News Summary for 02-09-2016

Vietnamese Families Leave the Tonle Sap

Ethnic Vietnamese residents of Tonle Sap Lake are continuing to head back to Vietnam in droves due to overbearing and costly rules being strictly enforced by local authorities, robbing many of them of the only homeland they have ever known.

Minority Rights Organization (MIRO) official Seorn Chumsothun said yesterday that more than 100 Vietnamese families living in Kampong Chhnang province had fled to Vietnam over the past two months.–families-leave-the-tonle-sap/

Hun Sen Hopes Days of Post-Election Protests Are Finished

Prime Minister Hun Sen registers to vote on Thursday at his local commune office in Kandal province’s Takhmao CityTakhmao City, Kandal province – The three-month voter registration period opened on Thursday, with Prime Minister Hun Sen telling reporters after enrolling at his local commune office that he hopes the new voter registry will put an end to post-election protests.

After the July 2013 national election, the CNRP refused to take its National Assembly seats for almost a year, claiming that widespread “irregularities” skewed the vote in favor of the CPP, whose officials dominated the National Election Committee (NEC).

Climate change could cause rice prices to nearly double by 2030: study

A farmer works in a parched rice paddy in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district during a drought in 2012Climate change is threatening the Cambodian rice industry, and it is marginalised communities that will be worst affected unless the government takes action, according to a new study.

The study’s authors, Sokuntheavy Hong and Jun Furuya, took historical climatic, socioeconomic and rice-yield data as their benchmark, and used economic and climate forecasts to estimate future rice crops and prices through 2030.

‘Smooth’ day for NEC as opening of voter registration sees just minor issues

h.e.-sik-bun-hok-5The National Election Committee’s spokesman yesterday pronounced the first day of voter registration a success but noted several issues, including technical problems and inexperienced computer operators, made registration “slow” at several sites.

As of yesterday afternoon, NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said, some 50,000 people had logged their names in the new digital voter list system, designed to combat election fraud.

The NEC hopes to register the Kingdom’s 9.6 million eligible voters over the next three months, ahead of the 2017 commune elections.

Military Deployment Was Flood-Relief Exercise, Official Says

cam-photo-force-folo-channaDefense Ministry spokesman Chhum Sucheat said on Thursday that military helicopters, boats with machine guns and trucks of armed and masked troops were deployed around the opposition CNRP’s headquarters on Wednesday for a flood-relief exercise.

For more than three months, Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha has been avoiding arrest by hiding out in the headquarters, which lies between the Bassac River and National Road 2 in Meanchey district.

Ministry Denies Intimidating CNRP

Military units have only been holding drills, says the Ministry of DefenseThe Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied that Wednesday’s military drills in Phnom Penh were to threaten or intimidate members of the opposition.

According to a press release from the Defense Ministry spokesman yesterday, the movement of armed forces, patrol boats and helicopters in some locations of Phnom Penh and Kandal province was training for pilots and quick reaction forces.

It added that the training took place to enhance the armed forces’ fighting capacity to protect the integrity of the nation.

Indian Mining Firm Prepares to Dig Deep in Ratanakkiri

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is set to issue the country’s first commercial underground mining license to Indian company Mesco Gold in two weeks, despite opposition by residents of two villages concerned about compensation and environmental damage.

The company plans to break ground on its concession in Ratanakkiri province’s O’yadaw district in about six weeks, said Harsh Sharma, operations director for Mesco Gold, a Cambodia-based subsidiary of New Delhi-based Mesco Steel.

Zaman to Stay Open

The Zaman group of schools in Phnom Penh will open the new academic year on Monday while awaiting the government’s response to the Turkish embassy’s request to shut the schools.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Gurkan Cil, the principal of Zaman International School Secondary and High School campus, confirmed his schools would start the new academic year on Monday.

NEC recruiting 2,400

The National Election Committee (NEC) has announced it will recruit 2,400 computer-trained staff to oversee electronic voter registration, due to be launched early next year across more than 1,600 communes.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea confirmed the Japanese government would assist in constructing the computer server for the system and will dispatch a Japanese computer expert to work at the NEC’s computer centre in October.

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