Officials and Evil Merchants Collude to Open a Border Crossing to Transport Wood to Vietnam – Tuesday, 17.11.2009

Posted on 19 November 2009. Filed under: Week 639 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 639

Apologies for the delays, which may continue for some days, as I am attending the UN Internet Governance Forum meetings in Sharm el Sheikh/Egypt with a busy schedule, in a different time zone, and then traveling back to Phnom Penh. I try to be timely as much as possible.

Norbert Klein

“According to a broadcast of a radio station based in Washington D.C. in the United States yesterday, about strong illegal logging of luxury wood in protected forested areas in a national park in Ratanakiri, bordering on Yuon [Vietnam], carried out by merchants colluding with some persons in the local authorities, an official, who asked not to be named, claimed there is collusion to open a Khmer-Yuon [Cambodian-Vietnamese] border crossing illegally to export luxury wood from Cambodia to be sold to Yuon merchants.

“According to this source, a Ratanakiri official, anonymly spoke about collusion to open an international crossing between the Ou Ya Dav district in Cambodia and a province’s district on the Yuon [Vietnamese] side of the border, during the first six months of 2009, leading to estimation that over 400 trucks transported trees, cut the Khmer natural forest, were transported by merchants and illegal business networks, to be sold to Yuon merchants who wait at the border.

“As an example of continuing loggings of luxury wood, a case was mentioned where merchants hired villagers to cut trees in Taveng district in Ratanakiri.

“The Phav village chief in Taveng Krom commune, Taveng district, Mr. Pel Hin, was quoted as saying that he noticed that merchants came to villages and hired poor villagers to cut valuable trees in the forest, and they then bought them from villagers. The village chief expressed concern about forest destruction, forests being resources of the state, and that the destruction might spread to the Vireakchey National Park, established by Royal Decree at the Kantuy Neak [dragon tail] region, bordering on Laos and on Yuon.

“The village chief said, ‘I am really concerned. When I attended some meetings, I told the meetings that there are companies buying and selling wood in my village.’

“The secretary of thhe Taveng Krom commune, Mr. Boeung, recognized that there are illegal loggings and then the transport of luxury wood, but he claimed that this had happened only during the last few months. He said, ‘I saw much luxury wood at Taveng Krom commune brought from Taveng Leu commune. Merchants brought it here to sell it.’

“The Taveng district’s military police chief, Mr. Keo Vichet, expressed regrets, as he has very few forces, and therefore he does not know such cases.

“However, according to direct monitoring by Radio Free Asia late last week in Phav village about illegal wood transactions, workers were seen transporting luxury wood; some had 10 cm by 15 cm width bars, 1 meter long, being transported from the village to the river, to be loaded in motor boats of merchants for exports.

“A worker said that he was hired by a local Chinese merchant in Vern Sai district, Nhok Thong, an illegal luxury wood merchant who hires poor villagers to enter to cut trees in the forest.

“The Taveng district governor, Mr. Kim Toeu, recognized that there are illegal wood businesses.

“Regarding this issue, Taveng Forestry Administration official in Ratanakiri recognized that there are such activities, involving merchants and some evil officials. He said about the loss of trees, ‘As for the activities and crimes in any specific district, those districts have to be responsible respectively.’

“Poor villagers from different villages, like Sieng Soy, Taveng Leu, Dambouk villages… have been contacted by merchants who have relations with some evil officials, using money to hire them to cut valuable trees in the forest and sell them to those merchants who go to buy trees in villages, such illegal activities happened repeatedly during recent months, as they are not afraid of the law.

“Those sources said also that many cubic meters of luxury wood were found, piled up at many places in areas near the Yuon border, in order to facilitate the transport in order to sell the wood to Yuon merchants who wait near the border crossing.

“The official of the province, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying that the illegal transport of wood is most actively done during the night. According to his estimation since June 2009, the luxury wood cut by hired poor villagers was loaded onto more than 400 trucks, to be transported for sale to Yuon merchants.

“They cannot understand why forest crimes destroying state resources still exist, even though Prime Minister Hun Sen had promised in 2001, with words like swearing an oath, that he would give up leading the government, if his government was not able to crack down on illegal logging and illegal transport starting from 1 January 2002.

