Cambodia’s National Assembly President Back Home
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011 AKP – Cambodia’s National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin returned home on Jan. 28 following the 19th annual meeting of Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) hosted by Mongolia.
In his remarks at the forum, Samdech Heng Samrin raised some issues dealing with the strengthening of peace and security in the region, the sustainability of the development, according to H.E. Nim Chandara, Member of Parliament, who told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport.
The Cambodian national assembly president urged the countries in Asia-Pacific region to do their utmost to respect the laws and other lawful instruments set and adopted, he said.
The forum, attended by delegates from the member countries of the APPF, touched upon political, economic and trade, and security issues, regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region as well as future work and reform of APPF.
The meeting also adopted some issues relating to combating human trafficking, terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime and energy security.
The next annual meeting of APPF will be conducted in Japan.
The APPF was set up in Tokyo in 1993, the purpose of which is to promote greater regional identification and cooperation among national parliamentarians in the Asia-Pacific region. –AKP
By THOU Peou
ADB Provides US$44 mln for Development Projects in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011 AKP – Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided Cambodia with US$44 million in grant and loan for three development projects.
The grant and loan agreements were signed in Phnom Penh last Thursday by H.E. Keat Chhon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of Cambodia, and Putu Kamayana, ADB Country Director for Cambodia.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the agreements cover the Financial Sector Development Program -Cluster 2, Subprogram 4, the Second Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Communicable Disease Control Project, and the GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project.
ADB will provide loans of US$10 million and grants of US$5 million for the Financial Sector Development Program -Cluster 2, Subprogram 4, which will be implemented by the National Bank of Cambodia in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The project is to enhance the financial sector in order to improve financial resources and guarantee the stable economic growth through modernizing the payment system, improving the information management system, promoting good governance, and building the capacity of microfinance agencies and institutions.
Regarding the Second GMS Communicable Disease Control Project, ADB will provide US$10 million in grants with US$1 million contributed by the Royal Government of Cambodia to further implement the GMS communicable disease prevention, building on the achievements of the First GMS Community-Based Communicable Disease Control Project through the improvement of the communicable disease prevention system to control and prevent the spread of communicable diseases in the GMS countries. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Health for the period of five years (2011-2015).
The GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project is designed to conserve the sustainable biodiversities in the provinces of Koh Kong and Mondulkiri. The project costs nearly US$21 million, for which ADB is providing grants of US$19 million and the rest is contributed by the Royal Government of Cambodia. It will be jointly operated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery and the Ministry of Environments for a period for nine years (2011-2019). –AKP
Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by Ravuth M.
Japan Pledges US$11.7 Million to ECCC
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011 AKP – The Government of Japan has confirmed that it will provide a new contribution of US$11,705,975 to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), of which US$8,771,225 is for the international component and US$2,934,750 for the national component.
This contribution will cover about 25 percent of the ECCC’s budget for 2011, according to an ECCC press release.
The Government of Japan has provided assistance to the ECCC since its establishment, and it is the single largest donor to the ECCC. With this latest pledge, Japan has provided financial assistance of about US$67 million or about 49 percent of the total Pledges and Contributions to the ECCC to date.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude for this generous contribution and the continued support from the Government of Japan, which comes at a crucial time for the ECCC. This support is essential in enabling the ECCC to move forward with the important work to complete its mandate”, says H.E. Tony Kranh, Acting Director of Office of Administration in a statement. –AKP
Cambodia-China Friendship Art Performance Concluded
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011 AKP – The Cambodia-China friendship art performance ended on Jan. 31 after six-day of performances at Meanchey University of Banteay Meanchey province.
The ceremony, performed by 25 students of University of Meanchey and the Cambodian Royal Academy’s Confucius Institute, is aimed to further strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and China.
H.E Ung Oeun, Banteay Meanchey provincial governor, H.E. Toch Choeun, rector of Meanchey University as well as many dignities guests were attended the event. –AKP
By LIM Nary
COMMENTARY: THE PAD NAKED STRATEGY: TAKING CAMBODIA HOSTAGE WILL LEAD TO A MILITARY COUP AND WAR
The PAD is the biggest Thai political spoiler and loser. Past successes of this nationalist movement in bringing down the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra, the legitimate government of Samak Sundaravej and the government of Somchai Wongsawat have proven without a doubt that the PAD is simply a tool in the grab for power, by the established Thai political power houses to be discarded after being used. Many Democrats, including Abhisit Vejjajiva and Kasit Piromya were the center stages of PAD movement when Bangkok Suwannaphuma airport was taken hostage by the PAD. But when the Democrats came to power, PAD leaders were nowhere to be found. The mouth-watering ministerial and under-ministerial posts were distributed to members of the Democratic Party and others political parties’ members allied with the Democratic Party. The sickening reality forces the PAD to form a political party, the New Politics Party (NPP) which has been crippled from the start. The PAD is irrelevant as a political party, but yet hugely relevant as a tool in the grab for power by the others. Who do not want to use a tool for free?
