Monday, 21.7.2008: The Great Heroic King Samdech Euv Issued a Letter to Respond to Critics about the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Regime

Posted on 22 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

“Phnom Penh: A Royal Letter of the Great Heroic King dated 19 July 2008, which was published [on his Internet website] for all compatriots who are his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, is his response to a not named political dignitary who accused the Sangkum Reastr Niyum [often translated as “People’s Socialist Community” or “Popular Socialist Community”] to have eliminated all political parties, so that there remained only one party: the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party. Without making any comment, this Royal Letter is made know also here:

Royal Letter
Norodom Sihanouk
of Cambodia
to his most Beloved Compatriots, Brothers and Sisters, Children, Grandchildren, and Great-Grandchildren

Phnom Penh, 19 July 2008

Yesterday night, a political dignitary said that the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime eliminated all political parties and made Cambodia to have only one Party – the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party – which started from 1954 to 1969.

Responding to this very unjust accusation, I would like to correct it and to tell the truths to our compatriots and to history as follow:

1.The Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime started in 1955, not in 1954.

2.The Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime did not eliminate other parties. In 1955, there was a national election to elect a parliament, monitored by the International Control Commission (officially called the International Commission for Supervision and Control [to supervise the cease-fire at the end of the French-Vietnamese military confrontation in Vietnam at the end of French colonial rule in Indochina, the withdrawal of foreign troops, the release of prisoners of war, and the overall compliance with the terms of the agreement]) in which there was India as president, and Poland as a representative of the communist block, and Canada as a representative of the democratic block as members.

“The triumph of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party was a sign of multiparty democracy, and the elections were 100% fair, as monitored by internationals.

“The results of the national election were announced by International Control Commission as follows:

  • The Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party won 82% of the citizens’ ballots
  • The Democratic Party got 13%
  • The Khmer Vietminh People’s Party got 3%

“Mr. Sim Va, who opposed Sihanouk 500%, was not happy with the 100% Sihanoukist Assembly. He got the permission from Preah Karuna Preah Bat Norodom Suramarit [Sihanouk’s father] (who reigned as King after me) to dissolve the Assembly which supported Sihanouk very much. I resigned from the throne in 1955 and created the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party, in response to requests of citizens who were Sihanoukists, in order to participate in the national election to choose a parliament, monitored by internationals.

“In 1958, there was another national election to elect a parliament. The result was as follows:

“The Sangkum Reastr Niyum continued to gain more successes than before. As for the Democratic Party that did to want to be shamed, it did not dare to compete with the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party. The Khmer Vietminh People’s Party dared to join the competition, but it received only 1% of the ballots from the compatriots.

3.Samdech Krom Preah Sisowath Monireth, my uncle, told Lon Nol and Prince [Sisowath] Sirik Matak of their National Renovation Party and the Democratic Party that the fortress of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum was very strong; anyone who wanted to destroy the fortress of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum by an attack from outside would not be successful. Unless enemies could get inside of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum, the fortress of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party could be ruined.

“That was why Lon Nol, Prince [Sisowath] Sirik Matak and others joined the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party in order to ruin it, by making a coup d’état on 18 March 1970 when I was not in the country.

“Hence, the accusation which says that Norodom Sihanouk made the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Party the only party is very unfair. But it was Lon Nol and Prince [Sisowath] Sirik Matak and others who had merged their parties into the fortress of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum in order to destroy it from inside when I was not in the country.

4.As for Prince Sisowath Yuthewong [the founder of the Democratic Party], I took as good care of him as I could. He wanted to stay at a royal palace belonging to the King in Kep, and in Tonle Bati; I, on behalf of the King of Cambodia, gave him and his wife, a French national, everything he wanted. My uncle, Samdech Sisowath Monireth told my mother that Sisowath Yuthewong and his wife acted like King and Queen, that was not like democrats!

