Monday, 2 August 2010

Net results

Photo by: Will Baxter

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:04 Will Baxter

By the look on their faces, these children from Boeung Kak lake have just netted the catch of the day. On the downside, about 4,000 families are facing eviction from the waterside because of a massive private venture that will see the entire lake filled in and redeveloped.

Proposed reserve force to strengthen military

via Khmer NZ
Monday, 02 August 2010 15:03 Thet Sambath
AUTHORITIES have fleshed out plans that would pave the way for a new force of reserve soldiers, Cambodian officials confirmed yesterday.

The move amounts to further evidence that the government has put off a long-standing goal of scaling back the size of its military.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said yesterday that authorities had approved the wording of a draft Royal decree governing the recruitment of reservists.
“It is to have reservist soldiers for the time when the country needs them,” Phay Siphan said. “They can be called at any time to serve the nation.”
According to a Council of Ministers’ statement, the draft Royal decree, which was discussed on Friday, lists a variety of prospective groups that could be eligible:
  • Ex-soldiers who retired or resigned before reaching retirement age.
  • Soldiers whose contracts have ended.
  • Civilians who have completed their military obligations.
  • “Experts who have completed cooperation on research missions” or who have been “involved directly in tasks” that benefit the public or the military.
The Royal decree is aimed at complementing the country’s controversial law on military conscription, which was passed in 2006 and allows for the conscription of Cambodian men between the ages of 18 and 30.
Chum Sambath, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Defence, said reservist soldiers could be called on during natural disasters.

“We can’t argue against it,” he said. “All of us are reserved for the military’s purpose.”
However, Yim Sovann, a parliamentarian and spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, criticised the draft decree, saying that a reservist force should be strictly voluntary.
Money for a reservist programme would be better spent making sure existing soldiers were properly paid, he said: “We need to have professional soldiers and let them have enough salary. They will be strong and they will serve the nation when they are needed.”
Officials did not offer a timeline on when the draft Royal decree would be finalised. In June, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia would drop a pledge, dating back to 2001, to scale back the size of its military.
“I have decided not to demobilise as we have invasions from neighbouring countries,” the premier said in a speech on June 21. “Keep all the armed forces. There is no need to demobilise.”

The rice is right: Exports skyrocket

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:03 May Kunmakara

EXPORTS of milled rice surged by about 2,360 percent in the first six months of this year compared to 2009, after the government encouraged production of Cambodia’s “white gold”.

In the past six months, the government has spearheaded a raft of measures aimed at boosting the country’s rice-export capacity.

Officials updated the national rice policy, doubled Rural Development Bank capital to US$36 million and scrapped licence requirements for exporters to spur development.

The government hopes to improve the quality of Cambodia’s rice to increase exports to foreign markets, such as Europe. The measures so far appear to have had a marked effect.

Data released by the Ministry of Commerce’s CamControl department showed that just 4,369 tonnes of milled rice was exported from January to June 2009.

But in the first half of this year, the Kingdom sent 107,291 tonnes of milled rice abroad – an increase of 2,356 percent. Exports were worth $13.438 million this half, up from $2.193 million in 2009.

Cambodian officials have welcomed the increase.

“Since the government encouraged development, we have seen [the sector] improve dramatically — in terms of both farming methodology and production capacity,” said director of Information and Statistics Department at the ministry, Kong Putheara.

He said that last year, the government installed tax preferences for foreign investors, and that the European Union allowed more Cambodian rice to enter its markets, sparking growth.

President of the Cambodian Rice Millers’ Association, Phou Puy, hailed the figures as a “starting point” for Cambodia to produced high-quality rice in line with neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

But he warned challenges were still ahead as companies sought footholds internationally.

“We don’t know clearly about the market so we have to look for [buyers] and sell at lower prices to get the market share,” he said. “Next year will be the time to export as much as we can.”

A secretary of state for the Ministry of Agriculture, Chan Tong Ive, said that an open agricultural policy had changed business patterns for some farmers, who had shifted into intensive farming that upped yields.

War of words over heritage meeting

Photo by: Photo Supplied
The 1908 map of what Cambodia insists is the legitimate boundary (with Cambodia south of the red border line), is shown alongside a Thai map that was rejected by the International Court of Justice in 1962.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:03 Cheang Sokha

CAMBODIAN officials have declared victory in a standoff with Thailand after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage Committee noted the submission of the government’s conservation management plan for Preah Vihear temple and scheduled it for consideration next year.

On Thursday, the Cambodian and Thai delegations to the WHC hashed out a compromise relating to the plan, which has ignited nationalist protests in Bangkok.

According to the compromise draft decision – signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Thai Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti and WHC President Joao Luiz Silva Ferreira – the committee noted the progress report submitted by Cambodia and postponed consideration of the documents until its next session in Bahrain in 2011.

It also welcomed “the steps taken by the State Party towards the establishment of an international coordination committee for the sustainable conservation of the Temple of Preah Vihear”.

Other documents released during Thursday’s meeting, copies of which have been obtained by the Post, state that Cambodia submitted its management plan in February, along with a report containing information about the current conservation efforts being carried out at the site.

On Friday, Sok An declared the outcome a “big victory” for Cambodia. “What Thailand did not accept before, now they did,” he said in a statement issued by the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit on Friday.

He said that the body not only accepted the proposal, “but they also praised us for good planning”.

The compromise followed Thai threats to withdraw from UNESCO if the WHC signed off on Cambodia’s management plan.

Thailand has opposed the listing of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site since it was approved by the WHC in July 2008, and claims sovereignty over a 4.6-square kilometre area adjacent to the temple.

On Saturday, Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya said the outcome of the meeting did not benefit one country over the other.

“Neither country wins on the issue. What [Sok An] said Cambodia had won was [not correct],” Thai news agency TNA quoted him as saying.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday morning that Bangkok would only accept the management plan if the temple was jointly administered by both countries, and that Cambodia’s proposed plan infringed on the disputed area.

