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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Germany donates 10 mln USD for Cambodia to repair rural roads

The German government has donated 7.6 million EURO (around 10 million U.S. dollars) for Cambodia to improve its rural roads' condition in the next three years, the Bayan Television said on Saturday.

The fund will help restore and repair about 2,000 kms of rural roads across the country, it quoted Yim Chaily, secretary of state of Ministry of Rural Development, as saying.

In the future, said Chaily, the quality of the rural roads is expected to match that of the national roads.

According to official statistics, Cambodia's road web now extends 35,000 kms, including 4,800 kms of national roads, 5,700 kms of provincial roads and 24,500 kms of rural roads.

Source: Xinhua Read more!

Finland donates 2 mln USD for Cambodia to improve land registration

Finland has donated about 2 million U.S. dollars for Cambodia to improve its land registration, officials told Xinhua on Saturday.

Ministry of Urbanization and Construction will use the fund to adopt modern information technology, strengthen public awareness and increase community participation in the sector of land registration, said Mean Chanvanny, chief of Cabinet of Ministers.

In addition, Im Chhun Lim, Minister of Urbanization and Construction, expressed appreciation to Finland, saying that it has helped Cambodia handle the land registration, a key work closely connected with the living conditions of the people.

From 2002 to 2007, Finland altogether provided about 3.5 million U.S. dollars for Cambodia to improve its land registration, he added.

Source: Xinhua Read more!

Cambodia needs support from Spain for UNSC non-permanent membership

The Cambodian Government had consulted Spanish foreign minister Leire Pajin Iraola for its application for non-permanent membership of the United Nation Security Council from 2013 to 2014, an official said on Friday.

The minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Hor Nam Hong had discussed with Spanish Deputy Foreign Minister Leire Pajin Iraola who arrived here on Thursday on a two-day visit, said Ros Simara, head of the information department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Iraola promised to take this issue to his government for consideration. Cambodia had not considered any important role in the United Nations for a long time period, it just hopes to apply for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council from 2013 to 2014, said Ros Simara.

Meanwhile, Ros Simara confirmed that Spain will open its embassy in Cambodia in 2008.
Hor Nam Hong has asked the Spanish side to open the embassy as soon as possible for bilateral cooperation of both countries such as political tied, business and investment, he added.

In addition, said Ros Simara, the deputy foreign minister apologized for canceling the official visit of Queen Sofia of Spain to Cambodia, originally scheduled for Feb. 8, because one of her relatives died of road accident.

The queen will resume her visit to Cambodia in an appropriate time in the future, he added. Read more!

Retired Marine Allegedly Raped Girls In Cambodia

LOS ANGELES A retired Marine Corps captain who worked as a teacher in Phnom Penh was expelled from Cambodia and now faces charges for allegedly forcing young girls to have sex with him while in that country. Michael Joseph Pepe, 53, arrived on a flight Wednesday from Cambodia, escorted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements agents.

ICE'S Los Angeles head of investigations, Robert Schoch, said the details of Pepe's case " are as appalling as any we've ever encountered in a sex tourism investigation."Pepe is charged under a U.S. law that allows prosecution of individuals for engaging in engaging in child sex tourism. If convicted of the charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison, according to ICE. In an affidavit filed in the case, authorities allege Pepe paid a prostitute a finder's fee to bring him young victims.

He allegedly paid the young girls' families a fee and monthly stipend for access to the girls for sexual gratification. In one case, the prostitute admitted receiving $10 for finding him a young girl, whose family received $300, authorities allege. Pepe was arrested by the Cambodian National Police in June after an investigation by U.S. and Cambodia authorities.

The ICE investigation was opened after it received information from two groups alleging Pepe had raped and sexually abused local children using bondage, drugs and beatings, according to court papers. Agents who searched Pepe's home found rope and cloth strips allegedly used to restrain the victims, child pornography, children's clothes, and mood altering drugs, along with newspaper articles about pedophiles, according to ICE.

Pepe's computer contained hundreds of images of nude and semi-clothed children, in some cases bound, performing various sex acts with a man authorities believe is Pepe, according to ICE.

An affidavit filed in support of the charges states ICE agents interviewed four of Pepe's alleged victims, who ranged in age from 9 to 12. The girls stated he had sexually abused them, according to ICE. Schoch said the case is "yet another reminder that pedophiles believe they can evade detection and prosecution by committing sex crimes overseas.

Fortunately for the world's young people, foreign authorities and U.S. law enforcement are allied in their resolve to combat this problem and bring the perpetrators to justice." Read more!