China Signed Three Commercial Agreements with Cambodia – Friday, 19.3.2010

Posted on 20 March 2010. Filed under: Week 656 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 656

“The spokesperson of the Royal Government told Deum Ampil on 17 March 2010 that a visit by a Chinese delegation to Cambodia concentrates on stepping up commercial ties between both countries, and three memorandums of understanding were to be signed.

“The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, said that a Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Hui Liangyu [ 回良玉 ], visits Cambodia for three days from 17 to 19 March 2010. And the visit is not just to improve the already-good relationship with Cambodia, but also to expand commercial ties.

“Mr. Liangyu presided over the signing ceremony of agreements on agriculture, a sector that accounts for almost 27% of the country’s GDP. According to the announcement, another agreement to be signed is in the field of post and telecommunications between the Huawei Technologies of China and the Cambodian telecommunication system of CamGSM.

“It is seen that Cambodia has been successful in agricultural production in the last decade. Also, it is expected that the rice production of Cambodia for 2009-2010 will yield 7.286 million tonnes where 3.1 million tonnes are planned to be exported.

“In February 2010, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Hun Sen, stated that Cambodia plans to invest US$310 million, including a loan of US$240 million from China, to develop the irrigation systems in the country, a key factor to increase rice production for export.

“Many analysts said that paddy rice is a potential for Cambodian investment, but the opportunity to boost export remains weak, as Cambodia has not had sufficient irrigation systems for rice production.

“The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chan Sarun, said that the paddy rice cultivation might increase to 3.5 million hectares, while previously, rice was grown on just 2.6 million hectares. And this might yield 12.25 million tonnes.

“In 2008, the total market value of the Cambodian post and telecommunications sector remains unchanged at US$429 million in 2008. According to a report of the Cambodian government, for six years, the average growth of the Cambodian post and telecommunications sector was 31%. There are eight mobile phone companies in Cambodia, except for the Mobitel company that is co-owned by Luxembourg-registered Millicom International Cellular [Note: Interesting in the environment of present discussions of planned increased regulations for the telecommunications sector in Cambodia: Millicom International Cellular’s declared Mission is Freedom to access today’s world for people in emerging markets].

Mobitel, also under the name of Cellcard, http://www.mobitel.com.kh/ offers up to 66% of all services countrywide, followed by Camshin under the name of MFone http://www.mfone.com.kh/ with 12%. It is estimated that Cambodia might have more than 4 million mobile phone users among the population of 14 millions, where 90% of the population lives in rural areas. In addition, Cambodia has a potential for rice investment. Besides China, there are other big donors supporting Cambodia such as Japan and South Korea.

“Besides of the loans provided by the Chinese government to Cambodia, also the Kuwait government agreed to provide a loan of US$546 million to Cambodia, where US$486 million will be used to build up irrigation systems and US$60 million to construct roads in northeastern Cambodia, including in Battambang province, the biggest source of paddy rice. Moreover, Kuwait planned to invest US$200 million on rice production in Cambodia.

“Mr. Chan Sarun said, ‘We have money and we have land. They would not have come to invest if we would not have the potential to expand our agricultural systems.’

“It should be noted that the Chinese government had promised to provide more loans for investments for irrigation such as in Pursat, Prey Veng, and Oddar Meanchey.

“Responding to requests by the head of the Cambodia government to the Chinese government to invest more in Cambodia, the Chinese government eased Cambodian exports to China, allowing Cambodia to export up to 418 items of goods. In 2008, investment from China in Cambodia amounted to US$4.48 billion. But in 2009, the investment dropped to US$349.15 million due to the global financial crisis.

