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January 2013
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PHNOM PENH, Jan. 25 — Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday released a list of foreign leaders who will attend the royal cremation ceremony of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk on Feb. 4 in the Cambodian capital.
Among them are Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Vice President of the Philippines Jejomar C. Binay, and Japan’s Prince Akishino, among others.
According to a ministry statement, Jia Qinglin, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Prince Akishino will be received in separate royal audience by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath at the Royal Palace.
Sihanouk died of illness at the age of 90 in Beijing on Oct. 15, last year. Currently, his body is lying in state at the Royal Palace for the public to pay tribute.
The body will be moved from the Royal Palace to a custom-built crematorium at the Veal Preah Meru Square next to the Palace on Feb. 1 and kept for another three days at the site before it is cremated on Feb. 4.
Cambodian government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said last week that at least 1.5 million people are expected to attend the ceremony.
A security force of about 11,000 will be deployed in the capital to ensure security and public order during the ceremony, said Lt. Gen. Kirt Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police.
Xinhua 28
BIỂN ĐÔNG: 
UNITED NATIONS |
Thu Jan 24, 2013 
  
(Reuters) – The United Nations is planning to consider later this year the scientific validity of a claim by China that a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea are part of its territory, although Japan says the world body should not be involved.
Tensions over the uninhabited islands – located near rich fishing grounds and potentially huge oil-and-gas reserves – flared after Japan’s government purchased them from a private Japanese owner in September, sparking violent anti-Japanese protests across China and a military standoff.
Taiwan also claims the islands, known as the Diaoyu islands in China, the Senkaku islands in Japan and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan.
In a submission to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, China claims that the continental shelf in the East China Sea is a natural prolongation of China’s land territory and that it includes the disputed islands.
Under the U.N. convention, a country can extend its 200-nautical-mile economic zone if it can prove that the continental shelf is a natural extension of its land mass. The U.N. commission assesses the scientific validity of claims, but any disputes have to be resolved between states, not by the commission.
China said the “Diaoyu Dao upfold zone” – the islands – is located between the East China Sea shelf basin and the Okinawa Trough. “The Okinawa Trough is the natural termination of the continental shelf of (the East China Sea),” it said.
China also told the commission that it was still negotiating with other states on the delimitation of the continental shelf.
 
Posted January 21, 2013
 

President Barack Obama believes, as he put it in his third debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, that though

we have fewer ships than we did in 1916…we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater…. The question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships. It’s what are our capabilities.

Yes, the army’s horses have been superseded by tanks and helicopters, and its bayonets rendered mainly ceremonial by armor and long-range automatic fires, but what, precisely, has superseded ships in the navy? The commander-in-chief has arrived at the epiphany that the ships of today could beat the hell out of those of 1916. To which one could say, like Neil Kinnock, “I know that, Prime Minister,” and go on to add that we must configure the navy to face not the dreadnoughts of 1916 but “things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them,” and “ships that go underwater,” and also ballistic missiles, land-based aviation, and electronic warfare.
To hold that numbers and mass in war are unnecessary is as dangerous as believing that they are sufficient. Defense contractor Norman Augustine famously observed that at the rate fighter planes are becoming complex and expensive, soon we will be able to build just one. Neither a plane nor a ship, no matter how capable, can be in more than one place at once. And if one ship that is in some ways equivalent to 100 is damaged or lost, we have lost the equivalent of 100. But, in fact, except for advances in situational awareness, missile defense, and the effect of precision-guided munitions in greatly multiplying the target coverage of carrier-launched aircraft, the navy is significantly less capable than it was a relatively short time ago—in anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, the ability to return ships to battle, and the numbers required to accomplish the tasks of deterrence or war.

Australians told to beware of thieves at royal funeral

 
PHNOM PENH, 25 January 2013 (The Cambodia Herald) – The Australian Embassy advised its citizens Friday to beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers during next week’s royal funeral for the late King Father.

“Large crowds can pose a significant risk to your safety and valuables. A number of sites, including the Royal Palace … will host commemorative activities and attract large crowds,” a statement said.

“Travelers and residents are also advised to be aware of the high risk of pick-pocketing and bag-snatching. This type of opportunistic crime can occur during day-light hours as well as at night.

“Be constantly aware of your belongings and exercise sensible precautions such as keeping items
close and not making a public display of money and expensive items.”

The embassy also urged Australians to “avoid any protests, demonstrations or other large groups, as these have the potential to turn violent. 

“You should be highly alert to your surroundings and quickly move away from any areas in which you don’t feel comfortable.

 
Prime Minister Hun Sen during a speech in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
 
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday blasted unnamed senior military officers for breaking RCAF regulations and urged the Ministry of Defence to improve both its training and its level  of professionalism.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Chinese-Cambodian Friendship Infantry Institution — a new facility at Kampong Speu’s Combined Arms Officer School Thlok Tasek — the premier said there were reports that unqualified officers had bribed their way to higher ranks.
“What we are interested in at the moment is irregularities in the promotion of military officers that were not conducted in a good manner,” he told the gathering of about 1,000 newly graduated soldiers.
The soldiers returned recently from a Chinese military academy. At the new facility in Phnom Sruoch district, young soldiers will receive quality training from Chinese advisers to improve their knowledge and skill so  they can replace retiring officers.
Calling for stricter regulation and enforcement of laws already in place, the premier also suggested the Defence Ministry “conduct a study into the establishment of sub-decrees and Prakases about the training of RCAF to keep them in order and effective.”
“Some senior military officials have not respected the law on the statute of RCAF and general procedure,” Hun Sen said.
His suggestion was given concurrent to a National Assembly debate that took place yesterday over a long-dormant draft law to create an oversight body called the Supreme Council of National Defence.
 

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