The 15th Royal Government-Private Sector Forum Was Held – Thursday, 29.4.2010

Posted on 30 April 2010. Filed under: Week 662 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 662

“Phnom Penh: The 15th Royal Government-Private Sector Forum was held in the morning of 27 April 2010 at the seat of the Council of Ministers. The forum was chaired by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen; other leaders of the Royal Government, from the private sector, and many other development partners, and diplomats attended the forum.

“Like at the previous time, the aim of the meeting, considered to be a kind of open ministerial session, is to jointly monitor the practical progress and improvements achieved, to see how problems, which were raised during the 14th Royal Government-Private Sector Forum had been addressed, and to know what other problems investors face in Cambodia.

“The Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, said during his speech opening the Royal Government-Private Sector Forum that the Royal Government had led the Cambodian economy to get across a most difficult stage of the economic crisis, where the Royal Government managed to ensure financial stability as well as macro-economic and social stability, established a more favorable environment for economic and business activities, and strengthened social safety for the citizens.

“He added that encountering the global economic crisis, the Royal Government had continually intervened in the taxation system for garment and shoe factories as well as for other industries supporting these fields. Reduced tax payments on income of the garment and shoe factories was extended until the end of 2012, resulting in monthly losses for the state of about Riel 4,000,000,000 [approx. US$940,000]. To reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate to 0% during that time resulted in additional losses for the state of about Riel 4,300,000,000 [approx US$1 million] per month in 2008 and it increased to as much as approx. Riel 9,300,000,000 [approx. US$2.2 million] in 2010.

“The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, chaired the event and waited to address all problems after they had been raised by the eight private sector groups. Then he dealt with the problems of the working teams for agriculture and for industry, relating to the export of agricultural products, even though it is recognized that there has been improvement in the commercial sector. Before the private sectors can export anything, they have to ask for permissions from many places, wasting much money and time. To export more than 200 tonnes of rice is even more difficult and takes even longer time. The private sectors needs to gain permissions from the Green Trade structure, that has the exclusive right to export rice. Then they need to ask for permission from many other ministries and institutions. Also, the working teams mentioned that for the transportation of livestock from Preah Vihear to Phnom Penh this process required to cross up to 37 check points, and companies have to pay both official and unofficial money at all those posts. Therefore, they asked the government to eliminate these activities.

“Regarding these issues, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that such type of unimportant checkpoints should be abolished at all levels, especially when such activities are carried out by institutions which are not authorized for this, and he called to abolish such licenses required by unnecessary institutions, so that export business becomes more competitive exporting agricultural products of Cambodia.

“As for the tourism working team, Mr. Ho Vandy asked the government to reduce the price of plane tickets of Cambodia Angkor Air from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, to allow flights from Bangkok to Siem Reap, and to add another flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, and to begin local flights between Siem Reap and to Sihanoukville.

“In response, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that Cambodia adheres to a free market economy. Thus, the government cannot set prices of flights as it is done in a planned economy. In relation to the request to begin flights between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, he said that the government does not provide exclusive rights to Cambodia Angkor Air, and other companies can operate direct flights. He encouraged Mr. Ho Vandy – if he could make any airline to start direct flights to Sihanoukville he will request that Mr. Vandy should get a medal for this incentive.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen also addressed issues in other sectors, mostly concentrating on the lowering of tax for the import of raw materials and for means of transport, and the lowering of VAT. At the same time, he addressed also problems relating to trade unions and workers. In addition, he clarified some cases, where the private sector had called to strengthen the competition of the garment sector by considering that the expensive prices of telecommunication, transportation, and electricity are a burden.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5183-5184, 28-29.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 29 April 2010

Areyathor, Vol.17, #1437, 29.4.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Was Nominated as a Member of the Royal Academy of Cambodia

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #463-464, 28-29.4.2010

  • The Government Encourages the Private Sector to Export Agricultural Products
  • Two Murderers Were Arrested for Killing a Woman to Rob Her Lexus Car to Sell it in Vietnam [Phnom Penh]
  • The Prime Minister Reminded the Authorities to Crack Down on Illegal Check Points

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #22-342235, 28-29.4.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The BHP Billiton Mining Company Did Not Give Illegal Money to Cambodia [to get a mining exploration concession from the government]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Warned Ambassadors in Cambodia Not to Interfere in the Internal Affairs of Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6942, 29.4.2010

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Decide on Bail Requests of [former Khmer Rouge leaders] Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, and Khiev Samphan on 30 April 2010
  • Samdech Hun Sen: Trade Unions Are Not My Enemy, and To Demonstrate [on 1 May 2010, the International Labor Day] Is Their Right
  • The Australian Embassy Provides Scholarships to 40 Cambodian Students Every Year
  • The National Children’s Hospital Receives Medical Equipment Donated by the Korea International Cooperation Agency [KOICA, worth about US$200,000]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3866, 29.4.2010

  • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia [COMFREL]: The Power of the National Assembly Is in the Hands of Only One Party, and Complaints against Mr. Sam Rainsy [filed by the government] Are Dangerous for Democracy
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asked the Minister of Justice to Confirm the Conditions Under Which Courts Can Detain Citizens

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #159-160, 28-29.4.2010

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen: The Money from the [Australian] BHP Company Is Not Corrupt Money [he confirmed that the government was not involved in corruption with the BHP company in providing mining exploitation rights in Cambodia, but he said that this company did provide more than US$2 million for social development projects]
  • Tourists Arrivals Increased by Almost 10% in the First Quarter of 2010 [there were more than 680,000 tourists, mostly from Korea, China, and Japan]
  • Visakh Bochea Was Internationally Celebrated in the Angkor Area in Siem Reap [with an international “Trail of Civilization and Performance” with participation from Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam]
  • Cambodia Lifts the Ban on Marriages between Khmer Women and South Korean Men
  • The International Monetary Fund: Cambodia Should Improve Investment Atmosphere [in order to attract big investors: maintaining the macro-economic environment stable, improving the physical infrastructure such as roads, ports, and electricity supply, ensure a high level judicial system that is independent, and keep a well educated labor force]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5183-5184, 28-29.4.2010

  • The 15th Royal Government-Private Sector Forum Was Held
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Criticized Big Institutions of the World [the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asia Development Bank, for making different [independent] forecasts about the Cambodian economy]
  • 88% of Garment Factories Were Affected by the Economic Crisis while 12% Were Not [according to the International Labor Organization]

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The Cambodian Prime Minister Is Concerned about the Loss of Ground Water in Siem Reap – Friday, 23.4.2010

Posted on 24 April 2010. Filed under: Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

“Siem Reap: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen expressed concern about the loss of ground water in Siem Reap that could lead to earth quakes that can damage the Angkor Wat Temple, for which safety cannot be guaranteed.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said so in the morning of 22 April 2010 in Svay Dangkum district, Siem Reap, during the inauguration of a Wastewater Management and Culvert System.

“He said that to further beautify Siem Reap City as the center of the province to attract a large number of tourists, the goal of Cambodia is not only to attract more than 2 million tourists, but our goal is to see as many as 5 million tourist arrivals. Therefore, we have to think about the creation of a larger airport. But our major problem now is to focus on the problem of the ground water used by big hotels. Now we are encouraging investment in bringing water from external water reservoirs to Siem Reap City. We cannot keep on using ever more ground water, because some big hotels consume too much of it, and this leads to the loss of balance between the earth layers and aquifers, which then may result in quakes that might seriously affect our rich cultural heritage. Thus, care has to be taken seriously.

“Samdech Hun Sen asked for a thorough check on big hotels that are drawing ground water, because the amount consumed per day cannot be just estimated, otherwise damage will occur in Siem Reap. Therefore, a good way out is to encourage companies to invest to develop water supply to be drawn from external reservoirs to replace the use of ground water in Siem Reap City.

