Mam Sonando Creates Democrats’ Club to Monitor the Process of Unification between the Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Parties – Monday, 26.4.2010

Posted on 27 April 2010. Filed under: Week 662 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 662

“Phnom Penh: Recently, Mr. Mam Sonando announced to create a new club – called ‘Democrats’ Club’ – to monitor the negotiations towards unification between the Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties. This is the goal of the club, according to the president of the Human Rights Party.

“The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, continued to express the intention to unite with the Sam Rainsy Party in order to be victorious in the upcoming elections, though the Sam Rainsy has not responded. Recently, Mr. Kem Sokha said that Mr. Mam Sonando has created a ‘Democrats’ Club’ to monitor the negations between representatives of the Human Rights Party and of the Sam Rainsy Party, to see which party is willing to unite, or if nobody intends to unite.

“During a recent talk with activists of his party in Prey Veng, Mr. Kem Sokha stated that there had been negotiations between officials of the Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties, but they did not lead to any agreement, as Sam Rainsy officials suspect that the Human Rights Party is demanding too many conditions that the Sam Rainsy Party could not accept, so that the process towards unification got stuck. Therefore, another group, called the Democrats’ Club, was now created to monitor the negotiations. This group aims to find out which party intends to unite, and which does not.

“Mr. Kem Sokha added that Mr. Mam Sonando created this group in order to monitor the process towards unification between the two parties. He said that he does not have any problems – if Sam Rainsy agrees, he will unite immediately. He stressed that his party wants to unite not because his party is weak, but to move together towards victory in the forthcoming elections.

“Mr. Kem Sokha went on to say that this move towards unity is not only for the parties that have seats in the National Assembly, but for all parties, even if they do not have any seats at present, as long as they want to unite with the Human Rights Party.

“Regarding Mr. Kem Sokha’s claim that Mr. Mam Sonando has created this Democrats’ Club to monitor the process towards unity between the Human Rights and the Sam Rainsy parties, Kampuchea Thmey could not reach [the Director of Sombok Khmum Radio] Mr. Mam Sonando for comments, as his phone could not be reached on Saturday afternoon of 24 April 2010. Previously, Mr. Mam Sonando had announced that he would send a request to the Ministry of Interior to ask for the creation of a ‘Democrats’ Club for Uniting Democrats.’ Now it is not yet known how far these plans have been progressing, but according to a source, Mr. Mam Sonando has fulfilled all conditions to request the Ministry of Interior to recognize this organization.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2232, 25-26.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 26 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #462, 25-26.4.2010

  • The United States of America [through the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carol Rodley] Praised that Forestry Crimes Are Intercepted and the Remaining Resources in Cambodia Will Be Preserved
  • Rain, Wind, and Lightning Killed Two Boys and Made Three Houses to Collapse in Kompong Cham

Deum Tnot, Vol.3, #102, 26-27.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Confederation Union Calls for Participation [from the general public, civil servants, teachers, and workers] to March to Celebrate the International Labor Day on 1 May 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2232, 25-26.4.2010

    Mam Sonando Creates Democrats’ Club to Monitor the Process of Unification between the Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Parties
  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Begins Enlarging National Road 6A [leading from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap] to Reduce Traffic Congestion
  • Three Hundred People Protest as Police Does Not Arrest a Perpetrator, but Held a Man Who Tried to Help [sending an assault victim to hospital, but that assaulted man died on the way, and the helper was arrested by police – Kandal]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6939, 26.4.2010

  • Police Raided a Drug Abusing Place and Arrested 38 Young People – Children of the Rich [Phnom Penh]
  • Siam [Thailand] Released Seven Khmers to Cambodia through the Choam Sragam Border Crossing after Holding Them Two Years in Jail [for entering Thai territory to illegally cut trees]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3863, 26.4.2010

  • The Opposition Party Wants to See that the World Bank Investigation Is Successful [about the development of the Boeng Kak lake area] so as to Provide Justice to Residents of the Boeng Kak Lake Community

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #155, 26.4.2010

  • Boeng Kak Residents Call for the Provision of Land Titles as the Master Plan [for the development of the area] Has Been Approved [by the Phnom Penh municipal governor – but not been published; it will be sent for approval by the Council for the Development of Cambodia]
  • Three People Died in Svay Rieng [because of diarrhea; the local authorities blamed them for eating unhygienic food]
  • A Suspect Was Arrested for Carrying a 6-Year-Old Girl to a Rice Field while She Was Asleep, and then He Raped Her [Takeo]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5181, 26.4.2010

  • China, Japan, Korea, India, and the ASEAN Countries Will Join to Perform Shows of the Buddha’s Life in Siem Reap [from 25 to 29 April 2010 to celebrate Visakh Bochea]
  • Laotian Soldiers Killed a Khmer Citizen and Arrested Two Others [accusing them of entering their territory illegally to cut trees]
  • Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the Thai government] Asked for the Dissolution of the Parliament within 30 Days, while the Government Ordered the Military to Crack Down on Them [no ultimatum date given]

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Fraud? International Cooperation for Transparency – Sunday, 25.4.2010

Posted on 26 April 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

Cambodia entered into many different international relations since the new Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia was promulgated in 1993 and a new phase of history for the country began. International integration was one of the main policy goals of the government – regaining the seat for Cambodia in the United Nations, which had been held by a representative of the Khmer Rouge until 1991, long after the Khmer Rouge had lost their grip on the country, establishing new diplomatic relations, gaining membership in ASEAN, in the World Trade Organization [WTO], etc., and entering into many bilateral agreements – with other governments, with international organizations like the Asia Development Bank, and with Non-Government Organizations through the Ministry of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Some of these agreements have consequences in detail, which were not all foreseen or discussed with those who are affected – for example: the membership in the WTO will require that copyrights of international companies for computer software will have to be enforced from 2013 onward, and the import of goods and services from other countries has to be liberalized. Though this may have difficult consequences for some sections of the Cambodian economy, other sectors welcome it.

