Monday, 23 June 2008

Thai senators criticize government's performance

BANGKOK, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Thai senators on Monday criticized the government for its "failure" to solve the country's political turmoil and economic plight during an Upper House debate on the four-month-old cabinet's performance.

Some senators also criticized Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama for signing a deal recently to endorse Cambodia's plan to register the ancient Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site, which involves long territory disputes between the two countries.

Cabinet members were either absent from or quiet during the debate by now, while premier Samak stood as the prime defendant of the government to respond questions from the senators.

Opponents represented by the civilian coalition People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the sole opposition party Democrat Party have branded the PPP a nominee party of the former ruling TRT party, now disbanded, and the Samak administration a puppet of Thaksin.

They have intensified their criticism over the government when the PPP pushed a bill to amend the 2007 Constitution, installed by the junta after the coup-makers abrogated the 1997 charter.

They said that the government pushed for amending the constitution to facilitate a more tangible political return of Thaksin and his allies and to clear them from accusations and charges by investigation agencies, escalating political rifts in the country while failing to address economic hardship facing the people amid soaring oil and food prices.

Monday's Senate debate, which opened on Monday morning and is expected to continue into the evening, will be followed by a no-confidence debate in the House of Representatives (Lower House) on Tuesday and Wednesday, after the opposition Democrat Party filed censure motions against the Prime Minister and seven cabinet ministers from the PPP.

The debates at the parliament are taking place amid political tension after protesters organized by the PAD launched rallies in central Bangkok to call for the Samak government's step-down since May 25 and successfully a besiege on Friday to the Government House to mount pressure.

Monday's debate in the Senate would not end with a voting, while for the no-confidence bill, the coalition government, which holds nearly two thirds of the 480 seats in the House, is expected to overwhelm the censure of Democrat Party, which has 164 seats.

Editor: Sun Yunlong

Uttaradit senator says Noppadon should have done better

June 23, 2008

Uttaradit Senator Naruemol Siriwat said Foreign Minister Noppadol Pattama should have done better in resisting Cambodia attempted to register Preah Vihear as a world heritage site.

She said Noppadol had done nothing apart from supporting Cambodia in the registering of the site.

She said she expected that Thailand would have further territory disputes with Cambodia because of Noppadol's failure to oppose Cambodia's registration of the ruin site.

The Nation

New Angkor museum has eight galleries and a sound dome

2008-06-23 - Angkor National Museum is opened for visitors in Siem Reap Province, the land of famous Angkor temple. The museum provides detail information before visiting the real complex of Angkor and other related history of Cambodia as well as many section of galleries.

The new $15 million Angkor National Museum, built with Thai investment, officially opened in Siem Reap with a ribbon cutting ceremony November 12. SIEM REAP - The new $15 million Angkor National Museum, built with Thai investment, officially opened in Siem Reap with a ribbon cutting ceremony November 12.

By the next day, crowds of tourists were wandering through the museum's eight galleries. The museum includes a "sound dome" where visitors can hear readings of ancient Khmer texts and it has a replication of the sunset over Angkor Wat( Audio tapes are being produced in seven different languages. Multi-lingual tour guides are available.

In addition to the galleries, the museum has a "cultural mall" with various restaurants some for families and others for fine dining, as well as boutiques and a spa. "We've had really good feed- back so far and we are delighted," said Nina Lee, the museum's marketing director.' The exclusive gallery of 1,000 Buddha images has been very popular." Lee said the museum is designed to offer information about Cambodia's present and past.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, who presided over the ceremony with his wife Bun Rany, said private investment in museums will help Cambodia to combine heritage preservation with development. "We must encourage private companies to build museums," he said. "They will help us to preserve and also draw profit into the country with more tourism.' Hun Sen's daughter, Hun Mana, is chairwoman of the new museum.Lee said Hun Mana comes "very frequently to monitor what is going on. Everything goes through her."

An unidentified Thai business interest has a 30-year concession to run the museum. The managing director is Sunaree Wongpiyabovora, from Thailand.

