Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine´s Day

Thai Patriots Network Warns Cambodian Air Force May Have Working Airplane

Do not laugh too much Siamese ..... and do not look down the others as Buddha said... Remember the Vietnam war .... American got everything .... Did American win the war ? So do Siamese ... Win first before you laugh

http://notthenation.com/

via CAAI

'Savage Enemy' Known to Possess Communist Warplanes

3 Feb 2011

ARANYAPRATHET – Attempting to alert more Thais to the imminent danger of a possible war with “Cambodian aggressors,” the Thai Patriots Network, or TPN, announced today that the Cambodian Air Force might actually have a plane that can fly.

Deadly MIG could strike deep into Thai territory if it could fly

“We have reason to believe that the wicked Khmers have developed first-strike capabilities,” said Chaiwat Sinsuwong. As evidence, he presented a declassified 1993 US intelligence report which listed the Cambodian Air Force’s assets, including five incomplete Russian-built 1973 MiG21Fs.

Although the intelligence report also stated that none of the fighter jets were operational, Chaiyat believed that the Cambodians might be able to assemble one good plane out of the usable parts.

“Maintenance instructions for the MiG are widely available on the Internet,” he pointed out.

Speaking from the TPN’s protest site at the Thai-Cambodian border, where the TPN claims Cambodia has infringed on Thai soil, Chaiyat said that a single enemy fighter jet could conceivably “attack Bangkok, even His Majesty’s palace,” and urged all Thai citizens to prepare for war against a “savage enemy.”

A spokesperson for the Royal Thai Air Force played down the possibility of an airstrike from Cambodia.

“We have three squadrons of F-16s ready to scramble at a moment’s notice,” said a visibly amused Air Chief Marshal Itthaporn Subhawong. “Although, to be honest, we could probably take down a single MiG21 with a couple of our training jets.”

Statement of Press and Quick Reaction Unit

via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 06:55 DAP-NEWS

The Press and Quick Reaction Unit (PRU) of the Office of the Council of Ministers (OCM) of the Royal Government of Cambodia totally rejects the call, as reported in the Bangkok Post and also published in the National News Bureau of Thailand on 11 February 2011, by Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand, asks UNESCO to remove the Temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List, claiming that the delisting of the Temple of Preah Vihear would remove tensions between Cambodia and Thailand.

The PRU strongly rejects the false statement by Abhisit and we would like to draw the national and international public attention that the “real tension” has been caused by Thailand’s long-standing territorial invasion. The PRU, therefore, would like to recall the following:

In 1953-54, Thailand invaded and occupied the Temple of Preah Vihear, taking advantage of the ending of the French protectorate over Cambodia, only to be ordered out of the Temple of Preah Vihear and the areas in its vicinity by the 15 June 1962 Judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ);

During the 1970’s, Thailand drew a secret, unilateral map pushing the frontier line deep inside Cambodia, and claimed that there is an “overlapping area” of 4.6 sq.kms in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear. In fact, between Cambodia and Thailand there exists a clear international frontier line.

More interestingly, in July 2007 during the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thailand publicly used once again its secret, unilateral and internationally unrecognized map to protest against the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear to the World Heritage List. But this faked map was categorically rejected by the World Heritage Committee.

The recent real war of aggression against Cambodia from 4 to 7 February 2011, like the previous attacks of 15 July 2008 and 3-4 April 2009, which has been fuelled by Thai severe internal political turmoil, is just the latest attempt to turn into reality this secret unilateral map, which has no international legitimacy, and to oust Cambodian from the “Thai so-called disputed, overlapping or 4.6 sq.km area”.

In terms of the Convention 1972 and its Operational Guidelines, it is worthwhile recalling that the decision to inscribe the Temple of Preah Vihear to the World Heritage List is res judicata and therefore irreversible.

The statement by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, therefore, to delist Cambodia’s Temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List proves that he lacks knowledge about the World Heritage and his move is opposing the World Heritage concept.

Consequently, it is not possible both a legal and practical point of view to delist the Temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List. Moreover, as stated by the Director General of UNESCO on 10 February, 2011, that “The World’s cultural heritage should never be a cause for conflict”.

In short, it is clear that the Thai’s continued misinterpretation of inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear to the World Heritage List is to justify Thai’s claims only, which violates the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that the Temple belongs to Cambodia. Moreover, such Thai political maneuver is to erase Cambodia’s international boundary line by implementing Thailand’s secret and unilateral map so as to achieve its ambition of invading Cambodian territorial integrity.

Police station fire kills taxi driver


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Thet Sambath

A Stung Treng provincial police office was destroyed by fire on Saturday, killing a 32-year-old taxi driver who was being detained at the office for questioning in a traffic accident.

Deputy Police Chief Phiv Vong Doeun said the fire was likely caused by an electrical mishap and destroyed the building’s contents, including weaponry and police documents.

“All weapons – AKs, CKC rifles, M16 rifles – and documents relating to Cambodian identification cards and traffic accidents were burned down and one man died by fire,” he said.

The victim, Kem Bunna, was being detained at the office over a traffic accident, said the victim’s brother Kem Sovann. A friend of the victim, Thoeun Sothea, said two foreigners were in Kem Bunna’s taxi at the time and were injured in the accident.

“The injured foreigners did not complain against Kem Bunna, but police decided to detain him,” said Thoeun Sothea.

Kem Sovann said he would file a complaint against the police over his brother’s death.

Hou Sam Ol, provincial investigating officer for Adhoc, said hundreds of bullets and ammunition were set off by the fire.

“We heard the sound of bullets exploding and a few big explosions from big ammunition,” he said.

Svay Rieng villagers stop farm clearing


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Uong Ratana

About 100 villagers in Svay Rieng province’s Romeas Hek district blocked a rubber company and police from accessing and clearing their cassava farms over a three-day span.

The land dispute was the latest flare-up between villagers in Tras commune and the Peam Chaing Rubber Company, which was granted a 3,960-hectare land concession from the government in 2007. Villagers have defied orders to relocate from the area, while a village representative was detained on suspicion of destroying police property last May and “briefly kidnapping” a company representative.

