PM: Thai Armed Forces Launch over 50,000 Artillery Shells into Cambodia
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – Thai armed forces has launched over 50,000 artillery shells, from 105 mm to 155 mm, into Cambodia during the latest war between the two neighboring countries in Cambodia’s Oddar Meanchey province.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen told here this morning at Cambodian Red Cross (CRC)’s headquarters during a meeting to mark the 148th anniversary of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.
Some of these 50,000 shells are unexploded, said the Cambodian premier, thus calling on the CRC and relevant authorities to educate people about the danger of unexploded shells and to destroy them.
He further said that as of May 3, about 40,000 evacuees, or more than 10,000 families, who fled home for shelters due to the latest fighting, have returned home, except some 200 families whose houses are too close to the fighting zones remain at the same sites for a few more days until the situation has returned to normalcy.
According to the Cambodian prime minister, there is a negotiation between the two countries’ frontline military commanders on Tuesday morning to ease the situation so that it can return to that before Apr. 22, 2011.
Thai armed forced has resumed its attacks against Cambodia since Apr. 22, killing and injuring Cambodian soldiers and civilians, and forcing thousands of civilians to flee homes for safety.
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
National Assembly President Presides Over BAC’s General Assembly
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin presided over the closing of the general assembly of Buddhist Association of Cambodia (BAC) held here on Apr. 30.
Speaking at the ceremony, Samdech Heng Samrin urged for promoting BAC’s structural organization and heightening the Buddhism principle awareness and the state law to the monks and the Cambodian Buddhist circles to enable them to support the association.
He hoped that the members of BAC will make a new change with a high quality to attract the support from the outsiders with the aim of enhancing the Buddhism in Cambodia as well as in the world.
The national assembly president also attributed the development of Buddhism in the country to the national reunification and reconciliation in the country, mainly “Win-Win” policy of the royal government led by Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.
The two-day meeting was carried out successfully, conforming to the aim and the request expected, in which the working progress reports was presented and the objective in the future was set.
The Buddhist infrastructure in Cambodia includes about 4,000 pagodas with nearly 54,000 monk residents, and Buddhism is the religion of over 90 percent of the population. Buddhist monks are also highly respected in Cambodian culture.
Article in Khmer by PAL Song
Article in English by THOU Peou
Cambodia, Japan Reach Customs Agreement
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – Cambodia’s General Department of Customs and Exercise (GDCE) under the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Customs and Tariffs Bureau of Japan (CTBJ) agreed upon here last week on a number of points of cooperation between the two countries, especially the later assistance to the Cambodian customs at the international forums, according to GDCE.
H.E. Dr. Pen Simon, GDCE Director General met with Mr. Atsuo Shibota, Head of CTBJ in Phnom Penh last Thursday, to discuss the cooperation, especially the trade facilitation between the two countries.
GDCE has to strengthen its cooperation with the ASEAN countries and Japan as well as with other countries over the world to ensure the security and the smooth flow of goods supplies in the aftermath of the tsunami occurred in Japan last March, said Dr. Pen Simon.
Despite the natural disaster in Japan, the trade exchange volume between Cambodia and Japan is stable, he said.
GDCE has just signed a cooperation agreement with its S. Korean and Vietnamese counterparts.
Cambodian Customs Chief Meets with WCO Secretary General
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – Cambodian General Department of Customs and Excise Director General H.E. Dr. Pen Simon, met here last week with Mr. Kuniko Mikuriya, Secretary General of World Customs Organization (WCO).
During the meeting, Mr. Kuniko Mikuriya, who came to Cambodia to join the Meeting of Customs Directors-General of the 10 ASEAN countries and Japan along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), praised Cambodia for its rapid development in all sectors, especially in the customs field.
He highly evaluated Cambodia’s active participation in WCO’s activities, the country’s integration in the region and the world, particularly the implementation of customs modernization program in Cambodia.
Mr. Kuniko Mikuriya also told Dr. Pen Simon of his visit, the purpose of which he said, is to further strengthen the cooperation between Cambodian customs administration and WCO and to promote the integration of Cambodian customs administration in the region and the world, as well as to strengthen the capacity and efficiency of WCO member countries’ customs administration.
By LIM Nary
Cambodian Workers Celebrate Labor Day
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – Thousands of workers gathered here on May 1 to mark the 125th International Labor Day.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Ath Thun, President of Cambodian Labor Union, proposed some suggestions to the Royal Government of Cambodia, including limiting a reasonable wage for workers in all sectors, particularly service and construction.
On the occasion, all workers’ representatives also submitted some petitions to the National Assembly and the Royal Government of Cambodia to help solve some of their issues.
By KHAN Sophirom
EDITORIAL: The Smokescreen Diplomacy of Thailand Uncovered
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – The government of Thailand is taking the task of lay out the smokescreen diplomacy, while the Statesman and Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda is calling on all Thais to show their full support for the Thai soldiers in the ongoing war of aggression against Cambodia.
The Bangkok Post, on Wednesday 27 April 2011 reported under the title China, Vietnam urged to pressure Cambodia that “The Foreign Ministry has also asked China and Vietnam to help convince Cambodia to turn to the negotiating table. The request was made through Chinese ambassador to Bangkok Guan Mu and Vietnamese ambassador to Thailand Ngo Duc Thang during a meeting with Permanent Secretary Theerakun Niyom yesterday. Defence Minister Gen Prawit will visit China today. His official schedule is to discuss the submarine project development but observers believed he would raise the Thai-Cambodia dispute issue with his Chinese counterparts.”
