevent him to disclose what we reported in the Mirror in our New Year’s comment:

The only details of the anti-corruption law that have been made public on Friday is the fact that the staff of NGOs are required to disclose their personal assets. Under the law, NGO workers are defined as public servants, and side-by-side with officials who are paid by the government, they must disclose their assets. ‘It is an obligation to do so, if you don’t do it, you are jailed,’ Mr. Phay Siphan is quoted to have said.

A New Year’s surprise is the news that – though the draft sent in December must have reached the National Assembly by now – it will not be debated until April at the earliest. The promise, that this draft will be made public after sending it to the National Assembly, is now added to the long list of not kept promises which led do the past delays.

And it has to be remembered that in the past, drafts of laws were available for public consideration during the often long processes of their preparation. Why not also now?

Such delays give only rise to rumors and speculations. For example, one voice claimed to know that the requirement to disclose personal assets will not apply to every low level public servant at the local level, but only to those elected into public functions, or higher level public servants appointed by sub-decree and decree. But as the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers said that also NGO workers will be considered to be public servants required to disclose their personal assets – at which level will this apply?

Whatever the reason for this promise of disclosure after transmission to the National Assembly not fulfilled, it does not build trust among the public.

A state of law is a situation where everybody – both law enforcement and the citizens – know the rules and what can be expected. The rule of law does not have much flexibility – like to apply or not to apply the law under specific circumstances. It is not a question of convenience when to apply it, or on whom not to apply it. Trust in the rule of law – trust that justice will prevail in society – is based on the confidence that the law is applied equally on every person, without any difference of social status of economic power.

This week brought some complex problems to the public.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia were established, after long and complicated negotiations between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations, as an independent court to clarify what had happened during a clearly defined and limited time of the Khmer Rouge regime, and to find justice for crimes committed.

After similar warnings by the Prime Minister, now the President of the Senate and of the Cambodian Peoples Party stated that he is concerned that war might break out, if more than the five people presently facing the court would be indicted. This gives not only the impression that highest level leaders of the state do not have confidence that the law enforcement agents, the courts and the police, and in addition other armed elements of the state are able to control and maintain public order. It raises the question whether the decision to establish the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia as an independent court, by agreement with the United Nations, is valid or can be conveniently be revoked.

Of course legal agreements can be revoked – with good reasons when they do not serve justice: the Mondolkiri provincial authorities canceled the concessions of 50 companies that did not do for what they had been contracted.

The removal of markers at the border with Vietnam by the president of the Sam Rainsy Party – in response to claims by Cambodian farmers that these border markers cut them off from some of their farming land – leads almost day-by-day to new levels of conflict. He committed what he says was a symbolic act to point to the loss of land. A court and leaders of the government point out that this was – whatever the motivation behind – an illegal act for which the courts find a response based on the law. The fact that most recently Mr. Sam Rainsy is quoted with a statement that he will agree to let the court convict him, if the arrested farmers are released and their land is returned, offers a deal. But as in the case of suggested restrictions on the independence of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, it is not easy to see how a deal could be made, which would allow the course of the law to be deviated. Present appeals to the King, asking for his intervention, do not show how this could legally happen; a Royal Pardon can be contemplated only after somebody is convicted.

The disclosures by publicly known persons, children in their twenties of high ranking parents, about the tremendous wealth at their disposal – a residence of US$500,000 and another residence of US$200,000 and a rubber plantation of 400 hectares – Porsches, Bentleys and Humvees, and a US$500,000 Mercedes McLaren SLR – automatic assault rifles, Glock pistols and a sniper’s rifle – provide an interesting field for the new anti-corruption law, once it is in place – plus the question whether all these weapons are legally licensed, and on what grounds. There were, over time, repeated shooting incidents reportedly by children of high ranking parents, who used firearms, but not for self-defense or protection against violence.

