Saturday, 6 February 2010

Prime Minister Hun Sen visiting Preah Vihear temple

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen prays during a ceremony at an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (L) and his wife Bunrany greet soldiers at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) shakes hands with Hang Soth, director-general of the national authority for the Preah Vihear temple, at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) gestures during a meeting with soldiers at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) greets soldiers at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea (CAMBODIA

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, right, sprays perfume as he prays at the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Hun Sen pays his first official visit Saturday to his troops at the historic temple in the disputed territory with Thailand. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, center left, and his wife Bun Rany, center right, pray at the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Hun Sen pays his first official visit Saturday to his troops at the historic temple in the disputed territory with Thailand. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, center right, and his wife Bun Rany, sitting next to him, pray at the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Hun Sen pays his first official visit Saturday to his troops at the historic temple in the disputed territory with Thailand. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (L) and his wife Bun Rany pray during a ceremony at an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (L) and his wife Bun Rany pray during a ceremony at an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, center, holds flowers as his prays at the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Hun Sen pays his first official visit Saturday to his troops at the historic temple in the disputed territory with Thailand. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (2nd R) and his wife Bun Rany (R) meet the families of soldiers at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen greets soldiers at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures near soldiers at the disputed Thai-Cambodia border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Man who survived killing fields loses son, home

Sean Phuong breaks down in tears over the death of his 17-year-old son

via CAAI news Media

Feb 5, 2010

SEATTLE - A local family that's seen loss before is struggling to recover from yet another tragic event - a house fire that killed their 17-year-old son.

The deadly fire left the family homeless and heartbroken.

Now Sean Phuong prays that his 17-year-old son Patrick will have a better life next time.

"We wish for next life - good education, smart friends, family," says Sean, who fled the killing fields of Cambodia years ago to make a new life in America.

The Monday night fire not only killed his son but destroyed the family's home and nearly everything they owned. But Buddhist tradition means burying loved ones with clothes for rebirth.

"That's why we offer clothes. We offer everything - but I don't have anything," he says.

Sean can't bear parting with his son's only jacket that didn't burn.

"Because I saw my son walk to school with it and one shoe," he explains. So he'll cremate his son with donated clothing.

Insurance will help with the home loss but not his son's cremation.

"I'd like to pay off first before they cremate, but I don't have the money," Sean says.

Now, with just $1,000 to their name, the family of eight is staying with relatives while they rebuild their lives.

"Everything, nothing left, that's all I have, that's all I have," Sean says.

He assures his frightened children that if he could survive the killing fields of Cambodia with nothing, they will survive this.

"When I escaped from Cambodia, cross a lot of landmines, a lot of people died that come from there," he remembers.

The KOMO News Problem Solvers learned about the family's struggles and gave the Phuongs some gift cards to help them with a new start.

Sean has been out of work for the past year, and several friends are donating toward cremation costs - but they're still short by $2,000.

Anyone wishing to help may donate to the Patrick Soeun Memorial Fund at any Bank of America.

The Cambodian Commercial Scale Is Not Yet in Balance – Friday, 5.2.2010

http://cambodiamirror.wordpress.com/
via CAAI News Media

Posted on 6 February 2010
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, stated on 4 February 2010 during the inauguration ceremony of the new building of the Ministry of Commerce, ‘The Cambodian commercial scale for exports is not yet in balance.’

“He added, ‘Our foreign commerce amounts to about US$10 billion. But the Cambodian export is only something more than US$4 billion, while the imports to Cambodia amount to much more. The Cambodian-Thai bilateral trade is more than US$2 billion; the Cambodian-Chinese is more than US$1 million; and the Cambodian-Korean trade is more than US$2 billion. In total, it is more than US$5 billion.’

“To reduce this commercial imbalance, Samdech Hun Sen called on local investors to boost productivity for export, handicrafts, fishery, and other products to meet both local demands and that on foreign markets, because Cambodia has many markets such as China, Japan, Korea, the ASEAN countries, Europe, and other markets.

“Samdech Hun Sen continued to say, ‘Just as a first stage, China allowed us to export more than 318 types of products and later on 400 types, but Cambodia does not have products to be exported to China, and to member countries of ASEAN allowing Cambodia, Laos, and Burma to export to them. But Cambodia does not have products to be exported to those countries.’ Samdech Hun Sen went on to say, ‘Cambodia must strengthen its position for exports, like meat processing, eggs, vegetables, and other goods which can be sold to tourists who visit Cambodia. The creation of markets for farmers growing vegetables and raising animals, and the selling of their products to many shops, creates consistent commercial processes, and we do not need to import many things from abroad. In the meantime, those products must have quality, be attractive, and safe. The Ministry of Commerce has to assist to seek markets for these products and to encourage more exports so as to earn more profit.’

