Monday, 9 August 2010

Radio Free Asia: Cambodia Government Bans on Importing Pigs (Khmer Language)

AP Photo/Heng Sinith: Cambodian authority on Monday officially destroyed some 19 tones of of illegal and fake traditional medicines imported from China

A Cambodian worker burns Chinese traditional medicines Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, at a medical waste management site in Choeung Ek village, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodian authority on Monday officially destroyed some 19 tons of of illegal and fake traditional medicines imported from China, a police official said. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian health officers look at Chinese traditional medicines as they listen to a police officer, right, at a medical waste management site in Choeung Ek village, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. Cambodian authority on Monday officially destroyed some 19 tons of of illegal and fake traditional medicines imported from China, a police official said. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A Cambodian police officer holds Chinese traditional medicines Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 at a medical waste management site in Choeung Ek village, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodian authority on Monday officially destroyed some 19 tones of of illegal and fake traditional medicines imported from China, a police official said. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea: Japanese Teruo Jinnai, UNESCO representative in Cambodia

Tourists look at an inscription of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives in Phnom Penh August 9, 2010. UNESCO office in Cambodia and Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts mark the first anniversary of the inscription of the museum archives in the Memory of the World International Register. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Japanese Teruo Jinnai, UNESCO representative in Cambodia, poses in front of a sign with Chum Mey (2nd L), Bou Meng (2nd R) and Vann Nath (R), survivors of Khmer Rouge prison S-21, during a ceremony at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh August 9, 2010. UNESCO office in Cambodia and Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts mark the first anniversary of the inscription of the museum archives in the Memory of the World International Register. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Japanese Teruo Jinnai, UNESCO representative in Cambodia, stands in front of a sign with Chum Mey (2nd L), Bou Meng (2nd R) and Vann Nath (R), survivors of Khmer Rouge prison S-21, during a ceremony at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh August 9, 2010. UNESCO office in Cambodia and Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts mark the first anniversary of the inscription of the museum archives in the Memory of the World International Register. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Preah Vihear – Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Solution: “Dialogue, No Winning or Losing” – Sunday, 8.8.2010

http://cambodiamirror.wordpress.com/

via Khmer NZ

Posted on 8 August 2010
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 676

When The Mirror presented, as last Sunday’s issue, a series of quotes and excerpts from publicly available documents it was done with the hope that some quick negative conclusions – not based on available texts, either disregarding, or even contradicting them – can be avoided.

Some steps in time are clear and not contested, especially the 1962 decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, stating that it …FINDS THAT THE TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR IS SITUATED IN TERRITORY UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CAMBODIA.

Some other steps on the way are less well known widely, while they were also called into memory, for example some principles on which the World Heritage List is operated, as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. It is not about national interests, but about culture as “part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole.” The convention makes it clear that decisions about cultural world heritage do not make any judgment on the sovereignty and territory of States:

Whilst fully respecting the sovereignty of the States on whose territory the cultural and natural heritage… is situated, and without prejudice to property right provided by national legislation, the States Parties to this Convention recognize that such heritage constitutes a world heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to co-operate. (Article 6.1).

The inclusion of a property situated in a territory, sovereignty or jurisdiction over which is claimed by more than one State, shall in no way prejudice the rights of the parties to the dispute. (Article 11.3).

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is concerned about World Heritage Sites, “part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole,” not about the solution of border problems.

There are rules and decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and there are declarations on the way to the decision of 2008 when the Temple of Preah Vihear was listed as a World Heritage Site, together with decisions how to elaborate its management. Though a management plan, prepared by the Cambodian side, is to be discussed only by the next meeting of the World Heritage Committee in 2011, statements by Prime Minister Hun Sen, quoted in the Cambodia Daily on 5 August 2010, cleared the way into the future:

“Mr. Hun Sen said yesterday that dialogue was the way forward for the two countries. ‘We will use dialogue to solve the rest of the problem,’ he said. ‘I don’t want winning or losing – it is better that we have the win together in solving the problem.’”

Actually, there are two separate – but related – problems:

One problem is concerned with the management plan for Preah Vihear requested by the World Heritage Committee with its 2008 decision to list the Temple of Preah Vihear, where it:

Notes that the property proposed for inscription is reduced and comprises only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves;

Encourages Cambodia to collaborate with Thailand for safeguarding the value of the property, in view of the fact that peoples of the surrounding region have long treasured the Temple of Preah Vihear,..

Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards…

The other problem is related to the demarcation of the Cambodian-Thai border, for which both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2000. The Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was quoted on 8 August 2010, to have said that “Thailand has no intention of revoking the border Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cambodia inked in 2000” – he said so in response to a “demonstration in the [Thai] capital yesterday demanding the Thai government to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding.” The same report says that “under the Memorandum of Understanding, Cambodia and Thailand need to consult each other if they want to carry out any activities in the disputed 4.6 sq km territory claimed by both countries near the Preah Vihear Temple.” It is not clear whether this Memorandum was published in the media in Cambodia – only the fact of its existence, not its content, has been referenced regularly in the press.

That these border problems also need to be addressed, was obviously agreed by both sides, as it is stated in the large Cambodian 2008 Submission Document, separating the two issues: the World Heritage inscription – and the border problems:

On 6 May 2008 His Excellency Mr. SOK An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, welcomed his Excellency Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand accompanied by a Thai delegation during their visit to Phnom Penh. The Kingdom of Cambodia strongly stresses that the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear is without prejudice to the demarcation work of the Cambodian-Thai Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) between Cambodia and Thailand; and the zoning (“Zonage” in French) stipulated in the document submitted by Cambodia to UNESCO shall not be considered as boundary line.