“Last December, the Chinese Vice President, Mr. Xi Jingping [ 习近平 ], visited Cambodia, and he encouraged more investments to be made in Cambodia. At that time, the Chinese government promised to provide US$1.2 billion in grant aid and loans for Cambodia to restore infrastructures which were devastated by two decades of civil war in the 1970s.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #438, 19.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 19 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #438, 19.3.2010

  • China Signed Three Commercial Agreements with Cambodia
  • [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy Talked about the Loss of Territory to Vietnam Again, but Government Officials Rejected It
  • While a Family Was Eating Dinner Together, They Were Attacked by a Grenade, Killing Two Children and Injuring Eleven Other Persons [a suspect, who had a conflict with the family, was arrested – Kompong Cham]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2205, 19.3.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Told the Great King [Norodom Sihanouk] that His Map [that he had used earlier] Is Right
  • The Construction Site of the Phnom Penh Sugar Cane Factory Was Burnt Down by [nearly 600] Residents of the Amleang Commune [accusing the company of violating their land – Kompong Speu]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #630, 19.3.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: We Want the European Community to Provide More Aid to Cambodia, but We Also Want the National Assembly to Play an Important Role [to review the implementation of laws by the government – he said so after a meeting with a delegation from the European Union]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6912, 19.3.2010

  • The Authorities Announced that Karaoke Parlors and Nightclubs Have to Shut by Midnight [Sihanoukville]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #134, 19.3.2010

  • The Prime Minister Condemned the Coup of 18 March 1970 by [field marshal] Lon Nol [saying that if there had been no such a coup, there would have been no destruction of Cambodia – Note: It was on 18 March 1970 that the National Assembly instituted the National Assembly President Cheng Heng as acting chief of state by a vote of 89 to 3, while Prince Sihanouk was in Moscow; on 24 March he called, now in China, for armed resistance against the new government arrangements in Phnom Penh]
  • Two Separate Land Conflicts in Kompong Speu Led to Violence Which Resulted in 14 Police Officers and 12 Other Citizens Being Injured [in one case, the authorities tried to evict citizens who lost a complaint against the Meng Keth company, and in another, citizens clashed with the Phnom Penh Sugar company of Oknha Ly Yong Phat]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5154, 19.3.2010

  • [70 km of] National Road 78 from Ban Lung to Ou Ya Dav at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Was Inaugurated [Ratanakiri]
  • Chevron Contributed Almost US$200,000 to Help Educate Poor Fishery Communities about Health and Micro Finance
  • Germany Donated [20] Computers Worth More Than US$30,000 to the National Assembly of Cambodia

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Pawn Shops are Becoming Legal – Wednesday, 3.2.2010

Posted on 4 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: Recently, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced through newspapers to inform vendors who want to run pawn shop operations to apply for a license very soon, because such operations can now be legalized. This information shows that pawn shop operations become legal.

“An official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said on 12 January 2010 that the ministry had issued an announcement about the provision of licenses for the operation of pawn shops to accept, buy, and sell pawn property, and for the operations to accept collateral via transfer. Based on this notification, those who intend to run or are already running pawn shop operations can apply for licenses so as to make their operations legal.

“According to the law, quoted for the announcement about the operation of pawn shops that Rasmei Kampuchea received on 1 February 2010, a license for such operations to accept, buy, and sell pawn property costs Riel 2,000,000 [approx. US$470] per year, and a license to open a branch costs Riel 1,000,000 [approx.US$235]. And a license for the operation to accept collateral via transfer costs Riel 1,000,000 per year and only Riel 500,000 [approx. US$120] to open a branch. The operation to accept collateral via transfer, according to the official’s explanation, is also a kind of pawn shop operation, but documents for the sales and for the buying are issued.

“Based on this notification, to run an operation to accept, buy, and sell pawn property, an owner needs to have a minimum capital of Riel 80,000,000 [approx. US$19,000], and needs to deposit 10% into an account of the ministry. As for the operation to accept collateral via transfer, a minimum capital is Riel 40,000,000 [US$9,500] is needed, and a deposit of 10% into the account of the ministry. That deposit can be taken out only when the ministry permits it.

“But the announcement does not define interest rates. They will be based on mutual agreement, but should not be against the law [but it is not said here what the law says].

“It is questioned how a license can protect the sound operation. An official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said, ‘If you have a license, your operation is legal. When the authorities go to check the operation, it is already legal. But if you operate illegally, to only then apply for a license cannot help.’