“Regarding the commercial scale issue, an economist of the Cambodian Economic Development Institute, Dr. Kang Chandararoth, spoke to Deum Ampil, saying, ‘The commercial scale is not in balance, because previously, Cambodia exported many not-processed products [to become final products]. Thus, it makes Cambodia lose value-added profits. Also, it is related to the size of places or of raw materials that we use to make those products, as the commercial infrastructure of Cambodia faces many shortages.’ He recommended, ‘Cambodia has to reform its transport infrastructure and its commercial laws to facilitate the operations of investors.’

“Also, the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, stated on 3 February 2010 in a press conference at the Phnom Penh Hotel, ‘The Ministry of Tourism will improve tourism services, including the creation of various attractions.’”

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #406, 5.2.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 5 February 2010

Hun Sen arrives in disputed area


via CAAI News Media
Published: 6/02/2010
Online news: Breakingnews

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has on Saturday morning arrived at the Ko Mui village nearby the Preah Vihear ancient temple, an informed source said.

It was reported that the commander of Army Region 2 Lt-Gen Weewalit Jornsamphan would be present at the border area of Si Sa Ket province to greet the Cambodia leader.

The Thai soldiers have set up barbed-wire at the entrance road to the Khao Preah Vihear temple national park in order to prevent people from trespassing to the disputed area.

They were ordered not to allow any people to go to the national park while Hun Sen was visiting the disputed area to prevent problem from taking place.

Veera Somkwamkid, a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), insisted on Saturday that he would not lead PAD members to protest against Hun Sen as earlier planned.

Deputy Prime Minister for security affairs Suthep Thaugsuban said on Friday that he hoped Mr Veera would drop his plan to lead PAD members in a protest against Hun Sen during the visit.

“Mr Veera should refrain from causing more problems as it is the responsibility of the government to settle border disputes with our neighbour,” Mr Suthep said.

Cambodia rebukes Google over disputed Thai border map

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia


via CAAI News Media

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia has accused Internet giant Google of being "professionally irresponsible" over its map of an ancient temple at the centre of a border dispute with Thailand, a letter seen by AFP Saturday showed.

The Google map "places almost half of the Khmer (Preah Vihear) temple in Thailand and is not an internationally recognised map," said the letter written by the secretary of state of the Cambodian Council of Ministers, Svay Sitha.

He described the map as "radically misleading".

"We, therefore, request that you withdraw the already disseminated, very wrong and not internationally recognised map and replace it," Svay Sitha wrote.

The complaint was made as Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen was Saturday making his first visit to the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over their border for decades. Nationalist tensions spilled over into violence in July 2008, when the Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Four soldiers were killed in clashes in the temple area in 2008 and three more in a gunbattle last April. Smaller flare-ups continue to be reported between troops in the area, with the most recent exchange of fire on January 29.

The border has never been fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

Relations between the neighbouring countries deteriorated further in November after Hun Sen appointed ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives abroad to escape a jail term for corruption, as an economic adviser.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, although the main entrance lies at the foot of a mountain in Thailand. The exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute.

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over their border for decades. Nationalist tensions spilled over into violence in July 2008, when the Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over their border for decades. Nationalist tensions spilled over into violence in July 2008, when the Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status

via CAAI News Media

February 6, 2010

PREAH VIHEAR, Cambodia (AFP) - Cambodian Premier Hun Sen visited a disputed border area with Thailand Saturday, angering the neighbouring nation amid an ongoing diplomatic spat.

Hun Sen began a tour of the area close to the ancient Preah Vihear temple at the centre of the land dispute by opening a school and giving supplies to villagers caught up in violence last year between the two countries' troops.

"I have never asked for compensation. For me, it doesn't matter about compensation," said Hun Sen, referring to the destruction of a Cambodian market during a gunbattle last April.

"They (the Thais) have invaded us and look down on us."

Hun Sen, with his wife, Bun Rany, and several senior ministers, gave bags of rice, blankets and mosquito nets to villagers before proceeding in a heavily guarded convoy to visit the 11th-century temple ruins.

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over their border for decades. Nationalist tensions spilled over into violence in July 2008, when the Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Four soldiers were killed in clashes in the temple area in 2008 and three more in a gunbattle last April. Smaller flare-ups continue to be reported between troops in the area.

During Hun Sen's one-day visit he also accused Thailand of plotting to "invade" again.

"They are still keeping it in their minds to invade Cambodia and do not know when they will stop. The invaders have never left us, even though they can kill their own citizens," he told the crowd.

More than 100 Thai protesters gathered on the Thai side of the border to protest against Hun Sen's visit.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he was not concerned about Hun Sen's trip as he had entrusted security on the border to the army.

"Soldiers are taking care of the border and the reports I have received show everything is normal," he told reporters.

The Thai-Cambodia border has never been fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, although its main entrance lies in Thailand. The exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute.

Cambodia challenge will be no holiday


via CAAI News Media

05 February 2010
By Camille Berriman

The wilds of Cambodia await a fund-raising hotelier, when he sets off for the country this weekend.

Craig Jarvis, owner of Ravenwood Hall Hotel, in Rougham, is gearing up for the fourth of five charity challenges he has undertaken to complete in 12 months.

