Hun Sen Wants Abhisit to Swear that His Whole Family Would Die in a Plane Crash if Siam Claims that It Does Not Encroach on Khmer Territory – Tuesday, 9.2.2010

Posted on 10 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

“The Cambodian Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, wants the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva, to swear that his whole family would die in a plane crash if it is true that Siamese [Thai] troops are not invading Khmer territory. This he said in an angry speech, made during his trip to visit the Cambodian troops stationed at the Khmer Ta Moan Thom temple.

“Wearing a military uniform and Five-Star-General insignia during the three days of visiting troops and army commanders at the border region, yesterday, on 8 February 2010, Mr. Hun Sen did not show a smile like during the first day because of wrong publications in the Siamese press and [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva’s irritating remarks.

“At 8:15 a.m. on 8 February 2010, nine helicopters, including one of Mr. Hun Sen and his wife, landed in an area close to the Ta Moan temple to visit troops of Battalion 422 and Brigade 42. During that visit, Siam [Thailand] immediately set up a satellite system to capture the activities and the speech of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Mr. Hun Sen stated, using [rough] military words, as he always did when he previously criticized an English language newspaper in Siam, The Nation, ‘If you are stupid, do not be journalists that provide wrong information about this visit.’

“Relating to the Siamese troops stationed at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, Mr. Hun Sen stated, ‘As long as you do not withdraw, I still call you ‘invading troops.’ – Mr. Hun Sen severely blasted Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva, saying, ‘Though you are criticized like that [like Prim Minister Hun Sen did criticize the Thai Prime Minister before], you do not agree to leave your office. My Five-Star-General insignia were given to me by the King, but not by the Thai King… I blasted you like this, whether it hurts or not – if you responded, I will add more… I would like to send a message to the Thai people that there was never any time where the Thai society was as fractioned as it is in your, Abhisit Vijjajiva’s, era, and the foreign relations are so bad… You used the yellow-shirt demonstrators to help to make a coup [in September 2006. Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva became prime minister much later, in December 2008] and to control the airports…[Bangkok airports were occupied by demonstrators in November 2008]. I ordered the Council of Ministers as well as the Quick Response Team to record my speech properly and to translate it into English.’

“Mr. Hun Sen added his doubt whether Abhisit Vijjajiva would dare to swear that his whole family would die in a plane crash if he would deny that Siamese troops are invading Cambodia. Hun Sen said also that he is not only a militant, but also a creator of militants. He went on to say, ‘I hold the ID 00002, and not fake rank insignia, I would like to tell Abhisit Vijjajiva… you are stupid…You do not have family roots [a despising expression]… Does it disturb your head if I would wear a military uniform for my whole life?… Any clothes I wear, it should not disturb Abhisit Vijjajiva’s head… I wear the Five-Star-General insignia that the King gave me, not the ‘chicken egg-yolk stars’ of Abhisit Vijjajiva. It is not the first time that Hun Sen wears a military uniform. According to my biography, I am originally a militant. Please know Hun Sen well… It has been in 20 speeches that I did not attack you in response to what you said, but you always attack me. Therefore, I will attack you back. If tomorrow you attack me again, I will respond.’

“Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva became the prime minister after big demonstrations held by yellow-shirt demonstrators [supporters], whose color is like the color of chicken egg-yolk. Mr. Hun Sen’s words imply that his Five-Stars-General insignia are not from chicken egg-yolks, which simply means to say that the prime minister position of Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva is the result of the yellow-shirt demonstrators, with the color symbol like chicken egg-yolk.

“A high ranking official of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Thach Setha, commented on Mr. Hun Sen’s speech, saying, ‘It is the personality and attitude of our Prime Minister that he frequently uses to attack his enemies. Thus, we are not surprised with his reaction.’

“A day ahead of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to the border region, there was also a war of words between Phnom Penh and Bangkok, where Siam declared that if Mr. Hun Sen intended to visit the 4.6 square kilometer [contested] area, he must discuss it with Thailand. But officials of the Cambodian government responded that the area is located in Khmer territory, and it is not necessary to discuss it with Siam to visit this area. Anyway, according to published images and to broadcasts of his activities in the local press and in television, Mr. Hun Sen seems not to have appeared inside of the 4.6 [contested] square kilometers.

