Sunday, 28 February 2010


via CAAI News Media

NAM NEWS NETWORK Feb 27th, 2010

BANGKOK, Feb. 27 (NNN-TNA) — Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday downplayed concerns over the planned weekend visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to Cambodian troops near the Thai border, saying security measures along the border have been well-prepared.

Mr Suthep, who oversees national security, commented following news reports of Cambodian English-language newspaper the Phnom Penh Post that Mr Hun Sen will visit his troops near the Thai border in Battambang province on Saturday, while soldiers in Kampong Chhnang province will also conduct military exercises and will test launch BM-21 rockets on March 5.

The deputy Thai premier said it is normal for Mr Hun Sen to travel wherever he wants, but the Thai government has already put security measures in place along the Thai-Cambodian border. He suggested there was no need for anything in addition.

“I don’t believe that the arms test will threaten Thailand’s security,” Mr Suthep said. “The Thai army stands ready to protect our national sovereignty.”

Mr Hun Sen was earlier quoted as telling a Phnom Penh newspaper that the rocket tests are aimed to strengthen the abilities of the country’s military. Though the rockets are capable of travelling 40 km., troops would normally fire them at less than half the distance.

?We are not flexing our muscles ? this is work to strengthen the abilities of the military in national defence,? Mr Hun Sen said.

The Cambodian leader, who earlier described Mr Thaksin as his true friend, appointing him adviser to the Cambodian government, however dismissed accusations that his trip is linked to Thailand’s court verdict on the Bt76 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) frozen assets of his friend on Friday, saying this weekend’s planned visit is a “normal” visit to the soldiers–do not try to link the problems in Bangkok on February 26 to my visit on February 27.?

Early this month, the Cambodian premier visited his troops stationed near the Thai border and the ancient Preah Vihear temple, claiming that the visit is aimed at boosting the spirit of the Cambodian troops.

But he was denied entry by Thai authorities to the Ta Muen Thom ruins which located in Thailand’s Surin province for safety concerns as supporters of anti-Thaksin movement People’s Alliance for Democracy were rallying not far from the renowned ruins. — NNN-TNA

During Five Years, Cambodia Has Spent About US$500 Million on Information Technology – Saturday, 27.2.2010
via CAAI News Media

Posted on 28 February 2010
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 653

“Phnom Penh: The president of the Information Communication Technology Association of Cambodia [Yellow Pages: “Website not working” - maybe later again?] and president of the Young Entrepreneur Association of Cambodia, Mr. Ken Chanthan, told Deum Ampil yesterday that during the recent five years, about US$500 million were spent on information technology in Cambodia, and each year the expenses increases by 30%. Thus, Cambodia should have the ability to create software on its own. He added, ‘In Cambodia, the access to computer and information technology is just around 5% to 10%, and most of the computers being used nowadays are clone computers [no-brand-name computers] because they are cheaper and it is easier for students and civil servants to buy them.

“He stressed that actually, in developed countries, Information and Communication Technology is an important field used to create jobs for people through the provision of services, such as the creation of software to be sold abroad, or for the publication of information in the country and abroad. Also, information technology can be used in small and medium scale industries to promote competition in productivity, or to promote markets, like in the tourism sector, where ICT can be used for booking airplane tickets and hotel rooms, and for checking information about various touristic sites. Now, Cambodia needs to change to more use of information and communication technology in order to develop the country to progress, like other countries in the world.

“He went on to say that on 4 and 5 March 2010, an international company from Korea will make a visit to study the possibilities of software development in cooperation with Cambodian companies, as Cambodia has the potential with Information Technology students who can cooperate to produce software. In addition, labor in Cambodia is cheap. Therefore, if Korean companies can establish a company to produce software in Cambodia, it will boost the information technology sector to progress quickly, contributing to the development of the country, and it will create employment for Cambodian people.

“According to a report from an information technology training center about the year 2009, there were 45,700 computers being used in Cambodia, but in 2010, the number might increase up to 56,300 computers.”

