Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What is the catch?

BREAKING NEWS >> Wednesday October 29, 2008 03:43
Parliament approves Cambodia border talks 
Lawmakers at the joint parliamentary session last night gave negotiators authority to hold talks with Cambodia to demarcate the land boundary in the disputed area between the two countries. 
The endorsement is needed under the constitution ahead of the proposed talks of the Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) with Cambodia on Nov 10. 
Any agreement emerging from the JBC's negotiations also needs parliamentary approval.

What is the catch?
By Pancha Seila

Reading news in Bangkokpost.com brought me to my years of high school when I read “Le Prince” by Macchiavelli. I wondered why Thais kept coming back again and again and hit Cambodians with tricks and deception.

They were shouting out loud to the world so that the world can hear them very well that Thai joint parliamentary session though after verbal brawl “gave negotiators authority to hold talks with Cambodia”, but “any agreement emerging from the JBC’s negotiations also needs parliamentary approval”, meaning that Cambodian and Thai negotiators can stamp their approval at the negotiation table, but Thai “constitutional democratic processes” allow Thai parliament to agree or not to agree.

The international public opinion must be SURPRISED at the naked reality of Thais’ arrogance with respect to Cambodians. It shows that Thai politicians are fond of Machiavelli. They are militarists because they are fond of the Nazis and the fascists who gave them the inspiration of DRAWING UNILATERAL MAP; they are militarists because the institution of the Thai armed forces is independent of the elected government. Whether it is a civilian or military government the institution of the armed forces can do things they wanted, for example make a coup d’etat and take the rein of the government or send troops to invade and occupy Cambodian territory.

Thailand can get away for so long with the “silky smiles” of the powerful Thai advertising program, but the past couple of years of Thai “bludgeoning, rather infantile” democracy” while Thailand enjoys peace and prosperity for many centuries past, have brought to light the NAKED REALITIES of Thailand behind those silky smiles. Thailand used cheap legal technicalities to show its ARROGANCE: TO SUBMIT CAMBODIA UNDER THAI “INSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES”.

The world can see that.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cambodia to seek support until 2010 for land mine clearing

Cambodia said Thursday it will seek international support to extend its land mine-clearing operations until 2020. In a roundtable discussion organized by the Club of Cambodian Journalists, Som Sotha, secretary general of the Mine Action Authority, said that due to the number of mined fields remaining in the country an extension is a must.
He said Cambodia began to clear landmines in 1992 and since then more than 800,000 land mines and 1.5 million pieces of unexploded ordnance strewn across 500 million square meters have been cleared. According to the Ottawa Convention, of which Cambodia is a signatory, Cambodia was supposed to clear its land mines and the unexploded ordnance by January 2010, 10 years after it signed the convention.
But with mines and other explosives still in more than 2,000 square kilometers, Cambodia will need at least until to 2020, he said. Millions of land mines have been planted in Cambodia since 1967 and accidents caused by land mines and unexploded ordnance are still common, killing or maiming about 400 people every year. Still, about 50 percent of the land covered by land mines and unexploded ordnance has been cleared and many Cambodians have become among of the world's most experienced demining experts.
KyodoDecember 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cambodia looks to Japan as its next market for garment exports

By Puy Kea
Cambodia 's garment industry is now looking to Japan for its next targeted market after winning orders in the United States and European Union, a senior garment industry official said Monday. Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, told Kyodo News that Japan is the world's third largest garment importer. He said the United States, which buys about 70 percent of Cambodia's textile exports, has been hit by the economic slowdown and that has meant fewer purchase orders are coming to Cambodia. Data from the GMAC showed about 30 factories have been closed this year and some 20,000 workers have been laid off in Cambodia .
Still, at a summit of trade leaders from the world's poorest countries held in Cambodia 's northern province of Siem Reap on Nov. 21, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia 's garment sector has so far had no ''serious impact'' from the global financial crisis. But new markets are needed, and Van Sou Ieng led an industry delegation on a five-day visit to Japan through Sunday that resulted in a trade deal between the two countries. ''In a move to begin our trade exchanges with Japan , we will export 10,000 jackets and 100,000 pairs of shoes in early 2009,'' he said, adding, ''We hope Japan will make more purchase orders afterward.'' But, he said, it is clear Cambodia has to improve the quality of its products because Japan demands high quality in all imports. Cambodia 's industry, therefore, will dispatch garment entrepreneurs and union workers to Japan for study the quality needs firsthand.
According to government data, there are 319 garment factories employing 380,000 workers in Cambodia .
And garments are Cambodia 's biggest export earners, with exports last year worth $2.9 billion. According to Van Sou Ieng, Japan currently buys about 90 percent of its imported garments from China .
KyodoDecember 01, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thailand political crisis costs Cambodia $1 mil. a day in tourism loss

