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  1. Last week, the group circulated Taiwanese trade figures that showed imports of silica sand dwarfed Cambodia’s recorded exports by $30 million. PHNOM PENH — Environmental campaign group Mother Nature was stricken from the government register of NGOs on Friday amid an investigation into missing funds from sand exports to Taiwan that has seen two of its activists jailed. In a letter released on Friday, the interior ministry said the NGO, which previously exposed evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars missing from sand export records and campaigned with relative success against the Stung Cheay Areng hydropower dam in Koh Kong province, had asked for the de-listing itself. One of its founders, Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, was in 2015 deported for an alleged immigration violation in a case widely believed to his central role in co-ordinating Mother Nature’s activities in Cambodia. Last week, the group circulated Taiwanese trade figures that showed imports of silica sand dwarfed Cambodia’s recorded exports by $30 million. The news followed a similar scandal uncovered by Mother Nature in which Singapore had recorded about $700 million more in imports than Cambodia reported in exports over the course of several years, raising suspicions of corruption. Also last week, two Mother Nature activists, Dem Kundy and Hun Vannak, were arrested by police acting on a complaint filed by a company purportedly owned by tycoon Ly Yong Phat, for filming boats suspected of involvement in illegal sand dredging in Koh Kong province and have since been charged with incitement and making unauthorized recordings. Som Khet Vean, deputy Koh Kong police chief, said an “unknown company” had detained the activists and handed them over to police. Several officials either could not be reached for comment or declined to give an interview. Thun Rotha, a Mother Nature activist, said: “I want to tell the Koh Kong authorities, especially the powerful ones that are involved in sand exportation, to stop threatening activists.” source https://www.voacambodia.com/a/groundbreaking-environmental-campaign-group-closed-as-activists-arrested/4037033.html -- © Copyright VOA 21/09
  2. Source:Xinhua People urge their buffaloes forward during an annual water buffalo race at Vihear Sour pagoda in Kandal province, Cambodia on Sept. 20, 2017. Thousands of Cambodians flocked on Wednesday to watch the traditional water buffalo race at Vihear Sour pagoda. (Xinhua/Sovannara) People ride on their buffaloes during an annual water buffalo race at Vihear Sour pagoda in Kandal province, Cambodia, on Sept. 20, 2017. Thousands of Cambodians flocked on Wednesday to watch the traditional water buffalo race at Vihear Sour pagoda. (Xinhua/Sovannara) People ride on their buffaloes before an annual water buffalo race at Vihear Sour pagoda in Kandal province, Cambodia on Sept. 20, 2017. Thousands of Cambodians flocked on Wednesday to watch the traditional water buffalo race at Vihear Sour pagoda. (Xinhua/Sovannara) PICTURES: follow the link http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1067483.shtml
  3. Share PHNOM PENH — Following the closing of independent media outlets and the arrest of Cambodia's opposition leader, officials in Phnom Penh have begun training their verbal fire on the U.S., adding to mounting anxiety in the Cambodian capital among government critics and media workers. On Friday, senior Cambodian military officials pledged “the elimination” of all foreigners deemed intent to commit aggression against the country, according to statements reported by government mouthpiece Fresh News. The comments were posted on the same day Prime Minister Hun Sen declared two American "spies" plotting to overthrow his government had been identified and ordered the investigation of all U.S. citizens suspected of conducting espionage. Warnings to foreigners In the same speech, he also suggested the U.S. Peace Corps should pull out of Cambodia and the week before he suspended a program to identify and repatriate the remains of U.S. soldiers lost during the Vietnam War. In statements to the pro-government Fresh News website Friday, Lieutenant General Prum Pheng, Commander of Intervention Brigade 1, and Lieutenant General Bun Seng, a Deputy Commander of the Army and Commander of Military Region 5, vowed to carry out the investigations ordered by Hun Sen. Fresh News reported the men, both of whom are members of the ruling party’s central committee, had pledged "determination to smash each and every person whose intent it is to make color revolution.” “We all are the soldiers who have the duty to protect the land. [We] support Samdech Decho [Hun Sen], Prime Minister of Cambodia who rescued Cambodia from the war, to be united to eliminate any invading foreigners,” they reportedly said in identical statements. Defense Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat defended the right of the lieutenants to issue such threats and would not unconditionally guarantee the safety of foreigners against such actions. "The situation is normal and the government protects all foreigners unless they did something wrong or against the government," he said. “We welcome all foreigners who come for tourism legally and don’t do any act against the government and national security,” he said, adding that the internal security is normal. 