The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority Received the Stockholm Water Supply Award – Tuesday, 8.6.2010

Posted on 9 June 2010. Filed under: Week 668 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 668

“Phnom Penh: The judges of the international award of the Stockholm International Water Institute [‘The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is an independent policy institute that seeks sustainable solutions to the world’s escalating water crisis’] recently decided to give the Stockholm Water Industry Award for 2010 to the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority. The ceremony to deliver the award will be held in early September 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the third world-class award that the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority has won.

“The announcement about the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority receiving the Stockholm Water Industry Award for 2010 shows what the judges for this award of the Stockholm International Water Institute assessed and wrote about the qualifications of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority. Phnom Penh is located at the intersection of four rivers arms that serve as an endless water source. But because the country had suffered from chronic civil war for decades, the water supply system became obsolete, and the supply of water did not start to improve before the 1990ies.

“In 1993, Mr. Ek Sonn Chan was appointed by the government as the General Director of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Department, and his team led officials and employees to do some basic work, like to totally repair the water supply system. He also initiated the creation of a new highly effective administrative system to issue invoices and receipts for payments. He also initiated international standard procedures to supply clean water to all residents of Phnom Penh. The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority is successful in fighting corruption and has shown the world that the fight against corruption can be successful in a developing country through the use of simple but effective leadership, based on policies and commercial strategies that are recognized worldwide. At present, as an autonomous unit, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority is supplying water 24 hours a day to 90% of Phnom Penh, which has about 1.3 million citizens, and effectively controls its revenue and expenses. In the meantime, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority continues to further develop the clean water supply system and to strengthens the internal control of the unit.

“Since 1998, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority has set up a totally new supply system. The quantity of water lost as the result of broken and leaking pipes dropped from 72% in 1993 to only 6% in 2008, which is a very small quantity compared to that of other modern countries in the world. Nowadays, the collection of water bills recovers over 98% of the invoiced charges, which allows the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority to get the necessary money back to cover its operational costs. The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority reaches world standards due to its leading water supply system.

“The judges of the Stockholm International Water Institute added that the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority is strongly committed to act responsibly in social and environmental fields, showing to other developing countries that not only big countries can have regular access to clean water. The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority is a good model for all water supply institutions to improve their operations and to step up their care to provide good services to their clients. The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority has made effort to improve also the sanitation system in Phnom Penh, and the company is ready to be listed at the stock exchange in late 2010 [if it really starts to operate by that time].

“Mr. Ek Sonn Chan, appointed by the Royal government as General Director of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, said during the conference, where the award of the Stockholm Water Industry Award was announced on 7 June 2009, that the judges for the provision of the international award to the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority recognized the supply of water in Phnom Penh as having international standard quality. The duty of the unit is to continue to supply clean water for the sake of public health in large quantities any time, and this with cheap prices. The price of water in Phnom Penh is cheapest in the region. The unit could reach the above mentioned achievement because Samdech Akkak Moho Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen had chosen a leader who has the ability to identify many priorities, such as the use of loans, who can also encourage all consumers to pay their bills. Also the former Phnom Penh governor, Mr. Chea Sophara, who had worked with the Asian Development Bank and with the understanding from the Minister of Industry not to interfere into the autonomy of this unit, had enormously contributed to the present success, as well as the help from the current municipal governor. In addition, there is collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and other institutions that provided loans, such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Agence Française de Développement [AFD], and the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA].

“Mr. Ek Sonn Chan said about the award, ‘We did not request this award. Others decided it. There were 64 requests from different institutions for the award in 2010, but only one was selected.’ The Stockholm International Award was established in 2000. This award is considered to be a world-class water award, created to encourage the supply of clean water for public well being. It is a great award for the field of clean water supply. The award will be delivered at a building that had also been used to deliver the Nobel Prizes, and the Swedish King will deliver it. In the past, the award was delivered to clean water institutions in the following countries:

  • 2000 to England
  • 2001 to Mexico
  • 2002 to Norway
  • 2003 to Canada
  • 2004 to India
  • 2005 to the United States of America
  • 2006 to Australia
  • 2007 to Singapore
  • 2008 again to the United States of America
  • 2009 again to Canada, and
  • 2010 to the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority of Cambodia

Most of the countries that won this award in the past are modern developed countries.

“It should be noted that the award won by the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority is the third world-class award for this unit: it had also received other awards, a first award in 2004 and a second award in 2006.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5218, 8.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #498, 8.6.2010

  • The Phnom Penh Authorities Will Take Strict Measures against Anybody Engaged in Football Betting [as the FIFA World Cup will start on 11 June 2010]
  • The United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA] Called on Donors to Provide Aid for the Care of Cambodian Women and Girls [it is estimated that each day, at least five Cambodian women die while delivering babies, because of the lack of health services and medical facilities]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2269, 8.6.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: The High Price of Capital in Commercial Operations Is a Challenge for Our Competitiveness [he said so during the World Economic Forum on East Asia]
  • The Authorities Asked for a Delay for One More Month from Citizens Whose Houses Were Burnt Down [on 8 March 2010 in the Boeng Kak II commune, Phnom Penh] before Relocating Them to a New Area [they live in temporary shelters, and the authorities are preventing those who wanted to reconstruct their housing from doing so]
  • 7,004 Hectares of Agro-Industrial Crops Were Totally Destroyed [by a tropical storm] in the Koulen District [Preah Vihear]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #676, 8.6.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Party Officials Plan to Quietly Go to Visit and Monitor Border Markers at the Borders with Yuon [Vietnam and with Thailand; without informing the authorities – according to the Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson, Mr. Yim Sovann]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6976, 8.6.2010

  • FUNCINPEC and the Nationalist Party That Had Frictions, Signed to Create an Alliance with Each Other
  • Disastrous Storm Made 23 Houses Collapse in the Thmor Koul District [of Battambang], and Lightnings Killed Two Persons in the Bakan District [of Pursat]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3900, 8.6.2010

  • Poor Citizens [from 80 families in the Boeng Kak II commune, Tuol Kork district, Phnom Penh] Victimized by Fire [that bunt down their houses on 8 March 2010] next to Wat Neakavon Protested [in front of the Phnom Penh Municipality] against their Evictions and Asked for in-Place Development

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #188, 8.6.2010

  • The Donors Pledged to Provide Development Aid of Up to US$2.8 Billion for Three Years [from 2010 to 2012]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5218, 8.6.2010

  • The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority Received the Stockholm Water Supply Award
  • The Tax Income of May 2010 Amounts to Nearly US$59 Million [an increase by 22% compared to April]

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China Provides Additional Aid and Loans of US$1.2 Billion to Develop the Cambodian Economy – Tuesday, 22.12.2009

Posted on 23 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“The government of the People’s Republic of China had decided to provide aid and loans of US$1.2 billion to Cambodia to foster economic and social development.

“The decision to provide aid and loans was made public in the evening of 21 December 2009, during a meeting between officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia led by Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen and the Chinese Vice President, Mr. Xi Jinping [习近平], during his three day visit to Cambodia.

“The spokesperson of the Royal Government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, spoke to journalists during a press conference, after the signing ceremony on 14 agreements, saying, ‘During this discussion, the Chinese government made public to provide aid and loans of US$1.2 billion to Cambodia, in addition to the US$930 million in loans that China has provided since 1992.’

