The Yuon Authorities Prohibit Vietnam Airlines to Pick Up European Parliament Members from Cambodia to Yuon [Vietnam] – Wednesday, 24.12.2008

Posted on 25 December 2008. Filed under: Week 592 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 592

 
“Vietnam Airlines and the Yuon [Vietnamese] authorities prevented two members of the European Parliament to travel by plane from Cambodia to Yuon yesterday, on 23 December 2008, under the pretext that there will be a huge demonstration by Yuon citizens in Hanoi against the presence of the two European Parliament members.

“This prevention by the Yuon authorities happened when the two European Parliament members planned to meet parliament members and officials of the Hanoi government to talk about the demands for human rights and freedom for tribal Montagnards, and about the demands for full freedom of religious practices, and for the rights for Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks and citizens, who are living in their homeland under the control and restrictions of their right by the Hanoi government, and about the demand for the release of Monk Tim Sakhan and five other Kampuchea Krom monks in Kleang [former Khmer name – now the Trăng Province of Vietnam] who are in jail.
 
“At 12:40 p.m. on 23 December 2008, Mr. Marco Panella and Mr. Marco Perduca, members of the European Parliament, arrived at the Phnom Penh International Airport to get into a plane of Vietnam Airlines to Saigon. But before they got into the plane, they had to wait for a period of time and then, Vietnam Airlines gave them a letter which is not from the Vietnamese government, but it is a letter of a Vietnamese travel agency, the Vungtau Intourco Hanoi saying, ‘According to a request by the Vietnamese Embassy in Rome in Italy, regarding the visas proposed for permission to travel to Vietnam from 18 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, Mr. Marco Panella and Mr. Marco Perduca have to show documents about their work program for their visit to Vietnam, according to Vietnamese laws about visas to enter Vietnam.
 
“Vietnam Airlines added that it could not contact the European Parliament members [who were traveling] to ask for their work program in Vietnam, according the Vietnamese law; therefore, Vietnam Airlines notified them that the company cannot allow them to board he plane to Vietnam.
 
“Mr. Marco Perduca told journalists in a press conference at a park in front of the Hotel Le Royal in the afternoon of 23 December 2008. According to information he got from the Italian Embassy in Hanoi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam delivered the information that there are letters of Vietnamese citizens opposing the presence of both of them. That is the reason why the Vietnamese government is worried that it cannot protect the security for them and the Vietnamese government suggested both of them not to travel to Vietnam.
 
“Mr. Marco Perduca went on to say that both of them come to visit Cambodia and after that, they will move to Vietnam for an unofficial visit. In Cambodia, he met Khmer Kampuchea Krom communities and monks on Sunday of 21 December 2008, and he met also members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party. They will continue their travel to Vietnam to meet government officials as well as members of the Vietnamese parliament. They will visit Khmer Kampuchea Krom communities, members of the Catholic church, and Montagnards, and will demand the release of five Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks who are being jailed, and demand to send Monk Tim Sakhan to be sent back to Cambodia and to release a 90-year-old man, a religious leader, who is being held in his home. He added that according to officials of the Italian Embassy in Hanoi, their visas have not yet been canceled, and parliament members and government officials of Vietnam are prepared to greet them. It is strange what happened at the Phnom Penh International Airport of Cambodia, preventing them to get on the plane to fly to Vietnam.
 
“Mr. Marco Panella said that it is a simple thing that two of them want to travel to Vietnam to meet with government officials and parliament members of Vietnam, but they could not even get into the plane. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy told that there is no change and the visas to Vietnam are still valid. As for the information that there will be demonstration against them when arriving Vietnam, he said that it is an honor if Vietnamese citizens hold demonstration against them and that the Vietnamese authorities cannot protect both of their lives.
 
“Mr. Marco Panella continued to say that the European Parliament members aim to demand the Vietnamese government for rights and freedoms for Montagnards, for Catholics, and for Khmer Kampuchea Krom citizens and demand the release of five Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks, including Yen Toun, Ly Soeung, Kim Moeun, Thach Soeun, and Theun, who are jailed by the Vietnamese authorities in Kleang province [now Trăng Province of Vietnam] in 2007 as well as to send Monk Tim Sakhan back to Cambodia.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3647, 24.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 24 December 2008


Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #100, 24-26.12.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: Creating an Expert Group to Limit Fuel Prices Is Better Than the Prime Minister’s Begging [to fuel companies to reduce fuel prices]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1828, 24.12.2008

  • The Prices of Fuel Stay Still after an Appeal by Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [gasoline is around Riel 3,100 per liter, corresponding to approx. US$0.77]
  • The Manager and the Owner of Mikado Club Who Have a Website to Sell Cambodian Woman’s Sex Services Were Apprehended [they are still detained in order to conduct further investigations]
  • The Ministry of Environment Encourages the Media to Publish Environmental Problems in Detail


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #166, 24.12.2008

  • Tourists Guide Groups Support the Adoption of a Tourism Law to Be Applied in Cambodia for the Cities and Provinces


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6533, 24.12.2008

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong Goes to Preah Vihear; Military Officials Reject War Rumor
  • New Thai Government Held a Swearing-in Ceremony [with 36 members]


Mate Neak, Vol.1, #15, 24-30.12.2008

  • Income of the Naga Casino Increased [the biggest casino in Cambodia released figure for six months of 2008, showing that the its income increased by 26%, compared to the same period last year, corresponding to US$25.5 million]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3647, 24.12.2008

  • The Yuon Authorities Prohibit Vietnam Airlines to Pick Up European Parliament Members from Cambodia to Yuon [Vietnam]
  • US Embassy Official [Mr. John Johnson] Said that Robberies on Foreigners Increased
  • [Former Prime Minister and Human Rights Party Vice-President] Pen Sovann: If Hun Sen Is Strong, Let the National Television Publish the “2 December” Documentary Film That I Have [reacting against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent criticism, for Mr. Pen Sovann had written in a recently published book “Autobiography of Pen Sovann and the Fundamental Reason of Cambodia’s History,” that he was the Father of “2 December 1978” – the date of the creation of the National United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea (NUFNSK) – and that Prime Minister Hun Sen was really his follower during the early days of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea – 1979–1989; Pen Sovann was deposed and arrested 1981 and imprisoned in Vietnam for 11 years]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4776, 24.12.2008

  • Because the Road Was Too Dusty Making It Impossible to See, a Car Collided with a Truck, Resulting in Two Deaths and Seven Injured People [Thma Puok, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Man Hit His Wife After Childbirth to Death [the man escaped, leaving his children – Prey Veng]
  • The Puea Thai Party [พรรคเพื่อไทย] Demands Removal of the New Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya, because he was involved with the People’s Alliance for Democracy demonstrators, who occupied two airports and he said that it was a happy organization; if he is not removed, the Phua Thai Party groups will demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok]
  • China Provides Nearly US$19 Billion to Taiwan [to create warmer ties between both territories]

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

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Saturday, 20.9.2008: Keat Chhon: Fuel Prices Will Decrease to Riel 4,900 Early This Week

Posted on 21 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: Keat Chhon, Senior Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, said that from 22 September 2008, fuel sold at different fuel stations in the Kingdom of Cambodia will cost between Riel 4,900 [approx. US$1.20] and Riel 5,000 [approx. US$1.22] per liter.

