Jump to content
BANGKOK 15 October 2018 19:33


Global Moderators
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

768 Excellent

About geovalin

  • Rank
    Le Francophone

Profile Information

  • Location

Previous Fields

  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

18,445 profile views
  1. The Labour Ministry has reminded business owners not to employ minors, while also noting that it has not come across any cases of child labour so far this year. Labour Minister Ith Samheng on Friday said employers must respect and follow labour laws and directives issued by the ministry regarding the employment of minors. “Although we haven’t come across factories, enterprises, bricklayers or other businesses who employ children, we want them to remember labour laws,” Mr Samheng said. General businesses must not employ children under 15, while nightclubs must not employ those under 18, he noted. “The ministry will take legal action on business owners who are caught making this mistake,” Mr Samheng said. Last year, rights group Licadho warned that children were still being exploited in handicraft and brick factories across the country despite efforts to put an end to child labour. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50540410/ministry-addresses-child-labour/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 15/10
  2. Military police in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet city and provincial Camcontrol officials on Friday destroyed bad quality chicken smuggled across the border from Thailand. On Friday, authorities cracked down on the smuggling of chicken meat across the border and arrested one person, who was sent to court. Lak Phy, spokesman for the provincial military police, said hundreds of kilograms of chicken meat was seized. “Our military police officers cooperated with Poipet military police along with provincial Camcontrol officials to check a van smuggling chicken from Thailand,” he said. Mr Phy said that after the crackdown, the meat was burned. Noun Ninaro, Poipet city military police commander, said that when the minivan crossed the border, forces were suspicious and conducted a search. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50540375/smuggled-chicken-meat-destroyed/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 15/10
  3. Prayers commemorating late King Norodom Sihanouk are expected to be held today on Memorial Day. The National Committee for National and International Festivals yesterday said the prayers will mark King Sihanouk’s achievements during Cambodia’s struggle for independence, national reconciliation, unification and development. Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng yesterday said all public and private institutions are required to display a photo of the late King. Mr Sreng said all institutions must also join officials in prayer, while monks will lead prayers at pagodas. “All preparation for the mass prayer must be suitable to honour the King,” Mr Sreng said, adding that the municipal information department must promote the King’s story and highlight his achievements, while police must provide security and order as high-ranking officials pay tribute at the Samdech Preah Borom Ratanak Kod Statue near Independence Monument. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50540445/prayers-to-be-held-for-late-king-sihanouk/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 15/10
  4. PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — Cambodia has agreed to resume a search effort with the United States for the remains of Americans killed in the Vietnam War, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday, after suspending the program a year ago as tension rose between the two countries. Prime Minister Hun Sen suspended the POW/MIA program when Washington stopped issuing some visas after Cambodia refused to accept citizens deported from the United States following their convictions for crimes there. Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Ket Sophann said Hun Sen had offered to resume cooperation in a letter Friday to U.S. Senator Doug Ericksen and Representative Vincent Buys. “The letter talks to this itself, especially the words: it is the reflection of our deep empathy with the families,” Ket Sophann told Reuters. Visa dispute Hun Sen said the search program, which had run for 30 years until being suspended last year, would resume even though the visa curbs had “unjustly sanctioned” Cambodia. “As we have discussed before, and at your personal request, as well as that made by other U.S. organizations, my government, in the same compassionate spirit, agreed to resume this important POW/MIA field mission, regardless (of) the United States visa restriction in place,” Hun Sen wrote. The U.S. Embassy in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh declined to comment. Hun Sen has said that the remains of half of the 80 American soldiers who went missing in Cambodia during the war in neighboring Vietnam have been found. War ended in 1975 Even after it ended in 1975, the Vietnam War remains an emotive issue in Cambodia. Hun Sen’s ruling party won all 125 parliamentary seats in a July election the United Nations and Western countries have described as flawed after the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved over accusations of plotting to topple the government. Hun Sen has accused the United States of plotting treason with opposition leader Kem Sokha, an accusation rejected by Washington. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-united-states/cambodia-resumes-search-effort-with-us-for-vietnam-war-remains-idUSKCN1MO02P -- © Copyright Reuters 15/10
