The Cambodian Prime Minister Regards Terrorism as a Cruel Specter – Thursday, 22.4.2010

Posted on 23 April 2010. Filed under: Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

“Phnom Penh: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, announced strict anti-terrorism policies, as terrorism is not only a problem of Cambodia but of the whole world. The head of the Royal Government considers terrorism as the cruelest specter that must be eradicated.

“During the inauguration in the morning of 21 April 2010, of the secretariat of the National Counterterrorism Committee which cost more than US$1.6 million and took nearly one year to construct, at a military airbase, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said that terrorism is a global issue that must be suppressed so that it does not cause instability for people and for whole societies.

“He said, ‘Our war on terrorism is part of the current global war on terrorism, and even though Cambodia is not a target of terrorist attacks, we must not miss to see any possible situation. If we are apathetic or careless, the country might become a safe shelter for terrorists.’

“It should be noted that the National Counterterrorism Committee is headed by the Prime Minister, and Mr. Om Yentieng is the deputy head who leads the forces of the unit by cooperating with other mixed forces to crack down on possible terrorism in Cambodia, as terrorists might take Cambodia as a basis to hide themselves and to attack other governments, or to commit illegal activities like human trafficking and drug smuggling.

“Samdech Hun Sen stressed, ‘The Royal Government of Cambodia regards terrorism as the most brutal crime in human history, as it can destroy social and political stability and cost human lives among people of all races and of every age group, and it can occur at any place in any region and any country and on the international and intercontinental levels.’

“Also, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia mentioned the strategies for the eradication of terrorism which he had developed himself, to achieve a successful crackdown on possible terrorism in three steps. Nevertheless, the head of the Royal Government said that though special anti-terrorism forces have been created, there must be cooperation with other forces, such as the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, the police, the military police, as well as with the citizens.

“Samdech Hun Sen went on to say that it is essential to be ready to fight terrorism in order to guarantee the safety for one’s own people as well as for people of other countries.

“It should be remembered that Cambodia and its partner countries had cooperated to arrest a notorious terrorist, Hambali, who was behind the attack on Bali in Indonesia that killed hundreds of people.

“Also, the eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, General Dr. Hun Manet, is the commander of the special forces and the head of the Anti-Terrorism Department of the National Counterterrorism Committee.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #459, 22.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #459, 22.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Regards Terrorism as a Cruel Specter
  • A Dutch Man Was Arrested for Debauchery with Three Boys [Sihanoukville]
  • Cambodia Prepares to Send a Delegation to East Timor to Study the Potential for Rice Export [according to a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and the East Timor President, Mr. José Ramos-Horta – Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2228-2229, 21-22.4.2010

  • Siamese [Thai] Extremists Plan to Uproot Border Posts on 2 and 3 May 2010 [at the Ta Moan Touch Temple]
  • The Maternal Mortality Rate in Cambodia Drops [according to The Lancet magazine, there were 266 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, while the national census of Cambodia had reported as many as 461 maternal deaths in 2008]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6936, 22.4.2010

  • Last Year a Woman Was Killed by a Lightning, and This Year Her Husband Was Shot Dead, Leaving Six Daughters as Orphans [perpetrator is not yet identified – Pursat]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3860, 22.4.2010

  • The Reform of Democracy Does Not Only Depend on Words, but the Government Must Show Real Political Will [said the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carol Rodley]
  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Do Not Trust [Cambodian People’s Party Senator] Oknha Ly Yong Phat Who Promised Again and Again to Solve Land Disputes with the Amleang Commune Residents

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #155, 22.4.2010

  • The Prime Minister Says the Kingdom Is Ready to Fight Terror
  • Smoke from the Eruption of a Volcano in Europe [in Iceland] Affects Tourism in Cambodia [the bookings of hotel rooms and the time of staying in Cambodia have been reduced by 10% to 15%]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5178, 22.4.2010

  • 207 Cases of Forestry Crimes Were Sent to the Courts [more than 5,000 cubic meter of woods have been confiscated]
  • Another Person in Cambodia Dies from Bird Flue [H5N1], in Prey Veng
  • An Elephant Protection Ranger from Cambodia [Mr. Tuy Sereivathana] Wins the Golden Environmental Prize for 2010 and Receives More Than US$100,000 [from the Goldman Environmental Foundation for his efforts to help protect Asian elephants from being slaughtered by humans and for helping to teach farmers to prevent elephants from destroying their crops]

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The Preah Vihear Authorities Sold More Than 70 Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood Seized from Illegal Wood Traders – Saturday, 13.2.2010

Posted on 14 February 2010. Filed under: Week 651 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 651

“Preah Vihear: The Preah Vihear authorities decided to sell 76 cubic meters of luxury wood, including wood of the second quality type, on 10 February 2010, without putting it up for pubic bidding. The wood had been seized by combined provincial forces [where forestry administration forces, military police, and police may cooperate] from illegal wood traders in 2009.

