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Daily Digest from the Khmer Language Press 1st October 2011
$500m Fraud Alleged
Ramei Kampuchea Daily newspaper reports that a total of four people are accused, including the former chief of protocol, advisor and assistant of the Head of the Senate, Chea Sim, of cheating a Malaysian investor by faking a project for building three hospitals and a national vehicle training centre. The grand total for these projects was $500m, with some of this money demanded as a an upfront facilitation fee. The four are now under investigation.
Rattanakiri Province Sees 42% Increase in Tourists
In the firsr nine months of 2011, both national and international visitors visiting Rattanakiri has increased by 42% since the completion of National Road 76, according to the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily. However, the number of rooms serving tourists have failed to keep pace, with the necessary hotels yet to be built, it added.
Worries Decreasing along with Floods
The Kampuchea Thmey Daily reports that in three provinces, Oddor Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap, flooding have started to recede, while in provinces bordering the Mekong, such as Kratie and Kompong Cham, the situation is expected to improve from tomorrow. Surprisingly, Kompong Thom has been the worst affected by the disaster, with surface water there remaining a problem.
Recent Flood Caused by More than just Deforestation, Official Insists
The Secretary of state of Ministry of Environment, Teuk Krouen Vutha, told news reporters that the current flood disaster is the result of various factors, not simply the destruction of forests, according to the Kampuchea Thmey Daily. Teuk Krouen Vutha, during a national news conference on September 30 said, “We cannot look at only one cause, despite deforestation having been identified to as a chief one for the flooding.” He asked, “How about flooding that happens in developed countries? Is this caused by deforestation? Clearly deforestation is not the only cause of the flooding,” he added.
Warning on Negative Impacts of New NGO Law
The Moneaksekar Khmer newspaper notes that the UN special rapporteur, Surya Subedi, had expressed his concerns about human rights and related issues in Cambodia, especially threats to freedom of speech, to NGOs in general and to opposition party supporters. In an accompanying article, the opposition-aligned newspaper also warned that the impending law, if passed as it is, could result in the country losing access to development assistance from international NGOs.