Monday, 21 June 2010

Due to Reforestation and Land Grabbing, Everyone becomes a Song Writer and Singer

UN Special Rapporteur criticizes Cambodia's Judiciary (In Khmer)

Hunting and eating tarantulas latest tourist rage in Cambodia

via Khmer NZ News Media

2010-06-21

Hunting for tarantulas and then eating them is the latest craze for tourists visiting Cambodia.olidaymakers are joining locals in hunting tarantulas, which are considered to be a local treat.

Locals hunt spider holes and then consume the creatures immersed in soy sauce, deep fried in salt and garlic, or mixed into rice wine and jack fruit cocktails.

They go to the forests or cashew nut plantations on the outskirts of Sukon and poke sticks down the hundreds of spider holes, catching them as they rush out of the earth, reports news.com.au.

Locals in Kampong Cham Town and Sukon, where tarantulas are more commonly eaten, are giving even the tourists a taste of this experience.

Tarantulas are also bred in fields in these areas, and since they are nocturnal, the hunting is done during the daytime to increase the chance of capture.

Locals found the spiders tasty and began to experiment with flavours and dishes.

Tarantulas in Sukon are sold for around 10 cents each and for 2.5 dollars with rice wine.

Former Khmer Rouge stronghold gets first textbook about atrocities committed in the 1970s

via Khmer NZ News Media

By The Associated Press (CP)

ANLONG VENG, Cambodia — Cambodian students in a former Khmer Rouge stronghold were issued a textbook Monday that for the first time teaches the atrocities of the past, a little more than a decade after government forces captured the movement's last bastion.

Some 1,000 copies of, "A History of Democratic Kampuchea," were handed out Monday at the Anlong Veng high school, located in the last jungle holdout of the regime that became a killing machine in the late 1970s.

The textbook by a Cambodian genocide researcher was first published in 2007 and entered circulation in 2009. Since then, about 300,000 copies have been distributed to high schools elsewhere in the country.

Most books about the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge era, when some 1.7 million perished through hunger, disease and executions, have been written by foreigners or overseas Cambodians. Very few have been translated into the Cambodian language, and none are cheaply available.

The book's arrival in the northern province of Anlong Veng has special poignancy. The area was home to many of the former regime's senior leaders and almost everyone — from teachers to district officials — was once Khmer Rouge. But students here have remained virtually clueless about the subject.

"I'm so happy to get this book," said 18-year-old student Pen Mom, whose parents were Khmer Rouge cadres. "I have heard from my parents about the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, but now I will see how bad the regime really was."

The Khmer Rouge regime was toppled in 1979 but continued as a guerrilla force that plagued Cambodia with civil war. Anlong Veng was one of the rebels' last jungle strongholds, finally falling to government forces in 1998 after key rebel leaders surrendered.

The Documentation Center of Cambodia, an independent group that collects evidence of the Khmer Rouge and published the book, says it plans to print 700,000 more copies to distribute to high schools by the end of the year.

"All of us can draw lessons from our history," said Youk Chhang, the centre's director. "By taking responsibility for teaching our children through texts such as this one, Cambodia can move forward and mould future generations to ensure that the seeds of genocide never again take root in our country."

Earlier of this year, the government said it will preserve 14 sites in Anlong Veng as tourist attractions including homes belonging to Khmer Rouge leaders, an ammunition warehouse and the grave of Pol Pot, who died in 1998.

"I will keep this book forever," said Chhun Soklin, a 29-year-old teacher at the high school. "After I read it I will pass it to my children because this book reflects the suffering endured by all Cambodians who experienced life under the Khmer Rouge."

The country is gearing up for the first and long-awaited verdict from the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal. The tribunal will hand down its verdict July 26 in the case of Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, the Khmer Rouge prison chief accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder and torture.

Four other aging Khmer Rouge leaders are facing trials expected to begin late this year or early next year.
__

Associated Press Writer Sopheng Cheang contributed reporting from Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Sydney Schanberg Discusses His New Book, 'Beyond the Killing Fields'

http://www.politicsdaily.com/

via Khmer NZ News Media


James Grady

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Few Americans are more deserving of a movie about them starring an actor with the cinematic moral authority of Sam Waterston than the so deserving Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg, who Waterston portrayed in "The Killing Fields." That was the riveting, Academy Award-winning movie about Schanberg and his translator/assistant Dith Pran, who survived Cambodia's descent into genocide at the hands of the cultish Marxist Khmer Rouge. From 1975 to 1979, Cambodia was a homicidal horror show in which at least 20 percent of that nation's populace was killed – roughly 2 million people.


Schanberg lives in New York city now, and he's just published a book called "Beyond The Killing Fields" -- part memoir, part polemic, and part collection of his previously published articles on an American-influenced tragedy we'd rather forget.

Ironically, Cambodia and its 20th-century travails haunt the edges of today's news, too, with reports that its now far-more-benign official "constitutional monarchy" and multi-party democracy again threatens government-sponsored "forced migration" of segments of its population -- not in the service of yesterday's monstrous Khmer Rouge "killing fields" ideology, but to make way for today's gold mining in that impoverished country.

Schanberg is one of journalism's stars, and five Politics Daily staffers -- Carl Cannon, Melinda Henneberger, Walter Shapiro, David Wood and me -- are joining in an online discussion with him about politics and the press as seen through the prism of his new book.

Sydney, in this election year of 2010, what strikes me as being of most political significance beyond remembering the lessons of history in your new book is how you reveal language as a political weapon. The closest-to-home example that your book touches on is the use by America's Vietnam era politicians and journalists of the German word realpolitik.

How absurd is it that our Vietnam-era political savants embraced a word that allegedly means "politics based on practical considerations" from a culture whose 20th century "practicality" included spawning and then losing World War I and World War II, plus creating a genocidal empire that made the Khmer Rouge's "killing fields" look primitive.

The only "practical" thing in that Realpolitik is that it "practically" destroyed Germany and savaged the rest of the world.

