Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Assemby to debate seizure of real estate

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:03 Vong Sokheng

THE National Assembly’s Permanent Committee is set to debate the government’s Draft Law on Expropriation on December 15, Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said Monday.

The draft, approved by the Council of Ministers on October 9, authorises the government to seize land, provided that it is used for infrastructure or construction projects that serve “the public interest”.

“According to the law, when the government needs land for construction or development, and if it impacts the land of villagers, the law requires the government to make an evaluation of the impact and then provide fair compensation,” Cheam Yeap said.

The law states that residents living on expropriated land should receive compensation equivalent to its market price when the government takes over.

Cheam Yeap could not say when the National Assembly will vote to approve the draft law, because parliamentarians will be on vacation for a three-month period beginning in January.

Officials from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party said they were concerned that the law will merely formalise the dispossession of poor residents by powerful private business interests on the pretext of national development.

“We are concerned that the law will give power to the government to take the land from the villagers for the development of private companies,” said Yim Sovann, lawmaker and spokesman for the SRP.

“Some articles of the law are not clear, so we will continue to study it carefully,” he added.

PM opens Kamchay dam

Photo by: AFP
Visitors view the Chinese-funded Kamchay dam during its official launch in Kampot on Monday.

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:02 Cheang Sokha and Sebastian Strangio

PRIME Minister Hun Sen presided over the opening of the first stage of the Chinese-funded Kamchay hydropower dam in Kampot province on Monday, saying the US$280 million project, which has prompted concerns about potential environmental and social impacts, would lower national power costs.

“We have envisioned having this hydropower dam not just recently, but since the Sangkum Reastr Niyum era,” Hun Sen said during a launch ceremony at the dam site, adding that the dam would also help prevent flooding in the provincial capital.

Hun Sen said the dam – which is expected to be complete by the end of 2011 – will allow the government to scale back its annual budget for subsidies designed to reduce the cost of diesel-generated power.

“Currently, we use a lot of diesel for producing power, so when the electricity is connected from here we will reduce the use of diesel,” he said.

The government spends roughly $20 million per year on subsidies to curb the high price of electricity, he added.

Zhang Jinfeng, China’s ambassador to Cambodia, was also on hand for the opening of the Kamchay dam’s first 10-megawatt stage.

Under its agreement with the government, Sinohydro, the Chinese state firm building the dam, will operate on its own for 40 years before it is turned over to Cambodian control.

Suy Sem, minister of industry, mines and energy, said at the launch that the Kamchay project will provide 193.2 megawatts of power – divided into 10-megawatt, 3.2-megawatt and 180-megawatt construction stages.

Environmental activists continue to express concerns about the project, arguing that it has moved forward with only cursory environmental oversight and little consultation with local communities.

“We worry about what impact this dam will have on Bokor [National Park]’s forest and threatened species living in the reservoir area, as this area is well known for its high biodiversity,” said Chhith Sam Ath, executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia. He added that the dam had already been approved by the time the initial environmental impact assessment of the project was complete.

He said the dam would cause communities living around the project site to lose access to non-timber forest products, which he described as an “important” source of supplementary income.

Chhith Sam Ath also called on Sinohydro to make its mitigation and compensation plans publicly available, saying, the “community has informed to us [that] they were never consulted by the company regarding any of the negative impacts the dam would cause and the mitigation measures that would be needed”.

A January 2008 report co-authored by the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia and the US-based International Rivers concluded that the project raised “important questions regarding both [Sinohydro’s] and the Cambodian government’s commitment to transparency, accountability, public participation, and the incorporation of adequate environmental and social safeguards”.

Suspended teachers may return on Monday

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:02 Tep Nimol and Mom Kunthear

FIVE teachers suspended on suspicion of overcharging students will be allowed to return to work at the end of the week, officials said Monday.

Three were relieved of their duties last week after Baktouk Primary School in Veal Vong commune, Prampi Makara district, received an anonymous complaint from someone claiming to be the parent of a student. Two others have been suspended since October.

The teachers – who deny the allegations – were accused of charging each of their students between 1,000 and 1,500 riels (US$0.24-$0.36) per day – the maximum permitted by the Ministry of Education is 500 riels ($0.12). School Director Yem Sokhen said: “They can come to work on Friday because I don’t want to have more problems in my school.”

One teacher, Yaung Sovannarith, vowed not to return until the director wrote a formal letter to clear her name.

“The school asked my students three times already, and they said I collect only 500 riels from them and I have never taken from the poor students,” she said.

Thai man’s trial for espionage set to begin

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Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:02 James O’toole and Cheang Sokha

THE Thai national accused of espionage for leaking the flight schedule of fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to the Thai embassy last month is scheduled to stand trial today at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Thirty-one-year-old Sivarak Chutipong, an employee of Thai-owned Cambodia Air Traffic Services, was arrested on November 12, in the midst of Thaksin’s controversial visit to the Kingdom. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of breaching national security under Article 19 of the 2005 Law on Archives.

Various Thai news outlets have reported that Thai opposition leaders may attempt to intervene on Sivarak’s behalf, with the Thai News Agency reporting that both Thaksin and opposition Puea Thai party Chairman Chavalit Yongchaiyudh are prepared to offer assistance, according to Puea Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit.

Sivarak’s newly appointed lawyer, Khieu Sambo, will likely seek a Royal pardon in the event of a guilty verdict, Prompong added.

Defence accuses KRT judge of bias

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Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:02 Robbie Corey Boulet

DEFENCE lawyers for former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary on Monday laid out fresh allegations of bias and rules violations on the part of international co-investigating judge Marcel Lemonde in filings that reiterated their earlier call for his disqualification.

The filings, submitted Monday, refer to a December 2 statement from Wayne Bastin, former chief of the Intelligence and Analysis Unit of the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges (OCIJ).

In October, Bastin provided a witness account of an August meeting in which he said Lemonde expressed a preference for inculpatory, rather than exculpatory, evidence. That statement prompted lawyers Michael Karnavas and Ang Udom to ask for Lemonde’s dismissal as well as for a public hearing in which those present at the meeting would be required to testify.

