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Phnom Penh (Ah!) - NR TOP 10 PHNOM PENH STORIES

Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen proved that politics and football do mix - Daffy123 (talk) photo

Kith Meng

 

 

D.J. Ken - National Radio Text Service

 

 

 

Murders, incarcerations, land grabbing and human rights abuses calmed down at the turn of the year with the obvious focus being to present a kinder, gentler government that had their citizen's interest at heart. Paradoxically this was in preparation to improve a tarnished image apparently to bolster a positive outcome in the Cambodian elections

 

 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuesday July 30, 2013

POLITICS & MOBILE TELECOMS RULE

Surprisingly our top Phnom Penh story is from last year. Ironically CAMBODIA'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES & MURDERS stimulated interest leading up to this past Sunday's elections in the nation. This column noted that 2012 was a banner year for human rights abuses in Cambodia highlighted by the murder of conservationist activist Chut Wutty, the jailing of journalist and radio station owner Mam Sonando, the jailing of 13 women who were trying to protect the demolition of their homes and possessions and the murder of a 14-year-old girl trying to save her families home from demolition. Overall the majority of stories most read this past month were related to political and government issues including the US Embassy in Phnom Penh.

When US president Barack Obama visited Cambodia he pointed out his concern of Cambodia's human rights abuses to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen who claimed the negativity on the subject was manufactured by the media and there was no such thing.

The murders, incarcerations, land grabbing and human rights abuses calmed down at the turn of the year with the obvious focus being to present a kinder, gentler government that had their citizen's interest at heart. Paradoxically this was in preparation to improve a tarnished image apparently to bolster a positive outcome for the Cambodian elections.

CAMBODIA'S PHONE WARS notched the second spot. This is a hot topic this year as mobile telephone providers are merging or going out of business. Much of the Cambodian media failed to cover this story depth, in part due to their being in bed with the companies who have purchased advertising with them.

The other aspect is they are a part of the problem as some of the major media in the country is controlled by the Royal Group the parent company of the mobile telecom service provider Cellcard/Mobitel which is one of the companies implicated in the sordid tale. The Royal Group is the parent company of four television stations in Cambodia including an all news channel.

The mobile telecom industry is political given that the government is involved with implementing decisions and rulings that effect how the telecom business works and who the main players will be. That scenario played out when the Cambodia Daily revealed in their Friday April 5th, 2013 (P.1) edition that Hun Sen was instrumental in authorizing the subscriber base of Mfone to be transferred to Cellcard/Mobitel in another game of political football. Cellcard/Mobitel's parent company is owned by Kith Meng's Royal Group. Meng is a close friend of the prime minister. The action defied a court order that Mfone's assets were to be used to pay off their debts. The other twist to this story is Cellcard owed Mfone money yet received Mfone's most valuable asset.

Prior to Cellcard being awarded Mfone's customer's a Norwegian company Eltek won an injunction from Cambodia's municipal court in October 2012 to acquire Mfone's subscribers since they were owed $3.73 half million dollars by Mfone for installing Mfone's satellite technology for its digital mobile network according to the Cambodia Daily's January 14th edition (P. 21).

Ranked third is review of filmmaker Marc Eberle's documentary titled "Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice." Eberle's pieced together interviews with Suu Kyi that reveal an insight to her personality that the public is most likely not aware of. Included in this article is our interview with Eberle regarding the documentary.

Relative to the current situation of America's NSA (National Security Agency) spying on the world's telephone and Internet conversations and correspondence in the name of national security there is a link on the Suu Kyi column to another Eberle documentary regarding the CIA'S covert war in Laos which at the time then president Richard Nixon denied America was involved in any such warfare.

The CIA built over 400 secret air fields in Laos during the American/Vietnam War. The doc reveals how the CIA tried to cover up their drug dealing, slaughtering of innocent Laos citizens while using the Homing people and after promises of protecting them for carrying out their dirty work abandoned them and left them behind. The film explored the CIA's Air America which is most notably known for the trafficking of heroin. One of the pilots interviewed said that he didn't know what they were flying. It was pointed out that one third of the US soldiers fighting in the war was addicted to the drug. In the process the CIA protected their murdering puppet Vang Pao and permitted him to live America where he passed away in 2011.

An amusing as well as sad aspect to the doc were the CIA's Laos prostitutes and the visits by US government officials who had time to party on while Asian citizens were being slaughtered. This is a must see documentary of how the US government works is using people by chewing them up and spitting them out when they are rendered of no use.

The fourth spot is awarded to another telecom story relating to our previously mentioned Mfone subscribers being taken over by Cellcard/Mobitel. That was the focus of the piece as Mfone customers frantically had to switch to Cellcard or drop the service and lose out on their investment including their bonuses and money. The cost was overwhelming as struggling street vendors selling top up cards lost out as well. One vendor said she was stuck with $200 in Mfone top up cards. In Cambodia $200 is a lot of money considering many citizens have to live on $2 a day.

The 5th spot was secured by our column CAMBODIA PLACES THE CART B-4 THE HORSE CAMBODIA - THE MODERN KILLING FIELDS. The subject was concerning questionable Cambodian land concessions that led to the murders of the people trying to protect their property which had been occurring for some time. In our research we came upon a Cambodia Daily article of December 22, 2005 (P. 16) reported that five villagers were killed March 21 of that year during an eviction from their homes in Kbal Spean village. . This story included several links to videos on the Internet showing some of the violence and the murder of activist Chut Wutty while two Cambodia Daily journalists witnessed.

