Malaysian “Investments” – Saturday, 15.5.2010

Posted on 17 May 2010. Filed under: Week 664 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 664

Note:

After having been knocked out late on Monday, 10.5.2010, by a bad, but not clearly identified intestinal infection, I am sorry that I could not earlier, and cannot more speedily, catch up again, but maybe it will be done by Monday, 17.5.2010, noon.

Because of the King’s Birthday National Holiday on 13.5.2010, which was extended into further days, it is now intended to have publications, during the current week, only for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Norbert Klein
Editor of the Mirror

I welcome to see Comments in response to publications on The Mirror. When there are Comments, I consider them not as “Letters to the Editor,” but as comments, and I hope other readers may also comment on the Comments.

But the the special situation of this week allows me to respond directly to one comment in detail.

In response to our translated article headline “Malaysian Investors and Investments Are Coming to Cambodia while Cambodia Is Still Unable to Export Its Products” on Monday, 10.5.2010, there was the following Comment noted:

“Do you find this investment not good to your country??”

The “you” is obviously not myself, but the journalist of Khmer Amatak who wrote the article – or all readers in Cambodia. But I will present some subsequent information from the local press.

Before the Billion-Dollar – US$! – deals were signed, there was not much known about their content, only that they would have a total volume of about US$1 billion. This is somewhat surprising, as Article 90 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia says: “The National Assembly is an organ which has legislative power, and performs its duties as provided for in the constitution and laws. The National Assembly shall approve the national budget, State planning, loans, financial contracts, and the creation, modification and annulment of tax.” As the financial contracts would also involve one between a Malaysian private company and the Cambodian government, some information towards the National Assembly and the public might have been expected.

All reports in the press welcomed this huge Malaysian investment – for example the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, was quoted in The Cambodia Daily saying “he was aware of the deals and believed that the investment would be a huge plus for the Cambodian economy.”

The climate of the reporting changed later, however, after it was revealed that the major part of the deals – the contract between the Malaysian company Nexbis and the Cambodian government (to provide items to print, including identity cards, passports, and visa – the contract is with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior) was not a Malaysian investment, but a contract for which the Cambodian government will have to pay US$700 million – an amount which corresponds to about 35% of the Cambodian government’s budget for 2010. This payment obligation covers the major part of the “one billion deal” which had been considered to be Malaysian investments in Cambodia.

Some comments were reported in The Cambodia Daily:

  • “That’s a very sizable sum” – Bretton Sciaroni, chairman of the International Business Club.
  • “I am in darkness. I know nothing” – the spokesperson of the Ministry of Information, Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak.
  • No information provided – the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Koy Kuong.
  • National Police spokesperson Kirth Chanthatith said he did not know “what was going on.”
  • Ministry of Interior foreign police department in charge of visas Pen Piseth said he knew nothing.
  • Deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s passport department said he was completely unaware of the deal.
  • The director of the Immigration Department of the National Police Thong Lim: “I do not know about the deal.”
  • The Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance and Economy Hang Chuon Naron said he was unaware of the deal, “I don’t have any information about this. But I think it is not realistic.”

No surprise that now the question is raised, how this deal was concluded – obviously without an open process of competitive bidding. And the question of priorities, to find US$700 million for one of the biggest single deal ever entered into, has not been discussed in the National Assembly, responsible for the national budget.

And in addition, questions are raised about the nature of the company Nexbis – formerly Entertainment Media & Telecoms Corporation – which was hardly known in Cambodia. Now more and more information is coming from Australia, where Nexbis is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange – but it has not reported the Cambodian deal.

In closing, I repeat the Comment received. It is a question to the readers of The Mirror: “Do you find this investment not good to your country?”

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Cambodia Will Be Able to Produce Oil in 2012, and Cambodia and Japan Jointly Study a Wetland Area near the Tonle Sap Lake – Wednesday, 5.5.2010

Posted on 6 May 2010. Filed under: Week 663 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 663

“The Minister of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, stated that Cambodia will be able to produce oil in 2012. He said so during the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia in the morning of 4 May 2010 at the Council of Ministers.

“Deputy Prime Minister Sok An stated on the occasion that he strongly believes in the project signed that day, because it enables to study whether or not to explore for oil and gas resources, especially to explore for oil in Block 17, adding, ‘I welcome and wish this Japanese company well for having decided to invest in Cambodia.’

“The deputy director of JOGMEC said that he cannot foresee the amount of money to be invested in this project, as today’s signing allows the company only to study the field, but it has not reached a stage to discuss mining explorations. According to the plan, the study might take around two years, and then, the company might conduct explorations as soon as possible.

“A spokesperson of the Office of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Ek Tha, said at that occasion, ‘This is an agreement that encourages joint industrial studies between two Asian countries, Cambodia and Japan.’ He added, ‘The area to be studied covers 6,500 square kilometers, and it is to the northeast of the Tonle Sap Lake in Kompong Thom.’ According to officials, the JOGMEC had already conducted magnetic and pressure studies between 1997 and 1999.

“Mr. Ek Tha went on to say that there are concerns raised by environmentalists in Cambodia about this project. But he said that Cambodia and the Japanese oil company are studying also the possible bad impacts on the environment in Block 17, in order to reduce or to avoid those impacts, since Japan is a country that strongly cares about the environment. Cambodia is also keenly caring about the environment in order to maintain the sustainability of resources in this long term project. The environment is also an important issue for the Cambodians of future generations.

