KI Media: “Sourn Serey Ratha accuses World Khmer Radio of using the name of the MoI to warn a volunteer working for his KPPM radio station” plus 24 more

KI Media

KI Media: “Sourn Serey Ratha accuses World Khmer Radio of using the name of the MoI to warn a volunteer working for his KPPM radio station” plus 24 more

Sourn Serey Ratha accuses World Khmer Radio of using the name of the MoI to warn a volunteer working for his KPPM radio station

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 02:42 PM PDT

Dear All,

The Khmer World Radio, leaded by Ok Soeum, Sam Borin and San Savit this week used the name of Cambodia Ministry of Interior to warn Ms. Keo Ratana, a voluntee as reporter for KPPM Radio. Ms. Keo Ratana, who is working as volunteer of Khmer World Radio but after KPPM Radio launched it program broadcasting, she was willing to help KPPM Radio because of she supported our KPPM policies. She work volunteer for KPPM Radio only 2 times then the management of Khmer World Radio call her to warn, and use the name of Cambodia Ministry of Interior to treat her that if she is stilling to work for KPPM Radio then she will get problem.

The leader of Khmer World Radio called KPPM Radio is an opposition Radio (So it is mean full that Khmer World Radio is a supporting radio which is to support a puppet government in Phnom Penh).

It is so surprise that one Radio Online which appeal support from Khmer oversea the same KPPM and other nationalist movement too but they hide the real of their naturalization under jealous and working for puppet government without sense.

After the leaders of Khmer World Radio used the name of Cambodia Ministry of Interior to warn and threat Ms. Keo Ratana, have talking to one of Khmer World Staff in Phnom Penh and then asking for the proof of letter from the Ministry of Interior but until today I & KPPM Radio editor in Bangkok have not yet feedback. So it is showing exactly that leaders of Khmer World Radio lies and just use the power of Cambodia Ministry of Interior to threat the volunteer of reporter who wish to work for KPPM Radio.

As a former of Radio Editor-In-Chief and Freeland Journalist for 10 years since I was working in Phnom Penh, I really sorry for bad culture of team Khmer World Radio which is not understand well of the professionalism and rights of freelance reporter or rights of volunteer.

It is unbelievable that amount Khmer leaders who pretend them self as a Khmer nationalist but finally their action and their behavior are not open mind.

Does Khmer World radio alone can wake up Khmer people to up rise their power in future soon for change?

President of Khmer People Power Movement (KPPM)
Analyzer of Cambodia Politics:Website:

Contac Address:
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2579 S. Vagedes Ave. Fresno, CA 93706 (For West Coast), or
P.O.Box: 8074 Cranston, RI 02920 U.S.A

WKR rejects Sourn Serey Ratha’s accusation

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 02:35 PM PDT

By Lim Piseth
29 April 2011
Excerpt translation from the Free Press Magazine
Click here to read the entire article in Khmer

On Thursday, a representative of the World Khmer Radio (WKR) station has rejected the accusation made Sourn Srey Ratha who claimed that WKR threatened one of its employees because she worked for Sourn Serey Ratha's People Power radio station. Sourn Serey Ratha alleged that WKR used the name of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to make the threat. WKR also rejected this accusation.

San Suwidh, the administrator of WKR, reacted by saying that Sourn Serey Ratha distorted the truth on WKR administrators. "I and Mr. Ok Soeum never threatened any WKR employee. We understand their freedom. I believe that Mr. Sourn Serey Ratha is painting a very bad picture out of WKR which is working hard to serve the public interest under a lot of difficulties," San Suwidh said.

San Suwidh indicated that WKR is currently facing difficulties in Cambodia and it had to close its office in Phnom Penh because the landlord cancelled their lease after he received a (threat) letter from a man who claimed to be the personal aid of Sar Kheng, the minister of Interior.

"Therefore, this is not like what Sourn Serey Ratha accused us of when he claimed that we used a letter from the MoI to threaten our employees. To the contrary, WKR has been victimized by this letter [from the MoI]. We closed our office in Phnom Penh and we only preserved our volunteer workers and asking them to work from various locations in Cambodia."

It should be noted that Sourn Serey Ratha's accusation letter was issued after Ms. Khieu Ratana refused to continue working for his People Power's station, after she helped reporting for this station twice.

In an interview given to the Free Press Magazine, Ms. Khieu Ratana indicated that the accusation made Sourn Serey Ratha is all wrong. "I never received any warning from the chairman or the administrators of WKR, telling me not to work for any other news media, including the People Power radio station," Ratana indicated.

"I did talk to colleagues of Uncle Sourn Serey Ratha about a letter sent by the MoI involving my name, but I never said that the [WKR] chairman issued any warning on me. I regret very much that Uncle Sourn Serey Ratha defames the WKR's name – a station where I serve the public for the past two years."

An electronic copy of a letter issued by Kim Van Chheng, who claimed to be the personal aid of Sar Kheng, the minister of Interior, indicated that: "According to the MoI, we learn that workers for the WKR in Phnom Penh have been involved with the People Power radio station belonging to Mr. Sourn Serey Ratha who is based in the US. This radio station is opposed to the Cambodian government led by our Decho Hun Xen, and one of your employees had already joined [the People Power station]".

In the same letter, Kim Van Chheng also wrote: "I am informing you that if you continue to allow WKR employees to serve trends that are opposed to the Cambodian government, without respecting their professional code of ethic, the office of your radio station in Phnom Penh will face problem."

Kim Van Chheng could not be reached to provide further clarification on this issue, but the Freedom and Press Monitor in Cambodia are investigating on this threat letter allegedly issued by Kim Van Chheng.

A postcard from an anonymous reader to Kim Van Chheng, the personal aid of the minister of Interior Sar Kheng

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 02:32 PM PDT

Film Highlights Potential Harm of Mekong Dams

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:42 PM PDT

An extraction from the documentary "Where Have All the Fish Gone? Killing the Mekong Dam by Dam" shows a massive dam under construction on a stretch of the Mekong river in China. (Photo: Courtesy of Tom Fawthrop)

Pich Samnang, VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh Thursday, 28 April 2011
"If the Mekong is destroyed, the fishery, according to estimates, will be reduced by something like between 40 percent to 60 percent."
A documentary showing the possible impacts of hydropower dams on the Mekong was screened in Phnom Penh Tuesday night, a week after Mekong countries failed to decide on a dam proposed in Laos.

