Cambodia Is Side-Tracking in Implementing the Anti-Torture Convention – Monday, 28.6.2010

Posted on 3 July 2010. Filed under: Week 671 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 671

“The international community celebrates the 23rd anniversary of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Cambodia became a member of this convention in 1992.

“By now, it has been 20 years that Cambodia has become a member of the Convention Against Torture of the United Nations. Human rights group noticed that among the 146 members, Cambodia has achieved little improvement in implementing the Convention. In addition, Cambodia seemingly continues to hide torture against persons who have not been found guilty. Sometimes, torture against suspects became a habit.

“During the international anniversary commemoration, civil society organizations expressed strong concern over the violation of the Convention. Moreover, no thorough investigations have been conducted over torture and mistreatments against suspects who had not been found guilty but had been arrested. Some cases of torture against a person were extreme. In some cases, there was just a suspicion, but law enforcement officials acted beyond the law. That means law violations seem to have been grave, and victims often did not dare to react. Additionally, there was not much effort to seek legal intervention. Therefore, some law enforcement officials often committed wrongdoings.

“According to a statement by Cambodian civil society organizations, in 2007, Cambodia ratified the additional Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and this was seen as a positive step where Cambodia took up more obligations to create an independent protection mechanism to observe all prisons, so as to prevent the use of torture in Cambodia. But things did not go in line with the situation of the world, as it was seen that there were still cases where the agreements entered were neglected in the implementation, not following international laws.

“Civil society organizations called on the Royal Government of Cambodia to fully cooperate with the Committee Against Torture of the United Nations that will come to conduct a second assessment in Cambodia, in November 2010, on the measures taken to ensure effectively following obligations according to the UN Convention Against Torture, and to fully comply with the final observations of the Committee Against Torture. This is a reminder by civil society organizations for the Cambodian government to check what it agreed to carry out, when it became a member of the UN Convention Against Torture, and when it ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture in 2007.

“Torture was not only used against the accused, but also against some suspects to extort information from them. These are the results from the culture of impunity spreading in Cambodia at present, leading to extending of the application of torture against the accused and the suspects. Obviously, the use of ‘citizen courts’ (where citizens act directly, like in some cases where a mob lynched suspects and perpetrators), to sentence robbers is a sign also encouraging the spread of torture in prisons. Many people have been released from prison, but their behavior did not change, as prisons are not places that educate them to walk on the right way. In contrast, prisons are places where torture is used to extracy answers for the authorities. Thus, Cambodia is viewed as not strictly taking up what it had agreed to practice when it became a member of the Convention Against Torture.

“This is a disappointment for civil society, as there are many problems in prisons, especially the use of torture by the authorities during interrogations. Torture is an important topic, because in prisons there are many issues such as corruption and torture. Hopefully, as member of the Convention Against Torture for almost 20 years, Cambodia will make positive changes over some secret happenings in prisons, otherwise crimes cannot be cut down, since those released from prisons continue to cause fear to the society.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3917, 28.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 28 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #515, 27-28.6.2010

  • The Person Who Filmed Beautiful Girls Bathing in Holy Water is a Monk of the Srah Chak Pagoda [after a video clip leaked of nude women bathing in holy water, police investigated and found out that a Srah Chak Pagoda monk had hidden a camera to film them; he was arrested and defrocked – Phnom Penh]
  • The Wife of the Spokesperson of the US Embassy [Mr. John Johnson] Suffered Serious Injuries after a Car Accident [in Sihanoukville]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2286, 27-28.6.2010

  • The UN Special Rapporteur Surya Subedi Apologized to the Cambodian Prime Minister [for using the word “disappointed” as he could not meet with Mr. Hun Sen]
  • [The head of the National Authority for Combating Drugs] His Excellency Ke Kim Yan Asked Common Citizens to Be Brave to Report Real Information to the National Authority for Combating Drugs or Directly to Him If They Are Afraid that There Is Collusion [between police and drug smugglers]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #692, 27-28.6.2010

  • [The executive director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation] Thach Ngok Thach Said that Khmer Kampuchea Krom People Are Disappointed when Samdech Euv [the former King] Did Not Raise the Case of Yuon [Vietnamese] Mistreatments [of Khmer Kampuchea Krom people]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6993, 28.6.2010

  • More Than 200 Pieces of Luxury Grade Wood Were Seized [they had been gathered by wood traders to export them to Vietnam [no info about any punishment of the wood traders – Ratanakiri]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3917, 28.6.2010

  • Cambodia Is Side-Tracking in Implementing the UN Convention Against Torture

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5235, 27-28.6.2010

  • Human Rights Activists Called on the Cambodian Government to Implement the UN Convention Against Torture
  • The Construction of a Bridge of 2,215 meters at Neak Loeung [across the Mekong River in Prey Veng] Will Start at the End of 2010 [under grant aid from Japan]

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Cambodian Medicines Are Successful at Foreign Markets – Thursday, 11.2.2010

Posted on 12 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

“When the company PharmaProduct Manufacturing (PPM – ‘French medecines produced in Cambodia’) was established in 1996, no one expected the extent of success it would achieve at the Cambodian market and around the world. But 14 years later, this Cambodian pharmaceutical plant is very successful in exporting pharmaceutical products to foreign countries. At present, Cambodian medicines produced by PPM have established their markets in 15 countries around the world, because the quality of Cambodian medicines produced by PPM is recognized.

