Justice in the Midst of Conflicts – Sunday, 24.1.2010

Posted on 26 January 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

The report on the increasing number of rapes, especially also of young girls less then 10 year old, in some cases ending with the killing of the victim, carried a terrifying comment: “Law enforcement by the relevant authorities, especially the courts, remained limited, as giving impunity to perpetrators continued,” continuing: “The number of cases brought to be heard at the courts was not so high, simply because of out of court arrangements.” Money is used instead of justice.

In another context, the Ratanakiri authorities are reported to have seized a truck with illegally logged wood after a Cambodian NGO and local citizens informed the authorities – but this is worse: Citizens who tried to report and to prevent forestry crimes were threatened by armed personnel, and the authorities do not dare to disclose the names of the powerful wood traders who hire citizens to commit these crimes. Power is used instead of justice.

In view of these and many other, specifically identified cases, there is not much value in discussing, in the abstract, whether Cambodia is a country to be described as under a state of law – because the Constitution says so – or not; the call to strengthen and to ensure effective law enforcement is also not very useful, unless it is accompanied by analyzing why law enforcement is so weak, and therefore: how this might change.

When I am traveling in Phnom Penh – that is normally on the back seat of a motorcycle-taxi – and I question the drivers why they breaks traffic rules, there is almost always a similar answer, with references that “everybody does it, especially the big cars: some without license plates, speeding on the middle of the road or on the wrong side, driving on, even if the traffic light is red, etc. etc.” If the law is not seen to be enforced equally on all, irrespective of money or power, it is very difficult to see how a state of law can be achieved. It can be achieved only when the very same authorities enforcing it are also following the law themselves.

Scanning regularly through news media from other countries, there is one item which is mentioned more and more: How do the Cambodian authorities consider the role of law in their relations with the neighboring country of Thailand? The armed clash yesterday at the border invited again regional concerns. And one concern discussed in other ASEAN countries, which have a tradition of not interfering into internal affairs of other members, is the fact that this seems to be happening now with the appointment of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, convicted for corruption but fugitive from Thailand, with an Interpol warrant, as an official adviser to the Cambodian government – disregarding the legal system of Thailand, and declaring a verdict for substantial financial corruption to be political. And by doing so importing – in spite of denials that this is not the intention – the political tensions of Thailand into Cambodia.

Several news items followed each other:

  • 14 January 2010: International media reported that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra will visit Cambodia again, even “Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Mr. Thaksin will visit Cambodia later this month.”
  • 15 January 2010: Mr. Noppadon Pattama, a legal adviser to Mr. Thaksin, said the plan for a visit had been canceled, but Mr. Thaksin would instead visit another country in Asia.
  • 17 January 2010: The Puea Thai Party chairperson Mr. Chavalit Yongchaiyuth meets Mr. Thaksin in Brunei, it is said that Mr. Thaksin would return to Cambodia late in January, staying several days.
  • 19 January 2010: Mr. Thaksin canceled his visit to Cambodia – according to a Khmer newspaper.
  • 21 January 2010: Mr. Thaksin arrived in Cambodia for a brief visit – no press conference, no lecture as economic advisor – only a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen is reported.
  • 22 January 2010: Mr. Thaksin demanded to close the legal case to expropriate his property.
  • 25 January 2010: Mr. Thaksin is reported to have declared already on 18 January 2010 he may set up a government in exile depending on political developments.

Of course the main stage for all this is in Thailand themselves, where extremely difficult problems are being faced: a mix of politics and the law, and the question is still open what will be the outcome of the conflicting dynamics between the two.

After Mr. Thaksin was ousted by a bloodless military coup in 2006, his in-country assets were frozen; the Thai supreme court is scheduled to decide on 26 February 2010, whether these US$2.3 billion – 2,300,000,000 US dollar! – were gained by the misuse of power and corruption as prime minister and will go to the state, or whether they were gained from his salary as a police officer and later businessman and will be returned to him. In addition, Mr. Thaksin said that he still has about US$100 million available abroad.

The attorney-general of Thailand, Mr. Julasing Wasantasing, shared the dilemma and his approach in an interview yesterday, Saturday, in The Nation, where he said that it is increasingly difficult for Thailand’s justice system to function, as there are two powerful pressure groups – the Yellow Shirts and the Red Shirts – trying to enforce their will: “I have been told I have to listen to the people. But when the people are divided into two camps, which side should I listen to?” When the course of the law is not followed, but instead the actions of the police or of prosecutors and judges are defined not by the law, he said: “We should stop and start anew. If every case is influenced by the yellow or red colors, Thailand’s problem is never going to end.”

