PM Welcomes Cambodian-Thai Military Commanders’ Ceasefire Formula
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has welcomed the formula of both Cambodian-Thai frontline military commanders to put an end to the latest fighting.
Last night, they [Cambodian and Thai troops] slept together, said the Cambodian premier at an inauguration ceremony in Tuol Sangke pagoda on May 4 in Phnom Penh, praising both sides’ frontline military commanders for having built this mutual trust, so as to reach a permanent ceasefire.
The night of May 3 until early morning of May 4 was the “first night” without the sound of weapon explosion since Thai aggression on Cambodian territory from Apr. 22 to May 3 at Ta Moan and Ta Krabey Temples in Oddar Meanchey province, he said.
The remaining 200 evacuated families, whose houses are too close to the fighting zones, have all returned home as a result of this ceasefire, said the Cambodian prime minister.
According to a press release of the spokesman of Cambodia’s National Defense Ministry dated May 4, after their 30-minute meeting on Wednesday morning, Cambodian Maj. Gen. Chea Mon, commander of Military Region 4, and Lt. Gen. Sowatchai Samutsakorn, commander of Thai Army Region 2 agreed on six points – making the situation at Ta Moan and Ta Krabey Temples to return to normalcy as it was before Apr. 22, making the situation at Thmar Daun and Chup Koki as good as before, allowing all evacuated villagers to return homes, re-opening of O’smach and Anlong Veng border checkpoints from 10:00 am on Wednesday, having trust on each other, and avoiding dissemination of distorted information.
Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
International Red Cross-Red Crescent Day: Over US$8.5 Million Collected
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – More than US$8.5 million were collected at the meeting to commemorate the 148th Anniversary of the International Red Cross-Red Crescent Day held here on May 3 at Cambodian Red Cross (CRC)’s headquarters, according to the preliminary figure.
Last year, only over US$7 million were collected.
The event is celebrated annually to mobilize funds from national and foreign donors to support CRC’s humanitarian activities.
On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, who presided over the meeting, said more and more contribution from local and foreign charitable people clearly shows the “Culture of Sharing”, which starts from trust, said the Cambodian premier, adding that this contribution can be explained by CRC’s transparent and efficient use of financial resources.
He expressed his strong belief that under the wise leadership of Lok Chumteav Bun Rany Hun Sen, CRC President, CRC will double its efforts in strengthening and developing its institution to be more comprehensive and gain more support from the national and international institutions, development partners, national and international donors.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen further praised the CRC for its achievements in the past year and for its assistance to the victims of disasters and recently to the frontline soldiers and war refugees.
“Taking this opportunity, I would like to sincerely praise H.E. Dr. Bun Rany and wives of other members of the Royal Government who always pay visit to our armed forces, especially remote and island-based armed units to provide relief assistance to our soldiers and their families and to ignite their patriotism to protect national sovereignty. In particular, the management, all levels of officials, and volunteers of the Cambodia Red Cross have recently paid visit to and provided aids to frontline soldiers and war refugees,” he said.
“I strongly believe that Cambodian Red Cross, which is a strongly leading National Association Organization in humanitarian acts will continue to play role as a significant agency of the Royal Government on humanitarian sector in order to help solve issues for the interest of the nation, people as well as upgrading the dignity, virtue, value of humankind and participate in the process of poverty reduction of our people,” he added.
Premier Techo Hun Sen also reaffirmed the government’s continued support to all CRC’s endless humanitarian activities to rescue victims and fulfill other humanitarian activities.
Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by KHAN Sophirom
Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry Sends Diplomatic Note to Thai Embassy
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has sent a diplomatic note to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh over Thai armed forces’ aggression on Cambodian territory from Apr. 28 to May 3.
The following is the full diplomatic note dated May 4:
France Supports Indonesia’s Role in Cambodia-Thailand Border Dispute
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – The government of France has voiced its support to ASEAN’s role in resolving the Cambodia-Thailand border issues and urged Indonesian observers to be in place soon, according to a statement of the spokesman of French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
France has also called on Cambodia and Thailand to cease fire and urged both countries to exercise utmost restraint and to continue to resolve the problem by peaceful means, said the statement released by the Embassy of France on May 2.
The remarks were made known by French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs during the meeting with Cambodian Minister of Foreign affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Hor Namhong in France on Apr. 27, it said.
