Archive for September, 2011

KI-Media2 The long arm of China

30 September, 2011
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (right) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (left) inspected Chinese People’s Liberation Army honour guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 13, 2010. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Hun Xen putting his Chinese lesson to work during Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Cambodia. Notice the similarity in the decorum between this photo and the one above (Photo: Reuters)

A rising world power begins to intervene in outside governments

September 24, 2011
By Joshua Kurlantzick
Boston Globe (USA)

China’s relationship to democracy is closely watched on the world stage. As the largest authoritarian nation, and within a decade potentially the largest national economy, China exerts significant influence on the balance of democracy across the developing world.

For decades, foreign observers and many Chinese reformists have focused on China’s own internal political movements, watching as it alternately becomes more open to dissent and competing voices, then clamps down. These days, China actually appears to be regressing, despite its capitalist economy and some recent protests in cities like Dalian. Over the past year, the government has cracked down hard on protest groups, and it has increasingly monitored and filtered the Internet and microblogging sites. According to Yasheng Huang, a China specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, China’s political system was more liberal in the 1980s than today.

While observers have focused on China’s internal politics, however, an important and worrisome change has been taking place outside its borders: Beijing increasingly appears to be thwarting democracy in surrounding countries. Local officials from Cambodia, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, and other Asian nations increasingly receive training in China, where they learn repressive Chinese judicial, policing, and Internet control tactics. China has pushed neighboring nations to crack down on activists there who criticize the People’s Republic. In Central Asia, meanwhile, China has helped create a regional organization to prop up authoritarian rule.

China’s challenge to democracy constitutes a significant shift from the global status quo over the past two decades. After the end of the Cold War, no major nations posed a serious challenge to the spread of liberal democracy. Chinese officials, hewing to a maxim coined by former leader Deng Xiaoping, generally avoided intervention in global affairs, declaring that China was still a developing nation with much to learn from other countries.

But in recent years China has become much more assertive internationally — and the stakes for global democracy are high. If China helps shift the balance against democracy in its neighborhood, it will complicate US policy, strengthen authoritarian regimes, and do serious damage to rights activists, journalists, and other people pushing for democracy in developing nations.

Over the past four years, as China’s economy booms and Western economies stagger, China’s “soft power” — or cultural and economic influence — has grown, and it has gained a new ability to influence political life within other countries. The most recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey of global democracy found that the global financial and economic crisis “has increased the attractiveness of the Chinese model of authoritarian capitalism for some emerging markets.”

Beyond simply serving as an example of success, however, some Chinese officials have sought to actively promote the Chinese model abroad. Beijing has invited local officials from across Southeast and Central Asia — at least several thousand officials each year — to come to China for training in legal and police procedures. As attendees at the Southeast Asian and Central Asian training sessions told me, these sessions seem designed to draw distinctions between China’s model of development and that of democracies. Indeed, Chinese trainers explicitly credit Beijing’s ability to take decisive action with the country’s success, contrasting that regime with what they describe as the failed policies of Western democracies. Some officials from Thailand and Cambodia reported to me that their Chinese trainers discussed judicial strategies that help preserve “stability” — and keep the government in power.

In Cambodia, according to a number of Cambodian activists and human rights specialists I’ve spoken to, members of China’s Communist Party have advised Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party on how to use laws for libel and defamation to scare the independent media, create a network of senior officials who can control major companies, and instill loyalty in special police and bodyguard forces. And, in recent years, Hun Sen has indeed utilized libel laws to suppress opposition, built up his personal bodyguard, and used these tactics to help ensure his continued rule, despite the fact that Cambodia technically has regular elections.

“You already don’t have a lot of strong democratic values here,” said Roland Eng, a longtime senior Cambodian official and diplomat. “You have [government] people seeing how well China has done, going to China all the time. What they come back [to Cambodia] with is how much faster and easier China has had it without having to deal with an opposition…and they have learned from that.”

In other cases, China has worked to shore up autocrats facing popular pressure, or even helped authoritarian rulers track down and arrest their own dissidents and critics. In one notable example, after large-scale demonstrations in Uzbekistan in 2005, the authoritarian Uzbek regime cracked down hard on protesters, killing at least several hundred in the city of Andijon by firing indiscriminately into crowds. In response, Uzbek activists called for foreign governments to pressure the Uzbek government to own up to the massacre and to reform. Many governments complied, including not only the United States but also other Asian nations. China took the opposite approach: Not long after the massacre, Beijing praised the crackdown as necessary and then welcomed Uzbek leader Islam Karimov in Beijing with a state visit and a gun salute, showing that China would stand firmly behind him. More dangerously, China then worked with other nations to deny asylum to any refugees fleeing Uzbekistan, and quickly announced a new energy deal that would provide the Uzbek government with millions in revenues.