“Regarding the beauty of the city, he spoke to the Siem Reap Governor, Mr. So Phearin, asking him to clean the Water Convolvulus [a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as a leaf vegetable, known also as Water Spinach, Water Morning Glory, Chinese Spinach, and Swamp Cabbage] along the road from the airport to the city. He added, ‘You officials, you travel back and forth every day. You see it, but you do not care about it and let the weeds – Water Convolvulus and Water Hyacinths – grow along the road. It is not that you could not do anything. But you do not care about it!’ Last year, he had mentioned this already once, but nothing has changed. Early in the new year, he had reminded them once again, but still it is the same. He went on to say that the flood in Siem Reap results from disorderly constructions which block the flow of water. He continued to say that to develop Siem Reap City is not as difficult as Phnom Penh, which is 500 times more difficult, but still it can be developed. But here, just along the road, it does not happen. ‘Just pave the pedestrian walkways and put concrete slabs on the channel to cover for flowing water will beautify the city, providing an attractive view for the tourists, which is better than letting weeds and Water Convolvulus grow in the channels.

“He added, ‘I would just like to remind you again in case you forget. When one becomes governor of Siem Reap, it is better to have fixed these things before leaving Siem Reap again, because it does not cost much to do it. Roads in front of the houses of citizens and of hotels were already paved according to a regulation introduced. Some roads may be impossible to construct according to that regulation, so a fifty-fifty formula should be introduced [where the state pays half and citizens pay the other half of the cost]. Where the state can construct the roads, do it, because there are supporting funds available from the province and from the Apsara Authority. The real problem is that you did not care to do it.’

“In the meantime, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen praised the governor of Poipet for encouraging and coopering with the citizens to work on improvements. The good leadership there makes Poipet City have nice roads, attracting tourists, while Siem Reap City attracts weeds, Water Convolvulus, and Water Hyacinths.

“Siem Reap residents criticize the Siem Reap governor for not producing any noticeable development in the city. For example, the Siem Reap River is much smaller than the Sankae River in Battambang, but the Battambang authorities were able to pave the river banks with concrete slabs, while the Siem Reap River is like a channel, but the Siem Reap governor was not able to do the same. The pedestrian walkways in Siem Reap are bumpy. Some are paved with concrete slabs. Some are just the plain soil and muddy. Some are full of weeds, making it difficult to walk for the traveling tourists; instead, they have to walk on the road. The Siem Reap city does not offer attractive views for tourists at night, because of public order and sanitation problems.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5179, 23.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #460, 23.4.2010

  • A Car Hit Four People Including an Unborn Baby and Killed Them, but the Takeo Police Released the Car Driver [in exchange for US$2,000]
  • The Asian Development Bank Provides a Loan of US$10.93 Million to Cambodia to Strengthen Infrastructure in Siem Reap [to implement construction projects and to deploy a culvert system]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2213, 28-29.4.2010

  • The Prime Minister Asked Citizens to Be Careful to Protect Themselves from Lightnings [recently, six people were killed by lightnings in one day in Pursat. He suggested that citizens should not hold any metal objects, like knives or axes, and turn off their mobile phones, radios, and TV sets]

The Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6937, 23.4.2010

  • The Russey Keo District Authorities Announced to Close Guesthouses along National Road 6A [from Phnom Penh to the north, as it is obvious that they do not serve tourists, but are “Love Hotels” offering places for people to have sex – Phnom Penh]
  • Laos Has Collected More Than US$80 Million from Gold Ore while More Ore Is Being Extracted

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3861, 23.4.2010

  • The Debts of Some Countries Are Increasing, and the International Monetary Fund Is Worried that Another, More Serious Economic Crisis May Break Out [also Cambodia is mentioned – when the debt increases, loans for the private sector are cut, so that big and small private enterprises encounter difficulties when they seek loans for their operations; as a result, workers of those enterprises lose their employment]
  • Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the Thai government] Asked the United Nations to Deploy Peace Keeping Forces in Siam [Thailand] to Prevent Civil War and Violence

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #155, 23.4.2010

  • The Producer [Mr. Bradley Cox] of the Documentary Film “Who Killed Chea Vichea” Wants to Present the Film in Cambodia [Mr. Chea Vichea was the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of Cambodia who was shot dead in 2004 – The film is to share info that the producer has recovered about persons who are supposed to have been behind the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea]
  • BHB Investigates Corruption Allegations in Cambodia [BHP Billiton is conducting an internal investigation over a corruption accusations related to getting a concession for Bauxite exploration in Mondolkiri in 2007 – BHP Billiton withdrew from Cambodia 2009]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5179, 23.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Is Concerned about the Loss of Ground Water in Siem Reap
  • The East Timor President [Mr. José Ramos-Horta] Asked Cambodia to Support His Country’s Candidacy to Become a New Member of ASEAN

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Cambodian Export in 2009 Dropped by 18.2%; Cambodian Economy in 2010 Might Achieve Growth – Wednesday, 20.1.2010

Posted on 21 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

“According to statistics of the National Bank of Cambodia, total export products of Cambodia to foreign markets in 2009 amounted to US$3,619 million, showing a decline by 18% or US$804.7 million, compared to 2008.

“The garment sector, the biggest source of income for Cambodia, dropped to only US$716.2 million, and other products dropped to only US$88.4 million.

“As the export of Cambodia declined in 2009, the import declined also to only $5,208 million which dropped by 17% or US$1,063 million, compared to the previous year.

“The governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Chanto, stated that the downturn of the Cambodian export resulted from the economic crisis. But Mr. Chea Chanto rejected forecasts by international financial institutions over the impacts of the global economic crisis on the Cambodian economy.

“Mr. Chea Chanto stressed that the growth for 2009 declined from 6.6% to only 2.1%, and the growth for 2010 is expected to achieve 3%.

“Previously, the International Monitory Fund forecast that Cambodia can achieve only 2.7% growth, the World Bank forecast 2.5%, and the Asian Development Bank forecast 1.5%.

“The forecast given by Mr. Chea Chanto is different from Mr. Hun Sen’s, who predicted that the economic growth for 2010 is only 2%. Mr. Hun Sen recognized the bad impact from the global economic crisis on the Cambodian economy.

“An economist of the World Bank office in Phnom Penh, Ms. Stephanie Simmonds [? – phonetic], predicted that the Cambodian economy will not achieve an accelerating growth in 2010.

“The forecast about economic growth in 2009 is being discussed but has not yet been finished. The economic growth estimated by the International Monitory was only 2.7%, by the World Bank 2.5%, by the Asian Development Bank 1.5%, and by the Royal Government of Cambodia 2%.

“The year 2009 is considered as an abnormal year. Cambodia had experienced a stable economic growth of almost 10% for 10 consecutive years, but this ended in 2009.

“The economist Ms. Stephanie stated that the major problem is that many citizens and investors had expected an continuing and fast growth, but this expectation was not true for 2009.

“Migrant workers who had planned to send their money back home could not do it. Also those who planned to sell their land for profit could not do it either.

“The same economist said that the import of cars decreased, and there is a somewhat bad trend related to debts owned to banks.

“The financial and economic downturn puts a burden on several sectors, but it heavily affects the garment and the tourism sectors.

“Some special groups suffer from this economic impact, such as tuk-tuk drivers, small restaurants, and other parts of the service sector. Only agriculture had a stable income, though it was partly affected by the typhoon Ketsana.

“As for 2010, there is a question: Is an economic recovering on the way for Cambodian workers and entrepreneurs or not? […]

“The export of products from Vietnam to Cambodia in 2009 dropped by more than 20%, compared to 2008. The total export of Yuon [Vietnamese] products to Cambodia amounted to about US$1,7 billion in 2009, and it is expected to rise higher in 2010 to about US$2 billion.

