News Summary for 24-08-2016

US Court Will Hear Case Against Hun Manet, Lawyer Says

Hun ManetA U.S. court will next week hold its first hearing in CNRP official Meach Sovannara’s lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son, Hun Manet, for wrongful imprisonment, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

Mr. Sovannara, who has U.S. citizenship, is serving a 20-year prison sentence in Cambodia handed down by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last year in a case widely seen as politically motivated. He is suing Lieutenant General Manet, who holds a number of high-level positions in Cambodia’s armed forces, and the government for damages resulting from “torture through arbitrary, extra-legal and long-term detention.”

Anti-Money Laundering Plan

Asia-PacificWith the deadline for a second review by a global task force of the government’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing fast approaching, the Kingdom’s central bank yesterday conducted a workshop with banks, financial institutions and state agencies to flesh out a strategy to combat the international crimes.

“The government continues to cooperate with international agencies to act against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. This workshop aims to come up with a national strategy to strengthen the legal framework and implement the law to fight these crimes,” said Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia and head of the National Coordination Committee on Anti-Money-Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.

Ministry Hails Successful National Exam, Says No Cheating at All

A father stands outside Chaktomuk High School in Phnom Penh as his son sat for the national high school exam on Tuesday.As the third year of strictly regulated national high school exams drew to a close on Tuesday, the Ministry of Education brushed off evidence of widespread attempts at cheating and declared the event a success.

In 2014, the ministry implemented sweeping reforms to eliminate rampant bribery and cheating at the annual exam, which determines students’ eligibility for university.

Strategies to keep out dirty money discussed

The National Bank of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, as seen earlier this year.Central bank officials met yesterday with representatives from the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to discuss strategies on how to deal with the high risk of money laundering and financial terrorism in the country.

Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), explained during the meeting that the Cambodian government has worked on multiple strategies to prevent money laundering and strengthen the financial rule of law, leading to positive results.

Garment Institute to Open in 2017

GMAC is opening a training institute to help local garment workers move into management positions.Cambodia has struggled in recent years to keep a steady flow of garment factory orders coming into the Kingdom, with countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam siphoning off business through lower-paid but higher-skilled workers.

But the Cambodian Garment Training Institute (CGTI), slated to open early next year, is hoping to change that.

According to its creator, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), the institute will work to increase competitiveness within the garment industry by teaching fashion design, pattern creation and quality checking controls at an international-standard level.

Don’t Mention South China Sea, Government Tells Asean

Prime Minister Hun Sen, third from right, poses for a photograph with fellow Asean leaders during the 26th Asean Summit in Kuala Lumpur last year.The National Assembly will petition Asean officials to remove a reference to the South China Sea maritime dispute from an upcoming joint statement, officials confirmed on Tuesday, a move some analysts and diplomats say will again threaten regional cohesion.

The request marks just the latest such intervention dating back to 2012. Cambodia has refused to join other Asean members in issuing statements disputing China’s sweeping efforts to assert control over waters that also are claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

Hun Manet hires law firm to battle US suit brought by family of jailed activist

Hun Manet talks to the media at the Phnom Penh airport in April after returning from the USHun Manet has hired a law firm to contest a lawsuit that has been brought against him in the US by the family of an opposition activist imprisoned in Cambodia.

According to court documents, Lieutenant General Manet, eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, plans to appear at a hearing in California scheduled for September 1 in a bid to have the case dismissed, and will be represented by John Purcell, of Los Angeles-based law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

The Deforestation Continues

One of the trucks transporting timber from the Prey Lang forest, which is supposed to be a protected area.KAMPONG THOM/PREAH VIHEAR – The high-pitched whine of chainsaws drowned out the sound of birds and bugs you usually hear during any trek through Prey Lang forest.

What was once an area full of animals scurrying under the shade of gargantuan trees is now largely populated by stumps and ash.

The desolation of an area once cherished by generations who grew up near and within it is the work of companies which have been encouraging citizens to log trees and sell the timber to them.

Land Ministry Tells Preah Vihear Evictees it Won’t Help Them Anymore

The Ministry of Land Management says it has stopped trying to appease a group of 253 families in Preah Vihear province that are trying to reclaim land from which they were evicted in 2011, though the families say they won’t stop asking.

In a letter to the families dated August 16 and released on Tuesday, the ministry says 1,852 families were evicted from state land under the jurisdiction of the National Authority for Preah Vihear, which manages the Angkor-era Preah Vihear temple and the area around it.

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