Thursday, 28 October 2010

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Meets Prime Minister Hun Sen

US Navy USS Commelin or FFG 37 Trained Royal Navy of Cambodia

Pictures by Radio Free Asia

Passports revoked for nine red shirts

via CAAI

Published: 28/10/2010
via CAAI 

The Foreign Affairs Ministry has revoked the passports of nine red shirt leaders charged with terrorism in connection with this year's political violence.

Ministry deputy spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said yesterday the revoking of the passports was based on a recommendation from the Royal Thai Police and the Department of Special Investigation.

The suspects are Arisman Pongruengrong, Suporn Atthawong, Waipot Apornrat, Payap Pankate, Adisorn Piangkate, Aree Krainara, Shinawat Haboonpad, Samrueng Prachamrua and Kanyaphak Maneechak.

Mr Thani said the revocation was in line with the ministry's directives governing the issuance of travel documents. It would take immediate effect.

The ministry's action comes after it was reported that fugitive red shirt Mr Arisman, who is believed to be hiding in Cambodia, filed an application to extend his Cambodian visa from the country's consulate in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district.

A border source said the Cambodian consulate in Sa Kaeo subsequently had revoked the visa it had granted Mr Arisman.

Sa Kaeo police told Cambodia Mr Arisman was barred from leaving the country and he used a fake exit stamp from Thai immigration when entering Cambodia and applying for a visa.

Cambodia to restore national rail service

via CAAI

By Anasuya Sanyal | Posted: 28 October 2010

PHNOM PENH: A complete overhaul of Cambodia's crumbling railway system is expected by 2013, restoring what was once a preferred mode of transport in the Kingdom.

Cambodia's national rail service has all but come to a halt.

The past three decades of conflict and neglect took their toll, leaving bogies riddled with bullet holes and flat bed locomotives with machine gun mounts.

It's been eight years since passenger trains operate and even then service was unreliable and irregular.

But a new US$141 million project spearheaded by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian and Cambodian governments will revitalise both existing railway lines.

The Northern Line will stretch west from the capital Phnom Penh to Poi Pet at the Thai border, while the Southern Line goes down to Sihanoukville on the coast-a total of 650 kilometres.

Cambodia's rapid economic development means roads are the main way to move bulky and hazardous cargo.

Transporting it by rail instead is one of the initial goals of the project, making roads safer and less congested.

Asian Development Bank's country director, Cambodia Putu M Kamayana said: "This first phase is only the 120 kilometre line to the cement factory in Kampot and perhaps there will be much more passenger traffic demand once the link to Sihanoukville port is completed because that's also a tourism destination".

There is also hope Cambodia could one day be a regional logistics hub.

Asian Development Bank's senior transport economist Peter Broch said: "If you consider, Cambodia is sitting right between the two primary economic centres in the southern part of the Greater Mekong Subregion.

"On one side you have Thailand and in particular with huge commercial areas and population areas around bangkok.

"On the other side you have Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, both of them very large economic zones in Vietnam".

An Australian company, Toll Logistics, has won a 30-year concession to run the new railway, jointly with the government.

Part of its operations will be to manage the people who live and work right next to the track.

Toll Global Logistics president/CEO Wayne Hunt said: "The local communities then started to encroach on the railway, then seeing that as an opportunity for them to be able to have more space in their living

"So one of the biggest challenges for all of us has been to be able to ensure to keep everyone informed and to explain to the people of Cambodia the benefits of the railway as we then we go through a process of being able to rehabilitate the rail track and also relocate some of the people".

The government will assist and compensate those who need to move.

And ADB's initial studies found around 200 households would have to be resettled.

But for now, people can't take their eyes off the refurbished bright yellow train.

Eighty-two-year-old Hen Seng has been living in Phnom Penh since the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979.

"I've never seen a restored train like this one coming down the track, only the old ones so it's really exciting to see the new train," he said.

Many along the lines said they hope to expand their businesses and earn more money when the trains start running regularly.

Phase two of the project aims to link Cambodia to Vietnam which will complete the rail link between Singapore, and Kunming in China, by 2015.


UN head says court to decide on Khmer Rouge trials

New legal cases against former Khmer Rouge chiefs will be decided by the UN, the organisation's cheif has said

PHNOM PENH — UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that Cambodia's UN-backed war crimes court would decide whether to pursue more Khmer Rouge cadres, after Prime Minister Hun Sen ruled out a third trial of former regime members.

"This is the decision to be made by the court," Ban told reporters after touring a former prison and torture centre where he prayed for the souls of victims of the brutal regime.

"The United Nations will discuss this matter with international community members, particularly donors," Ban said.

Hun Sen told Ban Wednesday that a second Khmer Rouge war crimes trial due to start early next year would be the last and "case three is not allowed" because it could plunge the country back into civil war.

In its first trial the court in July sentenced former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, to 30 years in jail for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people in the late 1970s.

Last month the court indicted four top regime leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in connection with the deaths of up to two million people from starvation, overwork and execution between 1975 and 1979.

The court is also investigating whether to open a third case against other former Khmer Rouge cadres, but has faced political interference.

Hun Sen was once a mid-level Khmer Rouge member himself before turning against the movement.

He has repeatedly warned that further prosecutions at the court could destabilise Cambodia, saying he would prefer to see the court fail than indict more suspects.

After seeing photos of the victims at Tuol Sleng prison, now a genocide museum, Ban made an emotional appeal for the Khmer Rouge's crimes not to go unpunished.

"We know it is difficult to relive this terrible chapter in your history," he said.

"But I want you to know: Your courage sends a powerful message to the world -- that there can be no impunity. That crimes of humanity shall not go unpunished," Ban said.