“It should be noted that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on commercial cooperation on underground oil and gas resources was chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary for Economy, Trade and Industry Takahashi Chiaki [大臣政務官 高橋千秋], who said that his country is the second biggest donor to Cambodia, granting US$12 million each year.

“According to the Council of Ministers, commercial ties between Cambodia and Japan are progressing, amounting to US$105.18 million between 1994 and 2009. Cambodia exported products to Japan worth US$69.6 million in 2008, but only US$6.8 million within 8 months of 2009.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #468, 5.5.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #468, 5.5.2010

  • Cambodia Will Be Able to Produce Oil in 2012, and Cambodia and Japan Jointly Study a Wetland Area near the Tonle Sap Lake
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Will Set Up a Democracy Compound for Non-Violent Protesters [which is not far from the National Assembly – a law relating to this creation will become valid in June 2010]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2240, 5.5.2010

  • The Minister of Information [Mr. Khieu Kanharith] Wants All Journalists Associations to Unite into One [to facilitate the organization of training events and to strengthen international trust, and to better protect journalists’ rights; at present there are 23 different journalists’ associations]
  • The Malaysian Prime Minister [Tun Abdul Razak] Will Visit Cambodia Officially for Three Days [from 9 to 11 May 2010 in response to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s invitation]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #647, 5.5.2010

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6947, 5.5.2010

  • A Man Coming from Pailin to Buy a Car Bringing More Than US$15,000 with Him Was Robbed [by four robbers] and Wounded by One Shot [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3871, 5.5.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Parliamentarian] Son Chhay Demands the Government to Explain to the National Assembly about ‘Tea Money’ and Payments from the BHP Billiton and the Total Petroleum Companies, as Well as about Payments for the Provision of Mobile Phone Licenses

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #164, 5.5.2010

  • Official [Mr. Chheng Kimson, head of the Forestry Administration]: 6,000 Cubic Meters of Wood Were Seized and 100 Suspects Were Accused [during the present campaign]
  • The Ministry of Health Will Provide Logos to Be Displayed at Restaurants That Serve Food According to Good Sanitation Standards

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5189, 5.5.2010

  • Cambodia Tells Thailand that the Ta Krabei Temple and the Cable Lift to the Mountain Is On Khmer Territory [this response was made after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand had sent a diplomatic note to Cambodia, claiming that the temple and the construction site for a cable lift are on Thai territory]
  • A Trade Union and the Opposition Party Plan to Present the Documentary Film ‘Who Killed Chea Vichea’ [while the authorities had warned they would take legal action against this]
  • Court Detains Fourteen Villagers for Destroying State Forest [Banteay Srey, Siem Reap]
  • The National Television of Cambodia Spends US$600,000 to US$700,000 Each Year [for hiring a satellite link] to Send Television Programs to the United States of America [now, the Ministry of Information wants to send them through standard Internet procedures which is cheaper]

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The United States of America Launched a Program of Accountability in Governance and Politics – Wednesday, 21.4.2010

Posted on 22 April 2010. Filed under: Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

“Phnom Penh: The United States of America launched a Program of Accountability in Governance and Politics with US$16.2 million to promote accountability and transparency in the Cambodian government.

“The program was launched on 20 April 2010 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh, and it was chaired by the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, and by the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carol A. Rodley.

“The United States Agency for International Development [USAID] developed this Accountability in Governance and Politics 5-year program, aimed at assisting Cambodia by encouraging the government to be responsible for implementing their policies through: 1. Strengthening of accountability, transparency, and broad access to information; 2. Creation of modern leadership; and 3. Support for the electoral systems.

This program will provide US$7.2 million to the International Republican Institute from 2009 to 2014, concentrating on consolidating the capacity of civil servants and of officials of political parties through the analysis of public surveys and through the creation of effective strategies for decision making.

“This program also offers US$6.08 million to the National Democratic Institute for increasing transparency over decisions of the government, and for further strengthening the access to public information about policy formation.

“The program also provides US$2.29 million to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems to strengthen the understanding of politics and the participation by women in government positions.

“Ms. Carol A. Rodley said that democracy in Cambodia is young, but it has progressed much since the first elections in 1993. She added that the United States of America hopes to cooperate with related institutions of the government, with civil society, and with all political parties to strengthen democracy in Cambodia. She went on to say, ‘I am exited about the extensive consolidation of skills and of experiences that these organizations have contributed to Cambodia, with which they can implement the projects at their areas. I believe that we will see positive results within five years.’

“On the same occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An highly assessed USAID for initiating and for funding this crucial program, and he hopes that it will contribute to promote the understanding and the participation of citizens in creating and implementing various policies that are more accountable and more transparent, so as to lead to a broader implementation of democracy in Cambodia.

“He added that the projects to be implemented are also consistent with the political program of the Royal Government that is encouraging the participation from all circles in the process to establish policies, in project organization, and in different decisions made by the Royal Government through consultations to ensure a balanced progress in Cambodia. The Royal Government clearly stated that civil society and non-government organizations are important partners for economic and social development, as well as for the strengthening of democracy and the respect for human rights in Cambodia.

