Cambodia Rejected Report of Amnesty International – Friday, 28.5.2010

Posted on 29 May 2010. Filed under: Week 666 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 666

“A government official rejected a report of Amnesty International on 27 May 2010. Amnesty International released its Amnesty International Report 2010 on human rights, saying that forced evictions affect the livelihood of thousands of families.

“The report mentions one case of the Group 78 in the Tonle Basak commune, Phnom Penh, and another case in the Chi Kraeng district, Siem Reap, where security forces used weapons to shoot at protesters injuring them. In conclusion, regarding forced evictions, Amnesty International wrote that there were at least 26 such cases, where 27,000 people, mostly the poor, were evicted.

“The report continues to say that police had arrested 149 people protesting against land grabbing. It says, ‘The rich and powerful continued to abuse the criminal justice system to silence people protesting against evictions and land grabs.’

“The spokesperson of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Tith Sothea, blamed the writers of the report that they did not study the actual situation in Cambodia before they started writing the report. Mr. Tith Sothea commented, ‘This group just want to control Cambodia, but does not help Cambodia with anything. They just attack the Cambodian government without any basis.’

“Amnesty International claims that they had sent their delegations to Cambodia several times; they wrote in this report that accusations against perpetrators raping women and girls were not always made, due to the weakness of the implementation of anti-corruption legislation by the courts and the frequent use of monetary arrangements outside of the court system [without criminal investigations and convictions]. The report adds that such solutions are normally made by negotiations between law enforcement officials and victims, to make the victims withdraw their complaints. Quoting different publication, the report noticed that the number of cases of rape of women and girls in general, as well as violence against women sex workers, keeps increasing. And these cases happen to victims who are younger and younger [many are below the age of 10].” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5209, 28.5.2010

Note:

In order to facilitate the evaluation of the controversial Amnesty International Report 2010, we select here the section of the Cambodia Country Report.

Amnesty International Report 2010

Amnesty International Report 2010

Forced evictions continued to affect thousands of families across the country, predominantly people living in poverty. Activists from communities affected by forced evictions and other land confiscations mobilized to join forces in protests and appeals to the authorities. A wave of legal actions against housing rights defenders, journalists and other critical voices stifled freedom of expression. The first trial to address past Khmer Rouge atrocities took place. The defendant, Duch, pleaded guilty, but later asked to be acquitted.

Background

At least 45,000 garment factory workers lost their jobs as a result of the global economic crisis and a number of companies reduced salaries. Surveys indicated growing mass youth unemployment as some 300,000 young people faced joblessness after completing their high school and bachelor degrees. For the first time, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered Cambodia’s state report, which the authorities had delayed submitting for 14 years. The Committee identified serious shortcomings in the implementation of a number of treaty obligations, including those relating to the judicial system, housing, and gender inequalities. Cambodia’s human rights record was reviewed under the UN Universal Periodic Review in December.

Forced evictions

Forced evictions continued to affect the lives of thousands of Cambodians. At least 26 forced evictions displaced around 27,000 people, the vast majority from communities living in poverty. In July, a number of international donors called for an end to forced evictions “until a fair and transparent mechanism for resolving land disputes is in place and a comprehensive resettlement policy” is established.

On 16/17 July 2009, security forces forcibly evicted Group 78, a community group in Phnom Penh, after a deeply flawed legal process. The last 60 families had no choice but to dismantle their houses and accept compensation that prevented them from living near their former homes and workplaces. Most of the families were relocated outside the city with few work prospects.

After civil society criticism, the World Bank attempted to strengthen safeguards in a multi-donor supported Land Management and Administration Project to protect security of tenure for people in urban slums and other vulnerable areas. In early September, the government responded by terminating its contract with the Bank.

Human rights defenders

The rich and powerful continued to abuse the criminal justice system to silence people protesting against evictions and land grabs. Police arrested at least 149 activists for their peaceful defense of the right to housing.

On 22 March 2009, security forces shot at unarmed villagers in Siem Reap province, injuring at least four people. The villagers, from Chikreng district, were protesting against the loss of farmland that had come under dispute. By the end of the year, no authority had investigated the shooting, but police had arrested at least 12 of the villagers, two of whom were subsequently convicted of robbery for attempting to harvest their rice on the disputed land. Seven were acquitted but remained in arbitrary detention pending a prosecutorial appeal.

Informal representatives from communities in most provinces increasingly formed grassroots networks,
jointly voicing concerns over forced evictions and intimidation.

International justice

In March, the historic first hearing of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC, Khmer Rouge Tribunal) took place with the trial of Kaing Guek Eav (known as Duch). Duch was commander of the notorious security prison S-21. During the 72-day hearing, survivors and victims of Khmer Rouge atrocities heard for the first time evidence against “those most responsible.” Duch admitted responsibility for crimes committed at S-21, including killing about 15,000 people.

The trial of four senior Khmer Rouge leaders was in preparation, and the International Co-Prosecutor submitted requests to open investigations into an additional five suspects. The Cambodian government spoke out against additional investigations saying they could lead to unrest, apparently in an attempt to exert influence over the tribunal.

In July, co-investigating judges decided to allow “confessions” obtained by torture as evidence in the case of Ieng Thirith. This breached the “exclusionary rule” in Article 15 of the UN Convention against Torture which binds the ECCC.

Freedom of expression –

A series of prosecutions of people who criticized government policies had a stifling effect on freedom of expression.

Courts sentenced newspaper editor Hang Chakra, and the director of an NGO, both affiliated to the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), to prison terms for peacefully expressing views.

The Phnom Penh Court convicted Mu Sochua, Secretary-General of the SRP, of defamation for filing a complaint – also for defamation – against the Prime Minister. She had no legal counsel because her lawyer had withdrawn from the case after receiving threats of legal action for speaking about the case at a press conference. Mu Sochua received a non-custodial sentence.

On 10 July 2009, one of the few remaining opposition-affiliated daily newspapers, Moneaksekar Khmer (Khmer Conscience), stopped publishing. The editor, Dam Sith, issued a public apology for articles, over which the government had requested a criminal investigation for “incitement.”

By the end of the year, police had made no progress on the investigation into the murder of Moneaksekar Khmer reporter Khim Sambor. He had been killed by unknown assailants during the July 2008 elections.

Legal, constitutional or institutional developments

On 12 October 2009, the National Assembly passed the new Penal Code. This retained defamation as a criminal offense. Opposition parliamentarians and civil society groups criticized a new Law on non-violent demonstrations, passed by the National Assembly in October. Authorities routinely denied permission for demonstrations and the law, if adopted, risked codifying such restrictions.

Violence against women and girls

Prosecution of rapists remained rare, due to poor law enforcement, corruption in the courts and widespread use of out-of-court financial settlements. Settlements were typically arranged by law enforcement officials and stipulated that the victim withdraw any criminal complaint. Reports indicated that rapes of women and girls, including sex workers, continued to increase, with the age of victims falling.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Cambodia in March/May, September and October/December.
  • Cambodia: Urban development or relocating slums? (ASA 23/002/2009)
  • Cambodia: After 30 years Khmer Rouge crimes on trial (ASA 23/003/2009)
  • Cambodia: Briefing for the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: 42nd session, May 2009 (ASA 23/004/2009)
  • Cambodia: Borei Keila – Lives at risk (ASA 23/008/2009)

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 28 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #489, 28.5.2010

  • The Government Rejected the Criticism [by the Sam Rainsy Party] over the Setting of Border Markers in Takeo [government official said that the claim by the Sam Rainsy Party that the Border Marker 270 was put in a rice field of a Cambodian farmer is only based on the farmer’s claim]
  • A Group of Ten Robbers Was Arrested [in Kompong Speu]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2260, 28.5.2010

  • UNDP: Cambodia Has the Opportunity to Reduce Poverty and to Boost Development through Income from the Mineral Sector

