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  1. More than 4.7 million tourists visited the capital during the three-day Water Festival holiday, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Tourism yesterday. The figure represents a 5 percent increase compared with last year’s holiday. The report says that 4,750,000 Cambodians and 31,446 foreigners visited Phnom Penh during the three days of the holiday. Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak told Khmer Times yesterday that the first day of the Water Festival saw only about half a million visitors, but that this number increased significantly over the next two days. “On Day 2 and 3 the number of visitors increased considerably because people felt safe and wanted to enjoy themselves,” Mr Sopheak said. The Water Festival is one of the main holidays in the Cambodian calendar. Traditionally, people from across the country come to Phnom Penh to watch boat races in front of the Royal Palace during the day as well as light displays on boats and fireworks during the night. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50659038/capital-draws-4-7-million-visitors-during-festival/
  2. The Dara Sakor International Airport, which is now being built in the southwestern province of Koh Kong, will be ready in the next three years, according to the Minister of Aviation. The airport is being raised near the Dara Sakor resort, which Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this year hailed as a “luxury eco-tourism destination” that will put Koh Kong on the map for international tourists. The airfield, a project of Chinese-owned Union Development Group (UDG), will be able to handle long-haul aircraft like Boeing 777 and Airbus A340. It will be located on Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor district, where the company was given a 99-year concession in 2008. The Minister of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) Mao Havanall told Khmer Times on Friday that construction of the Dara Sakor International Airport is going according to schedule. “Among the five airports that are now being built, I think Dara Sakor International Airport in Koh Kong has a good chance of being the first one to become operational,” Mr Havanall said. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50659037/koh-kong-airport-to-be-ready-in-three-years/
  3. KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, Nov 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A snippet of Leakena’s life is written on a pair of jeans. It marked the high point in a tale of redemption: from being exploited and ostracised to working a steady job making $250 jeans for a boutique manufacturer in rural Cambodia, with enough spare time and money to raise two children. And then the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, stepped off a plane in Australia last year wearing a pair of “slave-free” Outland Denim jeans, into which was sewn the story of a faraway seamstress like Leakena, adding a new twist. “People like us are often given little value,” Leakena told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a visit to the factory. “But now we make outfits that are suitable for queens.” With the ‘Markle Sparkle’, the little-known business - which employs survivors of human trafficking and other vulnerable women to make ethically sourced, environmentally friendly jeans - exploded. The style the duchess wore sold out in 24 hours. Sales spiked sixfold in a month. A second plant was opened in the capital, Phnom Penh, and staff doubled, to about 100. However, the spotlight also created a dilemma for the young social enterprise - or business using profits for good - in how to scale up while staying true to its original mission of nurturing people who had been exploited. The perils of growth are familiar to a rising number of businesses with a social purpose across Southeast Asia as they struggle to juggle more money and staff with their ideals of improving the lives of vulnerable communities. The sudden growth ruptured Outland Denim’s company culture - which revolved around people, not profits - said James Bartle, who started the Australian firm in 2011. “Our culture suffered in the scaling process,” said the former steel fabricator. “We had to come back in and really reset why we exist and what we are here to do.” One of the primary hurdles start-ups encounter, premature scaling up can create a domino effect that shifts focus away from the mission, according to researchers. “There comes a point where management needs to switch from running the business to understanding how the business is run,” said Neal Harrison, associate director at the Miller Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in California. With that in mind, Bartle weeded out a “few bad eggs” and reworked his team. The focus went back on staff, who are schooled in English, financial literacy and maternal health at the breezy, laid-back countryside factory - a far cry from the industrial zone production lines that drive Cambodia’s economy. “One of the big things we learned - we can scale very quickly but we need to scale the management support with it to maintain the integrity of what we do,” he said. For Leakena, growing the brand means more jobs for women like her. But that can only come with a focus on staff welfare and personal touches - such as the seamstress-to-consumer messages printed inside jeans pockets. “It’s our way of connecting with the people who wear our jeans,” she said. “Famous