“Mr. Keat Chhon said so, after a meeting with fuel companies in Cambodia, following Samdech Hun Sen’s order to decrease the price of fuel, after seeing that the price of crude oil on the world market dropped around 25%, but in Cambodia, there is only an approximate 10% decrease, which is not balanced yet.

“Regarding the improper decrease of the price of fuel, compared with the international market price, Mr. Keat Chhon explained that normally, when the price of fuel on the world market rose by 80%, fuel stations in Cambodia increased the price by 40% only. He continued to explain that the Royal Government of Cambodia, led by Samdech Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, had decided to provide subsidies as a challenge to the rising price of fuel.

“According to Mr. Keat Chhon, during a period of 9 months in 2008, the Royal Government has spent approximately US$200 million quietly in order to overcome the fuel price rise. Related to the efforts of the Royal Government in decreasing the price of fuel, Mr. Po Samnang, the director of the National Culture and Social Morality Center, who had tried to meet the Minister of Economy and Finance, said that he had sent a letter to the cabinet of Mr. Keat Chhon, asking him to encourage a decrease of the fuel price [from around Riel 5,000] to the range of Riel 4,100 [approx. US$1.00] or Riel 4,300 [approx. US$1.05] per liter in order to promote the living standards of the poor and of civil servants, who earn small salaries.

“However, Mr. Po Samnang’s effort was mocked by officials in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, saying, ‘You just drive an old car, why do you come to protest?’

“It should be noted that according to a source from the cabinet of the Minister of Economy and Finance, around 2 million liters of fuel are consumed per day. Therefore, if the Royal Government had decreased the price by Riel 100 [approx. US$0.02] per liter, the state will help consumers to save Riel 100 million [approx. US$24,500]. Nevertheless, what is interesting is that while the Minister of Economy and Finance had announced that the price of fuel will stay increased at around Riel 5,000 per liter, crude oil at the international market decreased from US$147 to US$91 per barrel on 15 September 2008 and rose again to US$97 on 19 September 2008.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1751, 20.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 20 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1751, 20.9.2008

  • Keat Chhon: Fuel Prices Will Decrease to Riel 4,900 Early This Week
  • Talk between Hun Sen and [Thai new prime minister] Somchai by Phone Has Good Results [both promised to solve the border disputes soonest – 18 September 2008]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Somchai Sends an Envoy to Meet with Mr. Thaksin in London to Ask for Ideas [for the creation of the new Thai ministers’ lists – according to the Bangkok Post]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #248, 20.9.2008

  • The Threat [by Prime Minister Hun Sen] to Sue the President of the Opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party Is a Shut-Up Policy; Lao Mong Hay [Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong]: Suing the Opposition Party President Will Bring Further Turmoil
  • [Secretary of State of the Ministry of Religions and Cults] Min Khin Colludes to Cheat the Prime Minister by Selling the Renakse Hotel [to a daughter of Ms. Chheung Sopheap, the director of Shukaku Inc., filling in the Boeng Kak Lake, without a publicly available, independent environment impact assessment]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #103, 20.9.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations [the Khmer Culture Foundation and the Cambodian Defenders Projects] Welcome the Decision by the Head of the Government to Send a Complaint against Thailand to the United Nations [19 September 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6455, 20-21.9.2008

  • Two Girls Were Abducted and Brought into the Jungle – a [12-year-old] Girl Was Raped, and Another Was Kept as a Hostage to Demand Riel 4 Million [approx. US$1,000 – 18 September 2008 – Baray, Kompong Thom]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3570, 20-21.9.2008

  • Khmer and Siam [Thai] Leaders Plan to Negotiate the Border Disputes during a [UN] Meeting in New York in Late September [according to foreign news agencies]
  • The Asian Development Bank Assessed that the Cambodian Economic Growth in 2008 Will Decline to 6.5% [because of the bankruptcy of important financial institutions in the US and because of the decline of the garment industries in Cambodia, a result of strong competition from other countries]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4699, 20.9.2008

  • [Human Rights Party President] Kem Sokha’s Younger Brother [Kem Sokhon, deputy secretary general of the Human Rights Party], Joined the Cambodian People’s Party [18 September 2008]
  • The Thai Prime Minister Works at the [old Don Muang] Airport [since the government building is occupied by demonstrators – 18 September 2008]
  • The National Election Committee Orders Sam Rainsy to Pay 10 Million Fine for Insulting [three top] Leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party [during the election campaign]
  • Cambodia Has Less People contracting Tuberculosis, while there Is Growing Resistance to Medicines Compared to Bordering Countries
  • Cambodia and Vietnam Encouraged to Exchange Commercial Products at a Volume of Approximately US$2,300 in 2010

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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Friday, 19.9.2008: The United States Expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will No Longer Be Involved in a Corruption Scandal

Posted on 20 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“The United States expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will no longer be involved in a corruption scandal in the future, after the US pledged to grant US$1.8 million to the mixed tribunal to seek justice for the victims who died during the Killing Field regime. This information is based on statements of the spokesperson of the US Department of State Sean McCormack during a press conference in Washington on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 [see the full text at the end].

“Mr. Sean McCormack stated, ‘We believe that the court is now capable of meeting international standards of justice, and our decision at this time to identify funds reflects our belief that the court has the capacity to respond effectively and appropriately to these allegations.’ He said that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal still has more to do, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator from the United Nations side, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing.

“It should be remembered that previously, employees of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had repeatedly raised the problem of kickbacks in exchange for getting employed, but it was never officially announced that there were any perpetrators or who they are. As a result of suspicion, the UN Development Program office had suspended more than US$300,000 for a period of time, suspending the payment of salaries for Khmer staff in July. Then, the head of the Khmer Staff Department was removed from his position, as a big corruption leader at the Khmer side of the court, but it seems that nobody really dares to touch him.

“The international community and many donor countries, especially the United States, hesitated to grant more funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, because of the [not yet clarified allegations of a] corruption scandal. However, the United States, through its Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. John Negroponte, who visited Cambodia recently, pledged to grant US$1.8 million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, so that it can proceed smoothly. Mr. Sean McCormack added that the US Department of State had already shared information about this attempt to help Cambodia to try the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Mr. Reach Sambath, the spokesperson of the [Cambodian section of the] Khmer Rouge Tribunal, said that the granting of US funds is mainly a political sign, and the tribunal welcomes this decision by the United States as a correct one. He went on to say that although this grant is small, it is better than nothing, and though it comes late, it is better than nothing. Mr. Reach Sambath boasted that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is strongly committed and has created clear plans to deal with corruption, like by the nomination of two ethics monitoring officials, and the reassignment away of the director of personnel.

