Preah Vihear – Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Solution: “Dialogue, No Winning or Losing” – Sunday, 8.8.2010

Posted on 8 August 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 676 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 676

When The Mirror presented, as last Sunday’s issue, a series of quotes and excerpts from publicly available documents it was done with the hope that some quick negative conclusions – not based on available texts, either disregarding, or even contradicting them – can be avoided.

Some steps in time are clear and not contested, especially the 1962 decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, stating that it …FINDS THAT THE TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR IS SITUATED IN TERRITORY UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CAMBODIA.

Some other steps on the way are less well known widely, while they were also called into memory, for example some principles on which the World Heritage List is operated, as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. It is not about national interests, but about culture as “part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole.” The convention makes it clear that decisions about cultural world heritage do not make any judgment on the sovereignty and territory of States:

Whilst fully respecting the sovereignty of the States on whose territory the cultural and natural heritage… is situated, and without prejudice to property right provided by national legislation, the States Parties to this Convention recognize that such heritage constitutes a world heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to co-operate. (Article 6.1).

The inclusion of a property situated in a territory, sovereignty or jurisdiction over which is claimed by more than one State, shall in no way prejudice the rights of the parties to the dispute. (Article 11.3).

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is concerned about World Heritage Sites, “part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole,” not about the solution of border problems.

There are rules and decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and there are declarations on the way to the decision of 2008 when the Temple of Preah Vihear was listed as a World Heritage Site, together with decisions how to elaborate its management. Though a management plan, prepared by the Cambodian side, is to be discussed only by the next meeting of the World Heritage Committee in 2011, statements by Prime Minister Hun Sen, quoted in the Cambodia Daily on 5 August 2010, cleared the way into the future:


“Mr. Hun Sen said yesterday that dialogue was the way forward for the two countries. ‘We will use dialogue to solve the rest of the problem,’ he said. ‘I don’t want winning or losing – it is better that we have the win together in solving the problem.’”

Actually, there are two separate – but related – problems:

One problem is concerned with the management plan for Preah Vihear requested by the World Heritage Committee with its 2008 decision to list the Temple of Preah Vihear, where it:

Notes that the property proposed for inscription is reduced and comprises only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves;
Encourages Cambodia to collaborate with Thailand for safeguarding the value of the property, in view of the fact that peoples of the surrounding region have long treasured the Temple of Preah Vihear,..
Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards…

The other problem is related to the demarcation of the Cambodian-Thai border, for which both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2000. The Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was quoted on 8 August 2010, to have said that “Thailand has no intention of revoking the border Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cambodia inked in 2000” – he said so in response to a “demonstration in the [Thai] capital yesterday demanding the Thai government to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding.” The same report says that “under the Memorandum of Understanding, Cambodia and Thailand need to consult each other if they want to carry out any activities in the disputed 4.6 sq km territory claimed by both countries near the Preah Vihear Temple.” It is not clear whether this Memorandum was published in the media in Cambodia – only the fact of its existence, not its content, has been referenced regularly in the press.

That these border problems also need to be addressed, was obviously agreed by both sides, as it is stated in the large Cambodian 2008 Submission Document, separating the two issues: the World Heritage inscription – and the border problems:

On 6 May 2008 His Excellency Mr. SOK An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, welcomed his Excellency Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand accompanied by a Thai delegation during their visit to Phnom Penh. The Kingdom of Cambodia strongly stresses that the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear is without prejudice to the demarcation work of the Cambodian-Thai Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) between Cambodia and Thailand; and the zoning (“Zonage” in French) stipulated in the document submitted by Cambodia to UNESCO shall not be considered as boundary line.

The Kingdom of Thailand reconfirmed its support of the Heritage Committee to be held in Quebec, Canada in July 2008. For it part, the Kingdom of Cambodia, in a spirit of goodwill and conciliation, accepted to inscribe the Temple of Preah Vihear on the List of the World Heritage, at this stage, without a buffer zone on the north and west of the Temple

The proposals of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has also in other situations worked successful for win-win results, solving complex problems, provide a clear way towards a solution for both problem, based on the existing common agreements.

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The Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Is Sentenced to Serve 35 Years in Prison – Tuesday, 27.7.2010

Posted on 28 July 2010. Filed under: Week 675 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 675

“Phnom Penh: The former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Kaing Kek Eav was sentenced by the trial chamber of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to serve 35 years in prison, but this verdict was criticized in the general public, especially by victims of the Tuol Sleng prison.

“In the morning of 26 July 2010, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia [ECCC] opened a hearing to announce the verdict in Case 001, on the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Kaing Kek Eav. About 1,000 citizens and victims of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, as well as about 100 national and international reporters, participated in the event.

“During the announcement of the verdict, after the conclusion of the procedures had been announced at 11:05, the head of the trial chamber, Judge Nel Non, ordered Duch to stand up and he announced that after considering the evidence and all considerations from all sides, the trial chamber concluded that Kaing Kek Eav is guilty according to Article 5 and 6, and the new Article 26 of the ECCC about crimes against humanity and about the mistreatment of political prisoners, including the crimes against humanity of massacre as well as slaughter, slavery, detention, torture, and one rape case, as well as other inhuman acts, and a severe abuse against the Treaties of International Humanitarian Law, signed in Geneva on 12 August 1949.

“Judge Nel Non added that, based on the reasons mentioned in the judgment, the trial chamber does not consider any culpability of the accused over the allegation of genocide which violates Article 501, 506, and 500 of the criminal code of Cambodia of 1956 that can be prosecuted at the trial chamber, following the new Article 3 of the ECCC. He stressed that to determine the appropriate punishment, the trial chamber, considering all circumstances of the case, valued the burden of each punishment, including the atrocities committed against 12,273 victims, and the trial chamber considered also that there should be a reduction of the punishment of the sentence for the accused through a prison term with a limited period rather than to sentence him to life imprisonment. The reduction of the penalty is based on the cooperation of the accused with the trial chamber, his recognition of his responsibility, and his expression of remorse; therefore, the trial chamber decided to jail Kaing Kek Eav for 35 years. However, this verdict was strongly criticized by some victims of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, while some are satisfied with it.

“Mr. Chum Mey, a victim of the Democratic Kampuchea regime who was under Duch’s control in the Tuol Sleng prison, told journalists that this tribunal has proceeded well since the start by allowing victims to visit the Tuol Sleng criminal center twice a week. But he regretted that the judges announced a verdict to sentence Duch only for 35 years in jail.

“Also a citizen from Kompong Speu, who went to watch the announcement of the verdict in the morning of 26 July 2010, said that he is satisfied with the verdict announced by the judges, because within 35 years, Duch might die in jail, as he is now already 68 years old. Other citizens who attended the event expressed also similar ideas.