“He hopes that these projects will be implemented equally and faithfully by the three organizations, according to their goals, in order to join with the Royal Government to strengthen democracy, development, and the implementation of polices to further develop the economy and the society.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5177, 21.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #458, 21.4.2010

  • The Asian Development Bank [ADB] Predicted that the Cambodian GDP Will Grow by 4.5% in 2010 and by 6% in 2011 [if the global economic growth is in line with the forecast of the ADB, and if the climate is favorable for agricultural cultivation in Cambodia]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Will Lead a Delegation to Attend the Inauguration of the Expo 2010 Shanghai [in China on 29 April 2010]
  • The Number of People Killed by an Earthquake in China [in the northwest] Rose to 2,000

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6920, 21.4.2010

  • The Municipal Court Issued a Warrant to Bring Mr. Sam Rainsy to the Court [for a hearing, not for arrest] over an Accusation that He Faked Public Maps
  • A Fierce Lightning Storm Killed Six People during a Rain in the Early Visakh Lunar Month in Bakan District [Pursat – the Visakh month is the second month in the traditional lunar calendar, in 2010 extending from the end of March to the end of April]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3859, 21.4.2010

  • The Asian Development Bank Found that the Rate of Poor Khmer Citizens Strongly Increased in Rural Areas

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.154, #1, 21.4.2010

  • Asian Development Bank: Cambodia Lacks behind Its Neighboring Countries in the Garment Sector and in Tourism
  • [The Former Phnom Penh police chief, now jailed at the Prey Sar Prison] Heng Pov Published a Book Praising [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Politics [“The Strategy of Putting the Fire of War in Cambodia to an End” – ហេង​ពៅ “យុទ្ធសាស្ត្ររំលត់ភ្លើងសង្គ្រាម​នៅ​កម្ពុជា”]
  • The Land Dispute in Amleang Commune Is Still Hot as There Is Still No Solution [about 500 villagers continue to protest against Oknha and Senator Ly Yong Phat’s sugar company encroaching on what they claim is their land]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5177, 21.4.2010

  • The United States of America Launched a Program of Accountability in Governance and Politics
  • [Twenty seven] Foreign Journalists from the time of the War between 1970 and 1975 Arrived in Cambodia Again [for a reunion, and they were welcomed by the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
  • [The President of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the Senate] Samdech Chea Sim Welcomes the Former Head of State of Vietnam [Mr. Trần Đức Lương (Tran Duc Luong} during his visit to Cambodia to strengthen the ties and good cooperation between both countries]

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“Cambodian Officials Need Education About Press Freedom” – Monday, 12.4.2010

Posted on 13 April 2010. Filed under: Week 660 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Because of the Khmer New Year holidays 14 to 16 April 2010, life during this whole week is different; actually, already since Friday last week, music and the voices of people playing special New Year games, and of groups of friends going out together, indicated that the festive season began already.

This affects also publications, and some offices – also the Open Institute – are closed for a week. Our regular publications will therefore start only on Monday, 19 April. But we will supply our readers with some information also during this week.

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 660

Concerned with the situation of journalists in Cambodia, Mr. Moeun Chhean Nariddh, the Director of the Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, Phnom Penh, wrote the following statement, which was published in The Cambodia Daily in the edition of Saturday-Sunday, 10-11 April 2010, from which we quote:

“As media professionals, we are very disappointed at the continued use of the court by Cambodian officials to sue journalists for defamation and disinformation.

“The recent lawsuits respectively brought by police officers in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces against Koh Santepheap newspaper reporters have indicated officials’ lack of understanding of the press freedom enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution.

Article 31 of the Constitution states: ‘The Kingdom of Cambodia shall recognize and respect human rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights…’

Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly says: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’

“Similarly, Article 19 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:

  1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
  2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; the right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of choice.

“To assert Cambodia’s obligation under these international treaties, Cambodia adopted the Khmer Press Law in 1995.

Article 4 of the Press Law states: ‘Publication of official information such as statements, meetings, meeting minutes or reports etc. may not be penalized if such publication is fully true or an accurate summary of the truth.’

“This is what the reporter in Siem Reap did by quoting a police officer’s report for his story.

“It’s sad that the two reporters in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey have been arrested and may face criminal charges of defamation and disinformation, though Article 20 of the Press Law says: ‘…No person shall be arrested or subject to criminal charges as a result of expression of opinion.’

“Of course, journalists may make innocent mistakes in doing their professional work to meet the public’s right to know.

“However, courts need to find two sets of evidence to find journalists guilty of defamation or disinformation.

  • “First, it needs to prove that an article reported is false and defamatory due to a journalist’s negligence or lack of information.
  • “Second, the court must show that the journalist has produced the defamatory article out of his or her malicious intent.

Yet, most journalists are just fulfilling their professional obligation to keep the public informed of what happened, whether it is good or bad news. They do not intend to harm anybody’s reputation though some stories turn out to be false.

“Meanwhile, journalists are bound by the professional code of ethics to balance their reporting as far as a controversial story is concerned.

. . .

“In a separate but related lawsuit, we highly commend the Takeo Provincial Court for acquitting a reporter of Radio Free Asia of criminal defamation and disinformation.

“We hope that the Siem Reap Court officials will follow this good example. We also hope that the Cambodian officials will study journalist’s rights and freedoms enshrined in the laws before another similar lawsuit is brought against another media professional.”

.

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The First Meeting about the Implementation of the National Strategic Plan to Stop Violence against Women – Thursday, 18.2.2010

Posted on 19 February 2010. Filed under: Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

“Phnom Penh: The Open Institute, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, held the first consultative meeting on the topic ‘Participating in the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women, and the Importance of Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Combat Violence against Women.’

“Opening the meeting in the morning of 17 February 2010, a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Sy Define, said that the meeting was the first one held by a government institution with a civil society organizations on this issue, and it was organized after the government had published the ‘National Action Plan about the Prevention of Violence against Women’ last year. She stressed that even without reference to specific figures, rape and violence against women appear in new ways, and all forms appear more frequently and more cruelly. This is a concern for the government as well as for non-government organizations.