“In the meantime, 14 agreements were signed by officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia and by officials of the Chinese government, in the presence of the Cambodian Prime Minister and the Chinese Vice President:

  1. Exchange note on the construction of a new office building for the Senate
  2. Exchange note on the restoration and conservation of a temple in Takeo
  3. Agreement about economic and technical cooperation with a grant of Yuan 50 Million [approx. US$7.3 million]
  4. Agreement about economic and technical cooperation with a loan of Yuan 50 Million [approx. US$7.3 million]
  5. Framework agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 57B
  6. Framework agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 59
  7. Agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 57B
  8. Agreement about a concession loan for the construction of National Road 59
  9. Agreement about a general loan for the use of favorable loans for buyers
  10. Framework agreement on the provision of communication equipment to the Ministry of Economy and Finance
  11. Agreement about favorable loans for buyers for infrastructure at the Kompong Trabaek River in Prey Veng
  12. Agreement about favorable loans for buyers at the project to construct the national road from Sen Monorum to Dac Dam in Mondolkiri
  13. Agreement about favorable loans for buyers at the project to construct power lines to distribute electricity to areas around Phnom Penh
  14. Agreement on transport and infrastructure cooperation

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith added that during that discussions the Chinese vice president raised some points, including the request to increase visits between leaders of the two countries, the promotion of the exchange of political experience, and cooperation to support more Chinese enterprises in Cambodia, and the request for cooperation in the region and internationally.

“Responding to the Chinese vice president, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that Cambodia asked for the increase of visits at all institutional levels, like at city and at provincial levels, between both countries, and this request was agreed upon by China.

“Also, in the discussion, China promised to foster more tourism exchanges, and to continue to support Cambodia with funds, like though more loans for Cambodia. In the meantime, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen asked China to continue to create more exchange scholarships for Cambodian students to go to China.

“The Prime Minister also asked China to help to repair other temples in Cambodia, as there are many more needing preservation, and this request was welcomed by China. The head of the government stressed its position that Cambodia adheres to the One-China Policy, and the Royal Government expressed its gratitude towards China for continuing to support Cambodia, especially now China is also giving care and treating the illnesses of the former Khmer King Norodom Sihanouk.

“Also, China asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to clear unexploded ordnance in the areas where the railroad is to be constructed in Cambodia, and to provide warm cooperation for the Chinese officials in this work. Cambodia responded by agreeing and welcoming the requests of China.

“By now, China is the country that provides the most aid to Cambodia to developing the society and the economy, to reduce the poverty of Cambodian people, and Chinese aid has functioned successfully.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #367, 22.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #367, 22.12.2009

  • China Criticized America while America Criticized Cambodia over Deporting the Uighur People
  • China Provides Additional Aid and Loans of US$1.2 Billion to Develop the Cambodian Economy

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2130, 22.12.2009

  • [The Former Minister of Social Affairs of the Khmer Rouge Regime] Ieng Thirith Was Charged with Three Crimes [genocide, war crimes, and other crime, which consist of killings, torture, and harassment of religious persons]
  • The Cambodian-Russian Bilateral Trade Amounted to More Than US$30 Million within 9 Months for This Year
  • Cambodian Doctors Appeal to the People to Trust Cambodian Doctors [rather than traveling abroad to seek medical treatment that costs more money]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #701, 22.12.2009

  • The Authorities Must Identify the Wood Traders Who Hire Poor Citizens, to Enter Thai Territory [illegally] to Cut Trees and Are Victimized Continually [shot at by Thai soldiers]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #560, 22.12.2009

  • The US Department of State Condemned the Phnom Penh Government That Deported Uighur People to the Chinese Government
  • Two Thousands People Protested against Environment Officials Grabbing 5,000 Hectares of Land in Mondolkiri

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6837, 2.12.2009

  • A DK82 Shell Was Used as a School Bell, but It Exploded, Killing Three People and Injuring Three Others Seriously; It Was Fortunate that this Happened on a Sunday, when there Were no Students [Oddar Meanchey]

Krong Long Vek, Vol.7, #165, 21.12.2009

  • A Non-Government Organization [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)], Asked the Government to Stop Providing Concession Land [saying that it affects thousands of families of villagers in Cambodia]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #72, 22.12.2009

  • China Thanked Cambodia for Deporting the Uighur People
  • A Daughter Asked [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Help Intervene to Free Her Father, Mr. Hang Chakra [saying that he fell ill in the Prey Sar prison; the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison for disinformation over corruption of high ranking officials]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5079, 22.12.2009

  • Cambodia and China Signed 14 Exchange Notes and Agreements Covering US$1.2 Billion [no clarity about the relation of grant aid to repayable loans]; China Announced that Cambodia Is an Absolute Political Cooperation Partner of the Chinese Government
  • America Condemns Cambodia for Deporting Chinese Ethnic [Uighur] People [saying that it violates international law (the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, which Cambodia signed), warning that it might affect the ties between Cambodia and America]
  • [The Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva: [the Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Has to Come First to Serve His Time in Prison before Negotiating

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1838, 22.12.2009

  • [The Minister of the Council of Ministers] Sok An Assigns [senior minister in charge of border affairs] Var Kimhong to Explain the Setting of Border Markers at the National Assembly on 24 December 2009

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The Prime Minister Warned Environmental Experts in Relation to the Construction of Hydro-Electric Dams – Tuesday, 8.12.2009

Posted on 9 December 2009. Filed under: Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

“On 7 December 2009, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia warned some environmental experts who frequently criticized and mentioned endless impacts from the construction of hydro-electric dams. At this point, the Prime Minister stressed that environmental impacts from hydro-electric dams really exist, but there are also much benefits from them, and the construction plans have been studied thoroughly.

“During his visiting to check the construction process of the hydro-electric dam at the Kamchay river in Teuk Chhou district, in Kampot on Monday morning, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said, ‘The construction of the hydro-electric dam at Kamchay really creats floods in the upper areas, but it helps us with some points, including:

  1. It helps create power of 193 megawatts;
  2. It helps to control floods; and
  3. It ensures that our Teuk Chhou [natural resort] has water both in the rainy and in the dry season.’

“It should be noted that this hydro-electric dam in Kampot will be finished in 2012, 112 meters high. By 7 December 2009, 47 meters have been constructed. The Royal Government contracted the construction to a Chinese company. After that, the company can sell the electricity and this will last for 30 years.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen spoke about the site for this electric dam, saying, ‘If there had been no coup to oust King Norodom Sihanouk [in 1970], His Majesty would have created hydro-electric dams, and the burden would not have been left for us at present – but there was a political disturbance.’ In the meantime, according to the head of the Royal Government, more hydro-electric dams will be built in the future to supply power to the Cambodian people countrywide, and reduce petroleum consumption.

“At this time, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen emphasized, ‘Ten hydro-electric dams are being studied and being planned. Now we construct this hydro-electric dam in Kamchay, and we are building four other dams in Pursat, including the hydro-electric dams at the Atai river with 120 megawatts, at the Tatai river with 246 megawatts, at the Russey Chrum river with 338 megawatts, and at the Cheay Aren river with 108 megawatts. These hydro-electric dams will generate power for the citizens at the provinces along the Siamese [Thai] border.’

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that the government spends about US$20 million per year to ensure the electricity supply for the citizens in Phnom Penh [the government spends US$20 million every year on generating electricity so that it is not too expensive]. To have [affordable] electricity for consumption generated from petroleum, the Royal Government has to cover the expenses.

