Wednesday, 15.10.2008: European Community Observers Said that There Were Deficiencies during the Fourth Term National Election Which Do Not Conform with International Standards

Posted on 16 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“On 14 October 2008, the European Community held a press conference at Le Royal Hotel to present the final observation report of the fourth term parliamentary elections on 27 July 2008, as well as to provide clear recommendations to guarantee that the election system in Cambodia will comply to international standards, following democratic policies.

“Mr. Martin Callanan, the head of the European Community election observers group, made in the press conference some important recommendations of the European Community regarding requirements to guarantee an independent and unbiased state of the election authorities and the media in Cambodia. He added also that the European Community presents recommendations to improve the legal system and framework controlling the elections, a well as voter registration and the education for voters.

“Mr. Martin Callanan, the head of European Community election observers group, presented some recommendations to reform the election process as follow:

“The Cambodian government must take action to guarantee that the National Election Committee is a body that is fully independent, in order to promote trust and acceptance among all political parties and voters.

“The legal system and the framework controlling the National Election Committee, especially the different pieces of legislations and procedures, should be made to be easier to understand, and they should be consolidated.

“The Form 1018 [to be provided as identification to some voters at polling stations] should be abolished before any election in the future.

“The Ministry of Interior should increase the distribution of election information cards and improve the monitoring process.

“Village chiefs should not be allowed to play a major role to distribute election information cards.

“The Cambodian government and the National Election Committee should start an open discussion to find choices to facilitate and to improve procedures for voter registration.

“An atmosphere of free and unbiased publication must be created of independent institutions to monitor publications. Institutions of the government, including the National Election Committee, and civil society organizations, should give priority to participate and to broadly educate the citizens with specific goal sets.

“Mr. Martin Callanan continued that the fourth term parliamentary elections were better and peaceful. However, the elections still had deficiencies and did not clearly follow international standards – which also resulted in a lack of trust from citizens and from election administrators.

“Mr. Martin Callanan spoke also about human resources and measures of the state, using mostly officials of the ruling party, especially, it was reported that information, donations, and money were distributed to voters. He added that the Cambodian government must take action to guarantee that the National Election Committee is an independent body, in order to provide trust to political parties that participate in the elections, and to the Khmer citizens.

“Mr. Martin Callanan went on to say that village chiefs should not be provided with a major role to distribute election information cards, and the government and the National Election Committee should organize discussion meetings, so that the elections are improved and become better acceptable.

“Different relevant institutions must set clear resting time, related to election activities and the campaign.

“Mr. Martin Callanan said that when there are complaints from political parties that participated in the elections, particularly related to the election results, there must be very just solutions. In the meantime, the National Election Committee must monitor the accounts of each political party and the money that each political party has.

“Regarding the murder of a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer on 11 July 2008 before the fourth term parliamentarian elections, Mr. Martin Callanan encouraged the Cambodian government to investigate and arrest the murderers to be punished according to the law, in order to provide clear information about the murder of this journalist.

“As for the investigation to find the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo, a Moneaksekar Khmer journalist and his son, Khat Sarinpheata, on 11 July 2008, when they came from their evening exercise at the Olympic Stadium, the [US] FBI and the Khmer authorities have finished drafting a wanted poster with a sketch of the faces of the murderers, using identification provided by witnesses who were at the site of the murder.

“Also, civil society organizations demand that the authorities speed up the investigation to arrest the murderers who killed Mr. Khim Sombo and his son, to be prosecuted according to the law, after the FBI helped to draft a sketch with the faces of the murderers. Civil society organizations said also that the murders of journalists have started since 1992, and the authorities have never arrested the murderers and those who are behind them, to be convicted according to the law; therefore, when they write and criticize anything related to powerful, rich, and corrupt people, journalist always face threats and murder.

“Observers of the fourth term national elections in Cambodia acknowledge that the assessments in the report of the European Community observers are in line with the real situation related to the irregularities during the elections. This means that the 27 July 2008 elections have not reached international standards, therefore it is necessary to reform the National Election Committee urgently, so that the next election will not suffer from irregularities.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3588, 15.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1768, 15.10.2008

  • [Former] Khmer Rouge Who Killed [an English] Deminer [and his Khmer translator at Anlong Veng] Were Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison
  • A Royal Family Member [Prince Sisowath Chakreynupol, a personal assistant to Prince Thomico] Announced to Volunteer to Serve the Army to Protect the Country
  • A Court Decided to Unjustly Arrest and to Jail a Rape Victim [a man who raped her promised to marry her, but finally, his parents arranged to marry him to a daughter of a village chief, and the raped woman was accused of attempting to kill that man – Kompong Chhnang]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #117, 15.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Increases Troops and Deploys Tanks and Cannons along the Border
  • The Authorities Constructed a Sewage System with the Wrong Technology and Now Demands US$3,000 from the Citizens [to repair the system – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6473, 15.10.2008

  • There Is No Fighting at the Intry Field; Cambodia Announced that All Siamese [Thai] Withdrew before 12:00 a.m. [of 14 October 2008, the ultimatum set by the Cambodian Prime Minister – but the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares: “What we can confirm is we haven’t done any withdrawal… We think we are doing our duty on our land… If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defense.”]
  • The International Buyers’ Forum Still Buys Garments from Cambodia Which Is a Good Information for the Textile Industry which Is Worth US$2.6 Billion [according to the International Finance Corporation and ILO]
  • [Kampot] Residents Are Afraid of Flying Pieces of Stone and Do Not Dare to Go to Their Cultivation Fields, because a Company is Blasting in a Quarry to Get Gravel [for sale]
  • The Leader of the Philippines [President Arroyo] Asks ASEAN to Discuss the Financial Crisis


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3588, 15.10.2008

  • European Community Observers Said that There Were Deficiencies during the Fourth Term National Election Which Do Not Conform with International Standards
  • Promise to Conduct Judicial Reform While this Field Is Notorious for Corruption Is Just a Promise Made to Get Aid [the promise was made by Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An during a meeting with the donor community]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4716, 15.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: “Chinese Economic Growth Does Not Threaten Asia” [but it is an opportunity for countries next to China and for ASEAN countries to benefit from investment, commerce, and other sectors from China, since it is an Asian country with the biggest reserve capital]
  • Drugs Spread to Everywhere in the Country [according to Mr. Lour Ramin, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs. 35.1% of drug users in Phnom Penh contracted AIDS in 2007]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3425, 15.10.2008

  • A Decision on the Bail Request of Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] Will Be Announced on 17 October 2008

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: We all need peace, not war.

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Tuesday, 29.7.2008: National Election Committee Announced that the Election Was Fair, but Civil Society Organizations and Party Representatives Claim It Was Not

Posted on 30 July 2008. Filed under: Week 571 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 571

“The fourth term election day passed, but what is left are irregularities during the election day, leading to the accusation that the election was not fair. As for the National Election Committee [NEC], it announced that the election proceeded freely and fairly, and that there were no significant problems disturbing the election.

“Mr. Mao Sophearith, a member of the NEC, made some general announcements about the election day in a press conference in the afternoon of 27 July 2008, one hour after the election stations had closed, that all election stations had been operational, although it was raining and windy in Koh Kong and in Sihanoukville. There were problems with some ballots, because one election office had dropped the ballots into water in Prey Veng, and the ballots of two election stations in Poipet were not usable, but they were substituted in time. As for security, there was no problem.

“Mr. Mao Sophearith added that there were some irregularities, such as the irregular issuing of Forms 1018, and names missing from voter lists, but these problems happened only in Phnom Penh, there were no such problems in other provinces, he said.

“When asked about the problem that some parties had raised, that for this election tens of thousands of voters had been omitted from the voter lists, Mr. Tep Nitha, the secretary-general of the NEC, responded that during the elimination campaign in 2006, the NEC had eliminated 585,723 names countrywide, and the NEC had announced the elimination of names to clean the list publicly and broadly, and there were monitors from the political parties and from civil society organizations involved.

“Many people said about these irregularities in the election, that they had registered very correctly, some asserted that they had voted two or three times in past elections, but now their names were not found in the voter lists, though they had not changed their place of residence; but the names of some others who had died already, were still on the voter lists.

“A person in Boeng Tumpun said that only one of the four members of their family was on the voter list – the names of the other three could not be found. An old woman said that she had voted during former elections already three times, and she had never changed her residence to any other place, but in this term, she could not find her name; then, she had to go back home with disappointment.

“A man rode on a motorbike to many election offices, but he could not find his name. He just could not believe this, so he decided to ride on his motorbike back to his home, and then returned on foot to many election offices to find his name, but he still could not find it. He said he regretted it very much that he could not vote because his name could not be found. He still cannot imagine how his name can be missing, because he has already voted there times in past elections, and he even had checked and had found his name clearly on the list before the election day.

“Different sources reported that in addition to the aforementioned people, many other people raised similar questions, and some people walked repeatedly to the election stations to find their names, because they could not believing that their names were lost.

“Unofficial sources reported that alone in Chak Angrae Kraom, in Boeng Tumpun, and in Stung Meanchey, tens of thousands of names were missing on the lists.

