Archive for ‘Cambodia’

August 28, 2014

Cambodia, US Share Concerns Over Lao Dam

Cambodia, US Share Concerns Over Lao Dam

By | August 28, 2014
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Following a meeting with a visiting U.S. diplomat on Wednesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Ouch Borith said the U.S. shares Cambodia’s concerns about a controversial hydropower dam Laos is planning to build on the Mekong River.

Cambodia and Vietnam both fear that the 256-MW Don Sahong dam in southern Laos will severely reduce vital fish stocks in the Lower Mekong and its tributaries.

Mr. Borith said that Scot Marciel, principal deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. State Department’s bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, shared the two countries’ worry.

“We have concerns that this huge dam that Laos wants to build will affect the Mekong,” Mr. Borith told reporters after the meeting. “Mr. Scot said that [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry has also discussed this and has pushed Laos to host a summit in Laos by the end of the year.”

In June, Laos agreed to postpone construction of the dam until it consults with its neighbors.

Mr. Borith said Mr. Marciel also asked him about the status of a draft memorandum of understanding between Cambodia and Australia that would see refugees detained while trying to reach Australia resettled in Cambodia.

The deal has come under widespread rebuke from opposition lawmakers and rights groups in both Cambodia and Australia because it would send the refugees to one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.

Mr. Borith said he told the U.S. diplomat that proposals were still being reviewed, but declined to say anything else about the pending deal, which both Cambodia and Australia have shrouded in secrecy.

“No discussion at all, he just want[ed] to know what the situation is,” he said.

Mr. Marciel, he added, also welcomed the recent political settlement that saw the opposition CNRP end its yearlong boycott of the National Assembly over 2013’s national elections, which the opposition accuses the CPP of rigging.

Mr. Marciel did not stop to speak with reporters after the meeting, and the U.S. Embassy did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

© 2014, The Cambodia Daily.


US Seeking Stronger Ties With Cambodia

Kong Sothanarith  | August 28, 2014 3:35 PM
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FILE - U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Scot Marciel gestures during a press conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 4, 2013.

FILE – U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Scot Marciel gestures during a press conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 4, 2013.

A senior U.S. diplomat says the country is looking to strengthen ties with Cambodia following an end to the nation’s yearlong political stalemate.ScotMarciel, the State Department’s leading diplomat for Southeast Asia, told VOA Khmer in an interview Wednesday that Washington wants to have a good relationship with the people of Cambodia.“We have an interest in a Cambodia that is successful, democratic, more prosperous, enjoying good health and good education,” said Marciel. “This is mostly up to the Cambodian people, but we want to be supportive because it’s in our interest for Cambodia to be successful.”

The U.S. has made a recent diplomatic push in Asia, where China’s influence continues to grow. But Marciel said Wednesday the U.S. is “not focused on what China is doing here.”

“We’re really focused on what we can do, how we can build a relationship with the people and the nation of Cambodia, a closer relationship,” he said.

Cambodia suffered a nearly yearlong political deadlock following 2013 elections that the opposition said were marred by fraud.

A political deal last month led to an end of the opposition boycott of the assembly and has opened space for negotiations on electoral and democratic reforms.

Marciel, who was on a three-day trip to the country as part of a visit to several ASEAN nations, met with Ouch Borith, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  No details were made available about their meeting. Still, Marciel said Wednesday that Cambodia’s moves toward reforms are encouraging.

“The people here have made clear that they would like to see some more reforms, some progress on some of the challenges that Cambodia faces, and we feel the same way,” he said. “We are hopeful that the government and the parliament, now that it is seated, can move ahead on some of the reforms that people here have called for. We think that would be a positive step.”

The U.S. would like to see continued reform over the National Election Committee, he said, as well as renewed efforts to battle corruption and improve governance, the judicial system and the country’s human rights record.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

August 3, 2014

Cambodian Defense Delegation Visits Thailand Amid Tensions


Cambodian Defense Delegation Visits Thailand Amid Tensions

June 17, 2014

Cambodian Activist’s Fall Exposes Broad Deception

June 16, 2014

Report into Thai industry of migrant workers – More than 150,000 Cambodians flee Thailand

Fearing a Junta Crackdown, Cambodian Workers Stream Out of Thailand

April 14, 2014

U.S. State Department: Happy New Year’s Bengal, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand


Happy New Year’s Bengal, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his well wishes to South and Southeast Asian countries celebrating New Year’s.
By JC Finley   |   April 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM   |

WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI)The U.S. Department of State wished the people of Bengal, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand a Happy New Year.

  • Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following message to Bengali communities on their April 14 New Year’s Day:

“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send warmest greetings to Bengali communities around the world as you celebrate Pahela Boishakh.”The United States joins you in celebrating the vibrant history and culture of the Bengali-speaking people. Your rich cultural heritage, from food and song to poetry, art, and literature has greatly enriched our own.

“As you gather with family and friends to celebrate the New Year, know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend. Shubho Nobo Borsho!”

  • Kerry sent the following message to Cambodians:

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I am delighted to send best wishes to the Cambodian people as you celebrate the Khmer New Year starting on April 14.”Since my time as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee I have been strongly committed to helping the Cambodian people build a better tomorrow for future generations. I believe the path to a better tomorrow includes addressing the atrocities of Cambodia’s past and building a more democratic future.

“The United States and Cambodia share common interests in promoting regional stability, fostering economic development, and improving health and education in Cambodia. And we look forward to strengthening our partnership in the years to come.

“I wish your country peace, prosperity and a joyful New Year celebration.”

  • To the country of Laos, which celebrates New Year’s from April 14-16, Kerry wrote:

“On behalf of President Obama I am delighted to extend my greetings to the people of Laos on the occasion of the Lao New Year.”The American people join you in the spirit of hope, celebration, joy, and renewal. May the New Year bring prosperity to Lao people all around the world.

“The New Year is a time of great opportunity and expectation and I hope this year will provide even greater opportunities to work together and enrich the important friendship between Laos and the United States.”

  • Kerry wished the people of Myanmar well in peace and democracy efforts as they celebrate New Year on April 17.

“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate and send best wishes to the people of Myanmar on the occasion of Thingyan.”The United States is committed to working in partnership to help your country realize the promise of peace, democracy, expanded economic opportunity and justice for everyone in your country. We cherish the hope that your work to achieve a historic ceasefire and political dialogue will be the basis for national harmony and a shared vision for the future.

“Your leadership as ASEAN Chair demonstrates your increasing impact in the region, and showcases your country’s progress and potential.

“As you gather with family, friends, and neighbors to honor your rich traditions and culture with prayer, celebration and renewal, know that the people of the United States send their best wishes for a peaceful and happy New Year.”

  • Kerry wished the Nepalese prosperity and joy during their April 12-15 celebration.

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer the people of Nepal best wishes for a prosperous and joyful New Year.”Nepal has achieved important milestones this past year, including the democratic election of a new Constituent Assembly.

“I hope that the coming year will bring further progress towards enduring political stability and the full completion of a new constitution, keeping your country on the path of prosperity and peace.

“Naya Barshako Shubha-Kamana!”

  • To Sri Lankans, who celebrate New Year’s on April 14, Kerry sent the following message:

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer warmest greetings to the people of Sri Lanka and the vibrant global Sri Lankan diaspora.”This New Year brings a new opportunity for all Sri Lankans to join together in the spirit of tolerance, reconciliation, and peace. As Sri Lankans gather to mark the potential of the New Year, we join in celebrating with you.

“As you continue your work to build a prosperous, democratic Sri Lanka, I offer my best wishes for a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous, peaceful year ahead.”

  • Kerry extended New Year’s greeting to Thailand, whose New Year’s celebrations began on April 13 and conclude on April 15:

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, it is my great pleasure to extend New Year’s greetings to the people of Thailand. I hope this Songkran provides all Thais an occasion to spend an enjoyable time with family and friends and to look forward to good luck and prosperity in the New Year.”We are proud to mark another year in the enduring friendship between Thailand and the United States. Our nations enjoy an unshakable bond that transcends politics in either of our countries, and we look forward to working together in the New Year on important issues such as trade relations, health research, security cooperation, and educational exchange.

“I look forward to the opportunities that the New Year holds for both of our nations and for our alliance. I wish you a happy and healthy Songkran!

[State Department]


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