Thursday, 9 September 2010

សិស្ស​ពូកែ​បង្ហាញ​បទ​ពិសោធន៍ : Outstanding High School Graduate Shares Experience

Getting Away: Siem Reap


via CAAI

Editor's note: Kunming resident Colin Flahive recently visited Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he discovered a charming town full of little surprises. If you have a travel story you would like to share with GoKunming readers, please get in touch with us via our contact form.

Nearby Angkor Wat may get all the attention, but the fast-changing town of Siem Reap is a treasure in itself. Most travelers are in and out of Siem Reap in two or three days, missing out on the surrounding countryside, which offers a window on some of Cambodia's most vibrant Khmer culture as well as the tragedy that unfolded during the Khmer Rouge era.

Once the seat of the Khmer Kingdom, Siem Reap is now home to one of Asia's best café streets. A nice mix of live music and cuisines can be found along the aptly named Bar Street as well as the Alley, a narrow pedestrian road lined with restaurants and shops. Accommodation varies from simple and cozy to decadent and extravagant. At the heart of it all are a people of overwhelming hospitality who carry the scars of a tormented past.

Between 1975 and 1979, when the Khmer Rouge ruled, an estimated 10 million landmines were placed throughout the country. This resulted in the death of nearly 20,000 and the maiming of over 40,000. Today, one in every 290 Cambodians is an amputee. Many of Siem Reap's beggars have missing limbs or have been blinded by landmines.


The positive impact of NGOs and non-profits is palpable throughout Siem Reap. Hospitals provide free health care to villagers, orphanages provide children with education and many tour agencies share profits with development programs. One example is Quad Adventure Cambodia, which offers tourists 4-wheeling adventures to the surrounding villages while using a portion of profits to support Chres Village Orphanage.

If you'd like to do more than just be a tourist, the orphanage welcomes volunteer teachers, particularly those willing to teach English, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. As Chinese are beginning to outnumber all other tourists in Siem Reap, many children are anxious to learn the language.

Cultural revival is a key driver of Siem Reap's development. Khmer culinary schools are plentiful and offer foodies a tasty introduction to Cambodian cuisine. Performances of Apsara dance, an exquisite art form that all but disappeared during the Pol Pot years, can be attended nightly at many of the larger restaurants and bars in town. The revival of Khmer artisanship now provides the town's flourishing markets with traditional silks, sculptures, carvings and paintings.

In addition to reviving older traditions, Siem Reap's tourism industry has created a growing number of niche businesses. The question, "Would you like a fish massage?" might catch first-time visitors off-guard, but these are actual fish that "massage" the feet. Tank stalls line Bar Street and the surrounding area for passers-by to hang their feet into a tank of water where little fish peck away at the dead skin on the heels and between the toes of the giggling customers. Twenty minutes cost US$1-3, sometimes including a shoulder rub or a free beer.
But it is outside of town, in the rice fields and in the small villages, where much of Siem Reap's richness lies. There you'll find interesting local foods, scenic dirt roads and many who truly may be the world's friendliest people. Be sure to allow yourself enough time in Siem Reap to take a bike out to the countryside or a boat through the floating villages of Tonlé Sap Lake. Considering all that Siem Reap has to offer, it would be unfortunate to leave having only experienced the Khmer culture of 1,000 years ago without appreciating the Khmer of today.

Getting there: Unfortunately, China Eastern Airlines has just discontinued its Kunming-Siem Reap route. Flights from Kunming to Phnom Penh are still operating, with Phnom Penh connected to Siem Reap by bus and ferry.

Dak Nong-Mandulkiri friendship association debuts

via CAAI

09/09/2010

A friendship association between the Central Highland province of Dak Nong and Cambodia’s Mandulkiri province made its debut on September 8.

Most of the association’s 400 members are former Vietnamese experts and voluntary soldiers who once worked and engaged in combat in Cambodia.

The association is designed to promote friendship and cooperation between the two provinces, especially in the fields of the economy, culture, science, technology and border security.

The two provinces share a 130-km border with two national border gates. Since 2006, Dak Nong has granted almost VND30 billion to help Mandulkiri build schools, vocational training centres and offices.

Dak Nong has also enabled local people from the Cambodian province to have medical check-ups and treatment in its border hospitals. It also provided foods, medicines and construction materials to Mandulkiri residents who were affected by natural disasters.

Documentary showing in Long Beach on Saturday looks at perpetrators of Killing Fields genocide

via CAAI

By Greg Mellen, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/08/2010

LONG BEACH - The memories of the Killing Fields genocide are never far removed from the Cambodian refugee population in Long Beach.

On Saturday, those memories will be front and center at the Art Theater, with the screening of "Enemies of the People," an award-winning and chilling documentary film that features interviews with peasant executioners and Nuon Chea, the former right-hand man or "Brother Number Two" in the Khmer Rouge, whose brutal reign led to the deaths of upward of 2 million people between 1975 and 1979.

Because of the sensitive nature of the film and the memories it could stir, particularly among the many survivors in Long Beach's Cambodian community, Cambodian leaders are scrambling to put together a meeting to help those who want to see the movie understand and process what they will witness, or, indeed, whether they want to attend.

Many elders in the Khmer community still suffer debilitating effects from post traumatic stress disorder, and movies about the Khmer Rouge years can unexpectedly trigger nightmares and horrific memories.

For that reason Sara Pol-Lim, executive director of the United Cambodian Community, is hustling to organize a community meeting, although as of Wednesday afternoon a time and date had not been set. Those interested in attending can call the United Cambodian Community at 562-433-2490.

"People with experience with the Khmer Rouge already know (what happened)" Pol-Lim said. "But to see it will confirm their fear and pain."

For that reason, she says, it might be beneficial for elder survivors to meet and talk to others prior to viewing the film.

On the flip side, Pol-Lim says the film could have therapeutic value.

"I think this could be great toward building healthy practices," Pol-Lim. "It's a process we need to go through."

Raymond Chavarria of UCC said while the film could be very educational for youth and non-Cambodians, it might be difficult for survivors.

