Considering Forestry Crimes, Ty Sokun Should Not Be Allowed to Hold a Position, but Should Be Punished according to the Law – Wednesday, 7.4.2010

Posted on 8 April 2010. Filed under: Week 659 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 659

“Prime Minister Hun Sen announced yesterday morning, in a conference at the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture, to remove the director of the forestry administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Such a removal of the holder of the same position, of a former head of the forestry administration – Mr. Ly Kim Han – happened also some years ago, making him feel heart-broken, and he died. But in Ty Sokun’s case, according to opinions expressed among the general public, he should face the law and receive punishment. To remove Ty Sokun, but to appoint him at the same time as Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, shows the great tolerance of the Prime Minister.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly announced the decision to take out Mr. Ty Sokun from the position of Director General of the Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, because he was involved in illegal wood trading. But Mr. Hun Sen did not specify any measures to be taken against Mr. Ty Sokun, and he reassigned him to the position of Under-Secretary of State of Agriculture. Prime Minister Hun Sen said on 6 April 2010 at the Chamkar Doung Royal University of Agriculture, that the head of the forestry administration, Mr. Ty Sokun, was involved in corruption related to forestry crimes, and that the authorities had recently started investigations to intercept them.

A house, reportedly belonging to Mr. Ty Sokun

A house, reportedly belonging to Mr. Ty Sokun

“Mr. Hun Sen specified that Mr. Ty Sokun was reassigned from the position of Director General of the Forestry Administration to become an Under-Secretary of State of Agriculture, and he was replaced by Mr. Chheng Kim Son. Also, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on wood traders and on other high ranking officials who are involved in forestry crimes to show up and to deliver any illegal wood to the authorities.

“Many high ranking officials involved in forestry crimes, who escaped abroad, must return to confess. Prime Minister Hun Sen stressed that at this time, there will be no tolerance for any official who got involved in forestry crimes. ‘We take hot measures to hit the heads of the main leaders. Therefore, the Prime Minister has to decide to do things, even if they hurt, in order to create models of law enforcement in the campaign to intercept forestry crimes.’

“In the meantime, the Prime Minister warned that Ms. Khai Narin, called Che Muoy, might be arrested, who is said to be a powerful person close to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chan Sarun. He warned also the Trapeang Prasat district governor in Oddar Meanchey, who used his power to authorize the transfer of state land to powerful military officials.

“Based on the words of the Prime Minister, what Ty Sokun did were mistakes that cannot be disregarded, and that made the Prime Minister lose trust in him. Also, he puts his trust in the newly appointed head of the forestry administration, Mr. Chheng Kim Son, and he hopes Mr. Chheng Kim Son will not disappoint his trust.

“It is reported that Mr. Chheng Kim Son had not been powerful, so he could not just move up to take the position and be appointed to replace Ty Sokun. But it is said that the deputy director of the Forestry Administration, Mr. Chea Sam Ath, is the most powerful person there, who would normally replace Mr. Ty Sokun. But because Mr. Chea Sam Ath is said also to be involved with corruption over forestry crimes, not much different from Mr. Ty Sokun, he was not promoted. The same source added that Mr. Chea Sam Ath has many problems, for which he might be removed or jailed, like other fellow forestry functionaries.

“Therefore, it is likely that Mr. Chea Sam Ath cannot avoid to face jail because the forestry crimes were of a large scale. If Mr. Chea Sam Ath did not have problems, he would have already been nominated head of the forestry administration. But because he has similar problems as Ty Sokun, he was ignored. Does taking responsibility for the forestry administration of the Ministry of Agriculture end with the removal of only the Director General of the Forestry Administration Ty Sokun?

“On Monday, a forestry chief from a region facing the Gulf of Thailand, Mr. Vann Sophanna was summoned by the Koh Kong Municipal Court, but was released later. The Judge of the Koh Kong Municipal Court questioned the head of the forestry administration station facing the Gulf of Thailand, Mr. Vann Sophanna, and the Deputy Forestry Administration Chief of Pursat, Mr. Ouk Kim San, at 9:45 of 5 April 2010. The questioning was made after the national military police, in collaboration with the military police of Kampot and of Sihanoukville, arrested them on Sunday morning in Kompong Trach district, Kampot, and sent them to be detained at the Koh Kong Military Police Station and then to the court for questioning over forestry crimes in the regions under their authority.

“According to military police officials, they will continue to arrest other suspects involved in forestry crimes. It is said that Vann Sophanna, who is a powerful figure in illegally trading wood, is vicious and very domineering. He often blamed his fellow officials over minor mistakes. The general public waits to see other senior officials, who are involved in forestry crimes, also arrested, as recently some other forestry administration officials had been arrested. The interception of forestry crimes and the arrest of perpetrators started after strict orders from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“It should be noted that last week, many forestry administration officials, with positions from commune to district forestry administration heads, especially those in Kompong Cham, were removed. According to some reports, the Kompong Cham district forestry administration head, Mr. Hun Ieng, the Memut district forestry administration head, Mr. Thong Vannviravuth, the Memut commune forestry administration head, Mr. Yim La, and the Dambae commune forestry administration head, were removed from their positions, and they face imprisonment. Besides forestry administration officials in Kompong Cham, where the authorities found thousands of cubic meters of wood in Memut district, other forestry officials in Pursat and in some other provinces, where there is illegal wood trading, are also facing removal and arrest.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3852, 7.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #454, 7.4.2010

  • As a Result of the Hot Campaign to Combat Forestry Crimes, Ty Sokun Was Removed and Chheng Kim Song Was Appointed to Replace Him
  • After Mr. Ty Sokun Was Removed from His Position, Documents Relating to Irregular Measures Were Disclosed
  • A Military Brigadier General Is Detained at the Prey Sar Prison due to His Anarchic Gunfire [which injured an English woman – Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2221, 7.4.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Removes Ty Sokun and Warned Other Officials
  • The National Assembly Adopted a Draft Allowing Cambodia to Become a Part of the ASEAN Anti-Terrorism Pact

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6928, 7.4.2010

  • A 45-Seater Bus Was Illegally Loaded with 68 Pieces of Ebony [the driver was arrested – Siem Reap]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3852, 7.4.2010

  • Considering Forestry Crimes, Ty Sokun Should Not Be Allowed to Hold a Position, but Should Be Punished according to the Law

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #147, 7.4.2010

  • Ty Sokun Was Removed from His Position and the Newly Appointed Forestry Chief Was Warned [by Prime Minister Hun Sen] that He Would Be Jailed if He Cannot Intercept Forestry Crimes [Mr. Ty Sokun said that his ability was limited and most perpetrators have relations with high ranking officials and with the rich, and they often warned forestry officials]
  • Mr. Hun Sen Ordered the Authorities to Break Down All [illegally constructed] Reservoirs [in the flood plain] around the Tonle Sap Lake [this can cause flooding and disrupt the spawning of fish]
  • The Prime Minister Warned Chevron [he said that this oil company will lose its exploration rights if it cannot produce oil by the end of 2012]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5170, 7.4.2010

  • The Prime Minister Openly Announced to Remove Mr. Ty Sokun from the Position of Director General of the Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
  • The Wood Stored by the Owner of the [Siem Reap] Cultural Village Was Not 200 Cubic Meters, but More Than 600 Cubic Meters

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

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Concerns about the Future of Phnom Penh Continue – Monday, 16.3.2009

Posted on 18 March 2009. Filed under: Week 604 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 604

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

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: After the leaders of the Phnom Penh Municipality were awarded a World Leadership Award in London in 2005, Phnom Penh continues to encounter many problems like in 2008, when the [north] western area of the city was flooded for several months. So far, the Boeng Kak Lake filling still continues, and therefore various concerns continue.

