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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thai official confirms Hun Sen's daughter to take over CATS

BANGKOK, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's daughter plans to hold shares in Cambodia Traffic Air Services (CATS) after the Cambodian government has temporarily taken over management of the firm, a Thai senior official confirmed Saturday.

Panitan Wattanayakorn, Thai acting government spokesman confirmed the news report that Hun Sen's daughter is planning to hold shares in CATS.

Having controlled CATS by the Cambodia government occurs after Siwarak Chothipong, a 31-year-old-Thai man, who worked as engineer at CATS, has been arrested from Nov. 11, according to the arrest warrant of prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipality Court.

Cambodia has charged Siwarak of having had confidential information affecting Cambodia's national security, a senior Thai official said Wednesday.

According to a news report by the Khmer language newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea, Siwarak spied through copying the letters of flights of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia and Hun Sen from CATS which has duties to control all flights in country and he sent those reports to Thailand.

Siwarak has been detained in a prison in Phnom Penh since last week as the Thai government is now in the process of seeking a release for him.

Chawanon Intarakomalsut, Thai Foreign Minister's secretary said he expected that the process could be completed next week and the engineer's mother could probably visit her son next week.
He also said it would be difficult for any individual to take over the company, but his ministry would try to assist CATS. So far the company has not requested help.

Panithan said that he did not know whether the company could be protected as other companies registered in Cambodia, and it's up to the company to file a request for the Cambodian government to consider.

Thailand and Cambodia have downgraded their diplomatic relations due to conflict over an appointment of Thaksin as an economic advisor to Cambodia's government and Hun Sen on Nov. 4.

A day after the appointment of Thaksin, the Cambodian government announced recall of its ambassador to Thailand in a move to respond to the Thai government's recall of its ambassador to Cambodia.

Thaksin was ousted by the military coup in September 2006, in accusation of corruption, and has been kept in exile since then. He returned to Thailand in February 2008 to face corruption charges, but he later fled into exile again and was convicted in absentia.
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Safe in U.S., genocide survivor still felt soldiers' presence

By Jessica Tumbull

The Cambodia where author Loung Ung grew up was full of beauty and normal activities, such as going to the movies with her family.

But it also was one where the little girl and her family got caught up in violent political upheaval that led to genocide.

Ung, a petite woman clad in a black T-shirt with "Peace Rocks" in red lettering, spoke at an assembly in the Plum School District Friday about her experience surviving the 1970s genocide in the Southeast Asian country.

Plum students read Ung's memoir, "First They Killed My Father," in class and invited Ung to speak. Ung has written two books about her experiences and is working on a third.

Ung, 39, of Cleveland, was born in 1970 in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, one of seven children. She was 8 when the Communist group called the Khmer Rouge began executing fellow Cambodians.

Between 1975 and 1979, about 1.7 million people — or 25 percent of the population — were killed.

"I didn't know about politics. I didn't know about genocide," Ung said. "But I did know that people, little by little, would disappear from the villages."

Her father was executed by Khmer Rouge soldiers. Several months later, worried that keeping the family together hurt their chances of survival, Ung's mother told the children to leave and separate.

Her mother's hard decision is the basis for her third book.

In 1980, Ung escaped with her older brother and his wife to a refugee camp in Thailand, then was sent to Vermont.

She talked about her adjustment to life in America after living through a war that was deeply ingrained in her mind.

"When I would be trying to learn geometry for a test, the soldiers were there looking over my shoulder," she said, describing the difficulty of erasing the traumatic images even once she was safe in America.

She now works as a peace activist, and even returns to Cambodia to aid survivors.

Her main message is that peace is not a given, but a choice that takes hard work.

"We need to take responsibility for others in the world who are less fortunate," Ung said.

Sophomore Adam Albright, 16, of Plum said he liked hearing directly from the author of a book he read in class.

He said her message of peace struck him because America is perceived as a stable country where citizens don't have to worry about peace.

"It's worth fighting for," he said. "It's ironic that you have to fight for peace."

Sophomore Ian Walla, 16, of Plum said he didn't know anything about Cambodia or its war until he read Ung's book.

"It was a really inspiring story," he said. "It makes you think about other places in the world."

He said Ung's message is important so people can learn from past mistakes. He said a saying by his history teacher summed up the importance of Ung's story.

"The reason we teach history is so we don't repeat it," Walla said.

