To Trust the Law Means to Trust that the Law is not only Written, but that It Is Implemented – Sunday, 29.8.2010

Posted on 30 August 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 679 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 679

Important Announcement

Would you please mouse-click, further up on this page here, on About The Mirror to read information about changes planned to be implemented, starting from 1 September 2010.

Thanks,

Norbert Klein
Editor of The Mirror

Social stability depends on a situation where the citizens trust that the law is implemented. Not every time when somebody thinks to be treated unjustly this is also true. But the fact that every week there are several reports of demonstrations of groups of people, in different parts of the country, who feel they are suffering injustice – mostly related to land use and land rights – should be a sign of alarm. Social stability can be enforced for some time, but that is different from social stability based on peace and justice.

In 2002, the Prime Minister had said in his opening speech to the Consultative Group Meeting between representatives of the Cambodian Government and representatives of cooperating countries and international institutions:

“We are conscious that corruption in the public machinery, be it judiciary or administrative or any other, increases transaction costs for everyone and reduces predictability in law enforcement and implementation of government’s policies… The government believes that enactment of adequate laws and regulations to prevent and punish corruption is crucial for addressing this problem.”

And in December 2005 he warned that if illegal land seizures were not brought under control, they could lead to a farmers’ revolution.

Are these words of the Prime Minister out of date?

Seeing that during many of present demonstrations people carrying pictures of the Prime Minister and the First Lady shows that many people still have hope in interventions by the Prime Minister to provide justice – even when they have lost confidence that the normal process of the courts will achieve this goal.

Violations of the law happen regularly and massively, as claimed in the Cambodian press, and this is also confirmed by high ranking officials of the government. Just to quote some examples from the current week reported in The Mirror:

  • Contraband Is Massively Imported while Members of the Authorities Are Collecting Colossal Amounts of Money
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Had Often Warned against It, but Frequently Heads of Some Institutions and Units Continue to Nominate Their Children’s Spouses or Other Relatives to Take Their Positions When They Retire
  • Tax Officers Who Collect Excessive Amounts of Money from Road Tax Payments Face Dismissal [so this is happening]
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Order to Intercept Forestry Crimes Is No Longer Followed [recently, there is more illegal wood transported]
  • Disabled Veterans and Retiring Civil Servants Complained about Difficulties to Get Their Salaries [as they were told to wait from day to day]

Not all press reports are verified – but if there are repeatedly reports about the same kind of violations, one would expect concerned statements from the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, explaining to the public what the authorities are doing to check what is going on to rectify what is wrong.

It is surprising that, instead, the spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Tith Sothea, when requested to look into problems in the way society is operating in spite of the regulations of the Constitution of 1993, made appeasing statements. He said that the government always rules the country following the law, adding, “If the opposition party wants further reforms beyond this, it has to wait until it wins the elections.” Many people who are convinced they suffer injustice do not want to see a complete political change, they just want to see that the laws and the Constitution of 1993 are really implemented.

When the 2010 report of Amnesty International drew the attention to the plight of thousands of Cambodian citizens suffering from forced relocations – in case of Group 78 in the Tonle Basak commune and other cases – the same spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers accused Amnesty International not to have studied the actual situation. Even accusations were made that such reports about the plight of Cambodian people asking for justice are only written to gain money for the writers. One might expect that the spokesperson would rather elaborate what the government is doing to help the people who have lost their homes, where they had had their livelihood – though poor – established for many years.

Will the Minister of Justice also be accused of “not to have studied the actual situation” for blaming the court system of not functioning according to the law, and therefore not delivering justice:

  • The Ministry of Justice Released a Letter to Warn Judges and Prosecutors Who Read Newspapers during Hearings and Assign Clerks to Assume Their Responsibility Instead

When a Delegation of the European Parliament recently visited Cambodia to study the medical sector, they observed the gap between what the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia says, and the realities they met. The Mirror carried repeatedly reports about sick people who could not get proper attention in hospitals if they were not able to pay first.

