News Summary for 06-09-2016

Traffic Jams Roil Capital Amid Protest Fears

Traffic is backed up along National Road 2 in Phnom PenhLarge sections of Phnom Penh were gridlocked on Monday morning as City Hall blocked off one of the busiest roads leading into the capital over fears opposition CNRP supporters would march as lawmakers delivered letters notifying embassies of the country’s deteriorating political situation.

Despite the roadblocks, three opposition lawmakers traveling by car visited 13 embassies, all signatories of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements, seeking their help in prodding Prime Minister Hun Sen to stop the government’s “increasingly inhumane abuse of power.”

Case Against Manet Flawed, Says Lawyer

Hun Manet has had a complaint filed against him in the United States.An American lawyer hired by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet yesterday cast doubt over a complaint filed in a United States’ court against his client by Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) official Meach Sovannara, saying the civil case had a large number of flaws.

Mr. Sovannara, who is also a US citizen, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of insurrection after a protest he was attending in Freedom Park in 2014 descended into a street brawl between opposition supporters and government-sponsored security guards.–manet-flawed—says-lawyer/

Cambodia, China sign new MoU on money laundering

The National Bank of CambodiaCambodia and China last week signed an agreement to exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, though experts said the Kingdom should still be doing more to tackle an issue that has long persisted in the country, in part, due to local corruption.

Cambodia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and China’s Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center last Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate to fight the problem, according to an announcement from the National Bank of Cambodia. Both parties “plan to strengthen cooperation focusing on training, capacity-building and technical assistance”, the announcement stated.

Measures Taken to Detect Zika Virus

Minister of Health Mam Bunheng checks the thermal scanner machine at Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday.To help detect if travelers entering Cambodia have contracted the Zika virus, the Ministry of Health last week installed thermal scanners at major border crossings and airports.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng yesterday inspected machines at both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh international airports and urged people to call “115” to report suspected infections.

On First Day of Trial, CNRP Official Storms Out of Court

cam-photo-border-jump-willemyns-800x533Opposition lawmaker Um Sam An and his lawyers stormed out of court on Monday during the first day of his trial for inciting crime and discrimination, arguing that his legal immunities as an elected parliamentarian prohibited the court from trying him.

Mr. Sam An was arrested in Siem Reap City in April, hours after returning to the country after several months in the U.S., for allegedly violating Prime Minister Hun Sen’s orders against accusing the government of using Vietnamese maps to demarcate the border.

On First Day of Trial, CNRP Official Storms Out of Court

PM Flies to Laos for Asean Summit

People pass by Asean country flags near the Mekong river in Vientiane yesterday.The South China Sea will be one of the main topics of discussion at the three-day Asean Summit in Laos which started today, as well as other regional issues including terrorism and cross-border crimes, a senior government official said yesterday.

Speaking at the Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday, Sry Thamrong, a minister attached to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s office, said the leaders of all 10 Asean countries would discuss a wide range of topics at the summit, mostly relating to regional stability.–for-asean-summit/

Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit Marks Seven Years

Hing Bun HeangPol Saroeun, commander-in-chief of the military,  said his forces were “absolutely loyal” to Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family on Sunday at an event marking seven years since Mr. Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit was formed as a distinct entity from Brigade 70.

Mr. Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit has been under the prime minister’s direct control since its creation in 1995, but a directive in Sept­ember 2009 moved it out of Brigade 70. Its members are among the best trained and equipped units in the armed forces.

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