Observations and Reflection from Korea – Sunday, 1.11.2009

Posted on 1 November 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 636 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 636

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1997, more and more links between Cambodia and South Korea have developed – not receiving much general attention, but quite real. Over the last five years, tourists from Korea have topped the list of foreign visitors. And there are about 4,000 Koreans living in Cambodia.

But there is also a growing presence in the opposite direction: there are 8,400 Cambodians living in Korea, among them 2,900 Cambodian women married with Korean men. There is an increasing number of Cambodian students in Korea, and there are 4,900 workers. The Korean president announced that in addition, 3,500 more Cambodian workers will be accepted to work, aiming at a total number of 9,000 Cambodian workers in Korea.

Korea is the second largest foreign investor in Cambodia. Korea is one of the important donors of Cambodia. Since 2001, there have been US$220 million granted as loans and US$46 million as grant. Recently, the amount of US$200 million as a special loan has been added to the list.

But Korea is not known broadly in Cambodia – we add therefore also some pictures, just as the weather permitted, with sunshine and with rain. Participating in a series of working sessions in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – the organization that cares for the address system of the Internet, where I am involved since 1999 – I had the opportunity to compare and to reflect.

Compared to the size of the population of Cambodia of 14 million, the city of Seoul alone has a population of more than 10 million.

High - high -

High - high -

General housing

General housing

The future of Phnom Penh?

The future of Phnom Penh?

42 story Gold Tower for Phnom Penh

42 story Gold Tower for Phnom Penh

Maybe some of the ambitious Korea related building projects in Cambodia have to be seen on the background of Korean city developments – still the very high rise buildings planned in Phnom Penh do not yet fit into the environment: what about traffic access, water supply and disposal? just to mention some technicalities.

And there are not only technicality related disruptions. I took the following picture of the Boeng Kak Lake in Phnom Penh some years ago, leaving for Bangkok. Many big cities around the world maintain their lakes or rivers, or even create artificial ones. The Phnom Penh administration is destroying what there is – filling about 90 % of the lake with sand for higher level business, also displacing about 4,000 families.

The Lake that is no more like that

The Lake that is no more like that

It is encouraging to see how Seoul has transformed an old water disposal canal into a nice place of nature in the middle of the city: a place of recreation – going for a walk, or even for jogging, with three different suggested courses of 1.8, 3.6, and 5.8 kilometers.

River walk

River walk

And it is encouraging to see the many different spheres of life in more detail, being cared for, manifest in this town.

River walk - it rains

River walk - it rains

River walk - nature in town

River walk - nature in town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful design all over town.

Modern art instead of the Japanese colonial building

Modern art instead of the Japanese colonial building

International Council of Societies of Industrial Design: Seoul is the World Design Capital 2010

International Council of Societies of Industrial Design: Seoul is the World Design Capital 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kyobo bookstore extends 100 meters under the ground

Kyobo: One of the biggest bookshops in the world

Kyobo: One of the biggest bookshops in the world

A Western violin and a Korean one-string instrument - together!

A Western violin and a Korean one-string instrument - together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody can find the way easily in the center of town:

Public sign in a subway station: National Human Rights Commission

Public sign in a subway station: National Human Rights Commission - everybody can find the way easily

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Cambodia Plans to Collect 12.5% Tax from All Kinds of Gambling to Exceed the 2008 Tax – Tuesday 24.2.2009

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

“In 2009, Cambodia plans to collect a 12.5% tax to produce more tax income than that reported in 2008.

“According to a secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and journalists, who interviewed him, regarding the collection of tax from gabling sites on 19 February 2009, Mr. Chea Meng Chhieng, tax income from all kinds of gambling increased to US$20 million in 2008, but the income will not increase further as the Cambodian government wants, because, according to this secretary of state, the number of tourists entering casinos declined due to the global financial crisis.

“Responding to the demand of tourists, Cambodia decided to legalize the creation of many different kinds of casinos, like some with slot machines, which are growing like mushrooms in Phnom Penh and in different provinces.

“This draws criticism from the opposition parties and from some non-government organizations against the presence of gambling which causes social instability.

“There are more than 20 casinos in Cambodia, but most of them are located at border crossing points.

“Mr. Chea Meng Chhieng stated the importance of legalizing the gambling industry, as doing so will facilitate the monitoring of gambling sites.

