Sunday, 22 June 2008

Tourism arrivals up 14 percent in year to May

Number of international tourists arrival in Cambodia increasingly grow.

Tourism to Cambodia jumped more than 14 percent in the year to May, with Siem Reap posting the largest influx of foreign visitors, government figures show, although the Angkor temple town experienced a first-quarter dip in the number of arrivals from the same period in 2007.

Kong Sopheareak, director of the statistics department at the Ministry of Tourism, told the Post that Cambodia was on track to attract 2.3 million visitors this year, adding that political stability and infrastructure improvements had increased the number of tourist destinations in the country.

This diversification could be behind the seven percent drop in arrivals to Cambodia's most popular tourist draw, the Angkor temple town of Siem Reap, tourism officials said.

Elsewhere in Cambodia saw a significant surge in visitors, such as coastal resorts and the northeastern provinces of Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri, according to Sopheareak, who added that tourism was hoped to earn Cambodia some $1.64 billion this year.

He dismissed concerns that the July 27 general election would impact the tourism sector, which is one of the few viable industries in the impoverished country.

Ho Vandy, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, told the Post on June 10 that he too was optimistic that the polls would have little effect on arrival figures.

Cambodia's year-long political stalemate following general elections in 2003 had resulted in a 12 percent drop in visitors, he said.

Tourism is a fragile sector and if there is instability or unrest no tourists will want to come, so we hope all political parties will resolve any election issues peacefully,' he said.

South Koreans continue to make up the largest group of foreign visitors, followed by Vietnamese and then Japanese, according to tourism ministry figures.

Written by Nguon Sovan and Peter Olszewski

Sam Rainsy sign at Chouk district in Kampot province up after pulled down by local authorities

Sam Rainsy Party in Kampot province threatened to file complaint against Chouk district governor for permitting private company managing Chouk market to pull down its party's sign.

Mu Sochua, SRP chief in Kampot province demanded to see a copy of the contract in Chouk as SRP sign was pulled down. A copromise was made for SRP to have its sign up at a different location, which gives the party more visibility.

CACJE's special statement

Cambodian Action Committee for Justice & Equity

Read the original text in english please click on this link
Read the original text in Khmer please click on this link

Special Meeting in Stockton of California,
June 22, 2008

No: 0032 CACJE


The Cambodian Action Committee for Justice & Equity (CACJE) denounces the baseless smear campaign of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the Cambodian People Party (CPP) against the members of Sam Raingsy Party (SRP) and their President Sam Raingsy. The Royal Government of Cambodia and the CPP distorted facts and fabricated stories and threatened innocent people in the following cases:

1. The RGC and the CPP accused the SRP and her President Sam Raingsy as the founder of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF) and Khmer Moha Nokor Movement.

This accusation is baseless because, according to the verdict of the Los Angeles Court (USA), Chunn Yasith, the defender, was the sole Chief responsible of the creation and the execution of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters Operations. There was neither cooperation nor alliance between the CFF with other person or other movement for the creation and the operational execution.

As the UN rejected LEUK Bun Nhean status as refugee, LEUK Bun Nhean engages in spy operation for the benefit of the RGC and the CPP. His spy master is Gen. Mol Roeup, chair of Q 101 Bureau. Nhean’s mission was to infiltrate and spy on Cambodian refugees living in Thailand.

To recruit people for his spy operation, he uses money and the appointment to a high grade officer as bait. By this procedure, he recruits Heng Ran. In present, Bun Nhean also tried to recruit some among people who were victims of the violation human rights abuses of the Royal Government of Cambodia and who came to Thailand to seek for the UN protection as refugee. Nhean and Ran based on document he had stolen from the UN Refugee Bureau to fabricate a phony list of these people who were seeking the UN protection.

According to Nhean and Ran, the people in the said list they had shown at Phnom Penh were members of SRP and the CFF, the convicted organization by the Los Angeles court as terrorist organization. By this distortion of fact, the CPP and the Royal Government of
Cambodia intended to accuse the SRP members as collaborators or members of the CFF. Therefore the Royal Government of Cambodia can jail them all as terrorist.
Moha Nokor’s Affair.

Chan Dara Veasna, the President of Maha Nokor Movement, is the nephew of Say Chhum, the General Secretary of the Cambodian Communist Party, the CPP. Maha Nokor Movement is created and financed by Say Chhum with supported by Hok Lundi.
Under the guidance of Gen Hok Lundi, Moha Nokor Movement aim was to infiltrate and destroy Sam Raingsy Party before the legislative election 2008.

