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Archive for September 21st, 2008|Daily archive page

New Thai PM ready for border talks with Cambodia

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Newly elected Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said on September 18 that he is ready to hold talks with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen to settle a border spat.

“I’m ready to talk with Prime Minister Hun Sen to achieve better understanding and mutual benefit,” PM Somchai was quoted by The Nation newspaper of Thailand as saying during his visit to the country’s foreign ministry.

The lower house elected Somchai, brother-in-law of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, to the premier job on September 17. He chose to visit foreign ministry on his first day in office, the newspaper said.

It cited PM Somchai as expressing his hope that Thai and Cambodian delegates will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York next week.-

Thailand’s King endorses Somchai’s premiership

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm

– Thailand’s King on September 18 endorsed the election of Somchai Wongsawat, brother-in-law of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, as the nation’s the new prime minister.

Newly-elected PM Somchai received King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s order in a brief ceremony at his home which was broadcast live on television.

He prostrated himself in front of a portrait of the King and gave a five-minute speech expressing his loyalty to the monarch and calling for national unity amid global financial woes and anti-government street protests.

Somchai, deputy leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), was elected in a parliamentary vote on September 17 to replace Samak Sundaravej, who was removed from the post last week when the Constitutional Court found he was illegally paid for hosting TV cooking shows.

His appointment as the Kingdom’s top minister takes place amid warnings by anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters that they would not accept any member of the PPP as Thailand’s premier.

The PAD has accused the PPP-led government of being a proxy for former PM Thaksin, who is now living in Britain. It quickly vowed to press ahead with their campaign to force PM Somchai and his entire People Power Party out of government.

PAD demonstrators have occupied Government House, the Thai prime minister’s offices, since August 26.-

Indonesia, Australia seek for enhanced defence ties

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm

– Defence ministers of Indonesia and Australia have discussed the close defence relationship between the two countries through exercises, exchanges, senior dialog and education and training.

Indonesia’s Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono and his Australian counterpart Joel Fitzgibbon met in Jakarta on September 18, Antara news agency reported, citing a media release.

According to Minister Fitzgibbon, Australia and Indonesia are pursuing cooperation in key areas that will enhance the Indonesian Military ( TNI)’s capabilities and support the increasingly important role of the Indonesian Department of Defence.

During Minister Fitzgibbon`s visit to Indonesia, he would speak to the National Resilience Institute, an Indonesian Government senior level strategic studies institution known as Lemhannas.

Australia would send an Australian Defence Force (ADF) officer to participate in the Lemhannas regular course for the first time next year.

The ministers met previously during Sudarsono`s visit to Australia in March this year.-

Thailand’s government opens talk with protesters

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm

– Thailand’s new Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said on September 19 that the government has initiated talks with the protest group occupying the Government House.

PM Somchai declined to give details of his dialogue initiative but said his administration was “in the process of negotiating” with the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders, adding that he expects a positive results.

PM Somchai, brother-in-law of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, was elected in a parliamentary vote on September 17 to replace Samak Sundaravej, who was removed from the post last week when the Constitutional Court found he was illegally paid for hosting TV cooking shows.

The PAD has accused the People Power Party (PPP)-led government of being a proxy for former PM Thaksin, who is now living in Britain.

It quickly vowed to press ahead with their campaign to force PM Somchai and his entire People Power Party out of government. After being endorsed by the king, PM Somchai has appealed for unity and reconciliation to mend Thailand’s deep political divide, according to news agencies. –

Indonesia helps East Timor develop human resources

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian government will realise its commitment to helping build East Timor’s human resources capacity, particularly its foreign ministry’s human resources, an Indonesian diplomat said.

Indonesia needed to assist East Timor in three matters of human resources development, Antara news agency reported, citing Ambassador/Senior Technical Adviser on ASEAN Affairs to East Timor’s Foreign Ministry Agus Tarmidzi on September 19.

The three matters were human research and development, personal management planning and institutional as well as multilateral cooperation development planning, he said.

East Timor is now doing what it can in its bid for full membership in the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Tarmidzi was in East Timor for the past few days to discuss technical matters and the form of assistance Indonesia would extend, Antara said.-

Cambodia hopes for border settlement with Thailand

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm

– Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed hope that Cambodia and Thailand will soon be able to settle all the current border issues peacefully and legally.

PM Hun Sen made the remarks in a congratulatory message sent on September 19 to Somchai Wongsawat on his appointment as Thailand ‘s new prime minister, according to news reports.

The message from the Cambodian leader said that he hoped the border problem could be solved “in the spirit of friendship and good neighbourliness”.

Earlier on September 18, Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said that he is ready to hold talks with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen to settle the border spat.

The Thailand’s new PM expressed hope that Thai and Cambodian delegates will meet on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.-

Fishermen hit by falling seafood price

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm

MEKONG DELTA — Falling seafood prices are cutting into the profits of fishermen in the Mekong Delta, as only 10 per cent of them have received their fuel subsidies from the Government.


The Government offered the subsidy a few months ago to account for rising petrol prices.


