Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Khmer Boxers to Attend the World Vovinam Championship in Vietnam

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia plans to send 12 Vovinam boxers to the 2009 World Vovinam Championship and the Asian Indoor Games for competitions on July 26-27 in Ho Chi Minh City and November 20-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Among the 12 Vovinam boxers seven are male and five are female.

About 30 different countries will also send their boxers to attend the competition in Vietnam, according to the World Vovinam Federation. The World Vovinam Championship will be organized by the World Vovinam Federation and the Asian Indoor Games will be prepared by the Asia Olympic Committee.

Rat Sokhorn, President of the Cambodian Vovinam Federation (CVF) and Advisor to the National Assembly’s President Samdech Heng Samrin, said the Asian Indoor Games will allow Cambodian Vovinam boxers to attend the international competition to earn medals and honor for their country.

Sokhorn said this is the second time that Vovinam boxers will be able to participate in the international competition and will allow them to improve their skills by learning and exchanging techniques with international Vovinam boxers.

He emphasized that although Vovinam is a new sport for Cambodians, with their hard training and talent, he hopes that they will be able to bring the success to the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“My main objective is to promote the sport to Cambodian children and youths so they can avoid the use of drugs and gambling in order to improve their health and contribute to the development of human resources and progress in Cambodia,” Sakhorn said.

Sokhorn said Vovinam, or Viêt Võ Dao, is a Vietnamese form of martial arts that was founded in 1938. He was the first Cambodian to train in the Vovinam style and obtained a level five black belt from the Ho Chi Minh Vovinam Federation in 1980.

Initially, Sakhorn introduced this sport to Cambodia in 2005 and later reintroduced it in 2008 through the establishment the Cambodia Vovinam Federation.

“I decided to introduce Vovinam to the Cambodian people because I wanted to promote this sport and contribute to better health among our people, especially Cambodian youth,” Sokhorn said.

Sokhorn said Viêt Võ Dao history is strictly tied to the history of Vietnamese people and accurately reflects their spirit. The sport is characterized by the fact that it is not the invention of one person, but it is the achievement of an entire population that, during its history, has had to constantly struggle in order to survive.

Sokhorn described Vovinam as similar to the Korean martial art Taikwando, which is practiced both with and without weapons and is based on the principle of between hard and soft. The practice of Vovinam uses the hands, elbows and kicks as well as other techniques including punching, kicking, wrestling, sword, staff, axe, folding fan and others.

He said the sport is currently showcased at the Southeast Asian Games, adding that about 60 countries are members of the Asian Vovinam Federation.

In addition to participating in the Asian Indoor Games, Sokhorn said that CVF will organize the World Wide Vovinam National Championships at the end of this year in Phnom Penh. The organization also plans to send the Cambodian Vovinam Team to the 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos, as well as to other international competitions in the future.

To promote Vovinam boxing in Cambodia, Sokhorn said CVF plans to train high school students, policemen, military police and the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces in this form of martial arts so that they can use it for self protection and country protection in the future.

They will also lobby to foreign businessmen to invest in Cambodia and provide jobs in the Cambodian sports industry.

Hok Chheang Kim, CVF Secretary-General, said Vovinam was officially recognized by Cambodian Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to be part of the Worldwide National Competition and SEA Games.

Chheang Kim said it will potentially become sport where players can earn honor and medals for the country in both national and international tournaments. Since the establishment of the CVF in 2008, the sport has attracted many young people in Cambodia, he said.

According to a CVF report, there are about 18 Vovinam clubs with 100 boxers in Cambodia. ////


Cambodians “Trott” in the New Year

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONBGKEA

One of the hundreds of Khmer classical dances known as the Robam Trott survived the mass destruction during the Khmer Rouge regime between the 1975 and 1979, during which more than 90 percent of the Cambodian classical artists died, and remains popular among Cambodians, despite being more than 500 years old.

Preoung Chhieng, Vice Dean of the Royal University of Fine Arts, said that the reason Robam Trott is still a favorite among Cambodian people because the dance expresses happiness, peace, solidarity and prosperity for people, especially during the celebration of the Khmer New Year or during Buddhist ceremonies.

“I am happy with and very proud of the Trott classical dance that remains from our ancestors,” Chhieng said. “I think that even though this classical dance is an old Khmer traditional dance, it is still most interesting for people in Cambodia.”

Chhieng pointed out that Robam Trott was born during the Angkor period in the 12th and 13th centuries. He said the Samrae ethnic group first performed the classical at the royal palace or kings’ ceremony celebrations in order to expel tragedies and to bring the happiness, prosperity and success for the New Year.

He said that during Angkor period, the dance was also performed in communities, pagodas, villages and other important festivals throughout the country. Currently, Trott is mostly performed at the Buddhist festivals, Khmer New Year celebrations and various ceremonies.

“To preserve the dance for next Cambodian generation, we have to promote the performance of the dance during the Buddhist ceremonies and other national ceremonies in communities, districts, cities and provinces across the country,” Chhieng said.

Pech Tum Kravel, former Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that the Trott can be performed by a small group or a big group. A small group, which contains about 10 male and female dancers, will perform at small ceremonies and a big group of about 17 dancers perform at large celebrations.

Tum Kravel said the Trott dance has usefulness for Cambodians because it aimed to show and promote peace, prosperity, solidarity and the richness of rice production and natural resources in Cambodia. He appealed to the people to continue support, enjoy and practice it in order to preserve it for future generations.

