Minister of Information Contributes US$10000 for Air Medical Evacuation
AKP Phnom Penh, May 11, 2011—H.E Mr. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information donated this morning US$10000 as a contribution to the cost of air medical evacuation for Mr. Reach Sambath, who was hit by a stroke of blood pressure late afternoon yesterday.
The contribution made by the minister is part of the total amount of US$28000 to hire a chartered flight from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, where Mr. Reach Sambath is expected to be admitted at a hospital for medical treatment. The evacuation is scheduled for this afternoon.
Mr. Reach Sambath , a public affairs officer at the Extraordinary Chamber in the Court of Cambodia is at press time in Calmette hospital in Phnom Penh. Last night, medical experts made assessment on his condition. He is now in critical condition and needs further expertise to save his life.
COMMENTARY: Malaysia’s Fair Stance on Cambodia-Thailand Border Conflict
AKP Phnom Penh, May 11, 2011 – Malaysia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Richard Riot Jaem made remarks, widely quoted on 9-10 May 2011 in media coverage, saying that “If Thailand would accept and adhere to the agreement, I think clashes will not arise.”
Cambodia highly appreciates the complete, clear, unbiased understanding about the root cause of the Cambodia-Thailand conflicts, which have repeatedly erupted since 2008, and the acts of aggression by means of large-scale military attacks lately launched by Thailand on Cambodia, which have been the fiercest. The clashes not only claimed many lives of Cambodia’s civilians and armed forces, but they also forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes that were severely damaged as a result of the artillery shells fired by the invading Thai troops. The clashes also caused grave damage to the Temple of Preah Vihear, a World Heritage site, as well as to the temples of Ta Moan and Ta Krabey, situated on Cambodian legitimate territory.
Cambodia has always welcomed the presence of Indonesian observers, as mandated by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting held last February, and recently also called for by the Heads of State and the Heads of Government at the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta. Cambodia has agreed to the terms of reference (TOR) so that the observers may be assigned, in order to determine who started the attack, as well as to put an end to Thailand’s repeated aggression against Cambodia.
To express her goodwill, as early as 3 March 2011 Cambodia signed the letter of acceptance to the terms of reference allowing Indonesian observers to carry out their mission in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear, and Cambodia has accepted all the following changes to the terms of reference insisted by Thailand as follows:
First change on 26 February 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 27 February 2011;
Second change on 8 March 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 9 March 2011;
Third change on 15 March 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 16 March 2011;
Fourth change on 08 April 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 08 April 2011;
Fifth change on 11 April 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 12 April 2011;
Sixth change on 28 April 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 30 April 2011; and
Seventh change on 01 May 2011 was agreed by Cambodia on 02 May 2011.
In contrast, as a manoeuvre on 21 February 2011, a day before the meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Indonesia, Thai government announced that it would welcome Indonesian observers to be stationed in the disputed border area, but since then has used every means to delay their assignment by repeatedly changing the terms of reference — seven times so far — and has still not yet agreed to them. As mentioned above, the Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister stated that “All the 10 countries, I stress, including Thailand and Cambodia, agreed to the agreement, but sad to say, the agreement was brought back to the respective two countries. Cambodia accepted it, Thailand did not accept.”
Although Indonesia’s President and Foreign Minister made great efforts to coordinate the meeting between the Cambodian and Thai Foreign Ministers on 9 May 2011, which resulted in a package resolution to the border conflict, including the dispatch of Indonesia observers to the Temple of Preah Vihear, the initiatives remain stalled because Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has destroyed all these efforts, by saying on 10 May 2011 that “Thailand’s stance remains the same. If Cambodia doesn’t withdraw its troops from the disputed border area, no observers will be sent there.” Thailand clearly knows that this condition is not acceptable to Cambodia because Cambodia cannot withdraw her troops and people from Cambodian territory. The Thai Prime Minister’s remarks clearly demonstrate Thailand’s tactics to prevent Indonesian observers from being sent to monitor the permanent ceasefire. This is a continuation of Thailand’s policy of closing the door to attack Cambodia so that it can commit its crime of seizing Cambodian territory before the arrival of Indonesian observers.
From day to day, the international community understands more clearly these Thai tricks, and can see that the assignment of observers in the Temple of Preah Vihear area is the only means to realise an effective and verifiable ceasefire as well as to prevent renewed military attacks launched by Thailand.
Phnom Penh, 11 May 2011
Press and Quick Reaction Unit
Cambodia, China Sign Loan Agreement to Develop Stung Sreng Reservoir
AKP Phnom Penh, May 11, 2011 – China has provided over US$52 million in soft loan to Cambodia in order to develop Stung Sreng reservoir.