The public is not so much interested in claims by the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers that everything is all right. It would rather be interesting to read more about what measure are taken or planned to bridge the gap between the requirements of the Constitution – from which we quote here – than to be referred to a possible change by electoral vote, if the people want to see the Constitution implemented.

Some related quotes from the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia – always interesting and important reading:

  • Article 72: The health of the people shall be guaranteed. The State shall give full consideration to disease prevention and medical treatment. Poor citizens shall receive free medical consultation in public hospitals, infirmaries and maternities.
  • Article 74: The State shall assist the disabled and the families of combatants who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

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New Sub-Decree: Foreigners Can Own 70% of Condominiums – Monday, 19.7.2010

Posted on 21 July 2010. Filed under: Week 674 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 674

“Construction development companies have received some information about a new sub-decree that allows foreigners to own about 70% of condominium buildings, in order to promote the real estate and the construction sectors in Cambodia.

“The sub-decree adopted by the Council of Ministers states that foreigners in Cambodia can have about 70% of ownership rights of houses.

“This figure is lower than that which had been proposed in the draft of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction which had determined that foreigners can own 80%. Nevertheless, this percentage is still higher than that had been proposed in the first draft about foreign ownership in 2009 which was only 49%.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Ms. Nun Pheany, said on Sunday, ‘Such a decision is to allow Cambodians to own more real estate in order to prevent too much ownership by foreigners.’

“Though the percentage for the control of real estate by foreigners is now lower, the sub-decree is still a starting point to encourage foreign investors to help develop the real estate market in Cambodia.

“Ms. Pheany believes that to develop that field cannot rely only on local buyers.

“Analysts agreed that the adoption by the government about the ownership rights of foreigners can help to boost the Cambodian economy that is being seriously affected by the global financial crisis.

“Prices of land and houses in Cambodia declined by 40% to 60% compared to 2008 when prices went sky-rocketing.

“A senior partner of the Sciaroni & Associates Company and a legal adviser to the government, Mr. Bretton G. Sciaroni, said on Sunday that the sub-decree will provide a new opportunity for the Cambodian economy. He said, ‘It can help Cambodia in many ways. It helps create not only long term operations, but also attracts new foreign investors. He thinks that the sub-decree will turn Cambodia to be a country with some attraction in the region, as the decree is not too strict compared to neighboring countries.

“He said, ‘We are more open and have a better atmosphere than Thailand.’ In Thailand, foreigners can own houses merely up to 49%.

“Companies constructing satellite cities in the Phnom Penh area welcomed the decision of the government and hope that this will assist the development of the real estate market in Cambodia and increase the selling of houses, when investors can purchase more real estate property.

“The director of the construction project on Koh Pich island, Mr. Touch Samnang, said, ‘This sub-decree is good for the development of the real estate market in Cambodia. We expect that through the provision of ownership rights, more foreign investors will consider investing in Cambodia.’

“His company is constructing 168 houses and villas at Koh Pich island, and this has been achieved already by 40%.

“The executive director of the Bunna Realty Group, Mr. Sung Bunna, thinks that this sub-decree will make Cambodia become an attractive place for foreign investors. But he warned that this sub-decree alone is not sufficient to attract investors to come to Cambodia, adding, ‘Cambodia needs to have other incentives.'” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #217, 19.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 19 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2304, 18-19.7.2010

  • Cambodia Will Send Deminers for a Peace Keeping Mission in Lebanon [under the system of the United Nations, said Prime Minister Hun Sen – in September 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7011, 19.7.2010

  • Big Mineral, Oil, and Gas Companies Have to Declare the Amount of Money Paid to the Royal Government [Oxfam praised the US Senate for requiring the declaration by US registered mineral, oil, and gas companies of payments to different governments around the world as a legal obligation]
  • Samdech Dekchor: Cambodia and the United States of America Still Have the Potential to Expand Cooperation [he said so during a meeting with US Under-Secretary of State Mr. William Burns]
  • A Firefighter Association in Japan Donated 20 Firefighter Trucks to the Phnom Penh Municipality

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #7, 18-19.7.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party member] Mu Sochua Called the Legal Institutions Controlled by the King Powerless [when there is no response to a Sam Rainsy Party letter to the King to ask for intervention regarding her defamation case against Prime Minister Hun Sen; so far there is no reaction yet from officials of the Royal Palace]
  • Cambodia Has a High Potential to Plant Rubber Trees on as Many as 600,000 Hectares [at present rubber trees are planted on 139,210 hectares, and Cambodia can already produce more than 40,000 tonnes of rubber each year for export]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3935, 19.7.2010

  • The Legal System and Corruption Are Priorities for Reforms in Order to Encourage a Good Atmosphere to Attract Investors
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua: The Sam Rainsy Party Asked the United States of America to Guarantee the Return of Sam Rainsy and Free and Fair Elections [during a visit of Mr. William Burns]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #217, 19.7.2010

  • New Sub-Decree: Foreigners Can Own 70% of Condominiums
  • A US Official [Mr. William Burns]: Military Ties between Cambodia and America Are More Than Donations of Materials [but they aim at national defense reforms towards the encouragement of civil and military relations that are crucial for a political system]
  • The United States of America Delivered Seven Artifacts to Cambodia [as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between both countries]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5253, 18-19.7.2010

  • Seventy Five Guards Are Deployed to Protect Porpoises from Extinction [in Stung Treng]
  • Barai Tuek Thla Reservoir Resort Will Face Drought if There Is No Rain [it was built during the Angkor era – Siem Reap ]

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Cambodia Will Have Nuclear Power Plants to Generate Electricity – Wednesday, 14.10.2009

Posted on 15 October 2009. Filed under: Week 634 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 634 – Wednesday, 14.10.2009

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, announced on Tuesday morning, 13 October 2009, that in the near future, Cambodia will have nuclear power plants to generate electricity.

“This remark was made by Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh during a session of the National Assembly, as he appeared there to defend a draft law about the prohibition of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons.

“Recognizing the destruction caused by the explosion of a nuclear power plants in Russia previously, Mr. Tea Banh explained to the session of the National Assembly that nuclear power is very useful serving peaceful purposes to make a strong contribution, developing a country. Previously, a nuclear power plants generating electricity had exploded in the Soviet Union [in Chernobyl in 1986], and radioactive substances spread and destroyed human lives. But based on that experience, the use of nuclear power has advanced considerably. At present, nuclear power is considered as a source of energy that can be set up to produce electricity, along with proper management, for peaceful purposes and for the development of a country. However, Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh did not give any details about any plan to generate electricity in Cambodia in the future by using nuclear power.

“Also, during the National Assembly session on Tuesday morning, the members of the National Assembly began to check and adopt a draft law about the ban of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons.

“This draft, as claimed by the Deputy Prime Minister, aims to completely prohibit, in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the manufacture, possession, use, and transport of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons, and of chemical substances that are used to create such weapons.

“Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh added that this law also intends to ensure security and public order, to protect the environment and citizens’ well-being, as well as to protect the security and peace in the region and in the world.

“The draft with 13 chapters and 32 articles requires the establishment of a national authority for combating chemical weapons with the Minister of Defense as head and with involvement from relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The draft prohibits chemical and other specific weapons systems, and also states the penalties that threaten the offenders, to serve 20 to 30 years in prison, or for life, if they are found guilty of intentionally manufacturing, possessing, transporting, or using chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons.

“Besides, a person that intentionally manufactures, buys, sells, possesses, stores, transfers, transports, or uses chemical substances in the health sector, in industry, mines, energy, agriculture, research, and other peaceful contexts, without the permission from relevant institutions or ministries, will be fined from Riel 20 million to Riel 50 million [approx. US$5,000 to US$12,500].

“The new law banning chemical weapons allows the use of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive substances in the health sector, and in industrial, mineral, energy, agriculture, researches, and other peaceful activities and have a permission from the relevant institutions.

