Businesspeople Inside and Outside of the Country Gather Force to Promote the Real Estate Market in Cambodia – Wednesday, 11.2.2009

Posted on 12 February 2009. Filed under: Week 599 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 599

“Phnom Penh: This week, real estate businesspeople from inside and outside of the country gathered to create a new association to promote and improve the declining real estate market in Cambodia. The Association of Cambodian Real Estate Developers aims to help restore the fast declining real estate market in Cambodian to grow up again.

“Real estates companies expressed their hope that the real estate market will become active again soon. Representatives of real estates companies had assembled to join forces and to make efforts to restore their situation, lively selling real estate in Cambodia again. Mr. Van So Ieng, who was selected to be the president of the Association of the Cambodian Real Estate Developers, said that this new association plays a role to help coordinate work with the government, in order to find ways to reactivate the land and the house markets in Cambodia.

“Mr. Van So Ieng added that the creation of this association is to establish another new force to encourage activities regarding real estate, to get moving ahead.

“It should be noted that the Association of the Cambodian Real Estate Developers was created, after the real estate market of Cambodia had collapsed, and while the government established a new policy, requiring real estate companies to deposit 2% of to the volume of each construction project as a security deposit.

“The director of the Bunna Realty Group, Mr. Sung Bunna, who was nominated secretary-general of the Association of the Cambodian Real Estate Developers, disagrees with the policy requiring to make a 2% security deposit per construction site. However, he agrees with the establishment of a mechanism to monitor all real estate companies, which is being drafted by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

“It should be stressed that the policy to reserve a 2% security deposit for ongoing construction activities is to ensure confidence from companies contracting a construction company, so that the customers continue to commit their money to acquire flats.

“Mr. Sung Bunna requested the government to consider the disadvantages of this security depositing policy in a situation when Cambodia’s real estate market is going down like this.

“As for the director of the Udom Vathanak Company that buys and sells land, Mr. Men Ra, he presented the opinion that the 2% security deposit creates a disadvantage that can affect the newly growing real estate market in Cambodia.

“Ahead of the elections in 2008, activities on the real estate market in Cambodia started to slow down, and so far, the land and the house construction markets are still quiet, which is partly also the result of the international financial crisis.

“Mr. Men Ra said that the land market in Cambodia, with cooperating efforts by the government, will become activated again soon.

“Mr. Van So Ieng expressed his hope that the land market will grow again after the real estate companies in Cambodia assembled to form the new Association, especially if there is cooperation from the government.

“Also, Mr. Van So Ieng mentioned that solutions might also be found from the policy of providing loans to citizens to buy houses – this can help to reactivate the real estate market in Cambodia.

“It should be noted that the Cambodian government announced that government institutions are beginning to release loans in an effort to encourage the buying of land and of flats again.

“This announcement by the government was welcomed by different real estate companies in Cambodia.

“Mr. Men Ra called for supporting activities by the National Bank of Cambodia in order to restore the present weak situation of the land market.

“So far, real estate businesspeople still hope that sooner or later, there will be land selling activities again.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #200, 11.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #15, 11.2.2009

  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association]: Global Witness’s Website Is Closed Because It Touches Sensitive Spots of Corrupt Officials of the Cambodian People’s Party

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #339, 11.2.2009

  • The Government and the National Assembly Plan to Question the Person Who Ordered Armed Forces to the Mobitel Company [closing it for about 4 hours]
  • More Than 2,000 Olympic Market Vendors Protest in Front of the Residence of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [over the rising prices of market stalls]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1870, 11.2.2009

  • Director General of National Police [Net Savoeun] Orders to Cancel Illegal Police Number Plates, starting in May 2009
  • [The Russey Keo district governor] Kleang Huot Is Accused of Threatening a Man with a Weapon and Hitting and Injuring Him [Phnom Penh]
  • Getting Angry with the Run Away Owner, Some Workers Used the Opportunity to Take All Sewing-Machines of the Factory Away [Wan Sida / Siao Pao Factory – Phnom Penh]
  • Two Thai Men, Who Drove a Car and Crashed into a Truck Loaded with Wood from Behind, Died Immediately on Road 67 B in Srae Nouy Commune [Siem Reap]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #341, 11.2.2009

  • Opposition Party [the Sam Rainsy Party] and Civil Society [the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Criticize the Creation of a National Education Council [saying that it is useless because its tasks are already the responsibility of the Ministry of Education]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #200, 11.2.2009

  • Businesspeople Inside and Outside of the Country Gather Force to Promote the Real Estate Market in Cambodia
  • National Education Council Is Created to Monitor the Quality of Education of State and Private Universities
  • The Norodom Ranariddh Party Will Hold a Congress to Change Its Name on 15 February 2009 [as planned by one of its factions]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6575, 11.2.2009

  • There Is Logging, but There Is No Replanting; In the Middle of Botum Sakor National Park’s Buffer Zone, Trees Are Being Cut Down [Koh Kong]
  • More Than 13,000 Tourists Visited the National Museum in 2008
  • Poland Feels Hurt after Pakistani Taliban Beheaded a [Polish] Hostage

Mate Nak, Vol.2, #20, 11-17.2.2009

  • Cambodia Will Launch a Stock Exchange Market This Year

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3684, 11.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Is Disappointed with the Hun Sen Government That Delivers More Than 10,000 Hectares of Land to a Company from Kuwait [to establish an agro-business]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4818, 11.2.2009

  • The Cambodian Association of Travel Agents Wants the Government to Reduce Prices of Some Services [such as visa fees, airport taxes, tickets to visit different tourist sites] to attract tourists while the financial crisis is strongly threatening tourism from countries in the region]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Forbids that People in the Audience [allowed to participate in the hearing of former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Kaing Gek Eav on 17 February 2009] Wear Shirts with Slogans Supporting or Attacking the Khmer Rouge Case
  • The Cambodian Center for Human Rights Encourages the Government to Support Freedom of Expression
  • The Owner of the Viva Tinouy Factory [phonetic] Runs Away from [around 1,000] Workers with US$200,000!
  • Health Official: The Quality of Cancer Treatment in Cambodia Is Not Lower Than in Other Countries
  • Japan Grants Nearly US$3 Million to Two Projects [irrigation in Kompong Speu and infectious disease control]

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Process to Randomly Select Respondents in a Survey – Monday, 26.1.2009

Posted on 27 January 2009. Filed under: Week 597 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 597

