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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Explainer: Does the Cambodia refugee deal comply with the convention?

  • Scott Morrison, Australian Immigration Minister, shakes hands with Sar Kheng (R), Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior. (EPA/MAK REMISSA)
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Australia and Cambodia raises important questions about Australia’s international legal obligations, the nature of regional refugee protection and resettlement.
Source:The Conversation
30 Sep 2014 - 12:58 PM  UPDATED YESTERDAY 5:22 PM

By Maria O'Sullivan, Monash University
The agreement signed on Friday is unique. No other country in the developed world has signed an agreement with a developing nation for the resettlement of recognised refugees.
The deal has been widely criticised by refugee law scholars, including David Manne of the Refugee Immigration legal Centre and Joyce Chia of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

Child labourer injuries rife

A young child fills a customer’s fuel tank with petrol yesterday in Phnom Penh
A young child fills a customer’s fuel tank with petrol yesterday in Phnom Penh. Vireak Mai

Over 85 per cent of child domestic workers in Phnom Penh are injured in the course of their employment, research into child labour released yesterday revealed.
The Cambodian Development Research Institute and World Vision International are jointly examining child labour practices in the Kingdom, and the preliminary findings of their four-year study indicate an under-regulated and ill-defined employment sector that is exposing minors to abusive and hazardous conditions.

Hackers cut deal to work for gov’t

SETEC Institute students Chou Songheng (centre) and Bun King Mongkolpanha (right) leave Phnom Penh Municipal Court
SETEC Institute students Chou Songheng (centre) and Bun King Mongkolpanha (right) leave Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being convicted of attacking various websites. Pha Lina

Two members of “hacktivist” group Anonymous Cambodia convicted of computer hacking yesterday will be spared further jail time. Instead, they have been ordered to put their “excellent” IT skills to use combating cybercrime in the Ministry of Interior.
Bun King Mongkolpanha, 21, alias “Black Cyber”, and Chou Songheng, 20, alias “Zoro”, were found guilty of IT offences under two articles of the criminal code at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday morning and sentenced to two years in prison.
But their sentences were reduced to five months and 20 days – the amount of time they have already spent in prison since being arrested in April – and they are to be released today.

CNRP councillor in Prey Sar prison

A Cambodia National Rescue Party councillor jailed for his alleged role in a violent protest in July at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park was visited yesterday by his family and a fellow opposition member, as the party called for his release.
Mak Choub, a CNRP member in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, said that 48-year-old Sum Puthy, a commune councillor in Chbar Ampov district, has been held in poor conditions at the capital’s Prey Sar prison since his arrest on Monday.
“Puthy slept overnight without a pillow, blanket or mosquito net. It’s a hard life for him,” he told the Post.

An affront to human rights

Protesters gather in front of the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday
Protesters gather in front of the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday before the signing of a controversial refugee deal between the countries. Heng Chivoan

As recently as January, Australia denounced Cambodia for its poor human rights record at a United Nations human rights hearing. Now, just eight months later, Australia has turned a blind eye to this record by signing a refugee deal with Cambodia that raises serious human rights concerns.
As the world faces an unprecedented number of refugees, Australia is dodging its responsibility to provide a safe and dignified resettlement process despite its high capacity to do so. Instead, it has

Areng dam a boon: ministry

Locals watch as Chinese engineers prepare to undertake a feasibility study for the Stung Cheay Areng dam in November 2012
Locals watch as Chinese engineers prepare to undertake a feasibility study for the Stung Cheay Areng dam in November 2012. INTERNATIONAL RIVERS

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has denied that the proposed Stung Cheay Areng hydropower dam in Koh Kong province will have as wide-ranging environmental and social impacts as predicted by activists, saying that the forests will be replaced by ecotourism resorts.
Speaking to reporters yesterday in Phnom Penh, ministry secretary of state Ith Praing said the reservoir would cover only 10,000 hectares and that the dam was slated for completion by 2020 at a cost of $400 million.

