Contraband Is Massively Imported while Members of the Authorities Are Collecting Colossal Amounts of Money – Monday, 23.8.2010

Posted on 24 August 2010. Filed under: Week 679 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 679

“Phnom Penh: State income declines, because some members of the authorities and customs officers take monetary advantage from the import of contraband and they put the money into their own pockets. After they receive bribes, they allow merchants to import these goods smoothly.

“According to regular observations at the Tumnup Dach border crossing at the Ou Bei Choan point in Ou Chrov district in Banteay Meachey, merchants do not pay money to the state, but to a group of members from various authorities or to customs officers.

“It should be noted that many gas tubes of merchants, with no taxes paid to the state, are massively imported but those merchants pay money to illegal check points along the way where soldiers, police and customs officers collect money. Each truck loaded with gas tubes has to pay them from US$30 to US$50, depending on how big or small the trucks are, so that they are not held up by these officers.

“According to trustworthy information that Kampuchea Thmey received from the Tumnup Dach border crossing at the Ou Bei Choan point, many merchants pay money to officers along the way instead of paying taxes. Some gas companies complained that they cannot sell their gas gainfully, as other merchants import a lot of gas without paying taxes and sell it at cheaper prices. Therefore, it is really difficult at present for companies working legally to sell their goods.

“Regarding to the above cases, some legally operating gas companies ask the heads of custom offices to help crack down on such activities. Particularly, the Ministry of Commerce should help to normalize the problem, otherwise state income will certainly drop.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2334, 22-23.8.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 23 August 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2334, 22-23.8.2010

  • Contraband Is Massively Imported while Members of the Authorities Are Collecting Colossal Amounts of Money
  • [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-Moon Is Already Prepared to Solve the Border Disputes between Cambodia and Thailand [according to the spokesperson of the United Nations, Mr. Farhan Haq]

Note:

The Cambodian press report reads too much into the release by the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

The HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING, FARHAN HAQ, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL, U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, Friday, August 20, 2010, carry at the end a brief note:

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPES CAMBODIA AND THAILAND WILL RESOLVE BORDER DISPUTE THROUGH DIALOGUE: In response to a question, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General hopes that Cambodia and Thailand will resolve the dispute along their border amicably through dialogue. He stands ready to help the parties.

On 20 August 2010 a publication in the region had reported that “The deputy spokesperson for UN Secretary General, Farhan Haq, replied to an email from the Cambodian press on August 18 saying that, ‘The Secretary-General is willing to mediate situation when both sides request him to do so.’”

The added explanation, “when both sides request him to do so” is almost a standard response – it is a polite, clear expression that no action will be taken if such a request comes only from one of the two sides.

But even this press report way rejected by Mr. Farhan Haq: he said that the report that Mr. Ban Ki-Moon was “willing to mediate” was inaccurate. He said that all he sent out was that Mr. Ban Ki-Moon “stands ready to help.”

What counts until now is the brief final note at the end, after several elaborate reports about other world affairs, in the official release of the HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING of 20 August 2010.

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7041, 23.8.2010

  • There Are 454 Hotels with 23,349 Rooms in Cambodian, Where Eight Are Five-Star Hotels
  • Australia Provided aid [AUD 4 Million or approx. US$ 3.60 Million] for the Construction of Justice Police Buildings [in five provinces: Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom, Prey Veng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3965, 23.8.2010

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Had Often Warned against It, but Frequently Heads of Some Institutions and Units Continue to Nominate Their Children’s Spouses or Other Relatives to Take Their Positions When They Retire

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #37, 22-23.8.2010

  • The Royal Group [of Oknha Khit Meng] Plans to Invest US$2 Billion on Rung Island [the investment project of the Royal Group was approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia in 2008, and the company is seeking additional investment capital. It aims at attracting high class tourists to visit the island. The first phase of the project will have been finished within five years from now, to create an international airport, port, hotels, a golf course, and other recreation facilities for tourism – according to a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Hang Chuon Narong]
  • Police Intercepted [two] Robbers Allegedly Involved in Almost 20 Robberies in Phnom Penh
  • Two Male Construction Workers Were Attacked with Acid over an Alleged Love Affair [the second acid attach in Phnom Penh in four days]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #242, 23.8.2010

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Is Ready to Negotiate with [the Cambodian Prime Minister] Mr. Hun Sen over Border Disputes [during the Asia Europe Summit in Brussels in October 2010]
  • The Prime Minister Warned He Will Remove Officials Who Irregularly Intervene in the Process of Making Appointments and to Change Them
  • A Trade Union Criticized a Sub-Decree about the Employment for Handicapped People [the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, said that the government creates this policy just to make it look good, though many disabled people are victims of land grabbing – according to the sub-decree all state institutions and ministries have to recruit 2% of their staff from disabled people, and the private sector has to employ at the rate of 1%]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5283, 22-23.8.2010

  • The European Union Provides Nearly US$9 Million for the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance Program [to help strengthen the capacity of the National Climate Control Committee and the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environment, to coordinate the formation of national policies and strategic plans about climate change]
  • 183 Kilogram of Snakes [for export to Vietnam] Were Seized from Merchants and Were Released into the Vaiko River [three suspects were arrested – Svay Rieng]

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A Rich Man Hit Two Persons to Death, but the Court Freed Him – Friday, 20.8.2010

Posted on 21 August 2010. Filed under: Week 678 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 678

“Phnom Penh: Road traffic police officials brought the son of a rich person who drove a car and fatally hit two persons at 11:00 p.m. on 15 August 2010, in front of house number 5 on Monyreth Boulevard in Damnak Thom village, Stung Meanchey, Meanchey, Phnom Penh, for a hearing in the morning of 19 August 2010 to find justice for the two victim’s families. But as soon as the hearing finished, that man was freed immediately. It was a really lucky result for the son of a rich family.

