Mam Sonando Creates Democrats’ Club to Monitor the Process of Unification between the Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Parties – Monday, 26.4.2010

Posted on 27 April 2010. Filed under: Week 662 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 662

“Phnom Penh: Recently, Mr. Mam Sonando announced to create a new club – called ‘Democrats’ Club’ – to monitor the negotiations towards unification between the Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties. This is the goal of the club, according to the president of the Human Rights Party.

“The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, continued to express the intention to unite with the Sam Rainsy Party in order to be victorious in the upcoming elections, though the Sam Rainsy has not responded. Recently, Mr. Kem Sokha said that Mr. Mam Sonando has created a ‘Democrats’ Club’ to monitor the negations between representatives of the Human Rights Party and of the Sam Rainsy Party, to see which party is willing to unite, or if nobody intends to unite.

“During a recent talk with activists of his party in Prey Veng, Mr. Kem Sokha stated that there had been negotiations between officials of the Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties, but they did not lead to any agreement, as Sam Rainsy officials suspect that the Human Rights Party is demanding too many conditions that the Sam Rainsy Party could not accept, so that the process towards unification got stuck. Therefore, another group, called the Democrats’ Club, was now created to monitor the negotiations. This group aims to find out which party intends to unite, and which does not.

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that Mr. Mam Sonando created this group in order to monitor the process towards unification between the two parties. He said that he does not have any problems – if Sam Rainsy agrees, he will unite immediately. He stressed that his party wants to unite not because his party is weak, but to move together towards victory in the forthcoming elections.

“Mr. Kem Sokha went on to say that this move towards unity is not only for the parties that have seats in the National Assembly, but for all parties, even if they do not have any seats at present, as long as they want to unite with the Human Rights Party.

“Regarding Mr. Kem Sokha’s claim that Mr. Mam Sonando has created this Democrats’ Club to monitor the process towards unity between the Human Rights and the Sam Rainsy parties, Kampuchea Thmey could not reach [the Director of Sombok Khmum Radio] Mr. Mam Sonando for comments, as his phone could not be reached on Saturday afternoon of 24 April 2010. Previously, Mr. Mam Sonando had announced that he would send a request to the Ministry of Interior to ask for the creation of a ‘Democrats’ Club for Uniting Democrats.’ Now it is not yet known how far these plans have been progressing, but according to a source, Mr. Mam Sonando has fulfilled all conditions to request the Ministry of Interior to recognize this organization.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2232, 25-26.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 26 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #462, 25-26.4.2010

  • The United States of America [through the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carol Rodley] Praised that Forestry Crimes Are Intercepted and the Remaining Resources in Cambodia Will Be Preserved
  • Rain, Wind, and Lightning Killed Two Boys and Made Three Houses to Collapse in Kompong Cham

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #102, 26-27.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Confederation Union Calls for Participation [from the general public, civil servants, teachers, and workers] to March to Celebrate the International Labor Day on 1 May 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2232, 25-26.4.2010

    Mam Sonando Creates Democrats’ Club to Monitor the Process of Unification between the Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Parties
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Begins Enlarging National Road 6A [leading from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap] to Reduce Traffic Congestion
  • Three Hundred People Protest as Police Does Not Arrest a Perpetrator, but Held a Man Who Tried to Help [sending an assault victim to hospital, but that assaulted man died on the way, and the helper was arrested by police – Kandal]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6939, 26.4.2010

  • Police Raided a Drug Abusing Place and Arrested 38 Young People – Children of the Rich [Phnom Penh]
  • Siam [Thailand] Released Seven Khmers to Cambodia through the Choam Sragam Border Crossing after Holding Them Two Years in Jail [for entering Thai territory to illegally cut trees]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3863, 26.4.2010

  • The Opposition Party Wants to See that the World Bank Investigation Is Successful [about the development of the Boeng Kak lake area] so as to Provide Justice to Residents of the Boeng Kak Lake Community

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #155, 26.4.2010

  • Boeng Kak Residents Call for the Provision of Land Titles as the Master Plan [for the development of the area] Has Been Approved [by the Phnom Penh municipal governor – but not been published; it will be sent for approval by the Council for the Development of Cambodia]
  • Three People Died in Svay Rieng [because of diarrhea; the local authorities blamed them for eating unhygienic food]
  • A Suspect Was Arrested for Carrying a 6-Year-Old Girl to a Rice Field while She Was Asleep, and then He Raped Her [Takeo]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5181, 26.4.2010

  • China, Japan, Korea, India, and the ASEAN Countries Will Join to Perform Shows of the Buddha’s Life in Siem Reap [from 25 to 29 April 2010 to celebrate Visakh Bochea]
  • Laotian Soldiers Killed a Khmer Citizen and Arrested Two Others [accusing them of entering their territory illegally to cut trees]
  • Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the Thai government] Asked for the Dissolution of the Parliament within 30 Days, while the Government Ordered the Military to Crack Down on Them [no ultimatum date given]

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Small and Medium Scale Industry in Cambodia Will Be Strengthened for ASEANization – Tuesday, 23.2.2010

Posted on 24 February 2010. Filed under: Week 653 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 653

“Phnom Penh: Starting from 2015, member countries of ASEAN will exchange goods freely. Cambodia is among them, a country that is preparing to develop itself, while small and medium scale industry remains not so strong and needs further development so that it can compete with other ASEAN countries.

“Relating to the development of small and medium scale industry, the secretary of a Cambodian macro-micro industry community, Mr. Ouk Ren, spoke yesterday to Deum Ampil, saying, ‘The development of small and medium scale industry in Cambodia is speeding up, and its capacity has to be further strengthened for its ASEANization in 6 points: 1. Organization of leadership institutions, 2. Financial supporting systems, 3. Marketing networks, 4. Extensive communication, 5. Information and communication technology, and 6. Promotion of leadership ability in all sectors.’

“He added, ‘Most small and medium scale enterprises are operated as family businesses. Therefore, if we do not organize them, it will be difficult for them to relate to, and to integrate into foreign trade. It requires that public services are coordinated and that improvements happen so that developments are in line with the global commercial situation.’

“He emphasized, ‘Nowadays, there are more than 100 small and medium scale industrial enterprises operating in Cambodia. At present, they are facing a financial crisis, and everyone is trying to improving their operations in order to recover; but they have not prepared themselves to integrate with other ASEAN countries. Anyway, we have this policy direction, but we do not yet have explicit strategies. In the meantime, we need leadership from the Ministries of Industry, of Economy, and of Commerce, as the private sector cannot function without passing through these government institutions.’

“As for Siam [Thailand], the General Director of the Industrial Extension Department of Siam, Mr. Atith Vuthikaro [phonetic], said, ‘A few small and medium scale enterprises have established branches to cooperate in trade with other ASEAN countries.’

