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Hun Sen warns SRP over potential leaks

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned the leader of the Sam Rainsy Party
that documents relating to secret talks held between the premier and its
leader after 2003 are in existence.

The disclosure, made at a
graduation ceremony at the Royal School of Administration in Phnom Penh
yesterday, follows a leak of a recording late last month of a 2007
discussion involving Human Rights Party. On the recording, its president
Ken Sokha can be heard asking Hun Sen for assistance in securing use of
the Olympic Stadium for a party conference.

The SRP, the
Kingdom’s largest opposition party, seized on the recording as evidence
of alleged collusion between the two parties and said that flagging
negotiations on an SRP-HRP merger would be halted as a result.

Yesterday, Hun Sen insinuated that evidence of a three-hour talk conducted after 2003 with Sam Rainsy was also in existence.


Sam Rainsy – don’t forget what you have talked with me [about]


Hun Sen said Sam Rainsy met him at his Takhmao home, in Kandal province, to talk over a potential amendment to the constitution.

The
amendment to reduce the required parliamentary majority needed to
govern outright from two thirds to 50 percent plus one was passed in
2006 – effectively reducing the CPP’s need for a coalition partner.

“With
Sam Rainsy [there are] plenty [of documents]. If they were leaked,
there would be a bunch,” Hun Sen said yesterday, adding he had held many
“secret conversations” with Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha in the past.

“Sam Rainsy – don’t forget what you have talked with me [about],” he said.

SRP
spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday dismissed any talk of “secret deals”
between the SRP and the CPP stating that he was “not interested” in the
Prime Minister’s statement.

He claimed that the premier was
attempting to create an atmosphere of suspicion around the SRP, but
party supporters would see through it.

Ou Virak, president of the
Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said the comments seemed to be a
political ‘‘game’’ that would “not make [for] strong development of the
nation”.

 

Hun Sen nixes mine project

April 9, 2011 Leave a comment
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has cancelled a controversial titanium
mine project in the country’s southwest because of environmental
concerns, the government said Friday.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, seen here on April 1, has cancelled a
controversial titanium mine project in the country’s southwest because
of environmental concerns.
The premier announced the ban on the much-criticised project during
a weekly cabinet meeting, the government said in a statement, despite
earlier granting a private company a 20,400-hectare (50,400-acre)
concession for surface mining in the densely forested Cardamom
Mountains.
“Due to concerns about the impact on the environment and
biodiversity as well as the living standards of the people… Hun Sen
has banned the exploitation of a titanium mine in Koh Kong province,”
it said.
Wildlife Alliance, a conservation group that campaigned for months
against the proposed mine, said it was “thrilled” with the decision.
“We were under the impression the battle was lost,” communications officer John Maloy told AFP.
“We are very pleased that the prime minister has weighed the environmental impact.”
He said the mine would have been located “directly in the middle of
an elephant corridor” and a nearby eco-tourism village “stood to be
ruined by the project”.
Categories: Hun Sen, Local News

Families seek Thaksin’s help

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment
The families of two Thai nationalists convicted of espionage in Phnom
Penh Municipal Court earlier this year are reportedly seeking
assistance in securing their relatives’ release from fugitive former
Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
Prime Minister Hun
Sen speaks with fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra during
a meeting at Hun Sen’s majestic home in Phnom Penh in December of 2009.
Photo by: Reuters
Thai “Yellow Shirt” leader
Veera Somkwamkid was convicted along with an associate, Ratree
Pipatanapaiboon, after they were arrested in Banteay Meanchey province
last year along with five other Thais including parliamentarian Panich
Vikitsreth. While Panich and four others were released on suspended
sentences after being convicted of trespassing, Veera and Ratree were
convicted of espionage and sentenced to eight- and six-year prison
terms, respectively.

Veera’s mother reportedly said she had
sought Thaksin’s help because her family “had waited for four months
for the present government to help her son”, the Bangkok Post reported
yesterday.

In a speech in February, Prime Minister Hun Sen rejected the possibility of pardons for Veera and Ratree.

“Don’t
come to persuade me to ask for a Royal pardon, I will not do that and
[the case] will be enforced under the law this time,” he said.

Under Cambodian law, prisoners are eligible for pardon after serving two-thirds of their jail sentences.

In
2009, however, the government released a Thai national sentenced to
seven years in prison on espionage charges just days after his
conviction.

The suspect, an airport engineer named Sivarak
Chutipong, was arrested for allegedly passing the flight details of
Thaksin Shinawatra to the Thai embassy during one of the fugitive
former Thai premier’s
controversial visits to the Kingdom. Veera
and Ratree’s families said they sought to contact Thaksin in part
because they believed he had helped secure Sivarak’s release, the
Bangkok Post said.

Thai officials could not be reached for
comment yesterday, though Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva reportedly
said he would not object to Thaksin’s assistance.

“I think
anyone can help,” Abhisit said. “We feel sympathetic towards the
families of Veera and Ratree who want them to be released as quickly as
possible.”

Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong
declined to comment on whether the pardon requests would be granted,
but said the government planned to send a diplomatic note on the issue
to the Thai embassy by today.

“Our stance, I would like to stress, is that we abide by the law,” Koy Kuong said.

Categories: Hun Sen, Local News

Cambodian PM: I only make $1,150 per month

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen holds up a document detailing his
personal assets Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) office in Phnom Penh on
April 1, 2011. Sen urged other officials to follow his lead in a bid to
tackle rampant graft. (TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)
Cambodia’s Prime Minister makes less than a Burger King cashier.
So he says, at least. Here’s Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rogue
cadet-turned-political gamesman holding a certificate that details his
income. Like all Cambodian politicians and bureaucrats, he’s now
required by law to divulge his earnings every two years.