"We kind of have to prepare them," he said.

A larger community meeting and video dialogue with the film's co-director, Rob Lemkin, and people in Cambodia is planned for October. That event will be in conjunction with a screening of the film, but is still in the planning stages.

Much of the film consists of interviews with Nuon Chea, the highest-ranking surviving member of the Khmer Rouge, conducted over an extended period until just before his arrest. He is among a group of Khmer Rouge leaders slated to face charges of crimes against humanity at the war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh. That trial could commence sometime in 2011.

In the movie, Nuon Chea, still an ideologue, shows little remorse or sense of responsibility for the atrocities that occurred under his watch.

Thet Sambath is a reporter who spent nearly 10 years traveling to the hinterlands of Cambodia to learn about the past, to find some of the killers who were willing to be filmed and talk about their experiences.

The movie is a layered look at how holocausts happen and the emotional wreckage they leave behind, from the tormented and guilt-ridden lives of perpetrators to innocents like Theth Sambath, who lost his father and older brother, trying to make sense and reconcile their loss, to Nuon Chea stubbornly trying to hold onto the ideal that went so horribly awry.

Cambodian official says Chinese company plans investments of up to $3 billion

via CAAI

September 9, 2010

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - A Chinese company says it will invest up to $3 billion in Cambodia's energy, property and metal processing sectors, according to an official.

Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen, said Thursday that Lin Xiang Wang, president of China's Erdos Electrical Power & Metallurgical Co., Ltd., unveiled the proposal in a meeting with the Cambodian leader.

The Chinese firm, in which Japan's Mitsui & Co. has a 25 percent stake, plans to build a 700-megawatt coal power plant in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk, said Eang Sophalleth. It also plans investments in real estate and aluminum processing for both the local market and export,

The company did not reveal an exact timetable for its projects, but Hun Sen expressed his full support for the plans, he said.

Chinese firm to invest $3 bln in Cambodia

A Chinese company plans to pump three billion dollars into Cambodian energy, property, and aluminium processing projects


via CAAI

PHNOM PENH — A Chinese company plans to pump three billion dollars into Cambodian energy, property, and aluminium processing projects, an official said Thursday.

The proposed investment by China Inner Mongolia Erdos Hongjun Investment Co. -- a massive sum in one of the world's poorest countries -- emerged after a meeting Wednesday between the firm and Cambodia's leader in Phnom Penh.

According to Prime Minister Hun Sen's assistant Eang Sophalleth, the firm discussed plans to build a 700-megawatt coal power plant in the popular seaside resort of Sihanoukville and invest in other sectors including property.

He said the firm's president, Wang Linxiang, said the business wanted to gradually invest the money in Cambodia and Hun Sen "fully supported" the proposals.

Written off as a failed state after the devastating 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime and several decades of civil war, Cambodia used garment exports and tourism to help improve its economy.

But despite several years of double-digit economic growth before the global financial crisis, Cambodia remains desperately poor, with more than 30 percent of the country's 14 million people living on less than 50 US cents a day.

China, a former patron of the Khmer Rouge regime, now eclipses many of the impoverished country's other donors with hundreds of millions of dollars in largely unconditional aid and donated military equipment.

Research and Markets: The New 2010 Cambodia Power Report Forecasts That the Country Will Account For Just 0.04% of Asia Pacific Regional Power Generation By 2014

via CAAI

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/17e03e/cambodia_power_rep) has announced the addition of the "Cambodia Power Report Q3 2010" report to their offering.

Business Monitor International's Cambodia Power Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, power associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Cambodia's power industry.

The new Cambodia Power Report from BMI forecasts that the country will account for just 0.04% of Asia Pacific regional power generation by 2014, with a slight theoretical supply surplus that may eventually provide the basis for exports to neighboring countries. BMIs Asia Pacific power generation assumption for 2009 is 7,308 terawatt hours (TWh), representing an increase of 2.6% over the previous year. We are forecasting an increase in regional generation to 9,725TWh by 2014, representing a rise of 26.2% in 2010-2014.

Asia Pacific thermal power generation in 2009 totaled an estimated 5,849TWh, accounting for 80.0% of the total electricity supplied in the region. Our forecast for 2014 is 7,600TWh, implying a 23.7% growth that reduces the market share of thermal generation to 78.1%. This is thanks largely to environmental concerns promoting renewable sources, hydro-electricity and nuclear generation. Cambodia's thermal generation in 2009 was an estimated 1.8TWh, or 0.03% of the regional total. By 2014, the country is expected to account for 0.04% of thermal generation in the region.

For Cambodia, direct burning of wood and other organic fuels accounts for an estimated 73% of primary energy demand (PED), followed by oil at 26%. Hydro makes a very small contribution, while coal and gas do not yet feature in the energy mix. Regional energy demand is forecast to reach 5,334mn toe by 2014, representing 24.6% growth from the estimated 2009 level. Cambodia's estimated 2009 market share of 0.15% is set to rise to 0.18% by 2014. Cambodia's hydro-electric demand is forecast to reach 0.9TWh by 2014, with its share of the Asia Pacific hydro market rising to 0.07% over the period. Cambodia is 16th and last, behind even Taiwan, in BMIs expanded and updated Power Business Environment Ratings, due largely to the growth potential of power consumption and energy demand, offset by low scores in several other categories. It has the long-term potential to overtake Taiwan and even Singapore, however.

BMI forecasts Cambodian real GDP growth averaging 6.1% a year in 2010-2014, with the 2010 assumption being an increase of 4.8%. The population is expected to expand from 14.2mn to 15.1mn by 2014, with per capita GDP and electricity consumption set to increase 67% and 69% respectively. Electricity consumption is expected to increase from an estimated 1.7TWh in 2009 to 3.0TWh in 2014, providing a slight theoretical supply surplus if generation grows at no less than our assumed average annual rate of 17.0%. There is, however, a risk of electricity shortages if the power industry cannot deliver adequate new capacity as demand soars.