During the past week, a five-year Accountability in Governance and Politics program, financed by the USA, was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the US Ambassador Carol A. Rodley, according to which the Cambodian government will cooperate, implementing specific projects, with the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. According to the nature of this program, international transparency will be necessarily be enhanced, even when this may relate to difficult challenges to be faced internationally.

What this can mean can be deducted from a difficult processes developing at present in the USA. Goldman Sachs – a full-service global investment banking and securities firm – one of the top financial institutions of the USA, is facing at present charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission [“The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation”] of fraudulently having contributed to the wide breakdown of financial systems, by systematically entering into contract with people and companies who were supposed not to be able to pay back what they borrowed. To give a small-scale example: one internal e-mail, now leaked, says “I’ve managed to sell bonds to widows and orphans” making “some serious money” for the bank; one section manager made a profit of $1 billion for the bank – but then the whole system collapsed and needed much higher government assistance. The future will show how this will be handled.

Once international government agencies get involved, the chance of achieving real transparency is higher. Repeated corruption allegations raised, for example, by the non-government agency Global Witness in the UK were easily dismissed here as not coming from a government agency, without dealing with their specific documentations. They had also raised questions related to the role of the – then – head of the Forestry Department, Mr. Ty Sokun, which were quickly and strongly rejected as “nonsense” and “lies” at that time, but recently he was removed from his position. The situation will be different in a case which is receiving ever more prominence recently.

The Australian Company BHP Billiton – “the world’s largest diversified natural resources company” – entered into a mineral exploration agreement with the Cambodian government in 2006 to explore for bauxite in Mondolkiri – unprocessed aluminum ore; parts of the exploration site, a 996-hectare mining concession, were in protected natural forest areas. It had also been announced that this was just for exploration, a decision could be found only later, as the transport of bauxite, or the production of aluminum which requires huge amounts of electricity, need further studies. But this plan was abandoned in 2009 because the studies had shown that bauxite mining in Mondolkiri would not be cost-effective.

But recently, during this month of April 2010, BHP Billiton announced that United States Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating corruption allegations which may relate to Cambodia, though this is not yet sure.

According to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the USA, a company which has made illegal payments, can be fined to pay “up to twice the benefit that it sought to obtain by making a corrupt payment,” and staff involved may have to serve five years in prison.

Neither the US Securities and Exchange Commission nor BHP Billiton has stated that there were actually illegal payments. But the present investigations are based on some reports dating back to 2007.

According to various sources on the Internet, the Minister of Water Resources Lim Kean Hor had reported in the National Assembly at that time that the Prime Minister had informed him from Australia that BHP had paid US$2.5 million as “tea money” for the concession. BHP said, however, that this money was designated for a “social development fund” for health and education projects in Mondolkiri. According to other sources, BHP confirmed to have paid US$1 million to the government in 2006 to secure the concession agreement.

Later inquiries produced various incongruous pieces of information: that the money was not used, as designated, for health and education in Mondolkiri, but for irrigation in Pursat, and the records of the the Ministry of Economy and Finance show for 2006 only US$443,866 as income from mining concessions.

By Saturday, not only the US Securities and Exchange Commission was dealing with the BHP case, but also the UK Serious Fraud Office [“an independent Government department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud, and corruption. We are part of the UK criminal justice system”].

A “social development fund” of the Cambodian government had also been mentioned before, in relation to substantial payments from Caltex, having obtained the right for off-shore oil exploration. While one government argument, why an NGO law is urgently needed, was the request to gain more transparency about social and development funds (which are, for NGOs, regularly audited by public auditing companies anyway), we have not seen any similar reporting so far about the government’s social development fund – its purpose, its administrative arrangements and it’s oversight bodies, and its assets and disbursements.

The Cambodia Daily carried on 24/25.4.2010 an article, “Precise Meaning of ‘Tea Money’ Up for Debate.” And Mr. Phay Siphan, the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, is quoted to have pointed to the new anti-corruption legislation which shows that the government is committed to “highlight transparency.” – He will surely be able to shed more light onto this affair.

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The Cambodian Prime Minister Regards Terrorism as a Cruel Specter – Thursday, 22.4.2010

Posted on 23 April 2010. Filed under: Week 661 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 661

“Phnom Penh: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, announced strict anti-terrorism policies, as terrorism is not only a problem of Cambodia but of the whole world. The head of the Royal Government considers terrorism as the cruelest specter that must be eradicated.

