Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prime Minister Hun Sen visit France in July

PHNOM PENH, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Tuesday that he will visit France on July 13 to strengthen the bilateral cooperation.

"We will be absent from the country for a short period of time because I will visit France and I also will meet with French President late afternoon on July 13 if the schedule is not changed," he told a University graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh.

"I will be invited to join a ceremony of French Army March on July 14," he said, adding that he will attend his son's graduation ceremony in an army school in France.

France played a key role for Paris Peace Accord for Cambodia in1991. France also provides funds to Cambodia in several projects, including rule of law, good governance, and agricultural and health improvement.

France colonized Cambodia from 1863 to 1953.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Former Cambodian king beats cancer for third time

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk has been successfully treated for a third bout of cancer, according to a handwritten royal letter posted on his website.

The 86-year-old, who left for Beijing in July last year to receive medical treatment for other illnesses, thanked his "most eminent" and "devoted" Chinese doctors who have been treating him there.

"Indeed, the terrific result of their (incomparable) care is here: my third cancer (B-cell lymphoma) has completely disappeared," Sihanouk said in the letter dated Monday.

The former monarch announced the discovery of the new cancer in late December.

Sihanouk was first diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, a cancer affecting blood cells crucial to the immune system, in 1993. The cancer began in his prostate and recurred in 2005 in his stomach.

Sihanouk has suffered from a number of other ailments including diabetes and hypertension.

One of Asia's longest-serving monarchs, Sihanouk abruptly quit the throne in October 2004 in favor of his elder son, Norodom Sihamoni, citing old age and health problems.

Despite abdicating, Sihanouk remains a prominent figure in Cambodia and often uses messages on his website to comment on matters of state.

International Prosecutor Quits Cambodia Khmer Rouge Trial

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AFP)--The international prosecutor at Cambodia's Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal announced his resignation Tuesday from the court, which is trying the late 1970s regime's prison chief.

Canadian prosecutor Robert Petit said in a news statement that "for personal and family reasons" he would soon leave his position at the U.N.-backed court.

Petit has previously clashed with his Cambodian co-prosecutor over whether to go after more suspects from the hard-line communist movement at the tribunal.

"I remain convinced that Cambodia's hopes for a better future lie, in part, on true accountability for crimes," Petit said in the statement.

"My staff and I have tried, within our jurisdiction, to contribute to that goal to the best of our abilities," he said.

The court's long-awaited first trial has seen Kaing Guek Eav, better known by the alias Duch, accept responsibility for overseeing the torture and execution of more than 15,000 people at Tuol Sleng prison.

Four other Khmer Rouge leaders are also in detention awaiting trial, but while Petit has sought to bring more cadres to justice, Cambodian co-prosecutor Chea Leang has disagreed.

Lawyers for detained former Khmer Rouge ideologue Nuon Chea have alleged Petit has knowledge that his co-prosecutor was ordered by the Cambodian government not to pursue more former regime members.

In a Tuesday letter to Petit, which they distributed to the press, Nuon Chea's lawyers Michiel Pestman and Victor Koppe demanded a written reply to the allegation by the end of this week.

Petit wasn't immediately available to comment on the allegations, and is due to formally leave his position Sept. 1.

The tribunal is conducting the search for Petit's successor, a court press official said.

After years of wrangling between the Cambodian government and the U.N., the court was created in 2006 to try leading members of the communist 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime and began its first trial in February.

But the court has faced controversy over a series of government interference allegations and claims that Cambodian staff were forced to pay kickbacks for their jobs.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mekong River dolphins on verge of extinction, report says

PHNOM PENH, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The international conservation watchdog has released its report warning that pollution in the Mekong River has pushed the local population of Irrawaddy dolphins to the brink of extinction.

The report released Thursday said researchers had found toxic levels of pesticides such as DDT and environmental contaminants such as PCBs during the analysis of the dead dolphin calves.

"These pollutants are widely distributed in the environment and so the source of this pollution may involve several countries through which the Mekong River flows," the World Wide Fund for Nature said.

Since 2003, the population has suffered 88 deaths of which more than 60 percent were calves under two weeks old. The latest population is estimated between 64 and 76 members living in habitats along a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Laos, the report said.

Vern Dove, an author of the report and veterinarian with WWF Cambodia said "Necropsy analysis identified a bacterial disease as the cause of the calf deaths. This disease would not be fatal unless the dolphin's immune systems were suppressed, as they were in these cases, by environmental contaminants."

