Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Cambodian court charges suspected mastermind of bomb plots with terrorism


PHNOM PENH, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Phnom Penh Municipal Court here on Monday charged Sam Ek, the suspected mastermind of two foiled bomb plots in the city, with conducting terrorism acts and illegal recruitment of armed people.

The court will make further investigation and Ek will receive his sentence in around two weeks.
Cambodian police arrested the 48-year-old man and his three subordinates on Jan. 7 in Banteay Meanchey province.

Ek had confessed to police that he produced and laid explosive devices near the Ministry of National Defense and the state-run TV3 Station on Jan. 2, 2009, and also did the same thing near the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument in 2007.

On both occasions, specialists detonated the bombs, without causing any damage and casualty.

In addition, Ek had created his anarchic and illegal army with tiger head as its logo and carried out some anti-government activities in Modulkiri and Koh Kong provinces in the past years, according to the police.

The suspect was a former soldier and also expert of using chemical substances to make explosive devices.

Editor: Sun

Bangkok Airways Reduces Fuel Surcharges

ASIA Travel Tips.com

Monday, 12 January 2009

Bangkok Airways has reduced its fuel surcharges on its international and domestic flights.

The charge for international flights between Thailand and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam has been reduced to US$15 per sector (from US$25). Flights from Bangkok to Macau have been reduced to US$25 per sector (from US$30), while Bangkok to Xi’an is now US$45 per sector (from US$60). From Bangkok to Guilin the surcharge is now US$30 per sector (from US$40),Samui to Singapore is US$25 (form US$45), Samui to Hong Kong is now US$32 per sector (from US$60), Bangkok to Maldives is US$45 (from US$90) per sector and Bangkok to Japan has been reduced to US$45 (from US$95) per sector.

The charge for domestic flights between Bangkok and Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, and between Pattaya (Utapao) and Phuket, Samui, and between Chiang Mai and Samui has been reduced to US$12 per sector (from US$20).

The fuel surcharge on domestic sector flights between Phnom Penh-Siem Reap has also been reduced to US$12 per sector (from US$20).

Bangkok Airways is currently running a “Thanks Fares” promotion with special all-inclusive web fares on domestic and international routes. One-way fares from Bangkok to Chinag Mai, Trat and Phuket start from 1,900 Baht, Bangkok to Samui from 2,750 Baht and Bangkok to Hiroshima or the Maldives start from 18,000 Baht. The promotion ends March 31st, 2009.

World Bank proposes USD2.6 million telecoms grant

TeleGeography, DC
Monday, 12 January 2009

The World Bank has announced a USD2.6 million grant to improve Cambodia’s rural telecoms networks. The organisation believes up to 260,000 Cambodians in the country’s poorest areas will benefit from the loan, which is aimed at improving access to both landlines and mobile communications. According to La Narath, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Telecommunications, the use of mobile phones and landlines is much higher in the towns and cities. ‘It is time that inhabitants of rural areas are able to benefit from the same services, at the same quality and prices that the people in the cities have been enjoying for so many years,’ he said. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2007 there were 37,500 mainlines in the country compared to almost 2.5 million wireless subscribers, representing a penetration of around 17%.

Failure of artesunate-mefloquine combination therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in southern Cambodia


Resistance to anti-malarial drugs hampers control efforts and increases the risk of morbidity and mortality from malaria. The efficacy of standard therapies for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria was assessed in Chumkiri, Kampot Province, Cambodia.

Methods: One hundred fifty-one subjects with uncomplicated falciparum malaria received directly observed therapy with 12 mg/kg artesunate (over three days) and 25 mg/kg mefloquine, up to a maximum dose of 600 mg artesunate/1,000 mg mefloquine.

One hundred nine subjects with uncomplicated vivax malaria received a total of 25 mg/kg chloroquine, up to a maximum dose of 1,500 mg, over three days. Subjects were followed for 42 days or until recurrent parasitaemia was observed.

For P. falciparum infected subjects, PCR genotyping of msp1, msp2, and glurp was used to distinguish treatment failures from new infections.

