Nail Art Makes A Splash In Cambodia By Ker Yann, VOA Khmer

Saturday, October 3, 2009

03 October 2009

The popularity and quality of nail art in Cambodia has been on the increase in recent years. Beautifully painted nails are now an important fashion accessory for Cambodian women looking to stand out from the crowd.

The growing number of professional nail salons, especially in the capital of Phnom Penh, has helped take nail art in Cambodia to a whole new level. Staff in the best nail shops staff undergo years of training to master the necessary techniques. Girls learn by decorating the rounded surfaces of bowls in aesthetics classes. The minute details of their designs are carefully practiced and improved before they can be hired.

Sun Heang - one of Cambodia best known beauticians - is the owner of Christina's Beauty School in Phnom Penh. She says a steady hand and an eye for detail are the important for a successful nail therapist, but creative flair is important too.

Sun Heang:"Customers choose the style they want depending on which occasion they are celebrating. This one for example is popular around Valentine’s Day, because it features love hearts. In hot weather glitter is the most popular because it makes your nails sparkle in the sun."

Most importantly, she says, the manicurists have to have a clear idea of the design and know how to execute it even before the first brush stroke. Sun Heang studied nail art in Thailand, Vietnam and China before returning to Cambodia to open her own beauty salon five years ago. She also owns a beauty school where she passes on her skills and knowledge to more than 300 eager students.

Nail art is especially popular among young Cambodian women attending events like weddings and birthday parties. The bigger the occasion, the more elaborate the design. But it's a time consuming process and it can take more than two hours to complete a full manicure.

Pheak Chan Vorleak is patiently waiting for her manicure. She has picked a pattern with three-dimensional white roses on a sparkling pink background. She says it is important to her that she stands out in the crowd later tonight at her birthday party.

Pheak Chan: "I came here to get my nails done because I'm hosting a big birthday party. Because I'm a Cambodian girl I have to dress up for my guests. It's very important that I have my nails looking good when I greet them."

The culture is such that intricately and carefully decorated nails translate as kudos for their owner. Because each nail must be individually painted by hand, each one is unique.

Nail art fashion changes with the season says Sun Heang, with different patterns becoming popular around major holidays. Each design last about three weeks and typically costs from about $5 dollars for a simple design to more than $45 dollars for something more elaborate.

Information for this report was provided by APTN.

READ MORE - Nail Art Makes A Splash In Cambodia By Ker Yann, VOA Khmer

Cambodian FM calls on strengthening partnership for development of Mekong basin

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The second foreign ministerial meeting among five Mekong countries and Japan kicked off Saturday in Siem Reap province, northern part of Cambodia, aimed to boost joint development effort in the area.

As the meeting started, Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong, who chaired the one-day meeting session said "Our gathering here today constitutes a step further in the realization of our partnership for the development of the Mekong basin, which would certainly yield great benefit for the peoples living along the Mekong River and Japan as well."

The agenda for the second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting is to review progress made since the first meeting in Tokyo, Japan in January 2008.

Hor Namhong also said that "The cooperation between the Mekong region and Japan is bound to have major implications for the future development of the Mekong basin." He highly appreciates Japan's commitment to provide more Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Asia, saying that this initiative "would not only strengthen Asia's growth potential, but also contribute to ASEAN integration."

The meeting attended by foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Japan, Vietnam was represented by a deputy foreign minister attended the meeting.

Mekong-Japan Partnership Program was launched in 2007 for the sake of peace, development and prosperity in the Mekong sub-region.

According to the program of discussion, the foreign ministers will not only discuss the development programs, but also to exchange views on regional and global issues of common concern.

READ MORE - Cambodian FM calls on strengthening partnership for development of Mekong basin

Cambodia asks US to cancel its USD 300 million debts

Phnom Penh - Cambodia has asked the United States to cancel debts during the Lon Non government which is accounted around US$300 million.

The request was made when Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong met his US counterpart, Hillary Clinton, during the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York late last month.

"If the debts cannot be canceled, I requested that a big part of them be transformed into the development aid for Cambodia. Hilary Clinton replied that she would consider it," said Hor Nam Hong on Oct 1 upon his arrival from the United States.

