Listening to Husband and Wife Who Live with AIDS in Siem Reap,Talking about Difficulties to Receive Life Extending Drugs – Saturday, 26.12.2009

Posted on 27 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“Siem Reap: A Husband and wife who live among more than 3,000 people who are also living with AIDS and are receiving life extending drugs in Siem Reap and in neighboring provinces, talked about their difficulties to receive life extending drugs at the Siem Reap referral hospital. Below is what they said:

1. Services Provided Depend on Salaries

“I and my wife received life extending drugs for free through the [French NGO] Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 2004 until mid 2008. After receiving these life extending drugs, I seemed to have gained hope to continue living, as I and my wife were cared for and we were offered non-discriminating services free of charge.

“But it is disappointing that after MSF had finished their term, the situation changed, as we continued to receive drugs and services from the Siem Reap referral hospital. More than 3,000 people have AIDS, including I and my wife, and we receive now services from state doctors.

“But in actual fact, we are not offered the same intensive services like before, starting from the point submitting the Patient’s Books to get queuing numbers to receive health counseling and blood examinations, for checking and for observations. These activities are offered with discrimination by the hospital’s service providers in a rude attitude.

“If we compare the wide gap between the present services to those provided by MSF, the present personnel does not speak responsibly, like saying, ‘State medics who earn Riel 100,000 to Riel 200,000 [approx. US$24 to 48] as their salaries, they provide services based on it. It is not like that organization’s medics who earn US$400 to US$500.’

2. A Money Number Is Quicker than a Queuing Number

“Every time I and my wife are to receive life extending drugs, we have to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. to submit our Patient’s Books in exchange for queuing numbers. I noticed that every time, even though we try to arrive early, we can hardly receive low queuing numbers to meet our doctors soon. We have to pass by an informal checkpoint (a group of people in charge of checking our books for the appointment dates). If I am not mistaken, they are not members of the staff of the state hospital. The purpose of this group is to make us feel bored if we have to wait for a long time, in order to extort money. This is really true, because once they talked to me, directly asking me and my wife to give them Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.40] to Riel 20,000, so that they will arrange for us to see the doctors soon, without following the sequence of the queuing numbers. Riel 10,000 is not much for the rich. But as it is known, we are people living with AIDS, before we could receive free life extending drugs, we had sold our property to have money for medical treatment, like for buying medicines from private hospitals, and we consulted also traditional medicine men. Finally, we decided to come to receive services from the state hospital, because we have almost no more money left, and we do not even have enough money to buy our daily food. How can we have money to pay for that group (that offers to disregard the queuing numbers)?

3.Having Money in a Vessel or Having a Blood Vessel

“When the date for a blood test came, I and my wife entered the room of a female doctor (short, short hair, and broad hips). Later on I knew she is Dr. Phary. Arriving in the room, I greeted and chatted with her for a short while, but after she checked my book, she did not start to do her work. She was busy talking on the phone with other persons. Then she went out and came in repeatedly, keeping me and my wife waiting for a long time in her room. When she came into the room again, other patients followed her to meet her. (Looking at their appearance and jewelry) I thought they are her important clients. They handed their books to the doctor, and I saw they had put Riel 20,000 in it. Because she saw the money, Dr. Phary became friendly towards them and started taking their blood, and they did not need to wait long like me. After that she told her clients, ‘Next time before you come, phone me first, and you do not need to take a queuing number…’ (people having money are welcome, I thought). Because we had been waiting already for a long time, I asked the doctor to now take my blood test. I said, ‘Is it because I do not have money though I came first? Why do you let me wait this way?’ She stared at me as if I were her enemy and started to take my wife’s blood first. For my turn, I did not expect she would mistreat me as a revenge, by injecting the needle many times, missing the blood vessel. Then I realized: having no money is having no blood vessel!

4. Examinations at the Private Parts

For such examinations, I just want to ask the hospital or the AIDS authorities to offer training also to women as counselors, so that female patients would not have to be examined by male counselors. When women need health examinations about AIDS, they have to meet male doctors in charge of women’s diseases. If there were female doctors in charge of women’s diseases, they would have different ethics as medics. But what this group said is immoral and improper for Khmer women.

“All in all, regarding the four points mentioned above, I want the provision of life extending drugs to be strengthened, so that it is smooth and not discriminating, and patients do not have to feel bored every time they go to receive drugs.

“I believe that they make it difficult for us to receive services from state hospitals, so as to create opportunities to do their private businesses (by directly contacting doctors, and using the informal group checking appointments).

“Above is a sad account of people living with AIDS, and the authorities, at all levels, working with AIDS patients, should consider this.

