Premier says suspected spy leader has fled country

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment
The three alleged spies after their arrest in Si Sa Ket province on June 7
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has admitted
that the suspected leader of three men arrested for alleged spying on
the Thai-Cambodian border has managed to flee the country.
Mr Abhisit yesterday said he had received information from
authorities concerned that the suspected leader of the group, who is a
Cambodian colonel, had escaped from Thailand.
Police are now questioning the three men who were detained in
connection with the alleged spying to find out further information, Mr
Abhisit said.
He insisted that Thailand had not fabricated the spying allegations against Cambodia.
A Thai, a Cambodian and a Vietnamese, were arrested in Kantharalak
district of Si Sa Ket on the evening of June 7 carrying maps with
military bases marked on them, according to police.

Also Read: Thai PM says Cambodian spy escapes

The three were identified as Suchart Muhammad, a 32-year-old Thai
Muslim, Cambodian citizen Ung Kimtai, 43, and Nguyen Teng Dang, 37, a
Vietnamese national. All three suspects denied they were spying in the
area.
Cambodia accused Thailand of “deceitful fabrication” following the
arrests. Phnom Penh said the spy claims were fabricated to justify Thai
aggression against Cambodia along the border.
Police said Mr Suchart had admitted that he was paid 5,000 baht to
drive a pickup truck for a group of six men to gather information on
Thai military bases and bomb shelters at villages along the border in Si
Sa Ket.
Mr Suchart told police that the group was led by a Cambodian man called Wichai.
Mr Wichai and three other men managed to escape police arrest while the three others were arrested.
Mr Suchart alleged that Mr Wichai had managed to get away with maps with information on the Thai military bases in the area.
On Wednesday, the provincial court in Kantharalak district issued a
warrant for the arrest of Mr Wichai on a charge of espionage.
The name on his passport is reported to be Ya Pov or Chea Pov.
The 48-year-old Cambodian man is believed to have the military rank
of colonel and runs a business in Cambodia, according to police.
An Immigration Police source said it was believed Mr Wichai left
Thailand and crossed into Cambodia on June 9 via the immigration
checkpoint at Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban yesterday defended soldiers
and police who failed to capture the suspected leader of the alleged
spying gang.
Mr Suthep said the army had done its best to prevent Cambodians from spying on Thai territory.
He said he did not think the escape was the army’s fault.
Mr Suthep, who is in charge of national security, said the
information on Thailand’s military bases which Mr Wichai had obtained
was not strategically important.
The bitter border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia has seen 28
people killed this year, and the row has since moved to the United
Nations’ International Court of Justice.
Categories: Local News

Assembly Approves Triple-Country Convention

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment
The law passed with 83 votes from the Cambodian People’s Party, zero
from the Sam Rainsy Party and a boycott from the Human Rights Party. Photo: VOA
Cambodia’s ruling party on Thursday approved a regional convention
that would set up a joint development area between Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam, but which opposition critics argue would cede land to Vietnam.
The law passed with 83 votes from the Cambodian People’s Party, zero
from the Sam Rainsy Party and a boycott from the Human Rights Party.
The law would set up a special economic zone and would require the
placement of a border marker stone at the intersection of all three
countries.
Supporters of the law said it will help create a development area for
four provinces in Cambodia’s northeast, as well as neighboring
provinces of Laos and Vietnam.
Var Kimhong, chairman of Cambodia’s Border Committee, told the
National Assembly the plan would include setting a granite marker at the
intersection of the three countries’ borders, which would be protected
from any effort of removal or damage.
However, SRP lawmaker Ke Sovannroth told the Assembly that the border
in that area remains unclear and that Cambodia could be losing land by
agreeing to the convention.
“We should not pass it,” she said. “If we pass it, it means that we recognize it. So we are also responsible for the history.”
Laos ratified the convention in July 2009, but it has yet to be approved by Vietnam.
VOA News
Categories: Local News

Cambodian soldiers to join peacekeeping exercise in Thailand amid border row

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment
Cambodia on Thursday afternoon sent a
group of 47 armed forces to Thailand to join the Ayara Guardian 2011, a
multi-national peace-keeping exercise, which runs from June 13 to July
1.

