Most of the Important Positions at International Border Crossings Are Not Reassigned, not Following a Sub-Decree – Friday, 21.5.2010

Posted on 22 May 2010. Filed under: Week 665 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 665

“Phnom Penh: Important positions of some officials – such as police, customs, and CamControl – at border crossings for international travelers and at border crossings for local travel are, at present, not reassigned properly, contrary to the terms that are clearly set by the Royal Government in a sub-decree.

“Sub-Decree 64, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2001, that consists of 13 chapters and 39 articles, clearly speaks about the structure for the administration, and the roles and terms of the officials that must be followed.

“According to Chapter 8, about the terms in Article 29, the head of border crossings for international travelers, and the officers at border crossings for local travel, the heads of sea ports, and the heads of other expert authorities must be reshuffled every two years. According to Article 30, officials stationed at border crossings for international travelers, and at other border crossings, will be reshuffled every year.

“But in reality, those officials collude with each other systematically, and important officials are not reshuffled according the terms as clearly stated in the Sub-Decree of the Royal Government. On the contrary, most officials holding important positions, such as in the police, or as tax and custom officers at international border crossings, and at other border crossing for local traffic, stay in their lucrative positions more than five years, and some even up to eight years, and the relevant ministries do not reassign them. In addition, the number of ‘mixed officials’ [police, tax officials, CamControl, and local authorities] at each international border crossing point is too high.

“It is seen that when related ministries and institutions do not implement the terms for the officials working at international and other border crossings for relevant ministries for years, without being reassigned, those officials use their positions to commit all kinds of corruption. They commit dishonest activities for personal gain and seek money for bribing the higher levels, so that they can stay in their positions longer, which leads to the loss of income for the state.

“In Chapter 11 of the Sub-Decree about penalties, Article 35 clearly states that officials who take the opportunity to use their positions and power to arbitrarily create difficulties for travelers, for for owners of vehicles, and relate to all types of goods crossing the border, or who violate their duties, will be convicted according to the law. However, in reality, none of them has been punished. Officials working at the same border crossing for several years usually make the citizens, and especially big traders feel afraid of them, as they think that officials who can stay at their posts for many years are not normal cases: they must have the backing of some high ranking officials. This allows those officials to do whatever they want.

“The Sub-Decree also established a monitoring procedure, with a representatives from the Council of Ministers as the head, and representatives from other ministries and institutions, and from the related municipalities, according to a notification from a Minister of the Council of Ministers, to monitor the activities and to checking the related offices, in order to report to the head of the government.

“But the mechanism seems ineffective for the day-to-day activities at international and other border crossings. Some police, customs, and CamCotrol officials are not reshuffled as required according to the sub-decree. Those officials use money collected at the border crossings to control the flow of document themselves. Some do this directly with the departments and their staff at each ministry. Others do it directly through the Customs Office, so that they can hold their positions at border crossings for years.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen warned on 6 April 2010 during the closing convention of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, that even if they fail to reshuffle, officials will be punished according to their terms that seem to allow those officials to commit corruption systematically as they know the place well.

“A parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, told reporters that through direct monitoring at some international border crossings, such as the Poipet border crossing, the international seaport in Sihanoukville, and the Smach international border crossing in Komopong Cham, there are many organizational structures of administration, and more than 1,000 coalition personnel involved, including police, military, and CamControl officials, and local authorities.

“Mr. Cheam Yeap added that the collection of state income is destroyed by corruption, committed by a small number of people working at those border crossing points. If an official takes, personally, just Baht 5 or Riel 1,000 or Riel 500 to buy something to eat, pretty much money is lost. They cause difficulties for the trading of citizens and of national and international investors. He suggested that the number of those officials should be reduced by half in order that much benefit can be contributed to Cambodia.

“Therefore, related ministries must check these unclear points, because the collusion not to reshuffle important positions of officials at international and other border crossings, and the too high number of officials, seriously violates the Sub-Decree signed by the head of the Royal Government.

“Many officials who do not have high ranking officials backing them and have no money to bribe higher levels, complained that they could not stay at good posts like others, because those working at such good posts are not reshuffled as before, but there are biddings for positions. This is a bad model for law enforcement which requires reforms.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5203, 21.5.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 21 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #483, 21.5.2010

  • The Phanpimex Company Destroyed a State Electricity Cabin to Claim Land [Phnom Penh]
  • The Garment Sector Creates Employment for More Than 300,000 Workers [in Cambodia, despite of the global economic crisis]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2254, 21.5.2010

  • Robbers Armed with AK Rifles Robbed a Village Chief in Banon District, Battambang [taking away some money and jewelries]
  • Opportunists Committed Looting and Robberies and Burnt Down [about 35] Buildings in Bangkok

