JICA Helps Cambodia to Define Standards for Cambodian Hydro-Electricity Dams – Wednesday, 18.2.2009

Posted on 19 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Phnom Penh: The Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA – cooperates with officials in charge of hydro-electricity of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy of Cambodia, to construct hydro-electricity dams for Cambodia. JICA will support the funding for this development, and standards are expected to be respected by investors or companies which construct hydro-electricity dams in Cambodia.

“The deputy director of JICA, Mr. Kobayashi Yukiharu, said in the first plenary session about the studies to elaborate detailed conditions for the construction of hydro-electricity dams according to technical standard, in the morning of 17 February 2009 at the Phnom Penh Hotel, that development of hydro-electricity dams in Cambodia is being focused, facing the general situation of rapid growth of around 20% per year for the local demand of energy during the last five years. At present, many companies from foreign countries, such as China, Korea, and Vietnam, have already established hydro-electricity development projects and are constructing their projects gradually. Mr. Yukiharu added, however, there must be care taken when constructing hydro-electricity dams about possible impacts, because such constructions directly relate to safety and environmental conservation, since all hydro-electricity dam construction projects, big or small, are constructions of dams and water flow channels that can lead to severe devastations and impacts on the environment, if those projects do not focus on the observation of clear technical standards from the beginning.

“The Minister of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Suy Sem, considers electricity to be an important and necessary resource for the life of everyone. But what we want is not just to do whatever, so that there is access to electricity, but also to do whatever, so that the production, delivering, distribution, and the use of electricity are efficient and safe. To be efficient is not just to make the supply of electricity to happen with quality, stability, and low prices, but also to make the consumers, who are the clients, to accept the use happily, and to settle their accounts for the service received regularly and with transparency. The Minister added that to be safe is to avoid work accidents, electrical shocks, or electricity-related fires. The production, the delivering, the distribution, the use, as well as the use of all electrical tools, must be done according to proper standards – that means that we first must have the necessary standards.

“The Minister went on to say that the studies to elaborate detailed conditions for the definition of technical standards for hydro-electricity have the intention to mainly check, consider, and analyze different technical standards for hydro-electricity being used by different countries, such as Japan, Russia, Canada etc… and to screen and select them, and to create them to be in line with the conditions of Cambodia, so that Cambodia has technical standards for hydro-electricity, both for the civil engineering sector and for electrical technologies and mechanics, so that all different companies have to abide by these standards.

“The director of the Department of Hydro-Electricity of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Bun Narith, said that JICA is helping Cambodia in this sector for a 12 months period, since October 2008, to September 2009, studying in detail, point by point, the small elements of the whole cluster of hydro-electricity. Mr. Bun Narith added that all those having received licenses to construct any hydro-electricity dam must follow these technical standards. The potential of Cambodian hydro-electricity is high, at around 10,000 megawatt. But Cambodia has so far developed only 13 megawatt.

“Mr. Suy Sem reminded the plenary session that even though Japan has studied the codes and formulas from its own and from different other countries, but we, in developing countries, cannot copy those technical standard models like a mold for the use in Cambodia. Cambodia must have standards in order to avoid impacts on is environment; however, hydro-electricity dam constructions cannot avoid affecting the environment. When one starts blocking the flow of water, some forests start already to be flooded.

“Therefore, we have to balance between losses and energy received – which one is more valuable? We should not create standards which are too strict or too weak. The Minister continued to say that so far, neither any hydro-electricity dams nor construction companies in Cambodia have standards. At presents there is a hydro-electricity dam in Ratanakiri’s Ou Chum with the power of 1 megawatt. In Mondolkiri, Japan constructed two small hydro-electricity dams, which are already operational. The Kirirom I hydro-electricity dam has 12 megawatt power. We are constructing hydro-electricity dams in Kamchay with 193 megawatt and in Ta Tai with 120 megawatt and there is a plan to build a hydro-electricity dam in Sre Pok with 400 megawatt, which is being studied by a Vietnamese company.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4824, 19.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1876, 18.2.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: Anti-Corruption Law Is Not a Divine Medicine against Corruption
  • In 2009 and 2010, Germany Plans to Grant Cambodia More Than US$57 Million
  • North Korea Said that It Has the Right to Fire Missiles for Testing