“But an official of the Council of Ministers had been quoted by a foreign newspaper as saying that for Sunday, it was planned that Mr. Hun Sen would to visit some parts of the 4.6 square kilometer area.

“Based on previous speeches by Mr. Hun Sen and by government officials, Cambodia will not allow even one millimeter of the territory to get lost. But yesterday, Mr. Hun Sen stated repeatedly that Siamese troops encroach on Khmer territory, and he asked Mr. Abhisit Vijjajiva whether he dares to swear that his family would die in a plane crash, if it were true what he claims: that Siamese troops do not invade Cambodian territory.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #601, 9.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #409, 9.2.2010

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen Is Pleased with the Metfone Mobile Telephone System [owned by the Vietnamese military, as it provides good services nationwide compared with other telephone companies. He said that for security reasons, all the military division and brigades must be equipped with Metfone cable networks so as to prevent any leaking of secret or confidential military plans, because the Metfone cable network uses underground cables, while other companies use microwave links for long distance connections]
  • Vietnam Intends to Invest in the Stock Exchange, in Agriculture, and in Rural Development in Cambodia [according to a meeting between the president of the National Assembly of Cambodia and a delegation of Vietnamese companies]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2172, 9.2.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen: I Wear Military Uniform and It Should Not Disturb [Thai prime minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva’s Head [reacting against Mr. Abhisit’s remarks saying that Mr. Hun Sen wears a military uniform during the visit at the Thai border for a political purpose]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #601, 9.2.2010

  • Hun Sen Wants Abhisit to Swear that His Whole Family Would Die in a Plane Crash if Siam Claims that It Does Not Encroach on Khmer Territory

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6879, 9.2.2010

  • Twenty Vietnamese Families Come to Hire Khmer Land to Raise Shrimps [and the local authorities do not care about them, especially about the immigration law; Kompong Trach, Kampot]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.4, #601, 9.2.2010

  • The Suppression on Drug Abuse and Smuggling in Poipet Is Not Effective [as these activities continue]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #106, 9.2.2010

  • There Is Food Provided for [more than 100] Street Children [by the Children’s Kitchen, a center that offers breakfast to orphans and poor children – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • Cambodia Plans to Deliver Female Elephants to South Korea [for breeding – it is estimated that Cambodia still has 500 to 600 elephants roaming free]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5121, 9.2.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: As Long As Thailand Does Not Withdraw from the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, I Still Call You an Invader of Cambodia
  • The State Lacks Money for Investments while the Banks Have an Ample Amount of Money Remaining [each year the government lacks about US$190 million for public investments while private banks have about US$900 million remaining; the Minister of Economy and Commerce suggested that if those private banks would offer money for investments, it would greatly contribute to development]
  • While Watching Television in Their Home, a Man Was Shot Dead and Another One Was Injured by an Unknown Attacker [Svay Rieng]

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

Back to top

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

The European Union and Cambodia Launched the First Wind Power Electricity Generator in Cambodia – Thursday, 21.1.2010

Posted on 21 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

Note:

From Friday, 22 to Monday 25 January 2010 I plan to travel to attend the first BarCamp in Yangon/Myanmar. This may result in delays in the publication of The Mirror. Apologies.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Tram Iv; the Belgian Ambassador, Mr. Rudi Veestraelen; and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia, Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, together inaugurated the first Wind Power Electricity Generator in Cambodia on 20 January 2010.

“The Wind Power Generator was constructed under a project of Euro 1.2 million (US$1.74 million), and jointly funded by the Sihanoukville Port Authority (48%), by the government of Belgium (28%), and by the European Commission (24% through the Asia Pro Eco program). This pilot project intends to show that renewable energy, especially that from wind power, is an effective energy source for Cambodia and for Southeast Asia.

“Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno said, ‘I believe that this project makes an important contribution to create sustainable solutions to reduce environmental pollution and other challenges in energy, relating to the development of the Sihanoukville port. Actually, energy is necessary for the development of the area to become an economic hub in order to increase employment.’

“Mr. Jacques Dezeure, Flanders Technical Representative for Environment and Infrastructure in Asia of the Ministry of the Flemish Community, Department of Environment and Infrastructure Flanders, said, ‘The electricity generated by wind power at the Sihanoukville port is vital not only for the port, but also for Cambodia as a whole.’

“The production of electricity through a Wind Power Electricity Generator will be carefully monitored, financed by the government of Belgium, and the real amount of energy produced will be carefully checked. It is expected that the electricity automatically generated by wind power, for the first time in Cambodia [on this scale], will serve as an energy source and a leading model also for other ports in the region to consider using renewable energy.

“It should be noted that in September 2001, the Minister of Mobility, Public Works and Energy in Flanders, Belgium, led a delegation to Cambodia, signed a friendship agreement with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia, and visited the Sihanoukville port. After the visit, both countries’ delegations established a plan to supply electricity at the Sihanoukville port aiming at totally depending on renewable energy.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5105, 21.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 21 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #393, 21.1.2010

  • [Thai ousted and figurative prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Arrived in Cambodia Quietly while the Situation in Bangkok Becomes More Tense [between red-shirt demonstrators, supporters of Mr. Thaksin, and the Thai government; no detailed plans for this third visit was specified, no press briefing will be held]
  • A [16-year-old] Teenage Boy Was Arrested for Raping and Killing a 9-Year-Old Girl in Srae Treng Village [he confessed he raped and killed her because he was angry as “she was looking down on him” – Kratie]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2156, 21.1.2010

  • The World Health Organization Will Provide One Million Doses of A/H1N1 Vaccine to Cambodia [first, 300,000 doses will be delivered in February; so far, there have been 553 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 in Cambodia]
  • A Car Crashed into a Motorbike, Separating the Motorbike Driver’s Body into Two Pieces [Svay Rieng]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #722, 21.1.2010

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #505, 21.1.2010

  • [Vice-President of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Kong Korm: Mr. Sam Rainsy Is Accused over Politics and Therefore [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Should Address It, but Not Use the Courts

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6863, 21.1.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: I Belong to the Cambodian People; I Got the Power through Elections [he said during the 6th Asian Economic Forum on 20 January 2010: if he loses the election in 2013, he will leave the position of power]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #94, 21.1.2010

  • Former Minister of Economy of Australia [Mr. Peter Costello] Comes to Cambodia with a Plan for a Foundation [with US$600 million – still to be raised] for Agriculture in Cambodia
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)] Asked for the Creation of a Law to Halt Using Acid as a Substance for Attacks in Personal Conflicts leading to Anger [by controlling the sale of acid]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5105, 21.1.2010

  • By 2020 100% of Cambodians Must Have Access to Electricity [says the Ministry of Industry – using hydroelectric power and electricity imports from Vietnam]
  • The European Union and Cambodia Launched the First Wind Power Electricity Generator in Cambodia [Sihanoukville]
  • The Government Destroyed More Than 1,000 Motor Saws [in Kratie]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1860, 21.1.2010

  • Human Rights Officials [of LICADHO, of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, and of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)] Demand that There Should Be Many Representatives [10 to 20] for Talking with the Government [the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia had discussed civil society representation with the prime minister]

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

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Denials, Insults, and Rational Arguments – Sunday, 15.3.2009

Posted on 17 March 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 603 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

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

Norbert Klein

It seems that some issues, which need to be clarified, do not find any solution – not only because they are controversial, but because it seem to happen frequently that issues raised are not discussed – the detailed facts and concerns they raised are disregarded, they are put aside by flat denial, not touching at the presented facts at all. Or instead of dealing with controversial facts, the “other party” is served with an insult – and it is up to the reader to consider whether the insult carries enough conviction to override the arguments, or whether an insult, instead of an argument, backfires on the party which refuses to engage in a rational discussion.

