IMF: Cambodia Cannot Avoid the Consequences of the Global Economic Crisis! – Saturday, 14.3.2009

Posted on 16 March 2009. Filed under: Week 603 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

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

Norbert Klein

Note:

Apologies for the rough language – it is the policy of The Mirror to provide readers of the English translations a glimpse at the sometimes rough world of Khmer journalism as it is – as always, without endorsing opinions expressed, nor being able to verify the veracity of original statements.

“A representative of the International Monetary Fund, Mr. John Nelmes [IMF Resident Representative in Cambodia], had predicted that Cambodia would encounter the consequences of the global economic crisis, and it is necessary to be prepared in advance.

“However, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has no economic skills, became angry and shouted that the Cambodian economy cannot decline as predicted by this person or by that person.

“It should be remembered that the IMF had warned recently, ‘Cambodia is heading toward an economic downturn and the GDP will decline to a growth rate of only 0.5% this year, after there was rigid growth during one whole decade.’

“Moreover, Mr. John Nelmes emphasized again on Thursday [12 March 2009], ‘The Cambodian economy is in a negative status, such instability happens in the context of a bleak global economic atmosphere. We are talking about a period of dramatic decline in economic activities. So far, what we have seen is that the depth of the downturn is worse than expected.’

“Mr. John Nelmes added, ‘Any hope for next year’s economic growth in Cambodia is not clear, because we foresee only 3% growth for 2010, but it might change.’

“Mr. Nelmes went on to say, ‘The export data of some countries are terrible, and the US retail sellers will have negative growth rates this year. This is not a good omen for garment exports.’

“Mr. Nelmes continued to say that also the high inflation in 2008, and the rising price of the dollar make Cambodia to become a more expensive goal for tourism.

“He predicted that tourism, which had an annual growth rate of nearly 20% during three or four years, decreased to around only 5% in 2008, and might also encounter negative growth rates in 2009. The selling of cars and of motorbikes dropped now by 50%, [for cars] and it had been down by 20% at the end of 2008, compared to the twelve months of the previous year.

“The executive director of the ANZ Royal Bank, Mr. Stephen Higgins, said that Cambodia needs cheaper electricity and more roads to encourage broader commercial exchanges.

“Mr. Higgins added that while one kilowatt/hour of electricity costs around US$0.05 in Vietnam, in Cambodia it can cost up to US$0.18, which is much more expensive than in Vietnam. He went on to say that the cost of transportation of agricultural goods in Cambodia is four times more expensive than in Thailand, adding, ‘This is a big difficulty. If the government wants to spend its money, it should spend it on anything that promotes the productivity in the country.’ He continued to say that although the agricultural structure might get improved and likely earn additional income, employment opportunities will be less. More production in different other sectors besides the garment sector will absorb a growing number of the labor force. The garment sector was producing more than half of the industrial output of the country, while food production earned only about 10 percent.

“Also, Mr. Higgins looks forward to the promise that there will be a Commercial Court to solve commercial disputes, which is a key factor to encourage investors.

“He added that corruption is still another concern for investors – different anti-corruption laws and regulations could solve this situation. He said, ‘Everything to clear up corruption will have long-lasting results.’

“Recently, a parliamentarian and spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, said, ‘The government has to recognize the serious situation of Cambodia and must not conceal it. And the government must really support the budget package of around US$500 million [proposed by the Sam Rainsy Party] to encourage the economy.’

“The spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party said so after the Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, who has no economic skills, had dismissed the predictions about the dramatic downturn of the economy of the country, which suffers the impacts of the global economic crisis.

“The Prime Minister, who boasts about his political achievements, claimed proudly to protect this bad face, saying , ‘Growth in agriculture can surely prevent Cambodia from falling into an economic crisis, even though some major sectors of the Cambodian economy encounter a downturn.’

“Because of this persistence, without recognizing what is right or wrong, Hun Sen predicted the future of the economy in Cambodia himself, ‘Cambodia will have 6% GDP growth in 2009.’ Prime Minister Hun Sen chatted lightly, referring to America, Europe, Japan, and Korea as elephants. He added, ‘The global economic crisis in Asia in 1997 was like a sheep that fell dead on the elephants’ legs. But now, the elephants died and fell on sheep’s legs.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann said, ‘If the government still hides the rate of economic changes, they will be hurt by it in turn.’ He added that the IMF might make only few mistakes in their forecasting, which is technical and it is not colored by politics.

“He went on to say, ‘The government should not mix politics with technical problems.’