“He added, ‘In Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos labor is cheap, and those countries provide good opportunities for Thai investment abroad, when Thai companies establish trade relations.’

“Mr. Atith went on to say, ‘Ten percent of the leading enterprises, or around 90,000, will concentrate on the expansion into ASEAN countries. Thirty percent of the Thai enterprises have been well developed. And many of those enterprises focus on food processing and the production of beverages.’

“The director general of a Thai industrial development structure, Mr. Manob Chaiwatana Suthorn [phonetic], said, ‘While seeking trading cooperation, we initially concentrate on Cambodia, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam, because these countries have cheap labor and a lot of raw materials for the development of small and medium scale enterprises.'” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #417, 23.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #417, 23.2.2010

  • Small and Medium Scale Industry in Cambodia Will Be Strengthened for ASEANization
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Introduce Uniforms for Moto-Taxi Drivers [and Tuk-Tuk drivers, to protect the safety of tourists, as some persons pretended to be moto-taxi drivers and caused many problems]
  • Cambodia Reconsiders Providing Family Books and Khmer Identification Cards to 24 Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [that the Thai authorities had arrested and sent to Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2184, 23.2.2010

  • The Minister of Information Rejected the Information that Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [in Vietnam] Are Not Allowed to Watch Television Broadcasted from Cambodia
  • A Man Killed Two Nieces and Then Raped Them [they are four and twelve years old – Kampot]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #609, 23.2.2010

  • [The vice president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Kong Korm Welcomes Democrats and Those Loving the Nation to Join [with the Sam Rainsy Party; this is seen as a response to the Human Rights Party that had called for unity]
  • Prince Norodom Sirivudh Will Be Appointed as a Member of the Constitutional Council, to Replace Son Soubert [whose term will terminate in two weeks]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6891, 23.2.2010

  • A Government Official Announced to Sue Mr. Sam Rainsy; [the head of the Cambodian Border Committee] Va Kimhong: Maps Accusing the Government [over the setting of border markers with Vietnam, used by Mr. Sam Rainsy] Are Fake

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3815, 23.2.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Submitted a Draft [to the National Assembly] Requesting the Creation of a National Independent Board against Corruption

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #118, 23.2.2010

  • Cambodia Appeals to Citizens to Be Careful when Traveling to Thailand [as there will be a big demonstration held by the red-shirt demonstrators, supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, on 26 February 2010]
  • Investment Projects Approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia in January This Year Dropped by 25% Compared to the Corresponding Period Last Year [the amount dropped from US$100 million to US$75 million]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5133, 23.2.2010

  • China Invested from 1994 to 2009 US$7,025 Million in Cambodia

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Fake Medicines and Illicit Health Services Are Still a Complex Problem – Wednesday, 23.12.2009

Posted on 24 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“Phnom Penh: Expert officials of the Ministry of Health said that fake medicines and illicit health services are a complex problem for a developing country like Cambodia.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Health and deputy director of the inter-ministry committee for combating fake medicines and illicit heath services, Dr. Heng Taikry, said during a meeting of this committee at the Ministry of Health on 22 December 2009, ‘At present, fake medicines and illicit health services are a complicated challenge for Cambodia.’

“Dr. Heng Taikry added that every year much money and many human lives are lost due to fake medicines and illicit health services. There are some factors leading to this problem, such us limited knowledge, poor livelihood conditions, and lack of participations of citizens [to check this problem], especially by those who live in remote areas.

“Official publications about the consequences of fake medicines and illicit health services are not spread broadly and on time, and there is a lack of close cooperation between relevant institutions, including the medicine and food control authorities in the areas, and other non-government organizations that are development partners. Mr. Heng Taikry went on to say, ‘Because law enforcement is not strict and penalties against offenders are too light, some wicked people take the opportunity to act improperly.’

“The head of the Department of Medicines, Mr. Tea Kimchhay, said, ‘There are 1,081 unlicensed branch pharmacies, and other houses selling medicines, and there are [153] export and import companies and [8] drug producing enterprises at the 24 cities and provinces of the Kingdom of Cambodia by November 2009.’

“He added that previously, officials of the secretariat of the inter-ministry committee went to some companies and many centers for cosmetic surgery to stop advertisements for cosmetic beautification through surgery or through the injection of drugs.

“He continued to say that officials of the secretariat went to strengthen law enforcement at places selling traditional medicines by instructing them about advertisement issues, and about requests for a license to operate a business selling traditional medicines; a house selling traditional medicines called Deum Tnot, owned by Mr. Chao Chanchetha, was closed for advertising beyond the truth.

“According to a report of the Department of Medicines, Food, Medical Materials and Cosmetic Products, there are temporary houses selling medicines, permitted by the provincial authorities for civil servants who are nurses and midwives. There are unlicensed places selling medicines, including 566 unlicensed pharmacies, 652 A and B branch pharmacies, and 274 temporary houses selling medicines at the provinces. There are 1,081 unlicensed houses selling medicines where 215 are Type A, 602 are Type B, and 264 are Type C [criteria not given here]. There are 153 export and import companies and 8 drug producing enterprises.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #368, 23.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #368, 23.12.2009

  • Five People Died Each Day because of Traffic Accident [and about 70 people on average are injured in Cambodia; according to the Belgian NGO Handicap International]
  • A House Owner Raped His 13-Year-Old Girl Servant Many Times until It Was Discovered [police is seeking to arrest the perpetrator – Phnom Penh]
  • Spain Will Open an Embassy in Cambodia Officially in 2010
  • Fake Medicines and Illicit Health Services Are Still a Complex Problem

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2131, 23.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Will Attend a [Vietnamese] National Level Conference in Vietnam [about the fostering of Vietnamese trade to Cambodia on 26 December 2009 in Ho Chi Minh City]
  • Hundreds of People Hired to Cut and to Take Trees down from the Dangrek Mountains [in Thai territory to Cambodia illegally] Left the Mountains [after merchants told them to do so; they said that they can earn US$300 to US$350 for one cubic meter of wood]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #702, 23.12.2009

  • The Deportation of Uighur People Back to China [in violation to Cambodia’s signature on the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees] Is a Dangerous Game, That Might Affect Cambodian Ties with Some Very Powerful Countries

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #561, 22.12.2009

  • The World Bank Uncovered Corruption Regarding the Provision of Land Titles for Citizens [bribes were demanded in return for grating titles; informal payments were demanded and paid for titles in urban high-value areas such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, and in some rural areas]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6838, 23.12.2009

  • [The Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy Will Be Convicted in Absentia while Eight Other People Involved in the Removal of [temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese] Border Markers Were Summoned by the Svay Rieng Municipal Court
  • Khmer Laborers Continue to Enter Siamese [Thai] Territory Illegally through the Robieng Border Crossing [between 150 and 200 laborers are arrested and sent back from Thailand each day – Poipet]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #73, 23.12.2009

