The Declaration of Assets Should Start with High Ranking Officials – Thursday, 26.8.2010

Posted on 27 August 2010. Filed under: Week 679 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 679

Important Announcement

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

Thanks,

Norbert Klein
Editor of The Mirror

“An anti-corruption law was already adopted by the National Assembly, but so far, the government has not implemented the law to eliminate corruption. In addition, the Anti-Corruption Unit and the National Anti-Corruption Committee have not carried out significant measures to fight corruption. The anti-corruption law requires some high ranking officials to declare their assets, but the declarations will be confidential. This invites criticism that the anti-corruption law in Cambodia is not conform to international standards and it is poor, compared with those of neighboring countries.

“Recently, the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Mr. Om Yentieng, said publicly that investigating officials of the unit do not commit corruption, and the Anti-Corruption Unit will form a confidential group to observe the investigating officials of the unit. Those officials will have to pass a lie test through a polygraph every year, in order to guarantee that the officials of the unit are not corrupt. Mr. Om Yentieng said so on 23 August 2010 during a Cambodian-Korean international conference on corruption. A polygraph test is done by using an instrument to detect whether a person being tested is speaking honestly or lying. A small confidential group will be created to observe the investigating officials of the unit in case they take the opportunity to commit corruption while fulfilling their duties.

“Regarding the above case, some observers criticized that the strategy of the Anti-Corruption Unit is ridiculous, because if it creates a small group to observe each other, they have no time to investigate the corruption of high ranking officials in the government. Also, there seem to be many irregularities in the Anti-Corruption Unit because as soon as a case of corruption had been found, it is kept confidential and quiet, and there is no public result at all. More than that, some state institutions are notorious for corruption, but the Anti-Corruption Unit administered by Mr. Om Yentieng has never taken any action to investigate them. This made the general public to lose faith toward the unit, as most corrupt people are high ranking officials and their partisans.

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, Ms. Mu Sochua, said that the Anti-Corruption Unit must accept reports of citizens on suspected corruption, and it must guarantee their safety in order to show that investigations over corruption will be enforced widely. She added that the first round of investigations should be conducted on high ranking officials such as the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, and Senior Ministers. If their assets do not correspond to their income, it would certainly mean that they committed corruption. In addition to Ms. Mu Sochua’s comments, officials of some non-government organizations said that just to look at the residences of some high ranking officials, it can already be concluded that they are corrupt.

“On 14 July 2010, the Anti-Corruption Unit announced to set November 2010 as the date to start the procedures on the declaration of assets and debts of high ranking officials, and of leaders of civil society organizations. The Anti-Corruption Unit will keep those documents; the number of persons obliged to declare their assets is more than 10,000 in Cambodia, including civil servants, military, and police, who have been appointed by royal decrees and sub-decrees, all members of the National Assembly, all members of the Senate, leaders of civil society organizations, high ranking officials, the head of the government, and officials and members of the anti-corruption institutions. The declarations will be updated every two years in writing, and it is required before and after taking or leaving office – but it will be made confidentially.

“Officials of some government organizations said that they dare to declare their assets publicly, because the property and money they have are not from corruption as in the case of corrupt officials who have colossal wealth. Therefore, if a declaration is required, it should start from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, and Senior Ministers down, as suggested by Sam Rainsy parliamentarians, in order to ensure transparency, because some high ranking officials own luxury residences and lots of wealth not compatible at all with their salaries. The head of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Mr. Om Yentieng, knows those high ranking officials well, because they are mostly senior officials of the Cambodian People’s Party in the government. Thus, the declaration of assets should begin from top officials down, and it should be carried out openly and transparently, while normal officials are not afraid to declare their assets.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3968, 26.8.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 26 August 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2337, 26.8.2010

  • Children of the Rich Drove to Chase Each Other, Surprising Half of the City, but Police Tried to Hide The Case [Phnom Penh – It started with an argument between two groups: one group drove in a car and another group drove two motorbikes. Finally the car tried to chase the motorbikes and hit the motorbike to fall on the ground, and a member of the car group took a hammer and hit a member of the motorcycle group, injuring him seriously. Traffic police caught the two groups and invited their families to solve the case. But when traffic police found that the case was not a traffic accident, but a criminal case, they sent it to the criminal police. After that, no more information was given]
  • National Military Police Intercepted Two Cars Loaded with Ebony Wood and Sent them to Expert Officers [four persons were caught – Takeo]
  • A Man Raped His [85-year-old] Mother-in-Law when His Wife Was Not at Home [he was arrested – Banteay Meanchey]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7044, 26.8.2010

  • Duch’s Defense Lawyers Appealed against the Verdict of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, while Prosecutors Demand a Higher Punishment for Him [the Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Duch was sentenced to 35 years in jail, but he will serve only around 19 years from now on, considering his imprisonment in the past and a reduction of the penalty]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3968, 26.8.2010

  • The Declaration of Assets Should Start with High Ranking Officials

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #40, 26.8.2010

  • The Republic of Korea Donated Technical Equipment [like video cameras] to the National Television Station of Cambodia
  • Forty Two People Were Killed in a Plane Crash in China

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #245, 26.8.2010

  • A Protest Made the Phnom Penh Municipality to Suspend Sand Dredging to Fill the Boeng Kak Lake Area [as sewage water floods the houses of residents]
  • Fourteen Government Officers of the Anti-Corruption Unit Will Be Appointed as Members of the Justice Police [as part of the measures to combat corruption]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5286, 26.8.2010

  • The Voice of Vietnam Radio Will Open the Seventh Representative Stations in Cambodia [on 27 August 2010 in Phnom Penh]
  • The Head of State of Vietnam Begins a Three Days Visit to Cambodia Today [on 26 August 2010, in response to an invitation by the Khmer King]

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Mr. Hor Namhong Will Sign an Oil Cooperation Agreement with Iran – Friday, 6.8.2010

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

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 676

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation plans to pay an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 10 to 11 August 2010.