But the most striking example of language being used as a political tool comes in your reporting about the Khmer Rouge, and I'm hoping that you can expand on the concept of language as a political weapon – both back in the Killing Fields era and in our 2010 election year frenzy -- and also talk a bit about some of the truly Orwellian examples of Khmer Rouge "politically correct" speech.

DAP News ; Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

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Prime Minister Hun Sen to preside at the Closing Ceremony of the 3rd Anniversary of General-Assembly of the Cambodian Ex-veteran Association

Monday, 21 June 2010 10:36 DAP-NEWS

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, June 21, 2010-Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday of June 21, 2010 will preside at the Closing Ceremony of the 3rd Anniversary of General-Assembly of the Cambodian Ex-veteran Association at the National Education Institute.

Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the Phnom Penh Municipal and Provincial authorities to find the Cambodian ex-veterans who have lived in their local areas and to take great cares of them and their living standards.

“Before the Royal Government of Cambodia planned to dissolve the Cambodian military, but now the military dissolution plan is suspended because the Royal Government badly needs our military to defend the Cambodian territory against the foreign invasion,” he added.

Regarding the absence from meeting for talks with Mr.Surya Prasad Subedi, U.N Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he was very sorry that Mr. Surya used the words: “I was disappointed not to meet Mr. Prime Minister Hun Sen.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen asked Mr. Surya to correct his words, warning that the use of these words meant that he seemed not to pay any respect to the house-owner, to a completely independent country and also seemed to look down on the Cambodian people as a whole.

“Don’t try to break into the door while the door is open and do not tell me that it is raining while I am walking in the rain.” Prime Minister Hun Sen warned.

“Nobody loves Khmers more than Khmers love Khmers themselves and what you are thinking about Khmers is that now I am thinking about Khmers more than you a thousand time and ten thousands of time,” he said.

Cambodian Development can not Predict if No Coup in March: PM Hun Sen

Monday, 21 June 2010 08:30 dap-news

Cambodia,Phnom Penh,21,June,2010-Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said that Cambodian development would not be predicted if there was no coup leading by military Marshal Lon Nol to topple former king Norodom Sihanouk in March 18, 1970; the country would be in development of prosperity.

That time, Cambodia only got the impact from Vietnam war,” he said in ceremony of veteran day at the national institute of education in Phnom Penh.

From the coup until now, it had forty year ago. Can you foresee about the development of the country,” he noted.

War pushed the country in wreck and now we recovered and had peace and stability. We have worked together to gain the prosperity, he added.

Cambodian Armed Forces Stop Demobilizing: PM Hun Sen

Monday, 21 June 2010 08:27 dap-news

Cambodia,phnom penh,june,21,2010-Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday announced that the Cambodian armed forces stopped demobilizing from now on after the country needs troops to protect sovereignty against the invasion.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen remarked during the ceremony of Cambodian veteran’s day in Phnom Penh with attending hundreds of veterans.

“We stopped demobilizing our soldiers because we need the troops to protect country,” he said in ceremony.

The analyst said that Prime Minister Hun Sen remarked is to referred to Thai troops which invaded Cambodia soil at the border especially area near 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

We have had good cooperation with Laos, and Vietnam,” he said, adding that we did not send any troops to border with two countries.

Some people blamed that the armed forces are loyal with me but when we asked money from them to demobilize the troops. They did not provide it for us,” he said, adding that now we stop demobilizing the troops.

He highlighted that in case of demonization of soldiers, we were demanded from donor to pay money back after it has some irregular matters in project. But I think that matter occurred with irregularity because the bidding project of demobilization of armed forces implemented by China. If so, it will not have irregular matters,” he added.

Hundreds of Cambodian armed forces sent to border against Thai troops since 2008 when Cambodia successfully registered Preah Vihear temple as world heritage site. Thailand sent troops in July 15 to invade Cambodia by using unilaterally own map.

Vietnam Launches Rubber Tree Planting Project in Cambodia

Monday, 21 June 2010 05:54 DAP-NEWS

Dong Nai and Dong Phu rubber companies under the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) began a campaign to grow new rubber trees in 2010 in Sombo district, Kratie province in Cambodia on June 19.

“The campaign is the result of great efforts by VRG’s subsidiary companies to plant 100,000 hectares of rubber trees in Cambodia despite harsh weather conditions and escalating oil prices,” VNA said on Sunday.

“These companies have been implemented this project to grow rubber in Sombo district since 2008. After receiving a license to operate in more than 16,000 hectares of land in Sombo, the companies planted more than 2,000 hectares of rubber trees in 2008-2009 periods and each company is expected to plant around 2,000 hectares in 2010,” it added.

“ VRG’s investment models in Cambodia, adding that subsidiary companies of VRG have helped generate jobs, eradicate poverty and stabilize local residents’ lives,” Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Im Chun Lim was quoted saying VNA.

Addressing the ceremony, Le Quang Thung, Chairman of the VRG Management Board affirmed that VRG-funded projects in Cambodia have proved to be effective. Currently, the two companies have attracted more than 2,000 workers in Cambodia.

Cambodian Armed Forces Stop Demobilizing: PM Hun Sen

Monday, 21 June 2010 08:27 dap-news

ambodia,phnom penh,june,21,2010-Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday announced that the Cambodian armed forces stopped demobilizing from now on after the country needs troops to protect sovereignty against the invasion.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen remarked during the ceremony of Cambodian veteran’s day in Phnom Penh with attending hundreds of veterans.
“We stopped demobilizing our soldiers because we need the troops to protect country,” he said in ceremony.

The analyst said that Prime Minister Hun Sen remarked is to referred to Thai troops which invaded Cambodia soil at the border especially area near 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

We have had good cooperation with Laos, and Vietnam,” he said, adding that we did not send any troops to border with two countries.

Some people blamed that the armed forces are loyal with me but when we asked money from them to demobilize the troops. They did not provide it for us,” he said, adding that now we stop demobilizing the troops.

He highlighted that in case of demonization of soldiers, we were demanded from donor to pay money back after it has some irregular matters in project. But I think that matter occurred with irregularity because the bidding project of demobilization of armed forces implemented by China. If so, it will not have irregular matters,” he added.

