Despite donation, strike threat looms

Despite donation, strike threat looms

The European Un­ion announced a €3 million ($4 million) contribution to the international side of the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday.

But funding for the court’s severely under-financed national side – which is threatening a strike if salaries aren’t paid by September 1 – has yet to materialise.

According to court spokesman Neth Pheaktra, the court’s national side still has a $3 million shortfall in its budget for the year, and while a recent donation of nearly $157,000 from New Zealand allowed the court to pay some unpaid May salaries – as well as 30 per cent of some employees’ June salaries – most staffers remained unpaid.

“Around 250 Cambodian staff have not yet received their salaries for June and July,” Pheaktra said, noting that some 100 staffers were planning to strike.

Some, he added, had already “suspend[ed] their job since mid-August and took that time to find other job[s] to help the difficulties in their daily life.” Losing those 100 employees would severely hamper the work of the court, Pheaktra continued, but employees were hopeful that they would receive “good news” from UN Special Expert to the tribunal David Scheffer, who is currently on a tour of ASEAN states.

“We need full funding to speed up a process slowed down because of insufficient funding for the national budget of the court,” Scheffer said in an email on Tuesday, noting that his talks with various ASEAN governments recognised “the most immediate need for national salaries at this time”.

The court also faces pressing questions of funding for proposed reparations projects for civil parties, final submissions for which must be filed by September 26.

Scheffer said in his email that reparations had been addressed in a recent discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, as well as with a civil party representative, “with everyone very aware of the looming deadline”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman