Concerns about the Future of Phnom Penh Continue – Monday, 16.3.2009

Posted on 18 March 2009. Filed under: Week 604 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 604

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: After the leaders of the Phnom Penh Municipality were awarded a World Leadership Award in London in 2005, Phnom Penh continues to encounter many problems like in 2008, when the [north] western area of the city was flooded for several months. So far, the Boeng Kak Lake filling still continues, and therefore various concerns continue.

Note:

Different from – for example – the awarding of a World Heritage Site status by an official institution like UNESCO, there is a variety of different “World Awards” which are awarded by private business enterprises, where certain direct fees or indirect fees are involved. The following information is how the Word Leadership Award is celebrated: with an expensive Gala Dinner. The price to participate in the World Leadership Award Gala Dinner, and for having the name of the winners announced to the public, from the podium, and in a printed announcement – “full-page ad” and “prominent listing” – in the journal of the World Leadership Award, are given as follows:

World Leadership Awards Gala

Tables (Includes 10 tickets)

$25,000 Platinum Leadership Table

  • Premium placement and recognition from the podium
  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad
  • Signage at the event
  • Featured article in Counterpart newsletter and website

$15,000 Benefactor Table

  • First-class placement
    1. Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad
  • Signage at the event

$10,000 Patron Table

  • Fine placement
  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad

$5,000 Friends Table

  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad

Tickets

  • $500 Individual ($335 tax deductible)
  • $1,000 Couple ($670 tax deductible)

“According to a report organized by an independent research group, the continuous filling of the natural Boeng Kak lake in the center of the city will continually cause serious flooding at the suburbs and also, there is strong disagreement with this plan, since such filling will lead to deeper and more frequent flooding.

“According to The Cambodia Daily published on 12 March 2009, the director of a Cambodian country program for housing rights, Mr. David Pred [director of Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia, a small non-profit group, committed to social justice and defending the rights of the poor], said that the study was conducted by Australian independent researchers who were asked by a number of organizations in Cambodia to investigate the effects of the filling of the lake.

“Mr. Pred wrote in his email on Wednesday 11 March 2009, ‘The report confirms what many people have long suspected – that the filling of Phnom Penh’s largest natural lake will worsen the city flooding problem that has already become intolerable during the rainy season.’

“Mr. David Pred added, ‘The filling of the lake should be halted until those plans are made public and the people living north of the lake are reasonably assured that this project will not leave them under water every rainy season.’

“However, a deputy municipal governor, Mr. Pa Socheatevong, said that the City Hall had worked with French experts, addressing the issues related to filling the lake, adding, ‘We have already compiled the master plan correctly.’ [The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), required by law, has not been published in full; it was made without public bidding.]

“The director of the hydrology resources and meteorology department, Mr. Mao Hak, [Director of the Department of Hydrology and Water Works, or Director of Hydrology and River Works, or Director of the Hydrology Department, according to different sources on the Internet] said that the Ministry [Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology – the website announced on the government website for this Ministry – http://www.mowram.gov.kh – did not work at the time of this writing] had recommended to the municipality to build a 10-square-meter pipe to remove excess water. Now the municipality is working to solve the issue, and to prepare a water drainage system.

“Previously, the governor of the Russey Keo district, Mr. Kleang Huot, had said that the municipality has also restored the master channel at the Kob Srov dam. The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mok Mareth, said that flooding in Phnom Penh cannot be prevented unless pumping machines with a 25-cubic-meter per second capacity are set up, and an open master channel is constructed like in Boeng Trabaek, so that water can be brought to the Kob Srov dam, as the present long channel cannot remove the water in time, and there are not enough pumping machines at the Svay Pak dam.

“On 2 March 2009, the Phnom Penh municipal governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema, vowed to solve five major problems, and he also recognized that rain flooding in the north, which had caused serious destruction on public infrastructure and citizens’ houses, has not yet been solved.

“Residents in Russey Keo’s Tuol Sangkae commune blame the Shukaku company, which is dredging sand to fill the Boeng Kak lake and is pumping water to the Tuol Sangkae commune, as the cause of previous flooding. Therefore they are concerned. Also, residents of the Kiloumaetr Lekh Prammuoy Muoy and of the Khmuonh Communes ask the Phnom Penh municipal governor to plan carefully, so that they will not suffer from long lasting flooding like in the previous year.” Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #44, 16-22.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 16 March 2009

Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #44, 16-22.3.2009

  • Concerns about the Future of Phnom Penh Continue

Bakong, Vol.10, #256, 16-17.3.2009

  • 50,000 Garment Workers [among 300,000 garment workers in total] Lost Their Employment in the Past Six Months in Cambodia [since September 2008 – according to Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh]

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #38, 16.3.2009

  • Parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party Ask Mr. Hun Sen to Clarify the Efficiency of the Enforcement of Financial Legislation in 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #140, 15-16.3.2009

  • The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers: Most Factory Owners Do Not Deposit Money at the National Bank
  • The Asian Human Rights Commission Appeals to Cambodia to Continue Holding the National Congress
  • A Grenade Was Thrown at the Cars of a Siamese [Thai] Deputy Prime Minister and His Entourage, and It Wounded One Person, while Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the government] Threw Eggs

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1898, 15-16.2009

  • Samdech Heng Samrin Calls on Local, Provincial, and District Authorities to Crack Down On Gangsters
  • [District and provincial/city] Election Campaign Will Start be from 1 to 15 May 2009
  • More Than 50,000 Poor Students Receive Scholarships from the Government and from the World Bank [in 2009]
  • A Man Jumped into the River to Commit Suicide, as His Father Was Giving Him a Ride, when They Reached the Middle of the Chroy Chongva Bridge [he died – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3712, 16.3.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Salaries Should Be Increased to at least between US$100 to US$150 so that Civil Servants Have Economic Stability to Work
  • Yuon [Vietnam] Announces that It Will Exploit 50,000 Hectares of Forest Land in Cambodia [provided as concession land by the government with a 70 years contract, to cut trees in the forests in Mondolkiri and Ratanakiri]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1421, 16.3.2009