Similarly, after last fall’s elections in Burma, another state on China’s borders, Beijing helped shore up an authoritarian government. At the polls, where the Burmese government did not allow international election monitors, military-dominated parties won decisively. Beijing quickly endorsed the questionable results, providing legitimacy to the Burmese regime.

Working with Russia, Chinese leaders have even created an international organization to push back against democracy. In 1995, the two authoritarian giants founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional group linking the two powers with Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The organization was ostensibly designed to promote regional trade and diplomatic ties. Since the pro-democracy revolutions of the mid-2000s, however, Moscow and Beijing have used the Shanghai group to argue that such revolutions, and democratic change in general, are illegal violations of national sovereignty. Under China’s influence, the organization portrayed electoral democracy as a kind of Western — that is, foreign — idea, one not necessarily suited for Central Asia or other developing regions. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, wrote political scientist Thomas Ambrosio, was attempting to be not another intergovernmental talk shop but “the embodiment of a new set of [nondemocratic] values and norms governing the future development of Central Asia.”

Finally, China is even exerting influence on the foreign press, using its diplomatic relationships and rising economic and trade clout to push neighboring nations to crack down on activists and journalists who offer a critique of Beijing. In Indonesia, for example, China reportedly pushed the Indonesian government to shutter a radio station, Era Baru Radio, that sometimes broadcast information about Falun Gong, an organization that has criticized the Chinese government and is effectively banned in China. According to reports by monitoring organization Reporters Without Borders, Indonesian police subsequently forcibly closed the station. China has used similar tactics to attempt to silence critics of Beijing in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, and other countries.

Through these efforts, China is exerting real influence on democracy in Asia. In a study of Southeast Asia, Indonesian scholar Ignatius Wibowo found that with only a few exceptions, each country’s political model has moved toward China and away from liberal democracy over the past decade, because of both China’s advocacy and its success, as contrasted with the West’s failures. Wibowo found that many Southeast Asian leaders and top officials are implementing state strategies modeled on China’s, including taking back national control of strategic industries, recentralizing political decision-making, reestablishing one-party rule, and using the judicial system as, increasingly, a tool of state power — all changes that undermine democratic development.

China’s antidemocratic policies are only one piece of a global trend. The international monitoring organization Freedom House found that global freedom plummeted in 2010, for the fifth year in a row — a decline most pronounced among what it called the “middle ground” of nations, primarily in the developing world, that have begun democratizing but are not solid and stable democracies. One of the major reasons for the drop, the organization noted, was the increasing aggressiveness of China.

In many places, China’s influence adds pressure to democratic backsliding that is already occurring. In Cambodia, for instance, where the government of longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen has become increasingly authoritarian, China’s rising influence means that countries such as Japan or France, which have pushed for more openness, are finding themselves marginalized. Hun Sen himself has said as much. In a speech to inaugurate a new road funded partly by Chinese aid, he lauded Beijing for offering him assistance with little pressure, contrasting this with democratic donors. “When China gives, it doesn’t say do this or that. We can do whatever we want with the money,” Hun Sen said, according to wire service reports.

What’s more, a weakening of democracy in a vital region like Asia may make multilateral cooperation more difficult and conflict more likely. Historically, the United States has cooperated most effectively with other democratic nations, whose style of leadership and decision-making are more open and more understandable to American politicians. But when the United States has tried to cooperate with China — two years ago American officials even talked of a “G-2” of the United States and China ruling the world — collaboration has been hindered by the opacity of the Chinese government, which even many savvy American officials find hard to comprehend.

A more active China also presents American policy makers with another challenge: how to confront China’s influence directly. In a report released two years ago — for which this writer contributed a chapter — Freedom House outlined how China was undermining democracy on its borders, and proposed that the United States and other democracies make their engagement with China more contingent on countering Beijing’s antidemocratic tactics. Other human rights groups and democracy experts argue that the United States needs to counteract China by reengaging with international democracy organizations, like the Community of Democracies, and working more closely with emerging powers like Brazil and India to promote democracy in their neighborhoods.