“During the hearing, Mr. Te Sam Ang was the judge and Mr. Sok Roeun was the prosecutor, along with the presence of the accused, Bun Sokvisal, who was standing in the wooden dock. He is a doctor at a district referral hospital and lives in Prek Boeng village, Ang Snuol, Kandal. The verdict was to sentence him to two years in prison, but it was all suspended and he was fined to pay Riel 3 Million [approx. US$700] to the state, but without any compensation imposed for the two victim’s families.

“It has been said that after the accident, the rich family went to meet the victim’s families to negotiate, and they agreed to pay for the funeral, and to give them money in exchange for the withdrawal of their charges at the court. Maybe this is the reason for the decision of the judge.

“The driver of the car was Bun Sokvisal, the son of a well-known and rich official of the Phnom Penh Municipality. It is not known whether this decision was right or wrong, but usually, if there is a fatal traffic accident, the driver must be detained.

“On 11:00 p.m. on 15 August 2010, a light gray Camry car with the number Phnom Penh 2T-6542, driven by Bun Sokvisal, crashed into a motorbike, killing the driver and a companion.” Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #35, 20.8.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 20 August 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2332, 20.8.2010

  • Victims of Mines and Unexploded Ordnance Increased in the Latest Period [within six months of 2010, there were 158 victims, compared to the same period in 2009, there were 151]
  • Two Construction Workers Were Attacked by [about ten] Gang Teens, They Killed One, and the Other Sustained Serious Injuries [police are trying to identify the perpetrators – Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7039, 20.8.2010

  • The Ministry of Justice Reminded All Municipal Courts of the Code of Ethics for Judges over the Performance of Their Duties [as some judges leave their duties to clerks to investigate without the presence of judges and of prosecutors, which is against the laws]
  • A Man Killed His Mother-In-Law, Wife, Son, and [two] Sisters-in-Law [five persons] and Then Committed Suicide [after he had a dispute with family members, as he was repeatedly caught trying to rape a sister-in-law; three other family members were seriously injured – Svay Rieng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3963, 20.8.2010

  • Hundreds of Stoung District Residents Protested in Front of the Kompong Thom Municipal Court to Demand the Release of [Sam Rainsy Party activist] Lem Nath Who Is Innocent [she was arrested on the allegation of forging thumbprints]

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #35, 20.8.2010

  • A Rich Man Hit Two Persons to Death, but the Court Freed Him
  • Russian Tycoon [Alexander Trofimov] Apologized to Nineteen Khmer Victimized Girls [over debauchery; some of them are underage]
  • Seventeen Khmer Workers Were Rescued from Malaysia [they suffered from forced labor, working as fishermen and domestic servants]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #241, 20.8.2010

  • The Khmer and Thai Prime Ministers Might Discuss Border Disputes [in Belgium during an Asia-Europe Summit, from 4 to 5 October 2010]
  • [Three] Representatives of Kos Krolor Residents Flee into the Forest [after police surrounded their houses over land disputes with a military police official who tried to evict 415 families from an area of 1,672 hectares to claim land for a rubber plantation – Battambang]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5281, 20.8.2010

  • Trade Unions Announced to Strike in Mid September [from 13 to 14] to Demand a Pay Rise [to between US$75 and US$93 as minimum wage per month; at present it is just US$61]
  • [The Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Asked South Korea to Help Intercept Illegal Marriages [between Khmer women and Korean men]
  • By 2010, Cambodia Has Been Provided with US$250 Million Grants and Loans [separation and amounts of the two not reported] from South Korea

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Trade Unions Should Have Only One Voice to Negotiate with Employers – Friday, 30.7.2010

Posted on 31 July 2010. Filed under: Week 675 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 675

“Trade unions agreed that they should have only one voice to negotiate with enterprises if disputes take place.

“The head of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, said on Thursday, 29 July 2010, that in a meeting about the draft of a Trade Union Law it was suggested by the government that in an enterprise, even though there are many trade union representatives [there are by now 49 different labor federations and associations], there should be only one person chosen to negotiate with the employer. He went on to say that there is no adequate opportunity provided for trade unions to voice their opinion responding to the government and to the Ministry of Labor that created that draft. He said that this law is restrictive and leaves less power to trade unions when they act to support workers.

“The head of the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions, Mr. Vong Sovann, said on Thursday that a closed door meeting had found that this draft states the obligations of workers and of employers. He said, ‘We think that the draft should be changed to a [general] law on “expert organization,” but it is just our idea and we will send it to the government after the meeting.’ He added that trade unions want the government to consider this and to remove some points. He said, ‘There should not be a requirement to state the financial situation of a union to the Ministry. The draft might rather suggest that trade unions have to be transparent for their members, which is not a problem.’

“Mr. Vong Sovann does not agree with the requirement that legally registered trade unions will have to register again after the draft will have been adopted. Therefore, the meeting will suggest to the government to remove this point. He said, ‘If strikes or demonstrations due to labor conflicts happen, the law should not consider them as crimes which might lead to the arrest of some representatives of the workers.’ Trade union representatives met to discuss also some important key issues like strikes, unjust implementation of the labor law, penalty conditions, and the court system.” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #226, 30.7.2010

http://www.camfeba.com/

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2314, 30.7.2010

  • The European Union Considers Duch’s 35 Year Imprisonment as Insufficient [but he has to serve 19 years only, considering his past imprisonment and a reduction of punishment; he was responsible to oversee the murder of more than 10,000 people in the Tuol Sleng Prison]
  • A Deputy Director of a [Natural Resources and Biodiversity Protection] Organization Was Arrested for Raping an Underage Girl Twice [she is 14 years old, Siem Reap]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7021, 30.7.2010

