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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Pung Chhiv Kek out of NEC running

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Licadho president Pung Chhiv Kek speaks at a press conference last year regarding the ninth seat on the NEC. Heng Chivoan

PUNG Chhiv Kek, president of local rights group Licadho, has officially turned down a position as the ninth member of the reformed National Election Committee.
In a statement released this morning, Chhiv Kek, who was offered the role in July, says that “although it was a great honor to have been chosen for this very important position, I deeply regret I have to decline the offer”.

NGO: Data shows ‘wholesale sell-off’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia should urgently disclose all information about land ownership and rethink its “wholesale sell-off” of the country’s natural resources, a local rights group said yesterday.
The call to release information about Cambodia’s land sector, including a declaration of revenues, came as Licadho released an analysis of concessions showing that three-fifths of all of Cambodia’s arable land is under the control of mostly foreign-owned plantation firms.
The data, which exclude land allocated for mining exploration, shows that 2.14 million hectares have been leased to private firms since the government announced its forest “conversion” policy in the early 2000s and began to issue economic land concessions (ELCs).

Reporter recalls Caldwell's slaying by KR

Retired American journalist Richard Dudman yesterday recounted details of the attack on his travelling party during a 1978 trip to Cambodia, telling the Khmer Rouge tribunal he narrowly dodged being shot before finding British academic Malcolm Caldwell gunned down in his room.
Dudman, 96, a former St Louis Post-Dispatch Washington bureau chief, was among the first Western writers to visit Cambodia during Pol Pot’s reign, arriving in December 1978 with Marxist scholar Caldwell and fellow American journalist Elizabeth Becker, then of the Washington Post, who testified as a tribunal expert in February.

Activist’s trial abruptly stalled

Political activist and CNRP supporter Ouk Pich Samnang is escorted though the car park at Phnom Penh Municipal Court
Political activist and CNRP supporter Ouk Pich Samnang is escorted though the car park at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after his hearing was adjourned. Pha Lina

The trial of a political activist charged with multiple offences for his alleged role in a violent Phnom Penh protest was dramatically adjourned yesterday, as the defendant refused to continue with questioning unless his accusers also came to the court.
Ouk Pich Samnang was arrested in late October after driving his tuk-tuk through a security barricade near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house during a protest with evictees from Preah Vihear province,

China’s ambitious new Marshall Plan for Asia

Peter Cai 
China Spectator

On 5th of June, 1947, George Marshall, the US Secretary of State and a former US Army Chief of Staff delivered a speech at Harvard University.  It received little attention at the time -- the New York Times decided to run another story on its front page. The British embassy in Washington “didn’t consider it worth the cable charges to transmit to London.”
However, Marshall’s speech at Harvard turned out to be one of the greatest speeches in modern history. In his talk, the former general launched an audacious policy that aimed to rebuild and refashion a war-ravaged Europe. It has become known as the Marshall Plan.


ដោយ សេក បណ្ឌិត
តុលាការ ៦១០
បណ្ដាញ​សហគមន៍​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ដង្ហែ​ក្បួន​អូស​រូប​ទីងមោង​តំណាង​ឲ្យ​មន្ត្រី​តុលាការ​ដែល​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​អំពើ ​អយុត្តិធម៌ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១២ មិថុនា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៣។
RFA/Van Vichar
គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ គ្រោង​នឹង​ស្នើ​ទៅ​ស្ថាប័ន​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​នានា ឲ្យ​ធ្វើ​វិសោធនកម្ម​លើ​ច្បាប់​ចំនួន​៣ ក្នុង​ប្រព័ន្ធ​តុលាការ​ឡើង​វិញ ដើម្បី​ឲ្យ​ស្ថាប័ន​នេះ​ឯករាជ្យ និង​អាច​ឲ្យ​ពលរដ្ឋ​ជឿ​ទុក​ចិត្ត​បាន។
ច្បាប់​ទាំង​នោះ​រួម​មាន ការ​រៀបចំ​អង្គការ​តុលាការ ច្បាប់​ស្ដីពី​លក្ខន្តិកៈ​ចៅក្រម និង​ព្រះរាជអាជ្ញា និង​ច្បាប់​ស្ដីពី​ការ​រៀបចំ​និង​ប្រព្រឹត្តិ​ទៅ​នៃ​ឧត្ដម​ក្រុមប្រឹក្សា​នៃ ​អង្គ​ចៅក្រម។
​មេដឹកនាំ​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ នៅ​តែ​ថ្លែង​រិះគន់​ប្រព័ន្ធ​ច្បាប់ និង​តុលាការ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា បច្ចុប្បន្ន​ថា មិន​ទាន់​ឯករាជ្យ ដែល​មិន​អាច​ធានា​រក​យុត្តិធម៌​ជូន​ពលរដ្ឋ​ទូទៅ​បាន​ឡើយ។

អ្នកស្រី ពុង ឈីវកេក បដិសេធ​តំណែង​សមាជិក​ទី​​៩​នៅ គ.ជ.ប

ដោយ កែវ និមល
ពុង ឈីវកេក ៦១០
ប្រធាន​អង្គការ​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​លីកាដូ (LICADHO) អ្នកស្រី​វេជ្ជបណ្ឌិត ពុង ឈីវកេក ក្នុង​វេទិកា​អ្នក​ស្ដាប់​វិទ្យុ​អាស៊ីសេរី នៅ​យប់​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣១ ខែ​មករា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៤។
Photo: RFA
អ្នកស្រី ពុង ឈីវកេក ប្រធាន​អង្គការ​លីកាដូ នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣១ មីនា បាន​ចេញ​សេចក្ដី​ថ្លែងការណ៍​មួយ​បដិសេធ​តំណែង​ជា​សមាជិក​គណៈកម្មាធិការ​ជាតិ ​រៀបចំ​ការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត (គ.ជ.ប) ដែល​គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ​ឈ្នះ​ឆ្នោត​ទាំង​ពីរ​បាន​ប្រកាស​កន្លង​ទៅ​ថា ប្រគល់​ជូន​អ្នកស្រី។
សេចក្ដី​ថ្លែងការណ៍​របស់​អង្គការ​លីកាដូ (Licadho) មាន​ខ្លឹមសារ​ជា​អាទិ​ថា កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៨ កក្កដា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៤ កន្លង​ទៅ គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ​ឈ្នះ​ឆ្នោត​ទាំង​ពីរ​បាន​ឯកភាព​គ្នា​ជ្រើសរើស​អ្នកស្រី​ជា​

ខុមហ្វ្រែល៖ កម្ពុជា​ជា​ប្រទេស​ដែល​មាន​ការ​រំលោភ​អំណាច​ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ

ដោយ ម៉ម មុនីរតន៍
គល់ បញ្ញា ៦២០
នាយក​ប្រតិបត្តិ​គណៈកម្មាធិការ​ដើម្បី​ការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ដោយ​សេរី និង​យុត្តិធម៌​នៅ​កម្ពុជា ហៅ​ថា ខុមហ្វ្រែល (Comfrel) លោក គល់ បញ្ញា ផ្ដល់​បទសម្ភាសន៍​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣១ មីនា ២០១៥។
RFA/Morm Moniroth
នាយក​ប្រតិបត្តិ​គណៈកម្មាធិការ​ដើម្បី​ការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ដោយ​សេរី និង​យុត្តិធម៌​នៅ​កម្ពុជា ហៅ​ថា ខុមហ្វ្រែល (Comfrel) នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣១ មីនា មាន​ប្រសាសន៍​ថា កម្ពុជា ជា​ប្រទេស​ដែល​មាន​ការ​រំលោភ​អំណាច​មាន​ស្ថានភាព​ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ ហើយ​ការ​ប្រើប្រាស់​ធនធាន និង​បុគ្គលិក​រដ្ឋ​ច្រើន​លើសលប់។
លោក គល់ បញ្ញា អះអាង​ថា មូលហេតុ​ទាំង​អស់​នេះ​ហើយ​ដែល​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​វិស័យ​សាធារណៈ​របស់​រដ្ឋ​ធ្លាក់​ចុះ

