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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 10/29/2008
CAMBODIA - THAILAND
Cambodia, one of Asia's poorest countries, doubles military spending
It's about 25% of the new budget. The intention is to match up better against Thailand in the dispute over the temple of Preah Vihear, a World Heritage site. Meanwhile, recent fighting has caused damage to the 900-year-old sculptures.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Cambodia is doubling its military spending to 500 million dollars, after the recent conflict on the border with Thailand, over the temple of Preah Vihear. Most of the country's population lives beneath the poverty level (less than a dollar a day) and needs international aid. Meanwhile, a joint visit to the temple is scheduled for November 7, with Cambodian and the United Nations authorities, to check the damage caused by the armed conflict.

Cheam Yeap, head of the finance commission of the national Cambodian assembly, says that next week voting will be held on the new state budget, with military spending at 25% of the total. "This incident has awoken us to the need for our soldiers to be better equipped. We cannot sit and watch Thai troops encroach on our border," Yeap says. "Our army needs to be more organised, better trained, with newer bases and well-fed troops."

Since August, the two armies have been squaring off near the 900-year-old temple of Preah Vihear, which UNESCO designated as a World Heritage site in July. Both countries claim ownership of the temple, although in 1962 the International Court of Justice ruled that it belongs to Cambodia. In recent fighting, the sculpture of a Hindu goddess was damaged by shrapnel, and both sides are blaming each other.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 soldiers in the Cambodian army, which makes it about a third the size of the Thai army, but it is a substantial force for one of the poorest countries in Asia. For years, international donors have been asking Cambodia to demobilize thousands of veterans, including many former guerrillas of the Khmer Rouge, in order to free up funds for health and education. Instead, over the past two weeks another 3,000 men have been enlisted, although Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterates that he wants to seek a negotiated solution with Bangkok.


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See also
07/17/2008 CAMBODIA - THAILAND
Dialogue begun, troops amassed at temple of Preah Vihar
11/11/2013 CAMBODIA - THAILAND
Preah Vihear: Phnom Penh gets sovereignty over temple area
07/29/2008 CAMBODIA – THAILAND
Cambodia and Thailand to pull back 1,200 troops from Preah Vihear
08/02/2010 THAILAND – CAMBODIA
UNESCO does not approve Cambodia’s plan for Phra Viharn temple
by Weena Kowitwanij
03/25/2009 CAMBODIA – THAILAND
Preah Vihear temple raises Thai-Cambodian tensions

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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