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The Cambodia Daily

Elephant electrocuted by high-tension line in herd’s path

An elephant was electrocuted by a high-power electric line early on Wednesday in a village in Preah Sihanouk province frequented by the animals, according to provincial authorities. ...

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South Korea-Funded Civil Aviation Training Center Inaugurated

A civil aviation training center was launched in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, three years after an agreement was signed with South Korea to fund the construction of the new facility. ...

 

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Slow start for observer sign-ups ahead of commune polls

About 500 Cambodians have registered as observers for the June commune elections, falling well short of the more than 20,000 that civil society groups are hoping for, while not a single foreigner has signed up yet, the National Election Committee (NEC) said on Tuesday. ...

 

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Ministry of foreign affairs to build first diplomatic institute

The Foreign Affairs Ministry expects to complete construction on its first training institute for local diplomats in the next 18 months, officials said Monday. Foreign Affairs Ministry spokes-man Chum Sounry said work on the National Institute for Diplomatic and Relations of International Study began in December. ...

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Masked farmers raid, burn down community forestry office

Officials are still investigating an arson attack on a Mondolkiri province community forestry monitoring office by dozens of masked farmers on Friday, in what they suspect was retaliation for preventing the farmers from growing cassava in a protected area. ...

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Microloans work for some, leave many in debt

Nearly everyone living in Pann Sopheatra’s village, just across the Mekong River from Phnom Penh, has either taken out a microfinance loan or knows someone who has. ...

 

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Salary raises coming for local officials ahead of June elections

All elected local officials will see their salaries raised next month—just ahead of commune elections in June—after a sub-decree was signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday. ...

 

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Fears hover over plan to collect data on all Cambodians

Every Cambodian will be assigned a 10-digit identification number under which information from various government departments, as well as the private sector, will be collected in a central database, Interior Minister Sar Kheng announced on Thursday. ...

 

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Sok An’s top job filled, but many still vacant

Though some of that control had slipped away in recent years, there are still plenty of state bodies, official roles and chairmanships up for grabs after Sok An died on Wednesday at the age of 66. The most high-profile of those positions, minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, was promptly handed yesterday to Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, 67, who is also organizing the funeral of his predecessor. ...

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At capital coffee shops, political conversations tainted by fear

Many of the news media’s favorite political analysts aren’t picking up their telephones. They say they are busy with work, traveling abroad or focusing on their studies. ...

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Will move to cap microfinance interest rates backfire on CPP?

The ruling CPP doubled down on Tuesday on its decision to cap interest rates on microfinance loans as a way to help the poor get out of debt, even as analysts called it a political move that would have long-term negative effects on the rural economy.

With the new policy, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the ruling party and the government were putting people’s livelihoods over microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) profit margins. ...

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NGO wary of promise to cancel hydropower dam project

Conservationists remain wary of the government’s recent pledge to sideline construction of the controversial Chhay Areng hydropower dam after finding the project on the Mines and Energy Ministry’s new to-do list.

After a February 17 Council of Ministers meeting, the government announced that plans to build the dam in the heart of Koh Kong province’s pristine Cardamom Mountains were indefinitely on hold and being replaced by an upgrade to an existing coal-fired power plant far away. At the time, council spokesman Phay Siphan said Prime Minister Hun Sen wanted to preserve the site for its ecotourism potential. ...

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Central bank sets interest rate ceiling, sparking fears

The National Bank of Cambodia announced on Monday that it would set an annual interest rate ceiling of 18 percent for all microfinance institutions (MFIs), sparking concerns that lenders would stop offering smaller loans that often keep the most financially vulnerable afloat. ...

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Old US bombs revive dispute over $500m war-era debt

The head of Cambodia’s largest demining operator cited Monday’s disposal of a pair of decades-old American bombs as part of the government’s mounting efforts to shame the U.S. into canceling the country’s ballooning war-era debt, which now stands at about $500 million. ...

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Top court upholds decision to deny bail for Adhoc officials

Four senior officials for rights group Adhoc will remain behind bars after the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling that they should be held in detention while awaiting trial, but gave no reason for the decision. ...

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Mental health center under construction for Prey Speu detainees

Officials broke ground on Saturday on a new mental health center in Kandal province that will house detainees from the notorious Prey Speu detention center in Phnom Penh, among others, government and city officials said on Sunday. ...

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Nordic nations eye investment in Cambodia

Companies from Europe’s frigid north are taking steps toward moving into the fish and environmental industries in Cambodia’s warmer climes. ...

 

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Parties pledge more power for women

For the ruling CPP, the promise was to appoint a woman as governor for one of the country’s 25 provinces. For the opposition CNRP, its boast was having 60 female commune chief candidates—up from fewer than 10—to run in Cambodia’s 1,646 communes for this year’s elections. ...

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Green light: new signals to speed up city’s traffic prospects

As part of an ongoing Japan-funded project to reduce congestion in the capital’s clogged streets, City Hall turned on three new traffic lights on Wednesday in Phnom Penh—with two more set to follow today. ...

 

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Women in construction weighed down

Female construction workers earn on average about $2.50 less per day than their male counterparts, are given fewer opportunities to learn new skills and are victims of outdated gender stereotypes, a new report says. ...

 

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