“An Undersecretary of State and spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Koy Kuong, spoke to Kampuchea Thmey on 5 August 2010, saying that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, will make an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran for two days from 10 to 11 August 2010, and he will leave Phnom Penh on 8 August 2010.

“He added that the visit aims to strengthen and expand ties between Cambodia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as to encourage visits between leaders of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other senior leaders.

“According to an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated 5 August 2010, in response to an invitation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia will pay a formal visit from 10 to 11 August 2010.

“The delegates include a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Long Visalo, the head of the Cambodian Petroleum Authority, Mr. Hou Vicheth, and many other senior officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

“During the visit, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong will meet with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran [see the Constitution], Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the chairman of Iranian parliament, Mr. Ali Larijani. He will also have bilateral talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, the Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Masoud Mir-Kazem, and the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Mehdi Ghazanfari.

“According to the announcement, the visit aims at consolidating ties between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to encourage the exchange of visits between leaders of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other high ranking officials. Also, a Memorandum of Understanding about cooperation relating to oil will be signed.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2320, 6.8.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 6 August 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2320, 6.8.2010

  • Mr. Hor Namhong Will Sign an Oil Cooperation Agreement with Iran
  • Her Excellency Bun Rany [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife] Was Re-Elected as President of the Cambodian Red Cross for the Fifth Term

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7027, 6.8.2010

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Print Documents about [Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief] Duch’s Sentence to Be Distributed to the General Public [5,000 copies, containing details related to the sentence]
  • 1,000 People [representatives of the Royal Government, of local and international organizations, of the United Nations, and of ethnic minority tribespeople] Will Celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People in Siem Reap

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3951, 6.8.2010

  • The Number Khmer Migrant Workers to Malaysia and Siam [Thailand], Where Some Suffered from Torture, Doubled in Early 2010 [according to the Cambodian/Khmer Worker Recruitment Agency [no website found]; in the first six months of 2010, it has sent 5,776 legal workers to Malaysia and 2,409 workers to Thailand]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #231, 6.8.2010

  • Cambodia Soldiers Prohibit Thai Vendors from Selling Goods in the Area of the Ta Moan Temple
  • The Opposition Party Lawyer [Mr. Chuong Chou Ngy] Warned to Walk Out of the New Hearing [on 9 August 2010 on Mr. Sam Rainsy’s case over the uprooting of Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers], if Two Prisoners Are Not Present [claiming that they are important witnesses]
  • Vietnam Will Step Up Investment to US$1 Billion in Cambodia Next Year [in the oil and gas sectors, electricity production, mineral exploration, rubber plantations, and agricultural product processing]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5269, 6.8.2010

  • Carts Transport Wood move like for a Kathen Procession [a Buddhist ceremony with long processions] into the Angkor Chum and Puok Districts [without any interceptions from the authorities – Siem Reap]
  • Forty American Billionaires Pledged to Donate Half of Their Property for Humanitarian Affairs [according to: http://www.givingpledge.org]

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Court Reform Is Necessary – Saturday, 24.7.2010

Posted on 25 July 2010. Filed under: Week 674 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 674

“Recently, the Ministry of Justice issued a special letter to warn court officials not to do improper activities as this might invite public criticism. In a letter dated 16 July 2010, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Ang VongVathana, wrote that officials of the Ministry have received many complaints from the general public accusing court officials, especially, clerks, without giving their names. The Minister added in the letter that the role of clerks is to take notes, to keep the complaint documents, and to fulfill their role properly according to the legal procedures, neutral and non-biased.

“The Minister of Justice warns in the letter that clerks must not be biased towards any sides during the hearing process and they must follow the orders of judges and of prosecutors in order to gain trust in the judicial system from the public. Such a warning from the Minister of Justice towards clerks is new, but he seems not to consider the judges and prosecutors in the provinces and cities who also commit improper acts.

“Regarding the above issue, the chief of cabinet of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Sam Prochea Meaneth, said that the letter was sent to all municipal courts in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Ministry aims at all court officials, particularly at clerks who work with lawsuits of citizens. Clerks at the courts do not have the power to pass judgments in any cases. The decision by the Minister of Justice to issue this letter was not because of any special cases or accusations about wrongdoings, but it was issued as part of judicial reforms.

“Observers of the court system in Cambodia said that the letter of the Minister, dated 16 July 2010, deals only with one part of the problem; it warns only clerks who may be creating problems. But judges and prosecutors, who had committed corruption, like by changing a case from wrong to right, are not warned by the Ministry of Justice and admonished to implement their roles appropriately. Corruption in the court system can result from collusion among clerks, judges, and prosecutors. Therefore to put the burden only on clerks is not proper, because it disregards the irregularities committed by some corrupt judges and prosecutors towards poor citizens.

“Officials of non-government organizations said that they often heard of complaints from citizens expressing their disappointment about the courts and especially about clerks. Non-government organizations said that when citizens have money, clerks seem to care about their complaints, but if they do not have money, clerks discriminate against them and delay their cases for a long time before starting to work on them. The issue of the letter of the Minister is a positive sign, but it is still not covering the whole truth. The most important thing is that the Ministry of Justice makes the citizens trust in the court system of Cambodia.

“Many citizens have already been victimized by judges and prosecutors who colluded with powerful officials to grab their land. In some cases, the corruption of judges and prosecutors has been revealed publicly by citizens, like in land disputes in Ratanakiri. But in the end, the Ministry of Justice did not take any legal action against corrupt those judges and prosecutors, but just assigned them to work as judges and prosecutors in other provinces. Such dealings make citizens to distrust the court system, and they curse powerful officials who grab their land.