In 2010-2019 we are forecasting an increase in Cambodian electricity generation of 414.2%, which is top of the range for the Asia Pacific region. This equates to 159.2% in 2014-2019, up from 98.4% in 2010- 2014. PED growth in 2014-2019 is set to rise from the expected 2010-2014 level of 41.2%, reaching 53.9% and representing 117.2% for the entire forecast period. Hydro consumption is expected to rise by 3,550% through 2010-2019 (from a very low base), with thermal power generation forecast to increase by 116% over the same period. More detailed long-term power forecasts can be found later in this report.

Vietnamese women face child sex charges


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Chrann Chamroeun

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case against three Vietnamese women accused of selling four underage girls to foreigners at a massage parlour in Siem Reap last year.

Yoeung Thoeu Alin, 47, and Sok Srey Na, 50, were arrested in July at the massage parlour in Siem Reap on suspicion of selling three Cambodian girls, aged between 12 and 14, and Sok Rey Na’s 14-year-old niece, to a Japanese man and a Frenchman in June. Neither man has been arrested.

Sok Srey Na’s daughter, 27-year-old Phat Sok Ly, was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district while attempting to bring her Vietnamese cousin back to Siem Reap.

All three were charged with selling human beings with purpose and procuring child sex for foreigners.

Phat Sok Ly’s cousin, one of the four victims, told the court yesterday that she was “fed up” with her aunt and cousin, who she said sold her to parlour owner Yoeung Thoeu Alin for US$500.

“I heard and saw my aunt Sok Srey Na receive $500 from the madam to sell me so I could have sex with clients,” she said.

“The madam then sold me to an old Japanese man, and then sold me to a Frenchman for $8,500.”

But all three accused denied they were involved in selling the Vietnamese girl or the three other alleged victims.

Yoeung Thoeu Alin said she entrusted the Vietnamese girl into the care of the Japanese man “because he has money to support her study, and he also gave me $30 a month”.

Peng Maneth, a lawyer provided to the victims by the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said there was enough evidence to find all three defendants guilty.

“We request the court to prosecute the three accused under the charges, and also request the court to order the accused to pay $3,000 to each of the victims,” she said.

Defence Lawyer Pung Yuk Heap said his clients were too poor to meet the demands of the victims’ lawyers, and requested that the charges be lifted.

“My clients are very poor and would not be able to pay the compensation,” he said.

Presiding Judge Kor Vandy said no date had been scheduled for the verdict.

If found guilty, all three face between seven and 15 years in prison for each charge.

Vietnam, Cambodia courts step up cooperation

via CAAI

09/09/2010

The supreme courts of Vietnam and Cambodia have agreed to increase the exchange of visits and the sharing of experiences in terms of trial, management and administrative reforms.

The Deputy Chief of the Vietnamese Supreme People’s Court, Tran Cam Tu, and his Cambodian counterpart, Khim Ponn, reached consensus on the issues during their talks in Hanoi on September 8.

Tu applauded the Cambodian delegation’s visit, which he said will contribute to promoting the mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia and the two courts in particular.

The Vietnamese Supreme People’s Court will host a conference of chief judges and judges of border localities of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia early next year to discuss measures to boost coordination and cooperation, and share trial and judicial reform experiences.

Khim Ponn said he hopes that Vietnam will provide more assistance to the Cambodian courts, especially in personnel training, trial experiences and judicial reforms.

Cambodia’s court sector is willing to beef up cooperative ties with its Vietnamese counterpart, thus strengthening and developing comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.

During its six-day trip, the Cambodian delegation is scheduled to pay courtesy visits to State President Nguyen Minh Triet, the head of the Supreme People’s Procuracy and the Minister of Justice.

They will also visit and hold working sessions with authorities of several cities and provinces, and attend the 65th anniversary of the Supreme People’s Court.

REFILE-Chinese firm plans $3 bln investment in Cambodia

via CAAI

Thu Sep 9, 2010

(Corrects paragraphs 5 and 7 to show information is from an Erdos government website, not a company website)

PHNOM PENH, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A Chinese firm is drawing up plans to invest $3 billion in Cambodia, including projects in the electricity, real estate and metal processing sectors, a Cambodian government official said on Thursday.

Eang Sophalleth, a personal assistant to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, said a delegation from Inner Mongolia Erdos Hongjun Investment Corp had met the government, which had thrown its support behind the venture.

"The projects will include the building of coal-fired power plants, real estate and the processing of aluminium for both export and use in Cambodia," Eang Sophalleth said.

There was no calendar yet for the project and the investment would be spread over several years.

The company was registered this year and is based in Erdos, a city known for its coal and wool industries in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, according to an Erdos government website.

Eang Sophalleth said he did not know which local firms might be involved with the venture.

The Chinese website says the company would set up a joint venture with Cambodia International Investment Development Group, which operates a special investment zone in Sihanoukville in the Hsouth, to build two power plants, one for completion in 2013 and the other in 2014.

Chinese investors are increasingly active in Cambodia, pledging to invest $8 billion in 360 projects in the impoverished Southeast Asian country in the first seven months of this year, mostly in electricity and agriculture.

Bilateral trade between the two countries reached $627 million in the first six months of the year, a 37 percent increase over the same period last year. (Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Alan Raybould)

DAP News. Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

via CAAI

Six killed in forest fires in Kazakhstan

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:51 DAP-NEWS

ALMATY, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Forest fires in northern Kazakhstan have killed six people and burned an area of 3,300 hectares, the country's agriculture ministry said Thursday.

The victims included three forestry workers and three local villagers, the ministry's information bureau said.
A ministry official had been sent to the area to guide disaster relief work and the country's fire department was trying to contain the fires using aircraft, fire engines and other equipment.

Philippine President admits he should've been "more active" in resolving hostage crisis

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:51 DAP-NEWS

MANILA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday he should have taken a more active role in resolving the August 23 hostage-taking incident that led to the death of eight tourists from Hong Kong.

"Perhaps, I should have taken a more active role," Aquino said in an interview with the anchors of the country's three largest networks.