“Representatives from 13 countries dealing with medicines produced by PPM met in Phnom Penh during the annual convention of PMM, which coincided also with the 50th anniversary of the invention of [the antalgic drug] KINAL. During the meeting with foreign representatives from 13 countries in the evening of 8 February 2010, the director of PPM, the pharmacist Mr. Hai Ly Eang, reported about the success of Cambodian medicines made by PMM at foreign markets, and pointed to the plan to further strengthen foreign markets.

“The foreign importers of PPM products are from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, Tchad, Togo, and Vietnam.

“During the occasion to greet those foreign representatives on 8 February 2010 on a ship on the river, the director of PPM, Mr. Hai Ly Eang, said, ‘That we are all on the ship at this time shows the success of PPM, because we are traveling on the same ship, we cooperate and we provide mutual support.’

“He added that representatives of these countries significantly contribute to support PPM to progress at the markets in their countries. The sales of PPM medicines keeps on increasing every year in the 13 countries from where their representatives participated at this occasion in Cambodia.

“The leader of PPM called on and encouraged all foreign distributors to continue to support PPM.

“Besides, PPM announced to expand its markets in the country as well as abroad. The expansion of markets abroad for medicines produced by PPM will be made by spreading a deeper and more intensive understanding of the quality of the PPM pharmaceuticals.

“As for the strengthening of the local market, it will be made by stressing, ‘If we use Khmer medicines, we will create jobs for Khmer citizens, and we will work towards a future where Cambodia is self sufficient in supplying and controlling pharmaceuticals and the health sector.’

“When Cambodian citizens and doctors use more medicines directly produced by Cambodia, it creates not only jobs for Cambodian people who work at pharmaceutical plants, but it also prepares the way for a future, where Cambodia can produce enough for itself and can control its medicines and the health sector.

“Nowadays, PPM exports 50 types of Cambodia produced medicines to foreign countries, among them Gynomax against uterus inflammation, Panol (Paracetamol) for fever, Pyrantox (Pyrantel) for de-worming of children, Caltoux for dry cough, Carbotoux for cough with phlegm, Bibactin, Diaryl for Diarrhea, Septyl for cleaning the mouth, Rhinex for colds, Appetine for appetite, Allergyle for allergy, KINAL for reducing pain, and many other medicines.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5123, 11.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 11 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #411, 11.2.2010

  • The Rate of Men Smoking Cigarettes in Cambodia Dropped to 48% in 2009 [and of women to 3.6%]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2174, 11.2.2010

  • Germany Grants US$1,370,000 to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC)

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #603, 11.2.2010

  • The Siamese [Thai] Supreme Court May Expropriate [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra’s Money and Property Amounting to over US$2 Billion [over corruption]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6881, 11.2.2010

  • Border Crossings in Kamrieng District Are Points Where Luxury Wood Is Exported to Siam [Thailand] without Any Control [Battambang]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3809, 11.2.2010

  • The Government Makes Efforts to Grab Land for Yuon [Vietnam] to Plant Rubber Trees to Fulfil a Plan of 100,000 Hectares by 2010, while Khmer People Are Crying because They Have No Land

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #109, 11.2.2010

  • The Opposition Party Asked the Government to Send the Anti-Corruption Draft Law to the National Assembly [so that its contents became known]
  • The Construction of a Malaysian Electricity Plant Using Coal Begins Today in Sihanoukville [it will provide 100 megawatt of power, and the construction will be finished in 2012]
  • Twenty More Children Having Cholera Were Sent to the Kunthak Bopha Hospital [the director of this hospital, Dr. Beat Richner, wonders why Khmer citizens have not been informed and alerted about this cholera outbreak – Cambodian authorities just call it ‘diarrhea’ and do diarrhea treatment, which is not useful for cholera]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5123, 11.2.2010

  • Thailand Steps Up Troops along the Border, Especially at the Ta Moan and at the Ta Krabei Temples
  • Google Is Reviewing the Border Map between Cambodia and Thailand Again [in response to a Cambodian demand, claiming that it shows that Cambodia loses some territory to Thailand]
  • Cambodian Medicines Are Successful at Foreign Markets

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1874, 11.2.2010

  • The Opposition Parties [the Human Rights and the Sam Rainsy Party] and Civil Society Raised Human Rights Issues with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State [Mr. Scot Marciel]

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The Cambodian Commercial Scale Is Not Yet in Balance – Friday, 5.2.2010

Posted on 6 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, stated on 4 February 2010 during the inauguration ceremony of the new building of the Ministry of Commerce, ‘The Cambodian commercial scale for exports is not yet in balance.’

