Khan Leakhena
Farmers in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district harvest rice in February 2019. (Heng Vichet/VOD)

Minor Party Pushes for Bigger Subsidies to Help Rice Farmers

The minor Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) suggested increasing subsidized loans to rice millers to $100-200 million a year to help farmers struggling with depressed prices as they flood the market with millions of tons of surplus rice.

Farmers in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district harvest rice in February 2019. (Heng Vichet/VOD)

Ministries Must Monitor for Cheap Rice Price, Hun Sen Says

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday ordered government ministries to monitor rice millers to ensure that they used government-funded loans to help rice farmers profit rather than lower the price of rice, following the announcement of a $50-million government rice subsidy last week.

Participants gather at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park to celebrate International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2019. (Mech Choulay/VOD)

As Human Rights Day Passes, Uncertainty Clouds Its Future

Unionists predicted muted International Human Rights Day celebrations in the years ahead, as the final time it was to be marked as a national holiday reignited debate over whether foreign pressure was justified to protect universal human rights.

Kem Sokha greets reporters outside his home on November 11, 2019; CNRP activists are escorted outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 14, 2019. (Panha Chhorpoan/VOD)

Gov’t to Note Release of Kem Sokha, Opposition Activists in EBA Reply

The E.U. is asking too much — it’s pushing the government to break the country’s laws — so Cambodia will merely update the bloc about the easing of restrictions for on trial opposition leader Kem Sokha and other concessions, the governmental Human Rights Committee said this week.

Prime Minister Hun Sen poses for photos with journalists invited to a ‘solidarity dinner’ in Phnom Penh on January 11, 2019. (Agence Kampuchea Presse)

Hun Sen Says He Wants Constructive Criticism From Media

News media should dare to speak the truth — especially against the “fake news” spread by “the outlawed rebel group and opportunists with foreigners behind them,” Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a letter to the Cambodian Editor Forum.

A hearing at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court (UNOHCHR)

Government to Offer Digital Legal Advice to the Poor

A newly launched government service for free legal consultations could be part of the solution to the country’s judicial woes, experts said, though they also cautioned that the committee overseeing it would need to be transparent and take further steps in the future.