The attorney-general has also been criticized, from both camps, when they were not happy with decisions based on the law, and he expressed his concern that “legal cases here are being judged by the public not on their legal merit, but on perceived political significance.” He summed up his own position in these conflicts by quoting John Quincy Adams, a US lawyer, diplomat, and politician, and finally the 6th president of the USA from 1825 to 1829. This was at a time when the USA were still a weak country – a “developing country” as we might say today.

“I can never join with my voice in the toast which I see in the papers attributed to one of our gallant naval heroes. I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where our country might be in the wrong: ‘Let justice be done even if heaven should fall.’ My toast would be, may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right.”

If this position would be taken also in view of the tensions between Cambodia and Thailand – not success for oneself is the goal, but justice even if it is for the other side – what a good future could be developed soon together!

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Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia – Sunday, 15.11.2009

Posted on 18 November 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 638 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 637

Several mails I had received during the week requested what this week’s editorial should be about. Agreed. The visit of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra to Cambodia has more than any other recent event received wide international attention – at the same time it resulted in bringing a range of different and opposing issues to the surface, beyond the straightforward political tensions.

The disparities start with the wording, how the visitor is called in national and international media: the possibilities extend from the fond description of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra as an “eternal friend” by Prime Minister Hun Sen, to the more neutral description when referring to the “former Thai prime minister ousted by a military coup,” to the references – and this not only in part of the Thai press – to the “convicted fugitive, because of corruption, and who finally violated the bail requirements and fled the country to avoid going to prison.”

This is the first controversy.

The Cambodian government did not only refuse to live up to the Cambodian-Thai extradition agreement, “considering the prosecution and legal process against Thaksin Shinawatra as a politically motivated proceeding,” and therefore even handed back the Thai documents submitted to seek Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s extradition. On the other hand, the Thai government and part of the Thai media felt that already that extending an invitation and offering the function to be an adviser to the Cambodian government were an insult to the legal system of Thailand.

As a public reaction in Thailand, the popularity of the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, almost tripled, with appruval rates of 24% in September to 69% recently, according to a poll.

The interpretation of Prime Minister Hun Sen, that the present Cambodian-Thai dispute is basically a personal dispute between the two prime ministers, was not shared in the international press. More fundamental problems were touched upon: What does it mean for the international standing of a country when a search warrant by Interpol can be dismissed, after the fugitive, who is being sought under a “red alert” warrant, after a bail violation, and after a criminal conviction for corruption in dealing with the sale of valuable public property to a family member, up to the grotesque $60,000 event of the mysteriously mistaken box of chocolate.

How would such events be dealt with under a Cambodian anti-corruption law, due to be adopted by the National Assembly since a decade ago? If actions of corruption are committed in combination with political ones, are they then no longer subject to criminal prosecution?

There were several rumors and denials – that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra would fly together with the Cambodian Prime Minister to the APEC meetings in Singapore.

Surprising also, that the Cambodian Prime Minister compared him to Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. In an interview with Times Online, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra said: “There are some similarities there, but not really everything. The similarity is we won elections, we rule the countries. We’ve been ousted by the coup d’etat and we come from the people. We are democratically elected leaders and we come from the majority of the people – a big majority, not just a small majority. She’s under house arrest, I’ve been kicked out of the country.”

The Cambodian government has never found such strong critical words against the ruling military in Myanmar. Will the Cambodian government also accept such advice and change its position? The statement “I’ve been kicked out of the country” contrasts with the fact that the self imposed exile abroad started with breaking bail arrangements with the Thai law enforcement authorities, traveling abroad without the promised return.

But the invitation to Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser may lead to a second kind of controversies.

Press reports in Cambodia were not enthusiastic about his speech in front of 300 selected economists. The Cambodian Daily said that his address “primarily dealt in generalities and contained little that Cambodian economists will not already know.” Not only that: Some of his advice runs contrary to some of the traditional approaches of Cambodian economic practice.

