Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Asian parliamentarians meet in Cambodia to enhance ties

PHNOM PENH, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Members of Parliaments (MPs) of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) gathered here on Tuesday to promote ties and draft internal regulations to strengthen APA Secretariat.
Leng Penglong, Secretary General of the National Assembly of Cambodia, said the two-day meeting is participated by 29 MPs from Bahrain, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Jordan, Laos, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
"The gathering aims to broaden friendly relations among MPs and to draft APA Secretariat's staff and financial regulations," he said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Amir Zamani Nia, APA Assistant Secretary General, said the participation of many Asian MPs in the meeting of Ad-Hoc Committee on Staff and Financial Regulations was a clear testament to the rising influence of APA.
"APA needs to further take advantage of the great potentials it has been granted by Asian peoples," he said.
Nguon Nhel, first Vice-President of the National Assembly of Cambodia, said the meeting was a good opportunity for MPs to share views and experiences on common interest and concerns.
"Our common goals are the accomplishment of peace, stability, progress and prosperity for our beloved peoples in our home continent," he said.

UN rights envoy hails Cambodia for aiding returned migrant workers

PHNOM PENH, June 24 (Xinhua) -- A visiting United Nations human rights envoy on Tuesday praised the Cambodian government for its prompt efforts to assist over 232,000 Cambodian migrant workers who had been deported from or fled Thailand in fears of a junta's clampdown on illegal foreign workers.
"I commend the prompt efforts by the Cambodian government, at both national and sub-national levels, to transport people from the border areas back to their communities and to assist the returnees in the process of reintegration," Surya P. Subedi, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, said in a news conference at the conclusion of his human rights fact-finding mission in Cambodia.
A mass exodus of Cambodian migrant workers came after the Thai military regime warned early this month that illegal foreign workers could face arrest and deportation.
Subedi also urged the Thai junta to look into the reported deaths of several Cambodian migrant workers during their roundup on illegal migrant laborers.
"I am of the view that the Thai government should investigate the reported deaths of Cambodians in Thailand and ascertain the reasons behind the sudden return of such large numbers of Cambodians," he said.
As remittances from migrant workers are an essential source of income for many rural communities in Cambodia, the envoy urged the two governments to facilitate through legal channels the return to Thailand of the migrant workers who wish to do so.
It was estimated that more than 300,000 Cambodian laborers were working and only about 90,000 of them had work permits in Thailand before junta's clampdown on illegal migrant workers.
Cambodian Minister of Labor Ith Samheng said last week that Cambodian migrant laborers in Thailand had sent home about 200 million U.S. dollars a year.
On Tuesday, Ith Samheng held a meeting with representatives of about 40 recruitment firms to talk about formalizing the procedure for sending migrant workers to Thailand legally.
"The Ministry of Labor requires all Cambodian recruitment agencies to make contracts with their Thai counterparts," said a ministry's statement released after the meeting.
"In the contracts, they must state clearly about the numbers and types of laborers the Thai side needs."
The ministry also required working contracts between Cambodian migrant workers and Thai companies, the statement said, adding that to be eligible to work in Thailand, a Cambodian worker will be required to pay 49 U.S. dollars for a labor card, a passport, a working visa from the Thai embassy, and cover travel and food cost to Thai border.

Cambodia attracts 1.9 mln foreign tourists in 5 months, up 6 pct

English.news.cn   2014-06-24 13:47:53
PHNOM PENH, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has received some 1.9 million foreign visitors in the first five months of 2014, a 6 percent rise compared to the same period last year, a tourism official said Tuesday. "Vietnam, China and South Korea are the largest sources of tourists to Cambodia," Kong Sopheareak, chief of the Tourism Ministry's Statistics and Planning Department, told Xinhua.
He said during the January-May period this year, Cambodia drew some 340,000 Vietnamese tourists, up 1 percent compared to the same period last year, around 240,000 Chinese, up 19 percent, and roughly 220,000 South Koreans, up 3 percent. "We see a remarkable rise in Chinese tourists to Cambodia from year to year thanks to more direct flight connection between the two countries and Cambodia's attractive tourism sites,"he said. "In addition, close ties between the two governments have encouraged more Chinese investors and businessmen to come to Cambodia for business opportunities."
The Southeast Asian nation is famous for two cultural sites in the UNESCO's World Heritage List. One is the 12th century Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap province and the other is the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear province.
Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting the economy. Kong Soheareak said the country was projected to greet 4.7 million tourists this year, an expected rise of 12 percent from 4.2 million visitors last year.
Editor: Yang Yi

