Cambodia Will Have Nuclear Power Plants to Generate Electricity – Wednesday, 14.10.2009

Posted on 15 October 2009. Filed under: Week 634 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 634 – Wednesday, 14.10.2009

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, announced on Tuesday morning, 13 October 2009, that in the near future, Cambodia will have nuclear power plants to generate electricity.

“This remark was made by Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh during a session of the National Assembly, as he appeared there to defend a draft law about the prohibition of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons.

“Recognizing the destruction caused by the explosion of a nuclear power plants in Russia previously, Mr. Tea Banh explained to the session of the National Assembly that nuclear power is very useful serving peaceful purposes to make a strong contribution, developing a country. Previously, a nuclear power plants generating electricity had exploded in the Soviet Union [in Chernobyl in 1986], and radioactive substances spread and destroyed human lives. But based on that experience, the use of nuclear power has advanced considerably. At present, nuclear power is considered as a source of energy that can be set up to produce electricity, along with proper management, for peaceful purposes and for the development of a country. However, Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh did not give any details about any plan to generate electricity in Cambodia in the future by using nuclear power.

“Also, during the National Assembly session on Tuesday morning, the members of the National Assembly began to check and adopt a draft law about the ban of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons.

“This draft, as claimed by the Deputy Prime Minister, aims to completely prohibit, in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the manufacture, possession, use, and transport of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons, and of chemical substances that are used to create such weapons.

“Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh added that this law also intends to ensure security and public order, to protect the environment and citizens’ well-being, as well as to protect the security and peace in the region and in the world.

“The draft with 13 chapters and 32 articles requires the establishment of a national authority for combating chemical weapons with the Minister of Defense as head and with involvement from relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The draft prohibits chemical and other specific weapons systems, and also states the penalties that threaten the offenders, to serve 20 to 30 years in prison, or for life, if they are found guilty of intentionally manufacturing, possessing, transporting, or using chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive weapons.

“Besides, a person that intentionally manufactures, buys, sells, possesses, stores, transfers, transports, or uses chemical substances in the health sector, in industry, mines, energy, agriculture, research, and other peaceful contexts, without the permission from relevant institutions or ministries, will be fined from Riel 20 million to Riel 50 million [approx. US$5,000 to US$12,500].

“The new law banning chemical weapons allows the use of chemical, nuclear, biological, and radioactive substances in the health sector, and in industrial, mineral, energy, agriculture, researches, and other peaceful activities and have a permission from the relevant institutions.

“Also, yesterday the National Assembly session checked and approved 17 articles of the draft law banning weapons of mass destruction. The National Assembly will check and approve the overall content of this draft on Wednesday morning of 14 October 2009.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5020, 14.10.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #310, 14.10.2009

  • The South Korean President Will Visit Cambodia on 22 October 2009
  • A Woman Sang at a Restaurant to Earn Her Living, but Her Husband Got Jealous and Killed Her [then escaped – Poipet]
  • North Korea Fired Five Missiles, Surprising the World

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2071, 14.10.2009

  • A Siamese Official [the spokesperson of Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Denied that [the Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya Had Suggested to Create a Neutral Structure [in ASEAN, to solve border disputes, and denied a report in the Bangkok Post] saying so
  • Chinese Court Sentenced Six Persons To Death Involved in the Xinjiang Riots

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #660, 14.10.2009

  • Koh Kong, Kompong Thom, and Prey Veng Governors Do not Care about [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s order] to Crack Down On Gambling [it is reported that there is one big gambling site in Koh Kong, three big gambling sites in Prey Veng, and one in Kompong Thom]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6778, 14.10.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Modernizing the National Defense Sector in Order to Have Sufficient Capacity Is in Line with the Situation [he said so during the 15th anniversary of the creation of Brigade 70]
  • The National Election Committee Informed about the Checking and Registration of Names in the Voter Lists [where 95,446 persons were added], Now There Are 8,400,448 Citizens over the Age of 18

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5020, 14.10.2009

  • Cambodia Will Have Nuclear Power Plants to Generate Electricity
  • Three Tax Office Chiefs in Kandal Were Removed from Their Positions, They Had Extorted Money from Cars Transporting Vegetable
  • The New Japanese Ambassador Promised to Help Attract Japanese Investors to Cambodia
  • Germany Affirms Support in the Land Sector in Cambodia [there is a plan for a meeting between a Cambodian and a German delegation to decide on aid for Cambodia from 15 to 16 October 2009]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1807, 14.10.2009

  • The International Institute for Justice and Development Warned that the government Must Support the Action of [the foreign investigating judge of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] Mr. Marcel Lemonde [who summoned six high ranking government officials to testify]

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The National Election Committee Announces Registration Information for the Council Elections – Saturday, 14.2.2009

Posted on 15 February 2009. Filed under: Week 599 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 599

“On 13 February 2009, the National Election Committee published, at the office of the National Election Committee, with representatives from some parties participating, the date for the process to register for the commune councils elections, to participate in the first term district and provincial/city elections, which will be held on 17 May 2009.

“An official of the National Election Committee presiding over the meeting, Mrs. Koy Vet, announced the information for different parties, non-government organizations, and commune councilors, who need to register to participate in the elections.

“Officials of the National Election Committee said that the number of members of the provincial and city councils is 374, there are 11,353 voters, and there are 1,939 districts and cities. According to the National Election Committee, for the provincial and city elections and the number of voters to elect the district and provincial/city councils for the first mandate, it is expected that more than US$1.5 million will be spent.

“The National Election Committee pointed out that there are 1,621 and 11,353 voters, and the commune councilors must register at each commune through officials of the K.Kh.Kh.B [?], with observers joining from political parties and different organizations.

“Mrs. Koy Vet went on to say that after sending the name lists of voters to the capital city and the provinces, and the National Election Committee has validated the lists, the National Election Committee will publish the name lists of voters first on 24 March 2009 at the K.Kh./Kh.B [?], at communes, and at offices at the capital city and at towns.

“Mrs. Koy Vet continued to say that the registration of commune councils will start on 16 and continue to 21 February 2009, and only members of commune councils who are fulfilling their work are allowed to register in voter lists.

“The National Election Committee added hat on 4 February 2008, it held a training course about the registration of district and provincial/city councils for representatives from political parties, non-government organization, directors, and deputy directors of K.Th./Kh.B. [?] with a total of 180 participants.

“It should be noted that 36 officials of the National Election Committee and 120 officials of the K.Th./Kh.B. attended the training. There were five political parties, the Cambodian People’s Party, the Sam Rainsy Party, the Human Rights Party, the Norodom Ranariddh Party, and the Khmer Democratic Party, and nine non-government organizations participating in the training.

“The secretary-general of the National Election Committee, Mr. Tep Nitha, said that the period of the registration for councils is 5 days, and it might take 10 more days then to send the lists to the districts, provinces, and K.Kh./Kh.B. 20 days after that, they will be sent to the National Election Committee.

“Mr. Tep Nitha added that after the lists will have been published, the National Election Committee will permit 5 days for protests and corrections to the K.Kh./Kh.B. and 5 days to the National Election Committee, to deal with different complaints.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6578, 14-15.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 14 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #116, 14.2.2009

  • Around 500 Virgins Will Loose Their Virginity during Valentine’s Day [according to a survey conducted by the Association for the Development of People’s Health (? not identified) by questioning youth between the age of 14 and 25 in Phnom Penh]
  • The Municipality Will Provide Money to Support to Eradicate Mosquitoes in the City [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1873, 14.2.2009

  • Prices of Fuel in Cambodia Go Up while the Crude Oil Price on International Markets Drops [one liter of fuel is approx US$0.80 in Cambodia, while the price of one barrel of crude drops to US$35]
  • Citizens Ask TV Stations Not to Publish ‘Valentine’s Day’ on Televisions [because it might encourage youth to take up a foreign culture]
  • The Creation of the Sen Sok District was Announced [by splitting it off from the Russey Keo district]; Mr. Khuong Sreng Is the District Governor
  • The People’s Assembly of China Donates 24 Computers and 10 Cameras to the National Assembly of Cambodia
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva Admits that Burmese [Rohingya] Refugees Were Put on Boats and Let Floating on the Sea [resulting in starvation and deaths]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #344, 14.2.2009

  • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy Asks Banks in Other Countries to Block Money from People Who Stole from the Nation and Sell the Country [as mentioned in the Global Witness report]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6578, 14-15.2.2009

  • The National Election Committee Announces Registration Information for the Council Elections

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3687, 14-15.2.2009

  • Russia Has Not Canceled Dept [of more than US$1.5 billion] That Cambodia Owes

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4821, 14.2.2009

  • Industrial Research Institute – IRI – Found that 80% of Citizens Think that the Government Is on the Right Track [at the time of this writing, no reference to Cambodia on their web site]
  • Cambodia and Korea Will Sign an Agreement Later this Month to Open a Stock Exchange Market in Cambodia
  • A Plane Crashed onto a House in New York Killing 49 People [one victim was on the ground]

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Not Only the Rich, but Also Middle Class People Go to Foreign Doctors – Thursday, 5.2.2009

Posted on 6 February 2009. Filed under: Week 598 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 598

“Phnom Penh: Disobeying medical ethics, the lack of human resources, the shortages of modern tools for analysis and treatment, result in a situation where many Khmer doctors no longer are considered as serious providers of care for Khmer citizens. The number of Cambodian citizens going to receive medical checkups and treatments in neighboring countries is greatly increasing.

“As the reasons behind, we found that the prices of treatments in foreign countries, especially in Vietnam, are similar to the prices in our own country, but the friendliness of foreign doctors towards patients is probably another factor that provides the warm feeling towards patients receiving health checkups and treatments in foreign countries, even though they know that it requires higher expenses contributing to the economy of other countries.

“Mr. Kosal (name changed to maintain his privacy), who frequently goes to Vietnam to receive health checkups said that in Vietnam, before a doctor treats an illness, they thoroughly check, they do not just say something and then inject drugs, or to set up a bag of fluid for an intravenous drip, as doctors in Cambodia almost every time do, to get money.

“He added that doctors in other countries speak friendly and from a position of medical ethics, hospitals show to have sanitation standards, and they have modern tools which make patients feel confident when going to have health checkups and treatments in other countries.

“He emphasized, ‘When I say so it is not to advertise their country, or to humiliate our own nation, but the lack of a medical ethos of Khmer doctors, besides their unprincipled words, uncertain checking methods and treating people just for money, demanding money before the treatment, extending the illness [so that patients have to stay longer and spend much money for the treatment], and unqualified skills, make patients no longer feel warmly toward such doctors.’

“He continued to say, ‘I don’t believe that there are no outstanding doctors in Cambodia, and these do not adhere to immoral values,’ adding, ‘but white doctor’s clothes represent pureness, but not all who wear such clothes do respect what the value of their white clothes indicates.’

“Whether those who go to foreign countries are mostly the rich was explained by Mr. Kosal like this. The fees for treatment in the country mentioned are comparable to Cambodia, but there are additional expenses: for the service of interpreters, for accommodation, food, and for travel. Mr. Kosal added that middle class people also go for treatment, not only the rich. In addition to the mutual trust between those providing health checkups and patients in Vietnam or in other countries, pharmacies in these countries sell medicine to customers on the basis of prescriptions from expert doctors, and especially, in these countries, if a doctors do not have the specialization to treat a certain illness, they will not try to provide treatment, but they will help to refer such patients to another hospital with experts for the illness which a patient has.

“Mr. Kosal went on to say that in general in Cambodia – besides treating any kind of illnesses whether or not they are specialized, and injecting bags of fluid through intravenous drips, which is a method they prefer to use to get much money – some of the doctors scare patients, recommending to receive [unnecessary] operations, so that they can earn more money without really caring about people’s health and lives.

“Mr. Bunthoeun (name changed to maintain his privacy), who frequently goes to receive regular checkups for his liver disease, said, ‘Doctors in Vietnam carefully check illnesses. We learn from them and in their country, they work around-the-clock, making regular visits to take turn caring for patients, unlike in Cambodia, where doctors demand free time on Saturdays and Sundays.

“He added that in that country, people prefer to go to state hospitals rather than to private hospitals, because doctors at state hospitals earn bigger salaries than doctors at private hospitals, which are required to pay high taxes to the state.

“The basis for such trust is explained by Mr. Bunthoeun by saying that in that country, the government often sends doctors to be upgraded by training in foreign countries according to their skills, but not based on nepotism. On the contrary, in Cambodia doctors pay bribes to receive training, and if they fail exams they demand to continue their studies. As a result, when they become doctors, some do not have qualified skills for their career, and then they treat patients without certainty what to do, by just injecting drugs based on vague assumptions.

“Mr. Bunthoeun criticized also that some doctors in Cambodia, who have little knowledge, become proud of themselves, and even when they have almost created more problems for patients, they do not call them, and if they write prescriptions, they write them in French, in order to show off that they are knowledgeable, and their handwriting is difficult to read.

“He asked, ‘Why don’t they write in Khmer? If it is “vitamin,” why not write “វីតាមីន​” in Khmer, so that it is understandable? Why is it written in French?’ Creating trust will help reduce that patients leave to foreign countries, which wastes resources of the national economy, because if ‘doctors can create trust in the country, people will not go abroad.’

“The director of the Mekong Phnom Penh Clinic, which always sends patients to foreign countries according to their requests, Mr. Kong Kimchan, said that to send a patient to Vietnam costs between US$300 and US$400, adding that not only the rich, but also middle class people can go, and the fees for treatments are lower than in Cambodia, but a lot of expenses are needed for accommodation, food, and travel.

“As for the fact that many Khmer patients leave to go abroad, he said, ‘I do not know what to say about human resources in Cambodia, so that many people no longer have trust.’

“Mr. Kong Kimchan added that many factors influence people to no longer have trust; talking about human resources, we also have many, but the private services at some places, and the uncertainty people in general feel, and insufficient knowledge, are reasons affecting other human resources. He went on to say that also belated transportation facilities in emergencies at some localities affect the trust of the people. Although patients are transported to state hospitals, they no longer have trust.

“He continued to say, ‘Reorganizing the system for all people at the basis is good, because patients are not only in the cities, and I do not believe that Khmer doctors exaggerate the general situation of illnesses, because they also want a good reputation.’

“Regarding the lack of tools as a problem, he said, ‘We have received assistance to have many tools, and human resources are also many, but we do not share information well. Therefore, people do not know what we did and how many people we saved. After we would have published such information, what can we do? Are there enough arguments to be presented? In other countries, they have arguments and they have tools.’ He added, ‘We still have shortages; we need additional tools and additional training of human resources.’

“Do hospitals in Cambodia really have the problems as mentioned above? The director of the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, Mr. Say Sengly, recognized, ‘The quality of our services is really limited if compared to neighboring countries, but at present, we are reforming everything, the medical ethos, the techniques, and the procedures for the care of patients.’

“He added, ‘If we talk about the rights of customers and of service providers, the service providers have to take care of patients, but we do not restrain patients, if they want to go to neighboring countries to find better qualified treatment. He continued to say that as for making patients afraid, and the excessive use of too many intravenous drips, it seldom happens at state hospitals, but frequently it happens in private clinics so as to receive much income.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4813, 5.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 5 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #12, 5.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Will Appear to Explain His Position to the [Phnom Penh Municipal] Court on 11 February 2009 [on a complaint lodged against him by the National Election Committee, as he has not paid Riel 10 million, approx. US$2,500, for defamation – related to a speech during the election campaign in 2008]
  • [Around 3,000] Workers of a Shoe Factory Strike to Demand that the Factory Owner Obeys the Labor Law

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #112, 5-6.2.2009

  • [Adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen and President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee] Mr. Om Yentieng Reacts to a Report of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association ADHOC [voicing concerns over serious land disputes, poor law enforcement, and impunity in 2008 – Mr. Om Yentieng said, ‘I think I cannot agree with the ADHOC’s report, and though some problems arose, I do not deny them, but it seems that I cannot agree with the assessment, and it is not done well.’]
  • [Former director of the Phnom Penh Department of Education] Mr. Chea Cheat Is Appointed to Replace Mr. Oum Hoeung, Who Is Sent into Retirement

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1865, 5.2.2009

  • Serbia Deploys Ambassador [accredited in Indonesia also] to Cambodia for the First Time
  • A US Ten-Stories Tourist Cruise Ship [with around 1,393 tourists from more than 100 countries] Docks in Sihanoukville
  • Agricultural Researchers of Singapore and Taiwan Come to Study Land Availability and Quality in Cambodia for Investment
  • The United States of America Warns North Korea about Missile Testing as Creating Trouble

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol.7, #335, 5.2.2009

  • 19 Generals Are Appointed Advisors to Samdech Hun Sen after the Shift of H. E. Ke Kim Yan [as the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces commander-in-chief]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #337, 5.2.2009

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong Demands Euro 100,000 [approx. US$130,000] Reparation from [opposition party president] Sam Rainsy, but the French Court Reduces It to One Euro [regarding Mr. Sam Rainsy’s book, defaming him, that he was, as Boeng Trabaek prison chief, also victimizing innocent Khmer citizens; but the court allows the publishing of the book after deleting one sentence defaming Mr. Hor Namhong]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #197, 5.2.2009

  • Dey Krahom Residents Protests in Front of the Headquarters of the 7NG Company to Demand US$20,000 as Compensation [among the 1,465 Dey Krahom families, 45 try to demand US$20,000 compensation]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6570, 5.2.2009

  • Appeals to the Tamil Tiger Insurgents [by the USA, the European Union, Japan, and Norway] to Surrender [because their fate comes almost to and end through the Sri Lankan government military forces]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3679, 5.2.2009

  • A Person Who Was Close to [top Khmer Rouge leader] Pol Pot [Van Sith, an important former Khmer Rouge official in charge of commerce] Died. It is a Significant Loss for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [according to the Documentation Center of Cambodia, he died in late 2008]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4813, 5.2.2009

  • Not Only the Rich, but Also Middle Class People Go to Foreign Doctors
  • Negotiation in Bangkok: Thailand Continues to Demand to Use the Word Pra Vihan [พระวิหาร in Thai – Preah Vihear ព្រះវិហារ in Khmer] Which Blocks Border Marker Settings
  • A personal note:

    In Europe, at the French-German border, we use, of course, both languages on the border signs: “France” and “Frankreich,” and “Allemagne” and “Deutschland” – no problem.