or not, they can share our story and let the world know we exist.” SELF-ESTEEEM While personal stories helped propel sales for Outland, at Kate Korpi - an academy and salon in Phnom Penh that trains and employs trafficking survivors and vulnerable young people - the past is left at the front door. “When they walk in here, they are stylists - and that’s it,” said U.S. founder Matthew Fairfax. “I don’t even want to know their backstory,” he said, focusing instead on becoming Phnom Penh’s premier salon. Since launching in 2014, Kate Korpi has grown steadily. But it only takes in four new students each year despite having a backlog of applicants. When a potential funder took interest in the academy and suggested more trainees be pushed through faster, Fairfax knocked them back. “You can’t rush self-esteem ... You don’t just take somebody who’s been traumatised and in six months say, ‘Okay, you are ready to reintegrate’,” he said. Fairfax is looking to replicate the model with more trafficking survivors his hometown, Seattle. But replication, if not properly considered, can be another top hazard for social enterprises. Many take a “cookie cutter” approach, failing to consider all the elements of working in a different market, said Harrison, the mentor and researcher. “People get distracted and run off into lots of different directions, choosing too many markets, or the wrong one,” he said. “Very few companies do scale successfully. Most of them fall prey to these ... kinds of problems.” OPPORTUNITY For Phare Ponleu Selpak - or “brightness of the arts” - which started as an arts school for vulnerable children in 1994, scaling was an organic stage of evolution when it began producing skilled graduates. With about 60 alumni performing, Phare, the Cambodian Circus is one of the biggest tourist draws in the northwestern resort town of Siem Reap, the gateway to the Angkor temples. From an outdoor stage and a few dozen plastic chairs, the circus is now seen by thousands each month and has performed in South Korea, Australia, the United States and France, with one graduate touring the world with Cirque du Soleil. “We haven’t got to the threshold where we don’t have any more jobs to create,” said marketing director Craig Dodge. But they aren’t far off. The school, which is partly funded by the circus, now has more than 1,200 students, meaning it will soon be churning out more artists than the circus can employ. “Scaling ... is something we struggle with,” said Dodge. “It is a challenge to find jobs for these graduating artists.” To account for that, Phare last year opened a graphic design and animation studio and a has a theatre-and-dinner project in the pipeline for Phnom Penh. “The younger generation, they see what their brothers and sisters are doing and that they can make a good living,” he said. “Now it is seen as a career opportunity ... so we have to find ways to incorporate that into what we are doing.” Reporting by Matt Blomberg @BlombergMD; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters -- REUTERS
  4. KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia Airlines said on Wednesday it had barred veteran Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy from a flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Indonesian capital Jakarta on the instruction of Indonesian authorities. Rainsy later said on Twitter that he had missed his flight and would try to get another Malaysia Airlines flight to Jakarta on Thursday. Rainsy, who lives in self-imposed exile in France, has been in Malaysia since the weekend after initially saying he planned to return home on Saturday to rally opposition to Cambodian authoritarian ruler Hun Sen. “Malaysia Airlines denied boarding of the said passenger under the instruction of the Indonesian authorities,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement in response to a Reuters question as to whether Rainsy had been stopped from boarding. Asked about the Malaysia Airlines statement, Sam Fernando, the Indonesian Immigration Directorate General spokesperson, said that “from the Immigration’s side, there has not been a request to deny his entry here”. Denny Abdi, director of the Southeast Asia division of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said: “We are not aware of him coming to Jakarta.” Rainsy had said he planned to return to Cambodia on Saturday, Independence Day, in what Prime Minister Hun Sen characterised as an attempted coup against his rule of more than three decades. But Rainsy was blocked in Paris from boarding a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok on Thursday. He then flew to Malaysia, saying he wanted to rally support for the Cambodian opposition in the region. Reporting by Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur and Tom Allard and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Toby Chopra -- REUTERS
  5. Around three million dogs are being stabbed, drowned, clubbed, hanged and sold on for meat every year in Cambodia. The trade is largely supplied by stolen pets, strays or unwanted dogs sold to passing motorcyclists for aluminium pots and pans. Captured creatures spend their days in small and rusty iron cages waiting for their gruesome deaths. Workers at unlicensed slaughterhouses are exposed to deadly health risks like rabies and say they are being traumatised by the day-to-day killings. Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/12/pets-stolen-slaughtered-turned-bar-snacks-cambodias-dog-meat-trade-11086604/