Feature: More Cambodian students seek degree in Chinese language

More and more Cambodian students search degrees in Chinese literature as Cambodian- Chinese ties in economics, trade, investment, and tourism have been expanding rapidly in recent years.
Cambodian students learn Chinese language at Asia Euro University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 20, 2014. More and more Cambodian students search degrees in Chinese literature as Cambodian- Chinese ties in economics, trade, investment, and tourism have been expanding rapidly in recent years. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
   2014-06-24 10:55:47
By Nguon Sovan, Li Hong
PHNOM PENH, June 24 (Xinhua) -- More and more Cambodian students have sought degree in Chinese literature as Cambodian- Chinese ties in economics, trade, investment, and tourism have been expanding rapidly in recent years.
Heng Ayly, 21, who decided to get her Bachelor's Degree in Chinese literature at Asia Euro University (AEU) here with her aspiration to be an interpreter of Chinese language when she graduates. "Learning Chinese, I have a lot of job opportunities because there are a lot of Chinese companies doing businesses in Cambodia, "said the sophomore.
She said her Chinese proficiency has quickly improved since all lecturers at Department of Chinese Language at AEU are native speakers. "All the teachers are from China, they are very easy to get along with, and the ways they teach are diverse, so I am very happy to learn here,"she said. "After graduation, I want to further study in China and on my return to be an interpreter."
Another student Keath Piseth, 22, said learning Chinese literature would be conducive for him to better understand about China and its culture and civilization. "After my graduation, I want to be a teacher of Chinese language in order to promote Chinese language and culture in Cambodia. At the meantime, to be a Chinese-speaking tour guide so that I can introduce Cambodian culture and history to Chinese people," he said.
College freshman Chea Sovanntevy, 22, said she wishes to be a teacher of Chinese language when she finishes her Bachelor's Degree in Chinese literature. "I do love studying Chinese here because teachers are energetic, vigorous and young, and they are adroit at teaching and make us easy to understand,"she said.
AEU is the only university in Cambodia providing Chinese language programs at degree levels since 2012 under the support from the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia and the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Chen Jingwen, head of AEU's Chinese Department, said that students'interest in studying Chinese at degree levels is very high in Cambodia thanks to close relations between the two countries and peoples. "I have been teaching high-school students, college students and adults, Cambodian people are all very positive about Chinese language and eager to learn it,"she said, adding that under the agreement between AEU and Jiu Jiang University in China's Jiangxi province, good students would be sent to study in their fourth year in Jiu Jiang University.
AEU's Vice-Rector Chhoeun Savorn said the university opened Bachelor's Degree in Chinese literature in the academic year 2012- 2013 with only 59 students and in the academic year 2013-2014, the university received up to 100 new students. "It's very interesting that more Cambodian students choose to learn for Bachelor's Degree in Chinese literature,"he said. Besides, there are up to 1,200 students studying general Chinese language courses at the school.
He said Chinese language is really popular among Cambodian students because a lot of Chinese business people are investing in Cambodia, so it is easy for Cambodian graduates to find jobs. "Most of students, who are learning Chinese language here, are also working for tour companies and Chinese companies,"he said.
According to Chhoeun Savorn, all Chinese teachers at the university are provided by the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia. "All students in Chinese literature class are learning with eight Chinese native lecturers."he said, adding that the curriculum in Chinese literature at AEU was the same as that of the Jiu Jiang University.
Chea Munyrith, director of the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the institute has helped prepare the curriculum for AEU's Chinese Department, which responds to the curriculum in China. "The study of Chinese language in Cambodia today is not only for trade or communication purposes, but also for science and research, so we support AEU to provide Bachelor's Degree in Chinese literature,"he said.
Munyrith added that more students are keen to learn for degree levels in Chinese literature because Cambodia and China have excellent ties in all fields, particularly in politics, economics, trade, investment and tourism.
Joseph Matthews, director of AEU's Department of International Cooperation, said there are many factors that have been contributed to promoting Chinese language in Cambodia. "Firstly, there is a significant section of society who claims to be Chinese-Khmer, and they observe all the Chinese festivals and rituals as their counterparts in China, for instance, Chinese New Year,"he said. "China is emerging as a global economic power and very important player in the region, so learning Chinese language also links with socio-economic development of the country."
He said that Chinese education in Cambodia would help strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
"China Education can act as a catalyst for bringing the two nations politically, socially, economically and culturally closer than they have ever been,"he said.
Joseph underscored a key challenge related to the Chinese language program at AEU and in Cambodia. "The biggest challenge for AEU is that there is no any mechanism or system where AEU can transfer the credits of students,after they have completed two or three years of their study here, to universities in China," he said. "Many students like to continue their studies in China. Since there is no formal agreement regarding the Transfer of Credit between AEU and China Higher Education Institutions, the only way students can travel to China is through scholarships or sponsorship," he said.
Editor: Yang Yi

