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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Probe Of Classified Thai-Cambodian Relations Document Leak Underway

COPENHAGEN, Thailand's Foreign Affairs Ministry has set up a committee to investigate the leak of classified documents on relations between Thailand and its neighbour Cambodia recently aired by Jatuporn Prompan, a key member of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Thailand News Agency (TNA) reported quoting Panithan Watanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, as saying.

Dr Panithan said concerned officials and the Office of the Attorney General have been appointed to investigate why the document was leaked to Jatuporn, who is also a member of parliament for the opposition Puea Thai Party, and to other UDD key members.

Emphasising that the document focuses on existing relations between the two neighbouring countries and ways to resolve their problems, Dr Panithan said he understood that it would be difficult to find culprits.

The ministry on Friday told journalists that the document sent to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva did not specify ways to "eliminate" fugitive, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as charged by "a certain group of people."

Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Thani Thongpakdi on Friday said the ministry will seek advice from public prosecutors on a possible lawsuit against Jatuporn for violating the 1997 Information Act and a 2001 state regulation.

Relations between Thailand and Cambodia deteriorated after the Cambodian government in early November appointed Thaksin as its economic adviser.

Thaksin's government was overthrown in a bloodless coup in September 2006. Thaksin is now on the run from a two-year jail term and is in self-exile overseas after a Thai court convicted him of abusing power while he was prime minister when he helped his former wife buy land in a prime Bangkok commercial district at an unusually discounted price.

Meanwhile, Thai Deputy Interior Minister Thaworn Senneam said in Bangkok that he believed that the leak of the classified documents by Mr Jatuporn was aimed at agitating UDD supporters to come out in full force early next month to topple the current government.

-- BERNAMA
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Chinese Vice President Arrives in Burma

Officials say Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived under tight security in Burma Saturday for an official overnight visit as part of a four-nation tour.

Officials say Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived under tight security in Burma Saturday for an official overnight visit as part of a four-nation tour.

The officials said Xi will meet top leaders, including head of the military government Senior General Than Shwe, before he departs Sunday for Cambodia.

The officials said the two are expected to sign several agreements during the visits, although they could provide no details.

While in the main city of Rangoon, Xi is scheduled to visit a gem emporium and the sacred Shwe Dagon pagoda, before flying to the administrative capital of Naypyidaw Saturday evening.

Xi's Asian tour has already taken him to Japan and South Korea. Cambodia will be his last stop.
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Cambodia looking forward to Chinese vice president's visit: officials

PHNOM PENH, The Cambodian government and the people are looking forward to the official visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Cambodian senior officials said on Saturday.

Khieu Kanharith, information minister and the spokesman of the Royal Government of Cambodia, told Xinhua that "Vice President Xi Jinping will make an official visit in Cambodia from Dec. 20 to 22at the invitation of the Royal Government of Cambodia. It is yet another significant event on the relations between Cambodia and China and have been paid highly attentions by our both governments."

He expressed his hope that the Xi's visit will be sure to further consolidate and enhance the traditional friendship relations between the two countries.

"The traditional friendly relationship between Cambodia and China is built and fostered by the old generation of the leaders of our two countries, we always cherish such relations, " Khieu stressed, adding that under the joint efforts of the two countries in recent years, the friendly cooperation between the two countries have been deepened and enjoyed all-round development.
Moreover, he expressed his belief that strengthening the friendly relations with China and developing two countries' economic and trade relations serve the fundamental interests of both peoples.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also said that Xi's visit will push forward the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations between Cambodia and China to a new level.

Koy Kuong said during Xi's visit, he will be received in Royal Audience by King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace. Xi will also pay a courtesy call on the Senate President Chea Sim, the National Assembly President Heng Samrin, and hold official talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Koy said.

At the same time, Xi will also witness a signing ceremony with Prime Minister Hun Sen of 14 relevant documents on cooperation, he added.

Cambodia is the last leg of Xi's four-nation visit which has taken him to Japan, South Korea and Myanmar.

