Proleung Khmer

Friday, January 28, 2005

Strongman: "Without me, It's chaos"

Our strongman wants to rule Cambodia until at least 2012. According to him, nobody can be PM. He's the only one who can govern. The rest of the Khmer people are incompetent. Without him, it's the end of the world. He warned that if he resigns or dies, Cambodia will be in turmoil. This is a desperate call to illusion. For him it's " Sans moi, c'est le déluge." He's dreaming. He doesn't know that Cambodia has a Constitution. But to him, the Constitution, it's him. He's the clairvoyant dictator. If he's so good and so sure of being loved by the people, why doesn't he form his own party? Why does he want to stick with the CPP? After our strongman declared his power and indispensability, Heng Samrin declared that there were other leaders who could become PM. Can we see a split in the CPP? Without doubt, our strongman has power within the CPP. That's why he was able to exile Chea Sim for a while. If that's the case why doesn't he eliminate Chea Sim and his supporters? Could he really get rid of Chea Sim and his supporters without bloodshed? So what's the roadmap? Continue to stay with the CPP or walk out with his supporters to form a new party with SKP. What's the strategy here? HS + SKP = pseudo-communist+pseudo-royalist party? Who will follow SKP? With the new party, who's going to be the head? HS won't be submissive to SKP. SKP wants to be the leader unless he got the honorary post of chairman and do nothing. Big title with a lot of money and no power. Is he satisfied with that? Sure as long as HS promised him that some day he'll make SKP the next king. It'll be a good play à la Broadway to see these two live together hoping to rule Cambodia for the next century!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Vietnamese taking over Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh governor presented a draft of a 15-year development plan for Phnom Penh to the Vietnamese investors in Ho Chi Minh city on January 14, 2005. The has not been approved by the Royal government yet.

The plan includes a new railway station for freigth trains, a rail track across the Tonle Sap, and an expanded PP international airport to be completed by 2020.

So how can Tep Chuktema go to the Vietnamese with a plan that was not officially approved? Why the Vietnamese? How about the international investors? How about some transparency? How about open bid? Did he do it with the acknowledgment of our strongman? Does he want PP to be called Nam Vang?

Illegal Senate

Again, the Senate has decided to extend one more year. This body is illegal because it's not elected by the people. It already extended for one year to be expired on March 25, 2005. Also it did not accomplish anything. Money spent on the senators can be better used to feed the people. These senators are useless.

KR Tribunal

What's the merit of staging a mocked trial of the KR with the majority of Khmer judges? Is it to find closure for the victims or enrich the players? Yes spending $56 million to bring only some old former KR leaders to trial will not give justice to the victims. If they want to show justice to the people, all the KR involved in the killings must stand trial including those in power today.

Omen for CPP Split?

So what do people believe in Cambodia when they see a rock falling from the sky? They believe that something is going to happen in Cambodia. This can be either a good or bad omen depending on the superstition of the people.

Will this omen predicts the future split of the CPP?

Meteorite hits Cambodia, sparks fires
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (Reuters) -- A 4.5 kg (10 lb) meteorite which landed in a former Khmer Rouge zone of northwest Cambodia started fires across rice fields and prayers from villagers who saw it as a divine omen of peace.

"Some farmers are angry with the rock because it caused fires and destroyed several hundred hectares of their paddy fields," said Sok Sareth, police chief of Banteay Meanchey province, around 200 miles northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.

"But others asked the police to leave it where it landed and put it on shrine to pray for peace," he told Reuters on Wednesday.

The black lump of celestial rock sent villagers scurrying for cover when it thumped into the ground in the war-scarred southeast Asian nation on Monday morning.
"It made a noise like a bomb exploding," Sok Sareth said. "It's a good thing it didn't land in the village or people could have been killed."

Pictures of the meteorite were splashed across newspapers in the capital, but the item itself has been carried away by police pending scientific analysis.

Initial investigations by explosives experts still clearing the bombs and mines left behind from Cambodia's years of civil war against Pol Pot's guerrillas have not yielded many results.
"I asked my friend who works as deminer, but he has no idea what the rock is," Sok Sareth said.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Human Trafficking

High ranking officials in the RGC are involved in human trafficking withouth fearing being prosecuted.

On Dec 7, 2004, the anti-trafficking police and NGO Afesip raided the government licensed Chai Hour II Hotel. 250 women and girls were employed as sex workers. 100 of them were masseuses whom clients paid $20 for sex, $10 of which was kept by the hotel management. The other 150 were Karaoke singers and available for sex.

