Thursday, 30 December 2010

Cambodian court questions Thai lawmaker on trespass case









Photos by DAP (Deum Ampil Newspaper)

Hor Namhong-Kasit´s Meetings Produces No Release






via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 10:42 DAP-NEWS/SOY SOPHEA-SORN SOPHEAK

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Dec 30, 2010- An one-hour meeting between Cambodian and Thai Foreign Ministers on Thursday produced any releases of the arrested Thai.

Cambodian FM Hor Namhong told reporters after the meeting that everything was now in the authority of Cambodia´s court so that the government had to obey the judiciary system, adding that ´We cannot interfere the authority of the court.”

Kasit who accompanied by his Thai Ambassador to Cambodia told reporters that he understood the circumstance of the arrests. “We come here to find the facts of the seven Thai arrested, and we come here to brief our facts [to Cambodian side],” he said. “Now we respect the justice movement of Cambodia but we encourage the Cambodian government to push it faster.”

However, Cambodian FM added that he believed that arrests would cause any damages to the newly-restored bilateral relation.

According a Cambodian court official told DAP News Cambodia that the arrested Thai were sent to jail after being accused of illegal trespassing.

AKP - Agent Kampuchea Press


via CAAI

PM: Trial for Illegally Entering Cambodia by 7 Thais Does Not Affect Cambodia and Thailand Diplomatic Relations

Phnom Penh, December 30, 2010 AKP -- “I think that the arrest of seven Thai nationals does not affect Cambodia and Thailand diplomatic relations and cause a new diplomatic tension between the two countries,” said Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of an annual meeting held on Dec. 29 by the Ministry of Rural Development, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made his remarks, referring to seven Thais illegally entering Cambodian territory, two of whom are Thai lawmakers.

“I think that Thai Prime Minister H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva will understand the Cambodian judicial system, which nobody could violate,” he said.

“After being sent from Banteay Meanchey province to Phnom Penh, the Thai nationals will be detained in the immigration police for being charged in Phnom Penh court and then will be jailed in Prey Sar prison,” he said, adding that Thai lawmakers have immunity only in Thai territory, but when they enter Cambodian territory to measure so-called Thai land in Cambodia’s land, it’s illegal, so Cambodia has the right to arrest.

The Cambodian premier also blamed Thailand Patriot Network, saying, “If it is on your land, you can do whatever you want, but it is on Cambodian land, Cambodia has to do it based on the law.” --AKP

Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by THOU Peou

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AKP/02

PM Orders to Uproot Drug Traffickers

Phnom Penh, December 30, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has ordered to uproot drug traffickers in the country.

“If we arrested one, there is still one more, so let’s grab it by the roots,” Premier Techo Hun Sen made the remarks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the second flyover in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Earlier this week, Cambodian authorities have arrested in Phnom Penh seven suspects involving in drug trafficking and confiscated 74 boxes containing 180 cans of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of methamphetamine, drug ingredients or nearly 7 millions of drug pills. --AKP

By KHAN Sophirom

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AKP/03

Cambodia To Host 32nd AIPA in September 2011

Phnom Penh, December 30, 2010 AKP -- The Kingdom of Cambodia has been preparing to host the 32nd ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) scheduled to take place from Sept. 18 to 24, 2011.

H.E. Cheam Yeap, chairman of the Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Auditing of the National Assembly, told a meeting here yesterday.

The opening ceremony will be held at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh under the presidency of National Assembly Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, he said, adding that NA delegates from the ten ASEAN member countries and representatives from eleven observer countries are expected to join the event.

According to a draft document of the AIPA organizing committee, the main theme for the 32nd AIPA is the Roles of AIPA in building ASEAN community towards prosperity in the region. --AKP

Article in Khmer by PAL Song
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul

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AKP/04

Vung Tau Province Wishes to Cooperate with Cambodia in Tourism

Phnom Penh, December 30, 2010 AKP -- The Vietnamese province of Vung Tau is willing to cooperate with Cambodia in the field of tourism, visiting Vice Chairman of Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee Mr. Ho Van Nien told Cambodian Secretary of State for the Ministry of Tourism H.E. Ko Somsaroeut during their meeting here on Dec. 28.

Vung Tau is a province with tourism potential, but it has paid more attention on investment in oil and agriculture than in tourism, said Mr. Ho Van Nien, who led a 20-member delegation to visit Cambodia.

More and more foreign tourists have visited Cambodia in the recent years, that is why Vung Tau would like to exchange tourists with the Cambodian side, he explained.

For his part, the Cambodian secretary of state said the number of Vietnamese visitors to Cambodia is expected to reach 500,000 by the end of 2010 and many Cambodian people also visited Vietnam for medical and tourism purposes.

On the same day, the Vung Tau delegation was also received by Phnom Penh Vice Governor Mr. Nuon Someth. Both sides discussed the possibility of tourism cooperation between Phnom Penh and Vung Tau province. --AKP

By CHEA Vannak

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AKP/05

Cambodia to Head South East Asian Vovinam Federation

Phnom Penh, December 30, 2010 AKP -- Okhna Rath Sokhon, president of the Federation of Vovinam of Cambodia and vice president of the World Vovinam Federation was elected as the president of the South East Asian Vovinam Federation by its Executive Committee in the first General Assembly here on Dec. 28.

The General Assembly was attended by representatives from members of South East Asian Vovinam including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and the host country, Cambodia.

The Federation of Vovinam of Cambodia was established in 2008 by Okhna Rath Sokhon with eight clubs and some 30 athletes.

