Monday, 25 October 2010

Lakeside families get short reprieve


Photo by: Will Baxter
Residents of Boeung Kak 2 commune’s Village 23 have been offered US$238 and 5-by-12-metre plots in Dangkor district in compensation.

via CAAI

Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 Sun Narin and Chhay Channyda

CITY HALL has given 18 families in Village 23 near the Boeung Kak lakeside a temporary reprieve from eviction, after initially telling them to dismantle their homes by Friday to make way for an access road to the area.

“We do not need to leave on October 29 because Phnom Penh municipal authorities received a proposal from us and said they will wait for a response from [Phnom Penh Governor] Kep Chuktema,” said Mey Chanthorn, whose home and grocery store in Village 23 have been slated for demolition.

The families – who are to make way for the widening of the access road, R8 – have been offered about US$238 in compensation and 5-by-12 square-metre plots of land in Dangkor district, while families directly affected by Shukaku Inc-related development at the lake have been offered $8,470.

“I will not leave if there is no reasonable compensation,” May Chanthorn said.

A total of 12 access roads are set to be built at the lakeside ahead of the construction of a controversial 133-hectare housing and commercial project by Shukaku Inc, a local firm.

On October 14, Tuol Kork district governor Seng Ratanak ordered the 18 families to dismantle their homes within 15 days, adding that the villagers were “living in anarchy” on state land.

Ek Yeurn, a Tuol Kork district official, said local authorities had informed Village 23 families on Friday that no action would be taken to dismantle homes until Kep Chuktema returned at the end of the month.

Huy Sokhun, another affected resident, said villagers from the lakeside would gather in front of United Nations Development Programme offices today in an effort to persuade UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to meet with them when he is in Cambodia later this week.

Ban Ki-moon visit: UN chief to see court, drug clinic


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 Post Staff

Ban Ki-moon visit

UNITED Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Khmer Rouge tribunal and the Cambodian-Russian Friendship Hospital in addition to meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen and King Norodom Sihamoni during his visit to the Kingdom this week, officials said yesterday.

At the tribunal on Wednesday, Ban will meet with and take questions from court staff, UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said. Ban was also expected to discuss the court during his meeting with Hun Sen, Olsen added.

Ban will also visit the new methadone clinic at the Cambodian-Russian Friendship Hospital, said Graham Shaw, a technical adviser on drug use with the World Health Organisation. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Ban’s wife, Yoo Soon-taek, would join First Lady Bun Rany at the Royal University of Fine Arts and the Kantha Bopha hospital in Daun Penh district.

Suspect jailed in robbery of slain family


via CAAI

Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 Khouth Sophakchakrya

A MAN accused of involvement in the robbery of three family members who were brutally murdered last week has been sent to Prey Sar prison by Phnom Penh Municipal Court, police said yesterday.

The three victims – 16-year-old Ry Nalin and her parents, 52-year-old Ry Saron and 46-year-old Ne Sovannary – were found in their home in Chamkarmon district’s Village 7 on Tuesday with their hands tied and their throats cut. The house had been robbed.

Meanchey district police inspector Hy Narin said Sok Lin, 35, was arrested at the border of Meanchey district and Kandal’s Kien Svay district roughly 12 hours after the murders. He was sent to court for questioning after being accused of stealing and conspiring in the robbery.

“I just know that Sok Lin has been detained in Prey Sar prison by the court, but I do not know what charges the court has brought against him,” he said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Hy Narin said Sok Lin denied involvement in the robbery that night, although he did confess to stealing from the family on previous occasions.

Police on Tuesday apprehended another 10 men – who all live in Meanchey’s Chak Angre Leu commune – suspected of involvement in the killings, but they were released on Friday without charge, Hy Narin said.

Families flee flooded homes


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

AT LEAST 1,000 families moved from their homes as floods continued to wreak havoc in Banteay Meanchey province’s Serei Sophoan and Mongkul Borei districts over the weekend, as provincial officials expressed concern that waters might not recede for a week or more.

Deputy provincial police chief Chan Kosal said the families either moved to the sides of roads or to local pagodas as water levels continued to rise over the weekend.

“We are very concerned about people’s safety and their health,” he said. “We are worried that if the rains continue, they will be forced to stay longer at the roads and face many dangers to their living conditions and health.”

He said heavy rains yesterday and Saturday continued to swell water levels in areas of both districts that had already been flooded, leaving parts of National Road 5 covered in water and an untold number of hectares of rice fields damaged. In response, he said, authorities banned trucks from travelling on the road between Mongkul Borei and Sisophon districts, and within other affected towns in the province.

“Due to the current situation, I don’t think the waters will retreat within a week,” he said.

“If that is the case, it will seriously affect living conditions and national infrastructures.”

Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that floodwaters had flowed from Thailand into northwest Cambodia.

“I am worried that if the floods continue until tomorrow, everyone who lives in these two districts will be affected and will need to move to safer places or pagodas,” he said.

Keo Vy, director of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said yesterday that an initial report on the recent flooding, which began on October 10, would not be released until updates on the events in Mongkul Borei and Serei Sophoan districts were received.

“We are also working with relevant ministries in order to calculate the costs of the floods,” he said.

He noted that according to early reports, five people have drowned in the floods: one each in Kampong Chhnang, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk and Oddar Meanchey provinces, and one in Phnom Penh.

The unofficial death toll stands at eight, with three other deaths reported by police last week: one more each in Kampong Chhnang and Phnom Penh, and one in Kandal.

Keo Vy added that over 50 kilometres of bridges were damaged, that more than 100 houses across the country had collapsed and that more than 20,000 hectares of rice fields – including 12,000 in Pursat province alone – had been destroyed or damaged.