“In the afternoon of 10 February 2010, it was seen that more than 20 wood traders and forestry administration officials were collecting Beng, Kronhoung, Neang Nuon, and Thnung wood and 8 cubic meters of second quality wood onto nine trucks.

At 15:36, civil servants of the Preah Vihear Municipality said that they saw three trucks coming into the Preah Vihear Municipality compound to take the wood. Those trucks [made by the Korean company] Hyundai, were each loaded with 30 cubic meters of wood. At that time, journalists came to ask about compliance with the law regarding the permission for the transport of such wood, but the Tbaeng Meanchey district forestry administration chief, Mr Mom Sophal, said that journalists should not publish anything about it, and he would not provide a legal document from the forestry administration showing that it is allowed to sell the wood.

“Journalists continued to ask where the wood was being transported to. A wood trader appeared to claim that journalists did not need to ask such a question. He seemed to have appeared just to protect the wood by saying a few words, and then he became silent.

“After that, the head of the Tbaeng Meanchey district forestry administration strongly warned the journalists, saying that if they wanted to know whether the sale of the wood had been legalized or not, they should ask the Preah Vihear forestry administration chief, and he then stopped saying anything more.

“At the same day at 16:33, journalists contacted the Preah Vihear forestry administration chief, Mr. Pol Khamnara by phone, to clarify the case that wood traders had come into the Preah Vihear Municipality compound to take the wood away, but he said he was in Phnom Penh to attend a court hearing related to the case of the deputy governor Mr. Meas Saroeun, and as far as he knew, the Municipality allowed the wood to be transported to Prey Veng, and he suggested that if the journalist wanted to know more, they should ask the district forestry administration chief Mr. Nong Khemarin. When journalists approached Mr. Nong Khemarin, he said that those wood traders had received a legal permission to take the wood away. But when journalists asked him about the related legal document, he said that he had not yet seen it, so he had nothing to show. As for the Preah Vihear governor, Mr. Oum Mara, he could not be reached for comment as phone calls could not get through.

“It should be noted that during the last four years, there have been more truck transports by nearly 10 trucks loaded with Beng, Kronhoung, Neang Nuon, and Thnung wood. Whenever journalists asked for legal documents, the forestry administration chiefs claimed that the wood transports had been permitted by the law, but they never allowed journalists to see the documents.

“They frequently used the names of ministers [claiming that the ministers supported them] to warn the journalists.

“At 17:00., the journalists received a phone call from an official of the Preah Vihear court who said that he had not seen any legal documents. That official explained that the seized wood can be sold only after the court issues a permit allowing the forestry administration to put it up for bidding first.

“In Preah Vihear, luxury wood is being transported by wood traders all the time, and every time when they transport luxury wood out of the province, the phones of the relevant officials are all switched off, or nobody answers the phone calls. Kronhoung wood is being transported on various routes. Some goes through Nation Road 62 [towards Phnom Penh], and more than half of the remaining wood is transported by the wood traders from Sra Em village to Trapeang Prasat district and on to Oddar Meanchey, crossing Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, and Kompong Cham, to be sold at the Vietnamese border.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5125, 13.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 13 February 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2176, 13.2.2010

  • A Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldier [in the uniform of the Thai special border protection unit] Who Came to Lay Land Mines in Cambodia, Was Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison
  • An Anti-Maritime-Mine Naval Ship [of the US Navy] Arrived in Cambodia for Joint Exercises [with the Cambodian navy]
  • One Million Red Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Prepare to Demonstrate in Thailand on 20 February 2010

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6883, 13-14.2.2010

  • The Shukaku Company Is Actively Developing the Boeng Kak Lake Area and So Far, 50% of the Lake Has Been Filled with Dredged Sand [only the sand filling is described as its “actively developing” activities – a construction and management plan – what is to happen on the adjacent land from which the residents are evicted – has not been made public]
  • At 9:00 A.M. of 11 February 2010, a Cambodian Flag Was Erected on Wat Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak, also called Wat Prasat [at the border with Thailand, in a contested buffer zone]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5125, 13.2.2010

  • The Preah Vihear Authorities Sold More Than 70 Cubic Meters of Luxury Wood Seized from Illegal Wood Traders
  • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Khiev Samphan Said He Was a Powerless Head of State of the Khmer Rouge Regime
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development Granted US$13,3 Million [for poverty reduction projects, and for the development of small-scale agriculture in the Tonle Sap area]
  • The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization Announced that there are Serious Diarrhea Cases [but denied it is cholera [[as claimed by others on the basis of bacteriological proof]] and therefore declared there is no need to declare a cholera emergency]
  • A Truck Drove over a Female Garment Worker and Killed Her [Phnom Penh]

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The American Export-Import Bank Provides Financing for Products Being Exported from America to Cambodia – Wednesday, 28.10.2009

Posted on 29 October 2009. Filed under: Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

“Phnom Penh: The American Export-Import Bank of the United States of America announced on 27 October that it will provide financing for the purchase of products from the United States of America to buyers in the private sector in Cambodia, with the condition that the payments back have to be done within a period of seven years.

