Cambodia Warned UN Officials Not to Interfere in Cambodian Affairs – Friday, 9.7.2010

Posted on 10 July 2010. Filed under: Week 672 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 672

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia accused the director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Christophe Peschoux, claiming that he acted beyond his role when he criticized the deportation of two Thai red-shirt activists on Monday 5 July 2010, and the Ministry warned that such comment from him might make the government reconsider his presence in Cambodia.

“On Wednesday, 7 July 2010, the director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Christophe Peschoux, spoke to local media, saying that the deportation of the two Thais are ‘political decisions’ which lack appropriate procedure.

“In a letter dated 8 July 2010, the Ministry reminded Mr. Peschoux that he has no right to make such a criticism, as it relates to decisions within the exclusive right of the Cambodian government. The letter ends with the following remark, ‘Any such activities in future will make the Royal Government of Cambodia to decide over his presence in Cambodia.’

“This letter is similar to one sent in March to the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Douglas Broderick, which had warned to expell him from Cambodia for criticizing the process taken by the government for the adoption of the anti-corruption law.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said on 8 July 2010 that the letter was sent to Mr. Peschoux to alert him to respect a memorandum of understanding, signed on 1 January 2010 with the government. He added, ‘It does not mean that we want to expell him, but we just want to alert him.’

“Mr. Peschoux could not be reached for comment on 8 July 2010.” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #211, 9.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2296, 9.7.2010

  • Workers Will Receive a Minimum Salary of US$61 per Month from 1 October 2010 [before that, the minimum salary is US$50; the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, announced a plan to strike on 13, 14, and 15 July 2010 to demand an increase of the minimum salary to US$70]
  • Because of Jealousy, a Man Killed His Wife by Cutting Her Throat [he was arrested – Pursat]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7003, 9.7.2010

  • Cambodia Is Open for Equity Ownership by Foreign Investments [according to the World Bank, Cambodia will allow foreign investors to take up to 100% of ownership in all sectors, except for electricity and the ports]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3927, 9.7.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Plans to Hold a Press Conference [about the courts and justice in Cambodia on 15 July 2010] a Day Ahead of the Deadline to Pay a Fine [for losing in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s defamation case]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #211, 9.7.2010

  • Cambodia Warned UN Officials Not to Interfere in Cambodian Affairs
  • Defense Lawyers [of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea] Asked [the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] to Investigate Political Interference into the Affairs of the Tribunal [they said that the government is interfering to threaten the right of their client in judicial hearings; the government opposes to question government officials and investigations of other former Khmer Rouge leaders]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Decided to Detain the Second Wife of Oknha Khov Chily over the [failed] Murders [of the wife and a daughter of a Senior Minister of the Cambodian People’s Party, a former FUNCINPEC minister of Public Works and Transportation, Mr. Sun Chanthol – Phnom Penh]
  • The Green Light Is Given for Marriages between Cambodians and South Koreans [the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said that the ban on marriages is lifted after the Cambodian government has organized a clear monitoring mechanism against fake marriages and human trafficking]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5245, 9.7.2010

  • A Gay Man Was Killed and His Body Was Thrown Away at Kilometer 6 [of National Road 5, in the Russey Keo district of Phnom Penh; perpetrators are not yet identified]
  • Two People Died and Fifty Seven Others Are Having Severe Diarrhea [Svay Rieng]

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Observations and Reflection from Korea – Sunday, 1.11.2009

Posted on 1 November 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1997, more and more links between Cambodia and South Korea have developed – not receiving much general attention, but quite real. Over the last five years, tourists from Korea have topped the list of foreign visitors. And there are about 4,000 Koreans living in Cambodia.

But there is also a growing presence in the opposite direction: there are 8,400 Cambodians living in Korea, among them 2,900 Cambodian women married with Korean men. There is an increasing number of Cambodian students in Korea, and there are 4,900 workers. The Korean president announced that in addition, 3,500 more Cambodian workers will be accepted to work, aiming at a total number of 9,000 Cambodian workers in Korea.