“Ms. Hong Savath, 47, participating in the announcement of the verdict of Case 001 of the former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Kek Eav, alias Duch, cried until she almost fainted, when she had heard the verdict announced by the judges to convict him to 35 years in prison. She said that she wanted Duch to serve the rest of his life in prison, because her parents were killed and raped in the Tuol Sleng prison during Duch’s time in office.

“The spokesperson of the ECCC, Mr. Reach Sambath, said that morning during a press conference after the pronouncement of the verdict, ‘Today, the ECCC created an important historical milestone for the Cambodian people; this is the first time that a verdict was made against a person who committed serious crimes during the Democratic Kampuchea regime, after it was overthrown on 7 January 1979.’ He added that also in 1979, a verdict had been announced, but it was different in the point that those who were considered highly responsible for serious crimes were not present to answers to the accusations, as it happened in the present hearings. Since this court was established in 2006, Cambodian people in the whole country have observed and studied the procedural proceedings applied this time.

“Mr. Reach Sambath added that at the hearing during the announcement of the verdict of Duch, in the morning of 26 July 2010, there were about 1,000 persons attending, while millions of other citizens were watching and listening to the live broadcast on all television channels and on many radio stations, sharing the information nationwide.

“A co-prosecutor of the ECCC, Ms. Chea Leang, said during the press conference that such a decision is a historic event for Cambodia. It is more than 30 years since the Khmer Rouge Regime had fallen from power and was forced to stop its violence. Nothing can eliminate the pain and misery of many citizens and their families, but the verdict represents now a trustworthy legal action toward war crimes which were committed as a policy of the Khmer Rouge.

“Ms. Chea Leang went on to say that the co-prosecutors are considering to appeal the verdict on Case 001, checking whether it is acceptable or not.

“According to the announcement of the ECCC, Kaing Kek Eav is the first person brought for sentencing at the ECCC. Kaing Kek Eav used to be deputy chief, and later on chief of the S-21 Center, a security center with the duty to interrogate and kill any persons suspected by the communist party to be enemies of the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

“It should be noted that the verdict of former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Kaing Kek Eav, called Duch, for 35 years imprisonment, starts to count from the day of his arrest on 10 May 1999. But considering the cooperation of the accused and his recognition of his acts, 5 years are reduced, so that 30 years remain. Therefore, starting from the day of his arrest, Duch has still to serve only 19 years in prison, counting from the pronouncement of the verdict on 26 July 2010. Compared with the former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov [convicted to about 100 years in prison], Duch received a lower punishment.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2311, 27.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2311, 27.7.2010

  • The Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Is Sentenced to Serve 35 Years in Prison
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Promised that Cambodia Is Open for Singaporean Investors [he said so during his visit to Singapore, extending from 25 to 27 July 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7018, 27.7.2010

  • A Former Prisoner of the Tuol Sleng Prison [Mr. Chum Mey] Reacted: I Cannot Accept the Verdict Sentencing Duch [to serve 35 years in prison, but when some years are deducted because he has been in prison already in the past, he has to serve only 19 years more]
  • The European Union Granted Euro 2 Million [approx. US$2.6 million] to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3942, 27.7.2010

  • The Verdict Is Announced to Sentence the Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief to a 35 Years Term of Imprisonment, but There Is Still No Prison to Jail Him
  • The Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Continue to Ban Khmer Citizens from Doing Rice Cultivation on Khmer Territory along the Border in Takeo [while the Khmer authorities in Takeo said that Khmer farmers have the full right to do farming along the border and Vietnam has no right to stop them]

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #14, 27.7.2010

  • Duch Can Get Out of Jail When He Is 92 Years Old
  • [The Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Said Thailand Will Not Recognize a Cambodian Map [not mentioned which map] during a Meeting in Brazil [he said if the World Heritage Committee meeting there agrees with the Cambodian request to develop the Preah Vihear Temple region, Thailand will have its strategies in place, not disclosing details at present, against such a decision]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #223, 27.7.2010

  • Duch Is Sentenced to Get 35 Years in Jail, but He Will Serve only still 19 Years when Considering the Time He Has Served already, however Victims Are Disappointed
  • The Opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party Asked for an Intervention by [the Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An [to allow 1,255 families in Siem Reap to reconstruct their houses and selling stalls, after they had been banned by the Apsara Authority, claiming it was against the law of the Angkor heritage area, as this act of the authorities affects their livelihood – Leang Dai commune, Angkor Thom district]
  • The Export of Garments in the First Six Months Increased by 10% [to US$1.3 billion – according to the Ministry of Commerce]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5260, 27.7.2010

  • Duch Killed 12,273 People – That Means He Serves One Day in Prison for Killing One Person
  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Called on Singaporean Businesspeople to Take Up Investment Opportunities in Cambodia

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Court Reform Is Necessary – Saturday, 24.7.2010

Posted on 25 July 2010. Filed under: Week 674 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 674

“Recently, the Ministry of Justice issued a special letter to warn court officials not to do improper activities as this might invite public criticism. In a letter dated 16 July 2010, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Ang VongVathana, wrote that officials of the Ministry have received many complaints from the general public accusing court officials, especially, clerks, without giving their names. The Minister added in the letter that the role of clerks is to take notes, to keep the complaint documents, and to fulfill their role properly according to the legal procedures, neutral and non-biased.

“The Minister of Justice warns in the letter that clerks must not be biased towards any sides during the hearing process and they must follow the orders of judges and of prosecutors in order to gain trust in the judicial system from the public. Such a warning from the Minister of Justice towards clerks is new, but he seems not to consider the judges and prosecutors in the provinces and cities who also commit improper acts.

“Regarding the above issue, the chief of cabinet of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Sam Prochea Meaneth, said that the letter was sent to all municipal courts in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Ministry aims at all court officials, particularly at clerks who work with lawsuits of citizens. Clerks at the courts do not have the power to pass judgments in any cases. The decision by the Minister of Justice to issue this letter was not because of any special cases or accusations about wrongdoings, but it was issued as part of judicial reforms.

“Observers of the court system in Cambodia said that the letter of the Minister, dated 16 July 2010, deals only with one part of the problem; it warns only clerks who may be creating problems. But judges and prosecutors, who had committed corruption, like by changing a case from wrong to right, are not warned by the Ministry of Justice and admonished to implement their roles appropriately. Corruption in the court system can result from collusion among clerks, judges, and prosecutors. Therefore to put the burden only on clerks is not proper, because it disregards the irregularities committed by some corrupt judges and prosecutors towards poor citizens.

“Officials of non-government organizations said that they often heard of complaints from citizens expressing their disappointment about the courts and especially about clerks. Non-government organizations said that when citizens have money, clerks seem to care about their complaints, but if they do not have money, clerks discriminate against them and delay their cases for a long time before starting to work on them. The issue of the letter of the Minister is a positive sign, but it is still not covering the whole truth. The most important thing is that the Ministry of Justice makes the citizens trust in the court system of Cambodia.