Monday, 30 March 2015

Sesan dam gets new design

Villagers living in the reservoir zone attend a community forum about the Lower Sesan II dam on Saturday in Stung Treng province
Villagers living in the reservoir zone attend a community forum about the Lower Sesan II dam on Saturday in Stung Treng province. KIMBERLEY MCCOSKER

Cambodia's largest hydropower project has been redesigned, leading to concerns from environmental groups, but a company official who confirmed the “design optimisation” over the weekend insisted that the Lower Sesan II dam will provide clean, safe energy and have few downstream impacts.
Ren Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hydro Power Lower Sesan II Company, also said critics of the

Pelosi in Kingdom to discuss rights, trade

US House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrived with a congressional delegation in Cambodia on Saturday to commence discussions of Washington’s relations with the Kingdom regarding issues like human rights, trade and security.
The stop is part of a five-nation trip to Asian countries including Vietnam, Myanmar, Korea and Japan.
“We arrive at an important moment for the United States’ relationship with these countries, and find ourselves presented with fresh opportunities and familiar challenges in the region,” Pelosi, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Our delegation will discuss ways we can strengthen security cooperation; advance human rights with an emphasis on women, workers and religious minorities; and increase fair trade.”

Details emerge of refugee meet

A banner hangs on the fence of a refugee camp in Anibare district
A banner hangs on the fence of a refugee camp in Anibare district, Nauru, earlier this month where a Cambodian delegation was to meet with refugees. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Refugees who met with Cambodian immigration officials last week on the Pacific island of Nauru were told they would be given permanent visas and travel documents but would have to pay for English-language education and would lose all but emergency financial support after a year, a refugee said.
Two men attended the meeting where Cambodia explained how the resettlement program signed

Brit professor officially named as rapporteur

British academic Rhona Smith has officially replaced Nepalese law professor Surya Subedi as the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia.
Smith, 45, an international human rights law professor at the University of Northumbria in England and a visiting professor at Cambodia’s Pannasastra University, was officially appointed to the role on Friday at the closing of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
She is the sixth person to occupy the position since 1993 but the first woman to take up the role.

Opposition gathering to remember 1997 attack

The Cambodia National Rescue Party will hold a ceremony today to commemorate the anniversary of a deadly grenade attack on an opposition rally in Phnom Penh 18 years ago.
During the March 30, 1997, attack on demonstrators protesting for better labour rights and wage increases for garment workers, three grenades killed 16 people and wounded hundreds more.
“We must find justice for all the victims and find out who’s behind it,” CNRP lawmaker Ho Vann said yesterday, predicting that about 800 monks and supporters would attend.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

As Phnom Penh's skyline rises, so do wages

Regular construction workers usually earn a little less than $6 a day
Regular construction workers usually earn a little less than $6 a day. Hong Menea

Cambodia’s booming construction industry is putting more money into labourers’ pockets, despite the lack of union involvement. However, safety standards remain a big issue
Much like salaries in Cambodia’s garment sector, wages in the Kingdom’s exploding construction industry have rocketed at a similar rate in recent years.
But while it may be tempting to draw parallels, the factors behind rising wages in the two industries are different. With booming demand driving wage growth, Cambodian construction workers are increasingly finding themselves the beneficiaries of a robust real estate market, despite having much less union involvement than the textiles industry.

Exhibition of 1920s photos provides portal to the past

The bank of the Mekong
The bank of the Mekong River in 1929, one of many images from French actor Georges Portal's travels to Cambodia on display from Tuesday. GEORGES PORTAL

The photographs of the mysterious travelling actor Georges Portal are being exhibited for the first time thanks to an old family friend
Until four years ago, Pierre-Jean Rey had never thought of the collection of photos left to him by his “great uncle” (really his father’s best friend) Georges Portal as anything more than a remarkable family heirloom. Then, on a work trip to Cambodia, he happened to mention the 400-strong library of glass plate “positives” depicting Asia in 1929 to staff at the Hotel Sofitel Angkor.

