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Archive for February 2011

P.Thai to file no-confidence motion Tuesday…parliamentary coup

Bangkokpost:The opposition Puea Thai Party will file a motion of no-confidence against 10 ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Vejjajiva tomorrow, Puea Thai list MP Mingkwan Sangsuwan said on Monday.

Mr Mingkwan, head of the party’s censure debate team, said he will file the motion with Parliament President Chai Chidchob tomorrow.

He said the motion will be submitted together with a list of MPs from the Puea Thai, Puea Pandin and Pracharaj parties supporting him as the alternative prime minister.

The opposition will ask for a five-day censure debate because of the extensive amount of information on each targeted minister, he said.

Mr Mingkwan said the debate will be divided into three sections.

Seven MPs will line up as speakers to attack the government over the crackdown on red-shirt protesters last year, 15 to 18 MPs would speak on corruption in the government and 10 MPs on the impact of the government’s failure to properly administer the country in the social and economic sectors, and foreign relations.

Written by Kham

28/02/2011 at 8:24 pm

JBC meet ‘could help ease row’…when Bangkok get serious?

Bangkokpost: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva hopes a meeting being planned for Indonesia will help Thailand and Cambodia settle their differences over the border dispute.

The Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission on the Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) will hold a meeting on March7 and 8, Mr Abhisit said yesterday.

The Foreign Ministry has prepared information needed for the discussions at the JBC meeting, which will also discuss a Thai proposal for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to postpone its consideration of Phnom Penh’s management plan for the Preah Vihear temple.

Thailand and Cambodia agreed to hold the JBC meeting in Indonesia at a meeting last Tuesday in Jakarta of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers to push forward negotiations and maintain security along the border.

In another development, the Thai Patriots Network and an executive from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been given permission to visit TPN coordinator Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary, Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, today in Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh.

The visit follows a report the two had signed petitions seeking royal pardons after they were convicted for spying and entering Cambodia illegally, but the TPN does not believe the report because their families have not confirmed it, said TPN legal adviser ML Wanwipa Charoonroj. The TPN opposes the submissions for a pardon.

Written by Kham

28/02/2011 at 8:20 pm

Thai opposition party seeks to impeach PM, 8 ministers…Siam is famous for conjoint twin personality

BANGKOK, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Thailand’s main opposition Puea Thai Party on Monday submitted a motion to impeach Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and eight other cabinet ministers for corruption charges as a prelude to a separate no-confidence motion against the government.

Senior Puea Thai member Mingkwan Sangsuwan submitted the motion to Senate president Prasobsuk Boondech.

As required by the constitution, Puea Thai needed to submit the impeachment motion before the party can submit a separate no- confidence motion as the party plans to debate against Abhisit and the cabinet ministers on corruption charges.

Puea Thai said over the weekend that the no-confidence motion would be submitted to the speaker of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

According to Puea Thai website, apart from Abhisit, the eight other ministers the party seeks to impeach include Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij and Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai.

Senate president Prasobsuk will now have to ask the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to investigate into the corruption charges.

For the no-confidence motion, Puea Thai has said it will target Abhisit and nine other ministers.

The party said it plans to attack the Abhisit government on the using of military force to disperse anti-government “red-shirt” protesters in May last year, in which 91 people were killed.

There will be a vote after House members finish its no- confidence debate. If Abhisit is defeated in the vote, he will lose his premiership and his government will be replaced.

De-listing of Preah Vihear temple impossible: UNESCO special envoy…in the Kasit face

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Koichiro Matsuura, special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said here on Monday that it is impossible to de-list Preah Vihear temple from the World Heritage List.

Matsuura made the remarks during a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Thailand has intention to ask UNESCO to de-list the temple, but I had informed Abhisit Vejjajiva (Thai prime minister) and Kasit Piromya (Thai foreign minister) that de-listing of Preah Vihear temple from the World Heritage List is impossible by all means because Preah Vihear temple is the outstanding universal value,”the Prime Minister’s spokesman Eang Sophalleth quoted Matsuura as saying.

“Preah Vihear temple, the World Heritage site, is under the responsibility of UNESCO, so UNESCO experts will come to evaluate and restore Preah Vihear temple in the future,”Matsuura told the premier.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen informed Matsuura that Thai troops had fired more than 400 shells of mortars and artillery at the temple which caused serious damages to the World Heritage site. The premier also asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) not to halt the temple’s management plan during its annual meeting in Bahrain in June.

“The management plan of the temple by UNESCO on the World Heritage site should not be abandoned due to the threat of Thailand,”Hun Sen said, adding “if we don’t do urgent repair, Preah Vihear temple will be in danger. Moreover, it will set a bad precedent that big country’s threat made UNESCO unable to manage and preserve the world heritage site.”

The Bangkok Post, on Feb. 26, quoted Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying that Matsuura supported Thai stance to put off Cambodia’s management plan of Preah Vihear temple.

Matsuura told reporters after the meeting that”UNESCO is not sided with any country, it is neutral.”

