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Friday, November 05, 2010

Cambodian PM meets with Chinese bank presidents

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday welcomed Chinese banks to open branches in Cambodia and encouraged more Chinese banks to operate in Cambodia and support the country's agriculture development.

Hun Sen said that his country has a great potential in agricultural resources, and which is the priority to development by the government. He added that Cambodia has already signed agreement with China on supplying rice, corn, and cassava. Therefore, he hoped that China's banks to help and support Cambodia's agriculture, in order to accelerate the pace of economic development.

The premier made the remarks during his meeting with two Chinese banks' leaders -- Li Lihui, president of the Bank of China and Jiang Jianqing, president of the ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), respectively.

Eang Sophaleth, spokesman of the Prime Minister told reporters after the meeting that Jiang Jianqing said his bank is considering to open a branch in Cambodia after it is now presence in several countries in Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

According to Eang Sophaleth, ICBC has their branch in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The loans provided by the Bank are covering mainly on energy, construction, and hydro-power.

Prime Minister Hun Sen welcomed the Bank and urged Jiang Jianqing to open a branch in Cambodia as soon as he can so as to provide loans for Cambodia's agricultural purposes.

Also, on Friday, the prime minister welcomed Li Lihui, president of the Bank of China which has already set up its branch here and ready to open its business.

According to Eang Sophaleth, Li and Jiang expressed their confidence and optimistic with the current Cambodia which is joyful with complete peace and stability while is in a good process of development.

Source: Xinhua
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Volcanic eruptions affect rainfall over Asian region

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Washington, Nov 5 (IANS) Large volcanic eruptions affect rainfall over the Asian monsoon region where seasonal storms water crops for nearly half the population of the earth.

The eruptions are also believed to affect the weather by spewing particles that block solar energy and cool the air.

Tree-ring researchers from the Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory showed that big eruptions tend to dry up much of Central Asia, but bring more rain to southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar - the opposite of what many climate models predict.

Some suspect that extended 'volcanic winters' from gigantic eruptions helped kill off dinosaurs and Neanderthals, the journal Geophysical Research Letters reported.

The growth rings of some tree species can be correlated with rainfall. Tree Ring Lab used tree rings from some 300 sites across Asia to measure the effects of 54 volcanic eruptions going back about 800 years.

The data came from the observatory's new 1,000-year tree-ring atlas of Asian weather which has produced evidence of long, devastating droughts, according to a Columbia University statement.

'We might think of the solid earth and the atmosphere as two different things, but everything in the system is interconnected,' said Kevin Anchukaitis, the paper's lead author. 'Volcanoes can be important players in climate over time.'

Large explosive eruptions send up sulphur compounds that turn into tiny sulphate particles high in the atmosphere, where they deflect solar radiation. The resulting cooling on the earth's surface can last for months or years.

Not all eruptions have that effect, however. For instance, the continuing eruption of Indonesia's Merapi this fall has killed dozens, but this latest episode is probably not big enough by itself to effect large-scale weather changes, scientists believe.
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Logger Trio detained in Thailand

THREE Cambodian men have been arrested in Thailand on charges of illegal logging after crossing into Thai territory with logging equipment and guns.

Dy Phen, chief of the Thai-Cambodian Border Relations Office in Banteay Meanchey province, said the men were arrested on Wednesday in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, adjacent to Thmar Pouk district in Banteay Meanchey. Four men travelling with the trio subsequently escaped back to Cambodian territory, he added.

“Thai authorities found them with about 50 AK-47 bullets, no passports and equipment for cutting wood in Thailand,” Dy Phen said.

Dy Phen said Cambodian officials had attempted to negotiate the release of the three men yesterday, but without success.

“It is because of their poverty that they are forced to go to Thailand to cut wood without thinking about their security,” he said.

More than 20 Cambodians have been injured or killed by Thai troops since 2008 while logging across the border, according to local rights group Adhoc.

Meanwhile, five Cambodian men from Stung Treng province’s Siem Pang district were arrested by Laotian authorities for illegally crossing the border, Siem Pang district governor Sy Soun said yesterday.