Exile activists go to UN claiming US breaching human rights

Khan Hin
Khan Hin, who was deported from the US five months ago, still holds out hope he can return to the only country he knows as home. Charlotte Pert

Tired of Washington’s indifference to their cause, Cambodian-American activists look overseas for help in fighting deportation
Naroen Chhin says he’s one of the lucky ones. With a felony drug conviction, the Philadelphia native might have joined hundreds of other Cambodian-Americans who have been deported to the Kingdom since 2002.
“I have friends and family who got deported back, but what was interesting is that I have the same criminal conviction … I committed the crime, I got convicted and I did my time, and I got to stay in the States,” the 31-year-old, who is now a community organiser with the immigration rights 1Love Movement, said in a phone interview from the US this week.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Second Case 004 suspect charged

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ao An, aka Ta An, is photographed during a 2011 interview. He was charged on Friday with crimes against humanity by the ECCC. PHOTO COURTESY DC-CAM

Despite strong government opposition, the UN-backed Khmer Rouge trial yesterday charged another ex-Khmer Rouge official in Case 004, with former deputy Central Zone secretary Ao An, better known as Ta An, appearing in person at the court to face allegations of crimes against humanity and premeditated murder.
The charges, issued by International Co-Investigating Judge Mark Harmon without support from his national counterpart You Bunleng, come less than a month after Harmon charged former Democratic Kampuchea officials Im Chaem and Meas Muth in cases 004 and 003, respectively.

Friday, 27 March 2015

CNRP Will Not Protest at Meach Sovannara Trial

By Kuch Naren and Mech Dara | March 27, 2015
The Cambodia Daily
The opposition CNRP will neither protest at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday nor send any senior officials there to oppose the scheduled hearing of 11 of its members who stand charged with “insurrection,” opposition spokesman Yem Ponhearith said Thursday.
The seemingly spurious charges were laid last year against CNRP official Meach Sovannara and 10 other party activists over their presence at a July 15 protest at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park that turned violent, and led to similar charges being laid against seven CNRP lawmakers.
CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha waves to supporters outside Phnom Penh International Airport upon returning to Cambodia Wednesday night, in a photograph posted to his Facebook page.
CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha waves to supporters outside Phnom Penh International Airport upon returning to Cambodia Wednesday night, in a photograph posted to his Facebook page.

Freedom Park insurrection trial to start today

Detained CNRP official Meach Sovannara
Detained CNRP official Meach Sovannara (centre) stands in the street near Freedom Park where a Daun Penh security member was beaten after a protest that turned violent in July. Heng Chivoan

The trial of 11 opposition officials and activists, who face up to 30 years in prison on charges related to a July protest that turned violent, is finally due to get under way today, amid widespread censure from human rights groups and campaigners.
In a strongly worded statement published yesterday, Human Rights Watch branded the trial as “baseless” and politically motivated, and highlighted video evidence of the accused attempting to stop the violence.
The charges stem from disorder that broke out during demonstrations on July 15, when lawmakers from the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) led their supporters to demand access to Phnom Penh’s then-barricaded Freedom Park – a focal point of protests in the wake of the

Cambodia near bottom in gov't openness index

Cambodia ranks near the bottom of 102 countries surveyed in a new index of government openness, scoring dead last in mechanisms through which complaints can be lodged against government officials and 98th in sanctions for officials’ misconduct.
Overall, the Kingdom placed 98th in the World Justice Project’s index, edging out just Iran, Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe, respectively.
“Cambodia scores particularly low on complaint mechanisms,” WJP spokesman Matthew Harman said in an email yesterday. “This dimension measures whether people are able to bring specific complaints to the government about the provision of public services or the performance of government officers.”

Nauru meets ‘fall flat’

Refugees hold signs during a protest against the Australia-Cambodia refugee deal
Refugees hold signs during a protest against the Australia-Cambodia refugee deal last year on Nauru. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Cambodian officials visiting Nauru were left with little to do yesterday but wander along the coast, as efforts to encourage refugees to volunteer for resettlement fell on deaf ears, according to an Australia-based NGO in contact with those on the Pacific island.
Ian Rintoul, spokesman for the Refugee Action Coalition, said six officials arrived on the island on Sunday in an effort to speak with the refugees about settlement options in Cambodia as per a $35 million deal signed with Australia last year.