Unsanitary prison: Officials set to evacuate flooded jail


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 May Titthara and Tep Nimol

Unsanitary prison


“We have prepared to evacuate the prisoners from their cells in case we can’t keep them at the prison,” said Kuy Kimsorn, the deputy director general at the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons. He said floodwaters had not entered the prisoners’ cells, but that they would be evacuated to other provinces if necessary.

Thean Chhorvoan, acting director of Banteay Meanchey provincial prison, said floodwaters at the facility had reached 70 centimetres. Local rights group Licadho reported that a number of inmates had become sick in the unsanitary conditions.
CORRECTIONS officials say they have prepared an evacuation plan for the 850 prisoners at Banteay Meanchey provincial prison in response to severe flooding in the area.

Police Blotter: 25 Oct 2010


via CAAI

Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 Sun Narin


High-speed boat prang causes man’s death
A 27-year-old man was killed in a high-speed boat collision in Stung Treng province’s Siem Pang district on Tuesday. Police said one boat was carrying seven people, including the victim, down the Sekong river when it collided with another, which was carrying three people in the opposite direction. Both boats were reportedly travelling “at high speeds”. Police were able to save all but one of the passengers, along with the two boats.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Karaoke girl allegedly gang-raped in parlour
A karaoke girl was gang-raped by three men in a karaoke room in Kampot province on Tuesday. The owner of the parlour said the three suspects had asked the victim to sing, but that she had said she could not. After he failed to hear from the girl, he ran into the room to find two of the men and the girl completely naked. One of the suspects allegedly gave a necklace to the owner, and said that he “loved” the victim and implored the owner not to tell police. However, police arrested the three men and sent them to court.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Bike finds back of a buffalo cart, kills driver
A man was killed instantly as he crashed his motorbike into the back of a buffalo cart in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district on Thursday. A witness reported that he saw the motorbike run up the back of the cart, but that he did not know the person had died. The victim’s family and the cart owner met to discuss compensation, but negotiations reached a stalemate. Police have launched a probe of the case.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Lightning claims boy after light rain turns nasty
A lightning strike in Kep’s Damnak Changauer district on Thursday left a young boy dead and his mother unconscious. The mother told police that they were tending to their rice field when rain began to fall. As they continued to work, the rain became heavier, prompting her to seek shelter at their cottage, where the lightning struck them. The woman awoke soon after being struck to find her son dead.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Corpse removed from hospital by employer
The body of a painter was removed from a hospital in Sihanoukville by his employer, and a witness claimed the removal was a tactic to escape punishment from police. The witness said the victim died from “a broken head” on Thursday, and speculated that he “fell from the house” while he was painting. The witness said the owner of the painting company had collected the body from the hospital, and that no one had seen it since.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Paper tiger


Photo by: Heng Chivoan

via CAAI

Monday, 25 October 2010 15:02 Heng Chivoan

Villagers march on Saturday through Prey Takao village, located in Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district, leading a tiger made out of paper and bamboo. The procession was part of a festival marking the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent. After being filled with offerings of food and money, the tiger was released on the Mekong River.

Truckers consider impact of newly renovated railway


A rail worker inspects the Toll train ahead of its maiden trip from the capital to Kampot on Friday. Photo by: SOVAN PHILONG

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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:01 May Kunmakara and Jeremy Mullins

CAMBODIA’S renovated railway could offer freight transport rates below those charged by the domestic trucking industry, but a sector spokesmen said yesterday that competition would not begin in earnest until next year.

Late last week, a 118-kilometre stretch of rail linking Touk Meas, Kampot province, and Phnom Penh, was reopened. It will be run by concessionaire Toll Royal Railways. TRR is 55 percent owned by Australia’s Toll Group, and 45 percent by Cambodia’s Royal Group.

Speaking before the launch, Toll Global Logistics Chief Executive Officer Wayne Hunt said that some Cambodian trucking firms were lowering tariffs in preparation for increased competition from the rail lines.

“Bringing rail freight in as an alternative, you’ll find other transport will bring down their costs. Traditionally, rail would be 10 to 20 percent cheaper than truck,” he said.

Exact pricing changes in Cambodia were not yet clear and awaited the launch of rail service to the Sihanoukville port, he said. But the launch has led trucking representatives and international freight firms to keep an eye on the US$141 million revamp of the Kingdom’s railway – funded by a combination of loans and grants from the Asian Development Bank, OPEC’s development fund, and the governments of Australia, Cambodia and Malaysia.

“The railway has just started operating from Kampot to Phnom Penh – there’s not a large amount of competition right now. At present, [competition from the] railway is not my concern,” said Sok Chheang, executive director of the Cambodian Trucking Association.

Nevertheless, he added that competition from rail would increase when trains were able to travel from the capital to Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, a route slated to open in May 2011.

The association would then study fees charged to move port freight, and members would consider actions such as reducing costs “in the case that railway transport is cheaper”, Sok Chheang said.

Transport and logistics firm TNT Express Worldwide’s Cambodia and Laos general manager, Sjaak de Klein, told the Post that the firm expects rail transportation to compete largely with local transport companies, focused on shipping garments from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville Port.

More diversified transport firms such as Netherlands-based TNT would consider using rail in Cambodia in the future – but as a part of its service, he said.

“The majority of our customers demand a full door-to-door service, whereas a train network only offers a point-to-point solution,” he said.

Hunt said Toll had invested some $5 million in the railway in the first 12 to 15 months, and added the firm did not expect to turn a profit for two to three years. Toll Royal Railways has also won approval from the Council for Development in Cambodia to invest up to $82 million on 50 wagons, according to officials.

Meanwhile, government officials have welcomed the developments.

Minister of economy and finance, Keat Chhon, said during the official rail relaunch that the railway would play “an important role” in connecting Cambodian freight to the region and the world.