Cambodian Vovinam athletes have won three gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals in the World Championship and Asian Indoor Games 2009 in Vietnam. --AKP

By Théng

Kasit leaves for Cambodia


via CAAI

Published: 30/12/2010
Online news:

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Thursday flew to Phnom Penh to negotiate for the release of seven Thais, including an MP, arrested on Wednesday for trespassing.

Mr Kasit was accompanied by Thani Thongpakdi, director-general of the Information Department, Mathurapojana Itharong, deputy director-general of the Consular Affairs Department, and high-level Foreign Ministry officials.

The foreign minister said before his departure that he would first look into the circumstances of how Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth, People's Alliance for Democracy activist Veera Somkwamkid, and five other Thais were arrested.

Ministry officials had been sent to examine the border point in question so that he could negotiate with Cambodian authorities for their release.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva wants the seven to be released because he had an agreement with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that if people of either side were arrested in connection with the border dispute, the other side could seek the release of its people, he said.

Mr Kasit said he would today meet and talk over the matter with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

Mr Panich and his team's trip to the border had nothing to do with the government. The Bangkok MP went there in his capacity as a member of the Joint Border Commission. It was not known whether the team had encroached on the Cambodian soil., he said.

Mr Kasit said he had a reserve plan, in case Cambodia refuses to release the seven Thais.

Arrest of 7 Thais worries Prem


via CAAI

Published: 30/12/2010
Online news:

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and armed forces commanders on Thursday morning had a serious discussion with Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda about the arrest of seven Thais by Cambodia for trespassing.

They discussed the matter for about 20 minutes before Gen Prawit led other top brass to give Gen Prem a New Year blessing.

Gen Prawit, who looked tense, said to reporters: "We are following up the matter and coordinating with Cambodia."

In his speech to high-level military officers standing in lines at his Si Sao Theves residence, Gen Prem said "Today I will spreak briefly because Minister Pom (Gen Prawit Wongsuwon) and armed forces commanders still have many other things to do."

He then gave the top brass a New Year blessing.

A source said Gen Prem told Gen Prawit and other military leaders to quickly find ways of helping the seven Thais, including Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth and People's Alliance for Democracy activist Veera Somkwamkid, being held for trespassing in Cambodia for fear that the problem could escalate.

He said the seven had probably not trespassed into Cambodia as the boundary has yet to be clearly defined.

The source said the problem had marred the festive mood of top brass and Thai-Cambodian relations, which had started to improve.

The generals questioned whether it was the seven Thais or the Cambodian soldiers who had trespassed, and said Mr Panich and Mr Veera should have asked soldiers or police to accompany them if visiting an area in dispute, said the source.

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand's premier on Thursday demanded the immediate release of seven Thais, including a ruling party politician, who were detained by Cambodian troops near the countries' disputed border.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/

via CAAI

Dec 30, 2010

Phnom Penh - A Thai parliamentarian and six other Thai nationals were questioned by a Cambodian court Thursday after being arrested along the border for alleged trespassing.

Panich Vikitsreth of the ruling Democrat Party was arrested along with the six other Thais Wednesday in a disputed border area between Thailand's Sa Keow province and Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey province.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thursday that the seven men should be released immediately and dispatched Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya to Phnom Penh to seek their freedom.

Abhisit noted that both countries had previously agreed there should be no soldiers in the disputed area where the Thais had been arrested.

The men visited the border area Wednesday to check on reports that Cambodian soldiers had moved in to villages claimed by Thailand, according to Thai government sources.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said late Wednesday that the case would proceed quickly, adding that he had rebuffed requests from Thai officials to intervene.

'I think Prime Minister Abhisit will understand Cambodian legal procedure, which no one can abuse,' Hun Sen said, adding that the group 'will face legal punishment because Thai lawmakers cannot use their parliamentary immunity in Cambodia.'

A senior Cambodian official said the group was being held for 'trespassing under immigration law.'

'They intruded into Cambodia,' the official said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

The court hearing Thursday was closed to reporters although it was attended by the Thai ambassador to Phnom Penh, Prasas Prasavinitchai.

One of the Thais on trial, Veera Somkwamkit, was previously arrested for illegally entering Cambodia to protest Cambodian soldiers' occupation of Preah Vihear temple, the source of another border dispute between the two countries.

Kasit was scheduled to meet with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, in the Cambodian capital later Thursday.

Relations between Thailand and Cambodia have been tense for more than two years with sporadic clashes between troops over disputed territory surrounding Preah Vihear, 200 kilometres east of Banteay Meanchey.

The 11th-century Hindu temple, known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Phra Viharn in Thailand, belongs to Cambodia under a 1962 ruling by the International Court of Justice, but jurisdiction of 4.6 square kilometres of adjacent land is still in dispute.

The two countries are currently demarcating their border although talks have been stalled pending a repeatedly delayed vote in the Thai parliament to approve the latest round of negotiations.

Thailand urges Cambodia to free detainees

File photo of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who on Thursday demanded the immediate release of seven Thais, including a ruling party politician, who were detained by Cambodian troops near the countries' disputed border


via CAAI

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand's premier on Thursday demanded the immediate release of seven Thais, including a ruling party politician, who were detained by Cambodian troops near the countries' disputed border.

"Cambodia must release all seven Thais immediately," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters. "Cambodia should not take this case to court as it will further complicate the issue."

The seven, including Democrat Party lawmaker Panich Vikitsreth, appeared in a court in Phnom Penh on Thursday for questioning, a day after being detained by Cambodian authorities, who said they had entered its territory illegally.

They were taken to the Phnom Penh municipal court under tight security in the morning for a hearing that was closed to the media, according to an AFP reporter. By mid-afternoon there was still no announcement by the court.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday the seven, who also include members of the royalist "Yellow Shirt" movement, would be charged and put in jail to await trial.

In an attempt to secure their release, the Thai foreign minister was due to travel to Cambodia to meet his counterpart later Thursday.

"Cambodia must take into consideration that if they want cordial ties they should rely on negotiations. If not then there is a problem for both sides," Abhisit said.

He warned that it would be unacceptable to Thailand if Cambodian soldiers had intruded into its territory to make the arrests. Abhisit said he had tasked Panich with seeking information about the border issue.

The two countries have a long-standing dispute over their border, which is not fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since a series of deadly border clashes in July 2008 over land surrounding the 11th century Preah Vihear temple after it was granted UN World Heritage status.

Deputy Thai premier Suthep Thaugsuban, however, acknowledged that the seven Thais were on Cambodian territory when arrested.

"Panich and his entourage passed the border police checkpoint and border police followed them by car to ask them to return, but they were already on Cambodian soil," he said.

Speaker series includes survivor


via CAAI

By Greg Mellen, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/29/2010

LONG BEACH - Theary Seng survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia and emigrated to the United States, where she was in the Long Beach area while attending Valley Christian High School.

She has since earned international acclaim for her autobiography, "Daughter of the Killing Fields" and her advocacy work for human rights as founder of the Cambodian Center for Justice and Reconciliation in Phnom Penh.

When not working on her many issues, she speaks at conferences all over the world telling her story and touching on issues of justice and reconciliation, democracy, faith and human rights.

Long Beach and surrounding area residents will have the opportunity to listen in on Seng and other speakers who are part of the award-winning January Series, presented by Calvin College and simulcast locally.

A Christian school in Michigan, Calvin College has earned critical acclaim for its annual series of speakers. Since 2008, the presentations have been simulcast and are now heard in 30 locations in the U.S. and abroad.

The Bethany Christian Reformed Church in Bellflower is one of the participants and the only one in the Southland.
This year, the 24th of the series, will feature a diverse group of speakers talking about a variety of faith, ethical and social issues.

"I think (the January Series) gives exposure for some of the most prominent thinkers in many fields," said Stan Cole of Bethany Church.

The speakers include Hall of Fame baseball player Cal Ripken Jr., the Rev. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, and Seng, who speaks Jan. 7. A total of 15 presentations will be delivered during the three-week stretch.

The January Series has received recognition for its quality and diversity of perspectives on issues of national and global importance.

The series began simulcasting to other locations in 2008 and is now shown in Canada and Europe.

Cole said the series explores often controversial issues as one of the school's goals "to challenge some long-held truisms."

greg.mellen@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1291

Democrat MP among 7 arrested by Cambodia

http://news.asiaone.com/

via CAAI

Thu, Dec 30, 2010
The Nation/Asia News Network

Thailand: MP Panich Vikitsreth of the ruling Democrat Party and six yellow-shirt activists including Veera Somkwamkid will be tried and held in prison in Phnom Penh today, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen reportedly said after they were arrested yesterday while inspecting the Sa Kaeo border.

"I believe that the location where I was inspecting is under Thai sovereignty," Panich told The Nation by phone. "The 46th boundary monument that indicates the territory of the two countries is situated in the area."

Panich said his group was walking in a paddy field when eight or nine Cambodian soldiers took them into custody at 11am.

The disputed area in Ban Nong Chan village of Sa Kaeo's Khok Sung district has been claimed by Thailand and Cambodia for decades after a group of Cambodians fled from war to settle there.

Ban Nong Chan residents regard Sri Pen Road as the de facto boundary line and refrain from crossing over to the Cambodian side.

Panich, who is a member of the House committee on boundary affairs and a former vice foreign minister, said he needed to inspect the disputed area after locals complained that Cambodians occupied Thai territory.

Panich's group also included activist Samdin Lertbutr of the Dharma Army Foundation, who has close connections with Chamlong Srimuang, a leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy.

Nationalist Veera claimed Cambodia intruded on to Thai soil at many places, including the areas adjacent to the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear. Veera and his group were briefly held by Cambodian authorities in August when they also were inspecting the disputed area near Ban Nong Chan.

Panich made a phone call to inform Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Democrat Party's headquarters in Bangkok about his arrest.

Maj-General Walit Rojanapakdi, commander of the Burapha Task Force, which oversees the area, assigned a team to negotiate with Cambodian authorities on releasing Panich and his group.

After the talks at the local level failed, the group was sent to Phnom Penh to begin undergoing prosecution for illegal entry, said Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the Thai foreign minister. The ministry would try its best and provide legal assistance to help the Panich group return home, he said.

Hun Sen said: "They were measuring Thai territory inside Cambodian territory. So Cambodia has the right to arrest them."

He said the seven would be taken from the border in the northwestern province if Banteay Meanchey to the capital, where they would be charged and then locked up awaiting trial.

"They will be sent to the court on Thursday and when the court charges them, they will be jailed in Prey Sar prison," Hun Sen was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying.

He said he hoped the incident would not affect relations between the two countries.

Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over border disputes in recent years after Thailand moved to block Cambodia's proposal to list Preah Vihear as a world heritage site. The temple was ruled by the International Court of Justice in 1962 as situated inside Cambodia, but Bangkok has argued that the surrounding areas belong to Thailand.

Negotiations to settle the boundary conflict have moved at a snail's pace, as the Joint Boundary Commission cannot proceed with talks without approval from Parliament.

