Sunday, 20 December 2009

Democrats slam Jatuporn for distorting classified document

Published on December 20, 2009

(CAAI News Media)

Abhisit says use of violence not govt policy, especially with neighbour

The Democrat Party yesterday condemned opposition MP Jatuporn Promphan for distorting a classified Foreign Ministry document and called for an investigation into who leaked the document.

Democrat Party spokesman Buranat Samutaraks said the party had condemned Jatuporn, a Pheu Thai Party MP, for distorting facts and creating misunderstanding over three points:

Giving misleading information that the classified document mentioned a time frame for assassinating former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Buranat said the document did not include any sentence that mentions any form of violence by the government.

Lying about declaring war on Cambodia. Buranat said the document, in fact, mentioned about how the government plans to normalise bilateral relations.

Misleading the public that the document revealed there had been interference in the justice system by a person with political clout outside the government.

Buranat said by releasing classified information to Cambodia, Jatuporn had made the neighbouring country aware of Thailand's security information. He questioned if Jatuporn had leaked the classified information to Phnom Penh in return for the information Cambodia had provided the red shirts about what Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday that Jatuporn had interpreted the classified document beyond what was the truth and - whatever report the government received - using violence had never been one of the government's policies, especially when dealing with neighbouring countries.

Asked if the government would take action against Jatuporn or officials who released the information, Abhisit said everyone must be subject to the law.

He added that leaks of classified information occur in every government and when the Democrat Party was the opposition party, it also received classified information from state agencies - but it used it responsibly.

Thepthai Senpong, spokesman of the Democrat Party leader, said Hun Sen had probably received the classified information and that was why he had adopted a strong stance towards Thailand.

He said Jatuporn had given his own analysis and had distorted the classified information.

Thanee Thongpakdi, deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Information Department, said the classified information that Jatuporn had revealed was a highly confidential report on how the Foreign Ministry analyses relations between Thailand and Cambodia and guidelines for implementation, which he could not explain in detail, but it did not state any action to be taken against Thaksin.

He said the report was supposed to be sent directly to the PM and some copies were sent to concerned agencies. The Foreign Ministry has set up a panel to discover how the document was leaked.

Jatuporn yesterday challenged Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya to take legal action against him for making public the ministry's classified information.

He said a person who was on the panel that drafted the document said the annex stated that if Thaksin formed a government in exile in Cambodia, the government would sever ties and use military force against the country.

He said he might today reveal a second set of documents, comprising nine pages, unless Abhisit made a statement to his satisfaction.

Probe Of Classified Thai-Cambodian Relations Document Leak Underway

(CAAI News Media)

COPENHAGEN, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- Thailand's Foreign Affairs Ministry has set up a committee to investigate the leak of classified documents on relations between Thailand and its neighbour Cambodia recently aired by Jatuporn Prompan, a key member of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Thailand News Agency (TNA) reported quoting Panithan Watanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, as saying.

Dr Panithan said concerned officials and the Office of the Attorney General have been appointed to investigate why the document was leaked to Jatuporn, who is also a member of parliament for the opposition Puea Thai Party, and to other UDD key members.

Emphasising that the document focuses on existing relations between the two neighbouring countries and ways to resolve their problems, Dr Panithan said he understood that it would be difficult to find culprits.

The ministry on Friday told journalists that the document sent to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva did not specify ways to "eliminate" fugitive, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as charged by "a certain group of people."

Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Thani Thongpakdi on Friday said the ministry will seek advice from public prosecutors on a possible lawsuit against Jatuporn for violating the 1997 Information Act and a 2001 state regulation.

Relations between Thailand and Cambodia deteriorated after the Cambodian government in early November appointed Thaksin as its economic adviser.

Thaksin's government was overthrown in a bloodless coup in September 2006. Thaksin is now on the run from a two-year jail term and is in self-exile overseas after a Thai court convicted him of abusing power while he was prime minister when he helped his former wife buy land in a prime Bangkok commercial district at an unusually discounted price.

Meanwhile, Thai Deputy Interior Minister Thaworn Senneam said in Bangkok that he believed that the leak of the classified documents by Mr Jatuporn was aimed at agitating UDD supporters to come out in full force early next month to topple the current government.

Cambodia looking forward to Chinese vice president's visit: officials


(CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian government and the people are looking forward to the official visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Cambodian senior officials said on Saturday.

