Thursday, 18.9.2008: Mr. Yash Ghai Announced to Resign from His Position as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia

Posted on 19 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, whom many know well to be a person who dared to clearly criticize Mr. Hun Sen and who often created Mr. Hun Sen a headache, announced his resignation on Monday early this week.

Note:

Mr. Yash Ghai’s presentation at the UN International Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, was introduced by the the delegate from Japan:

“Japan introduced the review, rationalization and improvement of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Cambodia. It noted that Cambodia had made substantive progress since the mandate had been introduced in 1993. However, there were still issues and challenges to be tackled by the Government of Cambodia, such as land ownership, establishing the rule of law, ensuring independence of the judiciary, and others. Japan underlined the need for the international community to provide advisory services and technical assistance to Cambodia in order to address human rights issues that needed further improvement. It proposed renewal of the mandate for one year.”

15.9.2008 – Press release by the UN Office in Geneva

“In spite of this, Mr. Yash Ghai called thorough his statement in front of the UN International Human Rights Council in Geneva to encourage the United Nations to continue its activities in Cambodia in order to help Khmer citizens whose rights were heavily abused.

“It should be noted that Mr. Yash Ghai took the place of Mr. Peter Leuprecht, former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, in 2005, after this envoy did not get on well with Mr. Hun Sen’s government, because he seriously criticized the abuse of human rights in Cambodia.

Mr. Yash Ghai sated on Monday in Geneva, ‘The Cambodian government has already opposed the work of four UN envoys.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai said, ‘There is little improvement seen in Cambodia – this does not mean that there is no improvement – as there is a severe lack of seriousness in the court system and in important law enforcement institutions, and in protecting the rights of each person.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai added that the international community let him to face a war of words with the Phnom Penh government alone.

“In addition, Mr. Yash Ghai said, ‘It is most important that the person who will succeed me should be fully supported by the International Human Rights Council, that is, by the United Nations and by the international community.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai appeared to be sarcastic, when he said, ‘I cannot say that I earned much support,’ but he had the encouragement for Mr. Hun Sen, the Cambodian Prime Minister, who insulted him repeatedly.

“Mr. Yash Ghai said without hesitating, ‘Mr. Hun Sen called me to be stupid, and a lazy short term tourist.’ As for Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesperson, he called me a person with no civilization and lacking Aryan culture.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai continued, ‘Mr. Hun Sen also accused me of lying and that I was nominated just to receive a salary. Furthermore, Mr. Hun Sen described international human rights organization and me like animals. He humiliated Kenya which is my home country to be heading towards the killing fields, and Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that Kenyon citizens are rough and brutal.’

“Mr. Yash Ghai said also, ‘The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva did not protect me, and rejected to release a statement to clarify that I do not get paid. Therefore, I had to clarify this myself.’

“Yesterday there was no reaction from officials of the Phnom Penh government regarding Mr. Yash Ghai’s statement in Geneva on Monday.

“Nevertheless, on behalf of the European Community, Mr. Jean Baptiste Mattei, the French Ambassador to the UN International Human Rights Council, said, ‘The European Community Welcomes Cambodia’s decision to accept the continuation of the term for a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia.’

“Also, Ms. Juliette de Rivero, Geneva advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, expressed support for the continuation of a term.

“She assessed that Cambodia does have problems with UN human rights officials who hold the mandate, but she still wants to see this mandate continued.

“It should be remembered that the war of words between Mr. Yash Ghai and Mr. Hun Sen had attracted public opinion statements from many sources, strongly criticizing Mr. Hun Sen, saying that the Hun Sen government does not cooperate with Mr. Yash Ghai which affected Mr. Hun Sen’s reputation negatively. If the government would terminate the mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, it is feared that human right abuses will spread one hundred times more than before.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #246, 18.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 18 September 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #50, 18-24.9.2008

  • Citizens in Bavet Abandon Agriculture and Take up Services [some become vendors and some work in factories, restaurants, and casinos – Svay Rieng]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1749, 18.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Asks Thai New Prime Minister to Continue Negotiation [related to border dispute]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Wants Samdech Krom Preah to Return to Cambodia during the Pchum Ben Day [which will be celebrated from 28 to 30 September 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #246, 18.9.2008

  • Mr. Yash Ghai Announced to Resign from His Position as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • Sam Rainsy Asks Hun Sen to Give His Reasons Why He Is Not Asking for Support from the Co-Chairmen of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference over the Intrusion by Siam [Thailand] into Cambodia

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #101, 18.9.2008

  • Labak Khon Hydro-Electric Plant Has Serious Impact on Humans and on Animals [it will prevent the movement of fish to find food and to move to their normal refuge for laying eggs, which will affect the people living along the Mekong River]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6453, 18.9.2008

  • Brother-in-Law of [ousted former Thai prime minister] Thaksin [Somchai Wongsawat – สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์ – 61, married to Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister] Became Thai Prime Minister [after a vote in parliament on 17 September 2008]
  • Unknown Person Threw a Bomb with a Threatening Letter into the House of a Former [Cambodian TV program selected] “Freshie Girl [Ven Davin, but no explosion – Phnom Penh]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3568, 18.9.2008

