Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Consider the New Demonstration Law as a Constraint on the Power of the People of Cambodia – Thursday, 22.10.2009

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 635

“The National Assembly has adopted a demonstration law limiting demonstrations to not more than 200 people. This law is considered by the opposition parties as a restriction of the power of the people in Cambodia. However, government representative claimed that this new law helps maintain social stability.

“During the session of the National Assembly yesterday, 21 October 2009, 76 parliamentarians out of 101 raised their hands to adopt this demonstration law, while the parliamentarians from the Sam Rainsy Party and from the Human Rights Party did not.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy told reporters in the morning of 21 October 2009, ‘At present the government cares only about cracking down on demonstrations and wants to eliminate the right of citizens who have reasons to protest.’ The people will get angry and feel pain when they want to present what they demand, but cannot do it though their demands are right. The government does not solve the citizens needs, but wants to intercept their presention.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy stressed that the Sam Rainsy Party wants to organize the country rightly, to eliminate the root causes of demonstrations, but the government just eliminates the demonstrations. Regarding the law limiting the number of people to only 200 to participate in a demonstration, Mr. Sam Rainsy said that it is a ban anticipating the expression of the power of the people in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘They do not want that large scale demonstrations can be held. If large scale demonstrations are held, the state fears the power of the people. People take power to control the country to serve the real benefit of the people, but not to serve the benefit of any dictatorial party or any dictators or their groups.’

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the Sam Rainsy Party does not support this law, as it has gaps which the state could use as a pretext to prevent people from demonstrating peacefully. It abolishes citizens’ right to express their opinions through peaceful demonstrations.

“The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, spoke to journalists expressing the same view as Mr. Sam Rainsy: that this demonstration law banishes people’s power in Cambodia, especially when citizens want to demonstrate to demand that leaders resign from their positions. He said, ‘For example, citizens may want to demonstrate over politics… to demand that some leaders resign.’

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that in countries that practice democracy, people can hold demonstrations to demand that some leaders leave their positions – which is called people’s power. While in Cambodia, it is now to be assumed that the Ministry of Interior will not allow this kind of manifestation, using the reasoning that it might be against national security, or against safety and public order. These are pretexts that governments use to prevent the people from demonstrating. Mr. Kem Sokha said that also the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians do not support this law.

“When asked whether this law interdicts people’s power or not, Mr. Kem Sokha said, ‘Of course. We see the direction. After we heard the words of the parliamentarians of the ruling party, it seems that they are afraid of the power of the people.

“A democratic regime is a regime where power can be changed peacefully, and leaders are established through general elections. But if the elected leaders act against what they had promised, citizens can demonstrate for a change of power.

“An investigating official of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Mr. Oum Sam Ath, said that limiting the number of people who can participate in a demonstration is not right for a country that practices democracy.

“This demonstration law also requires demonstration leaders to inform the authorities in advance, and Mr. Oum Sam Ath explained that the need to request for a permission, and this 5-days in advance, requires then to wait to see whether the demonstration is permitted or not – which is a new restriction, including the limitation of the number of demonstrators. This law is not according to the concept of democracy.

“However, a representative from the Ministry of Interior claimed during the session of the National Assembly since a few days ago that this law ensures social stability.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Nuth Sa An, said that the Ministry will ask the government to develop a policy how to publicize this law among the citizens.

“Though this law limits the number of people to 200 who can join a demonstration, Mr. Sam Rainsy said that this is not acceptable, and the Sam Rainsy Party plans to hold big demonstrations in the future. Mr. Sam Rainsy said that a planned big demonstration – though a specific date has not yet been set – is a demonstration to assemble tens of thousands of citizens victimized by land disputes from the provinces and cities countrywide.

“It should be noted that people’s power exists in many countries in the world, like in the Philippines, in Siam [Thailand], and in Indonesia.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #514, 22.10.2009

Note:

Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Article 51:
The Kingdom of Cambodia adopts a policy of Liberal Democracy and Pluralism.
The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country.
All power belongs to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, The Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary.
The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 October 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1416, 22.10.2009

  • Three Korean Men Raped a Karaoke Parlor Woman in a Room while She Was Drunk [they were arrested – Siem Reap]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #317, 22.10.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Shows the Green Light to Receive [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra and He Prepared a Residence [in Cambodia] for Him as a Friend
  • The Number of People Confirmed with A/H1N1 Has Increased to 202 Cases, and the Number of Deaths Remain at Three
  • The Iranian Government Asked to Step Up Cooperation with Cambodia [especially between the parliaments of the two countries – according to the Iranian ambassador to Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2078, 22.10.2009

  • 143 Countries Promised to Support the Cambodian Candidacy as a Member of the World Heritage Committee
  • A House Was Burnt Down Completely because the Firefighter Trucks Did Not Come, though They Had Been Called [Siem Reap]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #514, 22.10.2009

  • Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Consider the New Demonstration Law as a Constraint on the Power of the People of Cambodia

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer edition], Vol.1, #31, 22.10.2009

  • The Civil Aviation Authorities Will Write a Letter to the Government to Permit Siem Reap Airways to Fly Again
  • Cambodia Cannot Sell Rice to the Philippines this Year [because there is high local demand after typhoon Ketsana hit Cambodia]
  • Burma Rejects Request [of ASEAN] to Release Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [Burmese elected democracy leader]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5027, 22.10.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech [Hun Sen]: Mr. Thaksin Can Come to Cambodia Anytime He wants and I Prepare a House to Welcome Him
  • Exclusive Interview of Rasmei Kampuchea with the South Korean President, Lee Myung-Bak [he said ‘Samdech Hun Sen cares very much about the development of the Cambodian economy, and both of us have similar views and intentions on many problems;’ the investment by Korea in Cambodia increased 75 times within 12 years from 1997 to 2009; Mr. Lee Myung-Bak is a close friend of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and he had been nominated as advisor to Mr. Hun Sen in 2000]
  • Cambodia Reacts against some Thai Members of Parliament for Suggesting to Prevent Cambodia from Becoming a Member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1813, 22.10.2009

  • A Promise Was Made Again [by government officials from the Cambodian People’s Party] to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law by the Middle of Next Year

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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Mr. Kem Sokha Encourages Merger between the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party – Wednesday, 7.10.2009

Posted on 7 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Again, the president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, encouraged speeding up the merging of the two opposition parties, the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party. The president of the Human Rights Party said that the merger should be made as soon as possible, because Khmer people in the country and abroad want to see these two opposition parties of Cambodia to merge to become one strong party to defeat the party with communist tendencies which is ruling the country.

“Mr. Kem Sokha told reporters during a press conference Tuesday evening [6 October 2009] that within half a year (of National Assembly vacations), he had visited Canada, the United States, and Europe. At every place he went to he met Khmer people, and they always asked one most important question: whether democrats can unite or not, and why not. The Human Rights Party responded by telling what this party has done so far.

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that Khmer people in the country and abroad answered instead of him that if we do not unite, we will lose, but if we unite we will win. ‘This is the answer from people for us, for democrats and patriots, to consider.’ Mr. Kem Sokha added, ‘The Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party made a joint statement on 15 January 2009 at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters, but we see that so far, we have not achieved anything, while people are waiting to see the creation of a movement, a democratic movement for change, where two parties come together.’ But when people asked what progress was made, he could not tell them anything. He said, ‘But we established a working team for discussion, where each party has four members. The members from the Sam Rainsy Party are Mr. Son Chhay, Mr. Yim Sovann, Mr. Kim Suophirith, and Ms. Mu Sochua, and the members from the Human Rights Party are Mr. Nhem Bonharith, Mr. Ou Chanrith, Mr. Keat Sokun, and Mr. Chour Chung. There have been eight meetings already, but no progress has been made. That is why people are concerned, and they encourage that there should be significant progress made, in order to provide them hope. He went on to say, ‘The Human Rights Party calls on all political parties and patriots to join, to sit down and discuss to organize the conditions and political policies to create a new party, to participate in the next elections. We think that we have to sit down together to discuss, and if all of us claim that we are democrats and want change, we need to win the elections. We cannot win the elections unless we merge. If not, we will not win. If we do not merge, we do it to lose. And if we want to win, we have to merge.’

