Sunday, 27 February 2011

U.S warship arrived in Cambodia for naval exercise with Cambodian navy





Pictures by Koh Santepheap Newspaper



Pictures by DAP News

The 7 Social Sins

REDD in Prey Long.mov

2 Thais jailed in Cambodia for espionage decide not to appeal

via CAAI

February 27, 2011 

The two high-profile "Yellow Shirt" activists jailed in Cambodia for espionage have decided not to appeal against the verdict of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, the defense lawyers confirmed on Saturday afternoon.

"They have quit the plan to file the complaint to the Court of Appeals against the verdict," one of the two defense lawyers Ros Aun told Xinhua by telephone.

The duo is Veera Somkwamkid, one of the leaders of the People's Network against Corruption and a high-profile activist in the Thailand Patriot Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court, on Feb. 1, convicted Veera and Ratree of illegal entry, unlawful entry into military base and espionage and sentenced them to 8 years and 6 years in jail respectively.

According to Cambodian law, the duo has one month to appeal, or the verdict will be in effect.

Pich Vicheka, the defense lawyer for Veera, said that the duo is likely, through their Thai government, to ask Cambodian king for royal amnesty.

According to Cambodian law, a prisoner can be granted a royal pardon only if he/she has served two third of the jailed term in prison; however, it is not impossible to ask for the royal pardon, he said.

"It's up to the government of Cambodia if it will ask the King for royal pardon for them or not," he said.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Feb. 17 that he would not ask the King for royal pardon for the duo.

"Don't come to persuade me to ask King Norodom Sihamoni for royal pardon, it's impossible at this time.. comply with the law properly--at least serving two third of the jailed term before being considered for royal amnesty," said the premier.

Source: Xinhua

Khmer Rouge victims in U.S. to get their day in court

Survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime and their supporters pray for victims of the regime during a buddhist blessing ceremony at an informational event sponsored by advocates from Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia (ASRIC) and The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) held at the Wat Khemara Rangsey Temple, in San Jose, Calif. on February 26, 2011. From the background left, Venerable Son Yeong Ratana and Venerable Pok Ngeth conduct the ceremony. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News) ( LiPo Ching )

A video shows Kaing Guek Eav (alias "Comrade Duch") admit his crimes in case 001 of the Khmer Rouge Court at an informational event sponsored by advocates from Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia (ASRIC) and The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) held at the Wat Khemara Rangsey Temple, in San Jose, Calif. on February 26, 2011. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News) ( LiPo Ching )

At center, Kanphiry Keo, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, whose parents and two brothers were killed by the regime watches a video on the crimes investigated by the Khmer Rouge court with other survivors and supporters at an informational event sponsored by advocates from Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia (ASRIC) and The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) held at the Wat Khemara Rangsey Temple, in San Jose, Calif. on February 26, 2011. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News) ( LiPo Ching )

At left, Sophany Bay, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, whose three children and other family members were killed by the regime speaks to survivors and supporters at an informational event sponsored by advocates from Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia (ASRIC) and The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) held at the Wat Khemara Rangsey Temple, in San Jose, Calif. on February 26, 2011. From the background left, CJA Attorney Nushin Sarkarati holds a photo of Bay's child and CJA Legal Director Andrea Evans holds a photo of other members of Bay's family. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News) ( LiPo Ching )

Khun Aun, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, holds a photo of her husband Keo Sophorn, who was killed by the regime at the Wat Khemara Rangsey Temple where survivors, supporters and advocates from Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia (ASRIC) and The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) held an informational event, in San Jose, Calif. on February 26, 2011. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News) ( LiPo Ching )

via CAAI

By John Boudreau
Posted: 02/26/2011

Many Cambodians have lived the lives of ghosts in Silicon Valley, not seen or heard from much, quietly tormented every day and every night with unbearable memories of the genocide that wiped out entire families -- parents, spouses, children, extended relatives.

Now, finally, some of them will have their day in international court. When the second trial of alleged perpetrators of the Khmer Rouge genocide begins in a few months, members of the Cambodian community in the United States will be represented by attorneys at the proceedings.

On Saturday, about 50 members of Silicon Valley's 10,000 strong sizable Cambodian community gathered at the Wat Khemara Rangsey Buddhist temple in East San Jose to hear about the upcoming trial of four senior Khmer Rouge leaders charged in connection with the deaths of 1.7 million people from execution, torture, starvation and disease from 1975 to 1979.

"For our clients, who have waited so long for this, it can be overwhelming to revisit the past," said Andrea Evans, legal director at the Center for Justice and Accountability, a San Francisco human rights legal group that will represent scores of Cambodians living in the U.S. before the United Nations-backed tribunal.

Sophany Bay, a 65-year-old San Jose counselor, is providing written testimony.

"For more than three decades, I waited to see justice," she said in a statement to the international court. "We are getting old. We want to see justice before we die."

The reason, Bay told a reporter Saturday, is that the nightmares never stop.

"I lost all my family," said Bay, whose three children died, including her infant girl, Pom, after a Khmer Rouge soldier injected something into the baby's head.

"I don't have any siblings," she said. "I don't have any nephews. They killed my whole family."

Bay said she hasn't dreamed in the present ever since. All her dreams, she said, are of the past horrors in her homeland.

The once powerful Khmer Rouge leaders who will stand before the tribunal as early as June are now in their late 70s and mid-80s. The complex trial could as long as last two to three years.

The defendants are Ieng Sary, who was foreign minister; his wife, Ieng Thirith, minister of social welfare; Khieu Samphan, head of state; and Nuon Chea, known as Brother No 2. The top leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998. In the earlier trial, Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the torture and death of at least 14,000 people in the Tuol Sleng prison in the capital of Phnom Penh.

The regime took control in 1975 after the war in next-door Vietnam spread to Cambodia. Khmer Rouge leaders believed they could create a utopian communist society by purging the country of intellectuals, business leaders, government officials and anyone else considered a threat to their revolution.