  • The Cambodian Government Welcomes a New Person to Replace Mr. Yash Ghai as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • Sam Rainsy: We Are Not Afraid of Losing Positions and Salaries in the National Assembly
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: The Sam Rainsy Party Has Never Cried for the Position of Vice President and of Chairperson of Committees in the National Assembly


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4697, 18.9.2008

  • Japanese Investment Delegation Comes to Study Investment in Cambodia
  • American Man Is Arrested on Accusation of Keeping a 13-Year-Old Girl for Having Sex and for Committing Debauchery Acts [17 September 2008 – Phnom Penh]
  • There Were No Newspapers of Rasmei Kampuchea Available on 17 September 2008, because There Were People Driving a Car to Buy Them All [ Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4696, 16.9.2008, papers which had an article “Illegal Imports of Gas: There Was a Short Surprise because There Was Police, Then the Situation Turned Usual as if Nothing Had Happened” – Poipet, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Vietnam Started to Sell Bio-Fuel [at a price of Dong 16,500, corresponding to approx. Riel 4,000 per liter, on 15 September 2008, Hanoi]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3410, 18.9.2008

  • Fuel Price Slightly Decreases, but [there are allegations that pumps of] Fuel Do Not Deliver Enough but Call it a “Liter”

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Tuesday, 16.9.2008: Samdech Hun Sen: The Government Will be Formed on 25 September 2008

Posted on 17 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said on 15 September 2008 that the fourth term government will be announced officially on 25 September 2008, a day after the first session of the fourth term National Assembly.

“The head of the Cambodian Government and the vice-president of the winning party told journalists in the evening of 15 September 2008 that the date for the creation the government and for the session of the National Assembly will not be changed. In the morning of 24 September 2008, the first session [of the National Assemly] will be held under the presidency of the King. In the evening of 24 September 2008, the members of the National Assembly will swear in the Royal Palace. As for the morning of 25 September 2008, the National Assembly will hold a meeting to create the new government. The Council of Ministers of the new government will hold its first meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 26 September 2008.

“Besides talking about the formation the government and about the first session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen also emphasized that wheter or not all will attend the session is their problem, because in Cambodia, the winning party does not become hostage of the losing parties. Without caring about the announcement of a boycot by the Sam Rainsy Party and by the Human Rights Party, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said that he had told Mr. Say Chhum, the head of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, to sugggest slates of candidates for the nine committee of the National Assembly. He said, ‘We will not wait for them.’

Furthermore, the head of the Cambodian People’s Party that won the elections, warned that if the recently elected members of the National Assembly from the Sam Rainsy Party and from the Human Rights Party will not attend the swearing-in ceremony to establish their validity as members of the Natinal Assembly, they will not receive salaries; this time, there is no exception.

“The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party had jointly announced their position again on 15 September 2008 that the 29 newly elected parliamentarians, 26 from the Sam Rainsy Party and 3 from the Human Rights Party, will not attend the first session and the swearing-in ceremony together with the Cambodian People’s Party. This position was raised by the presidents of both opposition party leaders also during a meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, and both of them hope that he might be able to coordinate between the opposition parties and the ruling party.

Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha Meet … to Ask for Support

“During a closed door meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. John Negroponte, in the evening of 15 September 2008, Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, and Mr. Kem Sokha, the president of the Human Rights Party, jointly spoke about the recent elections, and about the distribution of positions in the National Assembly, to secure what these opposition parities’ leaders claim: a balance of power…

“Related to what was mentioned about the elections during the meeting between the opposition party leaders and the US Assistant Secretary of State, a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that what the opposition parties’ leaders had stated is just a traditional strategy of opposition parties: they put up some obstacles in order to finally get some positions in the National Assembly. However he believes that although the US Assistant Secretary of State meets also with leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, it will be the same. There will be no change made by the Cambodian People’s Party that won the elections. The Parliamentarian Cheam Yeap said that now, the time for the opposition parties to protest is over, because the Cambodian People’s Party is prepared for marching. He said, ‘We will work alone in the National Assembly, both president and vice president of the National Assembly, and all positions to chair the nine committees of the National Assembly, belong to the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“During the fourth term parliamentary elections on 27 July 2008, the Cambodian People’s Party won 90 seats of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, the Sam Rainsy Party won 26 seats, the Human Rights Party won 3 seats, Funcinpec won 2 seats, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party won also 2 seats. Because of these results, Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha had announced to reject results, while many national and international observers, amog them from the United States and from Japan, had claimed that some irregularities could not affect the election results.