He will test his biking skills on a 2,000-mile off-road route across some of the most remote parts of Cambodia, to raise funds for the Ravenwood Children's Trust, which supports causes including St Nicholas Hospice Care, a children's home in Goa and a Montessori school in Sri Lanka.

Craig said: "I really wanted to challenge myself this time to help raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause.

"Cambodia will be tough and an eye-opener in terms of the needs of local people. I plan to capture the challenge photographically, support St Nicholas Hospice Care's vital work and hopefully find some really worthwhile projects to fund for the local children."

Last year, Craig took on the Three Peaks Challenge, the Asics British 10k London run and took part in the Newmarket Town Plate horse race. Craig's final challenge is in April, when he will run seven marathons in six days across the Sahara desert, in the Marathon Des Sables.

To sponsor him, go to www.justgiving.com/craigjarvis

Cambodia rejects Thai's reaction on Hun Sen's visit to border area

via CAAI News Media

February 06, 2010

Cambodian government on Friday firmly rejected the reaction by Thailand on Prime Minister Hun Sen 's scheduled visit to Cambodian-Thai border area on Saturday.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, the ministry's spokesperson said, "It would be pointless and nonsense, even if Thailand did oppose to such a visit."

Hun Sen plans to visit the western border region, on Saturday.

The statement of deputy spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, posted on the Bangkok Post online Friday, said, "Thailand has not opposed to the visit by Prime Minister Hun Sen to the border area and the Foreign Ministry will send a high- level official to welcome him."

Moreover, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand has been reported to have told reporters, after chairing a meeting of the National Security Council of Thailand, that "If Mr. Hun Sen wishes to travel to the 4.6 sq km border area... talks must be held prior to the visit."

"It is very surprising and beyond comprehension that Thailand would consider sending a high-level official to welcome Samdech Techo Hun Sen who is on a tour in the territory of Cambodia, " the spokesperson said.

"Thailand's continued use of its unilateral map has been a major cause of border tension," he pointed out.

"Cambodia does not need to hold talk with Thailand prior to the visit of Samdech Techo Hun Sen to the area of 4.6 sq km adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear," he stressed, adding that "This area is located well within the territory of Cambodia according to the "Annex I" map used by the International Court of Justice ( ICJ) for its judgment in 1962."

It will be Hun Sen's first visit to the Cambodia-Thailand border area since the border dispute occurred after Preah Vihear temple was listed as Cambodia's World Heritage Site by the UNESCO' s World Heritage Committee in July 2008.

Source:Xinhua

PM Hun Sen to make visit to Cambodia-Thai border area

via CAAI News Media

February 06, 2010

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen will make a visit to Cambodia-Thai border area on Saturday as planned, a government official said Friday.

Koy Kuong, spokesman of Foreign Ministry said Prime Minister Hun Sen will make a visit to the border area on Saturday to meet with Cambodian armed forces and villagers who are based and living there.

Koy Kuong, however, said he was not clear whether Hun Sen will make any stop or visit Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple.

Other government officials said the premier had already arrived in Siem Reap province on Friday, and will fly to the border area the next day.

The premier might stay for a few days in Siem Reap where he is planned to play golf with his colleagues before returning to Phnom Penh, the officials said.

Preah Vihear Temple and its vicinity has become a flagship of border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand after the temple was registered as the world heritage site in July 2008.

Source:Xinhua

Remains of 68 VN soldiers repatriated from Cambodia

via CAAI News Media

February, 06 2010

KIEN GIANG — The remains of another 68 Vietnamese voluntary soldiers who died on Cambodian soil have been repatriated to the border town of Ha Tien in southern Kien Giang Province, according to the provincial Military Command.

Cambodia-based Military Zone 9 teams, responsible for locating the remains of fallen Vietnamese soldiers, found the remains in Kep and Kampot provinces after three months of searching.

Commemoration ceremonies and burials will be held at the local martyrs' cemetery in the next few days.

Since 2001, the teams have found and returned the remains of 1,423 Vietnamese soldiers from Cambodia. The teams will continue their search after the lunar new year. — VNS

Cambodia lambast Google Earth for locating temple in Thai soil

via CAAI News Media

Sat, February 6, 2010
By Deutsch Presse Agentur

Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government sent a strongly-worded letter Friday to US internet giant Google, complaining that its online Google Earth map incorrectly places parts of the 11th century Preah Vihear temple in Thailand.

The letter comes ahead of an expected visit this weekend by Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen to the temple, which is situated on land claimed by both Cambodia and neighbouring Thailand.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan told the German Press Agency dpa he had sent an initial letter to Google three years ago asking it to remedy the problem, but had received no response.

Friday's letter called on Google to withdraw the map, calling its demarcation of the border 'radically misleading and totally misguided' for showing 'almost half of the temple in Thailand.'

The International Court of Justice awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962, but did not rule on nearby land that is claimed by both nations.

Google's map, which shows the yellow border line running through the contested temple, 'is devoid of truth and reality and professionally irresponsible, if not pretentious,' the letter stated.

Over the past 18 months Thai nationalists have used the Preah Vihear issue to stoke tensions, to which the visit by Hun Sen may add.