“Facing this situation, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Vietnam called for a meeting with investors who export products to Cambodia, to seek solutions for the problems they encounter. In 2010, the Vietnamese government will negotiate with the Cambodian government to ease the difficulties of Vietnamese investors.” Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #721, 20.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #392, 20.1.2010

  • The Prime Minister Agreed with the Request of [UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur] Surya Subedi Saying that NGOs Need to Elect Their Representatives to Talk with the Government
  • [Three] Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Successfully Visited [two] Villagers in Svay Rieng [detained over the removal of border markers]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2155, 20.1.2010

  • Cambodia Asked Israel to Assist in Agriculture [according to a meeting between a secretary state of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ouch Borith, and the Israeli Ambassador, Mr. Itzhak Shoham]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #721, 20.1.2010

  • Cambodian Export in 2009 Dropped by 18.2%; Cambodian Economy in 2010 Might Achieve Growth

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #584, 20.1.2010

  • The Ratanakiri Authorities Seized a Car Loaded with Kranhoung Wood When the Car Had a Flat Tyre [after the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association and local citizens informed them]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6862, 20.1.2010

  • The Cambodian Border Police Blocked Cars of Siamese [Thai] Patrol Soldiers on Khmer Territory; Then the Patrol Soldiers Set Thai Flags on Their Cars and Withdrew [Oddar Meanchey]
  • A Khmer-Australian Man and Two Accomplices Smuggling [498 grams of] Drugs Were Arrested [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #93, 20.1.2010

  • The Cambodian Government and the United Nations Vowed to Strengthen Good Cooperation in Human Rights
  • A Court Sent a Swedish Man for Six Years to Prison for Debauchery [with a child – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5104, 20.1.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen Asked the UN Envoy to Have a Broad View on Seeing Human Rights Issues [in Cambodia – the report does not elaborate what this broader view would include, only saying that human rights means more than freedom of expression]
  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Rejected to Help Mr. Sam Rainsy [he is accused of removing border markers and is now abroad]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1859, 20.1.2010

  • Samdech Sihanouk [the former King]: Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Case Is Political so He Cannot Help

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UNIFEM: Poverty Is Making Cambodia Become a Base for Human Trafficking – Thursday, 17.12.2009

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

“The International Migrants Day was marked with a promotional meeting on the Legal Protection for Household Servants, organized at the Himawari Hotel by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and by the Ministry of Labor in the evening of 16 December 2009.

“A press conference focused on migration and human trafficking that are happening because of many factors, leading to trafficking when people migrate. The vulnerability of groups of people who migrate to seek ways necessary for their [economic] survival, and of those who are trafficked, is much alike. But there are significant differences between migration and trafficking. Many people fail to clearly distinguish between migration and trafficking. Police or immigration officials often do not have the operational criteria to make the proper judgments to distinguish between victims of trafficking and migrants. As a result, those who are victims of trafficking as a result of different crimes are mistaken for migrants, and the latter are arrested and repatriated.

“According to a report of UNIFEM and of the Ministry of Labor during the 3rd meeting of a working group of relevant ministries about migration on 9 December 2008, some open questions among many problems need urgent action. They require some more clarification about the reasons leading to human trafficking, among those who fight against human trafficking in Cambodia.

“Cambodia is a country that sends and receives migrating workers. 89,000 workers migrated to Thailand and 11,000 to Malaysia. These are the major destinations of Cambodian workers, and Cambodia also receives a large number of migrant workers: 10,000 from Vietnam and 55,000 from China, among other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

“Cambodia is also used by criminals as a transit point for human trafficking to other countries, especially to the West.

“Even though there is no proof, networks of human trafficking in Asia are extending widely, relating from minor crimes to big organized crime networks. There is no clear estimation agreed upon globally to rightly reflect the number of people who are trafficked in Cambodia. It is difficult to have statistics because of the sensitivity and illegality of the trafficking business, and deficiencies relating to clear definitions of the word ‘trafficking.’

“According to the US Department of State, about 220,000 children and women were trafficked in Southeast Asia. ILO and the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor [IPEC] estimated that 80,000 children and women were trafficked to Thailand for sexual exploitation since 1990. The highest number relates to people from Burma, followed by those from the Province of Yunan in China, and from Laos. There are 500 to 1,000 Cambodian children being used as beggars in Thailand.

“According to figures from the Department of Labor, by 30 November 2009, 22,222 workers – 19,586 women and 2,636 men – migrated to Malaysia to work as household servants, and 14,308 workers – 4,717 men and 9,591 women – migrated to Thailand. This shows that most migrants are Cambodian women.

“Migration is a problem that can lead to human trafficking: the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is a type of organized crime that is increasing, because traffickers can earn high returns and have low hazards. Thousands of women are being trafficked from Asia.

“It should be remembered that Khmer citizens from various provinces and cities in Cambodia, who are unemployed, migrate to neighboring countries or to some other countries, to seek income to support their families’ livelihood. Unemployment in Cambodia is a factor urging them to decide to migrate and to leave their homes to seek paid employment elsewhere.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1835, 17.12.2009

Note:

PRESS RELEASE:

In order to continue the celebration of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) 18 December CARAM Cambodia initiated its celebration since 2006 participated by more than one thousand people with rally and parade and it is a fourth anniversary of International Migrant’ s Day celebration for this year (2009) in Cambodia and 19th anniversary of IMD celebration around the world and it is an opportunity:

  • to recognize the contributions made by millions of migrants to the development and well-being of so many countries in the world;
  • to demand an end to all forms of abuse and violence against migrants and their families and promote respect for their basic human rights;
  • to call on governments around the world to ratify the UN Convention on Migrant Workers;
  • to hold governments accountable with regards to the rights of migrants

A leading NGO-CARAM Cambodia will continue the celebration of International Migrant Day (IMD) 18 December 2009 in Cambodia with the following activities and objectives:

I. Radio Talk Show

  • Radio FM 106.5 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio FM 102.5 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio FM 93.75 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio Free Asia from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio FM 101.25 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (16 December 2009)

II. Press Conference: Was on 16 December 2009

III. Message Delivery through Mobile Phone on IMD Celebration 18 December 2009

CARAM Cambodia will send a message entitled “International Migrant’s Day (IMD)” celebration to many people as we can to celebrate International Migrant Day 18 December 2009.

IV. Objective of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) 2009

The following is the objectives of IMD celebration this year:

  1. Celebrate the fourth anniversary of IMD in Kingdom of Cambodia initiated by CARAM Cambodia in cooperation with National AIDS Authority, Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MoLVT), local and international NGOs in Cambodia and participate in the celebration of 19th anniversary of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) around the world after UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and after almost a decade of governmental negotiations and relentless advocacy by migrant communities around the world.
  2. Advocate people with decision making power, policy makers and stakeholders to support migration issues so that policies, laws and regulations are reviewed and adopted so as to promote and protect migrant workers’ rights;
  3. Increase public awareness on safe migration in an enabling environment to empower migrant workers to mitigate impacts and vulnerabilities of migrant workers and members of their families.

