PM Receives Former Thai Foreign Minister
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen met here on Feb. 23 with visiting Dr. Krasae Chanawongse, former Thai minister of foreign affairs.
In the meeting, Dr. Krasae Chanawongse, currently chairman of Princess of Naradhiwas University Council told Samdech Techo Hun Sen that he is willing to provide scholarships to Cambodia for nurse training, organize a Cambodia-Thai football friendship match and the visit exchange between both countries’ university students, Ieng Sophalet, assistant to the Cambodian premier told reporters after the meeting.
In reply, Samdech Techo Hun Sen welcomed Dr. Krasae Chanawongse’s good will, saying that it will help further strengthen the relationship, especially between the youths of the two neighboring countries.
The Cambodian prime minister also welcomed the former Thai foreign minister’s initiative to tie alliance between the two countries’ universities, and he suggested an alliance with Cambodian medical school. –AKP
By LIM Nary
Cambodian National Council for Woman Opens Its Annual Meeting
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – Cambodian National Council for Women (CNCW) opened here its annual meeting, under the chairmanship of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.
In his keynote remarks, Samdech Techo Hun Sen highly valued the achievements of CNCW and its key role in the country’s development.
For her part, Minister of Women Affairs and CNCW Chairperson Mrs. Ing Kantha Phavy said the CNCW’s achievements are inseparable from the cooperation and the spiritual, material and financial support from Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the royal government and other government agencies.
In 2011, the CNCW is committed to promote the women’s role and participation in the society under the recommendation and the leadership of Cambodian leaders, she added. –AKP
By KHAN Sophirom
PM Hun Sen: Government Has Taken Correct Policy to Commercialize Higher Education Services
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has said that the Royal Government of Cambodia has taken the correct policy in permitting both the state-run and private higher education establishments to commercialize education services.
Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen was speaking Tuesday at a graduation ceremony of the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
“More number of students paying their tuition fees than that of those awarded with scholarships was the problem, and if the [higher] education institutions were not allowed to commercialize the services, where would they go to further their education?,” he said in support of the government policy of for-fee education services which took effect ever since some years ago.
The government needs to open the opportunity for the students who can afford the tuitions to continue their education, and that is why there are now both the state-run and private higher education establishments for the young people, he added.
In his report, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports H.E. Im Sethy spoke of the five-year education sector strategic plan (2009-13), quoting the three main strategies: (1) equal access to education; (2) enhancing the quality and effectiveness of education service; (3) development of human resources and institutional management.
The total number of students graduated from the RUPP between 1980 and 2010 is 52,205, of them 7,666 are females, and the number of those studying at the RUPP is now 13,469, including 5,142 females and 293 foreign students, said RUPP Rector Lao Chhiv Eav. –AKP
By Ravuth M.
ASEAN To Send 30 Observers to Monitor Cambodia-Thailand Ceasefire
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – ASEAN will dispatch 15 Indonesian observers to Cambodia and other 15 to Thailand to monitor the ceasefire, said here yesterday Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Hor Namhong.
Cambodia wished that the dispatch could be done as soon as possible, H.E. Hor Namhong, who is also minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport upon his return from the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The observers will not be equipped with weapons, they are peacekeepers, they just come to monitor the ceasefire, he stressed, quoting Singapore foreign minister as saying at the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting that this is a happy and historical day for ASEAN. This is the first time that ASEAN took part in solving the conflict between its members.
H.E. Hor Namhong considered that the result of the meeting is a success for Cambodia against Thailand’s aggression.
“The Chair of ASEAN approved what Cambodia needed,” he said, explaining that apart from sending observers to the border disputed areas, ASEAN called on both sides to resume their bilateral negotiations, but with the engagement of Indonesia as the current Chair of ASEAN.
All meetings whether at foreign ministers’ or defense ministers’ or the Joint Border Commission’s levels must take place in the presence of the Chair of ASEAN or his representative, said the Cambodian deputy prime minister, adding that when Cambodia and Thailand reached an agreement, the Chair of ASEAN could sign as a witness or issue a statement. –AKP
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
DPM Sok An Updates UN Rights Envoy about Cambodia’s Legal Progress
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers H.E. Sok An informed United Nations Special Rapporteur Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi on Tuesday that the country’s legislative body has adopted additional laws for improving the judicial system as well as contributing towards the social benefit of her people.