Hundreds of Cambodian armed forces sent to border against Thai troops since 2008 when Cambodia successfully registered Preah Vihear temple as world heritage site. Thailand sent troops in July 15 to invade Cambodia by using unilaterally own map.

FOR THE FIRST TIME, CAMBODIA’S TELECOM INDUSTRY HAS BEEN LEVERAGED AT REGIONAL LEVEL WITH METFONE BRAND

Monday, 21 June 2010 03:06 DAP-NEWS

CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, June 21, 2010- On June 10th, 2010 at the Shangri-la hotel, Singapore, Metfone – the only representative of Cambodia and Indochina has been awarded as “the most promising service provider of the year” in the category “the Best of the Best” in Asia Pacific by global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

This award demonstrates the international recognition of the outstanding development by Cambodia Telecom Industry that only in one year but mobile penetration rate has been remarkably increased from 15% to 40%, fixed phone penetration rate from 1% to 6%, Internet broadband penetration rate from 0,5% to 2%, infrastructure coverage from 120 BTS/1 million inhabitants and 150km optic cable/1 million inhabitants to 250BTS and 1000km optic cable /1 million inhabitants respectively. Each commune has now been served with one BTS and one sales person. Cable infrastructure has covered 100% districts and up to 75% communes, ready to serve for “E Government” at commune level which now firstly serve for online video conference at provincial level. This infrastructure has been ready for modernization of Cambodia’s Telecom Industry which can satisfy the requirements for new technology such as 3G and free Internet to 100% schools.

From now on, Cambodia’s Telecom Industry has been recognized to be at the same level with other countries in the world and region with the big contribution from Metfone brand.

Other recipients being awarded this year, along with Metfone, includes the famous name in the world such as Huawei, Microsoft, SingTel, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, etc.

“This is award for Cambodia’s Telecom Industry and people for their seamless effort in the past years that Metfone is just a representive to be awarded. Metfone honors to bring pride to the Kingdom of Wonder. On behalf of Metfone, I would like to take this opportunity to express the sincrest thanks to the Government, Ministries and Agencies, people, customers and all other operators in Cambodia for their support extended to us so far” said Mr Tho, Metfone’s Director at the award bangquet.

Frost and Sullivan’s Press Release stresses that “Historically, Japanese, Korean, South Asian as well as Greater China players have dominated the take-up of these coveted titles. This year rising stars, from emerging markets such as Telkomsel from Indonesia, Metfone from Cambodia and Axiata from Bangladesh have ousted competition and claimed prestigious titles for themselves.”.

“Despite the difficult economic climate in 2009, the award recipients demonstrated great success. They attained key wins with strategies including product and service innovation, customer focus and robust business models. Vendors excelled by offering tailored solutions focusing on individual markets rather than just offering products. Successful service providers used bundling and blending of services and effective market segmentation to monetize their networks and maximize their return on network investments. The award recipients are industry leaders in Asia Pacific and are shaping the ICT landscape of this region," said Manoj Menon, Partner and Asia Pacific Managing Director at Frost & Sullivan

For your information:

• The Frost & Sullivan Awards are annually presented to companies that demonstrate best practices in their industry, commending the diligence, commitment, and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace. The panel of judges represents the who’s who in ICT, bringing to the table some of Asia Pacific’s most influential decision makers, captains of industry and leaders of corporations, who have in themselves pushed the boundaries of technology innovation and corporate excellence. The Frost & Sullivan ICT Practice team of over 85 highly qualified analysts and consultants based across 13 offices in the Asia Pacific region will be involved in the research process, applying the same thorough approach employed in research and consulting projects. All categories of awards are in line with the existing in-depth coverage of the Information and Communications Technology industry in Asia Pacific.

• Frost & Sullivan, the growth partnership company with a proud history of providing cutting-edge innovative growth solutions and strategies to some of the world's leading Global 1000 companies continues its legacy in the Asia Pacific region. With the largest team of analysts in Asia Pacific, the Frost & Sullivan ICT Practice is dedicated to researching the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in the region.

• Further information about Frost and Sullivan Awards can be reached at http://www.ict-awards.com/.


Cambodia Sends 52 Mine Cleaners to Sudan

Monday, 21 June 2010 02:52 DAP-NEWS

Cambodia on Sunday dispatched 52 mine cleaners to Sudan under the umbrella of UN peacekeeping mission.

This is fifth time that our demining soldiers joined to clean mines in Sudan under UN peacekeeping mission and this time we sent 52 mine cleaners,” Pol Saroeun, Commander in chief of Royal Armed Forces said in the ceremony this morning. He added that they will depart at 11 o’clock this midnight.

In total, we send 509 mine cleaners to Sudan,” he noted. Soon, we will send about 52 soldiers to join UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

Your mission this time is another great honor for our country which used to pass through civil war and had the presence of UN peacekeeping mission here but today we have ability to send our great men to join UN peacekeeping mission in other countries,” he said in ceremony.

Cambodia sent forces to Chad and Central Africa to join UN Mission there.

Cambodian building materials plant opens


via Khmer NZ News Media

June, 21 2010

CAMBODIA — A US$5 million construction materials plant has opened in Cambodia's Sihanoukville Province with Viet Nam as an investor.

The plant is financed by Vinacomin Reththy, a joint venture between the Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group, Au Viet Industry Joint Stock Co and Cambodian group Mong Reththy.

The plant will provide 80 million products in the first phase using modern brick-making technology which has little impact on environment.

At the plant's opening last Friday, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Kiet Chun said the project would help foster economic development and job creation in the area.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang applauded the effort to put the plant into operation ahead of schedule.

Quang, who is also Vinacomin's board chairman, said the project was a sign of growing investment ties between the two countries.

Viet Nam is Cambodia's biggest source of foreign investment at $900 million. — VNS

Cambodian PM deplores UN official's "disrespect"

via Khmer NZ News Media

June 21 (Reuters) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called a United Nations rights official disrespectful on Monday and said in future they would meet just once a year rather than three times.

