The Government Provides 950,000 Hectares of Concession Land to Companies – Friday, 2.4.2010

Posted on 3 April 2010. Filed under: Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

“Phnom Penh: The Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim, announced that economic concession land of about 950,000 hectares countrywide has been provided to 85 companies.

“He said so during a parliament session in the morning of 1 April 2010 to respond to the questions and claims of an opposition party parliamentarian, Mr. Son Chhay, regarding the economic concession land that the government has provided to companies for investment.

“Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim said that the size of economic concession land that the government has provided to companies is not more than 2 million hectares, as had been claimed by Mr. Son Chhay. Recently, because some companies did not operate appropriately according to contracts, the government had decided to cancel the contracts of 41 companies, and the land involved was more than 300,000 hectares.

“This clarification was made after a parliamentarian from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, had encouraged the government to immediately review the provision of concession land of more than 2 million hectares to check if they violate the land law.

“Mr. Son Chhay said in front of Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim during the parliament session that the powerful and the rich fence their concession land and keep it unused, but they cut the trees at those regions. Therefore, the government should force those companies to do farming soon, to create jobs for farmers who had lost their land, and to grow agro-industrial crops.

“Mr. Son Chhay added that if those companies do not grow anything, land taxes must be imposed on them in order to force these people who just keep their land to sell it later to foreigners [for profit] to do farming, or the land should be taken back from them to be distributed to our farmers among whom not less than 25% lost their land and have no land to do cultivation.

“The annual report from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC] indicates that in 2009 there was no official report from the government showing the figures of land that the government had provided as economic concession land to private companies.

“But according to figures from partner organizations gathered by ADHOC, the government provided economic concession land of 1,208,185 hectares to private companies in 2009.

“The government can get income from the provision of economic concession land to private companies for national economic development through investment in agro-industry, and this helps to improve the living conditions of people who are employed for their labor.

“Nevertheless, ADHOC found that by 2009, no private companies that had received economic concession land operated justly, and they were involved in violent activities against citizens.

“Many negative impacts result from the licensing of economic concession land to private companies which heavily affect property, houses, cultivation land, and living conditions of the citizens at most of these economic concession areas countrywide.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5166, 2.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 2 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #450, 2.4.2010

  • Four Ebony Traders in Kompong Cham Were Arrested and Two Wood Storehouses in Meanchey District [Phnom Penh] Were Raided
  • International Telecommunication and Information Technology Exhibition Is Held at Koh Pich [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Amatak, Vol.11, #752, 2.4.2010

  • The Siem Reap Court Decided to Confiscate Mr. Son Chhay’s Land [about three hectares] and Deliver It to the Apsara Authority [Mr. Son Chhay said that he does not oppose the plan of the Apsara Authority to take the land for development, but he suggested that the government must give him a proper compensation – the offer is only US$0.50 per square meter]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2217, 2.4.2010

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #642, 2.4.2010

  • Sam Rainsy Official and Civil Society [the Union Federation, which consists of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association and the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Asked Car and Bus Owners Not to Increase Fares during the Khmer New Year

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6924, 2.4.2010

  • The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Grants US$2.5 Million to the Ministry of Rural Development for an Integration Project for Rural Development in Krouch Chhmar District [Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3848, 2.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Government Should Not Disregard the 91 Recommendations of the United Nations [Human Rights Council]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #144, 2.4.2010

  • The Government Provides Land [of 1,650 hectares] of the Ream National Park to a Company to Invest [to create an eco-tourism site – Sihanoukville]
  • China Said That It Should Not Be Blamed over Mekong River Problems [where the waterway becomes shallower because of Chinese hydro-electric dams – but there is a severe drought in South and Southwest China]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5166, 2.4.2010