“Many citizens have already been victimized by judges and prosecutors who colluded with powerful officials to grab their land. In some cases, the corruption of judges and prosecutors has been revealed publicly by citizens, like in land disputes in Ratanakiri. But in the end, the Ministry of Justice did not take any legal action against corrupt those judges and prosecutors, but just assigned them to work as judges and prosecutors in other provinces. Such dealings make citizens to distrust the court system, and they curse powerful officials who grab their land.

“At present, the court system of Cambodia is being criticized by national and international circles, accusing it to be a tool of the ruling party that serves only the rich and the powerful. But for poor victimized citizens as well as for politicians of the opposition, the courts do not seem to provide them justice according to the law. Thus, judicial reform is necessary to avoid that citizens lose trust in the institution of the courts. In the meantime, the international community and the donors must encourage the Cambodian government to speed up reforming the court system, as it had promised. Clerks, judges, and prosecutors, who commit corruption by using law for personal benefit, must be punished according to the law.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3940, 24-25.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2309, 24.7.2010

  • Three Men Were Arrested with 570 kg of Borax Powder Used for Applying on Food [to make it last longer] Affecting Human Health [Phnom Penh – Borax, a real multi-purpose chemical]
  • A Laotian Man Was Arrested together with More Than 3,000 Drug Tablets

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7016, 24-25.7.2010

  • Victims and Former Prisoners of the Tuol Sleng Prison Asked for a Life Sentence Imprisonment for Duch [his sentence will be announced on 26 July 2010]

  • Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3940, 24-25.7.2010

    • Court Reform Is Necessary
    • Cambodia Needs Investors and Tax Favors from the USA to Create a Good Atmosphere at the 60th Anniversary of Having Diplomatic Ties

    • The USA Announced to Provide US$187 Million in Aid for Three Years for the Countries of the Indochina Region [Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam] to Address Poverty and to Conserve the Lower Mekong River

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5258, 24.7.2010

    • The Cambodian Prime Minister: The Royal Government Will Make Cambodia [the third] Rice Exporting Country [after Thailand and Vietnam in Asia]

    • [Secretary of State of the USA] Clinton Criticized the Human Rights Situation in Vietnam [during the ASEAN-US meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Vietnam – but indirectly supported Vietnam in its claim on some Islands in the South China Sea contested by China]

    • The [Angkor Sentinel 2010] Military Exercise at the Command Post Level [for peace keeping] Was Finished Successfully [Phnom Penh]

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  • The Export and Import of Cambodia Increased by 16% – Thursday, 22.7.2010

    Posted on 23 July 2010. Filed under: Week 674 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 674

    “According to figures from the Ministry of Commerce, the export and import of Cambodia increase by 16% in the first six months of this year, compared to last year.

    Note:

    We are unable to understand the meaning of the added up export and import figures, and the calculated combined percentage numbers for export and import together. The absolute figures, given separately for exports and for imports, are, of course, clear in their meaning, also the comparisons of present and of past years within exports and within imports, separately.
    Any help to understand these combined “export and import sum and percentage” figures – via Comments – is appreciated.
    Norbert Klein

    “As said by experts, the commerce grows due to increasing global demand.

    “Nevertheless, some experts warned that the economic recovery is in a delicate condition.

    “A secretary of state of the Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Chan Nora, said, ‘Commerce should be growing during this period as the global economy is recovering, while also the consumption of products increases. Especially, the Ministry of Commerce is trying to coordinate exports.

    “Reports for the first six months show that imports increased by more than 18% to US$2,183 million this year, compared to the corresponding period last year with US$1,844 million.

    “The exports increased by 13.14% to US$1,498 million. Compared to the same period last year, exports amounted to US$1,324 million, where 70% was related to garment products.

    “The figures demonstrate that exports and imports in the first six months of 2010 increase by 16.19% to US$3,168 million compared to the same period last year.

    “However, some observers noticed that the Cambodian economy is still facing dangers, as overall economic activity still drops, though the figures show an increase.

    “The director of the Khov Chuly Group importing construction materials, Mr. Khov Phalaboth, said that even though there is progress in the real estate, agricultural, and industrial sectors, it seems too quick to say that the Cambodian economy has completely recovered. He said, ‘The economic downturn has not completely come to an end. Hazards remain. Typically, it is like recovering from sickness, but things might still get worse.’

    “Mr. Chan Nora went on to say the increase in imports by Cambodia encourages an increase in exports. He said, ‘The local garment and textile sectors are doing better, causing also an increase in the demand for raw materials.’ The head of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, said, ‘The growth in commerce is really vigorous.’ He added that the increase in exports and imports is a measure of the economic growth of Cambodia. According to the National Bank of Cambodia, exports and imports dropped by about 17% from US$10,633 million in 2008 to only US$8,827 million in 2009.

    “At present, the government is also looking into the future. Mr. Chan Nora said that the Ministry of Commerce is actively negotiating about the export of agricultural products to China, but the quality of local products is still an obstacle.

    “He said, ‘We had asked people to send experts here to improve the quality of our products. We want to export our own manufactured products so as to get higher prices.’ He added that agricultural products are becoming important local products for export.” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #220, 22.7.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 22 July 2010

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2307, 22.7.2010

    • The Government Dismissed the Report of Human Rights Watch [about rights abuses and mistreatment of sex workers]
    • The Ministry of Justice Warned Court Officials and Clerks to Punish Them if They Act against Their Professional Standards [for example if clerks work as if they were in the position of judges or prosecutors]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3938, 22.7.2010

    • Sam Rainsy’s and Mu Sochua’s Cases [about the uprooting of Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers, and about defamation] Could Come to an End through Internal Political Arrangements via the International Community [officials of the Sam Rainsy Party hope so]
    • 114 Families in the District of Kien Svay Accuse Some Officials of Grabbing 46 Hectare of Rice Fields [Kandal]

    Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #10, 22.7.2010

    • [The president of the Cambodian People’s Party] Samdech Chea Sim: Cambodia Develops Quickly because of Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen’s] Governing [he said so during the 35th meeting of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party]
    • The Government Hopes that the United State of America Will Cancel the Debt of More Than US$300 Million [owed by Cambodia since the time of the Lon Nol government, said the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sok An, during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Cambodian-US diplomatic ties in Phnom Penh]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #220, 22.7.2010

    • The Export and Import of Cambodia Increased by 16%
    • Five Khmer Fishermen Returned from Indonesia [after they had been detained there for almost one year; before they had been forced to work like slaves for nearly two years on a Thai fishing vessel]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5256, 22.7.2010

    • Cambodia Prepares to Negotiate with Countries of the European Union to Lift Three Kinds of Visa Requirements [in diplomatic, official, and normal passports; the lift of visa requirements in diplomatic and official passports would help strengthen relations between the governments, and the lifting of visa requirements in normal passports would help to attract tourists between the countries]
    • The Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union [held from 19 to 21 July 2010 in Geneva] Called on All Parliament Leaders to Help to Avert Further Global Crises
    • The Department of Labor Issued an Official Letter to Suspend the Operation of the Champa Manpower Company [that did send workers to Malaysia; after this company was found holding workers, including underage girls, in a bad living environment]

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    The Economic Exploitation from Blood Donations Is Against the Moral of Medical Professionalism – Tuesday, 15.6.2010

    Posted on 15 June 2010. Filed under: Week 669 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 669

    “Phnom Penh: A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health said that the exploitation from blood donations and from blood infusions is against the moral of medical professionalism and it must be avoided.