He only makes $1,150 per month, his official salary.

Does anyone believe this?
Not really. 
Cambodia’s government is one of the world’s most corrupt, according
to Transparency International, which puts the country in the same
league as Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Half of all Cambodians, their
survey says, paid a bribe in the last 12 months.
In spirit, Cambodia’s newfound anti-corruption push is great.
Roughly 100,000 bureaucrats and politicians have to declare their
property, vehicles, business interests and other holdings. Lie and get
a year in prison and a $500 fine.
But the loopholes are big enough to fly a jet through. No one has
to divulge the assets of their spouses or kids. And all the assets are
confidential. (Hun Sen was just feeling confessional when he invited
reporters to witness his declaration.)
Also, bank accounts outside the country aren’t monitored, so says a researcher for Global Witness explains to ABC Radio Australia.
And let’s assume there’s no receipt and tax form issued for the bribes paid by half of all Cambodians.
Categories: Hun Sen, Local News

Hun Sen: I will be prime minister forever

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Prime
Minister Hun Sen (pictured) has again reiterated his intention to rule
Cambodia for as long as he live and as long as the people continue to
support him.

In a speech during the inauguration of a high
school in Kandal province on Monday, 4th April, Mr. Hun Sen said he
will rule as prime minister indefinitely as long the his Cambodian
People’s Party and the people still support him. “I
will continue to rule into the future without a time frame to leave
office. The most important thing is whether the people voted for me or
not. That’s what important. Don’t talk about too long or too short or
about other issue [Arab-style revolution] in other places. The issue in
Cambodia is that we have elections every 5 years and if the party still
support me and the people still vote for me, I will continue (as PM)”,
he said.

Mr.
Hun Sen is resisting a call for the term limit of the prime minister in
Cambodia, saying Cambodia is not the same as countries in the Western
World. “There are calls for a term
limit, 2 terms, 3 terms. You (opposition parties) can limit your own
term as president of the party to 3 or 4 terms is up to you. The
president of my party (Mr. Chea Sim), even though he is very old, is
still the party president. The party’s honourary president (Mr. Heng
Samrin) is still the honourary president, there won’t be a change. If
you want to introduce a system, just do it for yourselves, but in
Cambodia it is a Cambodian issue and everyone of them wanted to
introduce a term limit? No way! What the hell do we want it for!”,
he said.

The
opposition leaders, Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha, have consistently
called for a term limit for the prime minister, preferably a two-term
limit similar to the term limit for the U.S presidency. But, 59
year-old Mr. Hun Sen who became prime minister of Cambodia in 1985
after serving six years as foreign minister, strongly resisted that
call. He has said in the past that he will continue serve a prime
minister until he is 90 years old.

By Khmerization
Source: RFA
Categories: Hun Sen, Local News

Doubts over Hun Sen’s modest salary claims

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Hun Sen shows his certificate of assets declaration
Non-government groups say the Cambodian Prime
Minister’s comments about his relatively modest salary don’t tell the
full story about his wealth.

More than 100,000 state officials
and heads of civilian organisations are required to declare their
property, vehicles, business interests and other assets under the
anti-graft law, passed in 2010. On the first of April, Prime Minister
Hun Sen declared his assets to the country’s new Anti-Corruption Unit.

Under
the law, that declaration remains confidential… However, afterwards,
Hun Sen told reporters he earned a monthly salary of 1,150 US dollars.
The comments were criticised by Mam Sitha, president of the
non-governmental group, Cambodia Independent Anti-Corruption Committee,
who said there was an “imbalance between the size of his salary and his
current wealth.”

Presenter: Liam Cochrane
Speaker: George Boden, Global Witness campaigner

Categories: Hun Sen, Local News

Hun Sen set to declare assets

April 1, 2011 1 comment
Prime Minister Hun Sen is to declare his assets today to the Kingdom’s
Anti-Corruption Unit that, though not to be released publicly, is
expected to serve as an example for other officials in ongoing efforts
to tackle graft.

Sar Sambath, permanent member of the ACU,
said yesterday that although the contents of the declaration would
remain private, Hun Sen would publicly drop off his asset declaration
documents today.

“By law, documents of the asset declaration
by Prime Minister Hun Sen would be kept as confidential the same as
other officials, but the process is open for the press to see.”

Yet
critics have expressed concern over the effectiveness of the
confidential nature of the declaration process, while spouses and
family members of officials are not required to declare their assets.

“I
think that corruption will remain widespread in the country if the
asset declaration of an official remains confidential. Our people want
to know about the assets of individual officials, so that people can
make their own judgments about the government’s policy to fight
corruption,” Yim Sovann, spokesman of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party,
said yesterday.

ACU spokesman Keo Remy said yesterday that the
ACU has appealed to lawmakers, NGO leaders, selected senior civil
servants, court officials, and police and military officers to declare
all assets in writing before April 7.

“It is the first time in
the Kingdom’s history that we have officials’ asset declarations, and I
think the arrival of [Hun Sen] … is a model for other officials,” he
said.

The ACU previously said that about 100,000 officials
would be required to declare their assets, but that number has dropped
to 25,000, according to the latest ACU announcements.

Om
Yentieng issued a notification on March 24 concerning failure to comply
with the declaration deadline, saying they would face prison terms of
between a month and a year and fines of up to 2 million riels (about
US$500).

Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Hun Sen, Local News