“This announcement follows a statement by US President Obama from June 2009, saying that Cambodia and Laos were no longer considered as countries following the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, referenced in section 2(b)(2B)(i) of the 1945 law about the American Export-Import Bank, which was amended. Before the decision of the president, the American Export-Import Bank was not allowed to provide any financing related to Cambodia because of this ban. The chairman and president of the American Export-Import Bank, Mr. Fred P. Hochberg, said, ‘President Obama opened a broader way for American companies that export products to Cambodia, and the Export-Import Bank is ready to help those companies. We are glad to announce that our bank will consider to provide short and medium terms financing for buyers of American products in the private sector of the expanding Asian market.’

“Different US agencies, including the American Export-Import Bank, have cooperated with other related agencies to check and assess the business hazards in Cambodia and in Laos, and they assessed also the hazards of doing business with the private sector in Cambodia. Laos remains under observation, and the American Export-Import Bank has not yet been involved in Laos, except for some financial operators, until the assessments finish.

“The American Export-Import Bank operates in Cambodia in the private sector only, to provide short term financing (to be paid back within one year), and medium term financing (to be paid back within seven years) for products exported from the USA. The assistance of the American Export-Import Bank for access to markets is limited to only business operators with commercial banks as legal guarantors. However, the American Export-Import Bank will consider business operations without the involvement of a bank as special cases.

“The American Export-Import Bank might consider also offering financing of products exported from the USA to buyers in the private sector in Cambodia with longer terms under clearly defined conditions. For instance, businesses which can receive financing are financial operations which are organized properly to seek income in foreign countries and have assets in bank accounts which the American Export-Import Bank recognizes, and have income from rent or things mortgaged, or a financing structure to handle goods, like commercial airplanes made in the USA.”As for the funds in 2009, after their financial year that came to an end on 30 September 2009, the amount of money that the American Export-Import Bank approved for financing to assist in the export of goods from the United States, amounts to more than US$21 billion.

“The American Export-Import Bank is the official agency that provides export credits from the USA. This independent and autonomously operating agency within the framework of the the US federal government, now 75 years old, helps to create and to support employment in the USA by providing export financing for US products, especially to new markets around the world, by offering guarantees for export credit and for direct loans.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2083, 28.10.2009

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Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1417, 28-29.10.2009

  • Cambodia Becomes a Member of the World Heritage Committee

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #322, 28.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Will Leave to Attend the Japan-Mekong Cooperation Meeting [from 6 to 7 November 2009]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2083, 28.10.2009

  • The American Export-Import Bank Provides Financing for Products Being Exported from America to Cambodia
  • An Accident Surprised Phnom Penh as Two Military Officials Used Their Guns to Intervene to Release the Driver of the Car which Had Caused an Accident [finally, they were all arrested]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #518, 28.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Ordered [the Meanchey district governor] to Sue a Female Gang Leader [who had been involved in a shootout] and Warned to Demote a Lieutenant General Who Had Intervened

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6790, 28.10.2009

  • The Thai Government Deployed Forces to Guard the Cambodian Embassy, as Siamese [Thai] Extremists Demonstrated against [the Cambodian] Support for [the Thai ousted and convicted former prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra
  • [Five] Crematoriums in the City Were Closed, as a Crematorium Outside of the City Was Opened [at Dangkao district, Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #35, 28.10.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warned to Dismiss Any Official Who Protects Juvenile Gang Members

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5032, 28.10.2009

  • A Foreign Company [Green Cameco, jointly managed by Korea and Australia] Plans to Build A Sky Train in Phnom Penh [from 2011 to 2014, 39 km, worth US$3.6 billion, and also a solar energy power plant – according to a meeting between Green Cameco and the Ministry of Economy and Finance]

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The Waiting to Receive Justice in Cambodia – Wednesday, 28.1.2009

Posted on 29 January 2009. Filed under: Week 597 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 597

“Banteay Meanchey: Aunty Im Savoeun [now a member of the National Assembly, elected as a member of the Cambodian People’s Party] remembers what hurt her the most – it was when she lost her husband after he was tortured by the Khmer Rouge. Her husband had stolen a potato because he had been starving, and then he was beaten to death.