Sue Williams, a UNESCO spokeswoman, said Thursday that the WHC lacked the mandate to “approve” anything and could only note the acceptance of Cambodia’s management plan.

Tith Sothea, spokesman for the Press and Quick Reaction Unit, said the WHC was only empowered to monitor the country’s adherence to the WHC’s guidelines.

“Cambodia still has the right for the development and conservation of the temple as normal,” he said.

Govt praises charges in marriage racket

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:03 Chrann Chamroeun and Christy Choi

CAMBODIAN officials yesterday praised South Korean prosecutors for bringing charges against a matchmaking agent who allegedly arranged a group interview involving 25 Cambodian women and a South Korean bachelor.

The agent surnamed Lee allegedly failed to tell his client of restrictions in Cambodia on international marriages, including a ban on group interviews with brides, the Seoul central prosecution office said Friday.

If convicted, Lee faces up to 3 million won (about US$2,500) in fines, prosecutors said.

“Cambodia is very pleased with South Korea for good cooperation as a partner to charge the Korean man,” Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday.

A Cambodian agent has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison over the case, which prompted the government to impose in March a temporary ban on marriages between Cambodian women and South Korean men.

Officials said the ban would remain in place until the government had established an effective screening mechanism to prevent cases of trafficking.

When it was lifted in late April, Koy Kuong said the screening mechanism had taken the form of a requirement that foreigners looking to marry Cambodians appear in person to submit applications to his ministry as well as to the Interior Ministry and local authorities.

Last month, Koy Kuong said that 300 applications had been processed since the lifting of the ban, and that all had been approved.

He said yesterday that since the new measures were put in place there appeared to have been a reduction in the number of women being brought by marriage brokers to Phnom Penh from the provinces in order to meet Korean suitors.

Nevertheless, Chou Bun Eng, a secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, said that officials were continuing to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate Cambodian and Korean brokers suspected of forging documents required for obtaining marriage licences.

“We have experience in several of these cases and have warned the women to be cautious. We are also learning about the the tactics used to forge public documents,” Chou Bun Eng said.

An official at the South Korean embassy said it had been diligent in informing Koreans of procedural changes.

Commenting on the new charges, counsellor Huh Jungae said: “According to an agreement between South Korea and the Cambodian government, any marriage brokering attempted in Cambodia during the period of the ban was considered illegal, and it appears to be on this basis the Seoul central prosecution office has charged the man.”


Govt holds out on cluster ban

Photo by: Tracey Shelton
An explosive ordnance disposal specialist demonstrates how cluster bomblets can remain unactivated even after shells are deployed, creating a long-term risk for people in former conflict zones.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:03 Irwin Loy and Phak Seangly

AS a global convention banning the use of deadly cluster munitions comes into effect, campaigners are pressuring holdout countries, including Cambodia, to sign on.

Yesterday marked the day the Convention on Cluster Munitions became binding international law for the 107 nations that have signed it. The convention bans the use of cluster munitions and obligates signatory nations to eliminate existing stockpiles and clear land contaminated by such weapons.

Cambodian officials, however, continue to say that the government cannot sign the treaty before first determining how it might affect the military.

And because the treaty also demands that signatory nations clear land contaminated by cluster munitions within 10 years, authorities must be certain that goal is feasible before signing, said Leng Sochea, the deputy secretary general of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority.

“If we sign, it means we bind our hands. We’re studying how much it will cost to remove old cluster munitions and to protect our nation against border violations,” he said.

Cambodia signed on to the 1997 Ottawa Treaty banning land mines, but last year it received a 10-year extension on its obligation to clear contaminated land after acknowledging that the original goal for 2009 was unreachable.

Campaigners are planning a rally today in Siem Reap province to mark the launch of the cluster munitions convention.

Song Kosal, a youth ambassador for the International Campaign to Band Landmines who lost a leg after she stepped on a mine as a child, said more than 1,000 victims would urge the government to sign the treaty.

The victims will “call on the government ... to fulfill the demands of the victims of cluster bombs”, she said.

Pursat man, five-year-old girl die in spate of vicious buffalo attacks

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:03 Khouth Sophakchakrya

A 5-YEAR-OLD girl was gored to death by her family’s water buffalo after she and her sister were late in releasing the animal for feeding, local residents said.

Lanh Sithon, chief of Pursat province’s Ansa Chambak commune, in Krakor district, said yesterday that 5-year-old Boeu Sreylen was attacked on Friday by a male buffalo calf as she and her sister attempted to drive it from its cage.

“The buffalo calf gored her forehead, face and ribs, killing her quickly,” Lanh Sithon said. “The vicious buffalo calf has since been killed by its owner.”

The victim’s father, 45-year-old Boeu Boeun, said he had been “careless” in letting his children tend to the livestock on their own. Despite the buffalo’s value, he added, the incident had given him no choice but to slaughter it.

“Of course the buffalo helped our family cultivate our land, but we could not dare to keep it because it killed my little girl,” Boeu Boeun said.

In a separate incident on July 24, a female water buffalo gored a man in Pursat’s Kandieng district to death as he was bathing the beast and her calf in a local pond, said Theang Leng, chief of the police inspection office in Kandieng. The victim, 22-year-old Nhem Bun Thy, was pierced in the neck and died on the way to hospital, Theang Leng said.

“This nasty female buffalo is still alive,” Theang Leng said. “I call for all livestock owners to take the security of their children seriously.”

Botched abortion kills woman

Photo by: Pha Lina
Hiv Leng strokes his daughter’s hair yesterday at their home in Meanchey district near a portrait of his wife, Khem Tha, who became ill and died after receiving an abortion at an unlicensed clinic.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:02 Mom Kunthear

A RESIDENT of Meanchey district said yesterday that he had filed a complaint at Phnom Penh Municipal Court against a woman who he said caused his wife’s death by botching an abortion.

Hiv Leng, 50, said his wife, 40-year-old Khem Tha, died on July 20, one month to the day after she underwent the abortion without consulting anyone beforehand. She was three months pregnant.