  • The European Union Released a Report about Cooperation in Cambodia [which focuses on human rights, good governance, and climate change; there was also discussion about the release of European Union Blue Books, written about the support of the European Union in various important sectors, part of its commitment to encourage transparency and to promote understanding about extensive development programs of the European Union]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3945, 30.7.2010

  • Cambodia Announced to Use Troops to Withstand Siamese [Thai] Ambitions to Take Control of the 4.6 Square Kilometers around the Preah Vihear Temple

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #17, 30.7.2010

  • Siam [Thailand] Set a Time to Walk Out from the UNESCO Meeting [of the World Heritage Committee, which is to make a final decision at 10:00 p.m. [no time zone given] on 29 July 2010 about the Cambodian management plan for the Preah Vihear Temple region; the Thai Prime Minister said that Thailand has prepared troops to withstand Cambodian troops if the border dispute at the Preah Vihear region would becomes more tense]
  • The Ministry of Agriculture Drafted a Sub-Decree about Agriculture Related Contracts for the First Time [in order to promote trust between farmers and companies]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #226, 30.7.2010

  • Trade Unions Should Have Only One Voice to Negotiate with Employers
  • A Hyundai Truck Assembly Factory in Koh Kong Will Begin Its Operations in September 2010
  • The National Assembly Asked the Apsara Authority to Check Requests of Citizens [from 1,255 families, to allow them to reconstruct their houses and selling stalls]
  • The United Nations Declared that the Right of Access to Clean Water Is Also Human Right

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5263, 30.7.2010

  • HAEDA City Group [from South Korea] Starts the Angkor Resort City Project with US$470 Million as Capital [to construct a four-star hotel, condos, a golf course, a commercial center, a supermarket, a health center, etc.]
  • The National Assembly Decided to Withhold Money of [opposition party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua’s Salary [as compensation to Prime Minister Hun Sen, as she lost in a defamation case]

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Cambodia Warned UN Officials Not to Interfere in Cambodian Affairs – Friday, 9.7.2010

Posted on 10 July 2010. Filed under: Week 672 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 672

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia accused the director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Christophe Peschoux, claiming that he acted beyond his role when he criticized the deportation of two Thai red-shirt activists on Monday 5 July 2010, and the Ministry warned that such comment from him might make the government reconsider his presence in Cambodia.

“On Wednesday, 7 July 2010, the director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Christophe Peschoux, spoke to local media, saying that the deportation of the two Thais are ‘political decisions’ which lack appropriate procedure.

“In a letter dated 8 July 2010, the Ministry reminded Mr. Peschoux that he has no right to make such a criticism, as it relates to decisions within the exclusive right of the Cambodian government. The letter ends with the following remark, ‘Any such activities in future will make the Royal Government of Cambodia to decide over his presence in Cambodia.’

“This letter is similar to one sent in March to the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Douglas Broderick, which had warned to expell him from Cambodia for criticizing the process taken by the government for the adoption of the anti-corruption law.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said on 8 July 2010 that the letter was sent to Mr. Peschoux to alert him to respect a memorandum of understanding, signed on 1 January 2010 with the government. He added, ‘It does not mean that we want to expell him, but we just want to alert him.’

“Mr. Peschoux could not be reached for comment on 8 July 2010.” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #211, 9.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2296, 9.7.2010

  • Workers Will Receive a Minimum Salary of US$61 per Month from 1 October 2010 [before that, the minimum salary is US$50; the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, announced a plan to strike on 13, 14, and 15 July 2010 to demand an increase of the minimum salary to US$70]
  • Because of Jealousy, a Man Killed His Wife by Cutting Her Throat [he was arrested – Pursat]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7003, 9.7.2010

  • Cambodia Is Open for Equity Ownership by Foreign Investments [according to the World Bank, Cambodia will allow foreign investors to take up to 100% of ownership in all sectors, except for electricity and the ports]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3927, 9.7.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Plans to Hold a Press Conference [about the courts and justice in Cambodia on 15 July 2010] a Day Ahead of the Deadline to Pay a Fine [for losing in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s defamation case]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #211, 9.7.2010

  • Cambodia Warned UN Officials Not to Interfere in Cambodian Affairs
  • Defense Lawyers [of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea] Asked [the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] to Investigate Political Interference into the Affairs of the Tribunal [they said that the government is interfering to threaten the right of their client in judicial hearings; the government opposes to question government officials and investigations of other former Khmer Rouge leaders]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Decided to Detain the Second Wife of Oknha Khov Chily over the [failed] Murders [of the wife and a daughter of a Senior Minister of the Cambodian People’s Party, a former FUNCINPEC minister of Public Works and Transportation, Mr. Sun Chanthol – Phnom Penh]
  • The Green Light Is Given for Marriages between Cambodians and South Koreans [the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, said that the ban on marriages is lifted after the Cambodian government has organized a clear monitoring mechanism against fake marriages and human trafficking]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5245, 9.7.2010

  • A Gay Man Was Killed and His Body Was Thrown Away at Kilometer 6 [of National Road 5, in the Russey Keo district of Phnom Penh; perpetrators are not yet identified]
  • Two People Died and Fifty Seven Others Are Having Severe Diarrhea [Svay Rieng]

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A Senior Official of the Government Rejects the Summons to Appear at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Thursday, 17.6.2010

Posted on 17 June 2010. Filed under: Week 669 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 669

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, rejected a warrant from a co-investigating judge of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Marcel Lemonde, who called some high ranking officials of the Royal Government to appear as witnesses. The rejection was made public on 15 June 2010 during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong said that he had already received the warrant from a co-investigating judge requesting him to be a witness. He added that, as Mr. Marcel Lemonde knows well, he was a prisoner, but he will not respond to the summons for legal reasons. According to the agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations, a summons should have two signatures, both from one Khmer and from one foreign co-investigating judge.