“She was quoted by Mr. Denis D. Gray, writing for the of Associated Press, as saying, ‘I could not help my husband, because there was no medicine. What could be done was only sympathy, and to shed my tears.’

“This 64-year-old woman, like many other women in Cambodia, who suffered half of their lives, is waiting to receive justice. This waiting continued since after the end of the Khmer Rouge politics [in 1979], which had destroyed the law and the judicial system.

“The United Nations supported court, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, had recently announced to bring the first of five Khmer Rouge leaders for prosecution: on 17 February 2009, the first hearing will be held to try one of the Khmer Rouge leaders who held high responsibility. That person is accused of crimes against humanity. Hearings of four other persons to find justice and peace of mind for victims are not expected to begin before 2010. 504 seats are prepared for observers to listen to the hearing of Duch (Kaing Gek Eav), the former chief of the Torture Center Tuol Sleng. As for the others – such as former head of state Khiev Samphan, former deputy prime minister Ieng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, the former minister of Social Affairs and the former strict ideological leader of the movement Nuon Chea – they will be put in prison for the maximum period; there are many countries involved in the process of this tribunal which has been awaited for a long time and which is now finally in progress. Even though it is facing challenging difficulties, it will help to identify what happened, and to close the history of those dark activities of the past.

“Aunty Savoeun said that in these hearings, at this tribunal, there are only 5 to 10 accused – there is no balance, because the Khmer Rouge killed millions of people. She lost four members of her family, and many other families lost some of their members. She said, ‘My beloved husband and son will never return to see me, but they have to receive justice.’

“Highly agitated by communism, the Khmer Rouge’s vision was to damage and to destroy Cambodian traditions and society, until there was nothing left besides falling back to year zero. The Khmer Rouge turned the country into a place of slaves and into a desert without freedoms and rights. At least 1.7 million people, some say more than 2 million, died of killings, starving, and illnesses.

“An official of New-York-based Human Rights Watch, Mr. Brad Adams, said, ‘When more than two million people died, it is not enough to try five to ten perpetrators and then say: Now everything is finished.’

“What we want is that victims and members of thousands of families who died receive acceptable justice; that is, at least between ten and twelve Khmer Rouge leaders should be brought for prosecution.

“Mr. Adams is an American who observes the progress of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia since even before this court was created, he has worked 13 years related to Cambodia, but the progress is slow. It is very important as the clock’s hands move. Some accused died, are ill, and old.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4806, 28.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1858, 28.1.2009

  • Opposition Parties [the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party] Ask [Minister of Economy and Finance] Keat Chhon to Explain [polices to face] the Economic Crisis
  • The Democratic Front of Khmer Students and Intellectuals Suspend Their Political Support for Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh, because of being disappointed by his inactivity, by the lack clear strategy, and by leading depending on his officials]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6563, 28.1.2009

  • Two Human Traffickers Are Arrested Who Had Trafficked 10 Boys Over the Border for Thai Owners [the parents had been persuaded to let their children work in Thailand where they could earn a lot of money, but the parents had to pay them Riel 250,000 [approx. US$62] per child – Koh Kong]
  • [Kompong Chhnang] Court Summons 4 People, but 70 Others Come [in order to accompany their representatives regarding a land dispute]
  • Tens of Thousands of Tonnes of Khmer Potatoes Are Stuck, while Siamese [Thai] Authorities Prohibit Thai Merchants to Buy Them
  • The 7NG Company Informs [Dey Krahom Residents] to Register Their Names to Receive Houses and Vendor Stalls [31 out of the 91 families agreed to take houses at Cham Chao, Dangkao, Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4806, 28.1.2009

  • Waiting to Receive Justice in Cambodia
  • A [28-year-old] Woman Who Was Raped Appeal for Justice, while the Man Who Raped Her Is Released by the [Pursat provincial court after he had been detained for three months]
  • [Anti-Thai government] Red-Shirt Demonstrators Warn to Surround the Government House on 31 January 2009
  • A Woman Delivers Eight Babies in Los Ageless
  • More and More Americans Go to Serve the Army while Unemployment Increases

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Friday, 25.7.2008: European Union Delegation Comes to Study Combating Sex Tourism in Cambodia

Posted on 26 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

“Phnom Penh: To increase the understanding of common problems and to contribute to combat sex tourists in Cambodia efficiently is the goal of a European Union delegation, led by Mr. Jules Maaten and Ms. Sarah Ludford, that came to Cambodia.