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #421, 27.2.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 27 February 2010

Thailand ruling party urges Thaksin to quit politics

Supporters of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra react during the Supreme Court verdict on the fortune of Thaksin at the opposition's headquarters in Bangkok. Thailand's fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters have vowed to fight back against a court order seizing more than half of his $2.3 billion fortune.

A supporter of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra holds a book with Thaksin's picture on the cover in Bangkok February 27, 2010. Thailand's top court on Friday seized $1.4 billion of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra's family assets for abuse of his power, far less than expected, in a ruling that could appease some anti-government forces but protesters said they will continue to rally in mid-March. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

via CAAI News Media

by Apilaporn Vechakij Apilaporn Vechakij – Sat Feb 27, 2:57 am ET
BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand's ruling party on Saturday urged deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra to leave the political stage after the top court ordered the seizure of more than half of his 2.3-billion-dollar fortune.

The fugitive tycoon said the verdict had made him a "political martyr" of an elitist political system, but politicians from the country's ruling coalition said he should accept the ruling and stop inciting his supporters to protest. Key facts of the case against ex-Thai PM Thaksin

"Every side should accept the verdict. We want to ask Thaksin to quit the political movement, because if he quits the Red Shirts will quit too," Theptai Seanapong, a spokesman for the ruling Democrat party, told reporters.

The "Red Shirts", so-called for the colour they wear, are a strident political group who view Thaksin as a hero for his populist stance against the country's establishment and have held numerous street rallies to back him.

After reading a seven-hour verdict on Friday, broadcast on television and radio, Supreme Court judges said the government should seize 46 billion baht (1.4 billion dollars) of the assets from the sale of Thaksin's telecoms firm.

But they said the twice-elected former leader, who was removed from office in a coup in 2006, could hold on to the money he had already accumulated before taking office in 2001. Key dates in Thaksin saga

Thaksin reacted to the verdict in a video speech from exile in Dubai, where he is living to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption at home, calling the ruling "very political" and a "joke for the world".

His lawyers Saturday said they would consider submitting fresh evidence to the Supreme Court and would mull an appeal to the World Court.

"Our team of lawyers will consider an appeal within 30 days. There are many regulations to consider," said Thaksin's lawyer Noppadan Pattama.

Despite Thai security forces bracing for violence there was no sign of trouble from Thaksin's supporters following the court decision, police said.

Up to 35,000 extra security personnel remained on watch across the country, with riot police still on guard at the courthouse, but Thaksin's political allies vowed to continue their battle without violence.

"We can protest but peacefully. It's not only the duty of the party but everyone to fight for justice," said Chavalit Yongchaiyuth, chairman of the Thaksin-allied Puea Thai party.

The Red Shirts have vowed to hold rallies from March 12 in Bangkok, leading many to fear a repeat of scenes last April when riots at an Asian summit and in Bangkok left two people dead and scores injured.

The government had applied for the seizure of proceeds from the sale of shares owned by Thaksin and his family in his Shin Corp telecoms giant, which was bought by Singapore-based Temasek holdings in January 2006.

The judges said in the ruling that Thaksin had used his power to benefit Shin Corp and illegally hid his ownership of the shares, among other graft charges.

The case goes to the heart of societal rifts that have dogged Thailand since the coup.

The Red Shirts, largely from Thaksin's stronghold in the nation's poor north and northeast, loved his populist policies and accuse the current government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of being an unelected elite.

The tycoon's opponents in the Bangkok-based circles around the palace, military and bureaucracy accuse Thaksin of being corrupt, dictatorial and of threatening Thailand's widely revered monarchy.

Thailand on alert as Thaksin fans weigh fortune seizure

via CAAI News Media

February 27, 2010

Thailand was on alert for civil unrest Saturday as loyal fans of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra weighed a court ruling that seized more than half his 2.3-billion-dollar fortune a day earlier.