By LIM Nary
Information Minister Presides Over a Celebration of the World Press Freedom Day
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – A celebration of the World Press Freedom Day was held at the Korean Cultural Center in Phnom Penh on May 3 in the presence of Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith.
In his remarks at the ceremony, H.E. Khieu Kanharith, also spokesman of Cambodian royal government reaffirmed that the royal government has no intention of closing up or controlling Internet home pages, referring to an issue dealing with the closing down of KI-Media website being criticized recently.
As a principle, the royal government encouraged the public to be given an access to the information, he said.
The government has ordered the provincial authorities in the country to establish a public relation group or spokespersons so as to enable them to deal with the media reporters, he said.
The public relation group or spokespersons is composed of a deputy provincial governor, an information official and a provincial official, he said.
He was also disappointed that the spokespersons of most government institutions trained by the government have not carried out the exercise of their profession well yet, he said.
In the last few years, Cambodia has had the development of the traditional and electronic media. The internet has much power to promote democratic discussion and civic participation in Cambodia. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs allow for content generation and sharing, encouraging user participation and rapid flow of user-generated content and exchange of perspectives.
The celebration of the World Press Freedom Day was conducted under the theme of “Broadening Press Freedom and Uphold Human Rights in Cambodia” through traditional and modern media with the participation of representatives from UNESCO, the Cambodian Communication Institute, the Press Council of Cambodia, the Club of Cambodian Journalists, the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists and the Cambodian Center for Independent Media and media students.
By THOU Peou
COMMENTARY: Thailand’s Expansionist Policy Gravely Threatened Peace and Stability in Cambodia and in the Region
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – The war waged by Thailand against Cambodia on 4-7 February 2011 has seriously damaged the World heritage site of Preah Vihear Temple and has gravely threatened peace and stability in the region.
Immediately, the Cambodian government urged the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting to stop Thailand’s aggression. One week later, on 14 February 2011, the UN Security Council urged the two neighboring countries to display maximum restraint and to establish a permanent cease-fire, and asked the ASEAN to work out a solution to this conflict.
At the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN in Jakarta on 22 February 2011, Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to the peace plan proposed by Indonesia, the current Chair of ASEAN, to have independent observers to assess the situation and monitor the ceasefire.
Cambodia has actively participated in the implementation of the above peace plan by accepting Indonesian observers, whereas Thailand has refused to accept them.
The above rebuff of the peace plan by Thailand is a negative response to the strong efforts made by Indonesia which has been mandated by the UN Security Council to play its role as a mediator. Cambodia and the international community are disappointed by Thai stand on this.
Moreover, Thailand in defiance of the international law and practice as well as the UN and the ASEAN, has launched a new war of aggression against Cambodia starting from 22 April causing much suffering to Cambodian people.
Now, the main question for us is that “Why Thailand has opted for war of aggression in its relations with Cambodia? The following remarks may give some answers to this question.
1. Military / warlike leaders
By the end of January 2011, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stated that “The government will persist in pursuing peaceful means to settle border disputes with Cambodia, with war the very last option”. As a result, a war by Thailand against Cambodia broke out less than one week later.
The above statement by Thai Prime Minister, on the one hand reflects his arrogant attitude, and on the other hand, the warlike tradition of Thai leadership.
Military has played a central role in the territorial expansion of Thailand. According to several historians, Thai military has a history that dated back to the same period when the Kingdom of Thailand gained independence from the Khmer empire in the 13th century.
Since then, the Thai military top-brass have ruled Thailand. Military dictators dominated Thai politics from the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932. When the military elite were in power as a result of a coup d’etat, the armed forces expanded. As we can see recently, after the 2006 military coup in Thailand, there has been an escalation of tensions with Cambodia and other neighboring countries.
2. Leaders displaying defiance against the law
Fuelled by ultra-nationalistic sentiment, Thai leaders display their defiance against the international law.
As we know, in its judgment on the merits of 15 June 1962 of the International Court of Justice, by nine votes to three, found that the Temple of Preah Vihear was situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia and, in consequence, that Thailand was 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.
However, Thai leaders drew a secret, unilateral map pushing the frontier line deep inside Cambodia, and claimed that there is an “overlapping area” of 4.6 sq.kms in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear. In fact, between Cambodia and Thailand there exists a clear international frontier line.
