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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Chinese companies launch two power projects in Cambodia

Chinese companies here on Saturday launched two power projects in Cambodia, the Stung Atay hydropower plant and a set of electricity transmission network.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and Governor of China's Yunnan Province Qin Guangrong, who is leading a delegation to visit Cambodia, unveiled the foundation stones of the two projects during a ceremony hold in Phnom Penh.

The hydropower plant costs 190 million U.S. dollars and can generate 465 million kilowatt-hour of electricity per year, according to a press release from the Chinese companies.

The power transmission network is constructed at the cost of 113 million U.S. dollars to connect Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang, it added. .

China Yunnan Corporation for International Techno-Economic Cooperation and Yunnan Southeast-Asia Economy and Technology Investment Industrial Co., LTD. undertake the construction and development of both projects, the press release said, adding that the Cambodian government adopts BOT pattern (build, operate and transfer) for the projects.

Currently, Cambodia does not have the infrastructure to generate enough electricity to fuel the galloping demand, which has been rising 15 to 20 percent per year, according to Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Source: Xinhua . Read more!

Mass organisations of Vietnam and Cambodia foster

Vietnam like to play the same game and pushing so hard to get a head of the game. It is a so-called friendship cooperation between Yuon communist Hanoi and the dog head Phnom Penh. It is the cooperation that communist Yuon Hanoi and the German shepherd Hun Sen are always barking and biting Millions Cambodian People.

The more cooperation is the more suffering Cambodians are facing and Khmer Krom Monks are the target for Vietnamese authorities to attack.

Khmer Krom and Cambodian people are loosing their land, rice fields and the Rights of religious freedom. Vietnamese encroachment on Cambodians' land.

Leaders of the two mass organisations of Vietnam and Cambodia have vowed to boost co-operative activities in the coming years, on the basis of mutual benefit and respect for sovereignty with the intention of intensifying the friendship between the people of the two countries.

At their working session held in Phnom Penh on April 6, President of the Vietnamese Vietnamese Fatherland Front (VFF) Pham The Duyet and President of the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland (SFDCM) Samdech Heng Samrin expressed their hope that through co-operative programmes and experience sharing, the two mass organsiations will further develop, thus helping raise their political roles to a new height.

President Duyet is leading a VFF delegation for an official visit to Cambodia, beginning April 5, at the invitation of Samdech Heng Samrin, who is also Chairman of the Cambodian National Assembly and honorary President of the Cambodian People's Party.

Both Duyet and Samrin agreed to propose to the governments of the two countries to organise "Days of Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship and Solidarity" as part of a programme to be launched to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries. Vietnam will send 40 representatives to visit Cambodia and attend a grand meeting held on this occasion.

While in Cambodia, the Vietnamese delegation met with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and paid courtesy visits to President of the Cambodian People's Party and President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Chea Sim, and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen.

The King and government leaders of Cambodia extended their thanks to the Party, government and people of Vietnam for helping the people of Cambodia escape from genocide.

They also addressed their thanks to the VFF for supporting the SFDCM to fulfill its role during the past struggle for national independence as well as the current national construction of Cambodia.

For his part, President Duyet extended his thanks to the King and government leaders of Cambodia for the assistance given by the people of Cambodia during the past struggle for national independence and the current national construction and defense of Vietnam.

He asserted that the VFF and the people of Vietnam always attach great importance to the friendly relationship with the people of Cambodia and expressed hope that this traditional relationship will be further developed in the future. (VNA)
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Khmer Rouge Tribunal being waited


Victims of the Khmer Rouge's genocide in Cambodia are recording their accounts on video in the hope of being able to give evidence at the trials of their alleged persecutors, even if their testimony eventually is heard from beyond the grave.

Foot-dragging by the Cambodian government and legal wrangling pushed back the start of the UN-sponsored trials, which were agreed in 2003 but are now not expected to start until later this year. They are expected to last years, raising fears that many witnesses will not live long enough to give evidence.