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #667, 28.5.2010

  • Parliamentarians from the Cambodian People’s Party Voted to Add More Members to the Council of Ministers [“the cabinet”], Which Makes this Institution to Have Too Many Members

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6967, 28.5.2010

  • The Owner of the Phnom Yat Cloth Shop Was Threatened at Gun Point by a General [the victim’s family filed a complaint against the general – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3819, 28.5.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: We Do Not Support the Nomination of More Government Members, Which Is Unnecessary, as Cambodia Is Poor

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #181, 28.5.2010

  • The National Assembly Voted to Nominate More Officials, as Requested by the Cambodian Government [one was appointed at the Prime Minister’s office, and ten others as secretaries of state at various ministries]
  • A New Elevated Road Will Be Constructed in the Disputed Boeng Kak Development Area

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5209, 28.5.2010

  • Cambodia Rejected Report of Amnesty International
  • The Opposition Party Asked for a Postponement of the Setting of Cambodian-Vietnamese Border Posts in Takeo [as Border Post 270 was put in a rice field of Khmer farmer]
  • Kangwon Province of the Republic of Korea Donated Four Firefighter Trucks and Twelve Ambulances to Siem Reap

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Cambodia Promises to Use the Money from Mineral Resources Transparently – Thursday, 27.5.2010

Posted on 28 May 2010. Filed under: Week 666 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 666

“International experts who attended the international conference about mineral exploration that was held for the first time in Cambodia on Wednesday, 26 May 2010, said that mineral exploration in Cambodia, which has not provided any yield so far, is like a blank project that can get benefits from the experience in other countries so as to avoid any possible mistakes.

“The conference was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh with 300 participants from all around the world to discuss transparency and development for the mineral exploration sector which has just started to be developed in Cambodia.

“This conference was organized also in view of the internal investigation about the accusation against the BHP Billiton company that is known in the public with the allegation that it had bribed [the government] to gain exploration rights in Mondolkiri.

“UNDP Resident Representative Douglas Broderick said during his speech that the start to develop the mineral exploration sector in Cambodia is part of the start to develop these resources. He said, ‘Minerals are under the ground. And it depends on our cooperation to ensure that the Cambodian people can get their benefits from the huge income from the exploitation of these natural resources.’

“Prime Minister Hun Sen considers the natural resources of the country as a new treasure that can contribute to the potential of the economy. He added that natural resources as well as agriculture, the garment and the construction sectors, and tourism can contribute to the development of the economy of the country.

“The Prime Minister stressed, ‘If Cambodia has the opportunity to explore its mineral treasures, Cambodia will use the income from it responsibly for the sake of the nation.’

“In his speech, that strongly criticized Global Witness, Mr. Hun Sen called on the participants to share their knowledge in order to help the government to maximize the financial benefits from this sector, to develop the country and to reduce poverty.

“A senior expert in mineral exploration of the World Bank, Mr. Craig Andrews, told the Phnom Penh Post that this sector will provide benefits to the country if related regulations and taxes are properly enforced, and correctly aimed at the important points, before the exploration begins.

“He suggested that Cambodia should not follow Australia regarding the collection of high taxes from the profits of the exploration, saying that the exploration in Australia and in Cambodia requires policies that are different.

“Mr. Craig Andrew said that a policy to collect low taxes from the exploration, and the stability of the country, will help Cambodia to attract foreign investors.

“According to the economic and mineral exploration expert Roderick Eggert, the developing exploration sector that can be taken as models of international success are that of Chile and of Botswana.

“He said, ‘Cambodian is starting as a blank project. The country has the chance to do the right things to get benefits from other countries. He added that mineral exploration companies are paying attention to transparency and openness.'” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #180, .275.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 27 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #488, 27.5.2010

  • Cambodia Does Not Depend on Mineral Resources Alone for Its National Economic Development
  • India Promised to Send Back Eight Khmer Citizens Who Were Trafficked to India [eight Khmer Citizens phoned their families in Cambodia to seek help from human rights organizations and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2259, 27.5.2010

  • The Government Will Cancel the Exploration and Exploitation Rights of Any Company That Commits Crimes [said Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #666, 27.5.2010

  • [Phnom Penh Municipal Governor] Kep Chuktema Does Not Allow the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community to Organize a Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Loss of [Khmer Kampuchea Krom] Land [to Vietnam] in Front of Wat Botum [Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6966, 27.5.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Strongly Reacted against Global Witness, Calling this Organization a Group of Thieves in London [over their criticism of the lack of transparency related to the management of payments received from natural resources exploration companies]
  • Each Year Ratanakiri Loses 2,000 Hectares of Forest Land [because of the clearance of land by forestry criminals to claim land for selling, and by ethnic minority people to claim farmland – according to the Ratanakiri governor]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3890, 27.5.2010

  • Civil Society Encourages Donors to Press the Government over Human Rights Issues and Democracy during a Meeting planned for 2 June 2010 [between Cambodia and development partners]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #180, .275.2010

  • [UN Meeting] in the United States of America: The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Receives US$16.9 Million New Funds for 2010 [promised by donors]
  • Cambodia Promises to Use the Money from Mineral Resources Transparently

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5208, 27.5.2010

  • The UN Secretary General Called for Funds for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [funds needed in 2010 are more than US$21 million]
  • An Investigating Judge Issued a Warrant to Bring [opposition party president] Sam Rainsy to Court [for questioning over the accusation of having faked public documents, and having spread misinformation]
  • The Government Has a Plan to Give 133,145 Hectares of Social Concession Land for 4,000 Families of Soldiers and Members of the Police [in sixteen provinces]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

It Is Time to Value the Riel and Stop Trading with Foreign Currencies at the Markets in Cambodia – Saturday, 22.5.2010

Posted on 23 May 2010. Filed under: Week 665 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 665

“Earlier on, Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians had frequently demanded that the National Assembly should promote the use of the Riel, and now there is a plan by the government for the de-dollarization of the economy towards the use of the Riel in general, which is welcomed immediately by the opposition party.

“A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, Mr. Yim Sovann, welcomed this plan on Friday, 21 May 2010, saying, ‘This is what we have demanded for a long time, to value our national currency and to prevent inflation by using the Riel.’ Mr. Yim Sovann told Moneaksekar Khmer, ‘During sessions of the parliament, I had often raised this issues of using the Riel in our Cambodian economy, to both enhance our national prestige and to promote the Riel in order to effectively maintain macro-economic stability.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann said so after a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance had mentioned, during a meeting on 20 May 2010, a plan of the government to de-dollarize the economy by using the Riel, considering also economic and social observations of the UNDP in Asia and the Pacific. Mr. Hang Chuonarong said that Cambodia wants to de-dollarize towards the use of the Riel. However, the Secretary of State said, ‘We want to change, but we are not sure from which step to start.’

“There is the same insight like what the opposition party had said, that only the use of the Cambodian currency can help Cambodia to maintain economic stability and its prestige. A millionaire and senator from the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Kong Triv, stated in support of the initiative that Cambodia should use the Riel to show its integrity at the international arena.

“Anyway, this initiative was intensively debated on Thursday, 20 May 2010. Most participants wanted Cambodia to take effective actions to ensure the use of its currency. For years, Cambodia had been criticized for allowing the free use of foreign currencies, including the US Dollar, which is being lively traded in the markets of Cambodia – and that devalues the Riel.

“Mr. Yim Sovann said that dollar notes are used for buying and selling, including even such simple daily vegetable products like water convolvulus, and this partly devalues its own currency – something no other countries do as Cambodia does. Neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam established their central banks for exchanging foreign currencies into their countries’ currencies. Everywhere in Yuon [Vietnam], the Dong is used. He added that tourists as well as investors exchange Dollar notes or their countries’ currencies when they leave Cambodia [for Thailand of Vietnam].