Thakshin Sinawatra became the favorite politician among a majority of the rural population in Thailand because of his new policy of favoring them directly, with debt relief and village loan funds administered by the local communities themselves. The revenue of the public and the private sector should, first of all, be directed towards the poorest sector of society, is his advice. Large scale land leasings to big companies in favorable relation with the government, leading to considerable groups of the rural population losing their land, coming to demonstrate in Phnom Penh, asking for justice, as happens so frequently in Cambodia, are not compatible which the vision of Thaksin Shinawatra’s economic policies.

Surprising is also his emphasis on the need of reconciliation and good neighborliness between Cambodia and Thailand, in order to foster Cambodia’s economic development, including the promotion of Thailand and Cambodia together for international tourism, presenting themselves as a “joint destination.” This runs against many recent antagonistic trends: the Thai government had proposed to submit Preah Vihear together with the Cambodian government to the World Heritage Committee, which was flatly rejected by the Cambodian side. During the last year there were even plans discussed in Cambodia to create an international airport 500 meters below the mountain range where Preah Vihear is situated, which is conveniently accessible from the north, from Thailand. This plan, to exclude the natural access to Preah Vihear – and therefore tourism via Thailand, was soon given up again as economically completely unreal. The public outcry some years ago, when Bangkok Airways had named one of its airplanes Angkor Wat – while other planes are named according to other international destinations, promoting tourism to these places – has no place in this context. The Cambodian Daily reported his emphasis on the need for cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia, as the two countries’ economic fortunes are inextricably linked – adding: “Of course, not all my compatriots see it that way right now.” Those who see it differently in Thailand are assumed to suffer from being shortsighted, driven by false patriotism.

One may ask whether the anti-Thai actions of 2003, when the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh was ransacked because of a baseless rumor, resulting in further arson so that the hardware damage alone of that night was estimated at US$56 million, and the tensions before and after the designation of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, would also fall under a similar verdict by Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, that a false patriotism is in the way also in some of the Cambodian attitudes and actions.

It is surprising to consider how future suggestions of the new economic adviser of the Cambodian government will be handled, while land conflicts in rural areas continue, further large scale leasings of land are under consideration inviting countries from the Middle East to start agro-business ventures, and Japanese companies are considering to create new large tree planting schemes in Cambodia.

Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s suggestions may not only be unwelcome in his own country. They run counter to major trends of present day Cambodian big business.

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Cambodian-Thai Relations – Present and Former Prime Ministers – Sunday, 8.11.2009

Posted on 8 November 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 637 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 637

Returning to Cambodia, on the way to the airport in Bangkok on 6.11.2009, the driver of the taxi I took – as soon as he knew that I was going to Cambodia – spoke almost the whole way about his surprise and anger that the former Thai prime minister, who was convicted to go to prison for being implicated in big, illegally land dealings in the Ratchadapisek area of Bangkok, and who lied to the court when he left the country on bail “for some days only” but never came back, is now invited by the Cambodian Prime Minister to come to Cambodia as adviser to the government. “Are there no laws against corruption in Cambodia?” – Surely, another taxi driver might have had a different evaluation; but it was an impressive outburst of firm convictions.

In the meantime, various voices have called for moderation.

The ASEAN Secretary General is quoted to have written: “We in ASEAN cannot afford to be seen as being so seriously divided prior to the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders Meeting and the historic ASEAN-US Leaders Meeting in Singapore this month,” in a letter to the foreign ministers of the region.

Also, the Chinese People’s Daily Online reported the concerns made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, that the recent dispute between Thailand and Cambodia is not good for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “It is not good for ASEAN. We hope that both our friends will keep the larger interest of ASEAN in mind and find a way to resolve their differences quickly in a spirit of good neighborliness.”

The Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio said Japan was ‘concerned’ about the recent tensions between Cambodia and Thailand because Phnom Penh had offered a position to a fugitive Thai citizen. “I am concerned about the recent situation,” Mr. Hatoyama told Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to a Japanese official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cambodian official voices have rejected the opinion, expressed widely in Thai media, that the appointment of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra is an intervention into the internal affairs of Thailand and an insult to the legal system of Thailand, stressing that Cambodia is a sovereign state and does not have to ask for the permission of another country when inviting and appointing a foreign national.

The Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban agreed – partially – saying: “It’s Cambodia’s internal affair. But if we have evidence that Thaksin is in Cambodia, we will surely ask the Cambodian government to extradite him,” according to the extradition agreement between the two countries.

