Saturday, 26 February 2011

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Vietnam Hydroelectric Dam Affects Villagers Along Sesan River


Kasit plays down Cambodian claims of success in Asean foreign ministers' meeting about border dispute

via CAAI

Published: 26/02/2011

War of words breaks out

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya is apparently giving no credence to the claims to success of his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong in the wake of Tuesday's Asean foreign ministerial meeting in Jakarta.

The meeting was brokered by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to cool Thai-Cambodian diplomatic tensions, which have been brought to the boil by deadly clashes in the border area near Preah Vihear temple claimed by both countries.

Hor Namhong said the Cambodian government's demands were ''responded to'' at the Asean meeting.

These demands included a ceasefire, the presence of neutral observers in the disputed area and the participation of Indonesia, as the Asean chair, in efforts to reach a resolution.

But Hor Namhong said Thailand made only a short statement to the effect that the despatch of the observers will be made in accordance with previous practices, seen when observers from Thailand and the Philippines were sent when Indonesia was involved in disputes with rebels in Aceh and with East Timor.

Cambodia has sought the involvement of the international community since the latest round of violent border clashes flared up on Feb 4, leaving a Thai civilian and a military officer dead and many injured.

But while Thailand has agreed to what was tabled at the Asean foreign ministers' meeting, Mr Kasit has sought to dampen any claims of success by Hor Namhong.

''Our issue is to forge peace and begin a negotiation progress,'' he said.

But what the Thai side was most satisfied with at the Jakarta meeting was the fact that no ceasefire was mentioned.

A Thai diplomatic source said any mention of a ceasefire might be construed as a suggestion that war was afoot, which would be to exaggerate the border clashes.

Furthermore, an observer said if any ceasefire was mentioned, Cambodia might claim the area was now at peace and ask Unesco to consider Cambodia's management plan, opposed by Thailand, for the 4.6-square-kilometre zone.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, however, rushed to announce to reporters in Cambodia on the day of the meeting that he had declined to sign a ceasefire deal with Thailand, even though he had requested Thailand to do so in Jakarta.

A notable presence at the foreign ministers' meeting was that of Hun Sen's son, Hun Manet.

The Thai diplomatic source said Hun Manet's attendance was a welcome sign, as he could report back to his father the opinions of the neutral parties.

LAOS: Decision expected on controversial Mekong dam

 via CAAI

BANGKOK, 25 February 2011 (IRIN) - The proposed Xayabury Dam on the lower Mekong River promises to supply much-needed energy to the region, but at a "devastating" environmental and personal cost to surrounding communities, say activists and environmental experts.

"Millions more people in the region are likely to be adversely [affected] through changes to the river's biodiversity, fisheries and sediment flows," said Ame Trandem with International Rivers, a US-based environmental NGO.

The dam's main developer is Thai construction company Ch Karnchang.

Sixty-five million people depend on the Mekong River - the largest inland fishery in the world - for survival and its biodiversity is second only to the Amazon in South America, according to Jeremy Bird, director of the Laos-based Mekong River Commission (MRC), a regional intergovernmental advisory body on any mainstream development conducted on the river.

More than 200,000 fishermen and farmers - most of the lower riverside community - will suffer displacement and reduced earnings if the Xayabury Dam is built in Laos, states International Rivers.

Based on the 2010 Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) commissioned by MRC, "dam construction will result in irreversible environmental impacts", said MRC spokeswoman Tiffany Hacker.

Damage to fisheries "cannot be mitigated by fish passes and reservoirs", said Alan Brooks, director of the Phnom Penh-based NGO, World Fish Center.

The dam is the first of 11 hydropower dams proposed along the lower Mekong River. Though a regional agreement requires prior consultation with MRC before a project can move forward, there is no way to enforce this recommendation.

The Mekong Agreement, which recognizes the shared impacts of river development projects on neighbouring countries, stipulates that Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam must all approve major projects on the lower Mekong River.

The four governments may announce their positions on the dam by as early as March 2011, according to International Rivers.

"What happens with the Xayaburi Dam will essentially set the precedent for whether more mainstream dams are built or not, many of which will [have] devastating impacts on the region's people in terms of lost income, livelihood and food security," said Trandem.

Unesco special envoy 'supports Thai stance'

Cambodia's temple plan may have to be put off

Published: 26/02/2011

Unesco says it will be difficult to consider Cambodia's proposed world heritage management plan for the Preah Vihear temple given the current tense situation, the Thai Foreign Ministry says.