Aquino said that he decided not to "micro manage" the situation, believing that the police, led by Manila Police District Chief Rolando Magtibay and Leocadio Santiago, regional director for the National Capital Region of the Philippine National Police (PNP), can handle it.

"My belief that Santiago would oversee Magtibay properly didn't happen," he said.

Aquino recounted his role in the crisis, saying that he was informed of the hostage taking around 11 a.m. At that time, he was busy reviewing the draft for the 2011 budget, responding to the increasing dengue cases and reading newspapers.

Shortly after receiving a text message that there was a hostage taking in Manila, he immediately contacted PNP Chief Jesus Verzosa. He also monitored the incident through watching TV.

In the end, however, he decided to go to the command post in Emerald Restaurant as he was frustrated with the handling of the hostage negotiation.

479 people confirmed to be infected by anthrax in Bangladesh

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:50 DAP-NEWS

DHAKA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- With 32 new cases detected in the last 24 hours, total 479 people have been confirmed to be infected by anthrax until Thursday.

Bangladesh's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) under the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on its website released the latest figure Thursday.

According to IEDCR, 8 districts out of 64 districts in the country have been found anthrax infected cases since the disease first broke out in Sirajganj district, 134 km northwest of capital Dhaka on Aug. 18.

Following the quick spread of anthrax to more new districts, the Bangladeshi government on Sunday announced red-alert across the country and formed committees in all the 64 districts to coordinate all efforts of anthrax prevention and treatment.

Anthrax is a highly contagious disease, usually transmitted on people through contact with meat, blood or skin of a herbivorous animal that has been infected.

Roundup: Millions of Bangladeshis enjoying family renunion before Eid

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:49 DAP-NEWS

DHAKA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Millions of Bangladeshis have deserted the cities and towns, including the capital Dhaka, as they packed buses, trains and ferries to rejoin their kith and kin in villages for Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest festivals celebrated after Ramadan.

Although the three official holidays in the South Asian country will begin on Friday for celebrating the Eid festival, but a major exodus from big cities and towns begins on Thursday as the holy fasting month Ramadan closes on or before Friday based on sighting of the new moon.

Dhaka, used to be a terribly congested city, has already wore a deserted look Thursday after many city dwellers left for their hometowns to celebrate Eid festival.

Millions of people of the capital alone are estimated to head out of town each year for celebrating the Eid. Home-going people crowded in all the outlets of the capital, bringing the transport owners both on land and river routes brisk business.

The government has deployed additional security forces in all the stations of buses, ferry terminals and train stations so that the passengers are not harassed by the transport workers.

Travelling ahead of big festivals like Eid is always risky in Bangladesh, as millions of people make their journey huddling on ferries, trains and buses.

On Thursday, photographs of several ferries, trains and buses were published in some leading local newspapers, which showed a lot of people clinging on the bodies of the ferries and trains risking their lives.

In November last year, ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, another one of biggest festivals celebrated by slaughtering animals, at least 50 people died in an overcrowded ferry accident in a Dhaka surrounding river. During the last two days, over a dozen people also died in road accidents in different parts of the country.

Authorities said they have strictly enforced control on the overloading of ferries and buses, which they identified as a main reason for the frequent accidents.

To make the travel of the home-bound passengers easy, the government arranged additional services of trains, buses and river vessels. The special arrangements, however, reportedly could not lessen the suffering of the people as the private transport and ferry owners and their staffs have been collecting extra money.

Despite all the hassles, worries and fears, all major stations and terminals in Dhaka had a sense of excitement in the air as the delight of people heading home to see their loved ones and spend Eid with them overrode everything else.

Australian man charged with police murder

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:49 DAP-NEWS

SYDNEY, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A 55-year-old man had been charged with police murder after a drug raid on Wednesday night in southwestern Sydney in Australia.

New South Wales (NSW) Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters on Thursday that Constable William Crews, 26, was shot in the head during a drug raid on a unit in Bankstown, southwestern Sydney and died later in hospital.

Crews was shot while he was executing a search warrant at a unit block on Cairds Avenue in Bankstown about 9 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday.

The Police Commissioner paid tribute to Crews, saying the state had lost "one of its finest".

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally described him as a brave man and told reporters he would be given a full ceremonial police funeral.

The police said in a statement the 55-year-old man had been charged with shooting with intent to murder and a 27-year-old man had been charged with possessing an unauthorized firearm.

Both had been refused bail and would appear in Bankstown Local Court later on Thursday.

Police said no drugs were found at the building after the operation.

Philippine export earnings rise 35.9 pct in July

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:46 DAP-NEWS

MANILA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Philippine export revenues in July surged 35.9 percent on year to 4.5 billion U.S. dollars bolstered by strong demand for electronics, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said Thursday.

Earnings from electronic products shipment account for 63.6 percent of the total export revenue in July. Total earnings from shipments of electronic products reached 2.86 billion U.S. dollars, up 49.4 percent on year.

The three biggest export markets of the Philippines in July were the U.S., Singapore and Japan.

Total merchandise exports for the period January to July 2010 increased by 37.4 percent to 28.2 billion U.S. dollars.

3rd LD Writethru: Japan Coast Guard sends Chinese captain to prosecutors in Okinawa

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:46 DAP-NEWS

TOKYO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Japan Coast Guard sent the captain of a Chinese trawler which collided with Japanese patrol ships in waters off Diaoyu Islands to prosecutors in Okinawa Prefecture Thursday morning.

The 41-year-old captain, Zhan Qixiong, was taken to Ishigaki branch of the Naha District Public Prosecutors Office at around 9: 50 a.m. (0050 GMT), according to Xinhua reporters at the scene.

On Tuesday, two Japan Coast Guard patrol boats and the Chinese fishing boat collided in waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

No injuries were reported, but the fishing boat was then intercepted by Japanese patrol boats.

Japan Coast Guard arrested the captain on suspicion of " obstructing public duties" early Wednesday near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea despite China's protest.

