A Change of Guard

សូមស្តាប់វិទ្យុសង្គ្រោះជាតិ Please read more Khmer news and listen to CNRP Radio at National Rescue Party. សូមស្តាប់វីទ្យុខ្មែរប៉ុស្តិ៍/Khmer Post Radio.
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Sunday, 31 October 2010

November 02, the15th Anniversary of the SAM RAINSY in live streaming

Dear SRP members and supporters,

Invitation to watch Sam Rainsy Party celebrates 15th anniversary at Phnom Penh SRP Headquarters.

Le Mardi 02 Novembre 2010, à partir de 8h30,15e Anniversaire du Parti SAM RAINSY en direct sur:

On Tuesday November 02, 2010 From 08:30 AM, Phnom Penh time.

The 15th Anniversary of SAM RAINSY Party in live Streaming on: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/fifteen-anniversary-of-srp-1995-2010SAM RAINSY addresses to the audience live at 04:00PM
Thank You.SRP Cabinet

Clinton: US will help end sexual slavery

Mrs. Clinton (L) visited Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AP) — Pledging to do more to help end the scourge of sexual slavery, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a rescue and rehabilitation center for child prostitutes in northern Cambodia on Sunday.

Before touring the famed 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex, Clinton met with a group of about 50 victims of human trafficking at the U.S.-funded facility in Siem Reap and promised them continued American support.

"I am so proud of you," she told the girls and young women, most of whom are between 17 and 23. They receive an education and vocational training that includes weaving and sewing lessons.

"You motivate me," she said.

Clinton listened as one young woman, Vann Sina, recounted her story of being abducted at 13 and forced to have sex with 20 to 30 men a day for more than two years before being rescued from a brothel.

"To be a victim is very hard," she said, recalling how she did not understand what she was meant to do when she was told to "sleep" with a customer. "I cannot forget. Sometimes I dream and I get very scared."

The Siem Reap center received a $336,0000 grant from the State Department last year to fund its operating costs and Clinton said she would make sure money continued to flow.

"I wanted to come here today to see you for myself," Clinton said.

Clinton, on a tour of northern Cambodia, is about as far away as one can get from the intense political battle going on back home. Her husband and fellow Democrats are campaigning frantically ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections.

A self-proclaimed ex-politician, Clinton is barred from partisan political activity while serving as America's top diplomat.

The former first lady, New York senator and presidential hopeful is in the midst of a two-week, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific. She won't be back at work in Washington until a week after Election Day.

Secretary Clinton's October 30-November 1 Visit to Cambodia

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 30, 2010

Secretary Clinton’s two-day trip to Cambodia October 30-November 1 highlights the United States commitment to enhanced, sustained, and comprehensive engagement in Southeast Asia, as well as our desire to assist the Cambodian people in their efforts to recover fully from decades of conflict, to achieve political and legal reforms, and to strengthen economic development. This trip is the first Secretary of State visit to Cambodia since then-Secretary Powell visited in 2003.

The United States has a strong interest in a Cambodia that contributes to regional stability, upholds democratic values, and integrates fully into the international economy. Our wide-ranging assistance programs touch on all aspects of Cambodian life and affirm these strategic interests. Secretary Clinton will encourage Cambodia to continue its recovery from conflict and its progress on democratic development. She will stress the importance of a credible opposition and respect for human rights in a stable, well-functioning democracy and highlight our interest in seeing Cambodia continue to play a constructive role in regional stability. She will also express appreciation for the country’s rich cultural heritage and underscore the critical role Cambodia’s young citizens play in the country’s future prosperity and development.

Sustained and Deep Engagement with Cambodia: Our engagement with Cambodia achieves a variety of political, security and humanitarian objectives. The United States provided Cambodia more than U.S. $70 million in foreign assistance this year, which goes to addressing issues such as human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, corruption, maternal and child health, and humanitarian mine action. Our maturing security cooperation with Cambodia represents a joint commitment to ensuring international peace and security, and continuing the transformation of the Cambodian Armed Forces into a transparent, accountable, and professional military. The U.S. partnership with the Lower Mekong Initiative is another example of how we are engaging with Cambodia to promote a multilateral response to the transnational challenges we all share, such as climate change and infectious disease.

A Democratic, Secure, and Prosperous Future for Cambodia: Our commitment to a democratic, secure, and prosperous Cambodia is reflected in the nearly $7 million we have contributed to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Khmer Rouge Tribunal), which seeks to bring to justice the Khmer Rouge senior leaders and those most responsible for the atrocities of the late 1970s, while also serving as a model for Cambodian rule of law, judicial independence, and national reconciliation. While in Cambodia, Secretary Clinton will visit Tuol Sleng, the former Khmer Rouge torture and interrogation center, will emphasize the need to fight corruption and improve transparency in all parts of the government, and will meet with opposition leaders to highlight the importance of a vibrant political arena where all voices are heard.

The Role of Cambodia’s Youth: The Secretary’s participation in a town hall event will provide an important opportunity to have a free-flowing discussion with Cambodia youth about challenges and opportunities facing the country, and how the United States can help. In turn, her outreach to Cambodia’s youth will promote an even better understanding of the United States and our shared values.

Hillary Clinton soars above US political fray touring famed Cambodian ruins

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures during a news conference with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem at the ASEAN summit on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)(AP)

By Matthew Lee

SIEM REAP, Cambodia (CP)— U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in northern Cambodia, about as far away as one can get from the intense political battle going on back home.

As her husband and fellow Democrats campaign frantically ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections, the self-proclaimed ex-politician is spending Sunday visiting a rescue and rehabilitation centre for child prostitutes and touring Cambodia's famed 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex.

Clinton is barred from partisan political activity while serving as America's top diplomat.

The former first lady, New York senator and presidential hopeful is in the midst of a two-week, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific. She won't be back at work in Washington until a week after Election Day.

Two powers: one was negative, and second was positive

Opinion by Buntha
31st October, 2010

The world was existed based on two powers: one was negative, and the second was positive. These two powers add more energy to each other. Sir Issac Newton said he can calculate the movement of the star but he can't tell the madness of the peoples, and some time in general, opinion is the most cheapest commodity on earth.

Bombs have been known as the mass destructive weapons on earth under the sun, and 60 millions people have been killed in World War II, and we used to put blame on that war. It is an undeniable truth that wrong opinions or misinformed opinions are the real devastated tools to the great WWII.

Media are the channel which brought the people together through sharing of synchronic information. For what they believe in and the truth, people will risk their life to march to war to protect their opinion or their belief.