“Also, yesterday the National Assembly session checked and approved 17 articles of the draft law banning weapons of mass destruction. The National Assembly will check and approve the overall content of this draft on Wednesday morning of 14 October 2009.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5020, 14.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #310, 14.10.2009

  • The South Korean President Will Visit Cambodia on 22 October 2009
  • A Woman Sang at a Restaurant to Earn Her Living, but Her Husband Got Jealous and Killed Her [then escaped – Poipet]
  • North Korea Fired Five Missiles, Surprising the World

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2071, 14.10.2009

  • A Siamese Official [the spokesperson of Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Denied that [the Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya Had Suggested to Create a Neutral Structure [in ASEAN, to solve border disputes, and denied a report in the Bangkok Post] saying so
  • Chinese Court Sentenced Six Persons To Death Involved in the Xinjiang Riots

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #660, 14.10.2009

  • Koh Kong, Kompong Thom, and Prey Veng Governors Do not Care about [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s order] to Crack Down On Gambling [it is reported that there is one big gambling site in Koh Kong, three big gambling sites in Prey Veng, and one in Kompong Thom]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6778, 14.10.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Modernizing the National Defense Sector in Order to Have Sufficient Capacity Is in Line with the Situation [he said so during the 15th anniversary of the creation of Brigade 70]
  • The National Election Committee Informed about the Checking and Registration of Names in the Voter Lists [where 95,446 persons were added], Now There Are 8,400,448 Citizens over the Age of 18

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5020, 14.10.2009

  • Cambodia Will Have Nuclear Power Plants to Generate Electricity
  • Three Tax Office Chiefs in Kandal Were Removed from Their Positions, They Had Extorted Money from Cars Transporting Vegetable
  • The New Japanese Ambassador Promised to Help Attract Japanese Investors to Cambodia
  • Germany Affirms Support in the Land Sector in Cambodia [there is a plan for a meeting between a Cambodian and a German delegation to decide on aid for Cambodia from 15 to 16 October 2009]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1807, 14.10.2009

  • The International Institute for Justice and Development Warned that the government Must Support the Action of [the foreign investigating judge of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] Mr. Marcel Lemonde [who summoned six high ranking government officials to testify]

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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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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.

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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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Friday, 5.9.2008: Freedom of Press Increases, but Freedom of Expression in Public Declines

Posted on 6 September 2008. Filed under: Week 576 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 576

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – assessed that over the course of time, the freedom of the press has increased, but the freedom of expression in the public has declined.

“Mr. Thun Saray, the president of ADHOC, reported on 4 September 2008 to journalists in a meeting to sum up the results of the 2005 to 2009 strategic plans, that Cambodia goes through a high rate of economic growth and noticeable poverty reduction. As for the freedom of the press, ADHOC is not the evaluator, but different press organizations assessed that the situation is better than from 2005 to 2006. While the economy and the freedom of the press flourished, the freedom of expression in public went down.

“Mr. Thun Saray added that previously, the freedom of expression included the right to hold demonstrations in public, and so the poor were allowed to protest by marching in public places or in front of different embassies. But at present, their rights are almost completely eroded, while land disputes still exist without proper solutions; high ranking officials, the powerful, and the rich, still violate land rights of communities and of citizens.

“According to reports of ADHOC, observing the human rights situation in Cambodia, Cambodia gained a high rate of economic growth and achieved noticeable poverty alleviation during more than 15 years. However, the distribution of the benefits of the economic growth is not equal, which results in increasing inequality on the receiving side of the gains. One important reason for this inequality is that natural resources are not equally distributed, especially land. Based on reports of the United Nations Development Program – UNDP – in 2007, the rich, in total about 20% of the population, own between 59% to 70% of the land, while the land ownership of the poor, approximately 40% of the total populations, declined from 8.4% to 5,4% during 1999 to 2003 and 2004 (in a period of 4 to 5 years only). Inequality in owning important cultivation property, like land, leads to a major crisis, because it relates to the everyday living of almost 80% of the total populations who live in rural areas, and this will lead to continue to increase the inequality of production, of income seeking, and of land use in the future. Land grabbing and poor administration of natural resources (specifically, in the field of forestry and fisheries) are major factors for the increase of a status of having no land, of inequality of land ownership, and in the distribution of benefits from those resources.