The ongoing political crisis in Thailand is costing Cambodia some $1 million a day in lost tourism revenue, Cambodian Tourism Association President Ho Vandy said Saturday. Antigovernment protesters in Thailand have occupied Bangkok 's Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports, and three airlines -- Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Air Asia -- have canceled 10 daily flights between Cambodia and Thailand .
Echoing the revenue loss in Cambodia 's tourism sector, Sathol Miura, head of the Japanese travel agency APEX in Cambodia , said the cancellations of international flights through Thailand are affecting hotels, guesthouses, tourist guides, taxi drivers and restaurants in Cambodia .
But Miura said the unrest in Thailand has had little impact on Japanese tourists traveling on APEX tours to Cambodia , saying they normally fly to Cambodia through Vietnam . ''Some 65 percent of Japanese tourists come to Cambodia through Vietnam ,'' he said. Miura said more than 2,000 Japanese tourists have visited Cambodia on APEX tours in November, a figure comparable to previous years.
KyodoNovember 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

MFA ready to clarify border dispute on any stage

(BangkokPost.com) Monday 27, October 2008 
“He (Information Department director-general and Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat) said the Thai side has clear evidence and is ready to clarify all issues relating to the Thai-Cambodian border dispute on any stage.”

By Pancha Seila

The “dispute” was created by Thailand’s vicious and orchestrated military invasion and occupation of the Keo Sekha Kiri Swara on July 15, 2008. I strongly believe that the Cambodian government has all the proofs and evidences to show to the world the militarist agenda of Thailand.

The border between the two countries had been delimited by the works of the mixed franco-siamese commission on the delimitation of the boundary line under the 1904 Convention and 1908 Treaty between France, the protectorate power acting for Cambodian interests, and Siam. Only very recently, Thailand behaving the same manner as the Nazis and the Fascists during World War II drew a UNILATERAL MAP including the Cambodian territory in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear. The intention of Thailand is clear: Thailand relies on its military forces to intimidate Cambodia, to create a de-facto presence of Thailand with the invasion and occupation by Thai armed forces, and claim over the Cambodian territory in the area of Preah Vihear as a “disputed area”.

Cambodia does not have dispute with Thailand. Cambodia has complaint against Thailand’s invasion and occupation. Cambodia has complaint against the Thai militarist. Cambodia has complaint against the new Nazi and the new Fascist, which she has thought for so long that they are neighbors and friends. Cambodians negotiate with Thailand to avoid war. 

H.E. Futrakul Virasakdi, in a Press Release posted on Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs webpage 14, October 2008 implied that Cambodia must respect Thai Constitution and Thai “constitutional democratic processes” when it comes to International Relations and negotiations between Cambodia and Thailand, which explains how the Administrative Court in Bangkok has the power to annul the 18 June Joint Communique between Cambodia and Thailand. This is absurd.

Thailand government negotiators or Thailand military negotiators, up until now presented only lip services when they talk with their Cambodian counterparts at the negotiation table because Thai negotiators have to get back to Bangkok and ask for the approval of Thai parliament. Thai parliament may or may not endorse it. 

It is a Thai “constitutional democratic processes” trick to show off their arrogance with respect to the Cambodians. They meant to say to the Thai people that the Cambodians want negotiations, we don’t, and we have the upper hand because we can say "agreed" or "not agreed" later, while Cambodian negotiators have agreed already.

It would be under fair and equal plain field had the Cambodians send the Thai government officials and Thai military negotiators back to Bangkok to ask for the rights and the authority to come to speak with the Cambodians from the Thai parliament first, before any negotiation has its true meaning and a full character of good international relations between two sovereign states.
Can Thais do it to show their sincerity and mutual respect?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