  5. SYDNEY, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- New research from Australia suggests the mysterious ancient Cambodian capital of Koh Ker is likely to have been occupied much longer than archaeologists previously thought. While the royal home of the Khmer Kingdom during the Angkor period is widely believed to have only been inhabited for around two decades during the 10th century, University of Sydney researcher Tegan Hall, discovered evidence that people lived in the temple city centuries earlier. "It has been presumed this city was purpose-built by a king who wanted to set up his own capital city away from Angkor where most capital cities were generally built," she told Xinhua on Thursday. "Although it's now crumbling and covered by jungle, it would have looked like other Angkor temple precincts back then although it had a slightly different style." However, once the tenure of the king ended and his successor set up his own capital back in Angkor, the city quickly fell into disuse when the urban, agricultural population also decided to vacate. But according to sediment testing conducted by Hall and her team, the mysterious tale of the ancient capital is a far more complex than first thought. "It wasn't just a site that popped up one day and fell into disuse years later, it wasn't just purpose-built for this king," she said. "We found it has a much more complicated and protracted history than the epigraphic record might suggest." By examining environmental debris in sediment, like charcoal and pollen remains, the team were able to infer a long history of fluctuations at the site in fire regimes and vegetation, indicating patterns of human occupation and land use over time. "We dated the sediments to go back as far as the 7th century, suggesting the building of this site happened much earlier." The findings also appear to suggest that the urban, agriculture population did not follow the king back to Angkor, but rather continued to live at the site for many years after. source http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-10/11/c_137525580.htm
  6. By Rina Chandran BANGKOK, Oct 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) violated global human rights standards by financing a sugar company accused of seizing land from Cambodian farmers, an Australian government body said on Thursday. In a complaint to the Australian National Contact Point (ANCP), which monitors corporate behaviour overseas, two rights groups had said ANZ and its Cambodian subsidiary had breached rights guidelines in lending to Phnom Penh Sugar Co. (PPS). The advocacy groups, Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International, said in their 2014 complaint that PPS forcibly removed families and took their land, intimidated villagers and used child labour in its operations. Such actions violated an ethical business code set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which Australia endorsed, ANCP said. "It is difficult to reconcile ANZ's decision to take on PPS as a client with its own internal policies and procedures, which appear to accord with the OECD Guidelines," the ANCP said in its final statement on the case. The decision is part of a broader trend of companies coming under greater scrutiny for their actions overseas. Differences in legislation and inadequate protections for workers and residents in poorer countries can lead to rights violations that foreign investors must be held responsible for, activists say. But the ANCP said that although it appeared that Cambodians had been "adversely affected" by the PPS, "what is less clear is the extent to which ANZ can be held responsible for any harm." Hundreds of families forced off their land by PPS received little compensation, and continue to suffer nearly a decade on, said Eang Vuthy, executive director of Equitable Cambodia. The ANCP's decision affirms that ANZ "should not have financed a company that was involved in a land conflict with thousands of local farmers," he said in a statement. But "while this offers some measure of vindication for the families, it doesn't address their immediate situation, which remains desperate," he said. The lender told the ANCP that it cut ties with PPS in 2014. A spokesman for ANZ said the lender has acted on ANCP's recommendations, and that it had pushed PPS to clean up its operations. "Phnom Penh Sugar left the bank after we sought to influence change," the spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by e-mail. "We regret we were not able to make more progress." In their complaint, the rights groups said ANZ must use profits from the PPS loan to provide reparations to the 681 families, but the bank declined to do so, the ANCP noted. While the ANCP was right to call out ANZ's "reckless behaviour", it failed in not pressing the lender to provide adequate redress for the damage caused, said Keren Adams at the Human Rights Law Centre, an Australian non-profit. "This is ultimately just a slap on the wrist," she said. (Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran. Editing by Jared Ferrie. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.) source http://news.trust.org//item/20181011090032-zavgl/ -- © Copyright Reuters 12/10
