Friday, September 30, 2011

Japanese company fined $200 million


Japanese company fined $200 million

PHOTO
5 hours 17 minutes ago
A Japanese electric company will pay a $200 million fine and three of its executives are to be jailed for alleged price-fixing and bid rigging in the US auto parts industry.
The US Justice Department accused the executives at Furukawa Electric of rigging bids and maintaining prices for car harness wire sold in the US for over a decade.
Acting assistant attorney general, Sharis Pozen, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation will probe other firms suspected of involvement.
"As a result of this international price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy, automobile manufacturers paid noncompetitive and higher prices for parts in cars sold to U.S. customers,'' Ms Pozen said.
''This cartel harmed an important industry in our nation's economy,'' she added.
An automobile wire harness is an electrical distribution system used to direct and control electronic components, wiring and circuit boards in cars.

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Law Journal of Cambodia(LJC) is a non-political and independent team who volunteer working for disseminating laws and informaton regarding development and human rights situation in Cambodia. All comment or idea of LJC cannot be claimed in front of court and other purpose. LJC just provide ways for people to understand the context of law and other issues. LJC wants people to understand the law and live in peaceful means. If you need inquiry, please drop your e-mail to cambodianlawjournal@gmail.com. Welcome all comments on this blog

Ministry of Interior provided choices for NGOs for draft of NGOs Law

Through the Raksmey Kampuchea newspaper released today (Sept 30, 2011) page A3 quoted the word of Minster of Interior (MoI), Mr. Sor Kheng that draft Law on NGOs (LANGO) will be adopted by National Assembly within the fourth mandate of Royal Government of Cambodia (2008-2013). LANGO is top law that government shall do because many countries in the world, they have such law as well.

The reason that government shall need LANGO because it based on the Cambodian Constitution and also government policy.

MoI will received all comments or ideas from the civil societies but MoI has authority to accept or deny those comment. Mr. Sor Kheng also said that MoI will not receive 100% but those comments can be accepted from 60% to 70%. And if possible, MoI will accept the comments 80%.

Sor Keng raised two major: 1. Registration, 2. Reporting:

1- Registration: Sor Keng word's seemly registration shall be mandatory for creating legal entity but he said that the existent NGOs are not needed to re-register, it just fulfill some document and send to MoI are enough . But for the new, it must be registered to forming the legal entity. Procedure of registration is simple and easy to process it.

2. Reporting: NGOs have two options.----(a) NGOs send annual report to their donor so NGOs just CC those reports to MoI are enough. It is not needed to reproduce report and send to MoI. and (b) NGOs are not needed to send those annual reports to MoI but all NGOs shall keep their reports at their office when the authority needs them, NGOs shall present it.

Through information above, LJC thought that the government of Cambodia is seemly open its space to accept the comments and ideas from all environments when there are many pressure from national and international communities. Therefore, all NGOs in Cambodia shall provide significant comment to government is better than to thought the minor issue. Through LJC observation, some NGOs don't know what type of the core issue happening in the LANGO, they just come to talk that NO NEED LANGO. it's meaningless for NGOs to do like this. NGOs shall consolidate all important comments and should collect idea from the expert of law relating non profit organization and send to government.

LJC thought that the most important for NGOs to persuade the government is relating Registration. It should be advocated to volunteer to register for non profit organization. It's the key issue shall be done as priority because in the Cambodian Constitution and international principles provide freedom to form association. It means that it can be formed without registration.

About reporting, it is secondary issue. LJC thought that it's not interference of government to NGOs because government want to know NGOs activities as well. Government has authorities to see those report but all NGOs should provide mechanism for government to check activity or report of NGOs such as how many day the government official shall inform to NGO that they want to visit. And what are the reasons? If government officials check many times it's interfere NGOs activities.

LJC will be looking closely about the progress of LANGO and will update all information for readers.