In the meantime, it had been reported that Mr. Thaksin, who used to live in Dubai in self-selected exile, has been flying, in his private jet, with a diplomatic passport of Nicaragua, to different countries in the Pacific, in search of the possibility to set up his presence in a country that does not have an extradition treaty with Thailand; he is reported to have been in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Vanuatu. It was also reported that he narrowly avoided arrest during a stopover in Malaysia.

While the Cambodian Prime Minister invited the former Thai Prime Minister as his “eternal friend” and does not recognize the convictions for corruption pronounced by Thai courts, and therefore will reject to live up to the clauses of the bilateral extradition treaty, legal complications have been recognized by other countries, since Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra is recognized as a fugitive by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), with an Interpol “red notice,” which, in a number of countries, serves as a legal basis for arrest. Cambodia is a proud member of Interpol already since 1956, shortly after the 1953 independence from France, and there have been several cases of international Interpol actions, with Cambodian cooperation, also in 2009.

The future is unclear. While writing these lines, the two following reports from the Japanese news agency Kyodo came in:

Thai premier urges Hun Sen to behave as ‘good neighbor’

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva urged Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday to behave like a ”good neighbor” and reconsider his appointment of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser

Thaksin to give economics lecture in Phnom Penh on Thursday

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Sunday that ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will visit Cambodia to give a lecture on economic matters in Phnom Penh on Thursday

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Fake Medicines Are Invading Cambodia while the Ministry of Health Keeps Quiet – Tuesday 23.12.2008

Posted on 24 December 2008. Filed under: Week 592 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 592

“Medicines are double-edged weapons. During a meeting last week, officials found that fake medicines are strongly invading Cambodia. The Ministry of Health, the parent or the administrator of this sector,] has not any significant achievements responding to the size or the spread of fake medicine trafficking, or of unqualified medicines.

“The Cambodian government created central and provincial committees to eliminate fake medicines and illegal health services in 2005. So far, by late 2008, the highest health institution has changed ministers, from Minister Nuth Sokhom to Minister Mam Bunheng, but there is no positive change in the prevention of fake medicines’ trafficking. Moreover, the fact that there is not much debate about the problem, means that it is an opportunity for fake medicines to extend their influence.

“It is reported that not much is done to curb the use and the speculation with fake medicines in the provinces, while at the central level, it is completely quiet. During more than three years, the central committee met only once in 2006, after there had been some encouragement from non-government organizations.

“How many types of fake medicines has the Ministry of Heath found? Where do those types of fake medicines come from? What are they? Was information about them was published for the public? Were warnings published in time? Or are they first waiting until the merchants have sold all medicine, only then publish something in order to make a good impression in the public? Did the central committee create strategic plans to handle this problem? If it did, were evaluations conducted? How many times was information about the results given to the Royal Government?

“The import of fake medicines into the country causes countless losses. Fake medicines do not care whether they affect ministers, parliamentarians, doctors, customs officers, police, the rich, the poor, soldiers, teachers etc… Not only the users are affected, but also those who are not users may have problems.

“Health experts said that the Cambodian Mine Action Center tries to clear mines, traffic police try to enforce traffic laws, civil society organizations try to appeal to demand the protection through the resoect of human rights…, but fake medicines are more cruel than mines and more dangerous than traffic accidents along the roads; it is a serious abuse of human rights… But no one is interested in such danger, including the expert institution – the Ministry of Health. It is not because the expert institution does not know about it, but it is suspected that it is – because benefit sharing with medicine companies – the central committee now keeps silent. [Also, because the relevant ministries did not respond.]

“Unlike the quietness of the central committee, other institutions focus on this dangerous problem. Non-government organizations and international organizations, like INTERPOL, had encouraged the central committee to be active again, but it seems it has no effect.

“Besides fake medicines, a big danger are also the many illegal clinics [clinics operating without license];tese too harm citizens’ health. Illegal clinics are not just like persons who sell drugs secretly so that police cannot see it, but these are illegal clinics with big banners along main roads in cities and in various towns. Therefore, if the Ministry of Health has the intention to check these illegal clinics, it is not difficult. But it seems that the Ministry of Health has no intention to do so. It is said that expert officials of the Ministry of Health receive thousands of dollar monthly from those illegal clinics.

