Cambodia’s Third Senate Election To Be Held in January 2012
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – The Cambodian Senate approved unanimously the date for the Senate Members’ Election and the number of seats for each region, during its plenary session held here last Thursday under the presidency of Senate President Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim.
According to the Senate General Secretariat, the 3rd senate election is scheduled to take place on Jan. 29, 2012 with the total seats of 61.
The Senate also announced the number of seats for each regional constituency including Region 1 (Phnom Penh capital city) 6 seats, Region 2 (Kampong Cham province) 8 seats, Region 3 (Kandal province) 5 seats, Region 4 (Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey and Pailin provinces) 10 seats, Region 5 (Takeo, Kampot and Kep provinces) 7 seats, Region 6 (Svay Rieng and Prey Veng provinces) 7 seats, Region 7 (Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk provinces) 8 seats, and Region 8 (Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Kratie, Stung Treng, Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces) 6 seats. –AKP
Government Is Determined to Crack Down on Corruption
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has declared to take serious measures against high-ranking government officials who get involved in corruption.
“Even though [the generals] who have three stars, but also those who have four stars or five or even the ‘moon’ will be arrested,” underlined the Cambodian premier on Jan. 22 at the inauguration ceremony of SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Sen Sok district, Phnom Penh.
During the past months, some high-ranking officials of the judicial body and the armed forces have been successively arrested for getting involved in drug trafficking and corruption.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen also took the opportunity to call on young people to get away from drug, HIV/AIDS and other negative acts.
The SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Phnom Penh is the 6th among over 10 projects of SOS Children’s Village International already signed with the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.
According to a news release of the said ministry, the school built at the total cost of US$1.1 million could receive some 400 students from grade 7th to 12th. –AKP
Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by KHAN Sophirom
Cambodian First Lady To Be Appointed with UN Senior Title
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – Cambodian First Lady Lok Chumteav Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen is expected to be appointed next month by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with a senior title for her highly committed endeavor to address joint social issues, in particular in the area of child and woman health promotion in Cambodia.
Lok Chumteav Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen’s restless humanitarian initiatives and leadership earn Cambodian Red Cross a new opportunity wherein the institution is promised with a budget of US$40,000 for the period of 5 years.
At the same time that Cambodia is on the right track to meet many of its Millennium Development Goals, the country faces a specific maternal mortality issue. The portion of 461 mother death among 10,000 live birth in 2008 makes Cambodia one of the countries in Asia that have such high loss of mother lives.
The most challenging obstacle to tackle maternal mortality rate in Cambodia is the lateness in decision making process of mothers to access pre-natal and post-natal care by well-trained medical staff.
With the appointment of the Cambodia’s first lady who has experienced by herself the loss of her first son at a very early stage of his life due to war-limited health care facilities and who possesses midwife skills, it is expected that Cambodia will be able to reduce the maternal mortality rate to 250 per live birth by 2015.
The expectation is also assured by restless effort of the Ministry of Health and its counterparts in achieving the aim.
In 2006, the Cambodian First Lady won the National Champion of the Asia-Pacific Leadership owing to her dedication to combat HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. Cambodia consequently succeeds with its millennium HIV/AIDS goal, the achievement recognized internationally and nationally inspiring new efforts. –AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2011 Successfully Ended
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – A week-long ASEAN Tourism Forum 2011 successfully ended, Cambodian Tourism Minister H.E. Thong Khon said here on Jan. 21 at the closing ceremony.
H.E. Thong Khon said the forum has endorsed its five-year tourism strategy plan for 2011-2015 with an aim to boost the ASEAN region to become a world-class tourism destination.
The ASEAN countries have cooperated in promoting tourism by increasing dissemination, and the improving the quality of services, human resources and tourist transportation, etc., he said.
H.E. Thong Khon also pledged to do his utmost to continue good cooperation with partner countries to attract more tourists to visit Cambodia.
The closing ceremony was followed by the handover of appreciation certificates to relevant media institutions, artists and officials. –AKP
By LIM Nary
IRI: Cambodia Is On the Right Track
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – Most of the Cambodian people are still saying that Cambodia, under the current leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, is on the right track, according to the International Republican Institute’s survey issued late last week.
The survey conducted between June and August 2010 showed that 76 percent of the 2,000 interviewed people throughout the country said Cambodia is moving in the right direction, the group’s opinion assessment focused on the fast growth of the infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, health centers, irrigation networks and so on.
Only 23 percent of the people who were interviewed said that Cambodia is on the wrong track, and among them 42 percent said Cambodia has corruption.
The questionnaire of the survey also detailed on the activities of the corruption, one of the questions asked how big is the corruption and bribery within the local authorities from communal level to the provincial and the national levels. 16 percent of the interviewed persons said almost all officials at the commune and district levels are corrupt, while 17 percent said almost all officials at the national level commit corruption. –AKP
Cambodia Promotes Rice Export
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – To show government’s support and encouragement, Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Yim Chhay Ly late last week led a delegation to see thousand tons of well processed Cambodian rice produced by 40,000-farmer-family association ready to export to international markets, thanks to the collaboration with Angkor Agriculture Rong Roeung Company.
H.E. Deputy Prime Minister appreciated the approach that the Angkor Agriculture Rong Roeung Company is applying with 40,000 farmer families in four provinces – Kandal, Kampong Speu, Kampot and Takeo and the company’s high-tech facilities to produce 30 tons of husked rice per hour.
Focusing on organic rice production, the company partners with its target farmers. Under the partnership, those farmers receive quality rice seeds and farming technical support. With the said assistance, the partnered farmers are able to produce between 2 to 3 tons of rice per one hectare of their land.
The company is committed to buy all rice yield produced by those farmers with the price of 1.600 riel [roughly US$0.40] per kilogram. For 2011, the company expects to buy from 60 to 70 thousand tons of rice from its partner farmers.
