Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sen claims exclusive siren use for his posse

November 19 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has decreed that only he and two other senior politicians may use sirens to clear the streets for their motorcades, local media reported Thursday.

In a sub-decree promulgated Monday, the prime minister specifically banned the country's ten deputy prime ministers and other politicians from using sirens to allow easier passage through the capital's sometimes congested roads.

The director of the department for public order at the national police, Him Yan, told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper that the move followed abuses of siren privileges. He said those had caused public disorder and traffic jams in the capital.

"Deputy prime ministers cannot use the sirens now," he told the paper.

Under the new legislation just three politicians may use sirens to move around the city: Prime Minister Hun Sen, the head of the Senate, and the head of the National Assembly.

Members of the royal family are still permitted to use sirens, as are the motorcades of visiting dignitaries with the rank of deputy minister or above.

The regulation does not affect emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police vehicles and fire trucks. The military is also exempt from the ruling. - Sapa-dpa

Norwich graduate tackles Cambodian half marathon

19th November 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

University of East Anglia graduate, Karen Cheung, will be running in the 21km Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, in Cambodia, on Sunday 6 December, in support of the UK’s leading dementia research charity, the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

Karen explained her motivation for supporting the Alzheimer’s Research Trust: “After my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I left Norwich in 2006 and returned home to Hong Kong, to help my dad look after her. At first she could still cook and knit and dress herself but things gradually went downhill until she couldn’t do anything for herself anymore and we couldn’t cope. Mum had to be moved to a hospital and then to a care home.

“I became very depressed but my friends tried to help me by suggesting I take up some form of exercise. I decided then to drag myself out of that bottomless pit and focus on raising money for research into fighting Alzheimer’s in the hope that one day a cure will be found.”

Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said: “We are thrilled that Karen has taken up running to help us in our efforts to beat this dreadful disease and we wish her great success with the half marathon.

“With over 700,000 people in the UK living with dementia and over 6 million in China, the figure worldwide totals to a staggering 35 million. Unless we find ways to stop dementia, this number is set to double within 20 years. Our vital research is entirely funded by our wonderful supporters and every penny counts.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Karen can do so by going to her JustGiving webpage at

Jakrapob denies inciting insurrection, admits meeting Thaksin in Cambodia

November 19, 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Fugitive Jakrapob Penkair on Thursday had a video link with the red shirts denying his involvement in trying to incite the insurrection.

"I have never given an interview to the foreign press threatening to smuggle weapons into Thailand from a neighbouring country," he said.

He said the allegation was a frame-up against him for political gains. He insisted he had no involvement should violence erupt at the upcomong rally scheduled for November 29.

He said he saw the red-shirt rally as "a good thing" in the struggle to advance democracy although he would not comment about the attempt to bring down the government.

The Nation

PM: Cambodia, Jatuporn sharing info

Published: 19/11/2009

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

The Cambodian government and opposition Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn Prompan could be sharing information, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Thursday.

United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) core member Jatuporn earlier claimed that he had an audio tape of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya ordering the Thai embassy's first secretary, Kamrob Palawatwichai, to find out Thaksin's flight schedule.

"I believe Mr Jatuporn and Cambodia have constantly been in contact. I hope the person behind this will regain a sense of conscience and won't trade off the country's interests to Cambodia," the prime minister said.

"If Thaksin crosses the border into Thailand through the Northeast, he must be face his punishment if the law is to be preserved."

He said the government had no intention of playing political games with the red-shirts, and he was confident the UDD's anti-government rallies would not turn violent.

"I believe the UDD's plan to topple the government by Dec 3 will not succeed, because people want peace," he said. "The government will evaluate the situation again before deciding whether to apply the Internal Security Act during the protests."

Cambodia takes control of CATS

Published: 19/11/2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Cambodia has taken control of Cambodian Air Traffic Services (CATS), a wholly owned unit of Thailand's Samart Corporation Pcl, by appointing a senior Civil Aviation official as its temporary caretaker, Samart said on Thursday.

The move came after Cambodian authorities expelled all Thai officials from their offices at CAT on Wednesday. The order came after Phnom Penh filed charges against Sivarak Chutipong, a Thai engineer working for CATS.

"The caretaker has prohibited the Thai expatriates from performing their duties," Samart vice-chairman Sirichai Rasameechan said in a statement filed to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, where the company is listed.

CATS provides air traffic control services with a 32-year concession (2001-2033) under a build, cooperate and transfer arrangement with the Cambodian government, with revenue from the operations this year contributing about 5 percent to the group.

The investment is covered by an investment protection agreement between the two countries, it said.

Samart is seeking government's help to end the problem, he said.

"Samart has been closely cooperating with the Thai government to help negotiate with the Cambodian Government for the release of Mr. Siwarak and resolve this incident," according to the statement.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya insisted on Thursday that Cambodia must comply with the law after Phnom Penh banned Thai nationals from working at CATS.

The Cambodian government has ordered the air traffic control company to replace all Thai workers with Cambodians and has seized all the company's equipment.

Mr Kasit said any action against the company and its employees must be strictly according to the law, and comply with Cambodia's investment and internal regulations.

"The ministry is waiting for reports from the Thai embassy and we will also have to get clarification from the Cambodian government. If it violates bilateral agreements, then we will find ways to proceed," he told reporters.
"Cambodia is a market economy," he added. "Just seizing (a company) would not seem right."

The Foreign Ministry had sent the Consular Affairs Department deputy director-general to see the mother of Thai engineer Siwarak Chutiphong, who was arrested by the Cambodian government last week on spying charges.

Mr Kasit said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had promised Mr Siwarak's mother that he will visit her detained son.

He said the government had to wait for Cambodia's confirmation of a time for the meeting with Mr Siwarak. The ministry had also hired a lawyer to liaise with the company about the problem.

"There are, however, no problems in Thai-Cambodian relations," he insisted.

Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the foreign minister, dismissed Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn Prompan's claim that Mr Kasit had ordered Thai embassy's first secretary Kamrob Palawatwichai to seek the flight schedule of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mr Chavanond also challenged Mr Jatuporn to present the audio clip, which he claimed to be of Mr Kasit ordering Mr Kamrob to obtain Thaksin's flight schedule, to general public.

He slammed Mr Jatuporn's statement, saying that it is non-sense.

He also vowed that the Foreign Ministry is proceeding on providing assistance to Mr Sivarak and preparing to find a lawyer for him.

He added that the ministry has contacted the Cambodian government this morning to seek the permission for Mr Sivarak's mother to visit her son in prison.

Three Chinese arrested for forging university degrees

Asia-Pacific News

Nov 19, 2009

Wellington - Three Chinese citizens have been arrested in New Zealand and charged with forging university degrees, diplomas and other academic records, police announced on Thursday.

They are believed to have produced more than 100 false qualifications, all with Chinese names, claiming the recipients had completed courses at New Zealand universities.

Those charged are men aged 26 and 27 and a 27-year-old woman.

Detective Inspector Stu Allsopp-Smith said a police investigation had uncovered a market for professionally forged academic qualifications, but there was no evidence that those responsible had been able to compromise university academic registries where official records were kept.
Earlier this week, police charged a 17-year-old Cambodian student with forging drivers' licences with fake birth dates that had been sold to teenagers enabling them to get entry to bars, where the minimum drinking age is 18.

Kasit: P.Penh must follow the law

Published: 19/11/2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya insisted on Thursday that Cambodia must comply with the law after Phnom Penh banned Thai nationals from working at Cambodian Air Traffic Services (CATS), which is operated by Thailand's Samart Corporation.

The Cambodian government has ordered the air traffic control company to replace all Thai workers with Cambodians and has seized all the company's equipment.

Mr Kasit said any action against the company and its employees must be strictly according to the law, and comply with Cambodia's investment and internal regulations.

"As for Thailand, we'll wait for reports from the Thai embassy to Phnom Pehn. We hope that we'll receive factual information from Cambodia and the [Samart] company," he said.

"If the Cambodian action does not follow the terms of the bilateral agreement between our two countries, we'll have to find other ways to continue."

The Foreign Ministry had sent the Consular Affairs Department deputy director-general to see the mother of Thai engineer Siwarak Chutiphong, who was arrested by the Cambodian government last week on spying charges.

Mr Kasit said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had promised Mr Siwarak's mother that he will visit her detained son.

He said the government had to wait for Cambodia's confirmation of a time for the meeting with Mr Siwarak. The ministry had also hired a lawyer to liaise with the company about the problem.

"There are, however, no problems in Thai-Cambodian relations," he insisted.

RI to Bridge Thailand-Cambodia Conflict

President Yudhoyono had a meeting with both leaders in the APEC meeting.

Kamis, 19 November 2009

WIBRenne R.A Kawilarang, Harriska Farida Adiati

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Marty Natalegawa (AP Photo)

VIVAnews – The diplomatic conflict between Thailand and Cambodia in the last two weeks have interrupted the ASEAN’s integrity. Indonesia as one of the ASEAN members is prepared to help resolving the conflict between the two neighboring countries.

“The issues between the two countries are contradicting the integrity of ASEAN, which we want to develop between ASEAN member countries,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta on Thursday, Nov. 19. “Indonesia is ready to traverse the conflict solving between the two countries if needed,” he added.

Natalegawa also said that during the APEC meeting in Singapore last weekend, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had a meeting with the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

“We listened to both sides’ view of the problem,” he said. “We will discuss it further to see whether there will be a resolution for both.”

He said that communication between the two countries is needed and Indonesia can be a part of the communication process to manage the situation. Natalegawa added that ASEAN has yet to propose any solution upon this issue.

The tension between Cambodia and Thailand has risen since the Cambodian government threw out Thailand diplomats who were located in Phnom Penh on Thursday, Nov. 12. Thailand then made a similar gesture by expelling the Cambodian diplomats in Bangkok.


Translated by: Ariyantri E. Tarman

Vietnam - Construction of new Vietnam-Cambodia border marker starts

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

Work started on Nov. 18 to build a pair of markers at the Ta Vat-Tonlecham border gate between the southern province of Binh Phuoc of Vietnam and Kampongcham province of Cambodia.

The marker, the first of its kind on the borderline between the two provinces, is being built under a master plan on land demarcation between Vietnam and Cambodia .

Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony, leaders of the two provinces shared the view that the project will contribute to meeting the desires of the people of the two countries to build a common border of peace and solidarity, as well as long-lasting and sustainable development.

Construction of marker No. 78 is being carried out by the Binh Phuoc military command is expected to be completed in January of 2010.

Under the plan, Binh Phuoc was assigned to build 26 border markers with Cambodia . So far, the province has completed 13

Suthep: No loss of face if Thaksin helps release detained Thai in Cambodia

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

BANGKOK,  (TNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban said the Abhisit government would not ‘lose face’ if convicted ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra helps release the Thai engineer detained in Cambodia on spy charges.

Siwarak Chothipong, 31, a Thai national employed at Cambodia Air Traffic Service (CATS), was arrested last week after being accused of giving information about ex-Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s flight schedule to a Thai consular official in Phnom Penh.

Some Thai media reported that Mr Thaksin had contacted Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to free Mr Siwarak and that opposition Puea Thai Party chairman Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyuth will fly to accompany him back to Thailand.

Asked by reporters whether the move would be an attempt to upstage the government, Mr Suthep said the government is not working to show off.

He said after the arrest, Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan was trying to contact Cambodian authorities for fair treatment of Mr Siwarak but he said the government must observe Cambodian sovereignty.

Mr Suthep added that the flight schedule should not be considered a secret information.

He said he had no report confirming Gen Chavalit's trip to Cambodia to bring Mr Siwarak back to Thailand but if true, the government would not consider it losing face as long as Mr Siwarak is safe. (TNA)

UPDATE 1-Cambodia takes reins of Thai-owned firm as row deepens

Thu Nov 19, 2009

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

* Thai foreign minister says move "would not seem right"

* Thai foreign minister says it should respect agreements (Adds comment from Thai foreign minister)

By Viparat Jantraprap

BANGKOK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Deepening a diplomatic row, Cambodia has taken control of a Thai-operated air traffic control company at the centre of spying allegations, a step Thailand's foreign minister said "would not seem right".

The Cambodian government has appointed a senior Civil Aviation official as temporary caretaker for Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS), a wholly owned unit of Thailand's Samart Corporation Pcl SAMA.BK, Samart said on Thursday.

All Thai expatriates at the company have been banned from performing their duties, it added.

The neighbouring countries are embroiled in a diplomatic row sparked in October when Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen offered fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra a job as an economic adviser and a home just across the border.

Thaksin, twice elected but deposed in a 2006 military coup and sentenced last year to two years in jail for graft, has been living in self-imposed exile, largely in Dubai. He spent five days in Cambodia last week, infuriating the Thai government. [ID:nSP128507]

A Thai engineer working for CATS has been accused of sending Thaksin's flight schedule to a Thai diplomat, who was expelled by Phnom Penh, and violating Cambodian national security laws.

Samart, 19 percent owned by Malaysian telecommunications firm Axiata Group (AXIA.KL), said on Thursday it was seeking support from the Thai government on negotiating with Cambodia for the release of the 31-year-old engineer, Siwarak Chutipongse.

"Samart has been closely cooperating with the Thai government to help negotiate with the Cambodian Government for the release of Mr. Siwarak and resolve this incident," it said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Its shares fell nearly 1 percent in early trade but were up 0.8 percent at 0757 GMT in a generally lower market.


CATS provides air traffic control services with a 32-year concession (2001-2033) under a build, cooperate and transfer arrangement with the Cambodian government, with revenue from the operations this year contributing about 5 percent to the group.

The investment is covered by an investment protection agreement between the two countries, it said.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Cambodia should respect such bilateral agreements.

"The ministry is waiting for reports from the Thai embassy and we will also have to get clarification from the Cambodian government. If it violates bilateral agreements, then we will find ways to proceed," he told reporters.

"Cambodia is a market economy," he added. "Just seizing (a company) would not seem right."

Thaksin's brief presence in Cambodia fired up passions on both sides of Thailand's political divide, drawing attention to a border where Thai and Cambodian troops have clashed in the past year and causing each country to recall its ambassador. (Additional reporting by Ambika Ahuja; Editing by Jason Szep)

Officials and Evil Merchants Collude to Open a Border Crossing to Transport Wood to Vietnam – Tuesday, 17.11.2009

Posted on 19 November 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 639

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

“According to a broadcast of a radio station based in Washington D.C. in the United States yesterday, about strong illegal logging of luxury wood in protected forested areas in a national park in Ratanakiri, bordering on Yuon [Vietnam], carried out by merchants colluding with some persons in the local authorities, an official, who asked not to be named, claimed there is collusion to open a Khmer-Yuon [Cambodian-Vietnamese] border crossing illegally to export luxury wood from Cambodia to be sold to Yuon merchants.

“According to this source, a Ratanakiri official, anonymly spoke about collusion to open an international crossing between the Ou Ya Dav district in Cambodia and a province’s district on the Yuon [Vietnamese] side of the border, during the first six months of 2009, leading to estimation that over 400 trucks transported trees, cut the Khmer natural forest, were transported by merchants and illegal business networks, to be sold to Yuon merchants who wait at the border.

“As an example of continuing loggings of luxury wood, a case was mentioned where merchants hired villagers to cut trees in Taveng district in Ratanakiri.

“The Phav village chief in Taveng Krom commune, Taveng district, Mr. Pel Hin, was quoted as saying that he noticed that merchants came to villages and hired poor villagers to cut valuable trees in the forest, and they then bought them from villagers. The village chief expressed concern about forest destruction, forests being resources of the state, and that the destruction might spread to the Vireakchey National Park, established by Royal Decree at the Kantuy Neak [dragon tail] region, bordering on Laos and on Yuon.

“The village chief said, ‘I am really concerned. When I attended some meetings, I told the meetings that there are companies buying and selling wood in my village.’

“The secretary of thhe Taveng Krom commune, Mr. Boeung, recognized that there are illegal loggings and then the transport of luxury wood, but he claimed that this had happened only during the last few months. He said, ‘I saw much luxury wood at Taveng Krom commune brought from Taveng Leu commune. Merchants brought it here to sell it.’

“The Taveng district’s military police chief, Mr. Keo Vichet, expressed regrets, as he has very few forces, and therefore he does not know such cases.

“However, according to direct monitoring by Radio Free Asia late last week in Phav village about illegal wood transactions, workers were seen transporting luxury wood; some had 10 cm by 15 cm width bars, 1 meter long, being transported from the village to the river, to be loaded in motor boats of merchants for exports.

“A worker said that he was hired by a local Chinese merchant in Vern Sai district, Nhok Thong, an illegal luxury wood merchant who hires poor villagers to enter to cut trees in the forest.

“The Taveng district governor, Mr. Kim Toeu, recognized that there are illegal wood businesses.

“Regarding this issue, Taveng Forestry Administration official in Ratanakiri recognized that there are such activities, involving merchants and some evil officials. He said about the loss of trees, ‘As for the activities and crimes in any specific district, those districts have to be responsible respectively.’

“Poor villagers from different villages, like Sieng Soy, Taveng Leu, Dambouk villages… have been contacted by merchants who have relations with some evil officials, using money to hire them to cut valuable trees in the forest and sell them to those merchants who go to buy trees in villages, such illegal activities happened repeatedly during recent months, as they are not afraid of the law.

“Those sources said also that many cubic meters of luxury wood were found, piled up at many places in areas near the Yuon border, in order to facilitate the transport in order to sell the wood to Yuon merchants who wait near the border crossing.

“The official of the province, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying that the illegal transport of wood is most actively done during the night. According to his estimation since June 2009, the luxury wood cut by hired poor villagers was loaded onto more than 400 trucks, to be transported for sale to Yuon merchants.

“They cannot understand why forest crimes destroying state resources still exist, even though Prime Minister Hun Sen had promised in 2001, with words like swearing an oath, that he would give up leading the government, if his government was not able to crack down on illegal logging and illegal transport starting from 1 January 2002.

“This seems difficult to understand, and observers notice that even Oknha Try Pheap, an advisor of Prime Minister Hun Sen, had been frequently accused by people in communities at different provinces, such as Pursat, of hiring poor people to cut valuable trees to be transported and sold to merchants from outside of the country.”

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #531, 17.11.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Cambodia strains ties even more

All Thai staff banned from air traffic office

Published: 19/11/2009 at 12:00 AM

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Cambodia intensified the diplomatic spat with Thailand yesterday when authorities in Phnom Penh expelled all Thai officials from their offices at Cambodia Air Traffic Services.

The order by the Cambodian government came after Phnom Penh filed charges yesterday against Sivarak Chutipong, a Thai engineer working for CATS.

"Cambodia has charged him with stealing classified information affecting national security," said Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, the secretary to the foreign minister.

The Cambodian government ordered Thai nationals working for CATS to immediately leave the company and prohibited them from re-entering until the legal proceedings against Mr Sivarak are completed, Samart Corporation Plc president Watchai Wilailuck said.

CATS, a fully owned subsidiary of Bangkok-based Samart, has been granted a 32-year air traffic control concession.

The firm employs nine Thai officials at the Cambodian airport, all of them either in management or senior engineering positions. About 200 other staff members are Cambodians.

Mr Watchai was told Cambodian authorities would send their own people to operate the company.

"We need to follow Cambodia's order and are asking the Thai government to help negotiate with the Cambodian government to solve the problem because it is affecting a private business which has nothing to do with the state dispute," Mr Watchai said.

Thailand and Cambodia are signatories to the Investment Protection Agreement to protect each other's private businesses.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Foreign Ministry has been ordered to look into the problem of CATS.

Mr Sivarak was arrested on Nov 12 for allegedly obtaining confidential information about the flight details of convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and supplying it to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

The Cambodian government also expelled the embassy's first secretary, Kamrob Palawatwichai and Thailand retaliated with the same measure.

The 31-year-old detainee and the Thai Foreign Ministry have denied the accusations.

Deputy ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said the ministry was helping to find Mr Sivarak a lawyer. Cambodian law requires his legal representative to be a Cambodian national.

"The Thai side still believes in Cambodia's judicial process and hopes Phnom Penh will be fair to Mr Sivarak," Mr Thani said.

Thaksin wrote in his Twitter page yesterday he had contacted Cambodian leaders to find ways to help the Thai engineer being detained at Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh.

"I've been in touch with them. They said they would investigate first and will treat him fairly," he said in his posting.

Mr Abhisit refused to comment on the assistance by Thaksin to help secure the release of the engineer and said the government's actions had been helping to improve the situation for Mr Sivarak.

But Mr Sivarak's mother, Simarak na Nakhon Phanom, thanked Thaksin for his efforts to help secure the release of her son.

Deputy director-general of the Consular Affairs Department Madurapochana Ittarong was helping Mrs Simarak and Mr Sivarak's younger sister to obtain access to him in Phnom Penh.

Puea Thai Party chairman Chavalit Yongchaiyudh also offered to help in talks with the Cambodian government.

Mr Thani said Gen Chavalit's offer was welcome.

The latest conflict between the Thai and Cambodian governments started last month when Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made Thaksin an economic adviser to himself and to his government. Thailand was offended when Hun Sen said Thaksin's corruption case was politically motivated and refused to hand him over to Bangkok.

The fugitive prime minister left the Cambodian capital for Dubai on Saturday.

Puea Thai MP Jatuporn Prompan yesterday claimed the Cambodian government had an audio clip of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya ordering Mr Kamrob to seek the flight schedule of the ousted prime minister.

But Mr Thani denied the claim.

Nazi defence provides model for Khmer Rouge cadre

Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, is on trial for crimes against humanity in Cambodia

A Cambodian man looks at skulls on display at the Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh

High-ranking Nazis at the 1946 Nuremberg trial including Hitler's key architect, Albert Speer (top row, third from left)

By Patrick Falby (AFP)

(Posted by CAAI news Media)
PHNOM PENH — Hitler's chief architect Albert Speer is set to play a posthumous role this week when the trial of the main jailer for Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime hears final arguments from lawyers.

Speer escaped death at the Nuremberg trials after World War II by admitting responsibility for Nazi crimes and expressing remorse for using concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war for slave labour.

Similarly, Khmer Rouge cadre Duch is expected to repeat his expressions of remorse for the deaths of around 15,000 at the communist movement's main detention centre, a move his defence hope will spare him from life in prison.

Duch's defence has submitted as part of his case file the memoir by former Nuremberg prosecutor Henry King, "The Two Worlds of Albert Speer", in a bid to highlight similarities and show that Duch could one day foster reconciliation.

"Albert Speer also admitted before his judges his responsibility," French defence lawyer Francois Roux told AFP.

"He gave certain information to the prosecutor which helped in the search for truth and the Nuremberg tribunal took account of all that in its decision and accepted attenuating circumstances for Speer," Roux said.

"It is interesting to see that for Speer as for Duch, some people believe he hasn't told everything. Several books have been written posing questions about the sincerity of these admissions made at the end of his life.

"The similarity is interesting because whatever he could have said, the law -- and this is what interests me -- took into account his (Speer's) admissions and his cooperation, and condemned him to 20 years in jail instead of the death penalty which had been demanded for him."

After World War II Speer, who was also the German minister for war production, was the lone senior member of Adolf Hitler's leadership circle to cooperate with the historic Nuremberg war crimes tribunal.

Nuremberg prosecutor King, who visited Speer after his trial, wrote that the former Nazi who had once planned to build an imposing new capital for the Third Reich used the rest of his life to ponder his actions and seek redemption.

Sitting calmly in the dock, Duch has also largely cooperated at his own trial, explaining complicated documents and offering comments as officials traced how he oversaw Tuol Sleng prison with brutal efficiency.

Of the five former Khmer Rouge leaders currently being held in the purpose-built jail at Cambodia's UN-backed war crimes court, Duch is the only one who has admitted guilt for abuses committed by the regime.

"Duch has been coached and has performed well in his apology," said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, which researches Khmer Rouge crimes.

Duch has also invited Khmer Rouge victims to visit him in jail.

But it is unclear if anyone will take up Duch's offer, and some say the comparison with Speer could backfire.

Like victims of Speer and the Nazis, many Cambodians say they do not believe Duch's apologies are genuine.

The former maths teacher has denied several allegations he personally tortured and killed Khmer Rouge prisoners, saying throughout proceedings that he feared for his life and his family, and acted under orders from superiors.

Likewise, Speer sought to distance himself from Hitler's policies.

"He (Speer) wasn't a total bloodless bureaucrat like he said," historian Peter Maguire, who has written books about Nuremberg and the Khmer Rouge, told AFP.

"There were some ridiculous verdicts and that was one of them. Speer should have gotten the death penalty," Maguire said.

After Duch, the court also plans to try former Khmer Rouge ideologue Nuon Chea, head of state Khieu Samphan, foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife, minister of social affairs Ieng Thirith.

Led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied Cambodia's cities in a bid to forge a communist utopia, resulting in the deaths of up to two million people from starvation, overwork and torture.

Duch will have to wait until his verdict, expected early next year, to find out whether the comparison with Speer has worked.

But his defence lawyer said that even larger issues were at stake.

"Can this man, who accepts that he committed crimes against humanity, come back today into humanity?" said Roux.

ASEAN and the Cambodia-Thailand row

Huala Adolf , Bandung
Thu, 11/19/2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

The row between Cambodia and Thailand has been worsening recently. The decision of the Cambodia government to appoint former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra as its personal and economic advisor appears to be a clear case of interfering in Thai internal affairs.

The situation between the two countries is rather sensitive. Besides this row, the border dispute between the two countries is still fragile, while the long dispute over Preah Vihear Temple is still in limbo.

ASEAN has, for some time, been paying closer attention to the relationship between these countries. The recent call from ASEAN to both countries to end the row over the appointment of Thaksin has been met with reluctance from both countries. Given the scope of the dispute, this row is a test case for ASEAN.

ASEAN was set up to handle tension, disputes and conflicts in the region. Any conflict that emerges between or among members is solved by way of musyawarah mufakat, or negotiation and mutually agreed settlements, the terms recognized by all ASEAN leaders.

This step involves respecting the integrity and independence of each member country and strongly upholding the principle of non interference.

Over time, the way disputes have been resolved has gradually improved. This improvement, however, still reflects the spirit of musyawarah mufakat.

The present row is not only sensitive, but also somewhat political. The situation is heavily colored and is also exacerbated by other disputes, in particular the ongoing border dispute.

Since the row is political, it is therefore necessary to see whether the dispute settlement mecha-nism available under ASEAN is appropriate.

The use of legal mechanism, through negotiation or diplomacy, is therefore the best possible solution.

The regional conflicts taking place in most parts of the world have been successfully resolved by negotiation between concerned parties. The Latin American crisis in 2008 is an important example of the successful settlement of regional disputes.

The dispute between Columbia and Ecuador was negotiated in a summit hosted by the Dominican Republic.

What ASEAN could do to resolve the current dispute could be to not only call on the parties to end the conflict, but provide a concrete resolution, such as providing support or facilitating a meeting or summit between the two parties.

ASEAN's efforts, of course, will not succeed without the good faith of the parties and their genuine intention to end the crisis. Thailand on the other should refrain from using force or the threat of using force. On the other hand, Cambodia should take into account the sensitivity of the "Thaksin Shinawatra" issue in the eyes of the Thai people.

The writer is the lecturer in international law at the University of Padjadjaran's School of Law in Bandung.

Cambodia bans Thai aviation staff over Thaksin row

Thu, Nov 19, 2009

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

Cambodia has ordered all Thai air traffic control staff to leave work after one of them was arrested on charges of spying on fugitive Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, a company letter showed Thursday.

Thai-owned civil aviation company Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS), which oversees Cambodian air space, banned the Thai employees after a Cambodian government official was appointed caretaker of the firm.

It was not immediately clear if the ban was temporary or permanent.

"The caretaker has prohibited the Thai expatriates from performing their duties," said company vice-chairman Sirichai Rasameechan in an explanatory letter sent to Thailand's stock exchange, where the company is listed.

The decision deepens a diplomatic crisis between the neighbouring countries over Cambodia's appointment of Thaksin as an economic adviser and its refusal to extradite the ousted prime minister to Bangkok.

Siwarak Chothipong, 31, an employee at CATS, was arrested a week ago on charges of supplying details of Thaksin's flight schedule to his country's embassy when the Thai tycoon visited Phnom Penh last week.

On Tuesday Cambodian officials allowed Thai diplomats to make their first visit to see the detained employee.