C'est L'heure De La Solution Creative

Docteur en etudes khmeres

Depuis début juillet, les monts Dangrek que sillonne depuis 1907 la frontière entre le Cambodge et la Thaïlande résonnent de bruits de bottes. Le sang a déjà coule. En cause, le trace de cette frontière. Tout a commence I: 7 juillet Bernier quand 1'UNESCO décide d'inscrire le temple de Preah Vihear sur la liste du Patrimoine de l'Humanité. Une décision contestée par la Thaïlande dont l’armée, depuis, multiplie les incursions en territoire cambodgien.
Que se passe-t-il, tout a coup, entre ces deux pays qui appartiennent a la même civilisation indienne et sont si proches par la culture et la religion ? Une rivalité séculaire qui devrait inquiéter précisément parce qu'elle s'inscrit dans un cours long de 1'Histoire. Depuis que s'est amorce le déclin du grand empire angkorien, au XIIIe siècle englobait la quasi totalité de ce qu'est aujourd'hui la Thaïlande, le pays des Siamois n'a cesse de s'élargir aux dépens du pays des Khmers.
C'est la France, alors puissance protectrice du Cambodge, qui met fin a ce dépeçage. En 1904, la France et le Siam signent une Convention afin de pouvoir déterminer dune manière définitive la frontière entre le Cambodge et le Siam. En 1907, un traite franco-siamois rétrocède au Cambodge trois provinces annexées par le Siam. Ce traite confirme les dispositions de la Convention de 1904 en ce qui concerne les modalités de délimitation de la frontière. En 1908, une commission mixte franco-siamoise issue de ce traite détermine la frontière dans le secteur de Dangrek et indique clairement que le temple de Preah Vihear et ses environs sont en terre cambodgienne.
Aussi longtemps que le Cambodge bénéficiera de la protection française, la Thaïlande confirmera le trace frontalier convenu de commun accord. En 1925, la France et le Siam signent un traite d'amitié dont ('article 2 indique que « les hautes parties contractantes conferment, en s'en garantissant le respect réciproque, les frontières établies entre leurs territoires en vertu et en conformité des stipulations des accords antérieurs ». En 1926, une Convention relative au Mékong confirme l'article 2 du traite de 1925. En 1937, un nouveau traite d'amitié reprend les dispositions du traité de 1925 relatives aux frontières. En 1946, après que la Thaïlande, alliée du Japon, ait occupe trois provinces cambodgiennes, l'Accord de règlement franco-siamois rétablit le traite de 1937. La Commission de conciliation franco siamoise considère que les clauses du traite de 1907 au sujet de la frontière entre le Siam et le Cambodge ne doivent pas être révisées.
En 1954, alors que le Cambodge a accédé à l'indépendance, une force armée thaïlandaise occupe le temple de Preah Vihear et ses environs. En juin 1962, la Cour Internationale de Justice, a la demande du Cambodge, rend un arrêt confirmant la souveraineté du Cambodge sur le Temple de Preah Vihear et ses environs en vertu de la ligne frontière établie laquelle a été confirmée par des traites successifs et n'a jamais fait, jusqu'alors, l'objet de contestation de la part de la Thaïlande. « La Cour s'estime lone tenue, du point de vue de l'interprétation des traites, de se prononcer en faveur de la ,frontières indiquée sur la carte pour la zone litigieuse. » (page 35 de l'Arrêt). L'Arrêt précise que « la Thaïlande est tenue de retirer taus les éléments de forces armées ou de police ou autres gardes ou gardiens qu'elle a installes dans le temple et ses environs situes en territoire cambodgien » (page 37).
En juillet 1962, la Thaïlande accepte l’arrêt de la Cour Internationale de Justice et ne fait pas appel pendant les dix années qui suivent pendant lesquelles elle pouvait le faire. En juillet 1967, M. Thanat Khonan, Ministre thaïlandais des Affaires étrangères déclare : «La Thaïlande n'émet aucune revendication territoriale au Cambodge. La position de la Thaïlande .a toujours été de dire qu’il n’existe pas de dispute sur les frontières avec le Cambodge dans la mesure où elle a constamment respecté le traité signé avec la France à l'époque où cette dernière était la puissance protectrice du Cambodge »
En juin. 2000, le Cambodge et la Thaïlande signent un Mémorandum of Understanding (MOU) en vue de la démarcation et de l'abornement de la frontière entre les deux pays dans le respect des traites et conventions signés et des cartes établies en application de .ces traités et :conventions (Article 1c). En 2001, le Cambodge demande officiellement l'inscription du temple de Preah Vihear sur la liste du Patrimoine Mondial de l'Humanité de l'UNESCO. En mai 2003, le Cambodge et la Thaïlande signent un document intitulé « Terms of Reference and Master Plan for the Joint Survey and Demarcation of Land Boundary between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Jingdom of Thailand » (TOR). Ce document fait explicitem9;tt reference a la Convention de 1904, au Traité de 1907, aux cartes qui en découlent et au MOU de juin 2000. Peu après, revenant sur les engagements du MOU et de ces TOR, la Thailande publie une carte unilatérale avec un trace frontalier qui remet en cause le trace en vigueur depuis 1908 et longe le voisinage immédiat du temple de Preah Vihear.
Le 18 juin 2008, le Cambodge et la Thaïlande signent un communiqué commun par lequel la Thailande soutient la demande cambodgienne en vue de l'inscription du temple de Preah Vihear sur la liste du Patrimoine Mondial de l'Humanité de l'UNESCO; il est précise que cette inscription se fait sans préjudice des travaux de démarcation prévus par le MOU de 2000 et les TOR de 2003.
Le 21 juin 2008, le général Prem Tinsulanonda, conseiller privé du Roi de Thaïlande, exprime son soutien aux manifestants thaïlandais qui s'opposent a l'inscription du temple. Le 1 juillet 2008, le gouvernement thaïlandais retire son soutien a l'inscription du temple. Le 7 juillet 2008, le Comité du patrimoine mondial de l'humanité inscrit le temple sur la liste du Patrimoine Mondial de l'Humanité. Le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de Thaïlande exprime en vain son opposition. Le 15 juillet 2008, les forces armées thaïlandaises violent l'intégrité du territoire cambodgien dans le secteur de Preah Vihear et, de ce fait, les traités et conventions et documents conjoints signés par la Thaïlande.
Depuis Tors, les troupes thaïlandaises, dont les effectifs et les équipements surpassent et de loin ceux de l'armée cambodgienne, multiplient les provocations en traversant en plusieurs points la frontière du Cambodge. Les rencontres entre ministres des affaires étrangères des deux pays ont évité le pire jusqu'ici, mais n'ont rien réglé.
Depuis le coup d'Etat militaire de 2006, le 18e en 80 ans, la Thaïlande traverse une crise profonde dans un climat de fin de règne ou le recours au nationalisme constitue une recette classique pour rassembler un peuple et une classe politique profondément divisés. Le Cambodge, qui se relève lentement d'avoir été, il y a trente ans, ramené a rage de la pierre, est un bouc émissaire facile dans une Thaïlande de près de 70 millions d'habitants qui affiche volontiers son mépris pour ce petit pays cinq fois moins peuplé.
Les éléments qui précédent sont bien évidemment connus dans les chancelleries. Certains Etats, signataires des Accords de Paris de 1991 qui ont mis fin au conflit cambodgien, ont à l'égard du Cambodge des responsabilités particulières. La Thaïlande, elle-même signataire de ces Accords, s'est comme les autres parties, en ce compris les cinq membres permanents du Conseil de Sécurité, engagée a respecter « la souveraineté, l'indépendance, l’intégrité et l'inviolabilité territoriales a du Cambodge. Or, aujourd'hui, a Bangkok, pour mobiliser une population qui a perdu confiance dans le personnel politique comme dans le personnel militaire, on se dit « prêt a la guerre avec le Cambodge ».
N’est-il pas temps, pour éviter le pire, de mettre en oeuvre cette diplomatie préventive dont on se délecte a longueur de discours dans les séminaires et les colloques ? Ou, une fois encore, le sort du peuple cambodgien sera-t-il comme en 1970, comme en 1975, comme en 1979 verse au compte des pertes et profits de relations internationales plus soucieuses de ménager les marches que de protéger les peuples. ?