“At present, the court system of Cambodia is being criticized by national and international circles, accusing it to be a tool of the ruling party that serves only the rich and the powerful. But for poor victimized citizens as well as for politicians of the opposition, the courts do not seem to provide them justice according to the law. Thus, judicial reform is necessary to avoid that citizens lose trust in the institution of the courts. In the meantime, the international community and the donors must encourage the Cambodian government to speed up reforming the court system, as it had promised. Clerks, judges, and prosecutors, who commit corruption by using law for personal benefit, must be punished according to the law.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3940, 24-25.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2309, 24.7.2010

  • Three Men Were Arrested with 570 kg of Borax Powder Used for Applying on Food [to make it last longer] Affecting Human Health [Phnom Penh – Borax, a real multi-purpose chemical]
  • A Laotian Man Was Arrested together with More Than 3,000 Drug Tablets

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7016, 24-25.7.2010

  • Victims and Former Prisoners of the Tuol Sleng Prison Asked for a Life Sentence Imprisonment for Duch [his sentence will be announced on 26 July 2010]

  • Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3940, 24-25.7.2010

    • Court Reform Is Necessary
    • Cambodia Needs Investors and Tax Favors from the USA to Create a Good Atmosphere at the 60th Anniversary of Having Diplomatic Ties

    • The USA Announced to Provide US$187 Million in Aid for Three Years for the Countries of the Indochina Region [Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam] to Address Poverty and to Conserve the Lower Mekong River

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5258, 24.7.2010

    • The Cambodian Prime Minister: The Royal Government Will Make Cambodia [the third] Rice Exporting Country [after Thailand and Vietnam in Asia]

    • [Secretary of State of the USA] Clinton Criticized the Human Rights Situation in Vietnam [during the ASEAN-US meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Vietnam – but indirectly supported Vietnam in its claim on some Islands in the South China Sea contested by China]

    • The [Angkor Sentinel 2010] Military Exercise at the Command Post Level [for peace keeping] Was Finished Successfully [Phnom Penh]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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  • Considering Forestry Crimes, Ty Sokun Should Not Be Allowed to Hold a Position, but Should Be Punished according to the Law – Wednesday, 7.4.2010

    Posted on 8 April 2010. Filed under: Week 659 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 659

    “Prime Minister Hun Sen announced yesterday morning, in a conference at the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture, to remove the director of the forestry administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Such a removal of the holder of the same position, of a former head of the forestry administration – Mr. Ly Kim Han – happened also some years ago, making him feel heart-broken, and he died. But in Ty Sokun’s case, according to opinions expressed among the general public, he should face the law and receive punishment. To remove Ty Sokun, but to appoint him at the same time as Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, shows the great tolerance of the Prime Minister.

    “Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly announced the decision to take out Mr. Ty Sokun from the position of Director General of the Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, because he was involved in illegal wood trading. But Mr. Hun Sen did not specify any measures to be taken against Mr. Ty Sokun, and he reassigned him to the position of Under-Secretary of State of Agriculture. Prime Minister Hun Sen said on 6 April 2010 at the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture, that the head of the forestry administration, Mr. Ty Sokun, was involved in corruption related to forestry crimes, and that the authorities had recently started investigations to intercept them.

    A house, reportedly belonging to Mr. Ty Sokun

    A house, reportedly belonging to Mr. Ty Sokun

    “Mr. Hun Sen specified that Mr. Ty Sokun was reassigned from the position of Director General of the Forestry Administration to become an Under-Secretary of State of Agriculture, and he was replaced by Mr. Chheng Kim Son. Also, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on wood traders and on other high ranking officials who are involved in forestry crimes to show up and to deliver any illegal wood to the authorities.

    “Many high ranking officials involved in forestry crimes, who escaped abroad, must return to confess. Prime Minister Hun Sen stressed that at this time, there will be no tolerance for any official who got involved in forestry crimes. ‘We take hot measures to hit the heads of the main leaders. Therefore, the Prime Minister has to decide to do things, even if they hurt, in order to create models of law enforcement in the campaign to intercept forestry crimes.’

    “In the meantime, the Prime Minister warned that Ms. Khai Narin, called Che Muoy, might be arrested, who is said to be a powerful person close to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chan Sarun. He warned also the Trapeang Prasat district governor in Oddar Meanchey, who used his power to authorize the transfer of state land to powerful military officials.

    “Based on the words of the Prime Minister, what Ty Sokun did were mistakes that cannot be disregarded, and that made the Prime Minister lose trust in him. Also, he puts his trust in the newly appointed head of the forestry administration, Mr. Chheng Kim Son, and he hopes Mr. Chheng Kim Son will not disappoint his trust.

    “It is reported that Mr. Chheng Kim Son had not been powerful, so he could not just move up to take the position and be appointed to replace Ty Sokun. But it is said that the deputy director of the Forestry Administration, Mr. Chea Sam Ath, is the most powerful person there, who would normally replace Mr. Ty Sokun. But because Mr. Chea Sam Ath is said also to be involved with corruption over forestry crimes, not much different from Mr. Ty Sokun, he was not promoted. The same source added that Mr. Chea Sam Ath has many problems, for which he might be removed or jailed, like other fellow forestry functionaries.

    “Therefore, it is likely that Mr. Chea Sam Ath cannot avoid to face jail because the forestry crimes were of a large scale. If Mr. Chea Sam Ath did not have problems, he would have already been nominated head of the forestry administration. But because he has similar problems as Ty Sokun, he was ignored. Does taking responsibility for the forestry administration of the Ministry of Agriculture end with the removal of only the Director General of the Forestry Administration Ty Sokun?