“During the Council of Ministers’ meeting on 19 December 2008, the Prime Minister of the forth-term Royal Government of Cambodia, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, ordered the Ministry of Economy and Finance to observe all hotels that have entertainment clubs and all types of electronic entertainment centers, which are required to prohibit Khmer citizens to enter to gamble.

“If there is any violation of the rules, like permitting Khmer citizens to enter, the Ministry of Economy and Finance must revoke their licenses and immediately stop their operation within 24 hours.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen ordered the Director General of the National Police [Mr. Net Savoeun] and the Commander of National Military Police [Mr. Sao Sokha] to check the licenses of such places, and to stop their operation for not obeying the circular of the Royal Government issued on 4 December 2008.

“The Phnom Penh police chief, Mr. Touch Naruth, said that the Cambosix sites are legal gambling sites, and Naga World Casino is the only legal casino in Phnom Penh, but Naga World Casino does not allow Khmer citizens to enter, otherwise it would be closed and its license would be revoked immediately within 24 hours for disobeying the circular of the Cambodian government released on 4 December 2008.” Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #348, 24.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #123, 24.2.2009

  • Israeli Delegation Plans to Visit Cambodia in March 2009 to Invest in Agriculture and in Telecommunication
  • 10,000 Police and Soldiers Are Prepared to Protect the Government House from the [anti-government] Red-Shirt Group [in Thailand]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1881, 24.2.2009

  • [Two] Hydro-Electric Dams [370 kilovolt and 300 kilovolt] Funded by the Japanese Government Were Inaugurated [Mondolkiri]
  • Vietnam Inaugurates Its First Oil Refinery [in Quảng Ngãi Province, worth US$2.5 million]

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #348, 24.2.2009

  • Cambodia Plans to Collect 12.5% Tax from All Kinds of Gambling to Exceed the 2008 Tax
  • [Around 200] Kos Kralor Residents in Battambang Gather to Protest in Front of Samdech Hun Sen’s Resident to Find Justice [over a land dispute]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6586, 24.2.2009

  • During the ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sun] Plans to Meet the Thai King and Other Partners
  • Police Raided a Drug Producing Place and Arrested Three [Taiwanese] Men and a [Vietnamese] Woman [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #34, 24.2.2009

  • The US Embassy Spends US$20 Million to Strengthen Justice and Human Rights in Cambodia [by assisting to develop and strengthen two human rights bodies: the National Human Rights Committee and the ASEAN Human Rights Committee]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4829, 24.2.2009

  • Asia Development Bang Holds Meeting to Find Solutions to Assess Impact of Development Projects Implementation
  • Four Suspects Are Arrested for Throwing a Grenade and Injuring Nine People [Battambang]
  • Truck Rolled over a Man’s Head after a Motorbike Accident while Distributing His Wedding Invitations; His Bride Cried Vehemently [Phnom Penh]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3488, 24.2.2009

  • The Club of Cambodian Journalists Calls to Search for the Perpetrators Who Murdered Other Journalists after the Arrest of Another Suspect Who Shot Dead the Editor-In-Chief of Koh Santepheap

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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Saturday, 2.8.2008: An Open Letter from Professors in the Field of the Studies about Southeast Asia Expressed Concerns about the Preah Vihear Temple

Posted on 3 August 2008. Filed under: Week 571 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 571

“On 1 August 2008, Rasmei Kampuchea received an open letter signed by professors who are involved in studies and research about Southeast Asia, expressing concern about the Preah Vihear Temple. Nearly fifty professors signed it, the majority of them are Thai, teaching at well-known universities in the world, such as Thammasat University, Thailand, University of Oxford, UK, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, University of Toronto, Canada, National University of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, Cornell University, USA, Washington University [not clear, as there are several ones: University of Washington, George Washington University, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University – all USA], University of London, UK, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, Ohio University, USA, Mahidol University, Thailand, Rangsit University, Thailand, Berkeley, University of California, USA, Hamilton University [?], Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Silpakorn University (e-Learning), Thailand, University of Malaya, Malaysia, Royal Academy of Cambodia, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, and the Oxfordshire University, UK.

“Among the signatures is also the signature of Mr. Chhang Song, former Minister of Information of Cambodia, a retiring member of the Senate.

“This letter says:

“To professors, parents, the press, students, Thais and Cambodians

“The recent border dispute regarding the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site causes strong continuing protests from some organizations and people in Thailand, which led to a confrontative situation between people of both countries.