Speaking during a see-off ceremony at the Phnom Penh
International Airport, Prak Sokhon, Secretary of State for the Council
of Ministers and chairman of the National Coordination Committee of the
United Nations Peacekeeping Operation, said that the exercise would be a
good chance for Cambodian troops to learn from senior military trainers
from the United States, Indonesia, and the United Nations.

“Our participation in international exercises is to strengthen our
military capacity and to keep up with the evolution of military skills
from other countries,” he said.

The dispatch of the troops to
Thailand occurred at a time when Cambodian and Thailand troops are
still confronting over the border dispute.

“The peacekeeping
exercise in Thailand is for humanitarian activities only under the
umbrella of the United Nations, not relevant to the border issue,” said
Prak Sokhon.

Cambodia and Thailand have had a border conflict
just a week after Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple was listed as a World
Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

Since then, both sides have
built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have
happened, resulting in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.

Source:Xinhua

Categories: Local News

Thai PM says Cambodian spy escapes

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment
BANGKOK, June 16 – Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on
Thursday said he has received a report that a Cambodian spy has escaped
and that the incident confirmed that Thailand did not fabricate the spy
case.

Three suspects on spying charges –Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese
nationals– were arrested in Si Sa Ket’s Kantaralak district on
suspicion of spying on Thai military facilities.

Mr Abhisit said he could confirm that the one who has escaped was a Cambodian military officer but his rank remains unknown.

He also denied Cambodia’s accusation that Thailand fabricated the spy
case, saying the country did not arrest innocent people as the
investigation found evidence that implicated them.

Thailand will in consequence present the information to the international community, the prime minister said.

Also Read: 

Suchart Muhammad, a 32-year-old Thai, Ung Kimtai, a 43-year-old
Cambodian and Nguyen Tengyang, 37, a Vietnamese, were arrested ten days
ago at a Thai border village in the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket
for alleged spying on Thai military facilities and bunkers built to
shelter Thai villagers in the event of cross-border attacks or shelling.

The Cambodian Foreign Ministry said in its statement released Friday
that it “categorically rejects this deceitful fabrication by the Thai
authorities and prime minister, intending to mislead the public and
malign Cambodia”, adding it had no need to spy on Thailand.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia wishes to assert that the above
fabrication is only a pretext to justify future aggression against
Cambodia,” the Agence France Press news agency quoted the statement as
saying. (MCOT online news)

Categories: Local News

Protest turns violent

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Photo by: Heng Chivoan
A protest allegedly turned violent outside Kampong Speu provincial court
yesterday after security guards confronted about 1,000 garment workers,
who were demanding the release of an arrested union representative.

Free
Trade Union representative Sun Pisey was arrested last Friday after
allegedly scarring fellow Sang Vo garment factory employee Soem Voleak
during a scuffle.

Sang Vo workers, who protested outside the
court for a second day yesterday, said Sun Pisey was advocating the
benefits of joining the union when Soem Voleak attacked him and was
arrested because of his union affiliations.

Protestor Man Thavy
claimed yesterday that security guards from Sang Vo hit her across the
head with sticks as they confronted demonstrators. “I lodged a complaint
to … [the] district police chief to hunt for justice,” she said.

Meng
Sokha, chief of administration at Sang Vo, denied yesterday that
company security guards had interfered with the protest. “The factory
does not fine, punish or remove union representatives from the factory’s
[books],” he said.

Mich Sophorn, chief of the crimes department at the district police, said yesterday that he would investigate the allegations.

FTU
president Chea Mony yesterday condemned the alleged violence and
requested that the government take action against the factory.

Provincial chief prosecutor Khut Sopheang could not be reached for comment by The Post yesterday.

Categories: Local News

Port shipments to soar

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Photo by: HECTOR BERMEJO
SHIPMENTS through Sihanoukville Autonomous Port have increased this year
largely on increased exports of rice and acacia wood, Director General
Lou Kim Chhun said.