“My wife did not tell me about the abortion until she already did it, because she was afraid I would be angry with her,” he said.

“My wife told me that she did not want to have this child because she is old, but I told her that it is OK, please keep it. She did not listen to me, and now I regret the loss of her life and what she did.”

He said that in the weeks after the procedure, he ushered his wife to a handful of clinics, but was told by doctors that nothing could be done to save her.

“The doctors there told me that it was too late to help her because her placenta and some parts in her stomach were rotten in her uterus,” he said.

Under the 1997 Law on Abortion, only medical doctors, midwives and other medical professionals who receive authorisation from the Health Ministry are permitted to perform abortions, and the procedures must be carried out in hospitals, health centres or public and private clinics registered with the ministry.

Untrained abortion providers who perform a procedure that results in a woman’s death can face up to 10 years in prison.

Hiv Leng said yesterday that the woman who performed Khem Tha’s abortion, a 37-year-old neighbour in Meanchey district, was both untrained and unregistered.

The court complaint requests that the woman, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, be charged and punished in accordance with the law and be ordered to pay at least US$10,000 in compensation.

Hiv Leng said yesterday that, if his bid were successful, he would give the money to a “foundation for poor people”.

Heng Rami, a clerk at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said yesterday that he had received the complaint, but that he had not yet summoned the woman.

“I already got the man’s complaint, but I did not summon the suspect yet because it was the weekend,” he said. “I will summon the suspect next week, but I am not sure which day.”

Abbot charged with paying child for sex

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:02 May Titthara

KAMPONG Chhnang provincial court has charged an abbot from the province’s Preah Ream Raingsey pagoda with purchasing child prostitution after his arrest and defrocking last week, officials said.

Prak Saony, chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office, said Chan Thuon, 56, was arrested Thursday and defrocked a day later after being accused of having sex with an underage girl at the pagoda.

She said police started to investigate Chan Thuon after a local NGO received an anonymous letter stating that the victim, now 17 years of age, had become pregnant to an older man while still a minor.

“During his arrest Chan Thuon did not confess, but when the police brought the victim to talk face to face with him, he confessed what he had done and everything he bought for [the girl’s] family, such as TVs, DVD players and mobile phones,” she said.

Prak Saony said the abbot also confessed to paying 900,000 riels (US$214) to the victim’s family so she could have an abortion at a clinic in Phnom Penh, and said that the sexual relationship was consensual.

The monk originally got involved with the family after he ordained one of its children, she said, and he had long provided the family with financial support.

Provincial prosecutor Penh Vibol said Chan Thuon faces between two and five years in prison if found guilty on the charge.

Endangered dolphin caught in fishing nets

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:02 Tang Khyhay

AN Irrawaddy dolphin has been found dead after it became entangled in fishing nets in an area of the Mekong River that lies outside a protected zone in Kratie province, a conservation official said.

Touch Seang Tana, chairman of Cambodia’s Commission to Conserve Mekong River Dolphins and Develop Ecotourism, said yesterday that such deaths were common and difficult to prevent.

“There is no method to protect against this kind of incident. People put their fishing nets all over the area outside the conservation zone,” he said.

Touch Seang Tana said that a total of four Irrawaddy dolphins had died so far this year. He said also that the deaths had been offset by the birth of nine baby dolphins, and pegged the total population in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces at between 150 and 170.

However, Teak Seng, country director for the World Wildlife Fund, said that at least five river dolphins had died so far this year, in addition to the 11 deaths recorded in 2009.

He said that WWF would continue to collaborate with the Fisheries Administration to protect endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and monitor “illegal fishing practices in the core dolphin habitat”.

Four flee after arrest in Kampot dispute

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:02 May Titthara

FOUR village representatives in Kampot province who are involved in a land dispute with a Phnom Penh businesswoman have fled their homes after one member of the group was arrested and detained for six hours on Friday afternoon.

Meas Ang, one of the four, said yesterday that they had all left the province after Teuk Chhou district police descended on their homes in Dop Sralao village, located in Trapong Pring commune, on Friday. One of the representatives, Yav Run, was arrested at 11am and then transferred into the custody of provincial police, who questioned him until 5pm, Meas Ang said.

“We know that one of our representatives was arrested from his own home by district police forces, so we have fled our homes before they come to arrest the rest of us,” Meas Ang said.

We know that one of our representatives was arrested ... so we have fled our homes.

The businesswoman, Heav Lon, filed a complaint accusing the four village representatives of farming 58 hectares of disputed land illegally shortly after a June 16 altercation in which villagers accosted some of her employees and tried to stop them from clearing the land.

A group of 26 former Khmer Rouge families claim to have lived on the land since 1983 after receiving a concession from the government, and to have farmed it since 1996. In 2005, Heav Lon accused villagers who were farming the land of destroying her private property.

In a separate complaint, Dop Sralao village chief Soung Sorn accused two NGO workers of attempted murder and defamation following the altercation. Yav Run could not be reached yesterday, but Meas Ang said the village representative had inexplicably been questioned in connection with the attempted murder allegation.

“Police accused us of attempting to kill employees, but this is different from the complaint that was filed by Heav Lon,” Meas Ang said.

Heav Lon could not be reached yesterday.

Sam Ouk, the police chief in Teuk Chhou district, declined to comment on Friday’s arrest or the prospect of future arrests. “I just got the order from the provincial police, so ask the provincial police,” he said.

Provincial Police Chief Thlang Pherin said he had not arrested Yav Run but brought him to the police station to “clarify” outstanding questions related to the dispute. He also said he believed the disputed land had been sold to Heav Lon.

“They sold the land to Heav Lon and received money from her already, so why do they still make a problem? Those people always give police a headache,” he said.

PCCS workers to resume work

Photo by: Pha Lina
Police armed with riot shields and electric-shock batons charge striking workers at a Sen Sok district factory owned by PCCS Garments Ltd.

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:02 Kim Yuthana

ABOUT 3,000 workers at a factory in Sen Sok district owned by PCCS Garments Ltd plan to temporarily resume work today after a 10-day strike, a workers’ representative said.