About 200 people, most of them students, watched the film, "Where Have All the Fish Gone?: Killing the Mekong Dam by Dam," which was directed by journalist Tom Fawtrop and screened at Pannasastra University in the capital.

The 23-minute film shows a massive hydropower dam under construction in China and street protests in Bangkok over another 11 proposed dams on the lower Mekong.

Officials from the Mekong River Commission, from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, ended meetings last week over a dam proposed in Xayaburi province, Laos, after failing to decide whether it could be built. More meetings over the dam are expected later this year.

Fawtrop said Tuesday he wanted the film to draw attention to the plans for dams on the Mekong that would "destroy one of the world's greatest rivers just for the sake of generating electricity."

The dams could have "huge costs," he said, "loss of fishery, loss of environment, loss of biodiversity."

"If the Mekong is destroyed, the fishery, according to estimates, will be reduced by something like between 40 percent to 60 percent," he said.

At least eight hydroelectric dams have been proposed on the upper Mekong, with three already operational and at least one other under construction in China. Another 11 dams including the Xayaburi have been planned downstream.

The film was shot from locations in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam over three and a half months between 2010 and 2011 and includes numerous interviews with environmental experts who warn of unpredictable impacts on people and the environment were the dams to be built.

Fawtrop said the dams, if built, would have a huge impact on Cambodia, where the majority of people depend on the river for their daily protein.

"The economists working for the government and working in various ministries have completely failed to do any homework at all," he said. "They can tell you how much electricity we can get, but they can't tell you how many fish we will lose."

"And a politician who wants to build the dams for political reasons may tell everybody, 'Oh, the dam is good for your health,' when it is actually very bad for the health of the fish and the health of the people and the health of a nation," he said.

Up to 600,000 tons of fish each year could be at risk from dam construction, 35 percent of that in Cambodia, according to an environmental assessment by the Mekong River Commission.

Touch Seang Tana, chairman of Cambodia's Commission for Conservation and Development of the Mekong River Dolphin Eco-Tourism Zone, said the Mekong's Irrawady dolphins would also be at risk from dam construction.

"If built, the dams will seriously affect natural dolphins because they eat fish," he told VOA Khmer after viewing the film. "When there are no fish, how can dolphins survive?"

He estimated between 155 and 175 dolphins to be living along the stretch of the Mekong in Kratie province, which are a draw for tourists.

"If there is dam construction as the video shows, I think the river will lose its authenticity in the future, providing no more natural resources like fish, a good environment and a fantastic landscape," said Ing Sethearin, a university student, after the film.

Lower Mekong countries like Cambodia must choose wisely between their food needs and their energy needs, she said.

Cambodian Military Announces Ceasefire Plan

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:33 PM PDT

This three year old girl , Cha Sith, was injured during the shelling. (Photo: by Heng Reaksmey)
Reporters, VOA Khmer
Oddar Meanchey and Phnom Penh Thursday, 28 April 2011
"Then an artillery shell hit the village and injured my hands."
Cambodian officials said Thursday military commanders had agreed to a ceasefire, following a meeting on the border in Oddar Meanchey province, the site of heavy fighting this week.

The proposed ceasefire was announced Thursday afternoon by the Cambodian Defense Ministry following meetings between Cambodian general Chea Mon and Thai general Thawatchai Samutsakorn.

The military commanders met at the O'smach border checkpoint following the seventh straight day of fighting that has killed at least 14 people and sent tens of thousands fleeing their homes on both sides.

In Thailand, officials were careful not to announce an official ceasefire.

But according to the Cambodian Defense Ministry, the two sides agreed to immediately halt weapons fire, to keep troops in place without redeployments, and to create "a favorable environment for the civilians to return to their villages so as to win each other's trust," among other initiatives.

"Now, the Cambodian side has had a press conference on the ceasefire in Cambodia," Thai Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd told VOA in Bangkok. "Although Thailand has not received any official information on this, in Thailand there are clear responsibilities and orders of responsibility within the government and relative agencies about how a ceasefire should be addressed. However, on the Cambodian side there needs to be consultations with their superiors and especially the top person: that's Prime Minister Hun Sen himself."

Sansern said that all Thai troops were now holding in Thai territory.

Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed a ceasefire on the Cambodian side, but he said there were so far no talks scheduled between the countries' foreign or defense ministers.

The ceasefire plan came after shelling overnight and into the morning. Three villagers were injured when a Thai artillery shell hit their village in Kouk Mon commune, Banthey Ampil district.

"Around 7:30 am, my family and I were packing to escape the village," Chhum Souk, 54, said at the provincial hospital in Samraong town shortly after the explosion. "Then an artillery shell hit the village and injured my hands."

A 3-year-old girl, his neighbor, was also injured, along with another man nearby.

Meanwhile, more villagers continued to stream in from the borders, joining thousands of refugees who have been staying in tents under trees and in pagodas and school classrooms in the town.

After the ceasefire talks, no more bombardments were heard in the area, and electricity returned to normal. Residents of Samraong said earlier that during clashes electricity, which is supplied from Thailand, was often cut.

Victorian school teacher deported after night in Khmer cells

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:27 PM PDT

April 29, 2011
Herald Sun (Australia)

A VICTORIAN school teacher cleared of molesting children in Cambodia was quietly deported home to freedom after paying Khmer officials. 

The man is still permitted to work as a teacher in Victoria.

Education Minister Martin Dixon had nothing to say about the case.

The man told the Herald Sun he had paid police in Cambodia's Sihanoukville province about $100 before they released him from his cell last June.

He had been detained overnight accused of inappropriately touching local children as he played with them on the beach.

He denied the allegations and insisted the cash was not a bribe, but a fee for the food he consumed.

"They're just trying to tap a foreigner, saying it's to keep up the place - it wasn't buying my way out of the charge," he said.

Australian officials were concerned enough about the Cambodian allegations to revoke his passport and deport him in August.

Australian Federal Police investigated him here, seizing computers and cameras from his country home, but he has not been charged.

He has no prior convictions and his working with children's check remains valid, although he claims to be retired.

The Victorian Institute of Teaching said it would not comment on individuals.

The institute has the power to investigate teacher registrations regardless of whether they're charged or convicted of a crime.

Child exploitation investigators in Cambodia say that suspects routinely bribe their way out of legal trouble.