“He added, ‘Our foreign commerce amounts to about US$10 billion. But the Cambodian export is only something more than US$4 billion, while the imports to Cambodia amount to much more. The Cambodian-Thai bilateral trade is more than US$2 billion; the Cambodian-Chinese is more than US$1 million; and the Cambodian-Korean trade is more than US$2 billion. In total, it is more than US$5 billion.’

“To reduce this commercial imbalance, Samdech Hun Sen called on local investors to boost productivity for export, handicrafts, fishery, and other products to meet both local demands and that on foreign markets, because Cambodia has many markets such as China, Japan, Korea, the ASEAN countries, Europe, and other markets.

“Samdech Hun Sen continued to say, ‘Just as a first stage, China allowed us to export more than 318 types of products and later on 400 types, but Cambodia does not have products to be exported to China, and to member countries of ASEAN allowing Cambodia, Laos, and Burma to export to them. But Cambodia does not have products to be exported to those countries.’ Samdech Hun Sen went on to say, ‘Cambodia must strengthen its position for exports, like meat processing, eggs, vegetables, and other goods which can be sold to tourists who visit Cambodia. The creation of markets for farmers growing vegetables and raising animals, and the selling of their products to many shops, creates consistent commercial processes, and we do not need to import many things from abroad. In the meantime, those products must have quality, be attractive, and safe. The Ministry of Commerce has to assist to seek markets for these products and to encourage more exports so as to earn more profit.’

“Regarding the commercial scale issue, an economist of the Cambodian Economic Development Institute, Dr. Kang Chandararoth, spoke to Deum Ampil, saying, ‘The commercial scale is not in balance, because previously, Cambodia exported many not-processed products [to become final products]. Thus, it makes Cambodia lose value-added profits. Also, it is related to the size of places or of raw materials that we use to make those products, as the commercial infrastructure of Cambodia faces many shortages.’ He recommended, ‘Cambodia has to reform its transport infrastructure and its commercial laws to facilitate the operations of investors.’

“Also, the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, stated on 3 February 2010 in a press conference at the Phnom Penh Hotel, ‘The Ministry of Tourism will improve tourism services, including the creation of various attractions.'” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #406, 5.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 5 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #406, 5.2.2010

  • The Cambodian Commercial Scale Is Not Yet in Balance
  • The National Authority for Combating Drugs Reacted against a Human Rights Watch Report [rejecting accusations that there is mistreatment of people held at rehabilitation centers]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2169, 5.2.2010

  • Civil Society Official [the director of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, Mr. Thun Saray]: Because of [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Acts It Is Difficult to Help Him [as he acted against the law: Mr. Sam Rainsy removed temporary border markers and was sentenced to serve a two-years prison term]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #731, 5.2.2010

  • [Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries] Chan Sarun and [the Director General of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture] Ty Sokun Do Not See the Forestry Crimes in Cambodia

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #598, 5.2.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson and parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: The Increase of Electricity Prices Shows the Government’s Incompetence to Develop the Economy

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6876, 5.2.2010

  • Human Rights Conditions in the 2009 Report Are Better Than in 2008, Especially There Was Not Imprisonment for Defamation [according to the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #105, 5.2.2010

  • The Prime Minister Will Visit Preah Vihear This Weekend [on 6 February 2010]
  • Five Khmer Fishermen Escaped from Thai Boats and Fled to East Timor [after they saw their Thai boat owner throwing the body of a Khmer fisherman over board who had gotten sick and died]
  • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC): The Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Was Restricted [in 2009]
  • The UN Studies the Copy Right Law Situation in Cambodia as Copyright Legislation Is Not Properly Implemented

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5118, 5.2.2010

  • [Puea Thai Party president, former general, and former Thai prime minister] Chavalit: The “People’s Army” Now Have Already Had Their Leader [he rejected a request for him to lead the so called “people’s army,” a group in the Thai military supporting the Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #392, 20.1.2010

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2155, 20.1.2010

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

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #721, 20.1.2010

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6862, 20.1.2010

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5104, 20.1.2010

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

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1859, 20.1.2010

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

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Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Vowed to Support Development and Modernization of the Defense Sector – Tuesday, 19.1.2010

Posted on 19 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

“Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said on 18 January 2010 that the Royal Government firmly vowed to continue any necessary support to develop and to modernize the national defense sector of Cambodia, so that it has the sufficient, full, and appropriate capacity to comply with the progress and development of the country and the world, in order to promote our Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to be able to fulfill their role and obligation effectively.

