Thursday, 24 February 2011

DAP News. Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via CAAI

Cambodia Promotes Right Access to Information

Thursday, 24 February 2011 06:03 DAP-NEWS/ROS RITHEA

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, FEB 24, 2011-The information minister Khieu Kanharith said on Thursday that rights access to information is need for people and related to their living conditions, and feeling, and their favorite to get the information in the new era of the information.

“We are proud of implementing the requests for people about the rights access to information,” the minister said in the annual work meeting of the ministry.

“We are optimistic about the press work in our country, and it grew remarkably and it provided the quick information for people,” The minister added, noting that each year, we have implemented the main role for providing the information and entertainment for publics.

The right access to information is not an isolated matter of the ministry but it related to other many issues and state agencies. Cambodia plans to approve the law access to information.

“So far the international community has said that Cambodia is working on the right track towards development, peace, security, stability and democratic promotion, and human rights and people’s health care,” the minister added.

He said that the country in 2010 achieved 5 per cent growth for marco-economic fields and in 1993, the poverty rate stood 43 per cent but now it has 26 per cent in 2010, with the commitment from the government to reduce one per cent annually.

“We are trying to provide the information with the form of the quickness, strangeness, confidence for anytime and anywhere,” The minister said, adding that: “According to the census 2008, Cambodians has 13.4 millions with 2,841, 897 families. And 1,645,891 families owned TV sets in a family about 58 per cent of the total families. At the same time, 1.149,807 families have a radio set respectively in the proportion of about 40.81 per cent. Now, there are 99.22 per cent of our citizens accessed to information.

“We do not count the radio and cassette players installed in the cars.

According to the report from the information ministry, now in Cambodia it has 623 newspapers, magazines, and bulletins in Khmer language and in 2009; it has 556, increasing yearly.

Moreover, it has 74 newspapers, magazines, bulletins, which published at foreign countries imported and sold here.

Cambodia has 11 foreign news agencies, and 27 journalists associations, one radio association and one TV association, 40 radio stations based in Phnom Penh and 51 radio stations at provinces, 10 TV stations based in Phnom Penh and relayed 7 TV stations at provinces and two cables companies TV with broadcasting 102 channels from worldwide. And 5 foreign TV stations relayed into Cambodia, 5 publishing agencies and 84 printing houses. And 49 billboard making companies and 25 TVs stations broadcasted online.


OPINION: Abhisit Vejjajeva’s Beating the War Drum

Thursday, 24 February 2011 05:58 DAP-NEWS

The war of aggression with the intention to invade and occupy territory under Cambodia’s sovereingty 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 Vejjajeva 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 Vejjajeva.

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


Commentary: Incompetence or Karma?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 06:53 DAP-NEWS

Who, if anyone, is in charge of the Thai Air Force? Is it the Thai Defence Minister? Someone else in the government? A military commander? The Yellow Shirts?

The question arises because all of these people, and more, seem to be issuing orders to Thailand’s Air Force and/or explaining its actions. And mostly they disagree with each other.

Let’s start with the Yellow Shirts. Although the Yellow Shirts put Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva into office by occupying the Bangkok airport a few years ago, they are increasingly upset with his inability to disband UNESCO, overrun Preah Vihear or convince the rest of the world that Thailand is the only country that has any heritage worth mentioning.

On 3 February, there was a Yellow Shirt demonstration in Bangkok led by Major General Chamlong Srimuang. According to the Nation newspaper, Chamlong called on the Thai government “to withdraw Thailand from membership of the World Heritage Committee, disavow 2000’s memorandum of understanding on bilateral border demarcations” with Cambodia and to “send F-16 fighters flying over the controversial spots along the Thai-Cambodian border”. The report continued:

“The airborne powers of the Thai air force could be used in lieu of ground or naval forces against the Cambodians who only have some dilapidated MiG-21 fighters to counter the relatively modern American-made combat jets, said the general.”

The same Nation article quoted the Thai Defence Minister, General Prawit Wongsuwan, as saying that “Military ties between Thailand and Cambodia remained firm and friendly”. However, the Minister has some peculiar ideas about friendship. Or perhaps a Major General in the Yellow Shirts outranks a General in the government. Whatever the reason, five days later Prawit had adopted Chamlong’s idea regarding the Air Force.

Prawit told the Thai Cabinet “that Cambodia was unlikely to exacerbate the situation because it did not have a strong military. ‘Cambodia’s air force is not powerful, and I warned my counterpart [Cambodian Minister of National Defence] Tea Banh that we would fly jet fighters if they did not stop,’ Prawit was quoted as saying.” (Nation, 9 February)

Unfortunately, the Nation’s report did not make clear what Cambodia was supposed to “stop” in order to avoid being menaced by the Thai Air Force. Perhaps General Prawit meant that Cambodia would have to stop not having a powerful air force.

Two days later, on 10 February, two Thai fighter planes flew along, and possibly across, the border near the Preah Vihear Temple. Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told the Thai News Agency that this had not happened, and anyway it was only normal flight training.

Mr Suthep was contradicted by Air Chief Marshal Prachin Chantong, who told the Bangkok Post that two Thai planes “flew very close to the Cambodian border by mistake”. Prachin reportedly said that the planes were participating in the Cobra Gold military exercises with the United States and Singapore. They were supposed to stay at least 10 kilometres from the border, but “by mistake” had flown within two or three kilometres.

It might be too cynical to discount the “mistake” explanation. Mistakes seem to be endemic in the Thai Air Force, perhaps because its personnel can’t be sure whose orders they are supposed to be following. A more serious mistake occurred on 14 February, when two Thai F-16s crashed; fortunately the pilots ejected safely. Initial reports indicated that the planes may have collided with each other. Perhaps Major General Chamlong told them “Turn right!” while Air Chief Marshal Prachin was telling them “Turn left!”

However, we should also mention the possibility that the crashes were not a mistake in the usual sense of the word. In both Thailand and Cambodia, the majority religion is Buddhism. It is a central Buddhist belief that a person’s good or bad behaviour today affects their future fortune. Some Buddhists might be inclined to see the loss of two military planes as karmic retribution for the Thai military’s shelling of both the Temple of Preah Vihear and Wat Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak.

Prime Minister Abhisit is working overtime to prevent international observers seeing what his troops have been and are doing. But can he hide them from the Buddha?

By Allen Myers


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