“There are some ideas that the consumption costs of electricity in Cambodia will be cheaper through the use of the power from hydro-electric dams that were and are being constructed in Cambodia; the government contracted the construction of most dams to Chinese investment companies. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen went on to say that just 200-300 megawatts or 400-500 megawatts are very small amounts of power for Chinese investment companies, because they have built already hydro-electric dams with the power of thousands of megawatts.

“To conclude, the construction of hydro-electric dams, to some extent, helps prevent environmental impacts as it reduces the emission of polluting smoke from the use of petroleum.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #356, 8.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #356, 8.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warned Environmental Experts in Relation to the Construction of Hydro-Electric Dams
  • The Electricity Cost Will Drop to US$0.10 per kw/h [after the Kamchay hydro-electric dam will be finished in 2012, said Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • The Asian Development Bank Has Provided Loans of US$1.000,14 Million for Development in Cambodia [since 1992]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2118, 8.12.2009

  • The Vice President of China Will Visit Cambodia Officially Late This Month [following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s invitation, and some agreements will be signed]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #549, 8.12.2009

  • The Opposition Parties and the Ruling Party Have the Same Position as the Civil Society: to Organize the Anti-Corruption Day [in Phnom Penh and in eight provinces on 9 December 2009]
  • The Lawyer of the Siamese [Thai alleged] Spy Will Ask for Pardon from the [Khmer] King if He Is Found Guilty

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6825, 8.12.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Soldiers Shot Dead a Person at the Dangrek Mountains, Injured One, and Arrested Eight Others [they went to cut trees illegally]
  • The Municipal Court Will Open the Hearing on the Thai Alleged Spy under the Eyes of Bangkok [on 8 December 2009 – Phnom Penh]
  • Three Died and One Was Seriously Injured by Four Different Accidents [three traffic accidents and one drowning – Kompong Thom]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #62, 8.12.2009

  • Kompong Thom Police Arrested Seven More Representatives of Citizens over a Land Dispute with a Vietnamese Company [Tan Bien Company]
  • [The President of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the Senate] Mr. Chea Sim’s Heath Recovers [in Singapore, from hypertension – according to Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5067, 8.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister: China Is Constructing a Big Battery for Cambodia [referring to five hydro-electric dams which can generate nearly 1,000 megawatt]
  • Phnom Penh-Stung Treng Bus Burnt, after Hitting a Motorbike Rider to Death [Stung Treng]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1828, 8.12.2009

  • Opposition Party Parliamentarians Will Go to Check the Border at the Disputed Point on 14 December 2009 [Svay Rieng]
  • The Government Agrees to Receive a Small Amount of Money by Allowing Siamese [Thai] Fishermen to Destroy Khmer Sea Fish

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The Prime Minister Said that to Summon More Khmer Rouge Leaders for Questioning Is Fatal – Friday, 4.12.2009

Posted on 5 December 2009. Filed under: Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

“The Prime Minister said, ‘Some do take the opportunity to use the Khmer Rouge court again and again… it is a fatal case. I do not interfere in the court affairs, but the court did not put off the war [with the Khmer Rouge]; and be careful, in case the court creates war and division in the society again…’

“This statement was made by Prime Minister Hun Sen again on 3 December 2009 during the 27th International Day of Disabled Persons in Phnom Penh, in relation to the intention of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to summon more people to testify.

“On 30 November 2009, the lawyer of a Khmer Rouge leader demanded that the investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal question Prime Minister Hun Sen and some government officials, for having politically interfered in the affairs of this court. But yesterday, the head of the government, Mr. Hun Sen, stated that he does not interfere in the court affairs, but he just pointed to intentions to destroy the peace, which could hardly be recovered by summoning more former Khmer Rough leaders for questioning. This kind of an expression of concern is considered by a foreign defense lawyer of a former Khmer Rouge leader to be a criminal offense.

“Nuon Chea’s defense lawyer mentioned Prime Minister Hun Sen’s words, saying in September 2009, that the Prime Minister stated that he himself fled from the communist regime in 1977, adding that witnesses do not need to testify at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“Nuon Chea’s defense lawyer, Mr. Michael Pestman, said to the news agency AFP and was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post, for their publication on 30 November 2009, as saying, ‘Mr. Hun Sen really told all summoned witnesses that they do not need to cooperate with the tribunal. That means he committed a criminal offense and it seriously affects the legal investigations of this court.’

“A similar suggestion, which AFP had received, mentioned the words of government officials they had used in October 2009 that the six parliamentarians and high ranking officials of the government, summoned by this court, do not need to testify.

“Mr. Pestman added, ‘Mr. Hun Sen’s statement is affecting the hearings to seek justice for our clients, because those government officials are direct witnesses whom we need for this process.’ He added, ‘At least, these words can weaken the legitimacy of the court.’

‘Yesterday morning, Mr. Hun Sen did not exactly refer to any Khmer or foreign lawyers, prosecutors, or judges, but stressed that this measure intends just to provoke turmoil in Cambodia.

“Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘They try to create turmoil in order to exploit the benefits for themselves.’

“After the celebration of the International Day of Disabled Persons yesterday, Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘From 1993 till now, when Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea, and other leaders of the Khmer Rouge cabinet arrived back, we considered this as the stage where the political and military organizations of the Khmer Rouge had been dissolved.’

“Mr. Hun Sen added that he would rather let the Khmer Rouge Tribunal fail, than would he let it to create a new war in Cambodia. He stated, ‘A hearing is just a hearing, but the peace must be kept also, and national unity must be maintained. You must balance these. Do not play with them, it can be fatal; and 100,000 to 200,000 people would die if there would be war again; who will then call the Khmer Rouge, or go to call them back from the forest again? I am old now. When I went to call the brothers and sisters [the former Khmer Rouge people] back from the forest, I was not yet 50 years old… I would rather let the court fail, but I will not let war break out. I want to say this clearly to the people. If the court fails, let it be.’

“Mr. Hun Sen is the 7th person who was to be summoned to testify.

“Even though Mr. Hun Sen is worried about the breaking out of war again because of the summons for more former Khmer Rouge leaders, the former prime minister of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea in the 1980s, Mr. Pen Sovann, supports the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to summon more former Khmer Rouge leaders to testify, who are now high ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party.

“On 8 October 2009, Mr. Pen Sovann told Khmer Machas Srok related to this case that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is an independent and professional court which can provide justice to Khmer citizens who are victims of the Khmer Rouge. He said, ‘Nobody who was involved in the past Khmer Rouge history, no politician, should interfere in this court, because this court is independent… I support this court as it has its rights, its independence, and its role.’

“Prime Minister Hun Sen frequently warned that there will be instability if this court continues to summon more former Khmer Rouge leaders for questioning. But Mr. Pen Sovann claimed that there will not be any instability. He went on to say, ‘I think that this could not happen. It is only the personal opinion of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen; he wants to protect persons of the former the Khmer Rouge Regime.’

“The four top former Khmer Rouge leaders, who are at present already being detained, are the former head of state, Mr. Khieu Samphan; the former president of the National Assembly, Mr. Nuon Chea; the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ieng Sary; and the former Minister of Social Affairs, Ms. Ieng Thirith; in addition, there is also the former S-21 (Tuol Sleng) prison chief Duch, who was a middle level leader, who was brought first to the hearings.