The Kingdom of Thailand reconfirmed its support of the Heritage Committee to be held in Quebec, Canada in July 2008. For it part, the Kingdom of Cambodia, in a spirit of goodwill and conciliation, accepted to inscribe the Temple of Preah Vihear on the List of the World Heritage, at this stage, without a buffer zone on the north and west of the Temple

The proposals of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has also in other situations worked successful for win-win results, solving complex problems, provide a clear way towards a solution for both problem, based on the existing common agreements.


Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

Sa Kaew special economic zone plan


via Khmer NZ

Published: 9/08/2010 at 01:25 PM
Online news: Breakingnews

A proposal will be forwarded to the cabinet in three weeks for a special economic zone to be set up in the eastern province of Sa Kaew to promote Thai-Cambodian border trade, Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Polaboot said on Monday.

Mr Alongkorn said the idea of setting up a Thai-Cambodian business development committee and a special economic zone in Sa Kaew was inspired by the success of the special economic zone in Tak's Mae Sot district opposite Burma's Myawaddy area.

The minister said he would travel to Sa Kaew to further study the idea and expected to forward the proposal for the cabinet to consider in three weeks.

The new special economic zone would link up with transport systems in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, he said.

Suthep: No encroachment by Thai army


via Khmer NZ

Published: 9/08/2010

Deputy Prime Minister overseeing security Suthep Thaugsuban has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform the United Nations that Thai soldiers are not encroaching on Cambodian territory as claimed by Phnom Penh.

Mr Suthep said on Monday Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen sent letters to the UN accusing Thailand of threatening to use its military to enter the disputed area.

"I ask Thai people to stay calm because we [the government] want to live peacefully with our neighbours. The Thai army certainly did not intrude into Cambodian territory but they are prepared to protect the country's sovereignty," the deputy premier said.

He said the Foreign Ministry will have to clarify Thailand's stance on the Thai-Cambodian border row to the UN.

Cambodia Airport Operator Signs Maintenance Deal with TG’s Technical Department

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 9 August 2010

Thai Airways International’s Technical Department and Societe Concessionaire De L’Aeroport (SCA), the airport operator of Cambodia, have signed a four-year extension contract for aircraft maintenance services at Phnom Penh International Airport and Siem Reap International Airport.

This four-year contract is an extension of the previous agreement made in 2004 for handling such airlines as Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Korean Airlines, and Silk Air.

“This agreement,” said Mr. Nicolas Deviller, CEO of SCA, “will enhance our airports’ services for carriers serving medium range destinations and, in the future, the prospected companies with long haul flights. Aircraft maintenance, which requires high level of expertise, is a major driving force for the development of the Kingdon’s international airports and partnering with Thai Airways International, a reputable airline, is definitely a plus.”

Cambodian court postpones appeal hearing for opposition leader

via Khmer NZ

Posted : Mon, 09 Aug 2010
By : dpa

Phnom Penh - Cambodia's appellate court on Monday postponed hearing the appeal of a two-year jail sentence for opposition leader Sam Rainsy in a dispute over border markers.

Sam Rainsy, in exile in France, was sentenced in January on charges of racial incitement and damaging public property after he uprooted border markers along the Cambodian-Vietnam border last year.

Two villagers were jailed for one year over the same incident.

Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay said the court was right to postpone the case until August 30 since the villagers' lawyer was out of the country.

He said the outcome of the appeal could be significant since the government is pursuing a separate, but linked, case against Sam Rainsy that could see him jailed for another 18 years over "disinformation" about maps he publicized of the border with Vietnam.

But Son Chhay felt there was "not much chance" the court would approach the case objectively when it reconvened.

"This regime continues to use the court as a tool to intimidate the opposition," he said, adding that it was unlikely that Sam Rainsy would return for the August 30 hearing.

The opposition party charged in October that the land rights of Cambodian farmers in the area were not respected in the process to demarcate the 1,270-kilometre border, which is scheduled to be completed by 2012.

The incident riled Hanoi, a close ally of Prime Minister Hun Sen's government which has significant interests in agribusiness, aviation, telecommunications and banking in Cambodia.

PM: Thailand to clarify its stance to UN after Cambodian PM tells UN Thailand threatens force

http://www.mcot.net/

via Khmer NZ

BANGKOK, Aug 9 - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday affirmed the country's peaceful principles and intentions, saying Thailand is sending a letter to the United Nations to clarify its position regarding its border dispute after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told the world body Thailand is
threatening to use force to settle the wrangle.

Mr Abhisit said the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia is not yet settled and Thailand is exploring existing and possible measures to find
the best solution for both sides to stay together peacefully.

He said Thailand adheres to peaceful means and is trying to settle bilateral disputes under the law and agreements in place [such as the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia].

Thailand will inform the UN how Cambodia encroached upon Thai territory, he said, strongly affirming that Thailand had to protect its national interests.

The Thai premier's comment came after Mr Hun Sen sent a letter to the UN General Assembly and Security Council in which he accused Thailand of threatening to use its forces to settle the dispute.

Mr Hun Sen's letter, which was also sent to the media, said statements by Mr Abhisit when he addressed the civil society groups on Saturday represented "a clear threat to use military force" to settle the border problem and therefore in violation of UN rules.

The Cambodian premier reaffirmed his country's policy not to use military means to settle disputes with its neighbours but that it reserved its legitimate right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in case of deliberate acts of aggression.

Thai civil society groups led by the so-called Thailand Patriot Network demanded clarification regarding the government's position on the Preah Vihear disputes.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister Panithan Wattanayagorn said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was discussing the matter with experts in international law and related issues. The results are expected to be reported to the premier later today.

However, Dr Panithan -- who is also acting government spokesman -- said Thailand's standpoint would not change, that it would cooperate with neighbouring countries for mutual benefit.

The government is planning to inform the UN regarding three issues -- the legal aspect that Cambodia questioned, how Thailand's territory was intruded upon and Thailand's affirmation on the use of peaceful means and accepted international law, he said.