“This spokesperson hinted that the trial of Kang Kek Iev – called Duch, the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief – might happen in October or in November, after some procedural problems between the co-investigating judges and the co-prosecutors will have been clarified. Some officials of civil society organizations and observers are keenly observing this problem, because they want to see that the trial of the suspects to happens soon, in order to find justice for the victims. However, if there is more delay, the funds from the United States will be spent wastefully, and the Khmer citizens still do not see the light of justice.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has suffered from allegations of a corruption scandal, needs approximately US$50 million in addition, to cover expenses until 2010, out of which approximately US$10 million are to come from the Cambodian side, and approximately US$40 million are needed from the United Nations. At present, many observers are waiting to see whether the trial – which is planed to take place this late October – of Khiev Samphan, who had filed an appeal to be temporarily released from detention, will proceed smoothly or not. If the trial of Khiev Samphan in October faces complications and is delayed again, like it happened already on 23 April 2008, it is not easy for the tribunal to seek additional millions of dollars.

“Although the US government announced to ask for parliamentary approval for a grant of US$1.8 million to the [UN, not the Cambodian section of the] Khmer Rouge Tribunal budget during the recent visit by the US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, some observers of the processes of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal do not expect that this mixed tribunal can find justice for the victims who were killed during the killing filed regime, because previously, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had spent already millions of dollars wastefully, while Khmer citizens in general have been waiting for justice nearly 30 years. Furthermore, irregularities and a corruption scandal at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal have not yet been clarified.

“Khmer citizens inside of the country and abroad want that the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders should occur soon, as long as they are still alive, so that the real reasons that led to the killing of more than 1.7 million people during their time in power from 1975 to early January 1979 can be revealed. Therefore, if there is further delay, those former Khmer Rouge leaders might die before the trial takes place, because already at present, they became older, and some of them had been suffering from serious illness and had often been sent to Calmette Hospital.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3569, 19.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 19 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1750, 19.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen and Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Extend Friendly Wishes to Each Other; Amnesty Letter for Samdech Krom Preah Arrived at the Royal Palace on 18 September 2008
  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance Has Not Taken Any Action to Decrease the Price of Fuel Following Samdech Hun Sen’s Order
  • The Murder Case of the Journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Khim Sambo and his 21-year-old son] Reaches a State to Call Those Who Know Much to Be Asked [medical doctors of Calmette Hospital, editor of The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Dam Sith, editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer, staff of ADHOC and of LICADHO]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #247, 19.9.2008

  • [Opposition party President] Sam Rainsy Affirms that on 24 and 25 September 2008, There Will Be No Opposition Party Parliamentarians Present to Satisfy the Face of the Cambodian People’s Party


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #102, 19.9.2008

  • The Head of the Government Affirmed His Final Position Regarding some Political Issues Related to the Opposition Parties [he warns to sue Sam Rainsy for insulting the new National Assembly by saying that it is a thief, ghost, wind, and a Yuon (Vietnamese) National Assembly]
  • Vendors of the New Market Plan to Protest in Front of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen’s House [related to the plan to narrow their stalls]
  • US Military Medics [from the US Tripler Army Medical Center] for Smile, Sound, and Sight, Treat Khmer Citizens Free of Charge [from 10 to 19 September 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6454, 19.9.2008

  • Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat – สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์] Responds Positively to Continue to Negotiate with Cambodia [after Prime Minister Hun Sen’ request for negotiations]
  • Delegations from Hong Kong and from [South] Korea Look for Development in Sihanoukville [with plans build new towns, casinos, hospitals, stadiums, hotels, a public zoo, golf courses, resorts, and seashore and on-the-sea recreation sites, and also preserving a natural forest park]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #34, 19.9.2008

  • The United States Expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will No Longer Be Involved in a Corruption Scandal
  • [Sam Rainsy Party Deputy Secretary General] Mu Sochua: 20% or 21% of Khmer Citizens Lack Food [she raised this problem, based on a survey by the Cambodia Development Resource Institute]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4698, 19.9.2008

  • Cambodia Criticizes Thailand for Lying to the World by Announcing that the Ta Krabei Temple [located in an unmarked border region] Belongs to Them
  • Vietnam Sends Seventeen Khmer Citizens Home, Whom They Rescued from a Leaking Ship
  • Digging up of Khmer Ancestral Graves Happens Again in Thma Pouk [probably by artifact plunderers – Banteay Meanchey]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3411, 19.9.2008

  • The Court Summons Representatives of the Citizens and of the Company over the Boeng Kak Lake Land Dispute Today [after citizens had filed a complaint, requesting to stop the dredging of sand to fill the lake]

Cambodia related section of the press conference at the US Department of State on 16.9.2008
Source:
http://useu.usmission.gov/Article.asp?ID=B76C5503-996F-4F03-AAC0-749F4312BA5D

QUESTION: Did you manage to get answers to the two questions that I had at the end of the briefing yesterday,…[on] the Cambodia issue?

MR. MCCORMACK: As a matter of fact, we did. And I have on Cambodia – I have some –…
I’ll just read – I have a few points on this. I’ll read them off to you and see if they’re useful.

We are committed to helping Cambodia in its efforts to hold Khmer Rouge leaders accountable for their crimes. The State Department has notified Congress of our intention to provide $1.8 million to help the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the E-triple-C, complete its task. We believe that the court is now capable of meeting international standards of justice, and our decision at this time to identify funds reflects our belief that the court has the capacity to respond effectively and appropriately to these allegations.

While the court still has more to do, the ECCC has made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, the court must still take appropriate steps to address the current allegations and hold responsible those involved.

QUESTION: And this was – a similar message was conveyed by the Deputy [Secretary of State Negroponte] when he was there?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, the issue was discussed by the Deputy in Phnom Penh.

QUESTION: Yeah, but, I mean – but he told them that they were going to get the money.

MR. MCCORMACK: I have not spoken with the Deputy, so I can’t vouch firsthand for his message. But the issue was raised.

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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Wednesday, 17.9.2008: Cambodian Film Wins Major U.S. Award

Posted on 18 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: A film produced by Khmer producers with the title ‘Facing the Truth’ won a high award in the United States during the Freddie Awards Celebration 2008; Freddie Awards are given in the United States for international health and medical media achievements.

“Oscar Awards [awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] are well known for the competition of films in general, but there is also a competition in which there are medical awards, the Freddie Awards, which is one among special awards. In this competition, health organizations from around the world participated. This award is an encouragement for such film productions worldwide.

