Monday, May 17, 2021
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Janelle Retka


PM Extended Personal Invitation to ‘Shadow’ Election Monitors

A group accused of endorsing autocratic elections received a personal invitation from Prime Minister Hun Sen to monitor Sunday’s commune elections, an official from the organization said on Thursday.

Asean, Australian MPs Criticize CPP in Lead-Up to Elections

Democracy in Cambodia has deteriorated in the lead-up to Sunday’s commune elections, potentially keeping opposition voters from the polls or from voting for their chosen candidates, a group of Asean parliamentarians said on Wednesday—a claim the government rebutted.

NGO Calls for Additional Research, Postponed Talks on Dam

An environmental NGO has called for a halt to talks on the newest hydropower dam on the Mekong River until new research on its potential environmental effects is carried out.

Land Issue Promises May No Longer Deliver Votes

Vote-seeking politicians around the world are no strangers to making—and later breaking—promises to their constituents. But in Phnom Penh, those weary of ongoing land disputes are particularly wary of the solutions being offered this election cycle.

Canal-Side Community Will Receive New Plots, Land Titles

More than 400 Phnom Penh families living along a canal in Meanchey district will be granted land titles after development to the area’s defunct drainage system takes place, officials said.

Unsafe Sex With Personal Partners Endangering Sex Workers

While Cambodian sex workers are increasingly using condoms with their clients, experts say a reluctance to use protection with their romantic partners may be undermining progress in preventing the spread of HIV.

US Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Cambodian Government

A U.S. lawsuit accusing the Cambodian government of the wrongful imprisonment of a CNRP official was dismissed by a judge earlier this month because the court did not have sufficient jurisdiction over a foreign government after Prime Minister Hun Sen’s oldest son was dropped as a co-defendant in the case last month, according to those involved.

Three Who Led Cambodians Into Fishing Slavery Sentenced

Three “prolific traffickers” who allegedly worked for at least seven years tricking Siem Reap residents into enslavement aboard Thai fishing vessels were sentenced to prison on Thursday, although two remain at large, according to officials.

Dam Will Not Damage the Environment, Hun Sen Says

A long-anticipated hydro-electric dam in Stung Treng province is set for completion in September, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on his personal Facebook page, touting the contentious project’s lack of societal and environmental repercussions, a claim environmentalists quickly rebutted.

French Politician Apologizes for ‘Khmer’ Slight

A French mayor has made an apology amid public pressure after saying French President Emmanuel Macron’s “disgraceful behavior” against the country’s former prime minister was “Khmer behavior.”

Political Parties Still Struggling With Female Representation

Female representation among candidates for the upcoming commune elections increased only slightly—1.6 percent—compared to the 2012 election cycle, and too few of the women were endorsed by their party as the primary candidate, according to an NGO report released on Tuesday.

Laos Dam Poses Environmental Dangers to Lower Mekong Basin

Plans for the newest hydropower dam on the Mekong River will need dramatically improved environmental safeguards in order to minimize damage to fish and other wildlife in the river basin, researchers say.

Country’s First University Speech Therapy Course Set for Enrollment

An agreement signed on Thursday paves the way for the first university course in speech therapy in Cambodia, which has an estimated 600,000 people with communication and swallowing disorders, and brings the country a step closer to its first native professional in the field.

Developer Might Buy White Building Units—if Government Asks

The company redeveloping Phnom Penh’s iconic White Building housing block said it might buy out current residents unwilling to wait for the project’s completion in four years, an about-turn that failed to assuage some unhappy tenants.

In Trial, No More Half-Days for Primary Pupils

For nearly 40 years, primary school education in Cambodia has been a part-time affair at best, taking up about four hours each day. But the system is not working, according to the Education Ministry, which is starting a pilot program today giving a small group of students a chance to study for an entire day.

Rights Worker Terminated After Surprise Defection

Rights group Adhoc on Monday terminated its longtime Ratanakkiri coordinator Chhay Thy, who jumped ship to the ruling party and intends to run for commune chief in upcoming elections.

Evictees Met With Violence on Anniversary

Echoes of the violent eviction of hundreds of families from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila community five years ago emanated on Tuesday from a protest held to mark the anniversary, as state security guards manhandled evictees who attempted to occupy a building on the site.

Ex-Girlfriend Charged With Selling $2M of German Man’s Land

A 35-year-old Cambodian woman was provisionally charged with forgery and selling stolen property on Saturday for allegedly using manipulated legal documents to sell $2 million worth of land owned by her former German boyfriend’s agriculture company, officials said.

Murder, Buried

Decades after three children disappeared from an Australian beach, a brother and sister insist they know who was involved—their father and his friend, a wealthy pedophile who lived in Cambodia for years.

Senior Diplomat Takes Thailand Post in Shakeup

One of Cambodia’s top diplomats has been made ambassador to Thailand, an unusual appointment for such a high-ranking official that suggests the government is seeking a reliable hand to navigate simmering pressures over migrant workers, officials and analysts said.