Only three survivors of the notorious Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh are still alive and they are all too aware that time is running out.

At 76, Chum Mei has already outlived the average Cambodian man by 25 years, despite the malnutrition and torture he endured in the prison, codenamed S-21 and now a genocide museum.

"During my interrogation I was electrically shocked and beaten and they pulled out my toenails," he said. "Now, I still sometimes dream that I am being beaten. Sometimes I scream until I wake my wife up."

Almost three decades after Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime wiped out a quarter of Cambodia's eight million population, he and fellow S-21 survivor Bou Meng, 65, have recorded their testimonies on film. Another to do so is former guard Him Huy, 50, who described how he was required to help execute prisoners at the extermination camp at Choeung Ek, one of the sites known collectively as the Killing Fields.

"They were blindfolded and handcuffed. One by one, each was taken out of the room to be executed," said Huy. "The henchmen were already waiting by the pits. The prisoners were clubbed to death with metal bars at first and then their throats were cut with machetes. They took the handcuffs and other stuff off the prisoners and pushed them into the pits. After everything was done, they filled the pit with earth."

As many as 14,000 perceived enemies of the Khmer Rouge who had been detained at S-21, met the same fate at Choeung Ek.

Huy claims that he too was a victim, brainwashed by the Maoist regime and haunted by what he had done.

"The prisoner was put on his knees and I clubbed him with a metal bar. After the hit, I threw down the metal bar and left the spot. I was very upset at being taken to work there. I am not the one to be blamed," he said.

Huy claims that he too was a victim, brainwashed by the Maoist regime and haunted by what he had done.

"The prisoner was put on his knees and I clubbed him with a metal bar. After the hit, I threw down the metal bar and left the spot. I was very upset at being taken to work there. I am not the one to be blamed," he said.

Huy said his former boss, Pol Pot's chief interrogator Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, was "sometimes there" to witness the mass murders.

That could prove important evidence, as Duch is the only senior Khmer Rouge leader currently in detention awaiting trial following the death in custody last July of Pol Pot's most ferocious commander, Ta Mok, known as "The Butcher". Pot himself died under house arrest in 1998.

Mr Meng was also able to recall an encounter with Duch. He said he was saved from death only when his artistic talents were called on to draw portraits of Pol Pot. He was warned by Duch that if he did not paint flattering likenesses of the tyrant, he would be executed,

For two years he was kept barely alive with one daily ladle of gruel and forced to sleep on a concrete floor with 50 other men.

He said: "I thought to myself, it looks just like hell. After about a year of imprisonment I became so emaciated I was not sure I would live because an inmate sleeping next to me had already died.

"The young guards of about 13, 14, 15 stepped on him so many times that blood came out of his mouth. The smell became so bad before they took his body away. I couldn't sleep before midnight. I was waiting to see if my name was called. Those whose names were called were to be executed at Choeung Ek."

The men's evidence has been recorded by the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, which has spent 10 years collecting witness statements.

Campaigners fear that the delays to the start of the hearings mean that those facing trial will evade justice by outliving the witnesses. Last month, the tribunal was mired in petty squabbles over the height of the judges' chairs. Now it is prohibitive fees being levied upon lawyers who wish to appear at the trial, which the UN warns could lead to its collapse.

While the scarred nation waits for justice, the Cambodian government appears determined to ward it off until key players - who might implicate many people in power today - are silenced by death.

Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch's spokesman on Cambodia, said: "Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen does not want this trial to go ahead and he has played a game of brinkmanship with the UN, forcing them to bow to his unreasonable demands again and again.

"The tribunal has not even started to gather testimonies and key witnesses are dying. It is now or never."
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Chinese company invests to build fiber communication network for Cambodia

Shenzhen Jindun Investment Developing Co., Ltd. will invest in Cambodian Fiber Optic Communication Network Co., Ltd. (CFOCN) to construct optical fiber cable backbone system and related infrastructure for Cambodia, according to the agreements signed in Phnom Penh on Friday.