7 suspects arrested during the raid were released just hours after the operation by the order of an unidentified official. Who is he? He must be arrested now.

On Dec 8, 2004, 30 people in military vehicles abducted 83 women and girls from Afesip's Phnom Penh women's shelter. The hotel claimed that they're back at work and filed a lawsuit against Afesip for the raid.

The Minister of Information, who is himself a pedophile, denies any govenment links to organized crimes. If that's the case why was the head of the anti-trafficking police removed? Why does the RGC allow the hotel to continue to operate?

The US is considering downgrading Cambodia's status on its global human trafficking watchdog list, meaning that the US could sanction Cambodia. What a shame! Only the poor will continue to suffer in the hands of the rich.

Where does the strongman get the money from?

The new headquarters for the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection is going to be built by an obscure and unknown company without offices. Very strange. Even a phantom can build in Cambodia. And who pays for the building? Our strongman donates $1 Million for it. Even with his salary, it's impossible to save such a big sum during his life time. Where did he get that money? This is the corruption at its best.

Friday, January 07, 2005

FUNCINPEC smarter than SRP?

SKP claimed that FUN was smarter than SRP when he was able to get 40% of the share in the RGC although FUN only got 13 seats. To him by being in the RGC is considered to be smart. He doesn't care if his ministers don't have any power. He doesn't care if the CPP runs the show as long as he has the pseudopower. So is he really smarter? Yes for knowing how to enrich himself.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


The Washington Post
Thursday, December 30, 2004 Page E01

Manipulating the Mekong China's Push to Harness Storied River's Power Puts It at Odds With Nations Downstream

By Peter S. Goodman, Washington Post Foreign Service

CHONG KHNEAS, Cambodia -- A decade ago, Chan Kimoeun could pilot his skiffacross the turbid water of the Tonle Sap, stay out for two days and bringhome as much as 400 pounds of fish. On this day, he returned from fivenights of floating torpor with a mere 50 pounds -- hardly enough to coverthe costs of fuel or the rice he cooked during the trip.
"All that time for nothing," said Chan, whose four children depend on hiscatch to pay for school and any prospect of escaping this floating town onthe trash-strewn shores of Cambodia's largest lake. "There are fewer andfewer fish."

While Chan futilely drifted, construction crews 650 miles to the north inthe Chinese province of Yunnan labored to secure energy for China'sbreakneck industrialization. Dumping truckloads of boulders and concrete,they fashioned a 300-foot-high hydroelectric dam on the Mekong River.

China's rapid development is changing the global economy as the countryabsorbs vast quantities of energy and raw materials and presses wages andmanufacturing costs lower. But the changes along the Mekong highlightanother aspect of China's ascendance: Its threat to the environment.

Japan blames China's smokestacks for increased volumes of acid rain.Chinese timber companies have pressed into neighboring Burma to harvesthardwoods. And throughout Southeast Asia, farmers and fishermen complainthat China's thirst for hydroelectric power is choking the Mekong, awaterway that sustains some 70 million people.

Known to Americans largely for the struggle over its fertile southern deltaduring the Vietnam War, the Mekong winds 3,000 miles from the highlands ofTibet to the South China Sea, irrigating crops, nurturing fish andsupporting shipping across a vast area.

China already has completed two dams across the river, with two more underconstruction and four others planned. Despite the geographic distance,scientists are beginning to document links with growing environmentaltroubles downstream. A team of researchers last year at the FinnishEnvironment Institute concluded that China's Manwan Dam cut by one-half theamount of sediment in the water at Chiang Saen, Thailand. The researchersalso concluded that China's network of dams would likely lead to lowerwater levels in the river, less flooding of the Tonle Sap, less transfer ofnutrient-rich sediment -- and a degraded fishery.

The stakes are considerable. The Mekong is a crucial artery of nutrientsfor the Tonle Sap, for example, whose fish provide most of the protein inthe Cambodian diet. The fish catch following the end of the wet season in2003 declined by roughly half compared with the previous year, according toa report by Milton Osborne, an Australian researcher. While overfishing andhabitat destruction are also factors, researchers place some of the blameon China's dams.

"China, they will work for their own country," said Khy Tanglim, a Cambodian cabinet minister who heads a team devoted to Mekong policy. "We are downstream, so we suffer all the negative consequences. If there is no more water for us, no more fish, no more vegetation, this is a big disaster."

The catch in northern Thai waters declined by half from 2000 to 2004,according to the Southeast Asia Rivers Network, an environmental group.Concern is also mounting about Vietnam's Mekong River Delta, whose soilsproduce roughly half of the country's agricultural output. Less fresh watercoming down river could allow more saltwater to spill in from the South China Sea, ruining farmland. More than 40 percent of the Mekong passes through Chinese territory, and about 16 percent of the runoff that feeds itoriginates in China -- a figure that jumps to perhaps 40 percent in the dryseason, Osborne said.

So far, China has not joined the four-nation Mekong River Commission, whichcoordinates development.

"The Chinese government is not concerned about the impact on the lives ofpeople downstream," said Chainarong Settachua, director of the SoutheastAsia Rivers Network.
Beijing asserts rights to do what it wants on its portion of the Mekong,while arguing that its dams could lessen flooding downriver. China alsocites the absence of data definitively linking its dams to troubledownstream. A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Chinaconsiders the environmental impacts of its hydroelectric dams.

The United Nations' 1997 Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Usesof International Watercourses requires nations sharing a waterway tocoordinate development and lessen the effect on downstream communities. ButChina's neighbors so far have muted their criticism, preferring to promotetrade. Laos has its own dam-building plans. Thailand hopes to buyelectricity produced by China. Cambodia's government sees China as a keysource of aid.
"What can we do?" said Khy, the Cambodian minister. "They are upstream.They are a richer country operating in their own sovereign territory. Howcan we stop them?"

On a journey down portions of the Mekong in early November, China'sindustrial ambitions contrasted with the struggles of its neighbors. Northof the Chinese town of Jinghong in Yunnan province, some 5,000 people arescouting new places to live, having been told by the government that theirland would soon be under water.

Ai Bin and his family, members of the Bulang ethnic minority, prepared todismantle their house and move it to higher ground. Rice and rubberfarmers, they built their house four years ago for what constituted theirlife savings -- about $3,000. Brick by brick, board by board, they must nowtake it apart, carry it up the mountain and put it back together.
"It's so much trouble," Ai said.

Just downstream, around a series of jungle-covered hills, the cause of hisdislocation gleamed under a tropical sun. In eight years, the dam atJinghong is expected to produce 1,500 megawatts of power, boosting by morethan 50 percent the energy delivered by two other dams already in placeupriver -- the Manwan dam, completed in 1996, and the Dachaoshan, launcheda year ago. Further upriver at Xiaowan, work has begun on a dam that willtower 900 feet over the Mekong. Slated for completion by 2012, it wouldstand second only to China's controversial Three Gorges Dam on the YangtzeRiver.

With China now rationing energy in key industrial areas, the Yunnan'srivers have become central to boosting the supply of electricity. Afrontier mission is also at play. Dam building in China is championed aspart of the construction of a modern nation, much as the taming of theColorado and Columbia rivers in the United States gave form to Americanambitions.
"This dam is making people rich," said Jiang Yen, 35, as he rode a boatpast the Jinghong construction site. "It's giving people jobs. We'll allget cheap electricity."

>From Jinghong, the Mekong winds past thick stands of bamboo and soaringhardwoods necklaced by vines. At the port town of Mengla, close to whereChina, Laos and Burma converge, Chinese cargo vessels load fresh apples,dried fruit and green tea bound for Southeast Asia. Trade has been widenedby the blasting of rapids upriver, a project coordinated by multiplegovernments but paid for almost exclusively by China. Local shippers decryan influx of Chinese competitors, but more significantly complain ofvolatile fluctuations in the river's depth as China shuts and opens gateson its dams.

At the end of the rainy season in late October, the river at Chiang Saen istypically 7 1/2 feet deep, enough to allow the local boats to load as muchas 250 tons of cargo. This year, it fell below six feet. At one localshipping firm, ChairatanaMunkong Co., marketing manager Kitchai Taetemwongcomplained that because of the shallower depth his boat could carry only150 tons on a recent run to Jinghong from Chiang Saen. That sliced a usual$2,500 profit to a mere $500.
Shifts in the water level and changes in water temperature have wreakedhavoc on fish farms near Chiang Khong, Thailand. Production fell nearlyone-third over the past two years, said Kasem Jongpaisansin, president ofan association of fish farmers.

Farmers say so little water is available during the dry season thatplanting crops is futile in some places.

"The soil is too dry," complained Pun Yauthani, 55, who plants peanuts on asandy island between Thailand and Laos. "This year, I'm thinking I won'tplant. It's a waste of time."
South of Chiang Khong, erosion ravages terraced plots carved into thesloping banks. With the rocks blasted upriver, water runs swiftly, tearingaway chunks of soil. Leafy trees sit shorn of support, their roots snakinginto thin air. A gas station has become a pile of broken concrete, itsfoundation stripped away.

Every morning, Kaen Boonnak, who grows broccoli on a roughly one-acre plot,looks to see how much land the river stole overnight.

"I've already lost the bottom third," he said, estimating that his $1,500annual income has dropped by one-fifth. "I'm afraid that we're going tolose more."

The worst fears lie downriver in Cambodia, where the Tonle Sap's prodigiousfishery depends on a yearly flow of nutrient-rich floodwaters down theMekong. The worry is that the dams are disrupting the annual cycle,narrowing the area in which fish can breed.

Many of the people who live along the lake are landless and unable to growrice, making them particularly vulnerable. They catch fish with handheldnets, eating some and selling some to buy rice and other goods. The shoreis a riot of boats and sputtering engines and palm-frond squatters' huts,the air laced with the smell of rotting innards and diesel fuel.

Men just in from the lake unload sardine-sized fish from a 50-foot vessel,using straw baskets balanced from poles slung over their shoulders. Theydrop their loads into the back of a dump truck that will carry the oozingpile to a drying factory. A barefoot girl scans the muddy ground for fishthat have landed there, placing her finds into a plastic bag.

These are days of scarcity and alarm. Most people have not heard of thedams in China, and shrug when asked why fish are elusive. But theyunderstand the implications of shortage. Chan Kimoeun and his family liveon a floating house that shifts with the changing contours of the shore. Heused to earn about $6.50 per day fishing. Now he often fails to break even,tapping loan sharks for the next load of fuel.

He estimates his debt at about $1,000 -- more than his annual income --with 10 percent monthly interest mounting. Neither Chan nor his wife can read, but their 12-year-old daughter can, a subject that brings a glow totheir faces. With school costing them about $50 per year, her future is injeopardy. "We're worried," Chan said. "We struggle on the Tonle Sap to catch fish. There is no other way."


If all the Chines decide to urinate at the same time in the Mekong, Cambodia would be completely destroyed, worse than the tsunamis.

Building Schools

Bartender of the Month: January 2005
By Fritz Hahn
The Washington Post online
Saturday, January 1, 2005;

Who: Sambonn "Sam" LekWhere:The Town & Country Lounge (Inside the Mayflower Hotel)

Why we like him: A legend on the Washington bar scene, Sambonn "Sam" Lekcame to the United States from Cambodia in 1974 and got a job as adishwasher at Blackie's. Two years later, the Mayflower Hotel's Town andCountry Lounge hired him (straight out of hotel/motel school); and he'sbeen behind the bar ever since, welcoming a steady stream of regulars. (Samsays he sent out about 3,000 Christmas cards to customers last month.)

There are 101 cocktails on the menu, and "We change them a lot," Samexplains. "If some of them don't sell, we'll make new ones." Mostsuggestions come from customers. "Let's say you like litchis. Well, I canmake a drink with litchis. Or you say you like one drink, but you say you'dlike it sweeter. I can try something new." He's using this knowledge towrite a book of cocktail recipes.

But Sam's customers don't just come see him because he's a master drinkmaker. They come because he's friendly and remembers names and favoritedrinks. He does magic tricks, too, making $20 bills levitate or change intoa pair of tens in the blink of an eye.

Sam is also the president and founder of the charity Sam Relief. So far,Sam Relief has built six schools in Cambodia, and "in 2005, we will build three more," he says proudly. The money comes from donations from regulars,as well as special fundraising happy hours in the lounge. (You can find outmore about the organization at

Like clockwork, you'll find Sam behind the Mayflower's bar from 5 p.m. to 2a.m. Monday through Friday. Well, not always -- every July, Sam says, hegoes to Cambodia to work with his charity for six weeks or so.

What's YOUR favorite drink?Personally, I drink very little, but when I'm out with my wife, I'll drinka little red wine. But I don't drink -- my body doesn't like it.

What's the drink you make most often?A lot of Sam-I-Am (Ketel One Citroen, cranberry juice and Amaretto), Cosmosand the Apple Tree, which is my version of an Apple Martini. We makemojitos, too -- we use the right sugar, which is why it tastes differentlythan everywhere else.

