Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Koh Kong Farmers Are Raising Chicken In Cages To Prevent Infectious Diseases

REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea: Norwegian Rolf Sletten, 64 ; attend his trial in Siem Reap Provincial Court

Norwegian Rolf Sletten, 64, arrives to attend his trial in Siem Reap Provincial Court in the northern province of Siem Reap, about 320 km (199 mi) from Phnom Penh September 1, 2010. Sletten faces charges of purchasing child prostitution with a boy and producing child pornography. The trial finished on September 1 and the verdict is due on September 7. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Norwegian Rolf Sletten, 64, steps out of a prison truck as he arrives to attend his trial in Siem Reap Provincial Court in the northern province of SiemReap, about 320 km (199 miles) from Phnom Penh September 1, 2010. Sletten faces charges of purchasing child prostitution with a boy and producing child pornography. The trial finished on September 1 and the verdict is due on September 7. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Norwegian Rolf Sletten, 64, is escorted by security personnel as he arrives to attend his trial in Siem Reap Provincial Court in the northern provinceof Siem Reap, about 320 km (199 mi) from Phnom Penh September 1, 2010. Sletten faces charges of purchasing child prostitution with a boy and producing child pornography. The trial finished on September 1 and the verdict is due on September 7. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Norwegian Rolf Sletten, 64, waits as security personnel check his bag before he attends his trial at Siem Reap court August 31, 2010. Sletten has beencharged with Purchasing of Child Prostitution by Siem Reap Provincial Court. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Human Rights Defenders Encounter More Danger – Tuesday, 31.8.2010

via Khmer NZ

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 680

“Phnom Penh: According to the latest report from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO], titled ‘Attacks and Threats against Human Rights Defenders in Cambodia from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009,’ human rights defenders in Cambodia faced more danger during the last two years.

“The report of LICADHO to be released on 1 September 2010 says that human rights defenders in Cambodia suffered physical abuses, unlawful arrests, fake accusations over criminal cases, restrictions of their rights to assemble and move freely, intimidations, and forced evictions.

“LICADHO investigated and noted that within two years (2008 and 2009), there were 67 serious abuses against human rights defenders. By 15 July 2010, 60 human rights defenders have been jailed in Cambodia.

“Human rights defenders refer to journalists, representatives of communities, land protesters, trade unions, and staff members of civil society organizations.

“The same report added that representatives and leaders of communities involved in land disputes received threats with the use of violence, legal actions, or detentions while trade union leaders suffered from violations, detentions, and mistreatment through legal procedures. Journalists and staff members of civil society organizations were intimidated, arrested, and prevented from doing their work.

“The report continued that the Royal Government of Cambodia has good relations with some companies and individuals, but continues to use different means to impose constraints and also uses the courts as weapons, to block legal activities of human rights defenders, scaring them and weakening their ability for non-violent struggle and expressing their opinions.

“The president of LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], said in a statement released to journalists on 30 August 2010 that even though Cambodia signed many international treaties and the contents of national laws guarantee human rights, the situation got worse and worse for many human rights defenders and staff member of civil society organizations.

“The report goes on that in 2009, there were at least 25 lawsuits over defamation, disinformation, and other offenses against journalists. Among those four journalists sued was also the editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, who was convicted to serve a prison term.

“So far, there is yet no reaction from government officials to the report of LICADHO.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5290, 31.8.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Vietnam provides electricity to Cambodia

via Khmer NZ


Vietnam’s National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT) and the Electricity of Cambodia (EDC) held a conference on the Chau Doc-Takeo 220kV power line from Vietnam to Cambodia in Ho Chi Minh City on August 31.

At the conference, the two sides discussed issues concerning power transmission, power network connection and other technical problems between the two countries.

Nguyen Van Bay, head of the technology department of Power Transmission Company No 4, said that after 16 months of operation, the Chau Doc-Takeo power line has provided Cambodia with over 912 million of kWh of electricity, contributing to dealing with the shortage of electricity in Cambodia.

The project is part of an agreement between the two governments and a contract between EVN and EDC signed in July, 2000. Its maximum transmitting capacity is 200MW with an average output from 900 million kWh to 1.4 billion kWh.

Cambodia’s surge coincides with developing energy industry

via Khmer NZ

Posted on 08/31/10
by Jason Wulterkens

Leopard Capital founder and CEO Douglas Clayton’s latest investment commentary and newsletter opines on what the future holds for foreign direct investment into Cambodia:

“There are some hopeful signs for future FDI, mainly from Asia. New foreign business registrations surged 42% in 1H10, led by investors from China, Vietnam and Korea. Vietnam officials said their businesses intend to invest $1.3 billion in Cambodia over the next two years in seven industries, including oil, power, mining, and rubber. China’s cumulative investments in Cambodia have now reportedly reached $8 billion, making it by far the largest investor. China has been the dominant infrastructure banker and contractor here, like in most frontier economies, and recent news suggests no change to that policy. China has just agreed to finance and construct the $26 million first phase of Phnom Penh’s second river port, which will triple the port’s capacity. China’s Ex-Im Bank will also finance Huadian Power’s US$412mn, 338-MW hydropower project in Koh Kong province, which when completed in 2014 will nearly double Cambodia’s current generation capacity.”

Per this latter point, electricty prices in Cambodia (the average price of electricity in Cambodia is approximately $0.16 per kilowatt/hour and as high as $0.90 per kilowatt-hour in remote rural areas) remain the highest in the ASEAN region. Moreover, the Koh Kong project is one of fourteen similar plans associated with the government’s efforts (all being developed by Chinese firms) to triple the country’s energy output from around 808 megawatts in 2009 to nearly 4,000 megawatts by 2020 (equal to estimated consumption) and supply 70 percent of the population with electricity. That said, however, because hydropower can only be used at full capacity for the duration of Cambodia’s rainy season, and can only be run at one-third capacity the remainder of the year, private funds are also being channeled to the development of coal-fired power plants (per analysts, Cambodia features extensive hydropower resources and poentially large coal and natural gas deposits which have yet to be fully developed).