“Land grabbing is mostly committed by the powerful and the rich, by using different tricks, and by private companies that had received economic land concessions from the government, but they do not properly implement what they contracted.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1738, 5.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 5 September 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2808, 5.9.2008

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Spokesperson [Suth Dina] Rejects Information about Intention to Join the Government


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1738, 5.9.2008

  • Freedom of Press Increases, but Freedom of Expression in Public Declines
  • Best-Selling Cambodian Dry Season Paddy Rice Is Transported to Siam [Thailand] Through Special Crossing Points [despite serious Cambodian-Thai border disputes]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Vows to Stay in Power Although [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Taj Bunnag Resigned [he is also an advisor to the Thai King]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #91, 5.9.2008

  • Municipality Rejects Demand for Market Prices; Boeng Kak Lake People Struggle [demanding solution for compensation at market prices]
  • Fisheries Official Expects that the Volume of Fish Raising Fish Will Increase This Year [in a workshop on 3 September 2008, Nao Thuok, the director of Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that people in Cambodia and worldwide have high need of fish]
  • US to Provide $1 Billion [economic] Aid to Georgia


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6441, 4.9.2008

  • Khmer Vendors Enter to Sell Things as Normal in Rong Kloeu Market [in Thailand, near the Poipet border crossing]
  • Related to the Trial of the [former] Chief of the Tuol Sleng Prison, There Are More Than 1,800 Complaints, Among Them 28 Are Civil Complaints [according to Khmer Rouge Tribunal officials]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3557, 5.9.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Issued a Letter to Release Tim Sakhan [who had been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] from Prison but It Does Not Allow Him to Travel to Cambodia
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Writes to the King, Asking for Permission to Take the Oath [installing memberss of parliament] Separately [not on 24 September but on 25 September – because the Sam Rainsy Party is not satisfied with the results of the fourth term parliamentary election]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4686, 5.9.2008

  • Japanese Government Grants ¥369 Million [approx. US$3,415,000] to the Royal Government of Cambodia [to increase food production and to improve the National Television Programs]
  • Intel Plans to Invest in Information Technology in Cambodian Education

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – will the Prime Minister’s concern for the environment continue to be violated?

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Friday, 30.5.2008: Handicap International Belgium Provided 215 GPS Receivers to the Commissioner General of the National Police

Posted on 30 May 2008. Filed under: Week 562 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 562

“Phnom Penh: On the morning of 29 May 2008, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by H.E Ouk Kim Lek and Mr. Bruno Leclercq, the Country Director of Handicap International Belgium for Cambodia, according to which 215 GPS receivers [satellite supported Global Positioning Systems] and other emergency equipment for road traffic safety were provided by Handicap International Belgium to the National Police at the Ministry of Interior.

“The Deputy Director of the National Police, H.E. Ouk Kim Lek, said that the aid now provided by Handicap International Belgium to the National Police is most important, because it is urgently needed by Cambodian people to reduce traffic accidents which are continually increasing.

“His Excellency continued, ‘Cambodia is developing, and at the same time, also traffic accidents increase. The aid provided today will contribute a lot to reduce traffic accidents in the future. Now, we are improving the traffic police to be much better than before to help reduce traffic accidents.’

“Mr. Bruno Leclercq stated that the equipment delivered will contribute to reduce traffic accidents. It is observed that traffic accidents increase in Cambodia, and he hopes that the number will decline after the new traffic law have been implemented.