"Money talks here," said Steve Morrish, director of South East Asia Investigations into Social and Humanitarian Activities, who is a former Victoria Police detective.

The teacher was photographed playing with children on the beach by French human rights activists Action Pour Les Enfants.

"I'm innocent of these charges and it sucks they can just do this to people," he said. "If I had something to hide, I wouldn't be talking now."

An AFP spokesman confirmed child sex offences that occurred overseas could be prosecuted in Australia.

"Arrests are not the definitive measure of effectiveness," he said.

"Enhanced public awareness is equally as important."

Only 24 people have been convicted under Australia's child sex tourism laws in the past 15 years and the average length of sentence is just five years.

This is despite a maximum available sentence of 25 years, according to University of Queensland law school research.

Call for Government to ‘Step Down’ Over Border

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:22 PM PDT

Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer
Washington, DC Thursday, 28 April 2011
"...this government must step down to allow Cambodia to avoid wars and losing land to the west and to the east."
Exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy issued on open letter Wednesday demanding that the administration of Prime Minister Hun Sen step down over his handling of the border conflict with Thailand.

If the government cannot peacefully resolve the border issue, he wrote, "this government must step down to allow Cambodia to avoid wars and losing land to the west and to the east."

His letter came amid continued fighting on Wednesday and ahead of a reported ceasefire between Thai and Cambodian generals on the border Thursday.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan called the letter a "desire for attention" that ignored positive surveys that say many believe the country is moving in the right direction.

"Even though he does not have the support of the public, who are the Cambodian people, he still confronts [the prime minister]," Phay Siphan said.

The government is pursuing strategies to solve the border conflict with Thailand, he said, and the government is working with Vietnam to shore up border areas peacefully.

Sam Rainsy claims the government is ignoring the Paris peace agreement, which ensures Cambodia's territorial sovereignty.

Sam Rainsy said his uprooting of markers along the Vietnamese border in 2009 was a victory. He is facing 12 years in prison sentences of a variety of charges stemming from his accusations that Cambodia has ceded land to Vietnam.

Both Vietnam and Thailand claim they have not encroached on Cambodian land.

Unions Threaten May Day March Despite Ban

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

May Day parade in 2010 (Photo: AP)
Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh Thursday, 28 April 2011
"This is a worry and a threat by the government to the freedom of assembly and expression of the Cambodian people."
Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a circular on Thursday banning workers from assembling on International Labor Day, May 1, but a coalition of unions says it will go ahead with plans.

The missive comes after the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers' Democratic Union announced plans to gather some 3,000 laborers in Phnom Penh to mark the day.

Ath Thon, president of the coalition, said he plans to gather the workers in a march nevertheless.

"This circular shows a tightening on the rights to assembly and march, but up to now, our working group will follow the plan without changing," he said. "Our assembly will not affect security and public order. The authorities have the ability to protect security and public order. I think the government should not worry about this."

The march is scheduled to start in front of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, near Wat Phnom, and pass by the Royal Palace and National Assembly, where workers will bring a petition for better working rights and conditions.

In the circular, Hun Sen calls for the Ministry of Interior, the national police, military police, city and provincial authorities and other government institutions to "take action" in order to maintain public order.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher's Association, which is under the coalition, called the order a threat to constitutional freedoms.

His union will not hold an assembly due to budget concerns, he added.

"This is a worry and a threat by the government to the freedom of assembly and expression of the Cambodian people," he said.

The proposed March comes as workers face increasing pressure from food and fuel prices, while salaries remain low.

"We see the rising price of goods in the markets, particularly gasoline, making difficulty in people's lives," he said. "So we're requesting the government provide a resolution for the salary of workers, teachers, government staff, police and soldiers, on balance with the market prices for them."

Soldier and civilian killed in fresh fighting

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:05 PM PDT

April 29, 2011
The Nation

One Thai soldier and one civilian were killed and 11 troops wounded in a new round of border fighting between Thai and Cambodian forces throughout Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, three Thai villagers based in Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district have been arrested for allegedly providing target coordinates for Cambodia's rocket attacks as well as food and supplies to Cambodian soldiers.

Sanat Phimkao, a former village head, has been released due to insufficient evidence but as of last night, Khamphan Wongsa and Sermsuk Phochaile were still being detained by police for further questioning.

The arrests came after the military received information allegedly indicating they had shopped for supplies and food and delivered them to Cambodian soldiers.

The military was also suspicious because rockets from BM21 multiple launchers were landing frequently in Nong Khan Na village. Police found in their mobile phones a large number of numbers with area codes in Cambodia.

As of 8pm last night, Khamphan and Sermsuk were being detained in Prasat district police station after being handed over by Phanom Dong Rak police. They must be released in the next 48 hours if no charges are pressed against them.

After the latest fighting, which ended around 8.20am yesterday, six Thai soldiers and two Thai civilians had been killed while 58 soldiers sustained injuries.

The Thai military cited a large number of Cambodian casualties, but the figures could not be independently verified.

A military spokesman said the fighting began around 8pm Wednesday when a large number of Cambodians moved into Ta Muen Thom and Ta Kwai Temples in Surin, before Thai soldiers engaged them with small arms and mortar fire.

The fighting was most intense around 4am when rocket and artillery fire landed on Thai soldiers' outposts, but Thailand's resistance endured and successfully drove away the Cambodian troops at around 6am.

Yesterday, sublieutenant Uthai Muenaphai became the latest soldier killed in action. A royally sponsored cremation for SgtMajor Bunrat Sukjit, who was posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel and was the first killed when the fighting broke out last Thursday, was held yesterday at a temple in Buri Ram's Muang district, his birthplace.

A wreath from His Majesty the King was presented at Bunrat's funeral.

Two government hospitals and 15 clinics in Surin have closed while nine clinics remain open. Medical services have been provided to 7,736 of 43,923 villagers living in 34 local shelters, the provincial public health office said.

Six soldiers and two Thai civilians have died, while 956 people are suffering from lowlevel stress. Another 85 are moderately stressed, with 56 highly stressed, said Dr Saard Weerajaroen. All patients with serious conditions have been transferred to hospitals at least 50km away from the border.

A new shelter has been opened in Ban Kruad district in neighbouring Buri Ram, in addition to an existing seven that house around 8,000 residents. The latest fighting and rocket fire on Wednesday sent 700 residents from their homes to the shelters.

Abhisit: No plans to meet Hun Sen

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 12:59 PM PDT

April 29, 2011
The Nation

Local military commanders reach a ceasefire deal; Kasit will seek Cabinet approval for the terms of reference to station Indonesian observers on border

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he had not yet arranged a meeting with Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen for peace talks, although local commanders on the ground reached an agreement yesterday to cease fire at the border areas around Ta Muan temple.

Thai Second Army Region Commander Tawatchai Samutsakorn agreed with his Cambodian counterpart Chea Mon to cease hostilities and resume the border crossing arrangement at Surin province's Chong Chom checkpoint, government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said.

"But we have to closely monitor the situation until we are sure the deal will really be honoured," he said.

Military commanders have reportedly agreed ceasefires many times since skirmishes erupted last Friday at Ta Muan temple, but fighting has not stopped.

The clash has killed six Thai soldiers and two civilians and injured many others.

Army chief Prayuth Chanocha said the two commanders agreed to stop firing guns from noon yesterday. "If there is no more gunfire after noon, tension along the border will be eased," he said.

Both sides would dispatch officials to the front line to make sure the other side did not open fire again, Prayuth said.

"The ceasefire is not a solid peace agreement. We simply agreed not to fire guns anymore, but nobody can guarantee the situation," he said.

Prime Minister Abhisit said the deal between the two commanders at the local level was a good sign, paving the way to settling the conflict between the two countries.

Asked if the two leaders needed to hold ceasefire talks at the Asean meeting next month in Jakarta, Abhisit said he did not yet have a clear plan to meet Hun Sen.

The talks might not be necessary since the situation is expected to have eased before the Asean meeting, he said.

"It depends on the situation. There will be some changes and there are days from now until the Asean summit," he said.

However the conflict may be mentioned at the meeting since leaders of member countries might ask about the situation, he said.

Asean got involved in the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia after Indonesia, as the chair, was asked by the United Nations Security Council to implement a permanent ceasefire plan.

Jakarta planned to dispatch its observers to assess and monitor the situation at the Thailand-Cambodia border at the area adjacent to the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear.

The Indonesia observation plan has not yet happened as Thailand has not agreed to the modality of observation.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya discussed the details of the terms of reference (TOR) for the observation with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa yesterday in Jakarta.

The twohour discussion covered almost all details of the TOR, Kasit said, adding that Indonesia would place observers at seven spots at the border near Preah Vihear: four on the Thai side and the rest in Cambodia.

Thailand set conditions that Cambodia must not put its troops at Preah Vihear or the disputed 4.6squarekilometre area near the temple or at Wat Keo Sikha Kiri Svara.

"Observers would be placed only when Cambodia agreed with the conditions and withdrew troops from the areas," Kasit told reporters via phone conference from Jakarta.

Observation would last for six months but could be shortened if there was no gunfire during that time, he said.

Kasit said he would submit the TOR for Cabinet's approval next Tuesday.

No justice in the killing fields

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 12:53 PM PDT

29 April 2011
James A Goldston (Issues)
The Khaleej Times

More than 30 years after the murderous Khmer Rouge were driven from power in Cambodia, the UN-backed effort to bring justice to the victims of the killing fields stands on the brink of ignominious failure due to political interference from the Cambodian government and the indifference of the international community.

A hybrid court, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, has spent over $200 million since it was set up in 2003 with both international and local judges and prosecutors. It has tried only one person: Kang Kech Eav, or Duch, the head of the notorious Tuol Sleng prison complex, who is appealing his conviction for crimes against humanity, murder and torture.

Now Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken an axe to further proceedings. In power for over 25 years, Hun Sen has repeatedly and publicly declared that the court should try only one more case (case "002" in court parlance), against four detained senior ex-Khmer Rouge leaders, all of whom are in their late 70s or 80s.

As for five additional unnamed suspects, whom the court's pre-trial chamber approved for investigation, Hun Sen bluntly informed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon late last year that they would not be "allowed" to go forward.

The reason offered is the supposed threat any additional trial would pose to peace in Cambodia. Others suspect that the prime minister is simply enforcing a pact he long ago cut within his ruling Cambodian People's Party that none of its ex-Khmer Rouge members would ever be tried or otherwise exposed for crimes they committed, no matter how serious.

Having invested more than a decade in negotiations to launch the court and keep it alive, the United Nations finds it hard to walk away now. It is institutionally committed to the court, even though in 2002, then-secretary general Kofi Annan recommended against UN involvement in a tribunal which he rightly believed lacked adequate protections against precisely the kind of political interference that is blocking the additional cases.

Court officials are thus caught in a trap. The fearful Cambodian staff must respond to political pressures. Even international staffers feel constrained to focus their efforts on making the most of case 002, given the unlikelihood of any further trials.

As a result, the right course of action – allowing all cases currently before the judges to proceed through to completion – now seems unattainable. One option under discussion would involve deception. According to various sources, court officials might "gracefully" dispose of the additional five suspects, for example, by presumptively finding that none of them are among those "most responsible" for Khmer Rouge crimes, as the governing statute requires. Such a move would implicate the court in a political decision to halt proceedings. Unfortunately, this is where things seem to be headed. By their own awkward admission, the Cambodian and international judges responsible for investigating the additional cases have restricted their staff to desk review; no field investigation is underway. A preferable, if still distasteful, alternative, would be to honestly horse-trade abandonment of the additional cases in exchange for a guarantee of total government cooperation, and full donor resources, for case 002.

The United Nations and the Cambodian authorities should openly declare that the hybrid court will cease operations after conclusion of case 002 due to government objections and the lack of continued funding. Even with these conditions fulfilled, victims of the Khmer Rouge will be cheated of the more comprehensive accountability further trials would have produced. And every Cambodian will know that all the will the international community could muster was not sufficient to create a truly independent court. It's time for the UN to end the charade.

James A. Goldston is the executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative. In 2007-2008 he was coordinator of prosecutions at the International 
Criminal Court

Thais, Cambodians test cease-fire along tense border

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 12:34 PM PDT

April 28, 2011
By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Unit level commanders worked out the hiatus
  • Indonesia has offered to help resolve the crisis
  • Ancient temples are at the core of the dispute
Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Military commanders along the turbulent Thai-Cambodian border agreed to a cease-fire on Thursday, a Thai military source told CNN.

