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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Abhisit: No help needed

BANGKOK - THAILAND'S Prime Minister said on Tuesday he would strive to peacefully resolve a bitter border dispute with Cambodia, and outside mediation, as Cambodia has sought, was not needed.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Cambodia's recent appeal to the United Nations to help negotiate is unnecessary because a 2000 agreement between the countries provides the framework for a solution.

He accused Cambodia of causing the problem by moving people onto 1.8 square miles (4.6 square kilometres) of disputed land around the Preah Vihear temple. Both countries have a heavy troop presence in the area, and have had several small but sometimes deadly clashes in the past few years.

The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the 11th century temple belongs to Phnom Penh.

UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 2008 after Cambodia applied for the status. The country submitted a management plan for the temple recently to UNESCO's World Heritage Commission, which deferred a decision until next year.

Mr Abhisit is under pressure to move aggressively because Thai right-wing nationalists have protested that Cambodian actions there threaten Thailand's sovereignty. They also want Thailand to revoke the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding as jeopardising Thai territorial claims, which Mr Abhisit denies. -- AP

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Iran, Cambodia Agree to Boost Mutual Cooperation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced on Tuesday that Iran and Cambodia plan to further boost their political, economic and diplomatic cooperation.

Speaking at a press conference after his meeting with Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong here in Tehran today, Mottaki lauded the close political ties and constructive cooperation between the two countries within the international bodies.

"Mutual support (by Iran and Cambodia) has paved the way for the start of a new era of economic cooperation between the two countries," Mottaki told reporters.

Referring to the agenda of his talks with the Cambodian minister, Mottaki said that he and Namhong had conferred on different issues such as trade, implementation of projects and investment.

"As regards trade, we agreed to bring Tehran-Phnom Penn relations into a new era through holding national fairs in each other's countries, active participation in the two countries' international fairs, and reciprocal meetings between the two counties' chambers of commerce and ministries of commerce," he added.

Mottaki said that he and his Cambodian counterpart had also agreed to work on tourism as a main part of their agenda for the expansion of ties.

The minister further noted that they had also agreed to put on their agenda principal agreements on boosting economic cooperation in areas of tariffs, avoidance on double taxation and joint ventures and investments in both countries.
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Government Bolsters Policy To Export Labor

Cambodia is hoping to increase the number of workers it sends abroad to absorb the some 300,000 young people entering the job market each year.

In a report made public Tuesday, the government said its labor migration policy will seek to make the export of labor the second-most robust sector, following garment factories.

There are more than 10,000 Cambodians working legally in Thailand, and nearly 20,000 working in Malaysia, Seng Sakada, director general of the Ministry of Labor, told VOA Khmer. South Korea employs nearly 9,000 workers.

“They are employed especially in small and medium factories, in fishery factories and in housework,” he said.

Labor Minister Vorng Soth told reporters Tuesday these numbers were small compared to other countries, which “send millions of their citizens to work abroad.”

The UN estimates that about 300,000 youths enter the work force each year, a number expected to climb to 400,000 in the near future. The construction and garment sectors have not developed quickly enough to employ all the new workers.

Among the countries Cambodia is eying for labor export are Kuwait, Hong Kong and Sinapore, Seng Sakada said.
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Dengue Outbreak Prompts Government Campaign

Officials from the Ministry of Health met with provincial health authorities on Tuesday to begin a campaign to curb an outbreak of dengue fever.

At least 10 people have died from the disease since June, with another 3,700 infected in what health officials say is a sharp increase from last year.

“We are very concerned about the outbreak of dengue fever over the last few months,” Huy Rekol, deputy director of the Ministry of Health's dengue control department, told the meeting. “So we must have a strong response to this outbreak.”

The outbreak began at the onset of the rainy season, in June, and has spread across provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampot, and Kandal, as well as Kep and Phnom Penh.

The virus has become more potent in recent years, Kuy Rekol said.

“We must increase health education in communes and schools, so the people can understand how to prevent dengue fever,” Huy Rekol said.

Dengue is carried by mosquito, so people should kill their larvae by using the chemical known by its brand name Abate in water pots and other still water sources and fill in puddles around their houses, he said.

People should also sleep under mosquito nets at night to prevent the early morning bites of the Aedes mosquito, which carries the dengue virus, he said. The mosquitoes are most active between 5:30 am and 5:30 pm.

Beginning next week, the Ministry of Health will send around 5 tons of Abate to the worst hit provinces so that it can be distributed by local authorities.

People are also encouraged to by “seven-colored” fish from markets to put in water pots, which keep down mosquito larvae. Children should wear long sleeves and pants to prevent mosquito bites that can carry the disease, Huy Rekol said.
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Thailand Asks Cambodia To Leave Encroachment Area

Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva seem to forget that Preah Vihea Temple was built by Khmer King. And thais should leave Sesaket Province and returning everything back to Cambodia.

By Jamaluddin Muhammad

BANGKOK, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- The Thailand-Cambodia border dispute took a new twist on Tuesday, when Thailand told Cambodians who encroached on its territory at the border, to leave.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the government had asked its foreign and defence ministries to discuss ensuring their withdrawal from the occupied territory.

However, Abhisit refused to provide details of the tasks given to the two ministries, as well as the deadline for the withdrawal.

"All the problems arose because Cambodians encroached into our areas. It is our right to protect our sovereignty," he said.

He reiterated the country's stand to use peaceful means in solving the border issue, in line with the United Nations resolution and the Thailand-Cambodia border memorandum of understanding inked in 2000.

It is not clear on the number of Cambodians alleged to have encroached in the area, as well as the size of the occupied territory as alleged by Thailand.

The two countries are at loggerheads over a 4.6 sq km area surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple, with Thailand claiming the disputed area is part of its Si Sa Kets Karntharalak district while Cambodia says it is in its Preah Vihear province.

The 11th century Hindu temple is located in the Cambodian territory as ruled by the International Court of Justice in 1962, and Unesco listed it as a world heritage site in 2008, which led to strained relationship as both countries claimed the disputed area.

Except for the border issue, Abhisit stressed that both countries enjoyed good relationship in other areas, including trade, adding that border trading was not affected by the conflict.

He also said Thailand would explain to the United Nations and Security Council based on four points in countering his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen's allegation that Thailand threatened to use military force in solving the issue.

The points are that Hun Sen had misquoted him; the two neighbours enjoyed good relationship in other areas; Thailand would adhere to peaceful resolution and, the country respected the International Court of Justice's decision on the ownership of the temple even though it may not agree with it.

The letters to the two world bodies were in response to the letters sent by Hun Sen to the same bodies on Sunday.

Last week, the border issue heated up again when Cambodia submitted the management plan for the temple at the Unesco World Heritage Committee meeting in Brazil.

Thailand had protested as the plan included part of the disputed territory and the meeting postponed its decision on the management plan to next year's meeting in Bahrain.

Thailand Patriot Network led by People's Alliance for Democracy yellow shirts leaders held a protest in this capital last Saturday, demanding the government revoke the 2000 border memorandum of understanding.

The next day, Abhisit led the government team for a three-hour live telecast debate with the group.

It was during the debate that Abhisit stated that Thailand would use diplomacy to solve the border issue and the use of military force as the last resort, in protecting the country's sovereignty.

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