“Not just illegal clinics need to pay monthly bribe-fees to officials of the Ministry of Health, even for the imports of material it is necessary to pay to official of the Ministry of Health. To sum up, officials of the Ministry of Health know the evil merchants of fake medicines and those illegal clinics like their own palm.

“It is expected that the Minister of Health, Mr. Mam Bunheng, will be strong enough to solve the two important problems mentioned above, in order for Cambodia to join the efforts to alleviate poverty together with the Royal Government of Cambodia.” Chakraval, Vol.16, #2836, 23.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2836, 23.12.2008

  • Fake Medicines Are Invading Cambodia while the Ministry of Health Keeps Quiet

 
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1827, 23.12.2008

  • [41] Important Leaders of Funcinpec Rush to Join the Cambodian People’s Party like Water from a Broken Dam
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Nine Other Countries Should Have Proper Solutions so that ASEAN Meeting Is Not Delayed


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #165, 23.12.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asks Local Fuel Companies to Further Reduce Prices [at presents the gasoline price is around Riel 3,100, corresponding to approx. US$0.77 per liter]
  • Lawyer of Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Demands Moneaksekar Khmer to Show Evidence, otherwise He Will Sue the Newspaper [his lawyer demands to show the name list of more than 200 officials, about which the pro-Sam Rainsy Party Moneaksekar Khmer had said that the list was suggested by the prince to the King, to assign them to the Royal palace]
  • A Security Guard of the Shukaku Company Hurt a Citizen with a Samurai Sword [because he got angry with Boeng Kak citizens who argued against the security guard who threatened them to leave the region of the Boeng Kak lake soon]
  • Mine Clearance in Cambodia Needs Ten Years More

 
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3646, 23.12.2008

  • After Net Savoeun Took the Position of Director of the National Police, Security in the Society Is Still Worrying
  • Co-Lawyer [Ang Udom] of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Ieng Sary Threatens to Create His Own Website after the Tribunal Did Not Accept to Publish His Notes about the History

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Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4775, 23.12.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Cautions Those Who Talk about Military Secrets
  • New Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya – กษิต ภิรมย์] Considers the Solving of Border Disputes with Cambodia as a Priority
  • Mr. Keng Vannsak Died at the Age of 83 [in Paris, on 18 December 2008 – born in Kompong Chhnang, he is the Khmer linguist scholar who created the first university of Khmer Literature, and he designed the layout of the Khmer-language typewriter keyboard, and he suggested also a system to create modern Khmer-language words. His funeral will be held on 23 December 2008]
  • A Kompong Thom Fishery Administration Officer Is Killed by Breaking His Skull [perpetrators not identified]
    Samdech Prime Minister Appeals to Citizens to Wear Safety Helmets while Driving Motorbikes
  • The Number of Khmer Workers in Malaysia and Thailand Declined [from 3,219 in 2007 to 2,654 in 2008 for Malaysia, and from 5,670 to 4,000 for Thailand], but the Number going to Korea and to Japan Increased [from 95 in 2007 to more than 2,400 in 2008 to Korea, and from 3 to 39 going to Japan]

 
Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3461, 23.12.2008

  • A Victimized Family Prepares a Complaint over a Robbery Case, Which the Dangkao District’s Authorities Say to Be a Traffic Accident [seven perpetrators were involved in hitting the victim, who is a police officer, to death, and taking some of his property, including his hand gun, while the local authorities say that the victim fell from his motorbike. It is also said that one accused perpetrator is a son of the commune chief]
  • Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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    Tuesday, 22.4.2008: Cambodia Promises to Support Universal Action against Fake Medicines

    Posted on 23 April 2008. Filed under: Week 557 | Tags: , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 557

    “Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the Royal Government of Cambodia Mr. Sar Kheng confirmed the vow of Cambodia for good cooperation with Interpol, especially for cooperation to fight fake medicines, while he visited the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France, during the previous week.

    “Brigadier General Por Pheak, the chief of the Department of International Relations of the Ministry of Interior, said on 21 April 2008 that, on the occasion of staying in France form 12 to 19 April 2008, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng met Interpol Secretary-General Mr. Ronald K. Noble, and he promised that he will fully support the cooperation between Interpol, the World Health Organization [WHO], and the World Customs Organization [WCO] by focusing on the manufacture and distribution of fake medicines all over Southeast Asia for the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.