Note:

Different from – for example – the awarding of a World Heritage Site status by an official institution like UNESCO, there is a variety of different “World Awards” which are awarded by private business enterprises, where certain direct fees or indirect fees are involved. The following information is how the Word Leadership Award is celebrated: with an expensive Gala Dinner. The price to participate in the World Leadership Award Gala Dinner, and for having the name of the winners announced to the public, from the podium, and in a printed announcement – “full-page ad” and “prominent listing” – in the journal of the World Leadership Award, are given as follows:

World Leadership Awards Gala

Tables (Includes 10 tickets)

$25,000 Platinum Leadership Table

  • Premium placement and recognition from the podium
  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad
  • Signage at the event
  • Featured article in Counterpart newsletter and website

$15,000 Benefactor Table

  • First-class placement
    1. Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad
  • Signage at the event

$10,000 Patron Table

  • Fine placement
  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad

$5,000 Friends Table

  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad

Tickets

  • $500 Individual ($335 tax deductible)
  • $1,000 Couple ($670 tax deductible)

“According to a report organized by an independent research group, the continuous filling of the natural Boeng Kak lake in the center of the city will continually cause serious flooding at the suburbs and also, there is strong disagreement with this plan, since such filling will lead to deeper and more frequent flooding.

“According to The Cambodia Daily published on 12 March 2009, the director of a Cambodian country program for housing rights, Mr. David Pred [director of Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia, a small non-profit group, committed to social justice and defending the rights of the poor], said that the study was conducted by Australian independent researchers who were asked by a number of organizations in Cambodia to investigate the effects of the filling of the lake.

“Mr. Pred wrote in his email on Wednesday 11 March 2009, ‘The report confirms what many people have long suspected – that the filling of Phnom Penh’s largest natural lake will worsen the city flooding problem that has already become intolerable during the rainy season.’

“Mr. David Pred added, ‘The filling of the lake should be halted until those plans are made public and the people living north of the lake are reasonably assured that this project will not leave them under water every rainy season.’

“However, a deputy municipal governor, Mr. Pa Socheatevong, said that the City Hall had worked with French experts, addressing the issues related to filling the lake, adding, ‘We have already compiled the master plan correctly.’ [The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), required by law, has not been published in full; it was made without public bidding.]

“The director of the hydrology resources and meteorology department, Mr. Mao Hak, [Director of the Department of Hydrology and Water Works, or Director of Hydrology and River Works, or Director of the Hydrology Department, according to different sources on the Internet] said that the Ministry [Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology – the website announced on the government website for this Ministry – http://www.mowram.gov.kh – did not work at the time of this writing] had recommended to the municipality to build a 10-square-meter pipe to remove excess water. Now the municipality is working to solve the issue, and to prepare a water drainage system.

“Previously, the governor of the Russey Keo district, Mr. Kleang Huot, had said that the municipality has also restored the master channel at the Kob Srov dam. The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mok Mareth, said that flooding in Phnom Penh cannot be prevented unless pumping machines with a 25-cubic-meter per second capacity are set up, and an open master channel is constructed like in Boeng Trabaek, so that water can be brought to the Kob Srov dam, as the present long channel cannot remove the water in time, and there are not enough pumping machines at the Svay Pak dam.

“On 2 March 2009, the Phnom Penh municipal governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema, vowed to solve five major problems, and he also recognized that rain flooding in the north, which had caused serious destruction on public infrastructure and citizens’ houses, has not yet been solved.

“Residents in Russey Keo’s Tuol Sangkae commune blame the Shukaku company, which is dredging sand to fill the Boeng Kak lake and is pumping water to the Tuol Sangkae commune, as the cause of previous flooding. Therefore they are concerned. Also, residents of the Kiloumaetr Lekh Prammuoy Muoy and of the Khmuonh Communes ask the Phnom Penh municipal governor to plan carefully, so that they will not suffer from long lasting flooding like in the previous year.” Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #44, 16-22.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 16 March 2009

Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #44, 16-22.3.2009

  • Concerns about the Future of Phnom Penh Continue

Bakong, Vol.10, #256, 16-17.3.2009

  • 50,000 Garment Workers [among 300,000 garment workers in total] Lost Their Employment in the Past Six Months in Cambodia [since September 2008 – according to Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh]