Similarly, many US and European officials have pushed for China to be included in meetings on donor aid to certain countries, so that leaders like Hun Sen might be less able to play China off against democratic donors. Sometimes, as with Cambodia, China has agreed to join donor meetings. But in other cases, Beijing has refused to coordinate its assistance with other donors — for now, retaining all the leverage it has, and adding to the fears of democratic nations that the world’s biggest economic success story is also becoming their largest political rival.

Joshua Kurlantzick is fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. His book on the challenges to democracy will be released next year.

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 10/01/2011 06:45:00 AM

KI-Media2 Please “Vote!” in Cambodia when the time comes

30 September, 2011

“If you do not register to Vote, if you do not Vote, then you let others make the choice for you. Electoral system in Malaysia is very much in the hands of the ruling party. Opposition are thinking outside of the box. For the first time in many long decades, power might be shifted in Malaysia.” – SRP MP Mu Sochua

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 10/01/2011 05:45:00 AM

KI-Media2 Don’t ever give up!

30 September, 2011



Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 10/01/2011 05:40:00 AM

KI-Media2 Ven. Sing Tonly, a land activist monk in Cambodia – Interview by the Khmer Post Radio

30 September, 2011
Ven. Sing Tonly confronting the cops who came to destroy houses in Boeung Kak Lake on 16 September 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

Ven. Sing Tonly, a former captain in the royal palace during the 60s and also a contemporary of Oum Manorin (the half brother of Queen Monineath Norodom Sihanouk), is an activist monk who went to defend residents in Beoung Kak Lake who were facing forced evictions. Being a true Buddhist, he is a peaceful activist who strongly opposes violence. He is adamant that Cambodia follows the motto: “Khmer land, Viet owners” (Dey Khmer, Thavker Yuon) where Cambodians suffer from illegal land concessions. Without lands, Cambodians have nowhere to live, no land to plant their crops. Therefore, Ven. Tonly calls on Cambodians to wake up and resists such injustice. When asked if he suffers from seeing such injustice, he replied that, as a Buddhist monk, he is not one who suffer such earthly pain, but he does feel strongly for the pain suffered by Cambodians. Ven. Sing Tonly has been visiting Cambodia since June of this year. Under normal circumstances, the venerable lives in the US. Please listen to the wise words of this octogenarian Buddhist activist.

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Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 10/01/2011 05:33:00 AM

KI-Media2 The plot thickens: Arrest of Chea Xim’s close allies was authorized by Chea Xim himself; Fraud worth hundreds of millions of US dollars

30 September, 2011
Pheng Kunthea Borey (C) and Chea Sim greeting a guest

សម្ដេច ជា ស៊ីម ដើមបណ្ដឹង ចាប់អ្នកស្រី ផេង គន្ធាបូរី និងបក្ខពួក ពីបទឆបោក

Friday, 30 September 2011
ដោយ ៖ ដើមអម្ពិល​ (DAP-news)

– គេអះអាងថា ការក្លែងបន្លំ ឯកសារ ឆបោក មានទឹកប្រាក់ រាប់រយលានដុល្លារ

Synopsis: 3-star general Yim Leang, the current deputy-director of Chea Xim’s cabinet and the chief of his bodyguard unit, claimed that the arrest of Chea Xim’s close allies was done according to the law and that it was not connected to anything else. Yim Leang claimed that Chea Xim authorized him to look into the paper fraud case some of which used Chea Xim’s name to benefit the people arrested. Among the people arrested, General Ponlork Ho has dual US citizenship, General Chan Kosal is the owner of the Koy Sambath Co., Pheng Kunthea Borey who is Chea Xim’s chief of protocol and Khieu Bora who is also an aid to Pheng Kunthea Borey. An anonymous source claimed that the fraud took place several years already and it involved using Chea Xim’s name. In addition, a humanitarian fund was also set up to build the Chea Xim’s hospital at Somrong Andet pagoda and at Prey Veng. The fund raked in several tens of millions of US dollars from private firms, but in the end, these hospitals are nowhere to be seen yet.

KI-Media Note: Could it be that the corruption money was distributed properly among all the crooks surrounding Chea Xim. It could also be an excuse to purge out those loyal to Chea Xim.