“In September 2008, the Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley, began a survey called So we will never forget – A Population-based survey on attitudes about social reconstruction – and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia [Researchers/authors: Mychelle Balthazard, Sokhom Hean, Phuong Pham, Eric Stover, Patrick Vinck]. The results of this survey were released to the [Cambodian] public on 21 January 2009 at the Sunway Hotel, in a meeting organized by the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee – CHRAC. the methodology was a systematic random sampling , made according to general technical standard systems to survey people. In the survey, researchers randomly selected 125 communes out of the existing 1,621. This selection was done proportionately to population size at the communes. After that, the researchers randomly selected 250 villages countrywide from these communes. There were four randomly selected families in each village and one member of each family was randomly selected. As a result, the researches had 1,000 selected respondents from all places around Cambodia. Data collected were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

“Each survey in Cambodia encounteres many obstacles. A major obstacle that should be considered is that it is most difficult to solve what is a clear selection of respondents, to ensure that there is no partiality and that results of the survey reflect the actual reality in the society. There are many factors in the survey of the above Human Rights Center that needed to be solved. The first aspect is that Cambodia has a patriarchal social structure, and there are many big differences between the various groups of people. There are big gaps between the rich and the poor, the highly-educated people and those who are illiterate, between the city residents and the people in rural areas (the differences between these pairs of groups have many consequences, such as the understanding of society, different living standards, differences in education, population density, and different ways of life …). As a result, it is very difficult to clearly conclude how the researchers defined who is a ‘general Khmer citizens,’ because in Cambodia there are many differences between different communities, and there are many ethnic groups. The survey aimed to study the opinions of all Cambodian people, but to explain who all the Cambodian people are is difficult. Nevertheless, the methodology to select respondents by the Human Rights Center was thoroughly conducted by studying previous surveys of the Khmer Institute for Democracy, and it included scientific research methodology. However, we have to suggest that we have to conduct surveys for each group separately rather than for the whole Cambodian people. Doing so allows us to know well to what extent each group of people knows about the Khmer Rouge regime and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. If we would get such information, we would find it easy to create outreach programs for the villages to educate the people there further.

“The second point relates to the population density in each province. If we conduct surveys by randomly selecting villages and communes without thinking about population density, we will get partial towards provinces with a small density. The above survey of the Human Right Center uses a selection of villages and communes which is proportionate to the population size of the different provinces. This factor is important to note in the above survey.

“The third point is that a survey has to consider the theory of the environment of the people [related to a center] which states that when people live farther away from populated areas, their knowledge regarding the social situation drops. According to this theory, the population density is divided into three main sections: the core section, the middle section, and the outer section. In general, people living in the core section are highly educated, rich, and knowledgeable in many social skills, and they influence people living in the middle and the outer sections. There are many reasons for these results. The first reason is infrastructure: where generally people in the outer sections find it hard to connect to the core sections, because of many reasons, such as damaged roads and lack of travel facilities. The second reason is communication, which affects the mentality of people living in the outer section, because they do not of have access to television, newspapers, and radio. However, at present, the Cambodian economy is growing and people in the core, middle, and outer sections get closer to one another little by little, narrowing the gap of the mentality of the three sections of people.

“The fourth point relates to the selection of respondents so that those chosen obviously represent Cambodian people. Respondents of the survey of the Human Rights Center of the University of California were at the age of 39.8 on average, and the number of men and women were equal. 69% of the respondents lived under the Khmer Rouge regime and the rest of 31% said that they were born after the Khmer Rouge regime. But according to statistic of the National Statistical Institute, 68% of Khmer citizens are 29 or under. Therefore, the other 32% have spent part of their life under the Khmer Rouge regime. This different handling of the statistics might be partial towards those who spent part of their life under the Khmer Rouge regime. This partiality might affect different responses quite a lot, especially related to the status of being a victim, the understanding of the Khmer Rouge regime, and of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, reconciliation, and compensation.

“Fifth, the Human Rights Center of the University of California recognized that one shortage of this survey is the problem of not meeting respondents that had already been selected through the random selection methodology. The report of the survey said that 147 families were identified and replaced by other families, because nobody was at home (76%), families refused to give responses (5%), and other reasons (19%). Moreover, more than 297 respondents were selected and then exchanged because they were not at home when the researchers went to interview them (85%). Those replacements strongly affected the random selection. One reason is that those who stayed back could not express their interests, social class, and knowledge. Those who went to work outside might be members of families with more strenuous labor and knowledge than members of families staying home. Therefore, researchers could have received the information that Khmer citizens are not much interested in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal or do not know this court.

“The above points are major points of that the Human Rights Center of the University of California studied, and what different organizations that intend to conduct surveys should consider. Furthermore, other obstacles, such as the interpretation of questions from English to Khmer, and different views between researchers and respondents regarding important ideas such as reconciliation, remembrance, what is a victim, who is a perpetrator, what is the understanding of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and regime. The last point that all researchers should also be aware of, is that people’s opinions are influenced by different events at villages and by outside happenings. This is a reason which creates gaps between previous and future results. Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4804, 25-26.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 26 January 2009

Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #38, 26-1.1.2009

  • Military Officials of the Ministry of Defense Who Retired Demand the Government to Release Their Salaries [more than 6,000 military persons were retired since April 2008, but so far, they have not received their pensions]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1856, 25-26.1.2009

  • Ke Kim Yan Had Tears in His Eyes during a Ceremony to Change Assignments [he said that already six months earlier he had asked Prime Minister Hun to retire from his position of the commander-in-chef of the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces because of ill health]
  • Nearly 2,000 [garment] Workers of the LA Factory Strike because Their Boss Has Not Released Their Salaries for Two Months [Phnom Penh]
  • Lim Marachit, a Khmer in the United States of America, Found a Pesticide to Kill “Banla Yuon” Plant [phonetic – probably Water hyacinth? – also known as Ouyas [phonetic] – this plant grows in rivers and affects natural fish breeding] before Returning to Cambodia

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #191, 25.1.2009

  • Human Rights Groups Condemn the Authorities That Used Armed Forces and Machinery to Destroy the Houses and Evict the Dey Krahom Residents [Phnom Penh]
  • Three Features of Cambodia Cannot Avoid the Threats of the Financial Crisis [30% of construction plans with millions of dollars of planned investment were suspended or canceled, the garment export dropped by 2% in 2008, and the number of tourists from the United States of America and Europe declined by 39%]
  • Cambodia Takes Up Tourists from Russia and from Kuwait as a New Tourism Destination
  • The New Market Inaugurated Repairing Site [Phnom Penh]
  • Mr. Obama Orders to Completely Close the Guantánamo Prison [in Cuba]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6561, 26.1.2009

  • Solving Border Disputes: The Cambodian and Thai Ministers of Foreign Affairs Will Meet to Discuss Today
  • Eighteen Trainees [from state institutions] Receive Certificates as Spokespersons for the First Time
  • Districts of Provincial Towns Are Changed into Cities, and Three Big Cities Were Changed into Provinces [three cities, equal to t former districts, are Poipet City in Banteay Meanchey, Suong City in Kompong Cham, and Bavet City in Prey Svay Rieng, and the three big cities that are changed into provinces are Kep, Sihanoukville, and Pailin]
  • [Ousted former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Announced His Commitment to Struggle in Thai Politics Forever [statememt on opposition TV channel]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4804, 25-26.1.2009

  • Process to Randomly Select Respondents in a Survey
  • Two Cambodian Students Won a Law Competition [in Cambodia] and Will Join an International Competition in the United States of America

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Perception and Reality – Again – Sunday, 18.1.2009

Posted on 19 January 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

Thanks for your interest.

