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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 639

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

Norbert Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #338, 17.11.2009

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2100, 17.11.2009

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

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #676, 17.11.2009

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

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

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

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6807, 17.11.2009

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

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

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

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5049, 17.11.2009

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

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

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Monday, 14.7.2008: A Journalist and His Son Murdered

Posted on 15 July 2008. Filed under: Week 569 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 5689

By sharing the Declaration of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, we show our shock and our solidarity.

Club of Cambodian Journalists

Members of the Club of Cambodian journalists express their deep concern about press freedom and the security of journalists in Cambodia, after unknown people shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo – 45, a journalist with Moneaksekar Khmer – and his son, at 6:30 p.m. on 11 July 2008 in the center of Phnom Penh.

The Club of Cambodian Journalists is aware that this shooting occurred at a time of heightened security during the election campaign for the fourth term parliamentary election, which will be held on 27 July 2008.

The Club of Cambodian Journalists is shocked hearing about this lamentable murder. The Club of Cambodian Journalists would like to share our sorrow and condolences about the deaths of Mr. Khim Sambo and of his son with the family of the deceased. At the same time, the Club of Cambodian Journalists, which is an independent organization with nearly 200 members countrywide, condemns this murder and calls on the authorities to investigate this event and to arrest the murderers and those who are involved with them, so that they will be sent to court to be prosecuted, based on the law. There is no reason which can justify this murder.

Phnom Penh, 12 July 2008

Club of Cambodian Journalist

= = = = =

Germany Pledged Euro 1.5 Million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

“The German Government has pledged to provide Euro 1.5 million, equal to approx. US$2.4 million, for the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“According to an announcement on 11 July 2008, these funds will be provided to the section of the tribunal supporting the victims’ participation in the tribunal, which was created to find justice for people victimized during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

“Since 2005, Germany has already provided US$5.5 million to support the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. As for the funds pledged now, they are a part of funds to extend the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, after it has been decided that this tribunal will continue until 2010, and therefore more funds to cover the expenses are now needed than projected before.

“Before the proceedings started, US$56.3 million were approved for the tribunal; then, after plans were changed, up to US$143 million were calculated, but only US$86.7 million were approved.

“So far, five [former] Khmer Rouge Leaders have been arrested: the former head of state, Khiev Samphan, the former president of the assembly, Nuon Chea, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ieng Sary, and his wife Ieng Thirith, and Duch, a former chief of the Tuol Sleng Prison of the Khmer Rouge regime.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4640, 13-14.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 14 July 2008


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #133, 14.7.2008

  • Ngor Srun, Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers and Son-in-Law of Chea Sim [President of the Senate and of the Cambodian People’s Party] Was Attacked with Acid [and injured seriously – 13 July 2008]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1692, 13-14.7.2008

  • Different Circles Condemn the Shooting of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist [Mr. Khim Sambou and his son. Both died]
  • A Cambodian Was Elected to Be Chairperson of the International Drug Enforcement Conference from the East Asia Region [comprising 15 countries – Mayor-General Moek Dara, head of the anti-drug office for the Ministry of Interior and secretary of sate of the National Anti-Drug Committee]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #198, 14-15.7.2008

  • [Former Khmer Rouge Leader] Khiev Samphan Chose New Lawyer, but He Has Not Yet Received a Response [from the lawyers contacted – according to a source closed to the ECCC, he is considering two lawyers, Mr. Heng Ty – former president of the Appeals Court during the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime, and Mr. Sar Sovann, a lawyer with a doctorate from France]
  • The Preah Vihear Temple Is an Achievement of the Khmer Great Heroic King [Norodom Sihanouk]; the Cambodian People’s Party Should Not Take the Opportunity to Cheat the People


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #48, 13-14.7.2008

  • The Great Heroic King [Norodom Sihanouk] Is Satisfied with a Plan to Construct a Hospital in the Preah Vihear Region
  • Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned about Political Security [for voters]
  • Expert Officials Call All Citizens to Be Careful with Dengue Fever
  • Next Year, Cambodia Will Export 50,000 Tonnes of Raw Rubber [according to Mr. Ly Phala, director of the Department of Rubber Plantations]
  • Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6396, 14.7.2008
  • [Former] King Norodom Sihanouk Released a Statement that the Preah Vihear Temple and Its Mountain Belongs to Khmer 100% [8 July 2008]

  • Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4640, 13-14.7.2008

    • Germany Pledged Euro 1.5 Million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
    • Rate of Victims by Mines and Unexploded Ordnance in the Country Is Declining [Cambodian Red Cross: from January to June 2008, there were only 170 victims, compared to the same period in 2007, when there were 210]
    • [Mr. Pongphon Adireksan] The Chairperson of the National Committee on Thailand’s Convention for World Heritage Protection Advised the President of the Opposition Party and the Demonstrators that Thailand Has Not Lost Land; Army Commander [Anupong Paochinda]: People Should Not Be Too Nationalistic
    • Sokun Nisa [famous Khmer singer] Drove a Lexus and Hit a Truck, Breaking the Front Part of Her Car; She Apologized to the Truck Driver [Battambang]
    • Oil Rises to US$147 per Barrel because of the Iran Issue

    Have a look at the last editorial – The struggle towards openness and access to information happens in many places – and it may help to mutually learn from other experiences.

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