“On 7 October 2009, the French investigating judge, Mr. Marcel Lemonde, and also a co-judge of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, summoned six high ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party to give testimony. Those six officials are the president of the Senate and of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Chea Sim; the honorary president of the Cambodian People’s Party and president of the National Assembly, Mr. Heng Samrin; the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong; and two other senators, Mr. Sim Ka and Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun. Mr. Hun Sen is the 7th person of the Cambodian People’s Party who was summoned for questioning and to testify.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #546, 4.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #353, 4.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: I Would rather Let the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Fail Than Let the Country Fall into War Again
  • The Prime Minister Encourages the Provision of Job Opportunities to Disabled People [he said this during the celebration of the International Day of Disabled Persons; at present there are 19,232 disabled people in Cambodia; their rate declined from 2% in 1998 to 1.4% in 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2115, 4.12.2009

  • The Number of People Infected with A/H1N1 Increased to 480 [and there were five deaths]
  • An American Official [Ms. Diane Whitten from the US embassy in Phnom Penh] Wants That More Khmer Students Study in the United States [and return to develop the country]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #689, 4.12.2009

  • The United States Helps to Prepare the Angkor Guard Military Exercises in 2010 in Cambodia, with 23 Countries Participating [US$1,800,000 was granted to prepare an area for the exercises]
  • The Ministry of Health Closed Three Clinics within One Week [the Beijing Clinic in Ratanakiri, and the Russey Keo, and the Bopha Meas Clinics in Phnom Penh, where recently patients died because of neglect, and for not following some principles of the Ministry of Health] while Some Big State Hospitals Are Privatized

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #546, 4.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Said that to Summon More Khmer Rouge Leaders for Questioning Is Fatal

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6822, 4.12.2009

  • The Former Malaysian Prime Minister Brings Donations for Cambodian Muslim People Who Suffered from a Big Fire [in Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #60, 4.12.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen: I Do Not Interfere in the Court [of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Foreign Investment Dropped by Almost 100% in October this Year [the investment was only US$15.5 million while last year during the same month, it amounted to US$869.8 million; according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), it declined due to the collapse of banks where many investors had asked for loans for investment]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5064, 4.12.2009

  • Cambodia Denied that Deputy Prime Minister Sok An Went to Welcome the Mother of the Thai [alleged] Spy at the Airport [when she came to visit her son]
  • Cambodia Asked the Former Malaysian Prime Minister to Look at Cambodian Rice [for possible export to Malaysia]
  • A Man Rides a Bicycle across 12 Countries to Collect Donations for Cambodian Disabled Persons [Mr. Ben King, New Zealander; look at http://bikeben.com]
  • Cambodia Asked China [through a Chinese parliamentarian delegation] to Help Train Human Resources to Repair and Preserve Temples and to Find a Ship That Sank in Koh Kong [during the 14th or 15th century]
  • The First European Union – Asian Cultural Event Will Be Organized [on 4 December 2009 at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1826, 4-6.12.2009

  • The Diplomatic Dispute between Siam [Thailand] and Cambodia Is Destroying the Plan to Construct the ASEAN Railroad [to connect the ASEAN states to the South of China]

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The National Assembly Prepares to Release the Salaries of Personnel through a Bank, and to Collect Taxes on the Salaries – Monday, 30.11.2009

Posted on 1 December 2009. Filed under: Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

“Phnom Penh: Personnel of the National Assembly (not to be confused with the 123 parliamentarians) is required to receive their salaries through a bank account and to pay taxes for their salaries; according to the plan, this will start from January 2010.

“On 25 November 2009, 73 persons employed at the National Assembly, in positions of directors and deputy directors of departments, are preparing documents and have their photos taken to fill in application forms to open accounts at the ANZ Royal Bank. This is the first step. Next comes the filling of forms by normal staff of the National Assembly – their total number is not given. But it is known that those staff are under the administration of the secretariat of the National Assembly, where at present, there are 1,200 staff members and some other contracted persons.

“Officials of the National Assembly in charge of this work said that the National Assembly organizes to release the salaries through a bank, following public financial reforms of the Royal Government. Also, this eases the release of the salaries for civil servants at other cities and in the provinces, as they need not come to collect their salaries in Phnom Penh, and it improves the efficiency of the management of resources. The release of salaries to staff of the National Assembly through a bank will begin in January 2010.

“The private ANZ Royal Bank received the exclusive right from the Cambodian government to handle the release of the salaries of civil servants and officials of all ministries and institutions. This agreement was made in mid 2007.

“The head of the commercial communication section of the ANZ Royal Bank, Mr. Nou Netra, who is organizing the documents to open bank accounts for the staff of the National Assembly, said that so far, the ANZ Royal Bank has already prepared to release the salaries for 35 of the 36 state institutions, and it has been operating at 27 ministries.

“Meanwhile, personnel of the National Assembly will also have to pay taxes on their salaries, which had been decided to begin in October 2009, but the National Assembly had asked to delay it until early 2010.

“During a meeting between the secretariat of the National Assembly and tax officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance last week, tax officials mentioned the order of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen regarding the collection of taxes on salaries of civil servants at all ministries and state and private institutions.

“Monthly salary taxes will be collected in accordance with the amendment of the taxation law that was published to be used on 31 March 2003.

“The ranges for the collection of taxes on staff salaries are set as follows:

  • from Riel 500,001 [approx. US$125] to Riel 1,250,000 [approx. US$312]: 5%
  • from Riel 1,250,001 to Riel 8,500,000 [approx. US$2,125]: 10%
  • from Riel 8,500,001 to Riel 12,500,000 [approx. US$3,125]: 15%
  • more than Riel 12,500,000: 20%.

“It should be noted that the total number of staff of the National Assembly and the total amount of their salaries are not given. But the amount of their salaries depends on their experience and certified level of education. Normal staff who are high school graduates earn more than Riel 600,000 [approx. US$150], and heads of departments earn Riel 1,200,000 [approx. US$300] and above.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5060, 29-30.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 30 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #349, 29-30.11.2009

  • Army Commanders at the [Cambodian-Thai] Border Meet Each Other More Often and Play Sports, while Diplomatic Ties Are Still Tense
  • Cambodia Will Ask to Extend the Time Necessary to Clear All Mines from Cambodia for 10 More Years [at a an international conference in Colombia about mines and other explosion devices]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2111, 29-30.11.2009

  • A Branch Director of the Acleda Bank in Kompong Cham and His Girlfriend Were Arrested for Taking Nearly Half a Million Dollars [Phnom Penh]
  • A Court Decided to Release a Man Accused of Rape and of Taking Photos to Extort Money [from his sister-in-law, due to lack of evidence – Phnom Penh [according to another source, the man tried to catch her for committing adultery with another person]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #542, 29-30.11.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann: There Should Be No More Tensions, while the Border Issues near the Preah Vihear Temple Are Being Solved

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6818, 30.11.2009

  • To Eliminate Gender Inequality, there Must Be an Increasing Number of Women Officials [according to a workshop organized by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #56, 30.11.2009

  • [More than 100] Sam Rainsy Party Members Defected to the Cambodian People’s Party [however, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann. said that the number was exaggerated, because there were only two or three members who defected]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1478, 30.11.2009

  • Nine Types of Foodstuff [6 tonnes] Worth US$200,000 Arrived as Humanitarian Aid from South Korea [to assist victims of the typhoon Ketsana]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5060, 29-30.11.2009

  • The National Assembly Prepares to Release the Salaries of Personnel through a Bank, and to Collect Taxes on the Salaries
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Asked Cambodia to Consider Asking for a Loan [from Thailand, to construct a road with the amount of about US$41 million] again, as the Military Commanders Promised that there Will Be No Armed Clashes
  • Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldiers [that is from the Special Border Protection Unit] Shot at a Group of Khmer Citizens, Killing One Youth [they had entered the forest to cut trees on Thai territory – Oddar Meanchey]
  • The National Assembly Asked the Government to Provide Documents and to Explain the Border Demarcation [with Vietnam]

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The Wind Changes Its Direction: Chea Ratha Was Sentenced to Serve 18 Years in Prison – Saturday, 28.11.2009

Posted on 30 November 2009. Filed under: Week 640 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 640

“Phnom Penh: The Appeals Court of Cambodia issued a surprising decision, sentencing Ms. Chea Ratha [a former military police brigadier general, who had a lesbian relationship with actress In Soklida] for 18 years to jail for an acid attack against the aunt of the actress In Soklida, and also other accomplices are to be imprisoned. The decision made by the Appeals Court at this time is totally in contrast to the former decisions made by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to dismiss the accusations against the accused persons.

