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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Thaksin not allowed to use Cambodia to criticise Thai govt : Hun Sen

By The Nation

Convicted ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra will not be invited to Cambodia during the red shirts' protest to prevent him from using the country as a base to criticise Abhisit government, Cambodia's PM Hun Sen said Sunday.

As long as the red shirts hold mass rally in Thailand, Thaksin, an economic adviser to Hun Sen and the Khmer government, will not invited as guest of Cambodia.

Thai Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban said Hun Sen conveyed the message during their meeting on the sideline of mekong Summit in Hua Hin.

Hun Sen's message surprised many. It is because Hun Sen had angered Thai government by appointing Thaksin as economic adviser and the appointment led to the downgrading of the mutual ties.

Hun Sen himself had criticised Abhisit government, saying that his government is not willing to deal with Abhisit government. He even challenged Abhisit to dissolve the House and hold a snap election
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PAD protesters tell Cambodia's Hun Sen he's not welcome in Hua Hin

VOICING THEIR OPINION: Members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy show their opposition to Cambodian Prime Minsiter Hun Sen yesterday.

PHETCHABURI : More than 100 activists arrived in Cha-am on Saturday to deliver a letter protesting against Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's visit to Thailand.

Key People's Alliance for Democracy figure Veera Somkwamkid led the group and handed the letter of protest to Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the foreign minister.

Hun Sen is due to attend the Mekong River Commission summit in Hua Hin tomorrow.

Mr Veera said the Cambodian prime minister is "persona non grata" in Thailand and accused Hun Sen of having tried to interfere in Thailand's domestic affairs.

He said Hun Sen showed a disregard of the Thai judicial system when he criticised it over its handling of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's legal cases.

Mr Veera said Hun Sen offended Thais by appointing Thaksin as an economic adviser and his own personal adviser.

Mr Veera attacked Hun Sen for putting personal relationships and individual interests above relations between Thailand and Cambodia.

Mr Veera accused the Cambodian prime minister of trying to infringe on Thailand's sovereignty by sending troops to invade the 4.6-square-kilometre area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple. He also alleged Hun Sen was trying to take control of other disputed areas along the Thai-Cambodian border and the overlapping areas in the Gulf of Thailand.

Mr Veera said he and other Thais would fight to protect the country's territorial integrity.

He said Thais would not be bound by any agreements and actions by past and present governments that violate the constitution and hurt the country's interests.

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Charity Concert for Cambodia

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

Cellist Mark Kosower and pianist Oh Ji-won will perform in a fundraising concert for disadvantaged Cambodians.

The duo’s recitals, organized by PBC and Sharing Fund, a nongovernmental organization that helps underdeveloped Asian countries, will be held on Wednesday and Friday at Kumho Art Hall, downtown Seoul.

Kosower is a renowned American artist who is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. He currently holds a solo position with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany. Oh is an accomplished chamber musician who has performed extensively in Europe and North American including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Lincoln Center in New York.

The first concert will feature Rachmaninov’s Sonata for Cello and Sonata No. 19. Singers from the Rime Opera Ensemble will take the stage during the second half of the performance to deliver widely loved songs such as ``Time to Say Goodbye’’ and ``Ah! Je Veux Vivre’’ from Gounod’s opera ``Romeo and Juliet.’’

On Friday, Kosower and Oh will take the stage again for more chamber music. The duo will play Debussy’s Cello Sonata No. 1, Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 2 and Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances.

Also included in the program are Mendelssohn’s Cello Sonata No. 2 and Dutilleux’s ``Trois Strophes sur le Nom de Sacher.’’

Tickets for both concerts cost from 30,000 to 100,000 won. Proceeds from the event will go toward an aid fund to help develop agricultural and educational projects, provide medical assistance to landmine victims and donate wheelchairs to the disabled, among other causes.
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Cambodia may tweak Phuket property

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket's international community

PHUKET: Cambodia is trying to encourage international investment by relaxing laws on property ownership by foreigners.

The Financial Times reports that Cambodia's draft law is under discussion at the National Assembly and would allow non-nationals to fully own residential apartments for the first time.

While resort islands such as Phuket and Bali remain the most popular destinations for foreigners looking to purchase a holiday home in southeast Asia, Cambodia's lawmakers hope deregulation will help to lift the Cambodian property market out of the doldrums.

While Hong Kong and Singapore pose few barriers to foreign ownership of property, the less developed nations of southeast Asia still labor under significant restrictions against it. In Thailand, total foreign ownership of buildings must not exceed 49 per cent.

But with property prices under pressure across Asia, a number of countries are now considering liberalising discriminatory property laws.

Protests shut down shopping
The Star
More than than 30,000 red shirted protesters converged on the main shopping area in Bangkok on Saturday and threatened to stay until the prime minister calls elections, forcing big department stores to close and paralysing traffic.

The red-shirted protesters swarmed an intersection whose upmarket stores are a symbol of wealth in the Thai capital, accusing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government of neglecting the poor on the 21st day of their mass street rally.

Central World, the second-largest shopping complex in Southeast Asia, and other big malls shut their doors in response to the protests.

Jatuporn Prompan, a red-shirt leader, said from a makeshift stage: "It is time for the under-privileged to liberate themselves from oppression made by the elite-backed government.”

While the protests in the nation's capital continue, Phuket remains calm, as does the rest of Thailand outside the Greater Bangkok area. However, the political turmoil is clearly inflicting mounting damage on tourism in Phuket.

On Wednesday, Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) president Somboon Jirayus said that tourism in the resort province this year has seen only 60-70 per cent of the check-ins it enjoyed during the same period last year.

Thailand faces sugar shortage
The Nation
Thailand’s Commerce Ministry has found that 20 provinces are facing an inadequate supply of sugar, while consumers are paying more than the controlled price in 50 provinces.

Furthermore, Thailand is facing a serious sugar shortage, as most millers have refused to supply the commodity to the ministry for a special 80,000-tonne allocation aimed at easing the tight market situation.

Yanyong Phuangrach, permanent secretary to the ministry, yesterday said that since an agreement was reached late last month, only one miller had come forward, supplying only 360 tons.

The ministry now plans to send teams to inspect sugar millers' stockpiles to prevent hoarding and price speculation. If the government were to find any unfair practices, traders could face imprisonment and a 140,000-baht fine, the ministry warned.
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