What was the last drink you didn't know how to make?It's hard. We had a customer from California who asked for something, butlet's put it this way -- If you go to California and ask for a Sam-I-Am,they won't know what it is. But I like to learn from my customers; if theylike something, I like to learn how to make it.

What do you have to do to get '86ed?Have too much to drink. But I usually just tell them, "Sir, you've had toomuch, let's have some coffee."

What's the best pickup line you've ever overheard?Actually, I can usually tell, "Oh, you like her," or "You like him." SoI'll ... do a magic trick and it gives them something to talk about.
What song do you wish they'd take off the jukebox?[The piano player] doesn't bother me. They usually don't repeat too manysongs. The thing that bothers me are customers' cell phones, when they ringand they don't answer them.

The first sign a patron's drunk is:Blurred red eyes, the way they talk, they spill drinks.
Have you ever dated/gone home with someone you met while you were working?Oh no, I can't. A lot of women love me a lot, but I can't do it. I'mmarried.

How cheap are people, really? You get rich people and poor people. I say: You win some and you lose some.But I treat them all the same.

What piece of bar etiquette do you wish people would learn?Be friendly, be courteous and be honest.

Give us a piece of advice.We all have good and bad days. After rain, we can have a beautiful day.


He's better than the RGC when he helps do fund raising to build schools in Cambodia. He's a man of action.

Mosquito Net

The New York Times
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Page A23

Land of Penny Pinchers

"...One of the most unforgettable people I've met is Nhem Yen, a Cambodian grandmother whose daughter had just died of malaria, leaving two smallchildren. So Nhem Yen was looking after her four children and two grandchildren, and she could afford only one mosquito net to protect them from malarial mosquitoes. Each night, she had to choose which of the six children would sleep under the net. Do we really think that paying $5 for a mosquito net to keep Nhem Yen's children alive would be money down a rathole?..."

Why can the GRC take care of the poor people? Each offical, instead of spending couple hundreds of dollars in the restaurants and bars, should very easily buy many mosquito nets. So is a bottle of Hennessey worth more than the life of a child?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Chemicals on Food

Noodles are treated with agent borax. Fish sauce is sprayed with pesticide. Prahok is dusted with insect-repellent.

Borax causes diarrhea and vomiting and also death if consumed in large quantities. Pesticide cause chest pains, night sweats, dizziness, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

People eat them everyday without knowing the danger to their health.

There's no coordination between the 4 ministries overseeing the safety of food products.

Tolls on RN 4

The US rebuilt the RN 4 from PP to Sihanoukville with a cost of $40 million. Today RGC allows AZ Investment CO Ltds to levy tolls on all vehicles (passenger: $1.40, mi-buses: $2, buses: $2.50, trucks under 6 tons: between $1.50 and $2.50, already charged $18 for large container trucks) for 35 years.

The chair of AZ is Ung Bun Hauv, CPP MP for Takeo. It's corruption at its best, stealing from those who barely make ends meet like the taxis to feed the rich in the RGC.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Khmer athletes

SKP was appointed new Chairman of the Olympic Committee. He said that athletes did not have good facilities to train and lacked money.

So who's fault is that when he and our strongman sold the Olympic Stadium to a Taiwanese firm?

If he wants to help the atletes, why not use his own money and our strongman's money to feed and train them.

Enough talk. Show some action.

Our youth

What happens to our youth?

One in 5 want to commit suicide because of poverty. After graduating, they have no ob.

The people in power don't care. They only think of their own pockets. They let the future generation starve to death.

What future will our youth have!

It's time to wake up!

Koh Pich

PP governor evicts people in Koh Pich across from Naga casino so that he can build high rises.

The villagers got compensated for $1 to $2 per square meter, much below the assessed value.

Poor get poorer. Rich get richer.

Happy BD???

SKP celebrated his birthday. His supporters gave him water pumps? what for? Give them to the poor people who need them.

SKP said "We must stop being anarchic and divided... before Prime Minister Hun Sen can help us." Who's fault is that? What's wrong with him?

SKP lives in delusion. He allows the disgruntled who lost their positions to meet him for a pardon. They don't know what they have to apologize for. It doesn't matter. It takes two to tango. They're all corrupt anyway.

King Father already predicted the demise of FUN.


So Cambodia is a good vacation place for pedophiles?

The foreigners, who got caught, go to jail and with some bribery got out. Without money, they stay in jail.

So how about powerful Khmer officials who look for young girls also? A typical example is the current Minister of Information, who is not only drunk, but also enjoy sexe with young girls. They all know about his sexual exploits. He's still in power.

Wake up, people!