We will bring here some reminders, where it seems that facts and opinions had been presented, and the public received responses. Some seem to have intended to close further discussion – though the discussion continues anyway. In some cases we hope to lead to further open discussion – inviting to consider some aspects which are not widely shared, but may merit more attention. We let “both parties” speak.

=

On 5 February 2009, the UK based organization Global Witness published a report entitled Country for Sale. The organization describes its general, global outreach, in the following way:

“Global Witness exposes the corrupt exploitation of natural resources and international trade systems to drive campaigns that end impunity, resource-linked conflict, and human rights and environmental abuses. Global Witness was co-nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for its leading work on ‘conflict diamonds’ and awarded the 2007 Commitment to Development Ideas in Action Award, sponsored jointly by Washington DC based Center for Global Development and Foreign Policy magazine.”

The content of the study, presented on 72 pages with detailed references, is described by Global Witness as follows:

“Cambodia – one of the world’s poorest countries – could eventually earn enough from its oil, gas and minerals to become independent of foreign development aid. The report, Country for Sale, exposes for the first time how this future is being jeopardized by high-level corruption, nepotism and patronage in the allocation and management of these critical public assets.

Country for Sale details how rights to exploit oil and mineral resources have been allocated behind closed doors by a small number of powerbrokers surrounding the prime minister and other senior officials. The beneficiaries of many of these deals are members of the ruling elite or their family members. Meanwhile, the findings suggest that millions of dollars paid by oil and mining companies to secure access to these resources may be missing from the national accounts.”

Among the details, Global witness says:

“Global Witness wrote to both Chevron and BHP Billiton in October 2008 to ask them to reveal any payments made to the Cambodian government or government officials. At the time of publication, Chevron had not responded. BHP Billiton however, did reply to say that BHP Billiton, Mitsubishi and the Cambodian Government have established a joint social development fund. The total contribution of BHP and Mitsubishi is to be US$2.5 million. BHP’s response stated: ‘BHP Billiton has never made a payment to a Cambodian Government official or representative and we reject any assertion that the payment under the minerals exploration agreement is, or the amounts contributed to the Social Development Projects Fund are, “tea money”.’ BHP also shared how much had been paid to the Cambodian government, adding: ‘In accordance with the terms of a minerals exploration agreement with the Cambodian government which granted BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi the right to explore for bauxite an amount of US$1 million was formally paid to the Cambodian government in September 2006.’”

The Cambodian Embassy in London responded to the publication of Country for Sale with a press release with a color graphic page, saying global witness – A Collection of Rubbish

“Reacting angrily to the report, the Ambassador of Cambodia in the UK, H.E. Nambora Hor, accused Global Witness of being poorly-managed and indulging in hugely-damaging smear campaigns. He called on the wide variety of international bodies which help fund Global Witness to demand an urgent review of its policies and activities. ‘It is naïve for Global Witness to imagine that Cambodia’s international donors are not fully aware of the way the Royal Cambodian Government’s conducts its affairs and its commitment to demonstrating the highest possible standards.’”

Details about this Social Development Projects Fund – who administers these huge amounts of money paid by some foreign companies, and for which purposes, and under whose public monitoring – are not known to the public.

=

On 25 February 2009, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the US Department of State published a 2008 Human Rights Report: Cambodia, part of the 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The 16,000 words report on Cambodia states initially:

“The government’s human rights record remained poor. Security forces committed extrajudicial killings and acted with impunity. Detainees were abused, often to extract confessions, and prison conditions were harsh. Human rights monitors reported arbitrary arrests and prolonged pretrial detention, underscoring a weak judiciary and denial of the right to a fair trial. Land disputes and forced evictions were a continuing problem. The government restricted freedom of speech and the press and at times interfered with freedom of assembly. Corruption was endemic. Domestic violence and child abuse occurred, education of children was inadequate, and trafficking in women and children persisted. The government offered little assistance to persons with disabilities. Anti-union activity by employers and weak enforcement of labor laws continued, and child labor in the informal sector remained a problem.