“During the inauguration in the morning of 21 April 2010, of the secretariat of the National Counterterrorism Committee which cost more than US$1.6 million and took nearly one year to construct, at a military airbase, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said that terrorism is a global issue that must be suppressed so that it does not cause instability for people and for whole societies.

“He said, ‘Our war on terrorism is part of the current global war on terrorism, and even though Cambodia is not a target of terrorist attacks, we must not miss to see any possible situation. If we are apathetic or careless, the country might become a safe shelter for terrorists.’

“It should be noted that the National Counterterrorism Committee is headed by the Prime Minister, and Mr. Om Yentieng is the deputy head who leads the forces of the unit by cooperating with other mixed forces to crack down on possible terrorism in Cambodia, as terrorists might take Cambodia as a basis to hide themselves and to attack other governments, or to commit illegal activities like human trafficking and drug smuggling.

“Samdech Hun Sen stressed, ‘The Royal Government of Cambodia regards terrorism as the most brutal crime in human history, as it can destroy social and political stability and cost human lives among people of all races and of every age group, and it can occur at any place in any region and any country and on the international and intercontinental levels.’

“Also, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia mentioned the strategies for the eradication of terrorism which he had developed himself, to achieve a successful crackdown on possible terrorism in three steps. Nevertheless, the head of the Royal Government said that though special anti-terrorism forces have been created, there must be cooperation with other forces, such as the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, the police, the military police, as well as with the citizens.

“Samdech Hun Sen went on to say that it is essential to be ready to fight terrorism in order to guarantee the safety for one’s own people as well as for people of other countries.

“It should be remembered that Cambodia and its partner countries had cooperated to arrest a notorious terrorist, Hambali, who was behind the attack on Bali in Indonesia that killed hundreds of people.

“Also, the eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, General Dr. Hun Manet, is the commander of the special forces and the head of the Anti-Terrorism Department of the National Counterterrorism Committee.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #459, 22.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #459, 22.4.2010

  • The Cambodian Prime Minister Regards Terrorism as a Cruel Specter
  • A Dutch Man Was Arrested for Debauchery with Three Boys [Sihanoukville]
  • Cambodia Prepares to Send a Delegation to East Timor to Study the Potential for Rice Export [according to a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and the East Timor President, Mr. José Ramos-Horta – Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2228-2229, 21-22.4.2010

  • Siamese [Thai] Extremists Plan to Uproot Border Posts on 2 and 3 May 2010 [at the Ta Moan Touch Temple]
  • The Maternal Mortality Rate in Cambodia Drops [according to The Lancet magazine, there were 266 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, while the national census of Cambodia had reported as many as 461 maternal deaths in 2008]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6936, 22.4.2010

  • Last Year a Woman Was Killed by a Lightning, and This Year Her Husband Was Shot Dead, Leaving Six Daughters as Orphans [perpetrator is not yet identified – Pursat]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3860, 22.4.2010

  • The Reform of Democracy Does Not Only Depend on Words, but the Government Must Show Real Political Will [said the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carol Rodley]
  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Do Not Trust [Cambodian People’s Party Senator] Oknha Ly Yong Phat Who Promised Again and Again to Solve Land Disputes with the Amleang Commune Residents

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.140, #155, 22.4.2010

  • The Prime Minister Says the Kingdom Is Ready to Fight Terror
  • Smoke from the Eruption of a Volcano in Europe [in Iceland] Affects Tourism in Cambodia [the bookings of hotel rooms and the time of staying in Cambodia have been reduced by 10% to 15%]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5178, 22.4.2010

  • 207 Cases of Forestry Crimes Were Sent to the Courts [more than 5,000 cubic meter of woods have been confiscated]
  • Another Person in Cambodia Dies from Bird Flue [H5N1], in Prey Veng
  • An Elephant Protection Ranger from Cambodia [Mr. Tuy Sereivathana] Wins the Golden Environmental Prize for 2010 and Receives More Than US$100,000 [from the Goldman Environmental Foundation for his efforts to help protect Asian elephants from being slaughtered by humans and for helping to teach farmers to prevent elephants from destroying their crops]

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Cambodia Announced that the United States of America Suspends Military Aid, but Said the Uighurs’ Case Should Not Be Taken as Excuse – Saturday, 3.4.2010

Posted on 4 April 2010. Filed under: Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia is not surprised about the announcement of the US Department of State to suspend military aid for Cambodia. In the afternoon of 1 April 2010, during the daily press conference of the US Department of State in Washington, the spokesperson, Mr. Philip Crowley, announced the decision of the United States of America to suspend donating about 200 military trucks and trailers. According to Mr. Philip Crowley, the suspension was decided because Cambodia deported Uighurs, who had sought asylum in Cambodia, to the Beijing authorities in December 2009.

“The Spokesperson of the Cambodian government, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, said, ‘This aid suspension is not a problem. If they grant it, we say thanks for it. Anyway, the trucks are not new. They are used vehicles to be provided to others, to clean out their storage. But the United States of America should not take the case of the Uighurs as an excuse to put blame on Cambodia.’ He said so to journalists in the afternoon of 2 April 2010.

