Prime Minister Hun Sen Explains the Change in the Position of the Commander-in-Chief – Saturday, 7.2.2009

Posted on 9 February 2009. Filed under: Week 598 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 598

“Phnom Penh: Rumors about the reasons for the removal, two weeks ago, of General Ke Kim Yan moved Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen on Friday 6 February 2009 to clearly explain that the removal of the commander-in-chief was part of the ongoing military reform, but it was not the result of internal disputes in the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], the party ruling the country.

“Speaking to journalists at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Samdech Hun Sen said that he is aware that some people say that the removal of the commander-in-chief is to strengthen the forces of Hun Sen and to diminish the forces of Samdech Chea Sim. But Samdech [Hun Sen] added that even if Mr. Ke Kim Yan were still the commander-in-chief, there would be no problem in the CPP.

“Together with this claim, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen went on to say that General Ke Kim Yan is still a general, having protection forces for which the government has to be responsible. As for the party’s affairs, Mr. Ke Kim Yan is still a permanent member of the Central Committee of the CPP, and head of a certain working group in Banteay Meanchey.

“With reference to the motions in the CPP, raised in public opinions recently, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen stressed that military adjustments are normal in military reforms, when the government wants to improve efficiency, just as in reforms in other sectors. But this time, this is not happening in the form of a slow method, but Samdech Hun Sen wants that it happens faster in order to be in line with the present situation.

“As for the rights of a prime minister, since the time when Samdech took over the office as prime minister for the first time in 1985, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that for all decisions about any reforms or changes in appointments, the prime minister did not need to ask for ideas from the party.

“As mentioned above, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen warned opposition groups and accused them of provoking fractional splits among the CPP, using the information about the removal of General Ke Kim Yan as the commander-in-chief.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen warned, ‘Anyone and any party which dares to interfere in CPP affairs, that person and that party will not have peace. I will fight until your last shelter is no more, like with the Funcinpec in 1997. And now, all commentators, please stop making comments to split the CPP into factions and opposition,’ where Samdech seemed to refer to the Sam Rainsy Party, which nowadays should be able to control their own party members.

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that real military reform has not only to do with the change of persons among the top leadership, but it is also necessary to check the salaries of the military, to check weapons, medicines, and the livelihood of military families. Another point is that all military commanders must be neutral in their attitudes and thinking, and they must not be involved with any political party, in order to avoid conflicts of interest in fulfilling their roles.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4815, 7.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 7 February 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1867, 7.2.2009

  • Cambodia Brewery Limited Issues Alert because some Pressure Containers for Beer [stolen from the factory] Are Pressure-Filled with Oxygen for Hospitals to Treat Patients [and not with carbon dioxyde which goes with beer]
  • [Singaporean and Taiwanese agricultural] Researchers Said Soil in Cambodia Is Pristine Like Offered by God
  • Sri Lanka Offers Amnesty for Tamil Tiger Insurgents If They Surrender
  • Ms. Hilary Clinton Chooses Indonesia for Her First Visit Abroad

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #199, 7.2.2009

  • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL: Parties with Few Seats Have No Opportunity to Express Their Opinion
  • [Around 1,700] Workers of the Sang Yong Garment Factory Strike by Closing the Factory [because the factory has suspended work for two months – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6572, 7-8.2.2009

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Explains the Change in the Position of the Commander-in-Chief
  • A British Television Station [Quick Silver or Channel 4] Interviews the Municipal Authorities [about the economic situation and the evictions]
    A Pregnant Woman Is Choked to Death and Her Face Is Cut with Razor Blades in a Room of a Guesthouse [murderer is not yet identified – Siem Reap]
  • Murderers Who Killed Three People by Cutting Their Throats at the Victims’ Home [in Prek Pra commune, Meanchey] Was Arrested [the murderers are husband and wife, they killed to rob the victims who were their close friends]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3681, 7-8.2.2009

  • The German Ambassador Condemns Hun Sun for Prohibiting Opposition Party Parliamentarian [Ms. Mu Sochua] to Attend the Third Annual Economic Forum [sponsored by the Supreme National Economic Council of the government, supported by the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, and UNDP]
  • Dey Krahom Residents Protest in Front of the Municipality to Demand US$20,000 Compensation

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4815, 7.2.2009

  • The Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister Never Said that the Territory under the Preah Vihear Temple Belongs to Siam [Thailand – Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva said so in a press conference about negotiations related to the contested area around the temple]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Told the Thai Minister [of Defense]: ‘It Is a Historic Time to Solve Problems so that the Next Generations No Longer Have Problems’
  • The German Agency GTZ Signed an Agreement Supporting the National Audit Authority’s Development [for the second stage from 2009 to 2011, with assistance of Euro 2 million – approx. US$2.6 million]
  • Note about details of the GTZ engagement from the GTZ web site:

    The “Support to the National Audit Authority” provides technical assistance in Cambodia with the objective to enhance accountability and transparency in the system of Public Finances in Cambodia.