The new statement and filings contend that Lemonde compromised the confidentiality of the office’s work by allowing a French film crew to record an interview with a potential insider witness, and by ordering that all OCIJ staff be given access to a database of insider witnesses.

The lawyers also take issue with a document on avenues of inquiry supplied by prosecution expert Craig Etcheson. Karnavas and Ang Udom say they were not informed of the document, and that Lemonde’s conduct “strongly suggests” that Etcheson has been allowed to exert “undue influence” over the OCIJ investigation.

Karnavas said by email Monday that all of the alleged transgressions were “serious”.

“From what we are seeing, it would appear that an investigation needs to be done on the OCIJ and in particular the matters raised in our submissions,” he said.

He also noted that the defence team had yet to hear back on its earlier request for Lemonde’s disqualification, a decision on which is pending in the Pre-Trial Chamber.

“Why not let the Cambodian people see what is going on, see how the judicial system functions, and how issues concerning the proper functioning of the ECCC should be resolved in the open?” he said.

UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said Lemonde could not comment on the content of the filings. “Mr Lemonde is very surprised to hear about this filing through the media, because he has not been notified about the filing in accordance with the law,” Olsen said.

Cockfighting ring busted

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Spectators watch a cockfight on the riverside earlier this year. After a raid on Saturday, 38 people face charges related to the illegal activity.

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:02 Chrann Chamroeun

THIRTY-eight people from Sen Sok district’s Khmuonh commune were accused of cockfighting and sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday after military police arrested them in a raid Saturday, according to Kith Sophal, the district military police chief who led the operation.

“My patrolmen suspected and reported to me about this illegal cockfighting site. Two days after we first saw it, numerous people came to play on the 1-hectare plot of land, and three days after that, I led the operation with around 30 district military police officials with a court warrant allowing us to raid it,” he said.

More than 50 people were arrested during the raid, and police confiscated 17 cocks and 25 motorbikes.

Police later freed a number of detainees.

“I would like to clarify the reason why more than 10 people were released and weren’t sent to court, to refute any confusion or criticism that a bribe was the reason for releasing them,” Kith Sophal said.

“These 10 people were not involved as cockfighting players, but were, rather, from my network of people – some rented the plot of land to plant mushrooms, and some were there buying mushrooms,” said.

According to the police chief, gambling is the root of most crimes that are committed in the district.

“My men always patrol every day in every commune to crack down on all kinds of gambling to guarantee social security and order following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s determination that the crimes of robbery, bag-grabbing, stealing property, and killing and injuring others all emerge from an addiction to drugs and gambling,” he said.

Demarcation: SRP officials plan trip to VN border

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Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:02 Meas Sokchea


Lawmakers from the Sam Rainsy Party say they will travel to Svay Rieng province next Monday to scrutinise the work of Cambodian and Vietnamese border demarcation teams and determine whether Cambodian farmers are losing farmland to Vietnamese incursions. SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the party has asked the permission of National Assembly President Heng Samrin to visit the disputed area of the border. “We informed [him] last week about our trip to watch the planting of markers on the Cambodia-Vietnam border,” he said. “So far, we have not received a response from the assembly president, but as people’s representatives we must go.” On October 25, SRP president Sam Rainsy joined villagers in uprooting markers near the border in Svay Rieng, which villagers said had been placed on their land. Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that only Heng Samrin can give permission for officials to visit the disputed area, warning that if they travel without permission, they will face the consequences. “Doing something without [permission] is not right,” he said.

Edict on mobile sector to set minimum tariffs

Traffic filters past mobile-phone advertisements in Phnom Penh. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is due Wednesday to tell telecoms companies of its new minimum tariffs.

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:01 Ith Sothoeuth and Nathan Green

Ministry plans to inform telecoms firms in Wednesday meeting

ALONG-AWAITED edict setting minimum tariffs in the mobile-phone sector was signed by the government Friday, telecoms Minister So Khun said Monday.

The prakas on tariffs, which was developed to end an ongoing price war that government officials – including Prime Minster Hun Sen – have said was destabilising the sector, was signed by So Khun and Keat Chhon, his equivalent at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

“We offered free-market principles, but operators kept having conflicts with one another, so the government needs to have a hand in it,” So Khun said. The government will suspend the licence of any operators that violate the minimum tariff set by the edict, he added.

So Khun declined to give details of the prakas or when it will take effect, but said it will be unveiled Wednesday afternoon. Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Secretary of State Sarak Khan said the minimum would apply to calls within and across networks.

It was set after the government analysed costs and profit information submitted by the nine mobile-phone operators in the Kingdom. Sarak Khan said the ministries followed international practice based on a formula from the International Telecommunication Union, but did not provide further details.

Simon Perkins, CEO of Hello, said he supported the initiative “to bring some structure to the telecom tarrifs, in the absence of the usual competition guidelines and rules that exist in a lot of markets”.

He said he expected the edict would be the first step in a long process to bring stability to the sector.

“We need to work with [the ministry] on further projects to review the whole regulation framework, licensing, tariffs, interconnect, infrastructure sharing … [these] are just a few of the priorities to work on,” Perkins said.

The prakas is the second of two developed to bring structure to the sector after a dispute between market leader Mobitel and new entrant Beeline earlier this year that involved accusations of call-blocking and price-dumping. The first edict, which regulated interconnectivity agreements, was passed on October 5.

Rise in visitors masks decline in air arrivals

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Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:01 May Kunmakara

VISITOR numbers climbed slightly in October compared to the same month last year, but a rise in the number of tourists and businesspeople arriving by land and sea from neighbouring countries again masked a large decline in the number of arrivals by air, Tourism Ministry figures show.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) President Ang Kim Eang said the continued decline in long-haul visitors from Europe, the United States and East Asia was worrying, as visitors from neighbouring countries bring less money into the sector.

“We see that most visitors now are from the region, especially Vietnam, and they don’t spend as much on their trip or stay as long as tourists from further afield, such as Europe,” he said.