I wrote this journal to share with our brothers and sisters for those who put the best efforts for so many years in trying to educate the public and to re-unite to gain more love and respect our own Khmer race. If you don't like Yuon (Vietnamese), you should try to be pro-Khmer, any Khmers at all such as Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), Cambodian People's Party (CPP), Khmer Krom, Khmer Surin, Khmer USA. There are no positive in any form of criticism. What it produced is driving us deeper and deeper into hatred, division and bad temper to our society. Any post on the media will directly affect million of people, and if we are pro-Khmer, we should challenge what the CPP can do or what the SRP can do? or Khmer Krom can do? What is the solution to our problems? And we should try to spend our energy towards the solution rather than use our time and energy to create more problems or criticize our own Khmer. I, Buntha, wish that we Khmer should be re-focused and use our special knowledge to rebuild the Khmer Unity. We are one!

Media are either the sources of well professional and educated system for the public to learn and get smarter and smarter or the stage for sowing the seed of deeper division in our Khmer community.

My Best Regards


Cambodian [defence] minister hospitalised

Straits Times

BANGKOK - CAMBODIA'S Defence Minister Tea Banh (pictured) was hospitalised in Thailand on Saturday because of pains caused by gallstones, Thai officials said.

Mr Tea Banh is expected to stay at a Bangkok hospital for one or two days, Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon told AFP, adding that his condition was not serious.

He was in Thailand to attend a meeting on border relations in the coastal resort city of Pattaya, about a two-hour drive from Bangkok, at which the two nations agreed to boost cooperation on migration and landmine removal.

According to the Thai government-owned news website MCOT, Mr Tea Banh began suffering pain after playing a round of golf on Friday but continued with the meeting. -- AFP

Fugitive red shirt 'is not in Cambodia'

Tea Banh talks to reporters.


Published: 31/10/2010
Bangkok Post

Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh yesterday denied that red shirt leader Arisman Pongruangrong was in hiding in his country.

The remark came in the wake of a report from Thai authorities that Mr Arisman entered Cambodia with a fake exit stamp from Thai immigration.

Mr Arisman is wanted on charges of terrorism in connection with political violence during the red shirt protests.

When asked if Mr Arisman was in Cambodia, Gen Tea Banh said he did not know.

When asked if Cambodia would extradite Mr Arisman if he was hiding there, he said:

"That I said 'I didn't know' means he's not in Cambodia. If he is, we would have known about it."

He also said the matter had already been discussed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at the Asean summit in Hanoi.

When asked about a report by Thai authorities that a group of red shirt supporters underwent weapons training in Cambodia, he said he was not comfortable discussing the issue.

He said certain issues were delicate and too sensitive to address.

Gen Tea Banh, who was attending the 7th meeting of the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) in Pattaya, also said there was no reason for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to travel to Cambodia in any official capacity after he resigned as an economic adviser to Hun Sen.

"He has quit and he has no reason to be in Cambodia," Gen Tea Banh said.

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said yesterday that Thailand and Cambodia had reached no agreement to reduce or withdraw troops around Preah Vihear temple.

He said a redeployment of troops is likely in the future depending on the border situation which has been calm over the past months.

He said the priority of the troop redeployment would be to increase the safety of people along the common border.

A source close to the GBC said yesterday that Cambodia had rejected Thailand's proposal to pull out some of the troops.

Thailand and Cambodia have deployed about 3,000 soldiers each in the area. Bilateral ties have been difficult since June 2008 amid a continuing border conflict over land surrounding the temple.

According to the source, under the redeployment plan, joint guidelines will be drawn up to minimise confrontation.

Several pacts have been signed at the GBC meeting to boost bilateral co-operation on various issues including combating crime, bolstering trade and improving public health.

Clinton arrives in Cambodia

October 31, 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured) has arrived in Cambodia, where she will visit the famed Angkor Wat temples and meet Cambodian leaders.

The chief US diplomat arrived in Siem Reap early Sunday on a flight from China's Hainan island, where she briefly met Chinese officials following her attendance at a regional summit in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

US officials said Clinton was due later on Sunday to visit the 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia's main tourist attraction, which is located in the northwestern province of Siem Reap.

It is where the ancient Khmer empire built some 1000 temples spread over 160 square kilometres.

In Siem Reap, she will also meet members of a non-governmental organisation that specialises in fighting human trafficking, officials said.

On Monday she will travel to Phnom Penh to meet King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, they added.

Ethical Consumption: Art & Craft in Cambodia


Posted On: Today

img_39591Artisan d'Angkor was originally an off-shoot of Chantiers-Ecoles de formation professionnelle, a professional training school, which was founded to help young Cambodians rediscover traditional handicrafts. The CEFP is a public institution which was established in response to an urgent need to train disadvantaged young people with little formal education, living for the most part in rural areas, and offer them a job entry program.

Artisan supports these efforts in show casing traditional Cambodian art & craft. They also undertake the training of 47 craftsmen and the company employs about a 1000 people of which 5% are disabled. The business model is based on fair-trade and ethical consumerism. They have also pioneered a new social policy in Cambodia. The craftsmen's associated owns a 20% share in the company.

Cambodia's famous art of stone-carving is featured at Atrisans using only natural stone. The wood used for wood-carvings is environment-friendly from rubber trees from the Rattanakiri, Mondolkiri and Kapong Cham province. They also train artisans in silk-weaving and they use natural dyes in the process of creating their exquisite scarfs and shawls.

With an Artisans' product you know that you investing a piece of ethical consumer gold. Not only is it fair trade but it has also received one of the highest levels of sustainability in its production of these crafts. The expert panel from UNESCO recently awarded two Artisans d'Angkor items with the "Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts". This award is granted to product which meets high standards of quality, innovating, cultural authenticity, as well as social and environmentally responsible production.

From the main Artisan's shop in Siem Reap you can visit a silk farm where you can observe artisans harvesting silk threads. Other than a shop in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap they have also recently opened shops in both airports. If you are ever in Cambodia and happen to miss visiting the main shop, you can always have a wee browse through the shops in the airport. Although the collections are not so extensive, their space in the airport is tastefully decorated just as the city shops are.

Photo: Stone-worker at Artisans. d'Angkor. Akhila Vijayaraghavan ©

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Cambodia to deploy more than 1,000 police to boost up security for Mrs. Hillary Clinton

Mrs. Hillary Clinton holding a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam.

By Khmerization
Source: RFA

Siem Reap provincial authority has deployed more than 1,000 police to protect U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is arriving in the province tonight from Vietnam.