"The Lon Non government who made a coup in 1970 borrowed the money from the US. It brought wars from Vietnam into Cambodia. Most of the debts were used to buy arms," he added.

The Lon Nol government was, at that time, supported by the US.

Meanwhile, Hor Nam Hong appreciated the progress of good relations and cooperation between the two countries. Over the last few years, the United States has given Cambodia aids in all fields such as military, health, education, etc.

Cambodia has good relations with the United States, but at the same time, it also built up a deeper relation with China. The latter has become the biggest aid donor and largest investment in Cambodia.

READ MORE - Cambodia asks US to cancel its USD 300 million debts

Hun Sen offers greetings to Mekong, Japan FMs

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has offered greetings to foreign ministers from five Mekong countries and Japan on the sideline of the second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministerial Meeting, spokesman to the prime minister said Saturday.

Srey Thamarong said Hun Sen had offered his greetings to the foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan just before the plenary session of the second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministerial Meeting that was about to start in Siem Reap province, northern Cambodia.

He said Hun Sen has attached significance of cooperation and solidarity among the five Mekong countries as well as Japan.

The second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministerial Meeting is being taken place in Siem Reap and will be ended late Saturday.

Hun Sen arrived in Siem Reap Friday morning and returned to Phnom Penh Saturday morning.

READ MORE - Hun Sen offers greetings to Mekong, Japan FMs

Mu Sochua still maintains that Hun Xen defamed her

Saturday, October 03, 2009
Rasmei Kampuchea
Translated from Khmer by Socheata

Kampot SRP MP Mu Sochua showed up at the Appeal Court to clarify her lawsuit case in which she accuses Hun Xen of defaming her.

At the court, she still maintains that Hun Xen defamed her in a speech he gave in Kampot on 04 April 2009.

The new claim made by Mrs. Mu Sochua was made in front of Appeal Court Judge Uk Savuth in the afternoon of 02 October 2009, when Mrs. Mu Sochua was summoned by the court in relation to her lawsuit against PM Hun Xen.

Her original lawsuit was dismissed by the Phnom Penh municipal court in May and the court claimed that her lawsuit did not have the proper legal weight.

However, Mrs. Mu Sochua was not satisfied with the ruling of Phnom Penh municipal court and she also asked that the court review the case of the defamation lawsuit brought up by Hun Xen against her recently.

Following a 1-hour clarification at the Appeal Court, Mrs. Mu Sochua, a MP who lost her parliamentary immunity, told reporters that she maintains her claim about Hun Xen’s speech as aiming at her and it affected her honor as a Khmer woman.

Mrs. Mu Sochua also demanded that the Appeal Court hold a hearing to decide her case in conformance to Article 63 of the UNTAC criminal law regarding the defamation made against her that affects her honor and her good standing.

In the morning of 04 April 2009, during a speech made in Kampot province, Hun Xen said, without naming her, that a woman in Kampot who is a “Cheung Khlang” (thug) in the fight against land disputes, ran to hug someone, then she turns around and accuses that person of unbuttoning her blouse… Mrs. Mu Sochua claimed that Hun Xen’s speech was aimed at her and that it affected her honor as a representative of Cambodian women, as well as a MP.

Because of her daring to sue Hun Xen, Mrs. Mu Sochua was in turn sued back by Hun Xen who accused her of defamation against him.

On 04 August 2009, the Phnom Penh municipal court handed down its verdict and imposed a fine of 16.5 million riels ($4,100) on Mrs. Mu Sochua and decided that she lost her case against Hun Xen. This case has now reached the Appeal Court.
READ MORE - Mu Sochua still maintains that Hun Xen defamed her

Mekong, Japan's foreign ministers pledge for more cooperation

(Post by CAAI News Media)

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Dao Viet Trung, Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong , Laos' Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Myanmar's Foreign Minister U Nyan Win pose for a photo during the second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting at a hotel in Siem Reap province, 230km (143 miles) nort-west of Phnom Penh, October 3 , 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The second foreign ministerial meeting among five Mekong countries and Japan ended Saturday afternoon with pledges for more cooperation in the region.

