Saturday, 8 January 2011

Carpenter School In Kompong Speu Province

Boeng Kak Residents Wear Black Ribbons On Their 5th Day Protest

Philweb planning to raise P5 billion for expansion

via CAAI

January 07, 2011

Ongpin-led online casino operator Philweb Corp. wants to generate as much as P5 billion from the sale of shares in an international offering this year, executives said on Friday.

Fresh capital will bankroll the company’s expansion locally and abroad, which will hike profits to more than P1 billion this year.

In a special stockholders meeting on Friday, Philweb Chairman Roberto V. Ongpin said the company wants to issue up to P5 billion primary shares "to fund international acquisitions."

"Part of the proceeds will be used for an aggressive expansion of our e-games business," Mr. Ongpin said.

Philweb Vice-Chairman Eric O. Recto said: "We may not be required to conduct a rights offer."

Last year, Philweb received a license from the Cambodian Ministry of Finance to operate a 6/49 lottery. The license allows Philweb to launch both paper-based and mobile-based forms of the lottery.

"The Cambodia license will be a game-changer for Philweb. Our international expansion strategy has begun to take root, and we expect that the other licenses we are working on, in countries such as Laos, Guam, Vietnam, Saipan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Nepal and others, will soon come to fruition," Philweb President Dennis O. Valdes said in a statement.

Mr. Ongpin said the company was "in serious discussions" with at least two international gaming companies.

Robust gaming operations boosted profits of the online casino operator to a record P708 million last year, the company told the local bourse on Friday. Further growth is expected this year as a result of local and international expansion projects.

"Unaudited net income for 2010 was P708 million, a record for the company. The amount is 28% higher than the P551 million achieved for 2009," the company said in a disclosure. "For the first time ever, revenues were over a billion pesos," it added.

Philweb recorded P1.04 billion in revenues, up by 27% from the previous year. "We are particularly pleased with our 2010 financial results, even though we only opened 19 new PAGCOR e-Games (PEGS) cafés all year," Mr. Valdes said, referring to online gaming shops licensed by the state-led Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

"On the plus side, we have a new contract with PAGCOR that allows us to open a minimum of 100 new PEGS each year," Mr. Valdes added.

Philweb, which is controlled by former trade minister Mr. Ongpin, launched Home Play, the only peso-based online casino of PAGCOR, early last year. Other services of Philweb include the "Instant Premyo Sa Resibo" text raffle in cooperation with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, "Basketball Jackpot" offered through a network of 190 Internet sports betting stations, and "Bid Wars," a text-based reverse auction.

Mr. Valdes said the company remitted a total of P1.3 billion to PAGCOR last year. The amount is PAGCOR’s 60% share in the e-Games café and Internet sports betting station businesses of Philweb. PAGCOR did not spend capital or incur operating expenses for the partnership, Philweb said.

"Our new contract’s validity has been extended from the present 2012 until July 2016, and may be renewed further by mutual agreement," Mr. Valdes said.

Shares in Philweb closed P0.16 higher at P16.64 each on Friday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales

Cambodia Remembers Fall of Khmer Rouge Regime

via CAAI


Thousands of survivors of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields" marked the 32nd anniversary of the fall of the ultra-Maoist regime on Friday.

About 10,000 supporters attended a rally organized by the ruling Cambodian People's Party, known as the CPP.

Traditional Khmer dancers and drummers performed in front of senior CPP officials, genocide survivors and their relatives.

[Chea Sim, CPP President]:
"We mark January 7 to always remember the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge regime and the historical importance of victory day on January 7, and to pay deep respects and thanks to the revolutionary army of Cambodia and the Vietnamese army which volunteered."

January 7, 1979 also marks the start of a 10-year occupation of the country by the Vietnamese, which followed four years of Khmer Rouge rule – a disastrous period in which millions were forced to relocate to the countryside.

Around 1.7 million people died due to starvation, overwork or executions.

The Khmer Rouge continued to exist until 1999, by which time most of its leaders had died, surrendered or had been captured.

The trials of four senior leaders are expected to start early in 2011.

Thai Illegal Entry Suspects in Cambodian Court

via CAAI


Cambodian police escorted seven Thai suspects back to prison on Thursday evening after more than ten hours of interrogation for the second time this week.