Some 150 riot police stood guard outside the country's top court that on Friday stripped the fugitive tycoon of the money they said he had accumulated by abusing his power as prime minister.

Thousands of other security personnel manned checkpoints and key buildings around Bangkok despite commentators saying the court's verdict was an apparant compromise aimed at avoiding violence.

"We are ready for any situation," said senior police officer Weerawith Chanchamroen.

After reading out a seven-hour verdict broadcast on national television and radio, the judges said the government should seize 46 billion baht (1.4 billion US dollars) of the assets from the sale of Thaksin's telecoms firm.

But they said the twice-elected former leader, who was removed from office in a coup in 2006, could hold on to the money he had already accumulated before taking office in 2001. Key facts of the case against ex-Thai PM Thaksin

Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption at home, said in a video speech from exile in Dubai that he was the "political martyr" of a conspiracy to remove him from politics. Key dates in Thaksin saga

"This case is very political... The ruling will be a joke for the world," he said.

Thaksin's supporters, dubbed the "Red Shirts" for the colour they wear, have vowed to press ahead with plans to rally from March 12 in Bangkok, but his political allies Saturday promised peaceful action.

"We can protest but peacefully. It's not only the duty of the party but everyone to fight for justice," said Chavalit Yongchaiyuth, chairman of the Thaksin-allied Puea Thai party.

Red Shirt riots at an Asian summit and in Bangkok in April 2009 left two people dead and scores injured.

Deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban urged the Thai public to be on alert for trouble.

"I ask the people to help keep an eye on the situation. If you see anything that seems unusual, please tell the authorities," he told reporters Friday.

Thousands of troops and police were deployed across the country in the build-up to Friday's verdict.

The government had applied for the seizure of the proceeds from the sale of shares owned by Thaksin and his family in his Shin Corp telecoms giant, which was bought by Singapore-based Temasek holdings in January 2006.

The judges said in the ruling that Thaksin had used his power to benefit Shin Corp and illegally hid his ownership of the shares, among other graft charges.

The case goes to the heart of societal rifts that have dogged Thailand since the coup.

The Red Shirts, largely from Thaksin's stronghold in Thailand's impoverished north and northeast, loved his populist policies and accuse the current government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of being an unelected elite.

The tycoon's opponents in the Bangkok-based circles around the palace, military and bureaucracy accuse Thaksin of being corrupt, dictatorial and of threatening Thailand's widely revered monarchy.

Cambodia: Making Heroin Addicts Use Herbal Remedy

Men get ready to inject heroin in a slum area February 6, 2010 in Phnom Penh
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

via CAAI News Media

PHNOM PENH Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010

About 100 people — mostly local drug addicts — gathered at a pagoda in Phnom Penh in mid-February. A few drug users had brought their families for support, and they sat together on woven mats before a Buddhist shrine. The crowd put their hands together, bowed their heads and prayed. In a country where many drug addicts report being beaten, electrocuted and forced into military-style camps, the group prayer was organized to raise public awareness of their plight. In one prayer, Cambodia's drug users and monks chanted together, "We pray for drug users to have access to proper, community-based, voluntary drug treatment."

It isn't a prayer that's likely to be answered soon. Though the Cambodian government says its 11 state drug treatment centers are all voluntary, a report released by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) last month says only 1-2% of drug users enter Cambodia's drug rehabilitation facilities by choice. A few days before the prayer ceremony, a 23-year-old heroin user, who had just fled from Cambodian police that morning, told TIME he feared being whisked away to one of the drug centers. Four months ago during a police sweep of a known drug hotspot, the drug user, who requested anonymity, watched a police officer accuse someone of hiding drugs in his cheeks. When the man opened his mouth, the policeman shoved an electric baton down his throat. "I thought it was flashlight at first, but it was shocker," the witness said. Later, when he was taken to the rehab center, he says he was separated from the others and hit repeatedly with a stick. If the police "look at you with a hateful look, they'll pull you aside, lock you up in a room and beat you," he says.