Rights group: Cambodian police beat protestors seeking UN chief

via CAAI

Oct 28, 2010

Phnom Penh - A prominent Cambodian human rights group said police used electrical shock batons and walkie-talkies Thursday to beat back several dozen Phnom Penh residents trying to meet with visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

One man was beaten unconscious and dragged away by police, Licadho said, adding that the incident revealed the 'cracking facade of democracy in Cambodia.'

The protestors, who are to soon be evicted from their homes in central Phnom Penh to make way for a large development by a well-connected company, had petitioned Ban to meet them to discuss their plight.

Licadho condemned the violence and called on Ban to 'publicly condemn this use of force against peaceful protestors who were attempting to gain his attention.'

Ban's office had yet to issue a statement about the violence.

Licadho director Naly Pilorge said the beatings, which took place close to a hospital that Ban was visiting, was indicative of the government's approach to human rights and its international reputation.

'Either they don't understand the harm that this sort of incident causes to Cambodia's reputation, or they don't care, or perhaps they just think they can get away with it,' she said.

Earlier Thursday, Ban visited Phnom Penh's S-21 prison, where more than 14,000 people were tortured and marked for execution during the Khmer Rouge's rule of the country in the late 1970s.

Ban referred to the Khmer Rouge rule as a 'terrible chapter' in the country's history.

'But I want you to know that your courage has sent a strong and powerful message to the world that there can be no impunity, that crimes against humanity shall not go unpunished,' he said.

It has been an eventful trip for Ban.

On Wednesday, Cambodia's foreign minister said Prime Minister Hun Sen told Ban he would not permit any further prosecutions of former Khmer Rouge cadres, a statement that set off a storm of criticism about political interference in the judicial process.

But the government later appeared to moderate its tone when Minister for Information Khieu Kanharith said Hun Sen had merely expressed his desire to see no further prosecutions.

'We don't say forbidden because you cannot dictate, you cannot impose your will on the court,' Khieu Kanharith said.

Hun Sen also told Ban to close the UN human rights office because he deemed it was acting as a mouthpiece for the opposition and told him to sack the UN's country head for human rights, Christophe Peschoux.

Khieu Kanharith reiterated that position.

'It is time to close down the office,' he said. 'Both [the office and Peschoux] have to go.'

Ban left Cambodia Thursday after a three-day visit for Vietnam, where he is to attend a summit between the United Nations and the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations. He is to conclude his Asian tour in China.

Toll Royal Railway opens Phase One of the Cambodian Railway

via CAAI

Toll Royal Railway, which won the contract to operate the Cambodia railway system, today declared the line between Phnom Penh and Touk Meas officially open.

The joint venture between Toll Group and local company Royal Group will manage the operation of the railway. Initially with limited operation on this section of the southern line, the volume of rail traffic will increase once all tests have been carried out. This section of the line will be extended to the Sihanoukville container port and is expected to be completed and fully functional by May 2011.

Wayne Hunt, CEO and president of Toll’s Global Logistics Division, which operates the railway, said: “Today marks a very important milestone in the ongoing development of Cambodia. With the launch of an operational rail freight service between Phnom Penh and Touk Meas, cargo can be transported more easily around this area whilst also reducing vehicle congestion and truck over-loading on the roads.

“This line is set to provide a valuable link to businesses throughout Cambodia, as well as linking up the country with the rest of South East Asia. Toll is particularly proud to be part of such an exciting time in Cambodia’s development, and will continue to work with the Cambodian government to support their commitment to road to rail transportation.

“We are also pleased to be working so closely with the Asian Development Bank and AusAID on this project which will open up opportunities for businesses throughout the length and breadth of the line,” he concluded.

David Kerr, CEO of Toll Royal Railway commented, “Toll Royal Railway is committed to the people of Cambodia, and we have so far employed over 150 staff. We hope to add to this as the business grows, giving opportunities for local people to develop their careers with an international company.”

UN chief tours Khmer Rouge prison, appeals for more justice during visit to Cambodia

via CAAI

Associated Press

10/28/10 4:10 AM EDT PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made an emotional appeal Thursday for Cambodia to send a message to the world that the Khmer Rouge's crimes against humanity will not go unpunished.

Ban's comments came after a tour of the Khmer Rouge's main prison and torture center during a visit to Cambodia that has been marked by heated words from the country's leader.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday ordered Ban to shut down the U.N. human rights office in Cambodia and to remove the current envoy.

Hun Sen also told Ban that Cambodia will not allow the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal to expand the scope of its trials to include former low-ranking officers of the regime.

The 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime was blamed for the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.

"Thirty years have passed. Yet here, in this tragic place, we still hear the echoes. The cries of human misery. The agony," Ban said at the infamous S-21 prison where as many as 16,000 people were tortured before being executed. "I will never forget my visit here today. In this place of horror, ladies and gentlemen, let the human spirit triumph. Words cannot do justice. But we can."

Ban later told The Associated Press in an interview that he had emphasized to Hun Sen the need for the government to "provide full cooperation and fully respect the independence of the court." He said the leader gave assurances for both.

The tribunal closed its first case in July when it convicted the regime's chief jailer and head of S-21, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A second trial is expected to start next year against the four top surviving Khmer Rouge leaders.

Hun Sen has said the trials will stop there, despite U.N. wishes to bring lower-ranking officers to justice for murder, torture and other crimes. The U.N. says progress has been blocked by political interference from Cambodian officials who oppose more prosecutions.

"We know it is difficult to relive this terrible chapter in your history," Ban said. "But I want you to know, your courage sends a powerful message to the world — that there can be no impunity. That crimes of humanity shall not go unpunished."

Critics accuse the Cambodian leader of trying to limit the tribunal's scope to prevent his political allies from being indicted. Hun Sen once served as a Khmer Rouge officer and many of his main allies are also former members of the group.

He also objects to the presence of U.N. human rights envoys, who tend to criticize the government's human rights abuses.

