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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dutch Cambodia trial lawyers claim intimidation

Can you believe what is going on in Khmer Rouge Court? Cambodia is Khmer Rouge country, especially the majority of Top government officials were former Khmer Rouge. The criminals are always in a moving forward, even the judges in the UN-backed tribunal are among crooked criminals. what is the future of this hybrid tribunal going to hold for?

Two Dutch lawyers representing a former Khmer Rouge leader at the war crimes trial in Cambodia say they feel intimidated by the judges in the Cambodia tribunal. The lawyers, Victor Koppe and Michiel Pestman, have told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that the judges are threatening legal action against them because they are attempting to expose corrupt practices at the tribunal.

Mr Koppe and Mr Pestman say judges and other court personnel had to buy their appointments by handing over a significant part of their salaries to government officials. The lawyers raised the matter with the Cambodian government, but no action was taken. They then lodged a complaint with a Phnom Penh court. However the judges have threatened to counter with their own legal action, saying the lawyers' complaint was damaging the reputation of the war crimes tribunal.

The two lawyers are representing "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, one of five former Khmer Rouge leaders due to stand trial.
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PM Abhisit confident Cambodia's Hun Sen will attend ASEAN

BANGKOK, Jan 10 (TNA) -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is confident that all the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, including Cambodia, will attend the group's summit to be held in Thailand's Hua Hin resort late next month.

Mr. Abhisit said what his Cambodian counterpart said was probably a suggestion that the ASEAN summit should be held concurrently with the group's dialogue partners, whom the Thai government had already informed of the necessary to hold the summit first as several agreements must be jointly signed by ASEAN leaders.

The Cambodian leader has been contacted and he has confirmed that he will attend the ASEAN summit February 27-March 1 in Hua Hin.

Mr. Abhisit announced on Wednesday that his coalition government had decided to move the summit to Hua Hin, southwest of Bangkok, instead of the capital, to avoid possible disruption by anti-government protesters threatening to interfere with he summit.

Due to complications, ASEAN's meeting with its dialogue partners --China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand -- is now expected to be held in April with an as yet undetermined venue, Mr. Abhisit said.

Despite confirmation by the Thai government leader that his Cambodian counterpart will attend the summit, Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said in Phnom Penh on Friday that Mr. Hun Sen may not attend the ASEAN summit because it would be costly and difficult for him to attend.

Also, the spokesman said talks with China, Japan and South Korea were critical because they are expected to give US$80 billion in regional aid to reduce short-term liquidity problems, in line with the so-called Chiang Mai initiatives agreed following the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Thailand presently holds the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN, which groups it with Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. (TNA)
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Vietnam-Cambodia trade hit US$1.7 billion in 2008

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia hit nearly US$1.7 billion in 2008, an increase of US$400 million from a year earlier, according to the Vietnamese Trade office in Phnom Penh.
Of the total figure, Vietnam exported US$1.45 billion worth of goods to Cambodia, the office said on January 10.

Between 2004-08, the volume of Vietnamese goods exported to the neighbouring country increased by 40 percent annually and the export value rose fivefold compared to the import value.

The leading export staples to Cambodia in 2008 were building steel, agricultural machines, fertilisers, plant pesticides, household utensils, farm produce, milk, seafood and petrol. Seafood products made up 80 percent of Cambodia’s market share, followed by building steel (68 percent) and farm produce (67 percent).

Cambodian exports were mostly wooden products, rubber latex, grains, unprocessed cashew nuts, tobacco and cassava.

By late 2008, 120 Vietnamese businesses opened their representative offices and showrooms in Cambodia.

Currently, Vietnam is Cambodia’s 10th largest foreign investor, with 19 licensed projects capitalised at US$228 million.
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Former Lodi woman ready to help on a missionary trip to Cambodia

By Ross Farrow

nurse who is a fourth-generation Lodian is traveling to Cambodia to help child prostitutes and those who work for low wages in garment and other industries.

Nannette Grinnell, 58, will spend most of the next two years helping impoverished Cambodians with their basic needs. In the process, she will introduce them to Christianity in a land she describes as 99-percent Buddhist.

"She's just an unusual person and outstanding," said Arilee Pollard, a family friend from Lodi.

Working through Operation Mobilization, Grinnell will join missionaries from throughout the world in helping the poor on her mission.

"It was a lifelong dream to do it, but I never had the opportunity," said Grinnell, who spent the past week visiting her mother, Betty Grinnell, in Lodi.

Grinnell has been a registered nurse for 35 years, including two years at Stockton's Dameron Hospital before taking a similar position at Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento in 2007. She moved to Texas six months ago to stay with her grown daughter before going overseas.

After training, Grinnell will focus primarily on children, some of whom haven't reached puberty, who are victims of the sex industry and labor practices in other fields that would violate American child labor laws.

"It's culturally accepted there," she said.

Grinnell said she will enter an environment where many mothers have died of AIDS, leaving their children to be raised by grandparents or other legal guardians with no income. That's how children become exploited in sex, garment or other industries, she said.

The plan calls for missionaries to develop relationships with grandparents and guardians, provide parenting classes and place children in a day-care center so their guardians can go to work.

"We can't change the (Cambodian) government, and we can't change their economic status, but we can give them the hope of Jesus, because that's the only hope," Grinnell said.

Additionally, she plans to use her nursing training to get families plugged into whatever medical help is available.

Going overseas for two years may be quite an undertaking, but Grinnell is excited to go.

"It's not really an interest; it's a call of my life," she said. "I'm an evangelist at heart, and I have a passion to share the gospel. I have a real passion for children to develop a foundation for the Word of God."

She took month-long missionary trips to Mexico in 1998 and India in 2000. But Grinnell said she wanted to commit herself for a longer period of time.

"I told God I would go wherever He needed me, and the doors kept opening to Cambodia," she said.

Although many missionaries are right out of college, Operation Mobilization is attracting older people — even retirees, Grinnell said.

Grinnell was born in Lodi and grew up in Placerville. She returned to Lodi in 2004 to take the Dameron Hospital position.

She came to Lodi a week ago from Texas to visit her mother, Betty Grinnell, and tie up some loose ends, like selling her car and her other possessions.

Grinnell will spend two weeks at a conference in Germany, where missionaries from around the world will take cultural training, pray for each other and give encouragement. Then she'll head to Operation Mobilization's Singapore headquarters for more training.

On Feb. 4, she will arrive to Cambodia, where she will spend three months learning the national language — Khmer. Its alphabet has 96 letters, and they're different from letters in the English language. Then she'll begin her missionary work.

When she returns in two years, Grinnell said she hopes to minister to the large Cambodian populations in Stockton and Sacramento.
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Four arrested in Cambodian bomb plot

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodian authorities have arrested four men on suspicion of planting three bombs around the capital last week, a senior police officer said Saturday.

Deputy national police commissioner Sok Phal told reporters that one of the four alleged plotters was 44-year-old Som Ek, a dual Cambodian-Thai national who had previously worked as a Cambodian military policeman.

"He (Som Ek) told the police that his bomb plot was to bring attention to the group inside and outside the country, so he could extort money," Sok Phal said.

"This is just some kind of business just to rob or extort money," he added.

He said Som Ek had been arrested on Wednesday and told authorities that his group was backed by people outside Cambodia.

The deputy police commissioner gave no further details on the alleged group or other three suspects.

No one was harmed in the bomb plot in which police found three explosive devices on January 2 planted near the Ministry of National Defence and a television station.

Mine clearance personnel destroyed the bombs later that day.
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