    “On Monday, a forestry chief from a region facing the Gulf of Thailand, Mr. Vann Sophanna was summoned by the Koh Kong Municipal Court, but was released later. The Judge of the Koh Kong Municipal Court questioned the head of the forestry administration station facing the Gulf of Thailand, Mr. Vann Sophanna, and the Deputy Forestry Administration Chief of Pursat, Mr. Ouk Kim San, at 9:45 of 5 April 2010. The questioning was made after the national military police, in collaboration with the military police of Kampot and of Sihanoukville, arrested them on Sunday morning in Kompong Trach district, Kampot, and sent them to be detained at the Koh Kong Military Police Station and then to the court for questioning over forestry crimes in the regions under their authority.

    “According to military police officials, they will continue to arrest other suspects involved in forestry crimes. It is said that Vann Sophanna, who is a powerful figure in illegally trading wood, is vicious and very domineering. He often blamed his fellow officials over minor mistakes. The general public waits to see other senior officials, who are involved in forestry crimes, also arrested, as recently some other forestry administration officials had been arrested. The interception of forestry crimes and the arrest of perpetrators started after strict orders from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

    “It should be noted that last week, many forestry administration officials, with positions from commune to district forestry administration heads, especially those in Kompong Cham, were removed. According to some reports, the Kompong Cham district forestry administration head, Mr. Hun Ieng, the Memut district forestry administration head, Mr. Thong Vannviravuth, the Memut commune forestry administration head, Mr. Yim La, and the Dambae commune forestry administration head, were removed from their positions, and they face imprisonment. Besides forestry administration officials in Kompong Cham, where the authorities found thousands of cubic meters of wood in Memut district, other forestry officials in Pursat and in some other provinces, where there is illegal wood trading, are also facing removal and arrest.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3852, 7.4.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 7 April 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #454, 7.4.2010

    • As a Result of the Hot Campaign to Combat Forestry Crimes, Ty Sokun Was Removed and Chheng Kim Song Was Appointed to Replace Him
    • After Mr. Ty Sokun Was Removed from His Position, Documents Relating to Irregular Measures Were Disclosed
    • A Military Brigadier General Is Detained at the Prey Sar Prison due to His Anarchic Gunfire [which injured an English woman – Phnom Penh]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2221, 7.4.2010

    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Removes Ty Sokun and Warned Other Officials
    • The National Assembly Adopted a Draft Allowing Cambodia to Become a Part of the ASEAN Anti-Terrorism Pact

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6928, 7.4.2010

    • A 45-Seater Bus Was Illegally Loaded with 68 Pieces of Ebony [the driver was arrested – Siem Reap]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3852, 7.4.2010

    • Considering Forestry Crimes, Ty Sokun Should Not Be Allowed to Hold a Position, but Should Be Punished according to the Law

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #147, 7.4.2010

    • Ty Sokun Was Removed from His Position and the Newly Appointed Forestry Chief Was Warned [by Prime Minister Hun Sen] that He Would Be Jailed if He Cannot Intercept Forestry Crimes [Mr. Ty Sokun said that his ability was limited and most perpetrators have relations with high ranking officials and with the rich, and they often warned forestry officials]
    • Mr. Hun Sen Ordered the Authorities to Break Down All [illegally constructed] Reservoirs [in the flood plain] around the Tonle Sap Lake [this can cause flooding and disrupt the spawning of fish]
    • The Prime Minister Warned Chevron [he said that this oil company will lose its exploration rights if it cannot produce oil by the end of 2012]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5170, 7.4.2010

    • The Prime Minister Openly Announced to Remove Mr. Ty Sokun from the Position of Director General of the Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
    • The Wood Stored by the Owner of the [Siem Reap] Cultural Village Was Not 200 Cubic Meters, but More Than 600 Cubic Meters

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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    “Copyright Enforcement Will Cost Jobs and Prevent Access to Education and Entertainment” – Sunday, 4.4.2010

    Posted on 5 April 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

    The past week brought quite a number of reports on the follow-up to the Prime Minister’s order to crack down on rampant illegal activities – especially deforestation – and on the sudden results of activities by the authorities, who before did not seem to know much about the warehouses of stored luxury grade wood, probably cut illegally. But now, in a couple of days, thousands of cubic meters of such wood is found. And there are questions considering the Prime Minister’s speech: “Are Oknhas Who Own and Operate Wood Storehouses in Siem Reap [also] Considered Betraying the Nation?” And: “Why Do the Authorities Not Arrest the Owner of the Tiger Beer Company Like They Arrested Yeay Mab for Illegal Wood Trading?” The next days and weeks and months will show more clearly if the present campaign is only a short-lived campaign, or if it is the beginning of some real change, that laws will be applied clearly, publicly, and strongly in future.

    The Mirror carried a small headline on 1 April 2010 which also threatened stern legal action: “The Ministry of Information Released a Circular Prohibiting the Copying of Works of Authors Who Have the Copyright for Documents Being Copied” – the license of copy-shops which do this will be canceled, the Circular said, and they will be dealt with according to the law.

    When this regulation is implemented, it will affect many hundreds of businesses which are operating publicly all over town in Phnom Penh, and surely also in many other provincial centers. But not only these businesses and their employees will be affected – it will have a very deep, and negative, impact on many sectors of society: first of all on education.

    We repeat here a part of a study which has been published on the website of the World Trade Organization – WTO – which predicts grave negative social consequences.

    “The implementation of copyright law will affect education and other fields relating to human resource development. In a poor country such as Cambodia, books, CDs and VCDs with copyright simply cannot be afforded because they would be too expensive for the average citizen. Pirated CDs, VCDs, and DVDs as well as copied books, unlicensed films and even imitations of circus performances and pantomimes may soon cease to exist in Cambodia. With the majority of the population earning less than one dollar per day, the enforcement of copyright law would take away the livelihood of thousands, and cut off many from educational and entertainment materials.

