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Friday, February 09, 2007

Viet Nam, Cambodia agree to do more to fight criminals

Feb. 9,2007

Yuon Public Security minister Le Hong Anh had signed the agreement with Cambodian Minister in cooperation fighting criminal activities and terrorism. But the Commonist Yuon never recognized terrorism when their authorities confiscated land, beating and jailed Khmer Krom.

The Cambodian government and all the high ranking officers are also committing crime against Cambodian people. They robbed farm land, torn down houses and chasing poor Cambodians with guns, these are an act of terrorism. They are the one committing crime. Why should they bother to sign an agreement to fight crime?

Phnom Penh — The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Cambodian Ministry of Interior have signed an agreement to further battle criminal activity, in 2007.

Vietnamese Minister of the MPS Le Hong Anh, signed the agreement on February 7, in Phnom Penh during his four-day working visit.

The programme is set to focus on and combat terrorism, transnational crime rings, human trafficking, drug smuggling, money laundering and illegal immigration.

Security personnel training will also be on the agenda which aims to reinforce the two countries’ co-operation in maintaining social order and building a common border of peace, friendship, stability and development.

Last year, the two ministries collaborated effectively in bringing to light a number of criminal rings involved in drugs and human trafficking.

During the visit, Vietnamese officers laid a wreath at a monument dedicated to Vietnamese soldiers who lost their lives in Cambodia. The delegation was also received by Prime Minister Hun Sen. — VNS Read more!

Frigate makes port call in Cambodia


First time Navy has docked there in 30 years
By Sopheng Cheang - The Associated PressPosted : Friday Feb 9, 2007 9:41:06 EST


SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — A Navy warship docked at Cambodia’s main seaport Friday, the first port call by an American naval vessel to the Southeast Asian nation in more than three decades.

The guided-missile frigate Gary, with 200 officers and crew, was greeted by a team of Cambodian naval officers and U.S. Embassy staff at Sihanoukville, 115 miles southwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.

U.S. Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli said the ship’s visit was a sign of the “deepening of the relationship” that “has not always been that good” between the two countries.

“It’s been pretty rocky over the last 55 years, but for the last several years, we have demonstrated that Cambodia and the United States ... should be friends and work together closely,” he said.

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military heavily bombed suspected communist guerrilla strongholds in Cambodia up until 1974.

Eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed fighting Khmer Rouge forces on Koh Tang, a Cambodian island in the Gulf of Thailand, in May 1975. Marines fought for three hours trying to rescue the captured crew of the U.S. Merchant Marine vessel Mayaguez without knowing they had already been released by the Cambodian communists.

The U.S. halted military assistance to Cambodia following a 1997 coup, but relations have improved recently, with Washington endorsing greater military cooperation.

During his trip to Cambodia in July 2006, Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said the U.S. could assist in training Cambodian military personnel and provide them with nonlethal aid such as trucks.

Sailors from the Gary will spend the weekend taking part in community activities in a village near Sihanoukville, including hosting public health education classes for the villagers, repairing a local clinic and donating toys and clothes to an orphanage, an embassy statement said.

The Gary departs Sihanoukville on Tuesday.
Read more!

JICA helps Cambodia improve statistics ability

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said here on Thursday that it has been helping the Cambodian government improve its statistics capability during a five-year project.
JICA has been working with the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) under the Ministry of Planning since Oct. 2005 and intends to continue to do so until September 2010, aiming to help improve its statistics ability, JICA expert Shinichi Inue told reporters.

In the past years, most of JICA's efforts have been put on the training of statistics personnel, he said, adding that the emphasis will shift this year towards the undertaking of 2008 Population Census and the preparatory works.

The Ministry of Planning requests the Japanese government for funding about 38 percent of the census expenditure, said Hang Lina, Deputy Director General of NIS, adding that JICA will provide technical assistance for the census.

The Cambodian government will undertake 12 percent of the budget, while the U.N. Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the German government 50 percent, she said.

According to the timetable, all essential preparatory activities for the 2008 census will be completed in December 2007, and the final census results will be ready on July 2009.

JICA started operations in Cambodia in 1992. It is an independent administrative institution.

Source: Xinhua Read more!

Optimist surely Khmer Rouge trials will start this year

Officials in Cambodia say they are optimistic the Khmer Rouge genocide trials will begin this year. It has been seven months since international judges were sworn-in, but more than 100 procedural rules are yet to be agreed upon.

The delay has lead to threats from some of the lawyers that they may quit in protest. In an interview with Radio Australia's Linda LoPresti on the Asia Pacific program, Dr Helen Jarvis, the chief of public affairs at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, said agreeing to the procedural rules is complicated. But, she said, other work on the cases are continuing.

"We are still hoping that this won't delay things very much longer, because certainly while some things are being held up awaiting the finalisation of the internal rules, a number of other things are going well ahead, as scheduled," Dr Jarvis said. "In particular, the work of the co-prosecutors.

"They have been working doing the preliminary investigations and preparing the cases, and they say they will be ready to hand those cases as soon as the rules are finalised." Read more!

Cambodia expects to receive 2 million tourists in 2007

Cambodia expects to receive 2 million tourists in 2007, local media reported on Thursday.
"We hope, based on predictions, that the number of tourists to Cambodia will grow to two million in 2007," Tourism Minister Lay Prohas was quoted by the Koh Santepheap as saying during a ministerial conference.

Deputy Prime Minister Nhiek Bun Chhay was quoted as saying that "We should advertise more broadly to attract tourists to our country, and motivate them to stay longer, travel further and spend more money, and we can do so depending on good security and a clean environment.

These factors are dependent on officials of local authorities across the country's 24 municipalities and provinces," In 2006, Cambodia received about 1.7 million tourists, generating approximately 250,000 jobs and 1.05 billion U.S. dollars in revenues, reported the Reach Seima News.

Cambodia's tourist arrivals increased nearly 20 percent last year compared to 2005, which witnessed almost 1.5 million visitors. Tourism and garment production are the major foreign exchange earners for Cambodia. Read more!

WFP welcomed Spain's contribution for hungers in Cambodia, but needs more

WFP has warmly welcomed a critical and timely contribution of 500,000 euros (US$648,000) from the Government of Spain that will allow it to resume vital food assistance to more than one million poor and vulnerable Cambodians.

The Spanish donation provides a much needed boost to WFP’s operations in Cambodia, following the recent suspension of programmes in education and health as a result of funding shortages.
“Three weeks ago, WFP appealed that it needed at least US$10 million to assist 1.1 million hungry and poor Cambodians until July 2007," said Thomas Keusters, WFP Country Director in Cambodia.

Supporting HIV/AIDS victims
The current stoppage has already affected 650,000 school children, 70,000 people affected by HIV/AIDS and 18,000 tuberculosis patients. We are very grateful to the Government of Spain for its generous donation and support at this critical time,” he said.

“We are now in a position to resume some of our programmes, especially in support of HIV/AIDS victims, sooner than originally announced. But we do note that WFP in Cambodia still needs further urgent contributions from the international community if we are to continue to provide much needed food assistance,” Keusters added.

“I am aware of the daily difficulties faced by the population and I am satisfied that my Government can improve the livelihoods of the Cambodian poor,” said Leire Pajin, Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation.

Crucial contribution
The suspension of food assistance to the HIV/AIDS-affected beneficiaries came at a time when there is an increased need for care, support and impact mitigation as more people infected with HIV become sick and require medical care.

“This contribution is crucial as thousands of Cambodians continue to suffer from the effects of malnutrition and of not having enough to eat,” said Keusters.

"We welcome this substantial first-time contribution for the people of Cambodia and look forward to continued and future cooperation with the Government of Spain in fighting hunger in Cambodia.”

Donation
This donation marks the first direct contribution by the Government of Spain to WFP Cambodia. It follows a progressive and substantial increase in support to WFP globally over the last five years, from US$2.6 million to US$16.9 million per year.

Other donors to WFP’s relief and recovery operation in Cambodia include Australia (US$ 10.9 million), Japan (US$ 7.7 million), Canada (US$ 800,000) and Saudi Arabia (US$ 450,000). A further US$ 3 million has been received in multilateral contributions, as well as US$ 1.2 million from the private sector. Read more!

Cambodia, U.S. joining hands in migration, trafficking issues

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong on Thursday met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Ellen Sauerbrey to discuss migration, human trafficking and other cooperation issues, local press reported Friday.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed that Cambodia and the United States have enjoyed good cooperation over the past several years, the Rasmei Kampuchea quoted Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Long Visalo as saying.

In the meeting, Ellen Sauerbrey praised Cambodia for its handling of the central Vietnamese tribal Montagnard issues under the cooperation of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

According to Long Visalo, following Cambodia, Vietnam and the UNHCR signing a memorandum of understanding in January 2005, Cambodia arranged for the resettlement of 648 Montagnards, said the newspaper.

The Montagnards were mainly re-located in the United States.
There still remain 239 Vietnamese tribesmen in refugee camps in Cambodia, said the newspaper.

The discussion also covered issues about the rights of indigenous Khmers in Kampuchea Krom, an area of southwestern Vietnam that once formed the lower reaches of the Khmer empire.
Many Cambodians also migrated there during the Democratic Kampuchea era and want repatriation to their homeland.

"Then Khmer Kampuchea Krom come to live in Cambodia. We provide them with citizen rights as other Cambodians, which means they are not refugees on Cambodian land because they are Cambodians, and we recognize they are Cambodian citizens," Hor Namhong told the newspaper.
During the meeting, the United States asked for a continuous cooperation between the two nations to tackle these issues.
Meanwhile, the U.S. official said in a press conference at the U.S. Embassy on Thursday that Washington ranks Cambodia second among Asian countries in its efforts to combat human trafficking, reported the Koh Santepheap.
Ellen R. Sauerbrey urged Cambodia to draft a law on human trafficking, the Rasmei Kampuchea reported.
"We pay attention to human trafficking in all forms," Hor Namhong was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Cambodia is writing the law and human trafficking, which occurs both internally and internationally, is a very complicated issue, said the Koh Santepheap.

Source: Xinhua Read more!