“They did not do any illegal logging in Laos, but they walked past the Cambodian border to Laos while they were looking for fish and taking care of their buffaloes,” Sy Soun said.

The men have been detained at a prison in Laos’s Champasak province so that Laotian authorities can “reeducate them and wait for a resolution between Laotian and Cambodian authorities to release them”, he added
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Court charges a woman with fraud and forgery

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case against a 39-year-old businesswoman charged with fraud and forging private documents, after being accused of cheating the daughter of a CPP official out of more than US$1 million.

Oeung Rithea, was detained in April following a complaint filed to the Ministry of Interior by Chea Chamroeun, a Cambodian People’s Party representative in Kandal province and the dean of the Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology.

The complaint accuses Oeung Rithea of not repaying the $1,090,500 they lent to her to invest in six markets in Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, Kampot and Kratie provinces.

It also accuses her of spending an unspecified amount of the funds on purchasing a house and other items for herself.

The accused told the court that she had borrowed money from Chea Chamroeun’s wife, daughter and relatives to make investments, but claimed the amount was closer to $450,000.

“I didn’t receive all of the money, and it was not the $1,090,500 as it is claimed,” she told the court.

But Chea Chamroeun’s lawyer Touch Chhay told the court that a contract thumbprinted by the defendant proved that she borrowed the entire amount.

“The sum dates back to 2007 and is hard evidence that has already been copied for court officials,” he said.

Oeung Rithea later acknowledged the contract, but claimed that she falsified the amount to fool her husband during divorce proceedings.

She also acknowledged forging the thumbprint of Chap Bun Ravy, Chea Chamroeun’s daughter and co-director of a new market in Kratie, in a letter which stated that Chap Bun Ravy would attend a meeting regarding the market and which she submitted to the director of the provincial financial department.

“I forged the document out of fear that the [Kratie] market would face closure,” she said.

The complaint letter requests repayment of the amount in full and $3 million in compensation “for repairing our reputation, dignity and for wasting our time”.

Oeung Rithea faces between one and five years in prison for each charge and a fine of between 1 million riels (US$237) and 10 million riels if found guilty of forging private documents.
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NEC dismisses vote-list deciet case

THE National Election Committee ruled yesterday that three people accused of being illegal Vietnamese immigrants have the right to vote, rejecting a complaint from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party their names were fraudulently placed on voter lists.

In a two-hour hearing at NEC headquarters, Tep Chan Sokheya, an SRP councilor in Prampi Makara district, said the three – named as Phang Mifan, Kang Tong and Kang Seng – were placed on voter lists despite being illegal migrants.

She alleged the trio had rented a house from her for around 10 years, during which time they spoke Vietnamese among themselves.

“At that time, I knew that their family was Vietnamese,” Tep Chan Sokheya told the NEC. “I then told the commune chief not to allow them to register to vote.” Their names were registered on the electoral roll in 2006, she added.

After her attempt to have their names removed was ignored by O’Russey III commune authorities in 2007, she filed a complaint to the NEC last month seeking further action.

However, NEC president Im Suosdey threw the complaint out, arguing that the three had enough documents to prove they were Cambodian citizens.

“The argument of Phang Mifan, Kang Seng and Kang Tong, who said that they have the right to register to vote, conforms to the argument of the [district] council president, so the NEC must consider it,” he said.

“In fact, the three individuals have enough documentation, especially birth certificates showing that the three individuals are Khmer.”

O’Russey III commune chief Buoy Kosal testified that the authorities allowed the three individuals to register to vote based on their nationality documents. “When they have birth certificates, the clerk must register their names. We can’t sleep and consider it,” he said.

Koul Panha, executive director of local election monitor Comfrel, said the authorities had mistakenly issued Cambodian birth certificates to Vietnamese immigrants in order to give them the right to vote.

“The NEC and the authorities should control this properly,” he said. He recognised, however, that a significant number of ethnic Vietnamese had a legitimate right to vote, though Comfrel did not have a specific number.
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