Note:

Repeated from The Mirror of 10.6.2010 to explain that there had been two signatures, but one got crossed out later:

Disagreement among Co-Investigating Judges at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

The Cambodia Daily added on 10 June 2010 that Mr. Marcel Lemonde stated that the letter to start further investigations waited for three weeks to be signed. Then Mr. You Bonleng signed it.

The Cambodia Daily then quotes Mr. You Bonmleng’s letter from 8 June 2010:

  • “Throughout the process of reflection on your proposal and the ultimatum you imposed on me, I had thought that it seemed time to take action as part of cases 003 and 004; I therefore signed the draft rogatory letters on Friday, 4 June 2010.
  • However, upon more attentive and deeper consideration of the question, I think that it is not yet opportune to take action in cases 003 and 004.
  • So I permit myself to return to you the draft rogatory letters containing your signature, mine being crossed out, and we shall contemplate discussion on any measures concerning cases 003 and 004 in the month of September 2010.”

“Mr. Hor Namhong added, ‘Mr. Marcel Lemonde is a person from the legal field, but he himself does not respect the law as he signed this document alone.’ Therefore, as a member of the Royal Government that negotiated with the United Nations and signed the agreement between the government and the United Nations about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, he cannot breach the agreement to follow Mr. Marcel Lemonde.

“Recently, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had issued a warrant to invite leaders of the government to be witnesses in order to put further burden on the five former Khmer Rouge leaders in detention at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6984, 17.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 17 June 2010

Areyathor, Vol.17, #1444, 17-18.6.2010

  • A Military Police Officer Was Fatally Shot by an Unknown Person in Front of the Reatrei Singapore Restaurant [Phnom Penh]

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #506, 17.6.2010

  • [UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia] Surya Subedi Praised Cambodia over [the efforts to conduct] Judicial Reform

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2277, 17.6.2010

  • [The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Mony Announced there Will Be a Three Days Demonstration from 13 to 15 July [to ask for an increase of workers’ salaries, and to demand that the owner of the TACFAT garment factor has to obey the labor law]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #683, 17.6.2010

  • The Declaration of Property through Closed and Sealed Letters Might Be a Play of the Ruling Party [all members of the newly created National Anti-Corruption Council are required to declare their property]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6984, 17.6.2010

  • A Senior Official of the Government Rejects the Summons to Appear at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Two Men Were Killed by Lightnings in Kompong Cham and Kompong Thom within the Same Half Hour

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #195, 17.6.2010

  • This Year the Number of People Killed by Lightning Dropped [during 5 months, there were 53 deaths, compared to the same period in 2009, when there were 73 deaths]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5226, 17.6.2010

  • Germany Promised to Grant More Aid [Euro 400,000, approx. US$500,000 to the Victims’ Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] to Encourage the Participation by More Victims in the Hearing of Khmer Rouge Leaders
  • Japanese Businesspeople and Investors Come to Study Investment Possibilities in Cambodia

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People Losing Land and Housing Plan to Protest in Front of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Monday, 14.6.2010

Posted on 15 June 2010. Filed under: Week 669 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 669

“Phnom Penh: Human Rights activists said that many citizens who have land disputes and suffer from evictions without proper compensation plan to come from provinces and cities to protest and to express their difficulties to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi, on Monday, 14 June 2010.

“The UN Special Rapporteur, Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi, is on a 10 days mission in Cambodia, starting from 8 June 2010. Mr. Surya did not intend to take up land disputes and the evictions of citizens as important topics to discuss them with the head of the Cambodian government. He mentioned only the judicial reform as the subject to be discussed, to find solutions during his third visit to Cambodia.

“An official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC], Mr. Uoch Leng, said that on 14 June 2010, many citizens who are victims of land disputes in several provinces and cities will come to protest in front of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia at House Number 4, Street 302, Boeng Keng Kang I commune, Chamkar Mon district, Phnom Penh.

“This activist said that the protest aims to express the difficulties of citizens losing land due to the activities of the rich and of the powerful, and due to the provision of economic concession land to private companies, which affect and make citizens lose the land on which they depend for their lives.

“Mr. Uoch Leng added that on 14 June 2010, there will be citizens from the Kompong Tralach district in Kompong Chhnang, the Kandal Stung district from Kandal, the Chi Kraeng district from Siem Reap, the Romeas Haek district from Svay Rieng, the Thpong and Oral districts from Kompong Speu, and the Srae Ambel district from Koh Kong, citizens from the Boeng Kak Lake area in Phnom Penh, and some other citizens involved in land disputes.

“According to ADHOC, since early 2010, 42 citizens were jailed over land disputes at different provinces and cities. 187 citizens were accused by courts relating to land disputes with private companies, officials, and the rich, such as in Svay Rieng, Takeo, Siem Reap, Kampot, Preah Vihear, Kompong Thom, Kompong Speu, Battambang, and Oddar Meanchey.

“About 150,000 citizens have been evicted from their homes on the basis of not transparent decisions by the courts.

“Regarding the plan of citizens from different areas to protest, an advisor of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, considers that officials of some non-government organizations which tend towards the opposition, take the opportunity to benefit from the visit of Mr. Surya.

“Mr. Tith Sothea, an adviser of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, added that those organizations encourage the UN human rights Special Rapporteur to solve land disputes so that they can apply for more international funds for their own organizations.

