News/Cambodia: Go easy on illegals, says Cambodia, NATION

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Subject: News/Cambodia: Go easy on illegals, says Cambodia, NATION
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 22:12:37 EST


                   Go easy on illegals, says Cambodia, NATION

APwo 11-19-99 4:48 PM

      CAMBODIA yesterday made an appeal on behalf of the thousands of its
nationals living in Thailand illegally, saying that many had been cheated
by Thai gangs who had offered them work, according to an informed source.
      Cambodia proposed that Thailand compromise by allowing Cambodians who
had a job to continue working and not to be too hard on those who were
jobless, because many had arrived against their will or through the offer
of a job which did not exist, the source added. Many of those affected were
women and children.
      It was also suggested that both countries should draw up a joint
agreement on illegal immigrants, said the source, who was speaking after a
meeting between Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan and his visiting Cambodian
counterpart Hor Nam Hong.
      Phnom Penh's request comes as Thailand intensifies its campaign to
round up illegal immigrants from Burma and send them back across the
northern border.
      Most of the illegal Cambodian immigrants sneak across the border in
Thailand's Eastern and Northeastern provinces.
      The source said Hor Nam Hong had put the focus on illegal immigration
because he had a deputy labour minister in his delegation. Hor Nam Hong is
on a two-day visit at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry.
      Phnom Penh also asked Thailand to give it advance notice of any
deportation of Cambodians. It said that last year 40,000 Cambodians had
been deported without the relevant authorities having been informed.
      The Thai side at yesterday's meeting told Cambodia that about 200,000
of its nationals were working here illegally.
      Cambodia was also urged to give more protection to Thais visiting the
casinos in its border provinces. Two Thai businessmen were recently gunned
down in Cambodia's Koh Kong province.
      Thailand also submitted two draft proposals to Cambodia aimed at
suppressing the traffic in artifacts and stolen vehicles across the border,
Surin said yesterday.
      The visiting Cambodian minister will today receive artifacts proved
to have been stolen from Hindu-styles shrines in the Banteay Meanchay
province of Cambodia.
   Copyright 1999 NATION all rights reserved as distributed by
WorldSources, Inc.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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