Approximately 157,500 Cambodians resettled in the U.S. from 1975 to 1994, the vast majority as refugees. Many still suffer serious mental health problems as a result of experiencing torture and witnessing killings of their family members.

In 2009, researcher Leakhena Nou, a medical sociologist at California State University, Long Beach, began documenting the stories of genocide survivors in the United States. She discovered that Cambodian-Americans, like their countrymen, could offer testimony and have legal representation at the tribunal proceedings.

During her research, she discovered that many Cambodians in America experienced the same symptoms of young people living in Cambodia.

"I found the same hopelessness, helplessness and lack of trust in themselves, family and government leaders," Nou said.

Nou's research is deeply personal. Her family escaped the reign of terror because her father, a Cambodian military officer who had been living in Thailand with his family when the Khmer Rouge took over, sensed grave danger when he and others were asked to return. Those that answered the call were executed immediately upon their return or taken to prison and tortured to death.

"The instinct my dad had saved our lives," she said.

The process of retelling stories can, at least in the short run, cause substantial emotional trauma for survivors, said Dr. Daryn Reicherter, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine who treats many Cambodian emigres in San Jose.

"They had this rough patch," he said. But, Reicherter added, "Not one of them had a regret" about their decision to retell their experiences in excruciating detail.

So far, 30 Cambodians living in the United States, including five from the Bay Area, have been chosen as potential witnesses during the proceedings.

Even those who did not provide testimony showed up at Saturday's forum in hopes of finding some solace with knowledge about the upcoming trial. "I am very hurt. I have suffered," said Khun Aun, a 70-year-old widow, her body bent from old age, her arms wrapped around a portrait of her husband.

She wept as she recalled the last time she saw him. The Khmer Rouge led him away with his brothers to be executed. Hands bound, he turned and yelled back at her to take care of their eight children.

But five of their offspring would later die, and Khun was tortured to unconsciousness.

The forum lasted for more than four-and-a-half hours. The elderly Cambodians, faces strained with anxiety, listened raptly to the presentation that was told in English and their native tongue. They were told about Nou's research and heard from the legal team. As they watched videos from the trial of Duch, some gasped softly, others wiped away tears.

At one point, a lawyer asked what they wanted from the prosecution of the Khmer Rouge leaders.

One survivor cried out: "I want my family back."

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Indonesian officers visit disputed Thai-Cambodia area

http://english.vovnews.vn/

via CAAI

A five-member Indonesian military team visited the disputed Thai-Cambodian border area on February 26 to pave the way for deployment of Indonesian observers in the region, a senior Cambodian defence official said.

Gen. Neang Phat, Deputy Minister of the National Defense of Cambodia, told Kyodo News by telephone that the Indonesian advance team visited the ancient temple of Preah Vihear and the surrounding area to find a suitable location for deployment of observers who will monitor the implementation of a ceasefire agreement between Cambodia and Thailand.

He expressed his hope that the Indonesian observers will start their work soon.

At an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in Jakarta on February 22, Thailand and Cambodia agreed to invite Indonesia, which is the current ASEAN Chair, to send observers to monitor the long-term ceasefire agreement between the two neighbours.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Indonesia will dispatch two separate teams to Cambodia and Thailand, each consisting of 15 to 20 military personnel and civilians.

In related news, the Cambodian news agency AKP quoted Prime Minister Hun Sen at a annual meeting of the Ministry of Home Affairs on February 25 saying that he suggested Indonesia maintain its role as an observer until Cambodia takes over the rotating ASEAN Chair in 2012.

VNA/VOVNews

Japan in Cambodia

via CAAI

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011

As Japan seeks good relations with Southeast Asian countries, one positive development of late is its continued aid to Cambodia. A recent news report noted that Japan is the largest donor to the Cambodian court seeking to try members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes committed during its reign. Support for the special United Nations-backed court, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, is one way that Japan can constructively contribute to the region's development.

Japan has much to offer beyond the monetary. Its experience with democracy, the rule of law and its civil society are valuable commodities that can be exported. That knowledge can help Cambodia, in this case, facilitate the work of courts and expand the rule of law. That may be a more nebulous contribution, but in the long run, it will last longer than a new bridge or another factory.

Despite the weaknesses and problems with the legal system here in Japan, its greatest export might just be judicial.

Continued Japanese support of legal institutions could lead to rectification of past abuses as well as a firm foundation for democratic society. This is one instance where Japan understands its potential to help in the region and is offering substantive assistance. A stable, civil society with functioning legal structures is as essential to national reconstruction as roads and irrigation networks are.

One of the ironies of these donations is that Japan is now competing with China. By also contributing to Cambodia, China may be trying to atone for supporting the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Like Japan, China is certainly attempting to secure influence there. Now that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy, though, a bit of competitive funding could benefit many Southeast Asian countries. If that helps establish democratic and judicial principles, it might not be such a bad thing.

Hopefully, this contribution is a sign that Japan can work with countries like Cambodia as partners equal in rights and needs, if not in economic development. It may also be a sign that Japan's foreign relations can be built on the basis of judicial procedures and humanitarian attitudes, not just money.

Indonesian military team visits disputed Thai-Cambodia border


via CAAI

An Indonesian military team has visited the disputed Cambodia-Thai border area to pave the way for deployment of Indonesian observers.

A senior Cambodian defense official says the Indonesian advance team visited the ancient Cambodian temple of Preah Vihear and the surrounding area to find a suitable location.

Cambodia and Thailand agreed during an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday to invite Indonesia to deploy civilian and military observers to monitor a ceasefire agreement in the border area.

Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa says Indonesia will dispatch two separate teams to Cambodia and Thailand, each consisting of 15 to 20 military personnel and civilians.

The recent conflict left at least 10 people dead, nearly 100 wounded and more than 25,000 people displaced on both sides.