Workers originally walked off the job following the dismissal of Morn Channa, a union representative who was fired last month after telling management that workers did not need a doctor’s note in order to apply for leave.

Phorn Srey Pov, a representative of the workers, said the strike would be called off, but warned that workers would send a petition to the Ministry of Labour if the factory did not allow Morn Channa to return to work.

“All workers will resume work for one week and we will collect thumbprints to attach to a petition, which we will file to the Ministry of Labour ... if the factory continues to refuse to allow our representative to come back to work,” she said.

Representatives of the factory could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said the factory’s management had emailed him on Friday asking him to order Morn Channa to tell the workers to call off the strike.

Court calls journalist accused of extortion

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:01 Rann Reuy

Siem Reap province

A JOURNALIST accused of extortion and disinformation has been ordered to appear in Siem Reap provincial court today for questioning, a court official said.

Heng Pheng, the court’s deputy prosecutor, said Phlong Ret, 30, had been summoned after a complaint was sent to the court on Janury 15 by the owner of a lumber warehouse in Varin district.

The warehouse owner, Chan Bol, said the journalist tried to extort US$24 from him and later published two articles accusing him of trafficking in illicit lumber. The articles are the subject of the disinformation claims.

Phlong Ret, currently a reporter for Omnath Khmer newspaper, has maintained his innocence, stating that the disagreement stemmed from an incident on December 22, 2008, when about 20 journalists photographed a truck that was transporting logs while being escorted by a military vehicle.

“I did not demand or take any money,” he said yesterday. “But I am very concerned over the possibility of detention after the questioning session.”

He said that he did not plan to appear in court today and would instead wait for a fresh summons.

“Our clerk told him to come on August 2. It is his right to decide not to come,” investigating judge Hok Pov said.

Jailed villagers ask Hun Sen to intervene

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:01 Meas Sokchea

TWELVE villagers imprisoned in connection with a land row in Siem Reap province have written to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting their release.

The request, sent on Saturday, came as Siem Reap provincial court was preparing to resume this morning the trial of nine of the villagers, who have been charged with attempted intentional manslaughter under Article 4 of the Law on Aggravating Circumstances of Felonies. That trial began last Tuesday, though journalists were barred from entering the heavily guarded courtroom.

“We have lost our farmland and have also been charged by the Siem Reap provincial court and detained unjustly,” the request states. “Based on these facts, we would like to call for Samdech to help intervene and resolve the dispute so that we can go back to farming.”

The dispute dates back to 1986, when one large village split into Chi Kraeng and Anlong Samnor communes, leaving between them an unspecified number of hectares of farmland.

Competing claims over the land became particularly heated after two businessmen, Chea Oem and Ly Savy, told authorities they were the rightful owners of 92 hectares and 72 hectares, respectively. In 2009, Siem Reap Provincial Governor Sou Phirin ruled that the land was in Anlong Samnor.

In March 2009, military police allegedly opened fire on Chi Kraeng villagers agitating for the right to farm the disputed land, injuring four of them.

No military police officers were arrested afterwards, though nine villagers have since been charged with attempted intentional manslaughter.

The other three villagers who signed Saturday’s petition were arrested in connection with separate incidents related to the land dispute.

Siem Reap provincial court prosecutor Ty Soveinthal yesterday defended the detention of the villagers, saying all of them had been charged with crimes recorded in police reports.

“If the accused want to be released, their lawyer has the right to appeal,” he said.

Drug authority to visit Vietnam

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:01 Tep Nimol

AUTHORITIES with the anti-drug bureau hope to finalise plans for the construction of Cambodia’s first national centre for treating drug addiction during a meeting scheduled for next week in Vietnam.

Ke Kim Yan, chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, is set to lead a delegation to meet with his Vietnamese counterparts in a trip scheduled from August 9 to August 13, said Neak Yuthea, director of the NACD’s department of legislation, education and rehabilitation.

Neak Yuthea said Ke Kim Yan would seek to clarify tentative plans for Vietnam to donate funds to build the treatment centre.

“In principle, the two parties already agreed last month that Vietnam would donate to Cambodia a national centre for treating and rehabilitating drug addicts,” said Neak Yuthea. He estimated the project’s cost to be roughly US$2 million.

Last year that prominent businessman Mong Reththy donated 20 hectares of land in Preah Sihanouk province on which to build a national treatment centre.

In an interview following the donation, Mong Reththy suggested that the coastal location could provide job opportunities for recovering drug addicts in nearby palm oil and acacia plantations.

Mong Reththy owns oil and acacia plantations in the surrounding area.

Man held on child rape charge

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:01 Chrann Chamroeun and Rann Reuy

A CAMBODIAN man has been arrested in Siem Reap province and charged with raping a 14-year-old girl at a guesthouse, military police said.

Siem Reap deputy military police chief Nhoem Sela said Math Rany, 32, had been arrested after the girl’s mother said he raped her daughter twice last Monday night at a guesthouse in Prasat Bakong district.

“After hearing the story from the victim as well as a confession from the suspect that he had raped the victim twice at the guesthouse, we decided to send the suspect to provincial court,” Nhoem Sela said.

Siem Reap provincial court prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith said Math Rany faced a charge of aggravated rape, which carries a sentence of between 10 and 15 years in prison.

Lun Sin, deputy chief of the province’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office, said the victim had allegedly been lured from her home along with her two older sisters by a man who took them to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex.

They then met Math Rany and a third man at the guesthouse, where Math Rany took the victim into a separate room and assaulted her, he said.

Troubled logger set to return

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:01 Jeremy Mullins and Jimmy Ellingham

A LOGGING firm is set to buy a forestry concession in Kratie province in exchange for US$38.6 million worth of company bonds and shares, in an attempt to shore up the business after it lost 99 percent of turnover last year.

In a statement to Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market late last week, China Asean Resources Limited announced the planned acquisition of a 11,500-hectare Kratie concession.