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #769, 21.5.2010

  • The Great Heroic King [the former King] Should Raise the Restricted Freedom and Human Rights Issues of Kampuchea Krom People in His Meetings with Yuon [Vietnamese] Leaders during His Visit to Yuon [Vietnam – no date of his visit is specified]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #661, 21.5.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson] Yim Sovann: Mr. Om Yentieng Has Made No Achievements in Combating Corruption [recently, Mr. Om Yentieng was nominated head of the Anti-Corruption Unit – he will be automatically also a member of the Anti-Corruption Council, the body that is supervising the Anti-Corruption Unit; it seems that this construction implies that the head of the Unit is also supervising himself]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6961, 21.5.2010

  • More Than 30 Buildings Were Burnt Down in Bangkok – the International Community [the European Union and the United States of America] Condemned the Violent Suppression, but Were also Surprised with the Violence of the Demonstrators
  • In a Raid on a Drug Site in Sihanoukville, Sixteen People Were Arrested [for drug smuggling]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3885, 21.5.2010

  • The Opposition Party Calls the Prohibition to Visit [two] Farmers Being Jailed [for removing border markers in Svay Rieng] a Breach of the Rights of Parliamentarians

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #176, 21.5.2010

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Will Create Quick Reaction Youth Teams Countrywide [before the elections in 2012 and 2013]
  • The Nomination of Mr. Om Yentieng [a senior advisor of the Prime Minister] Invites Criticism [he was appointed by Prime Minister Hun Sen as the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit – the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, Mr. Yim Sovann, said that Mr. Om Yentieng is not able to fight corruption as head of the National Anti-Corruption Committee of Cambodia under the Council of Ministers, and also, he might be influenced by Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5203, 21.5.2010

  • Most of the Important Positions at International Border Crossings Are Not Reassigned, not Following a Sub-Decree
  • Cambodia Loses US$45 Million Each Year due to the Import of Pigs from Thailand [about one million pigs are imported to Cambodia each year, affecting local pig raisers; according to the head of the Cambodian Macro, Small, Medium Enterprise Project [MSME] of USAID, Mr. Curtis Hundley]

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In 2010, Officials Who Use Their Positions to Extort Money from the People Will Not Be Tolerated – Tuesday, 16.2.2010

Posted on 16 February 2010. Filed under: Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

“Phnom Penh: The firm position of the Phnom Penh Municipality in 2010 is not like that in 2009; it will not allow dishonest officials to keep on committing bad activities towards the people. This was declared by an official during the convention in the morning of 15 February 2010 to reflect on the work during 2009, and to determine the targets for 2010; the meeting was chaired by the Phnom Penh governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema.

“During this annual convention, Mr. Kep Chuktema advised all civil servants and all armed personnel to continue to be strictly honorable towards the people, so that they have confidence and trust in the services provided, though previously, some officials used the opportunity of their positions to extort money from the people. But now, he warned, saying that officials doing such bad activities will no longer be tolerated.

“The governor went on to say that only by obeying discipline and with heightened responsibility can the efficiency of the work and its results increase. He added, ‘Considering 2009, Phnom Penh can be proud for having cooperated well with each other, effectively deploying our forces to prevent and intercept crime, the activities of gangs, the illegal use of weapons, gambling, human and sex trafficking, and drug related crimes.’

“He continued to say that in 2010, what remains to be done is to focus more on such issues as public order, car parking facilities, traffic jam, illegal construction sites, and violations of the regulations regarding the use of pedestrian’s sidewalks. Also, he shared the information that Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen had ordered the Phnom Penh Municipality to create ties with the Intervention Brigade 9 of Division 3, stationed at the battlefield in the Preah Vihear area. ‘It is a new obligation for all of us to support the battlefield which is a great pride for the people in Phnom Penh.’

“During the convention, the Phnom Penh governor delivered a new car the Tuol Kork district command station, as a reward for its previous hard work.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5127, 16.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2178, 16.2.2010

  • [The spokesperson of the Royal Government, the Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: Cambodia Welcomes the Thai Position [to solve the border disputes bilaterally], but He Questioned whether Thailand Is Willing to Do so or Not [recently Cambodia had suggested to settle the border issues internationally, but Thailand suggested to Cambodia to solve them bilaterally]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6885, 16.2.2010