    As for a big city which, during the centuries, was sometimes German and sometimes French – the French call it “Strasbourg” and the Germans call it “Straßburg.”

    It is surprising that this common sense question of the two languages is mentioned as posing the difficulties, while there has no mutual agreement ever been announced where to put the markers in the widely contested area – always considering the very restricted Cambodian claim – “for the time being” – expressed by the Cambodian side in the Joint Communique of 18 June 2008.

  • Five Children Found to Have Survived the Tuol Sleng Prison [in videos about the Tuol Sleng prison recently provided by Vietnam, taken at the time of the liberation of the prison by Vietnamese soldiers in 1979, who documented it on film] the Documentation Is Now Being Sought to Be Used as Witness Material
  • The Government Creates a New Committee to Solve Investors’ Problems
  • France Asks to Permit again International Adoptions of Children from Cambodia, but Cambodia Suggests to Consider Some Conditions [1. Should single persons be allowed to adopt children or not?, 2. Should families that already have two children be allowed to adopt another child?, and 3. Should gay families be allowed to adopt a child?]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3480, 5.2.2009

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has Received 94 Civil Party Victim’s Complaints for the Case of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Duch [Kaing Gek Eav]

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The German Government Announces to Suspend Aid for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Wednesday, 4.2.2009

Posted on 5 February 2009. Filed under: Week 598 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 598

“A delegation from Germany announced on Monday, 2 February 2009, that the government of Germany suspends all its aid for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal until corruption allegations at the international tribunal are solved, and the Berlin government encourages the fourth-term government of power holder Prime Minister Hun Sen, established by a combined vote, to provide a role also to oppositions parties in Cambodia, following democratic principles.

“Mr. Wolfgang Thierse, the vice-president of the German parliament, visiting Cambodia, said on Monday that the government of Germany halts funding for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal as long as the corruption allegations at this tribunal are not solved. Wolfgang Thierse said, ‘We will continue supporting the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, provided corruption allegations are cleared up, but all funding to be provided is now suspended.’

“On Monday morning, the delegation from Germany met with parliamentarians of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], its partner Funcinpec, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party which is facing an internal fractional split. As for the alliance of the Democratic Movement for Change, comprising the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, they refused to join the meeting with the three parties mentioned above at the National Assembly, claiming that the oppositions parties do not hold positions in the nine commissions of the fourth-term National Assembly. However, on Monday evening, the opposition parties met with the delegation from Germany at a place outside of the National Assembly; to meet outside like this was regarded by the vice-president of the parliament of Germany as ‘correct,’ because the ruling party controls all positions of chairing all commissions of the National Assembly.

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kampot, Ms. Mu Sochua, said that the National Assembly is not a proper meeting place for the Sam Rainsy Party with Mr. Wolfgang Thierse. She went on to say, ‘We are not part of the commissions of the National Assembly. Therefore, we will not attend this meeting.’

“The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, which form an alliance, announced that the CPP had invited also the opposition parties to attend the meeting at the National Assembly, but the opposition parties held a meeting with the delegation from Germany separately from the ruling party, which controls both the government and the National Assembly, which is in contrast to democratic principles, and the CPP wants to eliminate the voice of the opposition parties, both in the government and in the National Assembly. Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘There is nothing to discuss. The government and the opposition parties should have separate meetings.’

“Mr. Wolfgang Thierse raised, during his meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday, the importance of opposition parties in democracy, especially the role of opposition parties in the National Assembly, referring to an example in the parliament of Germany, where opposition parties control important commissions of the parliament, and all political parties having seats in the parliament have to cooperate in this legislative institution.

“The delegation from Germany will stay in Cambodia five days, and yesterday, Tuesday, the delegation from Germany boarded an airplane to Siem Reap, to meet members of the German Angkor Conservation Project, who are doing restoration work at the Angkor Wat temples.

“According to information from a group joining the visit of the delegation from Germany to Cambodia, this visit is also a response to concerns raised by the opposition parties, demanding that the European Parliament of the European Union intervenes, related to the control of all commissions of the National Assembly by the ruling CPP of Prime Minister Hun Sen, without involving the main opposition party which has 26 seats in the National Assembly.

“During a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday, Mr. Wolfgang Thierse encouraged strongman Hun Sen to clearly accept the opposition party’s role, both in the National Assembly and in the government, following democratic policies, if Hun Sen really accepts the free multi-party politics according to the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991. He emphasized that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party controls the government and the National Assembly, which makes democracy in Cambodia moving backwards, as it shuts up the voice of opposition parties [in parliamentary activities] in Cambodia.

“Regarding corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Wolfgang Thierse clearly specified that the government of Germany has to stop all aid to this hybrid tribunal, suffering allegations of serious corruption. Because officials and judges of this tribunal are said to have paid kickbacks every month to three officials of the administration: to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An, to the director of the Office of Administration of the tribunal Sean Visoth, and to the tribunal’s personnel section director Keo Thyvuth, for letting them work at this international tribunal.

“Mr. Wolfgang encouraged also to conduct a clear investigation about the complaint of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers, filed at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, requesting this civil court to take action by investigating allegations of a corruption scandal, rumored since a long time at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. If an investigation is not conducted properly, and the corruption allegation at this tribunal is not solved, the government of Germany will stop providing aid to this tribunal forever.

“According to information from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the director of administration of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Sean Visoth, accused of having received kickbacks from tribunal officials, has not shown up for work for nearly one month, since international lawyers defending Nuon Chea lodged a complaint against him and against two other persons at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 9 January 2009. The Municipal Court is investigating this lawsuit, but the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, notorious for corruption, probably cannot discover corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“Legal observers in Cambodia said that they have little trust in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to probe and bring officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, involved in corruption, for prosecution according to the law, because some officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal are also working at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, such as Yet Chakriya, who is the deputy co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and he is also the newly nominated chief prosecutor of the Municipal Court. Therefore, Yet Chakriya cannot do anything against orders of higher officials, because he is afraid of being removed from his positions either at the Municipal Court or at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.” Moneaksekar or Khmer, Vol.16, #3678, 4.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Kampuchea Thngai Nis, Vol.3, #398, 4-12.2.2009

  • The Club of Cambodian Journalists Becomes a Place to Create Spokespersons [a first five-weeks training is provided to 18 officials from state institutions and non-government organizations]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1864, 4.2.2009

  • [Phnom Penh Municipal] Court Summons Mr. Sam Rainsy for the Second Time [over a complaint lodged against him by the National Assembly, as he has not paid Riel 10 million [approx. US$2,500] for a defamation charge about a speech during his election campaign in 2008]
  • Lawyers and [PJ] Prison Officials Deny that Two [Thai] Jemaah Islamiya Convicts Are Released and Sent to Thailand [Phnom Penh]
  • The Philippines Government Has the Intention to Accept Cambodian Rice to Be Sold in the Philippines
  • 26 Million Migrant Workers [among 130 million] in China’s Countryside Are Unemployed [according to an announcement of the Chinese government]
  • [Democratically elected political leader] Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi Told the UN Envoy that She Was Disappointed [that the United Nations that cannot persuade the junta leaders of Myanmar holding strict position to end their dictatorship]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #334, 4.2.2009

  • The King Goes to Beijing [to meet his parents and to have a medical checkup]
  • There Is No Ministry Responsible for the Stagnation of Agricultural Products of Khmer Farmers

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #196, 4.2.2009

  • The National Election Committee Announces to Political Parties to Prepare to Participate in the New [district and provincial-city] Councils Elections [which will be held on 17 May 2009 – the registration of political parties will be held from 26 February to 2 March 2009]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6569, 4.2.2009

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sent a Diplomatic Note to the Embassies, related to Foreigners Marrying Cambodians
    [informing them that foreigners applying for marriage registrations are not obliged to become member of any organization in order to get marriage rights with Cambodian citizens, and they should also be instructed not to use any marriage broker agencies, as this is against the laws of Cambodia]
  • A Man Raped His Step Daughter since She Was Eleven Years Old Until She Is Now Sixteen – When His Wife Found It out [he was arrested, Kompong Cham]
  • Iran Launches Its First [self-made] Satellite

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3678, 4.2.2009

  • The German Government Announces to Suspend Aid for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Ministers of Defense Will Meet to Discuss the Border Disputes on 6 February 2009

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4812, 4.2.2009

  • Human Rights Report: Land Disputes Are some of the Most Serious Human Rights Violations in 2008
  • Note:

    Some more details are here on the Internet in Ka-set:

    Concern is the order of the day, ADHOC president Thun Saray indicates. In 2008, Human rights defenders, “providing advice to victims of land and resource seizures on seeking redress with the courts or authorities, or the release from detention of their community representatives” have been the particular target of threats and accusations of incitement to protest. “Such accusations from government officials were designed to intimidate workers and activists”, from providing legal advice and assistance to victims in land disputes with private companies and powerful people, ADHOC denounces in its report. In 2008, according to the Human rights NGO, at least 164 Human rights defenders were subjected to such threats in 63 separate cases.