Gov’t ‘not meddling at KRT’

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An talks to the press yesterday about the Khmer Rouge tribunal at the inauguration of a stupa at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Heng Chivoan

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An yesterday rejected accusations of interference in government-opposed cases 003 and 004 at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, even as the head of the court’s security department confirmed yesterday that he had received requests to bring suspects into custody, but was not acting on them.
Speaking at the inauguration of a stupa dedicated to victims of the Khmer Rouge, An – who is chairman of the government’s tribunal task force – said the government was continuing to cooperate

Sokha ‘not interested’ in Hun Sen’s threats

Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha marked his arrival back in the Kingdom from a trip to the US on Wednesday by saying he was not afraid of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s threats to have him prosecuted for allegedly attempting to lead a revolution.
Earlier this month, Sokha apologised to opposition CNRP supporters in Long Beach, California, for failing to secure a change in government following the 2013 election, when his party led mass street protests.
Hun Sen seized on the comments to accuse Sokha of admitting that he had tried to “topple” the government, and called on the courts to take legal action. He also said that handcuffs would be waiting for Sokha if he held further protests.

Constitutional justification missing

Prom Nheanvichit (centre), a member of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia
Prom Nheanvichit (centre), a member of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia, speaks to representatives of political parties, NGOs and Cambodian National Election Committee (NEC) officers during a verification of election results meeting at the NEC office in Phnom Penh on August 25, 2013. AFP

If foreign legal experts were to read the Cambodian Constitution, they would instantly fall in love with it. That’s because this founding document is home to numerous fundamental human rights and freedoms, all readily available in one package, which can easily impress foreigners and democracy advocates. In the US, even a right as fundamental as equal protection had no place in the original federal Constitution but had to wait until the 14th amendment in 1868, which finally states that “no State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Even with this amendment, it took almost 100 years before the US Supreme Court began sanctioning state actions found in violation of the Constitution.


ដោយ ទីន ហ្សាការីយ៉ា
ស ខេង និង​ស្កុត ម៉ូរីសុន (Scott Morrison) ៦២០
រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​ក្រសួង​មហាផ្ទៃ​កម្ពុជា លោក ស ខេង (ស្ដាំ) និង​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​ក្រសួង​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​អូស្ត្រាលី លោក ស្កុត ម៉ូរីសុន (Scott Morrison) ក្នុង​ពិធី​ចុះ​ហត្ថលេខា​អនុស្សរណៈ​យោគយល់​នៃ​ការ​បញ្ជូន​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន​ដែល​ ស្វែងរក​សិទ្ធិ​ជ្រក​កោន​នៅ​ប្រទេស​អូស្ត្រាលី មក​តាំង​ទីលំនៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា នា​ក្រសួង​មហាផ្ទៃ នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៦ ខែ​កញ្ញា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៤។
RFA/Yeang Socheametta
រដ្ឋាភិបាល​អូស្ត្រាលី នឹង​បញ្ជូន​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន​មក​កាន់​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ឆាប់ៗ​នេះ ដោយ​យោង​លើ​កិច្ច​ព្រមព្រៀង​ថ្មី​ទៀត​របស់​លោក​ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ស ខេង និង​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​អូស្ត្រាលី។ ក៏ប៉ុន្តែ មន្ត្រី​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​បាន​សម្ដែង​ការ​ព្រួយ​បារម្ភ​ចំពោះ​ការ​ទទួល​យក​ជន​ ភៀស​ខ្លួន​ពី​អូស្ត្រាលី មក​កម្ពុជា នៅ​ខណៈ​ដែល​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា មិន​ទាន់​មាន​ការ​គោរព​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​ត្រឹមត្រូវ​នៅ​ឡើយ​នេះ។