The other 14 crew members, all Chinese, were not arrested, but were kept in an area off Ishigaki and remain there during their captain's questioning.

The Chinese embassy officials met with the captain at the Ishigaki Coast Guard Office in Ishigaki and the other crew members aboard the fishing boat on Wednesday.

The embassy said in a press release sent to Xinhua that the 14 Chinese crew members are healthy and in a stable mood. The embassy had already contacted their families in China.

"The embassy is going all-out to negotiate with the Japanese side, demanding the immediate release of the boat and the crew," the release said.

Also on Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry lodged a strong protest against Japan over the detention of the boat.

Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue summoned the Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa to lodge the protest.

This was the second time within 24 hours that the Chinese government summoned the Japanese ambassador and lodged solemn representations on this issue.

Hu demanded that the Japanese side immediately release the ship and crew members on board and guarantee the safety of the persons and the ship.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the incident will be handled "in a strict manner based on our country's laws," while top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said he believes the arrest will not affect ties between Japan and China despite exchanges of protests and it is necessary for Tokyo not to "heat up" in dealing with the incident.

Diaoyu Islands appeared on China's map since the Ming Dynasty ( 1368-1644). Fishermen from China's Taiwan and Fujian and other provinces have conducted activities such as fishing and collecting herbs in this area since ancient times.

Geologically, the islands are attached to Taiwan. The waters around the islands are 100 to 150 meters deep, and there is a 2, 000-meter-deep oceanic trench between the islands and Okinawa islands.

Japan never questioned China's sovereignty over the islands before the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895.

In June 2008, a Taiwanese fishing boat and a Japanese patrol boat collided about 9 km south of the Diaoyu Islands. The Taiwanese ship sank but all crew members were rescued.

Malaysia not recalling ambassador to Indonesia

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:46 DAP-NEWS

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia is not recalling its ambassador to Indonesia despite the fact that there was such request by certain people within the country.

Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman made this remark on Thursday here, the country's federal administration center.

Anifah said in a diplomatic process, recalling an ambassador was one step away from severing the ties of a country with the other country concerned.

As Malaysia did not want to make the situation worse, Anifah said the Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia would not be recalled.

"There is no reason whatsoever to recall our ambassador," stressed Anifah.

The youth wing of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) , the largest component party of the country's federal ruling coalition, has recently called for the Malaysian government to recall its ambassador to Indonesia.

Following the arrest of three Indonesian officials accused of encroaching into the Malaysian waters in August, several quarters in Indonesia have been holding protests against Malaysia.

While some threw human faeces into the Malaysian embassy in Indonesia, others stomped onto, or even burnt Malaysian flags.

Local media reported that some Indonesians called for Malaysians to be "swept" away from the Indonesian territory.

Anifah said the disputes between Malaysia and Indonesia was on maritime border, and therefore the border issues must be solved.

He also said that a roadmap was already in place and the relevant technical team would meet for the 16th time to discuss the matter.

Anifah and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa met on Monday at Kota Kinabalu, state capital of Sabah in East Malaysia, hoping to ease the tension between the two nations.

At the meeting, both countries agreed that they should fast- track the border negotiations process to prevent future spats.

Feature: Joblessness, flood force eastern India state turn to mass exodus

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:37 by Karuna Madan

PATNA, India, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The eastern Indian state of Bihar has always been in the headlines for migration of its inhabitants to neighboring states in search of employment and opportunities. However, now the situation has turned alarming with the state witnessing a mass exodus.

Bihar has a long history of migration dating back to the 19th century, when a large number of people migrated overseas, mainly as indentured labor to the British colonies as well as to other parts of the country such as West Bengal and Assam.

However, over the years the pattern of migration from the state has changed, both with regard to destination as well as its nature.

According to a recent study conducted by a non-governmental organization, during the last two decades, both the intensity and pattern of migration in rural Bihar have considerably changed.

Lack of employment and job opportunities along with poor infrastructure are the prime causes of migration and whatever little is left is wiped away every year by the cruel waters of river Kosi.

The proportion of migrants has approximately doubled and destination of migration has now become widespread. Besides, the nature of migration has largely changed from short-term to long- term.

"Also the migration of workers is fairly distributed across all castes and classes and now upper castes and Muslims report more long-term migration compared to others," said Ravi Shankar Punia, a social activist.

The overall dependence of migrants on middlemen or agents has also declined over the years and people have started migrating on their own, although a significant proportion of the lower caste and class workers still migrate through different private agents and middlemen.

"Every year, thousands of people from Bihar migrate to other parts of India in search of work. The seasonal migrants constitute a big part of India's growing urban poor population," Punia said. "They live in congested slums under vulnerable conditions as they strive hard to send money to support their families."

Migrant workers from lower castes and classes are largely illiterate or less educated and are absorbed in low quality occupations in the urban informal sector.

"As a nation which boasts of becoming the new super power, India has failed to live up to its expectations, for looking after its own citizens," said Hari Prasad Ranjan, a scholar researching the dynamics of the Indian society.

"The political system in India is based on democracy. But as a nation, all that is done in the country is plain and simple talking and promises made by the political leaders which are to be broken after elections," he observed.

Although the proportion of households reporting migration and receiving remittance is higher among higher castes and classes, remittances still constitute a comparatively larger proportion of the total household income of lower caste and class households.

On an average, they account for nearly one-third of the total household income of the migrant households -- the proportion is much higher among landless and small landholders.

The overall impact of migration on the village economy in Bihar is wide-ranging and substantial.

Ironically, the large scale migration of rural workers from the state has resulted in a shortage of labor in the villages of Bihar, particularly during the peak agricultural season.

Accordingly, there have been substantial changes in the internal employment relations as well as real wage rates during the last two decades.

Moreover, the technical know-how acquired by the migrating workers at the place of destination and the small savings by way of remittances, which are being reinvested in the native places, are contributing significantly to its economy.

The increasing trend in non-farm activities in the villages of Bihar provides evidence of this phenomenon.