“The Cambodian economic growth, predicted for 2009 after just two or three months, was nearly 5%. However, on Friday last week [6 March 2009], the IMF listed Cambodia among the countries facing an economic slowdown.

“The IMF predicted that Cambodia will have another 0.5% drop in economic growth, because of the global economic crisis, and the decline of tourism, and of the construction and the garment sectors.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #364, 14.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 14 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #138, 13.3.2009

  • Cambodia Restricts to Climb to the Preah Vihear Temple, and a Siamese [Thai] Monk Is Arrested for Attempting to Climb to the Temple
  • The UN Drug and Crimes Office [in Cambodia] Hopes that [the former commander-in-chief, who has just been appointed as the 10th deputy prime minister in charge of drug administration] Mr. Ke Kim Yan Will Strongly Act to Combat Drugs
  • The Government Provides a Livelihood Allowance of Riel 20,000 [approx. US$5.00] per Month to Civil Servants
  • The Court Orders Police to Detain a Taiwanese Man and a Military Police Officer for International Drug Trafficking [Phnom Penh]
  • 20 Security Companies Sign Agreements with the National Police Office to Promote Citizens’ Security
  • Japan, South Korea, and America Announce to Shoot Down a North Korean’s Satellite Launching

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1897, 14.3.2009

  • The National Election Committee Bars Foreign Passport Holders to Join the [district and provincial/city council] Election Campaign

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #364, 14.3.2009

  • IMF: Cambodia Cannot Avoid the Consequences of the Global Economic Crisis!

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6602, 14-15.3.2009

  • Senior Official of UNESCO [Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO Ambassador Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï] Promised to Work for a Sustainable Protection OF the Preah Vihear Temple [he said SO during his official visit to the Preah Vihear Temple]
  • A Man from Hong Kong Had 846 Gram of Heroin When He Wanted to Board a Plane [he was arrested at the Phnom Penh International Airport]
  • The Iraqi Journalist Who Threw a Shoe at Mr. Bush Is Sentenced to Serve Three Years in Prison

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4845, 14.3.2009

  • The Minister of Labor [Mr. Vong Soth]: 99 Factories Are Closed, 78 Factories Are Opened, and 20,000 Unemployed Workers Are Seeking Jobs
  • Cambodian and America Look for Possibilities to Encourage Agricultural Production
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces to Allow the [national and international] Public to Attend [former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch’s Hearing [on 30 March 2009]
  • The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dismisses the US Department of State’s Report [on the human rights situation in Cambodia] on behalf the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia
  • Vietnam Provides Documents and More Than 300 Photos Regarding the Khmer Rouge Regime

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Promoting 70 More Military Officers Leads to More Serious Inflation – Friday, 16.1.2009

Posted on 16 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

“On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Defense Tea Banh said that there are 70 military officers among a group of generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces who were promoted to the rank of one-star general in 2008, in a ceremony on 31 December 2008. Tea Banh, mentioning the six-month confrontation at the border region during disputes with Siam [Thailand], said that generals from all provinces were promoted according their accomplishments and successes in defending the nation.

“Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Tea Banh – suspected by some people not to be of Khmer descent – said, ‘We have laws for the appointment of officers in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, from low to high levels, and appointments are based on the special positions in the military and in any specific region where troops are deployed.’

“It should be noted that in March 2006, Minister of Defense Tea Banh said that there were 613 generals ranking from one star to four stars in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. However, on Wednesday, Tea Banh did not mention how many generals from one star to four stars exist at present. This creates a strong interest among observers of the field of national defense in Cambodia, while this field loses its importance to a considerable extent.

“According to a figure in 2006, it was estimated that each one-star general could only have 179 soldiers under his command among the 110,000 soldiers in Cambodia at that time. Figures from 2004, released on the website of a World Security Organization, allow to compare figures with the US armed forces, where there were 876 generals, and for each general there were 1,347 soldiers, both male and female. A journalist in Thailand, an expert in security affairs, said in an email on Wednesday that the newly promoted 70 generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces seem to be too many, but the awarding of such ranks is frequently based on political reasons.

“Nevertheless, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Defense Tea Banh said that the promotions giving higher ranks is completely based on qualifications, but not on political considerations. Also the Preah Vihear RCAF commander Sam Bopharath said that he is one of the military officers promoted, and he was given the rank of a brigadier, having been a captain before. This Preah Vihear military commander said, ‘I was promoted to be a one star-general, after I have worked for 30 years in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

“He went on to say that this promotion is part of the administrative reform of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, requiring all regional commanders to hold the rank of one-star general. As for Neak Vong, the chief of the General Staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces of the Fourth Region, assigned to be positioned at the Ta Moan temple region along the Cambodia-Siam [Thai] border, he said that the ranking is based on active work and long term experiences in military affairs. He added, ‘I have worked for the Ministry of Defense nearly ten years, but I am not yet appointed to be a general; I am still a major.’