Four of the five remaining Top 10 stories relate to politics. The oldest is from August 2012 that is focused on how Phnom Penh's US EMBASSY LOST THE PLOT. More information can be accessed by exploring the TOP 10 chart's links.


 

#
NR TOP 10 PHNOM PENH STORIES
1
Phnom Penh (Ah) - CAMBODIA'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES & MURDERS - December, 2012
OBAMA & HUN SEN DO NOT SEE EYE TO EYE - 2012 was a banner year for human rights abuses in Cambodia highlighted by the murder of conservationist activist Chut Wutty, the jailing of journalist and radio station owner Mam Sonando, the jailing of 13 women who were trying to protect the demolition of their homes and possessions and the murder of a 14-year-old girl trying to save her families home from demolition. When US president Barack Obama visited Cambodia he pointed out his concern of Cambodia's human rights abuses to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen who claimed the negativity on the subject was manufactured by the media and there was no such thing -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OM1iJTpHW8&feature=related
2
Phnom Penh (Ah) - CAMBODIA'S PHONE WARS - April, 2013
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER - Cellcard's acquisition of Mfone subscribers comes clear as political football came into play in defiance of a court order - The transition of Smart's acquisition of Hello has not gone seamlessly and a lack of clarity of information of what they are selling is missing
3
Phnom Penh (Ah) - FILMMAKER MARC EBERLE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS - January, 2013
EBERLE REVEALS BEHIND THE SCENES - Eberle's latest project "Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice," is receiving rave reviews. His perspective offers a side of a story never seen of the Myanmar now politician aka the Lady and her relationship with her family that she left behind for politics. Previously Eberle also dug deep with his documentary of the CIA'S secret war in Laos titled The Most Secret Place on Earth
4
Phnom Penh (Ah) - MOBITEL'S (Cambodia) AMBUSH - February, 2013
MISINFORMATION REIGNS IN ROCKY ROAD MOBITEL TAKEOVER - The MobiTel takeover of Mfone customers is more like a rocky road than smooth sailing. The services going forward promised from Mfone customer service representatives failed to materialize. The bait and switch resulted in a situation of bitch, bitch, bitch of confusion and the loss of the Mfone customers' hard cash credit - QUALIFY for INTERNET SERVICE? - MISINFORMATION OR LIES? - Phnom Penh Cable's poorly trained and informed service staff
5
Phnom Penh (Ah) Part 3 - CAMBODIA PLACES THE CART B-4 THE HORSE - THE MODERN KILLING FIELDS - August, 2012
POOR CONSTRUCTION PLANNING + MORE CARS = TRAFFIC JAMS & MURDER - One of Cambodia's major mistakes was not having adequate parking facilities. It raises the question what are they thinking when the develop areas currently overburdened with traffic with buildings that lack parking facilities to accommodate the clients of the businesses in the building?
6
Phnom Penh (Ah) - CAMBODIA MOURNS the DEATH of KING SIHANOUK - October, 2012
WATER FESTIVAL CANCELED 2nd CONSECUTIVE YEAR - Sihanouk held so many positions since 1941 that the Guinness Book of World Records identifies him as the politician who has served the world's greatest variety of political offices - THE TRUTH or WHAT U WANT 2 HEAR? - It's SOS time again as the Cambodian government's council of ministers and ministry of Justice continues to dictate how democracy will work in their country. VOA'S Chris Decherd responds - PHNOM PENH TOP 5 STORIES
7
Phnom Penh (Ah) - DEMOCRACY APPLIED with INTIMIDATION & MURDER? - July, 2012
THE HEAT IS ON! - Cambodia is overwhelmed by questionable decisions that led to the murder of activists, the imprisonment of citizens evicted from their homes and media that voice an opinion in opposition to the powers that be. There are questions of what type of democracy is this?
8
Phnom Penh (Ah) Part 2 - US EMBASSY LOST THE PLOT - UPS THE ANTE - August 2010
THE HEAVY HANDED US EMBASSY - Now charging for services that were free in 2006 - Supposedly civil servants they have taken on more of a police mentality while teaching Cambodian employees to deceive and lie - Since the US embassy moved to their new facility they have proved to be paranoid - TOP 5 PHNOM PENH COLUMNS
9
Phnom Penh (Ah) - ICT EXPO IS ON!!! - May, 2012
The ICT Expo will start tomorrow May 3rd at the same Koh Pich (Diamond Island) location as last year. The four day show will close on the 6th - BUYER BEWARE of the BAIT AND SWITCH - OPCC Presents Noam Chomsky documentary screening this Sunday at Meta House - A major problem in the realm is finding medical and dental help in Phnom Penh and Cambodia in general up to Western standards
10
Phnom Penh (Ah) - SHOPPERS GUIDE - CONSUMERS BEWARE - February, 2012
WHITE TO DIE FOR - Trying to be white is killing Cambodians - For a foreigner making transactions in Cambodia can be a problem due to the language barrier. A lack of integrity by the seller is also a detrimental factor for consummating a deal - BEWARE OF THE POST OFFICE as mail is not received - Internet Service Providers (ISP's) are not delivering as promised - TOP 3 NR Phnom Penh Stories

 


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