    And:

    Similar tone of speech at the headquarters of the LICADHO, another Cambodian organization for the defense of Human rights. Its president, Kek Galabru, observes with the same concern the increase in the number of threats towards activists, whether they be attached to NGOs or not. “We have already pointed this out in several reports. I will give you a recent example: one of our employees was hit at Dey Krahom as he was only explaining their rights to residents! Our staff also received unsigned mail containing the drawing of a skull and crossbones… Saying that we are the ones behind the demonstrations is only an excuse used by the government to avoid solving problems. We never acted like that!”, LICADHO president says.

  • Siam [Thailand] Changes Its Intention, to Send Only Seven of Eighteen Smuggled Artifacts Back to Cambodia
  • Fifteen Cambodian Officials [independent experts and civil society officials] Will Have a [one-week] Study Tour to Europe [provided by the Delegation of the European Commission in Cambodia, to share and to encourage knowledge among trainees about measures of the European Union for solving some key problems, such as legal and court reforms, good governance, human rights, and promotion of democracy]
  • [Ousted former prime minister] Thaksin Told Puea Thai Party that He Will Return to Be Prime Minister One Day

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Charge d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia Rafael Dochao Moreno: Cambodia Is on the Reform Track, and Reforms Are Crucial – Tuesday, 3.2.2009

Posted on 4 February 2009. Filed under: Week 598 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 598

“Phnom Penh: The cooperation between the Cambodian government and the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia was broadened towards civil society, and the European Commission is an important development partner of the government. A reporter of Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Yin Leangkong, had an interview with the Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia, Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, to analyze these relations.

Rasmei Kampuchea: What improvements regarding relations of cooperation between the European Union [a political and economic union of 27 member states] and the Cambodian government do you see in recent years?

The Chargé d’Affaires: The relations between the European Union and the Cambodian government grew very well during these recent years, while we had significant economic and technical cooperation with the Cambodian government. Last year, we sent an observer mission to Cambodia in order to participate in observing the elections. Through the election observer mission of the European Union, we created some recommendations from the observations, and those recommendations were supported not only by civil society, but also by the Cambodian government and different opposition parties. Therefore, both groups – civil society and the Cambodian government – supported the position of the European Union regarding the elections.

Rasmei Kampuchea: What problems do you consider to be challenges between the European Commission and the Cambodian government?

The Chargé d’Affaires: Being partners, we always worked together and discussed with one another, and also we provided aid to the Cambodian government. Actually, we are not always satisfied with all what the Cambodian government has done, but also, we do not think that all what the government has done is mostly wrong. Our position is to offer support to reform programs of the Royal Government of Cambodia. We also follow with interest the slow reform progress, which has not accomplished what we had hoped for, for example, the adoption of an anti-corruption law is very slow. But we know also that the Royal Government of Cambodia is making efforts to encourage this work to move ahead.

“The European Union is also concerned about the forced evictions by using such force. Like the recent Dey Krahom case, we discussed it also with the Royal Government of Cambodia to find solutions for this problem, and we will continue to meet and discuss eviction problems, and the guarantee of the rule of law in Cambodia.

Rasmei Kampuchea: Do you consider such evictions to be part of corruption in the government?

The Chargé d’Affaires: It is a difficult problem, and I cannot answer this question, but I would like to emphasize that what we want to see is the rule of law. It is known that the European Commission has assisted Cambodia in many different sectors. For instance, we help the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s proceedings, seeing that international standards of law have been established. We support also good governance in different sectors in Cambodia.

“Regarding the evictions, I am really concerned about the use of force in evictions, and we are concerned that there has to be support for the rule of law, leading to justice and fairness in compensations for the various families living there.

Rasmei Kampuchea: Together with the progress of this cooperation, the relations have also faced problems. What do you think can be done to make the cooperation between both sides smooth?

The Chargé d’Affaires: What is important is that we focus on bilateral discussions between the European Union and the Royal Government of Cambodia. I would like to mention three significant events: First, last November, we had regular and official discussions about human rights, good governance, and democracy. Second, we will discuss cooperation between the European Union and the Royal Government of Cambodia, to know what factors need to be improved. Third, we will provide support for different sectors through this cooperation, such as human rights, rural development, health, and education. In March, there will be a joint meeting between Cambodia and the European Commission, in order to further strengthen partnership, and make it smoother – which are the points for our eventual discussions.

Rasmei Kampuchea: Regarding the progress of democracy in Cambodia, do you think that Cambodia is on the right track?

The Chargé d’Affaires: Cambodia is on a track of reforms, and theses reforms are crucial. I would like to refer to the experience of Spain [the home country of Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno]. From 1939 to 1975, this country was under the control of the Dictator Franco, and during that period, the court system was very corrupt. However, after he died, Spain undertook reforms towards a just court system and a new administration system, but it took many years to improve the situation. Likewise, Cambodia needs much time to achieve these high goals, and it might take a generation.

“It is important that these reforms are started from the schools. Teachers need better salaries, and judges have to earn higher salaries in order to crack down on corruption, and all of us have to start working together to weed out corruption.

Rasmei Kampuchea: According to your point of view, is Cambodia already on the right track towards those positive goals?

The Chargé d’Affaires: We have sponsored and supported by funding programs for education through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. We do not grant monetary resources to build schools, but we support, both with funds and training, to expand the capability of education officials, like through accounting skill, financial management, and audits. As for the education sector in Cambodia, I can say that it is on the right track, and that is why we continue supporting this sector.

Rasmei Kampuchea: In May, Cambodia will hold provincial and city council elections. Has the Cambodian government requested funds or experts from the European Union?

The Chargé d’Affaires: We have not received any request from the government, asking for funds for the elections. But after the general elections in July 2008, we provided two experts to help the National Election Committee technically – one person helps with the legal section, and the other one helps with the publishing system. This support is provided for six to eight months. As we knew, there is much work that we have to do as stated in reports of the election observer missions, in order to assure independence and trustworthiness of the National Election Committee.

Rasmei Kampuchea: Some people think that the provincial and city elections are useless. What do you think? Are they useful for the progress of democracy or not?

The Chargé d’Affaires: I cannot say whether they are useful or not, but what I think is that the European Union provides support for decentralization and deconcentration. Therefore, any work contributing to encourage decentralization and deconcentration is good.

Rasmei Kampuchea: Relating to Siem Reap Airlines which has been black-listed in the European Union since late 2008, what is its process?

The Chargé d’Affaires: We got a report in late 2008 from a direct assessment by a group of the International Civil Aviation Organization that came to assess different safety systems, and they released a report saying that the safety systems in Cambodia need improvements. The report was sent also to the Royal Government of Cambodia for consideration. In November 2008, the European Union held a meeting with the Cambodian government to hear responses to the problems found. According to reports from member countries, the European Union decided to put Siem Reap Airlines on a blacklist, so that flights are not allowed to Europe, and this company had to halt their activities until now. What we want to see is that there should be assurances from the Royal Government of Cambodia and from Siem Reap Airlines about their safety and security procedures, before we remove it from the blacklist.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4811, 3.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #111, 3-4.2.2009

  • An Economist [the director of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, Mr. Chan Sophal]: The Government Has to Prepare More Money to Encourage Local Products and to Export Goods
  • A Clay Grinding Machine Seizes [left] Hand of a Woman [a kiln worker – Siem Reap]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #333, 3.2.2009

  • Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party Form Alliance to Compete Together for Seats in the Future
  • 25 Houses Behind the Tuol Sangkae Electricity Power Station Were Destroyed [by fire – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1863, 3.2.2009

  • Construction of the Kbal Thnol Elevated Road Will Begin in April, at a Cost of US$6 Million [Phnom Penh]
  • 20 Trainees Go to Japan to Study Human Resources Development in the Health Sector and in Medical Treatment Services
  • Mr. Obama Will Start Direct Negotiations with Iran and Syria

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #195, 3.2.2009

  • The National Bank Decreases the Bank Reserve Rate [from 16% to 12%] for Private Banks so that They Can Provide Loans to Reinvest in Real Estate

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #668, 3.2.2009

  • German [parliament] Delegation Wants to See Opposition Parties in Commissions of the National Assembly; [the chairperson of the parliamentary Commission on Economy, Finance, and Audits] Mr. Cheam Yeap: He Had Let Them to Join, but They Disagreed [as they have no responsibility for any commission – while the German delegation shared their experience that opposition parties also lead commissions so that all parties have to work together]
  • The 7NG Company Distributes Donations to Former Dey Krahom Residents [of 79 families who had recently agreed to receive a small house far away as compensation in Dangkao district after the eviction, and calls on the rest of 12 families to accept this also]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3677, 3.2.2009

  • 42 Court Officials [including the president of the Supreme Court, Mr. Dith Munty, and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Mr. Ouk Vithun] and 27 Generals Are Sent into Retirement
  • An English Television [Channel 4] Reported that Many Foreign Companies Are Seeking to Acquire Land in Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4811, 3.2.2009

  • Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia Rafael Dochao Moreno: Cambodia Is on the Reform Track, and Reforms Are Crucial
  • Cambodians Become Fisher Slaves in the Sea of Thailand [theguardianweekly global network published an article with the title Forced to Fish: Cambodia’s Sea Slaves]
  • Cambodia Will Demand Thailand in a Bangkok Meeting to Define a Specific Date to Put Preah Vihear Border Markers [though there is no mutual agreement where to put them]

  • Hungary Will Forgive 50% of the Loans given to Cambodia and Change the Remaining 50% into Grant Aid [no amounts mentioned]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asks the Federal Republic of Germany to Assist in Legal and Court Reforms
  • The Government Closes the Sexy Apsara Paintings Website

    Note: It is an unclear situation, because the government has not issued a widely and publicly known banning order, and not all Internet service providers in Cambodia are blocking the site. – See the Mirror editorial from last Sunday here.]