    We are fully aware that the major preconditions for the success of our company are not only the price and quality of the services we provide, but also our good reputation and our integrity. Integrity is rooted in the company’s philosophy and is of personal significance to all staff. Our Code of Conduct comprises rules on how to deal with conflicts of interest and to avoid corruption.

    The message we send out is that rather than seeing corruption as a necessary evil or a by-product of work processes, we are strongly committed to fighting it. The best way to combat corruption has always been to bring it out into the public.

    Everyone engaged in the fight against corruption must help to uncover corruption in every shape and form.

    GTZ has appointed the lawyer Dr Joussen as its Ombudsman.

    Dr. Edgar Joussen
    Bleibtreustrasse 1
    10623 Berlin, Germany
    Tel.: +49 700 66283762, Fax: +49 30 31518744
    E-mail: ra-js@ra-js.de

    Dr. Edgar Joussen runs his own legal office in Berlin and is a bank clerk by training. He has specialised in anti-corruption consulting for many years. In 2000 he also began advising Deutsche Bahn AG.
    The Ombudsman is a point of contact and an advisor on corruption-related matters for GTZ’s staff and business partners.

    Dr. Joussen may be contacted by phone, mail, fax or e-mail. A personal meeting will be arranged where appropriate.

  • India Promises to Continue to Support Cooperation in the National Defense Sector with Cambodia
  • High Ranking Military Officer [unnamed three-star general] Is Sued for Adultery
  • [The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Sends two Letters to International Organizations [International Education Organization and International Labor Organization] about the Transfer of the President Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Kompong Thom [Mr. Sun Thun was transfered for political reasons from Triel High School to teach at a lower secondary school]
  • Cambodia Will Ask UNESCO to List the Chapei [a Cambodian long-necked lute – not clear if the instrument, or if Mr. Kong Nai as one of the last living masters, under the category of Living Human Treasure] and Lakhon Khol [all-male. Cambodian masked dance theater], after Angkor and the Temple of Preah Vihear [by UNESCO as World Heritage], and Sbek Thom – Khmer Shadow Theater] and the Royal Ballet of Cambodia Were Listed [by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity]

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.


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Friday, 12.9.2008: Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important

Posted on 13 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Representatives of the Club of Cambodian Journalists asked all politicians to communicate better with the media if they think that the media are important.

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said during a Roundtable Discussion to Review the Media Coverage During the Elections in the morning of 11 September 2008, that during every election, the media were considered to be most important for conveying messages to the citizens in rural areas as well as in the cities, to understand the election processes, and to know the parties that participate in the electoral competitions. Therefore, the media become political hostages during each election period, and after the elections are over, there has been always criticism by some parties against the media, saying to have shown bias, and to not have published enough about their specific party.

“Mr. Pen Samithi added that some parties did not have spokespersons, and if journalists wanted their phone numbers, they could not get it. How can they report? If the politicians want good publicity, there should be better communication from now on, not just one month before the elections. If communication start so late, it is hopeless.

“Mr. Pen Samithi said that he has never seen that any political parity contacted the media for reporting, and if the journalists wanted to contact them it was difficult. He went on to say that almost all parties have no media policy; so how can the media report? He said that if political parties think that the media are important, they have to communicate properly with the media, and not just blame the media after the elections, because earlier on, when the media approached the parties during the time of the elections, almost all such contacts were limited or were set under conditions to do this or to do that – but the media do not set any conditions in turn.

“Mr. Keo Sothea, the editor-in-chief of Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, said that during the discussion in the morning, his newspaper had raises some negative points which have to be criticized, in order that they are corrected and there will be improvement. Some newspapers always write only negatively related to the government, but as for some needs or weak point, they do not seems to dare to write them, and to report about improvements by the government is an issue which is difficult to trust, because people have to think what a real improvement is, and what a lack thereof is.

“Mr. Kol Panha, the executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – said that the media must be examined, because media are most important for sending information to the citizens who are the voters, and the media have a very significant role in the process of democracy. If someone is not listening or watching the media about the election process, or does not know any political parties, they will not be able to freely and broadly voice their opinion. However, if a publication spreads a lie, it really affects the voters strongly.

“Mr. Kol Panha continued that the media are important, therefore journalists have to be neutral, they have to have morality, and journalistic skills, so that voters receive broadly based information. He added that when the elections approached, most media showed a certain reluctance towards the government, as taking up certain things might lead to conflicts, and rather raised mainly different, positive points for comments, but seldom criticizing the government. Also, he expressed his regret that during the elections in 2008, there was serious incidents related to the media: the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo, a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, and the arrest and detention of Mr. Dam Sith, the editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer. He said that whether one agrees or not, such cases somewhat frighten other journalists and they think a lot before they write.