Again every year, the mass exodus of Biharis due to floods in Kosi river is mammoth and gigantic. In fact, the every-year crisis of floods has brought Bihar on the foreground of national arena.

While Bihar is in a state of upheaval, the political champions are busy making flood as the next agenda for the forthcoming elections instead of procuring a healing touch to the people, tormented and devastated by the flood.

"Even after the flood crisis every year, nothing concrete is done. The relief rations and medicines which on paper are dispatched do not manage to reach flood victims and it is feared that most of the money for the relief work is squandered among the politicians and the authorities," said Ranjan.

The conditions after the floods are not prudent. Lack of rescue measures and medical aids give clear signs of an epidemic outburst.

"Every year, there is scarcity of human amenities like food, drinking water as well as shelter and people are forced to live in unhygienic conditions. This condition in conjunction with other reasons becomes the prime reason for mass exodus of Biharis," Punia said.

Roundup: Indonesia's palm oil industry struggles to resists "black campaign"

Thursday, 09 September 2010 08:37 By Cundoko Aprilianto

JAKARTA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia's palm oil industry that has been supporting life for 2.8 million of family is struggling to resist attacks from government's plan to adopt forest moratorium and from foreign companies that stopped buying crude palm oil (CPO) triggered by black campaign.

Moratorium obligation on primary forest and peat land set in a Letter of Intent (LoI) between Indonesia and Norway is expected to derail the country's palm oil industry as the policy is regarded as counter-productive with the country's status as the world's largest CPO producer.

If the moratorium policy is adopted, there will be no more land expansion for plantation, posing risk of decreasing production.

Besides, 40 percent of palm plantations in Indonesia currently belong to individuals, meaning that this involves 2.8 million families or 10 million people who rely their destiny on the industry.

Meanwhile, the industry was also hit by decision of Burger King to stop buying CPO from PT Sinar Mas Agro and Resources Technology (SMART) early this month, a move following actions by Unilever, Nestle and Kraft.

Corporate Secretary PT SMART Jimmy Pramono said that CPO sales to Burger King was only 0.06 percent of total sales in 2009.

"The temporary business cut did not impact on its financial condition as the transaction value was not significant," he said.

However, this is a bad precedent for Indonesia's CPO industry.

The Association of Indonesian Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) said that environmental activist group Greenpeace is destroying the country's CPO industry.

"The NGO has planned the scenario. This is a systematic effort to destroy Indonesia's palm oil industry," said Executive Director of GAPKI Fadhil Hasan.

Hasan said that active attack by NGOs and Europe against Indonesia's palm oil industry needs to be addressed with government's intervention and neutral big organization such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Aviliani, a prominent economist from Institute for Development of Economics and Finance Indonesia (INDEF) told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that the incident is a part of trade war, using NGOs to make black campaign against CPO of Indonesia.

"The black campaign is often to press price or to switch to other suppliers," she said.

She added that government has to take stance to defend domestic companies.

"It's a huge mistake to let the companies struggling by themselves. It will weaken the industry's competitiveness," she said.

Media Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya said that Greenpeace is not anti-development and anti-palm oil industry as long as companies promise and commit to adopt sustainable industrial practice and environmental friendly.

According to Campaign Leader of Greenpeace Southeast Asia Bustar Maitar, what his organization has done is to unveil inconsistency of palm oil companies in obeying Indonesia's law.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's CPO export to France dropped 38 percent from 57.86 million U.S. dollars in the second half 2009 to 35.69 million U.S. dollars in the first half 2010 caused by environmental issues.

Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa stressed that the government is committed to support the domestic CPO industry.

Rajasa hopes that decision to ban on using CPO from Indonesia should not be adopted unilaterally.

"There should be opinions from independent consultants to provide the recommendation," he said.

Marked for demolition


Photo by: Sovan Philong

via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Khouth Sophakchakrya

Tith Chanpunleur, 16, sits yesterday in front of a block of homes in Tuol Kork district that will be displaced by a road leading into the Boeung Kak lakeside development. Construction of the road, expected to be finished in January, began yesterday.

RAMADAN: Cambodian Muslims prepare to break their fast


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Khouth Sophakchakrya

MEMBERS of Cambodia’s 600,000-strong Cham Muslim community are set to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which draws to a close today. During the entire month of Ramadan – which began on August 11 – Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset.

Sa Lesh, a Cham Muslim and hakim (elder) at the Nurunnaim Mosque in the city’s Russey Keo district, explained that Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, and is intended to cleanse devoted Muslims of all sins.

“Allah has taught us through the Qur’an to make good commitments and to share food with the poorest of people,” he said. “Why did Allah teach us to do that? Because he wants us to understand about suffering and hunger… so we will distribute food and other belongings to the poor.”

He said that elders, the infirm and children under age 15 were not required to fast.


Photo 1
A Cham Muslim man prepares grapes for the evening meal at the Nurunnaim Mosque in Russey Keo district.

Photo 2
A Cham Muslim boy sets out plates of grapes and noodles for members of the community surrounding Nurunnaim Mosque.

Photo 3
Muslim men chat before the evening meal at the entrance of Nurunnaim Mosque.

PHOTOS: WILL BAXTER

Report raises alarm over Cambodian child deaths


via CAAI

Wednesday, 08 September 2010 15:05 Brooke Lewis and Mom Kunthear

THE national reduction in the child mortality rate has not been applied uniformly across socioeconomic groups, and children from the poorest 20 percent of families are three times less likely to reach age 5 than those in the top 20 percent, a new global report from the NGO Save the Children has warned.

The report, titled A Fair Chance at Life: Why Equity Matters for Child Mortality, argues that Cambodia would be on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal pertaining to child mortality had child health gains been spread more evenly. Instead, the report says, the gap in survival rates between wealthy and poor children appears to be increasing.

According to the report, Cambodia’s progress towards achieving the child mortality goal, which calls for the mortality rate to be reduced by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, has been slower than the average of 31 other developing countries analysed.