“In the afternoon of 23 July 2008, the European Union delegation discussed and studied some problems regarding combating sex tourism in Cambodia with senior officials of Acting for Women in Distressing Situations [AFESIP] in Phnom Penh, as well as with some national and international journalists.

“Ms. Mam Somaly, director of AFESIP and of the Somaly Mam Foundation, said that governments of western countries should open their eyes to see the activities of their citizens who have committed crimes outside of their own countries. Frequently, they pretend to be tourists, or sometimes to be staff of humanitarian organizations in Cambodia, to find opportunities to rape children. There are more children being abused sexually by these crimes than the number of cases that come under the crack-down by the authorities.

“Ms. Mam Somaly said, ‘In Cambodia, the Royal Government has improved the situation markedly to curb down trafficking by creating legislation against trafficking, and by creating national structures of cooperation against trafficking.’ However, the Royal Government has to do more, especially to strengthen procedures against trafficking and legislation beyond what has already been achieved.

“It should be remembered that Ms. Mam Somaly has saved 4,000 children from sexual slavery during the last decades. She created AFESIP to provide consultation and rehabilitation for victims in several centers in Cambodia, in Thailand, in Laos, and in Vietnam. Recently, she has been supported by friends who are famous stars, business people, lawyers, and other generous people, to create the Somaly Mam Foundation, which aims to eliminate the root causes of human trafficking by launching broad public campaigns, to struggle with public opinion about issues relating to human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in the country, in the region, and internationally.

“Mr. Jules Maaten, the European Union delegation leader and a member of the European parliament from the Netherlands, said that Cambodia has become an important location for criminals to rape children; since some years, many children have been used as sex slaves for tourists from western countries, and for the staff of some humanitarian organizations. ‘Now, we have to open our eyes to see this situation and to take actions against this modern form of slavery.’

“Ms. Sarah Ludford, a member of the European Parliament from London, pointed to the fact that criminals have often escaped from detention and from punishment, because of incompetent police to bring those criminals to court for punishment. Arrested suspects often bribe their way out of the country and flee to their home countries. Only one out of five cases leads to a conviction, and only 3% of the suspects have been convicted after being accused of raping children.

“After the discussion, Ms. Mam Somaly and the European Union delegation agreed with three requests: 1. Members of the member states of the European Union should work towards a stronger role for the police of the European Union to be authorized and to receive the means to train police officials, prosecutors, and judges about child sex trafficking and exploitation. 2. The European Union should pay more attention and exchange information with third countries, to exchange data to help identify suspects for prosecution. 3. The European Union should include information about sentences of sex tourists as well as of criminals who are not citizens of the European Union into the [European] Schengen data information system.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1702, 25.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 25 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1702, 25.7.2008

  • European Union Delegation Comes to Study Combating Sex Tourism in Cambodia
  • Nearly 1,000 [Garment] Workers of Chhang Leang Factory at Stung Meanchey Do Not Have Days Off to Go to Vote [this led to a protest on 24 July 2008]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #616, 25.7.2008

  • Siam [Thai] King Promotes the Honor of Samak Sundaravej while There Is Dispute with Cambodia [no specific proof given]; Siamese Troops Still Continue to Invade the Border


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #206, 25.7.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Rejected to Solve the Dispute through ASEAN or through the UN

Note:
Singapore’s Foreign Minister and at present ASEAN Chair said Thursday [24.7.2008] a border dispute that recently flared between Thailand and Cambodia should never have become a problem, and it was unnecessary to take it to the U.N. Security Council.

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #58, 25.7.2008

  • Cambodia Has Suspended Its Complaint to the UN and Waits for New Results from Negotiations [28 July 2008 in Siem Reap, after the Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej called Prime Minister Hun Sen at 4:30 p.m. Thursday]
  • Some Political Parties [Sam Rainsy Party, Funcinpec, and Human Rights Party] Show National Unity Regarding the Dispute with Thailand
  • Handicap International Belgium Comments on Traffic Accidents in Cambodia [the head of the organization, Mr. Bruno Leclercq, said that traffic safety problems are complicated; there were 27,500 victims, and 17,000 vehicles were involved in 2007. In Cambodia there are more than four people killed every day. Looking at the first two months of 2008, the numbers were again higher]
  • The Sale and Drinking of Alcohol Is Prohibited One Day before [and on the election day of 27 July 2008 – according to an instruction by the Phnom Penh Municipality]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6406, 25.7.2008

