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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Iraqi demining soldiers visit Cambodia for experience

A delegation of Iraqi demining soldiers is making a 10-day visit to Cambodia to get experience, a senior Cambodian demining official said Monday.
Kem Sophoan, director general of Cambodian Mine Action Center , told Kyodo news that the 14-member delegation from Iraqi Mine Risk Education arrived in Cambodia on Sunday and will make visits to at least four provinces and municipalities with areas covered by land mines and unexploded ordnance.
He said during their visit, which is organized by the center and UNICEF, the Iraqis will learn how Cambodia manages to clear the land mines and unexploded ordnance and how it divides demined land among local residents for crop production, among other things.
While visiting mined areas, they will get field experience in clearing land mines.
Kem Sophoan said it is the second time that Cambodia has received such a demining delegation from abroad.
Last year, a similar delegation consisting of people from nine mine-affected countries -- including Angola , Mozambique and Ethiopia -- visited to Cambodia to learn from its demining experience.
Due to long decades of civil war, millions of land mines have been planted in Cambodia since 1967 and accidents caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance are still common, killing or injuring about 400 people every year.
Some 40 percent of the land covered by land mines and unexploded ordnance has been cleared. As a result, many Cambodians have become among of the world's most experienced demining experts.
KyodoSeptember 08, 2008