  • A Khmer Soldier Stationed in Preah Vihear Died Stepping on a Mine
  • The Fishery Administration Reminds Citizens to Produce Prahok [Khmer traditional preserved fish, as the annual major fishing yield time approaches – when the water from the Tonle Sap Lake flows down into the Mekong River]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5080, 23.12.2009

  • China Denied Linking Its Aid and Loans [of US$1.2 billion] with the Deportation of [20] Uighur People [from Cambodia]
  • The King Decorated the Three Samdechs [the Prime Minister, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen; the President of the National Assembly, Samdech Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin; and the President of the Senate, Samdech Thoma Pothisal Chea Sim] with Military Five-Star-General Insignia
  • At Least 80 People Died in Europe because of Cold Weather

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1839, 23.12.2009

  • The United Nations and the European Union Condemn Cambodia for Violating International Law [the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees – after expelling 20 Uighur people back to China]
  • [The Human Rights Party president] Mr. Kem Sokha: The Government Has to Use the Law to Expel Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants from Cambodia, like Uighur People Were Expelled to China [as the government claims it expelled the Uighurs as it had to apply Cambodian immigration law]

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Thailand Decided to Cancel a Memorandum of Understanding, and Va Kimhong Said It Is an Action of People Who Do Not Know the Law – Wednesday, 11.11.2009

Posted on 12 November 2009. Filed under: Week 638 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 638

“Phnom Penh: A Source from the Thai News Agency (TNA) said on Tuesday that the Thai parliament decided to cancel a Cambodian-Thai memorandum of understanding, but senior officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia consider this as only a dream of people who do not know the law.

“According to a report from TNA published on Tuesday, 10 November 2009, the [Thai] parliament decided to terminate a Memorandum of Understanding between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand, signed in 2001. This decision was made after the Kingdom of Cambodia recently decided [by Prime Minister Hun Sen and a Royal decree] to appoint the former Thai prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, as an economic adviser of the Royal Government and of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen.

TNA said that the Thai parliament decided to officially cancel the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Thai former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Surakiart Sathirathai, and the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, on 14 June 2001, though there has be no improvement at all within the eight years since it became valid.

“The head of the National Border Committee, Senior Minister Va Kimhong, spoke during a press conference held in the morning of 10 November 2009 at the Council of Ministers, where he said that the Memorandum of Understanding was agreed upon between the Royal Governments of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Kingdom of Cambodia about the overlapping zones at the seabed of the two countries in 2001. He added that the aims of this 2001 Memorandum of Understanding are:

  1. To seek an agreement for a treaty about overlapping zones; and
  2. To explicitly demarcate the sea border between Cambodia and Thailand.

“The Senior Minister explained the cause how these overlapping emerged, saying that because Cambodia drew a line in 1972, while Thailand also designated its seabed in 1973, so this overlapping zones emerged. The government had sought to negotiate since 1970 and 1971 to find a solution at the region of the later overlapping zones. He went on to say, ‘In fact, we again started negotiations since 1995 with a Deputy Prime Minister as the head of the negotiations at that time, during the first term of the Royal Government, but the talks failed, and only in 1999, 2000, and 2001, there came a situation to sign that Memorandum of Understanding. Its major goal was to agree to develop those overlapping zones, as well as to clearly demarcate the sea border.’

“A Source from [the Thai well known newspaper] The Nation said that recently, yellow shirt demonstrators [supporters of the current Thai government] of the Thai People’s Alliance for Democracy had submitted 11 documents, detailing the agreement between the Kingdoms of Cambodia and of Thailand, asking their Royal Government to check, and to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding. On Tuesday, the parliament of the Kingdom of Thailand decided to send this request to cancel this Memorandum of Understanding into the parliament for discussion and approval.

“Responding to questions of journalists about the intention to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding between the Kingdoms of Cambodia and of Thailand, Senior Minister Va Kimhong said that this canceling is only a dream of a group of people who do not know the law, and if Thailand had people with knowledge about the law, it would have been impossible to decide as they did.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2095, 11.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #333, 11.11.2009

  • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Arrived in Cambodia, and [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Welcomed Him with Most Friendly Greeting, as Gestures for an Eternal Friend
  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Sent [opposition party president] Sam Rainsy’s Letter to Three Samdechs [Samdech Hun Sen, Samdech Heng Samrin – the president of the National Assembly, and Samdech Chea Sim – the president of the Senate], related to the Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Markers [Mr. Sam Rainsy’s letter claimed there were irregularities when the border markers were set]
  • An Exclusive Rice Import Company from Singapore [“ALM”] Comes to Cooperate with the Golden Rice Association of Cambodia [to invest in rice cultivation in Cambodia for export to Singapore]
  • The Russian Government Is Considering to Cancel the US$1.5 Billion Debt That Cambodia Owes [according to high ranking officials of the National Assembly that have just returned from a visit to Russia which Mr. Heng Samrin led]
  • Typhoon Ketsana Caused a Loss of US$140 Million [there were 43 deaths, 67 serious injuries, and 22,800 families lost their homes – according to the National Disaster Management Committee]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2095, 11.11.2009

  • Thailand Decided to Cancel a Memorandum of Understanding, and Va Kimhong Said It Is an Action of People Who Do Not Know the Law
  • In one Week Indonesia Will Exhibit Its Products in Cambodia [at the Mondial Center in Phnom Penh]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #672, 11.11.2009

  • Nine Types of Special Food Was Prepared to Welcome Thaksin Shinawatra, [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Eternal Friend, when He Arrived in Cambodia

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #525, 11.11.2009

  • Only Now the Government Discovers that Many Appointments Did Not Create Any Tasks to Do, and Waste National Resources

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6802, 11.11.2009

  • The Thai Parliament Meeting Had Disputes and Disagreements during the Discussion about the Intention to Cancel the Memorandum of Understanding about [maritime] Borders
  • Cambodia Welcomes Thaksin Shinawatra, while the Thai Deputy Prime Minister Announced that There Is No Plan to Close the Cambodian-Thai Border Crossings
  • Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [a Burmese elected democracy leader] Might Be Released for the 2010 Elections [according to the general director of the Ministry of Interior of Burma, Mr. Min Lwin]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #43, 11.11.2009