Will there be questions by some agencies – nothing is know yet – to investigate how such riches could be collected, while the modest salaries of the parents are known and cannot account for such extreme wealth. One of the children interviewed said: “Your parents give you all these things. You can’t say no. If someone gives you cake, you eat it.” A anti-corruption commission will not be satisfied with such an answer.

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Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing – Monday, 28.12.2009

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia needs millions of dollars for the control of garbage, while there is a forecast that the amount of garbage will increase by many more tonnes per day in Phnom Penh, in Siem Reap, and in Sihanoukville.

“According to a study by the Korean International Cooperation Agency on environmental problems in three big cities in Cambodia, garbage is a major problem at present and in the future.

“The same source added that by now, in Phnom Penh there are about 1,100 tonnes of garbage discarded each day; in Siem Reap 88 tonnes; but there is no figure of the amount of garbage in Sihanoukville. Anyway, the amount is probably not much less than that in Siem Reap.

“According to these figures, it is forecast that in the future, because the three cities are centers of the economy and of tourism, except for Phnom Penh, which is also the center of administration, politics, and culture; garbage will heavily increase, while even the current garbage sites cannot handle the present situation.

“The current garbage site in Phnom Penh is located in the Choeung Ek area, after the [previous] Stung Meanchey garbage site was full and then had to be closed. However, the new garbage site cannot take in the increasing amount of garbage in the city.

“In Siem Reap, the garbage site is at the Trapeang Thom area, and in Sihanoukville at the Koh Ta Thon area.

“Relating to garbage issues, the South Korean experts who conducted the study, said that to ensure the depositing technically and to control the processing of the garbage, the three cities need to enlarge their garbage sites.

“A South Korean expert, Mr. Yun Hee Kim, said in Phnom Penh in an interview in mid December 2009, that in Siem Reap, in Sihanoukville, and in Phnom Penh, the amount of garbage will increase, and it is necessary to seek new garbage sites. He added, ‘The garbage site of 30 hectares in Dangkao can serve only until 2013.’

“He added that in Siem Reap, a larger area has to be sought for the Trapeang Thom area. He went on to say that at present, the area, of about 2 hectares, can accommodate only 130 to 150 tonnes of garbage per day, while the amount might rise up to 1,048 tonnes per day.

“As for Sihanoukville, it is not much different from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

“He continued to say that the Koh Ta Thon garbage site covers only 8 hectares of land and has been operated since 1995. In 2010, the province needs a new garbage site of at least 18 hectares to prepare to deposit an increasing amount of garbage.

“Regarding the problem of garbage, an environmental official, who asked not to be named, said that garbage is a major problem that Cambodia is facing at present.

“He went to say that garbage control encounters many kinds of problems because of lack of funding, adding, ‘We are concerned about garbage bins, citizens’ knowledge, garbage sites, beautification [of the city], and about sanitation.’

“He said, ‘We can just voice our concerns, but if there are no funds, nothing can be done.’

“He continued to say that nowadays, also, there are many projects on garbage, including the plan to create garbage classifying bins to ease the work to recycle garbage. ‘We are seeking investors to recycle garbage, but no ones come yet.’

“He stressed, ‘Many foreigners are interested in garbage processing in Cambodia, but most can only promise something; like at the Stung Meanchey garbage site, there was a plan to build an electricity plant [doing garbage incineration], but now it is quiet.’

“According to the same official, so far, most of the garbage in Cambodia is not recycled, but he does not have figures.

“He added, ‘Talking about garbage in Cambodia, almost 99% is not recycled, because it is disposed in a mix. We recycle some types of garbage, but it is only when it is selected for compost or for scrap objects [of plastic or metal] scavenged for selling.’

“Concerning the recycling of garbage, the report of the Korean International Cooperation Agency said that as much as 93.5% of garbage is discarded at the garbage site, 0.10% is burnt, only about 0.30% is recycled, and 6.10% is thrown away disorderly [not at the garbage site].

