Friday, 19.9.2008: The United States Expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will No Longer Be Involved in a Corruption Scandal

Posted on 20 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“The United States expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will no longer be involved in a corruption scandal in the future, after the US pledged to grant US$1.8 million to the mixed tribunal to seek justice for the victims who died during the Killing Field regime. This information is based on statements of the spokesperson of the US Department of State Sean McCormack during a press conference in Washington on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 [see the full text at the end].

“Mr. Sean McCormack stated, ‘We believe that the court is now capable of meeting international standards of justice, and our decision at this time to identify funds reflects our belief that the court has the capacity to respond effectively and appropriately to these allegations.’ He said that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal still has more to do, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator from the United Nations side, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing.

“It should be remembered that previously, employees of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had repeatedly raised the problem of kickbacks in exchange for getting employed, but it was never officially announced that there were any perpetrators or who they are. As a result of suspicion, the UN Development Program office had suspended more than US$300,000 for a period of time, suspending the payment of salaries for Khmer staff in July. Then, the head of the Khmer Staff Department was removed from his position, as a big corruption leader at the Khmer side of the court, but it seems that nobody really dares to touch him.

“The international community and many donor countries, especially the United States, hesitated to grant more funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, because of the [not yet clarified allegations of a] corruption scandal. However, the United States, through its Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. John Negroponte, who visited Cambodia recently, pledged to grant US$1.8 million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, so that it can proceed smoothly. Mr. Sean McCormack added that the US Department of State had already shared information about this attempt to help Cambodia to try the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Mr. Reach Sambath, the spokesperson of the [Cambodian section of the] Khmer Rouge Tribunal, said that the granting of US funds is mainly a political sign, and the tribunal welcomes this decision by the United States as a correct one. He went on to say that although this grant is small, it is better than nothing, and though it comes late, it is better than nothing. Mr. Reach Sambath boasted that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is strongly committed and has created clear plans to deal with corruption, like by the nomination of two ethics monitoring officials, and the reassignment away of the director of personnel.

“This spokesperson hinted that the trial of Kang Kek Iev – called Duch, the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief – might happen in October or in November, after some procedural problems between the co-investigating judges and the co-prosecutors will have been clarified. Some officials of civil society organizations and observers are keenly observing this problem, because they want to see that the trial of the suspects to happens soon, in order to find justice for the victims. However, if there is more delay, the funds from the United States will be spent wastefully, and the Khmer citizens still do not see the light of justice.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has suffered from allegations of a corruption scandal, needs approximately US$50 million in addition, to cover expenses until 2010, out of which approximately US$10 million are to come from the Cambodian side, and approximately US$40 million are needed from the United Nations. At present, many observers are waiting to see whether the trial – which is planed to take place this late October – of Khiev Samphan, who had filed an appeal to be temporarily released from detention, will proceed smoothly or not. If the trial of Khiev Samphan in October faces complications and is delayed again, like it happened already on 23 April 2008, it is not easy for the tribunal to seek additional millions of dollars.

“Although the US government announced to ask for parliamentary approval for a grant of US$1.8 million to the [UN, not the Cambodian section of the] Khmer Rouge Tribunal budget during the recent visit by the US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, some observers of the processes of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal do not expect that this mixed tribunal can find justice for the victims who were killed during the killing filed regime, because previously, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had spent already millions of dollars wastefully, while Khmer citizens in general have been waiting for justice nearly 30 years. Furthermore, irregularities and a corruption scandal at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal have not yet been clarified.

“Khmer citizens inside of the country and abroad want that the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders should occur soon, as long as they are still alive, so that the real reasons that led to the killing of more than 1.7 million people during their time in power from 1975 to early January 1979 can be revealed. Therefore, if there is further delay, those former Khmer Rouge leaders might die before the trial takes place, because already at present, they became older, and some of them had been suffering from serious illness and had often been sent to Calmette Hospital.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3569, 19.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 19 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1750, 19.9.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen and Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Extend Friendly Wishes to Each Other; Amnesty Letter for Samdech Krom Preah Arrived at the Royal Palace on 18 September 2008
  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance Has Not Taken Any Action to Decrease the Price of Fuel Following Samdech Hun Sen’s Order
  • The Murder Case of the Journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Khim Sambo and his 21-year-old son] Reaches a State to Call Those Who Know Much to Be Asked [medical doctors of Calmette Hospital, editor of The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Dam Sith, editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer, staff of ADHOC and of LICADHO]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #247, 19.9.2008

  • [Opposition party President] Sam Rainsy Affirms that on 24 and 25 September 2008, There Will Be No Opposition Party Parliamentarians Present to Satisfy the Face of the Cambodian People’s Party