CATA studies have shown that visitors from Europe tend to spend a week or more in the country, whereas those from Laos and Vietnam spend three days and less money on average.

The ministry recorded that 157,105 people visited Cambodia in October, up 0.25 percent from October 2008, the month in which visitors to the Kingdom began declining as a result of the global financial crisis after several years of steady month-on-month growth.

However, just 85,671 people arrived by air in October, down 8 percent from 93,175 air arrivals in the same month last year. Air arrivals have fallen 12.51 percent over the first 10 months of the year to 889,278.

Up to the end of October 1,731,045 people visited the Kingdom, up 1.55 percent on the first 10 months of 2008.

Arrivals from Vietnam climbed 67.26 percent year-on-year to 27,558 in October, and represent 17.54 percent of all arrivals, whereas visitors from South Korea fell 44.34 percent to 10,274. South Korea is now the sixth-largest source of visitors to Cambodia after leading the list a year ago – a sign of how much air traffic has been affected by the global economic crisis.

Kong Sophearak, director of the Statistics and Tourism Information Department at the Ministry of Tourism, acknowledged the drop in arrivals by air and said the government’s decision to offer visa exemptions to regional neighbours had gone some way towards offsetting the losses by encouraging regional tourism.

Boost from national carrier
He said he hopes that a planned expansion of international routes flown by the new national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air will go some way to boosting tourism arrivals by air. He also said he anticipated that a recovery in tourism arrivals in November and December would see the country post a full-year increase in visitors of between 2 and 3 percent.

Arrivals during October this year were down 1.95 percent compared with the same month in 2007, a peak year for Cambodian tourism during which the country hosted more than 2 million visitors for the first time, the figures show.

Telecoms meeting to warn on regulation

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:00 Jeremy Mullins

Cambodia to join Vietnam event this week that will look at harm caused by regulatory limbo

CAMBODIA’S Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications will be warned Friday at a regional telecoms meeting of the potential for regulatory uncertainty to damage the commercial value of companies in the telecommunications sector, according to copy of one of the presentations.

The lecture by information and communications technology (ICT) consultant Scott Minehane is to be given at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regional conference concluding Saturday in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Government has a unique potential for value creation … or destruction.

According to a copy of his lecture on the ITU Web site, Minehane will warn that regulatory management is responsible for between 40 and 50 percent of the impact on the commercial value of operators in the sector. In comparison, optimising prices can impact on just 22 to 27 percent of an operator’s value, and reductions in capital expenditure between 15 and 20 percent, according to a study by business consultancy McKinsey and Company cited by Minehane.

“Government has a unique potential for value creation … or destruction”, his statement says. “Inconsistent, unclear and uninformed policy and regulatory decisions are highly destructive for existing operators.”

The ministry’s Director General Mao Chakrya is to chair the discussion presented by Minehane. Titled “Enabling Environment: Policy, Regulatory and Financial Framework”, Minehane will be joined by other experts to help define the role of governments in developing ICT industries.

The conference was organised to develop a plan to improve ICT connectivity in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Other topics to be discussed include ICT in sustainable development, institutional strengthening and human capacity building, and public-private partnerships.

In a global benchmarking study of regulatory frameworks undertaken by Minehane for the ITU, operators said a lack of clarity concerning end goals and actions taken without a clear picture of broader commercial objectives resulted in “random, contradictory or self-defeating industry behaviour”.

Van Chanvey triumphs in final

Photo by: Robert Starkweather
Club Preah Khan Reach fighter Van Chanvey (right) scored a big upset over Club Anlong Veng's Kao Roomchang Sunday to take first place in the lightweight tournament.

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:00 Robert Starkweather

Twenty-three-year-old derails Kao Roomchang’s seemingly unstoppable march into lightweight title contention with a stunning upset victory at CTN arena

WORKING behind crafty defense and a thunderous right roundhouse, Van Chanvey scored a narrow majority decision over Kao Roomchang Sunday to take first place in the 60-kilogram tournament, and land a title shot against current champion Lao Sinath.

Four judges at the CTN boxing arena scored the fight 98-97 in favor of Van Chanvey. The fifth scored it 98-97 for Kao Roomchang.

Considered two of the most dangerous fighters in the division, Van Chanvey and Kao Roomchang collided for the first time in August in one of the most memorable fights of the year. Kao Roomchang took the decision in that bout, and odds makers had him a 10-7 favorite heading into Sunday’s highly anticipated tournament final.

Kao Roomchang, the 21-year-old rising star from Battambang, pushed the action in all five rounds. He thrilled an overflowing house with flashy spinning back kicks and head-snapping straight right hands. But somehow, he could not translate busier into better.

“I don’t know how I lost,” Kao Roomchang said. “I used my elbows effectively, I punched well, and I countered his kicks with knees. I thought he won only round four.”

The fight was every bit as close as the scorecards would indicate, and the pair predictably fought blow for blow in a bloody, fast-paced contest.

Photo by: Robert Starkweather
Long Sophy (right) lands a head shot on Vung Noy during their third-place playoff bout Sunday.

Kao Roomchang opened a thin cut just below the Van Chanvey's left eyebrow in the second.

“He got me with a punch,” Van Chanvey said. “It wasn’t an elbow.”

Van Chanvey, 23, drew even in the third, reopening an old wound above Kao Roomchang’s left eye with an elbow.

It was exactly the same spot where he cut Kao Roomchang in their first clash.

That bout produced one of the most savage rounds of boxing in recent memory, as the pair stood on each other’s toes and traded elbows nearly every second of the third round.

On Sunday, however, Van Chanvey appeared reluctant to engage in yet another debilitating battle of attrition. Instead, he fought smartly, working patiently behind a left jab and scoring with knees and hard right roundhouse kicks.

Defensively, he used his feet to stay elusive, and made Kao Roomchang chase him around the ring.

Kao Roomchang certainly had his moments. He scored hard shots in every round. But whatever the crowd saw, the judges did not.

Van Chanvey will face Lao Sinath on January 3 for the 60kg title. That bout will also take place at the CTN boxing arena.