“I pray in the name of the three virtues of the Buddhist trinity [the Buddha, his Teaching, and his disciples], to the angels who protect Cambodia, such as the angels who hold the huge white protective parasol, and to the spirits of all former Kings and Queens of the Kingdom of Cambodia, to take care of our most beloved compatriots, brothers and sisters, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, for the five Buddhist goods: Ayu [long life], Vannak [good complexion – having a good life], Sokhak [health], Poleak [strength], and Padepheaneak [wisdom] forever.

Thank you very much.

(signed) N. Sihanouk

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6402, 21.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 21 July 2008


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #136, 20.7.2008

  • A Group of Attachés from the Embassies of the United States, of China, of Yuon [Vietnam], and of France Went to See Siem [Thai] Soldiers Who Steal Khmer Land Directly


Note: Please review the documentation presented yesterday – Sunday.

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1698, 20-21.7.2008

  • According to a Decision [of the government], Riel 20,000 [approx. US%5] Is Added to the Salary of Civil Servants, Police, and Soldiers Countrywide [starting from July 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #, 20-22.7.2008

  • Hun To, a nephew of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen, Ordered [three] Bodyguards to Hit a Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian [Mr. Nuon Vuthy from Kompong Cham, regarding a minor problem of how to drive cars from a ferry in Prek Kdam, Kandal]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #54, 29-21.7.2008

  • Thailand Uses Unilateral Map to Send Soldiers to Invade Cambodia [in response to a letter from Prime Minister Hun Sen of 17 July 2008, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said on 18 July 2008 that the area which Thai soldiers are going to control is Thai territory]
  • Two Economic Police Extorted Riel 4,000,000 [approx. US$980] from Wood Merchants [who were loading illegal wood – Kampot]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6402, 21.7.2008

  • Cambodia Reported the Invasion of Thailand to the United Nations [Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the diplomatic representative of Cambodian in New York sent a letter to the UN]
  • Two 100 Millimeter Cannons Are Set up by Thailand in Front of Preah Vihear Temple
  • At the Western Borders, Thailand Promises to Send Khmer Laborers Home to Vote, and to Asks Khmer Soldiers Not to Get Involved [in the dispute] in the Preah Vihear Area
  • The Great Heroic King Samdech Euv Issued a Letter to Respond to Critics about the Sangkum Reastr Niyum Regime


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3517, 21.7.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Announced [on 20 July 2008] to Give Cash Rewards to Informers Who Point to Evidence of Bad Ploys Which Affect the Election Results on 27 July 2008 [US$1,000 will be given for officials of Provincial Election Committees, and US$10,000 for officials of the National Election Committee]
  • A Government That Is Weak Makes Neighboring Countries Look Down On It


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4646, 20-21.7.2008

  • Thirty Five Organizations [members of a national council for justice] Held a Course to Train Election Observers [19 July 2008]
  • Some Areas in Five Cambodian Provinces [Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Takeo, Kampot, and Kompong Speu] Are Affected by the [Rice Pest] Brown Plant Hopper
  • Indonesia Will Sentence Men Who Lay Bombs with No Mercy to Death [reference to 2002 Bali bombing]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3364, 20-21.7.2008

  • A Research Organization in the United States [Cholana Khmer Machas Srok, ‘Movement of the Masters of the Khmer Country’] Said that Nearly Two Million Yuon [Vietnamese] Wait to Vote for the Cambodian People’s Party of Hun Sen

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, 15.7.2008: Teachers’ Livelihood in Cambodia

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Week 569 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 5689

“Mr. Thong Boran, director of the Department of Personnel of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport, said that since 2002, the government has said to create a new salary system for civil servants, by stating that the salary of civil servants must be increased 15% every year. In 2007, all civil servants received 15% more, and in July of the same year an additional 8% was added. In 2008, the government increased the salary of civil servants again – all of them get a 20% increase to their salaries. Separately, since 1 April 2008, the government has increased the salaries for teachers and for school administrators by an additional 10%, and the family allowance for wives and children of those teachers and civil servants was raised 100%.

“The government considers the Ministry of Education as a priority ministry among four ministries – the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries; the Ministry of Rural Development; and the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport has taken teachers from some areas which have an over-supply of teachers to re-assign them to work in areas where there are not enough teachers, by giving them one-time financial encouragements. If they were re-assigned from one village to another, they get Riel 300,000 [approx. US$75]; for a change from one commune to another, they get Riel 500,000 [approx. US$125]; for a change from one district to another, they get Riel 800,000 [approx. US$200]; for a change from one low level land province to another, they get Riel 1,000,000 [approx. US$250]; and if they are re-assigned from one province to another remote province, they get Riel 1,500,000 [approx. US$375]. The Ministry has added another Riel 40,000 [approx. US$10] to the total salary of teachers in difficult areas (areas with difficulties with communication, with a low population density of less than 10 persons per square kilometer, frequently flooded areas, or areas which often suffer from natural calamities, and border regions).

“Teachers who teach in towns of remote provinces such as Ratanakiri, Mondolkiri, Stung Treng, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Koh Kong, and Pailin received an additional Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.50 per month, and in other remote areas besides those towns, Riel 60,000 [approx. US$15] was added monthly.

“Moreover, each teacher gets a monthly health care allowance of Riel 1,500 [approx. US$0.38]. For teachers who do their work well and are ranked first, they will get Riel 120,000 [approx. US$30], those who rank second will get Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] and those who rank third will get Riel 80,000 [approx. US$20]. The Ministry also sponsors teachers who teach on Thursdays [primary schools in Cambodia do not have classes on Thursday] giving them Riel 20,000 [approx. US$5] when they teach on a Thursday. For primary school teachers who teach mixed classes – teachers that teach students from different grades in the same room and in the same session – if two levels are combined they get 60% of their salary added, and if three levels are combined, they get 80% of their salary added. Teachers who teach two turns [normally each teacher teaches only morning classes or afternoon classes, but some teachers teach two turns, teaching both morning and evening classes], they will receive an additional 100% of their base salary. In total, nowadays each teacher gets a salary between Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] and Riel 560,000 [approx. US$140] per month.

“However, although the government has continually increased the salaries for teachers, the increase is not balanced with the dramatic increase of the price of goods in the markets.

“The prices of fuel and of food have increased everywhere in Cambodia as well as in some other countries of the world. These increases have strongly affected civil servants, especially those who live with salaries like teachers have them.

“A male teacher said that his salary can buy only 50 kg of rice. So he has to do also something else to support his family to have enough income each month. Therefore he does not have time to prepare his teaching or to do research to develop good lessons for his students.

“A female teacher asked the Ministry to provide the salary on time – even as the salary is small; but the payment should not being too late, extending the pay day from one month to another month or to another one-month-and-a-half, because teachers face difficulties since they do not have an income besides their salary.

“A male teacher, who has worked as a teacher for nearly 30 years, said that his salary could be spent for him alone for breakfast, but he must spend it carefully so that it can be enough for one whole month; and if he buys cigarettes or other food, this salary is not enough. Although he has a difficult life, he still teaches, because his conscious makes him feel responsible to teach students.

“A male teacher would like the government to help to take action so that the prices of good could decrease – it would not be necessary to increase the salaries, if the prices of goods could be decreased.

“A female teacher, who has worked as a teacher for five years, said that she lives alone, renting a house for Riel 40,000 per month [approx. US$10], and she gets a salary of only Riel 160,000 [approx. US$40] per month; it is difficult to cover expenses when she is sometimes ill.

“A male teacher said that his house is more than 20 km away from his school, and his motorbike consumes one liter of fuel per day for traveling to teach the students. Because now the price of fuel increased, his salary is not even enough to buy fuel. He uses his time in the afternoon to seek more income by teaching English at a private school, making it impossible for him to have time to think about new good methods to teach his students to be better qualified.