"The office for U.N. human rights in Cambodia has to be shut down," government spokesman Khieu Kanharith quoted Hun Sen as telling Ban during a two-hour meeting Wednesday.

Hun Sen accused the U.N. rights envoy, Christophe Peschoux, of "not working on human rights issues with the government but working as a spokesman for the opposition," Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters.

Ban has not commented publicly on Hun Sen's demands, but told the AP Thursday: "I am convinced that we will continue to work here in Cambodia. That's my understanding after further meetings with the prime minister and the foreign minister."

Human Rights Watch's Asia deputy director Phil Robertson said the warning "appears to be part of Hun Sen's master plan to ensure total impunity for himself and consolidate authoritarian power."


Associated Press writer Vijay Joshi contributed to this report.

Cambodia tribunal vital in fight against impunity: UN

via CAAI

New York, Oct 28 : The United Nations-backed tribunal in Cambodia dealing with mass killings and other crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge three decades ago is crucial in the world's fight against impunity, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the South-East Asian nation on Wednesday.

As many as 2.2 million people are believed to have died during the 1975-79 rule of the Khmer Rouge, which was then followed by a protracted period of civil war in the impoverished country.

Under an agreement signed by the UN and the Government, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) was set up as an independent court using a mixture of Cambodian staff and judges and foreign personnel. It is designated to try those deemed most responsible for crimes and serious violations of Cambodian and international law between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979.

"You are helping the people of Cambodia continue the process of reconciliation and build a peaceful and prosperous future," the Secretary-General told the Court on Wednesay.

"Your work is vital in the world's fight against impunity."

He said that it is nearly impossible to describe what took place in Cambodia in the 1970s, underlining the need for accountability for the "shocking" crimes.

"As a young person at the time, I was horrified" by the sheer scale of the killings and the incomprehensible inhumanity, Ban said.

He acknowledged that, as with all UN-assisted criminal tribunals, it is impossible to try all offenders.

"Nevertheless, putting the senior Khmer Rouge leaders on trial, even 30 years after, is itself a powerful message, a message that impunity will not be tolerated - neither by the people of Cambodia and their Government, nor by the United Nations and the international community."

The Secretary-General pointed to some key accomplishments the ECCC has made so far.

In its first verdict handed down in July, the Court found Kaing Guek Eav guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Also known as Duch, the head of a notorious detention camp run by the Khmer Rouge was given a 35-year prison term.

"This victory is significant - not only for the many thousands of people who died or were imprisoned in Toul Sleng prison, but also for survivors everywhere," Ban, who will visit the Genocide Museum at the prison site, said. "They can see justice being done."

He noted that Cambodians want to see justice done, with 31,000 people having attended Duch's trial, with many more having watched from afar.

In September, the ECCC indicted the four most senior members of the Democratic Kampuchea regime who are still alive for crimes against humanity, genocide, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, as well as for violations of the 1956 Cambodian penal code, including murder, torture and religious persecution.

"Let us send a power signal to anyone, anywhere, who might commit such crimes in the future," the Secretary-General said.

Earlier today in the capital, Phnom Penh, he discussed the need for the Government's full cooperation and respect for the Court and its independence with Prime Minister Hun Sen, stressing that this is vital to enable the body to enjoy international support and to leave a strong legacy in Cambodia.

The ECCC, he stressed, was set up to be fully independent and that even the Secretary-General should not seek to influence its decisions in any way.

Human rights were also a focus of their talks, with Ban expressing appreciation for the Cambodian Government's cooperation with all human rights mechanisms. He also emphasized the importance of creating political space for public debate, including on human rights.

The Secretary-General underlined the essential public advocacy role of the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), stressing the notable role and value of its Phnom Penh office.

Other issues discussed between the two men on Wednesday included the important role the UN has played since 1993 in the area of elections in Cambodia, the situation in Myanmar and the partnership between the world body and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Ban is in the region for a four-nation trip that started in Thailand and will also take him to Viet Nam and China.


DAP News. Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via CAAI

Ban Ki-moon: Cambodian Victims’ Tear in Khmer Rouge Still Drop

Thursday, 28 October 2010 08:11 DAP NEWS / SOY SOPHEA  CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Oct 28, 2010-Visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his sadness to Cambodian victims of Khmer Rouge regime as he paida visit to most brutal torture interrogating place of Cambodia during Khmer Rouge regime.

Ban Ki-moon who pay his three-day official visit to Cambodia before heading to ASEAN Submit in Hanoi, Vietnam, said, “I have seen their face tearing down and they are seeking justice,” adding that justice should be given as Cambodian people are watching live trial from ECCC court room.

He added that the trial is very important page to find justice for them.

Ban added that the possibility of case 003 will be discussed by legal experts. His remark was made after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen asked him to discontinue any possibility case of Khmer Rouge concerning peace and stability in Cambodia.

UN Secretary General Talks with Cambodia PM on South China Sea’s Issue Ahead of ASEAN Summit in Hanoi

Thursday, 28 October 2010 02:30 DAP NEWS / VIBOL

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Oct 27, 2010-UN Secretary General Mr Ban Kim Mon on Tuesday held talks with Cambodian PM Hun Sen on the stance of Cambodian government on security issues of the South China Sea.

“Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen told the UN secretary general that Cambodia wants to see the respect of the code of conduct for the issues of South China Sea ,” Khieu Kanharith, information minister and government spokesman told reporters. He also joined the meeting between two leaders.

“Cambodian government does not want to see any conflicts on issues of South China Sea, “Khieu added.

Some of ASEAN countries claimed about the sovereignty on South China Sea especially Spratly island which is potential of natural resources and paracel island against superpower China who is dominant in the sea region.

The matter of South China Sea will be talked in ASEAN summit in Hanoi in next few day.

The meeting of two leaders talked in an hour raising several issues in cooperation between UN side with Cambodia at genocide court, border issue between Cambodia and Thailand, human rights issue in Cambodia.