Bangkok earlier this month withdrew its ambassador from Cambodia over Thaksin's appointment, a move that Phnom Penh reciprocated.

Cambodia then expelled the first secretary of Thailand's embassy in Phnom Penh last Thursday after alleging that Siwarak had passed information to the diplomat. Thailand reciprocated hours later.

Thaksin was toppled in a coup in 2006 and is living abroad to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption, but he has been stirring up protests in his homeland against the current Thai government for the past year.

Angered by his presence in Cambodia, Thailand last week put all talks and cooperation programmes with Cambodia on hold and tore up an oil and gas exploration deal signed during Thaksin's time in power.

Tensions were already high between the two countries following a series of deadly military clashes over disputed territory near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple on their border.

CATS is a fully owned subsidiary of Bangkok-based Samart corporation, which has a 32-year air traffic control concession. Local media said the company employees nine Thai nationals.

Cambodia appoints representative to oversee Thai firm

19 November 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

BANGKOK, Nov 19 (TNA) – The Cambodian government has appointed a supervisor to oversee Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS) and is not permitting Thai employees to perform their duties in the firm following an arrest of a Thai engineer for on espionage charges, according to Samart Corporation PCL.

Despite assurances that the company is and its employees are not spying on Cambodia, CATS itself, wholly-owned by the Samart Corporation, is coming under further pressure in the diplomatic standoff.

CATS employee Siwarak Chutipong, 31, was arrested in Phnom Penh on spying charges last week after he was discovered releasing Thaksin Shinawatra’s flight schedule to a Thai embassy official in Phnom Penh.

The self-exiled, convicted former Thai premier himself departed Cambodia last week, but remains at the centre of Thai-Cambodian relations

Samart Corporation president Wattanachai Wilailak said the company is examining facts on the matter and has asked the Thai government to liaise with its Cambodian counterpart to ease the situation.

However, Mr Wattanachai affirmed that CATS is open for business as usual.

Commenting on Mr Siwarak’s arrest, he said since the case is a national security for Cambodia, the company is liaising with the Foreign Ministry for fact-finding and negotiations with Phnom Penh.

“Now, all parties concerned are making an all-out effort to help Mr Siwarak, who is detained by Cambodian authorities. It is expected there will be good news soon,” he said.

Mr Wattanachai said the Samart Corporation had otherwise not been affected by the case, nor have other businesses the company conducts in Cambodia.

Samart subsidiary CATS runs a system installation business and provides air traffic control services in Cambodia under a 32-year concession from 2001 ending in 2033.

Thailand and Cambodia have an Investment Protection Agreement to oversee their mutual interests. (TNA)

Air spat widens Thai-Cambodia row

By Rachel Harvey
BBC News, Bangkok

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

New turbulence has hit the Thai Cambodian relationship

All Thai nationals working for an air traffic control company in Cambodia have been suspended from duty.

A Cambodian civil servant has been put in temporary charge, in the latest twist in the diplomatic row between Thailand and Cambodia.

The news comes a day after a Thai engineer working for the firm in Phnom Penh was formally charged with spying.

Relations between the two regional neighbours have deteriorated sharply in the past week.

The spat was prompted by a visit to Cambodia by the fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Calling ground control

Cambodia Air Traffic Services is Thai-owned and Thai-operated.

But in effect, the Cambodian authorities have now taken control, barring all Thai employees from entering company premises.

The move is said to be temporary pending the outcome of a legal case against a Thai engineer who works for the company.

Cambodia has refused to extradite Mr Thaksin (r) to Thailand

He is currently under arrest, accused of passing the details of Thaksin Shinawatra's flight schedule to a Thai diplomat.

Mr Thaksin spent five days in Cambodia last week, in his new role as an economic adviser.

His presence across the border infuriated the Thai government, who claims he should have been extradited to serve a two-year jail term.

The former Thai prime minister was ousted in a coup in 2006, and subsequently found guilty in absentia on conflict of interest charges.

Local newspaper reports in Thailand suggest the current Thai government and Mr Thaksin are now competing to offer help to the detained engineer and his family.

It is an indication that this row is as much about the internal politics of Thailand as it is about cross-border rivalries.

Police Blotter 19 Nov 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:03 Mom Kunthear

A 23-year-old karaoke girl hung herself at the top of a hotel in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district on Tuesday, according to police. The victim killed herself at the Phnom Kheav hotel by wrapping her own shirt around her neck. Her colleagues told police that before committing suicide, she was drinking heavily and was depressed because she had lost a necklace. Police suspect she may have killed herself because of a broken heart.

A man was arrested in Battambang province’s Ratanak Mondol district after he tried to rape a woman who was washing her clothes at a river on Friday. The victim told police that she was with her daughter on the riverbank when the suspect quietly approached her from behind and attempted to sexually violate her. Luckily, her daughter and other children nearby were able to fend off the attacker. The suspect said that he was intoxicated at the time and was eager to have sex.

A soldier was arrested after beating a man who laughed at him when he fell off his bicycle in Kampong Thom province’s Brasat Sambo district on Sunday. As the suspect was returning home after a night out drinking with friends, he was knocked off his bicycle when he hit a coconut shell. The victim who witnessed the accident burst out laughing, but it only angered the suspect who then chased the victim and beat him until he was bleeding from the head and chest.

A woman mysteriously killed herself with drugs after a night out with her husband at a karaoke bar in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district on Monday. The victim’s husband said that he had complied with his wife’s request to go out to a karaoke bar. At the bar, his wife drank heavily and gave a lot of money to a waitress. Upon returning home, she collapsed in the restroom. The victim’s father said his daughter killed herself because her husband was unfaithful.

A motorbike taxi driver was killed by robbers as they tried to steal his bike in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Chum district on Saturday. The robbers stabbed the victim in the neck and stomach when they were in an isolated area. However, the suspects were unable to steal the bike after it broke down. The victim’s wife said that the suspects came from Stung Treng province and settled in Ratanakkiri to work. Police are still searching for the robbers.

