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Garment factory shutters, leaving hundreds unpaid

Workers protest at the capital’s Benoh Apparel factory after returning from a work suspension to find the factory shuttered and the owners gone. Pha Lina

Yon Sineat and Andrew Nachemson | The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date 05 January 2018 | 07:16 ICT

Garment workers at the Benoh Apparel factory in the capital’s Meanchey district returned to work this week after a two-month suspension to find the building abandoned, prompting a protest demanding compensation from the government.

Some 200 workers gathered outside the factory as union leaders took turns shouting into a loudspeaker, watched by small number of armed police.

Benoh Apparel suspended activities under controversial circumstances in November, telling 600 of its 1,000-member staff to return in January and only paying workers $30 per month during that time, well under the then-minimum wage of $153.

Mon Makara, a 31-year-old garment worker who was at Benoh Apparel for 10 years, worried that the workers will never see compensation, despite meeting with a representative from the Ministry of Labour.

“The same Ministry of Labour representative came to meetings at the factory the last two months and claimed that he guaranteed the employer would not run away, and persuaded the workers to accept the offer of $30 a month,” she said.

Vong Sovann, deputy secretary-general of the committee in charge of resolving strikes and protests at the Ministry of Labour, said he simply followed “the process” when negotiating the suspension pay.

“It was an illegal shutdown,” he said, explaining that the workers can file a court complaint to freeze the company’s assets.

Rim Sao Leap, who worked at the factory for nine years, said the landlord informed the workers that rent had not been paid for three months.

“I want the Ministry of Labour to help the workers get paid according to the law. If we sell the assets, only old sewing machines, we may get $20 each. It is not fair,” she said.

Yun Soksaren, president of the Union for Khmer Workers, said he was contacted to help negotiate the situation with the government.

“Two hundred workers asked me to represent them. The factory is shut down, so either way we don’t have the union registered . . . So I don’t worry that I’ll break the trade union law, and I don’t worry that the government will take action against our union. Our only purpose is to help the workers,” he said.

Multiple workers claimed the factory was under the umbrella of Swedish retailer H&M, but it is not listed as a supplier on their website. A company representative did not respond to a request for comment.

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មន្ត្រី​បក្ស​កាន់អំណាច​ថា​ការ​ប្រារព្ធ​ខួប​៧​មករា​ឆ្នាំ​នេះ​នឹង​មាន​អ្នក​ចូល​រួម​ជាង​៥​ម៉ឺន​នាក់

អ្នក​នាំ​ពាក្យ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា លោក សុខ ឥសាន ក្នុង​វេទិកា​អ្នក​ស្ដាប់​វិទ្យុ​អាស៊ីសេរី កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១០ ខែ​មីនា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៦។ Photo: RFA

ដោយ ហេង សកល RFA 2018-01-04

គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា នឹង​ប្រារព្ធ​ខួប​៧​មករា លើក​ទី​៣៩ នៅ​មជ្ឈមណ្ឌល​កោះពេជ្រ ដែល​មន្ត្រី​គណបក្ស​នេះ​អះអាង​ថា នឹង​​មាន​អ្នក​ចូលរួម​ជាង ៥​ម៉ឺន​នាក់។ លោក ហ៊ុន សែន នឹង​ថ្លែង​ក្នុង​ពិធី​នោះ ដោយ​ប្រកាស​ពី​ជំហរ​នៃ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​របស់​ខ្លួន​ឆ្ពោះ​ទៅ​រក​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​ខាង​មុខ។

អ្នកនាំពាក្យ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា លោក សុខ ឥសាន អះអាង​ថា ការ​ប្រារព្ធ​ខួប​លើក​ទី​៣៩ ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៧ ខែ​មករា ខាង​មុខ គឺ​ជា​ការ​ចងចាំ និង​ជា​ការ​បញ្ជាក់​ថា ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៧​ មករា មិន​អាច​លុបចេញ​ពី​ប្រវត្តិសាស្ត្រ​បាន​ទេ។ ទាក់ទង​ការ​ខ្លឹមសារ​សុន្ទរកថា​របស់​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ដែល​នឹង​លើក​ពី​គោល​ជំហរ​នៃ​ការធានា​ឲ្យ​មាន​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​នៅ​ពេល​ខាង​មុខ​នេះ លោក សុខ ឥសាន បញ្ជាក់​ថា ទោះ​គណបក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​ត្រូវ​រំលាយ​ចោល ប៉ុន្តែ​នៅ​មាន​គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ​ផ្សេង​ទៀត​ចូលរួម​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​នៅ​ពេល​ខាង​មុខ៖ «»។