Fishermen in Ca Mau Province’s U Minh and Tran Van Thoi Districts said prices of several kinds of fish had fallen by 50 per cent compared to last month.


Tuna prices have dropped from VND21,000 (US$1.27) to VND13,000 ($0.78) per kilo and fresh and dried cuttlefish by 10-15 per cent compared to two weeks ago. Other types of fish including mackerel and scad have dropped by 30-40 per cent in price.


Nam Trieu, a fisherman in Ca Mau, said that he had lost VND30 million (US$1,830) from his most recent fishing trip because of plummeting prices.


Many other fishermen, fearful of the fickle market and higher petrol prices, are postponing trips to sea.


In An Giang Province, several fishing vessels are lying idle on shore due to heavy financial losses.


In Kien Giang Province, some 1,172 fishing boat owners in Rach Gia town have received a total fuel subsidy of VND14.6 billion ($881,642).


Several localities in the province have only just recently filled out the necessary forms to receive the subsidy.


About 1,400 out of 3,400 fishing vessel owners in Ca Mau Province have received subsidies, totalling VND21 billion ($1.27 million).


Ca Mau Province’s Aquaculture Department said it had been working with local authorities to provide subsidies to all fishermen in the province by the end of the year.


Financial support for each fishing trip ranges from VND4 million to VND10 million, depending on the size of fishing boat’s engine.


Each vessel owner can receive a maximum of five payments a year.


To be eligible for the subsidy, fishermen must be permanent legal residents of Viet Nam, own and register their boats, buy insurance for crew members, and possess a fishing licence. —

Land reclamation improves life for Kon Tum ethnic minorities

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm






An ethnic tribal girl take care of pepper plants in Yaxia Commune in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. Land reclamation has helped thousands of minority groups improve their living conditions. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Na

KON TUM — A government land reclamation policy begun in 2004 has helped thousands of ethnic minorities improve their living conditions in Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands.


More than half of Kon Tum’s population of 38,000 are ethnic minorities and many of them are poor and landless.


Decision 134 issued by the Government in 2004 aimed to help the poor acquire land to improve their standard of living.


Poor households living by farming or forestry were entitled to receive either 0.5 hectares of farmland that had been cut down and burned by itinerant farmers, 0.25 hectares of mono-crop land or 0.15 hectares of multiple-crop land.


Local residents were encouraged to reclaim the land themselves and then authorised agencies would grant them government relief money and land-use rights certificates.


Since 2004, the province has reclaimed more than 408 ha of land and given it more than 1,500 families. Nearly 1,200 households have received land to build houses.


The province has also built 76 water supply systems to provide clean water for 4,467 households.


Following three years of land reclamation, Kon Plong District, which originally had 1,172 households without land, some 248 ha of land has been handed over for farming use. Financial support worth a total of VND1.45 billion was given to families.


For localities without an abundance of virgin land, provinces encouraged some households to donate land to others who needed it. More farmers in Dac Ha District were able to do this than in any other area.


Provincial authorities also examined inefficiently operated state-owned farms and asked them to hand over barren land to localities to provide to landless farmers.


Despite successful efforts in land reclamation, Kon Tum Province still needs more than 800 ha of land for more than 1,600 households.


The province has directed localities to help these landless farmers shift to work in breeding and handicraft production so they can earn a decent living.—

Japan firm to buy VN propylene

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm

HA NOI — Truong Van Tuyen, deputy general director of the Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Masayasu Kawasaki, a representative from Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, signed a contract at the Dung Quat oil refinery plant management board’s office yesterday.


Under the contract, Marubeni will buy 75,000-150,000 tonnes of propylene products a year from the Dung Quat oil refinery plant’s polypropylene workshop, that will start operations in 2010. The price of the products will be fixed based on the free on board price (FOB) of propylene products listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore.


The Dung Quat oil refinery plant will deliver the products to Marubeni at the plant’s seaport after an independent verifier defines the quality of the products.


The plant is responsible to inform Marubeni Corporation of the arrival date and volume of propylene products at least 20 days before delivery. The plant must also provide a preliminary report on the export volume at least one month before delivery.


The Dung Quat oil refinery plant is in its 39th month of construction, and is expected to be operational in February 2009. —

State Bank seeks perfect system

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm

HA NOI — The State Bank of Viet Nam has sought help from the International Finance Corporation to restructure domestic credit institutions, develop service systems, manage risks and perfect the nation’s banking regulations.


Deputy Governor of the central bank Nguyen Van Binh sent the request yesterday to Ms Farida Kham-bata, deputy head of IFC’s operation in Asia and Latin America.


Khambata is responsible for IFC strategy, financial products, and advisory services in the two regions.


At the meeting, the central bank of Viet Nam said it highly appreciated support the IFC had given Viet Nam, especially in calling for more foreign investment.


In the future, the IFC, a financial arm of the World Bank, plans to strategically invest in Viet Nam’s financial and banking system to help bankers manage risks and increase their liquidity.


The IFC has also been invited to help develop infrastructure for the central bank’s credit information centre. —