Cambodia Announced that the United States of America Suspends Military Aid, but Said the Uighurs’ Case Should Not Be Taken as Excuse – Saturday, 3.4.2010

Posted on 4 April 2010. Filed under: Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia is not surprised about the announcement of the US Department of State to suspend military aid for Cambodia. In the afternoon of 1 April 2010, during the daily press conference of the US Department of State in Washington, the spokesperson, Mr. Philip Crowley, announced the decision of the United States of America to suspend donating about 200 military trucks and trailers. According to Mr. Philip Crowley, the suspension was decided because Cambodia deported Uighurs, who had sought asylum in Cambodia, to the Beijing authorities in December 2009.

“The Spokesperson of the Cambodian government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, said, ‘This aid suspension is not a problem. If they grant it, we say thanks for it. Anyway, the trucks are not new. They are used vehicles to be provided to others, to clean out their storage. But the United States of America should not take the case of the Uighurs as an excuse to put blame on Cambodia.’ He said so to journalists in the afternoon of 2 April 2010.

“The spokesperson of the government blamed the United States of America and the UNHCR for their slow work which had not led to any results to take the Uighurs out of Cambodia to a third country – and now they put the blame on the Cambodian government! Mr. Khieu Kanharith recalled, ‘When the Uighurs were hiding in Cambodia for over one month, the Cambodian authorities did not know this. The Chinese government did not know it either. But during this period, even the UN human rights office and some US organizations could not determine whether those Uighurs were political refugees or who they were. When they saw they could not handle this, they decided to announce it to journalists.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, considered the US statement as their own decision, and an affair of the United States of America. Mr. Koy Kuong added, ‘Cambodia worked based on its rights and integrity.’

“During a previous meeting between Mr. Scott Marciel, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, Mr. Hor Namhong, the Minister had explained to him that the expulsion of 20 Uighurs from Cambodia was just implemented according to Cambodian immigration law.

Note:

“A State Department official tells The Cable that just before the Cambodian government sent the ethnic Uighurs back to China, where they face imprisonment or worse, there were a flurry of diplomatic efforts to try to convince the Cambodians to hold off. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even phoned Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to urge him to rethink the decision, the official said, but to no avail.”

[source]

“The deportation of 20 Uighurs from Cambodia in December 2009 is a sensitive case for the US administration. The US Department of State reacted since the beginning and used serious words. Washington even said that the decision of Cambodia to deport the Uighurs to the Beijing authorities will affect the relations between the United States of America and Cambodia.

“The spokesperson of the Cambodian government claimed that there is still no visible effect on the Cambodian-US ties due to the suspension of military aid.

“The spokesperson of the US Embassy in Cambodia, Mr. John Johnson, said that the latest announcement by the US Department of States is only related to military assistance. It is a suspension without a specific time-line. He said, ‘This is a special and worrying case. But the United States of America will continue to cooperate with Cambodia in other fields.’ According to this spokesperson, the US military aid provided to Cambodia since 2006 amounted to about US$6 million.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5167, 3.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 3 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #451, 3.4.2010

  • About US$248 Million Were Wasted due to Traffic Accidents in 2009 [according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport]
  • 309 Families from Chhlong District Protested against Land Grabbing by the Kastim Company [for prohibiting them to do farming on the land that they have been cultivating for a long time – Kratie]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2218, 3.4.2010

  • The United States of America Suspends the Donation of 200 Military Trucks to Cambodia
  • In 2009 1,717 Citizens Died from Land Traffic Accidents in Cambodia [7,022 were seriously injured; there were 12,535 accidents – according to Handicap International Belgium]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.17, #3849, 3-4.4.2010

  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Summoned Mr. Sam Rainsy for the Second Time for Questioning [over the accusation of using fake maps to document border cases, and for disinformation – he is required to appear at the court on 20 April 2010]
  • [A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Expressed Regrets that the United States of America Cut Military Aid to Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6925, 3-4.4.2010