Japanese Man walking 1 country to another one sends a letter to Ban Ki-moon

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 13:22 DAP-NEWS

Asian Megacities Threatened by Climate Change

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 12:38 DAP NEWS / VIBOL

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Oct 27, 2010-Asia’s coastal megacities will flood more often, on a larger scale, and affect millions more people, if current climate change trends continue, a new report warns from ADB said on Tuesday.

The report on Climate Risks and Adaptation in Asian Coastal Megacities examines the impact of climate change on Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila, under a range of different scenarios through to 2050. The report is the product of a two-year collaborative study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank. It was released here today at the Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum.

The report finds that costs from major flooding events on infrastructure and the economy could run into the billions of dollars, with urban poor populations likely to be the hardest hit. It concludes that all three cities need to take targeted, city-specific and cutting edge approaches to meet these challenges. Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila all have populations close to or over 10 million.

Two are capital cities and all three are centers of national and regional economic growth contributing substantially to the GDP of the respective countries. As coastal megacities, all face increased climate related risks such as rising sea levels and an increased frequency of extreme weather events.

While commendable measures to counteract flooding have already been taken by these cities, much more needs to be done, the report argues. For cities to address future climate related risks, sound urban environmental management is crucial. Land subsidence due to groundwater pumping, dumping of solid waste into city canals and waterways, clogged drainage systems, and deforestation in the upper watershed all contribute to urban flooding.

Better management of these urban environmental issues will help manage future climate-related impacts. Given the damage costs associated with climate change, the report also recommends that governments of coastal megacities undertake proactive measures to address climate risks as an integral part of urban planning.

This includes developing strategic urban adaptation frameworks for managing climate risks, strengthening institutional capacity for adaptation and implementing measures such as land use planning and zoning to help reduce urban vulnerability. In Bangkok, flooding is caused by land subsidence and increased rainfall in the large watershed that drains through the city. Therefore, measures to control groundwater pumping, improve flood forecasting and information, raise dikes and invest in pump station capacity, are needed. The threat from sea level rise and storm surges are found to be less dramatic, but still warrant investment in coastal zone protection and land use planning that takes a long-term perspective on these factors.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the report states that around 26% of the population is currently affected by extreme storm events, but those numbers could climb to more than 60% by 2050. The government has expressed interest in a climate change adaptation plan for the city, which can provide an overall framework for adaptation measures within relevant sectors. Infrastructure-based approaches can also be usefully combined with ecosystems-based approaches such as management of mangroves and rehabilitation of urban wetlands. In Metro Manila, the report states that in the worst case scenario a major flood could cause damage totaling almost a quarter of the metropolitan area’s GDP.

The main threats to Manila are extreme rainfall, sea level rise, as well as more powerful typhoons. The report suggests that continuous improvements and redesigning of flood control infrastructure are necessary.

The report’s findings on the three cities are a bellwether for coastal megacities around the world, from Asia to Africa. Its key messages include the following: i) Better management of urban environment and infrastructure will help manage potential climate-related impacts in coastal cities; ii) Climate-related risks should be considered as an integral part of city and regional planning; and iii) Targeted city-specific solutions, combining infrastructure investment, zoning, and ecosystem-based strategies are required. .

AKP - Agent Kampuchea Press

via CAAI

National Assembly President Backs Home

Phnom Penh, October 27, 2010 AKP -- A high-level delegation of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia headed by its President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin returned home Tuesday night after a week-long official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

Samdech Heng Samrin and his wife together with other accompanied members were warmly greeted on their arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport by H.E. Nguon Nhel, first vice president of the National Assembly; H.E Say Chhum, second vice president of National Assembly, and other parliament members.

Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Mr. Pan Guangxue was also on hand.--AKP

(By KEO Chandara)


UN Chief Arrive in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, October 27, 2010 AKP -- The United Nations Secretary General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon arrived here on Tuesday night for an official visit to Cambodia.

H.E. Ban Ki-moon and his wife together with his entourages were warmly greeted on their arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport by Cambodian Minister of Information H.E Khieu Kanharith and other senior government officials.

During his three-day visit here from Oct. 26 to 28, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon is expected to hold an official talk with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and will be granted a royal audience by King Norodom Sihamoni.

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon is also schedule to visit the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia, the Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum and the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.--AKP

(By KEO Chandara)


China Pledges to Help Cambodia in Pig Rearing

Phnom Penh, October 27, 2010 AKP -- China has promised to help Cambodia in agriculture, especially in pig rearing, according to a cabinet official of Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries told reporters on Oct. 25.

Mr. Gao Hongbin, Chinese vice minister of the Ministry of Agriculture assured during the meeting here on Oct. 23 with Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries H.E. Chan Sarun.

On the occasion, H.E. Chan Sarun also briefed the Chinese side on the good friendship, close cooperation and China’s assistance to Cambodia in all domains, particularly in agriculture.--AKP

(By LIM Nary)


Newly-Appointed Korean Ambassador Pledges More Cooperation with Cambodia

Phnom Penh, October 27, 2010 AKP -- The newly-appointed ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia Mr. Hojin Chan met here on Oct. 25 with Cambodia’s Minister of Health H.E. Mom Bunheng.

During the meeting, Mr. Hojin Chang told H.E. Mom Bunheng that he pledged to do his best to further strengthen the cooperation between both countries Cambodia-Korea.

For his parts, H.E. Mom Bunheng deeply thanked the Republic of Korea and its people for their support and precious assistance to Cambodia, especially in the health field.

Moreover, the Minister of Health also asked Korean side to help construct an eye hospital in Preah Angduong Hospital and another hospital in Batheay district in Kompong Cham province.