Pending shareholder approval, the firm would buy the concession from two firms, United Sky Investments and Jethero International.

The new concession was to be aquired at a 75 percent discount, according to China Asean Resources. Under the terms of the deal, the two sellers – both based in the British Virgin Islands – would receive an initial 29 percent stake in China Asean Resources, which could grow to 73.77 percent control if the bonds are fully exercised.

According to a statement, China Asean had evaluated possible alternatives to the deal but “none such plans has been fruitful … due to poor business and financial performance”.

Last year, according to previous statements, a crackdown on illegal timber-trading in the Kingdom forced China Asean Resources to halt its legal operations in two Cambodian concessions.

“For the year ended 31 December 2009, [China Asean] suffered a substantial downturn in business, with turnover having been decreased by approximately 99 percent from the previous year,” the statement said.

The company said it hoped that the new concession would prove a good investment.

It intends to plant rubber on the land once the concession has been logged, it said, with an eye to making the most of increased demand for both timber and rubber from China.

Also under the terms of the agreement, China Asean would receive a $3.8 million unsecured, interest-free loan for a term of 70 years.

The firm said the capital would be sufficient to enhance production capacity, including setting up a wood flooring material factory with an annual capacity of 10,000 cubic metres.

Presently, the firm has only one sawn timber factory with annual capacity of 6,000 cubic metres.

The present mill “is far from sufficient to utilise the abundant natural resources owned by the Group at a meaningful pace”, a report said.

China Asean’s share price steadily declined over the last year on the Growth Enterprise Market, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong exchange.

It has dropped from a 52 week high of HK$0.20 last August to bottom out Thursday at HK$0.05 before the deal was announced.

China Asean officials did not return requests for comment yesterday.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery officials declined to comment on the issue yesterday.

NBC riel buys to reach $43m

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Nguon Sovan

THE National Bank of Cambodia has announced a further US$13 million purchase of riels to bolster the faltering domestic currency, which reached record lows this year.

The latest buy would bring the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC) total riel purchases to $43 million for the year to date, still below the $54 million bought in similar measures last year.

Thirteen separate lots of $1 million will be placed for bidding at the NBC’s Phnom Penh headquarters from today to August 30, according to Friday’s announcement signed by NBC Director General Tal Nay Im.

Cambodia’s currency stood at 4,273 riels per dollar yesterday, a decline from 4,190 recorded in mid-April, figures from the Ly Hour Exchange in Phnom Penh showed.

The riel had depreciated by 2 percent in the first half of this year, compared to 2009, according to an NBC report.

“Besides seasonal factors in the country, the depreciation of the riel could result from the universal appreciation of US currency, compounded by the impact of the global financial crisis that influenced the inflow of funds into Cambodia,” the NBC’s six-month report said.

However, some analysts said they were not concerned by the decline in Cambodia’s currency, as the riel’s value usually falls at this time of the year.

“Though there has been a 2 percent depreciation this year; the riel’s value is still good and stable. I have not heard customers buying US dollars complain it is high in value,” Ly Hour Exchange owner Sieng Lim said yesterday. “It normally fluctuates depending on trade activities and dollar appreciation.”

Cheam Teang, ACLEDA Bank’s executive vice president and chief of treasury and international cooperation officer, predicted its value would bottom out by August.

NBC Director General Tal Nay Im could not be reached for comment yesterday, but said last month that the riel gained value in September or October every year.

According to NBC figures, it held foreign reserves worth $2.9 billion as of June.

Stock Roundup: Positive reports buoy technology, oil stocks

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Catherine James

POSITIVE second-quarter reports from global companies with interests in Cambodia buoyed share prices last week.

Panasonic Corporation, which sells its products in the Kingdom, climbed 0.92 percent last week on the Tokyo Exchange, ending at 1,142 yen (US$13.12).

Investors reacted positively on Thursday to its results for the April-to-June quarter. It posted a turnaround profit of 43.68 billion yen, compared with a 52.98 billion yen loss for the same quarter last year.

The firm highlighted China and other Asian emerging markets as key drivers of its profit growth.

The company also announced plans to purchase 49.5 percent of Osaka-based Sanyo Electronic, and 49 percent of Panasonic Electric Works Company, increasing its stakes in both to 100 percent.

Sanyo Electronics also saw its share price climb in Tokyo for the week, as the firm released earnings results early Thursday reporting a profit of 10.55 billion yen, from an 18.40 billion yen loss a year earlier.

Coupled with news of the Panasonic’s plans, Sanyo initially climbed 26 percent on Thursday, closing at 148 yen.

But share price dropped 8.72 percent on Friday, ending the week at 136 yen – a fraction below Panasonic’s bidding price of 138 yen per Sanyo share but still 20.35 percent higher than on Monday.

The markets also reacted positively to the oil majors’ earnings.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Chevron Corp’s profits tripled in the second quarter, in results released Thursday. Net profit increased to $5.41 billion from $1.75 billion a year earlier, as revenue climbed 29 percent to $51.05 billion.

Chevron operates Cambodia’s Block A in the Gulf of Thailand.

Its share price barely moved on the release increasing a fraction of a cent to $76.02, but it closed the week at $76.21 – 3.66 percent higher than its Monday opening.

New York-listed ConocoPhillips – which has also has a concession in the Thai Gulf – said on Wednesday its second-quarter profit jumped almost fivefold to $4.16 billion from $859 million a year earlier.

Its shares rose 1 cent to $54.44 on Wednesday, but closed the week at $55.22, a 2.66 percent rise on Monday.

Migrating Swans crush Cobras

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 David Boyle

Vietnam Swans 13.21 (99) def. Cambodia Cobras 1.9 (15)
Best on ground: Brett Jota (Vietnam)

IF political history is anything to go by, then an Aussie Rules footy match between Cambodia and Vietnam should serve up a regional equivalent to the bitter rivalry fought out biannually between Carlton and Collingwood down-under. Though the result of Saturday’s match at Northbridge International School was as unequal as the curtain raiser played in Melbourne between those two famous foes, there was no equivalent hostility between the Cobras and the Swans, who served up an entertaining and well-spirited contest.

