One Million Cambodians Have Diabetes and Hypertension – Monday,30.3.2009

Posted on 31 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605, Week 606 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 606

“Phnom Penh: As living becomes more modern and nourishing food increases, Cambodian people are facing two types of diseases that up to one million people have: diabetes and hypertension.

“The director of the Disease Information Center which is treating, counseling, and observing 1,300 people having diabetes in Phnom Penh and in Takeo, Mr. Maurits van Pelt, said, ‘At present, in Cambodia there are one million people having diabetes and hypertension.

“According to observations by the World Health Organization and of the Ministry of Health, 12% of people in Siem Reap and 20% in Kompong Cham have hypertension. Also, a similar observation which was conducted from 2004 to 2005 found that 5% of people in Siem Reap and 11% in Kompong Cham have diabetes.

“What is the cause of the high prevalence hypertension? Mr. Maurits van Pelt explained that it is because not many Cambodian people do exercise, and many eat much, making them fat and pot-bellied. Furthermore, it is also a result of genetic factors, since in China and in India, many people have such diseases, and Khmers have much genetic material in common with the two people.

“He added, ‘Laziness not to do exercise, no roads for walking, and some other factors resulting from different diseases, make people have hypertension. Also some urinary diseases may lead to hypertension and other diseases.’

“The president of the Disease Information Center questioned why leaders of rich countries are often slim and leaders of poor countries are fat and pot-bellied. He went on, ‘Khmer leaders do not act as models of the people, because they are too fat. Khmers like pot-bellies showing that that they are wealthy.’

“He continued to say that slim people have about 50 % of all diseases that exist, but fat people have more diseases, and overweight people are found to live seven years less than others. Urban people have twice as often hypertension, compared to those living in the countryside.

“He added, ‘Normally, we need to sweat half an hour per day, but many people say that the weather is too hot and they do not want to sweat; this is not right. To avoid overweight, we need to do physical work at least 30 minutes per day, and should not eat too much.’

“What should we eat to prevent hypertension and diabetes? Mr. Maurits van Pelt said that we should eat much vegetable, and eat some fish; Khmers should rather eat unpolished rice, for it contains Vitamin B, but Khmers like eating white rice for its taste, yet it contains much sugar and lacks vitamins.

“He said also, ‘If people are overweight, they must do exercise to put off their weight. Their health will be better. When they can put off a lot of weight to be in the right proportion with their height, they will no longer have hypertension.’

“Mr. Maurits warns, ‘The spreading of these diseases will increase, because there are more overweight people than before, more vehicles, more American food imported to Cambodia, which contains a lot of cholesterol, and such long-processed food is not good.’

“Regarding people having diabetes, Mr. Maurits said that diabetes patients have to be careful not to have hypertension. He added that if they have diabetes for five years, they may get urinary diseases and continue to have hypertension. Therefore, people who have diabetes have to do exercises, eat food that is not salty, and take care not to get overweight.

“He added that besides providing education through a Friends-Educate-Friends Program for people with diabetes in a district in Takeo and at poor regions in Phnom Penh, he is asking for funds from the European Unions to expand the program at Thma Puok district in Banteay Meanchey. But, there is no response from donors yet.

“He criticized donors, “I asked them once, but they did not agree to provide funds, saying that it is not important. They tell me to work with AIDS, but there are only more than 60,000 AIDS patients, while there are one million people having hypertension and diabetes.’

“He added that donors provide 60% of their funds for AIDS and less than 1% for non-infectious diseases. He said, ‘There are many AIDS and tuberculosis experts, but why aren’t there non-infectious disease experts?’

“Mr. Maurits continues to say, ‘I think Khmers dare not to ask for aid for this field. I think that is wrong.’

“The director of the World Health Organization in Cambodia, Mr. Michael O’Leary, said during the closure of the health convention last week that the high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and the changes of the pattern of living is a clear sign of the spreading of interaction between these in Cambodia.

“He added that a study shows that about half of the Cambodian men smoke cigarettes, and this number is still increasing. With these interrelated problems, progress must be made to deal with health care needs, for which the government has to find responses.

“However, [the Minister of Health] Dr. Mam Bunheng said, ‘The rate of smokers among men and women declines, but the indicators of the program have not yet achieved their goal in 2008. That is diabetes, hypertension, and the identification of people suffering on their heads in traffic accidents are difficult to measure. Therefore rechecking is necessary.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4858, 30.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #45, 30-5.3.2009

  • Rate of Students Dropping Out of School Is Still High
  • The Number of Rapes of Underage Persons Is Higher Than the Rapes of Adults [according to a report of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, there were 419 rapes of women and children in 2008, out of which 280 cases were against underage persons]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 29-30.3.2009

  • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Calls on Red Shirt Group to Demonstrate against [Prime Minister] Abhisit until He Resigns
  • England Asks G-20 Economic Summit Session to Increase Fund to Assist Impoverished Countries by Around US$100 Billion

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1910, 29-30.3.2009

  • Phnom Penh Governor Allows the Opposition Party to Hold a Buddhist Commemoration Ceremony in Front of the Former National Assembly [for those who were killed by the grenade attack on 30 March 1997]
  • A Dam Broke in Jakarta and Killed 60

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6615, 30.3.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Merchants Come to Buy Dry Cassava Like Normal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4858, 30.3.2009

  • The Government Will Not Set the Start of the Trial of Khmer Rouge Leaders on 30 March as a National Holiday
  • One Million Cambodians Have Diabetes and Hypertension
  • The United Nations Highly Assesses the Royal Government for Combating AIDS and Human Trafficking

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1684-685, 29-30.3.2009

  • [The director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia] Mr. Chhang Youk Questions Why Duch Alone Is Heard in Court, but Not Also Nearly 200 Other Prison Chiefs
  • Khmer Side Demands Siamese [Thai] Troops to Withdraw Mine Danger Signs Put [along the Border in Samlot, Battambang]
  • [The chairperson of the Cambodian Committee for Solving Border Disputes] Va Kimhong Acknowledges that Solving Border Disputes Bilaterally Is Useless [he had said so nearly one year ago already, negotiations were useless]
  • [The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun: The Prime Minister Acknowledged that the Quality of Education in Cambodia Is Low [recently in a public speech], while [the Minister of Education] Im Sethy Is Very Angry [about a survey by the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association – allegedly not carried out carefully, and producing some wrong data, especially about high dropout rate]

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Children in Prisons Are Suffering from Malnutrition – Friday, 27.3.2009

Posted on 28 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

“Phnom Penh: The condition of children and of women in prisons is being considered by the government and by human rights organizations in relation to their health, even though they are in prison.

“Children under the age of six are brought with their prisoner parents to live with them in prison. Therefore, do these children receive enough nutritious food?

“According to a report by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – in January 2009, there are 40 children living with their parents in prisons. Children living in prison face malnutrition, lack other necessities, and lack education which is crucial for their growing up.

“A prison research official of LICADHO, Mr. Khieu Kolay, said that children are not required to live with their parents in prison, but parents themselves want their children to live with them because no one else can take care of them besides them. Thus, nobody can hinder them.

“Regarding monetary allowances for prisoners, the Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior is asking the Ministry of Economy and Finance to increase it from Riel 1,500 [approx US$0.37] to Riel 2,800 [approx. US$0.69] per day, so that they can eat enough food and also so that it is in line with the high inflation at the markets.

“According to Prison Regulation Number 34, children under the age of six are allowed to live with their parents in prison, since this provides benefits to children. Because the period of the first five-years of children is important for the growing of their bodies, their social living, and their mental development, the Regulation Number 34 requires prison authorities to provide children with their basic needs.

