The Front Page - The Cambodia Daily

WEEKEND EDITION
The CambODIa DaIly
All the News Without Fear or Favor
Volume 60 issue 43
Saturday-Sunday, January 31-February 1, 2015
Self-Criticism
At Center of
CPP Congress
By
aNd
2,000 riel/50 cents
Afghan in
Uniform Kills 3
At Military Site
K uch N areN
K hy S ovuthy
B y a li l atifi
loS angeleS TimeS
The CamboDia Daily
As it began a three-day party
congress in Phnom Penh on Friday, the ruling CPP blamed internal dysfunction and corruption for
shock losses in the July 2013 national election, which was followed by a turbulent year marked
by a political deadlock, mass opposition demonstrations and the government’s brutal suppression of
dissents.
In a report distributed to CPP
officials who attended the opening
of the congress at its Phnom Penh
headquarters, the ruling party lays
out a remarkably honest assessment of why it suffered a major
blow to its popular support in the
election.
“Although our party was victorious, the drop in votes was the
most noticeable characteristic,”
says the report, which was marked
“classified” and obtained from a
party member who attended the
closed-door morning session of the
congress.
“There are a number of key reasons why we have lost votes,” the
26-page report says, listing the first
reason as the failure of the government to properly implement what
the CPP says were “very good policies for every sector.”
“Secondly, misconduct such as
corruption, nepotism, the abuse
Continued on page 2
2015 Photo Festival Prompts
Reflections on Past and Future
Weekend Page 1
cambodiadaily.com
- An Afghan in military uniform shot to death three foreigners
on Thursday at Kabul International
Airport’s military facility, the U.S.led coalition said. The attacker was
then shot and killed by security
forces.
The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan did
not immediately state the foreigners’ nationalities and released few
details of the attack.
The Taliban on Friday claimed
responsibility for the attack.
An airport official speaking to reporters earlier said he had been
told of a shooting at the facility that
left at least two Americans wounded. Citing an unnamed Defense
Department source, the Washington Post later reported that all three
dead foreigners were Americans
and that a fourth American was
wounded.
no motive for the attack was
immediately released. numerous
people with the U.S.-led coalition
have been victims in recent years
of so-called insider attacks by Afghans, though the assaults have
diminished as the foreign forces
Continued on page 6
KAbUL
Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily
Prime Minister Hun Sen presides over the afternoon session of the first
day of a three-day CPP congress in Phnom Penh on Friday.
Thai Vigilantes Fight Against Human Trafficking
reuTerS
bAn bAng yAI, Thailand - bulletproof
vest, shotgun, sunglasses: Kompat
Sompaorat could be mistaken for a
member of a SWAT team.
He actually belongs to a motley
group of Thai civilians who, frustrated by their government’s lackluster response to human trafficking, have taken up arms to patrol
one of Asia’s busiest smuggling
routes.
For three months now, scores
of volunteers have patrolled the
estuaries and jungles of Phang
nga province, a popular tourist
destination in southern Thailand,
a short drive from the famous resort island of Phuket.
They are motivated by humani-
tarian concerns, they say, but also
worry that the presence of armed
smugglers and impoverished refugees in the vicinity could lead to an
increase in crime and scare away
tourists.
“There are big big guys behind
this trade—so big we can’t do
anything about it. We can’t touch
them,” said Kompat, as the volunteers arrive at an abandoned
smuggling camp near the village
of ban bang yai strewn with children’s shoes, women’s camisoles
and trash.
“We can only try to save their
victims,” he said.
Despite pledges by Thailand’s
military junta to combat human
trafficking, the volunteers say the
The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993
influx of illegal migrants is growing, many of them Rohingya Muslims from western burma, and little is being done to stop the gangs
that transport and abuse them.
Every year, thousands of Rohingya and bangladeshi boat people
arrive in Thailand, brought by the
smugglers. They are then taken
by road to desolate camps, where
traffickers demand a ransom to
smuggle them south across the
border to Malaysia.
Last year Thailand was downgraded to the lowest tier on the
U.S. State Department’s influential
Trafficking in Persons Report,
which annually ranks countries by
their countertrafficking efforts.
Continued on page 6
The CambODIa DaIly
2
aNd also
Incredible California Conviction
reuTerS
- A man who dresses
as the comic superhero Mr. Incredible has been sentenced to
three years probation after pleading guilty to attacking a woman
costumed as batgirl in a Hollywood boulevard turf dispute, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Muhammet bilik, 35, was also
ordered to attend anger management therapy, perform 20 days of
LOS AngELES
roadside cleanup and stay away
from the so-called Hollywood Entertainment District where the spat
erupted.
A video of the incident captured
by a passerby and posted on youTube shows bilik, in his Mr. Incredible costume, slamming batgirl into a rack of souvenir baseball
caps as Chewbacca and Freddy
Krueger characters attempt to
intervene.
SaTurDay-SunDay, january 31-february 1, 2015
Newsmakers
n notorious former rap music mogul marioN “Suge” KNight is suspected of running two men over with his truck after an argument on a film set
in Southern California, authorities said. Knight arrived at the Los Angeles
County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station with his attorney at
about 12:30 a.m. to be interviewed by homicide detectives as a person of
interest, according to authorities. The confrontation began about 3 p.m.