Chess chums at the palace

Photo by: Heng Chivoan

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:03 Heng Chivoan

A monk casts a fleeting glance at a game of chess being played outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh earlier this week.

Here’s looking at you

Photo by: Sovan Philon

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:04 Sovan Philong

PhotoPhnomPenh 2009 artistic director Christian Caujolle prepares to hang A plunge into winter in Sweden, by Lars Tunbjork, at No Problem Park 55 in the capital. The exhibition will run between November 28 and December 6.

Drug rehab falls short: UN envoy

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
A drug addict injects himself on the streets of Phnom Penh on Wednesday. The government’s treatment of intravenous drugs users has drawn fire from a special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia.

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:05 Robbie Corey Boulet

AUN envoy for HIV/AIDS this week urged high-ranking officials to reassess policies she said did not appear to match up with government rhetoric, notably those pertaining to the treatment of intravenous drug users and condom distribution.

But Dr Nafis Sadik, the UN secretary general’s special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, said she did not press the government on this year’s eviction of 40 HIV-affected families from central Phnom Penh to a relocation site in Dangkor district, an admission that drew the ire of rights groups after the case.

Sadik has met with officials, including Prime Minister Hun Sen, first lady Bun Rany and Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, who is responsible for HIV/AIDS issues, since arriving in Cambodia on Saturday.

In an interview with the Post, she said she had highlighted the low quality of state-run drug-rehabilitation centres, which she said functioned more like detention centres and were “not really equipped to provide health care and psychological counselling”.

The government has recently advocated a softer approach towards drug users. In August, Ke Kim Yan said in a speech that drug laws should distinguish between drug traffickers and “victims who need to be educated and treated”.

Sadik said officials this week “agreed that they need to rethink some of their policies” on rehabilitation.

She said she had also pointed out an apparent disconnect between the 100 percent condom-use policy espoused by Hun Sen and Bun Rany and the government’s apparent reluctance to distribute condoms in karaoke bars and other entertainment venues for fear of inadvertently promoting promiscuity.

Most officials, she said, were made visibly uncomfortable by the subject.

“Some of these issues are very sensitive,” she said. “In Asia, they don’t want to address sexual and sexuality issues.”

In general, though, she said the UN was “pleased with the progress that has been made”, adding that Cambodia was “perhaps the only country in the world” that could achieve its HIV/AIDS Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

Cambodia’s adult HIV prevalence rate stood at 0.9 percent in 2006, far below the 2015 MDG target of 1.8 percent.

But she warned that further progress could be derailed by the persistent discrimination facing HIV-positive Cambodians.

“Even though the prime minister talks about making the odd visits to people living with HIV, the population does not understand that a person living with AIDS is not a menace to everyone else in society,” she said. “The public still thinks that this is a disease acquired because of your bad behaviour.”

A prime example of this, she said, was the case of Borei Keila, a central Phnom Penh community that was evicted over the summer. More than 60 HIV-positive patients from 40 families were relocated to a site in Dangkor district’s Tuol Sambo village, a move that prompted widespread outcry from rights groups concerned about the site’s oppressive heat, lack of food and limited job prospects.

Sadik said the decision to move the families to Tuol Sambo had reflected “the will of the people”.

“The will of the people here is, ‘isolate them,’” she said.

Reflecting on the negative response from international rights groups, she said, “I think the international community gives mixed messages sometimes. We want them to be democratic, but we don’t want them to be democratic on issues for which we have a different opinion.”

She said, however, that she did not devote much time this week to Tuol Sambo, which received heavy coverage in the international media.

“I think they’re quite aware of it because it was taken up to the international level,” she said. “We didn’t want to push it because it’s seen as having been resolved.”

Several rights groups said they wished Sadik had been more forceful on the issue.

“I hardly think that the people who were cruelly forced from their homes to live in a cramped HIV ghetto would say that their issue has been ‘resolved’,” said David Pred, director of the NGO Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia. “It is a very poor reflection on the United Nations that the special envoy views the situation this way.”

Joe Amon, director of the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch, said much of the situation at Tuol Sambo “remains up in the air”, citing the lack of “nutritious food assistance”.

National Aids Authority Secretary General Teng Kunthy said he was too busy to speak to a reporter Wednesday.


20 sought in K Thom brawl over property

Photo by: Rann Reuy

Villagers from Santuk district in Kampong Thom sit on Monday at the scene of a violent clash with military police in an ongoing land dispute. Twenty are wanted for destroying private property (below).

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:05 May Titthara and Rann Reuy

Kampong Thom Province

KAMPONG Thom provincial court has prepared 20 arrest warrants for villagers involved in a clash with soldiers and military police officers that led to nine injuries and two hospitalisations on Monday, officials said.

Provincial Governor Chhun Chhorn said he and two other officials had filed a complaint to hold the villagers accountable for burning four vehicles owned by a Vietnamese rubber company that was awarded an 8,000-hectare economic land concession in Santuk district in 2007. Hundreds of families have condemned the move as unfair, saying they have lived on the disputed property since 2004.

“Now these people are under investigation according to the court warrant because it’s a penal case,” Chhun Chhorn said, adding that the villagers had also burned a Military Police car and destroyed 11 motorbikes.

The altercation began Monday morning when some 200 villagers torched the vehicles, prompting Military Police and soldiers who have been stationed at the site since 2008 to turn on them with knives, hatchets and canes, rights workers said.

Pich Sophea, the governor of Santuk district, said local officials had identified the “leaders” of the group that participated in the burnings. “There are about 20 leaders who will be arrested according to the arrest warrant, and now they are preparing to escape from the village,” he said.

“It makes me sad that they encouraged the people to become violent, because we tried to implement the government economic land concession in a peaceful way,” he added.