Korea is the second largest foreign investor in Cambodia. Korea is one of the important donors of Cambodia. Since 2001, there have been US$220 million granted as loans and US$46 million as grant. Recently, the amount of US$200 million as a special loan has been added to the list.

But Korea is not known broadly in Cambodia – we add therefore also some pictures, just as the weather permitted, with sunshine and with rain. Participating in a series of working sessions in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – the organization that cares for the address system of the Internet, where I am involved since 1999 – I had the opportunity to compare and to reflect.

Compared to the size of the population of Cambodia of 14 million, the city of Seoul alone has a population of more than 10 million.

High - high -

High - high -

General housing

General housing

The future of Phnom Penh?

The future of Phnom Penh?

42 story Gold Tower for Phnom Penh

42 story Gold Tower for Phnom Penh

Maybe some of the ambitious Korea related building projects in Cambodia have to be seen on the background of Korean city developments – still the very high rise buildings planned in Phnom Penh do not yet fit into the environment: what about traffic access, water supply and disposal? just to mention some technicalities.

And there are not only technicality related disruptions. I took the following picture of the Boeng Kak Lake in Phnom Penh some years ago, leaving for Bangkok. Many big cities around the world maintain their lakes or rivers, or even create artificial ones. The Phnom Penh administration is destroying what there is – filling about 90 % of the lake with sand for higher level business, also displacing about 4,000 families.

The Lake that is no more like that

The Lake that is no more like that

It is encouraging to see how Seoul has transformed an old water disposal canal into a nice place of nature in the middle of the city: a place of recreation – going for a walk, or even for jogging, with three different suggested courses of 1.8, 3.6, and 5.8 kilometers.

River walk

River walk

And it is encouraging to see the many different spheres of life in more detail, being cared for, manifest in this town.

River walk - it rains

River walk - it rains

River walk - nature in town

River walk - nature in town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful design all over town.

Modern art instead of the Japanese colonial building

Modern art instead of the Japanese colonial building

International Council of Societies of Industrial Design: Seoul is the World Design Capital 2010

International Council of Societies of Industrial Design: Seoul is the World Design Capital 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kyobo bookstore extends 100 meters under the ground

Kyobo: One of the biggest bookshops in the world

Kyobo: One of the biggest bookshops in the world

A Western violin and a Korean one-string instrument - together!

A Western violin and a Korean one-string instrument - together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody can find the way easily in the center of town:

Public sign in a subway station: National Human Rights Commission

Public sign in a subway station: National Human Rights Commission - everybody can find the way easily

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The Law States that Procedures for Marriages between Khmer Citizens and Foreigners Are Quick, but the Implementers Do It Slowly – Wednesday, 11.3.2009

Posted on 15 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

“Even though a sub-decree of the Royal Government defining the modalities and procedures for marriages between Khmer citizens and foreigners, and the instructions from the Ministry of Interior, set a five days period for document preparation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and five days at the Ministry of Interior, apparently the implementation at these two institutions takes five times longer than that. That is, applicants need to wait three weeks at each institution.

“Foreigners, especially Khmers living in foreign countries, criticize officials who work on these modalities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Ministry of Interior, referring to the sub-decree of the Royal Government and the instructions of the Ministry of Interior, which set a five days period for fulfilling the proper modalities at each institution, but in contrast, the law enforcement officials work slowly, using from three to four weeks.

“The same source added that this slow completion of modalities makes foreigners or Khmers living in foreign countries face various difficulties. Because of the slow proceedings, some lose their jobs after returning to their home countries. They cannot avoid such difficulties, and they have to spend much time and money.

“According to the legal arrangements for the completion of the modalities mentioned above, foreigners or Khmers living in foreign countries, who want to get married with Khmer citizens, need to spend only ten days. Five of these ten days are for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the remaining five days are for the Ministry of Interior. But, actually, they have to wait between six and eight weeks for the legal formalities to be completed at the two institutions.