Yea Yeoung, the village representative detained last year, claimed yesterday that police hired by the rubber company used electric bats to physically confront the protestors, injuring 10 in the process.

“We just banned them from clearing our cassava, but police, who were hired by the company, took electric bats to use on us and fight us,” he said.

Yea Yeoung added that nine villagers sustained injuries to their arms and chests and were being treated in hospital, while one woman was knocked unconscious.

Chum Ry, Romeas Hek police chief, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Hem Sokun, deputy governor of Romeas Hek district, said yesterday that the rubber company has delayed its development plans by two years as a result of conflicts with the villagers.

“I tried to negotiate with both parties,” said Hem Sokun. “I have asked the company to stop clearing the villagers’ cassava farms for two months to let them collect [their crops], but new cassavas planted won’t be provided with any compensation.”

A district police officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said yesterday that “about 300 hectares have already been cleared by the company”.

Hem Sokun told The Post last May that the villagers have been offered 700 hectares of land from the Peam Chaing Rubber Company, but refused to accept the offer.

More than 400 families are estimated to be affected by the land concession.

PM warns against illicit sirens


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Vong Sokheng

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday warned that he would authorise the use of tanks to stop government officials from unlawfully using emergency sirens on their vehicles.

Speaking to hundreds of villagers during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Neak Loeung bridge, Hun Sen said high-ranking government officials blaring sirens and speeding in their cars pose a threat to public safety, and that their actions would not be tolerated.

“If you are not listening to my advice, I will order the tanks to stop you in the street,” Hun Sen said.

Additionally, he said sirens always annoy people who are napping after lunch, students at schools and patients in hospitals.

Hun Sen added that siren envoys are lawful only for King Norodom Sihamoni, King Father Norodom Sihanouk, the Prime Minister, and the President of the Senate and National Assembly.

Yim Sovann, lawmaker from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said on Sunday that individual high-ranking government officials have been abusing the privilege of using sirens, causing public disorder and traffic jams while using sirens for personal reasons such as getting to a golf game.

Number of Tourists to Cambodia Increases Despite War at Border


via CAAI

Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP –

Despite the recent war at the border between Cambodia and Thailand, the number of international tourists visiting Cambodia does not show any decrease – an observation that has been confirmed by Tourism Minister Thong Khon.

According to the tourism minister, there is no significant trip cancellation of international tourists reported by transportation agencies in Cambodia. Instead, number of international travelers arriving at Siem Reap International Airport on some days peaks at around 5,000 – the majority of whom are from China, Korea, Japan and European countries.

Although the number of Thai visitors declines, its small proportion does not affect the overall number of international visitors, many of whom know about the border dispute.

Interestingly, the number of non-Thai international tourists coming to Cambodia through Cambodian-Thai border gates remains high, maintaining positive trend of international visitors for 2011, wherein January made 10 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

However, as warned by Co-chairman of Tourism Working Group Ho Vandy, if the war between Cambodia and Thailand drags on, it can affect tourism as well as business transactions in the two countries. “We wish to see the fighting site become peaceful tourism attraction site,” he added.

Worrying about the short-term impacts of the border conflict in which the shelling from the Thai side recently led to damages of Cambodian historical Preah Vihear Temple and the long-term troubles the conflict may cause for the tourism sector, tourism business practitioners issue a joint statement to support the Royal Government of Cambodia to involve the third party in resolving the dispute.

The joint statement also calls for the assistance of the United Nations and the UNESCO to protect and fix the damages of Preah Vihear Temple whose priceless value does not only mean for Cambodians but also the whole world. –AKP

By MOM Chan Dara Soleil

Battambang gets forest checkpoints


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Sen David

Battambang officials announced yesterday that authorities will build more than 8 security posts this year along flooded forest areas in Battambang in order to reduce fishery offences, illegal logging and forest fires.

Heng Piset, chief of the Battambang provincial fisheries department, said authorities plan to build the security posts to aid residents in reporting violations.

“Before, we had 14 security posts and right now we have started building more than 8 more to make it easier for residents to file complaints related to fishery offences or forest fires which happen sometimes, and especially the logging of wood in the flooded forest area,” he said yesterday.

“We have built the posts in every district of Battambang.... We are making an effort to promote this to the residents [with regard] to illegal fishery offences.

Police Blotter: 14 Feb 2011


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Sen David

Couple kill themselves after denied marriage
A COUPLE in Kampong Chhnang’s Teuk Phos district committed suicide by swallowing poison together on Friday. Police said that no foul play was committed, and they were found next to an empty package of poison. The young man’s parents said that he loved the girl for many years and wanted to marry her even though they were only 20 years old. They asked for permission to marry from the girl’s parents on numerous occasions but were refused. They were reported missing on Friday by their parents, after which police found their bodies.
KAMPUCHEA THMEY

Man hangs himself amid drug addiction
A 20-YEAR-OLD Vietnamese man hanged himself in Sihanoukville on Friday. Police said he and his family sold souvenirs along the beach, and on the day of the incident his father and brother went to work but the victim stayed at home. When his father returned, he found his son dead in their rental house. He added that his son was addicted to drugs but he didn’t know what to do. The deceased son had asked his father for money and his father had refused. The father he believes this is the reason why his son hanged himself.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Drunk attacks woman in Banteay Meanchey
A 26-YEAR-OLD man was arrested after he attacked a woman in Banteay Meanchey’s Sisophon district on Friday. Police said that the suspect was intoxicated and he entered the victim’s house and assaulted her while she prepared food for her children. She filed a complaint to the village chief who then informed the police. He has since been sent to court.
KOH SANTEPHEAP

Police detain suspect in attempted rape
A 26-YEAR-OLD man was arrested after he was accused of attempting to rape a female victim in Banteay Meanchey’s Svay Chek district. The victim said that on the day of the incident, her husband went to a party in the village and while she was waiting for her husband, the suspect entered her house and attempted to rape her, but she shouted for help. The suspected man attacked her and fled her home. The man was arrested after she filed a complaint with the local police.
KAMPUCHEA THME

Agricultural loan risk shared


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:01 Jeremy Mullins and Soeun Say

The World Bank and the government have launched a multi-million-dollar programme to improve agri-businesses access to credit by guaranteeing a portion of bank lending to the sector.