Residents, however, paint a different picture of life at the site, saying they have been living in near-constant fear of arbitrary beatings and harassment at the hands of the armed officers stationed near their village.

Chan Soveth, a researcher for the human rights group Adhoc, on Wednesday appealed to the authorities to kick the officers off the site.

“Now the villagers are worried about their security, and many are afraid to even go on the road leading out of their village,” he said.

But Ek Mat Moly, the police chief for Santuk district, said the authorities were planning to boost the police presence in response to Monday’s violence.

“Now we are going to spread our police around that village and also on the road because we want to protect this area. And we also want to try to arrest the leaders who burned the company and Military Police property,” he said.

Numbers game
Officials and rights group workers are at odds over how many villagers stand to be evicted from the site. Chheng Sophors, a monitor for the rights group Licadho, said Tuesday that 1,362 families were living there, whereas Chhun Chhorn said there were only 300 families, 200 of which, he said, had already accepted land provided by the government and relocated.

Chan Soveth said Wednesday that the two men who sustained serious injuries remained in hospital. Provincial court officials could not be reached for comment.

Three kids, father killed in Kandal capsizing

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:05 Cheang Sokha and Mom Kunthear

A FATHER and three of his children are believed to have drowned after a boat carrying seven people capsized due to strong winds Wednesday morning in Kandal province, police officials said.

However, a senior government meteorologist questioned that rough conditions were to blame for the tragedy.

The accident happened Wednesday in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district, when the family was returning home after visiting a relative in a neighbouring village, said police Deputy Commissioner Chan Savoeun.

The four victims have been identified as Phoeun Saran, 33; his two sons, Ran Reut, 8, and Ran Rathana, 5; and his 3-year-old daughter, Ran Sokna.

Officials have managed to retrieve only the daughter’s body.

“I think the father felt nervous when the boat capsized, and he could not think of what to do,” Chan Savoeun said. “If he left his children, he would have saved himself.”

The victim’s wife and nieces, who were also on the boat, escaped after villagers rushed to their aid, said Lvea Em district Governor Bun Pheng.

However, a government meteorologist questioned the official explanation of why the boat capsized.

Seth Vannareth, director of the Department of Meteorology, noted that her department did not detect any signs of turbulent weather in the area Wednesday.

“The capsizing of the boat was not caused by a storm, but rather the carelessness of the boat owner, or the boat was overloaded,” she said.


Policeman, infamous thief killed in gunfight

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:05 Chrann Chamroeun and Kim Yuthana

A NOTORIOUS gold thief was killed during a bungled car robbery early Wednesday morning that also left one police officer dead, say city authorities.

MunicipalPolice Chief Touch Naruth said the bandit – who authorities believe was behind a series of gold robberies in Phnom Penh and the provinces – exchanged fire with police after he stole a black Toyota Corolla from Phnom Penh and was chased along National Road 6 on Tuesday night.

Chuon Narin, chief of the Municipal Police department’s serious crime bureau, said police received a call about a stolen vehicle at around 11:30 on Tuesday night.

Police pursued the suspect to a residence in Russei Keo, where the man then stopped the car and opened fire, killing police officer Prel Dara, 26.

Two women, believed to have been the offender’s girlfriends, were arrested on the scene on suspicion of aiding him in the robbery and are being held at the municipal police station for further questioning.

“They confessed that they were accomplices of the offender in the stealing of the car … and we will send them to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for further investigation on Thursday,” he said.

Chuon Narin said the man killed in the shootout was suspected of involvement in several crimes, including a “massive” gold robbery in Russei Keo’s Svay Pak commune and the robbery of an ACLEDA Bank branch in Kandal province.

“This is a big success for our police, to gun down a mastermind … but we were terribly sorry that our policeman was killed,” he added.

A reduction in hunger is possible: UN

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:05 Irwin Loy

The world must urgently address a global crisis that now sees more than a billion people going hungry every day, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told delegates at the World Summit on Food Security in Rome, as figures released by UN officials show Cambodia has made some gains in reducing hunger domestically.

Speaking Tuesday at what has been dubbed the world’s “hunger summit”, Hor Namhong tied shortages in food production to the “growing direct impact of climate change”, the global economic crisis and soaring energy prices.

“In this gloomy situation, more people are not able to secure enough income to feed their families,” Hor Namhong told delegates in an address released to the media.

“There is no doubt that this crisis has reduced available national public resources for agricultural development.”

Hor Namhong suggested world leaders institute a global trust fund and a “world rice reserve” to counter short-term food crises – such as the emergencies that hit Cambodia and other Southeast Asian nations after Typhoon Ketsana.


The foreign minister’s comments came as officials with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released a report showing how 16 nations – including Cambodia’s neighbours Thailand and Vietnam – have managed or are on track to halve hunger rates in their countries, already reaching a target that the world had set for 2015.

Though Cambodia’s progress may lag its neighbours, a UN report from October suggests the number of undernourished people in the Kingdom is also on a downward trend – 25 percent of the population in 2006, compared with 38 percent in 1992.

Oxfam East Asia Regional Director Brian Lund said Cambodia has managed to produce modest food surpluses in recent years. The problem, however, is with isolated shortages sparked by natural disasters or a lack of infrastructure.

“On a national scale, food production is looking pretty good,” Lund said.

“The concern is more with these hot spots around the country.”

Oddar Meanchey province, for example, has seen a population spike in the last decade. The supply of food has, at times, struggled to keep up.

As well, Cambodia still falls behind its neighbours in terms of agriculture technology and infrastructure. Crop yields, measured in kilograms per hectare, are among the lowest in the region, according to a 2006 poverty assessment report from the World Bank, which blames poor technology and irrigation.

The issue is likely to take greater prominence, with FAO figures suggesting that 80 percent of developing countries’ new food production must come from increased yields – not an expansion in farmland.