Viet Nam supermarket opens in Cambodia

via CAAI

December, 30 2010

HA NOI - The Z38 company, a member of the Viet Nam Enterprises Association, opened the Viet Nam Supermarket yesterday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The 3-storey supermarket covers a total area of 7,550 square metres on the Monivong Boulevard, one of the capital city's main thoroughfares.

The company invested US$3 million to build supermarket which is the largest Vietnamese goods retailer in Cambodia, said Le Minh, the store manager.

He said he hoped the supermarket would help to introduce high quality Vietnamese products to Cambodian consumers and the Vietnamese people living in that country, and further increase the reputation of Vietnamese goods.

More than 20 Vietnamese businesses have their products on sale in the supermarket, including garments, footwear, cosmetics, instant noodles, canned food, coffee and dairy products.

There are also mobile phone shops and designer watches on sale along with self-service shops, restaurants, beauty salons and an entertainment area for children.

Many Vietnamese products had caught the attention of Cambodians due to their quality and reasonable price including Acecook instant noodles, Bibica and Kinh Do confectionery products, Vissan processed foods, Trung Nguyen coffee products and Phu Quoc sauces, said a Cambodian trader from the Orussey Market in Phnom Penh.

Vietnamese producers should concentrate more on improving the quality and design of their products to further penetrate the 14 million strong Cambodian market. More Vietnamese supermarkets were expected to open in four other provinces across the country, Minh added.

A Vietnamese trader in Phnom Penh said it was important for Vietnamese enterprises to have a good distribution system and customer care services to promote the consumption of Vietnamese goods in Cambodia.

Viet Nam invested $900 million in 63 projects in Cambodia in the first six moths of this year, according to the Cambodian Development Council, making it the country's third largest investor, after China and South Korea.

Investors included Viettel Telecom Group, Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam, PetroVietnam, Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Group and Vietnam Airlines.

Trade between the two countries is expected to reach $2 billion this year. - VNS

House building in Cambodia a natural fit for Lush

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/

via CAAI

By Pamela Eadie, Citizen Special
December 30, 2010


Thanks in part to a generous donation from a good corporate citizen, it's expected that 25 new houses will be built in a poor region of Cambodia next month.

Rockin4Tabitha (R4T) is a grassroots charity that builds houses in Cambodia on behalf of the Tabitha Foundation; 2011 will be its fifth year doing so. Rockin4Tabitha is a fundraiser rhythm and blues concert in support of the Tabitha Foundation Canada's house building efforts in Cambodia.

R4T works through the Tabitha Foundation Canada with the primary purpose of raising money to build houses, wells and ponds. The Rockin4Tabitha build team, comprised of international volunteer, travels to Cambodia each February.

This year, it's benefiting from a $10,000 donation from beauty product company Lush Handmade Cosmetics, which offers more than 300 luxurious products made by hand with fresh, organic ingredients. They are also minimally preserved and minimally packaged.

Lush raised the funds through the sales of its Charity Pot lotion. The lotion is made with skin-softening organic fair trade cocoa butter and almond oil. It is sold exclusively for charitable giving; every penny that's paid for the pot, excluding tax, goes to grassroots charities around the world including R4T. Charity Pots can be purchased at Ottawa-area Lush stores, and online.

In addition, Lush will partner with R4T by sending five of its employees to Cambodia to participate in the build.

2010 marks the fifth anniversary of R4T. Since its inception, R4T has built a total of 50 houses, providing clean, safe, dry homes for 283 Cambodians. Each volunteer team member pays for all their own travel, accommodation and food costs associated with the trip; as well, each team member must raise and contribute $1,100, the cost of a single house.

The Tabitha Foundation is a benevolent trust founded in 1994 to undertake development initiatives in Cambodia in the areas of health care, education, sanitation, housing, and small business. Cambodia is still coming to grips with the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge regime, a country unsure of the role of Westerners in their world, and is also a country with deep beliefs in the Animist and Buddhist religions.

For more information please see http://www.lush.ca/ and http://www.rockin4tabitha.ca/

PM holds urgent meeting over arrest of 7 Thais by Cambodia

via CAAI

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Thursday held an urgent meeting of security agencies over the arrest of Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth and six other Thais by Cambodia authorities.

The meeting was held at the Government House at 9 am.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Supreme Commander Gen Kitti Jakkrabatra, Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and National Security Council Secretar-General Thawil Pliensri as well as Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya.

The Nation

Cambodia: 7 Thais to Stand Trial After Detention at Border

VOA News
29 December 2010

via CAAI

Cambodia says a Thai ruling party lawmaker and six others arrested in a disputed border area will face charges Thursday of illegally entering the country.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday the seven Thai nationals will appear in a Phnom Penh court and will be detained in the capital's Prey Sar prison.

Cambodian troops detained Thai Democratic Party lawmaker Panich Vikitsreth and the six others Wednesday on the border of southeastern Thailand's Sa Kaeo province and northwestern Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey province.

Panich said he traveled to the area to investigate residents' complaints that Cambodian forces were intruding into Thailand. He said he and his companions were on Thai soil when they were detained.

A Thai government spokesman said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was aware of Cambodia's detention of the seven Thais. The spokesman said Thai authorities were negotiating with their Cambodian counterparts to resolve the situation.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said he believes the arrests will not affect relations between the two neighbors, which were strained by deadly border skirmishes between their troops in 2008. He said he hopes Mr. Abhisit will show understanding for Cambodia's legal system.

One of the six Thais arrested with Panich is a former leader of Thailand's pro-government and pro-military Yellow Shirt movement, the People's Alliance for Democracy, or PAD. Veera Somkwamkid, now leads a PAD splinter group called the Thailand Patriot Network.