“Mr. Kem Sokha said that there is no official response yet. The meeting has not received a response: which points are acceptable and which points are not. He said, ‘We still maintain the same stance. And we make another appeal to other parties to continue to negotiate. The Sam Rainsy Party did not respond anything to us. We want to merge to create a new party or an ally for others. We want the new party to be created based on democracy, but not based on any individuals, and want to stop individual power; we also suggest to limit some terms, but this is not a condition set by the Human Rights Party.’

“Yesterday, the Human Rights Party released a statement to express its position to create alliances with other political parties finally towards a merger.

“The statement said that the Human Rights Party thinks that it is the right time for democrats to meet and to discuss transparently, prioritizing the fate of the nation, to consider creating a new party following requests of Khmer citizens, after we have created a democratic movement for change on 15 January 2009. About one year after the fourth term elections, there have been concerns over the political situation, about integrity, freedom of expression, the economy, and social problems in the Kingdom of Cambodia which are problematic. Based on direct visits by Human Rights Party leaders in many communes in the country and abroad, many Khmer compatriots who love democracy, ask the Khmer political parties and the politicians who claim that they are patriots and democrats, to unite to create a new party to win the next elections.

“‘The Human Rights Party would like to stress again its position to inform the public that the Human Rights Party is already prepared to merge with other politicians, parties, and patriots to create a new political party with democracy as its basis.'” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1702, 7.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #304, 7.10.2009

  • The Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam Wants to Invest to Develop the Stock Exchange in Cambodia
  • The Hong Kong Trade Development Council: US$10 Million for the Promotion of Cambodian Companies

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2065, 7.10.2009

  • Doctors Saved the Live of a Girl [through an operation], but Her Mother Died of A/H1N1 [the number of deaths in Cambodia increased to three – Phnom Penh]
  • Because His Wife Has a Mental Disorder, a Man Raped His Daughter since She Was 9 Years Old [now she is 16, and the man was arrested – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #503, 7.10.2009

  • The UN Secretary General: Urbanization without Clear Planning Forces Millions of People to Face Hazards
  • Different Civil Society Leaders Expressed Different Ideas about the Creation of a Bodyguard Commanding Office of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [an official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Chan Soveth, said that it will help control bodyguards of Prime Minister Hun Sen and halt people from pretending to be his bodyguards for their own personal interest, while officials of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Mr. Oum Sam Ath, said that disorder will continue to exist, if this new unit is not controlled properly]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6772, 7.10.2009

  • Clarifying Statement Responding to the Accusation that the Government Implements a Policy to Evict Citizens by Force [the Council of Minister explained that it does not relate to “evictions” but to temporary “relocation” of citizens]
  • North Korea Plans to Resume Multilateral Talk Again

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #20, 7.10.2009

  • Cambodia Increases Budget for Development [from US$82 million in 2009 to US$100 million for 2010]
  • UNDP: The Quality of Life Index of Cambodian People Drops by Six Points [among 182 countries to 137th, below Congo, but above Burma]
  • 500 Workers Protested at the Ministry of Labor [demanding the ministry to intervene after 1,000 workers had been dismissed illegally by the Sky High Factory – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5014, 7.10.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Asked to Exclude Articles Related to Defamation, Insulting, and Distortion [from the Penal Code draft], but It Was Rejected by the National Assembly
  • Siem Reap Plans to Spend Riel 3,000 Million [approx. US$750,000] to Restore Roads after the Flood Receded
  • Japan Will Increase Official Development Aid for Cambodia by 40% [for 2009]
  • In September 2009 36 People Were Killed in Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh
  • Working in Japan One Can Earn Much Income, but There Are Not Many Khmer Workers There [a worker can earn up to Yen 70,000 per month, approx. US$700; no total number of Khmer workers in Japan is given]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1702, 7.10.2009

  • Mr. Kem Sokha Encourages Merger between the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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Wednesday, 2.4.2008: 48 Houses of Citizens in Samaki Village Fell into the River, and Two People Are Missing

Posted on 2 April 2008. Filed under: Week 554 | Tags: , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 554

“Over a distance of 70 meters dozens of houses fell into the Tonle Sap River on 1 April 2008. Five people were injured and had to be rescued. One child was missing due to the collapse.