'Disturbing' development The definition of what constituted an “act against the government” is being interpreted increasingly broadly under vague Cambodian espionage laws, said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “There’s a disturbing new trend going on in Cambodia and this really started with the Ricketson case, where you had a person from Australia who was charged with espionage despite the fact that they had done no research that we can see that involved anything other than open sources.” In June, Australian filmmaker James Ricketson was charged with espionage under a provision in the Cambodian Criminal Code that criminalizes receiving or collecting various types of information, objects and technology that “may undermine” national defense “with a view to delivering power to a foreign state or its agents”. Details about the precise accusation against Ricketson — a vocal critic of the Cambodian government - have not been offered though it is known he faces up to 10 years in prison. “There’s a new plan to try to intimidate, to threaten and to control foreigners in a much more systematic way,” Robertson said, adding that he believed Cambodians with foreign passports would soon be targeted in the same way. US officials react The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on the statements directing a reporter back to Ambassador William Heidt’s comments during a press conference last week. U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt gives a press conference at the U.S. Embassy, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sept. 12, 2017 At the time, Heidt said ongoing anti-American rhetoric in Cambodia had made U.S. and other western tourists and companies feel “less welcome,” predicting “many fewer will invest.” Lee Morgenbesser, a research fellow at Australia’s Griffith University who studies authoritarian regimes, said U.S. citizens living in Cambodia “should certainly have an exit strategy.” “The fact several military officials [as well as Hun Sen] have made the same sort of statement suggests the external communication of the CPP government is being internally coordinated,” he said in an email. “The difference to what has been said in the past is that such statements are being made against the backdrop of a crackdown, which suggests they should not be dismissed. The use of repression in Cambodia is far less predictable than previously.” Anti-American trend In the past month, The Cambodia Daily newspaper, which is owned by Americans, has been shuttered over a disputed tax bill, the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia has closed its in-country operations citing threats and the National Democratic Institute has been kicked out of the country. The opposition leader, Kem Sokha, was arrested earlier this month for allegedly conspiring with Washington to overthrow the Cambodian government based on a years old video in which he discusses U.S. support for his promotion of grassroots democracy. FILE - Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party President Kem Sokha shows off his ballot before voting in local elections in Chak Angre Leu on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 4, 2017. Political commentator Meas Nee said support for the current crackdown was far from universal among the cross section of senior military officials he is in contact with, even if they made outward demonstrations of loyalty to the cause. “They have to express their support although they don’t agree to what has been happening now. Position and wealth are believed to be the key factors where [by] they must support,” he said. source https://www.voanews.com/a/cambodia-ramps-up-anti-us-threats/4036545.html -- © Copyright VOA 21/09
  4. Australia has been urged to pressure its refugee resettlement partner Cambodia to halt the “imminent return” of 29 Montagnard refugees to Vietnam where they face violent persecution. Twenty-nine refugees from the ethnic and religious minority face deportation to Vietnam, despite the UN’s refugee agency offering to take the group out of Cambodia and protect them while a permanent third-country resettlement is found. The group faced “almost certain arrest and persecution” upon return, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) said, and “the Australian government has an ethical obligation to do everything in its power to stop such action”. read more https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/21/australia-urged-to-use-influence-with-cambodia-to-stop-deportation-of-refugees
  5. Cambodia’s economy relies heavily on textile manufacturing, tourism, real estate and construction, which are all easily impacted by political upheaval, analysts said. PHNOM PENH — The closure of independent media, NGOs and the arrest of Cambodia’s opposition leader, Kem Sokha, in recent weeks, has raised concerns that the country’s economy could suffer repercussions. Economists, shopkeepers and political analysts who spoke to VOA Khmer this week said they were already noticing signs of a slowdown. Sou Chantha, a political scientist, said the situation in Cambodia was worse than in the lead-up to previous elections and was likely to affect tourism and the economy. “From now until the election day, the political situation is unlikely to calm down and political tensions will increase, affecting the economy. I think maybe after the election, especially after a new government is formed, the economic situation will stabilize,” he said. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government has in recent weeks detained three political party leaders, ordered a U.S.