“Mr. Tith Sothea said the government is conducting reforms on land disputes, and the concessions of many companies had been withdrawn by the Royal Government after it became obvious that there was no development. He added that the plan of citizens from provinces and cities to protest on Monday, 14 June 2010, is within their rights, and their demonstration will not be prohibited by the authorities.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 18, #5223, 13-14.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 14 June 2010

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #107, 14-15.6.2010

  • The Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers Called on Workers [in the whole country] to Suspend Their Work on 13, 14, and 15 July 2010 [to ask for an increase of their monthly salaries to at least US$70, and to demand that factory owners have to obey the labor law]

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #503, 13-14.6.2010

  • The Authorities Allow 237 Families, Victimized by a Fire [at the railway block in Tuol Kork] to Settle on the Same Area [they will not be required to relocate to a new area – Phnom Penh]
  • About 100 Workers at the Seratic Garment Factory Fainted because of Inhaling Gas Leaking from some Pipes

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2274, 13-14.6.2010

  • The Supreme Court Ordered the [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua to Pay a Fine [roughly US$4,000 for losing a defamation case with Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • The Ministry of Information Ordered to Stop the Broadcasting of the Program of [the director of a development and training organization, providing education about democracy via radio at FM 90 in Phnom Penh, FM 90.25 in Battambang, FM 88.5 in Kompong Thom, and FM 90.25 in Oddar Meanchey, who is also the president the League for Democracy Party – “Think Together – Decide Together – Act Together” – who is a [dissident] former Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Khem Veasna [claiming that the programs did not follow the principles set by the ministry, as the programs were often used for political propaganda]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6981, 14.6.2010

  • Within Three Months of this Year, Thai Products Imported to Cambodia Amounted to US$700 Million [and Cambodian products exported to Thailand were only about US$24 million]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3905, 14.6.2010

  • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC] Denied that It Encourages Citizens Losing Land to Meet with the UN Human Rights Special Representative This Morning [there had been such accusations against ADHOC, but the accuser is not mentioned]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #192, 14.6.2010

  • [With more than 60,000 thumbprints attached] Citizens Victimized by Land Disputes Plan to Send a Petition to the Prime Minister [to ask for his intervention]
  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Plans to Go to China at the End of June [for a medical checkup]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5223, 13-14.6.2010

  • People Losing Land and Housing Plan to Protest in Front of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • The Export of Cambodia to France Increased [to Euro 83 million or approx. US$100 million in 2009, compared to 2008, when it was Euro 82 million], while There Are More French Investments in Cambodia [amounting to more than Euro 90 million or approx. US$108 million – [no 2010 figures given here]]

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Changing Approaches to Old Problems – Sunday, 13.6.2010

Posted on 14 June 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 668 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 668

Though the development of labor unions has progressed over the years, there were always also tensions. First, it has to be acknowledged that there will always be tensions, that is: between labor unions on the one side, through which workers express their opinion and negotiate their claims and rights – and the owners of the enterprises where they work. Both sides need each other, and it is always necessary to work towards an equilibrium between both sides and their interests.

In many countries with a market economy system, it is the state that is watching over this balance of power so that it is fair and helps maintain social peace and, if possible, also economic progress in a society. But when one of these sides has the impression that the state does not take a neutral position, but is favoring one side over the other, relations get strained.

The recently passed legislation to restrict public demonstrations by limiting the number of participants to 200, and to designate a place for these people to meet, restricting their public display by marching together, followed by announcements that the Ministry of Labor is drafting a new law on Labor Unions. While there was no general opposition to regulate the role of labor unions by law, it was greeted by suspicion that it is another attempt to control the unions, for example be imposing some mechanisms how they have to report their finances transparently. – It is not publicly known that the government is planning to impose similar regulations on the other side. The Ministry of Labor has indicated that the draft of the law would be made available for discussion in time – again this is not yet seen to come, after the draft anti-corruption law had been kept confidential almost until the time when it was discussed and voted upon.

At the same time where such a move to more regulation by the state is perceived in Cambodia, there are unprecedented movements in China that workers of some international companies are breaking out of the system of the Chinese, state regulated labor unions, where workers have started to act independently – not 200, but close to 20,000 in one place – to claim public attention to their situation.

The Bangkok Post presented an interesting analysis and overview of these developments – and its problems – on 13 June 2010:

On Friday morning, about 17,000 workers at a Honda car parts plant in Zhongshan, China, held a protest march to the factory gates. They were demanding an almost doubling of their wages and the right to form their own labor unions, as opposed to the government controlled national federation of trade unions. This was the third Honda plant hit by a work stoppage in the last two weeks…

It is more that a little ironic that China, a country that in March announced a new certification system for reporters which requires training in Marxist theories, has been seeing increasing incidents of labor groups demonstrating for greater rights.

It is, of course, a basic premise of Marxism that capitalism exploits the working class, who are the true producers of wealth in society.

The events in Zhongshan follow close on the heels of the bad publicity surrounding a spate of suicides at the giant Foxconn Technology group… which employs more than 300,000 workers making iPhones and other electronic devices. Workers at the compound complained that they were driven like robots by the excessively fast assembly line…

The company agreed to a 65% pay increase for workers, which it says will be passed on to the buyers of its electronic goods.

It is encouraging that the company has taken steps to improve the lot of workers, but this coincides with the announcement that the company might move some of its production lines back to Taiwan, if the government there offers enough incentives, especially lowering the minimum wage for hiring foreign laborers.

The awakening of China’s labor force has to be considered a good thing, but striking a balance that allows a much better quality of life for workers, and enough profitability to keep the companies offering foreign direct investment interested will be a challenge for the workers, for the companies, and for the government.

The Mirror had reported recently about a protracted labor conflict – and that the plan of workers to suspend their work for three days, to demand an increase of salaries, and that the employer obey the labor law, is still not canceled.

Such developments may have an influence also on Cambodia. Not only in terms of labor-management relations in Cambodia, but it may also lead to new job opportunities for Cambodian workers abroad – an increasing number of people finding employment and economic returns in other countries: in Malaysia, in South Korea, and increasingly in some Arab countries.

And this at a time – though in a different context – when the Cambodian Watchdog Council is requesting that the number of foreigners living in Cambodia should be made more transparent, and probably more controlled.