A border dispute that turned violent over the last week remains volatile, and the hiatus was forged at the unit commander level but not the higher levels of the militaries.

The source, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak, said if the peace persists, higher-ranking people may meet on Friday.

They would be Thailand's 2nd Region commander, Lt. Gen Tawatchai Samutsakorn, and Lt. Gen. Chea Mon, Cambodia's 5th Army Region commander.

Cambodia's government spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Indonesia has offered to provide observers in the border area and help both sides resolve the crisis diplomatically.

Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta. Indonesia currently holds the chair of the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Natalegawa also said Thailand welcomes the deployment of an Indonesian observer team to the disputed area.

This idea was first agreed upon, in an emergency meeting of ASEAN's Foreign Ministers in February, also in Jakarta. The observers have not been deployed, after Thailand later stated their presence was not needed.

"I just want to reassure that Thailand will work very earnesty and in a very serious manner with Indonesia in the role of Indonesia as a great facilitator," said Piromya.

However, he maintained Thailand's position was on the defensive in recently renewed clashes with Cambodia.

"I just want to use this opportunity to once again reaffirm that the military action by the Thai side was only on the defensive side. We have not made any aggression. It was only (an) appropriate response to the conflict that was started by the Cambodian side," he said.

Natalegawa said he and Piromya were able to discuss terms of reference for the Indonesian observer team.

"I think it's quite fair to say that we have made a very good progress, and I could say that we are truly in the brink of confirming the agreement by all sides. Based on my conversation just now, I shall be circulating to both Thailand and Cambodia what I hope to be the final version of the Term of Reference for its immediate early adoption by the parties concerned."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging both nations to pursue "an effective and verifiable cease-fire."

Clashes between the two started Friday as they accused each other of trying to seize ancient temples.

Thailand calls the temples Ta Kwai and Ta Muen, while Cambodia calls them Ta Krabey and Ta Moan. Much of the border between the two countries remains in dispute.

Both sides claim the disputed temples are in their country.

Fighting flared up in February along another disputed border area between the two nations, prompting the U.N. Security Council to issue a statement calling on both sides to implement a cease-fire.

Those clashes stemmed from a longstanding conflict related to the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple.

Both Cambodia and Thailand lay claim to the temple, which sits atop a cliff on Cambodian soil but has its most accessible entrance on the Thai side.

Prayuth: Ceasefire promise reached

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:56 AM PDT

Bangkok Post

A ceasefire on the border is effectively underway after contacts on Thursday morning between Thai and Cambodian military commanders in the area where fighting has been occuring, national army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said.

A ceasefire on the border was effectively underway after contacts on Thursday morning between Thai and Cambodian military commanders in the area where fighting has been occuring, national army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said.

The army chief said this move followed a heavy exchange of fire near Chong Chom pass in Surin province this morning.

"Actually, a ceasefire has begun. Unit commanders of the two sides in the area had talks to end the fighting. Let's wait and see whether there will be more fighting this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow.

"If there is no more fighting, Lt-Gen Tawatchai Samutsakhon, the 2nd Army commander, will tomorrow (Friday) meet and hold talks with Lt-Gen Chea Mon, Cambodia's 5th Army Region commander," Gen Prayuth said.

The army chief said this after attending the funeral of soldiers killed in action in Surin.

"The 2nd Army chief and his Cambodian counterpart have been in contact," he added.

An informed source said on Thursday morning Cambodian deputy army chief Hun Manet and Lt-Gen Chea Mon sent their representatives to negotiate with Thai soldiers at Chong Chom pass in Surin for a ceasefire.

The source said the Cambodian force, commanded by Lt-Gen Hun Manet at O Samed opposite Chong Chom pass, suffered heavy casualties during a fierce exchange of fire this morning.

Gen Prayuth said the situation was likely to improve now the Cambodian side showed they wanted to talk, unlike in the past when they refused to do so.

The army chief said he was also concerned about the well-being of Thai villagers in the area, although most of them had been evacuated to safe havens.

"Let us hope that from now there will not be a single shot fired, but if they open fire we will return fire to stop them. We will not let any force intrude onto Thai territory," said Gen Prayuth.

The army chief admitted troops had been reinforced to the area following an assessment of the situation and intelligence operations to ascertain the movements of the other side.

Asked if it would be best if Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and his Cambodian counterpart Tea Banh could meet for talks, Gen Prayuth said he supports talks of all levels, ranging from commanders in the area to high-level commanders of the Defence Ministry.

Army Region 2 spokesman Prawit Hukaew said a Thai soldier was confirmed killed in the clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops on the border in Surin on Wednesday night.

The casualty, identified as Second Lt Uthai Muen-apai, was the sixth Thai soldier killed since the fighting began last Friday, Col Prawit said.

The spokesman said three Thai villagers suspected of spying on Thai soldiers and passing information to Cambodian forces were arrested today for interrogation.

He said the three were apprehended near Ban Don Nam Tan in tambon Bak Dai of Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district.

They are suspected of reporting the locations of targets by mobile phone to Cambodian soldiers for attack.

They were identified as Thanit Srisa-nga, of tambon Khok Klang, Sanit Pinkao, of Ban Nong Khanna, and Sermsuk Phochaiserm, of Ban Don Nam Tan.

Col Prawit said the three were still being questioned and it was not yet confirmed they were spying for Cambodia.

Thailand, Cambodia border quiet as tentative truce reached after week of fighting

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:49 AM PDT

Thailand, Cambodia reach truce after deadly week

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Associated Press

Thailand and Cambodia agreed on a cease-fire Thursday that many hope will hold after a week of fierce artillery duels across their contested border that was some of the worst fighting in years between the Southeast Asian neighbors.

The border was quiet since early morning, when artillery fire boomed across the frontier and one rocket killed a Thai soldier, raising the one-week toll to 15.

Military commanders from both countries reached the deal after a 40-minute meeting at the border and agreed to reopen closed checkpoints, Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said. "The news is a good news for every side," he told The Associated Press.

Thai officials were more cautious, however. Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn confirmed that Thailand's Lt. Gen. Tawatchai Samutsakorn met his Cambodian counterpart Maj. Gen. Chea Mon and reached a tentative truce. "They have agreed on the cease-fire in principle," Panitan said. But "we need to see whether this agreement will" hold.

Thai army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, however, said no official deal had been agreed, but he welcomed the talks and called them a positive step.

The border dispute has stirred nationalist sentiment on both sides. But analysts say domestic politics may also be fueling the conflict, especially in Thailand, where the military that staged a coup in 2006 could be flexing its muscles ahead of elections due in June or July.

Speaking earlier in Cambodia, field commander Col. Suos Sothea said Thursday's fighting had centered again around two crumbling stone temples from the Khmer Empire at Ta Moan and Ta Krabey, which have been caught in crossfire since last Friday.

The body of a Thai soldier who died in one rocket attack Thursday was loaded into a helicopter at a hospital in Phanom Dongrak, which was busy with wounded Thai soldiers arriving from the front.

On Wednesday, Cambodian leader Hun Sen accused Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of loving war and provoking the conflict, but said he still wants to talk peace with him at an upcoming regional meeting in Indonesia.

Cambodia employed truck-mounted rocket launchers for the first time Tuesday, in what Hun Sen said was retaliation for Thailand's use of heavy weapons.

Abhisit, meanwhile, said his government is not willing to have a meeting of the two countries' defense ministers unless there is a cease-fire first.

"If they want to talk, the easiest way is to stop the firing," Abhisit told Parliament after visiting injured civilians in Surin province in the northeast.

The conflict involves small swaths of land along the border that have been disputed for more than half a century. Fierce clashes have broken out several times since 2008, when Cambodia's 11th-century Preah Vihear temple was given U.N. World Heritage status over Thailand's objections.

Talks with Cambodia have apparently become divisive within the Thai government, with the military dragging its feet while Abhisit is more conciliatory.

The Thai army has already stymied a plan to station Indonesian military observers. Hun Sen says Cambodia would welcome them on its side of the border regardless of any delays by Thailand.

Indonesia, which currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, offered to provide the observers after four days of border fighting in February.
Associated Press writer Grant Peck contributed to this report from Bangkok.

Thailand-Cambodia Border Clashes Displace Thousands

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:43 AM PDT

Civilians caught up in border clashes

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:41 AM PDT

28 Apr 2011 13:04
Source: Plan UK

TERRIFIED families are fleeing fresh fighting in a jungle border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, reports children's charity Plan International.

More than 28,000 villagers are on the move in Cambodia with 14 killed on both sides, including the soldier father of a Plan sponsored child.

The charity is planning to provide water and sanitation, child protection and education at a camp for those seeking shelter. "Exchanges of shelling between the troops of the neighbours started in Uddor Meanchey province and lately expanded to Preah Vihear," says Plan's country director in Cambodia, Supriyanto. "Given the severity of the situation suffered by civilians, especially children, we've decided to respond."

Plan's work will be in close cooperation with the Cambodian government, fellow NGOs and the UN.

The long-running territorial dispute between the two countries flared up in February when deadly clashes followed the shelling of an ancient temple.

"The number of displaced people is increasing and they are in need of safety, food, shelter, water and sanitation," says Supriyanto.

Thai-Cambodian Border Clashes End As Ceasefire Agreed

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:17 AM PDT


(RTTNews) - The week-old clashes between security forces along the Thai-Cambodian border ended on Thursday after military commanders from both sides agreed to a ceasefire during a morning meeting.

Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said it had also been agreed to re-open a border point near two disputed ancient Hindu temples to allow displaced people to return home and to their villages.

The ceasefire requires local commanders from both sides to meet regularly to avoid misunderstanding.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromyathe says the conflict had displaced 50,000 Thai citizens living near the border with Cambodia, while Cambodia said on Wednesday that more than 31,000 of its citizens had fled the border region.

Addressing a news conference after talks with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta on Thursday, Kasit said Thailand was committed to resolving the border dispute with Cambodia peacefully. He welcomed observers from Indonesia, as the current chair of ASEAN, to monitor the ceasefire.

Thailand Defense Minister canceled his planned trip to Cambodia for ceasefire talks on Wednesday in protest against comments in Cambodian media that the Thai government agreed to talks as it was losing the border clash.

Thai, Cambodian border forces have been engaged in renewed clashes since Friday over the ownership of a 4.6-square-kilometer territory around the Preah Vihear temple.

Fifteen soldiers have been killed and more than 60 wounded in exchange of fire and artillery at the disputed sites around the 11th-century Hindu temple forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes. The fighting ended after a brief morning clash on Thursday.

Cambodia and Thailand share an 800-kilometer land border. Their claims over the cliff-top Preah Vihear temple, which is on the Cambodian side of a vague boundary, has been a cause for a long-standing feud between the South East Asian neighbors.

Both sides built up military forces along the border when the shrine was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in July 2008, making it a regular flashpoint between the two nations.

Thailand-Cambodia border clashes fueled more by domestic troubles than territorial dispute

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:15 AM PDT

Thursday, April 28, 2011
By Todd Pitman
The Associated Press

BANGKOK — They waged deadly artillery duels for a week across a disputed jungle frontier dotted with ancient temples. But the bloodiest clashes to hit Thailand and Cambodia in years were probably more about domestic politics than territory, analysts say.

Both sides agreed to a tentative cease-fire Thursday, a deal many hope will hold after seven days of fighting that killed 15 people and displaced 50,000. Similar accords in the past have failed to secure an end to the conflict, and many believe it's not over yet.

"Key constituencies in both nations are benefiting too much from the border dispute to allow it to die out completely," Joshua Kurlantzick, a Southeast Asia fellow at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, wrote on the organization's website.

Among them: a coup-prone Thai military that could be asserting itself as the country heads toward contentious elections, and a Cambodian strongman bolstered by an upsurge in nationalism who wants to see ally in power in Bangkok instead of an adversary.

The frontier has been contested at least since the 1950s, when France withdrew from Southeast Asia and its former colony Cambodia won independence.

But tensions skyrocketed in 2008, when the crumbling 11th Century Hindu temple Preah Vihear — which an International Court of Justice ruled belonged to Cambodia in 1962 — was declared a U.N. World Heritage Site over staunch Thai objections. The sovereignty of the land around the temple remains in dispute, as do other swaths of land containing other temples built during the Khmer Empire's reign.

Clashes have erupted six times over the last three years and each skirmish has grown increasingly bloody, with artillery used for the first time during the last battle in February.

However, neither Thai nor Cambodian troops have made any moves to capture territory, and residents in the conflict zone have been left wondering what the crisis is about.

"I have no clue why they are fighting," 56-year-old grandmother Noi Yingcherddee said in the Thai border town of Surin this week.

"I just want them to stop," she said. "It's not worth it, at least not for us."

Many analysts believe Thailand's military, which overthrew former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a 2006 coup, is flexing its muscle ahead of elections expected in June or July.

The military fears the Thaksin-allied opposition Puea Thai party may win the ballot, and one theory says top commanders may have been using the skirmishes "to create an atmosphere of uncertainty" within Thailand to derail that outcome, said Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

"If the country is in crisis," Pavin said, "the military can ask, is it ready to hold the vote?"

Duncan McCargo, a Southeast Asia expert who heads the school of international studies at Britain's University of Leeds, agreed. The border war "reflects the military's determination to demonstrate that only the armed forces can be trusted as the guardians of Thai national interests," he said.

The Thai military always has played a prominent role in politics, staging 18 coups since the 1930s. However, it denies that it is now intervening in politics and says — like Cambodia's military — that it has merely been defending against foreign aggression.

In the current dispute, the army has stymied a proposal to station Indonesian military observers at the border, a plan Cambodia agreed to. On Thursday, though, Thai military and foreign ministry spokesmen contended Thailand did back the plan but were just working out the details. Indonesia's foreign minister also said his Thai counterpart had signed off on the plan.

The fighting has stirred nationalist fervour on both sides, but many believe it also benefits Cambodian premier Hun Sen, allowing him to portray himself as a victim of a "bullying" Thailand.

One editorial in a Thai newspaper suggested that Hun Sen, who has been in power since 1985, was fomenting the border tensions to gain support at home and divert attention away from what it called the "general public's increasing resentment toward his dictatorship."

Kurlantzick said Hun Sen's son, Hun Manet, is taking advantage of the crisis "to play a larger role in military policymaking, potentially positioning him one day to take over running the country from his father."

Hun Sen is known to have a close relationship with Thaksin, who now lives in exile in Dubai. Both men would benefit if current Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva can be portrayed as an ineffective leader who has brought his country to the brink of war.

A weakened Abhisit could mean the Thaksin-allied opposition Puea Thai movement does well in the upcoming poll, said Charnvit Kasetsiri, a Southeast Asian expert and former rector of Bangkok's Thammasat University.

It's not the first time the border dispute has been linked to domestic politics.

In 2008, Thailand's so-called Yellow Shirts protesters used the government's initial support for Cambodia's heritage bid to batter then-Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and force the resignation of his foreign minister.

More recently, the Yellow Shirts — though much weaker than before — have waged sit-ins against Abhisit over the temple.

Matt Gertken of the U.S.-based think-tank Stratfor said internal politics on both sides are driving the fighting, "whether it be because of Thai factions pushing the Cambodian issue in order to shape perceptions ahead of the election, or Cambodia attempting to take advantage of Thailand's internal divisions" for its own ends.

"Ultimately, the conflicts here are within Thailand and Cambodia, rather than between" them, said McCargo.
Associated Press writers Grant Peck and Sinfah Tunsarawuth in Bangkok, Thanyarat Doksone in Surin, Thailand, Sopheng Cheang in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

Wary truce at Thai-Cambodian border

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 07:11 AM PDT

Cambodian soldiers stand guard near the Cambodia-Thailand border in Oddar Meanchey province on April 28, 2011. Hopes of an imminent ceasefire between Thailand and Cambodia faded on April 27, after Bangkok pulled out of talks with its neighbour and deadly border clashes entered a sixth day.Photograph by: Stringer, AFP/Getty Images
April 28, 2011
Agence France-Presse

SAMRONG, Cambodia - A fragile ceasefire halted the bloodiest clashes between Thailand and Cambodia in decades on Thursday, after seven days of fighting left 15 dead and around 75,000 civilians displaced.

Both sides remained cautious after local-level military negotiations produced an agreement to end hostilities around temple complexes deep in the jungle on their shared border.

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the deal was a "good sign", but added that Cambodian troops in the area had been reinforced.

"We have to wait and see whether real peace has been achieved," he told reporters.

The country's powerful army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha said both sides would monitor the situation.

"If there is no clash before tomorrow morning the situation will be positively resolved," he said.

Cambodia, which was the first to announce a halt to fighting earlier Thursday, also struck a note of caution about the permanence of the agreement.

"The situation remains quiet for now," Cambodian field commander Suos Socheat told AFP.

"But our troops are still on alert because we don't trust them yet," he said.

The Cambodian defence ministry said in a statement that the commanders had agreed at the talks to reopen a border gate and "create a climate to allow civilians to return home".

Both countries have blamed each other for sparking the violence.

One Thai soldier died on Thursday morning, bringing the total number of the country's troops killed since the fighting began last Friday to six, while eight have died on the Cambodian side.

Bangkok has said a Thai civilian has also been killed.

Heavy weapons fire has also strayed towards villages around the frontier, causing an estimated 45,000 people in Thailand and 30,000 in Cambodia to flee their homes.

The neighbours traded accusations during the conflict, including Cambodian claims that Thailand used spy planes and poison gas — an allegation denied by Bangkok.

The countries had come under increasing international pressure to stop the violence.

Talks had previously been due to take place in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, but were called off at the last minute by Thailand's defence minister.

On Thursday Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya was in Jakarta, chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc, for talks with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa. ASEAN had also urged the pair to reach a ceasefire.

The neighbours agreed to allow observers from Indonesia into the border area after a previous round of unrest in February. But the Thai military later said the monitors were not welcome and they were not deployed.

Following Thursday's meeting in Jakarta, Kasit said details of the mission had been provisionally agreed, with the caveat that Cambodian troops must withdraw from the disputed area first.

Asked how long the monitors would stay along both sides of the border, he said: "About six months, but I hope it will not have to be that long if peace returns."

The Thai-Cambodian border has never been fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from years of war in Cambodia.

On Tuesday the fighting briefly spread to the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, which has been the focus of strained relations between the neighbours since it was granted UN World Heritage status in 2008.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, but both countries claim ownership of a 4.6-square-kilometre surrounding area.

In February, 10 people were killed near Preah Vihear, which is 150 kilometres east of the two ancient temple complexes at the centre of the latest clashes.

The border clash came at a sensitive political time for Thailand, with the country's premier preparing to dissolve the lower house of parliament for elections he has said will be held by early July.

Thailand says it is committed to peace with Cambodia

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 06:53 AM PDT

Apr 28, 2011

Jakarta - Thailand said Thursday that it was committed to resolving a border dispute with Cambodia peacefully and welcomed Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire.

The remarks by Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya came after a senior Cambodian military source said that military commanders from both sides agreed a ceasefire during a morning meeting.

Kasit said Thailand was 'sincere and earnest' in its desire for peace, noting that Bangkok was a major investor and source of development assistance for Cambodia.

Kasit, speaking after talks with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta, said that the conflict had displaced 50,000 Thais living near the border with Cambodia.

'So it could not be conceived, however, that we could be aggressive and start military activities in order to hurt our own people,' he said.

Natalegawa said Thailand welcomed the role of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a mediator in the conflict.

'This involves the continued welcoming of the Indonesian observer team to the border area as well as the continued welcoming of the appropriate engagement of Indonesia as the current chair of ASEAN,' he said.

In Bangkok, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the armies agreed to a ceasefire, while Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said that fighting had stopped. He said military commanders on the ground had met and agreed to work together to ensure peace held.

Natalegawa said he was not privy to the information when asked about the news of a ceasefire. Kasit declined to comment.

Fighting between the two ASEAN members broke out on Friday and has left at least 15 people dead, and about 60 people wounded on both sides.

On Wednesday, Thailand pulled out of ceasefire talks scheduled to take place in Phnom Penh after Cambodian media reported that Bangkok had only agreed to talks because it was losing.

Cambodia said Wednesday that more than 31,000 of its citizens had fled the border region, while Thai officials said a similar number of its civilians had been evacuated from their villages.

Thailand has blamed UNESCO for escalating the tensions with its decision in 2008 to list the 11th-century temple of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, despite Thai claims that a 4.6-square-kilometre area near the temple is still the subject of a five-decade border demarcation dispute.

Thai-Cambodian Fighting Intensifies Amid New Diplomatic Efforts

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 06:49 AM PDT

An injured Thai soldier on a stretcher is helped to board a helicopter to be transferred to a hospital following the clashes between Thailand and Cambodia in Surin province, northeastern Thailand, April 28, 2011 (Photo: AP)

VOA News
April 28, 2011

Officials say Thai and Cambodian forces have agreed to a cease-fire, raising hopes for an end to fighting that has raged for a week in a disputed border area near two ancient Hindu temples.

Cambodian officials said the cease-fire was negotiated Thursday during a meeting of field commanders after some of the fiercest fighting since the skirmishes began on April 22. They said the sides had agreed to open a single border point to allow displaced villagers to return to their homes, and to meet regularly to avoid future misunderstandings.

Thai officials said earlier that one soldier was killed as fighting intensified and spread overnight, bringing the death toll in seven days of fighting to 15.

The cease-fire, which leaves the border dispute to be settled by a civilian commission, came amid renewed diplomatic moves.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, in Jakarta Thursday for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations cultural meeting, was expected to discuss the crisis with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. Natalegawa, as this year's chairman of ASEAN, has been seeking to mediate between the two countries.

The U.S. ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Anne Kenney, met earlier Thursday with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. She called for both countries to return to the negotiating table, and suggested the dispute be handled through ASEAN mechanisms.

Proposed peace talks collapsed Wednesday when Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon canceled a trip to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, speaking during a border visit Wednesday, said Thailand wants to hold talks, but that Cambodia must stop attacking before that can happen.

In Phnom Penh, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed for a cease-fire, and said he is ready to hold peace talks with Mr. Abhisit at a regional security summit in Jakarta May 4 through May 6.

The poorly demarcated border between the two countries has long been a source of friction, but there is no obvious reason for the latest fighting.

Each side accuses the other of starting it, while analysts suggest that hardline nationalist groups and military elements in the two countries may have political motives.

Thailand is facing contentious national elections later this year, and some analysts say elements within the powerful Thai military may be attempting to exert influence ahead of the polls, which are expected by July.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Sacrava's Political Cartoon: Coup d'Etat Inc.

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 02:44 AM PDT

Cartoon by Sacrava (on the web at

Hun Xen denies he has lung cancer

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 02:40 AM PDT

Click below to listen to the audio program in Khmer

Cambodia: Ceasefire agreed after military commanders meet

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 02:15 AM PDT

Apr 28, 2011

Phnom Penh - A senior Cambodian military source said Thursday that Thai and Cambodian military commanders agreed a ceasefire during a morning meeting.

The source, who asked not to be named, told the German Press Agency dpa that General Chea Morn, who commands the armed forces in the Cambodian military's Region 4, had agreed the ceasefire with a Thai general.

'The meeting has helped to ease tensions along the border,' the source said, before adding that Cambodia remained to be convinced that the Thai military 'was serious' about the ceasefire.

He said shelling had stopped along the border after reports of artillery battles earlier in the day, adding that since mid-morning there had been just a few reports of small-arms fire.

A soldier at Ta Moan temple, the scene of some of the heaviest shelling over the past seven days, confirmed that fighting had ceased in his area.

Thai defence officials were not available to comment.

Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said the ceasefire had been agreed 'in principle.'

The fighting between the two nations has killed 14 soldiers and one civilian, and wounded nearly 60 others.

Clashes involving heavy artillery and small-arms fire had erupted on a daily basis since Friday at a series of six locations on Cambodia's northern and north-west border with Thailand.

Three suspected border spies arrested [-Maybe they were the unmanned drones reported by Thai General Tawatchai Samutsakhon?]

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 01:02 AM PDT

Thai General Tawatchai Samutsakhon (L) claimed that Cambodia used unmanned drones to spy on Thailand
Bangkok Post

Three Thai villagers suspected of spying on Thai soldiers and passing information to Cambodian forces were arrested on Thursday for interrogation, 2nd Army spokesman Col Prawit Hukaew said.

The three were apprehended near Ban Don Nam Tan in tambon Bak Dai of Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district.

They are suspected of reporting the locations of targets by mobile phone to Cambodian soldiers for attack.

They were identified as Thanit Srisa-nga, of tambon Khok Klang, Sanit Pinkao, of Ban Nong Khanna, and Sermsuk Phochaiserm, of Ban Don Nam Tan.

Col Prawit said the three were still being questioned and it was not yet confirmed they were spying for Cambodia.

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