“As for foreign currencies used in Cambodia, it is not only the US Dollar. In some provinces of Cambodia bordering Siam [Thailand] and Yuon, their currencies are also invading . For example, if one want to go to Bavet in Svay Rieng or to Phnom Din district in Takeo, one needs to exchange Riels and Dollars for Dongs in advance. And if one wants to go to Oddar Meanchey or to Koh Kong, one needs to exchange money to have Thai Baht, because at those places, Riel notes are not used in general, and some common vendors do not even know Khmer Riel notes well.

“The most important problem is that earlier on as well as recently, it had been reported that the Koh Kong Water Supply and Electricity Authority – exclusively controlled by a local millionaire and senator from the Cambodian People’s Party, Ly Yong Phat, known to hold a Siamese identification card – officially decided to order the citizens in the town to settle their electricity bills with Thai Baht. This seems to show to have indirectly cut-off the province of Koh Kong from Cambodia and attached it to Siam.

“This bad decision, that leads to the devaluation of one’s own currency, seems to be a part of the devaluation of the national identity, and it is seen to originate from the Cambodian government itself, as most bidding and expense-income projects of the state are settled by using US Dollars rather than Riels. Therefore, the Cambodian People’s Party government has to be awake and stop devaluing its own currency. If it prints Riel notes, but does not use them broadly in the country, it is useless to print them and to waste national resources on it. In fact, it is not a good practice when a nation does not support its own country, but values the currencies of other nations.

“At present, the Riel of Cambodia is not used broadly to settle the account of important products – which is very dangerous for Cambodia. Thus, the government should reconsider the demands mentioned above by the opposition party and in a timely way introduce new strategies to guarantee the potential of the Riel in the markets.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3886, 22-23.5.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 22 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #484, 22.5.2010

  • Cambodia Supports a Statement of Vietnam That Expresses Concern about the Situation in Siam [Thailand]
  • Cambodia Is among the Twenty Countries around the World to Receive [direct agricultural] Aid from the United States of America
  • [Oknha] Mong Riththy: Collecting Taxes for Pigs Imported from Neighboring Countries Will Help Farmers [each year Cambodia loses US$146 million on imported pigs]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2255, 22.5.2010

  • Wood Trading Still Continues Strongly in Oddar Meanchey
  • According to Latest Information, 85 Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the Thai Government] Died and 1,898 Were Injured
  • Agricultural Officials Encourage Citizens to Grow Foreign Grass [it contains higher nutrition than local grass]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6962, 22-23.5.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sun Asked for a Reduction of Wood Consumption, but Suggested the Use of Iron and Cement Instead in Order to Reduce Logging
  • The Koh Kong Town Runs Out of Clean Water as the Water Reservoir Dries Up Due to the Too Hot Weather
  • Mr. Philippe Gréciano [professor at the university of Grenoble in France, who has also worked at the international genocide court it Rwanda] Is Appointed as Defense Lawyer of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Khiev Samphan

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3886, 22-23.5.2010

  • It Is Time to Value the Riel and Stop Trading with Foreign Currencies at the Markets in Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5204, 22.5.2010

  • Five People Trafficking Humans across the Border Were Arrested and Seventeen Victims Were Freed [Sampov Loun district, Battambang]
  • The Destructions in Bangkok Amounts to US$1.5 Billion

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Samdech Hun Sen Considers Forestry Crimes to Be Acts of National Betrayal – Saturday, 27.3.2010

Posted on 28 March 2010. Filed under: Week 657 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

“Phnom Penh: During a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen affirmed the position of the government regarding the campaign to strongly intercept forestry crimes, and not to give up. Although there may be barriers against it made of rock or of iron, any obstacles must be broken down.

“During the cabinet meeting yesterday, which took from morning to noon, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen spoke to all members of the Royal Government, saying that all related institutions, whether on the national or on regional levels, have to cooperate to intercept forestry crimes, and to reach the ringleaders. All authorities have to investigate this at every place to find the offenses and to arrest the offenders, the principal leaders, and other relevant persons, to be prosecuted without any exception regardless of how powerful those persons are, and whatever their relationships, because the suppression of forestry crimes is the suppression of criminal groups – their activities have to be considered as activities of national betrayal.

“Samdech Hun Sen regards the interception campaign against illegal wood trading as a thunderstorm campaign, not a pleasant light drizzle.

“Also, Samdech Hun Sen knows that those who use to do such wood trading are backed by high ranking officials, but this time, no matter how high their positions are, they will be jailed.

“Samdech Hun Sen seriously warned some high ranking officials to withdraw from this business, because now the thunderstorm comes.

“He gave similar orders regarding the campaign to crack down on gambling sites and on drugs. All authorities must remember also the order to persecute the car owners that stick light black plastic foils on the inside of their car windows to conceal [who, or what is going on inside].

“Therefore, 2010 is a bad year for forestry crimes, for all kinds of gambling, and for cars which blackened windows.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2212, 27.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 27 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #445, 27.3.2010

  • Six Died and 50 Others Are Being Hospitalized – It Is Alleged to Be the Result of Cholera [Kratie]
  • A Strong Campaign Continues after an Illegal Storehouse for Wood of Oknha Ang Try, the [Owner-]Director of the Tiger Beer Company, Was Intercepted [almost 1,000 cubic meters of wood were found – Siem Reap]
  • Citizens and Civil Society [ADHOC and the World Wildlife Fund] Welcome the Suppression of Forestry Crimes in the Northeast

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2212, 27.3.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen Considers Forestry Crimes to Be Acts of National Betrayal
  • The National Assembly Will Discuss an Anti-Terrorism Draft Law on 1 April 2010
  • The Russey Keo District Authorities Cracked Down On a Big Storehouse of Luxury Wood in Chrouy Chongva [Phnom Penh] That Stores Various Goods, and They Seized 427 Pieces of Wood

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #637, 27.3.2010

  • The Kompong Speu Court Promised to Release [Two] Representatives of the Amleang Commune Residents on Monday [29 March 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6919, 27-28.3.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Orders to Continue to Investigate Illegal Places [like gambling sites], Brothels, Cars with Light Black Plastic Foils Obscuring their Windows, and Forestry Criminals
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Issued an Arrest Warrant for the Owner of the White Club for Operating Nude Dancing Performances [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3843, 27-28.3.2010

  • After a Murder Thirteen Years Ago which Is Part of History, the Authorities Can Still Just Promise to Try to Arrest the Murderers for Conviction [this refers to the attack with four grenades on demonstrators in front of the former National Assembly on 30 March 1997, when 16 people were killed and over 100 others were injured]
  • Communities of Ethnic Minorities Asked the Government [during the presentation of books about measures supporting ethnic minorities, organized by UNDP at the Cambodiana Hotel] to Halt Providing Concession Land [to private companies] for Mine Explorations [which affect their land and their living environment]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5161, 27.3.2010

  • National Road 4 [connecting Phnom Penh and the major port city of Sihanoukville] Was Blocked Nearly Two Hours by Protesting Residents Who Asked for the Release [of two of their representatives who were detained for burning down the on-site office of Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s sugar company in a land dispute – Kompong Speu]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Ordered to Reduce the Number of Officials [who do not have duties, but are] Attending Cabinet Session [to prevent the leaking of confidential information from cabinet meetings to the public]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Khmer Citizens along the Sesan River Suffer from Infectious Diseases Coming from the Yali Dam in Vietnam – Monday, 25.1.2010

Posted on 27 January 2010. Filed under: Week 649 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 649

“Phnom Penh: Khmer citizens in Svay Rieng village, Ta Lan commune, Sesan district, Stung Treng, who live along the Sesan River, suffer from infectious diseases because they use dirty water flowing from the Yali dam in Vietnam.

“A woman in the village, Sa Ngak, 22, said, ‘My son Oeun Khon, 7, has had diarrhea and he has been vomiting for several days.’ She added that her son fell sick because he drank yellowish water from the Sesan River, coming from the Yali dam in Vietnam.

“Another woman in the village, Sen Ri, 40, said that her two daughters have had itchy skin diseases for many days after they had using water from the river, which contains chemicals and dirty water flowing from the dam.