“The authorities were evacuating people who reside along the bank of Tonle Sap River in Samaki village opposite of the Psar Touch milk-production factory, in order to avoid any danger of continuous landslides.

“48 houses of 58 families, who live in Group 20, Samaki Village, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh, located along National Road No. 5, opposite the Samaki Market, fell into the Tonle Sap River at 3 p.m.

“The authorities said that 48 houses of 58 families collapsed into the Tonle Sap River, so that five people had to be rescued from the water when their houses collapsed. The rescued people were one child and four old people.

“Kop Sleh, the deputy governor of the above district, said that the collapsed houses were built in a disorderly manner along the river bank.

“He added that the authorities were evacuating the residents along the river bank for fear that the collapse might continue.

“He considered the collapse to be a natural disaster, giving as the reason that now we are in the dry season when the current of the river is weak. A collapse might happen more probably during the rainy season, when the current is much stronger. As for the people who were victimized by the disaster, the authorities are looking for a location for them to live for the time being, in order to wait for permanent solutions later.

“He denied that the collapse was caused by sand dredging operations, even though local people claimed that there were ships dredging sand along the Tonle Sap River at night. According to information from the scene, two children disappeared while their parents were out doing their business.

“This is the second incident after the collapse of the Koh Norea river bank, located in Nirouth, Meanchey, Phnom Penh. That disaster caused the loss of many houses and assets.

“The collapse of the river bank caused citizens’ houses to fall into the river in the afternoon of 1 April 2008 at Samaki village, Russey Keo district. The collapsed land is more than 70 meters long and 30 meters deep. The authorities are seeking for any more missing people.

“Victims said that if the collapse had happened at night, many people would have died, as they return to their houses after their work or business.

“Citizens blamed private companies for causing the collapse of the river bank due to sand dredging operations at night, even though Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered the relevant ministries to ban private companies from dredging sand in the river.” Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #76, 2.4.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #76, 2.4.2008

  • 48 Houses of Citizens in Samaki Village Fell into the River, and Two People Are Missing
  • [Human Rights Party president] Kem Sokha: That Hun Sen Agrees to Provide Allowance of US$6 to Workers Is Political Demagogy; [president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Chea Mony: Provision of Allowance of US$6 to Workers Is Success of the Trade Union
  • After Elections, Human Rights Party Government Will Decrease Prices of Goods and Gasoline and Increase Salaries for Public Servants and Workers
  • Prampi Makara District Police Seize Citizens’ Motorcycles at Night to Extort Money [Phnom Penh]


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #63, 2-8.4.2008

  • Prime Minister Agrees to Review of Property Rights along Cambodian Railway


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1608, 2.4.2008

  • Government Will Take Action against Provocative Activity Calling for a Demonstration [demanding decrease of prices of goods and increase of salaries for public servants and garment workers]
  • Cambodia and Qatar Officially Establish Diplomatic Relations
  • New Constitution Draft in Burma Bans [Burmese elected democracy leader] Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi from Holding Power [because she had been married to a foreigner]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #568, 2.4.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Nephew [name not mentioned] Spent US$800,000 Within One Week Only, Surprising Europe [according to Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s speech on Sambok Khmum Radio]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #128, 2.4.2008

  • [Former Director of Electricité du Cambodge] Tan Kimvin’s and His Partisans’ Corruption Resulted in a Loss of More Than US$36 Million of State Income [in 2007 – according to an official of Electricité du Cambodge]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6312, 2.4.2008

  • Frightening Accident Tragedy [collision between a mini bus and a truck] that Killed Eleven People and Injured Eleven Others at Cashew Plantation [1 April – Cheung Prey, Kompong Cham]



Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3428, 2.4.2008

  • 24 Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Call for Citizens to Attend a Non-Violent Demonstration Demanding Decrease of Prices of Goods and Increase of Salaries
  • [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh Calls for Yuon [Vietnamese] Troops to Come to Help to Maintain Security during General Elections, Causing Mixed Reactions

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4556, 2.4.2008

  • World Bank: Cambodia Faces Inflation but This Does Not Effect Economic Growth
  • Opposition Party Beats Political Drum because of Increasing Prices of Goods

Have a look at last week’s editorial: “using an iron fist to administer justice”

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