Participating banks and microfinance institutions will have 50 percent of agricultural lending guaranteed by the government and World Bank Group. The partners expect to support up to US$50 million in financing to the sector, according to a press release.

“Improving financing in the agriculture sector is vital for sustained growth and future poverty reduction in Cambodia,” said World Bank country director Annette Dixon.

The World Bank claimed agriculture contributed about one-third of the Kingdom’s GDP, and employs some 70 percent of the population.

ANZ Royal Bank Chief Executive Officer Stephen Higgins wrote yesterday that the programme would make loans available to a wider array of people in Cambodia.

“The risk share scheme is particularly targeted at supporting borrowers who don’t have sufficient collateral to support normal lending,” he said.

ANZ Royal is presently negotiating the finer points of its agreement to participate in the programme with the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank Group, and hopes to finalise it soon, he said.

The bank has been pushing harder into agri-businesses worldwide, he said, adding he was “very optimistic” about the outlook for Cambodia.

“The supply of arable land globally is not increasing, but demand is, which means over time the price of agri products will continue to rise, and that will benefit agri producing nations like Cambodia,” he said.

Loran Import-Export Company president Lim Bun Heng yesterday said he welcomed attempts to improve credit access for the Kingdom’s agri-businesses, adding it would boost production in the sector. “This
will be a very strong point in motivating Cambodian agribusiness to push rice exports around the world,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for a long time [for increased access to credit].”

The Cambodian government has emphasised the potential for the agriculture sector in recent months, as the Kingdom’s rice harvest exceeded some expectations last year.

Yesterday, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation revised upwards its projected rice exports for Cambodia – including unofficial cross-border flow – to 1.6 million tonnes for 2011, up from a projection of 1.4 million tonnes in its November update.

The FAO estimated Cambodia’s exports stood at 1.4 million tonnes in 2010. It also noted rice shipments directly to Europe recorded a substantial increase last year during in the first full year of the European Union’s Everything But Arms initiative. It also revised upwards its projection for rice produced last year to 8 million tonnes, from 7.3 million tonnes in November.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries secretary of state Chan Tong Yves declined to discuss risk share scheme yesterday, pending time to review the programme.

Forty firms join new agri export association


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:01 Chun Sophal

Forty domestic companies have joined together to form a new association in a bid to increase agricultural exports.

The newly-elected President of the Cambodian Food and Rice Export Association Lim Bun Heng said at a conference on Saturday that the group intended to encourage exports of crops including rice, maize, cassava and soy beans.

“We will encourage farmers to increase their productivity and meet high quality standards,” he said.

According to a draft of the body’s action plan, the association plans to export at least 100,000 tonnes of crops to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Export activity is slated to being early in the second quarter of this year. Details of the association's capital were not released.

Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said that many exporters faced problems with meeting high buyer demand, but the new association may ease the process.

In 2010, Cambodia exported just 320,678 tonnes of its millions tonnes of its surplus agricultural products, according to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce last week.

Kingdom workers eye change


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:01 Mary Kozlovski

A greater percentage of Cambodian workers intend to change employers in the year ahead, compared to those in Vietnam and Laos, a new survey has found.

The study, conducted by Indochina Research Limited, revealed that 45 percent of Cambodians intended to change employers this year, compared with 16 percent of Vietnamese respondents and 31 percent of Laotians, with the primary motivation being financial.

Of the Cambodian respondents in the 900-person survey, 45 percent cited job satisfaction as a reason to work for their current employer, 35 percent mentioned stability, with 31 percent welcoming a high salary.

General Manager of IRL in Cambodia Laurent Notin said that economic development meant that there were more employment options available to Cambodians.

“There is such a limited number of people with a limited number of skills. Companies start fighting for the best,” he said.

“When you fight for the best you tend to attract them with more money.

“[Cambodia] is a very cash [driven] economy and people are looking at how they can make money the fastest way possible.”

Managing Director of HR Inc Sandra D’Amico said that while human resources management was becoming a more important issue for Kingdom employers, the sector was still less developed than elsewhere in the world.

“The idea of work environment, benefits and incentives are not as important to the broader [spectrum of] Cambodian working professionals yet, compared to other more established industries and countries.”

“Although we see in our salary surveys that things such as total compensation are becoming more comprehensive,” she said.

While employers highlighted international competition as a motivation for workers to demand high salaries, other issues are also at play.

Sam Peou, chief executive officer of Nautisco Seafood, said a good working environment was crucial.

“If companies can create a good, healthy working environment which offers great challenges professionally, then high salaries may not be the only solution to retain employees,” he said.

IRL interviewed 900 people aged between 18 and 50 across various professional sectors, with 300 respondents each from Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

Lengthy road ahead for OZ mine


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:00 Steve Finch

OZ Minerals’ announcement last week that it has not added to a foundation gold resource about one-third the size necessary to start a viable mine means the firm is now entering a critical exploration phase to determine if and when Cambodia can begin large-scale gold mining.

Following confirmation of an initial resource of 605,000 ounces in March 2010, which makes OZ the most likely miner to start commercial production in Cambodia, the company said it would target a total resource of about two million ounces before production can begin.

But that depends largely on what happens over the next year or so.

Last year, Natalie Worley, the company’s head of investor and external relations, told The Post it would take until at least mid-2012 to get to the critical feasibility study stage at which point the company would assess whether a mine is viable.

“This depends on the exploration success or otherwise,” she said of drilling that has focused on the Okvau region in Mondulkiri province, where the foundation resource is located.

By the end of this year, it should therefore become much clearer whether or not the Australian-based company can feasibly develop a gold mine close to the scale of MMG LXML’s Sepon mine in Laos, a resource of 3.3 million ounces that has helped transform the country’s export economy.

OZ said last week it would dedicate about US$20 million towards exploration outside of Australia in 2011, up from $15.2 million last year, a sign the company is serious about developing new production sites overseas.

In recent years most OZ exploration spending outside of Australia has been poured into Cambodia.

Locating the necessary resource is just the start, however.

A subsequent feasibility study would require between 12 to 18 months to complete. That means it will take at least another three years before OZ makes a firm decision on whether it can commercially produce gold in Cambodia.