The group was arrested last month on charges of illegally entering Cambodia and making their way into a Cambodian military zone on the border.

The offences carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison. There was no indication from the court of when they would go on trial after the initial questioning.

Shortly after their arrest in December, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajjiva sent his foreign minister to Phnom Penh to seek their release, but the bid was rejected by the Cambodian government.

Most of the seven are members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy that has been pressing the government to take a tough stand with Cambodia over border disputes. The group has whipped up nationalistic sentiment over border disputes with Cambodia.

But suspects say they had only been inspecting the border.

The two countries hold a long-standing dispute over the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple. Although the international court awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, Thailand claims much of the land surrounding it.

Over 2,000 to take part in ASEAN Tourism Forum in Cambodia next week

via CAAI

January 07, 2011

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) - More than 2,000 delegates from ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are ready to take part in the upcoming ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2011), a government official said Friday.

Plong Thoeun, deputy director of tourism promotion department of Ministry of Tourism said that more than 2,000 delegates have confirmed their attendances to the 30th ATF to be held from Jan. 15 to 21, 2011.

The 30th ATF 2011 will be held at the newly built Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

He said alongside with the ATF 2011, there will be travel exchange (TRAVEX) which will give the venue for the ASEAN's package tour sellers and potential buyers from the region and the world, and friendship golf tournament for ASEAN Tourism Ministers and senior officials, organized and sponsored by international television network.

Ang Kim Eng, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents (CATA) said Friday that some 990 buyers have registered, just more than double from original plan of about 400.

The forum is the second of its kind hosted by Cambodia after the previous one was hosted in 2003.

ASEAN Tourism Forum is a cooperative regional effort to promote the ASEAN region as one tourist destination.

This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 member nations of ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Buddhist Monk 'Robes' Trees to Save Them (Cambodia news in Khmer)

Two Cambodian Experts Amongst Washington's Foreign Affairs Community Part 1 (Cambodia news in Khmer)

Two Cambodian Experts Amongst Washington's Foreign Affairs Community Part 2 (Cambodia news Khmer)

Migrant Labor: Cambodia's Daughters to Malaysia - Part 1 (Cambodia news in Khmer)

Migrant Labor: Cambodia's Daughters to Malaysia - Part 2 (Cambodia news in Khmer)

Migrant Labor: Cambodia's Daughters to Malaysia - Part 3 (Cambodia news in Khmer)

Independent Radio Operator Says Identity Documents Key to Democracy (Cambodia news in Khmer)

Independent Radio Operator Says Identity Documents Key to Democracy Part 2 (Cambodia news in Khmer)

To etch his own


via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:00 Sovan Philong

Sem Phanet, a 20-year-old Buddhist monk from Kampong Chhnang province, sculpts a statue of a kinnara – a mythical part human, part bird – yesterday at Prochum Sakor pagoda in Chroy Changvar commune, in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district. Sem Phanet is one of about 10 monks who are creating 30 kinnara statues.

PM: arrest of 7 Thais by Cambodian authorities won't make Thailand lose territory

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Jan 7 - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday reaffirmed that the arrest of seven Thai nationals by Cambodian authorities has nothing to do with the possible loss of Thai territory to the neighbouring kingdom, while calling all parties to focus on helping the detainees first.

The Thai premier made remarks after the yellow-shirted People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement claimed Thailand may lose some of its territory to Cambodia if it accepts the Cambodian court ruling on the case of seven detainees.

Mr Abhisit stated that the court ruling will affect only the litigants and it's considered an individual issue, on a case by case basis, not as part of the border problems.

"If so, we can arrest a foreigner and then the defendant confesses, it means his country will lose territory?" noted Mr Abhisit. "We must wait and see the court verdict first. The matter will not be prolonged."

The Thai premier advised the critics to let concerned officials do their jobs. "We won't talk about legal aspects which can bring more damage," he said.

Following opposition Puea Thai accusations that the premier conspired with the actions of detained Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth, Mr Abhisit affirmed he had assigned Mr Panich to respond to the complaints of local residents at the border, but he asserted that the incident occurred unexpectedly.

Mr Panich said as he was arrested by Cambodian soldiers that he was inspecting the dispute land as local residents along the Thai-Cambodian border earlier filed complaints that their paddle fields which have title deeds issued by Thai authorities have now been occupied by Cambodia and the Cambodian troops prohibited them to enter their ownland.

