News Summary for 26-08-2016

CNRP: Vietnamese Renting Land

Interior Minister Sar Kheng has called for a halt to renting land.The government is in a seemingly never-ending PR battle to prove its independence from Vietnam, but that battle took a turn for the worse yesterday when opposition members told government officials that local residents in Svay Rieng province were renting land to Vietnamese farmers, an act explicitly banned by Prime Minister Hun Sen last November.

Farmers were not only found to be renting their land to Vietnamese nationals, but many said Vietnamese tenants colluded with local authorities, who used Cambodian names on official documents to flout the government ban and hide the information from their superiors.–vietnamese-renting-land/

NEC Tells Migrants to Come Home and Vote

cam-photo-frontnec1-300x222Though it has refused calls to open new channels for migrant workers to vote in upcoming elections, the National Election Committee (NEC) has sent a letter to all Cambodian embassies appealing for citizens living abroad to return home to register for next year’s polls.

But as the launch of new computerized voter registration on September 1 draws near, the letter has not yet been received by officials in South Korea or Thailand, which host up to 1 million Cambodians combined, with the vast majority in Thailand.

Gov’t to use 76K troops to provide security at polls

Ministry of Interior officials attend a meeting in Phnom Penh on security for voter registration and upcoming elections yesterday.The government will deploy roughly 76,000 police, gendarmerie officers and army troops to monitor next year’s commune ballot, while thousands will be assigned in coming months to monitor the voter registration process and the election campaign.

At a meeting yesterday at the Interior Ministry, National Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun said authorities will deploy 5,236 local and military police during the nationwide registration period, which kicks off on Thursday.

Zaman Says Closure Threats Are Just ‘Rumors and Myths’

cam-photo-zaman-channa-1There is “no possibility” Zaman schools will be shut down, a school principal said on Thursday, despite a Ministry of Education acknowledgment that top government officials were reviewing just such a request from the Turkish government.

Turkish Ambassador Ilhan Kemal Tug has repeatedly urged the Cambodian government to close Zaman University and Zaman International’s kindergarten, primary and secondary school campuses, saying the parent company is affiliated with a “terrorist organization” run by a controversial cleric blamed for a bloody July 15 coup attempt.

Workers Block Road in Protest

Workers block a road in Takeo provinceAppeals from the deputy provincial governor to wait for a decision from the Arbitration Council did little to stop almost 1,000 employees of a factory in Takeo province’s Daun Keo town from protesting and blocking one of the town’s main roads yesterday after a week of demonstrations were ignored by the company.

Almost 1,000 workers from the Garbotex Trading Company factory have protested for a week, demanding their employer fire a supervisor at the factory and improve working conditions.

Riel Usage Up, But Full Adoption Still Far Away

A woman working at a money exchange kiosk in Phnom PenhUse of riel notes in the economy has surged in the first half of the year, central bank figures show, but businesses and analysts remain skeptical about government initiatives to move Cambodia away from the U.S. dollar.

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) injected about 2 trillion riel in cash notes—the equivalent of approximately $489 million—into the economy during the first six months of the year, an 18 percent rise from about 1.69 trillion riel, worth about $413 million, for the first half of last year, according to data obtained on Thursday.

Moody’s cautious on GDP growth, warns of credit bubble

Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Services said yesterday that Cambodia’s B2/stable sovereign credit rating was supported by its robust economic growth and modest debt burden, but its narrowly focused industrial sector and low incomes were weighing on overall economic strength. In addition, the fast pace of credit growth, though slowing over the last year, could pose financial stability risks.

Angkor Park Tour Guides to Carry First-Aid Kits

A police officer and two Apsara Authority officials carry a man during a first aid drill at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap province last week.More than 400 first aid kits were distributed to tour guides in Angkor Archaeological Park last week in an effort to provide emergency medical care to visitors stricken by minor ailments such as cuts or heatstroke.

Prepared by Apsara Authority, the 413 first aid kits contain items such as iodine, gauze, bandages and Tiger Balm. They came with a two-week training course conducted by a team of more than 20 volunteer U.S. doctors, said Long Kosal, a spokesman for the authority.

PM Ends a Land Dispute with a Gift

Prime Minister Hun Sen greets local officials on his trip to Preah Vihear province.While meeting locals and officials in Preah Vihear province yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to allocate more than 80 hectares of airport land in Preah Vihear town’s Palhal commune to 127 families.

In a meeting with officials and armed forces that was announced on Mr. Hun Sen’s official Facebook page, the prime minister said that after requests from local people and provincial authorities he had decided to cut 80.53 hectares off from 152 hectares previously designated as airport land.

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