Phay Siphan said he had no official confirmation that Hun Sen would visit Preah Vihear temple at the weekend, but said people expected him to be there.

'Everyone is talking about it and expects to see [Hun Sen] on the top [of the temple] to pay his respects to Cambodian culture,' Phay Siphan said late Friday.

He added that the area was 'very stable, and there are no irregularities. Soldiers are chitchatting with each other.'

The relationship between Cambodia and Thailand has been tense for more than a year with sporadic clashes between troops in the area around the temple. Much of the border between the two countries has yet to be demarcated.

Diplomatic relations plunged to a new low in October after Phnom Penh appointed Thailand's fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra as a government adviser.

A delight nonetheless

Khmer spring rolls
Fish amok
http://www.todayonline.com/
via CAAI News Media

With claims of being the only Cambodian eatery in Singapore, Khmer Delight is a much welcome addition to our ethnic food scene

Feb 06, 2010

KHMER fare often gets dismissed with the proverbial "similar to Thai food but less spicy and tasty". While there's nothing glaringly wrong with the statement, it is, at best, simplistic; at worst, mildly offensive to Cambodians.

So, imagine how my curiosity was piqued after chancing upon three-week-old Khmer Delight in Siglap. It's a first-time venture into the food and beverage business for owners Andrew Tay, a Singaporean who had worked in Cambodia for 10 years, and his Cambodian wife, Alicia.

The atmosphere is convivial, and I heard Khmer spoken at the table opposite mine. More Cambodian families gradually streamed in for a weekend lunch, which I thought must be a sign of the food's authenticity.

Even the friendly wait staff were Cambodians, young natives studying here. Interestingly, a Malaysian chef who had trained in Phnom Penh helms the kitchen.

Still, Alicia supervises to ensure the style and standard of the cuisine are met.

"Our fish soup, for example, is always lime green, she explained.

"And some of our ingredients, such as lemongrass leaves, are sourced from Cambodia, as I find the ones available here aren't of the same quality."

The menu is extensive, with more than 30 items including soups, salads, meat and seafood dishes on offer. The unusual banana blossom salad ($6.90) is a zesty starter of shredded banana flowers tossed with prawns and herbs such as mint in a mildly sweet and sour dressing.

I could see how those used to the heavier, more tantalising taste of Thai salads might find this a little underwhelming.

But I can't see them complaining much about the traditional and popular fish amok ($9.90 for a sizeable piece that's good for two to share). Similar to our local otak, it is curried fish mix steamed instead of grilled in banana leaves. I liked how the mackerel chunks weren't drowned in spicy flavours; relying instead on the fragrant mix of coconut milk, lemongrass and prahok (a traditional fermented fish paste).

"Back home we use freshwater fish we get from the river, but you really can't do that here," said Alicia.

Looking at the menu, pork apparently features heavily in Cambodian cuisine, evident in staples such as crispy deep-fried spring rolls ($3.90 for four pieces) filled with minced pork and yam. The tender star anise pork ribs ($15.90, serves two to three small eaters) is another speciality that should also prove popular with locals despite its bitter-sweet gravy.

Desserts, too, seem to share similarities with Thai cuisine. The pumpkin custard ($3.50) had the same sweet creaminess underlie by velvety coconut milk.

Evidently, it's hard to draw a clean line between where Cambodian food starts and where Thai food begins. But Khmer cuisine is noticeably milder. In fact, chillies, I learnt, have never been featured heavily in Khmer recipes since ancient times.

Alas, it would be nice to see more information about the cuisine on the menu. But, no doubt, with the opening of Khmer Delight, the reputation East Coast has for being a foodie's paradise just got another boost. Serene Thia

Khmer Delight

Where: 922 East Coast Road
Telephone: 6449 1529
Opening hours: 11.30am to 10pm (Tue to Thur); 11.30am to 10.30pm (Fri to Sun). Closed on Monday.

DAP News ; Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

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Soy Sopheap Leads Veal Entry Soldiers’ Dam Appeal

Saturday, 06 February 2010 03:03 DAP-NEWS

Cambodian soldiers stationed at Veal Entry battle field on Friday called for aid to construct a dam to store water. Soy Sopheap, DAP Media Center General-Director, led the appeal while he led a DAP delegation to Preah Vihear temple, timed to coincide with the first formal visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to Preah Vihear on Saturday.

Veal Entry battle field Commander in Chief Nou Sarat told Soy Sopheap that all soldiers are appealing for aid from all Cambodians both in the country and overseas to build a at a cost of more than US$5,000 for the soldiers’ needs..

“The dam will be 2m high, 8m wide and it will be able to store the water all the time,” he added.

Soy Sopheap vowed to try his best to broadcast this appeal by his newspaper to both local and overseas Cambodians.

Soy Sopheap also donated some mon ey to the soldiers and met with Royal Cam- bodian Armed Forces Commander in Chief Pol Saroeun on Janurary 5 for a short talk. Pol Saroeun has led his subordinates to control the Preah Vihear Situation prior to the Premier Hun Sen´s Visit.