Long Sophy earns international bout
On the undercard, Long Sophy pummeled Vung Noy with punches to score a convincing decision victory and take third place in the tournament.

Fighting at a torrid pace, Long Sophy pounded Vung Noy with relentless left jabs and straight right hands in all five rounds.

Vung Noy’s face was marked and red by the end of the second round.

At the close of the fourth, Long Sophy caught a tired Vung Noy against the ropes and unloaded a devastating flurry of punches to the head and body. Only the bell saved him.

Police Blotter: 8 Dec 2009

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Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:01 Bun Tharum and Cheang Sokha

A 26-year-old military police officer fired into the air during a drunken rampage in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey’s district on Saturday. The suspect began firing his gun into the air at 8:30pm after heavy drinking. Locals said it was not the first time that he used his weapon illegally in public. Other sources said that the officer was threatening his next-door neighbour. However, the 55-year-old neighbour said that he never had any disputes with the suspect.

A drunken Korean man crashed his car into a tree in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang I district on Saturday. Police said that the man was driving his Hyundai along Street 315 when he started travelling along the sidewalk and slammed into the tree. Witnesses said that the man was found dazed and bloody in his car before being taken to a local hospital by friends. The car has been impounded by authorities for further investigation.

One of seven men who used a samurai sword to attack an unarmed man was arrested in Battambang province’s Banon district on Wednesday. The suspect told police that he and his friends were riding on two motorbikes when someone shot them with a rock from a slingshot. When they identified the man they thought was the perpetrator standing beside the road, they attacked him. The victim suffered a severe chest injury. Police are hunting for the other suspects.

Twenty-seven houses were burned to the ground in a fire that rampaged through Kbal village in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town on Saturday morning. Although the village leader has not confirmed the cause of the blaze, which began around 3am, many people believed it was an act of arson. With help from villagers, firefighters were able to control the fire. No one was injured.

A 42 year-old disabled man was accused of trying to rape a 21-year-old woman in Takeo province’s Bati district on Friday. According to police, the accused had gone looking for the victim at her home. He was caught by the victim’s mother, however, as she returned home from dinner. The suspect, who has only one hand and one eye, said the victim is a psychopath who is falsely accusing him.

The Phnom Penh Post News in Brief

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Brief: Singapore grab 1st gold

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:00 Dan Riley

VIENTIANE – Singapore claimed the first gold medal Monday of the SEA Games in water polo’s men’s event. With an 8-5 victory over Thailand at the National Sports Complex, the Singaporeans completed their perfect record of 3 wins out of 3 in the round-robin, four-team competition. The Philippines grabbed the silver medal thanks to a 13-8 win against Indonesia, who ended up in bronze position, ahead of winless Thailand.

Brief: Stats from SEA Games

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:00 Andy Brouwer

VIENTIANE – In the 25 sports to be played in the 25th SEA Games, a total of 4,869 athletes will vie for 370 gold, 370 silver and 539 bronze medals. Defending champions Thailand are sending the largest contingent of 842 competitors in their SEA Games squad, including 550 athletes and 292 officials. Second-largest is host Laos with 743 (482 athletes and 261 officials), followed by Vietnam (671), Malaysia (469), Indonesia (465), Philippines (413), Myanmar (400), Singapore (392), Cambodia (204), Brunei (79) and East Timor (77). Athletics is the most popular sport, with 288 athletes taking part, followed by football (280), shooting (169), sepak-takraw (167), swimming (140), karate (130), cycling (116), archery (114), badminton (114) and judo (101). The 25 sports also include aquatics, snooker & billiards, boxing, golf, table-tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weighlifting, wushu, silat, petanque, shuttlecock, Muay Thai, fin swimming and wrestling. The SEA Games officially open on Wednesday, though the group stages of the football competitions began last week, and water polo has already finished.

Aman Mahajan shoots in Cambodia's sex and karaoke streets

Suparna Thombare / DNA
Monday, December 7, 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Mumbai: Aman Mahajan's trip to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap turned out to be quite an adventure once he started interacting with prostitutes and karaoke bar girls. The one-month adventure built up an intensity that is visible in his version of underground photography.

Aman had travelled to the city for a workshop with underground photographer Antoine D Agata. "His works are really intense. Mine are nothing compared to his," says Aman who is a creative associate with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. And though Chopra has been making some really light films, Aman's work is a complete contrast.

Interestingly, Aman interacted with and developed closed relationships will all the women he has shot in this collection of 10 photographs. "I had always shot people from a distance. In this case, I have developed bonds with, eaten with and shared a drink with these women making it intimate and personal. Most of these women became my friends and there was a special love between us over time."

Though all the women were aware of the presence of the camera, they didn't pose for the pictures. "They knew I had a camera and that I was taking photographs. But they never knew when I'm going to click them because I would keep fooling around with my camera and shoot many other things around me," says Aman.

His photographs are painted in bright reds and blacks as he shot all these photographs from nine in the night to six in the morning. "I shot many pictures in karaoke bars,where these girls sang and danced. In this process if a man liked them, they would strike a deal for the night. These places would have bright red or blue lights," heexplains.

His pictures have interesting stories behind them. One of the most striking women in his photographs is actually not a woman, he is a man (see picture on first left). In another case, it took him three days to convince one woman to let him into her house and shoot bare pictures of her. "Many people who see my pictures have their own story to tell," he says, adding, "It was the most physically and emotionally intense experience of my life."

Scene - Phnom Penh Noodle

Media Credit: Dale Johnson
Pork and meatball noodle soup

Media Credit: Dale Johnson

Dale Johnson
Issue date: 12/7/09
Section: Scene

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

We can all use some home cooking from time to time, a meal that fills us up far beyond capacity, letting us focus on the rest of our busy life rather than our empty stomachs. And what better home cooked meal than a hearty porridge or stew that warms us up on the inside as the temperature continues to drop outside?

Well, there is one hole-in-the-wall place that can satisfy both of those needs, and it's right here in Long Beach.