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #38, 16.3.2009

  • Parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party Ask Mr. Hun Sen to Clarify the Efficiency of the Enforcement of Financial Legislation in 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #140, 15-16.3.2009

  • The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers: Most Factory Owners Do Not Deposit Money at the National Bank
  • The Asian Human Rights Commission Appeals to Cambodia to Continue Holding the National Congress
  • A Grenade Was Thrown at the Cars of a Siamese [Thai] Deputy Prime Minister and His Entourage, and It Wounded One Person, while Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the government] Threw Eggs

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1898, 15-16.2009

  • Samdech Heng Samrin Calls on Local, Provincial, and District Authorities to Crack Down On Gangsters
  • [District and provincial/city] Election Campaign Will Start be from 1 to 15 May 2009
  • More Than 50,000 Poor Students Receive Scholarships from the Government and from the World Bank [in 2009]
  • A Man Jumped into the River to Commit Suicide, as His Father Was Giving Him a Ride, when They Reached the Middle of the Chroy Chongva Bridge [he died – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3712, 16.3.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Salaries Should Be Increased to at least between US$100 to US$150 so that Civil Servants Have Economic Stability to Work
  • Yuon [Vietnam] Announces that It Will Exploit 50,000 Hectares of Forest Land in Cambodia [provided as concession land by the government with a 70 years contract, to cut trees in the forests in Mondolkiri and Ratanakiri]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1421, 16.3.2009

  • A Road [built in 1986 which is an important road connecting the Tuol Kork and Sen Sok districts in Phnom Penh] Will Be Named “Hok Lundy Road” [remembering the former director-general of the National Police who died in a helicopter crash last year]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4845, 15-16.3.2009

  • The Sambour Prey Kuk Temple Is Being Prepared for Listing as a World Heritage Site [Kompong Thom]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1672-1673, 15-16.3.2009

  • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – Said that Tens of Thousands of Families of Khmer Citizens Suffer Human Rights Violations [this was said after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia dismissed the report on human rights by the U.S. Department of State]
  • The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers [Chea Mony] Is Disappointed about the Refusal of the Ministry of Interior, Not Allowing Him to Visit Heng Pov [the former Phnom Penh police chief who is alleged to have been involved in murdering his older brother Chea Vichea, the former president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers]

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

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Tuesday, 16.9.2008: Samdech Hun Sen: The Government Will be Formed on 25 September 2008

Posted on 17 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said on 15 September 2008 that the fourth term government will be announced officially on 25 September 2008, a day after the first session of the fourth term National Assembly.

“The head of the Cambodian Government and the vice-president of the winning party told journalists in the evening of 15 September 2008 that the date for the creation the government and for the session of the National Assembly will not be changed. In the morning of 24 September 2008, the first session [of the National Assemly] will be held under the presidency of the King. In the evening of 24 September 2008, the members of the National Assembly will swear in the Royal Palace. As for the morning of 25 September 2008, the National Assembly will hold a meeting to create the new government. The Council of Ministers of the new government will hold its first meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 26 September 2008.

“Besides talking about the formation the government and about the first session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen also emphasized that wheter or not all will attend the session is their problem, because in Cambodia, the winning party does not become hostage of the losing parties. Without caring about the announcement of a boycot by the Sam Rainsy Party and by the Human Rights Party, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that he had told Mr. Say Chhum, the head of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, to sugggest slates of candidates for the nine committee of the National Assembly. He said, ‘We will not wait for them.’

Furthermore, the head of the Cambodian People’s Party that won the elections, warned that if the recently elected members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party and from the Human Rights Party will not attend the swearing-in ceremony to establish their validity as members of the Natinal Assembly, they will not receive salaries; this time, there is no exception.

