Free access to free flowing information – Sunday, 27.6.2010

Posted on 3 July 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 670 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 670

The Constitution of a country is its basic law – all other laws and regulations have to follow the guidelines of the Constitution. The Constitution is also a basic guideline for the citizens of a country, especially in a country where the Constitution declares (inscribed in the name of the people: “WE, THE PEOPLE OF CAMBODIA” as its Preamble states): “Cambodian people are the masters of their own country,” living in the Kingdom of Cambodia that has adopted “a policy of Liberal Democracy and Pluralism” as stated in its Article 51. The Constitution, written in 1993 by the elected representatives forming the first National Assembly of the newly established Kingdom of Cambodia, established a high and clear vision for the future after the troubled and violent decades of the past: “to restore Cambodia into an ‘Island of Peace’ based on a multi-party liberal democratic regime guaranteeing human rights and the respect of law, and responsible for the destiny of the nation.”

The Constitution lays out also clearly where the responsibility for the destiny of the nation is located: “All power belongs to the people.”

To fulfill the goals laid out is a daily challenge – not just to be celebrated on Constitution Day on 24 September every year, remembering the signing of the new Constitution on 24 September 1993 by King Sihanouk, and not only on the days every five years, when the members of the National Assembly are elected as the legislative power, with the authority over the creation of a new government, through which the people exercise their power.

To fulfill this challenge requires, among others, that the people can know what is going on in the country over which they are the masters: access to correct and transparent information is a fundamental condition for the Constitution to be alive.

The media play an important role in facilitating the access to information. We had the headline this week “Khmer Journalists Need More Training to Write Investigating Information [to write such information, journalists have to investigate to collect strong evidence to support their conclusions]” – an indication that there is still work to be done. Some time ago it was also decided that all Ministries shall have an official spokesperson, and there had also been special training events for persons taking on these new roles.

Unfortunately, the situation is often far away from the goal to be achieved. There are regular reports in the press, almost every week, that a reporter calling a Ministry to get some information is directed to a different person, and from there to a third person, and finally the answer is “no information available.” Or after being re-directed to several other sources, the caller ends up with the original contact. Or the called party hangs up as soon as they understand the call is from a journalist.

There are other cases where the information is clear – but it is difficult to understand it, as it is only a partial answer to a public question.

A case of this type of a response is the elaborate response given in the National Assembly by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An to an opposition request for clarification about “tea money” paid by foreign oil and mineral exploring companies, about which The Mirror carried a report in the Friday edition. There was, in response to the information given, some praise in the national and international press – but there was also frustration.

“In the case that there is money paid, like reward money for signing, paid into the state budget, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the National Petroleum Authority deposits it into an account at the National Bank of Cambodia. The money is the income from oil for the Royal Government of Cambodia to be used, and the use of the money is not dependent on the companies signing the oil deals, like in the case of the social development foundation. The money for the social development foundation is also deposited into an account at the National Bank of Cambodia, but before the money can be taken out to be spent on any projects, there needs to be a discussion with company that signed the oil deal, as, in general, that money is used to serve the development in areas designated when the oil deal was signed.”

But there were no total figures given, no explanation why such payments were not reflected in past accounts of the national budget, and no information about the administration of the Social Fund – who is responsible, and according to which criteria; no NGO could get away with such vague information.

And there are cases where the information is clear – but it is difficult to understand the arguments used and not used.

The demarcation of national borders is an important affair, often loaded not only with practical, but also with emotional elements. Clear, transparent information can always help to defuse a tense situation. Why are then the Khmer authorities prohibiting farmers from doing cultivation on the fields next to the temporary Border Marker Number 270 in Takeo, and people trying to visit the site to verify what is really going on were are prohibited from visiting? We did not find that the media were given the precise geographical coordinates, and detailed mapping reference – why only general reference to some border agreements?

Similarly, but even less transparent, is the argumentation in the following press report:

“An Expert Official [the head of the Border Committee of Cambodia, Mr. Var Kim Hong]: [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy’s Map Is Fake [he claimed that the 1:100,000 map deposited at the United Nations in 1964 does not have grids, while the map that Mr. Sam Rainsy published on the Internet has grids; the Phnom Penh municipal court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Sam Rainsy for faking public documents and spreading disinformation].”

If the original map deposited at the United Nations does not have a grid, showing the geographical coordinates of Latitudes and Longitudes of the depicted locations – how is it possible to determine where the contested border posts are actually located? It is faking the map, if the claim is made that the original maps did contain the grid of geographical coordinates but it actually did not – but it is helping to clarify the situation, if the geographical coordinates of Northern Latitude and Eastern Longitude are later provided so that the place of the border line can be clearly shown. – The legal struggle against the grid on the map seems to criticize that clarifying information is provided, while not saying that the information provided is wrong – nor providing alternative information with the assertion what is right.

That the public handling of information and the access to it is crucial has been underlined again by the top UN officials on 3 May 2010 – marking the annual World Press Freedom Day – calling for the promoting of the universal right to publicly-held information as well as ensuring the safety of all those who work in the media, adding that “some journalists risk intimidation, detention and even their lives, simply for exercising their right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, through any media, and regardless of frontiers.” That is what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in a message for the World Press Freedom Day. It is a continuing challenge and a task not yet fulfilled.

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Financial Aid from the Federal Republic of Germany for 2009 and 2010 Amounts to Euro 36 Million – Tuesday, 16.3.2010

Posted on 16 March 2010. Filed under: Week 656 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 656

“Phnom Penh: A delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany arrived in Cambodia last week to sign agreements with the Royal Government of Cambodia relating to grant aid for 2009 and 2010 of about Euro 36 Million [approx. US$49 million].

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that last week, the senior delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany led by the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, came to visit to study the progress of Cambodian developments. The forty two delegates are from the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the parliament, civil society, and private financing agencies of Germany, and also journalists.

“The spokesperson said that the delegates met with the Minister of Economy and Finance, Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, in the afternoon of 10 March 2010 before signing agreements between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Federal Republic of Germany about financial cooperation.

“Officials said that the financial cooperation for 2009 amounted to Euro 19 million [approx. US$26million] to implement three projects: the second phase health program with Euro 6 million [approx. US$8million], the regional economic development project also with Euro 6 million, and the second phase rural infrastructure development with Euro 7 million [approx. US$10million].

“Officials went on to say that regarding financial cooperation for 2009 and 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany promised to provide Euro 36 million [approx. US$49million], where Euro 34 million [approx. 46 million] is new aid and the rest is aid promised in 2007. Officials added that the aid for 2009 and 2010 is planned to be spent in the health sector with Euro 10.25 million [approx. US$14million], for rural development with Euro 22 million [approx. US$30million], and for other sectors Euro 3.75 million [approx. US$5million].

“Officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance added that despite the bad impact from the global financial and economic crisis, the Federal Republic of Germany keeps providing aid to Cambodia of about Euro 34 million for two years. According to the official statistics of Cambodia, between 1992 and 2009, the Federal Republic of Germany provided US$280 million [approx. US$384 million]. Based on these statistics, the Federal Republic of Germany is the fifth donor of Cambodia after China, Japan, the United States of America, and France.

“The officials continued to say that the senior delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany will visit Siem Reap to study the progress of a program implementation for ‘Regional Economic Development’ which includes the green ring area project being implemented by the Apsara Authority.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5151, 16.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 march 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #435, 16.3.2010

  • Cambodia Will Receive a Grant of More Than US$31 Million from the Japanese Government to Implement Four Priority Projects [relating to the Neak Loeang bridge construction, clean water, electricity, and solar energy]
  • The Prime Minister Ordered Soldiers Not to Stand along the Border while Red-Shirt Demonstrators Are Demonstrating in Bangkok [in order to avoid a misunderstanding that Cambodia would like to take the opportunity to invade Thai territory]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2202, 16.3.2010

  • The Prime Minister Called on All Educational Institutions to Continue to Cooperate with the Ministry of Education to Strengthen the Quality of Education
  • Samdech Hun Sen Rejected the Information that [the Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Is in Cambodia

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #627, 16.3.2010

  • [A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay: Cambodia Loses More Than One Billion Dollars Each Year because of Corruption [through custom officers and police officials]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6909, 16.3.2010

  • Three Khmer Citizens Were Shot Dead and 25 Others Were Arrested by Siamese [Thai] Soldiers [accusing them of cutting trees illegally in Thai territory] Along the Border in Oddar Meanchey, during Three Months Early 2010

Meatophum, Vol.54, #763, 15-20.3.2010

  • The Khmer King Becomes a Member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres of France

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3833, 16.3.2010

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Rejected Red-Shirt Demonstrators Demand [to dissolve the parliament and to resign from his office] before He Escaped by Helicopter from the [Thai] King’s Guard Barracks Which Had Been Bombed

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #131, 16.3.2010

  • Thai Soldiers Fatally Shot Two More Khmer Citizens at the Border [who entered Thai territory illegally to cut trees]
  • The Authorities Reorganize the Area Destroyed by Fire [near Wat Neak Voan, Phnom Penh; the authorities asked citizens to choose their representatives to reorganize the burnt area, while the Prime Minister ordered to construct again rooms for monks and for students in the pagoda]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5151, 16.3.2010

  • Financial Aid from the Federal Republic of Germany for 2009 and 2010 Amounts to Euro 36 Million
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Ordered Soldiers along the Border to Stay Calm and Asked Khmer Citizens Not to Join Demonstrations in Thailand

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In 2010, Officials Who Use Their Positions to Extort Money from the People Will Not Be Tolerated – Tuesday, 16.2.2010

Posted on 16 February 2010. Filed under: Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

“Phnom Penh: The firm position of the Phnom Penh Municipality in 2010 is not like that in 2009; it will not allow dishonest officials to keep on committing bad activities towards the people. This was declared by an official during the convention in the morning of 15 February 2010 to reflect on the work during 2009, and to determine the targets for 2010; the meeting was chaired by the Phnom Penh governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema.

“During this annual convention, Mr. Kep Chuktema advised all civil servants and all armed personnel to continue to be strictly honorable towards the people, so that they have confidence and trust in the services provided, though previously, some officials used the opportunity of their positions to extort money from the people. But now, he warned, saying that officials doing such bad activities will no longer be tolerated.

“The governor went on to say that only by obeying discipline and with heightened responsibility can the efficiency of the work and its results increase. He added, ‘Considering 2009, Phnom Penh can be proud for having cooperated well with each other, effectively deploying our forces to prevent and intercept crime, the activities of gangs, the illegal use of weapons, gambling, human and sex trafficking, and drug related crimes.’

“He continued to say that in 2010, what remains to be done is to focus more on such issues as public order, car parking facilities, traffic jam, illegal construction sites, and violations of the regulations regarding the use of pedestrian’s sidewalks. Also, he shared the information that Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen had ordered the Phnom Penh Municipality to create ties with the Intervention Brigade 9 of Division 3, stationed at the battlefield in the Preah Vihear area. ‘It is a new obligation for all of us to support the battlefield which is a great pride for the people in Phnom Penh.’

“During the convention, the Phnom Penh governor delivered a new car the Tuol Kork district command station, as a reward for its previous hard work.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5127, 16.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2178, 16.2.2010

  • [The spokesperson of the Royal Government, the Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: Cambodia Welcomes the Thai Position [to solve the border disputes bilaterally], but He Questioned whether Thailand Is Willing to Do so or Not [recently Cambodia had suggested to settle the border issues internationally, but Thailand suggested to Cambodia to solve them bilaterally]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6885, 16.2.2010

  • An Outbreak of Diarrhea with Vomiting Caused 38 People to Be Hospitalized; One Villager Died, Leaving His Children Behind; Medics Call for More Sanitation [Kompong Chhnang – there is an ongoing public controversy: some experts say there is an outbreak of Cholera, which requires a different treatment from diarrhea – but the authorities maintained that it is not Cholera, and even if it were, the treatment is the same]
  • [Eighty eight] People Gathered at the Provincial Administration to Ask for the Removal of a Corrupt Village Chief [as he sold village land secretly for his own benefit – Kompong Speu]
  • Siam [Thailand] Sent Three Khmer Kampuchea Krom People to Cambodia from Detention in Bangkok [they failed to seek asylum in a third country]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #112, 16.2.2010

  • The President of the Human Rights Party [Mr. Kem Sokha] Calls for Unity [with other parties, to compete with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5127, 16.2.2010

  • In 2010, Officials Who Use Their Positions to Extort Money from the People Will Not Be Tolerated
  • The Spokesperson of the Government Told Journalists to Be Careful when Translating Words [he reminded foreign journalists and foreign agencies in Cambodia to do so, otherwise the Prime Minister will appear to have done wrong and is then criticized for it; as an example, he said that the Cambodian Prime Minister challenged the Thai Prime Minister to ‘swear’ that he and his family should die if he claims that Thailand did not invade Cambodian territory, but some English newspaper incorrectly translated it as if he had ‘cursed’ the Thai Prime Minister]
  • Four Banks Provided Loans for an Electricity Plant Powered by Coal to be built in Sihanoukville [the OCBC Bank, the Maybank, the AmBank, and the Bank of China jointly offered US$140 million in loans to a Malaysian company, the Cambodia Energy Limited, to establish a 100 megawatt electricity plant]
  • Two Motorbikes Crashed into Each Other, Killing Two People and Seriously Injuring Three Others [Pursat]

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The Preah Vihear Authorities Sold More Than 70 Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood Seized from Illegal Wood Traders – Saturday, 13.2.2010

Posted on 14 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

“Preah Vihear: The Preah Vihear authorities decided to sell 76 cubic meters of luxury wood, including wood of the second quality type, on 10 February 2010, without putting it up for pubic bidding. The wood had been seized by combined provincial forces [where forestry administration forces, military police, and police may cooperate] from illegal wood traders in 2009.

