Cam­bo­dia PM leaves for China

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

CAM­BO­DIAN Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen, who is un­der pres­sure from Western donors over a crack­down on his crit­ics ahead of 2018 elec­tions, will seek more aid and in­vest­ment from China dur­ing a visit this week, his aide said.

Hun Sen’s aide, Sry Tham­rong, said the prime min­is­ter will at­tend a spe­cial sum­mit be­ing held by the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) through Sun­day un­der Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s theme, “Turn­ing the World for the Bet­ter and Without In­ter­fer­ence”.

Hun Sen will also meet with Xi and Chi­nese in­vestors to talk about aid and in­vest­ment with the aim of cre­at­ing more jobs in Cam­bo­dia, Sry Tham­rong said. – Reuters FLIGHTS trick­led out of Bali a day af­ter its air­port re­opened but the erupt­ing vol­cano there shut down air travel to a neigh­bour­ing In­done­sian is­land Thurs­day, show­ing the con­tin­ued risk to air­craft from the tow­er­ing ash clouds.

Mount Agung has been gush­ing black-gray col­umns of vol­canic dust and steam since the week­end and glow­ing a dra­matic red at night as lava wells in its crater.

Bali’s air­port was closed from early Mon­day un­til Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, strand­ing tens of thou­sands of trav­ellers on the idyl­lic re­sort is­land fa­mous for its Hindu cul­ture, surf beaches and lush in­te­rior.

It re­opened af­ter the haz­ardous ash clouds changed di­rec­tion, but the threat has now closed the small in­ter­na­tional air­port on Lom­bok is­land un­til at least Thurs­day evening.

Aus­tralia’s Jet­star said it would have 16 flights out of Bali on Thurs­day, six more than usual, which would take about 3500 Aus­tralians home. Two South Korean air­lines said they were send­ing char­ter flights on Thurs­day, one to Bali and another to Surabaya on the neigh­bour­ing is­land of Java, which some tourists have reached by ferry and bus, to col­lect as many as 700 Kore­ans.

Fig­ures from the air­port showed 23 flights, mostly do­mes­tic, car­ried about 1600 pas­sen­gers out Wed­nes­day. In­bound flights in­cluded a Sin­ga­pore Air­lines jet with only two pas­sen­gers.

The vol­cano was erupt­ing less fu­ri­ously Thurs­day. The Dis­as­ter Mit­i­ga­tion Agency said the ash plume was ris­ing about 2000 me­tres above the crater, about half its pre­vi­ous height. As ash has drifted away from the moun­tain, it has reached heights of 25,000 feet (7600 me­tres), pos­ing a threat to air­craft.

De­spite the all-clear for Bali’s air­port, flights are un­likely to rapidly re­turn to nor­mal levels and a change in the di­rec­tion of the ash or a new more pow­er­ful erup­tion could force the air­port’s clo­sure again.

Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo or­dered min­istries and agen­cies, the mil­i­tary and police to help Bali’s govern­ment deal with the dis­as­ter, and he has urged any­one in­side the moun­tain’s ex­clu­sion zone to get out “for the sake of their safety.”

Au­thor­i­ties have told 100,000 peo­ple to leave an area ex­tend­ing up to 10 kilo­me­tres from the vol­cano. About 40,000 peo­ple are stay­ing in 225 shel­ters, the dis­as­ter agency said, but tens of thou­sands more have stayed be­cause they feel safe or don’t want to aban­don homes and live­stock.

– As­so­ci­ated Press

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