But, Touch Seang Tana, chairman of Cambodia's Commission for Conversation and Development of the Mekong River Dolphins Eco-tourism Zone, said the "report was all lies," citing it was aimed at discrediting Cambodia and alerting donors to give more aid to the WWF.

He said no such pollutions have been found or he and other 10,000 families living along the stretch have died or become sick because of the water consumption on a daily basis.

He, however, acknowledged the deaths of the dolphins, but because of illegal fishing in early 2000, not because of pollutants as claimed by the WWF's report.

He estimated dolphins numbered at about 150 to 160 today, while there were only about 120 in 2000.

The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin has been listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 2004.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cambodia, Vietnam set year 2012 to end border demarcation

PHNOM PENH, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia and Vietnam have agreed that the border demarcation between the two nations will be finalized by 2012, a senior government official said Wednesday.

The set timeframe for the border demarcation was reassured by border experts during the two-day meeting, which took place in Cambodia's northern province of Siem Reap.

Cambodia's chief of border negotiator Var Kimhong said he had held talks with Ho Xuan Son, Vietnam's deputy foreign minister and chief of border commission, during which he said fruitful discussions on bilateral cooperation, especially, the border issues were made in substantive and mutual manners.

In a separate meeting on Monday between Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Ngo Anh Dung, newly appointed Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, Hor Namhong had encouraged Vietnam to expedite its hydropower development in Cambodia's rivers in the eastern part that would provide electricity for local use and for sale to Vietnam, according to Koy Kuong, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry.

Cambodia shares 1,270 kilometers of border with Vietnam to the east and as of today, 109 border poles have been marked and 205 more will be placed by 2012, according to Var Kimhong.

Var Kimhong said as more discussions on border issues need to be addressed, the Cambodia and Vietnam's Joint Border Commission will meet again in November this year in the country's southwest coastal beach of Sihanoukville.

Cambodia is also in the process of negotiations with Thailand and Laos on similar border issues.

Cambodia shares 805 kilometers of border with Thailand to the west and northwest and another 504 kilometers with Laos to its northeast.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cambodia rejects US corruption claims

Cambodian officials admit corruption exists within Cambodia, but they say damning assessments made by the US embassy are biased and unfounded.

US ambassador Carol Rodley said recently Cambodia loses five hundred million U.S dollars every year to corruption. Cambodia's foreign ministry has rejected the claims, calling the statement "politically motivated and unsubstantiated".

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cambodia hits back at U.S. over graft comments

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia accused the United States of meddling in its internal affairs on Tuesday after Washington's ambassador said the impoverished nation was losing up to $500 million a year through corruption.

Cambodia's foreign ministry urged diplomats to "refrain from interfering" after the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, Carol Rodley, said rampant graft was preventing the country from developing its public services, education and healthcare.

"(The government) wishes to remind all members of the diplomatic corps to maintain their neutrality and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Cambodia," the ministry said in a statement.

Cambodia's anti-graft chief, Om Yentieng, said Rodley's remarks, made on Saturday at an anti-corruption concert in Phnom Penh, were an attempt to undermine a government which had the support of the people.

"If the ruling party had acted in such a way, we would not have gained votes and continued to stay in power," Yentieng told reporters.

A report last year by anti-graft watchdog Transparency International ranked Cambodia as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, placing it 14th among 180 nations studied.

(Reporting by Ek Madra; Editing by Martin Petty and Sugita Katyal)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​រាជ​ធានី​ភ្នំពេញ​ប្រកាស​ចូល​កាន់​តំណែង​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​៣០ ឧសភា

ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​រាជ​ធានី​ភ្នំពេញ​ដែល​មាន​សមាស​ភាព​សរុប​ចំនួន ២១​រូប ក្នុង​នោះ​មាន​នារី​ចំនួន ៣​រូប ត្រូវ​បាន​ប្រកាស​ឲ្យ​ចូល​កាន់​មុខ​តំណែង​រួច​ហើយ។

AFP PHOTO

អ្នក ​គាំទ្រ​នៃ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា​ដង្ហែ​ក្បួន​នៅ​តាម​ដង​ផ្លូវ​ក្នុង​ ក្រុង​ភ្នំពេញ​ក្នុង​យុទ្ធនាការ​ឃោសនា​បោះឆ្នោត​ជ្រើស​រើស​ក្រុមប្រឹក្សា​ រាជ​ធានី ខេត្ត​-ក្រុង ស្រុក​-ខណ្ឌ​នា​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២ ឧសភា ២០០៩។