“During his speech at the inauguration of the naval base in the Chroy Chongva commune, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh, he said that the Royal Government has carried out reforms which are considered as life-and-death tasks of Cambodia, and it has strengthened the capacity of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to fulfill their duties more effectively as fully professional and expert forces, so that it can participate in various missions.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that the implementation of these reforms aims at making the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to have real skills and full capacity to continue to actively cooperate with the international community to prevent and combat terrorisms and other turmoil in the country and abroad, by being committed to implement all necessary measures to effectively prevent and suppress all types of crimes, such as drug smuggling and drug abuse, the trafficking of women and children, robbery, rape, and other offenses that trigger fear in the society and that create instability in Cambodia.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that the Royal Government continues to encourage the thorough implementation of various reforms that have been planned so that they become more intensive and fundamental, including the careful and accurate checking of the number of soldiers, and the promotion of their capacity and solidarity, aiming to strengthen the quality and loyalty towards the nation, and to ensure that discipline and clean ethics are respected, with professionalism, and in order to fulfill their duties to protect the territorial integrity of land, sea, and air space, to guarantee national security, national independence, and sovereignty, so as to maintain public order and to protect all achievements of the nation under whatever the circumstances may be.

“As part of caring for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, the Royal Government of Cambodia has set up various policies to strengthen a sustainable social safety net, attempting to improve the livelihood of the military personnel and to help them to live happily as civil servants with their families and in their communities. Those measures include vocational training, addressing the problems of the livelihood for discharged soldiers, retired soldiers, soldiers who are not able to continue to work, or handicapped soldiers, and the families of soldiers who offered to sacrifice their lives, now offering them social concession land so that those veterans as well as their families have land to build houses, to create other jobs, and to do land cultivation to support their families and to be able to contribute to national productivity, to promote a stable basis for their lives.

[…]

“Samdech Hun Sen said that in the meantime, the Royal Government always adheres to the policy to consolidate security, stability, and public order for the country in a sustainable way.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2154, 19.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #391, 19.1.2010

  • The UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur [Mr. Surya Subedi] Said that He Does Not Intend to Criticize Cambodia but He Just Wants to Contribute to Cambodia’s Development
  • The Human Rights Party Parliamentarians Asked Thailand Not to Shoot and Kill Khmer Citizens [who illegally enter Thai territory]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2154, 19.1.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Vowed to Support the Development and Modernization of the Defense Sector
  • [Director of Sambok Khmum Radio] Mam Sonando: The 26 Seats of the Sam Rainsy Party Might Melt Away if It Does Not Unite [with other democrats]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #720, 19.1.2010

  • Siam [Thailand] Sends All Kinds of Weapons, Food, and Five Regiments to Prepare for Fighting at the Border

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #583, 19.1.2010

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Wore His Five Stars in Public for the First Time while the Border Situation Is Tense

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6861, 19.1.2010

  • [Two] Murderers Who Shot Dead an Anti-Drug Official in Kompong Cham Were Arrested [one of them admitted that it was due to rancor, because the victim had looked down on his family – Kompong Cham]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #92, 19.1.2010

  • Viettel Tests Using 3G Service before Providing Them Next Year

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5103, 19.1.2010

  • The Svay Rieng Authorities Warned They Will Take Action [according to the law] against the Sam Rainsy Party [if its officials maintain their intention to visit two villagers held over the removal of border markers]
  • 66-Year-Old Man Lured Two Girls and Raped Them; One of Them Is His 12-Year-Old Granddaughter [he was arrested – Kandal]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1858, 19.1.2010

  • The Svay Rieng Court Allows Three Representatives of the Opposition Party Delegates to Visit [two] Citizens Detained over Border Issues
  • [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Canceled His Visit to Cambodia [reason is not given; according to his advisor]

    Note:

    See “Link:” in the Mirror of last Saturday, 16.1.2010.

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Rice Export Is Still Difficult – Saturday, 16.1.2010

Posted on 17 January 2010. Filed under: Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“Phnom Penh: According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2009 there was a surplus of more than 3 million tonnes of paddy rice or more than 2 million tonnes of rice. In 2010, just the Philippines alone need to buy in 2 million tonnes of rice, and other African countries need to buy rice also. Is Cambodia ready for exporting rice abroad?

“Regarding this problem, an expert, who was involved in marketing to help export rice, said that Cambodia still cannot export rice on a large scale. Family-scale export is possible, as our country is not yet ready to do big rice businesses.

