A Parliamentarian Asked the Minister of Labor to Clarify Questions at the National Assembly – Saturday, 7.8.2010

Posted on 7 August 2010. Filed under: Week 676 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 676

“Phnom Penh: An opposition party parliamentarian asked the Minister of Labor, Mr. Vong Soth, to clarify questions at the session of the National Assembly on 12 August 2010, regarding the demand for a salary increase of workers and employees.

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, Mr. Son Chhay, wrote a letter on 5 August 2010 to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, and to the president of the National Assembly, Samdech Akkak Moha Ponhea Chakrei, Heng Samrin, to suggest that the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Vong Soth, clarifies some irregularities at [the next meeting of] the National Assembly about the responsibility of the Ministry and the demands for a salary increase of workers and employees, as well as about the management and protection of workers abroad.

“Mr. Son Chhay’s letter says that the request for Mr. Vong Soth to appear at the National Assembly to clarify questions was made while looking at the actual situation that exists in the country, relating to the demand for a wage increase where the Royal Government has a duty to consider this and should not take any contrasting action.

“Mr. Son Chhay said in his letter that according to the labor law of 1997, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training has the authority to define the minimum wage for work in all sectors, but the limited wage of US$50 which was in force for many years without any increase is against an universal principle, where the minimum wages in the world are increasing by 5.7% each year, and if this figure is applied on the minimum wage of Khmer workers by taking only 5% within 10 years, Khmer workers could have received a minimum wage of at least US$85.50, and this amount is still low, compared with neighboring countries such as Vietnam, where food, electricity, travel, and rents are much cheaper than in our country.

“Mr. Son Chhay went on to say that also a study by the Cambodia Institute of Development Study (CIDS) showed differences between the minimum wage and the income that workers can earn additionally by working overtime, and this can be confusing and it might be the cause for the slow reaction from the Ministry to define the annual minimum wage scale for Khmer workers. He thinks that the demand of a minimum salary of US$93 per month is an appropriate demand, but the Royal Government is slow in organizing the public administration and in applying some legal principles to provide good and trustworthy services. In order to attract foreign investors, the government should coordinate discussions to sett the minimum wage to US$85 from September 2010, and it must carry out a 5% increase every year, starting from January of the coming year.

“Regarding the above request, Kampuchea Thmey could not ask for comments from the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Vong Soth, as he said that he was far away, and then he turned off his phone.

“Relating to a wage increase for workers and employees, the Ministry of Labor had decided during a council meeting on 8 July 2010 to add US$11 to the previous wage [so the minimum wage was raised to US$61].” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2321, 7.8.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 7 August 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2321, 7.8.2010

  • A Parliamentarian Asked the Minister of Labor to Clarify Questions at the National Assembly

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7028, 7-8.8.2010

  • The Appeals Court of the Ubon Province of Siam [Thailand] Heard the Case of Sixteen Khmer Citizens [they had been tried already twice to be imprisoned for entering Thai territory to cut down trees illegally]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3952, 7-8.8.2010

  • [Opposition party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Considers the Impounding of More Than Riel 4 Million [approx. US$ 950 per month] of Her Salary to Compensate Her Accuser as a Threat and Force, and She Continues to Demand Court Reforms [she lost in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s defamation suit against her]

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #24, 7.8.2010

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong: Cambodia Cannot Wait for Long if Thailand Has No Will to Solve the Dispute over the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia
  • Diseased Red Pigs Are Still Imported through the Sampov Loun Border Crossing in Battambang [expert officials said that eating their meat can cause breast or uterus cancer]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5270, 7.8.2010

