Reduced coverage between 07 and 10 August 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Readers,

Because several of our team members will be traveling to remote areas where Internet access is rather inexistent (read Cambodia’s remote countryside), news updates on KI-Media will be reduced between Saturday 07 August and Tuesday 10 August 2010. A few of us will be back after 10 August and we expect to update the news regularly again by 11 August (Phnom Penh time).

We apologize for this inconvenience and we hope to see you back on Wednesday 11 August 2010.

Thank you again for your constant support!

KI-Media team
READ MORE - Reduced coverage between 07 and 10 August 2010

PM: Thailand to clarify its stance to UN after Cambodian PM tells UN Thailand threatens force

BANGKOK, Aug 9 (MCOT)- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (pictured) on Monday affirmed the country's peaceful principles and intentions, saying Thailand is sending a letter to the United Nations to clarify its position regarding its border dispute after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told the world body Thailand is threatening to use force to settle the wrangle.

Mr Abhisit said the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia is not yet settled and Thailand is exploring existing and possible measures to find
the best solution for both sides to stay together peacefully.

He said Thailand adheres to peaceful means and is trying to settle bilateral disputes under the law and agreements in place [such as the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia].

Thailand will inform the UN how Cambodia encroached upon Thai territory, he said, strongly affirming that Thailand had to protect its national interests.

The Thai premier's comment came after Mr Hun Sen sent a letter to the UN General Assembly and Security Council in which he accused Thailand of threatening to use its forces to settle the dispute.

Mr Hun Sen's letter, which was also sent to the media, said statements by Mr Abhisit when he addressed the civil society groups on Saturday represented "a clear threat to use military force" to settle the border problem and therefore in violation of UN rules.

The Cambodian premier reaffirmed his country's policy not to use military means to settle disputes with its neighbours but that it reserved its
legitimate right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in case of deliberate acts of aggression.

Thai civil society groups led by the so-called Thailand Patriot Network demanded clarification regarding the government's position on the Preah Vihear disputes.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister Panithan Wattanayagorn said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was discussing the matter with experts in international law and related issues. The results are expected to be reported to the premier later today.

However, Dr Panithan -- who is also acting government spokesman -- said Thailand's standpoint would not change, that it would cooperate with neighbouring countries for mutual benefit.

The government is planning to inform the UN regarding three issues -- the legal aspect that Cambodia questioned, how Thailand's territory was intruded upon and Thailand's affirmation on the use of peaceful means and accepted international law, he said.

He said the government is worried that Cambodia was trying to draw a third party into the disputes but affirmed that Thailand would stick to the principle of finding a solution through talks.

Dr Panithan added that resolving a border dispute is normally a matter between the two nations themselves to find a solution and believed that the international community would understand and respect.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban reaffirmed on Monday that the Thai government has not yet ordered the closure of its border despite the verbal spat with Cambodia, but conceded that troops are on standby to protect the country's sovereignty.

Mr Suthep, who oversees national security, also commented on Mr Hun Sen's letter to UN that the Thai foreign ministry is now considering the issue, while reiterating that Thailand upholds to live with its neighbour peacefully.

The Thai deputy premier said that Thai troops are on alert along the Thai-Cambodian border, but they will not intrude into Cambodian territory.

He said the neighbouring country has its right to prepare its armed forces as long as they do not invade Thai soil.

Mr Suthep also gave assurances that the ongoing tension will not lead to the closure of the Thai-Cambodian border.

Tensions between Thailand and Cambodia arose after the Thai government delegation objected to Cambodia's unilateral management plan for the historic Preah Vihear temple as the neighbours could find no common ground to settle the disputed 4.6 sq km of land adjacent to the temple which was granted world heritage status in 2008.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through its World Heritage Commission (WHC) consequently early this month postponed its discussion of the plan until next year when it meets in Bahrain.

The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the temple belongs to Cambodia.

The ancient Hindu temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Under the terms of the listing, Cambodia is required to submit a management plan for WHC approval. (MCOT online news)
READ MORE - PM: Thailand to clarify its stance to UN after Cambodian PM tells UN Thailand threatens force

PM Hun Sen complained to UN after Thai PM threatened to use force to settle Preah Vihear dispute

Click on text to read the letter.

By Khmerization

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has sought UN's help by writing a letter to the UN Security Council after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva threatened to use force to settle the Preah Vihear dispute if diplomacy does not yield a satisfactory result for Thailand.

In an address to Thai protesters on 7th August, Mr. Abhisit was alleged to have said that Thailand is prepared to use force to take control over a plot of land surrounding the temple complex claimed by both Thailand and Cambodia. "About the land encroachment, we will cancel the MOU if the problem can't be settled. We will use both democratic and military means," Mr. Abhisit was quoted by The Nation newspaper as telling the protesters. The Cambodian Foreign Ministry swiftly issued a strong statement in response to Abhisit's threats.