តុលាការ​កោះ​ហៅ​យុវជន​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​ម្នាក់​ទៀត​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​បទ​ឧក្រិដ្ឋ

ដោយ ខែ សុណង
2014-10-01
RFA
ចៅក្រម​សាលា​ដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ បាន​កោះ​ហៅ​យុវជន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ ម្នាក់​ទៀត​ក្នុង​ចំណោម ៣​នាក់ ឲ្យ​បំភ្លឺ​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​បទ​ឧក្រិដ្ឋ​នៅ​តំបន់​ស្ពាន​នាគ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៥ ខែ​កក្កដា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៤។
លោក សាន គឹមហេង ដែល​បាន​ចូល​បំភ្លឺ​តាម​ដីកា​កោះ​របស់​ចៅក្រម​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១ តុលា ថ្លែង​ថា ចៅក្រម​ស៊ើបសួរ លោក កែ មុនី បាន​សាកសួរ​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​បទ​ចោទ​២ គឺ​បទ​ចូលរួម​ធ្វើ​កុបកម្ម​ប្រឆាំង​រាជការ​សាធារណៈ​មាន​ស្ថាន​ទម្ងន់​ទោស និង​បទ​ប្រើ​អំពើ​ហិង្សា​លើ​សមត្ថកិច្ច​ដែល​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​ទៅ​កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​ ១៥ កក្កដា នៅ​ក្បែរ​ទីលាន​ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ។

សារសំខាន់នៃការអភិរក្សតំបន់ស្ទឹងអារ៉ែងខេត្តកោះកុង (វគ្គ ១)

សារសំខាន់នៃការអភិរក្សតំបន់ស្ទឹងអារ៉ែងខេត្តកោះកុង (វគ្គ ២)

សារសំខាន់នៃការអភិរក្សតំបន់ស្ទឹងអារ៉ែងខេត្តកោះកុង (វគ្គ ៣)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Cambodia Defends Refugee Deal with Australia

Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong gives an interview with VOA Khmer's Sok Khemra at Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the U.N. in New York​, Sept. 27, 2014.
Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong gives an interview with VOA Khmer's Sok Khemra at Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the U.N. in New York​, Sept. 27, 2014.
VOA
Cambodia says aid money from Australia was not a factor in its decision to accept asylum seekers currently living in a detention center on the Micronesian island of Nauru.
In an exclusive interview with VOA Khmer in New York late Sunday, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said it is time for Cambodia to give back on the issue of refugees.
“The reason that we take [the refugees] is that when Cambodia had wars, for nearly 30 years,

Wanted: big trucks for a big crowd

A protester holds on to a barricade as he is blasted with water from a fire truck in Phnom Penh last year
A protester holds on to a barricade as he is blasted with water from a fire truck in Phnom Penh last year. The government will purchase two water-cannon trucks for use by the National Police in demonstrations. Pha Lina

With the spectre of potential garment-sector unrest on the horizon and emboldened communities protesting land disputes, the National Police is buying what appear to be the authorities’ first water-cannon trucks designed specifically to control demonstrations.
And despite widespread concerns over the use of excessive force by security forces over the past year, they are making no effort to hide it.

Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan appeal verdicts

The Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan defence teams formally appealed the verdict in the recently wrapped Case 002/01 at the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday, with each laying out myriad grievances with the lengthy trial that saw the two defendants handed life sentences in August.
Though lengthier documents are to follow, the Nuon Chea team nonetheless listed 223 alleged errors in the court’s conduct of the case and in its judgement against its client, including nearly 20 errors "concerning the legitimacy and fairness of the proceedings”.

On flooding, patience please

A man bails water from his shop front on Sunday in Phnom Penh following heavy rains that inundated many neighbourhoods in the capital
A man bails water from his shop front on Sunday in Phnom Penh following heavy rains that inundated many neighbourhoods in the capital. Hong Menea

After a prolonged downpour early yesterday morning left much of Phnom Penh under water and the overtaxed drainage system struggling to accommodate the deluge, Prime Minister Hun Sen urged city residents to be patient.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in the capital, the premier yesterday promised to address the city’s clogged sewers, especially in neighbourhoods that continued to be mired in fetid wastewater hours after the storm had passed.

Cambodia may miss AEC date

A moto driver waits for customers in front of the General Department of Customs and Excise yesterday afternoon in Phnom Penh.
A moto driver waits for customers in front of the General Department of Customs and Excise yesterday afternoon in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cast fresh doubt over the region’s ability to meet the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) self-imposed 2015 deadline.
According to the ADB’s 2014 Economic Update, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have all effectively reduced tariff rates to almost zero and are now poised to introduce a one-stop shop to expedite customs clearance within ASEAN – called the ASEAN Single Window – by 2015.
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, however, are all lagging, the ADB’s September 25 update said.