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Law Journal of Cambodia(LJC) is a non-political and independent team who volunteer working for disseminating laws and informaton regarding development and human rights situation in Cambodia. All comment or idea of LJC cannot be claimed in front of court and other purpose. LJC just provide ways for people to understand the context of law and other issues. LJC wants people to understand the law and live in peaceful means. If you need inquiry, please drop your e-mail to cambodianlawjournal@gmail.com. Welcome all comments on this blog

Cambodia’s draft law on NGOs deserves further review – UN expert

Cambodia’s draft law on NGOs deserves further review – UN expert




Surya P. Subedi, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia
28 September 2011 –


An independent United Nations human rights expert today urged the Cambodian Government to carefully review a draft law that may hamper the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the South-east Asian nation. “The Government of Cambodia should not proceed with the draft NGO law in its present form,” Surya P. Subedi said as he presented his annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“Of course, as a sovereign country, Cambodia is entitled to enact a law on NGOs, but the decision to adopt a law to regulate NGOs and associations is a critical initiative which requires careful attention, given its long-term implications for the development of Cambodian society,” added Mr. Subedi, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.

Many of the civil society organizations in Cambodia have been playing an important role alongside the State in delivering key social services in the areas of education, health, rural development, sanitation, social welfare and the protection of natural resources and the environment, he noted.

In a news release issued in Geneva, Mr. Subedi urged the Government to take into account the concerns raised during the consultation process before enacting the law, especially the “onerous” requirements for registration and the lack of clear criteria on which registration applications will be considered.

In his report to the Council, the Special Rapporteur acknowledged that the overall situation of human rights had improved over the years in Cambodia, especially with the enactment of a number of key legislations.
At the same time, he underscored that there was still “a great deal of work to be done to strengthen the rule of law, to accelerate the process of democratization and to enhance the capacity of parliament to hold executive to account.” 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cambodia is a haven for endangered birds


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My wife, Sandi, and I were visiting southeast Asia and when in Cambodia we decided to get a local guide and bird Tonle Sap Lake, the biggest lake in Asia.  Since the lake was so huge we picked the Lamphat Wildlife Sanctuary to be our destination. 
The first bird we saw was a common flameback, a woodpecker perched in a tree. We saw many woodland birds because it was the beginning of the dry season and the lake was near capacity. 
Besides the woodland birds there were several birds flying, some of which were the brahminy kite, brown-headed gull and whiskered tern. 
During the rainy season from June to November the Mekong River backs up the Tonle Sap River into Tonle Sap Lake.  The lake during the rainy season is 16,000 kilometers large and during the dry season from November through April the lake is 2,500 kilometers. 
At its peak capacity, it is one-eighth the size of North Dakota. As many as 149 species of fish have been recorded in the lake and the lake yields about 250,000 tons of fish per year. One of the species is the endangered Mekong giant catfish and last year one was caught that weighed 650 pounds. 
This catfish migrates from the Tonle Sap Lake to the Mekong River to spawn.  Occasionally a water snake would show its head or swirl in the water.  Annually 6 million water snakes are harvested and many are fed to Siamese crocodiles.
One of the main livelihoods of the lake people is crocodile farms. Another livelihood is guides taking people out on the lake to see the endangered Mekong River dolphins.
The lake is home to the lake people. During the rainy season they live in villages built on stilts and during the dry season they live on their boats.  They have stores on boats and a school on boats all floating on the lake. 
It is an amazing sight to see these lives in action. Before stopping at a government building to eat lunch and pay our entrance fees into the Lamphat Wildlife Sanctuary we saw a globally threatened bird, the spot-billed elican.  
Snakehead fish was the main course of our meal and it tasted pretty good. We saw several colonies of many kinds of water birds in the trees has we approached the sanctuary.  The highlight of the bird sanctuary was seeing six more globally threatened birds. 
Those were the milky stork, Oriental darter, lesser and greater Adjutant, black-headed ibis and painted stork.  Of these globally threatened birds, the spot-billed pelican and milky stork have the Tonle Sap Lake as the only breeding site left in the world. 
The others find Tonle Sap to be their largest remaining site.  I must add that in the floodplain area three critically endangered species still make their home.  I was fortunate to see all three, those being the Sarus crane, white-shouldered ibis and the Bengal florican. 
My only regret was that I didn't have more time to explore more of the massive lake.    
(Clark Talkington of Mandan is a retired music instructor and a life-long birding enthusiast.)