The revamped Cambodian Cobras were partaking in their first outing and from the beginning it was clear that, though their intent was genuine, their foot skills were not. Vietnam booted four goals in the first term, thanks largely to their midfield dominance spurned by the handy ruck work of Mark Greensheilds, hard running from midfielder Luke Creamer and relentless pressure of small forward Brett Jota. Cambodia failed to hit the board with a major.

In the second term, the Cobras lifted through the middle, with rover and team captain David Murphy upping his work rate and their “ring-in” centre half forward from Singapore, known only as “Rooster,” starting to assert himself in the packs.

However, tough work in the clinches was wasted through wayward kicking, and despite Cambodia controlling the majority of the possession, Vietnam needed just the slightest opportunity to pounce. The blistering run and carry of Cambodian full-back Chhaya Hang staved off many a forward attack by Vietnam but as the lone hand down back, even his usually raking drop-punt clearances succumbed to the pressure, resulting in some costly turnovers in front of goal.

At half time, midfielder/utility Conor Wall’s exhaustion reflected the Cobra’s lack of match fitness and when quizzed about whether the team suffered from inaccurate disposal, he replied: “only on the toilet.”

If that is truly his yardstick, then I’d stay well clear of his bathroom, indeed his entire house. David Boyle, an official from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, pointed out that the team had come a long way since being forced to recruit spectators into their under-manned team during a game two years ago.

“People like me standing on the sidelines ended up playing, but today they’re definitely going to go all the way,” he said.

With the resumption of “hostilities” in the third term, the Swans came out looking hungry to quash the Cobras’ resurgence, applying pressure through their superior fitness. Swans forward Brett Jota showed great volition when he smothered and intercepted early in the premiership quarter, and was rewarded for his efforts soon after, snagging a goal in the right forward pocket.

Some joy finally came for the Cobras in the fourth quarter, when forward Rory Hunter drilled home their first. After the game, Cobras captain David Murphy was philosophical about the 84-point-loss.

“It’s not the result we were looking for, but three or four months ago, not having a club and then being able to get 28 players on the track today was a huge achievement,” he said.

“We kicked one goal, we kicked many points but we were very competitive and we came up against a side that really know what they’re doing.”

The match practice should help the Cobras work more fluency and structure into their game when they tackle the Swans on home turf in Vietnam in three weeks’ time. On Saturday’s performance, they should consider putting Chhaya Hang in the middle and letting him run wherever he wants.

The Phnom Penh Post News in Brief

via Khmer NZ

Pies outplay the Blues to triumph by 48 points

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 David Boyle

Form and ladder position often count for little when it comes to rivalry games in the Australian Football League, and those rivalries don’t get much bigger than Carlton versus Collingwood – the silver tails versus the working -class battlers. But top-of-the-table Collingwood thoroughly dispelled any such superstitions Saturday, handing out a 48 point walloping to the Blues, a margin that didn’t nearly reflect their dominance. Lead by unstoppable midfielder Dane Swan, the relentless run and carry of halfback Harry O’Brien and the mercurial brilliance of small forward Leon Davis – who booted three, the Pies had the match sealed by half way through the second quarter. To describe Carlton’s performance as utterly woeful would be to succumb to the fact that suitably negative adjectives for this purpose have not yet been invented in the English language. Their furious coach Brett Ratten said it was probably “the most embarrassed I’ve been of our group”.

Fantasy league filling up

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Dan Riley

THE start of the new English Premier League season is now 12 days away, and aspiring managers are readying their squads for the accompanying Post Fantasy League, with weekly and overall prizes once again sponsored by Cellcard. To register your team, please go to and enter the code 42804-14678 to join our league. There are new rules (published on the forum page) and all managers must register their team by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it be eligible for prizes.

Commodities delay

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Catherine James

THE Cambodian Mercantile Exchange has pushed out its official launch to “a future date”, said its chief operating officer, Kushal Shrestha. The reasons for the delay were undisclosed.

Local JCI chapter opens

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Catherine James

HUNDREDS of entrepreneurs gathered at the CBM Corporation Co head office in Phnom Penh on Saturday for the launch of the Cambodian chapter of Junior Chamber International. More than 500 attended the launch, said JCI Cambodia acting president Chy Sila.

No licence yet for casino

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Soeun Say

OFFICIALS denied claims that Intercity Group was licensed to build a US$400 million casino in Siem Reap, according to a letter penned by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet director Ho Sitthy.

Jardine invests $34m in Cambodia’s ACLEDA

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Ellie Dyer

THE strategic wing of multinational corporation Jardine Matheson bought a 12.25 percent stake in Cambodia’s ACLEDA bank for US$34 million, nearly three times the book price, according to its first half report. When the purchase was first announced last year, ACLEDA president In Channy said the book value of the stake was $12.51 million. The sum involved was at the time undisclosed.

Construction: MoU signed on building for Senate

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:02 Sun Narin


The Senate has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company concerning the construction of a new plenary building, though officials said yesterday that they did not know how much it would cost or when work would commence.

Oum Sarith, the Senate’s secretary general, said plans for the building were being drawn up by the China City Construction Holding Group and would likely be finished “within three to six months”.

“We do not know the budget for the building or the time required to complete it,” he said. He added that the seven-storey building would be 5,000 square metres, and that it would include a meeting hall, offices for the nine Senate commissions and an “official party room”.

International law must prevail

via Khmer NZ

Monday, 02 August 2010 15:00 Svay Sitha

H E Svay Sitha

Emerging from the chaotic political situation that has disrupted Thai community life since the 2006 coup, strong chauvinistic statements have been desperately disseminated with the purpose of recreating the unity of a deeply divided society.

Once again, nationalism is the tool used by Thai government authorities, senior officials and political leaders who face internal social division, disorders and protests that are self-inflicted by their own miscalculated policies.