“The spokesperson of the government blamed the United States of America and the UNHCR for their slow work which had not led to any results to take the Uighurs out of Cambodia to a third country – and now they put the blame on the Cambodian government! Mr. Khieu Kanharith recalled, ‘When the Uighurs were hiding in Cambodia for over one month, the Cambodian authorities did not know this. The Chinese government did not know it either. But during this period, even the UN human rights office and some US organizations could not determine whether those Uighurs were political refugees or who they were. When they saw they could not handle this, they decided to announce it to journalists.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kuong, considered the US statement as their own decision, and an affair of the United States of America. Mr. Koy Kuong added, ‘Cambodia worked based on its rights and integrity.’

“During a previous meeting between Mr. Scott Marciel, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, Mr. Hor Namhong, the Minister had explained to him that the expulsion of 20 Uighurs from Cambodia was just implemented according to Cambodian immigration law.

Note:

“A State Department official tells The Cable that just before the Cambodian government sent the ethnic Uighurs back to China, where they face imprisonment or worse, there were a flurry of diplomatic efforts to try to convince the Cambodians to hold off. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even phoned Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to urge him to rethink the decision, the official said, but to no avail.”

[source]

“The deportation of 20 Uighurs from Cambodia in December 2009 is a sensitive case for the US administration. The US Department of State reacted since the beginning and used serious words. Washington even said that the decision of Cambodia to deport the Uighurs to the Beijing authorities will affect the relations between the United States of America and Cambodia.

“The spokesperson of the Cambodian government claimed that there is still no visible effect on the Cambodian-US ties due to the suspension of military aid.

“The spokesperson of the US Embassy in Cambodia, Mr. John Johnson, said that the latest announcement by the US Department of States is only related to military assistance. It is a suspension without a specific time-line. He said, ‘This is a special and worrying case. But the United States of America will continue to cooperate with Cambodia in other fields.’ According to this spokesperson, the US military aid provided to Cambodia since 2006 amounted to about US$6 million.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5167, 3.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 3 April 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #451, 3.4.2010

  • About US$248 Million Were Wasted due to Traffic Accidents in 2009 [according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport]
  • 309 Families from Chhlong District Protested against Land Grabbing by the Kastim Company [for prohibiting them to do farming on the land that they have been cultivating for a long time – Kratie]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2218, 3.4.2010

  • The United States of America Suspends the Donation of 200 Military Trucks to Cambodia
  • In 2009 1,717 Citizens Died from Land Traffic Accidents in Cambodia [7,022 were seriously injured; there were 12,535 accidents – according to Handicap International Belgium]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.17, #3849, 3-4.4.2010

  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Summoned Mr. Sam Rainsy for the Second Time for Questioning [over the accusation of using fake maps to document border cases, and for disinformation – he is required to appear at the court on 20 April 2010]
  • [A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Expressed Regrets that the United States of America Cut Military Aid to Cambodia

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6925, 3-4.4.2010

  • More Than 100 Persons Are under Arrest for Forestry Crimes [including powerful persons and wood traders – according to Mr. Ty Sokun, Director, Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries]
  • [Pailin Governor] Ea Chhean Sued the Pailin Forestry Chief for Colluding with Wood Traders Who Organized to Cut Trees of Some Mountains from Top to Foot
  • Four Forestry Officials Were Removed form Their Positions, and the Municipal Court Issued Arrest Warrants for Four Other Wood Traders [over illegal wood trading – Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3849, 3-4.4.2010

  • The United States of America Temporarily Suspends Military Assistance, Straining the Military Ties between Both Countries Again

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5167, 3.4.2010

  • Cambodia Announced that the United States of America Suspends Military Aid, but Said the Uighurs’ Case Should Not Be Taken as Excuse
  • Phnom Penh: Laying Culverts Is More Important Than Constructing Roads [because the culvert system left from the past is almost totally ruined, which results in floods in the city]

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The Situation of Women in Cambodia Is Improving – Monday, 29.3.2010

Posted on 30 March 2010. Filed under: Week 658 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 658

“Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia said that the situation of women in Cambodia is improving.

“The US Ambassador to Cambodia, Mrs. Carol Rodley, said so at the US Embassy during an event at the occasion of the International Women of Courage Award on 26 March 2010, ‘The situation of women in Cambodia is improving and there is hope that the future will be good for women.’

Note:

“Washington, 10 March 2010. First lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored women human rights activists from around the world with this year’s Women of Courage awards at a special ceremony 10 March 2010 at the State Department

“The awardees this year are Shukria Asil of Afghanistan, Colonel Shafiqa Quraishi of Afghanistan, Androula Henriques of Cyprus, Sonia Pierre of the Dominican Republic, Shadi Sadr of Iran, Ann Njogu of Kenya, Dr. Lee Ae-Ran of South Korea, Jansila Majeed of Sri Lanka, Sister Marie Claude Naddaf of Syria and Jestina Mukoko of Zimbabwe.”

Ambassador Rodley has been the recipient of the Department’s Senior Performance Award, the State Department’s Human Rights and Democracy Award, the American Foreign Service Association’s Christian Herter Award for creative dissent, the James Clement Dunn Award for leadership, the Director of Central Intelligence Exceptional Humint Collector Award and an Intelligence Community Seal Medallion. Her foreign languages are Khmer, German, Spanish, Urdu, and Hindi.”