  • An Outbreak of Diarrhea with Vomiting Caused 38 People to Be Hospitalized; One Villager Died, Leaving His Children Behind; Medics Call for More Sanitation [Kompong Chhnang – there is an ongoing public controversy: some experts say there is an outbreak of Cholera, which requires a different treatment from diarrhea – but the authorities maintained that it is not Cholera, and even if it were, the treatment is the same]
  • [Eighty eight] People Gathered at the Provincial Administration to Ask for the Removal of a Corrupt Village Chief [as he sold village land secretly for his own benefit – Kompong Speu]
  • Siam [Thailand] Sent Three Khmer Kampuchea Krom People to Cambodia from Detention in Bangkok [they failed to seek asylum in a third country]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #112, 16.2.2010

  • The President of the Human Rights Party [Mr. Kem Sokha] Calls for Unity [with other parties, to compete with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5127, 16.2.2010

  • In 2010, Officials Who Use Their Positions to Extort Money from the People Will Not Be Tolerated
  • The Spokesperson of the Government Told Journalists to Be Careful when Translating Words [he reminded foreign journalists and foreign agencies in Cambodia to do so, otherwise the Prime Minister will appear to have done wrong and is then criticized for it; as an example, he said that the Cambodian Prime Minister challenged the Thai Prime Minister to ‘swear’ that he and his family should die if he claims that Thailand did not invade Cambodian territory, but some English newspaper incorrectly translated it as if he had ‘cursed’ the Thai Prime Minister]
  • Four Banks Provided Loans for an Electricity Plant Powered by Coal to be built in Sihanoukville [the OCBC Bank, the Maybank, the AmBank, and the Bank of China jointly offered US$140 million in loans to a Malaysian company, the Cambodia Energy Limited, to establish a 100 megawatt electricity plant]
  • Two Motorbikes Crashed into Each Other, Killing Two People and Seriously Injuring Three Others [Pursat]

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Saturday, 30.8.2008: Khmer Authorities Cooperate with the US FBI to Investigate Murder of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist

Posted on 31 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

“Regarding the brutal murder of Mr. Khim Sambo, a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer and his [21-year-old] son Khat Sarinpheata, on 11 July 2008, so far the Phnom Penh authorities have not arrested the murderer or those who are behind to be convicted according to the law. The weakness of the authorities to find the murderer to be prosecuted makes the general public and some local and foreign civil society organizations strongly criticize the Phnom Penh authorities, because so far, the murderer still lives freely and is staying outside of the net of the law.

“Civil society officials and the general public have requested the Phnom Penh authorities to speed up the investigations to seek the murderer who shot dead the journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer and his son, and also those who are behind the murder to be punished, and also to know the clear reasons why the father and the son were murdered; is it for political reasons or other reasons? – so that the general public and civil society organization officials know the root of the story that led to the brutal murder.

“The reasons for the shooting of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son Khat Sarinpheata to death near the Olympic Stadium on 11 July 2008, while they were returning from their exercises, is not known yet, though it is being investigated by the authorities. Unless the murderer is convicted, the real reasons of the murder cannot be revealed. However, the authorities have not had any clear light that can lead to identify the murderer, as it is not easy.

“Because of complications to look for the murderer, the authorities decided to cooperate with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI – in Cambodia, to cooperate to seek the murderer and those who are behind them to be convicted according to the law. It is hoped that this cooperation will lead to arrest the real murderer to be sentenced soon, because the FBI has high skills in investigation and can provide ideas to the Cambodian authorities to look for the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo and his son.

“A high ranking police official who asked not to mention his name said that yesterday, on 29 August 2008, the FBI in Cambodia met for the first time with the Cambodian authorities to discuss the cooperation to seek the murderer and those who are behind the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son. The first time meeting between the Khmer authorities and the FBI was attended by Mr. Touch Naroth, the head of the Phnom Penh police, and some other officials, and by Mr. Laro Tan (a Cambodian-American), the head of the FBI office in Cambodia. Both sides focused on the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son by anonymous persons.

“A police official said that during the meeting between Mr. Laro Tan, the director of the US FBI office in Cambodia, and the Cambodian authorities yesterday, Mr. Touch Naroth reported in detail about the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son Khat Sarinpheata, how the Cambodian police had investigated before cooperating with the FBI office. Also, Mr. Laro Tan was satisfied with the report about the investigation by the Cambodian authorities, and the FBI agreed also to cooperate with the Cambodian authorities.