ភ្នំពេញ ៖ ចំណាត់ការ របស់សមត្ថកិច្ច និងតុលាការ ក្នុងការបង្ក្រាប ក្រុមជនប្រព្រឹត្ដ បទល្មើសក្លែងបន្លំឯកសារ ប្រព្រឹត្ដអំពើ ឆបោក ដែលពាក់ព័ន្ធទៅ នឹងមន្ដ្រី ជាន់ខ្ពស់ នៅក្បែរៗថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំព្រឹទ្ធសភា រួមមាននាយិកា ពិធីការសម្ដេចអគ្គ មហាធម្មពោធិសាល ជា ស៊ីម ប្រធានព្រឹទ្ធសភារួមទាំងអតីតទីប្រឹក្សា ក្រុមជំនួយការ របស់សម្ដេចមួយចំនួនទៀត នោះ ត្រូវបានមន្ដ្រីជាន់ខ្ពស់មួយរូបធ្វើការ អះអាងថា គឺជាការអនុវត្ដទៅតាមច្បាប់ អ្នកប្រព្រឹត្ដខុស ត្រូវតែទទួលទោសមិនថា អ្នកធំឬអ្នក តូច អ្នកមានឬអ្នកក្រនោះទេ ឱ្យតែធ្វើខុសមានទោសស្មើៗគ្នា ។

លោកឧត្ដមសេនីយ៍ឯក យឹម លាង នាយករងខុទ្ទកាល័យ និងជាមេបញ្ជាការកង អង្គរក្សសម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាល ជា ស៊ីម ប្រធានព្រឹទ្ធសភានៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា បានអះអាងប្រាប់ដើមអម្ពិលថា ការឃាត់ ខ្លួននិងឃុំខ្លួនមន្ដ្រីជាន់ខ្ពស់ រួមទាំងអតីត មន្ដ្រីជាន់ខ្ពស់ នៅក្នុងស្ថាប័នព្រឹទ្ធសភា កាល ពីពេលថ្មីៗនេះ គឺជាការអនុវត្ដទៅ តាមច្បាប់ មិនពាក់ព័ន្ធទៅនឹងរឿងអ្វីផ្សេងនោះទេ ។

ប្រាប់ដើមអម្ពិលតាមទូរស័ព្ទ នៅវេលា ម៉ោង២និង៣៧នាទីរសៀលថ្ងៃទី៣០ ខែ កញ្ញា ឆ្នាំ២០១១ លោកឧត្ដមសេនីយ៍ឯក យឹម លាង បានអះអាងថា ចំណាត់ការខាង លើនេះ គឺលោកអនុវត្ដទៅតាមការប្រគល់ សិទ្ធិរបស់សម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាលជា ស៊ីម ដើម្បីអនុវត្ដទៅតាមច្បាប់ ដោយលោក បញ្ជាក់ថា “សម្ដេចមានសេចក្ដីសម្រេច ប្រគល់សិទ្ធិឱ្យលោកសិក្សាស្រាវជ្រាវរកឯក សារមិនប្រក្រតី ហើយមានសិទ្ធិតំំណាង សម្ដេចប្ដឹងទៅតុលាការតាមផ្លូវច្បាប់ដោយ សម្ដេចប្រគល់សិទ្ធិ កាលពីថ្ងៃទី១៩ ខែកញ្ញា ឆ្នាំ ២០១១” ។ ក្រោយពីទទួលបានសិទ្ធិពី សម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាល ជា ស៊ីម លោកបាន ធ្វើការស្រាវជ្រាវ ហើយរកឃើញឯកសារ មិនប្រក្រតីមួយចំនួន ដូចជា​ការបន្លំឯកសារ សាធារណៈ ការប្រើឯកសារក្លែង និងផ្ដល់ ឯកសារក្លែង និយាយរួមគឺយកឈ្មោះសម្ដេច ប្រធានព្រឹទ្ធសភាទៅធ្វើអាជីវកម្ម បម្រើ ផលប្រយោជន៍​ផ្ទាល់ខ្លួននិងបក្ខពួករួចមក ទើបលោកប្ដឹងទៅតុលាការ ក្នុងនាមសម្ដេច ប្រធានព្រឹទ្ធសភា ដើម្បីឱ្យអនុវត្ដទៅតាម ច្បាប់ ។