Regarding the above-said proposals, the Korean diplomat said the Korean government will dispatch a specialized team to conduct a study over the projects.--AKP

(By CHEA Vannak)


US Navy CARAT Dock in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, October 27, 2010 AKP -- A U.S. warship USSCROMMELIM FF 637 has called at Preah Sihanouk Provincial Autonomous Seaport on Oct. 25 to conduct a six-day joint CARAT-Step II Exercise with the Cambodian Naval Forces.

The opening ceremony was presided over by H.E. General Tea Vinh, Commander of Cambodian Naval Forces, and other dignitaries on the USSCROMMELIM FF 637.

Cambodia is the 7th country in Asia joining the CARAT training since 1994 after Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines.--AKP

(By Chan Soratha)

Border row stems from incursion: PM

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:02 Cheang Sokha and Meas Sokchea

PRIME Minister Hun Sen told visiting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday that the Kingdom’s ongoing border dispute with Thailand has been caused solely by the Thais’ encroachment on Cambodian territory.

Hun Sen said other points of contention between the countries were secondary to Thailand’s violation of Cambodian sovereignty, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong told reporters following the meeting.

“The issue is not related to the inscription of Preah Vihear temple or the appointment of Thaksin, because he has resigned already,” Hor Namhong said.

Fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was appointed economic adviser to the Cambodian government last year, staging several high-profile visits to Cambodia that drew the ire of his political enemies in Bangkok. The Cambodian government announced Thaksin’s resignation in August, prompting Thailand to restore its ambassador to Phnom Penh and upgrade diplomatic relations.

The countries have clashed periodically along their contentious border near Preah Vihear temple following its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. At a UNESCO meeting in Brazil earlier this year, Cambodia submitted a management plan for Preah Vihear over Thai objections.

In August, Hun Sen wrote a letter to the UN Security Council accusing Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva of violating the UN Charter following reports that Abhisit had discussed the possible use of military force at the border. Abhisit later claimed he had been misquoted.

Also yesterday, officials from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party met with B Lynn Pascoe, the UN’s undersecretary general for Political Affairs.

In a letter to Ban dated yesterday, SRP president Sam Rainsy said the Kingdom was suffering from “a deterioration in the human rights situation” and “the suppression of all forms of criticism and protest”.

Waters begin to subside in northeast

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

WATER levels in Banteay Mean-chey province’s Sisophon and Mongkul Borei districts began to recede yesterday, but it would take at least a week for them to return to normal, officials said.

Provincial cabinet director Om Chantha said yesterday that water levels had decreased by roughly 20 centimetres, but that most residents who had been forced to relocate because of severe flooding had not returned to their homes.

“We are happy as the waters have receded because there was no rain in Banteay Meanchey,” he said. “However, we are still worried about their health because they have to stay longer in the flooded areas.”

He said more than 900 families had been forced to seek refuge at roadsides and in local pagodas, and that many were starting to suffer illnesses such as diarrhoea, rashes and colds.

“We don’t expect the waters will recede for at least another week,” he said.

However, he said the relocated families had received relief assistance from the Cambodian Red Cross on Monday, and that more relief packages would be delivered by provincial officials to 300 affected people in O’Chrouv district today.

He added that more than 50,000 people had been affected by floods in the province.

Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said water had begun to recede at the provincial prison, but that many of the 850 prisoners housed there were still forced to sleep on tabletops to stay dry.

“Some of the prisoners are now starting to get sick because they have lived in the water for too long,” he said.

Keo Vy, director of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said yesterday that a report on the floods, which began on October 10, was now completed and awaiting approval before its release.

“We now are submitting it to our superiors,” he said.

The unofficial death toll from the floods stands at nine: two each in Kampong Chhnang province and in Phnom Penh, and one each in Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk and Kandal provinces.

Newspaper stands forced to shut down

Photo by: Pha Lina
A newspaper vendor closes up her stand near Olympic Stadium yesterday.

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

SIX newspaper vendors at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium who were forced to close their stalls to make way for a development project said yesterday that they planned to write to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Information to demand compensation.

Chan Thy, a representative of the vendors, said they received a letter from Prampi Makara district authorities on Tuesday ordering the closure and removal of their stalls.

“We could not sell any newspapers today because we have completely closed our shops here on the orders of Phnom Penh authorities,” she said.

“I would like to appeal to Prime Minister Hun Sen, [Information Minister Khieu Kanharith] and the Phnom Penh governor for intervention, and to pay compensation and find new places for us to continue our business.”

She said her stand had been operating in the same location since 1993, when she paid US$350 to district authorities for permission to set up there.

She added that if there was no immediate solution, the vendors would write to Hun Sen, Khieu Kanharith and Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema “in the coming days”.

Seng Heang, whose stall was also closed, said she’d been operating there since 2008, and that she too had paid $350 for her plot of land. “I have many family members and none of them work,” she said.

“This newspaper shop is my only business.”

District governor Som Sovann said the shops were ordered closed because district authorities needed the land cleared for proposed new developments. He declined to elaborate.

“We cannot pay compensation or find new places for them,” he said. “If they don’t move, we will force them from the area.”

Last week, officials evicted vendors’ stalls to the north and east of the stadium.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith and Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Killing in capital: Man killed in shooting on Monivong

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:01 Tep Nimol

Killing in capital

A 38-YEAR-old man was shot dead opposite a high school on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district yesterday morning, police said.

Iv Chamroeun, police commissioner for Kandal province, where the victim was from, said one of two men suspected of involvement in the shooting was arrested immediately after the incident, but had not been charged.

“We arrested one of the suspects, but we do not yet know if he is a killer or not,” he said.

According to a Cham-karmon district police report, Bun Ly was shot twice outside Boeung Trabek High School at around 6.30am after dropping his children off.