Jindun Chairman Huang Xinglong, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, and Cambodian Minister of Post and Telecommunications So Khun signed the agreements on behalf of the companies and the Cambodian government at the Cambodian Development Council.

According to the agreements, CFOCN will lay over 8,000 kilometers of fiber to establish a communication network all over Cambodia in three to five years, thus making the kingdom capable of communicating with the latest technology.

The volume of the investment was not disclosed.

The agreements came in line with the Cambodian government's priority policy to develop the industry of communications with wide acceptance of investments from foreign countries, said a press release from CFOCN.

Cambodia currently relies on macro-wave and satellite for tele- communications, which brings about high costs and various impediments to its social and economic development.

Meanwhile, most of its rural territories don't have functional communication means and only 7.8 percent of its 15 million population possess mobile phones.

Source: Xinhua . Read more!

Chinese enterprise to develop real estate projects in Cambodia

An enterprise from China's Yunnan province in Phnom Penh on Friday signed two agreements with its Cambodian partner to co-develop two real estate projects in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.

Yin Tengyun and Lau Ming Kan, respectively on behalf of Yunnan Southeast-Asia Economy and Technology Investment Industrials and Cambodia's Shukaku Company, signed these agreements in presence of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, Governor of China's Yunnan Province Qin Guangrong, and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Zhang Jinfeng.

The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the one-day China (Yunnan) - Cambodia Investment and Trade Fair, which attracted some 400 participants from both governments and business arenas to seek cooperation.

Under the agreements, the two sides will cooperate to develop the Boeng Kak Lake area in Phnom Penh into a multi-purpose living and recreation center called the New City of East, and establish an eco-garden in Sihanoukville for tourism and other commercial uses. .

Details of these agreements were not disclosed.

The above projects will be implemented as Yunnan plans to intensify its cooperation with Cambodian partners in the fields of agriculture, transport, hydropower, investment, trade, forestry, tourism and mining, said Qin Guangrong while addressing the fair.

A press release said that the bilateral trade between Yunnan and Cambodia stood at 3.51 million U.S. dollars in 2006.

By the end of 2006, the two sides have signed over 20 economic and trade agreements worth of 40.39 million U.S. dollars, it added. Read more!

Cambodia's SRP calls for alliance to compete with CPP

The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) has called for the opposition parties to form an alliance to vie with the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) ahead of the 2008 national election, local media said on Friday.

SRP will serve as a key element of the proposed movement as it ranked second after CPP in terms of the number of votes cast during Sunday's commune councils election, English newspaper the Cambodia Daily quoted SRP President Sam Rainsy as saying.

"SRP will be the core of the movement. (It) will be a big movement that will win against the CPP. We want to reorganize the country to be better than it is under (the rule of) CPP," he said.

SRP Secretary-General Mu Sochua has met with Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) leaders and officials from other political parties to discuss and compromise on the formation of the movement, Cambodian newspaper the Sralanh Khmer quoted him as saying.

NRP Acting President Prince Norodom Chakrapong said that he welcomed Sam Rainsy's proposal and "it is a very good step to have a democratic foundation to develop the country."

Prince Sisowath Thomico, general delegate of the Sangkum Jatiniyum Front Party, said that SRP's appeal was in line with his policies, another Cambodian newspaper the Koh Santepheap reported. .

The co-ruling Funcinpec Party's spokesperson Nouv Sovathero said that his party didn't care about the other parties' proposal as the party is now implementing reforms to strengthen localities.

CPP spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said that SRP's proposal to set up the so-called Democratic Movement didn't surprise the CPP.

"It is not the first time that SRP has formed a group of democratic parties," he said.

Sam Rainsy and Prince Ranariddh, then president of Funcinpec, established the Alliance of Democrats following the 2003 national elections in an attempt to coerce Prime Minister Hun Sen to resign.

After a political stalemate that dragged on for almost a year, the alliance ended as Funcinpec chose to create a collation government with the CPP.

Source: Xinhua . Read more!

