KI Media: “Nguyen Cao Ky, South Vietnam Leader, Dies at 80” plus 24 more

KI Media: “Nguyen Cao Ky, South Vietnam Leader, Dies at 80” plus 24 more

Nguyen Cao Ky, South Vietnam Leader, Dies at 80

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 04:17 PM PDT

Nguyen Cao Ky in 1965, the year he became prime minister. (Associated Press)

July 23, 2011
The New York Times

Nguyen Cao Ky, the flamboyant former South Vietnamese Air Force commander who served for two years as his country's wartime leader, then fled to the United States when Saigon fell to the Communists, died Saturday at the age of 80.

Mr. Ky died at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was being treated for a respiratory infection, a nephew, Peter Phan, told The Associated Press.

After serving in both the Communist and French colonial armies, he rose through the ranks of South Vietnam's fledgling air force, then led Vietnam as prime minister from 1965 to 1967 before serving as vice president under his bitter rival, Nguyen Van Thieu.

As Communist troops closed in on Saigon, the city now called Ho Chi Minh City, in April 1975, Mr. Ky piloted a helicopter to one of the American naval ships that were refuge to those high-ranking officers who managed to flee.

He settled in Southern California, where he tried his hand at business with little success, declaring bankruptcy after running a liquor store from 1977 to 1984, then failing in a shrimp fishing venture in Louisiana.

He re-emerged in the news in 2004 when he became the highest-ranking former South Vietnamese official to return to Vietnam, at the invitation of the Communist government.

In government, he relished a bad-boy reputation, striking a vivid figure in his purple scarf, thin mustache and cigarette and appearing on occasion with his glamorous wife, both wearing matching black flight suits.

"American diplomats, generals and journalists nattered about my preference for purple socks, noted that I wore my hair longer than a U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor or reported, erroneously but often, that I packed a pearl-handled' revolver," Mr. Ky wrote in his 2002 memoir, "Buddha's Child: My Fight to Save Vietnam."

With evident delight, he quoted a description of him by the Vietnam War historian Stanley Karnow as "looking like a saxophone player in a second-rate nightclub."

Born in 1930 near Hanoi and raised by an aunt, Nguyen Cao Ky joined the Communist resistance to French colonial rule at the age of 16, inspired by Ho Chi Minh. He fell ill with malaria, and when he recovered he was drafted by the French-controlled government, which sent him abroad to train as a pilot, though he never saw combat.

When the country was divided in 1954 after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, he fled south along with hundreds of thousands of others and joined the American-backed South Vietnamese Air Force.

In 1965, when he was 34 and a commander of the air force, he was chosen by his fellow military officers to lead the country as prime minister, ending a cycle of coups and countercoups that followed the 1963 assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem. In his book, Mr. Ky quotes an assessment of him by the State Department official William Bundy that he was "the bottom of the barrel" and the last choice for the job.

In power, he made a show of cracking down on corruption, executing one businessman accused of war profiteering, and he threatened to kill dissidents, opponents and bomb units led by rival officers, and he suppressed a Buddhist-led uprising in 1966.

After fleeing to the United States, Mr. Ky fended off accusations of corruption himself. Responding in 1984 to the columnist Jack Anderson, who accused Mr. Ky of being involved with criminal gangs, he said: "If I had stolen millions of dollars I could live like a king in this country, but obviously I don't live like a king."

In his book he made light of his struggles to make a new life in America.

"When a former national leader becomes a storekeeper, it is news," he wrote. "Journalists of every sort visited my store. One day a bus driver came in to ask if his passengers, German tourists, could enter and see me. I discovered that my business was a standard stop on his tour, which ended at Disneyland."

In 1990, he was still advocating the overthrow of the Communist government in Vietnam, but speaking in more moderate tones.

"I think Americans and Vietnamese can achieve today what we could not achieve during the Vietnam war: a final victory over the Communists," he told The New York Times.

His position mellowed further as the years passed. By the time of his visit to Vietnam 14 years later, he had turned against Vietnamese hard-liners.

"I think it's very wrong that some — especially some Vietnamese overseas in America — today are asking and demanding that Vietnam has to adopt some sort of democracy like they have in America," he said. "It's not fit for Vietnam in the present situation."

