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In Review

Sept 4: Reuters reported: Police in the Belgian port of Anvers seized more

than 13 tonnes of cannabis in a textiles shipment from Cambodia, according to the

French language Cambodge Soir newspaper. The newspaper quoted an Interior Ministry

official as saying Cambodian police had launched a local investigation after news

of the discovery on August 17 of 13,320 kilograms of cannabis. The newspaper noted

that police in the Maurtanian capital Nouakchott had on August 11 seized almost seven

tonnes of drugs on a container believed to have originated in Cambodia and carried

on the ship Maersk Douala.

Sept 5: Reuters reported: China will help Cambodia restore war-damaged relics

from the Angkor era, according to the Chinese State Bureau of Cultural Relics. China

would restore stone carvings among ruins of the Angkor civilization erected between

AD802 and AD1219, the official said. "China has many similar relics and we will

offer our restoration expertise... for the sake of building a better relationship

with Cambodia," one official said. Restoration work would start in 1997 but

the details of the project could only be decided after Chinese experts have studied

the area, he said.

Sept 9: Reuters reported: A key witness who identified the three suspected

killers of Oscar-winning Cambodian actor Haing Ngor in the Chinatown section of Los

Angeles Feb 25, recanted his testimony saying police told him which of the suspects

to identify and what to say. Earlier in the preliminary hearing, Sarik Vireak had

told the judge he was afraid while giving testimony against the three alleged members

of the "Oriental Lazy Boys" street gang accused of killing the Cambodian

film star. Speaking through a Cambodian interpreter, Vireak told prosecutors... that

he heard what sounded like firecrackers and then saw the three running down an alleyway

near where Ngor was shot. Attorney Steven Schoenfield, who represents one of the

three accused, confronted Vireak with a statement he made to defense investigators

in which he said the police had pressured him to identify the three suspects.

Sept 12: Reuters reported: A bill extending Most Favored Nation trade status

to Cambodia cleared Congress and went to US President Bill Clinton for signature.

The House voted to approve the measure after accepting Senate language noting that

Cambodia had made progress toward democracy and the expansion of its economy and

that extension of Most Favored Nation status would assist in further democratic progress

and adherence to world trade principles. Under Most Favored Nation status, Cambodia's

exports to the United States would receive the same tariff treatment given to exports

from most of America's trading partners.

Sept 12: Reuters reported: The South Korean foreign ministry said that the

country will open its representative office in Cambodia on Sept 16. The two countries

agreed on the office in May as a step towards resuming full diplomatic relations,

which were severed in 1975. The office was expected to serve 200 South Korean residents

in Cambodia and promote South Korean businesses, the ministry said.

Sept 12: Agence Khmere de Presse reported: A delegation led by Chea Sim, chairman

of Cambodia's National Assembly, arrived in the Australian capital, Canberra. A press

release from the General Secretariat of the Assembly said the delegation met on the

same day with Cambodian Ambassador to Australia, embassy staff and Cambodians living

in the Australian capital. Chea Sim is to meet with Australian members of parliament

and the Australian Electoral Committee during the official visit, according to the

AKP report.

Sept 13: Voice of Khmer Youth reported: Fifty people traveled from Prey Veng

province and gathered outside the National Assembly in Phnom Penh where they asked

for food. Villagers said their rice fields and crops had been destroyed by floods

and that many of their neighbors were dying in poverty, the report said.

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