According to the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers H.E. Sok An briefed Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, stressing that the Kingdom has adopted the penal code and anti-corruption law last year. Both laws are being actively implemented by the concerned institutions.
He said that Cambodia is training more judges and prosecutors so that they could contribute towards improvement of the judiciary.
The Cambodian deputy prime minister also informed the UN special rapporteur that Cambodia has been open for freedom of expression. The National Assembly had approved decriminalizing the defamation law.
He said he wanted to see more professional journalists writing about the reality of the country rather than defaming people or producing false information in their newspapers given the fact that some people used newspapers as tools for their own political interest, which is contrary to the press law.
H.E. Sok An further said in the bilateral discussion that Cambodia is seeking ways on how to maintain the legacies of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) given that the court has achieved significant successes.
The ECCC has achieved the five world records: the speed in carrying out its work including adoption of internal rules and conducting the first trial, its relatively low cost, the absence of any fugitives, the extent of public support, and the involvement of victims in the judicial process.
H.E. Sok An also briefed Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi about the Thai atrocities in waging a war of aggression against Cambodia from Feb. 4-7, which caused serious damages to the Preah Vihear Temple and killed at least 6 Cambodians in addition to displacing more than 3,000 families near the temple areas. He also said that the Thais have violated the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1962, which ruled that: the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.
The Court found that Thailand is under 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. Thailand is under an obligation to restore to Cambodia any objects of the kind specified in the Cambodia’s fifth submission which may, since the date of the occupation of the Temple by Thailand in 1954, have been removed from the Temple or the Temple area by the Thai authority. –AKP
Cambodia-U.S. Military Drill To Be Conducted on Sunday
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and U.S. troops will jointly conduct a military exercise on Feb. 27.
Approximately 500 RCAF and U.S. troops will participate in the first exercise at three locations – the naval base in Preah Sihanouk province, the tank commanding headquarters in Kampong Speu province and Pich Nil military base – from Feb. 27 to Mar. 2, Lt. Gen. Chhum Socheat, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense told reporters yesterday.
The second military drill dubbed “Angkor Sentinel 2011” will last 12 days form May 16 to 27 with the participation of 500 military personnel from Indonesia and Mongolia, he added.
According to the spokesman, the drill will be focusing on how to rescue victims of wars, how doctors help the injured and how to truck emergency food, etc.
Lt. Gen. Chhum Socheat expressed his hope that the “Angkor Sentinel 2011” will be as successful as the multinational military exercise “Angkor Sentinel 2010,” hosted by Cambodia in July last year. –AKP
Information Ministry’s Annual Meeting Kicks Off
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – The Ministry of Information opened here this morning its annual meeting to review the works in 2010 and set forth new objectives for 2011 under the presidency of its Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith.
As many as 350 representatives from different ministries and institutions, provinces and Municipality, NGOs and media, as well as the ministry’s officials attended the opening ceremony of the two-day annual meeting.
“We are proud to have fulfilled people’s need for the right of access to information,” said H.E. Khieu Kanharith. But, the possibility to receive information does not depend only on the Ministry of Information, but also on people’s living conditions, the equipment to receive information and their taste, he stressed.
According to the general census in 2008, some 58.41 percent of the 2,841,897 Cambodian households have a TV set, while 40.81 percent of them have radio, and up to 99.22 percent have at least a means to get information, he said.
H.E. Khieu Kanharith further briefed the meeting on the country’s achievements in all domains in 2010 and praised the media, both national and international, for their contribution to provide information, education, knowledge and entertainment to the Cambodian people. –AKP
By SOKMOM Nimul
Ninth ECCC Plenary Session Concludes
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – The Ninth Session of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) Plenary concluded on Wednesday having met from Feb. 21 to 23.
The Plenary considered proposals to amend its Internal Rules in order to promote efficient trial management and more expeditious trial proceedings, according to an ECCC press release dated on Feb. 23.
By the close of Plenary, five proposed amendments to the Internal Rules were adopted, a number of which related to the Trial Chamber. These included adapting the rule on admissibility of an application on the disqualification of a Trial Chamber Judge. Further rule amendments were approved regarding the ability of an accused to attend before the Chamber in person and the continuation of trial proceedings in the interests of justice. One of the provisions allows that where due to ill health or other serious concerns, an accused cannot attend the Chamber, the Chamber may continue proceedings in the absence of the Accused with his or her consent, or where the absence causes substantial delay to proceedings and the interests of justice so require, order the Accused’s participation by audio-visual means.