Drawing gender equality

Photo by: Un Nousereimony

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:01 Un Nousereimony

An Usa, 8, yesterday kneels beside his winning entry in the European Union International Drawing Competition on Gender Equality. Fourteen winning contestants worldwide were to receive roughly US$1,380 in prize money for tuition or the purchase of books, computers or other education-related materials. In An Usa’s drawing, the girl holds a book and the boy holds pencils.

Police Blotter: 28 Oct 2010

VIA caai

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:01 Sen David

Police arrest pair of serial sword fighters
Police in Tuol Kork district briefly detained two students accused of employing swords while fighting with students from a rival school. In the past, the students routinely resorted to swordfights when push came to shove, but Tuol Kork residents were particularly frightened by the latest incident because it had occurred on a public road. The boys were detained and “re-educated”. Their parents were called in.

Car smacks into tree; drunken driver flees
A drunken man drove his car into a large tree in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district on Monday. Witnesses reported watching the man veer his “very modern car” square into the tree before fleeing the scene on foot. They said he did not appear to have suffered any injuries. Police said he should not have abandoned his car following the collision, and that they planned to fine him double the amount he would have owed had he stayed put.

Lovestruck woman’s suicide jump thwarted
Police stopped a 24-year-old woman – who later said she was sad because her love interest was married – from jumping off a bridge in Kampot town on Tuesday. Police said she was drunk when she climbed the railings of the bridge, but that they managed to talk her down anyway. She was detained for questioning, but could not give answers because she was too drunk. Her friend said she was a karaoke girl who fell for a married man. She was returned home after being released, and has vowed not to try to kill herself again.

Villagers win battle against gang of six
Six “gangsters” were injured by an angry mob during a fight at a party in Banteay Meanchey province on Monday. A witness said the hoodlums were partying, drinking and dancing when villagers became enraged because of their rude behaviour. The villagers then joined forces and assaulted the “gangsters”, and all six were sent to hospital. Police said the men would be detained and sent to court upon their release from hospital, despite the fact that they were assaulted.

Drug smugglers caught at point of sale by copsPolice arrested two men accused of smuggling narcotics in Banteay Meanchey’s Mongkul Borei district on Monday. Police said the men were attempting to sell the drugs to a buyer when they were detained. The men confessed to trafficking drugs, and said they had run smuggling trips “many times”. Police sent the case to the provincial court for further investigation.

The Phnom Penh Post News in Brief

via CAAI

SRP writes to Hun Sen

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:01 Meas Sokchea

MEMBERS of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party yesterday handed National Assembly President Heng Samrin a letter requesting that Prime Minister Hun Sen respond to criticisms from the European Parliament concerning the recent prosecution of party president Sam Rainsy and comments on a “worrying authoritarian trend” in Cambodian politics. The letter, signed by 17 SRP members, asks: “How will the government maintain its stance to keep aid from the European Union, and to keep the honour of Cambodia?”

Two dead, one injured in bomb explosion

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:01 Sen David

A 45-YEAR-OLD man and his 6-year-old son were killed, and a woman was seriously injured, in a bomb explosion in Kampong Chhnang’s Rolea Bier district, officials said yesterday. Nou Tearo, deputy district police chief, said the man and his son died on Tuesday after one of three pieces of unexploded ordinance that they planned to recycle detonated in their home. “In the village, the residents are so panicked because the two men died from the bomb explosion with so much blood,” he said. He added that a 52-year-old woman, who had been 20 metres from the explosion, was hit with shrapnel and sent to hospital with serious injuries.

Extra flights, but not to the coast

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:01 Jeremy Mullins and Nguon Sovan

PHNOM Penh and Siem Reap airports were projected to achieve double-digit percentage increases in international airline passenger traffic next year, government officials said yesterday.

But regular flights to Sihanoukville have yet to be scheduled, despite pleas for support from potential investors as Korean representatives joined those from Cambodia's private sector in emphasisng the importance of the airport to the coastal town.

Nicolas Deviller, chief executive of airport-management company Société Concessionaire Des Aéroports, said yesterday at the capital’s Raffles Le Royal Hotel that Phnom Penh could see 10 percent more international passengers and 6 percent more plane movements in 2011.

Siem Reap was slated for a rise of 13 percent in international passenger traffic and 7 percent more plane movements.

“The trend is quite positive”, he said at a briefing.

The SCA’s coming winter season, from October 31 to March 26, would see international and domestic flights increase as airlines added 31 new weekly flights to the schedule.

AirAsia is poised to add seven weekly flights between Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok Airways plans to create an extra daily flight between the capitals, Cambodia Angkor Air is set to establish seven more domestic flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and Korean Air will launch seven weekly flights between Seoul to Siem Reap.

Deviller highlighted regional travel as an area for tourism industry expansion.

China, South Korea and Japan were among countries considered possible sources of tourism, he said, but added, “we could see more and more coming from India”.

However, in line with expectations, SCA did not announce any scheduled flights to Sihanoukville’s airport.

On Tuesday, a representative from the private sector called the absence of a Sihanoukville flight “possibly the single most critical issue affecting tourism”. Visiting businesspeople yesterday also spoke of the airport’s importance during an investment presentation with the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

Delegates from 13 South Korean companies are seeking opportunities in Cambodia, in part due to increased labour costs in China.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Myung Cheol Jin, chief executive officer of Yoonhan Mineral Salt, said he had been impressed with the investment in tourism in coastal areas.

“I was interested in the investment in leisure and resort areas in Preah Sihanouk province,” he said yesterday.

“I will visit to the area for feasibility study about fresh water supply and infrastructure and especially the airport, which is essential to attract tourists. If it’s suitable for investment, I will start in six months.”

Fellow investors said they were interested in moving into tourism, cable TV, internet TV broadcasting and automobile assembly.

SCA confirmed yesterday that it was conducting talks with airlines, including Cambodia’s national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air, to begin flights to Sihanoukville.

Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism told The Post this week they would also urge carriers to start flights, but said market demand was proving a barrier.

Tourism Ministry links with Oz university

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:00 Soeun Say

THE Ministry of Tourism will receive assistance from Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast to improve education standards and sustainable planning for the domestic tourism industry.

The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding at the public university in the state of Queensland earlier this week.

The deal will see Cambodia benefit from the University of the Sunshine Coast’s expertise specifically in eco-tourism planning, as well as training tourism professionals, according to ministry Chief of Cabinet Kong Solyda.

“The agreement has the potential to strengthen and improve professional skills of employees in the tourism sector in order to attract more local and international tourists,” he said yesterday.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon was quoted as saying the partnership would be a key element in the Kingdom’s plan to build sustainable tourism.

“So far our government has made a lot of effort to protect and preserve our natural and cultural assets, but we need more experience,” he said at the event signing on Tuesday, according to a report from the Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper.

“That’s why we called for the assistance of the international community, especially the Australian government and USC, to support us on this matter.”

Bill Carter, a professor at the university, located around 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, said it would also benefit from the partnership by opening up research and business opportunities, and by creating a student-exchange programme between the two countries.

Australia was the ninth-largest source of visitors to the Kingdom over the first eight months of 2010, with 61,627 visitors arriving from down under, according to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Tourism deputy director general Neb Samuoth said that Cambodia hoped to be included in a group called the “Most Beautiful Bay in the World Club”. He said the club’s director would be paying a visit to the Kingdom’s coastal regions from October 30 to November 5.

Cambodia’s “K4” coastal areas of Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, and Kampong Som, or Sihanoukville, were all up for consideration, he said.

Price index shows rise in petrol, vegetables

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:00 May Kunmakara

CONSUMER prices increased nearly two percent in September this year, compared to the same month of last year, according to government figures.

The price of fuel, transport, and vegetables saw some of the largest increases in the basket of goods – a sample of 259 items observed mainly in five Phnom Penh markets, measured by the National Institute of Statistics at the Ministry of Planning.

The CPI was up by 1.9 percent in September, compared to the same month last year. Month on month, prices rose 0.7 percent over September, a lower rate than the 0.9 percent monthly rise in August.

Rebounding demand, met by increased imports, from an improving economy was the main reason behind the CPI increase, according to Neou Seiha, senior researcher at the Economic Institute of Cambodia.

Although rising prices may affect the Kingdom’s poorest, he said there was no cause for alarm. “Prices are increasing at a manageable rate,” he said.

One of the largest gains was gasoline, which climbed 12.2 percent in September 2010 compared to the same month last year. Other large gains were seen among leafy vegetables, which increased 8.6 percent, fish was up 7.9 percent, and confectionary such as sugar, and chocolate increased 12.4 percent by the end of the third quarter compared to the same date 2009.

Meanwhile, rice prices were down 1.9 percent, and wine prices fell 6.1 percent year on year.

Consumer prices over the first nine months of 2010 were 4.21 percent higher than prices over the same period of last year, according to the data.

Offices: vacant stares on wane

Employees working at the Icon Professional Building in Phnom Penh, whose management says occupancy rates are rising as supply has dropped to meet the demand for office space in the Kingdom. According to reports released this week, this trend is largely due to investors in major development projects scaling back their plans. Photo by: Uy Nousereimony

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:00 Steve Finch

Supply is dropping to meet demand

WHEN Cambodia’s tallest building Canadia Tower was completed at the end of last year demand for office space had hit a low in Phnom Penh at a time when the likes of property agency CB Richard Ellis were projecting a glut of new buildings over the next few years.

Cambodia’s capital was facing a major oversupply that threatened to slash rental prices, but CBRE Country Manager Daniel Parkes says suspended construction on major projects including Gold Tower 42 may be a blessing in disguise – Phnom Penh will now see about 25 percent less office space coming on line by 2013 compared to projections just a year ago.

The result is an expected downwards adjustment in supply that will match lower demand, he added, a knock-on effect from the economic slump.

“All in all the projected actual supply of new office space is less than it was two years ago and this change is quite favourable to the market,” Parkes told The Post yesterday.

In an updated report on property supply completed this week, CBRE now forecasts just 144,000 square metres of office space in the Cambodian capital by 2013, a major downwards revision on the 200,000 square metres projected at the end of last year.

Aside from Gold Tower 42 which is scheduled to include seven floors of offices, or about 17,000 square metres, continued delays at the International Finance Centre beside the Tonle Bassac River and at the much smaller Yellow Tower on the other side of the Japanese Friendship Bridge make up the bulk of the slowdown in construction over the next few years.

South Korean Developer Yan Woo had scheduled to complete Gold Tower 42 – which would replace Canadia Tower as the Kingdom’s tallest building – by the start of 2012, but since the project was suspended last month that completion date now looks to be in major doubt.

The exterior of the Icon Proffesional Building is filling up as anticipated supply of office space, relative to demand, has dropped severely. Photo by: Uy Nousereimony

The IFC was due to add a huge 105,000 square metres in office space, around double the current supply, but it remains unclear when or if this project will ever be completed. South Korea’s GS Construction and Engineering has repeatedly declined to reveal its latest plans for the site. Meanwhile, the construction of Yellow Tower – a six-floor office building – has stalled at 30 percent completion, according to CBRE’s property report.

At the same time, realtors are cautiously optimistic that demand is starting to pick up.

“The key is demand and we see good demand for quality office premises offering international standards at a sustainable rental level,” said Parkes.

Although agents Mega Asset Management were still struggling to fill Canadia Tower’s new offices by the middle of the year, General Manager Susi said on Tuesday that occupancy was now at about 70 percent after a strong July in which tenancy doubled from 30 percent to about 60 percent. That means most of the tower’s 11 floors of office space are occupied.