សូមបញ្ជាក់ថាកាលពីថ្ងៃទី២៣ ខែវិច្ឆិកា ឆ្នាំ២០១១ កន្លងទៅ កម្លាំងកងរាជអាវុធ ហត្ថរាជធានីភ្នំពេញ សហការជាមួយកងរាជ អាវុធហត្ថលើផ្ទៃប្រទេស បានធ្វើការ​ឃាត់ ខ្លួនមន្ដ្រីជាន់ខ្ពស់ចំនួន ៣នាក់ ដោយក្នុង នោះពីរនាក់ ជាឧត្ដមសេនីយ៍ឯក និងអតីត ជាទីប្រឹក្សាសម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាល ជា ស៊ីម ប្រធានព្រឹទ្ធសភា រួមមានឧត្ដមសេនីយ៍ឯក ចាន់ កុសល ភេទប្រុស អាយុ៦១ឆ្នាំជា ប្រធានក្រុមហ៊ុន កយ សម្បត្ដិ ស្នាក់នៅផ្ទះ លេខ ៩ ផ្លូវលេខ ១៣៤ ក្រុមទី១៤ សង្កាត់ វាលវង់ ខណ្ឌ៧មករា និង ឧត្ដមសេនីយ៍ឯក ពន្លក ហូ ភេទ ប្រុស អាយុ ៦១ឆ្នាំ ស្នាក់នៅ ផ្ទះជួលក្នុងសង្កាត់ជ្រោយចង្វារ ខណ្ឌឫស្សី កែវ ជាអាណិកជនមកពីសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក និងទី៣ ឈ្មោះ ខៀវ បូរ៉ា ភេទ ប្រុស អាយុ ៥០ឆ្នាំ ជាបុគ្គលិកផ្នែកមូលនិធិទំនាក់ទំនង ស្វែងរកជំនួយមនុស្សធម៌ និងជាជំនួយការ របស់លោកស្រី ផេង គន្ធាបូរី មានទីលំនៅ ក្នុងសង្កាត់ទួល សង្កែ ខណ្ឌឫស្សីកែវ ។ លុះ នៅថ្ងៃទី២៨ ខែ កញ្ញា សមត្ថកិច្ចខាងលើ បានធ្វើការឃាត់ខ្លួន អ្នកស្រី ផេង គន្ធាបូរី ខណៈដែលអ្នកស្រី​ព្យាយាមរត់គេចខ្លួនទៅ កាន់ប្រទេសថៃ តាមច្រកចាំយាម ខេត្ដកោះ កុង ហើយក៏ត្រូវសមត្ថកិច្ចធ្វើការឃាត់ខ្លួន នៅមាត់ច្រកតែម្ដង។

ការឃាត់ខ្លួនខាងលើនេះ ត្រូវបានសមត្ថ កិច្ចធ្វើការអះអាងថា អនុវត្ដទៅតាមដីកា បញ្ជាឱ្យចាប់ខ្លួនដែលចេញដោយតុលាការ រាជធានីភ្នំពេញ ។ បច្ចុប្បន្នជនទាំង ៤នាក់ ត្រូវបានតុលាការធ្វើការចោទប្រកាន់ និង សម្រេចឃុំខ្លួនជាបណ្ដោះអាសន្ននៅពន្ធនា គារព្រៃស ។

ចំណាត់ការចាប់ខ្លួនអ្នកស្រី ផេង គន្ធាបូរី ខាងលើនេះ ត្រូវបានលោក គួយ ធុនណា មេ ធាវីការពារក្ដីឱ្យអ្នកស្រីធ្វើការអះអាងថា តុលាការធ្វើខុសនីតិវិធី ហើយលោក​អះអាង ថា កូនក្ដីរបស់លោកគឺជាជនរងគ្រោះនៅ ក្នុងការចោទប្រកាន់នេះ ហើយលោករួម និងក្រុមមេធាវីផ្សេងទៀត នឹងដាក់លិខិត សុំធានាកូនក្ដីឱ្យនៅក្រៅឃុំ ដោយលោក លើកឡើងថា កូនក្ដីរបស់ខ្លួនបានធ្វើការបដិ សេធចំពោះការចោទប្រកាន់ និងឆ្លើយដាក់ ទាំងអស់នេះ ហើយគាត់ក៏ជាជនរងគ្រោះ ដែរ ដូច្នេះលោកសូមចៅក្រមសម្រេចឱ្យកូន ក្ដីរបស់លោកបាននៅក្រៅឃុំ និងសុំឱ្យលើក លែងការចោទប្រកាន់។