“The general secretary of a Cambodian association for small and medium scale business, Mr. Ut Ren, spoke to journalists in an interview on Wednesday [13 January 2010], saying that Cambodia is not yet able to export rice on a large scale, because Cambodia does not yet have an adequate rice export structure. He added that the country does not yet have large scale storehouses for paddy rice. A rice milling house can normally store 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes, but these too hardly exist in Phnom Penh. There has not yet been an effort to gather all forces together. Most small rice export associations operate to serve only their own interest and they do not cooperate and trust each other, and there is no coordination between the state and the private sector. Also the costs of transportation is still high, compared to neighboring countries. In Vietnam, it costs only US$7 to US$12 to transport one tonne of rice to the ports, but in our country, it costs up to US$40 to US$50. Transport is possible only in the dry season, but not in the rainy season. There is much more investment needed before smooth export procedures are possible. In addition, to get a container loaded with rice to be exported, one needs to pay unofficial expenses of at least US$55 to customs, US$55 to CamControl, and US$30 for one document to the Ministry of Agriculture. Besides, it is necessary to pay US$50 to the Ministry of Commerce for a license.

“Mr. Ren added that in addition, our country does not have marketing experts at international markets. Vietnam has rice market advertising offices in the Philippines and in Africa. Thailand has more than 40 market advertising offices worldwide.

“He went on to say that therefore, to become a rice exporting country, first, Cambodia needs to have a rice export support structure. Rice export has its special criteria, unlike the export of other products. The government should create a separate high level authority to guide the export of rice. The government should implement a integrated structure policy, that means that customs, CamControl, the agriculture and the commerce related authorities have to work jointly. At present, when a rice exporter has received a license from the Ministry of Commerce, they need to go next to customs, then to CamControl, and then to those in the agricultural areas having rice to sell – this takes much time.

“He said that because of existing difficulties, high costs, and much time needed to run from place to place [to satisfy the related bureaucratic necessities], owners of rice mills still prefer their traditional family-scale businesses.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5101, 16.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 16 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #389, 16.1.2010

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister [Mr. Hun Sen] Sent Condolences for the Large Number of [ earthquake] Deaths in Haiti

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2152, 16.1.2010

  • Cambodia Rejected [Thai Deputy Prime Minister] Suthep’s Accusation that [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Takes Cambodia as a Basis for Activities against Thailand
  • Cambodian Citizens Can Have Visas-on-Arrival to Enter Kuwait Directly at Kuwait Airports [according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation]

Link:

On 14 January 2010, many international media reported that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra will visit Cambodia again. “Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Thaksin will visit Cambodia later this month,” reported Radio Australia News.

On 15 January 2010, the Bangkok Post quoted Mr. Noppadon Pattama, a former Thai minister of foreign affairs and at present a legal adviser to the Shinawatra family, saying that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra has dropped his plan to visit Cambodia.

“Previously, Thaksin had planned to visit Cambodia from Jan 15 to 17, but he has scrapped the plan. He will visit another country in Asia instead,” Mr Noppadon said.

Asked about the Cambodian foreign minister’s statement that Thaksin would visit Phnom Penh this month, Mr Noppadon said he had no idea.

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #581, 16.1.2010

  • [High ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party] Cheam Yeap Admitted that Cambodia Is in Trouble with Its Debt to Russia [Cambodia owes about US$1 billion; and Russia has not responded to Cambodia’s request to cancel it]

Link:

In addition to the US$1 billion debt to Russia there is a smaller debt of US$300 million which Cambodia owes to the USA.

It should be noted that reports about new financial assistance from China often do not state clearly what is aid, and what is repayable loans. We do not know of any comprehensive listing of the total amount of money at present owed by Cambodia to China, and when how much will have to be repaid.

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6859, 16-17.1.2010

  • A Nine-Year-Old Girl Was Raped and Killed in a Forest [the perpetrator is not known – Kratie]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5001, 16.1.2010

  • Rice Export Is Still Difficult
  • In 2010 Cambodia Will Have Three More Labor Export Markets [accepting Khmer workers: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates]

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The American Export-Import Bank Provides Financing for Products Being Exported from America to Cambodia – Wednesday, 28.10.2009

Posted on 29 October 2009. Filed under: Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

“Phnom Penh: The American Export-Import Bank of the United States of America announced on 27 October that it will provide financing for the purchase of products from the United States of America to buyers in the private sector in Cambodia, with the condition that the payments back have to be done within a period of seven years.