Land disputes aired in capital

Families hold placards yesterday in Phnom Penh during a demonstration at Freedom Park calling for the government to fast track a resolution to their land dispute issues
Families hold placards yesterday in Phnom Penh during a demonstration at Freedom Park calling for the government to fast track a resolution to their land dispute issues. Vireak Mai

Nearly one hundred people from three provinces gathered at Freedom Park yesterday to demand that the government help them solve their long-running land disputes.
“Please, [we ask the] National Assembly to help settle and help investigate the corruption in the land disputes, and ask the government led by Samdech Hun Sen to help speed up the cases and offer land titles for us because we are living damn miserably,” said Om Sam Ol, a representative of 147 families from Pailin’s Sala Krao district.

Consumerism booms as Cambodia embraces once-forbidden capitalism

Reuters
Chy Sila, CEO of CBM Corporation, holds his mobile phone while driving a car in Phnom Penh
Chy Sila, CEO of CBM Corporation, holds his mobile phone while driving a car in Phnom Penh August 28, …
By Prak Chan Thul
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Chy Sila has come a long way since he invested his $500 life savings in a small shop in Cambodia's capital to sell bootleg music and pirated movies.
Fast-forward 16 years and Cambodians are now watching the films he distributes not on scratchy DVDs but in a $5 million multiplex theater, a joint venture with Thailand's Major Cineplex and the centerpiece of a new mall owned by Japanese retail giant Aeon <8267 .t=""> that drew 2 million visitors in its opening month.

Despite ELC Ban, Minister Talks of New Land Deals

By | September 30, 2014
The Cambodia Daily
 
Two-and-a-half years after Prime Minister Hun Sen imposed a freeze on the granting of economic land concessions (ELCs), Environment Minister Say Sam Al on Monday appeared to leave the door open to the government giving more companies access to the often-controversial land holdings.
At a press conference at the ministry, Mr. Sam Al said the contract period of new ELCs would be slashed from the current maximum of 99 years to 50 years for any company that signed “new” ELC agreements.
“[F]or companies that have received ELCs and made contracts with the government, we will keep it the same, but for companies that make new contracts with the government for economic land concessions, we have reduced [the contract period] to only 50 years,” he said.

Flash Floods Spur Criticism of City Hall

By | September 29, 2014
The Cambodia Daily
 
Torrential rain caused flash flooding across Phnom Penh on Sunday, inundating homes and businesses and transforming the capital’s dirty boulevards into befouled semblances of Venetian canals.
Early Sunday morning, about 20 residents of the neighborhood around the former Boeng Kak lake—which once acted as a natural drainage pond for the city’s excess water before it was filled with sand in 2010 for a planned development project—waded from their flooded homes under sheets of rain to City Hall, where they accused municipal officials of conspiring to prevent water from draining from the area.
A family stays dry in the trunk of their car parked on a flooded street in Phnom Penh's Boeng Kak neighborhood Sunday. About 60 Boeng Kak residents protested outside City Hall on Sunday, accusing municipal officials of conspiring to prevent water from draining from the area. (John Vink)
A family stays dry in the trunk of their car parked on a flooded street in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak neighborhood Sunday. About 60 Boeng Kak residents protested outside City Hall on Sunday, accusing municipal officials of conspiring to prevent water from draining from the area. (John Vink)
The protesters were pushed back by district security guards but returned at 3 p.m. with 40 more residents.

Junta requests extradition of Thai dissident

During a military ceremony on Sunday, Thailand publicly requested that Cambodia repatriate a student activist wanted on charges of offending the monarchy.
“Red Shirt” member Ekkapob Luara, also known as Tang Acheewa, is seeking political asylum in Cambodia after Thailand’s ruling junta put out an arrest warrant for him in June, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai political analyst and acquaintance of Ekkapob’s wrote in the Japan Times earlier this month.
Cambodia, however, denied any knowledge of the fugitive, who Pavin attested was chased by Thai spies during a stay in Sihanoukville.