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Phnom Penh Still Lacks School Buildings in 2010 – Monday, 21.12.2009

Posted on 21 December 2009. Filed under: Week 644 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 644

“Officials of the Department of Education, Youth, and Sports of Phnom Penh said that in 2010, Phnom Penh lacks hundreds of classrooms for students, both at primary and secondary levels.

“The deputy head of the Phnom Department of Education, Youth, and Sports, Mr. Em Ham Khuon, said on 18 December 2009 that at present, there are 22 lower secondary schools and 25 high schools in Phnom Penh. Most school do not have sufficient classrooms; secondary schools lack 110 rooms, and only 8 of the 25 high schools lack 80 rooms, while primary schools lack about 100 rooms.

“Mr. Hem Ham Khuon added that at primary schools, there are not so many problems, as the Japanese government helped to build 11 buildings with 224 classrooms in 2005 and in 2007. In 2010, the Japanese government plans to help to construct 7 more buildings with 96 classrooms, spending approximately US$5,330,000 for 7 primary schools in Phnom Penh.

“Mr. Em Ham Khuon went on to say that the shortage of classrooms at the secondary level results from the increasing number of students, and it is also because most lower secondary schools are located together with primary schools, and some high schools were formed through the expansion of lower secondary schools.

“The lack of classrooms gravely affects the students’ education.

“Mr. Em Ham Khuon said that due to the lack of classrooms, some schools are forced to put up to 50 or 60 students into one classroom, beyond the standard number students in one classroom set by the Ministry of Education at 40 to 45 students. That means students have to be squeezed into the rooms. At some schools, there are three shifts per day: the first shift from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; the second shift from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and the third shift from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. He emphasized that the lack of classrooms affects also the curriculum of the Ministry of Education. According to the curriculum of the Ministry, in one week, there should be 34 to 36 sessions [with 45 minutes per session], but at present, due to the lack of classrooms, at some schools, there are only 27 to 28 sessions, and each school has to encourage teachers to teach more to catch up with the curriculum of the Ministry.

“Educational analysts suggested that if the Ministry of Education does not solve the lack of classrooms soon, the quality of education will deteriorate, because there are up to 50 or 60 students in one classroom, leading to disorder and making it difficult for teachers to teach, and for students to gain knowledge. When some schools try to speed up teaching the students to catch up with the curriculum of the Ministry of Education, that leads to neglecting the quality of education – they just manage to catch up with the curriculum and do not care whether students can gain anything from it or not.

“Mr. Em Ham Khuon called on the leaders of the government, on national and international organizations, and on generous people to donate funds for the construction of school buildings, as long as there is a lack of classrooms, in order to help to foster the education for students as well as to achieve a better quality of education.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2129, 20-21.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 21 December 2009

Deum Tnot, Vol.2, #92, 21-22.12.2009

  • Many Khmer Workers in Detention in Thailand Are Not as Lucky as Siwarak Chothipong, a Thai Citizen Accused [who was quickly pardoned by the Khmer King]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2129, 20-21.12.2009

  • Phnom Penh Still Lacks School Buildings in 2010

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6836, 21.12.2009

  • A UNESCO Delegation Visited the Preah Vihear Temple [to conduct more studies to restore and repair the ancient area of the temple, listed as a world heritage site]
  • Six People Died and Four Were Injured in a Car Crash on National Road 6A [Kandal]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #71, 21.12.2009

  • Human Rights Activists and Diplomats Criticized Cambodia for Deporting Uighur People [back to China; according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, 20 of them were sent back at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday 19 December 2009 from [the military section of] Phnom Penh International Airport to China; the head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Mr. Ou Vireak, and the spokesperson of the UNHCR, Mr. Kitty McKinsey, said that the deportation violates the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, to which Cambodia has signed on]
  • The Poipet Authorities Rejected to Provide Shelter for [24] Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [they had been sent from Thailand; the Poipet governor said that those people were identified as originating from Kompong Chhnang, Prey Veng, and Takeo, and therefore they can just return to their home towns and villages]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1482, 21.12.2009

  • [The former Thai prime minister, after prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted] Surayud Chulanont Wants to Be a Mediator for Negotiations between [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra and [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5078, 20-21.12.2009

  • Cambodia Decided to Deport Chinese Ethnic Uighurs
  • Belgium Provided [US$715,468] Funds for Mine Clearance in Cambodia
  • Europe Grants US$1.3 Million Additionally for Human Rights in Cambodia
  • [The European Union ambassador and head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand] David Lipman: The Rule of Law in Cambodia Is Advancing
  • The first [H5N1] Bird Flu Patient in 2009 Was Confirmed [by now, there are 9 cases since 2005 in Cambodia]
  • A Document Disclosed that Thailand Planned to Use Military Force against Cambodia [according to the claim of a member of the opposition Puea Thai Party interviewed by The Nation – while the government claims that the plan has been distorted by the member of the opposition party who “disclosed” it]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1847, 21.12.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson and parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Asked the Government of the Cambodian People’s Party to Implement the Immigration Law Properly
  • [The head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Mony Asked the Siamese [Thai] King to Pardon Khmer Workers Being Detained in Thailand

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A Village Chief Shot and Killed a Sam Rainsy Party Activist, and Police Gave the Victim’s Family US$900 so that They Do Not Sue – Thursday, 3.12.2009

Posted on 4 December 2009. Filed under: Week 641 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

“An activist of the Sam Rainsy Party was shot dead by a village chief who lives in a different village, while the victim and his nephew were fishing at a canal; and police gave the victim’s wife US$900 so that she would not inform civil society and sue him at the court. This is according to the deputy director of the Sam Rainsy Party in Prey Veng, Mr. Pim Samnang, who received the information from the victim’s family.