Surya Subedi, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia, criticised the country's judiciary last week for its lack of independence and regretted being unable to meet Hun Sen during a 10-day visit as the prime minister had been unwell.

Talking to hundreds of disabled former soldiers in Phnom Penh, the outspoken prime minister said Subedi had shown disrespect by saying he was "disappointed" about his illness.

"Every time he's come here, I've met him," Hun Sen said. "From now on, I'll see him just once a year."

"I hope he will hear this: I'm ill, I don't need to report to you," Hun Sen added, accusing Subedi of wanting to "colonise" his country.

The prime minister is prone to outbursts, especially at diplomats or international organisations expressing views at odds with his own.

Recently, he expressed irritation at the World Bank and others for saying the economy contracted in 2009 -- the Finance Ministry says it grew 0.1 percent -- and for giving lower growth forecasts for this year than the government. [ID:nSGE63Q0AA]

He pulled the plugs on a World Bank land registry project last September after the multilateral body and other aid donors asked the government to stop evictions. [ID:nSP497291]

At a news conference on June 17, Subedi had said he was troubled by such land disputes and the apparent inability of the poor to get a fair hearing in court.

Also, in a reference to the government's tough stand on dissent, he expressed concern about what he called a narrowing of the political space for debate.

Hun Sen also criticised Cambodian rights groups on Monday, calling them "shadowy organisations" for organising a march of about 200 people to his house on June 15 to petition him to solve land disputes.

Police halted the march. No one was hurt. (Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Alan Raybould) prak.chanthul@thomsonreuters.com; +855 2 399 2102; Reuters Messaging: prak.chanthul.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Ex-monarch to visit Vietnam


via Khmer NZ News Media

Jun 21, 2010

PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA'S former king Norodom Sihanouk and members of his royal family will pay a 'friendship visit' to Vietnam this week, boosting ties between the neighbouring countries, officials said on Monday.

Mr Sihanouk, one of Asia's longest-serving monarchs, was due to leave for Hanoi on Tuesday and return on Friday, accompanied by his wife and his son, King Norodom Sihamoni, according to sources close to the palace. It marks his first visit to Vietnam for 15 years.

The ex-monarch is sometimes known as the 'king-father' of Cambodia, where anti-Vietnamese sentiment is rife, fuelled by resentment at Vietnam's expansion over centuries and the feeling that Cambodia is losing some of its territory.

Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978, overthrew the communist Khmer Rouge regime in 1979 and occupied the country for 10 years. Relations have been particularly tense in relation to border issues. Mr Sihanouk's personal secretary Prince Sisowath Thomico said the 'friendship visit' would boost the ties between the two South-east Asian countries, although he would not comment on the schedule.

'Being retired and no longer doing politics nor diplomacy, my journey and trip to the glorious Socialist Republic of Vietnam will have a strictly private character,' Mr Sihanouk said in a statement dated June 14. Mr Sihanouk abruptly quit the throne in October 2004 in favour of his son, citing old age and health problems, but he remains a prominent figure in Cambodia and often uses messages on his website to comment on matters of state.

Cambodia and Vietnam share a 1,270-kilometre (790-mile) border, which has remained vague since French colonial times, but in 2005 they signed a border accord that has helped calm tensions after decades of territorial disputes. They officially began demarcating the contentious border in September 2006. -- AFP

Tourists relishing spider treats in Cambodia


via Khmer NZ News Media

Melbourne, June 21 : Hunting for tarantulas and then eating them is the latest craze for tourists visiting Cambodia.

Holidaymakers are joining locals in hunting tarantulas, which are considered to be a local treat.

Locals hunt spider holes and then consume the creatures immersed in soy sauce, deep fried in salt and garlic, or mixed into rice wine
and jack fruit cocktails.

They go to the forests or cashew nut plantations on the outskirts of Sukon and poke sticks down the hundreds of spider holes, catching them as they rush out of the earth, reports news.com.au.

Locals in Kampong Cham Town and Sukon, where tarantulas are more commonly eaten, are giving even the tourists a taste of this experience.

Tarantulas are also bred in fields in these areas, and since they are nocturnal, the hunting is done during the daytime to increase the chance of capture.

Locals found the spiders tasty and began to experiment with flavours and dishes.

Tarantulas in Sukon are sold for around 10 cents each and for 2.5 dollars with rice wine.

Buddhists celebrate Lord Buddha's birthday


via Khmer NZ News Media

By NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Displaying their diversity, Buddhists of various backgrounds from across Michigan and the U.S. gathered in Warren today to celebrate Lord Buddha's birthday in an event that brought together dozens of ethnic groups.

"Happy Buddha's Birthday 2634th" read a large banner on the lawn outside Sacred Heart Monastery, a Buddhist center in Warren (By NIRAJ WARIKOO/DFP)

"Happy Buddha's Birthday 2634th" read a large banner on the lawn outside Sacred Heart Monastery, a Buddhist center in Warren. Underneath was an image of a young Buddha in a lotus flower.

The monastery was the site of a two-day conference to celebrate Buddha on a day known as Vesak. It attracted Buddhist monks and nuns from across Michigan, as well as Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Canada, and Minnesota.

There were 65 Buddhist groups in Michigan who sponsored the gathering.

"The human family is too divided," Rev. Dharmananada Bhikkhu of Hamtramck said today inside the Buddhist center. "We are all one human family and we need to come together not only as Buddhists, but everyone."

The gathering included Buddhists with roots in India, Japan, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, and from European countries as well. Each brought their own cultural traditions to the gathering, which ended today.

It was believed to be the first time in recent memory that so many different groups crossed ethnic lines in metro Detroit to mark an important Buddhist holiday, organizers said.

It included Buddhist chants and musical performances from Vietnamese, Indian, Canadian, Thai, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan traditions. They also prayed for world peace.

The gathering was called the International Conference for Peace and Vesak, an occasion to mark the 2634th birthday of Lord Buddha, as well as his day of enlightenment. It was held by the Buddhist Council of America

"We had many different people from different countries," said Shripal Fernando of Southfield. "We all felt united."