This was smokescreen diplomacy, because on the same day The Bangkok Post reported under the title Prem: Support our soldiers at border that “Statesman and Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda on Wednesday called on all Thais to show their full support for the soldiers performing their duty on the volatile border with Cambodia.” Certainly this is the blessings and the encouragement to Thai military armed forces to wage the war of aggression against Cambodia, reconfirming “Bangkok’s threat to use military action to force Cambodian troops from areas that Thailand considers in dispute,” as reported by The Nation on the same day by quoting DPA.
It is urgent that the international community intervenes forcefully to avoid further bloodshed and the destabilization of ASEAN and the region. The Thai government, the Thai military and also many Thai newsmen should stop speculating that Cambodia causes the war on the border because Cambodia was trying to take the issue back to the UN. On that point, His Excellency Marty Natalegawa, who serves as ASEAN chair, told The Nation Editor-in-Chief Suthichai Yoon “It’s already in the UN. It’s not a question of bringing it back to the UN. The genie is out of the bottle.”
May 3, 2011
Prof. Pen Ngoeun
Member of the Advisory Team of Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the
Office of the Council of Ministers;
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.; and
A subsidiary of Citigroup Inc., New York City, USA, until 2000
(The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)
ASEAN-Japan on Trade Facilitation
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – The concept of an “Asia Cargo Highway” as a long-term goal to create smooth flows of goods in Asia was discussed and adopted in Apr. 28-29 meeting of Customs Directors-General of 10 ASEAN countries and Japan along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Phnom Penh.
“In the past, Customs Administration had the role and responsibility to collecting taxes at the customs offices along border gates. The role and responsibility have now been expanded to service provision in terms of social and environmental security and safety protection.”
“That is, they are to ensure that only quality goods can be imported or exported. This kind of service provision should never be a trade barrier but a trade facilitation, which is a key expectation from Customs Administration,” addressed the meeting Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Keat Chhon.
For the next step, according to the report of the World Customs Organization (WCO), “the ASEAN Customs administrations will work with Japan Customs, ADB, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the WCO to identify priorities through policy consultations to realize the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, the Asia Cargo Highway and other trade facilitation visions step-by-step.”
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
DELGOSEA Selects Kampot Municipality and Choam Chao District for Pilot Projects
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – Kampot Municipality has been selected as a pilot city for Eco-Savers Program, modeling on Marikina City in the Philippines; and Sangkat Choam Chao as pilot district for a program of Humane Relocation and Empowerment of Street Vendors, following the model of Solo, Indonesia.
The projects were presented in a recent workshop in Phnom Penh by Soy Kosal, Chairman of the National League of Commune/Sangkat (NLC/S), who said that they were part of the projects being implemented by the Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast-Asia (DELGOSEA) in five countries: Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Seng Vy, Director-General of the General Department of Administration – the Ministry of Interior, said the first Workshop on the Eco-Savers Program in Kampot Municipality and the Humane Relocation and Empowerment of Street Vendors Program at Choam Chao District was of importance in paying more attention to improving the environment, public order, sanitation and health.
Ms. Susan Stephen, representative of DELGOSEA, said that the projects would also involve the training on the related skills and the visits to Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia to exchange the experiences in the successful implementation.
Article in Khmer by PAL Song
Article in English by Ravuth M.
Malaria-free Cambodia Aimed in 2025
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – The Royal Government of Cambodia has strategized for a malaria-free status for the country by 2025, said Health Minister Mam Bunheng when chairing the opening of the Annual Conference of Malaria Control Activities on Apr. 29.
“Given the said commitment, the Royal Government of Cambodia has been trying to mobilize national and international resources. An indispensable approach to achieve the commitment is a meaningful participation from all relevant stakeholders,” added H.E. Dr. Mam Bunheng.
It is expected to totally eliminate malaria parasite resistant to medication by 2015 and to see no more falciparum malaria and dead cases of the disease by 2020 in a manner that 5 years later there will be no longer malaria cases in Cambodia.
Cambodia witnessed 35 percent decrease of malaria case in the country in 2010 compared to 2009. While 69,280 cases of malaria were reported in 2009 with 209 deaths, there were 44,659 cases of the disease reported in 2010 with 135 deaths.
According to the Director of the National Center for Malaria Control Dr. Duong Socheat, the overall decreasing rate of malaria cases in Cambodia indicates the effectiveness of the protection interventions.
Increasing public awareness leading to positive behavior change about malaria prevention and treatment and their utilization of treated mosquito nets against malaria are among primary interventions mentioned.
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil
UNICEF Provides Over US$4 Million to Help Cambodia’s Education Sector
AKP Phnom Penh, May 3, 2011 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has decided to provide US$4,131,694 to help develop Cambodia’s education sector in 2011.
The fund agreement was signed here last Wednesday by Minister of Education, Youth and Sports H.E. Im Sethy and UNICEF Country Representative Mr. Richard Bridle.
The agreement particularly focuses on capacity building of educational officials, aiming at promoting school registration for all six-year old children, reducing school repetition and dropout, and ensuring the sustainability of educational system, etc.
By KHAN Sophirom