“The police official continued to say that Mr. Laro Tan responded that he will also ask the director of the FBI in the United States to offer two experts – one for investigations, and the other for drafting a ‘wanted’ circular with a sketch of the face of the suspect, and he is also an expert in performing autopsies

“The cooperation between the Phnom Penh authorities and the US FBI to investigate the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and of his son Khat Sarinpheata was welcomed by civil society organization officials and by the general public, and it is hoped it will help to find the murderers and those who are behind them to be convicted soon.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3552, 30.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 30 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1733, 30.8.2008

  • Primary Investigation Says Murder of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist Is for Rancor against His Son [who was also murdered. – Why is this so reported? Because a policeman said it might be so]
  • While Prices of Goods Are Going Up, Khmer Rat Meat Is Best-Selling
  • All Kinds of Trees and Wildlife at Kirirom National Park Are Endangered [because preservation officials there allow illegal logging and hunting – Kompong Speu]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #233, 30.8.2008

  • Kampuchea Krom Associations and Organizations Ask for Permission from Yuon [Vietnamese] Embassy to Visit Mr. Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on the accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia – he is now seriously ill and kept in house arrest in Vietnam]
  • Strongman [Prime Minister Hun Sen] Pushes Prince Ranariddh to Be at a Dead End Road, Forcing Him to Swallow His Saliva [to change his mind against his own will – by urging him to return to Funcinpec again]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #86, 30.8.2008

  • Municipal Police Does Not Take Action against Traffic Jams


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6437, 30-31.8.2008

  • Authorities Recruit 30 Persons to Create Militia to Defend Chub Kokir Village [where Thai black-clad uniform soldiers – special Border Unit forces – threaten Cambodian people to demolish their houses – Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]
  • [Cambodia] Urges Negotiations Soon; Thailand Cancels Negotiations for Reason of Crisis [demonstrations in Bangkok]; Cambodia Cannot Accept
  • Constructions Spread on Prohibited Areas Next to Phnom Penh International Airport Fences


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3552, 30-31.8.2008

  • Khmer Authorities Cooperate with the US FBI to Investigate Murder of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist
  • Civil Society Wants Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodian to Be Maintained

  • Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4681, 30.8.2008

    • Siamese [Thai] Police Cannot Control Demonstrators; Demonstration Is Stronger
    • Four Cambodian Children [who were arrested on accusation of entering Thailand illegally on 26 August 2008] Are Released by Siamese [Thais] and Two Siamese Citizens [who were arrested on accusation of entering Cambodia illegally on 27 August 2008] Are Also Released in Exchange


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3397, 30.8.2008

    • Dispute between People and a Company in Kampot over Sand Pumping to Extend the Beach Area [the pumping affects people’s livelihood]

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – some fundamental challenges into the future

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    Tuesday, 22.7.2008: In the First Six Months of 2008, There Were 3511 Traffic Accidents and 903 People Died

    Posted on 23 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

    “Phnom Penh: From year to year, there are more and more traffic accidents which led to an emergency alert about this catastrophe that is more devastating than AIDS and mines’ accidents. During the first six months of 2008, the total number of traffic accidents was 3,511 which killed 903 people; it increased 17%, compared to the same period of the first six month of 2007.

    “According to a report from Lieutenant-Colonel Luy Chhin, who heads a road traffic office – General Trey Pho Khan of the Department of Public Order of the Ministry of Interior confirmed this report – which also Khmer Sthapana received on 21 July 2008, the number of traffic accidents of all the 24 provinces and towns increased markedly.

    “The report shows that during the first six months of 2008, there were 3,511 traffic accidents countrywide, which killed 903 people – 705 male and 198 female; the number of accidents increased by 519, equal to 17% more, compared to the same period of 2007, when there were 2,992 accidents and only 724 people died. The 3,511 traffic accidents resulted in 903 deaths, 2,856 seriously injured people, 3,390 lightly injured people, the destruction of 306 heavy vehicles, among them 1,154 cars, 3,646 motorcycles, 305 other vehicles; 397 pedestrians were also affected.

    “Major Suos Sokha, deputy director of the vehicle registration management office, and of the department for the registration of boats and ships of the Ministry of Interior, reported to Khmer Sthapana on 21 July 2008 the reasons that lead to the increase of traffic accidents in the first six months of 2008: these are driving in violation of traffic laws with 1,560 cases, riding motorcycles without helmets with 778 cases, not obeying priority traffic rights with 502 cases, driving while being drunk with 439 cases, speed racing with each other with 349 cases, and 261 cases of careless driving etc…

    “It should be noted that the statistics of road traffic accidents in 2007 countrywide, report 5,870 cases which caused 1,434 deaths, 1,121 males and 313 females were killed; 4,860 people were seriously injured, 5,540 people were lightly injured, 528 heavy vehicles, 1,871 cars, 5,607 motorcycles, and 444 different vehicles were destroyed, and US$2,699,784 was wasted.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #55, 22.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 22 July 2008

    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2795, 22.7.2008

    • As the First Step of Negotiations, Thailand Requested Cambodia to Withdraw the Troops from the Land They Presently Control; the ASEAN President [Mr. George Yeo – simplified Chinese: 杨荣文; traditional Chinese: 楊榮文; pinyin: Yáng Róngwén – Singaporean Foreign Minister and at present ASEAN Chair*] Asked Both Sides to Be Patient and Solve the Dispute Based on Good Relations; the Situation of Having Deployed Troops on Both Sides of the Border at the Preah Vihear Temple Is Still Tense

    * “The ASEAN Standing Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Foreign Minister of the country-in-chair, is mandated to coordinate the work of the Association in between the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meetings.”