“The acid attack against Ms. In Soklida’s aunt had been brought for a hearing and judgment by the Appeals Court on 27 November 2009, with Mr. Seng Sivutha as the head of the council of judges, with Mr. Nhoung Thul and Mr. Thou Monei as members, and with Mr. Hean Rith as representative of the prosecutors.

“The judgment decided to uphold Decision 82, dated 31 August 2009, of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, but rejected Point 1, which is related to punishments for all who had been charged. The new decision of the Appeals Court exempts Meas Mao, male, 40; and Meas Chandy from the charge of illegal gun use, but sentenced them to serve 18 years in prison for violating the right of an individual, and for planned and attempted murder. Chea Ratha, female, 43, was removed from the charge of illegal use of a weapon, but she is convicted to serve 18 years in prison for planned and attempted murder. Ie Puthea, male, 33, and San Savuth, called San Sanut or Nut, 29, were freed from the charge of using a weapon illegally, but are to be imprisoned for 15 years for violating the right of an individual, and for collusion in a planed and attempted murder. Siek Sophal, male, was removed from the charge of using a weapon illegally, but is to be jailed for 15 years. Chan Dara, male, was removed from the charge of using a weapon illegally, of violating the right of an individual, and of collusion in an attempted murder, that means he is free from all accusations. All the six accused persons were ordered to pay to cover the cost of the medical treatment and to compensate the plaintiff with US$100,000, and an arrest warrant was issued to arrest those who escaped.

“It should be noted that the acid attack against Ms. In Soklida’s aunt occurred on 8 May 2008 in front of the RHAC Hospital on street 433, Tuol Tumpung 1, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh.

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court had sentenced to dismiss the accusations against all accused persons, but the plaintiff’s lawyer later appealed against this judgment, and there was also a complaint from the prosecutor of the Appeals Court dated 23 September 2009.

“The reason leading to this new judgment is that there was an acid attack against the victim Ya Sok Nim, Ms. In Soklida’s aunt, by two unidentified persons, who rode a 2008 Viva motorbike, and then stopped behind her to attack her with acid, and escaped.

“After the event, the victim’s husband lodged a complaint to the authorities to solve the case according to the law, but he could not identify the perpetrators’ faces.

“According to a note of the victim read by a clerk, a day ahead of the attack, bodyguards and Chea Ratha came to her house to ask for information about her niece (In Soklida), but she said that she did not know where she was. They asked to check in the house, but they still could not find her. Then they left.

“A few days later, Chea Ratha phoned to warn her, ‘If you do not deliver In Soklida, there will be bloodshed.’ This i was recorded, and her voice was played in the municipal court. Later on, the acid attack happened on 8 May 2008.

“Sok Chey, a person who witnessed the event, said he saw two men, whose faces he could not identify as they wore masks, but remembers their appearance, as they appeared behind the victim, attacked her with acid, and escaped.

“After that, police arrested two perpetrators, after showing their photos to the victim. The victim was sure that they were the perpetrators, bodyguards of Chea Ratha, as the victim had gone to the accused’s house [Mr. Chea Ratha’s house].

“After hearing the information and conclusions from the prosecutors, the Appeals Court took the decision as mentioned above.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5059, 28.11.2009

Note:

The Camboia Daily reported on Saturday/Sunday 28/29, November 2009:

“Mr. Ratha’s defense attorneys Keo Ya and Nach Try, who had lobbied Cabinet Minister Sok An ahead of the municipal court trial of Mr. Ratha seeking his intervention to have the case dropped, said they were unaware of their client’s whereabouts. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said on Thursday that the lawyer’s letter was not considered in any way by Mr. Sok An, as it was the work of the courts.”

“There was no report that the office of the Deputy Prime Minster rejected this attempt, requesting an illegal act of influencing the court.”

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 28 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #348, 28.11.2009

  • The Asian Development Bank Provides a US$10 Million Loan to Cambodia to Counter the Impacts of the Economic Crisis
  • Cambodia Has a Family Counseling and Strengthening Center Called “Mlub Kruasa Center [“Family Shade” – in Phnom Penh, assisted by the French government]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2110, 28.11.2009

  • [Former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch Asked the Court to Release Him [he said so during the last hearing of Case 001 on 27.11.2009 at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Because Somebody Just Looked Straight at His Face, Man Drew a Gun and Shot to Kill Another Man among the Crowd [the victim was injured while the perpetrator was arrested – Phnom Penh]
  • A Ghanaian Man Was Arrested after His Girlfriend Reported that He Was Involved in Cross Border Drug Smuggling [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #541, 28.11.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asked [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Send the Border Demarcation Document with Yuon [Vietnam] to the National Assembly

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6817, 28-29.11.2009

  • A Loan from Thailand Was Canceled, but Government Officials Said that Cambodia Has Sufficient Resources to Improve the 117 km of Road 68 [spending about US$41 million without the Thai loan -the Road 68 goes from Kralanh district in Siem Reap to Ou Smach and Samrong districts in Oddar Meanchey]
  • Nineteen Companies Received Economic Concession Land of More Than 80,000 Hectares, where Some Companies Are Having Disputes with Citizens [according to a report of the forestry authorities in Kompong Thom]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5059, 28.11.2009

  • The Wind Changes Its Direction: Chea Ratha Was Sentenced to Serve 18 Years in Prison
  • In 2010 the State Starts to Collect Tax from House Owners [at 0.1% of a the value of a house]
  • The Sihanoukville Port Announced the Start the Construction of a Special Economic Zone [on 70 hectares of land]
  • Two Girls Who, They Are Aunt and Niece [to each other, 6 and 7 years old] Were Raped by a 14-Year-Old Boy [the teenage boy was arrested – Banteay Meanchey]
  • [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya: Thailand Will Not Negotiate with Cambodia as Long as [Thai fugitive ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Is Still Advisor [of the Cambodian government and of Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • A Suspect Involved in the Massacre in the Philippines Was Charged

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An Opposition Party: The Government Should Control the Cambodia Air Traffic Service Itself – Monday, 23.11.2009

Posted on 24 November 2009. Filed under: Week 640 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 640

“There had been several reports that information about confidential flight plans by the Cambodia Air Traffic Service (CATS) controlled by Thai people were leaked. The opposition party has demanded that the government should take control of the air traffic control itself, but there is no response. And now everything seems somewhat too late.

“The spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, spoke to the media late last week, saying that the government should take the CATS company under its control to ensure that there is no economic loss, and it would be easier for the government to control national secrets. Mr. Yim Sovann said, ‘The Sam Rainsy Party had mentioned this case many times before, suggesting that all these important tasks should not be given to foreigners, and the government should control it by itself. But the state does not care.’