He said the government is worried that Cambodia was trying to draw a third party into the disputes but affirmed that Thailand would stick to the principle of finding a solution through talks.

Dr Panithan added that resolving a border dispute is normally a matter between the two nations themselves to find a solution and believed that the international community would understand and respect.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban reaffirmed on Monday that the Thai government has not yet ordered the closure of its border despite the verbal spat with Cambodia, but conceded that troops are on standby to protect the country's sovereignty.

Mr Suthep, who oversees national security, also commented on Mr Hun Sen's letter to UN that the Thai foreign ministry is now considering the issue, while reiterating that Thailand upholds to live with its neighbour peacefully.

The Thai deputy premier said that Thai troops are on alert along the Thai-Cambodian border, but they will not intrude into Cambodian territory.

He said the neighbouring country has its right to prepare its armed forces as long as they do not invade Thai soil.

Mr Suthep also gave assurances that the ongoing tension will not lead to the closure of the Thai-Cambodian border.

Tensions between Thailand and Cambodia arose after the Thai government delegation objected to Cambodia's unilateral management plan for the historic Preah Vihear temple as the neighbours could find no common ground to settle the disputed 4.6 sq km of land adjacent to the temple which was granted world heritage status in 2008.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through its World Heritage Commission (WHC) consequently early this month postponed its discussion of the plan until next year when it meets in Bahrain.

The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the temple belongs to Cambodia.

The ancient Hindu temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Under the terms of the listing, Cambodia is required to submit a management plan for WHC approval. (MCOT online news)

Government to clarify border row to UN


via Khmer NZ

Published: 9/08/2010
Online news: Politics

The Foreign Ministry will send a letter to the United Nations General Assembly and UN Security Council clarifying Thailand's position on Preah Vihear temple, acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said on Monday.

Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn

Mr Panitan said the letter of explanation was necessary after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday sent two letters - to General Assembly president Ali Abdussalam and Security Council president Vitaly Churkin - saying that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had threatened to cancel the 2000 memorandum of understanding between the two countries and to use military force against Cambodia to settle the border dispute.

In his letters, the Cambodian premier said, "By seriously threatening to use military force against Cambodia to settle the problem of the border, Thailand flagrantly violates Article 2.3 and 2.4 of the UN Charter."

Mr Panitan said the Foreign Ministry was meeting with international law experts and would explain to the UN that Thailand had never changed its position, of wanting to cooperate with its neighbour and share common interests.

He said letter would explain to the UN that Thailand had not violated the UN Charter as alleged, that Thai soil has been encroached on, and that Thailand adheres to the principle of peaceful co-existence and the law, which has been recognised.

Deputy Prime Minister overseeing security Suthep Thaugsuban also affirmed that Thai soldiers were not encroaching on Cambodian territory as claimed by Phnom Penh.

"I ask Thai people to stay calm because we [the government] want to live peacefully with our neighbours. The Thai army certainly did not intrude into Cambodian territory but they are prepared to protect the country's sovereignty," Mr Suthep said.

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the Thai-Cambodian border situation was still normal and there was no use of force.

"If Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva gives out the order, the army is ready. There is nothing going on at the border since the decision lies with the government," Gen Prawit said.

He said Prime Minister Hun Sen's accusation against Thailand would not create more tension in the disputed border area.

"We are a big country and we should not be worried about the situation," the minister said.

Mr Abhisit on Sunday participated in a live telecast debate with members of the Thai Patriots Network about the disputed 4.6 square kilometre area surrounding Preah Vihear temple.

PM Abhisit (left) shook hands with PM Hun Sen during the Mekong River Commission summit in Hua Hin in April.

He agreed with the network members that the zone in dispute belonged to Thailand and Cambodia had encroached upon Thai soil.


Thailand clams the disputed area is part of Si Sa Ket's Kantharalak district, while Cambodia says it is in its Preah Vihear province.

Mr Abhisit told members of the network that the government would use both diplomatic and military measures to deal with the encroachment, prompting Hun Sen to send his letters to the UN.

Monks, soldiers square off over buried treasure

via Khmer NZ

Mon, 09 Aug 2010
By : dpa

Phnom Penh - A reputed hoard of Khmer Rouge-era gold saw monks and villagers engaged in a weekend standoff with soldiers at a temple in western Cambodia, national media reported Monday.

The provincial governor of Pailin, Y Chhien, said the supposedowner of the gold, whom he did not name, had tipped off the authorities to its existence.

"Someone reported that a ton of gold belonging to the Khmer Rouge regime was buried at the pagoda, but we are not sure yet because we can't dig it up because the monks rallied against our military police and police," he said.

Y Chhien told the Cambodia Daily newspaper he was mystified at the resistance shown by the community at Korng Kang pagoda.

"It's not a secret operation because if we find anything, all the gold will become state property," he said.

The temple's deputy chief monk, Nhim Sothon, confirmed that several troops had descended on the temple Saturday and Sunday in pursuit of the gold.

"But our monks protected it, and did not allow it," he said.

Nhim Sothon said the pagoda last year refused to allow a former Khmer Rouge cadre to dig at the pagoda after he sought permission to unearth 50 kilograms of gold he hid there during the 1975-79 regime.

The Khmer Rouge banned organized religion during its disastrous rule of the country, and many temples became prisons and execution centres.

For most Cambodians, 'justice' has little meaning

In this July 26, 2010 file photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, who ran the notorious Toul Sleng, looks on during his sentencing at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge prison chief who oversaw crimes of unique savagery a generation ago is told he will spend the next 19 years in jail: That's the same sentence given to many low-level drug dealers, women who shoot their husbands after a lifetime of abuse, and political scapegoats. For many Cambodians, the word justice has little meaning. (AP Photo/ Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, File)

via Khmer NZ

By ROBIN McDOWELL (AP)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A Khmer Rouge prison chief who oversaw crimes of savagery a generation ago is told he will spend the next 19 years in jail: That's the same sentence that many low-level drug dealers, women who shoot their husbands after a lifetime of abuse and political scapegoats receive.