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

In the Mirror, we have taken up the public importance of perceptions several times over the years.

Actually, we had raised this question at the beginning of the publication of The Mirror on the Internet in January 2007, with reference to Prime Minister Dato Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia under the tile “Perception and Reality.” At his inauguration, he had pointed to the important role of perceptions held by the public – which may or may not conform to reality, but are nevertheless extremely important for the political situation of a country.

And Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar, as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, took up the concern for the role of perceptions, saying that “negative developments do not contribute to creating a climate of confidence in the world, which is vitally necessary for all of us, regardless of different faiths and beliefs, to live in peace and harmony.”

Not only the reality is important – but how it is understood and interpreted what is heard and seen – this too is extremely important. Some good things may be misunderstood as if they were bad. But if many things heard and seen result in negative perceptions, it can have deeply devastating consequences for a seemingly well functioning society.

This week, we list up some reports – really not knowing how the public can help to clarify what is confused, to avoid moving further down into the dark.

The international Human Rights Organization Human Rights Watch had, in its 2009 report covering the situation of many countries, also criticized Cambodia.

Human Rights Watch does not report only about notoriously criticized countries like Myanmar, but it deals also with the human rights situation – to name some more countries – in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and in the United States of America. Many of these countries take problems raised very seriously.

The brief Cambodia section of the Events of 2008 is followed by about 20 additional, detailed background documents

The content of all this is – unfortunately – not new: criticism of the criminal justice system, cases of intimidation, violence, imprisonments. Endemic impunity, rampant corruption, and illegal plundering of natural resources. And: Cambodia is due to be reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Commission in December 2009.

Most cases had been reported in the Khmer press during the year, quite a number also we had mirrored.

The official Cambodian reaction was reported in the Cambodia Daily as follows:

“Om Yentieng, head of the government’s human rights committee, dismissed the report’s findings, saying Human Rights Watch was defaming the country with lies and, in the process, making themselves foolish.

‘I refuse all of the accusations,’ he said, ‘they are just trying to make up things, or they just want to spoil heir name. They are playing the role as a puppet in order to gain an advantage for themselves.’”

(Cambodia Daily, 16 January 2009)

As an illustration of the gap between this perception and the reality we point to some reports mirrored during the past week – small and big events:

  • When people need public certifications or documentation, there are often no publicly displayed fees, saying transparently what is to be paid – “The price of a certificate, to get employment, to register the place of residence, or to get married is US$5.00, but the price goes up with its urgency – US$5.00 for one month – US$45.00 for 15 days, US$100.00 for one week, and US$150.00 for one day.” Similar arrangements may be in place in other countries too. But the report claims what is said to be general knowledge: “…these extra charges do not go to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.”
  • When a family had lost their new born son in a hospital formerly supported by Japan, the following financial dealings were reported. They had been going on for some time, but nobody had dared to speak up. – “There are notices written on the walls of the Japanese hospital with big Khmer letters on blue background, saying please do not pay anything to the staff, but only to the cashiers. Patients who are not able to pay for the services are invited to contact a monitoring group, and if someone asks for money in addition to the prescribed fees, they should be reported to the monitoring group. The service charges are approx. US$3.50 for a woman delivering her first baby; the normal room charge is approx. US$2.50 per night. – However, everything is different from the above prohibition notice. Each patient pays extra money in addition to the services, such as approx. US$10.00 to US$30.00 for doctors, approx. USUS$2.50 to each medical staff who injects three syringes three times per day etc. A woman said that, when the head of her baby appeared half way, first the doctors asked her how much money she would offer them. That woman offered them approx. US$12.00, but the doctors demanded more. Because she begged that that was all the money she had, they agreed. This is an incredible story, but that was what that woman said herself. Another woman staying in the next bed offered the doctors US$5.00, but only when they arrived at the sum of US$30.00 they agreed.”
  • When defense lawyers at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal were unable to get information about alleged kickbacks of Khmer staff – to higher level persons, for having received their positions – which would have satisfied them that there will be no unfairness in the trials, they finally filed a request for clarification of these corruption allegation at the Phnom Penh court. Now they feel intimidated by judges who prepare to sue them for defamation – instead of being grateful that the allegations could be refuted by a court forever.
  • When a delegation from the Senate and from human rights groups tried to inspect and to check forest sites allegedly cleared for planting rubber trees in Ratanakiri, the DM Group, the company under suspicion, prevented them from fulfilling their task.
  • When a Danish Woman had bought several thousand over-the-counter painkiller tablets with codeine, that can be easily and legally bought at many pharmacies all over Phnom Penh, and she tried to mail them at the Post Office – they are cheap here, and she hoped to sell them abroad to make some small extra money to support her son – she was arrested. Now she was convicted to serve 15 years in prison and fined approx. US$7,500 for drug trafficking. None of the press report said anything about any involvement with illegal substances.
  • When 234 families felt threatened as owners of their land by the Heng Development Company, they were satisfied that the Kandal provincial court had confirmed their land rights on 26 February 2007. But now the company deployed machinery and started to clear their land. When the legal owners protested, the company told them that the Kandal court had made a wrong judgment. The Military Police in Kandal Stung, led by their commander – a nephew of the director of the Heng Development Company – deployed 20 to 30 armed military police who opened fire with their AK-47 rifles – at least three men were seriously injured.
  • When it was reported that the US company PHI Mining had bought the Indochina Mining Corporation, now a subsidiary of PHI Mining, and that it now cooperates with the Cambodian company Angkor Metal Corporation, it was not big news. But maybe it had been big news before, and we had missed to see it – or it should have been big news. As we have mirrored yesterday, his cooperation relates to Cambodian natural resources , where the initial valuation of this copper ore area is estimated at USUS$1 billion. And we also mirrored yesterday that the Angkor Metal Corporation does not disclose much about itself in the way other companies do, though the US partner company writes that the “Founders of Angkor Metal Corporation include a son and a son-in-law of Mr. Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, thus ensuring political support to acquire and extend mining license.”
  • The Constitution of Cambodia says:

    The National Assembly shall approve the national budget, State planning, loans, financial contracts, and the creation, modification and annulment of tax. (Article 90)

    We do not have information about any public bidding for the financial contract for national mineral resources, which the Angkor Metal Corporation finally got, neither do we have information on the status of the National Assembly approval procedures for the project and loan agreements – in the range of US$500 million – which are, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, already signed by Cambodia and by Kuwait.