“Regarding the Prime Minister’s order to crack down on some entertainment night clubs, in an attempt to reduce rape and human trafficking, she said, ‘Recently, Cambodia has strengthened law enforcement against human trafficking, against drug smuggling, and against other places prone to crimes in Phnom Penh.’ She added that according to recent law enforcements activities, human trafficking has been found at places suspected to be brothels. When the authorities took legal action, victimized women who were sex workers were, in general, not arrested. In many cases, all victims were sent to rehabilitation centers.

“Ms. Carol Rodley stressed, ‘The important thing is to educate women, so they can change themselves, so that they can get proper jobs.’

“Relating to this case, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi, said, ‘The situation of women in Cambodia in health, in their economic possibilities, and in the legal sector has improved.’ She added that the government has created many laws to protect women and their families.

“She went on to say that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs fully supports the policy of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, who had ordered the authorities in all provinces and in the capital city to shut down places operating illegal activities, as this is a problem that affects our Cambodian youth. Violence in society results from ethically problematic and unwelcome activities which happened and have a bad impact on society.

“Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi continued to say that the government had created a National Committee Against Trafficking in Women and Children. This committee focuses on four major fields in order to assist victims who suffer from trafficking and from violence against women: 1. Interception, 2. Conviction, 3. Protection, and 4. Rehabilitation and Integration.

“Also, the government has cooperated with development partners and civil society organizations and has achieved good results. The number of arrested perpetrators increased because of timely and effective interventions from police, which led to more convictions of perpetrators by the courts. The Ministries of Women’s Affairs, of Education, of Information, of Culture and other ministries have joined to publish information about human trafficking, so that citizens at the community level can better submit crime reports in time.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #446, 29.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 29 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #446, 29.3.2010

  • The Situation of Women in Cambodia Is Improving
  • The First Time a Cambodian Woman Had Been Nominated for the Women of Courage Award by the US Embassy [Ms. Chen Reaksmey, an advisor on information about AIDS, health, and drugs of the Kosang [“to build up”] Organization, who had been addicting to drugs for eight years, was nominated for her hard work to reduce the spread of HIV, drugs, and human trafficking in Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2213, 28-29.3.2010

  • The Meanchey District Authorities Removed Light Black Plastic Foils from the Windows of 177 Cars within Two Hours [in response to a reminder by the Prime Minister – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #638, 28-29.3.2010

  • Based on [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Speech: Are Oknhas Who Own and Operate Wood Storehouses in Siem Reap Considered as Betraying the Nation?

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6920, 29.3.2010

  • A One-Star General Got Angry with the Driver of Remorque-Moto Loaded with Ice, as the Driver Did Not Turn on the Turning Light, and He Shot and Injured the Driver with One Bullet [the general and his bodyguard were arrested – Kompong Speu]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3844, 29.3.2010

  • It Is Clearly Criticized that Political Influence Makes the National Assembly of Cambodia Weak and Lose its Independence [according to a report for 2009 and 2010 of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute – Cambodia’s Leading Independent Development Policy Research Institute – presented to the public last week: parliamentarians did not have the possibility to implement their roles independently and effectively, as they have to face the power of the government and of their party, though they know their actual roles well]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #140, 29.3.2010

  • Thousands of Cubic Meters of Wood Were Seized in the Campaign to Intercept Forestry Crimes [the opposition party welcomes this interception going on for over a week, but questions why the government does not take legal action against officials who were involved in those crimes – and just confiscates their wood]
  • The Pheapimex Company of [Ms. Cheung Sopheap and her husband, Senator Lao Meng Khin] Received the Right to Own Two Places and Buildings [the Renakse Hotel in front of the Royal Palace, and now in addition the adjacent plot with the building of the National Committee for Organizing National and International Festivals – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5162, 28-29.3.2010

  • The Thai Red Shirt Groups [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Forced the Military to Return to Their Barracks and Some Burned Copies of the Constitution [the situation is getting worse]
  • The Number of People Having Symptoms which Look Like Cholera in Kratie Increased to 134; Six People Died [according to officials of the Health Department of Kratie]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1889, 29.3.2010

  • Why Do the Authorities Not Arrest the Owner of the Tiger Beer Company like They Arrested Yeay Mab for Illegal Wood Trading?

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Reasons Why Investors from Korea Fail in Cambodia – Friday, 23.1.2009

Posted on 23 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“Seeming to be floating towards failure of their long term investments in Cambodia, while the global financial crisis expands, investors in construction and in real estate from Korea are seeking interventions from Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the outstanding Prime Minister of Cambodia.

“The director of the Public Internal Financial Control framework which also represents investors from Korea, Mr. Kim Suan Mok [phonetic], said that because Cambodia has Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen as the cleverest and most intelligent Prime Minister and leader, more investors came to invest in Cambodia unexpectedly.

“Mr. Kim Suan Mok added that being a leader with high determination, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen provides opportunities to investors to invest billions of dollars in Cambodia. They expect to receive warmth from the leadership of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen as well as support from the Council for the Development of Cambodia; for example Mr. Kim Sun Sok [phonetic] has invested more than US$2 billion in Cambodia, with other investors also having billions of dollars.