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], the director of LICADHO, said that if it is true that many names were missing, the election was not fair.

“Mr. Thun Saray, the president of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections’ Board of Directors [COMFREL], mentioned in a press conference at about 7:00 p.m. of 27 July 2008 that names were missing mainly in Phnom Penh. ‘Therefore, we have not estimated the definite number of voters who could not vote.’ However, Mr. Thun Saray stressed that during the elimination of names to clean the voters’ lists, COMFREL had already voiced their concern, because COMFREL had found that approximately 50,000 to 60,000 people’s names had been omitted incorrectly.

“An announcement about preliminary results showed the following:

“On the election day of 27 July 2008, there were serious problems because many voters could not find their election stations, or their names on the lists. Such cases happened in almost all provinces and cities. These irregularities will affect the results of the election, as many people could not vote; though there are many people who could vote, but there are problems as a result of the elimination of voters from the lists, and of the relocation of election stations in some big provinces and cities, such as in Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey, and Kompong Cham, especially in the following areas of Phnom Penh: in Tonle Basak [Dey Krahom and ‘Building Block’ communities, where there had been evictions and relocations], and in Boeng Tumpun.

“Mr. Thun Saray, the president of the board of COMFREL and the director of ADHOC, said, ‘Voters’ lists problems, that many names of voters were missing, that voters did not have information about voting stations (they had not receive the voters’ information papers), misunderstanding among voters about the purpose of voters’ information papers, or they had not received information papers, was the result of technical procedures as well as of political reasons. Mr. Thun Saray added, ‘There is strong disappointment about the voters’ lists problems, with the missing voters’ names, and with voters who did not get get the voters’ information papers; all this led to the decline in the number of voters [to only about 70% of the registered voters, less than during the election in 2003].’

“Mr. Kumaoka Michiya [熊岡路矢], co-chairperson of the People’s Forum on Cambodia Japan [PEFOCJ – active since 1993 – more information is here – カンボジア市民フォーラム – only in Japanese], said that he ‘was disappointed that the voter listing systems was still not reformed.’

“Civil servants and representatives of the local authorities were often present at election stations like in previous years, affecting the decisions of citizens to choose their parliamentarians.

“The issues related to Form 1018, to be provided as identification to voters, still continued into the election day, like in Mondolkiri, although the instruction by the NEC allowed only to issue this form not later than 5:30 p.m. of Saturday, 26 July 2008.

“COMFREL would like to highly appreciate the work of the NEC and of the Armed Forces regarding the election – they worked hard on the election day to process everything peacefully, they prevented the sale of alcohol on the White Day (26 July 2008), and they intervened effectively to prevent the rising of the price of transportation by taxis (to ease the financial burden of citizens traveling to their home towns and villages to vote).

“However, some parties provided transportation to voters, workers from Phnom Penh, to go to other provinces on the White Day, and to cities such as Svay Rieng and Kompong Cham. Political parties also distributed presents to voters in Champei village, Angkor Chey commune of Kampot, and in Kompong Rou and Kompong Trabaek districts in Prey Veng.

“Also, the Armed Forces were sent by the Ministry of Information to stop the broadcasts of Radio Moha Nokor, FM 93.5 MHz, at night (at around 11:00 p.m. of 26 July 2008), without any related documentation from this ministry until the morning of 27 July 2008, when the Ministry of Information announced to revoke the license of this radio station, stating as the reason that this radio station had disregarded the instruction of the Ministry of Information, and the guiding principles of the NEC, which had asked the Ministry of Information to intervene. Mr. Kol Panha [the director of COMFREL] said, ‘The implementation of legislation to punish any media who violate the laws, the procedures, and the guiding principles of the NEC was not handled fairly, according to the law.’

“COMFREL primarily has found some irregularities such as the following:

White Day [26 July 2008]

  • An activist of the Cambodian People’s Party was murdered in Siem Reap.
  • A political party activist was intimidated in Kampot.
  • There were four cases of distributions of presents in Champei commune, Angkor Chey district, Kampot, and in Svay Rieng.

  • Election and Ballot Counting Day [27 July 2008]

  • A Human Rights Party activist was murdered in Kandal.

  • Violation of Procedures

  • Local authorities, village chiefs, and commune chiefs, were present near election stations to observe voters, making them afraid; this happened in almost all election stations in Labansiek of Ratanakiri, Kratie, Phnom Penh, Prey Veng, Kompong Speu, Kompong Chhnang, Pursat, and Svay Rieng.
  • Voters’ names were missing (the voters came to the election stations, but they could not find their names) in Boeng Tumpun for more than 30% of the voters (of a total of about 10,000 voters), about 50% in the Tonle Basak district and the Dey Krahom community, about 20% to 30% in the Stung Meanchey School [the schools serving as election stations], and in the Chak Angrae Kraom School of Chak Angrae Kraom district, Boeng Reang district, Boeng Trabaek School, Tuek L’ak, Kouk commune, Dambae of Kompong Cham, Traeng Trayueng commune, Phnom Sruoch of Kompong Speu, Daem Mien commune, Takhmao of Kandal, Ou Ambel commune, Serei Saophoan of Banteay Meanchey (Prohuot Primary School), Kompong Chhnang, Pailin, Oddar Meanchey, Kandal, and Battambang.

  • There were cases that local authorities and village and commune chiefs continued to create Form 1018 identification documents on the election day in Labansiek, commune and district of Ratanakiri, Prek Pnov commune, Ponhea Lueu district of Kompong Cham, Sihanoukville, Kompong Speu, Kompong Chhnang, Pursat, and Phnom Penh.
  • There were at least 12 cases of vote buying by giving money to voters, or promising to give money to some if they do not go to vote, which happened in Khvav commune, Traeng district of Takeo, Kompong Thom, Stung Treng, Kompong Rou commune of Prey Veng, Kompong Chhnang, and Svay Rieng.
  • There were at least two cases where cars with sign of the Cambodian People’s Party were driving up and down repeatedly in front of election stations in Pailin and in Kandal.
  • There were cases where political parties transported citizens to vote in Sampov Lun commune and district of Battambang (Office Number 0722), Labansiek of Ratanakiri, Svay Rieng, and Oddar Meanchey.
  • There were cases that the manager of a restaurant and hotel in Phnom Penh prohibited about 60% of 40 employees to vote.
  • There are five cases known where voters voted instead of another person, in Sralau commune, Malai district of Banteay Meanchey, Phsar Daeum Thkov, Kompong Cham, and Svay Rieng.
  • There were cases that thousands of voters as groups wore campaign T-shirts in Takeo.
  • There were four cases where voters wore police and soldier’s uniforms into the election station at the Department of Culture of Ratanakiri, in Takeo, and in Phnom Penh.
  • There was a case that a person went to the secret voting booth to talk to a voter.
  • There is one case of taking back a voters list from observers in Takeo.
  • There was one case that an office was closed during lunchtime in Russey Keo district.
  • There were 10 cases where voters could vote because they had just the voter information papers and their party member identification.
  • There was one case where one person was able to vote twice in Phnom Penh.
  • There was the case that observers were not allowed to go into the Chroy Ambel election station in Chambak, Kratie.”
  • Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3371, 29.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 29 July 2008


    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2797, 29.7.2008

    • Results by the Morning of 28 July 208: Cambodian People’s Party Won 90 Seats, Sam Rainsy Party Won 26 Seats, Human Rights Party Won 3 Seats, Funcinpec Won 2 Seats, and Norodom Ranariddh Party Won 2 Seats


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1705, 29.7.2008

    • Twelve Hours of Cambodia-Thailand Talks Led to Agreement that Both Sides Will Withdraw Their Troops [before dealing with other problems – 28 July 2008 – Siem Reap – but no timing set for the withdrawal]
    • Seven Shiites Who Marched in a Pilgrimage in Iraq Were Shot Dead [by anonymous gunmen]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #209, 29.7.2008

    • Samdech Euv Norodom Sihanouk Is Concerned that Siam [Thailand] Swallows Koh Kong of Cambodia [through investments by Thai former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]
    • Four Parties Wining Seats [Sam Rainsy Party, Human Rights Party, Norodom Ranariddh Party, and Funcinpec] Rejected the Bad Election Proceedings on 27 July 2008 [through a joint statement on 28 July 2008]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6409, 29.7.2008

    • Phnom Penh Authorities Warned [opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Not to March in Protest [against the results of the election]; They Said, ‘They Should Not Cause Turmoil while Thailand Is Invading our Border’
    • Poipet Border Crossing Is Quiet after Invasion by Thailand at the Preah Vihear Temple Region; More Illegal Khmer Laborers Are Sent Back by Thailand
    • Two Cars Plunged into the Water [into a canal in Kandal and a river in Kompong Cham] Killing Four People at Two Different Places
    • Nepal Police Arrested 125 Tibetan Demonstrators [at the Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3524, 29.7.2008

    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls International Observers Not to Recognize Election Results [claiming that in Phnom Penh, about 200,000 voters lost their right to vote]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4653, 29.7.2008

    • Japan Welcomes the Election in Cambodia to Have Been Held in the Best Atmosphere [according to a statement on 28 July 2008 by the Japanese Observer Team with 23 observers]
    • President of OPEC [Chakib Khelil]: Oil Price Could Drop to US$70 [per barrel if US dollar were strong and the nuclear crisis related to Iran gets solved]
    • 70 Rebels in Afghanistan [near Pakistan border] Were Killed [in an attack by Afghanistan in corporation with NATO troops]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3371, 29.7.2008

    • National Election Committee Announced that the Election Was Fair, but Civil Society Organizations and Party Representatives Claim It Was Not
    • National Television of Cambodia [TVK] Showed Only Leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party during the Election Campaign

    Click here to have a look at the last Mirror editorial – where we provided detailed information about the 2003 election results, to compare them with the election results of 2008, as they become available.