In a chair's statement released after the meeting, "the ministers reaffirmed their determination to closely cooperation on regional and global issues of common concern, and to deepen and broaden the existing Mekong-Japan cooperation and cooperation under other frameworks, such as the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations, the ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit as well as the ASEAN Regional Forum to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region."

"The ministers also reaffirmed the importance of improving, through closer consultation of all its stakeholders, the business environment of each country and of the region as a whole to accelerate trade and investment," it said.

The statement, however, said the ministers recognized that the Mekong region, despite its recent development, still confronts challenges that need to be overcome as soon as possible.

(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

In a join press conference after the end of the meeting, Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong said Japan's had pledged to provide and increase assistance to ASEAN nations, especially, the Mekong sub-region.
He said the assistance from Japan to the region will focus on "infrastructure, investment, human resource development, cultural exchange and youth exchange."

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) shakes hand with Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada during the Japan Mekong Foreign Minister's meeting in Siem Reap October 3, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

For youth exchange, Japan pledged to accept 10,000 youth from Mekong countries for five years, starting from 2007, said Hor Namhong.
At the start of the meeting earlier in the day, Hor Namhong said "Our gathering here today constitutes a step further in the realization of our partnership for the development of the Mekong basin, which would certainly yield great benefit for the peoples living along the Mekong River and Japan as well."
The second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting has reviewed progress made since the first meeting in Tokyo, Japan in January 2008.
Mekong-Japan Partnership Program was launched in 2007 for the sake of peace, development and prosperity in the Mekong sub-region.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Dao Viet Trung,Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Laos' Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Myanmar's Foreign Minister U Nyan Win prepare to take a photo during the second Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting at a hotel in Siem Reap province, 230km (143 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh, October 3 , 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

READ MORE - Mekong, Japan's foreign ministers pledge for more cooperation

Myanmar minister promises 'free and fair' elections

Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win

(Post by CAAI News Media)

SIEM REAP, Cambodia — Myanmar's foreign minister promised Saturday his country would hold "free and fair" elections next year, despite the detention of democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi.

"In my country free and fair elections will be held. We have already announced it," Myanmar foreign minister Nyan Win told reporters after a meeting with counterparts in Cambodia's northwestern tourist hub.

"(Whether) the elections are free and fair or not, so far no one can judge it. After the elections will be held, you can judge whether the elections are free and fair or not."

A Myanmar court Friday rejected an appeal by Suu Kyi against her conviction over an incident in which a US man swam uninvited to her home in May, earning her an extra 18 months' detention.

The sentence sidelines her from the elections promised for 2010, leading critics to say the polls are a sham.

The minister made the remarks after meeting with the foreign ministers of Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam for talks intended to foster development within the Mekong region.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962, and the junta refused to acknowledge the landslide win of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party in the last elections in 1990.

Japanese foreign minister Katsuya Okada said the talks raised "Myanmar-related questions".

"We hope that Aung San Suu Kyi will be released and transparent elections will be conducted with the participation of all political parties," he told reporters.

Myanmar's foreign minister told his counterparts that "democracy can't be imposed from outside," Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama said.

Japan's new government has voiced hopes of fostering ties with countries in the Mekong region.

Suu Kyi, who has spent much of the last 20 years in detention, had a rare meeting with junta minister Aung Kyi Saturday, in which her lawyer said they probably discussed how to end Western sanctions against Myanmar.
READ MORE - Myanmar minister promises 'free and fair' elections

Aung San Suu Kyi's failed appeal symbolises Burma's tragedy

Aung San Suu Kyi in May 2002 Photograph: STEPHEN SHAVER/AFP/Getty Images

(Post by CAAI News media)

Lack of freedom of speech worsens the waste of talent in an impoverished country, writes new UK ambassador in Rangoon

At 10.45am today (local time), the Rangoon divisional court announced its decision on Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal. The appeal was rejected. No one was surprised by this outcome, despite her legal team's meticulously prepared arguments and public expressions of optimism ahead of the decision. The next stop is the supreme court, where it is difficult to imagine there will be a different outcome.

So Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest. More than 2,000 other prisoners of conscience are being held across the country. They all symbolise the tragedy of the country, in which freedom of speech is ruthlessly controlled.

But the tragedy actually goes deeper than this. Burma is chronically poor. Its education and health systems are hopelessly underfunded, leaving NGOs and the UN – supported by the UK and other donors' contributions – to fill some of the gaps in services that government should be delivering. Its economy has fallen further and further behind its regional neighbours due to disastrous economic policies. And, just as Aung San Suu Kyi and her fellow political prisoners symbolise the waste of talent in the political sphere, the waste of talent in the economic and business fields is equally damaging.

It is hard to describe what life is like for ordinary people here trying to make a living. Credit is hard, if not impossible, to get. The infrastructure is sub-standard across the country. Power cuts happen many times a day. Water supply is erratic. So even if you can set up an office or factory, how do you run it? The workforce is willing and helpful, but bureaucracy hinders innovation. Not to mention the difficulties caused by artificially controlled exchange rates, corruption and strict import rules. So only the most optimistic or well-connected entrepreneur would give it a go.

For most Burmese being unable to speak freely about their country is just one of the frustrations. Those I speak to focus as much, sometimes more so, on the difficulty of making ends meet. Most work incredibly long hours and earn pitifully little. It is subsistence living and for most people future prospects are equally bleak. It is truly remarkable that in the face of this adversity people here remain so extraordinarily hospitable and cheerful.

And yet it could be so different. Burma has abundant natural resources – gas, oil, hardwoods and precious stones to name but a few. It could be a tourist mecca. The potential of its paddy fields means that yields could be among the highest in Asia. Instead they are the lowest. Managed effectively and with access to global knowledge, the prospects for the country could be far better.

So for me, Aung San Suu Kyi's case symbolises not only the struggle of the ordinary people for freedom of expression. She and her 2,000-plus fellow prisoners also represent a much wider waste of human potential. Talents wasted across the board here – Burmese doctors effectively forced to practise abroad; businessmen having to set up elsewhere rather than here; teachers beaten down by the poor pay; and so the list goes on. Burma – a potential economic powerhouse – is on its knees. And will stay there until the many talents of its people are allowed to flourish.
READ MORE - Aung San Suu Kyi's failed appeal symbolises Burma's tragedy

CAMBODIA New liturgical dances created during dance seminar

A group of young people in Tahen parish performing a dance (file photo)

(Post by CAAI News Media)
BATTAMBANG, Cambodia (UCAN) -- About 90 classical dancers from all three Church jurisdictions in Cambodia gathered to take part in the first-ever Church-held seminar on the art form.

At the Sept. 23-25 seminar at Battambang parish, participants also created some new liturgical dances.

Participants came from Battambang prefecture and from Cambodia's other two Church jurisdictions -- Phnom Penh vicariate and Kompong Cham prefecture.

"The aim of this seminar is to instill in Catholic dancers a deep appreciation of classical Cambodian dance and to point out practices that are not in line with those handed down by our ancestors," said Soun Bunnarith, who heads the Battambang apostolic prefecture's cultural office.

Moreover, the seminar trained participants "on how to wear dance attire and as well as create new dances," she added.

Participants also choreographed three new dances -- the "Our Father Dance," the "Holy Spirit Dance" and a "Dance in Praise of the Virgin Mary."

Battambang vicar general Father Jose Hildy Banaynal praised participants for their creativity. The Jesuit priest stressed that the local Church is trying its best to preserve local traditions and spread the Good News through them.

Monsignor Enrique Figaredo, apostolic prefect of Battambang, agreed. "According to my 25-year experience in Cambodia, the best way to spread the Word of God and to get people to know Jesus is through culture," he said. "Classical dance, which is becoming popular here, is an important part of Cambodian culture." He also pointed out that classical dance is an effective way of spreading the word of God because the movements convey meaning.

During the seminar, Providence Sister Maria Art pointed out that the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) encourages local Churches to inculturate the liturgy. Since the revival of the local Church in the 1990s after decades of civil war and religious persecution, it has been using Khmer language in liturgy, the nun said. "And now, we are paying attention to Cambodian dance," she added.