  6. King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the lighting of the lantern barges, representing the many ministries, in front of the Royal Palace on Sunday as the first day of the annual Water Festival celebrations went smoothly. Bun Veasna, an official at the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals, told The Post on Sunday that the first day of the festival had gone smoothly. Government leaders including Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Say Chhum, President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng attended the event with the King. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/king-sihamoni-presides-over-opening-water-festival
  7. Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha met the French and U.S. ambassadors on Monday after his house arrest was lifted, although he remains charged with treason and is banned from politics and leaving the country. U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy praised Sokha’s release and urged the government to also free dozens of others who have been jailed in a crackdown by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Sokha’s house arrest was lifted as the European Union considers whether to cut preferential trade terms with Cambodia after a crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled with an iron grip for more than three decades. It also came days after self-exiled opposition party founder Sam Rainsy increased public scrutiny on Hun Sen in a high-profile return to the region from Paris. He had said he would go to Cambodia despite facing arrest, but stopped in Malaysia. Cambodian authorities have arrested about 50 of Sokha’s banned opposition party supporters and other activists this year, accusing them of plotting a coup to overthrow Hun Sen. U.S. envoy Murphy said it was a “source of joy” to meet Sokha, 66, who was arrested on treason charges in 2017 shortly before his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court in the run-up to last year’s general election. Hun Sen’s ruling party went on to win every seat in parliament in the vote. “I regret that his liberties have been denied these past two years,” Murphy told reporters after meeting Sokha, calling for the government to drop the charges and restore the opposition leader’s political freedom. He also raised the cases of dozens of others arrested in a sweeping crackdown. “We urge that they be freed, that they be allowed whether they are inside the country or outside the country, to participate, so that their voices can be heard,” he said. Earlier, Sokha met French Ambassador Eva Nguyen Binh. The two made no statement after the meeting. Sokha did not speak to reporters, saying he was not sure if the terms of his release by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday allowed him to speak in public. The crackdown on Cambodia’s opposition prompted the European Union to reconsider trade preferences granted under an “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade programme for least-developed countries. It is due to receive a preliminary determination on Tuesday on the EBA and Cambodia’s human rights situation. The EU accounts for more than one-third of Cambodia’s exports, including garments, footwear and bicycles. Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Raju Gopalakrishnan -- REUTERS
  8. The Phnom Penh municipal court has reduced bail conditions for Kem Sokha more than two years after he had been charged with treason. Sokha is now allowed to travel within Cambodian territory. According to the announcement released by the Phnom Penh municipal court today, Kem Sokha must remain within the territory of Cambodia, must not involved in political activism, and must respond to any summons by the authorities. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-politics/breaking-sokha-can-now-travel-within-cambodia
  9. KUALA LUMPUR/PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodian opposition veteran Sam Rainsy flew into Malaysia on Saturday and told supporters to “keep up the hope” after promising to return home from self-imposed exile to rally opponents of authoritarian ruler Hun Sen. Cambodia’s government said there was no ban on Rainsy returning, but it described him as “convict Sam Rainsy” and said it would take action against anyone posing a threat to state security - an accusation it has already laid against him. For decades, one-time finance minister Rainsy, 70, has been an opponent of Hun Sen, 67, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has ruled his Southeast Asian country of 16 million people with an iron hand for 34 years. “Keep up the hope. We’re on the right track,” Rainsy said in a message to supporters as he arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. “Democracy will prevail. Democracy has prevailed in Malaysia. Democracy will prevail in Cambodia.” Rainsy fled to Paris in 2015 after a conviction for criminal defamation and faces a five-year sentence in a separate case - charges he says were politically motivated. Rainsy had originally said he planned to cross to Cambodia from Thailand on Saturday with other leaders of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), but he was refused permission to board a Thai Airways plane from Paris on Thursday. After arriving in Kuala Lumpur from the French capital, he did not say whether he still planned to go home. Malaysia has no border with Cambodia. “The return to the country of the convict Sam Rainsy and his faction as Cambodian