  • More Than 100 Persons Are under Arrest for Forestry Crimes [including powerful persons and wood traders – according to Mr. Ty Sokun, Director, Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries]
  • [Pailin Governor] Ea Chhean Sued the Pailin Forestry Chief for Colluding with Wood Traders Who Organized to Cut Trees of Some Mountains from Top to Foot
  • Four Forestry Officials Were Removed form Their Positions, and the Municipal Court Issued Arrest Warrants for Four Other Wood Traders [over illegal wood trading – Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3849, 3-4.4.2010

  • The United States of America Temporarily Suspends Military Assistance, Straining the Military Ties between Both Countries Again

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5167, 3.4.2010

  • Cambodia Announced that the United States of America Suspends Military Aid, but Said the Uighurs’ Case Should Not Be Taken as Excuse
  • Phnom Penh: Laying Culverts Is More Important Than Constructing Roads [because the culvert system left from the past is almost totally ruined, which results in floods in the city]

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Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late – Tuesday, 29.12.2009

Posted on 29 December 2009. Filed under: Week 645 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The draft of an anti-corruption law has not yet been publicly released, though one part of this draft law was disclosed last week by the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers. When this part of the draft became widely known, it was either welcomed or mocked, as this law will require also staff of non-government organizations who earn little to declare their property.

“A point of this draft law likely aims at the director of an FM radio station who has lots of property, after he had received funds to support the station for nearly 10 years.

“However, a secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who asked not to be named, said that the draft has already reached the secretary general of the National Assembly.

“Officials of non-government organizations said yesterday that keeping the long-awaited draft law on anti-corruption out of the public eye is at odds with the spirit of a law that has to call for openness and transparency.

“Though the Council of Ministers approved the draft law to combat corruption more than two weeks ago, the secrecy that surrounds the law makes it impossible to properly discuss and analyze it, NGO workers said.

“‘I think the key approach is transparency,’ said Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

“‘I don’t know what the intent of keeping it secret is,’ he added.

“The Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan reiterated day-before-yesterday that the draft law cannot be made public, because it has yet to arrive at the National Assembly. Once it arrives there, it can then be released to the public.

“‘This is the proposed draft used internally by the government,’ Mr. Siphan said about the law, adding that he did not know when the draft would be forwarded to the Assembly for debate and passage into law.

“One of the only details of the anti-corruption law that has been made public on Friday is the fact that the staff of NGOs are required to disclose their personal assets. Under the law, NGO workers are defined as public servants, and side-by-side with officials who are paid by the government, they must disclose their assets.

“‘It is an obligation to do so, if you don’t do it, you are jailed,’ Mr. Siphan explained day-before-yesterday, adding that the law will take effect 60 days after being passed by the National Assembly.

“A political observer and the former head of the Center for Social Development, Ms. Chea Vannath, said that following the spirit of the anti-corruption law, the legislation should be available for public viewing and inspection, since it is such scrutiny which helps discourage and expose corruption. Keeping it confidential counters that principle, she said.

“‘If it is not transparent, it’s like you are fishing in the mud at nighttime,’ she said.

“‘How can you comment on the law without having a copy of the law?,’ she asked. ‘It’s a strange process.’

“‘The word “fighting corruption” equals transparency, openness, access to information,’ she added.

“Soeung Saroeun, senior operations and finance manager of the Cooperation Committee of Cambodia [CCC], a professional organization of NGOs, said his group has requested a copy of the anti-corruption legislation, but like others has yet to see it. Having not yet seen the draft law, Mr. Saroeun said the CCC could not comment. Nonetheless, he said questions remain about the draft law, particularly how it defined assets for NGO staffers.

‘”If we have to declare our assets, what do they mean by “assets”?’ he asked.

“NGO Forum Executive Director Chhith Sam Ath said he could not speak about the law until after reading it and consulting with other members in his umbrella group of non-government organizations.