“However, in reality, these necessities are neglected. Women who are mothers, and pregnant women are not offered additional food and material for taking care of their children.

“It should be remembered that children living with their parents in prison are not prisoners, and they must not receive any punishment.

“Based on ADHOC’s report [maybe this should say ‘LICADHO’?], in January 2009 there were 40 children living with their parents in prisons, where 22 are male and 18 are female. There are 17 children in the Rehabilitation Center II, 2 in the prison in Takhmao, 2 in the prison in Battambang, 3 in Banteay Meanchey, 4 in Siem Reap, 8 in Sihanoukville, 1 in Koh Kong, 1 in Kompong Chhnang, and 2 in Kompong Cham.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 27.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, 48, 27.3.2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 27.3.2009

  • Children in Prison [with their parents] Are Suffering from Malnutrition
  • More than 20,000 Red-Shirt Demonstrators [who support ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Surround Government House of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1908, 27.3.2009

  • Parliament Members from the Opposition Party Ask the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy to Investigate the Allegation that Ice Manufacturing Companies Steal State Electricity
  • Artillery Fire [between Tamil insurgents and government troops] Killed 54 Civilians in Sri Lanka

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #373, 27.3.2009

  • Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Said that the Conviction of Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Is Not Just, because Yuon [Vietnam] Also Killed Khmers after 1979

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6613, 27.3.2009

  • The Tense Conditions near the Preah Vihear Temple Gets Better after Siam [Thailand] Denied It Had Sent Troops to Violate Cambodian Territory
  • America Provides Helicopters to Mexico to Combat Drugs

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3722, 27.3.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asks the Government to Increase Import Taxes and Assist Farmers with Resources

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4854, 25.3.2009

  • Officials: Big Construction of Buildings in Cambodia Is Still in Progress despite the Global Economic Crisis
  • The Ministry of Culture of Vietnam Donates Musical Instruments to the Ministry of Culture [of Cambodia]
  • Incheon City of Korea and Phnom Penh Sign to Tie Sister City Relations

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1683, 27.3.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls on Khmer Citizens to Care about Border Problems both at the West [with Thailand] and at the East [with Vietnam]

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An Official of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, Is Also Irritated with the Svay Rieng and Prey Veng Governors for Leasing Land to Vietnam – Wednesday, 18.3.2009

Posted on 20 March 2009. Filed under: Week 604 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 604

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.
But I am now starting my return trip to Cambodia. According to schedule, I should be working again from Phonom Penh on Monday – first catching up with the delays, and then working again regularly.

Norbert Klein

“While Khmer citizens as well as some handicapped soldiers do not have rice fields for cultivation, the government, in contrast, provides tens of thousands of hectares of land as concessions to Yuon [Vietnamese] troops and companies to come to clear forest and rice fields of Khmer citizens to grow agro-industrial crops along the Khmer-Yuon border and in some provinces.

“Thousands of hectares of citizen’s land lying along the Yuon border of An Giang Province, bordering Svay Rieng and Prey Veng, are being leased to Yuon companies by Khmer authorities along the Yuon border to grow agro-industry crops. The Phnom Penh Post published an article on 26 February 2009, quoting the Svay Rieng governor, Mr. Cheang Am, that 10,000 hectares of land in Svay Rieng are prepared to be leased to Yuon companies along the border and also, the Prey Veng governor, Mr. Ung Samy, told the Phnom Penh Post that he will discuss with Yuon officials in Yuon [Vietnam] about the leasing of rice fields along the border to Yuon companies to come to do rice cultivation in Khmer territory.

“A high ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party and a former Prey Veng governor, Mr. Cheam Yeap, reacted that Cambodia must not lease land to neighboring countries, but it can lease it to far-off countries. He added, ‘If it would be leasing to America or Australia, it can be done, but if it is to Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos, it is impossible, because they are neighboring countries and they can take our Khmer land easily as in previous times.’

“A Khmer-American, originally from Svay Rieng, Mr. Prum Soanara, expressed his view that the government should lease land to the same Khmers, because it would be a solution for Khmer citizens who are jobless, while factories are closing, and many big construction projects have halted their activities due to the global economic crisis.

“Mr. Prum Soanara, a renewable energy engineer with a background in the US Navy, said that in our country, some citizens lack land to do rice cultivation, especially citizens in Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, and Takeo. If the government has land for leasing, why not leasing it to Khmer citizens? He referred to an example in Malaysia where their country provides all support to their farmers to benefit from the land. Therefore, the Cambodian government should distribute land to retired and handicapped soldiers to do farming to earn their living.

“Mr. Prum Soanara raised another example from Israel where land along the border is delivered to soldiers to do farming and also to defend their territorial integrity. He went on to say that the government must provide land to Khmer soldiers to do farming along the border and to protect the border since soldiers have guns, but should not leave the land unused.

“Also, Khmer citizens react against the leasing of tens of thousands of land along the eastern border to Yuon companies by the Svay Rieng governor, Mr. Cheang Am, and by the Prey Veng governor, Mr. Ung Samy, who are all high ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party. Citizens wonder whether the land is inherited from both provincial governors’ ancestors that they dare to do so. It is because of the hunger for ‘tea-money’ without caring about the loss of Khmer territory along the border, because after the land is leased from Cambodia of Yuon to do farming, Yuon can claim that it is legal land of Yuon in the future.

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, Mr. Son Chhay, reacted against the leasing of land along the border to Yuon companies and to Siamese [Thai] companies, because these are neighboring countries, and this will make Cambodia to lose territory along the borders in the future, because Yuons who come to live in the land leased, hardly return to their country, because they consider the land to belong to Yuon, and this creates future problems.

“Mr. Son Chhay added that he had once reacted against the leasing of land to nationals from neighboring countries in 2007, when he led a delegation of the National Assembly to Laos. He continued to say that when the government provides concession land along the border to Yuon companies, contracted for 99 years, Yuon will bring their workers to live in Khmer land, and this cannot guarantee the Khmer territorial integrity, and different countries in the world never do what Cambodia does nowadays.

“Mr. Son Chhay voiced concern about the loss of Khmer territory along the border when the Khmer government permits the leasing of rice fields along the Khmer-Yuon border in Svay Rieng and Prey Veng; the government must check these cases again and should not allow to lease the land, and those who have the land rights to lease and use the land along the border should be only Khmers.

“Mr. Son Chhay demands that the government cancels different contracts for leasing land along the border to foreign companies.

“The president of the Cambodian Watchdog Council [?] and president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, reacted that the government must not lease land to foreigners, and the leasing of land to neighboring countries is not good for Cambodia. He added that to persuade Khmer citizens to lease their fields to foreigners is to cut down paddy rice exports from Cambodia, this is not reasonable and if the Khmer government encourages Khmer citizens to produce lots of paddy rice, normally, the government has to find markets for citizens in this time of a global economic crisis.