Russian papers to launch in Kingdom


via CAAI

Monday, 25 October 2010 15:01 Julie Masis

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Potential readership size
ALTHOUGH there are no direct flights from Russia to Cambodia, Siem Reap travel agent Ruslan Sklyarov, also publisher of Russian newspaper Kambodja, says 30 percent of tourists who came to Cambodia this year spoke Russian. According to him, five tour companies in Siem Reap are owned by Russian speakers. “Russian tourists who come here are very happy to see a publication in Russian,” he said.
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THE owners of two of Cambodia’s best-known Russian restaurants plan to launch publications shortly.

Nikolai Doroshenko, who owns the Snake House restaurant and the Airport Disco in Sihanoukville, is planning to publish a free Russian monthly called Kambodjiiskaya Pravda or Cambodian Truth.

Gennadiy Harasikov, the owner of Irina restaurant in Phnom Penh, will edit a paper called Kambodja, due to launch early next month.

Kambodja, which means Cambodia in Russian, is owned by Ruslan Sklyarov, a Siberian businessman who operates a tour company called Planet in Siem Reap and is married to Harasikov’s daughter, Alisa.

The goal of both publications is to attract more Russian-speaking tourists to the Kingdom, particularly from Thailand.

According to Sklyarov, Thailand was home to 15,000 permanent Russian-speaking residents and received close to 2 million tourists from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan every year.

However, Russians in Thailand knew very little about Cambodia and imagined the Kingdom to be a dangerous place of war, destruction, land mines and underage prostitution, he said.

“There is no information at all about Cambodia [in Russian] in Thailand,” Sklyarov said.

Maxim Kartunchikov, editor of Kambodjiiskaya Pravda, which is currently in production stages, agreed.

“Many Russians still think Cambodia is dangerous because of the Khmer Rouge,” he said. “Our main goal is to get the information out about the country – to let people know that Cambodia offers opportunities for travel, for business and for cultural activities.”

To attract more Russian-speaking tourists, both papers will be distributed not only in Cambodia, but also at popular destinations in Thailand as well as in Russia. Kambodjiiskaya Pravda would be available at the Cambodian embassy in Moscow, and on buses that travelled to Cambodia from Thailand, whereas Kambodja would be given to air passengers to Southeast Asia from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union, Sklyarov said.

Neither publication aspires to report the news to Russian-speaking Cambodians, but simply to print feature stories about the country.

Kambodja, would publish recipes of popular Cambodian dishes, descriptions of interesting historic and cultural attractions and profiles of Russian-speaking Cambodians. A story about the availability of health care and health insurance is also in the works to reassure travellers.

Kambodjiiskaya Pravda aims to introduce readers to the art and culture of Cambodia as well as to some little-known facts about the Khmer Rouge period. The paper will print parts of an unpublished book by a Soviet diplomat who served in Cambodia in the 1980s.

According to Doroshenko, the book deals with Pol Pot’s secret diplomatic moves.

“Only Russians had access to this information, and only they can expose it,” he said.

Toll, Transol stocks spike in Sydney trade


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:01 Catherine James

TOLL Holdings saw its share price increase on the Australia Stock Exchange on Friday, as it announced that the Phnom Penh-to-Kampot stretch of Cambodia’s revamped railway system had reopened for business.

Toll is the 55 percent owner of Cambodia’s railroad concessionaire Toll Royal Railways, with the remainder owned by Cambodian conglomerate The Royal Group.

The Australian logistics firm closed out the week at A$6.62 (US$6.65), up 1.22 percent from its Thursday close of A$6.54.

Another firm listed in Sydney, Transol Corporation, saw its share price spike Wednesday after it announced its subsidiary Liberty Mining had purchased two new gold projects in the Kingdom, along with plans to float Liberty on the ASX next year.

Transol briefly touched A$0.006 (US$0.058) a share late on Wednesday, up from A$0.004 recorded during most of the week.

The peak was recorded after the firm released details of its acquisitions in Mondulkkiri and Ratanikkiri provinces in northern Cambodia, which are conditional on the listing of Liberty next year in Sydney.

It closed out the week at A$0.004 – which represented a 63.64 percent drop from its share price one year ago.

Meanwhile, Raffles Education Corporation, which opened Raffles International College in Phnom Penh in January, saw an announcement increasing directors’ salaries on Friday barely dent its share price.

Raffles closed Friday at S$0.285 (US$0.22) on the Singapore exchange – steady with its opening price on the same day, though slightly down on its Monday opening of S$0.29.

The company filed an announcement to the Singapore exchange late on Thursday that shareholders had approved a S$30,000 raise for the company’s directors for the financial year which had just ended, to S$280,000.

On the energy front, Chevron Corporation’s share price hit a 52-week high of US$85 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The US$170 billion global corporation, which is the operator and 30 percent shareholder of Cambodia’s Block A oil concession in the Gulf of Thailand, largely tipped to become the first area for oil production in Cambodia, announced on Thursday a US$7.5 billion plan to develop oil and natural gas fields in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico.

The plan marks the largest investment since the United States ended its six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling on October 13.

Chevron closed the week slightly lower at $84.55 per share – a figure that represented a 10.26 percent increase from its share price a year ago.

JSM facing 'challenging' task


Colonial Mansion on Street 102, Phnom Penh, is one of the properties in JSM Indochina’s portfolio. The company has reported uncertainty based on the capital’s weak real estate market. Photo by: Pha Lina

via CAAI

Monday, 25 October 2010 15:01 Catherine James

REGIONAL property investor JSM Indochina has said it was struggling to sell its Cambodian properties, describing the Kingdom’s real estate market as “challenging” and buyers’ interest as “less robust than hoped”.

JSM warned shareholders of disappointing results from the realisation of its Cambodian portfolio in a trading update to the London AIM stock exchange late Friday, citing feedback from its appointed sales manager CB Richard Ellis.