  • A Road [built in 1986 which is an important road connecting the Tuol Kork and Sen Sok districts in Phnom Penh] Will Be Named “Hok Lundy Road” [remembering the former director-general of the National Police who died in a helicopter crash last year]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4845, 15-16.3.2009

  • The Sambour Prey Kuk Temple Is Being Prepared for Listing as a World Heritage Site [Kompong Thom]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1672-1673, 15-16.3.2009

  • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – Said that Tens of Thousands of Families of Khmer Citizens Suffer Human Rights Violations [this was said after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia dismissed the report on human rights by the U.S. Department of State]
  • The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers [Chea Mony] Is Disappointed about the Refusal of the Ministry of Interior, Not Allowing Him to Visit Heng Pov [the former Phnom Penh police chief who is alleged to have been involved in murdering his older brother Chea Vichea, the former president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers]

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The Ministry of Culture Says It Is Not Able to Bring Back Khmer Artifacts Put Up for Sale in the United State of America – Tuesday 10.3.2009

Posted on 14 March 2009. Filed under: Week 603 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 603

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: A high-ranking official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts stated that the Cambodian government is not able to bring back artifacts which are not listed here and lost, but are reported now in the United State of America and in some other countries.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Mr. Chuch Phoeun, told Deum Ampil on Monday evening 9 March 2009, ‘The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is not able to collect Khmer artifacts that are lost and not yet listed as Cambodian cultural heritage, even though those artifacts are claimed to be property of Cambodia.’

“The statement was made after the Internet website TwinCities.com reported that many types of artifacts are offered for sale at the eBay company, based in the United States of America, which were brought from Cambodia, China, Egypt, Italy, and many other countries. Mr. Chuch Phoeun added, ‘Though we have national and international laws, we lack money for the listing of such artifacts as objects of cultural heritage of Cambodia, in order to provide proper identification of those artifacts.’

“The Secretary of State went on to say, ‘We can only list artifacts at the National Museum as objects of cultural heritage, but artifacts at other museums in the provinces are not yet well listed. We lack money.’

“According to the Secretary of State, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts receives Riel 500 million [approx. US$124,000] per year from the Ministry of Economy and Finance for conserving and maintaining temples around Cambodia. He continued to say that Cambodia needs hundreds of millions of dollars for the conservation and maintenance and the development of thousands of cultural sites countrywide, and to comply with this task, it is necessary to receive and to requests more aid from partner countries, while Cambodia cannot yet provide these resources.

“However, the above report did not state the number of artifacts put up for sale at the eBay Internet auctions company. The report said that the government of China, an Asian country with an old civilization, is trying to demand those artifacts back to its country in whatever condition.

“Regarding what was mentioned by the Secretary of State, Khmer citizens regret that the government does not make as much efforts as possible to return those artifacts to the country as other countries do, to return the rich and invaluable cultural property of the nation. In late 2008, Thailand announced to return to Cambodia artifacts illegally trafficked to Thailand.

“It should be noted that until now, some partner countries assist so that some temples and artifacts are repaired and preserved, like temples of Angkor Wat, Banteay Srey, and Ta Prum.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #135, 10.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #3410, 10.3.2009

  • Mr. Hun Sen Strongly Hopes that the US and European Economies Will Grow Again [so that Cambodian workers will not be unemployed because of factory closures, exporting products to markets in the United State of America and in Europe]
  • [Sam Rainsy Party] Parliamentarian Mu Sochua Was Prevented by Body Guards to Attend the Inter Parliamentary Union Meeting [claiming that she did not have identification letter for the meeting – held in Phnom Penh from 9 to 11 March 2009: Regional Seminar on the Role of Parliaments in Promoting Peaceful and Sustainable Societies in South-East Asia]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #135, 10.3.2009

  • The Ministry of Culture Says It Is Not Able to Bring Back Khmer Artifacts Put Up for Sale in the United State of America
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dismisses Information about a [Sri Lanka] Tamil Insurgents’ Base in Cambodia
  • Hungary Eliminates 50% of Cambodia’s Debt and Provides 50% Grant Finance
  • Electricité du Cambodge Encourages a Plan to Connect Electricity from Vietnam as Soon as Possible to Overcome the Need for Electrical Cuts-off in the City
  • [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin: “I am like a dog in the country that could be caught any time”

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1893, 10.3.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] and Khmer Troops Confront Each Other Again at the Cham Sragam Border Crossing Point [after Khmer troops removed a Thai troops post at the border, claiming that it was in Khmer territory]
  • Man Hit His Wife with a Long Handle Knife Twice to Behead Her because of Jealousy [police are seeking him – Siem Reap]
  • 12,000 US Troops Will Be Withdrawn from Iraq in September 2009

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6595, 6.3.2009

  • The President of the Senate Guarantees that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Seek Justices for Victims; Samdech Thama Pothisal Chea Sim: Problems Left from the Past Must Be Solved

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3707, 10.3.2008

  • [Minister of Interior from the Cambodian People’s Party] Encourages the Cambodian People’s Party to Cooperate to Share Power with Three Other Political Parties [after the district and provincial/city elections on 17 May 2009]
  • The Government Should Publishes the Results of Setting Land Border Markers at the Khmer-Yuon [Vietnamese] Border

Neak Cheat Niyum, Vol.4, #51, 11.3.2008

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Order Big and Small Workshops [in Phnom Penh] to Relocate to Suburbs

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4841, 10.3.2009

  • Four Suspects Are Arrested for Kidnapping Siem Reap Military Police Commander’s Daughter [the hostage is released and police are seeking two other kidnappers who escaped with US$80,000]

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Censorship: Thousands of Crude Porn Sites Accessible on Internet – One Khmer Artist Blocked – Sunday, 1.2.2009

Posted on 2 February 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 597 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 597

When the Cambodian government held a three day consultation in September 2001, the Prime Minister opened it with a speech on Public Awareness about Information Technology. Charting the future, he said:

“The government’s top priority is to use Information Technology – IT – to serve and to meet the day-to-day needs of the people. IT should become as an efficient means for the public to exercise their rights to get information related to the decisions made by the government and the conduct of government business in accordance with the principles of transparency and good governance…

“IT will help strengthen democracy, ensure transparency, promote good governance in government and community businesses. With regard to the economic and social aspect, IT will improve major public service delivery to the local people and allow them to monitor and receive regularly and timely all kinds of information.”