“The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party had jointly announced their position again on 15 September 2008 that the 29 newly elected parliamentarians, 26 from the Sam Rainsy Party and 3 from the Human Rights Party, will not attend the first session and the swearing-in ceremony together with the Cambodian People’s Party. This position was raised by the presidents of both opposition party leaders also during a meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, and both of them hope that he might be able to coordinate between the opposition parties and the ruling party.

Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha Meet … to Ask for Support

“During a closed door meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. John Negroponte, in the evening of 15 September 2008, Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, and Mr. Kem Sokha, the president of the Human Rights Party, jointly spoke about the recent elections, and about the distribution of positions in the National Assembly, to secure what these opposition parities’ leaders claim: a balance of power…

“Related to what was mentioned about the elections during the meeting between the opposition party leaders and the US Assistant Secretary of State, a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that what the opposition parties’ leaders had stated is just a traditional strategy of opposition parties: they put up some obstacles in order to finally get some positions in the National Assembly. However he believes that although the US Assistant Secretary of State meets also with leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, it will be the same. There will be no change made by the Cambodian People’s Party that won the elections. The Parliamentarian Cheam Yeap said that now, the time for the opposition parties to protest is over, because the Cambodian People’s Party is prepared for marching. He said, ‘We will work alone in the National Assembly, both president and vice president of the National Assembly, and all positions to chair the nine committees of the National Assembly, belong to the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“During the fourth term parliamentary elections on 27 July 2008, the Cambodian People’s Party won 90 seats of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, the Sam Rainsy Party won 26 seats, the Human Rights Party won 3 seats, Funcinpec won 2 seats, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party won also 2 seats. Because of these results, Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha had announced to reject results, while many national and international observers, amog them from the United States and from Japan, had claimed that some irregularities could not affect the election results.

“Officials of the Cambodian government, leaders of the opposition parties, as well as officials of civil society organizations, consider the visit by the US Assistant Secretary of State to be a sign of stronger bilateral ties between Cambodia and the United States, and also, the visit strengthens future democracy in Cambodia. Before leaving Cambodia, Mr. John Negroponte will hold a press conference in the morning of 16 September 2008 regarding his three-day visit in Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4695, 16.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2811, 16.9.2008

  • People’s Housing at and near Boeng Kak Lake Begin to Be Flooded Gradually – They Ask the Municipality to Intervene by Pumping out Water as Soon as Possible [due to continuing heavy rain, together with sand dredging filled into the lake]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1747, 16.9.2008

  • [Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: Investigating Information Is Fundamental [he said during a UNESCO sponsored workshop about writing investigating reports – that are deeper than daily information]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #99, 16.9.2008

  • One Should Think of Plastic Pollution [Dr. Mok Mareth, the Minister of Environment, said that leafs of lotus and of bananas can be converted to be fertilizer when they are disposed off, but plastic cannot]
  • The Government Will Increase Rice Exports to Foreign Countries by the End of 2008
  • Daun Penh District Deputy Police Chief Releases Thief Who Bit and Robbed a Foreigner [because there was no lawsuit from the victim]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6451, 16.9.2008

  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Histories: the Preah Vihear Temple Was Built before There Were Siamese Nationals there
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Calls Fuel Price to Be Lower; Price at World Market Drops by 25% while in Cambodia It Drops by 10% Only
  • [Thai Special Border Protection Unit black-clad] Soldiers Arrest Khmer Spouse on Accusation of Using Fake Baht


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3566, 16.9.2008

  • Prince Ranariddh Might Return to Cambodia in Late September
  • Khmer Military and Police Protecting the Border Want to See the Government Send a Complaint to the United Nations the Sooner the Better


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4695, 16.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Government Will be Formed on 25 September 2008
  • Samdech Dekchor: Cambodia Understands Thailand, but It Must Not Continue the Presence of Troops on Khmer Territory [because of the political crisis in Thailand]
  • The Philippines Support Cambodia’s Position to Solve Disputes with Thailand [peacefully]


Veasna Khmer, Vol.7, #3408, 15-16.9.2008

  • The Increase of Electricity Needs Results in Frequent Electricity Cut-Offs

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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