“In the afternoon of 10 February 2010, it was seen that more than 20 wood traders and forestry administration officials were collecting Beng, Kronhoung, Neang Nuon, and Thnung wood and 8 cubic meters of second quality wood onto nine trucks.

At 15:36, civil servants of the Preah Vihear Municipality said that they saw three trucks coming into the Preah Vihear Municipality compound to take the wood. Those trucks [made by the Korean company] Hyundai, were each loaded with 30 cubic meters of wood. At that time, journalists came to ask about compliance with the law regarding the permission for the transport of such wood, but the Tbaeng Meanchey district forestry administration chief, Mr Mom Sophal, said that journalists should not publish anything about it, and he would not provide a legal document from the forestry administration showing that it is allowed to sell the wood.

“Journalists continued to ask where the wood was being transported to. A wood trader appeared to claim that journalists did not need to ask such a question. He seemed to have appeared just to protect the wood by saying a few words, and then he became silent.

“After that, the head of the Tbaeng Meanchey district forestry administration strongly warned the journalists, saying that if they wanted to know whether the sale of the wood had been legalized or not, they should ask the Preah Vihear forestry administration chief, and he then stopped saying anything more.

“At the same day at 16:33, journalists contacted the Preah Vihear forestry administration chief, Mr. Pol Khamnara by phone, to clarify the case that wood traders had come into the Preah Vihear Municipality compound to take the wood away, but he said he was in Phnom Penh to attend a court hearing related to the case of the deputy governor Mr. Meas Saroeun, and as far as he knew, the Municipality allowed the wood to be transported to Prey Veng, and he suggested that if the journalist wanted to know more, they should ask the district forestry administration chief Mr. Nong Khemarin. When journalists approached Mr. Nong Khemarin, he said that those wood traders had received a legal permission to take the wood away. But when journalists asked him about the related legal document, he said that he had not yet seen it, so he had nothing to show. As for the Preah Vihear governor, Mr. Oum Mara, he could not be reached for comment as phone calls could not get through.

“It should be noted that during the last four years, there have been more truck transports by nearly 10 trucks loaded with Beng, Kronhoung, Neang Nuon, and Thnung wood. Whenever journalists asked for legal documents, the forestry administration chiefs claimed that the wood transports had been permitted by the law, but they never allowed journalists to see the documents.

“They frequently used the names of ministers [claiming that the ministers supported them] to warn the journalists.

“At 17:00., the journalists received a phone call from an official of the Preah Vihear court who said that he had not seen any legal documents. That official explained that the seized wood can be sold only after the court issues a permit allowing the forestry administration to put it up for bidding first.

“In Preah Vihear, luxury wood is being transported by wood traders all the time, and every time when they transport luxury wood out of the province, the phones of the relevant officials are all switched off, or nobody answers the phone calls. Kronhoung wood is being transported on various routes. Some goes through Nation Road 62 [towards Phnom Penh], and more than half of the remaining wood is transported by the wood traders from Sra Em village to Trapeang Prasat district and on to Oddar Meanchey, crossing Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, and Kompong Cham, to be sold at the Vietnamese border.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5125, 13.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 13 February 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2176, 13.2.2010

  • A Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldier [in the uniform of the Thai special border protection unit] Who Came to Lay Land Mines in Cambodia, Was Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison
  • An Anti-Maritime-Mine Naval Ship [of the US Navy] Arrived in Cambodia for Joint Exercises [with the Cambodian navy]
  • One Million Red Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Prepare to Demonstrate in Thailand on 20 February 2010

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6883, 13-14.2.2010

  • The Shukaku Company Is Actively Developing the Boeng Kak Lake Area and So Far, 50% of the Lake Has Been Filled with Dredged Sand [only the sand filling is described as its “actively developing” activities – a construction and management plan – what is to happen on the adjacent land from which the residents are evicted – has not been made public]
  • At 9:00 A.M. of 11 February 2010, a Cambodian Flag Was Erected on Wat Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak, also called Wat Prasat [at the border with Thailand, in a contested buffer zone]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5125, 13.2.2010

  • The Preah Vihear Authorities Sold More Than 70 Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood Seized from Illegal Wood Traders
  • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Khiev Samphan Said He Was a Powerless Head of State of the Khmer Rouge Regime
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development Granted US$13,3 Million [for poverty reduction projects, and for the development of small-scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area]
  • The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization Announced that there are Serious Diarrhea Cases [but denied it is cholera [[as claimed by others on the basis of bacteriological proof]] and therefore declared there is no need to declare a cholera emergency]
  • A Truck Drove over a Female Garment Worker and Killed Her [Phnom Penh]

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During the 6th Anniversary of Mr. Chea Vichea’s Killing, Trade Unions Can March with Flowers, but the Authorities Ban Making Political Statements – Friday, 22.1.2010

Posted on 22 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

Note:

From Friday, 22 to Monday 25 January 2010 I plan to travel to attend the first BarCamp in Yangon/Myanmar. This may result in delays in the publication of The Mirror. Apologies.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: 22 January 2010 is the 6th anniversary since the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers was murdered in 2004 at a newsstand next to Wat Langka in Phnom Penh.

“To commemorate Mr. Chea Vichea, considered by workers as a hero for demanding rights and freedoms for them, trade union leaders, his family, and relatives, and his friends prepare to march with flowers on Friday 22 January 2010 at 8:30 a.m. from the trade union headquarters at House 16A, Street 360, Boeng Keng Kang III, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh. 300 officials and members of the trade union and will join the event.

“The head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, the younger brother of Mr. Chea Vichea, Mr. Chea Mony, said that the trade union, like in previous years, will go to place flowers at the newsstand next to Wat Langaka, where Mr. Chea Vichea was shot dead.

“Mr. Chea Mony added that to place flowers to commemorate Mr. Chea Vichea in the morning of 22 January 2010 is a message to convey to the Cambodian government that six years have passed, but the real murderers who shot dead this trade union leader, who supported the opposition party, have not been prosecuted.

“It should be noted that the Phnom Penh authorities do not oppose this march to present flowers to commemorate Mr. Chea Vichea in the morning of 22 January 2010. But according to a decision that the Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, has just signed to give the permission, the authorities warned that the trade union must not take the opportunity of the commemoration day to do anythings else. That means the authorities forbid the trade union from raising banners or calling out slogans. Especially, the trade union should not use the forum to make political statements. The ceremony on 22 January 2010 is just to place flowers and to light incense sticks at the newsstand. In addition, those who will participate in the event will not be allowed to march in front of the residence of Prime Minister Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen near the Independence Monument, 200 to 300 meters from the newsstand next to Wat Langka.

“However, Mr. Chea Mony called on the authorities of the government again to take action to arrest the real murderers and punish them. His trade union sets one year from now on as a deadline for the authorities of the government to identify and arrest the real murderers to be convicted – otherwise the trade union will appeal to workers countrywide to strike, not going to work.