“‘Facing the Truth’ was produced by Khmer Mekong Films, it is a 30-minute televised drama, describing the importance of HIV tests for pregnant women. Its content shows the countryside in Cambodia and it is a sad film reflecting the reality in Cambodian society.

“This film was submitted under two categories – fist under Prevention, and the second submission was in the category Infectious Diseases – among 32. The film was accepted as a candidate and surprisingly, it won the Number One Award in the field of Prevention, although there was strong competition from broadcasting corporations in Canada and from two big cable TV networks in the United States.

“‘Facing the Truth’ was produced as part of the campaign to promote AIDS prevention, which was led and organized by the program PMTCT (Prevention mother to child transmission of HIV) of the National Maternal Child Health Center of the Ministry of Health, and has been shown around Cambodia.

“This film was funded by the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, and in Cambodia also through the Global AIDS Program. Drafts of the film’s content and text of the conversation were produced by Khmer Mekong Films with assisting ideas from Madame Dr. Vong Sothearany, a coordinator of the program PMTCT (Prevention mother to child transmission of HIV) of the National Maternal Child Health Center of the Ministry of Health.

“This film was shot in and around Phnom Penh in ten days and has been shown at hospitals and health centers nationwide during a period of about two years. This movie was shown also on the Cambodian Television Network in June 2008, and more than two million citizens watched it.

“Mr. Matthew Robinson [the executive producer and owner of Khmer Mekong Films], said that this award is a great achievement, not only for Khmer Mekong Films, but also for the National Maternal Child Health Center of the Ministry of Health and for the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, and especially it is a reason of pride of all Khmers.

“It should be noted that the celebration, where this important award will be delivered, is organized to happen in Philadelphia in the United States on 14 November 2008. For that occasion, Khmer Mekong Films will send two staff members, as well as a film director, to receive the award.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #100, 17.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1747, 17.9.2008

  • The Untied States Plans to Invite Samdech Hun Sen for an Official Visit
  • Cambodia Steps up Cooperation and Exchange of Work Experiences against Corruption in ASEAN
  • Siamese [Thai] Troops Remove Citizens’ Housing at the Cham Sragam Border Crossing Point [Oddar Meanchey]
  • Thailand’s Supreme Court Issued an Arrest Warrant for [ousted prime minister] Thaksin [over corruption charges]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #245, 17.9.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Demand Reforms of the Election Law and Demand to Do Whatever Is Necessary to Assure by Law That the Opposition Parties Should Get Certain Positions in the National Assembly


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #100, 17.9.2008

  • Cambodian Film Wins Major U.S. Award
  • The Government Reacts to the Publication by the Bangkok Post [saying that Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Thailand should consider to give up the position of president of ASEAN temporarily; saying that Prime Minister Hun Sen never used the words ‘must’ or ‘should’ related to that position]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6451, 17.9.2008

  • Regarding the Problem that the Opposition Parties Will Not Attend the First Session of Parliament, Samdech Dekchor Said: They Do Not Recognize the Election Results, but They also Do Not Abandon Their Seats


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3567, 17.9.2008

  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: Members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party Will Not Take the Salaries from the Prime Minister [responding to the threat by Prime Minister Hun Sen that he will not release salaries to opposition party parliamentarians who boycott the first session of the National Assembly]


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1360, 17.9.2008

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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Monday, 15.9.2008: The Ministry of Defense Calls for the Recruitment of Soldiers

Posted on 16 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“General Phan Nguon, a military official of the Ministry of Defense, provided information to students and youth who have the intention to become soldiers to serve the nation. The recruitment procedures were announced through the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Television [TV5] yesterday morning, while Siam [Thai] black-clad soldiers [from the Special Border Protectin Forces] continuously invade Khmer territory in the west.

“The announcement said that the Ministry of Defense informs students and youth who have the intention to become officers and soldiers to register – and then future officers are required to undergo a four years training, while the normal soldiers are required to go through a six months training.

“The announcement shows several entry points, but it focuses, for the first intake, on the army. The training of the recruits may be inside or outside of the country, and the Ministry points out that both male and female students are being addressed, who have graduated with a high school diploma or have grades comparable, and have the intention to volunteer to become members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – if this applies, interested persons should complete one of the following forms:

Four years training course of the thirteenth intake active soldiers
Four years training course of the first intake for army officers

“The announcement provides detailed information to the volunteers how to become soldiers, and explains how to complete the forms at the Office of Personnel of the Armed Forces Headquarters opposite of the Lux Cinema, and at other town and provincial military outposts countrywide. The date to accept forms starts from the day of the announcement until 26 November 2008, daily and any time of the day.

“The announcement for the recruitment of soldiers is made while a neighboring country of Cambodia invades Cambodian territory in western regions, especially the Siamese [Thai] thief that invades to occupy Khmer Temples along the border at many places, like the regions near the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Thom Temple, the Ta Krabei Temple, the Chub Kokir region, and some regions in Anlong Veng and Oddar Meanchey. As for the number of Khmer soldiers, claimed to be around 120,000 to 130,000, it appears that this is only a number, but in fact, there are probably less than half of this number. Because when the nation is in danger, like when the Siamese thief invades the country, there are not enough soldier to respond.

Note:

In the last Editorial we referred to some of the more delicate, and still not discussed problems between both countries; it can be accessed also here.

“Mr. Yim Sovann, the head of the Fourth Committee of the National Assembly and a high ranking official of the Sam Rainsy Party, informed Khmer Machas Srok about the number of soldiers he had received from the Ministry of Defense, ‘For now, I doubt that the number of soldiers is between 120,000 and 130,000, because now, when there is an invasion by a foreign country, like at the western border, the government appears to hesitate to respond; there are not enough troops sent for patrol. Therefore, our soldiers exist only in numbers, but the real number of soldiers is likely to be insufficient, because of corruption, as it is not known where the real soldiers are.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that as for the police, he had been informed also that their number is 50,000.

“An official of the Ministry of Defense, who is a former KPNLF soldier of the [US supported] Khmer People’s National Liberation Front [until 1992] of Louk Ta [Grandfather] Son San, said that many soldiers of the divisions of the six military regions in Cambodia, as well as those in towns and provincial military outposts, exist only as numbers, but their salaries are taken by their commanders.

Note:

When one sees the many luxury class extremely expensive Landcruiser car with military license plates on the streets, such an outrageous assumption becomes undertstandable. I had to travel to many different countries in the couse of my life and work – in no other country I have seen luxury cars with military license plates.

When the country needs soldiers, some divisions with nominally nearly 10,000 soldiers have only around 300 to 400 soldiers, including drivers, and those who guard the land and the houses for their division chiefs.

“The same general, who is a former KPLF soldier, continued to say that whatever their affiliation – with the State of Cambodia, or with the former ANKI [Armée Nationale du Kampuchea Independent – National Army of Independent Kampuchea – the former military arm of FUNCINPEC] , or with the KPNLF, or the former followers of Gneral Sak Sutsakhan [who had separated himself from the KPNLF] – their high levels leaders have abandoned them, especially those soldiers who fought in the battlefields in Battambang, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, and Siem Reap, they have been forgotten, and some of their land and housing had been grabbed by the powerful and by the rich.