On the 1600 block of Cherry Avenue sits Phnom Penh Noodle, an unsuspecting home converted into a restaurant that would blend in with the rest of the houses on the block if not for the bold block lettering that adorns the outside of the restaurant. In this most unlikely of places, you will find this hidden gem, where $5 gets you a full plate of stew or porridge - Cambodian style.

While Cambodian food may be a taste of Asia that is often overlooked in America because of its unfamiliarity, its simple dishes definitely pack lots of taste and flavor. Cambodian food is unusual because of the spices and meats in its dishes, but it has one thing that everyone is looking for in a meal: it is delicious.

And it's affordable too. A regular-sized soup, a tough task to finish even when you're pretty hungry, is only $4.50 at Phnom Penh Noodle, and it is filled with lots of noodles, your choice of meat, and a savory broth. Add in some of the house hot sauce, bean sprouts and lime juice, and now you're really talking.

The beef and meatball noodle soup comes packed with lots of beef and several floating meatballs, and so many noodles that the tasty broth was nearly spilling over the large bowl. Make sure to use the hot sauce, which is available in the dining room, to give your soup a spicy kick. Besides the beef and meatball, the noodle soup comes in seafood, Phnom Penh, and beef stew varieties. Not surprisingly, the Phnom Penh is the house special and comes with both shrimp and pork, mixed in with the signature rice noodles and broth.

The porridges are just as tasty and filling as the noodle soups. They also come in chicken, fish and pork varieties, mixing in your choice of meat with a thick porridge that is sure to fill you up. Phnom Penh Noodle also has a few stir-fry noodle dishes, including beef and broccoli and seafood and broccoli.

Wash these plentiful and tasty helpings down with the free tea that Phnom Penh Noodle offers and you have one satisfying and unique meal - not bad for the five dollars you'll spend. Make sure to bring cash; that is all that the restaurant takes. And lunchtime is definitely rush hour at the noodle house, so parking can be a bit of a pain, but the wait will be well worth it.

If you are seeking out that taste of home cooking, you can't go wrong at Phnom Penh Noodle, with their unique take on the traditional ideas of soups, stews and porridges. Cambodian food belongs in the same breath as all the much loved Asian cuisines, and five bucks and a trip to the simple home of Phnom Penh Noodle will be all it takes to realize that.

A Race Changes Lives in Cambodia

Published: December 7, 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA — At first, San Mao thought he had been shot in the leg.

It was a reasonable assumption on that day, nearly 20 years ago, given that Khmer Rouge soldiers were forcing him to carry ammunition across the Cambodian countryside. But when Mr. San Mao, then 17, found he was unable to get up from the forest floor, he realized that the lower part of his right leg was gone — blown off by one of the millions of land mines planted across the country during its decades of conflict. Many mines still lurk dangerously in rural areas.

After he lost his leg, Mr. San Mao was unable to resume his work clearing fields for farming. People looked down on him, he said, and no one would give him a job.

But on Sunday morning, any sense of despair seemed well behind him. Against the majestic backdrop of the Angkor Wat temple ruins, Mr. San Mao, 35, grinned broadly as he climbed a podium to be crowned the champion of the 10-kilometer, or 6.2-mile, race for athletes with artificial legs, held as part of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon.

Mr. San Mao, who is now married with a 7-year-old daughter and works as a motorcycle taxi driver in Phnom Penh, was one of almost 3,500 disabled and able-bodied athletes from around the world who competed in various divisions.

The races for disabled people, which have been part of the Angkor Wat half marathon since its inception 13 years ago, are part of a campaign to help them gain acceptance in Cambodia, which has one of the world’s highest concentrations of people with disabilities, many of them land mine survivors.

“Many of our athletes have gone from being the most marginalized in society to national heroes,” said Christopher Minko, the founder and secretary general of the Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled), a nongovernmental organization.

While demining efforts have been under way across Cambodia for more than 15 years, the violent aftereffects of three decades of war are still being felt.

Last year, 47 people were killed and 222 injured by land mines, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Since 1979, land mines have killed 19,476 Cambodians and injured 43,926. Nongovernmental organizations say the victims are usually farmers.

One of the national heroes Mr. Minko referred to is Van Vun, 23, a Cambodian wheelchair-racing champion in multiple categories who hopes to qualify for the marathon at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Mr. Van Vun has been unable to walk since contracting polio when he was 18 months old. Growing up, he would shuffle around on his hands before he got his first wheelchair, at the age of 15.

Before he started competing, he said, people used to ignore him. Now, people stop him in the streets and neighbors in his home village near Phnom Penh ask to see his trophies.

“The situation is much better than before,” he said. “It makes me feel happy. I’m proud because I’m No. 1.”

With his legs tucked tightly underneath him, Mr. Van Vun rode his broad shoulders and muscled forearms to victory in the 21-kilometer wheelchair division Sunday at Angkor Wat, in a chair donated by Canada’s national volleyball team for the disabled.

The Cambodian volleyball league organizes both volleyball and wheelchair racing programs for more than 250 people each year, most of whom are land mine victims.

Honored by the United Nations Development Program in 2006, the group runs a national volleyball competition with 10 clubs and trains 50 wheelchair athletes like Mr. Van Vun.

The league has worked with about 2,000 people with disabilities since it was established in 1999, but Mr. Minko, an Australian, said it had nowhere near enough funds to meet Cambodian demand for sports for the disabled. “We have only touched the tip of the iceberg,” Mr. Minko said.

The success of the national volleyball team — which finished seventh at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics, beating the host nation — has helped raise the profile of disabled athletes in Cambodia.

The team, which will compete in the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled World Cup 2009 in Phnom Penh later this month, is ranked third in the world and is aiming for the top spot.

“Cambodians now recognize the ability of Cambodians with a disability, and that these people are bringing great honor and dignity to the nation through their sporting endeavors on the international arena,” Mr. Minko said.

Yann Drouet, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s physical rehabilitation project in Cambodia, said sport could provide a psychological boost to amputees as well as play an important role in their physical rehabilitation. “It demonstrates to the amputee that they can trust their device and they can do things that they didn’t think they could do after an amputation,” he said.