Typical of the ultranationalist Thai political leaders, whether they are in the government or not, they saved their days, swept their mistakes under the rug and glorified their obvious failures by shifting Thai people’s attention in the direction of Cambodia. The target of their uninterrupted attacks against Cambodia is the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the UNESCO World Heritage List. More and more, it is said and written intentionally but falsely by Thais that the temple and its vicinity belong to Thailand. Even more, in trying to justify armed violations of Cambodian territories in various places, Thai political leaders have ostensibly created out of their Machiavellian schemes what they call the “disputed” frontier line. In fact, there is an indisputable internationally recognised frontier line between Cambodia and Thailand.

Through the release of false information, there is an attempt from the Thai side to create, about this common border line, confusion in the mind of international policy makers and, in particular, decision makers within the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Despite continuous delusive allegations and regular irredentist claims by Thai officials, the facts are established and indisputable.

On February 13, 1904, a convention between France, protectorate power of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the Kingdom of Siam was signed.

Provisions of the convention explained how to determine the exact delineation of the territorial boundaries. On March 23, 1907, a new treaty between the two countries and a protocol annexed to the treaty concerning the delimitation of boundaries, confirmed and specified the previous one. Both international instruments stipulated that the line establishing the separation between the two territorial sovereignties was to be determined by a Franco-Siamese Mixed Border Delimitation Commission.

A “procès verbal d’abornement” (minutes of delimitation) of 1908-1909 produced the results of the work of this commission, with maps for every segment of the border. The document with the maps was adopted by both governments as the settlement of the 1907 treaty. A revision in 1919-1920 establishing the 73 boundary pillars enjoyed the same support. According to the map related to the Dangrek segment, the temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity are beyond any doubt inside Cambodian territory.

During the following decades, by its conduct, Siam recognised the line on the map as the frontier line. In 1925, a Friendship Treaty between France and Siam stipulated in its Article 2 that the two countries confirmed the established border. The following year, a Franco-Siamese Convention confirmed this Article 2. On January 30, 1929, Prince Damrong Rajanupab, son of the King of Siam and officially recognised in 2001 as the “father of Thai history”, visited the temple and declared that “Preah Vihear belongs to French Indochina”.

In 1937, a new friendship treaty repeated exactly the 1925 provisions about the border. During World War II, the Kingdom of Siam took advantage of its alliance with the Empire of Japan to annex Cambodian provinces. But in 1946, an agreement between France and Thailand reestablished the 1937 treaty. It was written by a Conciliatory Commission that there was no need to change the provisions of the 1907 treaty about the border.

After the independence of Cambodia, Thai military forces occupied the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity. The case was brought to the International Court of Justice. On June 15, 1962, the court, in its judgment, determined that “Thailand in 1908-1909 did accept the map as representing the outcome of the work of delimitation and hence recognised the line on that map as being the frontier line, the effect of which is to situate Preah Vihear in Cambodian territory”. The court “feels bound, as a matter of treaty interpretation, to pronounce in favour of the line as mapped in the disputed area”. For these reasons, the court found that “the temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia”. The following July, Thailand expressed acceptation of the ICJ ruling and failed to apply for revision during the following 10 years it was legally possible to do so.

In 1967, Mr Thanat Khonan, Thai minister for foreign affairs, declared that “Thailand has no territorial claims in Cambodia. The position of Thailand has always been to say that there is no dispute on the boundaries with Cambodia, as it has consistently complied with the treaty signed with France at the time it was the protective power of Cambodia”.

On June 14, 2000, Cambodia and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding for the survey and demarcation of the border line between the two countries. Article 1 of this MoU stipulates that the survey and demarcation of land boundary between the two countries shall be jointly conducted in accordance with the 1904 convention, the 1907 treaty and its annexed protocol and the “maps which are the results of demarcation works of the Commissions of Delimitation of the Boundary between Indo-China and Siam set up under the Convention of 1904 and the Treaty of 1907 between France and Siam, and other documents relating to the application of the Convention of 1904 and the Treaty of 1907 between France and Siam”.

On May 23, 2003, Cambodia and Thailand signed a document titled “Terms of Reference and Master Plan for the Joint Survey and Demarcation of Land Boundary between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand. This document made reference to the 1904 Convention, the 1907 Treaty, the maps and the MoU of June 2000.

A Joint Boundary Commission created by the 2000 MoU started to work. There were meetings in November 2008 and February and April 2009. The minutes of the three meetings were approved in principle by the Thai cabinet in April 2010, but are still pending the Thai parliament’s approval to enable the JBC to continue its work.

These are the facts. And they are indisputable. But since the 2006 military coup in Thailand, the political situation moved from crisis to crisis, and nationalism was used as a tool between the main factions to the detriment of Cambodia.

As a state party to the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Cambodia made in October 2001 the proposal to inscribe the site of the temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List. On January 2007, the International Council on Monuments and Sites recommended that the temple be included in the list.

As the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee was approaching in July 2007, with the inscription of the temple on its agenda, Thailand published a map showing a unilateral boundary line that changed totally the accepted international frontier line since 1908-1909. This map shows a boundary running alongside the temple and putting all the vicinity at the west of the temple in Thai territory. Nevertheless, the World Heritage Committee recognised that “the Sacred Site of the Temple of Preah Vihear is of great international significance and has Outstanding Universal Value”, and agreed in principle that it should be inscribed on the World Heritage list. Cambodia was requested to reinforce the conservation of the site and to develop a management plan.

On July 7, 2008, at its 32nd session, the World Heritage Committee unanimously inscribed the temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List under WHC decision 32 COM 8B. 102.

True to her duty to respect international law and her obligations as a state party, Cambodia has implemented and continues to implement the requirements set forth in the Quebec WHC decision, and as a matter of fact, Cambodia submitted the final management plan before February 1, 2010, to the World Heritage Center as required under the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, to be submitted further to the 34th session of the WHC, in Brasília, Brazil, for consideration and decision.

Now, the 34th session of the WHC is under way. Cambodia will defend her rights to the fullest of her abilities. The Thai ultranationalists will fail again in their attempts to dictate their ill-will on the international forum of such importance as the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO.