“She added that a major challenge for the prevention of violence against women, which needs to be addressed immediately, is the victims’ fear and shame. She emphasized that the victims often try to hide what happened, and even as there are more rapes happening, there is also the increased tendency to hide them. This is because women feel ashamed and they are afraid of being treated with contempt by the society, and also the knowledge of citizens in many communities is limited, including the knowledge about the legal procedures to appeal to the courts which require the victims, mostly the poor, to pay money.

“Based on the above issues, Ms. Sy Define called for more publications of laws about rights and other measures that are important for preventing and reducing violence against women, where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role.

“ICT provides a modern and fast way of communication using computers or mobile phones; it can reach us wherever we are, as far as the communications network extends. It provides easy and quick access to a collection of all kinds of information.

“Regarding this issue, the Executive Director of the Open Institute, Ms. Chim Manavy, said that this meeting is really important for reflecting about violence against women and the intersection between this problem and Information and Communication Technology. In many countries around the world, women’s networks and organizations use the Internet and communicate, using these technologies, to share their experiences and to gather resources and support for their activities, and organize for the creation of global strategic actions. She said that in Cambodia, however, most women have not developed the habit and the ability to use the Internet and to communicate through it to support their activities like it happens in other countries.

“She added, ‘Recently, there is more recognition of the intersection between violence against women and the instruments for electronic communication [with computers and mobile phones]. Violence against women and ICT have an impact on establishing fundamental freedoms and human rights.’

“But Ms. Manavy raised also other examples, saying, ‘While mobile phones and websites can benefit women who suffer violence, seeking information and assistance, some wicked persons use the same technology for exploitation, sending images violating women’s rights, which are human rights.’

“Relating to the negative use of ICT, Ms. Sy Define called on women to be aware of this problem and to join together to control it and to use ICT to combat such wrongdoings.

“She emphasized that the government alone cannot achieve the Millennium Development Goals for 2010, which state [as Goal 3] ‘Promote gender equality and empower women,’ without cooperation in many fields with non-government organizations and development partners to promote the capacity, knowledge, strength, and courage of women.

“She also asked all women’s and other institutions to join to encourage the use of ICT to help prevent violence against women as well as domestic violence, following the National Action Plan about the Prevention of Violence against Women.

“During the meeting held at the Hotel Cambodiana, participants from more than 40 institutions working on women and rights presented their results from separate observations about violence against women and domestic violence, and discussed to share their experiences, knowledge, lessons learned, other strategies, and the use of ICT to prevent violence against women and domestic violence.

“In the three hours meeting, participants offered recommendations and sought to identify key priorities for cooperation between civil society organizations and government institutions to develop joint strategies to effectively prevent violence against women, to encourage gender equality, and to empower women. Ten other organizations cooperated and attended the meeting: Cambodian Women for Peace and Development, the Cambodian Defenders’ Project, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (NGO-CEDAW), the Project Against Domestic Violence, Legal Aid of Cambodia, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, the Women’s Media Center, Positive Change for Cambodia, Pharmaciens Sans Frontières, and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO).” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5129, 18.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 18 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #413, 18.2.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen: Cambodia Never Plants New Mines along the Border [he said so in response to some accusations, especially by Thailand]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Create Senior Citizens Associations Soon in the Eight Districts
  • Seventy One Journalists Were Killed in 2009 Worldwide [including 33 in the Philippines; according to the Committee to Protect Journalists]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2180, 18.2.2010

  • More Than 100 Cleaners at the Angkor Resort [of the Apsara Authority] Protested over the Late Payment of Their Salaries [Siem Reap]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Signed an Agreement to Create a Digital Tribunal [with the Stanford University and the Berkeley War Crimes Study Center of the University of California]
  • Report: America and Pakistan Arrested the Head of the [military wing of the] Taliban

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #605, 18.2.2010

  • A Casino of Oknha Ket Theang Worth US$100 Million Will Open Next Week [in Bavet, Svay Rieng, at the border to Vietnam – he said that his casino can offer jobs to about 6,000 Khmer citizens]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3811, 18.2.2010

  • Avoiding to Respond to Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians’ Questions [over border issues] Shows the Irresponsibility of the Government

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #114, 18.2.2010

  • Thirty One People Died in Traffic Accidents within the Three Days of the Chinese New Year [in Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5129, 18.2.2010

  • The First Meeting about the Implementation of the National Strategic Plan to Stop Violence against Women
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Education Plan to Create a Navigation School to Improve Waterway Traffic Safety [this navigation school is for youth of the next generation to get training, based on proper educational standards to obtain a license. Before, the provision of shipping licenses depended on the testing and questioning previous experience of piloting ships or motor boats, but there was no training offered. Two or three years ago the Phnom Penh port started training for its personnel, but it was not open for the public]
  • The Transport of Luxury Wood in Thala Barivat District Continues without Any Disturbance [by the authorities – Stung Treng]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1876, 18.2.2010

  • [A Sam Rainsy parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay Asked [the Minister of Interior] Mr. Sar Kheng to Check Road Traffic Police Activities that Establish Illegal Check Points to Extort Money from Citizens [he raised a case near the Chroy Changva bridge where police stop cars or trucks to make them pay money unofficially which they keep for themselves or share some with their next higher level officials]

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Citizens held Five Vietnamese People Suspected of Entering to Log Illegally in Khmer Territory, but the Authorities Released Them – Friday, 15.1.2010

Posted on 16 January 2010. Filed under: Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“Citizens in a community in Mondolkiri held five Vietnamese people who came to cut trees illegally, but the authorities released them. Regarding this case, citizens suspect that the authorities colluded with the Vietnamese people, because when they arrived at the site, to their surprise, they threatened the Khmer citizens.