Pre-election euphoria turned Thai national past time after the rainy season and harvest time, as usual, hits Thai societies and people like sermon water released by monks while chanting Buddhist prayer. They enjoy their political life under a brand of democracy unique to Thailand. No winners, no losers, because the fate of Thai national politics is decided solely by “known invisible hands,” that are beyond all thinkable blames and without responsibility. Divide and rule are their core values. This explains why governments come and go so easily, why street protests are popularly appealing, and why the military coups are subject of fertile speculation that they will occur when street demonstrations grew to their ripening.
At every turn, since 2005 the PAD has played the same hand of the same “Cambodian card” and won, not for the PAD itself, but for the others, including Abhisit Vejjajiva and Kasit Piromya, in 2007. How about this time? The answer is simple, extremely difficult to predict, not even worth to speculate. And the damn question is: Will those “known invisible hands” go along with the three (3) demands of the PAD, or will they go along with the rejection of the PAD demands by the Abhisit government? Go along with the three (3) demands of the PAD means that a military coup will likely take place, and a war of aggression by Thailand against Cambodia will likely materialize. Go along with the rejection of the demands of the PAD by the Abhisit government means that the territorial claims by Thailand will be resolved peacefully.
It is frustratingly unfortunate that the ultra-nationalist elements of Thai population continue to take Cambodia hostage of their internal political squabbles for no valid legal, historical and factual reasons. The PAD and other Thai ultra-nationalists had never brought evidences to back up their claims of losing territory to Cambodia. Their words are mere innuendo, suggestion, and speculation. On the other hand, Cambodia has brought to the open the evidences 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.
• Without ambiguity, the 1904 Convention provided that the frontier in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear should be the watershed between two named river systems, and that this watershed should be delimited by a Mixed Commission.
• The MOU 2000 provided the legal framework for the JBC to conduct the demarcation of land boundary between Cambodia and Thailand, and to place border-pillars where they should be.
Cambodia wants to live in peace with all neighbors. But if a war of aggression is imposed on her, the only choice she has is to fight to protect the territorial integrity and safeguard national 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. Facing Thai hostilities caused by the PAD, the “invisible known hands” and the others, the Cambodian people are proud to have Samdech Techo Hun Sen in command and also to have our armed forces ready to fight to safeguard the motherland.
When it is not under our control, we throw our hands up in the air, and scream out loud: “So this must be it!”
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia
31 January 2011
(The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)
PM: Cambodia Has Rice, But Lacks Packaging
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011 AKP – Cambodia is undergoing a situation wherein the country ‘has gold, but lacks packaging’, meaning rice is abundantly available in the country; however, it lacks the facilities to process the rice to meet an export standard.
The analogy was made by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in his Jan. 29 meeting with agricultural investor Jinliang Group from China, at his residence adjacent to the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh Capital City.
With more than 30 years of experience in agriculture and water irrigation, Jinliang Group intends to invest in Cambodia agriculture – buying rice to process for export.
As communicated by Samdech Prime Minister to the investor, agriculture is the priority of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The sector not only contributes to the country’s economic growth and poverty reduction, but also helps reduce the impacts of global financial crisis on the Cambodia.
Samdech Prime Minister encourages the investor to, as much as possible, invest in agriculture and irrigation rehabilitation in Cambodia. –AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
COMMENTARY: Abhisit Vejjajiva: TAKING CAMBODIA HOSTAGE IN TIME OF INTERNAL POLITICAL CRISIS
The relations between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the kingdom of Thailand must be based on the respect of the agreements signed by the representatives of the parties to the agreements. In 1904 and 1907, while Cambodia was under French protectorate, the agreements between France and Siam, namely the 1904 Convention and the 1907 Treaty in particular are binding under the international rule of law. In 2000, an MOU on the demarcation of land boundary was signed between Cambodia and Thailand, two sovereign nations, members of ASEAN, and members of the United Nations. The 2000 MOU is binding.