“A male teacher, who has been relocated from Prey Veng to teach at a school at a Phnom Penh suburb, said that he has to rent a house for Riel 80,000 Riel [approx. US$20] per month, and the price of water and of electricity in Phnom Penh is also expensive. His salary, even with the allowance of 10% from the Ministry, is spent in only half of a month on meals. He said that he really does not want to take money from the students, because most of his school’s students are poor like himself, but to have enough for his livelihood, he has to take money from the students. He asks the government to intervene to decrease the price of goods, so that his salary can match with the expenses for a longer period of days.” Extracted from Tumpeang Snong Russey Magazine by Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6393, 15.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1693, 15.7.2008

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Samak Commits Himself to Change the Constitution in Order to Increase Political Stability [saying he intends to have the constitution changed, especially the second paragraph of Article 237, which says that a party can be dissolved if its leaders are found guilty of electoral fraud, which is like a “deadly poison for politicians”]


Karpear Cheat, Vol.1, #6, 15.7.2008

  • Young Generation of Businesspeople Are Highly Interested in Information Technology
  • Cooperation with Lutheran World Federation Cambodia Program Improves Livelihood of the Poor by Strengthening Community at Villages for Development
  • Members of the Military and of the Police with Four Golden Stripes on their Epaulets Increase to Eighteen, and some Ministers Also Hold Four Gold Stripes [Military leadership: 1. General Tea Banh, 2. General Ke Kim Yan, 3. General Pol Saroeun, 4. General Meas Sophea, 5. General Nhek Bun Chhay, 6. General Chay Saing Yun, 7. General Tea Chamrath, 8. General Om Yon, 9. General Moeng Samphan, 10. General Kun Kim, 11. General Neang Phat, and 12. General Nhim Vanda; Police leadership: 13. General Hok Lundy, 14. General Em Sam An, 15. General Khat Savoeun, 16. General Dul Koeun, 17. General Kieng Vang, and 18. General Sin Pensen]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #607, 15.7.2008

  • [Siem Reap Governor] Su Phirin Is Disrespectful to Say that the Preah Vihear Temple, before It Was Listed as a World Heritages Site, Was in a Contested Area


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #49, 15.7.2008

  • Cambodian National Research Organization [CNRO] Accused [Supreme Patriarch] Samdech Tep Vong of Connecting Buddhism with Politics [by allowing monks in Cambodia to vote for political parties]
  • Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] Asked the Ministry of Agriculture to Find Methods to Control the Momeach Tnot [Brown Plant-Hopper? – please let us know if you know. – Editor]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6393, 15.7.2008

  • Teachers’ Livelihood in Cambodia
  • FBI Announced to be Prepared to Help Hunt for Murderers [of Mr. Khim Sambo, journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, and of his son]; Twelve Cambodian Journalists Have Been Murdered So Far
  • Expert Committee in Cambodia Releases Information about Number of Rapes, Human Trafficking, and Sexually Motivated Vices During Two Trimesters


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3512, 15.7.2008

  • More than 2,000 Workers of the W&D Factory Held a Strike Claiming the Factory’s Boss Does Not Care for Good Working Conditions
  • Four Khmer Citizens Got Poisoned in Pursat from Yuon [Vietnamese] Packed Noodles of the ‘Chicken Leg’ Brand


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4641, 16.7.2008

    Thai Military Leader [Supreme Commander Boonsang Niampradit] Insisted that the Government Should Revoke its Supporting Statement for Cambodia [obtained without parliamentary decision and therefore violating the Thai constitution]
    Thailand Has Other Issues besides Preah Vihear: the Economy Declines [because of inflation and decreasing investment]
    American Military Suffers Big Tragic Loss in Afghanistan [nine soldiers died during an attack by insurgents near the Pakistan border]

Have a look at the last editorial – The struggle towards openness and access to information happens in many places – and it may help to mutually learn from other experiences.

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