“Regarding the above account, after journalists of Rasmei Kampuchea had received the letter from a representative of people having AIDS, at 10:00 a.m. on 25 December 2009, we contacted the head of the Siem Reap referral hospital, Mr. Pen Phalkun, for a comment, and he responded that this case will have its effect for people having AIDS, and he emphasized that he would question those doctors before noon of 25 December 2009, before he would come to Phnom Penh on the same day.

“Mr. Pen Phalkun stressed that doctors are not allowed to extort money from people living with AIDS, or to take life extending drugs home. He will investigate this case further. He asked back, ‘Do you know the names of these doctors?’ If he knew names, he would take action immediately.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5083, 26.12.2009


Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 26 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #371, 26.12.2009

  • Illegal Logging Becomes Serious in Ratanakiri
  • Siamese [Thai] Leaders Denied Planning Coup in Cambodia and Want Indonesian President to Be Mediator
  • A 11-Year-Old Boy Is Charged of Raping a 7-Year-Old Girl [Poipet]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2134, 26.12.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Wants to Alone Take the Responsibility for the Removal of the Temporary Border Markers
  • In 2009, 37,000 of the 40,000 People WITH AIDS Receive Life Extending Drugs
  • A Woman Knocked Down the Pope on Christmas Day

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #564, 26.12.2009

  • What Is behind the Idea of [the president of the National Assembly] Mr. Heng Samrin to Shut off the Microphone to Stop [opposition party parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay to Ask [the head of the Border Committee of Cambodia] Mr. Var Kimhong Questions about Border Issues?

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6841, 26-27.12.2009

  • More Than 2,000 People Marched to Demand to Postpone the Land Clearance [of 5,000 hectares by a company in Mondolkiri]
  • [Temporary] Records of Marriages, Births, and Deaths in the City in 2009 Show 4,500 Marriages, 12,068 Births, and 1,899 Deaths [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5083, 26.12.2009

  • Listening to Husband and Wife Who Live with AIDS in Siem Reap,Talking about Difficulties to Receive Life Extending Drugs
  • Thai Leaders Denied Planning War and Violence against Cambodia and against [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra
  • Vietnam Establishes a Large-Scale Fertilizer Factory in Cambodia [which can produce 500,000 tonnes of fertilizer each year, in Kien Svay, Kandal, at a cost of US$65 million]
  • China Granted US$3 Million to Create a Forest Park at the Bottom of the Koulen Mountains [Siem Reap]

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Var Kimhong Did Not Talk about the Khmer Farmers Who Lost Their Land because of the Setting of Border Markers – Friday, 25.12.2009

Posted on 26 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“Mr. Var Kimhong, the chairperson of the Border Committee of Cambodia, led a delegation to clarify border issues at the National Assembly on 24 December 2009. During the clarification, which took more than three hours, Mr. Var Kimhong did not answer the questions of the parliamentarian Son Chhay, who represented the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians.

“His questions, laid out on eight pages, with attached documents and photos, reports, and videos about the Khmer farmers who lost many rice fields because of the way in which border markers were set, were not clarified by Mr. Var Kimhong, and during more than three hours of his clarification in the National Assembly, he read also border reports from nearly 100 years ago, so that even some parliamentarians did not understand what was going on. What about the citizens?

“Mr. Son Chhay asked the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, to clarify issues regarding the border demarcation with Vietnam, which resulted in the fact that some Khmer farmers lost their rice fields, and he inquired about the experts in this work, and about materials used for the demarcation. There are still many other questions, like the case that even when there was no agreement yet between Yuon [Vietnam] and Cambodia, they came already to construct roads and unilaterally put border markers, like at the Dac Dang point.

“Mr. Var Kimhong said that Cambodia has qualified experts and proper materials, which had cost tens of thousands of dollars when it was bought, provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the demarcation and setting of border markers does not just depend only on Yuon or Thai materials.

“Spending almost two hours from 8:40 a.m. to 10:25 a.m., Mr. Var Kimhong gave clarifications which did not touch the specific questions of Mr. Son Chhay that had been raised during the meeting, as those questions were rejected by the president of the National Assembly, Mr. Heng Samrin.

“Mr. Son Chhay reminded Mr. Var Kimhong to answer the questions which had been raised, ‘What His Excellency is talking is still a problem. We listen to you, but you do not answer the questions at all. Please answer the questions.’ Mr. Son Chhay’s reminder was interrupted by Mr. Heng Samrin, who rang the bell and turned the microphone of the speaker off.

“Mr. Var Kimhong could not control his feelings and angrily attacked Mr. Son Chhay, as Mr. Son Chhay had asked him not to waste time giving answers not related to the questions. However, Mr. Var Kimhong considered his descriptions as proper answers.

“At about 11:10 a.m., Mr. Var Kimhong finished his clarifications, and the National Assembly immediately closed the meeting and did not allow any parliamentarians to continue to ask any questions.