Yamaguchi Taku, project manager at Hearts of Gold, the Japanese nongovernmental organization that runs the Angkor Wat race, said people often lost “their hope to live” after they were injured by land mines, and some families hid disabled relatives away from the public eye.

“After the explosion, they have no idea how to live, how to survive, how to continue their lives,” he said.

Sports can reduce their feelings of isolation, he said. “It gets them back into normal life.”

Since it was first held in 1996, the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon has raised more than $218,800 to help support Cambodians with disabilities, with a focus on providing amputees with prostheses.

The unique course, which winds through the world-heritage listed Angkor Wat complex, is growing in popularity with locals and foreigners alike, attracting about 1,780 runners from countries as far away as Argentina, Finland and Russia and about 1,700 Cambodians this year.

For Mr. San Mao, who has competed in Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Korea and trains twice a week with the Cambodian Disabled Athletics Federation, the win Sunday was bittersweet.

He says he knows he could have run faster — if only he had had the proper prosthesis.

Mr. San Mao, who won his division every year from 2002 to 2007, last year broke the prosthesis he used specially for running.

Since then, he has been forced to compete with the artificial limb that he wears every day because he cannot afford to have his running prosthesis fixed, or find a donor to buy a new one.

Nevertheless, he was thrilled to return to the winner’s podium. “I feel very happy I won the prize,” he said.

Cambodia and Vietnam Step Up Their Cooperation in the Fields of Economy and Development – Monday, 7.12.2009


Posted on 8 December 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

“Sihanoukville: The Kingdom of Cambodia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam signed several agreements, especially about the economy and about investments towards the development of the country.

“High ranking officials of Cambodia and of Vietnam again expressed a common position during the 11th Cambodian-Vietnamese bilateral committee meeting about cooperation in economy, culture, science, and technology, on 4 December 2009, at the Independence Hotel in Sihanoukville. There, an Aide Memoire of the meeting was also signed. It was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, and by the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem [Phạm Gia Khiêm].

“The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ung Sean, spoke to journalists after the meeting, saying that the Aide Memoire signed is a new success in strengthening the close and the longer term relations, as well as the cooperation between both countries. He added that the results achieved are a response to intentions of the leaders of both countries, as well as of the people.

“Mr. Ung Sean added, ‘I noticed that the Cambodian-Vietnamese committee meetings are getting to a deeper level from year to year, because of the stability and the speedy growth in both countries. The Cambodian economy has also achieves progress, though it is less than that of Vietnam. Thus, what we have achieved at present reflects the economic growth and the social progress in both countries. I hope that all relevant ministries and institutions with their representatives here will use the Aide Memoire as a guide for the cooperation between both sides – Cambodia-Vietnam and Vietnam-Cambodia – in order to accomplish what we have noted down in this document.’

“Mr. Ung Sean added, ‘During the meeting, there were some issues for which we have not yet achieved solutions, and they will require further discussion. In the meantime, he asked all relevant ministries and institutions to continue to discuss them to achieve in next year’s meeting what we have not yet achieved. Some tasks need further research and decisions from top political leaders, without which other institutions of both countries cannot make decisions directly.’

“The Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, said in the meeting, ‘During this discussions, high ranking leaders of the both countries worked very hard, and we can conclude that success can be achieved through mutual trust, which includes solidarity and cooperation between both countries.’

“He expressed his appreciation for the increasingly effective and transparent cooperation from day to day, which is in line with the progress of the country, and this brings also new changes for the administration.

“Mr. Ung Sean said that during the meeting, 26 points for cooperation were discussed:

1- In the education sector: Vietnam continues to grant 100 long-term scholarships and 450 short-term scholarships to Cambodia.

2- In the field of agriculture: Cambodia continues to cooperate with Vietnam in the plantation of rubber. For this, 100,000 hectares of land have to be found, according to the request by Vietnam.

Besides this, both sides discussed also pest control, as insects destroy crops, and also the protection of some rare animals was on the agenda, so that they do not become extinct, to be achieved by the suppression illegal trafficking in these endangered species. The most important thing are good border relations, and both countries continue to demarcate the border, to be finalize in 2012.

“Also, there was discussion about cooperation in the construction of hydro-electricity dams along the Sesan II river, and both sides will try to avoid impacts on the environment. As for consulates and immigration offices, both sides decided to offer visas for Vietnamese tourists to visit Cambodia up to 30 days, while before visas were given only for 14 days.

“Relating to visas for Cambodian and Vietnamese workers, both sides agreed as a policy to allow workers with sufficient documents to stay for one year.

“In the land transport sector, Cambodia encourages Vietnam to finish the construction of National Road 78 from Ou Ya Dav to Ban Lung in Ratanakiri soon. Vietnam promised to finish it by 31 January 2010. Meanwhile, both sides promised to seek funds to build the Chrey Thom bridge soon. As for border demarcations, both sides gave orders that border markers put already must be maintained in place, but it must be ensured that there is no negative impact on the interests of both sides.

“Regarding investments, Cambodia noted Vietnam’s request to talk about the signing of a agreement to abolish overlapping double taxes.

“According to news from the Vietnam News Agency, published on 5 December 2009, Vietnam plans to invest US$2 billion in 2010.”

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2117, 6-7.12.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 7 December 2009

Amnesty Calls for Expanded Tribunal Prosecution

By Pin Sisovann, VOA Khmer
Original report from Washington
07 December 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Amnesty International has called on prosecutors at the Khmer Rouge tribunal to expand their strategy and reveal their decision publicly, following the appointment of a new UN-appointed prosecutor to the court.

“Three years into the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the prosecution has identified only ten suspects as being ‘senior leaders’ or ‘most responsible’ for massive human rights violations that took place between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979,” the group said in a Dec. 4 statement, referring to the tribunal by its official name. “Unless more cases are investigated and prosecuted, it is highly questionable whether the current caseload would fulfill the mandate of the tribunal.”

The statement follows the appointment of British attorney Andrew Cayley as the UN’s international prosecutor and a ruling by tribunal judges to investigate five more suspects beyond five currently in detention.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and other Cambodian officials have said more indictments could destabilize the country. Hun Sen said last week he would rather see the UN-backed court fail than have “war” return.