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    Friday, 25.7.2008: European Union Delegation Comes to Study Combating Sex Tourism in Cambodia

    Posted on 26 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

    “Phnom Penh: To increase the understanding of common problems and to contribute to combat sex tourists in Cambodia efficiently is the goal of a European Union delegation, led by Mr. Jules Maaten and Ms. Sarah Ludford, that came to Cambodia.

    “In the afternoon of 23 July 2008, the European Union delegation discussed and studied some problems regarding combating sex tourism in Cambodia with senior officials of Acting for Women in Distressing Situations [AFESIP] in Phnom Penh, as well as with some national and international journalists.

    “Ms. Mam Somaly, director of AFESIP and of the Somaly Mam Foundation, said that governments of western countries should open their eyes to see the activities of their citizens who have committed crimes outside of their own countries. Frequently, they pretend to be tourists, or sometimes to be staff of humanitarian organizations in Cambodia, to find opportunities to rape children. There are more children being abused sexually by these crimes than the number of cases that come under the crack-down by the authorities.

    “Ms. Mam Somaly said, ‘In Cambodia, the Royal Government has improved the situation markedly to curb down trafficking by creating legislation against trafficking, and by creating national structures of cooperation against trafficking.’ However, the Royal Government has to do more, especially to strengthen procedures against trafficking and legislation beyond what has already been achieved.

    “It should be remembered that Ms. Mam Somaly has saved 4,000 children from sexual slavery during the last decades. She created AFESIP to provide consultation and rehabilitation for victims in several centers in Cambodia, in Thailand, in Laos, and in Vietnam. Recently, she has been supported by friends who are famous stars, business people, lawyers, and other generous people, to create the Somaly Mam Foundation, which aims to eliminate the root causes of human trafficking by launching broad public campaigns, to struggle with public opinion about issues relating to human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in the country, in the region, and internationally.

    “Mr. Jules Maaten, the European Union delegation leader and a member of the European parliament from the Netherlands, said that Cambodia has become an important location for criminals to rape children; since some years, many children have been used as sex slaves for tourists from western countries, and for the staff of some humanitarian organizations. ‘Now, we have to open our eyes to see this situation and to take actions against this modern form of slavery.’

    “Ms. Sarah Ludford, a member of the European Parliament from London, pointed to the fact that criminals have often escaped from detention and from punishment, because of incompetent police to bring those criminals to court for punishment. Arrested suspects often bribe their way out of the country and flee to their home countries. Only one out of five cases leads to a conviction, and only 3% of the suspects have been convicted after being accused of raping children.

    “After the discussion, Ms. Mam Somaly and the European Union delegation agreed with three requests: 1. Members of the member states of the European Union should work towards a stronger role for the police of the European Union to be authorized and to receive the means to train police officials, prosecutors, and judges about child sex trafficking and exploitation. 2. The European Union should pay more attention and exchange information with third countries, to exchange data to help identify suspects for prosecution. 3. The European Union should include information about sentences of sex tourists as well as of criminals who are not citizens of the European Union into the [European] Schengen data information system.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1702, 25.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 25 July 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1702, 25.7.2008

    • European Union Delegation Comes to Study Combating Sex Tourism in Cambodia
    • Nearly 1,000 [Garment] Workers of Chhang Leang Factory at Stung Meanchey Do Not Have Days Off to Go to Vote [this led to a protest on 24 July 2008]


    Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #616, 25.7.2008

    • Siam [Thai] King Promotes the Honor of Samak Sundaravej while There Is Dispute with Cambodia [no specific proof given]; Siamese Troops Still Continue to Invade the Border


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #206, 25.7.2008

    • Siam [Thailand] Rejected to Solve the Dispute through ASEAN or through the UN

    Note:
    Singapore’s Foreign Minister and at present ASEAN Chair said Thursday [24.7.2008] a border dispute that recently flared between Thailand and Cambodia should never have become a problem, and it was unnecessary to take it to the U.N. Security Council.

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #58, 25.7.2008

    • Cambodia Has Suspended Its Complaint to the UN and Waits for New Results from Negotiations [28 July 2008 in Siem Reap, after the Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej called Prime Minister Hun Sen at 4:30 p.m. Thursday]
    • Some Political Parties [Sam Rainsy Party, Funcinpec, and Human Rights Party] Show National Unity Regarding the Dispute with Thailand
    • Handicap International Belgium Comments on Traffic Accidents in Cambodia [the head of the organization, Mr. Bruno Leclercq, said that traffic safety problems are complicated; there were 27,500 victims, and 17,000 vehicles were involved in 2007. In Cambodia there are more than four people killed every day. Looking at the first two months of 2008, the numbers were again higher]
    • The Sale and Drinking of Alcohol Is Prohibited One Day before [and on the election day of 27 July 2008 – according to an instruction by the Phnom Penh Municipality]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6406, 25.7.2008

    • More Razor Wire Is Added to Protect the [Preah Vihear] Temple; [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh: We Absolutely Defend the Preah Vihear Temple to Belong to Khmer; [Minister of Information] Khieu Kanharith: Thailand Has to Know that Now Thailand Is Violating [Cambodia] and Is Becoming a Country that Violates International Laws
    • Border Police Post 911 Destroyed a Thai Camera Put Secretly by Thai Soldiers to Observe Khmer Activities [Poipet]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3521, 25.7.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Parliamentarians [on 24 July 2008] Asked International Observers to Prevent Tricks to Forge or Change Ballots by Officials of the Cambodian People’s Party who are with the National Election Committee


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4650, 25.7.2008

    • Six to Ten Companies [including Sokimex of Oknha Sok Kong and the ACLEDA Bank] Will Cooperate to Establish a Stock Market [in 2009]
    • Strong Earthquake [6.8 on the Richter scale] Attacked Japan [injuring 16 people seriously – 24 July 2008]
    • Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York Will Grant US$500 Million [to stop people around the world smoking cigarettes; according to the World Health Organization, tobacco will kill already 1 billion people in the 21st century]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3368, 25.7.2008

    • Ms. Condoleezza Rice Expressed Concern and Suggested a Peaceful Solution for the Dispute between Cambodia and Thailand [24 July 2008 in a security conference of ASEAN, held in Singapore; she said Cambodia should not send the dispute to the UN Security council and should settle it bilaterally]


    Note:

    Among the regular UN Security Council members only France considers that the UN should discuss this issue – all others suggest bilateral discussion on the basis of existing documents.

    Click here – and have a look at the last editorial – The Cambodian-Thai border crisis develops while the Khmer public is not aware what the Cambodian government representatives had agreed upon, to get the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site, on a most narrowly defined piece of land.

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    Wednesday, 23.7.2008: The United Nations Asserts that Cambodia Is among the Least Developed Countries

    Posted on 24 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

    “Developing the country nearly 30 years by borrowing money from foreign countries and by receiving hundreds of millions of dollars each year, by 2008, Cambodia is still a country among forty nine countries that have very little development. According to a statement of the UN Conference on Trade and Development [UNCTAD] on 18 July 2008, 49 countries were evaluated by the United Nations to be Least Developed Countries [The Least Developed Countries Report 2008, Growth, Poverty and the Terms of Development Partnership, full report: PDF, 197 pages, 1719Kb].

    Among the 49 countries 10 countries are from Asia, 5 countries from the Pacific Ocean region, 1 country from the Caribbean, and 33 countries from Africa. Countries from Asia are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Maldives, Nepal, and Yemen. The evaluation of the UN about trade and development are based on three criteria:

  • the first criterion is ‘low income’ of citizens, based on the average national income per capita during three years [2002-2004], and countries were added to this list if the figure is less than US$750;
  • the second criterion, it based on ‘human assets’, [based on indicators of nutrition, health (child mortality rate), school enrollment, and adult literacy rate]; and
  • the third criterion depends on the ‘economic vulnerability’ [based on indicators of natural shocks like instability of agricultural production; trade shocks like instability of exports of goods and services, exposure to shocks like strong dependency on agriculture, or merchandise export, or being affected by economic isolation].
  • “Cambodia has just waken up from war that had lasted many years, and receives about US$400 million to US$600 million every year. This does not cover loans from some countries, and national funds collected through taxes and through other means.

    “Previously, the Economic Institute of Cambodia and the World Bank had estimated that Cambodia loses each year at least US$300 million to US$500 million by corruption. Also Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, US ambassador to Cambodia, has criticized corruption in Cambodia, claiming that the Cambodian government has no clear policies to fight corruption; just to speak about this word a lot may make it sound beautiful without any effect. Also, Transparency International found that Cambodia is among the countries in the world having most serious corruption problems [Global corruption Report 2008].