On February 15, the government passed and promulgated a comprehensive Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation containing provisions criminalizing all forms of human trafficking. By year’s end the Cambodian National Police had arrested perpetrators in 48 trafficking-in-persons and related cases, and the courts had convicted at least 12 persons on trafficking-related charges.”

The Mirror had carried a related report from a Khmer language newspaper on 27 February 2009. On 14 March 2009, we carried a report from another Khmer newspaper, saying:

“The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dismisses the US Department of State’s Report [on the human rights situation in Cambodia] on behalf the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia.”

But later, another Khmer newspaper reported in its 15/16 March 2009 edition: “The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – said that tens of thousands of families of Khmer citizens suffer human rights violations.” And reports in the Phnom Penh Post of 16 March 2009 show a 9 year old boy standing in the wreckage of his house – sixteen houses in the Rik Reay Community – “Happy Community” – were torn down, and the area is being fenced in. A teacher, living there, said he had received a death threat. “This mistreatment is to force us to agree to their compensation package,” he said. “I am now worried for my personal security because I heard a company staffer on the walkie-talkie saying they would kill me because I am a community leader. I want to tell you that if I die, it was not at the hands of anyone else but because I was murdered by the staff of Bassac Garden City.”

=

On 12 March 2009, we carried the headline from a Khmer newspaper, reporting Dalai Lama: Tibet under Chinese Control Is Like Hell on the Earth. And in order to elaborate, we added a link to the original text of the March 10th Statement of H.H. the Dalai Lama, where he says:

“Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Tibetan people’s peaceful uprising against Communist China’s repression in Tibet. Since last March widespread peaceful protests have erupted across the whole of Tibet. Most of the participants were youths born and brought up after 1959, who have not seen or experienced a free Tibet. However, the fact that they were driven by a firm conviction to serve the cause of Tibet that has continued from generation to generation is indeed a matter of pride… We pay tribute and offer our prayers for all those who died, were tortured and suffered tremendous hardships, including during the crisis last year, for the cause of Tibet since our struggle began.

“Around 1949, Communist forces began to enter north-eastern and eastern Tibet (Kham and Amdo) and by 1950, more than 5000 Tibetan soldiers had been killed…

“Since the re-establishment of contacts in 2002, we have followed a policy of one official channel and one agenda and have held eight rounds of talks with the Chinese authorities. As a consequence, we presented a Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People, explaining how the conditions for national regional autonomy as set forth in the Chinese constitution would be met by the full implementation of its laws on autonomy…

“We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China. Fulfilling the aspirations of the Tibetan people will enable China to achieve stability and unity. From our side, we are not making any demands based on history. Looking back at history, there is no country in the world today, including China, whose territorial status has remained forever unchanged, nor can it remain unchanged.”

But while the voice of the Dalai Lama receives wide attention in the international press, there is also another aspect of the history of Tibet, which is not addressed, but to which the People’s Daily Online refers: Dalai Lama’s utter distortion of Tibet history:

“The Dalai Lama also alleged at a gathering in India’s Dharamsala to mark his 50 years in exile that “these 50 years have brought untold suffering and destruction to the land and people of Tibet.

“Unfortunately, the Dalai Lama has not only been on the wrong side of history, but also has got the history upside down. Miseries of ‘hell on earth’ and ‘untold suffering’ occurred nowhere but in the slavery Tibet symbolized by the Dalai Lama.

“Even from historical books written by Western scholars, people can draw the conclusion that Tibet under the rule of the Dalai Lama clique was a society of feudal serfdom that trampled human rights and easily reminded visitors of the dark age of medieval Europe.

“The feudal serfdom had truly brought ‘untold suffering and destruction’ to the serfs and slaves who accounted for 90 percent of the then population.

“The slavery in Tibet was just ‘hell on earth’ as Charles Bell, who lived in Lhasa as a British trade representative in the 1920s, observed that the Dalai Lama’s theocratic position enabled him to administer rewards and punishments as he wished. That was because he held absolute sway over both this life and the next of the serfs and coerced them with that power.