Several parishes in the Buddhist-majority country now run classical dance classes catering to both Catholic and Buddhist students.

At the end of the seminar, the dancers presented classical dances and songs, accompanied by traditional musical instruments.

Ron Sphear, 20, from Tahen parish, outside Battambang, said the seminar was a wonderful experience of sharing and learning from one other.

Louy Samnang, 26, from Kompot Parish in Phnom Penh apostolic vicariate, said he has learned how to use classical dance to praise God. For him, having Cambodian classical dance in the liturgy shows Catholicism is not "a European religion," as many Cambodians believe.

About 95 percent of the more than 14 million Cambodians are Buddhists. Christians form approximately 2 percent of the population.
READ MORE - CAMBODIA New liturgical dances created during dance seminar

New book assesses tribunal

Monday, September 28, 2009

Photo by: Photo Supplied
A DC-Cam Peace and Justice walk, led by nuns, monks and Cham Muslim leaders, heads towards the Khmer Rouge tribunal.(Post in
Monday, 28 September 2009 15:03 Robbie Corey-Boulet
DC-Cam effort addresses administration, challenges for survivor participation.
THE Khmer Rouge tribunal’s efforts to engage survivors have been hindered by a severe lack of resources, and administrative issues such as unresolved corruption complaints threaten to compromise progress in the courtroom, according to a new book from the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam).
The release of On Trial: The Khmer Rouge Accountability Process, scheduled for Saturday, roughly coincides with the third anniversary of the tribunal’s founding, initially with three-year mandate. In addition to topics such as the tribunal’s history and operations, the book includes chapters assessing its performance in three areas: rulings, administration and survivor-engagement.
The chapter on survivors, written by Sarah Thomas and Terith Chy, states that an under-resourced Victims’ Unit and ill-equipped civil party lawyers have detracted from survivors’ contributions to the proceedings.
The unit, they say, “has suffered greatly as a result of its late creation and the half-hearted support of donors”, making it necessary for outreach and other tasks to be delegated to NGOs and other intermediary organisations.
Though they note that the processing of complaints and civil party applications has been aided by the hiring of more data-entry clerks, more than 1,500 forms had not been processed as of late July, they say.
In an interview with the Post, Terith Chy, head of DC-Cam’s Victim Participation Project, said there was still a chance the forms could be useful in the shaping of the tribunal’s second case, but that “the window of possibility for this is … rapidly closing” as the investigation phase winds down.
Though they claim that the reliance on intermediary organisations “has been so extensive as to be overwhelming”, the authors argue that the unit should not try to take the lead on outreach.
“Having conducted outreach for almost two years, intermediary organisations possess far greater experience in the provision of victims’ rights education than the unit and have already secured the involvement of more survivors than the court may be able to handle,” they write.
The chapter goes on to describe civil party lawyers as inexperienced and outmatched by the prosecution and defence teams — a situation the authors say was inevitable, given that the tribunal does not fund civil party representation. In the trial of Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, pro bono lawyers recruited through intermediary organisations “lacked the resources necessary to match the other parties, including the necessary administrative, investigative and technological capabilities”, the authors say.
In addition to pushing for the appointment of court-recruited legal teams, the authors advocate stronger intervention by judges in the civil party process, which they say could have prevented many of the problems that arose during the Duch case.
In a separate chapter, John Hall, an associate professor at California’s Chapman University School of Law who has written extensively about the tribunal, writes that administrative issues “have risen to such a level that they threaten to damage the legitimacy and viability of the legal process”.
After detailing allegations of a kickback scheme on the Cambodian side of the tribunal, Hall criticises the “apparent lack of teeth” of the independent counsellor position, an anticorruption mechanism announced last month.
In an interview with the Post, he said it “seems highly unlikely” that Cambodian staff would be comfortable bringing their complaints to the counsellor, Uth Chhorn.
Hall also criticises the donor community for failing “to exert the full potential of its fiscal, moral and political leverage” in pushing for “more effective anticorruption mechanisms”.
(Editor’s note: Robbie Corey-Boulet was acknowledged for having provided comments during the preparation of Hall’s chapter on administrative issues.)
READ MORE - New book assesses tribunal