“However, that former KPLF soldier said that as for the military commanders, specifically those who served the State of Cambodia [1989 to 1993], at present almost all still are in their positions, though most of them have fat potbellies. The official went on to say that the Ministry of National Defense lacked everything during this last period,: it lacks fuel allowance, and the salaries for the soldiers are small and often paid with delays, which contrasts with the salaries of the members of the National Assembly, saying that Ministry of Defense expenses are budgeted as US$267 million for one year.

“Although the Ministry of Defense faces a shortage of solders, there are always thousands of soldiers to protect the Prime Minister Hun Sen, and more than forty tanks which are not broken down, are always on alert for the security of the Prime Minister alone.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #244, 14-16.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 15 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1746, 14-15.9.2008

  • Former Parliamentary Candidate of the Sam Rainsy Party Reveals Insider Information [Mr. Chrea Chenda, who joined the Cambodian People’s Party said that the leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party commit corruption]
  • Siam [Thailand] Invades the Trap Mountain and Warns Khmer Soldiers to Retreat [Preah Vihear area – no precise information given whether it relates to the area the Cambodian side has not claimed in the document for the World Heritage listing, or to other areas]
  • More Than 2,000 Workers of the King Maker Shoe Factory Ask Their Manager to Obey Working Condition Regulations [the factory is located in a special economic zone in Svay Rieng]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #244, 14-16.9.2008

  • The Ministry of Defense Calls for the Recruitment of Soldiers
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Plans to Take Father of Tim Sakhan to Visit His Son Directly in Vietnam


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6450, 15.9.2008

  • Hundreds of People Collect Around 40,000 Liters of Fuel Leaking into Rice Fields from Overturned Fuel Tanker Truck [Kompong Trach, Kampot]
  • Price of Fuel Drops from More Than US$140 to US$97 per Barrel [1 barrel corresponds to 117.35 liters, and it drops US$0.37 per liter], but in Cambodia It Drops Only Riel 400 [approx. US$0.10] per Liter


Mate Neak, Vol.1, #5, 15-21.9.2008

  • Citizens from Four Districts of Kandal Criticize the Arrangements and Technique Putting Culverts [some houses are connected, some are not – Kien Svay]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3565, 15.9.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Decides to Publish List of Ministers on 22 September; Funcinpec Asks for 100 Positions as Government Advisors
  • The Government’s Patience Motivates Siam [Thailand] to Look Down and Invade Cambodia More Strongly


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1359, 15.9.2008

  • The Royal Government of Cambodia Prepares Complaints to the International Court of Justice after Staying Patient for Two Months with Siam Invading [Prime Minister Hun Sen decided that officials of the government prepare different relevant documents to send complaints again to the UN Security Council and even to the International Court of Justice]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4694, 14-15.9.2008

  • Japan Tries to Encourage Its Investors to Come to Cambodia
  • Clinton Foundation Announces to Seek Donations to Help to Preserve Forest


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3408, 14-15.9.2008

  • The King Asks the Sam Rainsy Party to Look into the Law [which states that the first session of the National Assembly has to be held within sixty days after the elections, and all parliamentarians elected have to attend the session summoned by the King]

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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Monday, 8.9.2008: Inflation Affects the Livelihood of the Poor

Posted on 9 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Phnom Penh: While the price of fuel increases, everything increases also, but when thr price of fuel in the world declines much, the prices of goods in Cambodia do not seem to go down, affecting the livelihood of the citizens, especially of the poor. High ranking officials of the National Bank of Cambodia have recognized signs of inflation in Cambodia.

“According to a report of the first six months of 2008, issued by the National Bank of Cambodia, inflation in Cambodia increased to 37.2%, which seriously affects the everyday life of the citizens.

“Mr. Chea Chanto, the governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said that the major issue is the remarkably rising inflation during the early part of 2008. There was increasing inflation, because Cambodia faced the world economic situation which was bleak, and this resulted from a combinatiion of factors, such as the turmoil in the financial and credit markets of industrialized countries, as well as the rising prices of fuel and of food worldwide, particularly the increase of the price of rice.

“It is not known whether what is mentioned here is appropriate or not, but according to observations at the markets in Cambodia, it seems to be almost a habit that when prices of all types of goods increase, they later hardly decline, and if there is a decline, it is small.

“The price of fuel rose dramatically in the world from US$100 to US$147 per barrel in July 2008, and in August, the price of fuel in Cambodia increased also considerably to Riel 5,650 [approx. US$1.40] per liter. However, when prices of fuel in the world declined to US$112 (a US$35 drop), fuel prices in Cambodia declined to Riel 5,400 [approx. US$1.33] only, which seems not to be equivalent to the world influence.

“As for the prices of goods at the markets in Cambodia, they do not decline much, making people to say that when prices rise, they later hardly decline. Prices of goods seem to remain stable – Somaly rice costs Riel 4,000 [approx. US$0.99]/kg, Phka Malis rice Riel 3,100 [approx. US$0.77]/kg, Neang Menh Riel 2,500 [approx. US$0.62]/kg, pork Riel 20,000 [approx. US$4.95]/kg, beef Riel 23,000 [approx. US$5.68]/kg, chicken Riel 18,000 [approx. US$4.45], fresh pike fish Riel 15,000 [approx. US$3.70]/kg, dry salty pile fish Riel 32,000 [approx. US$7.90]/kg, and sugar Riel 2,200 [approx. US$0.54]/kg.

“Now, not only the prices of goods of daily consumption increase, but also the prices for bicycle and motorbike parking at different markets increased also.

“Ms. Srey Sitha, 49, whose husband is a civil servant with a salary of Riel 200,000 [approx. US$49.43], has four children. She was carrying a basket and went with not much hope to do the shopping. She said that she lives in Boeng Salang and was heading to the Phsar Deumkor Market to do the shopping. Before, she spent only Riel 5,000 [approx. US$1.24] when she did the shopping, but now, although having Riel 20,000 to Riel 30,000 [approx. US$7.41], she could not manage to buy delicious food.

“She added that according to her husband’s salary, more than Riel 6,000 [approx. US$1.48] can be spent per day, and as for her, the state offers her [a dependent’s allowance of] Riel 6,000 per month (before it had been Riel 3,000); how can the money be managed? At least Riel 40,000 [approx. US$9.89] to Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.36] is needed to be spent per day (Riel 20,000 for food, Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.47] for fuel for her children’s and her husband’s motorbikes, and Riel 10,000 for her children for additional tutoring classes) – and this does not yet include rice for breakfast.