The 2008 clashes between Cambodian and Thai troops were part of a long-running dispute over ownership of an 11th century Hindu temple located on another part of the Cambodia-Thailand border.

U.N. cultural agency UNESCO declared the Preah Vihear temple to be a World Heritage site that year and recognized it as being under Cambodian control.

The countries also feuded when the Cambodian government appointed former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser last year. The Thai military ousted Thaksin in a 2006 coup for alleged corruption. He now lives in exile to avoid prosecution at home.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.

DAP News. Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via CAAI


Thais Accused of Allegedly Trespassing Cambodia´s Soil

Thursday, 30 December 2010 09:28 DAP-NEWS/SOY SOPHEA

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Dec 30, 2010-Cambodia´s primary court on Thursday accused the arrested Thais of allegedly trespassing Cambodia´s territory after hour longs interrogation.

A court official said on an unidentified condition told DAP News Cambodia that the seven Thais, who entered Cambodia illegally on Wednesday, are accused according to Cambodia´s Code of Penal Law and Law on Immigration.

According to the official, they would face three up to six months in jail if they found guilty of allegedly trespassing in accordance with Cambodia´s Immigration Law before sending back to their home country, adding that they would also face other article of other Cambodia´s Code of Penal Law with six up to twelve months in jail with 1 million Cambodian riel (250 USD) in fine.

The sources added the Thai are now being sent to custody.

Cambodian and Thai FM on Thursday evening are scheduled to meet immediately a day after the arrest.

Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia warned that the arrests would be sent to jail if the court found their guilty, adding that he would not accept any intervention.

Kasit´s Visit Could Not Resolve Arrested Thais

Thursday, 30 December 2010 09:42 DAP-NEWS/SOY SOPHEA

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Dec 30, 2010-Cambodian government officials told DAP News Cambodia that the presence of Thai FMKasit Piromya to meet his Cambodian counterpart Hor Nahong.

The official who said on an unidentified condition added that Kasit could not find better result during the discussion with Cambodian FM as Cambodia will implement their laws. The source explained that the meeting would not produce a fruitful outcome as Cambodia´s prosecutors decided to send them to jail.

Kasit to meet Hor Namhong

Thursday, 30 December 2010 06:00 By Sorn Sopheak

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Dec 30, 2010-Cambodian government officials said on Thursday that Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya will meet Cambodian FM Hor Namhong today at the Cambodia´s Foreign Affair Ministry.

Koy Kuong, spokesperson at Cambodian Foreign Affair, told DAP News Cambodia that the Thai FM will meet Hor Namhong but he was not sure whether what Kasit would discuss with Namhong.

Kasit is scheduled to arrive Phnom Penh this evening a day after Cambodian authorities arrested 7 Thais including yellow-shirt leader and Bangkok MP Panich Vikitsreth with other five Thai journalists. However, it is believed that the two FMs will discuss matter how to deal with the arrests.

Moreoever, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that he would not accept any interfrence to have a release of the Thais, adding that they could be sent to custody if they found guilty.On Thursday morning, Cambodia´s prosecutors were interrogating the 7 Thais.

No border and Diplomatic Tension over Arresting Seven Thais Including Lawmaker: PM Hun Sen

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 11:05 DAP-NEWS/VIBOL

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Dec 29, 2010-Cambodian PM Hun Sen on Wednesday announced that Cambodia authorities have arrested seven Thais including a lawmaker from ruling party of Democrat of Thailand, and a yellow shirt leader, reporters and other activities in the movement of land love from Thailand after they entered illegally in Cambodia and acts against Cambodia.

“Our authorities arrested them in Cambodia soil. They entered Cambodian soil illegally without passport, and also conducted the opposed activities of against Cambodian soldiers in Cambodia,” PM Hun Sen told the closing ceremony of annual meeting of ministry of rural development in Phnom Penh.

He added: “arresting of the seven will not affect the border issue and diplomatic ties between the two countries,” “My Thai counterpart PM Abhisit asked me to intervene on the cases and released a lawmaker from his Democrat party. I said “no” I could not help,” PM Hun Sen said, adding that Thai lawmaker has immunity in Thailand but here is in Cambodia and they acts illegal activities in land and they opposed us. “Thai PM Abisit loves his country and I also love my country,”. Those seven violated the Cambodian law, PM added.

PM Hun Sen noted: the seven will arrived Phnom Penh this late evening and our acts today are not doing revenge against Thai authorities who always shot and made violence on innocent Cambodians who entered illegally or did not know where borderline is.

PM Hun Sen added: they will face legal punishment in Cambodia. And he said we also released three Thais recently after they entered illegally.

“We always want to see the good relationship between the two countries”. PM Hun Sen stresses.

Thai media said that the seven including Panich Vikitsreth, the Democrat PM and former Bangkok deputy governor and Veera Somkwamkid, the yellow clad core activist.



We Send Arrested Thais to Prison Without Interference: Cambodia PM

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 10:47 DAP-NEWS/SOY SOPHEA

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Dec 29, 2010-Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said that he ordered his authorities to send recently-arrested Thais to Cambodia’s prison adding that he would accept any interference to release them.

PM Hun Sen said that two Thai MPs and other Thai journalists were arrested on Wednesday morning as they were trying to monitor Cambodia-Thailand border demarcation at Banteay Meanchey province of Cambodia, adding that those Thai were sent to Phnom Penh where they will face judiciary. “If they are found guilty, they will be sent to prison.”

Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday that Thai PM Panich, Veera and five colleagues travelled to the border district of Aranyaprathet, Thailand intent on investigating whether Cambodians had trespassed on territory claimed by Thailand.