    “A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health, Ms. Ouk Monna, said so during a World Blood Donors’ Day event, held on 14 June 2010 at the National Institute of Education, focusing on young donors with the slogan ‘New Blood for the World.’ ‘The economic exploitation from blood donations and blood injections is totally against the moral of medical professionalism, and such behavior must be avoided.’ She added, ‘The elimination of these activities can earn trust from the general public, and it will lead to receiving 100% voluntary blood donations from the Cambodian people.’

    “She went on to say that like the focus says clearly, the Ministry of Health strongly supports the National Blood Transfusion Center to make more efforts in order to meet the safe, sufficient, and timely supply of blood as needed by patients at different hospitals. Safe blood donations are supportive services for the treatment and the care for patients, and they help to reduce the death rate of patients.

    “Ms. Ouk Monna continued to say that in order to promote the provision of health services, the National Blood Transfusion Center must make broader publicity efforts about voluntarism to donate blood, so that citizens, including young people in the communities, as well as civil servants at different institutions, departments, and at the ministries gain knowledge about it and join to donate blood.

    “According to a report from the National Blood Donation Center, in 2009 35,895 bags of blood were donated by volunteers from different families and from friends of patients, and about 51% of the donated blood was used in different hospitals in Phnom Penh, and the rest of 49% in hospitals in the provinces countrywide.

    “The director of the National Blood Donation Center, Mr. Nhem Thuok said, ‘The national blood donation service is under the administration of the Ministry of Health and its key role is to implement a blood safety strategy policy where the major goal is to guarantee safe, sufficient, and timely blood donations in order to meet the demands of patients at public and private hospitals nationwide.’

    “He added that since the reestablishment of blood donation services in 1991, the collection of blood donated by volunteers around the country keeps increasing, and it is in line with the improvement of the health infrastructure that leads to the growing use of blood. He went on to say that there are only 3 volunteers donating their blood among 1,000 people, a very low rate. According to a study, there will not be sufficient blood supplies unless 2 among 100 people donate their blood.

    Ms. Dith Kimean, a volunteer blood donors, said, ‘The World Blood Donors Day does encourage and educate youth to do social work to help the society, especially also to save people’s lives through the voluntary donation of blood.’ She added that every year, millions of people in the world, including thousands of Cambodian people, need blood so that their lives can be saved after they had an accident or a sickness that makes them lose blood.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5224, 15.6.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 15 June 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #504, 15.6.2010

    • The Economic Exploitation from Blood Donations Is Against the Moral of Medical Professionalism
    • The Judgment of the International Court in The Hague [of 15 June 1962, which decided that the Preah Vihear Temple is on Cambodian land] Is Commemorated [by officials of the Cambodian government, of non-government organizations, and of opposition party members] and They Call on Thailand to Withdraw Troops from Border Regions [the question of the borders between Cambodia and Thailand had not been finally resolved at that time].

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2275, 15.6.2010

    • Thirty One Families in the Andoung Trabaek Commune Were Shot at and Evicted from Their Homes [by forestry officials – Svay Rieng]
    • Three People Were Killed in a Traffic Accident on National Road 1 [when a motorbike struck a truck – Kandal]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #681, 15.6.2010

    • Putting the [Cambodian-Vietnamese] Border Markers Number 292, 293, 294, and 295 [in the Prey Tonle Commune, Banteay Meas district, Kampot] Makes Some Commune and Police Officials [from the Cambodian People’s Party and some other citizens] Lose Their Rice Fields to Yuon [Vietnam – this is the claim of a citizen who asked not to be named]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6982, 15.6.2010

    • [About eighty] Citizens [representing 136 families] from the Memut District Asked Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Solve a Land Dispute [of 250 hectares; two representatives were arrested and others were threatened that they will be arrested if they do not agree to remove their houses and give their thumb prints to deliver their land to another person]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3906, 15.6.2010

    • Citizens Victimized by Land Disputes Delivered a Petition to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia Quietly [Phnom Penh]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #193, 15.6.2010

    • [The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia] Subedi Promised to Take Land Disputes to the Government [after citizens from different provinces and cities victimized by land disputes gathered in front of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Phnom Penh to send him a petition]
    • Cambodia Was Praised [by the US Department of State] over the Fight against Human Trafficking [through the strengthening of law enforcement]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5224, 15.6.2010

    • The Judgment of the International Court in The Hague [of 15 June 1962, which decided that the Preah Vihear Temple is on Cambodian land] Is Commemorated [by officials of the Cambodian government, of non-government organizations, and of opposition party members] and They Call on Thailand to Withdraw Troops from Border Regions [the question of the borders between Cambodia and Thailand was not finally resolved at that time]
    • Three People Were Killed because Stones Fell on Them [after there were lightnings] while They Were Taking Shelter from the Rain [in a cave – Kampot]

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    Japan Grants Aid for the Establishment of a Marine Aquaculture Development Center in Cambodia – Saturday, 24.4.2010

    Posted on 25 April 2010. Filed under: Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

    “Phnom Penh: The Imperial Government of Japan grants Yen 624 million, approx. US$6.5 million, for the establishment of a Marine Aquaculture Development Center in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    “The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the center will be held in the morning of 26 April 2010 in Tumnub Rolok commune, Sihanoukville, and will be chaired by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Mr. Chan Sarun, and by the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Kuroki Masafumi.

    “An announcement of the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] dated 23 April 2010 says that the plan to construct a Marine Aquaculture Development Center in the Kingdom of Cambodia was initiated with the goal to promote maritime aquaculture in order to respond to the demands for sea-food from a growing number of fishermen, and to reduce the pressure on fishery, as well as to curtail the import of not healthy fish from abroad.

    “The announcement adds that the new plan, funded by the Japanese government, will also provide equipment and material for research, and support also the construction of an administration building, a building to store fish eggs before they are hatched, a building for hatching, a breeding building, as well as materials for aquaculture research.

    “In addition to research and the development of marine aquaculture, the plan also focuses on building up the capacity of the center to produce 400,000 young fish per year.

    “There are three fresh water aquaculture development centers in Cambodia: in Bati district in Takeo, in Prey Veng, and in the Chrang Chamres commune in the Russey district, Phnom Penh.