    As stated initially, in public politics the perception of what is going on is often more important for the public democratic process than the reality – so we raised all the issues above – all based on information which was either in Cambodian newspapers, or which is available publicly on the Internet. Prime Minister Badawi had accepted, therefore, the need for self-criticism in searching for the reasons for such perceptions. But at the same time he considered it necessary to engage in identifying what he saw as “wanton violations of human dignity, natural justice, human rights and international law.”

    A good example.

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    The Heng Development Company Used Military Police to Shoot at Citizens in a Land Dispute – Saturday, 17.1.2009

    Posted on 18 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Would you like easy access to the editions of The Mirror directly by e-mail, and keep them on your harddisk? Or have a “newsfeed”? You can “subscribe” for free!

    Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (not here, but on the blue letters to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:

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    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “Kandal: At least three people were injured by Military Police in Kandal Stung, directly led by the Kandal Stung Military Police commander, Mr. Chun Vanny, shooting hundreds of bullets from AK-47 rifles at the citizens protesting against the Heng Development Company. Ms. Sieng Chanheng, the director of the company director, ordering between 5 and 7 machineries to trespass and clear to violate the people’s land, and this company deployed from 20 to 30 armed military police standing to protect the machineries – but they opened fire, shooting at the citizens as if they were their enemies, hitting some protesters, and injuring three men seriously.

    “This shooting of protesting citizens by Kandal Stung Military Police, against citizens trying to stop the activities of machinery of the Heng Development Company invading and clearing land, resulted in three injured people; this happened at around 9:30 a.m. on 16 January 2009, at a place at Region 94 in Ampov Prey village, Kandaok commune, Kandal Stung district, Kandal. The three men injured by the Military Police’s shooting are 1. Mr. Yean, 23, who lives in the Region 94 in Ampov Prey village in Kandaok commune; he was hit by one bullet on his right ear, 2. Mr. Ly Seyha, 28, who lives in Battachi village, Prek Hour commune, Takhmao; he was hit by two bullets on his right arm and on his stomach, and 3. Mr. Voeun Van, 20, who was arrested and it is not known where the bullets hit him.

    “The legal land owner are citizens who said that this land was handled in a verdict by the Kandal provincial court, Number 12‘V’ dated 26 February 2007, declaring that 234 families are the owners of the land. But now, on 15 January 2009, the Heng Development Company ordered machineries to grab the land and clear their rice fields, and on 16 January 2009, the people gathered to protest, but they were shot at by Kandal Stung Military Police, led by Mr. Chun Vanny, injuring three people, and making citizens to withdraw in order not to face more such cruel shootings.

    “The citizens said that they protested, but did not attack to burn the machines, they just hindered the Heng Development Company to use their machineries to bulldoze their land, which the Kandal provincial court had declared to belong to the citizens, while the company told them that the Kandal court had made a wrong judgment. They added that the Kandal Stung military police commander, Mr. Chun Vanny, who has just recently taken the position of commander, is a nephew of Ms. Sieng Chanheng [the director of the Heng Development Company]. Because of he emotional link of being aunt and nephew, this military commander led his forces to shoot at innocent citizens with no fear of the net of the law.

    “Regarding this cruel shootout, citizens ask the commander of the National Military Police, Mr. Sao Sokha, and the commander of the Kandal Military Police, to help to seek justice for the three victims.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #185, 17.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 17 January 2009

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1849, 17.1.2009

    • More Than 400 Families Suffering from a Fire which Destroyed Their Houses in Front of the Preah Kossamak Hospital Ask the Authorities to Allow Them to Enter the Area to Reconstruct Their Houses [Phnom Penh]
    • The United Nations Is Outraged with Israel’s Shooting on Its Aid Storehouse
    • All 155 Passengers Survived a Plane Crash into a River in New York City

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #328, 17.1.2009

    • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Expects the Government of the New US President Barack Obama to Press Yuon [Vietnam – regarding human rights violations against Khmer Kampuchea Krom people]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #185, 17.1.2009

    • The Heng Development Company Used Military Police to Shoot at Citizens in a Land Dispute
    • [The Minster of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong: Documents Asking for Millions of Dollars of Loans for Four Projects Were Already Signed by Cambodia and by Kuwait [1. Agreement to establish air traffic between Cambodia and Kuwait, 2. Increase tourism of Cambodia, 3. Memorandum of Understanding about Cambodian citizens to work in Kuwait, 4. Construction of a irrigation system at the Stung Sen, Kompong Thom, at around US$500 million]
    • 140 Families Came to Sleep [to protest] in Front of the Court Became More Angry! [because the court has not released their three representatives, arrested regarding a land dispute – Siem Reap]
    • Civil Society [the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association] Welcomes Decisions of the Supreme Council of Magistracy to Change Assignments of Judges and Prosecutors

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6554, 17-18.1.2009

    • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya] Asks [Thai citizens] Not to Engage in Politics which Create Disputes [with neighboring countries], and He Recognizes that Cambodia Had Suffered [under the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime]
    • A Thai Man Raped a Khmer Woman Worker of the SPT Company [a Thai road constructing company] Was Arrested [Banteay Meanchey]
    • Another High Ranking Leader of Hamas [Mr. Said Siam, Minister of Interior of Gaza] Was Killed by an [Israeli] Airstrike

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3668, 17.1.2009

    • Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party Prepare to Unite as One Party Next Week [according to Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhek Bun Chhay]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4797, 17.1.2009

    • Three Adults [a couple and a female servant] Were Killed by Cutting Their Throats, Leaving a Baby Crying and Crawling in Blood [perpetrators are not yet identified – Meanchey, Phnom Penh. Police broke the door open after hearing the crying baby]
    • A US Company [the PHI Mining Group with has bought the Indochina Mining Corporation, now a subsidiary of PHI Mining] Cooperates with a Khmer Company [the Angkor Metal Corporation – no website on the Internet] to Explore Mines in Preah Vihear
    • Thai Soldiers Leave [Burmese and Bangladesh illegal migrant] People on Boats to Die [by putting them on boats without engine floating on the sea – according to different press reports quoting survivors]

    Note:

    The Angkor Metal Corporation does not have a web site with standard information of its own, though there are references to it in other publications on the Internet.