Overcoming Cambodia fatigue

Surya Subedi, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia
Surya Subedi, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, speaks to the media during a press conference in Phnom Penh in January. AFP

Last week, Surya Subedi, the United Nations' special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, presented his last report to the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. At first sight, the report may appear to give a positive outlook for the human rights situation in the country. But if you read it between the lines, you will find one of the most powerful indictments of the Cambodian government in years.
In a nutshell, it shows the government’s failure to implement key recommendations that the special rapporteur made during his six-year term. These include reforms to the judiciary, parliament and the electoral system, and land rights. Despite his unassailable long-term optimism, Subedi doubts the

Refugees in Nauru protest

Families in the Nauru detention centre stand at the residential compound during a protest against Australia’s refugee deal with Cambodi
Families in the Nauru detention centre stand at the residential compound during a protest against Australia’s refugee deal with Cambodia. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Refugees on Nauru have said they will reject Australia’s offer of resettlement in Cambodia after a protest on the island was staged at the Australian Embassy yesterday amid reports of three more incidents of self-harm and attempted suicide.
An Iranian refugee, who cannot be named and who was speaking on behalf of residents of the “family camp” on the island, yesterday told the Post that the widely held perception of Cambodia as a poverty-stricken and violent country meant that nobody in the camp was currently willing to voluntarily accept the offer of resettlement.
“The people here think of a bad image of Cambodia in their mind, because it’s a very poor country. There is lots of crime, a history of killings and abuse,” he said. “Nobody here wants to go to Cambodia.”

ផ្នែក​ខ្លះ​នៃ​ភ្នំពេញ​ត្រូវ​លិចលង់​បន្ទាប់​ពី​ភ្លៀង​មួយ​មេ

ក្រុម​យោធិន​ពិការ​ស្វែង​រក​ដំណោះ​ស្រាយ​រឿង​ដី​ធ្លី

Monday, 29 September 2014

Cheating down, not out at grade 12 exams

A student gets searched for contraband by officials before entering a national exam last month
A student gets searched for contraband by officials before entering a national exam last month. Pha Lina

Rash, brazen and outright desperate, some grade 12 candidates dared to defy this year’s national exam crackdown by attempting to cheat their way to a better score, the Anti-Corruption Unit reported this weekend.
The defrauders might have found their techniques successful with the looser rules in place during exams in previous years, but this round, their tricks earned them failing grades and humiliation.
“It’s clear that the students’ capacity and level of knowledge did not match the exam. Their lack of

Floods swamp capital

A man attempts to push his scooter through floodwaters near the Olympic Stadium
A man attempts to push his scooter through floodwaters near the Olympic Stadium yesterday morning in Phnom Penh after heavy rain inundated a number of areas in the capital. Hong Menea

A torrential downpour that lasted over three hours yesterday morning has left many in the capital struggling with flooded houses, businesses and travel conditions, sparking outcry that authorities have not done enough to manage the rain’s effects.
Hang Dara, a motorbike repairman in Boeung Keng Kang, said his bike broke down because of floods that were “almost waist-deep”.
Around 50 people involved in the long-running Boeung Kak land conflict blockaded the street in front of City Hall yesterday morning and evening, asking authorities to pump water out of their areas.
But the city ignored their problems, said Boeung Kak activist Song Srey Leap.

NEC amendment: Changes to constitution on agenda

The National Assembly will vote this week on a proposal to reform the National Election Committee (NEC) to make it a constitutional institution, a key prerequisite of the deal that ended the country’s political deadlock.
A press release issued on Friday by the National Assembly’s General Secretariat listed “proposals of draft laws related to electoral reform” as one of several agendas up for debate when parliament sits on Wednesday.
Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the new NEC would be a constitutionally mandated body that would differ from the current NEC because “it will need to have a consensus between the CPP and CNRP”.

Deal worrying refugees


People hold placards and a banner during a demonstration at Nauru’s refugee detention centre on Saturday
People hold placards and a banner during a demonstration at Nauru’s refugee detention centre on Saturday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Refugees on the tiny Melanesian island nation of Nauru have made several suicide attempts and acts of self-harm since learning of a $35 million deal between Cambodia and Australia to resettle them here, according to advocates for the refugees.
The advocates said yesterday that five people – including four minors – have sewn their mouths shut in protest at the prospect of “voluntary” resettlement in Cambodia, an arrangement celebrated over glasses of champagne at Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior on Friday.

Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city



Angkor Wat temple

Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city, which was hidden for centuries. New archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets - including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.

In April 1858 a young French explorer, Henri Mouhot, sailed from London to south-east Asia. For the next three years he travelled widely, discovering exotic jungle insects that still bear his name.
Today he would be all but forgotten were it not for his journal, published in 1863, two years after he died of fever in Laos, aged just 35.
Mouhot's account captured the public imagination, but not because of the beetles and spiders he found.

