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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

VN, Cambodia border provinces agree on expanding co-operation


AN GIANG — Deputy prime ministers of Viet Nam and Cambodia yesterday underscored their countries’ effective border co-operation and promised to enhance it even further at a meeting held in the Mekong delta province of An Giang.

Speaking at the third meeting on co-operation and development among border provinces, Viet Nam Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said: "We are pleased to review the progress achieved through this cooperation, especially the socio-economic development and strengthened security in the border provinces of the two countries in the past few years."

Hung and his Cambodian counterpart Sar Kheng agreed that these meetings helped expand their multi-faceted co-operation and friendship and strengthen security, defence and socio-economic development in the border areas. Sar Kheng, who is also Minister of Interior, said the co-operation between the border provinces in Cambodia and Viet Nam had enabled some significant achievements since the last meeting in Siem Reap in September 2005.
"[It] has helped to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty, and improve living standards of residents in border areas."

The governments of Cambodia and Viet Nam had helped the provinces build markets and promote trade in border areas to create more jobs and fight hunger and poverty.The two countries issued a joint communique at the conclusion of the meeting in which they said the two sides had agreed to strengthen co-operation to foster trade and open more markets in the border areas.

They agreed to facilitate cross-border flow of goods and people and welcomed the implementation of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Movement of Goods and People in the GMS countries from next year.

They also agreed to encourage investment in agro-industry and compare notes in farming, animal husbandry, rural development and poverty reduction along the border.
Viet Nam agreed to provide electricity to some Cambodian border provinces and will consider building more power stations in Cambodia.

The two nations agreed to speed up construction of Se San Hydro-power Plant No. 1 and to jointly work on investment and construction of the Lower Se San Hydro-power Plant in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia.

They also agreed to work together to implement an agreement on Border Health Quarantine signed in March 2006.
They will increase exchanges of cultural and artistic troupes and people-to-people visits to raise awareness of the glorious cultures of both countries and deepen the traditional friendship and understanding between their border provinces.

They will strengthen border control, thus preventing illegal migration, transnational terrorism and other crimes, and resolve any border incidents amicably and peacefully. The two sides welcomed the setting up of the border marker at Moc Bai-Ba Vet last September and expressed determination to complete their land border demarcation plan by the end of 2008.

Besides government officials from both sides, the meeting was also attended by representatives from the Cambodian border provinces of Ratanakiri, Mundukuri, Kongpong Cham, Kandal, Takeo, Kampot, Prey Veng and Kratic, and their Vietnamese counterparts. Read more!

French national sentenced to 6 years for prostituting women in Cambodia

The Associated Press

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

A French bar owner has been sentenced to six years in prison for prostituting his waitresses to foreigners in the Cambodian capital, a court official said Tuesday.Bruno Fumat, 52, was convicted in a trial Monday of forcing seven Vietnamese women to have sex with his customers, according to Kry Sok Y, a court prosecutor. He had denied the allegation.

Thach Va, a 32 year-old Vietnamese woman who is Fumat's girlfriend, was sentenced to six years in prison on the same charge, the prosecutor said, adding that the woman was charged with recruiting the girls.

During the trial, Bruno said he had hired the women to work merely as waitresses, Kry Sok Y said. His lawyer, Ly Sovanna dismissed the verdict as unjust and said he will file an appeal.
Fumat was arrested in June during a raid on his bar in the capital, Phnom Penh. Read more!

Cambodia invites NGO to observe commune council's election

The National Election Committee of Cambodia here on Tuesday issued an invitation to both local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and representatives of all countries to observe the 2007 commune councils election.

The National Election Committee would like to invite all representatives of local, international non-governmental organizations and representatives of countries who wish to observe the election process in the Kingdom of Cambodia to contact the Cambodian embassies accredited to their respective countries," it said.

"The participation of local, international non-governmental organizations and representatives of all countries is important to have free, fair, and just commune councils elections in 2007," it added. The 2007 commune councils election's process started on September 21, 2006 and will end on May 23, 2007.

The registration of candidates will start from the beginning of January until the middle of February. The election campaign will take place from March 16 to March 30, 2007. April 1, 2007 will be the polling day, ballot counting, and publishing of results at polling stations.
The commune council¡¯s election is prelude to the general election in 2008, which will elect a new government for the country. Read more!

Cambodia cancels position of first deputy governor for efficiency

The Cambodian government, on Tuesday,had canceled the position of "first deputy governor" for all provinces and cities, so as to remove the difficulty it constituted for administrative work, officials told Xinhua.

"From now on, we do not talk about quotas from parties in government positions," said government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith.
Local government used to have governor and first deputy governor either from the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) or the co- ruling Funcinpec Party in order to keep political balance, which however made a consensus hard to be reached as both leaders usually had different views, he said.

Now, as first deputy governor no longer existed, governor would therefore become the most powerful person to make decisions, which was expected to streamline the local governments and improve their efficiency, he said.

"This sub-decree will help the governments handle their work smoothly and spend less time for administrative procedures," he added. After the kingdom's co-ruling government was established in 2004, CPP and Funcipec started to share power in provincial and municipal governments. The positions of governor and first deputy governor must be divided between the two parties. Documents could only become valid after both governors signed them.

Source: Xinhua Read more!