  • More Razor Wire Is Added to Protect the [Preah Vihear] Temple; [Minister of Defense] Tea Banh: We Absolutely Defend the Preah Vihear Temple to Belong to Khmer; [Minister of Information] Khieu Kanharith: Thailand Has to Know that Now Thailand Is Violating [Cambodia] and Is Becoming a Country that Violates International Laws
  • Border Police Post 911 Destroyed a Thai Camera Put Secretly by Thai Soldiers to Observe Khmer Activities [Poipet]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3521, 25.7.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Parliamentarians [on 24 July 2008] Asked International Observers to Prevent Tricks to Forge or Change Ballots by Officials of the Cambodian People’s Party who are with the National Election Committee


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4650, 25.7.2008

  • Six to Ten Companies [including Sokimex of Oknha Sok Kong and the ACLEDA Bank] Will Cooperate to Establish a Stock Market [in 2009]
  • Strong Earthquake [6.8 on the Richter scale] Attacked Japan [injuring 16 people seriously – 24 July 2008]
  • Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York Will Grant US$500 Million [to stop people around the world smoking cigarettes; according to the World Health Organization, tobacco will kill already 1 billion people in the 21st century]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3368, 25.7.2008

  • Ms. Condoleezza Rice Expressed Concern and Suggested a Peaceful Solution for the Dispute between Cambodia and Thailand [24 July 2008 in a security conference of ASEAN, held in Singapore; she said Cambodia should not send the dispute to the UN Security council and should settle it bilaterally]


Note:

Among the regular UN Security Council members only France considers that the UN should discuss this issue – all others suggest bilateral discussion on the basis of existing documents.

Click here – and have a look at the last editorial – The Cambodian-Thai border crisis develops while the Khmer public is not aware what the Cambodian government representatives had agreed upon, to get the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site, on a most narrowly defined piece of land.

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Saturday, 19.7.2008: World Bank Granted US$30 Million to Cambodia to Support Big Health Projects

Posted on 20 July 2008. Filed under: Week 569 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 569

“Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Economy and Finance released information that the World Bank has provided a credit of approximately US$30 million to the Royal Government of Cambodia to support the Second Health Sector Support Program [HSSP2], which is a project to promote the health care of Cambodian people, especially it focuses on the health of women, of children, and of the poor.

“Senior Minister and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, representing Cambodia, signed an agreement to accept the credit with Mr. Ian Porter, Country Director of the World Bank for Cambodia, on Thursday evening [17 June 2008] at the Ministry of Finance.

“According to an announcement of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the project to support the HSSP2 of the Royal Government of Cambodia will be implemented for a period of five years, and up to US$130 million will be spent in total. Now, the World Bank agreed to provide US$30 million, the Australian Agency for International Development [AusAID] granted US$30 million as grant aid, the Department for International Development [DFID] of Britain granted US$50, and the Royal Government of Cambodia contributes US$20 million.

“Senior Minister Keat Chhon said during the signing ceremony that this project aims to support the health strategies of the Royal Government, to promote accesses to, and to receive and to use efficient and qualified health services. He added that the project will be organized following a new mechanism by transferring and by supplying primary health services from non-government organizations to health staff at lower national levels.

“He continued that this project has been created to support the implementation of the 2008 to 2015 health strategic plan of the Royal Government, specifically, this project will contribute to help the Cambodian government to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector.

The three Millennium Development Goals in the health sector are (among eight goals):

4.Reduce child mortality
5.Improve maternal health
6.Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

“Professor Eng Huot, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health, said that over the past decade, the health of Cambodian citizens is improving significantly. The life expectation of men increased from 52 to 58 years, and for women from 56 to 64 years; infant and child mortality declined, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been arrested.

“He added that Cambodia still faces several big problems – the maternity death rate is high, the improvement of the malnutrition situation is slow, health services are expensive, health care is not qualified yet, and accidents and noninfectious diseases increase. He went on to say that now, because of the support through the credit granted by the World Bank and by many other development partners, we expect that these major problems will be reduced.

“Also, Mr. Ian Porter said that the World Bank has been involved to promote the health sector in Cambodia since 1996 through two projects: one project to get rid of infectious diseases, and another project to support the health sector. He continued that the Bank is very pleased to see the HSSP2 off the ground, in line with the Country Assistance Strategy for Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4645, 19.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 19 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1697, 19.7.2008