“After leaving the National Assembly, Mr. Son Chhay held a press conference at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters in Phnom Penh. Mr. Son Chhay said that he cannot accept Mr. Var Kimhong’s clarifications, and he still has the plan to ask for government representatives to provide clarifications next time.

“Mr. Son Chhay said that Mr. Var Kimhong did not respond to many points, like the case that some Khmer farmers in Chantrea district lost their rice fields, because of the way border markers were set, such as the border markers number 152, 184, 185, 186, and 187.

“As for Mr. Var Kimhong, he claimed that Cambodia has qualified border experts who studied everything before setting those border markers. Mr. Son Chhay said that during the setting of some border markers, like numbers 184 and 185, villagers said they only saw Yuon [Vietnamese] soldiers and border officials, while the Cambodia side had only one police officer at some border markers, and only one representative of the authorities at some others.

“Yesterday morning, the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians took Video CDs and documents, together with many questions, to the National Assembly, to show slides to the parliamentarians and to the Khmer citizens. But Mr. Heng Samrin said that the National Assembly has little time, and the permanent committee could not approve the request of the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians.

“Because the questions were not answered, Mr. Son Chhay said that he cannot accept what was said as clarifications. He said, ‘The government representative came to give answers to details which we had not asked in our questions. We had sent an official request… what he answered was something different.

“Also, Mr. Son Chhay’s the questions about some border issues with Siam [Thailand] and about the report of Mr. Ke Kim Yan [the former Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief] were not clarified by Mr. Var Kimhong. Regarding this, Mr. Son Chhay asked him to answer directly to the questions. But he was interrupted by Mr. Heng Samrin.

“Mr. Var Kimhong said, before he made his clarifications, that border issues are sensitive. His clarifications seemed not to be clear relating to the point where border markers were set, or how the locations were copied from the map, based on documents that Cambodia deposited at the United Nations in 1964, and sometimes he said the places depend on a treaty of 1985, and an additional treaty of 2005. This additional treaty of 2005 was approved by the National Assembly, by the parliamentarians from the Cambodian People’s Party and from Funcinpec, led by Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh, but all Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians did not approve it.

“All in all, Mr. Var Kimhong did not give answers to the problem of Khmer farmers in Chantrea district in Svay Rieng, because of the border demarcation with Yuon, but he just claimed that Cambodia loses some territory at some places, and also Vietnam loses some territory at other places – as these issues are left from the time of French rule.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #563, 25.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 25 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #370, 25.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warned some Officials Who Want to Become Five-Star-Generals [Prime Minister Hun Sen said the 5-star-general appointments, some days ago reported in Rasmei Kampuchea, is a special case, for only him, Mr. Heng Samrin, and Mr. Chea Sim. He warned others not to try to find ways to also become 5-star-generals. The US military had, throughout its history, only 9 five-star-generals; at present, no US military person holds this high rank]
  • Environmental Experts [of the Wildlife Alliance] Asked the Government Not to Provide Too Much Economic Concession Land

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2133, 25.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: This Year Cambodia Has More Than Two Million Tonnes of Rice for Export
  • The Opposition Party Does Not Accept the Clarifications Provided over the Border Issues

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #563, 25.12.2009

  • Var Kimhong Did Not Talk about the Khmer Farmers Who Lost Their Land because of the Setting of Border Markers
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Asked Not to Discuss the Draft Law on Expropriations Yet [during forced evictions and frequent land disputes, the country is not ready for expropriations]
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked the Khmer Authorities to Stop Intimidating Farmers Who Lost Their Rice Fields due to Yuon [Vietnamese] Border Violations

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6840, 25.12.2009

  • Thousands of Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood [worth millions of dollars] Were Found in the Khmer-Yuon Buffer Zone [between the provinces of Ratanakiri and Gia Lai]
  • The Murderer Who Used a Cleaver to Kill a [14-year-old] Girl to Rob Valuables Is a Woman [she was arrested – Battambang]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #75, 25.12.2009

  • Prime Minister [Hun Sen] Accused the Thai Government of Planning a Coup in Cambodia [preparing to create war with Cambodia – Anything like that was strongly denied by the Thai government]
  • Six Khmer Kampuchea Krom People among 24 [sent to Cambodia by the Thai authorities] Arrived in Phnom Penh [to seek assistance from the government and the UNHCR to receive Khmer nationality]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5082, 25.12.2009

  • The Minister of Health Announced to Stop Allowing Clinics to Sell Medicines
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Rewards US$15,900 for Athletes Who Won Medals at the South East Asian Games [in Laos; Cambodia won 40 medals, in total there where 3 gold medal winners who received US$500 each; 10 silver medal winners received US$300 each; and 27 bronze medal winners received US$200 each; US$1,000 is given to coaches; and US$5,000 for the football team]

Note:

Accordiing to the Cambodia Daily of 25.12.2009, in addition to the rewards from the municipal governor, “the government will pay out some $200,000 in reward money for the 40 medals the country’s athletes and coaches brought home” – though the timing is not yet decided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. As one official explained: “Just one dossier must go through 61 desks before reaching the minister. It is a relay like a snail.”