Cambodia would hardly be alone in forcing its drug users into camps where forced labor and exercise are considered treatment. Gordon Mortimore, a former consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and the World Bank on drug treatment programs, says these drug boot camps are "very much a Southeast Asia phenomenon" and that the punitive approach to addiction is "part of a societal attitude where drug taking is seen as danger to the community." According to a 2009 World Health Organization report, some 50,000 to 60,000 people are held in 109 Vietnamese detention centers for drug treatment for two years at a time. Thousands more drug users in Thailand are forced into treatment centers run by Thai armed forces, and HRW estimates that about 350,000 Chinese nationals end up in compulsory detox camps in China.

But while detention, physical abuse and forced labor are common across the region, Joe Amon, director of the health and human rights division at HRW, says Cambodia's treatment of drug users stands out for its brutality. "We were shocked by the ubiquity and severity of the abuses in the Cambodian drug detention centers we investigated," says Amon. "People described being beaten, whipped with electrical cables, receiving electrical shocks or raped." Nearly 2,400 individuals passed through Cambodia's drug treatment centers in 2008, a 40% increase from 2007. Estimates as to how many total drug users there are in Cambodia vary wildly, but aid workers and politicians agree the problem has grown more pronounced in recent years. The expansion of the drug centers, according to the HRW report, appears to be tied to cooperation with Cambodia's regional partners, especially Vietnam. Cambodia's neighbor to the east has pledged technical assistance to support a new compulsory drug center that would house about 2,000 drug users, according to the daily Phnom Penh Post. "A lot of this influence is now about economics," says Mortimore. "It's a big business. The drug treatment industry is a huge untapped market."

In December, Cambodian authorities and Vietnamese experts ran a 10-day trial of at least 17 Cambodian heroin users of Bong Sen, an herbal detoxification remedy made in Vietnam. Cambodian authorities have stated the participants in the trial were volunteers, and that Bong Sen safely and effectively curbs the urge to use heroin. HRW, however, claims that participants were forced to take part in the trial. At an NGO that provides food and shelter for drug users, a 35-year-old HIV positive drug user also told TIME he was given no choice to join the Bong Sen trial after he was picked up in a police sweep. The heroin user took out a group photo taken after the trial's "graduation ceremony," showing smiling former heroin users flanked by Vietnamese experts in lab coats. Though he says he did not participate voluntarily, he says at the time he hoped the Vietnamese medication "would make us stop using." But as soon as he was back on the street, he returned to heroin. He pointed to two men nearby at the shelter, passed out after having shot up, and then to their two smiling faces in the photo. "All of them are using again."

The Bong Sen trial, however, had another worrying repercussion. In December, the Cambodian government asked Korsang, a local NGO that works with Cambodian drug users, to provide participants for the Bong Sen training program. The group refused to cooperate, citing lack of research ensuring the drug's safety. Two weeks later, the government refused to renew Korsang's license to run a needle exchange program, one of only two such programs in the country. In the weeks since their clean needle program stopped, drug users in Phnom Penh say it has become difficult to access sterile needles. The HIV positive drug user from the Bong Sen trial said he has been able to eke out money for new syringes, but he worries about others. "I see people pick up syringes off the ground and use them," he says.

Last year, Korsang gave out over 12,000 syringes, and if the group cannot resume handing them out, experts fear a fresh spike in Cambodia's dropping HIV rates. Cambodia is considered a fragile success story in the region, with HIV rates dropping from about 2% in 1997 to 0.8% a decade later. But ignoring one high risk group can derail even the best HIV plans. "When you don't have access to clean needles, you get a massive HIV epidemic," says Mortimore, the former WHO consultant, adding that in a drug using community when "HIV explodes, it jumps to the general population."

The relationship between voluntary drug rehab and lower HIV rates is already playing out elsewhere. In the last five years, Malaysia has shut down about half of its forced drug treatment centers. Though criminal law still penalizes drug use in Malaysia, according to Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, the president of the Malaysian AIDS Council, more than 151 community-based drug centers have opened since 2006. While the 2009 WHO report found relapse rates of between 90-100% among drug users at detox centers in Cambodia and Vietnam, in Malaysia, these out-patient methadone clinics have over 70% retention rates. What makes this all the more important is that one in five Malaysian injection drug users is HIV positive, making it the core of Malaysia's HIV epidemic. Says Kamarulzaman: "The more people are on methadone, the less they will be injecting." The results? Malaysia saw the number of new HIV cases among injection drug users drop more than 40% drop in 2008, when compared to only four years earlier.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says it is working with the Cambodian government to develop a system of voluntary, community-based drug treatment centers. The program is only in its pilot phase, but Gary Lewis, the Southeast Asia regional representative for the UNODC, says the relatively small number of detainees here should make it easier for Cambodia to phase out its centers and adopt new approaches more quickly than its neighbors. The UNODC has been criticized by HRW for not being vocal enough in their condemnation of the government's centers, but the UNODC hopes that by engaging with the government it can steer treatment in a new direction, something closer to Malaysia's emerging community-based system than Vietnam's military one. "We need to not only to draw attention to the problem, but to also find a solution," Lewis says. "And we need to do this in a way which involves collaboration with the government."

It remains to be seen which direction the tug-of-war between Vietnam and the U.N. will take Cambodian drug policy, but right now, it's clear the current system is broken. One Cambodian drug user with HIV says he's been in and out of Cambodian treatment centers more than 10 times. Without better support, he knows he'll keep ending up back there. "I can never get help," says the gaunt drug user whose clavicle sticks out from his white v-neck t-shirt. "I want to stop; no one can ever help me out."

Northeastern states stage a cultural festival
via CAAI News Media

February 27th, 2010

Agartala, Feb 27(ANI): To promote closer ties among the Northeast states and with their neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, a month-long cultural festival ‘Inter-Cultural Dialogue’ is being staged and the second leg of it concluded in Agartala on Friday.

New Delhi-based the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in association with North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) and the state governments is organizing the first ever-international cultural festival across the northeast region.

The festival began on February 21 in Guwahati, Assam and will wind up on March 12 covering Meghaylaya, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland, followed by a four-day symposium-cum-cultural show in New Delhi from March 17 to March 20.

Around 150 artists and performers from Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and northeastern states are performing various traditional dances to showcase their area’s traditional art and culture.

Other than traditional Thai dance and Indonesian dance depicting scenes from Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, the mask dance of Sikkim and traditional Indonesian Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet) were enjoyed very much by the audience, as they were totally new to them.

Audience, who were mesmerized by the programme, felt that academics and artists of these regions should collectively revisit their history, culture and economy and look at the commonalities, which still persist to a significant extent.

“I feel our culture, that is to say, ancient Indian culture specially the Aryan culture has been beautifully mixed in their chorography. They are also trying to expose their dance items, their choreography through Ramayana, Mahabharata. This is beautiful mixture of Indian culture and neighbouring countries,” said Swapan Nandi, audience and renowned painter.

Participants from the Southeast Asian countries said they were happy participating in the event.

“We are happy to join this festival because here we can show our culture and learn other cultures like of India, Thailand, Cambodia and Java,” said Chum Chanveasna, an artist from Cambodia.

The organisers said that the unique relationship in cultural-historical experiences of the people of Southeast Asian countries and northeast India has become a subject of genuine importance in the background of the overall drive for cultural, economic, political understanding and unity, and such cultural events help to bridge the gap and rediscover old ties between them. (ANI)

DAP News ; Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via CAAI News Media

Large Ransom Paid to Somali Pirates for Indonesian Ship

Saturday, 27 February 2010 21:19 DAP-NEWS

Total Cambodia in cooperation with other sponsors on Saturday held the 2010 Motor Racing championship at Prek Leap village in O’Russey Keo diss.