“Mr. Rong Chhun went on to say that when leasing land to foreigners to do farming in Khmer territory while leaving its citizens unemployed, can the benefits from it support the everyday livelihood of citizens? He continued that Cambodia will earn no benefit from leasing land to neighboring countries, and the government must not lease land to Yuon and Siam, because one day, they will let their citizens come to live in Cambodia, and this will make Cambodia to lose territory, if the government does not take measures to avoid the loss of land in the future.” Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #40, 18.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #40, 18.3.2009

  • An Official of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, Is Also Irritated with the Svay Rieng and Prey Veng Governors for Leasing Land to Vietnam
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Which Is Running Out of Funds, Announces Recruiting [30] Staff Members

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #142, 18.3.2009

  • Between 2015 and 2020 the Trade between Cambodia and Vietnam Will Increase to US$5 Billion [according to a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Vietnamese Minister of Industry, Mr. Vũ Huy Hoàng]
  • The Head of the Government Does Not Believe There Will Be Good Reports about Human Rights in Cambodia [because he assumes that people concerned for human rights will get paid their salaries only if they produce reports describing bad situations]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1900, 18.3.2009

  • The Opposition Party Asks to Check the Possibility of Creating New Investment Laws for Special Economic Zones near the Borders
  • Five Khmer Law Students Go to Participate in a Mock Trial with About 500 Groups of Students from 80 Countries around the World [in Washington]
  • Sudan Expels Thirteen Foreign Aid Agencies from Darfur [after the International Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant for President Bashir, with accusations of crimes against humanity and of genocide in Darfur]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3714, 18.3.2009

  • The Construction of Hanoi Boulevard Leads to the Destruction of Citizens’ Houses in Sen Sok District [Phnom Penh]
  • Mr. Yim Sovann Welcomes a Report [of the Cambodian Institute for Development Studies] Which Assessed that in 2009 Cambodia Will Loose US$676 Million [in four sectors: agriculture, tourism, construction, and garment production]
  • Civil Society Dismisses Hun Sen’s Wish to See Human Rights Reports Supporting the Government [he criticized on 17 March 2009 local human rights organizations and human rights representatives of the United Nations in Cambodia, alleging that they work only for salaries, and their work is only to criticize the government and to ignore positive points achieved by the government]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6605, 18.3.2009

  • The Family of a Fatal Victim Accuses a Doctor, because She Did Not Have Riel 100,000, a Pregnant Woman Was Left Lying in Labor Pain until She Died [Pailin]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1422, 18.3.2009

  • Investment by South Korea Declined by 25% in 2008 and Will Continue to Fall in 2009 [according an official of the Korean Embassy in Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4848, 18.3.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: “Bird Flu Is Still an International Plague and Must Be Carefully Observed”
  • A Car Hit Two Motorbikes at the Same Time Resulting in Three Deaths and Five Injured People [the car driver escaped – Kompong Cham]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1675, 18.3.2009

  • A Parliamentarian from the Opposition Party [Mr. Son Chhay] Asks the Government to Sue the CamboSix [soccer betting] Company [for corruption and for not paying taxes]

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Trade Unions Discuss Wages of Workers while Buying Orders Decreased to 40% – Tuesday 17.3.2009

Posted on 19 March 2009. Filed under: Week 604 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 604

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: Trade unions and the director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies found that to live properly, wages of industrial workers, especially garment workers, should be between US$87 and US$113 per month excluding overtime wages.

“Nevertheless, during a discussion on 16 March 2009 at the Phnom Penh Hotel, supported by the [German] Friedrich Ebert Foundation, trade unions and the director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies have not brought up any new measure to increase wages for workers, because of feeling threats from the global economic crisis.

“According to research conducted by the director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies since December 2008 until January 2009, by interviewing 353 garment workers (91% are female and 9% are male) from 47 factories around Phnom Penh: the average earning of a worker is US$79 per month from garment work, including the basic wage, additional wages according to production achievements, former wages, overtime payments, livelihood allowances, skills’ wage additionals, and various awards. But if overtime payment is not included, a worker earns only US$67 on average. As for their total expenses, both the expenses for daily necessities of a worker and their financial obligations (money to be sent to support their family), is US$72 per month on average, where US$57 (80%) are individual necessities (food and accommodation), and US$15 per month is to be sent home.

“As for the savings among workers interviewed, 81% have positive savings – that is US$10 per month can be saved – while 19% lack US$8 on average, because they earn low wages and do not work overtime, and their expenses are high, as they have to send much money to their home. This problem leads to the need for some support from their home, such as a supply of rice, fish, meat, or taking up additional loans.

“The director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies, Mr. Kang Chandararath, said that US$57 per month, or around US$1.90 per day, is available for daily necessities, and this is far less than the figure calculated by the National Institute of Statistics, which had estimated that for living in Phnom Penh, at least US$3 is necessary per day. According to the research, most workers, 85%, are not satisfied with their current wages, while 13% said that they are somewhat satisfied, and 3% said that they are satisfied.

“The president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union – C.CAWDU, Mr. Ath Thun, said regarding the wages of workers that he had gone to Hong Kong in China to attend a meeting, and he demanded that thorough research be done, and he submitted it as a request to the Royal Government. But the secretary-general of the National Industrial Federation Trade Union of Cambodia – NIFTUC, Mr. Kim Chansamnang, said that the wages of workers are still under discussions.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Oum Mean, said that he does not dismiss this research, but he would like to call on workers to understand the difficulties of Cambodia, which was and which is being affected by the global economic crisis – and the whole world is the market of Cambodia. When economies decline, they do not have much income, and their demand will decline, making their buying orders in Cambodia also to drop. If there are no buying orders, the factories have to close, and not just US$70 or US$80 will be lost, but there will be nothing.

“Mr. Oum Mean asked workers to stay calm until the situation gets better. The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, Mr. Van So Ieng, said that in just the two months of 2009, buying orders for Cambodia declined to 40%. As for the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Cham Prasidh, he said recently that 70 factories closed since the economic crisis erupted in August 2008, and this made more than 51,000 workers jobless. Aware of this hard situation, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, called on 24 February 2009, during a certificate awarding ceremony to graduates, on workers not to demonstrate or to strike, in order to avoid the closure of factories which would lead to job losses.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1899, 17.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #39, 17.3.2009

  • America: Airports and the Sea Are the Places where Drugs Come Out from Cambodia
  • [Former Phnom Penh Police chief] Criminal Heng Pov Will Be Sentenced on 24 March 2009 for Murdering the Editor-in-Chief of Koh Santepheap

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #140, 17.3.2009

  • Thieves Broke into [six] Gold Stalls in the Olympic Market and Took Away Gold Worth Half a Million Dollars [police have not yet identified the thieves]
  • Israel Plans to Invite the Cambodian Prime Minister to Make an Official Visit
  • A Storm Destroyed 34 Houses, Seriously Wounded Eight People, and Lightly Wounded Four [Banteay Meanchey]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1899, 17.3.2009

  • Trade Unions Discuss Wages of Workers while Buying Orders Decreased to 40%
  • [Deputy Prime Minister and secretary-general of Funcinpec] Nhek Bun Chhay Plans to Sue CTN TV Presenter [Soy Sopheap for defaming Funcinpec five times]; More Than 2,000 Funcinpec Members Prepare to Demonstrate in Front of the CTN Television Station
  • Video of [a karaoke singer who suffered an acid attack in 1999 because of an affair with a high ranking official] Tat Marina’s Life Shown in Switzerland on 8 March 2009 [International Women’s Rights Day] Now Reaches Cambodia [the video was delivered to a human rights organization to make copies and distribute them to journalists]
  • [Ousted prime minister] Thaksin Encourages People to Support the Puea Thai Party so that He Can Return

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6604, 17.3.2009

  • Former Japanese Ambassador [Imagawa Yukio] Visits Cambodia Regarding Various Developments
  • Germany Grants Euro 130,000 for the UN Inter Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region [UNIAP]
  • 69-Year-Old Man Raped 7-Year-Old Girl [he was arrested – Sihanoukville]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #1713, 17.3.2009

  • Ieng Sary’s Lawyers Appeal against the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Order to Close Their Website – http://sites.google.com/site/iengsarydefence/
  • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party]: Hun Sen Government Faces Lack of Resources to Support Government Processes in 2009

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4847, 17.3.2009

  • An Arrest Warrant Is Released for an Advisor of a Leader [not mentioning who] for Deceiving and Using Fake Documents

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1674, 17.3.2009

  • Head of the Biggest Hospital in Cambodia Goes to Receive Treatment in Singapore [the director of the Calmette Hospital, a secretary of state of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Heng Taikry, suffered a stroke]
  • Opposition Party and a Civil Society Organization [the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO] Advise [CTN TV presenter and editor-in-chief of Deum Ampil] Soy Sopheap to Stick to Journalism [by stopping to use his position as a journalist to attack different political parties]

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IMF: Cambodia Cannot Avoid the Consequences of the Global Economic Crisis! – Saturday, 14.3.2009

Posted on 16 March 2009. Filed under: Week 603 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

Note:

Apologies for the rough language – it is the policy of The Mirror to provide readers of the English translations a glimpse at the sometimes rough world of Khmer journalism as it is – as always, without endorsing opinions expressed, nor being able to verify the veracity of original statements.