Cambodia has paled in comparison to countries such as Bangladesh, which has managed to reduce child deaths at almost double the rate – and in a more “equitable way” – despite recording a lower annual growth rate in GDP per capita.

Anika Rabbani, communication manager for Save the Children, said Bangladesh’s progress was due to “immunisation, diarrhoea treatment, family planning and of course gender empowerment”, among other factors.

The local and UK offices of Save the Children could not be reached yesterday.

Viorica Berdaga, chief of UNICEF Cambodia’s Child Survival Programme, said yesterday that the government’s National Strategic Development Plan and other plans addressing health “clearly state that equity is a guiding principle”. She highlighted a plan to expand health equity funds – which cover expenses for the poor – nationwide and increasing services in poor and remote communities.

“The government takes it quite seriously. The challenge is operationalising this principle – for example, when you have staffing shortages and geographical barriers,” Berdaga said.

The report was released to coincide with the 2010 MDG Summit to be held later this month in New York.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

Chinese firm floats $3bn investment


A Chinese firm has told Hun Sen it wants to invest US$3 billion in Cambodia, partly in aluminium processing. Bloomberg

via CAAI

Wednesday, 08 September 2010 20:58 Cheang Sokha

A CHINESE company says it plans to invest US$3 billion in the Cambodian power, property and metal-processing sectors.

The chairman of China’s Inner Mongolia Erdos (Houng Jun Investment Co) met with Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday to discuss the proposals, the premiere’s personal assistant Eang Sophalleth said.

He said the firm’s chairman, Lin Xiang Wang, informed Hun Sen about his company’s wish to build a coal power plant in Preah Sihanouk province capable of generating 700 megawatts of energy, along with investments in property development and aluminum processing for local markets and export.

“The company is in the process of detail discussions, in particular on the establishment of power station in Preah Sihanouk province,” Eang Sophalleth said.

“The power station and the property development would start at the same time.”
Sophalleth quoted Lin Xiang Wang as saying the company had capital of $7 billion, was one of the top 500 companies in China, and aimed to make a $3 billion investment step-by-step.

According to Reuters, Shanghai-listed Inner Mongolia Eerduosi Cashmere Products is headed by Lin Xiang Wang and is principally engaged in coal, electricity and metallurgy business, as well as the manufacture and distribution of cashmere apparel.

The firm traded at a 52-week high on the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday, according to Bloomberg, at 16.24 yen a share.
According to Sophalleth, owner of Cambodian giant Pheapimex, Choeung Sopheap, also attended the meeting. He declined to comment whether the Pheapimex and the Chinese firm would have a joint venture on the projects.

Pheapimex representatives in Phnom Penh did not immediately respond to a request for further comment
yesterday.

Hun Sen expressed support for the projects but advised the company to consult with Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem about its energy and aluminium-processing plans, his spokesman said.

Sok Chenda, secretary general at the Council for the Development of Cambodia, a government institution that approves investment projects, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In February this year, building work began on a 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Sihanoukville, following a 2006 application to invest $200 million in the project. Malaysian firm Leader Universal Holding’s is the major investor in the plant.

But local environmentalists warned that the government should be very careful in its development of coal power plants and their environmental impact. ADDITIONAL REPORTING ELLI E DYER

Siem Reap row: Trial ends in Chi Kraeng dispute case


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Rann Reuy

Siem Reap row

THE trial of eight villagers from Siem Reap province’s Chi Kraeng commune charged with incitement, causing injury and destruction of private property in connection with a land dispute, concluded yesterday at Siem Reap provincial court, and the verdict against the group is to be announced on September 21.

Meanwhile, villagers and rights groups said they were informed yesterday that a separate case linked to the dispute would be heard at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh on September 14, and that an additional trial would begin in Siem Reap on September 15.

On Tuesday, a group of plaintiffs from Anlong Samnor commune, which has been embroiled in a dispute over an unspecified amount of farmland with villagers from Chi Kraeng, withdrew an additional civil complaint after an agreement between the two communities.

“I foresee that this dispute can be resolved,” said Huon Chundy, a programme manager at the Cambodian Legal Education Centre, which helped to broker the agreement. “Both sides have taken the initiative to resolve the problem and they said in front of the judge that they will stop accusing each other.”

Presiding Judge Chhay Kong said the agreement reached by the two communities could prompt the court to be lenient.

Police Blotter: 09 Sep 2010


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Veng Rachana

Police find man’s best friend, not man, buried
Police in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district set out on Tuesday to dig up what they suspected was the body of a murder victim; however, they found a dead dog instead. The presence of incense sticks and candles near the gravesite led police to believe it contained the body of a recent murder victim, but they changed their minds after seeing paws and a canine snout protruding from the soil.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

‘Too much’ love for girlfriend prompts rape
Police arrested a 28-year-old man accused of raping his girlfriend in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district on Sunday, and the suspect told police he carried out the act because he loved the victim “too much”. Police said the couple were attending a friend’s birthday party when the suspect became jealous upon seeing his girlfriend chatting away with friends. He then drove her to a rented room, where he beat and raped her, threatening her with a knife so she wouldn’t tell anyone. As soon as he drove her back to her house, however, she shouted to relatives that she had been raped.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Alleged adulterer caught wearing woman’s pants
A 24-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were arrested on Saturday after the woman’s husband accused them of committing adultery in Phnom Penh’s Choam Chao commune, located in Dangkor district. The husband’s sister told him she suspected his wife was cheating, but he didn’t believe her until he discovered them together, his wife naked and the man wearing her pants. The husband has demanded US$2,000 in compensation. The male love rat said he was an old friend and had merely been seeking shelter because of the rain.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Thieves slit throat of moto driver, steal bike
A motorbike-taxi driver was seriously injured as thieves slit his throat and stabbed him in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Monday. The victim said the two suspects masqueraded as customers before cutting his throat and stabbing him four times. The driver managed to get away from the thieves and run for help, but the thieves stole his motorbike and escaped before police could arrive. Police are still looking for the suspects.
RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

Gang of six arrested for street-fighting
Police arrested six men after breaking up a fight in the capital’s Prampi Makara district on Sunday. The fight pitted two gangs, each with about six members, against each other. Among the items confiscated by police were three pipes, a baton, a chain and a knife.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Target calls for more female lawmakers


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Brooke Lewis

THE National Assembly and the Senate will need to increase the number of female lawmakers by 9 percent and 17 percent respectively during upcoming elections in order to meet a Millennium Development Goal aimed at improving gender equality, United Nations officials said yesterday.