“Regarding the impact from diseases when using water from the Sesan River, the Svay Rieng village chief, Mr. Sang Kan, said that he has been living in the village since the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime [1955 to 1970], and the citizens who used the water had never gotten diarrhea.

“He added that at present, the villagers have different types of diseases such as diarrhea, itchy skin diseases, swollen limbs, typhoid, and many other diseases, caused by the water from the Sesan River, which flows from the Yali dam in Vietnam near the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

“He went on to say that 70% of the villagers use the water of the Sesan river.

“The head of the Water Resources Committee in Svay Rieng village, Mr. Pai Thang Nhok, said that the Yali dam of Vietnam does discharge dirty water, rubbish, and feces and water infiltrates also from a red earth area which makes the villagers to suffer from infectious diseases. He added that in January 2010, more than 20 children and adults have diarrhea and itchy skin diseases.

“Concerning the infectious of diseases in the Svay Rieng village, the Sesan district governor, Mr. Bou Keosovann, said, ‘So far, I have not received information about this case.’

“It should be noted that according to a test by the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, water of the Sesan river contains e-coli a bacteria that causes diarrhea and itchy skin diseases.

“About 200 families in the Svay Rieng village, which is 200 kilometer from Stung Treng along the Sesan River, said that in that area, there is one health center, but it does not have doctors.

“The villagers said that doctors come to provide medicine drops for children, and birth spacing drugs every month, but there is no treatments provided for the diseases caused by the water of the river.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #396, 24-25.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 25 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #396, 24-25.1.2010

  • Khmer Citizens along the Sesan River Suffer from Infectious Diseases Coming from the Yali Dam in Vietnam

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2159, 24-25.1.2010

  • Opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party Parliamentarians Met [UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur] Surya Subedi and Mentioned the Court cases and Sam Rainsy’s Case [over the removal of border markers]
  • Veterans of Division 12 from 268 Families Expressed Gratitude towards Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen for Offering Them Land [Banteay Meanchey]
  • The Ministry of Education Needs to Construct 1,000 Additional Buildings [to meet the increasing number of students, and it needs to recruit about 5,000 teachers each year – according to the Minister of Education, Mr. Im Sethy]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #724, 25.1.2010

  • The United Nations Development Program [UNDP] Completely Terminated Aid for the National Elections of Cambodia because Reforms Were Not Conducted [to ensure justice and fairness in the previous elections; every year UNDP grants US$80 million to US$120 million for the development of Cambodia]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #588, 24-25.1.2010

  • [The Director of Human Rights Watch for Asia Pacific] Brad Adam: Human Rights Conditions [in Cambodia] Can Change if the Powerful Countries and Donors Press the Cambodian Government

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6866, 25.1.2010

  • Cambodia Is Ready to Bilaterally Solve Border Disputes with Thailand through Negotiations, through Military, or Again through Legal Methods [the International Court in The Hague – said Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Hor Namhong]
  • A Truck Loaded with Bricks Crashed into a 12-Seater Car, Killing Four People and Injuring Twenty [Sihanoukville]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #96, 25.1.2010

  • There Were Armed Clashes between the Khmer and the Thai Military at the Choam Tae Area [near the Preah Vihear Temple]; Cambodia Did Not Suffer Any Casualty, whereas Thailand Might Have Some Dead and Injured Soldiers [the deputy army commander stationed in Preah Vihear, Mr. Meas Yoeun, said that Thai soldiers came 200 meters into Khmer territory and started shooting at Cambodian soldiers first]
  • Local Authorities in Ratanakiri Were Threatened to Be Killed by Soldiers Trading Wood [when they tried to block those soldiers transporting wood to Vietnam; finally the authorities could not seize the wood and could just report the case to higher levels]
  • Rain Destroyed 3,000 Tones of Salt in Kampot

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #51, 24-25.1.2010

  • The Number of Casinos in Cambodia Increased Up to 32 along the Vietnamese and Thai Borders [according to a Deputy Director General of National Police, Mr. Sok Phal]
  • [A Thai military official and supporter of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Khattiya Sawasdipol Is Training Fighters to Oppose the Thai Military

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1862, 25.1.2010

  • Former Residents of the Dey Krahom Community Lighted Incense Sticks [at the eviction site] to Curse the 7NG Company [that evicted them last year – Phnom Penh]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

The Number of Children with Severe Malnutrition Increases – Thursday, 19.2.2009

Posted on 19 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Phnom Penh: A new report from the National Institute of Statistics found that the number of children with severe malnutrition increased, and the number of different diseases that affect children under the age of five increased also.

“The findings of a survey on the national level, analyzing the influence of high food prices, indicate that the health of children did not improve, because the number of children with serious malnutrition rose from 8.4% in 2005 to 8.9% in 2008, which is an important indication based on their weight and height proportions. This survey found also that the spread of fever among children under the age of four rose to 58.9% in 2008, compared to 39.6% in 2005.

“However, this survey discovered also some positive results regarding the situation of alimentation of women and of children under the age of two.

“The director of the National Mother and Child Health Center, Professor Dr. Kum Kanal, referred questions regarding this problem to the person who released this report.

“The deputy director of the Department of Planning and Health Information, Ms. Sok Kanha, said Tuesday evening by telephone that our country is poor, and the economic standard of living dropped, making many workers unemployed, and some farmers do not own enough rice fields, causing shortages. Therefore, they cannot provide enough food to their children.

“When asked whether the equity program of a foundation of the government is failing or not, while the health situation of the people declines, Ms. Sok Kanha claimed, ‘The equity program of the foundation of the government does not fail, because this program offers charged services to patients, but it is not to buy food for the poor.’

“She added that any solution for this problem requires participation from development partners, and especially the UN World Food Program, to provide food to people, and she requested to provide aid to ‘the hungry, otherwise its project will not be successful and will not reach he right directions.’

“[Secretary of state at the Ministry of Health and director of Calmette Hospital] Dr. Heng Taikry could not be reached for comment, but he told The Cambodia Daily on Monday that he did not know anything about the findings of this research, yet he suspected that the rising food prices probably do not affect children’s health.

“He went on to say, ‘At present, Cambodian people have a better living standard and they can eat sufficient food.’

“The above survey is funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF – and by the United Nations Development Program – UNDP – asking 7,500 women and children to reflect on the influence of high food prices. The Institute of Statistics found that in 2008, food prices increased by 10%, more than the price of other consumer goods.

“A consultant of the Institute of Statistics, Mr. Joel Konkle, told The Cambodia Daily that the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, fever, serious respiratory diseases among small children increased, and further research is needed to define the extent of these diseases.

“He added that more serious malnutrition and child health conditions might be caused by high food prices, because research shows a declining consumption of expensive food, such as meat and fish. Malnutrition of children makes them easily susceptible to diseases.

“Mr. Joel Konkle added a warning that poor children in cities need emergency assistance, because of the increase in the number of malnourished children under the age of five, from 9.6% in 2005 to 15.9% in 2008.

“The Chief of the Children Survival Section of UNICEF, Ms. Viorica Berdaga, said that she was surprised that serious malnutrition of children under the age of two increased. She added that those involved in food security should summon a meeting soon and take action as quickly as possible.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4825, 19.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 19 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #119, 19.2.2009

  • France Welcomes the Beginning of the First Hearing of the Tuol Sleng Prison Chief [Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Criticizes that Persons in the Fields of Education and Health Care Were Reduced [he agrees that in some fields it is necessary to reduce personnel by sending people into retirement without replacing them – but this should not relate to the fields of teachers and doctors]
  • Two Englishmen Died in a Royal Highness Hotel Room [the cause of deaths is not yet found – Phnom Penh]
  • The United States of America Adds 17,000 Troops for Afghanistan

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1877, 19.2.2009

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Waits for a Final Investigation Report from Troops before Asking for an Explanation from the Siamese [Thai] Embassy
  • Brothels in Siem Reap Town Run Their Exploitation Grandly [their number is increasing, they have a bad influence on public morals and culture – local residents say that they are mostly operated by people from Vietnam]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #347, 19.2.2009

  • Commander-In-Chief Pol Saroeun Said that Siam [Thailand] Unintentionally Fired into Khmer Territory, while [the chairperson of the Committee for Solving Border Disputes] Va Kimhong Said that It Violates Cambodian Territorial Integrity

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6582, 19.2.2009

  • A Car of a Korean Delegation Crashed into the Ou Leang Kruos Bridge and Injured Three People Seriously [Strung Treng]
  • A Study for the Construction of a Hydro-Electric Dam at the Cheay Araeng River in Thma Bak District with 108 Megawatt and an Investment Capital of More Than US$325 Million Is Finished [by the China Southern Power Grid Company – Koh Kong]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3691, 19.2.2009

  • [The president of the opposition party] Sam Rainsy Asked the Government to Take Immediate Action in View of [the declining] Prices of Agricultural Products, and to Cease Grabbing of Citizens’ Land
  • Duch’s Lawyers Demand the Release of Their Defendant during the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Hearing [they want to sue for the illegal detention of Duch in military prison since 1999 before he was transferred to the tribunal’s detention in 2007]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4825, 19.2.2009

  • The Number of Children with Severe Malnutrition Increases
  • Vietnamese Documentary Videos Created Strong Arguments during Duch’s Hearing [his defense lawyers opposed the inclusion of these video as new evidence, saying that they are invented videos]
  • US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] Praises Telecommunication Sector in Cambodia
  • International Red Cross Encourages Improvement for Prisons in Cambodia
  • Vietnam Reacts against Human Rights Watch regarding Khmer Kampuchea Krom Case [by condemning Vietnam for cracking down on Khmer Krom people living at the Mekong delta and for restricting religious respect and freedom of expression; Vietnam said that the Khmer Kampuchea Krom community is a part that cannot be cut out from the 52 communities living in Vietnam, and Vietnam does not allow any form of discrimination and of racial divisions to happen]

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Prime Minister Hun Sen Explains the Change in the Position of the Commander-in-Chief – Saturday, 7.2.2009

Posted on 9 February 2009. Filed under: Week 598 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 598

“Phnom Penh: Rumors about the reasons for the removal, two weeks ago, of General Ke Kim Yan moved Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen on Friday 6 February 2009 to clearly explain that the removal of the commander-in-chief was part of the ongoing military reform, but it was not the result of internal disputes in the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], the party ruling the country.

“Speaking to journalists at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Samdech Hun Sen said that he is aware that some people say that the removal of the commander-in-chief is to strengthen the forces of Hun Sen and to diminish the forces of Samdech Chea Sim. But Samdech [Hun Sen] added that even if Mr. Ke Kim Yan were still the commander-in-chief, there would be no problem in the CPP.

“Together with this claim, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen went on to say that General Ke Kim Yan is still a general, having protection forces for which the government has to be responsible. As for the party’s affairs, Mr. Ke Kim Yan is still a permanent member of the Central Committee of the CPP, and head of a certain working group in Banteay Meanchey.

“With reference to the motions in the CPP, raised in public opinions recently, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen stressed that military adjustments are normal in military reforms, when the government wants to improve efficiency, just as in reforms in other sectors. But this time, this is not happening in the form of a slow method, but Samdech Hun Sen wants that it happens faster in order to be in line with the present situation.

“As for the rights of a prime minister, since the time when Samdech took over the office as prime minister for the first time in 1985, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that for all decisions about any reforms or changes in appointments, the prime minister did not need to ask for ideas from the party.

“As mentioned above, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen warned opposition groups and accused them of provoking fractional splits among the CPP, using the information about the removal of General Ke Kim Yan as the commander-in-chief.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen warned, ‘Anyone and any party which dares to interfere in CPP affairs, that person and that party will not have peace. I will fight until your last shelter is no more, like with the Funcinpec in 1997. And now, all commentators, please stop making comments to split the CPP into factions and opposition,’ where Samdech seemed to refer to the Sam Rainsy Party, which nowadays should be able to control their own party members.

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that real military reform has not only to do with the change of persons among the top leadership, but it is also necessary to check the salaries of the military, to check weapons, medicines, and the livelihood of military families. Another point is that all military commanders must be neutral in their attitudes and thinking, and they must not be involved with any political party, in order to avoid conflicts of interest in fulfilling their roles.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4815, 7.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 7 February 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1867, 7.2.2009

  • Cambodia Brewery Limited Issues Alert because some Pressure Containers for Beer [stolen from the factory] Are Pressure-Filled with Oxygen for Hospitals to Treat Patients [and not with carbon dioxyde which goes with beer]
  • [Singaporean and Taiwanese agricultural] Researchers Said Soil in Cambodia Is Pristine Like Offered by God
  • Sri Lanka Offers Amnesty for Tamil Tiger Insurgents If They Surrender
  • Ms. Hilary Clinton Chooses Indonesia for Her First Visit Abroad

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #199, 7.2.2009

  • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL: Parties with Few Seats Have No Opportunity to Express Their Opinion
  • [Around 1,700] Workers of the Sang Yong Garment Factory Strike by Closing the Factory [because the factory has suspended work for two months – Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6572, 7-8.2.2009

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Explains the Change in the Position of the Commander-in-Chief
  • A British Television Station [Quick Silver or Channel 4] Interviews the Municipal Authorities [about the economic situation and the evictions]
    A Pregnant Woman Is Choked to Death and Her Face Is Cut with Razor Blades in a Room of a Guesthouse [murderer is not yet identified – Siem Reap]
  • Murderers Who Killed Three People by Cutting Their Throats at the Victims’ Home [in Prek Pra commune, Meanchey] Was Arrested [the murderers are husband and wife, they killed to rob the victims who were their close friends]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3681, 7-8.2.2009

  • The German Ambassador Condemns Hun Sun for Prohibiting Opposition Party Parliamentarian [Ms. Mu Sochua] to Attend the Third Annual Economic Forum [sponsored by the Supreme National Economic Council of the government, supported by the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, and UNDP]
  • Dey Krahom Residents Protest in Front of the Municipality to Demand US$20,000 Compensation

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4815, 7.2.2009

  • The Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister Never Said that the Territory under the Preah Vihear Temple Belongs to Siam [Thailand – Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva said so in a press conference about negotiations related to the contested area around the temple]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Told the Thai Minister [of Defense]: ‘It Is a Historic Time to Solve Problems so that the Next Generations No Longer Have Problems’
  • The German Agency GTZ Signed an Agreement Supporting the National Audit Authority’s Development [for the second stage from 2009 to 2011, with assistance of Euro 2 million – approx. US$2.6 million]
  • Note about details of the GTZ engagement from the GTZ web site:

    The “Support to the National Audit Authority” provides technical assistance in Cambodia with the objective to enhance accountability and transparency in the system of Public Finances in Cambodia.

    We are fully aware that the major preconditions for the success of our company are not only the price and quality of the services we provide, but also our good reputation and our integrity. Integrity is rooted in the company’s philosophy and is of personal significance to all staff. Our Code of Conduct comprises rules on how to deal with conflicts of interest and to avoid corruption.

    The message we send out is that rather than seeing corruption as a necessary evil or a by-product of work processes, we are strongly committed to fighting it. The best way to combat corruption has always been to bring it out into the public.

    Everyone engaged in the fight against corruption must help to uncover corruption in every shape and form.

    GTZ has appointed the lawyer Dr Joussen as its Ombudsman.

    Dr. Edgar Joussen
    Bleibtreustrasse 1
    10623 Berlin, Germany
    Tel.: +49 700 66283762, Fax: +49 30 31518744
    E-mail: ra-js@ra-js.de

    Dr. Edgar Joussen runs his own legal office in Berlin and is a bank clerk by training. He has specialised in anti-corruption consulting for many years. In 2000 he also began advising Deutsche Bahn AG.
    The Ombudsman is a point of contact and an advisor on corruption-related matters for GTZ’s staff and business partners.

    Dr. Joussen may be contacted by phone, mail, fax or e-mail. A personal meeting will be arranged where appropriate.

  • India Promises to Continue to Support Cooperation in the National Defense Sector with Cambodia
  • High Ranking Military Officer [unnamed three-star general] Is Sued for Adultery
  • [The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Sends two Letters to International Organizations [International Education Organization and International Labor Organization] about the Transfer of the President Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Kompong Thom [Mr. Sun Thun was transfered for political reasons from Triel High School to teach at a lower secondary school]
  • Cambodia Will Ask UNESCO to List the Chapei [a Cambodian long-necked lute – not clear if the instrument, or if Mr. Kong Nai as one of the last living masters, under the category of Living Human Treasure] and Lakhon Khol [all-male. Cambodian masked dance theater], after Angkor and the Temple of Preah Vihear [by UNESCO as World Heritage], and Sbek Thom – Khmer Shadow Theater] and the Royal Ballet of Cambodia Were Listed [by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity]

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.


Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Global Witness Encourages Donor Countries to Use Their Influence on the Government to Check how Oil, Gas, and Minerals Exploration Licenses Were Given – Friday, 6.2.2009

Posted on 8 February 2009. Filed under: Week 598 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 598

Global Witness released a report for 2008 with big titles on the book cover ‘Country for Sale – How Cambodia’s elite has captured the country’s extractive industries.’ This book describes mysteries, corruption, and irregularities related to the provision of concessions to foreign oil, gas, and minerals exploring companies in Cambodia – but some high-ranking officials of the Cambodian government denied all Global Witness allegations.

“Global Witness, based in London/England, an organization monitoring the exploitation of global natural resources [‘Global Witness works to increase transparency in the granting of mineral concessions, in the flow of revenues from oil and gas companies to governments and in the trading of resources’], released a [72 pages] report on 5 February 2009 with the title, Country for Sale, in which it revealed many things about top officials of the government of Cambodia, allegedly involved in and colluding with corruption, jeopardizing forests and other natural resources.

“The report of Global Witness said that during the last 15 years, 45% of the land in Cambodia has been contracted out by concessions to foreign entities, and millions of dollars were received by the government from private companies to secure their concessions – but it is known that this money was lost and did not go to the books of the Ministry of Economics and Finance. Global Witness reports that its investigations discovered that oil, gas, and mineral exploring licenses were provided secretly to ruling officials and their relatives, and especially, that they are controlled by the military of Cambodia. Those top military officials are General Ouk Koasa, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – RCAF – commander in charge of military development regions; Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh’s brother, Mr. Cham Borei; Prime Minister Hun Sen’s younger cousin, Okhna Dy Chouch or Hun Chouch; army commander, General Meas Sophea; a senator, Oknha Ly Yong Phat; a special advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of the government, Mr. Om Yentieng; a senator and director of the Pheapimex Company, Mr. Lao Meng Khin; the RCAF commander-in-chief, General Pol Saroeun, and Oknha Try Heng.

“The report of Global Witness found that RCAF forces were deployed to guard areas rich in mineral resources such as in Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, and Pursat, and citizens’ land in those areas was grabbed through threats and violence. The report spoke also about the institution in charge of the oil and gas industry, called the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, an institution under direct control of the government – administered by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An

“Global Witness added that all ministries, departments, institutions, or authorities do not have any power over that institution, adding that the same politicians and powerful people involved in illegal logging now take control over the oil, gas, and mineral resources, and a handful of powerful people ruling the country have awarded expensive land concessions to private companies without transparency. Global Witness stated that mineral resources and the forest in Cambodia exist only once, and when those valuable natural resources are exhausted, they will disappear forever. All persons mentioned in the allegations by Global Witness regarding corruption, like some generals, oknhas, high-ranking officials of the government, such as General Ouk Koasa, Mr. Cham Borei, Mr. Dy Chouch or Hun Chouch, General Meas Sophea, Senator Ly Yong Phat, Senator Lao Meng Khin, and Oknha Try Heng could not be reached for comment. However, some government officials who provided interviews to Global Witness, claimed that the Global Witness report exaggerates the facts and is not true.

“Global Witness found that a special advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Royal Government of Om Yentieng, has received a mineral exploration license quietly; he said that Global Witness has distorted information about the Cambodian government for many years, adding, ‘I think that if that organization Global Witness knows what is right and wrong, and has trust towards the respect of the truth, one could call it to swear an oath with me. If I am wrong, I would die, and if I am not wrong, it [Global Witness] would die. This would be a quick and trustworthy method for the listeners to judge. But I believe that if they [Global Witness] want to lie, they do not lack continuing lying stories. Therefore I think that this is not strange and surprising, because they have lied for many years already. They have distorted information about Cambodia for many years.’

“A Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Mr. Tea Banh, reacted strongly to the Global Witness report, saying that he cannot accept allegations by this organization without any evidence. Mr. Tea Banh added that those having mineral exploration licenses have them all legally.

“The RCAF commander-in-chief, General Pol Saroeun, about whom Global Witness has written in the report, accusing him of having received a mineral exploration license quietly, denied that he is involved as a businessman, he said that he is just a military person. Mr. Pol Saroeun added, ‘No, I never had a company. I never do business. I am a soldier. Why is Global Witness accusing people like silly? They seem to look down on people too much.’

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Ith Prang, said that the oil resources ow being explored to be exploited in future, have not yet produced even one percent of what is expected. The Cambodian government is not stupid in managing all natural resources.

“He continued to say, ‘So far, no oil has yet been produced, we just known that there is oil. Therefore, we have not planned how to use it, because no oil has been extracted yet. But the government is not stupid in distributing revenues of its resources.’ A secretary of state of the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Prach Son, said that many oil and mineral exploration companies in Cambodia are from foreign countries, from China or from Australia. All those companies get exploration licenses in Cambodia, but they are not allowed to take raw materials to their countries.

“Global Witness has tried to ask for explanations from government officials, oknhas, generals, companies mentioned in its report, but has, so far, not received sufficient explanations. It has not even obtained a response from Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen reacting to the report since it was released officially. There is only the Li Phoeung [?] company of China that provided an explanation, but Global Witness does not show the details [original unclear – actually, only the Swedish company Lundin Petroleum responded to the inquiries of Global witness – but for information referring to their website].

“The Global Witness director, Mr. Gavin Hayman, said that what the Cambodian government should do is not to provide new concessions too quickly to private companies. The Cambodian government should rather verify and conduct audits on the concessions already provided to those private companies. He went on to say that all donor countries should put pressure on the Cambodian government not to provide new concessions too quickly to private oil, gas, or mineral exploration companies, and to verify them again. The report has found that 70 companies have already received concession contracts and are exploring minerals. Those concessions have been provided without transparency, because there is no clear system in place for providing concessions, besides delivering them to high-ranking officials of the government. Also, he voiced concern about the loss of mineral resources for which concessions have been provided to foreign companies involved in serious human rights abuses in Cambodia, and the government should work effectively to control them.

“Global Witness showed in its report that some oil exploration companies in Cambodia had paid money to the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, and that money was probably not put into the National Treasury. The report added that oil, gas, and mineral exploration companies are required to pay kickbacks for signing up to bids for concessions with the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority. Like a company from Indonesia, PT Medco Energi Internasional, which has spent US$7.5 million to the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority. Moreover, each company having stakes in mineral exploration according to contracts, is also required to pay taxes annually. In the first year, a tax with the amount of US$800,000 was required to be paid for each concession.

“Global Witness added that in 2006 and 2007, money was not seen to have been put into the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The report said also that an oil exploration company has been exploring oil along the Tonle Sap Lake, the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, which produces between 40% and 70% of fish for the Cambodian people. The Tonle Sap basin is part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Global Witness criticized donor countries for not using their influences through development funds to improve good governance, while the annual international aid for Cambodia is equal to half of the national budget.” Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #336, 6.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 6 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #13, 6-8.2.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Appointed Ms. Ke Sovannarath Secretary-General [before she was acting secretary-general]

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #336, 6.2.2009

  • Global Witness Encourages Donor Countries to Use Their Influence on the Government to Check how Oil, Gas, and Minerals Exploration Licenses Were Given
  • [One faction of] The Norodom Ranariddh Party Asks the Presidents of the National Assembly and of the National Election Committee to Remove [NRP secretary general] Mr. You Hockry and Mr. Sao Rany [from the other faction of the NRP] as Members of Parliament

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1866, 6.2.2009

  • Cambodia Holds the Third Economic Forum [United Nations Development Program, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and other development partners joined the event [Note: the member of the National Assembly Ms. Mu Sochua, was denied access by bodyguards; this surprised the German ambassador so much that he skipped to participate in this event]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #198, 6.2.2009

  • Military Police Surround the Mobitel Company and the Station of the Cambodian Television Network – CTN [of Oknha Kith Meng, for several hours] – Reason not Known
  • A Meeting of the Cambodian and Thai Ministers of Defense Will Be Held Today in Phnom Penh [to discuss border problems]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6571, 6.2.2009

  • Tragedy of a Farmer Family Who Rode a Cart Loaded with Firewood and Hit an Anti-Tank Mine, Triggering an Explosion, Killing Three People and Injuring Two More [a man and his two small sons died, his 6-year old daughter suffered serious wound, and his wife was lightly injured – Battambang]
  • A Car Coming Out from a House Pushed a [female] Student against a Wall, Killing Her [police are investigating, to ask for an arrest warrant for the car driver, also a woman]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3680, 6.2.2009

  • Real Estate Property of Ke Kim Yan Is Expropriated as Property of the Cambodian People’s Party [according to a high ranking official close to Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • [Around 20] Military Personnel of the First Region Used Violence to Evict Citizens from Their Land [and threatened to shoot those who dared to protest – Recheanukoul village, Stung Treng commune and district, Stung Treng]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4814, 6.2.2009

  • The Philippines Reduce Taxes for Goods from Cambodia
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Promises to Update Information on Its Website [after there was criticism from the public; however, confidential documents will not be published]
  • Japanese Investors Are Satisfied with Plan to Invest along Cambodian Beaches [in Koh Kong]
  • The National Bank of Cambodia Signs an Agreement with Citi Bank for Training about the Bond Market [officials of the National Bank of Cambodia will be sent to receive training in New York]
  • An Official of National Television [TVK] in Pursat Was Murdered in a Guesthouse [a woman rented a room to sleep with the murdered man, and two other men who had rented a room next door are also suspected in this robbery and murder]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3481, 6.2.2009

  • The Tokyo Government Blocks the Entry of [Thai ousted prime minister] Thaksin into Japan

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.


Back to topke

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea File a Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Friday, 9.1.2009

Posted on 10 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“Phnom Penh: A foreign co-defense lawyer of [former Khmer Rough leader] Nuon Chea demanded the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open an investigation regarding corruption allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. This demand was made through a complaint to the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday on 8 January 2009. The Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Count has not yet accepted this criminal complaint [on 8 January – Note: But on 9 January he did]

“Representing a group of three foreign co-defense lawyers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Michiel Pestman presented this complaint to the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. The plaintiffs declared to be victims of a violation of the criminal law of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia [UNTAC] of 1992, the plaintiffs especially raised the allegation of corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which can lead to destroy the basic right to receive just hearings.

“Through the complaint, the three foreign co-lawyers, Mr. Michiel Pestman, Mr. Victor Koppe, and Mr. Andrew Lanuzzi, as plaintiffs, base their complaint on a statement of the Open Society Justice Initiative [OSJI] of February 2007, a report by UNDP, and some local press articles. These documents alleged that the general staff as well as some judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal paid a portion of their salaries to higher officials of the Cambodian government, in response to having received their positions at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“The foreign co-defense lawyers mentioned also the history of facts related to previous corruption allegations related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

“The foreign co-defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea asked the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open an investigation about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“They said they make this demand, because their efforts to receive information from the Cambodian side and from Deputy Prime Minister Sok An regarding the accusations about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had not been successful, because no information was provided. That is why the foreign co-defense lawyers concluded that the people mentioned above and others acting similarly might violate the UNTAC criminal law of 1992, or other similar rules of prosecution by directly coordinating to help each other and to encourage corruption relating to the assignments at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal during the continuing investigation.

“Coming once in the morning and once again in the afternoon to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, on 8 January 2009, Mr. Michiel Pestman told reporters that the clerks did not accept his complaint, even though he had tried to deliver documents of complaint to the Royal Prosecutor’s clerks, and he had indicated that foreign lawyers would come again to meet them at 3:00 p.m. on 8 January 2009. But the clerks still did not accept the complaint and required them to come to the court again on Friday, 9 January 2009.

“Mr. Pestman added that the clerks had said that the complaint lodged by the foreign co-defense lawyers was a special one so they need to first talk to their superiors.

“Mr. Pestman went on to say that the corruption allegation, related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, is a serious problem, and it can negatively impact on rights of the accused so that they not receive just hearings; it is a major concern of everyone involved in the process of these procedures.

“He went on to question with great concern how the Khmer Rouge Tribunal could provide justice to his defendants without clarification? Paying a portion of the salaries of officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to high ranking officials of the government makes these officials of the court unable to work independently.

“Mr. Pestman clearly indicated that staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal did cut a portion of their salaries as a kick-back to high ranking officials of the government, depending on reports published by the United Nations, but he did not know who those Khmer staff were, and to whom they had paid their money.

“Nevertheless, the spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, did not make any comment on the complaint of the foreign co-lawyers, filed at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Mr. Reach Sambath considers the corruption case at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to be a past problem, for which no facts had been found to support it. But he emphasized that the Cambodian side in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is highly committed to fight inequities. The court created a mechanism with a code-of-ethics councils and with mail boxes for staff to lodge complaints regarding corruption.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4790, 9.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1842, 9.1.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Told Thailand to Re-Consider the Timing and place of the ASIAN Summit [now planned for 27 February to 1 March 2009, in Chiang Mai]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia Reacts against the Thai Authorities for Not Allowing Cambodian Tourists to Enter Thailand [from a tourist cruise ship on 25 December 2008 – although they held Thai visa – saying that they did so, because they were concerned about security problems]
  • Owner of a Shoe Factory Leaves More Than 100 Workers on the Day when the Salaries Were Due [the owner of the factory, a colonel, ordered his bodyguards to intimidate the workers not to protest, while workers, mostly underage girls, shouted that they have no money to buy rice and to pay to travel back to their home villages and towns]
  • Rate of Patients and People Who Died from Malaria Declined in 2008 [the number of patients was 46,931, and the number of deaths was 155, while in 2007 there were 59,848 patients and 219 deaths]
  • The Thai Central Bank: The Occupation of the Airports [in 2008] Caused Siam [Thailand] to Loose US$8.3 Billion

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #320, 9-10.1.2009

  • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kasit Piromya Will Meet Samdech Hun Sen on 25 and 26 January 2009 to Solve Border Disputes [according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kong]
  • Terrorist Leaders Who Planted Explosive Devices [in Phnom Penh] Are Arrested [in Poipet, police said that the suspects were involved also in the setting of explosive devices at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Monument on 29 July 2007 in Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #322, 9.1.2009

  • If People Reaching Retiring Age Still Collude to Delay Retirement, Why not Scrap Every Retirement Law All Together???