“Regarding the appeal for the arrest of the murderers to convict them, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, General Khieu Sopheak, said that the authorities do not stay still, but are seeking to arrest the murderers, and the police has not yet closed this sensitive case.

“General Khieu Sopheak added that those appealing for the arrest of the murderers can just say so, but they do not give any testimony or evidence to guide the authorities.

“It should be remembered that after Mr. Chea Vichea was murdered on 22 January 2004, one week later, on 28 January 2004, Cambodian police arrested two men: Boun Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, and sent them to court for questioning. Later on, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced them to jail to serve 20 years in prison. However, both Boun Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun denied that they killed Mr. Chea Vichea. Local and international human rights organizations and Mr. Chea Vichea’s family all considered Boun Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun as set up to hide the real murderers.

“At last, on 31 December 2008, the Supreme Court issued a decision to release the accused Boun Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun temporarily. Also, the Supreme Court sent the murder case of Mr. Chea Vichea back to the Appeals Court to re-open the investigations again.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5106, 22.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 22 January 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2157, 22.1.2010

  • The Chinese Ambassador: China Never Supported Democratic Kampuchea [Khmer Rouge regime]
  • Suspecting That His Wife Had Committed Adultery, a Man Stabbed Her in the Neck and Killed Her, and Then Cut His Own Throat, but He Did Not Die, and the Court Sent Him for 15 Years to Prison [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #586, 22.1.2010

  • [The US based organization] Human Rights Watch Said that Human Rights in Cambodia Are Now Weaker Than 10 Years ago, pointing also to the Fact Murderers Who Killed Journalists Have Never Been Arrested

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6864, 22.1.2010

  • [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra Demanded to Close the Legal Case to Expropriate His Property, while Red-Shirt Demonstrators Announced to Demonstrate on 26 February 2010

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #95, 22.1.2010

  • [About 300] Military Officials Received Praise and Certificates from Vietnam [for cooperating to seek the relics of Vietnamese soldiers who died in Cambodia]
  • Thaksin Shinawatra Has Left Cambodia while Bangkok Protested [because there was an attack by a M79 grenade at the office of the Thai army commander-in-chief]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5106, 22.1.2010

  • During the 6th Anniversary of Mr. Chea Vichea’s Killing, Trade Unions Can March with Flowers, but the Authorities Ban Making Political Statements
  • The European Union Adds a Grant of Euro 7 Million to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, to Relieve the Damage Caused by Typhoon Ketsana
  • [The American economist and Nobel Prize Winner for Economy in 2007] Professor Eric Maskin: The Downturn of the Cambodian Economy Is Not a Mistake of the Cambodian Leaders [but it happened because of the bad impact of the global economic and financial crisis]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1861, 22-24.1.2010

  • Nearly 1,000 Families of Disabled Veterans Face Food Shortage at New Land in Kompong Thom after They Had Been Evicted

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Rice Export Is Still Difficult – Saturday, 16.1.2010

Posted on 17 January 2010. Filed under: Week 647 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“Phnom Penh: According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2009 there was a surplus of more than 3 million tonnes of paddy rice or more than 2 million tonnes of rice. In 2010, just the Philippines alone need to buy in 2 million tonnes of rice, and other African countries need to buy rice also. Is Cambodia ready for exporting rice abroad?

“Regarding this problem, an expert, who was involved in marketing to help export rice, said that Cambodia still cannot export rice on a large scale. Family-scale export is possible, as our country is not yet ready to do big rice businesses.

“The general secretary of a Cambodian association for small and medium scale business, Mr. Ut Ren, spoke to journalists in an interview on Wednesday [13 January 2010], saying that Cambodia is not yet able to export rice on a large scale, because Cambodia does not yet have an adequate rice export structure. He added that the country does not yet have large scale storehouses for paddy rice. A rice milling house can normally store 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes, but these too hardly exist in Phnom Penh. There has not yet been an effort to gather all forces together. Most small rice export associations operate to serve only their own interest and they do not cooperate and trust each other, and there is no coordination between the state and the private sector. Also the costs of transportation is still high, compared to neighboring countries. In Vietnam, it costs only US$7 to US$12 to transport one tonne of rice to the ports, but in our country, it costs up to US$40 to US$50. Transport is possible only in the dry season, but not in the rainy season. There is much more investment needed before smooth export procedures are possible. In addition, to get a container loaded with rice to be exported, one needs to pay unofficial expenses of at least US$55 to customs, US$55 to CamControl, and US$30 for one document to the Ministry of Agriculture. Besides, it is necessary to pay US$50 to the Ministry of Commerce for a license.

“Mr. Ren added that in addition, our country does not have marketing experts at international markets. Vietnam has rice market advertising offices in the Philippines and in Africa. Thailand has more than 40 market advertising offices worldwide.

“He went on to say that therefore, to become a rice exporting country, first, Cambodia needs to have a rice export support structure. Rice export has its special criteria, unlike the export of other products. The government should create a separate high level authority to guide the export of rice. The government should implement a integrated structure policy, that means that customs, CamControl, the agriculture and the commerce related authorities have to work jointly. At present, when a rice exporter has received a license from the Ministry of Commerce, they need to go next to customs, then to CamControl, and then to those in the agricultural areas having rice to sell – this takes much time.

“He said that because of existing difficulties, high costs, and much time needed to run from place to place [to satisfy the related bureaucratic necessities], owners of rice mills still prefer their traditional family-scale businesses.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5101, 16.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 16 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #389, 16.1.2010

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister [Mr. Hun Sen] Sent Condolences for the Large Number of [ earthquake] Deaths in Haiti

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2152, 16.1.2010

  • Cambodia Rejected [Thai Deputy Prime Minister] Suthep’s Accusation that [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Takes Cambodia as a Basis for Activities against Thailand
  • Cambodian Citizens Can Have Visas-on-Arrival to Enter Kuwait Directly at Kuwait Airports [according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation]

Link:

On 14 January 2010, many international media reported that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra will visit Cambodia again. “Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Thaksin will visit Cambodia later this month,” reported Radio Australia News.

On 15 January 2010, the Bangkok Post quoted Mr. Noppadon Pattama, a former Thai minister of foreign affairs and at present a legal adviser to the Shinawatra family, saying that Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra has dropped his plan to visit Cambodia.

“Previously, Thaksin had planned to visit Cambodia from Jan 15 to 17, but he has scrapped the plan. He will visit another country in Asia instead,” Mr Noppadon said.

Asked about the Cambodian foreign minister’s statement that Thaksin would visit Phnom Penh this month, Mr Noppadon said he had no idea.

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #581, 16.1.2010

  • [High ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party] Cheam Yeap Admitted that Cambodia Is in Trouble with Its Debt to Russia [Cambodia owes about US$1 billion; and Russia has not responded to Cambodia’s request to cancel it]

Link:

In addition to the US$1 billion debt to Russia there is a smaller debt of US$300 million which Cambodia owes to the USA.