In February last year, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of transparency again, more specifically in relation to economic development as a means of poverty reduction, in his keynote address 2008 Cambodia Outlook Conference: Mobilizing Cambodia’s Resources – Human, Natural, Financial – for Quality Development, Growth and Prosperity, when he said:

“A healthy private sector is the key to robust economic development and thus the government should ensure the legal framework for fair competition, transparency, accountability and productive relations with the public sector. The overall environment for enterprise will be strengthened through broadened good governance and human resources development. The public sector should also be strong in order to correct the market failures, essentially to reach the poor and disadvantaged.”

Recent days and weeks would have provided ample opportunity to demonstrate the promised open and transparent communication – using information technology, the telephone, and direct talk.

Unfortunately, in spite of repeated pledges to install official spokespersons in the different ministries and other government agencies, and even having trained 18 persons for this task and given them certificates, there is obviously a problem that the basic commitment to transparency – “for the public to exercise their rights to get information related to the decisions made by the government,” as the Prime Minister said – is disregarded.

Related to the Dey Krahom evictions, which continue to cause deep problems for the men, women, and children involved, we collected the following items from the Cambodia Daily in a single day – Friday, 30 January 2009:

  • “Shukaku representatives could not be reached for comment and CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin [the husband of the owner of the Shukaku company] turned off his phone when a reporter contacted him.”
  • At the office of the Boeng Kak Development committee, an employee declined to provide his name, but suggested, “I think you have to ask Phnom Penh Municipality.”
  • “Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema and his deputies Mann Chhoeun and Pa Socheatvong could not be reached for comment.”
  • After contacting the 7NG company, “a company representative said he would meet Thursday with the residents.” – However, when contacted Thursday, the meeting was canceled.
  • “Chhay Rithisen, director of the municipal land management department, could not be reached for comment. Deputy directors Sek Yorn and Sar Bamnang both directed questions… to Chhay Rithisen.”

Many people do not seem to care about the importance the Prime Minister has accorded to transparency and “to reach the poor and disadvantaged” when there are “market failures” which derail the ultimate goal of development.

Over the weekend there was another blow to transparency in Cambodia. It is widely acknowledged that, in addition to huge resources for knowledge, connectivity, and entertainment, the Internet provides access to pornography – according to experts, there are tens of thousands of pornographic websites. There is no technical Internet blocking of access to these sites in Cambodia, which, as Internet experts recommend that criminal violations of pornography abuse laws should be best handled through legal prosecution, not through arbitrary and ineffective blocking of Internet sites.

Now, however, though not blocking any real pornography sites, some Internet Service Providers in Cambodia have started to block access to the website of a Cambodian artist based in the USA:

When the web site of this Khmer artist became known through the press, he was strongly attacked, accused of destroying Khmer culture because he did not only paint pictures of Angkor Wat stone apsaras, but also of lifelike apsara dancers whose bodies were, like the stone carvings, not completely clothed.

He offers on his website professional hints in painting techniques, and he wrote also:

“I’m trying to build an online Khmer Arts community for novice artists, advance artists, graphic artists, tattoo artists, or anyone for that matter who is interested in Khmer Arts. We can share ideas, discuss about your designs, and network with other Khmer artists from across the United States and around the world.

“The meaning of life is an elusive concept that has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific and theological speculation. For thousands of years, men and women of every age, race, and culture have sought to understand the meaning of life. Throughout history, scientists and philosophers, theologians and artists, politicians and social activists, monks and sages, and men and women from all walks of life have discussed and debated many questions in the quest to discover the meaning of life.

“One of the central views in Buddhism is a non-dual worldview, in which subject and object are the same, and the sense of doer-ship is illusionary. On this account, the meaning of life is to become enlightened as to the nature and oneness of the universe. According to the scriptures, the Buddha taught that in life there exists Dukkha, which is in essence sorrow/suffering, that is caused by desire and it can be brought to cessation by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

“It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing oneself from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things. From this, one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana and that will be the meaning of my life.

“I believe in constructive criticisms! But lately, I’ve received many unwanted complaints regarding that some of my works disgraced the Khmer culture. Judging from the complaints, I wonder how we as Khmer will be able to make it in the 21st century.”

A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Information announced the intention to “publish services through electronic systems under the control of a law which is being drafted.” This announcement causes great alarm – not only because history has shown that the introduction of censorship of art has often been the entry point to suppress other freedoms, but because the Cambodian Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and publication, and the state has to uphold impartiality and protect the rights and freedoms of citizens (Articles 41 and 109).

The wide intent of the draft of this legislation became clear when it was stated:

“All Internet Service Providers which ask for licenses from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication must, in advance, also ask for a second license from the Ministry of Information if this law is adopted, because these companies allow Internet users to connect networks and to use data in different networks.”

Does this mean, for example, that the Ministry of Information might refuse to license the apsara pictures on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which all foreigners see when they apply there for a visa?

Official Visa Application Site

Who in the Ministry of Information will be the authority on expressions of art, or decide – to quote the same Secretary of State – if “pictures can evoke sexual feelings” and should be prohibited? Is the work of art of one person a greater assault on the cultural traditions and remnants of the country than the destruction of the historic Bassac Theater, and now the threatened destruction of the landmark Renakse Hotel, which is the former Ministry of Justice and part of the architectural environment of the Royal Palace?