    “Some economic observers and officials of civil society organizations agree with the data of UNCTAD, asserting that Cambodia is among the Least Developed Countries; this evaluation is in line with the real situation. It is true that the government led by Prime Minister Hun Sen owes much debt and received funds of hundreds of millions of dollars every year, but there is not much significant development. At present, 36% of Khmer citizens still live under the poverty line with Riel 4,000 [approx. US$0.98] per day, while many leaders and corrupt officials became millionaires and billionaires.

    “Economic observers and officials of civil society organizations in Cambodia said that hundreds of millions of dollars that the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, has received from foreign countries, and funds from the international community every year, are not spent to develop the country. A considerable part of that money has gone into the pockets of leaders and of corrupt officials which led to very little economic growth, and the benefits from that economic growth do not reach the poor, but it benefits corrupt officials who are partisans of powerful leaders. This creates an ever larger gap between the rich and the poor, and makes the nation to face a serious crisis.

    “An official, who asked that his name not be mentioned, said that strong corruption in the Ministry of Commerce, managed by Cham Prasidh, is one reason making Cambodian commerce not to grow as in neighboring countries, and the country has little development. Just to register a company, an investor has to spend much money to corrupt officials close to Cham Prasidh. Therefore, big foreign investors do not dare to come to invest in Cambodia, because they hate corruption. Another thing is that Cambodia has no anti-corruption law which meets international standards.

    “Some independent observers noticed that corruption and bureaucracy occurring strongly in important state institutions of Cambodia makes Cambodia to develop little, although the country owes nearly US$4 billion and has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the international community. State institutions ruined by corruption and bureaucracy are the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the Customs and Excise Department, the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and the Department of Economic Police of the Ministry of Interior. As for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Inspection, managed by Men Samon, a member of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, does nothing to observe, prevent, and eliminate corruption.

    “Independent observers noticed that also some important institutions and donor countries for Cambodia do not help Cambodia to eliminate corruption effectively. Clearly, Mr. Ian Porter and Ms. Nisha Agrawal, Country Director for Cambodia and [former] Cambodia Country Manager of the World Bank, seem to be sensitive about corruption, which absorbs even development funds of the World Bank. But even when corruption and bureaucracy in important state institutions of the Hun Sen’s government grew stronger, the World Bank provided more funds to Hun Sen’s government, although they knew that such funds do not provide advantages to Khmer poor citizens.

    “Analysts said that in order for Cambodia to develop soon, the Khmer citizens countrywide have to defeat corrupt leaders, who destroy and steal from the nation, through the election on 27 July 2008. This means that Khmer citizens countrywide have to vote to dismiss the Cambodian People’s Party from power, because the government led by the Cambodian People’s Party for many terms does not improve the national economy and does not make citizens to live with a richer livelihood. The new leader, that Khmer citizens have to choose, is Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the opposition party who is an economic expert and who is willing to serve the citizens’ and to protect the nation’s interests.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3519, 23.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 23 July 2008


    Areyathor, Vol.15, #1344, 23-24.7.2008

    • [UN Secretary-General] Mr. Ban Ki-Moon Asked Both Sides to Solve the Dispute Peacefully [on 21 July 2008]; Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong Summoned [on 22 July 2008] the Ambassadors to Inform Them about the Thai Invasion into Khmer Sovereignty after Releasing a Statement [to inform Cambodian compatriots about the invasion by Thailand]


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1700, 23.7.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Party Supports a Letter of Samdech Dekcho Hun Sen to the Director-General of UNESCO [Mr. Koïchirô Matsuura – 松浦晃一郎]
    • Serbia Arrested Mr. Radovan Karadžić [on 21 July 2008 after he had been hiding himself eleven years – he is accused of having committed war crimes in Bosnia based on nationalism, especially to be responsible for the massacre of at least 7,500 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica [pronounced srɛbrɛnitsa] in July 1995]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #56, 23.7.2008

    • The Royal Government of Cambodia Asked UNESCO [on 21 July 2008] to Take Action to Protect the World Heritage Site [because Thailand has sent troops armed with all kinds of weapons and tanks to the Prasat Pagoda which is near the Preah Vihear Temple]
    • The Royal Palace Provided Food and Materials [such as plastic sheets to be used as roofs for temporary camps], mosquito nets, and blankets] to Troops at the Preah Vihear Temple [21 July 2008]
    • The European Community Deploys 130 Observers for the Election in Cambodia [to be held on 27 July 2008]
    • Women Should Not Get Affected by Having to Absorb the Smoke from Cigarette Smokers
    • Myanmar Needs US$1 Billion after the Nargis Tropical Cyclone


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3519, 23.7.2008

    • The United Nations Asserts that Cambodia Is among the Least Developed Countries
    • The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL * ) Criticized the Ruling Party for the Excessive Use of the Media
    • The Number of Tourists Coming through the Poipet Border Crossing Declines [by 20% to 30%]; Khmer Workers Return to the Country Gradually [some said that they come for the election, but some said that they are worried about the confrontation between Khmer and Thai troops which could escalate and would affect their security]

    * …during the last few weeks, ANFREL observers have noticed that most media: TVs, Radios and local Newspapers have not maintained as much professional conduct in their work as expected. Most have not been fair in broadcasting or writing the news of political parties equally. Information of candidates from ruling parties and opposition parties are quite imbalanced. Observers have requested the NEC to encourage more cooperation from all media to make the electoral environment more fair and democratic.


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4648, 23.7.2008

    • Cambodia Asked the UN Security Council to Solve the Problem of the Invasion by Thailand; the UN Security Council Will Hold a Meeting on 28 July 2008
    • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Mr. Khiev Samphan Has a New Lawyer [Mr. Sar Sovann, who is nine years younger than Khiev Samphan, 76]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3366, 23.7.2008

    • The Human Rights Party, with Kem Sokha as President, Knows since before the Elections that It Would Lose, and Declared that Unity [with other parties] Will Be Established after the Election [according to Mr. Keat Sokun, vice-president of the Human Rights Party, in a multi-party program organized by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections]
    • Kandal Is a Province That Has the Most Illegal Fishing [because this province has big rivers which allow fishery]

    Click here – and have a look at the last editorial – The Cambodian-Thai border crisis develops while the Khmer public is not aware what the Cambodian government representatives had agreed upon, to get the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site, on a most narrowly defined piece of land.

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    Tuesday, 22.7.2008: In the First Six Months of 2008, There Were 3511 Traffic Accidents and 903 People Died

    Posted on 23 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

    “Phnom Penh: From year to year, there are more and more traffic accidents which led to an emergency alert about this catastrophe that is more devastating than AIDS and mines’ accidents. During the first six months of 2008, the total number of traffic accidents was 3,511 which killed 903 people; it increased 17%, compared to the same period of the first six month of 2007.

    “According to a report from Lieutenant-Colonel Luy Chhin, who heads a road traffic office – General Trey Pho Khan of the Department of Public Order of the Ministry of Interior confirmed this report – which also Khmer Sthapana received on 21 July 2008, the number of traffic accidents of all the 24 provinces and towns increased markedly.

    “The report shows that during the first six months of 2008, there were 3,511 traffic accidents countrywide, which killed 903 people – 705 male and 198 female; the number of accidents increased by 519, equal to 17% more, compared to the same period of 2007, when there were 2,992 accidents and only 724 people died. The 3,511 traffic accidents resulted in 903 deaths, 2,856 seriously injured people, 3,390 lightly injured people, the destruction of 306 heavy vehicles, among them 1,154 cars, 3,646 motorcycles, 305 other vehicles; 397 pedestrians were also affected.

    “Major Suos Sokha, deputy director of the vehicle registration management office, and of the department for the registration of boats and ships of the Ministry of Interior, reported to Khmer Sthapana on 21 July 2008 the reasons that lead to the increase of traffic accidents in the first six months of 2008: these are driving in violation of traffic laws with 1,560 cases, riding motorcycles without helmets with 778 cases, not obeying priority traffic rights with 502 cases, driving while being drunk with 439 cases, speed racing with each other with 349 cases, and 261 cases of careless driving etc…

    “It should be noted that the statistics of road traffic accidents in 2007 countrywide, report 5,870 cases which caused 1,434 deaths, 1,121 males and 313 females were killed; 4,860 people were seriously injured, 5,540 people were lightly injured, 528 heavy vehicles, 1,871 cars, 5,607 motorcycles, and 444 different vehicles were destroyed, and US$2,699,784 was wasted.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #55, 22.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 22 July 2008

    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2795, 22.7.2008

    • As the First Step of Negotiations, Thailand Requested Cambodia to Withdraw the Troops from the Land They Presently Control; the ASEAN President [Mr. George Yeo – simplified Chinese: 杨荣文; traditional Chinese: 楊榮文; pinyin: Yáng Róngwén – Singaporean Foreign Minister and at present ASEAN Chair*] Asked Both Sides to Be Patient and Solve the Dispute Based on Good Relations; the Situation of Having Deployed Troops on Both Sides of the Border at the Preah Vihear Temple Is Still Tense

    * “The ASEAN Standing Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Foreign Minister of the country-in-chair, is mandated to coordinate the work of the Association in between the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meetings.”