'A matter of time'

Coup fears are rife and some believe it is just a matter of time before the tanks are again on Bangkok streets.
A comment by
Pancha Seila,
25, October 2008

It is Thailand's political way of life 
Investors, scholars, and ordinary citizens in Bangkok should not be surprised. The military coup is the political way of life in Thailand, when the institution of the armed forces is independent and not under the command of the elected government. 
The Thai institution of the armed forces, whether Thailand has a civilian or a military government does not change the character of Thailand regime, which is a militarist regime. Militarist regime, whether it is Nazi or fascist behave alike. Internally, it is a dictatorship and internationally, it is imperialist arrogant and belligerent. 
In the 21st Century, the militarist regime is obsolete. It does not know how to solve complex national problems, but using rifles, tanks, airplanes and ships. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008


October 22, 2008

Since early July 2008, the sounds of boots shook Dangrek Mountains that has become the border line between Cambodia and Thailand since 1907. The blood was already spilling. The cause was the drawings of this border line. It all began in last July 7 when UNESCO decided to inscribe the temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List. A decision contested by Thailand whose army has since had increased incursions into Cambodian territory.

What was happening suddenly between these two countries that belong to the same Indian civilization and are so close by culture and religion? It is an old rivalry that should be a worrisome because it has been simmering during a protracted course of a long history between the two countries. The decline of the Angkorian empire in the thirteenth century allowed the Siamese empire to expand at the expense of the Khmer country. Prior to the Thirteenth century the Angkorian empire covered almost all Thailand today.

It was France, while a protecting power in Cambodia,that had brought an end to this carving. In 1904, France and Siam signed a convention to settle a final border between Cambodia and Siam.

In 1907, a Franco-Siamese treaty returned back to Cambodia three provinces annexed by Siam. This deal confirms the provisions of the 1904 Convention regarding the procedures for delimitation of the border. In 1908, a joint commission Franco-Siamese established under the provisions of this treaty determines the border in the sector Dangrek and clearly indicates that the temple of Preah Vihear and the surrounding land are in Cambodia.

As long as Cambodia benefit from the protection of France, Thailand will confirm the boundary line agreed by mutual agreements. In 1925, France and Siam signed a treaty of friendship which (Article 2) states that "the High level Contracting Parties confirm the boundaries between their territories under and by virtue of the stipulations of previous agreements with the commitment for insuring mutual respect". In 1926, a Convention on the Mekong confirms Article 2 of the 1925 Convention. In 1937, a new friendship treaty incorporates the provisions of the Treaty relating to the 1925 borders. In 1946, after Thailand, ally of Japan, has occupied three Cambodian provinces, the Settlement Agreement Franco-Siamese restores the deals of 1937. The Conciliation Commission Franco Siamese considers that the clauses of the Treaty of 1907 on the border between Thailand and Cambodia should not be revised.

In 1954, while Cambodia gained its independence, Thai military forces took the Preah Vihear temple and its surroundings. In June 1962, the International Court of Justice at the request of Cambodia, makes a ruling upholding the sovereignty of Cambodia on Preah Vihear Temple and its vicinity under the established boundary line which was confirmed by successive treaties and has never been previously, the purpose of contesting from Thailand. ”The court, therefore feels bound, as a matter of treaty interpretation, to pronounce in favor of the line as mapped in the disputed area.” (Page 35 of the Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and orders).The Reports of Judgments reaffirm that “Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards and keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory;” (Page 37 of the Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and orders).

In July 1962, Thailand accepted the ruling of the International Court of Justice and did not appeal during the ten years that followed, during which it could do so. In July 1967, Mr. Thanat Khoman, Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs said: "Thailand has no territorial claims in Cambodia. The position of Thailand has always been to say that there is no dispute on the borders with Cambodia as it has consistently complied with the treaty signed with France at the time it was the protective power of Cambodia”. 
In June.2000, Cambodia and Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the demarcation of the border between the two countries in respect of the signed treaties and conventions and maps established under said treaties and conventions.(Article 1c). In 2001, Cambodia officially requested the inclusion of Preah Vihear temple on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. In May 2003, Cambodia and Thailand signed a document entitled "Terms of Reference and Master Plan for the Joint Survey and Demarcation of Land Boundary between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand (TOR). This document is explicitly in reference to the 1904 Convention, the Treaty of 1907, maps drawn and the MOU of June 2000. Shortly after, defying the commitments in the MOU and the TOR, Thailand publishes a unilateral map of which the boundary line runs along the immediate vicinity of the Themple of Preah Vihear. This behaviour called into question the evidence in force since 1908.
On 18 June 2008, Cambodia and Thailand signed a joint statement in which Thailand supports the Cambodian request for the inscription of the temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List by UNESCO and this inscription states that this is without prejudice to the demarcation work under the MOU in 2000 and TOR of 2003.
On 21 June 2008, General Prem Tinsulanonda, Privy Councilor of the King of Thailand expressed his support for Thai protesters who oppose the inscription of the temple of Preah Vihear.

On 1 July 2008 the Thai government withdrew its support for the inscription of the temple. 
On July 7, 2008, the World Heritage Committee inscribed the temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List. Foreign Minister of Thailand expressed his opposition, but in vain. On 15 July 2008, the Thai armed forces violate the territorial integrity of Cambodia in the area of Preah Vihear and, therefore, they violate treaties, conventions and joint documents signed by Thailand.

Since then, the Thai armed forces whose numbers and equipment by far surpass those of the Cambodian arm were increasing provocations across several points inside the border of Cambodia. The meetings between Foreign Ministers of both countries have avoided the worst so far, but nothing has settled.
Since the military coup of 2006, the 18th in 80 years of its history, Thailand is experiencing a deep crisis in which the appeal to nationalism is a classic recipe to gather a people and a deeply divided political class. Cambodia, recovering slowly from being pushed back to the stone-age thirty years ago, is an easy scapegoat for Thailand with nearly 70 million people who willingly display its contempt for this small Cambodia, five times less populated than Thailand. 
The above elements are obviously known in the chancery all over the world. Some states, signatories of the Paris Agreements of 1991 that ended the Cambodian conflict, have responsibilities with respect to Cambodia’s present situation. Thailand, itself a signatory to these agreements, was like other parties, including the five permanent members of Security Council of The United Nations, has committed to respect "the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of Cambodia. Today, Bangkok, in order to mobilize a population that has lost confidence in politicians and the military, said it is "ready for war with Cambodia." 
Is not it the time to avoid the worst by implementing a creative diplomacy which the audience and participants enjoys by the length of the speech in seminars and symposia? Or, once again, the plight of the Cambodian people will be like in 1970, as in 1975, as in 1979 measured by profit and loss on the account of international relations more anxious to spare the markets rather than protect the people. ?

The Admission of Guilt

October 22, 2008

Finally, Thailand has admitted that Thailand has been the cause for the delays of talks between Cambodia and Thailand to resolve the disputes between the two countries along the border. Whether they were intentionally or not, they were deceitful, despicable. The display of arrogance is obvious.

Sovan Chanratana was absolutely correct when he suggested that Mr. Virachai Plasai pretended to be ignorant about international laws and international map. Actually he buried his head in the sand of Thai "UNILATERAL MAP". 

Come to think of it, Thailand and Mr. Virachai Plasai have probably thought that the glorious historical time for Thailand must be under the era of Nazism and Fascism when Thailand took possession of the Northwest provinces of Cambodia, including Preah Vihear under the 1941 Treaty. The saying holds true that old habits are hard to shake off. That is why Thailand drew the UNILATERAL MAP no different from the Nazis and the Fascists who drew unilateral maps of Germany and Italy to include areas belonged to other countries of Europe and then launched the invasion and occupation.

Mr. Virachai Plasai and Thailand need to shake off the old habits for the sake of good neighbourlyness and peace for Thais as well as for Khmers.