“However, the financial crisis which is plaguing the world seems to drive investors in Cambodia more towards failure than towards hope for potential profit from investments in Cambodia. Mr. Kim Suan Mok said that the financial crisis results in a decline of real estate prices in the world by 50%. This led to bankruptcy for some banks. Mr. Kim Suan Mok emphasized that big financial institutions lacking capital had to announced that the world is in crisis, and some financial institutions have to minimize their operations.

“The more than US$2 billion investment mentioned by Mr. Kim Suan Mok is a huge contribution for the Cambodian economy, but some problems, related to skyrocketing prices of real estate in Cambodia, seem to encourage investors to abandon their projects. This will become a bad model for investors having invested their capital, then they will transfer it out again..

Mr. Kim Suan Mok noticed that prices of real estate in the word dropped sharply, but real estate owners in Cambodia seem not to care for world developments and changes. Because the price of real estate in Cambodia is too high, compared to the world market, some investors have given up their plans to buy real estate for investment. Moreover, it is not only investors who worry, but also many Cambodian people are seriously affected by this problem.

“Mr. Kim Suan Mok added that most investors from Korea face failure in Cambodia, and only 10% of them achieve success with their plans. This failure is he result of the fact that most investors did not know the cultural and commercial situation in Cambodia well. Another important point is that investors find it very difficult to find real information leading to success. So far, some investors from Korea have given up their long term investment plans and just wait and see whether the situation of the financial crisis might change soon.

“To support investors so that they have the opportunity to invest in Cambodia for a long period, investors ask the government to help ease the general legal framework for investments, such as the rights to buy and own land for a long period, and not only to lease land from the state for a period of 99 years. The Cambodian government itself should broaden the actual opportunities for investors.

“Also, Mr. Kim Suan Mok appealed to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to publish information about the changed global economic situation in order to persuade real estate owners in Cambodia to sell their real estate to investors at prices which are in line with world market price levels.

“Mr. Sung Bunna, director of the Bunna Realty Group and director of the Khmer Real Estate Appraisal Association, said that prices of real estate in Cambodia are fixed and have not declined like in other countries. This is a big problem for investors. Facing the general financial crisis, Mr. Sung Bunna asked the Cambodian government to help rescuing the real estate situation in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sung Bunna estimated that at present, many Cambodian citizen rush to sell their real estate in a narrow market; that means there are many people who rush to sell, while the number of buyers is small. This situation will make the prices of real estate in Cambodia drop dramatically in the near future, and the government should release some money to buy real estate from businesspeople and from banks which might lack money, in order to avoid Cambodia from falling into a crisis.

“Mr. Sung Bunna added that whether the price of real estate in Cambodia will recover again soon or not depends on the confidence of Khmer citizens, but not on foreign investors. Even real estate companies around the country joined as an associations to prevent the price of houses to drop further. In another separate case, more than 730 construction companies are not likely to leave their plans being orphaned too long, and that will be the time when the Khmer real estate sector will be in a good condition again, at the latest in 2010.

“Mr. Sung Bunna appreciates the real estate market in Cambodia which grew strongly in 2008 and provides good economic growth for Cambodia. The prices of real estate might drop dramatically due to the economic crisis, while some businesspeople and banks might encounter a financial crisis and therefore rush to sell their real estate to have financial resources for their trade – but this will have a negative impact on the Cambodian economy; that is, the Cambodian economic growth will drop sharply, making it difficult recover in the future.” Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8004, 23-25.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #9, 23-27.1.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Solving Border Disputes with Thailand Has to Be Done Together with the International Community [because it is useless to solve disputes bilaterally]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #109, 23-29.1.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Prohibits the Import of Agricultural Products from Cambodia [after a meeting between the Thai Prime Minister and his officials to ban the import of agricultural products and to prevent the illegal entry of workers from Cambodia for economic reasons]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1854, 23.1.2009

  • Nearly 10,000 Workers of the Yongwa Factories Held a Violent Demonstration [demanding to release the annual saving money of US$50, which was normally provided to each worker in January – Takhmao, Kandal]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #329, 23.1.2009

  • If There Is No Solution [for land disputes with the Heng Development Company and shooting by military police at people] on 23 January 2009] Kandal Stung Residents Will Protest in Front of the National Assembly
  • The Presidents of Unions and Civil Society Ask the Government to Arrest the Real Murderers for Prosecution [who shot dead Mr. Chea Vichea, the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia. On 22 January 2009, around 200 people marched with flowers to the site behind Wat Langka where Mr. Chea Vichea was shot dead]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #332, 23-27.1.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mr. Kasit Piromya] Asks to Meet also with [the president of the opposition party] Mr. Sam Rainsy [during his official visit on 25 January 2009 to discuss border disputes]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #190, 23.1.2009

  • Position of Mr. Ke Kim Yan Is Finished – He Is Replaced by Mr. Pol Saroeun as the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces [8 other high ranking military officials are also assigned]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3673, 23-29.1.2009

  • Appeals Court Begins Investigations to Seek the Real Murderers Who Killed Mr. Chea Vichea