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1699, 22.7.2008

    • The 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Was Held in Singapore [discussing the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, evaluating the destruction by the Nargis tropical cyclone in Burma, and talking about the integration of ASEAN constitutions, and about regional security – 21 July 2008]
    • Three People Were Arrested by Military Police after Chopping a Leader of Workers to Death [after losing money to the victim while gambling – Ratanakiri]
    • Ms. Su Kyi Will Be Released Soon [Military Junta of Myanmar informed the ASEAN members that the opposition leader, Ms. Aung San Su Kyi, might be released in about six months]

    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #55, 22.7.2008

    • In the First Six Months of 2008, There Were 3511 Traffic Accidents and 903 People Died
    • The Thai Side Requests Cambodia to Accept Three Principles [during the negotiations on 21 July 2008: 1. Thailand requested Cambodia to withdraw its troops, and Thailand will also withdraw its troops to avoid an armed confrontation. 2. The benefits from the Preah Vihear Temple should be handled as a joint operation, from which Cambodia gets 60% and Thailand gets 40% 3. Cambodia and Thailand should cooperate with each other to clear mines from the Preah Vihear Temple region and from other surrounding areas together]
    • US$2,000 Announced Reward to Be Given to Anyone Who Provides Information That Leads to the Arrest of the Criminal Who Abducted a [Swedish] Girl from Her Mother [the six-year-old girl, Alicia, has been abducted by her father, Torgeir Nordbø, from Sweden, when he visited her; he is believed to be hiding in Cambodia]
    • [Fishery] Crimes During Prohibited No-Fishing Season Increase [Siem Reap]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #66403, 22.7.2008

    • Obama Promises to Withdraw Army from Iraq If He Wins the Election [but he will send 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3518, 22.7.2008

    • [Former Khmer Rough Leader] Khiev Samphan Still Has No New Defense Lawyer


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4647, 22.7.2008

    • Police Are Deployed at Gold and Money Exchange Shops because of Security Concerns [Banteay Meanchey]
    • Five Outstanding Cambodian Students Went to Take Part in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Vietnam


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3365, 22.7.2008

    • Japan Sends 23 Election Observers for Sunday 27 July 2008
    • Neak Loeang Electricity Company Still Charges Riel 3,200 [approx. US$0.80] per Kilowatt [in Phnom Penh the price is Riel 610, approx. US$0.15 per kw]

    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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    Wednesday, 9.7.2008: CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming

    Posted on 9 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

    “Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture [CEDAC] has finished a project to help improve the living standards of the poor in five southern provinces of Cambodia in June 2008. This project was funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction [JFPR] though the Asian Development Bank for a period of five years, and US$1.3 million were spent.

    “However, what CEDAC has to think about is, after the project has finished, to choose actions that can guarantee the continuity of what has been built up. In a discussion held late June, the governor of Batheay District, Kompong Cham, raised previous experiences that there used to be many organizations assisting this district, but when their project fund came to an end, there was no continuity at all. Villagers are afraid that CEDAC might repeat the same situation when it runs out of funds. But local authorities that observe CEDAC evaluate that the project implementation of CEDAC has achieved many good results. The improvement of the living standard of the poor at the targeted community led, to some extent, to a reduction of poverty.

    “Eight outstanding representative farmers from Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, and Takeo asserted that their families and the members of their communities are richer, because they have attended different training courses about practices of techniques by CEDAC. There they learned how the community can save money, how to breed animals and fish, or to conserve trees, to grow crops, to do rice farming based on natural methods etc., all of which is closely related to marketability of the products.

    “Mr. Lang Seng Houn, a local coordinator, said that the participation by local authority representatives from villages, communes, and districts cooperating with farmers’ communities is an important factor that brings poverty alleviation at those target places. Wherever there is participation by local authorities, those places will develop more quickly.

