Monday, June 04, 2007

Out of fear, Hun Sen's regime orders ban, confiscation of Global Witness Report

Sunday, June 3, 2007
Cambodian government orders ban, confiscation of illegal logging report

The Associated Press
"When are the donors going to start addressing the asset-stripping, Mafioso behavior of the current regime?" Simon Taylor, Global Witness Director
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Cambodia ordered the banning on Sunday of a stinging report which accuses senior government officials and relatives of the prime minister of illegally stripping the country's forests.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, who is also the chief government spokesman, issued a statement calling on the Ministry of Interior, which controls the police force, to ban and confiscate the report by the London-based environmental watchdog group Global Witness.

Khieu Kanharith did not specifically reject the report's allegations but said they were politically motivated.

"The report centers its accusations on the government leader (Prime Minister Hun Sen) with an aim to provoke political animosity in the country, which exceeds the business of this organization," said Khieu Kanharith.

Global Witness released the 95-page report titled "Cambodia's Family Trees" Friday. It came ahead of the June 19-20 meeting of international donors to pledge new aid for Cambodia. It was not clear yet if Global Witness plans to distribute the report in Cambodia.

Son Chhay, an opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker, said he doubted that the attempts to ban and confiscate the report will be effective since it is available on the Internet in both Cambodian and English languages.

He said the government would be better off acting on the report's recommendations to stop the plunder and investigate those involved in the illegal logging activities.

The report alleges that tycoons, relatives of Hun Sen and senior military and police officers and ministers closely linked to the prime minister are illegally felling some of the country's last, once-great forests.

International donors, who bankroll the impoverished Southeast Asian nation, do virtually nothing to stop the plunder, the group said.

"When are the donors going to start addressing the asset-stripping, Mafioso behavior of the current regime?" Simon Taylor, the Global Witness director, said in a statement Friday.

In an interview ahead of the release of the report, Taylor described the logging business as "part of a massive asset stripping for the benefit of a small kleptocratic elite.

"The forests of Cambodia have been ransacked over the past decade by this mafia with little or no benefit flowing down to the ordinary people," he said.

The report specifically focused on the Seng Keang Company, the country's most powerful logging syndicate headed by Dy Chouch, Hun Sen's first cousin.

Dy Chouch, along with his ex-wife Seng Keang, an intimate friend of the Hun Sen family, and her brother Seng Kok Heang, runs the company which Global Witness says is illegally taking timber by the truck loads from Prey Long under the guise of a rubber plantation development scheme.

Prey Long, located in the central province of Kompong Thom, is the largest remaining lowland evergreen forest in mainland Southeast Asia and home to endangered wildlife, including elephants, tigers, the Asiatic black bear and gaurs, a type of ox.

The land was awarded to Seng Keang Company by Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun, brother-in-law of one of the company's business partners who is related to Ty Sokun, director-general of the Forestry Administration and an adviser to Hun Sen.

Ty Sokun has called Global Witness staffers "insane, unprofessional people" with no knowledge of forestry, and said their report was deceptive.

Global Witness has monitored Cambodia's forests for the past 12 years and was expelled from the country in 2005 after the government became annoyed by its constant criticisms.


Anonymous said...

Ah Chkout (Simon Taylor,) forest
is one of our resource to do as we
please. It is none of your or
anyone else business, alright?
And that goes for oil, natural gas,
and what whatever else have we as

Anonymous said...

1:51AM You are acting like you are so weaker than My Arch Chke Teat.

Anonymous said...

Whoever supported Pouk Ah Louch Cheat CPP, you are not Khmer at all, but animals. You should go to HELL with Ah Pouk Plon Cheat.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and how did you figure that,

Anonymous said...

Global witness in Khmer:

showing the Hun Sen's family
corruption in Cambodia

Anonymous said...

CPP government is baseless in dealing with their corrupted fellows....but they only increase terror the country....pulication rights violation in Cambodia

Anonymous said...

Noope, the government had send
serveral people to Prey Sor already
for logging without permission.

Anonymous said...

Cambodia is a State of Viet MAFIA.
What does anyone expect if they are gangsters?

Anonymous said...

Cambodia is interfered of Communist
Youn and CPP (Communist Pro youn

Anonymous said...

Who care, as long they created
jobs, jobs, jobs. That is all we

Anonymous said...

The government bans the selling of GW reports. But we can dowload it from the Internet. I got Khmer and Engish copies. You can see some of the trees and branches of this Kleptofamily.

Anonymous said...

How jobs are created if all the oil/gas, forest, land, minerals belong to Hun Sen's families and their clans? $25 a month salary?

Let's me share! said...

hi thanks

Let's me share! said...

We don't need a job if all resource can fulfill Cambodian's stomach (14 millions). I think maybe a few will get it, those who stay closer to ... and u r very far away so get nothing. Clever man must move closer not moving far away eh he he...

Anonymous said...

This report is 100% true basing on my observation at present cambodia's society. The low educated cambodian leaders will lead the Cam people to become a slave in the near future. When the country is managed only by the prime minister's recommendation rather than the law,this country is a disaster society.When the boss say one word the subordinate walk one step, no saying no activity. This is the absolute stagnant system. You can hear and see from the TV and newspaper, every time they mentioned the Dekcho's recom. those people do not have one idea and view.