Entrance fees are $12 for foreigners and $3 for Cambodians. A press release called the structure a "world class museum" and "a cultural learning institute that enhances artefact preservation, collection and restoration."

Despite private funding, the museum was developed in close collaboration with the Cambodian government. The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MCFA) provided the curators. All of the artifacts in the museum will be looked after by MCFA and Angkor Conservation, the organization which oversees the management of Angkor temples.

"The museum will give its visitors a deeper understanding of Khmer history so when they go to the actual temples they will have a better experience," said Lee. "We want the museum to help Cambodians, especially the younger generation, to understand more about their history."

Written by Cat Barton

Cindy McCain visits Cambodian garbage dump site, meets children scavengers

Cindy McCain, wife of Republican U.S. presidential candidate John McCain

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - Cindy McCain, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting Sen. John McCain, visited the Cambodian capital's garbage dump Monday and met with impoverished children who scavenge there.

McCain visited the sprawling Stung Meanchey dump, a depository for the refuse of Phnom Penh's 1.5 million people, said Pen Kosal, an official with For the Smile of a Child, a French aid group that helps feed children who scavenge the dump.

McCain toured the aid group's office, which is located near the dump, and spoke to several children as they ate breakfast, he said.

«She was very simple and liked the children very much. She even hugged some of them regardless of their dirty clothes,» he said.

The aid group receives rice donations from the U.N's World Food Program to feed some 6,000 boys and girls, most of whom live with their families near the dump and scavenge discarded bottles, cans, plastic and other scraps to sell for a living.

Jeff Daigle, the U.S. Embassy spokesman, declined to comment on Cindy McCain's trip, saying it was private and organized by the World Food Program.

McCain, a philanthropist with a long experience in humanitarian assistance, was in Cambodia on the last stop of a three-nation tour. She also visited Vietnam and Thailand.

An official at the WFP also declined comment and said the trip was not open to media coverage.

After visiting the dump, Cindy McCain was scheduled to travel to an orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS in Takeo province, 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Phnom Penh.

N. Zealand man says Cambodian activists fabricated evidence

June 23, 2008

PHNOM PENH - A NEW ZEALAND man appealing his 10-year sentence for sexually abusing Cambodian boys on Monday claimed evidence against him was fabricated by child welfare organisations.

Malcolm Hatfield was convicted of debauchery in 2004 after being convicted of molesting four boys aged 12 to 14.

The 62-year-old hid his face behind a plastic bag as he emerged from a two-hour closed-door hearing at Phnom Penh Appeals Court, and told reporters he had not committed any crimes.

When asked why children had testified against him, Hatfield answered: 'Because some NGOs want to get money.'

However Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), the Cambodia-based child welfare group that collected evidence against Hatfield, rejected his allegations.

'If he is going to make an accusation like that, please show us the evidence,' said Nuon Panith, an APLE lawyer, told reporters.

Mr Hatfield's appeal hearing was previously delayed three times because the court did not have funds for an English translator, said court officials. The verdict of his appeal is expected July 1.

Cambodia has struggled to shed its reputation as a haven for paedophiles, putting dozens of foreigners in jail for child sex crimes or deporting them to face trial in their home countries since 2003. -- AFP

Up in smoke

Authorities torch 200 kilograms of heroin in a ceremony at Olympic Stadium.

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Sovan Nguon
Monday, 23 June 2008

Authorities have torched hundreds of kilograms of narcotics during an anti-drug ceremony in Phnom Penh that followed last week's destruction of tons of safrole-rich oil, a key ingredient in the production of the party drug Ecstasy.

The June 23 drug-burn at Olympic Stadium destroyed 200 kilograms of heroin and precursor chemicals confiscated during the last 18 months, said Lour Ramin, secretary general for the National Authority for Combating Drugs.

“The burn reflects the commitment by authorities to combat drugs," he told reporters."

It is also a message to drug producers, distributors and traffickers that the law will not forgive them,” he added.