While inspecting the border area in territory claimed by Thailand they were detained by Cambodian soldiers.

Hot ticket: Thousands visit Khmer Rouge court


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:02 Thomas Miller

Hot ticket

MORE than 67,000 people have visited the Khmer Rouge tribunal or attended hearings of its first case since March 30 of last year, the court said in a statement yesterday.

It added that Tony Kranh, acting director of administration at the hybrid court, will meet with 550 people from Kampong Cham and Kampot provinces at the court today to brief them on the tribunal’s work. The court will continue to host such outreach events, which allow people to visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the Choeung Ek killing fields and the court itself.

On July 26, the court sentenced former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, to 30 years jail for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Appeal hearings are set to begin in March.

Military police officer fires gun near teens


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:02 Phak Seangly

SEN Sok district police arrested a 37-year-old Tuol Kork district military police officer on Tuesday night on Russian Federation Boulevard in Phnom Penh, after the officer recklessly fired his gun to intimidate two teenagers.

Mak Hong, Sen Sok district police chief, said yesterday that the military police officer fired his gun into the air twice to threaten two teenagers who the officer claims intentionally drove their motorcycle at him and his girlfriend as they were walking along the road. He added that no one was injured in the incident.

“He fired his pistol anarchically because he was angry with the two young men. We have already sent him to the district military police for inspection,” he said, declining to comment further.

Kith Sophal, Sen Sok district military police commander, claimed that he did not have any information regarding the case, but that detainees are normally sent to the Phnom Penh military police station.

Chan Veasna, an administration official with the Phnom Penh military police, said he also had no information regarding the case.

Repeat offender: Paedophile sentenced to one year


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:01 Uong Ratana

Repeat offender

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a previously convicted French paedophile to one year in prison with a six-month probationary period, after finding him guilty of indecent acts against three underage boys in Phnom Penh, according to a verdict read out by presiding judge Kor Vandy.

Jean-Marie Beranger, 61, was arrested in Phnom Penh in June after staff from NGO Action Pour Les Enfants told police that he had been soliciting underage boys in Sihanoukville, and victims’ testimonies alleged he had done the same in Phnom Penh.

Previously, he was arrested in Sihanoukville in September 2009 on the same charge, which was dropped in August due to a lack of evidence.

On June 28 this year, Kampot provincial court sentenced him to one year jail in a third indecent acts case, following acts committed while he was out on bail in the Sihanoukville case. Beranger is now serving the prison term in Kampot and was not present for yesterday’s court hearing.

“We are not happy with the city court’s conviction against the offender with only a minimum sentence,” said Nuon Phanith, a lawyer provided to the victims by APLE. “He should have served a double sentence over the indecent acts charges [as a repeat offender].”

Four Prey Veng locals injured in fish fracas


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:01 Mom Kunthear

FOUR villagers were seriously injured and one man was arrested following a scuffle between fishermen, police and security guards in Prey Veng province’s Peam Chor on Tuesday night, locals said.

Hun Samet, 34, one of the victim’s of the fracas, said yesterday that the fight ensued after two district police officers and more than “ten Vietnamese” attempted to stop a group of 17 villagers from fishing in a g lot in Koh Roka commune.

“We went to catch fish in the fish lot on Tuesday night, and five children, including a 12-year-old, came along with us as well,” he said.

Hun Samet said two policemen and more than ten Vietnamese who were guarding the fish lot tried to detain the villagers, which triggered a brawl between the two groups. The guards, who were armed with a “gun and big sticks” shot one man twice and injured two young boys.

“They shot at us many times and one of us was hit two times ... and is seriously injured,” said Hun Samet, who also sustained injuries to his head, legs and right hand.

Ly Sophun, a Koh Roka commune councilor, said yesterday that the villagers triggered the fight when they went fishing in a private fishing lot guarded by local police.

“It is a private fishing lot, but the owner hired local police authorities to guard it,” he said. He said he heard that the police detained one of the injured men following the scuffle, but that he had no idea of his whereabouts.

Un Samet, a police officer who villagers claim was involved in the fight, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Prey Veng provincial governor Oung Samy said he was unaware of the case, as he was currently returning from a trip to Vietnam.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAM RITH

Fishermen protest over illegal 'fees'


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:01 Mom Kunthear

ABOUT 50 fishermen from Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have gathered to protest the levying of illegal fishing “fees” by local authorities, a problem officials promised to solve within five days.

Vy Sarin, one of the protesters, said yesterday that about 50 fishermen from Kampong Klaing commune set out to gather at Siem Reap provincial hall in an effort to seek assistance from the provincial governor, but were blocked by district authorities.

He said that Sotr Nikum district governor Din Dorn then promised to inform the provincial governor about the plight of the fishermen and would inform them of the outcome within five days.

“We will protest to the provincial governor again if our problem isn’t resolved by the timeline that the district governor set for us,” Vy Sarin said.

Fishermen claim that local military police and fisheries officials frequently extort money from local people, and that previous entreaties to commune and district authorities have gone unanswered.

Fisherwoman Ly Ni said the fishermen have to pay about 15,000 riels (US$3.75) per day in kickbacks to local authorities to be allowed to fish in the commune, but that she could only afford to give authorities around 5,000 riels ($1.25) per day.

“I only get about 30,000 to 40,000 riels [$7.50-$10] per day to support my family, so if they take this money from me then I will die soon,” she said.

District governor Din Dorn confirmed yesterday that he had reported the fishermen’s concerns to the provincial governor, but said it is not clear when he will receive a response.