In the letter, Mr. Hun Sen had drawn the attention of the UNSC to the fact that Preah Vihear temple issue had been settled once and for all by the Franco-Siamese Convention of 1904, the Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 and the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 1962 and the 1908 maps which were accepted by the then Siamese king.

Mr. Hun Sen's letter had also drawn the UNSC's attention to the verdict of the ICJ which stated that "...the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignt of Cambodia;"
and that "Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity within Cambodian territory."

The letter accused Thailand of violating articles 2.3 and 2.4 of the UN Charter. The letter also stressed that Cambodia re-affirms its policy not to use force to settle any disputes, but said it reserves its "legitimate rights" to defend its "sovereignty and territorial integrity" in the face of aggression by Thailand.

Mr. Hun Sen had also requested the UNSC to widely circulate the letter to all members of the UNSC for information.
READ MORE - PM Hun Sen complained to UN after Thai PM threatened to use force to settle Preah Vihear dispute

Sacravatoons no 1802 : " Preah Vihear Temple "

READ MORE - Sacravatoons no 1802 : " Preah Vihear Temple "

"Kall L'bech Hanoi neung Kamsoy Roboss Khmer" a Poem in Khmer by Hin Sithan

READ MORE - "Kall L'bech Hanoi neung Kamsoy Roboss Khmer" a Poem in Khmer by Hin Sithan

"Chum-vinh Kar Batt-bang Teuk Dei Khmer" Op.Ed. by Cheath Hangsa

READ MORE - "Chum-vinh Kar Batt-bang Teuk Dei Khmer" Op.Ed. by Cheath Hangsa

Politiktoons no 116 : " WikiLeak " by Sacrava

READ MORE - Politiktoons no 116 : " WikiLeak " by Sacrava

Sacravatoons No 1801 : " Honey Sam "

READ MORE - Sacravatoons No 1801 : " Honey Sam "

“Reconciliation for me is easy, I want all the leaders to answer for the deeds they committed”: Sum Rithy

From left to right: Mr. Sum Rithy, civil party complainant for case #002, and Mr. Lat Ky, tribunal monitor chief of ADHOC, on 'Hello VOA". (Photo: by Heng Reaksmey)

Government Can Help in Tribunal Reconciliation: Monitor

Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer
Washington, DC Friday, 06 August 2010

Compensation for victims of the Khmer Rouge is in part a responsibility of the government, a tribunal monitor said Thursday.

“Because the state has an obligation to take responsibility for all kinds of people's suffering,” said Lat Ky, a court monitor for the rights group Adhoc, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

Many victims were disappointed with the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal's sentencing of prison chief Duch last week. He received a commuted sentence of 19 years for supervising the torture and execution of more than 12,000 people.

Victims who lost family in the infamous prison say they want a stupa erected with the names of the dead. Lat Ky said a stupa would help.

“Even if the verdict is a [court] order, how do we make the victims mentally reconcile, fix their suffering, and find justice for them?” he said. “That's more important than the complexities that the judges are thinking.”

Sum Rithy, a 57-year-old who has filed grievances in both the Duch case and the upcoming Case No. 002, said he was disappointed he saw no compensation in the Duch verdict.

“Reconciliation for me is easy,” he said. “I want all the leaders to answer for the deeds they committed.”
READ MORE - “Reconciliation for me is easy, I want all the leaders to answer for the deeds they committed”: Sum Rithy

Cambodia Preps for Oil Agreement With Iran

Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh Friday, 06 August 2010

“We want Iranian companies to invest in Cambodia, boosting economic growth and development for poverty reduction.”
Cambodia is preparing a high-level delegation to visit Iran next week, where they expect to sign an agreement on petroleum cooperation, among others.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told VOA Khmer Friday the petroleum agreement would allow Iranian oil experts to provide technical assitance to Cambodia.

The delegation will be led by Foreign Minisgter Hor Namhong and will include Ho Vichit, vice chairman of the National Petroleum Authority, a ministry statement said.

Cambodia expects to see oil flowing from offshore blocs in 2012, Koy Kuong said, and Iran is one of the largest producers of oil in the world.

The visit will improve diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as promoting trade, tourism and investment, he said.

The trip, scheduled for Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, could also mean positive developments for Cambodia's Muslim community, said Sman Teath, a Muslim and deputy director of the National Assembly's finance committee.

Cambodia has a population of nearly half a million Muslims, many of whom remain in poverty after devastating treatment at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

Sos Mos Sin, head of the Cambodian-Muslim Student Association, said the community needs trade and investment opportunities as well as humanitarian assistance from Iran.

“We want Iranian companies to invest in Cambodia, boosting economic growth and development for poverty reduction,” he said.

There are so far no plans for Iranian businesses to come here, Koy Kuong said.

Cambodia has had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1992, but it communicates with the country through its embassy in Hanoi.

Mohsen Kohkan, head of the Iran-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Group, who visited Cambodia in June, asked Cambodia to establish an Embassy in Iran. The Iranian Assembly has been encouraging its government to appoint an ambassador to Cambodia.
READ MORE - Cambodia Preps for Oil Agreement With Iran