“It should be noted that previously, there was no need to have a licenses to run a pawn shop. Last year, immediately after the head of the government had issued an order, police strongly suppressed pawn shops, seizing pawn property at pawnshop unreasonably though there was no law, making some people to fear also when running such a shop now. Now, there is a law – but will there be major trouble again?” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5116, 3.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #404, 3.2.2010

  • Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldiers [of the Thai special border protection unit] Surrounded and Shot at [a group of] Khmer Citizens [who were hired to illegally enter Thailand and cut trees to be brought back to Cambodia], Injuring One [seriously] and Eleven Others Managed to Escape from the Shooting [at the Cambodian-Thai border]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2167, 3.2.2010

  • A Survey of the [US based] International Republican Institute (IRI): 79% Said that the [Cambodian] Government Is on the Right Track [it was conducted in 2009 with 1,600 Khmer citizens countrywide]
  • A Man Was Arrested for Raping a 5 Year Old Girl [Kompong Thom]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #596, 3.2.2010

  • Survey Findings of IRI [for 2009] Show that 52% of Khmer Citizens Are Still Poor and Become Poorer

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6874, 3.2.2010

  • 4,400 Victims Lodged Complaints in Case 002 [of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal where five former Khmer Rouge leaders are accused]; and [former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch’s Judgment Is Being Drafted by the Judges
  • The National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia Asked the Government for an Increase of the [minimal] Salary of Workers to US$93 per Month in 2010 [from 2006, the minimal salary is US$45]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #103, 3.2.2010

  • Cambodia Builds the Biggest Irrigation System in Battambang [planning to spend US$61 million, cooperating with the Chinese government in order to increase rice production for export]
  • Cambodia Conducted an Emergency Rescue Exercise at the Airport [assuming a plane were on fire – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5116, 3.2.2010

  • Pawn Shops Are Becoming Legal
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The Best Way to Equally Distribute Benefits from the Economic Growth Is to Build Irrigation Systems for the People

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Violence over Land Dispute in Siem Reap: Human Rights Organization ‘Criticizes’ while the Ministry of Interior Asks Citizens to Stop Arguing with Each Other – Saturday, 28.3.2009

Posted on 29 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – calls urgently on the Cambodian government to hold those police and military police in Siem Reap’s Chi Kraeng district responsible for violence on Sunday 22 March 2009.

“During a dispute about a rice field between two different groups of villagers in the Chi Kraeng and Anlong Samnor communes in Chi Kraeng district, police and military police shot and injured four people, and arrested nine.

“On Friday, 27 March 2009, the president of LICADHO, Ms. Kek Galabru, demanded the prosecution of those persons of the authorities who shot and injured farmers, and to find just solutions over the rice field dispute of 275 hectares which started in 2004.

“According to a three-day investigation by LICADHO, about 100 police and military police shot at around 300 farmers unreasonably and illegally.

“During a conference on Friday, LICADHO also showed a short video, showing that police were carrying AK-47 rifles, and shooting to threaten farmers regarding a land dispute between two groups of villagers in Chi Kraeng district in Siem Reap, on Sunday, 22 March 2009.

“The head of the investigation section of LICADHO, Mr. Oum Sam Ath, blamed the authorities and demanded a proper investigations about the armed clash, which the authorities claim to have been an act of self-defense.

“About 40 farmers who are seeking for a solutions from Phnom Penh [they are now in Phnom Penh] said during a conference at LICADHO expressing their fear and that they do not dare to return to their homes.

“Farmers demand the government to release nine villagers arrested on Sunday, and they ask for proper solutions for them so that they can again go to their dry season rice fields.