“CBRE has now advised the company that their expected response from potential foreign buyers has been less robust than hoped, due ... to the softness in markets and investment worldwide and a continued hesitancy to invest in the Cambodian real estate market,” the statement said.

JSM appointed CBRE in September to sell the fund’s nine properties – five in Cambodia and four in Vietnam – after shareholders voted in April to realise the entire portfolio.

The firm released last Friday’s statement less than a fortnight after announcing the $12.3 million sale of a Vietnam property – also overseen by CBRE.

“The Cambodian real estate market in particular continues to be challenging ... characterised by limited transparency, a limited number of comparable transactions and generally decreased transaction volumes as a result of the economic downturn,” it said.

It repeated a warning mentioned in its interim results last month that “any realisations in Cambodia are likely to be adversely affected by the weak market”.

But CBRE country manager for Cambodia, Daniel Parkes, said yesterday CBRE had not seen JSM’s statement prior to its release, and downplayed the warnings.

“As only two sites in Phnom Penh have just started marketing, we feel it is too early to predict the prices that will be achieved,” he said in an email.

“It is correct that local interest to date is far greater than foreign, but several foreign property investors and developers have already flown in specifically to view these sites.”

He said after two years of consolidation, CBRE expected prices to rise in 2011 “linked to better than predicted economic performance”.

JSM’s statement was released after markets had closed for the week.

Its Friday closing price was US$0.34 – a 17 percent increase on its price since the Vietnam property sale announcement on October 11, but 50 percent below its share price a year ago.

New agreement: Deal signed with China on rice, cassava


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:00 Khouth Sophakchakrya

CAMBODIA has signed an agreement to boost exports of rice and eventually cassava to China, but officials say the Kingdom has yet to set benchmarks for the size of exports.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chan Sarun said rice shipments to the People’s Republic could be followed by exports of other agricultural products – if initial shipments proved a success.

“We are confident that Cambodia will accomplish its ambition of becoming a regional agricultural exporter,” he said at a ceremony at Phnom Penh’s InterContinental Hotel on Friday.

The agreement established three protocols, including an agreement on sanitation and inspection standards for agricultural products, an agreement in principle to export rice to China and a draft action plan on sanitation standards for cassava.

Exporters will be required to meet Chinese standards for agricultural products by not including potentially harmful components such as insects, dirt or plant diseases.

Chinese Minister of General Administration, Inspection and Quarantine Zhi Shuping said the size of shipments depended on Cambodia’s ability to produce quality rice meeting hygiene standards.

Movie screen travels to far-flung villages


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:00 Emilie Boulenger
FROM this Wednesday through to December, thousands of Cambodians in rural villages will have the chance to see films on large, outdoor screens in the provinces. The project, called Movies on the Road, was first launched in 2008 by the French Cultural Centre (CCF).

Since then, more than 100,000 people have attended the screenings, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia and 15 provinces.

The travelling movies present at least one film dubbed into Khmer each month.

This year, movies such as Kirikou and the Wild Beasts or the French film The Goat will be shown. Box-office successes, horror films, comedies and cartoons make the audience both laugh and shiver.

“It’s funny to see their reactions,” said Kor Borin, head of cultural services at the CCF.

“Sometimes, they don’t understand everything, but the main thing is that we go to meet them, and we promote cultural diversity through cinema,” he said.

“We want to show that culture is not only for the elite and for city-dwellers,” added Olivier Planchon, deputy director of the CCF. He said he hopes that this simple project, which costs only US$10,000 a year to run after the equipment was bought, will pave the way for other initiatives.

As these screenings have a huge audience in the countryside, partnerships have even been established with organisations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNESCO to use these evetnts as opportunites increase the audience’s awareness of varied issues. AIDS, human rights, women’s rights or general education spots are often broadcast, and viewers can also ask questions.

Photos by French or Cambodian photographers are shown at the beginning of each screening, introducing audiences to new views. Even in remote provinces, the screenings are so popular that the CCF is beginning to think about touring other art forms around remote areas where cultural events are not accessible.

Bun Kenny clinches Open title


Cambodian tennis No 1 Bun Kenny beat Henrik Ragg in the men's singles final of the 2010 Cambodian Open yesterday. Bun Kenny survived two set points in the first set to record a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the 17-year-old Estonian at the National Training Centre. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:00 H S Manjunath

Cambodia's top ranked tennis player Bun Kenny brushed aside two Estonian challengers on the way to clinching the men's singles title in the 2010 Cambodian Open Tennis Championships at the National Training Centre. In a final that failed to live up to the pre-match hype yesterday, the 20-year-old top seed staved off two set points against left handed junior Henrik Raag, before punishing the error-strewn Estonian in less than an hour for a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Raag loses his rag
“Kenny didn't quite touch his best today,” said Cambodian national team coach Braen Aneiros, but an under par Bun Kenny was still a notch above Raag. The 17-year-old visitor gradually lost out from a position of strength, serving for the first set at 5-4 and 40-15 after both had traded breaks earlier on.

However, once Kenny had pulled himself out of the tight spot by saving those set points, the Estonian was seemingly done for as he allowed his emotions to speak louder than his court craft.

Kenny not only took control of the first set, but stormed well ahead in the second set on the back of the Estonian's balking forehands and unforced errors. Raag was so overcooked in frustration that he broke a racket, and adding to his woes were broken strings on another one, which is a common professional hazard.

“It is a problem with him,” said Raag's personal coach Priit Pihl, referring to an apparent lack of focus especially when losing out on crucial points.

The Estonian coach and his trainee, however, restored a modicum of self pride when they joined forces to easily get past Bun Kenny and Orn Sambath 6-1, 6-2 in the Men's doubles final yesterday afternoon.