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #178, 8.1.2009

  • The Announcement of a Hearing of a Danish Woman and Her Son Accused of Dealing with Drugs Is Delayed [to 15 January 2009]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6547, 9.1.2009

  • Car Loaded with Corn Hit Anti-Tank Mine, Killing Three and Injuring Six Lightly and Severely on National Road 57 [Ratanak Mondol, Battambang]
  • Explosion Echoed behind the Office of the Prime Minister [Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, of Thailand – no one was injured]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3661, 9.1.2009

  • [International co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] Robert Petit Has Not Given Up the Demand to Investigate Six New Suspects [although the Khmer co-prosecutor of the tribunal, Ms. Chea Leang, released a statement opposing his demand]; Hearing of [the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Will Start in March

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4790, 9.1.2009

  • Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea File a Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Customs Income in 2008 Was More Than US$290 Million, Which Was 30% Over the Expectation [it declined by 7.5% compared to 2007 – according the Customs Department director, Mr. Pen Siman]
  • A Dead Female Dolphin Floated Down in Front of Wat Chrouy Thma in Kompong Cham

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3471, 9.1.2009

  • World Bank Increases Access to Telecommunication Services for Poor Citizens in Five Provinces [Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, and Pursat]

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8002, 9-11.1.2009

  • [Phnom Penh governor] Mr. Kep Chuktema Plans to Spend US$10 Million [foreign money] on Public Lighting in Phnom Penh

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

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Saturday, 9.8.2008: Officials and Staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Have Not Received Their Salaries because of a Corruption Scandal

Posted on 10 August 2008. Filed under: week 572 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 572

“Recently, the UN Development Program office [UNDP] decided to delay the transfer of funds for the salaries of more than US$300,000 for Khmer officials and staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, after there were complaints about corruption at the Cambodian side. The delayed salaries for around 250 Cambodian officials and staff are for July.

“Ms. Amy Brown [phonetic], UNDP public relations officer, explained by e-mail that the decision to delay the transfer of salary funds for the Khmer staff was made after new claims about corruption had been made. At present, UNDP and donor countries are reviewing everything related to the case. She explained that the UNDP had decided to delay the transfer of the salaries in order to assure the integrity of the funds.

“The UN spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Peter Foster, said that some Cambodian officials and staff had lodged complaints to the UN relating to corruption and to some other irregularities. A UN oversight office in New York checking internal problems is investigating these cases.

“Regarding the aforementioned problems, Ms. Helen Jarvis, a public affairs official of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, did not explain the reasons for the delay of the Khmer staff salaries, she just considered it to be related to a late availability of the funds for the salaries. She said, ‘As it is known already, there are US$300,000 for the salaries for July, but we do not yet have the possibility to provide the July salaries. However, all together we are still waiting for much bigger funds than the funds to provide the salaries.’

“Both Ms. Helen Jarvis and Mr. Peter Foster explained that negotiations are proceeding to solve these problems, and solutions will be found soon. It is not the first time that the Khmer staff of the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal receive late salaries, but it is the first time that the UNDP delays the Khmer staff’s salaries in order to investigate corruption.

“In early 2007, an organization concerned with law reform activities, which has its seat in New York in the USA – the Open Society Justice Initiative – revealed that it had received information about Cambodian staff paying part their salaries as a kick-back to officials of the Khmer government in return for having been employed at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. What the Open Society Justice Initiative had raised made Sean Visoth, the head of the administration of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, very angry, and he announced to stop cooperating with this US organization.

“It should be noted that the UNDP administers the funds to provide the salaries of Khmer staff from the Cambodian section of the site.

“This new scandal makes the public aware that the international community starts to have less and less trust in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, because the scandal of 2007 is not yet solved, and now there is another shameful scandal. It is therefore not so easy for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to seek additional millions of dollars to operate until the end. So far, in addition to Japan, France, Australia, and Germany, no other countries provide additional funds for this mixed tribunal [with a Cambodian and a United Nations component].

“Recently, officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal reported that the trial of Kang Kek Ieu, called Duch, the former chief of the Tuol Sleng Prison, will be conducted in September or October, but what causes serious concern is that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is facing a serious financial crisis – and it is facing a shameful corruption scandal. So this crisis might delay the trial of former senior Khmer Rouge leaders, where all the suspects, who are being detained in the special Khmer Rouge Tribunal detention center, are old and have serious and alarming illnesses.

“Nevertheless, Khmer citizens in Cambodia and abroad want the trial of Duch, as well as of other former senior Khmer Rouge leaders, to happen as soon as possible as long as they are still alive and are able to reveal facts while standing trial. But if the trial is still delayed, the suspects detained for trial might die one by one, and the secrets of the Killing Field regime will be buried with their deaths. Therefore, the sooner the trail of the former senior Khmer Rouge leaders is held, the better, because the health of Khiev Samphan and of Ieng Sary is getting worse.

“Observers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal since it was started said that, if this mixed tribunal has the intention to find justice for more than 1.7 million Khmer citizens who were killed during the Killing Field regime, the trial of Duch has to happen in September or October as planned. If not, it means that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has no intention to find justice for the victims, and Khmer citizens will never see the light of real justice. Therefore the international community and donor countries must press on with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, to try the suspects soon as a warning for the next Khmer leaders not to repeat a cruel massacre like the former Khmer Rouge leaders committed.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3534, 9-10.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 9 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1715, 9.8.2008

  • The Situation at the Ta Moan Temple Seems to Be Unchanged; Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Troops Patrol the Temple Together
  • A Mother Led [her three] Children to Plant Corn in a Field and Stepped on a Mine and Triggered an Explosion which Killed Her [7-year-old] Son and Seriously Injured Three Persons [including the mother, and her five-year-old and nine-month-old daughters]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #212, 9.8.2008

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #69, 9.8.2008

  • The Cambodian Center for Human Rights Welcomed the Commitment of the Government [expressed trough a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen to arrest the murderers and those who are responsible for the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and of his 21-year-old son]
  • Three Opposition Parties [the Sam Rainsy Party, the Human Rights Party, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party] Plan to Boycott the Swearing-In Ceremony [planned for the inaugural session of he new parliament on 24 September 2008]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6419, 9-10.8.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor [Prime Minister Hun Sen] Requests to Construct a Road to the Preah Vihear Temple and a Road from Anlong Veng to Srah Eaem
  • A Book about “Understanding Trauma in Cambodia” Is Published on a Website [of the Center for Social Development, on the role of psychology for Cambodian people]
  • [Thousands of] Exiled Tibetans Hold Demonstrations in Nepal and India [7 August 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3534, 9-10.8.2008

  • Officials and Staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Have Not Received Their Salaries because of a Corruption Scandal
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Are Restricting the Rights of Kampuchea Krom Khmer Citizens in [former] Svay Tong District, Moat Chruk Province [so called in Khmer in French colonial time, now part of Vietnam, called An Gian Province] More Strongly [by not allowing them to set up satellite television antennas at their houses – click here for information from Vietnam with reference to the Khmer population]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4663, 9.8.2008

  • Appeals Court Decided to Allow Ms. Chea Ratha’s Assistant [Mr. Ea Vuthea, involved in an acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt on 8 May 2008] to Be Temporarily Released from Detention; Ms. In Soklida Continues to Hide Herself at a Safe Place because of Fear [of revenge]
  • Price of Electricity in Pursat Increased to US$0.50 per Kilowatt [from the previous price of US$0.40]; It Increased Two Days after the Election Day
  • [Former Thai prime minister] Thaksin: I Will Not Escape from the Country [regarding his court cases, that he might be sentenced to jail]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3380, 9.8.2008

  • USAID Sponsored to Produce a Serial Drama [describing the Cambodian legal system] Which Will Be Showed on Televisions Starting Late This Week
  • Civil Society Organizations Call on Generous People to Help the Families of Soldiers Who Are Protecting the Borders [at the Preah Vihear regions]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – where we try to provide our readers with important information which all publications in Cambodia – as far as we can see – are not providing; but the international community knows more – we wonder how long the Cambodian public can be held uninformed.

Back to top

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...