News

(20-January-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday accused the CNRP of violating the “culture of dialogue” that he and the opposition agreed to last year, and warned seven lawmakers charged with incitement and insurrection that their parliamentary immunity would not save them from prison.

The seven CNRP lawmakers were charged over a protest at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park in July during which some opposition supporters beat district security guards, a few of them severely.

(20-January-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

The governor of Ratanakkiri province said Monday that he suspects 14 Montagnard asylum seekers hiding in the forests of O’Yadaw district were illegally smuggled across the border from Vietnam by ethnic Jarai in the area.

A group of Jarai villagers in the district have been helping the Montagnards evade authorities since a group of five arrived on January 3. Nine more arrived on Saturday.

The same villagers also helped 13 Montagnards who crossed the border in late October to make contact with U.N. representatives in late December. The U.N. then transferred the 13 to Phnom Penh to apply for refugee status.

(19-January-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

Civil society leaders on Sunday called on the country’s two major political parties to scrap plans to ban them from giving media interviews during election campaigns and from issuing statements that “insult” any party.

CPP Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin and senior CNRP official Kuoy Bunroeun, who are leading talks to amend the national election law, said on Friday that they are considering such a ban to ensure that NGOs remain “neutral.”

NGOs have long played a central role in Cambodia’s elections, conducting critical research into topics ranging from corrupted voter lists to election violence, and have provided a near constant check on the government, even at times when the opposition has cowered.

(19-January-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

Two weeks after five Montagnard asylum seekers crossed into Ratanakkiri province from Vietnam, the U.N. said Sunday that reports of the arrival of nine more—including three children—added to the situation’s “urgency.”

Two ethnic Jarai villagers living in Ratanakkiri said the nine Montagnards—an indigenous group from Vietnam’s Central Highlands—arrived on Saturday and are hiding in the forest in Andong Meas district.

Wan-Hea Lee, country director of the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said in an email Sunday that her office was still discussing the Montagnards with the Interior Ministry, but did not say whether the U.N. would attempt to reach them.

(19-January-2015 / The Phnom Penh Post)

About 1,800 people fainted at work in 2014, roughly 1,000 more than the previous year, according to Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) statistics surveying multiple industries in the Kingdom.

Work-related deaths fell from about 96 in 2013 to 73 in 2014, while issues such as arrests and firings of workers rose, says a Thursday statement signed by Ath Thorn, president of the approximately 90,000-member confederation.

Data came from a mixture of reports from CLC members and official statistics from the National Police Department, National Social Security Fund and other government bodies, Thorn said yesterday.

(19-January-2015 / The Phnom Penh Post)

A third group of Montagnards, including three children, reportedly crossed into Ratanakkiri province on Saturday, while a local NGO worker who has been assisting the asylum seekers claimed to have received death threats from a senior provincial official.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an ethnic Jarai villager told the Post that “nine newcomers arrived on Saturday including [three children], two girls and one boy, aged 5 and above”.

The latest arrivals bring the number of Christian Montagnards – indigenous people from Vietnam’s Central Highlands – allegedly hiding in the province’s forests to 14. A smaller group of five came earlier this month.

(19-January-2015 / The Phnom Penh Post)

Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni has signed off on a more robust traffic law, completing the final step for legislation that could hit the streets as early as next month, according to the government’s National Road Safety Committee (NRSC).

“He signed on the ninth of January,” said Chan Sokol, chief of the NRSC’s national and international relationships division.

The bill sailed through the National Assembly in a few days of debate in December and passed the Senate just before the New Year.

(19-January-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

A government delegation that traveled to the South Pacific island nation of Nauru last week to study the possibility of resettling in Cambodia some of the refugees Australia is currently holding there will return to Phnom Penh on Monday, a government official said.

Cambodia signed a $35-million deal with Australia in September to take in an unspecified number of the refugees, but has yet to resettle any.

Contacted Sunday in Phnom Penh, Sok Veasna, a director in the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said the department’s director of refugee services, Kerm Sarin, was leading the delegation.

(19-January-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

Two weeks after five Montagnard asylum seekers crossed into Ratanakkiri province from Vietnam, the U.N. said Sunday that reports of the arrival of nine more—including three children—added to the situation’s “urgency.”

Two ethnic Jarai villagers living in Ratanakkiri said the nine Montagnards—an indigenous group from Vietnam’s Central Highlands—arrived on Saturday and are hiding in the forest in Andong Meas district.

(16-January-2015 / The Phnom Penh Post)

Despite pledging to deposit $2,500 and surrender his passport, Cambodian-American opposition official Meach Sovannara was yesterday denied bail for a fourth time, and for the second time at the Appeal Court.

After the unsuccessful hearing, Sovannara said that due to the political nature of the case, he would only be released if opposition leader Sam Rainsy can convince Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party information head has been detained since November 11 in connection with a July protest at Freedom Park that saw opposition protesters clash with district security guards.