Once this has been made, construction of what would likely be Cambodia’s first large-scale gold mine would take at least another year, said Worley.

This is a long process.

OZ first started test drilling in Okvau, the area in which it discovered the foundation resource of 605,000 ounces, back in mid-2006.

That the company has continued exploration is based on a series of promising mineralisation results in Okvau and the surrounding area, the main target of continued drilling efforts, according to previous company statements.

Whether or not OZ can realise this potential is an outcome that will therefore have a major impact on the future of Cambodian mining and the extent to which the sector can become a major component of the domestic economy.

SET listings resilient on border tensions


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:00 Jeremy Mullins

Thailand-based companies with exposure in Cambodia saw limited movements in share prices last week, after hostilities broke out at the border near Preah Vihear temple on February 4.

Thaicom – the majority owner of Cambodia’s Mfone mobile service provider – climbed 1.8 percent in Bangkok SET trading last week, ending at 5.55 baht (US$0.18) per share. Stock value had declined at the beginning of the week following the outbreak of hostilities, but by Friday shares had regained the same value as recorded at close on February 3.

The parent firm of Cambodian Commercial Bank, Siam Commercial Bank Public Company, closed the week at 96 baht per share, the same price it opened at on Monday. It has declined 2 baht, or about 2 percent, since close on February 3.

Samart Corporation – which owns Cambodia Air Traffic Control and Kampot Power Plant – increased its value on the Stock Exchange of Thailand trading last week, ending at 8.70 baht per share. Its share price also did not change dramatically during the conflict, ending Friday at the same price it closed before the crisis.

But Khon Kean Sugar Company declined 2.3 percent last week, ending at 12.90 baht.

The firm – which has a sugar plantation and processing factoring in Cambodia’s Koh Kong province – traded at 13.20 baht last Monday, compared with 13.30 baht the day before hostilities began.

Meanwhile, in Sydney, OZ Minerals saw its shares trend upwards last week, as it released its annual report. It finished the week at A$1.75 ($1.746), a 1.7 percent increase over the week. Prices had temporarily climbed to A$1.82 on Wednesday, the day its annual results were announced. The miner – which is actively exploring tenements in Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province – is trading near its 52-week high of A$1.83.

The Phnom Penh Post News in Brief


via CAAI

UNDP Asia director set for high-level talks
Monday, 14 February 2011 15:00 Ellie Dyer

The United Nations Development Program’s Asia-Pacific Director Dr Ajay Chhibber is set to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen and senior government officials this week to discuss Cambodia’s economic and social prospects. Chhibber, who was due to land in Phnom Penh yesterday, was also set to address the fourth annual Cambodia Economic Forum on Wednesday, a press release stated.

American faces child sexual abuse charges

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

AN American man who was arrested last week over accusations that he sexually abused two boys will be sent to provincial court to face charges today, according to Chor Heng, vice chief of the Sihanoukville police. He said the 49-year-old suspect was arrested on Thursday at his guesthouse in Mittapheap III commune, Mittapheap district, following complaints from two boys aged 12 and 15. The suspect is to face charges related to child prostitution, sexual abuse and drug possession, Chor Heng said.

10 face charges after drug raids in Capital

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TEN Phnom Penh residents have been arrested in two separate drug raids for alleged illegal drug use and drug trafficking. Pen Rath, deputy police chief, said seven people were arrested on Friday in Daun Penh district, while three others were arrested yesterday in Chamkarmon district. Police discovered 12 packages of yaba tablets during the two raids. The suspects are currently detained in Daun Penh and Chamkarmon police headquarters, Pen Rath said, adding that they will be charged today in municipal court.

Illegal broker charged after cheating villagers

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A man was charged in Kampot on Friday with cheating three people out of a combined US$7,500 after falsely promising work placements in South Korea. Deputy Police Chief In Chiva said the victims, from Kampot and Kratie provinces, filed complaints to police this month when the illegal broker disappeared from his village after collecting $2,500 from each person. According to In Chiva, the victims paid the suspect in 2007 and were told the Korean jobs would take time to secure. The suspect is being detained in provincial prison until his trial begins.

Building work starts on Koh Puos villas


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:01 Soeun Say

The firm behind a US$1 billion development on Koh Puos, off the coast of Sihanoukville, has said construction on its first phase of 36 villas has begun.

“We are strongly committed to finish this first phase of villa construction and deliver them to the buyers by the end of 2011,”said Andrew Halturin, project director and board member of Koh Puos Investment Group, at the grand opening of the island sales office in Phnom Penh last weekend.

He also said that a 900-metre long bridge connecting the island to Sihanoukville town was 85 percent complete and on schedule to be finished in June.

“[The building work] will bring the project closer to becoming the leading tourism centre in Sihanoukville and potentially in the region.

“It will [create] a new proud image of Sihanoukville and Cambodia as a whole,” said Halturin.

The Koh Puos Island development is designed to include a luxury residential complex, several five- and four-star hotels, business centres, shopping malls, casinos, and sports facilities.

Cambodia shows rattan gifts to world


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:00 Post Staff

Rattan home accessories made in Cambodia are being showcased this week at a leading home furnishings trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

Baskets, lamp stands, trays and flower pots have been made by the Rattan Association of Cambodia with support from WWF.

The collection of clean and green products conform to European-quality standards and is a major push by Cambodian producers to seek new markets for their wares at the Ambiente international trade fair.

“With support from WWF’s rattan project, we achieved many creative and attractive product designs that we bring to the attention of international visitors at the fair, which provides a great opportunity for Cambodia rattan producers to learn more about international market requirements and trends, as well as marketing,” says Khun Than, vice chairman of the Rattan Association of Cambodia.

Meeting potential buyers from Europe is part of the agenda and will be aided by WWF members. The group of Cambodian exhibitors will meet representatives of the Swiss Import Promotion Program to promote their product designs.

Ou Ratanak, WWF’s rattan project manager, says Cambodian rattan producers are now able to tell buyers about their commitment to green production practices and meet demand.

“Rattan companies are ready to provide to the market environmentally friendly goods with diversified product designs,” he says.

