Saturday, August 10, 2019
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Zsombor Peter

Associate editor

Riot Police, Guards Block Labor Day Marchers

About 2,000 workers marking International Labor Day in central Phnom Penh on Monday met barricades and riot police who kept them from marching on the National Assembly with a list of demands, including higher wages and an end to union busting.

Anniversary for Slain Activist Defies Government’s Threat

Dozens of admirers of conservationist Chut Wutty withstood a few rounds of rough handling by Phnom Penh security guards to mark the fifth anniversary of the outspoken environmental activist’s fatal shooting on Wednesday by gathering along the city’s riverside for a brief prayer session.

New Hong Kong Maid Deal Raises Old Concerns Over Abuse

Employment agencies in Hong Kong are already raising doubts about the likely success of a pilot program that could see hundreds of Cambodians start arriving later this year to work as maids, only a day after a deal creating the program was signed, according to media reports.

Trump’s Proposed Foreign Aid Cuts Would Hit Cambodia

Cambodia could be hit by a 70 percent cut in U.S. aid next year under a budget proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s White House that would slash aid to developing countries around the world by more than a third, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

Citing Safety Protocols, Government to Send Maids to Hong Kong

Cambodia agreed to help Hong Kong meet its growing demand for domestic workers on Monday by signing off on a pilot program that could see the first group of 1,000 maids arrive in the region before year’s end.

Draft Wage Law Still Outlaws Outside Research

The current draft of a proposed law for setting a national minimum wage still includes controversial provisions that would make it illegal to conduct wage-related research without government approval or to “provoke any objection” to the wage itself, according to the country’s largest independent trade union.

Prey Lang Rangers Receive US Training; Some Doubt Impact

By the end of next month about 70 government rangers will have been trained, with help from the U.S. Forest Service, to combat illegal loggers and poachers in the largest remaining lowland evergreen forest in Southeast Asia. But a local community network wonders how much good it will do in the face of persistent corruption.

US Court to Drop Case Against Hun Manet

A U.S. judge is preparing to drop Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son as a defendant in a lawsuit accusing him of the wrongful imprisonment of CNRP official Meach Sovannara, according to Mr. Sovannara’s lawyer.

Hacker Warns ‘Serious Vulnerability’ Plaguing Online Voter Lists

A hacker behind a series of leaks smearing senior government officials and their relatives on Thursday warned that the government’s online list of registered voters for the June 4 commune elections was vulnerable to hacking and urged experts to make the site more secure.

US, UN Respond to Government’s Scathing ‘Truth’ Screed

The U.S. Embassy on Wednesday sent out an uncommonly biting retort to the government’s criticism of the U.S.’s presence in Cambodia, the latest salvo in a growing diplomatic rift between the two countries.

Government Screed Slams Critics, Vows ‘To Tell the Truth’

The Foreign Affairs Ministry released an unusual defense of some of the government’s recent actions on Tuesday, accusing foreign diplomats and journalists in the country of colluding to destabilize the country by deliberately twisting the truth.

Firm Hired for $100M Power Line Project

The local subsidiary of Malaysia’s Pestech International Berhad has been hired to design and build a $100-million power line running from Koh Kong province to Phnom Penh, which environmentalists are worried will cut through critical, pristine habitat.

Asean Lawmaker Group Slams Malaysia Over Migrant Detentions

A caucus of lawmakers from across Asean on Monday called for better treatment of undocumented migrants—and criminal charges against those who abuse them—in Malaysia, where at least three Cambodians have died in government custody over the past two years, according to a new report.

Forest Loss Slows, But National Parks Still Suffer, Data Shows

Cambodia lost about 18 percent less forest cover in 2015 than it did the year before, according to the latest figures released by researchers at the University of Maryland in the U.S., though the country’s nominally protected areas continue to be hit hard.

UN Says Party Law Contravenes International Law, Calls for Overhaul

Breaking its silence on the government’s controversial am­endments to Cambodia’s Law on Political Parties, the U.N.’s human rights office this week said the changes breached several of the country’s obligations under international law—maybe even its own Constitution—and recommended a thorough overhaul.

Land Records Tie Military Police General to Timber Racket

Chbar Mon district, Kompong Speu province - Property records show that a military police general in Kompong Speu province still owns a warehouse where authorities recently seized a cache of unlicensed timber, disproving claims by senior officials attempting to distance their colleague from the alleged crime.

Opposition Undecided on Future of Risky Election Campaign Slogan

CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay on Monday said the opposition party had not yet decided whether to keep using a campaign slogan for the coming commune elections that could land the party in court, clarifying comments he made late last week.

Opposition Learning to Live With Fear of Death

Early this month, the opposition CNRP registered 11,572 candidates for June’s commune elections—one for every seat—in what’s likely to prove a bellwether for next year’s all-important national election.

NGO Wary of Promise to Cancel Hydropower Dam Project

Conservationists remain wary of the government’s recent pledge to sideline construction of the controversial Chhay Areng hydropower dam after finding the project on the Mines and Energy Ministry’s new to-do list.

Attacks on Slogan Grow; Party Law Takes Effect

Hundreds of ruling party commune chiefs across the country have now signed nearly identical letters accusing the opposition of using an “inciting” campaign slogan to fan “disunity,” echoing the language of brand-new legislation that could see whole parties dissolved for such behavior.