    [Boldface added by The Mirror]

    Source

    When Cambodia was accepted into the membership of the WTO in 2004, the enforcement of copyrights – after a period of transition – was part of the deal. Cambodia had applied for membership mainly to get easier access to the markets of other WTO member countries; there had been not so much public debate about what other changes would come. Now, many documents related to Cambodia are on the WTO website – with many points to be considered and to be arranged and applied.

    A visit to any of the many copy-shops shows that a large section of their business probably falls under the newly announced prohibition. They will either have to stop producing a lot of educational and study materials – or see their business licenses being revoked and their shops closed. But, as the WTO study says: not only thousands of employees of copy-shops will lose their employment – the whole population will be affected, as the study says: it will cut off many from educational and entertainment materials, as the originals of what is being copied are all much more expensive than the copies available until now.

    The protection of intellectual property is nowadays a very high priority of the USA and of other economically strong countries. Any new trade agreement – bilateral or multilateral – has to accommodate these interests. And this does not only relate to books, but – as pointed out in the study above – also to information on CDs and DVDs, for entertainment and for education, and for production by computers: computer software.

    Many people and the media have been moved to accept the term “piracy” for copying books or computer programs without the agreement of the original authors. But this term is wrong: “Pirates” take something away, so that the original owner does not have it any more, and they do it violently – if there is resistance, they often kill. By accusing people who share copies to be “pirates,” the argument becomes an ethical one between legal owners – mostly strong – and underpaid teachers in a poor educational system who copy educational material for students who do not have the money to buy original books.

    What is hardly known is an aspect of US history: in the 19th century, the USA copied British books and argued that the USA, as a developing country at that time, could not accept the British reservations against copying of material which the USA needed for its development.

    With the consent of the author, Roberto Verzola, a researcher in the Philippines, a section of his study is shared here:

    Towards a Political Economy of Information – Studies on the Information Economy

    Part I. Information and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

    Chapter 3: U.S. Piracy in the 19th Century

    Nineteenth century America was a major center of piracy. The principal target of U.S. pirates was the rich variety of British books and periodicals. The U.S. was a perennial headache among British authors and publishers, because foreign authors had no rights in America. American publishers and printers, led by Harpers of New York and Careys of Philadelphia, routinely violated British copyright and ‘reprinted a very wide range of British publications.’

    James Barnes, who wrote an excellent book on this subject, said that the Americans were ‘suspicious about international copyright,’ and were afraid that recognizing international copyright meant ‘exploitation and domination of their book trade.’ Barnes noted that ‘as a young nation, the United States wanted the freedom to borrow literature as well as technology from any quarter of the globe, and it was not until 1891 that Congress finally recognized America’s literary independence by authorizing reciprocal copyright agreements with foreign powers.’

    Barnes continued: ‘In 1831, an Act to Amend the Several Acts Respecting Copyrights was signed. It extended the copyright term from fourteen to twenty-eight years, with the option of renewal for an additional fourteen. If an author died, his widow or children could apply for the extension. For the first time, the law allowed musical compositions to be copyrighted. But not a word on international copyright. In fact, foreign authors were explicitly barred from protection, which in essence safeguarded reprints.’

    Even the U.S. president at that time, John Quincy Adams, was himself ‘strongly opposed to international copyright.’em>

    In 1837, Senator Henry Clay introduced a copyright bill before the U.S. Senate. Within days, ‘a flood of negative memorials reached Washington,’ and objections deluged both houses of Congress. The U.S. Senate’s Patent Committee rejected ‘the intention of the measure,’ its reasons sounding very much like the justification today of Third World countries for their liberal attitude towards intellectual property. The Committee’s reasons were:

    • A copyright agreement would promote higher book prices and smaller editions. The point was driven home by comparing the retail prices of new books in England and America, for it was universally acknowledged that English books were disproportionately more expensive.
    • A large portion of the U.S. publishers’ business ‘would be reduced perhaps as much as nine-tenths, certainly as much as three-fourths, if copyright be granted to foreign books.’
    • Copyright has never been regarded among nations as ‘property standing on the footing of wares or merchandise, or as a proper subject for national protection against foreign spoliation.’ Every government has always been left to make such regulations as it thinks proper, ‘with no right of complaint or interference by any other government.’
    • The U.S. reprinters advanced their own arguments for reprinting British publications without regard for international copyrights
    • They were making available to the American people cheap books which would otherwise be very costly if they had to compensate foreign authors. It was generally acknowledged that the low prices of American books would inevitably rise after the passage of a copyright treaty.
    • Access by the American printing industry to British works provided Americans with thousands of jobs.
    • Books are ‘unlike other commodities’; whereas it took the same amount of labor to create each new hat or boot, ‘the multiplication of copies of a book meant a saving on each additional facsimile.’

    Several bills were introduced in 1870, 1871 and again in 1872, but they were all opposed by American publishers and the printing unions. And so it went. In the early 1880’s, the copyrights movement gained more strength, but not quite enough to overcome the more powerful forces that benefited from free and unrestricted access to foreign publications.

    In July 1891, the U.S. Congress adopted the Chace International Copyright Act of 1891, establishing a framework for bilateral copyright agreements based on reciprocity. While the act granted copyright to resident and nonresident authors for a period of 28 years, renewable for another 14.

    In 1952, the U.S. joined the Universal Copyright Convention [and also, for reference: Universal Copyright Convention, as revised in 1971], but not the Berne Convention, which was considered the ‘premier instrument of international copyright.’ Under the Universal Copyright Convention, the U.S. retained such protectionist measures as the requirement of manufacture in the United States.