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol.7, #344, 18.2.2009

  • H.E. Keat Chhon Provides Documents to Explain Problems Faced because of the Economic Crisis to Opposition Party Parliamentarian [Mr. Son Chhay]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #346, 18.2.2009

  • [Senior official of the Human Rights Party and former prime minister] Pen Sovann Said that Hun Sen Revoked Ke Kim Yan [as commander-in-chief] to Consolidate Power and Follow the Track of Pol Pot [former top Khmer Rouge leader who revoked many officials when he did no longer trust them]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6581, 18.2.2009

  • Citizens Are Disappointed with the Short Live Broadcast of Duch’s Hearing [only around half an hour]
  • Thai Navy Military Commander of the First Region Said that Cambodia Changed Its Mind Regarding the Division of Resources in the Contested Sea Area [before the exploration of natural resources started, Cambodia seemed to agree, but when it actually started, Cambodia changed its mind]
  • Siamese [Thai] Doctors Stopped Khmers to Test Their Blood at the Cham Yeam Border Crossing [and when Khmer authorities asked why, they said they make blood tests to find if they have malaria – and if malaria is found, they will be offered free medicine]

Mate Nak, Vol.2, #21, 18-24.2.2009

  • The Government Announces the Bidding for the Construction of the Stung Sen Hydro-Electric Dam
  • Cambodia Hopes that There Will Be 50,000 Tourists from Kuwait
  • Salaries of National Athletes Are Increased [by approx. 40%; their former salary of Riel 120,000, corresponding to approx. US$30 per month, is increased to 200,000 – approx. US$50 – and money for food is creased from Riel 15,000 – approx. US$4 – to Riel 23,000 – approx. US$6 [no timeline – daily – weekly – monhly etc. given]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1413, 18.2.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: Not Only Those Who Wear Three or Four Stars, Even if They Wear a Sign of the Moon, They Will Be Demoted [if they are found to be involved in misusing their power in any land dispute]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4824, 19.2.2009

  • JICA Helps Cambodia to Define Standards for Cambodian Hydro-Electricity Dams
  • Duch Intends to Apologize Publicly when the Court Starts the First Hearing [according to his lawyer]; China Defends Its Relations with Khmer Rouge [saying that they were part of normal diplomatic relations]
  • [At least eight] Siamese [Thai] Mortar Shells Landed about 3 km in Khmer Territory [in Banteay Ampil in Oddar Meanchey during a Thai military exercise]
  • Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany [Mr. Peter Ammon] Welcomes Hearings of the Khmer Rouge Leaders [and encourages Cambodia to adopt an anti-corruption law]

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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Thursday, 18.9.2008: Mr. Yash Ghai Announced to Resign from His Position as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia

Posted on 19 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, whom many know well to be a person who dared to clearly criticize Mr. Hun Sen and who often created Mr. Hun Sen a headache, announced his resignation on Monday early this week.

Note:

Mr. Yash Ghai’s presentation at the UN International Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, was introduced by the the delegate from Japan:

“Japan introduced the review, rationalization and improvement of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Cambodia. It noted that Cambodia had made substantive progress since the mandate had been introduced in 1993. However, there were still issues and challenges to be tackled by the Government of Cambodia, such as land ownership, establishing the rule of law, ensuring independence of the judiciary, and others. Japan underlined the need for the international community to provide advisory services and technical assistance to Cambodia in order to address human rights issues that needed further improvement. It proposed renewal of the mandate for one year.”