-funded “democracy promotion” NGO to close its office and forced the closure of more than two dozen FM radio stations and the Cambodia Daily newspaper. U.S. Ambassador William Heidt said in a statement last week that the steps taken by the government were isolating it from the international community. The U.S. Embassy has also recently issued a security warning for Cambodia and warned that escalating tensions may cause tourists visiting the region to spend their money in neighboring countries instead. Som Seantung, the owner of Piphubmode, a jewelry and fashion store in Phnom Penh, said that he had seen sales decreased sharply compared with the same period last year, a trend he attributed to the rising political tensions. “My sales reduced more than 50 percent because of the political situation and the approaching election. We are concerned and are following the political situation. We hope it gets better so that we can have more investment,” he said. Nget Chou, a senior economic adviser at a consultancy in Phnom Penh, said investors had become warier of Cambodia since tensions began to escalate. “There are few companies starting businesses. I have spoken with some investors and it seems they are watching the situation and waiting until it gets better,” he said. Cambodia’s economy relies heavily on a small number of sectors, notably textile manufacturing, tourism, real estate and construction, which are all easily impacted by political upheaval, analysts said. Son Chhay, a senior opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker, said the potential impact on Cambodia’s economy was worrying. “We see that Cambodia receives aid mostly from Western countries for development. They give customs exemptions on our exports ... especially in the textile and garment sectors,” he said. “If these countries react, we could see our economy in serious trouble.” The garment and textile sector alone employs some 700,000 Cambodians and last year exports totaled about $6 billion, according to the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia. Despite the concerns, Sok Eysan, a ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman, denied there would be any significant economic impact as a result of the tensions. source https://www.voacambodia.com/a/experts-fear-economic-impact-of-political-tensions-in-cambodia/4035316.html -- © Copyright VOA 20/09
  6. The parents of an 18-year-old who died while travelling in his gap year said he was "badly let down" by Cambodian authorities. Kit Mallinson, from Bridport, Dorset, was taken ill with pneumonia on a night bus journey to Siem Reap in December and died later in hospital. An inquest into his death was told he was initially taken to a public hospital with inadequate facilities. The coroner concluded the delay in treatment contributed to his death. The inquest heard Mr Mallinson had been travelling in the country having already spent seven weeks as a Raleigh International volunteer in Borneo. read more http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-41320093 -- © Copyright BBC 20/09
  7. Cambodians are heading to pagodas to give offerings, putting aside concerns over their country’s future. PHNOM PENH — Cambodians are this week celebrating Pchum Ben, or Ancestor’s Day, an important religious festival in the Khmer calendar. Despite rising political tensions ahead of next year’s election, Cambodians have headed to the pagoda to give offerings, putting aside concerns over their country’s future. Earlier this month, the leader of Cambodia’s opposition, Kem Sokha, was arrested in a pre-dawn raid at his home in Phnom Penh and later charged with espionage. Independent and U.S.-linked media outlets have been shuttered amid growing anti-Washington rhetoric from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Despite the growing tensions, Pchum Ben celebrations continued as usual, according to attendees. Nou Linna, 35, who visited Ounalom Pagoda for the festival, said that she went along without fearing repercussions from the political tensions. Buddhists are seen giving alms at a pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 16, 2017. (Kann Vicheika/VOA Khmer) “It will not affect the festival since the people are knowledgeable about politics and the festival. Politics will be left to one side, while Buddhism will always be preserved since we are all Buddhist,” she said, adding that she thought fewer people had attended the pagoda than in previous years. Chouk Vanroth, who was also out celebrating Pchum Ben this week, said he felt he had to continue the family tradition of offering food to the deceased. “Doing good deeds is different from politics. We should follow our practices and traditions. However, there are some concerns over the political tensions and we are worried,” he said. Sour Ty, lighting an incense stick at the pagoda, said that while during the festival politics was sidelined, he hoped that “the good deeds that have been done by the Khmer people help improve the political situation”. “That’s how politics should be. Sometimes it’s hot and sometimes it’s cold. We should do more good deeds to cool the tension down.” source https://www.voacambodia.com/a/as-cambodians-venerate-ancestors-political-tensions-pushed-aside/4033802.html -- © Copyright VOA 19/09
  8. The film was a passion project for Jolie, who holds dual citizenship in Cambodia and adopted one of her children from the country. It's official: Angelina Jolie's fourth film as a director, First They Killed My Father, is Cambodia's submission for the best foreign-language film Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards. "This means a great deal to all of us involved in making the film," Jolie said in a statement in response to the news. "To work with local artists to bring this story forward has been a moving and humbling experience," she added. First They Killed My Father was fully financed and produced by Netflix. The film is an adaptation of a memoir by Cambodian writer Loung Ung about her childhood experience of surviving the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Untrained child actor Sareum Srey Moch has won rave reviews for her portrayal of the lead. The Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee announced its pick Monday, saying: "First They Killed My Father explores a tragic period of history through the eyes of a child. Dialogue is at a minimum and it works well with the story told through intense cinematic images. Committee members as well as the Khmer community found the film to be cathartic, as it brought back memories often best forgotten." read more http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-cambodia-selects-angelina-jolies-first-they-killed-my-father-foreign-language-category-1040567