Some 91,100 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units
(TEUs) were transported through the facility between January and May, an
8.7 percent increase on shipments during the same period last year,
according to port statistics.

An increase in shipments of
products such as garments, oil and coal were main drivers of the growth,
though agriculture and timber products were showing the largest
increase, he said.

“Rice and acacia-wood exports jumped better than expected in the first five months,” Lou Kim Chhun said on Tuesday.

The port is currently shipping 10,000 tonnes of acacia wood to China each month, while imports of oil are also on the rise.

Lou Kim Chhun highlighted the potential of rail shipments from Phnom Penh to the port as increasing overall exports.

The
rail link between the capital and Touk Meas in Kampot province opened
last year, while the leg between Kampot and Sihanoukville is slated for
completion this year.

“We strongly believe that when the
railroad from Touk Meas links with Sihanoukville port, shipments through
the port will increase more next year,” he said.

One of Cambodia’s largest trucking companies, So Nguon Group, is taking a wait and see approach to competition from rail.

“We
don’t think it will affect our business of transportation, but we don’t
know yet. We will wait to see the situation at the time,” said its
President So Nguon on Tuesday.

Democrats wrong from the start on Preah Vihear

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

It seems no political parties, other than Suwit Khunkitti’s Social
Action Party, want to follow Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s call
last week for clear positions on the conflict with Cambodia over the
Hindu temple of Preah Vihear. They don’t want to take the political risk
of losing the battle.

Abhisit and his Democrat Party have taken a clear – but wrong – stance on the issue from the beginning.
Indeed,
the party has been mistaken on the issue since it was in opposition. In
2008, it tagged along with the nationalist People’s Alliance for
Democracy (PAD) to exploit crude nationalism over Preah Vihear and
attack the governments of Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat.
After
Samak’s government supported Cambodia in listing the temple as a World
Heritage Site, the Democrats and the PAD accused Samak and his foreign
minister Noppadon Pattama of losing Thai territory and the chance to
reclaim Preah Vihear.
Abhisit made the accusation based on a
misinterpretation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s 1962
ruling on the Preah Vihear case. The court ruled the temple “was
situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia”.
Abhisit
– as he argued in Parliament during a censure motion against Noppadon
in June 2008 – said the ICJ ruled only on the ruined sandstone temple,
while the territory on which it stood belonged to Thailand. Thus, for
Abhisit, any Cambodian activities in the area were violations of Thai
sovereignty.
Abhisit’s interpretation contradicted Thailand’s own
consistent stance since 1962, when a Thai Cabinet decision unilaterally
set the boundary at Preah Vihear to comply with the ICJ ruling.
In
fact, during the military-backed government under General Surayud
Chulanont and later under the elected governments of Samak and Somchai,
Thailand used the Cabinet-drawn line in dealing with Cambodia’s proposal
to list the temple.
Thailand’s legal team also used it in making
their argument in the recent ICJ trial, after Cambodia asked the court
to clarify the 1962 judgement and to instigate provisional measures to
have Thai troops withdraw from the disputed area.
Cambodia has
agreed, at least for now, to use that line as the Preah Vihear boundary
in its proposal for the temple’s listing and management. The land that
is disputed is not included in the management plan, but that did not
stop Abhisit from blocking Phnom Penh’s plan to run the temple as a
World Heritage Site. The premier accused Cambodia of taking Thai
territory as a buffer zone around Preah Vihear and asked the World
Heritage Committee to suspend its management plan.
Abhisit will
send Suwit, his minister of natural resources and the environment, to
derail Cambodia’s plans at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Paris
next week.
The move cornered Cambodia and offered Phnom Penh no
option but to bring the case back to the ICJ for a clarification of the
scope and meaning of the 1962 judgement. The court is currently
considering Cambodia’s request for a ban on Thai military activities at
the disputed area.
The decisions of both organisations are likely to be delivered around the same time, perhaps shortly after the Thai election.
Abhisit
called for other parties to make their stances clear in order to
relieve the political pressure mounting on him. In case Thailand loses
the court battle, Abhisit needs someone in the same boat- as well as
someone with a different stance to shift the blame to.

The Nation
Categories: Local News