“A representative of the International Monetary Fund, Mr. John Nelmes [IMF Resident Representative in Cambodia], had predicted that Cambodia would encounter the consequences of the global economic crisis, and it is necessary to be prepared in advance.

“However, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has no economic skills, became angry and shouted that the Cambodian economy cannot decline as predicted by this person or by that person.

“It should be remembered that the IMF had warned recently, ‘Cambodia is heading toward an economic downturn and the GDP will decline to a growth rate of only 0.5% this year, after there was rigid growth during one whole decade.’

“Moreover, Mr. John Nelmes emphasized again on Thursday [12 March 2009], ‘The Cambodian economy is in a negative status, such instability happens in the context of a bleak global economic atmosphere. We are talking about a period of dramatic decline in economic activities. So far, what we have seen is that the depth of the downturn is worse than expected.’

“Mr. John Nelmes added, ‘Any hope for next year’s economic growth in Cambodia is not clear, because we foresee only 3% growth for 2010, but it might change.’

“Mr. Nelmes went on to say, ‘The export data of some countries are terrible, and the US retail sellers will have negative growth rates this year. This is not a good omen for garment exports.’

“Mr. Nelmes continued to say that also the high inflation in 2008, and the rising price of the dollar make Cambodia to become a more expensive goal for tourism.

“He predicted that tourism, which had an annual growth rate of nearly 20% during three or four years, decreased to around only 5% in 2008, and might also encounter negative growth rates in 2009. The selling of cars and of motorbikes dropped now by 50%, [for cars] and it had been down by 20% at the end of 2008, compared to the twelve months of the previous year.

“The executive director of the ANZ Royal Bank, Mr. Stephen Higgins, said that Cambodia needs cheaper electricity and more roads to encourage broader commercial exchanges.

“Mr. Higgins added that while one kilowatt/hour of electricity costs around US$0.05 in Vietnam, in Cambodia it can cost up to US$0.18, which is much more expensive than in Vietnam. He went on to say that the cost of transportation of agricultural goods in Cambodia is four times more expensive than in Thailand, adding, ‘This is a big difficulty. If the government wants to spend its money, it should spend it on anything that promotes the productivity in the country.’ He continued to say that although the agricultural structure might get improved and likely earn additional income, employment opportunities will be less. More production in different other sectors besides the garment sector will absorb a growing number of the labor force. The garment sector was producing more than half of the industrial output of the country, while food production earned only about 10 percent.

“Also, Mr. Higgins looks forward to the promise that there will be a Commercial Court to solve commercial disputes, which is a key factor to encourage investors.

“He added that corruption is still another concern for investors – different anti-corruption laws and regulations could solve this situation. He said, ‘Everything to clear up corruption will have long-lasting results.’

“Recently, a parliamentarian and spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, said, ‘The government has to recognize the serious situation of Cambodia and must not conceal it. And the government must really support the budget package of around US$500 million [proposed by the Sam Rainsy Party] to encourage the economy.’

“The spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party said so after the Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, who has no economic skills, had dismissed the predictions about the dramatic downturn of the economy of the country, which suffers the impacts of the global economic crisis.

“The Prime Minister, who boasts about his political achievements, claimed proudly to protect this bad face, saying , ‘Growth in agriculture can surely prevent Cambodia from falling into an economic crisis, even though some major sectors of the Cambodian economy encounter a downturn.’

“Because of this persistence, without recognizing what is right or wrong, Hun Sen predicted the future of the economy in Cambodia himself, ‘Cambodia will have 6% GDP growth in 2009.’ Prime Minister Hun Sen chatted lightly, referring to America, Europe, Japan, and Korea as elephants. He added, ‘The global economic crisis in Asia in 1997 was like a sheep that fell dead on the elephants’ legs. But now, the elephants died and fell on sheep’s legs.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann said, ‘If the government still hides the rate of economic changes, they will be hurt by it in turn.’ He added that the IMF might make only few mistakes in their forecasting, which is technical and it is not colored by politics.

“He went on to say, ‘The government should not mix politics with technical problems.’

“The Cambodian economic growth, predicted for 2009 after just two or three months, was nearly 5%. However, on Friday last week [6 March 2009], the IMF listed Cambodia among the countries facing an economic slowdown.

“The IMF predicted that Cambodia will have another 0.5% drop in economic growth, because of the global economic crisis, and the decline of tourism, and of the construction and the garment sectors.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #364, 14.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 14 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #138, 13.3.2009

  • Cambodia Restricts to Climb to the Preah Vihear Temple, and a Siamese [Thai] Monk Is Arrested for Attempting to Climb to the Temple
  • The UN Drug and Crimes Office [in Cambodia] Hopes that [the former commander-in-chief, who has just been appointed as the 10th deputy prime minister in charge of drug administration] Mr. Ke Kim Yan Will Strongly Act to Combat Drugs
  • The Government Provides a Livelihood Allowance of Riel 20,000 [approx. US$5.00] per Month to Civil Servants
  • The Court Orders Police to Detain a Taiwanese Man and a Military Police Officer for International Drug Trafficking [Phnom Penh]
  • 20 Security Companies Sign Agreements with the National Police Office to Promote Citizens’ Security
  • Japan, South Korea, and America Announce to Shoot Down a North Korean’s Satellite Launching

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1897, 14.3.2009

  • The National Election Committee Bars Foreign Passport Holders to Join the [district and provincial/city council] Election Campaign

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #364, 14.3.2009

  • IMF: Cambodia Cannot Avoid the Consequences of the Global Economic Crisis!

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6602, 14-15.3.2009

  • Senior Official of UNESCO [Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO Ambassador Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï] Promised to Work for a Sustainable Protection OF the Preah Vihear Temple [he said SO during his official visit to the Preah Vihear Temple]
  • A Man from Hong Kong Had 846 Gram of Heroin When He Wanted to Board a Plane [he was arrested at the Phnom Penh International Airport]
  • The Iraqi Journalist Who Threw a Shoe at Mr. Bush Is Sentenced to Serve Three Years in Prison

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4845, 14.3.2009

  • The Minister of Labor [Mr. Vong Soth]: 99 Factories Are Closed, 78 Factories Are Opened, and 20,000 Unemployed Workers Are Seeking Jobs
  • Cambodian and America Look for Possibilities to Encourage Agricultural Production
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces to Allow the [national and international] Public to Attend [former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch’s Hearing [on 30 March 2009]
  • The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dismisses the US Department of State’s Report [on the human rights situation in Cambodia] on behalf the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia
  • Vietnam Provides Documents and More Than 300 Photos Regarding the Khmer Rouge Regime

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A High Ranking Official of the Government Criticizes that Foreign Officials Interrupt the Process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Thursday, 12.3.2009

Posted on 15 March 2009. Filed under: Week 603 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“A high-ranking official of the Cambodian government stated on Tuesday that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is at present being interrupted and hindered by some foreign officials. The Minister of Information and government spokesperson, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, criticized that some foreign officials are making money rather than coming to seek justice for Khmer citizens. The government spokesperson reprimanded them, saying, ‘One case has not yet been finished, and they raise another case. This group wants to extend the time of the court proceedings for their salaries… Many of them try to oppose some of the court actions, so that it cannot proceed. Therefore, we think carefully about all elements of our Article 46, and nobody can block this court.’