WWF’s Sustainable Rattan Project aims at managing the tropical forests containing rattan and promoting cleaner production. These include the optimisation of material and energy flows, minimising waste and water contamination, and reducing carbon emissions.

Love’s pain and joy laid bare


via CAAI

Monday, 14 February 2011 15:00 Roth Meas

Valentine's Day today is being celebrated at Java Arts Café with an exhibition of paintings and sessions with a Cambodian fortune teller.

Thirteen of the paintings have been created by Oeur Sokuntevy, 27, who studied art for three years with nonprofit group Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang.

They are mainly autobiographical canvases created during a stormy relationship with her previous boyfriend, the artist explains.

“Half of my paintings feature issues that occurred while I was with my previous boyfriend. When I quarrelled with him, I always painted how those situations felt, and put large crosses over his face after we separated,” she says.

That explains the title of her exhibition, Face Off.

However, the path to true love appears to be running more smoothly these days for Oeur Sokuntevy. She says she has now met a new boyfriend and is very happy with him.

“Even though we have a normal relationship, without all those rows, I still paint my feelings about being with him, whether they are happy or unhappy,” she said.

She says women especially can feel the pain of a relationship breakup, saying that many Khmer women are not brave enough to speak about their feelings when they face problems with their boyfriends or husbands.

Her paintings, mostly acrylic on paper, address the pitfalls that can arise in relationships, Oeur Sokuntevy explains, and she’d like others to take a message from her art to give them the courage to deal with their own relationship issues.

“Many people have similar problems, united or separated, but they never dare to talk about their problems openly, so I’m opening up my own problems to everybody.”

The artist says most of her paintings deal with emotions to do with families, couples or sweethearts.

Oeur Sokuntevy’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries in South Korea, Myanmar, and the United States. This July, she will take a collection of her work to Singapore.

At tonight’s opening, fortune teller Chao Kuon Narann, 56, will give sessions predicting whether the course of love will be bumpy or not.

Chao Kuon Narann has worked as a fortune teller since she was 12 years old. She learned how to predict the future from the spirit world, she says, not from any worldly teacher.

“While I was sleeping, I dreamed that an old man handed me a deck of cards. I said no, but he told me that this deck of cards would change my life for the better.”

Using cards, she tells people’s fortunes around the capital, seeing about 30 clients a week. Many of her clients are young women seeking guidance in matters of the heart, she says. For those who don’t speak Khmer, a translator will be on hand to help tonight.

Artist Nicolas C. Grey will also have 12 paintings on display tonight at Java Arts Café, 56 Sihanouk Boulevard, Phnom Penh. The exhibition opens from 6pm. The paintings will remain on show until March 20.

Delegation of Cambodian parliament visit Army at Preah Vihear Temple area

Raw Video: Anti-government Protest in Bangkok

Border schools reopen quietly


via CAAI

Published: 14/02/2011 

Primary schools near the Cambodian borders in Si Sa Ket reopened Monday morning, but only but only about half their students dared attend classes, with the others opting to stay home for safety, education zone 4 director Wanna Boonsuk said.

Mr wanna said he visited all schools near the border, including Ban Phum Srol which hit by Cambodian shelling on on Feb 5.

Students were still in fear there would be more fighting between the two countries, despite the ceasefire having lasted nearly a week.

He believed most students would return to classes tomorrow.

At Ban Phum Srol, students began the day by helping each other to clean rooms and school compound.

The school had closed since the attack last week and students needed to temporarily study at schools far from the border.

Meanwhile, Sa Kaeo governor Sanit Naksuksi said he saw no sign of a new clash on Monday along the 165km border with Cambodia.

He said Phnom Penh was aware of the unpleasant impact skirmishes on the border had on business near its town of Poipet, which is opposite Rong Kluea market in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet.

However, Cambodian soldiers tightened security at Poipot on Monday as Prime Minister Hun Sen was scheduled to open a new road there, about 20km from the border checkpoint in Aranyaprathet.

The Language Not Needed for Love

Ken Wong.
Director, Face-to-Face AIDS Project
Posted: February 13, 2011

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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A Deaf Cambodian Gives Us Ideas On How To Sustain Charity Through Happiness.

Pea Has Something To Tell Me

I'd just started down the road outside our newly built SCC*F2F Community Center in Battambang, Cambodia when Pea (pronounced Pia) came running up to me, waving her arms, and emitting a gurgle of excited sounds. Her eyes sparkled and her body beckoned me to look over toward a man standing in front of one of the temple halls. Pea didn't stop squeaking, gasping, and cooing. I'd never seen Pea so joyfully excited before, and I'd never have imagined what I was soon to learn.

Isolation and Tragedy

I met Pea Vichary in November 2009 when she participated in our weeklong class where HIV+ women studied the craft of varnished, fabric-covered eggs. It's a pretty complex process in which the women learn about fabrics, water-based and oil-based varnishes, various sandpapers, tools, glues, and applying and drying techniques. Since the instructor spoke through a translator, understanding this craft was difficult enough for the six Cambodian-speaking women. Our seventh participant was Pea, who was born deaf and had never learned to read lips. Nor could she read or write, for she'd never been to school. In fact, Pea had barely been socialized, even though she was 34 years old.

Pea's mother didn't realize Pea was deaf until she was about 4. During this time, as Cambodia was coming out of the Khmer Rouge genocide, it was all Pea's mother could do to keep her family alive. Pea stayed home doing chores and sometimes playing with other children. But even that didn't happen so often, as Pea was quick to anger and lash out. Pea's childhood was marked by work and isolation.

When Pea was in her 20s, her mother noticed that the normally gaunt Pea was putting on weight. She seemed to crave mangoes. Over time, the mother figured out that a couple months before, Pea had gone to collect plants in the fields and there she was accosted from behind, blindfolded with a checkered bandana, and raped. As far as the mother could tell, Pea hadn't seen who'd done it.

Pea gave birth to a son, which in fact brought out a gentleness in her. For two years, Pea found happiness in being a mother -- and then a day came when Pea's child was stolen from her at the local market. He was never found, and Pea was devastated.

About six or seven years later, Pea became increasingly sick, and it was only because a field officer of our Cambodian partner organization, SCC, found Pea and took her to the hospital that she didn't die. Pea tested positive for HIV and was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS.

