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Yellow Shirts to PM: Too late to talk

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment
BANGKOK, Jan 28 – As Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he
planned to talk with Thailand’s yellow-clad People’s Alliance for
Democracy (PAD) on the Thai-Cambodian border dispute, key protest
leaders on Friday said it is too late for the talks and that the
movement will seek a consensus of its members to intensify its
anti-government campaign this weekend.

PAD key leader Chamlong Srimuang reasserted the group’s stance as they
continued their rally outside Government House on the fourth day.

The prime minister said prior to his departure to attend the World
Economic Forum in Switzerland that concerned officials were scheduling
talks between his government and the Yellow

Shirt leaders to find mutual understanding on the Thai-Cambodian border dispute after he comes back from the overseas trip.

But Gen Chamlong said it was already too late and that the prime
minister should spend his time to solve the ongoing problem rather than
holding the talks.

PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongphan said more protesters upcountry are
expected to join the yellow-shirted rally during the weekend. He urged
the government to respond to the PAD’s three demands unconditionally
and speed up help for two Thais remaining in Cambodia to fight illegal
entry and espionage charges.

Thailand Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkwamkid is the sole Thai
detained at Cambodian’s Prey Sar Prison to fight charges of illegal
entry and spying.

Mr Veera’s secretary Ratree Pipattanapaiboon also faces the same
charges but was released on bail and is staying at the Thai embassy in
Phnom Penh.

Seven Thais including Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth were arrested Dec
29 on charges of trespassing on Cambodian territory. Five have been
released and returned to Thailand after receiving suspended jail term
verdict from Cambodian court.

Another PAD leading member Prapan Koonmee said Friday he will propose
the PAD leader meeting this weekend to seek the protesters’ consensus
to intensify the anti-government campaign as the premier and his
government did not listen to the public.

The protest leader earlier threatened to prolong the demonstration
against the Abhisit administration if their three demands are not met.

They demanded that the government withdraw Thailand from the UNESCO)’s
World Heritage Committee, revoke the 2000 MoU signed with Cambodia and
push Cambodians now living in border areas which they claim belong to
Thailand back to their homeland.

The prime minister however ignored their requests, saying the
revocation of 2000 MoU will make Thailand lose territory to the
neighbouring country. (MCOT online news)

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Categories: Uncategorized

"Veera" will not change lawyers: MFA

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment
BANGKOK, Jan 26 — Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera
Somkwamkid, fighting illegal entry and espionage charges in Cambodia
has opted not to change his legal team but will continue to use the
Cambodian lawyers provided by Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, according to
Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Information Department director-general Thani Thongphakdi told
reporters that Mr Veera has dropped his demand to change lawyers to
conduct his legal defense.

However, it is up to Mr Veera to decide himself whether he will ask the
court to allow the legal team provided by the Thai Patriots Network to
work together with the Cambodian lawyers.

Whatever he decides, the embassy would respect his decision and was ready to support, said Mr Thani.

He added that the embassy also ready to assist Mr Veera if he wanted to
petition court to accelerate the trial process and reschedule the
judgment from Feb 1 to an earlier date.

Mr Thani reiterated that the ministry won’t abandon the remaining two
Thais — Mr Veera, the sole Thai detainee still being held in Prey Sar
Prison, and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, his secretary, and will continue
to do all it can to bring the duo back to Thailand as soon as possible.

They faced additional charges of espionage and the court is expected to hand down its on their cases verdict on Feb 1.

The seven Thai citizens including ruling Democrat Party member of
parliament Panich Vikitsreth were arrested Dec 29 on charges of
trespassing on Cambodian territory.

Mr Panich and four other Thai detainees returned to Bangkok on Jan 22
after the Cambodian court ruled that they were guilty of illegal entry
and intentionally trespassing into Cambodian territory. They were
sentenced to nine-month suspended jail terms and fines of one million
riel (US$250) each.  (MCOT online news)

Categories: Uncategorized

A turbulent year for Preah Vihear, Cambodian ties

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Please don’t speak Thai when you are at Preah Vihear Temple. Thais aren’t allowed there,” the Cambodian driver warned me while taking me and my photographer up to the temple on Dec 11.

Categories: Uncategorized

Duch appeal hearings set for March

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Thursday, 23 December 2010 18:56 James O’Toole and Cheang Sokha 
Comrade Duch, the head of a Khmer Rouge prison camp where 16,000 men, women
and children were tortured and executed has appeared before Cambodia’s
genocide tribunal in its first trial over the reign of terror more than
three decades ago
The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Supreme Court Chamber will hear the appeal of
former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav in March next year, the
court said in a statement on Thursday.