Khieu Kanharith, information minister and the spokesman of the Royal Government of Cambodia, told Xinhua that "Vice President Xi Jinping will make an official visit in Cambodia from Dec. 20 to 22at the invitation of the Royal Government of Cambodia. It is yet another significant event on the relations between Cambodia and China and have been paid highly attentions by our both governments."

He expressed his hope that the Xi's visit will be sure to further consolidate and enhance the traditional friendship relations between the two countries.

"The traditional friendly relationship between Cambodia and China is built and fostered by the old generation of the leaders of our two countries, we always cherish such relations, " Khieu stressed, adding that under the joint efforts of the two countries in recent years, the friendly cooperation between the two countries have been deepened and enjoyed all-round development.

Moreover, he expressed his belief that strengthening the friendly relations with China and developing two countries' economic and trade relations serve the fundamental interests of both peoples.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also said that Xi's visit will push forward the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations between Cambodia and China to a new level.

Koy Kuong said during Xi's visit, he will be received in Royal Audience by King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace. Xi will also pay a courtesy call on the Senate President Chea Sim, the National Assembly President Heng Samrin, and hold official talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Koy said.

At the same time, Xi will also witness a signing ceremony with Prime Minister Hun Sen of 14 relevant documents on cooperation, he added.

Cambodia is the last leg of Xi's four-nation visit which has taken him to Japan, South Korea and Myanmar.

Editor: Han Jingjing

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Submitted a Funding Proposal for US$46 Million for 2010 and More Than US$47 Million for 2011 – Saturday, 19.12.2009

Posted on 20 December 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

(CAAI News Media)

“Phnom Penh: An official of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal stated on 18 December 2009 that the investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal decided to charge the former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, with an additional crime, genocide, besides two previous charges: crimes against humanity and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 [“The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three additional protocols that set the standards in international law for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war”].

“The additional charge was made a day after the Khmer Rouge Tribunal sent Khieu Samphan to a hospital for a medical checkup and after his two comrades Ieng Sary and Nuon Chea were accused with the same charge on 17 December 2008.

“The head of Public Affairs Office of the tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, told Koh Santephea via phone on 18 December 2009 that the investigating judges decided to charge Khieu Samphan in addition with genocide.

“Regarding the judgment to sentence [former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch to serve time in prison, no official date has been specified. But according to Mr. Reach Sambath, the tribunal will announce the judgment on Duch in early 2010, the date has not yet been set.

“Mr. Reach Sambath added that the investigating judges plan to finish the investigations for the Case 002 in the second week of January 2010. However, the tribunal has not yet specified the date for the hearing on this case. The Case 002 relates to four accused, who are in detention: Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, and Ieng Thirith. All are old and have diferent illnesses.

“The hearings of Case 002 are planed to start in early 2010.

“In the meantime, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, announced on 18 December 2009 that a proposal for funds for the tribunal, to support the process in 2010 and in 2011, was submitted to the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNKRT) and to partner countries of the Group of Interested States of the tribunal, during a meeting in New York this week. The presentation of the proposal was led by the acting head and the deputy acting head of the Administration of the tribunal, Mr. Tony Kranh and Mr. Knut Rosandhaug.

“The announcement went on to say that according to an estimation of the funds needed for this court for the process of hearings in the upcoming two years, the ECCC is requesting approval of the requested funds of US$46 million for 2010 and US$47.3 for 2011, where the international side of the ECCC needs US$34.5 million for 2010 and US$35.6 million for 2011, including reserve funds, while the Cambodian side needs US$11.5 million for 2010 and US$11.8 million for 2011, including reserve funds.

“The annual expenses might increase, because the ECCC has to conduct more activities which need full time work, and also because the trial chamber will start to work full time from mid 2010.

“The requested funds cover also expenses for the work of defense lawyers relating to other cases. The actual 2010 to 2011 funds of the ECCC will be announced publicly after they will have been approved by the partner countries of the ECCC.”

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6835, 19-20.12.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 19 December 2009

Thaksin supporters flock to Cambodia

Published: 20/12/2009

(CAAI News Media)

SA KAEO : About 200 Puea Thai Party members and supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra were on their way to Phnom Penh yesterday to meet the fugitive former prime minister.