Treatment failure rates at days 28 and 42 were analyzed using both per protocol and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Real Time PCR was used to measure the copy number of the pfmdr1 gene and standard 48-hour isotopic hypoxanthine incorporation assays were used to measure IC50 for anti-malarial drugs.

Results: Among P.

falciparum infected subjects, 47.0% were still parasitemic on day 2 and 11.3% on day 3. The PCR corrected treatment failure rates determined by survival analysis at 28 and 42 days were 13.1% and 18.8%, respectively.

Treatment failure was associated with increased pfmdr1 copy number, higher initial parasitaemia, higher mefloquine IC50, and longer time to parasite clearance. One P.

falciparum isolate, from a treatment failure, had markedly elevated IC50 for both mefloquine (130 nM) and artesunate (6.7 nM). Among P.

vivax infected subjects, 42.1% suffered recurrent P. vivax parasitaemia.

None acquired new P. falciparum infection.

Conclusions: The results suggest that artesunate-mefloquine combination therapy is beginning to fail in southern Cambodia and that resistance is not confined to the provinces at the Thai-Cambodian border.

It is unclear whether the treatment failures are due solely to mefloquine resistance or to artesunate resistance as well. The findings of delayed clearance times and elevated artesunate IC50 suggest that artesunate resistance may be emerging on a background of mefloquine resistance.

Author: William O Rogers, Rithy Sem, Thong Tero, Pheaktra Chim, Pharath Lim, Sinuon Muth, Duong Socheat, Frederic Ariey and Chansuda Wongsrichanalai

Wowed by a waterworld

Village people ... houses on the Tonle Sap. Photo: AFP


January 11, 2009

Sarah Price leaves the beaten track to peek at life in the floating villages of the Tonle Sap.

The last thing we expected to see on a trip slightly off the beaten track in Cambodia was a bunch of couples followed by camera crews racing through this south Asian wonderland.

It was an odd sight - pairs followed by a camera and soundperson, racing from boats docked on the river we had just arrived at to big trucks driven by helmet-clad men and then racing back along the road we had just come along. It seems that, along with more than 2 million tourists each year, US commercial television has discovered this travelling hotspot.

It was on our way to see a floating village on the huge Tonle Sap lake that we came across the groups of people speeding away to their next destination; they looked suspiciously like competitors on the latest series of The Amazing Race.

As if that was not enough, things got a little more odd when we were snapped by a local wielding a digital camera as we were making our way down the riverbanks to our boat.

I briefly wondered if it was for safety reasons in case the boat sank but I didn't really want to think too much about that and put it promptly out of my mind before climbing into our vessel and setting off down the river.

About 16 kilometres out of Siem Reap, in the northern half of Cambodia, Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South-East Asia, filling with water from the Mekong River each year.

Designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1997 - which lists the area as vital for the Cambodian economy because of the many varieties of fish found there - the flow of the lake changes direction twice a year with the change of the dry to the wet season.

It is also home to entire communities of people who live in several floating villages, some of which are open for tourists to take a ride around.

It is a fascinating look into a waterworld existence where the main form of transportation is by boat or bucket.

The village we visited - Chong Kneas - features everything from floating houses to small shops to pig pens, a hospital, a school, a church and a basketball court encased by floor-to-ceiling wire to stop the ball - or players, for that matter - from falling into the lake.

About 300 people inhabit the village, with fishing their main income.

There is the obligatory tourist trap - a floating open-air structure where souvenirs and local crafts are sold, along with food - and there is, bizarrely, a pen full of crocodiles with a slightly rickety walkway above for tourists to take a look. It is a fascinating contrast to the other big tourist drawcard at Siem Reap, the temples at Angkor - a World Heritage site made up of 260 temples.

While the temples are a must-see, the lake is also highly recommended. It is not yet the tourist mecca that Angkor has become and is therefore worth a visit before it starts to attract the masses.

Back to the riverbank and up we clambered to be met by some enterprising locals wanting to sell us a plate as a souvenir of our visit. All very nice but no thank you, until we took a closer look and found that the plate featured a photo of, you guessed it, yours truly.

Suddenly it dawned on us.

The person snapping our portraits before our trip was not doing it for safety's sake.

For the bargain price of $US5 ($7), you can get your piece of Cambodian tourism history: a souvenir plate complete with your photo in the middle of it.

With the help of car batteries, the crew had a pretty decent set-up. A lap-top, a couple of printers and piles of blank plates just waiting for not-so-flattering portraits of tourists caught off-guard. And it was all housed in a wooden structure with a tin roof on the water's edge.

Sadly for them, the racing couples appeared to go by too quickly to get their own collector's item. A lost opportunity to own one of the best tacky souvenirs around.

The writer was a guest of Vietnam Airlines.


Getting there
Vietnam Airlines flies daily from Australia to Vietnam, departing from Sydney four times a week and Melbourne three times a week. Vietnam Airlines flies from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap six times a day. See vietnamairlines.com

Staying there
The Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa is a tranquil five-star resort built in the colonial architecture of the 1930s in Siem Reap. Rates start from $US115 ($160) a night. See victoriahotels.asia

Further information
See tourismcambodia.com

Cambodian legislators to visit


HA NOI — A delegation from the Kingdom of Cambodia’s National Assembly will soon pay an official visit to Viet Nam at the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong. The delegation will be led by Samdec Heng Samrin, president of the Cambodian National Assembly. Heng Samrin is also honorary chairman of the Cambodian People’s Party. — VNS

Japan gives 21 mln dlrs to secure Khmer Rouge trial

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, pictured in 2008. The future of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge trial is secure after Japan's foreign minister pledged funding of 21 million dollars during his visit Sunday, a Japanese official said.(AFP/Mauricio Duenas)

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – The future of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge trial is secure after Japan's foreign minister pledged funding of 21 million dollars during his visit Sunday, a Japanese official said.

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone told Cambodian premier Hun Sen of the donation during a meeting in his day-long trip to the country, Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Takeshi Akamatsu said at a press briefing.

The money will double the amount Japan has given to the war crimes tribunal and cover half of the operating budget this year at the formerly cash-strapped court, Akamatsu said.

"If the money runs out again, we will certainly think of another contribution to this process," he said. "We see this as a portion of the Cambodian peace process -- a completion of it."

Last year the Khmer Rouge tribunal faced a 43.8-million-dollar funding shortfall, prompting court officials to draw up a new budget and travel to New York in June to petition UN members for more funds.

International backers appeared hesitant to pledge more money because of allegations of political interference and mismanagement.

The UN launched an investigation into allegations that Cambodian workers had been forced to pay for their jobs and withheld at least 300,000 dollars in July funding and court salaries.

The investigation's findings were never made public but last week lawyers for Khmer Rouge "Brother Number 2" Nuon Chea, one of five former leaders due to stand trial, filed a corruption complaint against at least two top Cambodian officials at the tribunal.

Akamatsu said neither Hun Sen nor Nakasone raised the corruption allegations during their Sunday meeting but they both agreed that proceedings against Khmer Rouge suspects should begin as quickly as possible.

The tribunal opened in 2006 after nearly a decade of wrangling between the United Nations and Cambodia.

It is expected to hear its first case in March, against former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav.

Up to two million people were executed or died of starvation and overwork as the communist Khmer Rouge dismantled modern Cambodian society during its 1975-1979 rule in a bid to forge an agrarian utopia.

Lessons from Cambodia

Calixtro Romias/The Record
Katie Schubert spoke sunday at Central United Methodist Church in Stockton relating to her three months stay in Cambodia last year

By Roger Phillips
Record Staff Writer

January 12, 2009

STOCKTON - There was a photograph of a rural house that sits on stilts to protect it from flooding. There was a picture of a savory plate of noodles and vegetables cooked by a street vendor, a healthy dinner for 75 cents. And there was a photo of a traffic jam in Phnom Penh that looked as congested as anything one might find driving through rush-hour traffic on Interstate 205.

This was part of what Katie Schubert spoke of during her 35-minute slide show Sunday afternoon on Cambodia to about 150 congregants at Central United Methodist Church.

Schubert, 30, also was spreading the word about the purpose of the three months she spent in Cambodia late last year. The Stockton native who attended Central Methodist as a child was in the Southeast Asian country working for the nonprofit agency Project Against Domestic Violence. The organization held a 16-day anti-violence campaign leading up to world Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

"People often think (domestic violence is caused by) alcohol or poverty," Schubert told her audience. "Those aggravate it, but they aren't the causes. It's really about aggression and power."

Schubert made her presentation as audience members lunched on egg rolls and other foods prepared by some of Central Methodist's Cambodian congregants.

During her stay in Cambodia, Schubert said she and her group visited villages and held forums to educate citizens about the effects of domestic violence. Schubert - who is pursuing a doctoral degree in ethics from the Claremont School of Theology in Southern California - said she is particularly interested in finding ways to use religion to empower women.

Though she comes at the subject from a Christian perspective, one of the photographs she showed was of three Buddhist nuns in largely Buddhist Cambodia. She said the nuns are active in teaching their country-men about human rights.

Toward the end of her program, Schubert fielded a few questions from the audience. Asked to describe her best experience on her journey, she said it was finding ways to communicate with citizens in Cambodian, a language in which she is not fluent.

Her worst experience, she said, was bargaining with merchants. She said she focused on trying to negotiate fair prices, but in retrospect the process made her feel "terrible."

"Take a couple of steps back," said Schubert. "My quality of life is great. I have so much more. ... I felt terrible about the inequality."

Contact reporter Roger Phillips at (209) 546-8299 or rphillips@recordnet.com.

Bomb plot mastermind faces court today: police

Police display a photograph of the alleged mastermind of the bomb plot that targeted the Ministry of Defence.

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Sam Rith
Monday, 12 January 2009

Authorities say the man who allegedly planned a bombing attempt this month was also behind a 2007 bomb attack on the Vietnamese Friendship Monument

FOUR suspects being held in connection with bombs discovered January 2 that appeared to target the Defence Ministry and state television station TV3 will appear before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today, two days after police announced that the alleged mastermind had confessed to his involvement in the foiled attack.

Speaking at a press conference Saturday, Sok Phal, deputy director general of the National Police, said suspect Som Ek had confessed to masterminding the January 2 plot as well as a foiled attempt to bomb the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument on July 29, 2007.

Som Ek, 44, who has dual Thai-Cambodian citizenship, was born in Kampong Cham's Koh Sotin district and was formerly involved in the Khmer People's National Liberation Front, Sok Phal said. He worked for the Defence Ministry in 1993 and later went to study in the United States for 18 months, where he learned to make explosives. He was jailed for three months in 2003 for forging Defence Ministry documents, he added.

Som Ek was arrested in connection with the January 2 plot on Wednesday in Banteay Meanchey's O'Chrov district.

Sok Phal said Som Ek ordered the bombings in an attempt to get foreign support and funding for the Khmer National Unity Front (KNUF), also known as the Tiger Liberation Movement, which uses the tiger head as its symbol. Som Ek allegedly took pictures of members of the group planning and carrying out the attacks to send to potential donors based outside the country.

Sok Phal compared the KNUF to the Cambodian Freedom Fighters organisation in that both groups receive support from outside donors, but he declined to elaborate on that comparison. He said police were looking to arrest people both inside and outside Cambodia who are allegedly involved with the KNUF.

Police arrested five people in 2007 in connection with the foiled attack on the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument, Sok Phal said, noting that those suspects have been detained in Prey Sar prison. He said police discovered bomb-making materials and a remote-controlled helicopter that could transport a bomb. He said Som Ek claimed in his confession to ordering five people to place bombs in front of the monument.

Thais vote in first test for PM

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by AFP
Monday, 12 January 2009

THAIS voted under tight security Sunday in by-elections that are the first test at the polls for new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose party is hoping to shore up its shaky coalition.

Voting closed at 3pm for 29 parliament seats, with both Abhisit's Democrat Party-led coalition and the opposition claiming they will grab up to 20 more places in the 480-member parliament.

Early results are expected later Sunday and Monday, Election Commission public relations director Ruengroj Chomsueb told AFP, adding that the day's polling mostly went smoothly.

The Democrats lost elections in December 2007 to the People Power Party (PPP), which was linked to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and came to office after a court dissolved the PPP.

Bangkok residents also voted Sunday for a new governor, with the Suan Dusit University exit poll showing Democrat Party candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra taking the job after winning nearly 47 percent of the vote.

Deputy national police chief General Wichian Potphosri said that more than 34,000 police had been deployed at polling stations for the by-elections.

Of the 29 seats up for grabs, 13 were held by the now-defunct PPP - which has regrouped in opposition as the Puea Thai party - and 16 were held by its then-allies in the Chart Thai party, which has now switched to the government's side.

KRT judges threaten lawsuit

Sean Visoth, head of administration at Cambodia’s Extraordinary Chambers, is the subject of a new complaint by defence lawyers acting for Nuon Chea. He is show here in a file photo.

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Cat Barton
Monday, 12 January 2009

Claiming a recent complaint by foreign lawyers acting for Nuon Chea unfairly smears them, Cambodian ECCC judges say they reserve the right to sue

FOREIGN lawyers for Nuon Chea accused Cambodian judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal Sunday of using intimidation tactics, including the threat to sue, to try to block a criminal investigation into corruption allegations at the UN-backed court.

Angered over a complaint filed last week in the Municipal Court by Nuon Chea's defence team urging a probe into two of Cambodia's top tribunal administrators, the judges said that they were being unfairly smeared by the lawyers and would "reserve the right to legal recourse against any individuals who have provoked such a problem".

The lawyers' decision to go public with their complaint "caused confusion and seriously affected the honour and dignity of all individual judges and [the ECCC] as a whole", the judges said in a statement Friday.

But lawyers for the regime's former Brother No 2 have dismissed the judges' objections, saying they would be happy to defend themselves against any defamation claims.

" ....the Cambodian judiciary has used the threat of defamation in the past. "

"It is no secret that the Cambodian judiciary has used the threat of defamation in the past to silence its critics," said Andrew Ianuzzi, a co-lawyer for Nuon Chea, adding that "any ECCC official with clean hands would welcome, rather than regret, the effort to uncover the corruption".

"We'll be happy to defend ourselves against any political charges they [the judges] may concoct," he told the Post.

Municipal Court Chief Judge Chev Keng on Friday accepted the lawyers' complaint, opening the way for an investigation into Sean Visoth, Cambodia's top tribunal administrator, and former chief of personnel Keo Thyvuth over accusations that Cambodian court employees have been forced to kick back portions of their salaries to their bosses.

The graft complaints have already gone before the UN, but the results of a review by the world body into the allegations have never been made public.

The move into Municipal Court could provide one of the most serious legal challenges to date for the tribunal, whose credibility has been battered by repeated allegations of misconduct stemming from mismanagement of the graft claims at the heart of this most recent complaint.

"We're just trying to get to the bottom of this," Ianuzzi said.

"If the ECCC wants to do this, fantastic, but it seems to us that the ECCC has little, if any, interest in getting to the bottom of it - so we'll see how far the national courts are prepared to go."

But his Cambodian counterpart, Son Arun, has so far declined to sign off on the complaint, saying there was no need to take the team's complaint outside of the tribunal's jurisdiction.

"This is strictly only the foreign legal team," Son Arun told the Post Sunday.

"Before, I signed the letter requesting [corruption information] from [Sean] Visoth, but I wanted to keep the complaint within the ECCC, which is why I am not involved now."

Where have the fish gone?

Fishermen outside the NagaWorld Hotel and Casino in Phnom Penh display their catch of prahok fish.

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Chrann Chamroeun and Thomas Gam Nielsen
Monday, 12 January 2009

Fishermen say that the fish needed to make Cambodia’s much-loved, if pungent, prahok are harder to find – and prices have risen accordingly

A FLEET of 30 fishing boats rocks gently amid the windy rushes of the Tonle Sap riverbank in front of the Nagaworld Hotel and Casino, where sellers and buyers flock around the newly caught "riel fish". It is prahok season, the time for making the renowned fermented fish paste, but the fishermen complain that their catch is half the size of last year's.

"I only catch 100 kilograms per day of the small ones, and of the big fish I can only find 10 to 20 kilograms per day," 54-year-old fisherman Sin Sas said, adding that "last year, I caught from 200 to 300 kilograms each day".

She said she had been fishing since her childhood, but this year - for the first time ever - she has literally doubled her prices.

"Last year, I sold one kilogram for 800 to 1,000 riels, and this year the price is 1,800 to 2,000 riels for the same amount of fish," she said, adding that she is making around US$50 per day, which is her main income for the rest of the year.

Sin Sas's story of higher prices and fewer fish was repeated by all the buyers and sellers swarming the riverbank outside the hotel.

"This year, the small fish cost me 1,600 riels per kilogram, but last year was only 500 to 600 riels," 40-year-old buyer Vy Sokha said.

But Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chan Sarun said Sunday that, despite a bad start for the fishing season in December, enough fish were being caught now.

"Some 120,000 tonnes of fish [for making prahok] have been caught so far in January 2009 out of a needed supply of 140,000 tonnes," Chan Sarun said, adding that he went to Kampong Chhnang and Kompong Speu, where the price for one kilogram was only 800 to 1,000 riels.

Protein for the poor

The catch is followed closely because prahok provides Cambodians a huge part of their needed protein throughout the year, Dr Veng Thai, director of Phnom Penh's Muncipal Health Department, told the Post.

"[Fish paste] provides Cambodians with a lot of protein," he said.

He added that the cheap price of prahok compared with beef and pork makes it a favourite among poorer people.

PM to attend Asean meeting in Thailand, officials confirm

Hun Sen speaking in Stung Meanchey last week.

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Cheang Sokha
Monday, 12 January 2009

Despite his statement last week that going to the upcoming Asean summit would be costly and difficult, Hun Sen will be in attendance

PRIME Minister Hun Sen will attend a regional summit in neighbouring Thailand next month despite an earlier statement that he might not, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

Contrary to his statement last week, when the prime minister said it would be costly and difficult for him to attend the Asean meeting, recently moved from the Thai capital to the seaside town of Hua Hin, Hun Sen will participate in the summit, which is scheduled in late February and early March, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Sunday.

"I would like to confirm that Prime Minister Hun Sen will attend the Asean meeting in Hua Hin, Thailand, from February 27 to 28 and March 1," Hor Namhong told reporters after a meeting with Japan's Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Long delay

The Asean summit was originally scheduled mid-December last year, but political turmoil in Bangkok forced the location to be changed twice and eventually postponed as unrest and security fears in Thailand escalated.

"He [Hun Sen] did not say he would not join, but he had some difficulty. However, after discussions, he feels sure he can go," government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said.

Tension between Cambodia and Thailand has been bubbling since the ancient Hindu temple at Preah Vihear was awarded UN World Heritage status in July last year.

Despite a World Court ruling in 1962 that said the historic temple belonged to Cambodia, the main entrance to the site is in Thailand's northeastern province of Si Sa Ket.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Preah Vihear issues needed to be discussed - including reports Cambodian workers are now building a road leading to the temple - but they would not take place at the forthcoming Asean meeting.

Disputes are bound to occur when countries share a border, Abhisit said, but bilateral problems that could spoil Asean's mutual work will not be brought up.

On Thursday, Hun Sen criticised Bangkok over its plans to host the summit and said he would reconsider his participation when a date was officially set.

He said the new Thai government was keeping other bloc members in the dark, and the meeting should be reconsidered while Bangkok's current political strife continued.

Prince denies PM nepotism charges

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Vong Sokheng
Monday, 12 January 2009

PRINCE Norodom Ranariddh denied Friday that he was using his new position to reward supporters with jobs.

"I have never requested the King appoint my people advisers, assistants, Cabinet [members] or spokesmen," Ranariddh wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Ranariddh requested that Hun Sen identify those supporters allegedly looking to be recruited in order that he might file a complaint to the court over disinformation.

The ruling Cambodian People's Party's Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told the Post Sunday that the prime minister's busy schedule had kept him from identifying said supporters.