In the early years of the Internet, when the present Minister of Information was a secretary of state at the same ministry, he wrote an e-mail in 1999 to Bill Herod, one of the Internet pioneers in Cambodia, which was published internationally in the UNDP supported Digital Review of Asia Pacific 2003/2004, when the South China Morning Post in Hongkong had written there would be Internet censorship in Cambodia:

“Dear Sir,

“I do not know where SCMP got this news (“Planned Net law ‘threat to democracy,’” May 31, 1999) , but I can assure you that I am the one who has been fighting and continues to fight for the freedom of Internet access and the free flow of information in general. Everyday I find in my e-mail all kinds of information including some mail insulting me.

“This is a fact of life. When we never attempt to control the import of books and magazines into Cambodia why would we want to block the Internet?…

“Please be assured that I am very supportive of this form of communication and I will spare no effort in defending it. I hope you can help communicate this assurance to all of your subscribers and, if you have any problem concerning this issue, please feel free to contact me.

“Your sincerely,

“Khieu Kanharith”

It is important to recognize that questions of “Cambodian culture” are raised regularly by many different kinds of news. For example, the almost weekly news about the brutal rape and murder of Cambodian children raises questions about how this destruction of human culture is being handled, and no efforts to block the Internet in Cambodia could ever prevent that.

Furthermore, the blocking of the Reahu site will be reported around the world and will attract much more attention than the site would ever have received without such action. That is what also had happened when the introduction of 3G mobile phones was delayed – for fear they could deliver pornography to those who can afford the high cost of this new 3G technology, while crude pornography continues to be cheaply available all over the country where CDs are being sold.

What a pity, that there will again be a flood of negative attention on Cambodia, just as it happened when the prohibition of the Global Witness book on deforestation problems Cambodia’s Family Trees stimulated worldwide attention, which it never could have gained without the prohibition.

Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

The wide international interest The Mirror finds is reflected in the fact that during the last two days only, people in 45 countries read The Mirror.

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The Municipality’s Plan to Cut Down Illegal Constructions in the City – Thursday, 29.1.2009

Posted on 30 January 2009. Filed under: Week 597 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 597

“Phnom Penh: In the morning of 28 January 2009 the Phnom Penh authorities held a meeting at the meeting hall of the municipality which was presided over by a deputy Phnom Penh municipal governor in charge of cadastral work, Mr. Mab Sarin; also the deputy chief of cabinet of the Phnom Penh Municipality, Mr. Koet Chhe, the director of the Department of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Mr. Chhay Rithisen, all district deputy governors, and some other relevant officials participated. The major intention of this meeting was to awaken and to encourage cadastral officials to focus on preventing illegal constructions happening, and to improve the situation by taking action to reduce illegal constructions.

“The deputy municipal governor, Mr. Mab Sarin, said, ‘We are really embarrassed that we have enough commune and district authorities and expert officials, but no one seems to knows that illegal constructions are going on in their localities until the construction is finished; when citizens informed them, they said they were surprised. We do not believe that the authorities do not know when illegal constructions are going on, because no one knows better about every construction than the local officials. We meet therefore to discuss methods to achieve solutions, and somebody must take real responsibility for such problems. If you still say that you do not know, you will receive administrative punishments or be shifted out from work.’

“Mr. Mab Sarin added, ‘We do this in order to cut down illegal constructions. The authorities do not want to start conflicts with anyone; that is, the authorities have to enforce the laws which have been made. Previously, letters were issued to stop some illegal constructions, but until there were solutions reached, most of the constructions had almost been finished, and the administrative work was slow, exactly because of the lack of action of the district authorities.’

“The director of the Department of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Mr. Chhay Rithisen, admitted that some of his officials are really afraid to stop illegal constructions of the rich and of powerful officials, because sometimes, when they take action, there were complaints lodged at the courts against those officials, and they suddenly and unexpectedly became the accused. He requested that, regarding the above problem, the municipality should create a committee at municipal level, like a committee to check excavation pits and buildings sites, where all agencies cooperate, including armed forces, so that it will be efficient, because until now, ‘when we go to check illegal constructions, our people were prohibited to enter by bodyguards of the owners of the construction sites, and sometimes cadastral officials were even arrested.’

“The deputy chief of cabinet of the Phnom Penh Municipality, Mr. Koet Chhe, said that previously, when cadastral officials and district authorities went to stop illegal constructions, both sides did not get along with each other well, because there was no cooperation at all. Sometimes, when the authorities went to stop or crack down on illegal constructions, powerful officials had letters from higher officials permitting their constructions. ‘However, as the Phnom Penh authorities, we have enough possibilities, and we are willing to use them, and if there are problems, we also have two lawyers to get the courts involved.’

“Mr. Koet Chhe went on to say that from now on, the municipal authorities will go to check all localities regularly, and the relevant local authorities must be responsible for all illegal constructions. This plan is to achieve improvements. ‘That means that we must not let illegal constructions spread like mushrooms, and the local authorities must hold responsibilities in their respective localities. ‘

“Illegal constructions not only cause anarchy, but also affect the beauty of the city.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6564, 29.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 29 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1859, 29.1.2009

  • [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy Lost His Cases against [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong in France. A French court convicted him of defaming th Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong by writing that he was involved with the Khmer Rouge regime as the former Boeng Trabaek prison chief]
  • Samdech Krom Preah Reacts Against the Statement of the Democratic Front of Khmer Students and Intellectuals [he reserves the right to sue any individual or group that says or writes something defaming him]
  • An Ambulance of the Bopha Meas Clinic Competed for an Injured Person with a [state] Ambulance of the Kossamak Hospital, like Taxis Fighting for Customers [when the ambulance of the Kossamak Hospital arrived at the site of a traffic accident on 27.1.2009, staff of the Bopha Meas ambulance rushed to lift the victim into their ambulance and drove away – this violates the ban by the Ministry of Health for all non-state ambulances to assist patients]
  • Sun Chanthol [the former Minister of Public Works and Transport] and Neav Sithong [Kompong Cham parliamentarian] Leave Funcinpec to Join the Cambodian People’s Party