Free speech flows along the King's road


via CAAI

The various groups of demonstrators camped out along Ratchadamnoen Avenue have their own goals and political demands, but they all share the same broad boulevard

Published: 27/02/2011
Newspaper section: Spectrum

Bangkok's Ratchadamnoen Avenue doesn't have a Speaker's Corner like London's Hyde Park, but it has also become known as a haven for free speech and an active springboard for political activists. Constructed in 1899, the street has played a key role in defining the country's modern history. Some of the most notable events Ratchadamnoen (meaning King's walk or path) has provided the venue for include the student uprising on Oct 14, 1973, the popular protest against the government of General Suchinda Kraprayoon in May 1992, which led to the infamous Black May crackdown, and the initial phase of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship's (UDD) red shirt rallies last March around Phan Fa Bridge, before the protesters moved on to Ratchaprasong intersection.

another group of farmers, the People’s Movement for a Just Society, are calling on the government to solve problems including land reform.

In the last two weeks more than 6,000 poor farmers have been camped along Ratchadamnoen to make their case for government action on land reform and other issues. Organised as the People's Movement for a Just Society (P-Move), they are calling on the government to solve a list of problems falling into seven major categories.

Also adding vibrations and colour to the historic avenue these days are members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the Santi Asoke sect, who set up camp on the boulevard ahead of the farmers' group. On Saturday, Feb 19, thousands of red shirts showed up for their monthly gathering to remember the government crackdown on their group on May 19 last year.

A few days earlier, a smaller group of farmers asking for a moratorium on their debts were camped in front of the Agriculture Ministry's Ratchadamnoen offices. They left on Thursday, Feb 17.

protesting farmers head to Government House to submit a petition calling on the government to help alleviate their debt problems

Further down the road, at the Royal Plaza, a number of people who had just come from the Ratchadamnoen boxing stadium were having a late dinner. One man, a regular at the Muay Thai venue who didn't want to be named, said he had become familiar over the years with the sight of people protesting and sleeping on the street.

"I don't know why they have to ask the government for help. Why don't they try to help themselves? The government has so many other problems," he said, shrugging his shoulders as he continued eating.

Walking down the avenue toward Makkhawan Bridge, a discussion about the Thai-Cambodian border dispute from the PAD's stage could be heard from a long way off.


The PAD's stage is outfitted with sophisticated lighting and communications equipment and the alliance receives the support of a media group.

PAD supporters could see speakers on the high stage from a distance on big-screen monitors. They could also see themselves on screen from time to time.

The arguments remain the same over many consecutive nights, and the well prepared PowerPoint presentations, which invariably take a nationalist Thai perspective on the border dispute, find wide agreement among audience members, many of whom may not have been exposed to other information.

"I really pity Veera [Somkwamkid] and Ratree [Pipatanapaiboon], who have to live in a Cambodian jail cell," said Pinun Chotiroseerani, speaking of the two PAD members who have been jailed for spying and posing a threat to Cambodia's national security. Ms Pinun, the deputy leader of the New Politics Party, said she wants the case to be considered by the International Court of Justice, since she claimed that Veera and his group were arrested on Thai soil.

Ms Pinun formerly focused more on environmental issues, but is now a stalwart in the yellow shirt PAD movement. She travels from her home in Kanchanaburi province to Bangkok almost every day.

"We must give moral support to those who maintain our protest site," she said.


Just a few metres away from the yellow group, where Phitsanulok Road meets Ratchadamnoen Avenue, demonstrators belonging to the Santi Asoke sect sit calmly on the ground listening to a different group of panellists on a different stage, but the discussion is still on the Thai-Cambodian conflict. The Santi Asoke sect is also equipped with good sound and light systems, but the audience is set off from the PAD crowd by their plain, dark blue dress and serene demeanour.

Porndee Imjit has been with Santi Asoke for 14 years. She was laid off after 30 years of employment at the Thai-Krieng textile factory in Samut Prakan, and sought refuge with the sect.

Ms Porndee says she is content with her present life, which is evident in her gentle smile and sweet voice. She stays at Santi Asoke's Nakhon Ratchasima branch.

the Santi Asoke camp is well equipped. Centre left, PAD supporters listen to speakers. Near left, red shirt protesters flood the avenue on Feb 19.


When asked about the word "Neo-protest" written in English on the backdrop of the stage, she said it refers to the unique way that this protest aims to educate the public. "We must be peaceful in solving problems. We need to help those in need. At present, politics is full of lies.

"We must not lie _ we have to speak the truth," she said, adding that she had heard about the farmers' protest at the Royal Plaza but she had not yet gone down there. "I have no idea why they have to be here," she said.

But recently a speaker on the PAD stage expressed concern about farmers near the Thai-Cambodian border.

"We must sympathise with farmers who pay taxes but cannot cultivate their land [because of the conflict]," he said.


In fact, the yellow group don't have to go far to find farmers who have paid land taxes but were evicted from their land. They are gathered on the same road at the Royal Plaza. Some farmers' groups in the border area have asked the PAD and its allies to stop their anti-Cambodia movement so that they can have peaceful lives.

On May 19, the huge crowd of red shirt demonstrators eclipsed all other protests. Rachadamnoen Klang Avenue was a sea of red, from Phan Fa Bridge to Phan Pipop Bridge, and their parked cars filled Ratchadamnoen Nok Road and many other side streets. The main stage was at Democracy Monument, but there were many other focal points with various activities to attract the attention of the wandering crowd.

At the very end of the line at Phan Fa Bridge, pop music was being played loudly and small children dressed in red danced happily. Elsewhere, people blasted music from their vehicles. Vendors came to sell food, T-shirts, plastic sheets to sit on, and many other items. There were also vendors selling pictures of red shirt leaders and key figures, including Thaksin Shinawatra, Natthawut Saikua and the late Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol. One vendor sold piggy banks with portraits of Thaksin and Natthawut. "If you buy a Natthawut piggy bank, your kid will be very clever like him, and if you buy a Thaksin piggy bank, he will be very rich," the vendor said convincingly.

members of the Santi Asoke eating a vegetarian meal. Above, a farmer from Ubon Ratchathani, grills fish, she caught from the Moon River.