  • Cambodian-Thai Relations Became Tenser when Thaksin Shinawatra Arrived in Cambodia; Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra Said, “I Do Not Come Here to Help Cambodia against Thailand”
  • The Authorities Prevented [24] Students [from different universities in Phnom Penh and in Svay Rieng] to Visit the Border in Svay Rieng [at the point where Mr. Sam Rainsy was accused of removing border markers; they claimed they had received high-level officials’ order]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5044, 11.11.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra [and former Thai prime minister Somchai Wongsawat] Landed in Cambodia in His Own Plane, and He Will Stay in Cambodia Two to Three Days;
  • Reactions Were Expressed against the Presence of Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia [the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association and the Human Rights Party claimed that the presence of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia does not help the government with anything, but it will step up further tension between the Cambodian and Thai governments; however, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed it will help Cambodia’s economy]
  • POSCO E&C [a leading construction company from South Korea] Inaugurated an Occupational Safety Section for the Construction of High Rise Buildings along the River [it plans to construct one 45-storey building and two 42-storey buildings behind the Russian Embassy along the Basak River, worth about US$300 million – Phnom Penh]

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Opposition Party Parliamentarians and Civil Society Officials Stated that the Government Does Not Implement the Constitution – Friday, 30.10.2009

Posted on 31 October 2009. Filed under: Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

“On the occasion of the 5th Coronation Day of Preah Karuna Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, high ranking officials from the opposition parties, who are parliamentarians, and national and international observers, pointed to the Cambodian government’s obligation and need to implement the supreme law of the country by creating and reforming at least two institutions of Cambodia.

“A parliamentarian from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, agrees with the idea of an international observer, Mr. Lao Mong Hay, and of a civil society official of Cambodia as well of a parliamentarian [from the Human Rights Party], Mr. Kem Sokha over the duty that the King at present fulfills, especially the idea that the government must create and progress two supreme institutions led by the King.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 23:
The King is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Khmer Armed Forces. A Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Khmer Armed Forces shall be appointed to command the Armed Forces.

Article 24:
The King shall serve as Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Defense to be established by law.

“Mr. Son Chhay, a leader of the Sam Rainsy parliamentarians, said, ‘I hope that Cambodia will in the future create a Supreme Council of National Defense which, according to the Constitution, must be under the presidency of the King with the role as Chairman of that Supreme Council of National Defense.’

“Mr. Son Chhay agreed with a statement of a senior researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong, Mr. Lao Mong Hay, in this point.

“Dr. Lao Mong Hay sees an obligation of the government, as stipulated in the Constitution of Cambodia, to create a Supreme Council of National Defense with the King as Chairman. So far, according to a statement of Mr. Lao Mong Hay, the government formed by the Cambodian People’s Party, with Mr. Hun Sen as the Prime Minister, has not discussed the creation of a Supreme Council of National Defense under the oversight by the King.

“Everything in the defense sector is seen being organized and decided directly by Prime Minister Hun Sen. This leads to criticism that the defense system of Cambodia is not conform with the Constitution of the country, which states the need to establish a Supreme Council of National Defense led by the King.

“The founder of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) – a large human rights organization in Cambodia, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], said that in the five years since the coronation of Preah Karuna Preah Bath Norodom Sihamoni, it is seen by the public that in general, he cares for humanitarian affairs for his citizens. She expressed her concern related to a point of the Constitution which says that the King takes the thrown, but does not take the power.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 7:
The King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern.
The King shall be the Head of State for life. The King shall be inviolable.

Article 8:
The King of Cambodia shall be a symbol of unity and eternity of the nation.
The King shall be guarantor of the national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the protector of rights and freedom for all citizens and the guarantor of international treaties.

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek said, ‘I regret that the Constitution states that the King reigns, but is not involved in political affairs, so that he could fulfill many other duties according to the constitution.’

“The Constitution of Cambodia stipulates that the King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern, though, according to another article, it makes the King responsible for the territorial integrity of Cambodia, for the protection of the rights and the freedom for all citizens, and for an independent court system, though he does not have the power to decide anything, and can only be burdened by the mistakes decided upon by the government.

“A parliamentarian and president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, noted also the point in the Constitution which states that the King must not be involved in politics, and that the King does not have power, as at present, the power is controlled by the government. According to his opinion, the King should be given the possibility to ensure the respect for human rights and the independence of the court system, as well as the right to pardon journalists and human rights activists who are jailed by government authorities. He stressed that at present, unless there is request from the government, the King does not decide to an amnesty, but Mr. Kem Sokha thinks that the government should not prevent the King from granting an amnesty.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 27:
The King shall have the right to grant partial or complete amnesty.

“Senior politicians from the opposition parties and from civil society organization official expressed their ideas under the impression that the King seems to be restricted in fulfilling his duties which are stated as his rights, as stated in the Constitution, to help his people.

“Besides expressing good wishes to the King at the 5th Coronation Day after he succeeded his father, some scholars want to see the country’s Constitution implemented properly by the government, like by organizing the National Congress, which, as stated by the supreme law of Cambodia, is to be held annually under the chairmanship of the King. It is an event to remember the National Congress held by the current King’s father, Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, to provide an opportunity for the citizens to express their concerns, hopes, and wishes, as well as to question the prime minister about how the country is ruled, while now, the Cambodian People’s Party government, especially Prime Minister Hun Sen, said that it is not possible to hold such a congress.

From the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article :
Article 147:
The National Congress shall enable the people to be directly informed on various matters of national interests and to raise issues and requests for the State authority to solve.
Khmer citizens of both sexes shall have the right to participate in the National Congress.
Article 148:
The National Congress shall meet once a year in early December at the convocation of the Prime Minister.
It shall proceed under the chairmanship of the King.
Article 149:
The National Congress adopts recommendations to the Senate and the National Assembly, and to the Executive branch for reflection.
The organization and operation of the National Congress should be determined by law.

“But according to the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Right Party, and to national and international observers, the government could do what is stated in the Constitution, if the government had a real intention to do it.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #520, 30.10.2009

.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #323, 29.10.2009

  • About 20% of Cambodian Citizens Live under the Threat of Food Insecurity [because of the rising prices of food, the economic crisis, and natural disaster which bring more burden; according to an under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries]
  • The Number of People Who Died from A/H1N1 Infection Increased to 4, and there Are 239 Infected People
  • This Year, 391 Boats and 25,501 Boat Racers Will Join for the Competitions [at the Water Festival]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2085, 29.10.2009

  • [The Thai ousted prime minister] Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra Plans to Come to Cambodia Soon to Thank Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [but a date has not yet been specified; according to the Bangkok Post]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #668, 29.10.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Continues to Seek Justice [over a defamation sentence] at the Supreme Court, before Paying a Fine [Riel 16.5 million, approx. US$4,100] to [Prime Minister] Hun Sen

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #520, 30.10.2009

  • Opposition Party Parliamentarians and Civil Society Officials Stated that the Government Does Not Implement the Constitution