The prime minister also warned the PAD not to mix up the issue of Preah Vihear dispute with the detention of the seven Thais and that the movement should give full and completed information to the public.

"First thing to do now is to help the seven people as they are Thais and they did not intend to trespass into Cambodian territory or spy on information there. The exaggerated charge should not be taken against them," insisted the premier. "Other issues should be discussed later."

The seven, including Democrat MP for Bangkok Panich and Thai Patriots Network leader Veera Somkwamkid, were arrested by Cambodian soldiers as they inspected the border area Dec 29.

The Cambodian court finished the first hearing on Thursday. They were facing two charges -- one of illegal entry into the Cambodian kingdom, with assigned punishment of three to six months of imprisonment and deportation, while the second charge involved trespass into a Cambodian military area without permission, punishable by a three to six months jail term and Bt7,500-15,000 in fines.

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti asserted Friday that the arrest of the seven Thais is a different matter to the consideration of the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site.

Mr Suwit said the two issues have no impact on each other and that for the Preah Vihear dispute, the border demarcation should be clarified first.

"The foreign ministry is coordinating for the meeting with Cambodia's deputy prime minister Sok An. If the meeting is scheduled, we will conclude the dispute together," said Mr Suwit.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia, although its primary entrance lies in Thailand and the exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute, with occasional military skirmishes claiming a number of lives.

On July 7, 2008, UNESCO listed Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site. Under the terms of the listing, Cambodia is required to submit a management plan to the World Heritage Committee for its approval but its plan was opposed by Thailand in the committee meeting last year in Brazil and was scheduled to be raised in June at its meeting in Bahrain. (MCOT online news)

Cambodia says KRouge trial should preserve peace

Young Khmer Rouge guerrilla soldiers in Phnom Penh in 1975. Cambodia's ruling party Friday called for a UN-backed war crimes court to safeguard "hard-won peace" in its trial of top Khmer Rouge leaders, as it marked the 32nd anniversary of the regime's ouster.(AFP/Scanpix/File/Sjoberg) 
via CAAI

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Cambodia's ruling party Friday called for a UN-backed war crimes court to safeguard "hard-won peace" in its trial of top Khmer Rouge leaders, as it marked the 32nd anniversary of the regime's ouster.

"The Cambodian People's Party supports the trial... for crimes committed by the most senior leaders" of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodian People's Party (CPP) president Chea Sim told a crowd of thousands of supporters.

He appealed for continued international support "so that the trial process will be successfully completed on the basis of safeguarding all national achievements, especially Cambodia's hard-won peace and stability."

The trial of four top regime leaders is due to start this year on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide after up to two million people were executed or were starved or worked to death from 1975-1979.

The tribunal, dogged by allegations of political interference, has yet to announce whether it will go ahead with two more cases against five as-yet-unnamed former Khmer Rouge cadres.

In its first case, the court in July sentenced former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch to 30 years in jail for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.

But Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, deputy leader of the CPP, has repeatedly warned that pursuing more suspects from the hardline communist regime could spark civil war.

Hun Sen -- once a mid-level Khmer Rouge member before turning against the movement -- told visiting United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon in October that a third case was "not allowed" because it could jeopardise peace.

Cargo ship fire kills four Chinese off S. Korea

via CAAI

SEOUL — Four Chinese sailors died Friday after a fire gutted a Cambodia-flagged cargo ship off South Korea's southern port of Busan, coast guard officials said.

The coast guard said the 1,400-ton Yunxing with eight Chinese and one from Myanmar aboard caught fire early Friday, two nautical miles from Busan.

Four Chinese died and the rest of the crew was pulled to safety, a Busan coast guard spokeswoman told AFP.

The blaze was put off in about two hours but heavy smoke delayed a rescue operation.

Coast guard officials suspect the blaze might have been caused by a short circuit, Yonhap news agency said, adding there was no cargo aboard.

One rescued sailor told investigators that the fire had started around the first floor kitchen, Yonhap said.

Coast guard officials believe that smoke had hampered a quick evacuation of the sailors who were sleeping at the time of the fire. The bodies were found in the first floor kitchen and a second floor cabin.

Presenting Tet gifts to poor Vietnamese residents in Cambodia

via CAAI


500 poor Vietnamese and 200 Cambodian families have received Tet gifts and free medical checks-up and medicines.

A delegation from the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs in Ho Chi Minh City left the city on January 6 for Cambodia to offer Tet gifts to the Vietnamese community there.

They provided medical checks-up and medicines to 500 poor families in Rang Tul village, Kan Dieng district, Pur Sat province, including 300 Vietnamese and 200 Cambodian and Tet gifts worth VND400,000 each family. Gifts include cash, essential food and foodstuff, Vietnamese textbooks, notebooks and historical books. The total spending of VND230 million came from the city’s budget.

During their stay in Cambodia, the delegation will visit the Vietnamese Consulate and the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Pur Sat.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has approved a plan for overseas Vietnamese during the traditional Lunar New Year festival (Tet). Accordingly, the city has asked the Southern Aviation Corporation and policemen at Tan Son Nhat International Airport to welcome Vietnamese nationals back home and help them go through procedures quickly.

The municipal Party Committee, People’s Council and People’s Committee will hold a meeting to welcome New Year at the city hall on January 25, 2011 with the participation of around 1,000 overseas Vietnamese.

Courts Begin Questioning of Arrested Thai Delegation

Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh Thursday, 06 January 2011

via CAAI

Photo: AP
Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday began its official questioning of a group of Thais accused of entering the country illegally.

The five men and two women have been charged with illegal entry and trespassing in a restricted military area, charges that carry a total sentence of up to 18 months in prison. The group, a delegation supported by the pro-establishment People's Alliance for Democracy, were arrested Dec. 29, after they had reportedly come to the border to investigate claims of Cambodian encroachment.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday began its official questioning of a group of Thais accused of entering the country illegally, in a high-profile case that has sparked protests in Thailand and shaken newly repaired diplomatic ties between the two neighbors.

The seven suspects include Thai parliamentarian Panick Vikitsreth, who told the court Thursday the group had entered the country accidentally and with no ill intent, but that they had no seen any border guards, a lawyer told VOA Khmer.

The five men and two women have been charged with illegal entry and trespassing in a restricted military area, charges that carry a total sentence of up to 18 months in prison. The group, a delegation supported by the pro-establishment People's Alliance for Democracy, were arrested Dec. 29, after they had reportedly come to the border to investigate claims of Cambodian encroachment.

Cambodian authorities have said they were caught half a kilometer inside Cambodia and that no political release is possible. For their part, Thai officials have said they want to see a speedy, fair trial.

Relatives of the defendants, reporters and Thai Embassy officials were barred from the courtroom in Phnom Penh on Thursday.

However, Ros On, who represents Panich and two others from the group, told reporters after the hearing that his client had told the judge the group thought they were in Thailand.

Panich told the judge he had come to inspect the disputed area of the border and had seen no border guards to indicate he had crossed into Cambodia, Ros On reported.

Following questioning, the suspects were returned to Prey Sar prison, where they have been held since their arrest. Ros On said he had not yet written a bail request for his clients.

Bringing compassionate touch to Cambodian kids

via CAAI

For three years, Religious Education leader Mike Norman has traveled to a remote Southeast Asian orphanage to give healing massages to HIV-positive children.

Touch is something babies need, children crave and adults long for. In fact, it's critical for the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of every human being.

Mike Norman, associate director of the Office of Religious Education who oversees youth programs, has found this out first hand. For the last three years as a volunteer with "Heart Touch," he's traveled with a team to an orphanage in Cambodia that cares for more than 200 HIV-positive children. At the 18-acre compound divided into eight large family-style units, the men and women who are mostly professional massage therapists practice the art of compassionate touch therapy. The results are often nothing short of miraculous.

"Being touched is so taboo in some ways here in the United States and also in Cambodia. But it's amazing to see how just human contact can change a person's life, and the little kids especially. Like a two-year-old who is freaking out because they have never seen a white person before and they don't know what they're like. But if you just massage their arms for a few minutes, the next time you come they sit in your lap immediately and try to say 'massage.' And when you get out of the van, all the kids just come running."

Norman points this out after his most recent trip, Nov. 26 to Dec. 11, to Our Village orphanage outside of Phnom Penh. The city was the former headquarters of the infamous Khmer Rouge and its leader Pol Pot. Under his rule from 1975 to 1979, some two million Cambodians died through political executions, starvation and forced labor. The genocide was dramatically chronicled in the movie "The Killing Fields."

"I've noticed that touch is so much even more than talking," he continues. "These kids have been through trauma. They've lost parents or been abandoned. People might say, 'You should sit and chat with them.' Yes, I agree with that. But, more importantly, I think for two weeks they have this intimate contact with a group of people. So the language barrier is there, but the touch dissolves that immediately. While you're massaging someone, they just laugh. Laughter happens constantly. Or they doze off."

It's the laughter along with the deep friendship Norman has forged with John and Kathy Tucker that keeps him coming back to the orphanage. The former Maryknoll lay missionaries founded New Hope for Cambodian Children (NHCC) and Our Village in 2006 to provide holistic care to children infected with HIV/AIDS as well as outreach support to affected children and their families in six provinces. NHCC also operates a transition house called "Happy Home" for babies too sick to live at the orphanage, which is supported by the Clinton Foundation and other philanthropic organizations and individual donors.

Norman, 48, got involved with Heart Touch through friends who were volunteering their time and talents at the literally hands-on organization based in Southern California. The nonprofit's mission, since its inception in 1995, is the training and delivery of "compassionate and healing touch" to homebound and hospitalized men, women and children.

Locally, Heart Touch volunteers massage infants, older kids and adults who are terminally ill or in hospice care at Children's Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA and Kaiser Permanente hospitals among other healthcare facilities. Its International Global Outreach program also currently operates in Thailand and India besides Cambodia. Volunteers, like Norman, raise about $4,000 to cover costs for travel, lodging and meals during their two-week humanitarian stays.

"How it works at Our Village is the team drives up in our van and the kids come running shouting 'massage! massage!' because they know the English word now," he reports. "But they love it because for most of them it's the only time they're getting touched all day. So it's that compassionate touch that they crave."

He points out that their massage is not the laying-down-on-a-table, covered-with-a-towel traditional kind. Instead, most of the orphans are rubbed while sitting outside on benches. They just roll up their shirt sleeves and pants so lotion can be rubbed on their arms and legs. A good bench massage takes 20 to 30 minutes, starting with the neck and shoulders, then the arms and finally the legs and feet.

But what often happens when a line forms is the kids start imitating the Heart Touch volunteers and wind up trying to massage each other. So by the second week they're really into it, according to Norman, and on the last day they're even giving the volunteers massages. The team also teaches the caretakers at Our Village how to continue the compassionate touch therapy when they're gone.
"I've gotten really close to the kids, like one named Thavry who came here last year for Youth Day at the Religious Education Congress," he says. "They're become family, and I think my two weeks there gives me more satisfaction than anything else I do. And I don't want to belittle my work here in the archdiocese. We work hard all year in youth ministry teaching youth how to enrich their faith life in hope that what they'll do is pass it on to other generations.

"We don't usually get to see how we've really impacted junior high or high school students we're working with in a parish and what they do later in life. But because of this intense two weeks, we get to see how these young people in Cambodia are changed."

After a moment, he explains, "And that's through our compassionate touch."

First Cambodian woman promoted to deputy police chief

via CAAI

January 06, 2011

Un Sokunthea became Cambodia's first female deputy police chief on Thursday.

The promotion ceremony was held at the Ministry of Interior chaired by Em Sam An, secretary of state of Ministry of Interior, said Keat Chantharith, spokesman of National Police Commissariat.

Just prior to her promotion, Major Gen. Un Sokunthea served as deputy director of central justice department of Interior Ministry.

Her appointment will bring to a total of 11 the country's deputy police chiefs, but she is the first woman to be promoted to Lieutenant General.

In the current cabinet members, there are two women who serve as deputy prime minister and minister of women's affairs respectively, while several others serve as secretary of states.

Source: Xinhua

Land clearance by Korean firm blocked

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:01 May Titthara

SOME 800 people in Kampong Thom province’s Santuk district staged a protest against a Korean rubber company yesterday, claiming that the firm is trying to clear their trees and farmland without offering any compensation.

Villagers demanded that the company, Korean BNA (Cam) Corp, stop the clearing of cashew trees they claim to have been planting since 1984.

Red spray paint reportedly marked the trees on the land facing destruction, but protesters from six villages in Santuk’s Tipor commune stood their ground to prevent the clearing of the land.

The protest was peaceful, according to Pen Chhin, a representative for the villagers, who said protesters simply stood in the middle of the orchard to prevent the destruction of the trees.

“If they are going to clear our cashew trees, how can we survive?” Pen Chhin said yesterday, claiming that roughly 400 families depend on the orchard.

Korean BNA (Cam) Corp received a 7,500-hectare land concession from the Cambodian government in September 2009 as part of a project aimed at developing rubber and cassava crops. The lease for the property was set at 70 years.

“The company officials told us they will not provide any compensation because that land is from the government,” Pen Chhin said.

He added that villagers have filed a complaint to various government departments and have asked the provincial governor to intervene and find a resolution for them before the clearance of the land.

“If the company gets 7,500 hectares of land to develop in this area, where will we live and where will we farm?” said Chan Sea, a villager involved in the protest.

He added that company representatives had arrived just one day prior to the protest, spray-painting red marks on the trees to signal that they would be cut down.

Santuk district governor Pich Sophea said a provincial committee has asked the company to halt its development for the time being to allow for an assessment of its impact.

“We have to look carefully at how the families are affected and then we can find a resolution,” he said yesterday.

Nhem Sarat, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said he had written a letter to the provincial governor asking him to stop the clearing of the land until a settlement is reached.

Bak Byung-kun, head of BNA (Cam) Corp, could not be reached for comment.

Woman, 64, charged with trafficking girl

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:01 Chrann Chamroeun

BATTAMBANG provincial court yesterday remanded a woman in custody after charging her with trafficking a mentally disabled 13-year-old girl to work in Malaysia.

Provincial Police Chief Sar Thet said Lay Heang, 64, was arrested at her home in Chamkar Samrong commune, in Battambang district, on Wednesday.

He said the suspect took the 13-year-old girl to Malaysia after forging documents giving her a pseudonym and claiming she was 19 years of age.

Thol Yothea, section police chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office, said the woman was arrested following an investigation sparked by a tip from an NGO.

“We launched our investigation after receiving a complaint from World Vision in November, telling us that the victim was illegally sent to work in Malaysia while she was still 13 years old,” he said.

The alleged victim disappeared from her home five years ago and spent some time in Phnom Penh before being sent to Malaysia to work, Thol Yothea said.

The girl’s employers allegedly sent her back to Cambodia three months after she arrived in Malaysia, when they realised that she was a minor and not in a fit state to be working.

Under Cambodian law, migrant workers must be at least 18 years old before leaving the country.

Thol Yothea said police had also submitted to the court documents accusing a recruitment company of involvement in the girl’s trafficking, but that the firm’s director had not been summonsed or charged.

“The company was also involved with sending the victim to work in Malaysia by forging documents,” he said.

“We don’t know why the court didn’t charge the company director, as we had already submitted the report.”

He said police would continue investigating and gather more evidence against the company if ordered by the court.

The alleged victim has been sent to Battambang social affairs department. If convicted, the suspect could face up to 20 years in prison.

Residents question park plans

Homes in Russei Keo district, set to be removed to make way for a public park, seen earlier this week. Photo by: Heng Chivoan

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:01 Chhay Channyda

ABOUT 20 families in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district requested yesterday that City Hall clarify the government’s intention to build a public park on their land, expressing fear it might later use the property for other purposes.

The suggestion was raised yesterday when municipal officials and local authorities met with village representatives in Russei Keo commune’s Klaing Saing village, north of Chroy Changvar Bridge on the Tonle Sap riverbank.

Mi Kiev, a village representative, said the residents have occupied a 142-metre stretch of riverside land since 1979, and requested that officials confirm plans for the riverside promenade, first made public in July.

“We want a written letter, clarifying that the land will really be used to build the park, because we are afraid that the state will rent it to other companies to run businesses or to develop other projects,” he said.

Villagers protested on Tuesday outside the Russei Keo commune office, asking for provisional control of the land while authorities use machinery to fill it in with sand.

Officials said that they issued an announcement on July 28 for villagers living along the riverbank to dismantle their homes to make way for the development of the park.

Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema has said the park, to be built in conjunction with petrol conglomerate Sokimex, will cost US$700,000.

Illegal loggers: Arrestees escape from detention

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:01 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO men detained on suspicion of illegal logging have broken out of their cell and escaped from the provincial Forestry Department in Siem Reap town, officials said yesterday.

Nhem Sila, deputy military police chief of Siem Reap province, said the two escapees, who were arrested on Tuesday evening, managed to sneak out of detention at around midday on Wednesday.

“They broke out of the cell of the detention room and escaped while our authorities were taking a rest during lunchtime on January 5,” he said. “We are now working hard to find them in order to bring them back to [face] justice.”

He said the two men, both 25, from Kampong Cham province, were arrested while transporting illegal luxury hardwoods through Siem Reap and were being held for questioning and further investigation in their activities.

Nhem Sila suggested that the breakout may have been due to insufficient security measures and said he did not suspect officials on duty at time were complicit. “I think that it is carelessness or related to the mistakes of our provincial Forestry Department officials’,” he said.

Officials at the Siem Reap Forestry Department could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Assault claims against police

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:01 Chhay Channyda

ABOUT 50 villagers in Ratanakkiri province’s Andong Meas district yesterday filed a complaint to district officials and rights workers, accusing a border police chief and his nephew of sexual assault.

Sal Yam, 28, a representative of the Jarai minority community in Ta Nga village, in Nhang commune, said that during a village celebration on January 2, a man named Phay, a nephew of border police chief Phay Sambath, sexually assaulted female villagers aged as young as 15 and attacked men who tried to intervene.

“Phay touched the vaginas of girls in the village and punched other men. We warned him but he said that he was not afraid of anyone and took his uncle’s gun and pointed it at everyone at the party,” Sal Yam said.

Phay allegedly went to his uncle’s office to acquire more guns but villagers preveted him.

Phay Sambath appeared at the party and reportedly threatened villagers who had taken the gun from his nephew and used an electric baton to hit two villagers named Sal Ven and Rocham Sin, causing minor injuries.

Chhay Thy, a provincial investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said yesterday said villagers in the area “frequently suffered abuse” at the hands of powerful officials and requested that judges take legal action against the accused.

Norng Dararidth, Andong Meas district governor, said that he hadn’t yet received the complaint, but that the case would be forwarded on to the provincial level.

“In fact, the offenders are ordinary people, not the police,” he said.

Phay Sambath could not be reached for comment.

Dispute erupts over village road

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:00 Sen David

MORE than 30 families from Preah Sihanouk province’s Mittapheap district have lodged complaints against a local resident, claiming that his recent home expansion has impeded a public road.

Hak Savet, a 45-year-old resident of village 4, in commune 4, said the homeowner, a man named Pich Vannak, has expanded his property eight metres into the 11-metre-wide village road.

“It is dangerous if a fire truck or any other truck wants to enter this gate, as we only have one road to go in or out of the village,” he said.

The families thumb-printed a petition yesterday calling for the relevant authorities, the court and rights groups to intervene in the case.

Heng Bunly, the chief of commune 4, said that authorities had organised a meeting, but that the homeowner still refused to halt construction.

“The homeowner said that his property is legal, but the building of the house encroaches onto the public road,” he said. “The residents asked him to leave an additional two metres of space for the road ... but he did not agree. He said that the villagers must pay US$10,000 for the two metres.”

Heng Sokhon, another resident, said villagers refused to pay such a sum to restore access. Suos Kanan, a CPP lawmaker representing Preah Sihanouk, promised yesterday to look into the dispute.

January 7 reignites debate

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:00 Vong Sokheng and Sam Rith

MORE THAN 10,000 members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party are expected to gather at the party’s headquarters today to mark the 32nd anniversary of the day the Khmer Rouge regime was toppled by Vietnamese troops in 1979.

Senate president Chea Sim is scheduled to give a speech at today’s event, to express the party’s gratitude to the Cambodian and Vietnamese soldiers “who sacrificed their lives to save the Cambodian people”, according to a copy of a prepared statement obtained by The Post yesterday.

“On this occasion, I would like to appeal to all patriots to maintain the precious spirit of January 7 and keep continuing to strengthen the unity of the government under the umbrella of the King, in order to take Cambodia toward glory,” the statement reads.

The January 7 anniversary – known as Victory over Genocide Day – remains a divisive issue, however, with some commentators claiming yesterday that the day marks the moment the country fell under the influence of Hanoi.