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #192, 29.1.2009

  • Dey Krahom Residents Filed Motion to the King and to the National Assembly to Help to Intervene to get the US$20,000 Compensation for Each Family
  • Local Civil Society Official [Mr. Moeung Son – founder of the Khmer Civilization Foundation] Voices Concern about the Spread of Chinese Culture over Khmer Culture [although some state institutions were found closed during the Chinese New Year, the Minister of Information said that no government officials stopped to work]
  • During Three Days of the Chinese New Year, More Than 20,000 Tourists Visited Sihanoukville, and Four People Died in Traffic Accidents
  • America Will Deploy 20,000 Marines to Afghanistan [in six to eight months]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6564, 29.1.2009

  • The Municipality’s Plan to Cut Down Illegal Constructions in the City
  • Cambodian Army Commander Is Unhappy when Siamese [Thai] Army Commander Led Troops into the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Area without Information
  • Peruvian Ambassador Is Interested in the Potential of Tourism in Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4807, 29.1.2009

  • Financial Crisis Might Put Cambodia to Face Human Trafficking [a project coordinator for an United Nations Inter-Agency, Lim Tith, said that after workers loose their employment abroad, not all of them will return to their homeland, because they need income to improve their livelihood and maintain their honor – and these reasons can be used as a trap to easily harm workers to be trafficked]
  • Forestry Chief Insulted and Hit [Thngai Nis] Journalist’s Head with a Torch, and Military Police Shot to Threaten Him Not to Take Pictures of Loading Wood into a Train [Kompong Chhnang]
  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen]: Cambodia Already Created Measures to Face the Global Economic Crisis [he said that the government had prepared a budget of more than US$500 million, now also suggested by the Sam Rainsy Party to face the crisis]
  • The Prime Minister Prohibits Councils of the Capital, of Provinces, Cities, and Districts, to Create Ties with Taiwan [in order to abide by the one-China policy]
  • [Four] Robbers Notorious for Robbing Gold Stalls in Many Provinces, Are Arrested by Banteay Meanchey Military Police
  • In 2008 the French Embassy Provided More Than 3,200 Khmer Citizens with Visas to Live in France
  • Thailand Prohibits the Distribution of one Issue of The Economist because of Writing about the Royal Family

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Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea File a Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Friday, 9.1.2009

Posted on 10 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“Phnom Penh: A foreign co-defense lawyer of [former Khmer Rough leader] Nuon Chea demanded the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open an investigation regarding corruption allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. This demand was made through a complaint to the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday on 8 January 2009. The Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Count has not yet accepted this criminal complaint [on 8 January – Note: But on 9 January he did]

“Representing a group of three foreign co-defense lawyers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Michiel Pestman presented this complaint to the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. The plaintiffs declared to be victims of a violation of the criminal law of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia [UNTAC] of 1992, the plaintiffs especially raised the allegation of corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which can lead to destroy the basic right to receive just hearings.

“Through the complaint, the three foreign co-lawyers, Mr. Michiel Pestman, Mr. Victor Koppe, and Mr. Andrew Lanuzzi, as plaintiffs, base their complaint on a statement of the Open Society Justice Initiative [OSJI] of February 2007, a report by UNDP, and some local press articles. These documents alleged that the general staff as well as some judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal paid a portion of their salaries to higher officials of the Cambodian government, in response to having received their positions at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“The foreign co-defense lawyers mentioned also the history of facts related to previous corruption allegations related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

“The foreign co-defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea asked the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open an investigation about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“They said they make this demand, because their efforts to receive information from the Cambodian side and from Deputy Prime Minister Sok An regarding the accusations about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had not been successful, because no information was provided. That is why the foreign co-defense lawyers concluded that the people mentioned above and others acting similarly might violate the UNTAC criminal law of 1992, or other similar rules of prosecution by directly coordinating to help each other and to encourage corruption relating to the assignments at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal during the continuing investigation.

“Coming once in the morning and once again in the afternoon to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, on 8 January 2009, Mr. Michiel Pestman told reporters that the clerks did not accept his complaint, even though he had tried to deliver documents of complaint to the Royal Prosecutor’s clerks, and he had indicated that foreign lawyers would come again to meet them at 3:00 p.m. on 8 January 2009. But the clerks still did not accept the complaint and required them to come to the court again on Friday, 9 January 2009.

“Mr. Pestman added that the clerks had said that the complaint lodged by the foreign co-defense lawyers was a special one so they need to first talk to their superiors.

“Mr. Pestman went on to say that the corruption allegation, related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, is a serious problem, and it can negatively impact on rights of the accused so that they not receive just hearings; it is a major concern of everyone involved in the process of these procedures.

“He went on to question with great concern how the Khmer Rouge Tribunal could provide justice to his defendants without clarification? Paying a portion of the salaries of officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to high ranking officials of the government makes these officials of the court unable to work independently.

“Mr. Pestman clearly indicated that staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal did cut a portion of their salaries as a kick-back to high ranking officials of the government, depending on reports published by the United Nations, but he did not know who those Khmer staff were, and to whom they had paid their money.