“It should be noted that after this event, the Ministry of Interior had sent a group of officials to investigate this land dispute in Siem Reap.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Interior, in charge of investigating the land dispute in Chi Kraeng , Mr. Pol Lim, said in the evening of 27 March 2009 that a working team of the Ministry of Interior led by the deputy police chief of the Ministry of Interior, H.E. Chhim Sarak, went to the site of the event in Chi Kraeng and met with the authorities on one side, and with citizens disputing the situation on the other. Also, the working team went to see the injured people at the provincial hospital. The working team pleaded with residents to stop arguing with each other and to let the authorities sort it out.

“Relating to the armed clash, which injured four people, Mr. Pol Lim stated that the working team is investigating in a confidential way. But for a first step, the working team discovered that the local authorities shot in self-defense, while the disputing people tried to hit the police who had gone to stop the arguments between the two groups of people, who competed for harvesting rice on the disputed land. Now, the court is dealing with nine people, who began the hitting, and if no one is found to be guilty, the court will release them.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Khieu Sopheak, said that the government would like to absolutely reject LICADHO’s demand for government agencies to take responsibility for the above case.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4857, 28.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 28 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #151, 28.3.2009

  • Cambodia Warns Siam [Thailand] Not To Mix the Preah Vihear Issue with Its Political Crisis
  • Cambodia Welcomes New UN Envoy [Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi, Nepali], but Asks Him to Act Faultlessly
  • A Chinese Man Was Sent to Serve 28 Years in Prison and Was Ordered to Pay Riel 70 Million [approx. US$17,300] for Drug Trafficking [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1909, 28.3.2009

  • Japan Prepares to Shoot Down Debris of North Korean Rocket [if anything might fall down towards Japanese territory]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #374, 28.3.2009

  • The Government Admits to the King that Cambodia Is Facing a Financial Crisis

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6614, 28-29.3.2009

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3723, 28-29.3.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Commemorates the 12th Anniversary of the Grenade Attack in Front of the [former] National Assembly Building [on 30 March 1997, which killed 16 people and wounded more than 100] and Encourages the Government to Continue to Seek the Perpetrators to Be Prosecuted

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4857, 28.3.2009

  • Violence over Land Dispute in Siem Reap: Human Rights Organization ‘Criticizes’ while the Ministry of Interior Asks Citizens to Stop Arguing with Each Other
  • The Fourth Term Government Plans to Spend More Than US$377 Million on Irrigation Systems [where US$77 million come from different development partners]
  • Cambodian Products Are Exported to 130 Countries, but Export Prices Are Too Cheap

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Saturday, 2.8.2008: An Open Letter from Professors in the Field of the Studies about Southeast Asia Expressed Concerns about the Preah Vihear Temple

Posted on 3 August 2008. Filed under: Week 571 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 571

“On 1 August 2008, Rasmei Kampuchea received an open letter signed by professors who are involved in studies and research about Southeast Asia, expressing concern about the Preah Vihear Temple. Nearly fifty professors signed it, the majority of them are Thai, teaching at well-known universities in the world, such as Thammasat University, Thailand, University of Oxford, UK, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, University of Toronto, Canada, National University of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, Cornell University, USA, Washington University [not clear, as there are several ones: University of Washington, George Washington University, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University – all USA], University of London, UK, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, Ohio University, USA, Mahidol University, Thailand, Rangsit University, Thailand, Berkeley, University of California, USA, Hamilton University [?], Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Silpakorn University (e-Learning), Thailand, University of Malaya, Malaysia, Royal Academy of Cambodia, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, and the Oxfordshire University, UK.

“Among the signatures is also the signature of Mr. Chhang Song, former Minister of Information of Cambodia, a retiring member of the Senate.

“This letter says:

“To professors, parents, the press, students, Thais and Cambodians

“The recent border dispute regarding the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site causes strong continuing protests from some organizations and people in Thailand, which led to a confrontative situation between people of both countries.

“As professors involved in studies on Southeast Asia, we want to confirm that the source of this border dispute relates to the historical and cultural heritages of Thailand and of Cambodia. Truth can be found, if explanations of historical evidence are made by following the facts, and this should not be done to serve any political goals.

