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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Thursday, 21.8.2008: Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia

Posted on 22 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574


Apologies: The link to the Joint Communique and the attached map – see further down – had been broken. It is now fixed. Thanks to the alert from a reader.

“To clarify one’s position by kneeling down under the pressure of the diplomatic politics by Siam [Thailand] or to say that the Hun Sen government is defeated by the Siamese [Thai] diplomatic warfare regarding the incursion by Siamese troops to control the Preah Vihear Temple and the Ta Moan Temple regions – these are two prominent positions to describe the representatives of the Hun Sen government. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Hun Sen government, promised Siam to revoke Cambodia’s complaint to the UN Security Council about the incursion by Siam into Cambodia, and the Hun Sen government also agreed to beg Siam, by withdrawing its troops unilaterally from the Preah Vihear Temple region, so that Siam also withdraws its troops from Khmer territory.

The press in Cambodia – the Khmer press and the international press alike – have not published (as far as we know – if we are wrong, please inform us) the extremely important Joint Communique, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Royal Government of Cambodia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, on 18 June 2008. This was the last joint submission to the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, which led to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. The full document and the appended map [‘the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached’ to the Joint Communique] is here; (it is a big file of 1.3 MB). To read the Joint Communique and to see the attached map, you need to have the free Adobe Reader or a comparable software installed – you can download the Adobe Reader here.

We strongly recommend to have a look, especially also at the map with a tiny stretch of land in red, claimed as the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

This document is available internationally, it has been published various time in the Thai media. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs signed this document, relating to national sovereignty and territory integrity, without asking the Thai parliament for a decision, led to a verdict by the Thai Constitutional Court, accusing him of overstepping is responsibilities, and thus violating the Thai constitution – so he had to resign.

This document – co-signed in the name of the Kingdom of Cambodia – is also the basis for much public opinion in Thailand about the Cambodian government. It is surprising – and important to note – that this document of high international value, is not, or not easily, available to the Khmer public.

It seems that many arguments in the Khmer press are either not aware of this document, or avoid to see it, because of its bewildering implications. To analyze the content of the document might lead to some different conclusions and arguments, different from what is nowadays in the press. We provide today some references to the Joint Communique and invite our readers to appraise the situation, comparing and relating it to the Joint Communique and the new Cambodian map.

We would, of course, be happy to see some such reactions in the Comments you may write – or in e-mail to myself, the editor of the Mirror, at mirror@gmx.org

“This information was made known after a two-day-meeting on 18 and 19 August 2008, and especially, after a high ranking delegation of the government of Cambodia, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hor Namhong, accompanied by senior representatives of the Minister of Interior of Cambodia, also came to visit the Siamese King at his palace in Hua Hin.

“Explaining that this is to express sympathy and friendship among good neighbors, between Cambodia and Thailand, and to avoid confrontation between Siamese troops invading and Khmer troops protecting its territory, Hor Namhong and the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang reported the same content about the results of these negotiations. Hor Namhong said that Cambodia agreed to withdraw a complaint against Siam’s incursion into the Preah Vihear Temple region to the UN Security Council; representatives of the Hun Sen government consider this to be a concession towards Siam so that they agree to withdraw also their troops from Cambodia.

“Moreover, Hor Namhong said also that in response to an order by Hun Sen, Cambodia agreed, on its side, to please Siam by promising to recall the Khmer troops from the Preah Vihear Temple region of Cambodia.

“Hor Namhong said, ‘We will withdraw all troops from the Contested Regions. We will withdraw also the complaint to the UN Security Council.’

“Cambodia filed a complaint to the UN Security Council to ask for intervention, asking to convene an urgent meeting, to solve the confrontation between Cambodian and Siamese troops, after Siam had invaded Khmer territory on 15 July 2008. However, the complaint of Cambodia to the UN Security Council was suspended by a phone call from the Siamese Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on 24 July 2008 to Mr. Hun Sen, requesting him to suspend this complaint (it seems to be a very interesting books), one day before the UN Security Council would have discussed it.

The Khmer press speaks, in general, in general terms, of the invasion into Khmer territory, without considering the declarations of the Cambodian representatives, especially also the new map presented by Cambodia – not bu Thailand! – with the Joint Communique, which says:

“1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription… of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached…

2….the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.”

On 15 July 2008, Thai troops moved into the “northern and western areas of the Temple” which were not claimed by Cambodia “at this stage” as part of the territory of the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple, listed as a World Heritage Site.

“Mr. Hor Namhong said also, ‘We will withdraw the troops unilaterally form the disputed regions to express the good will of Cambodia, to avoid a confrontation that might lead to armed conflict.’

“What is seen is that Siam has a landslide victory in its diplomatic warfare, hiding its military incursion into Cambodia, when the head diplomat Hor Namhong, on Hun Sen’s order, agreed to do everything by kneeling down to totally beg Siam – like through the promise to revoke the complaint against Siam to the UN Security Council, and to announce to withdraw the Khmer troops from Khmer territory first, so that Siam agrees to withdraw its invading troops also.