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Cambodia Sends Muslim Asylum-Seekers Back to China

The Hun Sen government should take a deep consideration before sending asylum seeker Uighurs back to China. The twenty members Chinese Uighur are not a threat to the National Security of Cambodia. The Hun Sen government should take a quick action sending million Yuon immigrants to their country. They are the threat to Cambodia National Security.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A group of Muslims who fled China after deadly ethnic rioting and sought asylum in Cambodia were sent back home Saturday, even though rights groups fear they face persecution and possibly execution there.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Khieu Sopheak said the 20 members of the Uighur minority had been put on a special plane sent from China that left Phnom Penh International Airport Saturday night.

"They are going back to China," he said.

Cambodia has been under intense pressure from China to deport the Uighurs, whom Beijing has called criminals after they fled the country with the help of a secret network of missionaries. The expulsion came a day before Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visits Cambodia as part of a four-country tour.

The United States, the United Nations and human rights groups had urged Cambodia to stop the deportation. A spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency said it had not finished evaluating the Uighurs, including two children, for refugee status. She said the agency had stationed people at the airport in an effort to physically prevent the deportation. The plane, however, left from the airport's military area.

"Even if I say something, can we change anything?" Ilshat Hassan, a U.S.-based director of the World Uyghur Congress, said after the deportation. "The UNHCR, the international world, the U.S., everybody who said something that could give us hope. They all failed."

The Uighurs were being deported because it was determined they entered the country illegally, Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said earlier. He said two other Uighurs who had been with the group are missing.

Some countries have refused to send Uighurs — such as those released from U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba — back to China over concerns about retribution and abuse. In a letter to the Cambodian government about the Uighurs, rights group Amnesty International noted that Shaheer Ali, a U.N.-recognized refugee, was executed after being forced to return to China from Nepal in 2002.

"It is hugely concerning that Cambodian authorities are not giving this group an opportunity to seek asylum, or for authorities to assess their asylum case," Brittis Edman, a Cambodia researcher with Amnesty International, said late Saturday before the group left. "This group will be particularly vulnerable to torture."

A woman answering the phone at China's Foreign Ministry on Saturday night said they had no immediate comment on the Uighurs' deportation.

Uighurs say Beijing has long restricted their rights, particularly clamping down on their practice of Islam.

Tensions between majority Han Chinese and the Turkic Uighurs in their traditional homeland in far western China exploded into rioting in July, the country's worst communal violence in decades. The Chinese government says nearly 200 people, mostly majority Han Chinese, died.

Exile groups say Uighurs have been rounded up in mass detentions since the rioting. China has handed down at least 17 death sentences — mostly to Uighurs — over the violence.

The Uighurs arrived in Cambodia in recent weeks and had initially been in joint custody of the U.N. refugee agency and Cambodian authorities. Khieu Sopheak said they had been shifted to the "sole protection" of the Cambodian government.

"I think we went to extraordinary lengths to prevent deportation. But it comes down to, it's up to states to provide protection," said Kitty McKinsey, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangkok. "We had people prepared to try to physically prevent the deportation if it had taken place at the civilian side of the airport."

McKinsey said the refugee agency is preparing a protest to the Cambodian government.

The United States also urged Cambodia not to send the Uighurs back to China.

"We are deeply disturbed by the reports that the Cambodian government might forcibly return this group of Uighurs without the benefit of a credible refugee status determination process," U.S. Embassy spokesman John Johnson in Phnom Penh said earlier. There was no immediate U.S. reaction to the actual expulsion.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said last week the Uighurs were "involved in crimes." She did not elaborate.

Wang Lixiong, a China-based writer on Uighur and Tibetan issues, said the deportation reflected China's powerful influence in the region. China says it is the top foreign investor in Cambodia.

"When I learned the Uighurs landed in Cambodia, I was pessimistic because Cambodia is a small country that will not be able to stand against China's pressure," said Wang.
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