It should be noted that reports about new financial assistance from China often do not state clearly what is aid, and what is repayable loans. We do not know of any comprehensive listing of the total amount of money at present owed by Cambodia to China, and when how much will have to be repaid.

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6859, 16-17.1.2010

  • A Nine-Year-Old Girl Was Raped and Killed in a Forest [the perpetrator is not known – Kratie]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5001, 16.1.2010

  • Rice Export Is Still Difficult
  • In 2010 Cambodia Will Have Three More Labor Export Markets [accepting Khmer workers: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates]

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The Son of a Four-Star-General Said Corruption Occurs at Present from Top to Bottom – Monday, 4.1.2010

Posted on 5 January 2010. Filed under: Week 646 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

“A son of a high ranking military officer of the Cambodian government told a foreign newspaper that corruption in Cambodia occurs at present at every section of the society from top to bottom. An Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, interviewed a youth whose name is Meas Sophearith, a son of Four-Star-General Meas Sophea, a deputy Commander-In-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and the Commander of the Army of Cambodia, regarding his view about corruption in the Cambodian society.

“According to an article in this newspaper, written by Mr. Andrew Marshall, the young Meas Sophearith, who is studying political science at the University in Alabama in the United States, who has also a place for military studies at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, the French military academy, a son of Mr. Meas Sophea, was quoted as criticizing the present corruption in Cambodian society, saying that corruption exists from top to bottom.

“According to the same source, Meas Sophearith described the situation of corruption in the Cambodian society nowadays, saying that most leaders are corrupt.

“Also, a nephew of a most powerful person in Cambodia was quoted, to have said for publication in the paper, that a nephew of a most powerful person in Cambodia owns a most expensive car priced at US$500,000 a Mercedes McLaren SLR.

“Besides the publication about the description of corruption by the young Meas Sophearith, another young man, Ouch Vichet, called Richard, 28, who used to study in New Zealand, spoke in the Australian newspaper about the present show-off culture among the children of the powerful and of the rich in Cambodia.

“The young Vichet was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying that if anybody want that the others pay respect, they have to own luxuries and expensive cars, big diamonds, and expensive mobile phones. This young man added that his parents provided him with a residence of US$500,000 and a rubber plantation of 400 hectares as his inheritance, while his parents-in-law gave him US$100,000 and another residence of US$200,000.

“The abundant wealth of high ranking officials, noticed by foreign observers as well as international journalists, where they compete with each other, showing off their luxury cars worth tens of thousands of dollars, helps to form the stereotypes of rich and high ranking officials of present day Cambodia.

“Mr. Andrew Marshall wrote in that Australian newspaper about Ouch Vichet, who said that people of his parents’ generation always kept money under their mattresses, but the children of the next generation keep money in safes in their houses.

“He said they usually keep a lot of money in safes at home, because they do not trust the banks, believing that if they keep their money in the banks, it will be known how much money their families have.

[…]

“The Tuol Kork area of Phnom Penh is compared to the Beverly Hills area of Hollywood in the United States, where there are, in Phnom Penh, many modern residences of high ranking officials, including of children of the prime minister, surrounded by high and sharp razor wire fencing.

“The same paper wrote that the residence of young Meas Sophearith, a son of General Meas Sophea, is carefully guarded by special forces soldiers.

“The young Meas Sophearith as well as Ouch Vichet, a businessman, who haves relations with the powerful and the rich of the country, are among the three sources that Mr. Andrew Marshall relied on for the article ‘Khmer Riche.’ The third person, Sophy, a child of a Deputy Prime Minister of the government of Mr. Hun Sen, is another source that Mr. Andrew Marshall depended upon to write about the showing off of luxury livelihood of children of high ranking officials and of the rich in Cambodia, while millions of Khmer common citizens live under the poverty line, though hundreds of millions of dollars of aid have been provided each year.

“The young Meas Sophearith told the Australian newspaper that he has a plan to create a foundation to help children of the poor to have a chance to study abroad, like the children of the powerful and of the rich. However, he stressed that they have to wait until their parents grow old.

[…]

“The young Meas Sophearith is not the only person who wants to see changes from what happens at present, but needs to wait until their parents grow old, or people from the old generation retire. Whether he can fulfill his intention to create a foundation to help the poor or not is another problem. [The original source is quoted here.]

[…]

“The account by a son of a high ranking official about corruption, which occurs from top to bottom, and by Mr. Ouch Vichet about how money is normally kept by high ranking officials and by the rich, is another source of information related to the question why the government is very late in adopting an anti-corruption law.

“Corruption is recognized, and the wealth of the high ranking officials and of the rich in Cambodia are kept in the safes at their houses, rather than at local and foreign banks. Therefore, can an anti-corruption law be adopted and can it be efficient to uncover the faces of corrupt officials, or expropriate wealth stolen from the nation, to become money to benefits the nation?”
[…]Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #569-571, 1-4.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 4 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #376-278, 1-4.1.2010

  • [The Cambodian] Ambassador in Thailand Called the Editor of the The Nation Stupid [after the newspaper’s editor criticized the Cambodian Prime Minister in an article Hun Sen’s Vanity is a Danger to Regional Solidarity published on 29 December 2009, which said, “Hun Sen should know for a fact that the person who is really capable of toppling him is his recently appointed economic adviser – Thaksin Shinawatra. In the early 1990s, everybody knew that Thaksin, as a business tycoon, was involved in a short-lived plot to dislodge Hun Sen because of a conflict of interest over mobile telephone contracts.”]
  • During the Whole Year [of 2009] Cambodia Implemented 1,191 Projects to Develop the Country [reference is to cooperation with development partners like the UN, the EU, Japan, etc.]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2139-2141, 1-4.1.2010

  • The National Election Committee Published the Results of the Election Name List Checking in 2009 [there were 8,331,906 voters listed]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Vowed to Vigorously Protect the Throne [after the King promoted him to the rank of a five-star-general]
  • A Thai Army Commander Confirmed in Front of the Cambodian Army Commander to Let the Border Issues Be Solved by Both Countries’ Governments

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #569-571, 1-4.1.2010

  • The Son of a Four-Star-General Said Corruption Occurs at Present from Top to Bottom
  • [The Opposition Party parliamentarian] Mr. Sam Rainsy: Those Who Were Behind the Grenade Attack on 30 March 1999 Are Those Who Are at Present Controlling the Power

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6846-6848, 1-4.1.2010

  • The Welcome for the Universal New Year 2010 in Cambodia This Year Was Different from the Previous Year as It Was Celebrated by More People in More Places [in Cambodia]
  • The [Svay Rieng] Municipal Court Dropped Questioning Three Suspects over the Removal of Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Markers [they are no longer under arrest]
  • In 2009 There Were 44 Fires in Phnom Penh Which Killed 2 People
  • Seventy Six Journalists Were Murdered in 2009 [compared to 2008, when 60 were murdered worldwide, according to the Reporters without Borders]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #80-81, 1-4.1.2010

  • A Military Chief Who Was Involved in Illegal Wood Transport Was Released [by just paying a fine of US$1,500; he had been arrested for blocking the way of the authorities who went to crack down on illegal wood transports – Battambang]
  • The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Starts Operations Today [1 January 2010] – What Will Cambodia Get?
  • The Court Ordered the Arrest of Three More Citizens over the Removal of Temporary Border Markers in Svay Rieng
  • Tourist Arrivals in Cambodia Increased by 2% in 2009 [to 2.18 million, while in 2008, there were 2.12 million]

Note:

The China-ASEAN FTA covers a population of 1 billion and involves about $450 million of trade volume.