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #102, 19.9.2008

  • The Head of the Government Affirmed His Final Position Regarding some Political Issues Related to the Opposition Parties [he warns to sue Sam Rainsy for insulting the new National Assembly by saying that it is a thief, ghost, wind, and a Yuon (Vietnamese) National Assembly]
  • Vendors of the New Market Plan to Protest in Front of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen’s House [related to the plan to narrow their stalls]
  • US Military Medics [from the US Tripler Army Medical Center] for Smile, Sound, and Sight, Treat Khmer Citizens Free of Charge [from 10 to 19 September 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6454, 19.9.2008

  • Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat – สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์] Responds Positively to Continue to Negotiate with Cambodia [after Prime Minister Hun Sen’ request for negotiations]
  • Delegations from Hong Kong and from [South] Korea Look for Development in Sihanoukville [with plans build new towns, casinos, hospitals, stadiums, hotels, a public zoo, golf courses, resorts, and seashore and on-the-sea recreation sites, and also preserving a natural forest park]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #34, 19.9.2008

  • The United States Expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will No Longer Be Involved in a Corruption Scandal
  • [Sam Rainsy Party Deputy Secretary General] Mu Sochua: 20% or 21% of Khmer Citizens Lack Food [she raised this problem, based on a survey by the Cambodia Development Resource Institute]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4698, 19.9.2008

  • Cambodia Criticizes Thailand for Lying to the World by Announcing that the Ta Krabei Temple [located in an unmarked border region] Belongs to Them
  • Vietnam Sends Seventeen Khmer Citizens Home, Whom They Rescued from a Leaking Ship
  • Digging up of Khmer Ancestral Graves Happens Again in Thma Pouk [probably by artifact plunderers – Banteay Meanchey]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3411, 19.9.2008

  • The Court Summons Representatives of the Citizens and of the Company over the Boeng Kak Lake Land Dispute Today [after citizens had filed a complaint, requesting to stop the dredging of sand to fill the lake]

Cambodia related section of the press conference at the US Department of State on 16.9.2008
Source:
http://useu.usmission.gov/Article.asp?ID=B76C5503-996F-4F03-AAC0-749F4312BA5D

QUESTION: Did you manage to get answers to the two questions that I had at the end of the briefing yesterday,…[on] the Cambodia issue?

MR. MCCORMACK: As a matter of fact, we did. And I have on Cambodia – I have some –…
I’ll just read – I have a few points on this. I’ll read them off to you and see if they’re useful.

We are committed to helping Cambodia in its efforts to hold Khmer Rouge leaders accountable for their crimes. The State Department has notified Congress of our intention to provide $1.8 million to help the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the E-triple-C, complete its task. We believe that the court is now capable of meeting international standards of justice, and our decision at this time to identify funds reflects our belief that the court has the capacity to respond effectively and appropriately to these allegations.

While the court still has more to do, the ECCC has made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, the court must still take appropriate steps to address the current allegations and hold responsible those involved.

QUESTION: And this was – a similar message was conveyed by the Deputy [Secretary of State Negroponte] when he was there?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, the issue was discussed by the Deputy in Phnom Penh.

QUESTION: Yeah, but, I mean – but he told them that they were going to get the money.

MR. MCCORMACK: I have not spoken with the Deputy, so I can’t vouch firsthand for his message. But the issue was raised.

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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Saturday, 13.9.2008: Siam Is More Impudent – Cambodian Patience Is Running Out

Posted on 14 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen affirmed his position towards Siam [Thailand] that the incursion by Siamese troops makes the patience of Cambodia running out. He said so during a regular session of the Council of Ministers yesterday morning on 12 September 2008.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesperson, said that during the session, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen presented his firm position to the members of the Royal Government, to protect the territorial integrity against the intrusion by foreign troops.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith continued that Samdech Hun Sen said during the session that Cambodian patience becomes thinner and thinner after Siamese Troops become more impudent by invading very old temples along the border. Legal choices are to send a complaint to the Security Council of the United Nations, and a suit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague might happen in the meantime as two responses by Cambodia, while the Siamese side seems to consider Cambodia to be a very cowardly country.

“Samdech stated that Cambodia is tired of wars, but this does not mean that Cambodia is afraid of wars. We are tired of civil war, but we are brave to fight any foreign country that has the ambition to violate our territorial integrity.

“That does not mean that Cambodia wants war, but Cambodia does not accept an incursion not respecting the law, and not respecting the sovereignty of a country.

