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Justice in the Midst of Conflicts

By: Norbert Klein Posted: January-27-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

The report on the increasing number of rapes, especially also of young girls less then 10 year old, in some cases ending with the killing of the victim, carried a terrifying comment: “Law enforcement by the relevant authorities, especially the courts, remained limited, as giving impunity to perpetrators continued,” continuing: “The number of cases brought to be heard at the courts was not so high, simply because of out of court arrangements.” Money is used instead of justice.

In another context, the Ratanakiri authorities are reported to have seized a truck with illegally logged wood after a Cambodian NGO and local citizens informed the authorities – but this is worse: Citizens who tried to report and to prevent forestry crimes were threatened by armed personnel, and the authorities do not dare to disclose the names of the powerful wood traders who hire citizens to commit these crimes. Power is used instead of justice.

During the 6th Anniversary of Mr. Chea Vichea’s Killing, Trade Unions Can March with Flowers, but the Authorities Ban Making Political Statements

By: The Mirror Posted: January-25-2010 in
The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648

“Phnom Penh: 22 January 2010 is the 6th anniversary since the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers was murdered in 2004 at a newsstand next to Wat Langka in Phnom Penh.

“To commemorate Mr. Chea Vichea, considered by workers as a hero for demanding rights and freedoms for them, trade union leaders, his family, and relatives, and his friends prepare to march with flowers on Friday 22 January 2010 at 8:30 a.m. from the trade union headquarters at House 16A, Street 360, Boeng Keng Kang III, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh. 300 officials and members of the trade union and will join the event.

Citizens held Five Vietnamese People Suspected of Entering to Log Illegally in Khmer Territory, but the Authorities Released Them

By: The Mirrror Posted: January-18-2010 in
The Mirrror

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 647

“Citizens in a community in Mondolkiri held five Vietnamese people who came to cut trees illegally, but the authorities released them. Regarding this case, citizens suspect that the authorities colluded with the Vietnamese people, because when they arrived at the site, to their surprise, they threatened the Khmer citizens.

“Ms. Khan Chany, a citizen in the community of Bu Sra commune, Pechr Chenda district, Mondolkiri, spoke to Deum Ampil, saying that on 13 January 2010 at around 11:00 a.m., citizens in the community went into the forest of the community and found five Vietnamese people cutting trees illegally in the forest; they had also a tractor.

Building Confidence Requires Transparent Application of the Law

By: Norbert Klein Posted: January-11-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

Drafts for an anti-corruption law have been under consideration since 14 years, but now a draft was finalized by the Council of Ministers in December and sent to the National Assembly. The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers had declared – in response to expressed public interest its content – that it is still secret until it reaches the National Assembly.

This did not prevent him to disclose what we reported in the Mirror in our New Year’s comment:

Civil Society Questions why the Government Releases the Anti-Corruption Draft Law so Late

By: The Mirror Posted: December-30-2009 in
The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 645

“The draft of an anti-corruption law has not yet been publicly released, though one part of this draft law was disclosed last week by the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers. When this part of the draft became widely known, it was either welcomed or mocked, as this law will require also staff of non-government organizations who earn little to declare their property.

“A point of this draft law likely aims at the director of an FM radio station who has lots of property, after he had received funds to support the station for nearly 10 years.

When Is It Possible to Trust, or Not to Trust the Law?

By: Norbert Klein Posted: December-22-2009 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

Several events during the past week provide a lot of food for thought. Some cases have been extending over several weeks before they came to a surprising end, others started only recently – but in their mutual links, they leave the public with a lot of questions.

It is not the task of the media to respond to many of these question – but to collect information and to share it publicly. How the answers have to be found, for the whole
society, is clear according to Article 51 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia: “The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country. All power belongs to the
people.” This is the starting point, so the people need to know what is going on.

Mr. Ny Chakriya: The Provision of Land to Companies Is Pushing Citizens to Face Serious Problems

By: The Mirror Posted: December-17-2009 in
The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

“Citizens from eight provincial and city associations met at the Sunway Hotel, to express their opinions about the loss of their land to businesspeople and to some powerful officials, including to private companies that have received concession land from the government.

“Representatives of citizens came to protest, and to express their concerns about land grabbing committed by businesspeople and by some powerful officials.

How can the law be set aside?

By: Norbert Klein Posted: December-15-2009 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

The Mirror is, in principle, an instrument that tries to do what it’s name says: to mirror what is in the news – and a mirror sees everything. It is not selecting what to show and what not to show. This is a high goal for a press review – it cannot be realized in our publication in quantity; but in quality it has to try to reflect major trends, even if some of them contradict each other.

Since some weeks, and with increasing clarity, two different ways to refer to the former Thai prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, can be observed:

The Government Decided to Provide Ownership Rights in Co-Owned Buildings also to Foreigners

By: The Mirror Posted: December-07-2009 in
The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 641

“In the morning of 4 December 2009, the Royal Government of Cambodia approved a draft about the provision of ownership rights in co-owned buildings ['condominiums'] also to foreigners, based on a draft by the Ministry of Land Management and Urbanization in consultation with the Ministry of Justice.

“According to an announcement from the Council of Ministers, the above draft consists of 8 chapters and 24 articles, and it responds to the Royal Government’s policy to attract investors, as well as to facilitate the growth of the real estate market, and to boost development to reduce poverty.

Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Claimed that the Non-Government Organizations Law Will Not Block the Freedom of Non Government Organizations

By: The Mirror, editor: Norbert Klein Posted: November-26-2009 in
The Mirror, editor: Norbert Klein

"Phnom Penh: Pointing to the importance to create a law about non-government organizations (NGOs) being drafted by the government, the Cambodian Prime Minister said on 24 November 2009 that previous problems caused by some NGOs encourage the government to create a law on organizations of different kinds, in order to ensure their proper operation, but this law will not affect the freedom of the NGOs.

"Examples raised by Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen during the 30th anniversary celebratioon of the partnership between NGOs and Cambodia, were of an organization which had been prosecuted in the United State regarding the adoption of children from Cambodia, which finally became human trafficking, and of another organization that sheltered under an NGO some years ago and had taken the British Embassy as its target for a terrorist attack, but this plan was suppressed in time by the government. [The terrorist] Hambali left Cambodia and was later arrested in Thailand, after the attack on the island of Bali in Indonesia.

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