“It should be noted that among the expenses in the 2009 national budget of up to US$1,8 billion, the Hun Sen government increased the expenses for the national defense, in order to improve this field to be stronger. In the meantime, observers of the national defense in Cambodia said that in order to strengthen the national defense, corruption in the Ministry of National Defense and in the Military General Headquarters must be eliminated urgently, otherwise the effort to strengthen the military will not receive good results, because corruption in the Ministry of National Defense and in the Military General Headquarters has previously even taken away hats, shoes, and clothes of military officers and of soldiers countrywide. Therefore, the elimination of corruption in the field of national defense is crucial, so that it can be compared to neighboring countries.

“Some experienced military officers said that even though at present, Cambodia has many generals, their abilities are still limited, because their promotions do not depend on real skills and work experiences, and on the struggle to serve the nation. In contrast, they receive their ranks for political reasons, which leads to a serious inflation of ranks, making their positions less valuable, and the stars on their shoulders are just worn for decoration.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3667, 16.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 16 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #5, 16-18.1.2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #107, 16-20.1.2009

  • Israel Is Seeking Cooperation in Economy and Investment in Cambodia [according to a diplomatic visit by the first secretary of the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, Mr. Tzahi Selzer, in Cambodia]
  • The 7NG Company Will Wait for Three More Days, Offering US$20,000 [for residents] in Exchange for Leaving [the Dey Krahom region]
  • Cambodia Plans to Create [Cambodian National] Television Representative Office in Beijing [according the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
  • A Danish Woman Is Convicted to Serve 15 Years in Prison and Fined Riel 30 Million [approx. US$7,500 for drug trafficking. Actually, she bought several thousand of over-the-counter painkillers with codeine that can be easily and legally bought at street-side pharmacies throughout Phnom Penh; she was arrested in Phnom Penh when she tried to mail them abroad]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1848, 16.1.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Presented the Potential of Natural Resources of Cambodia to Kuwait Investors [during his visit to Kuwait]
  • To Let Their [10-year-old] Daughter Work for Other People in Phnom Penh for Pay Is Like to Let Them Mistreat Her; When a Girl Could Not Bear It Any Longer, She Escaped from a House and Asked for Help from the Police [she could no longer bear the work and the mistreatment, and could not go to school as had been promised to her parents; she escaped and she wants to return to her parents in Battambang]
  • The Chinese Economy Reaches the Third Rank in the World [after the United States of America and Japan – the Chinese government estimates that the economic growth of 11.9% in 2007 can grow up to 13%]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #184, 16.1.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Create an Alliance to Form a Democratic Political Movement

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6553, 16.1.2009

  • The Co-Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Decided to Set the Date for the Hearing of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief ‘Duch’ in March
  • A Detestable Man Who Raped His [12-year-old] Daughter while His Wife Was at the End of Her Pregnancy Was Arrested and Brought to the [Preah Vihear] Court

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3667, 16.1.2009

  • Promoting 70 More Military Officers Leads to More Serious Inflation
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Summons Khmer Rouge Tribunal Officials to Question Them about Corruption

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1403, 16.1.2009

  • The Ministry of Health Seeks Self-Governing for State Hospitals [in Phnom Penh, in order to make them autonomous in finance, hoping that this will lead to better health care for patients]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4796, 16.1.2009

  • India Asks Cambodia to Produce Grains That Can Be Exported to India [according to a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the new Indian ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Sachdeva]
  • In 2008, Khmer Tourists Traveling Abroad Decline by 200,000 [with a total number of 760,000, if compared to 2007, because plane tickets were too expensive while the fuel price skyrocketed]
  • More Than 1,000 [Palestinian] People Died in Gaza [since the war started 19 days ago – among them, more than 300 were children and 76 were women – during the same time 13 citizens of Israel died – 4 in Israel, and 9 while invading Gaza]

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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]

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Friday, 27.6.2008: ILO Continues to Provide Funds for the Period of Four Years to a Civil Society Network Against Child Labor in Cambodia

Posted on 27 June 2008. Filed under: Week 566 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 566

“Kampot: An official of the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor of the International Labor Oorganization [ILO-IPEC] said on Tuesday, 24 June 2008, that his organization will continue to provide funds for a period of four more years to a civil society network against child labor in Cambodia.