A new provision was adopted allowing the Trial Chamber when required in the interests of justice, to order the separation of proceedings, and the separation of charges, in relation to one or more accused.
The Plenary adopted an amendment allowing the Office of Administration to designate a lawyer where both Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyers are temporarily unable to carry out their functions.
The next session of the Plenary is expected to be held within the next six months. –AKP
OPINION: Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Beating the War Drum
Phnom Penh, February 24, 2011 AKP – The war of aggression with the intention to invade and occupy territory under Cambodia’s sovereignty by Thailand’s Armed Forces is imminent if the report by The Bangkok Post on 24 February 2011 under the title: “PM: Thailand is ready to respond” is accurate.
Only one day after Thailand had claimed of a Thai diplomatic victory at ASEAN’s 22 February 2011 Foreign Ministers meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, and only one week after Thailand had claimed of a Thai political victory at UNSC’s 14 February 2011, in New York City, USA that the Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva is frantically beating the war drum and showing off evidences of Thai military activities in the area facing the Temple of Preah Vihear border area that “Thailand is prepared to strike with full force against Cambodia if it continues to violate Thai sovereignty.” Let’s dissect this arrogant statement and see, what does it mean and what does it stand among all civilized nations of ASEAN and the World Community.
• First, Thailand’s accusation of Cambodia of violating Thai sovereignty is exactly the same case as in “The Wolf and the Lamb,” by French fabulist and poet, Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), in which Thailand is a mean and cruel wolf that exerts the threat of a “full force” war against Cambodia, with its Armed Forces superiority, including modern weaponry, modern fighter-jets and a navy including a carrier.
• Second, to support its accusation, Thailand must have the courage to tell ASEAN and the World Community, when Cambodia violated Thailand sovereignty, and how long already Cambodia has violated Thailand’s sovereignty, and how and why the violation occurred.
• Third, Thailand must have the courage to tell ASEAN and the World Community that it is a bully boy and prepares to trample under foot all international treaties, conventions, commitments, and agreements, namely the 13 February 1904 Convention (or Treaty), the 23 March 1907 Treaty, the 15 June 1962 ICJ’s Judgment, recent commitments expressed at the UNSC and at the 22 February 2011 ASEAN foreign ministers meeting.
• Fourth, the ASEAN and the World Community, especially Indonesia with the appreciation of the UNSC and ASEAN members including Cambodia has committed to send observers very soon to the Thailand side as requested by Thailand before and at the Jakarta meeting, and to the Cambodian side under Cambodia’s request announced by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the morning of 17 February 2011. This should have made Thailand celebrating a happy moment, but it turns out that Abhisit Vejjajiva is beating the war drum louder and louder in defiance of it “own granted request”.
• Fifth, ASEAN and the World Community have witnessed the way Thailand treats ASEAN and the World Community…with contempt and the way Thailand behaves…like a snake in the grass. Samdech Techo had said last weeks that “they (Thai PM and FM) are a lot more slippery than the slimy eels, and Cambodia must be careful.”
• Sixth, it is high time for ASEAN and the World Community to bring the “wild bull” into the stable, in order to avoid bloodshed, destruction and misery to innocent civilian people who wish to leave peacefully and in harmony with one another in either side of the recognized international frontier line.
• Seventh, Cambodians, rich, poor, city dwellers, peasants, old and young are united behind the Royal Government and its Armed Forces under the wise leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen to defend Cambodia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity based on existing binding treaties, agreements and commitments and with all Cambodia’s available resources, legal, political and military when the war of aggression intended to invade and occupy Cambodian territory is imposed on Cambodia by Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The plea of the Cambodian people to ASEAN and the UNSC and other International Organizations: please stop the imminent war of aggression of Thailand against Cambodia, before it is ignited by Thai militarists and insane politicians.
Prof. Pen Ngoeun
Senior advisor and member of the Academic Committee
Puthisastra University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia,
Former Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Business and Economics
Pannasastra University of Cambodia,
Former Assistant Controller at Phibro Inc.,
A subsidiary of Citigroup Inc., New York City, USA, until 2000
(The comment are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia)