The Government Provides 950,000 Hectares of Concession Land to Companies – Friday, 2.4.2010

Posted on 3 April 2010. Filed under: Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim, announced that economic concession land of about 950,000 hectares countrywide has been provided to 85 companies.

“He said so during a parliament session in the morning of 1 April 2010 to respond to the questions and claims of an opposition party parliamentarian, Mr. Son Chhay, regarding the economic concession land that the government has provided to companies for investment.

“Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim said that the size of economic concession land that the government has provided to companies is not more than 2 million hectares, as had been claimed by Mr. Son Chhay. Recently, because some companies did not operate appropriately according to contracts, the government had decided to cancel the contracts of 41 companies, and the land involved was more than 300,000 hectares.

“This clarification was made after a parliamentarian from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, had encouraged the government to immediately review the provision of concession land of more than 2 million hectares to check if they violate the land law.

“Mr. Son Chhay said in front of Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim during the parliament session that the powerful and the rich fence their concession land and keep it unused, but they cut the trees at those regions. Therefore, the government should force those companies to do farming soon, to create jobs for farmers who had lost their land, and to grow agro-industrial crops.

“Mr. Son Chhay added that if those companies do not grow anything, land taxes must be imposed on them in order to force these people who just keep their land to sell it later to foreigners [for profit] to do farming, or the land should be taken back from them to be distributed to our farmers among whom not less than 25% lost their land and have no land to do cultivation.

“The annual report from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC] indicates that in 2009 there was no official report from the government showing the figures of land that the government had provided as economic concession land to private companies.

“But according to figures from partner organizations gathered by ADHOC, the government provided economic concession land of 1,208,185 hectares to private companies in 2009.

“The government can get income from the provision of economic concession land to private companies for national economic development through investment in agro-industry, and this helps to improve the living conditions of people who are employed for their labor.

“Nevertheless, ADHOC found that by 2009, no private companies that had received economic concession land operated justly, and they were involved in violent activities against citizens.

“Many negative impacts result from the licensing of economic concession land to private companies which heavily affect property, houses, cultivation land, and living conditions of the citizens at most of these economic concession areas countrywide.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5166, 2.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 2 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #450, 2.4.2010

  • Four Ebony Traders in Kompong Cham Were Arrested and Two Wood Storehouses in Meanchey District [Phnom Penh] Were Raided
  • International Telecommunication and Information Technology Exhibition Is Held at Koh Pich [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Amatak, Vol.11, #752, 2.4.2010

  • The Siem Reap Court Decided to Confiscate Mr. Son Chhay’s Land [about three hectares] and Deliver It to the Apsara Authority [Mr. Son Chhay said that he does not oppose the plan of the Apsara Authority to take the land for development, but he suggested that the government must give him a proper compensation – the offer is only US$0.50 per square meter]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2217, 2.4.2010

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #642, 2.4.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Official and Civil Society [the Union Federation, which consists of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association and the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Asked Car and Bus Owners Not to Increase Fares during the Khmer New Year

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6924, 2.4.2010

  • The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Grants US$2.5 Million to the Ministry of Rural Development for an Integration Project for Rural Development in Krouch Chhmar District [Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3848, 2.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Government Should Not Disregard the 91 Recommendations of the United Nations [Human Rights Council]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #144, 2.4.2010

  • The Government Provides Land [of 1,650 hectares] of the Ream National Park to a Company to Invest [to create an eco-tourism site – Sihanoukville]
  • China Said That It Should Not Be Blamed over Mekong River Problems [where the waterway becomes shallower because of Chinese hydro-electric dams – but there is a severe drought in South and Southwest China]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5166, 2.4.2010

  • The Government Provides 950,000 Hectares of Concession Land to Companies
  • [The Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: [Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Is the Person Who Asked for an Amnesty for Mr. Hang Chakra [the editor-in-chief of the pro-opposition party newspaper Khmer Machas Srok; he will be released from prison before the Khmer New Year in April 2010]
  • The Siem Reap Authorities Intercepted Two More Sites Storing Luxury Wood and Found More Than 100 Cubic Meters of Wood [no information about any accusation or arrest of the owners of the illegal wood – the owners, one owns an hotel, the other a restaurant, are known]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

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Tuesday, 24.6.2008: Fuel Prices and Inflation Are Not Expected to Decline after the 2008 Election

Posted on 24 June 2008. Filed under: Week 566 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 566

“Phnom Penh: Civil society organizations mentioned that fuel prices seem to be higher and inflation remains stable nowadays, and it is assumed that after the coming fourth term parliamentary election, although a new government will be created, it will not be possible to solve these problems.

“Mr. Yang Saing Koma, Director of the Center for Studies and Development of Cambodian Agriculture, [CEDAC], told reporters at the Cambodiana Hotel on 19 June 2008 that food prices, which are steadily increasing and are a global phenomenon, push that in Cambodia the prices of all kinds of goods are increasing at the moment.

“He added that from August to September, the Cambodian rice price might continue to rise, because farmers might run out of paddy rice from the storage rooms while they at the same time want to sell it, because there is a lot of demand at the market, and domestic supplies are not enough; this will increase the price of rice to be higher, or at least it will remain at the present level.

