Monday, 7 March 2011

AKP - The Agence Kampuchea Press



via CAAI

AKP, Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011




A scene of a dreadful traffic accident happens on March 4 at Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nob district along National Highway No. 4, which killed 19 passengers and injured 8 others.
Photo: Ngo Somony

______

Lao PM: Cambodia Is Victim of Thailand’s Internal Crisis

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, H.E. Thongsing Thammavong, recognized that Cambodia is victim of Thailand’s internal crisis, as the Lao government has followed closely Cambodian-Thai situation.

Cambodian Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith told here today a press conference upon the bilateral meeting between H.E. Thongsing Thammavong and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.

H.E. Thongsing Thammavong praised the Cambodian government for having taken a just position and respected the international law and norms, which gained international community’s support, said H.E. Khieu Kanharith.

Anyway, Laos will do its best to help ease Cambodia-Thailand situation, he added.

For his part, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said Thai aggression on Cambodian territory was not by chance, but it was Thai senior leaders’ plan. “Cambodia does not want to wage war against any country, but it’s an obligation that Cambodia had to fight back against this aggression,” he stressed.

Cambodia’s principle is to negotiate multilaterally with Thailand on border dispute, but bilaterally on the fields of economy, tourism …, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

According to the information minister, both sides agreed to hold different events to mark the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Thailand, including the inauguration of border marker at Dom Kralar under the presidency of both prime ministers.

Premier Samdech Techo Hun Sen also accepted the invitation to pay an official visit to Laos in an appropriate time, said Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith.

H.E. Thongsing Thammavong was appointed as Prime Minister of Laos in late December 2010. He arrived in Phnom Penh this morning for a two-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

On the same day, the Lao premier was received in a royal audience by His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, at the Royal Palace, and he paid courtesy calls on Senate President Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim and National Assembly Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin respectively.

According to the schedule, H.E. Thongsing Thammavong will visit the National Museum tomorrow. –AKP

Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul

______

Vietnam’s Defense Minister To Visit Cambodia

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Defense Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Gen. Phung Quang Thanh will make an official and friendship visit to Cambodia from Mar. 9 to 11, according to a senior official of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense.

Gen. Phung Quang Thanh and his wife will visit Siem Reap province, he indicated.

The main purpose of the three-day visit is to discuss with the Cambodian side on the cooperation plan in 2011, which is expected to be signed during the visit, said the official.

Besides, Gen. Phung Quang Thanh is planning to visit the Kulen center for disabled soldiers, some military achievements donated by the Vietnamese side, and various temples and historical sites. –AKP

By Noeu

______

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith: All Media Have To Stop Advertising Tobacco Products

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Information Minister Khieu Kanharith has called on all state-run and private media to cease their advertisement and promotion of tobacco products.

Speaking last Friday at a seminar held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Phnom Penh to disseminate a sub-decree issued on Feb. 24 by the Royal Government of Cambodia relating to the ban on tobacco product advertisement, Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith urged all printing and electronic media, radios, televisions to abide by the provisions of the sub-decree.

Any infringement of the sub-decree’s provisions will be punished not only on the tobacco production companies but also on the concerned institutions, he underlined.

“The issuance of the sub-decree by the Royal Government of Cambodia responds to the Article 13 of Convention on Control of Tobacco,” said H.E. Ing Phirun, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Health.

He further said that it also reflected Cambodia’s contribution to protecting the human resources from destruction caused by nicotine addiction, especially preventing the children, young people and females from falling into tobacco advertising traps.

Information Ministry Secretary of State H.E. Thach Phen said that the tobacco products claimed some 5.4 million lives a year in the whole world.

Tobacco products cause not only many problems to health, but also the loss of family income, and Cambodian people alone spend more than US$69.5 millions a year on buying cigarettes. –AKP

Article in Khmer by SUOS Samrith
Article in English by Ravuth M.

______

Cambodian Airports To Include Passenger Service Charge into Air Ticket

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Cambodian airports will include the passenger service charge into air ticket starting from April 1, the Société Concessionnaire des Aéroports (SCA)’s press release said last week.

Adult Cambodian passenger is charged US$18 and under 12 years old US$10, while adult foreign passenger US$25 and under 12 years old US$13, but it’s free for under 2 year-old children.

In 2010, Phnom Penh International Airport alone received 1.7 million passengers, while Siem Rep International Airport got 1.5 millions. –AKP

By KHAN Sophirom

______

FAO Provides Vegetable Seeds to Cambodian Farmers

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Under its European Union Food Program Project, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently provided vegetable seeds and agricultural equipment to some 2,505 families in Battambang province’s Bavel district.

The grant ceremony was held under the presidency of Battambang Provincial Governor H.E. Prach Chan and Head of EU Food Program Project of FAO Mr. Tim Akin.

On the occasion, Mr. Tim Akin said some 50,000 families in ten provinces of Cambodia including Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Takeo and Kampong Speu provinces will benefit from the project. –AKP

By LIM Nary

______

Local Officials To Discuss Ways To Promote Southern Economic Corridor

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Local officials and private businessmen from 43 provinces in four Southeast Asian countries are meeting here, Mar. 9-10, to discuss ways of attracting investments and promoting growth along the southern economic corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

The 2-day symposium, organized by the Asian Development Bank and funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), will bring together public and private stakeholders to discuss public investments, central and provincial government policies, and private sector business environment conducive to the corridor’s development, according to a news release of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) covers provinces in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The GMS countries have envisioned SEC as an engine of economic growth and social development, creating jobs, increasing incomes, reducing poverty and improving the living conditions of the people in the areas while ensuring that its development is inclusive and sustainable.

“We need to look at GMS corridors as not simply a connection between two points because their effects also extend to other less developed areas that can enjoy enhanced access to major economic centers, and thereby reinforcing regional integration in the GMS,” said Pradeep Srivastava, Senior Regional Cooperation Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Department.