citizens is unimpeded,” Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said on Facebook. “But the Royal Government of Cambodia has also announced the right to take legal action against any actions that attempt to undermine peace, social stability and security of the state.” DOZENS ARRESTED In the weeks since Rainsy announced his plan to return, some 50 opposition activists have been arrested in Cambodia. Police with assault rifles massed at the Poipet border crossing with Thailand on Saturday. In the capital, Phnom Penh, security forces patrolled in pickup trucks during celebrations for the 66th anniversary of independence from France. An opposition official in Thailand said plans to return on Saturday were abandoned. “We can say that we achieved at least 70% of our goal,” a CNRP official in Bangkok, Saory Pon, told Reuters. “You can see the intimidation, the harassment, the crackdown, the arrests.” On his Facebook page, Hun Sen said he hoped people would enjoy the boat races during an annual water festival on Sunday and Monday. He made no reference to Rainsy. Rainsy said he would be in Malaysia for “a few days” meeting “like-minded friends” and would speak to parliamentarians on Tuesday. “Of course I want to go back to my home country,” he said. His freedom to hold meetings appeared to mark a rapid shift in stance from Malaysia, which earlier this week detained and later released the Cambodian opposition party’s vice president, Mu Sochua, and two other officials. Human rights groups have accused countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of trying to protect Hun Sen by obstructing and detaining his opponents. “Malaysia deserves kudos,” said Phil Robertson of U.S.-based Human Rights Watch. “More countries in ASEAN need to emulate Malaysia going forward if the bloc is ever going to shake the moniker of being primarily a dictator’s club.” Rainsy, a founder of the CNRP who usually wears large, rimmed spectacles, has been an opponent of Hun Sen since the 1990s, when Cambodia held its first elections after the devastating era of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Rainsy also vowed to return home in 2015 despite threats to arrest him, but did not. The CNRP’s leader, Kem Sokha, is under house arrest in Cambodia after being arrested more than two years ago and charged with treason ahead of a 2018 election that was condemned by Western countries as a farce. Additional reporting by Richard Lough in Paris, Liz Lee, Ebrahim Harris and Rozanna Latiff in Kuala Lumpur, Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Juarawee Kittisilpa in Bangkok; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Helen Popper -- REUTERS
  10. EU Ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno has told Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn that she hopes Cambodia can keep its access to the EU’s Everything-but-arms (EBA) agreement, said the ministry spokesman Koy Kuong. Speaking to reporters after a meeting today, Mr Kuong said that during the meeting, Ambassador Moreno has promised to work closely with the government in enhancing partnership between Cambodia and the EU. “It’s true that Ambassador Moreno has good purpose. At the start, she wants to enhance cooperative partnership with Cambodia, meaning that she wants to see the boost the cooperation to the next levels. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50658470/eu-ambassador-hopes-cambodia-can-keep-its-eba-status/
  11. THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday. Rainsy, the "acting president" of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), did not board Flight TG931 from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi on Thursday evening as he claimed he would. He told reporters as he left Charles de Gaulle that he was “extremely shocked because the people need me in Cambodia. I will never give up”. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-politics/analyst-rainsy-blocked-boarding-flight-excuse
  12. Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be no violence in the capital despite Rainsy’s vowed return to the Kingdom. Hun Sen also urged those involved in Rainsy’s plot to join some 300 others and confess. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-politics/rainsy-stopped-paris-boarding-thai-flight
  13. Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday advised residents and businesses in the capital to be prepared for electricity shortages which could occur in the future if water levels at hydropower dams run low. Speaking at the official launch of the National Strategic Development Plan 2019-2023 in Phnom Penh, Mr Hun Sen said steps to increase the power supply are ongoing and apologised for any inconvenience caused if blackouts do occur. He noted that the Ministry of Mines informed him that the Kingdom’s hydropower production capacity of 1,378 megawatts a day had recently dropped to between 184 and 187 megawatts per day because of lower water levels. The Kingdom also has diesel and solar-powered alternatives to produce electricity. “[Because of the hydropower situation] we may face problems in generating electricity,” Mr Hun Sen said. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/658075/hun-sen-says-water-levels-may-cause-power-cuts-in-capital/
  14. PARIS (Reuters) - Cambodia’s self-exiled opposition founder Sam Rainsy, who has vowed to return to his home country, said he had been prevented on Thursday from checking-in for a flight from Paris to Bangkok, a Reuters witness said. Rainsy told Reuters Thai Airways had been requested to refuse his boarding and that he would not be deterred from trying again. -- REUTERS