​មុន​ពេល​ប្រារព្ធ​ទិវា​៧ មករា សាលា​ក្រុង​ភ្នំពេញ ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ដាក់​តាំង​ផ្ទាំង​បដា​ធំៗ​ជា​ច្រើន​នៅ​តាម​បណ្ដា​មហាវិថី​សំខាន់ៗ បរិវេណ​រមណីយដ្ឋាន​វត្តភ្នំ និង​ចង​បដា​កាត់​ទទឹង​ផ្លូវ ដោយ​សរសេរ​សារ​មាន​អត្ថន័យ​ជា​ប្រវត្តិសាស្ត្រ​នៃ​ការ​រម្លឹក ចងចាំ​ថ្ងៃ​៧ មករា។ បដា​ខ្លះ​សរសេរ​ថា “មាន​ថ្ងៃ​៧ មករា ទើប​មាន​ជីវិត​មក​ដល់​ពេល​នេះ”។ បដា​ផ្សេង​ទៀត​សរសេរ​ថា “ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ សេរីភាព និង​សិទ្ធិមនុស្ស​ត្រូវ​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្រោម​ច្បាប់”។

អ្នក​សិក្សា​ការ​អភិវឌ្ឍ​សង្គម លោក​បណ្ឌិត មាស នី និយាយ​ប្រាប់​វិទ្យុ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​ថា ស្ថានភាព​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា សព្វថ្ងៃ រដ្ឋាភិបាល​មិន​បាន​អនុវត្ត​ពេញលេញ​ដូច​អ្វី​ដែល​បាន​សរសេរ​នៅ​ក្នុង​បដា​នេះ​ទេ៖ «»។

គណបក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច​តែង​ធ្វើ​ប្រារព្ធ​ខួប និង​ពិធី​របស់​ខ្លួន​បាន​យ៉ាង​ទូលំទូលាយ ប៉ុន្តែ​អង្គការ​សង្គម​ស៊ីវិល ឬ​អ្នក​រង​គ្រោះ​ដោយ​បញ្ហា​ដីធ្លី និង​ការ​បាញ់​សម្លាប់ មិន​អាច​ធ្វើ​ពិធី​រំលឹក​ការ​ឈឺ​ចាប់​​របស់​ខ្លួន​ឲ្យ​បាន​នៅ​ទី​សាធារណៈ​នោះ​ទេ។ ករណី​ជាក់ស្ដែង ពលរដ្ឋ និង​សង្គម​ស៊ីវិល​ដែល​រងគ្រោះ​ដោយ​ករណី​ហិង្សា​នៅ​ផ្លូវ​វ៉េងស្រេង និង​នៅ​មុខ​រោងចក្រ​យ៉ាកជីន បាន​ត្រឹម​រំលឹក​ការ​ឈឺ​ចាប់​របស់​ខ្លួន​នៅ​តាម​បណ្ដាញ​សង្គម​ហ្វេសប៊ុក (Facebook) ប៉ុណ្ណោះ។

គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ ប្រចាំ​ទីក្រុង​ឡុងប៊ិច រដ្ឋ​កាលីហ្វ័រញ៉ា សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក គ្រោង​ធ្វើ​បាតុកម្ម​អហិង្សា​ដ៏​ធំ​មួយ​ប្រឆាំង​ថ្ងៃ ៧ មករា នៅ​សប្ដាហ៍​ក្រោយ។

​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ ប្រចាំ​ទីក្រុង​ឡុងប៊ិច នឹង​ធ្វើ​មហា​បាតុកម្ម​អហិង្សា នៅ​អគារ​អាណាហែម (1321 E Anaheim) នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​សៅរ៍ ទី​៦ ខែ​មករា ខាង​មុខ ដើម្បី​ប្រឆាំង​នឹង​ថ្ងៃ ៧ មករា។ គណបក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​មិន​ទទួល​ស្គាល់​ថ្ងៃ ៧ មករា ដោយ​ចាត់​ទុក​ថា ជា​ថ្ងៃ​ដែល​បរទេស​ឈ្លានពាន​មក​លើ​ទឹក​ដី​កម្ពុជា។

ថ្មីៗ​ព័ត៌មាន​បណ្ដាញ​សង្គម​ឲ្យ​ដឹង​ថា អគារ​ទីស្នាក់ការ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា ទីក្រុង​ឡុងប៊ិច ត្រូវ​បាន​ដក​ស្លាក​សញ្ញា និង​ទង់​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា ចេញ​ដោយ​មិន​ដឹង​មូលហេតុ៕

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Aussie filmmaker’s spy trial postponed

James Ricketson, 68, seen flying a drone at the CNRP rally in Phnom Penh in June. Fresh News

Erin Handley and Niem Chheng | The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date 04 January 2018 | 09:17 ICT

Jailed Australian filmmaker James Ricketson was hauled in for a fresh round of questioning about alleged “espionage” activities at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, only to have the session postponed.