Through the economic corridor approach, ADB is extending the benefits of improved transport links to remote and landlocked areas, handicapped by their lack of integration with more prosperous and better-located neighboring areas.

“A recent study commissioned by AusAID estimates that reducing trade costs could generate an increase in GDP of more than 6 percent for Cambodia and Laos, as well as significant benefits for other countries in the Mekong,” said Michael Wilson, AusAID’s Minister-Counsellor for Mekong and regional programs. “Improved connectivity will help to reduce poverty throughout the subregion.”

“Australia will also continue to work closely with Governments, other donor partners and civil society organizations in the Mekong to assist communities affected by the construction of new transport corridors to access fair compensation and services, as well as re-establish viable livelihoods,” said Mr. Wilson. –AKP

______

FASMEC and ACCCIM Sign Agreement on Promoting Human Resources Training

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – The Federation of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC) and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) have reached an agreement on promoting the human resources training and sharing the experience of small and medium enterprises.

The agreement was signed here last Thursday by the chairmen of FASMEC and ACCCIM, following the discussion between the two sides.

The aim of ACCCIM is to seek the trading partnership with Cambodian businessmen in goods exchanges.

At the signing ceremony, the chairman of ACCCIM briefed FASMEC on the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia.

Mr. Te Taing Por, chairman of FASMEC, informed ACCCIM delegation of the national economic development in Cambodia, which covers 336,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises and absorbs roughly 1.4 million persons to engage in labor market.

Mr. Hun Lak, general secretary of FASMEC, was quoted by reporters as saying that Malaysian businessmen are interested in the investment in rubber plantation, palm oil plantation, furniture, palm oil processing plant and real estate in Cambodia. –AKP

By THOU Peou

______

Indonesia Arranges Meetings of Cambodia-Thailand Border Committees

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Indonesia is arranging meetings of Cambodia-Thai General Border Committee and Joint Border Committee on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) in Jakarta, Indonesia, said on Mar. 5 Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.

The Cambodian premier also proposed Indonesia to set the dates for the meetings. “Indonesia, the host, will be the referee when both sides agree on whatever points,” he said during his visit to disabled soldiers in Chhuok district, Kampot province.

In his letter to his Cambodian, Thai counterparts and other foreign ministers of ASEAN countries, the Indonesian foreign minister, current Chair of ASEAN, mentioned that Cambodia absolutely accepted the terms of reference for the Indonesian observers to the border disputed areas, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

Cambodia has arranged 14 places for the observers and for the period of 12 months. The time could be extended and the number of places to be observed could be added further, he stressed.

“I am aware that the Thai side does not oppose to the observers, but it is taking it into consideration,” the Cambodian prime minister quoted Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty M. Natalegawa as saying in the letter.

Thailand had declared to welcome observers from Indonesia and asked Cambodia to do so even though it is at the beginning Cambodia’s initiative. “But when Cambodia accepts [Indonesian observers], Thailand said it is taken into consideration,” said Samdech Techo Hun Sen. –AKP

Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul

______

PM: Disabled Soldiers Are Not Left Alone

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen along with Lok Chumteav Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen on Mar. 5 paid a visit to disabled soldiers and their families in Chhuok district of Kampot province as part of his inauguration of Bun Rany Hun Sen Koh Sla high school.

“Soldiers with disability should be respected because of their sacrifice to the nation,” addressed Samdech Techo Prime Minister to hundreds of participants, adding that he has encouraged a well planned social security mechanism for soldiers with disability and they will not be left alone without proper care.

According to the report of Gen. Tith Menglong, representative of Koh Sla development village, the Nov. 2007 established village has so far accommodated 254 families of disabled soldiers and each of whom received 1.5 hectare of land.

As of 2011, an average of 85 percent of the given land surface has been transformed into agricultural and animal husbandry areas. With more water sources and irrigation system, the residents of the development village are committed to make the best out of complete potential of the provided land.

In response, Samdech Techo Hun Sen ordered the construction of extra 30 pump wells, the rehabilitation of existing ponds and study for appropriate water catchment system to ensure sufficient water supply to those solder families.

The new education access at Bun Rany Hun Sen Koh Sla high school is another means capacitate children in the area, thus ensuring a sustainable family well-fare of the disabled soldiers. Moreover, a part of the scholarships given to Samdech Techo by different education institutions will be reserved for the children of these soldiers. –AKP

Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by MOM Chan Dara Soleil

______

Cambodia on the Way to Boost Road Safety

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2011 AKP – At least 4,700 lives are expected to be saved by the 10-year Cambodia’s National Action for Road Safety, as said the Public Works and Transportation Minister H.E. Tram Iv Tek in his recent interview by the Global Ambassador for the Make Roads Safe campaign, Michelle Yeoh at the ministerial office.

Having once declared that of all the roles she has played, nothing has been more ‘important and fulfilling’ as her contribution to the campaign to improve road safety in the world, the Malaysian born international film actor focuses her interview with H.E Tram Iv Tek on the strategic action plans of the Royal Government of Cambodia to reduce the road accident alarming rate.

According to the public works and transportation minister, Cambodia has included extra two actions to United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety for in the national version after various consultations with concerned ministries and counterparts.

The National Action for Road Safety places significant emphasis on allocating sufficient financial resource, building technical capacity of relevant officials and qualifying the components of Road Crash and Victim Information System (RCVIS) in addition to various other strategic activities to mitigate road accident risk which is among key concerns of the government.

The ultimate aim of the national action is to bring down at least 30 percent of the death cases by 2020.

To further concretize the commitment, Cambodia will participate in the United Nations organized event to launch the Decade of Action for Road Safety in May 11, 2011. –AKP

By MOM Chan Dara Soleil

Land dispute prompts civil case solution


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:02 Tep Nimol

Ratanakkiri provincial court issued a summons for three ethnic Tumpoun minority residents of Bakeo district’s Paor village, to appear at a hearing related to a private company’s accusations that they had illegally seized 100 hectares of their land.