“This announcement follows a statement by US President Obama from June 2009, saying that Cambodia and Laos were no longer considered as countries following the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, referenced in section 2(b)(2B)(i) of the 1945 law about the American Export-Import Bank, which was amended. Before the decision of the president, the American Export-Import Bank was not allowed to provide any financing related to Cambodia because of this ban. The chairman and president of the American Export-Import Bank, Mr. Fred P. Hochberg, said, ‘President Obama opened a broader way for American companies that export products to Cambodia, and the Export-Import Bank is ready to help those companies. We are glad to announce that our bank will consider to provide short and medium terms financing for buyers of American products in the private sector of the expanding Asian market.’

“Different US agencies, including the American Export-Import Bank, have cooperated with other related agencies to check and assess the business hazards in Cambodia and in Laos, and they assessed also the hazards of doing business with the private sector in Cambodia. Laos remains under observation, and the American Export-Import Bank has not yet been involved in Laos, except for some financial operators, until the assessments finish.

“The American Export-Import Bank operates in Cambodia in the private sector only, to provide short term financing (to be paid back within one year), and medium term financing (to be paid back within seven years) for products exported from the USA. The assistance of the American Export-Import Bank for access to markets is limited to only business operators with commercial banks as legal guarantors. However, the American Export-Import Bank will consider business operations without the involvement of a bank as special cases.

“The American Export-Import Bank might consider also offering financing of products exported from the USA to buyers in the private sector in Cambodia with longer terms under clearly defined conditions. For instance, businesses which can receive financing are financial operations which are organized properly to seek income in foreign countries and have assets in bank accounts which the American Export-Import Bank recognizes, and have income from rent or things mortgaged, or a financing structure to handle goods, like commercial airplanes made in the USA.”As for the funds in 2009, after their financial year that came to an end on 30 September 2009, the amount of money that the American Export-Import Bank approved for financing to assist in the export of goods from the United States, amounts to more than US$21 billion.

“The American Export-Import Bank is the official agency that provides export credits from the USA. This independent and autonomously operating agency within the framework of the the US federal government, now 75 years old, helps to create and to support employment in the USA by providing export financing for US products, especially to new markets around the world, by offering guarantees for export credit and for direct loans.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2083, 28.10.2009

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Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1417, 28-29.10.2009

  • Cambodia Becomes a Member of the World Heritage Committee

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #322, 28.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Will Leave to Attend the Japan-Mekong Cooperation Meeting [from 6 to 7 November 2009]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2083, 28.10.2009

  • The American Export-Import Bank Provides Financing for Products Being Exported from America to Cambodia
  • An Accident Surprised Phnom Penh as Two Military Officials Used Their Guns to Intervene to Release the Driver of the Car which Had Caused an Accident [finally, they were all arrested]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #518, 28.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Ordered [the Meanchey district governor] to Sue a Female Gang Leader [who had been involved in a shootout] and Warned to Demote a Lieutenant General Who Had Intervened

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6790, 28.10.2009

  • The Thai Government Deployed Forces to Guard the Cambodian Embassy, as Siamese [Thai] Extremists Demonstrated against [the Cambodian] Support for [the Thai ousted and convicted former prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra
  • [Five] Crematoriums in the City Were Closed, as a Crematorium Outside of the City Was Opened [at Dangkao district, Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #35, 28.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warned to Dismiss Any Official Who Protects Juvenile Gang Members

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5032, 28.10.2009

  • A Foreign Company [Green Cameco, jointly managed by Korea and Australia] Plans to Build A Sky Train in Phnom Penh [from 2011 to 2014, 39 km, worth US$3.6 billion, and also a solar energy power plant – according to a meeting between Green Cameco and the Ministry of Economy and Finance]

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Violence over Land Dispute in Siem Reap: Human Rights Organization ‘Criticizes’ while the Ministry of Interior Asks Citizens to Stop Arguing with Each Other – Saturday, 28.3.2009

Posted on 29 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – calls urgently on the Cambodian government to hold those police and military police in Siem Reap’s Chi Kraeng district responsible for violence on Sunday 22 March 2009.

“During a dispute about a rice field between two different groups of villagers in the Chi Kraeng and Anlong Samnor communes in Chi Kraeng district, police and military police shot and injured four people, and arrested nine.

“On Friday, 27 March 2009, the president of LICADHO, Ms. Kek Galabru, demanded the prosecution of those persons of the authorities who shot and injured farmers, and to find just solutions over the rice field dispute of 275 hectares which started in 2004.

“According to a three-day investigation by LICADHO, about 100 police and military police shot at around 300 farmers unreasonably and illegally.

“During a conference on Friday, LICADHO also showed a short video, showing that police were carrying AK-47 rifles, and shooting to threaten farmers regarding a land dispute between two groups of villagers in Chi Kraeng district in Siem Reap, on Sunday, 22 March 2009.

