Koh Tral on the table

The Kiriroom - Kos Tral Range.

The Kiriroom – Kos Tral Range.

Unfortunately Jeff Mudrick of The Diplomat closed down the interesting discussion on the Kos Tral issue (see “Cambodia’s Impossible Dream: Koh Tral“.) There are several comments with different arguments in different tones. My last comment was not published, so I do it here in my own home. I have to clarify that my observations are not along with any political party at all and I understand that any position can be used for political purposes, but sovereignty cannot be an object of political interests, although it is a historical fact in different countries and regions.  Continue reading

It’s not crack down on migrant workers, said Thai Junta

It seems that the Thai Junta is sensitive to the Media. Instead to lead a systematic persecution and censorship as any classical military dictatorship we use to know, they call on to “instruct” journalists what to say and how and to promote an image of a deep pacification of the Thai society. This attitude has broken already the borders this Friday during a press conference in Sa Keo Province, when they invited more than 100 Cambodian journalists for an “enhancing social understanding.” In the conference the Sa Keo’s governor Phakarathorn Tianchai explained that it was not a crack down on Cambodian migrants, but an administrative reform to live in peace and to work on the improve of migrant’s working conditions.  Probably true and we hope. However, it is necessary to remember that the Junta began to change its attitude toward the deportation operative when several human rights organizations and the same Cambodian government denounced such operation as “inhumane and degrading treatment” of workers. Another fact that cannot be ignored is that the deport operation was done without any warning to Cambodia that had to attend the arrival of more than 250 thousand persons especially at the Poipet border. Human rights organizations, media and Cambodian government should remain vigilant in this situation. The answer is not of a lobby but of practical good actions to ensure the protection of human rights to Cambodian workers.

Koh Tral in Cambodian sea platform

It is true the historical Cambodian ambivalence over territorial claims on Koh Tral / Phu Quok as well as the use of such claims on political and nationalistic grounds that rest authority to those claims. However, Cambodia has the right to request a technical review of its claim over the rights on its encroached sea platform.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea “every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles” (UNCLS, art. 3) Continue reading

A Malaysian plane during the technological revolution

Gulf of ThailandIt is already one week looking for a plane during the technological revolution, in a time where we can detect planets around stars located thousands of years light far from us or lead electronic wars whatever, including professional spies in US and Britain that can read emails of anybody on Planet Earth! This search is a shame for everybody, starting by the Malaysian government with an incompetent army unable to trace a plane that chanced its rout on the sky. Continue reading

Why Cambodians migrate to Thailand

Phnom Penh. CARAM Cambodia, USAID and WINROCK International celebrated a forum directed to the private sector at the Cambodiana Hotel on Friday with about 50 participants from government, private sector, NGOs, migrant workers’ representatives and stakeholders. Sam Somuny, the CARAM’s project officer said that the forum was promoted by the official National Employment Agency of the Ministry of Labor and his NGO. The event was also attended by ten workers that were deported from Thailand for illegal employment in that country.  Continue reading

Two overpopulation examples

To illustrate what I call the overpopulation informal fallacy, we can make a short comparison of two countries: Japan as one industrialized and Colombia as one in development. We have enough information about the Japanese profile as a global economic power. The Colombian profile is more confusing, leading very often to misconceptions and several speculations due to its fame of violence, drug cartels and guerrilla fighting for decades. I think these two very interesting countries are a good sample to demonstrate that overpopulation is a concept intended to manipulate the planet from an egocentric perspective from a privileged minority.  Continue reading

Cambodia, emergent market for investment, says Le Figaro

Cambodia is among the emergent world economics with positive perspectives for investment, says French newspaper Le Figaro today in its article ‘New emerging countries offer great opportunities.’ The paper follows the recommendations of US Mark Mobius, the chairman of Franklin Templeton Investments and guru of financial markets. Continue reading

Cambodia on its way

In 2012 Cambodia reached 14 million 952 thousand 665 persons, following the statistics of Index Mundo, which prevents that this estimate takes into account ‘the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS.’  Most Cambodians are by now 22 years old, being males younger the women. 32.2 percent of Cambodians are under 15 years old and 3.8 percent are older than 65. Cambodia continues to be a country with a very young population that is growing, though the unemployment rate is low with 0,2 percent as January 2012. In 2012 there was an estimate of 20% of Cambodians living in cities, but it is probably that such percent grew very much during the last year if we see how Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville are growing so fast. Continue reading

From building Cambodia to build ASEAN Economic Community, AEC

NagaWorld, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

NagaWorld, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everybody involved in the development and reconstruction of Cambodia, should be reading and studying by now the Statement of the 20th ASEAN Summit hold in Phnom Penh on April 3 and 4. Here you can retrieve the full document. By sure, it will be the inspiration of many policy makers in the country as it is clearly declared : ‘We also agreed to work together based on the priorities to accelerate the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015 and to ensure the achievements of the ASEAN Community beyond 2015‘ (No. 2) It is, therefore, not only the concern of officials and the financial sector, but in a very special way, it must concern all Cambodian sectors, especially education, organizations working for human rights, environment protection, labor and many others. The coming three years must be followed with interest of how a country with so high levels of poverty and other problems, would contribute to the creation of a body such as AEC and how our people will join it. Continue reading

Lonely… ‘Khmer’