The summons was sent on Wednesday to Long Lorn, a lawyer for local rights group Adhoc, which represents the codefendants Rorch Phoen, Horn Ror and Kvas Ti, requesting their presence in a civil case in provincial court on March 22, which Long Lorn confirmed they would attend.

“We will prepare some documents and witnesses to explain [our position] in court,” he said.

Horn Ror, a representative for the Tumpoun ethnic villagers in Paor village, said yesterday that although the case is in dispute, the Ly Sokim Company continues to clear villager’s cashew plantations and hopes the upcoming hearing will act as “a positive sign” in finding justice for the villagers, whose land he claimed the company has encroached on since 2007.

It is not known what the company intends to do with the land concession it purchased in 2007 in the Loe Horn village of Keh Chung commune, eight kilometres from Paor village.

Yet in March of last year, the company filed a complaint to the court that more than 100 hectares of land they had bought from Loe Horn villagers was occupied by Paor villagers developing cashew
plantations.

“The company bought over 100 hectares from Loe Horn villagers, but it got confused about the land and [cleared land] in Paor village, filing a complaint against the villagers for growing plantations,” Horn Ror said.

Pen Bonnar, provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said yesterday that research into the disputed land shows that it is under the control of the Paor village, which authorities have legally recognised.

“The representing company bought land legally but the letter is contrary to the law because this is the community’s land and no one has the right to buy or sell it,” he said.

The Ly Sokim Company could not be reached for comment.

Media’s help sought in tobacco ad prohibition


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:02 May Titthara

The NGO Forum and the Cambodian Human Rights Actions Committee issued a joint statement on Friday, urging the government to prevent a Vietnamese-owned rubber company from further destroying land in Prey Lang forest.

The two umbrella groups, which represent more than 100 NGOs, were responding to protests waged by Kampong Thom province villagers who say they depend on the 200,000 hectare forest for their livelihoods.

The protestors have demonstrated against provincial authorities and the CRCK Rubber Development Company, which was granted a 6,044 hectare land concession by the government last year.

The statement urged the government and development companies to help preserve the land, which they said was rich in natural resources and wildlife, and valuable to locals.

“Us NGOs and villagers were disappointed when provincial authorities said Prey Lang is a dull forest,” the statement read.

Kampong Thom deputy Governor Uth Sam An said last week that the land being developed by CRCK was not communal land, and therefore villagers had no right to it.

At a press conference last Thursday, village representatives from Kampong Thom accused local authorities of using intimidation to break up protests.

Thousands of families are estimated to depend on the forest, which borders Kampong Thom, Kratie, Preah Vihear and Steung Treng provinces.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered last month in front of CRCK headquarters in Kampong Thom’s Sandan district to protest the company’s clearing of land they claim as part of a community forest.

Officials later accused villagers of not knowing the proper boundary of the concession.

PM pushes for Indonesia meeting


Photo by: Heng Chivoan
A Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldier leans against a buttressed portion of Preah Vihear temple during a lull in fighting with Thailand last month.

via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:02 Vong Sokheng

Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged Thailand to accept a meeting of the countries’ bilateral General Border Committee in Indonesia in order to solve their ongoing border dispute, which flared up in clashes last month that left at least 10 people dead and dozens wounded.

Speaking to a group of disabled veterans and their families in Kampot province’s Chhouk district, the premier said officials from Indonesia, which currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, were working to arrange the meeting.

“Don’t close the door for negotiations and make threats, because this is impossible. We have to go to Jakarta together,” Hun Sen said.

“Cambodia welcomes the Indonesian foreign minister setting the dates for the meeting of the two countries’ defence ministers and chairs of the GBC. Indonesia is the host and will be the referee.”

Indonesia has played a lead role in facilitating negotiations between Thailand and Cambodia in recent weeks.

During a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Jakarta last month, the two countries agreed to accept delegations of unarmed Indonesian observers who will be stationed on either side of the border to monitor the situation. The two sides also agreed to hold talks in a third country, and Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has travelled to both Bangkok and Phnom Penh to meet with leaders in relation to the conflict.

The Bangkok Post reported on Friday that Thailand had requested that the upcoming GBC meeting, originally scheduled to be held in Cambodia in April, instead be moved to this month.

“We want the meeting to be held sooner so that we can talk about deployments of troops along the border and cooperation in various fields,” Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was quoted as saying. The report did not mention the possibility of the meeting being moved to Indonesia.

Var Kimhong, the government’s senior minister in charge of border affairs, said yesterday that Indonesia’s Natalegawa was still waiting for confirmation from the Thai side before scheduling the talks.

“The Cambodian government is already prepared to go to the meeting, but Thailand remains stuck on bilateral negotiations and has yet to confirm, so we need to wait because Thailand is one party in the dispute,” he said.

Tensions have been high along the Thai-Cambodian border since 2008, when Preah Vihear temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for Cambodia. At least seven people had been killed in periodic skirmishes in the area over the past few years prior to the clashes last month.

Countries including the United States and China registered concern following last month’s fighting, and Cambodia and Thailand went before the United Nations Security Council in New York to discuss the dispute before taking the matter to Indonesia and ASEAN.

DC-Cam to assess KR history teaching


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:02 Kim Yuthana

The Documentation Centre of Cambodia, which produced the first government-sanctioned textbook of the Khmer Rouge regime, will travel today to Kampong Thom province, the birthplace of Pol Pot, to evaluate how Cambodia’s darkest chapter is being taught in five high schools across four districts.

Youk Chhang, director of DC-Cam, said yesterday staff will engage students, teachers, parents and local officials in order “to see the impact of what we have done so far”, which includes producing and distributing the textbook and training teachers.

DC-Cam has distributed about 300,000 copies of A History of Democratic Kampuchea to 1,700 schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.