15.9.2008 – Press release by the UN Office in Geneva

“In spite of this, Mr. Yash Ghai called thorough his statement in front of the UN International Human Rights Council in Geneva to encourage the United Nations to continue its activities in Cambodia in order to help Khmer citizens whose rights were heavily abused.

“It should be noted that Mr. Yash Ghai took the place of Mr. Peter Leuprecht, former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, in 2005, after this envoy did not get on well with Mr. Hun Sen’s government, because he seriously criticized the abuse of human rights in Cambodia.

Mr. Yash Ghai sated on Monday in Geneva, ‘The Cambodian government has already opposed the work of four UN envoys.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai said, ‘There is little improvement seen in Cambodia – this does not mean that there is no improvement – as there is a severe lack of seriousness in the court system and in important law enforcement institutions, and in protecting the rights of each person.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai added that the international community let him to face a war of words with the Phnom Penh government alone.

“In addition, Mr. Yash Ghai said, ‘It is most important that the person who will succeed me should be fully supported by the International Human Rights Council, that is, by the United Nations and by the international community.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai appeared to be sarcastic, when he said, ‘I cannot say that I earned much support,’ but he had the encouragement for Mr. Hun Sen, the Cambodian Prime Minister, who insulted him repeatedly.

“Mr. Yash Ghai said without hesitating, ‘Mr. Hun Sen called me to be stupid, and a lazy short term tourist.’ As for Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesperson, he called me a person with no civilization and lacking Aryan culture.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai continued, ‘Mr. Hun Sen also accused me of lying and that I was nominated just to receive a salary. Furthermore, Mr. Hun Sen described international human rights organization and me like animals. He humiliated Kenya which is my home country to be heading towards the killing fields, and Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that Kenyon citizens are rough and brutal.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai said also, ‘The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva did not protect me, and rejected to release a statement to clarify that I do not get paid. Therefore, I had to clarify this myself.’

“Yesterday there was no reaction from officials of the Phnom Penh government regarding Mr. Yash Ghai’s statement in Geneva on Monday.

“Nevertheless, on behalf of the European Community, Mr. Jean Baptiste Mattei, the French Ambassador to the UN International Human Rights Council, said, ‘The European Community Welcomes Cambodia’s decision to accept the continuation of the term for a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia.’

“Also, Ms. Juliette de Rivero, Geneva advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, expressed support for the continuation of a term.

“She assessed that Cambodia does have problems with UN human rights officials who hold the mandate, but she still wants to see this mandate continued.

“It should be remembered that the war of words between Mr. Yash Ghai and Mr. Hun Sen had attracted public opinion statements from many sources, strongly criticizing Mr. Hun Sen, saying that the Hun Sen government does not cooperate with Mr. Yash Ghai which affected Mr. Hun Sen’s reputation negatively. If the government would terminate the mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, it is feared that human right abuses will spread one hundred times more than before.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #246, 18.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 18 September 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #50, 18-24.9.2008

  • Citizens in Bavet Abandon Agriculture and Take up Services [some become vendors and some work in factories, restaurants, and casinos – Svay Rieng]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1749, 18.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Asks Thai New Prime Minister to Continue Negotiation [related to border dispute]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Wants Samdech Krom Preah to Return to Cambodia during the Pchum Ben Day [which will be celebrated from 28 to 30 September 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #246, 18.9.2008

  • Mr. Yash Ghai Announced to Resign from His Position as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • Sam Rainsy Asks Hun Sen to Give His Reasons Why He Is Not Asking for Support from the Co-Chairmen of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference over the Intrusion by Siam [Thailand] into Cambodia

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #101, 18.9.2008

  • Labak Khon Hydro-Electric Plant Has Serious Impact on Humans and on Animals [it will prevent the movement of fish to find food and to move to their normal refuge for laying eggs, which will affect the people living along the Mekong River]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6453, 18.9.2008