V. Remarks:

Everybody is encouraged to join Radio Talk Show Program “Together Promoting and Protecting Migrant Workers’ Rights” through call in show to be held in the coming days as mentioned in the above program and please help to disseminate a message “International Migrant’s Day (IMD) to friends, colleagues or whomever you know for the celebration of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) 18 December 2009 in Cambodia and around the world.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 17 December 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1423, 17-18.12.2009

  • A 26-Year-Old Man Raped His 9-Year-Old Niece Nine Times [he was arrested – Phnom Penh]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #364, 17.12.2009

  • Amnesty International Asked Cambodia Not to Send [22] Uighur People Back to Their Country [the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China]
  • [Two] Robbers Used Only Three Minutes to Rob Gold and Money of More Than US$90,000 [and escaped safely; Phnom Penh]
  • A Drunken Man Rapped His Eight-Year-Old Daughter Twice [he was arrested – Battambang]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2126, 17.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Thaksin Would Have Died [or been imprisoning], if There Was No Transfer of Flight [not to fly across Thailand]
  • Hungary Plans to Provide US$50 Million Loan for the Development of Cambodia
  • World Mate Organization Donated US$3 Million to the Cambodia Red Cross for a Period of Ten Year

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #557, 17.12.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay Said that the Prime Minister Released the Thai Spy [though the court claimed it had enough evidence to put him in jail], so he Should Release Also the Khmer People Imprisoned over Land Disputes [who were jailed unjustly when just they protested over land grabbing]
  • The Leader of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Asked Top Leaders of the Country to Raise Khmer Kampuchea Krom Issues for Discussion with Nong Duc Manh, [a secretary general of the Communist Party of Vietnam, during his official visit in Cambodia]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6833, 17.12.2009

  • In Cambodia Private Sector Provides Many Jobs Up to 90%
  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) Shown that Economic Crisis Continues to Affect Garment Industry, Making 70 Factories were Closed [in Cambodia and 70,000 workers lost their jobs]
  • Red-Shirt Groups Supporting [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Entered through the Poipet Border Crossing to Phnom Penh [to visit Mr. Thaksin]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #69, 17.12.2009

  • [The Former Khmer Rough top leaders], Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary, Were Accused of More Crimes of Genocide against Chams [Cambodian Muslims] and Vietnamese
  • The Asian Development Bank Voted Officially to Provide US$42 Million Loan [to Cambodia] to Repair Railroad

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5075, 17.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Called Bangkok’s Comment over the Release of the Thai Spy Stupid [Thailand accused Cambodia of having no proper law by recording the spy’s conversation with the first secretary of the Thai Embassy via phone and said that the release is a farce; Prime Minister Hun Sen denied Cambodia recorded the conversation, but just has the note of the callings]
  • Mr. Thaksin Continues to Help Cambodia with Investment Sector and Tourism

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1835, 17.12.2009

  • UNIFEM: Poverty Is Making Cambodia Become a Base for Human Trafficking

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A Village Chief Shot and Killed a Sam Rainsy Party Activist, and Police Gave the Victim’s Family US$900 so that They Do Not Sue – Thursday, 3.12.2009

Posted on 4 December 2009. Filed under: Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

“An activist of the Sam Rainsy Party was shot dead by a village chief who lives in a different village, while the victim and his nephew were fishing at a canal; and police gave the victim’s wife US$900 so that she would not inform civil society and sue him at the court. This is according to the deputy director of the Sam Rainsy Party in Prey Veng, Mr. Pim Samnang, who received the information from the victim’s family.

“But the police chief of Sithor Kandal denied that he negotiated anything with the victim’s wife to stop suing him.

“Mr. Pim Samnang told Khmer Machas Srok in the morning of 2 December 2009 at the Sam Rainsy Headquarters in Phnom Penh, that the victim is Buo Boun, 28. He lived in Prasat village, Chrey Khmum commune, Sithor Kandal, Prey Veng. He added that at 7:00 p.m. on 28 November 2009, Buo Boun together with an 11-year-old boy was shot by Voeun, the chief of the Ta Nal village which is in the same commune, killing him immediately at the site while he and his nephew were fishing at the Anhchanh canal in his village.

“The perpetrator shot the victim three times, and once hit him in the back in the shoulder-blade.

“The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Prey Veng, Mr. Chea Pouch said, ‘I cannot assume that it is political, but we let police investigate it first with participation from civil society.’

“He added, ‘I condemn the murderer who was already known as a village chief from the Cambodian People’s Party.” Therefore, police must capture the murderer as the target is clearly identified already.’

“According to this report, at about 2:00 p.m. on 29 November 2009, his wife Din Then knew her husband died. The victim is a farmer and has a six-year-old daughter. His wife is now eight months pregnant.

“The report went on to say that on 1 December 2009, police officials of Sithor Kandal went to negotiate with the victim’s wife and family by offering US$900 to Buo Boun’s wife so there would be no complaint to the court and to civil society.

“The Sithor Kandal district police chief, Mr. Net, told Khmer Machas Srok via telephone yesterday evening [2 December 2009] that indeed there was a killing which resulted from an electric fishing shock. When asked whether police helped to negotiate to pay US$900 to stop any complaint, Mr. Net denied it and claimed that his role is to make a report and to send it to higher levels, and to try to arrest the perpetrator for prosecution.

“He added that the police has not yet arrested the perpetrator, but they know who he is.

“Though Mr. Net denied negotiating with the victim’s family, Ms. Din Then, villagers and the victim’s relatives claimed that the district police did negotiate to pay US$900 to the victims’ wife in order to stop her going to sue at the court.

“Buo Boun was an orphan and an outstanding activist of the Sam Rainsy Party. He used to be an agent of the Sam Rainsy Party at his village and also the one who was able to find most support for the Sam Rainsy Party for the national elections in 2008. His murder is considered as political, as he never had disputes with anyone.

“Mr. Pim Samnang called police to arrest the perpetrator, Voeun, the village chief, to be convicted according to the law.

“Yesterday evening, it was reported that the secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party, Ms. Ke Sovannarath, wrote a letter to the Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, requesting him to arrest the perpetrator to be prosecuted according to the law.

“It should be noted that last month, an activist of the Sam Rainsy Party was attacked and killed while the victim and his wife were sleeping in their cottage to guard their paddy rice in Basedth district, Kompong Speu.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #545, 3.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 3 December 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1421, 3.12.2009

  • [The President of the National Assembly] Samdech Heng Samrin: Khmers Are Happy with the Nomination of Thaksin Shinawatra [Thai ousted prime minister — but also convicted to two years in prison for economic corruption, who fled the country breaking his bail promise — as an economic advisor]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #352, 3.12.2009

  • Lecturers and Students of the Royal University of Agriculture Stopped Striking after They Were Promised a Solution [related to corruption suspicions among the leadership of the university]
  • Nearly Two Tonnes of Snakes and Turtles Were Intercepted before They Were Trafficked Illegally to Vietnam through the Chrey Thom Border Crossing

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2114, 3.12.2009

  • The Minister of Commerce [Mr. Cham Prasidh], Said that Cambodia, like Other Countries in the World, Suffers from the Economic Crisis
  • Police Arrested More Than 100 Troublemaking Teens Who Stay at Guesthouses Together and Use Drugs [Phnom Penh]
  • A Perpetrator Who Raped and Killed a Woman Was Arrested [Kandal]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #545, 3.12.2009

  • A Village Chief Shot and Killed a Sam Rainsy Party Activist, and Police Gave the Victim’s Family US$900 so that They Do Not Sue

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6821, 3.12.2009

  • The Diplomatic Dispute Does Not Cut Off Military Ties, and Cambodian and Thai Troops Play Friendship Sports on the Dangrek Mountains
  • A Grandson Is a Cruel Murderer Who Killed His Grandmother [and injured a servant seriously; it is assumed the murder is related to a conflict over family property – Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #59, 3.12.2009

  • Hundreds of Vietnamese Women Were Trafficked to Cambodia [within 11 months of 2009, as many as 773 Vietnamese women were arrested by the government [and sent back to Vietnam], and also Cambodian citizens, including children, women, and men were trafficked; according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Youth Rehabilitation]
  • The Cambodian-South Korean Commerce Declined by More Than 11% within 10 Months of 2009 [to only US$232.8 million], but It Might Recover Next Year
  • Obama Will Send 30,000 Soldiers More to Afghanistan