“As professors involved in studies on Southeast Asia, we want to confirm that the source of this border dispute relates to the historical and cultural heritages of Thailand and of Cambodia. Truth can be found, if explanations of historical evidence are made by following the facts, and this should not be done to serve any political goals.

“According to this, we would like to suggest the following:

  1. “As for the Preah Vihear Temple, we absolutely support the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the Netherlands of 15 May 1962, which confirmed that ‘the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’
  2. “We support and we publish intense discussions about related problems, and the provision of information should not be used to cause discrimination or to create enemies between the countries on both sides of the border, which might lead to war.
  3. “We acknowledge that also other countries in the region have the common cultures and common histories. These links should be used as the basis for international cooperation, to protect the honor of peoples, and for the union between country and country, especially for addressing universal problems happening similarly to all countries in the region.
  4. “We have advised that action should be taken to solve this dispute through coordination and mutual commitment. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations should take up this idea in order to reach a common goal.

“We would like to urge professors, parents, the press, students, and the Cambodian and Thai people to call for a peaceful solution of this dispute, by upholding the respect for the territory of all countries in Southeast Asia as the basis.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4657, 2.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 1 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1709, 2.7.2008

  • The King [Norodom Sihamoni] and [Father King] Samdech Euv and [former Queen] Samdech Mae Went to Visit China [to attend the Olympic Games and to have medical checkups – 1 August 2008]
  • [Former Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs] Ieng Sary [age 82] Was Sent to Hospital [after blood was discovered in his urine, 1 August 2008], and [former chief of the Tuol Sleng prison] Duch Will Be Sentenced in September [according to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia spokesperson Mr. Reach Sambath]
  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen Prayed for the ancestral spirits to defend Preah Vihear at the Preah Vihear Temple [on 1 August 2008]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #213, 2.8.2008

  • A Government Can Be Dictatorial, but a National Assembly Cannot Become a Dictatorial National Assembly [said opposition party president Sam Rainsy on 1 August 2008]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #63, 2.8.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: If the Sam Rainsy Party Does Not Attend the [inaugural] Meeting of Parliament [on 24 September 2008], [the 26] Seats [of the Sam Rainsy Party] Will Be Distributed to Other Parties [the Prime Minster warned the Sam Rainsy Party not to use Article 76 of the Constitution which states that the Assembly consists of at least 120 members, for the new National Assembly to start its process]
  • Garment Products of Cambodia Will Be Difficult to Export [because orders for buying decline, capital necessary for production increases, and there is strong competition with other countries such as Vietnam, China, India, and Bangladesh – according to Ms. Kaing Monika, official in charge of the administration of external affairs of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia]
  • The Number of [Foreign] Tourists Still Continues to Rise [although Cambodia is having a dispute with Thailand – according to Mr. Kong Sophearak, head of the Department of Statistics and Tourist Information of the Ministry of Tourism; in the first six months of 2008, there were 1,098,236 tourists, which is a 12.6% increase compared with the same period of 2007, with only 975,349 tourists]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6413, 2-3.8.2008

  • The US Embassy Assessed that the Election in Cambodia Was Conducted Better than Previous Elections [although there were irregularities]
  • More Than 79,000 Student Candidates Will Take the High School Diploma Examinations Countrywide This Year [on 4 August 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3528, 2-3.8.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Still Continues to Deploy Troops along the Preah Vihear Temple Region Borders, and Two Cannons Still Point at the Preah Vihear Temple
  • After the Election, Land Disputes Occur Again and Citizens Wait for Hun Sen to Solve Them

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4657, 2.8.2008

  • An Open Letter from Professors in the Field of the Studies about Southeast Asia Expressed Concerns about the Preah Vihear Temple
  • The Government Spends Nearly US$30 per Student Who Takes the High School Diploma Examination [according to Mr. Chreng Limsry, Directorate of Secondary Education; the government spent approximately Riel 9,000 million (approx. US$2,250,000) in total]
  • The Ministry of Water Resource Has an Irrigation System That Can Deliver Water Directly [without using pumps – using the force of gravity] to More Than 40% of the 2.3 Million Hectares Cultivated [according to Mr. Chan Yutha, chief of cabinet of the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology]

Click here to have a look at the last Mirror editorial – where we provided detailed information about the 2003 election results, to compare them with the election results of 2008, as they become available.

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