Jan. 14: Reuters reported: With one dry well and a second producing up
to 244 barrels of oil a day, a Japanese oil consortium plans a third test drilling
off Cambodia's southwest coast, a consortium official said. Kiyoyuki Sato, deputy
general of Cambodia Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. (Campex), said the flow rate at
the producing Apsara well was not great enough for commercial use but the company
will spend at least $4 million on a third test - bringing its total investment in
Cambodia to $40 million.
Jan. 15: Land mines killed ten people and injured 53 others, including
seven children, in Battambang Province in December, the Mines Advisory Group said.
The figures were released as the Battambang Ban Landmine Committee sent a message
calling for a total ban on mines, to a 50-nation U.N.-sponsored conference on land
mines meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. December figures released for other provinces
showed 4 dead and 19 injured in Kompong Thom, and ten dead, 35 injured in Banteay
Jan. 16: Reuters reported: Pochentong Airport managers intend to hike passenger
departure fees from $10 to $15 for international flights and from $4 to $5 for Siem
Riep flights. Renzo Sacchi, managing director of the Society Concessionaire de l'Aeroport,
said landing and parking fees will be raised by 50 percent soon. The increases are
needed for development of the airport, he said. The Franco-Malaysian company is also
banking on the government applying for and getting a $30 million soft loan from the
Asian Development Bank to help pay for construction of a new runway, terminal and
Jan. 16: Reuters reported: The National Assembly approved legislation imposing
heavy fines and up to 20 years in jail for people convicted of kidnapping, selling
or coercing minors into the sex trade. The law's heaviest penalties are aimed at
pimps and brothel-keepers dealing in children under 15, even if they agree. Some
critics worried about a lack of definitions for such terms as "debauchery."
Jan. 17: Reuters reported: Repaved and sporting 26 rebuilt bridges, National
Route 6A, a two-lane, 44.5-kilometer road connecting Phnom Penh and the central and
eastern provinces, was inaugurated by Second Prime Minister Hun Sen and National
Assembly President Chea Sim. The road along the west bank of the Mekong, built in
the 1960s, had deteriorated in places to a dirt track fit only for bicycles. It was
rebuilt with a $30 million Japanese grant, and will cut 90 minutes off travel time
to Kompong Cham.
Jan. 17: Thirty Cambodian teachers started a training course preparing
them for a month-long visit to Japan, the Japanese Embassy said. The teachers will
live with Japanese families and take part in programs around the country.
Jan. 18: Reuters reported: Visits by foreign tourists, business people
and officials increased 24 percent in 1995 over the previous year, Tourism Minister
Veng Sereyvuth said. Almost 220,000 foreigners landed at Pochentong Airport, with
China sending most and Taiwan close behind. More than 70 percent came from Asia.
Sereyvuth noted that only 2,000 tourists visited Cambodia in 1990 and predicted a
million a year by the turn of the century.
Jan. 18: Reuters reported: At least 13 Cambodians, 11 of them civilians,
were killed and 30 injured in four attacks on Poipet by KR guerillas.
Jan. 18: Reuters reported: Cambodia and India took steps to improve economic
and technical cooperation, signing a memo of understanding and agreeing in principle
to set up a joint commission for bilateral ties. Foreign ministers Ung Huot and India's
Pranab Mukherjee signed the memo. Mukherjee mentioned expanded two-way trades, joint
ventures and possible technical help to Cambodia in agriculture, small-scale industry
Jan. 18: Development of provincial radio got a boost with the donation
by UNESCO of $9,000 worth of cassette players, mixers, mikes, headphones, cassettes
and tools to Radio Battambang. The equipment, along with training by teachers from
the Cambodia Communication Institute and a French journalism school, will be used
to improve provincial radio programs, said UNESCO's Cambodia director, Khamliene
Jan. 19: Reuters reported: The World Bank will help Cambodia make its logging
contracts more protective of vanishing forests, First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh
said, adding that he has asked for international help in determining how much forest
remains. He said the World Bank will propose a new form for granting forestry concessions
with more-protective language, and the U.N. Development Program and the Food and
Agricultural organization have been asked to assess existing forests. The government
has been criticized for granting recent logging concessions to vast tracts of forests.
Ranarridh opened a two-day Congress at the Environment Ministry by designating 1996
"reforestation year." He said Cambodia has "a real political will
to protect the environment."
.Jan. 19: Reuters reported: A U.S.-Danish security firm opened a branch
office in Phnom Penh, aiming to protect foreign investors and tourists worried about
crime. MPA Security Services will target airlines, embassies, companies, hotels and
banks, said country manager Mark Browman.
Jan. 20: Reuters reported: King Norodom Sihanouk returned from Paris, where
he attended the funeral of former French President Francois Mitterrand and received
medical treatment, canceling a scheduled trip to Beijing for a check-up.
Jan. 21: More than 100 university students asked permission to start a
youth branch of the opposition - and so-far legally unrecognized - Khmer Nation Party.
The students gathered at party headquarters. One student, asking not to be identified,
said there was a "lot of interest" at Phnom Penh University in the party
founded by Sam Rainsy, sacked as finance minister in 1994 and expelled from Parliament
Jan. 22: Reuters reported: Heavy fighting was raging between government
troops and Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Bantey Meanchey Province, a government source
said. Government troops launched "mopping-up" operations to stop shelling
of Poipet, trying to chase the KR out of artillery range of the border city.
Jan. 24: The National School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, which trains
Cambodians to fit and maintain artificial limbs and orthopedic appliances, got two
new donor organizations, both pledging two years of funding - American Red Cross
and Veterans International. The new donors joined founders Cambodian Trust and NSPO.