“Moreover, Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith warned that the Cambodian side might move ahead alone, if foreign officials continue to interrupt the process of seeking justice. He said, ‘We have many elements to consider. If no one does it, we do it. The government has money to do it, but we may do it alone, because the government cannot afford tens of thousands of dollars for the salaries for foreign officials. According to Article 46, as a last resort, the Cambodian government can do it alone, but first, we need to work with the United Nations and then with countries that are members of the United Nations. Then we work with partner countries, and if the third way cannot work, the forth way is that Cambodia will proceed alone.’

Note:

Further information about the history and some arrangements for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal:

Cambodia’s Position on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Presentation by His Excellency Sok An, Senior Minister, Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, President of the Task Force for Cooperation with Foreign Legal Experts and Preparation of the Proceedings for the Trial of Senior Khmer Rouge Leaders, to the Stockholm International Forum Truth, Justice and Reconciliation, 23-24 April 2002

Your Excellencies, Diplomatic Representatives and Participants in this third Stockholm International Forum .

Firstly, I would like to thank the Swedish government for making it possible for the Cambodian delegation to participate in this Forum, giving us the valuable chance to meet and exchange views with scholars, diplomats and legal experts from around the world. Learning from others’ experiences and sharing our own is a precious opportunity for us…

The Paris Peace Agreements of 1991 accorded political legitimacy to the Khmer Rouge and, when UNTAC left Cambodia in 1993, the new coalition government had to cope with the Khmer Rouge continuing policy of civil war and destabilization. We then launched a multifaceted strategy involving political, legal, economic and military campaigns, including the 1994 Legislation to Outlaw the Khmer Rouge, and efforts to encourage its members to defect and split. What Prime Minister Hun Sen has described as a “win-win” policy that has formed the bedrock of the political platform of the Royal Government of Cambodia involves five facets: “divide, isolate, finish, integrate, and develop” in which the Khmer Rouge political and military structure was ended, but those Khmer Rouge who defected were assured of their physical safety and survival, the right to work and to carry out their professions, and the security of their property…

The fifth compromise arose because the United Nations wanted the Law explicitly to exclude the possibility of any amnesty or pardon for those who may be indicted or convicted. According to our 1993 Constitution, the King has the right to give amnesty and pardon and we did not wish this law to contradict our Constitution. As a compromise we agreed to state in the law that the Royal Government of Cambodia will not request the King to grant any amnesty or pardon. Our Prime Minister and I have repeatedly stated that no one is above the law, and it will be entirely up to the Extraordinary Chambers to decide who shall be indicted or convicted…

But we cannot wait forever. Article 46 of our Law makes perfectly clear that, while primacy is given to United Nations participation in the process, if it pulls out, Cambodia is entitled to go ahead to establish the Extraordinary Chambers without the United Nations, hopefully with the participation and support of individual member states and foreign legal personalities, or in the last resort to carry out the trial entirely on its own.

[Bold face highlighting added during editing]

“It should be noted that recently, the foreign co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Robert Petit, had asked to open investigations on more former Khmer Rouge leaders, besides the five former Khmer Rouge leaders already detained in the special detention facility of the tribunal, waiting for hearings. However, the above request of Mr. Robert Petit was strongly opposed by the Cambodian co-prosecutor, Ms. Chea Leang, by strongly raising different reasons . [The US based organization] Human Rights Watch criticized the disagreement between Ms. Chea Leang and Mr. Robert Petit on his request, saying that this is political interference, raising the accusation that there is intervention by the Cambodian government.

“The investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal have not yet made a decision after the request of Mr. Robert Petit to investigate additional former Khmer Rouge leaders. In the meantime, Khmer citizens inside and outside of the country requested the investigation of more former Khmer Rouge leaders, in order to seek justice for the victims of the Killing Fields regime. It is regretted that high ranking officials of the Cambodian government accused foreign officials of the Khmer Rouge tribunal of interrupting the process by requesting to hear more former Khmer Rouge leaders, to be detained at the special detention facility of the tribunal.

“On the other hand, last week, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal amended 27 points of its internal regulations, but did not consider any request by non-government organizations. This results in further criticism of the hybrid tribunal by non-government organizations, for trying to conceal information, related to the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Moreover, the fact that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal did not consider the requests by non-government organizations shows that the special tribunal is under strong political influence.

“It should be noted that in late 2008, many organizations submitted detailed requests for changes in the internal regulations of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Those organizations had said that their requests will lead to more openness: like allowing the public to attend, when those who are arrested are presented for the first time, and like the request to publish information about decisions how differences of opinion between prosecutors and investigating judges in the tribunal were solved. But during the plenary session of the investigating judges of the tribunal last week, these requests by non-government organizations were not raised for discussions.

“In a joint request by five non-government organizations, including the Center for Social Development – CSD, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, and the Cambodian Open Society Justice Initiative, they ask for solutions for apparent problems of interpretation between the Agreement to establish the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, with the United Nations signed in 2003 with the Cambodian government, and the internal regulations of the tribunal. This request was not taken up for discussion during the plenary session of the judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, while an official hearing of Kaing Gek Iev, called Duch, will be held in late March. This problem creates distrust among national and international observers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, while corruption allegations at the tribunal are not yet clarified.

“A former US ambassador in charge of war crimes, and an important negotiator to establish the tribunal, Mr. David Scheffer [as ambassador, he participated in the creation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia], said Tuesday that it was not sure whether policy makers of this tribunal consider to publish such decisions or not. Mr. David Scheffer wrote in an email that it is important that they should not conclude and express views in writing about such sensitive points controversial among prosecutors. He added that the 2003 Agreement should be consulted.

“Some of those who observe the Khmer Rouge Tribunal since its beginning said that this tribunal cannot help Khmer citizens, who have been waiting for justice for more than 30 years, to see the real light of justice, because since it was created, the hybrid tribunal, established together with the United Nations, had to encounter various obstacles, especially corruption allegations, which almost makes this tribunal to lose its value. In addition, attacks between Cambodian government officials and foreign officials in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal lead to further postponement the hearings of former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Some analysts criticized that both the United Nations and the Cambodian government seem not to have the will to prosecute the former Khmer Rouge leaders soon, and to provide justice to the victims who lost their lives during the Killing Fields regime. That is why the recent hearing of Duch on 17-18 February proceeded in a way which was useless [no explanation given why this newspaper comes to this opinion], and then the Cambodian side announced that it will completely run out of money in March. This announcement from the Cambodian side is a shame, since so far, not any Khmer leader has been prosecuted, while millions of dollars were already spent wastefully.