Matsuura, a former director-general of UNESCO (1999-2009) and a former Chair of the World Heritage Committee, was named by Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, on Feb. 11 as the special envoy to mediate the issue of Preah Vihear temple following a deadly clash from Feb. 4 to 7 between Cambodian and Thai troops over the border disputed area next to the temple. He arrived here on Sunday to pay a three-day visit.

The clash unleashed a barrage of artillery shells on both sides of the border, killed and wounded some soldiers and people of both sides, as well as caused serious damages to Preah Vihear temple.

Preah Vihear Temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.

The conflict has occurred just a week after the inscription due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, since then periodic clashes have happened between the two countries’ troops resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

UNESCO to send experts to evaluate, repair damaged temple: special envoy

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Koichiro Matsuura, the special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Monday Cambodia’ s Preah Vihear temple needs to be restored urgently following the damages by the military clashes between Cambodia and Thailand over the border disputed area on Feb. 4-7.

During a meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Chairman of the Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO, on Monday, Matsuura said that as soon as Indonesian observers arrive at the border disputed area, UNESCO will send its experts to evaluate the damages.

“Urgent restoration on the temple will be conducted after the evaluation of the damages and UNESCO will send repair-experts to restore the temple,” Matsuura said, adding that “UNESCO will not involve in the border issue, but the temple.”

Meanwhile, Sok An, also the minister of the Council of Ministers, presented Matsuura with internationally recognized maps about Cambodian border with Thailand, and also showed him about the maps used unilaterally by Thailand, not international recognition.

Sok An also informed him about the serious damages of Preah Vihear temple caused by about 414 mortar and artillery shells falling on the temple. “So, Cambodia has to publicize this information to the international communities.”

Matsuura, a former director-general of UNESCO (1999-2009) and a former Chair of the World Heritage Committee, was named by Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, on Feb. 11 as the special envoy to mediate the issue of Preah Vihear temple following a deadly clash from Feb. 4-7 between Cambodian and Thai troops over the border disputed area next to the temple. He arrived here on Sunday for a three-day visit.

The clash unleashed a barrage of artillery shells on both sides of the border, killed and wounded some soldiers and people of both sides, as well as caused serious damages to Preah Vihear temple.

Preah Vihear Temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.

The conflict has occurred just a week after the inscription due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, since then periodic clashes have happened between the two nations’troops.

ASEAN retreat discusses further economic integration

VIENTIANE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — The 17th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Retreat has reiterated that member states would strengthen economic cooperation within the body as well as with other groupings, AEM Retreat chairwoman Mari Elka Pangestu, also Indonesian Minister of Trade, told a press conference here on Sunday.

During the retreat, which began in Vientiane, Laos, on Sunday, ministers discussed a range of issues with emphasis on the importance of ensuring the effective implementation of the ASEAN community for the body to play a central role in shaping regional economic architecture, as well as in the global context.

The economic ministers indicated that they would promote the initiative for ASEAN Integration, noting that concrete training, guidelines and recommendations provided at bilateral and regional levels for newer members of ASEAN by the more developed member states would narrow gaps among the grouping.

During the one-day meeting delegates also discussed regional and sub-regional cooperation with development partners, exchanged views on regional and global issues including interaction with the World Trade Organization, Doha Development Agenda and G20, and reported the collective hope that Laos would gain WTO membership as soon as possible.

The 17th AEM Retreat Meeting brought together economic ministers and representatives from all 10 members of ASEAN as well as General Secretary of ASEAN.

The ASEAN member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam

UNESCO special envoy arrives in Phnom Penh for talks on temple

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Koichiro Matsuura, the special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) arrived here on Sunday for talks on measures to safeguard Preah Vihear temple, the World Heritage site.

At Phnom Penh International Airport, he was welcomed by Chuch Phoeun, secretary of state of the Cambodian Ministry of Cultures and Fine Arts.

Matsuura, a former director-general of UNESCO (1999-2009) and a former Chair of the World Heritage Committee, was named by Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, on Feb. 11 as the special envoy to mediate the issue of Preah Vihear temple following a series of deadly clashes on Feb. 4-7 between Cambodian and Thai troops over the disputed border area around the temple.

During the three-day visit, Matsuura will meet with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An on safeguarding the World Heritage site, and seek ways to mitigate border tension, Chuch Phoeun told reporters at the airport.

He will also be granted a royal audience by King Norodom Sihamoni on Tuesday.

“Cambodia will present to him about the serious damages of Preah Vihear temple,” Chuch Phoeun said. “I evaluated that up to 70-80 percent of the temple was damaged even though the temple did not collapse, but 414 shells of mortar and artillery had fallen on the temple,” he said.

Chuch Phoeun said that Matsuura’s plan to visit the temple was cancelled.

“His plan to visit Preah Vihear temple has been postponed until the arrival of (ceasefire) observers from Indonesia at first,” he said.

Preah Vihear Temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.