Far from providing closure from the trauma of the "killing fields" regime, the sentence given to Kaing Guek Eav, or Duch, seen by many as too lenient, has become another occasion to scrutinize the shortcomings of the country's criminal justice system.

For decades, the rich and powerful have enjoyed near impunity, while those who have neither money to pay off corrupt police and judges, nor political or military ties, end up in jail, sometimes for years.

For many Cambodians, the word justice has little meaning.

Many hoped the creation of a U.N.-backed tribunal — set up to try leaders of the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime blamed for the deaths of up to 1.7 million people — would serve as a model for judicial reform in the young democracy.

But critics are quick to point out the process was flawed from the start, its problems mirroring many of the weaknesses in Cambodia's rule of law.

Duch (pronounced DOIK) was convicted last month of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was the first major Khmer Rouge figure to face trial more than three decades after the regime's brutal rule.

The government insisted prosecutors and judges included Cambodians, several of whom had been involved in some of the nation's most controversial political trials.

Among the judges on the panel that sentenced Duch was Thou Mony, who acquitted Prime Minister Hun Sen's nephew of manslaughter charges several years ago. He also twice ruled against Bom Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, widely seen as scapegoats in the 2004 murder of an opposition activist, Chea Vichea.

The broad daylight killing, which occurred in front of a newsstand in Phnom Penh, and the investigation that followed sparked local and international outcry.

So did the trial. None of the prosecution witnesses appeared, providing only written testimonies that could not be challenged in court. Several of those present for the defense were rejected, including an alibi who put one of the suspects 35 miles (60 kilometers) from the scene.

"I have no faith in the Cambodian justice system. If you're poor and powerless, you basically have no chance," said Sok Sam Oeun. "I should know ... I got 20 years for a crime I didn't commit. "

While Duch himself has no political power and little money, many Cambodians' disappointment with what they see as a too lenient sentence has added to their frustrations with the country's legal system.

Duch got 35 years for war crimes and crimes against humanity, but the number was whittled down to 19 after judges took into consideration time served and other factors.

Headlines splashed across the front pages of newspapers after the first ruling was handed down against Duch, who oversaw the killings and executions of up to 16,000 people, pointed to the high level of disillusionment.

"Less than one day for every person killed!" the popular Rasmei Kampuchea daily screamed.

Another highlighted the much-higher 98 years given by local courts to Heng Pov, a former police chief in the capital. He was found guilty of extortion, kidnapping and murder — but only after a hugely public fallout with the government.

Meanwhile, it took a decade and $100 million to get the U.N.-backed tribunal up and running, something analysts blame on foot-dragging by the government.

Prime Minister Hun Sen once served as a Khmer Rouge cadre and has expressed considerable irritation with the tribunal in the past, especially when it suggested defendants beyond the ultra-communist regime's top leadership could be indicted, warning that could lead to civil war.

Human rights groups say there is no evidence the U.N. tribunal, with all its flaws, has helped raise the standards of Cambodia's own court system.

Though there have been improvements in the last decade, with judges generally more knowledgeable about laws and procedures, political and financial influence over the courts are as strong as ever.

"Again and again, we deal with victims who have been further victimized by the judiciary to keep them silent or as a way to withdraw lawsuits against the well-connected people and companies," said Naly Pilorge, director of the human rights group LICADHO.

In a classic case of victims turned into perpetrators, 11 villagers in Siem Reap province have been detained for more than a year for allegedly shooting at security forces during a land dispute in 2009, she said.

Video footage shows a joint force — including police, military police, border police and soldiers — opening fire on the farmers, injuring four.

In another case, Sman Esma El is serving a life sentence for "attempting to kill people" in a foiled plot on the British Embassy in 2003 at the height of the U.S.-led war on terror.

The ruling was based on testimony of one moto taxi driver allegedly hired by an Islamic militant and still secret documents provided by the United States.

Orphan Debates

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/

via Khmer NZ

By Katherine Marshall | August 9, 2010

There are few sadder fates than to be a child abandoned in Cambodia. Every day newspapers carry stories about trafficked children, harsh child labor, and abused children. Last week alone one report reminded readers where they could drop off unwanted babies (after a story of an abandoned baby), another recounted graphic details of the death of a woman after a a botched abortion, there were ongoing trials of pedophiles, and girls were rescued from brothels. Child mortality is still very high.

And orphanages are booming. Officially the numbers have doubled over roughly a decade but unofficial estimates suggest growth is even faster. This is occurring despite a consensus that orphanages should be a last resort and that children should stay in them for the shortest possible time. Research in many regions highlights the perils of institutional care for vulnerable children.

Apart from the real danger of abuse, most children who grow up in orphanages have great difficulty adjusting to life afterwards. A survey by Action Cambodia, a UK-based NGO, found story upon story of children in orphanages who did not have even the most basic life skills, like going to a market or making friends. Many children are terrified of what will happen to them after they leave: one described himself as a duck in a cage waiting to be cooked. Sarah Chin of Project SKYE, who has worked on these issues for a decade, has a raft of graphic stories of good intentions gone awry.

Children generally wind up in orphanages in one of three ways. The first is through the efforts of well-meaning benefactors from overseas who see children who look as if they have no one to care for them, and determine that an orphanage is the answer. Many of these have faith ties. Through church networks they raise funds, set up an institution and make genuine efforts to take good care of the children in their charge.

Another group of orphanages have a more businesslike spirit. Their founders are motivated more by the profit potential. Fund-raising for orphans is a comparatively easy sell.

