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Committees to ‘Research’ Minimum Wages, ‘Study’ Killings

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday assigned former Finance Minister Keat Chhon as the head of a newly formed committee tasked with researching the government’s capacity to introduce wage increases for civil servants and factory workers.

Petition Against Provincial RCAF Chiefs Not Yet Filed

The author of a petition alleging corrupt practices among two of his former superiors in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) in Banteay Meanchey province clarified on Friday that he has yet to officially lodge a complaint with local rights group Adhoc, while a signatory on the petition said the document was years old and he considered the complaint resolved.

A Lost, But Not Forgotten, Rock ’n’ Roll Legacy

By 1979 and the fall of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, memories of the homegrown rock ‘n’ roll music of the freewheeling 1960s and early 1970s were mostly buried alongside the many who lost their lives. Now, a new documentary film has helped unearth the lost music of pre-revolutionary Cambodia.

Rainsy Says CNRP Backs China, Not Vietnam, in Sea Dispute

Sam Rainsy, president of the opposition CNRP, said Friday that his party sided with China in the multilateral disputes over the South China Sea, and claimed that Vietnam was trying to encroach on Chinese maritime territory.

Groups Demand Mandatory Minimum Wage, Threaten Protest

About 100 people, including 20 monks, held a ceremony in Phnom Penh on Friday in memory of the five people killed a week beforehand when military police opened fire on protesting garment workers, and demanded that the government introduce a mandatory, sector-wide standard minimum wage.

Adhoc Workers Say They Were Targeted by Driver

A provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc claimed Thursday that a representative of a company the group was investigating attempted to crash his car into him and two of his colleagues in Mondolkiri province.

Group Condemns Threats Against Leader of NGO

A coalition of international human rights groups on Wednesday issued a petition to press opposition CNRP leader Sam Rainsy and senior members of the government to publicly condemn and investigate the death threats against local rights group leader Ou Virak, following his criticism of comments made by Mr. Rainsy at an opposition demonstration.

Over $1,500 Raised for Paralyzed Protester

A fundraising effort set up to help the family of Hoeurn Chann, a man left paralyzed after being shot in the spine by a police officer during the SL Garment Factory protest in November, closed Thursday, having raised more than $1,500.

Opposition Youth Sing Against the Ban as Armed Police Patrol

A group of eight opposition CNRP youth supporters sang a single song near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park before police deployed nearby had a chance to break up their concert on Thursday, a musical test of the new ban on public gatherings in the wake of mass anti-government protests.

100 Factories Suing Unions Behind Strike

More than 100 factories have now filed lawsuits against the six trade unions behind recent strikes for higher garment worker wages, and a lawyer representing garment manufacturers said Thursday that more suits are likely to come.

Japan Asked Government to Protect Its Interests During Strike

Japan has expressed its deep concern about the situation in Cambodia following the deadly crackdown on striking garment workers last Friday, and admitted Thursday that it had contacted the government during the protests to ask for protection of Japanese citizens and companies.

Banteay Meanchey Soldiers File Complaint Against Superiors

Dozens of soldiers from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Banteay Meanchey province have filed a complaint with rights group Adhoc accusing their superiors of serious corruption, stealing veterans’ pensions, nepotism and illegal logging.

Government Creates New CPP-Majority Province

A government request to create a new province in the eastern half of Kompong Cham, where the ruling CPP won its only districts in the province in July’s national election, was approved by King Norodom Sihamoni last month, according to a copy of the Royal Decree obtained Thursday.

Civil Servants Urged to Strike for Higher Pay

A group representing public-sector workers has called on the country’s civil servants to follow in the footsteps of teachers and begin a peaceful strike to demand higher salaries.

Lawyers Prevented From Seeing Protest Detainees at CC3

Lawyers and human rights workers were prevented from entering Kompong Cham province’s Correctional Center 3 (CC3) prison on Thursday when they attempted to meet with some of the 23 protesters, union leaders and garment workers detained last week after protests were lethally suppressed by government forces.

Families of Killed and Missing Protesters Compile Complaints

Family members of striking garment factory workers killed, wounded and missing after military police violently suppressed last Friday’s Veng Sreng Street protests have begun preparing complaints to file with authorities and rights NGOs.

Three Cambodian Filmmakers Shortlisted for Global Festival

Three young Cambodian filmmakers have been shortlisted for the inaugural Tropfest Southeast Asia film festival to be held in Penang, Malaysia, on January 25, the organizers announced Tuesday.

Conflicting Figures on Number of Slain at Garment Protest

The opposition CNRP has placed the number of striking garment factory workers shot dead by military police at Friday’s protest in Phnom Penh at six, party President Sam Rainsy said Wednesday.

Brigade 911 Had Brutal History Before Garment Factory Strike

I met General Chap Pheakdei for the first and only time in July 1997. It was about a week after Prime Minister Hun Sen’s coup against Funcinpec. I was with the U.N. human rights office then, and we were working around the clock investigating widespread cases of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture. Bodies were turning up all over the place. One man’s body I helped dig up was dressed only in underpants. He was handcuffed behind his back and had a bullet in his head.

For Nonviolence to Prevail Over Brutality, Discipline Is Needed

Thank you for the very timely letter, “Reasons Why Cambodian Protesters Must Remain Nonviolent,” on December 31. It is so unfortunate that only a few days later, on January 3, both protesters and state forces resorted to armed confrontation, leaving 5 dead and many others injured.

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Gold mining suspected as cause of Cambodian mass poisonings

A spate of mass toxic poisonings in the Cambodian provinces of Kratie and Mondulkiri have hospitalized hundreds and killed at least 16 people since May.

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