“In Siem Reap, 67% of the garbage is disposed of at the garbage site, recycled garbage is 11%, and 22% of the garbage is discarded illegally. For Sihanoukville, there are no figures given.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

Garbage Separation Singapore

Garbage Separation Singapore


Prepared for recycling - in Germany

Prepared for recycling - in Germany


Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 28 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #372, 27-28.12.2009

  • Vietnam Will Invest Billions in Cambodia
  • Government Officials Announced to Provide Legal Shelters to the 24 Khmer Kampuchea Krom People

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2135, 28.12.2009

  • Thailand Intends to Sue Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen at the United Nations [if his remarks affects the Thai government]
  • Samdech Euv [the retired Father King] Sent Letters to Welcome the Three Samdechs [the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, and the President of the Senate] after They Were Promoted to Five-Star-Generals
  • Within One Year 210 People Died in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh and 1,003 People Were Injured [compared to 2008, 266 people died]
  • Phnom Penh Residents Complain that There Are Lots of Mosquitoes

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #705, 28.12.2009

  • The 6th Cambodian Editor’s Forum Called [on the Prime Minister to write to] the King to Pardon All Journalists in Detention [asking also that courts should not issue detention orders for journalists before court hearings]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #565, 27-28.12.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy: The Cambodian People’s Party Is Afraid of Protests of People Who Lost Their Rice Fields at the Border, and Uses the Courts to Intimidate Them
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)] Criticized Cambodia for a Development Path That Leads Workers to Work Abroad

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6842, 28.12.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$2 Million to Build a Center for Storing [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Document with a Building at the Council of Ministers
  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Military Officials and Other Representatives of the Authorities Celebrated Together to Welcome the Year 2010 [at the border]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #76, 28.12.2009

  • Cambodia Will Receive Investments of US$6 Billion from Vietnam [to invest in power generation, food processing, fertilizer production, rubber plantations, and health care in Cambodia]
  • Two Soldiers in Preah Vihear Died from an [accidental] Grenade Explosion
  • Cambodia Angkor Air Achieves Profits [but no figures are given]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

    Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1842, 28.12.2009

  • The Defense Lawyer of Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked the [Svay Rieng] Court to Delay the Hearing in Court [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]

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Two Villagers Were Arrested over the Removal of Temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Markers – Thursday, 24.12.2009

Posted on 25 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“Phnom Penh: The Svay Rieng court, on Wednesday morning of 23 December 2009, ordered the authorities to arrest two of the five villagers that are accused of removing temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers.

“The two villagers are Ms. Meas Srey and Mr. Prum Chea. Both of them own rice fields, and they claim that they are now lost because of the Cambodian-Vietnamese border marker demarcation in Svay Rieng.

“Their families and activists said that Ms. Meas Srey and Mr. Prum Chea followed the provincial court’s summons on Wednesday morning, 23 December 2009, and both of them were then arrested at 11:00 a.m of the same day.

“Another villager, Ms. Neang Phally, planed to appear at the Svay Rieng municipal court also on Wednesday afternoon, but after the two villagers were arrested at the court, she immediately decided to escape.

“Two other villagers Ms. Prak Koen and Mr. Khan Chea were also summoned by the Svay Rieng court to appear on Thursday morning, 24 December 2009.

“Meanwhile, [opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy was summoned by the Svay Rieng court to appear early next week on 28 December 2009. But now, he is in France and will not follow the court’s summon.

“Ms. Meas Srey, Mr. Prum Chea, Ms. Neang Phally, Ms. Prak Koen, and Mr. Khan Chea are villagers in the Samroang commune, Chantrea district, Svay Rieng, and they are accused by the provincial court of intentionally destroying the temporary border marker Number 185. The removal of this temporary border marker was led by Mr. Sam Rainsy at the above location on 25 October 2009.

“The older brother of Ms. Meas Srey, Mr. Meas Prel, said that he accompanied his sister to the provincial court on Wednesday morning and waited for her outside the court over one hour. Then he saw a police car carry her and Mr. Prum Chea away from the court.

