Three US Parliamentarians Come to Cambodia to Talk about Debt and Commercial Ties – Wednesday, 6.1.2010

Posted on 6 January 2010. Filed under: Week 646 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 646

“Three US congressmen plan to visit Cambodia for three days, according to a Voice of America (VOA) broadcast in the morning of 5 January 2010, based on information from the Khmer ambassador to the United States, Mr. Hem Heng.

“But officials of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh told Khmer Machas Srok in the evening of 5 January 2010 that the three US congressmen will arrive in Cambodian in the evening of 5 January 2010, landing in Siem Reap first, before coming to Phnom Penh.

“The visit to Cambodia is to discuss about the debt of more than US$300 million that Cambodia owes, and about commercial ties between the two countries.

“Mr. Hem Heng added, ‘The intention of the visit to Cambodia is first, they want to discuss with Khmer leaders to solve the debt owed by Cambodia to the United States since the Lon Nol regime; second, the delegation wants to discuss about clearing unexploded bombs that America dropped during the war in the 1970ies; and third, the delegation aims to promote and to encourage trade between Cambodia and the United States.’

“The visit to Cambodia is led by Democrat Mr. Eni Faleomavaega, who represents the territory of American Samoa and is chairperson of the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment; Mr. Mike Honda, Democrat of California; and, Mr. Joseph Cao, Republican of Virginia [born in Vietnam and immigrated to the USA as a child].

“The three delegates will meet with high-ranking officials of Cambodia, including Prime Minister Hun Sen. However, two officials who work for two of the US congressmen who plan to visit Cambodia asked not to comment to VOA about the visit due to safety concerns.

“When the visit will have been finished in three days, the three US delegates will hold a joint press conference about their visits to Cambodia, Laos, Japan, and Vietnam.

“Previously, Cambodia had asked the United States to cancel the debt of more than US$300 million that Cambodia owes since the Khmer Republic led by Field Marshal Lon Nol during the 1970ies, and recently Cambodia asked the USA not to charge taxes on products exported from Cambodia to the United States. But there is no response from the United States.

“Officials of the two countries used to say that the canceling of the debt depends on decisions by the parliaments of both countries.

“It should be noted that the deputy spokesperson of the US Department of State immediately released a statement condemning Cambodia for deporting Uighurs to the Chinese authorities, when China had granted aid and loans of about US$1.2 billion to Cambodia during a visit by the Chinese vice president.

“The statement of condemnation was issued on 21 December 2009, after the Khmer authorities deported the Uighurs back to China, following a request from the long-term communist government.

“The spokesperson of the US Department of State, Mr. Gordon Duguid, said in a statement on 19 December 2009 that the Cambodian government, following a Chinese request, forced 20 Uighur asylum seekers back to China, in what is seen as a violation of international obligations by Cambodia. The United States is concerned about the wellbeing of those people who sought asylum and protection under international law. The United States is concerned also because the Cambodian government decided to deport those people without properly checking their refugee status, and without the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees participation.

“The United States strongly opposed the deportation of the asylum seekers by Cambodia without listening to the people’s reasons. This will affect the relations between Cambodia and the United States and the reputation of Cambodia on the international arena.

“As those people were already sent back to China, the US government asks China to conform to international standards, to ensure transparency according to the law, and to properly treat those people. The US government continues to call on all relevant parties to pay attention on the importance of the respect for human rights and of the obligations under international law.

“Anyway, officials of the Cambodian government immediately issued a statement to calm the US Department of State, saying that Cambodia will continue to maintain good relations with the United States. It is likely that this problem led the three US congressmen to pay a visit to Cambodia.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #573, 6.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #380, 6.1.2010

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Warned the Groups of People That Plan to Distribute Leaflets against the 7 January Celebrations [commemorating when the Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown in 1979]
  • The USA Scrapped the Regulation Which Prohibited People with AIDS to Enter the USA

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2143, 6.1.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor: The Removal of Temporary Border Markers [by opposition party president, Mr. Sam Rainsy] Reached a Point That Cannot Be Tolerated

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #573, 6.1.2010

  • Three US Parliamentarians Come to Cambodia to Talk about Debt and Commercial Ties

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6850, 6.1.2010

  • Nearly 300,000 Copied Porn [and illegally copied music] Discs Were Crushed to Destroy Them [Phnom Penh]
  • [Opposition Party president] Sam Rainsy Admitted from Abroad that He Removed the Temporary Border Markers [in Svay Rieng]
  • A Small Bus Overtook a Camry but Hit a Motorbike on National Road 11, Killing Two People and Injuring One Seriously [Prey Veng]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #83, 6.1.2010

  • The Prime Minister Rejected the Possibility to Tolerate the Opposition Party President’s Action over the Border Markers Case
  • Famous Hol and Phamuong [Khmer traditional] Hand-Woven Cloth Made from Silk on Koh Dach Island in Kandal Is Finished [80% of the producers in this community stopped their traditional silk weaving, as the price of silk imported from China and from Vietnam more than doubled within one year from previously US$10 per kilogram to US$40 to US$80 at present]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5092, 6.1.2010

  • [Four] Men [an Indonesian, a Malaysian, and Two Khmers] Illegally Detained Others in a Casino, Interrogated and Hit Them – Finally They Were All Arrested to Be Sent to Court [Svay Rieng]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva’s Government Approved More Than US$7 Million for Buying Materials to Handle Demonstrations by the Red-Shirt Group [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra – the materials include plastic bullets, smoke grenades, shields, electric batons, and bullet proof vests]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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