NA President Meets Delegation of Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Group
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin received here on Dec. 17 a visiting delegation of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
During the meeting, Mr. Suyoshi Saito, head of the delegation, praised Samdech Heng Samrin for his endeavors in serving the country.
He also expressed his condolences to the victims’ families of the tragic incident at Koh Pich last Nov. 22.
In reply, Samdech Heng Samrin warmly welcomed the Japanese delegation’s visit to the Kingdom, saying that this visit will help further strengthen and expand the ties of friendship and solidarity between the two peoples and countries.
He also praised Japan for its policy of maintaining peace and stability in the world. This policy has, he said, contributed an important part in the establishment of peace, stability and development in Cambodia.
In addition, he deeply thanked Japan for its assistance to Cambodia in all fields.
Following on the same day, Mr. Suyoshi Saito also met with H.E. Chheang Von, chairman of Cambodia-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group.
On the occasion, the Japanese side promised to further encourage more Japanese investors and tourists to come to Cambodia, and to promote the exchange between the two Assemblies. --AKP
Article in Khmer by PAL Song
Article in English by LIM Nary
PM: It Is Time for Both Countries to Push the Implementation of Existing Mechanisms
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- “Now, it is an appropriate and just time for the two countries (Cambodia-Thailand) to push the implementation of all existing mechanisms, so as to boost their relations,” said Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen during a meeting here today with Thai foreign minister.
Visiting Thai Foreign Minister H.E. Kasit Piromya arrived here on Dec. 19 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Cambodia-Thailand diplomatic relations.
In the meeting, H.E. Kasit Piromya told Samdech Techo Hun Sen of the result of his talks with his Cambodian counterpart H.E. Hor Namhong earlier this morning, Ieng Sophalet, assistant to the Cambodian prime minister told reporters after the meeting.
Both sides examined the relations between the two countries and they noted that after the four successive meetings between the two premiers, many activities have been organized such as art performances, meetings between both countries’ journalists, etc., which are the main factors to foster their relations, the Thai foreign minister said.
H.E. Kasit Piromya further expressed the Thai government’s current stance to expand and strengthen the cooperation with Cambodia for the interests of the two peoples and all activities done by the Thai side will be reported to Cambodia through the Embassy of Cambodia in Thailand and the Embassy of Thailand in Cambodia.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen conveyed best wishes to his Thai counterpart and thanked the Thai government for its condolence letter and assistance to the victims of the recent stampede tragedy at Koh Pich. --AKP
Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
Japan Affirms Unchanged ODA for Cambodia
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- Japan has affirmed unchanged official development aid (ODA) to Cambodia despite the alteration in the country’s leadership, said Japanese lawmaker Naoto Sakaguchi.
H.E. Naoto Sakaguchi made the affirmation here on Dec. 18 when leading his delegation to meet with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen at the Prime Minister’s Office – Peace Palace. The commitment makes Japan, the world’s third economy, remain a leading ODA provider to Cambodia.
The Japanese lawmaker brought along a greeting letter from Japanese Prime Minister to Samdech Techo Prime Minister for the 55th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
H.E. Naoto Sakaguchi, also chairman of Japan-Cambodia Friendship Association, said he will make the best he can to push faster the construction of Neak Loeung bridge that will link Cambodia on a highway with other Great Mekong Sub-region countries.
He will work as well on the establishment of either direct flight from Japan to Cambodia or Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh-Tokyo or Siem Reap-Ho Chi Minh-Tokyo, so as to increase both Japanese tourists and investment to Cambodia.
Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation related to the friendship between Cambodia and Japan. He was very thankful for the unchanged stance of Japan in continuing providing development aid to Cambodia and for Japan’s commitment in the construction of Neak Loeung bridge and direct flight to Cambodia. --AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
PM Hor Namhong: It Is Time for Closing Montagnards Refugee Camp
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Hor Namhong, has said that it is time for closing the refugee camp of the Vietnamese ethnic minority Montagnards in Cambodia and this will take place in mid-February 2011.
FM Hor Namhong was speaking at a press conference at Phnom Penh International Airport last Friday following the return from China of the Cambodian delegation led by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
He said that Cambodia, Vietnam and UNHCR had cooperated well in the issues of Montagnards, and those who were certified as having refugee status and the third countries accepted to take them would be allowed to stay; and those of no refugee status would be sent back to Vietnam.
Now, it is time to close the camp as there is no war and no noticeable armed clash in Vietnam, so there must not be refugees to Cambodia, he said, adding, “Vietnam is having progressive economy with the growth rate of 9 percent to 11 percent, so there must not be refugee problem.”
The Royal Government of Cambodia has ordered, in a Nov. 29 letter, the closure of the UNHCR camp in Khan Sen Sok, Phnom Penh, on Jan. 1, 2011.
UNHCR has requested for the delay of deadline so that they are able to resettle the refugee-status Montagnards to the third countries. The delay was agreed by Prime Minister Techo Hun Sen to mid-February 2011.
At present, there are 76 Montagnard asylum seekers living in the camp, and 62 of them have been granted refugee status and waiting resettlement in the third country; while 14 are waiting for the judgment of their refugee status. --AKP
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by Ravuth M.
Cambodian Legislature Houses Asks for the Continuation of LEAP
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian lower house and upper house have asked the donor countries, mainly the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), to continue their assistance to the Legislature Assistance Project (LEAP) of Cambodia.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the three-year LEAP held at the Senate in Phnom Penh on Dec. 16, H.E. Um Sarith, general secretary of the Senate hoped that UNDP will continue the support to and enhance closer cooperation with the two Cambodian both houses in building up the capacity of the Cambodian lawmakers following the closure of the project.