“The average tariff on goods from the ASEAN countries is cut down to 0.1 percent from 9.8 percent. The six original ASEAN members, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, will slash the average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent.

“By 2015, the policy of zero-tariff rate for 90 percent of traded goods is expected to extend between China and four new ASEAN members, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.” [Source]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5088-5090, 1-4.1.2010

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Rejected to Enter Politics but Wants to Serve the Nation More [he said he could serve as a diplomat, as an adviser to the prime minister, as a lecturer on law, or related to cultural affairs]
  • An Old Man [69 years old] Raped Three Girls [10, 11, and 14 years old sisters] – He Was Arrested by Military Police to Be Sent to Court [Battambang]
  • Forty Two Packages of Heroin Worth Half a Million Dollar Were Seized [in Phnom Penh, but the ring leader of the smugglers is not yet found; Cambodia was removed from a drug black list of the international community]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1846, 1.2.1.2010

  • Mr. Rong Chhun Was Elected [again] as President of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association

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The Royal Government Released a Sub-Decree about Obligatory Military Service – Wednesday, 30.12.2009

Posted on 31 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The Royal Government of Cambodia issued a royal sub-decree about the conditions and modalities for a census for the recruitment, the conscription, and for the possible delays for youth who are studying, and for citizens under special conditions, and about the law for the implementation of military service.

“The sub-decree, signed by the head of the Royal Government, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, states that it aims to define the conditions and modalities for a census for the recruitment, the conscription, and the possible delays for youth who are studying, and for citizens under special conditions, and about the law for the implementation of military service. It aims to protect the territorial integrity and the national sovereignty, and contributes to the reform of the military sector, strengthening the foundation of the forces for national defense, developing citizens physically, as required by the country, and training in national defense skills.

“The sub-decree describes a National Commission for Military Service, which has the Minister of Defense as its head, the Minister of Interior or a secretary of state as the deputy head, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces [RCAF] as another deputy head, the Minister of Economy and Finance or a secretary of state, the Minister of Planning or a secretary of state, the Minister of Health or a secretary of state, the Minister of Labor or a secretary of state, the Minister of Social Affairs or a secretary of state, and the secretary of the Public Affairs Secretariat, the director general of the National Police, the commander of the National Military Police as members, and director of personnel of the Ministry of Defense as a secretary.

“The sub-decree adds that census for obligatory military service will be conducted by the military service committees of the communes from January to March every year. Recruitments will be made in early August every year, and the military service commissions of the commune have to issue the invitations to the citizens whose names are listed in the census lists and who live under their control, to attend to the recruitment process and the medical checkup, to prepare them for military service.

“This sub-decree states also the conditions for a delay for youth who are studying, stating that the youth who can receive a delay are: students during studies to finish their courses; students preparing to take exams for higher education, for higher degrees, or for associated degrees, and for high school and lower secondary school certificates; and students receiving scholarships to study abroad and students preparing to further their education abroad.

“The sub-decree offers also delay in military service for citizens under special situations. These are citizen who are the only labor force in their family and are the breadwinner of the family; citizens who have not yet reached the age to do full labor, or who are too old, or disabled; citizens who are the only child whose father or mother lost their life in the battlefield; citizen who live in a one-child-family – a family with only one child and the mother, or a child-and-father family; citizens who lost their husband or wife and have many children to raise; citizens who are receiving treatment for illness; citizens who have to leave the country with their parents to fulfill a long-term mission abroad; civil servants who have to fulfill a task abroad more than 3 months; lecturers and teachers who are working under the Ministry of Education; workers who are experts in their factories or enterprises, where a skilled replacement cannot be found immediately; and employers who are responsible leading in expert positions in their enterprises and cannot find a replacement.

“As for the calls to military service, the sub-decree states that citizens who volunteer to fulfill their military service are the first ones to be conscripted. A lottery system will be used if there are more, or less, persons than needed who want to start their military service. The commissions have to conscript citizens for military serve based on the required numbers. The commune military service commissions have to send the draft notices to the conscripted persons directly through the commune authorities or its unit heads, to ministries, departments, factories, enterprises, or educational institutions, within at least 30 days before the day the conscripts are required to appear.

“It should be noted that the military service law of the Kingdom of Cambodia defines the age of affected citizens to be from 18 to 30, and women can make their service as citizens through voluntary services. This sub-decree is directed at Khmer citizens in general who are civilians, workers, employees, employers, students, civil servants, and citizens who have two nationalities and live permanently in the Kingdom of Cambodia.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2137, 30.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #374, 30.12.2009

  • A Man Lured a 5-Year-Old Girl and Raped Her Four Times [he was arrested – Sihanoukville]
  • Major Leaders [from the UNHCR, the United States, and Australia] Criticized [Thai] Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjajiva for Deporting Hmong People Back to Laos

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2137, 30.12.2009

  • The Royal Government Released a Sub-Decree about Obligatory Military Service
  • Wood Traders [in the military] Burnt Two Bridges to Block the Authorities Who Went to Crack Down [Battambang]
  • A Policeman of the Ministry of Interior Used a Pistol to Hit a Person on the Head and Shot Three Times in the Air [he was detained – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #557, 30.12.2009

  • The National Assembly Adopted the Expropriation Law, though Some Articles Make Citizens to Lose Benefits

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6844, 30.12.2009

  • UNHCR Dismissed the Request of Khmer Kampuchea Krom People for Asylum because They Are Cambodian Citizens
  • The Head of the Supreme Court of Vietnam [Mr. Trương Hoà Bình – Truong Hoa Binh] Visited Cambodia to Seek Cooperation [with the Supreme Court of Cambodia, such as in the general field of laws, and in the training of judges]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #78, 30.12.2009

  • [The president of the Senate and of the Cambodian People’s Party] Mr. Chea Sim Encouraged the Strengthening of Discipline for Khmer Monks
  • Phnom Penh Organizes a Three-Day Exhibition [from 30 December 2009 to 1 January 2010] to Celebrate the Founding of Phnom Penh [575 years ago – at Wat Phnom]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5086, 30.12.2009