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6792, 30.10.2009

  • Reaction from the Cambodian Embassy: The Nation Makes Nonsense and Makes Itself Disreputable [a response to an editorial of the Thai newspaper, The Nation, published on 25 October 2009, claiming that some words in that editorial insulted Prime Minister Hun Sen, by saying, ‘You can take a man out of the forest, but you cannot take the forest from that man…’]
  • A Man Who Threatened Mr. Soy Sopheap [a CTN television presenter and the director of Deum Ampil] via Phone Was Detained [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #36-37, 29-30.10.2009

  • Orphanages Care for More Than 10,000 Children [at present there are 221 orphanages, 21 of them belong to the state]
  • The Government Will Provide Social Concession Land [more than 20,000 hectares] to Veterans and Families of Dead Militants
  • Among 100 Real Estate Companies, Only 38 Have Licenses [the unlicensed companies will be charged Riel 5 million, approx. US$1,250]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5033-5034, 29-30.10.2009

  • The Appeals Court Decided to Uphold the Conviction of the [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua for Defamation against the Prime Minister [though her defamation suit against the Prime Minister had not been dealt with by the court
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asked the United Nations to Assist in Overcoming the Impacts of the Typhoon Ketsana
  • A French Delegation Will Visit Cambodia at the End of This Month [to strengthen the Cambodian-French friendship]

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Mr. Kem Sokha Encourages Merger between the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party – Wednesday, 7.10.2009

Posted on 7 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Again, the president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, encouraged speeding up the merging of the two opposition parties, the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party. The president of the Human Rights Party said that the merger should be made as soon as possible, because Khmer people in the country and abroad want to see these two opposition parties of Cambodia to merge to become one strong party to defeat the party with communist tendencies which is ruling the country.

“Mr. Kem Sokha told reporters during a press conference Tuesday evening [6 October 2009] that within half a year (of National Assembly vacations), he had visited Canada, the United States, and Europe. At every place he went to he met Khmer people, and they always asked one most important question: whether democrats can unite or not, and why not. The Human Rights Party responded by telling what this party has done so far.

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that Khmer people in the country and abroad answered instead of him that if we do not unite, we will lose, but if we unite we will win. ‘This is the answer from people for us, for democrats and patriots, to consider.’ Mr. Kem Sokha added, ‘The Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party made a joint statement on 15 January 2009 at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters, but we see that so far, we have not achieved anything, while people are waiting to see the creation of a movement, a democratic movement for change, where two parties come together.’ But when people asked what progress was made, he could not tell them anything. He said, ‘But we established a working team for discussion, where each party has four members. The members from the Sam Rainsy Party are Mr. Son Chhay, Mr. Yim Sovann, Mr. Kim Suophirith, and Ms. Mu Sochua, and the members from the Human Rights Party are Mr. Nhem Bonharith, Mr. Ou Chanrith, Mr. Keat Sokun, and Mr. Chour Chung. There have been eight meetings already, but no progress has been made. That is why people are concerned, and they encourage that there should be significant progress made, in order to provide them hope. He went on to say, ‘The Human Rights Party calls on all political parties and patriots to join, to sit down and discuss to organize the conditions and political policies to create a new party, to participate in the next elections. We think that we have to sit down together to discuss, and if all of us claim that we are democrats and want change, we need to win the elections. We cannot win the elections unless we merge. If not, we will not win. If we do not merge, we do it to lose. And if we want to win, we have to merge.’

“Mr. Kem Sokha said that there is no official response yet. The meeting has not received a response: which points are acceptable and which points are not. He said, ‘We still maintain the same stance. And we make another appeal to other parties to continue to negotiate. The Sam Rainsy Party did not respond anything to us. We want to merge to create a new party or an ally for others. We want the new party to be created based on democracy, but not based on any individuals, and want to stop individual power; we also suggest to limit some terms, but this is not a condition set by the Human Rights Party.’

“Yesterday, the Human Rights Party released a statement to express its position to create alliances with other political parties finally towards a merger.

“The statement said that the Human Rights Party thinks that it is the right time for democrats to meet and to discuss transparently, prioritizing the fate of the nation, to consider creating a new party following requests of Khmer citizens, after we have created a democratic movement for change on 15 January 2009. About one year after the fourth term elections, there have been concerns over the political situation, about integrity, freedom of expression, the economy, and social problems in the Kingdom of Cambodia which are problematic. Based on direct visits by Human Rights Party leaders in many communes in the country and abroad, many Khmer compatriots who love democracy, ask the Khmer political parties and the politicians who claim that they are patriots and democrats, to unite to create a new party to win the next elections.

“‘The Human Rights Party would like to stress again its position to inform the public that the Human Rights Party is already prepared to merge with other politicians, parties, and patriots to create a new political party with democracy as its basis.'” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1702, 7.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #304, 7.10.2009

  • The Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam Wants to Invest to Develop the Stock Exchange in Cambodia
  • The Hong Kong Trade Development Council: US$10 Million for the Promotion of Cambodian Companies

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2065, 7.10.2009

  • Doctors Saved the Live of a Girl [through an operation], but Her Mother Died of A/H1N1 [the number of deaths in Cambodia increased to three – Phnom Penh]
  • Because His Wife Has a Mental Disorder, a Man Raped His Daughter since She Was 9 Years Old [now she is 16, and the man was arrested – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #503, 7.10.2009

  • The UN Secretary General: Urbanization without Clear Planning Forces Millions of People to Face Hazards
  • Different Civil Society Leaders Expressed Different Ideas about the Creation of a Bodyguard Commanding Office of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [an official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Chan Soveth, said that it will help control bodyguards of Prime Minister Hun Sen and halt people from pretending to be his bodyguards for their own personal interest, while officials of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Mr. Oum Sam Ath, said that disorder will continue to exist, if this new unit is not controlled properly]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6772, 7.10.2009

  • Clarifying Statement Responding to the Accusation that the Government Implements a Policy to Evict Citizens by Force [the Council of Minister explained that it does not relate to “evictions” but to temporary “relocation” of citizens]
  • North Korea Plans to Resume Multilateral Talk Again

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #20, 7.10.2009

  • Cambodia Increases Budget for Development [from US$82 million in 2009 to US$100 million for 2010]
  • UNDP: The Quality of Life Index of Cambodian People Drops by Six Points [among 182 countries to 137th, below Congo, but above Burma]
  • 500 Workers Protested at the Ministry of Labor [demanding the ministry to intervene after 1,000 workers had been dismissed illegally by the Sky High Factory – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5014, 7.10.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Asked to Exclude Articles Related to Defamation, Insulting, and Distortion [from the Penal Code draft], but It Was Rejected by the National Assembly
  • Siem Reap Plans to Spend Riel 3,000 Million [approx. US$750,000] to Restore Roads after the Flood Receded
  • Japan Will Increase Official Development Aid for Cambodia by 40% [for 2009]
  • In September 2009 36 People Were Killed in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh
  • Working in Japan One Can Earn Much Income, but There Are Not Many Khmer Workers There [a worker can earn up to Yen 70,000 per month, approx. US$700; no total number of Khmer workers in Japan is given]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1702, 7.10.2009

  • Mr. Kem Sokha Encourages Merger between the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party

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2008: 73 Factories Closed and 64 Opened – 20,000 Workers Were Dismissed and 10,000 Found New Work – Saturday, 10.1.2009

Posted on 11 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“In Cambodia 73 factories were closed in 2008, making nearly 25,000 workers unemployed. But 64 new factories opened, absorbing 10,000 new workers. The export of garments to international markets declined by 2%, which has created general concern. Difficulties will last 3 to 6 months further, but officials said that there will be no serious effects on the garment sector.