Unesco special envoy Koichiro Matsuura meets Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at Government House yesterday to discuss the border tensions between Thailand and Cambodia. CHANAT KATANYA

The Unesco special envoy on the Preah Vihear issue, Koichiro Matsuura, who is also a former Unesco director-general, yesterday met Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya at Government House to hear about the problems between Thailand and Cambodia.

Thailand was his first leg before he heads to Cambodia tomorrow.

Thani Thongphakdee, Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Mr Matsuura understood that the problems over the Preah Vihear temple stemmed from its listing as a world heritage site given that the border's demarcation was still pending. Mr Matsuura was quoted as saying that he also admitted that in the current situation, it was difficult to move forward with the Preah Vihear management plan proposed by Cambodia.

He would review what Unesco should do next in order to ease tensions, said Mr Thani, adding that any decision making will depend on the World Heritage Committee (WHC).

The management plan is scheduled to be placed for WHC consideration at its annual meeting in Bahrain in June.

Thailand is trying to explain to Unesco that as long as the border demarcation dispute has not been solved through the Joint Boundary Committee (JBC), the organisation should delay considering the matter.

Mr Kasit also explained the progress of mechanisms which would help resolve the border problems including the JBC, General Border Committee and Regional Border Committee.

"We also told the special envoy about our progress there and that Thailand stands ready to tackle all the pending problems with Cambodia," said the spokesman. The minister also told Mr Matsuura about the history of the Preah Vihear problem that stems from both countries using different maps. Thailand has stuck to an international principle of using a watershed as a border line but Cambodia has relied on a map made by France.

Mr Matsuura was quoted as saying that he understood what was happening as he had read Mr Kasit's statement delivered to the UN Security Council on Feb 14 as well as what happened at the meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Jakarta earlier this week, which will lead to observers from the Indonesian military being stationed at the Thai-Cambodian border.

"We also emphasised the matter that Cambodian soldiers used the temple as a military base," said Mr Thani, confirming that Mr Matsuura has no plans to visit the Preah Vihear temple as earlier indicated by Cambodia.

"Unesco also supported the Thai proposal to review the history [regarding the border issues] as this led to the conflict in the region because it involved too much from the colonial era," he said.

Mr Abhisit said after the talk with the Unesco special envoy that the organisation was likely to support the use of bilateral mechanisms to resolve the conflict. "The Unesco envoy expressed his intention that he doesn't want to build up more problems in a situation of tension," said Mr Abhisit. He said he would like to tackle the border problems before consideration of the management plan.

Unesco also supported Thailand's plan to invite Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An to talk about the Preah Vihear world heritage problem.

UN Rights Envoy Faces Balancing Act in Cambodia

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, Feb 25, 2011 (IPS) - A United Nations rights envoy says Cambodia must accelerate the pace of its democratic reforms, but it’s unclear how much sway he holds with a government that has become increasingly resistant to international criticism.

Surya Subedi, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, says he has seen encouraging developments in the southeast Asian nation. But there remain worrying trends.

Subedi faces a difficult balancing act when it comes to fulfilling his mission in Cambodia: being a vocal critic could risk alienating a government with which he must ultimately work, while underplaying key concerns could render him ineffective.

"He has all the room in the world [to criticise]," said Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights. "But if his objective is not to offend Mr. Hun Sen and the Cambodian government, then he has no room at all."

Virak said he believes Subedi has managed to balance the two sides so far, though it may well be because a Cambodian government still dependent on international donors realises that it must tolerate his presence.

"I would like to see the government speed up the process of reform and the process of democratisation," Subedi told reporters Thursday, following a 10- day visit to the country. "If the reform agenda was sped up and if the process of democratisation was accelerated, many people would be able to enjoy their human rights, and the economic development that has been taking place in this country would be beneficial for all."

Rights groups have frequently criticised the government for its track record on land rights and freedom of speech. Local watchdog Adhoc, for example, counted more than 200 individual land dispute cases affecting more than 25,000 families in 2010.

Key figures with the main opposition party, meanwhile, are facing legal action - the party’s leader has left the country in self-exile, and another prominent member had her parliamentary immunity revoked.

In his comments Thursday, Subedi said he continued to be troubled by such problems.

"I am concerned about the narrowing of space for people to express their views peacefully and without fear, including those belonging to different political parties," he said.

The visit was Subedi’s fourth official mission here since he was appointed in March 2009.

Subedi’s predecessor, Kenyan legal scholar Yash Ghai, had a stormy relationship with Cambodia’s leaders, who did not take kindly to the envoy’s blunt critiques. By the time Ghai quit in late 2008, Prime Minister Hun Sen had taken to launching personal critiques of the envoy in public speeches.

In recent months the government has accused the U.N.’s top representative in Cambodia of meddling in its internal affairs.

Subedi has taken a more cautious approach during his visits. His criticisms Thursday were tempered by acknowledgement of what he said were positive moves.

The government, he said, recognises that it needs to reform the judiciary. Subedi has recommended that the government take steps to ensure the legal system is free from political influence - rights groups claim the government has often used the courts to silence its harshest critics. The government has also passed new legislation, including a revamped penal code and laws on demonstration and land expropriation.

Subedi said he was focused on taking a different approach than his predecessor. "Rather than looking at individual cases in isolation, I’m looking at the whole structure," he said. "Institutional approaches, structural approaches, the laws should be reformed, the legal regime should be strengthened and government policy should be improved. That’s the approach I’m taking."

Even so, the reaction to Subedi has not always been rosy.

Last September, the rights envoy issued a report highlighting what he said was a worrying lack of political independence in the legal system.

"On a number of occasions and especially in high-profile political cases, the judiciary seems to have allowed itself to be used or manipulated for political or purely private purposes," Subedi wrote in his report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. "The courts are not trusted by the people to provide impartial justice."

At least one senior lawmaker objected to the findings.

"Based on my observations, Mr. Subedi is not different from Yash Ghai," parliamentarian Cheam Yeap was quoted as saying in the English-language Phnom Penh Post newspaper.

And when Subedi stated he was "disappointed" he was unable to meet with Hun Sen during a visit last June, the premier - who had called in sick - said the remark was disrespectful.

"He has been pretty diplomatic and critical at the same time," Virak said. "I think he’s pretty straightforward in his criticism. He’s been outspoken on some core issues that I think most of us in human rights have identified."

Whether or not that will result in substantial changes, however, remains to be seen.

In 2009, the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) made 91 sweeping recommendations aimed at improving Cambodia’s rights record - including addressing judicial independence, rampant corruption and land evictions. Cambodia later accepted all 91 of the recommendations, though it’s unclear how the government plans to implement them, if at all.

"Is it an indication that Cambodia agrees to all of them? Or is it an indication the Cambodian government doesn’t care about these recommendations and the UPR process," Virak said. "Whether Subedi’s own concerns will have an impact, I don’t know."

Crewe's Becky back from Cambodia

via CAAI

Friday 25th February 2011

CREWE'S Becky Hurst has recently returned from an inspiring mission to Cambodia.

She went on the trip to discover how Christian Aid partners are bringing hope, dignity and significant changes to the poverty-stricken country.

North West regional co-ordinator for the charity, Becky made the 10-day trip with four members of staff and 19 gap year students from across the UK.

Becky said: “It was an amazing trip.

"Over two weeks in Cambodia we visited 10 partner organisations working across the country, each one making significant improvements with simple, often low-cost ideas.”

Two thirds of the population of Cambodia live on less than $2 a day and more than 70% of people live at subsistence level in rural areas.

It is a country where it is not uncommon for children to work on the streets and women and young girls in border areas avoid going out alone for fear of being trafficked.

The team visited numerous organisations with various focuses including crop yields, animal husbandry, working with street children and children affected by HIV, schooling them and guiding them back in vocational training.

Christian Aid works globally for profound change to eradicate the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality.

The charity delivers urgent, practical and effective assistance where it is needed most, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.

Becky added: “Things will not change overnight in Cambodia but from a fleeting visit it was clear to see that steps are being taken in the right direction.”

Chinese Fishing Boat Sunk by Ship, 2 Missing

via CAAI

2011-02-25 22:44:51
Web Editor: Jiang

Two Chinese fishermen went missing after their fishing boat sank on Friday after colliding with a Cambodia-registered ship in the East China Sea off Zhejiang Province.

The accident occurred at 4:20 a.m. off the waters of Yuhuan County in Zhejiang's Taizhou City, where the Cambodian ship, which was loaded with 4,100 tonnes of silica sand, hit the fishing boat, according to a spokesman with the Taizhou Marine Fisheries Bureau.

Rescuers are still searching for those missing, who were believed to be a couple, according to the spokesman.

The Cambodian ship, named "Yongxin," departed on Saturday from Danang, Vietnam and was on its way to the port of Chinhae in the Republic of Korea.