  • Brother-in-Law of [ousted former Thai prime minister] Thaksin [Somchai Wongsawat – สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์ – 61, married to Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister] Became Thai Prime Minister [after a vote in parliament on 17 September 2008]
  • Unknown Person Threw a Bomb with a Threatening Letter into the House of a Former [Cambodian TV program selected] “Freshie Girl [Ven Davin, but no explosion – Phnom Penh]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3568, 18.9.2008

  • The Cambodian Government Welcomes a New Person to Replace Mr. Yash Ghai as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • Sam Rainsy: We Are Not Afraid of Losing Positions and Salaries in the National Assembly
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: The Sam Rainsy Party Has Never Cried for the Position of Vice President and of Chairperson of Committees in the National Assembly


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4697, 18.9.2008

  • Japanese Investment Delegation Comes to Study Investment in Cambodia
  • American Man Is Arrested on Accusation of Keeping a 13-Year-Old Girl for Having Sex and for Committing Debauchery Acts [17 September 2008 – Phnom Penh]
  • There Were No Newspapers of Rasmei Kampuchea Available on 17 September 2008, because There Were People Driving a Car to Buy Them All [ Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4696, 16.9.2008, papers which had an article “Illegal Imports of Gas: There Was a Short Surprise because There Was Police, Then the Situation Turned Usual as if Nothing Had Happened” – Poipet, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Vietnam Started to Sell Bio-Fuel [at a price of Dong 16,500, corresponding to approx. Riel 4,000 per liter, on 15 September 2008, Hanoi]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3410, 18.9.2008

  • Fuel Price Slightly Decreases, but [there are allegations that pumps of] Fuel Do Not Deliver Enough but Call it a “Liter”

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Saturday, 5.7.2008: 2,600 Megawatt Hydro-Electric Plant to Be Built

Posted on 6 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: An official of the Ministry of Industry Mines and Energy said that Cambodia plans to construct the first big hydro-electric dam on the upper Mekong River in Kratie in northeast Cambodia, which can generate 2,600 Megawatts.

“Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry Mines and Energy, Mr. Ith Prang, said that the feasibility of this potential plan, to provide much electricity, is being studied by an expert company. Mr. Ith Prang stressed that if this plan could be implemented, the dam called Sambo Chumrues would be the first big hydro-electric dam in the history of Cambodia.

[As the name of the expert company is not mentioned, it is also not possible to easily verify how this gigantic plan relates to the Master Plan Study of Hydropower Development in Cambodia, made public by the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA – and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy on 19 July 2007, and planned to be still implemented through 2008, with the consideration that there is ‘Rich potential of hydropower but no master plan for orderly development’ – ‘Selection and prioritisation of 10 hydropower projects from environmental, technical and economic assessment’ – ‘Preparation of Master Plan of Hydropower Development with time horizon of 20 years’ – ‘Avoidance/mitigation of environmental impacts and development of priority hydropower projects for the national interests of Cambodia.’ – The study covers 29 potential much smaller sites in the same area for which now also the gigantic Sambo Chumrues plan is being studied]

“Mr. Ith Prang added that Cambodia would have enough electricity, and electricity could be sold to some neighboring countries as well in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, if the plan leads to positive results. Mr. Ith Prang expects that this plan might also help to attract investors and help poor citizens to have access to electricity at a cheap price.

“Nowadays, the price of electricity in Cambodia is still higher than in neighboring countries, such as Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, which is a factor that makes most investors, who want to invest in Cambodia, to hesitate. To attract such investors and to meet the shortage of electricity, Cambodia, which has its natural resources as its potential, has created an ambition to develop many hydro-electric dams in different potentially suitable areas.

“Last year, Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, said that Cambodia will function as a battery storage of Asia, when electricity is not just enough for the needs of the country, but can also be sold to other countries.