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1699, 22.7.2008

    • The 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Was Held in Singapore [discussing the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, evaluating the destruction by the Nargis tropical cyclone in Burma, and talking about the integration of ASEAN constitutions, and about regional security – 21 July 2008]
    • Three People Were Arrested by Military Police after Chopping a Leader of Workers to Death [after losing money to the victim while gambling – Ratanakiri]
    • Ms. Su Kyi Will Be Released Soon [Military Junta of Myanmar informed the ASEAN members that the opposition leader, Ms. Aung San Su Kyi, might be released in about six months]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #55, 22.7.2008

    • In the First Six Months of 2008, There Were 3511 Traffic Accidents and 903 People Died
    • The Thai Side Requests Cambodia to Accept Three Principles [during the negotiations on 21 July 2008: 1. Thailand requested Cambodia to withdraw its troops, and Thailand will also withdraw its troops to avoid an armed confrontation. 2. The benefits from the Preah Vihear Temple should be handled as a joint operation, from which Cambodia gets 60% and Thailand gets 40% 3. Cambodia and Thailand should cooperate with each other to clear mines from the Preah Vihear Temple region and from other surrounding areas together]
    • US$2,000 Announced Reward to Be Given to Anyone Who Provides Information That Leads to the Arrest of the Criminal Who Abducted a [Swedish] Girl from Her Mother [the six-year-old girl, Alicia, has been abducted by her father, Torgeir Nordbø, from Sweden, when he visited her; he is believed to be hiding in Cambodia]
    • [Fishery] Crimes During Prohibited No-Fishing Season Increase [Siem Reap]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #66403, 22.7.2008

    • Obama Promises to Withdraw Army from Iraq If He Wins the Election [but he will send 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3518, 22.7.2008

    • [Former Khmer Rough Leader] Khiev Samphan Still Has No New Defense Lawyer


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4647, 22.7.2008

    • Police Are Deployed at Gold and Money Exchange Shops because of Security Concerns [Banteay Meanchey]
    • Five Outstanding Cambodian Students Went to Take Part in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Vietnam


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3365, 22.7.2008

    • Japan Sends 23 Election Observers for Sunday 27 July 2008
    • Neak Loeang Electricity Company Still Charges Riel 3,200 [approx. US$0.80] per Kilowatt [in Phnom Penh the price is Riel 610, approx. US$0.15 per kw]

    Click here – and have a look at the last editorial – The Cambodian-Thai border crisis develops while the Khmer public is not aware what the Cambodian government representatives had agreed upon, to get the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site, on a most narrowly defined piece of land.

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    Thursday, 3.7.2008: Cambodian Official Asks Thai Politicians and Historians Not to Twist the Facts

    Posted on 4 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

    “Phnom Penh: A Cambodian official urged Thai politicians and historians not to twist the facts about the history of the Preah Vihear Temple, which is being proposed to be officially listed as a World Heritage Site.

    “In an interview with a Thai reporter from the Public Broadcasting Service TV [PBS] on the morning of 2 July 2008, Mr. Ho Vandy, the president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said that the Thai government must listen to the majority voices, but not to minority voices opposed to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site; and Thai politicians and historians must accept the truth, but not to twist the history, because it is important to maintain the relations and the cooperation between both countries.

    “He added, ‘If Thai politicians and historians do not accept the facts, it will break the relations between both countries. When talking honestly with one another and acknowledging the facts of history, being a good neighbors and having good human relations will be of benefit to everything – both in tourism and in the economy of the two countries.’ He continued, ‘If Thailand has a good, human mind by accepting the facts, both countries and people will be peaceful.’

    “He went on to say, ‘If Thailand still tries to hide the real history and to twist it, there will be endless difficulties and disagreements for the next generation.’

    “The Preah Vihear Temple was legally declared by the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be under the sovereignty of Cambodia on 15 June 1962, by ordering Thailand to deliver the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, to withdraw its troops and people from the temple, and to give back to Cambodia all ancient artifacts taken from the temple.

    “Mr. Ho Vandy asserted that the Preah Vihear Temple was already identified by the International Court of Justice in The Hague as belonging to Cambodia, based on its history. If Thailand helps to promote the temple to be listed as a World Heritage Site, there will be much benefit for both countries in developing tourism, because when the temple is listed, people around the world will be interested in visiting this temple, and they will spend money for Cambodians and for Thais living in the bordering provinces near Preah Vihear.

    “Dr. Ros Chantraboth, a historian and vice-president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that in Siem [Thailand], in text books from Grade 1 to Grade 9, there are only two sentences which speak about Cambodia, but those books speak a lot about the history and other things of Laos, of Burma, of Vietnam, and of Malaysia. He continued, ‘Siem seems to pretend that there was no presence of Cambodia in Indochina.’

    “He added that this misunderstanding is because of Siem articles writing that the Preah Vihear Temple belongs to its country and it is because of the lack of Siam publication about the reality of the history, and Siamese researchers always think that “this temple belongs to Siem.”

    “He went on to say that in Samut Prakan Province, southeast of Bangkok, the Siem government built a park named ‘Thai ancient monuments’ or ‘Muang Boran Thai’ where all temples existing in Thailand are built in copies, including the Preah Vihear Temple, for Siamese and for researchers [and tourists] to visit.

    [Actually, doing some Internet research in Thai and in English, only the term ‘เมืองโบราณ – Muang Boran’ – could be seen an all sites I found (I may have missed some, though); none uses the term ‘เมืองโบราณไทย’ – ‘Thai Ancient City.’ This Ancient City is often considered to be the world’s biggest outdoor museum, covering about 80 hectares/320 acres of land in a shape similar to the country of Thailand, with more than 100 original size or scaled down models of historical monuments. It was designed and funded my the private funds of a rich Thai businessman, Lek Viriyapan (1914 – 2000). Before the Ancient City could be built, its founder and his research team traveled to all buildings to be included, and for many years these studies were published in the Muang Boran Journal. The park includes also a replica of the Preah Vihear temple, and the journal has photos, several of them showing the Cambodian flag, and the inscription over the entrance in big Khmer letters: ‘ប្រាសាទ​ព្រះវិហារ’ [Prasat Preah Vihear] and below, in smaller letters in English, ‘Preah Vihear Temple’ – and three Cambodian flags are clearly seen on the picture of the stairs leading up to the temple – there is no doubt that the Ancient City in clear pictures describes Preah Vihear as under Cambodian authority. The temple of Phimai in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima is another example of Khmer culture (and in some of the sites visited also described as such). The ‘Ancient City’ is in no way leaving any doubt that this is Cambodian culture and territory, but, like Phimai, there are many other historical sites in present Thailand, showing the former extension of Khmer culture. – Editor]

    “Dr. Ros Chantraboth asserted, ‘The Ancient City was constructed in 1972, ten years after Siem lost the hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague that legally established that the Preah Vihear Temple was to be under Khmer sovereignty. He added, ‘In reality, Siem has never used this to explain it to its people.’

    “He recalled that the International Court of Justice in The Hague decided to deliver the sovereignty of the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, based on 1904 and 1907 maps that were drawn by France for Cambodia at that time, and those maps were not contested by the Thai government at that period. The 1962 verdict gave ten years to Siem to appeal, in case it found new evidence proving that the Preah Vihear Temple belongs to Thailand, but when the deadline was over on 15 June 1972, Thailand did not appeal against the verdict until today.

    “According to Article 10 of the condition of the World Heritage Committee, world heritage listings only include cultural heritage, they do not include borders of countries; and both countries have still to negotiate about the [unsolved] border issues.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4631, 3.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 3 July 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1683, 3.7.2008

    • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Samak Talked with Samdech Hun Sen More than Half an Hour via Telephone about the Preah Vihear Temple Issue [according to Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government spokesperson, and he said that Mr. Samak asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to calm the Cambodian people]
    • The Royal Government [of Cambodia] Welcomes the Creation of an Investment Bank [by Tong Yang Investment] to Attract Capital from South Korea
    • Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL]: Security in the Election Campaign Is Better than in 2003


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #190, 3.7.2008

    • [Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general] Ms. Mu Sochua Appealed to the Prime Minister’s Wife to Check Again the Dispute [that led to the destruction of houses and to the eviction of people from their land in Chhouk District, Kampot] between People and Military Officials


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #39, 3.7.2008

    • ILO: Working Conditions at Garment Factories Are Still Good


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6387, 3.7.2008

    • Dr. Keo Iev, Director of Oral Cleansing Water Company [producing for the Cambodian Red Cross], Was Shot by Robbers and a Gold Box Was Taken, when He Returned from the Olympic Market [he is in a very serious condition, because the bullet went into his left eye and broke through his head – 2 July 2008]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3502, 3.7.2008

