Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cambodia-Vietnam-Lao Literacy Authors Conference

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Literary Author’s Conference for Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao will be held over 5 days from 19th-23rd February in Phnom Penh. The conference is organized by the Khmer Writers’ Association (KWA), a local association formed in 1993 and supported by the Cambodia Council of Ministers.

Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers said the conference will promote and preserve the literary heritage of Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the conference will also provide an opportunity for the neighboring countries’ authors to learn about literature, writing, culture, customs, civilizations and progress in each country.

“I appreciate the Conference because this is an opportunity for writers to debate topics on culture and literature preservation,” he said. “I hope through this conference, they can also gain a deeper insight into the importance and values of the culture and civilizations of each country,” he added.

The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that authors are important figures in society as they describe reality, promote ideas and foster a love of good acts, justice and morality.

“Building a literate and cultured society is as important goal. It requires a school system that encourages reading form the earliest age,” he said. “I appeal all, especially children to increase their reading and writing habits so as to increase their own knowledge and writing skills,” he added.

The Deputy Prime Minister added that without education, wrong ideas flourished, often leading to social dislocation. He called on authors from the three countries to continue their hard work and cooperation to improve writing skills in future.

Sim Vanna, Secretary of State at the Council of Ministers and also President of the Khmer Writers’ Association, said that this was the first writer’s conference to be held in Cambodia. He pointed out that last year the conference was organized by the Vietnamese Writers Association in the Social Republic of Vietnam.

The Secretary of State also said the main purpose of the conference was to strengthen and improve cooperation and friendship between three countries - Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao, via writing activities, readings and publications.

The President hinted that his Association plans to conduct an ASEAN Literary Author’s Conference to promote writing and literature in ASEAN countries. He added that the objective of the conference is learning and sharing writing experiences.
The next Literary Author’s Conference for the three countries will take place in Vientiane, Lao, in 2010, according to Vanna.

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