Cambodian security officials said Mrs. Hillary Clinton will land at Siem Reap International Airport at 9 p.m tonight. 1,000 police will be deployed along the route to her hotel. She will stay in Siem Reap for 2 days to visit Cambodian ancient temples, including the famed Angkor Wat, in the province before flying off to Phnom Penh to begin her official visit and meeting with Cambodiasn leaders.

In Phnom Penh, she will have an audience with King Sihamoni, meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong. She is also scheduled to visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum where up to 16,000 inmates were tortured and brutally executed under the supervision of Kaing Gueck Eav, better known as Duch, who has just been sentenced to 35 years imprisonment recently. She will also meet leaders of the civil society, student representatives and members of the opposition parties.

Southeast Asia wants a piece of pic action [Cambodian film crew to provide local staff for a Hollywood production]

Region aims to gain share of the continent's rising fortunes

Posted: Sat., Oct. 30, 2010

Faced with the emerging colossus of China and continued strength of the biz in Japan and South Korea -- as well as the growing popularity of Hollywood movies in the region -- filmmakers in Southeast Asia face the challenge of coming up with inventive ways to entice domestic auds while at the same time establishing an international footprint .

At least the global financial meltdown has not hit as hard in Southeast Asia as in the rest of the world, which makes it easier task to secure private and public coin for projects.

Some countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, hope that by introducing quotas on the number of foreign movies they can help boost domestic biz. Others are trying to reach out beyond their borders to bring success.

There also has been considerable investment in theater construction in Southeast Asia, much of it focused on the staggering rise in shopping malls across the region. The rising number of theaters across the region has been crucial in providing a framework for the biz to expand.

Lai Van Sinh, a Vietnamese helmer and general director of Vietnam's Cinema Dept., says the recently ended Vietnam Film Festival will do much to boost the country's international profile and woo foreign coin to the country.

The festival had various teething problems -- Luc Besson's animated feature "Arthur" opened the fest, even though it had already screened widely and had no obvious Vietnam link -- but it was well attended by regional bosses. The plan is to run the fest as an international show every two years, with the next one possibly in Ho Chi Minh City, -- which might not go down so well with the international biz, already trying to juggle schedules to attend the Pusan and Tokyo film festivals.

"The idea is to learn from Pusan and bring an international film festival to Vietnam," Lai says. "In the past few years, a lot more young people are going to the cinema here. The market is still very small but with a population of 80 million there is room for expansion."

Vietnam's industry has opened up considerably since the introduction of a 2007 cinema law that eliminated quotas and has led to many new independent film companies starting up.

Thailand has long been one of the region's powerhouses, but the political difficulties in the country, which culminated in a bloody crackdown on "Red Shirt" anti-government demonstrators in April and May, damaged its image as a safe haven for filmmaking. Inasmuch as countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia provide an alternative location for film production, the two nations have benefitted from Thailand's loss. But there are signs Thailand is regaining lost ground, and biz officials say that overall, the impact of unrest will be limited.

Cedric Eloy, CEO of the Cambodia Film Commission, is working to train Cambodian crew to provide the kind of local staff a Hollywood or other foreign production might be looking for.

"You won't find a first assistant, but you will find a good second assistant here," Eloy said at the Pusan fest.

The number of foreign co-productions is running at four or five a year, compared with just one a year ago, and Eloy is optimistic on the outlook for Cambodia.

There are no tax incentives as such, because there is little tax levied on a foreign production anyway. The government also has bought equipment that foreign filmmakers can rent cheaply.

Ngo Thi Bich Hanh, veep of sales and acquisition at Vietnam Media, says the number of movies made in Vietnam will grow, because there is pressure on TV stations to provide domestic content, and this may be extended to cinemas.

"Most of the movies are made for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. But the majority of people in Vietnam are young, and we hope to expand like China or Korea," Hanh says. "Everything is open in Vietnam, and the government is trying to step back to allow for a bigger private sector."

Contact the Variety newsroom at news@variety.com.

Cambodian bomb and landmine casualties up 11 per cent this year

Monsters and critics
Oct 30, 2010

Phnom Penh - The Cambodian authorities said 223 people have been killed or injured during the first nine months of this year by landmines and other explosives left over from war, an increase of 11 per cent from the same period last year.

Figures released by the Cambodia Mines/ERW Victim Information System showed landmines killed or injured 98 people, while 125 fell victim to other unexploded ordnance.

The organization distinguishes between landmines and other explosive remnants of war due to the different approaches required to deal with distinct types of weapons still present in the countryside.

Of the 223 victims, the report said 49 people died, another 39 lost limbs, with the remainder suffering other injuries.

In one of the worst incidents, a farmer and three friends were killed in August when a rocket-propelled grenade he was using as a comedy microphone exploded after he threw it to the floor at the end of his song. Three others were injured.

More than 60 per cent of casualties this year were men, most of whom were harmed by landmines. Boys comprise another quarter of victims, but most of them fell victim to unexploded ordnance used as toys.

Decades of conflict left unexploded ordnance that remains a serious risk in some areas of Cambodia, one of the most heavily mined nations in the world. More than half of this year's incidents took place in the far western region.

The latest figures raised to 63,743 the number of people killed or injured in Cambodia by ordnance since the ouster of the Khmer Rouge government in 1979.

Cambodia, Thailand agree to cooperate on seven issues at 7th GBC meeting

PATTAYA, Oct 30 (MCOT)-- Cambodia and Thailand agreed Saturday to cooperate on allowing their peoples to cross the border freely, removing landmines and to oppose every type of terrorism affecting the neighbouring countries.

The agreement was made following the end of the seventh General Border Committee (GBC) meeting co-chaired by Thai Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and his Cambodian counterpart Gen Tea Banh. The meeting was held in Thailand's eastern resort of Pattaya.

Both men told a press conference after the 20-minute meeting ended that seven major issues were agreed at the meeting.

Improved cooperation will take place by giving easier access to the nationals of both countries to cross the border; labour cooperation; exchanging information; demining and destroying landmines which have been planted along the Thai-Cambodian border; maritime safety; reducing tensions through negotiations and opposing terrorism; and cooperation on trade, agriculture, public health, tourism, environment, education, religion and culture.

The two countries have been locked in a troop standoff at their disputed border since July 2008, when the ancient Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, although its main entrance lies in Thailand. The exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute, with occasional military skirmishes claiming a number of lives.

Gen Tea Banh, also Cambodia’s deputy prime minister, was rushed to a hospital immediately for treatment of cholecystitis after the press conference ended.

The Cambodian official began suffering pain after playing a round of friendship golf on Friday. (MCOT online news)

Thailand, Cambodia agree on border deals

Tea Banh and Prawit Wongsuwan held a press conference after the meeting.

Published: 30/10/2010
Bangkok Post

Thailand and Cambodia have reached 15 border cooperation agreements at the 7th General Border Meeting (GBC) held in Pattaya on Saturday, reports said.

The GBC meeting, organized at Dusit Thani Pattaya hotel, was jointly chaired by Defence Minster Prawit Wongsuwon and his Cambodian counterpart Gen Tea Banh.

The agreements included cooperation on labour, drug trafficking and border crime prevention, anti-terrorist and border trade.

Thai PM surprised by PAD claims about borders with Cambodia

PM surprised by PAD claims
Published: 30/10/2010
Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (pictured) said his government is protecting the national interest by observing the 2000 Thai-Cambodian memorandum of understanding that governs the survey and demarcation of the land boundary between the two countries.

He made the point in response to the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) which filed a complaint with the Administrative Court yesterday, accusing the government of jeopardising Thai territory by its observance of the MoU.

Mr Abhisit, who was attending the 17th Asean summit in Hanoi yesterday, said his government had neither a hidden agenda nor vested interests.

The cabinet intended to protect the national interest in its request that parliament approve three proceedings of the Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary or the Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) of Thailand and Cambodia, he said.

The JBC was formed to implement the 2000 MoU, but it cannot begin its task without approval from the Thai parliament.

Mr Abhisit said he was surprised by the PAD accusation. He denied his government had used the widespread flooding in the country to mask the submission of the three JBC proceedings to parliament.

He said the proceedings were submitted to parliament publicly and the proposal took its normal pace after it had been shelved for a long time.

He said he was not worried about the PAD's planned rally on Tuesday to oppose the process but he warned participants to abide by the law.

Yesterday afternoon, PAD representatives accused Mr Abhisit's government of violating the laws of good national administration.

The group also accused the prime minister of violating the 2007 constitution by supporting an implementation of the 2000 MoU.

The PAD claimed seeking parliament's approval for the JBC's proceedings will lead to a loss of national territory.

Section 1 of the charter states that Thailand is one indivisible kingdom.

The PAD said that approval of the JBC's proceedings would lead to a temporary border agreement between the two countries and the agreement would allow Cambodia to challenge earlier settled sections of the boundary.

It also complained that the 2000 MoU recognised the French-made map at 1:200,000 scale. This put Thailand at a territorial disadvantage as the borderline in the map drawn by France encroached on Thai territory, the PAD claimed.

The PAD filed its complaint with the Administrative Court and asked the court to revoke the JBC's proceedings, the 2000 MoU and cabinet resolutions endorsing the negotiation framework for the JBC and supporting the proposal of the JBC's proceedings to parliament.

The PAD also sought an injunction to stop parliament from considering the proceedings. The court is expected to rule on the injunction on Monday.

Son of Oknha Kong Triv detained for firing 8 rounds of gunshots

By Khmerization
Source: CEN

The son of a senator and prominent businessman Oknha Siv Kong Triv has been detained by Daun Penh police after he fired 8 rounds of gunshots from a sawn-off AK-47 automatic riffle when he found out that a debtor did not show up at an appointment to repay the debt.

According to local media reports, 25 year-old Siv Meng Meng, a son of Oknha Siv Kong Triv, owner of British American Tobacco (Cambodia) Limited, and his driver, 25 year-old Pheap Seng Thong, were arrested on the spot at 12:30 a.m on Firday 29th October. Police had also confiscated his gun and impounded his black LEXUS LX 470 bearing the number plate 2H 9777.

Sources said that Siv Meng Meng and his driver were drinking at Yang Chov Restaurant when he called Diep to come and settle the $10,000 debt. Diep then re-arranged for the meeting to be held at Star Club. After Meng Meng arrived at the club, he did not find Diep and got so angry that he let off 8 rounds of AK-47 into the air, causing the locals to duck for cover. The police was called and Meng Meng and his driver were detained on the spot.

14 Korean companies on a fact-finding mission in Cambodia

Members of the South Korean delegation meeting with Dr. Chea Chamroeun at Chamroeun Polytechnic University.

By Khmerization
Source: Koh Santepheap

A delegation of 14 South Korean companies led by Mr. Jung Hungsub, rector of South Korea's Silla University, is on a fact-finding mission visit to Cambodia to explore investment potentials in the kingdom.

Dr. Chea Chamroeun, a member of parliament and rector of Chamroeun Polytechnic University who was tasked with receiving the South Korean delegation, said the visit of the South Korean business community to Cambodia is indicative of Cambodia's progress in all sectors.

The report did not say what business opportunities those 14 South Korean businsesses are looking to invest, but the fact that the delegation is mainly comprised of educators and was received by the educators suggest that they could be exploring business opportunities in the education sector.

Hun Sen did not raise border issue with Thai PM in Hanoi

Mr. Hun Sen (L) talking to Mr. Abhisit during a 15-minute meeting in Hanoi on Friday.

By khmerization
Source: Koh Santepheap

Prime Minister Hun Sen had a 15-minute meeting with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjejiva at the sideline of the Asean Summit in Hanoi on Friday 29th October, but he did not raise the contentious border issue between the two countries.

Mr. Sri Thamrong, advisor to Mr. Hun Sen, said Mr. Hun Sen did not raise the border issue with the Thai PM, but provided no reason. He said both leaders had discussions on a wide range of issues, particularly on the consolidation of friendship and the strengthening of cooperations between the two countries. On the issue of the Thai parliament postponing the ratification of the border agreements of the previous three meetings, Mr. Thamrong said that Mr. Hun Sen had expressed his understanding of the difficulties the Thai PM and the Thai parliament had faced.

He said the two leaders had also discussed the issue of reports that Thai fugitive red shirt leader Arisman Pongruengrong had taken refuge in Cambodisa, which, according to the Bangkok Post, Mr. Hun Sen had promised to investigate. Mr. Hun Sen also requested the cooperations of Thailand to investigate to find out the truth about the Thai media reports that Cambodia had provided training ground for the red shirt movement.

In Anything Khmer Ever Did, I wasn't Standing Apart

By Buntha

Dear Khmerization, I always enjoy reading your wonderful articles. Many thanks for your great efforts to make unity and friendly for the Khmer community.

I found it very interesting that new man or reporter who have high education, and be profestional like you always post good, educated articles and teach hundreds of thousands of readers to learn, and getting greater progress from most of your articles. On the other hand, the public or readers will get more smarter, united and deeply in love with his own Khmer blood if all reporters got good ideas like you. I hope myself and many thousands of readers will be much smarter because we have smarter media .