Fighting sexual slavery with Sydney's help

via CAAI

25 February 2011

Source: SBS, Cassandra Hill

A former Cambodian sex slave, Somaly Mam, who has rescued thousands of women forced in sexual slavery, is now seeking the Sydney students' support in bringing an end human trafficking across South East Asia.

It wasn't an average lesson at 125-year old Abbotsleigh on Sydney's North Shore.

Hundreds of students from state and independent schools gathered to hear the story of Somaly Mam, who was sold into sex slavery when she was 12.

She now runs centres in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, rescuing women and children from slavery - one of them is just 3-years old.

Her own parents were killed in Cambodia's war. She lived on the streets until a man sold her to a brothel.

“You had to be in the brothel, you had to receive 20-30 clients a day, if you don't have it, they kill you,” Mam said in an interview to SBS.

She ran away after her friend was shot dead beside her. A foreigner helped her find a job. Later Mam decided to help others.

Somaly Mam has set up former slaves with microloans to finance craftwork and agriculture.

“It's so beautiful to see the girls come sad and then after a few months and years and years to see them get married to see them go to school”, she said

The United Nations estimates that human trafficking is a 32-billion dollar a year industry .

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, announced 7.5-million dollars to help South-East Asian countries train police to fight child sex tourism.

Somaly Mam estimates that she's helped about 7,000 women since starting her organisation 16-years ago.

But with 2.5 million women and children sold in the trade each year, she's seeking help from more fortunate young people who she says have the power to do something.

Students say they found her words confronting but inspiring.

“If every person made one change … we could change the future,” said Jessica Li.

Another student, Lucy Butcher, said that it made her and her fellow mates “realise there's a world beyond” them.

Abbotsleigh's headmistress Judith Poole says students need to know about human trafficking.

“This is reality, this is a global issue of massive proportion and it is important, our young people are ready for this,” she said.

Somaly Mam says that advocates fighting human trafficking need to become as motivated as the organised crime that runs it.

UNESCO special envoy supports bilateral talks to defuse Thai-Cambodian border dispute

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb 25 -- The visiting United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) special envoy on Preah Vihear temple Koichiro Matsuura met Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and said he supported the bilateral talks between Thailand and Cambodia to solve border disputes.

Mr Abhisit told reporters after meeting with Mr Matsuura for 45 minutes at Government House that UNESCO had expressed its support to the bilateral talks and would not visit the Preah Vihear temple, a flash point of the conflict between the two countries.

The premier said he believed the tension would be eased at certain level and UNESCO said there should be conclusion on the 4.6 square kilometre contested area near Preah Vihear temple before going to the next step of a management plan for the ancient temple which was listed as a World Heritage Site.

Thailand and Cambodia agreed not to add more problems in the area and UNESCO believes that the problem should be settled before June, whe the World Heritage Committee will meet in Bahrain.

The ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, earlier this week agreed that Thailand and Cambodia should use a bilateral mechanism to end their border conflict, including the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), the General Border Committee (GBC) and the Regional Border Committee (RBC).

The JBC is expected to be held in March in Indonesia.

Earlier, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Friday met Mr Matsuura, who admitted that [agreeing and implementing] a management plan for the ancient temple would be difficult in the current situation, according to Thai foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi.

Mr Thani, Foreign Ministry Director-General of the Department of Information, said Mr Kasit has taken this opportunity to provide the envoy with the facts relating to the recent border clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops.

Mr Matsuura, a former director-general of UNESCO (1999-2009) and a former chairman of the World Heritage Committee (1999), was appointed by Director General Irina Bokova to discuss with Thailand and Cambodia measures to safeguard the temple, which was listed as a World Heritage site in 2008.

The UNESCO delegation will fly to Phnom Penh on Sunday for talks with Cambodian officials on ways of reducing tension and promoting dialogue on the preservation of the temple.

Tension along the Thai-Cambodian border was renewed after clashes between soldiers of the two countries erupted near the ancient Preah Vihear temple on Feb 4, leading to casualties among troops and civilians of both sides, as well as forcing the evacuation of villagers living in and on both sides of the disputed area. (MCOT online news)

Cambodia not ready to build chemical or nuclear weapons

via CAAI

February 25, 2011

Cambodian government reaffirmed Friday that it has banned all kinds of production of chemical and nuclear weapons which is contradictory to international treaty.

In a press statement released after a weekly cabinet meeting, it said a sub-decree with four articles was approved Friday during the meeting at which it is designed to examine the chemical substance which is potential for the production of chemical and nuclear weapons.

