PHNOM PENH – The disputed South China Sea is once again prompting internal divisions in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with host Cambodia and the Philippines offering differing accounts of the bloc’s discussions of the issue in recent days. ASEAN chair and host of the ongoing East Asia Summit Cambodia says that ASEAN countries agreed not to “internationalise’ the Sea issue, prompting the Philippines to contend that no such consensus had been agreed. China claims most of the South China Sea as part of its territorial waters, putting it at odds with Vietnam and the Philippines, both of whom have claims on parts of the sea and to some islands in the contested waters. On Sunday, Kao Kim Hourn, a Cambodian government spokesperson, told media that Southeast Asian leaders “had decided that they will not internationalize the South China Sea from now on.”
PHNOM PENH – ‘This isn’t right at all’, says Mr Ponlok, owner of a waterfront cafe at Boeung Kok lake in Phnom Penh. ‘People are being forced out and the compensation is way too small’. Lakeside residents are being driven from their homes as developers try to fill the landmark lake in Cambodia’s capital with earth and sand, prior to turning it into a residential and shopping complex. In deal signed between Shukaku Inc. and the Cambodian Government, a 99-year lease to the 103-hectare lake site was granted to the developers, a location that sits under the noses of the nearby British and French embassies.