“The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia [GMAC – the web link has, under “Members” a detailed database with information about all GMAC members], Mr. Van Sou Ieng, said in a press conference in the evening of 7 January 2008 at the Hotel Le Royal, that more than 60 garment factories closed in 2008, causing around 25,000 workers to loose their employment. The export of garments to international markets dropped by 2%, while before, he expected that it would drop by between 5% and 7%. Therefore, the global financial crisis affected this sector very little. He added that Cambodia might face difficulties from 3 to 6 months, and in 2010, we can hope again. In every of the previous years, this sector grew by 15% to 20%.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training, Mr. Oum Mean, reported to Kampuchea Thmey on 9 January 2009 that 73 factories closed and 24,397 workers had lost their work. However, in the same year, 64 new factories had opened, absorbing 13,000 workers by now. The number of workers might further increase, because newly opened companies are in the suburbs. Thus, recently unemployed workers will continue to work at new factories, and most of them have skills because of several years of experience. Some workers go to work for factories in special zones located near their home villages or towns, like in Svay Rieng and in other areas.

“There are different number given, because some of the closed factories were not among the members of the GMAC.

“Mr. Oum Mean went on to say that more than 20,000 workers will find jobs in new factories. While the world faces a financial crisis which affects big countries, such as the Untied State of America and Europe, Cambodia is also affected, because those big countries are garment importing countries from Cambodia. While citizens of those countries meet difficulties, they will cut down their expenses, and this affects the buying orders, ‘but we are not strongly affected, because the Cambodian economy depends on agriculture as the basis – even though before, the prices of fuel had increased and the prices of goods followed the market prices and general needs.’

“Coming from the ministry in charge of observing working condition, Mr. Oum Mean said, as the world faces a financial crisis causing common effects, that Cambodia, which exports garments to international markets, is also concerned, including the Royal Government, workers, and employers. ‘We have to join efforts and be patient, so that our factories remain stable and develop, because many countries recognize that the working conditions in Cambodia are acceptable according to international standards. When we export our goods with the labeled “Made in Cambodia,” both Europe and the United States of America always agree to buy them, since they know that these goods have quality, and our workers get enough benefits. We have to continue maintaining this reputation well.’

“He did not prohibit to have protests or demands by workers, but before doing something, they must be wise to avoid to act inappropriately affecting the fate of all, because when factories close, also employers loose, though they are owners, since the factory is a rice pot for all.

“Regarding the above problems, the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Mony, mentioned some numbers in the morning of 9 January 2009, that in 2008, there were 27,000 workers who lost their work, and 26 factories closed.

“However, in 2008, all together 37 factories closed, but it was not because they were bankrupt – but it was because they relocate their factories to new locations in the suburbs, and they just changed their factory names. Another reason was that some factories lost their money in speculation. Also, because of the global financial crisis, some factories that were affected were run by Korean owners, such as the Woosu CNS Factory, the Chantechay Factory [phonetic] which suspended their work, also the Cambohenshare Factory [phonetic – ‘Cambo Hansae’?] suspended its work, and also the Tay Factory [phonetic]. Some factories suspend their work for 2 or 3 months; so workers will not wait and go to work at other factories.

“Mr. Chea Mony added that while workers face unemployment, ‘we will help them according to the law. When factories close, they have to settle final payments for their workers according to the law. … The government is also responsible to solve problems of unemployment of workers. Some workers turn to find jobs in Thailand, but we help workers, according to the law, in order to help them to stay in Cambodia.’

“Mr. Van Sou Ieng said after the end of the 26th council plenary session of the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries on 7 January 2009, that buyer orders will be finished by February and March 2009, and there is no buying order for May and June 2009. Buyers offer only US$3 for 1 shirt while before, they offered US$4. Big companies agreed to loose US$2 or US$3, but from May to June buyers must offer US$4 again. As for small factories, they might close, because they cannot stand the loss.

“Mr. Chea Mony agreed with Mr. Van Sou Ieng, who said that big companies are less affected while small factories are more seriously affected, because they produce their garments for big factories. But he did not agreed with what Mr. Van Sou Ieng said, that the buyers from international markets are lowering their price offers; this would be impossible, because each buying contract contains clear agreements. Mr. Chea Mony asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to kindly take action with officials of relevant ministries regarding corruption which affects the garment sector. He asked also the head of the Royal Government to reduce the prices of goods at the markets, which affect the living standard of workers who earn small salaries.

“The president of the Cambodia Workers Labor Federation of Trade Union Mr. Vong Sovann, expressed his concern in the morning of 9 January, that some factories were closed for good, and buying orders dropped in 2008. Bur only small factories having 200 or 300 workers were closed. Some factories closed in the city but opened in the suburbs, and some new factories do not have enough workers.

“Mr. Vong Sovann added that his union will provide more broad educational information about the economy for workers, so that they understand the present economic situation, and what causes demonstrations and strikes. ‘We will try to explain to workers to be patient and to solve problems through negotiations. As a result, in late 2008, demonstrations and strikes declined, which showed that workers became more knowledgeable.’

“The president of the Cambodia Labor Union Federation, Mr. Som Oun, said in the morning of 9 January 2009 that 64 new factories had opened and 73 factories had closed, including factories sub-contracted by bigger factories, and some of the factories do handicraft work. There were only around 20 factories [of those closed?] exporting garments by themselves. The number from GMAC and the numbers from the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training are not in line with each other, and GMAC did not give a number of new factories. The number of factories closed was comparable to 2007. Workers loosing their employment go to work for other factories; therefore, the number of unemployed workers was not so high. Some unemployed workers of some factories returned to their homes to help harvest paddy rice.