“The same source continued to say that those who have to complete these legal requirements for an international marriage have to wait in queue, because there is only one official working on these procedures. To wait in this queue takes from 8:00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. The sub-decree does not state anything that husbands and wives have to be thumb printed at the Ministry of Interior (at the Statistic Office), but this office demands them to be thumb printed.

“The source said also that the Sub-Decree 183 of the Royal Government, dated 3 November 2008 and signed by Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, does not require the foreigners who get married with a Khmer citizen to state their salary, but it just wants to have it clarified whether they are single or married, where their workplace is, and a police record to show that they did not commit a criminal offense.

“Foreigners and Khmers living in foreign countries therefore ask the Royal Government to order the relevant officials to implement what that law states, when foreigners find a wife or a husband in Cambodia by following Cambodian legal procedures. When they ask for one month permission of leave from their workplace, but they have to continue up to two months, they will be dismissed from work after returning to their country.

Rasmei Kampuchea tried to contact the relevant officials for comments on 10 March 2009, but could not reach them.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4838, 11.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #131-131, 5-6.3.2009

  • Officials: The Government Organizes [professional] Training Courses for Workers [to provide opportunities for future jobs] while Factories Close

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1894, 11.3.2009

  • [20] Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Ask for Permission from Khmer Soldiers to Take Food to Be Delivered to Monks [in the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda]
  • The Korean Ambassador Received a Medal for His Achievements to Promote the Development of Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6599, 11.3.2009

  • The Judgment in [former Phnom Penh police chief] “Heng Pov’s Case” for Attempting to Assassinate [the commander of the National Military Police] General Sao Sokha Will Be Announced on 12 March 2009
  • A Surprising Natural Disaster Happened in Four Districts in Kompong Cham: Three People Were Killed by Lightning, and 35 Houses Were Destroyed by a Rain Storm

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3708, 11.3.2009

  • The European Union Strongly Condemns the Forced Evictions of Citizens [and encourages the government to follow international standards and to stop evicting citizens]
  • [Senator from the Cambodian People’s Party Oknha] Ly Yong Phat Is Defending a Chinese Company Dredging Sand [from the seashore] Which Destroys the Environment in Koh Kong

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4838, 11.3.2009

  • The Law States that Procedures for Marriages between Khmer Citizens and Foreigners Are Quick, but the Implementers Do It Slowly
  • 12 March 2009: The National Assembly Will Hold a Meeting to Add About Ten New Members to the Government, and About the Restitution of Immunity to Mr. Sam Rainsy
  • The Websites of Most Ministries Do Not Update Information and Do Not Have Khmer Language Versions
  • World Bank: The Global Economy Will Decline for the First Time since the Second World War!

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1669, 11.3.2009

  • Civil Society [the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia] Said that to Add More Members to the Government Is an Additional Burden for the Cambodian Economy

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Thirty Percent of Construction Workers Are Unemployed – Wednesday, 31.12.2008 – end of the year 2008

Posted on 31 December 2008. Filed under: Week 593 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 593

“The Cambodian economy, which should continue to grow now, seems to be like a jammed brake, because investment capital this year declined up to [the figures available for] November, where foreign investment capital for construction, which is an important sector, decreased by more than 12%. Tens of thousands of workers are laid off, and this affects one important part of industry and then also others.

“The financial crisis strongly affects the construction sector in Cambodia, because big investment capital is mainly coming from foreign countries; as for investors from South Korea, they are directly affected by the meltdown of the economy in the United States of America.

“The latest figure of the Royal Government published, said that during 11 months of 2008, investment in the construction sector and in related furniture development declined by 12.5%; compared to the same period of last year, it declined from US$3.2 billion to US$2,8 billion. This figure is from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

“The above problems result from the decline of construction, from the prices of furniture materials, and from the meltdown of the world economy as a whole, while the construction sector around the world encountered also the same problems during 11 months of this year.