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1841, 25-27.12.2009

  • [The spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party and parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Wants the Government to Expel Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants from Cambodia

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The Head of the Royal Government Warned Donor Countries – Friday, 9.10.2009

Posted on 10 October 2009. Filed under: Week 633 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 633

“Phnom Penh: Ahead of a meeting about the provision of development aid for Cambodia, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, warned donor countries not to link conditions with development aid for Cambodia.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen considers the linking of conditions with aid as being under more pressure than during the presence of Vietnamese experts in Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

“During the 30th anniversary celebration of the creation of the National Bank of Cambodia on Thursday, 8 October 2009, at the Chaktomuk Conference Hall, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia warned that the government will not accept, or even stop receiving foreign aid, if aid is linked with conditions. Recently, the government has canceled the assistance of the World Bank for a land registration program.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen told donors that the government welcomes the involvement to develop Cambodia, but donors should not interfere and link conditions with aid.

“Getting tired of conditions set by donors at present, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that, after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, though Vietnamese troops and experts came to Cambodia, Vietnam respected the independence of Cambodia. Decisions in politics and economy were under the authority of Cambodia, different from nowadays.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen stressed that at present, the development aid from the World Bank, from the International Monetary Fund, and from other donors forces the government to listen to their orders.

“In the meantime, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen appealed to donors and friends that assist Cambodia, to understand and respect the independence of Cambodia.

“Donors will meet the Cambodian government later in this year to announce development aid for Cambodia in 2010. After the international meeting in 2009, international development partners decided to provide about US$1 billion to Cambodia, linking it with conditions about the respect of human rights, the solution of land disputes, resettlement of the poor, and especially the creation of an anti-corruption law, an old intention of Cambodia.

“Human rights activists of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) pointed out that some conditions of donors aim, for example, at encouraging the Cambodian government to respect human rights or to address corruption, but not to apply pressure on the government. In this way conditions direct the implementation of laws and fill gaps of the government, so that the aid can reach the poor, and Cambodia becomes a state of law.

“ADHOC activists asked the government to soften their position and to accept aid to assist Cambodia’s poor people, rather than to reject international support, as the country needs aid.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5016, 9.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #306, 9.10.2009

  • Health Agents Seized 327 Types of Expired Medicines [Phnom Penh]
  • German Government Provides Aid for Ketsana Victims [the assistance of US$37,000 through the World Food Program, supporting to secure the survival of more than 30,000 people affected in Cambodia]
  • Natural Disaster Impacts Tourism in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2067, 9.10.2009

  • Capital of International Reserves of Cambodia Increased to US$2,522 Million [by 21% by August 2009 despite the global economic crisis; said Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • 733 Families in Khvav Commune Eat Manioc Instead of Rice and Call for Aid [Siem Reap]
  • A Notorious Robber and His Son Were Gunned Down by Police when They Shot Back

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #658, 9.10.2009

  • Phnom Penh Becomes More Flooded after the Shukaku Development Company Fills the Boeng Kak Lake [with sand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #505, 9.10.2009

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6774, 9.10.2009

  • Japan Grants More Than US$1.4 Million for Mine Clearance [in Cambodia]
  • The 30th Anniversary of the Creation of the National Bank of Cambodia Was Celebrated
  • A 11-Year-Old Girl Was Lost for a Night and Was Found Dead with Both Eyes Gouged Out [Kampot]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #22, 9.10.2009

  • Mr. Hun Sen Said that if High Ranking Officials of Cambodia Go to Testify [at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal], It Is Like Killing the Suspects [since they are the ones who overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime; he said so after the foreign co-investigating judge summoned six high ranking officials of the government to testify]
  • [Twenty one] Civil Society Organizations [that work on human rights and provide legal assistance] Asked the National Assembly to Exclude Defamation from the Penal Code
  • More Than 2,000 Workers of the Tac Fat Factory Protested after the Factory Closed [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5016, 9.10.2009

  • The Head of the Royal Government Warned Donor Countries
  • There Is Much Aid from Japan [US$1.7 billion since 1993], but There Is Very Little [Japanese] Private Investment [only US$129.9 million or 0.6% of the total foreign investment to Cambodia]
  • Vietnam Announced to Support the Candidacy of Cambodia as a Member of the World Heritage Committee

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1804, 9-11.10.2009

  • The World Bank Said that More Than 60,000 Workers Lost Their Jobs Creating Hazard for the Cambodian Economy

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