The fact that it happened to be on Father's Day added to the occasion.
"Buddha is our father," Bhikku said. "We're all his children."

Incheon City Hall: Cambodia and Myanmar Taekwondo Players Invited for The Vision 2014 Program

via Khmer NZ News Media

Press Release Source: Incheon City Hall
Monday June 21, 2010

INCHEON, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Four state national taekwondo players from Cambodia and Myanmar entered Korea last May 20th and June 5th invited by Vision 2014 Program. They are taking a long-term training course for about 6 months in Incheon.

The Vision 2014 Program is being proceeded with the entrusted training format where the two women Cambodian players are entrusted in the Incheon City Hall Women Taekwondo team and the Myanmar Taekwondo team are entrusted in Incheon City's P.E team and being trained with the state amateurs for about 6 months.

Kim Jung Kyu, the coach of the women Taekwondo team in Incheon City Hall and Park Su Bok, Incheon P.E club who took charge of the trainees' training told that they would do their best in coaching not only to improve their skills, but also to build a friendship with their affiliated players and give them a good image of Incheon.

The 2014 Program is supporting the weak nation program managed with the Asian Olympic Council held by Incheon City, which has had a great role not only to develop Asian sports, but also publicize the 2014 Asian Games and Incheon through inviting training, providing equipment, distributing coaches, and supporting faculty from 2007 until now.

Especially, the long-term training program which has begun this year is aimed to raise prospective Asian medal players by entrusting talented athletes from a few weak sports countries to our national teams. Many successful results are expected from now on.

On a mission


Photo by: Heng Chivoan

via Khmer NZ News Media

Monday, 21 June 2010 15:00 Heng Chivoan

A demining team attends a ceremony at Phnom Penh International Airport prior to its departure for Sudan, where the 52-member unit will relieve another team that is set to return Tuesday. Pol Sareoun, commander in chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said during the ceremony that in the past year, the returning team had cleared 44 antitank mines, 94 antipersonnel mines and 8,101 pieces of unexploded ordnance as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the war-torn country.

Thailand detains migrants


Photo by: Christopher Shay
Cambodian migrants take a boat in late 2008 to a secret path in Koh Kong province that leads to Thailand.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[The arrested workers] are illegal. they will be put into camps.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

via Khmer NZ News Media

Monday, 21 June 2010 15:03 Cameron Wells and Tha Piseth

Processing of arrested workers remains unclear under government policy

MORE than 400 Cambodian migrant workers have been detained in a series of raids throughout Thailand since Wednesday, although it remained unclear on Sunday how they would be processed in the wake of new policies approved earlier this month by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The policies, outlined in a June 2 order signed by Abhisit, include the establishment of a “special centre to suppress, arrest and prosecute alien workers who are working underground”, though few details of the centre have been made public.

The move to detain and potentially prosecute alien workers, however, has alarmed some rights workers, who were previously under the impression that they would simply be deported.

Migrant workers had until March 2 to begin the process of nationality verification, wherein they were to submit documents to their home governments in order to secure new work permits in Thailand. According to statistics from the Human Rights and Development Foundation, 43,301 Cambodian migrant workers missed the deadline and thus could be subjected to the new measures.

HRDF’s Migrant Justice Programme released statistics Sunday night showing that 307 out of 830 migrant workers arrested in Bangkok between June 16 and June 20 were Cambodians. The statistics, drawn from Thai news reports, showed that the number of arrested Cambodians was second only to workers from Myanmar, who totalled 346.

A report published Sunday by INN News quoted a Bangkok metropolitan police commander as saying at a press conference that those arrested “were alien workers who entered the Kingdom of Thailand illegally”.

The report said that the raids were part of the broader crackdown on illegal workers, and pointed to unspecified “evidence” that such workers were responsible for a rise in crime in Thailand.

An article published Saturday by the Thai news service Daily News Online said 99 Cambodian workers – 66 of them male and 33 female – were arrested in Sa Kaeo province, and that they were believed to have been travelling south to find work.

Supat Guukhun, deputy director general of the employment office at the Thai ministry of labour, said on Sunday that all 99 of those workers were illegal.

“They are illegal; they will be put into camps,” he said. “After their cases are finished, they will be released. But if the case is made criminal, they will be put in jail.”

He could not provide information on the raids carried out in Bangkok.

MJP Director Andy Hall said the high number of arrests over the weekend suggested that implementation of the policies approved on June 2 had begun in earnest.

“There is a lot of stuff in the news recently. It’s not usually this many,” he said. “We don’t want these people arrested, rounded up and extorted. We don’t want it on such a large scale.”

He said he was unsure of what would happen to the arrested workers, noting that few details had been included in the June 2 order.

Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said that the arrests were in accordance with government policy.

“We have a policy of making sure we handle our illegal immigration laws,” he said. “We welcome migrant workers; they contribute to our economy. But they need to follow the rules and regulations. They need to register and they need to be regulated.”

He referred all questions on specific cases to the Thai ministry of foreign affairs, spokesmen for which could not be reached Sunday.

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Sunday that he had not received any word of the recent arrests.

He noted, as he did last week, that a memorandum of understanding exists between Cambodia and Thailand calling for the deportation of migrant workers back to the Kingdom.

According to the statistics on the Bangkok arrests provided by HRDF, 172 of the workers were from Laos. There were also two workers from Iran and Vietnam, and one from Nigeria and India.

Update sought in killing of farmers


via Khmer NZ News Media

Monday, 21 June 2010 15:03 Rann Reuy

Siem Reap Province

JUSTICE Minister Ang Vong Vathana has called on Siem Reap provincial court to provide an update of progress made on its probe of the March 2009 shooting of four Chi Kraeng commune farmers, allegedly at the hands of military police officers.

On the day of the shooting, farmers had been agitating for the right to cultivate land that was awarded to neighbouring Anlong Samnor earlier that year, part of a dispute dating back to 1986.