“In January 2001, the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation of the Cambodian government signed an agreement with the [Thai] Samart Corporation, providing an exclusive license for 22 years to this company, to organize, operate, and maintain a system for air traffic routing for civil aviation companies in Cambodia, and this company is also required to conform to the technical standards of BCT [an aviation maintenace company]. After receiving the license from the Cambodian government, Samart very quickly prepared the bidding procedure for the radar system and set up the necessary tools needed for its effective air traffic control operations.

“A parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, agreed that it would be very good if the government would reconsider the air traffic control agreement with the Thai side. He added that Cambodia should have the ability to control this company, rather than allow foreigners to continue to control it. He said, ‘We should recheck that investment agreement, and we should check whether our human resources can take the place of the foreigners.’ He explained that Cambodia jointly created the company CATS with Thailand, because, at that time, Cambodia did not have sufficient experts, and air traffic was not so busy [like it is at present]. Mr. Cheam Yeap went on to say that to continue to let foreigners do the air traffic control affects the security of our nation through the secret release of confidential information to their government, adding that foreigners are not honest to us. He said, ‘Do not trust foreigners but only those having the same blood as Khmers. If we let them be at that place, they might release confidential information about national security, as one Thai person did already. They are not 100% honest towards us.’

“Mr. Cheam Yeap continued to say that according to new Article 90 of the Constitution of Cambodia, the Royal Government can make a request to the National Assembly [“The National Assembly shall approve the national budget, State planning, loans, financial contracts, and the creation, modification and annulment of tax.”]. Then the National Assembly will exercise its right to cancel any contract that can affect the national interest. The Thai spy can be considered as proof to cancel that contract. Another Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, Mr. Son Chhay, said that the opposition party had expressed concerns since the beginning about problems of national security. Now, it happened as the Sam Rainsy Party had been concerned. He said he will write a letter to the government, because it is related to national security.

“He said, ‘I also saw information about the arrest of the Thai spy. I think it is an opportunity to respond to the Ministry of Defense and the Council of Ministers which had claimed that there would be no problems, but the problem exists now, and I want to know what measures they take.’ He emphasized that he will write a letter this week to the government to request it to check the control over the CATS company.

“Because of the secret copy of the flight plan of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, the Cambodia government ordered all Thai [CATS] personnel to stop working, after Mr. Siwarak Chutiphong, 31, had been arrested for spying, while the eternal friend of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Thaksin Shinawatra, visited Cambodia, to give a lecture about the Cambodian economy, as he is now an economic advisor of Cambodia.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1817, 23.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 23 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #343, 23.11.2009

  • Forty Eight [not well-known] Civil Society Organizations Support the Suspension of Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [according to their joint statement]
  • The Ministry of Information Asks All Television Stations to Accept to Broadcast Advertisements for Khmer Sports and to Stop Broadcasting Foreign Sports
  • Forty Two People Died, Sixty Six Are Missing, and More Than 100 Were Injured through an Explosion in a Coal Mine [in China]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2105, 22-23.11.2009

  • A Lawyer Will Request Bail for Siwarak Chutiphong on Monday [this Thai engineer was arrested for copying the flight plans of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra to send them to Thailand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #436, 22-23.11.2009

  • The Government Recognized that there Is Waste of National Resources and there are Wrongly Allocated Expenses

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6812, 23.11.2009

  • The Three Samdechs [Samdech Hun Sen, the Prime Minister; Samdech Heng Samrin, the President of the National Assembly, and Samdech Chea Sim, the President of the Senate] Responded to Samdech Euv [the former King] that the Setting of Border Markers and of the Border Line Is Done Based on the Map Deposited at the United Nations in 1964
  • 40,000 Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of Thai ousted and fugitive Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Prepare to Demonstrate against [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva in Chiang Mai, while 1,000 Yellow-Shirt Demonstrators Rallied to Demand the 4.6 Square Kilometer Land [near the Preah Vihear Temple]
  • A Man like an Animal Raped His 10-Year-Old Daughter Three Times, and then He Was Arrested [Kandal]
  • A French Man Took an Underage Girl to Have Sexual Relations into a Guesthouse and Was Arrested [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #51, 23.11.2009

  • A Thai Engineer Acknowledged that He Provided Information [about the fight plans of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra] to the [Thai] Embassy [in Phnom Penh]
  • Vietnam Has Invested US$600 Million in Rubber Plantations in Cambodia [it plans to plant rubber trees on 100,000 hectares of land in Mondolkiri, Kompong Thom, Kratie, and Ratanakiri by 2012]
  • Supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra Warned to Kill [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [by blowing up his car during his visit to Chiang Mai]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #50, 22-23.11.2009

  • Former US President [Jimmy Carter] Helped to Build 21 New Houses for Poor Cambodians [Kompong Speu]
  • [Two] Robbers Shot at a Student to Rob His Motorbike, but the Bullets Ricocheted and Hit and Injured Two Children [who were playing in front of their house during the robbery; the robbers escaped – Phnom Penh]
  • The Number of Deaths from Swine Flu [A/H1N1] Has Increased to 6,660 [worldwide, according to the World Health Organization]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1817, 23.11.2009

  • An Opposition Party: The Government Should Control the Cambodia Air Traffic Service Itself

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3,500, 22.11.2009

  • Cambodian Expands Diplomatic Ties in New York [the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is responsible to organize documentation to establish diplomatic ties with some countries that have not established contacts with Cambodia]

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Considering Public Financial Resources – Sunday, 22.11.2009

Posted on 23 November 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 639 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 639

This Saturday, we reported: “According to a recent notification from the Council of Ministers, the Royal Government decided to suspend all promotions for government positions in 2010. If a promotion in any position is planned, it has to wait until 2011.” That was even more surprising than another report which the Mirror carried on 10.11.2009: “The Government Cuts Salaries of Advisers” – which, in a way, was only the correction of a violation of common sense (and economic justice): Why should only some public servants, employed full time, get a second salary for an additional function as adviser, a task to be adhered to during working hours which are already covered by another salary? But such double, or even multiple payments for some persons, seem to have gone on for years. In many other countries, the Auditor General – being an independent position without special loyalties – might have intervened many years ago.

When working to select and to present texts for the Mirror, related to some new millions of dollars “to help Cambodia,” it is surprising that quite often the text does not specify whether this refers to a credit to be paid back, or to a grant. Even some statements of preference, from where it is more agreeable to receive funds – whether there are conditions of transparency or of human rights adherence part of the agreement, or whether funds come without such expectations – do not distinguish between grants and loans. Though the latter have a minor condition: they have to be paid back.

The Mirror referred last month to the loans of about US$ 1 billion Cambodia had contracted with China in 2008 and 2009, continuing: “We are not aware that details about the timing and the terms of the re-payment obligations were published. Neither did we see any evaluation of the situation in terms of what is called a “sustainable external debt” – which is defined by some scholars of economics as “a situation where a country is expected to be able to meet its current and future debt obligations in full, without recourse to debt relief, rescheduling of debts, or the accumulation of arrears, and without unduly compromising growth.”

Some old debts did received special attention in recent reporting. On 11 November 2009, one paper had reported, supposedly based on information from high ranking Cambodian officials, that the Russian Government is considering to cancel the US$1.5 billion debt that Cambodia owes to Russia. But this had to be corrected on the basis what high ranking Russian officials said: when the president of the National Assembly and his delegation returned without success from Russia: “Russia Refuses to Cancel Debt” – it was clear that in spite of similar efforts in 2006 and 2008, the Russian government had not agreed to wipe out these old debts from the 1980ies. While we did not see details about the related negotiations, it is interesting to remember what had been reported formerly in 2007: that the Russian government is prepared to consider arrangements for the old debts under three conditions:

  1. Russia asks for the resumption of Moscow-Phnom Penh flights, for the promotion partly of tourism, and partly of investment.
  2. Russia asks Cambodia to strengthen military relations between the two countries by asking the ministries of defense of the two countries to have good relations again, because so many members of the Cambodian armed forces studied in Russia; therefore, the Cambodian Government should accept the request and organize those who studied military affairs in Russia again, and Russia, in turn, promises to accept Cambodian students to study in Russia.
  3. Russia sees the possibility to exploit natural gas in Cambodia, and asks the Cambodian National Assembly to facilitate relations, so that Russia can come to invest in oil drilling, because Russia has long years of experience in [oil and] gas drilling and hopes that Cambodia will allow Russian investors to come to invest in natural gas exploitation in Cambodia.

We do not remember that these points – especially as they relate also to untapped oil resources – have ever been mentioned in the more recent reports about maritime oil resource negotiations with a number of other countries. It should therefore be no surprise that the latest delegation to Russia to discuss the old debts did not bring the expected solution: that Russia would simply write off US$1.5 billion.

Another old, much much smaller debt, also shows up from time to time. We quote old headlines as a reminder:

  • 16.2.2008: US Demanded Debt [of approx. $154 million out of the debt of $339 million], Cambodia Said the Debt Was Owed by an Illegal Government [of the Khmer Republic]
  • 18.2.2008: US Discusses Debt Owed by Lon Nol Era; General Opinion Says US Should Better Cancel the Debt
  • 8.9.2009: America Hopes that an Agreement on the Cambodian Debt to the USA Will Be Achieved Soon to Cancel the Cambodian Debt
  • 23.9.2009: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Hor Namhong Will Discuss Possible Solutions to the Debt from the Time of General Lon Nol’s Regime [the Khmer Republic] of More Than US$300 Million That Cambodia Owes America

To look forward to comprehensive information about all debt obligations, in light of what economic theories say about an appropriate “sustainable external debt” ratio is not unreasonable.

The recent dramatic decisions, to cut the salaries of the large number of advisers, and to freeze all promotions in the civilian and uniformed services, “aiming to save state resources in 2010,” is a signal of a new approach to handle public funds.

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The Cambodian Prime Minister: China Becomes the Constructor of the Longest Sections of Roads in Cambodia – Friday, 13.11.2009

Posted on 15 November 2009. Filed under: Week 638 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 638

Apologies for the delays, which may continue into the coming week, as I am attending the UN Internet Governance Forum meetings in Sharm el Sheikh/Egypt with a busy schedule, in a different time zone. I try to be timely as much as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Stung Treng: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, said that China becomes the country that has constructed the most roads in Cambodia, sections of road of more than 1,500 km, which had been constructed, are being constructed, or are planned to be constructed. Moreover, China has provided loans to construct bridges with a total length of 3,014 meters, for which in total more than US$800 million have been offered for road construction and more than US$100 million for building bridges. Besides, there are hydro-electric projects in some provinces with 700 megawatt power, costing approx. US$1.7 billion.

“Samdech Dekchor said so during the launching of a construction site on National Road 78 in the morning of 12 November 2009: ‘The site to construct and to restore National Road 78, starting at 121 km from Ou Pong Moan in Stung Treng, to Ban Lung in Ratanakiri, is to be covered by red gravel, 6 meter wide; it was started with a loan from the People’s Republic of China, also with 5% contributed by the Royal Government.

“The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Tram Iv Tek, stated that the construction of this road will take 40 months, the width will be broadened to 11 meters, it will be paved according to the Double Bituminous Surface Treatment, following the 3rd standard of China, with 13 bridges of together 903 meters, and 126 culverts. It will cost US$73.3 million, to be paid by a loan provided by the People’s Republic of China, together with a 5% share from the Royal Government of Cambodia. But this amount does not cover expense for taxes, the state’s burden importing materials and other means for the construction, and for clearing mines and unexploded ordnance along the road.

“The National Road 78 branches off from the National Road 7 in Ou Pong Moan in Stung Treng, leading to Ou Ya Dav at the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. But a another portion of National Road 78 from Ban Lung to Ou Ya Dav is being constructed with a loan from Vietnam, and has already been finished 90%.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that National Road 78 has the characteristic of serving for both internal and regional integration. This road contributes to provide advantages for integration in the country as well as connecting to economic centers in Stung Treng and Ratanakiri, in order to encourage economic and social development in Cambodia, to reduce the gap between the urban and the rural areas. It also helps to promote the livelihood of citizens in the Northeast through facilitating transport, commerce, the exchange of agricultural products, and industry, and to encourage cooperation and development in the triangle zone of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, through the Ou Ya Dav boarder crossing in Ratanakiri and through the connection of National Road 7, which is the Asian Road 11, from Vientiane in Laos to the Sihanoukville International Port. In addition, National Road 78 serves nature tourism, because the Northeast is a green area, rich in beautiful big lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and forest. It is also rich in many types of mineral resources and fertile soil that is favorable for agro-industrial crops, where rubber trees are prioritized.

“On behalf of the Royal Government and the Cambodia people, Prime Minister Samdech Dekchor expressed great gratitude towards the Chinese people and the Chinese government for assisting and supporting Cambodia. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that among the 11 road construction projects of more than 1,200 km that will be subsequently opened in 2010, including the roads that the government builds by its own resources, as many as 7 projects are implemented with Chinese loans.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen encouraged the Shanghai Construction Company and the Kwang Ju Vanan [? – phonetic] technical monitoring consultancy to take good care of the implementation to construct the crucial National Road 78, so that is has the quality compatible with the technical standards, and so that it is finished as planned or before the deadline.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5046, 13.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 13 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #33531.2009

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Denied the Information that [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Will Go to Singapore [with Prime Minister Hun Sen, to attend the ASEAN-US summit]
  • A Red-Shirt Group [of about 50 people] Came to Meet Thaksin Shinawatra at the Siem Reap Airport
  • A Man Led a Young Woman to a Restaurant but Was Shot Dead by an Anonymous Person [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2097, 13.11.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Is Glad to Share Economic Knowledge with Cambodian Officials [he spoke to more than 300 Cambodian economic experts at the Ministry of Economy and Finance]
  • A [44 year-old] Man Raped His 84-Year Old Mother until She Fainted [he was arrested – Svay Rieng]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #774, 13.11.2009

  • [Former Koh Kong Governor] Yuth Phouthang Was Appointed as a Government Advisor with a Position Equal to a Minister, while [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh’s Connections Expand their Influence in Koh Kong [the Srae Ambel district governor, Mr. Bun Leut, was named Koh Kong governor – Mr. Tea Banh was born in Koh Kong]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #528, 13.11.2009

  • The Complaint and the Intention to Suspend Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity Are Politics to Threaten and to Restrict this Opposition Party [according to the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovan]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6804, 13.11.2009

  • The National Assembly Announced that in the Session on 16 November 2009 Next Week It Is Planned to Suspend the Immunity of [the president of the opposition party] Sam Rainsy [to make way for the Svay Rieng Municipal Court to open an investigation regarding his participation in the removal of six teamporary wooden border markers on the Cambodian-Vietnamese Border]
  • The Political Dispute between Bangkok and Phnom Penh Is Tense, while the Military Situation at Preah Vihear Is Not