ពាក់ព័ន្ធទៅនឹងករណីឃាត់ខ្លួន មន្ដ្រីជាន់ ខ្ពស់ខាងលើនេះ មិនត្រូវបានមន្ដ្រីណាម្នាក់ ធ្វើការបញ្ជាក់លំអិតពីដើមចម ដែលនាំឱ្យ មានបណ្ដឹង និងការឃាត់ខ្លួនខាងលើ​នេះ នោះទេ ។ ប៉ុន្ដែលោកឧត្ដមសេនីយ៍ឯក យឹម លាង ដែលត្រូវបានសម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាល ជា ស៊ីម ប្រគល់សិទ្ធិធ្វើជាដើមបណ្ដឹង ក្នុង ការប្ដឹងទៅតុលាការនោះ បានអះអាងថា ការដាក់ពាក្យបណ្ដឹង និងឈានទៅដល់ការ ឃាត់ខ្លួន គឺបន្ទាប់ពីរូបលោកដែលទទួល បានសិទ្ធិពីសម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាល បានស្រាវ ជ្រាវរកឃើញ​ឯកសារមិនប្រក្រតីជាច្រើន ដែលពាក់ព័ន្ធទៅនឹងការក្លែងឯកសារសាធារ ណៈ ការប្រើប្រាស់ឯកសារក្លែង និងផ្ដល់ឯក សារក្លែងនៅក្នុងអំពើឆបោក ដោយយក ឈ្មោះ សម្ដេចធម្មពោធិសាល ជា ស៊ីម ទៅ ប្រើប្រាស់ ដើម្បីរកប្រយោជន៍ផ្ទាល់ខ្លួន ។ ក្នុងនោះប្រភពព័ត៌មានដោយឡែកមួយ ទៀត បានអះអាងថា សំណុំរឿងខាងលើនេះ គឺមានជាច្រើនករណី ហើយបានកើតឡើង ប៉ុន្មានឆ្នាំមកហើយ និយាយរួមបទល្មើស ភាគច្រើនគឺពាក់ព័ន្ធទៅនឹងការប្រើប្រាស់ ឈ្មោះថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំ និងក្លែងលិខិតស្នាម​នានា ដើម្បីឆបោក ក្រុមហ៊ុនបរទេសដែលភាគ ច្រើន គឺតាមរយៈមូលនិធិមនុស្សធម៌ដែល ប្រើប្រាស់ ឈ្មោះសម្ដេច ជា ស៊ីម តែម្ដង ។ ប្រភពខាងលើបានបន្ដថា ដូចជាករណីបង្កើត មូលនិធិដើម្បីប្រមូលថវិកាលើកគម្រោង កសាងមន្ទីរពេទ្យសម្ដេច ជា ស៊ីម នៅក្រោយ វត្ដសំរោងអណ្ដែត និងនៅខេត្ដព្រៃវែង ជា ដើមដែល​គម្រោង​ត្រូវចំណាយថវិការាប់ សិបលានដុល្លារ ហើយក៏មានក្រុមហ៊ុនជា ច្រើន បានធ្វើការឧបត្ថម្ភ តែទីបំផុតមិនបាន កសាង ចេញជារូបរាងនោះទេ ៕

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 10/01/2011 12:17:00 AM

KI-Media2 Young men face the brunt of land dispute

30 September, 2011
A woman holds a child in front of her house in Lor Peang village, in Kampong Chhnang province. Photo by: Derek Stout
A boy (right) who is almost at the age when he could be trafficked to Thailand for work, with his family in Lor Peang village. Photo by: Derek Stout
Keo Vannak, 49, participates in a protest outside the Kampong Chhnang provincial court earlier this month. Photo by: Derek Stout

Friday, 30 September 2011 12:01
May Titthara and Derek Stout
The Phnom Penh Post

I worry about them [my sons] all the time because I don’t know if they will survive or die

Kampong Chhnang province – In the once-thriving village of Lor Peang, in Kampong Tralach district, work is scarce and men of working age are even scarcer.

Villagers, locked in a bitter, high-profile land dispute for almost 10 years and unable to farm local fields, estimate 90 per cent of their sons have been trafficked to Thailand – where many work on fishing boats notorious for the ill-treatment of workers.