  • Civil Society Is Not Satisfied as the National Assembly Adopted the Expropriation Law
  • The Ministry of Education and Metfone [a Vietnamese mobile phone company] Signed a Memorandum of the Understanding Worth US$5 Million about the Provision of Internet Services to Public Educational Institutions and the Provision of Scholarships

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1844, 30.12.2009

  • [The Svay Rieng Court] Issued an Arrest Warrant for Mr. Sam Rainsy [he removed temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers – Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present abroad]
  • [The high ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party and chairperson of the Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking, and Audits of the National Assembly] Cheam Yeap Recognized that Some Government Officials from the Cambodian People’s Party Are Corrupt [in response to a publication of a US magazine, in which a foreign journalist criticized that children of Cambodian government officials and of oknhas compete with each other to show off their luxury cars bought with their parent’s money. And the journalist criticized it that they got much money from illegal activities, like illegal logging or committing corruption. In response, Mr. Cheam Yeap said there is really corruption committed by some officials from the CPP, but not by all. But he added that opposition party officials also commit corruption]

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Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing – Monday, 28.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia needs millions of dollars for the control of garbage, while there is a forecast that the amount of garbage will increase by many more tonnes per day in Phnom Penh, in Siem Reap, and in Sihanoukville.

“According to a study by the Korean International Cooperation Agency on environmental problems in three big cities in Cambodia, garbage is a major problem at present and in the future.

“The same source added that by now, in Phnom Penh there are about 1,100 tonnes of garbage discarded each day; in Siem Reap 88 tonnes; but there is no figure of the amount of garbage in Sihanoukville. Anyway, the amount is probably not much less than that in Siem Reap.

“According to these figures, it is forecast that in the future, because the three cities are centers of the economy and of tourism, except for Phnom Penh, which is also the center of administration, politics, and culture; garbage will heavily increase, while even the current garbage sites cannot handle the present situation.

“The current garbage site in Phnom Penh is located in the Choeung Ek area, after the [previous] Stung Meanchey garbage site was full and then had to be closed. However, the new garbage site cannot take in the increasing amount of garbage in the city.

“In Siem Reap, the garbage site is at the Trapeang Thom area, and in Sihanoukville at the Koh Ta Thon area.

“Relating to garbage issues, the South Korean experts who conducted the study, said that to ensure the depositing technically and to control the processing of the garbage, the three cities need to enlarge their garbage sites.

“A South Korean expert, Mr. Yun Hee Kim, said in Phnom Penh in an interview in mid December 2009, that in Siem Reap, in Sihanoukville, and in Phnom Penh, the amount of garbage will increase, and it is necessary to seek new garbage sites. He added, ‘The garbage site of 30 hectares in Dangkao can serve only until 2013.’

“He added that in Siem Reap, a larger area has to be sought for the Trapeang Thom area. He went on to say that at present, the area, of about 2 hectares, can accommodate only 130 to 150 tonnes of garbage per day, while the amount might rise up to 1,048 tonnes per day.

“As for Sihanoukville, it is not much different from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

“He continued to say that the Koh Ta Thon garbage site covers only 8 hectares of land and has been operated since 1995. In 2010, the province needs a new garbage site of at least 18 hectares to prepare to deposit an increasing amount of garbage.

“Regarding the problem of garbage, an environmental official, who asked not to be named, said that garbage is a major problem that Cambodia is facing at present.

“He went to say that garbage control encounters many kinds of problems because of lack of funding, adding, ‘We are concerned about garbage bins, citizens’ knowledge, garbage sites, beautification [of the city], and about sanitation.’

“He said, ‘We can just voice our concerns, but if there are no funds, nothing can be done.’

“He continued to say that nowadays, also, there are many projects on garbage, including the plan to create garbage classifying bins to ease the work to recycle garbage. ‘We are seeking investors to recycle garbage, but no ones come yet.’

“He stressed, ‘Many foreigners are interested in garbage processing in Cambodia, but most can only promise something; like at the Stung Meanchey garbage site, there was a plan to build an electricity plant [doing garbage incineration], but now it is quiet.’

“According to the same official, so far, most of the garbage in Cambodia is not recycled, but he does not have figures.

“He added, ‘Talking about garbage in Cambodia, almost 99% is not recycled, because it is disposed in a mix. We recycle some types of garbage, but it is only when it is selected for compost or for scrap objects [of plastic or metal] scavenged for selling.’

“Concerning the recycling of garbage, the report of the Korean International Cooperation Agency said that as much as 93.5% of garbage is discarded at the garbage site, 0.10% is burnt, only about 0.30% is recycled, and 6.10% is thrown away disorderly [not at the garbage site].

“In Siem Reap, 67% of the garbage is disposed of at the garbage site, recycled garbage is 11%, and 22% of the garbage is discarded illegally. For Sihanoukville, there are no figures given.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

Garbage Separation Singapore

Garbage Separation Singapore


Prepared for recycling - in Germany

Prepared for recycling - in Germany


Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 28 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #372, 27-28.12.2009

  • Vietnam Will Invest Billions in Cambodia
  • Government Officials Announced to Provide Legal Shelters to the 24 Khmer Kampuchea Krom People

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2135, 28.12.2009

  • Thailand Intends to Sue Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen at the United Nations [if his remarks affects the Thai government]
  • Samdech Euv [the retired Father King] Sent Letters to Welcome the Three Samdechs [the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, and the President of the Senate] after They Were Promoted to Five-Star-Generals
  • Within One Year 210 People Died in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh and 1,003 People Were Injured [compared to 2008, 266 people died]
  • Phnom Penh Residents Complain that There Are Lots of Mosquitoes

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #705, 28.12.2009

  • The 6th Cambodian Editor’s Forum Called [on the Prime Minister to write to] the King to Pardon All Journalists in Detention [asking also that courts should not issue detention orders for journalists before court hearings]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #565, 27-28.12.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy: The Cambodian People’s Party Is Afraid of Protests of People Who Lost Their Rice Fields at the Border, and Uses the Courts to Intimidate Them
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)] Criticized Cambodia for a Development Path That Leads Workers to Work Abroad

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6842, 28.12.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$2 Million to Build a Center for Storing [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Document with a Building at the Council of Ministers
  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Military Officials and Other Representatives of the Authorities Celebrated Together to Welcome the Year 2010 [at the border]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #76, 28.12.2009

  • Cambodia Will Receive Investments of US$6 Billion from Vietnam [to invest in power generation, food processing, fertilizer production, rubber plantations, and health care in Cambodia]
  • Two Soldiers in Preah Vihear Died from an [accidental] Grenade Explosion
  • Cambodia Angkor Air Achieves Profits [but no figures are given]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5084, 27-28.12.2009

    Experts: Cambodia Has Not Enough Space for Garbage Disposal, while the Need Is Still Growing

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1842, 28.12.2009

  • The Defense Lawyer of Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked the [Svay Rieng] Court to Delay the Hearing in Court [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers]

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Listening to Husband and Wife Who Live with AIDS in Siem Reap,Talking about Difficulties to Receive Life Extending Drugs – Saturday, 26.12.2009

Posted on 27 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“Siem Reap: A Husband and wife who live among more than 3,000 people who are also living with AIDS and are receiving life extending drugs in Siem Reap and in neighboring provinces, talked about their difficulties to receive life extending drugs at the Siem Reap referral hospital. Below is what they said:

1. Services Provided Depend on Salaries

“I and my wife received life extending drugs for free through the [French NGO] Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 2004 until mid 2008. After receiving these life extending drugs, I seemed to have gained hope to continue living, as I and my wife were cared for and we were offered non-discriminating services free of charge.