Pol Saroeun warmly welcomed to Soy Sopheap. The situation at Preah Vihear Temple is normal following the two countries’ soldiers meeting for talks at Mouy Deng.

After he met with Soy Sopheap, a Thai soldier said that he is afraid of war as he has never fought before. The Thai soldier, who was able to speak Khmer, told Soy Sopheap that he doesn’t want to fight. Soy Sopheap warned him not make war with Cambodia as Cambodian soldiers have long experience in making war.

Three Get Fail for Drugs Trafficking

Saturday, 06 February 2010 03:01 DAP-NEWS

Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted three suspects for drug trafficking, one a Khmer-Canadian and two Cam-bodians. The three were each fined US$4,750 and sent to jail for 8 years, according to a court official said on Friday.

The traffickers, Srey Srun, Sroy Lai, and Koy Hoeun, were arrested on June 14, 2009 in Deum Kor market, Sen Sok district of Phnom Penh, police said.

The Khmer-Canadian, Srey Sun, denied the charges, blaming Koy Hoeun.

“I gave US$ 1,500 to him (Koy Sun) aim to earn interest only; per US$100 I would get US$10 interest a month,” Srey Sun added.

Anti-Narcotics Police Officer Tros Sokchea said that police were long trying to arrest Koy Hoeun. Thee other suspect, Sroy Lai, claimed to bee an innocent taxi driver from Kampong Cham province driving to Phnom Penh.

“I had just received a letter from Koy to [take an] an unknown person to Kampong Cham and I got US$ 200.”

Prosecutor Heang Sopheak told the court that all the suspects were linked in criminality, so they should receive harsh punishment and jail time.

A police chief also told DAP News Cambodia that police took 3,519 pills from the suspects.

“We destroyed all the pills,” the police chief stressed.

Cambodia Builds New Museum in Preah Vihear Province

via CAAI News Media

Saturday, 06 February 2010 03:10 By EK MADRA

PREAH VIHEAR – Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said on Friday the government has built another museum to preserve its culture heritage as well as to attract more tourists to the area.

The eco-global Samdech Techo Hun Sen museum has begun construction on the 200 hectares of land since last May and will take months to complete.

The museum’s master plan—which located in Sraem village, Kantout commune in Kchamsan district of Preah Vihear province—was designed by the experts from the UN cultural experts of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) along with Cambodian experts, said Sok An, who toured the officials to visit the museum late Friday.

“The establishment of this museum shows the country’s sustainable development in this area.”

The display of the Khmer archeological artifacts and preserving the Khmer empire during the pre-and post Angkorian times are also on the museum’s agendas.

“The museum’s establishment is fully applied with culturally and technically works,” said Sok An, who is also the Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers.

He said the museum’s exhibitions are also shows the culture of the Khmer minority, Kuy, who pioneered in making metal weapons of arrows used during the Khmer empire at the time.

“The museum’s activities will also show the Kuy minority who had greatly contributed to produce metal weapons during the Khmer Empire.”

He said there are 275 temples are found in the province of Preah Vihear alone.

“We will also make orchid gardens where we will grow plants as well as to produce some traditional medicines,” he said.

“These ingredients will enable us to attract more tourists to visit this area.”

The museum also displayed the photographs, which were produced by a Cambodian photographer Moeun Nheam.

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An is pleased with photograph products, which were taken at the temples: Sambo Prey Kuk in Kampong Thom province, where more than 100 temples built in 6th - 7th century were found. Koh Ker temple, there are seven-story for main tower of Koh Ker temple, built in 10th century by Jayavaraman IV, covered by jungle.

Other pictures, which are being displayed in the museum, are Kampong Preah temple built during Zhenda era in 8th century.

Another picture showed Bantey Srey temple, which was built in the 10th century, a magnificent twilight scene of the temple as sunrise.

“Let us produce more of these photograph as many as more than 100 so that we can send to display some overseas and sell some to tourists who visit the area here,” said Sok An.

Sok An also visited a Cambodian military commander in the province, where he was pleased with the achievement has been made by the Royal Cambodia Armed Force.

“I used to see the pictures about the development here, I now see them all with my own eyes,” he said before he head off to pay a visit to a newly religious shrine, which was built by the local authorities.

The symbol of the shrine which depicted with a famous Khmer military commander, Ta Dy, rode horse as he used arrows to disperse enemies from the land of Khmer’s empire at the time.

Cambodia’s government has been largely investing in building more physical infrastructures in the province in recent years. More roads have been paved in the remote areas to link to the provincial town as well as to the Temple of Preah Vihear.

The province’s name has been well known to the outside world thanks to the Khmer ancestors who built the 900-year-old Temple and named it as Preah Vihear.

Sok An himself, whose successful lobbied the international community in supporting that the Temple be listed the UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 2008, also reiterated that the Thai’s claim area near the Temple is baseless given the UN court of International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1962 in which the court ruled out that: the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.

The court also found that Thailand is under obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory.