A relatively mature energy industry is a fundamental catalyst to ensuring an ensuing flow of foreign capital and investment, not to mention its role in helping the government provide services to rural communities. According to the ‘Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific’ report released in November 2009 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Cambodia’s primary energy demand – driven primarily by the increasing demand for electricity – is expected to grow at 3.7 per cent per year from 2005 to 2030, outpacing the regional average of 2.4 per cent. In March, the government noted that Cambodia had spent $59m USD on electricity imports from Thailand and Vietnam in 2009. By 2017, however, it says it hopes to be a net-exporter.

Vietnam, Cambodia sign education co-operation deal

via Khmer NZ

September 1, 2010

The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports signed a co-operation agreement for this year on August 31.

Under the agreement that was signed in Hanoi, Vietnam will receive 130 Cambodian students for graduate and postgraduate courses, internships, research and short-term refresher courses on science, technology, the Vietnamese language and other fields.

Vietnam is also willing to receive Cambodian students who wish to study in Vietnam with their own money or funded by international organisations and the Cambodian government.

For its part, Cambodia will accept 10 Vietnamese students for study at its universities and 20 officials to learn the Khmer language over two years.

Both countries will send working teams to each other to review co-operation and examine the outcome of their students’ study.

The countries will support co-operation in scientific and educational research between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City and between border provinces and encourage the exchange of educational materials, magazines and reviews.(VNA)

PM Hun Sen appeals Thai parliament to approve agreements

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

PHNOM PENH, Sep. 1, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed Wednesday to Thai parliament to approve agreements made by the foreign ministers of the two countries in order to help solve the border problem.

Hun Sen made the appeal at the conferring of certificates to students in Phnom Penh.

He said once the three agreed minutes approved by the Thai parliament, after then it will pave the way for the two governments to continue smooth talks and will help solve the border problem.

The three agreements referred to the setting up of a joint committee to look into the redeployment of the armed forces, the real action of redeployment of the armed forces at the area near Keo Sikhakiri Svarak and Preah Vihear Temple, and to jointly demine the areas.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also said he is ready to hold talks with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and such meeting will be learned in the several upcoming venues and events such as Asia- Europe to be held in Brussels early in October, ASEAN summit to be held in Vietnam in late October or leaders' meeting of ACMECS to be held in Cambodia in November.

He said for just having bilateral talks which will cover many issues of common interests and not necessary to only talk on border issue -- outside mediation for such meeting is not necessary sought.

However, he said, if the border problem still finds no way out, the third party is in real need saying Cambodia cannot wait for too long.

Cambodia and Thailand has had border conflict just one week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple was registered as World Heritage Site on July 15, 2008.

Since the conflict started, military standoff has been on and off along the two countries' border and several military clashes have already been happened with recorded small causalities from both sides.

The International Court of Justice on June 15, 1962 ruled in favor to Cambodia, saying Preah Vihear Temple is belonged to Cambodia, but after July 2008, Thailand has claimed ownership of the surrounding land covering over 4.6 square kilometers near the temple.

Hun Sen said on Wednesday that as long as Thailand redeploys its troops just like the time before July 15, 2008, the border issue will be solved peacefully and smoothly.

On the part of Thaksin's resignation, Hun Sen said, Cambodia only approved his request to do so and his status had nothing related to the border conflict.

Thai-Cambodian border trade looks promising after conflicts ease

via Khmer NZ

BANGKOK, Sept 1 – The border trade between Thailand and Cambodia looks promising after the political conflicts between the neighboring countries has eased, according to Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot.

Speaking of his trip with the Thai public and private-sector delegation to Cambodia and Vietnam August 28-30, Mr Alongkorn said it is part of Thailand's mission to explore logistic routes linking goods transport between Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

During the trip, bilateral talks were held to expand trade cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia after the political conflicts between both countries had subsided.

Mr Alongkorn said he had an opportunity to meet with Thai businesspersons investing in Cambodia and was informed that the trade between both countries had become active again.

In the first seven months of this year, border trade value between Thailand and Cambodia increased by more than 70 per cent.

It is expected border trade will rise rapidly and reach Bt70 billion in value this year compared with Bt50-60 billion last year.

He said the government had also proposed establishment of a Thai-Cambodian Business Council to serve as a venue for discussion between representatives of official and private business sectors, organisation of trade exhibitions, and business matching.

The government targeted making Thailand become Cambodia's number-one trade partner next year.

Currently, the country ranks second after the United States, he added. (MCOT online news)

Cambodian woman admits drowning 6-year-old girl for gold earrings

via Khmer NZ

Sep 1, 2010

Phnom Penh - A Cambodian woman has been charged with intentional killing after she admitted drowning a 6-year-old girl to steal her gold earrings worth 45 dollars, national media reported Wednesday.

Police in the central province of Kampong Thom said 19-year-old Rok Rorn was arrested Monday and confessed to the murder.

She later took police to a rice field where she had hidden the girl's body, around a kilometre from where she claimed to have killed her.

'When it was quiet and a good moment, she lured the victim to take her earrings and then pushed her head into the river where she died,' the district's deputy police chief, Ke Kanchana, told the Cambodia Daily newspaper.

He added that Rok Rorn, who faces up to 20 years jail, had shown no remorse when confessing.

'Her face is not sad, and she doesn't feel sorry for the victim,' he said.

A human rights worker at local rights group Licadho said such crimes were not uncommon.

'These crimes happen to young children aged 3-5 every year,' said Am Sam Ath.

He advised parents to ensure they knew where their children were.

'They should not allow their young children to walk alone when they wear jewellery,' he said. 'They are a vulnerable group.'

DAP News. Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via Khmer NZ

ADB is targeting $2 billion a year in clean energy investments by 2013

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 08:26 DAP/VIBOL

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, SEPTEMBER 1, 2010-The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Wednesday that it is targeting 2 billion US dollars a year in clean energy investment by 2013.