“Ms. Khan Chany, a citizen in the community of Bu Sra commune, Pechr Chenda district, Mondolkiri, spoke to Deum Ampil, saying that on 13 January 2010 at around 11:00 a.m., citizens in the community went into the forest of the community and found five Vietnamese people cutting trees illegally in the forest; they had also a tractor.

“She added that after holding those Vietnamese people, the citizens informed the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the Mondolkiri prosecutor, but four or five persons from the authorities, whom the citizens assumed coming from Military Unit 8, came to release the Vietnamese; furthermore, they threatened to kill the Khmer citizens involved in this event.

“Another citizen, Klan Sin, said that the citizens do not know why the authorities released those Vietnamese people. He requested the government to quickly intervene in this case in order to protect the forests of Mondolkiri.

“An ADHOC official in Mondolkiri, Mr. Chhay Thy, told Deum Ampil on 14 January 2010 that this case shows an irregularity. ‘Therefore, national investigators should come to check, because what these citizens encountered is the truth, and the collusion to release those Vietnamese people is illegal.’

“The Mondolkiri prosecutor, Mr. Im Sophan, rejected this claim, saying that he came directly to the site and did not see anything. He does not know where the authorities took those Vietnamese people.

“It should be noted that this is the first time that citizens in the community of Bu Sra commune, Pechr Chenda district, held five Vietnamese people, and those citizens claimed that illegal logging frequently happens in that area.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #388, 15.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 15 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #388, 15.1.2010

  • Citizens held Five Vietnamese People Suspected of Entering to Log Illegally in Khmer Territory, but the Authorities Released Them
  • The Ministry of Interior Rejected a Request of the Opposition Party to Visit [two] Suspects Charged of Removing Temporary Border Markers

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2151, 15.1.2010

  • The Number of Deaths from the Earthquake in Haiti Might Increase Up to More Than 100,000

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #580, 15.1.2010

  • The Farmers Who Lost Their Land because of Yuon [Vietnam] Grabbing It Did Not Dare to Talk to Journalists but Cried [the Council of Ministers issued a statement saying that the land they claim does not belong to them]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6858, 15.1.2010

  • Italy Will Step Up Tourism Ties with Cambodia [according to a meeting between Cabinet Minister Sok An and the Italian Ambassador, Mr. Michelangelo Pipan; tourist arrivals from Italy are at the 20th position]
  • The Senate Approved the Expropriation Law by 50 Votes among 52 [during less than 60 minutes]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #90, 15.1.2010

  • The Investigations of Case 002 [of the former Khmer Rouge leaders, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Nuon Chea, Khiev Samphan, and Kaing Kek Eav] Are Finished and the Hearings Will Sstart in Late 2010 [at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, and an investigating official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Chan Soveth] and an Opposition Party Asked the Government to Create Employment at the Border Areas [so that Khmer citizens do not enter Thailand to illegally log trees which leads to shootings and killings]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5100, 15.1.2010

  • The South Korean Ambassador [Mr. Lee Kyung-Soo] Announced to Help Cambodia More through Aid and More Investments

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1856, 15-17.1.2010

  • Five Khmer Kampuchea Krom Monks Escaped after They Were Arrested [over an accusation of distributing leaflets criticizing the 7 January Celebrations, when the Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown in 1979]

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The Ministry of Post and Telecommunication Will Set up an Equal Phone Cost System at the End of This Month – Friday, 20.11.2009

Posted on 20 November 2009. Filed under: Week 639 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 639

Apologies for the delays, which may continue until next Monday, as I was attending the UN Internet Governance Forum meetings in Sharm el Sheikh/Egypt with a busy schedule, in a different time zone, and i am now traveling back to Cambodia. I try to be timely as much as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: According to the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Mr. So Khun, who spoke to journalists in the morning of 19 November 2009 at the Phnom Penh Hotel, where he presided over a workshop about the joint use of mobile phone relay and transmission towers, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication of the Kingdom of Cambodia will set equal phone service costs at the end of this month.

“The minister said that so far, the post and telecommunication sector has advanced dramatically, and it is a pride of the ministry as well as of the Cambodian government under the wise leadership of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen. However, together with this progress, the ministry noticed that mobile phone companies in Cambodia compete with each other over phone call costs. This is not yet considered as a conflict, but just as a sign of disagreements. Therefore, the ministry prepares to set a general cost system. The minister added that the cost that the ministry plans to set is not yet known, but the ministry is discussing to set a cost system that all mobile phone companies in Cambodia can accept.

“Regarding the workshop about the joint use of mobile phone relay and transmission towers, Mr. So Khun said that this is a good way to promote the telecommunications sector in Cambodia, because at present, this sector is being served by nine mobile phone companies and many ISP/VOIP systems. About 4,500 mobile phone towers have been set up both on the ground and on the roof of houses, in order to compete in attracting about 5.3 million clients, who need mobile phone towers so that they can use their mobile phones. ‘It is a great pride and we acknowledge that the telecommunications sector does grow, but meanwhile, we must think also about the environment, the stable health of citizens, and public order in the society and in the nation.’

“The general manager of the Tower Master Cambodia Co Ltd (TMCC), Mr. Ung Veasna said, the company had received concession rights to operate for 35 years to set up and to maintain mobile phone towers.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2103, 20.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 20 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #341, 20.11.2009

  • Cambodia Vows to Try to Find Solutions on Climate Change [by supporting publications and offering training to citizens about this problem]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2103, 20.11.2009

  • The Ministry of Post and Telecommunication Will Set up an Equal Phone Cost System at the End of This Month
  • The Government Issued an Instruction about Places where Smoking Is Banned [it is not allowed in buildings and offices of officials at different ministries, at municipalities, at district and commune offices, at meeting halls, at toilets, and in the entry and exit ways to official buildings]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #679, 20.11.2009

  • Development of Koh Kong [by Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra] to Become a Second Hong Kong Is Delayed for Two to Three Years until Cambodia and Siam [Thailand] Have Ended Their Diplomatic Disputes

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #534, 20.11.2009

  • A US Parliamentarian [Mr. Edward Roy] and the European Union Condemn the Suspension of the Immunity of Mr. Sam Rainsy, Following a Request from Yuon [Vietnam, over his participation to remove Cambodian-Vietnamese temporary border markers; they consider this as a restriction of the voice of the opposition party]
  • Nine [Thai] Persons Working with the [alleged] Siamese [Thai] Spy [at the Cambodia Air Traffic Service] Were Expelled from Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6810, 20.11.2009

  • A Bilateral Meeting of Cambodia and the Inter-Government Committee of the Russian Federation Decided to Continue the Discussion in Moscow in 2010 about the Debt That Cambodia Owes [the debts that Cambodia owed since the Soviet era. Cambodia asked Russia to cancel it. But now, both sides agreed to further discuss it, later on in 2010 in Moscow]
  • America Grants More Than US$10 Million to the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance (KHANA) [it is recognized by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, based in Britain, as a local non-government organization that conforms to international standards in working on HIV/AIDS]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #50, 20.11.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Has the Intention to Help the Alleged Spy [now detained at the Prey Sar prison], but He Waits until Cambodia Finishes [court] Procedures

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5052, 20.11.2009

  • More Than Three-Hour Fire Destroyed 229 Houses at Chrang Chamres 2 Commune [because of a gas explosion from a house; there were no deaths – Russey Keo district, Phnom Penh]
  • Thaksin Wants to Live in the Northeast Border Area of Thailand [according to his website]

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 638

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #333, 11.11.2009

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2095, 11.11.2009

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

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #672, 11.11.2009

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6802, 11.11.2009

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5044, 11.11.2009

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

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South Korea Provides a US$200 Million Concession Loan to Cambodia over a Period of Three Years – Friday, 23.10.2009

Posted on 23 October 2009. Filed under: Week 635 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“Phnom Penh: The South Korean president promised to the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia to provide US$200 million in concession loans for 2009 to 2012 to develop the Cambodian economy and society.

“The promise of such loan provisions was made during the two-day official visit of the South Korean President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, and his delegation in Cambodia on 22 and 23 October 2009. Together with the above concession loan, the governments of both countries also signed 9 agreements and memorandums of understanding to strengthen cooperation between Cambodia and Korea.

“After the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, on Thursday evening, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, told journalists that the Korean government is ready to provide donations in response to the destruction in Cambodia, recently caused by the typhoon Ketsana, and Mr. Lee Myung-Bak will send his Minister of Foreign Affairs to check the situation, and Cambodia will raise the requirements to repair roads, schools, and hospitals that were damaged by this typhoon.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong added, ‘In response to Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen’s request, the South Korean President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, agreed with the comprehensive and strategic partnership between Cambodia and Korea.’

“Regarding tourism, within the past five years, the Korean tourists’ arrival figures were still at the first position [in 2009 it will probably be Vietnamese tourists which provide the top number] with many Korean tourists visiting Cambodia. In this sense, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong went on to say, ‘Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen will offer 1 year visas for Korean tourists to encourage them to visit Cambodia.’

“During a dinner party, a Cambodian-Korea business meeting, on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘This visit shows more clearly that the Korean government always really cares about the close ties and and the cooperation between both countries, and the presence of His Excellency [Mr. Lee Myung-Bak] and Her Excellency [Kim Yun-Ok] as well as the Korean delegation and the business community will surely bring new success and achievements, with the efforts to help develop the Cambodian economy and society, continuing to strengthen and to expand the cooperation in all fields, including politics, security, economy, social affairs, and culture.’

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that Cambodia and Korea have been cooperating with the aim to ensure new opportunities, with the intention to mutually contribute and share benefits in order to achieve economic growth and poverty alleviation.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that the Cambodian-Korean ties and cooperation appear to be more noticeable, through the cooperation to implement different projects together, like the cooperation to organize the Angkor-Kyongju World Exhibition, joint investments, and the cooperation to create a Cambodia stock exchange market.’

“During the party, the South Korean President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, said also that he sees some positive points for future cooperation between both countries; first, in agriculture and bio-energy. In this sense, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak stressed, ‘Cambodia has high agricultural potential while Korea is experienced in modernizing rural areas of poor people via the New Village Movement countrywide.’

Second, the president focused on cooperation in forestry, and Korea promised to implement a project to plant trees on 200,000 hectares, which is a win-win policy to restore forestry, to produce bio-energy, as well as to create job opportunities. His project will become a fine project of cooperation creasing ‘green’ cooperation bilaterally, which can create proper carbon dioxide emission credits and help to control global climate change.

“The South Korean president added that the third field is cooperation in industry, to provide training and education services, where at present, there are more than 500 enterprises in Cambodia contributing to develop the Cambodian economy.