The sub-decree regulates the control, management and collection of data on the need of any use of chemical substance which is required by the international convention.

The sub-decree was approved as correlation to the country's constitution.

Cambodia's Constitution, article 54, says that "The manufacturing, use, storage of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons shall be absolutely prohibited."

Cambodia is a signatory and a party to many international conventions and treaties, including the Ottawa Treaty which deals with landmines.

Source: Xinhua

UNESCO admits management plan for Preah Vihear Temple difficult: Thai FM

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said on Friday after talks between Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and UNESCO special envoy that the UNESCO delegation admitted it was difficult to carry on management plan for Preah Vihear Temple.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) special envoy on Preah Vihear temple, Koichiro Matsuura, arrived in Bangkok on Thursday night and had discussions with Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya at around 3:30 p.m. before going to meet with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at 5 p. m..

Matsuura, former director-general of UNESCO (1999-2009) and former chairman of the World Heritage Committee (1999), was appointed by Director-general Irina Bokova to discuss with Thailand and Cambodia measures to safeguard the temple, which was listed as a World Heritage site in 2008.

According to Thani, Kasit had explained to the envoy Thai- Cambodian relationships as well as close cultural and historical relations between the two countries.

The foreign minister also insisted that Thailand should continue seeking solutions on border issue through existing bilateral frameworks including Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) and General Border Committee, the ministry spokesman said.

Kasit also explained how the listing of the Hindu temple has so far complicated the issue while border demarcation has not yet been completed.

The three-member UNESCO delegation will fly to Phnom Penh on Sunday for talks with Cambodian officials on ways of reducing tension and promoting dialogue around the preservation of the temple.

The deadly border-clashes between Thailand and Cambodia during Feb. 4-7 has caused slight damage to the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple.

The UNESCO issued a statement early this week, saying that the "temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List for its outstanding universal value in keeping with the 1972 World Heritage Convention, which has been ratified by both Cambodia and Thailand."

Editor: Fang Yang

Cambodian conviction of Briton's killers upheld

via CAAI

Associated Press

Cambodian appeals court has upheld the 2008 conviction of four former Khmer Rouge rebels for involvement in the kidnap-murder of a British mine-clearing expert and a colleague 15 years ago.

Prosecutor Pan Kim Leang says the court on Thursday upheld 20-year prison sentences for three of the men for premeditated murder and illegal confinement. It also upheld a 10-year sentence for the fourth man for involvement in the early stages of the abductions.

Christopher Howes and Cambodian co-worker Houn Hourth were abducted by Khmer Rouge rebels in March 1996 while clearing mines near Angkor Wat, the 12th century temple complex in northwestern Cambodia.

AKP - The Agence Kampuchea Press

via CAAI

PM Hun Sen Asks Indonesia to Remain Observer in 2012

Phnom Penh, February 25, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has put forth an initiative by proposing Indonesia to maintain its role as observer when Cambodia chairs ASEAN in 2012.

Premier Techo Hun Sen revealed his initial initiative here yesterday while he was presiding over the closing ceremony of the Ministry of Interior’s annual meeting.

We ask Indonesia to remain observer in 2012 in the name of ASEAN not ASEAN Chair, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

The Cambodian prime minister also asked Indonesia to quickly send its observers to Cambodian-Thai disputed border areas.

At the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Jakarta on Tuesday, Cambodia and Thailand agreed to host the Indonesian observers to monitor the ceasefire on either side. –AKP

Article in Khmer by CHEY Phum Pul
Article in English by KEO Chandara


UN Special Rapporteur Praises Cambodia for Good Cooperation

Phnom Penh, February 25, 2011 AKP – UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi has praised the royal government for its good cooperation during his ten-day mission in Cambodia.

At a press conference on Feb. 24 at the end of his mission, Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi said his talks with the Cambodian premier and other high-ranking officials were held openly and in a friendly atmosphere.

He further expressed his satisfaction with his meetings with Cambodian Parliament’s members and representatives of political parties and civil society.

The Royal Government of Cambodia has gained many achievements in improving the human rights situation, he stressed.

Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi went on to say that his mission this time focused particularly on examining the Cambodian Parliament’s capacity to improve people’s rights and democratic norms.

In the meantime, the UN special rapporteur also expressed his concern over some issues related to human rights situation in Cambodia, especially freedom of expression and land rights. –AKP



DPM Keat Chhon: Japan Remains Cambodia’s Key Development Partner

Phnom Penh, February 25, 2011 AKP – “Japan has been the key development partner of Cambodia,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Keat Chhon said.