Finally, a number of orphanages draw children because they offer food, clothing, and a relatively good education. Many of the children they serve are not orphans at all. Because schools in most rural areas lag far behind the city, and education costs money, families will falsely assert that their children are orphans. But then they cannot visit, and the trauma on the child is equal to actually becoming an orphan; either way, they have lost their parents.

Another troubling issue is a phenomenon termed "orphan tourism." Tours of orphanages are arranged for sympathetic visitors, and young children are asked to perform for them. Some orphanages offer the chance to volunteer and teach, with virtually no background checks on these very temporary helpers.

There are even reports that a few churches have started orphanages as a way to raise children in Buddhist Cambodia as Christians.

Cambodia's Ministry of Social Affairs takes a strong position that the best options for a child are care by the family, foster care or another community arrangement. New orphanages are strongly discouraged and oversight is being tightened. The strategy is to make orphanages unnecessary within ten years. The ministry is working with groups including UNICEF and International Cooperation Cambodia (a Christian organization) to train those working in orphanages in parenting skills, organizing youth groups, and teaching the older children life skills so they can survive when the time comes to leave the orphanage.

Cambodia is doing far better today than it was a decade ago. Buildings are sprouting everywhere, it seems, and the capital city's bustling streets and markets speak to a new prosperity. But poverty is still the harsh reality for most of Cambodia's 14.5 million people. They are the ones most likely to dump their children in orphanages, sometimes with the best of intentions.

Does a child have a greater right to a family or an education? How can dysfunctional families be healed in a country facing so many challenges? How can so many uncoordinated organizations be regulated by a government whose capacity is strained in every direction?

For now the solutions are to do whatever is possible to protect the children and look out for their welfare. But there remains a nagging suspicion that the resources lavished on orphanages could go a long way toward solving the underlying problems that send children to orphanages in the first place. That would be a far better use of the money. The good intentions that inspire people to give when their hearts are wrenched by the sorry image of a suffering child would translate into real hope for a good life for far more children.

Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at Georgetown's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, a Visiting Professor, and Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue.

DAP News. Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via Khmer NZ

Cambodia Urges Multi-Talk Party for Border

Monday, 09 August 2010 08:31 DAP-NEWS / Soy Sophea

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, AUGUST 9, 2010- After sending a letter to inform heads of United Nation, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday called on an international talk to settle a two-year-long disputed border between Cambodia and Thailand.

PM Hun Sen said that there was only an international talk could solve Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple dispute as the bilateral talk with Thailand failed to resolve it.

“I call on an international talk including ASEAN, UN’s Security Council, International Court of Justice and Paris Accord’s country members,” he said, adding the two party talks was out of control when Thailand ignored a three-time meeting between the two nations’ foreign affair ministers.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit on August 7 told his fellows at public gathering in Bangkok that his government would cancel its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cambodia, as it showed disadvantage of Thailand, adding that if the border talks failed, it would use diplomatic and military measures to settle it.

PM Hun Sen on Sunday sent letter to UN’s Security Council President Vitaly Churkin, and UN’s General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki to inform about Thailand would use arms to resolve the border.

Cambodia won Preah Vihear temple at International Court of Justice in June 15, 1962.

Cambodia Is Ready to Defense Its Territory If Thai Uses Forces to Settle Disputed Borders

Sunday, 08 August 2010 15:02 DAP-NEWS

PHNOM PENH, August 8, 2010 (PQRU) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote to the United Nations on Sunday that Phnom Penh is ready to use “its legitimate rights to defense its sovereignty and territorial integrity in case of deliberate acts of aggression”, said the letter.

Hun Sen wrote to President of the United Nations General Assembly, Ali Abdussalam Treki, and Vitaly Churkin, President of the United Nations Security Council, concerning to Thailand Prime Minister threatened to use force to settle the disputed border with Cambodia, it said.

“By seriously threatening to use military forces against Cambodia to settle the problem of the border, Thailand fragrantly violates Article 2.3 and 2.4 of the United Nations Charter,” said the letter of Cambodian Prime Minister wrote to the United Nations.

Hun Sen, who has been in power over the last 20 years, said “Cambodia, for its part, reaffirmed its constant policy not to use armed forces to settle any problem with neighboring countries.”

But “Cambodia, nonetheless, reserves its legitimate rights to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in case of deliberate acts of aggression,” said the letter.

Hun Sen asked the United Nations to circulate the letter to all members of the United Nations Security Council for information, said the letter.

The letter cited Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who said on August 7 during a public meeting with the “People’s Alliance for Democracy” declared openly that “… About the land encroachment, we will cancel the MOU if the problem can’t be settled. We will use both diplomatic and military means”.

The Cambodian letter said the two Asian nations signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 2000 for the demarcation of their border lines.

Cambodia also cited the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 15 June 1962 ruled that “the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.”

“Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory,” the letter quoted the ICJ’s judgment.

Hun Sen also said in the letter that Thailand “is violating the ICJ’s judgment” by “currently maintain its soldiers in the Keo Sikkhakiri Svara pagoda of Cambodia, situated only about 300 meters from the Temple of Preah Vihear, well inside the Cambodian territory.”

Jam session


Photo by: Sovan Philong

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:00 Sovan Philong

The Louis Sclavis Band practises for an October performance in France at the Phare Ponleu art and circus school in Battambang province on Saturday. The band uses modern instruments along with traditional Cambodian ones, and members swap around during performances.

Downhill dash at Phnom Baseth


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:00 Douglas Long

Som Kim Hy leads a group of D-category cyclists in round three of the five-race Cambodia Mountain Bike Series at Phnom Baseth, 35 kilometres north of Phnom Penh, yesterday. Local rider Hong Chanmakara finished first in the 20-kilometre A-category race with a time of 58 minutes, 45 seconds. About 75 riders took part in yesterday's event with fun had by many, but not all. The next round is tentatively scheduled for September 12 in Siem Reap.

