The Cambodian Mine Action Center has been incorporated into the “framework” of the Cambodian military, ostensibly to allow CMAC employees to receive government pensions.
“Officials and staff of [CMAC] would like to deeply thank [Hun Sen] for offering officials and staff of CMAC official framework in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces,” CMAC Director-General Heng Ratana wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
Ratana’s post also thanked Defence Minister Tea Banh for “permitting CMAC officials to be in the framework of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces”.
In an interview on Tuesday, Ratana insisted that CMAC was still a “civilian” organisation, despite being registered as part of the military.
“In order to get government pensions . . . it must be somewhere in the structure of the government,” he said.
“We are only getting this status for CMAC staff to get pensions,” he continued.
San Chey, country director of Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said this was an improper way of granting government pensions to CMAC employees.
“I think it is not reasonable to get pension through armed force institution while CMAC said it is still civilian,” he said in an email.
Chey said that, in order to avoid complications, CMAC should simply request a pension plan from the government.
Officials at the Ministry of Defence could not be reached for clarification.