Sunday, February 10, 2008

Casino and Resort complex to be built in Sihanoukville

Globes online - Israel's Business Arena, reports that the casino builder and operator QLI (Queenco Leisure International Ltd.) has bought over 9 hectares of land by the sea in Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia to build a beachfront casino. Last year the company bought a 48-hectare lot in the area, and they are planning to develop a new resort and casino complex.

On QLI's website the company announces that they have "acquired exclusive rights from the Cambodian Government for the stretch of beach immediately in front of the site".

I start to wonder whether there will be any public beaches left in Sihanoukville in some years...

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Ieng Sary back in gaol cell

The International Herald Tribune reports that the former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary was back in detention Saturday evening after having spent six days at Calmette hospital because of a urinary tract problem. He was hospitalized last Monday after having urinated blood. Ieng Sary's health has now improved according to his lawyer.

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A cruel patriot?

Last Thursday was Nuon Chea, brother number two, back in court reports Al-Jazeera. According to the news channel Nuon Chea is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity including "murder, torture, imprisonment, persecution, extermination, deportation, forcible transfer, enslavement and other inhumane acts". The 81 year old former Khmer Rouge leader argue that h is not a cruel man, but a patriot.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Brother number two in court for the first time

Today, February 4th, Nuon Chea appeared in court for the first time. According to BBC News the oldest of the surving Khmer Rouge leaders asked the judges to adjourn the hearing since his Dutch lawyer had not been registered with the Cambodian Bar Association as required. After an hour of private discussions, the judges agreed. The hearing is planned to continue on Wednesday.

According to AP the Cambodian Bar Association refused to swear the Dutch lawyer in last week after he had petitioned the court for the removal of one of the Cambodian judges in the tribunal's pre-trial chamber. They also accused him for breaching the associations rules when acting as Nuon Chea's defense Counsel before he had been formally sworn in.

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FBI director pleased with Cambodia

According to Radio Australia, FBI boss Robert Muller, is in Cambodia to discuss law enforcement. FBI has just opened an office in Phnom Penh because of growing concern over regional extremists. Radio Australia said Muller praised Cambodia for it's role in America's war on terror. Last April Cambodian National Police Chief Hok Lundy visited Washington for anti-terror talks with the FBI.

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Growing capital and economy - not all beer and skittles

The last five years Cambodia's economy has been expanding at around 10 percent each year according to Reuters. A lot of new buildings are planned in the capital. This boom is not to the best for all of Phnom Penhs inhabitants. Many people are forced from their homes. One area where people are facing eviction any day is the budget hostel- (and backpacker-) crowded area around the lake Boeung Kak. The lake is to be drained and filled in. There are also problems in the city with leaking sewers, floods and power blackouts. Problems that get worse under the weight of the expansion.

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