    One such source of information about many companies from around the world is the Alibaba site – a service to search for big and small companies, presenting the companies’ history and profiles, size, activities, and information about the owner of the companies and their legal representatives. The following is the sketchy listing about the Angkor Metal Corporation – neither a web site is given – a method where many, even small companies, present themselves to the public, nor is there any information given in the field “Legal Representative/Business Owner” – and this for a company which may control up to US$1 billion of natural resources of Cambodia!

    More information is given by the PHI Mining Group, the partner of the Cambodian Angkor Metal Corporation, including a map of the copper mining area, roughly between Siem Reap and the Preah Vihear area; the map obviously presented by the Cambodian Angkor Metal Corporation shows the border between Cambodia and Thailand, and the Preah Vihear Temple to be located inside of Thai territory.

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Located in Sroyong Commune, Kolean, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia, one of potential biggest reserves of copper ores in Southeast Asian region with mineralized material likely to amount to several millions of MT [metric tonnes].
    • Angkor Metal Corporation [AMC] has already been granted exploration license for a total area of 192km2 (19,200ha), in which 2.5km2 is fully surveyed with promising commercial exploitation ability.
    • Founders of AMC include a son and a son-in-law of Mr. Hunsen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, thus ensuring political support to acquire and extend mining license.
    • High copper content of averaging 25-32% as a result of sample analysis conducted by a prestigious mining analysis center of Vietnam with cutting edge analyzing equipment. Moreover, mining technology for copper ore is not so complex, thus generating a high economic value.
    • Mineralized material is estimated to be 500,000MT and may amount to several millions of MT.
    • Initial valuation of this copper ore area is estimated at US$1 billion.

    OWNERSHIP

    • PHI Mining Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Indochina Mining Corporation, has signed an agreement with Angkor Metal Corporation to acquire a 51% ownership in this joint venture.

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    Promoting 70 More Military Officers Leads to More Serious Inflation – Friday, 16.1.2009

    Posted on 16 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

    Thanks for your interest.

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    The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

    “On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Defense Tea Banh said that there are 70 military officers among a group of generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces who were promoted to the rank of one-star general in 2008, in a ceremony on 31 December 2008. Tea Banh, mentioning the six-month confrontation at the border region during disputes with Siam [Thailand], said that generals from all provinces were promoted according their accomplishments and successes in defending the nation.

    “Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Tea Banh – suspected by some people not to be of Khmer descent – said, ‘We have laws for the appointment of officers in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, from low to high levels, and appointments are based on the special positions in the military and in any specific region where troops are deployed.’

    “It should be noted that in March 2006, Minister of Defense Tea Banh said that there were 613 generals ranking from one star to four stars in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. However, on Wednesday, Tea Banh did not mention how many generals from one star to four stars exist at present. This creates a strong interest among observers of the field of national defense in Cambodia, while this field loses its importance to a considerable extent.

    “According to a figure in 2006, it was estimated that each one-star general could only have 179 soldiers under his command among the 110,000 soldiers in Cambodia at that time. Figures from 2004, released on the website of a World Security Organization, allow to compare figures with the US armed forces, where there were 876 generals, and for each general there were 1,347 soldiers, both male and female. A journalist in Thailand, an expert in security affairs, said in an email on Wednesday that the newly promoted 70 generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces seem to be too many, but the awarding of such ranks is frequently based on political reasons.

    “Nevertheless, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Defense Tea Banh said that the promotions giving higher ranks is completely based on qualifications, but not on political considerations. Also the Preah Vihear RCAF commander Sam Bopharath said that he is one of the military officers promoted, and he was given the rank of a brigadier, having been a captain before. This Preah Vihear military commander said, ‘I was promoted to be a one star-general, after I have worked for 30 years in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

    “He went on to say that this promotion is part of the administrative reform of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, requiring all regional commanders to hold the rank of one-star general. As for Neak Vong, the chief of the General Staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces of the Fourth Region, assigned to be positioned at the Ta Moan temple region along the Cambodia-Siam [Thai] border, he said that the ranking is based on active work and long term experiences in military affairs. He added, ‘I have worked for the Ministry of Defense nearly ten years, but I am not yet appointed to be a general; I am still a major.’

    “It should be noted that among the expenses in the 2009 national budget of up to US$1,8 billion, the Hun Sen government increased the expenses for the national defense, in order to improve this field to be stronger. In the meantime, observers of the national defense in Cambodia said that in order to strengthen the national defense, corruption in the Ministry of National Defense and in the Military General Headquarters must be eliminated urgently, otherwise the effort to strengthen the military will not receive good results, because corruption in the Ministry of National Defense and in the Military General Headquarters has previously even taken away hats, shoes, and clothes of military officers and of soldiers countrywide. Therefore, the elimination of corruption in the field of national defense is crucial, so that it can be compared to neighboring countries.

    “Some experienced military officers said that even though at present, Cambodia has many generals, their abilities are still limited, because their promotions do not depend on real skills and work experiences, and on the struggle to serve the nation. In contrast, they receive their ranks for political reasons, which leads to a serious inflation of ranks, making their positions less valuable, and the stars on their shoulders are just worn for decoration.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3667, 16.1.2009

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 16 January 2009

    Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #5, 16-18.1.2009

    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #107, 16-20.1.2009

    • Israel Is Seeking Cooperation in Economy and Investment in Cambodia [according to a diplomatic visit by the first secretary of the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, Mr. Tzahi Selzer, in Cambodia]
    • The 7NG Company Will Wait for Three More Days, Offering US$20,000 [for residents] in Exchange for Leaving [the Dey Krahom region]
    • Cambodia Plans to Create [Cambodian National] Television Representative Office in Beijing [according the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
    • A Danish Woman Is Convicted to Serve 15 Years in Prison and Fined Riel 30 Million [approx. US$7,500 for drug trafficking. Actually, she bought several thousand of over-the-counter painkillers with codeine that can be easily and legally bought at street-side pharmacies throughout Phnom Penh; she was arrested in Phnom Penh when she tried to mail them abroad]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1848, 16.1.2009