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5063, 3.12.2009

  • The European Union Grants More Than US$2 Million [Euro 2 million] to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Thai Mother Came to Visit Her Son at the Prey Sar Prison for the Second Time Quietly [he was accused as a spy for coping the flight plan — flight plans in many countries are public information to strengthen air traffic safety by sharing information — of the Thai ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. – According to other sources, she was greeted at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who accompanied her to the prison]
  • Two New International Co-Prosecutors for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [Mr. Andrew T. Cayley and Mr. Paul Coffey] Were Appointed [after having been nominated four month ago]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1825, 3.12.2009

  • Five Thousands People [from different organizations, associations, communities, trade unions, and ethnic minorities] Plan to March on 10th December – Human Rights Day – in Phnom Penh

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Opposition Party Parliamentarians and Civil Society Officials Stated that the Government Does Not Implement the Constitution – Friday, 30.10.2009

Posted on 31 October 2009. Filed under: Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

“On the occasion of the 5th Coronation Day of Preah Karuna Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, high ranking officials from the opposition parties, who are parliamentarians, and national and international observers, pointed to the Cambodian government’s obligation and need to implement the supreme law of the country by creating and reforming at least two institutions of Cambodia.

“A parliamentarian from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, agrees with the idea of an international observer, Mr. Lao Mong Hay, and of a civil society official of Cambodia as well of a parliamentarian [from the Human Rights Party], Mr. Kem Sokha over the duty that the King at present fulfills, especially the idea that the government must create and progress two supreme institutions led by the King.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 23:
The King is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Khmer Armed Forces. A Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Khmer Armed Forces shall be appointed to command the Armed Forces.

Article 24:
The King shall serve as Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Defense to be established by law.

“Mr. Son Chhay, a leader of the Sam Rainsy parliamentarians, said, ‘I hope that Cambodia will in the future create a Supreme Council of National Defense which, according to the Constitution, must be under the presidency of the King with the role as Chairman of that Supreme Council of National Defense.’

“Mr. Son Chhay agreed with a statement of a senior researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong, Mr. Lao Mong Hay, in this point.

“Dr. Lao Mong Hay sees an obligation of the government, as stipulated in the Constitution of Cambodia, to create a Supreme Council of National Defense with the King as Chairman. So far, according to a statement of Mr. Lao Mong Hay, the government formed by the Cambodian People’s Party, with Mr. Hun Sen as the Prime Minister, has not discussed the creation of a Supreme Council of National Defense under the oversight by the King.

“Everything in the defense sector is seen being organized and decided directly by Prime Minister Hun Sen. This leads to criticism that the defense system of Cambodia is not conform with the Constitution of the country, which states the need to establish a Supreme Council of National Defense led by the King.

“The founder of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) – a large human rights organization in Cambodia, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], said that in the five years since the coronation of Preah Karuna Preah Bath Norodom Sihamoni, it is seen by the public that in general, he cares for humanitarian affairs for his citizens. She expressed her concern related to a point of the Constitution which says that the King takes the thrown, but does not take the power.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 7:
The King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern.
The King shall be the Head of State for life. The King shall be inviolable.

Article 8:
The King of Cambodia shall be a symbol of unity and eternity of the nation.
The King shall be guarantor of the national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the protector of rights and freedom for all citizens and the guarantor of international treaties.

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek said, ‘I regret that the Constitution states that the King reigns, but is not involved in political affairs, so that he could fulfill many other duties according to the constitution.’

“The Constitution of Cambodia stipulates that the King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern, though, according to another article, it makes the King responsible for the territorial integrity of Cambodia, for the protection of the rights and the freedom for all citizens, and for an independent court system, though he does not have the power to decide anything, and can only be burdened by the mistakes decided upon by the government.

“A parliamentarian and president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, noted also the point in the Constitution which states that the King must not be involved in politics, and that the King does not have power, as at present, the power is controlled by the government. According to his opinion, the King should be given the possibility to ensure the respect for human rights and the independence of the court system, as well as the right to pardon journalists and human rights activists who are jailed by government authorities. He stressed that at present, unless there is request from the government, the King does not decide to an amnesty, but Mr. Kem Sokha thinks that the government should not prevent the King from granting an amnesty.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 27:
The King shall have the right to grant partial or complete amnesty.

“Senior politicians from the opposition parties and from civil society organization official expressed their ideas under the impression that the King seems to be restricted in fulfilling his duties which are stated as his rights, as stated in the Constitution, to help his people.

“Besides expressing good wishes to the King at the 5th Coronation Day after he succeeded his father, some scholars want to see the country’s Constitution implemented properly by the government, like by organizing the National Congress, which, as stated by the supreme law of Cambodia, is to be held annually under the chairmanship of the King. It is an event to remember the National Congress held by the current King’s father, Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, to provide an opportunity for the citizens to express their concerns, hopes, and wishes, as well as to question the prime minister about how the country is ruled, while now, the Cambodian People’s Party government, especially Prime Minister Hun Sen, said that it is not possible to hold such a congress.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article :
Article 147:
The National Congress shall enable the people to be directly informed on various matters of national interests and to raise issues and requests for the State authority to solve.
Khmer citizens of both sexes shall have the right to participate in the National Congress.
Article 148:
The National Congress shall meet once a year in early December at the convocation of the Prime Minister.
It shall proceed under the chairmanship of the King.
Article 149:
The National Congress adopts recommendations to the Senate and the National Assembly, and to the Executive branch for reflection.
The organization and operation of the National Congress should be determined by law.

“But according to the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Right Party, and to national and international observers, the government could do what is stated in the Constitution, if the government had a real intention to do it.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #520, 30.10.2009

.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #323, 29.10.2009

  • About 20% of Cambodian Citizens Live under the Threat of Food Insecurity [because of the rising prices of food, the economic crisis, and natural disaster which bring more burden; according to an under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries]
  • The Number of People Who Died from A/H1N1 Infection Increased to 4, and there Are 239 Infected People
  • This Year, 391 Boats and 25,501 Boat Racers Will Join for the Competitions [at the Water Festival]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2085, 29.10.2009

  • [The Thai ousted prime minister] Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra Plans to Come to Cambodia Soon to Thank Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [but a date has not yet been specified; according to the Bangkok Post]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #668, 29.10.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Continues to Seek Justice [over a defamation sentence] at the Supreme Court, before Paying a Fine [Riel 16.5 million, approx. US$4,100] to [Prime Minister] Hun Sen

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #520, 30.10.2009

  • Opposition Party Parliamentarians and Civil Society Officials Stated that the Government Does Not Implement the Constitution

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6792, 30.10.2009

  • Reaction from the Cambodian Embassy: The Nation Makes Nonsense and Makes Itself Disreputable [a response to an editorial of the Thai newspaper, The Nation, published on 25 October 2009, claiming that some words in that editorial insulted Prime Minister Hun Sen, by saying, ‘You can take a man out of the forest, but you cannot take the forest from that man…’]
  • A Man Who Threatened Mr. Soy Sopheap [a CTN television presenter and the director of Deum Ampil] via Phone Was Detained [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #36-37, 29-30.10.2009

  • Orphanages Care for More Than 10,000 Children [at present there are 221 orphanages, 21 of them belong to the state]
  • The Government Will Provide Social Concession Land [more than 20,000 hectares] to Veterans and Families of Dead Militants
  • Among 100 Real Estate Companies, Only 38 Have Licenses [the unlicensed companies will be charged Riel 5 million, approx. US$1,250]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5033-5034, 29-30.10.2009

  • The Appeals Court Decided to Uphold the Conviction of the [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua for Defamation against the Prime Minister [though her defamation suit against the Prime Minister had not been dealt with by the court
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asked the United Nations to Assist in Overcoming the Impacts of the Typhoon Ketsana
  • A French Delegation Will Visit Cambodia at the End of This Month [to strengthen the Cambodian-French friendship]

.