“At that moment, Mr. Meas Prel sought help from the human rights NGO ADHOC in Svay Rieng. Contacted by phone, Mr. Meas Prel called on the court to release his younger sister [and another villager], because they all lost their land because of the setting of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers. Now they lost their land. Moreover, they were detained.

“The ADHOC coordinator in Svay Rieng who is observing this case, Mr. Nget Nara, asked the court to free the two villagers and lift the charges against these poor people.

“Mr. Nget Nara stressed that the court should take a humanitarian position into consideration, because arresting these people is like killing them and their families. We are in a paddy rice cultivating region, and those arrested people are just caring for their families. In addition, the arrest of villagers living along the Vietnamese border makes other villagers afraid and not daring to protest over other documented cases of injustice.

“The investigating judge of the Svay Rieng municipal court, Mr. Long Kesphirum, who had issued a summons and ordered the arrest of the two villagers temporarily over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 17, #5081, 24.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 24 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #369, 24.12.2009

  • Cambodia Rejected [Thai Deputy Prime Minister] Suthep’s Claims Accusing that [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Uses Cambodia as a Place to Attack Bangkok
  • Samdech Hun Sen: Only Retired Soldiers Who Have Real Difficulties Can Receive Social Concession Land
  • [A police official,] Mr. Neang Sokna, Called Tivea 06 [“Anniversary 06”], Who Appeared in Court to Explain the Case where He Assaulted a Car Mechanic

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2132, 24.12.2009

  • A Second Confidential Document about the Plan to Murder Thaksin Shinawatra Leaked [according to The Nation; the plan is presented by the opposition party and it is supposedly made by the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kasit Piromya]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #562, 24.12.2009

  • Two Farmers Who Lost Their Rice Fields because of the Border Marker Demarcation [at the Cambodian-Vietnamese border] Were Detained by the Khmer Authorities
  • Nearly 20 Khmer Parliamentarians [from the Sam Rainsy Party] Asked [the Minister of Justice] Ang Vongvathana to Release [Khmer Machas Srok editor-in-chief] and Ruos Sokhet

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6839, 24.12.2009

  • The Royal Government of Cambodia Rejected the content of an Interview of [the Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva with Asia Satellite TV Thailand, [saying that if Cambodia secretly listened to the conversation between a Thai engineer and the First Secretary of the Thai Embassy [claiming that this was the way the Cambodian authorities new about the fact that the air traffic engineer gave the Flight Plan to the Thai embassy], Cambodia needs to explain it, otherwise it will affect the country’s view under international eyes]
  • Because of Jealousy, a Cruel Man Brok His Wife’s Neck to Kill Her and Buried Her Body to Hide the Evidence [he was arrested – Kompong Cham]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #74, 24.12.2009

  • The Khmer Authorities Are Seeking Two Uighur People Who Escaped [in Cambodia before 20 others were deported to China]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #505081, 24.12.2009

  • Son Chhay Submitted Questions and Videos to Seek an Explanation in the Border Marker Case [the video is about the removal of border markers by citizens and by Mr. Sam Rainsy, and about a later visit by Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians – Mr. Cheam Yeap, a parliamentarian and member of the central committee from the Cambodian People’s Party, said that the request of Mr. Son Chhay [for clarification] cannot be implemented, unless there is a decision from the standing committee of the National Assembly, led by Samdech Heng Samrin. But by Wednesday evening, the committee had not yet received Mr. Son Chhay’s request.]
  • Two Villagers Were Arrested for Removing Temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Markers
  • [Two or three] Robbers Entered a House and Attacked a 14-Year-Old Girl, Killing Her with a Cleaver, Taking Away Gold and Money [Battambang]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1840, 24.12.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy: The Real Court [suing him for removing temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers] Is in Hanoi

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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