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4802, 23.1.2009

  • More Than 300 People Were Arrested during an Operation to Suppress Fishing Crimes, and People Were Detained for Questioning
  • US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] Talks about the Economic Crisis and about Military Relations with Cambodia
  • A Man Took, Tortured, and Raped a 10-Year-Old Girl while Her Grandmother Was Asleep [he was arrested – Kompong Cham]
  • The Director of a Milk Powder Company [mixing melamine plastic into the milk] Was Sentenced to Imprisonment for Life, and Two Others Received the Verdict of Capital Punishment [China]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3673, 23-29.1.2009

  • The Victims Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces that Victims of the Khmer Rouge Regime Can now to Lodge Complaints against the Suspect Kaing Gek Eav, Called Duch [the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief, within 10 days before the first hearing on 17 February 2009]

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8004, 23-25.1.2009

  • Reasons Why Investors from Korea Fail in Cambodia

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Friday, 12.9.2008: Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important

Posted on 13 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Representatives of the Club of Cambodian Journalists asked all politicians to communicate better with the media if they think that the media are important.

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said during a Roundtable Discussion to Review the Media Coverage During the Elections in the morning of 11 September 2008, that during every election, the media were considered to be most important for conveying messages to the citizens in rural areas as well as in the cities, to understand the election processes, and to know the parties that participate in the electoral competitions. Therefore, the media become political hostages during each election period, and after the elections are over, there has been always criticism by some parties against the media, saying to have shown bias, and to not have published enough about their specific party.

“Mr. Pen Samithi added that some parties did not have spokespersons, and if journalists wanted their phone numbers, they could not get it. How can they report? If the politicians want good publicity, there should be better communication from now on, not just one month before the elections. If communication start so late, it is hopeless.

“Mr. Pen Samithi said that he has never seen that any political parity contacted the media for reporting, and if the journalists wanted to contact them it was difficult. He went on to say that almost all parties have no media policy; so how can the media report? He said that if political parties think that the media are important, they have to communicate properly with the media, and not just blame the media after the elections, because earlier on, when the media approached the parties during the time of the elections, almost all such contacts were limited or were set under conditions to do this or to do that – but the media do not set any conditions in turn.

“Mr. Keo Sothea, the editor-in-chief of Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, said that during the discussion in the morning, his newspaper had raises some negative points which have to be criticized, in order that they are corrected and there will be improvement. Some newspapers always write only negatively related to the government, but as for some needs or weak point, they do not seems to dare to write them, and to report about improvements by the government is an issue which is difficult to trust, because people have to think what a real improvement is, and what a lack thereof is.

“Mr. Kol Panha, the executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – said that the media must be examined, because media are most important for sending information to the citizens who are the voters, and the media have a very significant role in the process of democracy. If someone is not listening or watching the media about the election process, or does not know any political parties, they will not be able to freely and broadly voice their opinion. However, if a publication spreads a lie, it really affects the voters strongly.

“Mr. Kol Panha continued that the media are important, therefore journalists have to be neutral, they have to have morality, and journalistic skills, so that voters receive broadly based information. He added that when the elections approached, most media showed a certain reluctance towards the government, as taking up certain things might lead to conflicts, and rather raised mainly different, positive points for comments, but seldom criticizing the government. Also, he expressed his regret that during the elections in 2008, there was serious incidents related to the media: the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo, a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer, and the arrest and detention of Mr. Dam Sith, the editor-in-chief of Moneaksekar Khmer. He said that whether one agrees or not, such cases somewhat frighten other journalists and they think a lot before they write.

“Mr. Kol Panha asked to include also the Equity Program [produced by the UNDP] into programs related to the National Election Committee [NEC]. Laws should be created to punish any media that have committed wrongdoings, but there should not be prison term punishments.

“Mr. Chhay Sophal, a member of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said that this discussion will continue further, regarding the above suggestions.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 12.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 12 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1774, 12.9.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Loses Another Parliamentarian [at the Cambodian People’s Party headquarters in Phnom Penh, on 11 September 2008, there was a celebration to accept Mr. Chrea Chenda as a member of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • Troops of Cambodia and of Thailand Begin to Be in a Stronger Confrontation at the Ta Krabei Temple [Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #242, 12.9.2008

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] said the Price of Fuel in Cambodia Should Be Decreased to Riel 3,800 [approx. US$0.93] per liter [as fuel in Cambodia costs Riel 5,700 [approx. US$1.40] per liter, the price of fuel at the world market had been US$148 per barrel, but it now decrease to US$100 per barrel, so it dropped by one third at the free markets, so price of fuel in Cambodia should be decreased to Riel 3,800 [approx. US$0.93] per liter as the highest
  • .