There were children as young as three or four, and quite a few elderly people as well. Vasana Preedawongsakorn, 75, came alone. Her Chinese features and costly looking slacks and red lace blouse indicated that she is not prai, as red shirt supporters are often depicted, but she obviously had no problem mingling with the crowd.

"I love Thaksin, that's why I came. My son also joined the red shirts. We joined last March, but we stopped [going to the rallies] after May 14. I think it was too dangerous for us after that," said Ms Vasana. Now she has started attending the red shirt rallies again, coming to Ratchaprasong or Ratchadamnoen from Klong San district.

"We have to join hands, as there is no justice in this country," she said. Asked if she was aware of other groups demonstrating on the road, she said she had ventured down to the yellow group's site to see what they were doing.

"Of course, I put on a different coloured blouse, not red, but not yellow either," she said, adding that she saw only a few protesters when she went.

It is true that the red demonstrators have outnumbered those of the yellow group, but they only come for a day, while the yellows say they are there for the long haul. Both groups grab headlines, while the protest from P-Move's 6,000-strong group of farmers, which has been at the Royal Plaza since Feb 16 has gotten relatively little media coverage. The farmers' groups from all over the country say they are protesting state policies that were implemented without consulting them.

The ambience at the P-Move site is totally different from others on the street. The site looks quite disorganised, with pop-up tents, cooking stoves, water containers, sacks of rice and other food supplies scattered here and there. Some of the protesters are villagers affected by the construction of the Pak Moon dam, who camped in front of Ubon Ratchathani provincial hall for a month before moving their rally to Bangkok. One quipped that they had to be prepared as they know that the mosquitoes in Bangkok are especially fierce.

The farmers' stage is also not as well equipped as the others. It has two medium-sized amplifiers and microphones, but there is no big screen. The protesters speak many different regional dialects, and only a few are comfortable in speaking ''standard'' Thai.

''Sorry, I have to speak the southern dialect now, it is too slow when I have to speak in Central Thai,'' joked Kanya Pankiti, a farmers' leader from Trang province.

Their message is different from those broadcast on the rest of the street as well. They speak not about political philosophies, but about matters of life and death, such as the imposition of state policies that directly affect their means of earning a living and their health, without any attempt to consult them first (see related story).

Also, unlike most of the protesters on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, they have to cook their own food, often from supplies they have brought with them. Wilted vegetables, bananas with dark spots, everything is in bad shape because of the heat.

The UDD group eat their food from styrofoam boxes that are often thrown on the street as there are not enough trash bins to accommodate their waste. The Santi Asoke cook their own vegetarian food, and some of the PAD supporters come by for meals. The food and waste bins are nicely kept.

The PAD has its own food stalls, some operated by vendors and some by supporters who provide meals for free. The queues never end, even late at night.

The farmers eat only simple food, sticky rice with some chilli paste. ''We eat just to survive,'' said Bualai Yothatham from Chaiyaphum.

It is warmer around the Royal Plaza than other demonstration sites because there are fewer big trees and no big tents to offer shade. The farmers tie big plastic sheets between what few trees there are, but only a lucky few can find a place under them.

''This is very unlike my home in Trang, where we have a lot of trees that cover our village. Our village is much cooler in the daytime and at night-time,'' said Pachoen Chusaeng, who cultivates a mixed orchard around his village that includes many tall trees. Ironically, he has been charged with encroaching on state forest land and conducting activities that cause global warming.

Before these farmers organised themselves into P-Move, they had been holding discussions with the government for more than two years under the umbrella of the Thai Land Reform Network. ''I came here because Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva promised us in March 2009 that he would solve all the [land reform] problems within 90 days. For about two years, we have been providing evidence to prove our rights to the land and waiting for him to solve our problems,'' said Surat Thani farmer Soy Chusakul.

Some in the P Move group have been on the activist trail for far longer. The group from Pak Moon has been protesting the construction of the dam for more than two decades. They have a lot of research to back up their demands, including a study from a committee sponsored by the present government, which reveals the adverse consequences of the dam. Sompong Vienchan, a leader of the Pak Moon group, said she thinks more poor people are joining groups like P Move because they feel this government has not given enough attention to their problems nor tried to implement real solutions.

''The general public might ignore our problems because they don't have information, but concerned state agencies and ministers have been provided with formation and evidence that we need help. Why aren't they helping us?'' Mrs Sompong said.

Villagers go on the long march to fight for change

This is not the first time that Prue Odochao, a Thai-Karen from Chiang Mai has used the road as a means to inform the public of his predicament. Mr Prue walked from Chiang Mai's Chiang Dao district to Bangkok in 2003, along with many supporters, to ask the government not to rely solely on aerial mapping to decide the boundaries of a national park. They were asking the government to also take into consideration historic evidence such as graveyards and temples in the area to prove that tribespeople had been living in the area long before the establishment of the national park.

''We didn't want to be evicted from the homes we have been living in for many generations,'' said Mr Prue.

In 1995, Mr Prue and his supporters walked from Chiang Mai to Khun Tan Mountain in Lampang province to ask the Chuan Leekpai government to address the same issue.

Mr Prue said the tribespeople and other poor are ''the other'' in the public's eyes. ''They may not know that their actions and way of life have helped destroy the forest, and when they saw the forest left standing in the area where we live, they thought it was theirs,'' he said, adding that the march might have helped some people along the road become aware that tribal people are the guardians of the forest. But he also learned that some people along the route of the march had good hearts.

''I have seen that they have good seeds in their hearts, but there is something that prevents these seeds of understanding of our plight 'the otherness' to grow,'' he said, concluding that the culprit is the biased and one-sided information that most people receive.

Throughout Thailand, protest marches have been employed as a tactic by the weak and poor to have their voices heard. Sompong Viengchan and her Pak Moon fellows who have been affected by the building of the dam, have been using this method of protest since they started resisting the building of the dam in 1992.

One of the longest marches that Mrs Sompong remembers well was in 2001. It lasted for three and half months, and covered more than 1,000km around the Northeast.

''We, the poor people, don't have the channels of communication to tell our side of the story to our own people, and that was why we chose to march,'' said Ms Sompong, adding that the many people who saw them on television or read about them in newspapers started to question why the Pak Moon people were demanding the sluice gates be opened all year round.

''Nobody could answer them properly. They were told by the authorities that opening the gates would cause problems generating electricity in the Northeast and also waste taxpayers' money,'' she said.

Ms Sompong said that during the long march, people from Pak Moon were able to explain the situation directly to those they met along the route, yet their message did not carry as much weight as that being spread through the media by the powers that be.

Despite protesters being backed up by academic studies and solid evidence of the adverse impact of the dam's construction, last Tuesday, when the issue of the Pak Moon dam was sent to the cabinet, the cabinet simply decided to set up another committee to study the impact of opening the dam's sluice gates.

Ms Sompong and Mr Prue joined 6,000 others from across the country at Royal Plaza in Bangkok. Some had walked from Bokaew village in Chaiyaphum; many came by hired car, the rest used public transport after they had been marching in their

dhrespective provinces.

These groups of farmers and fishermen are part of a new grass-roots movement called the People's Movement for a Just Society (P-Move). P-Move comprises people who are affected by seven main problems, including land, housing and citizenship rights, and they demand the government provide some form of redress.

One of the seven problems has to do with government policies that cannot be achieved, especially the government's communal land rights policy. This policy involves five major ministries, with the spotlight currently focused on the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. ''Why doesn't the ministry look at the reality? We are not the people destroying the forest, we have been looking after it,'' said Rawat Chuyin, a farmer from Trang province, adding that his group has been presenting information and negotiating for many years without success.

Another major problem is lawsuits against the poor. ''We want the government to look into these problems. Many will be evicted from their own land _ that they have paid taxes for _ and some of us have even had Sor Kor 1 land documents since 1955,'' said Orathai Polpinyo, a leader of Bokaew farmers, who is threatened with being forced off her own land.

There are also a number of cases of land rights conflicts between locals and state agencies or private firms. These cases include people in Ubon Rathathani and Phuket who are backed by the results of a probe by the Department of Special Investigation. A number of such cases have been investigated, and recommendations to resolve their problems were issued by the National Human Right Commission, and in some cases by the Surat Thani court.

Yet despite the hurdles of bureaucratic red tape and the stubbornness of related agencies, Ms Sompong wonders why the government does not use established facts and studies to help it reach a decision.

''Don't we have enough academic studies to legitimise the opening of the dam's sluice gates?'' she asked, adding that if the government only listens to concerned agencies and biased politicians, nothing will change. ''The government needs to have principles in decision making,'' she said, adding that using the information available will solve many other problems as well. ''How many more roads do you want us to walk before you hear our cries.''

Deforestation in Prey Long Forest Area



Japan in Cambodia

via CAAI

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011

As Japan seeks good relations with Southeast Asian countries, one positive development of late is its continued aid to Cambodia. A recent news report noted that Japan is the largest donor to the Cambodian court seeking to try members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes committed during its reign. Support for the special United Nations-backed court, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, is one way that Japan can constructively contribute to the region's development.

Japan has much to offer beyond the monetary. Its experience with democracy, the rule of law and its civil society are valuable commodities that can be exported. That knowledge can help Cambodia, in this case, facilitate the work of courts and expand the rule of law. That may be a more nebulous contribution, but in the long run, it will last longer than a new bridge or another factory.

Despite the weaknesses and problems with the legal system here in Japan, its greatest export might just be judicial.

Continued Japanese support of legal institutions could lead to rectification of past abuses as well as a firm foundation for democratic society. This is one instance where Japan understands its potential to help in the region and is offering substantive assistance. A stable, civil society with functioning legal structures is as essential to national reconstruction as roads and irrigation networks are.

One of the ironies of these donations is that Japan is now competing with China. By also contributing to Cambodia, China may be trying to atone for supporting the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Like Japan, China is certainly attempting to secure influence there. Now that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy, though, a bit of competitive funding could benefit many Southeast Asian countries. If that helps establish democratic and judicial principles, it might not be such a bad thing.

Hopefully, this contribution is a sign that Japan can work with countries like Cambodia as partners equal in rights and needs, if not in economic development. It may also be a sign that Japan's foreign relations can be built on the basis of judicial procedures and humanitarian attitudes, not just money.

Border spat forces families to live apart


via CAAI

Published: 27/02/2011

SI SA KET : The Thai-Cambodian border dispute has not only shattered relations between the countries but also torn apart families living in the border area.

LEFT ALONE: Cambodian Samniang Yon, pictured with her nephew, has been separated from her Thai husband since early this month.

"It has resulted in our family splitting up. I cannot come home now," said Yon Kimsan, a 36-year-old Cambodian woman whose husband is Thai.

Since the border tensions flared, Thai authorities have banned Cambodians who used to live on the Thai side with their families from spending the night on Thai soil.

They are required to travel back to Cambodia at the end of the day after finishing work.

As a result, many Cambodians, including Yon who is hired by a Thai employer as a vegetable vendor at the Chong Sa-ngam Pass border crossing in Si Sa Ket, can no longer stay with their families in Thailand at night.

Yon used to live with her Thai husband and 10-year-old daughter in a house on the Thai side of the border before the violence erupted on Feb 4.

The border situation has also prompted Yon's husband, Boonphoon On-pheng, 60, and their daughter to take shelter at their other home in Nong Khai.

As a result, Yon has been left alone and is forced to commute between Thailand and Cambodia for her job.

"Since the [first round of] clashes [between Cambodian and Thai troops], I've not seen my husband," said Yon.

"We've talked on the phone sometimes ... but we're so far away from each other," Yon said.

The border dispute might have caused a rift between Thailand and Cambodia but the issue had never caused arguments between herself and her husband _ just an unfortunate separation, she said.

"I wish to see peace restored and business at the border return to normal soon," said Yon, adding that although the border is not closed, business is sluggish these days.

