Archive for November, 2008

Cambodia and Vietnam agree rail link: Foreign Minister

November 9, 2008

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia and Vietnam have signed a deal to link their railways, Cambodia’s foreign minister said Saturday, helping revive long-running plans to link Asia by rail.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said China would help Cambodia with the railroad link to Vietnam, which will cost more than 500 million dollars.

“China has promised to build the railroad from Phnom Penh to Vietnam as part of the project to create a link from Singapore to Kunming in China,” Hor Namhong said on his return from regional meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“The railroads are very important for Cambodia’s economy because we can then export goods to other southeast Asian countries at low cost,” he told reporters at Phnom Penh International airport.

Cross-border trade between Cambodia and Vietnam totalled 1.7 billion dollars in the first eight months of this year, Hor Namhong added.

Cambodia is linked to its western neighbour Thailand by a track that is no longer in use.

Cambodia’s civil war only ended in the 1990s, and trains throughout the impoverished nation crawl along dilapidated tracks.

It has long been a dream to connect Asia by rail, and many of the gaps in the railway are in Southeast Asia, with only Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand operating cross-border links.

The Asian Development Bank has stepped in with funds to help overhaul Cambodia’s railways, a project many hope will be finished within the next few years.


November 10, 2008 at 2:46 am Leave a comment

Cambodian police chief dies in helicopter crash: govt

November 10, 2008

Hok Lundy

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia’s top policeman died in a helicopter crash in bad weather that also claimed the life of a top-ranking army general, a government spokesman told AFP Sunday.

Chief of police Hok Lundy and General Sok Sa Em were passengers in a helicopter that came down shortly after it took off Sunday from Phnom Penh airport, ministry of interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said.

“In the helicopter there was a pilot, a co-pilot, the national police chief and the deputy commander of the military. All four died,” Khieu Sopheak said.

Khieu Sopheak said the helicopter came down in southeastern Svay Rieng province.

“The reason for the crash was bad weather. There was a heavy rain,” he added.

He said radio contact had been lost 15 minutes after it took off from Phnom Penh airport at around 7:20 pm (1220 GMT).

Hok Lundy, head of the country’s police for over a decade, had been routinely criticised by international organisations for alleged human rights abuses and corruption within his force.

Hok Lundy was also accused of involvement in politically motivated killings and drug trafficking.

Human rights groups protested a decision to allow him a visa to the United States last year after the State Department refused him a visa in 2006 due to allegations he was involved in trafficking prostitutes.

November 10, 2008 at 2:41 am 1 comment

Chinese military vessel makes first ever visit to Cambodia

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese navy ship (CNS) Zhenghe entered the Sihanoukville Port on Wednesday morning, thus starting its 9-day official goodwill visit and the first ever entry of Chinese military boat into the Kingdom of Cambodia.

While docking here, this ocean-going training vessel with 411 crew members will be open for the public on Nov. 7 and its staff is to hold volleyball and football matches with the Cambodian navy troops based at the port city, said a press release from the Chinese Embassy.

On Wednesday evening, Cambodian Minister of Defense Tea Banh and Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Ke Kim Yan attended the reception banquet held to celebrate the arrival of the ship.

Both of them wished the bilateral military cooperation and exchange between the two countries to further develop and flourish.

Another banquet will be held on Thursday for the crew members to meet with the local Chinese Cambodian community, according to the release.

CNS Zhenghe was put into service in 1987 and once visited the United States, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Russia.

Editor: An

November 6, 2008 at 2:08 am 1 comment

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