  • 352 Species of Animals Are Found Living in the Region where the Kirirom 3 Hydro-Electric Dam Is to Be Built [there is concern that this plan will affect the shelter of the animals living in that 1,118 hectares of forest land]
  • Pictures of Carnivore and Herbivore Dinosaurs Found on Angkor and Bayon Walls

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3479, 3.2.2009

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Government Rejects 15-Day Ultimatum [for the premier to resign] by Pro-[ousted former Thai Prime Minister]-Thaksin Red-Shirt Demonstrators

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Cambodia Will Start the First Stock Market in December, but Will Not Be Successful as Planned – Wednesday, 21.1.2009

Posted on 22 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“Phnom Penh: The meltdown of the global economy, the lack of trust from investors, the lack of skills, the weakness of laws and of the judicial system, and corruption are considered by experts to be obstacles against the expected success of a stock market in Cambodia. This assessment is made as Cambodia plans to start the process of its first stock market in December 2009.

“It should be noted that a stock market is a gathering forum which allows investors and the general people to invest in companies that they trust, in order bring back profits for them. Those companies participating in a stock market can sell their shares to anybody and take the money like a loan for extending their activities, expecting profit; citizens can buy shares in order to become shareholders and co-owners of a shares selling company. Such clients can receive benefits, as long as the company makes profit.

“At present, the global economy is facing a crisis, and the stock markets of all countries are low, because many owners of shares sold their shares in order to recoup [as much as is left of their] original capital, and many other potential customers give up their intentions to invest in the stock market.

“The Chief Researcher of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Mr. Chab Sothearith, said that the general loss of trust from investors will make it difficult for a stock market in Cambodia to take off.

“In should be noted that the Cambodian government announced a stock market project in September 2007 with Korea Exchange of South Korea, which put up 45% of the share capital as a partner immediately. After the announcement, the Cambodia Securities and Stock Exchange Law was adopted, and a Securities Commission of Cambodia was created, to encourage the creation of a stock exchange, which will issue shares and take action against companies that violate the law.

“However, stock exchange experts said that Cambodia still has a lot of shortcomings which are an obstacle for the progress of starting a stock exchange at the end of this year.

“An advisor of the National Accounting Council and finance professor of the Royal University of Economy and Law, Mr. Soum Chanthy, said that so far, Cambodia has very few stock market experts and does not have a proper and sufficiently complex technical basis to meet the operations of a stock market.

“In addition, Cambodia needs a firm legal system and courts with high capabilities to quickly and justly solve issues related to doing business in a stock market.

“Mr. Soum Chanthy added that although there is still one year left to create a stock market, Cambodia is not yet capable to meet all shortcomings mentioned above, making the stock market plan progress slowly.

“The director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies, Mr. Kang Chandararoth, said that while Cambodia has not yet an anti-corruption law, the creation of a stock market will provide high hazards, and losses will have to be faced by investors.

“The Cambodian government has not yet adopted an anti-corruption law for many years.

“Mr. Kang Chandararath went on to say that corruption can happen at state and private companies, like hiding facts in financial reports about capital, losses, and profits.

“It should be noted that part of success of a successful investment of capital depends on good governance and financial transparency of companies; their situation needs to be disclosed publicly; however, among more than 2,000 enterprises operating in Cambodia, less than 20% publish annual reports. This information comes from the National Accounting Council at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Ngy Tayi, agreed with the definition of the problems mentioned above, and he said that at present, the Ministry continues to encourage different companies to organize their reports properly before they are allowed to participate in the stock market. In the meantime, the director of the general commercial development project of Korea Exchange, Mr. In Myo Lee [phonetic], said that a stock market can help to reduce corruption in Cambodia.

“Cambodia wants to attract national and international investors from more than 400 companies to this stock market, but so far, according to Korean investors who are partners, there are only three state-controlled companies which plan to register something at the stock market of Cambodia.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #188, 21.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #8, 21.1.2009

  • The Vietnamese Authorities Released [five] Khmer Kampuchea Krom Monks, but Prohibit Them to be Ordained as Monks Again [according to the president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, Mr. Thach Setha]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #108, 21.1.2009

  • The Ministry of Culture Restricts the Implementation of the Copyright Law
  • Cambodia Prepares to Host an ASEAN Foreign Affair Ministerial Meeting with the European Union [27 and 28] May 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1852, 21.1.2009

  • The Court Summons Sam Rainsy to Come to Explain [issues of a lawsuit of the National Election Committee against him for not paying Riel 10 million, charged by the National Election Committee for defaming leaders of the Cambodian People Party during election campaign in 2008]
  • Cambodia Liberated 18,000 Children from Serious Forms of Labor in 2008 [it is estimated that there are more than 1.5 million child workers in Cambodia, and among them, 250,000 are doing serious forms of labor]
  • Siam [Thailand] Will Investigate the Allegation that There Are Rights Violations against [Muslim] Rohingya Migrants [by sending them in boats to the sea]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #188, 21.1.2009

  • Cambodia Will Start the First Stock Market in December, but Will Not Be Successful as Planned
  • Leaders of Both Opposition Parties [the Human Rights and the Sam Rainsy Party] in the National Assembly Ask the King to Grant a Great Title to Eminent Leader Chea Vichea [the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia who was murdered in 2004]
  • Puea Thai Party Wants Mr. Thaksin [ousted former Thai Prime Minister] as an Advisor

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6557, 21.1.2009

  • The Government Announces Two Positions for Solving Land Disputes: 1. Prevent Armed Clashes and 2. Continue Bilateral Negotiations
  • Two Suspects Who Are [paddy rice] Guards Are Arrested for Setting Fire on 30 Hectares of Paddy Rice Sheafs [corresponding to around 50 tonnes of paddy rice] During the Night [Battambang]
  • A One-Year and Nine-Month Old Girl Was Killed by Twisting Her Neck, and Thrown into a Fish Raising Pond by a Brutal Person [perpetrator is not yet identified – Pursat]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3671, 21.1.2009

  • The Artificially As Murderers Accused [Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, who were recently released on bail] Are Invited to Join the Firth Anniversary of the Murder of the Former President of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia Chea Vichea

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1405, 21.1.2009

  • [The Commander of the National Military Police] Mr. Sao Sokha: The Shooting of Protesters [by Kandal Stung district military police, which caused three people to be injured] Is Being Investigated

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4800, 21.1.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Announces His Intention to Meet with New Thai Prime Minister to Talk about Border Disputes [and he will not raise the disputes between Cambodia and Thailand during the ASEAN summit]
  • The Economic Crisis Will Make at Least 70,000 Workers Unemployed by May 2009 [25,000 workers already lost their employment]
  • Three People [driving on a motorbike] Died after Being Hit and Run Over by a Truck [Kandal]
  • New US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] Presents Her Diplomatic Credentials to the King

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A Teacher Who Dares to Tell the Truth Is Threatened to Be Dismissed from a School – Thursday, 15.1.2009

Posted on 16 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.

Thanks for your interest.

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

“Civil society officials in Cambodia and abroad expressed concern about the freedom of expression in Cambodia. The authorities of the government threaten activists of trade unions, teachers, civil servants, human rights officials, and democrats.

“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Kompong Thom, who is a teacher of the high school in Triel, Mr. Sun Thun, was investigated by an inspection team of the Provincial Department of Education, and they plan to dismiss him. He is accused of causing anarchy and insulting leaders of the government while teaching students.

“Civil society people abroad noticed that Mr. Sun Thun is a model teacher who dares to express his opinion actively according to the Constitution, and who dares to criticize corruption and injustice in the society, illegal logging, and human rights abuses committed by some leaders in the government and by other relevant officials.

“Civil society officials who are members of a group monitoring the situation from outside of the country absolutely condemned the activities of officials of the Department of Education of Kompong Thom and of the director of this high school for threatening and trying to make the consciousness of other teachers insensitive, so that they do not to criticize leaders of the school and government leaders, even though they live under pressure and suffer human rights abuses and earn small salaries.