“The head of the investigation section of LICADHO, Mr. Oum Sam Ath, blamed the authorities and demanded a proper investigations about the armed clash, which the authorities claim to have been an act of self-defense.

“About 40 farmers who are seeking for a solutions from Phnom Penh [they are now in Phnom Penh] said during a conference at LICADHO expressing their fear and that they do not dare to return to their homes.

“Farmers demand the government to release nine villagers arrested on Sunday, and they ask for proper solutions for them so that they can again go to their dry season rice fields.

“It should be noted that after this event, the Ministry of Interior had sent a group of officials to investigate this land dispute in Siem Reap.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Interior, in charge of investigating the land dispute in Chi Kraeng , Mr. Pol Lim, said in the evening of 27 March 2009 that a working team of the Ministry of Interior led by the deputy police chief of the Ministry of Interior, H.E. Chhim Sarak, went to the site of the event in Chi Kraeng and met with the authorities on one side, and with citizens disputing the situation on the other. Also, the working team went to see the injured people at the provincial hospital. The working team pleaded with residents to stop arguing with each other and to let the authorities sort it out.

“Relating to the armed clash, which injured four people, Mr. Pol Lim stated that the working team is investigating in a confidential way. But for a first step, the working team discovered that the local authorities shot in self-defense, while the disputing people tried to hit the police who had gone to stop the arguments between the two groups of people, who competed for harvesting rice on the disputed land. Now, the court is dealing with nine people, who began the hitting, and if no one is found to be guilty, the court will release them.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Khieu Sopheak, said that the government would like to absolutely reject LICADHO’s demand for government agencies to take responsibility for the above case.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4857, 28.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 28 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #151, 28.3.2009

  • Cambodia Warns Siam [Thailand] Not To Mix the Preah Vihear Issue with Its Political Crisis
  • Cambodia Welcomes New UN Envoy [Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi, Nepali], but Asks Him to Act Faultlessly
  • A Chinese Man Was Sent to Serve 28 Years in Prison and Was Ordered to Pay Riel 70 Million [approx. US$17,300] for Drug Trafficking [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1909, 28.3.2009

  • Japan Prepares to Shoot Down Debris of North Korean Rocket [if anything might fall down towards Japanese territory]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #374, 28.3.2009

  • The Government Admits to the King that Cambodia Is Facing a Financial Crisis

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6614, 28-29.3.2009

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3723, 28-29.3.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Commemorates the 12th Anniversary of the Grenade Attack in Front of the [former] National Assembly Building [on 30 March 1997, which killed 16 people and wounded more than 100] and Encourages the Government to Continue to Seek the Perpetrators to Be Prosecuted

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4857, 28.3.2009

  • Violence over Land Dispute in Siem Reap: Human Rights Organization ‘Criticizes’ while the Ministry of Interior Asks Citizens to Stop Arguing with Each Other
  • The Fourth Term Government Plans to Spend More Than US$377 Million on Irrigation Systems [where US$77 million come from different development partners]
  • Cambodian Products Are Exported to 130 Countries, but Export Prices Are Too Cheap

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The Education Sector Has No Quality because the Teacher’s Salaries Are Small and Insufficient to Cover Their Daily Livelihood Expenses – Thursday, 26.3.2009

Posted on 27 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

(Newly edited, corrected version – apologies: we had first uploaded an uncorrected version)

“The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association conducted a survey in mid 2008 in nine of the 24 provinces around the country with 430 teachers, among whom 23.91% are female, 46.37% of them are primary school teachers where 30.37% are female, 28.26% are secondary school teachers where 23.84% are female, and 25.21% of them are high school teachers where 12.60% are female. All responses honestly expressed accurately the actual facts in their situation as teachers, and the responses leave concerns for youth and for the nation in the future.

“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher’s Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, said during a press conference in the morning of 25 March 2009 that according to the findings of the survey about the conditions of teachers and the education sector, the association is worried about the inactivity of about 53.91% of teachers who do not teach regularly. 93.04% of teachers said that the rate of students dropping out of school is high and, 45% consider that the education sector has no quality, and only 52.39% said that the education sector has pretty good quality.

“Mr. Rong Chhun asked the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen to solve some issues as follow:

  1. Increase the value of a basic teaching unit for teachers from Riel 720 to Riel 2,000 per unit in 2009 in order to eliminate irregular teaching.
  2. Promote quality education to be as good as education elsewhere in the region.
  3. Eliminate corruption and poverty to cut down the rate of students dropping out of schools.
  4. Create sufficient schools and employment for teachers and for graduate students.

“Mr. Rong Chhun told reporters that based on the findings of the survey, 48% of teachers care to teach their students regularly. They said that they must be responsible for their obligation and role toward students and must have conscience and pity toward Khmer students of the next generations despite facing difficulties in their livelihood and earning improper salaries, making them unable to live and worker better.