“This seems difficult to understand, and observers notice that even Oknha Try Pheap, an advisor of Prime Minister Hun Sen, had been frequently accused by people in communities at different provinces, such as Pursat, of hiring poor people to cut valuable trees to be transported and sold to merchants from outside of the country.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #531, 17.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #338, 17.11.2009

  • The Head of the Government Shook Hands for the First Time with President Obama in Singapore [both leaders agreed to intensify relations in order to promote economic and social development in Cambodia]
  • China Has Invested More Than US$6 Billion in Cambodia within 15 Years

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2100, 17.11.2009

  • Cambodian and Siamese [Thai] Troops at the Border Move towards Friendship [Thai army commanders had told the Khmer army commanders that they will be seek confrontation with the Cambodian troops]
  • Cambodia Has Received Investments Amounting to More Than US$1.5 Billion from Vietnam [in aviation, banking, oil, gas, agriculture, and tourism – according to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Tram Bac Ha]
  • UN Commissioner [Dr. Nafis Sadis]: Other Countries Should Learn from Cambodia about the Fight against AIDS [Cambodia reduced the occurence of AIDS from 2% in 1998 to 0.9% in 2006]
  • ASEAN-US Ties Become Closer with the Historic Summit [the USA promised to step up its cooperation with ASEAN, described as one of its important partners, to promote peace and security in the region]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #676, 17.11.2009

  • Thaksin Shinawatra Warned to Fly from India to Cambodia on 19 October 2009 Crossing Siamese [Thai] Airspace, while Bangkok Prepared to Arrest Him

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #531, 17.11.2009

  • Officials and Evil Merchants Collude to Open a Border Crossing to Transport Wood to Vietnam
  • Protesters against the Suspension of Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [by 24 Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians and supporters] Marched in Front of [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Residence [in Phnom Penh]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva Considers Dissolving the Parliament to Hold New Elections while Yellow Shirt Demonstrators Are Accusing Thaksin Shinawatra as a Traitor, Selling National Territory

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6807, 17.11.2009

  • The National Assembly Suspended Mr. Sam Rainsy Immunity over the Removal of Border Markers at Chantrea District [in Svay Rieng]
  • A M79 Shell Exploded among Yellow Shirt Demonstrators [government supporters], Injuring Twelve People [Thailand]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #47, 17.11.2009

  • Cambodia Allowed a Thai Official to Meet the [Thai] Man Accused of Spying [by copying documents about the flight schedules of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to be sent to Thailand] while There Is Still No Solution for the Diplomatic Disputes
  • Mr. Obama Stated that the United State and China Do Not Need to Be Adversaries [during their political history, they had been, but then got on with each other. They got on in some sectors, but not in all]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5049, 17.11.2009

  • Thailand Rejected Indonesia’s Role to Solve the Dispute with Cambodia
  • Cambodia Is Worried about Khmer Workers in Thailand, but the Thai Ambassador Said that There Is No Problem
  • Mr. Obama Encouraged Myanmar to Release Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [Burmese elected democracy leader]

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

Back to top

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

Chevron Suspends Undersea Oil Exploration in the Khmer Sea – Friday, 20.2.2009

Posted on 20 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Too much corruption and bureaucracy at the National Petroleum Authority and at the Council of Ministers of the Hun Sen government motivates the big US petroleum company Chevron to suspend exploring natural oil and gas in Block A, offshore at the sea, 150 km from the Sihanoukville Port.

Note:

In the Yellow Pages directory for Phnom Penh, the Business Listings section has only the name, address, phone numbers, and an e-mail address of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority – but no Web address, as it is usual for the entries of enterprises and institutions, and the section “Profile” of the company does not provide any information: it is empty.

See also the Mirror of 4.12.2008:

US Oil Company Pays US$120 Million to Buy Oil Exploration License for Explorations at the Bottom of the Khmer Sea

“An official of Chevron said that the company has finished exploring oil and gas at the concession region in Block A, but cannot continue to start producing oil at this time, because there is much demand for under-the-table kickbacks, and another point is that the price of oil now dropped down dramatically. Therefore oil business activities in Cambodia will probably start again only in 2012.

“Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance [and Permanent Vice Chairperson of the Supreme National Economic Council] Hang Chuon Narong said during a forum on Cambodia’s Future Economic Development, on Wednesday 18 February 2009, that at present, Chevron is playing a game of waiting in Cambodia after they saw that the price of oil was drooping during the last six months. Hang Chuon Narong added, ‘The accusation that there is too much corruption and bureaucracy in Cambodia is not true, and this accusation is just a pretext of Chevron to delay the production of oil from the bottom of the Cambodian sea.’

“Hang Chuon Narong continued to say, ‘At this step, Chevron already finished exploring for oil in Block A. If Chevron would continue their development now, the first oil productions would start in 2012.’ He said also that the scenario that he predicted is expected to produce income of US$200 million in the same year 2012. Hang Chuon Narong predicted that Chevron will wait longer before beginning to produce oil from the gulf in Block A, because oil prices are declining in a serious crisis both in Cambodia and in the world.