  9. Kong Meta Move over, Cintri – there’s a new garbage collector in town. For the first time in a dozen years, Sihanoukville has a new waste management company, and it has already started collecting trash ahead of the Pchum Ben holiday. After a one-month bidding process, Sihanoukville officials on Friday awarded a 10-year contract to newcomer waste management firm KSWM (Kampong Som Waste Management) Co Ltd over the established Cintri, according to Preah Sihanouk Governor Y Sokleng. read more http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/new-firm-takes-over-cintri-tackle-trash-sihanoukville -- © Copyright Phenom Pen Post 19/09
  10. Khouth Sophak Chakrya Cambodian authorities last week arrested an alleged drug mule attempting to smuggle cocaine into the Kingdom by hiding it in his stomach. 
South African national Blignaut Chan, 26, was seized on September 13 at Phnom Penh International Airport in a joint operation between the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), Customs Department and immigration officers, according to NACD spokesman Meas Virith. 
 Virith said a scan at the airport revealed Chan had 59 packets of cocaine in his stomach, weighing about 759 grams. read more http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/drug-mule-arrested-airport-cocaine-stomach -- © Copyright Phenom Pen Post 19/09
  11. Cambodian opposition party lawmakers were turned away from a prison in the country’s Tbong Khmum province on Monday following a failed second attempt to visit jailed CNRP leader Kem Sokha, who is being held on a charge of treason, sources said. The request to visit Kem Sokha was turned down by the investigating judge in the case, who said that only the party leader’s family members and lawyers may see him before his trial. The group had previously tried to visit on September 11. Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) parliamentarian Mao Monyvann said that party members and constituents will continue to travel to the province’s remote Trapeang Phlong prison each Monday to show their support. “People always ask that we relay their message to Kem Sokha that they are with him, and are upset that the country’s constitution was violated by his arrest,” Mao Monyvann said. Arrested without a warrant in the capital Phnom Penh early on Sept. 3, Kem Sokha was accused of treason in a move critics say shows prime minister Hun Sen is intensifying his attacks on political opponents ahead of national elections scheduled for 2018. He was formally charged on September 5. The jailed opposition leader remains in good health, though, Mao Monyvann told RFA. “We have not been able to meet with him since his arrest, but what I have learned from family members and his lawyers is that he is in good health. He remains both physically and mentally strong,” he said. “He sends this message to the public: That the authorities can restrict his freedom, but they can never restrict the freedom of Cambodia’s people.” Violation of privacy Lawyers for the jailed party chief meanwhile asked the investigating court on Sept. 15 to remove a surveillance camera installed in Kem Sokha’s private cell, calling the camera’s presence in the room a violation of his right to privacy. “This is a severe intrusion,” Som Sokong, one of Kem Sokha’s lawyers, told RFA. “[Kem Sokha’s] daily activities, including when he changes his clothes, are all being taped. This is unacceptable,” he said. “We have asked that the camera be removed.” Ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesperson Som Sokong defended the surveillance, however, saying that the camera had been placed there for Kem Sokha’s own good. “Kem Sokha is the key player in an evil plot by a superpower,” he said, alluding to government charges that the CNRP leader had conspired with the United States to overthrow Hun Sen in a so-called “color revolution.” “That superpower may now want to kill him to remove the evidence of their plot.” “Kem Sokha is nothing but an orange whose juice has already been squeezed, and there is no further use for him,” Sok Eysan said. “So I would like to ask his lawyers how they can be sure he’ll be safe if the camera is removed. Tell me how,” he said. A hearing on Kem Sokha’s appeal against his provisional detention will be held on September 26. Protest in Europe Over 200 Cambodians living in France, Holland, Austria, Germany, and Belgium meanwhile protested on Monday in Brussels, asking European governments to put pressure on Hun Sen to immediately free Kem Sokha and other jailed Cambodian prisoners of conscience. “We call on European countries to freeze the bank accounts of all corrupt government officials [in Cambodia] and to impose a visa ban on them and their families,” protest spokesperson Thhai Makarar said. “European countries respect human rights and democracy, so we should not allow human rights abusers to set foot in these countries,” he said. Further protests will be carried out in front of the offices of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 26, Thhai Makarar said. Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Nareth Muong. Written in English by Richard Finney. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/visit-09182017190429.html? Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.
  12. Ananth Baliga and Mech Dara Information Ministry spokesman Ouk Kimseng on Friday made a thinly veiled threat to jail Radio Free Asia reporters if they continued to work in the Kingdom, following the broadcaster’s announcement last week that it had ceased in-country operations. The outlet shut down its Cambodian operations after its reach was severely limited by the government’s recent shuttering of more than 30 frequencies, many of which broadcast RFA shows. It was also under pressure from the Finance Ministry for allegedly failing to pay taxes and for being unlicensed. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Kimseng seemed to lash out at the broadcaster, saying he would not acknowledge any media requests from RFA henceforth, while criticising the outlet for continuing to “work in the dark”. read more http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/official-warns-ex-rfa-staffers-about-continuing-work-cambodia -- © Copyright Phenom Pen Post 19/09
  13. Incomes (less than 30,000 or between 30 and 100,000) a month ? I thought it was " year".
  14. Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn will lead a delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York that starts on Tuesday, and also hold sideline bilateral talks with US State Department officials, according to a media statement issued by the Foreign Ministry today. “HE Senior Minister Prak Sokhonn will deliver his statement at the 72nd Session of the UNGA focusing on the collective effort to address climate change and terrorism, Cambodia’s achievement on the Millennium Development Goals and Cambodia’s efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated the media statement. “At the sideline of the General Assembly, the senior minister will hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, the UK, the US and other dignitaries,” it added. On Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen Cambodian called on the United States on to withdraw its Peace Corps volunteers in an escalating row with the US Embassy. The premier said he also ordered the Foreign Affairs Ministry to investigate all US citizens who “might be suspected of spying”. Mr Hun Sen also hit out at US Ambassador William Heidt, demanding that he provide strong reasons why the US Embassy issued a travel warning on the eve of the Pchum Ben holidays. read more http://www.khmertimeskh.com/5083143/fm-meet-us-state-dept-officials-new-york/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 18/09
  15. PHNOM PENH, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Cambodian court on Sunday decided to detain a woman for insulting the country's King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen in Facebook posts. Fruit vendor Moeun Lihor, 20, was arrested on Friday in Banteay Meanchey Province, northwest Cambodia after she posted to her Facebook doctored photographs along with messages that insulted the monarch and the prime minister. Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court's Judge Chuon Vannak said in a pre-trial detention verdict that the woman was charged with "public insulting" and "provocation to commit discrimination" under the Article 307 and 496 of the Criminal Code. According to the Criminal Code, public insulting could be punished by a fine of up to 2,500 U.S. dollars, as provocation to commit discrimination could be imprisoned from one year to three years and a fine of up to 1,500 U.S. dollars if the provocation produced no effect. Government-aligned media Fresh News reported Sunday that Lihor had acknowledged her mistake and said she posted to Facebook the doctored images along with insulting messages at the behest of a Cambodian man living in Australia, whom she has known for three years via Facebook. In July, a 28-year-old man, Rom Chamroeun, was also arrested for posting a message to Facebook threatening to kill the prime minister. He was charged with "death threat," the crime that could be jailed up to two years if convicted. source http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/17/c_136616356.htm
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