Rights groups have long bemoaned the fact that no military police have been arrested in connection with the incident, while 11 Chi Kraeng villagers remain behind bars.

A letter to court officials from Ang Vong Vathana, dated May 28 and obtained Sunday, makes reference to a letter received on January 13 from representatives of the Chi Kraeng victims and the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights complaining that the investigation had apparently stalled.

The May 28 letter paraphrases the CCHR letter as saying that Chi Kraeng residents involved in the dispute “remain concerned for their safety and experience grave fear because the perpetrators have not been brought to justice according to the law”.

Ang Vong Vathana goes on to ask the officials to “verify” steps taken with respect to the case since August 31 of 2009, when they reported that interviews with villagers and military police officers had yielded no leads.

Ty Soveinthal, a prosecutor at Siem Reap provincial court, confirmed on Sunday that he had received the minister’s letter, but said he did not know how to respond because none of the shooters have been identified.

“I would like to ask CCHR and other NGOs to work with our prosecutors to identify the shooters. Please do not disturb the minister,” he said.

But the intervention from the ministry was welcomed by rights workers who have been following the case.

Suon Bunthoeun, project officer for CCHR, said he believed Ang Vong Vathana was genuinely trying to help, adding: “I think this letter shows the willingness of the ministry to help find justice for these Chi Kraeng people.”

Am Sam Ath, senior investigator for the rights group Licado, also said he believed the ministry’s involvement could quicken the process, and he urged Ty Soveinthal to cooperate with Licadho investigators to bring the shooters to justice.

Loun Sovath, a monk who brought the Chi Kraeng case to the attention of UN human rights envoy Surya Subedi during his visit to Phnom Penh last week, said that in order for justice to be served, high-ranking officials must apply pressure to provincial and district officials.

“Lower officials are part of the problem. They cannot find a proper solution for these victims,” he said.

“I believe both my complaint to the UN envoy and the justice minister’s letter will accelerate the Chi Kraeng investigation.”

Touch Sakal, the police chief of Chi Kraeng district, said Sunday that he had no new information related to the case.

He noted that he told the court a month after the shootings that he did not believe military police had been at fault.

“During that incident some villagers tried to chop the police officers with machetes; the police were just defending themselves,” he said. “I do not know who opened fire.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAM RITH

Signs of malaria resistance



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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:03 Irwin Loy

REGIONAL authorities are investigating whether signs of resistance to antimalarial medication could be an indication of a larger problem, according to the World Health Organisation.

Steven Bjorge, the team leader on malaria with the WHO in Cambodia, said health officials in southern Vietnam are testing to see whether resistance to artemisinin, the most effective treatment for malaria currently available, has developed in a border area near Snoul in Kratie province. Other reports have surfaced in recent months of signs of resistance along the Thailand-Myanmar border.

“The reports are still very much under investigation,” Bjorge said.

Resistance to artemisinin-based medication has already been documented in areas of Cambodia along the Thai border, sparked by a combination of factors such as the prevalence of substandard, or fake, antimalarials.

Resistance is seen as an alarming issue because there are currently few alternatives to what had once been seen as a “miracle drug” in malaria treatment, Bjorge said.

“If nothing changes in terms of new drugs, it would really be a disaster if these parasites became more common,” he said.

But it is too soon to tell whether the recent reports from around the region are isolated cases or a sign that anti-malarial resistance has spread from the Cambodia-Thailand border area, Bjorge said.

For the past year, authorities have been aggressively trying to stifle pockets of resistance to artemisinin-based drugs in hotspots concentrated along the border, Bjorge said.

For example, officials have distributed treated mosquito nets to 99 percent of residents in affected areas in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces, he said.

At a regional conference on infectious diseases in Hanoi last week, Timothy Ziemer, the US government’s global malaria coordinator, urged authorities to remain vigilant.

“It is essential that national governments remain focused to contain and eventually eliminate these multi-drug-resistant strains,” Ziemer said.

Officials with the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control declined to comment on Sunday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MOM KUNTHEAR AND AFP

Inside Cover: 21 June 2010


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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:02 Roger Mitton

BANGKOK – There was some consternation earlier this month when US Senator Jim Webb abruptly cancelled a planned visit to Myanmar.

Webb, chairman of the senate subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific affairs, said his decision was due to new allegations “that the Burmese government has been working in conjunction with North Korea in order to develop a nuclear programme”.

A military defector from Myanmar had given an exile dissident group a collection of photos and files apparently showing that the regime was secretly working on missiles and nuclear weapons.

Subsequent evaluation by US experts, however, indicated that the defector’s material lacked evidence of North Korean involvement with Myanmar on the nuclear side – only for missiles.

Of course, the prospect of the wacky generals even building non-nuclear missiles at their new facility near Pyin Oo Lwin, north of Mandalay, was hardly reassuring.

But even on that point, the analysts did not signal any really serious concern about the defector’s material.

Joshua Pollack, an arms control consultant to the US government, said: “It reveals a very ambitious, but also very rudimentary programme, hobbled by its own drive for secrecy and Burma’s lack of serious science and engineering capabilities.”

Frankly, my sense, having been to Myanmar many times, is that the generals are not trying to build nuclear WMD – but that they would dearly like to give the impression they are.

But whether that’s correct or not, my interest here is in a perhaps less portentous matter; the issue of the country’s name.

Webb and Western analysts and commentators – and even the pliant Bangkok media – continue to use its British colonial name, Burma, not its natural name, Myanmar.

This is stupid and shortsighted. The name Burma is a recent concoction derived from the country’s dominant ethnic group – the Bamans of the central plains.

It is an inappropriate name because it excludes the nation’s many other ethnic minorities. So it was changed to Myanmar, the name its people have always used in their own tongue.

Of course, fuddy-duddies dislike any name changes and even regard Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zimbabwe with disdain.

But these natural names are eventually accepted because everyone knows Ceylon, Siam and Rhodesia are never coming back.

So, too, with Myanmar. Even pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi knows that.

An ambassador in Yangon once told me that when asked if she would restore the name Burma, she equivocated. “We took that to indicate she will stick with Myanmar,” he said.