“However, an official of Chevron, who asked not to be named, said that the falling oil prices in Cambodia and in the world are not the cause for suspending the process of oil exploitation in the Cambodian offshore sea. The obstacle is that the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority and the Council of Ministers require Chevron to negotiate new documents for oil production, for oil discovered in Block A, since the previous documents were only for exploration, not production. Now, exploration is finished. Therefore, there have to be new documents for oil exploitation for production, which require to spend a lot of under-the-table kickbacks. Moreover, also because of the declining oil prices, it makes the Chevron Company reluctant to continue oil exploitation, and it might suspend its operations until 2012, to reconsider. If the Chevron Company suspends the process until 2012, Cambodia will lose the US$200 million income from oil exploitation between 2009 and 2012.’

“As for Hang Chuon Narong, he said that Chevron will continue to produce oil in 2014 or 2015, depending on oil prices – everything depends on prices of oil only [by implication denying that there is corruption and bureaucracy as additiional factors].

“The assessment by Hang Chuon Narong over activities of the Chevron Company in Block A indicates another breakdown of hope of the Chevron Company to develop Block A in the future. On 5 February 2009, the spokesperson of the Pacific Regional Office, Mr. Gareth Johnston, announced that Chevron is trying to find a solution to develop the complicated issues in Block A.

“He emphasized, ‘We are in a process to evaluate many development decisions for resources in Block A to get profits from this difficult task. Mr. Gareth Johnston did not comment on oil prices in the world, and how it impacts on the suffering of the company for the development of Block A. One barrel of oil was only US$34.92 on 18 February 2009, which shows how much the price dropped from the highest at US$145 in July 2008.

“Mr. Gareth Johnston added that at present, Chevron is not in any discussions about the setting of a date to exploit oil in Cambodia, unless a real assessment is finished.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #36920.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 20 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #22, 20-22.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Told the US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] about Politics Violating Human Rights, the Economic Crisis, and Corruption

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #120, 20.2.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Sends a Delegation to Apologize for Artillery Shells Landing on Khmer Territory

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1878, 20.2.2009

  • [12-year-old] Brother Was Killed and [11-year-old] Sister Was Raped and Murdered Cruelly [a 19 year-old boy was arrested – Kompong Cham]
  • Khmer Workers at Houses in Foreign Countries Are Valued as “House Helpers” [not as “house servants” – according to the Department of Labor of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training]
  • The US Embassy Donates 36 [M35A2] Trucks to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces for the Second Time

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #348, 20.2.2009

  • [The Deputy President of the Human Rights Party and former prime minister] Pen Sovann Said that the Persons Who Have the Most Land in Cambodia Are [the Minister of the Council of Ministers] Sok An and [the commander-in-chief] Pol Saroeun

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6583, 20.2.2009

  • The Head of the Government Encourages All Officials to Become Public Servants Who Serve the Citizens
  • Construction Site Is Started on the Bokor Mountain Summit, and Two National Parks [the Monivong Bokor and the Preah Suramarit-Kossamak National Parks] Are Delivered to the Sokha Hotel and the Sokimex Company [of Oknha Sok Kong – Kampot]
  • Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Welcomes the First Hearing of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #36920.2009

  • Chevron Suspends Undersea Oil Exploration in the Khmer Sea
  • [Duch’s Defense Lawyer] Ka Savuth Claimed that There Are Murderers [who were chiefs of different prisons during the Khmer Rouge regime] Who Killed More People Than Duch Did, but They Are Not Called to Court

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4826, 20.2.2009

  • Duch’s Lawyers Are Criticized to Have Looked Down on Victims [they are criticized by the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, Mr. Chhang Youk, regarding their opposition to include videos provided by Vietnam as new evidence, and regarding the use of the word “Vea” [something like “it” instead of “he” in a derogatory way, used by Duch’s defense lawyers Ka Savuth, to refer to Mr. Noung Chanpal – one of the children identified in the videos provided – in Khmer, it is not used to refer to adults, and it is not used except when older people call younger people like children, then it is consider to be rude]
  • Siamese [Thai] Police Arrested 40 [illegally immigrated] Khmer Construction Workers in Chon Buri
  • The Sasakawa Peace Foundation [笹川平和財団] of Japan Presents a New Goal, Focusing on Developing Human Resources in Cambodia – [The Foundation carries also an Interview with Mr. Chhith Sam Ath, executive director of the NGO Forum for Cambodia]
  • [A Khmer historian] Michael Trane: “Dinosaurs” at Angkor Were Sculptured through Imagination

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

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

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