    “It should be remembered that aid from the Japanese government to support agriculture in Cambodia amounted to about US$10 million by 2008, and the total amount of aid from the Japanese government from 1992 to 2009 was US$1.8 billion.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5180, 24.4.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 24 April 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #461, 24.4.2010

    • In 2010, More Than 64 Million People Live Under the Poverty Line, Encountering the Global Economic Crisis [according to the World Bank]

    Note:

    We were not able to verify these numbers, but share instead the following information, also based on World Bank data:

    Poverty Around The World

    by Anup Shah (This Page Was Last Updated Monday, 1 March 2010)

    At a poverty line of $1.25 a day, the revised estimates find:

    • 1.4 billion people live at this poverty line or below.
    • This is more than the previous estimate of 984 million with the older measure of a $1 a day in 2004.
    • In 1981, the estimated number of poor was also revised upward, from 1.5 billion to 1.9 billion.

    The World Bank notes that “the incidence of poverty in the world is higher than past estimates have suggested. The main reason is that [previous data] had implicitly underestimated the cost of living in most developing countries.”

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2231, 24.4.2010

    • [Fifty eight] Non-Government Organizations and Associations Condemn the Intention [of some Thai extremists] to Remove Border Posts
    • A School Building Was Destroyed by a Tropical Storm, and a Lightning Killed a Person in Ek Phnom District [Battambang]
    • Within One Month [from 23 March to 23 April 2010], Thirteen People Were Killed and Forty Others Were Injured by traffic accidents in Phnom Penh

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6938, 24.4.2010

    • Some Countries [England, France, and Australia] Alert Their Citizens in Thailand to Stay Away from Bangkok [as violence might break out]

    Note:

    While finalizing this edition of The Mirror, there is a constant streem of news coming in from Bangkok over the Internet:

    Late in the evening, some of the red-shirt leaders called on their followers to take off their red shirts (so that they cannot be identified by the authorities) and mix into the population as guerrilla, and “to finish the whole game” before the Thai King will speak on 26 April at 17:00 to 101 newly appointed judges – an event which had been announced today, for the first public statement of the King.

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3862, 24-25.4.2010

    • The Eviction of Citizens and Land Disputes Lead to Food Insecurity and Poverty – the European Union Announced Food Aid [of US$2.6 million for Cambodia]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5180, 24.4.2010

    • Japan Grants Aid for the Establishment of a Marine Aquaculture Development Center in Cambodia
    • [Prek Kompeus] Commune Chief and Residents Appeal to the Public, Describing their Land Dispute with the Heng Development Company [Kandal]
    • [Takeyama Osamu – 竹山修] The Mayor of Sakai City [堺市市長] and His Delegation Comes from Japan to Study Tourism in Cambodia [very informative website Sakai City: For Foreign Residents and Visitors (in English, Chinese, and Korean)
    • A Tropical Storm Caused 17 Houses to Collapse and Inured Two People in Siem Reap

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    The Passing of the Anti-Corruption Law, and Planned Changes in Telecommunications – Sunday, 14.3.2010

    Posted on 15 March 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 655 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 655

    As regular readers of The Mirror know, we often quote the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia to have a clear basis when trying to better understand certain actions and events. Today’s editorial is written hoping for discussions and explanations, and, if necessary, clarifications and corrections. Recently, there were actions and statements, which seem to call for explanations and clarifications, so that a common public understanding can be achieved. One issue is related to the Anti-Corruption Law, and the other to regulatory plans or decisions in the field of telecommunications.

    As for the Anti-Corruption Law, this is not an attempt to analyze its content. It is only to share some observations, some of which seem to have implications related to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    The first observation is related to formalities, as this is the Cambodian law which has been drafted for the longest time compared to other laws – since 1994, and with active support for this process by the United Nations since 2004. Then, in December 2009, the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers announced that the draft is now ready, but he disclosed only one point: that also the heads of NGOs would have to declare their assets, adding that the text would be available for consideration as soon as it would be at the National Assembly. This too took a surprisingly long time; because of timing problems, the parliamentarians of the Human Rights Party declared not to take part in the parliamentary deliberations of this draft, as they did not have enough time to review this important text, which was actually distributed only on 5 March 2010, while a session of the National Assembly was scheduled to be held already on 10 March 2010. And then the draft, under deliberation since 1994, was adopted very fast, without any amendments, in just one and a half days.

    An Anti-Corruption Law had been awaited eagerly since years, as Cambodia was ranked 158 out of 180 countries on the latest list of the corruption perception index of Transparency International, and it was ranked the second most corrupt Southeast Asian country after Indonesia, in an annual poll by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy.

    The UN country team in Cambodia, made up of 23 specialized agencies, had expressed its concern that an extra-ordinary session was convened only days after the draft had been shared with the members of the National Assembly. But the Cambodian government considered the call by the UN country team for “a transparent and participatory” process to be “flagrantly interfering in the internal affairs of a UN member state,” and to be a statement outside of its mandate, though “good governance and the promotion and protection of human rights” is one of the four fields of the agreed UN Development Assistance Framework, on which the work of the UN country team is based.

    But not only the timing gives cause to questions. The UN country team was also advised by the Cambodian government to “refrain from acting as if it were the spokesperson of the opposition parties.” We are not aware that this had been the case, but the press had also quoted the Prime Minister as saying, “if somebody wants this law to be amended, they have to wait until they win the elections.” We cannot verify that the Prime Minister said so, but these words seem to indicate that the constitutional principle, stated in Article 51, “The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate” is not considered to be applicable. In normal parliamentary proceedings under the separation of the three powers of the legislative, the executive, and the judicial, no executive can know – before the deliberations in the legislative – if a draft will be amended or not. This is not only something which may happen because of efforts of opposition party members, but also any active member of the parliamentary majority may scrutinize drafts and propose amendments, before voting on a draft.

    Besides, the Senate, and the Constitutional Council, are additional important stages to consider legislation passed by the National Assembly – irrespective of party allegiances of their members – which may result in amendments, before a law is presented to the King. Such considerations may not only come from opposition parties, but they are foreseen as possible in the Constitution itself. The Senate and the Constitutional Council were not created just to rubber-stamp what the National Assembly has decided.

    There is a second issue, which seems to be of a more technical nature – but it has fundamental implications for the free flow of information, and for the basic principles for the management of the economy of the country, as laid out in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    The Articles 56 and 63 of the Constitution say: “The Kingdom of Cambodia shall adopt the market economy system” and “The State shall respect market management in order to guarantee a better standard of living for the people.”

    Two weeks ago, under the 28.2.2010, The Mirror had presented, in more detail, considerations under the headline of “Internet Governance, Censorship, and the UN Multi-Stakeholder Approach” about plans to force all Internet communication between e-mail users of different Internet Service Providers in the country through only one Internet Exchange Point [IXP]. A deputy director of Telecom Cambodia – the organization to operate the IXP – had said that a Web site that attacks the government could then be blocked. As the Minister of Information said: there is no legal basis for this.