Our First Week With Pea

In 2009 when she attended her first craft class, organized by my Face-to-Face AIDS Project and SCC, Pea didn't smile for the first few days. Her face was taut and stern, and her motions were stiff and tense. At times she'd get distressed and emit a moan or a shriek. She seemed ready to explode at any moment, or flee at any sign of criticism or teasing.

Still, the instructor didn't want to give Pea special leeway. The only way to learn is through mistakes and everybody in class was working towards the best quality, said the instructor, who I thought was strict, especially given the language, cultural, and societal barriers.

The instructor was in fact my mom, who in her mid-70s had already made several trips to Cambodia to work with these HIV-positive women. And in spite of all the insistence on carefulness and meticulousness -- well, scolding is what I call it -- the women were genuinely fond of her, calling her Mama, and always crying when she'd leave to return to the States. Mom treated Pea like everyone else, which was a good thing, for we quickly realized that Pea was hyper perceptive about how people acted not only to her but to others. She seemed to have an extra set of eyes just for observing people's intentions.

Around the third day of class, I showed Pea a video of her walking on a road -- and seeing herself on video made her deliver an unexpected squeal of delight. That was the first time I saw Pea smile. The last two days of class, Pea participated more with the other women, who included her as much as they could. Pea's taut face loosened a bit, and she didn't run away when it was her turn to be hugged by Mom just before she left. But watching her, I wondered if Pea had ever been hugged out of joy like that before.
Life Without Words

We spent a second week with Pea in 2010, and she smiled even more, and she seemed to be enjoying the company of others at our now newly built Community Centre. After we left, the staff at the Centre reported that Pea continued to participate in their activities. Pea seemed to be doing fine. And yet I'd think of her, and wondered what might develop if we could only teach her language.

What's life like without words?

How do you think without words?

How do you process feelings without words?

I wished we could do more for Pea.

January 2011

So here's Pea running to me, and there's a kind-looking man standing alone with a bemused smile. I led him to our office -- and there I was informed that this man and Pea had married a few months ago. Pea had a husband!

Unbelievable.

Of course the wedding had just been a very simple ceremony held at the house. Neither family had any money -- Pea's family had just enough to feed themselves and he was a hired farm laborer who couldn't read or write.

But still, it had never crossed my mind that someone would want Pea for a wife. She was as poor as could be, she couldn't communicate, and she was temperamental. Oh, and she also had HIV.

It's possible that Pea's husband might have been hard to marry off as well, although my first impression of him is of a gentle, hardworking man. Perhaps he took pity on Pea when he met her, which was right after we'd last seen her in early spring 2010.

The up-to-now stern, tightly wound Pea must have been nice when he began noticing her in the neighborhood. She must have smiled -- at a strange new man no less. He must have understood that she had HIV (he told us he's negative), and that they would always need to use protection. And he must have thought that they could have a marriage without talking.

Sustaining a Charity's Charity

As Pea showed him her craftwork and picked the lint off his shirt as we took photos of them, it struck me that our Centre's potential was more than just providing income-generating skills for Cambodians affected by HIV and extreme poverty.

It was more than just providing free education for orphans and vulnerable children who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend school.

It was more than providing the knowledge and skills to get ahead.

Just perhaps, our Centre's potential lies in creating an environment where people can nurture themselves to find happiness in the company of others. To find confidence and contentment in themselves.

And -- and this is the leap -- to begin to imagine how they can use their happiness to reach out to help others. To contribute to sustaining a charity's charity. From Pea being a beneficiary of our program, to becoming a role model, to perhaps someday helping sustain our Centre. And that opens a lot of possibilities about how charities can sustain their work in the future. (Photo: Hair styling instructor Glenn Ricci and Pea at the end of class)

But more about turning those possibilities into concrete programs in future blog posts. For now, I'm happy to write that Pea seems happy, and at a level far beyond what I ever imagined possible for her. She must feel it in every part of her body.

Which makes me think -- perhaps language might have actually prevented love from happening to Pea. Perhaps language hinders love more than we care to admit....

Happy Valentine's Day, Pea.

(all photos taken by author)

*****************

For further information about the Face-to-Face AIDS Project and how you can help, or to donate to the Face-to-Face AIDS Project, please visit the Contact Donate page at http://www.facetofaceaids.org/ .

'Bad history' not helping attitudes on both sides

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Mon, Feb 14, 2011
The Nation/Asia News Network

While some national media are quick to cast Cambodians as people not to be trusted, locals in Si Sa Ket have a more complex view of their neighbours. This doesn't stop some national papers espousing archetypal bias towards Cambodians, though such popular misconceptions may backfire and hinder mending ties between the people of the two nations well into the future.

"Elderly people in the areas along the border who for long have been trading with their neighbour often remind their children and grandchildren that they have never trusted Cambodians because [Cambodians] are not predictable. 'They may be friends in the morning but by the evening become enemies'," wrote a columnist last Tuesday.

While some locals say they do not trust Cambodians and will demand cash upfront when trading with them, others say such stereotyping is simply wrong. "There's no absolutely good Thai or absolutely evil Cambodian and vice versa," Niphon Polsaet-rerk, a school teacher in Kantharalak, said yesterday.

What's more, some villagers are married to Cambodians and surely none would have done so if all Thais believe Cambodians are not to be trusted.

But history textbooks and popular beliefs among Thais and Cambodians perpetuate prejudice and distrust. A scholar like Thibadi Buakamsri, of Kasetsart University, explained in a chapter of the Thai-language book "Nationalism in Thai Textbooks" how Thai history books made Thai students regard Cambodians with prejudice and distrust. A heavy reliance on historical accounts written by Siam's elite meant Thai history books gave Cambodians short shrift, he said.

"Cambodia [in the past] is just a small protectorate that often seeks to exploit moments of Ayutthaya's weakness by taking away some people [as captives] and declaring independence."

Contemporary writing in newspaper columns, feature stories and other popular media is very much moulded by this narrow-minded perspective in school textbooks, he said.

Sarnti Pakdeekham, a Cambodian studies expert at Srinakharinwirot University, also wrote that Cambodian textbooks more often than not remind their readers that Thais are ruthless foreign aggressors.

Sarnti, writing in his Thai-language book published in 2009 entitled "Khmers debate about Siam", said that while Cambodians' attitude towards Thais (and Siamese of the past) was rather complex, it might best compared to the negative attitude Thais hold toward the Burmese, who twice attacked and burnt down Ayutthaya.

"The way Thai history portrayed Burma as the historical 'bad guys' is not that different from the way Cambodian history writes about 'Thailand'," Sarnti wrote on pages 3-4 of his book.

Given that Thai-Cambodian relations are based on deeply rooted beliefs, historical wounds and nationalism, the ongoing conflict should be treated most carefully in order not to exacerbate the situation further. The conflict also should serve as a wake-up call for people in the two societies to think about how they can best overcome past wounds and present prejudice and distrust. This will be no easy task, but the other option of going to war and hating each other even more should certainly be less desirable.

The challenge for both Thais and Cambodians is to learn not to become a prisoner of their past while also questioning the prison that current nationalist thinking lock us in.

Rival Protests Held in Thai Capital

VOA News
February 13, 2011

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Photo: Reuters
Anti-government ''red shirt'' protesters hold a picture of former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra as they wait for him to address them over a link during a rally near the Democracy monument, the site of bloody clashes with security forces last year, in Bangkok February 13, 2011.

Thousands of anti-government Thai protesters demonstrated Sunday in Bangkok, for the latest in a series of rival political rallies ahead of elections expected later this year.

The French news agency quotes police as saying some 15,000 "Red Shirts" - the movement behind weeks of mass anti-government protests in 2010 - gathered near Bangkok's Democracy Monument to call for the release of 18 jailed movement leaders detained since last year.

Nearby, nationalist "Yellow Shirts" rallied separately to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva over his handling of a long-running border dispute with neighboring Cambodia.

Thousands of police flooded the protest area Sunday, but there were no reports of injuries or violence.

The rallies took place despite a government ban imposed last week on protests in main government and commercial areas of Bangkok. They also come ahead of an election that the prime minister said could take place in the first half of the year. Abhisit's term ends in December.

Some of the worst and deadliest political violence in modern Thai history erupted last year, during a 10-week protest in central Bangkok by Red Shirt activists, most of whom support ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Gunmen clashed repeatedly with soldiers during the protests before the military crushed the uprising. Ninety-one people were killed in the chaos and about 1,800 others were injured.

Red and Yellow are fighting for power ! Sorry,Thais...

_________________

14-02-2011 Sid (USA)

Thailand and Cambodian will continue to struggle for at least another 20 years. When people are poor and hungry, they are always uprising. When the government cannot feed everyone, they want a new government. It will continue on and on. Thailand has over 70 million people and is growing. More mouths to feed and more uprising

UN should get Cambodia to hold bilateral talks, says Thai PM

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Supalak Ganjanakhundee
The Nation (Thailand)
Publication Date : 14-02-2011

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva expects the meeting of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York today (February 14) could convince Cambodia to get back to bilateral channels with Thailand to settle border conflict at the areas adjacent to the Preah Vihear.

"The way to solve (border) problem should be based on bilateral negotiation, rather than bringing a third party to get involved in this matter," Abhisit said in his weekly television program Sunday (February 13).

The UNSC agreed with request from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to convene an urgent meeting on the border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia but it remained unclear what would be an outcome of the meeting. Diplomatic sources said it was possible that the UN would throw the issue to regional forum Asean, whose current chair and Indonesia foreign minister Marty Natalegawa was also at the UN meeting.

Hun Sen requested the UN forces to create buffer zone at the Preah Vihear's vicinity to ensure peace for the world heritage inscribed 900 years old temple.

Abhisit said Thai delegation to the UN meeting led by foreign minister Kasit Piromya would explain to the 15 member body that it was Cambodia who ignited the military clash at the border which claimed at least eight of lives including a Thai civilian on February 4-7.

"It is not true as Cambodia claimed that we are the invader," he said. "The call for the third party or the UN peacekeeping forces is not relevant."

Thailand's real intention is to have the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to suspend the Preah Viehar's management plan proposed by Cambodia until the two countries could settle the boundary conflict.

Abhisit said he had evidence to prove that Cambodia used the world heritage for military purpose during the clash with Thailand.

Abhisit also rejected Cambodia's call for demilitarisation at the Preah Vihear in order to move forward the process of world heritage inscription. Thailand could not agree with any idea to make peace for the benefit of word heritage as long as the border dispute was not settled, he said.

Thailand and Cambodia have a joint boundary committee (JBC) and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed since 2000 to handle land boundary demarcation.

However the JBC has not worked properly for a period of time since its previous meeting in April 2009 as Thai parliament has not yet approved its minutes of three previous meetings to give nod to the body to go ahead the survey and demarcation tasks.

Having JBC to settle the boundary conflict with Cambodia is an uphill task for Abhisit's government as nationalists protesting on streets and working in the parliament would not allow the government to implement the 2000 MOU as they feared Thailand could lose territory to Cambodia.

Abhisit-once friendly People's Alliance for Democracy, which has been camping near Prime Minister Office since last month, wanted the government to scrap the MOU and used armed forces to remove Cambodian people, troops and property out of the disputed area.

Cambodia's JBC chief Var Kimhong rejected a Thai proposal to call a JBC meeting later this month saying the bilateral mechanism cannot resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, Thailand's JBC chief Asda Jayanama did not focus on boundary work but was busy with lobbying the Unesco in Paris to have the UN cultural body stayed away from the Preah Vihear.

As the bilateral mechanism was difficult to work, many multilateral forums stayed open for the issue of boundary conflict between the two countries. After the UNSC, the Asean would open a meeting in Jakarta on February 22 over the boundary conflict of the two members, Thailand and Cambodia. Abhisit said he would send his foreign minister Kasit to attend the meeting in Jakarta.

The Hindu temple of Preah Vihear has been sitting at the core conflict between Thailand and Cambodia since last century. It ignited military clashes over the past years since Phnom Penh managed to list it as a world heritage site in 2008 with Thailand's disagreement.