Thaksin supporters, mainly from Bangkok, Rayong and other central provinces, were seen crossing the border checkpoint at Aranyaprathet district in the province. They boarded buses and vans waiting for them at Poipet, the Cambodian border town, to take them to the Cambodian capital.

About 30 of them complained that Thai authorities attempted to block them from entering Cambodia. But Pol Col Charn Wongwaimethee of the Burapha Task Force denied authorities tried to disrupt their travel plans.

About 30 people did not carry passports so they could not be allowed to leave Thai territory, he said.

Thaksin returned to Cambodia on Dec 13 to smooth the return to Thailand of Sivarak Chutipong, the Thai engineer from the Cambodia Air Traffic Services who was convicted of spying charges.

Mr Sivarak was granted a pardon on Dec 12 and returned to Bangkok last Monday.

Thaksin was appointed an adviser to Phnom Penh in October. This was his second visit since being handed the advisory role.

The Cambodian government cited close relations with Thaksin as a reason to exempt Mr Sivarak from his seven-year jail term. Relations with Cambodia plunged in October after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed Thaksin as his adviser, rejected a Thai call to extradite him to serve a jail term in Thailand, and criticised the judicial process in the Thaksin case.

The former prime minister was sentenced in absentia in October last year for abusing his authority in the Ratchadaphisek land deal by aiding his ex-wife Khunying Potjaman. More cases against him are pending.

Belgium Gives 550,360 Euros for Cambodia’s Landmine Klearance

Saturday, 19 December 2009 09:54 DAP-NEWS/ Ek Madra

(CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH: A UK-based Mines Advisory Group (MAG) announced late Friday to provide 550,360 euros for Cambodia to clear mines in two provinces for period of two years.

MAG, which has been helped Cambodia to clear the explosive devices since 1992, said the money will be spent for clearing mines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in northwestern provinces of Battambang and Pailin where reporting the highest numbers of mine/UXO casualties in this former war-torn nation, said the release.

“MAG will utilize this funding to deploy one manual clearance team, one Mine Detection Dog team and one vegetation clearance machine that will provide safe land to benefit the poorest and most marginalized members of communities,” said the release.

Leng Sochea, spokesman of Cambodia Mine Action Group (CMAG), welcome the aid and said such the assistance enable the de-miners to clear more farmland for the poor in the countryside where 85 percent of the country's population lived.

He said although the money will go to MAG not CMAG, but it is however another plus for Cambodia.

"This is a small aid but means a lots in term of clearing landmines in our country because MAG works closely with the local authorities," said Sochea.

"MAG goes to de-mine where farmers want them to do so, this will help us to reduce poverty," he said.

An estimated 30 percent out of its total 13.5 million lived under the poverty line of making less than a dollar per day.

“MAG is proud to be able to bring support from a new donor to the mine action sector in Cambodia,” said Jamie Franklin, Country Programme Manager for MAG Cambodia.

“Cambodia needs landmine and UXO clearance to support socio-economic development and poverty alleviation efforts and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Safe land is needed so that people can grow enough food, and for infrastructure like water supplies and schools.”

Belgium has long taken an interest in dealing with landmines and other ordnance, becoming the first country to ban anti-personnel landmines in 1995 and also the first country to ban cluster munitions in 2006.

According to Belgian Ambassador in Bangkok, Rudi Veestraeten, “By funding landmine and UXO clearance activities in Cambodia, Belgium wishes to re-affirm that it is committed to promoting and achieving a world free of landmines and cluster munitions.”

“My country played a pioneering role in the campaign for international conventions banning landmines and cluster munitions,” said Veestraeten in the release.

Belgium started supporting landmine clearance in the 1990’s and is now also funding physical rehabilitation centers and prevention activities in Cambodia.

This financial support and previous development activities supported by Belgium in the sectors of health and education, showed the commitment of the Belgian government towards development in Cambodia, it said.

Sochea also said that there are three de-mining agencies in Cambodia including CMAG, Hallo Trust and MAG.

Sochea said over the last 17 years, the three de-mining agencies have removed more than 800,000 anti-personal landmines, more than 1 million UXO devices and also 20,000 anti-tanks mines.

Cambodia is one of the world’s most heavily landmines and unexploded ordnance buried of between 4-6 million which remained from its 30 years of civil war and killed an estimated 60,000 since 1992 many of them are children.

"If we could receive $330 million per year from donor, we could clear them all by the end of 2019," Sochea said.