“According to this, we would like to suggest the following:

  1. “As for the Preah Vihear Temple, we absolutely support the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the Netherlands of 15 May 1962, which confirmed that ‘the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’
  2. “We support and we publish intense discussions about related problems, and the provision of information should not be used to cause discrimination or to create enemies between the countries on both sides of the border, which might lead to war.
  3. “We acknowledge that also other countries in the region have the common cultures and common histories. These links should be used as the basis for international cooperation, to protect the honor of peoples, and for the union between country and country, especially for addressing universal problems happening similarly to all countries in the region.
  4. “We have advised that action should be taken to solve this dispute through coordination and mutual commitment. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations should take up this idea in order to reach a common goal.

“We would like to urge professors, parents, the press, students, and the Cambodian and Thai people to call for a peaceful solution of this dispute, by upholding the respect for the territory of all countries in Southeast Asia as the basis.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4657, 2.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 1 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1709, 2.7.2008

  • The King [Norodom Sihamoni] and [Father King] Samdech Euv and [former Queen] Samdech Mae Went to Visit China [to attend the Olympic Games and to have medical checkups – 1 August 2008]
  • [Former Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs] Ieng Sary [age 82] Was Sent to Hospital [after blood was discovered in his urine, 1 August 2008], and [former chief of the Tuol Sleng prison] Duch Will Be Sentenced in September [according to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia spokesperson Mr. Reach Sambath]
  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen Prayed for the ancestral spirits to defend Preah Vihear at the Preah Vihear Temple [on 1 August 2008]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #213, 2.8.2008

  • A Government Can Be Dictatorial, but a National Assembly Cannot Become a Dictatorial National Assembly [said opposition party president Sam Rainsy on 1 August 2008]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #63, 2.8.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: If the Sam Rainsy Party Does Not Attend the [inaugural] Meeting of Parliament [on 24 September 2008], [the 26] Seats [of the Sam Rainsy Party] Will Be Distributed to Other Parties [the Prime Minster warned the Sam Rainsy Party not to use Article 76 of the Constitution which states that the Assembly consists of at least 120 members, for the new National Assembly to start its process]
  • Garment Products of Cambodia Will Be Difficult to Export [because orders for buying decline, capital necessary for production increases, and there is strong competition with other countries such as Vietnam, China, India, and Bangladesh – according to Ms. Kaing Monika, official in charge of the administration of external affairs of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia]
  • The Number of [Foreign] Tourists Still Continues to Rise [although Cambodia is having a dispute with Thailand – according to Mr. Kong Sophearak, head of the Department of Statistics and Tourist Information of the Ministry of Tourism; in the first six months of 2008, there were 1,098,236 tourists, which is a 12.6% increase compared with the same period of 2007, with only 975,349 tourists]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6413, 2-3.8.2008

  • The US Embassy Assessed that the Election in Cambodia Was Conducted Better than Previous Elections [although there were irregularities]
  • More Than 79,000 Student Candidates Will Take the High School Diploma Examinations Countrywide This Year [on 4 August 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3528, 2-3.8.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Still Continues to Deploy Troops along the Preah Vihear Temple Region Borders, and Two Cannons Still Point at the Preah Vihear Temple
  • After the Election, Land Disputes Occur Again and Citizens Wait for Hun Sen to Solve Them

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4657, 2.8.2008

  • An Open Letter from Professors in the Field of the Studies about Southeast Asia Expressed Concerns about the Preah Vihear Temple
  • The Government Spends Nearly US$30 per Student Who Takes the High School Diploma Examination [according to Mr. Chreng Limsry, Directorate of Secondary Education; the government spent approximately Riel 9,000 million (approx. US$2,250,000) in total]
  • The Ministry of Water Resource Has an Irrigation System That Can Deliver Water Directly [without using pumps – using the force of gravity] to More Than 40% of the 2.3 Million Hectares Cultivated [according to Mr. Chan Yutha, chief of cabinet of the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology]

Click here to have a look at the last Mirror editorial – where we provided detailed information about the 2003 election results, to compare them with the election results of 2008, as they become available.

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