“Anyway, Khmer citizens inside and outside of the country want the hearings of former Khmer Rouge leaders to be conducted soon, to find out who created the Khmer Rouge, and to reveal the reasons that led to the crimes where more than 1.7 million Khmer citizens were killed during the Killing Fields regime.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3709, 12.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 12 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #137, 11.3.2009

  • Mr. Hor Namhong Asks the United Nations to Help Street Children
  • [Former Microsoft Corporation chief executive officer] Bill Gates’ Foundation Will Grant Aid to Develop Impoverished Communities in Phnom Penh [according to Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Man Chhoeun]
  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen]: The Government Will Strengthen the Education Sector
  • The National Bank of Cambodia Points to the Downturn of Economic Growth in Cambodia in 2008 [which declined to 7.9%]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #362, 12.3.2009

  • [A parliamentarian of the Sam Rainsy Party] Yim Sovann: The Government Must Acknowledge the Serious Situation because of the Downturn of Cambodia’s Economic Growth

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1895, 12.3.2009

  • The Head of the Royal Government of Cambodia Criticizes Protectionist Policies [of other countris because they make some Least Developed Countries to face difficulties to export goods]
  • UNICEF Provides More Than US$6 Million for the Development of the Educational Sector of Cambodia
  • Vietnam [through a visiting commercial delegation] Seeks Development Partners in Cambodia
  • Dalai Lama: Tibet under Chinese Control Is Like Hell on the Earth [“March 10th Statement of H.H. the Dalai Lama” and a response by the People’s Daily Online: “Dalai Lama’s utter distortion of Tibet history”]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6600, 12.3.2009

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech [Hun Sen] Warns that Those Who Continue Running Football Betting Will Be Sued at the Court

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3709, 12.3.2008

  • A High Ranking Official of the Government Criticizes that Foreign Officials Interrupt the Process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4843, 12.3.2009

  • Cambodia Allows [Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese] People Who Hold Border Passports to Stay [in Cambodia] for One Week
  • A Man Sleeping in the Field to Guard Paddy Rice Was Hit and Killed, and a Small Tractor and 27 Bags of Paddy Rice Were Stolen [police are seeking the culprits – Bavel, Battambang]

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The Ministry of Culture Says It Is Not Able to Bring Back Khmer Artifacts Put Up for Sale in the United State of America – Tuesday 10.3.2009

Posted on 14 March 2009. Filed under: Week 603 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: A high-ranking official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts stated that the Cambodian government is not able to bring back artifacts which are not listed here and lost, but are reported now in the United State of America and in some other countries.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Mr. Chuch Phoeun, told Deum Ampil on Monday evening 9 March 2009, ‘The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is not able to collect Khmer artifacts that are lost and not yet listed as Cambodian cultural heritage, even though those artifacts are claimed to be property of Cambodia.’

“The statement was made after the Internet website TwinCities.com reported that many types of artifacts are offered for sale at the eBay company, based in the United States of America, which were brought from Cambodia, China, Egypt, Italy, and many other countries. Mr. Chuch Phoeun added, ‘Though we have national and international laws, we lack money for the listing of such artifacts as objects of cultural heritage of Cambodia, in order to provide proper identification of those artifacts.’

“The Secretary of State went on to say, ‘We can only list artifacts at the National Museum as objects of cultural heritage, but artifacts at other museums in the provinces are not yet well listed. We lack money.’

“According to the Secretary of State, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts receives Riel 500 million [approx. US$124,000] per year from the Ministry of Economy and Finance for conserving and maintaining temples around Cambodia. He continued to say that Cambodia needs hundreds of millions of dollars for the conservation and maintenance and the development of thousands of cultural sites countrywide, and to comply with this task, it is necessary to receive and to requests more aid from partner countries, while Cambodia cannot yet provide these resources.

“However, the above report did not state the number of artifacts put up for sale at the eBay Internet auctions company. The report said that the government of China, an Asian country with an old civilization, is trying to demand those artifacts back to its country in whatever condition.

“Regarding what was mentioned by the Secretary of State, Khmer citizens regret that the government does not make as much efforts as possible to return those artifacts to the country as other countries do, to return the rich and invaluable cultural property of the nation. In late 2008, Thailand announced to return to Cambodia artifacts illegally trafficked to Thailand.

“It should be noted that until now, some partner countries assist so that some temples and artifacts are repaired and preserved, like temples of Angkor Wat, Banteay Srey, and Ta Prum.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #135, 10.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #3410, 10.3.2009

  • Mr. Hun Sen Strongly Hopes that the US and European Economies Will Grow Again [so that Cambodian workers will not be unemployed because of factory closures, exporting products to markets in the United State of America and in Europe]
  • [Sam Rainsy Party] Parliamentarian Mu Sochua Was Prevented by Body Guards to Attend the Inter Parliamentary Union Meeting [claiming that she did not have identification letter for the meeting – held in Phnom Penh from 9 to 11 March 2009: Regional Seminar on the Role of Parliaments in Promoting Peaceful and Sustainable Societies in South-East Asia]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #135, 10.3.2009

  • The Ministry of Culture Says It Is Not Able to Bring Back Khmer Artifacts Put Up for Sale in the United State of America
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dismisses Information about a [Sri Lanka] Tamil Insurgents’ Base in Cambodia
  • Hungary Eliminates 50% of Cambodia’s Debt and Provides 50% Grant Finance
  • Electricité du Cambodge Encourages a Plan to Connect Electricity from Vietnam as Soon as Possible to Overcome the Need for Electrical Cuts-off in the City
  • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin: “I am like a dog in the country that could be caught any time”

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1893, 10.3.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] and Khmer Troops Confront Each Other Again at the Cham Sragam Border Crossing Point [after Khmer troops removed a Thai troops post at the border, claiming that it was in Khmer territory]
  • Man Hit His Wife with a Long Handle Knife Twice to Behead Her because of Jealousy [police are seeking him – Siem Reap]
  • 12,000 US Troops Will Be Withdrawn from Iraq in September 2009

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6595, 6.3.2009

  • The President of the Senate Guarantees that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Seek Justices for Victims; Samdech Thama Pothisal Chea Sim: Problems Left from the Past Must Be Solved

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3707, 10.3.2008

  • [Minister of Interior from the Cambodian People’s Party] Encourages the Cambodian People’s Party to Cooperate to Share Power with Three Other Political Parties [after the district and provincial/city elections on 17 May 2009]
  • The Government Should Publishes the Results of Setting Land Border Markers at the Khmer-Yuon [Vietnamese] Border

Neak Cheat Niyum, Vol.4, #51, 11.3.2008

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Order Big and Small Workshops [in Phnom Penh] to Relocate to Suburbs

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4841, 10.3.2009

  • Four Suspects Are Arrested for Kidnapping Siem Reap Military Police Commander’s Daughter [the hostage is released and police are seeking two other kidnappers who escaped with US$80,000]

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Co-Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Release Search Warrant after Confidential Information Leaked – Wednesday, 4.3.2009

Posted on 5 March 2009. Filed under: Week 602 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 602

“The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – ECCC – released an announcement yesterday, 3 March 2009, about a violation of the confidentiality of investigations, after there was information about confidential documents published by defense lawyers on their website.

“The announcement said that responding to clear and repeated violations against the instruction of the co-investigating judges, the co-investigating judges ordered defense lawyers to stop immediately their publication of documents related to investigations, except for documents that had been published already on the website of the ECCC, and take off those documents from the website of the defense lawyers, otherwise they will be punished for a new offense.

“In the meantime, the co-investigating judges sent copies of the documents of the warrant to the Professional Unit, which relates also to the Defense Protection Unit, to consider measures to be implemented.

“The announcement added that this decision was made based on Regulation 56.1 of the internal regulations of the ECCC, which states, ‘To protect all sides’ rights and interests, investigations must not be made public. All individuals taking part in investigations have to keep confidentiality.’ This regulation must by applied to all individuals joining investigations, especially to lawyers of all sides, and to all types of evidence. The internal Regulation (56.1) adds that only co-investigating judges have the authority to decide to publish information regarding investigations being conducted, or permit any media or any third parties to receive information about investigations.

“In the case that they do not abide by the different conditions defined by judges, Regulations 35 to 38 will be implemented. The co-investigating judges would like to explain the different reasons leading to this decision.