Read more: http://bismarcktribune.com/lifestyles/outdoors/cambodia-is-a-haven-for-endangered-birds/article_64fa833c-ea19-11e0-b42f-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1ZLUinVN4

Vietnamese firms urged to boost Cambodia trade


Vietnamese firms urged to boost Cambodia trade

HCM CITY — Vietnamese businesses need to learn more about the Cambodian market's consumer needs and develop distribution channels in order to expand trade, according to the Vietnamese trade counsellor in Cambodia.
Vu Thinh Cuong, speaking at an online forum on Cambodian trade yesterday, said that products should conform with Cambodian taste and customs, including packaging and labelling.
"Businesses need to establish good distribution channels for the direct circulation of goods to rural residents," he said, adding that rural Cambodians think highly of the quality and price of Vietnamese goods.
He also advised businesses to have reliable Cambodian partners with adequate financial capacity for distribution channels.
For the last eight months of the year, export turnover from Viet Nam to Cambodia reached US$1.5 million, an increase of 59 per cent over the same period last year.
Textile exports gained the strongest growth of 71 per cent, while seafood and food products increased 54 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively, compared with the same period last year.
"Vietnamese processed seafood for rural residents and fresh fish, shrimp and crabs have the most potential," Cuong said.
Key export items from Viet Nam to Cambodia are petrol, construction materials, agricultural machinery, pesticides and fertilisers, plastic items, food and utensils, vegetables, textiles and seafood.
Seven sectors in Cambodia should be given priority, including agriculture and agriculture-supported industry, basic and telecommunications infrastructure, thermoelectric power and energy, industry with high-usage proportion of local labour, hospitality and healthcare, and education.
Viet Nam's 41 projects in Cambodia account for a total investment of $566 million as of 2010, ranking ninth in the top list of countries investing in Cambodia.
Viet Nam has invested in rubber plantations, telecommunications, food processing, textiles and construction materials.
Currently, the Cambodian government allows a lease of 70 years on rubber plantations.
The Viet Nam Industrial Rubber Corporation has developed 14 projects with an area of 100,000ha of land, while private investors have invested in 10 projects with 50,000ha.
As of May, Vietnamese businesses had added two rubber plantation projects with total capital of $60 million.
Cambodia continues to be a key market for Vietnamese goods.
"In 2012, Viet Nam will continue to open exhibition fairs and trade promotions in Cambodia," said Le Bien Cuong, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Southeast Asia Division.
Cuong said this year's promotion programmes to Cambodia still has a national trade promotion campaign that takes place in November. — VNS
Link to original source here....

UN expert calls on Cambodia to amend draft NGO law


UN expert calls on Cambodia to amend draft NGO law

Special rapporteur Surya Subedi concerned law in its current form 'may hamper the legitimate work of NGOs in the country'