  • The Situation at the Preah Vihear Temple Sometimes Was Tough and Sometimes Was Not; Thailand Added More Troops; Thailand Put Sixteen Cannons on Top of a Mountain [500 meter to the north of Prasat Pagoda]; Thai Prime Minister Samak Summoned Supreme Military Commanders in Bangkok [18 July 2008]; Fighting Almost Broke Out on Thursday Evening [when Thai soldiers prohibited Khmer monks and nuns to enter a pagoda outside the area which Cambodia had claimed when applying for World Heritage Listing – now the Thai soldiers claimed that they are ordered to control it, but this confrontation was solved by both sides – the Khmer military commander at the Preah Vihear region, Mr. Chea Keo, agreed that the Khmer soldiers stay outside the pagoda during the night to avoid a confrontation]
  • The National Election Committee [NEC] Asks the Political Parties to Clearly Check Counting the Ballots
  • The Korea International Cooperation Agency – KOICA – President Promises to Support the Cambodian Requests [to the South Korea President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak – Cambodia requests help for a water treatment plant in Siem Reap, the maintenance of National Road 33, National Road 31, and Road 117, a multi-purpose dam in Battambang, and the construction of bridges along the national roads]
  • [Nearly 100] Minority Montagnards Held a Demonstration for Their Freedom [in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh, after twenty nine Montagnards had been sent back to their home in Vietnam, after they failed in the interviews to be accepted to live in the USA]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #202, 19.7.2008

  • Samdech Euv [Father King] Thanks UNESCO for Listing the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site
    The National Election Committee Allows Political Parties to Propagandize in Markets


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #53, 19.7.2008

  • Two Political Parties [the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party] Asked the Government to Lodge a Complaint [against the Thai invasion into Khmer territory]
  • [President of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Appealed [on 18 July 2008] that the Council of Ministers Should Give Explanations Regarding the Preah Vihear Temple Issue [a statement of the Cambodia Watchdog Council expressed on 9 July also concerns about the confusion created by the government, creating a new map for the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple, that led to the intrusion of Thai soldiers into territory which Cambodia did not claim on the new map]
  • Is the Life of the Khmer Fishery Official [Mr. Phat Saroeun, who was shot dead by the Vietnamese navy when he and other officials tried to catch an illegal Vietnamese fishing boat in the Khmer sea off Kampot] Not Worth More Than Vietnamese Dong 5 Million? [on 17 July 2008, Vietnam sent the body of Mr. Phat Saroeun back, together with Dong 5 million – approx. US$300 – to the victim’s family, and returned another fishery official, who had been arrested during the confrontation]
  • It Is Not a Territorial Dispute, but an Invasion [editorial position of Khmer Sthapana]
  • Lutheran World Federation Cambodia Program Plans to Expand Its Help in Areas That Are Easily Negatively Affected and in Remote Areas [it has helped Cambodia to manage natural resources and to develop rural areas, considering the rights and the expressed interests of citizens in rural areas as the basis for its strategies]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4645, 19.7.2008

  • World Bank Granted US$30 Million to Cambodia to Support Big Health Projects
    Price of Oil Decreases to under US$130 [per barrel]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3363, 19.7.2008

  • What Do [Minister of Agriculture] Chan Sarun and [Director of Fisheries Department] Nao Thuok Do Regarding the Shooting of a Kampot Fishery Official to Death by Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers

?

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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Friday, 11.7.2008: Civil Society Worries about Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Which Is Becoming More Restricted for Both Journalists and for the People

Posted on 12 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“Officials of local human rights organizations said that Khmer people begin to dare to express their opinion regarding problems they deal with. However, the freedom of expression of citizens is limited and often not welcome by the authorities. ‘Nowadays, they threaten us to leave, and if we do not follow their orders, they will not agree. Now, they are observing us; people living to the West of our place seldom talk. Sorry! Now soldiers arrive, I would like to stop talking. They are following me.’

“The above words are the words of two women living in Kampot, who tried to tell journalists about being followed by local authorities, like also other people in the district who are being evicted from their land.

“Regarding the freedom of expression of these citizens, the president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO] Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru] stated that in the last few years, the authorities try to prohibit that people gather to express their opinion – but the authorities object by raising security concerns as their reasons.

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek said, ‘Especially, when workers want to hold a demonstration for something, they hardly ever obtained a permission, though they apply. Our government restricts gathering and marches to express opinions. Sometimes, just expressing something about the borders, there will be problems – the government uses the court to punish those who have expressed their own opinions.’

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek, observing the situation of the freedom of expression in Cambodia, added, ‘In a democratic regime, the government is created by the people, and such a government will work for the people; if it is a government created by the people, it must join with the people to develop the country. So the government must contribute by providing enough information that the government does this and does that, it provides forest concession to whom, it wants to build a dam there, or want to develop something here; the people must be provided with enough of this type of information. If the people have obtained such information, they have to gather and to talk; for this, they need freedom of expression.’

“Institutions to which the problem of freedom of expression in Cambodia relates, includes the law drafting institutions, the law implementing institutions, the courts, institutions which provide public information, non-government organizations, and also citizens in general.