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #97, 12.9.2008

    • The Royal Government allows to Import Pigs from England to Be Crossbred in the Country [according to Oknha Mong Riththy, a member of the Senate and co-leader of an agricultural and agro-industrial working group, on 10 September 2008, during a meeting between pig farmers and the government at the Phnom Penh Hotel]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6448, 12.9.2008

    • There Are More Than 20,000 Legal and Illegal Khmer Laborers Outside of the Country, the Largest Number Is in Thailand [according to Mr. Ya Navuth, executive director of CARAM Cambodia, who said that more than 18,000 Khmer laborers, both legal and illegal, are working in Thailand]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3563, 12.9.2008

    • New US Ambassador to Cambodia Is Worried about Corruption in Cambodia [Ms. Carol Rodley is the first female US Ambassador appointed to Cambodia by President Gorge W. Bush]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4692, 12.9.2008

    • Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Wife of Dankao District’s Police Chief [wife of Mr. Bon Sam At was brought to be questioned by police in early September 2008, accused to have issued uncovered checks for more than US$20,000 – Phnom Penh]
    • Governor of Trat [in Thailand] Apologized after Thai Police at the Hat Lek Border Crossing Point Had Used Dogs to Sniff and to Lick Khmer Citizens [Koh Kong]
    • Ratanakiri [authorities] Withdraw More Than 300 Hectares of Forest Land from a Military Official [the Ratanakiri authorities freed 312 hectares of forest land in Bar Keo district which was illegally controlled by Colonel Leng Hong]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3407, 12.9.2008

    • Club of Cambodian Journalists Asks Politicians for Communication If They Think Media Are Important

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – Numbers: how to evaluate them, which realities do they really represent?

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  • Friday, 22.8.2008: US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

    Posted on 23 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

    A reader had asked, from far away: “What is a moto-taxi?”

    Well – this is one:

    Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

    Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

    “Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia criticized Cambodian politicians who mostly do not put the interest of the nation and of the people as their highest priority, but they enter politics just because they want positions. Moreover, he said that it is necessary that opposition parties in Cambodia unite to become one force to compete with the ruling party.

    “During an interview with Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said, ‘Few Cambodian politicians whom I met had dedicated themselves to help the Cambodian people; too many politicians are only interested in the positions they can get.’

    “He added that the problem is that they do not think that they have to serve the Cambodian people. Although similar problems exists also in the United States, Mr. Joseph thinks that the problem is more serious in Cambodia than in the United States. He went on to say that it is important for Cambodia to have a sufficiently independent justice system to arrest corrupt people, and especially also politicians, to be convicted according to the law.

    “An observer said that just a few months ahead of the elections, many Cambodian politicians left the Sam Rainsy Party to join the Cambodian People’s Party, causing almost a breakup among opposition party members. Those politicians had left to take up some [already promised] important positions in the government, such as secretary of state, undersecretary of state, or government advisor, making it difficult to protect their claim that they had changed their political party because they think of the interest of the nation as their highest priority.

    “As for Cambodian politics in general, the US Ambassador thinks also that there are too many different opposition parties. He continued to say that as long as Cambodia has five or six opposition parities, they cannot compete with the ruling party. He said they should form an alliance, adding, ‘One opposition party will be stronger [than many opposition parties] and will gain strong attention from the Cambodian people.’

    “Ms. Chea Vannath, a political observer, said that to unite or not is not a problem. Nowadays, opposition parties do not have enough to say to oppose decisions made by the ruling party. She said also that at present, Cambodia does not have a real democracy yet, because of a ruling system that upholds partisanship, is built on personal links of friendship and on familial relations, which needs to be cut down in order to promote new [qualified] people.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 22 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1726, 22.8.2008

    • Cambodia Asks Kuwait to Provide Assistance with Irrigation and Transport
    • Woman Strangled in “Chea Kong” Guesthouse [by unknown person – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
    • Rural Unmarried Woman Beaten until She Was Unconscious and Then Raped by [two] Young Men [two suspects arrested – Phnom Proek, Battambang]
    • North Korea Vows to Strengthen Armed Forces to Make War [while US-South Korean military exercises are conducted]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #79, 22.8.2008

    • Plane Crash in Spain Kills 153 People


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6430, 22.8.2008

    • At Ta Moan Thom Temple a GPS Receiver of an Official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Was Broken [officials of the Ministry of Culture consider the breaking of their GPS machine by a Thai soldier to be an act of looking down on the owner of the temple. – Other reports say that the Thai soldier who did it was immediately punished by his superior, and a formal apology was presented by the Thai military to the Cambodian visitors; the Cambodian visitors admitted that they had acted against the mutual agreement not to bring GPS receivers to the Ta Moan area; the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan admitted that he also broke the regulation and he also took a GPS to Ta Moan]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3545, 22.8.2008

    • National Election Committee Gives Green Light to Ministry of Interior to Take Action against Boeng Salang Subdistrict Second Deputy Chief Heung Ponlork and Boeng Tompun Subdistrict Chief [Suos Sarin – for issuing Form 1018 illegally – Tuol Kork and Meanchey districts, Phnom Penh]
    • The King Plans to Participate and to Open the National Assembly Session in Late September; the Sam Rainsy Party Still Maintains Its Position Not to Accept the Election Results
    • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: Sam Rainsy Party Rejects the Election Results until Election Is Held Again


    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1350, 22.8.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Party Shares Parliamentary Power to Its Members Introducing Half-Term Positions
    • Death Threat by E-mail [from preahvihear@yahoo.com] against the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Mony [the e-mail said if Chea Mony joins the Cambodian People’s Party he will be able to find the murderers of Chea Vichea, it he joins the Sam Rainsy Party his fate will be the same as his brother Chea Vichea – who was murdered. The e-mailer said he doesn’t advise Chea Mony which way to go, but he should have some powerful people to protect him – or he will be followed and murdered]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

    • US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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