The Belgian government also supports MAG’s work in Iraq, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thailand Says Relations Same if Cambodia Ignores Conditions

Saturday, 19 December 2009 06:14 DAP-NEWS

(CAAI News Media)

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday said that relations with Cambodia will not improve soon because Thailand is not yet ready to change its stance.

“If the conditions are not changed, relations would remain the same for a period of time,” he was quoted as saying by the Nation.

Thailand has set as a prerequisite Cambodia removing fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from his position of adviser to the Cambodian government and extraditing him to Bangkok if the country wants ties to be normalized. Thaksin’s appointment is seen by the Thai ruling party as interference in domestic affairs and an insult to the Thai justice system.

However, Cambodia gave short shrift to the Thai remarks.

Khieu Kahnarith, government spokesman and Information Minister, confirmed that Cambodia will not remove Thaksin from his position as Hun Sen´s and the government’s advisor on economic matters.

The premier has stated that Thaksin can enter Cambodia at any time he wishes.

Since his assignment as advisor on November 4, Thakisin has Visited Cambodia twice on November 10 and on December 13.

The yellow shirts linked to the ruling Thai party have demanded Cambodia’s 11th century Preah Vihear temple be given to Thailand, he added. “We have never interfered Thai internal affairs,” the premier said, highlighting that former Thai PM Chuan Lee Pai tried to bar Cambodia’s membership of ASEAN. Lee said at that time that Cambodia had no senate.

“The main matter between Thailand and Cambodia is Thailand troops invaded Cambodia soil and occupied areas at Cambodia Buddhist pagoda near 11th century Preah Vihear temple,” Hun Sen continued, stressing his friendship for former Thai PM Thaksin, now a Cambodian government economic advisor. “He is my friend,” the premier said.

Cambodia has terminated all projects provided by the Thai government but a Thai General who sent by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn confirmed that all projects of a high school in Kompong Thom province belong to the Princess, not the Thai government.

Football Cup to Begin Jan 7

Saturday, 19 December 2009 06:14 DAP-NEWS

(CAAI News Media)

The Hun Sen Football Cup will run January 7 to March 6, 2010, a press release from the Football Federation of Cambodia obtained on Friday said. First prize is US$15,000.

The tournament will be the 4th Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen Cup, the press release added, with 32 teams from all over Cambodia competing in Siem Reap, Battambang, Svay Rieng and Kep from January 7-16 for places. The league will move to Phnom Penh January 30. A referee test will be held on December 24, 2009 at National Sports Complex in Olympic Stadium.

But some clubs lack funds. Lor Salakhan, owner of the Khemara football club, told DAP news that his club is bankrupt. “We need a sponsor for joining the tournament this year,” he said.

Nuy Soman, assistant coach for Phnom Penh Empire Football Club, said his club is training hard. “We are optimistic,” he added.

The Phnom Penh Empire Football Club won in 2008, receiving US$15,000. The annual league is named after Prime Minister Hun Sen and has become the major tournament in the country. Ouk Sotheacheat, secretary general of FFC could not reached for comment yesterday.

Party chief meets Cambodia’s top Buddhist clerics

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh (L) visits Patriarch Bukri in Phnom Penh on Dec. 18 (Photo: Vietnam News Agency)

(CAAI News Media)

Saturday ,Dec 19,2009

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh on Dec. 18 visited Supreme Patriarchs Tep Vong and Bukri, leaders of the Mohanikai and Thommayutnikai Buddhist sects, in Cambodia.

The Party leader said the friendship and cooperation between the people of Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as between their Buddhists, are considered valuable assets and a factor that forms strength for both nations.

Both Patriarchs Tep Vong and Bukri thanked Vietnam’s Party, government and volunteer soldiers for their help to the Cambodian people’s struggles to eradicate the genocide risks and to recover their nation and religion.

The same day, General Secretary Manh also called at the Vietnam Embassy in the capital city of Phnom Penh.

The general secretary asked overseas Vietnamese to abide by Cambodia’s laws and join hands with the local people to foster the country’s national construction and development.

He also urged the Vietnamese community to preserve Vietnam’s cultural identities and contribute further to the solidarity and friendship between the two countries.

General Secretary Manh and his high-ranking delegation also visited the southern province of Preah Sihanouk.

Source: Vietnam News Agency