Svay Sitha is secretary of state at the Council of Ministers and chairman of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit. Opinions expressed are his own.

A hand up for Cambodia’s poor

via Khmer NZ

August 2, 2010

This Catholic Relief Services video features a microfinance project being carried out in Cambodia called “Thanakea Phum Cambodia” (TPC) - which means Village Bank Cambodia.

TPC gives small loans to motivated, hardworking people who want to support their families. This video, uploaded to YouTube in May, looks at how three beneficiaries changed their lives with help from the project.

Cambodia’s Commander -in Chief Gen Pol Saroeun Visit Border

via Khmer NZ

Sunday, 01 August 2010 04:23 DAP-NEWS/ Vibol

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, August 01, 2010-Cambodia’s commander in chief of Royal Cambodian armed forces Gen. Pol Saroeun on Sunday started visiting the troops at the border with Thailand after the Thai troops has mobilized in their territory.

His visit is just an inspection with the troops only,” the senior military officials told by phone.

Gen.Plo also will visit Takropey and Tamoane Temples in Oddar Mean Chea province and see troops there and he will also visit troops at other places along the border, the sources added.

We have never set up the invasion policy with the neighboring countries, but we have to have self defense for protecting the sovereignty of the country,” Gen. Pol said at the meeting with troops.

Cambodian man killed by angry elephant

via Khmer NZ

August 01, 2010

A Cambodian man was killed by an angry elephant when he was trying to approach the animal with an improper manner, a police office said Saturday.

Khut Sophal, a district police chief said the man who was killed by an elephant was identified as Yang Mark, 52, living in Taing Krasaing Village, Samraung Tong district in Kompong Speu province.

He said the incident happened at around 6 am on Thursday when Yang Mark, the latter victim, was retaliated by an angry elephant after he had swatted the head of the elephant four to five times in a gesture to show that he was not scared of the animal even though he was earlier warned by the elephant owner that the elephant was wild, said Khut Sophal.

According to Khut Sophal, the elephant hooked Yang Mark and knocked him down to the ground soon after Mark swatted it four to five times to the head.

According to the police, the family of the victim did not file any lawsuit against the owner of the elephant, Chan Chok, 42, who is identified as the victim's friend, saying the incident was not caused by the owner but at the victim's fault.

Kompong Speu province is located about 60 kilometers west of Phnom Penh and is known as one of the provinces in the country where still many elephants are inhabited.

Source: Xinhua

Vietnam, Cambodia aim to build peaceful border

via Khmer NZ


Building a shared border of peace and friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia was the main topic of a conference held in the south -western province of Tay Ninh from July 30-31.

Co-organised by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC) and the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland (SFDCM), the conference saw the attendance of VFFCC Vice President and General Secretary Vu Trong Kim and his Cambodian counterpart Min Khin, who is also Minister of Cults and Religions.

Representatives of the Vietnamese National Border Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Border Guard High Command, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and border provinces of both nations also attended the event.

At the conference, leaders of the two countries’ Fronts reviewed the results of the implementation of a joint statement signed on April 10, 2009 between Vietnamese and Cambodian border provinces.

The two sides agreed to improve the awareness of the Vietnam-Cambodia traditional solidarity and friendship among residents living along the border and increase the dissemination of the two countries’ policies, laws, agreements, treaties and regulations on the border and the protection of national sovereignty.

Strengthening the administrations in border provinces, calling for assistance from border residents in the border demarcation and marker planting, increasing the exchange of information and visits at all levels, organising training courses and sharing operational experiences are also considered major tasks of the two Fronts in the coming time.

The two sides also agreed to take turns holding similar conferences every two year to examine the performance of the signed cooperation agreements.

Thai-Cambodian Border Normal as UNESCO Talks Postponed

via Khmer NZ

Published : August 01, 2010

The situation at the Thai-Cambodian border remains normal despite the ongoing dispute surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple, according to Thai military sources on Friday.

Bangkok, the 31st of July 2010: The UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) postponed management plans put forth by Phnom Penh and resultant discussions over the controversial Preah Vihear Temple until 2011 last week.

Following the announcement, Thailand significantly increased their military presence on the eastern approach to the temple over fears of a Cambodian encroachment into Thai territory. However, despite fears and the WHC ruling to postpone talks, the situation remains stable in the region, according to military sources.

Disputes about the ownership of the temple and the land demarcation that surrounds it have been ongoing for more than 60 years. In 1962, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) made a majority ruling (9-3) that the temple was part of Cambodian territory. This judgement is still in place today, although Thailand continues to dispute the findings and the resultant World Heritage Listing for fear of losing adjacent land in the area.

The temple site has history dating back as early as the 9th century although the majority of constructions as it stands today were done during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I (1002 -1050) and Suryavarman II (1113 -1150). Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the site was later converted to Buddhism following the collapse of Hinduism in the region.

With both countries being at a standstill over the management and ownership of the Preah Vihear Temple and the land that surrounds it, the immediate concern is regarding the true naming of the site. Thailand refers to the temple as Phra Viharn whilst the Cambodians use Preah Vihear. Preah Vihear is the internationally recognised name due to the 1962 ICJ ruling mentioned above.

The increased military presence merely 5km from the temple on the eastern side are said to be guarding the disputed region to ensure that Cambodian soldiers do not encroach upon Thai territory, a must in order to gain access to the site.

Following Friday’s decision to postpone discussions regarding a management plan for the temple, Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromyat praised the Thai delegation for successfully explaining the nation’s perspective on the impasse to the UNESCO-WHC.

He further stated that all party’s should now come together in an attempt to resolve the ongoing Thai-Cambodian border demarcation dispute and submit it to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Thailand’s major dispute is that the land surrounding Preah Vihear is part of Thai territory according to the 2000 land boundary demarcation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Thailand will not allow for the loss of any land in the ongoing dispute and insist that negotiations be done in a peaceful manner to facilitate the two neighbouring countries good relations.