“The Cambodian Center for Human Rights president, Mr. Ou Virak, who observes the situation of freedom of expression in Cambodia, stated that Khmer citizens nowadays dare to express their opinions regarding problems they are facing. However their free expression is hindered by the authorities.

Mr. Ou Virak added that Cambodia has laws as well as a Constitution guaranteeing freedom of expression. But on the other side, those laws are not fairly applied by the authorities. He continued, ‘If we look at the implementation, we have police, judicial officials including prosecutors, and the government – important agencies to implement the law, but nowadays, judicial officials, who have the duty to implement the law show much bias. They do not allow people to express their opposing opinions, and even people within a party can often talk only about their party, without being able to talk also about negative points.’

“Mr. Ou Virak went on to say, ‘‘As for the media, Cambodia has laws regulating the flow of information, but those laws have not been implemented efficiently to protect journalists. He added, ‘We see that recently, the courts have been used to restrict the freedom of expression by closing a radio station, and by arresting Dam Sith [the Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer], while there are cases where the government did not investigate the cases threatening and physically abusing journalists or activist who are not on the side of the Cambodian People’s Party. Therefore we say that the courts have not fulfilled their duties; contrarily, they are used by the government to restrict the freedom of expression.’

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said that the freedom of expression and press freedom in Cambodia are on the way of improving during these last few years. He added, ‘If we want that people act like in a country where there is Internet in almost all houses, this is impossible. But in practice Cambodia has the ability for qualified action we can take well, but we have to try more, to catch up with other countries, because we are far behind, including in technology and in other fields.’

“However, Mr. Pen Samithi stated also that journalists still face many difficulties to find sources of information, especially information about the government relating to politics.

“Recently, besides the arrest of some journalists on the accusation of defamation and disinformation, according to an investigative report of LICADHO, at least three citizens have been shot dead by the authorities when protesting for land in Preah Vihear province.

“In 2008, Mr. Chan Savet, an investigative officer of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – said that because of the land protest, at least 36 citizens have been detained, and 6 citizens are under being searched.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3356, 11.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 11 July 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2792, 11.7.2008

  • The Enthusiasm about the Preah Vihear Temple Makes the Election Propaganda Move to the Background; Not Many People Are Interested in It


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #131, 11.7.2008

  • Samdech Euv [Father King Norodom Sihanouk] Asks Khmer and Siem [Thai] Citizens to Maintain Good Relations by Not Considering the Preah Vihear Temple as a Dispute [according to his letter issued on 9 July 2008]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1690, 11.7.2008

  • The Government Allows Citizens to Have Children as They Want, but They Must Take Care of Their Health [according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s letter to welcome the World Population Day on 11 July 2008]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Plans to Order Private Companies to Create Bus Stations [for long distance buses coming to Phnom Penh] at Suburban Phnom Penh [to reduce traffic congestion in town – according to Mr. Chea Bunthoeun, director of the office of transportation of the Department of Public Works and Transport]
  • Sudan Militants Raided and Killed Seven UN Soldiers in Darfur [9 July 2008]
    G8 Leaders Promise to Solve Food and Oil Crisis


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #196, 11.7.2008

  • [Opposition Party president] San Rainsy: The Evidences We Have in Our Hands and the Witnesses Are Enough to Win against Hor Namhong by Law


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #46, 11.7.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Mr. Son Chhay Asks [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Take Action against Cars That Have No Number Plates [but are used for the election campaign]
  • Cambodia Plans to Send Laborers to Work in Qatar [according to undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training Oum Mean]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6394, 11.7.2008

  • More than 10 Million Ballots and 32,000 Bottles of Non-Erasable Ink [to mark one finger of people who have cast their ballot] Are Prepared for the Election
  • Thai Foreign Affairs Minister [Noppadon Pattama] Resigned – 10 July 2008 – from His Position [after the Thai Constitutional Court decided that his 18 June 2008 signature on the Joint Communique with Cambodia about the Preah Vihear Temple violated the constitution as he did not ask for parliamentary approval]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4638, 11.7.2008

  • Prince Sisowath Thomico Is Not Happy with Sam Rainsy Who Uses His Parents’ Name Regarding the Lawsuit [by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong]
  • Singapore Petroleum Company Started to Drill Oil in Block B [since 8 July 2009] [some ownership information: “SPC Cambodia Ltd (“SPC Cambodia”) holds a 33.33% participating interest in Block B. SPC Cambodia was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPC Production Company Ltd. which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPC.”]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3356, 11.7.2008

  • Civil Society Worries about Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Which Is Becoming More Restricted for Both Journalists and for the People
  • Do Authorities Close Ms. Chea Ratha’s Case by the Power of Money? [regarding an acid attack on TV presenter Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

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