Hua Hin. Visiting ‘Amazing Thailand‘ from the ‘Kingdom of Wonders.’ I got the 2010′s edition of Lonely Planet about Thailand (13th edition, January 2010) to read in my 12 hours bus travel from Sihanoukville to Bangkok. I have to recognize that I admire the work of Lonely Planet. It is real original and well documented. Then it is made upon the research of writers living or working in the country. The history of Thailand, according with this 2010 edition (p. 29-40), is a complete resume. I noticed only a great absent: Cambodia. Actually, it is a pity that the use of references is poor in the article. It is  said, for example, that a ‘modern linguistic theory and archaeological evidence‘  - which ones? – ‘suggest that the first true agriculturists in the world, perhaps also the first metal workers, spoke an early form of Thai and lived in what we know today as Thailand (p. 29).’ How can Lonely Planet say it? From where this conclusion came?  Continue reading

The mysterious object that fall on Thai-Cambodian border could be a satellite debris

Bangkok. The unidentified object that fall on the Sisaket Province, bordering Cambodia, could be a satellite debris, declared General Yutthasak Sasiprapa, Thai Defense Minister, reported by MCOT News. On Thursday, December 22 a mysterious object fell from the sky over Srisaket, a Thai village near the Cambodian territory in an empty farm. The noise produced the panic of the villagers that though it was another Thai-Khmer military clash. The Thai police went for inspection and concluded that it could be the part of an aircraft, but the identity still unknown. Military of both countries denied any fire of artillery or gunfire near the border. The Thai Ministry of Defense confirmed that it is likely the pieces of a satellite, probably belonging to ASEAN. The satellite did not burn after it enters to the earth, said the report. The Suranaree Thai airspace forces declared also that there were not shooting over any aircraft. Investigations are under way.

Cambodia and Thailand agree to restart dialog over military pull-out from Preah Vihea area

Phnom Penh. Cambodian and Thai troops will pull-out as soon as possible, announced General Tea Banh, the Khmer Defense Minister on Wednesday in this capital. They will follow the International Court of Justice‘s ruling that created a provisional demilitarized zone around the Hindu temple, while compelling both countries to stop military aggression. The millennial compound, built by the Khmer King Suryavarman I (r. 1010-1050) and dedicated to Shiva, is located on Cambodian sovereignty, but both countries claim 4.6 square kilometers around it. It created military clashes early this year.

Read also Bangkok Post: ‘Border Talks finally under way.’

Don’t forget men

Still a lot to do in the protection of women’s rights in Cambodia. In many labor cases, women continue to get less salaries than men. Sexual violence against girls and women does not see to stop: domestic violence, rape, child abuse, child prostitution, human traffic… The current problem of Cambodian maids in Malaysia that face untold human rights abuses, has not yet a satisfactory solution. Husbands that abandon their wives and children to let them without social protection plus the big number of women living under poverty.  Continue reading

ICJ press release| Request for interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the Case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear

Request for the indication of provisional measures. The Court finds that both Parties must immediately withdraw their military personnel currently present in the provisional demilitarized zone defined by it,
and refrain from any military presence within that zone and from any armed activity directed at that zone. Continue reading

The port of Sihanoukville among the 12 more efficient ports of Asia

Sihanoukville. The Autonomous Port of Sihanoukville was enlisted among the 12 more efficient ports of Asia by the Benchmarking the Efficiency of Asian Container Ports report, [1] which was published on last February 18 at the African Journal of Business Management. The research evaluated 69 Asian ports for five years and found that the Chittagong port of Bangladesh is the top efficient port of the continent, followed by the Philippine ports of Zamboanga and General Santos. The port of Sihanoukville is located at the 5th position after the Chinese Xiamen and overcoming Davao of Philippines, Yantian of China, Lianyungang of China, PSA Int. of Singapore, Tianjin of China, Mumbai of India, and Guangzhou of China. The remaining 47 ports are both scale and technically inefficient. Although most of the ports, like the one of Cambodia, are limited in modern equipments, the study followed the operated performances. The globalization tests the efficiency of world ports since there is an increase in sea trade. The Sihanoukville Port has an area of 125 hectares and, besides being a main trade point for Cambodia, it became also an international tourist destination.

Cambodia is 38 in the failed states index 2011

Sihanoukville. Cambodia is 38 in the failed states index 2011, just behind Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and just a little better than Burkina Faso and Togo. In the Southeast Asian region, Burma won the first position as the most failed states, according to the index with the position 18, while Thailand (79) and Vietnam (88) were inside the borderline group. Indonesia (64), Philippines (50) and Laos (46), were sharing with Cambodia in the in danger position. Somalia is the 2011 top world failed nation with Sudan, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq, doing the five top positions. Continue reading

Japan invests in Cambodia

Phnom Penh. Nine Japanese companies were approved to operate in Cambodia and 14 more are applying, reported the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Although the current Japanese crisis, it is increasing its investment in countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Bangladesh. In 2010 only six Japanese companies applied and got the approval of Phnom Penh. The same as with other strong economies, Japan is attracted by the political stability of Cambodia, as well as low labor costs. Japan is more interested in the textile sector and its companies on the Khmer soil will invest about 211 million US dollars, while it is expected to generate 36 thousand jobs. The other two big investors in the Cambodian economy are China with 7.74 billion US dollars and South Korea with 3.4 billion. As for Japan, its main investments in the Southeast Asian region have been in China, Malaysia and Thailand. In Cambodia the first Japanese companies are Yamaha , Suzuki, Ajinomoto, Sumitormo Wiring Systems Ltd, Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Brother Industries Ltd.