“It is the fifth event that so far we have celebrated in Phnom Penh under the support of Cambodian Total,” Steph- ane Dion, managing director of Total Cambodia, said in the opening ceremony .

“Total Cambodia has been committed to communicating our passion for motor sports and promoting motorcycle racing throughout Cambodia, and grooming an ever larger number of national riders to be able to participate in an international championship,” Dion added. This year, the racing attracted hundreds of local people and foreigners.

In Class A (professionals): Larry Blair from France won the first place, and the runner-up is Piere Yves Catry from France, with third place Chayanutrav BooPawat from Thailand. The winners were awarded US$300, US$200, and US$150, respectively, and each got a medal.

In Class B (maximum 14 years old): Iv Leng from Cambodia won first place, second place went to Mathew Cooper from Canada and third place Vong Khan Pove from Cambodiaof 14 years old. The winners got US$250, US$150, and US$100, respectively .

In Class C: Touch Thach won first place, second place was That Chamroeun, and third Lim Pheng, all from Cambodia. They got US$200, US$150 and US$100, respectively .

In Class D: the winner was Bun Roth, with Jule Van Derrest second place, and third was Sang Makara . The winners got US$100, US$70 and US$50, repectively.

“For the foreign riders we provided accommodation and travel tickets...We have to promote this sport here; it has started to be attractive for local people,” Yim Vibol, the marketing and communication manager for Total Cambodia, told DAP News Cambodia .

This saw 50 racers from eight countries.

The main sponsors for 2010 were Ford, the Pizza, Company, and ANZ Royal, Infinity Insurance, Eurotech mineral water, Coca Cola, and Comin Khmere.

PM Warns TV5

Saturday, 27 February 2010 21:15 DAP-NEWS

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday warned he would close the TV5 station and sell its shares as the station broadcasts little information about soldiers’ activities, depite being owned by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

The premier’s warning came as he and his wife, Bun Rany Hun Sen, visited soldiers in Army Region 5 in Ratanak Mondul District, Battambang Province.

“There have many generals, but many dancing programs are broadcast, and the army’s activity is not broadcast. The license should be removed ,” the premier said.

“What percentage of the TV broadcasts of devoted to the soldiers’ activities? It is the worst compared to other TV stations,” the PM said.
The Premier urged all Cambodians to cooperate in the face of attempted incursions by Thai soldiers at Preah Vihear Temple.

Cambodian Growth Expected 8- 9 Pct in the Coming Years

Saturday, 27 February 2010 18:20 Ek Madra

PHNOM PENH,– Cambodia saw its growth up to 9 percent in the next several years which will be boosted by robust agriculture’s production and tourism and that figure could be higher thanks to its first oil production, said the report was seen by DAP on Friday.

“The Cambodian economy is expected to grow at a somewhat lower rate of about 8- 9 percent.”

“But growth will likely accelerate after oil production commences on a commercial scale expected in 2010 or 2011,” said the report about the Cambodian Economy.

Cambodia expected to produce first oil in next year by the giant U.S. Chevron Texaco announcement of its discoveries, which was quoted in the report that “a reserve of 400 million barrels of oil and five billion cubic meters of natural gas,” it said.

Cambodian growth is projected to pick up 4.25 percent for 2010, said the report.

The international financial crises affected this Southeast Asian nation’s growth last year projected at a range between 0 percent to -1 percent, but earlier the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Cambodia’s economic growth would be -2.7 percent in 2009.

The report, which detailed about the country’s economic situation, said that the accelerating economic growth is crucial for the improvement of social indicators and broadening the fiscal base to generate enough revenue to fund social sector.

Growth will have to be achieved from the diversification of production sources and promoting investment in new manufacturing activities, the agro-industry, and tourism sector, it said.

Beyond the near term, Cambodia will need to diversify its sources of growth to sustain a 7 percent growth per annum in non-oil GDP.

“As private sector developing reforms to take root, sectors other than garments and tourism should increasingly contribute to growth.”

