Sunday, 12 September 2010

Francophone Parliamentary Assembly convenes conference

via CAAI


The fifth Asia-Pacific Francophone Parliamentary Assembly (APF) conference has convened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from September 9-11.

Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s External Relations Committee and APF Vice President Ngo Quang Xuan has attended the event together with delegations from the Cambodian, Lao, French, Belgium and Canadian parliaments and many international organisations.

The conference focused discussion on socio-economic development policies after the global financial crisis and new cooperation opportunities for French-speaking countries in the Asia-Pacific.

The delegates adopted a joint communique, expressing their consensus on enhancing cooperation among French-speaking countries in the Asia-Pacific in education and economic development to raise the people’s living conditions and reduce poverty rate.

Paid £3,000 for Child Sex

via CAAI

12.09.2010 | news Newsdesk

He is alleged to have paid the mother of one of the children £3,000 for a week-long sex contract. Leach appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday where he was charged along with the 40-year-old mother of one of the children.

Leach, 50, who worked closely with Ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry, sits in handcuffs at the end of a double bed while a detective reassures two of the alleged victims, girls aged 10 and 12. The third girl is 15.

Londoner Leach who once attended a Commonwealth Summit with Labour Minister for Energy Stephen Timms was seized last Sunday at a guesthouse about 15 miles outside the capital Phnom Penh.

He is alleged to have paid the mother of one of the children £3,000 for a week-long sex contract. Leach appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday where he was charged along with the 40-year-old mother of one of the children.

A 46-year-old taxi driver who allegedly helped arrange for Leach to have sex with the girls was also arrested, along with the 45-year-old guesthouse owner.

The People has learned that Leach represented Britain at trade fares across the globe and worked as a senior adviser at the Department of Trade specialising in international telecommunications {until 2005.

That year he was arrested in Phnom Penh and held in custody for 10 hours on suspicion of sexually abusing five youngsters at a run-down orphanage called the Lighthouse. He was released without charge. He returned to Britain in 2006 and joined the communications watchdog OFCOM.

He was OFCOM's representative at a major European conference that year.

His latest arrest follows an investigation lasting several days by Cambodia's juvenile protection unit.

Cops believe he handed over thousands of dollars for a week-long sex contract.

He was followed out of a bar in the town and allegedly seen by undercover investigators buying children's underpants and sweets before going back to the guesthouse where he was arrested.

Leach had allegedly been staying in the room with the two youngest girls for six days.

Major Keo Thea, director of the municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit, told The People: Leach is under primary charges of purchasing child prostitution, while the other three face primary charges of being accomplices to the purchase of child prostitution.

Cambodia-based child {protection group Action Pour Les Enfants want Cambodian authorities to send Leach back to Britain to face trial for his alleged offences.

Under Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a person can be prosecuted in the UK for child sex offences committed overseas.

But Britain does not have an extradition treaty with Cambodia.

Christine Beddoe, director of child protection agency ECPAT UK, said: We would like to see the police and CPS working with their Cambodian counterparts to identify what legal measures could be used to bring Leach back to the UK and tried in a British court if that is what the Cambodian's want.

Nearly 40 Westerners have been arrested in Cambodia in the last year for alleged child sex offences.

New bridge to ease river crossing congestion.

via CAAI

Sunday, 12 September 2010 17:46 Soeun Say

COMMUTERS heading to Phnom Penh’s eastern bank of Chrouy Changvar can look forward to an easier ride after officials announced plans today to construct a second bridge connecting the fast developing district.

The new bridge, set to commence construction next year, will run parallel to the existing crossing with the intention of easing congestion on the major trade route and open up key economic zones, Thy Sophorn, deputy general director of Ministry of Transportation told The Post today.

“A new Chrouy Changvar bridge will start construction in next year and its will construction cost $27.5 million” Thy Sophorn, deputy general director of Ministry of Public Works Transportation and a member of the bridge construction commission told the Post yesterday.

The US$27.5 million bridge that will span some the 795 metres is part of broader government plan to connect key economic zones previously separated by rivers, he added...

read the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.

Garment strike: the fallout

Photo by: Tracey Shelton
An employee sews at the Injae garment factory.

via CAAI

Sunday, 12 September 2010 15:50 James O'Toole

LABOUR leaders say more than 80,000 of Cambodia’s garment workers are set to take to the streets tomorrow for a five-day strike that could be the largest the Kingdom has seen in recent memory.

The dispute follows a broader pattern of industrial turmoil that has rocked the region’s intensely competitive garment industry recently as unrelenting pressure to drive labour costs down inevitably conflicts with the demands of workers for a better minimum wage.

Pay disputes have been fought out on the garment factory floors of China, Bangladesh and Vietnam as work stoppages halt production and at times erupt into violence. With the wave of work stoppages set to hit Cambodia tomorrow, the same questions that have been faced by regional competitors will confront the Kingdom; namely, how to keep costs low and competitiveness high while at the same time providing workers with basic livelihoods.

“The win-win situation is to raise both productivity and wages,” said Chikako Oka, a fellow at the London School of Economics who has studied the Cambodian garment sector. “A trickier question is which one comes first and whether one follows the other.”…

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.

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Poor families in Roloes village, Srayov commune, Stung Sen district, Kampong Thom

Poor family in Chorm Kul village, Mean Chey commune, Sandann district, Kampong Thom


Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet's picture. (Khmer Language)