Pancha Seila 

"The cabinet appointed Vasin Teeravejayarn the Thai chairman of the Joint Boundary Commission to demarcate the land border with Cambodia. He was nominated by Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat. 

Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said Mr Vasin is a former ambassador to South Korea and former director-general of the Treaties and Legal Affairs Department. He will take up the post on Nov 10. 

Meetings have not been scheduled because the government wants parliament to approve the talks for fear of breaching the charter."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Appeal of the People of Cambodia to the World:

Thailand has Long Built itself into a
Dangerous Militarist Regime

We, the People of Cambodia, aspire to live in peace and in good neighborliness within our national boundary line, desire to establish friendly and mutually respected relations with our neighbors within the spirit of regional integration and harmonization, wish to cooperate on equal footing for steady economic growth and development with all the people of the world, cherish the unimaginably immense values of our national culture and rich heritage, participate in global and international outreach for security, safety and well-being of all the people of the world.

We felt strongly that we are compelled to launch this urgent, sad and desperate appeal for help and ask for your fairness, understanding, wisdom and zeal to exert the firmest and the strongest pressure on the government and the military forces of the Kingdom of Thailand so that they must cease immediately their repeated military aggression and occupation of the territory under the Cambodian sovereignty on and near the borderline separating both countries but on the side of Cambodia.

Cambodian and Thai blood was shed, the threat of a larger armed confrontation breakout is looming, the show of force of Thai military might and the war rhetoric of the Thai ultra-nationalist quarters cloud the air, despite our restraint and our patience as we have witnessed considerable and unthinkable turmoil, political vendetta, lawlessness, all feeding into the frenzy of an unimaginable internal Thai political crisis.

Lack of effective leadership and chaos of a divided “constitutional democratic processes” deny Cambodia access to the right Thai counterpart for talks. The prime ministers and the governments come and go like flies under the swat; the military top brass take independent and deliberate actions without direction from the government and give the impression that Thailand is a militarist regime, regardless whether or not the government is run by civilians or by the military. It has been noted without ambiguity that Thai military actions do not need the sanction of the parliament, while the government actions do need it.

We run the risk of war because of Thailand has built itself to be a dangerous militarist regime.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It is a matter of following to the letter and respecting the spirit inscribed In the “purpose” of the United Nations Charter

BREAKING NEWS >> Wednesday November 12, 2008 11:36
(BangkokPost.com) - Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat will visit Cambodia on Wednesday to discuss the Thai-Cambodian border row following the Joint Border Committee (JBC) meeting earlier this week.

It is a matter of following to the letter and respecting the spirit inscribed 
In the “purpose” of the United Nations Charter 
By Pancha Seila

The “purpose” of the charter of the United Nations called for member nations to respect international treaties and agreements. 

The Joint Border Committee (JBC) which both Cambodia and Thailand have referred to in all their communications and talks was established under the 2000 MOU signed between Cambodian and Thai governments, and said 2000 MOU decides to utilize the map drawn by the French-Siam mixed commissions established under the French-Siam 1904 Convention and the French-Siam 1907 Treaty.

It should not be any other map to be brought into the talks on the demarcation of the boundary line between Cambodia and Thailand. It is not the question of using different maps. It is the question of abiding by the spirit of the United Nations Charter.

Under any round of talks or under any joint tasks for survey and demarcation of the boundary line between Cambodia and Thailand and to be in conformity with the spirit inscribed in the “purpose” of the United Nations Charter, the only map to be referred to and to be used will be unmistakably the map drawn by the French-Siam mixed commissions.

Cambodia allows Muslim students to wear headscarves in school

The Cambodian government this week issued a directive allowing Muslim students to wear their traditional headscarves in school. The directive signed Wednesday by Prime Minister Hun Sen advised all public and private schools to allow Muslim students to wear headscarves if they wish to do so. The premier said in the directive that allowing Muslim students to wear the hijab, or headscarf, was in conformity with the country's Constitution, which states that all Cambodians have the same rights under the law, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, belief, or language. The Cham ethnic group, Cambodia 's Muslim minority, represents some 4 percent of the Buddhist country's 13.4 million people.
Unlike as in neighboring Thailand , there are no religious tensions in Cambodia . Zakariya Adam, secretary of state of the Cults and Religion Ministry, said the move was warmly welcomed by the Cham community. He said some Muslims, especially females, have dropped out of school because the school uniforms go against their beliefs.
The government's move comes as Cambodia is having closer ties with Muslim countries, especially those in the Middle East . Since the start of this year, leaders of oil-rich nations Qatar and Kuwait have paid visits to the country, and Hun Sen is planned to pay official visits to the two countries early next year. But Zakariya Adam said the directive was made as a response to Cambodian Muslim community's request.
KyodoSeptember 12, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cambodia, Thailand agree to survey border markers pillars by yearend