2 Hun Sen’ people accused Sam Raingsy to plot to kill Hun Sen in Siemreap.

Hun Sen people distorted the fact. The truth is: It was Hing Bun Heang, the deputy chief cabinet and Commander Body Guard Unit of Hun Sen, who planned to kill Sam Raignsy. Indeed, during 2004-2005, Hing Bun Heang assigned a hitman named Srun under the aka name Phkay Preuk (Venus Star), Lt of the Intervention Forces of Hun Sen Body Guard Unit to infiltrate Sam Raignsy Body Guard Unit. Phkay Preuk proposed to Sam Raingsy Body guards leadership a reward of $250,000 plus new cars to assassinate the opponent leader, Sam Raingsy.
The Phkay Preuk plan to assassinate Hun Sen was constituted of three folds:

- Infiltrate three hitmen inside Sam Raignsy Body Guard Unit.
- Foment troubles during Sam Raignsy public meetings.
- During SRP meeting chaos, kill Sam Ranigsy in close range.

The above Phkay Preuk plan was implemented on January 29, 2005 when Sam Raignsy traveled to attend in public meeting at Vat Chompou Vorn (Buddhist Pagoda), in the district of Dangkor, Phnom Penh suburb. At that time Hing Bun Heang, the Deputy Chief of Hun Sen Body Guard Unit, had sent two hitmen to infiltrate inside Sam Raignsy Body Guards Unit.

The Phkay Preuk plan of assassination of Raingsy was leaked to Sam Raingsy security guard leader. Instantaneously, the Moto Doop members and the public crowded the access roads to Sam Raignsy meeting, mainly the Soviet Union of Russia Boulevard. Practically with their body they protected Sam Raingsy. Finally, the Phkay Preuk plan failed miserably.

3. Sam Raingsy Versus Hor Nam Hong

The Sam Raingsy versus Hor Nam Hong must not be ruled by the Phnom Penh Tribunal. It must be instead ruled by the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) whose main objectives were to judge former Khmer Rouge genociders.

The ECCC has the authority to query Hor Nam Hong about his actions 33 years ago as Direction of the Beung Trabek Prison. About eight hundred prisoners were put to death during his watch. Only the co-persecutors, Cambodian and international judges of the ECCC had the authority to ask the National Assembly to lift the parliamentary immunity of Sam Raingsy and Hor Nam Hong, then, from there to get a court case.

CACJE would like to add, not only Hor Nam Hong was the President the Santibal (Security Forces) Office, that’s the prison during the Khmer Rouge regime, he was also the chief executive of incarceration and execution of several thousands of people of Bopea (East) Zone in the mid of 1977.


SOURN Serey Ratha
Chief of Mission

Sacravatoons : " Whishing Dance "

Courtesy of Sacravatoon at


The Bangkok Post
Sunday June 22, 2008


The governments of Thailand and Cambodia have ended their negotiations over the controversial Preah Vihear temple with a win-win result. But the way Thai agencies bungled the issue by trying to promote a better understanding of the deal with the public should be another lesson to learn. Not enough effort went into the public relations campaign. And what made the issue worse was that it became linked to politics.

Coincidentally, negotiations between Thailand and Cambodia over the 11th-century temple ended as the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) began its latest campaign to oust the government.

The sensitive issue of the temple was also singled out by the anti-government demonstrators and used to attack the government by convincing people who have not closely followed the issue to come forward and join the rally.

If anyone has the opportunity to carefully compare the allegations and facts from all sides _ from Foreign Ministry officials to academics and PAD _ they would not be easily misguided.

Although Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama has claimed the agreement as his personal success, he alone was not responsible for these international negotiations.

The staff from the ministry, especially from the Treaties and Legal Affairs Department, worked hard for years to protect Thai sovereignty. Nobody realises how many of the staff at this agency have become sick from stress caused by intense border negotiations with Thailand's neighbours.

They are the real heroes who have worked hard to protect Thai soil so not one single inch is lost to other countries.

These are the staff who paved the way for negotiations with Cambodia, which still uses the old map which includes 4.6 square kilometres of overlapping land with Thailand.

The map was drawn in 1904 by France and Cambodia has adhered to it since then, while Thailand has stood firmly by the use of watershed lines to indicate the border, which is consistent with international law.

Bangkok and Phnom Penh engaged in a hot debate in the early 1960s over the issue which resulted in the International Court of Justice's verdict to give the temple as well as the land under the temple to Cambodia.

It was Cambodia which wanted to wrap up these negotiations. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen wants to use this issue in his campaign for the upcoming general election on July 27. He wants the temple listed by the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) as a World Heritage Site. That is why the Cambodian government agreed to draw a new map, which leaves the disputed area to be further negotiated by the two countries in the future.

This made the Thai negotiating team happy and, in return, it supported Cambodia's bid in the Unesco registration process.

Thailand is also satisfied that the demarcation in the new map conforms to a Thai cabinet resolution in 1962, which asks that the watershed lines be the borderline.