Battambang demonstrators get bussed out of town


Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Authorities escort a wailing woman and child away from a demonstration staged by Battambang province villagers near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Phnom Penh home yesterday. The protesters sought to draw attention to their land dispute with a military police officer. Their forced evacuation out of the city by bus drew swift condemnation from human rights workers.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:03 May Titthara

MUNICIPAL and Daun Penh district police yesterday forcibly broke up a demonstration near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Phnom Penh home by villagers from Battambang province, loading them onto a bus out of town in a move that drew swift condemnation from rights workers.

The roughly 50 demonstrators were hoping to draw attention to their fight for 1,672 hectares of land in Kors Kralor district that is also claimed by Long Sidare, a military police officer in the capital who in September 2008 began trying to relocate 415 families in order to develop a rubber plantation.

Representatives of the demonstrators said five people, including a 3-year-old, suffered minor injuries during the altercation with police, who forced the entire group onto a bus that set off for Battambang at around noon.

In a statement released yesterday afternoon, the rights group Licadho said it “strongly condemns the violent dispersal and forced removal” of the demonstrators, who it said had gathered “peacefully”.

Describing the loading of the demonstrators onto the bus, the statement said: “Police and security guards then forced the villagers into the bus, by violently lifting them from the ground and pushing them towards the vehicle, amidst the villagers’ cries of anguish and tears.”

“The violence used this morning against peaceful protesters was unjustified,” Licadho technical supervisor Am Sam Ath was quoted as saying.

“The fact that the violence also targeted mothers carrying babies makes this incident even more disgraceful. How can we tolerate police using violence against mothers and babies?”

Van Dy, 42, one of the demonstrators, said they had hoped to convince authorities at the national level that they had a right to the land, and that they were also pushing for the release of Hun Sengly, who was arrested in August 2008 and was serving a five-year sentence on charges of robbery and destroying public property. She said the demonstrators had come to Phnom Penh because they did not trust officials in Battambang to resolve the dispute fairly.

“I don’t believe that they’ll settle our problem at the provincial office,” she said.

Daun Penh district police chief Hun Sothy declined to comment on the breakup of the protest yesterday, and Long Sidare could not be reached. Lim Leang Se, deputy chief of Hun Sen’s cabinet, said the dispute should be addressed at the provincial level.

Hun Sen approaches UN


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:03 Sebastian Strangio and Cheang Sokha

PRIME Minister Hun Sen wrote a letter to the United Nations Security Council yesterday addressing Cambodia’s ongoing territorial dispute with Thailand, a day after his Thai counterpart reportedly threatened to use military force to settle the standoff.

On Saturday, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told a rally of pro-government Yellow Shirts that he would be willing to cancel a memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries in 2000 in the interest of safeguarding Thai sovereignty.

“We will cancel the MoU if the problem can’t be settled. We will use both democratic and military means,” The Nation newspaper quoted him as saying.

In a letter to Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s representative to the UN and the council president, Hun Sen said Abhisit’s threat had violated two articles of the UN Charter.

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Thai threat of ‘military force’ labelled as charter violation
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The premier said the comments were “an obvious threat” to unilaterally cancel a legal document and resort to military force to solve the border dispute that ignited after Preah Vihear temple was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2008.

Thailand and Cambodia both claim a 4.6-square-kilometre area adjacent to the temple. Phnom Penh and Bangkok signed the MoU in 2000, establishing a framework for the joint demarcation of the border.

“In the face of this serious threat of use of armed forces against Cambodia to settle the border demarcation, I earnestly request Your Excellency to circulate this letter to all members of the UN Security Council,” Hun Sen wrote in the letter, a copy of which was also sent to Ali Abdussalam Treki, the Libyan president of the UN General Assembly.

The premier reiterated Cambodia’s stance that it would not use military forces to resolve border issues with neighbouring countries, but reserved “its legitimate rights to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in case of deliberate acts of aggression”.

When asked whether Cambodia would push to have Preah Vihear placed on the council’s agenda, Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said the letters had been sent just “to inform” the council of the situation.

Officials at the Thai ministry of foreign affairs could not be reached late yesterday. But during a televised debate with Yellow Shirt leaders earlier in the day, Abhisit backed down, saying that the MoU was necessary for maintaining peace.

“The 2000 MoU prevents the two sides from doing anything in the disputed area, and this is why the MoU should remain in effect,” he said. He also said that the use of military force was a “last option”.

Cheang Vannarith, executive director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said that given Thailand’s stated opposition to multilateral talks on Preah Vihear, Hun Sen’s letter might be a way of pushing Abhisit to the negotiating table.

“Cambodia would like the Security Council to be informed, and if required take some action,” he said.

“That could put some pressure on the Thai administration, diplomatic pressure to deal with bilateral relations.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THE BANGKOK POST

Strikers face legal obstacles


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:03 May Titthara and Meas Sokchea

CAMBODIAN Labour Confederation President Ath Thun said yesterday that more than 50,000 garment workers had thumbprinted statements in favour of a strike to protest against the industry’s new minimum wage. A government official, meanwhile, said unauthorised strikes would be met with legal action.

A decision last month by the Labour Advisory Committee, a body of government officials and industry representatives, set the minimum wage for garment workers at US$61 per month. This ruling increased the previous minimum wage, established in 2006, by $5.

“If they do not give us the chance to hold new negotiations, we will still hold the strike,” Ath Thun said. “It is not my decision – it is the decision of the workers, so I will follow them.”

Anthony Pa, a member of the Council of Jurists at the Council of Ministers, warned that the government would consider bringing lawsuits and criminal charges against any who engage in unlawful demonstrations.