It is time for our leaders to wake up and take notice of the general fear ... of losing national independence.


In a statement yesterday, political observer Son Soubert argued that January 7 had initiated a period of domination by Vietnam.

“It is time for our leaders to wake up and take notice of the general fear, felt by the great majority of the Cambodian people, of losing national independence and sovereignty,” the statement reads.

Former Prime Minister Pen Sovan, who was dismissed from office in December 1981 and imprisoned for 10 years after criticising the extent of the Vietnamese presence in Cambodia, said the CPP had “betrayed” him and was “manipulated by Vietnam”.

“It is bad for the ruling CPP, which not only conceded territorial sovereignty to Vietnam, but has also brought a lot of illegal immigrants into Cambodia and provided a lot of economic land concessions, leased for 99 years, to Vietnam,” he said.

“I think they are a group of extremists.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen lashed out at critics of the January 7 holiday, emphasising the importance of the day in Cambodian history.

Speaking at a high school inauguration in Kampong Cham province, the premier said all criticisms of the event were politically motivated.

“I would like to say that January 7 liberated everything, including ghosts and evil spirits and even liberated the heads of those who are cursing January 7,” he said.

Yesterday, police in Siem Reap reported the discovery of an antigovernment leaflet released in advance of January 7, which described Hun Sen as a “second Pol Pot” and blamed his government for a host of ills, including the Diamond Island stampede.

“We have not yet identified the people who threw the leaflet,” said Keo Sambath, Siem Reap’s deputy provincial police chief. “We are investigating.”

In August, Takeo provincial court convicted four people on disinformation charges after they were accused of distributing antigovernment leaflets in advance of last year’s January 7 celebrations.

The leaflets, which were found scattered in three Takeo districts, asserted that the day should not be viewed as one of liberation, but as the day Cambodia became “abused and occupied” by Vietnam.

The plot’s alleged mastermind was convicted in absentia and sentenced to three years in prison and fined 6 million riels (US$1,430).

The three other convicts were sentenced to two years in prison and fined 2 million riels (US$476).

Police Blotter: 07-01-2011

via CAAI

Friday, 07 January 2011 15:00 Phak Seangly

Deadly confusion over rodent and snake
A 12-year-old boy died after being bitten by a venomous snake in Banteay Meanchey province’s Svay Chek district on Tuesday. The boy was reportedly bitten while hunting for rats to eat with friends in a rice field. The victim had been pouring water into burrows and catching rats as they surfaced to escape the flooding, but was bitten when a snake emerged from one of the holes and the boy, mistaking it for a rodent, tried to grab it. The boy ran for home after being bitten, but collapsed after about 100 metres and was carried the rest of the way by one of his friends. The boy’s parents took him to the provincial hospital immediately but doctors said the venom had circulated throughout his body and they were unable to save him. KOH SANTEPHEAP

Woman naps while her Pailin home burns
At least five houses were completely destroyed by a blaze in Pailin province’s Pailin town on Wednesday afternoon. Police said the fire appeared to have originated from the home of a woman, who was reportedly napping under a tree in front of her house when the blaze began. The exact cause of the fire was unclear, however, with some claiming it was sparked by an electrical malfunction and others saying a gas stove was to blame. Police said two fire trucks had responded quickly and prevented the fire from spreading to other nearby homes. RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Vengeance by sword meted out on drinker
A 23-year-old man was sent to the provincial hospital after being attacked with a sword in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Rieng town on Sunday. Police said the victim was having a quiet drink with friends at a beer garden when the nephew of the establishment’s owner attacked him with a sword in what appeared to be a vengeful attack following previous arguments between the two. The suspect fled the scene after stabbing the victim in the head, shoulder, wrist and leg, police said. KOH SANTEPHEAP

Known poultry pilferers change modus operandi
Two men have been arrested and sent to Kandal provincial court accused of stealing a motorbike. Police said the two men, aged 18 and 19, were drunk when they crept into a home in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district and stole a motorbike at around midnight on Monday. The two men were picked up by police in Phnom Penh at around 4am, as they were attempting to sell the vehicle. Police said they knew the men because they had previously arrested, “educated” and released them after they were accused of stealing chickens from their neighbours in Kandal. KOH SANTEPHEAP