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Cambodia Has No Insurance for the Durability of Buildings – Saturday, 17.10.2009

Posted on 18 October 2009. Filed under: Week 634 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 634

“Phnom Penh: People are always excited when they travel along roads with new buildings and construction sites, but senior staff of insurance companies in Cambodia claimed that by now, there is still no insurance for building durability in Cambodia.

“In Phnom Penh, many high rise buildings are being constructed nowadays, especially along the Monivong Boulevard. Representatives of insurance companies in Cambodia said that Cambodia has no law requiring high rise building to pay for building durability insurance.

“A manager of an insurance company who asked not to be named said that so far, in Cambodia there is no law requiring to contract building durability insurance for high rise buildings. That is why construction quality is still a challenging issue, and clients have just to trust.

“He added, ‘So far, Cambodian law requires only to have third party liability insurance during the period of the construction, but there is still a gap to achieve insurance for building durability.’

“He went on to say that in other countries, almost all construction activity includes to contract durability insurance for buildings. Therefore, the quality of construction in those countries is guaranteed, and the durability of buildings can be predicted, while in Cambodia, there is no such thing.

“The director of the Caminco Insurance company, Mr. Duong Vibol, said on 15 October 2009 that also his insurance company offers insurance services related to the construction of buildings, but the agents of the company have not been able to attract clients constructing big and high rise buildings.

“He said, ‘I do not know what the requirements of the laws are, but we have assigned agents to talk to them, but so far, there is no response – or they said that they had already bought insurance from abroad.’

“Also the director of the Forte Insurance company, Mr. Yak Chamroenrith, said on the same day that most high rise buildings being constructed along the Monivong Boulevard belong to clients of his company, but they contracted only third party liability insurance, but there is no insurance yet for the durability of the buildings. He said, ‘In modern countries, there is such a service, but in Cambodia, there is none.’

“According to Mr. Chamroenrith, the third party liability insurance is a service that guarantees payments only for accidents that might happen during the construction, but it does not guarantee the quality or the durability of buildings.’

“He continued to say that for the insurance of building durability, many studies have to be made and conditions have to be fulfilled.

“While local insurance companies claimed that high rise buildings being constructed do not have insurance for the durability of the building, they said that those big constructions companies might have insurance service contracts with companies abroad.

“Mr. Chamroenrith added that in general, the construction of such high rise building is not conducted without proper thinking about the quality. Most conditions have to be met to have insurance, even during the stage of the construction. But what he is concerned about is the quality of buildings constructed by private developers.

“Though those high rise buildings may already have insurance, the above mentioned anonymous person suggested that the construction companies should pay for insurance from local companies.

“He added, ‘The construction is conducted in Cambodia, while the insurance is bought from foreign countries. This can be risky.’

“He went on to say that to promote the local insurance sector, all construction companies should contract such services from local insurance companies.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5023, 17.10.2009

.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 17 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #313, 17.10.2009

  • The Chinese Prime Minister Promised to Jointly Address the Economic Crisis, Cooperating with Cambodia
  • Husband and Wife, Both Teachers, Detained Girls for Torture [they were arrested – Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2074, 17.10.2009

  • [The president of the National Assembly] Samdech Heng Samrin Will Lead a Senior Delegation of the National Assembly to Russia in Early November 2009
  • The [Vietnamese] Branch Director of Cambodia Angkor Air Was Chased and Shot by [two] Gunmen in Front of His House [fortunately, he was not hit; the perpetrators escaped – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #511, 17.10.2009

  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Defenders’ Project] Wants to See that the Government Publishes the Contents of Law as Broadly as It Does at the National Assembly [after laws have been adopted and published in the Official Gazette which is not broadly distributed, the citizens and the law enforcement agents who have to implement the law need to be informed to avoid any wrong implementation of the law]

Note:

A description of related considerations can be found in the following article published on 30 January 2006 by the Journal of Information, Law and Technology:

Access to Legal Information in Cambodia: Initial Steps, Future Possibilities

Though Article 13 of the Law on the Organization and Functioning of the Council of Ministers (1994) provides that “all norms and standards with general effect must be published in the Official Gazette,” the publication of Cambodian laws is intermittent, incomplete and poorly distributed. This problem is compounded by the fact that the 1993 Constitution expressly saves laws which were made under previous regimes, arguably including laws from the pre-Khmer Rouge period. For these reasons there is no definitive collection of Cambodian laws currently in force…

Next Steps

On the basis of the Cambodian specific experience … there is an argument that the publication and distribution of law in electronic form is an appropriate tool to address the question of access to information in a legal system which has operated without adequate access to even the most basic legal information.

Though there are issues to consider with regard to the development of a legal information system which will work in the Cambodian context, the country would appear to be at a juncture whereby there is sufficient political will to commence a dialogue with government, academia and civil society with a view to developing a model for the sustainable provision of legal information via the internet. Ideally, any movements in this direction would be accompanied by a regulation requiring all institutions of state to provide certain identified classes of documents for free electronic distribution…

Thus in Cambodia, as elsewhere in the world, we should anticipate that the development of the rule of law will be dependent not only on information sharing, but on the establishment of networks of people who are determined to use that information to promote a legal system which is independent, predicable and just.

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6781, 17-18.10.2009

  • The Ministry of Interior Announced Results: 8,500 Gangsters Were Intercepted [from 13 July to 13 October 2009 – arrests, some sent to the courts, some handed over to their parents or to social or rehabilitation centers]; Traffic Accidents in 2008 Wasted US$308 Million
  • In 2010 Khmer and Thai People Can Cross the Border without Applying for Visas [according to ASEAN and bilateral agreements]
  • The Cuban Ambassador to Cambodia Announced that the Cuban Government Demands that the United States of America Withdraw Their Economic [commercial, financial, and taxation] Sanction [against Cuba]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5023, 17.10.2009

  • Cambodia Has No Insurance for the Durability of Buildings
  • [The Chinese Prime Minister] Mr. Wen Jiabao [温家宝 – Pinyin: Wēn Jiābǎo] Told Samdech Euv [former King] that China Will Continue Its Cooperation with Cambodia
  • Typhoon Ketsana Killed 35 People and Destroyed Property Worth Approximately US$41 Million [according to the assessment of the National Committee for Disaster Management
  • Court Released Four Chinese Men on Bail [they assaulted and injured two police seriously in Kampot]

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Children in Prisons Are Suffering from Malnutrition – Friday, 27.3.2009

Posted on 28 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

“Phnom Penh: The condition of children and of women in prisons is being considered by the government and by human rights organizations in relation to their health, even though they are in prison.

“Children under the age of six are brought with their prisoner parents to live with them in prison. Therefore, do these children receive enough nutritious food?

“According to a report by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – in January 2009, there are 40 children living with their parents in prisons. Children living in prison face malnutrition, lack other necessities, and lack education which is crucial for their growing up.

“A prison research official of LICADHO, Mr. Khieu Kolay, said that children are not required to live with their parents in prison, but parents themselves want their children to live with them because no one else can take care of them besides them. Thus, nobody can hinder them.

“Regarding monetary allowances for prisoners, the Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior is asking the Ministry of Economy and Finance to increase it from Riel 1,500 [approx US$0.37] to Riel 2,800 [approx. US$0.69] per day, so that they can eat enough food and also so that it is in line with the high inflation at the markets.