The notorious jailer,
better known as Duch, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July by the
court’s Trial Chamber after being found guilty of crimes against
humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The court said
his appeal hearings will take place “during the last week of March
2011”, adding that the exact dates and times of the hearings will be
announced “in due course”.

“We expect that [the hearings] will be
public,” court spokesman Reach Sambath said. “I think the court will
always be full of people.”

Duch’s lawyers filed an appeal against
the judgment last month, charging that their client falls outside the
court’s mandate to investigate “senior leaders” and those “most
responsible” for crimes committed under the regime of Democratic
Kampuchea.

The appeal followed the shocking turnabout last year
during closing arguments when, after accepting limited responsibility
and essentially pleading guilty through months of hearings, Duch asked
to be acquitted and released.

The court’s prosecutors have also
appealed against the July verdict, claiming that judges had given
“insufficient weight to the gravity of Duch’s crimes and his role and
his willing participation in those crimes”.

They have called on
the Supreme Court Chamber to sentence the defendant to 45 years in
prison, reduced from a life sentence due to Duch’s unlawful pre-trial
detention.

“There comes a point where the crimes committed are
sufficiently grave and the offender sufficiently notorious, or in such a
position of authority, that the highest sentence must be imposed,” the
prosecutors wrote in their appeal. “That point was reached and passed
here.”

A total of 41 civil parties have also appealed, requesting
either that the court declare their claims admissible or amend their
reparations award. 

Phnom Penh Post 
Categories: Uncategorized

Government officials attack KI-Media for looking down on leaders

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

15 Dec 2010
By Son Sopheak
DAP-news
Translated from Khmer by KI-Media
 

(READ IN KHMER HERE)

Phnom Penh – Government officials
violently attack the English-language website KI-Media which posted the
pictures of the three Cambodian leaders and senior minister sVar Jim
Hong and calling them “Chief traitors who sell the land to the Yuons”.
The attacking government official considers this website as a servant
of the SRP opposition party and it wants to destroy the nation.
The government advisor and
spokesman of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit (PQRU) of the Council of
Ministers considers this website as a total exaggeration, and that it
wants to destroy the peace that Cambodia now enjoys under the
leadership of the current government leaders.
Tith Sothea indicated: “I
regret very much that there is such dumb and baseless accusation by
KI-Media, a website that serves the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, it
uses words to look down on the 3 leaders of Cambodia, as well as senior
minister sVar Kim Hong also.”




Tith
Sothea stressed: “This is exaggerated information from them who have
such attitudes against the current government leaders, and I believe
that the accusation against the Cambodian leaders as being traitors who
sell land to the foreigners is not true at all. The Cambodian people
will condemn them as being the destroyer of peace in Cambodia.”

This
violent reaction from the Cambodian government stooge above came after
the website KI-Media posted a picture of Hun Xen, Heng Xamrin, Chea Xim
and sVar Kim Hong bearing the title in Khmer and English: “The chief
traitors who sell land to the Yuons”. Tith Sothea considers this
website and this group of people as outlaws with the intention of
inciting and creating havocs to poison the atmosphere in the society.

Tith
Sothea praised the struggle and the determination – even at the cost of
their life – to get away from the Pol Pot regime, and the moving
forward of the Cambodian ship toward development and peace all over the
country [by the current leaders], saying that this is the truth that
history will never forget.

Tith
Sothea said that the current government is legally putting into
application the Cambodian Constitution by respecting and defending the
territorial integrity, preventing any aggression from enemies and,
furthermore, the current royal government is continuing to pursue the
planting of border posts with neighboring countries.

Tith
Sothea called the action taken by opposition KI-Media group as an act
of revenge when it lost the election, but a huge number of Cambodians
are providing fair and reasonable assessment of the current Cambodian
leaders.

It
should be noted that the critical publication by KI-Media came only one
day after 18 SRP MPs traveled to visit border posts in Dar commune,
Memot district, Kampong cham province on Tuesday. During their visit,
they were banned from doing so by Viet cops.

A
number of political observers in Cambodia are of the opinion that this
new action by the opposition will close the possibility of their exiled
leader to return back to Cambodia after the Phnom Penh and the Svay
Rieng [kangaroo] courts sentenced him in absentia to 12-year of jail
time for this border issue.

In
general, it is observed that the website KI-Media usually attacks the
current government leaders through articles and pictures, but such
publication cannot prevent the true support of the entire Cambodian
population to the current leaders at all.
Categories: Uncategorized

Please Visit Us ON Our New Blog Below!