“If it happens seriously, more and more, we’d consider that,” Anthony Pa said yesterday, and warned that “whoever commits illegal strikes or illegal demonstrations” could face prosecution. The Kingdom’s 1997 Labour Law states that union leaders must give notice of strikes seven days in advance.

Ath Thun said workers would meet next Sunday to decide definitively whether to hold the strike, tentatively planned for August 25.

Last week, Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen to request that the government reconsider last month’s minimum-wage decision.

Son Chhay called for a minimum wage of at least $85, and said the government “has an obligation to attend to this matter immediately”.

Oum Mean, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, said yesterday that ministry officials had not yet received the letter. Whether Labour Minister Vong Soth would appear before the National Assembly “is the decision of the minister and the government”, Oum Mean said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE

Elusive KRT staffer surfaces


Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Sean Visoth (left) greets Deputy Prime Minister Sok An upon the latter’s arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:03 Cheang Sokha and James O’Toole

THE Khmer Rouge tribunal’s chief of administration appeared in public on Saturday at a government function after going on extended sick leave almost two years ago amid a flurry of corruption allegations.

Sean Visoth left the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, as the tribunal is formally known, in November of 2008. According to defence lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Brother No 2 Nuon Chea, a report from a German parliamentary delegation that visited the tribunal one month before Sean Visoth’s departure found that he was “guilty of corruption”.

On Saturday, Sean Visoth joined government officials at Phnom Penh International Airport to welcome home a group of Cambodian officials led by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An who were arriving from Brazil. The former tribunal administrator appeared healthy and energetic as he greeted the delegation.

“My health is very much improved now, but I still cannot handle any heavy labour,” Sean Visoth said. “At the moment, I don’t really care about the work of the ECCC – my health is my priority.”

Asked when he might return to the court, Sean Visoth was noncommittal.

“I don’t know. I dare not go now because Case 002 is coming and there is plenty of work to do,” he said.

In January of last year, lawyers for Nuon Chea filed a complaint to Phnom Penh Municipal Court accusing Sean Visoth and the court’s former chief of personnel, Keo Thyvuth, of violating criminal law by “perpetrating, facilitating, aiding and/or abetting an organised regime of institutional corruption at the ECCC during the pending judicial investigation”.

A former tribunal worker said in late 2008 that Cambodian employees at all levels of the court had been required to give a portion of their salaries to Sean Visoth, sometimes as much as 70 percent.

“Let’s say you are the supervisor. You have 30 people under you, so the people under you know to give their envelope [containing the kickback] to you, and you hand it to Sean Visoth,” the employee said. “In all sections, it’s the same thing.”

Corruption allegations first surfaced at the hybrid court in 2006, eventually prompting a review by the UN in July 2008 that has never fully been made public.

Court spokesman Reach Sambath said yesterday that he had no new information about Sean Visoth’s status.

“My only comment is that he’s still on sick leave, and we don’t have any further information about him,” Reach Sambath said.

Sean Visoth’s successor, Tony Kranh, “has the full capacity as acting chief for the office of administration”, Reach Sambath said.

Duch appoints Cambodian lawyer


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:03 Cheang Sokha and James O’Toole

FORMER Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav has appointed a new lawyer as he prepares to appeal his conviction for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions at Cambodia’s war crimes tribunal.

The Khmer Rouge jailer – better known as Duch – last month became the first person to be convicted at the tribunal, receiving a 30-year prison sentence. With credit for time already served, he stands to spend roughly 19 more years in prison.

Although Duch reportedly wanted a Chinese lawyer to replace Roux – “He doesn’t want a lawyer from a free country to judge the communist people,” defence attorney Kar Savuth explained last month – he will settle for 41-year-old Kang Ritheary, a private practice attorney with the Asean International Law Group in Phnom Penh.

“Kaing Guek Eav had provided the Defence Support Section with certain criteria for the selection of an international co-lawyer,” United Nations court spokesman Lars Olsen said Friday. As the DSS could not find any international lawyers who met his criteria, Duch instead chose a second Cambodian lawyer, Olsen said.

Kang Ritheary will replace Francois Roux, the French attorney whom Duch dismissed last month, citing a “loss of confidence” in his representation. Duch and Kar Savuth broke dramatically with Roux during closing arguments last year, asking that Duch be acquitted and released.

Up until that point, the defence team had pursed a strategy of expressing remorse and accepting limited responsibility for crimes committed at Tuol Sleng. Roux later called the turnabout a “bad surprise”.

Kang Ritheary said yesterday that he felt duty-bound to accept the appointment.

“I think it’s my legal obligation,” he said. “I can’t say that I’m proud, because as you know, the Khmer Rouge period is a sensitive issue, but I decided to accept this position and I will try my best.”

Kang Ritheary said the defence team was preparing documents for Duch’s appeal and expected to file it in around two weeks.

SE Asia in crosshairs of two superpowers


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:02 Roger Mitton

The United States has suddenly decided to re-engage with this region.

It has certainly blown hot and cold in the past, and even staunch allies in Southeast Asia have felt the icy chill of neglect, as they did under former President George W Bush.

His administration stiffed this region most crudely in 2005 when then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declined to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum in Vientiane that year.

It may sound like small beans, but at the time it was a thunderbolt, since all Rice’s predecessors – Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Christopher Warren – had always attended.

Being stationed in Washington at the time, I remember the angry chorus of complaints from Asian diplomats that the US was ignoring ASEAN, and that China would move into the vacuum.

Well, it certainly did. And it appears to have taken until now for the US to fully realise this and to start doing something about it.

Under its new stand-up-to-China campaign, Washington is urging countries such as Vietnam and its neighbours to unite in balancing Beijing’s increasing assertiveness.

The campaign began in earnest at last month’s ARF in Hanoi, where Rice’s successor, Hillary Clinton, walked tall and carried a big stick.