    In the meantime, the U.S. had been exerting tremendous pressures against Third World governments to adopt strict intellectual property laws and to strengthen their enforcement. By the late 1980’s, a number of governments, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea in Asia, had finally succumbed to U.S. pressure.

    And so in 1989, the U.S. finally and belatedly acceded to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

    All the former arguments of the USA and the actions of their government and parliamentary bodies sounds very familiar: these are the arguments from many developing countries today. It took the USA decades, until 1952 and 1989, to accept the conditions, which they now declare to be essential for international trade relations. Some social action groups, and some parliaments and governments try to stand up in the same way as the USA did in the 19th century.

    But, as the study published on the WTO website says, there is ample fear that the results of copyright enforcement for Cambodian society at large may be very negative. Who is to blame, and who will have to bear the consequences? There are, of course, also efforts under way to have the whole concept and structures of copyright legislation fundamentally reconsidered, as it was developed under very different international conditions and mostly before modern information technology radically changed the possibilities of access to and sharing of information. It is up to society, and up to the governments caring for their societies, to get this process moving ahead.

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    The United States of America Announced to Provide US$5 Million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for Two Years – Thursday, 1.4.2010

    Posted on 2 April 2010. Filed under: Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

    “Phnom Penh: The United States of America announced to grant US$5 million to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, for two years from 2010 to 2011 for the United Nations side of the budget.

    “This provision of funds of US$5 million was announced by the US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, Mr. Stephen Rapp, in the afternoon of 31 March 2010 in a press conference at the US Embassy in Cambodia.

    “During the conference, Mr. Stephen Rapp praised the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, though there had been reports of accusations locally and internationally.

    “Mr. Stephen Rapp said that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal works hard and overcomes all critics to ensure its continuity.

    “In recent months, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had been accused over corruption among Khmer officials and was alleged of being the object of interference by the Cambodian government. Regarding this problem, Mr. Stephen Rapp stressed that the United States of America is not concerned about these accusations. The USA consider that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is heading to achieve justice for Khmer citizens who were killed during Democratic Kampuchea, the Pol Pot Regime.

    “The spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Dim Sovannarom, expressed his satisfaction toward the United States of America for deciding to provide funds so that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal can continue its proceedings.

    “Mr. Dim Sovannarom said that because of the funds from the United States, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal hopes that other countries that had announced to provide funds like the United States, will now also deliver them soon to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for the two years of 2010 and 2011.

    “Within the total amount of more than US$85 million, it is seen that the United States of Americas is the only country that provide funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal only for the United Nations side of the budget.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #449, 1.4.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

    Thursday, 1 April 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #449, 1.4.2010

    • The United States of America Announced to Provide US$5 Million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for Two Years

    Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #100, 1.4.2010

    • The Ministry of Interior Released a Circular Prohibiting the Copying of Works of Author Who Have the Copyright for the Document to Be Copied [the license of places running such copy operations will be canceled and they will be dealt with according to the law]

    Note:

    A World Trade Organization study predicts grave negative social consequences:

    Cambodia’s Accession to the WTO: ‘Fast Track’ Accession by a Least Developed Country

    The implementation of copyright law will affect education and other fields relating to human resource development. In a poor country such as Cambodia, books, CDs and VCDs with copyright simply cannot be afforded because they would be too expensive for the average citizen. Pirated CDs, VCDs, and DVDs as well as copied books, unlicensed films and even imitations of circus performances and pantomimes may soon cease to exist in Cambodia. With the majority of the population earning less than one dollar per day, the enforcement of copyright law would take away the livelihood of thousands, and cut off many from educational and entertainment materials.

    [Boldface added by The Mirror]

    Source:
    http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/casestudies_e/case8_e.htm

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2216, 1.4.2010

    • The Royal Government Stores Emergency Food Worth US$35 Million for Poor Vulnerable People [where US$17.5 million is from a grant and US$12.5 million from a loan from the Asian Development Bank]
    • The Japan Mine Action Service [JMAS] Grants More Than US$120,000 for Mine Clearance in Battambang

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6923, 1.4.2010

    • Kompong Cham and Koh Kong Forestry Officials Were Removed from Their Positions and Arrested [for working for their personal gain, trading and storing wood illegally]
    • A Truck Carrying More Than 100 Workers Overturned, and 21 Workers Were Killed or Injured [two workers were killed – Phnom Penh]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3847, 1.4.2010

    • [A Phnom Penh Municipal Deputy Governor from the Cambodian People’s Party] Using a Conference [about data systems and statistics] for Political Propaganda Made Sam Rainsy Party Councilors Walk Out of the Session

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #143, 1.4.2010

    • The [former] King, Samdech Euv [the King Father] and Samdech Mae [the King Mother] Return to Cambodia [from China]
    • More Than 400 Convicts Will Be Pardoned or Their Punishment Will Be Reduced by the King during the Khmer New Year [including for the editor-in-chief of the pro-Sam Rainsy Party newspaper Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra]
    • More Than 60 Families Do Not Agree to Leave the Burnt Area [of the Railway Community in Tuol Kork district, Phnom Penh, to resettle at the Dangkao suburb – the authorities said that they will not evict them by force, but they will persuade them to agree to relocate to a new place where they can have better living conditions]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5165, 1.4.2010

    • The Construction of the Russey Chrum River Hydro-Electric Dam Will Be Started by a Chinese Company [China Huadian Corpoationhave a look by clicking on the name of the company – [中国华电集团公司, short 中国华电], one of China’s five largest power producers] with an Investment Capital of US$558 Million [taking three years to finish – Pursat]

    Note:

    It is interesting to see also in publications in the People’s Republic of China reporting about citizens concern, when the may have to leave their traditional villages to make room for the construction of a dam – in this case also by the same China Huadian company – and different officials make contradictory statements, leaving the people concerned.

    http://www.nujiang.ngo.cn/Dynamics-en/rumours-of-dam-building-leave-villagers-fearing-for-their-future

    “Rumors of dam-building leave villagers fearing for their future

    “According to the latest rumor, headway has been made with the dam-building plan – which has been halted since 2004. Approval, it is said, has been given for the construction of at least one of the proposed 13 dams to start in the next few months.