  • A Delegation of Former Vietnamese Experts in Cambodia [from 1979, after the end of the Khmer Rouge regime] Pay a Visit to Cambodia and Meet with Leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party
  • [Seven] Khmer Kampuchea Krom Associations [jointly] Stated that They Do Not Have Any Intention to Overthrow the Vietnamese Government [it is in response to the Deputy Minister of Security of Vietnam, who recently asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to help prevent Khmer Kampuchea Krom people from various problem actions, including hiring of private and public radios’ air time]
  • Within Four Years [2006 to 2009], the Cambodian Red Cross Was Able to Raise Nearly US$28 Million [donated by generous people and by international partners]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Construct an Elevated Road near the Lok Song Hospital [Preah Kosamak Hospital] in Late 2010 [at the junction between Road 271 and the Russian Federation Boulevard]

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Khmer Citizens along the Sesan River Suffer from Infectious Diseases Coming from the Yali Dam in Vietnam – Monday, 25.1.2010

Posted on 27 January 2010. Filed under: Week 649 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 649

“Phnom Penh: Khmer citizens in Svay Rieng village, Ta Lan commune, Sesan district, Stung Treng, who live along the Sesan River, suffer from infectious diseases because they use dirty water flowing from the Yali dam in Vietnam.

“A woman in the village, Sa Ngak, 22, said, ‘My son Oeun Khon, 7, has had diarrhea and he has been vomiting for several days.’ She added that her son fell sick because he drank yellowish water from the Sesan River, coming from the Yali dam in Vietnam.

“Another woman in the village, Sen Ri, 40, said that her two daughters have had itchy skin diseases for many days after they had using water from the river, which contains chemicals and dirty water flowing from the dam.

“Regarding the impact from diseases when using water from the Sesan River, the Svay Rieng village chief, Mr. Sang Kan, said that he has been living in the village since the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime [1955 to 1970], and the citizens who used the water had never gotten diarrhea.

“He added that at present, the villagers have different types of diseases such as diarrhea, itchy skin diseases, swollen limbs, typhoid, and many other diseases, caused by the water from the Sesan River, which flows from the Yali dam in Vietnam near the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

“He went on to say that 70% of the villagers use the water of the Sesan river.

“The head of the Water Resources Committee in Svay Rieng village, Mr. Pai Thang Nhok, said that the Yali dam of Vietnam does discharge dirty water, rubbish, and feces and water infiltrates also from a red earth area which makes the villagers to suffer from infectious diseases. He added that in January 2010, more than 20 children and adults have diarrhea and itchy skin diseases.

“Concerning the infectious of diseases in the Svay Rieng village, the Sesan district governor, Mr. Bou Keosovann, said, ‘So far, I have not received information about this case.’

“It should be noted that according to a test by the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, water of the Sesan river contains e-coli a bacteria that causes diarrhea and itchy skin diseases.

“About 200 families in the Svay Rieng village, which is 200 kilometer from Stung Treng along the Sesan River, said that in that area, there is one health center, but it does not have doctors.

“The villagers said that doctors come to provide medicine drops for children, and birth spacing drugs every month, but there is no treatments provided for the diseases caused by the water of the river.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #396, 24-25.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 25 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #396, 24-25.1.2010

  • Khmer Citizens along the Sesan River Suffer from Infectious Diseases Coming from the Yali Dam in Vietnam

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2159, 24-25.1.2010

  • Opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party Parliamentarians Met [UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur] Surya Subedi and Mentioned the Court cases and Sam Rainsy’s Case [over the removal of border markers]
  • Veterans of Division 12 from 268 Families Expressed Gratitude towards Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen for Offering Them Land [Banteay Meanchey]
  • The Ministry of Education Needs to Construct 1,000 Additional Buildings [to meet the increasing number of students, and it needs to recruit about 5,000 teachers each year – according to the Minister of Education, Mr. Im Sethy]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #724, 25.1.2010

  • The United Nations Development Program [UNDP] Completely Terminated Aid for the National Elections of Cambodia because Reforms Were Not Conducted [to ensure justice and fairness in the previous elections; every year UNDP grants US$80 million to US$120 million for the development of Cambodia]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #588, 24-25.1.2010

  • [The Director of Human Rights Watch for Asia Pacific] Brad Adam: Human Rights Conditions [in Cambodia] Can Change if the Powerful Countries and Donors Press the Cambodian Government

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6866, 25.1.2010

  • Cambodia Is Ready to Bilaterally Solve Border Disputes with Thailand through Negotiations, through Military, or Again through Legal Methods [the International Court in The Hague – said Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong]
  • A Truck Loaded with Bricks Crashed into a 12-Seater Car, Killing Four People and Injuring Twenty [Sihanoukville]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #96, 25.1.2010

  • There Were Armed Clashes between the Khmer and the Thai Military at the Choam Tae Area [near the Preah Vihear Temple]; Cambodia Did Not Suffer Any Casualty, whereas Thailand Might Have Some Dead and Injured Soldiers [the deputy army commander stationed in Preah Vihear, Mr. Meas Yoeun, said that Thai soldiers came 200 meters into Khmer territory and started shooting at Cambodian soldiers first]
  • 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]
  • Rain Destroyed 3,000 Tones of Salt in Kampot

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #51, 24-25.1.2010

  • The Number of Casinos in Cambodia Increased Up to 32 along the Vietnamese and Thai Borders [according to a Deputy Director General of National Police, Mr. Sok Phal]
  • [A Thai military official and supporter of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Khattiya Sawasdipol Is Training Fighters to Oppose the Thai Military

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1862, 25.1.2010

  • Former Residents of the Dey Krahom Community Lighted Incense Sticks [at the eviction site] to Curse the 7NG Company [that evicted them last year – Phnom Penh]

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One Million Cambodians Have Diabetes and Hypertension – Monday,30.3.2009

Posted on 31 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605, Week 606 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 606

“Phnom Penh: As living becomes more modern and nourishing food increases, Cambodian people are facing two types of diseases that up to one million people have: diabetes and hypertension.

“The director of the Disease Information Center which is treating, counseling, and observing 1,300 people having diabetes in Phnom Penh and in Takeo, Mr. Maurits van Pelt, said, ‘At present, in Cambodia there are one million people having diabetes and hypertension.

“According to observations by the World Health Organization and of the Ministry of Health, 12% of people in Siem Reap and 20% in Kompong Cham have hypertension. Also, a similar observation which was conducted from 2004 to 2005 found that 5% of people in Siem Reap and 11% in Kompong Cham have diabetes.

“What is the cause of the high prevalence hypertension? Mr. Maurits van Pelt explained that it is because not many Cambodian people do exercise, and many eat much, making them fat and pot-bellied. Furthermore, it is also a result of genetic factors, since in China and in India, many people have such diseases, and Khmers have much genetic material in common with the two people.

“He added, ‘Laziness not to do exercise, no roads for walking, and some other factors resulting from different diseases, make people have hypertension. Also some urinary diseases may lead to hypertension and other diseases.’

“The president of the Disease Information Center questioned why leaders of rich countries are often slim and leaders of poor countries are fat and pot-bellied. He went on, ‘Khmer leaders do not act as models of the people, because they are too fat. Khmers like pot-bellies showing that that they are wealthy.’

“He continued to say that slim people have about 50 % of all diseases that exist, but fat people have more diseases, and overweight people are found to live seven years less than others. Urban people have twice as often hypertension, compared to those living in the countryside.

“He added, ‘Normally, we need to sweat half an hour per day, but many people say that the weather is too hot and they do not want to sweat; this is not right. To avoid overweight, we need to do physical work at least 30 minutes per day, and should not eat too much.’

“What should we eat to prevent hypertension and diabetes? Mr. Maurits van Pelt said that we should eat much vegetable, and eat some fish; Khmers should rather eat unpolished rice, for it contains Vitamin B, but Khmers like eating white rice for its taste, yet it contains much sugar and lacks vitamins.

“He said also, ‘If people are overweight, they must do exercise to put off their weight. Their health will be better. When they can put off a lot of weight to be in the right proportion with their height, they will no longer have hypertension.’

“Mr. Maurits warns, ‘The spreading of these diseases will increase, because there are more overweight people than before, more vehicles, more American food imported to Cambodia, which contains a lot of cholesterol, and such long-processed food is not good.’

“Regarding people having diabetes, Mr. Maurits said that diabetes patients have to be careful not to have hypertension. He added that if they have diabetes for five years, they may get urinary diseases and continue to have hypertension. Therefore, people who have diabetes have to do exercises, eat food that is not salty, and take care not to get overweight.

“He added that besides providing education through a Friends-Educate-Friends Program for people with diabetes in a district in Takeo and at poor regions in Phnom Penh, he is asking for funds from the European Unions to expand the program at Thma Puok district in Banteay Meanchey. But, there is no response from donors yet.

“He criticized donors, “I asked them once, but they did not agree to provide funds, saying that it is not important. They tell me to work with AIDS, but there are only more than 60,000 AIDS patients, while there are one million people having hypertension and diabetes.’

“He added that donors provide 60% of their funds for AIDS and less than 1% for non-infectious diseases. He said, ‘There are many AIDS and tuberculosis experts, but why aren’t there non-infectious disease experts?’

“Mr. Maurits continues to say, ‘I think Khmers dare not to ask for aid for this field. I think that is wrong.’

“The director of the World Health Organization in Cambodia, Mr. Michael O’Leary, said during the closure of the health convention last week that the high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and the changes of the pattern of living is a clear sign of the spreading of interaction between these in Cambodia.

“He added that a study shows that about half of the Cambodian men smoke cigarettes, and this number is still increasing. With these interrelated problems, progress must be made to deal with health care needs, for which the government has to find responses.

“However, [the Minister of Health] Dr. Mam Bunheng said, ‘The rate of smokers among men and women declines, but the indicators of the program have not yet achieved their goal in 2008. That is diabetes, hypertension, and the identification of people suffering on their heads in traffic accidents are difficult to measure. Therefore rechecking is necessary.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4858, 30.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #45, 30-5.3.2009

  • Rate of Students Dropping Out of School Is Still High
  • The Number of Rapes of Underage Persons Is Higher Than the Rapes of Adults [according to a report of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, there were 419 rapes of women and children in 2008, out of which 280 cases were against underage persons]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 29-30.3.2009

  • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Calls on Red Shirt Group to Demonstrate against [Prime Minister] Abhisit until He Resigns
  • England Asks G-20 Economic Summit Session to Increase Fund to Assist Impoverished Countries by Around US$100 Billion

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1910, 29-30.3.2009

  • Phnom Penh Governor Allows the Opposition Party to Hold a Buddhist Commemoration Ceremony in Front of the Former National Assembly [for those who were killed by the grenade attack on 30 March 1997]
  • A Dam Broke in Jakarta and Killed 60

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6615, 30.3.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Merchants Come to Buy Dry Cassava Like Normal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4858, 30.3.2009

  • The Government Will Not Set the Start of the Trial of Khmer Rouge Leaders on 30 March as a National Holiday
  • One Million Cambodians Have Diabetes and Hypertension
  • The United Nations Highly Assesses the Royal Government for Combating AIDS and Human Trafficking

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1684-685, 29-30.3.2009

  • [The director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia] Mr. Chhang Youk Questions Why Duch Alone Is Heard in Court, but Not Also Nearly 200 Other Prison Chiefs
  • Khmer Side Demands Siamese [Thai] Troops to Withdraw Mine Danger Signs Put [along the Border in Samlot, Battambang]
  • [The chairperson of the Cambodian Committee for Solving Border Disputes] Va Kimhong Acknowledges that Solving Border Disputes Bilaterally Is Useless [he had said so nearly one year ago already, negotiations were useless]
  • [The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun: The Prime Minister Acknowledged that the Quality of Education in Cambodia Is Low [recently in a public speech], while [the Minister of Education] Im Sethy Is Very Angry [about a survey by the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association – allegedly not carried out carefully, and producing some wrong data, especially about high dropout rate]

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