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Malaria Shows Signs of Resisting Primary Drug Used to Fight It

By Nathan Seppa, Science News

WASHINGTON—Malaria that is resistant to the best available drug is more widespread in Southeast Asia than previously reported, new research shows. The worrisome finding poses a risk that travelers could carry this strain of the malaria parasite to other parts of the globe and unwittingly spread it, scientists reported November 19 at a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The frontline drug in question is called artemisinin, the most potent medication currently in use against malaria. Signs of malarial resistance to artemisinin have surfaced over the past several years in Cambodia (SN: 11/22/08, p. 9). The new findings confirm that resistant malaria has now cropped up beyond a spot on the border of Thailand and Cambodia where it was initially detected. Now it has appeared in Vietnam and in two spots along the Burma border with Thailand and China.

“Things are changing. There’s no doubt the signs are concerning,” said Robert Newman, director of the Global Malaria Programme at the World Health Organization in Geneva. But he added that these signals are early and need further verification.

Patients in these areas take longer on average to overcome a malaria infection when given a standard combination of artemisinin and another antimalarial. This lag results from slower clearance of the malaria parasites from the blood, said WHO’s Pascal Ringwald, a medical officer who presented the update.

Patients who remain ill for longer stretches despite treatment need extra medication to recover from malaria and are also more likely to have severe or fatal cases, Ringwald said.

Malaria is caused by a single-celled parasite that infects the blood. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, anemia and a swollen spleen. Of the more than 350 million people who come down with malaria worldwide each year, up to 1 million die. Mosquitoes spread the parasite from person to person.

Malaria has a history of becoming resistant to drugs, and artemisinin now risks becoming the most recent addition to that list. The new reports are disheartening to doctors because artemisinin normally packs a considerable wallop. Although artemisinin is a short-acting drug that gets cleared from the body in a few hours, it makes the most of its time — driving down parasite levels dramatically.

Using artemisinin alone invites resistance. So the standard therapy teams it with one of the longer-acting drugs, which perform mop-up duty on the remaining parasites, said Christopher King, a physician and epidemiologist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The new flashes of resistance may have arisen because combination treatment isn’t always available. And since artemisinin can be bought over the counter in many parts of Asia, people seeking relief don’t always follow the WHO guidelines of pairing artemisinin with another drug, King said.

Also, taking artemisinin for a fever that isn’t caused by malaria can allow resistant strains of the parasite to take hold, Newman said.

In the past, malaria’s resistance to other drugs has been linked to specific genetic changes in the parasite. The precise mechanism underlying resistance to artemisinin is still unsolved, King said.

Artemisinin is derived from extracts of the sweet wormwood bush. The bush’s leaves have been used as a folk remedy against fevers for roughly 2,000 years in Asia but fell out of use in the 20th century with the introduction of modern antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine.

During the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh appealed to China for traditional remedies for soldiers who had malaria. Tea made from sweet wormwood leaves worked and ultimately became the basis for artemisinin drugs. It’s not clear whether parasites in Southeast Asia are the first to become resistant because they have had a long history with artemisinin, or if other factors are involved, Newman said.
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Luxury Travel Group Promotes 3 Countries One Destination – Luxury Indochina Travel

One ancient Indochina and 3 new faces Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos today, Luxury Travel promote 3 countries, one destination. (

These three fascinating countries have both their diverse cultures and beautiful landscapes. Each of them has been subjected to social, political and economic turmoil over the past decades and they are ready to open its doors to the world and show us their hidden treasures.

Discover Indochina right now in 21 days, Luxury Travel Company take you to discover the best of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Indochinese journey starts from either the colonial Hanoi or the bustling Saigon, Vietnam, they fly to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Luang Phabang with it famous temples and King Palace on the bank of Mekong River.

Travelers fly from Vientiane to Phnom Penh the colonial of the Kingdom of Cambodia where you will discover the Silver Pagoda and the majestic Royal Palace, Khmer Art Museum.

The Indochina loop should be not complete if you could not visit the ancient capital Seam Reap with the huge Angkor Wat complex of temples, pagodas, ancient walls that reflect a glory of former Khmer Empire.

“We also aim to appreciate the multitude of local cultural traditions-wandering the many colorful markets, street stalls, exploring the tranquil villages along the banks of the Mekong and gaining perspectives across a rural landscape that has yet be down into the 21st century” said Lee Thais, Marketing and Pr Executive of Luxury Travel Group Company.

Visit or www.LuxuryIndochinaTravel.Com
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