  • The Government Provides 950,000 Hectares of Concession Land to Companies
  • [The Minister of Information] Mr. Khieu Kanharith: [Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Is the Person Who Asked for an Amnesty for Mr. Hang Chakra [the editor-in-chief of the pro-opposition party newspaper Khmer Machas Srok; he will be released from prison before the Khmer New Year in April 2010]
  • The Siem Reap Authorities Intercepted Two More Sites Storing Luxury Wood and Found More Than 100 Cubic Meters of Wood [no information about any accusation or arrest of the owners of the illegal wood – the owners, one owns an hotel, the other a restaurant, are known]

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Environmental Pollution Has to Be Reduced in Four Industrial Target Areas – Monday, 22.2.2010

Posted on 23 February 2010. Filed under: Week 653 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 653

“Phnom Penh: The garment industry, brick kilns, rice milling, and the rubber processing industry are frequently considered by environmentalists as causing environmental pollution, which contributes to climate change in Cambodia as well as producing greenhouse gases, released into the atmosphere, a major source of global warming.

“The Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, is developing strategies to deal with the four target areas to economize the use of raw materials, to reorient the industry to create less pollution, and to use energy resource which effectively cut down environmental pollution.

“The chief technical advisor of the Cambodian Cleaner Production Program, Dr. P.K Gupta [Director of the National Productivity Council/National Cleaner Production Center of India], said during a consultation workshop about Industrial Energy Efficiency at the Sunway Hotel in the morning of 19 February 2010 that the reduction of greenhouse gases in Cambodian industry is a project of the Global Environment Facility approved in 2009. In Cambodia, it is found that the garment industry, brick kilns, rice milling, and the rubber processing industry are the most polluting fields compared to others. They play a most important role to develop the industry based economy of the country, consume the most fuel, and therefore emit most of the polluting smoke. Officials of the Ministries of Industry and of the Environment are looking for ways to reduce fuel consumption by shifting to other sources of energy for the production in these fields, sources that do not need high capital input and save electricity.

“A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Dr. Sat Samy, said, ‘Anyway, industrial development must be combined with environmental protection – otherwise we will spend much time and money to find remedies for the destruction caused by environmental pollution resulting from development.’ He added that in recent years, global climate change made journalists, politicians, and many other people around the world to pay more attention to, and to worry about the threats to the environment which can lead to climate change, floods, droughts, and global warming, that go against the desired social sustainable situation that human beings necessarily need for their everyday lives.

“The Technical Director General of the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Lonh Heal, said, ‘The four target areas are the ones on which efforts to reduce environmental pollution needs to be concentrated, because they contribute to climate change. Much scientific evidence shows that the release of greenhouse gases into the environment by human activities is the major source of global warming. Cambodia is a country that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1995. As a signatory country we have to prepare to fulfill the contracted duties about greenhouse gases in our national plans. Therefore, this workshop is an effort to coordinate between the Ministries of Industry and of the Environment under an Industrial Energy Efficiency Program of the Global Environment Facility. The workshop was held for one day to consult about how to make changes that benefit both industrial operators and reduce environmental pollution.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5132, 21-22.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 22 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #416, 21-22.2.2010

  • During a Raid at Dawn in a Restaurant Suspected of Dealing with Drugs, Nineteen People Were Arrested [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2183, 21-22.2.2010

  • While Wood Removed from an Old House Was Being Loaded on a Truck, Military Police Blocked it to Extort Riel 300,000 [approx. US$75, though there was sufficient documentation permitting the transport – Battambang]
  • A Truck Loaded with Containers Hit a Motorbike Driver, Killing Two People Immediately [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #735, 22.2.2010

  • The Export [of garments] Dropped by More Than 40%, and More Than 50,000 Workers Lost Their Jobs

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6890, 22.2.2010

  • That the Charges against [two] Local Human Rights Defenders and a Reporter [of Radio Free Asia] Were Dropped Was Welcomed [by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights]
  • A 13 Year-Old Pitiable Girl Was Raped by Two Men, Two Brothers [not relatives of the girl – who escaped – Kompong Chhnang]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.17, #3814, 22.2.2010