By Puy Kea
SIEM REAP, Cambodia , Nov. 11 KYODO
Cambodia and Thailand agreed Tuesday to conduct a joint field survey of border markers placed along the two countries' land boundary more than a century ago. Var Kimhong, chairman of Cambodian National Border Commission, told reporters after a meeting with his Thai counterpart that the two sides agreed to conduct the joint survey work by the end of the year. He said the joint survey of 73 old pillars would be followed by a survey of other boundary pillars, especially in a hotly disputed area near Cambodia 's ancient temple of Preah Vihear . Var Kimhong made the statement after a nine-hour meeting with his Thai counterpart Vasin Teeravechyan in Cambodia 's northern province of Siem Reap. He said that despite some progress achieved in the meeting, many issues remain to be solved such as those relating to military redeployment and topographical, technical and legal matters. The area around Preah Vihear Temple , which was inscribed as World Heritage Site on July 7, has in recent months been the scene of a tense standoff between the two sides' militaries, which twice last month erupted in fighting that left dead and injured on both sides. Since then, numerous meetings have been held at various levels, including foreign ministers and prime ministers, but the dispute remains unresolved with Cambodia insisting Thai troops remain on its soil and Thailand saying its troops are only in the disputed zone. The territorial dispute stems partly from the use of different border maps.
Cambodia has been using the 7 maps as agreed upon by France and Siam ( Thailand ) in 1904 and 1907 and the judgment of the International Court of Justice in 1962, but Thailand insists to use its unilaterally drawn map with the U.S. assistance in late 1960s and early 1970s.
KyodoNovember 11, 2008

Millions gather in Phnom Penh for annual Mekong boat race

Cambodia's water festival, a three-day annual event featuring boat races on the Mekong River, kicked off Tuesday with an estimated 2 million people flocking from the countryside into the capital Phnom Penh. Chea Kean, deputy secretary general of the National and International Festival Committee that gave the estimate, said 424 boats with 26,000 boat racers from across the country are taking part in the races, held to recall Cambodia 's long history of repelling invaders using boats. Many boats participating in the race are named after top government officials, with Prime Minister Hun Sen's name being the dominant one every year. King Norodom Sihamoni presides over the races, which are attended by the foreign diplomatic corps and government leaders, including the prime minister. The 1,700-meter race course is located just in front of the Royal Palace on the Mekong River in the capital.
KyodoNovember 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cambodia seeks listing of genocide archives in UNESCO register

By Puy Kea
Cambodia has applied for historical materials from a former Khmer Rouge prison and interrogation center in Phnom Penh to be included in an international register as part of a UNESCO-run program to preserve the world's documentary heritage, a government official said Wednesday. Tan Theany, secretary general of the Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO, told Kyodo News that Cambodia formally submitted its application to UNESCO last Friday in the hope that UNESCO will include it next year in its Memory of the World Register.
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives elucidate the fate of over 15,000 prisoners who were held at Tuol Sleng, a former schoolhouse, during the 1975-1979 reign of the Khmer Rouge. Few of them survived the ordeal. The archive materials listed in Cambodia 's nomination form include photographs of prisoners taken before and after they were killed, documents containing biographical records and ''confessions'' extracted under torture, and various torture instruments.
According to the form, the archives constitute the ''most complete existing documentary picture'' of the Khmer Rouge prison system, ''which was a fundamental part of the regime under which perhaps 2-3 million people (25-30 percent of the population) lost their lives in a period of 3 years, 8 months and 20 days.'' ''Its significance as a part of the Memory of the World stems from its testament to man's inhumanity to man and its documentation of one of the most extreme examples of crimes against humanity in the 20th century with a major impact on world history.''
The archives are currently being mined for evidence used in the pre-trials and trials of surviving senior Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which was established in 2006 with U.N. backing. The archives were earlier this year accepted for inclusion in a regional UNESCO register covering Asia and the Pacific. But Tan Theany said Cambodia wants them listed also in the international register of the Memory of the World Program, which UNESCO says is intended ''to guard against collective amnesia'' by preserving and disseminating valuable archive holdings and library collections worldwide.
KyodoSeptember 03, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cambodia advances 15 places in Doing Business 2009 rankings