“A teacher of a high school in Phnom Penh, who uses his free time to work as a moto taxi driver, said that his salary is Riel 300,000 [approx. US$74,15], but it is not enough for his family, because even calculating the amount of fuel and of rice for breakfast, already Riel 10,000 is gone. If he would not drive a moto taxi to earn more money, how could the life of the family be supported? He added a Khmer saying, ‘The teacher has a good wife, but when he is poor, she complains’ [mocking the teaching profession, known to receive low salaries]. ‘I don’t know whether my students want to follow me to become a teacher who is poor like this.’

“As for workers, they complain similarly. Srey Oun, 29, from Kompong Thom, works in a factory in Tuek Thla, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh. She earns between US$60 and US$70 per month, and she complained that everyday, she works like a slave of the Chinese owner, and she does not know clearly whom her work feeds more [her or her boss]. She earns US$60, out of which US$10 is paid for the rent where she stays, US$5 for utilities, US$20 per month for her meals, US$1 for rice as breakfast – corresponding to US$30 per month – and US$10 for traveling to visit her hometown every month. So there is no money left to feed herself and her parents. She said, ‘I do not want to work in the factory very much, but if I stay at home, there is nothing to do, so I just bear it until I die.’

“A retired civil servant said that if one considers the prices of goods at the current markets, there is only suffering; for him, like for other civil servants, if he would not work hard to find part-time jobs, he could not expect to survive; his stomach will shrink and the whole family will die. At present, approximately 34% of the citizens earn less than US$1 per day. However, the number of officials of the government increases, and they are wasting the state’s resoources, because too many positions and roles have been created.

“Mr. Kouy Sarun showed the gap between the rich and the poor through a poem, ‘The rich is rich with much wealth, while the poor lacks everything forever; the rich buy beef for their dogs, while the farmers who feed the cows eat Prahok.’ [preserved fish]” Amnach Reas, Vol.1, #21, 8-14.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 8 September 2008


Amnach Reas [the title is written in Khmer, then in Roman letters trascribed, and then in English translation: The

    People’s Power], Vol.1, #21, 8-14.9.2008
    Inflation Affects the Livelihood of the Poor


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1740, 7-8.9.2008

  • [Cambodian National Research Organization director] Dr. Heang Rithy: If Sam Rainsy Wants to Protest [against election results], He Should Not Be Stupid Like This [but he has to create a clear policy plan for the elections]
  • Man, Who Loses Court Case [over land issue], Is Ordered by Court to Unearth His Wife’s Body from the Tomb [located on the contestedland – Baribour, Kampong Chhnang]
  • Makeshift Truck Sets Off Anti-Tank Mine, Killing Five People in Koun Kriel Commune [Samraong, Oddar Meanchey on 5 September 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #239, 7-9.9.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay: Cambodia Might Have a New Revolution if the Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Reform the Leadership System Following Democratic Principles
  • Illegal Logging Continues Seriously in Ratanakiri


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #93, 7-8.9.2008

  • Trees in Oral Mountain Are Illegally Cut in Great Numbers [Kompong Speu]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #64, .9.2008

  • Are Neighbor’s Acts Good or Bad? At the Cham Yeam Border Crossing [in Koh Kong], Siamese [Thai border protection officials] Have Dogs Sniff Khmers from Head to Foot [checking for drugs]; at the Choam Border Crossing [in Oddar Meanchey], the Palms of Their Hands and All Ten Fingers Have to Be Fingerprinted [by the Thai immigration police] before they allowed Cambodians to enter Thailand]
  • Oral District Military Police Burned [illegal] Sawmill in the Jungle [5 September 2008 – Kompong Speu]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4688, 7-8.9.2008

  • A Bodyguard’s Gun Went Off by Itself, Killing a [27-year-old] Woman; He Was Released by the Police, but Not Sent to Court [Kien Svay, Kandal]
  • Approximately 450 to 500 Dogs Are Needed for Dog Meat Restaurants saain Phnom Penh per Day [according to a Municipal veterinary]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how to evaluate them: which realities do they really represent?

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Tuesday, 8.7.2008: Cambodia Includes Agricultural Mechanization into the Agricultural Production System of Farmers

Posted on 8 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Phnom Penh: Senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries said that nowadays, a relevant section of the agricultural sector of Cambodia is including agricultural mechanization for Cambodian farmers countrywide, to increase their production capacity, and to increase the quantity of agricultural production and its quality and to attract markets.

“A group of agricultural technical officials said that the inclusion of agricultural mechanization, such as the use of ploughing and harvesting machines, paddy seed transplanting machines, tractors, “hand held tractors” [for ploughing wet rice-fields before planting], threshing machines, paddy milling machines etc., into the planting, harvesting, and production and manufacturing system, is being accepted, and gladly preferred by farmers. The group of expert officials has tried to provide training, as well as tests for manufacturing and production officials, continually showing the use of agricultural machines in the agricultural production to farmers at the basis.

“According to statistics about agricultural machines and production tools in a report to a meeting to cover all work of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 2007-2008 and the goals for 2008-2009 for the Cambodian agriculture countrywide, there are approximately 4,475 tractors used, 34,639 “hand held tractors”, 131,702 water pumps, 395 harvesting machines, 8,036 threshing machines, and 38,680 paddy rice milling machines. This shows that more and more farmers understand mechanization and the importance of different uses of agricultural machines for their production in agriculture.

Farmers in the northeastern provinces of Cambodia said that they prefer to use agricultural machines, because they save more time than using traditional measures, such as ploughing by using cattle, or transporting by using ox-carts. Moreover, they do not have to care about food for their cattle, or to take care and to protect them from diseases, and after they have used the machines, they can do other tasks. In Cambodia, more and moe farmers prefer to use machines, since the government began reforms starting in 1987 by a widely open free market mechanism. Most farmers produce to feed their families, some places began agricultural production for trading, because agricultural mechanization and other agricultural techniques were spread by experts into the agricultural system. Until 1987, only the state used agricultural machines, and agricultural officials organized programs to plough farmers’ land every year at the beginning of the rice planting season.