Thailand is under an obligation to restore to Cambodia any objects of the kind specified in the Cambodia’s fifth submission which may, since the date of the occupation of the Temple by Thailand in 1954, have been removed from the Temple or the Temple area by the Thai authority, according to the ICJ Judgment.

Hun Sen told to visit as tourist

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Cambodian security escorts 'must disarm'

Published: 6/02/2010 
Newspaper section: News

All eyes are on how the already tense situation at the Thai-Cambodian border develops as Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen today begins a three-day visit which will conclude at the Ta Muan Thom temple in Surin.

The government says that while the Cambodian leader is free to go anywhere while on Cambodian soil, he is not advised to enter the disputed territory covering 4.6 square kilometres near the Preah Vihear temple without informing Bangkok.

The 2nd Army Region and provincial authorities have been instructed to make security preparations and oversee the situation during Hun Sen's visit.

The army says Hun Sen is scheduled to visit three or four locations.

Today, the Cambodian prime minister will chair the opening of Siharat Decho village and an army battalion on Cambodian soil.

On Monday, he plans a visit to Ta Muan Thom temple in Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district, which is under the supervision of Thai armed forces.

Ta Muan Thom and the neighbouring Ta Kwai temple in Surin were embroiled in the border dispute when the conflict escalated two years ago.

Phnom Penh claimed both were located in disputed territory and tried to deploy troops there.

Army sources said the army has told Cambodia that Hun Sen cannot bring troops when visiting the Ta Muan Thom temple, which is in Thai territory.

Second Army Region commander Weewalit Chornsamrit yesterday met senior Cambodian military leaders in Si Sa Ket's Kantharalak district to discuss security measures for the Cambodian leader.

Maj Gen Weewalit said he had been assigned to welcome Hun Sen if he wishes to enter the disputed area where both Thai and Cambodian troops are now deployed.

Maj Gen Weewalit said Thailand had informed Cambodia that if Hun Sen visits any disputed area surrounding Preah Vihear, Thailand will send representatives - Maj Gen Weewalit, the ambassador to Cambodia, and the Si Sa Ket governor - to join his visit.

The military source said the government had responded to the Cambodia prime minister's request to visit Ta Muan Thom, saying he was welcome there, but his security guards and followers must be disarmed and visit the temple just like normal tourists.

However, Cambodia has not responded to this demand.

He said Thai troop levels will not be beefed up as there are enough of them in the overlapping zone.

He dismissed speculation that Hun Sen's visit was intended to demonstrate ownership of the disputed territory. Concerns were also raised that Hun Sen might deliver a nationalistic speech to pep up his troops.

"I think he is paying a visit to the troops as the government leader and the commander of his armed forces.

"The army is accustomed to Hun Sen's style of talking and Cambodia's media reporting, which is not quite accurate and causes trouble," he said.

Maj Gen Weewalit insisted that Cambodian troops will be pushed back if they cross the border during the visit.

"That cannot be allowed. They must be disarmed before they are allowed to step onto Thai soil," he said.

Gen Piroon Paewpolsong, army chief of staff and secretary-general to the Internal Security Operations Command, said Hun Sen can visit the disputed area, but he is required to inform Thai authorities if he does.

"It is not a no-go zone, but there is a protocol to follow. If we are to enter the disputed area, we have to inform Cambodia too," he said.

"The visit is a Cambodian affair. We just follow the protocol regarding a border visit.

"We can talk to each other. We have no problems if they want to visit. There are procedures for it," he said.

Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh said yesterday Hun Sen has no hidden agenda in the timing of his visit which has put security forces on edge, especially following rumours that fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would join the trip.

Gen Tea Banh said the Cambodian leader's trip is simply a morale-boosting visit for his soldiers. Hun Sen was tied up during New Year and could not pay the troops a visit. "There is no agenda. Why can't Hun Sen go to the border? It is Cambodian territory and he wants to visit his troops," said Gen Tea Banh.

He also rejected the rumour that Thaksin would accompany Hun Sen.

Former prime minister Thaksin posted messages on his Twitter page, Thaksinlive.com, saying he had no plan to visit the disputed area near the temple. He was in Dubai, he said.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6.

Cambodian soldiers sit as they guard at the disputed border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

A Cambodian soldier rest as he guards at the disputed border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

A Cambodian soldier rests as he guards at the disputed border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

A Cambodian soldier handles ammunition at the disputed border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian soldiers walk to a closed barbedwire gate as they guard along the Cambodia-Thailand border near Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A tourist woman sits on a rock as other tourist are seen by Cambodian soldiers on a cliff along the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodia's national flag and the world heritage flag (C) are seen in the middle of an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian soldiers sit as they guard along the Cambodia-Thailand border near Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian tourists pray as they hold burned incense sticks while police officers watch at the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian soldiers are seen by a machine gun as they guard along the Cambodia-Thailand border near Preah Vihear temple, Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

An overview of the Preah Vihear temple is seen in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A Cambodian soldier stands guard at the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to pay his first official visit on Saturday to his troops at the disputed territory near the historic temple. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian children walk at the disputed border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