The UN’s first prosecutor, Robert Petit, who resigned earlier this year, originally filed for more indictments, putting him at loggerheads with his Cambodian counterpart, Chea Leang, who echoed Hun Sen’s warning. Only a split decision along national and international lines within the Pre-Trial Chamber of the court moved those indictments to the investigation stage.

“In light of his predecessors’ success in warding off interference and expanding the prosecution’s cases, Amnesty International urges the International Co-Prosecutor to develop a comprehensive prosecution strategy that reflects the crimes committed under its jurisdiction,” the group said Friday. “Such a strategy should include taking into account the types of crimes, the context in which they were committed and the communities and groups affected…. Should the new International Co-Prosecutor decide not to conduct further investigations into other crimes nor to prosecute other suspects, the people of Cambodia, including survivors and their relatives around the world, deserve an explaination.”

Government Awaits Answers on Uighur Reports

By Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
07 December 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

The government is awaiting a report from the UN’s refugee office in Cambodia, which has a group of Uighurs from western China under its care, a government spokesman confirmed Monday.

UNHCR has declined to comment on whether it is holding the Uighurs, from an ethnic Turkic minority, despite media reports of their arrival and reports from government officials they are under the care of refugee agency.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Monday he has spoken to a UNHCR official who confirmed that 22 Uighurs, including three children, are now under UNHCR care in Phnom Penh.

The ministry is now waiting for recommendations from UNHCR on their final decision for the 22 “persons of concern,” Koy Kuong said, adding that the government would cooperate with the agency.

The Uighurs fled unrest in the western province of Xianjiang in July, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Monday the government had not yet received any information from UNHCR. If the government learns the Uighurs have no legal documents, they will be returned to their port of entry, Khieu Sopheak said.

However, Cheng Sophors, an investigator for the rights group Lichado, said refugees seldom have legal documents. The Cambodian government must understand that they’ve fled to Cambodia for safety, he said.

Chan Saveth, investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said Monday the government must cooperate with UNHCR under its UN obligations.

The Uighurs must be safeguarded during their stay in Cambodia, Chan Saveth said. If the group is sent back to China, they could be executed, he said.

Chinese Embassy officials could not be reached for comment.

Chea Sim, Head of Ruling Party, Hospitalized

By Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
07 December 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday warned critics not to speculate over the health condition of Chea Sim, president of the ruling Cambodian People's Party and of the Senate.

Chea Sim is currently in Singapore, receiving medical attention, after he was sent from Calmette hospital on Sunday. Chea Sim suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes.

Speaking at an inauguration of a hydroelectric dam in Kampot province, Hun Sen confirmed Chea Sim was in the Singaporean hospital, for fluctuating blood pressure, and he called for order within the CPP.

Cambodia Prepares for Climate Conference

By Chiep Mony, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
07 December 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Cambodia will ask the industrialized nations of the world to reduce greenhouse gas emission during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next week, an environment official said Saturday.

“We will call on industrialized countries to cut down on much of their emissions of greenhouse gases to resolve the climate change problem,” said Tin Ponlok, deputy director of the Ministry of Environment and one of the Cambodian officials who works on climate change.

Cambodia will also urge the industrialized nations to provide developing countries with technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and money to respond to national problems resulting from climate change, Tin Ponlok said.

The Climate Change Conference will be held Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.

Developing countries have received an estimated $300 million for help adapting to climate change, but experts say the real need will reach billions of dollars.

Meanwhile, Cambodia has taken its own measures to respond to climate change, including a program of national activities approved by the Council of Ministers in 2006, Tin Ponlok said, without elaborating.

Industrializedcountries like China, Russia and the United States are among the worst global polluters and thought to be responsible for global warming, through greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide and methane.

In October, the UN’s resident coordinator in Cambodia, Douglas Broderick, warned Cambodia that failure to deal with climate change could undermine the nation’s “millennium development goals,” causing problems in the economy and in social development.

Over the past five years, Cambodia has suffered floods, droughts and storms that could be attributed to climate change, said Tep Bunnarith, executive director of the Culture and Environment Preservation Association.

UN climate conference opens with pressure on US

Delegates follow the opening of the Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. The largest and most important U.N. climate change conference in history opened Monday, with organizers warning diplomats from 192 nations that this could be the best, last chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

COPENHAGEN – The largest and most important U.N. climate change conference in history opened Monday, with organizers warning diplomats from 192 nations that this could be the last, best chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming.

Negotiations have dragged on for two years and only recently have shown signs of breakthroughs with new commitments from major emitters such as the United States, China and India to control greenhouse gas emissions.

In a signal the Obama administration is prepared to act without congressional action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it has concluded that greenhouse gases are endangering Americans' health and must be regulated.

The two-week conference convened in an upbeat mood after a series of promises by rich and emerging economies to curb their greenhouse gases. Still, major issues have yet to be resolved.

At stake is a deal that aims to wean the world away from fossil fuels and other pollutants to greener sources of energy, and to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from rich to poor countries every year over decades to help them adapt to climate change.

Scientists say without such an agreement, the Earth will face the consequences of ever-rising temperatures, leading to the extinction of plant and animal species, the flooding of coastal cities, more extreme weather events, drought and the spread of diseases.

With the commitments remaining short of scientists' demands, the pressure was on those major emitters for bigger cuts. Swedish Environment Minister Anders Carlgren, speaking for the European Union, said it would be "astonishing" if President Barack Obama came for the final negotiation session "to deliver just what was announced in last week's press release."

The U.S. EPA said the scientific evidence surrounding climate change clearly shows that greenhouse gases "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people" and that the pollutants — mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels — should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

American business groups have strongly argued against tackling global warming through the Clean Air Act, saying it is less flexible and more costly than the bill being considered before Congress. On Monday, some of those groups questioned the timing of the EPA announcement, calling it political.

Climate activists in Copenhagen said the decision could help the Obama administration move ahead on climate policy without waiting for action from Congress.