Cambodia
Transporting bananas in Phnom Penh. Cambodia is a major aid recipient, but the proposed NGO law could affect support. Photograph: Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP
The UN special rapporteur on Cambodia has called on the government to change its draft law on NGOs, which is a source of much anxiety among civil society groups.
On Wednesday, Surya Subedi urged the Cambodian authorities to carefully review the current draft, expressing concern that "it may hamper the legitimate work of NGOs in the country".
Domestic and international human rights groups have strongly criticisedthe draft law, which they say threatens to impose severe restrictions on civil society's right to freedom of association and expression.
The statement from Subedi, currently professor of international law at the University of Leeds in the UK, will lend extra weight to such concerns.
"The government of Cambodia should not proceed with the draft NGO law in its present form," Subedi said in presenting his annual report on human rights in Cambodia to the UN human rights council in Geneva. "Of course, as a sovereign country, Cambodia is entitled to enact a law on NGOs, but the decision to adopt a law to regulate NGOs and associations is a critical initiative which requires careful attention, given its long-term implications for the development of Cambodian society - and in turn the country – itself."
Subedi acknowledged in his report that the overall human rights situation had improved in Cambodia, especially with the enactment of a number of key laws. He also noted that the government has accelerated a legislative programme designed to implement, among other things, key recommendations he made on the judiciary in his report last year.
However, the special rapporteur stressed there was still "a great deal of work to be done to strengthen the rule of law, to accelerate the process of democratisation and to enhance the capacity of parliament to hold executive to account".
As for the draft law itself, Subedi shares key concerns with civil society groups inside and outside Cambodia, particualrly regarding the complex and mandatory registration process and the lack of clear criteria on which registration applications will be considered.
Human rights groups last month called on donor governments to reassess their aid programmes to Cambodia if the draft law on NGOs was passed in its present form. Human Rights Watch and Global Witness, among others, wrote to William Hague, the foreign secretary, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and Australia's foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, to sound the alarm. They said the foreign ministers should make it clear to Cambodia's government that, if the proposed changes are adopted, they will reassess their aid programmes. They also urged multilateral aid agencies to review their assistance.
One of Asia's poorest countries, Cambodia receives between $50m and $70m a year from the World Bank. It is looking increasingly to China for aid and development. China is Cambodia's biggest source of foreign direct investment, with stated plans to spend $8bn on 360 different projects during the first seven months of 2011.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boundary issue likely to be stalled


Boundary issue likely to be stalled

Supalak Ganjanakhundee
The Nation September 28, 2011 1:00 am

No matter who ends up leading the Thailand-Cambodia Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), the task of demarcating the border between the two countries will never be completed if the Kingdom is unable to de-politicise the issue.

No matter who ends up leading the Thailand-Cambodia Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), the task of demarcating the border between the two countries will never be completed if the Kingdom is unable to de-politicise the issue.
The opposition Democrat Party started campaigning against the reshuffle of the JBC once it learned that Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul had replaced the previous government’s man, Asda Jayanama, with career diplomat Bandit Sotipalalit.
Asda was made JBC chief in much the same way as Bandit, when Kasit Piromya, foreign minister under the Democrat-led government, had him replace career diplomat and legal expert Vasin Teeravechyan last November. Kasit never explained why the move was made and Vasin never complained about the move being unfair.
While Asda was in charge, the JBC only held one meeting in Indonesia this April and made no significant progress on demarcating the boundary or easing the strained relations with Cambodia.
Now, the Democrats are accusing Surapong of making the changes to please Phnom Penh. On Monday, the foreign minister said he would sue Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut for defamation – thus kicking off a brand-new political game.
Basically, the key difference between Bandit and Asda is their personalities. Bandit is moderate and soft-spoken, while Asda is a hardliner and speaks his mind. However, both are seasoned diplomats who have served at the Foreign Ministry. It would be very difficult to say who loves Thailand more and very unfair to accuse one or the other of putting a foreign country’s interest ahead of their nation.
The boundary between Thailand and Cambodia was delimited and demarcated more than a century ago, when the neighbouring country was still a French colony. Most of the 800-kilometre boundary is marked with pillars with the exception of areas near the Preah Vihear Temple.
Though time, nature, war and humans have removed these pillars, it is the JBC’s task to find them and, through negotiations, clarify the boundary line. The task is very technical and most of the commission’s members are technicians from both countries. Together they need to fine-tune the understanding of treaties and maps that were agreed upon more than 100 years ago. Both sides need to be flexible and ready to make compromises, otherwise they will never find common ground on where the boundary should be marked.
In the 10 years since it was set up, the JBC has made a great deal of progress and has found quite a few of the boundary pillars. However, the JBC’s task was politicised in 2008 when the yellow-shirt nationalist movement and the Democrat Party started voicing anger against late prime minister Samak Sundaravej’s support for Cambodia’s plan to have the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site.
In reality, the inscription of the site has nothing to do with the demarcation of the boundary, but the Democrats and the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy accused the Samak government of losing the territory adjacent to the temple to Cambodia.
In 1962, the International Court of Justice ruled that the temple was situated on land that came under the sovereignty of Cambodia, but Thailand has been disputing this ruling. In 2008, then-foreign minister Noppadon Pattama was forced to step down after he issued a communiqu