Thursday when Knight and two unidentified men began arguing on the
set of “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about the group n.W.A., said
Captain John Corina. About 20 minutes after the alleged argument, the
victims were at Tam’s burgers near Central and East Rosecrans avenues,
authorities said. Knight is believed to have followed the men in his truck
and run them over in the parking lot, Corina said. One of the victims, 55,
died. The other, 51, suffered undisclosed injuries, Corina said. (LAT)
Congress...
1
of power, big gaps between upper
and lower-level officials, between
government officials and the people, between rich and poor, the
lack of confidence in the judicial
system, inequality, the effectiveness of the implementation of laws
which remains so limited, the issue
of public services, land and forest
issues...made people lose trust in
our leadership,” the report says.
“Although these lacking points
were caused by a number of officials, the influence was very wide
on our party’s popularity; as the
common Khmer proverb says
‘one fermented fish causes a bad
smell for all the fish in a basket,’” it
continues.
The report says that damage to
the CPP’s popular support was also
caused by border and immigration
issues, which it says have been
seized on by the CnRP “to attract
support from those who have extreme opinions, especially among
youth who lack correct understanding about history.”
The success of the CnRP at attracting support at the local and national level is listed as the fifth reason for the CPP’s recent struggles.
Opening the afternoon session
of the congress—held on the capital’s Koh Pich island—Prime Minister Hun Sen assured more than
1,300 party members in attendance that CPP President Chea
Sim, who suffered a stroke in 2000
and has been in increasingly poor
health, would remain in his position until he died.
“As long as he is alive, he will
remain the president of our party.
This is the political principal of
leaders of the Cambodian People’s
Party,” Mr. Hun Sen said in his
brief opening remarks.
Earlier this week, Mr. Sim’s chief
bodyguard said the CPP president
was undergoing a medical checkup in Vietnam and was unlikely to
make it back to Cambodia in time
for the party’s congress.
coNtiNued from page
Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily
CPP members attend the afternoon session of the party's congress on
Friday at Koh Pich City Hall in Phnom Penh.
In a speech following Mr. Hun
Sen’s remarks, national Assembly
President Heng Samrin, who is also the CPP’s “honorary president,”
blasted the opposition’s efforts to
disrupt the government following
the 2013 election.
Despite official results showing
that the CPP won 68 seats to the
CnRP’s 55, the opposition claimed
that it would have won the election
if not for manipulation by the ruling party, and launched a series of
mass protests that culminated in
its occupation in December 2013
of Freedom Park, which became a
home base for daily demonstrations numbering in the tens of
thousands.
“After the national election in July
2013, Cambodia’s situation was interrupted by the opposition and
their supporters who did not recognize the results of the election,” Mr.
Samrin told party members packed
into Koh Pich City Hall.
“They incited demonstrations,
riots, interruption [and] turmoil
using all kinds of tricks with the
purpose of toppling the government and the Cambodian People’s
Party and to push Cambodia’s situation to move away from democracy and abuse the Constitution
and laws, opposing the decision of
the majority of people who voted,”
he said.
nonetheless, Mr. Samrin said
that the election and its aftermath
was cause for soul-searching within the ruling party.
“These matters require us to
thoroughly study the cause that
resulted in such a situation, meanwhile evaluating carefully strong
points, weak points and lessons
from new experiences for the party, pushing for timely and effective
reform,” Mr. Samrin said.
Since last year’s July 22 political
deal between Mr. Hun Sen and
CnRP President Sam Rainsy,
which saw the CnRP’s 55 lawmakers end their 10-month boycott of parliament, the opposition
has touted a “culture of dialogue”
between the two parties; a contrast
to its efforts to delegitimize the
CPP government following the
2013 election.
Contacted by telephone Friday,
Mr. Rainsy said that the CnRP
was still broadening its support
based on the quality of its ideas
and proposals put forward while
in opposition.
“We will continue to compete
with the CPP; compete for the support of the population. And I think
we, meaning the CnRP, are on a
winning track because we compete with ideas, we compete with
proposals, we don’t compete with
money, with intimidation, with disinformation,” he said.
Mr. Rainsy wished the CPP the
best in its efforts to reform.
“I wish the CPP good luck in reforming their policies and in reforming themselves, but I doubt
whether they will be able to reform
themselves in the way the people
want—to see a responsible party, a
party leading the country to behave,” he said.
“because I think the corruption
in the CPP in endemic, is systemic,
so any serious reform to curb corruption would undermine the very
foundation of the CPP.”
(Additional reporting by Colin
Meyn)
International Brief -----Blast at Shiite Mosque in Southern Pakistan Kills 49
------
SHIKARPUR,
Pakistan - At least 49 people were killed in a powerful explosion at a crowded Shiite mosque in Pakistan during Friday prayers, the
latest sectarian attack to hit the South Asian nation. Police said the blast
was caused either by a suicide bomber or an explosive device which
went off when the mosque was at its fullest on Friday afternoon in the
center of Shikarpur, a city in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh. Radical Sunni Islamist groups often target mosques frequented by minority
Shiites, whom they see as infidels. Earlier this month, six people were
killed and 17 wounded by a suicide bomber outside a Shiite mosque in
the city of Rawalpindi, also after Friday prayers. “We are trying to ascertain the nature of the blast,” said Shikarpur Police Chief Saqib Ismail Memon. “A bomb disposal squad is examining the scene.” Saeed Ahmed
Mangnejo, head of the regional civil administration, told reporters that
the death toll had reached 49. In chaotic scenes that followed the blast,
part of the mosque collapsed after the explosion, burying some of the
wounded under rubble. bystanders pulled people from the debris and
piled them into cars for the journey to the hospital. (Reuters)