“The purpose of the evaluation is to strengthen the quality of teaching about the history of the Khmer Rouge as well as the process of building peace, to heal the nation and prevent genocide,” Youk Chhang said.

High school tests omitted basic facts about the regime prior to a national history exam introduced last year in which five out of 14 questions are related to the Khmer Rouge period.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THOMAS MILLER

Police Blotter: 7 Mar 2011


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:01 Sen David

Stabbing attack erupts after family squabble
A family dispute between a man and his prospective son-in-law led to bloodshed in Stung Treng on Friday. Police said the two had an argument because his daughter was unmarried and the two began attacking each other with knives. The bloody exchange caused the father to be stabbed seven times after he stabbed his prospective son-in-law once. Police said they will detain them after they are released from hospital.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Coffee shop owner attacked in robbery
POLICE in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district said two men robbed a victim’s house of US$7,000 worth of property on Friday. The victim is the owner of a coffee shop and police said the two suspects entered her house and threatened her with a gun. One of the suspects attacked the victim with a metal tool and she and her son were seriously injured. The suspects escaped and the victims were sent to hospital. Police are investigating the case.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Woman tries suicide, but cops subdue her
A woman, 30, attempted to kill herself by jumping off Chroy Changvar Bridge in Phnom Penh on Friday. Police on the bridge said they saw her attempt to jump from the bridge but managed to subdue her in time before she could jump. She said she wanted to kill herself because her husband had left her and she was all alone.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Drunken man crushed by truck while asleep
A 26-YEAR-OLD man was killed in a traffic accident in Battambang city on Friday. Police said the man was intoxicated after drinking wine with his friends and lay down behind a truck to fall asleep after refusing to go home. In the morning, the truck backed over him without seeing him and the driver fled from the scene. Police are searching for the driver.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Attempted rape suspect taken into custody
POLICE in Kampong Cham’s Chamkar Leu district detained a 32-year-old man who allegedly attempted to rape an 18-year-old girl on Friday. The victim said she was driving her motorbike to a market but stopped in a secluded area when three suspects approached her and tried to rape here, but she shouted for help. Two of the suspects escaped but police managed to take one into custody and he will be sent to court to face charges.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Man arrested for sexual abuse


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:02 Phak Seangly

Preash Sihanouk provincial police on Sunday sent a 60-year-old French national to court on suspicion of sexually abusing three underage boys.

Be Sivanna, director of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Office in Preah Sihanouk province, said that the suspect, a French tourist, was arrested on Saturday morning in Sihanoukville’s Commune 4 after three boys, aged between 10 and 14, accused the man of forcing them to engage in a sexual act.

“The suspect met the boys, who were collecting recyclable materials on a beach, and he lured them to massage his penis,” Be Sivanna said.

He added that the suspect offered no money to the three victims.

Be Sivanna said the suspect and his wife arrived in the province last week and were staying in a guesthouse in Sihanoukville, where police confiscated a laptop computer and a digital camera following the
man’s arrest.

Khoem Vando, an information officer for the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said the group would provide assistance to the three victims.

“We will offer the boys social and legal services, along with shelter at our organisation.”

Bou Bun Hang, a prosecutor at Preah Sihanouk provincial court, said he had received the case yesterday and was currently investigating the charges.

In a statement issued by APLE yesterday, Khoem Vando said the suspect was apprehended with the help from local tuk-tuk drivers, who tipped off police to the suspect’s location.

Police see gains in drug crackdown


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

At least 12 people were arrested last week in connection with drug trafficking and drug abuse charges, after 40 packages of methamphetamine were confiscated in separate drug busts across Phnom Penh.

Those arrested include two garbage collectors in Boeung Kak II commune in Tuol Kork district on Friday; two people at Trapeang Chhouk village in Sen Sok district on Friday; five people in Daun Penh’s Srah Chak and Chaktomuk communes on Saturday; and another three people in Russei Keo district on Saturday, according to Phnom Penh deputy police chief Pen Rath.

He added that additional arrests had been made but could not confirm the numbers yesterday.

“These people were arrested during our police raids in Phnom Penh,” he said.

“They were arrested while they were using and possessing drugs,” he said.

He added that they had all been sent to court to face charges yesterday.

Since Phnom Penh Municipal Police had taken stricter actions and measures from early January to late February of this year, a total of 123 drug cases had been uncovered, in which 259 people were arrested and charged in connection with drug trafficking and drug abuse in Phnom Penh.

“Our police are now working very hard and actively to combat and crack down on all kinds of drug trafficking and drug abuses in Phnom Penh.

“We hope that with our hard work, strong commitment and good cooperation from people, we will be able to reduce the number of drug abuse and drug trafficking crimes as well as to provide harmony, healthcare, safety and prosperity for our people in the future,” Pen Rath said.

Laos shooting: Body of shot villager cremated


Monday, 07 March 2011 15:01 Tep Nimol

Laos shooting

Family members of a Cambodian man shot and killed in Laos last week cremated his body near the Lao border in Stung Treng province on Friday. Sun Ban, commander of Battalion 701 stationed near the border, said the family of the deceased, Tep Sokha, 30, cremated the remains because the body had begun to decompose. Tep Sokha was among a group of villagers suspected of crossing the border illegally last week to search for firewood in Laos’ Cham Pasak district. Lao soldiers fired on the group, killing Tep Sokha and three oxen. The remaining villagers fled back across the border.

Tourist recovery in its ‘final stage’


A tourist shops for silk scarves at a market in downtown Siem Reap. Photo by: Will Baxter

via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:00 Steve Finch

SOUTH Korea’s return to the position of number-one visitor to Cambodia in January might not seem significant, but for the travel industry it symbolises the final stage of recovery.

Replacing Vietnamese at the top of the arrivals list, the strong rebound in South Korean visitors, up an annualised 36.9 percent according to Ministry of Tourism figures released last week, represents the return of high-spending tourists from developed countries. These were the countries hit hardest by the crisis. In many ways the recent trend of South Koreans to Cambodia has embodied the changing fortunes of the domestic travel industry.

Koreans had held the top spot since 2004, the year growth in domestic tourism exploded as total receipts climbed 67 percent to US$578 million, the highest annual rise ever.

But the onset of the crisis in late 2008 and a 35-percent slide in the South Korean won the same year that eroded the country’s spending power meant by the start of 2009, Vietnamese had overtaken South Koreans in terms of total visitors to Cambodia.

In a bid to offset the slump in high-spending travellers, the government eased tour bus restrictions and opened new border gates with Vietnam. The result was a 51-percent surge in visitors from Cambodia’s neighbour in 2009 and a 2.13 percent slide in total tourism receipts to $1.56 billion, the first decline in six years.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, noted Vietnamese typically spend only $50 per day and stay just three days compared to European long-haul visitors who spend more on trips that average 10 days. The difference is significant. Although total receipts were up 14.4 percent last year to $1.786 billion, the average spend was down to $110.40 per visitor per day compared to $112.85 in 2008 before the crisis hit in full.

All signs suggest spending should return to pre-crisis levels this year. Like South Koreans, visitors from the likes of France are coming back in droves with numbers up 23.4 percent on January last year, according to MOT data.

The downside is travellers from other high-spending markets the United States and the United Kingdom made a weaker comeback, with single-digit growth over the same period.

Olivier Marchesin, general manager of Exotissimo Cambodia, which specialises in high-end tours for European travellers, said: “Many … are also still in a state of fragility and/or recovery from the recession, with the outlook in Europe still uncertain. This directly impacts on the recovery of the Cambodian tourism sector.”

China should help compensate. There were 62.8 percent more visitors from the mainland in January compared to a year earlier, tourists who command rising spending power.

A Pacific-Asia Travel Association intentions survey last year found out of 13 markets surveyed including South Korea, Australia and the US, the Chinese spent on average the second-highest amount on their last trip at $2,937. The report found Chinese intend to take the most holidays abroad in 2011 and 2012 of those surveyed.

The Chinese, like travellers from other key high-spending markets, mostly arrive by air, a category that is close to fully recovered after a huge 10.3-percent dip in flight arrivals in 2009. There were 19.8 percent more air arrivals in January compared to a year earlier, outstripping total arrivals which were up 18 percent. And the start of Air France flights from Paris via Bangkok to Phnom Penh later this month can only help raise passenger numbers.

Like any industry, tourism is not about how many customers come to visit, it’s about how much money is coming in, and most signs point towards a surge in tourist spending in Cambodia this year.

Japanese firms consider Kingdom as new option


via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:00 May Kunmakara

SOME Japanese companies in Vietnam are seeking an alternative country in which to invest due to rising labour costs and regular electricity blackouts in Cambodia’s neighbour, a representative said.

Yoshida Sakae, managing director of Japan External Trade Organisation’s Ho Chi Minh Office, met with officials at the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, on Friday. “We are here in order to study the investment possibilities, as Vietnam currently has rising labour costs, constant power cuts, and difficulty in currency convertibility,” he said.

“Cambodia is close to Vietnam, so it will be favourable for us to consider investment [here].”

Yoshida Sakae represents 15 Japanese companies that currently invest in the information technology manufacturing industry, garment factories and automobile assembly plants in Vietnam. Last month, Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance said electricity prices would go up by an average 15 percent starting on March 1.

Sok Chenda, CDC’s secretary general, told the Japanese representative the Cambodian investment law is beneficial for investors.

“We do not expect Japanese companies will move their factories from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia into Cambodia,” he said.

“But we hope that they will consider investing in, for example, spare parts plants in Cambodia to supply their factories in those countries.”

According to CDC data, approved Japanese investments in Cambodia totalled US$5 million in 2009, while there was no investment in Cambodia approved last year.

Several Japanese firms, however, have expressed interest in the Kingdom.

Late last month, Sumitomo Electric Industries, a Fortune-500 company, told media it was interested in building a plant in Cambodia.

In December, $2-billion Japanese precision components company, Minebea, said it would set up a production facility in Cambodia.

Its plan for expansion includes building a component manufacturing plant estimated to cost ¥5 billion ($60 million) and employing 5,000 people in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone. Operations are due to start in April.

Award finalists weave local change


The Indradevi Hope Awards were designed by Artisans d’Angkor. Behind, award finalist Loem Lida talks about her work in a village near Siem Reap. Photo by: PHA LINA

From left, finalists Sophea Oum, Chum Kirivath and Houn Sovannary. Photo by: PHA LINA

via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 15:00 Sarah Macklin

SIX inspiring women have been named as finalists for Cambodia’s first Indradevi Hope Awards.

“We wanted to honour the extraordinary Cambodian women who are working hard to bring about a positive change in their communities,” said Lynn Muller, president of Women’s International Group, a non-profit group of more than 20 nationalities who meet regularly in Phnom Penh.

And the awards were a great way to draw attention to the unsung heroines working in the fields of education, health and the empowerment of women, she added.

“The Indradevi awards demonstrate WIG’s commitment to community-based projects. This is an inaugural award that we hope will continue on an annual basis.”

Each of three winners will be awarded US$1,500 toward their chosen project during an awards dinner on Saturday, March 12 at the InterContinental Hotel.

The Indradevi Hope Awards were named after a remarkable queen – the wife of King Jayavarman VII who established health and education programmes for women, way ahead of her time in the 11th century.

The finalists come from across Cambodia. Touth Koeun used her training in midwifery and nursing, first gained through Médicins sans Frontières in Thai refugee camps during the 1990s, to improve the lives of women and their babies in remote villages in Preah Vihear province.

Since 1995 she has worked with traditional healers and trains midwives to improve ante-natal health and child health across 18 rural clinics through her NGO M’day Rea Reay, Kone Reay (Happy Mother, Happy Baby).

Villagers in Stung Treng province also have another nominee to thank for improved livelihoods. Nguon Chantha’s Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre has grown from teaching weaving to patients with AIDS and HIV to becoming a UNESCO-awarded silk group producing bags and cloth in Mekong Blue shops in Phnom Penh and online.

Originally trained as a nurse, Nguon Chantha’s commitment to reviving crafts has provided employment at fair wages to rural women, along with supplying them with free lunches, kindergartens and schooling for their children.

Chum Kirivath has also used weaving as a way to help the ethnic Kreung community in remote Rattanakiri province. Giving skills training to young women, she runs her own business designing textile products and is about to open a shop in Siem Reap.

Sophea Oum is another award nominee who provides employment to more than 70 women in a village about 30 kilometres outside Siem Reap, reviving the traditional skills of raising, spinning and dyeing Cambodian golden silk, which is indigenous to the area. She also established an orphanage in Battambang that is still open today, run by one of her former charges.

Young women were also to the forefront of the awards. Young Phnom Penh accountant Houn Sovannary, 25, uses the money she earns from her part-time job teaching Khmer to fund a makeshift school near the golf course at New City, teaching English every Saturday to eager children. She hopes one day to open her own school on land she has bought.

And teacher Loem Lida is making a difference in her village near Siem Reap. Seeing health problems from piles of rubbish in outlying hamlets, she’s organised volunteers for community development to teach English and organise rubbish collection. Her latest inspiration is a community vegetable garden and fish farm to improve nutrition among villagers.

A total of 48 women were nominated for the awards, for which the trophy was designed by Artisans d’Angkor.

Sponsors of the award include ANZ Royal Bank, Cellcard and Lucky Supermarkets.

For more details on the finalists, see Friday’s 7Days magazine.

Sleuthing across Southeast Asia


Photo by: Lizy Cherian
Shamini Flint, creator and author of the Inspector Singh series.

via CAAI

Monday, 07 March 2011 14:05 Nick Walker

Bookstores have long been packed with world-weary Caucasian detectives who wrestle with mysterious homicides as well as with their own depressing family issues.

Flinty-eyed cops like Peter James’ Roy Grace, Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander and Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, to mention just three globally mega-selling protagonists.

Inspector Singh of the Singapore police force is an altogether more exotic loner.

Yet he’s reassuringly familiar.

This Sikh crime-buster is flawed, stubborn and ultimately always nails the bad guys, though often at a price to his mixed reputation with his superiors.

To use the patois of Southeast Asia: same same, but different.

In any event, he’s a welcome addition to the crime-fiction genre for reasons of diversity.

Like more formulaic creations, Singh’s a sympathetic maverick.

And as with many of his ilk, he has problems with self-control.

But in a neat narrative twist, his wife provides an entertaining foil to the gentle turbaned giant. And so it’s hard not to warm to the scruffy, paunchy and profusely sweaty cop.

Addicted to curry – especially when cooked by the headstrong Mrs Singh – he also has a fondness for beer and cigarettes that runs counter to his Sikh faith.

But the inspector lives by his own rules. And is driven by a powerful thirst for justice. He’s also shrewder than his dishevelled appearance might suggest, as many of the perps in the books learn.

The next Singh mystery is set in Cambodia and will hit the bookstores this month. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree is the fourth book in the series by Malaysian lawyer-turned-author Shamini Flint.

The latest adventure finds her character in Phnom Penh – wishing he wasn’t.

He’s been sent as an observer to the international war crimes tribunal, the latest effort by
his superiors to ensure that he is anywhere except in Singapore.

But for the first time the fat Sikh inspector is on the verge of losing his appetite when a key member of the tribunal is murdered in cold blood.

It isn’t long before he finds himself caught up in one of the most terrible murder investigations he’s seen – the roots of which lie in the dark depths of the Cambodian killing fields.

How did this fellow who criss-crosses Asia in pursuit of nefarious individuals originally come about?

His creator, Shamini Flint, says: “Inspector Singh is a composite character, as all characters are, but he does borrow strongly from family members.

That old-fashioned conservatism comes from my extended family.

And from my background as a lawyer he got his moral compass.

“I’ve known people in the legal profession hell-bent on pursing justice, and who don’t count the cost when a principle has to be upheld.

They form the backbone of the inspector.

And part of him is me too; recently I realised that his slightly ‘dipsy’ tone is actually me. So it gradually transpired that me and the ‘fat man’ have quite a lot in common,” the author says.

Three well-received instalments of the Inspector Singh series have already been published, and, unusually for this genre, the detective’s house-proud wife is a major supporting character as well as a supportive one.

Could this be her own mother, who hails from India’s Kerala state?

“She is my mother! Oh my God – oh dear! – I’m so glad she didn’t hear that!

It’s actually not my mother to be fair, although there are definitely elements of her in Mrs Singh.

My mother’s actually quite a rebel, a point she made by marrying so far out of her Kerala community [to a Tamil gentleman from Sri Lanka].

Mrs Singh is also all my aunts. My father has four sisters, and she’s all of them.

They’re wonderful; they have so much pride in their people and their bloodlines and their children and the education of those children and their homes.”

Today living in Singapore, with four young children and her husband, one of many English expats who works in Singapore’s financial sector, the 40-year-old Flint is well qualified to depict the diverse casts and settings she presents in the Inspector Singh series.

Cross-cultural issues are keenly observed in the Inspector Singh books, largely because of the author’s geographically disparate background.

“I am Malaysian – born in Penang, and grew up in and studied in various parts of the country.

I left only when the time came for me to go to university, when I went to the UK, so I think of myself as Malaysian.

As for my parentage, I’m half Sri Lanka Tamil and half-Indian from the west coast.”

Flint was already an acclaimed and successful writer of children’s books, often based on environmental themes, before she turned to crime fiction three years ago.

As a writer of multiple genres, Flint is furiously disciplined, thanks, she reasons, to her previous occupation.