“Mr. Kol Panha asked to include also the Equity Program [produced by the UNDP] into programs related to the National Election Committee [NEC]. Laws should be created to punish any media that have committed wrongdoings, but there should not be prison term punishments.

“Mr. Chhay Sophal, a member of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said that this discussion will continue further, regarding the above suggestions.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 12.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 12 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1774, 12.9.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Loses Another Parliamentarian [at the Cambodian People’s Party headquarters in Phnom Penh, on 11 September 2008, there was a celebration to accept Mr. Chrea Chenda as a member of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • Troops of Cambodia and of Thailand Begin to Be in a Stronger Confrontation at the Ta Krabei Temple [Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #242, 12.9.2008

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] said the Price of Fuel in Cambodia Should Be Decreased to Riel 3,800 [approx. US$0.93] per liter [as fuel in Cambodia costs Riel 5,700 [approx. US$1.40] per liter, the price of fuel at the world market had been US$148 per barrel, but it now decrease to US$100 per barrel, so it dropped by one third at the free markets, so price of fuel in Cambodia should be decreased to Riel 3,800 [approx. US$0.93] per liter as the highest
  • .


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #97, 12.9.2008

    • The Royal Government allows to Import Pigs from England to Be Crossbred in the Country [according to Oknha Mong Riththy, a member of the Senate and co-leader of an agricultural and agro-industrial working group, on 10 September 2008, during a meeting between pig farmers and the government at the Phnom Penh Hotel]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6448, 12.9.2008

    • There Are More Than 20,000 Legal and Illegal Khmer Laborers Outside of the Country, the Largest Number Is in Thailand [according to Mr. Ya Navuth, executive director of CARAM Cambodia, who said that more than 18,000 Khmer laborers, both legal and illegal, are working in Thailand]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3563, 12.9.2008

    • New US Ambassador to Cambodia Is Worried about Corruption in Cambodia [Ms. Carol Rodley is the first female US Ambassador appointed to Cambodia by President Gorge W. Bush]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4692, 12.9.2008

    • Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Wife of Dankao District’s Police Chief [wife of Mr. Bon Sam At was brought to be questioned by police in early September 2008, accused to have issued uncovered checks for more than US$20,000 – Phnom Penh]
    • Governor of Trat [in Thailand] Apologized after Thai Police at the Hat Lek Border Crossing Point Had Used Dogs to Sniff and to Lick Khmer Citizens [Koh Kong]
    • Ratanakiri [authorities] Withdraw More Than 300 Hectares of Forest Land from a Military Official [the Ratanakiri authorities freed 312 hectares of forest land in Bar Keo district which was illegally controlled by Colonel Leng Hong]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 12.9.2008

    • Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – Numbers: how to evaluate them, which realities do they really represent?

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  • Saturday, 31.5.2008: The Condition of Prisons in Cambodia Remains Difficult

    Posted on 1 June 2008. Filed under: Week 562 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 562

    “Phnom Penh: Cambodia has twenty four provinces and municipalities, but there are twenty five prisons countrywide. According to observations and research conducted by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – on prisoners of eighteen prisons in 2008, prisoners in Cambodia still face many difficulties, and the prisons have not yet reached the standards set.

    “The director of LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru] told Khmer Sthapana that, according to their research, conducted four times a month on prisoners in eighteen prisons from among the 20 prisons, the conditions of prisons in Cambodia are still very difficult.

    “Difficulties exist because prisons are very narrow and old, the roofs leak, such as in the prisons in Takeo and in Kompong Thom. The number of prisoners increased, but the prisons have not been increased, so that in some rooms up to thirty or forty prisoners are together, making each room very crowded and hot, and the electricity is often cut; this affects their health – if any of them has a disease, the others are infected, and sometimes there was violence among them.

    “Another major problem is food; the state provided only Riel 1,000 [approx. US$0.26] per prisoner per day, which is now increased to Riel 1,500 [approx. US$0.39]. Still, this is not enough to cover the expenses, because the prices of all goods increased, and food is also expensive, making food supplies in prisons to be a problem.

    “Another important issue is the shortage of medicines; sometimes there were not enough medicines and sometimes prisons lack medicines and doctors, because there is no money; and when a prisoner fell seriously ill and needed to be referred to a hospital, sometimes, there was no fuel to run the car. The basic problem is funding.