Rushed performance
Rain delays during the midweek had squeezed the schedule so tight that Bun Kenny was forced to play both his quarterfinal against Peter Lucas and his semifinal against Priit Pihl within an hour of each other Saturday.

The Cambodian No 1 showed no signs of fatigue as he got past Lucas’ spirited challenge in straight sets, dotted by long and intense baseline rallies. Kenny shifted gears quickly enough against Pihl, riding home the momentum of winning the first set 6-3 to polish off the tie 6-2 in the second.

The second-seeded Henrik Raag, who enjoyed a longer recovery time after his quarterfinal, was all over Orn Sambath in the other semifinal, beating the local youngster 6-1, 6-2 to make the final.

Ek Chamroeun tops U18
Orn Sambath was again on the receiving end Saturday when he went down in three sets to Ek Chamroeun in the boys U18 final.

After taking the first set with ease, Chamroeun allowed Sambath to claw back into the match. But in a see-saw deicider, Chamroeun played the percentages better than his opponent to complete a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 victory.

In the semifinals, Orn Sambath beat Kan Sophon 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, while Ek Chamroeun downed Long Samneang 6-2, 7-5.

Sok Oun is golden oldie
Veteran Yi Sarun at last found his match against Sok Oun, when slogged out the over 45 singles final. Sok Oun's unwavering consistency saw him triumph 9-3 in the dash to nine games.

The boys U14 final between Saman Moni Odom and Dom Sambath, scheduled to be played after the men's doubles final yesterday, had to be put off until today after Odom had developed cramps during his semifinal win.

Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Vath Chamroeun presided over the closing ceremony yesterday and handed out the trophies after the men's singles final.

Cambodia eye qualification for 2010 Suzuki Cup


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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:00 H S Manunath


Striker Kim Borey’s sensational first half hat trick and Nuth Sinoun’s second half strike combined in good measure to give Cambodia a morale boosting 4-2 victory over East Timor at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane yesterday, keeping alive their hopes of grabbing one of the two qualifying places on offer in the 2010 Suzuki Cup preliminaries.

On the back of a goalless draw on the opening day against a youthful Laotian side Friday, Cambodia got down to their second game in the four-team tourney yesterday with a must win mentality. The nimble-footed Kim Borey quickly made his menacing presence in the East Timor box turn into a glorious treble strike. The newest and the smallest nation in the region, however, had opened the scoring on 5 minutes, and made a resilient come back late on to reduce the margin to two moments after Nuth Sinoun had put the game beyond doubt with Cambodia’s decisive fourth. The Phillipines had trounced East Timor 5-0 on Friday.

National coach Lee Tae Hoon’s immense confidence in goalkeeper Ouk Mich had been more than justified Friday, when the first choice stopper stood rock solid in moments of great adversity as Laos launched a series of well-coordinated strikes during a dominant second half showing. The Kingdom’s men managed to squeeze out a stalemate for a share of the points despite a splintery defence shifting a heavy load on Ouk Mich. The Cambodian strikers, led by the usually reliable Khoun Laboravy, had several open chances with Kim Borey and Kuoch Sokumpheak constantly harassing the Laos defence during the first half. But a profitable strike eluded Cambodia.

After the change of ends, the momentum dramatically shifted to the Laotian side, and the visitors were pegged back inside their own half for most of the time, only for a goal to ultimately elude the hosts.

Vorn Viva spars with legend


Record crowds turned out at CTN Friday to watch ISKA world middleweight champion Vorn Viva fight Ei Phouthang. Photo by: Robert Starkweather

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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:00 Robert Starkweather

Even far past his prime and far, far heavier than his svelte fighting weight of 63.5 kilograms, Ei Phouthang can still pack out a house.

The CTN boxing arena counted record attendance Friday when the country’s most famous living fighter took on its current number one: ISKA world middleweight champion Vorn Viva.

There was nothing on the line. The Kun Khmer bout was just a warm-up session for Vorn Viva, who fights in the main event of an upcoming Cambodia v Laos card. The pair went five friendly rounds and finished with the announced decision of “no winner, no loser.”

“That was about 50 percent,” said Kampong Cham’s Vorn Viva. “He wouldn’t dare kick me with everything he had; that would be dangerous.”

After a couple of playful opening rounds, the pair let loose with some hard shots in the third. Ei Phouthang landed his thunderous right roundhouse, the crack filling the arena.

“Those were hard,” Vorn Viva said, “but not everything.”

Vorn Viva appeared to enjoy the work immensely, smiling and laughing through all five rounds. His opponent less so.

Once Cambodia’s greatest fighter, Koh Kong native Ei Phouthang considers himself more a trainer these days, although he still fights for the national boxing team and has been through a few six-rounders recently.

The crowd chuckled when ring announcer Khun Chivoan explained that, since Ei Phouthang was 10 kilograms and two weight divisions the heavier, the match was “not a real fight”.

Vorn Viva weighed in at 78 kilograms. He is scheduled to face Muay Laos champion Sathith, reportedly an SEA Games gold medal winner last year, at 74 kilograms in a non-title fight on November 9 at the CTN boxing arena.

Vorn Viva outpointed Germany’s Alban Ahmeti in August 2008 to win the ISKA title, and has yet to defend it.

Lead actors face film fans


Photo by Thomas Miller

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Monday, 25 October 2010 15:00 Thomas Miller

Actress and producer Kauv Sotheary and actor Nou Sopheak were at Phnom Penh’s Chenla Theatre on Saturday night for the premiere of Cambodian filmmaker Chhay Bora’s film Lost Loves as part of Cambodia’s first International Film Festival. Chhay Bora and cast members answered questions from the audience after the premiere of the film, which portrays one family’s tragic story during the Khmer Rouge years. Festival organisers hope to encourage more Cambodian-produced films.