    “But a top local official firmly denied the rumored approval – reportedly announced by another local government official at a Communist Party meeting last month.”

    Some organizations turn their concerns into a public campaign:

    “Water and Life. We are holding this ‘Nujiang River Sentiment’ exhibition to invite you to join us and struggle to save the last natural river in the world.”

    http://www.nujiang.ngo.cn/ <— A picture and questions.

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

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

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 26 March 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #444, 26.3.2010

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

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2211, 26.3.2010

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

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

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

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6918, 26.3.2010

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

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3821, 26.3.2010

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

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

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

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5160, 26.3.2010

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

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

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

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 24 March 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #442, 24.3.2010

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

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2209, 24.3.2010

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

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

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

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6916, 24.3.2010

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

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3840, 24.3.2010

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

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

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

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5158, 24.3.2010

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

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    The Number of Clients of Electricité du Cambodge Increased to 338,567 and the Power Sold Is 1,643 Gigawatt-Hours – Tuesday, 23.3.2010

    Posted on 23 March 2010. Filed under: Week 657 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

    “Phnom Penh: A high ranking official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that in 2009, according to a source from Electricité du Cambodge,338,567 houses or offices were supplied with the power of 1,643 gigawatt-hours in Cambodia.

    “The deputy secretary-general of the National Economic Council and a high ranking official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Hav Ratanak, said during a conference about the prospects for Cambodian in 2010, organized on 17 March 2010, that, according to the documents of Electricité du Cambodge, the amount of energy that this institution received and distributed, rose up to 1,643 gigawatt-hours, increasing by 192 gigawatt-hours, while the number of clients increased to 338,567, going up by 23,034, compared with 2008.

    “He added that in 2009, 306,898 houses of citizens, 2,184 clients who are foreigners, 26,543 businesses, 1,094 industrial sites, and 1,848 government offices were supplied with electricity.

    “According to Mr. Ratanak, in order to promote the plan to develop electricity in Cambodia, Electricité du Cambodge set up a three-year strategic plan, starting from 2010 to 2013. He said that between 2010 and 2013, Cambodia plans to import electricity of up to 5,108 gigawatt-hours from Vietnam and 625 gigawatt-hours from Thailand. Besides, other possible sources of electricity are from Kirirom I, Kirirom II, Kamchay, and the A Tai river hydro-electricity dams, and from electricity plants using coal to generate electricity.

    “So far, it is believed that only 17% to 18% of Cambodians have access to electricity. Based on these projections, 70% of Cambodians will have access to electricity by 2030.

    “In the region, the electricity prices in Cambodia were considered to be the highest, and Cambodia is also the country with least supply of electricity.

    “The prices of electricity being supplied in Cambodia by Electricité du Cambodge are about Riel 610 [approx. US$0.14] per kilowatt-hour, if the consumption is between 0 to 50 kilowatt-hours per month, but if it is 0 to 100 kilowatt-hours or beyond, prices range from Riel 720 [approx. US$0.17] to Riel 940 [approx. US$0.22]. And for citizens, who use privately generated electricity, it is more expensive.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5157, 23.3.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 23 March 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #441, 23.3.2010

    • Cambodia Is at the 21st Position among 22 Countries with Serious Tuberculosis, 13,000 People Died in a Year

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2208, 23.3.2010

    • The South Korean President Requested to Recruit More Workers from Cambodia Than from Other Countries [this is in response to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s request – the Ministry of Labor of South Korea is recruiting 700 agricultural workers]
    • More Than Fifteen Cubic Meters of Kronhoung Wood Was Confiscated in Choam Ksant District [Preah Vihear]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #633, 23.3.2010

    • The Kompong Speu Court Summoned [five] Citizens, Victimized by the Use of Machinery of [Senator and Oknha] Ly Yong Phat to Clear Their Land
    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Those Who Oppose the United Nations Protect Corrupt People

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6915, 23.3.2010

    • Hundreds of Cubic Meters of Wood Were Intercepted at the Memut Border Crossing [after the recent order by Prime Minister Hun Sen to control forestry crimes – Kompong Cham]
    • 180 Pieces of Luxury Wood Were Intercepted and Delivered to the Forestry Administration [Ratanakiri]
    • The National Bank of Cambodia Celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Printing of Riel Notes

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3839, 23.3.2010

    • Authorities Send the Case of the Boeng Kak Lake Residents Back and Forth and Do Not Have the Real Intention to Address It [on 22 March 2010, about 200 Boeng Kak Lake residents protested in front of the Phnom Penh Municipality to demand ownership documents for their land where they lived already for years]

    Meatophoum, Vol.54, #764, 22-27.3.2010

    • In Mondolkiri, in One Tonne of Earth, 2.3 Grams of Gold Can Be Extracted [according to the OZ Minerals Company that has discovered four places in the province where gold can be extracted]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #136, 23.3.2010

    • Draft: Acid Attackers Might Stay for the Rest of Their Lives in Prison
    • The Sam Rainsy Party Will Commemorate the 13th Anniversary of the Grenade Attack of 30 March 1997 [where at least ten people were killed]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5157, 23.3.2010

    • The Number of Clients of Electricité du Cambodge Increased to 338,567 and the Power Sold Is 1,643 Gigawatt-Hours
    • Cambodia Rejected Information about Any Involvement with the B41 Grenade Explosions in Thailand [after Thai Television 3 broadcast that B41 grenades could have been imported from Cambodia]

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    Amnesty International: Cases of Rape in Cambodia Increasing – Tuesday, 9.3.2010

    Posted on 10 March 2010. Filed under: Week 655 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 655

    “Amnesty International said that cases of rape in Cambodia increased, and what is worse is that rape victims do not have sufficient access to receive justice, medical care and treatment, and consulting services. Amnesty International released a report on 8 March on the occasion of the International Women’s Rights Day.

    “In the 60-pages report, 30 victims between the ages of 10 and 40 years old recounted their experience of corruption and the discrimination suffered from the police and the courts, which prevent them from getting necessary services; and on the other hand, most perpetrators are not arrested and convicted by the courts.

    “Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, Ms. Donna Guest, stated that there is a lack of support for the victims, and the government must publicly take action against sexual violence, to show that there is no tolerance for such crimes, and to recognize the victims’ suffering. Amnesty International encouraged the government to promote education and to offer materials to police officials and especially policewomen, and to provide the necessary resources for them to professionally conduct timely investigations whenever there is an accusations.

    “The Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi, could not comment on the report of Amnesty International, saying that she had not yet seen the report. But she stressed that the government is also focusing on the prevention of violence against women. Regarding legal assistance for rape victims, Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi said that the government granted Riel 100 million [approx. US$24,000] for such legal services. She acknowledged that the number of rape cases increased. But the figure may not correctly reflect the reality of what happened. It can be said that the police works more effectively than before, and that the increasing number of reported rape cases reflects alsothat the police is more active than before.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5144-5145, 7-9.3.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 9 March 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #428-429, 7-9.3.2010

    • The Prime Minister Requests the Promotion of Four Generals to Become Four Star Generals [requesting the King to enact the promotions; they are the generals Sao Sokha, Chea Dara, Hing Bun Heang, and Nhek Huon]
    • A Woman Died from the Use of Skin Cream [Banteay Meanchey; recently, the Prime Minister had just warned about dangerous cosmetic products]
    • A/H1N1 Increased to 562 Cases by March 2010 [in Cambodia]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2196, 9.3.2010

    • A Fire Destroyed Hundreds of Houses in the Railway Block Region [Phnom Penh]
    • A One Star [navy] General Was Accused by the Family of a [10-year-old] Boy, Denouncing Him to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [for beating the boy cruelly – Sihanoukville – the reason for the beating is not mentioned, he just went to the boy’s school, called him out by his name, and beat him up]

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #741, 8.3.2010

    • Global Witness Criticized that the Government Sells Some Military Units to Private Companies [Prime Minister Hun Sen had announced that 42 private commercial companies in Cambodia tied the knot with some Cambodian military units]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #620-621, 7-9.3.2010

    • Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Lawyer Asked for a Delay for Him Not to Appear at the Court on 9 March 2010 [over a new complaint of the government relating to the allegation to have faked maps; as his client is not in the country]
    • [The president of the National Assembly of Vietnam] Nguyễn Minh Triết [Nguyen Minh Triet] Invited Samdech Euv [the former King] and Samdech Mae [the former Queen] to Visit Yuon [Vietnam]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6902-6903, 8-9.3.2010

    • [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s] Reaction in Response to the ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, Saying that It Is the Interference into Cambodian Internal Affairs [the ASEAN Secretary General had said the the military exercise test-firing some 200 Russian-made Katyusha rockets 100 kilometers from the disputed border area of Preah Vihear; he said that this might cause instability in the region. But Prime Minister Hun Sen responded that the Secretary General’s comment is an interference into Cambodian internal affairs]
    • Anti-Corruption Draft Law: An Asset Declaration Is Obligatory for Officials Starting and Up from Those Nominated by a Sub-Decrees
    • An Old, Fatal Well, 10 Meters Deep, Took the Lives of Six Villagers [in one day, because they worked in it and did not have sufficient oxygen – Kompong Cham]

    Note:

    TodayOnline reports about the same affair as Koh Santepheap:

    Hun Sen slams Asean Sec-Gen

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday hit out at the Asean Secretary-General, accusing him of “crazy work” for questioning a recent rocket drill.

    “I think that his excellency Surin Pitsuwan is not suitable as ASEAN Secretary-General,” Mr Hun Sen said during a speech, adding: “If you are stupid, don’t do it.”

    He pointed out that other ASEAN leaders, including Thailand – with whom Cambodia has an ongoing border dispute – showed no concerns about the test.

    Calling on Mr Surin, who is a Thai citizen, to retract his statement or face a confrontation when Asean leaders meet next month in Hanoi, he said: “You must make a correction … The rockets did not hit your head.”

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3826-3827, 8-9.3.2010

    • More Than 50,000 Tonnes of Remains of Bombs Dropped by B52s Are a New Instrument to Put Pressure on the United States of America to Consider Canceling the Debt of US$315 Million [that Cambodia owes the USA]
    • The Opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party Demands a Delay for the Discussion of the Anti-Corruption Draft Law, but Will Not Walk Out of the Parliament Meeting

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #125, 8.3.2010

    • Cambodia Rejected the Concern Expressed by the ASEAN Secretary General Regarding the Launching of BM21 Rockets
    • Income from Tourism in 2009 Dropped by 2%, from an Amount of US$1.5 Billion [though tourist arrivals increased by 1.7% – according to the Ministry of Tourism]
    • Cambodia Will Send More Than 200 Troops of a Construction Unit to Chad [in April 2010]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5144-5145, 7-9.3.2010

    • Amnesty International: Cases of Rape in Cambodia Increasing
    • The Human Rights Party Announced to Boycott a Meeting [of the National Assembly] to Approve an Anti-Corruption Draft Law [saying that parliamentarians do not have enough time to review the draft documents distributed on 5 March 2010, while the meeting will be held on 10 March 2010]

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

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