December 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Please visit our new blog of Cambodia Today below

http://cambodiatodayz.com/

Thank you!

Categories: Uncategorized

Southeast Asia’s colonial heritage victim of modernisation

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment
Source: Agence France Presse
This photo taken on Nov. 19 shows people drinking tea in front of an
uninhabited French colonial era villa in downtown Hanoi. French
colonial architecture — with its shuttered windows, grand balconies
and pitched tiled roofs — for decades defined the look of cities in
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, even after the French pulled out of
Indochina in 1954. But now, hundreds of historic buildings across the
region are being knocked down as governments capitalize on rising land
prices and a — AFP

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – When Cambodia tore down a century-old school in the
capital this year, conservationists bemoaned the loss of yet another
piece of history in former French Indochina in the rush to modernise.

French colonial architecture — with its shuttered windows, grand
balconies and pitched tiled roofs — for decades defined the look of
cities in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, even after the French pulled out
of Indochina in 1954.
But now, hundreds of historic buildings across the region are being
knocked down as governments capitalise on rising land prices and
attempt to create eye-catching skylines.
“What I see in Phnom Penh is little — or at worst no — heritage
protection of significant buildings. I see the disappearance of old
French colonial buildings,” said Cambodia-based architectural historian
Darryl Collins.
“It’s a great pity because I think in time it will be regretted that so many of these buildings have gone,” the Australian said.
Built in 1908, the Ecole Professionnelle — Cambodia’s oldest training
school — was razed in February, the latest high-profile casualty in
the impoverished country’s quest for modernity.
The Cambodian capital, or the “Pearl of Asia” as it was once known,
used to be thought of as one of the loveliest cities in the region
thanks to its French-style wide avenues, carefully-manicured gardens
and stately homes.
Much of that charm, however, is disappearing at an alarming rate, say conservationists.
They estimate that as many as 30 percent of Phnom Penh’s colonial
buildings — survivors of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and decades of
civil war — have been demolished in the past 15 years.
While many Cambodians in the capital prefer to live and work in modern
buildings, it’s not just historians who are upset by the transformation.
“We should not destroy the French buildings. We should renovate them so
that they look nice again,” said Chheng Moeun, 76, who sells soft
drinks outside a crumbling colonial villa near Phnom Penh’s Royal
Palace.
The demolitions are being driven in part by the kingdom’s economic
growth over the past decade, and developers are eager to build
apartments and office blocks in the prime locations that many of the
colonial buildings occupy.
Samraing Kamsan, a top official at Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture, said
saving French design in Phnom Penh was complicated because of limited
funding and a lack of interest from the buildings’ owners.
“We want to preserve those ancient buildings. Some people listen to us, but some do not,” the official said.
Across the border, fellow former French colonies Laos and Vietnam are
also struggling to maintain their colonial dwellings, said Collins, who
blames booming real estate prices.
“It’s a short-term pattern of thinking,” he said, the main consideration being “sheer profit”.
Hoang Dao Kinh, a specialist in the preservation of Hanoi’s cultural
and historical heritage, said out of more than one thousand French
villas in the Vietnamese capital, only a few hundred remain in the
original colonial style.
And while the country has made efforts to safeguard old buildings, Kinh
said the application of a 2001 law on the preservation of such sites
“has met with many difficulties.”
But attempts to rescue some of France’s architectural leftovers
have not been completely in vain, he added, pointing to Vietnam’s Dalat
city as a noteworthy example.
In neighbouring Laos, the picturesque northern town of Luang
Prabang with its well-kept colonial homes has proved a major tourist
draw, and the government is keen to replicate that success in the
capital.
Buildings in Vientiane have been renovated and are in “very good” condition, said government spokesman Khenthong Nuanthasing.
“It’s good for tourists. When the tourists come to Vientiane, they are looking for that,” he said.
Collins believes governments in all three countries should see
the preservation of French-era structures not as a nuisance, but as a
way to attract revenue from foreign visitors.
“Decisions have to be made about how important these buildings are to the cities,” he said.
But if recent remarks by the Cambodian prime minister are
anything to go by, those in favour of conservation face an uphill
battle.
“They want to keep the old buildings… But when they collapse,
who would be responsible?” Hun Sen said in September when he announced
plans for a 555-metre tower in Phnom Penh.
“Don’t be too conservative. Skyscrapers are appearing. Let’s build high buildings,” he said.
 
Categories: Uncategorized