“In 1959, after the failed rebellion by the Dalai Lama and his followers, the central government of China carried out the long-delayed emancipation of millions of serfs and slaves in Tibet…

“But just as the rebellion by the Dalai Lama clique failed disgracefully 50 years ago, its fantasy of ‘Tibetan Independence’ is also doomed to failure, because of the firm opposition from the Chinese people, including the Tibetans in Tibet.”

But the Dalai Lama does not speak of Tibet’s independence, but of national regional autonomy as set forth in the Chinese constitution, and this within the framework of the People’s Republic of China. Both sides do not hear each other in detail to reach mutual understanding. It is easier to maintain an old antagonism than to find ways to a common understanding – a much more difficult task.

=

On 13 March 2009, the Mirror carried an article “IMF: Cambodia Cannot Avoid the Consequences of the Global Economic Crisis!” (with reference back to similar IMF statements which we had mirrored on 13 February 2009):

“The Cambodian economy is in a negative status… We are talking about a period of dramatic decline in economic activities. So far, what we have seen is that the depth of the downturn is worse than expected.”

Since many weeks, there were many voices echoing the IMF concerns, even more so, since the Prime Minister had publicly questioned that the international economic downturn – in the so called economically rich countries – has the same social effects in a country like Cambodia. His comparison of rich and poorer countries with elephants and sheep may turn out to be a clue not only to understand the differences, but also to find ways to mitigate the economic problems in Cambodia, in a way industrialized countries cannot do:

“Growth in agriculture can surely prevent Cambodia from falling into an economic crisis, even though some major sectors of the Cambodian economy encounter a downturn.”

A foreign businessman, living in Cambodia, shared his appraisal on 12 March 2009, Putting It in Perspective:

“Now that the U. S. has shed 4.5 million jobs in the past 18 months alone and unemployment stands at 8.1 %, the conventional wisdom is that garment exports will go down substantially as the U. S. is the main market for Cambodia. The current figures appear to prove it, with a 27% decrease in exports for the month of February alone. Last December it was 30%…

“Likewise, tourist arrivals show a 2.9% reduction over the same month last year…

“According to the latest statistics the construction sector is holding sort of firm, although it was reported that some 3,000 to 5,000 jobs were lost there too.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen finds fault with all those predictions, saying that all those number are altogether not that important. What’s important is that people won’t go hungry in Cambodia. All those factory workers that lost their job can go back to their native village where they will find a rice paddy to cultivate, and a family that will take care of them…

“So the garment factory girls come back and find their wooden houses, a functioning family structure, and food to eat. They don’t have problems with heating or air conditioning… They wear simple clothes. There is one communal cell-phone which provides contact to the outside world. Yes, this is a simple life, and Westerners can only look on with widened eyes wondering how people can live like this. But let’s face it – this is reality, not only in Cambodia, but in most of South East Asia. And rural areas are exactly where the majority of the factory workers come from.

“So the fact that people can go back to their village is actually a boon for them. Yes, they are poor but they have to eat. And in this context let’s not look at the social problems, e.g. lack of health care and fundamental education. This is for another, hopefully not too far off, time.

“The Western alternative is no laughing matter. People losing their jobs, lose their homes, their savings along the line, their health care, practically their freedom. In my view it’s much more dire in the West. Recession hits people in the industrialized world much harder.”

Not all readers shared his appreciation of the Prime Minister’s perspective. He responded, “I like a good discussion with contrarian viewpoints, but they need to make sense.”

It is in this same spirit that this issue of the Mirror presents contrary and controversial views. We hope also for a good discussion – but the points put forward need to make sense. And this requires to research complex facts, and to engage in open, rational thinking.

Please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Law States that Procedures for Marriages between Khmer Citizens and Foreigners Are Quick, but the Implementers Do It Slowly – Wednesday, 11.3.2009

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

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

Norbert Klein

“Even though a sub-decree of the Royal Government defining the modalities and procedures for marriages between Khmer citizens and foreigners, and the instructions from the Ministry of Interior, set a five days period for document preparation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and five days at the Ministry of Interior, apparently the implementation at these two institutions takes five times longer than that. That is, applicants need to wait three weeks at each institution.