    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Presented the Potential of Natural Resources of Cambodia to Kuwait Investors [during his visit to Kuwait]
    • To Let Their [10-year-old] Daughter Work for Other People in Phnom Penh for Pay Is Like to Let Them Mistreat Her; When a Girl Could Not Bear It Any Longer, She Escaped from a House and Asked for Help from the Police [she could no longer bear the work and the mistreatment, and could not go to school as had been promised to her parents; she escaped and she wants to return to her parents in Battambang]
    • The Chinese Economy Reaches the Third Rank in the World [after the United States of America and Japan – the Chinese government estimates that the economic growth of 11.9% in 2007 can grow up to 13%]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #184, 16.1.2009

    • The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party Create an Alliance to Form a Democratic Political Movement

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6553, 16.1.2009

    • The Co-Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Decided to Set the Date for the Hearing of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief ‘Duch’ in March
    • A Detestable Man Who Raped His [12-year-old] Daughter while His Wife Was at the End of Her Pregnancy Was Arrested and Brought to the [Preah Vihear] Court

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3667, 16.1.2009

    • Promoting 70 More Military Officers Leads to More Serious Inflation
    • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Summons Khmer Rouge Tribunal Officials to Question Them about Corruption

    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1403, 16.1.2009

    • The Ministry of Health Seeks Self-Governing for State Hospitals [in Phnom Penh, in order to make them autonomous in finance, hoping that this will lead to better health care for patients]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4796, 16.1.2009

    • India Asks Cambodia to Produce Grains That Can Be Exported to India [according to a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the new Indian ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Sachdeva]
    • In 2008, Khmer Tourists Traveling Abroad Decline by 200,000 [with a total number of 760,000, if compared to 2007, because plane tickets were too expensive while the fuel price skyrocketed]
    • More Than 1,000 [Palestinian] People Died in Gaza [since the war started 19 days ago – among them, more than 300 were children and 76 were women – during the same time 13 citizens of Israel died – 4 in Israel, and 9 while invading Gaza]

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    Friday, 22.8.2008: US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

    Posted on 23 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

    A reader had asked, from far away: “What is a moto-taxi?”

    Well – this is one:

    Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

    Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

    “Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia criticized Cambodian politicians who mostly do not put the interest of the nation and of the people as their highest priority, but they enter politics just because they want positions. Moreover, he said that it is necessary that opposition parties in Cambodia unite to become one force to compete with the ruling party.

    “During an interview with Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said, ‘Few Cambodian politicians whom I met had dedicated themselves to help the Cambodian people; too many politicians are only interested in the positions they can get.’

    “He added that the problem is that they do not think that they have to serve the Cambodian people. Although similar problems exists also in the United States, Mr. Joseph thinks that the problem is more serious in Cambodia than in the United States. He went on to say that it is important for Cambodia to have a sufficiently independent justice system to arrest corrupt people, and especially also politicians, to be convicted according to the law.

    “An observer said that just a few months ahead of the elections, many Cambodian politicians left the Sam Rainsy Party to join the Cambodian People’s Party, causing almost a breakup among opposition party members. Those politicians had left to take up some [already promised] important positions in the government, such as secretary of state, undersecretary of state, or government advisor, making it difficult to protect their claim that they had changed their political party because they think of the interest of the nation as their highest priority.

    “As for Cambodian politics in general, the US Ambassador thinks also that there are too many different opposition parties. He continued to say that as long as Cambodia has five or six opposition parities, they cannot compete with the ruling party. He said they should form an alliance, adding, ‘One opposition party will be stronger [than many opposition parties] and will gain strong attention from the Cambodian people.’

    “Ms. Chea Vannath, a political observer, said that to unite or not is not a problem. Nowadays, opposition parties do not have enough to say to oppose decisions made by the ruling party. She said also that at present, Cambodia does not have a real democracy yet, because of a ruling system that upholds partisanship, is built on personal links of friendship and on familial relations, which needs to be cut down in order to promote new [qualified] people.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 22 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1726, 22.8.2008

    • Cambodia Asks Kuwait to Provide Assistance with Irrigation and Transport
    • Woman Strangled in “Chea Kong” Guesthouse [by unknown person – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
    • Rural Unmarried Woman Beaten until She Was Unconscious and Then Raped by [two] Young Men [two suspects arrested – Phnom Proek, Battambang]
    • North Korea Vows to Strengthen Armed Forces to Make War [while US-South Korean military exercises are conducted]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #79, 22.8.2008

    • Plane Crash in Spain Kills 153 People


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6430, 22.8.2008

    • At Ta Moan Thom Temple a GPS Receiver of an Official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Was Broken [officials of the Ministry of Culture consider the breaking of their GPS machine by a Thai soldier to be an act of looking down on the owner of the temple. – Other reports say that the Thai soldier who did it was immediately punished by his superior, and a formal apology was presented by the Thai military to the Cambodian visitors; the Cambodian visitors admitted that they had acted against the mutual agreement not to bring GPS receivers to the Ta Moan area; the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan admitted that he also broke the regulation and he also took a GPS to Ta Moan]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3545, 22.8.2008

    • National Election Committee Gives Green Light to Ministry of Interior to Take Action against Boeng Salang Subdistrict Second Deputy Chief Heung Ponlork and Boeng Tompun Subdistrict Chief [Suos Sarin – for issuing Form 1018 illegally – Tuol Kork and Meanchey districts, Phnom Penh]
    • The King Plans to Participate and to Open the National Assembly Session in Late September; the Sam Rainsy Party Still Maintains Its Position Not to Accept the Election Results
    • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: Sam Rainsy Party Rejects the Election Results until Election Is Held Again


    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1350, 22.8.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Party Shares Parliamentary Power to Its Members Introducing Half-Term Positions
    • Death Threat by E-mail [from preahvihear@yahoo.com] against the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Mony [the e-mail said if Chea Mony joins the Cambodian People’s Party he will be able to find the murderers of Chea Vichea, it he joins the Sam Rainsy Party his fate will be the same as his brother Chea Vichea – who was murdered. The e-mailer said he doesn’t advise Chea Mony which way to go, but he should have some powerful people to protect him – or he will be followed and murdered]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

    • US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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    Thursday, 21.8.2008: Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia

    Posted on 22 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574


    Apologies: The link to the Joint Communique and the attached map – see further down – had been broken. It is now fixed. Thanks to the alert from a reader.

    “To clarify one’s position by kneeling down under the pressure of the diplomatic politics by Siam [Thailand] or to say that the Hun Sen government is defeated by the Siamese [Thai] diplomatic warfare regarding the incursion by Siamese troops to control the Preah Vihear Temple and the Ta Moan Temple regions – these are two prominent positions to describe the representatives of the Hun Sen government. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Hun Sen government, promised Siam to revoke Cambodia’s complaint to the UN Security Council about the incursion by Siam into Cambodia, and the Hun Sen government also agreed to beg Siam, by withdrawing its troops unilaterally from the Preah Vihear Temple region, so that Siam also withdraws its troops from Khmer territory.