  • The United Nations [through the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination] Warned that It Will Provide Asylum for Khmer Kampuchea Krom People if the Cambodian Government Does Not Provide Them with Khmer Citizenships

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #116, 22.2.2010

  • The King Will Leave for China for a Medical Checkup Today
  • Cambodia Will File a Complaint against Thailand Today at a Thai Provincial Court for Secretly Convicting [six] Khmer Citizens [to serve two years and three months in prison, without letting the Khmer authorities find lawyers for them – they entered Thai territory illegally to look for and to cut and steal luxury wood – [[the Cambodian wood merchants who would have benefited most are again not being targeted]]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5132, 21-22.2.2010

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Supports the Government to Solve Border Issues with Thailand Appealing for International Help
  • Environmental Pollution Has to Be Reduced in Four Industrial Target Areas

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1878, 22.2.2010

  • The head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, Was Beaten by a Traffic Police, Injuring His Head [he was stopped by police and was fined Riel 5000, as his wife did not wear the seat belt; after that he started to drive, but another policeman beat him, through his car’s open window, and used rude words, though he was confused and thought Mr. Chea Mony had not yet paid the fine; Mr. Chea Mony asked the traffic police not to use violence against citizens]

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The Ministry of Information Has the Intention to Regulate Publications on the Internet – Thursday, 8.1.2009

Posted on 9 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“Since the Internet arrived in Cambodia in 1997 (when Cambodia officially had 24h Internet network for the first time), communication and publishing through this means became more popular in the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the meantime, the publishing through radio and cable TV and through satellite increased also. More than one decade of progress makes the Ministry of Information concerned about eventual effects of these new technologies on Khmer society. Therefore the Ministry of Information has the intention to put ‘publishing services through electronic systems’ under the control of a law which is being drafted. The Ministry of Information said that electronic news (such as newspapers) will not be affected by this new law, because the major intention of this law is to control the publishing of audio-visual data, of games, and of entertainment programs and advertisements through the Internet, to ensure moral respect.

“A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Information in charge of drafting this law, Mr. Nov Sovathero, explained that because of the advances of new technologies, the Ministry of Information found that its responsibility has increased remarkably during these years. In addition to the control of the old audio-visual field which consisted of recording tapes – the burden of the Ministry of Information has become bigger with the control of 25 radio channels and 7 television channels broadcasting in Phnom Penh and in the provinces – leading now also to the control of the publishing through satellites and through the Internet. There will be 12 chapters and 67 articles in that draft law.

“Mr. Nov Sovathero said that radio and television influences listeners and watchers. Therefore, this law intends to control all publishing through electronic systems as well as the publication of performances for public viewing.

“This law will therefore also relate to audio-visual publishing through the Internet and through mobile phones. Over the course of the years, mobile phones are being used in general and at present, users can listen to radio, watch television, and send voice and picture messages through mobile phones.

“Though the responsibility of the Ministry of Information is now bigger, he said that the Ministry of Information does not have different intentions, besides protecting the respect of tradition and morality. He referred to an example that if we know that some Internet games have a bad impact on children, youth, or the Khmer society as a whole, the Ministry of Information will provide warnings about publishing licenses or revoke licenses by cooperating with relevant authorities.

“Also, we have to check the quality of advertisements so that there is no advertisement published with wrong information about the quality of the product advertised. This draft law will provide a legal framework both for content censors of electronic audio-visual documents and for Internet Service Providers who have an important responsibility in the technical field.

“Therefore, all Internet Service Providers which ask for licenses from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication must, in advance, also ask for a second license from the Ministry of Information if this law is adopted, because these companies allow Internet users to connect networks and to use data in different networks.

“Mr. Nov Sovathero referred to another example that pictures were published by individual Internet users showing Apsaras with naked breasts with sexual postures.

“For him, such pictures can evoke sexual feelings of viewers.