Meanwhile, he said the fishermen will be allowed to continue working, but will continue having to shell out for the “fees”.

Tim Savuth, director of the Siem Reap provincial Fisheries Administration, could not be reached yesterday.

Opposition asks for visit to WFP staffer


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:01 Meas Sokchea

PARLIAMENTARIANS from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party have requested permission to visit an employee of the United Nations World Food Programme who was jailed earlier this month on incitement charges.

Seng Kunnaka, who worked in a WFP warehouse in Russei Keo district, was arrested on December 18 and convicted of criminal incitement in a rapid-fire trial at Phnom Penh Municipal Court barely 48 hours later.

In a letter sent to court president Chiv Keng on Tuesday, SRP Secretary General Ke Sovannaroth requested that five lawmakers be allowed to visit Seng Kunnaka at the city’s Prey Sar prison tomorrow. The letter followed an earlier one from December 23, which the SRP claims went unanswered.

“The SRP would like to ask for a new allowance from Your Excellency the president to allow an SRP parliamentarian delegation to visit Mr Seng Kunnaka on Friday,” the letter read.

The arrest of Seng Kunnaka – who was detained after passing out copies of a web article critical of senior government officials – has prompted an outcry from local and international rights groups.

In a statement on December 23, the International Federation for Human Rights, a Paris-based organisation, called for the UN system to “stand up for one of its own” and condemn the arrest and internment of Seng Kunnaka.

“With this latest deliberate assault on freedom of expression, the Cambodian authorities are becoming ever bolder in their repression and the democratic space is getting ever smaller,” FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen said in the statement.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said yesterday that there was no good reason to prohibit parliamentarians from meeting prisoners, especially given the “political” nature of Seng Kunnaka’s case.

“We must be allowed to go; there is nothing to prevent us from going,” he said.

Chiv Keng declined to comment yesterday. Court deputy president Ke Sakhan said he had not seen the SRP’s letter, but that if the party made an official request, there was no reason it should be refused.

High-profile corruption case delayed


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:01 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court has postponed a hearing in a case involving one of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cousins and a former government official, charged with giving and accepting bribes in an attempt to influence the settlement of a land dispute involving 120 families in Dangkor district.

Presiding Judge Duch Kimsorn said more time was needed for investigations, and that the trial would be held on an unspecified future date.

Seng Yean, former deputy general director of inspection at the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations, is accused of accepting US$200,000 in 2008 from businesswoman Di Prem, a first cousin of Hun Sen. The payment was allegedly made to influence the investigation of a dispute over six hectares of land in Kakab commune with local woman Huot Sarom.

Yesterday, Hun Sen encouraged the court to punish his cousin if she is found guilty, and said he had rejected requests by senior government officials to intervene in the case.

“The law is the law and it does not think about relatives. Therefore, I strongly support and encourage the court to continue its work in doing this case,” he said, while presiding over the ground-breaking ceremony of a new overpass project in Phnom Penh.

Hun Sen said Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana had submitted a written request to him to drop charges against Di Prem. The letter, dated September 19, claims that Di Prem had only sought to find solutions to the land dispute.

National Assembly President Heng Samrin also wrote to Hun Sen in June of last year asking him to drop the charges against Seng Yean.

Kao Ty, a lawyer for Huot Sarom, who filed the initial bribery complaint, said the court’s delay showed it was hesitant to proceed in the face of pressure from high-level government officials.

“If the court does not drop its charges against them, and takes action through legal procedures, it will be a good start for combating corruption,” he said.

If found guilty, Seng Yean faces between three and seven years jail. Di Prem faces between one and three years.

Relocation protest at City Hall


Photo by: Pha Lina
A couple from Prek Pra commune in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district sit at their home, which has been marked for removal to make way for a canal.

via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:01 Tep Nimol

ABOUT 50 people staged a protest outside City Hall yesterday, agitating for municipal authorities to intervene after Meanchey district officials gave around 200 families living in Prek Pra commune 15 days to relocate.

According to a notice signed by district governor Kouch Chamroeun and dated December 25, families living along the banks of Prek Pra lake were told me deconstruct their houses within 15 days “in order to facilitate water current flow” as a flood prevention measure.

It stated that Prek Pra Lake was state property and was “a major waterway to prevent flooding”. The letter does not mention any compensation for those affected.

Sun Thida, a 22-year-old resident of Prek Pra commune, said families were calling for district officials to give them more time to move, and asking to be compensated with the equivalent of the market value of their homes.

“The [district] authority not only does not have any compensation for us, but also accused us of building houses on state land,” Sun Thida said.

“In fact we are legally living on the land with recognition from the commune authorities.”

Pov Sith, a 34-year-old resident, said some 200 families had been living on the land with legal land titles since 1990.

“We will not move out if the state doesn’t pay us appropriate compensation,” he said.

Heak Chanleang, deputy district governor, said only about 10 families had been ordered to relocate from the area.

“The villagers built homes on state land. They were anarchic building,” he said.

“If they have legal land titles, please show the authority because we want to know who produced the land titles for them.”