If all Thai politicians including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva lead the Thai government with international dignity, by abiding themselves to the contents and spirits of all international agreements that exist and well in force, the relation between Cambodia and Thailand would be always a promising one for the development and peaceful interaction between Cambodians and Thais who live on both sides of the common border between the two nations, and between the two governments. But some Thai politicians including Abhisit Vejjajiva are traditionally nationalists or extreme nationalists with regard to the territorial ambition against Cambodia. This type of behavior is the cause of the conflicts and sometimes military clashes between the two nations. On July 15, 2008 Thai troops invaded Cambodia, occupied the territory in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear, including Keo Sikkha Kiri Svara pagoda. On 15 July 2008, Thai troops attacked Cambodian positions at Veal Intry, Phnom Trap and the Keo Sikkha Kiri Svara pagoda. On April 2009, Thai troops using heavy weapons attacked and burnt to the ground the market village situated next to the Northern staircase of the Temple of Preah Vihear causing unprecedented devastation to 319 Cambodian families, and damaging parts of the Temple of Preah Vihear.
The position of the Kingdom of Cambodia has been always clear and unequivocal that between Cambodia and Thailand there is a final and stable international boundary line delimited by the mixed commission composed of French and Siam officers, established under the provisions of the 1904 Convention, agreed and signed by France and Siam, recognized by France and Siam, and known to be such by world powers, many countries, and many maps publication societies at that time. Therefore, there is absolutely no “overlapping area or disputed area in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear, based on the “Dangrek Map,” known also as the ANNEX I map in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgments dated 15 June 1962. To that effect, Cambodia can exercise and express her sovereignty under any shape and form as she pleases on all the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and especially on the Cambodian side of the boundary line drawn on the Dangrek Map or the ANNEX I map.
It is an insulting statement made by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva when he said, as reported by the Nation on 28 January, “If there is such flag (risen at the Keo Sikkha Kiri Svara pagoda), it needs to be taken down.” Abhisit Vejjajiva must retract this unacceptable statement, as this pagoda is about 300 meters west of the Temple of Preah Vihear, and about 700 meters from the boundary line inside Cambodia.
It has become customary in the relations between Cambodia and Thailand, that when Thailand falls into factional confrontation and internal squabbling between the government, the “yellow shirts” the Networks of Thai Patriots, the Santi Asoka Sect, or the “Red Shirts” the only thing that they can think of is to take Cambodia as hostage. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is doing the same thing when he made such an insulting and unacceptable statement which not only constitutes a clear provocative act, but also a casus belli for future aggression against Cambodia.
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia 28 January 2011
(This article reflects only the personal opinion of the author)______
Thailand’s New Provocation to Declare War of Aggression Against Cambodia
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011, AKP – Once again, Thailand is gearing itself to wage war on Cambodia following the statement made by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva quoted by the Nation entitled “Phnom Penh must remove flag” and other media on 27 January 2011 saying that “Cambodia had no right to rise its national flag over the disputed border area adjacent to the Preah Vihear Temple.
Such a statement made by the Prime Minister of Thailand constitutes a casus belli to declare a war of aggression against Cambodia. The Thai Government has no right to use military force against the sovereignty of any country. The location on which Prime Minister Abhisit demanded the Cambodian Government to remove its national flag is clearly identified as Wat Keo Sikkha Kiri Svara where Thai troops had already initiated one invasion on 15 July 2008.
As far as the Cambodian-Thai relation is concerned, it is crystal clear that the national and international public opinion is fully aware that the two countries share a clear borderline based on the ANNEX 1 Dangrek Map 1/200000 which was produced in 1908 in full conformity with the 1904 Convention and 1907 Treaty.
As it turned out, there is absolutely neither disputed nor overlapping area. On the contrary, the provocative act by Thailand to draw up a secret and unilateral map which lacks international legitimacy is aimed only at serving its ambition to invade Cambodia and take soverign Cambodian territory or rather, to forcibly annex Cambodian soil by military means in a foolish and suicidal attempt to succeed by force where it has already failed by international judiciary means.
On 28 January 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia issued a declaration by quoting the Judgement of the International Court of Justice in The Hague dated 15 June 1962. It stated that:
1. “… the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia,”
2. “Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory,”.
The said-statement also reaffirmed Article 1(c) of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on the Survey and Demarcation on Land Boundary, signed on 14 June 2000, which incidentally, also recognizes the above mentioned map as a legal basis for the survey and demarcation of the Land Boundary between the Kingdom of Cambodia and Kingdom of Thailand.
According to the Map produced by the Franco-Siamese Commissions, the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda, built by the people of Cambodia in 1998, is clearly situated in the Cambodian territory. Therefore, the national flag of the Kingdom of Cambodia is legitimately flying over this pagoda.