“Members of a monitoring group abroad voiced concerns that Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly and the right to education suffered serious setbacks in 2009, because the government uses a scenario acting through the ministry, provincial departments, school leaders, or other institutions, to put pressure on teachers and other civil servants. A group observing Cambodia based in Kristiansand [Norway – there is an office of the NGO Save the Children, Norway] would like to ask national and international organizations to help intervene in this case at the Triel High School, and to urge the Cambodian government to respect the Freedom of Expression, the right to education, and the Freedom of Assembly for meetings by Khmer citizens.

“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, asked the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport, Mr. Im Sethy, to keep Mr. Sun Thun as a teacher at the Triel High School in the commune of Triel, Baray district, Kompong Thom.
 
“Mr. Rong Chhun wrote an official letter on 14 January 2009, saying that the argument of the director of the Triel High School and of the Department of Education of Kompong Thom, to request the Ministry of Education to reassign Mr. Sun Thun away from the Triel High School, was not right, and that Mr. Sun Thun had not committed any wrongdoing.

“Mr. Rong Chhun emphasized that according to the questions Mr. Sun Thun was asked, according to a report about the administration and financial inspection team regarding Mr. Sun Thun’s words which were broadcast by Radio Free Asia about wells, prices of birth certificates of Grade 9 students, iron for constructing small schools, and about Mr. Sun Thun’s disagreement to remove a stall selling small things from the school compound – all these points cannot be considered to be wrongdoings of Mr. Sun Thun and are not applicable as reasons to reassign him away by force.

“Mr. Sun Thun told a news agency that he did criticize corruption, about the cutting of wages for hours worked by teachers, and he had criticize bad leadership of the present leaders.

“The deputy director of the Triel High School, Mr. Ouch Phally, said that Mr. Sun Thun criticized the leaders of the government while teaching students.

“It should be noted that Mr. Sun Thun, a teacher and president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Kompong Thom, has enough rights to express his opinion through the press, he has the right to negotiate with leaders from all levels in the educational institution according to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Chapter 3, Article 41 and 42, the Common Statute of Civil Servants [?] of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Chapter 55, Article 36, the Law on Education in Chapter 7, Article 37, and the treaties of the International Labor Organization which guarantee to citizens of both sexes the right to express opinions, the rights of association, and the right of negotiations.

“Mr. Rong Chhun believes that Mr. Sun Thun will receive justice after an investigation by the administration and financial inspection team. Activities of the director of the Triel High School and of leaders of the departments, related to rancor and about discriminating related to the freedom of association, and to revoke any teacher can be made as long as they have committed serious wrongdoings about which the school director or the leaders of the department had advised them two or three times, following administrative regulations, but if they still not change, then their supervisors can suggest to the Ministry of Education to help to advise them. Mr. Sun Thun has no wrongdoings, and his supervisors never summoned him before to advise him, but there was immediately the request to remove him by force; this goes against the administrative procedures.

“Therefore Mr. Rong Chhun believes that Mr. Sun Thun will receive justice by keeping him to teach the students at the Triel High School.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #326, 15.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 15 January 2009

Kampuchea Thngai Nis, Vol.5, #396, 15-22.1.2009

  • Sok Sam Oeun Is Ordained as a Monk after the Supreme Court Released Him on Bail [after five years in] Jail [convicted for murdering the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Vichea in January 2004]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1847, 15.1.2009

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Opens a Pretrial Conference for the Hearing of Kaing Gek Eav [also known as Duch, former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] This Morning

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #324, 15.1.2009

  • New Video Document with the Title “Who Are the Khmers in Kampuchea Krom” Is Produced by the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association [based in the USA]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #326, 15.1.2009

  • A Teacher Who Dares to Tell the Truth Is Threatened to Be Dismissed from a School

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #183, 15.1.2009

  • People Who Pull Carts with Merchandise [many of them children] Kneel Down to Beg Customs Officers Extorting Their Money [they earn around Baht 50 [approx. US$1.45] from one trip [over the border to Thailand and back in Poipet], but they have to pay between Baht 20 and Baht 30 to each post – they are very poor, but officials seem to have no mercy for them, extorting even the little money they earn with hard work]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6552, 15.1.2009

  • The Ministry of Information Reacts to the Allegation that the Royal Government Will Attempt to Limit Publishing through the Internet [made by the Association for Protection of Journalists in response to press reports]
  • Two Young Men Took Turn Raping a [16-year-old] Girl until She Fainted; when Brought to Be Investigate, They Were Released [even though they confessed to the police that they did it, but they were released because one of them promised to marry the victim, and the other promised to help to pay for the victim’s family for her wedding – Svay Rieng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3666, 15.1.2009

  • The United States of America Encourages the Cambodian Government to Adopt an Anti-Corruption Law Soon [according to a speech by the Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Ms. Piper Campbell]
  • Co-Prosecutors of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Send a Witnesses’ Name List to the Judges for the Trial of Duch
  • Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister [Abhisit Vejjajiva] Asks the Cambodian Government Not to Raise the Border Disputes for Discussion by the ASEAN Summit [while the spokesperson of the Cambodian government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, responded that Prime Minister Hun Sen will raise the border disputes for discussion with Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva at the ASEAN Summit]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4795, 15.1.2009

  • [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An: It Is Not Necessary to Define when an Anti-Corruption Law Will Be Adopted [because the government is not apathetic about corruption and has taken action to crack down on both large and small scale, and all kinds of corruption – he said during a meeting to greet the new director of the World Bank for the Asia Pacific region, Ms. Annette Dixon]
  • The “DM Group” Prevented a Human Rights Group [of 20 people, including German legal people working at the Senate] to Check Forest Sites Cleared for Planting Rubber Trees in Ratanakiri
  • A UNDP Expert [Ms. Jaye Sitton]: Members of the National Elections Committee Have to Resign from Political Parties [so that the National Election Committee becomes neutral and independent]
  • The Asian Development Bank and Development Partners Provide US$80 Million Grant Aid to Cambodia [to improve good governance, commerce, and health services]
  • The US Government Grants Nearly US$2 Million for Conserving and Maintaining Temples and Ancient Artifacts in Cambodia

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3473, 15.1.2009

  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee] Asks the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to Investigate More [former Khmer Rouge] Suspects

Samleng Yuweakwey, Vol.2, #5, 14-17.1.2009

  • A Journalist [of Meatophum] Was Stabbed to Death to Rob His Motorbike, One Robber Managed to Escape, the Other One Was Arrested and Almost Beaten Dead [by a crowd of people – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

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

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Wednesday, 15.10.2008: European Community Observers Said that There Were Deficiencies during the Fourth Term National Election Which Do Not Conform with International Standards

Posted on 16 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“On 14 October 2008, the European Community held a press conference at Le Royal Hotel to present the final observation report of the fourth term parliamentary elections on 27 July 2008, as well as to provide clear recommendations to guarantee that the election system in Cambodia will comply to international standards, following democratic policies.

“Mr. Martin Callanan, the head of the European Community election observers group, made in the press conference some important recommendations of the European Community regarding requirements to guarantee an independent and unbiased state of the election authorities and the media in Cambodia. He added also that the European Community presents recommendations to improve the legal system and framework controlling the elections, a well as voter registration and the education for voters.

“Mr. Martin Callanan, the head of European Community election observers group, presented some recommendations to reform the election process as follow:

“The Cambodian government must take action to guarantee that the National Election Committee is a body that is fully independent, in order to promote trust and acceptance among all political parties and voters.

“The legal system and the framework controlling the National Election Committee, especially the different pieces of legislations and procedures, should be made to be easier to understand, and they should be consolidated.

“The Form 1018 [to be provided as identification to some voters at polling stations] should be abolished before any election in the future.

“The Ministry of Interior should increase the distribution of election information cards and improve the monitoring process.

“Village chiefs should not be allowed to play a major role to distribute election information cards.

“The Cambodian government and the National Election Committee should start an open discussion to find choices to facilitate and to improve procedures for voter registration.

“An atmosphere of free and unbiased publication must be created of independent institutions to monitor publications. Institutions of the government, including the National Election Committee, and civil society organizations, should give priority to participate and to broadly educate the citizens with specific goal sets.

“Mr. Martin Callanan continued that the fourth term parliamentary elections were better and peaceful. However, the elections still had deficiencies and did not clearly follow international standards – which also resulted in a lack of trust from citizens and from election administrators.

“Mr. Martin Callanan spoke also about human resources and measures of the state, using mostly officials of the ruling party, especially, it was reported that information, donations, and money were distributed to voters. He added that the Cambodian government must take action to guarantee that the National Election Committee is an independent body, in order to provide trust to political parties that participate in the elections, and to the Khmer citizens.

“Mr. Martin Callanan went on to say that village chiefs should not be provided with a major role to distribute election information cards, and the government and the National Election Committee should organize discussion meetings, so that the elections are improved and become better acceptable.

“Different relevant institutions must set clear resting time, related to election activities and the campaign.

“Mr. Martin Callanan said that when there are complaints from political parties that participated in the elections, particularly related to the election results, there must be very just solutions. In the meantime, the National Election Committee must monitor the accounts of each political party and the money that each political party has.