    “According to the Prison Conditions in Cambodia 2007 report of LICADHO, observing eighteen prisons from 1999 to 2006, the number of prisoners continually increased. In 1999, there were 3,282 prisoners; in 2002 there were 5,302 prisoners; in 2003 there were 5,711 prisoners; in 2004, there were 6,296 prisoners; in 2005, there were 8,238 prisoners; and in 2006, there were 8,835 prisoners.

    “Separately, by April 2008, the number of prisoners had climbed up to 9,315 in total, among them there were 579 minors – among them were fourteen little girls – and 8,736 adult prisoners, of whom 546 were women (this is the figure of the prisoners of the eighteen prisons observed and researched by LICADHO).

    “Dr. Pong Chiv Kek continued that the numbers of prisoners steadily grows, but we do not know whether this is because the actions of the police become more efficient, or because the number of crimes increases. She said she does not have statistic about the prisoners who had been released and those who had entered the prisons, or of those who had been caught and then been released.

    “However, some penalties are reduced three times per year, based on proposals by prison officials, after they have established that prisoners have corrected themselves. The first reduction of penalties is conducted on Khmer New Year, the second on Visakh Bochea Day, and the third at the Water Festival. On the other hand, according to Article 27 of the Constitution, the King has the right to grant amnesty.

    “Regarding information that there were bribes paid by some prisoners’ families to prison officials in order that the officials include their children’s or relatives’ names into the list proposing to reduce heir penalty, Dr. Pong Chiv Kek said that LICADHO is not sure, because there is no concrete evidence. However, she acknowledged that she has heard such information, but there is no proof.

    “A prison official said that the prison conditions are being improved and they are moving to more improvements, like now, a new prison is being constructed in Takhmao [Kandal]; though the government does not have enough funds, there are countries cooperating like Australia that helps repairing some buildings. Related to health care and the improvement of the prisons’ environment, prisoners are allowed to go out of their cells for one to two hours, and there is also education and short term skill training, such as sewing and reading books. Some prisons have been converted to become rehabilitation centers.

    “Dr. Pong Chiv Kek supports the educational plans at the rehabilitation centers, for example, facilitating prisoners to go out of their cells to read books, to learn something in short training courses, or to sew something so that they do not feel bored, in order to improve their mental attitude to get rid of violence and other bad habits. She went on to say that the use of soft methods in guidance and education is better than using strong methods like hitting people, because violence will make them feel angry and they will want to take revenge after they are released, and will be worse than before.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #24, 31-3.5-6.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 31 May 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1655, 31.5.2008

    • The Government Considers Corruption as a Social Disease [says Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, in charge of preventing corruption]
    • The US Will Provide Thirty One Big Trucks to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces
    • Prices of Food in the World Will Continue to Increase until next Year [according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #166, 31.5.2008

    • Chea Ratha Admitted to have Been Ms. In Soklida’s Lesbian Partner for Three Years, but She Denied that She Was Related to the Violent Crime [of an acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt – she told a local FM radio station in Phnom Penh on 30 May 2008 from Thailand]
    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Pushes the National Assembly to Summon [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Be Questioned over the Nominations of Countless Advisors Which Wastes National Funds


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #24, 31.5.2008

    • Investment Rate in Cambodia Declines to Nearly 50% Early 2008 [according to a report of the Council for the Development of Cambodia]
    • The Condition of Prisons in Cambodia Remains Difficult
    • Child Sex Abuse Threatens Cambodian Children [according to reports from LICADHO]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3474, 31-1.5-6.2008

    • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [UNODC] Finds that All Kinds of Drug Crimes Dramatically Increase in Cambodia [link undated – probably August 2007]
    • Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers in Uniform Could Enter Khmer Territory Easily [on 25 May 2008 at Bavet international market, Svay Rieng]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4603, 31.5.2008

    • The National Election Committee Announced the Result of Numbering the Parties on the Ballots

      1. Norodom Ranariddh Party
      2. Khmer Democratic Party
      3. League for Democracy Party
      4. Cambodian People’s Party
      5. Khmer Anti-Poverty Party
      6. Khmer Republican Party
      7. Sangkum Yutethor Party (the Just Society Party)
      8. Funcinpec
      9. Sam Rainsy Party
      10. Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party
      11. Human Rights Party]

    • There Are More Than 10,000 People Who Have AIDS in Cambodia [according to an announcement by officials of the National AIDS Authority of Cambodia]
    • Domestic Violence Reduces the Income of a Victimized Family by One Firth [Minister of Women’s Affairs Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi said in a press conference]
    • An Aid Donor from Japan Checked the Clearing of Mines to Restore Roads and Canals [in a region of Battambang – to open the way for the organization Good-Earth-Japan to implement their plan to help prevent flooding during the coming rainy season – pictures and Japanese text]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial: The oil price spiral – special investments – and a comparison of the activities in Myanmar and in China

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