Shedding light on the murky set of circumstances surrounding Ricketson’s case, Sourng Sopheaktra, a lawyer who represented him yesterday, revealed police had mined Ricketson’s emails and other documents after seizing his phone, laptop and other electronic devices.

Sopheaktra said yesterday’s court session was postponed until at least next week, as those seized documents had not all been translated into Khmer.

Ricketson, 69, was arrested in June and has spent six months in pre-trial detention – the maximum length of imprisonment before trial unless an extension is requested – after he was seen flying a drone at a CNRP rally.
He was later charged with planning to furnish foreign agents with information “liable to prejudice the national defence”, an accusation observers and his lawyer dispute, arguing his case is part of a broader crackdown on independent media and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

Opposition leader Kem Sokha was arrested in September for “treason”, and his party – the only real challenger to the ruling party at upcoming elections – was dissolved two months later over accusations it was colluding with foreign powers.

“It is because of his relation with the opposition party – that’s why he got in trouble,” Sopheaktra said. “If he made films related to the ruling party, maybe [it would] not matter.”

He said a preliminary document at the court alleged Ricketson had contact with many people in the opposition party. Ricketson, for his part, has told the court he came to the Kingdom “to help poor people and make films, not to be a spy”.

Sopheaktra said Ricketson had yesterday dismissed him as his lawyer and would instead be represented by defence attorney Peung Yok Hiep.

Ricketson’s daughter, Roxanne Holmes, yesterday told The Post of the emotional toll her father’s imprisonment was having on their family.

“James adopted me many, many years ago. He saved my life. He is not a spy,” she said, calling him “a real humanitarian”.

“We all love him. We’re absolutely devastated that he’s not here, it’s heartbreaking.”

Australian interest in Ricketson’s case has peaked over the past month, but while some loudly sing his praises, Ricketson has also caught others offside, including the Cambodian courts, who have found him guilty of blackmail and defamation in the past.

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មេធាវី​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី គ្រោង​ប្ដឹង​ឧទ្ធរណ៍​ក្នុង​សំណុំរឿង​បរិហារកេរ្តិ៍​ហ៊ុន សែន

លោក​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន (ឆ្វេង) លោក សម រង្ស៊ី (ស្ដាំ) អតីតប្រធាន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះជាតិ។ Photo: RFA

ដោយ ហេង សកល RFA 2018-01-03

មេធាវី​ការពារ​ក្តី​ឱ្យ​អតីត​ប្រធាន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ លោក សម រង្ស៊ី គឺ​លោក សំ សុគង់ បាន​ឱ្យ​អាស៊ីសេរី ដឹង​កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣ ខែ​មករា ថា លោក​គ្រោង​ប្ដឹង​ឧទ្ធរណ៍​ទាស់​នឹង​សាលក្រម​របស់​សាលាដំបូង​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ នៅ​ពេល​ខាង​មុខ​នេះ។

​លោក សំ សុគង់ បាន​ឱ្យ​ដឹង​ថា រហូត​មក​ដល់​ពេល​នេះ លោក​មិន​ទាន់​ទទួល​បាន​សាលក្រម​ជា​ផ្លូវការ​ពី​តុលាការ​នៅ​ឡើយ​ទេ។ លោក​បញ្ជាក់​ថា បន្ទាប់​ពី​ទទួល​បាន​សាលក្រម​ភ្លាម លោក​នឹង​ប្ដឹង​ឧទ្ធរណ៍​ជំទាស់​សាលក្រម​នោះ​ភ្លាម​តែម្ដង៖ «ដោយសារ​តែ​ច្បាប់​យើង​គេ​អោយ​រយៈពេល​១​ខែ ចាប់​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទទួល​ដំណឹង​អំពី​សាលក្រម។ ដោយសារ​សាលក្រម​នេះ​គេ​កាត់​សេចក្ដី​កំបាំង​មុខ អ៊ីចឹង​ទុក​រយៈពេល​មួយ​ខែ។ បើ​កាល​ណា​យើង​ទទួល​ដំណឹង​ពី​សាលក្រម​ហើយ បាន​យើង​គិត​ប្ដឹង​ឧទ្ធរណ៍»។

​កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ចុង​ខែ​ធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ​២០១៧ តុលាការ​ក្រុង​ភ្នំពេញ កាត់​ក្តី​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី កំបាំង​មុខ​ក្នុង​សំណុំរឿង​ថ្មី​មួយ​ទៀត ដោយ​បង្គាប់​ឱ្យ​លោក​សង​សំណង​ជំងឺ​ចិត្ត​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ចំនួន ៤​ពាន់​លាន​រៀល (ប្រមាណ ១​លាន​ដុល្លារ) ពី​បទ​បរិហារកេរ្តិ៍​ដែល​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ចោទ​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ថា​បាន​សូក​ប៉ាន់​កញ្ញា ធី សុវណ្ណ ចំនួន​មួយ​លាន​ដុល្លារ ដើម្បី​ជេរ​បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង។  មក​ទល់​ពេល​នេះ លោក សម រង្ស៊ី កំពុង​ជាប់​បណ្ដឹង​នៅ​តុលាការ​ជិត ១០​បណ្ដឹង ដែល​ភាគ​ច្រើន​ជា​បណ្ដឹង​របស់​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន និង​បក្សពួក​របស់​លោក​បាន​ប្ដឹង​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ពី​បទ​បរិហារកេរ្តិ៍​ដូច​គ្នា​នេះ។
​លោក​មេធាវី សំ សុគង់ បញ្ជាក់​ថា កូនក្ដី​របស់​លោក​មិន​អាច​ទទួល​យក​ការ​សម្រេច​របស់​តុលាការ​នេះ​ទេ។ លោក​ចាត់​ទុក​សាលក្រម​នេះ​ថា​ជា​សាលក្រម​អយុត្តិធម៌​បំផុត​សម្រាប់​កូនក្ដី​របស់​លោក។ លោក​បញ្ជាក់​ថា ចំណាត់​ការ និង​ដំណើរ​ការ​នីតិវិធី​របស់​តុលាការ​​ជា​រឿង​មួយ​ដែល​លឿន​ពេក ដែល​មិន​អាច​ឱ្យ​មេធាវី​ស្នើ​សុំ​ឱ្យ​បំពេញ​កិច្ច​ស៊ើបសួរ​អ្វី​បាន​ទាល់​តែ​សោះ ព្រោះ​ក្នុង​រឿង​ក្តី​នេះ ព្រះរាជអាជ្ញា​បាន​បញ្ជូន​រឿង​ទៅ​ជំនុំជម្រះ​ភ្លាម ដោយ​មិន​បង្អង់ ដោយ​មិន​បាន​ឆ្លង​កាត់​ដំណាក់កាល​ស៊ើប​អង្កេត​បឋម​ជា​មុន​ឡើយ៕

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King signs promotion for 45 new generals

RCAF Lieutenant General Hun Manet gives an officer his first star during a promotion ceremony in March. Forty-five new generals were minted in December, with an additional 33 promoted to higher ranks. Facebook

Mech Dara | The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date 04 January 2018 | 09:12 ICT

The King has signed off on another round of mass military promotions, elevating 45 officers to the rank of brigadier general, contributing to the rising total of at least 607 new generals in the last 10 months.

The slew of promotions, which were declared in the December edition of the Royal Book, also boosted 27 officers to major general and six to the position of lieutenant general.

The upper echelons of Cambodia’s armed forces are notoriously bloated, with insiders estimating last March that there were as many as 3,000 generals.

Since then, the promotion machine has continued full steam ahead, adding at least 607 more.

Political analyst Meas Nee criticised the practice of superfluous promotions, claiming it was a byproduct of nepotism and a way for the government to shore up the army’s support during escalating political tensions.

“Today the promotion system is through close connections for people related to powerful people . . . those without good connections, they find it hard to get promotions,” Nee said.

“We have seen the pattern increasing at the same time that the political situation has escalated, and the government has announced repeatedly that people protesting are attached to a colour revolution . . . This promotion encourages [the military] to protect the current government.”

Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat defended the promotions, however, saying they were conducted properly and apolitically.

“It has nothing to do with the upcoming election, just because they reached their time to get promoted. Many police have been promoted too,” he said.

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CPP’s PR push ahead of January 7 seen around capital

Banners for the upcoming ‘Victory Over Genocide Day’ in Phnom Penh. Sreng Meng Srun

Sreng Meng Srun | The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date 04 January 2018 | 09:18 ICT

Phnom Penh has been festooned with banners heralding the upcoming ‘Victory Over Genocide Day’ on January 7. The banners, which bear the Cambodian flag and that of the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party, feature slogans like, ‘Absolutely protect the social achievements that have been achieved since the January 7 victory’.

The divisive holiday marks the day in 1979 the Khmer Rouge lost Phnom Penh to the invading Vietnamese army and a handful of Khmer Rouge defectors – including Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The CPP has long promoted the holiday to burnish its image as national liberator, though others, particularly members of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, have viewed it as marking the start of a 10-year Vietnamese occupation and the installation of a Hanoi-backed regime that would eventually become the CPP.

The holiday has taken on added significance this year following the widely decried dissolution of the CNRP, which the government justified as necessary to preserve the ‘peace and stability’ won in 1979.

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