The Japanese government and people have so far provided almost US$2.000 million in grant in contribution to Cambodia’s development, H.E. Keat Chhon told Mr. Arai Izumi, vice president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during their meeting here on Tuesday.

The Cambodian deputy prime minister also briefed his guest on Cambodia’s development and achievements as well as the economic situation.

In 2011, Cambodian economic growth is expected to reach around 6 percent when the inflation is under control, he said. –AKP

Article in Khmer by HUN Yuth Kun
Article in English by KHAN Sophirom


UNESCO Supports Cambodia’s Underwater Heritage Project

Phnom Penh, February 25, 2011 AKP – UNESCO has supported and proposed Cambodia to be the host country of an underwater heritage management workshop in 2012.

Cultural officials from Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand are expected to attend the workshop to be held in Preah Sihanouk or Koh Kong provinces, Mrs. Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO country representative, told Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts H.E. Him Chhem here on Feb.23.

She also encouraged Cambodia to submit a request to enlist any form of intangible heritage as a UNESCO World Heritage before Mar. 31, 2011.

In reply, H.E. Him Chhem deeply thanked UNESCO for its good and close cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia in preserving cultural heritages, both tangible and intangible.

He further asked UNESCO to help train Cambodian cultural officials, especially in managing underwater heritage.

Cambodia ratified the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2001.

Cambodia successfully enlisted the Historic Site of Angkor as a World Heritage Site in 1992 and Preah Vihear Temple in 2008. Preah Reach Troap Dance (Royal Ballet) and Lakhon Sbek Thom (big shadow puppet) were proclaimed masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity respectively in 2003 and 2005. --AKP

By Théng


Opinion: The Confession of Sin

Phnom Penh, February 25, 2011 AKP – The maneuverings of Thailand politicians through the labyrinth of Thailand internal unnecessary legal and parliamentary procedures in conjunction with the three agreements on the documents reached by the JBC meetings in Siem Reap in November 2008, in Bangkok in February 2009 and in Phnom Penh in April 2009 accidentally show up as the confession of sin by Democrat Party Member of Parliament Atthawich Suwanphadi, spokesman of the house committee when he said that “the committee had not decided whether to approve the JBC minutes but it would submit its recommendation on the issue to parliament for consideration,” as reported by the Bangkok Post Online on 25 February 2011 under the title: “Asean observers await their orders”. How much longer the maneuverings will take time, only hell knows.

Will Thailand heeds the wishes of the U.S.?, as the same article of the Bangkok Post Online reported that “State Department spokesman PJCrowley said on Wednesday the US also supported the Asean foreign ministers’ call for Cambodia and Thailand to resume bilateral negotiations ‘at the earliest opportunity.’”

It makes no use to comment on the matter.

The ASEAN, the UNSC, other International organizations, and the U.S. separately would take note on their own where are the facts, what is the truth, and where are the implications of the rule of international law.

Prof. Pen Ngoeun
Senior advisor and member of the Academic Committee
Puthisastra University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia,
Former Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Business and Economics
Pannasastra University of Cambodia,
Former Assistant Controller at Phibro Inc.,
A subsidiary of Citigroup Inc., New York City, USA, until 2000

(The comment are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia)

Central City Search Continues

Hopes fade for NZ quake survivors

Feb 24, 2011

After four days of searching, hopes of finding more survivors of the earthquake in New Zealand are fading.

Rescue crews are scouring the rubble but the threat of aftershocks is hampering the operation.

Al Jazeera's Tania Page reports from Christchurch.

Damage of The Temple Of Preah Vihear Caused by The Aggression of Thai Armed Forces

Damage to Preah Vihear Temple Caused by the Fighting

Cambodian PM tells troops at border to be high alert and maximum restraints

via CAAI

February 25, 2011

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday reminded his troops stationed at the frontline of Cambodian-Thai border, especially at the area near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple to be "high alert and utmost restraints" to comply with the permanent ceasefire.

The premier's remark was made during the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Cambodia and Thailand agreed a permanent ceasefire on Feb. 22 during the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta, Indonesia.

To monitor the ceasefire, thirty Indonesian observers will be dispatched to the Cambodian-Thai border disputed area.

The two countries has the border conflict just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, since then periodic clashes between both sides' troops happened, resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

The latest clashes, on Feb. 4-7, had killed and wounded many soldiers and citizens of both sides, and caused tens of thousands of the two countries' villagers nearby the disputed areas fleeing for safe shelters.

Source: Xinhua