Vietnam, Cambodia vow to build peaceful border

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vietnam will join efforts with Cambodia to build the common borderline into one of peace, friendship, stability, cooperation and development.

The Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the statement while receiving the Cambodian Senior Minister Var Kim Hong, who is Chairman of the Cambodia-Vietnam Joint Border Commission, in Hanoi on January 14.

PM Dung stressed that the demarcation and planting of border markers on the common borderline should be conducted in line with the principle of equity and rationality, for mutual benefit. He urged the two sides to early finalise on spot demarcation work with a view to promoting cooperation between the two countries.

He also welcomed and highly valued the results of the recent joint border commission meeting at which the two sides agreed to plant a number of markers this year and discussed measures to settle several difficulties.

Minister Var Kim Hong pledged that Cambodia will closely work with Vietnam in demarcating the borderline and planting border markers in line with the spirit of cooperation and friendship, listen to each other’s views and jointly solve any emerging in due time issues.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Minister Var Kim Hong expressed their belief that land demarcation between Vietnam and Cambodia will be completed by 2012 as agreed by leaders of the two countries.

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Hun Xen’s cops hunting Khmer Krom monks accused of distributing leaflets opposing 07 January

A cop kicking Khmer Krom monk

By Sok Serey
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Socheata
Click here to read the article in Khmer

Five Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks are currently in hiding for their safety protection against the hunting by cops from the Ministry of Interior (MoI). The MoI accused these monks of distributing leaflets opposing the celebration of the 07 January considered as a victory day for the ruling CPP party.

On Thursday 14 December, Venerable Liv Phally, one of the 5 monks who are currently in hiding for their safety protection against the police arrest, told RFA over the phone from his hideout: “I went into hiding since 07 January. The reason I am in hiding is due to the accusation made by the MoI and the government, charging me of distributing leaflets.”

Sok Serey: Did you distribute them or not?

Ven. Liv Phally: I did not distribute them. I did not even know what these leaflets say.”

Ven. Thach Nhanh, another Khmer Krom monk who is currently in hiding also, said that he is currently living in fear.

Ven. Thach Nhanh said: “I have no shelter. I went to stay at Wat Saravoan Pagoda, they chased me out. I went to the Samaky Pagoda, they chased me out also. I am very scared about what the Cambodian government is doing to us.”

Sok Serey: They accused you of distributing leaflets to oppose 07 January, is that true?

Ven. Thach Nhanh: This is not true.

RFA contacted Touch Naroth, the Phnom Penh police commissioner, to ask him about the police plan regarding this case, but he replied that he was busy.

General Khieu Sopheak, the MoI spokesman, said that he is not aware of this case.

Thach Setha, the President of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community in Cambodia who is knowledgeable in this affair, said that the accusations against the monks are very serious charge.

Thach Setha said: “I am asking for the government to conduct a thorough investigation, it should not get mixed up and it should not punish the innocent people like this. It instills fear among the monks, especially Khmer Krom [monks]. Therefore, we are asking that such incident does not take place.”

The ruling CPP party, which controls power for the past 30 years, recently celebrated the 31st anniversary of the 07 January victory over the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Several thousand people celebrated the event.

The monks who are currently in hiding indicated that cops from the MoI had photos of 4 Khmer Krom monks, as well as that of another monk whose name is unknown, and these cops are hunting these monks since 07 January 2010. The monks are accused of spreading leaflets opposing the CPP’s 07 January celebration.

No pagoda in Phnom Penh dare accept to provide shelter to these 5 fleeing monks.
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A man of dwindling means
The Nation/Asia News Network

One source even speculated that his net worth could already have turned negative if his Bt76 billion now being frozen in Thailand is not taken into account.

In a recent interview with Times Online, Thaksin said he still had US$100 million (Bt3.3 billion) as his total net worth, trying to create an impression that he does not have any financial problems.

But sources say Thaksin is now having a difficult time servicing his debt owed to Gazprombank, a subsidiary of Gazprom of Russia. The Russian state owns more than 50 per cent in Gazprom, the energy firm that has branched out to become a global conglomerate.

Thaksin would like to rely on his connection with Gazprom to launch his investment in the energy sector in other countries, where he hopes to improve his political conditions. His interest in the oil and gas business in Cambodia is already widely known.

The exact amount of the loan he took from Gazprombank is not known, but it could be in the region of $1.5 billion, the sources believe.

Thaksin has used this loan to invest in Dubai in order to establish his status there as an honorary political refugee. Following the meltdown of Dubai, however, Thaksin has suffered heavy losses from his Dubai investment.

He also lost a huge amount of money from his portfolio investment in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Dubai World, a state-owned corporation, is seeking a delay of repayment of its debt amounting to $59 billion.

The sources say Thaksin's debt owed to Gazprombank is already overdue.

Thaksin needs big money to finance his lavish lifestyle and security protection.

One government source said Thaksin is on an aircraft three days a week, constantly changing his location to ensure personal safety.

The ex-premier has faced another big financial blow. The UK authorities have recently seized some $4 billion believed to belong to Thaksin under nominees' names, the sources said.

This amount was frozen in 2008, pending the beneficial owner(s) coming forward to declare ownership. But since nobody had come forward, the UK authorities quietly seized the amount for the state coffers.

If Thaksin were to lose Bt76 billion in his Thai assets-seizure case, his net worth could turn negative.

On February 26, the Supreme Court will rule whether he is guilty of corruption. If the court were to find him guilty, it would order the seizure of the entire Bt76 billion.

Thaksin is now fighting back fiercely. He will try to lobby the Supreme Court, bring down the Abhisit Vejjajiva government and ignite the red-shirt rallies in order to instigate a military intervention.

The Nation/Asia News Network
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Noppadon: Thaksin won't visit P.Penh

Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has dropped his plan to visit Cambodia, Noppadon Pattama, a legal adviser to the Shinawatra family, said on Friday.

“Previously, Thaksin had planned to visit Cambodia from Jan 15 to 17, but he has scrapped the plan. He will visit another country in Asia instead," Mr Noppadon said.

Asked about Cambodian foreign minister's statement that Thaksin would visit Phnom Penh this month, Mr Noppadon said he had no idea.

“It is not necessary for Thaksin to stay near Thailand. The world now has no frontiers and the former prime minister can push his political cause from anywhere, if he wants to,” he said.

Thaksin did not want to incite violence and was just fighting for justice and democracy, he added.

“Thaksin has not threatened the bureaucrats. He just wants to make it known that without democracy and justice there will be no peace in the country,” Mr Noppadon said.
READ MORE - Noppadon: Thaksin won't visit P.Penh