If the World Heritage Committee under Unesco agrees to register the temple, shops and structures built by Cambodians in the disputed area must be cleared for a joint management zone with Thailand. Then the burden will be on the Cambodian government to get its people out of the area.

This can be called a win-win situation for Thailand rather than a loss to the country, as some have tried to label the agreement.

July Election in Cambodia: Register Now

The World Bank Group: World Bank and Multiple Donors Help Cambodia Achieve its Health Goals

Posted on 21 June 2008.
The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

World Bank Project Proposes Health Sector Reform Strategies

“Although donor countries have detailed development plan of the country, but as nowadays a mechanism for the elimination of corruption in Cambodian society is not yet in place, Khmer poor citizens face difficulties in the health sector. Recently, the World Bank has proposed health sector reform strategies to develop the health sector in Cambodia. Though there were hundreds of millions of dollars spent since 1996, there is still no noticeable focus on Khmer poor citizens from state institutions. Although the health sector improved somewhat, Khmer poor citizens are still seriously affected by discrimination, and the requirement to pay money for different services.

“According to the World Bank, strategies are prepared for the health sector from 2008 to 2015, summarized as follows:

“The World Bank has approved to provide a credit of US$30 million to support the implementation of the Cambodian 2005-2015 health sector strategies. These strategies aim to promote preventive health and heath services for Khmer citizens, especially focusing on women, children, and the poor.

“This credit will be used to provide financing for the Second Health Sector Support Program, and in a period of five years, this program will receive a total credit of US$120 million from six development partners. As for the World Bank, the credit will be provided to the International Development Association [IDA] which is an agency of the World Bank that is in charge of providing supports to the world’s poorest countries. A part of the aid will be provided from the Department for International Development [DFID-UK], AusAID [Australia], UNICEF, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], and the Agence Française de Développement [AFD]. Also, other development partners expect to join this program during the implementation process.

“The Second Health Sector Support Program will use the health plan of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its mechanisms to observe the results and to share the management of the program jointly, and to allocate the resources as a joint package. This program had been organized to help Cambodia to improve its health situation through strengthening the capacity and mechanisms of its institutions that help the government and the development partners, and it can guarantee achievements in the health sector to be more efficient and more effective than before.

“The Second Health Sector Support Program will increase available resources to ensure the promotion of the health of mothers and children, as well as to contribute to deal with new heath problems, such as injuries and chronic diseases. This plan promotes the quality of training of health professionals, including midwives, and strengthens health service delivery at heath centers and referral hospitals. This program also helps the government to become a helper in health systems. Many poor citizens will benefit a lot from this program, because this program aims to expand the supports for Health Equity Funds in order to help poor citizens to have the opportunity to receive major health care and preventive health care. This program also assists civil society organizations in making health plans at the local level, and in observing the provision of services.

“Professor Eng Huot, secretary of state of the Ministry of Health, said, ‘During the last few decades, the heath of Khmer citizens improved noticeably. The average life expectancy has increased from 52 to 58 years for men and from 56 to 64 years for women, the death rates of infants and children from diseases also declined; as for the infection by HIV and AIDS, it can also be prevented. However, we still have to address many major problems. These include the high maternal mortality, the slow progress in fighting malnutrition, and the rising cost for health care; and there is still the poor quality of health care, and the rise of injuries and non-communicable diseases. We hope that with a lot of support through the Second Health Sector Support Program from the World Bank and different development partners, we will have the ability to achieve and to guarantee the continuity to reach the Millennium Development Goals as well as to promote equity in the health sector. The Second Health Sector Support Program will be important to promote harmonization, and to be along the lines of harmonizing of all aid in the heath sector, to be in line with the intentions and commitments as stated in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the International Health Partnership.’

“The World Bank Country Director for Cambodia Ian Porter sated, ‘The World Bank has worked in the health sector since 1996 through two projects – the Disease Control and Health Development Project, and the Health Sector Support Project. We continue to maintain strong relations with the government and other development partners in assisting the health sector. We are satisfied to see the process of the health sector supporting project which is in line with assistance strategies for Cambodia, created in cooperation with DFID, the Asian Development Bank, and the UN system.’

“Claire Moran, the Country Manager for the UK Department for International Development – DFID - said, ‘I am delighted to hear that the World Bank and the donor countries have created this new project. This project not only speeds up development towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector, but it is also an important measure to guarantee the efficiency of the use of aid in the health sector. In line with this commitment, development partners and the Royal Government of Cambodia signed the International Health Partnership agreement in September 2007, which is a new program, and there is the plan to collect resources and to work in a more coordinated way to streamline how development partners support the Ministry of Health.’”

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3339, 21.6.2008