A Cambodian soldier sits near Thai troops at Koe sekhakirisrarak pagoda at the disputed border near an ancient Hindu temple in Preah Vihear province, 543 km (337 miles) north of Phnom Penh, February 5, 2010. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to visit troops at the disputed border and world heritage site on February 6. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea

Building Cambodia's Roads

via CAAI News Media

Published: February 5, 2010

Regarding the article “Cambodia’s routes to riches” (Jan. 19): While rural roads connecting major population centers are important for development, Cambodians rely mostly on bicycles, small motorbikes and their feet for transportation. This majority of travelers is usually the first sacrificed for cars and trucks. New roads tend to cut through smaller villages and lead to the deaths of pedestrians and cyclists, who are rarely considered by the road-building authorities.

Striking a balance between development, auto-mobility for the minority of Cambodians with cars, and the livelihoods of the majority, ought to be more important than opening tourist centers. Is this the only way for Cambodia to develop?

Lee Schipper, Berkeley, California

Cambodian influx: A snapshot of 1980s Phila

CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Photographer Mario Nascati Jr. and Bonna Neang Weinstein, owner of Khmer Art Gallery, look over a photograph from Nascati's archives.

via CAAI News Media

Fri, Feb. 5, 2010
By Jeff Gammage
Inquirer Staff Writer

In one photograph, a girl, perhaps 7, stares at the lens with a mixture of intrigue and trepidation. The sag in her too-big pants hangs almost to her knees.
Another shows a boy on a front porch, his hand on his chin in dour contemplation, the wall behind him patched with plywood. Nearby, half-hidden in shadow, a girl smiles brightly.

A third depicts a dapper man in suit and tie, his fingers pinching the corner of an American flag draped over his shoulder. It takes a minute to recognize him as Dith Pran, the journalist whose life was portrayed in The Killing Fields.

To photographer Mario Nascati Jr., the pictures reveal not life, but what he came to think of as afterlife - the lives his subjects found or made in Philadelphia after fleeing their war-torn Cambodian homeland.

"This was their new life," he said. "The culture that was left behind lives on here."

Tonight, Nascati's black-and-white photos go on display at a Khmer Art Gallery exhibit titled "After Life: Documenting Cambodian Diaspora in Philadelphia." The show runs through Feb. 28.

Nascati's archive exists as a kind of time capsule, because he caught his subjects at a key moment - the mid-1980s, when waves of Southeast Asian refugees were changing the racial makeup of Philadelphia. In some neighborhoods, their arrival sparked resentment and violence that linger today.

Last month, the Justice Department was asked to investigate the Dec. 3 attacks at South Philadelphia High School, where 30 Asian students were assaulted by groups of classmates.

Nascati, a freelance photographer, in the 1980s was working as an instructional aide at William Penn High School on North Broad Street. His Cambodian students told harrowing stories of escape from a country turned war zone.

Nascati started visiting their neighborhoods, shooting people, events, and even a wedding. During two years he took thousands of photos, mostly in West Philadelphia. Some he snapped in the other large resettlement areas of North and South Philadelphia. The shot of Dith was taken in New York City.

"We are still haunted, in big ways. And the photos speak to that," said Bonna Neang Weinstein, the Khmer gallery owner, herself a survivor of the Killing Fields.

Cambodians here make up a tiny minority, about 6,570 people - less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the city population. Today they organize through groups such as the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, though many still struggle with poverty and prejudice.

"I'm proud that our community has grown, despite the challenges we still face everyday," said Rorng Sorn, executive director of the association.

When her family arrived in 1987, after eight years in a refugee camp in Thailand, it had 12 people living in a small apartment - that was common among newcomers. Today, many of the children of those families own their own homes. Still, she said, life is hard for older people who had little schooling.

Thoai Nguyen, executive director of the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, said many less-educated refugees remain "stuck in semi-permanent poverty."

"For the most part, present day, the Cambodian and Laotian community in Philadelphia continues to be the most underserved, the community that is most vulnerable to the economic disaster of the last year and a half," he said.

But, said Nguyen, whose family came here from Vietnam in 1975, "the community has survived. In a lot of ways you can argue that it's thrived."

Walk down Seventh Street in South Philadelphia and you see Cambodian businesses and shops. The lawns of Mifflin Square are a gathering spot for summer cookouts.

Nascati, 56, has never been to Cambodia. He was born and raised in South Philadelphia, lives near Glassboro, and still works for the School District, now as a photographer and videographer.

He was too young to be drafted during the Vietnam War, but old enough to have experienced the public uproar over the U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

Neither was particularly on his mind when he went to shoot. But it's impossible to look at the faces in the photos and not consider the circumstances that drove them here.

For 25 years, the photos lay in Nascati's files. They would be there still if he hadn't happened to drive past the gallery and notice the mural of a Khmer queen outside.

___

To grasp why 6,570 Cambodians are living in Philadelphia today, it's important to understand the events that occurred at a different place and time.

