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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Saturday, 5.7.2008: 2,600 Megawatt Hydro-Electric Plant to Be Built

Posted on 6 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: An official of the Ministry of Industry Mines and Energy said that Cambodia plans to construct the first big hydro-electric dam on the upper Mekong River in Kratie in northeast Cambodia, which can generate 2,600 Megawatts.

“Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry Mines and Energy, Mr. Ith Prang, said that the feasibility of this potential plan, to provide much electricity, is being studied by an expert company. Mr. Ith Prang stressed that if this plan could be implemented, the dam called Sambo Chumrues would be the first big hydro-electric dam in the history of Cambodia.

[As the name of the expert company is not mentioned, it is also not possible to easily verify how this gigantic plan relates to the Master Plan Study of Hydropower Development in Cambodia, made public by the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA – and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy on 19 July 2007, and planned to be still implemented through 2008, with the consideration that there is ‘Rich potential of hydropower but no master plan for orderly development’ – ‘Selection and prioritisation of 10 hydropower projects from environmental, technical and economic assessment’ – ‘Preparation of Master Plan of Hydropower Development with time horizon of 20 years’ – ‘Avoidance/mitigation of environmental impacts and development of priority hydropower projects for the national interests of Cambodia.’ – The study covers 29 potential much smaller sites in the same area for which now also the gigantic Sambo Chumrues plan is being studied]

“Mr. Ith Prang added that Cambodia would have enough electricity, and electricity could be sold to some neighboring countries as well in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, if the plan leads to positive results. Mr. Ith Prang expects that this plan might also help to attract investors and help poor citizens to have access to electricity at a cheap price.

“Nowadays, the price of electricity in Cambodia is still higher than in neighboring countries, such as Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, which is a factor that makes most investors, who want to invest in Cambodia, to hesitate. To attract such investors and to meet the shortage of electricity, Cambodia, which has its natural resources as its potential, has created an ambition to develop many hydro-electric dams in different potentially suitable areas.

“Last year, Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, said that Cambodia will function as a battery storage of Asia, when electricity is not just enough for the needs of the country, but can also be sold to other countries.

“Regarding this plan, Mr. Ngy San, a member of the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia [and Deputy Executive Director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia], said that Cambodia welcomes all development plans of the government to produce electricity, but he suggests that the government should check its plans carefully and should publish information widely to communities and non-government-organizations before it makes final decisions for such constructions, in order to avoid negative impacts on the environment and on the eco-system. Mr. Ngy San continued that what he is worried about most is that the construction of this huge plant might destroy the quality of water and the movement of fish, and it might block shipping on this river.

“Relating to these problems, the government must carefully consider the continuity of the environment and the communities living there before it agrees to investment plans of any company [see also International Rivers – people – water – life and the Foundation for Ecological Recovery].

“The director of the Sesan, Srae Pok, and Sekong Rivers Protection Network [also called ‘3S Rivers Protection Network’], Mr. Kim Sangha, said that the plans of hydro-electric dams always have more effects on the environment and the eco-system than providing economic benefits. He added that he does not oppose the government development plans, but if the government does not study the context very carefully in advance, there might be serious effects on the citizens’ living and on the environment, and it might create other problems in the future.

“On 13 June 2008, the Cambodian government approved laws for the constructions of two more hydro-electric plants with the power of 246 megawatt and 338 megawatt at Stung Tatai and Stung Russey Chhrum rivers [these regions are mentioned in the joint plan of Ministry Industry Mines and Energy together and JICA, mentioned above], besides many other plants being constructed, such as the Kamchay Hydro-Electric Dam in Kampot and the Atai Hydro-Electric Dam located between Pursat and Koh Kong, which can provide 193 megawatt and 120 megawatt respectively.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #41, 5.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 5 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1685, 5.7.2008

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Summoned Thirty Passenger Transporting Companies Advising Them Not to Increase Traveling Costs Four Days before and after the Election
  • In the First Six Months of 2008, Countrywide More than 2,000 Children Had Dengue Fever, and 23 Children Died


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #41, 5.7.2008

  • 2,600 Megawatt Hydro-Electric Plant Is Planed to Be Built
    [Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith Supports the Creation of a Women’s Journalists’ Association
  • Thousands of Hectares of Forest Land in Varin District [Siem Reap] Are Being Cleared


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6389, 5-6.7.2008

  • At this Meeting of UNESCO in Canada: The Khmer Preah Vihear Temple Is among the 27 World Heritage Sites Proposed to Be Listed
  • Two Persons [a man and a 6-year-old child] Were Shot Dead [by Thai black-clad Special Border Police] Among Twelve People, Including Men, Women, and Children, When They Tried to Cross [illegally] into Thailand [3 July 2008 – Banteay Meanchey]
  • A 12-Year-Old Girl Was Raped and Drowned [in a shallow pond] in a Palm Oil Plantation [Prey Nub District, Sihanoukville – 4 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3504, 5.7.2008

  • International Human Rights Organization [Human Rights Watch] Pushes Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities to Return Tim Sakhan to Cambodia Soon
  • Kampot Election Committee Keeps [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua’s Lawsuit Unsolved [against a deputy village chief for the attempt to hit her with a motorbike, and against the Kampot municipality deputy secretary, for the use of a car with a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces license plate during a Cambodian People’s Party’s election campaign, and for twisting her arm, so that her blouse opened and exposed her body, when she tried to take a picture of the car’s license plate]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4633, 5.7.2008

  • Cambodia Is Strongly Determined to Implement Laws against Sexual and Human Trafficking
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Asserted that There Was a Clandestine Plan to Arrest Him [at an air force airport] to Start a Coup on 4 July 2008 [when he returned from his official visits to China and Brunei, but he directed his plane to land at the civilian international Suvarnabhumi Airport]
  • 1.5 Billion People Might Die because of Starvation [according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO]
  • Oil Price Increases to US$146 per Barrel [in New York]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3351, 5.7.2008

  • Cambodian People’s Party [in Kratie] Sues the No-Longer-Opposition-Party President [Mr. Sam Rainsy] for Insult [of the current leaders, as he said that they are thieves who steal from the nation, during his election campaign]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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