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #45, 13.11.2009

  • The Authorities Provide More Than 20,000 of Forest Land to Citizens in Kompong Thom [for conservation and for serving everyday living]
  • Kampot Citizens Chased Vietnamese Fishing Boats Away [that used illegal fishing tools in Khmer maritime region, while the local authorities do not care about it]
  • Russia Will Invest in Hydro-Electricity in Stung Treng [approx. US$2 billion to create 1,000 megawatt capacity; according to the chairperson of the Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5046, 13.11.2009

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister: China Becomes the Constructor of the Longest Sections of Roads in Cambodia
  • A Siamese [Thai] Engineer [of the Cambodia Air Traffic Control company] [since 2000 Cambodian air traffic contral is operated as a Joint Venture with a private Thai company] Was Arrested for Stealing Documents about the Flights of Thaksin Shinawatra and of Samdech Hun Sen, to Send Them to Siam [Thailand]
  • Thaksin Shinawatra Wants Cambodia to Advertise Jointly to Encourage Tourism in Thailand, Laos, and Burma

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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The Government Cuts Salaries of Advisers – Tuesday, 10.11.2009

Posted on 11 November 2009. Filed under: Week 638 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 638

“Phnom Penh: According to a circular of the Royal Government, the government decided to cut the salaries of all newly and continually appointed advisers who earn high salaries, advisers to high ranking officials, to receive only the normal amount in order to save state resources.

“The circular signed by the Prime Minister, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, on 27 October 2009, said that the Royal Government instructed all ministries and institutions to reorganize salaries for all advisers who have been offered equivalent positions, starting from under secretary of state upwards, to earn only the normal salaries of their current main positions.

“In the circular, the government noticed that previously, the Royal Government has nominated some officials as personal advisors of Prime Minister Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, of deputy prime ministers, or of the Royal Government of Cambodia… by providing them with equivalent positions besides their current positions, and those officials situations are administered so that they earn salaries through their new, additional positions an additional higher amount than they continue to get already in their current positions. The circular added that the current economy, which is encountering difficulties due to the impact from the global economic crisis, requires the government to take measure to save state resources, and therefore, it is necessary to cut the salaries of those advisers, so that all receive normal salaries.

“According to an informed source, there are at least 30 to 40 officials continually appointed as advisers of high ranking officials at each ministry. Some have only a position as head of an office, or deputy head of a department, or as head of a department, but they have also been nominated as advisors with positions equivalent to an under-secretary of state, or as secretary of state. Some ministers even hold also positions as senior ministers. Through such appointments, those officials receive also salaries from those new, additional positions, for example: an under-secretary of state receives a salary of about Riel 1.04 million [approx. US$260], and a minister Riel 1.5 million [approx. US$375]. Now, the Royal Government changes this so as to save state resources.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5042-5043, 8-10.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #332, 10.11.2009

  • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Will Show Up for the First Time in Cambodia after He Has Been Named Adviser [he plans to give a lecture to 300 economists on 12 November 2009]
  • Economists: Siam [Thailand] Will Experience Great Loss if It Tries to Close Border Crossing with Cambodia [because Thai exports to Cambodia amounted US$2 billion in 2008, while Cambodian exports was only US$90 million]
  • The Khmer King Will Go to Japan in 2010 [following an invitation of the Japanese emperor to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Cambodian-Japanese friendship; and the Japanese Prime Minister invited also Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son, General Hun Manet, to visit Japan]
  • China Provides US$10 Billion in Loans to Africa

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2093-2094, 8-10.11.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Cambodian-Thai Dispute Is a Dispute between [Cambodian Prime Minister] Hun Sen and [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [but not between nation and nation]
  • ASEAN Friends Are Worried about the Cambodian-Thai Diplomatic Dispute [the ASEAN Secretary-General, Mr. Surin Pitsuwan, appealed to both countries to be patient and to address the dispute peacefully]
  • Construction Workers Demand Legal Protection through Legislation on Working Conditions [some workers working at present at various construction sites have not been provided with health and safety protection]
  • A Man Infected His Wife with AIDS Who Then Died, but He then Raped His Eldest Daughter, Infecting Her with AIDS Also [he was arrested – Phnom Penh]
  • A 14-Year-Old Boy Rapped a 4-Year-Old Girl [he was arrested – Kandal]
  • Germany Celebrated the [20th] Anniversary of the Breakdown of the Berlin Wall [on 9 November 2009]

 
Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #670-671, 9-10.11.2009

  • Cambodia Celebrated the 56th Independence Day Anniversary [on 9 November 2009] while the [Director General of National Police] Hok Lundy’s Family [on 8 November 2009] Celebrated the One-Year Ceremony of His Death [in a helicopter crash]
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Ordered the Withdrawal of Some Troops from Preah Vihear, as Thaksin Shinawatra Plans to Come to Cambodia on 12 November 2009

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #525, 9.11.2009

  • A Parliamentarian [from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay] Asked [the president of the National Assembly] Mr. Heng Samrin to Create a Special Committee for Khmer Border Affairs

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6800-6801, 9-10.11.2009

  • The 56th National Independence Day Anniversary is Celebrated during the Era of the Second Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Thaksin Shinawatra Will Arrive at Cambodia on 12 November; Samdech Dekchor: If Thailand Closes Border Crossing, Cambodia Will Announce to Stop Importing Thai Products [Mr. Thaksin arrived already on 9.11.2009 in a private jet at the Phnom Penh Air Force Base]
  • Result from the Mekong-Japan Summit [in Tokyo]: Japan Continues to Help to Develop Sihanoukville Port and to Construct Neak Loeang Bridge [in Prey Veng, on the way to Vietnam]
  • The Garment Sector, Which Depends Much on Export, Declined by 24.5% due to the Economic Crisis [60,000 workers lost their jobs – according to the Ministry of Commerce]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #41-42, 9-10.11.2009

  • The Opposition Party Asked the Government to Explain the Tense Dispute between Cambodia and Thailand at the National Assembly
  • Cambodia Will Receive A/H1N1 Vaccines at the End of This Year [from the World Health Organization]
  • Cambodia Is a Place where Freedom of All Religions Is Freely Practiced without Discrimination [according to the 2009 assessment report of the US Department of State; 93% of the Khmer citizens adhere to Buddhism, 500,000 to 700,000 citizens adhere to Islam, and more than 282,000 adhere to Christianity]
  • The Demand of Energy [from coal, natural, gas, fosil fuel, and oil] Increases by 3.7% Each Year [from 2005 to 2030; according to the Asian Development Bank and APEC, the demand of energy of Cambodia will increase from 4.8 million tonnes in 2015 to 12 million tonnes in 2030; at present, only 20% of the Cambodian families have access to public electricity]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5042-5043, 8-10.11.2009

  • The Government Cuts the Salaries of Advisers
  • Thaksin Shinawatra Will Arrive in Cambodia Today as Thailand Warned to Take More Serious Actions
  • Japan Pledged to Provide US$5.5 Billion [in loans and grant aid] to the Mekong River Countries [to save them from the impacts of the global economic crisis]
  • Three Suspects Were Arrested for Kidnapping a Boy for US$3,000 [Kratie]
  • The Number of Deaths Worldwide by the A/H1N1 Flu Has Increased to 6,000

.

I will be departing Phnom Penh in the evening of 10 November 2009 to
participate in the UN Internet Govenrnance Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh in
Egypt.

Apologies ahead of time – there will be some delays in the
publications, while I travel and are busy in a different time zone.

Norbert Klein – editor of the Mirror

.

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

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