Orphanage founder faces child-sex charges


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Sunday, 24 October 2010 21:50 Nicky McGavin and Peter Olszewski

The British founder of the Siem Reap NGO Cambodia Orphan Fund has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing underage children and illegally removing children from their homes.

Nicholas Patrick Griffin, 53, was arrested following a raid Wednesday by British investigators and Siem Reap police at the NGO, where about 70 children were being housed, a source familiar with the investigation told the Post.

The source said orphanage manager Chan Rasmey was also questioned on Wednesday concerning the transfer of one child to the orphanage.

Sun Bunthorng, chief of the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau, said the court on Friday charged Griffin with committing an indecent act against a minor under the age of 15.

He was also charged – along with Chan Rasmey – with unlawful removal of a minor.

The source said the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit, a division of the British police, had been working on the Griffin case for almost two years, and that the investigation was aided by child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants.

An APLE spokesman, who wished not to be named, declined to say when the investigation with the CEOP began.

Officials from the CEOP could not be reached for comment.

The source said additional charges may yet be filed against Griffin.

APLE director Samleang Seila did not confirm whether British police were involved in the investigation.

He said accusations of child molestation were levelled at Griffin in November 2008.

“It was in relation to molesting a minor under the age of 15,” he said. “He was not charged by the [Siem Reap] court, but they did not take into consideration the victim’s statements, and another witness.”

He added that the Appeal Court last week rejected to bring charges in the earlier case.

Meanwhile, Cambodian police said yesterday that they had arrested a Frenchman who fled his home country six years ago before he was convicted of raping a minor.

Francis Leroun, 54, was detained in custody after his arrest on Saturday in a rented house in southern Cambodia at the request of a French court, Preah Sihanouk province prosecutor Bou Bun Hang said.

Leroun escaped in 2004 but was tried in absentia and sentenced to 12 years in jail, a French Embassy official said on condition of anonymity.

He said the embassy would ask the Cambodian court to send Leroun to France within two months.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RANN REUY, CAMERON WELLS AND AFP

State slams EU over Sam Rainsy


Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is currently in self-imposed exile, speaks at a press conference at his party’s headquarters in February 2009.

via CAAI

Sunday, 24 October 2010 21:46 Cheang Sokha

The government has rejected a resolution approved last week by the European Parliament criticising the recent prosecution of opposition leader Sam Rainsy and commenting on a “worrying authoritarian trend” in Cambodian politics.

The resolution, passed Thursday, called on the Cambodian authorities to resolve their dispute with the Sam Rainsy Party president “through political dialogue and to enable [him] to resume his parliamentary activities as rapidly as possible”.

Sam Rainsy has been sentenced to a total of 12 years in jail on a series of charges relating to his campaign to expose alleged Vietnamese incursions into Cambodia.

If Sam Rainsy’s two convictions are upheld, the EP’s resolution stated, he would be barred from standing in the 2013 national elections, a prospect that left the European MPs “particularly alarmed”.

Tith Sothea, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit, dismissed the resolution, saying Sam Rainsy had made a “mistake” by uprooting border markers in Svay Rieng province last year, the action that led to his initial conviction in January.

“The case of Mr Sam Rainsy is a personal mistake and one made with a political motivation,” Tith Sothea said.

“It is under the jurisdiction of the courts.”

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith added that Europe should not “give a lesson to Cambodia” and should focus on its own problems.

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann welcomed the EP resolution, calling on the government to consider how Sam Rainsy’s cases might create problems down the road.

“Justice always beats injustice,” he said. “The government which uses the courts as a tool to silence the opposition party’s popularity should consider this issue.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

Drug law prompts alarm (Updated)


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Sunday, 24 October 2010 21:43 Brooke Lewis and May Titthara

A version of a soon-to-be-finalised draft drug law calls for drug users to be subjected to up to two years of involuntary rehabilitation, prompting expressions of concern from experts who have said this would be both harmful and unnecessary.

Article 108 of the draft law, sections of which were sent to civil society groups for review on September 30 and obtained by The Post over the weekend, states: “The measure of Treatment and Rehabilitation of drug dependence at public facilities that belong to the State cover a period from six months to two years.”

Joe Amon, director of the health and human rights division of Human Rights Watch, said that the law did not now specify minimum or maximum periods for rehabilitation, but that “the current practice is to detain people for three to six months, sometimes a year”.

He said the prospect of longer detention periods was particularly worrying in Cambodia, where Human Rights Watch has long railed against alleged abuses committed at government-run treatment centres.

“According to United Nations standards, compulsory drug treatment should only be ordered ‘in exceptional crisis situations of high risk to self or others’ – but that assumes humane drug-treatment facilities in line with international standards,” he said.

Em Hoy, an official at the National Authority for Combating Drugs who has been involved in drafting the law, said longer periods of involuntary treatment were designed to protect rather than punish people.

“This law protects all people’s interests,” he said, and added that addicts would be given the option of entering treatment centres voluntarily.

“If they do not go to treatment, we will force them to have treatment at a rehabilitation centre for [a period of] six months to two years,” he said.

He would not comment further on the law, saying it was still in draft form and could change. He said he expected the draft to be done by the end of the month and submitted to the Council of Ministers early next month.

Tea Phauly, most at-risk populations adviser at UNAIDS, said two years of involuntary treatment “appears to be quite a long time”, but noted that “treatment for chronic drug addiction tends to be long”.

He said he would submit a statement listing the concerns of civil society groups ahead of an internal meeting of the drafting team tomorrow.

This, he said, would be the last opportunity civil society had to comment on the draft before it was finalised.

Police remove stalls near Olympic Stadium (Updated)


Photo by: Uy Nousereimony
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A woman stops to watch the dismantling of vendors’ stalls Friday near Olympic Stadium.

via CAAI

Sunday, 24 October 2010 21:32 Chhay Channyda and Sun Narin

Market stalls belonging to vendors near Olympic Stadium were dismantled by police late last week, and vendors have since accused authorities of cordoning off the area to prevent them from collecting their merchandise.

Sok Sambath, who ran a clothing stall in the area, said Prampi Makara district authorities ordered police to disassemble and remove the stalls and their contents on Friday morning.

“We asked them for our possessions, but they wouldn’t give them to us. They said that the possessions would be auctioned off,” she said.

“I was very angry and no longer trust or expect assistance from any authorities who say they will help citizens like us.”

But Prampi Makara district governor Som Sovann indicated yesterday that vendors would be allowed to retrieve their belongings soon.

“The authorities have agreed to the vendors’ proposal and will allow them to take their store materials if they don’t complain or protest,” he said.

He added that authorities continued to pull down other stalls over the weekend, including fruit stands and stores outside the market. He did not specify when the removal operation would be complete.

The eviction came following a decision by the municipality not to continue tolerating the presence of the vendors.

An October 18 letter – composed by Minister of Education Im Sethy and signed off on by other top officials, including Prime Minister Hun Sen – stated that the vendors’ removal had been postponed three times since 2003, and that no further extensions should be granted.

According to the letter, a two-year extension was granted in 2003, a six-month extension was granted in 2007 and a three-month extension was again granted in May of this year.

The letter also states that the Education Ministry assumed control of “the controversial premises” from a Chinese development firm, the Yean Tay Group, in July 2007.

Last Wednesday, about 100 vendors scuffled with police outside Hun Sen’s Phnom Penh villa, where they had gathered to request an additional two-year delay of their removal from the site.

However, Prak Sokhon, a secretary of state at the Council of Ministers, said the vendors had been given ample time to find an alternative location for their stalls.

“It is enough that there should not be any further delay,” he said.

Pharmaceuticals under the microscope (Updated)


Photo by: Pha Lina
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Sunday, 24 October 2010 21:23 Matt Lundy and Mom Kunthear

Nearly 3 percent of pharmaceuticals from licensed outlets are counterfeit, though a greater portion failed tests assessing their quality, according to a new study conducted by Ministry of Health officials and Japanese researchers.

The study – published in this month’s issue of Pharmaceutical Research, an official journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists – drew from 710 pharmaceutical samples taken between 2006 and 2008 in all eight districts of Phnom Penh as well as in Kandal, Takeo and Kampong Speu provinces.

All samples were purchased from licensed outlets.

Researchers found that there were “counterfeit medicines among commonly used lifesaving medicines, such as antibiotics, analgesics and anti-parasitics”.

In quality testing, 4.6 percent of the samples failed a high-performance liquid chromatography test for active ingredients, while 8.4 percent failed in solubility tests.

Pieter van Maaren, country representative for the World Health Organisation, said that drugs that failed quality testing were just as dangerous as counterfeit ones.

“Do not underestimate the importance of substandard medications because they’re equally as damaging as counterfeit ones,” he said.

Heng Bun Keat, director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Drugs and Food, said the study’s numbers marked an improvement over years past and credited the government with making progress.

“The reduction of fake medicine to 3 percent is the result of the government’s efforts, including the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Fight against Counterfeit and Substandard Medicines,” he said.

Even with the lowered percentage of counterfeit pharmaceuticals on the market, the study called on the government to “improve and standardise pharmacy practices in the country” because nearly half of the packaging sampled had been opened or tampered with prior to sale.

Van Maaren also said this was a concern.

“When the packaging has been opened, you are no longer secure that what is in the box is what is on the label,” he said.

“It could have been opened in the pharmacy, or it could have been opened beforehand. Pharmacies shouldn’t accept something that’s already been opened.”

The study also found that non-licensed pharmacies were disappearing, especially in Phnom Penh, owing to enhanced regulatory efforts.

Heng Bun Keat said the government was “trying to find and eliminate illegal pharmaceutical shops, and also take control on the border because it’s a major place for transporting fake medicine”.

According to government data, the number of illegal pharmacies operating nationwide fell from 1,081 in November 2009 to 379 in March 2010.

Par for the bourse


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Sunday, 24 October 2010 19:54 Nguon Sovan and Jeremy Mullins

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia has issued licences to at least five firms to act as brokers, dealers and underwriters on the Kingdom’s upcoming bourse.

At least three Cambodian banks and two investment banks have confirmed they have been permitted to act on the exchange, which is scheduled launch in July 2011 “at all costs” after being twice delayed, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Tong Yang Investment Bank chief representative Han Kyung Tae said the firm was preparing to act as an underwriter on the bourse. Underwriters would be authorised to trade, as well as provide advice on issuing securities and facilitate public offerings on the exchange.

“We’re happy with the licence and now we’re working closely with a few potential companies which are preparing for initial public offering,” he said.

ACLEDA Bank has been licensed as a brokerage business, according to Vice President and head of capital market division Svay Hay.

“We have been preparing ourselves for this. Ten staff who are consultants, and senior staff and bank experts will be in charge of this service.”

The firm has been building up experience by conducting its own internal stock market since 2006 to sell shares to its own staff, he said.

OSK Indochina Securities Limited announced it had been granted a licence by the Cambodian stock exchange to act as an underwriter, broker and trader, in a statement filed on the Bursa Malaysia exchange on Friday.

Japanese-owned SBI Phnom Penh Securities Company – the 40 percent owner of Phnom Penh Commercial Bank Limited – announced it had been granted a licence to operate as an underwriter as well as a broker and trader in a release Friday. Canadia Bank has also been granted a permit to act as an underwriter, broker and trader, according to deputy general manager Charles Vann.

Ministers meeting of ASEAN+3 calls for co-op on food security

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English.news.cn
2010-10-24

by Meng Bill, Zhang Ruiling

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The 10th meeting of ASEAN Ministers Plus their three dialogue partners concluded Sunday in Cambodia, calling for further cooperation in food, agriculture and forestry sectors.

Chan Sarun, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries of Cambodia and a chair of the meeting of the ASEAN+3 Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry said the meeting concluded Sunday in a fruitful deliberation concerning food security among other things related to agriculture and forestry.

"I highly commend that the friendship and cooperation with the ASEAN+3 is a significant driving force for further successful cooperation and the sustainable development of our ASEAN Community, " he said.

"I would like to express my thanks and sincere commendation to our partners from the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea for support and contribution to the great success of all ASEAN member states," he added.

Gao Hongbin, deputy minister of agriculture of China, pointed out at the meeting that "food security is a serious issue for human subsistence and development." There are still many uncertainties on the world and regional food security, due to the recent extreme weather conditions including floods and droughts, he added.

"We suggested to strengthen dialogue and cooperation within the countries of the region and to take active and effective coordination of policy and action in order to make contributions for the development of agriculture and food security in the region and world," Gao said, adding that the Chinese government always attaches great importance to food and agricultural cooperation in the East Asia area and maintains that the regional countries should pay attention to expanding overall grain production capacity, strengthen the exchange of agricultural technology and demonstration, and seek to fundamentally improve the level of food supply and the ability to withstand any food crisis.

Gao stressed that China's agricultural development not only meets the domestic needs of the people, but is also beneficial to agricultural development in neighboring countries.

"This meeting provides us with a good communication platform," Gao said, promising that "We will continue to work with countries in the region to maintain close communication and carry out a pragmatic and efficient cooperation in an effort to make contributions to the enhancement of the grain production capacity and regional food security.

A joint press statement released after the meeting said, "The ministers reiterated that food security is a major contributing factor for sustained economic and social development stability in the region."

"The ministers agreed to formalize the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve as a permanent scheme for meeting emergency requirements and achieving humanitarian purposes. The ministers urged all ASEAN Plus Three Countries for the early signing of the Agreement and affirmed their support for implementation of the scheme," it added.

Delivering a speech to the gathering of ministers and deputy ministers of agriculture and forestry on Saturday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said "I think ASEAN+3 countries, which are highly developed, need to assist ASEAN members that are less developed in order to increase agricultural yields."

The prime minister urged for a continuation in strengthening the cooperation in technology development, and investment in the agriculture sector between states in the ASEAN, ASEAN+3 to ensure food supply and food security.

"This includes the plan to establish and strengthen the information system about food security for ASEAN+3 in the future," he said.

Cambodia is hosting and chairing a series of meetings that began on Oct. 20 and will last until Oct. 26 which include the senior officials meeting, plenary sessions of the 32nd ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and 10th ASEAN+3 Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and other sideline meetings, all of which focus on promoting further cooperation which are evidence of effort and new fruitful progress concerning the food security.

The plenary meeting of the ministerial levels met from Saturday and followed by the additional meeting with dialogue partners, known as the ASEAN+3 on Sunday.

The meeting has provided additional key inputs by building on the progress of existing cooperation and set the future direction to accelerate integration and jointly address agriculture and forestry issues.

In addition to the ministers among the ASEAN, this meeting also provided a rare opportunity for leaders of the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 to exchange dialogue to fast-track socio-economic development in each country during their meeting on Sunday.

The ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and its plus three includes China, South Korea and Japan.

Editor: Wang Guanqun

Cambodia hosts ASEAN Ministers' Meeting on agriculture, forestry


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October 24, 2010

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 23 — The 32nd ASEAN Ministers' Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry opened in Cambodia on Saturday with a warm welcome by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Delivering an opening speech to ministers and deputy ministers of agriculture and forestry from the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Prime Minister Hun Sen said, "this event shows that Cambodia is moving forward with great confidence and determination, as its institutional capacity and ownership are strengthened."

He said the event indeed held in the aftermath of the global financial crisis has created a new dynamic of regional and global architecture.

As the host and chair of the meeting, Cambodia has well prepared a series of meetings that began on Oct. 20 and will last until Oct. 26 which includes the senior officials meeting, plenary sessions of 32nd ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and 10th ASEAN+3 Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and other sideline meetings, all of which focusing on promoting further cooperation which are evidence of effort and new fruitful progress concerning the food security.

The plenary meeting of the ministerial level starts Saturday and will follow with another meeting with an additional dialogue partners, known as ASEAN+3 on Sunday.

The meeting is expected to provide additional key inputs by building on the progress of existing cooperation and set future direction to accelerate integration and jointly address agriculture and forestry issues.

This meeting will also provide a rare opportunity for leaders of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 to exchange dialogue to fast-track socio- economic development in each country during their meeting set for Sunday.

While welcoming the leaders in agricultural sector and other stakeholders for the meetings, Hun Sen alerted that food security remains a sensitive issue.

"It is very true that food security still remains a sensitive issue, which requires every country to work hard in order to find a solution. But this concern is also a new opportunity for some countries in the region that have high potentials in agriculture sector," he said.

"I would like to welcome all the efforts within the regional framework which aims to promote cooperation in agriculture sector, essentially investment in infrastructure, technology transfer, and technical assistance to increase agricultural yields," he added.

Hun Sen made his remarks by attributing his concerns due to the increase in price of food, the increase in price of gases, the growth of population, climate change, the decrease in land for farming due to the use of land for the production of energy-producing crops, the fall in value of global currencies, and the increase in food stocks in order to sell at higher prices and so on.

"I understand that this confronting problem requires ASEAN to be more active in performing her role, which ensures food safety for peoples in ASEAN member countries, as well as in the region and in the entire world, who have been screaming for food to survive,"he said.

ASEAN comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and its plus three includes China, South Korea and Japan. (PNA/Xinhua) scs/rsm