Rasi Yon, a 30-year-old Cambodian woman who is also married to a Thai husband, has a happier story to tell.

Her husband has decided to live with her in Cambodia, after Rasi was banned from living in Thailand due to the border unrest.

"We both wonder why they have to fight over the Preah Vihear temple as they can instead join hands to develop border trade and tourism," she said.

A military source said Cambodian nationals have been prohibited from staying overnight in Thailand to prevent Cambodian spies from sneaking in.

After Cambodia reinforced its troops at border areas near the Chong Sa-ngam Pass border crossing, Thai troops and tanks were deployed to the same area, the source said.

Weymouth volunteer can now fulfil Cambodian dream

From left to right, Naomi Burke, Jack Baker, Emily Carlile, Simon Angell and Ellis Langdon

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk

via CAAI

Saturday 26th February 2011
By Laura Kitching »

A WEYMOUTH man has achieved his goal of working with underprivileged children in Cambodia.

Simon Angell, 21, held a series of fundraising events in order to raise the additional £450 he needed to secure a place on the challenge of a lifetime.

He combined his fundraising proceeds with money he had saved up at a Christmas job in the town centre Debenhams to pay for the trip in full.

Mr Angell, of Preston, Weymouth is now undertaking three months of volunteer work in schools in the Siem Reap area of Cambodia, with non-profit organisation Bunac.

He said: “I've been placed at Salarin Kampuchea, who are a small organisation founded in 2003 when four Swiss people fell in love with Cambodia whilst doing voluntary work at Akira’s Landmine Museum in Siem Reap.

“They are a not-for-profit organisation founded with the aim of helping a large number of Cambodians have the opportunity to enhance their own and their families lives through education.

“My role will be teaching assistant, helping out with classes and lesson planning, as well as taking my own classes to benefit the local people and gain some valuable skills myself.”

Mr Angell caught the volunteering bug last summer when he assisted special needs youngsters in America.

He gave up his job in an estate agency to take part in Camp Greentop in Maryland from June to August 2010.

He achieved his latest fundraising target by carrying out a five kilometre charity run, an eight-hour awareness event in Debenhams, and a cake sale in the store’s staff restaurant. Mr Angell, who had to have eight injections before he flew out to Cambodia earlier this month, said he could not wait to begin the adventure.

Now in Cambodia, he has completed his four-day orientation and is helping to teach evening classes from 4.30pm to 8.30pm in both the organisation’s schools and prepare lessons with the teachers at the office three mornings a week.

Mr Angell said he was looking forward to helping at the ‘grass-roots’ level of the community.

He added: “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me with fundraising activities and donations, their support has been greatly appreciated.”

Cambodia 'peace talks' cancelled

http://www.myrepublica.com/

via CAAI

PURNA BASNET

HONGKONG, Feb 26: The much-hyped peace talks between the top leaders of Nepal´s major political parties scheduled to be held in Cambodia has been put off indefinitely.

According to a notice issued by the organizer, International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAP), the peace talks was cancelled after Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman expressed their inability to attend the function.

The three-day event beginning March 1 was scheduled to be held at Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, with support from the Cambodian government.

Earlier, Prime Minister Khanal had decided to cancel his Cambodia trip citing his failure to give the cabinet a full shape.

Indonesian military team visits disputed Thai-Cambodia border area+

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 26 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A five-member Indonesian military team visited the Cambodia- Thai disputed border area on Saturday to pave the way for deployment of Indonesian observers in the region, a senior Cambodian defense official said.

Gen. Neang Phat, vice minister of national defense, told Kyodo News by telephone that the Indonesian advance team visited the ancient Cambodian temple of Preah Vihear and the surrounding area to find a suitable location for deployment, which will be made under an ASEAN- brokered deal.

He said the Indonesians spent several hours in the area and will report back to the Indonesian government, the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Cambodia and Thailand agreed during an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday to invite Indonesia to deploy civilian and military observers to monitor a ceasefire agreement in the border area.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Indonesia will dispatch two separate teams to Cambodia and Thailand, each consisting of 15 to 20 military personnel and civilians.

Neang Phat said it is unclear when the observers will start their mission but expressed hope that it will be "soon."

The observer mission will be ASEAN's first since 2005 when the regional group and the European Union set up the Aceh Monitoring Mission to oversee disarmament in Indonesia's Aceh Province following a peace agreement between Indonesia and the separatist Free Aceh Movement.

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads since 2008 over an area involving 4.6 square kilometers of land near the Indus temple shortly after it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then several rounds of armed clashes have erupted, the most recent from Feb. 4 to 7. The conflict has left at least 10 people dead, nearly 100 wounded and more than 25,000 people displaced on both sides.

The U.N. Security Council has expressed "grave concern" over the border skirmishes and urged the establishment of a permanent cease- fire.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

U.S. Warship Arrives in Cambodia for Maritime Drill

via CAAI

February 26, 2011

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of the United States arrived in Cambodia's Sihanoukville Port on Saturday morning to participate in the Cambodian Maritime Exercise, starting from Feb. 27 to March 2, according to the media release from the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh.

The 31st MEU includes more than 2,200 marines and sailors, and is comprised of a command element, a reinforced infantry battalion, a composite helicopter squadron and a combat logistics battalion.

The warship's participation in the exercise is part of the U.S. Pacific Command's Theater Security Cooperation Program.

"The bilateral exercise will provide unique and dynamic opportunities for cooperation between the U.S. and Cambodian military, while promoting relationship-building between militaries and local communities,"the press release said on Saturday.

It also ensured that the region is adequately prepared for regional humanitarian disasters, such as the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, by allowing partner nations to work together and build relationships before a critical need develops, it added.

"Our military forces engage in cooperative programs throughout the year aimed at developing relationships to allow for combined efforts,"Col. Andrew MacMannis, commanding officer, 31st MEU, said in the statement.

Major events planned for the exercise include a port visit with liberty, a jungle exchange, a subject matter expert exchange at the Peace Keeping Training facility, English engagement exchanges, community relations projects, and a Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Release planning exercise.