Police Blotter: 30 Dec 2010


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:00 Sen David

Swashbucklers fight over girl in Siem Reap
Four “gangsters” were arrested and briefly detained in Siem Reap town on Monday after they decided to use a swordfight to settle a dispute over a girl. Police said two of the men involved in the fight were in love with the same girl and had agreed that the winner of the duel – in which each was assisted by a trusty sidekick – would win exclusive rights to her. Police said the suspects had been “educated” and released after promising not to engage in swordfights in the future. RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Serial kissing in park ends in pair’s detention
Police briefly detained a couple who were caught kissing in a public garden in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. Police said the public display of affection was embarrassing, and called on the couple to limit themselves to expressing their love in private. The couple said they had “always sat and kissed in the garden” but agreed, after being “educated” by police, that they would restrain themselves in future. KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Man stabs brother-in-law in drunken dispute
A 59-year-old man was seriously injured after his brother-in-law stabbed him with a knife during a dispute at their shared home in Kampong Thom province’s Kampong Svay district on Tuesday. Police said the victim, who was drunk at the time, had come home on Tuesday night to find his son crying. The man’s brother-in-law allegedly flew into a rage upon being blamed for upsetting the child, and stabbed the victim twice in the stomach. The victim was sent to hospital and police detained the suspect for questioning. KOH SANTEPHEAP

Driver loses to street barrier in accident
A 58-year-old man died immediately when he crashed his motorbike through a street barrier in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Monday. Police said the man, who was on his way home after a night out with a friend, was driving recklessly, was under the influence of alcohol and had not been wearing a helmet. RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Woman, 69, killed in Pursat house fire
A 69-year-old woman died in a house fire in Pursat province on Tuesday, after a mosquito net over the bed she was sleeping in caught fire. Police said a lamp next to the bed appeared to have been the source of the blaze. A quick response from firemen prevented the fire from spreading, the victim’s husband said. The victim was sent to hospital but doctors were unable to save her, citing the severe burns on her head as the likely cause of death. KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Snow hits Cambodia tourism


Photo by: AFP
Snow still covers approaches to New York airport John F Kennedy International Airport.

via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:00 Soeun Say

THE Kingdom’s tourism industry is suffering the fallout of the giant snowstorm that blanketed the northeastern United States, according to government and private sector officials.

The impact was likely to be extensive, coming in peak tourism season, but it is difficult as yet to tell how many would-be tourists were forced to stay home, said Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.

As many as 1.2 million airline customers may have been affected by almost 8,000 flight cancellations as the storm that hit three days ago closed major airports in the US.

Passengers were being forced to make new plans, sometimes without being able to reach airlines by phone or online for help.

Thong Khon said the storm had kept many North American visitors at home, he added that the Ministry of Tourism was closely observing the issue.

“It has happened too fast to know the impact [at this time],” he said.

Ho Vandy, co-chairman of the Tourism Working Group, confirmed that Cambodia has been impacted by the fallout from the American storms – even though there are no direct flights from the United States.

“We were still affected because many tourists entered Cambodia on direct flights from Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore,” he said.

Many tourists had seen their flights cancelled due to the storm, but he could not say how many were affected.

“We will check one by one with travel agents to figure that out,” he said.

Figures from the Ministry of Tourism released last week show the US as the fifth largest source of tourists to Cambodia, with 131,458 American arrivals in the first eleven months of this year.

Earlier this year, the domestic tourism sector faced fallout from cancelled flights follow the European ash cloud, Thong Khon said at the time.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BLOOMBERG

US trade fair: Local silk products showcased


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:00 Rann Reuy

US trade fair

DOMESTICALLY-produced silk products will be exhibited at a fair in California, United States, during the new year, according to Nhean Chanveasna, executive director of Women for Women Foundation, based in Kandal province’s Takhmao district.

The organisation - which employs 40 disabled women and has orders of about US$5000 per month - aims to seek export partners for its handicrafts through the fair’s exposure, she said.

“Many visitors were interested in previous years, but this year, we hope to gain large partners.”

Ngouy Suely, executive director of California-based Khmer Girls in Action, said the organisation would assist in showcasing the silk products.

Good morning, Vietmall!


Photo by: Wesley Monts

via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:00 Wesley Monts

Employees stack shelves yesterday at Cambodia’s first Vietnamese supermarket – aptly named ‘Vietnam Supermarket’. The US$3 million two-storey building opened yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard, and is owned by an investor from a firm called Z38 Company.

Cambodia’s first aquatic centre to make a splash


via CAAI

Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:00 H S Manjunath

CAMBODIA’S first fully-fledged aquatics centre officially opened in Kampot town on Monday, signaling a new phase of rapid water sports development which will also serve the ever growing demand for water-related tourist recreation.

The Olympic Council of Asia backed the US$100,000 centre, which was built by a private construction company for the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and has been mainly funded by the Olympasia programme of the International Olympic Committee.

The centre will provide facilities for training, recreation and competition involving a range of Olympic disciplines like canoeing, rowing and sailing besides acting as a major hub for indigenous and traditional events like dragon boat racing.

Tourism Minister Dr Thong Khoun, who is also the president of the NOCC, described the centre as a significant sports and tourism initiative that would enhance the Kingdom’s international profile. He said the country’s long-felt need for an organised platform for water sports had now been answered.

He added that there could not have been a better and more suitable venue for a centre like this than Kampot town, which ranks among the prime tourist attractions with historic links to water sports.

“We hope to get better results in the SEA Games and other international events now that we have this excellent infrastructure in place,” the minister said after a colourful opening ceremony attended by the Governor of Kampot province and high ranking officials from the Ministry of Education.

Vath Chamroeun, the Secretary General of the NOCC, said the setting up of this centre marked the beginning of a new era of infrastructure development in the country that would eventually pave the way for hosting the biennial SEA Games in the near future.

He said the centre would be a canoeist’s delight and would soon offer adventure sports like surfing to foreign tourists.

After the inauguration the dignitaries were treated to a round of canoeing, rowing and boating performances.

Water sports play a big role at SEA Games and Asian Games and it is hoped that with this new centre Cambodian athletes will finally get a chance to win some medals.