“We’re actually kind of full,” she said, adding that an unnamed Chinese firm was currently in negotiations to take over the whole of the 20th floor.

But then MAM has had to offer big discounts to tenants in a bid to fill Cambodia’s tallest building, a sign demand remains highly elastic in relation to price, even if renters “don’t mind paying a little more for a Grade A building”, says Susi.

MAM has offered discounts of around 40 percent on the first year’s rent on a sliding scale that drops to a 20-percent reduction in the second and third years. Tenants are therefore not paying the full asking price of between US$30 to $35 – depending on the floor – until the start of the fourth year, added Susi, in most cases around mid-2014.

“Price is still one of the most important issues,” she said.

Starting at the much lower price of $15 per square metre, Delano Business Centre has also seen strong demand in 2010, raising occupancy from around 40 percent exactly a year ago to over 90 percent after attracting new tenants including KPMG, Nokia and ABA Bank.

“We never lowered the price,” Delano’s Chief Financial Controller Salik Subedi said.

The anticipated slowdown in office supply over the next few years would undoubtedly benefit Delano, he added, “but our space is already about full hence [this has] nothing to do with supply and demand [in the longer term]”.

Icon Tower, which like many new projects suffered a slow start after opening in January, has since also seen demand climb, said co-owner Eang Darryl.

“We are catching up with our occupancy target,” he said, without specifying the number of tenants in place except to say Icon would reach an expected 50 percent occupancy target by the end of December.

Darryl said he was confident Icon would be full this time next year even without lowering prices currently set at $10 to $15 per square metre.

“There is demand within the country from businesses currently in Grade C office accommodation or converted villas, and also new entrants to the Cambodian market,” said Parkes.

But of the new office spaces that have come online in the past two years, not all have seen demand recover in 2010.

Similarly priced B-Ray Tower, by comparison, had lowered rents from $15 to between $10 and $12 per square metre without adding more tenants in 2010, said Office Manager Leak Say. “Occupancy is the same [at about 70 percent],” she said.

It therefore remains to be seen to what extent demand continues to climb and whether supply will, in turn, match up.

K Properties is likely to launch the next major office development in Phnom Penh having completed 70 percent of its seven-storey International Business House, also known as K-Tower, on Russian Boulevard. Still, 2011 is expected to be a quiet year for major new developments, according to CBRE’s report.

The critical year is likely to be 2012 when Vattanac Tower, Phnom Penh Tower and perhaps Gold Tower 42 (if construction is not delayed more than nine months) are all due to come online in the capital around the same time. In total, that would mean an additional 125,000 square metres of prime offices hitting the market in the space of just a few months, more than the total current supply in Phnom Penh. Will the market be able to sustain such a huge influx of supply?

That remains to be seen, says Parkes: “How the office market fairs depends partly on the pace of inward investment and fortunes of the Asian and Global economies.”

Art the Homefinder's Spot of the week

via CAAI

Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:00 Post Staff

As always, my rating system is based on the five thumbs up scale. My enthusiasm for property can’t be expressed with just two hands.

This three-bedroom apartment has everything you could possible want in a Phnom Penh pad – prime location, immaculate upkeep and more space than you will know what to do with. For $1,000 it’s an absolute steal.



Based on my rough methods of measurement, this apartment is about 192 square metres. I may be off a bit, but the point is that it is huge. Add the marble floors, high-quality furnishings and superb location and it is quite surprising that it only costs $1,000 per month. Normally, you would struggle to find a two-bedroom spot of comparable quality for that price.

Utilities and service:


Unlike most landlords who charge a mark-up on utilities and services, arbitrarily setting a price well above the market cost, the owners of this apartment promise to charge the exact figure that they are billed for. As an example, electricity is only 920 riel per kilowatt hour, well under 1200-1500 riel normally charged by landlords. Cable costs $10, and since you will only be charged for what you use, the cost of everything else is basically up to you.



The only knock against the location is that the apartment is just across the fence from the high school campus of ISPP, meaning that you will occasionally be forced to suffer through the sound of kids having fun. It also means that you will be living just off Norodom Ave in a rare location that is both central and slow-paced, which makes the occasional disturbance worth the pain.



Filling the second floor of a three-floor building, this apartment is surrounded by lush greenery from the trees growing on all sides. It is also set back from the main street in small alley, giving it a surprising sense of peace, quiet and community in a city where such things aren’t easily found. The marble floors and wooden panels lining the interior also add a sophistication to the already inviting accommodations.



There is no doubt that the interior decorating decisions were made by a Cambodian, with well-lacquered wood used for every piece of furniture as well as the ceiling and runners along the walls. Although the traditional taste in this country for hard wood furniture might not take comfort into consideration, adding a few cushions will make relaxation easy to achieve. In order to give their renter a chance to personalise the place, the owners have held off purchasing a refrigerator, TV, stove, mattresses, curtains and a number of other appliances and pieces of furniture until they know the preferences of the people living inside.


On our visit for this article, the apartment was absolutely immaculate, save for the dust from recent maintenance and renovations done by the owners. The only complaint you might have is that the place is too clean and shiny to feel like a home, but you are welcome to change that when you move in.



The husband of the couple who owns the building and live downstairs is a high commissioner in the country’s military. If that alone doesn’t give you a complete sense of security from intruders, than the somewhat secluded location, surrounding barbed wire fence and well-secured windows and doors will surely put you at ease.


Art Hong Ly works independently as a home finder in Phnom Penh. If you want to look at the spot of the week or other available apartments, villas or offices, he can be reached during standard business hours by calling 012422126 or email arthongly@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For other questions related to this column send an email to newsroom@phnompenhpost.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The size of this apartment is unprecedented for such a reasonable price. You can feel the spaciousness in every room of the house, including the kitchen (top left) and bedrooms (top right). The expansive porch (bottom), set back from the surrounding foliage, is no exception. WILL BAXTER