“But the police chief of Sithor Kandal denied that he negotiated anything with the victim’s wife to stop suing him.

“Mr. Pim Samnang told Khmer Machas Srok in the morning of 2 December 2009 at the Sam Rainsy Headquarters in Phnom Penh, that the victim is Buo Boun, 28. He lived in Prasat village, Chrey Khmum commune, Sithor Kandal, Prey Veng. He added that at 7:00 p.m. on 28 November 2009, Buo Boun together with an 11-year-old boy was shot by Voeun, the chief of the Ta Nal village which is in the same commune, killing him immediately at the site while he and his nephew were fishing at the Anhchanh canal in his village.

“The perpetrator shot the victim three times, and once hit him in the back in the shoulder-blade.

“The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Prey Veng, Mr. Chea Pouch said, ‘I cannot assume that it is political, but we let police investigate it first with participation from civil society.’

“He added, ‘I condemn the murderer who was already known as a village chief from the Cambodian People’s Party.” Therefore, police must capture the murderer as the target is clearly identified already.’

“According to this report, at about 2:00 p.m. on 29 November 2009, his wife Din Then knew her husband died. The victim is a farmer and has a six-year-old daughter. His wife is now eight months pregnant.

“The report went on to say that on 1 December 2009, police officials of Sithor Kandal went to negotiate with the victim’s wife and family by offering US$900 to Buo Boun’s wife so there would be no complaint to the court and to civil society.

“The Sithor Kandal district police chief, Mr. Net, told Khmer Machas Srok via telephone yesterday evening [2 December 2009] that indeed there was a killing which resulted from an electric fishing shock. When asked whether police helped to negotiate to pay US$900 to stop any complaint, Mr. Net denied it and claimed that his role is to make a report and to send it to higher levels, and to try to arrest the perpetrator for prosecution.

“He added that the police has not yet arrested the perpetrator, but they know who he is.

“Though Mr. Net denied negotiating with the victim’s family, Ms. Din Then, villagers and the victim’s relatives claimed that the district police did negotiate to pay US$900 to the victims’ wife in order to stop her going to sue at the court.

“Buo Boun was an orphan and an outstanding activist of the Sam Rainsy Party. He used to be an agent of the Sam Rainsy Party at his village and also the one who was able to find most support for the Sam Rainsy Party for the national elections in 2008. His murder is considered as political, as he never had disputes with anyone.

“Mr. Pim Samnang called police to arrest the perpetrator, Voeun, the village chief, to be convicted according to the law.

“Yesterday evening, it was reported that the secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party, Ms. Ke Sovannarath, wrote a letter to the Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, requesting him to arrest the perpetrator to be prosecuted according to the law.

“It should be noted that last month, an activist of the Sam Rainsy Party was attacked and killed while the victim and his wife were sleeping in their cottage to guard their paddy rice in Basedth district, Kompong Speu.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #545, 3.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 3 December 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1421, 3.12.2009

  • [The President of the National Assembly] Samdech Heng Samrin: Khmers Are Happy with the Nomination of Thaksin Shinawatra [Thai ousted prime minister — but also convicted to two years in prison for economic corruption, who fled the country breaking his bail promise — as an economic advisor]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #352, 3.12.2009

  • Lecturers and Students of the Royal University of Agriculture Stopped Striking after They Were Promised a Solution [related to corruption suspicions among the leadership of the university]
  • Nearly Two Tonnes of Snakes and Turtles Were Intercepted before They Were Trafficked Illegally to Vietnam through the Chrey Thom Border Crossing

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2114, 3.12.2009

  • The Minister of Commerce [Mr. Cham Prasidh], Said that Cambodia, like Other Countries in the World, Suffers from the Economic Crisis
  • Police Arrested More Than 100 Troublemaking Teens Who Stay at Guesthouses Together and Use Drugs [Phnom Penh]
  • A Perpetrator Who Raped and Killed a Woman Was Arrested [Kandal]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #545, 3.12.2009

  • A Village Chief Shot and Killed a Sam Rainsy Party Activist, and Police Gave the Victim’s Family US$900 so that They Do Not Sue

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6821, 3.12.2009

  • The Diplomatic Dispute Does Not Cut Off Military Ties, and Cambodian and Thai Troops Play Friendship Sports on the Dangrek Mountains
  • A Grandson Is a Cruel Murderer Who Killed His Grandmother [and injured a servant seriously; it is assumed the murder is related to a conflict over family property – Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #59, 3.12.2009

  • Hundreds of Vietnamese Women Were Trafficked to Cambodia [within 11 months of 2009, as many as 773 Vietnamese women were arrested by the government [and sent back to Vietnam], and also Cambodian citizens, including children, women, and men were trafficked; according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Youth Rehabilitation]
  • The Cambodian-South Korean Commerce Declined by More Than 11% within 10 Months of 2009 [to only US$232.8 million], but It Might Recover Next Year
  • Obama Will Send 30,000 Soldiers More to Afghanistan

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5063, 3.12.2009

  • The European Union Grants More Than US$2 Million [Euro 2 million] to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Thai Mother Came to Visit Her Son at the Prey Sar Prison for the Second Time Quietly [he was accused as a spy for coping the flight plan — flight plans in many countries are public information to strengthen air traffic safety by sharing information — of the Thai ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. – According to other sources, she was greeted at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who accompanied her to the prison]
  • Two New International Co-Prosecutors for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [Mr. Andrew T. Cayley and Mr. Paul Coffey] Were Appointed [after having been nominated four month ago]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1825, 3.12.2009

  • Five Thousands People [from different organizations, associations, communities, trade unions, and ethnic minorities] Plan to March on 10th December – Human Rights Day – in Phnom Penh

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Trade Unions Discuss Wages of Workers while Buying Orders Decreased to 40% – Tuesday 17.3.2009

Posted on 19 March 2009. Filed under: Week 604 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 604

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: Trade unions and the director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies found that to live properly, wages of industrial workers, especially garment workers, should be between US$87 and US$113 per month excluding overtime wages.