His return to Vietnam was both politically symbolic and personally sentimental.

"Last night, I thought, 30 years ago I cried because I left my homeland," he told a news conference in Ho Chi Minh City, a place he had last seen from his helicopter as he fled in defeat. "And today I cried once again because I found my homeland."

3 Thai army choppers taken down by "fierce guardian spirits"?

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 04:13 PM PDT

An army officer inspects the charred wreckage of the Bell 212 helicopter which went down yesterday morning about 12km from the office of the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi. It was the third helicopter to have crashed in eight days. It had been sent to assist in the search and recovery operation of two helicopters which earlier crashed in the area. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Superstitions haunt forest

Some residents say the signs of another helicopter accident were there

Wassana Nanuam
Bangkok Post

With three army helicopters crashing in just eight days, questions are being asked as to whether the tragedies were the result of accidents, a conspiracy _ or supernatural powers.

A number of soldiers, officers and civilians working or living in Kaeng Krachan National Park, the site of the initial stranding of a group of officers, journalists and encroachment suspects which prompted the disastrous chain of fatal rescue and retrieval operations, believe bad omens are to blame.

"The guardian spirits here are very fierce," said one resident of Ban Panern Thung village in Phetchaburi's Kaeng Krachan district.

An army pilot who was not connected with the three fatal helicopter missions said a colleague had told of a fortune teller who predicted the third crash.

He said his colleague, from Lop Buri, visited a respect clairvoyant on Saturday and was warned that a third helicopter crash would occur near the Thai-Burmese border.

This was almost certainly a reference to Kaeng Krachan, which runs right up to the border in Phetchaburi province.

In line with the prediction, a Bell 212 helicopter yesterday come down on the Burmese side, killing three of the soldiers on board and critically injuring another.

This brought the tally of deaths from the three disasters to 17, following the five who were killed when a Huey helicopter crashed in Kaeng Krachan on July 16 and the nine who perished when a Black Hawk came down just over the border three days later.

Referring to the fortune teller's prediction, the pilot said: "At first we didn't believe it.

"But when his prediction came true, we felt shocked."

An army lieutenant colonel attached to Kaeng Krachan special warfare camp in Phetchaburi said the Tanaosi range in the national park comprised more than 300 densely forested mountains.

He too believes in supernatural powers and said the camp holds a ceremony every month to appease the guardian spirits in a bid to ensure the soldiers' safety.

Royal Thai Army Aviation commander Maj Gen Pitaya Krajangwon yesterday said several pilots held superstitious beliefs and the triple tragedy had badly shaken their morale.

"We pilots must not be perturbed by those stories [of supernatural forces at play]," he said.

"We must be mentally strong, as it's our duty to fly. If pilots fear, who will fly?"

However, First Army commander Lt-Gen Udomdet Seetabut said the possibility of supernatural involvement should not be dismissed.

Lt Thanarat Sripamorn, head of the helicopter repair unit, which is attached to the army's flight centre in Lop Buri, said he was devastated because many of the officers who died were his subordinates.

He said the crashes had left him feeling depressed and apprehensive about piloting helicopters. However, he assured that he would put his fears aside and perform his duties if instructed.

Kaeng Krachan National Park head Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn said he felt bad vibes were emanating from the forest.

"I'm getting goose bumps. Everyone here is speechless," he said.

Natural resources permanent secretary Chote Trachoo attended a rite yesterday to present food offerings near Kaeng Krachan reservoir to ward off bad omens.

But Jaran Khaonum, a forest ranger, said he did not believe in supernatural forces.

He said the locations of the first two crashes are valleys with intense wind patterns which could have caused the helicopters to abruptly lose altitude.

In the Kingdom of infinite Wonders, taking exams require: (1) food offering to the spirits; (2) blessing with holy water; or (3) buying cheat sheets ... studying is the last choice

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 03:20 PM PDT

Boeung Trabek High School (Photo Siv Channa, RFI)
High school students pray and get blessed with holy water in hope of passing their final exam

23 July 2011
By Ky Soklim
Radio France Internationale
Translated from Khmer by Si Sophon
Click here to read the original article in Khmer

"If Hun Sen's government sets out to keep the youth "dumb", it cannot do a better job after 18 years of power." - Anonymous
Two days prior to the final high school exit exam, young male and female students seem to be very confused. Some went to offer foods to the spirits, others tried to get blessed with holy water, while others are only looking to buy the cheat sheets so they can copy the answer. On the other hand, teachers from the Cambodia Independent Teachers Association (CITA) are calling for an end to the leak of exam topics during the exam day.

At about 8AM on Saturday, 3 female students from Boeung Trabek high schools carried food and fruits on their motorbikes to a spirit shack located near the sport field close the high school.

With smiling faces, the three students said that they are preparing an offering to the spirit in the school in order to ask for wellbeing, as well as to ask for the spirit to help them pass their exams this year. One of the students confirmed that the offering prior to the exam is a Khmer "tradition" that was passed on from one to another. Such offering will help secure the students' determination and not let them have fear during the exam day.

Another group of students who just completed the offerings said that the offering must be conducted, but the studying must be done as well in order to pass the exam. Another group of students discussed about the merit of being blessed by holy water. Some plan to have their parents pour the holy water on them, whereas another group talked about asking the service of monks instead.

In Cambodia, superstition is still going strong among the people. Offering to the spirits is usually conducted when people face a dangerous situation or when they want succeed.

Another group of students are talking only about buying the solutions to the exams (cheat sheets) so that they can copy them. Some plan on paying $2 for each exam subject, or a lump sum cost $30 for all the subjects combined. By buying the solution to the exams, the chance of getting the right answers is 80%. On Saturday, officials from the ministry of Education declined to comment on these activities. However, in the past, officials from the ministry of Education explained that buying cheat sheets has nothing to do with the actual exam topics, therefore, the students should not buy them.

On Saturday, Mrs. Ouk Chhayavy, a CITA vice-president, called on the ministry of Education to take measures to stop all exam topic leaks during this year's exam. The leak of the exam topics led to mass plagiarism and it affects the quality of the exam. The ministry of Education posted announcements along schools stating that plagiarism is prohibited.

Mrs. Ouk Chhayavy said that exam proctors should not accept bribes from students because this goes against the teachers' ethics.

The 2011 exam will last between 25 and 27 July 2011, more than 100,000 students will be taking this exam.

Hint of hope as Suu Kyi set for Myanmar govt meet

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 02:32 PM PDT

Aung San Suu Kyi will Monday meet a minister of Myanmar's new, nominally-civilian government for the first time (AFP/File, Soe Than Win)
Monday, July 25, 2011
By Hla Hla Htay (AFP)

YANGON — Aung San Suu Kyi will Monday meet a minister of Myanmar's new, nominally-civilian government for the first time, raising cautious hopes after the US called for "concrete" progress towards democracy.

Suu Kyi has frequently urged dialogue with the government since her release from house arrest just days after November's controversial elections, but until now the country's rulers had not met her requests.

She will hold talks in Yangon on Monday afternoon with labour minister Aung Kyi, who was in charge of relations between the military junta and Suu Kyi under Myanmar's previous regime, a government official told AFP late Saturday.

"It will be the first meeting between them after the new government was formed," he said.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was informed about the meeting on Sunday morning, said Nyan Win, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, confirming it would take place at a state guesthouse.

"We do not know the details of the agenda yet," he told AFP, having earlier said it would be "good" if the meeting took place.

Suu Kyi has met minister Aung Kyi, who is no relation, on several occasions, including in late 2009 while she was still under a seven-year period of house arrest.

She was freed by the junta last November, shortly after elections that were won overwhelmingly by the military's political proxies but marred by claims of cheating and the exclusion of Suu Kyi from the process.

The government has since warned her to stay out of politics.

News of Monday's talks came on the same day that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Myanmar's rulers to make "concrete, measurable progress" towards meeting the international community's demands for reform.

Addressing foreign ministers at an Asian security forum in Indonesia, Clinton suggested first steps should include "meaningful and inclusive dialogue" with the opposition and the release of more than 2,000 political prisoners.

Suu Kyi, 66, has spent much of the last 20 years as a prisoner in her crumbling lakeside mansion and some observers believe the government would have no qualms about limiting her freedom again if she is perceived as a threat.

While steps towards a dialogue between the two sides is promising, it is too early to say how genuine the offer is, according to Aung Naing Oo, a Myanmar analyst based in Thailand.

"Both sides are concerned about each other, but there is a desire to talk and find a common ground," he said. "Talking is better than shouting at each other."

Journalists have been invited to cover some parts of Monday's meeting, but will not be present during the talks themselves.

Suu Kyi tested the boundaries of her freedom this month with her first visit outside Yangon since her release, when she refrained from any overt political activities that might have antagonised the government.

After her four-day excursion to the ancient city of Bagan, she tested the limits again when she led hundreds of supporters in memorials for her father, Myanmar's independence hero General Aung San.

She has also consistently maintained her position on some key strategic areas, asking for international sanctions to be maintained, at least until Myanmar's political prisoners are released.

"She has not given up her stance," Aung Naing Oo added.

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a renewal of sanctions that ban the import of goods from Myanmar, including lucrative gems, and restrict visas issued to government officials.

Suu Kyi's party, which won a landslide election victory two decades ago that was never recognised by the junta, was disbanded by the military regime last year because it boycotted the latest vote, saying the rules were unfair.

Sam Rainsy expects Cambodia to change like Tunisia

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 02:27 PM PDT

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy addressing party supporters on 23 July 2011 (Photo: Free Press Magazine Online)
23 July 2011
By S. Botum
Free Magazine Online
Translated from Khmer by Si Sophon
Click here to read the original article in Khmer

Through teleconference video call from Tunisia, opposition leader Sam Rainsy addressed an audience of more than 1,000 attendants at the inauguration of the SRP party headquarters. During his speech, Sam Rainsy raised his hope that Cambodia will see changes like Tunisia, a country where a long time and corrupt ruler was toppled at the beginning of 2011. Sam Rainsy's expectation is based on his comparisons between the current situation in Cambodia and that of Tunisia.

Sam Rainsy is currently performing a field study on the revolution movement in Tunisia where its dictator was toppled from power. During his speech, Sam Rainsy said: "Tunisia is riddled with corruption, just like Cambodia, and this corruption bred injustice. It is a corruption backed a dictatorial regime. The dictator's clan wielded their power whereas a very large number of the population lives in poverty. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider and wider, this situation led to an outrage among the population that channeled into anger for the toppling movement. This action was spread to various other countries, such as Egypt where Hosni Mubarak held on to power for more than 40 years, his dictatorial regime was destroyed. Right now, the movement for peace and democracy continues on to Libya, Yemen and Syria. I believe that it won't be too long before it reaches Cambodia because the situation is very similar to that in those countries."

Sam Rainsy made this declaration only one day after Hun Xen commented that the situation in Tunisia cannot be compared to his. Hun Xen said that such action will be responded by CPP supporters, just like what happened in 1998. He said that his regime can be removed by election only.

Nevertheless, Sam Rainsy said that the fake election in Cambodia cannot be taken seriously. Election also existed in Tunisia and Egypt, but no matter what, it is impossible to beat the dictators through the election organized by the latter.

According to Sam Rainsy, in order to protect his regime, Ben Ali of Tunisia ordered the police force to shoot on the demonstrators, but because the demonstrator force is so large, the police rejected Ben Ali's order. Then Ben Ali turned around and issued his order to the army which also rejected him. At the end, Ben Ali's soldiers could only provide safety for him between his house and the airport, i.e. Ben Ali had to leave the country. In Sam Rainsy's opinion, this is due to the solidarity between Tunisians and he believes that Cambodians have similar will and thoughts as the Tunisians. Sam Rainsy said that it will not take long for the situation in Cambodia to become like that in Tunisia.

Lotus Revolution by Anonymous

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 02:05 PM PDT

បដិវត្តកើតឡើងដោយសារអ្វី?​ ដោយ ឆាំ ឆានី (What causes revolution? by Chham Chhnay)

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 01:19 PM PDT

U.S. Strengthens Ties To Asian Regional Grouping

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 12:49 PM PDT

By Anthony Kuhn
National Public Radio (USA)

Jul 24, 2011 (Weekend Edition Sunday) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has little capacity to enforce its decisions, or even keep member states such as Thailand and Cambodia from fighting. But it aspires to be the linchpin of Asia's security architecture, and the U.S. is building ties to the group.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is claiming some modest successes after several days of talks with Asian leaders in Bali, Indonesia. The issues that stood out included territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Myanmar and North Korea.

After three days of talks, Clinton noted that tensions over the South China Sea issue have eased since last year, thanks in part to nonbinding guidelines that China and ASEAN approved Thursday to handle the dispute.

In recent months, the Philippines has accused China of harassing its oil exploration ships, while Vietnam has accused it of beating up its fisherman. China admits there were incidents, but in Chinese waters. Clinton said no country should stake its territorial claims by force.

"The numbers have been increasing of intimidation actions, of rammings, of cutting of cables, the kinds of things which will raise the cost of doing business for everyone who travels through the South China Sea, which is half of all global commerce," Clinton said.

China claims 80 percent of the South China Seas as its territory.

Bloc Seeks Expanded Role

Whatever institution eventually sorts out the overlapping claims, it won't be ASEAN, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said.

"It's impossible for a forum like the ASEAN Regional Forum, made up of 27 or so countries, to be the forum that actually nitty-gritty in actual detail solve the problem," he said. "We are just not equipped for that purpose."

ASEAN has little capacity to enforce its decisions, or even keep member states such as Thailand and Cambodia from fighting. But it aspires to be the linchpin of Asia's security architecture, and the U.S. is strengthening its ties to the group.

David Carden, who assumed his post in April as the U.S.' first resident ambassador to ASEAN, says that this week's meetings have yielded progress on global issues that will take patience and years of work to resolve.

"The mere fact that the conversations took place, the fact that there are future conversations that are being planned, the fact that this entire collection of conversations that ASEAN brings together is I think the real to thing to focus upon in terms of what's been accomplished over the course of the last several days," Carden said.

North Korea, Myanmar

On Friday, ASEAN did manage to bring together North and South Korean nuclear negotiators, who promised to restart stalled six-party nuclear disarmament talks. The meeting failed to produce a consensus on Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, which is due to take ASEAN's rotating chairmanship in 2014.

Clinton has indicated that this would not be a good idea, unless Myanmar's current administration can make room for political opposition, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

"We have called on the newly elected government to release political prisoners, open a meaningful dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, and we will continue to press for the kind of changes that we see benefiting the people of Burma," she said.

ASEAN itself is divided over Myanmar. While countries such as Thailand want to invest in Myanmar's natural resources, others such as the Philippines insist that real political reforms must come first.

Son Chhay's meeting with SRP supporters in Australia

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 12:46 PM PDT

Below the picture of Son Chhay and Mr Men Vanna the president of SRP Australia-New Zealand (fourth from the left) at a gathering of SRP supporters in Adelaide, South Australia in July 23.

Condolences from OCEC USA

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 12:33 PM PDT

Trade, tourism along Thai-Cambodian border active after World Court ruling

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 08:58 AM PDT

SI SA KET, July 24 (MCOT online news) – Cross border trade at Chong Sa-ngam border crossing with neighbouring Cambodia in Si Sa Ket on Sunday has reportedly been revived as many Cambodians queued up for the opening of the border crossing in the morning to exchange products with Thai traders.

Cambodians crossed the border to buy and sell large amounts of consumer products. Border trade activities was seen as active again amidst security provided by police officers of Phu Sing Police Station and local army rangers.

Apart from the trade, tourism along the Thai-Cambodian border was also boosted as many tourists have been visiting the area, asking for information about cross-border excursions to attractions such as Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom in Siem Riap, according to Hattachai Pengchaem, head of the trade and tourism operators association in Chong Sa-ngam.

Mr Hattachai said that the return of the active trade and tourism can be attributed to the July 18's International Court of Justice (ICJ) or World Court rulings on the Thai-Cambodian border, adding that both Thai and Cambodian traders have expressed their confidence in the border situation.

The rulings applied to both Thailand and Cambodia, requiring that both countries withdraw troops from the disputed border area near Preah Vihear Temple.

Meanwhile, the overall Thai political situation in Thailand is becoming clearer, as a new coalition government led by Pheu Thai Party will be formed after the July 3 general election.

Closing Order of Case 002 against Senior KR Leaders Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 03:50 AM PDT

In light of the start of trial hearings beginning on 27 June 2011 of Case 002 against the surviving Khmer Rouge senior leaders Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith, KI Media is posting installations of the public document of the Closing Order of Case 002.  The Closing Order of the Co-Investigating Judges forms the basic document from which all the parties (Co-Prosecutors, Co-Lead Lawyers for all civil parties, Defense Lawyers) will be making their arguments before the Trial Chamber judges (one Cambodian President, 2 Cambodian Judges, 2 UN judges).  Up until now, the hearings involving these four surviving senior Khmer Rouge leaders have been in the Pre-Trial Chamber over issues of pre-trial detention and jurisdictional issues.  Beginning in June 2011, the Trial Chamber will hear the substantive arguments over the criminal charges (e.g. genocide, crimes against humanity, penal code of 1956).  Available in Khmer and French.  Contact the ECCC for a free copy.

of Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde, 15 September 2010

Location and Establishment
351. The 1st January Dam worksite was established to construct an irrigation system.1457 The dam was built in order to form a reservoir blocking the river Stoeung Chinit, covering areas in Baray District and Santuk Districts of the current Kampong Thom Province,1458 which according to the CPK system of identifying administrative boundaries were in Sectors 42 and 43 of the North Zone,1459 subsequently redesignated Central (Old North) Zone, most likely whilst the dam was under construction. 1460
352. A series of canals were dug to irrigate the rice fields. The main artery was 20 metres wide leading to smaller canals of two to three metres wide.1461 The 1st January Dam was linked by the main artery to a second dam known as the "6th January Dam".1462 The construction of the 1st January Dam started in late 1976 or early 19771463 and was completed by the time the construction of the 6th January Dam started in early 1978.1464
Structure and Personnel
353. The construction of the 1st January Dam was under the responsibility of the Central (Old North) Zone Committee, the Secretary of which was Ke Pork,1465 also a member of the CPK Central Committee.1466 As a result, communication between the Zone and the Centre went through Ke Pork. Duch states that Ke Pork would go to Phnom Penh to attend the annual meeting of the heads of the Zones or when summoned by Pol Pot.1467 A number of witnesses mention the importance of communicating by telegram.1468
354. The overall plan for the 1st January Dam was given by the Zone Secretary Ke Pork1469 to the Zone Public Works Office, which was initially headed by Sao.1470 Sao was assisted by a group of technicians that included [REDACTED] and Pech Sokha.1471 Both [REDACTED] and Pech Sokha had previously studied irrigation and hydroelectricity in Phnom Penh at Russei Keo School in Phnom Penh.1472 [REDACTED] became the Zone Public Work Office Chairman1473 further to Sao's disappearance.1474 [REDACTED] said he reported to Ke Pork, or to his forces when they would come to check the worksite.1475 Some witnesses observed that these visits would happen regularly.1476 Oeun, a senior cadre significantly involved in the construction,1477 was eventually appointed Secretary of Sector 42,1478 where the worksite was located.
355.            The construction of the 1st January Dam and its supervision involved all levels of the Party hierarchy. Each level was assigned specific responsibilities and occupied a place in the formal chain of command from the unit chiefs to the subdistrict, district, and sector cadres up to the zone.1479 Between one to two times a year a Zone Meeting was held, presided by Ke Pork and attended by subdistrict, district and sector committee members where work results were reported.1480
356.            The composition of the Central (Old North) Zone sectors, districts and other committees changed overtime as some of their members were arrested and disappeared during the construction of 1st January Dam.1481 The Secretaries of Sectors 41, 42 and 43 and some of their replacing cadres disappeared.1482 Some were sent to S-21.1483 The committees of the three sectors - 41, 42 and 43 - were in charge of gathering work forces from all districts to participate in the construction of the 1st January Dam.1484 Sectors communicated to districts through meetings and reports.1485 It was the same for districts and subdistricts, to whom they distributed work and gave orders as to the implementation of the plans.1486 Workers were divided into units under the authority of a chief1487 appointed by Subdistrict cadre and village chiefs.1488 Meetings were the occasion to control whether quotas where met, whether orders were respected and people had to confess wrongdoings.1489 "Lower echelon" had to report to the "upper echelon" about issues such as shortages of food or medicine,1490 or construction and security matters.1491 One former village Chairman explained that when work was not progressing according to plan members of the "lower level" were accused of treason, sometimes by their team leaders, and killed.1492 Other witnesses report that unit chiefs and team leaders were involved in the decision making process leading to some of the workers being taken away1493 or otherwise punished.1494 Certain members of the local militia were seen carrying clubs, hoes, guns or knives1495 and were known to perform killings.1496 Some witnesses indicate that security people and some local cadres1497 were from the Southwest

357. Pol Pot visited the 1st January Dam worksite at least once on its inauguration1499 together with foreign visitors.1500 Ieng Sary1501 and Khieu Samphan,1502 Ta Mok1503 and Son Sen1504 were also seen at the 1st January Dam worksite. Nuon Chea1505 also went to the worksite and "encouraged people to try hard to preserve water for planting rice".1506 Ieng Thirith visited the 1st January Dam along with a Laotian delegation in April 1977.1507 According to one witness, on that occasion, those who were to greet Ieng Thirith were given enough food and smart clothes and she was made aware of the shortages of medicine while visiting a

Sinatoon: Hun Xen and the Jasmine and Lotus Revolutions

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 11:40 PM PDT

Cartoon by V. Sina

COMFREL Release the Result of Workshop on Voter's Voice in Remote Areas; Boeung Beng, Malai, Banteay Meanchey province

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 11:28 PM PDT

Dear all,

COMFREL is please to release its press release on the result of workshop on voter's voice in remote areas; Boeung Beng, Malai, Banteay Meanchey province held on July 12, 2011.

Please see the attached document for details.

FYI : If you need releases or articles related to workshop on voter's voices, elections reforms, democracy/political reforms, decentralisation and governance, please feel free to visit our website :

Best regards,


COMFREL Will Conduct Several Women Public Forums at Day and Night Time in Kampong Cham from July to November 2011

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 11:22 PM PDT

Dear all,

COMFREL is very please to inform you that a Women's Network selected from "Women Can Do It Training Course" will conduct "13 Local Learning" in Kampong Cham province, Takeo province, Kampong Thom province, and Preah Vihear province.

The course will strengthen women to participate in political affairs, and decision making. Women will be empowerment to take part actively in local areas.

Please see the attached document for details.

FYI : If you need releases or articles related to workshop on voter's voices, elections reforms, democracy/political reforms, decentralisation and governance, please feel free to visit our website :

Best regards,


Sweeteners by Khmer Guardian

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 11:17 PM PDT

026 - Kg - AspGrtame or Nutrasweet

News Media in the Kingdom of Wonder - Poem in Khmer by Spean Tep

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:59 PM PDT

Preah Vihear temple - Excerpt from Son Sann's Memoir

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:40 PM PDT

Open Letter to Hun Xen from a former law student

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:32 PM PDT

Q & A: Analysis of ICJ's Provisional Ruling on Preah Vihear temple

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:27 PM PDT

Saturday, 23 July 2011
Originally posted at:

On 18 July 2011 the International Court of Justice issued the provisional ruling on Preah Vihear temple and the surrounding areas. This is the first ruling pending the Court's final decision on its interpretation of its 1962 ruling.

CambodiaWatch-Australia has managed to catch up with a Khmer Lawyer in Sydney, Mr Bora Touch Esq to discuss further about the ruling and its implication(s).

CambodiaWatch (CW): Can you please briefly outline the latest ICJ's provisional ruling on Preah Vihear temple?

Bora Touch: On 28 April 2011, Cambodia filed an Application in the ICJ requesting that the ICJ interprets the judgment which ICJ gave on 15 June 1962 in relation to Preah Vihear Temple (Judgment). Also on 28 April 2011, Cambodia filed an incidental application seeking orders to cause the incursions onto Cambodia's territory by Thailand to cease pending the Court ruling on the request for interpretation of the Judgment.

Thailand opposed both of Cambodia's applications arguing that the ICJ should dismiss them on the basis that it has no jurisdiction to make the rulings sought and that, in any event, time has long run out.

ICJ rejected Thailand's arguments. The ICJ ordered that (1) both Thailand and Cambodia immediately withdraw their respective troops, temporarily, from the newly created provisional demilitarized zone, which the ICJ created: see map attached; (2) Thailand not obstruct Cambodia's free access to the Temple or prevent it from providing fresh supplies to Cambodia's non-military personnel.

CambodiaWatch (CW): Is the ruling a victory to either Cambodia or Thailand or both? Some sections of Cambodian community were displeased with the ruling, saying that "[The decision] is unjust for Cambodia, as the court has ordered us to withdraw our troops from an additional area of 4.6 square kilometers (2.8 square miles.)". What is your view on that?

Bora Touch: There is no winner or loser at this stage. This is just a temporary measure to prevent or, at least, avoid aggravation, of the dispute pending the ICJ's eventual decision on Cambodia's main Application for Interpretation, which will come out in a couple of months. Only troops and police are to be withdrawn. Civilian authority is stay in place as usual. ICJ stated that Cambodia's ownership of the temple is not disputed.

The ICJ's ruling deals with something that had not previously been dealt with, namely whether article 60 of the Statute of the ICJ imposes a time limit. The ICJ has found that it does not and this is a precedent on which future parties will be able to rely. This differs from Revision and Appeal provisions which do have time limits. In the case of a Revision Application, an applicant has six months from the discovery of the relevant new fact to make a Revision application and no application for revision may be made after the lapse of ten years from the date of the judgment (Art. 61) or ten years of the rendering the judgment for appeal application. In contrast, Article 60 of the Statute of ICJ provides only that "the judgment is final and without appeal. In the event of dispute as to the meaning or scope of the judgment, the Court shall construe it upon the request of any party". The ICJ could have had recourse to the practice in other international tribunals and international courts of arbitration where such an application must be made within three months. The formulation adopted by the International Law Commission, an organ of the UN, in article 33 of its model rules as the following:
"1. Any dispute between the parties as to the meaning and scope of the award shall, at the request of either party and within three months of the rendering the award, be referred to the tribunal which rendered the award".
If the ICJ had referred to and relied on this, Cambodia's interpretation application would have been denied.

In its history, the ICJ has made 40 orders, three of which involved troop withdrawal. The ICJ has, however, never before made temporary measures/orders ordering the parties to withdraw military personnel from their undisputed territories. In this case, Thailand is to withdraw about two kilometres from (front of the Temple) the boundary line as depicted in 1907/Annex I map into Thai territory.

I consider the ruling as a positive step for Cambodia.

CambodiaWatch (CW): What is the size of the provisional demilitarized zone, and How much are Thailand and Cambodia's territories?

Bora Touch: The provisional demilitarized zone covers 20 kilometer squares. Excluding 4.6 km sq of the so-called disputed area, the zone cover about 5 km sq of undisputed Thai territory about about 10 km sq of Khmer territory.

CambodiaWatch (CW):What are the potential risks and consequences if both Cambodia and Thailand do not comply with the ruling?

Bora Touch: A consequence of non-compliance with ICJ's decision/Orders is, the non-compliant party could face sanctions. Article 94(1) of the United Nations' Charter(Constitution) stipulates that each member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party. Article 94(2) states that "if any party to a case fails to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a judgment rendered by the Court, the party may have recourse to the Security Council, which may… make recommendations or decide upon measures to be taken to give effect to the judgment".

Photo: Courtesy of International Court of Justice

Brain Food for All

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:04 PM PDT

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

- Buddha

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:00 PM PDT

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Ratified by UNGA in Nov. 1989, entered into force 1990

Cambodia ratified this Convention on October 15, 1992
Article 24

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.

2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures:

(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;

(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;

(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;

(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;

(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;

(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services.

3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.

4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

Brain Food for Perfect People

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 09:52 PM PDT

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

- John (chapter 8)


Posted: 23 Jul 2011 09:51 PM PDT

Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea

("ECCC Law")

the inclusion of amendments as promulgated on 27 October 2004


Article 43 new

The Extraordinary Chambers established in the trial court and the Supreme Court Chamber shall be located in Phnom Penh.

Sacrava's Political Cartoon: The Boomerang

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 09:33 PM PDT

Cartoon by Sacrava (on the web at

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