    In the meantime additional information appeared and is discussed: Telecom Cambodia might get the right to operate a monopoly by becoming the only company in Cambodia with the right to internationally buy Internet connection, and all other Internet Service Providers would have to buy their international access from Telecom Cambodia, one of their competitors. Such interference into economic affairs is difficult to understand in view of the legal framework defined in the Constitution, where the state is ordered – rather than to interfere into the marked – to guarantee that the market can operate freely “in order to guarantee a better standard of living for the people” according to the forces of competition in the market.

    It should be remembered that Telecom Cambodia was created in order to disengage the regulatory and the operational functions which formerly had been both combined in the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

    The second term government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, starting from 1998, had adopted as its key orientation a “three pronged strategy” – the second prong was the re-integration of Cambodia into the international community – the UN, ASEAN, and the World Trade Organization. The other two elements were “establishing peace and security,” and “promoting administrative and judicial reforms.”

    In a speech of the Prime Minister to welcome the Third Asian-German Editor’s Forum on 31 January 2000, he referred to this principle, “I think it is best to give everyone of you the role as an evaluator for your judgment to be made on the current situation of Cambodia. What I can share in this efforts is the three pronged strategy which I have put out… Essentially, one needs to have a clear and correct vision before one can develop Cambodia as a process.” This orientation led also to extensive consultations with advisors of the World Bank about the situation of the telecommunication sector in the country, which the Prime Minister had identified on several occasions as a crucial field for the future of Cambodia, in a situation, where the costs of using the telephone and the Internet was – and still is – high in Cambodia, compared to neighboring countries.

    The International Telecommunication Union [ITU] is about 100 years older than the United Nations, but it is now part of the UN system. In the ITU’s World Telecommunication Development Report of 1998 it is stated that previously, investment in the “telecommunication services sector have been limited by the fact that most countries had state-owned monopoly carriers. This era is now coming to an end. Since 1984, 44 Public Telecommunication Operators have been privatized… telecommunications has a dual role as both a traded product and service, and as a facilitator of trade in other products and services… What are the benefits of trade liberalization? Freer trade in telecommunications promises to deliver at least three economic gains: new and improved products and services, lower prices, and additional investment. Open trade in telecommunication services should result in more competition, lowering prices for most businesses and for many consumers and providing both with a choice of different service providers.”

    The World Bank advice, at that time, for Cambodia, showed the direction. The following direct quotes are from the final report and presentation of its “Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility.”

    • World Bank project to strengthening the Cambodian Telecommunications regulatory framework with rules for fair competition – interconnection regime
    • Aims at cost effective communications – Doing nothing in not an option, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication – MPTC – as it is cannot long survive
    • Mobile vs. Fixed Phones: THE BIG DIFFERENCE:
      • fixed: state sector, no money, no autonomy, slow progress
      • mobile: private money, growing fast, light handed regulation
      • competition in mobiles has produced, good services
      • state management has produced poor service, stagnation and lost opportunities
    • Principal Institutional Problem:
    • MPTC is an integrated, policy, regulatory, operational and asset management agency
    • Expert advice is unanimous that this leads to
      • conflicts of interest
      • poor asset management
      • business decisions suffer from political intervention
      • political priorities suffer from a preoccupation with business issues
    • All Advisers Recommend
    • MPTC should have its current functions located in separate agencies:
      • policy – the correct function for MPTC is regulation, an independent function
      • business operations – Telecom Cambodia a commercial entity with operational autonomy, eventually private

    The present intentions, to re-establish, a monopolistic role for Telecom Cambodia, would revert what has been achieved under the Prime Minister’s guidance, related to the second of his three-pronged objectives: to place the policies of the Cambodian government, after decades of international isolation, into the present international context. Telecom Cambodia was created as an operator under the rules of the market, to have competition among other operators, and to establish the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications as a technical regulator. To give a mandatory monopolistic role to Telecom Cambodia is contrary to the efforts of a decade, and is contrary to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    I have observed these developments during the last two weeks form abroad, participating in the meetings of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN – the institution coordinating the assigning and the functioning of the Internet addresses, which was held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

    In a reception by the Communications Commission of Kenya – the main telecommunications regulator of the country – we received the following bag to carry our documents. It is inscribed with the words which show that the monopolies have been abolished in the telecommunication sector, and the results ensure fairness for all – and much lower costs than in Cambodia:

    Fairness

    Fairness


    Ensuring fair play

    Kenyan Broadband Pricing

    Kenyan Broadband Pricing

    .

    The public is invited to sign up for Internet connections in this developing country in East Africa at a fair, low price:

    1499 Kenyan Shilling per month, that is US$20 for unlimited broadband Internet access at a speed of 256 Kilobit per Second – how long will this remain a distant dream in Cambodia?

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    There Are Nearly 500 Entertainment Places at Night, Most of Them Are Karaoke Parlors – Monday, 1.3.2010

    Posted on 2 March 2010. Filed under: Week 654 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 654

    “Phnom Penh: At present, there are nearly 500 entertainment places in Phnom Penh, such as beer gardens, karaoke parlors, night clubs, discotheques, restaurants or other places where alcohol and some meals are served, accompanied with music, and female beer seller [often called “Beer Girls”].

    “According to reports from the Phnom Penh Municipality, distributed during a recent convention to sum up the work in 2009 and to set the direction for 2010, big entertainment places include 76 beer gardens, 83 karaoke parlors, 10 night clubs, and 9 discotheques. Based on unofficial estimations by expert officials, there are around 300 other places such as clubs, restaurants, small restaurants, or places where soup is served like in beer gardens, where there are women to entertain the male guests.

    “The above report went on to say that in Phnom Penh there are 142 hotels, 353 guesthouses, 8 [mainly poor people’s building blocks, 54 massage shops, and 233 tourism agencies. 303 places were provided with tourism licenses, 91 new sites were opened, the validity of 266 sites was suspended, and 17 sites were closed because of armed clashes, sex trafficking, rape, and other disturbing offenses.

    “It is worth to point out that in recent years, big and small entertainment places that run at night are growing like mushrooms. Some are operated in restaurants where the Phnom Penh police cannot easily control them. Sometimes it is only after problems have occurred that police could know about it. Entertainment places do not need any advertisements at present [to attract customers].” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6896, 1.3.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 01 March 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol. 4, #422, 28-1.2-3.2010

    • Mr. Tivear 06 [the nickname of a policeman] Is Detained in the PJ Prison Suspected of Intention to Murder [by poisoning his police colleagues, killing one person and affecting four others]
    • An Elderly Woman Died from Diarrhea [twenty more people were refereed to hospital – Kompong Chhnang – some claim, others deny that it is Cholera]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol. 9, #2189, 28-1.2-3.2010

    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Warned He Might Close the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Television Station [TV5, as it does not broadcast much about the activities of the Cambodian Armed Forces]
    • A Two Year Old Girl Cried on a Boat for nearly 20 Hours after Her Father Had Died while Trying to Fish Using Electric Shocks [she was found at around 12 at midnight – Pursat]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6896, 1.3.2010