“Nevertheless, during a discussion on 16 March 2009 at the Phnom Penh Hotel, supported by the [German] Friedrich Ebert Foundation, trade unions and the director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies have not brought up any new measure to increase wages for workers, because of feeling threats from the global economic crisis.

“According to research conducted by the director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies since December 2008 until January 2009, by interviewing 353 garment workers (91% are female and 9% are male) from 47 factories around Phnom Penh: the average earning of a worker is US$79 per month from garment work, including the basic wage, additional wages according to production achievements, former wages, overtime payments, livelihood allowances, skills’ wage additionals, and various awards. But if overtime payment is not included, a worker earns only US$67 on average. As for their total expenses, both the expenses for daily necessities of a worker and their financial obligations (money to be sent to support their family), is US$72 per month on average, where US$57 (80%) are individual necessities (food and accommodation), and US$15 per month is to be sent home.

“As for the savings among workers interviewed, 81% have positive savings – that is US$10 per month can be saved – while 19% lack US$8 on average, because they earn low wages and do not work overtime, and their expenses are high, as they have to send much money to their home. This problem leads to the need for some support from their home, such as a supply of rice, fish, meat, or taking up additional loans.

“The director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Studies, Mr. Kang Chandararath, said that US$57 per month, or around US$1.90 per day, is available for daily necessities, and this is far less than the figure calculated by the National Institute of Statistics, which had estimated that for living in Phnom Penh, at least US$3 is necessary per day. According to the research, most workers, 85%, are not satisfied with their current wages, while 13% said that they are somewhat satisfied, and 3% said that they are satisfied.

“The president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union – C.CAWDU, Mr. Ath Thun, said regarding the wages of workers that he had gone to Hong Kong in China to attend a meeting, and he demanded that thorough research be done, and he submitted it as a request to the Royal Government. But the secretary-general of the National Industrial Federation Trade Union of Cambodia – NIFTUC, Mr. Kim Chansamnang, said that the wages of workers are still under discussions.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Oum Mean, said that he does not dismiss this research, but he would like to call on workers to understand the difficulties of Cambodia, which was and which is being affected by the global economic crisis – and the whole world is the market of Cambodia. When economies decline, they do not have much income, and their demand will decline, making their buying orders in Cambodia also to drop. If there are no buying orders, the factories have to close, and not just US$70 or US$80 will be lost, but there will be nothing.

“Mr. Oum Mean asked workers to stay calm until the situation gets better. The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, Mr. Van So Ieng, said that in just the two months of 2009, buying orders for Cambodia declined to 40%. As for the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Cham Prasidh, he said recently that 70 factories closed since the economic crisis erupted in August 2008, and this made more than 51,000 workers jobless. Aware of this hard situation, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, called on 24 February 2009, during a certificate awarding ceremony to graduates, on workers not to demonstrate or to strike, in order to avoid the closure of factories which would lead to job losses.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1899, 17.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #39, 17.3.2009

  • America: Airports and the Sea Are the Places where Drugs Come Out from Cambodia
  • [Former Phnom Penh Police chief] Criminal Heng Pov Will Be Sentenced on 24 March 2009 for Murdering the Editor-in-Chief of Koh Santepheap

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #140, 17.3.2009

  • Thieves Broke into [six] Gold Stalls in the Olympic Market and Took Away Gold Worth Half a Million Dollars [police have not yet identified the thieves]
  • Israel Plans to Invite the Cambodian Prime Minister to Make an Official Visit
  • A Storm Destroyed 34 Houses, Seriously Wounded Eight People, and Lightly Wounded Four [Banteay Meanchey]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1899, 17.3.2009

  • Trade Unions Discuss Wages of Workers while Buying Orders Decreased to 40%
  • [Deputy Prime Minister and secretary-general of Funcinpec] Nhek Bun Chhay Plans to Sue CTN TV Presenter [Soy Sopheap for defaming Funcinpec five times]; More Than 2,000 Funcinpec Members Prepare to Demonstrate in Front of the CTN Television Station
  • Video of [a karaoke singer who suffered an acid attack in 1999 because of an affair with a high ranking official] Tat Marina’s Life Shown in Switzerland on 8 March 2009 [International Women’s Rights Day] Now Reaches Cambodia [the video was delivered to a human rights organization to make copies and distribute them to journalists]
  • [Ousted prime minister] Thaksin Encourages People to Support the Puea Thai Party so that He Can Return

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6604, 17.3.2009

  • Former Japanese Ambassador [Imagawa Yukio] Visits Cambodia Regarding Various Developments
  • Germany Grants Euro 130,000 for the UN Inter Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region [UNIAP]
  • 69-Year-Old Man Raped 7-Year-Old Girl [he was arrested – Sihanoukville]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #1713, 17.3.2009

  • Ieng Sary’s Lawyers Appeal against the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Order to Close Their Website – http://sites.google.com/site/iengsarydefence/
  • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party]: Hun Sen Government Faces Lack of Resources to Support Government Processes in 2009

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4847, 17.3.2009

  • An Arrest Warrant Is Released for an Advisor of a Leader [not mentioning who] for Deceiving and Using Fake Documents

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1674, 17.3.2009

  • Head of the Biggest Hospital in Cambodia Goes to Receive Treatment in Singapore [the director of the Calmette Hospital, a secretary of state of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Heng Taikry, suffered a stroke]
  • Opposition Party and a Civil Society Organization [the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO] Advise [CTN TV presenter and editor-in-chief of Deum Ampil] Soy Sopheap to Stick to Journalism [by stopping to use his position as a journalist to attack different political parties]

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