ដោយ យាង សុជាមេត្តា
អ្នក​គាំទ្រ​សកម្មជន ១១​នាក់ ៦២០
អ្នក​គាំទ្រ​ប្រមាណ​ឈរ​កាន់​រូបថត​ជន​ជាប់​ចោទ​ទាមទារ​ឲ្យ​ តុលាការ​ដោះលែង​មន្ត្រី​និង​សកម្មជន​បក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ នៅ​ខាង​មុខ​សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៧ មីនា ២០១៥។
RFA/Yeang Socheametta
សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ នៅ​ព្រឹក​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៧ មីនា បើក​សវនាការ​ជំនុំជម្រះ​សំណុំ​រឿង​មន្ត្រី​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ លោក មាជ សុវណ្ណារ៉ា និង​សកម្មជន​គណបក្ស ១០​រូប​ផ្សេង​ទៀត។
នៅ​ខាង​ក្រៅ​តុលាការ មាន​អ្នក​គាំទ្រ​ប្រមាណ​ជាង ១០០​នាក់ ឈរ​កាន់​រូបថត​ជន​ជាប់​ចោទ​ទាមទារ​ឲ្យ​ដោះលែង​មន្ត្រី​និង​សកម្មជន​ទាំង​នោះ ​ឲ្យ​មាន​សេរីភាព​វិញ ដោយ​ពុំ​មាន​ការ​រារាំង​ពី​សមត្ថកិច្ច​ឡើយ។


Cambodia Unveils Stupa at Notorious Khmer Rouge Death Prison

Cambodian officials and foreign dignitaries unveil a memorial stupa at Tuol Sleng, March 26, 2015
Cambodia unveiled a new stupa on Thursday at the site of a notorious Khmer Rouge-era prison in the capital, Phnom Penh, to memorialize the thousands who endured torture and death at the hands of the murderous communist regime in the late 1970s.
Government officials said they hope the memorial at Tuol Sleng Prison will serve as an educational tool for future generations, to prevent the return of such a dark regime. Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21, was one of a number of torture and execution centers created by the Khmer Rouge during a 1975-79 reign of terror that killed an estimated two million Cambodians.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Kem Sokha arrived home to a hero's welcome 25th March 2015

Cambodia: End Baseless ‘Insurrection’ Trial of Opposition

Judicial Officer Concedes Charges Are ‘Ridiculous’
March 25, 2015

Human Rights Watch

“The prosecution of the 11 activists is the latest round of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s campaign to intimidate and imprison opponents of his government. Donors should speak out against such proceedings and the growing list of political prisoners in the country.”
Brad Adams, Asia director 

(New York) – Cambodian authorities should drop trumped-up charges of “insurrection” against 11 opposition party activists, Human Rights Watch said today. A hearing in the trial of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) members is scheduled for March 27, 2015, in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

A Cambodian judicial officer familiar with the insurrection charges described them to Human Rights Watch as “ridiculous.” Cambodia’s international donors should inform the government that their continued support depends on ending the prosecutions of Cambodians for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.

Peter Dutton defends Nauru hospitals as better than some in Australia as Cambodia deal takes a step forward

Heath Aston and Sarah Whyte in Phnom Penh

Secretary of State spokesman Phay Siphan at the Cambodian government's ministry offices. Secretary of State spokesman Phay Siphan at the Cambodian government's ministry offices. Photo: Sarah Whyte
Asylum seekers on Nauru receive schooling of the same standard as in Australia and access to hospital facilities that are better than some regional areas, says Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
But a Cambodian official compared the living conditions of detainees to those of "animals".
Mr Dutton mounted the defence of Australia's detention facilities as he signed a memorandum of understanding with the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Sar Kheng, that will clear the way for the resettlement of refugees to that country.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Hun Sen knocks Obama visit

US first lady Michelle Obama talks with students at a school in Siem Reap on the weekend during her visit to the Kingdom
US first lady Michelle Obama talks with students at a school in Siem Reap on the weekend during her visit to the Kingdom. ETHAN HARFENIST

Prime Minister Hun Sen took aim at Michelle Obama yesterday, accusing the US first lady of making false promises, while suggesting her visit last weekend was more about hopeful rhetoric rather than implementing concrete improvements in the country’s education sector.
During a speech at the National Institute of Education, Hun Sen told the US Embassy and USAID to make good on alleged scholarship promises and front some actual cash if they want to truly make an impact on education reform in Cambodia. The prime minister was referring to Obama’s visit to the country on Saturday, in which she met with 10 female students in Siem Reap to push the White House’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative.