A target under the gender-equality goal calls for 30 percent of national parliamentary representation to be female. Elections for the Senate in 2012 and the National Assembly in 2013 will be the Kingdom’s last opportunity to achieve this target before the 2015 MDG
deadline.

Speaking at a conference in Phnom Penh yesterday, Douglas Broderick, resident coordinator for the UN Development Programme in Cambodia, said women were underrepresented in high-level leadership and decision-making roles.

“Women make up 52 percent of Cambodia’s population, and yet represent 13 percent of the seats in the Senate, and 21 percent in the National Assembly,” he said.

During her opening remarks at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An said the Cambodian People’s Party was committed to improving women’s participation in governance.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia has been taking steps to improve the participation of women at all levels of national institutions,” she said.

But she noted that there were few other female politicians at her level.

Ho Naun, a Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker and head of the National Assembly’s public health committee, said “remarkable progress” had been made towards improving women’s rights in Cambodia.

“We have reached two-thirds of our goal,” she said.

But she added that “more activity from all stakeholders” was required.

Women currently hold eight of the 61 seats in the Senate, and 27 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly. The number of women in the Senate would need to more than double in the next election to reach the 18 seats required to meet the target. An additional 10 women would be needed to reach the National Assembly target of 37.

Mam Sonando starts advocacy NGO


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Vong Sokheng

POLITICAL activist Mam Sonando has launched a new advocacy organisation that he says will aim to enfranchise rural voters and support a united opposition.

The organisation, called the Democratic Association, is expected to begin its work by the end of this year, Mam Sonando said yesterday. The group will register voters and provide them with government identification documents.

“I founded this association because I want to help people who have been living without legal documents and therefore have been denied the right to vote,” Mam Sonando said.

A veteran of opposition politics, Mam Sonando owns the Beehive FM radio station. He was arrested in 2003 in connection with anti-Thai riots in Phnom Penh, and again in 2005 for allegedly accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen of selling land to Vietnam; both arrests were roundly criticised by local rights groups.

Mam Sonando said the DA currently has 11 staff members and has registered roughly 1,600 voters since July. It has no external funding, though Mam Sonando said the group charges 2,000 riels (US$0.47) per person to secure legal documents.

“I want to see a strong opposition party that will balance the power of the ruling party and advocate for the rule of law,” Mam Sonando said.

Preah Vihear excavation starts.


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 Thet Sambath

ARCHAEOLOGISTS working for the Preah Vihear National Authority have begun a dig for artefacts at the site of a village that was recently cleared to make way for development at the UNESCO World Heritage site, officials said yesterday.

Om Phirom, chief of the authority’s heritage police, said the dig began on Monday after officials found stone artefacts and statues at the former site of Kor Muoy village, which was built at the bottom of the ridge on which the temple sits.

“The archaeologists are digging at the former residences of the people to search, because we suspect there are ancient things hidden under the ground,” Om Phirom said. “We have found ancient stones and two ancient Buddhist statues when we bulldozed recently.”

The relocation of the families in Kor Muoy was first announced in July 2008 when fighting first broke out near Preah Vihear temple after its listing as a World Heritage site.

Officials said at the time that the 473 families living in the village would need to move because of safety concerns, and because they wanted to develop the area into a “cultural heritage site”.

Land has been allocated to the families in a new village 30 kilometres away, named Thamacheat Samdech Techo Village (Samdech Techo Nature Village), a name that incorporates part of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s honorific.

Om Phirom said yesterday that the last of the families were moved late last month.

“The research will take about one month to finish,” Om Phirom said of the dig. “It takes this long because the digging is done by spades, not by machinery.”

Deputy provincial governor Sor Thavy said archaeologists had also recently found four separate sites of temple ruins near Preah Vihear temple, and that they were continuing to explore the surrounding area.

“We have found four old small temples. We believe the places where the archaeologists are digging have old dikes and temple ruins,” he said.

He said much of the area near Preah Vihear temple was suspected to contain land mines, and that deminers were clearing land ahead of the dig.

Ministry calls activists for questioning


via CAAI

Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:00 May Titthara

AN Interior Ministry official in Phnom Penh has summoned three village representatives listed in a complaint stemming from a high-profile land dispute in Kampong Speu province, prompting concerns that they could soon be arrested.

The three men hail from Thpong district’s Omlaing commune, and they have been advocating on behalf of more than 2,000 families believed to have been affected by a 9,000-hectare land concession awarded to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company, which is owned by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat.

In a demonstration last month, about 300 Omlaing villagers blocked a section of National Road 52 in Kampong Speu after accusing company employees and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldiers of attempting to tear down homes.

Company representative Chheng Kimsruon said she had been trapped in her car for hours during the protest, and later filed a complaint accusing five men of illegal detention.

A letter signed on Monday by In Bora, director of the Interior Ministry’s Penal Police Department, summoned three of the men – You Tho, Phal Vannak and Ieng Chiva – to appear at the ministry’s offices in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. Though Chheng Kimsruon said earlier this week that her complaint had been filed at Kampong Speu provincial court, she said yesterday that it had also been filed at the ministry.

Phal Vannak and You Tho said yesterday that they would appear for the questioning session, though both expressed concern that they would be detained.

In Bora could not be reached for comment yesterday. Mok Chito, director of the ministry’s criminal police, said he did not know about the complaint or the summonses.

Ouch Leng, land programme officer for the rights group Adhoc, accused officials of trying to stave off a protest should the men be arrested, saying it was unlikely a large number of Kampong Speu villagers would travel with them to Phnom Penh.