Gold mining suspected as cause of Cambodian mass poisonings

Cambodian female workers in Nike, Asics and Puma factories suffer mass faintings

Sportswear brands review spate of incidents in factories where employees on short-term contracts work 10-hour days in soaring temperatures

Garment workers on the outskirts of Pnomh Penh prepare for the working day.
Garment workers on the outskirts of Pnomh Penh prepare for the working day. Photograph: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan/Danwatch

Women working in Cambodian factories supplying some of the world’s best-known sportswear brands are suffering from repeated mass faintings linked to conditions.

Over the past year more than 500 workers in four factories supplying to Nike, Puma, Asics and VF Corporation were hospitalised. The most serious episode, recorded over three days in November, saw 360 workers collapse. The brands confirmed the incidents, part of a pattern of faintings that has dogged the 600,000-strong mostly female garment workforce for years.

The Observer and Danwatch, a Danish investigative media group, interviewed workers, unions, doctors, charities and government officials in the country’s garment industry, worth $5.7bn in 2015.

The women who collapsed worked 10 hour days, six days a week and reported feeling exhausted and hungry. Excessive heat was also an issue in three factories, with temperatures of 37C. Unlike in neighbouring Vietnam, where factory temperatures must not exceed 32C, Cambodia sets no limit, though if temperatures reach a “very high level” causing difficulties for workers, employers must install fans or air conditioning. Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodian female workers in Nike, Asics and Puma factories suffer mass faintings”

Australian film-maker charged with espionage in Cambodia

Documentary maker James Ricketson, 68, charged with collecting information prejudicial to national security

Australian film-maker James Ricketson (right) filming as opposition leaders Sam Rainsy (centre) and Kem Sokha (left) attend a demonstration in Phnom Penh in 2013.
Australian film-maker James Ricketson (right) filming as opposition leaders Sam Rainsy (centre) and Kem Sokha (left) attend a demonstration in Phnom Penh in 2013. Photograph: Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images

An Australian film-maker has been sent to a Cambodian prison to await trial over allegations he collected information prejudicial to the country’s national security, a court official says.

James Ricketson, 68, was arrested a week ago and has been the subject of conflicting reports since then – with some linking his detention to flying a drone, and others to living in the south-east Asian nation without proper documentation. Tiếp tục đọc “Australian film-maker charged with espionage in Cambodia”

Sale of Cambodian breast milk to mothers in US criticised by UN

UN agency says trade puts babies of poor and vulnerable at risk of malnutrition as Cambodia moves to block further exports

A man on a motorbike past the offices of Ambrosia Labs in Phnom Penh.
A man on a motorbike rides past the offices of Ambrosia Labs in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty

The UN children’s fund has strongly criticised the sale by a commercial company of breast milk donated by Cambodian mothers to women in the US, warning it could lead to the babies of poor and vulnerable women becoming malnourished. Tiếp tục đọc “Sale of Cambodian breast milk to mothers in US criticised by UN”

Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts

    I forwarded this first to a delegation of Veterans For Peace who are now touring Viet Nam for 17 days, and I am accompanying them. They have seen some of the terrible legacies of the war in Viet Nam — consequences very similar to what neighboring Laos and Cambodia have experienced.  So this article has special resonance for them.

    It is also a reminder of the hard bargain the U.S. insisted upon during negotiations with Viet Nam which led to normalization of diplomatic relations in 1995.  The current government of Viet Nam was required to repay an old debt of the Saigon regime which collapsed in 1975, loans which had been provided during the war totaling some $145 million US dollars.  The Vietnamese eventually agreed, and repaid the first installments totaling about $15 million before then-Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John McCain intervened (and rightly so, in the opinion of many veterans) with congressional action which converted that debt to an “education” fund to provide study opportunities for Vietnamese students in the U.S. and American students in Viet Nam.  That was better than an outright repayment, of course — particularly when U.S. humanitarian assistance at that time was less than $4 million a year, for efforts related to UXO cleanup and disability programs that might bring some relief to families facing the awful consequences of Agent Orange.

    Sometimes simple fairness and justice, common decency, and morality must take precedence over the U.S. government’s bookkeeping requirements.  (It might occur to some of us that the U.S. Ambassador in Cambodia should be reminded of that.)
    CS

MARCH 11 201

Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts

 

Lindsay Murdoch

Half a century after United States B-52 bombers dropped more than 500,000 tonnes of explosives on Cambodia’s countryside Washington wants the country to repay a $US500 million ($662 million) war debt.

The demand has prompted expressions of indignation and outrage from Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

Over 200 nights in 1973 alone, 257,456 tons of explosives fell in secret carpet-bombing sweeps – half as many as were dropped on Japan during the Second World War.

The pilots flew at such great heights they were incapable of discriminating between a Cambodian village and their targets, North Vietnamese supply lines – nicknamed the “Ho Chi Minh Trail.” Tiếp tục đọc “Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts”

Amid land grabs and evictions, Cambodia jails leading activist

japan times

Amid land grabs and evictions, Cambodia jails leading activist

by and

Thomson Reuters Foundation Feb 25, 2017

Even before a Cambodian judge sentenced land rights activist Tep Vanny to prison, her fellow campaigners said her fate had already been sealed.

