Kapur shoots 67, moves to tied second at Cambodian Open Read more: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/sports/kapur-shoots-67-moves-to-tied-second-at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Siem Reap (Cambodia), Nov 20 (IANS) Indian golfer Shiv Kapur in his bid to retain his Asian Tour card put himself in a position to end his four-year title drought with a five-under 67 that put him shared second place at the midway stage of the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open here Friday.
Kapur was seven-under 137 for 36 holes and two behind Welshman Craig Smith, who is looking for his maiden Asian Tour win. Smith, one of the tallest professionals on any international Tour at six-foot-eight opened up a two-stroke halfway advantage after firing a sizzling six-under-par 66 for a two-day total of nine-under-par 135 at the $300,000 full field Asian Tour event.

The other three Indians also made the cut. Vikrant Chopra, the best Indian after the first round, added a 71 to his first 69 to be tied 13th at four-under 140. Anirban Lahiri after two birdies in first three holes tapered off and finished with a 71 that put him in tied 15th place at three-under 141. Rahil Gangjee shot an even par 72 to be two-under 142 in tied 23rd place.

Kapur, currently in 69th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, charged into contention with a superb 67. He made the turn in 35 before adding a birdie on the 10th hole and then closed strongly with three consecutive birdies, including a 20-footer at his last.

“All in all, it was a frustrating day because I hit it close to the flag but couldn’t buy a putt. The way I struck the ball I should be at least 12 or 13-under. Luckily for me, I ended with three birdies and that turned an average day into a good day,” said Kapur.

“The greens are pretty tough here but fair. My putting has let me down and if I can get my putter hot during the weekend I should have a good chance,” added Kapur, who is looking to add a second title to the Volvo Masters of Asia he won in his rookie year in 2005.

Kapur, Filipino Artemio Murakami and Thailand’s Annop Tangkamolprasert are two strokes behind at the Phokeethra Country Club.

Overnight leader David Gleeson of Australia, Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussain, Will Yanagisawa of the US and Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand are among the players in tied fifth position, three behind the leader.

A total of 74 players made the cut which was set at two-over-par 146.

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39th ASEAN bankers' council meeting held in Cambodia

Senior officials from ASEAN nations' national and private banks gathered here on Friday to attend the 39th ASEAN banking council meeting.

The annual bankers' meeting focused on how to speed up the process of the integration of ASEAN financial services by 2015, and discussed on the cooperation in finance, investment, education and ASEAN inter-regional relations.

"The close cooperation among ASEAN banks will certainly help to speed up the process of the integration of ASEAN financial services by 2015," Neav Chanthana, deputy governor of the Central National Bank of Cambodia, said in her keynote address at the two-day meeting.

"Due to increasing regional integration, the banking industry and banking supervisors share a number of convergent priorities," She stressed, adding that "I am rather optimistic that rational dialog based on responsible and knowledgeable positions, between people acting professionally, is always a source of progress in the banking industry to support economic growth," she added.

As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cambodia enjoyed double digit economic growth over the past decade. In 2009, however, Cambodia is severely hit by the global financial crisis through the real sector, namely garments, construction, and tourism which had been the driving forces of Cambodian economy.

Neav Chanthana said that national bank of Cambodia will carefully follow the international developments and consider implementation in a progressive manner and in line with domestic market developments and priorities.

Phung Kheav Se, chairman of Association of Banks in Cambodia, said at the meeting that "Our close association with the ASEAN organization and with its member countries has been of enormous benefit to Cambodia in many respects economic, social and political."

According to a report from Association of Banks in Cambodia, Cambodia has six specialized banks and commercial banks and 20 microfinance institutions as its members.

Founded in 1967, the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asia Nations) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: Xinhua
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Thailand to request bail for Thai engineer detained in Cambodia

BANGKOK, Nov 20 (TNA) - Thailand will ask to post bail for the Thai engineer detained on spy charges in Cambodia within one or two days to free him on a temporary basis, according to the Thai Foreign Minister's Secretary Chawanon Intarakomalsut.

Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS) employee Siwarak Chutipong, 31, was arrested in Phnom Penh on spying charges last week when he was discovered releasing Thaksin Shinawatra’s flight schedule to a Thai embassy official in Phnom Penh.

Mr Chawanon said the Thai authorities had approached Kao Sopha, a Cambodian lawyer with experience in human rights protection, to be Siwarak's lawyer. Kao Sopha had met Mr Siwarak and is collecting information and evidence to write a request to provide bail for the engineer within one to two days to release him temporarily.

The representatives of Samart Corporation, CATS parent company, met Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya to give information which could be useful to support Thailand’s belief that Siwarak has done nothing illegal, he said.

CATS is wholly-owned by the Samart Corporation and received a concession from the Cambodian government to supply aeronautical radio and air traffic control services to Cambodia.

The Foreign Ministry legal experts were studying the two countries’ Investment Protection Agreement to find options to help Samart Corporation, he said, adding that Mr Kasit had affirmed that the ministry would extend full help as it did not want the problem to be escalated to affect other people and other Thai companies invested in Cambodia.

Thani Thongphakdi, deputy director-general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Department of Information, told reporters that the lawyer was preparing the document for seeking bail but the date to submit the request had not been set. However, it could be early next week, he said.

After submitting the request, Cambodia is expected to take 10 days to consider whether to allow the bail.

In a related development, Thai Defence Ministry spokesman Col Thanatip Sawangsaeng said Thailand would host the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (JBC) extraordinary session November 26-27 at Pattaya in the eastern province of Chonburi.

The Thai and Cambodian defence ministers would head their delegations to the meeting, he said.

It was expected that the meeting would discuss the border situation, and military cooperation, said the spokesman. (TNA)
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Thai-Cambodia JBC meeting next week

* Published: 20/11/2009 at 04:04 PM
* Online news: Breakingnews

The Thai-Cambodia Joint Border Committee (JBC) will meet on Nov 27 at 28 at the Dusit Thani hotel in Pattaya, defence ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Saengsawang said on Friday.

“It will be a ministerial level defence meeting to discuss border security and military cooperation,” Col Thanathip said.

Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon would use his ties with Cambodian military leaders to help ease the current tension between the two countries.

The spokesman said that military relations between the two countries remain intact despite the diplomatic row between Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

The Defence Ministry hopes to help settle the dispute between the two governments and at the same time to strengthen ties and trust on both sides, Col Thanathip said.
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Ecstasy factories destroyed in Cambodian rainforests

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 20, 2009 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Ten ecstasy laboratories operated by local drug cartels were destroyed Wednesday in one of Cambodia's most impenetrable and remote jungle areas in the country's southwest Cardamom Mountains, according to a statement released Friday by Wildlife Alliance.

The raid was carried out by an anti-drug task force led by Wildlife Alliance and in close cooperation with forest rangers from Cambodia's armed services and Ministry of Environment.

"At least 35 tons of safrole oil, a main ingredient used in the methamphetamine production of ecstasy, could have been used to make over five million ecstasy pills with a street value of over 100 million U.S. dollars," according to local officials.

Wildlife Alliance-sponsored ranger team from Cambodia's Ministry of Environment and managed by Fauna and Flora International, came across the ecstasy labs several months ago during a routine foot patrol through Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, 200 miles northwest of Phnom Penh.

Wildlife Alliance Technical Advisor and former French Legionnaire, Eduard Lefter, who planned the complex and dangerous raid with Cambodian Forest Rangers, commented on the operation, saying "The mission was very difficult to organize and the conditions extremely tough. The mountain terrain and dense forest made a helicopter insertion virtually impossible, so we went in by foot."

According to Lefter, the team spent 12 days in the jungle battling leeches and the resulting wound infections, as well as skirting landmines which made forward progress extremely difficult. By the end of the mission much of Lefter's ranger teams were suffering from dehydration from dwindling water supplies.

The teams also carried explosive ordnance in the form of landmines, provided by the Cambodian Military, to destroy the ecstasy labs and safrole distillation equipment.

(Source: iStockAnalyst )
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