“Mr. Chan Saveth, an investigating official of a civil society organization, said, ‘We support the speech by Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, representing a clear position about Cambodia’s patience. Cambodia has a precisely defined territorial integrity, has laws, and exists on the world map, therefore, it will not let any country with such an ambition to swallow the country.’

“Mr. Chan Saveth expressed his view that this support is not to encourage the government to start a war, but to find ways to send a complaint to the United Nations. He said, ‘I want to affirm again that if the position of the government is as clear as mentioned above, the citizens and the civil society organizations will provide 100% support, but the government has to review its complaint to the UN Security Council it had previously lodged and then suspended. If the government revokes the suspension, it is a sign of not accepting the impudence of the Siamese troops invading along the Cambodian border.

“Mr. Chan Saveth added that Cambodia has no history of invading other countries. Therefore, what Prime Minister Hun Sen said is acceptable, because our patience is limited.

“Mr. Un Phalla, a law student of the Royal University of Law and Economics, said, ‘I support Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, something which has never been heard since Siamese troops invaded along the border.’

“Mr. Un Phalla continued, ‘We are hurt, as Khmer students, when hearing that Siamese troops increase their invasion along the border and use many tricks in negotiations. Therefore, my support is not to encourage Samdech to start a war, but to refer to the legal basis as our priority, by sending a complaint to the United Nations as soon as possible.’

“Prince Sisowath Thomico said that if talking about territorial integrity, every Khmer citizen does not want to see an incursion by foreign countries. Prince Thomico added ‘Regarding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, it is now not only me who is supporting it and who is happy, but also many citizens, when they hear such courage of a leader who represent the will to protect the territorial integrity.’

“Prince Thomico said also that the government has to put all territorial issues on the table to be solved together, and all political parties should not show different attitudes toward this problem. Internal opposition [among parties] is one thing, but territorial issues are of nationl concern.

“The head of the government showed also his position on the plan of the opposition parties not to attend the inaugural session [of the National Assembly], saying that this is their problem – and the government does not care about it, because it is better for the whole nation to think about the border issue. The citizens have already voted to give their power to their representatives [the elected members of the National Assembly], so if they do not want the seats they won, the seats should be given to others who can work. Now, the government is caring about the border issue, because the citizens expect the new term government to solve the issue.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that Samdech Hun Sen said during a council of ministers’ session that concerning the Cambodian and Thai border disputes, we are strengthening further legal documents to be sent to the International Court of Justice and to the Security Council of the United Nations about the incursion by Siamese black clad soldiers [of the Thai special Border Protection Unit] at Khmer temples.

“Samdech also said regarding the confrontation, ‘We just avoid armed fighting, as it is better to fight with legal methods. Thai black-clad soldiers invaded Cambodian territory at the Keo Sekha Kirisvarak pagoda, which is 300 meters away from the Preah Vihear Temple, on 11 July 2008, after this temple was listed as a world heritage site on 7 July 2008. Then, Siamese troops have tried to control several other temples of Cambodia along the border in Oddar Meanchey.’

“Samdech Hun Sen added that ‘in relation to the situation before, we understood the Thai government related to the incursion, which was firstly caused by the Thai opposition party. So far, we are patient at the highest level, but our patience was shaken again and again by the Siamese troops, making our patience to run out.’ Samdech emphasized that this issue cannot be solved without going to the International Court of Justice.

The Situation at the Ta Krabei Temple

“The situation at the Ta Krabei Temple is somewhat better, after the Siamese troops withdrew from the temple, about 300 meters from the Cambodian border.

“Mr. Neak Vong, the commander of Brigade 42, reported to Kampuchea Thmey that after tense discussions, the Siamese troops agreed to withdraw from the Ta Krabei Temple at 2:30 p.m. of 11 September 2008. He went on to say that 170 Siamese soldiers withdrew from the Khmer temple and took positions in their territory, about 300 meters from the border. As for the Cambodian troops, their numbers are now balanced. So the situation at the Ta Krabei Temple starts to be better, but the troops are suffering from very cold weather, because there is rain every day.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1745, 13.9.2008

Note:

Please have a look at the Editorial of 14.9.2008: you may click with the mouse cursor here; it relates in terms of the content,

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 13 September 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1745, 13.9.2008

  • Siam Is More Impudent – Cambodian Patience Is Running Out
  • Thailand Postpones Session of Parliament, as Samak Is Rejected [by coalition parties to take position of prime minister again]
  • [Norodom Ranariddh Party secretary general] You Hokry Sues Serey Kosal [a member of Funcinpec] for Riel 100 Million [approx. US$25,000, accusing him to have defamed him in a broadcast over Sambok Khmum Radio in the Voice of the Monarchy Program on 30 May 2008]; Serey Kosal Warned He Will Sue Back for Riel 1 Billion [approx. US$250,000] Compensation [over illegal acts during the elections and election campaign]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #243, 13.9.2008