“Before there are public hearings, all procedures of the court always start with short or long investigations, depending on the extent of work. The confidential characteristic of this stage is crucial for the quality of the court process, especially to guarantee the protection of privacy of individuals, whose names are included in case documents, and to guarantee the presumption of innocence, and also the investigative efficiency.

“Co-investigating judges know that the stages of confidential investigations will not allow observers outside of the court to know much of the the process of that procedure. Thus, co-investigating judges try to limit the duration of investigations to make them as short as possible. The co-investigating judges recalled that in Duch’s case, the duration of the investigation was less than one year (the concluding warrant, sending the case for a hearing, with detailed clarifications about the different accusations, was published on 8 August 2008), which cannot be considered to be too long, looking at the complexities of the case. Likewise, the co-investigating judges try as much as possible to work speedily, so that the present investigation of a second case will proceed without delay.

“In order to promote public awareness as much as possible, the co-investigation judges reminded the public that every month, they produce bulletins, briefly describing the activities of different units of the ECCC . In addition, to guarantee the efficiency of all policies above, the co-investigating judges will make more publications than before about their different activities and publish more documents related to the investigations.

“The co-investigating judges would like to remind the public that though all decisions of the court might be opposed by appeals complaints, the respect for decisions has to be upheld.” Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #30, 4.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Areyathor, Vol.15, #1382, 4-5.3.2009

  • An American Man Was Found Dead on the Floor [in his house – police concluded his head was hit, but they do not know whether he hit himself or someone hit him – Phnom Penh]

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #30, 4.3.2009

  • Co-Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Release Search Warrant after Confidential Information Leaked
  • Civil Society Wants that ASEAN Human Rights Committee Has Power
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua Asks Micro-Finance Institutions to Suspend or Delay Seizing Houses and Land of Farmers [while they cannot pay interest to those institutions regularly, because they are affected by the dropping prices of agricultural products]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #130, 4.3.2009

  • [The former commander-in-chief] General Ke Kim Yan Will Become a Deputy Prime Minister
  • It Was Discovered That Electricity Was Stolen at the Residence of His Excellency Oknha Sat Nary [by setting the electricity meters to run slowly; it is estimated that the state lost approx. US$250 per month, but the authorities have not accused anybody]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1887, 3.3.2009

  • Those Who Earn Their Living by Transporting Tourists and the Boat Tourism Association Demonstrate against the Sou Ching Company [which sells tickets to tourists, and after tourists buy tickets from them, they will not allow them to visit the Tonle Sap Lake]
  • Sweden Promises to Support Cambodia [in development and in other sectors – according to the visiting secretary-general of the Swedish Parliament, Mr. Anders Forseberge]
  • The Thai Government Admits that to Arrest [ousted prime minister] Thaksin and Bring Him Back to the Country Is Difficult

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #356, 4.3.2009

  • Kompong Som Residents Were Surprised Seeing Thousands of Body Guards Protecting the Prime Minister and His Family while Swimming at the Sea [on 13 and 14 February 2009]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6593, 4.3.2009

  • Five Civil Society Organizations [the Human Rights and Complaints Reception Committees, the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, the NGO Forum, the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union and CEDAW] Published a Statement about the ASEAN Human Rights: “Wanting to See This Committee to Have Full Power”

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1418, 4.3.2009

  • The Elimination of Some Obligations for Foreigners to Buy Tickets to Visit the Visit Angkor Region Is Welcomed [before foreign tourists were required to buy three follow-up day tickets by which they had to visit three fixed follow-up days, but now they can choose any three days among the week and as for those who buy one week tickets, they can choose any week of the month]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4836, 4.3.2009

  • US Ambassador for ASEAN Praises the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [Scot Marciel, Ambassador to ASEAN and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs]
  • 77 Enterprises Are Accused at the Court for Not Respecting the Labor Law [by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training and 201 enterprises were fined]
  • Cambodia Prepares to Transport 25 Tonnes of Battery Wastes to Belgium
  • Goods Crossing the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port Drops by 40% during the Global Financial Crisis
  • Rebels Killed Guinea Bissau President
  • Donor Countries Promise to Provide US$5 Billion to Gaza [Saudi Arabia provides US$1 billion, the United State of America US$900 million, and the European Union US$436 million]

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The United Nations and the Government Will Break the Stalemate about Corruption at the Tribunal – Wednesday, 25.2.2009

Posted on 26 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

“Announcing to overcome a stalemate, after there had been discussions about how to prevent corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, officials of the United Nations and of Cambodia announced, on Monday [23 February 2009], a complicated program to solve complaints about irregularities which will provide equal responsibility for the international and for the Cambodian sides at this tribunal.

“Speaking to journalists at the Council of Ministers on Monday evening, the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sok An, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations, Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, believe that this new system will motivate donors to continue to provide funds to the Cambodian side of this tribunal, which will face a new financial crisis in a few months. Mr. Sok An told reporters, ‘I think that mutual understanding is the best basis for the administration of this tribunal to move ahead, and also the court will move ahead.’ He added that mutual understanding is important for a successful work of this joint process… Working together in this joint process will clear up all problems. Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen told reporters that he believed that this agreement will, finally, bring the discussion about corruption allegations over kickbacks to an end, which had emerged from the tribunal since it was about to begin, and which has caused some donors to halt funds. Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen continued to say that it is an important step in our joint efforts to deal with corruption problems, adding, ‘I think that the agreement that we have will be accepted positively by donor countries.’

“However, the new anti-corruption program suggested seems to be less than what UN officials sought during an unsuccessful discussion with the government in January. Early this month, Cambodian administrators said that during a private discussion in January, the UN officials suggested the creation of a large anti-corruption program for both sides at this tribunal, and for international independent code-of-conduct observers, to be placed into the existing Code-of-Conduct Committee and into the Extraordinary Chambers at this tribunal. Anyway, the program announced in the joint statement on Monday will include anti-corruption measures that cannot affect procedures that have already become valid at the Cambodian side in this tribunal, and it relates to the UN side, which had created its related mechanism, where there is only one person to receive complaints. After that, complaints from the Cambodian side or from the international side at this tribunal will be sent to a committee with an equal number of members of Cambodian and UN officials, which require to be composed of several members, or at least some agreement between both sides is necessary to take any action.

“The joint statement released on Monday did not clearly show how this new system can prevent similar events like during the previous years, when a number of Cambodian officials disagreed with the arrangements in the administration of this tribunal and informed UN officials about kickback corruption, which was then rechecked in New York by the Office of Internal Oversight Services. The findings of this inspection conducted by the United Nations were not made public, but it had been reported that there was a request to investigate corruption related to the payment of kickbacks to get employment at the tribunal.

“An observer of the Open Justice Initiative, Ms. Heather Ryan, said on Monday that her organization was disappointed with the results of Monday, adding that the Open Justice Initiative believes that the agreement mentioned does not talk about corruption allegations, and it is a step back in that whole effort. She went on to say, ‘We are concerned that the United Nations might make a very low level definition because of obstacles raised by Cambodia for the future joint efforts of an independent court.’

“The legal assistant of the defense lawyers of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea, Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi, who has asked Cambodian court authorities to investigation allegations about kickbacks received at this tribunal, said that he met with Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, but they rejected to comment about what they discussed.

