News Summary for 31-08-2016

No End in Sight to Deforestation

Villagers on their way home after dropping off timber at the factory.PREAH VIHEAR – Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly called for a stop to deforestation in the country, but his pleas have fallen on deaf ears in Preah Vihear province, as an investigation this week by Khmer Times has shown.

One company with alleged links to people in high places has just opened a large wood processing factory in the O’Sneat area near Tor Sou village in Tor Sou commune, which is in Chen Sey district in Preah Vihear province.

Army Would Ensure CNRP Leaders’ Arrests

cam-photo-kun-kim-channa-KHMERDeputy military commander Kun Kim has said that the armed forces remain politically neutral, but would “guarantee” opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha were arrested and imprisoned if such a request was made by the courts.

General Kim, one of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s chief advisers and a close ally since they defected from the Khmer Rouge before the regime’s fall in 1979, told the Fresh News service in an interview on Monday that soldiers knew their role.

Border talks with Vietnam fail to reach accord

Senior Minister for Border Affairs Var Kimhong speaks at a meeting with Vietnamese officials in Phnom Penh on Monday.The second and final day of meetings for the Cambodia-Vietnam Border Committee fared no better than the first, ending yesterday without a joint statement and amid continuing disagreements over basic elements of the border demarcation process.

The committee’s primary purpose is to agree on wording for a joint letter to the French government requesting colonial maps on which to base their discussions.

More Than 60 Chinese Arrested over Extortion

More than 60 Chinese nationals were arrested yesterday for running a VoIP scam.Immigration Police arrested more than 60 Chinese nationals after a raid on an apartment in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district for their alleged involvement in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam extorting money from people in China.

Major General Uk Heiseila, chief investigator at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said: “The police detained 64 Chinese nationals included eight women involved in VoIP fraud.”

Prices Leave Garment Sector in a Pinch: ILO

Women work at a garment factory in Phnom Penh earlier this month.Cambodia’s garment sector, although still expanding, will remain in a precarious position unless global brands significantly raise the prices they pay to manufacturers, or the sector sees a sharp increase in productivity, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned in a report released yesterday.

With both possibilities improbable in the short term, factory owners are likely to struggle with continued increases in wages, the ILO said in its latest “Cambodian Garment and Footwear Sector Bulletin.”

Officials hear of surrogacy dangers as law considered

Embryos fertilised at the Fertility Clinic of Cambodia.In a closed-door meeting yesterday, international experts warned Cambodian officials of the need to create a legal framework for the Kingdom’s quietly blooming commercial surrogacy industry, which many say risks endangering the lives and health of women and children.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, and members of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and representatives of the Australian and US government, among others.

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