“Nevertheless, the spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, did not make any comment on the complaint of the foreign co-lawyers, filed at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Mr. Reach Sambath considers the corruption case at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to be a past problem, for which no facts had been found to support it. But he emphasized that the Cambodian side in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is highly committed to fight inequities. The court created a mechanism with a code-of-ethics councils and with mail boxes for staff to lodge complaints regarding corruption.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4790, 9.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1842, 9.1.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Told Thailand to Re-Consider the Timing and place of the ASIAN Summit [now planned for 27 February to 1 March 2009, in Chiang Mai]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia Reacts against the Thai Authorities for Not Allowing Cambodian Tourists to Enter Thailand [from a tourist cruise ship on 25 December 2008 – although they held Thai visa – saying that they did so, because they were concerned about security problems]
  • Owner of a Shoe Factory Leaves More Than 100 Workers on the Day when the Salaries Were Due [the owner of the factory, a colonel, ordered his bodyguards to intimidate the workers not to protest, while workers, mostly underage girls, shouted that they have no money to buy rice and to pay to travel back to their home villages and towns]
  • Rate of Patients and People Who Died from Malaria Declined in 2008 [the number of patients was 46,931, and the number of deaths was 155, while in 2007 there were 59,848 patients and 219 deaths]
  • The Thai Central Bank: The Occupation of the Airports [in 2008] Caused Siam [Thailand] to Loose US$8.3 Billion

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #320, 9-10.1.2009

  • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kasit Piromya Will Meet Samdech Hun Sen on 25 and 26 January 2009 to Solve Border Disputes [according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kong]
  • Terrorist Leaders Who Planted Explosive Devices [in Phnom Penh] Are Arrested [in Poipet, police said that the suspects were involved also in the setting of explosive devices at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Monument on 29 July 2007 in Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #322, 9.1.2009

  • If People Reaching Retiring Age Still Collude to Delay Retirement, Why not Scrap Every Retirement Law All Together???

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #178, 8.1.2009

  • The Announcement of a Hearing of a Danish Woman and Her Son Accused of Dealing with Drugs Is Delayed [to 15 January 2009]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6547, 9.1.2009

  • Car Loaded with Corn Hit Anti-Tank Mine, Killing Three and Injuring Six Lightly and Severely on National Road 57 [Ratanak Mondol, Battambang]
  • Explosion Echoed behind the Office of the Prime Minister [Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, of Thailand – no one was injured]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3661, 9.1.2009

  • [International co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] Robert Petit Has Not Given Up the Demand to Investigate Six New Suspects [although the Khmer co-prosecutor of the tribunal, Ms. Chea Leang, released a statement opposing his demand]; Hearing of [the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Will Start in March

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4790, 9.1.2009

  • Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea File a Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Customs Income in 2008 Was More Than US$290 Million, Which Was 30% Over the Expectation [it declined by 7.5% compared to 2007 – according the Customs Department director, Mr. Pen Siman]
  • A Dead Female Dolphin Floated Down in Front of Wat Chrouy Thma in Kompong Cham

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3471, 9.1.2009

  • World Bank Increases Access to Telecommunication Services for Poor Citizens in Five Provinces [Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, and Pursat]

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8002, 9-11.1.2009

  • [Phnom Penh governor] Mr. Kep Chuktema Plans to Spend US$10 Million [foreign money] on Public Lighting in 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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World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food – Saturday, 18.10.2008

Posted on 19 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“Phnom Penh: At present, starving people are more numerous than before – around 150 million people. This is according to a statement of the co-chair of the People’s Coalition on Food Security, Mr. Antonio Tujan, during a World Food Day celebration on 16 October 2008.

“Dr. Yang Saing Koma, the director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture – CEDAC – said during a press conference on 16 October 2008 at the organization’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, that around 100,000 families in Cambodia, corresponding to half a million people, lack food. In 2008, Cambodia faces the challenge of a food crisis because of the high price of food in the world. Mr. Yang Saing Koma added that CEDAC works with farmers from 2,000 villages countrywide and had discovered that 50%, or half of farmers who do rice farming, could not produce sufficient food during the year. Among 1.8 million farmers’ families doing rice farming, 500,000 to 600,000 families could not produce enough food. 800,00 families could afford to buy rice themselves over one month during the late rainy season.

“CEDAC found that this is because land to produce food does not increase. Although the agriculturally usable land of the whole country is six million hectares, but food can only be produced from more than three million hectares at the present time. Another factor is the lack of rain or that the rain comes late, and the irrigation system can serve only 40% of the total land. In Takeo and Kompong Chhnang, 80% of the farmers own rice fields smaller than one hectare per family.

“The executive director of the Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific [“- Empowering People for Change -”] Ms. Sarojini Rengam, said during the World Food Day on 16 October 2008 that this was a message to show the people’s strategies to solve the food crisis. This anniversary builds up public understanding about major factors that result in food crisis [chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides], and it acts to increase the people’s voice against new policies and their effects.

“A farmer, Bouen Sophal, who is the community representative of Dang Tung district of Kampot, who also attended this anniversary celebration, reported that some farmers in Kampot face difficulties to buy chemical fertilizer from Vietnam which is expensive. After the paddy rice is cultivated, the paddy rice is sold, but it is not enough just to repay the money for the chemical fertilizer. Farmers buy chemical fertilizer from different companies and merchants, and most of them borrow money from other people or are in dept, and after they sold their paddy rice, what they get is almost insufficient to repay the dept. During each cultivation reason, farmers sell tens of thousands of tonnes of paddy rice to Vietnam. When they run out of paddy rice to eat, they buy rice from Vietnam. Vietnamese rice is expensive and contains lots of chemical substances. This seriously affects their health. Nowadays, the farmers’ community at Dang Tung have organized a cooperative and have created twenty paddy rice banks to help any farmer who lacks food during the latter part of the rainy season, to rescue them from not being able to have food.

“Dr. Koma called on the government to expand more social cultivating concession land, rather than expanding economic concessions, to encourage farmers not to continue to sell their rice fields, to expand more community markets to facilitate the sale of the farmers’ products, and to increase and enlarge the farmers’ ability to produce and to keep seeds at their communities.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 18 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1771, 18.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Rejects the Intention to Send the Border Dispute Problem to the [24-25 October 2008] Asia-Europe Meeting [in Beijing, China]
  • In Five to Ten Years, Phnom Penh Will Have Grown [from 375] to 758 Square Kilometers [according to the Phnom Penh governor Mr. Kep Chuktema]
  • The UN Secretary General Calls on the World to Response to Starvation and Poverty


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #266, 18.10.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: I Still Hope that the Sam Rainsy Party Will Receive Positions in the National Assembly Commissions

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #120, 18.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Situation Turns Normal and Cambodia Continues to Be Patient to Solve the Problem Peacefully, Not Needing an Intervention from Other Countries
  • The Cambodian Government [through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Reacts against the Bangkok Post of Siam [Thailand] Which Made a Publication with No Basis in Reality [Cambodia Is accused of setting new mines]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Continues to Detain Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] until the Day of His Trial

Note:

Actually, the Cambodian chargé d’affaires at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok was given a document – an aide mémoire – with the request to respond after the Cambodian government would have compared notes – it is no an accusation against the Cambodian authorities, but a request “to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines” – describing also in detail some of the background for this request being presented in this way.