“According to the statement of Monday, the United Nations and the government both have to release letters in the coming weeks to legalize the agreement, even though details are still being negotiated.” Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1415, 25.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #25, 25.2.2009

  • Mr. Hun Sen Warns He Might Dismiss [eight] District Governors and Revoke the License of Cambosix [a betting company, if they are found colluding to allow Khmer people to gamble]
  • Hun Sen: Global Witness Has No Authority to Ask Him Anything – He Is Not a Prisoner

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1882, 25.2.2009

  • To Revoke Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [regarding a violation of election campaigning rules, and charged by the National Election Committee] Is Not Difficult [said Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Demonstrations Happens Again in Siam [Thailand – between 8,000 and 10,000 anti-government demonstrators support ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]
  • Tamil Tiger Rebels Announces They Are Prepared to Accept a Ceasefire if It Can Be Coordinated by the International Community [Sri Lanka]

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol.7, #349, 25.2.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Reacts Saying that the Global Witness Is a Global Cheating [without responding to any details or refuting the published specific allegations]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6587, 25.2.2009

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces a Hearing of “Duch” to Be Held on 20 March 2009
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Held a Hearing of [the former minister of Social Affairs] Ieng Thirith while [former deputy prime minister of the Khmer Rouge regime] Ieng Sary Was Referred to Hospital
  • [Around 10,000] Red-Shirt Demonstrators Surround the Government House [in Thailand]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3696, 25.2.2009

  • Development Projects in Cambodia Affect the Interests of Thousands of Khmer Families During the Last Three Years

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1415, 25.2.2009

  • The United Nations and the Government Will Break the Stalemate about Corruption at the Tribunal
  • The Number of Advisors of the President of the National Assembly [Mr. Heng Samrin] Is More Than 100 in Total [after 28 new advisors were appointed]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4830, 25.2.2009

  • The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly Will Summon a Meeting Regarding the Request to Revoke the Immunity of Mr. Sam Rainsy [on 26 February 2009]
  • Samdech Dekchor Calls on Workers Not to Strike Disorderly [not to strike for not important reasons] Which May Lead to Unemployment
  • The Cambodian National Council for Women Shows that There Were Many Cases of Human Trafficking [in 2008], but There Was Little Punishment
  • The Ministry of Defense Creates a Department of Politics and Foreign Affairs

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3489, 25.2.2009

  • 10,000 Soldiers [deployed doing non-military duties] Are Summoned Back to Barracks [by order from the Prime Minister to the commander-in-chief, Mr. Pol Saroeun, removing them from areas of land disputes where they were involved to protect certain economic interests]

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

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LICADHO Criticized Judgment of the Appeals Court Prosecuting Thach Saveth, Falsely Accused to Be a Murderer – Saturday, 21.2.2009

Posted on 22 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Human rights officials in Cambodia and many citizens are distrusting the judicial system, which is not independent and does not fulfill its role properly following principles of law, where investigating judges and prosecutors at different provincial and municipal courts as well at higher courts (Appeals Court and Supreme Court) made judgments, based only on reports or on notes of answers received from the authorities.

“On 19 February 2009, the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – strongly condemned the Appeals Court, saying that it did not have a proper legal basis to prosecute a parachute soldier and condemn him to serve 15 years in prison for allegedly killing a president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers of a factory in Phnom Penh, Mr. Ruos Sovannareth.

“LICADHO claimed that the accused, Thach Saveth, 26, a former parachute soldier, was arrested for shooting dead Mr. Ruos Sovannareth, the free trade union president of the Try Togea Komara Garment Factory, on 7 May 2004, and the accused was arrested on 24 July 2004.

“The accused, Thach Saveth, was condemned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to serve 15 years in prison on 15 February 2005, and the Appeals Court held a hearing on the appeal of the suspected murderer (Thach Saveth), upholding the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s 15-year-prison-term on 19 February 2009.

“According to LICADHO’s statement of 19 February 2009, there was no concrete reason to believe that the accused Thach Saveth is the murderer, and most of the evidence was fabricated.

“That there was no known investigation by the judges of the Municipal Court who just depended on police reports; this motivated LICADHO to strongly regret the decision; at the same time, this judgment of the Appeals Court did not contribute to find real justice for the real murderer. LICADHO emphasized in its statement that the judgment of the Appeals Court on 19 February 2009 is a bad model of injustice, because the court lacked evidence to put against the accused to be the murderer in the shooting to kill Mr. Ruos Sovannareth; the court did not have investigative evidence, but just relied on reports of the authorities.

“LICADHO went on to say that those who witnessed the murder of Mr. Ruos Sovannareth were not allowed to become witnesses in the hearing, and they were not questioned by the investigating judges in this murder case.

“LICADHO added that one among the many witnesses appeared at the hearing of the Appeals Court last week, as suggested by the defense lawyer of the accused, but the court did not question any of such witnesses. The director of LICADHO, Dr. Pong Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], said, ‘We condemn the judgment of the Appeals Court in order to show that LICADHO does not support such injustice, and we very much regret and are sad, seeing that the court did not provide real justice to the victim, because after national and international human rights groups attentively observed this hearing, they found that there wasn’t any evidence presented to put the burden on the accused.’

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek continued to say that at the time when the murderer shot dead Mr. Chea Sovannareth, the person accused to be the murderer was in the Anlong Veng district in Oddar Meanchey. She hopes that the Supreme Court will offer real justice to the victim Ruos Sovannareth who was murdered, release Thach Saveth falsely acused to be a murderer, and order the authorities to arrest the real murderer to be prosecuted, like in the case where the Supreme Court provided justice to the falsely accused Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen to be murderers, by releasing them and by ordering the case to be reinvestigated.” Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #347, 21-23.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 21 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #121, 21.2.2009

  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights] Voice Concern over the Weak Implementation of Law in the Judicial System in Cambodia
  • Vietnamese Minister of Defense [Phung Quang Thanh] Visits Cambodia Three Days
  • Private Tourist Sector Asks the Government to Find Ways to Facilitate the Traveling of Tourists to Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1879, 21.2.2009

  • The [Phnom Penh] Municipal Court Requests to Remove Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [it asked the National Assembly to remove parliamentarian immunity from the president of the opposition party, Mr. Sam Rainsy, regarding an accusation of a violation during the election campaign]

Kampuchea Thngai Nis, Vol.5, #400, 21-27.2.2009

  • Rural Development Bank Official [Dr. Sun Kunthor] Calls for the Improvements of Product Qualities

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #347, 21-23.2.2009

  • LICADHO Criticized Judgment of the Appeals Court Prosecuting Thach Saveth, Falsely Accused to Be a Murderer

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #349, 21.2.2009

  • [Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Commander-in-chief] Pol Saroeun Supports Hun Sen’s Plan to Remove Heng Samrin as the Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party [according to an article published by the Phnom Penh Post]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6584, 21-22.2.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Military Commander Apologizes for Artillery Shells Which Landed in Khmer Territory, and Siam [Thailand] Promises that Such a Case Will Not Happen Again
  • [Minister of Tourism Thong Khon asks] France to Help Create Professional Schools for Tourism

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3693, 21-22.2.2009

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announced to Run Out of Money [at the end of February 2009] while Hearings of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Are Not Yet Finished

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4827, 21.2.2009

  • The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Reject to Translate Full Court Documentation of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Mr. Khiev Samphan [into French, the language of his defense lawyer, though the court rules say that it is a trilingual court: Khmer, English, and French]
  • Labor Market of Construction Sector Drops by 50% [between 40,000 and 45,000 workers in total]; The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction [Minister Im Chhun Lim] Said that It Is Not a Problem [he said that if they have no employment in the construction sector, there are fields and plantations and other work in agriculture]
  • Husband and Wife Were Rolled Over [by a truck] Leaving Their 8 or 9 Month Old Twin Sons [the driver of the truck escaped – Phnom Penh]
  • A German Man Died in the Ekareach Hotel in Sihanoukville [also known as the 7-Floors-Hotel, but national and international journalists are not allowed to enter the site, and the cause of the death is not yet known]

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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