What is called here “Khmer territory” seems to be part of the area contested between both countries – but more specifically in this case – an area outside of the perimeter claimed by Cambodia for the listing by the World Heritage Committee – see the note above.

“Observers and experts officials said that the Hun Sen government made Cambodia to be a looser, because that territory belongs to Cambodia, as stated in the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1962. If Cambodia dares to order its troops back to the region again, Siam will take the opportunity to use this as a reason to order its troops to control Khmer territory. It is not believed that there will be proper and just solutions in the meetings attended by foreign affairs ministers, interior high ranking officials, and the Cambodia’s Border Committee, to guarantee that Siam will give up its invading ambition ordering its troops to control Cambodian territory.

“Getting out from the Khmer-Siamese foreign affairs ministerial meeting on 18 August 2008 in Hua Hin, and then visiting the Siamese King, Hor Namhong said that the Khmer and the Siamese sides agreed to leave only ten soldiers at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, and twenty soldiers close to the pagoda, in order to lessen the confrontation by both sides.

The Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda lies in the ‘buffer zone on the… western areas of the Temple’ which was ‘at this stage’ not claimed by the Cambodian negotiators as part of defining the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

“Furthermore, the head of the Khmer diplomats Hor Namhong said that, as a concession which is quick like an arrow, aiming to defuse the confrontation between the troops of both sides, that the government of Cambodia agreed to withdraw all its troops from the border, and will turn to negotiate peacefully through meetings between the border commissions of both countries.

“In the meantime, regarding about the movement of troops by Siam into the Ta Moan Temple on Khmer territory in the western Dang Rek Mountain region, it was kept as a separate issue. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang said that it was not on the agenda to discuss the Ta Moan Temple issue, and both sides agreed to deal with it next time.

“This shows that it is a strategic trick of Siam in the diplomatic field to create new problems, while Cambodia is weak in this field, as well as in the field to defend the nation.

“Both sides claim that the solution for the disputes at the Preah Vihear Temple is to plan to look for border markers, to clearly mark the border lines. To say so is another political trick of Siam, since, in general, they know that a verdict in the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 15 June 1962 clearly stated, by basing its verdict on the French and Siam treaties of 1904 to 1907, signed by both sides about the Khmer and Siam borders lines, which was marked in an official map in 1908.

The court, in a very lengthy document publishing its verdict, stated that the court

‘…by nine votes to three, finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory
under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’

The text of the verdict clarifies things related to the temple; it does not clarify the border questions in the region. That is why both countries agreed that the next step necessary now is to work on the border demarcation.

As a related question, it would be interesting to know how the different border clarifications – with Laos, with Vietnam, and with Thailand – which have been already accomplished something, or which need still to continue to work, relate to Article 2 of the Cambodian Constitution:

‘The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1/100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969.’

This statement seems to imply that all border questions which all neighbors are already solved – otherwise, how could there be finite, clear, detailed numbers?] – but many sections of the borderline with neighboring countries are not yet solved..

“Just having seen that the Hun Sen government agreed to kneel down to beg Siam with promises that Cambodia will withdraw its troops, even from the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia, to please Siam so that they withdraw their troops from the areas where they invaded Cambodia, allows everyone to knows that the Hun Sen government is very weak diplomacy, as well as militarily to defend its territorial integrity. How can Khmers then hope that Cambodia, ruled by the Hun Sen government of the Cambodian People’s Party, will not lose Cambodian territory, because they serve the interests of themselves or of factions among the leaders of Siam and of the Hun Sen government?” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 21 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1725, 21.8.2008

  • Kuwait Asks to Establish Its Embassy in Cambodia and Kuwait Will Come to Invest in Cambodia
  • Thai Opposition Group Asks Britain to Extradite Mr. Thaksin for Trial


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

    Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #78, 21.8.2008

  • Price of Gasoline Is Reduced [by Riel 400 to 500, approx. US$0.10] after the Government Had Asked for Reductions
  • US Ambassador to Cambodia [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Will Hold His Final Press Conference on Monday 25 August 2008 [his mandate ends]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6429, 21.8.2008

  • Latest Information from Preah Vihear Temple Area: Number of Delegations, Donors, and Tourists Declines


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3544, 21.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: I Do Not Trust the Constitutional Council; They Wants to Finish the Cases Whenever They Want
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: The Price of Fuel on the Cambodian Market Is Still High because There Are Not Many Companies Competing with Each Other


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4673, 21.8.2008

  • [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong Compares the Negotiations [over the Preah Vihear Temple] to a Steam Roller [that it is slow but still moving]
  • The European Community Puts a High Value on Elections and Vows to Continue to Help Cambodia

  • [South] Korea Asks Cambodia to Support Investments in Mineral Resources and Energy in Cambodia
  • Many Houses of Members of the Women’s Coalition for Peace and Development Were Destroyed by a Group of Soldiers [15 August – over land disputes – Srae Ambel, Koh Kong]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3390, 21.8.2008

  • Eng Chhay Eang Resigns as Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, Causing Political Doubts
  • Ministry of Agriculture Prepares to Allow Import of Pike Fish [from Vietnam – making officials in the provinces at the border unhappy, as they have been well off from pike fish smuggling]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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