នៅ​ក្នុង​ចំណោម​ខែត្រ​-ក្រុង​ចំនួន​២៤ ទូទាំង​ប្រទេស ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​រាជ​ធានី​ភ្នំពេញ​បាន​ត្រូវ​ប្រកាស​ឲ្យ​ចូល​កាន់​មុខ​តំណែង​ មុន​គេ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣០ ឧសភា​នេះ ដោយ​មាន​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ប្រកាស​តែង​តាំង​ពី​លោក ស ខេង នាយក​រដ្ឋមន្រ្តី​ស្តីទី​នៃ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា។

ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​រាជ​ធានី​ជាប់​ឆ្នោត​ថ្មី​ទាំង​នោះ គឺ​មក​ពី​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា​ចំនួន ១៤​រូប និង ៧​រូប​ទៀត​មក​ពី​គណបក្ស​សម​រង្ស៊ី ហើយ​ក្នុង​ចំណោម​សមាជិក​គណបក្ស​សម​រង្ស៊ី ទាំង ៧​រូប​នោះ ក៏​មាន​មន្ត្រី​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​នារី​មួយ​រូប​ផង​ដែរ។

យោង​តាម​ច្បាប់​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា មន្ត្រី​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​រាជ​ធានី ក៏​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ដឹកនាំ​ទៅ​លើ​គណៈ​អភិបាល​រាជ​ធានី​និង​សុំ​ឲ្យ​មាន​ការ​ដក​ ចេញ​ពី​តំណែង​ទៀត​ផង។

លោក ថាច់ សេដ្ឋា សមាជិក​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​រាជ​ធានី​ដែល​មក​ពី​គណបក្ស​សម​រង្ស៊ី បាន​មាន​ប្រសាសន៍​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៣១ ឧសភា ឲ្យ​ដឹង​ថា ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​មាន​កម្មវិធី​ការងារ​ប្រជុំ​ជាមួយ​គណៈ​អភិបាល​ក្នុង​មួយ​ខែ​ ម្តង ៖ «គណៈ​អភិបាល​គឺ​អនុវត្ត​នូវ​សេចក្ដី​សម្រេច​របស់​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា ហើយ​ជា​តំណាង​ឲ្យ​រាជ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល រីឯ​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា គឺ​ត្រូវ​ធ្វើ​សេចក្ដី​សម្រេច​ទាំង​ខាង​បញ្ញត្តិ និង​ទាំង​ខាង​ប្រតិបត្តិ។ បើ​សិន​មិន​អនុវត្ត មិន​គោរព​ទេ គឺ​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​ហ្នឹង​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ស្នើ​ទៅ​ក្រសួង​មហាផ្ទៃ ដើម្បី​ដក​តំណែង​របស់​គណៈ​អភិបាល​ហ្នឹង។ ក្រុមប្រឹក្សា​យើង​ធ្វើ​ការ​រាយការណ៍​តែ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ក្រុម​អភិបាល​ហ្នឹង​ឲ្យ​ បាន​ដឹង​តែ​ប៉ុណ្ណឹង​ទេ ហើយ​យើង​ទទួល​ខុស​ត្រូវ​ចំពោះ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ហ្នឹង គឺ​ចំពោះ​ការ​គោរព​រដ្ឋ​ធម្មនុញ្ញ​និង​ច្បាប់​ផ្សេងៗ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ទេ»

Cambodia plans extending Angkor Wat visit at night

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—Cambodia is considering opening the famed Angkor Wat temples at night to draw more tourists to the impoverished country, an official at the archaeological site said.

Similar night tourism efforts have been introduced at other sites in Southeast Asia.

Cambodia already has installed some lights at the network of centuries-old temples, said Bun Narith, who leads the agency responsible for managing the Angkor park.

Tourism is a major foreign currency earner for cash-strapped Cambodia. More than a million foreign tourists are expected to visit this year, with most from South Korea, Japan and the United States. More than half of tourists visit the Angkor temples, by far the country's biggest draw.

Visitors are now ushered out of Angkor at sunset, but authorities are considering extending visiting hours to as late as 8:30 p.m. local time.

"We want tourists to see all views of the temple, even in the dark places where they may have not have seen some of the sculptures and statues," Bun Narith said.

But conservationists have long expressed concerns about tourism's impact on Angkor. They say the uncontrolled pumping of underground water to meet the rising demand of hotels and residents in the nearby town of Siem Reap may be destabilizing the earth beneath the temples.

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