The four-day border skirmish early this month left local residents in Si Sa Ket province in fear. Many villagers were in panic as sound of loud explosion took place in border area late Saturday night. Hundreds of them rushed to seek refuge in down town of Kanthalalak district early morning yesterday before going back home around mid day when authority informed there was no more clash in the border area.

Abhisit insists on bilateral solution


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Published: 14/02/2011

The government will tell the United Nations Security Council today that it it is persevering with its plan to solve the border dispute with Cambodia through bilateral talks.


Cambodia has decided to boycott a meeting of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) later this month, but Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday the reaction was to be expected.

Thailand still saw the importance of the JBC meeting for handling the conflict and hoped Cambodia would change its mind, he told his weekly television and radio broadcast.

Prime Minister Abhisit said he knew about Phnom Penh's intention to boycott the JBC but had yet to receive official word from the Cambodian government.

"Cambodia is playing the game," Mr Abhisit said, adding that Phnom Penh hoped to derail the JBC to shut the door on bilateral channels for solving the dispute.

It has asked the UN Security Council to intervene as it wants a larger audience, he said.

The prime minister said Cambodia's call on the UNSC and third countries to intervene to solve the border conflict was not right.

He said Thailand was confident it could make a strong case at the closed-door UNSC meeting in New York today to show that Phnom Penh had sparked the stand-off over the disputed territory adjacent to Preah Vihear temple, which on the Thai side has left two soldiers and one civilian dead.

Border fighting between Thailand and Cambodia took place between Feb4 and 7.

About 21,000 villagers living in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket province were evacuated and sheltered in dozens of emergency relief centres across the province.

Shortly after the border skirmish erupted, both countries sent letters to the UNSC president to inform her about developments.

The UN security body expressed concerns over the deteriorating border situation and called an urgent meeting with Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), in New York today to find solutions.

The hearing will begin at 10am New York time (10pm Thai time) and take about 90 minutes.

The Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers, and Asean chairman Marty Natalegawa, will have 30 minutes each to speak.

Following the UN session, Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya would hold meetings with UN agencies in New York to update them and put Thailand's side of the saga.

Mr Abhisit said Mr Kasit would exploit the UNSC platform to prove that Cambodia opened fire first during the four days of border clashes.

"We have all the information and facts [about the Thai-Cambodian fighting], which we are preparing to put to the UNSC," Mr Abhisit said.

The Foreign Ministry had compiled evidence, including still photos and video footage from the media to substantiate Thailand's accounts that Cambodia started the fighting and that Thai soldiers exercised their right to defend themselves, aiming strictly at military targets.

Cambodia also used Preah Vihear temple as one of its military bases to launch attacks, which violated an agreement of the World Heritage Committee, he said.

"We're confident that we can block Cambodia's attempt to upgrade the matter to an international level," Mr Abhisit said.

"If others want to get involved, they can only come in as supporters of bilateral talks," Mr Abhisit said.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty, as the present Asean chair, has invited Asean foreign ministers to attend an Asean ministerial meeting to help deal with the dispute on Feb 22 in Jakarta.

Foreign Minister Kasit has confirmed he will take part at the meeting.

Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong was quoted by Japanese Kyodo News Agency on Saturday as saying Cambodia was also prepared to attend.

Mr Abhisit yesterday repeated his calls on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to help reduce border tensions by putting Cambodia's management plan for the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed areas on hold.

The management plan is likely to be discussed at the meeting of the WHC in Bahrain this June, but Mr Abhisit wants the discussion put off, as the border situation is still sensitive.

Mr Abhisit also expressed his concern over Unesco's plan to send officials to inspect the impact of the spat on the Preah Vihear temple, saying the inspection by the Unesco delegation would add more fuel to the conflict.

Former Unesco director-general Koichiro Matsuura has been appointed to head Unesco's inspection team.

"Unesco should realise that naming Preah Vihear temple as a world heritage site is part of the dispute," Mr Abhisit said.

"So this situation should be handled carefully."

The prime minister said Unesco must seek permission from Thailand if it really wanted to send its representatives to inspect the temple.

Thailand agrees to regional meeting on Cambodia conflict

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Monday, February 14, 2011

BANGKOK -- Thailand has agreed to join an urgent meeting among Southeast Asian nations to discuss its border conflict with Cambodia, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday.

Armored personnel carriers from the Cambodian Army drive through a road in Kampong Thom town, about 168 kilometers (104 mikes) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Feb. 12. Kampong Thom is the neighboring province to Preah Vihear where the 11th century Hindu Preah Vihear temple is located, near the border between Cambodia and Thailand. (AP)

Abhisit, addressing his weekly TV program, confirmed that a meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will take place in Jakarta on February 26 to discuss the Thai-Cambodian conflict over Preah Vihear temple, which sparked border battles earlier this month.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa initiated the urgent meeting as part of his diplomatic effort to find a peaceful solution to an ongoing territorial dispute between the two ASEAN countries.

Both Cambodian and Thailand are members of ASEAN, which also includes Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Fighting broke up between Thai and Cambodian troops based near the 11th-century Hindu temple between February 4-7, killing three Thais and five Cambodians and leaving dozens wounded on both sides.

It was the latest of several skirmishes to flare up on the Thai-Cambodian border since July 2008, when UNESCO declared the temple a World Heritage Site despite Thai objections that a 4.6-square-kilometer plot of land adjacent to the temple was still under a sovereignty dispute.

Thailand has maintained that the border conflict should be settled bilaterally, but Cambodia is pushing, with apparent success, for international intervention.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong will meet in New York on Monday to explain their stance on the issue to the United Nations Security Council.

Foreign Minister Natalegawa of Indonesia, which currently chairs ASEAN, will attend the U.N. meeting and then host an ASEAN meeting on the conflict on Feb. 26.

He has said his role will be to facilitate a bilateral solution between Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

Preah Vihear temple has been a bone of contention between Thailand and Cambodia for the past five decades, leading to a cessation of diplomatic ties in 1958.

The two countries agreed to have the sovereignty spat settled at the International Court which in 1962 ruled that the temple belonged to Cambodia.

The court decision did not rule on the territory adjacent to the temple, which now both countries claim.