It plans to issue its inaugural Clean Energy Bond to support its clean energy projects in Asia and the Pacific and it is first time. The Clean Energy Bond is expected to have four tranches, one each denominated in Australian dollars and Turkish lira and two tranches in Brazilian real. It will carry tenors of between 4 and 7 years and will be issued in September, the statement from ADB said.

ADB will provide assistance to clean energy projects in an amount at least equal to the amount raised by the Clean Energy Bond. The issuance, targeted at Japanese retail investors, will be arranged through HSBC Securities (Japan) Ltd. and will be distributed nationwide by more than 20 securities firms, it added.

It stated that the planned bond issue follows the successful sale in April of ADB’s inaugural WaterBond, which is supporting the ADB’s work in the water sector in Asia and the Pacific.

Rapid economic expansion in the region has put immense pressure on resources and the environment. The use of coal and oil and other carbon-based fossil resources to meet the region’s growing energy needs has added to the release of greenhouse gases that contribute

to global climate change.

At the same time, insufficient energy investment in the region is preventing many developing countries and individuals from reaching their full potential. A quarter of the population of Asia and the Pacific - or more than 800 million people - still have no access to basic electricity services, while some 1.8 billion people continue to rely on traditional biomass fuels for cooking and heating, it said, adding that “Clean energy is a crucial element in the fight against poverty in Asia and the Pacific. To put the region on a path to sustainable and inclusive economic growth, we are committed to supporting clean energy projects in the region that avoid harming people or the environment,” said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.

Between 2005 and 2009, ADB’s total clean energy investments exceeded $5 billion.

Additionally, the ADB is targeting $2 billion a year in clean energy investments by 2013 focusing on renewable energy projects such as biomass, wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal as well as on energy efficiency projects in industrial, commercial and residential sectors.

Through its clean energy program, ADB intends to help the region meet its energy security needs, facilitate a shift to a low-carbon economy, and ensure everyone in the region has access to energy.

Former Thai PM Thaksin is Not Goods : PM Hun Sen

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 06:11 DAP NEWS / VIBOL

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, SEPTEMBER 1, 2010-Cambodian PM Hun Sen on Wednesday said that former Thai PM Thaksin is not goods for transferring from one hand to another.
Former Thai PM Thaksin is not goods for changing diplomatic and political deal. He still is my good friend,” PM Hun Sen said at the graduation ceremony of a university in Phnom Penh.

The most important thing for full normilzation for diplomatic ties, Thai Troops need to withdraw from Cambodia’s sovereignity,”said PM Hun Sen.

Even former Thai PM Thaksin resigned from the economic advisor of th Cambodian Government, he is still my good friend,” PM Hun Sen repeatedly said.

PM Hun Sen continued that the connection of diplamtic ties is just a change for picture of relationship but the core thing is “invasion” from Thai troops on Cambodian land. The matter of diplomatic ties is not from Dr. Thaksin.

“I could not smile at you. And I am not very happy when you shake my hands but your feet stepped my feet, he noted.

Cambodia has continued to ask the international communities to help mediate to deal the border issues. Unless the documents from previos three times’s meteing need to be approved from thai side and thai troops go back to their land. If not so, we could not continue our talks,” he stresses.

Thai troops have inavded Cambodian soil near Preah Vihear temple since July 15, 2008 after Cambodia listed successfully the temple as world heriatge site.

Thailand sent her ambssador back to Cambodia last week when Dr. Thaksin resigned from Cambodian advisor. The diplomatic ties set up again. in the sidelines of Brussel, the ability of meeting with his Thai counterpart could be and it will not talk about the border issues but it is about trade, economic and investment, PM Hun Sen said.

Cambodia to Build Highest Skyscaper in Asia: PM Hun Sen

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 04:06 DAP NEWS / VIBOL

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, SEPTEMBER 1, 2010-Cambodian PM Hun Sen on Wednesday said that he has propsed a plan to build a highest skyscaper in Asia soon.

It will become the tallest building in Asia,”PM Hun Sen said at the gaduation ceremony of a univerist in Phnom Penh.

He added that it has 555m height and it will become a private building for commercial purposes . the constrcuntion will locate at Koh Pich “Diamond Island,” on side of Mekong River in Phnom Penh’s location.

I will send my plan to ministry of urbanization,land management and costruction to review it, he added. PM Hun Sen did not elaborate in details about the price of construction and when it started building, or number of floors. But a senior governmental official said it cost about 200 million US dollars for first step.

Cambodia enjoyed with growth with over 10 per cent before global ecnomic crisis and now the sistuation has started to recover. Tourism and garment, consturction and agrciulture are main pillar for eocnomic growth of the country.

Greens sign deal to back Australian Labor to form minority gov't

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 03:46 DAP

CANBERRA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- New Australian Greens Member of Parliament Adam Bandt on Wednesday formally sided with Labor Party in the hopes of forming a minority government.

In what was a widely expected move, Bandt signed an agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her Parliament House office on Wednesday morning. They were joined by Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, Greens leader Bob Brown and his deputy Christine Milne.

In return for Bandt's support, Gillard has offered to set up a climate change committee, make investments in dental care as well as 20 million dollars (17.8 million U.S. dollars) to look at high- speed rail on the east coast.

There will also be a parliamentary debate on Afghanistan and restrictions placed on political donations.

According to ABC Network, the government had also agreed to move towards holding a referendum to change the constitution to recognize indigenous people and local government.

The climate change committee, operating at cabinet level, would move towards setting a price on carbon.

After signing the deal, Greens leader Bob Brown said the Greens, who also hold the balance of power in the Senate, were committed to stable, open and good governance.

"We take that responsibility with a great deal of gratitude to the people of Australia," Senator Brown told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"We will be discussing, if Julia Gillard is the next Prime Minister, a wide range of other issues in the months and years to come."

The deal with the Greens means Labor is now three seats short of the 76-seat majority it needs to form government.

The three incumbent crossbench Members of Parliament, and newly elected independent Member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie are yet to make up their mind who to support as negotiations continue this week.

