Economy

Government Denies Reports on Mining Corruption and Hun Sen

Pedestrians pass the head offices of mining giant BHP Billiton in Melbourne, Australia November 27, 2008 (file photo).Pedestrians pass the head offices of mining giant BHP Billiton in Melbourne, Australia November 27, 2008 (file photo).
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Pedestrians pass the head offices of mining giant BHP Billiton in Melbourne, Australia November 27, 2008 (file photo).
Pedestrians pass the head offices of mining giant BHP Billiton in Melbourne, Australia November 27, 2008 (file photo).
The Cambodian government on Thursday dismissed media reports in Australia linking Prime Minister Hun Sen to a mining company under investigation there for corruption.

Earlier this week, The Age newspaper reported on Australian documents that described officials from BHP Billiton seeking a special meeting with Hun Sen prior to being given mineral exploration rights in 2006.

The government’s Quick Reaction Unit, which deals with media, said in a statement Thursday the report was “exaggerated” and meant to “dishonor” Hun Sen ahead of the July national elections.

BHP Billiton is under investigation in the US and Australia for allegedly corrupt practices in mining deals in Cambodia and China. Cambodia consistently ranks among the most corrupt countries in Asia.

Preap Kol, executive director for Transparency International Cambodia, said his organization does not have a mandate to investigate corruption claims such as those made in The Age, but he said he will monitor the media outcome.

Son Chhay, a lawmaker for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said The Age has “no interest” in Cambodian politics. Rather, the Cambodian government should evaluate the country’s corruption, he said.
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Protesters Again Demand Vietnamese Apology Over Kampuchea Kromi
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21 July 2014
Thousands of demonstrators, including students and monks, gathered in front of the Vietnamese Embassy on Monday, calling again for an apology for alleged remarks made about Vietnam’s ownership of the Mekong Delta. Many Cambodians remain angered that the area, called Kampuchea Krom, or Lower Cambodia, in Khmer, was partitioned to Vietnam by the French in 1949. The region, called Cochinchina by the French, was ruled by various Vietnamese factions since the mid-1600s, before it was colonized by the French in 1862. The region was merged into Southern Vietnam by the Geneva Accords in 1954. (Khoun Theara, Phnom Penh)

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21 July 2014
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