“I don’t really think of myself as a writer, I think of myself as an ex-lawyer who happens to be writing, so what I try to bring to my writing is a professional day-to-day routine,
like a lawyer or doctor or similar, someone with a rigid full-time job.

So I wake up, get the kids off to school, drag myself over to the computer with my coffee, deal with a few emails, and then I get down to it.

The lawyer in me finds it much easier to edit an existing document than to create a new one, so I’d much rather over-write and let some rubbish sneak in and then take it out, than wait for the perfect sentence, or perfect idea, to come.”

Aside from retaining the work habits of a legal eagle, Flint is still attached to the profession, as is revealed in her storylines.

“If Inspector Singh hadn’t taken off I would have gone back to law right now. I love
the profession.”

Readers note that the Inspector Singh books have a cosy, old-school feel to them, and the source of this is the books Flint herself enjoys.

“I read a lot of crime novels, and my greatest fondness is for the more thoughtful, English-style whodunits.

Books by writers like Ruth Rendell, Peter Robinson, PD James and Ian Rankin, rather than trigger-happy, shoot-‘em-up American-style crime, or heavily forensic-based crime. I’ve always enjoyed reading the more cerebral and structured whodunits that have lots of interaction between characters and time for a little bit of humour
and reflection.”

In an age when it seems crime writers try to outdo each other with ever-higher body-counts and increasingly graphic violence, Flint is pulled in the other direction.

“I find many current crime writers too dark. I don’t like crime for crime’s sake, I don’t like violence against women for the sake of it, I haven’t had a woman murdered yet [in the Inspector Singh books] – I struggle to go there – although I have had a female murderer.

“I like to think there’s a redemptive quality in humanity, and I want that captured in my books.

So the Inspector Singh novels are about bad people doing good things and good people doing bad things, rather than about pure nastiness, like a lot of contemporary crime.”

Flint’s warm and old-school story-telling has a burgeoning following.

A large number of translation rights have now been sold for the Inspector Singh franchise, most recently in Serbian and Polish.

Almost three years after it was first published, the first Inspector Singh book – Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder – has come out in the United States, and book two – Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul – is coming out there this year.

“Getting Inspector Singh into the US this year was a big breakthrough,” Flint says, large brown eyes shining.

Flint is currently toiling on her most ambitious Singh novel yet.
“I’m struggling with ‘Singh India’ – 79,500 words thus far and no ending in sight.”

The Inspector Singh story is even more remarkable than one might assume.

Book three in the series – Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy – was self-published before being picked up by British literary giant Little, Brown Book Group who asked her, in 2007, to rework it substantially as the third book in the series and get started on the debut Inspector Singh novel.

With a mischievous smile, Flint says: “I can’t wait to write a crime novel that’s really rubbish and get away with it, because that means I’ve truly made it.”

Nick Walker is a book reviewer and travel writer currently based in Singapore.

City peninsula prepares for development


Photo by: Pha Lina
The development site for the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel in Chroy Changvar was a hive of activity today.

via CAAI

Sunday, 06 March 2011 19:50 Jeremy Mullins and Soeun Say

Snow’s bar has long been a refuge for expatriates and locals wishing to escape Phnom Penh’s city centre and enjoy a drink by the Tonle Sap.

But the makeup of the business community around its home in Chroy Changvar is changing, as multi-million dollar developments gather pace on the capital’s peninsular.

The relaxed atmosphere across the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge first attracted Ian ‘Snow’ Woodford to set up his bar – officially called Maxine’s – on the riverbank about six years ago.

“I love Chroy Changvar. It’s a close-knit community,” he said.

“You’ve definitely got the whole twist [of residents].”

However, Woodford has seen the area change in recent years, with developers entering what was formerly a quiet area on the capital’s outskirts.

Cham fishermen are now living in close proximity to large-scale construction sites.

Sung Bonna, president of the National Valuers Association of Cambodia, said there was a simple reason why Chroy Changvar is so popular – its location.

“The peninsula is the best location in the world, because the river is on two sides. It’s a great view,” he said today.

A mix of large and small projects are now underway, with land prices now hovering between US$800 and $1,200 per square metre, he added.

Lao Tip Seiha, director of the Construction Department at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said the peninsula’s prime location was attracting a wide assortment of investors.

“We have lots of developments at the riverside. They are coming from Korea and Japan, and especially [include] local investors.”

Developers are optimistic about the peninsula’s potential with hotels and apartment complexes already springing up.

Work on the 16-storey, 799-room Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel – which the owners have claimed will cost $100 million – is ongoing at Chroy Changvar’s southern tip.

“We have completed three stories, along with the basement,” said a Sokha official today, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to The Post. “We will complete the project this year, and open in the beginning of 2012.”

Chroy Changvar Commune Chief Pich Saroeun said there are several other large projects slated for the area.

South Korea’s Booyoung Khmer Company plans to build a commercial centre complete with condominiums opposite the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel development, he said, though work had not yet started.

Construction on the 16-storey, $30 million Bellevue apartment project is underway by Japan’s Arakawa Company.

Local residents say they are profiting from the rash of development, though some admit to being worried about the future.

Hok Vannak has owned a house opposite the Sokha Hotel site for five years. She said her husband is employed as a construction worker at a nearby development, but added the family was likely to move elsewhere when the building opened.

Officials had already approached her asking to buy her house, aiming to tear it down to construct a park for hotel guests to enjoy.

“This area will become very famous, and my family will move to another area,” she said.

Next door, 55-year old Yim Saykey has taken advantage of the nearby development by opening a small business selling food and cooking fuel to construction workers.

However, she too said her family plans to eventually leave.

“The rental price is expensive – $200 a month,” she said.

“We will have to move if the owner increases it further.”

Further north along the peninsular, residents of a Cham community have reported business people targeting their homes.

Some 5,000 Cham Muslims live in the area located next to the Japanese bridge, with life centred around four mosques.

Imam Haji Muhammad, the head of one local mosque, has lived in the community since 1979, when he returned from forced relocation near the Thai border following the downfall of the Khmer Rouge regime.

He said his community had been approached by developers seeking to buy the land.

About 113 families, all without land titles, are already set to move from the riverside to make way for a new park.

But most residents held land titles and were free to sell when they wish, he said.

“Last year, we met interested investors, but how can we sell?” he said.

“We have temples, houses. Even though they offer a good price, we don’t want to move.”

But despite that viewpoint, the Imam allowed that the community could be lured to relocate in the future – provided the price is right.

Ly Ro Thy Ash, 35, is the matriarch of one of the 113 families set to relocate.

She expects to move around the time of Khmer New Year, though she said she is worried as to whether she would receive compensation.

Her husband is a fisherman, earning between $5 and $10 a day – income that will be difficult to replace, she said.

“I asked for $5,000, but I don’t know how much [I will receive] yet,” she said.

Pich Saroeun told reporters the villagers would receive compensation for their property, adding commune officials were now in contact with city hall over the issue.

Sitting at Snow’s bar, Woodford reflected on the changing face of Chroy Changvar, including its increased traffic thanks to lorries ferrying construction supplies to the area.

The community has endured a lot, he said, but recent changes were generally for the best.

“It’s progress. I think it’s great,” he said.

Trainee maid dies at labour firm


via CAAI

Sunday, 06 March 2011 20:10 Thet Sambath

A 35-year-old woman died this morning of unknown causes inside the offices of T & P Co Ltd, five days after a woman broke both legs while trying to escape from the same building.

A police officer, who refused to be named, told reporters outside the company’s offices that the victim’s body was found by her niece.

Both the victim, Sing Sina, and her niece were living at T&P, which trains domestic workers for employment in Malaysia at its location in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.

However, Keo Thea, director of the municipal anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau, said the victim died en route to hospital and was returned to the offices.

“We do not know the reason behind her death and we are investigating,” he said.

Keo Thea said he was told the victim “was fine and cooking on Saturday evening”.

However, the victim reportedly complained to her niece of chest pains on Saturday night, according to the unnamed police officer.

“There are no scars or injuries on her body, but she had a plastic bottle with wine near her,” he added.

After investigations on the deceased’s body, the victim was transported today to her family’s home in Kampong Cham province.

Representatives from T&P refused to speak with reporters today.

The victim’s siblings and mother plan to file a complaint against the company, hoping to hold the firm accountable for Sing Sina’s death and seeking greater financial compensation.

“We will file a complaint against the company because they forced my sister to stay in the building … even though she requested them to come back home,” said Som Son, the victim’s brother.

He claims his sister requested a leave of absence one month ago to visit her family in Kampong Cham, but was refused.

Som Son’s accusation of confinement follows the case of Heng Hak, a 31-year-old woman who sustained injuries on Tuesday night after jumping from the T&P building.

She said she was trying to escape by climbing down a plastic pipe, then jumped and broke both legs.

“My request to visit my children was rejected by the company, so I decided to jump from the building to escape,” she said last Wednesday.

A trainer at T&P, who declined to be identified, told The Post last week the woman had been permitted to visit her children on three previous occasions and that the company had not refused any of her requests.

Traffic accident kills 19


Photo by: Reuters
Rescue workers retrieve bodies from the wreckage of a van after an accident in Preah Sihanouk province on March 4. At least 19 people were killed and 8 injured.

via CAAI

Sunday, 06 March 2011 20:03 Mom Kunthear

Preah Sihanouk officials will file a complaint today to the provincial court against the owner of a container truck that caused a traffic accident on Friday, killing 19 people including the truck driver and seriously injuring eight others.

Twenty-five people were travelling to a wedding party in Preah Sihanouk town when the truck collided with their minivan in Mouy village.

Provincial deputy traffic police chief Ket Sopheak said police would accuse truck owner Leang Sokkheng under articles 70 and 82 of the Traffic Law.

“We did not arrest the owners of the truck because they did not drive the truck, but they have to be responsible for the accident by paying [compensation] to the [families of the] dead and the injured,” said Ket Sopheak.

“The container truck driver drove his truck too fast while the road is curved and slipped because it was raining which caused [him]…to hit the electricity pole and crash into the 15-seat minivan.”

Ket Sopheak added that seven people were sent to a hospital in Vietnam for treatment and the truck’s conductor was being treated at Kampong Speu provincial hospital.

Article 70 of the Traffic Law states that the owner or manager of a vehicle is responsible if a traffic accident caused by their vehicle leads to damages.

Article 82 states that those who unintentionally cause death while driving shall be imprisoned from one to three years, and/or fined from 2 million riels (US$990) to 6 million riels (US$1,486).

Five people died and eight were seriously injured in a head-on collision on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk last month.

Preap Chanvibol, director of the Land Transport Department at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said today that ministry officials would meet with the Interior Ministry on Wednesday to discuss measures against traffic accidents.

Arrest made over rape of 4-year-old


via CAAI

Sunday, 06 March 2011 20:01 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Police in Chamkarmon district have arrested a 17-year-old male on suspicion of raping a four-year-old girl in Tonle Bassac commune.

The suspect was arrested today after a complaint was filed by the victim’s family.

“He was officially charged today with the rape of a juvenile girl in Tonle Bassac commune,” Said Pen Seng, a Chamkarmon district police officer.

“He raped her inside his home and was arrested soon after the incident when she complained to her parents.”

The victim entered the suspect’s house on Saturday to play with him, and about 15 minutes later ran crying from the house, Pen Seng said.

He added that the victim’s mother, upon inspecting her daughter and finding injuries, tried to confront the suspect at his home before filing a complaint with police.

Pen Seng said the suspect denied the charges against him but that the victim’s testimony was sufficient to make an arrest, and that he is being held at the Chamkarmon district police department for further investigation pending a court hearing.