“Agriculture is also expected to improve its performance when reforms, including those pertaining to land management, are implemented and when investment in rural infrastructure increases,” it said.

The report also said that in the near term the economy will likely continue to be held by tourism, the garment industry and construction, with agriculture providing periodic but volatile growth spurts depends on weather conditions.

Agriculture, which is the Cambodian economic backbone, accounts 30 percent of GDP—given nearly 90 percent of the kingdom’s total population of 14 million is rural.

Cambodia has been successful with rice production in the last decade and this prospect remains unchanged. The kingdom produced 7.28 million tonnes of rice for 2009/2010 of which Cambodia saw another surplus of 3.1 million tonnes for exports.

Cambodia received 2.1 million foreign tourists last year and that figure is expected to increase 15 percent a year. The sector contributed 13 percent of GDP.

The total value of garment, textiles and shoes exported last year dropped to $2.6 billion compared with $3.1 billion in 2008.

Cambodian Largest Gambling Industry of $100 Million Investment in Casino

Saturday, 27 February 2010 17:40 Ek Madra

PHNOM PENH, A Cambodian tycoon Kith Thieng said on Friday launched $100 million investment in casino to meet the increasing numbers of gamblers flocked to entertain and relax in the kingdom.

The Titan King Casino opened its doors after months of constructions on 2.5 hectares of land and employing some 6,000 people in Bavet town of Svay Rieng province, about 120km from Phnom Penh, right at the Cambodia Vietnam Border.

Kith Thieng said in a release “Bavet has developed very rapidly in recent years and now boasts many casinos in operation with more under construction. The town is rapidly becoming a regional center for entertainment and relaxation much like Las Vegas and Macau.”

“Titan King is poised to be the largest hotel casino in Cambodia,” said the company release.

Titan King Casino shall have the most advanced casino facilities in Cambodia with gaming tables, the latest gaming machines with Special Junket Rooms, exclusive VIP and VVIP rooms, it said.

Attached to this vast casino complex is an exclusive boutique hotel, equipped with the latest facilities and modern amenities.

“Bavet is very important in Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s plan to promote the border area as a regional center of commerce,” said Kith Thieng.

The town located on National Road No. 1, the major ten-country of ASEAN corridor between Cambodia and Vietnam and the most important link for business, trade, and tourism between the nations.

The facility of Titan King Casino is design for the ideal base for entertainment, relaxation, and business.

It offers So Nguon Dry Port operating on 7 hectares with capacity to stock 4,000 containers. With special economic zones, duty free markets, large dry port, and investment incentives.

“Bavet is transforming into the most important commercial city in eastern Cambodia,” Kith Thieng said.

An estimated 23 casinos and gambling complex in Cambodia, many of them are foreign owned and joint venture with the local partners, mushroomed in the last decade. Almost all casinos located near the border of Cambodia-Thailand and Vietnam-Cambodia.

Vietnam provides internet system to Cambodian legislature

via CAAI News Media

February 27, 2010

A delegation of Vietnam’s National Assembly has worked with the Cambodian National Assembly Secretary General on the installation of an internet-connected computer system for Cambodia ’s legislative body.

During their visit to Cambodia from February 22-27, Deputy Head of the NA Office Nguyen Si Dung held talks with Cambodian National Assembly Secretary General, Leng Peng Long, on the project.

The US$300,000 project will be conducted in two phases and completed by late 2011.

For the first phase to be completed this year, Vietnam will provide an internet application server, computers and internet subscriptions to the Cambodian NA to make the parliamentarian agency connected to the worldwide internet.

During the second phase, Vietnam will help install an intranet system for the Cambodian NA to better disseminate information and guidelines among other agencies under its aegis.

Within the visit’s framework, Cambodian NA Chairman Heng Samrin gave a cordial reception for the Vietnamese delegation stating he was delighted at the ever developing co-operation between the two legislative bodies of Cambodia and Vietnam. (VNA)