Three Australians killed as plane crashes on Papua New Guinea island

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 03:44 DAP

CANBERRA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Wednesday confirmed three Australians were among those killed in a plane crash on a remote island in Papua New Guinea.

Smith said a Cessna Citation jet was carrying three Australians and two New Zealand citizens when it crashed on Misima Island on Tuesday.

According to ABC Network, the Trans Air flight overshot the runway in wet and windy weather, crashed into trees and burst into flames killing four of those on board.

An Australian permanent resident who is believed to be one of the pilots, survived the accident with only heavy bruising.

Among the dead is a 61-year-old marine pilot from Sydney who was working for the Brisbane-based company Australian Reef Pilots (ARP), which provides help for vessels navigating in difficult shipping lanes.

ARP managing director, Craig Southerwood, said the marine pilot, a passenger aboard the small Trans Air jet, had been on his way to board a ship to guide it down the east coast of Australia.

"ARP staff on the ground waiting to meet the marine pilot witnessed the accident and are obviously quite shocked," Southerwood told The Australian newspaper.

"The area is very remote and it was raining heavily at the time of the crash."

This is the third fatal plane crash in Papua New Guinea in just over 12 months. Six people died in light plane crash in January. Nine Australians were among 13 killed when a plane crashed into a mountain near Kokoda in August last year.

AKP - Agent Kampuchea Press

via Khmer NZ

Cambodia-Iran Cooperation in Petroleum and Gas Sectors

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers H.E. Sok An received here on Aug. 30 Ambassador of Iran to Cambodia Mr. Seyed Javad Ghavam.

The meeting particularly focused on cooperation between both countries on petroleum and gas sectors.

According to the meeting, Cambodia will send its experts to Iran to further learn about the country’s experiences and for its part, Iran will send its technical group to Cambodia to cooperate in petroleum and gas exploration.

The Hanoi-based Iranian ambassador also expressed his country’s intention to import Cambodian rice and to cooperate in other fields including culture and tourism.

In reply, the Cambodian deputy prime minister warmly welcomed Iran’s intention and the two countries’ cooperation in the fields of petroleum and gas. --AKP

(By OU Sokha)


Cambodia To Host 2011 ASEAN Tourism Forum

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- Cambodia has officially announced to host the 2011 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF).

The announcement of the 2011 ATF and the Tourism Ministry’s new website ( were made here on Aug. 31 at Naga World Hotel under the presidency of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers H.E. Sok An, with the participation of some 1,000 government officials, private sector’s representatives and foreign ambassadors to Cambodia.

According to Tourism Minister H.E. Thong Khon, the upcoming ATF under the theme “ASEAN - A world of Wonders and Diversity” will be held from Jan. 18 to 21, 2011 at Koh Pich Conference and Exhibition Center. Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen will preside over the opening ceremony of the forum, he said.

The forum will hold a series of related meetings including ASEAN Tourism Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN Tourism Ministerial Meeting with dialogue partners, ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC); tourism exhibition TRAVEX with around 420 booths; and a friendly golf tournament organized and sponsored by CNN.

For his part, H.E. Sok An said that the forum is an important opportunity for all countries, especially the ASEAN member countries, ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+India, Australia and Russia to share opinions, experiences and strategies for the tourism development.

Cambodia used to host the forum of its kind in Jan. 2003 in Phnom Penh. --AKP

(By LIM Nary)


Cambodia To Hold ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting in 2012

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- Cambodia will host the Second ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting (ADMM) in Phnom Penh in 2012.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense H.E. Tea Banh said in a meeting on Aug. 31 at the ministry.

H.E. Tea Banh hoped that the 2012 ADMM will be as successful as the multinational military exercise “Angkor Sentinel 2010,” hosted by Cambodia in July this year. --AKP

(By Théng)


Anti-Corruption Unit Officers Sworn In

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- Fourteen of the 100 members of the Anti-corruption Unit took an oath here yesterday at the Court of Appeal to implement their profession as judicial police and to begin investigating suspected corruption cases.

The swearing-in is in conformity with the article 67 of the 2007 Penal Code.

The 14 members include the chairman and the three vice-chairmen of the Anti-corruption Unit.

Uk Savuth, prosecutor-general of the Court of Appeal, said the Anti-corruption Unit’s judicial police was empowered to arrest any suspects of corruption. --AKP

(By SOKMOM Nimul)


Over 1,000 Families in Svay Rieng Receive Donation from Cambodian Red Cross

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- Some 1,520 poor families from different districts and cities of Svay Rieng province have received donation from the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC).

Addressing the donation distribution ceremony held on Aug. 30 in Svay Rieng province, CRC President Lok Chumteav Bun Rany Hun Sen said she was so happy to offer some donation to poor people, people living with HIV/AIDS, aged people, and orphans.

The donation, worth approximately US$37,000, is from local and international charitable people as well as from the King, King-Father and Queen-Mother, Lok Chumteav Bun Rany Hun Sen said.

Each family got rice, can fish, instant noodle, scarf, sarong, blanket, net, bread, and drinking water. --AKP

(By CHAN Soratha)


Cambodian Information Minister Praises Cambodian and Thai Media

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian Information minister lauded Cambodian and Thai journalists for the maturity of their journalism professional career.

Speaking at a meeting of ASEAN media union held at Phnom Penh Hotel on Aug. 29 with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Nhiek Bun Chhay and visiting Thailand’s Deputy Commerce Minister H.E. Alongkorn Ponlaboot, Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith said even though there were tensions and wars of words between the two countries over one year ago, the media of the two countries did not incite racial hatred of each other, so it showed that they were mature for their professional job.

The minister said he was pleased with the meeting of ASEAN media union which gave an opportunity to exchange experiences and understand each other, and which especially was attended by Thailand’s Deputy Commerce Minister H.E. Alongkorn Ponlaboot.

Thailand wished to set up special economic zone at the border between the two countries, aimed at benefiting both Cambodia and Thailand in term of trade and tourism, mainly giving jobs to the Cambodian labors and contributing to the poverty reduction, he said.

