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

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

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

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

Note:

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

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

15.9.2008 – Press release by the UN Office in Geneva

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 18 September 2008


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

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

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1749, 18.9.2008

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


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

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

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #101, 18.9.2008

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


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6453, 18.9.2008

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


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3568, 18.9.2008

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


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4697, 18.9.2008

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


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

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

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

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Friday, 22.8.2008: US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

Posted on 23 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

A reader had asked, from far away: “What is a moto-taxi?”

Well – this is one:

Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

“Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia criticized Cambodian politicians who mostly do not put the interest of the nation and of the people as their highest priority, but they enter politics just because they want positions. Moreover, he said that it is necessary that opposition parties in Cambodia unite to become one force to compete with the ruling party.

“During an interview with Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said, ‘Few Cambodian politicians whom I met had dedicated themselves to help the Cambodian people; too many politicians are only interested in the positions they can get.’

“He added that the problem is that they do not think that they have to serve the Cambodian people. Although similar problems exists also in the United States, Mr. Joseph thinks that the problem is more serious in Cambodia than in the United States. He went on to say that it is important for Cambodia to have a sufficiently independent justice system to arrest corrupt people, and especially also politicians, to be convicted according to the law.

“An observer said that just a few months ahead of the elections, many Cambodian politicians left the Sam Rainsy Party to join the Cambodian People’s Party, causing almost a breakup among opposition party members. Those politicians had left to take up some [already promised] important positions in the government, such as secretary of state, undersecretary of state, or government advisor, making it difficult to protect their claim that they had changed their political party because they think of the interest of the nation as their highest priority.

“As for Cambodian politics in general, the US Ambassador thinks also that there are too many different opposition parties. He continued to say that as long as Cambodia has five or six opposition parities, they cannot compete with the ruling party. He said they should form an alliance, adding, ‘One opposition party will be stronger [than many opposition parties] and will gain strong attention from the Cambodian people.’

“Ms. Chea Vannath, a political observer, said that to unite or not is not a problem. Nowadays, opposition parties do not have enough to say to oppose decisions made by the ruling party. She said also that at present, Cambodia does not have a real democracy yet, because of a ruling system that upholds partisanship, is built on personal links of friendship and on familial relations, which needs to be cut down in order to promote new [qualified] people.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 22 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1726, 22.8.2008

  • Cambodia Asks Kuwait to Provide Assistance with Irrigation and Transport
  • Woman Strangled in “Chea Kong” Guesthouse [by unknown person – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • Rural Unmarried Woman Beaten until She Was Unconscious and Then Raped by [two] Young Men [two suspects arrested – Phnom Proek, Battambang]
  • North Korea Vows to Strengthen Armed Forces to Make War [while US-South Korean military exercises are conducted]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #79, 22.8.2008

  • Plane Crash in Spain Kills 153 People


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6430, 22.8.2008

  • At Ta Moan Thom Temple a GPS Receiver of an Official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Was Broken [officials of the Ministry of Culture consider the breaking of their GPS machine by a Thai soldier to be an act of looking down on the owner of the temple. – Other reports say that the Thai soldier who did it was immediately punished by his superior, and a formal apology was presented by the Thai military to the Cambodian visitors; the Cambodian visitors admitted that they had acted against the mutual agreement not to bring GPS receivers to the Ta Moan area; the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan admitted that he also broke the regulation and he also took a GPS to Ta Moan]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3545, 22.8.2008

  • National Election Committee Gives Green Light to Ministry of Interior to Take Action against Boeng Salang Subdistrict Second Deputy Chief Heung Ponlork and Boeng Tompun Subdistrict Chief [Suos Sarin – for issuing Form 1018 illegally – Tuol Kork and Meanchey districts, Phnom Penh]
  • The King Plans to Participate and to Open the National Assembly Session in Late September; the Sam Rainsy Party Still Maintains Its Position Not to Accept the Election Results
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: Sam Rainsy Party Rejects the Election Results until Election Is Held Again


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1350, 22.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Shares Parliamentary Power to Its Members Introducing Half-Term Positions
  • Death Threat by E-mail [from preahvihear@yahoo.com] against the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Mony [the e-mail said if Chea Mony joins the Cambodian People’s Party he will be able to find the murderers of Chea Vichea, it he joins the Sam Rainsy Party his fate will be the same as his brother Chea Vichea – who was murdered. The e-mailer said he doesn’t advise Chea Mony which way to go, but he should have some powerful people to protect him – or he will be followed and murdered]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

  • US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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