“Mr. Rong Chhun stated that 53.91% of teachers are not attending school regularly, and they do not care about their students. As their justification for this unqualified teaching, teachers put the blame on the government that does not increase their salaries enough, so that their daily lives challenge them with difficulties and they have to take part of their time to do other jobs to earn money to support their families. 1.08% do not attend school regularly and do not care about their work and student’s future at all, and they just try to find another job and make some arrangement with school administrators or district and provincial education officials by paying them some kickbacks monthly.

“Mr. Rong Chhun added that in that survey, 6.95% of teachers responded that students do not drop out of schools, claiming that students understand the value of education to be important for their future and that they want to be good citizens in society. He went on to say that 93.4% of teachers said that the rate of students dropping out of school is high and the survey found that 40.85% of primary students drop out of school, 38.55% of secondary students, and 32.64% of high school students. This percentage shows that the education sector falls into a hazardous condition.

“Teachers claim that students drop out of school because of poverty, lack of means for traveling, or finding jobs at factories. Students spend much time to buy lesson handouts, test papers, sweet snacks, and candy from their teachers. Because some teachers take money from students and most teachers do not teach regularly, students drop out of school and lack self-confidence.

“Mr. Rong Chhun continued to say that 2.60% of the teachers responded that the quality of education is good because of the attention of students and because of the efforts of teachers who work without caring about their small or big salaries.

“He added that 52.39% of the teachers assessed that the quality of education is pretty good, and problems exist because students are absent a lot, and take their time out to earn money to support their living.

“45% of the teachers considered that the quality of education is poor, or that it has no quality, because at the schools, there are no proper exams following a set standard plan which would require 95% of the students from a class, in addition the number of students per class is too high, there is a lack of books for students, and there are many types of gambling sites around schools. Teachers earn low salaries, are not satisfied to teach, and spend time to teach additional private classes. The social environment is bad and this attracts students to be corrupt in their education [e.g. they pay some money to their teachers so that not all days when they were absent will be noted down]. If students are poor, teachers do not teach them and care only about their stomach, students are frequently absent and do not want to study because they think that they will not get jobs after they have graduated. This disappoints them.

“At the end the survey is pointing out that the [second] principle of the Millennium Development Goals is not followed successfully, which has the aim to ‘ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling,’ though this is also set as the national plan of the Royal Government. To achieve this strategic goal, education for all, and with quality, the Royal Government has to provide proper salaries for teachers, and has to provide sufficient study materials and schools.” Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, 46, 26.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 26 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #46, 26.3.2009

  • The Education Sector Has No Quality because the Teacher’s Salaries Are Small and Insufficient to Cover their Daily Livelihood Expenses
  • [The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Mr. Chea Mony Plans to Lead a Demonstration [against factories’ owners who do not release the salaries of workers, and who dismiss trade union leaders from their factories]
  • The Chi Kraeng District’s Citizens Sued the Siem Reap governor, Mr. Sou Phirin, and the Armed Forces [for their attempt to kill them, after they shot citizens resulting in four people seriously injured]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #149, 26.3.2009

  • Conditions at the Preah Vihear Temple Is Very Tense after Nearly 100 Siamese [Thai] Troops Entered into the Veal Intry Region
  • The Cambodian Embassy in England Reacts against the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Report
  • [A leading mobile phone company of Cambodia] Mobitel Borrows US$100 Million from the International Finance Corporation [a member of the World Bank Group] to Expand Network Capacity

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1907, 26.3.2009

  • China Asks for the Creation of a New Currency for the World [to replace the dollar as the international reserve currency]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6612, 26.3.2009

  • Four Unidentified Men Came to Shoot Dead a Military Officer in His Home [Siem Reap]
  • Another House Storing and Producing Drugs Was Found in Takeo [related to the one in Phnom Penh recently raided]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4855, 26.3.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen] Asks the Korean Parliament to Support the Korean Government to Help Develop Cambodia
  • The National Election Committee Prepares to Print Nearly 60,000 Ballots for [district-provincial/city] Council Elections
  • The Minister of Commerce [Mr. Cham Prasidh]: Exports of Cambodia Faces Obstacles due to Disagreement [between the Ministry of Commerce and different other institutions – the total export in 2008 was only more than US$3,356 million]
  • Canada and England Are Also Big Markets of Cambodia [in 2008, Canada accepted goods worth more than US$212 million from Cambodia and stands in second rank, and England had approx. US$164 million, while the USA, the biggest import country of Cambodian goods, had US$2,041 million]
  • Japan Provides a US$35 Million Loan for the Construction of Clean Water Factories
  • Approximately US$200 Million per Year Is Lost in Traffic Accidents

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