“Mr. M. P. Joseph, a technical advisor to ILO-IPEC in Cambodia, announced this during an official ceremony of civil society organizations against child labor, meeting in the Phnom Pros Hotel in Kompong Cham. In this ceremony the provincial authorities, other departments and units, non-government organizations, and many monks participated.

“He said, ‘The ILO will try to provide more funds to civil society networks against child labor for a period of four more years, until 2012, to strengthen these networks.’

“He added, ‘Anti-child labor networks have been established in three provinces – Kompong Cham, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville – and by 2010, we want our networks to be established in all the twenty four provinces and towns in Cambodia.’

“Mr. M. P. Joseph continued, ‘Two years ago, we had an anti-child labor network only on the national level, which is not enough, as the Royal Government cannot do it all alone.’

“He mentioned, ‘Therefore we all have to join to eliminate all forms of child labor, especially the serious forms. At the same time, the participation from communities, parents, enterprises, factories, and mass media is necessaary. According to a national plan implemented since three years by the government as well as other authorities, there were great achievements. This shows that child labor will be eliminated by 80% in 2015 and will be totally eliminated in 2016.

“He went on to say that for the process to eliminate child labor in Kompong Cham, more than US$3,000 per year were spent. ILO-IPECH even wants to create anti-child labor networks at district level in Kompong Cham, in order to make it stronger in other circles and other provinces.

“The advisor asserted that his organization plans to offer training to members of networks of civil society organization so that they are able to create useful projects to ask for funds from other organizations; training will be offered in the next two years.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4626, 27.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 June 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1678, 27.6.2008

  • On the First Day of the Election Campaign, Political Parties Marched Peacefully [26 June 2008]
  • High Concentration of Arsenic Is Found in 15,802 Wells in Cambodia [according to Mr. Mao Saray, Director of the Department of Rural Water Supply of the Ministry of Rural Development – water can be drunk safely up to 50 microgram Arsenic, but the water of all the wells mentioned above have over 50 microgram per liter]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #186, 27.6.2008

  • Families of [the twenty two] Victims of Last Year’s Plane Crash [on 27 June 2007 in Kampot] Have Not Been Compensated by the Cambodian PMT Airline [but the company blamed them for requesting too much money]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #34, 27.6.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay Asked the Ministry of Planning to Give Reasons [for not releasing the index of the rising inflation since May, after there had been a 30% inflation rate released for January 2008 to May 2008]
  • There Are More than 63,000 Mines Victims [in Cambodia – according to the Cambodia program of the Halo Trust]
  • Minority Tribespeople from Severn Villages Protest the Grabbing of Their Land by the Khov Chily Company – when the Provincial Governor [Lay Sokha] Distributed Presents to Them, They Rejected Them and Just Want Their Land Back [Mondolkiri]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6382, 27.6.2008

  • The Khmer Civilization Foundation Will Bring Four Tonnes of Rice and Other Materials to Assist People Living at the Preah Vihear Temple [on 29 June 2008 – according to a statement of the director of the foundation Mr. Moeung Son on 26 June 2008]
  • Demonstration in Seoul Held Again against Beef Imports from the United States [25-26 June 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3497, 27.6.2008

  • Siem [Thailand] Should Address Its Internal Issues but Not Affect the Preah Vihear Temple Sovereignty of Cambodia


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4626, 27.6.2008

  • ILO Continues to Provide Funds for the Period of Four Years to a Civil Society Network Against Child Labor in Cambodia
  • About 100 Organizations and Education Institutions in Cambodia Sent a Motion to UNESCO [to support the joint statement between Cambodia and Thailand on 17 June 2008 and to express admiration for the work of UNESCO; while Thai opposition party president Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva sent a letter to UNESCO requesting to delay the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site]
  • The King Finished an Official Visit to Vietnam [26 June 2008]
  • Deputy Director of Build Bright University [Mr. Lam Chea]: Most Students Choose Skills That Are Not Their Favorite [depending on the labor market]
  • Lawyer of [the former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Jailed [for six months] for Trying to Bribe the Court with Money [trying to leave a box with Baht 2 million in cash – approx US$60,000 – at the court “to distribute”]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3344, 27.6.2008

  • Ten Political Parties [except for the Cambodian People’s Party] Promise to Adopt an International Standard Anti-Corruption Law if They Win the Election [responding to a questionnaire from the Anti-Corruption League of civil society organizations, in which there are nearly fifty national and international non-government organizations]

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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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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Wednesday, 2.4.2008: 48 Houses of Citizens in Samaki Village Fell into the River, and Two People Are Missing

Posted on 2 April 2008. Filed under: Week 554 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 554

“Over a distance of 70 meters dozens of houses fell into the Tonle Sap River on 1 April 2008. Five people were injured and had to be rescued. One child was missing due to the collapse.