Could you please post on Ki-media daily for me :


Many thanks. Wishing all the best,

Regards Buntha

Democracy, Freedoms Continue Backslide: Rights Activist

Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer | Washington, DC Friday, 29 October 2010
Photo: by Men Kimseng

Ou Virak, who is the head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, told “Hello VOA” that Cambodia was looking more and more like China or Vietnam.

Cambodia is increasingly headed toward a unilateral party system of government and backslides in democracy, a leading rights researcher said Thursday.

Ou Virak, who is the head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, told “Hello VOA” that Cambodia was looking more and more like China or Vietnam, with the space for democratic freedoms shrinking.

Rights of expression, assembly, land, fair trial and others have eroded in recent years, he said, while human trafficking and sexual exploitation remain problematic.

Ou Virak's comments followed pressure from Cambodia to the UN to close its local rights office in Phnom Penh. Prime Minister Hun Sen told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during talks in Phnom Penh this week he wanted the head of the UN's rights office here sacked.

However, this is a “UN internal issue,” Ou Virak said. “It's not possible for a country to suggest the firing of someone, such as the case in Cambodia.”

To suggest as much was a “lack of diplomacy on the international stage, and made Cambodia shameful at the international level,” he said.

The UN rights office exists here per an agreement between Cambodia and the UN, stemming from the period of Untac peacekeeping in the 1990s. At the same time, Ou Virak said, Cambodia agreed to improve its human rights, as part of the peace agreements.

Ou Virak is on a two-week trip to the US, where he met with senior State Department officials and representatives of Congress to discuss Cambodia's human rights' situation.

Activists, Opposition Prepare for Clinton Visit

Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer Phnom Penh
Friday, 29 October 2010

Photo: AP
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks to her limousine after a speech on America's engagement in the Asia-Pacific region, on Thursday.

Members of the opposition and civil society expect to raise a number of questions on Cambodia's current states of democracy and human rights next week during a brief visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton will arrive in Cambodia Saturday and stay through Monday, with talks expected with senior government officials, as well as opposition lawmakers and rights activists.

Her visit, the first since Colin Powell attended an Asean regional forum here in 2003, follows an official visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, during which Prime Minister Hun Sen said he wanted UN's local rights representative sacked and a land demonstrator was severely beaten by police.

A US Embassy statement said Clinton's visit was “intended to send a strong message of continued US engagement with Cambodia.”

Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said activists will ask Clinton “to help intervene with Cambodian officials to respect the principles of human rights.”

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party, meanwhile, will seek the return of its party leader, Sam Rainsy, who is facing a prison sentence of 12 years in two criminal cases against him that the party says are politically motivated.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said Cambodia respects human rights, and the cases brought against Sam Rainsy are the purview of the courts.

Clinton will also hold a “town hall” meeting with students, where she will likely meet even more questions on Cambodia's current rights climate.

“I want to ask her whether she has a strategy for Cambodia...to turn into a real democratic nation,” said Sok Sam Lyka, a second-year student at the Institute of Foreign Languages.

Cambodia’s mystical magical caves

Cambodians who want to get away from the crowded streets of Phnom Penh often head south to Kampot to check out the fresh seafood and cool mountains.

Cambodians who want to get away from the crowded streets of Phnom Penh often head south to Kampot to check out the fresh seafood and cool mountains. Matt Lundy photo/for the Toronto Star

Matt Lundy Special to the Toronto Star
Published On Fri Oct 29 2010

KAMPOT, CAMBODIA—The Cambodian children hop between jagged rocks like little mountain goats, even though they’re wearing the same cheap, plastic flip-flops that we are. Our sandals have a thick lubrication of trail mud and perspiration, to the point where every few steps they slip right off. And yet the children – who likely make this trek daily – are goading us on, higher up the mountain and then deeper into the cave, saying “It’s so easy!”

My girlfriend and I didn’t plan on coming to Phnom Chhngok in Kampot, but our driver, Sarath, is ferrying us around to all the hotspots in this part of southern Cambodia, even if our attire is completely inappropriate. Minutes earlier, when we arrived at the closest village to the caves, a group of boys surrounded the car, led by a 10-year-old named Opp, who asked our names in the perfect grammar of an English composition professor. This is the point when we find out our driver is now useless to us: the youngsters, locally known as “the Cave Boys,” will be taking us into the limestone peak’s bowels.

As we make our way to the base, we cross through rice fields that are punctuated with palm trees, a scene that looks like b-roll footage from an old Vietnam War flick. Opp points to rice crabs that scurry along the paddies’ shallow floor and to far-off mountain ranges that have never seen a day of logging. We have about 300 stairs to climb now – it’s a luxury that there are stairs – but our footwear has been rendered useless by the mud trails, not to mention our wits are at half-mast following last night’s generous flow of Angkor beer.

About halfway through the climb we pay a one dollar entry-fee to a middle-aged man who is surrounded by gaudy statues of elephants and religious icons. The steps are then gradually replaced by uneven rocks – likely the result of lazy construction – that are made more difficult by their wetness, a by-product of Cambodia’s monsoon season.

When we finally reach the top and descend into the cave, it opens like a limestone blanket and reveals a 1400-year-old Hindu temple, made out of mud brick. It’s a little surprise “the Cave Boys” and Sarath failed to mention, but seemingly appropriate for the cities of Kampot and Kep, two Cambodian dark horses that delight visitors with their unexpected natural beauty.

Some veteran travelers have anointed Sihanoukville, a resort town on the Gulf of Thailand, as Southeast Asia’s “new Phuket.” But when real Cambodians want to escape the motorcycle mad streets of Phnom Penh and head south, they invariably go to Kampot and Kep, laid-back cities crammed with fresh seafood bodegas, densely forested mountains, and a host of accommodations to please any price range.

When we get back to the car, and after saying our goodbyes to “the Cave Boys,” we ask Sarath about how Kampot has changed in the past five years and where it’s headed.

“Kampot, it used to be very dirty,” he says. “But the city cleaned up the boardwalk on the river and many guesthouses are being built. I think the future will be good for Kampot. More people come here now.”

With its crumbling French Colonial architecture, sparse traffic, and stray dogs sleeping in the shade of noodle shop tables, Kampot looks like a Wild West relic. But a closer look reveals a city with gorgeous sunset views along the river, guesthouses that rarely exceed 15 bucks a night, and close proximity to some of Cambodia’s crown jewels: the Elephant Mountains and its jungles, Bokor National Park, and some of the world’s finest pepper plantations (just ask the French, who still import Kampot pepper, decades after Cambodia’s independence).

After sampling some fresh peppercorns straight off the plant, we go to Kep, a seaside town on the Gulf of Thailand just 30 minutes from Kampot by car. Formerly a coastal playground for Cambodia’s elite, Kep has developed into a chilled-out vacation spot with accommodations ranging from thatched-roof huts that please a backpacker’s wallet, to proper luxury resorts with all the frills you’d expect in the Caribbean. And although Kep Beach is popular with locals who come to swim and picnic, the beach itself has seen better days. When you come to Kep, you come to gorge on mounds of fresh crab meat, just pulled out of the water.

But for those, like me, who need a white sand beach lined with palm trees and a hammock, go to Rabbit Island, just 20 minutes from Kep by boat. Sarath tells us that the island reportedly got its name after King Sihanouk stocked it full of rabbits so that he and his buddies could hunt them on vacation, though no outside literature can back that up. Rabbit Island is a postcard-perfect retreat that is highly accessible, and yet totally rustic. The little overnight huts might not have running water, but cold cans of Angkor are available, because it wouldn’t be Cambodia without them.

After we leave Rabbit Island, Sarath drives us through the countryside on the way back to our guesthouse. My girlfriend and I aren’t talking, but not because anything bad has happened. We just look out the windows of our driver’s beat-up car – at the kids riding over-sized bikes, roosters crossing dirt roads, pigs being led by a leash – and realize why Cambodians overwhelmingly come here to escape.

Matt Lundy is a freelancer writer based in Phnom Penh.

Ancient temple ruins dot Cambodia’s countryside

Sunday, October 31, 2010
By Eugene Hoshiko


Original and reconstructed ancient stone monuments lead to Angkor Thom, once the capital city of the Khmer empire, in Siem Reap province.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia — Tourists gather every day before dawn to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat, a 12th-century temple and the grandest legacy of Cambodia’s once mighty Khmer empire. Even at 5 a.m., the heat and humidity is enough to make the visitors break into a sweat.

More than a million people come annually to see the remains of the Khmer temples that dot the sprawling Angkor region, 145 miles northwest of the country’s capital, Phnom Penh.

For Cambodians, the temples are nothing less than a symbol of their nation; an outline of Angkor Wat adorns the national flag.

A nearby temple, Wat Thmei, also includes a reminder of a dark chapter in recent Cambodian history. A memorial stupa houses bones and skulls from the victims of the “killing fields” executed by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime that ruled in the late 1970s.

Today, Angkor is a vital contributor to the poor nation’s economy, with almost all visitors to the country traveling to the ruins. After a hot day visiting the temples, tourists head to the bars and Western-style air-conditioned restaurants in the nearby town of Siem Reap.


RèMale James ( rjames@nbc40.net )
Last Updated - 10/29/10
Watch the video here.

RICHLAND--Six young Cambodian girls came here to share their tearful story of being sold into sex slavery at a young age.

These girls were lucky, because activist Somaly Mam rescued them from the streets of Cambodia.

"Right now my goal is to end sex slavery. We have to end it. Girls, boys, and children, we have to give them love in life," said Mam.

Mam knows the girls plight. She was also sold into sex slavery at a very young age by her family. She wrote about her long journey to freedom in her book titled 'The Road of Lost Innocence'.

"The girls they inspire me everyday," said Mam.

Time Magazine named Mam on of the 100 most influential people in the world last year. And she was a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee for her work in rescuing children from human trafficking.

Mam does all she can to stop this exploitive practice, which takes place all over the world including here in the U.S.

Student Body President Wesley Kimble Presented Mam and the girls with gifts. Kimble read Mam's story for class and was shocked by the human trafficking industry.

"To learn that girls at the age of 6, 7, 8-years-old are prostitutes, it's unbelievable and horrible. And when you hear things like that it makes you want to do something," said Kimble.

The Atlantic County Human Trafficking Task Force presented Mam with a $15,000 dollar check, which she'll use to rescue more children from sex slavery.

Susan Sarandon Joins Somaly Mam to End Child Sex Slavery

Celebs, The Body Shop and LexisNexis come out to support the Somaly Mam Foundation.

Earlier this week in downtown New York, philanthropists and activists rallied to support the Somaly Mam Foundation, among them, famous faces like Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy and Lauren Bush. Revelers showed up not only to raise money and awareness around child sex trafficking — they were also there to celebrate hope.

"We are building a safe place for the real treasures of the world," said Phil Kowalcyzk, president of The Body Shop North America. Poetically, the backdrop to his remark was a massive vault (the event space Capitale is a converted bank). In its second year of working with the SMF and ECPAT (an organization with a similar goal), The Body Shop launched a petition to Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People. In only three months, they've gathered 3.5 million signatures worldwide.

In 2011 they will petition lawmakers and government officials around the globe.

Somaly Mam, the nonprofit's namesake, founder and survivor of child prostitution, graciously took the stage after five of the young women she's rescued performed a traditional Khmer dance. The stunning and ever-charming freedom fighter thanked the crowd. "When I was in the brothel I had no hope, no love. I was nothing. Today you are my hero," she said, adding with laughter, "Second after my girls."

A few of the English speaking girls expressed their gratitude to the room and the foundation. One shared her story, explaining how her sister sold her to a brothel when she was only 13 years old. She was forced to take drugs and service 25 men a day — until she met Mam.

Today, on the long road to recovery, the bright-eyed teenager is healthy, smiling and attending school. Mam's courageous and dangerous work (she's been held at gunpoint by pimps and told to "cool the rhetoric" by local scholars) has rightfully returned life, dignity, self-esteem and hope to more than 6,000 girls. Mam's mission to change one girl at at time is fueled by her own experience as a child sex slave. She shares her harrowing life story in her autobiography, The Road of Lost Innocence.

Trafficking is ugly, horrific and unpleasant to talk about, but the silence must be broken. Andy Prozes, the evening's honoree and CEO of LexisNexis Group, talked about the little discussed fact and driving force of sex trafficking: demand. If men stop paying for sex with young girls — be it virtual or real — the wealth of opportunity will cease to exist, putting child pornographers and pimps (slave owners) out of business. Prozes also went on to discuss the third element in battling trafficking: the law.

If young girls are being sold for sex in any society, the "Rule of Law cannot exist," said Prozes. The law does little to protect girls in places like Southeast Asia — or the United States. With the support of LexisNexis, the SMF is making progress in the legal arena with its Voices For Change Program, where survivors will train Cambodian police and government officials on laws and issues related to sex trafficking, the specific needs of victims and root causes.

And, while most Americans are vaguely familiar with sex trafficking on the other side of the globe, we've all seen the 20/20 specials on sexual tourism, they largely remain in the dark about the startling truth of trafficking at home.

Anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 girls are sold for sex in the US. What's worse, is that the law does not protect them. Only three states, New York, Connecticut and Washington, provide safe harbors; the remaining 47 states treat victims of sex trafficking as criminals, and rarely prosecute pimps or johns. Learn more about your state.

Sex trafficking is a global crisis, its origins deeply rooted in every society. Like any cause, change starts with just one person, like Mam, taking one small action.

Five fast facts:

* Sex trafficking is the third largest criminal activity in the world.
* Trafficking is a $10 billion a year business.
* One to 2 million girls will be sold into prostitution this year.
* More than 200,000 children work in the sex industry in the US.
* Seventy percent of transactions take place online.

Five actions so easy you don't even have to move from your computer:

* Share those facts with 10 friends.
* Support the SMF and provide survivors with health, education, self-esteem and hope.
* Add your signature to The Body Shop campaign.
* If you're a REAL MAN, support organizations like Man Up and DNA's Real Men.
* Watch and share the SMF short film The Road to Traffik

Photo courtesy of The Somaly Mam Foundation.

Philippines, Cambodia in Initial Talks for Rice Supply

Source: Reuters
Oct 29 - Cambodia has offered to sell at least 100,000 tonnes of rice annually to Manila as it faces a supply surplus, but no deal has been reached yet, the head of the Philippines state grain agency said on Friday.

Angelito Banayo told Reuters Cambodia has a surplus of 1 to 1.2 million tonnes of paddy rice which it can sell to other countries.

He said the Philippines, the world's biggest rice buyer, was open to possibly purchasing the grain from its Southeast Asian neighbour.

Banayo had met with Dr. Sok Siphana, advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia, on Thursday to discuss food security issues.

"The reason for their coming over was basically to find out what are the demands of importing countries such as us. It's basically exploratory," he said in an interview.

Cambodia, which is trying to develop its rice export sector, has offered to sell at least 100,000 tonnes per year to the Philippines, but details still need to be worked out.

"We will not be able to export in this number right away but we will start with what we have," Mao Thura, secretary of state of Cambodia's Commerce Ministry told Reuters, adding state-owned rice exporting firm Green Trade Company would be the shipper.

The Philippines, which imported a record 2.45 million tonnes of the commodity this year, usually buys the grain from Vietnam and Thailand.

A strong typhoon last week was estimated to have brought minimal damage to rice crops in northern Philippines and officials said there was no need for more imports this year.

Banayo said the Philippines was not in a rush to buy rice for its 2011 needs. The government will decide in November or December the volume it will import for next year.

"I can afford to wait until prices go down. If prices begin to soften, then I might buy," he said.

Thon Virak, director general of Green Trade, told Reuters Cambodia had suggested it could export 200,000 tonnes of rice but details were still being worked out, adding that there was already approval from the Philippine government.

Laos, Cambodia promote trade ties with Vietnam

Laos and Cambodia will further boost bilateral trade ties with Vietnam in 2011 according to documents signed in Hanoi on October 29 on the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Summit.

An agreement signed between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang and his Lao counterpart, Nam Viyaketh, regulated that products will be divided into three groups: one enjoy from 0-50 percent taxes while others will not receive special tax rates.

Meanwhile the agreement signed between Mr Hoang and his Cambodian counterpart, Cham Prashidh, pointed out that Vietnam will offer import taxes from 0-60 percent for Cambodian products while Cambodia will impose a zero percent tax on 13 Vietnamese products.

Mr Viyaketh said that Laos will work to create the best conditions to increase two-way trade turnover between the two countries to US$1 billion in late 2010 and US$2 billion in 2015. He also called on Vietnamese businesses to invest in Laos.

In 2009, due to impact of the global financial crisis, the bilateral trade value between Laos and Vietnam was reduced by 1.2 percent compared to 2008. In the first nine months of this year, it reached more than US$327 million, a year-on-year increase of 7 percent.

Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Cambodia in 2009 also decreased by 18.7 percent to more than US$1.3 billion. In the first nine months of this year, it hit US$1.29 billion, up 36 percent compared to the same period last year.

SRP condemns Phnom Penh authorities

SRP condemns Phnom Penh authorities and asks the international community to pressure to Cambodia government.
Please read full text in Khmer at: http://tinyurl.com/2eqhktp

SRP Cabinet

Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Dear Sir / Madam :

Cambodian Americans/Canadians, residing in various states of the United States and in Canada, who are members of Cambodia’s Human Rights Party, have written letters to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about general political situation and Human Rights abuses in Cambodia. For more detail please find out on attached file.
Thank you,
The Human Rights Party
# 72-74, Street 598, Sangkat Boeung Kak II, Khan Toul Kork
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mobile: (855) 17 303 900
Email: hrpcambodia@yahoo.com
Website: www.hrpcambodia.info

Friday, 29 October 2010

[Sam Rainsy:] Ban Ki-moon should condemn injustice

Friday, 29 October 2010
By Sam Rainsy
Phnom Penh Post

Dear Editor,

The current visit to Cambodia by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon constitutes a unique opportunity to take stock of the UN legacy to Cambodia since the international body got involved in the conclusion of the Paris Agreement on Cambodia in 1991 and subsequently exercised, in the framework of the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, the “powers to ensure the implementation of this Agreement, including those relating to the organization and conduct of free and fair elections and the relevant aspects of the administration of Cambodia” during the transitional period (1991-1993).

Because the foundations of a modern and democratic state were laid during that crucial transitional period, Cambodia should be grateful to the UN for its pivotal role during that nation-building chapter of its history. UNTAC’s work must be praised given the difficult environment and specific circumstances in which it was achieved. The UN legacy is, overall, definitely positive.

As a member of the Supreme National Council (representing Funcincec after then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk was appointed SNC President), I had the opportunity to work with UNTAC and its head Mr Yasushi Akashi and to realize the delicate balance they had to strike every day during the transitional period.

Cambodia would not be where it stands now without the benefit of the UN legacy.

Unfortunately, everything does not remain positive, and we have to deplore the fact that the UN legacy has been spoiled or perverted in a number of instances. This perversion relates mainly to legislation made in 1992, namely the UNTAC criminal code, which is still in force. Some provisions of the UNTAC law are being misused by the present Cambodian government to commit abuses on government critics, in violation of fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the UN during the transitional period.

Several journalists and civil society activists have been imprisoned in the last few years, and other government critics, including parliamentarians, have been forced to pay heavy fines on the basis of Article 63 of the UNTAC law on “defamation”.

No longer than last month, I was sentenced to 12 years in prison on the basis of Articles 49 and 62 of the same UNTAC law, respectively for “forgery of public document” and “disinformation”.

The government and ruling party try to justify their judicial crackdown on political opponents by claiming legitimacy from the fact they are “only using laws made under the authority of the United Nations” nearly 20 years ago .

In fact, those UN officers who contributed to produce that UNTAC law in 1992 would have never imagined it would be used in such a perverted manner.

To clear the UN responsibility and possibly moral conscience on the face of this perversion and travesty of justice, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should let the public here know that the UN condemns the way the Cambodian government has been trying to justify the unjustifiable by tracing back to the UN, laws that are just wrongfully interpreted and applied to conduct an unacceptable political repression.

Sam Rainsy
Member of Parliament

CCHR Press Release - CCHR welcomes Secretary of State Clinton to Cambodia as human rights in the Kingdom come under increasing international scrutiny

Dear all

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) today, 29 October 2010, issues a press release titled "CCHR welcomes Secretary of State Clinton to Cambodia as human rights in the Kingdom come under increasing international scrutiny".

Please find attached a copy of this release.

Thank you and kind regards

Cambodians Die at UN Torture Camp

Detainees and guards at Cambodia's Prey Speu detention centre. The government says it is a welfare centre, but human rights groups claim it is a brutal, clandestine, prison. Photograph: Ben Doherty.

by Tom McGregor
Dallas Blog
Fri, Oct 29, 2010,

At an alleged detention camp funded by the United Nations, Cambodians were beaten, raped and killed. Before being detained without trial, so-called “undesirables” were swept from the streets, as disclosed by human rights organizations.

The Guardian Unlimited UK reports that, “UN funding is being used to run a brutal internment camp for the destitute in Cambodia where detainees are held for months without trial, raped and beaten, sometimes to death, former inmates have told the Guardian.”

Officially described as a “social affairs center,” the Prey Speu Facility, 12 miles from the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, claims to provide healthcare and education to vulnerable people.

Yet, human rights groups and former inmates insist that the center is an illegal, prison camp, where people considered “undesirable” by the government – usually sex workers, drug users and the homeless – are taken into custody for months without charge.

As reported by the Guardian, “men, women and children are housed together in a single building and are regularly beaten with planks, whipped with wires or threatened with weapons, according to witnesses.”

Allegedly, the guards have tortured three inmates to death and gang rapes by the same body of men are reportedly common.”

Even the U.N.’s own office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) described the conditions as “appalling” with detainees “illegally confined and subjected to a variety of abuses of power by the staff that included sub-human conditions of detention, extortion, beating, rape, sometimes resulting in death and suicide.”

Nonetheless, the department that operates Prey Speu still gets cash directly from the UN children’s fund, Unicef and the center is also financed by several international NGOs.

UN head flies out of Cambodian storm

Christophe Peschoux

Radio Australia

Updated October 29, 2010

The United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has ended a trip to Cambodia during which the prime minister Hun Sen expressed his resistance to the Khmer Rouge tribunal. Cambodia told the UN chief that the tribunal would only be allowed to prosecute four Khmer Rouge leaders who are already in custody. But prime minister Hun Sen says the UN backed court will not be allowed to try another five suspects who are under investigation.

Presenter: Robert Carmichael in Phnom Penh
Speakers: Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general; Khieu Kanharith, Cambodian minister of information; Kyung-wha Kang, deputy high commissioner for human rights

CARMICHAEL: Cambodia describes itself to foreign tourists as The Kingdom of Wonder. And over the last two days the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon might well have wondered why he came.

The UN has long had an interest in Cambodia and numerous UN agencies operate here, including the UN human rights office.

But the outfit with the highest profile is the Khmer Rouge tribunal, a hybrid UN-Cambodian court tasked with trying the movement's senior surviving leaders and those the court considers most responsible for crimes committed during their rule between 1975 and 1979.

The tribunal has battled on through a number of crises over the years, from well substantiated allegations of corruption to allegations of political interference and an ongoing shortage of cash.

Despite its problems, Mr Ban was probably not expecting the conversation Cambodia's prime minister, Hun Sen, had with him at their meeting on Wednesday morning.

There Hun Sen bluntly told Mr Ban that the tribunal's second case - against four senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge - would be its last.

He said the court would not be allowed to prosecute another five people it has been investigating.

It is up to the court and not Hun Sen to decide whom it should prosecute, and his words predictably raised the spectre of political interference, all of which damages the tribunal.

But later on Wednesday the minister of information, Khieu Kanharith, said Hun Sen would simply prefer that those cases were scrapped.

KHIEU KANHARITH: We don't say forbidden because you cannot dictate, you cannot impose your will on the court.

CARMICHAEL TO KHIEU KANHARITH: So the prime minister is just saying he would far prefer if cases three and four did not go ahead.

KHIEU KANHARITH: This is right, yes, this is right. Because it would be a failure.

CARMICHAEL: I asked Ban Ki-moon on Thursday during a very brief press conference before he left the country what he thought Hun Sen had meant to say.

BAN KI-MOON: I had a good discussion on this matter twice with the prime minister, Hun Sen, and also the deputy prime minister, and I can tell you that the government of Cambodia is committed to the completion of the process. The United Nations will discuss this matter with the international community members, particularly donors. That's what I can tell you at this stage.

CARMICHAEL: The entire sentence hinges on the phrase 'committed to the completion of the process'. Late on Thursday, Mr Ban's spokesman said by email that meant 'completion of the judicial process and of the court's mandate'. As to specific cases, he has said, 'that's a matter for the court to decide independently'.

Time will tell how that plays out in practice.

The other bombshell Hun Sen delivered was his demand that the UN shut its Cambodian human rights office and sack Christophe Peschoux, the UN's human rights head in Cambodia.

Since the presence of a human rights office is a matter of agreement between the UN and a member state, the government will likely eventually get its way with closing the office.

The UN's deputy high commissioner for human rights, Kyung-wha Kang, is travelling with Mr Ban.

She told me on Wednesday evening that the discussion with Hun Sen revolved around an array of issues, one of them human rights.

KYUNG-WHA KANG: And the prime minister made his reply, which was a little bit of a surprise, I should say the tone, but it opens up the door for further discussions, and again on the issue of a person, we do not wish to go into the details. And yet obviously the government has a different view to the high commissioner on her representative here, but I am sure we will find a way to discuss this issue of the representative and also the issue of the office here on more constructive terms.

CARMICHAEL: Possibly. But not if Khieu Kanharith is to be believed. The minister says the days of the UN human rights office here are numbered since it only accuses the government of wrongdoing and acts as a mouthpiece for the opposition.

All in all then, this trip to Cambodia was probably not the success Ban Ki-moon had hoped for.