    The press in Cambodia – the Khmer press and the international press alike – have not published (as far as we know – if we are wrong, please inform us) the extremely important Joint Communique, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Royal Government of Cambodia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, on 18 June 2008. This was the last joint submission to the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, which led to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. The full document and the appended map [‘the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached’ to the Joint Communique] is here; (it is a big file of 1.3 MB). To read the Joint Communique and to see the attached map, you need to have the free Adobe Reader or a comparable software installed – you can download the Adobe Reader here.

    We strongly recommend to have a look, especially also at the map with a tiny stretch of land in red, claimed as the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

    This document is available internationally, it has been published various time in the Thai media. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs signed this document, relating to national sovereignty and territory integrity, without asking the Thai parliament for a decision, led to a verdict by the Thai Constitutional Court, accusing him of overstepping is responsibilities, and thus violating the Thai constitution – so he had to resign.

    This document – co-signed in the name of the Kingdom of Cambodia – is also the basis for much public opinion in Thailand about the Cambodian government. It is surprising – and important to note – that this document of high international value, is not, or not easily, available to the Khmer public.

    It seems that many arguments in the Khmer press are either not aware of this document, or avoid to see it, because of its bewildering implications. To analyze the content of the document might lead to some different conclusions and arguments, different from what is nowadays in the press. We provide today some references to the Joint Communique and invite our readers to appraise the situation, comparing and relating it to the Joint Communique and the new Cambodian map.

    We would, of course, be happy to see some such reactions in the Comments you may write – or in e-mail to myself, the editor of the Mirror, at mirror@gmx.org

    “This information was made known after a two-day-meeting on 18 and 19 August 2008, and especially, after a high ranking delegation of the government of Cambodia, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hor Namhong, accompanied by senior representatives of the Minister of Interior of Cambodia, also came to visit the Siamese King at his palace in Hua Hin.

    “Explaining that this is to express sympathy and friendship among good neighbors, between Cambodia and Thailand, and to avoid confrontation between Siamese troops invading and Khmer troops protecting its territory, Hor Namhong and the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang reported the same content about the results of these negotiations. Hor Namhong said that Cambodia agreed to withdraw a complaint against Siam’s incursion into the Preah Vihear Temple region to the UN Security Council; representatives of the Hun Sen government consider this to be a concession towards Siam so that they agree to withdraw also their troops from Cambodia.

    “Moreover, Hor Namhong said also that in response to an order by Hun Sen, Cambodia agreed, on its side, to please Siam by promising to recall the Khmer troops from the Preah Vihear Temple region of Cambodia.

    “Hor Namhong said, ‘We will withdraw all troops from the Contested Regions. We will withdraw also the complaint to the UN Security Council.’

    “Cambodia filed a complaint to the UN Security Council to ask for intervention, asking to convene an urgent meeting, to solve the confrontation between Cambodian and Siamese troops, after Siam had invaded Khmer territory on 15 July 2008. However, the complaint of Cambodia to the UN Security Council was suspended by a phone call from the Siamese Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on 24 July 2008 to Mr. Hun Sen, requesting him to suspend this complaint (it seems to be a very interesting books), one day before the UN Security Council would have discussed it.

    The Khmer press speaks, in general, in general terms, of the invasion into Khmer territory, without considering the declarations of the Cambodian representatives, especially also the new map presented by Cambodia – not bu Thailand! – with the Joint Communique, which says:

    “1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription… of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached…

    2….the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.”

    On 15 July 2008, Thai troops moved into the “northern and western areas of the Temple” which were not claimed by Cambodia “at this stage” as part of the territory of the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple, listed as a World Heritage Site.

    “Mr. Hor Namhong said also, ‘We will withdraw the troops unilaterally form the disputed regions to express the good will of Cambodia, to avoid a confrontation that might lead to armed conflict.’

    “What is seen is that Siam has a landslide victory in its diplomatic warfare, hiding its military incursion into Cambodia, when the head diplomat Hor Namhong, on Hun Sen’s order, agreed to do everything by kneeling down to totally beg Siam – like through the promise to revoke the complaint against Siam to the UN Security Council, and to announce to withdraw the Khmer troops from Khmer territory first, so that Siam agrees to withdraw its invading troops also.

    What is called here “Khmer territory” seems to be part of the area contested between both countries – but more specifically in this case – an area outside of the perimeter claimed by Cambodia for the listing by the World Heritage Committee – see the note above.

    “Observers and experts officials said that the Hun Sen government made Cambodia to be a looser, because that territory belongs to Cambodia, as stated in the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1962. If Cambodia dares to order its troops back to the region again, Siam will take the opportunity to use this as a reason to order its troops to control Khmer territory. It is not believed that there will be proper and just solutions in the meetings attended by foreign affairs ministers, interior high ranking officials, and the Cambodia’s Border Committee, to guarantee that Siam will give up its invading ambition ordering its troops to control Cambodian territory.

    “Getting out from the Khmer-Siamese foreign affairs ministerial meeting on 18 August 2008 in Hua Hin, and then visiting the Siamese King, Hor Namhong said that the Khmer and the Siamese sides agreed to leave only ten soldiers at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, and twenty soldiers close to the pagoda, in order to lessen the confrontation by both sides.

    The Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda lies in the ‘buffer zone on the… western areas of the Temple’ which was ‘at this stage’ not claimed by the Cambodian negotiators as part of defining the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

    “Furthermore, the head of the Khmer diplomats Hor Namhong said that, as a concession which is quick like an arrow, aiming to defuse the confrontation between the troops of both sides, that the government of Cambodia agreed to withdraw all its troops from the border, and will turn to negotiate peacefully through meetings between the border commissions of both countries.

    “In the meantime, regarding about the movement of troops by Siam into the Ta Moan Temple on Khmer territory in the western Dang Rek Mountain region, it was kept as a separate issue. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang said that it was not on the agenda to discuss the Ta Moan Temple issue, and both sides agreed to deal with it next time.

    “This shows that it is a strategic trick of Siam in the diplomatic field to create new problems, while Cambodia is weak in this field, as well as in the field to defend the nation.

    “Both sides claim that the solution for the disputes at the Preah Vihear Temple is to plan to look for border markers, to clearly mark the border lines. To say so is another political trick of Siam, since, in general, they know that a verdict in the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 15 June 1962 clearly stated, by basing its verdict on the French and Siam treaties of 1904 to 1907, signed by both sides about the Khmer and Siam borders lines, which was marked in an official map in 1908.