“President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights Ou Virak echoed remarks that discussing the draft law was challenging, but he agreed that not only non-government officials should have to declare their assets.

“Mr. Virak said he had no problem listing NGO employees as ‘public servants’ and recommended more groups should also have to declare their assets.

‘”It’s a very positive step in the right direction,’ he said. ‘I personally welcome it.'” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009; a major part had been published already by the Cambodia Daily on 28.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #373, 29.12.2009

  • The Asian Development Bank Provides US$65.2 Million for the Development of Four Provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake [there are projects to strengthen education by providing technical and vocational training, to develop small scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area, and to develop the financial sector – US$30.7 million is provided by the ADB as loan and grant, US$19.1 million is from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and from the government of Finland, and $5.47 million is from the Cambodian government]
  • The Svay Rieng Court Rejects the Request of Mr. Sam Rainsy to Delay the Hearings to Wait for His Participation [over the removal of temporary Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers – Mr. Sam Rainsy is at present abroad]
  • The Prime Minister Warned Overloaded Vehicles [saying that if some companies still abuse the law, those companies must be shut down and their operations will be stopped]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2136, 29.12.2009

  • The National Assembly Approved the First Chapter of the Draft on Expropriation
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Warned not to Misuse the Surname ‘Hun’ to Intimidate People [he said so during a ‘Hun’ family party at the Intercontinental Hotel]
  • Pneumonia Is the Major Killer Disease that Kills Nearly 2,000 Cambodian Children Each Year

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #706, 29.12.2009

  • America Condemned Siam [Thailand] for Deporting 4,000 Hmong Ethnic People Back to Laos [and warned that the United States might halt military aid and the joint Golden Cobra military exercises with Thailand]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #566, 29.12.2009

  • Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6843, 29.12.2009

  • A Man Raped a Three-Year-Old Girl – He Was Arrested [Kompong Speu]
  • A Thai General [Mr. Panlop Pinmanee] Announced to Demonstrate Requesting to Dismiss [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva [in late January or early February, if the people would be ready to fight for democracy]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #77, 29.12.2009

  • The Prime Minister Denies to Permit the 7NG Company to Construct a Bridge [connecting from Areyaksatr to the Hun Sen Park, saying it would affect traffic in the city and contribute to environmental impacts on the surrounding areas, creating noise pollution]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5085, 29.12.2009

  • Maternal Rate of Dengue Fever Declined 50% [from 67 deaths in 2008 to only 36 in 2009], but the Patient Rate Increased [from 9,232 cases in 2008 to 11,625 cases in 2009]
  • Three Monks Were Defrocked and Sent to Be Rehabilitated because of Drug Addiction [Banteay Meanchey]
  • An Australian Man Was Robbed and Killed in Sihanoukville [perpetrators are not yet identified]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1843, 29.12.2009

  • Parliamentarians from the Cambodian People’s Party Adopted First Chapter of the Expropriation Draft Law, while the Opposition Party Opposes

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Positions of Judges, of Prosecutors, and of Clerks Are Reformed on a Large Scale – Wednesday, 14.1.2009

Posted on 15 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On Monday, 12 January 2009, we had the 100,000th visit to the Mirror – starting from January 2007.

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

“Phnom Penh: The fourth term Royal Government starts to implement reform strategies for the court system as the first priority by beginning to change the positions of judges, of prosecutors, and of clerks countrywide on a large scale.

“The Minister of Justice, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana, told the Kampuchea Thmey that the Royal Government plans to reshuffle court leaders countrywide, but not depending on wrongdoing as the only reason.

“He said that the reform of the court system was made the first priority in order to be in line with the political mechanisms of the new term Royal Government in the second phase of the Rectangular Strategy.

“He went on to say that as the basis of good governance it is necessary to build the legal basis; if the resources of those who implement the law at the basis are not strong and fair, good governance will not function smoothly as it is needed.