He also urged the media of the two countries to maintain their political maturity and professional career.

As compared to ASEAN-member countries, Cambodian journalists are more junior than those in ASEAN, he said, adding that “we made great efforts through training given by the partners and non-government organizations. --AKP

(By THOU Peou)


Cambodia, VN Ink Education Cooperation Deal

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- The Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training on Aug. 31 signed a cooperation agreement for this year.

Under the agreement that was inked in Hanoi, Vietnam will receive 130 Cambodian students for graduate and postgraduate courses, internship, research and short-term refresher courses on science, technology, Vietnamese language and other fields, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Vietnam is also willing to receive Cambodian students who wish to study in Vietnam with their own money or with funding from international organizations and the Cambodian government.

For its part, Cambodia will accept 10 Vietnamese students for study at its universities and 20 officials to learn Khmer language in two years.

The two countries will send their working teams to one another to review the cooperation and examine their students’ study outcomes.

The countries will support cooperation in scientific and educational research between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City as well as between provinces sharing the border and encourage the exchange of educational materials, magazines and reviews. --AKP


Asia-Pacific Workshop on Pro-Poor Policies on Food, Agriculture Opens in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- An Asia-Pacific workshop held in Cambodia calls for strengthening capacity for policy analysis over pro-poor policy in food and agriculture, Chinese News Agency Xinhua quoted a statement released Tuesday as saying.

The statement released by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the one-week workshop started on Monday is proving theoretical and practical grounding in pro-poor policy concepts and related tools.

The workshop is held in the northern province of Siem Reap, and the meeting was opened by Kith Seng, undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the FAO representative in Cambodia, Ajay Markanday.

At the opening, Kith Seng expressed his support to endeavors for “creative exchange of experiences and debate toward fostering agricultural and rural development in the region.”

In addition to the workshop’s capacity strengthening focus, Ajay Markanday urged participants to “learn from other participant countries’ experiences, challenges and solutions and gain insights from their lessons learned and best practices.”

According to Sumiter Singh Broca, policy officer based at FAO’s regional office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, “the workshop presents an exciting opportunity to address general economic concepts and analytical tools required for sound policy making, in the context of rapidly changing preferences, technologies, and institutions in food and agricultural markets.”

Twenty-four officials from nine Asia-Pacific region countries are attending the workshop which will end on Sept. 5.

The workshop is organized by an FAO Pro-Poor Policy regional project funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme in Bangladesh supported by USAID and the European Union. --AKP


Vietnam Provides Electricity to Cambodia

Phnom Penh, September 1, 2010 AKP -- The Electricity of Cambodia (EDC) and Vietnam’s National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT) on Aug. 31 held a conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on the Chau Doc-Takeo 220kV power line from Vietnam to Cambodia.

At the conference, the two sides discussed issues including power transmission between the two countries, developing power networks, as well as technical problems and maintenance work, according to Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

Nguyen Van Bay, head of the technology department of Power Transmission Company No 4, said that after 16 months of operation, the Chau Doc-Takeo power line has provided Cambodia with over 912 million of kWh of electricity, contributing to dealing with the shortages of electricity in Cambodia.

The project is part of an agreement between the two governments and a contract between EDC and EVN signed in July, 2000. Its maximum transmitting capacity is 200MW with an average output from 900 million kWh to 1.4 billion kWh. --AKP

French forests in flames

Photo by: AFP

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:04 AFP

Firefighters stand in front of a fierce blaze yesterday that has already destroyed about 2,600 hectares of pine forests and scrubland between the southern French cities of Assas and Teyran, near Montpellier, in the Herault region of the country.

Tobacco ad ban proposed

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:04 Khoun Leakhana

HEALTH authorities have proposed a sweeping ban on all tobacco advertising and promotion in the Kingdom.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng said a proposed sub-decree banning advertising and promotion of tobacco products was discussed during a meeting of the inter-ministerial committee for tobacco control yesterday and would be sent to the Council of Ministers “soon”.

“We are creating the sub-decree on tobacco advertisement measures because we are mainly focused on promoting people’s health,” Mam Bunheng said.

The advertising ban is a key component of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which Cambodia ratified in November 2005.

The convention demands that member states institute a “comprehensive ban” on all forms of tobacco “advertising, promotion and sponsorship” within five years of ratification.

Mam Bunheng said companies that breach the ban on advertising would risk losing their business licences. “If any company does not follow, first we will send a letter to warn them,” he said. “Second is to suspend their business and the third is to withdraw licences from running businesses.”

WHO tobacco health adviser Yel Daravuth said he supported a ban. “Banning advertising of tobacco products is an important step to prevent youth from starting to smoke,” he said. “It will help smokers start to quit.”

Mom Kong, the executive director of the NGO Cambodia Movement for Health, said tobacco advertisements were far too prevalent.

“There are all forms of advertisements in the media,” he said. “You can see it on the street, or at concerts, which can attract a lot of youths and rural people to smoke.”

Kun Lim, the head of corporate affairs for British American Tobacco Cambodia, said the company had been prepared for an advertising ban and supported it – so long as the embargo was enforced across the board.

“We welcome all the sensible laws regarding tobacco control, including advertising,” he said.

“If it is done on a level playing field, I don’t see any major issue with it.”

Kun Lim said BAT would like point-of-sale advertisements – posters where cigarettes are sold, for example – not to be included in any potential ban.

“How do we get information to the consumer? We can only do so at the point of sale,” he said.

Chum Sophea, the human resource manager for Viniton Group, which markets Angkor brand cigarettes, said any ban on advertising would affect the company “100 percent”.

However, her company was still waiting to see what the new sub-decree would entail, she said.

Courts seen as avenue to flout justice

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:04 Will Baxter and Sun Narin

CAMBODIA’S courts and security forces are increasingly being used by government officials and private companies to intimidate land-dispute victims, trade unionists and journalists, according to a report to be released today by the rights group Licadho.