  15. The family of British tourist Amelia Bambridge, who drowned off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province last week, decided not to repatriate her body, and she was cremated on Saturday at the Teuk Thla pagoda in Phnom Penh, officials said on Wednesday. Deputy National Police chief In Bora said Bambridge’s family had decided to cremate the body in Cambodia because they accepted that she had died from drowning, rather than under suspicious circumstances. “Initially, the family wanted to send the body to Britain with the approval of the British Embassy. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/brit-backpackers-family-cremate-body
  16. The French Development Agency plans to invest in a water treatment plant in Sihanoukville and will work out details with Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities in the future. Eva Nguyen Binh, French ambassador to Cambodia, discussed the plan on Tuesday during a meeting with provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun at the Provincial Hall. Kheang Phearum, Provincial Hall spokesman, yesterday noted that Ms Binh and Mr Chamroeun discussed several issues and clean water supply in the province was one of them. “Ms Binh noted that AFD has cooperated with Cambodia in the past and invested in clean water supply projects in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province,” he said. “She said it now wants to invest in setting up a water treatment facility in Sihanoukville to help meet the clean water needs arising from rapid development and a growing population.” Mr Phearum said that Ms Binh also informed Mr Chamroeun that she last visited the province two years ago and noticed how rapidly it had developed during her visits to the Preah Sihanouk Economic Zone and also Russei island and Preah Sihanouk Provincial International Airport which were developed with French assistance. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50657651/france-to-set-up-water-treatment-plant-in-sihanoukville/
  17. KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian authorities have detained two Cambodian opposition activists while they were waiting to board a flight to Thailand in what is seen as part of a crackdown on exiled dissidents in Southeast Asia, a rights groups said late on Tuesday. Authorities in Malaysia, along with Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, have been accused by rights groups of detaining and returning critics of neighboring governments, even those with political refugee status with the United Nations. The two Cambodians, who include an asylum seeker, were detained on Monday night and were to be deported to their home country the following afternoon. Malaysia’s home ministry and immigration department withdrew the order after an appeal, said Jerald Joseph of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission. “Right now we are trying to visit them in detention as well as determine their status. But we are glad the ministry chose not to deport, I think that’s a good sign,” Jerald, a commissioner at the agency, told Reuters. Jerald said they did not know on what grounds the initial deportation order was issued. Malaysia’s home ministry, immigration department and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees did not respond to requests for comment. Malaysia’s foreign ministry declined to comment. Human Rights Watch deputy director for Asia, Phil Robertson, said the two detainees are members of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) that has been outlawed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government. Rights group Amnesty International said sending the two Cambodians back could put them at “risk of serious human rights violations”. “We call on the authorities to immediately release the two opposition activists, and ensure they are not deported back to Cambodia where they face arbitrary arrest and detention,” Amnesty said in a statement. Reuters was not immediately able to contact Cambodian authorities. Cambodia has arrested at least 48 opposition activists this year for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government before the planned return from self-exile of Sam Rainsy, founder of the dissolved CNRP, on Saturday. Hun Sen’s government deployed troops along its borders in response to Rainsy’s announcement of his planned return. Rainsy fled to France four years ago following a conviction for criminal defamation in which he was ordered to pay $1 million in compensation. He also faces a five-year prison sentence in a separate case. He has previously said it was legitimate to seek to topple Hun Sen because the prime minister has created a one-party state and was not prepared to hold free and fair elections. Reporting by Rozanna Latiff, additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Kuala Lumpur and Prak Chan Thul in Phnom Penh; Writing by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Paul Tait -- REUTERS