Govt’s land policy failing most vulnerable: report

Photo by: Sovan Philong
Chab Bunleang, 49, who lives along rail lines in the north of Phnom Penh in a home she said she has owned for two decades, belongs to one of 23 households facing eviction. Three families have agreed to government compensation since last week.(Post in
Monday, 28 September 2009 15:04 Sebastian Stragio and Meas Sokchea
VULNERABLE communities are still being subjected to land-tenure insecurity and forced displacement despite a seven-year, multimillion-dollar effort to reform the land sector, according to a report to be released today.
The report, produced by a coalition of local and international housing rights groups, says the donor-funded US$38.4 million Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP) has failed the country’s poor by “entrenching inequality”, signalling a potentially dark future for land rights in Cambodia.
LMAP was established in 2002 with funding from international donors including the World Bank with a goal of establishing an “efficient and transparent land administration system” within five years.
The 81-page report acknowledges that the project has notched up some significant achievements, including issuing legal titles for more than 1 million pieces of land nationwide, but it argues that sporadic successes have been overshadowed by an increase in forced evictions and the project’s failure to protect those most vulnerable to exploitation.
“Despite significant successes in some areas, LMAP is not improving tenure security for segments of Cambodian society that are most vulnerable to displacement,” the report states.
“Vulnerable groups that have legitimate claims to land are routinely and arbitrarily denied access to land-titling and dispute-resolution mechanisms, which undermines the project’s aim of reducing poverty and promoting social stability.”
A key defect identified by the report is the fact that LMAP’s land-titling system has excluded areas that are “likely to be disputed” or of “unclear status”, cutting tens of thousands of families off from access to land titles under the Kingdom’s 2001 Land Law.
The area around Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak lake, where more than 4,000 families have been unable to apply for land titles because the lake lies in a “development zone”, is cited as a key example. It also expresses concerns for the protection of indigenous land rights and argues that LMAP’s land-dispute resolution mechanism has failed to create a “fairly accessible, efficient and impartial” means of resolving conflicts.
“If the system continues to exclude vulnerable groups, the benefits of the programme will be overshadowed by the harms,” said David Pred, country director of international rights group Bridges Across Borders, which contributed to the report.
“The experience of LMAP has demonstrated that many of the intended benefits of titling do not materialise in the absence of the rule of law and functioning dispute-resolution mechanisms to protect people’s rights.”
Yeng Virak, executive director of the Community Legal Education Centre, said LMAP’s land-registration drive had made significant achievements, but that the project is restricted by the “rigidity” of its design and implementation.
Particularly, he said, the fact that LMAP’s land-titling programme is not carried out in at-risk areas means that many strong legal claims – including those from Phnom Penh’s
Boeung Kak, Group 78 and Dey Krahorm areas – had not been rewarded with land titles.
“[The] existing legal instruments are sufficient,” he said. “Their possession rights should be recognised and respected.”
Land Management Minister Im Chhun Lim could not be reached for comment Sunday, but Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun rejected the contents of the report, saying dispute-resolution mechanisms at district and provincial levels had been successfully enforced by governors.
“Both bodies have helped balance the work so that it is better and … responds to the people’s need more effectively. This is [an example of] good governance,” he told the Post.
Rights groups on Sunday expressed fears the successor programmes to LMAP – the Land Administration Sub-Sector Programme and Land Management Sub-Sector Programme – will do little to improve the situation.
“We hope to see both development partners and the government do a better job of fulfilling their responsibilities under the successor programmes,” said Natalie Bugalski, a legal officer from the Centre of Housing Rights and Evictions, which also contributed to the report.
Pred said the success of future programmes relied on more than the good intentions of one or two stakeholders.
“The most serious problems that we document in the report are beyond the capacity of LMAP and the Ministry of Land to address, and require better interministerial cooperation and political will that has so far been sorely lacking,” he said.
READ MORE - Govt’s land policy failing most vulnerable: report