Truth to tell, there is one usage for the old name that will be missed. In the last world war, troops writing home to their sweethearts would scrawl BURMA on the back of the envelope.

It meant: “Be Undressed and Ready My Angel”. If only for that, the name should stay in the lexicon.

Trafficking of labourers still a major issue


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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:02 Irwin Loy

CAMBODIA’S migrant labourers could present a growing problem for officials in the fight against human trafficking, observers say.

Though a US state department report released last week suggested Cambodia has taken positive steps in the last year to combat trafficking, some are also warning that the issues posed by migrant workers remain unresolved.

Manfred Hornung, a legal adviser with rights group Licadho, said his group has worked with roughly 60 smuggled migrants who have returned to Cambodia over the past 18 months – people who he said represent “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to labour trafficking.

“These guys are virtual slave labourers,” Hornung said.

Severe conditions are common; some witness frequent beatings and murder on the fishing vessels to which many are sold, he said.

“In many cases, they are really horrific stories of human trafficking involving male migrant workers for labour exploitation,” he said.

Part of the difficulty in addressing the problem lies in the fact that there are no clear statistics to illustrate it.

The World Bank has estimated there are roughly 350,000 documented Cambodian migrants abroad. Observers say the number of undocumented workers is likely just as high.

But estimates also suggest that between 250,000 and 300,000 young people in Cambodia are entering the labour market every year, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). If jobs are scarce, these young workers will be forced to look abroad for income, Hornung said.

“You can imagine there are a lot of young people now who have to look for alternatives,” he said.

Bith Kimhong, director of the anti-human trafficking department at the Ministry of Interior, acknowledged that many Cambodians are being trafficked into forced labour abroad, but said officials are stepping up enforcement efforts.

“The government has set out its 2010 strategy for investigating cross-border crimes,” he said.

No convictions
The US state department Trafficking in Persons report released last week cited a recent surge in prosecutions of traffickers in removing Cambodia from its watchlist of countries judged to be not doing enough to combat the problem. However, all but one of the 36 convictions reported were for sex trafficking, suggesting that legal consequences for those engaged in labour trafficking have been minimal.

“Labour trafficking among Cambodians migrating abroad for work is a growing problem that will require greater attention from authorities in the coming year,” the report states.

“While there were increasing reports of Cambodian migrant workers falling victim to trafficking ... the government has never criminally prosecuted or convicted any labour recruiters whose companies were involved in labour trafficking.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHHAY CHANNYDA

Official backtracks on arson threat


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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:02 May Titthara

Mondulkiri deputy district governor denies threatening to raze villagers’ homes, but fears remain

AN official in Mondulkiri province has backed away from a threat to torch the homes of villagers resisting eviction from a gold-mining concession in Keo Seima district, but villagers said they were still concerned they would ultimately be forced from the site.

Last week, Len Vanna, the deputy district governor, told the Post that if villagers did not agree to tear down their homes, “we will burn them to the ground”.

When contacted Sunday, however, Len Vanna denied having ever threatened to burn the villagers’ dwellings.

Around 30 families in Keo Seima district face eviction after ignoring an order to vacate a concession to Australian mining company Oz Minerals.

During a June 13 meeting with the villagers, district authorities told them to dismantle their homes and relocate immediately or face harsh
reprisals.

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I AM NOT AGAINST GOVERNMENT POLICY ... BUT THEY MUST PROVIDE COMPENSATION.
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Despite Len Vanna’s reversal, villagers continued to express concerns about their future.

“I am worried about my home, because I heard a rumour that the authorities will burn it if I do not agree to tear my house down,” said Yor Noeun, one of the residents who has refused to move from the land without proper compensation.

“We spent many years to save the money to construct the house. How can they order us to move without compensation? Where can we live if we move from here?”

Sok Seav, another Keo Seima resident, said she has lived in the community since 2006, well before the arrival of Oz Minerals.

“I am not against government policy to develop the area, but they must provide compensation, otherwise they may as well burn me with my house,” she said.

Sam Sarin, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said more research is needed to verify villagers’ claims, as most appear to be relative newcomers to Mondulkiri.

Oz Minerals, which began its operations in Cambodia in 2006, is also drilling for copper in Mondulkiri.

In March, the firm announced it had identified inferred resources of 605,000 ounces of gold from 8.1 million tonnes of ore at grades of 2.3 grams of gold per tonne at its Keo Seima concession.

Provincial governor Chan Yoeun and Sin Vannavuth, the governor of Keo Seima district, could not be reached for comment Sunday.

KPNLF calls for action on ‘lost’ land


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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:02 Vong Sokheng

A KHMER nationalist group has called for the joint administration of former Cambodian territories in South Vietnam in advance of King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s unofficial visit to Hanoi this week.

In a statement issued Monday, Son Soubert, vice president of the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KPNLF), said Sihanouk’s visit could usher in “a new era of frank cooperation” between the two countries.

He also added that “co-management” of Kampuchea Krom – the former Cambodian territories in South Vietnam – would be a “unique” opportunity to improve bilateral relations.

“A formula of co-management of Kampuchea Krom, ex-French Cochinchina, known also as the Mekong Delta, by the Kingdom of Cambodia and Vietnam will inaugurate a new era of peace and prosperity in the framework of the construction of ASEAN,” the statement reads.

It notes that such co-management exists in the Pyrenees region of France, where the principality of Andorra has been under joint French-Spanish sovereignty since the 17th century.

The KPNLF was one of three antigovernment resistance groups to join in the decade-long civil war against the Phnom Penh government during the 1980s.

Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker for the Cambodian People’s Party, dismissed concerns about Vietnamese border demarcation, saying it is being carried out smoothly.

Sihanouk said in a statement last week that his visit to Hanoi, set to begin Tuesday and to last for two or three days, is of a strictly personal and “non-diplomatic” nature.

ILO calls for murder inquiries

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Sok Sam Oeun (left) and Born Samnang wait at the Appeal Court during a break in proceedings last year.