  • Secretary General of the National Assembly [Mr. Leng Penglong] Asks [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Take Action [to investigate Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] Hun To over Beating the Parliamentarian Nuon Vuthy [from the Sam Rainsy Party]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6449, 13.9.2008

  • When Patience Runs Out, There Might Be a Complaint Sent to the International Court of Justice, and If if It Is More Serious, a Complaint Will Be Sent to the Security Council [of the United Nations – according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech regarding border disputes with Thailand]
  • The United States Provides US$24 Million for Economic Growth [actually, this grant aid of US$24 million is clearly designated for the health sector – this money for health projects operated by NGOs will be monitored by the Cambodian government]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3564, 13-14.9.2008

  • Democracy Crisis and Irregularities during the [fourth term] Elections Will Be Revealed in Front of US Assistant Secretary of State [who will arrive in Cambodia next week]
  • The Increase in the Number of Members of Ministries Will Threaten the Cambodian Economy [the ranking members of ministries will increase to nearly 400, which means the fourth term government will have to cover the expenses for these high ranking officials]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4693, 13.9.2008

  • This Week the Chinese Owners of Three Factories Ran Away [after bankruptcy – Phnom Penh]
  • Land Prices on the Cambodian Market Fell 5% to 10% [according to the Real Estates Accessing Association of Cambodia, because of many reasons – not only the elections, but also influenced by the international economic crisis, border disputes, and reforms in the government]

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

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Thursday, 11.9.2008: Response to the Opinion Piece Published in The Nation, which Undermines Friendship by Saying ‘When Cambodia Cries Wolf’

Posted on 12 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Mr. Julio A. Jeldres, Samdech Euv’s [the King-Father’s] biographer, wrote a letter-to-the-editor of an English language newspaper in Thailand, The Nation, on 5 August 2008, in response to an opinion piece of a Thai citizen [published on 1 August 2008, who used the name Bangkokian] under the title ‘When Cambodia Cries Wolf.’

Koh Santepheap would like to unofficially translate this respons, written in English, translating it into Khmer and publish it.

Note:

The response, Ambassador Jeldres’s letter-to-the-editor, was re-published in the Daily Documents section of website of Their Majetis Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the King-Father and the Queen Mother of Cambodia – by the Royal Cabinet of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, on 9 September 2008.

For the English Mirror, we link therefore the the royal website – by a mouse click here, the original text becomes available.

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6447, 11.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 11 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1743, 11.9.2008

  • Cheam Yeap [a Cambodian People’s Party parliametarian]: Opposing Actions of Sam Rainsy Look Like a Competition [for high reputation] in the National Assembly [Ms. Mu Sochua, the Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary general, said that the Sam Rainsy Party will send a letter to request a pardon from the King for the absences in the first session of the National Assembly planned for 24 September 2008]
  • [Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An: Cambodia Will Not Leap Backwards in Fighting Terrorism [stated during the opening of a workshop about the implementation of anti-terrorist legislation on 8 and 9 September 2008]
  • Victims of Tree Flling when a Tree Fell on Their House Ask Apsara Authority to Pay Compensation [10 September 2008 – Siem Reap]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #241, 11.9.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Clearly Affirms Absolute Position Not to Attend the First Session of the National Assembly on 24 September 2008 [because of irregularities during the elections]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6447, 11.9.2008

  • Response to the Opinion Piece Published in The Nation, which Undermines Friendship by Saying ‘When Cambodia Cries Wolf’


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3562, 11.9.2008

  • Mr. Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Criticizes Much Expenses of the National Assembly Budget


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4691, 11.9.2008

  • European Observers: The Claim that 1.7 Million Vietnamese Had Voted Is a Pumped-Up Number [this reaction was voiced from Brussels, Belgium, on 9 September 2008, against a report that 1.7 million Vietnamese went to vote during the fourth term parliamentarian elections]
  • Siamese [Thai] Troops Are Increased in Chub Angkunh, and They Prevent Cambodian Troops to Patrol [Oddar Meanchey]
  • Siam [Thailand] Troops Try to Enter the Ta Krabei Temple, but Are Prevented by Cambodian Troops [Oddar Meanchey]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3406, 11.9.2008

  • Investigating Agency of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation Will Arrive in Cambodia on 11 September to Investigate the Murder of the Journalist Mr. Khim Sambo and his [21-year-old] son [who were shot dead in the evening of 11 July 2008 near the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh]

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

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