“The fourth field focuses on cooperation in building infrastructure, where since the 1970ies, Korea has a lot of techniques, capital, and experience, and has constructed infrastructure in Korea and in other countries in electricity, roads, and railroads.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong continued to say that the Cambodian-Korean cooperation has reached a comprehensive and strategic partnership, and both countries will boost this cooperation further.

“During this meeting, the heads of the two governments signed nine agreements:

  1. Extradition treaty;
  2. Conditional agreement between the Cambodian and Korean governments about economic development cooperation for 2009-2012;
  3. Agreement on cooperation between the chambers of commerce of Cambodia and Korea ;
  4. Cooperation agreement to produce publications between the Ministry of Information of Cambodia and the Korean Telecommunications Committee;
  5. Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries on mineral resources;
  6. Memorandum of Understanding on investments to plant trees and to control climate change;
  7. Memorandum of Understand on education, training, and research, between the Royal University of Agriculture and the University of Agriculture of Korea;
  8. Memorandum of Understanding on rice product investments for export; and
  9. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the oil sector between the National Oil Authority of Cambodia and the Korean Oil Corporation. The South Korean president also promised to accept 3,500 Cambodian workers more to work in South Korea, adding to the total number of Cambodian workers to South Korea to increase to 9,000.

“The South Korean president welcomes workers to South Korea, and he promised to help Cambodian women who are legally married to Korean men.

“During the two-day visit, the South Korean president, his wife, and the delegation, went to meet also with the Khmer King, Preah Bath Preah Boromaneath Norodom Sihamoni.

“As planned, the South Korean president and the delegation will visit the well-known Angkor Wat Temple of Cambodia in Siem Reap on Friday morning, before he travels to Hua Hin in Thailand, to attend the 15th ASEAN summit from 23 to 25 October 2009.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #318, 23.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #318, 23.10.2009

  • Football Betting on the Internet Is Still a Concern though the Government Had Ordered to Close Legal [gamble] Companies [according to a letter sent to Deum Ampil by an anonymous woman whose husband always goes to bet on football matches through the Internet]
  • South Korea Provides US$200 Million Concession Loans to Cambodia for Three Years [for economic and social development]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2079, 23.10.2009

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vejjajiva Warned that Thailand Will Seek to Have [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Extradited if He Comes to Cambodia [the Thai Prime Minister said that he believes that Cambodian leaders can clearly separate between politics and friendship, and will not interfere with internal affairs of Thailand]
  • Two Big Trucks Loaded with Wood Were Seized, but Were Then Let Go Secretly [Siem Reap]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #664, 23.10.2009

  • To Develop Former FUNCINPEC Headquarters to Be a Taxi-Car Station Threatens the Security of the French Embassy [official of the French Embassy expressed concern about terrorism and security – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #515, 23.10.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Celebrates the 18th Anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreement

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6786, 23.10.2009

  • A Meeting between [Prime Minister] Hun Sen and [Thai former prime minister] Chavalit Yongchaiyudh Gets Discussed in Bangkok, and Thaksin Shinawatra Immediately Expressed His Appreciation to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [to host him in Cambodia as a friend; the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, said that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra will face an extradition request if he comes to Cambodia, based on the extradition agreement between Cambodia and Thailand]
  • A Plan for a New Satellite City Called U-City in the South of Kandal Estimated at US$1 Billion, Was Signed [by the Global Digital Media Group of South Korea and Green Gold Holding, based in France, which is planned to be constructed from 2008 to 2023]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #32, 23.10.2009

  • The National Assembly Starts to Discuss a Law about [Cambodian] Child Adoption [ with much discussion about adoptions of Cambodian children by foreigners – though the important Article 21 relates to the necessary qualifications of both foreign and Khmer adopting parents: no criminal records, good character, and love and the ability to raise children]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5028, 23.10.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Plans to Come to Cambodia, though the Bangkok Government Warned to Seek His Extradition [according to The Nation quoting an unnamed high ranking security official]
  • Cambodian Government Officials Stressed that the Paris Peace Agreement of 1991 Will Be Used for Solving the Border Issues with Thailand
  • A Woman Handed Money [US$105] to Her Husband to Pay It Back to the ACLEDA Bank, but He Used It for a Drinking Party [and gambling], She Got Angry and Hit Him Twice by a Phkeak to Death [a long handle knife – she was arrested – Kampot]
  • The Number of Vehicles Increased to Almost 1.3 Million [1,296,755 motorbikes and 248,523 cars/trucks [counting registration by August 2009], excluding the vehicles using police and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces number plates, though such cars are found in increasing numbers again, in spite of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stop using such number plates privately]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1814, 23-25.10.2009

  • [The president of the Human Rights Party] Kem Sokha Does Not Demand the Sam Rainsy Party to Change Its Name, but to Unite
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia Asked the Siamese [Thai] Government to Arrest the Perpetrator That Shot a Khmer Citizen to Death [at the border]

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Amnesty International Asks the Supreme Court to Release Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun without Any Condition – Thursday, 25.12.2008

Posted on 25 December 2008. Filed under: Week 592 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 595

“On 31 December 2008, the Supreme Court plans to hold a hearing for two suspects who are accused murders who shot dead the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Vichea, on 22 January 2004 where the Appeals Court kept the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicting each of them to serve 20 years in prison.

“In the meantime, Amnesty International released a statement asking the Supreme Court of Cambodia to release the two suspects, Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun. While they are being held in prison, the real murderers and colluders are still free from being brought to be convicted according to the law regarding the murder of this trade union leader.