“Foreigners, especially Khmers living in foreign countries, criticize officials who work on these modalities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Ministry of Interior, referring to the sub-decree of the Royal Government and the instructions of the Ministry of Interior, which set a five days period for fulfilling the proper modalities at each institution, but in contrast, the law enforcement officials work slowly, using from three to four weeks.

“The same source added that this slow completion of modalities makes foreigners or Khmers living in foreign countries face various difficulties. Because of the slow proceedings, some lose their jobs after returning to their home countries. They cannot avoid such difficulties, and they have to spend much time and money.

“According to the legal arrangements for the completion of the modalities mentioned above, foreigners or Khmers living in foreign countries, who want to get married with Khmer citizens, need to spend only ten days. Five of these ten days are for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the remaining five days are for the Ministry of Interior. But, actually, they have to wait between six and eight weeks for the legal formalities to be completed at the two institutions.

“The same source continued to say that those who have to complete these legal requirements for an international marriage have to wait in queue, because there is only one official working on these procedures. To wait in this queue takes from 8:00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. The sub-decree does not state anything that husbands and wives have to be thumb printed at the Ministry of Interior (at the Statistic Office), but this office demands them to be thumb printed.

“The source said also that the Sub-Decree 183 of the Royal Government, dated 3 November 2008 and signed by Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, does not require the foreigners who get married with a Khmer citizen to state their salary, but it just wants to have it clarified whether they are single or married, where their workplace is, and a police record to show that they did not commit a criminal offense.

“Foreigners and Khmers living in foreign countries therefore ask the Royal Government to order the relevant officials to implement what that law states, when foreigners find a wife or a husband in Cambodia by following Cambodian legal procedures. When they ask for one month permission of leave from their workplace, but they have to continue up to two months, they will be dismissed from work after returning to their country.

Rasmei Kampuchea tried to contact the relevant officials for comments on 10 March 2009, but could not reach them.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4838, 11.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #131-131, 5-6.3.2009

  • Officials: The Government Organizes [professional] Training Courses for Workers [to provide opportunities for future jobs] while Factories Close

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1894, 11.3.2009

  • [20] Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Ask for Permission from Khmer Soldiers to Take Food to Be Delivered to Monks [in the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda]
  • The Korean Ambassador Received a Medal for His Achievements to Promote the Development of Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6599, 11.3.2009

  • The Judgment in [former Phnom Penh police chief] “Heng Pov’s Case” for Attempting to Assassinate [the commander of the National Military Police] General Sao Sokha Will Be Announced on 12 March 2009
  • A Surprising Natural Disaster Happened in Four Districts in Kompong Cham: Three People Were Killed by Lightning, and 35 Houses Were Destroyed by a Rain Storm

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3708, 11.3.2009

  • The European Union Strongly Condemns the Forced Evictions of Citizens [and encourages the government to follow international standards and to stop evicting citizens]
  • [Senator from the Cambodian People’s Party Oknha] Ly Yong Phat Is Defending a Chinese Company Dredging Sand [from the seashore] Which Destroys the Environment in Koh Kong

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4838, 11.3.2009

  • The Law States that Procedures for Marriages between Khmer Citizens and Foreigners Are Quick, but the Implementers Do It Slowly
  • 12 March 2009: The National Assembly Will Hold a Meeting to Add About Ten New Members to the Government, and About the Restitution of Immunity to Mr. Sam Rainsy
  • The Websites of Most Ministries Do Not Update Information and Do Not Have Khmer Language Versions
  • World Bank: The Global Economy Will Decline for the First Time since the Second World War!

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1669, 11.3.2009

  • Civil Society [the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia] Said that to Add More Members to the Government Is an Additional Burden for the Cambodian Economy

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 21 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #121, 21.2.2009

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1879, 21.2.2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4827, 21.2.2009

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

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to topjudi

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...