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The Prime Minister Said that to Summon More Khmer Rouge Leaders for Questioning Is Fatal – Friday, 4.12.2009

Posted on 5 December 2009. Filed under: Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

“The Prime Minister said, ‘Some do take the opportunity to use the Khmer Rouge court again and again… it is a fatal case. I do not interfere in the court affairs, but the court did not put off the war [with the Khmer Rouge]; and be careful, in case the court creates war and division in the society again…’

“This statement was made by Prime Minister Hun Sen again on 3 December 2009 during the 27th International Day of Disabled Persons in Phnom Penh, in relation to the intention of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to summon more people to testify.

“On 30 November 2009, the lawyer of a Khmer Rouge leader demanded that the investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal question Prime Minister Hun Sen and some government officials, for having politically interfered in the affairs of this court. But yesterday, the head of the government, Mr. Hun Sen, stated that he does not interfere in the court affairs, but he just pointed to intentions to destroy the peace, which could hardly be recovered by summoning more former Khmer Rough leaders for questioning. This kind of an expression of concern is considered by a foreign defense lawyer of a former Khmer Rouge leader to be a criminal offense.

“Nuon Chea’s defense lawyer mentioned Prime Minister Hun Sen’s words, saying in September 2009, that the Prime Minister stated that he himself fled from the communist regime in 1977, adding that witnesses do not need to testify at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“Nuon Chea’s defense lawyer, Mr. Michael Pestman, said to the news agency AFP and was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post, for their publication on 30 November 2009, as saying, ‘Mr. Hun Sen really told all summoned witnesses that they do not need to cooperate with the tribunal. That means he committed a criminal offense and it seriously affects the legal investigations of this court.’

“A similar suggestion, which AFP had received, mentioned the words of government officials they had used in October 2009 that the six parliamentarians and high ranking officials of the government, summoned by this court, do not need to testify.

“Mr. Pestman added, ‘Mr. Hun Sen’s statement is affecting the hearings to seek justice for our clients, because those government officials are direct witnesses whom we need for this process.’ He added, ‘At least, these words can weaken the legitimacy of the court.’

‘Yesterday morning, Mr. Hun Sen did not exactly refer to any Khmer or foreign lawyers, prosecutors, or judges, but stressed that this measure intends just to provoke turmoil in Cambodia.

“Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘They try to create turmoil in order to exploit the benefits for themselves.’

“After the celebration of the International Day of Disabled Persons yesterday, Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘From 1993 till now, when Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea, and other leaders of the Khmer Rouge cabinet arrived back, we considered this as the stage where the political and military organizations of the Khmer Rouge had been dissolved.’

“Mr. Hun Sen added that he would rather let the Khmer Rouge Tribunal fail, than would he let it to create a new war in Cambodia. He stated, ‘A hearing is just a hearing, but the peace must be kept also, and national unity must be maintained. You must balance these. Do not play with them, it can be fatal; and 100,000 to 200,000 people would die if there would be war again; who will then call the Khmer Rouge, or go to call them back from the forest again? I am old now. When I went to call the brothers and sisters [the former Khmer Rouge people] back from the forest, I was not yet 50 years old… I would rather let the court fail, but I will not let war break out. I want to say this clearly to the people. If the court fails, let it be.’

“Mr. Hun Sen is the 7th person who was to be summoned to testify.

“Even though Mr. Hun Sen is worried about the breaking out of war again because of the summons for more former Khmer Rouge leaders, the former prime minister of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea in the 1980s, Mr. Pen Sovann, supports the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to summon more former Khmer Rouge leaders to testify, who are now high ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party.

“On 8 October 2009, Mr. Pen Sovann told Khmer Machas Srok related to this case that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is an independent and professional court which can provide justice to Khmer citizens who are victims of the Khmer Rouge. He said, ‘Nobody who was involved in the past Khmer Rouge history, no politician, should interfere in this court, because this court is independent… I support this court as it has its rights, its independence, and its role.’