More interestingly, in July 2007 during the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thailand publicly revealed for the first time its secret, unilateral and internationally unrecognized map to protest against the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear to the World Heritage List. But this faked map was categorically rejected by the World Heritage Committee.
It is worth recalling that, in 2008, Milton Osborne, Professor at the Australian National University, published an article entitled “Preah Vihear: the Thai-Cambodia temple dispute”. In its sub-title “Thai ambition, Cambodian fear”, he wrote that “…it is fair to say that legal considerations are not always at the heart of Thai thinking on relations with Cambodia. From the time of Cambodia’s gaining independence in 1953 until the onset of the Cambodian civil war in 1970, relations between Thailand and Cambodia were marked by almost continuous difficulty… Throughout these years, Thai security services worked to undermine the government in Phnom Penh”.
At present, Thai electronic media (www.chiangmai-chiangrai.com) continues to disseminate the so-called “A Chronicle of Siam’s 14 Boundary Losses”, and the content of point 14 is as follows:
“15th June 1962: Thailand lost 2 square miles of Khao Phra Wihaan temple to Cambodia. A bitter dispute arose when Cambodians came out from nowhere claiming the temple. The World Court relied on an inaccurate map drawn up by French colonial powers when Cambodia was part of their French Indo-China empire. The decision by the World Court to award this sacred site to Cambodia so angered by the then Prime Minister, Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, as well as the citizens of Thailand that he stated we should have refused to relinquish Khao Phra Wihaan. The temple is a world’s heritage which belongs to everyone. Due to geography and history, Siam or Thailand must have a perfect right to look after this particular temple”.
The above territorial claim, fuelled by Thai territorial ambition, is made in defiance of the judgment of 15 June 1962 of the International Court of Justice and posed serious problems to peace in Cambodia.
3-Thai Expansionist Policy: real threat to all neighboring countries
The so-called “A Chronicle of Siam’s 14 Boundary Losses” asserted that “Siam did suffer some fourteen boundary losses; eight of them to Britain and France, and the rest to neighboring countries”. So all neighboring countries including Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam may be the targets of Thai territorial claim from now on.
Most recently, on 26 April 2011, Thai government passed a three-part resolution including military retaliation against claimed Cambodian incursions. The Cambodian government on 27 April condemned Bangkok’s threat to use military action to force Cambodian troops from areas that Thailand considers in dispute.
As we can see above, Thai warlike and expansionist government is the real threat to peace and stability in our whole region. For that reason, all neighboring countries together with the international community should make joint efforts to put an end to this dangerous policy so that we can enjoy a lasting peace and stability in Southeast Asia.
Thai leaders should know that the world of the 21st century needs a new vision, a vision of peace rooted in justice, a vision of a world bound together in intentional community dedicated to the well-being of all people. Peace rooted in justice requires the nurturing of a culture of peace in homes, communities, nations and across the world.
Phnom Penh, 04 May 2011
The Press and Quick Reaction Unit
of the Office of the Council of Ministers
PM To Attend the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, will lead a high delegation to attend the 18th ASEAN Summit on May 7-8 in Jakarta, Indonesia, at the invitation of President of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The delegation will include Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Hor Namhong, Senior Minister and Commerce Minister H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Permanent Vice Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia H.E. Sun Chanthol, and other high-ranking officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia, said a press release of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued on Tuesday.
The Meeting will discuss a wide range of issues including the Implementation of the ASEAN Charter and Roadmap for ASEAN Community, the Implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, the ASEAN External Relations, the ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations, and the Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues, especially the situation at the border between Cambodia and Thailand.
At the end of the meeting, H.E. Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Chairman of the 18th ASEAN Summit will hold a Press Conference, and an Agreement on the Establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center) will be signed by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers.
On the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, Samdech Techo Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with President of the Republic of the Philippines.
OVOP Expo in Kampong Cham Province Closed
AKP Phnom Penh, May 4, 2011 – The One Village, One Product (OVOP) Expo was wrapped up on May 2 in Kampong Cham province, some 124 kilometers north of Phnom Penh capital city.
Silver products, souvenir items, mats, food, etc. from Phnom Penh and different provinces throughout the country were put on display on 50 stands.
This three-day expo was organized by OVOP National Committee in cooperation with provincial authorities and Brandsing Co., Ltd. and sponsored by Smart Mobile.
By CHEA Vannak