“Mr. Som Oun said that some factories do not have enough workers. Obviously, a shoe factory in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district asked him to help recruit up to 2,000 workers, because this factory added another big building, and now the workers have to eat their meals in the factory. Therefore, he did not worry that workers are unemployed, ‘We still have buying orders from the United States of America and from Europe, because, according to the International Labor Organization, Cambodia is the country in the region which best respects working conditions. Buyers from the United States of America wait until the new president takes his position in the middle of this month, then they will continue buying.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4791, 10.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 10 January 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #105, 9-13.1.2009

  • Aid for the Neak Loeang Bridge and Aid for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Are the Major Agenda Items for the Visit by the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Three [Vireakchey] National Park Rangers Are Missing in the Jungle in Ratanakiri and Are Not Yet Found [they are missing since 28 December 2008 when they went on a mission against illegal logging]
  • The Ministry of Planning Starts to Identify Poor Families [to ease the provision of services and aid for poor families – Note: The articled does not give any information how this enormous task, similar to a census, is to be implemented]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1843, 10.1.2009

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [in Cambodia and in Vietnam] Plan to Hold Demonstrations to Demand Rights, although They Do Not Have Permissions [by the authorities]
  • The United Nations Said that 257 Palestinian Children Died in the War in Gaza

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #323, 10.1.2009

  • [The member of the Constitutional Council] Son Soubert: The Renakse Hotel Is a Monument of the Architecture during the French Colonial Time That Should Be Kept

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #179, 10.1.2009

  • The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Expressed Regret over the Corruption Complaint Filed by Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea at the Municipal Court [Note: Actually, the statement was not released in the name of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, but in the name of the national judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6548, 10-11.1.2009

    Police Confiscated More Than 20,000 Drug Tablets Imported from Laos [and arrested a man – Stung Treng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3662, 10-11.1.2009

  • [Former prime minister of the State of Cambodia and now the vice-president of the Human Rights Party] Pen Sovann Accused Hun Sen of Violating the Right of Parliamentarians to Distribute Donations to Troops at the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Forest Clearings [to create agricultural] Land in Ratanakiri Spreads More Seriously [according to a forest administration official in Ratanakiri]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4791, 10.1.2009

  • 2008: 73 Factories Closed and 64 Opened – 20,000 Workers Were Dismissed and 10,000 Found New Work
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Accepted Complaint of Nuon Chea’s Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers
  • Cambodia Assigned to the Position of the Next Chairperson of the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries [meeting held at the Hotel Le Royal on 7 January 2009]!

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Monday, 11.8.2008: Monkeys in Cambodia Are Suffering because They Have a Sales Value

Posted on 12 August 2008. Filed under: Week 573 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 573

“Phnom Penh: According to a new report from an international conservationist organization, monkeys in Cambodia are becoming endangered animals because of the destruction of the forest and of hunting, while local people said that they are animals easy to sell, and merchants come to buy them directly where they are caught.

“According to a report of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, nearly half of approximately 634 species of small and big monkeys and of gibbons in the world are endangered, and monkeys living in their natural habitat in Cambodia are also badly affected.

“This report shows that about 303 species of monkeys are threatened, and 69 are seriously endangered; as for Cambodia, here nine among ten species are endangered.

“The report of this organization shows that monkeys in Cambodia are in a most precarious situation. The report illustrates that 90% of monkeys in Cambodia are struggling to survive, because they are being hunted and killed to mix their remains to produce traditional Chinese medicine. In this situation, after Cambodia comes Vietnam where 86% of the monkeys are endangered, then Indonesia with 84%, Laos with 83%, and China with 79%.

“Mr. Russell Mittermeier, the president of this organization, reported in [the Indian] New Kerala that these species of monkeys are in danger because of the destruction of tropical forests, but now there is another cause: hunting.

“A local person from northwestern Cambodia told this organization that monkeys are being searched to be hunted everyday by villagers, in order to sell them to merchants who come directly to buy them where they are caught.

“Mr. Pai Phong Nhuk, the head of the Sesan Community Network, said that nobody can stop the villagers. They always form groups of four or six people to look for monkeys in flooded forests along the Sesan River to catch and sell them to merchants.

“Mr. “Pai Phong Nhuk said that he does not know where those monkeys are taken to, but merchants always come to buy them directly at the villages.

“He added, ‘Khmer and Vietnamese merchants always come to buy monkeys for between Riel 450,000 [approx. US$110] and Riel 500,000 [approx. US$125].” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4664, 10-11.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 11 August 2008


Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #29, 11-12.8.2008

  • The National Election Committee [NEC] Released the Temporary Results of the Forth Term Parliamentary Election [the Cambodian People’s Party received 3,492,374 votes corresponding to 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party received 1,316,714 corresponding to 26 seats, the Human Rights Party received 397,816 corresponding to 3 seats, the Norodom Ranariddh Party received 337,943 corresponding to 2 seats, and Funcinpec received 303,764 corresponding to 2 seats; the total number of voters on the lists of NEC is 8,125,529 persons, and 6,010,277 persons did vote, while more than 2,000,000 persons could not]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1716, 11-12.8.2008

  • A French Man [Michel Roger Blanchard, 43] Was Arrested for Committing Obscene Acts with Boys [who are beggars, scavengers, and his adopted god-children – Sihanoukville]
  • The Opening of the 2008 Olympic Games Proceeded Successfully
  • Big War Erupted between Russian and Georgian Troops in South Ossetia [nearly 1,500 people were killed]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #219, 11-12.8.2008

  • A Member of the US Congress [Mr. Christopher Smith] Criticized the Election to Have Been Unfair and Having No Transparency [because many voter were omitted from the lists, and the ruling party controlled too much of the media]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #70, 10-11.8.2008

  • Citizens Ask the Government to Reduce the Price of Fuel and of Agricultural Fertilizers


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6420, 11.8.2008

  • Road Construction to the Preah Vihear Temple Started; Thai Troops at the Ta Moan Thom Temple Accused Cambodia of Increasing the Number of Troops
  • US Ambassador [Mr. Joseph Mussomeli] Believes that the Five Political Parities [that had won seats] Will Join to Work at the National Assembly
  • After Vendors at the New Market Lodged Complaint [at the Phnom Penh Municipality], the Head of the Market [Mr. Sok Kimheng] Explained that There Is No Intention to Narrow the Stalls
  • Four among Five Districts [in Kratie along the Mekong River] Are Facing Flood


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3535, 11.8.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Try to Prevent Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] from Returning to Cambodia [his younger brother visited him and reported to the president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association who reported to Radio Free Asia that the Yuon authorities released Tim Sakhan from prison, but after the release, the An Giang provincial authorities do not allow him to return to his family in Cambodia]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4664, 10-11.8.2008

  • Monkeys in Cambodia Are Suffering because They Have a Sales Value
  • Fifteen International Tourists from Different Countries Were on a Leaking Boat at the Center of the Tonle Sap Lake [no casualties – Siem Reap]
  • Price of Fuel Drops by US$4 [to US$115.20 per barrel] while the Value of Dollar Increases


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3381, 10-11.8.2008

  • The National Election Committee Does Not Dare to Release the Number of Seats, because There Are Many Complaints

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Thursday, 19.6.2008: Situation of Women Promoting Beer Does Not Improve

Posted on 20 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

“In May, Sophea and seven other women promoting the sale of beer [to customers in restaurants – commonly called “Beer Girls”] presented a letter to the management of Cambodia Brewery, located in Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh. The eight women represented other 300 women promoting Tiger Beer. These representatives asked for the increase of their salaries from US$70 to US$100 for women who have worked more than ten years. However, so far, there is no response to their request.

