KHMER INTELLIGENCE NEWS
25 March 2009
King Sihamoni discretely left Cambodia (2)
King Norodom Sihamoni very discretely left Cambodia earlier this week for China and/or France.
Retired King Sihanouk not to testify before Khmer Rouge Tribunal (2)
A compelling reason for Retired King Norodom Sihanouk not to return from China to Cambodia is related to the fact that the Cambodian government doesn't want him to testify before the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh. Many people want to see this embarrassing tribunal disbanded as soon as possible by creating as many (political, procedural, judicial, administrative, financial) problems as possible.
Reasons for looming instability (2)
Among the reasons for the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit to include Cambodia among the world's most politically risky countries in the face of the global economic crisis are: systemic land grabbing possibly leading to a land revolution in this predominantly agricultural country, unparalleled social injustices as reflected by the increasing gap between the privileged few and the vast majority of the population who live in dire poverty, unprecedented corruption destroying the nation's social fabric (Cambodia is also ranked among the world's most corrupt countries), government's unwillingness or inability to tackle the economic and financial crisis without undermining the very foundations of the regime.
Ke Kim Yan was rehabilitated thanks to Vietnam (2)
Leaders of the Vietnamese Communist Party have recently intervened in favor of disgraced former army chief Ke Kim Yan, who finally avoided prosecution for alleged involvement in illegal land deals and was appointed as Hun Sen's 10th deputy prime minister. Vietnam wants to secure political stability in Cambodia by preventing dangerous power struggle within the CPP leadership.
Foreign currency reserves evaporating (2)
The National Bank of Cambodia has seen its foreign currency reserves evaporate. NBC Governor Chea Chanto indicated at a recent Council of Ministers meeting that the country is seriously suffering from a rapidly deteriorating current account balance (sharp drop in exports and tourism) and capital outflows (reversal of foreign investment inflows). Taking also into account fiscal revenue shortfalls and subsequent budgetary problems, the government will be unable to meet its obligations in the next few months. See ¡ÈSharp drop in customs revenue¡É and ¡ÈState budget for 2009 in jeopardy¡É (KI News, 11 March 2008).