On the other hand, the declaration of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that the Thai Prime Minister’s statement is in parallel with Thailand’s millitary excercise at the border with Cambodia is clearly provocative and constitutes a casus belli for future acts of aggression against Cambodia and such a statement and insulting demand are unacceptable and firmly rejected by the latter.
Strong with the internationally recognized legal documents coupled with the territory under the effective sovereignty of Cambodia forms a solid and legitimate foundation for Cambodia that absolutely cannot be violated by Thailand. On top of that, the Royal Government of Cambodia
has time and again clearly stated her principle position to use her self-defence rights as enshrined in the articles 52 and 53 of the Cambodian Constitution so as to protect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
However, it is also important to take note that the Royal Government of Cambodia has been undeviatingly sticking to peaceful means through existing mechanisms to settle the border issues between the two countries. Therefore, the warning to recourse to military force against Cambodia undoubtedly reflects the ill-will of Bangkok Governemnt to use Cambodia as hostage of Thai internal politics at a time when both the yellow and red shirt protestors are massively rallying against the government before the general elections to be held this year.
This is clearly a well thought out political strategy by elements within the ruling Democratic Party to beat the drums of war, and drive the wild sentiments of patriotism and nationalism to divert its people’s attention from its domestic political crisis brought about by the multi-colored agent provocateurs and militant activists.
The following acts have clearly demonstrated the ill will of the ignorant Thais, fueled by the yellow shirts and their affiliates as they are all doing this with an agenda – that to invade Cambodia with blind nationalism and in the course, retain political power in Bangkok!
Cambodia, in good faith and to avoid unnecessary tensions, had earlier removed two stone tablets at Wat Keo Sekha Kirisvara, which indicated that the area belonged to Cambodia and had been invaded by Thai troops in 2008.
It certainly does not send the signal for Thailand and its recalcitrant Prime Minister to take this as an act of weakness and up the ante by demanding Cambodia to take down its flag in its own territory. This is tantamount to Cambodia telling Thailand to remove the Thai flag from the border post at the Thai side of the border! Violence begets violence.
This is illogical, defines internationally accepted norms, bilateral and multi-lateral relations and is downright stupidity of the highest order on the part of the Thais!
by T. Mohan, a long term political analyst in Cambodia
The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia
Joint Press Statement on Nepal’s Acceptance of Peace Consultations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh, January 31, 2011, AKP – We are honoured to announce the unanimous acceptance by the three major political parties and the smaller parties of Nepal of the invitation extended by the Cambodian Government headed by Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Governing Councils of ICAPP and CAPDI to a Nepal Peace Consultation Meeting in Phnom Penh in late February or early March, 2011.
We are hopeful that the election process and a much-needed consensus for a unity government will now be enhanced with the transfer, attended by a “public ceremony” last January 22, 2011, of the “monitoring and control of the Maoist combatants” in the cantonments to The Special Committee, headed by the holdover Prime Minister Madhav Nepal. The transfer to the multi-party Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of the Maoist Combatants and its Secretariat followed the end of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) last January 15, 2011. It began in 2006 with the signing of the Nepal Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), after a 10-year civil war which causes many casualties. The Maoist Party is headed by its President Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a.k.a. Prachanda.
The U.N. Mission came to a close after Nepal’s warring political parties agreed in September, last year not to extend its mandate including its role as a buffer between the Maoist army and the Nepal Army. And in a last-minute compromise, the Government, the coalition political parties and the Maoists have agreed to take over the U.N.’s monitoring duties.
The invitation to the Peace Consultation in Phnom Penh was issued by the three convenors, the Cambodian Government, the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International (CAPDI), to be hosted by Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen. It is inspired by the recent history and national experience of Cambodia in achieving internal reconciliation and consolidation, peace and economic development in the two decades, and the signing of Cambodia’s own Peace Accord in Paris in 1991.
The Peace Consultation in Cambodia among the political parties of Nepal will be a caucus strictly among themselves without any mediation or conciliation by international powers. However observer political parties from Asia, specifically China, India and Japan, will be invited.
A 3-man ICAPP/CAPDI Exploratory Mission visited Kathmandu, January 19-25, 2011, composed of former Cambodian Ambassador to India Sok Sath, former Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Alberto Encomienda and Under Secretary of State Suos Yara, of the Cambodian Council of Ministers (Deputy Secretary General of CAPDI)
They met with leaders and representatives of the Special Committee, which has taken over the role of the United Nations Mission to Nepal.
The statement was recently made By the Government of Cambodia, the Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and the Governing Council of the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International (CAPD)