Seeing the sustainability of the company’s approach, the Rural Development Bank provides US$5 million loan to the company to ensure its smooth operation, which H.E. Yim Chhay Ly considered as an effective attribution to Cambodia’s economic growth as well as to poverty reduction. –AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
Five Thais Return Home
Phnom Penh, January 24, 2011 AKP – Five Thais returned home on Jan. 22 following a verdict made by Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Earlier on Jan. 21, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced them to nine-month prison terms for illegal entry into Cambodian territory and unlawful entry into military zone, but their jail term is suspended, according to a Cambodian court official.
The five Thais include lawmaker Panich Vikitsreth, 47, Kochpontorn Chosanaseree, 46, assistant to Panich; Samdin Lersbusya, 52, secretary for Heaven and Earth Party; Taynae Moongmachon, pressperson; and Ms. Naruemol Chitwaratana, 48, housekeeper.
Two other Thais, also being arrested with the five on Dec. 29 in Banteay Meanchey province, were Veera Somkwamkid, a core member of Thailand Patriot Network, and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, known as Veera’s woman secretary. They still faced additional charge of an attempt in collecting information which might damage Cambodia’s national security. –AKP
By THOU Peou
OPINION: HERE THEY GO AGAIN How ridiculous when a “so called historian” does not know history, and one NATION’s writer lets his imagination runs wild
Supalak Ganjanakhundee of the NATION wrote on 23 January 2011 about a “so-called Thai historian” named Charnvit Kasetsiri who had nothing interesting and fair to say about the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity, but spoke about “what he is calling a Mixed Cultural and Natural Mekong-Dangrek World Heritage as a model to end the conflict,” in an attempt to renew Thailand’s insinuation into Cambodia’s sovereignty. As the pair do think alike, Charnvit Kasetsiri provides ground works for Supalak Ganjanakhundee to drill on the scheme of Thailand to use forces to take away a piece of property and the land in its vicinity under the sovereignty of Cambodia by suggesting that “Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear for half a century, and the proposal by Cambodia to list the ruined temple as a World Heritage site in 2008 fuelled conflict between the neighbouring countries.”
“Half a century” ago, in 1962 as the owner of the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity, Cambodia, very well conscious of her relative weakness to push out the Thai occupation since 1954 by forces, went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and succeeded in having Thailand put its tail down between the legs and vacated the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity. A point of fact must be recalled for the benefit of the Thai so-called historian and non historian of the same breed is that the “Judgments” of the ICJ on June 15, 1962 is entirely based on the provisions found in Articles I and III of the February 13, 1904 Convention between France (protectorate power over Cambodia) and Siam (now, Thailand). Supalak Ganjanakhundee must not make himself looked naïve and ridiculous by suggesting that Cambodia wanted to “be at loggerhead with Thailand” over the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity for the past half century. Common sense tells Supalak Ganjanakhundee and others of the same breed that Cambodia has rights and duties to protect her sovereignty, safeguard her property and land within her boundary recognized internationally and especially by Siam since 1908. This means simply that any attempt by Thailand to encroach any part of the Cambodian territory, be it the Temple of Preah Vihear, its vicinity, or any other place will be met with adequate resistance.
Make believe that he is completely ignorant of the very recent history of the listing of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List does not make Supalak Ganjanakhundee smart and credible at all. It makes him looked ridiculous even more, and there is nothing wrong to call him a liar. He knew, but pretending that he did not know. In fact, the Temple of Preah Vihear had moved beyond and passed over the stage of “proposal by Cambodia” in 2008. Actually, on July 7, 2008 in Quebec, Canada the World Heritage Committee unanimously listed the Cambodian Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List under Decisions 32 COM 8B.102. Fully speculative and suggestive Supalak Ganjanakhundee and other Thais of the same breed distorted the fact by saying that “the proposal by Cambodia to list the ruined temple as a World Heritage site in 2008 fuelled conflict between the neighbouring countries. The fact of the matter is that Thailand sent troops to invade and occupy the territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia on July 15, 2008 that “fuelled conflict”.
Supalak Ganjanakhundee went too far by stretching his imagination into something beyond logical reasoning even for an ordinary people by saying that “Bangkok said it respected the court’s ruling but argued that the temple’s vicinity and even the land where the temple sits belongs to Thailand.” This is really a stunning kind of Thai reasoning. To say the least, Thailand did not do itself a favor by uttering these words.
Supalak Ganjanakhundee can keep on dreaming all his life. The fate of the Temple of Preah Vihear will not fall into what Charnvit Kasetsiri professed as “Mixed Cultural and Natural Mekong-Dangrek World Heritage” and so proudly and enthusiastically speculated by Supalak Ganjanakhundee. By saying that “Preah Vihear could be jointly listed as a World Heritage site, as its main building is in Cambodia but the area around it is in Thailand,” Supalak Ganjanakhundee committed two fundamental mistakes.
First, he makes believe that he does not know that there is a final and stable international boundary line between Cambodia and Thailand based on the provisions of Articles I and III of February 13, 1904 Convention, and according to this international boundary line, the Temple of Preah Vihear, its vicinity, and the ground on which sits the Temple of Preah Vihear are inside Cambodia and under Cambodia’s sovereignty. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia has stated many times in many occasions that under his watch, not a square inch of Cambodian territory will be lost, and Cambodia will not encroach even an inch of foreign territory. Second, regardless of what Charnvit Kasetsiri had in mind and what Supalak Ganjanakhundee dreamed to stir up, the Temple of Preah Vihear and other temples situated near the boundary line inside the Cambodian territory will be way, way beyond their reaches.
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia
24 January 2011