  7. PHNOM PENH, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia is expected to attract 10 million international tourists in 2025 and up to 15 million in 2030, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said on Thursday. Speaking at a tourism exhibition, the minister said Cambodia received 5.6 million international tourists last year, earning gross revenue of 3.6 billion U.S. dollars, which accounted for 12 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). For the first eight months of 2018, the kingdom welcomed more than 3.9 million foreign tourists, up 11.7 percent over the same period last year, he added. China, Vietnam, Laos, South Korea, and Thailand are the largest sources of tourists to the Southeast Asian nation, according to a tourism data. "Cambodia hopes to receive 6.2 million international tourists in 2018, over 7 million in 2020, 10 million in 2025 and 15 million in 2030," Thong Khon said. The minister added that the tourism industry currently creates approximately 620,000 direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs. Cambodia has three world heritage sites, namely Angkor Archeological park in northwestern Siem Reap province, Preah Vihear Temple in northwestern Preah Vihear province, and Sambor Prei Kuk archeological site in central Kampong Thom province. Besides, it has a pristine coastline stretching 450 km in four southwestern provinces of Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep. source http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-10/11/c_137525786.htm
  8. A surge in Chinese investment and in the numbers of migrant workers in Cambodia’s port city of Sihanoukville has left local beaches polluted and Cambodian residents struggling to meet higher prices as the cost of living rises, Cambodian sources say. Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service on Wednesday, Muong Sony—a youth leader in the Khmer Student Intelligent League Association—said following a recent visit that conditions in the city have declined dramatically over the last year. “The situation in this area has now changed a lot,” he said. “I visited four beaches and saw pollution and poor sanitation everywhere. There were no garbage containers on hand, and plastic bags were everywhere, along with a flow of foul-smelling sewage.” Trash now piles up not only on the beaches, but on the city streets as well, he said. The presence in the city of over 100,000 Chinese nationals, many of them workers brought in from China as Chinese firms set up casinos or operate power plants and offshore oil platforms in the area, has only made matters worse, Muong Sony said. “I was told by several local residents that most of the Chinese coming to the area are not educated,” he said. “Many of them were formerly convicted of crimes and were freed from prisons in China, or have bad backgrounds of other kinds. So they just throw trash anywhere they want, and some have even caused security problems in the area too.” Prices climb higher Traffic police now try mainly to stop Chinese nationals who break the traffic laws, because they will get more money from the Chinese than from Cambodians, Muong Son said. “And many Chinese have bought local shops and run them on their own, making the prices of products rise too high for local people to pay,” he said, adding that many of the city’s new Chinese residents take jobs from Cambodians. “My impression is that China wants to control the city and make it their own economic zone,” he said. “They are building skyscrapers in order to turn the city into a Chinese town in Cambodia.” Also speaking to RFA, fellow Association member Soeun Piseth voiced his own concern over the influx of Chinese nationals and businesses into the city. “The Chinese are causing a lot of trouble for Cambodians in the area. They are completely destroying the environment in this coastal city,” he said. As the world’s second-largest economic power, China sees Cambodia as a source of benefit only for itself, Souen Pisoth said. “I urge local authorities to enforce the city’s laws and regulations and to better manage the Chinese presence here,” he said. Decline in tourism Meanwhile, an Oct. 10 report by Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has pointed to a sharp decline in the numbers of tourists visiting Sihanoukville during the final days of the country’s annual Pchum Ben Festival, blaming the fall-off on poor infrastructure in the area. Security concerns focusing on the growing Chinese presence in the traditionally popular tourist destination are more likely to blame, though, Network for Social Accountability President San Chey said. “Chinese have even been involved in shooting sprees,” San Chey said, speaking to RFA. In September, outgoing Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo acknowledged the climbing rates of crime among Chinese living in Cambodia—including drug and sex trafficking and online or telephone scams—and thanked Cambodian authorities for helping to crack down, according to a Sept. 28 report in the Khmer Times. Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Vanrith Chrea. Written in English by Richard Finney. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/influx-10112018140456.html Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036 -- © Copyright RFA 12/10