“The authorities were evacuating people who reside along the bank of Tonle Sap River in Samaki village opposite of the Psar Touch milk-production factory, in order to avoid any danger of continuous landslides.

“48 houses of 58 families, who live in Group 20, Samaki Village, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh, located along National Road No. 5, opposite the Samaki Market, fell into the Tonle Sap River at 3 p.m.

“The authorities said that 48 houses of 58 families collapsed into the Tonle Sap River, so that five people had to be rescued from the water when their houses collapsed. The rescued people were one child and four old people.

“Kop Sleh, the deputy governor of the above district, said that the collapsed houses were built in a disorderly manner along the river bank.

“He added that the authorities were evacuating the residents along the river bank for fear that the collapse might continue.

“He considered the collapse to be a natural disaster, giving as the reason that now we are in the dry season when the current of the river is weak. A collapse might happen more probably during the rainy season, when the current is much stronger. As for the people who were victimized by the disaster, the authorities are looking for a location for them to live for the time being, in order to wait for permanent solutions later.

“He denied that the collapse was caused by sand dredging operations, even though local people claimed that there were ships dredging sand along the Tonle Sap River at night. According to information from the scene, two children disappeared while their parents were out doing their business.

“This is the second incident after the collapse of the Koh Norea river bank, located in Nirouth, Meanchey, Phnom Penh. That disaster caused the loss of many houses and assets.

“The collapse of the river bank caused citizens’ houses to fall into the river in the afternoon of 1 April 2008 at Samaki village, Russey Keo district. The collapsed land is more than 70 meters long and 30 meters deep. The authorities are seeking for any more missing people.

“Victims said that if the collapse had happened at night, many people would have died, as they return to their houses after their work or business.

“Citizens blamed private companies for causing the collapse of the river bank due to sand dredging operations at night, even though Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered the relevant ministries to ban private companies from dredging sand in the river.” Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #76, 2.4.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #76, 2.4.2008

  • 48 Houses of Citizens in Samaki Village Fell into the River, and Two People Are Missing
  • [Human Rights Party president] Kem Sokha: That Hun Sen Agrees to Provide Allowance of US$6 to Workers Is Political Demagogy; [president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Chea Mony: Provision of Allowance of US$6 to Workers Is Success of the Trade Union
  • After Elections, Human Rights Party Government Will Decrease Prices of Goods and Gasoline and Increase Salaries for Public Servants and Workers
  • Prampi Makara District Police Seize Citizens’ Motorcycles at Night to Extort Money [Phnom Penh]


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #63, 2-8.4.2008

  • Prime Minister Agrees to Review of Property Rights along Cambodian Railway


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1608, 2.4.2008

  • Government Will Take Action against Provocative Activity Calling for a Demonstration [demanding decrease of prices of goods and increase of salaries for public servants and garment workers]
  • Cambodia and Qatar Officially Establish Diplomatic Relations
  • New Constitution Draft in Burma Bans [Burmese elected democracy leader] Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi from Holding Power [because she had been married to a foreigner]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #568, 2.4.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Nephew [name not mentioned] Spent US$800,000 Within One Week Only, Surprising Europe [according to Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s speech on Sambok Khmum Radio]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #128, 2.4.2008

  • [Former Director of Electricité du Cambodge] Tan Kimvin’s and His Partisans’ Corruption Resulted in a Loss of More Than US$36 Million of State Income [in 2007 – according to an official of Electricité du Cambodge]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6312, 2.4.2008

  • Frightening Accident Tragedy [collision between a mini bus and a truck] that Killed Eleven People and Injured Eleven Others at Cashew Plantation [1 April – Cheung Prey, Kompong Cham]



Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3428, 2.4.2008

  • 24 Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Call for Citizens to Attend a Non-Violent Demonstration Demanding Decrease of Prices of Goods and Increase of Salaries
  • [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh Calls for Yuon [Vietnamese] Troops to Come to Help to Maintain Security during General Elections, Causing Mixed Reactions

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4556, 2.4.2008

  • World Bank: Cambodia Faces Inflation but This Does Not Effect Economic Growth
  • Opposition Party Beats Political Drum because of Increasing Prices of Goods

Have a look at last week’s editorial: “using an iron fist to administer justice”

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