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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unesco urged to delay study of temple plan

Cambodia's management plan for Preah Vihear temple trespasses on Thai territory, according to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti, who said yesterday he would call on the World Heritage Committee to delay consideration of the plan for another year.

Suwit was scheduled to meet Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sok An in Paris today and discuss postponing the management plan until both countries are able to settle the border row

"We should stop fighting and instead cooperate to have the boundary demarcated via the Joint Boundary Commission," Suwit told reporters.
"Once the boundary demarcation is completed, this problem would be resolved. Cambodia would then have the freedom to do what it wants on its own land."

Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over Preah Vihear for a long time, and the conflict intensified when the World Heritage Committee and Unesco agreed to list the Hindu temple as a World Heritage Site in 2008.

Thailand disagreed with the listing and wants the committee to delay consideration of the temple's management plan, as it fears Cambodia would seize land near the temple, which Thailand claims as its own.

Sok An said on Monday said Cambodia's plan would not affect Thailand as it only covered Cambodian territory.

Sok An said he was prepared to discuss the management plan with Suwit and tell Unesco about the damage inflicted upon the temple during the major military clash between Thai and Cambodian troops in February.

Cambodia would also urge Unesco to dispatch its experts to evaluate the damage and consider renovation, he said.

Meanwhile, Phnom Penh's National Committee for World Heritage issued a statement earlier arguing that Suwit has no reason to delay the consideration of the Preah Vihear's management plan as the World Heritage Committee had decided last year to consider the documents during its 35th session this year.

"It is worth recalling that Mr Suwit himself signed [the document], with the Cambodian head of delegation and chairperson of the session, and recognised the draft Decision," the statement said.

The World Heritage Committee will be holding its 35th session from June 1929 in Paris.
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Court Upholds Charges Against Angkor Lighting Critic

The Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a guilty verdict for a man accused of disinformation, following public remarks critical of a lighting project at Angkor Wat, but reduced the charges against him.

Moeung Sonn, who has fled the country, is facing a two-year prison sentence following a suit brought by the government in 2009. He had disseminated public remarks claiming the Apsara Authority was potentially damaging Angkor Wat by installing a lighting system around the temple.

Apsara officials denied the lights, which have since been taken down, posed a threat to the temple.

Moeung Sonn’s original charge of disinformation was dropped to “insulting” the Cambodian people. His two-year sentence was upheld, but a fine against him was dropped from about $3,500 to less than $1,000.

Defense attorney Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said he work with the defendant’s family to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Moeung Sonn’s wife, Yi Phally, 66, told reporters outside the court Wednesday her husband had only intended to protect the temples, not criticize the government. She also pointed out that the lights have since been taken down.
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Cambodia and China Build Trade

Cambodia and China sign trade promotion co-operation

Cambodian Ministry of Commerce and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of bilateral trade.

The MoU was inked between Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh and Wan Jifei, visiting Chairman of CCPIT and president of China Chamber of International Commerce.

Speaking before the signing ceremony, Cham Prasidh said the agreement will be useful for Cambodia to strengthen and expand trade cooperation with China.

“As Cambodia and China have good relations in all levels ranging from the two countries’ governments to business people and people, I believe that Cambodia and China will be able to achieve the bi-lateral trade volume of US$2.5B in Y 2012,” he said.

The minister has suggested China to help encourage Chinese investors and people to purchase Cambodian agricultural products such as rice, corn, cassava and rubber in order to fulfill the expected trade target in Y 2012.

Meanwhile, Wan Jifei said that the 2 countries’ cooperation in terms of trade and investment has a lot of room to grow.

He added that through the agreement, the CCPIT will encourage more Chinese investors to come to Cambodia, and will arrange more meetings between the two countries’ business people, and will organize trade fairs in China or in Cambodia.

Wan Jifei stressed that currently, the exports of Cambodian products to China are done mostly by the third country such as Vietnam or Thailand. “This is the reason that Cambodia’s exports to China are far fewer than those China’s exports to Cambodia because the 3rd country buys products from Cambodia and exports to China,”he said, adding “so, to re-balance the 2 countries’ trade, it’s necessary that Cambodian and Chinese business people have to meet more often in order to bridge direct trade between the 2 countries.”

Paul A. Ebeling, JnrPaul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.

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