    The court, in a very lengthy document publishing its verdict, stated that the court

    ‘…by nine votes to three, finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory
    under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’

    The text of the verdict clarifies things related to the temple; it does not clarify the border questions in the region. That is why both countries agreed that the next step necessary now is to work on the border demarcation.

    As a related question, it would be interesting to know how the different border clarifications – with Laos, with Vietnam, and with Thailand – which have been already accomplished something, or which need still to continue to work, relate to Article 2 of the Cambodian Constitution:

    ‘The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1/100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969.’

    This statement seems to imply that all border questions which all neighbors are already solved – otherwise, how could there be finite, clear, detailed numbers?] – but many sections of the borderline with neighboring countries are not yet solved..

    “Just having seen that the Hun Sen government agreed to kneel down to beg Siam with promises that Cambodia will withdraw its troops, even from the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia, to please Siam so that they withdraw their troops from the areas where they invaded Cambodia, allows everyone to knows that the Hun Sen government is very weak diplomacy, as well as militarily to defend its territorial integrity. How can Khmers then hope that Cambodia, ruled by the Hun Sen government of the Cambodian People’s Party, will not lose Cambodian territory, because they serve the interests of themselves or of factions among the leaders of Siam and of the Hun Sen government?” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 21 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1725, 21.8.2008

    • Kuwait Asks to Establish Its Embassy in Cambodia and Kuwait Will Come to Invest in Cambodia
    • Thai Opposition Group Asks Britain to Extradite Mr. Thaksin for Trial


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

      Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #78, 21.8.2008

    • Price of Gasoline Is Reduced [by Riel 400 to 500, approx. US$0.10] after the Government Had Asked for Reductions
    • US Ambassador to Cambodia [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Will Hold His Final Press Conference on Monday 25 August 2008 [his mandate ends]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6429, 21.8.2008

    • Latest Information from Preah Vihear Temple Area: Number of Delegations, Donors, and Tourists Declines


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3544, 21.8.2008

    • Sam Rainsy: I Do Not Trust the Constitutional Council; They Wants to Finish the Cases Whenever They Want
    • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: The Price of Fuel on the Cambodian Market Is Still High because There Are Not Many Companies Competing with Each Other


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4673, 21.8.2008

    • [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong Compares the Negotiations [over the Preah Vihear Temple] to a Steam Roller [that it is slow but still moving]
    • The European Community Puts a High Value on Elections and Vows to Continue to Help Cambodia

    • [South] Korea Asks Cambodia to Support Investments in Mineral Resources and Energy in Cambodia
    • Many Houses of Members of the Women’s Coalition for Peace and Development Were Destroyed by a Group of Soldiers [15 August – over land disputes – Srae Ambel, Koh Kong]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3390, 21.8.2008

    • Eng Chhay Eang Resigns as Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, Causing Political Doubts
    • Ministry of Agriculture Prepares to Allow Import of Pike Fish [from Vietnam – making officials in the provinces at the border unhappy, as they have been well off from pike fish smuggling]

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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    Thursday, 31.7.2008: US Ambassador Expressed Disappointment about Release of Russian Millionaire

    Posted on 1 August 2008. Filed under: Week 571 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 571

    “A statement from the US Embassy in Cambodia reported the reaction of Ambassador Mussomeli regarding the release of a Russian millionaire, who was accused of raping many Cambodian little girls. He mentioned that for several years, Cambodia has shown a strong commitment to fight human trafficking. Samdech Prime Minister, many ministers, like the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Justice, and of Women’s Affairs, as well as other public officials have testified to the world, how the Royal Government of Cambodia is committed to protect children and other citizens who are easily affected. Also, the world has congratulated Cambodia for this work. ‘We are very disappointed about the release of the Russian millionaire – who has raped children – after the Sihanoukville Court had imposed only a minor punishment on this person. The release of the criminal and the punishment imposed on this person do not fit the crimes committed.’

    “Serious punishment is the most effective method to send a message to persons who rape children, that such crimes will never be forgiven. In this case, the court actions strongly affect the nation and the Cambodian children, by sending a wrong signal to those who plan to abuse children sexually. It threatens and destroys the strong efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to suppress rape and human trafficking in Cambodia.

    “Regarding this reaction of the Ambassador, it was not possible to contact the court officials for comments
    in the evening of 30 July 2008.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6411, 31.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 31 July 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1707, 31.7.2008

    • German Minister [Ministry of Economy and Technology, Michael Glos] Congratulates the Cambodian People’s Party for its Victory
    • The Birth Spacing Is an Important Measure That Helps Save Lives of Mothers and Infants


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #61, 31.7.2008

    • Court Rejected Request by [Funcinpec’s new president] Keo Puth Rasmey to Withdraw Lawsuit [of Funcinpec against Prince Norodom Ranariddh – 30 July 2008]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6411, 31.7.2008

    • US Ambassador Expressed Disappointment about Release of Russian Millionaire
    • Supreme Court Upholds the Verdict of the Appeals Court That Convicted Prince Ranariddh to 18 Months Imprisonment
    • The Gathering of Protesters by the Sam Rainsy Party in Public Was Prevented, It Had to Be inside of the [Sam Rainsy Party] Headquarters [30 July 2008]
    • Mr. Radovan Karadžić [former Serb Bosnian leader, accused of genocidal crimes] Sent to the International Criminal Court in The Hague in the Netherlands [30 July 2008]
    • Cholera Killed 172 People in Indonesia [according to AFP]
    • South Korea Imports US Beef for the First Time After a Five-Year Suspension


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3526, 31.7.2008

    • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Waits for More Funds while the Health of the Accused Deteriorates Alarmingly


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4655, 31.7.2008

    • The Cambodian People’s Party Will Form a Coalition Government with Funcinpec, Led by [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay; the Government Removed Funcinpec President Mr. Keo Puth Rasmey from the Position of Deputy Prime Minister [because, on 29 July 2008, he suggested to the Supreme Court to withdraw the lawsuit against Prince Ranariddh], and Prince Sisowath Sereyrath Was Removed from the Position of Government Advisor [because he joined a declaration with three other parties, questioning the fairness of the elections on 28 July]
    • The Number of Deaths by Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh in July Amounts to 30% of the Total Number Countrywide
    • Kuwait Prime Minister [Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Arabic: صباح الأحمد الجابر الصباح Sabāh al-Ahmad al-Jābir as-Sabāh) Will Visit Cambodia Three Days [he will arrive in Cambodia on 3 August 2008]

    Click here to have a look at the last Mirror editorial – where we provided detailed information about the 2003 election results, to compare them with the election results of 2008, as they become available.

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