“Agricultural mechanization, which is being promoted by experts in the Cambodian agricultural production system, will become an important measure to increase agricultural productivity, and production will be more efficient, both in terms of the quantity and quality of production, and it will lead to greater productivity of paddy rice for food and for export. Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1687, 8.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2791, 8.7.2008

  • Khmer Fishermen Complain about Difficulties to Do Fishing in the Khmer Sea, because They Loose to Siamese [Thai] Fishing Boats [which have modern fishing equipment, and they [the Thais] are allowed to do fishing in the Khmer sea by Khmer authorities who collude with them, receiving colossal money]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1687, 8.7.2008

  • Cambodia Includes Agricultural Mechanization into the Agricultural Production System of Farmers
  • The Korean Research Foundation for the 21st Century and INHA University Opened Training Courses about Information Technology [programming, website design, Internet] for Khmer Students [at the Royal University of Phnom Penh]
  • Thai Military Supreme Commander [Boonsang Niempradit] Dismissed Rumors about a New Coup


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #43, 8.7.2008

  • Migration of Khmer Workers to Other Countries Might Affect Their Election Rights


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6391, 8.7.2008

  • Optimism of the Owner of the Temple: Official Decision [on the listing as a World Heritage Site] Depends on UNESCO, Not on a Thai Court
  • Samdech Euv [Father King Norodom Sihanouk]: The Fear to Lose the Monarchy Has No Basis, because the King [Norodom Sihamoni] Is Excellent
  • General Administrator of the National Bank Shows that the Cambodian Economy in 2008 Increases 9.5%
  • OPEC President [Chakib Khelil]: Oil Price Will Continue to Rise [because of the falling value of the US dollar]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3506, 8.7.2008

  • Hearing Results of [former Khmer Rouge leader, Ieng Sary’s wife] Ieng Thirith, about Her Appeal to Be Released from the Detention Center Temporarily, Will Be Made Public Tomorrow
  • Mr. Um Sara, presenter of the Punleu Pleung Tean [“candle light”] Program [of the Sam Rainsy Party on Sambok Khmum Radio] Was Warned to Be Killed by Murderers


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4635, 8.7.2008

  • Thailand Is Likely to Fail to Stop the Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple; Thai Military Commander Asks Thai People to Be Calm over the Decision of UNESCO
  • Just Society Party and Khmer Anti-Corruption Party Concluded an Agreement to Unite with One Another [7 June 2008]
  • Vietnam Takes Strict Action against Illegal Fuel Export into Cambodia [by closing all gasoline stations near the Cambodian border – according to Việt Nam News]
  • 28 People Died and 141 Were Injured by a Bomb Explosion at the Indian Embassy in Kabul [Afghanistan]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3353, 8.7.2008

  • Most Luxury Cars with Labels of the Ruling Party, Used for the Election Campaign, Do Not Have Number Plates

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

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Tuesday, 24.6.2008: Fuel Prices and Inflation Are Not Expected to Decline after the 2008 Election

Posted on 24 June 2008. Filed under: Week 566 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 566

“Phnom Penh: Civil society organizations mentioned that fuel prices seem to be higher and inflation remains stable nowadays, and it is assumed that after the coming fourth term parliamentary election, although a new government will be created, it will not be possible to solve these problems.

“Mr. Yang Saing Koma, Director of the Center for Studies and Development of Cambodian Agriculture, [CEDAC], told reporters at the Cambodiana Hotel on 19 June 2008 that food prices, which are steadily increasing and are a global phenomenon, push that in Cambodia the prices of all kinds of goods are increasing at the moment.

“He added that from August to September, the Cambodian rice price might continue to rise, because farmers might run out of paddy rice from the storage rooms while they at the same time want to sell it, because there is a lot of demand at the market, and domestic supplies are not enough; this will increase the price of rice to be higher, or at least it will remain at the present level.

“Ms. Chea Vannath, an independent analyst, she said that although after the forth term parliamentary election, and after a new government will have been created, still the price of fuel and inflation will not decline. Quite the opposite, ‘The situation will threaten the poverty alleviation strategy of the Royal Government.’

“Similarly, Mr. Chan Sophal, the president of the Cambodian Economic Association, said that the price of crude oil at the international market may further increase in the future. Therefore, the price of fuel in Cambodia is not expected to drop. He continued that inflation gets higher because of two factors – a domestic factor and an external factor. He explained that at the present time, the prices of all kinds of goods at the international market increase strongly because of the shortage of food. As for the domestic factor, there is a group of people who sell land, and they have income from this, but this group also needs domestic materials and food, and because the domestic products are not sufficiently available, the inflation grows higher.

“To solve the increase of fuel prices and of inflation, Cambodia could follow the model of Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These countries have created systems to sell fuel or rice by setting two different pricing policies – to sell to the rich at higher, and to the poor at cheaper prices. The sale of fuel to the rich is established for those who drive luxury cars when they go to fill fuel at the gasoline stations. This example was raised by Ms. Chea Vannath; as for Mr. Chan Sophal, he added that the government can reduce the tax on oil imports, and this can reduce the price of fuel. As for inflation, the government has to increase the yields of cultivation, and handle land disputes better.

“Observers noticed that nowadays citizens in Cambodia sell land or leave their land unused while they have disputes; these are obstacles to increase the yield of rice in Cambodia.

“Regarding this issue, Mr. Ith Nody, undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, told reporters at the Hotel Cambodiana on 19 June 2008 that the government knows these problems and has measures to deal with them. The government will provide social concession land to citizens with the support of the World Bank and a Japanese fund by using social land concessions in Kompong Cham, Kratie, and Kompong Thom, but he did not give any details about the size of those social land concessions.

“He added that merchants have bought land from citizens and left the land unused. The government, when necessary, will require those merchants to pay land taxes to the state.

“Last Friday, Khmer Sthapana had tried to phone to ask for some explanation about the continuing rising price of fuel from the Senior Minister of Economy and Finance, but could not reach him.

“However, Mr. Keat Chhon has told reporters a few days ago that the government has prepared approximately US$30 million to spend this year quietly and has tired to prevent inflation, which is a phenomenon in foreign countries, to keep the price of fuel from increasing further.

“According to a recent report of the Asian Development Bank, inflation in Asia is a threat to poverty alleviation strategies and affects investments and incomes, creating instability for several governments.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #21, 24.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1675, 24.6.2008

  • Political Parties React to the Prohibition of the [Phnom Penh] Municipality for the Election Campaign [which bans all political parties to march in important places in the city, such as Monivong Boulevard, Norodom Boulevard, and Mao Tse-Tung Boulevard, and all big markets]
  • Opposition Party Parliamentarian [Mr. Son Chhay] Called on the King to Be Concerned with the Case of Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on an accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam] during His Visit to Vietnam [from 24 to 26 June 2008]
  • Workers Can Rest from One to Three Days to Travel to Vote [as announced by the National Election Committee, after getting this Information from the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training]
  • The Cambodia Movement for Health [CMH] Shows that 98% of Cambodian Citizens Countrywide Support Prohibition of Tobacco Broadcast Advertising
  • Thai Official [of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]: “The Preah Vihear Temple Is in Khmer Territory”
    Thai Prime Minister [Samak Sundaravej] Will Resign from His Position if the Assembly Passes a No-Confidence Vote