    • There Are Nearly 500 Entertainment Places at Night, Most of Them Are Karaoke Parlors [there are 76 beer gardens, 83 karaoke parlors, 10 night clubs, and 9 discotheques in Phnom Penh]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol. 17, #3820, 1.3.2010

    • [The opposition party president] Sam Rainsy: My Map and the Government’s Map Must Be Compared to See Which One Is Recognized Internationally [Editorial Note: No identification or access on the Internet are provided – this information – surprisingly – is not given for the maps of both sides – so how can they be compared?]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol. 4, #2614, 28-1.2-3.2010

    • [A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian,] Ms. Mu Sochua Is Appointed as the Head of the Sam Rainsy Party Battambang Branch [to replace Mr. Eng Chhay Eang]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol. 1, #120, 1.3.2010

    • The Prime Minister Said that Cambodia Is Not Preparing to Start a War [but is prepared to stand firm agains invaders
    • The Government Plans to Destroy 170 [artificial] Reservoirs [in Battambang, Kompong Thom, and Siem Reap, as they were constructed in areas of flooded mangrove forest, fishery lots, or fishing community zones, in order to preserve natural resources and to ensure citizens’ health]
    • Thailand Strengthens Security, while Thaksin Shinawatra Will Appeal against the Judgment [that seized about 60% his assets, about US$1.4 billion, leaving him still with the rest of about 40%]

    Ramsmei Kampuchea, Vol. 18, #5138, 28-1.2-3.2010

    • The Chinese Ambassador: The Cambodian-Chinese Relations Grew Like a Big Flourishing Tree [because of the the cooperation between institutions and ministries of both countries]
    • The Government Will Spend More Than Riel 1 Billion [approx. US$240,000] for the Promotion of Sanitation in Rural Areas [in 2010 by educating people to use toilets]
    • A Police Officer [the Deputy General Director of the National Police, General Yun Chhuny]: Do Not Use Speed Monitoring Devices to Extort Money from Citizens [such devices must be used properly according to the law by traffic police]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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    A Parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party Rejected the Reports of COMFREL and of the Inter-Parliamentary Union – Friday, 12.2.2010

    Posted on 13 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

    “Phnom Penh: A parliamentarian and high ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party voiced his strong reaction by totally rejecting a report of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections (COMFREL) on Thursday 11 February 2010, and of an announcement by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) over the suspension of the immunity of Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians.

    “The parliamentarian from Prey Veng and chairperson of the Commission on Economy, Banking, and Audits of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the Cambodian People’s Party won the through the [2008] elections as many as 90 seats, more than two thirds of the total of 123 seats. Under this situation, leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party do not commit any wrongdoings, because it could affect the confidence of citizens who are voters or party members.

    “Mr. Cheam Yeap added that he would like to announce, instead, what the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly did, saying, ‘As a parliamentarian, what we did (suspended the immunity of Sam Rainsy Party’s parliamentarians) was based on the law. The suspension or the withdrawal of the immunity is not an important matter. We just put off their raincoats (the immunity) to let them get soaked like others, and to let the court question and work on them. The National Assembly has the obligation to obey the law. Though the immunity of parliamentarians from the Sam Rainsy Party was suspended, they can attend meetings and retain the necessary rights to vote on laws and to receive their salary like the other parliamentarians.’

    “He went on to say that the reports of COMFREL and of the IPU, which criticized that the National Assembly’s records in this term are worse than in the previous terms, and that the suspension of the immunity of the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians was not done based on the law… claim unnecessary concerns which contrasts the reality. ‘As the National Assembly, we adhere to and implement the laws of Cambodia.’

    “Mr. Cheam Yeap stressed that both the government and the National Assembly are not worried, because what they have done complied with the Cambodian law.

    “The reaction of the parliamentarian from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party was made a day after COMFREL had issued a report on 10 February 2010 which says that democracy in Cambodia is being affected, because the Cambodian People’s Party caused the freedom of expression and the discussions in the National Assembly to diminish. Also, criticism of the suspension of the immunity of the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians in three cases – of Mr. Sam Rainsy, of Ms. Mu Sochua, and of Mr. Ho Van – was easily made but was not based on the law.

    “Meanwhile, the IPU criticized, on 10 February 2010, that the suspension of the immunity of the three Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians did not go through careful discussions and reviews beforehand. The IPU added that it will put this issue on the agenda of the 122nd meeting in April and May 2010.

    “Regarding the suspension of the immunity, [the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr Ho Van appealed to the president of the National Assembly to give him back his immunity, because the judgment of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court dated 2 February 2010 decided to lift the accusation against him, over his assumed defamation against 22 senior military officials, and it has been sent to the president of the National Assembly.

    “Mr. Cheam Yeap said that the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly led by Samdech Heng Samrin will organize a meeting very soon to install the immunity back to Mr. Ho Van, after the National Assembly had received information about the judgment and his request earlier this week.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5124, 12.2.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 12 February 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #412, 12-18.2.2010

    • A Son of General Chea Man [Region 4 military commander] Continues Wood Trading though the Prime Minister Had Warned Against It
    • 5,000 Grilled Pigs Are Needed during the Traditional Chinese New Year Festival [on 14 February 2010 in Cambodia]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2175, 12.2.2010

    • Cambodia Rejected a Siamese [Thai] Declaration that the Listing of the Preah Vihear Temple [as a world heritage site] Is Not Yet Finished [as Cambodia has not fully met the management plan for the temple as required by UNESCO]
    • Forty Three People Were Injured when a Car Overturned Driving Downhill [Sihanoukville]

    Note:

    The claim that the Cambodian government has fully met the requirements of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is surprising for the interested public, as it has only been reported that a Cambodian report was submitted before 1 February 2010 to the World Heritage Committee, while there is no report how the following requirements, from the UNESCO minutes, have been fulfilled – and the Thai government publicly claims that they do not know the Cambodian report – though the Thai government should have been involved – according to the UNESCO minutes.

    Of special interest are the following points of the UNESCO minutes:

    • “14. Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards;
    • “15. Requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center, by 1 February 2009, the following documents:

      a) a provisional map providing additional details of the inscribed property and a map delineating the buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

      b) updated Nomination dossier to reflect the changes made to the perimeter of the property;

      c) confirmation that the management zone for the property will include the inscribed property and buffer zone identified in the RGPP;

      d) progress report on the preparation of the Management Plan;
    • “16. Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center by February 2010, for submission to the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010 a full Management Plan for the inscribed property, including a finalized map.”

    These points touch on matters where “the participation of the Government of Thailand” seems to be required, according to the UNESCO minutes, as the border demarcation between Cambodia and Thailand has not yet been accomplished.

    Further details are in the lower section of The Mirror of 7 February 2010.

