Thursday, 3 February 2011

Chinese traditional lion dances performed at Cambodia to celebrate Spring Festival

via CAAI

February 03, 2011

Chinese traditional lion and dragon dances were performed at Cambodia's Royal Palace and the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) starting Feb. 3.

Six groups of lion and dragon dances from Chinese community in Cambodia performed at the Royal Palace in order to bless King Norodom Sihamoni and his subjects with happiness and prosperity in the Lunar New Year, Lao Shi Heng, vice-president of Chinese Association in Cambodia, said.

The groups were welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Kong Sam Ol, minister of the Royal Palace.

Then, the groups performed at the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh.

The ambassador Pan Guangxue said that the Lunar New Year is the most important festival in China. In Cambodia, most people also celebrate it.

"It reflected good linkages of people and cultures between Cambodia and China," he said.

Chinese New Year is one of the largest festivals in Cambodia, up to 80 percent of Cambodian people celebrate it every year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said recently.

According to the figure from the Chinese Association in Cambodia, there have been some 700,000 Chinese-blood descendants living in Cambodia.

Traditionally, Lion Dance is invited by traditional Chinese families to perform as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Spring Festival and to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

Source:Xinhua

Post comes under attack


via CAAI

Published: 3/02/2011 at 03:06 AM
Newspaper section: News

A Cambodian web blog is calling on its readers to launch a cyberwar against the Bangkok Post to help counter what it sees as biased media coverage.


The blog, run by a group called "Cambodia Air Defense", published an article on Jan 31 calling for readers to attack the Post's online advertising revenues by submitting false reports to Google Adsense.

"We have realized it is possible to attack back this Bangkok Post, and this is the idea of today post: online attack exercise. We would like to share this to all readers who facing trouble with online media around the globe," said the authors in broken English.

Cambodia Air Defense claims to be a "part of Infantry, the Royal Cambodian Army. Our works aiming to contribute an assistant to other 10 departments of the National Defense to cope with Insurgency in Thai-land."

The site is run by Boeun Chan Born, a researcher who in 2006 ran Preap Khmer, a non-governmental organisation set up to monitor the use of the media in humanitarian programmes in Cambodia. Mr Boeun's Twitter profile lists the "National Defense Ministry" as his location.

Thai security officials are apparently aware of the blog. Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking to several hundred battalion commanders Wednesday, told the military to help monitor online websites for provocative and defamatory statements against the country.

Aree Jivorarak, head of the ICT Ministry's IT Regulation Bureau, said the ministry monitored 400 to 500 sites a week for violations of domestic computer laws.

If the court agrees that online content is in violation of the law, criminal action can be taken against the webmaster, or if the site is located abroad, then the ICT would block the site from local access.

Relations between the two nations have deteriorated sharply in recent months over the border dispute near the Preah Vihear temple.

The latest escalation of tensions came on Tuesday, when a Phnom Penh court sentenced Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkhwamkid to eight years in jail and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon to six years for espionage.

The two were in a group of seven Thais arrested on Dec 29 in Banteay Meanchey province by Cambodian authorities for trespassing, spying and illegal entry into a military area.

Cops and butcher try to rustle villager's roasted pig

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/

via CAAI

Feb 3, 2011

Phnom Penh - A Cambodian villager claimed police and a local butcher colluded to try and confiscate a tasty home-grown pig he had prepared for a Chinese New Year feast, local media reported Thursday.

Yam Bo told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper he had strapped the 14-kilogram roasted porker to his motorbike Wednesday and was driving to his niece's home when he was stopped in the western town of Battambang.

'Four police officers and several staff members from the butcher's shop demanded 100 dollars because they said I was transporting a pig without a letter of permission (from the local butcher),' he said of the incident, which took place just ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations starting Wednesday evening.

After the owner of the butcher's shop reportedly threatened to have him handcuffed, Yam Bo coughed up 50 dollars to ensure he got the main meal to the celebration on time.

The deputy police chief of Battambang said he had heard his officers had tried to detain Yam Bo, but did not know the reason.

And he confirmed that villagers who raised and prepared their own pigs did not need to pay fees to the local butcher.

Corruption is rampant in Cambodia, and a nationwide survey released in January showed one-third of the interviewees had seen police taking bribes within the past six months.

Thursday marks the start of the Chinese New Year, a popular holiday in Cambodia, where many people share Chinese heritage.

Two convicted Thais to Appeal Next Week: Lawyer

via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 09:24 DAP-NEWS .PHNOM PENH, Feb. 3 (Xinhua)-- Two convicted Thais, Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, will appeal next week, said a defense lawyer on Thursday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday sentenced Veera Somkwamkid, Thailand Patriot Network core member, to 8 years in jail and fined 1.8 million riels (450 U.S. dollars) and Ms. Ratree Paiputana Paiboon, known as Veera's secretary, to 6 years in jail and fined 1.2 million riels (300 U.S. dollars).

Both Veera and Ratree denied the charges, claiming that their arrests on Dec. 29, 2010 by Cambodian troops were made on Thai territory.

"They will file a complaint to the Court of Appeal against the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court next week," said Pich Vicheka, one of the defense lawyers for the two on Thursday.

The two convicted Thais are among the seven Thais arrested on Dec. 29, 2010 by the Cambodian border protection troops for illegal entry into Cambodian territory in Banteay Meanchey province.

On Jan. 21, the other five were convicted by Phnom Penh Municipal Court to nine months in jail and fined 1 million riels ( 250 U.S. dollars) each for illegal entry and unlawful entry into the military base, but given a suspended sentence, so they were freed to return home since then.

The Cambodian-Thai border has never been fully demarcated. And the two sides have had border conflict just one week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple was registered as World Heritage Site in July 2008.

Since the conflict started, military standoff has been on and off along the two countries' border and several military clashes have already happened with recorded small causalities from both sides.

AKP - The Agence Kampuchea Press


via CAAI

Chinese Traditional Lion Dances Performed at Royal Palace to Celebrate Spring Festival

Phnom Penh, February 3, 2011 AKP — Chinese traditional lion and dragon dances were performed at Cambodia’s Royal Palace and the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) starting Feb. 3.

Six groups of lion and dragon dances from Chinese community in Cambodia performed at the Royal Palace in order to bless His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni and his subjects with happiness and prosperity in the Lunar New Year, Lao Shi Heng, vice-president of Chinese Association in Cambodia, was quoted as saying by Chinese News Agency Xinhua.

The groups were welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Kong Sam Ol, minister of the Royal Palace.

Then, the groups performed at the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh.

The ambassador Pan Guangxue said that the Lunar New Year is the most important festival in China. In Cambodia, most people also celebrate it.

“It reflected good linkages of people and cultures between Cambodia and China,” he said.

Chinese New Year is one of the largest festivals in Cambodia, up to 80 percent of Cambodian people celebrate it every year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said recently.

According to the figure from the Chinese Association in Cambodia, there have been some 700,000 Chinese-blood descendants living in Cambodia.

Traditionally, Lion Dance is invited by traditional Chinese families to perform as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Spring Festival and to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. — AKP

______

U.S. To Provide Annually US$1 Million for Military Training in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, February 3, 2011 AKP – The U.S. has announced to provide annually US$1 million for military training in Cambodia.
The announcement was made here on Tuesday by U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Mr. Derek Mitchell at a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh at the end of his two-day visit in Cambodia.

During his stay in the Kingdom, Mr. Mitchell conducted the inaugural U.S.-Cambodia Defense Policy Discussion with Cambodian Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defense Gen. Neang Phat.

The objective of this defense talk was to highlight the U.S. Department of Defense’s commitment to assisting the RCAF develop a professional force, while encouraging Cambodia to continue on a path of improved transparency, governance, commitment to the rule of law, sustained democratic development, and respect for human rights, according to a press release of the U.S. Embassy.

The Defense Policy Discussion highlighted areas of bilateral cooperation and covered domestic and regional security issue of mutual concern, including Defense Reform, Professional Military Education, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management, Regional Affairs, Counter-Narcotics, Counter-Terrorism, and Regional security Mechanisms, it said.

Mr. Mitchell further held talks with Cambodian Defense Minister Gen. Tea Banh and Deputy Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Gen. Sao Sokha.

Mr. Derek Mitchell conducted site visits to the Peacekeeping Training Center at Kompong Speu, the National Counter-terrorism Special Force, and other sites that have benefited from U.S.-Cambodia defense cooperation, said the press release, adding that he also met with Cambodian NGO leaders to discuss his visit and receive their perspectives on the defense cooperation relationship. –AKP

By SOKMOM Nimul

Police checking on body in plantation


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:02 Khoun Leakhana

Police officers in Kampong Cham province’s Suong district say they are investigating the dumping of a deceased woman’s body at a rubber plantation.

Khiev Sophey, deputy district police chief, said the incident occurred on Monday afternoon in Muong Riev commune’s Paun village.

According to witnesses, he said, a man drove his motorbike into the forest carrying a female passenger who was foaming at the mouth.

Later that afternoon, villagers found the deceased woman in a rubber plantation. The suspect had already fled the scene and is still at large.

“Having been informed, the police rushed to check every guesthouse and rental house, and we have also taken the victim’s picture to show at every nightclub and karaoke parlor to help identify the victim and her relatives,” said Khiev Sophey.

Witnesses described the motorbike driver as a man around 30 years of age, who was wearing a long-sleeved black shirt at the time of the incident.

Net Boeun, one of eight villagers who found the victim, said the woman was taken to hospital after being discovered.

“We went to see the victim, called the police and then sent her to the hospital. But the doctor said she had already died,” he said. Net Boeun said the villagers had never seen the victim.

Lack of will fuels state gender gap: report


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:02 Vong Sokheng and Summer Walker

Political parties and government officials must work harder to promote women in politics if they want to shrink the gender gap in local and national government, according to a report released by local election monitor COMFREL on Tuesday.

The report, Politics of Gender and Providing Political Power to Women, finds that a lack of political determination continues to hinder the empowerment of women in the political arena.

Based on research conducted in Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham and Phnom Penh in December, researchers found that women hold 22 percent of the seats in the National Assembly and constitute 20 percent of elected officials at the commune level as a result of the 2008 elections.

The report said there are 169 female deputy governors serving at the district and commune levels nationwide, and 12 percent of city, district, commune and provincial councillors are women.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The training of female candidates and elected officials is key.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In addition, each province has one female provincial deputy governor, a result of a directive by Hun Sen.

The report’s main suggestion is to place female candidates in the top positions on party lists in the 2012 commune elections and 2013 national elections, echoing statements made at the Gender Forum last November.

Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Mu Sochua said Cambodia’s proportional representative system presents an opportunity to advance women but this depends on the party’s candidate list.

Unless women are listed as number one or two on party lists, the mere inclusion of a percentage of women on a candidate list will not result in the political advancement of women.

“The training of female candidates and elected officials is key if we are committed to a real investment in female politicians,” she said.

“They need to know how to speak in public, for instance. They need a true commitment from their party once in office.”

She added: “Women must be willing to challenge the party platform if it is against the interest of women.”

COMFREL’s research found that 18.2 percent of female commune officials faced discrimination at work, but provides no further details.

Mu Sochua said that, at the commune level, female officials are often relegated to the women and social affairs committee, whereas the key committees on infrastructure and security are led by men.

Cheam Yeap, senior lawmaker of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said the government has shown leadership on the issue of gender equality in government.

“The CPP has made progress in promoting women in politics. Women in our party hold positions such as deputy prime minister, minister, secretary of state and others at lower levels.”

While the political party is seen as the primary agent for promoting female politicians, no party has an established policy on gender in politics, the report said.

The report also states that while 53 percent of Cambodian women are registered to vote, 220,000 women registered in 2008 were unable to vote either because election officials would not allow them to, or a lack of information prevented them from voting.

Thai cyclist deported


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:02 Thet Sambath

A Thai man has been deported following his arrest for illegal entry into Cambodia, a Cambodian border official said yesterday.

Sophannahung That Theang, a 32-year-old from Thailand’s Sisaket province, was arrested on Monday while riding his bike near Anlong Veng town in Oddar Meanchey province.

He carried just 20 baht and some clothes, but allegedly had a longer journey in mind.

“He told us he wanted to visit Phnom Penh,” Touch Ra, deputy chief of the Cambodia-Thailand border relations office in Anlong Veng, said yesterday.

“He was sent back to Thailand on Tuesday because he entered Cambodia illegally,” he said.

Touch Ra said he believed the man was mentally ill.

Meanwhile, Thai authorities repatriated the body of Huot Hang, 16, on Monday.

He was shot dead on January 23 by Thai soldiers who said he was logging illegally in Thai territory, Touch Ra said.

Leaflet suspects identified


Photo by: Pha Lina
Nov Leakhana, deputy director of the internal security department at the Interior Ministry, holds up a photograph yesterday of a man suspected of distributing anti-government leaflets in Battambang.

via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:02 Phak Seangly

Ministry of Interior officials announced at a National Police meeting yesterday that provincial courts had issued warrants for the arrest of four fugitives believed to be hiding in Thailand and suspected of ordering the distribution of hundreds of anti-government leaflets.

Major General Nov Leakhana, deputy director of the Internal Security Department at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that a national police investigation had revealed that six men arrested last week on suspicion of distributing anti-government leaflets are believed to be the fugitives’ subordinates.

Nov Leakhana said that three Khmer Krom ‘ringleaders’ and a female suspect accused of disinformation ordered six men to distribute leaflets in Phnom Penh, Takeo, Siem Reap, Battambang, and Preah Sihanouk provinces within the last few months.

Nov Leakhana said that one of the ringleaders was 35-year-old Khmer Krom Buddhist monk, Thach Kongphuong, who disguised himself in non-religious clothing and secretly distributed anti-government leaflets in Takeo province on January 7.

“The four are hiding themselves in Thailand, and among those is a monk,” he said.

Senior investigator for Licadho Am Sam Ath said the distribution of anti-government leaflets was popular in Cambodia lately and viewed leaflet distribution as freedom of speech.

“Our country has this kind of law [about criticising government leaders and inciting civil unrest] and it restricts the freedom of expression,” he said.

Sochua seeks report on ex-police chief


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 Tep Nimol

National Assembly President Heng Samrin has accepted a letter of inquiry from the Sam Rainsy Party seeking clarification on the investigation of the temporary release of a former Ratanakkiri police chief convicted of illegal logging.

The letter, submitted by SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua on January 28 and returned bearing the signature of Heng Samrin on Tuesday, urged Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng to issue a report on the ministry’s investigation of the release of Yoeung Baloung, now serving a 13-year sentence in Prey Sar prison.

Khiev Sophak, a spokesman for the ministry, said on Tuesday that he had no knowledge of the letter and could not comment on whether or not Sar Kheng would address the issue.

Yoeung Baloung was released from prison on January 15 to attend an ethnic festival, according to a ministry official, during which he was involved in a car accident that left three people injured.

An initial investigation by the ministry reported that the release of Yoeung Baloung, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006, had been illegal.

Liv Mauv, deputy director of the department of prisons at the ministry, said on January 19 that the release “was against the law” because official permission had not been obtained from the prison.

He said the following week, however, that it was permissible because his wife had sought permission from a prison official to have her husband released temporarily for health reasons.

Khiev Sophak said on Tuesday that the legality of Yoeung Baloung’s release “was not official yet”.

Pen Bonnar, a coordinator for the local rights group Adhoc in Ratanakkiri, supported the call for clarification, saying “someone must be responsible for the case, and the prison is under the control of the ministry [of information], so it is good for the clarification to be made by the minister”.

Ho Van, an SRP parliamentarian, said yesterday that by law Sar Kheng had two weeks to respond to the request for clarification.

He added that the minister could seek additional time for a response if necessary but urged prompt attention to the clarification request.

“We need Sar Kheng to respond ... that Yoeung Baloung had the right to be outside prison, and we need the ministry to respect the law,” he said.

Mu Sochua was not available for comment yesterday.

New pardon policy drafted


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 May Titthara

The Ministry of Interior’s Department of Prisons has reformed its policy on granting pardons as a way of allowing inmates to more easily convene with family members during national holidays.

Nuth Sa An, the ministry’s secretary of state, said the reforms would allow prisoners to be pardoned one day before the start of major national holidays, giving them ample time to meet their families.

The decision was made during the prison department’s annual meeting last week.

“For example, we want to grant pardons and reduce sentences on Khmer New Year…however, we have never made [the pardon] one day before or on the holiday,” said Nuth Sa An.

“Therefore, granting pardons or reducing sentences becomes meaningless.”

He added that this new pardon policy has reached the Ministry of Justice, which is preparing a draft law on the issue.

“We have to discuss with the Ministry of Justice to process the reform,” said Nuth Sa An.

Under the new policy, he said a committee would submit a list of prisoners eligible for pardoning to the department of prisons 30 days before major holidays.

A separate committee would review the prisoner list and submit an edited list of prisoners suitable for pardoning to the government 10 days prior to the holiday.

Once this process is complete, a royal pardon could be signed by King Norodom Sihamoni, said Nuth Sa An.

Liv Mauv, deputy director of the department of prisons, said pardons are granted during three national holidays: Khmer New Year, Meak Bochea Day and the Water Festival.

Nguon Lay, director of a Pursat provincial detention centre, said sentence reductions depend on the level of convicted crimes.

Prisoners serving time for minor offences, he said, were eligible for release after serving one-third of their sentence.

Serious criminal offences, he said, required a minimum of two-thirds time served, while prisoners facing life imprisonment could have their sentences reduced by as much as 20 years.

Capital to rebuild Dangkor dump


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 Chhay Channyda

Phnom Penh City Hall confirmed plans to rehabilitate a dumpsite in Dangkor district by rebuilding a surrounding dam destroyed during a flood in October last year at a meeting on Monday.

According to a report of the meeting released yesterday, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema ordered relevant local authorities to be responsible for making the Dangkor dumpsite safe for waste disposal.

Phnom Penh Municipal deputy director of public works and transports Ney Sona, who authored the report, said in the meeting that the dam surrounding the dumpsite was “destroyed severely” by a flood on October 12 last year.

Ney Sona, who could not be reached for comment, said in the report that the rebuilding of the dam was for “safety before the rainy season this year and aims to prevent accidental incidents”.

The report stated that soil would be used to build a 180-metre dam and a 210-metre road at the dumpsite.

The meeting did not reveal the date or cost of rebuilding the dam.

Seng Chamroeun, deputy director of Phnom Penh waste disposal firm Cintri, said yesterday that he was unaware of City Hall’s plans, but welcomed the rebuilding of the dam as it was difficult for Cintri trucks to enter the dumpsite every day to dispose of 1,200 tonnes of waste.

Police Blotter: 3 Feb 2011


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 Sen David

Man arrested after stabbing rape suspect
A 28-YEAR-OLD man was arrested after he stabbed a man in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district on Monday. Police said the suspect stabbed the man after the latter attempted to rape his daughter. The suspect said that on the day in question, he left his 3-year-old daughter at home because he called his wife to visit a neighbour’s house. When he returned home, he saw a man attempting to rape his daughter. He took a knife and stabbed the man. Police said the man was wrong to attack him, and should have come to the police for help.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Brawl at a party leaves six men in hospital
TWO men were arrested for a brawl in which six men were stabbed and seriously injured in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district on Monday. Police said that the men came from two villages in Ang Snuol and never had a good relationship with each other. They were dancing together at an annual party in the village, when their feet touched and there was an argument. The two groups attacked each other with knives and threw rocks at each other. The six injured men were sent to the hospital, and some of them escaped to their homeland.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

One dead, one injured in accident with truck
A 19-YEAR-OLD moto-taxi driver died and another person was seriously injured after they crashed their motorbike into a parked truck in Banteay Meanchey’s O’Chrou district on Tuesday. Police said that the victim and his friend were driving the moto at night, but drove into the truck, which had a flat tyre and had stopped in the street. When the two victims crashed into the back of his vehicle, the truck owner escaped. Police said it the accident was the fault of the truck owner, who did not put any sign or light on his vehicle.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Mystery surrounds death of man in river
A 48-YEAR-OLD petrol seller drowned in a river close to Phnom Penh on Tuesday. His wife said that on the day of the incident, her husband took 10,000 riel to travel to his homeland by ferry. A witness said that the man drowned, and his wife – concerned that he had not reached his destination – sent someone to find him. Police say the death was accidental.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Internet hub prakas released


Customers use free wi-fi at a cafe in Siem Reap. New regulations are set to govern internet exchange points. Photo by: Will Baxter

via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 Jeremy Mullins and Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A DRAFT prakas governing internet exchange points – which caused controversy last year after the government mooted a mandatory state-run facility – has been released.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications made available the draft edict yesterday, which would provide for the registration of domestic internet exchange (DIX) points.

An internet exchange point plays a vital role in enabling the flow of information on the internet by routing traffic between separate Internet Service Providers. In effect, they allow users with one ISP to access content hosted by another provider.

Exchanges hit the spotlight last year over ministry plans to charge companies to route domestic traffic though a mandatory hub, run by state-owned Telecom Cambodia.

Many in the private sector worried the scheme had the potential to stymie burgeoning ICT businesses, until Minister So Khun said at a private meeting in April that internet providers would be free to route traffic through whatever exchange they saw fit.

Yesterday, private sector officials were generally supportive of the draft legislation.

“I support it if it is fair,” said information technology firm CIDC’s Chief Operations Officer Mike Gaertner, adding his main reservation so far came from a clause stipulating licensed ISPs could not also receive a DIX licence. “The people with the most experience [to run a DIX] are the ISPs,” he said yesterday.

The draft, which was posted on the MPTC’s website yesterday, lays out a number of other stipulations, including ensuring that licensed DIX follow the rule and regulations of Cambodia.

“For instance, don’t let it include pornographic content or broadcast illegal gambling … as well as [breaking] other rules of Cambodia,” it said.

The Ministry is understood to be presently collecting feedback on the prakas.

European ships add port traffic


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 Chun Sophal

TWO large ships docking at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port led, in part, to a 33 percent increase in shipments in January, compared with the same month of 2010, according to port officials.

Some 6,051 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were shipped through the port last month, up from 4,547 TEUs in January 2009.

Port director Hei Bavy said the increase in cargo last month was due to increased shipping from Europe. Two large cargo ships from the continent had docked at the port in January, bringing goods such as food products, household items, and electronics, and in turn exporting rice and garments, he said.

“We don’t think the port will receive such a high increase of shipments next month, since the amount of goods that were exchanged is not stable,” he said.

However, the port has targeted an annualised 20 percent increase in shipping this year, aiming to ship 75,000 TEUs this year, from 62,256 TEUs in 2010.

Hei Bavy said increased cooperation with the Cai Map deepwater port in Vietnam, begun in July 2009, had increased shipments.

Eco-tourism under focus


via CAAI

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 15:01 Soeun Say

The ministry of Tourism and Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast are preparing a strategy to develop community-based eco-tourism, with officials citing Cambodia’s North-East and South-East as areas which are ripe for sustainable development.

After signing a Memorandum of Understanding in August linking the ministry to the university, which is located about 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, academics are lending their expertise to the sector.

Dr Bill Carter, a USC associate professor in heritage resource management in Australia, told The Post on Monday that he intends to work closely with the ministry to educate tourism workers to boost professional development. He also plans to organise a skills exchange program,

On Monday he stated that Cambodia held huge potential to develop both short and long-term projects in the tourism sector, whilst sustaining natural resources and cultural history.

“The strategic plan is very important to support and strengthen tourism development sustainably and bring profit directly to the people living in local areas,” he said.

Thok Sokhom, director of the Department of International Cooperation & ASEAN at the Ministry of Tourism, said that USC would help improve human resources within the sector.

He intends to send the provincial governors from four provinces in coastal Cambodia and a director of tourism from a provincial department to study management, development and best practice in Australia this August.

“It is very important for our country. We want to have a long-term development plan which is focused on eco-tourism and tourism based on the community,” he said.

“We need to develop eco-tourism in Southeastern and Northeastern areas.

“We also want to establish a research centre and a vocational training school, in order to respond to the demand of increasing numbers of tourists,” he added.

“For the second step, we will open an institution and a university. This is our vision.”

Meaty market prices


Photo by: Heng Chivoan
A man transports chickens on the back of a motorbike near Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

via CAAI

Tuesday, 01 February 2011 21:21 Tep Nimol

Meat prices rose in Phnom Penh’s markets today on the back of soaring demand ahead of Chinese New Year.
Chicken Farmers’ Association president Chhay Sok Huon said some 30,000 chickens were consumed by Cambodians on an average day, but the number could climb as high as 300,000 birds a day during the holidays – which run until February 5.

“Many Cambodian and Chinese people offer food to their ancestors during the holiday,” he said today.

O’Russei Market shopper Chan Nary said she bought chicken at 24,000 riel per
kilogramme today, adding it normally cost 18,000 riel per kilogramme.

“I am not Chinese or Vietnamese but having seen most of my neighbours and relatives offering food to their ancestors during [Chinese] New Year, I just follow suit,” she said.

Vendor Sok Ieng said boiled chicken was fetching up to 30,000 riel per kilogramme, up from 16,000 riel normally.

Pork and duck meat had also increased in price, but not as dramatically, he added.

Cambodian Pig Raisers’ Association director Srun Pov said 5,000 swine would be consumed daily during New Year, up from 4,000 normally.

Phnom Penh SEZ to expand


via CAAI

Tuesday, 01 February 2011 19:15 Jeremy Mullins

The Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone will begin infrastructure work this month to expand land available for businesses, claiming its 141-hectare original development has now been entirely purchased or reserved.

The US$20 million second phase will be fully ready in two years and covers 162 hecatres of land.

Developers aim to attract a number of domestic industries to set up in the new area, as well as international companies - mainly from Japan, PPSEZ managing director Hiroshi Uematsu said in a statement today.

Business at the SEZ had picked up following a quiet 2009, he said.

“We have used 2010 to restructure and streamline our operations, refresh our brand, and prepare for the launch of development phase II,” he said, adding 2011 looked very promising.

Phnom Penh SEZ in Dangkor District is 78-percent owned by Cambodian businesswoman Lim Chhiv Ho, and 22-percent owned by Japanese developer Zephyr Company.

The existing land presently boasts tenants such as Ajinomoto, which makes seasoning, and Yamaha.

Japanese-based firm Minebea will be a new tenant on the second phase of the PPSEZ, according to Hiroshi Uematsu.

In December, Minebea announced it would set up a 5 billion yen ($61 million) manufacturing plant to make motors in Cambodia.

Minebea aims to begin in a leased small-scale production facility in the zone, but transfer to its own factory by the end of 2012.

It aims to eventually employ up to 5,000 people, making it its second largest production base by volume after its Chinese factory, according to a previous release.

Hiroshi Uematsu said the PPSEZ had succeeded due to strong commitment from management to provide quality infrastructure and service for investors.

CDC figures obtained in December showed the Kingdom had 21 SEZs, of which 14 were undeveloped.

Living legend drafts out busy year


Architectural legend Vann Molyvann is looking forward to a busy year overseeing the translation of his doctoral thesis into Khmer and English. Photo by: WESLEY MONTS

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:00 Sarah Macklin

CAMBODIA’S greatest living architect is in a cheerful mood, toasting visitors with champagne in his home that he designed in Phnom Penh. At the age of 84, Vann Molyvann is relishing the thought of the work that lies ahead of him this year – overseeing the translation of his doctoral thesis, first into Khmer and then into English.

Covering the development of Asian cities from the past to the present, so far his thesis has been available only to readers of French. Admirers of his architectural legacy from all over the world have contributed to a fund to translate the book, written in 2008 when Vann Molyvann gained his PhD in France at the age of 82.

The champagne celebrates the completion of funding for both translations.Officials of the Australian Business Association of Cambodia this week handed over a cheque for US$10,000, raised during a dinner in December last year that auctioned off photographic reproductions of some of his greatest buildings.

These include the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Independence Monument, Tonle Bassac apartments (also referred to as The Building), Chaktomuk Conference Hall, Chenla Theatre and the demolished National Theatre.

And, revealed Vann Molyvann, the Swiss government has approved a grant of 10,000 Swiss francs towards the translated edition. The Australian Embassy was also considering funding of up to $25,000, he said.

“The translations are likely to take about a year,” said the architect. “But the translation from French into Khmer is likely to be extremely difficult. The Khmer language is not abstract and may not be precise enough to translate technical terms and ideas. However, the translator Dr Ashley Thompson is a leading American scholar who is a specialist in Sanskrit and speaks Khmer fluently and we are fortunate to have the Khmer scholar Dr Ang Choulean working on the translation.”

Monument Books in Phnom Penh would oversee the publication of the translation because of the shop’s extensive publishing contacts across the region in Bangkok and Singapore, throughout the United States and Europe, Vann Molyvann said.

He read aloud letters from King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen congratulating him on the publication of his thesis.

But his voice wobbled with emotion as he read out the words of King Father Norodom Sihanouk thanking him for his contribution to the nation and people of Cambodia and calling him “an authentic national hero”. Tears squeezed through the great man’s eyelids and coursed down his cheeks as he recalled the glory days of the 1960s in Cambodia, when the young architect and the prince shared a common vision of shaping a modern nation.

Vann Molyvann was appointed state architect in 1956, overseeing a transformation of public buildings and housing in Phnom Penh and across the nation, including a new town plan for Sihanoukville.

This golden age spanning less than 15 years ended with the coup by Lon Nol in 1970, forcing Vann Molyvann, his wife Trudy and family to flee to Switzerland.

“Even now we are Swiss citizens, because we were left stateless at the time,” he recalled. He spent 10 years working on refugee affairs for the United Nations.

The family returned to Cambodia in 1991, when Vann Molyvann was appointed as Minister for Culture, Fine Arts and Town and Country Planning.

Amazingly, the modernist house he designed as his family home in Mao Tse Tung Boulevard was still standing. “But everything was stripped and the house was abandoned – all we found when we returned here was one of the water skis belonging to my wife Trudy,” he said.

He also recalled a battle with bats living among the precious relics in the National Museum. “They had colonised the museum during the Khmer Rouge period but the guards at the museum were strangely reluctant to chase the bats away.

“The guards said they had to take many precautions and stage several religious ceremonies before they got rid of the bats.

“But in fact, the legend had been introduced by the guards themselves, because the excrement from the bats made excellent fertiliser for their gardens. They were reluctant to give up such a good resource,” said Vann Molyvann, smiling.

“The Australians discovered that the bats were a protected, rare species so we did not want to use toxins or gas to get rid of them. But we took the example of Angkor Wat when we illuminated the temple towers – the bats can’t sleep when faced with such bright light. So we decided to flood the museum with the lights – and the bats flew off in a big black cloud.”

Police seize New Year pig


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:02 Tep Nimol

AS the year of the Tiger drew to a close yesterday, a Battambang villager alleged that police in the province and staff from a local butcher’s shop had demanded an early Chinese New Year gift after seizing his celebratory roast pig.

Yam Bo, 42, said yesterday that he had been transporting a homegrown, 14 kilogramme roast pig to his niece’s home for a Chinese New Year celebration when police from Battambang town stopped him and accused him of transporting the pig without permission from the local butcher’s shop.

“Four police officers and several staff members from the butcher’s shop stopped me on my motorbike and demanded 3,000 baht (US$100) because they said I was transporting the pig without a permission letter,” he said.

The owner of the butcher’s shop, he added, threatened to handcuff him at the scene.

“I finally agreed to pay 200,000 riel to the butcher shop owner and I transported the pig safely to my niece’s house in order to celebrate on time,” he said.

Battambang Deputy Police Chief Chet Vanny said yesterday that he was aware of the case but was unsure of why police had detained Yam Bo.

“If they didn’t have a reason, they wouldn’t have detained him,” Chet Vanny said. He added that Yam Bo was not required to pay any fee to the butcher if he had raised the pig on his own.

Spiritual bling


via CAAI

Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:01 Heng Chivoan

Hor Limhorng, 27, burns imitation US$100 notes, fake gold and other symbolic items as offerings to his family’s ancestors at his home in Chamkarmon district on the eve of Chinese New Year yesterday.

Cambodia Court Sentenced Two Thais To 8 & 6 Years Jail Term

Sale Of Angkea Sel (Schrubs) For Chinese New Year 2011

PAD: Govt has 3 days to free Veera from Cambodia


via CAAI

Published: 2/02/2011
The government must help free the two Thais being detained in a Cambodian prison and bring them home within three days, or face more pressure from yellow-shirt protesters, People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) co-leader Chamlong Srimuang said on Wednesday.

“We will give the government until Feb 5 to comply with the demand.

PAD co-leader Chamlong Srimuang

"If it fails to do so, PAD will call a mass street rally of yellow-shirts to pressure the government to take responsibility for such a failure,” Maj Gen Chamlong said.

The retired army general denied reports that the yellow-shirt group is planning to set fire to the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok, in revenge for the jail sentences handed down by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“The PAD will not resort to any violence. If the Cambodian embassy is really burnt down, it will have nothing to do with the yellow-shirts,” he said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday evening sentenced Thai Patriots Network (TPN) coordinator Veera Somkwamkid to eight years in jail and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaibul to six years for espionage and illegal entry. They have the right to appeal within 30 days.

TPN core member Chaiwat Sinsuwong said his yellow-shirt splinter group and the PAD will hold a joint street rally this Saturday, Feb 5, and demand the government's resignation.

Mr Chaiwat said if the government was allowed to stay in office the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia would heighten.

On the jail sentences handed down by the Cambodian court on Mr Veera and Ms Ratree, he said the two had decided to appeal and seek release on bail.

Mr Veera and Ms Ratree would stand firm in their assertion they had been abducted from Thai territory and the Cambodian court did not have jurisdiction to consider the case against them.

They would also petition with the International Criminal Court to look into the ongoing dispute between Thailand and Cambodia, Mr Chaiwat said.

Mr Chaiwat dismissed as untrue a report that the TPN had planned to set fire to the Cambodian embassy after learning of the Cambodian court's sentencing of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree.

He said TPN protesters would instead march to the Foreign Ministry this afternoon to show support for ministry officials, but at the same time demand the removal of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya for not responding to TPN's demand that he act to secure the release of the two yellow shirt activists.

Meanwhile, TPN members in Nakhon Ratchasima would march to the 2nd Army headquarters to thank soldiers for their role in defending the country's sovereignty. At the same time, they would condemn Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, also for not accepting TPN's demands.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva called on the PAD to suggest just what he should do to help free the two Thais being held in Prey Sar prison, rather than just make demands.

All sides should work together to help the two detained Thais, rather than linking this issue with domestic politics, Mr Abhisit said.

The premier said Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya will fly to Cambodia tomorrow to meet Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and talk over ways to help the pair.

"The government, however, must respect the decisions of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree, even if their views are different from ours," he said.

The case of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree was a sensitive one and had affected Thai-Cambodian relations, he said.

"Both countries will continue to work on solving the problem through peaceful means. The government and the army share the same stance on this matter," he said.

Democrat Party MP Panich Vikitsreth said the Cambodian court's sentencing of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree to jail was unfair.

Mr Panich, one of the seven Thais who were arrested by Cambodian soldiers on Dec 29 for illegal entry, said he felt for Mr Panich and Ms Ratree and was very disappointed with the verdict.

He said the additional charge of espionage against them was unjustified because they had no intention to steal anything from Cambodia.

"Mr Veera initially thought that the pinhole camera could not capture pictures, while Ms Ratree was only taking photos as souvenirs.

"I'll do my best to prove all seven Thais are innocent by working with the government to present the truth," the MP for Bangkok said.

Appeals would be filed as soon as possible and all charges would be denied, he added.

Mr Panich used the Thai phrase กล้องรูเข็ม (klong ru khem, or needle hole) for pinhole camera, but gave no other explanation.

Deputy Prime Minister overseeing security Suthep Thaugsuban took the same tone, saying the Cambodian court's sentence was harsh but all sides must accept it.

Mr Suthep said he did not want to criticise the ruling.

"The case is not yet over and they [Mr Veera and Ms Ratree] can still file an appeal.

"All sides have to respect the verdict and refrain from inciting conflict between the two countries," he said.

The pair and their families will decide whether they would seek a royal pardon when the case is final, he said.

The deputy premier said he believed Thai-Cambodian relations can still be amended despite Cambodia’s refusal to remove its national flag hoisted in the disputed border area near Preah Vihear temple.

He denied claims the government plans to disperse the protest rally by the PAD outside Government House. The government will prevent the protesters from inconveniencing other people.

The government will not allow protesters to set fires at state offices of Thailand or Cambodia, Mr Suthep said.

Panich: Ruling against Veera unfair


via CAAI

Published: 2/02/2011

The Cambodian court's sentencing of yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon to jail was unfair, Democrat Party MP Panich Vikitsreth said on Wednesday.

Mr Panich, one of the seven Thais who were arrested by Cambodian soldiers on Dec 29 for illegal entry, said he felt for Mr Panich and Ms Ratree and was very disappointed with the verdict.

He said the additional charge of espionage against them was unjustified because they had no intention to steal anything from Cambodia.

"Mr Veera initially thought that the pinhole camera could not capture pictures, while Ms Ratree was only taking photos as souvenirs.

"I'll do my best to prove all seven Thais are innocent by working with the government to present the truth," the MP for Bangkok said.

Appeals would filed as soon as possible and all charges would be denied, he added.

Mr Panich used the Thai phrase กล้องรูเข็ม (klong ru khem, or needle hole) for pinhole camera, but gave no other explanation.

Landmine and unexploded ordnance casualty figures rise in 2010

MAG works in the most heavily mined areas of Cambodia.

via CAAI

The number of landmine and unexploded ordnance casualties in Cambodia rose by 17 per cent to 286 last year, underlining the continued need for MAG’s lifesaving work in the country.

Figures from the Cambodian Mine/Explosive Remnants of War Victim Information System (CMVIS) show that 71 people died and 215 were injured as a result of 150 accidents, the same accident total as recorded in 2009.

MAG focuses not only on removing as many mines as possible but on removing those mines that pose the greatest threat to lives, livelihoods and development. MAG’s operations in Cambodia are focused in the areas with the greatest number of landmine casualties.

In 2010 landmines were the cause of 79 of the accidents recorded, whereas 71 involved explosive remnants of war − cluster bombs, air dropped bombs and unexploded ordnance (UXO), such as artillery projectiles, mortars and grenades.

Of the 530 casualties recorded by CMVIS from January 2009 to December 2010, 321 were men, 53 women and 156 children.

MAG will continue to prioritise high-impact clearance work in areas where the threat to lives and development is greatest.

For more on MAG's programme in Cambodia please visit www.maginternational.org/cambodia .

MAG thanks the following current donors to our Cambodia operations: Act for Peace; Actiefonds Minjnen Ruimen; Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Good Gifts; The Hurvis Foundation; Lutheran World Federation; QPSW (Quaker Peace & Social Witness); The Rowan Charitable Trust; The T.U.U.T Charitable Trust; UKaid (UK Department for International Development).

Australian's favourite holiday hot spots

http://www.news.com.au/

via CAAI

February 03, 2011

Escape - Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Source: News Limited

AUSTRALIANS are becoming more adventurous when it comes to travelling overseas.

Cambodia, Korea, and Sub-Saharan Africa among our fastest-growing holiday destinations.

Brazil and Mauritius are also soaring in popularity, with more traditional hot spots such as Italy, Fiji and Indonesia.

But New Zealand still remains the number one travel destination for Australians, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for November.

Travel to the United States increased 10 per cent from the same time the previous year, largely as a result of the strong Australian dollar.

At the same time travel to the UK - which is still struggling after the global financial crisis - dropped by 8 per cent.

Travel to the Netherlands, Malaysia and Japan also suffered small falls.

Overall, more than 600,000 Australians holidayed overseas in November - 10 per cent more than the same month the previous year.

Cambodia is an emerging destination with a 74 per cent year-on-year rise, although the number of Australians travelling there is still small in comparison to more mainstream holiday spots.

Italy increased 57 per cent, Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil both grew by 31 per cent and Korea rose 21 per cent.

Australian Federation of Travel Agents chief executive Jayson Westbury said budget airlines were increasingly flying to new destinations, leading to great opportunities for adventurous travellers.

"Cambodia is definitely a hot one," he said. "I remember going to China years ago when it wasn't on anyone's radar, now with great air access it is opening up so much."

He said the same thing would slowly happen throughout Asia.

"As we become more educated about destinations with so much more information available, people are realising that some of these places that you might never have contemplated are not that difficult to get to and are quite safe and fun," Mr Westbury said.

As well as hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was also experiencing a rise in tourists thanks to more airlines flying to South America directly from Australia.

"As we get better connected links it has become a lot easier and more affordable for Australians to access South America," Mr Westbury said.

"You can get across there without having to fly to the United States."

Good work continues, this time in Cambodia

via CAAI

03/02/2011

Mere Smith was no stranger to going without luxuries, after growing up in the backblocks of Northland, but that'll be nothing compared with what she's about to experience in Cambodia.

Ms Smith is one of 14 Wintec staff heading off Siem Reap tomorrow as part of Habitat for Humanity's New Zealand Global Village Team.

The group will likely be building an ablution block in one of city's villages or communes – but won't know exactly what task they'll undertake until they arrive on Sunday.

But the not knowing what's in store isn't worrying Ms Smith – who works at Wintec's School of Education.

"I grew up having to use a long drop [toilet] and having no phones – so I'm used to no luxuries," she said.

"I know how to use a hammer, so I'm willing to give it a go. I'm not afraid of hard work."

The one-week build is part of Habitat's Housing and Community Development Project, which is delivering housing solutions for 400 families through the construction of houses, repairs and renovations, improvements to water and sanitation, and skills training.

It's the third time Wintec has sent staff on an international Habitat for Humanity building.

In 2006 they sent a team to India and 2008 they went to Vietnam.

Business School senior lecturer Sukh Deo – who is off to Cambodia – was part of the India team.

Mr Deo, a Fijian-born Indian, said he enjoyed that experience.

The group built about six houses in a city called PondiCherry – south of Chennai – which was devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2005.

"It was great to go and do my bit to help out."

International Medical Corps Conducts Pandemic Preparedness Workshops in Cambodia and Kenya as Lead Agency of USAID PREPARE Project

via CAAI

02 Feb 2011

Source: member // Jaya Vadlamudi, Senior Communications Officer, International Medical Corps


Media Contact: Jaya Vadlamudi
Senior Communications Officer
jvadlamudi@InternationalMedicalCorps.org
+1 310.826.7800

February 2, 2011 - As lead agency for the PREPARE project, a coalition funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), International Medical Corps is working to strengthen the capacity of countries in Africa and Asia for disaster management and pandemic preparedness planning. As part of the project, International Medical Corps conducted four-day multi-sectoral workshops in Cambodia and Kenya in January, bringing together over 60 representatives of the government, private sector and civil society. These workshops are part of a comprehensive program to improve their capacity to respond to public health crisis and potential socio-economic disruptions brought on by influenza pandemics and other public health emergencies.

As part of a three-year cooperative agreement awarded by USAID, International Medical Corps is working with MedPrep Consulting Group and TRIMED, Inc to strengthen the capacity of countries to prepare for and respond to influenza pandemics and other public health emergencies in a timely and sustainable manner. Focusing on the provision of technical support for simulations and field tests of national, regional and local pandemic preparedness plans, PREPARE closely collaborates with and enhances the ongoing USAID-funded Pandemic Response Program implemented by AFRICOM in Africa and PACOM in Asia-Pacific.

PREPARE emphasizes the “Whole-of-Society” approach, with significant roles to be played by all sectors of society beyond the health sector. The project brings together national governments, civil society groups, the private sector and communities to plan and test preparedness capabilities, then develop a “preparedness toolkit” and training scheme to maintain the capacity needed to deal with a severe influenza pandemic as one type of global mega-catastrophe. As a result, target countries will have improved pandemic preparedness strategies that will become an integral part of their national emergency management plans and will effectively cooperate in their planning with the private sector and the providers of essential services.

For more than 25 years, a significant number of International Medical Corps’ responses have included technical assistance for the treatment and control of epidemic diseases. The organization has more than 4,000 field-based staff, including approximately 200 physicians and public health experts, as well as 10 Medical Directors coordinating health interventions worldwide, including H1N1 pandemic preparedness activities. Throughout 2011, International Medical Corps will draw on its breadth of technical experience to implement additional PREPARE workshops and simulation exercises in Senegal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Laos, Thailand, Philippines and India.

Since its founding in 1984, International Medical Corps has delivered more than $1.1 billion in lifesaving medical care and training to tens of millions of people across 50 countries. International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance. For more information visit: http://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/

Post comes under attack


via CAAI

Published: 3/02/2011 

A Cambodian web blog is calling on its readers to launch a cyberwar against the Bangkok Post to help counter what it sees as biased media coverage.


The blog, run by a group called "Cambodia Air Defense", published an article on Jan 31 calling for readers to attack the Post's online advertising revenues by submitting false reports to Google Adsense.

"We have realized it is possible to attack back this Bangkok Post, and this is the idea of today post: online attack exercise. We would like to share this to all readers who facing trouble with online media around the globe," said the authors in broken English.

Cambodia Air Defense claims to be a "part of Infantry, the Royal Cambodian Army. Our works aiming to contribute an assistant to other 10 departments of the National Defense to cope with Insurgency in Thai-land."

The site is run by Boeun Chan Born, a researcher who in 2006 ran Preap Khmer, a non-governmental organisation set up to monitor the use of the media in humanitarian programmes in Cambodia. Mr Boeun's Twitter profile lists the "National Defense Ministry" as his location.

Thai security officials are apparently aware of the blog. Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking to several hundred battalion commanders Wednesday, told the military to help monitor online websites for provocative and defamatory statements against the country.

Aree Jivorarak, head of the ICT Ministry's IT Regulation Bureau, said the ministry monitored 400 to 500 sites a week for violations of domestic computer laws.

If the court agrees that online content is in violation of the law, criminal action can be taken against the webmaster, or if the site is located abroad, then the ICT would block the site from local access.

Relations between the two nations have deteriorated sharply in recent months over the border dispute near the Preah Vihear temple.

The latest escalation of tensions came on Tuesday, when a Phnom Penh court sentenced Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkhwamkid to eight years in jail and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon to six years for espionage.

The two were in a group of seven Thais arrested on Dec 29 in Banteay Meanchey province by Cambodian authorities for trespassing, spying and illegal entry into a military area.