“According to Prison Regulation Number 34, children under the age of six are allowed to live with their parents in prison, since this provides benefits to children. Because the period of the first five-years of children is important for the growing of their bodies, their social living, and their mental development, the Regulation Number 34 requires prison authorities to provide children with their basic needs.

“However, in reality, these necessities are neglected. Women who are mothers, and pregnant women are not offered additional food and material for taking care of their children.

“It should be remembered that children living with their parents in prison are not prisoners, and they must not receive any punishment.

“Based on ADHOC’s report [maybe this should say ‘LICADHO’?], in January 2009 there were 40 children living with their parents in prisons, where 22 are male and 18 are female. There are 17 children in the Rehabilitation Center II, 2 in the prison in Takhmao, 2 in the prison in Battambang, 3 in Banteay Meanchey, 4 in Siem Reap, 8 in Sihanoukville, 1 in Koh Kong, 1 in Kompong Chhnang, and 2 in Kompong Cham.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 27.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, 48, 27.3.2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 27.3.2009

  • Children in Prison [with their parents] Are Suffering from Malnutrition
  • More than 20,000 Red-Shirt Demonstrators [who support ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Surround Government House of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1908, 27.3.2009

  • Parliament Members from the Opposition Party Ask the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy to Investigate the Allegation that Ice Manufacturing Companies Steal State Electricity
  • Artillery Fire [between Tamil insurgents and government troops] Killed 54 Civilians in Sri Lanka

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #373, 27.3.2009

  • Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Said that the Conviction of Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Is Not Just, because Yuon [Vietnam] Also Killed Khmers after 1979

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6613, 27.3.2009

  • The Tense Conditions near the Preah Vihear Temple Gets Better after Siam [Thailand] Denied It Had Sent Troops to Violate Cambodian Territory
  • America Provides Helicopters to Mexico to Combat Drugs

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3722, 27.3.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asks the Government to Increase Import Taxes and Assist Farmers with Resources

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4854, 25.3.2009

  • Officials: Big Construction of Buildings in Cambodia Is Still in Progress despite the Global Economic Crisis
  • The Ministry of Culture of Vietnam Donates Musical Instruments to the Ministry of Culture [of Cambodia]
  • Incheon City of Korea and Phnom Penh Sign to Tie Sister City Relations

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1683, 27.3.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls on Khmer Citizens to Care about Border Problems both at the West [with Thailand] and at the East [with Vietnam]

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More Than 35% of Citizens Use Loans from Microfinance Institutions – Friday, 6.3.2009

Posted on 10 March 2009. Filed under: Week 602 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 602

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: Cambodian microfinance officials said that the number of citizens getting loans from microfinance institution in Cambodia belong to over one million families among the more than three million families in the country.

“The director and general manager of the Microfinance Institution Sthapana Limited, Mr. Bun Mony [also a member of the board of the Cambodian Microfinance Association], told journalists at the Hotel Cambodiana on Thursday morning that in 2007, there were 18 microfinance institutions with a total capital of US$271 million, providing small-scale capital for Cambodian citizens. In 2008, capital to lend to citizens rose up to US$437 million, which was an increase by 61%. He added that this growth had increased for several years between 60% and 80%.

“He went on to say that at present, more than one million Cambodian families have received loans from different microfinance institutions – counted in December 2008. Among one million families, he assumes that in every family involved, each one receives capital for family supplies; recent figures shows that there are more than three million families in Cambodia. He continued to say, “According to my own calculations, 35% of Cambodian families gain benefits from microfinance.’

“Regarding the global economic crisis, Mr. Bun Mony said, ‘In 2009, we face a somewhat tense situation when we try to expand our loan programs. We cannot expect to achieve 50% to 60% growth like in previous years, but the expansion will decline to only between 10% to 20%.’ He explained that this problem relates to the sources of capital, because we do not yet have enough capital ourselves, while big countries are facing a crisis. It leads also to a slowdown for our country.

“Mr. Bun Mony explained the extent to which the financial crisis affects loan distributions, saying that this crisis affects every country and it affects also Cambodia. As for the microfinance sector, it is heavily affected, because around 80% of the present capital sources from which loans are received for citizens to develop the economy come from foreign countries. While even economically rich countries have a crisis, we are affected. That means we will face difficulties to seek additional sources of capital to strengthen our microfinance activities.

“He went on to say, ‘The difficulties that we are facing is to find sources of capital. Therefore, we have to do something to maintain the sustainability of capital sources, to support sustainable economic development. We all saw that we must strengthen our management to promote trust from the community of international investors, so that they trust the market in Cambodia.’

“Mr. Bun Mony said also, ‘All are challenged by this tense situation. Not only the citizens, also the microfinance institutions and the providers of capital.’ He added that before the financial crisis, 50 banks came to seek opportunities for investment in Cambodia – that is, they provided us loans, since they trust our microfinance systems: there are only 18 licensed institutions, but we have more than 50 capital providers.

“Mr. Bun Mony described what happened to this sector after Cambodia had new financial regulations [requiring a higher cash retention rate]: ‘After we had this new financial regulation, there was no operator saying that they have loans for us.’

“Regarding what the government did to help this sector, Mr. Bun Mony said that previously, he had asked the government to ease restrictions on the local sources of capital, but the government found it difficult to help us. He added that microfinance institutions are absolutely private sector institutions.

“Relating to aid from the government, he said that he received no response from the government, because he had never raised it to the government.

“The chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Cambodian Microfinance Association, Mr. Huot Eng Tong, said that in the present global financial situation, the microfinance sector is suffering serious impacts. ‘Anyway, I strongly hope that the finance sector will receive support from all sides to encourage microfinance institutions to achieve further development and success.’

“Mr. Huot Eng Tong added that this sector plays a crucial role to develop the country, to help Khmer citizens to create, expand, and improve their economic activities, in agriculture, and in population centers and in rural areas, to offer citizens job opportunities, to alleviate poverty, and to provide cheaper financial resources at rural areas than the bigger private sectors do, the institutions with higher interest rates.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4838, 6.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 6 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #131-132, 5-6.3.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Apologizes [to the public] for the Late Closure of Gambling
  • Samdech Prime Minister: [former Royal Cambodian Armed Forces commander-in-chief] Ke Kim Yan Will Be the 10th Deputy Prime Minister [heading drug control administration]
  • Asian Human Rights Committee [based in Hong Kong]: Cambodia Should Have an Organization’s Law
  • Cambodia Will Create the Position of a Military Attaché at the [Cambodian] Embassy in the United States of America [according the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong]
  • Two Men Raped a 13-Year-Old Girl and Left Her Get Lost in the Forest [police have not yet arrested the two men although there are indications from the victim’s family – Kompong Thom]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1890, 6.3.2009

  • The European Community Announces New Aid to a Food-for-Work Program in Cambodia [worth approx. US$17 million]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6595, 6.3.2009

  • USAID Provides US$21 Million to Promote Economic Growth
  • Preah Vihear Authorities Start Building Steps to the Preah Vihear Temple
  • In the Northeast of Thailand Is Khmer Surin

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4838, 6.3.2009

  • More Than 35% of Citizens Use Loans from Microfinance Institutions
  • The National Assembly Will Restore Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity
  • Two Months in Early 2009: 16 Factories Closed, 11 Factories Opened, and 16 Factories Suspended Their Work
  • The Korean Ambassador [Mr. Shin Hyun-Suk – 신현석, 申 鉉 錫] Said that despite the Global Economic Crisis, Korea Still Helps Cambodia
  • Ten US Private Companies Come to Check Potential for Future Investment in Cambodia
  • A Man Killed His Colleague and Wrote a Note before Escaping [saying that he killed in self defense, and that he will commit suicide – police are seeking him – Phnom Penh]
  • The United States of America Criticizes Israeli Plan to Demolish Many Houses of Palestinian Citizens

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8009, 6-8.3.2009

  • [The Director General of the National Police] General Net Savoeun Digs Out Big Criminal Cases Again [it is not mentioned which ones]; Samdech Hun Sen Sets Two Important Strategies to Reform the National Police Institution [1. Reduce crimes to control social security, and 2. Reduce inactivity of police which makes people not to trust police competence]

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

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Meeting between Samdech Hun Sen and Mr. Abhisit in Hua Hin – Monday, 2.3.2009

Posted on 3 March 2009. Filed under: Week 602 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 602

“On Friday evening, 27 February 2009, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, and the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, met outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – ASEAN – Summit at the Cha Am coast of Hua Hin in Thailand, and both sides agreed to fully support the Joint Border Committee to try to mark the border.