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Keat Chhon and visiting Vice President of the Export-Import Bank of China Zhu Hongjie signed here on Monday the loan agreement.
The loan is part of the US$400-million financing agreement signed on Dec. 21, 2009 between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Export-Import Bank of China.
The Stung Sreng water resource development project covers three provinces – Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey. The project includes two master-canals in the total length of more than 81 kilometers and 18 sub-canals with a total length of 93.4 kilometers, 130 bridges across canals and water gates.
Once completed, the Stung Sreng reservoir will be capable to irrigate 25,000 ha of rice fields in rainy season and 3,750 hectares in dry season, as well as supply clean water and reduce flood in the provinces.
The signing of this loan agreement reflects the spirit of good friendship and high attention from the government of China on Cambodian government and people and the long-lasting partnership between the two countries.
Article in Khmer by HUN Yuth Kun
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
Bank of China Ltd. Phnom Penh Branch Opened
AKP Phnom Penh, May 11, 2011 – The Bank of China (BOC) Ltd. opened its branch here last Saturday under the presidency of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Keat Chhon.
The presence of BOC here responds to the request and need of the Chinese investors doing business in Cambodia, stressed visiting Mr. Yue Yi, BOC executive vice president.
BOC has the total assets of over 11 trillion Chinese Yuan (or US$1.7 trillion). It has branches in 31 countries around the world, he said.
For his part, H.E. Chea Chanto, Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said the bank’s presence here reflects Chinese investors’ trust in contributing to the development of the fields of banking and finance in Cambodia.
Deputy Prime Minster H.E. Keat Chhon also highly valued the presence of BOC in Cambodia, which he said is very significant to help Cambodia develop its banking industry and economy. He also asked BOC to provide investment funds in the agricultural field.
By LIM Nary
Study Reveals Limited Understanding of Causes and Impacts of Climate Change Among Cambodians
AKP Phnom Penh, May 11, 2011 – A vast majority of Cambodian people (95 percent) said that their livelihood has been affected by changes in the weather. At the same time, most Cambodians show limited understanding of climate change and how they could respond, according to a survey report entitled Understanding Public Perceptions of Climate Change in Cambodia released yesterday by the Ministry of Environment.
The report notes that most people think extreme weather events such as flood and drought are more frequent and intense, and they associate weather changes with rising temperatures, farming difficulties, reduced yield, drought, water shortages, and disease.
“This Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) survey report is another major step that enables us to better understand public perceptions, and thus mainstream climate change in the country’s development efforts,” said H.E. Dr. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister, Minister of Environment. “The dissemination of timely, relevant information will be central to enabling us and our partners to respond to climate change, one of the world’s greatest development issues of the century.”
Climate change is expected to have serious environmental, economic, and social impacts on Cambodia as the Cambodian people have fewer resources and technology to adapt. In particular, rural farmers, whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources, are likely to bear the brunt of adverse impacts. Understanding public perceptions of climate change is particularly important for concerned institutions to design programs that put local communities at the centre of their strategy, as the people are facing variable and reduced yields, water shortages, and an increase in pests and diseases on their crops.
“The findings are essential for all actors to make smarter investments in addressing climate change, particularly develop policies and programs that empower poor and marginalized communities to adapt to and recover from climate hazards,” said Brian Lund, Oxfam’s East Asia Regional Director, on behalf of the agencies supporting the KAP study. “These investments must help vulnerable communities build resilience to the unpredictable weather that jeopardizes their livelihood, especially in agricultural production.”
More than half of the survey respondents think they are unable to respond to weather changes and said they do not have the information they need to respond to these changes. Most of the people surveyed have incomplete understanding about the causes of climate change. They associate changes in the weather to local activities and do not understand the interplay of causes at the global level. Two-thirds (67 percent) said deforestation in Cambodia cause the weather to change. Scientific consensus links current climate change to both natural forces and human activities, and the largest known human contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, mainly used to produce electricity, heat, and transport.
The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Danida, Oxfam, and UNDP in 2010 commissioned the BBC World Service Trust to conduct this KAP survey on Cambodian public perceptions of climate change, using a nationally representative sample of 2,401 respondents and additional interviews with 101 key informants including journalists, NGO staff and government officials. The report aims to provide comprehensive information for all stakeholders–NGOs, Development Partners, public and private sectors–in developing their response programs to help Cambodians adapt to climate change.