Economy

Sesan River Dam Approved in Assembly

In this Oct. 6, 2012 photo, local workers adjust stones at another dam construction site by China National Heavy Machinery Corporation on the Tatay River in Koh Kong province, some 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.In this Oct. 6, 2012 photo, local workers adjust stones at another dam construction site by China National Heavy Machinery Corporation on the Tatay River in Koh Kong province, some 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
x
In this Oct. 6, 2012 photo, local workers adjust stones at another dam construction site by China National Heavy Machinery Corporation on the Tatay River in Koh Kong province, some 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In this Oct. 6, 2012 photo, local workers adjust stones at another dam construction site by China National Heavy Machinery Corporation on the Tatay River in Koh Kong province, some 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The National Assembly has approved the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Sesan River, renewing concerns of villagers who will be displaced by the dam and of activists who say it will disrupt important fish migrations.

Some 5,000 people will have to be moved once the 8-kilometer dam is built. In the National Assembly last week, opposition lawmakers said they wanted the construction of the Lower Sesan II Dam postponed while more impact assessments are made and while villagers are properly helped in their relocation.

In a Feb. 15 vote, 82 to 8, the Assembly agreed on the law authorizing the government to pay the Hydropower Lower Sesan II Company for construction of the dam. The proposed 400-megawatt dam, to be built 20 kilometers from the provincial capital of Stung Treng province, will see construction begin later this year and will cost $782 million. The Hydropower Lower Sesan II Company is a joint venture between the Royal Group and Chinese and Vietnamese firms.

However, in the session, Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Nhem Sovann said the law should not be adopted “until there is a comprehensive study and the participation of the local community.”

Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem responded to the Assembly, saying an impact study has already been undertaken and that the dam would provide social and economic value at minimal cost. Civil society organizations and the opposition dispute this.

According to a 2009 environmental impact assessment, the dam’s reservoir will submerge hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest and agricultural land, displacing around 5,000 people from seven villages. Critics say it could endanger species of fish that migrant along the Sesan River.

Three separate organizations—the NGO Forum, the Culture and Environment Preservation Association and the 3S Rivers Protection Network—said in a joint statement that the law only recognizes six villages and around 800 families, versus the findings of the impact assessment. The NGO Forum says more than 1,300 families will be affected by the dam.

Chhit Sam Ath, executive director of the NGO Forum, told reporters on the sideline of the Assembly session that the law was not drafted with full consultation of local communities. He also said some statistics provided in the draft do not fully recognize the 2009 assessment. “So wider participation and transparency of the law are limited,” he said.

While the law was being passed, 12 representatives from the local communities around the proposed dam site arrived in Phnom Penh to submit a letter to the Chinese Embassy and the National Assembly, requesting the dam’s construction be postponed, or canceled altogether.

“And [we] requested other power alternatives besides building dams on tributaries,” said Nen Sukit, a representative of the communities, which came from Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces.

So far, there has been no response to the letter.

40th Anniversary of Khmer Rouge Takeover

Click on the photo to go to special page.

Click on the photo to go to special page.

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Villagers Clash With Vietnamese Border Securityi
X
30 June 2015
A group of villagers clashed with Vietnamese border security on Sunday, after they accused the neighboring country of encroachment. Opposition lawmakers say they want Cambodia to press their case against encroachment with the International Court of Justice, with increased accusations of Vietnamese construction on the Cambodian side of the border. Sunday’s violence came when a delegation led by lawmakers from the Cambodia National Rescue Party tried to investigate a paved road in Svay Rieng province, near the border, but were blocked by Vietnamese border security. More than 10 people were injured in the ensuing scuffle. (Sok Khemara, Washington)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Save Face (Movie: Just Go With It)i
X
03 November 2014
You can say, "I can't believe he's not accepting responsibility for his mistakes. To 'save face' he continues to make excuses for himself." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish or www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Save Face (Movie: Just Go With It)

You can say, "I can't believe he's not accepting responsibility for his mistakes. To 'save face' he continues to make excuses for himself." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Carry Out (Movie: Jane Eyre)

You can say, "He has many strong qualities as a leader and under his leadership I think he will successfully 'carry out' the new mission and vision for this company." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video A Wake Up Call (Movie: Limitless)

You can say, "The visit to the doctor was definitely 'a wake up call' for him. The heavy drinking, smoking, and partying every night needs to stop." What does it mean? For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
See more >>>