The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cambodia begins study into nuclear power to meet energy demands

20 August 2010 - Cambodia is looking into nuclear power as a future energy source to meet rising domestic demand, although construction of a plant is still years away, a top government official said on Friday.

Cambodian scientists have begun to study nuclear technology in a bid to keep apace with Southeast Asian neighbours planning to build plants in the next few years, said Ith Praing, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy.

"(Nuclear power) is a possibility because our neighbours are doing it, so we have to study it and see how dangerous it is," Ith Praing told Reuters. "It's still a long way to go, even by 2030, we will not have used all of our resources," he added.

Ith Praing said an assessment of the potential costs on a nuclear energy programme had yet to be made and the government was still focused on hydropower as an electricity source. Cambodia last year said it wanted to attract about $3bn in foreign investment to build six hydropower plants by 2018.

Vietnam, which is currently chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), last month called on members to consider using nuclear power for peaceful purposes as Asia faces rising energy needs to fuel economic growth.

Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation has offered to help ASEAN countries to build nuclear power plants and develop its safe use in a region where energy agencies estimates primary power demands will climb 2.5 per cent annually until 2030.

Cambodia's neighbour, Vietnam, plans to start building its first nuclear power plant in 2014 using Russian technology, a state-run newspaper reported in June.

Thailand is looking to develop nuclear power to reduce its dependence on natural gas and is planning to build four 1000 MW nuclear power plants at a total cost of about $8bn. Two of these plants are expected to feed power into the grid in 2020 and the remaining two in 2021.
Read more!

Experts Explain Potential for Joint Criminal Enterprise

In their final submission for the Khmer Rouge tribunal's next case, court prosecutors said four senior leaders of the regime should be tried under Joint Criminal Enterprise.

Joint Criminal Enterprise, better known as JCE, is a complex legal theory that groups suspects together in the planning and execution of crimes, and it could be at the heart of Case 002, which tribunal officials expect to take place early next year.

In the submission, prosecutors recommended that suspects Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith “committed these crimes through a joint criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was to enforce a political revolution in Cambodia and systematically destroy any opposition to the [Communist Party of Kampuchea's] rule.”

Tribunal legal affairs spokesman Lars Olsen explained it this way. JCE alleges that “these charged persons together decided a plan, a criminal plan, on how to run Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime.”

That plan led to atrocity crimes, for which the senior leaders can be tried together, according to prosecutors. Trial Chamber judges will have the final decision in the matter. But JCE will be complicated for a trial.

Anne Heindel, a legal adviser for the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said in an e-mail Friday that JCE is “a mode of individual criminal responsibility. That is, it shows how someone commits a crime.”

Similar “modes” include aiding a crime, planning it, ordering it, or having superior responsibility over it, she said.

And while JCE can take different forms, at its most basic it involves “a common plan among a number of individuals who all share the same intent to commit a crime,” Heindel wrote.

JCE was first applied at the international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. It was also applied in the tribunal for Rwanda and in a special court for crimes in Sierra Leone.

“JCE is generally used to prosecute international crimes, but variants of it can be used in domestic prosecutions,” Heindel said. “For example, in Cambodian law, there is a similar mode of liability called 'co-perpetration.'”

In Case 002, prosectors have alleged that all four defendants are tied together, she said. “By linking the accused in this way, evidence against one of them my help prove the responsibility of another.”

“The prosecution wants to show that they all share responsibility for crimes committed in furtherance of the common plan,” she said.

JCE is merely a way of thinking of the case. And that will be up to the Trial Chamber to decide, said You Bunleng, the Cambodian investigation judge for the tribunal. Separate from that, court judges will also determine whether the four are tried in one group by other means.

JCE is only being applied for Case 002. The tribunal has two other cases in its hands, nos. 003 and 004. There has been no determination on whether to indict more suspects in those cases.

But JCE will not be used to determine indictments, Heindel said.

Prosecutors did not include torture chief Duch in their submission. Duch was handed a commuted sentence of 19 years last month after a separate trial for crimes committed at Tuol Sleng prison, known to the Khmer Rouge as S-21.

Heindel said the inclusion of Duch in the second case was “unnecessary” and would have prolonged court procedures.

“The JCE alleged against the four charged persons in Case 002 encompasses many crimes in which Duch was not involved,” she said. “The alleged JCE also likely includes S-21, but it is not required that all participants in a JCE be tried in the same case. He can still be brought before the court as a witness.”
Read more!

They May Look Alike, But Treat Parasites Differently: Doctor

Tropical areas with poor sanitary conditions can be a hotbed for parasites and other diseases.

That includes amebiasis, whose diagnosis can be tricky, Taing Tek Hong, a Florida-based doctor said Thursday, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

In the United States, amebiasis is often found in travelers to tropical areas, but it can also be found in residents of such areas.

It can be hard to detect because even under a microscope, the parasite looks similar to others, Taing Tek Hong said.

These parasites are found in human or animal stool, infected food, or water, lakes, ponds and streams. The stool of a person with intestinal parasites is contagious as long as infection lasts, possibly for years after symptoms cease, he said.

Amebiasis may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, or blood in the stool. It also may invade the liver, lung, brain, or other organs.

Taing Tek Hong said the common symptoms of parasites in humans are diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, mucus after bowel movement, weight loss, pale skin, fatigue, and excessive hunger.

Intestinal parasites are usually successfully treated, but may reoccur if the source of infection still exists.

Amebiasis can be treated with metronidazole for colitis or liver abscesses, or with iodoquinol, paromomycin and diloxanide for asymptomatic carries, he said.

Other parasites (and their cures ) include: giardiasis (metronidazole, nitazoxanide or paromomycin, the latter for pregnant women); cryptosporidosis (nitazoxanide); hookworm (albendazole, mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate); strongyloidiasis (ivermectin, thiobendazole); and schistosomiasis (praziquantel, oxamniquine).

Traveler's diarrhea can be treated with ciprofloxacin, 500 mg twice daily for three days, or xifaxan (rifaximin), 200 mg three times daily for three days.
Read more!