"The question is will they use it that way, or are they using it as a bargaining chip to threaten action, and get Congress to act instead," said Damon Moglen, of Greenpeace USA.

Conference president Connie Hedegaard said the key to an agreement is finding a way to raise and channel public and private financing to poor countries for years to come to help them fight the effects of climate change.

Hedegaard — Denmark's former climate minister — said if governments miss their chance at the Copenhagen summit, a better opportunity may never come.

"This is our chance. If we miss it, it could take years before we got a new and better one. If we ever do," she said.

The conference opened with video clips of children from around the globe urging delegates to help them grow up without facing catastrophic warming. On the sidelines, climate activists competed for attention to their campaigns on deforestation, clean energy and low-carbon growth.

Mohamad Shinaz, an activist from the Maldives, plunged feet-first into a tank with nearly 200 gallons (750 liters) of frigid water to illustrate what rising sea levels were doing to his island nation.

"I want people to know that this is happening," Shinaz said as the water reached up to his chest. "We have to stop global warming."

Leah Wickham, a 24-year-old from Fiji, broke down in tears as she handed a petition from 10 million people asking the negotiators at Copenhagen to come up with a deal to save islands like hers.

"I'm on the front lines of climate change," she said.

Denmark's prime minister said 110 heads of state and government will attend the final days of the conference. Obama's decision to attend the end of the conference, not the middle, was taken as a signal that an agreement was getting closer.

"The evidence is now overwhelming" that the world needs early action to combat global warming, said Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an U.N. expert panel.

He defended climate research in the face of a controversy over e-mails pilfered from a British university, which global warming skeptics say show scientists have been conspiring to hide evidence that doesn't fit their theories.

"The recent incident of stealing the e-mails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC," he told the conference.

The first week of the conference will focus on refining the complex text of a draft treaty. But major decisions will await the arrival next week of environment ministers and the heads of state in the final days of the conference, which ends Dec. 18.

"The time for formal statements is over. The time for restating well-known positions is past," said the U.N.'s top climate official, Yvo de Boer. "Copenhagen will only be a success it delivers significant and immediate action."

Among those decisions is a proposed fund of $10 billion each year for the next three years to help poor countries create climate change strategies. After that, hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed every year to set the world on a new energy path and adapt to new climates.

"The deal that we invite leaders to sign up on will be one that affects all aspects of society, just as the changing climate does," said Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen. "Negotiators cannot do this alone, nor can politicians. The ultimate responsibility rests with the citizens of the world, who will ultimately bear the fatal consequences if we fail to act."

A study released by the U.N. Environment Program on Sunday indicated that pledges by industrial countries and major emerging nations fall just short of the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that scientists have said are needed to keep average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C (3.6 F) by the end of the century.

In Vienna, another senior U.N. official warned that the fight against climate change must not "cannibalize" development financing.

Kandeh Yumkella, director-general of the U.N Industrial Development Organization, said poor countries need "fresh money" to combat global warming, not funds diverted from efforts to improve maternal health or fight world hunger.


Associated Press writers Karl Ritter and Charles J. Hanley in Copenhagen, Dina Cappiello and H. Josef Hebert in Washington, and Veronika Oleksyn in Vienna contributed to this report.

Hun Sen praises China for building hydropower plants in Cambodia


(Posted by CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen praised China on Monday for building hydropower plants in his country.

Making speech during his visit to a 193-megawatt hydropower plant project being built in Kampot province, Hun Sen said "China is building batteries for Cambodia."

Hun Sen said China is well-known in building hydropower not only in China, but also in some African countries and in Cambodia in particular.

The already half-way completion of 193-megawatt hydropower plant being built in Kampot province, 150 kilometers southwest of Phnom Penh--is invested by Sinohydro Corporation from China.

Sinohydro Corporation is building five hydropower plants in the area and once they are to be completed in 2011, they will generate193 megawatts of power.

The power will not only be used in Kampot province, but also to be supplied to Phnom Penh residents.

Besides the above project, at least four more hydropower plants in two provinces of Pursat and Koh Kong will be built by Chinese companies.

So far, two hydropower plants located in Kirirom mountain area, about 120 kilometers west of Phnom Penh --also built by a Chinese company are already put for operation and are producing 30 megawatts.

Hun Sen also said Monday that while Cambodia is still short of power supplies, the government has been spending about 20 million U.S. dollars per year as a subsidy to keep the price of electricity stable despite the higher price of the oil in global markets. 

Editor: Li Xianzhi

China, Cambodia to further strengthen exchange and cooperation in press


(Posted by CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- A senior Cambodian press official Monday met with a visiting Chinese press delegation and held talks over further enhancing exchange and cooperation of the press between the two countries.

Svay Sitha, secretary of state of the Office of the Council of Ministers and also the head of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the office, briefed the delegation, led by Secretary of the All-China Journalist Association Zhu Shouchen, about the press situation in Cambodia, and the role and duty of his Unit, which was established on June 22, 2009.

He said that the Unit has been well cooperated with all the government's institutions and responded to the national and international media on time pertaining to a certain question upon their requests.

"This has brought attention for the general public both inside and outside the country to warded our Unit's work to serve the interest of the public as a whole about the factual situation in the country," Svay Sitha said.

The Unit sends every two-day report of the key relevant news of national and international to the Prime Minister Hun Sen and Sok An, deputy prime minister and minister of Council of Ministers.

On his part, Zhu Shouchen said that the main purpose of his visit to Cambodia is to exchange views as well as enhancing the bilateral cooperation with the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers.

"As Your Excellency (Svay Sitha) is aware that the relations between Cambodia and China has been very good, at the same time our cooperation in the field of press and communication also plays a key role in contributing the improving of the two countries ties," Zhu said during the talks, also attended by Cambodia's senior officials and Chinese diplomats.

Cambodia, since the UN-sponsored election in 1993, has 369 newspapers, 154 magazines with the population of 13.5 million.

The six-member Chinese press delegation arrived here on Sunday to pay three-day visit.

Editor: Mu Xuequan