Tuesday, 15 February 2011

BOI postpones roadshow in Cambodia


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BANGKOK, Feb 15 - Clashes between Thailand and Cambodia last week prompted Thailand's Board of Investment (BoI) to put off leading investors to look for investment opportunities in Cambodia for an indefinite period as investors are concerned about safety, BoI Secretary-General Atchaka Sibunruang Brimble said.

The original trip was scheduled this month. Ms Atchaka said a large number of Thai investors are interested in investment in Cambodia, particularly in labour-intensive industries such as the garment industry, but the roadshow must be postponed until the tension eases. So far, Thai investors have invested in Cambodia's retail industry, hotels, and telecommunications.

Regarding domestic politics, she said investors understand the political situation in Thailand. If it goes along in accord with democracy procedures and a new election is held this year, it does not cause concern among investors, she said.

The requests for investment privileges this year are likely to reach their target at Bt400 billion (US$13 billion). In January alone, the amount was reported at Bt22 billion ($733 million), which was a drop from last year when a megaproject power plant worth Bt20 billion ($666 million) sought BoI privileges. This year, no megaprojects such as upstream steel and petrochemical projects are included in the BoI target because investors are not confident in the location of the project.

Meanwhile, she said the shortage of labour is a problem foreign investors facing in Thailand. They asked the BoI to help solve labour shortages at all levels.

Fighting between Thailand and Cambodia began on Feb 4 and continued through Feb 7. Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya reported to the UN Security Council on Monday that two Thai soldiers and two civilians were killed during the four-day clashes. He said the ASEAN foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Jakarta, Indonesia to discuss the dispute on Feb 22. (MCOT online news)

Thailand and Cambodia clash along border


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By the CNN Wire Staff
February 15, 2011

(CNN) -- Thai and Cambodian forces briefly exchanged fire early Tuesday in an ongoing dispute over an ancient Hindu temple on the border, according to a Thai military official.

The border skirmish started after members of the Cambodian military threw hand grenades, said to Col. Sansern Kaewkumnerd, a Thai military spokesman. The Thai army responded with gunfire, he said. One Thai soldier was seriously injured.

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council called for a truce between the two Asian nations and urged them to begin a dialogue to end their dispute over Preah Vihear Temple.

The council issued its statement following a closed-door session on the conflict that included representatives from both sides and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"The members of the Security Council called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation," said the statement, read by Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil, which holds the monthly presidency of the 15-member body for February.

"The members of the Security Council further urged the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue," she said.

Border skirmishes, which started earlier this month, have killed five people, including members of the military and civilians, a statement from ASEAN said, adding that each nation accuses the other of firing first.

The clashes stem from a longstanding conflict related to the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple. The building sits on a cliff in Cambodian territory, but the most accessible entrance to the site is on the Thai side.

In a letter to the United Nations last week, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that in addition to the human toll the fighting was taking, the temple had suffered damage.

Conflict over the Preah Vihear site has taken place periodically for years. In 1962, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the site was in Cambodia, adding that the structure was "an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture."

But Thailand says the 1.8-square-mile (4.7-square-kilometer) area around Preah Vihear was never fully demarcated, and blames a map drawn at the beginning of the 20th century during the French occupation of Cambodia.

In July 2008, the United Nations approved Cambodia's application to have the temple listed as a World Heritage Site, meaning the U.N. believes the place has outstanding universal value.

Monday's meeting followed a request by Cambodia for an emergency session of the Security Council. The council heard from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe and Marty Natalegawa, the minister of foreign affairs of Indonesia and chairman of ASEAN.

Hor Namhong, Cambodia's deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, and Thailand's foreign affairs minister, Kasit Piromya, also addressed the council.

The council also expressed its support of ASEAN's efforts to bring the two sides together to find a solution. ASEAN foreign ministers are expected to discuss the conflict at their next meeting on February 22.

CNN's Whitney Hurst and Kocha Olarn contributed to this report

Vietnam and Cambodia strengthen co-operation

http://english.vovnews.vn/

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15/02/2011

(VOV) - Hoang Binh Quan, a Party Central Committee (PCC)’s member and the Head of the PCC Commission for Foreign Affairs paid a two-day visit to Cambodia on February 14-15.

He met with Cambodian King, Norodom Sihamoni; President of Cambodian People’s Party (PPC) and President of Senate, Chea Sim; Vice President of PPC and Prime Minister, Hun Sen; and the Chairman of Cambodian National Assembly, Heng Samrin.

At the meetings, Quan conveyed best regards of Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other Party and State leaders to Cambodian Party and State leaders. He briefed them on the fine results of the 11th National Party Congress and affirmed that the congress’s resolutions encompass all the theoretical ad practical issues on building socialism and national construction in 25 years of the renewal process, 20 years of implementing the Party political platform, 10 years of implementing the socio-economic development strategy in the 2001-2010 period and five years of implementing the 10th National Party Congress.

Quan reaffirmed that Vietnam always did its utmost to build a long-term friendship and co-operation with Cambodia.

Cambodian leaders congratulated Vietnam on the success of the 11th National Party Congress and Nguyen Phu Trong on his new position. They expressed their hope that under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the country would obtain more achievements in the process of becoming a modern industrialised country in 2020.

They expressed their gratitude for Vietnam’s support for Cambodia’s struggles for independence and escaping of Pol Pot genocide to restore and develop the country. They committed themselves to strengthening the ties of traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long lasting relations with Vietnam.

During his stay in Cambodia, Quan also held talks with Sai Chhum, head of the CPP Standing Committee.

UN Security Council hears Cambodia, Thailand on border dispute

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English.news.cn
2011-02-15

by William M. Reilly

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday called on Cambodia and Thailand to cool down, arrange a permanent ceasefire and get on with talks over their recent deadly border skirmishes, likened by Bangkok to a family feud.

Military units of the two Southeast Asia neighbors exchanged fire on Feb. 4-7 over a long-running frontier-demarcation disagreement involving an ancient Hindu temple now on the World Heritage list.

At least eight people were killed and scores of others wounded. Tens of thousands of nearby villagers fled the disputed area during the fighting.

Since the confrontation, a tense ceasefire has been observed.

Cambodia asked the Security Council to meet on the conflict over the Temple of Vihear and to call in Thailand for talks. Thailand refers to the disputed holy site as the Temple of Phra Viharn.

The foreign ministers of the two countries were accompanied to the Council session by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia, chairman of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"I feel far more optimistic than I was before, in terms of where we are," Natalegawa told reporters following the meeting.

After hearing from the two countries in closed-door consultations, the panel urged them to display maximum restraint, avoid any action that may aggravate the situation, and establish a permanent ceasefire.

The rotating Council president, Brazilian UN Ambassador Maria Ribeiro Viotti, said Council members expressed their great concern about the recent armed clashes and called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation.

"The members of the Security Council further urged the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue," she said.

Viotti said the panel expressed support for the efforts of ASEAN and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organization.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have come here today to speak about Thailand and Cambodia, our neighbor and a fellow member of the ASEAN family," Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya of Thailand told the Council in prepared remarks, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.

"Two members of the ASEAN family have to come here to talk about their bilateral problem, despite the fact that ASEAN made a decision that such matters should be addressed directly between the parties concerned," he said.

"Like in all parts of the world, relations between two neighboring countries sharing common border are like siblings," Piromya added. "There have been ups and downs, good times and bad times, in our relations. But whenever problem arose, we have always solved them together side by side."

The minister, in meetings with reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York, repeatedly plugged for bilateral talks.

But Phnom Penh had a different view.

"Negotiations bilaterally have failed, therefore we need one other, third, party to have the two parties settle our problem," Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters after the Council's consultations.

In his prepared remarks to the Council, a copy of which also was obtained by Xinhua, he detailed differences going back to the turn of the previous century and the so-called 1908 "Dangrek Map" describing the two nations' common frontier and a 1962 International Court of Justice declaration that the disputed temple was in Cambodian territory.

"Even though there were two de facto agreements on a ceasefire, the current situation, however, remains extremely fragile," the minister told the Council. "Fresh fighting may break out again at any time without forewarning, while heavily-armed Thai soldiers, artilleries and tanks have been positioned along the border posing constant pressure on Cambodia."

He said: "Thailand is emboldened by its larger and sophisticated armaments."

The minister called Thailand's actions earlier in the month " aggression against Cambodia," and accused the Thais of using cluster munitions.

Thailand emphatically denied the accusation about using cluster bombs, a widely banned device that on initial detonation discharges bomb-lets, that scatter. Experience has shown many of the smaller devices fail to explode and later become secondary weapons as deadly as landmines when they finally detonate. Silvery devices, they attract children.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated. Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-sq-km territory around the temple has never been resolved.

The foreign minister of the more-developed Thailand said his nation had no need to be an aggressor in Cambodia, a country his nation was helping to develop through investment, a common visa- application scheme and even joint tourism efforts.

Editor: Zhang Xiang

Skirmish on Thai-Cambodia border

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15 February 2011

Two heavily-armed militaries are ranged against each other across a stretch of disputed land

A Thai soldier on the border with Cambodia has been wounded just hours after the UN called on the neighbours to establish a permanent ceasefire.

The two sides have blamed each other for starting the recent hostilities which began with four days of heavy fighting earlier this month.

The clashes left eight dead, displaced thousands and damaged the World Heritage-listed Preah Vihear temple.

The UN has backed efforts by regional grouping Asean to resolve the dispute.

A Thai military spokesman in Bangkok blamed Cambodia for the latest violence, saying hand grenades had been thrown across the border before dawn.

But he appeared to downplay the seriousness of the attack, describing it as a minor incident.

'Maximum restraint'

A hospital official in the border area confirmed to the BBC that one Thai soldier had been injured but he did not know how seriously.

The two heavily-armed militaries are ranged against each other across a 4.6-sq km (1130 acres) stretch of disputed land.

The BBC's Rachel Harvey in Bangkok says the news is further proof of how tense the situation is along the disputed border.


After hearing testimony from the foreign ministers from both countries, the UN Security Council called on Thailand and Cambodia to exercise "maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation".

The council's president, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said there was "great concern" over the clashes.

Asean will hold a meeting of regional foreign ministers later this month to try to strengthen what is clearly a rather fragile ceasefire, our correspondent says.

Thailand opposes UN mediation, saying it can settled by the two states.

But Cambodia has described itself as being at war with Thailand and has suggested the UN send peacekeepers to the disputed area.

Thailand, Cambodia defy UN plea for peace

http://au.news.yahoo.com/

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By Boonradom Chitradon, AAP
February 15, 2011

Thailand and Cambodia show no sign of narrowing their differences on how to end a deadly border rift, with Bangkok reporting a new skirmish just hours after a UN appeal for a lasting ceasefire.

Thailand said one of its soldiers was wounded in the latest flare-up at the frontier early on Tuesday, but described the incident as relatively minor.

The two armies accused each other of using hand grenades.

Bangkok urged its neighbour to return to the table for bilateral talks to settle the row centred on a 900-year-old temple, which erupted into four days of armed clashes earlier this month, leaving at least 10 people dead.

"When the international community thinks the problem should be solved through negotiation, Cambodia has no reason to refuse. They should return to the talks," Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said.

But Phnom Penh rejected the call, insisting on the need for third-party mediation.

"Bilateral negotiations do not work," said Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong, who described a UN Security Council meeting on the matter as "a success" for his country.

"Cambodia's stance is to resolve the dispute peacefully," he said, but "all negotiations must always have the participation of a third party".

He added: "What Cambodia wants is a permanent ceasefire. This is the most important issue."

The two sides are at odds over a border area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple, an 11th century clifftop ruin that belongs to Cambodia but whose designation as a World Heritage site sparked the ire of Thai nationalists.

The two Southeast Asian neighbours blame each other for the crisis.

In New York, UN Security Council members called for "maximum restraint" in the standoff, council president Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil said after a closed-door meeting attended by the foreign ministers of the two countries as well as Indonesia, which has tried to mediate in the dispute.

"Members of the Security Council urge the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully," she said.

But just hours later the two countries' armies were trading accusations again about the latest incident.

"Cambodia threw hand grenades into Thailand at around 5am this morning (0900 AEDT)," Thai army spokesman Colonel Sunsern Kaewkumnerd said on Tuesday. "One Thai soldier was injured."

A Cambodian military commander near the border who did not wish to be named denied the charge, saying Thai troops regularly threw grenades but Cambodian forces did not retaliate.

Viotti said the UN Security Council supported the Indonesian mediation efforts.

"The idea is to work in synergy with the regional efforts - and right now regional efforts are in full force - and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue," she said.

While Cambodia won support for its calls for outside mediation to help end the standoff, the council did not endorse its request to deploy UN peacekeepers into the contested area.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong accused Thailand of using internationally outlawed bombs and munitions in the conflict.

"We deny all of that and we did not shoot first. It was a response," his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya said.

The Thai minister said there was no need for UN peacekeepers and the option had not been discussed in the Security Council session.

Kasit said he had not met his Cambodian counterpart one-on-one in New York, but there would be an opportunity to do so during a meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta on February 22.

He also told Thai television that he had proposed a meeting on February 27 of a joint commission set up previously with Cambodia to try to resolve the border dispute.

"We are ready to talk any day. It depends on Cambodia's decision," he said.

Thailand has laid the blame for the crisis on UNESCO's decision to declare the temple ruins a World Heritage site even though the land around it is disputed.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia but both countries claim ownership of a 4.6 square-kilometre surrounding area.

Thai army reports minor border clash with Cambodia

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BANGKOK | Tue Feb 15, 2011

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai and Cambodian troops clashed before dawn on Tuesday at a disputed stretch of border, a Thai army spokesman said, but a senior Cambodian military official denied the report.

"It was a minor clash at the frontline with pistols, wounding one soldier on the Thai side," said Thai army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd, adding that the soldier was wounded by a grenade.

The Cambodian government, however, said it was unaware of any clash between the two countries. A senior Cambodian army commander said there had been no fighting.

A spokesman at a Thai hospital in the border area said the wounded soldier appeared to have stepped on a landmine.

Thailand and Cambodia blame each other for clashes this month near the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple that killed at least three Thais and eight Cambodians. The temple is located on a disputed piece of land between the two countries.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday called for a permanent ceasefire and voiced concern about recent violence, urging both sides to show "maximum restraint".

(Reporting by Ambika Ahuja; Editing by Jason Szep)

Thailand, Cambodia still at odds after UN appeal

Tanks from the Thai army are deployed to reinforce military bases close to the Thai-Cambodian border. The UN Security Council has called for a "permanent ceasefire" between the two south east Asian nations after a border dispute erupted into deadly clashes last week around the Hindu Preah Vihear temple. (AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)  

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by Boonradom Chitradon Boonradom Chitradon

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand and Cambodia showed no sign Tuesday of narrowing their differences on how to end a deadly border rift, with Bangkok reporting a new skirmish just hours after a UN appeal for a lasting ceasefire.

Thailand said one of its soldiers was wounded in the latest flare-up at the frontier early Tuesday but described the incident as relatively minor. The two armies accused each other of using hand grenades.

Bangkok urged its neighbour to return to the table for bilateral talks to settle the row centred on a 900-year-old temple, which erupted into four days of armed clashes earlier this month, leaving at least 10 people dead.

"When the international community thinks the problem should be solved through negotiation, Cambodia has no reason to refuse. They should return to the talks," Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said.

But Phnom Penh rejected the call, insisting on the need for third-party mediation.

"Bilateral negotiations do not work," said Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong, who described a UN Security Council meeting on the matter as "a success" for his country.

"Cambodia's stance is to resolve the dispute peacefully," he said, but "all negotiations must always have the participation of a third party".

He added: "What Cambodia wants is a permanent ceasefire. This is the most important issue."

The two sides are at odds over a border area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple, an 11th century clifftop ruin that belongs to Cambodia but whose designation as a World Heritage site sparked the ire of Thai nationalists.

The two Southeast Asian neighbours blame each other for the crisis.

In New York, UN Security Council members called for "maximum restraint" in the standoff, council president Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil said after a closed-door meeting attended by the foreign ministers of the two countries as well as Indonesia, which has tried to mediate in the dispute.

"Members of the Security Council urge the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully," she said.

But just hours later the two countries' armies were trading accusations again about the latest incident.

"Cambodia threw hand grenades into Thailand at around 5:00 am this morning (2200 GMT Monday)," Thai army spokesman Colonel Sunsern Kaewkumnerd said. "One Thai soldier was injured."

A Cambodian military commander near the border who did not wish to be named denied the charge, saying Thai troops regularly threw grenades but Cambodian forces did not retaliate.

Viotti said the UN Security Council supported the Indonesian mediation efforts.

"The idea is to work in synergy with the regional efforts -- and right now regional efforts are in full force -- and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue," she said.

While Cambodia won support for its calls for outside mediation to help end the standoff, the council did not endorse its request to deploy UN peacekeepers into the contested area.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong accused Thailand of using internationally outlawed bombs and munitions in the conflict.

"We deny all of that and we did not shoot first. It was a response," his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya said.

The Thai minister said there was no need for UN peacekeepers and the option had not been discussed in the Security Council session.

Kasit said he had not met his Cambodian counterpart one-on-one in New York, but there would be an opportunity to do so during a meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta on February 22.

He also told Thai television that he had proposed a meeting on February 27 of a joint commission set up previously with Cambodia to try to resolve the border dispute.

"We are ready to talk any day. It depends on Cambodia's decision," he said.

Thailand has laid the blame for the crisis on UNESCO's decision to declare the temple ruins a World Heritage site even though the land around it is disputed.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, but both countries claim ownership of a 1.8-square-mile (4.6-square-kilometre) surrounding area.

Cambodia closes Vietnamese refugee centre: govt

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PHNOM PENH, Tuesday 15 February 2011 (AFP) - A UN refugee centre in Cambodia that housed Vietnamese ethnic minority Montagnards was closing down Tuesday, leaving the fate of future asylum seekers from the group in the hands of the government.

Rights groups say the largely Christian Montagnard community -- whose members backed US forces during the Vietnam war -- face land confiscations and religious persecution in Vietnam.

The Cambodian foreign ministry in December gave the local office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) until February 15 to shut down the facility where 75 Montagnards had sought shelter.

"The site will be closed by today (Tuesday)," foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said.

The UNHCR said it had found new living arrangements for the majority of the group, though 10 of the Montagnards did not qualify as refugees and are set to return to Vietnam.

Fifty others have been resettled in Canada and the United States is accepting four refugees through resettlement and one through immigration.

"That leaves 10 more and we expect that they are going to leave Cambodia as regular emigrants," said UNHCR Asia spokeswoman Kitty McKinsey.

From now on Montagnards who come to Cambodia seeking asylum would have their claims heard by the Cambodian refugee office, she said.

Human Rights Watch has expressed concern over the new arrangement, saying Cambodia had "a dismal track record when it comes to deporting recognised refugees and asylum seekers".

"Montagnards will continue to try to flee Vietnam as long as the Vietnamese government systematically violates their basic rights," said HRW deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.

"It's imperative that the Cambodian government live up to its international obligations and not force asylum seekers back to a place where their lives and their liberty will be at stake."

The closure of the centre appeared to signal the end of a 2005 deal between Vietnam, Cambodia and the UNHCR under which Montagnards may choose whether to resettle in a third country or return home. Cambodia has refused to allow them to stay in the kingdom.

Some 2,000 Montagnards fled to Cambodia in 2001 and 2004 after security forces crushed protests against land confiscations and religious persecution.

The majority were resettled, with the United States taking in many.

UN human rights envoy arrives on fourth trip to Cambodia

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/

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Feb 15, 2011

Phnom Penh - The United Nations' human rights envoy to Cambodia arrived in Phnom Penh Tuesday on a 10-day trip to assess how effectively the parliament upholds human rights.

Surya Subedi said he would 'study the work of the parliament in the context of my ongoing assessment of institutions critical to the promotion and protection of human rights.'

The envoy is scheduled to meet with government officials, parliamentarians, civil society representatives and donors during his stay.

Subedi said he would also examine how much effort the government had put into his previous recommendations, among them improving the functioning of the judiciary.

At the close of his third visit in June, Subedi said the judiciary faced 'tremendous challenges in delivering justice for the people of the country, especially the poor and marginalized.'

He said some judges were simply not interested in upholding the law.

Subedi was also scheduled to assess the government's steps to decriminalize defamation.

In recent years rights groups have criticized the government's growing use of defamation lawsuits to muzzle its perceived critics in politics and civil society.

During his last visit, Subedi said the practice was disproportionate and had narrowed the space for public discourse.

Among the other topics expected to come up for discussion were a controversial draft law designed to regulate civil society, and the ongoing scourge of land-grabbing and evictions.

Phnom Penh has long had a rocky relationship with human rights groups.

Last year Prime Minister Hun Sen said he wanted the UN human rights office in Cambodia to close, and its country head, Christophe Peschoux, fired. A senior government minister described Peschoux as a 'mouthpiece for the opposition.'

A native of Nepal and a Britain-trained lawyer, Subedi is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to report on human rights in Cambodia. He submitted his last report to the body in September.

Cambodia closes centre for Vietnam Montagnard refugees

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By Guy De Launey
BBC News, Phnom Penh


Hundreds of Montagnards have fled to Cambodia since 2001

A UN refugee centre in Cambodia is closing after the government ordered it to stop operating.

The centre had taken in indigenous minority Montagnard people from the central highlands of neighbouring Vietnam.

They are mostly evangelical Christians who claim they have been persecuted because of their beliefs.

Human rights organisations have urged Cambodia to stand by its commitment to the UN convention on refugees.

There have been mixed messages from the Cambodian government; it had said asylum-seekers from Vietnam would be turned back at the border.

Later it stated that it would use immigration and refugee laws to assess people claiming refugee status.

Human Rights Watch says it is concerned that future asylum-seekers may not be treated "according to international standards".

But the Jesuit Refugee Service says it is glad the facility is closing as it has been "the equivalent of a detention centre".

Only 20 people are still at the centre.

Ten of them will be resettled in a third country - but the remainder failed to get refugee status and will be deported to Vietnam this week.

UN urges peaceful Thai-Cambodia settlement

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By EDITH M. LEDERER
The Associated Press
updated 2/15/2011

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council expressed "grave concern" Monday at recent border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia and called on the two sides to establish a permanent cease-fire and settle the dispute peacefully.

The council gave strong backing to the efforts of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations — which includes both countries — to help resolve the conflict in the disputed border region surrounding Preah Vihear temple, a protected U.N. World Heritage site. ASEAN foreign ministers will discuss the clashes at Feb. 22 meeting.

Cambodia and Thailand have accused each other of starting the latest clashes which began on Feb. 4 and continued through Feb. 7. The battle over a hilly patch of land in the remote countryside is rooted in a decades-old border dispute that has fueled nationalist passions and has been driven by domestic politics and conspiracy theories on both sides.

Cambodia asked for the Security Council meeting, calling for U.N. peacekeepers or observers to prevent a renewed outbreak of violence, or at least a fact-finding mission. Thailand has repeatedly said it wants the dispute resolved bilaterally, without U.N. intervention.

After Monday's closed-door meeting, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who briefed the council as the current chair of ASEAN, said he was "far more optimistic than I was before about where we are." He said the Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers, who also briefed the council, both reiterated their country's desire for peace and underscored the need for a diplomatic solution.

At next week's meeting in Jakarta, Natalegawa said, ASEAN will "try to extract from the two countries concerned at the highest level possible a clear commitment that they wish to solve the problem peacefully through dialogue and negotiation."

He said ASEAN will also be seeking a more reliable mechanism or communication system on the ground to ensure that the cease-fire holds and a "road map" to a diplomatic solution. But he stressed that the ultimate solution must come from negotiations between Thailand and Cambodia.

The press statement by the Security Council "called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation." Members urged both countries to establish and fully implement a permanent cease-fire "and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue."

Brazil's U.N. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the current council president, said the U.N. stands ready to take further action if necessary but "right now regional efforts are in full force ... (and) of course, we hope it will be peacefully settled by the parties with ASEAN mediation."

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said in his address to the council, which was distributed to the media, that Thailand had carried out a "war of aggression" and while there were two cease-fire agreements, the current situation "remains extremely fragile."

"Fresh fighting may break out again at any time without forewarning, while heavily armed Thai soldiers, artillery and tanks have been positioned along the border, posing constant pressure on Cambodia," he said.

Hor Namhong accused Thailand of using "sophisticated weapons including cluster bombs" and artillery shells that reached as far as 20 kilometers (over 12 miles) into Cambodian territory. He said the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda and Preah Vihear temple suffered serious damage in the attacks which killed six people — two by cluster bombs — and injured 71 others.

The U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, has said it plans to send a team to assess the temple's damage.

Despite Cambodia's push for U.N. peacekeepers, Hor Namhong said the country welcomed ASEAN's help since the two countries have been unable to resolve the border dispute since 2008.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya strongly denied that the Thai military used banned cluster bombs and blamed Cambodian troops for launching the first attack against the Thai military in Thai territory just a few hours after a "successful and cordial" meeting he had with his Cambodian counterpart in Siem Reap. He said two soldiers and two civilians were killed, many civilians and soldiers were injured, many civilian buildings were destroyed and some 20,000 Thai villagers had to be evacuated.

Kasit accused Cambodia of launching the attacks to bypass ongoing boundary negotiations between the two countries so it can push for approval of its proposed management plan for the Preah Vihear temple at a World Heritage Committee meeting in Bahrain in mid-2011. He urged the committee and the UNESCO Secretariat to halt any further activities related to the temple until the boundary dispute is settled.

Kasit stressed in his speech to the council, which was also handed to reporters, that "Thailand has neither the intention nor the desire to seize territory of a neighboring country" and is "committed to peace." He said Thailand has proposed another meeting on the border issue in late February and still believes the dispute "should best be resolved between the two countries concerned."

Cambodia hopes to "avoid any large military clash" with Thailand

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February 15, 2011

Cambodia said here on Monday that the current situation of a cease-fire with Thailand after the border clashes "remains extremely fragile," but the country still hopes to "resolve the problem peacefully, in order to avoid any large military clash."

The statement came as Hor Namhong, Cambodian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign minister and international cooperation, was addressing a closed UN Security Council meeting.

"Even though there were two de facto agreements on a cease-fire, the current situation, however, remains extremely fragile," he said. "Fresh fighting may breakout again at any time without forewarning."

Earlier on Monday, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya told reporters here that "There is no reason why there should be the continuation of the conflict (with Cambodia) in the sense that we have all of the bilateral mechanisms to do the border negotiations to look at the border security through our respective defense ministers under the general border committee."

Earlier on Monday, the Security Council called on both Cambodia and Thailand to display maximum restraint, avoid any action that may aggravate the situation, and to establish a permanent cease- fire.

Also on Monday, Marty Natalegawa, the chairman of ASEAN and Indonesian foreign minister, told reporters here that the Thai- Cambodian border clashes needs to be resolved peacefully, through dialogue and negotiations.

Earlier this month, both Cambodia and Thailand have written to the 15-nation Security Council on the border conflict. The Cambodian-Thai border dispute was also brought before the Security Council after the clashes took place in October 2008.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been fully demarcated. From Feb. 4 to Feb. 7, at least eight people were killed and 67 others were injured in border clashes, reports said.

Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the Temple of Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-square-km territory around the temple has never been resolved.

The conflict has occurred just a week after Cambodia's Temple of Preah Vihear was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, since then both sides have built up military forces along the border, and periodic clashes occurred, resulting in the deaths of troops on both sides.

Namhong, also in his statement at the closed-door meeting, accused Thailand of "aggression," saying "Cambodia has exercised utmost restraint and maintained great patience in negotiating with Thailand to resolve the problem peacefully, in order to avoid any large military clash."

"Negotiation bilaterally have failed, therefore we need one other third party to have the two party to settle our problem," Namhong told reporters here after closed door Security Council meeting.

On Monday, the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia issued a statement rejecting "the false statement of Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva on Preah Vihear temple."

The statement said that the Bangkok Post on Feb. 11 reported, and which was also published in the National News Bureau of Thailand, that "Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva asks UNESCO to remove the temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List, claiming that the delisting of the temple of Preah Vihear would remove tensions between Cambodia and Thailand."

The statement "strongly rejected the false statement of Thai prime minister", saying that the "real tension has been caused by Thailand's long-standing territorial invasion."

Source: Xinhua

AKP - The Agence Kampuchea Press


via CAAI

DPM Hor Namhong’s Address at the UNSC’s Meeting in New York

Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The following is the full address of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Hor Namhong at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Feb. 14 in New York:




______

Cambodia Hopes to “Avoid Any Large Military Clash” with Thailand

Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Cambodia said here on Monday that the current situation of a cease-fire with Thailand after the border clashes “remains extremely fragile,” but the country still hopes to “resolve the problem peacefully, in order to avoid any large military clash.”

The statement came as Hor Namhong, Cambodian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign minister and international cooperation, was addressing a closed UN Security Council meeting, according to Chinese News Agency Xinhua.

“Even though there were two de facto agreements on a cease-fire, the current situation, however, remains extremely fragile,” he said. “Fresh fighting may breakout again at any time without forewarning.”

Earlier on Monday, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya told reporters here that “There is no reason why there should be the continuation of the conflict (with Cambodia) in the sense that we have all of the bilateral mechanisms to do the border negotiations to look at the border security through our respective defense ministers under the general border committee.”

Earlier on Monday, the Security Council called on both Cambodia and Thailand to display maximum restraint, avoid any action that may aggravate the situation, and to establish a permanent cease- fire.

Also on Monday, Marty Natalegawa, the chairman of ASEAN and Indonesian foreign minister, told reporters here that the Thai- Cambodian border clashes needs to be resolved peacefully, through dialogue and negotiations.

Earlier this month, both Cambodia and Thailand have written to the 15-nation Security Council on the border conflict. The Cambodian-Thai border dispute was also brought before the Security Council after the clashes took place in October 2008.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been fully demarcated. From Feb. 4 to Feb. 7, at least eight people were killed and 67 others were injured in border clashes, reports said.

Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the Temple of Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-square-km territory around the temple has never been resolved.

The conflict has occurred just a week after Cambodia’s Temple of Preah Vihear was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, since then both sides have built up military forces along the border, and periodic clashes occurred, resulting in the deaths of troops on both sides.

Hor Namhong, also in his statement at the closed-door meeting, accused Thailand of “aggression,” saying “Cambodia has exercised utmost restraint and maintained great patience in negotiating with Thailand to resolve the problem peacefully, in order to avoid any large military clash.”

“Negotiations bilaterally have failed, therefore we need one other third parties to have the two party to settle our problem,” Namhong told reporters here after closed door Security Council meeting.

On Monday, the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia issued a statement rejecting “the false statement of Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva on Preah Vihear temple.”

The statement said that the Bangkok Post on Feb. 11 reported, and which was also published in the National News Bureau of Thailand, that “Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva asks UNESCO to remove the temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List, claiming that the delisting of the temple of Preah Vihear would remove tensions between Cambodia and Thailand.”

The statement “strongly rejected the false statement of Thai prime minister”, saying that the “real tension has been caused by Thailand’s long-standing territorial invasion.” –AKP

______

Security Council Urges Cambodia, Thailand to Establish Permanent Cease-fire

Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The UN Security Council urged Cambodia and Thailand to display maximum restraint and to establish a permanent cease-fire, the Council President of the month, Brazilian Ambassador to the UN Maria Ribeiro Viotti, was quoted as telling reporters here Monday by Chinese News Agency Xinhua.

The members of the Security Council expressed their great concern about the recent armed clashes, and called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation, said Viotti, reading a press statement after a close-door meeting on the border conflict between the two south-eastern Asian countries.

“The members of the Security Council further urged the parties to establish a permanent cease-fire and to implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue,” she said.

Viotti said the Security Council expressed support for the active efforts of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in this matter and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organization.

She added that the Council welcomed the upcoming meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of ASEAN on Feb. 22.

Armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand from Feb.4 to Feb.7 had killed at least eight people and injured 67 others. Tens of thousands of villagers nearby the disputed areas had fled their homes.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa who also attended the security council meeting, told reporters it is crystal clear that the issue must be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

“The cease-fire must hold and there must be some kind of modalities and communication system developed to ensure that the cease-fire holds,” Natalegawa said.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated. Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-sq-km territory around the temple has never been resolved. –AKP

______

Thai-Cambodian Border Conflict Has to Be Resolved through Dialogue: ASEAN Chief

Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia that took place on Feb. 4-7 need to be resolved peacefully, through dialogue and negotiations, Marty Natalegawa, who is the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Indonesia’s minister of foreign affairs, said here on Monday.

“The ceasefire must hold … We must try to solve the problem through dialogue with support of ASEAN’s efforts,” Natalegawa was quoted as saying by Chinese News Agency Xinhua while briefing reporters after a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council discussing the conflict.

The armed clashes so far have killed at least eight people and injured 67 others. Tens of thousands of villagers around the disputed areas have fled their homes.

Natalegawa said he feels “far more optimistic than before in terms of where we are.”

Answering a question on the UN role in this conflict, Natalegawa said that “first and foremost there needs to be a bilateral solution with the support and the active engagement of the region.”

In the weeks ahead, an all-level type of approach on the issue will be developed, Natalegawa noted.

ASEAN plays a role in terms of diffusing the conflict, he said.

On Feb. 22, ASEAN will hold a foreign ministers meeting in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. –AKP

______

Club of Cambodian Journalists Holds a Roundtable Discussion with Lawmakers

Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – A Roundtable Discussion on “Promoting Freedom of Expression: Liberalization of the Media” was organized here last Friday by the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ).

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prach Sim, CCJ secretary general, said this roundtable is an important forum providing more knowledge for Cambodian journalists about the new criminal code and the journalism law.

For his part, H.E. Pen Panha, member of the National Assembly, said media has been playing a key role in strengthening Cambodia’s rule of law.

H.E. Pen Panha also asked the Cambodian journalists to pay more attention on journalism professionalism in order to promote the freedom of expression and the rule of law in the country. –AKP

By KHAN Sophirom

Svay Rieng villagers rally


via CAAI

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:02 May Titthara

More than 200 villagers from Svay Rieng province’s Romeas Hek district blocked a rubber company from clearing their land for a fourth consecutive day yesterday, calling on authorities to let them finish harvesting their cassava crops.

Dom Sith, one of the protesters in Tras commune, said about 30 police officials and 20 military police were at yesterday’s protest, working on behalf of Peam Chaing

Rubber Company. For the past two years, tempers have flared between the villagers and the rubber company, which was granted a 3,960-hectare land concession in 2007.

“We first request the company to temporarily stop clearing our crops because will collect our crops within the next two months,” said Dom Sith. “But the district governor told us that the company can’t stop and our farms have to be cleared.”

Romeas Hek district Deputy Governor Hem Sokun said he’s informed the firm to not clear old cassava planting grounds, but go ahead with clearing recently cultivated land.

“The company has agreed to stop clearing for two months upon my request to let the villagers collect their crops,” he said. “But for the newly-grown cassava, it must be cleared.”

Hem Sokun said he couldn’t make any further requests of the company because it had already received the concession land from the government. Chhum Ry, police chief of Romeas Hek district, declined to comment yesterday, saying that he was busy.

Spouse of ‘fake’ soldier files appeal


via CAAI

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:02 Tep Nimol

The wife of a man who was arrested and detained for recruiting a private army in Ratanakkiri province has issued a complaint to Adhoc, asking for them to intervene on his behalf.

Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said the suspect, Hous Chet, was arrested and charged with wearing an illegal soldier’s uniform and recruiting soldiers in Koun Mom district’s Sre Angkrong commune.

Two other men, claiming to be nephews of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany, were charged with illegally recruiting soldiers in an effort to mitigate ongoing border problems with Thailand.

“The brokers lobbied the villagers to recruit soldiers for protecting the border, which has disputes with Thailand,” Chhay Thy said yesterday.

Keo Maly, the wife of Hous Chet, claims that the two other suspects forced her husband to drink alcohol and wear a soldier’s outfit, leading to his arrest.

“My husband is the victim, not a broker, and I ask the court to release my husband,” she said.

Mam Vanada, Ratanakkiri deputy provincial prosecutor, said the suspects were being detained in provincial prison pending further investigations, and could face a year in prison if they are found guilty.

Workers at Koh Pich demand better wages


Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Workers protest over a number of grievances including the non-payment of overtime wages yesterday on Koh Pich.

via CAAI

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:02 Sen David

About 1,000 employees of the Overseas Cambodian Investment Cooperation protested yesterday against working conditions at development projects on Diamond Island.

Noul Yeun, an employee of OCIC, said a group consisting of gardeners, cleaners and construction workers stopped working Sunday to protest for improved conditions.

“We have been working here for more than two years and can no longer bear the restrictions on our lives. We work overtime until 11pm but only receive a daily wage of 10,000 riel (US$2.50). But if an employee is five minutes late he cannot work a full day and loses his wages.”

Fellow protester Leum Hout, 45, said that the company provides poor living conditions and that the construction site once had a small food market, yet the workers now have to pay for transport to shop for food.

On top of this, he claims security guards attempt to steal food from workers at gunpoint and that it is impossible to live on a daily wage of 10,000 riels.

Oen Kim Hun, a conflict resolution official from the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, attended the protest and said the workers made 20 complaints related to both work and living conditions and have asked BWTUC to mediate.

“According to labour law, employees can only work two additional hours for twice the regular rate. The company’s security guards must not carry guns and threaten people. Workers reported to us on January 13 that 20 security guards confronted them, threatening to take their food,” he said.

“The union will negotiate with the company to find a resolution.”

He added that the company provides employees with unhygienic drinking water from the river and charges a weekly fee of 500 riels for medicine.

Touch Samnang, Koh Pich project manager for OCIC, said yesterday that “the company does not force employees to work extra hours”.

“Some workers want to get extra money, so they work more,” he said.

“We believe several workers have persuaded a group to protest for higher wages. The accusations against the security guards are not true and the company has rules that people cannot stockpile food in the workers’ houses.”

Villagers allege firm hogged water


via CAAI

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:01 Chhay Channyda

Villagers from three communes in Kampong Chhnang received extra irrigation water yesterday after complaining to officials that their rice fields have not been irrigated for 10 days due to alleged excessive pumping of canal water by local conglomerate Pheapimex Group.

Villagers in Khun Rang, Melom and Phsar communes in Boribor district said they were concerned that dozens of hectares of rice fields were drying up from a lack of downstream water flow, claiming Pheapimex had caused the problem by pumping water for their cassava plantations, Nov Vuon, the chief of Chumteav Botrey village, said yesterday.

He said the water flow originating from the Boribor river varies every year, but that villagers had recently had no water to water their crops.

Dok Bunthon, director of the provincial water resources department, said that after visiting the affected area yesterday, he ordered Pheapimex to redirect water to the three communes.

Pheapimex, owned by Choeung Sopheap, wife of ruling party senator Lao Meng Khin, was granted a 315,028-hectare concession to develop land in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces to plant acacia and cassava crops.

Government set to close refugee site


via CAAI

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:01 Sebastian Strangio

Officials have confirmed a United Nations-administered refugee centre in Phnom Penh will close its doors today in line with a government order, bringing to an end a 2005 agreement governing the processing of Montagnard asylum seekers from Vietnam.

“The government stance is not changed. We will implement what we have set out,” said Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On November 29, the Foreign Ministry wrote to UNHCR to announce that the refugee centre would be shuttered at the end of the year. It also warned that any Montagnards remaining at the site faced deportation.

The deadline was eventually extended until February 15 following a request from the agency. The centre contained 76 Montagnards when the closure was announced, 62 of whom were registered refugees.

Fifty of the refugees departed for Canada ahead of the deadline last week, and an additional five have also left the country for the United States, said Kitty McKinsey, regional spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

She said 10 of the Montagnards at the site who were judged not to be refugees face voluntary return to Vietnam, while a further 10 were eligible to emigrate and will be moved to another location pending their departure.

“I understand that they’re going to be housed elsewhere in Phnom Penh,” McKinsey said. She said she did not know their destination, nor when are scheduled to leave.

Since 2001, around 2,000 Montagnards – as Vietnam’s highland ethnic minorities are collectively known – have fled to Cambodia due to alleged persecution by the Vietnamese authorities.

Koy Kuong said Montagnards “who have not been granted status” would be deported to their home country, though he did not mention the group that UNHCR said has been approved for emigration.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that those Montagnards who have not been sent to third countries would be subject to Cambodian immigration law.

Police Blotter: 15 Feb 2011


via CAAI

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:01 Phak Seangly

Man stabbed in back after mugging in capital
A 21-YEAR-OLD man from Svay Rieng province was stabbed last Thursday when three men robbed him in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. The victim, who is currently getting treatment at the Russian-Cambodian Friendship Hospital, said he was on his way to his aunt’s home when three unknown men robbed him of a cell phone and US$100. The victim said he was stabbed in the back while attempting to run to his aunt’s home for help. The man was taken to hospital unconscious with the knife protruding from his back.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Four apprehended in botched robbery
FOUR men in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district are being detained in provincial court on suspicion of stealing more than 6,000 T-shirts from a garment factory. Police said the four men, two of whom worked for the factory, were arrested last Wednesday after being apprehended by the factory’s security guards in a botched robbery. According to police, the suspects have confessed to robbing the factory on three separate occasions.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Motorbike theft suspect arrested
SEN Sok district police in Phnom Penh arrested a 24-year-old man last week who was suspected of committing several motorbike robberies two years ago. The suspect was arrested while visiting his father after spending two years in hiding in Battambang province, according to Sen Sok District Police Chief Mak Hong. He said a series of motorbike robberies occurred in the district two years ago and that three men had previously been arrested for the crimes.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Arrested girl leads to major drug bust
RUSSEY Keo district police arrested a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl last Friday for drug possession, finding three pills of illicit drugs on her. Later in the day, the police raided a home where the drugs were allegedly purchased and confiscated 180 tablets of yaba. Authorities said they had staked out the location for a week, but the homeowner, a 36-year-old Vietnamese man, managed to escape in the raid.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Lottery ticket seller dies of chronic disease
POLICE in Kampot province said a 56-year-old man died on Friday morning in Kampong Trach district as a result of a “chronic disease”. The deceased man’s wife said her husband died five minutes after a bout of diarrhoea and vomiting. Despite his fragile health, the deceased sold lottery tickets to villagers and kept busy with house work. After examining the corpse, police said the man’s death was related to a medical condition resulting in a distended stomach.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

The Phnom Penh Post News in Brief


via CAAI

Soldier charged over karaoke club shooting

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:01 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldier was charged yesterday for shooting and injuring two people at a Phnom Penh karaoke club, said Sok Roeun, deputy prosecutor at the Municipal Court. Sok Sovann, 30, became drunk at West Karaoke in Tuol Kork district on February 10 and shot two people with a K-59 pistol after an argument, Muong Yorng, a district police officer said. Sok Sovann was arrested at about 2am and his weapon was confiscated. The victims, aged 21 and 19, were being treated at a local hospital for gunshot wounds to the buttocks and right thigh, Muong Yorng said.

Three sentenced in underage rape case

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 15:01 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Three men were sentenced at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday in connection with multiple rapes of a 17-year-old girl. Livy Dy, 30, and Ou Soeun, 26, each earned 15 years in prison for raping the girl, while Kuch Phirom, 20, received 5 years for being an accomplice. “We decided to strongly punish these three people,” presiding Judge Suon Samnang said. All three were arrested last February at a rental house in Rong Chak village in Sen Sok district, following a complaint from the girl’s parents, district police officer Pen Thol said.