“Sophea decided to protest, because she has worked as a beer promoting woman for thirteen years, but the salary she gets cannot support her son’s study. These women explained that staff who has worked less than six years get US$50 per month, and if they have worked beyond six years, they get US$70. She continued, ‘Because the salary is not enough, some even sell sexual services. Some restaurants have rooms for having sex. I have seen many of my colleges who agreed to do this because of the money.’

“Mr. Ian Lubek, a professor from the University of Guelph in Canada who is an advisor to the Siem Reap Citizens for Health, Educational and Social Issues [SiRCHESI International] has conducted studies about the hazard to beer promoting women since 2000. His latest study had been conducted since April 2008 in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with 400 women. He explained, ‘Our latest numbers show that the situation of beer promoting women has not improved.’

“Mr. Ian Lubek thinks that the claims by Sophea and her colleagues are right. He stated, ‘The beer producing companies which are members of the Beer Selling Industry Cambodia [BSIC] – including Cambodia Brewery, Cambrew/Carlsberg, Heineken, and Guinness – have increased their sale by 50% between 2006 and 2008.’ He said that each night, women promoting beer can sell an average of 24 liters, equal to three boxes of beer. He concluded that if these women would get US$6 commission per box like at some other companies, which are not members of BSIC, they could be able to earn up to US$400 per month, in addition to their salary. Mr. Lubek calculated that women promoting beer need an average salary of US$132 so that they can live under the present circumstance where the price of goods increase like these days. He added that some companies that are members of BSIC had announced a new system to make more money available, based on work performance, but only a small numbers of women say that they get such money.

“Sophea stressed, ‘Our claim is absolutely justified. The quantity of our sales increased, and the price of beer increased too. In the restaurant where I promote beer, previously Tiger Beer was sold for US$1.50 per bottle, but now it is sold for US$2.90. Therefore, the company has the possibility to increase our salaries.’

“According to Mr. Lubek, only 19% of women promoting beer from the companies that are members of BSIC are currently satisfied with their jobs. As for another group of 34%, they said that they had to force themselves to be prostitutes, and 18% of them sell sexual services at their places of work. He continued that to prevent the sale of sexual services, the companies that are members of BSIC created in 2006 a code of ethics [for the companies], but this code has not been implemented well.

“Ms. Bunny, deputy director of the Men’s and Women’s Network for Development in Cambodia that supports 300 beer promoting women in Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, and Phnom Penh, criticized the working conditions related to companies that are members of BSIC, and she proposed that those companies should provide a minimum salary of US$80 to the beer promoting women. She explained, ‘I do not want to work for those companies, because I want to get a salary of over US$50 per month.’ She, like more than 200 women of her association, gets commissions from the restaurants where she works. The commission she gets is US$8 per box. She said, ‘So I earn more than US$100 per month.’

“Ms. Bunny explained, ‘Doing this job, we have to face a situation of getting tired, of gang-rapes [where a group of men rape one woman], and just simple sexual rape.’ She added that the agreements between some non-government organizations and those companies are not efficient. Four among ten members of her organization had been gang-raped, especially those in Phnom Penh. She went on to say, ‘When a woman negotiates with a guest and agrees to go with that that guest, she often faces two to three more men, and the woman can do nothing against it.’ Each of the beer promoting woman has at least once sold sexual services for US$10 or US$20. She admitted, ‘For me, I have sold sex three times, because I needed money.’ Those who seek more income by selling sexual services are mostly women abandoned by their husbands, who have children as their special burden; but other women agreed to have sex with guests because they had been threatened with weapons.

“Mr. Ian Lubek said that so far, an increase of salaries has not been confirmed, although it is a very important condition to stop the sale of sexual services. He mentioned SiRCHESI International’s work as an example. In 2006, this organization freed 27 women promoting beer from their dangerous work places. This organization has organized training courses for hotel workers and arranged their employment in its eight cooperating hotels, where they can earn US$120 per month. ‘That was the time when they could stop to sell sexual services.’” Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #37, 18-25.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 19 June 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #37, 18-25.6.2008

  • Situation of Women Promoting Beer Does Not Improve
  • In Poipet, the Cambodian People’s Party Raises the Construction of Roads as Election Propaganda
  • Mr. Kem Sokha: ‘If the Human Rights Party Wins No Seat, I Will Resign from the Position of Party President Immediately’


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1671, 19.6.2008

  • Samdech Prime Minister Granted an Audience to the New Head of UNDP in Cambodia [Mr. Douglas Broderick]
  • Cambodia Celebrated the World Day against the Desertification [on 17 June 2008 with the topic ‘Fight against the deterioration of soil nutrients for the future of agriculture’]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #180, 19.6.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Corruption in Cambodia Is Difficult to Prevent, because It Relates to Politicians


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6375, 19.6.2008

  • Japan Decided to Provide More than US$2 Million [actually more than US$2,950,000] for the Process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Responding to a Request by the Government
  • 52 Story Building Construction Began in Grand Style; GS Engineering and Construction Company Makes a Huge Investment in Cambodia


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3490, 19.6.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Parliamentarians Ask the Government to Show the New Map of the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Khmer Citizens Face Eviction from Their Houses while Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Live Peacefully


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4619, 19.6.2008

  • The Head of the Government Decided to Join a UN Preparedness Program [identity of the program not clear – by sending around 500 troups from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to join]; He Also Decided to Sell 120,000 Tonnes of Rice and Send Agricultural Experts to Guinea [responding to a request by the Prime Minister of Guinea – 18 June 2008]
  • While the Election Day Is Getting Nearer, Illegal Transportation of Wood in Siem Reap Is Increasing
  • Thai Anti-Government Group Raise Its Country’s Issue to the Preah Vihear Temple [by accusing the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Noppadon Pattama of delivering land around the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, in exchange for investment concessions for the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to run gambling casinos in Koh Kong]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3337, 19.6.2008

  • Phsar Daeum Kor Market Chief [Mr. Hong Heng] Collects Money Everywhere Causing Vendors in the Market to be Angry

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

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