In March 1969, with President Richard M. Nixon's approval, American B-52s began to secretly bomb Cambodia - a neutral country during the Vietnam War, at the time sliding into civil war. The administration wanted to stop the North Vietnamese from using bases inside Cambodia to supply their forces in South Vietnam.

For 14 months, the bombers hit targets that covered nearly half the country. The campaign killed between 100,000 and 500,000 civilians, and left two million homeless.

"Cambodia," Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote in Manufacturing Consent, "was being systematically demolished."

It got worse.

On April 30, 1970, Nixon announced the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, expanding the war and triggering protests across the United States.

The insurgent Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia in 1975, beginning the genocide known as the Killing Fields. The regime, bent on creating a society of farming communes, killed 1.7 million people through execution, torture, starvation and forced labor.

Thousands of Cambodians fled to Thailand. More escaped during the 1979 Vietnamese offensive that toppled the Khmer Rouge. In the early and mid-1980s, Cambodians were resettled in countries from Australia and New Zealand to Canada.

More than 100,000 came to the United States. A few thousand settled in Philadelphia. They joined an influx of refugees that would help double the city's Asian population within a decade.

Often the newcomers were pushed into decrepit buildings by resettlement agencies that needed large numbers of apartments, and found the answer in slum landlords.

It was about then that Nascati picked up his camera.

__

The Khmer gallery at 319 N. 11th St. is a place where past and present collide, both in its collection, which runs from ancient to contemporary, and in its owner.

Weinstein, 45, was a teenager when the Khmer Rouge began turning the country into a labor camp. Confined separately from her father and brother - her parents had divorced - she recalled being ordered to dig a pond, certain she was digging her grave.

Her father escaped to Thailand. In 1979, at 15, she and her brother made their way there, too. She emigrated to the United States in 1984 and now lives in Abington.

For her, Weinstein said, Nascati's photos show that the Cambodian people "still matter, despite many decades of being used for war pawns."

To have lived through the Killing Fields is to live restless, she said, and the photos capture that.

"I was wondering, by projecting these pictures, is it helping the Cambodian people or pulling them down?" she said. "For me, it's an encouragement."

Farmers Lose Thousands of Dollars in Culling

By Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
05 February 2010
via CAAI News Media

More than 60 families in Takeo province say they lost tens of thousands of dollars after their poultry was culled this week to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

Health and agriculture authorities culled more than 2,000 ducks and chickens in Koh Andeth district, following the deaths of as many as 15,000 more birds earlier in a suspected bird flu outbreak.

The outbreak centered around Pralay Meas village, Rominh commune, near the Vietnam border, where authorities have focused efforts to destroy birds that may have been infected with the H5N1 virus through contact with wild birds.

May Seng, second deputy chief of the commune, told VOA Khmer Thursday that 62 families lost their poultry, mostly ducks. The value of each duck was around $3, making a total loss of $51,000 in bird deaths.

“The outbreak of the H5N1 virus seriously destroyed our farmers’ livings,” he said.

Chhim Yorn, 45, who raises ducks in Pralay Meas village said, he would face increased poverty following the culling.

“I have no money to return to the bank a pay the interest of a loan,” he said. “I borrowed $3,000 from the bank to raise ducks. Now I have nothing. My house will be confiscated by the bank.”

Currently the government has no policy to compensate farmers for the loss of poultry in bird flu culling

“We need assistance from the government and non-governmental organizations to continue our business after we lost all in the bird flu outbreak,” said Vy Oun, a 30-year-old poultry farmer. “I lost $1,750 because my ducks died from bird flu.”

Despite the importance of poultry farms to the area, Kao Phal, head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s veterinary department, said farmers will not be allowed to raise birds for another 30 days, as authorities watch for signs of a return of the disease.

“We are watching this virus, and we have banned transportation of ducks or chickens from the affected area,” he said.

Avian influenza has killed seven Cambodians since 2005 and more than 200 people in Asia since an outbreak began in 2003.

Hun Sen Wants Trade Balance With Neighbors

By Kong Sothanarith, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
05 February 2010
via CAAI News Media

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday urged a balance of imports and exports to countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2009, imports from Vietnam and Thailand reached $2 billion each, and $1 billion from China. However, exports to those countries were far lower, creating a wide deficit, Hun Sen said at the inauguration of a new building for the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh.

“At this point, we must push our efforts to encourage investment for export to Asean markets and other important markets like the US, Europe, China, Korea and Japan,” he said.

Cambodiahas the capacity to export $4 billion in goods on the world market, Hun Sen said. Cambodia’s economy is led by the garment industry, which accounts for nearly half its exports, followed by agricultural goods such as rubber and corn. The garment industry has been hard hit by the economic downturn, with fewer orders coming in from lucrative markets like the US and Europe.

According to government figures, Cambodia exported $3.6 billion in goods in 2009, down $807 million from the previous year. Its imports reached of total of $5.2 billion in 2009, down $1 billion from the year before.

Nov Sieha, a researcher for the Economic Institute of Cambodia, said Cambodia’s export problems were due to “weak” productivity.

“We lack competitiveness,” he said.