“I worry about them [my sons] all the time, because I don’t know if they will survive or die,” 56-year-old villager Khiev Boeun told the Post.

He faces a problem common to almost every parent in the Ta Ches commune village. Even boys as young as 13 are said to have been smuggled abroad.

“We don’t know who we can depend on any more,” Khiev Boeun said from outside the provincial court house, where the community was trying to file a complaint on September 15 in an attempt to regain the land.

“Our farmland was lost, and I haven’t received any news from my two sons since they went to work in Thailand in 2009.”

Standing nearby, 59-year-old Neang Ngat said her 19-year-old son had crossed the border to Thailand in 2010 in search of work on a fishing boat in order to support the family, which could no longer feed themselves without the ability to harvest rice.

“About 90 per cent of the sons in the village cross illegally to work in Thailand to find money to support their families and send money to their parents,” she said.

The land dispute that has radically changed Lor Peang is far from over. It dates back to 2002 when, villagers claim, more than 500 hectares of their farmland was unlawfully taken by the company KDC International. The company is owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Industry, Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem. Chea Kheng is also a high-ranking member of the Cambodia Red Cross.

Families in Lor Peang have frequently filed both individual and joint complaints with the courts in attempts to retake the land, but with no success.

The most recent joint complaint, which requested that KDC International return less than a fifth of the land, was rejected by the chief provincial clerk for Kampong Chhnang on the grounds that the villagers were unable to pay the US$8,000 filing tax.

Villagers are attempting to adapt to hard times, but residents say signs of malnutrit-ion have become increasingly evident among young children in the village. Women have also left in search of work.

Tears streaked the face of 49-year-old Keo Vannak as she explained that her daughter had left the village to work in a bakery in Phnom Penh. Her 19-year-old son is believed to be working on a Thai fishing boat.

He has not sent any money home, however, and Keo Vannak believes he has been cheated by a fishing-boat captain because of his illegal working status.

In order to make money to survive without farmland, Keo Vannak has begun weaving palm leaves to sell as roofing material.

“In one day I can earn about 7,000 riel (US$1.75), which is not much money,” she said.

Life has also changed for one of the few men of working age in Lor Peang.

Sitting beneath a small one-room shack built of wood and palm leaves, 37-year-old Boun Tok lives in one of several homes that are surrounded by miniature plots of rice paddies that residents rely on to produce a meagre amount of rice.

“Now that I don’t have a big plot of farmland to plant rice like before, I just plant rice around my home and go to the field to catch frogs for cooking,” Boun Tok said.

He also said that his 18-year-old son, like most other young men in the village, had been smuggled across the border to Thailand by a broker, who would usually be paid about 300,000 riel (US$75) by the family.

After this, most families no longer hear from their sons.

“They [villagers] know the difficulty of being an illegal migrant worker, but they have to go because they have no work in their village,” Sam Ankea, the Adhoc co-ordinator for Kampong Chhnang province, said.

Sam Ankea added that although there had been no resolution regarding the land dispute, the government should be responsible for providing the residents of Lor Peang with jobs, so they were not forced to seek work illegally.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, said disputes over land had the ability to not only completely destroy a community, but were “the human-rights equivalent of a knock-out punch”.

“The fact that men and boys from this area are now rolling the dice to try and earn money on Thai fishing boats, where human trafficking is rife, is a good indication of their desperation,” Robertson said.

“For the aggrandisement of just one already wealthy, elite family, an entire community of families is forced to economically start over from scratch, with little or no land to call their own.”

Robertson described the grim scene on Thai fishing boats, where illegal migrant workers are frequently overworked and “often shot and disposed of at. sea”.

This kind of land dispossession feeds the human trafficking industry in Thailand, and condemns many Cambodian families to stagger into the future without their fathers, sons and husbands, who will go to Thailand to try to earn money and never return,” he said.

Thai Hy, a representative for KDC International, declined to comment on the ongoing land dispute.

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 9/30/2011 11:06:00 PM

KI-Media2 Flood death toll rises to 141 in Cambodia

30 September, 2011

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — At least 141 people were reported dead in the Mekong River and flash floods hitting Cambodia since last month, according to the report of the National Committee for Disaster Management on Friday.

The interim report recorded that from August 13 to September 29, the flash and Mekong River floods have inundated 15 cities and provinces and had killed 141 people. Of the figure, Prey Veng province has the highest death toll of 39 people, Kampong Cham has 32 deaths, Kampong Thom, 22, and Kratie, 19.