“Amnesty International said in its statement that the Supreme Court must release the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun immediately. Both of them were arrested by the authorities a few days after Mr. Chea Vichea was killed by unidentified murderers in the morning of 22 January 2004 at a newspaper stall at the west of Wat Langka; the two suspects will be before the Supreme Court on 31 December 2008,after the Appeals Court upheld the conviction verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to send them to jail for 20 years, even though prosecutors had claimed that there was not enough evidence to convict both of them.

“Amnesty International added that there was tortures to extort confessions from the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, intimidations of witnesses, and intervention of politics into the implementation of the law. Also, in the detention, there were illegal activities conducted against the two suspects. The Amnesty International suggests for independent investigations in order to bring the real murders to be convicted.

“A researcher of the Amnesty International, Ms. Brittis Edman, said that confessions of the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were obtained by beating in detention by police, and the promise of awards was used to provide evidence for the court to sentence them to serve 20 years in jail unjustly.

“She added that the two suspects, Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, withdrew their fake confessions and the court cannot considers their confessions as evidence to convict them because they were obtained by force.

“Ministry of Interior spokesperson Khieu Sopeak denied these accusations and said that the court has not rejected to continue investigations by the authorities, and the authorities wait to follow the court’s decision.

“Local and UN human rights organizations in Cambodia went to conduct investigations in a village in Neak Loeang – where Bon Samnang’s girlfriend’s house is – during the Chinese New Year, and villagers asserted that Bon Samnang was at that happy time among them and with his girlfriend, and that he is not the murderer who shot Mr. Chea Vichea to death.

“Also, the former King had said that Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are not the murderers who killed Chea Vichea. Every year, officials of many human rights organizations regularly gather for a prayer according to Khmer tradition, like releasing birds and floating balloons, to give signs of the demand to the court to release the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, to be free like other Khmer citizens.

“Mr. Chea Vichea’s younger brother, Mr. Chea Mony, had called on the court to release the suspects Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, saying that they were not the real murderers. A woman who was a newspaper seller at the west of Wat Langka, where Mr. Chea Vichea was murdered on 22 January 2008, had written to the Appeals Court from Bangkok in Siam [Thailand] before she left to a third country, after receiving the right to asylum, saying that she had seen the murderers clearly, and Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, who are being detained, are not the real murders who killed Mr. Chea Vichea. But she could not say it immediately when the event had happened, because the police prohibited her from making a statement, and they made her to say what police planed for her to tell journalists and officials of national and international human rights organizations [before she fled abroad in fear].

“Heng Pov, who is the former Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief, now a prisoner convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to have been involved in many crimes, to serve more than 60 years in prison, is considered by officials of human rights organizations as an important witness to help Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun be free from the 20-year prison term conviction [because Heng Pov, who arrested the two suspected during his power, had said that both of them are not the real murderers]. Officials of human rights organizations ask the judges and prosecutors to allow the authorities of the government to call Heng Pov as a witness in the hearing of the Supreme Court, which is planned to happen on 31 December 2008 next week.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3648, 25.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 25 December 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1829, 25.12.2008

  • Awarding Ceremony for Three Cambodian Journalists Competing to Write ‘Reporting on Rural Development’ [Ms. Kang Kalyan from Cambodge Soir won the first price receiving US$700, followed by Mr. Tieng Mongkul from Sahakum Kien Svay winning $500, and Ing Chamroen from Cambodge Soir on the third rank winning US$300.
  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya – กษิต ภิรมย์] Apologized [to all Thai citizens for what he said during a press conference: that the demonstration to occupy two airports was a happy event]
  • Brazil Buys Weapons from France Worth US$12,000,000,000


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #311, 25.12.2008

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Communities Condemn Hanoi [for preventing two members of the European Parliament to go to Vietnam]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #167, 25.12.2008

  • Local Fuel Companies Reduce the Fuel Prices, but the Prices of t Goods at Markets Remain Unchanged


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6534, 25.12.2008

  • There Are More Than 600 Newspapers and Magazines and 18 Journalists’ Associations, but a Representative to ASEAN Has Not yet Been Found [according to the Ministry of Information]
  • US$1.4 Million Is Needed for the Organization of the District-Provincial and City Council Elections [which are planed to be held between 15 January 2009 and 15 June 2009]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3648, 25.12.2008

  • Amnesty International Asks the Supreme Court to Release Bon Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun without Any Condition
  • [Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister] Ieng Sary Has Serious Heath Problems [his legs swells] and He Was Sent to the Calmette Hospital, Causing More Serious Concern [that he might die before truth is revealed]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Plans to Summon Six More Suspects to the Court [according to the international co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Robert Petit; however, a date was not mentioned]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4777, 25.12.2008

  • Hundreds of Logs [around 400 cubic meter] Cut and Piled up near a Rubber Plantation of a Military Officer in Ratanakiri [but his assistant said that the logs were cut for building two big bridges in Ratanakiri, as proposed by citizens; forestry officials have not yet taken action to seize the logs]
  • The Ministry of Interior Said that the Royal Government Has a Plan to Divide Russey Keo into Two Districts [because of the rapid growth of the number of citizens, its large size, administration management, and the rapid growth of development]
  • Vietnam Delivers [sixteen] Documentary Films Related to the Khmer Rouge Regime to the Documentation Center of Cambodia
  • Man with His Girlfriend Drove on a Motor Taxi and Hit a Parked Truck Loaded with Gravel, Causing Two Deaths and Inuring One [the motor-taxi driver and the woman died while the man was seriously injured – Sihanoukville]
  • North Korea Warns It Will Destroy South Korea to Ashes [it accuses South Korea of trying to create war]
  • Michael Jackson Has Lung Problems and His Left Eye Is Almost Blind

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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