“Regarding the murder of a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer on 11 July 2008 before the fourth term parliamentarian elections, Mr. Martin Callanan encouraged the Cambodian government to investigate and arrest the murderers to be punished according to the law, in order to provide clear information about the murder of this journalist.

“As for the investigation to find the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo, a Moneaksekar Khmer journalist and his son, Khat Sarinpheata, on 11 July 2008, when they came from their evening exercise at the Olympic Stadium, the [US] FBI and the Khmer authorities have finished drafting a wanted poster with a sketch of the faces of the murderers, using identification provided by witnesses who were at the site of the murder.

“Also, civil society organizations demand that the authorities speed up the investigation to arrest the murderers who killed Mr. Khim Sombo and his son, to be prosecuted according to the law, after the FBI helped to draft a sketch with the faces of the murderers. Civil society organizations said also that the murders of journalists have started since 1992, and the authorities have never arrested the murderers and those who are behind them, to be convicted according to the law; therefore, when they write and criticize anything related to powerful, rich, and corrupt people, journalist always face threats and murder.

“Observers of the fourth term national elections in Cambodia acknowledge that the assessments in the report of the European Community observers are in line with the real situation related to the irregularities during the elections. This means that the 27 July 2008 elections have not reached international standards, therefore it is necessary to reform the National Election Committee urgently, so that the next election will not suffer from irregularities.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3588, 15.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1768, 15.10.2008

  • [Former] Khmer Rouge Who Killed [an English] Deminer [and his Khmer translator at Anlong Veng] Were Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison
  • A Royal Family Member [Prince Sisowath Chakreynupol, a personal assistant to Prince Thomico] Announced to Volunteer to Serve the Army to Protect the Country
  • A Court Decided to Unjustly Arrest and to Jail a Rape Victim [a man who raped her promised to marry her, but finally, his parents arranged to marry him to a daughter of a village chief, and the raped woman was accused of attempting to kill that man – Kompong Chhnang]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #117, 15.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Increases Troops and Deploys Tanks and Cannons along the Border
  • The Authorities Constructed a Sewage System with the Wrong Technology and Now Demands US$3,000 from the Citizens [to repair the system – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6473, 15.10.2008

  • There Is No Fighting at the Intry Field; Cambodia Announced that All Siamese [Thai] Withdrew before 12:00 a.m. [of 14 October 2008, the ultimatum set by the Cambodian Prime Minister – but the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares: “What we can confirm is we haven’t done any withdrawal… We think we are doing our duty on our land… If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defense.”]
  • The International Buyers’ Forum Still Buys Garments from Cambodia Which Is a Good Information for the Textile Industry which Is Worth US$2.6 Billion [according to the International Finance Corporation and ILO]
  • [Kampot] Residents Are Afraid of Flying Pieces of Stone and Do Not Dare to Go to Their Cultivation Fields, because a Company is Blasting in a Quarry to Get Gravel [for sale]
  • The Leader of the Philippines [President Arroyo] Asks ASEAN to Discuss the Financial Crisis


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3588, 15.10.2008

  • European Community Observers Said that There Were Deficiencies during the Fourth Term National Election Which Do Not Conform with International Standards
  • Promise to Conduct Judicial Reform While this Field Is Notorious for Corruption Is Just a Promise Made to Get Aid [the promise was made by Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An during a meeting with the donor community]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4716, 15.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: “Chinese Economic Growth Does Not Threaten Asia” [but it is an opportunity for countries next to China and for ASEAN countries to benefit from investment, commerce, and other sectors from China, since it is an Asian country with the biggest reserve capital]
  • Drugs Spread to Everywhere in the Country [according to Mr. Lour Ramin, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs. 35.1% of drug users in Phnom Penh contracted AIDS in 2007]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3425, 15.10.2008

  • A Decision on the Bail Request of Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] Will Be Announced on 17 October 2008

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: We all need peace, not war.

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Wednesday, 3.9.2008: Election Results Announced by the NEC Are Absolutely Not Accepted by the Opposition Parties

Posted on 4 September 2008. Filed under: Week 576 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 576

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP], said publicly on the Ponleu Ploeng Tien [Light of Candle – the logo of the SRP] program [on the Sambok Khmum Radio of Mr. Mam Sonando], ‘Today, we would like to announce again that the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party do not recognize the election results as publicly announced by the National Election Committee – NEC – on 2 September 2008.’

“Mr. Sam Rainsy added, ‘We have received more evidence and more witnesses, which show that the election results are based on many fraudulent votes, different from previous elections, because the names of many citizens were removed [from the voter lists]; when they wanted to vote they could not vote, as their names were deleted and stolen, in an attempt to prevent them from voting. This is the fist problem.’

“The well-known opposition party leader continued, ‘The second problem is that Forms 1018 were issued illegally, because many Form 1018 documents were fraudulent and were provided to those who were ineligible to vote, such as the Vietnamese, underage children, and those who did not have their names in the voters lists at districts and at many poling stations; they provided fraudulent names for such people, to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“Therefore, out of the tens of thousands of votes claimed to have been received by the Cambodian People’s Party, at least 500,000 votes were from ‘unreal’ votes which are called ghost votes, using ghost names to vote. Moreover, at least more than one million citizens’ names had been deleted from the voters lists, stolen, and the people had been prevented to vote.

“These are the reasons why the votes of the opposition parties declined, since those who wanted to vote for the opposition parties could not vote. On the contrary, those who did not have names to vote were helped by getting Forms 1018 illegally to vote.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy emphasized, ‘The election results were turned around and do not reflect fairness at all, they present the citizens’ will entirely distorted, and therefore we would like to announce again the position of the SRP and of the Human Rights Party to be still against the bad activities of the Cambodian People’s Party, implemented through the NEC and through the Constitutional Council, that serve the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“He went on to say, ‘After this, I have the further information that I, Sam Rainsy, will travel to protest in front of the international community on this Wednesday. I will go to Europe, to Paris and Brussels, and to America, to New York and Washington, in order to announce our complaints about the stealing of votes. Also, I have much evidence, as I have mentioned earlier, and I have revealed this evidence on a website [not identified here] and by other means on the Internet; we use modern technology to let the world see: if anyone wants to see, they can see.’

“The evidence shows that the elections in Cambodia were not held correctly, because we have received thumbprints of tens of thousands of citizens who had expressed their dissatisfaction with the NEC that had deleted their names.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy continued that tens of thousands of citizens had made motions with thumbprints, and the numbers are increasing further day-by-day. Not only the Sam Rainsy Party, but also the Human Rights Party is conducting a campaign to collect thumbprints to show the international community that the Cambodian People’s Party, through the NEC as a tools, had deleted many citizens’ names who were eligible to vote. Those thumbprints are published on our website where people from any country can see.’

“In the meantime, Mr. Sam Rainsy asked, ‘If anyone has evidence of fraud using Form 1018, please bring them to me directly at the headquarters of the Sam Rainsy Party. Also, I would like to remind that as for those who had came from near and far places, I would like to express gratitude from all my heart, and for those who bring one sheet of paper of a fraudulent Form 1018, we will present an award of US$50 to them, corresponding to Riel 200,000.’…

“Obviously, even a working group official of the Cambodian People’s Party in Kompong Cham said publicly, in a the Ponleu Ploeng Tien program, that the elections of 27 July 2008 had many irregularities, such as intimidations, human rights abuses, and fraud using the Form 1018, creating ghost names.

“Regarding the fraudulently used Form 1018, the official continued to say that there were many such cases – village and commune chiefs met three or four days ahead of the elections to plan for the creations of Form 1018 ghost names, and other cases.

“The official of the Cambodian People’s Party said, ‘A special case was that on 17 July 2008, Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun, a high ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party, went to strengthen the party’s affairs in Memut [Kompong Cham] and ordered lower officials to create fraudulent Forms 1018 and other cases.’

“This means that imposters of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the NEC start to become known gradually. Therefore, the international community will absolutely not recognize the election results.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #235, 3.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1736, 3.8.2008

  • No Norodom Ranariddh Party in the Fourth Term Government [according to an official close to Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and a Cambodian People’s Party spokesperson affirmed that the fourth term government will be a coalition government between two parties, the Cambodian People’s Party and Funcinpec]
  • India Asks to Create a Bank in Cambodia to Facilitate Investments from India
  • Siam [Thailand] Is Under a State of Emergency
  • Siam Secretly Puts a New Border Marker 200 m into Khmer Land [Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #235, 3.8.2008

  • Election Results Announced by the NEC Are Absolutely Not Accepted by the Opposition Parties
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Asks Samdech Euv [the former King] to Be President in the Negotiations with Siam [Thailand over territorial issue]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3503, 3.8.2008

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has Only Money Left Enough for the Trial of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Duch
  • Citizens Criticize Traffic Police for Using the Law to Do Business Shamelessly [police extort money from people whose motorcycles have no wing mirrors for safety and those who do not wear safety helmets – Phnom Penh – ???]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4684, 3.8.2008

  • Thailand Declares State of Emergency in Bangkok
  • Japanese Prime Minister [Fukuda] Surprisingly Resigns [reason not mentioned]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3400, 3.8.2008

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Urges that a Royal Government Should Be Created Very Soon [in order to lead the country toward development]
  • Click here to have a look at the last editorial – will the Prime Minister’s concern for the environment continue to be violated?