“Prime Minister Hun Sen frequently warned that there will be instability if this court continues to summon more former Khmer Rouge leaders for questioning. But Mr. Pen Sovann claimed that there will not be any instability. He went on to say, ‘I think that this could not happen. It is only the personal opinion of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen; he wants to protect persons of the former the Khmer Rouge Regime.’

“The four top former Khmer Rouge leaders, who are at present already being detained, are the former head of state, Mr. Khieu Samphan; the former president of the National Assembly, Mr. Nuon Chea; the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ieng Sary; and the former Minister of Social Affairs, Ms. Ieng Thirith; in addition, there is also the former S-21 (Tuol Sleng) prison chief Duch, who was a middle level leader, who was brought first to the hearings.

“On 7 October 2009, the French investigating judge, Mr. Marcel Lemonde, and also a co-judge of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, summoned six high ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party to give testimony. Those six officials are the president of the Senate and of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Chea Sim; the honorary president of the Cambodian People’s Party and president of the National Assembly, Mr. Heng Samrin; the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong; and two other senators, Mr. Sim Ka and Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun. Mr. Hun Sen is the 7th person of the Cambodian People’s Party who was summoned for questioning and to testify.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #546, 4.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #353, 4.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: I Would rather Let the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Fail Than Let the Country Fall into War Again
  • The Prime Minister Encourages the Provision of Job Opportunities to Disabled People [he said this during the celebration of the International Day of Disabled Persons; at present there are 19,232 disabled people in Cambodia; their rate declined from 2% in 1998 to 1.4% in 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2115, 4.12.2009

  • The Number of People Infected with A/H1N1 Increased to 480 [and there were five deaths]
  • An American Official [Ms. Diane Whitten from the US embassy in Phnom Penh] Wants That More Khmer Students Study in the United States [and return to develop the country]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #689, 4.12.2009

  • The United States Helps to Prepare the Angkor Guard Military Exercises in 2010 in Cambodia, with 23 Countries Participating [US$1,800,000 was granted to prepare an area for the exercises]
  • The Ministry of Health Closed Three Clinics within One Week [the Beijing Clinic in Ratanakiri, and the Russey Keo, and the Bopha Meas Clinics in Phnom Penh, where recently patients died because of neglect, and for not following some principles of the Ministry of Health] while Some Big State Hospitals Are Privatized

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #546, 4.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Said that to Summon More Khmer Rouge Leaders for Questioning Is Fatal

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6822, 4.12.2009

  • The Former Malaysian Prime Minister Brings Donations for Cambodian Muslim People Who Suffered from a Big Fire [in Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #60, 4.12.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen: I Do Not Interfere in the Court [of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Foreign Investment Dropped by Almost 100% in October this Year [the investment was only US$15.5 million while last year during the same month, it amounted to US$869.8 million; according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), it declined due to the collapse of banks where many investors had asked for loans for investment]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5064, 4.12.2009

  • Cambodia Denied that Deputy Prime Minister Sok An Went to Welcome the Mother of the Thai [alleged] Spy at the Airport [when she came to visit her son]
  • Cambodia Asked the Former Malaysian Prime Minister to Look at Cambodian Rice [for possible export to Malaysia]
  • A Man Rides a Bicycle across 12 Countries to Collect Donations for Cambodian Disabled Persons [Mr. Ben King, New Zealander; look at http://bikeben.com]
  • Cambodia Asked China [through a Chinese parliamentarian delegation] to Help Train Human Resources to Repair and Preserve Temples and to Find a Ship That Sank in Koh Kong [during the 14th or 15th century]
  • The First European Union – Asian Cultural Event Will Be Organized [on 4 December 2009 at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1826, 4-6.12.2009

  • The Diplomatic Dispute between Siam [Thailand] and Cambodia Is Destroying the Plan to Construct the ASEAN Railroad [to connect the ASEAN states to the South of China]

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