    “Mr. Lang Seng Houn showed figures that among 192 villages from five provinces, 14,300 families benefited from the project. the number of farmers who cooperated is 7,300, the living standard of 500 families changed greatly; 5,900 families experienced an average change, and 800 families got poorer. The number of women who have changed their attitudes and abandoned their old habits is 3,500, and the number of youth under the same category is 900. And 1,500 of the poorest families who sold their labor to have some income have changed their living standard and have become independent farmers; the livelihood of farmers in general is better. Generally, they can earn 80% more from the increase of the agricultural production and from the reduction of other expenses. They have stepped up the basis for this to retain the continuity of their production teams, and 718 teams have saved money – they have 6,000 families as members so that they are able to link their products to markets. Each family earns from Riel 1.4 million to Riel 2.6 million [approx. US$340 to US$635 per farming season] from their agricultural products; those are 427 families in Kompong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, and Kompong Cham. Their income is from paddy rice, from the breeding of chickens and pigs, and from the planting of vegetables and other crops.

    “Dr. Yang Saing Komar [dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development, International University, Phnom Penh] pointed to key measures contributing to the sustainability when there are no more external funds. What can replace funds for farmers’ communities to guarantee the continuity of their activities are human resources who have been trained with all skills since five years, always with a link to market mechanisms. All agricultural products created by the community must be taken to markets by the farmers, and they have to sell their own products. Money saved in the community is capital to replace the external funding and can guarantee the sustainability of their community. Production and the link to markets are key methods to develop the rural economy to become active. Trained persons, 995 human resources of the community, will be the main and strong activists who can continue to develop the community without depending on external funds.

    “Mr. Komar added that for economic activities money is needed, ‘and we have money which was saved in our community.’ By 2011, this organization has the ambition to increase the money-saving community up to 4,000 villages countrywide, without borrowing loans or depending on foreign donor countries.

    “This fund will become a basic experience which can lead to a successfully functioning market that carries great responsibility for the society, especially for the living standard of farmers, and for food security for customers, which can guarantee sustainable development at the basis.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 9 July 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1688, 9.7.2008

    • The Thai Constitutional Court Ruled that a Joint Communique Signed between Cambodia and Thailand Violates the Thai Constitution [as the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs acted without parliamentary endorsement]
    • The Ministry of Health Distributed More than 80 Tonnes of Abate [chemical substance that is put into stagnant water to kill mosquito eggs and larvae] to Prevent Dengue Fever
      Thousands of Thai Demonstrators Shouted at the Police to Take Action in [deposed former prime minister] Thaksin’s Case Soon [corruption and misuse of power]
    • South Korean Police Warn They Will Use Hot Actions to Suppress Demonstrators against US Beef Imports
    • Thai Rebels [in a Muslim southern Thai province] Attacked a Car Carrying Students; Two [Thai] Soldiers Were Killed and Three Students Were Injured [7 July 2008]
    • [Helicopter of] America Attacked a Wedding Ceremony in Afghanistan [killing at least 22 people]


    Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #602, 9.7.2008

    • Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Dare to Create Ministry of Immigration [related to illegal Vietnamese]
    • Ou Chrov District Police Chief [Mr. Ing Song You] Runs a Big Casino in Balat Guesthouse [Poipet]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #44, 9.7.2008

    • The Preah Vihear Temple Was Listed as a World Heritage Site [8 July 2008]
    • [Traffic] Accidents Increase because of [traffic] Law Violations


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4636, 9.7.2008

    • CEDAC Expresses Optimism about the Sustainability of Farming
    • Situation at the [Preah Vihear Temple] Border Crossing Was Quiet while Cambodia Was Beating Drums and Firing Fireworks to Express Satisfaction about the Preah Vihear Temple
    • Social Network against Child Labor Was Inaugurated in Siem Reap
    • European Commission Plans to spend 1,000 Million Euro against Food Crisis


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3354, 9.7.2008

    • Cambodian People’s Party Did Not Participate in Political Parties’ Forum about Anti-Corruption Law [8 July 2008]

    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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    Thursday, 29.5.2008: Legal and Judicial Reform Remain Main Problems for Cambodia

    Posted on 30 May 2008. Filed under: Week 562 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 562

    “Phnom Penh: The Senate of Cambodia, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Center for International Migration and Development, held a conference about ‘Legal and Judicial Reform for the Modernization of the Kingdom of Cambodia’ on 27 May 2008.

    The chairperson of the Commission on Legislation and the Judiciary of the Senate, Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun, stated, ‘The main problems for our commission to deal with are the legal and judicial reforms towards modernization.’

    “Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun said that strategies for reforms in the fields of legislation and of the judiciary were adopted by the Royal Government in June 2003, to consider four basic areas: individual rights, democracy, the separation of powers, and legislation [cf. the address on ‘Doctrine of Precedents, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances‘ by Minister Sok An at a ‘Workshop on National Vision and Priorities on the Rule of Law and Judicial Reform,’ 10-11 June 2002].