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Over 200,000 Cambodian migrants flee Thailand, junta denies deportation policy

English.news.cn   2014-06-17 22:08:33
PHNOM PENH, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The Thai military junta said Tuesday it had no policy to deport Cambodian migrant workers, although a senior Cambodian official said over 200,000 Cambodian migrant workers, mostly illegal ones, have been deported from or fled Thailand since early this month.
Koy Kuong, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a press statement on Tuesday afternoon that Cambodian Ambassador to Thailand Eat Sophea met with Thai Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow on Tuesday morning in Bangkok to discuss Thailand's policies on migrant workers.
"The Thai Foreign Ministry affirms that Thailand has no policy and plan to deport Cambodian migrant workers," he said in the statement. "Thai side wants all foreign laborers working in Thailand to be legal workers in order to curb human trafficking and exploitation of labor forces."
According to Koy Kuong, the Thai side also suggested that Cambodian workers, if they want to return to work in Thailand, should go by legal means.
Despite Thailand's denial of the massive deportation of Cambodian migrant workers, Major General Pich Vanna, chief of Cambodia-Thailand Border Relation Affairs Office, said Tuesday afternoon that more than 200,000 Cambodian migrant laborers, mostly illegal workers, have been deported from or fled Thailand over fears of a junta-led clampdown on illegal migrant workers since early this month.
"Many more will be repatriated from Thailand to Cambodia in coming days," he told Xinhua over telephone.
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng said Tuesday that the Thai military regime must be held accountable for all the problems that have happened, including the deaths of 8 Cambodian laborers in road accidents in Thailand.
Last week, eight Cambodian migrant workers were killed in Thailand in two road accidents when they traveled back to Cambodia for fears of the junta's crackdown.
"After a military coup (on May 22), the Thai military junta has arrested and sent Cambodian illegal migrant workers back to Cambodia in a rush without prior notice or discussion with Cambodia," he said at a university graduation ceremony. "I think that the current Thai military junta leadership must be held responsible for all the problems that have occurred, including the loss of life."
Sar Kheng estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 Cambodian workers were working in Thailand before the clampdown.
Cambodian Minister of Labor Ith Samheng said Monday that Cambodian migrant laborers working in Thailand send home about 200 million U.S. dollars a year.
Editor: Tang Danlu

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Elections for municipal, provincial, district councilors kick off in Cambodia

English.news.cn   2014-05-18 09:58:12
PHNOM PENH, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The elections for municipal, provincial, district councilors began Sunday morning in Cambodia with five political parties joining in the contest.
The non-universal poll is cast by only 11,459 sitting commune councilors--typically along party lines--for the municipal, provincial, and district councilors.
According to the National Election Committee (NEC), the five parties participating in the elections are the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the royalist Funcipec Party, the League for Democracy, and the Republican Democracy Party.
NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said 11,459 sitting commune councilors, including nearly 8,300 coming from the CPP and 2,955 coming from the CNRP, lined up to cast their ballots on Sunday.
More than 800 observers from political parties and civil society are monitoring the poll at 197 polling stations across the country, NEC said.
Preliminary result will be released Sunday evening as the official one will be announced on May 30.
It is the second time the nation held the elections for municipal, provincial, district councilors. The mandate for the councilors is five years.
Editor: xuxin

Cambodian PM flies to Shanghai for leaders' summit

                 English.news.cn | 2014-05-18 10:01:02 | Editor: Zhu Ningzhu

PHNOM PENH, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen flew to Shanghai, China on Sunday morning to attend the 4th Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to be held from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Hun Sen is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Rural Development Chea Sophara, and other members of the government, Sry Thamarong, a senior official at the Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cabinet, told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport ahead of departure.
"The summit will focus on enhancing dialogue, confidence and coordination, and on jointly constructing a new Asia with peace, stability and cooperation," he said. "It will also be a forum for leaders in Asia to exchange views on security issues and new challenges."
He said the summit is called in the context that the situations in Asian region and the world are going through complicated changes, and the Asian region has faced unprecedented opportunities and challenges.
According to Sry Thamarong, Hun Sen will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and visit the Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute during his stay in Shanghai.
The prime minister will also give an interview with Chinese media on Tuesday afternoon.
CICA was established in 1993 as a forum for dialogue and consultations and promotion of confidence building measures among its members on security and development. It now has 24 member states and 13 observer states and organizations.