“As for Cambodia, the labor unions say that 30% of the construction workers are laid off, and various projects are suspended. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said that Cambodia had between 45,000 and 50,000 workers employed, with salaries between US$60 and US$1,200.

“Senior Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction H.E. Im Chhun Lim said that such meltdown happened at the same time of foreign investment projects being under development, and it is forecast that in 2009 the decline will continue.

“The problems in the construction sector strongly affect the prices of construction materials… prices declined around 30% to 40%; but even so, such materials cannot be sold, and businesspeople who had invested in this sector mostly did it depending on bank loans.

“He went on to say that big construction projects, such as the construction projects of the CamKo City [Cambodian-Korean City], or the double Gold Tower 42 [42 stories], and of the International Finance Center Tower, are still in progress, but they are not stable.

“Between June and November, there were around 1,869 construction sites countrywide, while in 2007, there had been 1,942.

“It is the first time that figures are released, after press reports had said that big construction projects in our country – in Phnom Penh – have all closed down.

“The president of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, shared his opinion that the construction sector was seriously affected during the last six months of this year, and in early 2009 it will get worse…

“The Cambodian Economy grew 10% on average during previous years, with the garment industry, tourism, and the construction sector as energetic forces.” Mate Nak, Vol.1, #16, 31.12.2008-6.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Areyathor, Vol.15, #1374, 31.12.2008

  • Nine Pawn Houses’ Illegalities [accepting stolen motorcycles etc.] Were Stopped [in Phnom Penh]

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #102, 31.12.2008-1.1.2009

  • The Supreme Court Will Decide the Fates of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun This Morning [appealing their conviction for killing the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Vichea, in 2004 – Note: They have been released on bail!]
  • The National Assembly Decided to Allow Two Chinese Companies to Invest in the Electricity Supply System in Cambodia, Spending Around US$1 Billion [by constructing hydro-electricity dams on the Ta Tai River in Koh Kong, and the Russey Krom hydro-electricity dam near the Kravanh Mountains]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1834, 31.12.2008

  • The King Inaugurates a New Building of the Jayavarman VII Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap
  • The Ministry of Heath Prepares Six Health Hazard Warning Pictures to Be Put in Turn on Cigarette Packages
  • Israel Strongly Attacks the Hamas Group in Garza; 345 Palestinians and 4 Israelis Died [Note: After years of international criticism against the political system in the Palestinian territories, in early 2006 there were the first democratic elections – and Hamas won the majority in Gaza]
  • Sheikh Hasina Leads Election Results in Bangladesh [Note: Unofficial results say she won 255 seats, her rival only 32, out of 300]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #172, 31.12.2008

  • An Official of the Department of Education Voices Concern about the Future of Children and of Human Resources in Some Regions, where Children Drop Out of School to Become Merchandise Cart Draggers [at the Phnom Dey Cambodian-Thai border crossing point in Battambang]
  • Khmer Women Getting Married with Korean Men Wait Anxiously for Leaving [to Korea, after the ban of international marriages has been lifted]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6539, 31.12.2008

  • The Thai Parliament Met in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Continue to Block the Parliament House and Refuse to Withdraw

Mate Nak, Vol.1, #16, 31.12.2008-6.1.2009

  • 30% of Construction Workers Are Unemployed

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3653, 31.12.2008

  • [Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng Acknowledges that There Is Corruption among High Ranking Police Officers

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4782, 31.12.2008

  • The First Elevated Road in Cambodia, from Phnom Penh to Ta Khmao [in Kandal], Received Construction Permission [by the Phnom Penh Municipality]
  • Vietnam Said that Merchants Are Rushing to Smuggle Goods from the Khmer Border into Vietnam [in An Giang Province]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3467, 31.12.2008

  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya] Greeted [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Mr. Hor Namhong by Phone and Plans to Visit Cambodia Officially [but the date of his visit is not yet fixed]

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