“Mr. Ang Vong Vathana said also that reforms of court officials will be made by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy in this morning on 14 January 2009. Reshuffles of court officials are not made only with judges, with prosecutors, and with clerks, but also with court presidents. However, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana did not mention the names of those who will be reshuffled, but just told primarily that a prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Mr. Ouk Savuth, will be replaced by Mr. Yen Chakriya. Mr. Ouk Savuth will be appointed to work as deputy prosecutor of the Appeals Court.

Note: Article 21 of the Cambodian Constitution:

Upon proposals by the Council of Ministers, the King shall sign decrees (Kret) appointing, transferring or ending the mission of high civil and military officials, ambassadors and Envoys Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Upon proposals by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, the King shall sign decrees (Kret) appointing, transferring or removing judges.

“Mr. Ang Vong Vathana stressed that these reappointments are normal, but some court officials are replaced also due to wrongdoings, and some hold their positions already four years and must be reshuffled. Nevertheless, most of these reforms, as they relate to court officials, are only a change from one place to another place.

“Previously, the court system was strongly criticized for being corrupt, and most victims were poor people while most people who won court cases were the powerful.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1846, 14.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #3, 14.1.2009

  • The President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights [Mr. Ou Virak]: Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom in Cambodia Are Limited [in 2008, because journalists were threatened to be sued at courts, jailed, and murdered, while the authorities have not found murderers or those who support them for prosecution]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #106, 14-15.1.2009

  • The Embassy of Nepal Asks to Build of Pagodas in the Nepalese Style in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #16, .1.2009

  • Positions of Judges, of Prosecutors, and of Clerks Are Reformed on a Large Scale
  • A Canadian Man Was Arrested for Debauchery [with four underage children, two boys and two girls – Kompong Cham]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #323, 14.1.2009

  • The United States of America Decides to Grant Military Aid of More Than US$600,000 [to Cambodia]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6551, 14.1.2009

  • In 2008, There Were 268 Crimes of Rape Committed [with 285 victims – among them 165 were underage – and 340 perpetrators were involved, compared to 2007, there were 301 cases]; This Inhuman Act Is Still an Extremely Serious Issue
  • Eclipse of the Sun Will Occur on 26 January 2009 and Cambodia Can See This Natural Phenomenon on Chinese New Year
  • [Around 300] Students and Villagers Block a Road to Stop the Transporting of [ about 50] Trucks Loaded with Stone [the transportation damages the road, causes dust, and creates disturbing noise – Siam Reap]
  • Nearly 200 Million People Start to Travel to Their Home Towns [to celebrate the Chinese New Year on 26 January 2009]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3665, 14.1.2009

  • Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea Said that They Are Being Intimidated by Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [who prepare to sue them back for filling request for the clarification of corruption allegation, considered to be a defamation, and a disgrace for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1402, 14.1.2009

  • A Korean Man Shot by Another Korean Man Died at the Calmette Hospital [two other perpetrators are not yet found]
  • A Man Who had Killed a [three-year-old] Girl and Her Grandmother with Acid Was Arrested [in Kampot]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4794, 14.1.2009

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Starts an Official Visit to Kuwait
  • Dey Krahom Dispute: The Municipality Offers US$20,000 [to 91 families still not prepared to move away], but he Residents Disagree
  • World Bank Grants a Loan of US$10 Million to Develop the Agriculture
  • The Royal Government Provides a Loan of US$15 Million to the Cambodian Rice Millers Association to Buy Paddy Rice for Stock
  • Ms. In Soklida Wants to Withdraw Nearly US$30,000 from the [Cambodian] Canadia Bank [from a joint bank account with Ms. Chea Ratha, with whom she had an affair and who is now hiding in a foreign country being accused of involvement in an acid attack against Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]
  • Siamese [Thai] Troops Prevented a Khmer Company to Continue Constructing Fences [for building a casino] at the Cham Border Crossing [Anlong Veng, Oddar Meanchey]

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