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    Wednesday, 27.8.2008: Seng Theary Is Ordered to Stop Working, but There Are Persons to Defend Her

    Posted on 28 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

    “Phnom Penh: Ms. Seng Theary, the president of the Center for Social Development [established in 1995 ‘to promote democratic values and improve the quality of life of the Cambodian people through training, seminars, research, publication, broadcasting, partnership with other like-minded organizations and institutions and dialogue with Cambodians from all walks of life’], has been told to stop to work two times already, because she does not follow her contract responsibly as seen by the board of directors, and still continues to work without caring about the order to stop, issued by the board of directors that has appointed her to this position.

    “On 26 August 2008, many journalists went to the Center for Social Development, because they had been informed by phone that the Center for Social Development had planned to hold a press conference, but when they arrived there, they were prevented to enter.

    “Mr. Vi Houi, the president of the board of directors of the Center for Social Development, reported to Kampuchea Thmey in the evening of 25 August 2008 that the board of directors plans to hold a press conference about the firing of Ms. Seng Theary from her work on 26 August 2008, but Ms. Seng Theary’s supporters had requested to discuss the possibility to keep her as the president of the center.

    “Mr. Vy Huy added that Ms. Seng Theary has been fired already more than 60 days ago, but she refused to leave. He said that the board of directors has contacted some donor countries, but they had responded asking that at this stage, the donors requested to stay quiet temporarily. If there would be no agreement between Ms. Seng Theary and the board of directors, there would be no salaries for the staff, as well as no money to pay the rent for the office.

    “On 26 August 2008, some staff members had distributed some documents to the journalists and asked them to wait outside of the fence, but later there was no one from the center to inform them what happened or to offer interviews to the journalists, so that the journalists, both Khmers and foreigners, after waiting until after 11:00, finally decided to leave.

    “The journalists said that maybe the staff of the Center for Social Development asked the journalists to sit and wait, to share with them the arguments between staff and board, that is why they did not offer any interviews and did not say anything at the beginning.

    “According to some staff, the Center for Social Development started to have internal disputes, since Ms. Seng Theary had taken full control of the center. As soon as the board of directors had appointed Ms. Seng Theary as president [in 2006], she started to strengthen her power, and when she was strong enough, she did not recognize this board of directors that had assigned her as president, and created another board of directors that supports her, causing rift and turmoil.

    Note:

    A press release from the staff side is http://www.csdcambodia.org/pdf/2008/PressRelease-30-June-08.pdf/

    “Many analysts said that leading a small center, depending on foreign donations, can bring rifts and disagreements: what laws to teach to citizens, and therefore, how citizens can then consider them as models. At present, Khmer citizens are not much weaker in knowledge than Seng Theary; but being the president of the center, she refused to give up her power, but what would happen if she ruled over the rules of the country?

    “The letters announcing the press conference of the Center for Social Development on 26 August 2008 say that Ms. Seng Theary had already once been fired on 20 May 2008, and then she was fired a second time by the board of directors on 24 June 2008.

    “The board of directors of the Center for Social Development has intervened with Ms. Seng Theary’s work already twice: once on 18 July 2007 and then again on 10 September 2007.

    “Ms. Seng Theary has been hired to work since March 2006. During her work at the Center for Social Development, she had attended only four of the nine meeting of the board of directors.

    “Ms. Seng Theary does not follow the contract she had agreed to with the board of directors of the Center for Social Development.

    “Ms. Seng Theary had formed a board of directors while she was working under the administration of the board of directors of the Center for Social Development. There are eleven members in the new board of directors, as published by the Phnom Penh Post on 16 May 2008.

    “Ms. Seng Theary had rejected a request to reorganize the statute structures for the Center for Social Development under the guidance by Oxfam – United States.

    “Ms. Seng Theary does not fully cooperate with two arbiters – one comes from an important donor country, and another one is the founder of the Center for Social Development. As a result, the Center for Social Development lost aid from an important donor country.

    “Ms. Seng Theary had requested coordination, but that request aims to ask the board of directors to do what she wants; she offered two choices to choose from – to ‘agree’ or to ‘disagree.’ The board of directors had responded by requesting a face-to-face meeting to solve the requests by Ms. Seng Theary, but she considered this response to be a ‘disagree’ answer, and she continues activities in her own ways by publishing another new board of directors’ list on the website of the Center for Social Development.

    “It has been 63 days since the board of directors terminated Ms. Seng Theary. To leave her position for a long period vacant would affect the prestige of the Center for Social Development, and also its resources for the foundation. Also other foundations may not continue with their support from about October 2008.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1730, 27.8.2008

    Note:

    Ms. Seng Theary, who earned her degree in law in the USA, became internationally known through her book Daughter Of The Killing Fields – Asrei’s Story, where she describes her early childhood and life under the Khmer Rouge regime, then the flight of her family to Thailand and the resettlement in the USA – the description of her history is regularly accompanied by her own reflections.

    As executive director of the Center for Social Development, the activities of the Center and she herself were often in the public limelight because of the controversial nature of these engagements, symbolized in the concern for “Four Freedoms”

    “The Voice of Justice Program, at every opportunity, reminds the readers of the Voice of Justice columns or the Voice of Justice Research Bulletins and the radio listeners of the Four Freedoms – i.e., Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Belief, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want – which build the foundation for democracy, human rights, and social and economic development.

    We continually lobby for a Freedom of Information Act, for a freer press, for a freer right to assembly, for a freer and open society… for we believe every Cambodian is born to be, and desires to breathe freely.”

    These concerns are publicly expressed in the “Voice of Justice Column,” published twice a month in Khmer in Koh Santepheap and in English in The Phnom Penh Post.

    Ms. Seng Theary took also an active role in some events which attracted public attention:

    • When the “G8” meeting took place in Germany in 2007 – the leaders of 7 Great industrialized countries plus Russia – an alternative meeting was also organized, as usual, with a critical appraisal of the interests of the powerful as over against the rest of the world, as even such large countries like China and India are not represented, and there are no African or Latin American members in the group. – Ms. Seng Theary was invited to speak to the “P8” meeting as one of the persons from “People” from 8 poor countries, to raise public consciousness of poverty in the world, urging the G8 to take action to end the plight of the poor.
    • The gathering of the “Dream for Darfur,” after having organized similar symbolic actions in different countries’ genocide memorials, planned to light a candle of commemoration at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Memorial in January 2008, led by Hollywood actress Mia Farrow and one of the few Tuol Sleng survivors, the painter Mr. Van Nath, coordinated by the Center for Social Development – but this was prevented by armed authorities.
    • More recently, Ms. Seng Theary’s requested to speak as a “civil party” participating in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – the Khmer Rouge Trial – where there is also a role foreseen for the participation of victims. But the majority of judges ruled that only lawyers of civil parties could speak in pre-trial hearings, not victims themselves; so far, no victims’ voice could be heard in this court.

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 27 August 2008


    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #83, 27.8-2.9.2008

    • Mr. Hun Chea [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] Seeks a Lawyer to Sue an American Newspaper, Accusing it of Defamation [he asks for evidence for the accusation that he drove a car and fatally hit someone in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh]
    • [US Ambassador] Joseph [Mussomeli]: Preah Vihear Temple Dispute Can Be Solved by ASEAN


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1730, 27.8.2008

    • Seng Theary Is Ordered to Stop Working, but There Are Persons to Defend Her
    • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Says Demonstrations Cannot Force Him from His Position; Siamese [Thai] Police Prepare to Resist 35,000 Demonstrators
    • Rumor in Pursat that the Spirit of Military Chief Khleang Moeung [heroic leader against invading Thai troops around 1482] Tells People Who Were Born in the Year of the Tiger and in the Year of the Monkey to Get Washed with Magic Water, or They Will Meet Danger


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #230, 27.8.2008

    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Says that the American Newspaper [The Modesto Bee about a fatal traffic accident and about impunity, saying “The world leader in corruption is – Cambodia”] Reflects the Facts in Cambodia
    • Sam Rainsy Says Hun Sen Government Is Afraid of Paris Peace Accord, Fearing to Lose Power [over border issue]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #83, 27.8.2008

    • Constitutional Council Refuses to Recount Votes [in Svay Rieng] at Sam Rainsy Party’s Request


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6434, 27.8.2008

    • Miracle before Siam’s [Thailand’s] Invasion: A Piece of Rock from the Phnom Tbaeng Mountain Broke Loose and Rolled Down, and There Was a Pair of Flying Lights in January 2008 [People in Preah Vihear provincial town claim now to remember that back, in the evening of 27 January 2008, they saw two lights flying down from the mountain. One light disappeared at the Preah Vihear Provincial Office and the other light flew to the West]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3549, 27.8.2008

    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Criticizes the Constitutional Council and the National Election Committee of Being Puppets of the Cambodian People Party

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – some fundamental challenges into the future

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