“Regarding this plan, Mr. Ngy San, a member of the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia [and Deputy Executive Director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia], said that Cambodia welcomes all development plans of the government to produce electricity, but he suggests that the government should check its plans carefully and should publish information widely to communities and non-government-organizations before it makes final decisions for such constructions, in order to avoid negative impacts on the environment and on the eco-system. Mr. Ngy San continued that what he is worried about most is that the construction of this huge plant might destroy the quality of water and the movement of fish, and it might block shipping on this river.

“Relating to these problems, the government must carefully consider the continuity of the environment and the communities living there before it agrees to investment plans of any company [see also International Rivers – people – water – life and the Foundation for Ecological Recovery].

“The director of the Sesan, Srae Pok, and Sekong Rivers Protection Network [also called ‘3S Rivers Protection Network’], Mr. Kim Sangha, said that the plans of hydro-electric dams always have more effects on the environment and the eco-system than providing economic benefits. He added that he does not oppose the government development plans, but if the government does not study the context very carefully in advance, there might be serious effects on the citizens’ living and on the environment, and it might create other problems in the future.

“On 13 June 2008, the Cambodian government approved laws for the constructions of two more hydro-electric plants with the power of 246 megawatt and 338 megawatt at Stung Tatai and Stung Russey Chhrum rivers [these regions are mentioned in the joint plan of Ministry Industry Mines and Energy together and JICA, mentioned above], besides many other plants being constructed, such as the Kamchay Hydro-Electric Dam in Kampot and the Atai Hydro-Electric Dam located between Pursat and Koh Kong, which can provide 193 megawatt and 120 megawatt respectively.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #41, 5.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 5 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1685, 5.7.2008

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Summoned Thirty Passenger Transporting Companies Advising Them Not to Increase Traveling Costs Four Days before and after the Election
  • In the First Six Months of 2008, Countrywide More than 2,000 Children Had Dengue Fever, and 23 Children Died


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #41, 5.7.2008

  • 2,600 Megawatt Hydro-Electric Plant Is Planed to Be Built
    [Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith Supports the Creation of a Women’s Journalists’ Association
  • Thousands of Hectares of Forest Land in Varin District [Siem Reap] Are Being Cleared


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6389, 5-6.7.2008

  • At this Meeting of UNESCO in Canada: The Khmer Preah Vihear Temple Is among the 27 World Heritage Sites Proposed to Be Listed
  • Two Persons [a man and a 6-year-old child] Were Shot Dead [by Thai black-clad Special Border Police] Among Twelve People, Including Men, Women, and Children, When They Tried to Cross [illegally] into Thailand [3 July 2008 – Banteay Meanchey]
  • A 12-Year-Old Girl Was Raped and Drowned [in a shallow pond] in a Palm Oil Plantation [Prey Nub District, Sihanoukville – 4 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3504, 5.7.2008

  • International Human Rights Organization [Human Rights Watch] Pushes Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities to Return Tim Sakhan to Cambodia Soon
  • Kampot Election Committee Keeps [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua’s Lawsuit Unsolved [against a deputy village chief for the attempt to hit her with a motorbike, and against the Kampot municipality deputy secretary, for the use of a car with a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces license plate during a Cambodian People’s Party’s election campaign, and for twisting her arm, so that her blouse opened and exposed her body, when she tried to take a picture of the car’s license plate]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4633, 5.7.2008

  • Cambodia Is Strongly Determined to Implement Laws against Sexual and Human Trafficking
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Asserted that There Was a Clandestine Plan to Arrest Him [at an air force airport] to Start a Coup on 4 July 2008 [when he returned from his official visits to China and Brunei, but he directed his plane to land at the civilian international Suvarnabhumi Airport]
  • 1.5 Billion People Might Die because of Starvation [according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO]
  • Oil Price Increases to US$146 per Barrel [in New York]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3351, 5.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party [in Kratie] Sues the No-Longer-Opposition-Party President [Mr. Sam Rainsy] for Insult [of the current leaders, as he said that they are thieves who steal from the nation, during his election campaign]

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

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