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #21, 24.6.2008

  • Fuel Prices and Inflation Are Not Expected to Decline after the 2008 Election
  • [The US ambassador to Cambodia] Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli Predicted the Cambodian People’s Party Will Win the Election [speaking to reporters in Pailin on 23 June 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6379, 24.6.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Stance: In Case Funcinpec Wins No Seat in the National Assembly, the Cambodian People’s Party Will Form the Government Alone [said Prime Minister Hun Sen in Pursat on 23 June 2008]
  • Grade 2 Teacher Is Accused of Raping Five [little girl] Students. When this Became Known, He Escaped from the School [Kratie]
  • Tropical Cyclone Fengshen [風神] Raises Number of Deaths up to 598, and 740 People Are Still Missing in the Philippines
  • Zimbabwe’s Opposition Leader [Morgan Tsvangirai] Announced to Withdraw form the Election

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3494, 24.6.2008

  • Ceremony to Burn Drugs Hold at the Time when [US presidential candidate from the Republican Party] John McCain’s Wife [Ms. Cindy McCain] Came to Cambodia [23 June 2008]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4623, 24.6.2008

  • Cambodia Closed the Access to the Preah Vihear Temple Temporarily [on the evening of 22 June 2008]; the Thai Prime Minister Blamed the Protest [by the Thai Senate about the Thai government’s agreement to the Cambodian map, claiming it violates the Thai constitution] to Be Not Justified
  • Prime Minister [Hun Sen] Finished a Public Speech by Asking Not to Voice any Reactions against the Election Results [by the losing parities, and he said that after 23 June 2008, he will not make any speech on radio or television]

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

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Monday, 16.6.2008: Female Sex Workers and AIDS Activists Voice Concerns over New Law

Posted on 17 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Apologies for the delayed posting – I am in a hospital, and therefore some delays in editing may happen also during the next days.

Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

“On 15 February 2008, Cambodia implemented its new law to curb down human trafficking and sexual exploitation. This law aims to punish criminals who traffic humans and commit sexual exploitation, in order to protect human dignity and human rights, to promote the values of proper customs and traditions of the country, and in order to comply with the protocol of the United Nations on these problems. Article 23 of this law defines Prostitution a having sexual intercourse with an unspecified person or other sexual conduct of any kind in exchange for any value.’

“However, entertainment workers, sex workers, and AIDS activists voice concerns about this law. A 36-year-old female sex worker of a brothel in Sihanoukville, the resort and international seaport, said, ‘I had never heard of the law talking about sexual exploitation, and if it is true, I think that it is a severe problem for us. I agree that sex work undermines Khmer culture and Khmer women’s reputation, but we have no choice.’ Sreyrath, who is a widow with four children, and who has been working as a sex worker nearly 10 years, said that she and her friends do not want to do such work, but it is because they are poor and illiterate. And Rath was trafficked to work as a prostitute in Thailand in the late 1990s; she used to use drugs as well. She said, ‘We are sex workers because of poverty and of the social situation which forces us to do this job. The leaders should understand our situation.’

“Poverty and the lack of skills seem to be significant factors hindering the social progress for women. Most of the interviewed women said their husbands died, and the big burden fell on them, especially it is really difficult for those who have children. For instance, as 27-year-old widow with three children, working in a restaurant said, ‘I do not want to go out to sleep with men, but since my husband died, I have no one else to depend on. I have no skill to find another job. Sleeping with one guest one night, I can get US$30, sometimes, US$100. If the law is adopted and it is the implemented seriously, I think it will be very difficult for us. We do not know what other job else could do.’

“According to Cambodia’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the number of women who do sex work regularly is approximately 3,430, and 13,723 do it occasionally. The organization KHANA with cooperating partner organizations provides knowledge and information on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ prevention to 1,568 regular sex workers and to 4,715 occasional sex workers.

“Anter Nita, Director of the Sihanoukville-based. Community United for Development [CUD], said if the new law will be enforced strongly; sex workers, especially those at present at brothels, will do clandestine work .

“Nita added, ‘My organization has regularly educated sex workers to help them to protect themselves from infection from AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, teaching them methods to persuade guests who want to force them to have sex without condoms, and teaches them methods to find good services for their health care. Our present program ‘One hundred percent condom use’ and the education programs for preventing diseases among sex workers will be affected, if they work clandestinely.’ According to reports from some local non-government organizations, police of some provinces warn owners of Karaoke parlors and of bars that they will be fined, if condoms are found in their places. These reports shows that since the implementation of this law started, some brothels have been closed, and people dare not to talk or to put condoms openly.

“Sreyrath said, ‘I would like to suggest that the law should not penalize women who are sex workers, otherwise we will have no means to feed ourselves. We really do not want work as sex workers, but we have no other jobs. Moreover, with this law sex workers will move around and continue to do sex work with no definite places to stay, and they cannot receive education about AIDS.’” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1668, 15-16.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 16 June 2008


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #120, 16.6.2008

  • Co-prosecutor of the [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Plans to Detain Three More Former Khmer Rouge Leaders [whose name have not been mentioned, but they are known holding positions of Generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, now living in Oddar Meanchey]
  • Siem [Thai] Police Posted Chea Ratha’s Portraits Everywhere to Trace Hewr Down and Hand Her Over to Khmer Authorities to Be Prosecuted [over the acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]
  • President of the Kampuchea Krom Khmer Association Thach Ngoc Thach Continues Plan to March to Kampuchea Krom [to urge Vietnam to respect human rights]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1668, 15-16.6.2008

  • Female Sex Workers and AIDS Activists Voice Concerns over New Law
  • While Prices of Fuel Increase, the Measure of the Liter [seems] Declining [this is a suspicion expressed by moto-taxi drivers]
  • Thailand Prohibits the Import of Rice from Cambodia through Border Crossing [Battambang]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #591, 16.6.2008

  • The Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Dam Sith] Was Released on Bail by the Court in Response to a Letter of Guarantee by Prime Minister Hun Sen [15 June 2008]
  • Yuons [Vietnamese] Say Although They Do Not Vote, the Cambodian People’ Party Still Wins


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6372, 16.6.2008

  • Tuberculosis Program Is Strengthened by following the Anti-AIDS Programs


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3487, 16.6.2008

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls for Members of the Cambodian People’s Party Who Care for the Nation and for Justice to Join the Sam Rainsy Party


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4616, 15-16.6.2008

  • World Bank Provided Loans and Grant Aid Worth US$41.5 to Cambodia [for road construction and for the distribution of land to the poor – 13 June 2008]
  • Biological Diversity Treaty [to conserve and reduce the destruction of biological diversity and natural resources] held in June 2008, Focusing on the Financial Mechanism [at the city of Bonn/Germany [191 countries participating, Germany providing US$500 to the biological preservation fund]
  • Construction Site of a Bridge Crossing Tonle Sap River at Prek Pnov [worth US$42,550,520 to be implemented by L.Y.P Group Company of Oknha Ly Yong Phat] Will Be Opened Today
  • Woman Was Robbed, Hit with a Gun, while Leaving the Olympic Market, and a Box Containing More than US$30,000 Was Taken


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3334, 15-16.6.2008

  • The National Election Committee Prints Twenty Four Different Ballots for the National Fourth Term Election

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

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