The following is quoted from the Bangkok Post:

“The Thai government viewed this incident [in which two Thai soldiers stepped on mines and lost limbs] with great alarm, as it indicated a violation of the 1997 Ottawa Convention to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines as well as a threat to international peace,” said the deputy director-general of the Information Department, Thani Tongpakdi.

“The Thai Mines Action Centre and other non-governmental organisations found the PMN2-type mines at Phu Ma Khua…

“The mines that were retrieved by the team also appear to be newly-planted as no rust was found on them,” said Mr Thani.

“The government wants Cambodian authorities to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines.”

“The Phnom Penh government submitted a report to the United Nations secretary-general in 2002 noting that 240 PMN2-type landmines from a total of 3,405 were transferred from its Interior Ministry to the Cambodian Mine Action Center for development and training.

“Thailand would like the Cambodian government to verify where the remaining mines are.”


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6476, 18-19.10.2008

  • Statement of the Ministry of Foreign of Cambodia: Unilateral Mine Clearing [by Thailand at Veal Intry] Is a Violation
  • The Budget for the Military Will Be Increased during This Fourth Term, the National Assembly Plans to Permit Samdech Hun Sen to Use Expenditures for the Military
  • Fuel Prices in New York – US$69.85 – and in London – US$66.32 – Drop to Almost the Price Level before the Increases
  • A Fax from Samdech Euv [the Father King] to the Minister of the Royal Palace Samdech Kong Som Ol [to grant US$1,000 to the wives or families of the compatriots who died because of the confrontation with Thailand, or who die from accidents at the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Temple, and the Ta Krabei Temple; for those who are injured, US$500 will be provided]
  • Old Mother [78] and [57] Daughter Were Robbed and Killed Cruelly [with a cleaver and an ax – the robbers are not yet identified – Koh Soutin, Kompong Cham]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3591, 18.10.2008

  • Khieu Kanharith Criticizes a Siamese Parliamentarian [Sukhumbhand Paripatra – สุขุมพันธุ์ บริพัตร – Member of Parliament with the Democrat Party; former Deputy Foreign Minister] Who Made the Accusation that There Might Be Forces of a Third Country Coming to Cambodia
  • International Community Expresses Concern over the Khmer-Siamese Border Dispute that Could Lead to Serious Armed Conflict [China, Malaysia, Singapore, the European Union, and the United States of America request Cambodian and Thailand to solve the dispute peacefully]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008

  • World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [Anupong Paochinda] Tells the Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat] to Resign


Have a look at the last editorial: If the alternative is peace or war, the option can only be peace.

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Friday, 29.8.2008: Those Who Live at Boeng Kak Lake Go to Give Their Thumbprints to Get Money and New Housing

Posted on 30 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

“Phnom Penh: On 27 August 2008, from morning to night, many citizens, including husbands, wives, and children 18 years and older, went to the headquarters of a company [the writer of this article, focused on this company, surprisingly does not name the company or give any related information] that has received a legal permit to develop the Boeng Kak region, so some residents start to go and give their thumbprints, to leave the Boeng Kak region, getting compensation money or new housing.

“Mr. Man Chhoeun, the Phnom Penh Municipal deputy governor and the person in charge of this task with a Boeng Kak regional developer company, said that 500 families had agreed to receive the compensation money of US$8,000 and Riel 2 million [approx. US$490] or new housing with Riel 2 million [approx US$490], costly solutions for the developer company.

“As for citizens who agree to take the compensation money or new housing, the company will continue to offer this, until no more family is left outside of this scheme.

“At the company headquarters, the citizens who went to accept the compensation money or new housing in order to leave the old region, said that they took the money because they want to run their businesses and live in the new places with a good environment, and they do not want to live above the sewage at the lake which affects their heath.

“The new housing that they agree to receive can be constructed one floor above the ground, and it is in Cham Chao, Dangkao. After leading their families to see [models of] those new housing, they agreed to give their thumbprints to accept the new housing, because they are satisfied with the new housing. All the citizens said that they want to see the company develop the Boeng Kak region soon, requesting that the company has to act very quickly and make good development, so that the area is not left it unused or sold to another company.

“While this exchange process is going on – [citizens accept money or housing while the company gets the thumbprints in exchange, showing that the citizens agree the leave the region], it is seen that the company had prepared documents very carefully, including fair lucky draws, and thumbprints are taken from husbands, wives, and children who are 18 or older, and the company explained clearly the statutes of the contracts, in order to avoid any future complicated problems.

“In the meantime, the company also informed about another good news: that the company offers Riel 100 million loans [approx. US$25,000] with a very low interest rate, to help the citizens from the Boeng Kak region who agree to live in new locations, to run small businesses.

“Now, the citizens living at the Boeng Kak Lake gradually go to give their thumbprints to receive the compensation money and new housing; as for the company, it is trying to prepare everything for the citizens without delay.

“Most of the citizens agreed to take US$8,000 and Riel 2 million, because they want to choose a new location by themselves where it is easy to run their everyday living businesses.

