Thursday, September 30, 2010

Biography of Preah Moha Vijaratanapanha Yoeung Sin

Late Ven. Yoeung Sin (All Photos courtesy of Prey Nokor News)

Ven. Yoeung Sin's remain lies in state at Wat Samaki Raingsey Pagoda for his disciples to visit

កម្មវិធីបុណ្យគឺ ព្រះសង្ឃ សិស្សគណ, ពុទ្ធបរិស័ទ សមាគមខ្មែរក្រោម និងសហព័ន្ធខ្មែរកម្ពុជាក្រោម នៅកម្ពុជា និងបរទេស ប្រារព្ធពិធីបុណ្យបង្សុកូល តាមប្រពៃណី ទំនៀមទម្លាប់ ព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនា ចាប់តាំងពីថ្ងៃទទួលអនិច្ចធម្ម កាលពីថ្ងៃទី ២៨ កញ្ញា រហូតដល់ថ្ងៃទី ២៩ តុលា ឆ្នាំ២០១០ ទើបបូជាព្រះសព នៅវត្តសាមគ្គីរង្សី ភូមិទ្រា សង្កាត់ ស្ទឹងមានជ័យ ខ័ណ្ឌមានជ័យ ក្រុងភ្នំពេញ។

Biography of Preah Moha Vijaratanapanha Yoeung Sin
Abbot of Wat Samaki Raingsey Pagoda and
President of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Monks Association in Cambodia

Translated from Khmer by Soy
Click here to read the article in Khmer

  • Preah Moha Yoeung Sin (aka Ta Yoeung) was born in the year of the boar, Buddhist Era 2579, 1935 AD
  • He was born in Ta Tes village, Ta Keo commune, O’Romol district, Prek Russey province, Kampuchea Krom
  • He was the son of the late Yoeung Seen and the late Srey Chim.
  • He has four siblings: his older brother Yoeung Sat, his older sister Yoeung Thy Srey Sang, Preah Moha Yoeung Sin and his younger sister Yoeung Thy Yao.
In 1935, at the age of 10, he followed his father, a soldier in the French army, to Prey Nokor (Saigon).
  • In 1950, at the age of 15, he studied Khmer language at the Wat Samrong elementary school in Khleang province.
  • In 1953, at the age of 18, he took the vow and became a novice monk at Wat Luong Bassac (Bay Chhao) Pagoda, located in My Xuyen commune, Bay Chhao district, Khleang province, Kampuchea Krom. He continued his religious Dharma classes at Wat Prasat Kong Pagoda, Kampong Dong (Tham Don in Vietnamese) commune, Bay Chhao district (My Xuyen in Vietnamese), Khleang province, Kampuchea Krom.
  • In 1955, he was ordained senior monk (Bikkhu) at Wat Luong Bassac (Bay Chhao) under the tutelage of Venerable Lim Ben.
  • Between 1955 and 1956, he pursued his religious study at Wat Samrong, Khleang province.
  • Between 1956 and 1959, he resided at Wat Khnor Dambong Pagoda, located at Cheung Prey district, Kampong Cham province, Cambodia. He also served the Khmer Serey (Free Khmer, anti-communist movement) movement under the cooperation with Mr. Khemarin.
  • Between 1960 and 1967, he resided at Wat Luong Bassac Bay Chhao. He remained a Khmer Serey activist, and he also led anti-Ngo Din Diem regime activities (KI-Media Note: Jean Baptiste Ngô Đình Diệm was the first South Vietnamese president. His rule proved authoritarian, elitist, nepotistic, and corrupt. A Catholic, Diệm pursued policies that rankled and oppressed the Republic's Montagnard natives and its Buddhist majority. Source: Wikipedia). Ven. Yoeung Sin was charged with arguing against the South Vietnamese government for people who were conscripted into the South Vietnamese army.
  • In 1967, he left religion to pursue a one-year stint in the Thieu-Ky (Nguyen Van Thieu, Nguyen Cao Ky) government as a rural region administrator.
  • In 1969, he joined the special force (MIKE Force?) and was trained in Long Hay and Nha Trang.
  • In 1970, following the coup d’état in Cambodia [that toppled then-Prince Sihanouk], he was sent to work in Cambodia by the Khmer Serey movement to provide liaison with the remnant of the Khmer Issarak movement (Free Khmer movement which started as an anti-French colonialism movement).
  • In 1974, he left Cambodia and returned to Bay Chhao district, Khleang province, Kampuchea Krom.
  • Between 1974 and 1976, he acted at the deputy chairman of the (Khmer Krom) Buddhist Association in Khleang province following the retirement of Venerable Moha Dinh Prach.
  • Between 16 February 1976 and 25 November 1979, he was jailed in the Prek Russei prison after he was accused of attempting to topple the Vietnamese communist regime within his Khmer Krom movement. (At that time, he was in charge of the movement activities in Bay Chhao district – which included the communes of Prasat Bakong, Boeung Tonsa, as well as numerous other communes and villages. However, the movement failed and numerous Khmer Krom groups were killed and arrested by the communist Vietnamese regime. Those who were jailed were sent to forced labor camps and suffered long-lasting trauma from torture imposed on the prisoners). Ven. Yoeung Sin saw his health deteriorated during his internment and he never fully recovered since then.
  • Between 1979 and 1984, following his release from jail, he reunited with his family, and he was nominated as a pagoda layman for Wat Botum Por Krom and Wat Pothivong Leu pagodas, located in Kampong village, Preah Bat Choan Chum commune, Kirivong district, Takeo province, Cambodia. He resided in Takeo province, Cambodia, during that time and he was also nominated as the Tonloap market chairman.
  • Between 1984 and 1986, he was sent to jail in Takeo after he was accused of leading Khmer Serey activities. (He was arrested on 14 March 1984 following the connivance between the Vietnamese and Khmer communist regimes.)
  • In 1987, he retook the vow at Wat Unalom under the tutelage of Venerables Sum Chhum, Sar Mieng and Pek Phang.
  • Between 1993 and 28 September 2010, he was the President of the Khmer Krom Monks Association in Cambodia, an association which he initiated on 13 July 1993.
  • Between 02 July 1997 and 28 September 2010, he was the Abbot of Wat Samaki Raingsey pagoda, located in Trea 3 village, Stung Meanchey commune, Meanchey district, Phnom Penh city.
  • In 2006, he was nominated as Preah Obachheay (Senior monk) by Ven. Loh Lay.
  • Ven. Yoeng Sin was the founder of Wat Samaki Raingsey Pagoda which is currently building its 2-story temple. The roof of the temple is still to be completed.
  • On the 5th day of the waning moon of the month of Photrabot, the year of the Tiger, Buddhist Era 2554 (28 September 2010), at 12:15PM, Preah Moha Yoeung Sin passed away after a bout of asthma attack at the age of 75.

Thailand committed to Democracy : Thai FM

The Nation
30 Sept, 2010

Thailand is committed to the principles of democracy and human rights, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya told the General Assembly, stressing the Government is striving to heal political and social divisions within the country.

The country was rocked by deadly political violence earlier this year between anti-Government protesters and security forces, Kasit said on September 29.

"But history has shown that Thailand is a resilient country and her people are capable of overcoming whatever challenges thrown before them," Kasit said told the Assembly's annual high-level debate on its last day.

The country, he said continues to be a functioning democracy, albeit a relatively young one.

The government has launched a national reconciliation plan and set up independent committees to find ways to reform the country, Kasit said.

"Human rights remain the cornerstone of the Government's policy," he stressed, noting that an independent fact-finding commission has been established to look into the "tragic events" earlier this year.

The government also is very cognizant that some of the political grievances in Thailand are a result of economic disparities, and is endeavouring to bridge the gaps through universal healthcare schemes, the minister said.

It is also providing 15 years of free education, training programmes for the unemployed and support for those who earn low incomes, farmers, the elderly and people with disabilities.

"Our stimulus packages would benefit not only the overall economy, but especially those who are economically and socially disadvantaged and disenfranchised."

Despite the turmoil earlier this year, Thailand's economy continues to be robust and exports continue to grow steadily, he said.

"I think we have proven to the world the strength of our national character and the resilience of our nation," he said. "Despite the tragic incidents, Thailand has continued to move forwards, not merely for the benefit of the country but also for the international community."

Full Speech

"We live in a world of divides. [�] Be they politico-security, socio-economic, digital, or even based on beliefs." Such divides presented challenges to peace, security, prosperity and human dignity. The United Nations, where nations could work together as one, was required to overcome them.

The effectiveness of international cooperation depended on the strength and willingness of individual nations, and Thailand was ready to help the world cross into a better future. Thailand had its own divides, but her people were capable of overcoming challenges thrown before them.

The Thai Government was committed to democracy, good governance and human rights and was resolutely working to heal the political and social division in the country, setting up an independent fact-finding commission to look at tragic events earlier this year. The Government also recognized that some political grievances arose from economic disparities in society and it was working to bridge economic and social gaps.

Many conflicts stemmed from economic injustice, he said, and global economic growth should be balanced and inclusive. The recent global financial crisis had been a reminder "to live within our means" and alert concerning the necessity of better global governance. Thailand engaged in regional and international forums and believed the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which it chaired, would help complement ongoing global cooperation to achieve balanced and sustainable growth. Thailand, a developing country herself, believed in greater cooperation between developing countries.

It had achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals and was ready to share knowledge and experience, especially in alleviating poverty and improving well-being. Through regional bodies and bilateral cooperation, Thailand worked with its neighbours to improve social welfare and build essential infrastructure. Food security was the most important development problem. As a major food exporter, his country could contribute to ensuring greater food security.

The Asean Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve was a model for others to emulate. On climate change, which he said was "undeniable", Thailand would increase its forest area and renewable energy usage.

Development was linked to human security which was linked to human rights, a core principle of the Thai Government, he said. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Thailand aimed to make it more effective through a more even-handed approach that engaged concerned countries to forge consensus.

Instead of mere criticism and imposition of values seen as foreign, we must persuade countries to understand human rights were values common to all. Thailand also rendered humanitarian assistance to countries near and far, and remained ready to offer its facilities as a staging centre for humanitarian assistance in its region.

Thailand also supported efforts towards disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and believed that the United Nations must continue its active role to that end, but major Powers and regional entities must also do their fair share.

The South-East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone was a good case in point. It was also far less likely for a community of nations to wage war with itself, which was why the Association of South-East Asian Nations was steadfastly becoming a community � economically, socioculturally and politically.

Thailand has also done its part in peacekeeping for the past two decades, contributing nearly 20,000 troops, police officers and civilian staff worldwide, and recently began to assist international efforts protecting ships from pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden area. It was poised to play a greater role ensuring peace and security, and asked support for its candidature for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the 2017-2018 term. Thailand believed the Council had played an indispensable role maintaining international peace and security, but should be adjusted to better reflect world realities to work with greater efficiency, transparency and engagement.

Thailand was wholly committed to the United Nations and its ideals, and would continue to work closely with the Organization.


Vietnam hosts 6th int'l travel exhibition

HANOI, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The sixth International Tourism Exhibition (ITE HCMC 2010) opened in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The exhibition, the largest travel event in Vietnam in 2010, drew more than 125 travel companies or organizations from 35 countries and regions including India, Cambodia, Laos, China, China's Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, China's Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam among others.

During the three-day exhibition, representatives of domestic and international companies will have chances to introduce their travel products to customers. They will gather the latest information on tourism offerings, establish new business contacts and thus seek business opportunities with other partners.

ITE HCMC 2010 was held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Tourism Investment Forum that opened on Wednesday, drawing together tourism ministers from countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Editor: Mo Hong'e

Thai-Cambodia Border Faces Serious Challenge In Malaria Control

30 Sept, 2010

Malaria control is facing serious challenges along the Thai-Cambodian border, especially in containing a protozoan parasite that causes malaria in humans.

Coordinator of the World Health Organisation's Mekong Malaria Programme Dr Charles Delacollette said a well-coordinated containment strategy was in place along the border.

WHO has developed a malaria containment project in the area by working closely with the governments of Thailand and Cambodia. The US$22.5 million project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We have to be more aggressive against the deadly Plasmodium falciparium parasite, develop new interventions, improve and encourage human resource engagement, come up with new therapies, and secure the best drugs.

"Winning the war against this parasite is a challenge," said Dr Delacollette in a joint statement issued by WHO and the Bureau of Vector Borne Disease of Thailand's Ministry of Health.

He said it was important for Asean to show strong commitment and ownership in the regional containment and elimination of multi-drug resistant falciparium malaria.

It was along the Thai-Cambodian border about three years ago that the Plasmodium falciparium parasite was found to have developed resistance to artesunate and this raised concerns that renewed efforts to globally eradicate malaria could be imperilled.

"There were fears that a disastrous situation for malaria control in the Mekong region and the rest of Asia and, thereafter in Africa had emerged," said Dr Delacollette.

He said Cambodia was making dramatic progress and as of Sept 14, this year there were only two cases of falciparium malaria out of 5,686 people screened in 16 villages in Pailin which previously was the most affected in the border area.

In the Soi Dao and Pong Nam Ron districts of Chantaburi province of Thailand, falciparium malaria cases dropped from 16 to seven from 2008 to 2009, the year before the cross-border project started, he added.


Sarath Fonseka of Sri Lanka and Sam Rainsy of Cambodia

"Cambodia and Sri Lanka have reached the same point of rejecting the liberal democratic foundations of their countries. The jailing of the opposition leaders of both countries is symbolic of the commonality of the political strategies and ideologies."

by Basil Fernando
Source: srilankaguardian
30 Sept, 2010

(September 30, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) What Sarath Fonseka and Sam Rainsy have in common is that they are the most popular opposition leaders in their countries and that they have been jailed for that very reason. Political popularity is treated as a serious crime in both countries, where the ruling parties are aspiring to create one party rule.

Here are some similarities between the political styles followed by the ruling regimes in both countries:

The ruling regimes enjoy more than 2/3 majority in their parliaments. Hun Sen in fact has 90 seats out of 123 in the parliament, in which Sam Rainsy’s party has 26 seats. When the first election was held after the Pol Pot period May 1993, the opposition party won the election and the party of the present Prime Minister Hun Sen lost despite of their having the territorial control of the largest part of Cambodia. However, through subsequent elections, Hun Sen’s party has gradually gained control of power and the Funcinpec party, which was the party created by the former king, Norodom Sihaneuk. From having the majority, the Funcinpec party, was reduced to two seats in 2008. The next opponent to the ruling party was Sam Rainsy and now he is being jailed on flimsy charges. The ruling regime controls the courts and is able to get whatever verdicts it wants on political matters.

Sarath Fonseka, who was a military leader, was chosen as the common opposition candidate for the elections by several political parties and he was able to get nearly 40% of the vote (he claims that he in fact won the election and was wrongfully deprived of the victory). Later, in the parliamentary elections, he became a Member of Parliament and he was elected while he was being kept in military custody. Later he was sentenced to jail by court martial and the president, his political opponent, confirmed the verdict of the military tribunal. The arrest by the military and the use of the military tribunals was designed to deprive fair trial for the political opponent of the president.

Thus, the manipulation of the judicial process to achieve political ends has become a very essential component of the political apparatus of the suppression in both countries. Cambodia became a liberal democracy only recently. That is, by the agreement of all political parties to the Paris Agreements which created the basis for the United Nations interventions to organize elections after a long period of political devastation of the country.

The constitution which was adopted for the new Cambodia in 1993 declares Cambodia as a liberal democracy. The structure of the constitution is based on liberal democratic principles. However, at the time that the constitution was adopted, none of the basic institutions which were needed for liberal democracy existed in the country. That was because of the ruthless revolution of Pol Pot in which over 2 million people were destroyed and all the institutions in Cambodia were also brought to an end.

The most permanent institution of Cambodia, which was the monarchy, was also virtually brought to an end by the Khmer Rouge revolution, which took place between 1975 and 1979. Thereafter, a group of Cambodians supported by the Vietnamese took over the rule of the major part of Cambodia. The Vietnamese advisors laid the foundations for the infrastructure of administration in the devastated country. Naturally, their system of administration was based on socialist principles. The basic administration is controlled by the ruling political party. The ‘court system’ that was introduced was in fact an apparatus of administration to safeguard the state rather than to protect the rights of the citizens.

It was on this administrative apparatus that a liberal democratic constitution was imposed. Naturally, there was no bridge between the constitution and the actual administration. Within a short period of time, the constitution lost all practical relevance for the administration of the country. Thus, it was possible for the CPP of Hun Sen to reassert their control. Thus, Cambodia became a liberal democracy only in name.

Sri Lanka had a very much longer history of development of civil administration and judicial institutions on the basis of the common law tradition. When the country became independent from the British, Sri Lanka also adopted a liberal democratic constitution. There was a tradition of judicial institutions which had a history of 200 years. The system of civil administration was also had a more or less similar history. Education on liberal democratic principles had gone on for a long period and many persons were qualified as judges, lawyers and civil servants, in foreign universities. Later, the local educational institutes of high quality also developed in the country. The constitution after independence operated on the basis of these developments.

In 1978, however, there was an abrupt change in the constitutional structure of the country. While keeping a façade of liberal democratic jargon, an executive presidential system without any checks and balances was introduced into the country. The executive president was placed above the law and was not answerable to the courts. This was in radical contradiction to the tradition which had existed in the country until then. In the initial stages there was resistance to the new system introduced by the 1978 Constitution and the first Chief Justice, Neville Samarakoon, appointed by the same executive president who created the constitution, symbolized this resistance by his own open opposition to the executive president. However, over several decades, the system got consolidated, undermining the parliamentary system, judicial service and also all the public institutions of the country. Gradually, the executive presidential system devoured and destroyed the liberal democratic system, and its course was completed by the 18th Amendment to the constitution, which was passed just a few weeks ago.

Cambodia and Sri Lanka have reached the same point of rejecting the liberal democratic foundations of their countries. The jailing of the opposition leaders of both countries is symbolic of the commonality of the political strategies and ideologies. The idea that economic development requires a strong leader who is not opposed by other political forces is the core of the ideology that is common to Cambodia and Sri Lanka now.

Cambodian leader says meeting with Thai PM restored bilateral confidence

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday his country's relationship with Thailand has improved after he met his counterpart last week.

Hun Sen said the 40-minute meeting in New York with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva restored confidence and co-operation between the two countries, which have been feuding over disputed border territory and other issues. The two leaders were attending the U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Relations took a turn for the worse last year, with both countries withdrawing their ambassadors, after Hun Sen made former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra an official adviser and hosted him like a VIP.

Thaksin, ousted by a 2006 military coup, is a fugitive from Thai justice, sentenced in absentia to two years in jail after being convicted of a conflict of interest charge in 2008. Hun Sen said Thaksin had been unfairly convicted for political reasons.

The envoys resumed their posts last month after Thaksin quit his appointment, citing time constraints.

Cambodia's relations with Thailand have been contentious for years, with the focus mostly on a border dispute. They have had a series of small but sometimes deadly skirmishes over the demarcation of their border near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

Relations worsened after Abhisit, a political opponent of Thaksin, became prime minister in December 2008.

Hun Sen described his meeting with Abhisit as "very vital" to ensuring confidence and increasing co-operation.

"I can say that the meeting was very fruitful for resolving differences," he said on the sidelines of a school graduation ceremony.

Hun Sen said he and Abhisit discussed a wide range of issues, including the border dispute, frontier security, trade and drug trafficking.

The two leaders also agreed to try to resolve all differences by peaceful means, he said.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Discover Cambodia's southern coast on Gulf of Thailand

Cambodian vendors sell shrimp and other seafood at the Crab Market in Kep on the Gulf of Thailand.
Associated Press
Cambodian vendors sell shrimp and other seafood at the Crab Market in Kep on the Gulf of Thailand.
KOH TONSAY, Cambodia - Ask for the crab. In black peppercorn sauce.

The proprietor of the thatched-roof and bamboo-walled island restaurant will acknowledge the order in sign language and broken English. She'll shuffle across the seaside grass to the dock where the crab cages sit, steeping in the Gulf of Thailand's tepid waters.

She'll return with a bucket of crustaceans and fry them in an iron wok over a charcoal fire in her open-air kitchen, searing them in a sauce made largely from sweet, fiery Kampot peppercorns. She'll bring you a heap of steaming seafood, pepper sauce, paper napkins and beer to the shaded picnic tables. You'll eat the crab - softshells and all - sucking the sauce from your fingers, drinking the beer to blunt the fiery pepper and thank the stars that few people have discovered the culinary and aesthetic pleasures of this southern coastal region.

While Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples are its biggest tourist draw, beach-bound tourists - particularly those looking for more than the backpacker-on-a-shoestring itinerary - are waking up to the unexplored beauty that this muggy country has to offer. The low-key beach town of Kep and the riverside village of Kampot, a three-hour drive south of the capital Phnom Penh, offer rough edges but simple charms, along with nearby islands like Koh Tonsay, where the crab in peppercorn is served.

The Kep-area beaches also offer alternatives to better-known regional beach resorts like Thailand's Phuket and even Cambodia's own Sihanoukville - a favorite of jet-setters (Jackie Kennedy visited in the '60s) before the country was beset by the horrors of wars, coups and the Khmer Rouge.

These days, Sihanoukville's luxury resorts have plenty of attitude, having been rediscovered by growing numbers of nouveau-riche Cambodians and others. Sleepy Kep, in contrast, seems to attract a clientele that spurns Sihanoukville's swagger.

The town of Kep consists of a collection of modest residences and hotels tucked into the foliage off crumbling pavement and dusty roads, along with rows of motley shacks and several grand villas, many of which still show the ravages inflicted by the Khmer Rouge.

Kep Beach is mostly a stretch of rocky sand directly under the main road, though that doesn't stop the locals from swimming along the stony promenade. Notable local landmarks include an unusual nude statue of a fisherman's wife and a monstrous statue of a crab.

The 16-room Beach House hotel and its tiny swimming pool hides just above the beach in the tropical hillside foliage, offering sweeping views of the gulf.

Bending around the promontory to the west and north is Kep's main drag, the Crab Market: a line of bamboo and thatch shacks where you can find crab, fish, prawns and squid, not to mention laundry service, tourist trinkets, boat rides, motos (mopeds), cold beer, cheap drugs, Internet connections, massage services and just about anything else you can imagine. The circus mix of locals, backpackers and proper tourists is a prime spot for people-watching.

Farther up the coast are Kep's nicer accommodations. Inland and up in the hills, there's the Veranda, with a wooden restaurant and bar on a slope with a vista of stunning sunsets over the water.

Waterside, Knai Bang Chatt has the swankiest lodgings in town with an emerald infinity swimming pool and stylish, modernist building. The hotel's Sailing Club next door has a dining room perched on piers over the water and a small sandy beach where you can sip vodka tonics while the waves lap your toes.

Kep Malibu Estates, despite the unusual name, is also perched inland, its swimming pool and grassy yard up a dusty road past rundown shacks and the disconcerting sight of impoverished farm families tending ragged plantings and staring blankly at passing tourists.

For many, the islands just off of Kep are the real draw. Phu Quoc is the largest, but it belongs to Vietnam and it's some distance away. For that reason, Koh Tonsay - translated as "Rabbit Island" - is arguably the most popular.

The island reportedly was used at one point as a prison colony by the country's long-ruling monarch, Norodom Sihanouk. Today, however, its dense interior foliage keeps most visitors limited to the crystalline waters that slosh the whitish sands on its north side, where simple wood platforms are dotted with hammocks and thatched roofs. For overnight stays, many families rent bungalows that are nothing more than enclosed shacks with wooden sleeping platforms and mosquito nets.

For most visitors, lounging on the beach platforms, alternating between swimming in the bathwater sea and drowsy contemplation of swaying palms is the most activity one can muster.

Binh Phuoc urged to focus on developing industry


Nhan Dan - Binh Phuoc province should focus more on developing its industrial sector to turn it into the province's strength, said President Nguyen Minh Triet.

Nhan Dan - Binh Phuoc province should focus more on developing its industrial sector to turn it into the province's strength, said President Nguyen Minh Triet.
President Triet made the comment on September 27 at the ninth Congress of the Binh Phuoc provincial Party Committee in the 2010-2015 tenure.

Addressing the congress, he praised the province’s achievements in the last tenure despite the negative impacts of the world financial crisis on the local economy. The President also pointed out the province's socio-economic shortcomings and weaknesses in the last tenure, especially the underdevelopment of the industrial and service sectors and the high proportion of agriculture in its economic structure.

He suggested the province shift its economic structure towards industry and services and create the best conditions for those sectors. The province should also create a favourable investment environment and administrative procedures to attract more investment to the province.

He asked the province to apply advanced technology in agricultural production, processing and preservation. Meanwhile, more attention should be paid to forest land management and protection, especially to protective forests and watersheds.

The President urged the province to implement social policies to reduce poverty, particularly in remote and ethnic minority areas. As the province shares a border with Cambodia, Binh Phuoc needs to maintain a peaceful, stable and solid relationship with that country.

He asked the province to focus on Party building and anti-corruption activities, and encourage the people to join the campaign for 'Studying and Following President Ho Chi Minh's Moral Examples.'

Over the past five years, the province has gained significant achievements in all fields. Its average GDP growth rate has reached 13.2% and industrial production increased by 21%. Industry and construction accounts for 24.1% in the province’s economic structure (in 2005 it was 18%); services 28.8%, and agriculture 47.1%.

*On the same day in Tam Ky city, Quang Nam province, the 20th provncial Party Congress for the 2010-2015 tenure opened in the presence of Politburo member and permanent member of the CPV Central Committee's Secretariat, Truong Tan Sang.

Politburo member Sang commended the province’s achievements in the last tenure, stressing that it possesses a lot of potential and advantages, which are key factors for growth. The province should mobilise all it resources to develop its economy and turn it into an industrial province by 2020, he added.
*Hai Duong and Lam Dong provinces also opened their 15th and ninth Party Congresses (respectively) for the 2010-2015 tenure on September 27.

Prosecution for an old crime puts Cambodian refugee at risk

After he was convicted of assaulting a Philadelphia man in 1998, Cambodian refugee Mout Iv knew he was in the United States on borrowed time.

As it turned out, quite a lot of borrowed time.

He was freed from a Pennsylvania prison after four years, but paperwork snafus prevented his immediate return to Cambodia, as required by law. So immigration agents put Iv on "supervised release," allowing him to open a barber shop in Olney

The government kept tabs on him with scheduled interviews, random phone calls, and unannounced visits.

Last week, at an ostensibly routine appointment, Iv, 33, was fingerprinted, photographed, and arrested. He's now in prison being readied for deportation.

It "was always in the back of my mind," said his fiancée, CJ Vonglaha, 26. "But I didn't think in my wildest dreams it would be like this."

Nor did many of the thousands of other noncitizen refugees being rounded up nationwide because of crimes largely committed years ago. In Philadelphia this month, the heat has been on the Cambodian community, which has protested deportation proceedings against at least six of its members.

Behind the rash of detentions and expulsions is the Obama administration, which is attempting to win public and congressional support for immigration reform.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is on track to deport 400,000 people this year - a 10 percent increase over expulsions in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, and more than double the number in 2005.

In the last five years, the increases in deportations have largely been the result of federal campaigns to catch illegal border crossers and visa violators, according to a February report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, an independent research center at Syracuse University.

Another TRAC study released this month, however, documented a "shift in targeting."

"Focusing just on aliens who have committed crimes in this country, the number . . . removed by ICE has already broken all previous records," the authors wrote. They wrote that the number of undocumented immigrants removed for overstaying visas or entering illegally had dropped for the first time in five years.

In a June 30 memo to staff, ICE assistant secretary John Morton told agents to focus on felons and repeat offenders, but reminded them not to neglect other categories of illegal immigrants.

"Politically, [the administration has] focused on the low-hanging fruit," said Steve Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington group that advocates strict immigration control.

Those who support targeting noncitizens convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors say it's only logical to pursue them as a matter of public safety.

Defenders of refugees with criminal records generally do acknowledge the seriousness of their crimes.

Iv was 21 when he and two or three other men took part in a May 1998 mugging on the 4900 block of Old York Road in which the victim was stabbed in the side. Convicted of aggravated assault, he was sentenced to 31/2 to seven years in prison and paroled after serving the minimum.

As a noncitizen, he went immediately into immigration detention in prison. For reasons not specified in his criminal record, Cambodia did not issue travel documents so he could be returned. After a year, he was released under supervision.

In 1996, Congress enacted two laws expanding the categories of deportation and largely eliminated judges' discretion in deciding who stays and who goes.

Immigrant advocates such as Mia-lia Kiernan, of the group Deported Diaspora, say the system fails to credit the importance of rehabilitation and community ties.

Both figure in her defense of Iv, who survived the genocide of Pol Pot's Cambodia in the 1970s, lived with his mother and a sister in a Thai refugee camp, came to Philadelphia at 7, "did a crime, did his time," and turned his life around.

Now he sits in ICE detention at a jail in York, where he and the other Cambodian detainees were interviewed last week by a Cambodian consular official handling their return to the country they fled as children.

Iv's lawyer, Steven Morley, is trying to win a stay of his deportation with a last-ditch motion to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

It is "unfair" to allow people to develop ties to the community while on supervised release, "and then to rip them away," said Morley, of Philadelphia, who advocates for more discretion by immigration judges and ICE officials.

"The solution is to examine people's backgrounds on a case-by-case basis," he said.

Responding to an e-mail blast after Iv's arrest, about 350 demonstrators swarmed the intersection of Front and Champlost Streets near his three-chair shop.

His fiancée, a nurse's aide, held their 3-month-old daughter, Sarai. Deportation will shatter their family, she said, leaving her unable to pay the $1,400 monthly mortgage on their rowhouse. Her job pays $700 every two weeks.

"He has changed for the better," said demonstrator Shappine Servano, 27, a real estate agent. "He has his own home, his own business. He is paying taxes."

Except for a 2009 guilty plea and suspended sentence for impaired driving, Iv appears not to have had other troubles with the law.

"I have known him since 2001," said Rorng Sorn, executive director of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, a service agency for the region's approximately 20,000 Cambodians. "He is a responsible, respectful, positive influence on the children who come to his shop."

Iv's childhood friend Will McClinton, 32, a union laborer, said he loved him like a brother.

"He's been cutting my hair since we were 12. He ran into a little bit of trouble. . . . He started his life over," McClinton said. "If they could put up a poster of someone who reformed himself, his face should be on it."

The Venerable Vijaratanapanna Maha Yoeung Sin passed away

Respected Venerables,
Dear Compatriots,
Ladies & Gentlemen,

The late Venerable Vijaratanapanna Maha Yoeung Sin, age 75, born in Preah Rusey province, Kampuchea Krom, president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Buddhist Monks Association in Cambodia and abbot of Wat Samaki Raingsey, had passed away on Tuesday September 28, B.E.2554, A.D.2010 due to illness.

His Body lies in a state at Wat Samaki Rainsey, at Stung Meanchey, Khan Meanchey, Phnom Penh. It will be kept till 30 days for making Ceremony.

The venerable was fiercely courageous in advocating the respect of religious and human rights of his fellow Khmer Buddhist monks, compatriots in Kampuchea Krom and Cambodia.

The Khmer Kampuchea Krom community just lost one of the heroic Buddhist monks and human rights advocates. This great loss is for the Khmer Nation and the world.

Vietnam sees share offerings booming


VietNamNet Bridge – The State Securities Commission (SSC) this year has approved the largest ever number of share offerings by listed firms, sparking concerns of oversupply.

President Nguyen Minh Triet’s US visit begins

Foreign investors now $8 billion worth of Vietnam’s securities

Stricter rules likely on private offerings

SSC as of the end of July had permitted enterprises issue around VND61 trillion worth of shares while it was only VND19.3 trillion in the whole 2009, said Bui Hoang Hai, deputy director of SSC’s Issuance Management Department.

Hai told a seminar in Hanoi last week that SSC had approved nearly 500 share issue applications this year.

In the first six months of 2010 alone, SSC had allowed listed organizations to issue VND18.6 trillion worth of shares to the public, VND1.1 trillion for their staffs and VND25 trillion for strategic shareholders. In addition, there were VND717 billion of shares offered via auctions at the stock exchanges, VND50 billion of bonus shares and VND86 billion worth of dividend stocks.

Hai said that many enterprises are seeking to offer huge amounts of shares this year as they failed to do so last year due to poor profits. Meanwhile, commercial banks also want to offer shares to increase capital given new regulations requiring them to spur capital to at least VND3 trillion each or get disbanded.

However, due to the lack of transparency on the part of listed firms, stock investors may face risks.

The quality of information released by listed companied in Vietnam is still poor. Most enterprises have no specific and long-term issuance strategies and announce information barely at compulsory requirements, Hai said.

“Some information is not trustworthy and may cause misunderstanding,” Hai said. There are enterprises providing information of business results or share prices on the basis of non-standard calculations. “Few enterprises have responsibility for what they say in the announcements,” he stressed.

While some enterprises release information regularly, others have no official websites and rarely send notices to stock watchdogs. “I think that many investors cannot receive the information either,” Hai said.

Hai also noted that while share issuance in the world aims to attract capital from new investors, listed enterprises in Vietnam primarily offer shares to existing shareholders.

David Gerald, president of the Singapore Securities Investors Association, advised investors at the seminar to study the stock market thoroughly.

“Don’t join the market if you have no knowledge. You have to check the issuing companies,” he said.

“We have to create an equity market where investors have responsibilities, knowledge and bear the blame for their decisions,” Gerald added.

Other experts said transparent information and proper release via the media could help Vietnamese enterprises maximize the value in their initial public offerings (IPO).

According to SSC, Vietnam’s stock market capitalization as of the end of August reached VND650 trillion, or US$33.5 billion, equivalent to one-third of the country’s gross domestic product.


Emerging Khmer Destination Unveils Its First Website

Source: Thaipr. Net

Khiri Reach and GTZ have launched a community tourism website to promote the little-known 8th-10th century Khmer ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk in central Cambodia.
The website,, was jointly funded by Khiri Reach, the not-for-profit arm of Khiri Travel, and GTZ (German Development Cooperation), which is financed by the German government.
The objective of the site is to stimulate tourism in the Sambor Prei Kuk area, which has over 150 easily accessible pre-Angkor temple ruins in a forest setting reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie.
The majority of the people in the area subsist on less than two dollars a day. "Sambor Prei Kuk has magnificent temples," said Frans Betgem co-founder of Khiri Travel. "We just need a flow of tourists to the area to help ease poverty. The website is a step in the right direction."
Many of the villages in the area still rely on car batteries for electricity after dark.
On the website, visitors will find information about how to get to Sambor Prei Kuk from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Plus, information about the temples, simple village attractions, local villagers who act as guides, local festivals, how to book a visit, and an extensive reading list of recommended books.
Visitors to the Sambor Prei Kuk can inspect the ruins on foot or by bicycle. There are ox cart rides, a homestay project, and a simple handicraft and souvenir shop and restaurant built by the villagers.
In At Sou village near Sambor Prei Kuk there is a memorial building to a young Japanese UN peacekeeper who was killed in the area in the early 1990s when the UN was there to oversee nationwide elections. Despite the tragedy, the father of the peacekeeper returns each year to pay homage to his son and donates funds to support local health and education in the village.
Inspecting the ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk can be combined with visits to other community based attractions in the province. These include Santuk Mountain, the holiest in the region, Tonle Sap protected area and bird sanctuary, the Santuk Silk Farm and an inspection of villages specialized in stone carving and making rice noodles.
Since 2005 GTZ has worked with the Sambor Prei Kuk Conservation Project to establish craft training courses for seven villages in the area. Community funds now go towards temple conservation, supporting home businesses, maintaining signage, and the upkeep of the craft hut and information centre.
Betgem said: "The whole community tourism set-up at Sambor Prei Kuk is very charming. It has been made possible due to the great efforts of people such as Linda Oum of Khiri Cambodia and Visal Prom and Ngin Hong of GTZ."
Photo note for editors: the high-res images of Sambor Prei Kuk on are in the 7th row from the top – "Many temples", "Pre- Angkor ruins", "Homestay options" and "Information and handicrafts".

About Khiri Reach
Khiri Reach aims to help the disadvantaged in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia improve their living conditions in a sustainable way. All nine projects centre around local communities. The threat of destruction of natural resources is a real concern in Southeast Asia. Conservation and a green and environmentally-friendly approach is an important part of the projects we start and contribute to. Khiri Reach believes that small business is the way forward. By far the majority of the projects that Khiri Reach supports have sustainable tourism as a common theme. Further information:
About the Khiri Travel Group
Khiri Travel, established in 1994, is an independent destination management company with its own regional network. It has nine offices in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. The company's detailed knowledge shows in its innovative itineraries, precise operations and commitment to responsible travel throughout the Indochina region. Visit
About GTZ in Cambodia
Cambodia is a priority partner country for German Development Cooperation. Since 1994, GTZ has been active there on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Currently ranking 137th on the Human Development Index, 31 percent of the population of Cambodia live below the poverty line and the per capita income stands at US$600 (2008). Further information:
Contact the Khiri Travel Group
Head office
226/9 Tiwanon Road, Soi 24
Nonthaburi 11000 (Greater Bangkok)
Tel: (+66) [0] 2968 6828
Fax (+66) [0] 2968 6829
Media queries
Ken Scott
ScottAsia Communications
Tel: (+66) [0] 81 931 2753

Asean Committed To Minimising Workplace Accidents

BANDUNG (W Java, Indonesia), Sept 29 (Bernama) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is committed to lowering the number of accidents and illnesses at work in the region, Antara news agency reported a senior official as saying.

"Minimising the number of accidents and illnesses at work is among the challenges Asean countries are facing during the free trade era like today," secretary general of the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Besar Setyoko, said here on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of a workshop titled Asean Occupational Safety and Health Network (OSHNET) in Bandung.

During the three-day workshop which began Tuesday Asean representatives will exchange views and ideas related to the safety and health challenges at work places in their countries.

According to data from the International Labor Organisation (ILO) published on April 28, two million workers die every year due to accidents and health problems at work.

In response to this phenomenon, Besar said, Indonesia and other Asean members had revitalised the manpower supervisory system which now focused on upgrading the supervisor's quality and quantity, law enforcement related to manpower issues and technical standardisation related to the manpower supervisory system.

Launched in 1976, the Asean-OSHNET (Asean Occupational Safety and Health Network) was recommended to establish a regional centre to collect and disseminate information within Asean and to manage research and training for the improvement of working conditions and environment.

Its members are Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.


Gallup poll finds depression up 25 percent after oil

Associated Press Writer

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Before the BP oil spill, the Gulf Coast was a place of abundant shrimping, tourist-filled beaches and a happy if humble lifestyle. Now, it’s home to depression, worry and sadness for many.

A Gallup survey released Tuesday of almost 2,600 coastal residents showed that depression cases are up more than 25 percent since an explosion killed 11 people and unleashed a three-month gusher of crude into the Gulf in April that ruined many livelihoods. The conclusions were consistent with trends seen in smaller studies and witnessed by mental health workers.

People just aren’t as happy as they used to be despite palm trees and warm weather. A “well-being index” included in the Gallup study said many coastal residents are stressed out, worried and sad more often than people living inland, an indication that the spill’s emotional toll lingers even if most of the oil has vanished from view.

Margaret Carruth is among those fighting to hang on.

Her hairstyling business dried up after tourists stopped coming to the beach and locals cut back on nonessentials like haircuts. All but broke and unable to afford rent, Carruth packed her belongings into her truck and a storage shed and now depends on friends for shelter.

“I’m a strong person and always have been, but I’m almost to the breaking point,” says Carruth.

The Gallup survey was conducted in 25 Gulf-front counties from Texas east to Florida over eight months before and after the spill, ending Aug. 6.

The survey found that 19.6 percent of people reported receiving a clinical diagnosis of depression after the spill compared with 15.6 percent before, an increase of 25.6 percent. The study didn’t conclude the additional cases were tied directly to the oil, however.

The survey said people along the Gulf reported feeling sad, worried and stressed after the spill, while people living inland reported less over the same period. Another survey found that more than 40 percent of people in coastal Mississippi reported feeling stress after the BP geyser blew, a 15 percent increase from before.

The survey is part of an ongoing health index survey sponsored by Healthways, a wellness and alternative health care company based in Nashville, Tenn. Respondents were randomly selected and interviewed by telephone, and the survey of coastal residents has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Steve Barrileaux, a psychologist at the Gulfport center, said some of the problems leading to mental health issues are obvious, like the loss of work by a person who rented chairs on the beach. Others are more subtle.

Many people are deeply worried about the environment, for instance, or lament the lost moments they would have spent fishing recreationally with loved ones.

Others are still afraid to eat seafood, even on the coast where livelihoods depend on it.

“What’s scary is the long-term damage that can be done, and we just don’t know about that,” Barrileaux said.

Chanthy Prak frets constantly about how to make ends meet in the post-spill world.

Prak worked in crab houses around Bayou La Batre, Ala., before the oil hit. She and her husband, another seafood worker displaced by the spill, have received only $5,000 in claims payments since May to support them and their seven children.

“I worry. There’s money going out but no money coming in,” said the Cambodia native.

In some areas, higher rates of mental problems appear to have little to do with the oil.

At Lakeview Center, which provides mental health services in Pensacola calls have increased to a crisis intervention line compared to 2009, but relatively few people have mentioned the oil spill as the reason they need help, said spokeswoman Karen Smith.

Psychologists believe the uptick is most likely linked to the recession, she said.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thai bourse’s New York roadshow received great attention

Source: Thai Pr. Net

The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s (SET) New York roadshow held on September 24 received great attention from over 50 foreign institutional investors, as the SET index is one of the world’s fastest-rising and good operating performance of its listed companies.

“In addition to SET presentation, PM Abhisit Vejjajiva also participated in the session to present information and answered the questions of leading foreign institutional investors. The roadshow was organized by Goldman Sachs and the Quant Group in addition to SET,” revealed SET President Charamporn Jotikasthira.

“The institutional investors paid great attention to Thailand’s economic development and political situation, particularly on the issues that Thai economy was not affected by political incidents, as shown from SET Index’s fast-rising rate, which is now among the world’s highest and listed firms’ good operating performance. They were also very attentive to the government’s policies to stimulate the economy in the short and medium term, also the benefit Thailand might receive from joining ASEAN economic integration, which will become effective in 2015. This roadshow was the second consecutive year that Prime Minister Abhisit has met institutional investors at an event organized by the SET, which received great attention from investors,” said Mr. Charamporn.

PM Abhisit said that the Thai economy is showing continual signs of recovery, as Thailand depends more on newly-emerging economy, therefore, it was not very strongly affected by the economic recession in highly-industrialized counties. In addition, PM Abhisit forecast that the country’s economy should recover within 12 months, due to increasing private and public domestic investment. Moreover, foreign investors also paid attention to the Thai baht’s strength, which might affect the country’s economy, as well as legistration concerning 3G auction.

“Foreign investors’ interest in the Thai capital market continued to increase, reflecting in the asset under management of MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund, the largest NYSE –listed ETF fund with investments in Thai stock. The assets under management of this fund have risen 6-fold within the past 12 months, or THB18.00 billion (approx. USD580.64 million) as of end-September 2010 from THB3.20 billion (approx. USD103.23 million) in September a year ago, showing Thailand’s potential and attractiveness among foreign investors,” added Mr. Charamporn.

For more information, please contact S-E-T Call Center 0 2229 2222
Members of the media should contact the Public Relations Unit, Corporate Communications Dept.: Ladawan Kantawong, tel: 0-2229-2036 / Kanokwan Khemmalai tel: 0-2229-2048 / Nattaya Muangman, tel: 0-2229-2043

Biden warned Obama during Afghan war review not to get 'locked into Vietnam'

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On Thanksgiving weekend in 2009, as President Obama was crafting his final Afghan war strategy, Vice President Biden fired off six handwritten memos by secure fax from Nantucket island in Massachusetts, where the Biden family traditionally gathered to celebrate the November holiday.

As Biden had for months, he was keeping the pressure on, urging Obama to avoid a dramatic escalation of the war.

The president, still engaged in intense discussions at the White House, told Biden by secure phone: There's no good option.

It would not be that bad if Hamid Karzai's government in Afghanistan fell, Biden said.

No, Obama replied. The downside was too great. Obama said he was going with 30,000 more troops, a significant escalation but less than the 40,000 that the military kept advocating.

Biden faxed another memo to the president. "It's not the number, it's the strategy."

This was a moment of decision for the first-year president, and Biden was in a rented house in Nantucket, away from the nonstop discussions in Washington.

Finally, Obama told Biden: "I want to have a meeting Sunday." The president would call the national security team to the Oval Office and give members the six-page, single-spaced "terms sheet" he had dictated that precisely listed his new orders.

"Mr. President," Biden said, "I want to meet you before you go in."

"No," Obama replied.

"I'll meet you in the residence."

"No, no, we're fine."

Vietnam charges police chiefs in drug case

Source: DPA

Hanoi - A former police chief and his deputy in Vietnam's Central Highlands have been charged in the disappearance of cash and gold in a drug-trafficking case, a police official said Tuesday.

Nguyen Cong Chuc, 56, and Tran Duc Thinh, 44, former officials of the Buon Me Thuot city, were charged on Monday with "negligence of professional responsibility.

" The charges concern the seizure of cash and gold worth over 5,000 dollars in a 2005 drug bust which subsequently disappeared. "

We have suspended them from work," said Huynh Hue, director of the Dak Lak Provincial Police Department. "Whether or not they go to jail depends on the People's Supreme Procuracy's investigation."

The newspaper Thanh Nien reported the case stems from an incident in August 2005, when Buon Me Thuot police arrested four drug traffickers. Police seized 30 packets of heroin along with four taels (150 grams) of gold, a gold chain, a gold ring, and 17 million dong (over 1,000 dollars at the time).

In his report, Bui Vu Quoc Trong of the anti-drug police division, who led the arrests, stated police had seized only the heroin and 800,000 dong in cash.

In 2007, Dak Lak police inspectors reviewed the case and found Trong had faked the signatures of his superiors Chuc and Thinh on the report.

In 2008, Trong was sentenced to three years in prison. What happened to the missing valuables has never been clarified.

If convicted, Chuc and Thinh could face up to 12 years in prison.

Vietnam economic growth speeds up in third quarter

28 Sept, 2010

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Vietnam's economy expanded at a faster pace in the third quarter, helped by higher industrial output and services, putting the country on track to exceed its 6.5 percent growth target for the full year.

Gross domestic product expanded 7.2 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter, compared with 6.4 percent in the second quarter, the government said Tuesday. Vietnam releases economic growth data just before the end of each quarter, based on estimates.

Economic growth in January through September was 6.5 percent, compared with 4.6 percent a year earlier, the General Statistics Office said.

Industrial production and construction expanded 7.3 percent in the first nine months of this year while services grew 7.2 percent, it said.

Cambodian PM to attend ASEM 8 summit in Brussels

28 Sept, 2010

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a high delegation to attend the ASEM 8 Summit to be held from October 4 to 5 in Brussels, Belgium at the invitation of Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Tuesday.

The delegation will include Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong and Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh and other high-ranking officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia, it said.

As Cambodia is the country coordinator for the ASEAN group of the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting), Hun Sen will deliver his opening remarks on behalf of the ASEAN group during the opening ceremony on Oct. 4 and during the plenary sessions on Oct. 5, he will also make his intervention on "Sustainable Development."

The ASEM 8 Summit under the theme "Quality of Life", will issue two important outcome documents: one is the ASEM 8 Chair's Statement and another is the Declaration of the ASEM 8 Summit on the Global Economic Crisis, the press release said .

On the sidelines of the ASEM 8 Summit, Hor Namhong will hold a bilateral talk with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, foreign minister of Pakistan.

The ASEAN makes up of ten countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: Xinhua

Cambodian, Thai Leaders Vows To Avoid Armed Clashes

PHNOM PENH, Sept 28 (Bernama) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva have pledged to avoid armed clashes along the shared border, according to Vietnam news agency.

That is one of the four points both leaders reached consensus upon during their 40-minute meeting on the sidelines of the US-ASEAN Summit in New York last week, said Cambodia's Secretary of State of the Office of the Council of Ministers Prak Sokhon.

Sokkon said the two prime ministers agreed to promote cooperation and increase the exchanges of arts and sports delegations, jointly examine the possibility of opening the Stung Bot border gate to boost two-way trade and upgrade the Poipet checkpoint to an international tourism border gate.

They also agreed to jointly monitor media reports in both countries to avoid misunderstanding, he said.

According Sokhon, the two leaders planned to meet for talks when they attend the Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels and the ASEAN summit in Hanoi later this year.


Thailand for suggestion to open services sect to Indian pros

Pallab Bhattacharya
Sep 28, 2010

Thailand has said it welcomes the suggestion for a bilateral approach to open up the services sector to Indian professionals and that it will be much faster and easier.

"We are open to the idea of bilateral negotiations with India on movement of Indian professionals into Thailand. In fact, such an approach will be much faster and easier," Thailand Deputy Permanent Secretary (Foreign Secretary) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Surapit Kirtiputra told a group of visiting Indian journalists.

His comments came in reply to a question about concerns in India that the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) does not seem keen on a liberalised services sector.

Surapit said bilateral discussions on the services sector could help decide on the segments which India and Thailand were willing to open for each other.

His remarks come in the midst of tense negotiations between India and ASEAN on Free Trade Agreement in the services sector.

Government and private sector sources in Thailand say while Indian professionals will be welcome in Information Technology and engineering sectors, most of the ASEAN countries, including Thailand, is not in favour of opening up the health and education sectors to India.
India is banking on the agreement with ASEAN, comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, Vietnam and Singapore with a combine market of 600 million people, to balance the scale tilled in favour of the powerful economic grouping in the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in goods.

The size of the combined services sector in ASEAN is estimated to be of the order of nearly USD 200 billion, in which India has a very small share.

While many Indian textile engineers are present in Indo Rama''s units in Thailand, techies from India would be welcome in Thailand, said sources in the Board of Trade in Thailand.

One reason why not only Thailand but also many other ASEAN countries do not want an integrated approach to movement of professionals across the region is that they do not want to go for a wholesale opening up of the services sector to each other but are willing to enter into negotiations with India bilaterally in the areas of their requirement.

However, for India, it is the huge market across ASEAN that makes the services sector pact a win-win situation rather than separately approaching the individual member-countries each of which is small. .

Son of Kim Jong-il made a general

The Cambodia News.Net
Monday 27th September, 2010

According to North Korean media, the son of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, has been made a general by the country's ruling party.
According to North Korean media, the son of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, has been made a general by the country's ruling party.

It is believed that Kim Jong-il persuaded members of the Workers Party to install his son into the position during the first day of the largest political meeting in decades.

It has recently been reported by South Korean intelligence services that 68-year-old leader, Kim Jong-il, is battling several illnesses, including the aftermath of a stroke.

Since the reports of illness, speculation has arisen that the meeting of party officials in Pyongyang will officially anoint Kim Jong-un as the chosen successor to Kim Jong-il, who himself was anointed in the same way by his own father at the last major party event in 1980.

If Kim Jong-un receives a senior party position as a complement to him being made a general, it is likely he will soon take over from his father, who is seen in the country as a god-like figurehead.

It is believed the younger man has been working in the influential Workers Party Bureau of Organization and Guidance, which is involved in the hiring, firing and promotion of the country's elite.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency also reported that Kim Jong-il's sister, Kyong-hui, was also named a general.

Kim Jong-un, a little known figure in North Korea, is Swiss-educated and in his mid-20s.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cambodian garment workers struggle to stitch together living

By Michelle Fitzpatrick

PHNOM PENH, Monday 27 September 2010 (AFP) - It's mid-morning in the Cambodian capital and Pat La is one of dozens of workers breaking for lunch at the Pine Great Garments plant, which makes clothes for US retailers like Gap and Walmart.

The 30-year-old mother was among the tens of thousands of textile workers who took part in a four-day mass strike earlier this month to demand higher wages -- the latest bout of worker unrest in Asia.

She says she joined the stoppage because she cannot get by on the 50 dollars a month she earns making T-shirts.

"I am working to survive," the softly-spoken woman, who left her home province of Prey Veng east of Phnom Penh to eke out a living in the capital, tells AFP as she scans nearby stalls for a bite to eat after the early shift.

Half her wages are spent on rent, she explains, and after paying for food, bills and baby formula for her four-month-old daughter, "there is nothing left".

By putting in overtime beyond the basic eight-hour day and working six days a week, Pat La can push her monthly income up to 60 or 70 dollars.

It is more than many people earn in Cambodia, where gross national income per capita stood at 640 dollars in 2008, or roughly 53 dollars a month, according to the World Bank.

The country has a big rich-poor gap, with about 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line in 2007, according to the Bank's data.

Pat La's colleague Chhom Saroth, 22, who also took part in the walkout, says working at the plant "is a good job".

"But if we don't do overtime, we cannot survive on our basic salary," she adds.

The mass strike from September 13 to September 16 came after the government and industry set the minimum wage for garment and footwear staff at 61 dollars a month.

That is more that a textile worker would take home in Bangladesh, where thousands of garment workers also took to the streets of the capital in August to demand higher wages.

But Cambodia's unions say it is not enough to cover living expenses and want a base salary of 93 dollars.

The industrial action only ended when the government stepped in and arranged talks between the two sides that started on Monday.

Pat La has low expectations for the negotiations and says she is willing to settle for less than unions are demanding.

"Maybe from 80 dollars a month -- that would do," she says.

Union leaders say that at the height of the strike, some 200,000 garment workers across the country failed to show up for work.

But secretary general Ken Loo of the Garment Manufacturers' Association in Cambodia (GMAC) estimates that 45,000 people missed work during the stoppages, of which about 20,000 picketed outside factories.

Ahead of Monday's talks, manufacturers warned that increasing the minimum wage was out of the question, "but there is always room for negotiation with respect to other allowances or bonuses", says Ken Loo.

Union leader Ath Thun, head of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, accepts that the employers are unlikely to budge on the wage issue, and says the unions will instead seek other concessions, such as daily food allowances.

Cambodia's garment industry -- which also produces items for brands such as Benetton, Adidas and Puma -- is a key source of foreign income for the country and employs about 345,000 workers, mainly women.

"I believe working conditions are generally good for the garment workers," says Tun Sophorn, a national coordinator at the International Labour Organisation, who has visited dozens of Cambodian factories.

"Labour inspections have intensified" and there are "strong unions" in the workplace, he explains.

The industry was hit hard last year when the global economic crisis saw exports drop to 2.7 billion dollars, from 3.1 billion dollars in 2008.

However, during the first seven months of this year, exports increased 13.4 percent to 1.6 billion dollars, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

GMAC says the strike cost the sector 15 million dollars and harmed its reputation abroad.

"We know that a few factories have had their orders cancelled" as buyers worry about possible damage to their brand image, Ken Loo says, declining to name the plants or customers involved.

But Pat La, who doesn't know the retailers she is sewing for, has more pressing concerns on her mind.

Taking part in the walkout cost her four days' pay so she expects to take home just 40 dollars this month -- not enough to make ends meet -- and going on strike again would be a luxury she cannot afford.

"I am broke now," she says with a shy smile.

Foreign Ministry To Draft Plan To Revive Thai-Cambodian Bilateral Ties

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Bernama) -- Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Monday that the ministry will draft a plan to revive Thai-Cambodian bilateral ties with cooperation by many sectors and at various levels before forwarding it for the prime minister's approval soon, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

The foreign minister made the remarks after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen talked for half an hour on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York agreeing that warm relations between the two neighbouring countries are vital for the benefit of their people.

The diplomatic standoff between the two neighbouring countries resulted in part from Cambodia's unilateral management plan for the environs of the ancient Preah Vihear temple that sits on contested land claimed by both Thailand and Cambodia.

Kasit said he will start the drafting process once he returns to the Thai capital and expects to forward it for the premier's approval soon.

The plan to restore the relationship with Cambodia includes operations and activities at both local and central levels, Kasit said.

For local operations, the foreign ministry will coordinate with the Second Army Area, the Royal Thai Navy, and with the governors of provinces adjacent to the Cambodian border.

Cultural, sports and academic exchange activities between the peoples of the two kingdoms will be held, while medical and humanitarian aid as well as landmine clearance and disposal operations will be conducted mutually, according to the foreign minister.

"We also want to seek cooperation with Cambodian authorities in the registration of Thai and Cambodian [nationals] living along the borders and foragers in order to avoid violence in case they stray and accidentally trespass into the (other country's) territory," said Kasit.

"Troops of both sides can contact each other. When a problem occurs, they should talk to avoid the use of violence and must be able to identify and distinguish local residents foraging along the border from criminal rings.

"We must speed up joint operations in suppressing criminals and syndicates smuggling illegal products," Kasit said.

The Thai foreign minister said the opening of more border checkpoints should be opened to facilitate trades, transportation and tourism along the border. But the checkpoints should be opened in appropriate areas which are not under disputed area or risk for stepping over landmines.

The policy at the central level is involved with assistance in development roles in various fields. The draft will cover operations for the new (fiscal) year which will begin in October, he said.

Kasit also expressed hope that Cambodian Minister of Information and Cambodian media will accept his invitation to visit Thailand and discuss the ongoing disputes to create better understanding between the two nations.


Asean People's Forum Concludes In Hanoi

Sept 27, 2010

The sixth Asean People's Forum (APF6) wrapped up in Hanoi on Sunday, after adopting a joint statement affirming support for the implementation of the Asean Charter and the building of the Asean Community towards people, Vietnamese news agency (VNA) reported.

The joint statement called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, and its members to step up the performance of mechanisms and agreements in order to maintain peace and security, prevent conflicts and deal with disputes in a peaceful way.

It also urged the bloc to develop policies regarding culture, society, equality, respect and protection of rights of people, especially women, children, ethnic minorities and the disabled.

For the first time, Agent Orange-related issues were shared and received the support from Asean people's organisations, and made into a content of the joint statement.

At the previous plenary session, the delegates discussed the integration and cooperation amongst people from the regional nations in a move to build a people-centred community.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations Tran Dac Loi said the APF 6 was a success. The participation of the delegates from different groups, including young people, women, farmers, fishermen and the disabled, proved the diversity of the forum.

Loi, who is also Head of the APF 6 Organising Committee, said the forum was a chance for Asean people to increase mutual understanding and build new connectivity networks for peace, friendship and development in the region.

At the closing ceremony, Vietnam officially handed over the chairmanship of the 7th APF to Indonesia.

Loi and Mida Saragih, representative of Indonesia's people's organisations, co-hosted a press conference following the ceremony to inform the results of the 6th APF.


Teo Seng poised to emerge as Malaysia’s largest listed layer farming entity


MUAR: Teo Seng Capital Bhd (TSC) expects to increase its daily egg production to 2.1 million from 1.8 million towards the end of the year.

Chairman Lau Jui Peng said the additional 300,000 eggs would come from the company’s two new farms in Yong Peng, Batu Pahat, in which it had invested RM11mil.

“The investment will put us in a better position to emerge as the largest listed layer farming entity in the country,” he said.

Lau said the company now exported 30% of its egg production to Singapore, up from 10%. The company has 16 farms in Batu Pahat with over two million layer birds.

Lau Jui Peng (left) and Nam Yok San

Managing director Nam Yok San said that besides investing in new layer farms, the company would also venture into aquaculture.

TSC wants to diversify its earnings from mainly egg production to breeding freshwater fish.

“Never put all your eggs in one basket,” Nam said.

He said the company was currently in the final phase of constructing 14 ponds in Batu Pahat to rear tilapia, an increasing popular fish.

He said the venture into freshwater fish breeding would make TSC the first listed layer farming company to enter an such activity.

Nam said plans in the pipeline included opening egg farms in Cambodia and Vietnam. However, the company had no specific timeframe to start operations in the two countries.

“We have conducted feasibility studies there and based on our findings, prospects in Cambodia and Vietnam are good as eggs consumption there is still less than 5% a year,” he said.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2010, TSC registered net profit of RM15.15mil on RM167.96mil in revenue compared with RM12.61mil and RM181.43mil respectively in FY09.

Cambodian King Leaves for China's World Expo

Source: Xinhua
Web Editor: Xu Leiying

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni left Phnom Penh on Monday for China to attend the celebration of China's National Pavilion Day at Shanghai World Expo 2010 at the invitation of China.

China's National Pavilion Day at Shanghai World Expo will be celebrated on Oct. 1, the Chinese National Day.

Meanwhile, King Sihamoni will also visit other countries' national pavilions during his stay in China, including his country 's pavilion, according to the officials of Chinese Embassy in Cambodia.

Seeing the King off at the Phnom Penh International Airport were Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim, National Assembly President Heng Samrim, Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue, as well as other members of Royal family.

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