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Monday, April 21, 2008

US gives Cambodia $2 mln for genocide museum

Cambodia is to build a Khmer Rouge genocide museum and library, funded by the United States, as a permanent reminder of the "Killing Fields" atrocities of Pol Pot's guerrilla movement, its director-to-be said today.

Documentation Centre of Cambodia head Youk Chhang, who has been cataloguing the ultra-Maoist regime's crimes for more than a decade, said the museum would be on the site of an old re-education camp in the capital.

"Genocide does not discriminate. It kept happening in the last century and one way is to use education as a tool help to prevent genocide," he told reporters.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself a former Khmer Rouge soldier who defected to Vietnam in the late 1970s, handed over the land on April 17, the 33rd anniversary of the 1975 downfall of Phnom Penh to Pol Pot's peasant army.

A $56 million United Nations-backed court has charged five top cadres with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Cambodia has appealed to its donors for another $114 million in funding to see the trials through to a conclusion. - Reuters
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Thai broker Seamico eyes Vietnam, Cambodia in Q3

BANGKOK, April 21 (Reuters) - Thailand's Seamico Securities ZMIC.BK aimed to finalise plans later this year to expand into Vietnam and Cambodia, two of Asia's fastest-growing economies, the brokerage firm said on Monday.

The company also planned to sell up to 1 billion baht ($32 million) worth of debentures during June and July, Seamico Vice Chairman and Managing Director Pinit Puapan told reporters.

"We should have a clear picture of our overseas expansion in the third quarter," Pinit said without giving further details.

Seamico, ranked 7th among Thailand's 38 listed brokers, is focused on underwriting share and debt issues as well as advising companies on initial public offerings.

The Thai firm said last year it wanted to buy stakes in Vietnamese brokerage firms, but did not name any targets.

Vietnam's main stock index .VNI rose 23 percent last year after jumping 145 percent in 2006, powered by surge in foreign funds. The index has fallen 42.3 percent so far this year.

Seamico expected to receive a licence to enter Cambodia later this year, he said.

On Monday, Seamico shares closed down 1.8 percent to 3.22 baht while the overall index was 0.4 percent lower. ($1=31.50 Baht) (Reporting by Saranya Suksomkij; Writing by Ploy Chitsomboon; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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Cambodia opposes Dalai Lama's attempts to sabotage Beijing Olympics

PHNOM PENH, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia opposes attempts by the Dalai clique to sabotage the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing by making use of the Tibet issue, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong said on Monday.

Cambodia also opposes any foreign interference in China's internal affairs, said Hor, who is also minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, during a meeting with a visiting Chinese delegation.

The Olympic Games have nothing to do with politics and Cambodia fully supports China's hosting of the 2008 Olympics, Hor told the delegation headed by Zhang Xuan, deputy party chief of China's Chongqing city.

King Norodom Sihamoni will attend the games' opening ceremony in Beijing, he added.

The Cambodian government has consistently adhered to the one-China policy and opposed Taiwan independence, he said.

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French lawyer in Cambodia to represent ex-Khmer Rouge leader

By KER MUNTHIT

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A French lawyer who defended terrorists and a former Nazi officer arrived in Cambodia on Monday to represent a former Khmer Rouge leader.

Jacques Verges declined to comment and only said "go to the court" before being whisked away in a car after his arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport.

Verges will join a Cambodian attorney to argue former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan's appeal against his pretrial detention.

The U.N.-assisted tribunal has held Khieu Samphan since Nov. 19 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from atrocities committed under Khmer Rouge rule in 1975-79.

The communist group's radical policies led to the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.

Khieu Samphan is one of five former leaders of the group held for their alleged roles in the atrocities. He has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Verges has won international notoriety for his past efforts in defending criminals such as Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal and Nazi Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie.

Khieu Samphan has said he has known Verges since he attended university in France in the 1950s, when both were active in student movements against French colonialism.

Khieu Samphan's defense team also includes Say Bory, a Cambodian lawyer who used to serve on the constitutional council, the country's highest legal body.

Say Bory said the defense is challenging both the tribunal's grounds for detaining Khieu Samphan and its arguments implicating him in the Khmer Rouge's atrocities.

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