During the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng urged authorities to ramp up their efforts to curb the drug trade. Cambodia is both a transit country for drug traffickers and, more recently, a producer of mainly methamphetamine-type stimulants.

Sar Kheng also warned that police officials caught dealing in drugs would be severely punished.

“There will be no excuse for any officials who use their positions to commit offences – if you are found, serious legal action will be taken against you,” he said.

The Olympic Stadium bonfire followed a similar destruction last week by Cambodian and Australian police officials of a massive stockpile of safrole-rich oil, which could have produced some 245 million Ecstasy tablets worth more than $7 billion.

Lars Pedersen of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime said that the event was a reflection of Cambodia's willingness to tackle drug production and trafficking.

“I would like to congratulate the government’s success in reducing the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis, which has been declining steadily over many years, and the resolute dismantling of the clandestine methamphetamine lab in Kampong Speu last year,” Pedersen said, referring to the 2007 bust of Cambodia's first known drug factory.

Group of artists and senators to oppose Cambodia's proposal to Unesco

Mon, June 23, 2008
By The Nation

A group of artists, senators and writers will petition Unesco on Tuesday to stop it from accepting Cambodia's application for the listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site.

Senator MR Preeyananta Rangsit together with national artist, Naowarat Pongpaiboon, Dr Chingchai and Khunying Jamnongsri Harnjaneluck will visit the Unesco office in Bangkok to hand in the petition at 11am.

The document, signed by more than 300 supporters, implies that both countries -- Thailand and Cambodia -- apply for the temple's listing as World Heritage Site.

NA vows not to strip Sam Rainsy’s immunity

Monday, 23 June 2008
Neth Pheaktra
The Mekong Times

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has confirmed that opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s parliamentary immunity will not be stripped before the July 27 national election, thus allowing him to lead his party through the election campaign, according to a top European Union (EU) official.

Hor Namhong told Martin Callanan, chief observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, last Thursday that the National Assembly (NA) will not follow Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s request to strip Sam Rainsy of his parliamentary immunity ahead of the election, Callanan said at a press conference in Phnom Penh on Friday.

Hor Namhong filed defamation and disinformation charges against Sam Rainsy April 22 after the opposition leader made remarks at an April 17 ceremony at the Choeung Ek Killing Fields indirectly accusing Hor Namhong of being the chief of the notorious former Khmer Rouge Boeung Trabek prison.

The court made the request to strip Sam Rainsy’s immunity after the prosecution had gathered evidence it alleges indicates that Sam Rainsy committed defamation and disinformation.

Sam Rainsy said he was not afraid of the threats to deprive him of his immunity, and he alleged that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) is driving the move to divert people’s attention away from skyrocketing goods prices and land disputes which it is unable to deal with. He said these “political threats” stem from the CPP’s fear that it will lose the election to his Sam Rainsy party and that the threats could adversely affect the election.

In addition to Hor Namhong’s recent promise, NA officials had earlier announced that it would be impossible to remove Sam Rainsy’s immunity before the election, as the NA is in recess during the election campaign. They said the possible removal of the opposition leader’s immunity would be decided after the election.

Sam Rainsy has failed to appear to testify at the lawsuit filed by Hor Namhong on two occasions, claiming that he was occupied on party business. Sam Rainsy will again be required to appear in court June 26, but his lawyer Choung Chougy claimed his client may not be able to appear as he is very busy.

Authorities cannot arrest or detain Sam Rainsy while his immunity has not been suspended.

Dam Sith, editor-in-chief of the SRP-affiliated newspaper Moneaksekar Khmer, was arrested and jailed for a week after the newspaper quoted Sam Rainsy’s remarks. The journalist was released following a request for bail from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Sacravatoons : " My History "

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Courtesy of Sacravatoon at

sacravatons : " The 4th Election "

Courtesy of Sacravatoon at

Thailand's embattled prime minister faces no-confidence motion, continued street protests

International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: June 23, 2008

BANGKOK, Thailand: Thailand's prime minister fought for his political survival Monday as opponents began a no-confidence debate in Parliament and thousands of protesters continued to besiege his office.

The opposition Democrat Party brought the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his Cabinet in the wake of four weeks of street protests calling for the government's resignation, and the Senate opened debate on the measure Monday.

Demonstrators, led by activists of the People's Alliance for Democracy, have peacefully occupied the area around Government House, the seat of Thailand's government, since breaking through a police cordon Friday.

The protesters accuse Samak's five-month-old government of being a puppet of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup, and accuse Thaksin of wanting to abolish Thailand's revered monarchy.

Samak strongly denied those allegations as he went before lawmakers Monday in the Senate, saying that only an "insane prime minister" would step down in the face of such intimidation.

He said it was impossible for anyone, including Thaksin, to plan for abolishing Thailand's constitutional monarchy and turning the country into a republic.

The Senate will not vote on the no-confidence motion, but the more powerful lower house of Parliament will to take up the motion Tuesday and vote on the measure Thursday.

Opposition lawmakers allege that Samak has mismanaged the weakening Thai economy, interfered in the country's generally free press and mishandled negotiations with neighboring Cambodia over disputed territory.

"The senators will expose the wrongdoing of this government to make the public aware that this government has lost legitimacy in running the country," Somchai Sawaengkan, one of 36 senators to grill the government, told The Associated Press.

Samak has said he would resign if the vote went against him.

Samak's People's Power Party, which won general elections in December and includes many allies of Thaksin, heads a six-party government coalition that controls about two-thirds of the 480 seats in the lower house of Parliament.

Samak's partners would have to desert him for any no-confidence motion in the lower house to succeed, but it was not certain which way the balloting would go. Even if Samak wins the vote, the debate plus tensions in the streets could pressure his backers to find a replacement as prime minister.

Watched by a grim-faced Samak, Senator Sumon Suttawiriyawat led off the debate, accusing what she called the "nominee government" of focusing on rehabilitating Thaksin rather than alleviating the plight of the people.

Samak countered that although some members of Thaksin's now-disbanded political party have joined his People's Power Party, it is a new political entity and that he is now in charge — not Thaksin.

"This government is not linked to the previous government," he said.

A spokesman for the protesters' alliance, Suriyasai Katasila, said Samak's resignation alone would not satisfy their demands.

"The People's Alliance for Democracy believes that the government's decision to allow a no-confidence motion in Parliament is a political game to lessen tension," Suriyasai said.

The alliance led mass demonstrations before the 2006 coup demanding Thaksin step down for alleged corruption and abuse of power. Rumors have swept Bangkok since the protests began that the country's powerful military would stage another coup, something the top brass has repeatedly denied.

"Stop Abusing Cambodian Brides," Envoy Asks

Cambodian Ambassador to Seoul Lim Samkol

Amb. Lim Samkol Asks for Better Treatment of Cambodian Brides, Migrant Workers in South Korea

The Seoul Times

Cambodian Ambassador to Seoul Lim Samkol said "Cambodian women are not products," referring to Cambodian brides married to South Koreans, in a recent interview with a local vernacular daily.

In April, 2008 Cambodian government stopped temporarily issuing visas to those who marry Cambodian ladies. The move was taken as there were a number of cases in which Cambodian brides were mistreated or abused by foreign husbands.

In 2007 Vietnamese government bolstered regulations on international marriage after a Vietnamese woman was murdered by her South Korean husband.

As the number of foreign brides from the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian countries rise, cases of mistreating or abusing them also increase. There is a strong demand for improving human rights for those foreign brides.

In an interview with Kyunghyang Shinmun on June 10, 2008 at Cambodian Embassy in Seoul's Hannam-dong, the 60-year-old Cambodian envoy requested that South Korean people accept Cambodian bride as a new member of the family and try to understand the cultural difference.

He said "Cambodian women are not products." He was referring to the Cambodian women married to South Korean men who normally pay money for the marriage.

Asked about the backgrounds of stoppage of visa issuance he said that Cambodian government needed to make laws on international marriage to ward off rising cases of abuse against Cambodian brides abroad.

But he said that the visa stoppage is not only applied to South Koreans but also all the other nationalities.

He said that the government needed to protect Cambodian women going abroad for international marriage. As more and more Cambodian women go abroad after marriage cases of abusing them increase as well.

There are so many problems such as human trafficking, sex trade, child abuse, and physical and mental dieases involving Cambodian women who marry foreigners.

The Cambodian envoy even introduced a rumor that in Taiwan, a Taiwanese man even sold his Cambodian wife to the human trafficking ring.

Regarding Cambodian women marrying South Koreans, the Cambodain envoy pinpointed Korean men's lack of understanding about their Cambodian wife and its tradition and culture.

Most of the expense South Korean bridegroom pays go to marriage agency not to the bride's family, according to the Cambodian envoy.

"We do not want Cambodian women to be treated as a product," said Amb. Lim Samkol. "South Korean men should treat Cambodian wife with respect."

International marraige between South Korean men and Cambodian women should be in a way that is mutually benefitial to both countries.

Marriage agencies should also not seek only money but mind more about public and moral aspect of it.

He gave his personal thoughts that Cambodian women marrying Koreans had better learn Korean language for at least three months before they leave Cambodia.

And for those who are already in South Korea should be give a chance to learn Korean language.
The Cambodian ambassador stressed Cambodian brides' relations with her South Korean in-laws.In particular, Korean husband, mother in law, sisters in law, and other members of the family should understand the Cambodian bride enough.

He said that the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul is in need of helping the Cambodian women married to South Koreans. He needs supports from South Korean government for that.

Regarding the overall ties between Cambodia and South Korea, economic cooperations between the two countries has been consolidated steadily since the reopening of the diplomatic ties in 1997.

Since 2004 the number of South Korean tourists visitng Cambodia drastically increased.

Presently, about 3,500 immigrant workers from Cambodia are staying in South Korea, and the number of Cambodian brides in South Korea is estimated at 2,5000.

As part of ASEAN members, Cambodia is also participating in the FTA (free trade agreement) negotiations with South Korea.

Also, the leader of Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to play role of mediator between Pyongyang and Seoul for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Cambodian envoy said.

Amb. Lim Samkol came to Seoul in November, 2004 for his diplomatic position. Since his arrival he has been very active in promoting mutual ties. Previously, he served at such Eastern countries as Czech and Slovak republics.

Before he became a diplomat, he worked as a high school math teacher. He earned his master's degree in international law from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

Questioned about his impression about Korea and Korean people, "Koreans are dynamic and active, and Korea is similar to Cambodia in historical experience, morals and customs," he said.

"I expect more Korean people can visit Cambodia," he said at the end of his interview.

For details or inquiries please contact the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul at 3785-1041.

'No approval needed' for heritage bid

The Bangkok Post
Monday June 23, 2008


The joint statement by Thailand and Cambodia backing Phnom Penh's bid to put Preah Vihear temple on the World Heritage list did not need approval from parliament, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said yesterday.

Mr Samak used his weekly national television address to explain the issue for the first time, saying the document attached to a map showing the boundary of the temple could be approved by the government.

''Article 190 cannot be applied to this,'' he said.

The article states any treaty or agreement affecting Thai boundaries and sovereignty must be passed through parliament.

Mr Samak said the decision to ask the World Heritage Committee, which is under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), to approve the temple for listing was ''Cambodia's business''.

Thailand only wanted to make sure the 4.6-square-kilometre area which both countries claim was excluded from the Cambodian plan, he added.

Some senators opposing the position had demanded the government get parliamentary approval for the statement, citing the consequences of the decision on future demarcation talks on the overlapping area between Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket and the Cambodian province of Preah Vihear.

Krit Kraichitti, the director-general of the Treaties and Legal Affairs Department, said the joint statement was not a treaty because it only demonstrated support for the Cambodian bid.

''Preah Vihear is under Cambodian sovereignty and on Cambodian soil,'' the Foreign Ministry official said.

The department has sole responsibility for all treaties and agreements affecting Thailand. Despite different opinions on the joint statement, it could not be defined as a document affecting Thailand's sovereignty and borderlines, he said.

Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An signed the joint statement on Tuesday, soon after cabinet endorsement.

''The Thai support on this issue is Thailand's political will. It has nothing to do with the treaty,'' Mr Krit said.

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has used the Preah Vihear issue to attack the government.

Its leaders urged the prime minister to stop the move to register the temple by Cambodia, saying it should not be a unilateral effort by Phnom Penh. They criticised the prime minister for admitting that the temple belonged to Cambodia.

Cambodia: Phnom Pehn Up Into Second

Phnom Penh Empire moved up to second in the Cambodia Premier League following their slim 1-0 win over Kirivong Sok Sen Chey FC at the National Olympic Stadium.

Following a first half deadlock, a single strike from Chan Rirthy in the 61st minute was enough for Empire to pick up full points in what was their third victory in four matches.

Build Bright United FC are still at the top of the CPL standings with 17 points from five wins, one draw and one loss.

In the meantime, National Defense Ministry FC collected their second win in less than a week with a workman-like 3-1 victory over Intry Kraham ¨C Post FC.

National Defense are now fifth in the ten-team league with seven points off two wins, one draw and one defeat.

Khim Bory was the hero for National Defense when he scored a hat-trick (12th, 82nd and 87th minute) while Yem Vanak scored the only goal for Intry on 63rd minute.

After eight games in the CPL, Intry are now at the bottom of the table with one win and seven defeats.

Davik Earns Her Ears

DISNEYLAND - Davik Teng, 9, laughs as Chantha Bob helps her try on mouse ears at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. on June 21, 2008. Teng came to the U.S. to have heart surgery she could not get in Cambodia. Photo by Jeff Gritchen / Long Beach Press-Telegram

Chatha Bob, center, holods on to Davik Teng as they and her mother, Sin Chhon, pose for a picture with Goofy at Disneyland. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)
DISNEYLAND - Davik Teng, 9, burys her head in her mother, Sin Chhon, as they hold on in a steep drop on Splash Mountain at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. on June 21, 2008. Teng came to the U.S. to have heart surgery she could not get in Cambodia. Photo by Jeff Gritchen / Long Beach Press-Telegram

Davik Teng tries on mouse ears at Disneyland. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)

Davik Teng, aughs as she spins inside a teacup at Disneyland with her mother, Sin Chhon. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)

Davik Teng, 9, leaps off her rocketship in Tomorrowland at Disneyland on Saturday. (Jeff Gritchen/Long Beach Press-Telegram)

By Greg Mellen, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 06/21/2008

ANAHEIM - Davik Teng, you've traveled halfway around the world from a bamboo hut in a remote village in Cambodia. You've had your heart repaired in the United States. And you've captured people's imagination every step of the way. What are you going to do next?
You got it. Davik, the 9-year-old girl from a Battambang Province, went to Disneyland on Saturday.

In the final weeks before returning to her home village, Davik, who underwent life-altering open-heart surgery three months ago, is being taken on a whirlwind tour of Southern California sites.

And certainly few are more emblematic of what must seem like a fantasyland to the young girl and her mother. Few places could encapsulate the American sense of excess. Few are as singular and distinct as the Happiest Place on Earth.

Wearing a "cupcake" T-shirt, green jeans and white Skecher shoes, Davik may have looked like any kid visiting Disneyland.

But until five months ago, Davik had hardly ever ventured beyond a village with no electricity or running water. She certainly had never heard of Mickey Mouse, much less Disneyland. But, as it seems to do with children from all walks of life, the Magic Kingdom lived up to its name.

Davik had barely cleared the gates when she saw Goofy and tugged Chantha Bob, the man who helped bring her to the U.S., along to have her picture taken with the costumed Disney character.