Besides human life claims, the floods have affected 173,063 people and forced another 17,273 people evacuated for higher grounds. Also, 130,220 homes have been inundated.

The report said that about 269,953 hectares of rice paddies have been affected and another 61,473 hectares were completely damaged.

About 817 schools and 358 Buddhist pagodas have been submerged and some 100 kilometers of national roads were affected, it said.

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 9/30/2011 10:58:00 PM

KI-Media2 Landmines kill 27 Cambodians in 7 months

30 September, 2011

September 30, 2011

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) — Cambodia on Friday reported 119 landmine casualties in the first seven months of this year.

Of the casualties, 27 people were killed and other 92 were injured, according to the report from the Cambodian Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Victim Information System.

The report showed that the casualties represented the decrease of 36 percent compared with the same period last year of 186 casualties reported.

It recorded that 74 percent of the victims were men, 19 percent were boys, and 7 percent were women and girls.

Since 1979 to July 2011, landmines had killed 19,603 people and injured 44,322 others.

Cambodia is one of the worst countries suffered from mines in the world as the results of nearly three decades of war and internal conflict from the mid 1960s until the end of 1998.

Cambodia’s five most mine-laid provinces are Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin and Preah Vihear.

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 9/30/2011 08:49:00 PM

KI-Media2 Prisoner swap ‘likely’ for Veera, Ratree

30 September, 2011

Bangkok Post

Thai Patriots Network activist Veera Somkwankid and his secretary Ratree Pipattanapaiboon may be released through a prisoner exchange programme, Defence Minster Yutthasak Sasiprapa said on Friday.

Gen Yutthasak said the matter was raised when he went to Cambodia for a visit and met Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Hun Sen said during the meeting that when Somsak Kiatsuranond called on him on Sept 20 the House speaker told him that there were also 37 other Thais imprisoned in Cambodia.

Gen Yutthasak said the Cambodian prime minister said that that from Mr Somsak’s comment he believed a prisoner exchange programme was possible in the case of Veera and Ratree and asked him to convey his suggestion to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, he said.

PM Yingluck made an official visit to Cambodia on Sept 15.

Hun Sen suggested that Ms Yingluck instruct the Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs ministries to coordinate with their Cambodian counterparts for further consultations, Gen Yutthasak said.

The defence minister said he did not know if Veera and Ratree would still have to serve their remaining jail terms after being transferred to Thailand.

He said he would meet Hun Sen again at the General Border Meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 9/30/2011 08:45:00 PM

KI-Media2 Thailand mulls asking Cambodia to transfer two detained Thai activists

30 September, 2011

BANGKOK, Sept 30 (MCOT online news) – Thailand is considering asking Cambodia to transfer two Thai activists detained in the neighbouring country for espionage to serve out their jail terms in their own homeland, a government spokesperson said on Friday.

Thai government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng made the statement following a report in Phnom Penh Post about possible prisoner swap between Thailand and Cambodia.

Ms Thitima said the government is now mulling over asking Cambodia to transfer Veera Somkwamkid, coordinator of Thailand’s Patriots Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, now in a Cambodian jail on spying charges and illegal entry.

She said the idea was floated during the recent visit of Thai Defence Minister Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapa to the neighbouring country and that the law on the transfer of prisoners has been enforced since 2009 but on condition that the prisoners must serve out one-third of their jail terms.

For royal pardon, the prisoners must serve two-thirds of their assigned jail term, so it depends on the Cambodian government as to how it will proceed with the Thai request, the spokesperson said.

Ms Thitima added there is also a possibility that the prisoners’ jail term will be reduced on Cambodian special occasions to one-third before being transferred to Thailand.

“The government wants to secure the release of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree as soon as possible,” she stated.

The Phnom Penh Post earlier quoted Ms Thitima as saying prisoner exchanges between Phnom Penh and Bangkok could take place “very soon” and that the Thai Ministry of Justice had begun examining in detail how to circumvent existing legal impediments.

A Cambodian court on Feb 1 ruled that the pair were guilty of espionage, illegal entry, and trespassing in a military zone. Mr Veera was sentenced to an eight-year jail term while Ms Ratree was handed a six-year jail term. Their petitions seeking a royal pardon were rejected as the Cambodian government asserted the two must serve two-thirds of their jail terms first.

Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 9/30/2011 08:43:00 PM