Bird flu kills teenagers in Indonesia and Cambodia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The bird flu virus racing through Asia killed a teenager in hardest-hit Indonesia and a young girl from Cambodia, both after being admitted to hospitals in serious condition, health officials said.

The 15-year-old girl from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta died late Thursday after experiencing multi-organ failure, said Sardikin Giriputro, a doctor at the facility.

“By the time she arrived, it was too late,” he said Friday.

The Cambodian child was initially suffering from high fever and diarrhea before being transferred from an eastern province to the capital Phnom Penh but she quickly got worse, the World Health Organization and health ministry officials said.

The 13-year-old developed a cough and was struggling to breathe before dying Thursday.

Bird flu has killed at least 170 people since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in 2003, WHO said. It remains hard for people to catch and most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds — including the two latest deaths.

But experts fear it could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic that could kill millions.

Indonesia, the hardest hit country with 73 human deaths, is seen as a potential hotspot for that to happen because of its high density of poultry and people.

Health Ministry official Muhammad Nadirin said local lab tests confirmed the girl who died Thursday — apparently after coming into contact with the family’s sick pet bird — had the H5N1 virus.

Cambodia’s death was that country’s seventh — and the first in a year.

Some chickens in the girl’s village died before she became ill and she may have been exposed to the virus after preparing and eating tainted chickens, said WHO and the health ministry.

Officials have been sent to the area to see if any other villagers were displaying flu-like symptoms or had come in contact with sick or dead poultry, they said in their statement. Read more!

Cambodian judges in Khmer Rouge tribunal say ultimatum uncalled for

Phnom Penh- The Cambodian judges appointed to the joint
UN-Cambodian trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders issued a statement
Friday accusing a proposed boycott by their international
counterparts unnecessary and aimed at delaying the process.
The Cambodian judges reiterated earlier assertions that a row over
fees the Cambodian bar wants to impose on foreign lawyers was not
part of the internal rules and therefore should not delay their
implementation.

They were replying to Tuesday's announcement by international
judges that they would boycott a scheduled April 30 plenary to adopt
the internal rules if the Cambodian Bar Association did not back down
on its demands for 5,000-dollar registration fees for overseas
lawyers wishing to represent clients at the hearings.

Tuesday's international judges' statement further threatened to
exclude the Cambodian bar from the process if it continued to refuse
to drop the fees. The defence says that would severely limit the
number of foreign lawyers defendants can choose from, potentially
compromising the international standards' caveat of the hearings.

The 56-million dollar joint UN-Cambodian tribunal, which began
work last year and is budgeted to take just three years to complete,
cannot proceed without adopting internal rules governing every aspect
of the work of the special tribunals.

"The national judges appointed to the ECCC (tribunals) consider
that the international judges' decision not to participate in the
plenary session planned at the end this month would further delay the
process of the court," the 15 national judges wrote.

"In response to the proposal to exclude the Bar Association of the
Kingdom of Cambodia from the process, the national judges consider
the such a move is not consistent with the substance and spirit of
the Agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United
Nations.

The national judges also rejected claims by the international
judges that the Defence Support Section of the tribunals was actively
discussing solutions to the dilemma.

Bar Association president Ky Tech has said he will not back down
on the fees, claiming foreign lawyers are far better paid than their
Cambodian counterparts and that it was his duty to his members to
impose what he believes are reasonable fees on foreigners wishing to
practice law in Cambodia.

The latest impasse is just another in a long line of delays to try
a handful of aging former leaders of the 1975 to 1979 Khmer Rouge
regime, during which up to 2 million Cambodians died.

Donors have expressed increasing frustration at the lack of
progress, fuelling speculation they may walk away altogether if
issues are not resolved soon and the hearings begin to progress.

The Cambodian government has reacted angrily to allegations by
some human rights groups that it is deliberately stalling the
process, strongly denying the claims and in turn accusing lobby
groups of trying to hijack the trials for their own political ends.
Read more!