Davik's first ride was Pirates of the Caribbean, which she went through with hands over her ears. Davik's mother, Sin Chhon, laughed uproariously when passing an area on the ride where a drunken pirate is happily sitting in a sty with several pigs.

Despite holding her ears throughout the ride, like just about any other kid, Davik wanted to ride again.

After a trip on the Astro Orbiter, Davik joked that the ride had scared her mom. But during the plunge on Splash Mountain and on the Thunder Mountain Railroad, it was Davik who buried her head in her mom's shoulder, while Sin laughed with glee.

The Mad Tea Party and King Arthur's Carousel appeared to be Davik's favorites as she ran out and right back into line for both.

The trip was another milestone in a journey that has been filled with magical moments.

Davik, who suffered from a large quarter-sized hole in her heart called a ventricular septal defect, was discovered in her remote village by Chantha Bob, a local waiter at Sophy's Restaurant in Long Beach.

A girl who now can run and play with the abandon of a typical 9-year-old was wheezing her way to a shortened life when she was discovered in her poor little village.

After efforts to have her heart repaired in Cambodia failed, she was brought to California by Peter Chhun and Hearts Without Boundaries, a Long Beach-based nonprofit. Her heart was repaired at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, which donated its facilities and the medical staff and doctors.

Cardiologist Mark Sklansky pronounced Davik fit to travel and Chhun has arranged to take Davik and her mom back to Cambodia on July 10.

Prior to Davik's departure, one final fete is scheduled to be held in her honor. A dinner Chhun is calling "Davik's Last Dance" will be held at the Golden Villa, 1350 E. Anaheim St., and catered by Sophy's.

But before all that, there was the mandatory trip to Disneyland. And as the afternoon shadows lengthened and it was time to go home, the girl with the new heart added a pair of mouse ears to her collection of prizes from the U.S.

Samak blames 'lawyer' in Democrat for the loss Preah Vihear 45 years ago

By The Nation
Sun, June 22, 2008

Prime Minster Samak Sundaravej Sunday denounced protests over Preah Vihear registration as a world heritage site as "unreasonable', saying Thailand lost the ancient Hindu temple 45 years ago.

Without mentioning name, Samak blamed a former Democrat Party leader for the loss of Preah Vihear, saying a 'lawyer' from the Democrat Party made a mistake in a battle in the World Court 45 years ago by accepting a French map during the court battle over the ownership of the Hindu temple.

Speaking during his Talk Samak Style on NBT Channel, Samak said the People's Alliance for Democracy played up the Preah Vihear issue unreasonably and out of proportion to mislead the public to think that Thailand will now lost its territory because of the world heritage registration.

"[Democrats] should ask their aged senior in the party what happened," Samak said.

"Our lawyer agreed to accept their map so the World Court ruled that we lost the Preah Vihear.
On Saturday, the People Power Party said a former Democrat leader, who represented Thailand as the lawyer lost the court case, causing Thailand to lose Preah Vihear to Cambodia.

Samak said Thailand lost the Hindu temple to Cambodia by the ruling of World Court 45 years ago.

He said Cambodia has been hoisting flag over Preah Vihear for 45 years with nobody opposing it but the PAD just campaigned about it now.

He said Cambodia was now registering its Preah Vihear over its land as a world heritage site and had nothing to do with Thailand.

"But I don't know what on earth [the PAD] is campaigning about regarding to Preah Vihear. We have not lost any land because of the registration of the world heritage site because we lost the temple 45 years ago," Samak said.

"They are handling the affair of their own country," Samak added.

He said the Thai military had affirmed that the registration of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site would not affect Thailand's territory but nobody listened.

He said the PAD managed to play up the issue so much that "a woman who makes her living by making expensive clothes announced that she would give up her life for the issue".

Samak said the PAD also linked the issue to the golf playing between Cambodian Prime Minister Hunsen with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra although the issues were not related.

Thai FM seeks temple reservoir, stair status as World Heritage site

BANGKOK, June 22 (TNA) -- Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said Sunday he planned to seek cabinet approval on applying for the reservoir and staircases leading to Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site.

Speaking on radio, Mr. Noppadon said he would submit documents related to the stream and the staircases to the Thai cabinet and then request the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which meets in Canada July 2-10 to consider listing the two places as Thai territory at the World Heritage site.

Sra Trao or Huay Trao is a stream reservoir running through the bedrock foundations on the plain at the foot of Preah Vihear, before it sinks into a subterranean tunnel reinforced by rock walls.

The Phnom Penh government will apply for registration of the ancient temple itself as a World Heritage site during the upcoming UNESCO meeting as both Thailand and Cambodia signed a joint communique Wednesday endorsing the Cambodian application.

Defending his position that the statement would not give away Thai territory, Mr. Noppadon said the delay in seeking registration of the reservoir and the staircases as the World Heritage site arose because he has been foreign minister only four months and has to solve immediate problems first.

The Thai foreign minister said he had discussed his plan with the Cambodian government, which had no objection. However, Mr. Noppadon said UNESCO may not be able to consider the request of the Thai government at next month's meeting due to time constraints, but he said it is nonetheless better to apply first and let the organisation's committee consider the application later. (TNA)

Thailand cedes ancient temple

Mark Dodd, Bangkok June 23, 2008

THAILAND is moving to accept a new map that will uphold Cambodia's World Heritage claim on the ancient 10th century Khmer temple that straddles the countries' common border - a long-contested site and former Khmer Rouge sanctuary that almost brought the two claimant nations to war in the 1960s.

While the Thai army has expressed reservations about the Cambodian map, the Bangkok Government has given qualified endorsement for the new chart, although Foreign Minister Noppadon Patama denied any territory would be ceded to Cambodia.

If approved, the temple with a bloody recent history - which is called Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Khao-Phra Viharn in Thailand - would begin the first step of UN-backed World Heritage listing.

Thailand's National Security Council endorsed the Cambodian map of the site last week, although the army had earlier expressed concerns it would cede territory to Phnom Penh.

The sprawling temple ruins sit atop the rugged Dangrek escarpment and are accessible only from Thailand's northeastern Si Sa Ket province.

After years of acrimonious haggling, the International Court of Justice awarded possession of the temple to Cambodia in 1962, although topographically it made more sense for the Thai claim to have been upheld.

The decision was seen as a huge victory for the tiny Khmer nation, and helped to reinforce the nationalist credentials and popularity of Cambodia's then monarch, Norodom Sihanouk, who had championed the fight.

The four levels of temple ruins straddling the 900m escarpment have a long and bloody history.

Thousands of Cambodian refugees perished there in 1979 after fleeing Pol Pot's fanatical Khmer Rouge regime, when Thai soldiers forcibly expelled them, ordering them down a perilous cliff track that was riddled with landmines into the clutches of the waiting Maoist rebels.

After 1979, the site was shared by the Thai army and Khmer Rouge, which established a nearby base.
In 1994, two Belgian tourists who crossed from the Thai side attempting to reach Cambodia were murdered by the fanatical rebels.

Several attempts in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Cambodia's Hun Sen government troops to reclaim the temple were bloodily repulsed by the Khmer Rouge guerillas operating from their mountaintop perch.

Today, however, the area is a popular tourist attraction.

Star Treks: Anne Hathaway's role is going global

New York Daily News
Sunday, June 22nd 2008

"As a New Yorker, I really like to stretch my boundaries, and sometimes I go to Brooklyn - no, kidding! Um. Sorry, that was awful. Forgive me.

"One place where I've only been to once, but I'm trying to get back to, is Cambodia. It's so amazingly beautiful, and spiritual and hopeful, and so needs help.

"My first time there was very much an educational trip and I'd like to go back and see if there's anything I can do in terms of helping the people there.

"I like to take theater holidays where I just go to England for a week and see everything that I can - which is probably one of the most decadent indulgences that I have. I see so many shows there by myself, but that's how I saw Ralph Fiennes in "Brand," and it remains the best theatrical performance I've ever seen."

Patrick Huguenin