Cambodia: amid human rights progress, UN expert calls for more reform

UN expert on human rights in Cambodia Surya Subedi (right) on a visit to the country in May 2012. Photo: OHCHR Cambodia
 
24 September 2014 – Cambodia may be on the verge of a new era in human rights protection, an independent United Nations human rights expert declared today, adding that while the political momentum in the country was headed in a “positive direction,” a strong human rights infrastructure was still needed in order to establish “far-reaching and meaningful reform.”
In his address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Surya P. Subedi noted that the situation in the country was “very different” from the one that existed when he first assumed his post as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia five years ago. He warned, however, that the lack of independent monitoring institutions risked stunting the country’s progress on human rights issues.

ប្រសិទ្ធិភាពនៃការគ្រប់គ្រងជនភៀសខ្លួនមកពីប្រទេសអូស្រ្តាលី (វគ្គ ១)

ប្រសិទ្ធិភាពនៃការគ្រប់គ្រងជនភៀសខ្លួនមកពីប្រទេសអូស្រ្តាលី (វគ្គ ២)

ប្រសិទ្ធិភាពនៃការគ្រប់គ្រងជនភៀសខ្លួនមកពីប្រទេសអូស្រ្តាលី (វគ្គ បញ្ចប់)

សម្ភាសតារាសម្តែងម្នាក់ដែលគាំទ្រគណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ

បទ​វិភាគ៖ កត្តា​អ្វី​ខ្លះ​ដែល​ថា​កម្ពុជា​អសមត្ថភាព​ក្នុង​ការ​ទទួល​យក​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន?

ដោយ ជី វិតា
2014-09-29
RFA
តវ៉ា ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន អូស្ត្រាលី ៦២០
ពលរដ្ឋ​លើក​បដា​តវ៉ា​ប្រឆាំង​ការ​បញ្ជូន​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន​ពី​ប្រទេស​ អូស្ត្រាលី មក​នៅ​កម្ពុជា នា​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៦ កញ្ញា ២០១៤។
RFA/Khe Sonorng
អង្គការ​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​ក្រៅ​ស្រុក​និង​ក្នុង​ស្រុក ព្រមទាំង​អង្គការ​សហប្រជាជាតិ​ទទួល​បន្ទុក​ជនភៀសខ្លួន​ផង កំពុង​មាន​ការ​ព្រួយ​បារម្ភ​អំពី​កិច្ចព្រមព្រៀង​រវាង​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​កម្ពុជា និង​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​អូស្ត្រាលី ដើម្បី​ផ្ទេរ​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន​ពី​កោះ​ណាវរូ មក​អោយ​រស់​នៅ​កម្ពុជា។ ពួក​គេ​យល់​ឃើញ​ថា កម្ពុជា​មិន​មែន​ជា​ប្រទេស​សមស្រប និង​មាន​សមត្ថភាព​ដើម្បី​ទទួល​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន​ឡើយ។
តើ​មាន​កត្តា​អ្វី​ខ្លះ​ដែល​នាំ​អោយ​មាន​ទស្សនៈ​ថា កម្ពុជា​អសមត្ថភាព​ក្នុង​ការ​ទទួល​យក​ជន​ភៀស​ខ្លួន?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Refugee deal signed and toasted

No deal in garment wage talks


Workers protest outside the Ministry of Labour
Workers protest outside the Ministry of Labour Pha Lina

Minimum wage negotiations between garment industry unions and employer representatives remained in a stalemate after a meeting yesterday, with neither side willing to budge.
A coalition of unions is calling for the industry minimum wage to be raised to $177 a month, but employers say they can only afford $110 – a $10 bump from the current wage floor.
Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Samheng, who facilitated the meeting, said that if a consensus was not reached by October 10, the two sides would take part in a Labor Advisory Committee vote on the issue.

The life and death of a forest activist


Above and bottom right: Animated images from the documentary I am Chut Wutty.
Above and bottom right: Animated images from the documentary I am Chut Wutty. SEPT PUTRA

New documentary I am Chut Wutty, screened publicly for the first time on Tuesday, features previously unseen footage and interviews that tell the story of the anti-logging campaigner
In November 2011, Chut Wutty was campaigning with environmental activists in Prey Lang forest when he was attacked by military police – wrestled to the ground while he was burning illegally cut logs so that nobody could profit from them. Less than a year later, he was shot dead.
Wutty’s case, and the wider struggle of the Prey Lang activists who campaign against illegal logging, was broadcast before a London audience on Tuesday in the preview screening of I am Chut Wutty, a new documentary by environmental researcher and filmmaker Fran Lambrick.