The exercise is also scheduled to include C-130 and helicopter support operations to include supporting Joint Personnel Recovery efforts in the area.

During the exercise, the 31st MEU will also participate in a combined medical and dental civic action project, expected to treat approximately 3,800 patients.

According to exercise officials, this bilateral exchange will build friendships and increase mutual understanding.

"The U.S. government is dedicated to its enduring relationship with Cambodians," said Mark Wenig, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia.

The 31st MEU arrived in Cambodia after its participation in exercise Cobra Gold 2011 in Thailand on Feb. 7-18.

Source:Xinhua

Sumitomo Electric to build plants in Cambodia, Philippines

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/

via CAAI

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. will build manufacturing plants for automotive wire harnesses in Cambodia and the Philippines later this year to manage risks arising from the concentration of production of its mainline product in China, the president of the Osaka-based company said during a recent interview with Kyodo News.

"A labor shortage and wage hikes are occurring in China," Masayoshi Matsumoto said in reference to emerging risks in the country.

Outside Asia, Brazil is important for Sumitomo Electric because the South American country is "friendly to Japan and rich in natural resources," said Matsumoto, 66.

Sumitomo Electric is aiming to raise the proportion of overseas sales to 50 percent in fiscal 2011 from 40 percent in fiscal 2009 and will promote competent workers to executive posts regardless of nationality in order to expand overseas operations, he added.

(Mainichi Japan) February 26, 2011

Visit to orphanages inspires effort to build beds for kids


via CAAI

Date published: 2/26/2011

By RUSTY DENNEN

The Bible has many references to God's provision for orphans.

There's this passage, for example, from the Book of James: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

One area congregation has taken that message to heart with an unusual project to supply a basic comfort of life--beds--to 160 orphans in Cambodia.

Last Sunday, the parking lot adjacent to Fairview at River Club was filled with the sounds of hammers, saws, drills and prayer. The site, on Tidewater Trail in Spotsylvania County, is a campus of Fairview Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.

Eighty wooden bunk beds were taking shape with assembly line precision.

"This is pretty amazing to see," said Julius George, a Fairview at River Club member who was coordinating the work.

One woman, George said, stopped by in the morning after reading about the project in The Free Lance-Star.

"She said, 'I have absolutely no talents as far as this goes.'" Someone handed her a belt sander and, soon, she was covered in sawdust.



Pieces for each bed were cut at various work stations--bunks, rails, supports and ladders--and gathered in unassembled kits, along with bags of hardware.

At each step, participants stopped to pray over their work.

George pointed toward one end of the parking lot, where bundles of finished kits were stacked on pallets.

"What's really kind of cool That team is putting a sticker on each bed, and they're praying specifically for the child who will get that bed."

Myrtle Campbell, who attends Fairview Baptist Church, said she and other women there are working on another component.

"We're going to make pillowcases," Campbell said. "The ladies can't hammer a nail, but they can sew."

The pallets of beds will be shipped to the West Coast, then on to Southeast Asia. A mission team will assemble the beds during a trip to Cambodia this summer.

Fairview at River Club Pastor Dee Whitten said churches must reach out to make a difference here and abroad.

"We've sent teams to Peru, supported some missions in Turkey and Ethiopia. We're sending some high school kids to New York City this summer, and we also want to do things in our own community."

George's daughter, Rachael, 21, a student at Liberty University, sparked the church's interest in bunk beds. She and a group of students went on a mission trip to Cambodia three years ago.

"We visited 10 orphanages there. I came home and told my dad about the amazing trip, but that there were 300 kids sleeping on the ground," she said.

Last year, she returned with her father. He met with a Christian relief agency there, New Hope for Orphans, and the bed-construction project was born.

"A few of the orphanages have mattresses, but a lot of [children] sleep on the ground, or on straw mats," she said.

The church provided Bibles to the orphans last year.

Julius George says political violence and disease have taken a toll on Cambodian children. In the 1970s, after the fall of Saigon in neighboring Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge regime killed more than 2 million people. Then AIDS and human trafficking left many more children without parents.

Beds like the ones going to Cambodia are filling a need locally, George said.

"We keep some on hand for programs right here in the Fredericksburg area--for people who have come upon hard times, or what have you."

Donors have been chipping in to fund the Cambodia project. The beds cost about $150 each to build; it costs $50 to $100 for shipping. It's unfeasible to build them in Cambodia because of a lack of suitable wood and hardware.

"For the economy to be as bad as it is, and for people to reach out to kids across the world, is phenomenal," Julius George said. "These kids have no mom, no dad, and no hope. The only hope they have is in Christ."

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431

Outcome of Jakarta forum changes the landscape

via CAAI

Saturday, February 26, 2011 
By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
The Nation (Thailand)/Asia News Network

BANGKOK -- ASEAN, Thailand and Cambodia set a precedent when they came up with a resolution for the border dispute on Tuesday.
Boundary conflicts are not abnormal in this region, but each country employs different methods of resolving them. For instance, the Malaysia-Indonesia conflict over Sipadan and Ligitan islands, as well as the Singapore-Malaysia discord over the Batu Puteh island were taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which issued verdicts on the cases in 2002 and 2008 respectively.

In comparison, Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over the Preah Vihear Temple since last century, and even though the case was taken to the ICJ, Thailand has been resisting the verdict since 1962.

Cambodia, referring to the 1962 ICJ ruling that “the temple is situated in the territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia,” handed the case over to United Nations Security Council claiming that Thailand was invading its territory. Phnom Penh obviously hopes to have the U.N. enforce the ICJ ruling and keep Thai soldiers away from the areas surrounding the Hindu temple.

Thailand, on the other hand, has been arguing that the ICJ ruling only gave Cambodia the sandstone temple, not the surrounding areas.

However, common sense says that a temple cannot stand on Cambodian territory unless its surrounding land is also Cambodian.

Yet Bangkok has been maintaining its argument for nearly half a century now and wants to exercise its power and get Phnom Penh to accept it.