“Despite Cambodia being a signatory to numerous international treaties, and the passage of national laws guaranteeing the protection of human rights defenders, the situation has worsened for many [such activists],” Pung Chhiv Kek, Licadho’s founder and president, is quoted as saying in the report.

Those agitating for their rights have “faced an increasingly hostile environment over the past two years, enduring physical violence, illegal arrests, trumped-up criminal charges, obstructions to gatherings and movement, intimidation and forced evictions”, states the report, much of which is devoted to summaries of prominent cases.

Naly Pilorge, director of Licadho, says in the report that bail is frequently used as a mechanism to limit activism, and that people arrested and then released on bail are often ordered by authorities to resign their leadership roles and cease organising protests.

Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for Licadho, said such tactics were employed to convince villagers that community representatives had “betrayed the people” and were colluding with companies attempting to grab their land.

“Even if the charges are completely fabricated, the arrest allows authorities to place an individual under surveillance,” Pilorge said, and pointed out that charges and surveillance “can linger for up to 15 years” for a felony and five years for a misdemeanor.

“But in many cases the authorities don’t even have to bother with a trial,” she said. “Intimidation is enough.”

“A typical example of this tactic occurred in May 2009, when four village representatives were detained by the Preah Sihanouk provincial court and accused of inciting and committing violence in connection with a land dispute,” the report says.

After two weeks of detention the men were released on bail, but the charges have never been dropped. Thus, the men are effectively barred from participating in any actions to protect their community’s land.

There are currently 62 human rights defenders unjustly imprisoned in Cambodia, according to Am Sam Ath.

The report also claimed that restrictions on freedom of assembly have increased following the passage of the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations in December 2009.

But Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said that police always follow legal procedures when cracking down on “illegal

Prum Sithra, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, said yesterday that police did not make unnecessary arrests. “We have to look deeply at each situation to determine why police have used violence on people,” he said.

Corruption police pledge vigilance

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Om Yentieng, head of the government’s newly established Anticorruption Unit, presides over a swearing-in ceremony for ACU officials at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh yesterday. The 14 officials who took oaths will hold powers similar to those of judicial police.

If we do not enforce the law properly or have dishonest intentions, please, all spirits and demons, condemn us to misery ...

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 Meas Sokchea

CAR crashes, lightning strikes, gunshot wounds ...

These grisly fates – along with 500 lives’ worth of karmic suffering – await officials from the government’s newly established Anticorruption Unit who fail to discharge their duties properly, assuming that yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh holds cosmic force.

The 14 officials who gathered yesterday were granted powers equivalent to those of judicial police in a prakas, or edict, signed last week by Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vatthana. ACU head Om Yentieng presided over the ceremony, imploring the spirit world to seek swift revenge against any officials from the group who stray from their responsibilities.

“If we do not enforce the law properly or have dishonest intentions, please, all spirits and demons, condemn us to misery, death by bullets, death by car crash, death by lightning strike, separation from our families and 500 lives’ worth of misery,” Om Yentieng said.

“If we perform legally and honestly, please, all spirits and demons, help us to have long lives and health, wealth and prosperity in our next lives.”

Ouk Savuth, prosecutor general of the Appeal Court, said the 14 officials vested with police powers in yesterday’s ceremony had to serve as paragons of morality in the eyes of the Cambodian public.

“If our high-level justice police let us down morally, who can the people rely on?” he said.

Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said last week’s prakas seemed to have given the 14 ACU officials sworn in yesterday the power to open investigations, gather evidence and question witnesses.

The ACU was one of two bodies created earlier this year when the National Assembly passed the Kingdom’s long-awaited Law on Anticorruption.

Om Yentieng said last month that some ACU officials would be issued weapons as they began their battle against graft.

“We need to consider and prepare for safety, because those behind corruption crimes will also have weapons and we have to ensure that our officials will not get injured,” Om Yentieng said.

He pledged to set up a website that would detail the unit’s activities and publicise the asset declarations of government officials.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said, however, that those expecting a successful assault on corruption by the ACU may have to wait for another lifetime.

“These kinds of oaths – oaths to preserve territorial integrity, to fight corruption, to protect national assets – these are not enforced in practice,” Yim Sovann said. “Assuming that this precedent continues, I don’t believe the ACU’s work will be effective.”

United States Ambassador Carol Rodley said last year that the Kingdom lost roughly US$500 million in revenue per year to corruption, a remark government officials later labelled “politically motivated and unsubstantiated”.

Women say they fled detention

Photo by: Rann Reuy
Nguon Re, 32 (centre), and Kim Sinoun, 20 (right), say they fled a Phnom Penh training centre last month because of poor conditions.

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 Rann Reuy

Siem Reap province

TWO women in Siem Reap province said yesterday that they fled a labour training agency in Phnom Penh last month because they could not put up with the cramped conditions in which they were forced to live.

Ngoun Re said she and other women were locked in the Phnom Penh training facility run by T&P Company and not allowed to leave. In mid-August, she said, she climbed over a 4-metre high fence to escape.

“When I fled I did not have anything with me but 1,000 riels (US$0.25),” she said in an interview yesterday. She claimed a passerby picked her up near the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge.

Ngoun Re said she had been promised a well-paying job in Malaysia after her training, but that she grew disillusioned when the company insisted on locking the trainees behind two fences.

“I am disappointed with myself because I was cheated by a broker and I made difficulty for my parents,” she said.

“I can honestly tell you that if the conditions were as good as they claim, I would not have escaped.”

Trainee Kim Sinoun said she left the facility with five other women by climbing through a wall in the washroom and then climbing over a fence.

“I thought that if it was so difficult like this in our own country, where we are Khmer and speak one language, then how difficult would it be in Malaysia,” she said in an interview at her home in Kampong Khlaing commune.

Phan Kot said T&P employs him as a broker in Siem Reap, where he recruits new trainees. He said the company gave Kim Sinoun’s family 200,000 riels (US$47), 150 kilograms of rice and a mobile phone when she started her training.

“I think the company is worried they will lose workers because the company has signed a guarantee with their parents,” he said.