Salary hike in the making for local officials

A gathering of government officials at the Ministry of Interior yesterday approved a draft sub-decree that would see the salaries of Cambodia’s notoriously underpaid civil servants boosted by up to 60 per cent in some cases.
According to the sub-decree, starting in January 2015, a commune chief will get 400,000 riel (about $100) per month, up from 300,000 riel; first and second deputy commune chiefs will get 350,000 riel, up from 240,000; commune councillors will get 300,000 riel , up from 200,000; and village chiefs will get 160,000 riel, a 60 per cent increase from their current salary of 100,000.
“The above payment will be implemented from January 2015, and will only be for the officers in those positions,” the sub-decree reads.

Groups, Villagers Protest Cambodia-Australia Agreement on Refugees

2014-09-26
RFA
cambodia-australia-refugee-agreement-sept-2014.jpg
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison (L) and Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng (R) sign an asylum-seekers’ resettlement agreement in Phnom Penh, Sept. 26, 2014.
RFA
Hundreds of Cambodian activists and villagers protested outside the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh Friday against an agreement allowing Canberra to resettle refugees in their impoverished Southeast Asian nation and which has been criticized by the U.N. refugee agency and human rights activists.

Rights and land activists clashed with police outside the embassy and pushed barricades to try to submit petitions in protest of the agreement signed Friday allowing Australia to relocate refugees from the tiny Pacific island of Nauru to Cambodia, where they would settle permanently.

UN Envoy Calls For Progress on Governance, Human Rights in Cambodia

2014-09-24
RFA
cambodia-surya-subedi-june-2014.jpg
Surya Subedi (C), UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, speaks to the media in Phnom Penh, June 24, 2014.
AFP
A United Nations envoy said Wednesday that the fundamentals of governance and human rights have not changed in Cambodia despite the new political environment, calling for independent monitoring institutions.

Surya P. Subedi, the U.N.’s special envoy on Cambodian human rights, made the proposal while addressing the world body's Human Rights Council in Geneva for the last time during his six-year term, which ends in March 2015.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dentist Denies Defaming Government Spokesman

By and | September 16, 2014
The Cambodia Daily
 
Phnom Penh dentist Eng Lykuong, who alleges she was defrauded of $1 million by a Cambodia-based company, on Monday rejected government spokesman Phay Siphan’s accusation that she had attacked his reputation by revealing that he had acted on behalf of one of the defendants in the case, jailed Cambodian-American businessman Richer San.
Mr. San and Sichan Siv, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., stand accused alongside New York State Assemblyman William Nojay and Texan businessman Thomas Willems of conning Ms. Lykuong into investing in their company, Akra Agricultural Partners, by showcasing a number of phony business deals.
Mr. San was jailed pending trial on September 3 after ignoring a court summons to answer questions about the case. But prior to Mr. San’s arrest, Ms. Lykuong told the media that Mr. Siphan, a secretary of state at the Council of Ministers, had approached the court on his behalf.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Friday, Mr. Siphan said Ms. Lykuong’s comments were tantamount to defamation.
“The plaintiff has attacked my reputation and my honor, and I am not happy, because we must all be careful to respect people’s reputation and dignity,” he was quoted as saying.

Naga eyeing institute land


Workers from the neighbouring NagaCorp construction site demolish a section of wall at the Buddhist Institute in May
Workers from the neighbouring NagaCorp construction site demolish a section of wall at the Buddhist Institute in May. Heng Chivoan

NagaCorp, the parent company of Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino, has confirmed that it is eyeing land occupied by the Buddhist Institute for a new hotel development, a revelation that comes mere months after the government proclaimed in no uncertain terms that the institute was there to stay.
The expression of interest, made in a conference call with NagaCorp investors on August 7, confirms the suspicions of activist monks, but the government says no concrete proposal has come its way.

Testing for civil service on radar

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng yesterday called on government ministries to clean up their civil service entrance tests, which are widely perceived to be plagued by corruption, and pointed to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports drastic reform of this year’s grade 12 final exams as an example.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for students of the University of Human Resources, Kheng said the strict clampdown on cheating in the grade 12 exams – which resulted in abysmally low passing rates – could be a boon to human resources if implemented in the civil service as well.
Despite pockets of criticism for the grade 12 testing crackdown, Kheng said, "if we did not start [somewhere], we would never experience of any kind of reform, and this is a good start".