“As for the development of the Boeng Kak region, it is seen that the company has started to pump sand into lake, gradually, since 26 August 2008.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #1680, 29.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 29 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1732, 29.8.2008

  • Chief Demonstrators in Siam [Thailand] Could Get Capital Punishment


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #232, 29.8.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian] Son Chhay: Sam Rainsy Party Will Not Participate in First National Assembly Session to Save Face of the Cambodian People’s Party; Sam Rainsy: Our Final Legal Struggle, We Will Complain to UN and Co-Presidents of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference
  • Corruption over Donation to Army at Preah Vihear Temple Area Revealed [good quality food and modern equipment was taken by high ranking military officers]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6436, 29.8.2008

  • Thai Police Call on Demonstrators to Move Out of Government Office


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3551, 29.8.2008

  • UN Criticizes Cambodian Government Report on Human Rights [of not being changed]
  • Sam Rainsy: Our Country Increasingly Gets Away from Democracy and It Is Very Dangerous [that the government is ruled by only one party]
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Supports UN Envoy’s Proposal Urging for a Third Party to Monitor Elections in Cambodia


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4680, 29.8.2008

  • Those Who Live at Boeng Kak Lake Go to Give Their Thumbprints to Get Money and New Housing
  • Monk Raped Ten-Year-Old Girl and Killed Her [27 August 2008, he is arrested – Baray, Kompong Thom]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3396, 29.8.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party Takes All Positions of National Assembly Committee Chairs
  • Siam [Thailand] Asks to Suspend Negotiations – but Its Solders Still Invade Khmer Land

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

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Monday, 11.8.2008: Monkeys in Cambodia Are Suffering because They Have a Sales Value

Posted on 12 August 2008. Filed under: Week 573 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 573

“Phnom Penh: According to a new report from an international conservationist organization, monkeys in Cambodia are becoming endangered animals because of the destruction of the forest and of hunting, while local people said that they are animals easy to sell, and merchants come to buy them directly where they are caught.

“According to a report of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, nearly half of approximately 634 species of small and big monkeys and of gibbons in the world are endangered, and monkeys living in their natural habitat in Cambodia are also badly affected.

“This report shows that about 303 species of monkeys are threatened, and 69 are seriously endangered; as for Cambodia, here nine among ten species are endangered.

“The report of this organization shows that monkeys in Cambodia are in a most precarious situation. The report illustrates that 90% of monkeys in Cambodia are struggling to survive, because they are being hunted and killed to mix their remains to produce traditional Chinese medicine. In this situation, after Cambodia comes Vietnam where 86% of the monkeys are endangered, then Indonesia with 84%, Laos with 83%, and China with 79%.

“Mr. Russell Mittermeier, the president of this organization, reported in [the Indian] New Kerala that these species of monkeys are in danger because of the destruction of tropical forests, but now there is another cause: hunting.

“A local person from northwestern Cambodia told this organization that monkeys are being searched to be hunted everyday by villagers, in order to sell them to merchants who come directly to buy them where they are caught.

“Mr. Pai Phong Nhuk, the head of the Sesan Community Network, said that nobody can stop the villagers. They always form groups of four or six people to look for monkeys in flooded forests along the Sesan River to catch and sell them to merchants.

“Mr. “Pai Phong Nhuk said that he does not know where those monkeys are taken to, but merchants always come to buy them directly at the villages.

“He added, ‘Khmer and Vietnamese merchants always come to buy monkeys for between Riel 450,000 [approx. US$110] and Riel 500,000 [approx. US$125].” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4664, 10-11.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 11 August 2008


Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #29, 11-12.8.2008

  • The National Election Committee [NEC] Released the Temporary Results of the Forth Term Parliamentary Election [the Cambodian People’s Party received 3,492,374 votes corresponding to 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party received 1,316,714 corresponding to 26 seats, the Human Rights Party received 397,816 corresponding to 3 seats, the Norodom Ranariddh Party received 337,943 corresponding to 2 seats, and Funcinpec received 303,764 corresponding to 2 seats; the total number of voters on the lists of NEC is 8,125,529 persons, and 6,010,277 persons did vote, while more than 2,000,000 persons could not]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1716, 11-12.8.2008

  • A French Man [Michel Roger Blanchard, 43] Was Arrested for Committing Obscene Acts with Boys [who are beggars, scavengers, and his adopted god-children – Sihanoukville]
  • The Opening of the 2008 Olympic Games Proceeded Successfully
  • Big War Erupted between Russian and Georgian Troops in South Ossetia [nearly 1,500 people were killed]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #219, 11-12.8.2008

  • A Member of the US Congress [Mr. Christopher Smith] Criticized the Election to Have Been Unfair and Having No Transparency [because many voter were omitted from the lists, and the ruling party controlled too much of the media]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #70, 10-11.8.2008

  • Citizens Ask the Government to Reduce the Price of Fuel and of Agricultural Fertilizers


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6420, 11.8.2008

  • Road Construction to the Preah Vihear Temple Started; Thai Troops at the Ta Moan Thom Temple Accused Cambodia of Increasing the Number of Troops
  • US Ambassador [Mr. Joseph Mussomeli] Believes that the Five Political Parities [that had won seats] Will Join to Work at the National Assembly
  • After Vendors at the New Market Lodged Complaint [at the Phnom Penh Municipality], the Head of the Market [Mr. Sok Kimheng] Explained that There Is No Intention to Narrow the Stalls
  • Four among Five Districts [in Kratie along the Mekong River] Are Facing Flood


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3535, 11.8.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Try to Prevent Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] from Returning to Cambodia [his younger brother visited him and reported to the president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association who reported to Radio Free Asia that the Yuon authorities released Tim Sakhan from prison, but after the release, the An Giang provincial authorities do not allow him to return to his family in Cambodia]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4664, 10-11.8.2008

  • Monkeys in Cambodia Are Suffering because They Have a Sales Value
  • Fifteen International Tourists from Different Countries Were on a Leaking Boat at the Center of the Tonle Sap Lake [no casualties – Siem Reap]
  • Price of Fuel Drops by US$4 [to US$115.20 per barrel] while the Value of Dollar Increases


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3381, 10-11.8.2008

  • The National Election Committee Does Not Dare to Release the Number of Seats, because There Are Many Complaints

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – really changes to be expected?

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