Catching Beijing completely off guard, Clinton announced that the US would inject itself into the volatile sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea.

The key dispute is between China and Vietnam. Both claim a huge area of the sea, including the Paracel and Spratly Islands, which are rich in fish stocks and deposits of oil and gas.

Naturally, China reacted to Clinton’s statement with unrestrained fury, since it amounted to supporting Vietnam, which throughout history has regarded China as a traditional enemy.

Then, last week, the US dropped another bombshell by revealing that it was close to signing an accord with Hanoi to share nuclear fuel and technology with Vietnam.

Under the new arrangement, Hanoi will even be allowed to enrich uranium on its own soil – uranium that could theoretically be used in nuclear
weapons.

Li Qinggong at the China Council for National Security Policy Studies said that the nuclear talks show the US is “strengthening cooperation with Vietnam to contain China”.

He is absolutely right. And it is a very dangerous development. We may be entering a new nuclear Cold War between the US and China, and its battlefield could well be Southeast Asia.

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Roger Mitton is a former senior correspondent for Asiaweek and former bureau chief in Washington and Hanoi for The Straits Times.

Vietnam faces call to respect Khmer Krom


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:02 Vong Sokheng

THE opposition Sam Rainsy Party has called on the Vietnamese government to guarantee freedom of expression and religion for the Khmer Krom, after a Vietnamese official hailed Cambodia’s cooperation in cracking down on antigovernment activities on the two countries’ border.

In a statement Friday, the SRP wrote that the Khmer Krom, as Vietnam’s ethnic Khmer minority is known, should be recognised as Cambodian citizens with freedom of expression and association guaranteed under the Constitution.

“The Kingdom’s parliamentarians ... have supported the KKK’s appeal to the Vietnamese government to respect their rights and religious beliefs,” the statement said.

The statement followed comments last week by Vietnamese Vice Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang, who praised Cambodia’s cooperation in halting antigovernment “plots”, including actions by Khmer Krom activists.

Speaking to around 200 government officials in Phnom Penh last week, he said joint operations had led to the arrest of one person for illegal possession of weapons and three others for anti-Vietnamese leafleting in the border area.

Rights groups have long said that Khmer Krom face a range of restrictions imposed by local authorities. Last year, Human Rights Watch documented the “severe and often shrouded methods” used to stifle dissent and demands for religious freedom.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, seven local Khmer Krom organisations said Cambodia should adhere to its democratic principles rather than side with Vietnam’s communist leaders.

“The [Khmer Krom] have no intention to topple Hanoi’s government,” the statement said.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he had received the SRP’s statement, but that the government treated all Khmer Krom in Cambodia as citizens.

“They must not be concerned. We love them as citizens and we love them as Khmers love Khmers,” he said. He noted that Khmer Krom held key positions in government.

More complaints in monk case


Photo by: Heng Chivoan
An officer carries evidence, including a computer and a pot of burnt incense sticks, from Srah Chak pagoda, where a monk is said to have secretly recorded videos of hundreds of women showering.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:02 Kim Yuthana

TWO women and a girl came forward last week to file complaints against a defrocked monk who allegedly recorded pornographic videos in the public shower of a Phnom Penh pagoda.

Neth Kai, 35, was arrested on June 26 after being accused of using mobile phones to secretly record hundreds of videos of naked women showering in a bathroom at Srah Chak pagoda in Daun Penh district.

He was defrocked soon after the scandal broke, and Phnom Penh Municipal Court has charged him with producing pornography. If found guilty, he faces a sentence of a month to a year in prison and a fine of between US$48 and $480.

Court president Chiv Keng said that a total of four women had filed complaints against Neth Kai, and that the new cases could go to trial before the end of the month. “These victims face ... serious embarrassment when they see their friends and neighbours, and some are afraid to go to school because the pornography recorded by Neth Kai has emerged into the public sphere,” he said.

The court had appointed a female judge and clerk to the case, he said, in order to help victims feel more “courageous” and less “ashamed” during the questioning process.

Investigators estimate that about 18 of the 631 women recorded by the monk were minors, Chiv Keng said.

The scandal has prompted officials to issue warnings that people caught watching the video clips could face up to a month in jail and a fine of between $24 and $48.

Soeun Sophak, 24, of Tuol Kork district, became the first to be held accountable under these rules last month, when he was sentenced to a month in prison for distributing videos made by the monk.

Labour firm director faces court queries


via Khmer NZ

Monday, 09 August 2010 15:02 Mom Kunthear

THE director of a training centre owned by recruitment firm VC Manpower is scheduled to appear for questioning at Phnom Penh Municipal Court today following accusations that a trainee under his care was mistreated, a police official said yesterday.

Long Sakan filed a complaint on August 2, claiming that the director of a VC Manpower centre in the capital’s Sen Sok district had prevented her daughter from leaving the centre during a three-month training period.

Pol Khemra, deputy director of the Department of Police at the Interior Ministry, said yesterday that the director of the centre had been summoned to appear for questioning today, but that it was unclear whether he would face charges.

“He can be arrested if his answers have something suspect,” he said.

The accused could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Sen Ly, the director of a seperate VC Manpower training centre, confirmed yesterday that “a company representative” would appear in court today for questioning.

“We are not afraid to appear at the court, and we are happy to appear at the court in order for us to respond to accusations against our company,” he said.

On Tuesday, the company sent Long Sakan’s daughter to Malaysia.

Long Sakan said yesterday that she had not yet received a summons but was prepared to appear in court.

“I am not afraid to stand face to face with the company at the court, and I will try my best for my daughter to be returned back home,” she said.

VC Manpower was last month investigated following separate accusations concerning the treatment of clients, and was temporarily barred from recruiting clients after officials announced that they had found 24 underage girls being trained by the company.