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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thai Villagers Sue Cambodia

Following the Thailand-Cambodia dispute, villagers from Thailand border, petitioned to sue Cambodian government for the damages caused by the cannon and Missile-BM21 fires from Cambodia, requesting over 2 Billion Baht in compensation.

Srisaket, 10th March 2011 [PDN]: Mr. Weerayut Duangkaew, Sub-district Chief of Saothongchai, Kantaralak, Srisaket stated that villagers from 7 sub-districts, including Poomsaron village, have united together to sign a petition for the damages caused by the Thailand-Cambodia dispute. The village people planned to sue Cambodia reaching various levels of authority – first to the World Court or ICJ, proceeding through to the District Chief Officer of Kantaralak, forwarding to the Governor of Srisaket, then to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Prime Minister respectively.

About 50,000 villagers joined together and calculated the requested compensation amount. The costs were the multiple of the people by their daily income (100 Baht/day) by 30 days. The estimated reimbursement was a grand total of 150 million Baht. Furthermore, farming total damage costs for 600 Rai were around 9,000,000 Baht at 15,000 Baht per Rai.

Personal compensation was also evaluated. 1 million Baht compensation was requested for each of the 7 houses burnt. Partial house damages was priced at 300,000 Baht per house. One dead person was worth around 1,500,000 Baht. The compensation amount was a grand total of approximately 2,239,905,000 Baht.
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Cambodia and Thailand agree to UNESCO meeting over damaged temple site

Representatives of Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to a United Nations-sponsored meeting to discuss ways to safeguard the Preah Vihear Temple, a World Heritage List site that was damaged during border clashes between the South-East Asian neighbours earlier this year.

The two sides will meet at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 25 May, the agency reported this week.

The agreement follows a recent mission to Cambodia and Thailand by Ko├»chiro Matsuura, UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Preah Vihear, who met with the prime ministers of the two nations and other senior officials.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement that the main aim of the discussions on 25 May will be “further dialogue on the effective conservation of Preah Vihear.”

An 11th-century Hindu temple, Preah Vihear was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008 in recognition of its outstanding universal value. Considered an outstanding example of Khmer architecture, it consists of a complex of sanctuaries linked by pavements and staircases on an 800-metre-long axis.

Ms. Bokova said she has also been briefing both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the latest developments.

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Paedophile who ran Cambodian Orphanage jailed for abusing children

By James McCarthy, Western Mail


A PAEDOPHILE in charge of an orphanage has been jailed in Cambodia for abusing the children he was looking after.

Nicholas Patrick Griffin was arrested last October after leaving the UK in 2006 and setting up the Cambodia Orphan Fund in Siem Reap a year later.

Griffin, 53, from Llangollen, has now been sentenced to two years, one suspended, for offences against children.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said officers worked with the Cambodian National Police (CNP) to bring Griffin and another man Matthew Harland, 38, to justice.

Peter Davies, lead police officer at CEOP, said: "Two convictions in two days shows that like never before this crime will not be tolerated, no matter where in the world you think you can go to escape capture.

"Any offender who thinks they can come to such wonderful places as Cambodia and target young, vulnerable children for sexual gratification should think again.

"These are major convictions and show the severity in which we all view this crime.

"I am here at the moment seeing at first hand the work we have been doing building an International Child Protection Network all dedicated to forming partnerships, sharing expertise and working collaboratively to bring such offenders to justice.

"That work continues at pace and underpins the successes we see today.

"Our message is clear the world is smaller for offenders who think they can hide in order to abuse children.

"You will not go off our radar."

Griffin was arrested in a dawn raid last year that saw dozens of officers rescue as many as 100 youngsters. They were moved to a safe house.

He had been under investigation for more than two years following suspicions surrounding the fortress like orphanage, which housed youngsters up to the age of 18.

Griffin ran several centres for deprived and vulnerable children in one of south-east Asias poorest countries.

In a statement on the Cambodia Orphan Funds website posted during the investigation Lidia Linde, of the fund, said she wanted to guarantee that this nightmare would never happen again.

She said she was working to close down the orphanage and open a new body called Together for Cambodia.

Sun Bun Thorng, of Siem Reaps anti-human trafficking department, claimed Griffin faced several charges of child molestation in 2008. These were dropped due to lack of evidence.

CEOP said Harland will spend seven years in prison, after buying sex from two young girls.

He fled to the Asian country in 2005 after jumping bail in Hampshire on charges of possession of child abuse images.

In May last year, CEOP received intelligence from childrens organisation Action Pour Les Enfants saying Harland had surfaced in Cambodia.

He was arrested weeks later with reports saying he was living in a rented house with two young girls. CEOP then deployed officers to the country following a request for assistance from the CNP. He was arrested on May 20.

Cambodia is engaged in a major drive to net foreign paedophiles.

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Cambodia expresses deep sympathy to Japan over massive quake

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday expressed a deep sympathy to Japan over the massive earthquake that struck Friday and donate 100,000 U.S. dollars as relief to the victims.

In a message to Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan on Saturday, Hun Sen wrote: "I feel extremely saddened to hear about the loss of hundreds of lives, many injuries and colossal damages in the most powerful earthquakes and Tsunami that struck your country in the afternoon of March 11."

Hun Sen further said, "On behalf of the government of Cambodia and Cambodian people, may I convey to Your Excellency and the people of Japan, particularly the victims and members of the bereaved families my deepest sympathy and profound condolences on the tragic losses and great suffering brought about by this natural disasters."

The government of Cambodia would also like to make a very modest contribution of 100,000 U.S. dollars for the relief of the victims, he said.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong also sent a message to his Japanese counterpart Takeaki Matsumoto to express his deepest sympathy and condolences to the people of Japan on their losses and suffering due to this natural disaster.

Hundreds of deaths and extensive devastation have been reported since the earthquake, measuring 8.8 magnitudes on the Richter scale, hit northeastern Japan on Friday afternoon and triggered a massive tsunami in the Pacific Ocean.

Source: Xinhua

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Cambodia to use local currency on stock exchange

PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA will use the local currency for trading on its soon-to-be-launched stock exchange, officials said on Saturday, in a bid to boost the use of the riel in the heavily dollarised country.

Stock quotations must be in riel only, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) said in a statement on its website, ending a debate about whether listings on the bourse, set to open in July, should be in riel, US dollars or a combination of both.

But for the first three years, 'if buyers and sellers both agree, then they can arrange to settle payments in US dollars", Chan Narith, director of the SECC's securities market supervision department, told AFP.

Cambodia has a long-term goal to reduce reliance on the greenback, which according to the Asian Development Bank makes up more than 90 per cent of all currency in circulation in Cambodia.

The country signed an agreement in 2008 with representatives from South Korea's stock exchange, the Korea Exchange (KRX), Asia's fourth-largest bourse operator, to establish a stock market in 2009 but the launch date has been pushed back twice.

While still among one of the world's poorest countries, Cambodia has emerged from decades of conflict as one of the region's rising economies. -- AFP

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