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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:02 Cameron Wells

Committee urges full, fair investigation of three assassinations

THE International Labour Organisation has renewed calls to immediately drop charges against two men accused of killing union leader Chea Vichea and for the Supreme Court to “rapidly review” an appeal from a man convicted of the killing of union leader Ros Sovannareth.

In a report released Friday, following a review of Cambodia’s compliance with a convention ensuring workers’ right to form unions without interference from employers or officials, the ILO also urged that the killer of a third unionist, Hy Vuthy, be brought to justice.

As part of two weeks of meetings in Geneva assessing various countries’ levels of compliance with a handful of conventions, the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations earlier this month reviewed Cambodia’s implementation of Convention 87, which concerns workers’ free association and collective-bargaining rights.

The committee last week said that the government had failed to submit a report outlining steps taken to meet the convention’s requirements. The conclusions issued Friday by the Committee on the Application of Standards, however, noted that the report was submitted June 7, but that it had yet to be analysed by ILO reviewers.

“The committee regretted the lack of information relating to the long-awaited independent investigations to be carried out into the assassinations of the trade unionists Chea Vichea, Ros Sovannareth and Hy Vuthy,” Friday’s report says.

The committee “urged the Government … to ensure full and impartial investigations into the murders of the abovementioned Cambodian trade union leaders and to bring, not only the perpetrators, but also the instigators of these heinous crimes to justice.”

Chea Vichea, then-head of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, was gunned down in 2004 while buying a newspaper near Wat Lanka. Two men, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, were convicted of the crime later that year, but the Supreme Court ordered their provisional release in December 2008, citing contradictory evidence.

Ros Sovannareth, a union leader at the Trinunggal Komara Garment Factory, was shot dead by two assailants while driving his motorcycle on Kampuchea Krom Boulevard in May 2004. Thach Saveth was convicted in that case in 2005 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Hy Vuthy, FTU president at the Suntex Garment Factory, was shot and killed in 2007. No one has been arrested for that slaying.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour programme at the Cambodian Legal Education Centre, said he agreed that the case against Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun should be dropped immediately.

“The government should drop the charges against the two scapegoats,” he said. “The evidence against both men was not there. The government needs to strengthen the judicial system in Cambodia.”

He expressed hope that the report would prompt the government to pursue all three cases more aggressively, despite the fact that similar calls were issued by the ILO in 2009.

“If the government had a real purpose to arrest the real killers, it is very possible,” he said. “If they escape to Malaysia or Singapore, the government can still find them. It is possible.”

Oum Mean, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, declined to comment on the ILO’s report on Sunday.

Three siblings burned in PPenh acid attack


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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:02 Chrann Chamroeun

THREE siblings suffered slight injuries when they were attacked with acid while riding on a motorbike to work in Boeung Keng Kang Market early Sunday morning, police said.

Vong Sophon, the deputy police chief of Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Trabek commune, where the attack occurred, said police believed two assailants rode up alongside the group on Mao Tse Tung Boulevard at around 5:30am.

Chey Sovannarith, 28, and his younger sister, 22-year-old Chey Srey Phat, both received slight burns to their eyes, he said. Their 24-year-old sister, Chey Srey Phon, received slight burns to her upper body.

“According to our interviews with the victims, they told us that while they were driving their motorbike at around 5:30am to sell beef as normal at Boeung Keng Kong Market, there was another black Honda C100 motorbike with two civilian men who threw liquid acid at them,” Vong Sophon said. “The two men are still at large.”

He said the three victims suspected that the attack was spurred by a dispute with another beef seller at the market. After having worked as vendors at the same beef stall for five years, he said, they had decided to start out on their own, a move that had angered their former employer.

“We are now investigating the crime and hunting for the acid attackers, but we primarily suspect that it is related to a dispute between the victims and the perpetrators,” he said.

The victims, he added, had been sent home on Sunday afternoon after being treated at Visal Sok Polyclinic and Ang Duong Hospital.

Phnom Penh is the second most common site of acid attacks behind Kampong Cham province, according to a study released last month by the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity.

Chhun Sophea, the programme manager for CASC, said that the number of attacks nationwide seemed to have fallen off since April, and that her charity had taken in 15 new cases so far this year.

In response to a spate of attacks in December and January, the government formed a committee tasked with drafting legislation to curtail acid crimes.

Ouk Kimlek, an undersecretary of state at the Interior Ministry and the committee’s deputy director, said Sunday that it was scheduled to meet one more time next week before sending a final draft to the Council of Ministers.

Rohingya in Cambodia to seek asylum


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Monday, 21 June 2010 15:01 Sebastian Strangio

AGROUP of Rohingya in Cambodia seeking political asylum through the UN refugee office is facing food shortages after about five months in the country, according to news reports.

On June 7, Kaladan News, a Rohingya news agency, quoted one of the 32 asylum seekers, who arrived in January, as saying that the status of their applications was unclear, but that they were in dire need of food assistance.

“As an asylum seeker, we are unable to work for survival. If we are given refugee status we will get facilities, but now we are facing food crisis,” Mohamed Tayub reportedly said.

“All the asylum seekers had given interviews to the concerned authority, including UNHCR, and hope to get refugee status, but when we don’t know.”

Human rights groups say the Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, have faced frequent human rights violations from the country’s government, driving many to flee. Large numbers of Rohingya now live permanently in refugee camps in Thailand and Bangladesh.

Toshi Kawauchi, head of the Phnom Penh office of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), confirmed that the group had applied for asylum with the support of his office, but could not provide details about the current status of their applications.

“They are filing asylum applications to the government and to UNHCR,” he said, adding: “We are in touch with the group, and are talking about the food situation.”

He said that as a general rule, UNHCR tries to help wherever possible, but that assistance to asylum-seekers is distributed on a “case-by-case basis”.

“There is no standard assistance policy per se,” he said. “We are advising them, as we advise all asylum-seekers, that they can approach us or the government whenever they need emergency aid.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak and Mom Sophannarith, director of the ministry’s Refugee Office, could not be reached for comment Sunday.