Ministry unveils new strictures on dredging

A sand dredger works on the Tonle Sap river near Phnom Penh
A sand dredger works on the Tonle Sap river near Phnom Penh earlier this year. Hong Menea

Sand-dredging businesses were offered both carrot and stick yesterday by officials touting a new regime for the much-criticised industry.
Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem told reporters that companies wishing to apply for new licences would need to wait for wide-ranging social and environmental impact assessments to be carried out on Cambodia’s rivers, whereas dredging companies active in areas that had already been studied would be allowed to continue after applying for temporary licences.

New Sesan, new study: NGO

Trucks drive though a deforested area
Trucks drive though a deforested area last year, removing unwanted materials from the Lower Sesan II dam construction site in Stung Treng’s Sesan district. Pha Lina

Rights advocates have called for construction of the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province to be halted until new environmental and social impact assessments can be carried following changes allegedly made to the project’s plans.
Hydrolancang International, which is building the dam with Cambodia’s Royal Group, has redesigned it with the aim of improving sediment management, NGO International Rivers has learned.

Siem Reap ranked one of world's best travel spots

Siem Reap has been placed second among the world’s top 25 travel destinations in 2015, jumping seven places from last year’s ranking, as judged by leading online travel site TripAdvisor.
The site’s Travelers’ Choice awards are based on an algorithm that takes into account reviews of hotels, restaurants and tourism sites in a city.
Marrakech of Morocco stood at the top on the list of global destinations, followed by Siem Reap, while Hanoi in Vietnam took fourth place.
Ho Vandy, co-chair of the government-private sector working group, said that Siem Reap’s improved ranking reflected the enduring appeal of Angkor’s more than 130 temples and the government’s tourism policy.

CPP staffers in line for raises: prime minister

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to raising salaries next month for civil servants and members of the armed forces, while also adding officials within his Cambodian People’s Party to the list.
Speaking to a gathering of professors at the National Institute of Education, the prime minister pledged to raise wages for his party workers by 30 per cent.
“For CPP officials working full-time, salaries will go up 30 per cent higher,” he said. “This morning, I informed CPP general secretary Say Chhum, and forwarded [the message] to Finance Minister Aun Porn Moniroth to help generate the salary for party officials.… We need to strengthen the party.”
The prime minister went on to criticise the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which has pledged to up wages for garment workers to $160 per month, while its own officials, he claimed, receive half that amount.

Learning from Singapore: the great Chinese experiment

Peter Cai
Chinese Spectator
26 March 2015

When the Chinese edition of “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grandmaster’s insights on China, The United States and the World” was published in 2013, it received a rare and glowing endorsement from Xi Jinping, China’s paramount leader.
Xi said “Lee Kuan Yew is our revered elder. He has been working tirelessly to promote the relationship between China and Singapore. I have enormous respect for him and we will never forget his important contribution.”  Such public praise from Xi is unprecedented and shows Lee’s unique influence in China.
In fact, Lee identified Xi as a rising political star in the early 1990s when the current president was only a 40-year-old party secretary of Fuzhou city. The founder of Singapore invited Xi to a private dinner, an unusual honour for a relatively unknown provincial official.

លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ខក​បំណង​ចំពោះ​ដំណើរ​ទស្សនកិច្ច​របស់​អ្នកស្រី មីស៊្ហែល អូបាម៉ា

ដោយ ទីន ហ្សាការីយ៉ា
ហ៊ុន សែន មីស៊្ហែល អូបាម៉ា ៦២០
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​កម្ពុជា (ឆ្វេង) និង​អ្នកស្រី មីស៊្ហែល អូបាម៉ា (Michelle Obama) (ស្ដាំ) ភរិយា​ប្រធានាធិបតី​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក។
លោក​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន  នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ពុធ ទី​២៥ មីនា សម្ដែង​ការ​ខក​ចិត្ត​ចំពោះ​ទីភ្នាក់ងារ​ផ្ដល់​ជំនួយ​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ដែល​មិន​បាន​ផ្ដល់​អាហារូបករណ៍​ដល់​សិស្ស​ស្រី​ចំនួន ១០​នាក់ ដែល​ស្ត្រី​ទី​១ សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក អ្នកស្រី មីស៊្ហែល អូបាម៉ា (Michelle Obama) បាន​ជ្រើសរើស​ឱ្យ​បាន​បន្ត​ការ​សិក្សា​ទៅ​ថ្នាក់​ឧត្ដម​សិក្សា​កាល​ពី​ សប្ដាហ៍​មុន។

