Wednesday, January 26, 2011
China using development aid to spearhead Asian push.

The building above in central Phnom Penh was built by the Chinese government for use as the prime minister's office. It is currently being used by the deputy prime minister.
Asahi Shimbun (Japan)

The extent of China's ambition in Southeast Asia is taking concrete form in a village less than a dozen kilometers east of Vientiane, the Laotian capital.

Last Nov. 18, at a ceremony attended by Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Somsavad Lengsavat and the head of the Chinese Communist Party's Yunnan provincial committee, the foundation stone was laid for a colony for Chinese people on about 1,000 hectares of Laotian farmland.

Whispers about the construction of a city for the Chinese have been rife in Laos since the end of 2009, with talk that the Chinese government had agreed to build stadiums for the Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane that year in return for the construction of a district for Chinese people about 10 kilometers to the west of the current site.

Some Laotians were angered by rumors that their government had granted the right to rent the land for a maximum of 75 years, and would allow 50,000 Chinese to settle in the area.

Those plans appear to have been shelved, but the ceremony in November made clear that the construction of a Chinese town in the middle of Laos was not a pipe dream. Vientiane already has a well-known market with a large Chinese presence, but it will soon have a suburb built expressly for the citizens of its huge northern neighbor.

A joint venture company has been established to develop the 1,000 hectares into homes for Chinese people, as well as agricultural land, factories for food processing and light industrial units to support the community.

China has contributed about 75 percent of the company's capital, with Laos putting in 25 percent to pay for the land and the expense of moving existing residents out of the area.

The local mayor, who said he was only informed about the foundation ceremony two weeks before the dignitaries descended on his district, said he welcomed the jobs the development promised to provide for residents but added, "I am worried about whether they will be able to get along with the Chinese."

The development is part of a growing pattern of China-backed construction across Southeast Asia, which is being facilitated by Chinese development assistance programs and improving relations with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

In the northern Laotian city of Houayxay, Chinese workers are preparing to erect a bridge across the Mekong River connecting Laos with Thailand. About the half of the workers on the project are Chinese, and the Chinese company handling the construction work on the Laotian side belongs to the same group as the entity that used to run China's railways.

Gao Feng, the company's local manager, said, "We feel this is very worthwhile because we can contribute to the development of ASEAN."

China is leading the construction of the "south-north corridor" linking China with Laos and Thailand, part of the Greater Mekong Subregion economic cooperation project promoted by the Asian Development Bank.

Roads already link China with Houayxay. Trucks carrying petroleum and corn from Laos now regularly cross the border to China, with cement, fruits and other products going in the other direction.

And Chinese companies working closely with Beijing have won contracts for other construction projects in northern Laos, including a new runway at an airport in Luang Prabang and a 420-kilometer expressway connecting Vientiane with Boten near the Chinese border. That expressway is eventually expected to extend through Thailand to Singapore.

A Laotian government official said the link promised to connect the isolated, landlocked nation much more closely with its neighbors, but some Laotian officials admit to worries that it could end up making Laos little more than a passageway to other destinations.

From China's point of view, the developments fit into a strategy of integrating its southern provinces with ASEAN countries and securing access for its oil tankers to ports in the Bay of Bengal and in the southern parts of ASEAN member countries.

In Indonesia, in the south of the region, China's influence is increasingly apparent. The 5.4-kilometer-long Suramadu Bridge, connecting Surabaya in central Indonesia with the island of Madura, opened for traffic in 2009. The bridge, the longest in Indonesia, was constructed by a Sino-Indonesian joint venture. The local fishermen call it the "Made in China bridge."

About 2.2 trillion rupiah (about 22 billion yen, or $263 million) in loans from Chinese government-affiliated financial institutions, with easy terms and low interest, funded half of the total construction cost for the main part of the bridge's central span.

More than half of about 630,000 tons of steel used in the bridge came from China, and about 750 workers were shipped in from China. They lived in renovated containers under the bridge during their stay.

A bridge linking Surabaya and the relatively poor Madura island has been a long-standing dream of the Indonesian government's, dating back to the 1950s when President Sukarno ran the country. It was only in 2003, under the presidency of Sukarno's daughter, Megawati Sukarnoputri, that the decision was made to accept Chinese financing.

Arief Witjaksono, the deputy director for Region V in the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works, was in charge of the bridge project. He said: "When we asked Japan, European governments or the World Bank for financing, all sorts of conditions were placed, such as the impact on the environment and whether corruption was involved. China did not once say anything about our political or economic systems in connection with the Suramadu bridge."

However, Witjaksono said there were also issues with China's approach to economic assistance.

"We are not asking China to provide steel or workers," he said. "What we want are funds and technology transfer."

Negotiations are now under way for loans from China for an expressway in western Java and several electric power plants.

China is also taking an increasingly prominent development role in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, countries in which Japan has traditionally been highly active.

Last May, China finished construction of a bridge over the Mekong River in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. It was the second so-called "China-Cambodia friendship bridge," and represented a defeat for Japanese prestige in the country. There had been plans for Japan to construct a bridge downstream, but compensation negotiations and a delay in receiving Cabinet approval in Japan gave China a head start.

Chinese construction workers employed by a Shanghai company are also working on three key Cambodian road links: National Road No. 8, about 10 kilometers from the new bridge; National Road No. 1, running parallel to the No. 8 road and connecting Cambodia to Vietnam; and National Road No. 5 to Thailand.

Japanese private and public sector workers in Cambodia say that the Chinese have been getting many of the most promising development projects. While the quality of construction and road paving by the Chinese companies can be unsophisticated, local communities are often just happy to get transport links, the Japanese officials report.

Japan was once Cambodia's largest provider of assistance, contributing $120 million in 2008. However, in 2009, China multiplied its budget by 2.8 times to $260 million, leaving Japan in the dust. In Laos, where Japan was the leading assistance provider for many years, very little progress was made in Japanese infrastructure projects last year, causing major construction companies and trading companies to leave the country.

A Japanese diplomat said Japan's influence in the region was declining: "Unlike China, which sends dignitaries on frequent visits, Japan does not have much presence, because there is little exchange at the political level. This is occurring in what could be considered Japan's backyard."
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
If Thaksin Shinawatra could say anything to Abhisit, it could be: "Welcome to the party!"

Yellow Shirts officially turn on ex-ally Abhisit

Wed, Jan 26, 2011
The Nation/Asia News Network

While the number of protesters was far from their peak of the past few years, the yellow shirts provided all the other ingredients for a deja vu when they returned to their familiar spot near Government House yesterday.

In fact, the Abhisit government must have felt something eerily familiar as it suggested it was not taking the seemingly peaceful protest for granted.

As big TV projectors sprang up, cooks started working and the sounds of "clappers" in the Makkhawan Bridge area revived old memories, government leaders immediately rejected the three main demands of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) concerning Thailand's territorial conflicts with Cambodia.

The three PAD demands are:

* Cancellation of the year 2000 memorandum of understanding with Cambodia;
* Thailand's withdrawal from the World Heritage Committee working on the Preah Vihear Temple management;
* Push "encroaching" Cambodians back.

The government vowed to get tough if peace is broken at any point in what the PAD promised would be a prolonged encampment.

"We simply can't yield to their demands," said Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban. "The demands will put national security in danger."

The Centre for Situation Monitoring (CSM), which has replaced the now-defunct Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation, believes that the PAD, and its splinter group - the Thai Patriots Network - which had been protesting to push for similar demands on the other side of Government House, were hell-bent on a protracted stay.

Normal non-military surveillance has been in place in the area, but military units have been instructed to be ready for reinforcement requests.

The yellow crowd was estimated at between 2,500 and 3,000 protesters yesterday, but security officials expected the number could climb to 5,000 in the next few days.

The CSM decided that there was no need to invoke the Internal Security Act, which allows more stringent measures on crowd control, at the moment. However, the CSM does not rule out use of the law if things take a turn for the worse in the future.

Sondhi Limthongkul, on the yellow-shirt stage, reminded Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, "whose handsome look still fools many people", of the time when relentless PAD protests immobilised the Thaksin government and eventually triggered its downfall.

Abhisit can also be forgiven for shrugging off a promise by another PAD leader, Chamlong Srimuang, that protesters would behave themselves and "not go anywhere", at least for now.

"We apologise to the public if this protest is causing disturbances, but we are doing it for the country," Chamlong said in what could also sound eerily familiar.

"We will not move anywhere in the first few days and we will immediately call off the protest if the demands are met."

The PAD leaders claim that this time they are out on the streets to defend 1.8 million rai of Thai soil from being encroached by Cambodia and condemned the Abhisit administration for not defending Thailand's national sovereignty.

As evening fell, the crowd began to swell and its less powerful leaders such as Praphan Koonmee began attacking Abhisit and the administration, claiming the government was selling out Thai soil along the border with Cambodia.

"Since I was born, I have never seen any prime minister speak harmfully to Thai people and his own country," Praphan told the crowd.

"You are fake!" he shouted, referring to Abhisit.

The movement's supporters, such as taxi driver Nattasun Thitiraet, told The Nation that the latest fight was more serious than the one against Thaksin Shinawatra because it was about national sovereignty.

"We'll purge it. This government is going to fall," he predicted. "The people will be roused."

Protester Nattasun, who is in his 50s, said Abhisit had simply let the PAD down. "He himself doesn't cheat but he allows people around him to do so. He doesn't do anything and simply wants to hang on as prime minister."

The yellow shirts are back. And if Thaksin Shinawatra could say anything to Abhisit, it could be: "Welcome to the party!
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“In Cambodia there is so much corruption”: Aussie Actor Tom Oliver

Neighbours actor Tom Oliver is the ambassador for Connecting Hands, a charity that helps Cambodian survivors of the child sex trade. CARMELO BAZZANO N31WH203
Neighbour's actor Tom Oliver's army to rescue

26 Jan 11
By Bridie Byrne
WhiteHorseLeader (Australia)

A CAMBODIAN girl is sold into sexual slavery at the hands of those she trusts.

A man who poses as her grandfather sells her into a life of torture and daily rape.

She is 12 and years later she is brave enough to escape her life after witnessing the murder of her best friend.

She vows to never forget those she left behind.

Somaly Mam is no longer a voiceless victim and has since dedicated her life to saving victims of the sex trade and empowering survivors.

She created a non-governmental organisation called AFESIP (Acting For Women In Distressing Situations), which rehabilitates children and young women who have been rescued from the sex trade.

Connecting Hands is the sister charity of AFESIP. Formed last September, it has Neighbours actor Tom Oliver as ambassador.

“In Cambodia there is so much corruption,” Oliver said.

“We need to open people’s eyes to what’s happening on our doorstop.

“These women have spent the formative years of their lives doing what they have to do just to survive.”

Oliver has visited the rehabilitation centres, which left him with a sense that inroads were being made to stamp out the horrendous crime.

AFESIP has three centres in Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham and Siem Reap.

“They can now raid the brothels and the women are given legal rights, but some of the girls don’t even know where they came from,” Oliver said.

About four million young women and children will be sold into the sex trade within the next 12 months.

It is a $9.5 billion trade that is second only to drug trafficking as the largest organised crime in the world.

Many of these children are sold for as little as $10 and some are as young as five.

A fundraising dinner for Connecting Hands will be held at the Clarion Hotel in Forest Hill on February 26.

Somaly Mam will be the guest speaker.

Tickets are $80. RSVP by February 3.

Phone 0433 705 897 or visit for more information.
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt

Jennifer Daniel and Sandi Daniel
November 29, 2010
Op-Ed Contributor
The New York Times

THERE you are, peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet. You finish, find it thought-provoking, and scroll down to the comments section to see what other people thought. And there, lurking among dozens of well-intentioned opinions, is a troll.

“How much longer is the media going to milk this beyond tired story?” “These guys are frauds.” “Your idiocy is disturbing.” “We’re just trying to make the world a better place one brainwashed, ignorant idiot at a time.” These are the trollish comments, all from anonymous sources, that you could have found after reading a CNN article on the rescue of the Chilean miners.

Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges.

That mythical ring gave its owner the power of invisibility, and Plato observed that even a habitually just man who possessed such a ring would become a thief, knowing that he couldn’t be caught. Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly.

This certainly seems to be true for the anonymous trolls today. After Alexis Pilkington, a 17-year-old Long Island girl, committed suicide earlier this year, trolls descended on her online tribute page to post pictures of nooses, references to hangings and other hateful comments. A better-known example involves Nicole Catsouras, an 18-year-old who died in a car crash in California in 2006. Photographs of her badly disfigured body were posted on the Internet, where anonymous trolls set up fake tribute pages and in some cases e-mailed the photos to her parents with subject lines like “Hey, Daddy, I’m still alive.”

Psychological research has proven again and again that anonymity increases unethical behavior. Road rage bubbles up in the relative anonymity of one’s car. And in the online world, which can offer total anonymity, the effect is even more pronounced. People — even ordinary, good people — often change their behavior in radical ways. There’s even a term for it: the online disinhibition effect.

Many forums and online communities are looking for ways to strike back. Back in February, Engadget, a popular technology review blog, shut down its commenting system for a few days after it received a barrage of trollish comments on its iPad coverage.

Many victims are turning to legislation. All 50 states now have stalking, bullying or harassment laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication. Last year, Liskula Cohen, a former model, persuaded a New York judge to require Google to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who she felt had defamed her, and she has now filed a suit against the blogger. Last month, another former model, Carla Franklin, persuaded a judge to force YouTube to reveal the identity of a troll who made a disparaging comment about her on the video-sharing site.

But the law by itself cannot do enough to disarm the Internet’s trolls. Content providers, social networking platforms and community sites must also do their part by rethinking the systems they have in place for user commentary so as to discourage — or disallow — anonymity. Reuters, for example, announced that it would start to block anonymous comments and require users to register with their names and e-mail addresses in an effort to curb “uncivil behavior.”

Some may argue that denying Internet users the ability to post anonymously is a breach of their privacy and freedom of expression. But until the age of the Internet, anonymity was a rare thing. When someone spoke in public, his audience would naturally be able to see who was talking.

Others point out that there’s no way to truly rid the Internet of anonymity. After all, names and e-mail addresses can be faked. And in any case many commenters write things that are rude or inflammatory under their real names.

But raising barriers to posting bad comments is still a smart first step. Well-designed commenting systems should also aim to highlight thoughtful and valuable opinions while letting trollish ones sink into oblivion.

The technology blog Gizmodo is trying an audition system for new commenters, under which their first few comments would be approved by a moderator or a trusted commenter to ensure quality before anybody else could see them. After a successful audition, commenters can freely post. If over time they impress other trusted commenters with their contributions, they’d be promoted to trusted commenters, too, and their comments would henceforth be featured.

Disqus, a comments platform for bloggers, has experimented with allowing users to rate one another’s comments and feed those ratings into a global reputation system called Clout. Moderators can use a commenter’s Clout score to “help separate top commenters from trolls.”

At Facebook, where I’ve worked on the design of the public commenting widget, the approach is to try to replicate real-world social norms by emphasizing the human qualities of conversation. People’s faces, real names and brief biographies (“John Doe from Lexington”) are placed next to their public comments, to establish a baseline of responsibility.

Facebook also encourages you to share your comments with your friends. Though you’re free to opt out, the knowledge that what you say may be seen by the people you know is a big deterrent to trollish behavior.

This kind of social pressure works because, at the end of the day, most trolls wouldn’t have the gall to say to another person’s face half the things they anonymously post on the Internet.

Instead of waiting around for human nature to change, let’s start to rein in bad behavior by promoting accountability. Content providers, stop allowing anonymous comments. Moderate your comments and forums. Look into using comment services to improve the quality of engagement on your site. Ask your users to report trolls and call them out for polluting the conversation.

In slowly lifting the veil of anonymity, perhaps we can see the troll not as the frightening monster of lore, but as what we all really are: human.
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Thailand border issue heats up, again

Jan 25th 2011
By Chris Owen

Ever since seven Thais were arrested in Cambodia in December for illegal entry and trespassing in the ongoing border dispute, tensions have been heating up.

Today, 2,000 nationalist Thai "Yellow Shirts" rallied in the streets of Bangkok to protest the government's handling of it all.

"We have made our suggestions to the government but they have failed to act, so we have no other choice," said one Yellow Shirt protester.

In the last two days security forces, some 3000-strong at times, have dealt with potential bomb attacks, a large rally by the rival "Red Shirts", and a Yellow gathering near Government House where they accused Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of failing to defend long disputed territory from Cambodia.

This is just the latest in the ongoing tensions between the once-friendly Yellows led by the Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who's 2008 rallies and protests helped make way for Abhisit to come to power. Since then, those same demonstrations that also closed two airports in Bangkok, stranding thousands of travelers caused Abhisit to distance himself from the Yellows.

In today's rally, Yellow's had three demands. They want the government to revoke a memorandum of understanding about the Thai/Cambodia border from 2000, withdrawal of Thailand from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and to expel Cambodians from the disputed area.

Prime Minister Abhisit has made the government's position perfectly clear stating that the government would not agree to their demands.

So the Thailand/Cambodia border issues continues with the tension, rallies, demonstrations and violence escalating as it has for years along the long, common border between Thailand and Cambodia.
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
SRP to shuffle positions

Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers Mu Sochua (left) and Yim Sovann speak Tuesday at a press conference in Phnom Penh. (Photo by: Sovan Philong)
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Meas Sokchea
The Phnom Penh Post

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party has agreed to replace some of its lawmakers with party officials who stood as candidates in the 2008 election, in a bid to shore up its electoral support ahead of elections in 2013.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann told reporters Tuesday that the party had agreed to swap National Assembly members in response to a petition to party president Sam Rainsy by eight candidates from 2008.

“We have a resolution that was passed by the permanent committee. We have decided to provide appropriate posts to every person that was a lawmaker candidate in the 2008 election.”

He also dismissed recent claims by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who said during a speech on December 29 that he has spies embedded within the SRP who are relaying “secret information” about the party’s activities.

“There are many Hun Sen spies embedded in the opposition party and if the SRP wants to hide its secrets, its must destroy the entire group,” Hun Sen said at the time.

But Yim Sovann said the premier’s political strategy wouldn’t weaken the SRP and instead demonstrated that they had made the right decisions.

“For almost 20 years, the Cambodian People’s Party, especially Samdech Prime Minister [Hun Sen] has attempted to use every strategy to disrupt the Sam Rainsy Party,” he said. “Even though His Excellency Sam Rainsy is not present in the country, grassroots leaders, in particular [council members] in government are bravely fulfilling their obligations.”

But Koul Panha, executive director of local election monitor Comfrel, condemned the announcement by the SRP, saying it was against the spirit of the constitution and democratic principles.

“This does not follow the constitution or respect the membership of the National Assembly,” Koul Panha said. “This is something against the principles of democracy. Members of the National Assembly are elected by the people.”

Cheam Yeap, senior lawmaker for the Cambodian People’s Party, said the National Assembly would allow a change of parliamentarians after the change was agreed by the SRP’s leaders and recognised by the National Election Committee.

NEC Secretary General Tep Nytha said the mid-term reshuffle didn’t concern the NEC, and said it would not be opposed to a request by the SRP if it was agreed by the party president.
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
[Thai] Military flexes its muscle [-Thailand is at stage 2 before using force against Cambodia]

Thousands of People’s Alliance for Democracy supporters join the movement’s protest near Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue. The yellow shirts gathered yesterday for the first day of what is expected to be a protracted rally. APICHIT JINAKUL
Abhisit approves army exercise near temple

By Wassana Nanuam and Anucha Charoenpo
Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has given the army the green light to conduct a military exercise near Preah Vihear temple to display its strength as Cambodia continues to lay claim to the disputed area.

The provocative move came after Thailand demanded Cambodia remove a stone tablet carrying a message in Khmer that accused Thai troops of invading Cambodia territory from that spot.

A senior army source who asked not to be named said yesterday the military exercise near the border was proposed by the army.

Thai gamblers would also be blocked from visiting Cambodian casinos close to Thai territory if Phnom Penh refused demands to remove the tablet.

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thailand would follow proper procedures in handling border disputes with Cambodia.

''There are three steps to solving border issues. They include negotiations, intensified measures and the use of force. We will not move directly from Step 1 to Step 3,'' Gen Prayuth said.

The tablet was installed in front of Wat Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara temple, about 300 metres from the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

''We must show our strength,'' the source quoted the prime minister as saying in his recent meeting with Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and Gen Prayuth.

The source said Gen Prayuth planned to deploy infantrymen close to Preah Vihear in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket province.

The deployment will reinforce paramilitary rangers who are guarding a disputed area with no back-up.

''The army plans to conduct a drill that includes artillery fire close to the border,'' the source said.

The source revealed the military exercise was aimed at sending a message to Cambodia that Thailand is not only unhappy with the placement of the stone tablet in the disputed area but also Cambodia's continuing construction of a road to Preah Vihear.

The 3.6-kilometre road is being built on the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area next to Preah Vihear.

Cambodia has ignored Thailand's re peated protests against the roadworks. The source said Cambodia and China were accelerating the work on the road with the aim to facilitate visits to the Preah Vihear temple from the Cambodian side.

The source said Mr Abhisit also gave the nod to the army to prevent Thai gamblers from crossing the border to visit Cambodian casinos in Poi Pet, opposite Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province.

The source said the prime minister did not mention the possibility of border closure which would seriously affect local people.

as well as two Thai people: Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon who were prosecuted allegedly for trespassing and espionage on Cambodian soil. Mr Veera is still detained and verdicts on their cases are expected on Feb 1.

Mr Abhisit was also said to have agreed to allow the army to buy weapons it needed to handle the border situation.

The nationalist People's Alliance for Democracy yesterday urged the government to use the country's stronger military capacity to gain leverage over the Cambodian government in its negotiations with Phnom Penh on disputed border areas.

Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a core PAD leader, said the Thai military did not have to wage a war with Cambodia to regain Thai sovereignty over disputed areas along the border.

But it could use the country's military might to gain a stronger bargaining position.

The government has not tried to gain such leverage through the demonstration of Thailand's military capacity, Maj Gen Chamlong said.

''Consequently, it has allowed the Cambodian government to have the upper hand,'' he said.

''Our fighter jets can reach Cambodian skies in five minutes.''

Asked if such a demonstration of Thailand's military might would hurt the country's bilateral relationship with its neighbour, Maj Gen Chamlong replied: ''What are you afraid of more? Hurting the ties or losing territory?''

PAD spokesman Panthep Phongphuaphan said Thailand's military capacity was certainly higher than that of Cambodia.

The government should use this advantage in its effort to protect the country's sovereignty and pressure the Cambodian government to move Cambodian communities out of the disputed areas along the border.

More importantly, Thailand should revoke the 2000 memorandum of understanding with Cambodia as the agreement gave Phnom Penh greater negotiating powers and enabled Cambodians to continue living on Thai soil, Mr Panthep said.
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The puny and bad KI-Media bullies the strong, huge and voiceless Royal Government of Cambodia (sic! really!)

Anonymous comments read on KI-Media regarding Anonimity

Comment No. 1:

that makes sense, anonymous bloggers such as here on ki seems to verbally attack cambodia and gov't to dicredit and hurt without thinking twice what is appropriate, what is civilized and so forth. they almost became uninformed, uneducated when they used emotion and anger instead of objective and pragmatic, etc... i agree here.

Typical picture of forced evictions used by KI-Media
in an uninformed and uneducated way to attack Cambodia
and gov't to discredit and hurt without thinking twice
what is appropriate?

Comment No. 2:

a lot of time they inflamed the gov't in cambodia. not fair to gov't there as they have no voice here. i hope the world don't be prejudice against cambodia from reading this blog too much. people are just being people here without and control at all here, really!
read more “ ”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
MP Panich defies advice to stay away

Manop Thip-Osod
Bangkok Post

Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth has defied a request to stay away from parliament by taking his seat to vote on amendments to the constitution.

House speaker Chai Chidchob asked Mr Panich yesterday to take a leave of absence to prevent possible legislative problems over his status as an MP, which remains unclear after his conviction last week by a Cambodian court.

Mr Chai met with parliamentarians to discuss Mr Panich's status before the joint meeting of the houses began debating the amendments. He then told the Democrat MP he wanted him to absent himself from the session.

Mr Panich and four other Thais were given nine-month suspended jail sentences last Thursday by a Phnom Penh court for illegal entry into Cambodia.

The MP yesterday stood firm on his right to attend the joint meeting. He insisted he was still a member of the lower house and so was entitled to cast his vote.

The Democrat MP voted in support of the charter amendments.

The Election Commission has decided to set up a subcommittee to investigate Mr Panich's conviction and recommend whether he should lose his seat.

Commissioner Prapan Naigowit said the EC received a report yesterday from the Foreign Affairs Ministry concerning the court verdict against Mr Panich.

The law bars those convicted of a crime from sitting in the lower house. The subcommittee must decide if a conviction in a foreign court would disqualify Mr Panich of his MP status.

The EC will forward its decision to the house speaker. If it finds Mr Panich should be stripped of his seat, the speaker would forward the matter to the Constitution Court for a final ruling.

Section 106 (5) of the constitution states that an MP will lose their seat if sentenced to jail, regardless of whether the sentence is suspended, except where the offence is considered unintentional.
read more “ ”
Mt Pritchard's Nola awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia [-Congratulations and Thank you, Nola!]

Nola May Randall-Mohk, (correct), of Mt Pritchard, has been awarded the OAM, for her services to the Cambodian and Khmer communities. With Nola, are her two Grandchildren, Pik Meas, 14, and on right is Sotheary Thach, 8.
26 Jan 11
By Lauren McMah
FairfieldAdvance (Australia)

IT’S not the kind of work you get into for the praise.

But after over 25 years of assisting multicultural and refugee communities, Mt Pritchard’s Nola Randall-Mohk has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

“I’m pretty excited,” Ms Randall-Mohk said.

“I don’t even know who nominated me. It’s a relief to know someone noticed that the system works.”

Inspired by the plight of refugees from Cambodia’s Pol Pot regime, Ms Randall-Mohk has given particular assistance to Khmer communities, and has been public officer and director of human resources for the Cambodian-Australian Welfare Council of NSW since 2000.

She said she was saddened by many people’s attitudes towards her Cambodian students during her time as a TAFE teacher in the 1980s.

“I was appalled at the racism I saw at the time,” Ms Randall-Mohk said.

“I do believe in a multicultural Australia and in equal chances and I believe a lot of people weren’t getting that. I wanted to right those wrongs, you could say.”

Since then, Ms Randall-Mohk has had roles with a range of organisations including the Khmer Community of NSW, the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women and the Australian Cambodian Association.

Currently the outreach co-ordinator at Liverpool TAFE, Ms Randall-Mohk admits to working seven-day weeks but recently found time for her yearly pilgrimage to Cambodia.

“I was pretty astounded by how things have changed. There’s a lot of development but also a lot of poverty,” she said.

“You set out to help people but you learn a lot from them. I’ve become more flexible by learning new ways of doing things. It’s made my life interesting.”
read more “ ”