    “Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun hopes that the Royal Government will speed up the reforms on legislation and the judiciary, and also push to take policy initiatives to promote the wider provision of legal and judicial services, which are key conditions for a continuous development of social justice and for poverty alleviation.

    “Mr. Kong Phaleak, a professor of law and a member of the Arbitration Council, mentioned that the legal and judicial reform process in Cambodia, from the past until now, has four main concerns: the general view of the legal and of the judiciary reforms, strategies for organizing the reforms, the implementation of the reforms, and the results of the implementation of the legal and judiciary reforms.

    “The professor said that the general view of the legal and judiciary reforms is related to the political will of the Royal Government of Cambodia, where a Council for Legal and Judicial Reform was created in 2002. A permanent coordinating unit was created in 2002, and a project management unit was also created in 2002.

    “Mr. Kong Phaleak stressed that the goal of the legal and judicial reforms is to create a state of law and a court system which can be trusted and which have the necessary stability to support the policies of individual rights, the separation of powers, and of the legislative process.

    “The professor raised the question, ‘What should be done to achieve the goal of the legal and judicial reforms?’ Strategies for organizing the legal and judicial reforms have to consider basic values when organizing related documents, and these involve the four basic considerations of the Constitution of 1993: those views are individual rights, democracy, the separation of powers, and the constitution itself.

    “The President of the Royal Academy for the Legal Professions, Mr. Tep Darong, intervened by pointing to the fact that the law is a tool which plays a most important role to guarantee economic growth, the progress of politics, of the culture, and of many other sectors.

    “Mr. Tep Darong stated that a large number of judges and prosecutors working in the courts countrywide were not educated in professional legal educational institutions. Their basic capacity is low, which makes it difficult to implement important laws which will be adopted soon.

    “Dr. Jörg Menzel, a Senior Legal Advisor to the Senate, said that in the process of the legal and judicial reforms in Cambodia, one should look and focus on minor points and start from there.

    “Dr. Menzel raised as an example that now, when traveling at night and the traffic light is red, still there are vehicles crossing. At this point it is necessary to think what people should do when there are traffic lights, but people do not obey them.

    “A Senate member from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Kong Korm, said that so far, legal and judicial reforms have not yet clearly focused on the separation of the legislative, the executive, and the judicial powers, as well as on the decentralization policy – all this is very difficult.

    “Mr. Tep Darong explained that so far, the separation of the three powers has not yet been clearly established, i.e. the separation is still weak.

    The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia:

    Article 128:
    The Judicial power shall be an independent power…

    Article 130:
    Judicial power shall not be granted to the legislative or executive branches.

    “He affirmed that if we want to achieve the separation of powers, we have to wait until an elected party fully adopt that absolute principle of law. Talking about decentralization, a part of the [executive] power is transferred to the communes, but this is not the whole power.

    “He added that the reason why the Royal Government proceeds step by step is that the capacity for training for commune councilors is limited, and most of the commune councilors have a low level of knowledge.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4601, 29.5.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 29 May 2008


    Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #27, 29-4.5-6.2008

    • ‘If We Can Reduce Domestic Violence, the Number of Divorces Will Also Decline’ [says Director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – Dr. Kek Galabru]


    Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #108, 29.5.2008

    • [Municipal Governor] Kep Chuktema Is Successful in Moving Citizens from Expensive Areas to Suburbs [where there is no development, and the very poor infrastructure makes it difficult for them to live there]


    Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #18, 29-30.5.2008

    • Minister of Social Affairs and Labor H.E. Ith Sam Heng and the Director of a Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Mr. Chea Son Have Been Criticized over Their Partisanship [nepotism in employment]
    • Rubbish Piles of the CINTRI Company [rubbish collection] Destroy the Beauty and Reputation of Phnom Penh, the Heart of the Country


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1653, 29.5.2008

    • There Are Some Reactions [from the Sam Rainsy Party, the Norodom Ranariddh Party, and Funcinpec] Related to the Survey Results of the [US bases] International Republican Institute [which show that 77% of citizens think that the government walks in the right direction]
    • [Human Rights Party president] Kem Sokha Will Hold a Farmers Congress on 30 May, but Some in Civil Society Said It Is Political Trick


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #164, 29.5.2008

    • Former Yuon [Vietnamese] Expert [Mr. Uy Tin] Talked about the Invasion by Yuon Soldiers into Cambodia [in 1979 – he said that the war in Cambodia by Vietnam was caused by China, he accused China to have urged the Khmer Rouge to fight against Vietnam in order to weaken Vietnam, which had just been united after the war against the US]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6357, 29.5.2008

    • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen]: Some Developing Partners Are not Qualified because They Believe Other Reports and Do Not Ask the Government
    • The House Arrest of [Burmese elected democracy leader] Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi Was Extended for One More Year [on Tuesday, 27 May 2008]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3472, 29.5.2008

    • The US Checks the Possibility to Provide Funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4601, 29.5.2008

    • Samdech Dekchor: ‘Reforms Are Crucial to Make the Royal Government to Die or to Live’ [he said so on 28 May 2008 in the annual review meeting on financial reform]
    • Legal and Judicial Reform Remain Main Problems for Cambodia
    • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport Called the Sou Guon [phonetic] Company to Evaluate the Use of Old Trucks [which cause many problems on the roads]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3320, 29.5.2008

    • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh]: Hun Sen Wants to Take Me to Prey Sar Prison, so Why Not they Arrest Murderers Murdering Film Stars, Singers, and Politicians?


    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #666, 29.5.2008

    • Poipet Immigration Police Cause Damage to Khmer Laborers [by extorting money from Khmer poor laborers]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial: The oil price spiral – special investments – and a comparison of the activities in Myanmar and China

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    Saturday, 29.3.2008: Municipality Thanks JICA for Improving Traffic in Phnom Penh

    Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Week 553 | Tags: , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 553

    “Phnom Penh: In the afternoon of 27 March 2008, the Phnom Penh Municipality held a signing ceremony on the Study on Traffic Improvement in Phnom Penh between Phnom Penh City, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency [JICA]. The ceremony was held at the occasion of extending the project for one more year, starting from March 2009 until March 2010. According to the original plan, JICA was going to complete this project by March 2009. The project has been implemented by the Phnom Penh Municipality, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and JICA since March 2007.

    “The signing ceremony was attended by Secretary of State Chom Iek, representing the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, by the Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuk Tema, who is also a direct advisor to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, and by Katsuta Hozumi, the leader of the study team of JICA in Tokyo, Japan, which is paying a visit to Phnom Penh, representing JICA. The director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Public Works and Transport, governors and vice-governors from all of the seven districts, and other related institutions also participated in the meeting.

    “An expert official from the the Phnom Penh municipality explained that the Study on Traffic Improvement in Phnom Penh, which has been and will be assisted by JICA, involves three important elements, such as providing education to drivers of the Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Public Works and Transport, engineering work to improve intersection roads such as roads with four traffic lights at Preah Kossomak Hospital and at the Stung Meanchey Bridge, and methods to enforce traffic laws for traffic police in Phnom Penh.

    “At this occasion, Mr. Kep Chuk Tema thanked JICA for having helped to conduct the Study on Traffic Improvement in Phnom Penh and at the same time for having decided to extend it for another year, helping to improve the Phnom Penh traffic system. This is very good news for the residents of Phnom Penh.

    “The city governor added, ‘Currently the traffic in Phnom Penh is getting busier and busier, because there has been a substantial increase in the number of people and the number of vehicles. Therefore, the Phnom Penh traffic system needs to be upgraded.’

    “He continued that ‘after JICA has helped to improve the Phnom Penh traffic system, there are much less traffic congestions in Phnom Penh, and the city of Phnom Penh was successful in implementing this.’

    “Mr. Katsuta Hozumi stressed that under the cooperation between the Phnom Penh Municipality and JICA during the last year, these efforts have led to improvements in the situation of the traffic in Phnom Penh.

    “Mr. Chom Iek, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, stated that ‘the ministry and the municipality are building a bridge near the Monivong Bridge, along National Road No. 2, and we are also reconstructing the Stung Meanchey Bridge near the Preah Kossomak traffic light, in order to minimize traffic congestions in Phnom Penh.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4553, 29.3.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 29 March 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1605, 29.3.2008

    • The Whole International Airport Phnom Penh Was Stunned by a Rumor that a Criminal Had Hijacked a Plane [28 March]
    • Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen Visits Laos
    • [Norodom Ranariddh Party spokesperson] Mut Chantha: Sam Rainsy Party Is Not in Good Health as It Was Before
    • World Wildlife Fund Officials Affirm Existence of Wildlife in Mondolkiri Forest Conservation Area
    • USA Helps with Conservation of Elephants in Cambodia
    • Dry Season Lightning Killed Man and His Wife, Leaving Their Children to Live Miserably [27 March – Kandieng, Pursat]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6309, 29-30.3.2008

    • For 500 Years, Cambodia Has Had Full Peace [says Minister Sok An]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4553, 29.3.2008

    • Municipality Thanks JICA for Improving Traffic in Phnom Penh
    • 14 Cambodian Officials Left [to USA on 27 March] to Participate in Trial of Chhun Yasith [allegedly head of Cambodian Freedom Fighters]

    Have a look at last week’s editorial

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