“The manager of the Cambodia Road Traffic Accident and Victim Information System of Handicap International Belgium, Mr. Sem Panhavuth, said that the Memorandum of Understanding covers approximately US$100,000 for a period of two years from 2008 to 2009, which includes the 215 emergency GPS receivers, the training for traffic police countrywide on how to use the GPS receivers, and the training courses in emergency life saving skills for traffic police so that they can help traffic accident victims before they are referred to hospitals.

“Mr. Sem Panhavuth went on to say that these GPS receivers are used for road traffic safety work to find and to identify the locations where traffic accidents occur very often on some important roads. The locations which are noted as places that often have traffic accidents will be changed to avoid hazards and will be marked with warning signs to lessen traffic accidents.

“It should be known that during the period of the first four months of 2008, there were 2,249 accidents which caused 560 deaths, injured seriously 1,792 people, and injured 2,088 people lightly. The accidents which had happened involved 217 heavy trucks, 755 cars, and 186 other vehicles, 217 pedestrians, and 2,262 motorbikes. As for 2007, there were 9,449 accidents in which 1,545 people died, 7,150 people were badly injured, and 17,655 people were lightly injured.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4602, 30.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 May 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1654, 30.5.2008

  • US Embassy Supports Survey Result of the [US based] International Republican Institute Inquiry
  • The 240 Years History of the Monarchy of Nepal Came to a Complete End [Nepal becoming a republic on Wednesday, 28 May 2008; the King is expected to leave the palace in 15 days]
  • The Government Gives Opportunity to Teachers Who Have Bachelor Degrees to Take Another Examination to Get the BAC II Certificate [according to Prime Minister Hun Sen]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #585, 30.5.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Forces People, the Voters, to Accept the Result [that the Cambodian People’s Party will win the election and will lead the next government] before the 2008 Election
  • Man Chhoeun Colludes with [Tuol Kork governor] Khlaing Huot and [Phnom Penh Thmey governor] Chum Saray to Take Citizens’ Land from 250 Families [citizens’ representatives said the Phnom Penh Municipality had decided to give the land to the 205 families, but Chum Saray, who got the authorization from the municipality, created ghost names and his group’s people’s names to get that land]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #165, 30.5.2008

  • [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ministry] Sar Kheng Was Very Upset and Announced He Might Cancel the Ceremony to Accept Members from the Sam Rainsy Party That Were Only Names on Paper [there were names, but the holders of the name did not show up]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3473, 30.5.2008

  • The Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer Was Charged [on 29 May by the Minister of Foreign Affairs], Accused of Publishing False Information
  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Declared that He Cannot Guarantee Ministers’ Seats of [Minister of Health] Nuth Sokhom and [Minister of Education] Kol Pheng [both from Funcinpec]
  • The [US based] International Republican Institute Shows that 58 Percent of the Citizens Want Serious Penalties to Be Put on Corrupt People
  • New Deputy Director of the Office of Administration of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [Mr. Knut Rosandhaug – until now Executive Director of the Kosovo Property Agency and the Kosovo Property Claims Commission of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] Will Get the Position Tomorrow [after the former Deputy Director Ms. Michelle Lee retired]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4602, 30.5.2008

  • Angkor Ratha Radio in Kratie [which criticized the government] Was Closed [on 29 May 2008 by the Ministry of Information] because Its Broadcasts Were Against the Terms of License
  • British Newspaper [The Sun]: The Explosion in the Sky over Kampot Can Have Been the Explosion of an UFO
  • Handicap International Belgium Provided 215 GPS Receivers to the Commissioner General of the National Police


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3321, 30.5.2008

  • Chargé d’Affairs of US Embassy to Cambodia [Ms. Piper Cambel]: Cambodia Should Not Use the Judicial System to Shut Up Politicians
  • US Troops and Troops of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Cooperated to Give Medical Treatment to People In Kompong Chhnang and Kompong Cham [29 May 2008]


Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #667, 30.5.2008

  • International Police Surrounded the Hiding Place of [former police general] Ms. Chea Ratha in Thailand [who is implicated in an acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt, according to information from the Ministry of Interior]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: The oil price spiral – special investments – and a comparison of the activities in Myanmar and in China

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