Vanny, who fought the evictions of thousands of residents from lakeside land in Phnom Penh to make way for a luxury real estate project, was sentenced to 2½ years on Thursday for her role in a protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in 2013.

She was found guilty of inciting violence and assaulting security guards while trying to deliver a petition to Hun Sen on the land dispute.

The conviction came despite eyewitness testimony that neither Vanny or other protesters had committed acts of violence. It was criticized by campaigners as another step in a crackdown on dissent.

“The courts do not use their conscience. They just wait for orders from powerful men,” said Vanny, a mother of two in her mid-30s, during a recess before her verdict. “It’s easy to use the court. They are using my case to intimidate other people … and scare others to not protest.” Tiếp tục đọc “Amid land grabs and evictions, Cambodia jails leading activist”

Bacteria to improve sanitation on Southeast Asia’s largest lake

KAMPONG CHHNANG, Cambodia: Piles of rotten garbage and a choking odour engulfed the bank of Tonle Sap near a small harbour in Chhnok Tru, Kampong Chhnang. Most of the rubbish, from plastic bags to human waste and animal carcasses, came from a fresh market a few steps away.

For visitors, the experience may be shocking. But for the inhabitants of Tonle Sap – Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake stretching 13,000 sqkm across five Cambodian provinces – that is the only environment they know, and it is getting worse. Tiếp tục đọc “Bacteria to improve sanitation on Southeast Asia’s largest lake”

Rural Cambodia uses guppy to fight dengue

Thomson Reuters Foundation The Japan Times

In the backyards of rural Cambodia, a tiny weapon is being deployed to fight dengue fever, the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease, which causes debilitating flu-like symptoms and can develop into a deadly hemorrhagic fever.

More than 3,000 households in Kampong Cham province, which has one of the highest dengue rates in Cambodia, have been given colorful guppy fish to breed in barrels of water that villagers keep close to their homes for cleaning and cooking.

Image result for guppy fishImage result for guppy fish

Tiếp tục đọc “Rural Cambodia uses guppy to fight dengue”

Công bố “Sách Xanh Ngoại giao Việt Nam năm 2015”

BQT – 12:12 | 22/09/2016

Đây là lần đầu tiên, Bộ Ngoại giao công bố Sách Xanh về Ngoại giao Việt Nam nhằm giới thiệu chính sách đối ngoại của Việt Nam, những thành tựu nổi bật về đối ngoại Việt Nam trong năm 2015.

Nhìn lại 20 năm bình thường hóa quan hệ Việt – Mỹ: 2 kỳ

  • Kỳ 1: Nhiệm vụ cơ mật của Đại tướng Lê Đức Anh
  • Kỳ 2: Chuyện Đại tướng Lê Đức Anh thuyết phục ông John Kerry

Đại tướng Lê Đức Anh, Việt Mỹ, Bill Clinton, đối ngoại, ngoại giaoTổng thống Mỹ Bill Clinton và phu nhân đón tiếp Chủ tịch nước Việt Nam Lê Đức Anh và phu nhân tại Mỹ năm 1995. Ảnh tư liệu

***

Kỳ 1: Nhiệm vụ cơ mật của Đại tướng Lê Đức Anh

VNN – Bộ Chính trị một lần nữa đặt trọng trách lên vai Đại tướng – ông sẽ cùng với Bộ Ngoại giao tìm cách thăm dò và “mở đột phá khẩu” để tiến tới việc bình thường hóa quan hệ với Mỹ. 

Tiếp tục đọc “Nhìn lại 20 năm bình thường hóa quan hệ Việt – Mỹ: 2 kỳ”

Facebook and Politics in Cambodia: Not All ‘Likes’ Are the Same

October 5, 2016

By Nina Tiquet

asiafoundation_Following the surprising outcome to Cambodia’s 2013 general election, when the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) lost 22 seats at the National Assembly, Prime Minister Hun Sen pushed members of his government to take reform more seriously in order to secure popular support for the forthcoming 2017 commune and 2018 general elections. Not surprisingly, Hun Sen also put a big emphasis on social media. Tiếp tục đọc “Facebook and Politics in Cambodia: Not All ‘Likes’ Are the Same”

Hostile takeover

hun-sen-family Report / July 7, 2016

Global Witness

Hostile Takeover

How Cambodia’s ruling family are pulling the strings on the economy and amassing vast personal fortunes with extreme consequences for the population.

Few prime ministers have served for as long as Cambodia’s Hun Sen, in power for 30 years. Even when democratically voted out he has refused to step down, and has systematically quashed political opposition including through the murder, torture and arbitrary imprisonment of his critics.

Tiếp tục đọc “Hostile takeover”

Cambodia should be cautious when it comes to Chinese aid

9 July 2016

Author: Veasna Var, UNSW Canberra

eastasiaforum: In a 2006 speech, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen praised China, saying that ‘China talks less but does a lot’. China is certainly doing a lot in Cambodia, becoming the country’s largest aid donor and source of foreign investment. Between 1994 and 2013, Chinese investment in Cambodia was about US$10 billion, focused mainly on agriculture, mining, infrastructure projects, hydro-power dams and garment production. Since 1992, China has also provided around US$3 billion in concessional loans and grants to Cambodia. Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodia should be cautious when it comes to Chinese aid”