The Nation reported that the Cambodian-Thai border committee has achieved only very small progress early February to find border solutions near the Preah Vihear Temple. Both sides had a disagreement about the demand by Thailand to use the word Phra Viharn [in Thai] and the word Preah Vihear [in Khmer].

“Mr. Abhisit told journalists after his meeting with Samdech Hun Sen, ‘Actually, there are some disagreements, but we have a mechanism to handle this work which will lead to important results.’ He added, ‘We will not let such disagreements block other cooperation.’

“Besides land border disputes, the prime ministers of both countries discussed cooperation at the sea-border overlapping zones, where both countries claim the same areas as belonging to their respective integral regions, where it is believed that abundant oil and natural gas resources are situated. Mr. Abhisit said also that both countries will seek joint development projects on energy at those overlapping zones.

“Reuters news agency reported that both countries agreed to organize a technical expert group to fulfill the task to mark the border at zones rich of oil and gas. Mr. Abhisit told reporters, ‘Our mutual understanding recently progressed much, and we are looking for possibilities to begin cooperation on energy. ‘

“Cambodia has a 37,000 km2 zone to be explored, and another 27,000 km2 are regions disputed with Thailand, known as an overlapping zone.

“Prime Minister Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen used to say early in February that the Cambodian government is organizing projects to exploit oil and gas in the sea in 2010. A big US oil company, Chevron, is exploring oil in the Cambodian sea.

“It should be noted that border disputes between Cambodian and Thailand led to clashes in mid 2008, when Thailand deployed troops in the Preah Vihear region, after the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a world heritage site. This dispute led to a small battle at the Preah Vihear region, while in October, both sides agreed to raise this problem at negotiations.

“During the meeting between both prime ministers, both countries agreed to continue cooperation to develop infrastructure and the Emerald Triangle Project, which is a region where the Cambodian, Thai, and Laotian borders meet.


The ASEAN Summit Started

“Leaders of the 10 member countries of ASEAN attended the opening of the 14th ASEAN Summit at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Cha Am, a coastal town in Phetchaburi Province.

“The Bangkok Post reported that the inauguration of the ASEAN summit started, with Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva as the president of ASEAN, calling for all ASEAN leaders to cooperate to help the region to overcome the economic crisis.

“An ASEAN anthem with the title ‘ASEAN Way’ was played, starting the occasion. That anthem was written by Thai musicians.


Cambodia and Burma Boycott ASEAN Human Rights Discussion

“Cambodia and Burma threatened to boycott joining the discussion with civil society organizations yesterday Sunday, a discussion to create an ASEAN human rights institution.

“The Bangkok Post went on to say that the effort to establish an ASEAN human rights organization started to become difficult on Saturday morning, when Cambodia and Burma prevented civil society organizations’ representatives from Cambodia and from Burma to take part in the discussions with ASEAN leaders.

“The decisions of Cambodia and of Burma were directed against civil society representatives from Cambodia, Pen Somony, and from Burma, Khin Omar, not to attend the discussion.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen not only rejected civil society representative Pen Somony, but he also said that the candidate chosen to attend the human rights discussion was just a person from a political league.

“Laos and Vietnam expressed the same idea as Cambodia and Burma, because leaders of both countries did not want to discuss with civil society representatives that are not close to the government.

“On Friday, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior human rights officials of ASEAN did not agree about the nomination of an ASEAN human rights commissioner. It is not yet known whether the ASEAN human rights organization can be formed or not.


ASEAN Signs Free Trade Deal with Australia an New Zealand

“All ministers of economy of ASEAN signed a free trade deal with Australia and New Zealand. The 10 members of the ASEAN countries signed the deal on the first day of the summit in Thailand, which suffers from the economic slowdown.

“It is expected that this whole deal can support the economy of ASEAN with up to US$48 billion by 2020, but little will be achieved to help solve the present crisis. Negotiations to create a 12-country free trade zone began in 2004.

“The new deal means that the ASEAN block has encouraged free trade relations with the economies of all of its important neighboring countries. Earlier on, ASEAN had signed similar deals with China, Japan, and South Korea.

“Also, ASEAN plans to organize a unified market by 2015, with the intention to compete with India and China.

“The Minister of Trade of Australia, Mr. Simon Crean, said that this deal is an essential event to join the economies of the countries of the region. The New Zealand Minister of Trade, Mr. Tim Grosser, said that it was a huge deal and also a politically necessary deal.

“Mr. Grosser went on to say, ‘Formerly we had considered Southeast Asia to be a source of threat, instability, and a hazard. Changing this view, an agreement was signed, considering Southeast Asian countries as a huge economic opportunity. This is a very welcome change within 30 years.’

“The summit in Cha Am, a resort in Thailand, witnessed two agreements of ASEAN being concluded: one on commerce, and one on investments. The member countries of ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“The 14th ASEAN Summit was to focus on human rights, but the global financial crisis took the top of the agenda this year.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1886, 1-2.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 2 March 2009

Bakong, Vol.10, #255, 2-3.3.2009

  • Cambodia Obtains Little Aid from Canada [Canadian officials said that Canada will narrow its bilateral aid focusing on 20 countries and Cambodia will not be included]

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #28, 2.3.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Demands that the National Assembly Restore His Immunity [after he paid a fine to the National Election Committee]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #128, 1-2.3.2009

  • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Ieng Thirith Cursed Those Who Accused Her of Killing People to Fall into the Seventh Level Hell
  • Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior Asks Prison Administrators to Respect Human Rights Policies of Prisoners
  • Police Do Not Take Action Against a Policeman Who Raped a 13-Year-Old Girl when Her Mother Filed a Complaint [Kompong Thom]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1886, 1-2.3.2009

  • Meeting between Samdech Hun Sen and Mr. Abhisit in Hua Hin
  • Egypt Asks to Establish School of Navigation in Cambodia and a Honorary Consulate [so that Cambodians gain skills and have the possibility to go to work in Egypt]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #355, 1-3.3.2009

  • The International Community Still Encourages the Hun Sen Government Not to Use Any Pretext to Delay Adopting an Anti-Corruption Law

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6591, 2.3.2009

  • Thailand Announced Not to Charge Visa Fees from Tourists while Eight ASEAN Countries Had Already Abolished It

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4834, 2.3.2009

  • Heads of Governments of Cambodia and of Thailand Agree to Solve Border Disputes through the Memorandum of Understanding from 2000
  • The British Ambassador [Mr. Andrew Mace]: The Government Has to Create a Social Safety Network [so that all can live happily in the society]
  • Five AK-47 Rifles Are Used [by eight robbers] to Shoot at Gold Sellers and Kill One [police have not identified the robbers – Koh Thom, Kandal]
  • The Number of Khmer Vendors in the Thai Rung Kloeu Market Declined by 50% [after Poipet or the Ou Chrov district was changed to be Poipet City: according to Thai Rak Thai]

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

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