  9. BANGKOK — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is facing economic pressure to reverse a recent crackdown on opposition groups and basic freedoms in his country. Cambodia faces an economic collapse from the slated withdrawal of crucial European Union trade preferences that will likely force its leader to walk back a prolonged political crackdown, observers and labor groups say. The EU told Cambodia on Friday it will lose duty-free access to the world's biggest market within 12 months for its "blatant disregard" of human and labor rights standards attached to trade preferences it is granted as a developing nation. Unless the government takes significant actions to redress an autocratic backslide including reinstating the country's banned opposition in the next six months, the "Everything But Arms" (EBA) preferences will be withdrawn. "This could be disastrous. I mean, if I were an investor looking at certainly the garment sector I would be very concerned about now," said political economist Sophal Ear, an associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. "I would pause any expansion plans because it would be like wait, things could go completely haywire," he said. Moeun Tola, Executive Director of the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights, said a huge number of workers would be forced into unemployment and the ball is now in Hun Sen's court. "If the government really care about the nation and our people, they should reconsider the demands/recommendations from EU," he said. FILE - Cambodian garment workers sew clothes in a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 4, 2007. Garment manufacturing is Cambodia's biggest industry, accounting for about 40 percent of the gross domestic product and some 800,000 jobs, while the EU is by far its largest export market, absorbing almost $6 billion worth of goods last year according to its own figures. Preferential access to that market is seen by some of Hun Sen's critics as one of the few meaningful negotiating chips to counter an autocratic leader increasingly emboldened by Chinese support. Statements of concern and threats to review the EBA in the past have been brushed off by his government as empty and bemoaned by some of his critics frustrated with a lack of concrete punitive international intervention. 'Defense of sovereignty' The immediate reaction to the announcement from Hun Sen, who has ruled for more than 30 years, has been defiance. "No matter what measures they want to take against Cambodia, in whatever way, Cambodia must be strong in its defense of its sovereignty," he said in a post to his Facebook page Monday. In the lead-up to Cambodia's July election, Hun Sen claimed defense of the national sovereignty necessitated the banning of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party — which he said was made up of agents of malicious foreign governments — and the jailing of its leader Kem Sokha. FILE - Supporters of Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, stand outside the Appeal Court during a bail hearing for the jailed opposition leader in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sept. 26, 2017. Most independent media were also crushed while members of civil society, journalists, activists and internet users who expressed dissent were jailed. Hun Sen's party went on to win every seat in an election the EU deemed "not legitimate." Political analyst Ou Virak said Hun Sen's public defiance of the EU was predictable, though privately discontent was brewing among the premier's inner circle and vast network of rich benefactors. "You have to understand Hun Sen. He wants to save face, he doesn't want to appear that he's a pushover and so he will try to do it in a way that it seems he didn't give much or he didn't cave in," he said. Increasing pressure Conciliatory moves have come since the election, with Hun Sen facilitating pardons for jailed activists and Kem Sokha moving from jail into a somewhat loose form of house arrest. Moeun said that pressure could stretch all the way to Beijing, stressing that as the biggest investors in the Cambodia's garment factories, Chinese investors stood to lose heavily should the industry collapse. A severe knock-on effect would be felt in Cambodia's microfinance industry as well, because so many garment workers were indebted to such institutions, Tola warned. "Both micro-finance and banks will be hard to grab their assets in order to pay off the loan as there will be protest or chaos to do that," he wrote. Ngeth Chou, a Senior Consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting, said more than two-thirds of Cambodian households had debt with microfinance institutions. "So the household depends largely on their children who work in the garment sector so that becomes a high risk for the microfinance sector," he said. FILE - Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia gestures as he talks about his vision for the Mekong region in the World Economic Forum on ASEAN at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sept. 12, 2018. Ear said that while no one wanted to see the kind of economic hardship such a collapse would bring, the EU had created both a credible threat and a way out for the Cambodian government. "The key is to cause the actions you desire in the next six months before sanctions actually begin and to have the same effect so that you don't actually punish Cambodia or Cambodians in particular who don't deserve to be punished for the actions of their leaders. "Then you don't have to tank the economy. But that would be the result of anything of the sort that is being proposed," he said. Representatives of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia could not be reached by VOA. The U.S. has also initiated concrete punitive action against Hun Sen's regime, sanctioning one of his top commanders in June. Many more members of his inner circle could follow under the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2018 — a targeted sanctions bill which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in late July. Moeun said if the EU did suspend the EBA, he was sure they would also impose such targeted sanctions, as would the U.S.. "Other allies will follow," he wrote. source https://www.voanews.com/a/cambodia-faces-potential-economic-collapse/4607448.html -- © Copyright VOA 11/10
  10. geovalin