  18. PHNOM PENH/PARIS (Reuters) - Self-exiled Cambodian opposition party founder Sam Rainsy said on Wednesday he would not be deterred by efforts to prevent his return home “to be with my people”. Rainsy is set to fly to Bangkok from his Paris base on Thursday and has said he will be in Cambodia by Saturday. He could face arrest amid a crackdown at home on members of his banned party and Malaysia’s detention of two party activists also trying to return. Thai authorities say he will not be allowed to transit their territory. Rainsy, a former finance minister, has vowed to return to lead demonstrations against the one-party rule of longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen, whom he called “a brutal dictator”. “The repression has never been so severe,” Rainsy told Reuters in an interview in Paris. “The popular discontent has never been so strong so it’s the right time to create an event that will trigger a democratic change. “I have to go back, return to my country because I want to be near my people, be with my people to lead them to fight for a better life,” he said. Rainsy on Wednesday tweeted a photo of his airline ticket from Paris to Bangkok, from where he would travel to Thailand’s border crossing with Cambodia. Hun Sen has ordered airlines not to allow him to board flights into Phnom Penh. His return could be thwarted by Thailand, whose prime minister said on Wednesday he would not be allowed entry en route to Cambodia. “I hope there can be some arrangements, but if not, I will find some other ways and means to go back to my country,” Rainsy said. “If I cannot go to Bangkok I will board another plane for Kuala Lumpur, Jakarata or Singapore. Wherever I can go and where I can gather people to go with me.” HOUSE ARREST Hun Sen has accused the opposition of fomenting a coup, and his government has arrested at least 48 activists with Rainsy’s banned opposition party this year. The party’s last leader remains under house arrest on treason charges. Rainsy fled to France four years ago following a conviction for criminal defamation. He also faces a five-year prison sentence in a separate case. He denies wrongdoing and says the charges were politically motivated. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said he could not allow interference into the internal affairs of Cambodia, a fellow member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “According to our commitment to ASEAN, we will not allow an anti-government person to use Thailand for activism,” Prayuth told reporters when asked about Rainsy. “I have ordered this, so he probably won’t get in.” Thailand last week turned away Mu Sochua, the CNRP’s vice president, when she flew into Bangkok’s main international airport. Mu Sochua later flew to Indonesia, where the Cambodian embassy on Wednesday requested she be arrested after she attempted to hold a news conference. Dozens of other opposition activists who fled Cambodia fearing arrest have vowed to return in support of Rainsy. “There are only three possibilities about the fate of a political leader in Cambodia. Either they are killed, arrested and put in jail or forced into exile, but this time enough is enough,” Rainsy said. “Life is not that long in front of me and I want the young people to enjoy a better life and I am determined to sacrifice my freedom and my life for democracy.” Additional reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Tom Allard in Jakarta and John Irish in Paris; Writing by Kay Johnson and John Irish; Editing by Tom Hogue, Robert Birsel and Giles Elgood -- REUTERS
  19. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang has agreed to a request from Cambodia to provide financial support for the development of Preah Sihanouk province. The request was made on Sunday by Prime Minister Hun Sen on the sidelines of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits under the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” in Bangkok. Mr Hun Sen posted on his official Facebook page that he made the request during a closed-door meeting with Mr Li, during which he noted an influx of Chinese people and investment in Sihanoukville. “Prime Minister Hun Sen requested his Chinese counterpart to support development in Preah Sihanouk province because many Chinese companies are investing there,” he said in the post. “The Chinese premier expressed his support for development projects in Preah Sihanouk province. He said that the two countries will hold special discussions on grants to support development.” During their meeting, Mr Hun Sen also requested for the fifth meeting of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee between China and Cambodia to be held in Sihanoukville before the end of this year. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50657174/china-to-finance-preah-sihanouk-development/
  20. The captain of a visiting Russian warship yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Ream Naval Base commander aimed at strengthening ties between the navies of both countries. The 7,270-tonne Russian Federation warship “Perekop” docked at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on Monday on a three-day visit to the Kingdom. Naval base spokesman Rear Admiral Mey Dina yesterday said Captain Vladimir Cheroko met Vice Admiral Ouk Seyha to discuss the friendly ties enjoyed by both nations’ navies. “Both parties discussed cooperation between the two navies and strengthening relations,” he said, adding that teams from the Russian warship and the naval base also had a friendly football match at the base on Monday. Rear Admiral Dina noted that since 2011, 13 Russian warships, including Perekop, have visited the Kingdom. He added that the Russian warship will leave for Vietnam today. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50657417/russian-warship-docks-at-sihanoukville-port/
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