    • Vietnamese Authorities Released Tim Sakhan Silently [on 30 June 2008, who had been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, who was jailed in Vietnam], but They Have Not Sent Him Back to Cambodia [and when traveling during one month, he has to be accompanied by the Vietnamese authorities]
    • Hearing Verdict of Ieng Sary’s Appeal, where He Requested to Be Out of Detention, Will Be Announced by the ECCC on 3 July 2008


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4631, 3.7.2008

    • Cambodian Official Asks Thai Politicians and Historians Not to Twist the Facts
    • The National Cultural and Social Moral Center Plans to March [supporting the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple, with about 3,000 participants] to the Thai Embassy
    • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Deploys Nearly 100,000 Election Observers to the Twenty Four Cities and Provinces
    • Agreement Protecting Cambodian-Japanese Investors Will Be Put in Practice in Late July
    • Prohibition of Marriages to Foreign Countries Will Be Lifted Soon [according to an official of the Ministry of Interior]
    • Seventy Cambodian Youth Delegates Will Visit Japan Next Week [as part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESEYS)]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3349, 3.7.2008

    • Many Challenges for the Election Result because of Low Education and Illiteracy

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

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    Wednesday, 25.6.2008: The Cambodian Watchdog Council Said that the New Map Will Create a Loss of Land at the Area 3 around the Preah Vihear Temple

    Posted on 25 June 2008. Filed under: Week 566 | Tags: , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 566

    “Mr. Ear Chana released, on behalf of the secretary-general of the Cambodian Watchdog Council, on 23 June 2008, a statement that there is a loss of land at Area 3 of the Preah Vihear Temple. This is the statement:

    “According to the joint statement of 18 June 2008, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Sok An, and by Thai Foreign Minister Mr. Noppadon Pattama, and Mrs. Françoise Rivière, UNESCO Deputy Director for Culture, about the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, and a new map that the Cambodian government sent to UNESCO, we found a part of Cambodian territory at the west and the north of the temple (or Area 3) is lost.

    “The Cambodian government seems to fall into a trap of Thailand by listing only the body of the Preah Vihear Temple and the areas which extend 30 meters from the temple, but do not include the Area 3 which should also have been listed.

    “According to our own experience from visits with students from different universities in Phnom Penh in 2001 and 2004, we found that the Cambodian government is creating a loss of land, by agreeing to create a new map, especially as it does not include Area 3 as Cambodian territory. Obviously, based on two visits, we found that the loss of land in Area 3 is an obstacle for tourists to climb up to the Preah Vihear Temple from Cambodia, because the areas at the east and the south are extremely steep to climb up and go down.

    “According to the Deputy Director of the Cambodian Border Committee, it shows that The Hague International Court of Justice in 1962 used a 1:2000 scale map for the Preah Vihear Temple, and that map is being kept at the court. In addition, the French-Siem [Thai] Treaties in 1904 and 1907 show clearly the land border and sea border between Cambodia and Thailand, especially they show that the Area 3 definitely belongs to Cambodia, which contradicts some Thai positions which say that the border at the Preah Vihear Temple is at the steps to the temples.

    “We agree with UNESCO, working to maintain cultural heritage, but we cannot give up the Hague verdict of 1962 about the Preah Vihear Temple and its area, based on the 1904 and 1907 French-Siem Treaties, especially the listing of land in Area 3 – otherwise Cambodia will lose this land to Thailand.

    ”We found that Thailand never dared to invade territories of Malaysia or Burma, because the governments of both countries are strongly committed to protect their territories. Only the territory of Cambodia has repeatedly been invaded by Thailand.. Moreover, Thailand never dared to protest officially on the international level; it just tries to make trouble for Cambodia. This shows that Thailand intends to invade Khmer territory and to block the Cambodian economic breath of tourism, absorbed by the Preah Vihear Temple.

    “We would like to give the recommendation to the Cambodian government, that if the government is still intent to list the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, being an independent nation with patriotism, the government has to:

    Remove the new map and use a map from The Hague for the proposal of the listing of the temple.

    List the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site unilaterally.

    “By the evening of 24 June 2008, the border crossing at the Preah Vihear Temple is still closed, while there are still about 10 Siamese [Thai] demonstrators far from the temple. According to news sources, this closure was ordered by the Khmer Ministry of Interior. This situation might last longer, if there are still demonstrations from Thai nationals. As for the Thai side, it is reported they agree with the closure of the border crossing in front of the Preah Vihear Temple.

    “The commercial activities at the temple, both by Khmer and by Thai vendors, are reported to be closed down temporarily. However, generally we found that for the Thai side, both sales and other services lost much more than on the Khmer side. Nevertheless, the Khmer side worries about more than 100 families living on the Preah Vihear mountain who depend on business and on selling things on this mountain. People who are members of the soldiers’ and the police’s families ask for assistance from the authorities and the government. There is still nobody who provides assistance to those people since the closure, besides presents brought by journalists for the forces guarding the Preah Vihear Temple since late last week.

    “Local observers find that the statement of Cambodian Watchdog Council is one thing, but what is more important is that the Cambodian Watchdog Council should try to seek additional assistance for the families of the soldiers and of the police who are facing difficulties. However, they noticed that the Cambodian Watchdog Council seems not to pay attention to the difficulties of the temple’s guards. On the contrary, they benefit from the difficulties of the soldiers’ and the police’s families.

    “The listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site triggers some reactions from Siamese nationals who are an anti-government group [of Thailand] during these days. However, the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple is expected to face no obstacle, although there are some demonstrations held by a small number of Siamese.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3342, 25.6.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 25 June 2008

    Angkor Kampuchea, Vol.2, #15, 25.6.-1.7.2008

    • Illegal Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Run Wood Workshops in Stung Treng; Yeay [Grandmother] Phoeung [a Vietnamese] Is the Biggest Illegal Wood Merchant in Town

    Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #, 25.6-1.7.2008

    • For the Listing of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, [Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Led a Delegation to Québec [Canada – 24 June 2008]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1676, 25.6.2008

    • For the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Both Money and Time Have to Be Reduced [from US$170 million to US$143 million, and from five years to three years (2008 to 2010)]
    • A Group of Montagnards Tried to Break a Fence to Get out and Hold a Demonstration, but Were Prevented Immediately [according to the Ministry of Interior in charge of Immigration, the group of more than 200 Montagnards, who are under the control of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] at Phnom Penh, tried to hold a demonstration to get five conditions accepted: 1. They do not agree to return to Vietnam, unless UNCHR accepts their request that the Vietnamese government agree with their demands first, 2. They ask for the respect of Human Rights, 3. They request freedom of religion, because most of them are Christian, 4. They request to receive their land back legally, which has been seized by the Vietnamese authorities, and 5. They request the release of minority tribespeople arrested by the Vietnamese authorities]
    • The Lions Clubs International Grants Aid to the Japan Mine Action Service to Support Mine Clearance in Cambodia [two cars and many other materials, such as bullet-proof protective vests and helmets]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #184, 25.6.2008

    • [Deputy Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mu Sochua: Inflation Rises, but Statistics Are Not Published, this Is a Sign of Irresponsibility of the Government

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #32, 25.6.2008

    • Fishing Community Is Concerned about the Use of Illegal Fishing Materials [Stung Treng]]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6380, 25.6.2008

    • About the Preah Vihear Temple Issue, the Thai Prime Minister [Samak Sundaravej] Points Out: Actually, on the Preah Vihear Temple Is the Cambodian Flag
    • The [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Announced that US$143 Was Paid [for the former Khmer Rouge head of state] Khiev Samphan When He Was Referred to the Hospital Again [according to the Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesperson Mr. Reach Sambath, the health condition of Mr. Khiev Samphan is normal; he was sent to the hospital for a medical checkup]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3495, 25.6.2008

    • Lawyer [of the former Khmer Rouge leader Mr. Ieng Sary, Mr. Ang Udom] Asserted that Ieng Sary Is in a Serious Health Condition in Custody
    • Corruption and Illegal Immigrants Are Issues That the Cambodian People’s Party Finds Hard to Talk about

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4624, 25.6.2008

    • Thailand Steps Up Forces to Protect Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok [from being attacked by Thai demonstrators]
    • ADB Provided US$12.1 Million for Public Financial Administration Project [23 June 2008]
    • 300 International Observers Will Join the Observation of the Upcoming Election [according to Mr. William Clive, Director of the Technical Services of the UN Development Program]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3342, 25.6.2008

    • The Cambodian Watchdog Council Said that the New Map Will Create a Loss of Land at the Area 3 around the Preah Vihear Temple

    Have a look at the last editorial – it is almost frightening to see to which extent there are strong emotions, disregarding related legal documents.

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    Saturday, 21.6.2008: The World Bank Group: World Bank and Multiple Donors Help Cambodia Achieve its Health Goals

    Posted on 21 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565


    World Bank Project Proposes Health Sector Reform Strategies

    “Although donor countries have detailed development plan of the country, but as nowadays a mechanism for the elimination of corruption in Cambodian society is not yet in place, Khmer poor citizens face difficulties in the health sector. Recently, the World Bank has proposed health sector reform strategies to develop the health sector in Cambodia. Though there were hundreds of millions of dollars spent since 1996, there is still no noticeable focus on Khmer poor citizens from state institutions. Although the health sector improved somewhat, Khmer poor citizens are still seriously affected by discrimination, and the requirement to pay money for different services.