Now the company has asked him to convince Kim Sinoun to sign a contract agreeing to pay 700,000 riels (US$165) in compensation to the company, he said.

Kim Sinoun has refused to sign.

T&P Executive Director Phatt Sam Ol declined to answer questions related to the case, saying that he needed to discuss the situation with Labour Ministry officials first.

But Huy Pichsovann, a programme officer with the Community Legal Education Centre, which is investigating similar allegations of forced detention by labour firms, said such claims were becoming more common.

“We are collecting information and after that we will send it to the Ministry of Labour and issue a statement urging officials to improve working conditions,” he said.

Court calls on HRP leader for testimony

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 May Titthara

HUMAN Rights Party president Kem Sokha has been summoned by Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning in a case that critics have branded frivolous.

Phnom Penh deputy prosecutor Sok Roeun said yesterday that charges have not been filed against the opposition politician, who used to head the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights.

“We have ordered him to appear at the court on September 6 at 2pm,” Sok Roeun said.

The case in question stems from complaints filed in 2006 by former CCHR staffers accusing Kem Sokha of defamation and the use of false documents in his response to the accusations.

Chhim Phalvorn, a former CCHR staff member and a complainant in the case, said he had evidence to present in court to prove Kem Sokha had misused funds and dismissed staff members without cause.

“I am pursuing my right as a victim to find justice in this case,” he said.

But Ou Virak, the current president of CCHR, said the dated complaint was just an excuse for the court to harass an opposition leader. He pointed to Monday’s disinformation conviction of an employee of local rights group Licadho in Takeo province as typical of the continued harassment faced by rights advocates.

“There’s no reason to pick up an old case just to put pressure on an opposition party,” Ou Virak said.

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann said the case was a waste of time in light of the judiciary’s other priorities.

Kem Sokha was one of several activists arrested and charged with defamation during a government crackdown in 2005; however, he was released from prison and pardoned by King Norodom Sihamoni in 2006. He could not be reached for comment, and was travelling in the United States as of last week.

Returnee NGO faces closure

Photo by: Rick Valenzuela
Sochet, a returnee from the US, describes his transition to Cambodia during an interview yesterday at the Returnee Integration Support Centre in Phnom Penh

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 Brooke Lewis and Vong Sokheng

THE executive director of an NGO that is the first point of contact for many Cambodians deported from the United States said yesterday that members of its board would meet this month to discuss closing the organisation because of a lack of funding.

“I’m setting up a board meeting in September,” Kloeung Aun said. “If we can’t find funding, we’ll close.”

The announcement came one day after officials said at least 10 Cambodians who had been living in the US would arrive in the Kingdom after being deported. They were among almost 50 awaiting deportation.

All the returnees are former legal permanent US residents who have served prison sentences for aggravated felonies, a classification that was expanded in 1996 to include some crimes that were previously misdemeanours.

A total of 229 Cambodian nationals have been deported from the US since a controversial bilateral repatriation agreement was signed in 2002.

Kloeung Aun said yesterday that the Returnee Integration Support Centre, an NGO based in the capital, meets all returnees at an Immigration Department facility where they are held upon arrival.

He said that the RISC could sign for the release of returnees who had no family or friends to collect them from the immigration centre, and offered them temporary accommodation and support in obtaining identification such as passports and family books.

He said the closure of the RISC would mean “great hardship” for many returnees, especially those who would not know anyone upon arriving in the Kingdom.

“I don’t know where they would go,” he said.

The US embassy in Phnom Penh and Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday that at least 10 returnees were expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Yesterday, however, both Koy Kuong and the US embassy said they had received no further information, and could not confirm when the returnees would arrive.

Chhuor Kimny, chief of immigration police at Phnom Penh International Airport, said yesterday that no returnees had arrived, and that an unspecified number were scheduled to arrive on Thursday.

Officials at the Immigration Department referred questions to National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith, who could not be reached for comment.

Three recent returnees said yesterday that the RISC had provided invaluable support as they struggled to adjust to life in a country that was completely foreign to them.

A 31-year-old returnee who identified himself as Veasna said he left the Kingdom when he was a year old, and that he hadn’t known anyone or had any identification documents when he arrived last December.

He stayed at the RISC for the first month after his arrival, and said he still relies heavily on the centre despite having found a place of his own.

“RISC is everything for us,” he said. “This is where I come to every day. If RISC closes, where am I gonna go?”

A 35-year-old returnee who identified himself as Sochet said he left Cambodia when he was four, and didn’t know anyone when he returned early this year. He said that as well as practical support, the RISC offers a sense of belonging.

“The [US immigration and naturalisation service] say we’re citizens of Cambodia now, but the people here don’t treat us like that; they treat us like any foreigner who comes to this country,” he said. “I come here sometimes because all the guys here I can relate to and talk to and they can help me out.”

A 26-year-old returnee who identified himself as Sam said he was deported to Cambodia about a year ago and also didn’t know anyone when he arrived.

“I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand,” he said. “I’d never even been to Cambodia. This is my first time.”

He said he had felt like an ordinary US citizen, and that deportation to Cambodia had come as a shock.

“I was living a normal, everyday US life. I went through the whole school system,” he said. “I feel like they threw me here to rot.”

Villagers’ letter rejects offer for pagoda’s destruction

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 May Titthara

VILLAGERS in Kandal province sent a letter rejecting a deal paving the way for the destruction of a pagoda situated on disputed land yesterday, one day after an article was printed granting the pagoda a two-month reprieve.

Tuol Tamark pagoda sits on land in Kandal Stung district that officials say was purchased by the Heng Development Company in 1996.

Representatives of 2,676 families say, however, that they have a legal right to the disputed 1,044 hectares because they have been farming it since 1986.

On August 15, representatives from the Heng Development Company set an August 30 deadline for villagers and monks to tear down the pagoda.
An article in the Nokor Wat Daily newspaper printed on Monday, however, said the pagoda, located in Ampov Prey commune, could remain standing until the conclusion of Buddhist Lent in late October.