    New minimum wage now $182

    The tripartite commission (union, government, employers) tasked with determining the minimum wage for workers in the textile, garment and footwear industries have agreed to increase the minimum wage to $182, beginning January 2019. Yesterday (Oct.4), the three parties voted for which two figures would be up for the final debate and vote. They agreed on the unions’ $182 and the employers’ $177. In the vote today the lower figure was accepted almost unanimously – 0f 28 possible votes, 26 were for it and two abstained. Labor Minister and Labour Advisory Committee Ith Sam Heng said that Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to add an extra $5 to bring the total up to $182 and that there would be no changes to existing benefits and allowances. Immediately after this announcement the employers tried to balance the higher wage costs. The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, Van Sou Ieng, said that the minimum wage is a bit high compared to Vietnam, where the minimum wage is $184, and transportation costs are very high in Cambodia. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50540061/new-minimum-wage-now-182/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 08/10
  11. The European Union officially notified Cambodia yesterday that the procedure for the withdrawal of its preferential trade treatment under the ‘Everything but Arms’ (EBA) scheme had already “been launched”. Writing in the European Commission’s official blog, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said she and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini had notified Cambodia yesterday (Friday) that the EU was launching the process for the withdrawal of their EBA preferences. “Without clear and evident improvements on the ground, this will lead to the suspending of the trade preferences that they [Cambodia] currently enjoy,” wrote Ms Malmstrom. “In Cambodia, meanwhile, we are seeing very troubling developments with a clear deterioration of human rights and labour rights, without convincing improvements in sight,” she added. “Our recent EU mission to the country demonstrated serious and systemic violations of, for instance, freedom of expression, labour rights and freedom of association. This comes on top of longstanding issues as regards workers’ rights and land-grabbing.” Ms Malmstrom pointed out that Cambodia benefitted from the EBA, which guarantees completely tariff-free access to the European market for all exports except for weapons and ammunition. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/540068/eu-initiates-process-to-withdraw-cambodias-trade-preferences/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 08/10
  12. Anti-Drug Police arrested Eddie J. Taller Tanguy, a Belgian national, at Bavet International Checkpoint in Svay Rieng Province on Thursday (Oct.4); he seemed to be trying to flee to Vietnam. An arrest warrant for Mr Tanguy was issued by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment and a fine of $20,000 for drug trafficking. He was charged in the aftermath of a drug mule’s failure to clear customs at Phnom Penh International Airport in January. The mule, 34 year-old Belgian national David Noel Catry, was trying to smuggle over a kilo of cocaine from Brazil to Cambodia. The dope was hidden in his luggage He confessed to being offered $30,000 by a Brazilian named Tang Guise for the job. He was charged and convicted – he got life imprisonment and $20,000 in fines. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50540084/sought-belgian-drug-smuggler-caught/ -- © Copyright Khmer Times 08/10
  13. Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Mu Sochua said on Thursday that she was “chased” out of the European Parliament in Brussels last week by government delegate Chheang Vun, who admitted expelling a “rebel” who “acts foolishly” from a meeting. Vun, who is a Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) legislator and member of the National Assembly, said on Thursday that he had defended Cambodia’s “legitimacy” by attending the 10th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting in Belgium. There, he said, he had “expelled” Sochua, with the former CNRP deputy director expressing “disappointment” at his action. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/rebel-sochua-chased-out-european-parliament -- © Copyright Phenom Pen Post 06/10
  14. The Siem Reap provincial court sentenced a 70-year-old barber to a year in prison under the lèse majesté law for a Facebook post insulting King Norodom Sihamoni. Court spokesman Yin Srang, told The Post yesterday that the accused is Ban Samphy, 70, a Ponleu Preah Phos villager, from Kampong Kdei commune, in the province’s Chikraeng district. “He was sentenced to a year in prison by judge Um Chanthol, but will serve [a reduced sentence of only] seven months,” he said. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/barber-jailed-insulting-king -- © Copyright Phenom Pen Post 05/10
  15. PHNOM PENH, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Cambodia’s garment exports grew 16.1 percent in the first half of 2018 from the same period last year, the World Bank said on Thursday, boosted by a trade agreement that allows Cambodia to export travel goods to the United States duty free. “This is partly supported by the new agreement with the U.S. on travel goods,” said Miguel Martin, the World Bank’s senior country economist in Cambodia. Washington in 2016 expanded trade preferences, under changes to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), for Cambodia and other least developed countries producing goods such as bags and luggage and accessories for travelers. Cambodia’s garment industry is the largest employer in the country. Garment exports account for around 10 percent of the economy. The Southeast Asian economy is expected to grow 7 percent this year, compared with 6.9 percent in 2017, the Bank said, adding that growth will ease to 6.8 percent in 2019 and 2020. Cambodia held a general election in July which Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won. Critics said the vote was flawed because of the lack of a credible opposition, among other factors. Following the election, a European Parliament subcommittee in August called for measures against Cambodia. Under the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, 47 less developed countries, including Cambodia, enjoy duty free access to the EU for exports of all products except arms. Similar trade preferences in the United States have helped Cambodia build a garment industry on low-cost labor. The bank on Thursday said that one risk was a potential revision of trade preferences, another was a slowdown in the agriculture sector, which is now recovering. Foreign direct investment is estimated to have increased by 14.3 percent during the first six months of 2018, more than half of it Chinese investment in Cambodia’s real estate sector. Reporting by Prak Chan Thul Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Kim Coghill source https://www.reuters.com/article/cambodia-garments/cambodia-h1-garment-exports-up-161-pct-economy-to-grow-7-pct-world-bank-idUSL4N1WK182 -- © Copyright Reuters 05/10