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #734, 12.2.2010

    • Kratie Military Police Threatened to Shoot the Representatives of the Authorities Who Intercepted Trucks Loaded with Illegally Cut Wood [heading to Vietnam; finally, with a further intervention from the provincial authorities, forestry administration officials could seize those trucks, but the military police officials who threatened them were not punished]

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #604, 12.2.2010

    • Google Told Cambodia to Send Mapping Document to the Tele Atlas Company to Change the Khmer-Siamese Border Data
    • The Amount of [garment and textile] Exports Is US$2.8 Billion and the Amount of Salaries Paid to [more than 300,000 textile and garment] Workers Is Only US$27 Million per Year [according to an official of the Ministry of Labor, a worker gets about US$60 per month, and if they work additional hours, they get US$100 to US$120 per month]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6882, 12.2.2010

    • China Wants to Invest to Plant Rubber Trees on 60,000 Hectares of Land in Cambodia [according to a meeting between the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, and the Chinese Ambassador]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3810, 12-17.2.2010

    • The Freedom of Expression Became Restricted and the Not-Independent Courts Become Tools Used for Mistreating Opposition Party Activists [according to the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Mr. Surya Subedi – it is said that after his visit to Cambodia from 18 to 30 January 2010, he brought the bad human rights condition in Cambodia to the attention of the UN secretary general.]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #110, 12.2.2010

    • Thai Troops Are Conducting War Exercises, while Cambodian Troops Are on Alert [at the border]
    • [The former Khmer Rouge leader] Ieng Sary Asked to be transferred to House Arrest Rather Than to Be Jailed in Prison

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5124, 12.2.2010

    • A Parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party Rejected Reports of COMFREL and the Inter-Parliamentary Union
    • Traffic Accidents Killed 138 People in January 2010 [countrywide; the number of deaths increased by 34 compared to the corresponding period in 2009]
    • About US$4 Million [from development partners and USAID] Is Planned to Be Spent for A/H1N1 Vaccine Campaign [such as on training, transportation, and project planning]

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    Cambodia Wants the USA to Support Cambodia’s Candidacy as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council – Wednesday, 10.2.2010

    Posted on 11 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

    “Cambodia has requested the United States of America to support the candidacy of Cambodia to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

    “During a meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong, and [the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and US Ambassador to ASEAN] Mr. Scot Marciel at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the morning of 9 February 2010, Mr. Hor Namhong requested the USA, through Mr. Scot Marciel, to support Cambodia’s candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2013 and 2014.

    “Since Cambodia has become a member of the United Nations, it has never participated working in the framework of the UN Security Council.

    “Mr. Hor Namhong pointed out to Cambodia’s qualifications to serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, saying that Cambodia, with the help from the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), in 1993 organized free and fair elections for the first time in Cambodia after it had been freed from the Pol Pot genocidal regime.

    “The next non-permanent Security Council Members of the United Nations will be elected in 2012.

    “It should be noted that in recent years, Cambodia has sent its troops within the UN framework to help many developing countries and countries that have just recovered from war, such as Chad.

    “During the meeting, Cambodia also requested America to cancel the debt that Cambodia owes America since the time of the Lon Nol regime time [the Khmer Republic, 1970 to 1975].

    “Cambodia owes America more than US$300 million since the Lon Nol regime from 1970 to 1975.

    Note:

    The Cambodian Daily of 10.2.2010 explains details of the loan with normal repayment obligations:

    “Between 1972 and 1974, the US Department of Agriculture financed $274 million in purchases of US cotton, rice, and flour for Cambodia… with interest, the total had risen to $339 million by 2007.”

    The Cambodian Daily further reports: “Mr. Maciel also said that the had reiterated in the meetings that the US was ‘very disappointed’ with Cambodia’s decision in December 2010 to deport 20 ethnic Uighur asylum seekers back to China over the objections of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees” [contrary to the Cambodian commitment to the relevant UN conventions].

    “Cambodia suggested two ways the USA could cancel the debt. In the first choice, Mr. Hor Namhong suggested the USA could just cancel all the debt, but as an alternative choice, he asked the USA via Mr. Scot Marciel to cancel 70% of the debt of more than US$300 million in order to allow Cambodia to develop the country. Cambodia would pay back the rest of 30% to the USA later.

    “Though he listened that there are these two modalities proposed by Cambodia, Mr. Scot Marciel could only say that he will bring Cambodia’s request about the canceling of debt to the US government when he returns back.

    Note:

    The Cambodian Daily of 10.2.2010 adds the following further information:

    Contrary to the explanation by Mr. Maciel, the spokesperson of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, claimed that the money was paid for the slaughter of Cambodians – “The debt was used for weaponry and the weaponry was used to destroy all things including the life in the country.”

    “Mr. Scot Marciel stressed that in the USA there is no legal basis regarding the canceling of debts.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #410, 10.2.2010

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 10 February 2010

    Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #410, 10.2.2010

    • Cambodia Will Appeal to the Court in The Hague and to the UN Security Council [to solve the border dispute with Thailand; according to Prime Minister Hun Sen]
    • US Wants Cambodia and Thailand to Peacefully Solve Border Disputes [according to the US Ambassador to ASEAN, Mr. Scot Marciel]
    • Cambodia Wants the USA to Support Cambodia’s Candidacy as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2173, 10.2.2010

    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Siamese [Thai] Troops Can No Longer Remain at the Ta Moan Temple [claiming that it is in Khmer territory]
    • Thailand Increases Security Efforts before the Court Makes a Judgment over the Property of [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra
    • Cambodia and Italy Signed the First Agreement on Culture [about cooperation on development projects at the Angkor area, as well as about training for young experts in cultural preservation work at the Angkor area]

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #733, 10.2.2010

    • The Cambodian Government Rejected Information that It Had Provided Khmer Citizenship to Thaksin Shinawatra

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #602, 10.2.2010

    • The Khmer King Is Listed as a Member of the Community of French Scholars [of the “Academie Française”; based on his contributions to pre-historical research in Cambodia, where he is appreciated for his efforts to maintain the Khmer cultural heritage, and especially, his support for a French training program for people in restoration techniques for the Khmer Angkor Wat Temples]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6880, 10.2.2010

    • A French Drug Addict Robbed the [Cambodia Asia] Bank; It Was the First Time that a Foreigner Committed Armed Robbery [he was arrested – Phnom Penh]
    • The Anti-Corruption Draft Reached the National Assembly [but the content is not yet made known]

    Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #108, 10.2.2010

    • America Does Not Plan to Cancel the Debt [of about US$300 million; according to the US Ambassador to ASEAN, Mr. Scot Marciel]
    • [The North Korean President] Mr. Kim Jong Il Told the Chinese Ambassador that the Korean Peninsula Should Be Free from Nuclear Weapons

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5122, 10.2.2010

    • [Four] Robbers Went into a House, Shot One Person to Death and Seriously and Lightly Injured Three Others, and Took Away US$15,000 [Pailin]

    Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1873, 10.2.2010

    • Hun Sen Warned that If Negotiations [with Thailand] Do Not Bring Solutions, Armed Force Will Be Used

    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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