Unfortunately, Cambodia is not the same old Cambodia it was in the last century. The current set of leaders know how to seek international help and achieve their goals. They have managed to steer the country through turbulence to the Paris Accord and a U.N.-sponsored election and end up becoming a true member of the ASEAN — a grouping comprising former enemies. Nobody should underestimate these leaders.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, in his role as chairman, and ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan are smart enough to know that this is a great opportunity for the grouping to show its capability in ending this conflict.

Natalegawa began his shuttle diplomacy as gunfire was being heard near Preah Vihear, while Surin worked hard behind the scenes to get things done. The latest resolution of sending Indonesian observers to the conflict area is a solid outcome.

Cambodia's strategy of taking the issue to the international arena via meetings in Jakarta and New York has clearly worked.

On the other hand, Thailand's traditional demand for a bilateral settlement came to a stop when it agreed to sit in the New York and Jakarta talks. It's very rare for Thailand to allow “outsiders” to monitor its border affairs, even more abnormal for it to get into “proper engagement” with the ASEAN chair Indonesia.

Obviously, Thailand's diplomatic landscape will never be the same.

Vietnam, Cambodia strive to complete demarcation

http://english.vovnews.vn/

via CAAI

26/02/2011

Vietnamese and Cambodian officials on border issues have affirmed a resolve to complete land border demarcation and landmark erection by 2012 as the two countries’ leaders agreed.

At the fifth round of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Committee on Border Demarcation in Phnom Penh on February 24-25, officials agreed to increase cooperation to fulfill six main tasks this year.

The tasks include defining of at least 100 landmark positions, delineating 500km of border line, completing the switch to the UTM map on the 1/50,000 scale from the current use of the Bone map on the 1/100,000 scale, and identification of landmark positions on the map in March.

The two sides also agreed to join hands to fulfill publication of a set of the Vietnam-Cambodia land border terrain maps and speed up compilation of a protocol on land border demarcation between the two countries.

In 2010, the two sides identified 72 positions, built 73 positions and demarcated 155 km of border line.

The Vietnamese delegation to the meeting was led by Ho Xuan Son, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of Vietnam’s Joint Committee on Border Demarcation. The Cambodian delegation was headed by Var Kimhong, Senior Minister and head of Cambodia’s Joint Committee on Border Demarcation.

VOVNews/VNA

Cambodia vs. Thailand foments more conflict

http://www.kansascity.com/

via CAAI

JOEL BRINKLEY COMMENTARY
Posted on Fri, Feb. 25, 2011

Across the Middle East and beyond, kings and dictators are quaking in their castles, afraid their people will throw them from power. All except one, that is.

In Cambodia, longtime dictator Hun Sen, like his fellow potentates around the world, watched the news and figured out his own strategy. He decided to give a speech and threaten his people.

“I would like to tell you that if you want to strike as in Tunisia,” he warned, “I will close the door and beat the dog this time.”

That was last month, and all has been quiet since. Don Jameson, a former State Department official who served in Phnom Penh, just returned from a long visit there and told me, “I judge that the chances of an uprising against the Hun Sen regime similar to those in Tunisia and Egypt are close to zero.”

Next door in Thailand, meanwhile, thousands of anti-government protesters poured into the streets, demanding early elections. But they aren’t inspired by events in Tunisia, Egypt or anyplace else. Dueling groups of angry protestors have been taking to the streets in Bangkok, demanding change every few months since 2008. To all of those outraged mobs in the Middle East, Thailand’s protesters offer a shrug and say: Welcome to the club.

This is a tale of two states, who happen to be at war.

On the Thai-Cambodian border sits a small, crumbling 11th century Hindu temple called Preah Vihear. In 1962, the International Court of Justice ruled that it belonged to Cambodia. The ancient Khmer empire built it, after all. But the justices offered no opinion on the empty land surrounding it. Then in 2008, Unesco declared Preah Vihear a World Heritage Site. That’s when Thailand got angry.

For centuries, a favored Thai hobby has been kicking Cambodia around. Until a century ago, Thailand occupied the nation’s western half.

In 2008, Thailand assaulted the Preah Vihear area, asserting ownership of the land. Several soldiers from both sides died. Eventually the violence ebbed, but not before the leaders of both states learned an important lesson.

In Cambodia, the educated population (a tiny percentage of the total) generally hates their dictator, just as is the case in most authoritarian states. But when Thailand attacked in 2008, for once everyone in the nation, even Hun Sen’s opponents, rallied around him in support of the fight against Cambodia’s despised, ancient enemy, the Siamese.

It’s unclear who started the fighting. Several soldiers and civilians have been killed. But politicians on both sides benefit.

Hun Sen once sued Michael Hayes, who was founding editor of the Phnom Penh Post, an English-language newspaper. The two certainly aren’t friends. But now, Hayes writes: “I am as angry as all Cambodians are at what we perceive as a Thai-initiated conflict.”

The timing is near-perfect. Cambodia holds local elections next year and national elections in 2013. The very same holds true in Thailand. In fact, leaders on both sides appear to be encouraging the conflict.

Thailand just announced new elections by June. Sondhi Limthongkul, leader of the opposition group representing the business and political establishment, gave a fiery pre-election speech in which he called the current president weak-kneed and advocated an invasion of Cambodia.

Cambodia is weak, and “to die for a great cause, to protect the land, is worth it,” he declared, bringing cheers.

In Cambodia, Hun Sen vows to remain in office until he is 90. He’s 58 now, and already no Asian leader has served as long — 26 years. Like Egypt, Cambodia holds faux elections, but Hun Sen recently declared: “I don’t just want to weaken the opposition, but to make it die.”

In Thailand, street protests, a coup and court cases have brought frequent changes in leadership. In fact, whoever holds office now lives under the constant threat of massive street protests so that his grip on power remains ever-tenuous. But now Thai and Cambodian leaders, for their own political benefit, are ensuring that the Preah Vihear conflict, more than anything else, continues to animate events in both countries.

© 2011 by Joel Brinkley
Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.