The project aimed to further enhance the capacity of parliamentary commissions to better exercise their legislative, oversight and repetitive functions. The project also works with the general secretariats of both houses to deliver effective services to the parliament, as well as providing technical and managerial advice to the technical coordination secretariat to implement the parliament’s strategic framework and action plan and to coordinate donor assistance.
The project includes other members of the development and donor communities involved in parliamentary capacity building to channel and coordinate external assistance to the Cambodian parliament, ensuring that resources and project activities do not overlap.
The first phase of LEAP was carried out from 2002 to 2007, while the second phase (three years) ended on Dec. 16.
First Vice President of the National Assembly H.E. Nguon Nhel, who participated in the ceremony, urged the development partners, mainly UNDP to provide the assistance, either technical or material, to the Cambodian parliaments to promote their capacity and to enable them to integrate into the regional and international legislature establishments in the future.
He also raised the negative issues caused by the opposition party with the parliamentary seats in being affected to the implementation of the project. --AKP
By THOU Peou
Information Minister Meets Thai Media Delegation
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith met here on Dec. 18 with Thai media delegation led by Mr. Wisuth Komwatcharapong, president of Thai Broadcast Journalist Association.
During the meeting, the Thai delegation thanked Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and the Ministry of Information for the promotion of the visit exchange between both countries’ journalists, aiming at exchanging experiences as well as to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In reply, the Cambodian minister welcomed the Thai media delegation to Cambodia and added that this visit will further deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. --AKP
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by Théng
Cambodia-Thailand’s Joint Performance and Concerts
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- Cambodia and Thailand jointly organized traditional dancing and performance at Chaktomuk Conference Hall in Phnom Penh capital of Cambodia on Dec. 18 in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Representing Thailand, Culture Minister H.E. Nipit Intarasombut expressed his appreciation for the improving bond between the two neighboring Kingdoms, adding that good cultural and traditional relations as well as their development of Buddhism will bring the friendship tie of the two countries closer.
In his response, H.E. Khim Sarith, acting Cultural and Fine Arts Minister who represented Cambodia in the event said that Cambodia treasures the bettering diplomatic tie with Cambodia, wherein arts play key contributing role.
A group of Cambodian singers in late November jointly staged a concert with the Thai counterpart in Bangkok capital of Thailand. The two countries also planned to conduct a joint concert in Koh Kong province at the border. --AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
Cambodia Hosts Asian University Presidents Forum
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- The 9th Asian University Presidents Forum was held in Cambodia on Dec. 16-18 under the presidency of H.E. Pit Chamnan, secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The forum was hosted by Norton University and attended by 50 universities including 21 in Cambodia and the rest from 12 Asian countries, Mr. Chan Sok Kheang, rector of Norton University said.
It is a great honor and opportunities for all participants to discuss and share experiences as well as to cooperate with each other to improve the higher educational standard in the region, H.E. Pit Chamnan said on the occasion.
He added that in Cambodia, the number of universities has increased from 9 in 1997 to 80 in 2010, and the number of students has reached 161,516 this year, up from some 10,000 in 1997. --AKP
By KHAN Sophirom
United Kingdom Contributes £ 215,000 to Cambodian Side of the ECCC
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- The British government has confirmed the contribution of £215,000 (approximately US$334,000) to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) to bridge some of the needs of the national side of the court until other donor contributions come on stream, according to the ECCC.
In his letter to H.E. Tony Kranh, Acting Director of Administration of the ECCC, H.E. Ambassador Andrew Mace conveyed that the British Government is committed to support the work of the ECCC as it enters upon the next vital phase of its work.
The United Kingdom is one of the ECCC’s key donors and has been supporting the ECCC since the tribunal’s establishment in 2006. To date, the United Kingdom has provided financial contribution exceeding US$3.7 million to the ECCC.
Mr. Kranh, in his letter, expressed his “deepest gratitude” to the United Kingdom for the continued support to the ECCC in general and in particular the UK Embassy in Phnom Penh. --AKP
France Gives 1,000 Books to National Library
Phnom Penh, December 20, 2010 AKP -- The Embassy of the Republic of France in Phnom Penh has given 1,000 books, a donation of ADIFLOR Association, to Cambodia’s National Library for young readers, especially students.
The handover ceremony was held last Thursday in Phnom Penh at the National Library under the presidency of H.E. Thai Noraksathya, adviser to Premier Samdech Techo Hun Sen and secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and French Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Christian Connan.
These 1,000 books from France are very important for student to do research, said National Library’s Director Mrs. Khlot Vibola, adding that the National Library will send some of these books to 18 other affiliate libraries.
The French Embassy has always assisted the National Library in the past two decades, especially sending experts to train Cambodian librarians in keeping books, preserving books, cataloguing, scanning and reprinting old documents, and installing an electronic system for the book lending and reading. France is going to provide computers to the library and connecting these computers with internet connection and maintenance, she said.
For his part, H.E. Thai Noraksathya said the book donation is an invaluable contribution to support and improve the culture of reading and writing in Cambodia.
The library is a warehouse to store diversified documents and archives in various subjects, including literatures, history and new discovery information. The National Library is trying its best to collect more documents as much as they can to provide to the students, readers and researchers, he said.
On behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Fines Arts, he would like to express the profound thanks to the French Embassy for the book donation and considered it a great contribution to the process of the capacity building in Cambodia.
In reply, H.E. Christian Connan said the library is a source of knowledge and these 1,000 books will serve the culture of reading and writing in Cambodia. Cambodia’s National Library is an important partner with the French Embassy to boost the field of reading, a major factor to gain knowledge, he said. --AKP