លោក កឹម សុខា ត្រឡប់​មក​ដល់​កម្ពុជា​វិញ

ដោយ ទីន ហ្សាការីយ៉ា
កឹម សុខា ៦២០
លោក កឹម សុខា អនុ​ប្រធាន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ ពេល​​វិល​ត្រឡប់​មក​ដល់​អាកាសយានដ្ឋាន​អន្តរជាតិ​ភ្នំពេញ កាល​ពី​យប់​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៥ មីនា ២០១៥។
RFA/Tin Zakariya
លោក កឹម សុខា អនុ​ប្រធាន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ បាន​វិល​ត្រឡប់​មក​ដល់​កម្ពុជា វិញ​ហើយ កាល​ពី​យប់​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៥ មីនា។
សូម​ស្ដាប់​សេចក្ដី​រាយការណ៍​របស់​លោក ទីន ហ្សាការីយ៉ា ដែល​បាន​ទៅ​យក​ព័ត៌មាន​នៅ​អាកាសយានដ្ឋាន​អន្តរជាតិ​ភ្នំពេញ ផ្ទាល់៖

Cambodia Orders Temporary Halt to Sand Dredging

Villagers search the Mekong river for the bodies of three people washed away after a bank collapsed, Feb 2014
Cambodia has ordered a temporary halt to all sand dredging operations in the country's rivers and lakes in order to study the environment and social impact of a practice that has caused deadly river bank collapse incidents.
The moratorium was set Wednesday at a meeting of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Environment, police and military police
Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem told a news conference that the environmental and social impact studies will determine the future of sand dredging. Much of the sand is exported to neighboring Southeast Asian countries and used in construction.

Cambodian Court Upholds Jail Sentence of Suspect in Reporter’s Murder

Teang Theav, wife of slain reporter Suon Chan, speaks to reporters outside of a court in Kampong Chhnang province, March 2, 2015.
An appeals court in Cambodia on Wednesday upheld a 13-year sentence for one of six suspects in the murder of a journalist who had investigated illegal fishing, drawing praise from a local rights group, which called on authorities to find and prosecute the other five men in the case.

Judge San Sophan delivered the verdict following the two-hour hearing at the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court, rejecting an appeal by suspect Yorg Pealeng who—along with five other suspects who remain on the run—was sentenced on March 2 for the 2014 beating death of reporter Suon Chan.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Arun Rasmey ends run with Funcinpec party

Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey addresses Funcinpec party members
Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey addresses Funcinpec party members during a congress in Phnom Penh earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey has resigned from her position as a deputy president of the royalist Funcinpec party, prompting analysts to question the viability of the party’s attempts at revitalisation under returned leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
Funcinpec party spokesman Nhep Bun Chin yesterday confirmed that Arun Rasmey had stepped down, but party officials remained tight-lipped as to the reasons behind the move.
The Princess, who is also Cambodia’s ambassador to Malaysia, could not be reached yesterday. But Bun Chin said she had left Funcinpec to concentrate on her other duties.

UN in Montagnard talks

Two ethnic Montagnard men sit next to a camp kitchen in a forest in Ratanakkiri province
Two ethnic Montagnard men sit next to a camp kitchen in a forest in Ratanakkiri province last year after fleeing across the boarder to avoid persecution in Vietnam. ADHOC

The United Nations’ refugee agency met this week with representatives of the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments to “discuss solutions” to the recent influx of Montagnard asylum seekers, with repatriation touted as a possible answer, the Post has learned.
Vivian Tan, regional spokeswoman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the meeting, which took place on Monday, was aimed at finding a resolution “in line with international standards and agreeable to all parties”.