The owner of the Heng Development Company is Sieng Chanheng, the main financial backer of Nokor Wat Daily and whose daughter is its

Kong San, a pagoda committee member, said yesterday that a letter had been sent to the Ministry of Cults and Religions, the provincial Department of Cults and Religions and the company rejecting an arrangement in which the pagoda would be destroyed in exchange for US$10,000. The abbot who allegedly brokered the deal last month, San Kimsong, has since gone missing, Kong San said.

“All of us did not agree to tear down the pagoda, but the abbot agreed to let the company tear down the pagoda in October,” Kong San said.

Sieng Chanheng said that she already had all the documentation required to prove that her company owns the land. She said the pagoda had been constructed illegally in 2000, and that she had allowed it to remain standing because of her “generous mind”.

“I am not the Khmer Rouge,” she said. “You should understand the reason I asked them to move. Because of my generous mind, I have always delayed the deadline for them.”

Buddhist sites are protected under Article 20 of the Kingdom’s 2001 Land Law, which states that the “land and structures existing within the premises of Buddhist monasteries are a patrimony allocated to the Buddhist religion”.

Kandal Stung district governor Choie Sobin said yesterday that he was not familiar with the disagreement.

Few tobacco companies use warning labels

Photo by: Rick Valenzuela
Cigarettes bearing Khmer-language warning labels are displayed for sale in a Chamkarmon district convenience store.

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 Khoun Leakhana

MORE than a month after a new sub-decree made it mandatory for cigarette packages to feature health warning labels, health officials have found that few tobacco companies are complying with the regulation, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said yesterday.

Authorities approved a sub-decree last year making it mandatory for all cigarettes sold in the Kingdom to feature text warnings. The move was to apply to all manufacturers and importers and come into effect July 20. But based on observations in local markets, it appears that not all companies have complied, Mam Bunheng said.

“One company asked us to delay until October to comply with the labels,” said Mam Bunheng, who declined to name it or others authorities believe have not followed the sub-decree.

Kun Lim, head of corporate affairs for British American Tobacco Cambodia, said his company was in full compliance with the regulations.

“We have started printing the warning on our packs and our cartons from the 20th of July,” he said. He suggested it could be possible that retailers were selling off old stock before putting revamped packages up for sale. “It could take three or four months to exhaust the old stock,” he said.

Kun Lim said it could be a problem for the company if other firms are not complying with the regulation. “We would definitely be disadvantaged by that,” he said. “We hope that the government will do everything to ensure that everyone complies.”

Viniton Group’s human resource manager, Chum So-phea said her company started fixing health warning labels on tobacco products that it produces two months ago.

“We know the punishment,” she said. “If we do not use the labels, the ministry will fine us or shut down our business.”

Three men assaulted at Thai market

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 Cheang Sokha

THREE Cambodian men were assaulted at a market in Thailand after a confrontation with market security guards, Cambodian officials said.

Dy Phen, chief of the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations Office in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town, said the incident occurred on Saturday near Rong Cleur market in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, a few kilometres from the border with Cambodia.

Six security guards from the market attacked the Cambodian men and beat them unconscious following an argument, Dy Phen said.

“This case is criminal, and there should not be a compromise,” Dy Phen said. “It is very unjust for the Cambodian workers.”

Dy Phen identified the workers as Pung Ny, 20, Mean Korn, 25, and Sen Sorn, 21, all Poipet residents who work for a water treatment company in Thailand. The Thai security guards escaped prosecution after they paid 10,000 baht (US$318) in compensation to each of the victims, Dy Phen said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said the Cambodian workers had been drunk at the time of the incident. He said that although the compensation payments had already been brokered, Cambodian consular officials in Sa Kaeo stood ready to assist if border officials or the men themselves wished to file a complaint.

Dy Phen said border officials believed compensation payments were not enough to resolve the incident.

“We are going to file a complaint about this,” Dy Phen said. “We are going to have a meeting to discuss this and find a way to stop this sort of thing from happening again to Cambodian workers.”

Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said he was unfamiliar with the case.

Dy Phen said hundreds of Cambodians in the area crossed into Thailand each day in search of employment; more than 8,000 such migrants, he said, had been deported from Thailand and returned via Poipet.

No progress in case against midwife

Photo by: Pha Lina
Hiv Leng, whose wife died in July, fixes his daughter’s hair while helping her read in their home last month

via Khmer NZ

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:03 Mom Kunthear

A MEANCHEY district man pursuing a criminal complaint against a woman he says botched an abortion procedure that killed his wife expressed frustration yesterday that no charge had been brought in the case despite the fact that he has been questioned by court clerks seven times.

Hiv Leng said he appeared yesterday at the court along with two witnesses as well as documents that he said proved the midwife’s guilt.

“I went to the court and brought two witnesses for questioning, but the court officials asked me to bring more witnesses,” he said. Hiv Leng said he already had five other witnesses in mind.

He also said the clerk, Heng Rami, had encouraged him to drop the case and accept a compensation payment from the midwife’s family. The family has previously proposed a payment of US$2,000.

“The court clerk told me to accept the compensation from the suspect, but I didn’t agree. I need the suspect to go to jail,” Hiv Leng said.

“I am worried that the court will drop my wife’s case because they always ask me to bring more evidence,” he said.

Hiv Leng’s 40-year-old wife, Khem Tha, died on July 20, one month after she underwent an abortion, reportedly without consulting her family. She was three months pregnant.

Under the 1997 Law on Abortion, only medical doctors, midwives and other professionals who receive authorisation from the Health Ministry are permitted to perform abortions, and the procedures must be carried out in hospitals, health centres or medical clinics that have registered with the ministry.

Untrained abortion providers who perform a procedure that results in a woman’s death face up to 10 years in prison.

Heng Rami yesterday denied having encouraged Hiv Leng to accept a compensation payment. He said the case was still being investigated.

“After I have completed my duty for questioning the victim and witnesses, I will file the case to the prosecutor, who will decide whether to summon the suspect or bring charges,” he said.