“Thus, he believed that this law can control the publishing of such pictures. He mentioned another example, ‘If a website publishes the beautiful face of a Khmer actress by cutting her face out of another picture and put it onto the naked body of another woman, it is not clear at present which ministry will be responsible for it? The Ministry of Information, or the Ministry of Interior? According to this new draft law, the Ministry of Information is the first to be responsible for it, because it will control all publishing of audio-visual material.’” Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #318, 7.1.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 January 2009

Areyathor, Vol.15, #1375, 7-8.1.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: Position of Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh as chief advisors of the King] Is a Position Only to Receive a Salary

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #104, 7-8.1.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warns about the Selling and the Exchange of [State] Kindergartens / Preschools
  • More Than 1,500 People Died from Traffic Accidents in 2008 [5,049 were seriously injured]
  • Siamese [Thai] Authorities Closed 2,300 Websites Defaming the King [Note: Other media and civil society in Thailand request clearer definitions what a ‘defamation of the king’ really is, and say that a broad blocking of sites deprives the people from the access to information which is guaranteed by law]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1840-#1841,7- 8.1.2009

  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Cancels the Lease Contract for the Renakse Hotel of Ms. Kem Chantha and Gives the Hotel to the Municipality [before the Minister of Religions and Cults, Mr. Min Khin, had signed a contract to lease this hotel to Ms. Kem Chantha for 48 years – Phnom Penh]
  • Two Girls [11 and 14 years old] Were Raped and then Hanged [on a tree] at a Mountaintop [perpetrators are not yet identified – Pursat]
  • CR-V [car] Driving from a Wedding Party Hit Cars and Motorcycles at Five Different Places, Killing 3 and Injuring 8 People [after hitting one car he tried to escape but caused more accidents]
  • German Billionaire [Adolf Merckle, 74] Committed Suicide because of [being affected by] the Global Financial Crisis

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #318, 7.1.2008

  • The Ministry of Information Has the Intention to Regulate Publications on the Internet

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #320, 7.1.2009

  • The Police Waits for the Green Light from the Court to Reinvestigate the Murder of [the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Vichea [according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Khieu Sopheak]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #177, 7.1.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asks All Fuel Companies to Cooperate to Further Reduce the Fuel Prices
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Those Who Do Not Accept the Truth [of the 7 January 1979 victory day over the Khmer Rouge] Are Not People, but Animals [some people oppose to celebrate 7 January as it is the day that Vietnam invaded Cambodia and toppled the Khmer Rouge – see the National Holiday 7 January 2009 Mirror page]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6545-#6546, 7-8.1.2009

  • Report about Victims and Traffic Accidents Shows that from July to August 2008 [countrywide], Almost 100% of Victims Had Head Injuries

 
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3660, 8.1.2009

  • The Number of Foreign Tourists Is Less Than Expected due to the Global Economic Crisis [according the Ministry of Tourism, the number of foreign tourists in 2008 was more than 2,100,000, and it only increased by 6% compared to the number in 2007]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1400, 8.1.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: I Looked along the Roads, About 50% [of the motorcycle drivers] Wore Helmets

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4788-#4789, 7-8.1.2009

  • The Prime Minister Announced that from January 2009, the Salaries of Civil Servants Will Be Increased by 20% and the Salaries of the Police and of the Military Will Be Increased More
  • The Cambodian People’s Party Celebrated the 30th Victory Anniversary of 7 January 1979 with a Huge Meeting [with around 50,000 people participating]
  • The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Will Come to Cambodia to Discuss the Border Disputes in Late January
  • Japan Will Provide More Aid to Cambodia During the Visit of the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mr. Nakasone Hirofumi – 中曽根弘文] to Cambodia [from 10 to 11 January 2009]
  • The US Government Provided Cambodia More Than US$60 Million in 2008
  • A Girl Received Electricity Shocks and Was Put into a Coffin to Let Ants Bite Her, in Order to Force Her to Have Sex [this experience of a now 24-year-old Vietnamese woman in Cambodia was published on 1 January 2009 in The New York Times]

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