“Officials of the Cambodian government, leaders of the opposition parties, as well as officials of civil society organizations, consider the visit by the US Assistant Secretary of State to be a sign of stronger bilateral ties between Cambodia and the United States, and also, the visit strengthens future democracy in Cambodia. Before leaving Cambodia, Mr. John Negroponte will hold a press conference in the morning of 16 September 2008 regarding his three-day visit in Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4695, 16.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2811, 16.9.2008

  • People’s Housing at and near Boeng Kak Lake Begin to Be Flooded Gradually – They Ask the Municipality to Intervene by Pumping out Water as Soon as Possible [due to continuing heavy rain, together with sand dredging filled into the lake]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1747, 16.9.2008

  • [Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: Investigating Information Is Fundamental [he said during a UNESCO sponsored workshop about writing investigating reports – that are deeper than daily information]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #99, 16.9.2008

  • One Should Think of Plastic Pollution [Dr. Mok Mareth, the Minister of Environment, said that leafs of lotus and of bananas can be converted to be fertilizer when they are disposed off, but plastic cannot]
  • The Government Will Increase Rice Exports to Foreign Countries by the End of 2008
  • Daun Penh District Deputy Police Chief Releases Thief Who Bit and Robbed a Foreigner [because there was no lawsuit from the victim]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6451, 16.9.2008

  • Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Histories: the Preah Vihear Temple Was Built before There Were Siamese Nationals there
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Calls Fuel Price to Be Lower; Price at World Market Drops by 25% while in Cambodia It Drops by 10% Only
  • [Thai Special Border Protection Unit black-clad] Soldiers Arrest Khmer Spouse on Accusation of Using Fake Baht


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3566, 16.9.2008

  • Prince Ranariddh Might Return to Cambodia in Late September
  • Khmer Military and Police Protecting the Border Want to See the Government Send a Complaint to the United Nations the Sooner the Better


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4695, 16.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Government Will be Formed on 25 September 2008
  • Samdech Dekchor: Cambodia Understands Thailand, but It Must Not Continue the Presence of Troops on Khmer Territory [because of the political crisis in Thailand]
  • The Philippines Support Cambodia’s Position to Solve Disputes with Thailand [peacefully]


Veasna Khmer, Vol.7, #3408, 15-16.9.2008

  • The Increase of Electricity Needs Results in Frequent Electricity Cut-Offs

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Monday, 1.9.2008: Cambodia and South Africa Start to Improve Cooperation in Economy and Commerce

Posted on 2 September 2008. Filed under: Week 576 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 576

“Phnom Penh: A discussion between Mr. Ouch Borith, secretary of state of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Douglas Harvey Monroe Gibson, the ambassador of the Republic of South Africa [to Thailand], showed that the governments of both countries, Cambodia and South Africa, want to improve bilateral cooperation in the field of economy and commerce.

“Mr. Ouch Borith said that considering the planned bilateral cooperation in economy and commerce between both countries, the South African ambassador said that the government of South Africa wants to ask the government of Cambodia to open an honorary consulate in Cambodia as the first step to strengthen and to expand the economic and commercial cooperation.

“The Ambassador said that on 14 and 15 December 2008, he will lead a delegation to attend a trade exhibition in Phnom Penh. South Africa will show red wine and white wine produced in South Africa for sale in Cambodia.

“In the meantime, Mr. Ouch Borith reported to the South African ambassador about economic growth, political stability, and especially, the results of the recent fourth term parliamentary elections in Cambodia.

“The Ambassador said that South Africa has only sightly over 5% economic growth, and he highly assessed that Cambodia has strong economic growth, particularly in 2005 with more than 13%.

“The South African Ambassador went on to comment on the recent fourth term parliamentary elections, although he was in Bangkok, but he observed the election in Cambodia, that the elections were well organized and were free, fair and non-violent, which was a very important step towards implementing democracy in Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4682, 31-1.8-9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 1 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1734, 31.8-1.9.2008

  • Illegal Transportation of Wood by Water Increases; Protectors Even Dare to Threaten Officials [Kompong Cham]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Plans to Put Siam [Thailand] on Emergency Alert


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #234, 31.8-2.9.2008

  • If the International Community Does Not Help to Find a Solution, It Is Like to Let Democracy in Cambodia Die Miserably


Meatophum, Vol.52, #703, 1-6.9.2008

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh Gives Up Parliamentary Seat [according to National Election Committee Secretary-General Tep Nitha], but He Still Enters Politics [according to Norodom Ranariddh Party spokesperson Suth Dina]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3553, 1.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: I Don’t Believe that a Thief Can Catch a Thief [about an anti-corruption law, which has failed to be created for more than ten years since 1994]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4682, 31.8-1.9.2008

  • Cambodia and South Africa Start to Improve Cooperation in Economy and Commerce
  • Oknha Hun To [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] and Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian Sue Each Other [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Cham Nuon Vuthy sues Hun To on accusation of injuring him, and Hun To sues the parliamentarian on accusation of defamation]
  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen Allowed the Author of the Book “Samdech Hun Sen Told Me” to Interview Her [30 August – Kandal]
  • Man Cut Off the Head of Another Man with a Knife Who Had Attempted to Rape His Wife [29 August – he is arrested – Kien Svay, Kandal]
  • Partners in Thai Coalition Government and Army Ask Samak to Resign [in order to reduce political tension]

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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