“Ms. Chea Vannath, an independent analyst, she said that although after the forth term parliamentary election, and after a new government will have been created, still the price of fuel and inflation will not decline. Quite the opposite, ‘The situation will threaten the poverty alleviation strategy of the Royal Government.’

“Similarly, Mr. Chan Sophal, the president of the Cambodian Economic Association, said that the price of crude oil at the international market may further increase in the future. Therefore, the price of fuel in Cambodia is not expected to drop. He continued that inflation gets higher because of two factors – a domestic factor and an external factor. He explained that at the present time, the prices of all kinds of goods at the international market increase strongly because of the shortage of food. As for the domestic factor, there is a group of people who sell land, and they have income from this, but this group also needs domestic materials and food, and because the domestic products are not sufficiently available, the inflation grows higher.

“To solve the increase of fuel prices and of inflation, Cambodia could follow the model of Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These countries have created systems to sell fuel or rice by setting two different pricing policies – to sell to the rich at higher, and to the poor at cheaper prices. The sale of fuel to the rich is established for those who drive luxury cars when they go to fill fuel at the gasoline stations. This example was raised by Ms. Chea Vannath; as for Mr. Chan Sophal, he added that the government can reduce the tax on oil imports, and this can reduce the price of fuel. As for inflation, the government has to increase the yields of cultivation, and handle land disputes better.

“Observers noticed that nowadays citizens in Cambodia sell land or leave their land unused while they have disputes; these are obstacles to increase the yield of rice in Cambodia.

“Regarding this issue, Mr. Ith Nody, undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, told reporters at the Hotel Cambodiana on 19 June 2008 that the government knows these problems and has measures to deal with them. The government will provide social concession land to citizens with the support of the World Bank and a Japanese fund by using social land concessions in Kompong Cham, Kratie, and Kompong Thom, but he did not give any details about the size of those social land concessions.

“He added that merchants have bought land from citizens and left the land unused. The government, when necessary, will require those merchants to pay land taxes to the state.

“Last Friday, Khmer Sthapana had tried to phone to ask for some explanation about the continuing rising price of fuel from the Senior Minister of Economy and Finance, but could not reach him.

“However, Mr. Keat Chhon has told reporters a few days ago that the government has prepared approximately US$30 million to spend this year quietly and has tired to prevent inflation, which is a phenomenon in foreign countries, to keep the price of fuel from increasing further.

“According to a recent report of the Asian Development Bank, inflation in Asia is a threat to poverty alleviation strategies and affects investments and incomes, creating instability for several governments.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #21, 24.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1675, 24.6.2008

  • Political Parties React to the Prohibition of the [Phnom Penh] Municipality for the Election Campaign [which bans all political parties to march in important places in the city, such as Monivong Boulevard, Norodom Boulevard, and Mao Tse-Tung Boulevard, and all big markets]
  • Opposition Party Parliamentarian [Mr. Son Chhay] Called on the King to Be Concerned with the Case of Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on an accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam] during His Visit to Vietnam [from 24 to 26 June 2008]
  • Workers Can Rest from One to Three Days to Travel to Vote [as announced by the National Election Committee, after getting this Information from the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training]
  • The Cambodia Movement for Health [CMH] Shows that 98% of Cambodian Citizens Countrywide Support Prohibition of Tobacco Broadcast Advertising
  • Thai Official [of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]: “The Preah Vihear Temple Is in Khmer Territory”
    Thai Prime Minister [Samak Sundaravej] Will Resign from His Position if the Assembly Passes a No-Confidence Vote


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #21, 24.6.2008

  • Fuel Prices and Inflation Are Not Expected to Decline after the 2008 Election
  • [The US ambassador to Cambodia] Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli Predicted the Cambodian People’s Party Will Win the Election [speaking to reporters in Pailin on 23 June 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6379, 24.6.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Stance: In Case Funcinpec Wins No Seat in the National Assembly, the Cambodian People’s Party Will Form the Government Alone [said Prime Minister Hun Sen in Pursat on 23 June 2008]
  • Grade 2 Teacher Is Accused of Raping Five [little girl] Students. When this Became Known, He Escaped from the School [Kratie]
  • Tropical Cyclone Fengshen [風神] Raises Number of Deaths up to 598, and 740 People Are Still Missing in the Philippines
  • Zimbabwe’s Opposition Leader [Morgan Tsvangirai] Announced to Withdraw form the Election

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3494, 24.6.2008

  • Ceremony to Burn Drugs Hold at the Time when [US presidential candidate from the Republican Party] John McCain’s Wife [Ms. Cindy McCain] Came to Cambodia [23 June 2008]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4623, 24.6.2008

  • Cambodia Closed the Access to the Preah Vihear Temple Temporarily [on the evening of 22 June 2008]; the Thai Prime Minister Blamed the Protest [by the Thai Senate about the Thai government’s agreement to the Cambodian map, claiming it violates the Thai constitution] to Be Not Justified
  • Prime Minister [Hun Sen] Finished a Public Speech by Asking Not to Voice any Reactions against the Election Results [by the losing parities, and he said that after 23 June 2008, he will not make any speech on radio or television]

Have a look at the last editorial – it is almost frightening to see to which extent there are strong emotions, disregarding related legal documents.

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