By Puy Kea
PHNOM PENH , Sept. 10 KYODO -- Cambodia moved up 15 places to 135th in the ranking of the ease of doing business around the world, according to a report released Wednesday by International Finance Corporation and the World Bank. Cambodia 's significantly higher standing is the result of reforms that make it easier for businesses to get credit and to close a business. ''These are very encouraging results,'' said Stephane Guimbert, senior country economist for the World Bank in Cambodia .
''These positive results show important reforms are being introduced leading to substantial improvement in Cambodia 's ranking this year,'' he said. ''These results are consistent with the survey of 500 firms that we are just completing to assess the investment climate in Cambodia .'' The IFC-World Bank report, Doing Business 2009, which compares 181 economies, uses 10 indicators of business regulation such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and closing a business.
The rankings are derived from reviews of laws and regulations, and in-depth interviews with business service providers such as accountants and lawyers. Doing Business surveys, however, do not assess such areas as macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perceptions, or crime rates. Cambodia 's showing this year is a result of two reforms. The first is passage of the Law on Secured Transactions in 2007 that makes it possible for a business to use its moveable and intangible assets as security for a loan, and the second reform was the passage of the Law on Bankruptcy.
''Enabling banks to accept moveable assets as collateral is a major improvement in access to finance in Cambodia ,'' said Trang Nguyen, IFC's head of Advisory Services for the Mekong Region. She added a successful small and medium enterprise that has valuable moveable assets but lacks land and buildings to use as collateral can now get financing needed to improve its business.
''This, in turn, should enable SMEs, which represent over 99 percent of Cambodia 's firms and 45 percent of employment, to expand, create more jobs, and contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction,'' she said. Creating jobs is especially important given the nearly 250,000 young people who are reaching working age and joining the labor market every year, she added. The statement said Cambodia has also improved indicators on trading across borders by reducing the time required to export from 37 to 22 days and import times from 46 to 30 days.
KyodoSeptember 10, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Cambodian transgender lodges complaint with Khmer Rouge court


A Cambodian transgender woman on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal alleging she was a victim of gender-based crimes during the country's Khmer Rouge regime.

Sou Sotheavy, 68, said at a press conference that she was persecuted for being a transgender and was raped by Khmer Rouge officials and soldiers during the 1975-1979 regime. Sotheavy said she was punished for having committed ''moral offences'' and for behaving as a woman and placed several times in re-education camps as well as in prisons.

''I was raped by Khmer Rouge prison chiefs and other soldiers and forced into an arranged marriage with a woman whom I had only 10 days with,'' she said. Her lawyer, Silke Stuzinsky, said the application of Sotheavy's complaint was submitted to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on Wednesday and hoped that her client's case will be processed by the court. Sou Sotheavy is now the director of a local nongovernmental organization, CNMWD, which fights for the rights of sex workers and sexual minorities.

Sou Sotheavy's action is the first complaint before the ECCC concerning sexual violence under the Khmer Rouge regime. In her complaint, she said she is not seeking compensation but to tell her story to the world on how sexual violence was committed during the Khmer Rouge era. ''I am representing many transgenders who suffered like me during the period, but most of them were already killed or died,'' she said.

The ECCC said that, to date, investigations into sexual violence have not been included for the reason that there is a lack of sufficient evidence. But Sotheavy's complaint will be a step that would encourage other victims of such crimes to come forward and demand acknowledgment and justice for their suffering, which has largely been ignored until now.

''I hope my case will help more victims of sexual violence to speak out and can also help transgenders, other sexual minorities and sex workers in other countries to speak out for their rights and to have serious crimes committed against us recognized by international courts,'' she said. The ECCC was established to bring former senior Khmer Rouge leaders and those responsible for crimes committed in late 1970s.

KyodoSeptember 03, 2008

Cambodia's population grows 8.5% in 10 years to top 13 million

Cambodia 's population has increased by nearly 2 million over the past decade to reach 13.4 million, according to the government's provisional census data released Wednesday. 

The census data, collected in March, put the population at 13,388,910, for an increase of 1.95 million or 8.54 percent since 1998 when the country had 11,437,656 people. Cambodia 's first census, which was held in 1962, had put the population then at 5.7 million. The next census was not until 36 years later. 

The country's annual population growth rate during the last decade averaged 1.54 percent, higher than the average growth rate of 1.3 percent for Southeast Asia as a whole. Population density during the same period increased from 64 to 75 people per square kilometer, significantly lower than the current average of 126 for Southeast Asia as a whole.
KyodoSeptember 03, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cambodian king grants amnesty to Prince Ranariddh

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on Thursday granted amnesty to Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who was sentenced in absentia to 18 months in jail for breach of trust. The amnesty paves the way for the prince to return home any time he wishes to do so. According to a royal decree signed Thursday by the king, the amnesty was made following a request from Prime Minister Hun Sen. Suth Dina, spokesman of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, said the prince will arrive in Cambodia on Sunday and is planned to meet with reporters on Oct. 2.
Ranariddh, 64, who has lived in self-imposed exile for nearly two years and is currently in Malaysia , was not available for comment. Ranariddh, a former prime minister and a son of retired King Norodom Sihanouk, was sentenced in absentia to 18 months in jail by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in March 2007 for breach of trust in connection with the sale of his former party's headquarters. The prince had acknowledged the sale of FUNCINPEC's headquarters in Phnom Penh to a private company for $3.6 million in 2005, but claimed it was done with the consent of the party's members. Ranariddh was a president of the royalist FUNCINPEC until he was ousted in 2006 by the party. After his ouster, the prince turned the property into the headquarters of his newly found Norodom Ranariddh Party. Ranariddh and Hun Sen were co-prime ministers from 1993 until the prince was ousted by Hun Sen in 1997.
KyodoSeptember 25, 2008