“But it is disappointing that after MSF had finished their term, the situation changed, as we continued to receive drugs and services from the Siem Reap referral hospital. More than 3,000 people have AIDS, including I and my wife, and we receive now services from state doctors.

“But in actual fact, we are not offered the same intensive services like before, starting from the point submitting the Patient’s Books to get queuing numbers to receive health counseling and blood examinations, for checking and for observations. These activities are offered with discrimination by the hospital’s service providers in a rude attitude.

“If we compare the wide gap between the present services to those provided by MSF, the present personnel does not speak responsibly, like saying, ‘State medics who earn Riel 100,000 to Riel 200,000 [approx. US$24 to 48] as their salaries, they provide services based on it. It is not like that organization’s medics who earn US$400 to US$500.’

2. A Money Number Is Quicker than a Queuing Number

“Every time I and my wife are to receive life extending drugs, we have to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. to submit our Patient’s Books in exchange for queuing numbers. I noticed that every time, even though we try to arrive early, we can hardly receive low queuing numbers to meet our doctors soon. We have to pass by an informal checkpoint (a group of people in charge of checking our books for the appointment dates). If I am not mistaken, they are not members of the staff of the state hospital. The purpose of this group is to make us feel bored if we have to wait for a long time, in order to extort money. This is really true, because once they talked to me, directly asking me and my wife to give them Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.40] to Riel 20,000, so that they will arrange for us to see the doctors soon, without following the sequence of the queuing numbers. Riel 10,000 is not much for the rich. But as it is known, we are people living with AIDS, before we could receive free life extending drugs, we had sold our property to have money for medical treatment, like for buying medicines from private hospitals, and we consulted also traditional medicine men. Finally, we decided to come to receive services from the state hospital, because we have almost no more money left, and we do not even have enough money to buy our daily food. How can we have money to pay for that group (that offers to disregard the queuing numbers)?

3.Having Money in a Vessel or Having a Blood Vessel

“When the date for a blood test came, I and my wife entered the room of a female doctor (short, short hair, and broad hips). Later on I knew she is Dr. Phary. Arriving in the room, I greeted and chatted with her for a short while, but after she checked my book, she did not start to do her work. She was busy talking on the phone with other persons. Then she went out and came in repeatedly, keeping me and my wife waiting for a long time in her room. When she came into the room again, other patients followed her to meet her. (Looking at their appearance and jewelry) I thought they are her important clients. They handed their books to the doctor, and I saw they had put Riel 20,000 in it. Because she saw the money, Dr. Phary became friendly towards them and started taking their blood, and they did not need to wait long like me. After that she told her clients, ‘Next time before you come, phone me first, and you do not need to take a queuing number…’ (people having money are welcome, I thought). Because we had been waiting already for a long time, I asked the doctor to now take my blood test. I said, ‘Is it because I do not have money though I came first? Why do you let me wait this way?’ She stared at me as if I were her enemy and started to take my wife’s blood first. For my turn, I did not expect she would mistreat me as a revenge, by injecting the needle many times, missing the blood vessel. Then I realized: having no money is having no blood vessel!

4. Examinations at the Private Parts

For such examinations, I just want to ask the hospital or the AIDS authorities to offer training also to women as counselors, so that female patients would not have to be examined by male counselors. When women need health examinations about AIDS, they have to meet male doctors in charge of women’s diseases. If there were female doctors in charge of women’s diseases, they would have different ethics as medics. But what this group said is immoral and improper for Khmer women.

“All in all, regarding the four points mentioned above, I want the provision of life extending drugs to be strengthened, so that it is smooth and not discriminating, and patients do not have to feel bored every time they go to receive drugs.

“I believe that they make it difficult for us to receive services from state hospitals, so as to create opportunities to do their private businesses (by directly contacting doctors, and using the informal group checking appointments).

“Above is a sad account of people living with AIDS, and the authorities, at all levels, working with AIDS patients, should consider this.

“Regarding the above account, after journalists of Rasmei Kampuchea had received the letter from a representative of people having AIDS, at 10:00 a.m. on 25 December 2009, we contacted the head of the Siem Reap referral hospital, Mr. Pen Phalkun, for a comment, and he responded that this case will have its effect for people having AIDS, and he emphasized that he would question those doctors before noon of 25 December 2009, before he would come to Phnom Penh on the same day.

“Mr. Pen Phalkun stressed that doctors are not allowed to extort money from people living with AIDS, or to take life extending drugs home. He will investigate this case further. He asked back, ‘Do you know the names of these doctors?’ If he knew names, he would take action immediately.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5083, 26.12.2009


Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 26 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #371, 26.12.2009

  • Illegal Logging Becomes Serious in Ratanakiri
  • Siamese [Thai] Leaders Denied Planning Coup in Cambodia and Want Indonesian President to Be Mediator
  • A 11-Year-Old Boy Is Charged of Raping a 7-Year-Old Girl [Poipet]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2134, 26.12.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Wants to Alone Take the Responsibility for the Removal of the Temporary Border Markers
  • In 2009, 37,000 of the 40,000 People WITH AIDS Receive Life Extending Drugs
  • A Woman Knocked Down the Pope on Christmas Day

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #564, 26.12.2009

  • What Is behind the Idea of [the president of the National Assembly] Mr. Heng Samrin to Shut off the Microphone to Stop [opposition party parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay to Ask [the head of the Border Committee of Cambodia] Mr. Var Kimhong Questions about Border Issues?

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6841, 26-27.12.2009

  • More Than 2,000 People Marched to Demand to Postpone the Land Clearance [of 5,000 hectares by a company in Mondolkiri]
  • [Temporary] Records of Marriages, Births, and Deaths in the City in 2009 Show 4,500 Marriages, 12,068 Births, and 1,899 Deaths [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5083, 26.12.2009

  • Listening to Husband and Wife Who Live with AIDS in Siem Reap,Talking about Difficulties to Receive Life Extending Drugs
  • Thai Leaders Denied Planning War and Violence against Cambodia and against [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra
  • Vietnam Establishes a Large-Scale Fertilizer Factory in Cambodia [which can produce 500,000 tonnes of fertilizer each year, in Kien Svay, Kandal, at a cost of US$65 million]
  • China Granted US$3 Million to Create a Forest Park at the Bottom of the Koulen Mountains [Siem Reap]

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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