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Cambodia Kingdom

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cambodia Plans To Open Nine Hydropower Dams By 2019

PHNOM PENH (AFP)--Cambodia will construct controversial Chinese-funded dams as part of a plan to feed its electricity-starved economy, according to government documents obtained Monday by AFP.

The Southeast Asian country will open nine dams of various sizes between 2010 and 2019 to generate 1,942 megawatts of power, according to a government report to parliament obtained by AFP. At least four of the dams will be backed by China.

The US-based International Rivers Network last year said that two Chinese- funded hydroelectric dams already under construction threatened to flood huge swathes of Cambodia's protected forests.

The group said the Kamchay and Stung Atay dams, unchecked by public scrutiny, will wreak havoc on local communities and slow development.

The new government report said the Kamchay hydropower plant will open in 2010, while Stung Atay hydroelectric dam will open in 2012.

"By 2020, all villages will have electric power. (And) by 2030, at least 70 percent of the families countrywide will have electricity use," the report said.

The government also plans to build nine coal-powered plants between 2011 and 2020, the report said.

Only some 20% of Cambodian households currently have access to electricity.

Spiralling utility prices, driven by this lack of supply, are a major obstacle to attracting foreign investment, and the government has struggled to find a way to bring down the cost of power.


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Cambodia to demarcate border with Thailand clearly

PHNOM PENH, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia is to install more markers along its border with Thailand for a clear demarcation of the state line, English-Khmer language newspaper the Mekong Times on Monday quoted official as saying.

"We have to install more border poles because the 73 (colonial-era) markers installed by France are inadequate," Var Kim Hong, chief of the National Border Committee, told the paper.

"We are examining markers planted by the French in Pailin and we hope to finish this task soon," he said, adding that it is not clear when the work will begin or how many markers will be needed.

Cambodia should emulate Malaysia which has planted over 10,000 markers along its border with Thailand, he said.

Cambodia has an 805-km border with Thailand with only 73 markers now. The absence of markers has made quarrels common.
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Cambodia confiscates 'Burma Daily' publication

Those idiots Hun xen government never understand what is supposed to be licensed or not. They are a group of former Khmer Rouge soldiers who are still notorious. They don't even know how to manage their own home.

Phnom Penh (dpa) - The Cambodian government on Monday confiscated the Cambodia Daily newspaper from newsstands over a supplement called The Burma Daily, the Information Ministry and the newspaper's publisher said.

The official ministry explanation was that the confiscation was ordered because The Burma Daily, which had appeared since last week as a four-page insert with an identical masthead as its sister publication, was not licensed.

But publisher Bernard Krisher argued that the paper did not need a license because it was a supplement and the decision to confiscate the English- and Khmer-language daily, which has a circulation of about 5,000, reflected badly on the government.

He vowed to continue to print The Burma Daily for several more days as planned even if it were confiscated. After its printing is finished, it is to become an online and mail publication for distribution in Burma.

"The Burma Daily has no political agenda," he said by telephone. "It is designed to introduce to the Burmese people what a free and responsible newspaper looks like."

Krisher said he had not spoken to the ministry about the reasons for confiscating the paper, which is viewed by expatriates as a primary source of daily news in English.

"I don't have to explain to anyone," he said. "The New York Times does not explain to President [George W] Bush."

Media analysts speculated that the government might fear that the often anti-government Cambodia Daily might embarrass it by taking a similar approach to the Burmese military junta.

Cambodia and Burma have maintained warm relations despite an international outcry over the junta's appalling human rights record.

The nation's largest journalism association, the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said it was investigating the confiscation of the newspapers.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith was not available for comment Monday.

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