    “This project is supported by the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (IMPACT) with further participation by Interpol, the WHO, and the WCO, in collaboration with national police, customs officers, authorities concerned with public health, and health support organizations. Operations which target mainly the illegal trafficking [of medicines] in Southeast Asia will be created by Interpol and partners soon; this is the reason that the support also of Cambodia is very warmly welcome.

    “Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said, ‘Cambodia vows to work with the partners to implement law enforcement not only in Southeast Asia, but also worldwide, to fight against fake medicines, Therefore we are really pleased to support all efforts against those criminal organizations, which benefit from the damage they cause to innocent people.’

    “Cambodia also volunteered to host a meeting to support and coordinate the international cooperation against the manufacture and distribution of the fake medicines.

    “The Interpol Secretary-General said, ‘I would like to thank the Deputy Prime Minister for his will and vow against fake medicines, which are a national and an international problem.’

    “Cambodia has already shown its intention on the national level to protect its citizens from the danger of fake medicines by creating an office to control such crimes, and Cambodia welcomes to work together closely on the international level to fight the manufacture and distribution of fake medicines.

    “Brigadier General Por Pheak said that also other issues were discussed during the visit – including the support of Cambodia for the Operation VICO of Interpol towards the identification of a perpetrator who had committed sexual abuse against children, whose name had not been known. Through skillful work and efforts of the Cambodian police, also in cooperation with Cambodian citizens, Christopher Neil, the suspect of sexual abuses against children, has been identified [and arrested in Thailand].

    “Interpol Secretary-General Mr. Ronald K. Noble admired the efforts of the Cambodian authorities to protect children form being abused by criminal sex tourists.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4569, 22.4.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 22 April 2008


    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2771, 22.4.2008

    • People are stunned by a rumor that the Korean Shareholder of the Gold Tower 42 Construction Escaped [actually he did not, but the commercial sign has been removed in order to reduce the expense on taxes – according to a staff member]


    Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #84, 22.4.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Would Lose a Chance to Stand as Ministerial Candidate as He Dreams, when Hor Namhong Sues Him
    • Eleven Non-Government Organizations Collect 1 Million Thumbprints to Push the National Assembly and the Government to Adopt the Anti-Corruption Law in Early May
    • [Minister of Posts and Telecommunications] So Khun Happy because Chief of Corruption Nhek Kosal Vithyea [Telecom Cambodia director-general] Has Been Removed from Position


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1621, 22.4.2008

    • Price of Crude Oil Increases to More Than US$117 per Barrel [on world market]; Prices of Fuel in Cambodian Also Increase
    • Armed Robbery Occurs Again in Sihanoukville


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6325, 22.4.2008

    • Khiev Samphan’s Appeal – Analysis: Request to Be Bailed out Likely to Be the Same as of Duch and Nuon Chea
    • Food Crisis: UN Issues Emergency Call as 37 Countries Need Emergency Food Aid
    • Four Unmarried Women Workers Raped by More Than 20 Men [one of the rapists is arrested – 17 April 2008 – S’ang, Kandal]
    • Anti-Tank Mine Left from Wartime Killed One Person and Injured Three Others as It Was Hit by a Tractor’s Rear Wheel [20 April 2008 – Rotonak Mondol, Battambang]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3440, 22.4.2008

    • Removal of Thief Who Stole from the Nation Nhek Kosal Vithyea Is Just a Game [as Nhek Kosal Vithyea is not punished]
    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Hun Sen Government Unsuccessful to Decrease Prices of Gasoline and Goods
    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked by Yale University [in US] as an Honorary Guest Speaker to Give a Lecture on the Political Situation in Cambodia [21 April 2008]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4569, 22.4.2008

    • Cambodia Promises to Support Global Action against Fake Medicines
    • Samdech Dekchor [Prime Minister Hun Sen] Asks Local Airline Company Which Is Planned to Be Created [in cooperation with the Rajawali Group of Indonesia] to Think of the Quality of Planes and Services
    • Municipal Governor Tells Citizens Not to Attend Demonstration as They Are Asked by Politicians
    • Police Arrest Three Suspects in the Case of a Grenade Attack at Jazz Dancing in Wat Srae Nouy Pagoda [Varin, Siem Reap]
    • Vietnamese Satellite Vinasat-1 Successfully Launched [on 19 April 2008]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial: How irrational emotions may be a block to see reality and its challenges
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