    “According to the World Bank, strategies are prepared for the health sector from 2008 to 2015, summarized as follows:

    “The World Bank has approved to provide a credit of US$30 million to support the implementation of the Cambodian 2005-2015 health sector strategies. These strategies aim to promote preventive health and heath services for Khmer citizens, especially focusing on women, children, and the poor.

    “This credit will be used to provide financing for the Second Health Sector Support Program, and in a period of five years, this program will receive a total credit of US$120 million from six development partners. As for the World Bank, the credit will be provided to the International Development Association [IDA] which is an agency of the World Bank that is in charge of providing supports to the world’s poorest countries. A part of the aid will be provided from the Department for International Development [DFID-UK], AusAID [Australia], UNICEF, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], and the Agence Française de Développement [AFD]. Also, other development partners expect to join this program during the implementation process.

    “The Second Health Sector Support Program will use the health plan of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its mechanisms to observe the results and to share the management of the program jointly, and to allocate the resources as a joint package. This program had been organized to help Cambodia to improve its health situation through strengthening the capacity and mechanisms of its institutions that help the government and the development partners, and it can guarantee achievements in the health sector to be more efficient and more effective than before.

    “The Second Health Sector Support Program will increase available resources to ensure the promotion of the health of mothers and children, as well as to contribute to deal with new heath problems, such as injuries and chronic diseases. This plan promotes the quality of training of health professionals, including midwives, and strengthens health service delivery at heath centers and referral hospitals. This program also helps the government to become a helper in health systems. Many poor citizens will benefit a lot from this program, because this program aims to expand the supports for Health Equity Funds in order to help poor citizens to have the opportunity to receive major health care and preventive health care. This program also assists civil society organizations in making health plans at the local level, and in observing the provision of services.

    “Professor Eng Huot, secretary of state of the Ministry of Health, said, ‘During the last few decades, the heath of Khmer citizens improved noticeably. The average life expectancy has increased from 52 to 58 years for men and from 56 to 64 years for women, the death rates of infants and children from diseases also declined; as for the infection by HIV and AIDS, it can also be prevented. However, we still have to address many major problems. These include the high maternal mortality, the slow progress in fighting malnutrition, and the rising cost for health care; and there is still the poor quality of health care, and the rise of injuries and non-communicable diseases. We hope that with a lot of support through the Second Health Sector Support Program from the World Bank and different development partners, we will have the ability to achieve and to guarantee the continuity to reach the Millennium Development Goals as well as to promote equity in the health sector. The Second Health Sector Support Program will be important to promote harmonization, and to be along the lines of harmonizing of all aid in the heath sector, to be in line with the intentions and commitments as stated in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the International Health Partnership.’

    “The World Bank Country Director for Cambodia Ian Porter sated, ‘The World Bank has worked in the health sector since 1996 through two projects – the Disease Control and Health Development Project, and the Health Sector Support Project. We continue to maintain strong relations with the government and other development partners in assisting the health sector. We are satisfied to see the process of the health sector supporting project which is in line with assistance strategies for Cambodia, created in cooperation with DFID, the Asian Development Bank, and the UN system.’

    “Claire Moran, the Country Manager for the UK Department for International Development – DFID – said, ‘I am delighted to hear that the World Bank and the donor countries have created this new project. This project not only speeds up development towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector, but it is also an important measure to guarantee the efficiency of the use of aid in the health sector. In line with this commitment, development partners and the Royal Government of Cambodia signed the International Health Partnership agreement in September 2007, which is a new program, and there is the plan to collect resources and to work in a more coordinated way to streamline how development partners support the Ministry of Health.’” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3339, 21.6.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 21 June 2008

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1673, 21.6.2008

    • Vietnam Runs the First Factory to Produce Construction Products in Cambodia
    • Police and Tens of Thousands of Demonstrators Faced Each Other in Bangkok [20 June 2008]
    • Thailand Ranks Among the Worst Countries for Refugees [according to the World Refugee Survey 2008 of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #182, 21.6.2008

    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Said a Citizen Should Get US$800 from Corrupt Officials, Not Just a Sarong [sarcastic – sarong: a kind of long skirt]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #30, 21-23.6.2008

    • Opposition Party and Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned about the Printing of Ballots beyond the Numbers Needed, and That They Have No High Quality
    • Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia [NICFEC] Vows to Provide Training to Those Who Are Involved in the Election Work at the Basis of the 1,621 Communes
    • Thousands of Hectares of Land in Anlong Veng [District] and at Dangrek Mountain Were Burnt by Merchants and Enclosed to Be Claimed as Their Own Land [Oddar Meanchey]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6377, 21-22.6.2008

    • New Map of the Preah Vihear Temple Was Shown; Government Consents to the Agreement over the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia [20 June 2008]
    • Five Khmer and Two Thai Fishing Laborers Escaped from a [Thai] Fishing Boat Boss by Riskily Swimming across the Sea to Seek Rescuers [Sihanoukville]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3492, 21-22.6.2008

    • Kampuchea Krom Khmer Association [in the United States] Plans to Hold Demonstration against a Visit by the Yuon [Vietnamese] Prime Minister to the United States [on 24 June 2008]
    • Authority Blocks the Money of Chea Ratha [who is involved in the acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt on 8 May 2008] in a Bank Temporarily [according to the head of the national Interpol office Keo Vanthan]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4621, 21.6.2008

    • The chairman of the EU election observers group [Mr. Martin Callanan]: Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity Will Not Be Revoked before the Election [he said so on 20 June 2008, after he received confirmation from Mr. Hor Namhong during a meeting on 18 June 2008, who sued Mr. Sam Rainsy
    • The Cambodian King [Norodom Sihamoni] Will Visit Vietnam Early Next Week
    • [Former Thai Prime Minister] Chavalit Yongchaiyudh Told [the current Prime Minister] Samak to Resign while Thousands Surrounded the Government Building [he put three conditions for Mr. Samak Sundaravej: 1. Resign from his position, 2. Dissolve the Assembly to hold new elections, 3. Create a Government of National Unity; and he warned that if there is no discussion between the government and the leaders of the demonstrators, there may be another coup to finish this confrontation]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3339, 21.6.2008

    • The World Bank Group: World Bank and Multiple Donors Help Cambodia Achieve its Health Goals
    • One Liter of Fuel Costs Riel 2,000 More than in the Bordering Countries

    Have a look at the last editorial – press freedom was strongly under threat

    Friday, 20.6.2008: The National Assembly Might Not Take Action on the Request to Revoke Sam Rainsy’s Immunity

    Posted on 21 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

    “Phnom Penh: A high-ranking officials of the Nation Assembly said on 19 June 2008 that the National Assembly received the proposal to revoke Mr. Sam Rainsy’s immunity, delivered from the Prosecution Office to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court through the Ministry of Justice on Thursday morning, but considering legal procedures and timing, the vice-president of the National Assembly, Mr. Nguon Nhel, said that the National Assembly might not work on this issue and might keep it unsolved for some time.

    “In an interview via telephone with Rasmei Kampuchea on the afternoon of 19 June 2008, Mr. Nguon Nhel said that around 11:00 a.m. of 19 June 2008, the National Assembly received the proposal to suspend the immunity of the opposition party president Mr. Sam Rainsy, delivered from the Prosecution to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. He added that an immunity cannot be suspended unless there is a request to open an extraordinary meeting of the National Assembly by Samdech Prime Minister, or the King, or Samdech President of the National Assembly.

    “Mr. Nguon Nhel also explained some legal procedures that make it difficult for the National Assembly to summon an Extraordinary Session or a meeting of its Permanent Committee. He said that Samdech Heng Samrin had announced already to close the National Assembly until after the 2008 election. According to the present real situation, the Permanent Committee might not be able to open a meeting. He continued that, based on procedures, the National Assembly needs at least two to three days to summon a meeting of the Permanent Committee, and if the Permanent Committee agrees to call an Extraordinary Session, at least 40 hours are needed before the meeting to inform the members of the National Assembly. Therefore, it will take more than one week, and then it will be already the time of 2008 election campaign. Another point is that the proposal to revoke the immunity of a member of the National Assembly needs at least two thirds of supporting voices, or 83 voices among the 123 members of the National Assembly.

    “Article 80 of the Constitution states that indictment, arrest, or detention of a member of the National Assembly cannot be made unless there is agreement from the National Assembly or from the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly during the meeting, except for obvious offenses flagrante delicto.

    “According to this article, the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly also has the right to suspend the immunity of a member of the Assembly to open the way for a legal investigation. However, Mr. Nguon Nhel explained that although the Constitution states so, still a meeting of the Permanent Committee to decide to suspend the immunity of a member of the National Assembly cannot be held. He added that a meeting of the Permanent Committee represents all members of the National Assembly which has 123 seats; but two members have left their positions as members of the National Assembly, so there are only 121 members, which do not form a complete National Assembly. ‘Therefore, this issue cannot be worked on.’

    “He went on to say, ‘We received this proposal, but we keep it unsolved for a while.’

    “Although Mr. Sam Rainsy’s immunity might not be revoked, Mr. Nguon Nhel explained that every draft law or big lawsuit will be sent from the outgoing National Assembly to the Council of Ministers when a new National Assembly is announced to be opened again after the election. Therefore, at that time, the Council of Ministers might send them back to the new National Assembly.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4620, 20.6.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 20 June 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1672, 20.6.2008

    • Cambodia and Thailand Signed a Joint Statement about the Preah Vihear Temple [18 June 2008, so that the Phnom Penh government can apply for the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO]
    • Cambodia SDA and Twenty Trade Union Associations Showed that Employers Still Hold Discrimination [against trade unions
    • UN-HABITAT and ADB Help Develop the Clean Water Sector in Cambodia [now 60 percent of people in populated areas have access to clean water]
    • Cambodia Movement for Health Received Award in ‘World No Tobacco Day 2008’ [19 June 2008 – in the LINK see “In Cambodia, which has one of the highest rates of smoking in the world,…]
    • Vietnam Sells 60 Million Tonnes of Rice to the Philippines [for US$564 million]


    Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #593, 20.6.2008

    • Many Local Human Rights Organizations Said that Recalling the Cambodian Freedom Fighters Case by Mr. Hun Sen Might Be a Political Threat


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6376, 20.6.2008

    • 1,261 Containers of Mraes Prov Phnom Oil [large softwood tree, its oil is an important substance to produce the drug Ecstasy] Will Be Burnt [by Pursat authorities]
    • European Election Observers Arrived Cambodia Gradually


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3491, 20.6.2008

    • US Embassy Strongly Reacted to the Attempt to Suspend the Immunity of the Opposition Party President Mr. Sam Rainsy
    • Mr. Sok Yoeun [a Sam Rainsy Party activist, who fled Cambodia in 1998 related to a rocket attack on Prime Minister Hun Sen and was jailed in Thailand more than four years and then received asylum through the UNHCR to Finland] Called the Investigation of the Rocket Attack in Siem Reap a Dead-End Road Game of Hun Sen [who used a former Sam Rainsy Party activist, Mr. Lek Bunnhean’s information, who had left to join the Cambodian People’s Party, to link Mr. Sam Rainsy to the Cambodian Freedom Fighters]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4620, 20.6.2008

    • The National Assembly Will Not Take Action on the Request to Revoke Sam Rainsy’s Immunity
    • The Garment Sector in Cambodia Is Facing a Shortage of Workers [because of the needs by newly created factories; around 200,000 additional workers are needed, the current number is approximately 400,000]
    • Some Areas in Cambodia Might Become Desertification Areas [because of inappropriate implementation of agricultural techniques, population growth, and deforestation – according to UNDP officials in Cambodia]
    • Tourism Development Absolutely Opposes Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children [said Mr. Klaeng Rim, coordinating official of ILO]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3338, 20.6.2008

    • All Political Parties Support the Face-to-Face Discussion Forum Created by the National Democratic Institute [NDI] for the 2008 Election

    Have a look at the last editorial – press freedom was strongly under threat

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    Saturday, 14.6.2008: The Department of Agriculture Publishes Contract System to Farmers’ Associations to Plant Sugar Cane

    Posted on 14 June 2008. Filed under: Week 564 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 564

    “Svay Rieng: In the afternoon of 11 June 2008, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery announced a contract system to farmers’ associations’ representatives in the province to plant sugarcane, to change to new crops planting which can provide high yields and can obtain suitable income. The president of the provincial department of agriculture, Mr. Thach Ratana, the representative of Kamadeno [phonetic] Venture Cambodia Limited (KVCL), Mr. Nagarayu [phonetic], and 197 farmers’ associations’ representatives from all districts of the province participated in this act.

    “Mr. Thach Ratana said that because some farmers, nowadays, have land that is not used for rice farming, and because the planting of paddy rice does not provide very good yields, and because farmers lack capital for the cultivation and some leave their land unused, the agricultural department contacted a company to invest in the agricultural sector and agro-industry by providing loans to farmers to plant sugarcane in order to increase the cultivation as much as possible on the land they have. Mr. Thach Ratana added that this year, the Indochina Food Industrial Company of Singapore is interested in Cambodia and invests with the farmers to plant sugarcane on 500 hectares of land as a test; and the company provides seeds of sugarcane, teaches techniques for planting, for caring, for using fertilizer, and for harvesting, and provides capital and fertilizer to farmers for planting until the farmers obtain their first yield. This is the day to provide information to farmers’ associations by the department of agriculture, to spread this information to other members at the villages, so that they can prepare themselves and the land for doing rice farming and for planting sugarcane in 2009.

    “The Representative of KVCL, Mr. Nagarayu, said that the company has practiced the program of planting sugarcane in Vietnam successfully for twelve years in Long An Province of Vietnam with farmers on 20,000 hectares of land to produce sugar and wine. The waste from sugarcane is used to create 45 megawatt electricity for the villages; and the company is interested in Cambodian fertile soil that can provide 70 tonnes to 100 tonnes per hectare. He added that because Mr. Thach Ratana, the president of the provincial department of agriculture, has organized farmers’ associations in a proper structure at the local level, the company wants to invest directly with farmers to plant sugarcane. If farmers have at least half a hectare of land, the company will provide loans of sugarcane seed and fertilizer to farmers, and train them in the ways to plant, to choose seeds, to use fertilizer, to take care, to harvest, and to protect their plants etc. The company also provides tractors and machines for planting, and teaches farmers how to use them by themselves.

    “Mr. Nagarayu continued that sugarcane can be harvested in four years; and per year, one hectare of sugarcane can be harvested once and can provide from 70 tonnes to 100 tonnes. The company buys it for US$20 per tonne. So, with just 60 tonnes, they can get US$480; US$560 from 70 tonnes; US$640 form 80 tonnes; US$810 from 90 tonnes; and US$1,000 from 100 tonnes. From 60 tonnes to 80 tonnes, the company gives 40% of the profits to farmers; with 90 tonnes they can earn 50%; and if farmers have 100 hectares of land, the company will dig channels to bring water, charging for it.

    “Mr. Thach Ratana said that the provincial agricultural department organized the center for the publication of the planting of sugarcane in Ou Smach Village, Chamlang Tralach Commune, Svay Chrum District by planting sugarcane on five hectares of land with the cooperation of KVCL. He went on to say that the planting of sugarcane needs much capital, and many citizens cannot afford it. In Vietnam, people are rich so they have their own capital to plant sugarcane, when they harvest, they sell it directly to the company. As for Cambodia, because they cannot afford it, the company provides equipment, techniques, seeds, and fertilizer, and the farmers just invest their land and their labor. When they get their yields, the company shares 50% of the profits; this is a good opportunity. Citizens can decide to use some land for sugarcane planting and some for rice farming. If we compare, 2 tonnes to 2.5 tones of paddy rice are from one hectare of land which is equal to US$250 to US$300, but nowadays prices of land increase and if we cut out other expenses, the most profits are form US$100 to US$150. Therefore, we must change the kind of crops for plating in order to obtain suitable income that can improve the living standard.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6371, 14.6.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 14 June 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1667, 14.6.2008

    • Japan Prepares to Send Twenty Five Observers and Provide US$3 Million for the Election in Cambodia


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #177, 14.6.2008

    • US Ambassador [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Hopes that the Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Dam Sith] Will Be Released Soon


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #28, 14-17.6.2008

    • Club of Cambodian Journalists Visited the Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer at Prey Sar Prison [13 June 2008]
    • Degrees Are Sold and Bought after Higher Education [according to Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Mr. Rong Chhun]
    • Phnom Chor [Mountain] Is Seriously Affected by Illegal Logging [Siem Reap]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6371, 14.6.2008

    • The Department of Agriculture Publishes Contract System to Farmers’ Associations to Plant Sugar Cane
    • Twenty One Civil Society Organizations Jointly Signed a Motion Asking the National Election Committee to Prohibit Drinking of Alcohol on Election Day [12 June 2008]
    • On the 46th Anniversary of The Hague the Verdict [of the International Court of Justice] in Den Haag, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: We Must Keep a Good Attitude with Thailand over the Case of the Preah Vihear Temple


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3486, 14-15.6.2008

    • A French Company [Total] and a Chinese Company [National Oil Corporation of China] Might Get Licenses Silently to Explore for Oil in Cambodia
    • Whether Donor Countries Provide More Funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal or Not, We Will See on 20 June 2008


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4615, 14.6.2008

    • The Court Rejected the Request to Release the Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer [13 June 2008]
    • The Government Approved the Investment for Hydro-Electricity Plants in Stung Ta Tai and Stung Russey Chrum Krom
    • China and Taiwan Signed an Historical Agreement [to stop restrictions on traveling and to promote relations by tourism – 12 June 2008]
    • Zimbabwean Opposition Leader [Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai] Faces Death Penalty over the Accusation of Betraying the Nation


    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #680, 14-15.6.2008

    • [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay: Funcinpec Will Be Able to Maintain the Twenty Six Seats [same as in the 2003 election]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial: Realizing that energy problems are not simply oil problems – so what shall we do?

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