Teak Otdom, General Manager of the T.O. Export and Import Co., LTD, a company based in Phnom Penh, said he invited Trott dancers to perform at his office inauguration ceremony on April 10, 2003.

Otdom said that since the performance of Trott dance and establishment of his business in 2003, he noted that his business activities have improved with each passing year. He added that because of this belief, he decided to invite Trott dancers to perform at his office every year before the Khmer New Year celebration.

“I believe that the Trott performance is very important because it can bring the success, solidarity, progress and prosperity for my family and my staff. I will invite Rombat Trott dancers to perform at my office every year,” he said. ////




The Rainy Season Starts Early this Year

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Oum Rina, Deputy Director of the Meteorology Department in the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, announced that due to climate change and the changing direction of the monsoon winds, the rainy season will start earlier than last year.

“The wind has changed direction from the Northeast to the Southwest and will cause more clouds, winds, rains and thunder in the coming weeks and months.”

The rainy season generally starts in mid-May and ends in October, but the rainy season in this year has started early, said Rina.

This year’s rainy season will have a higher volume of rain than last year with strong winds and thunderstorms, especially in Cambodia’s wet lowlands, he said.

Rina said this year’s weather patterns are similar to 2006’s rains and will contribute to a shorter dry season, which is expected to begin in July in low land areas, but is not occurred at the seaside areas.

According to predictions by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, as an average there are about 27 storms originate from the South China Sea compared to the 22 storms in 2008.

“I think that it is good for our farmers to begin their planting and farming activities for this year,” Rina said.

Cambodian has three seasons. The first is the cool season that usually takes place from November to February. The second is the hot or dry season that takes place from March to May. The third is the rainy season that takes place from June to October.

Long Saravuth, Deputy Director-General of the ministry’s Techniques and Hydrography Department, said that due to more rains, there will be a risk of flooding in lower areas and provinces this year.

To prevent the floods, the ministry, in collaboration with other concerned ministries and local authorities, are working to repair old water irrigations and dams as well as construct new ones in the outskirts of Phnom Penh and other priority provinces, Saravuth said.

The ministry also conducted training on how to take care of irrigation systems, escape flooding and other life skills so and officials will be able to inform and help the poor in case of flooding situations.

Puy Sok, 55, a farmer living in Baseth District in Kampong Speu province, is happy with the news of early rains. He and his family have owned five hectares farmland for the past 10 years.

“If there is more rains as the ministry predicted, I will prepare and start my planting activities next week,” he said. “I hope that with these rains I will be able to do more planting this year.”

Scholarship Student tells about his hard learning to become English Interpreter

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Em Vichet, 19, one of The University of Cambodia’s recipients of the “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008,” was born in Kampong Cham province and is the youngest among his five siblings – two brothers and three sisters. He now studies English Literature at UC.

Vichet passed the scholarship exams offered by UC in Phnom Penh on September 22, 2008.

“I am pleased that I passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia in 2008,” Vichet said. “I think I am lucky and am greatly honored to have the chance to study at The University of Cambodia, which is an outstanding and qualified university.”

Vichet said that he received a Baccalaureate from Srey Santhor High School in Kampong Cham province in 2008. He later applied to UC following the introduction of the university’s scholarship program.

He has been studying hard and everyday does homework and reads books related to his studies so he can achieve his goals.

“I will study hard to earn my Bachelor’s degree in order to thank Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, the UC President, and Samdech Hun Sen and Dr. Handa who sponsored the scholarship,” Vichet said. “I will continue to study for my Master’s and Doctoral degrees with The University of Cambodia in the future.”

He decided to study English because he wants to be an English interpreter or English teacher. He prefers to study at UC because the university has qualified professors, excellent teaching and a curriculum relevant to the current job market.

“I am happy because I can write and speak English well after studying with The University of Cambodia,” he said. “I hope my English skills will improve more after graduation in the near future.”

Vichet said he will apply to work with a private company or international organization after graduation. He then plans to create his own English Center in Kampong Cham province after gain work experience.

Currently, he is looking for internships or part-time work with national and international non-governmental organizations in Cambodia. He wants to work as an intern so he can learn office skills and get useful experience before graduation as well as make some money to support his studies.

Heng Geklim, 19, a first-year Economics student of the Norton University in Phnom Penh and personal friend to Vichet, said that she appreciates Vichet’s capacity to work hard.

“I have known Em Vichet since 2006 when he studied in the same class with me in grade 10 at the Srey Santhor High School in Kampong Cham province. He was a hard worker and the most outstanding student in my class,” she said. “I am very proud to be Vichet’s friend and I wish him all the luck and success in future.” ////

Government Drafts Master Plan for Land Management

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia plans to draft a master plan for land management of all cities and provinces provide opportunities for local and foreign investors, announced Im Chhun Lim, Senior Minister in the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC).

Chhun Lim said the government is committed to promoting local and foreign investments and generating jobs and will set up a master plan for general land management in order to control land, forestry areas, seas and islands throughout the country’s 24 provinces and in major cities.

Chhun Lim said MLMUPC, in collaboration the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, development partners and local authorities, has been working to measure and calculate land topography within the administrative geography.

“Land management is very important for the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting and developing investment, business opportunities and progress in Cambodia,” Chhun Lim said during his opening remarks of the 2008-2009 Annual Congress, held April 23 in Phnom Penh.

He said the government will make an effort to provide more efficient public services and encourage national centralization and decentralization in coordinating business activities of local and international investors, opening the base of economic growth by focusing on the agricultural sector, land sector and industrial sector.

“To reach these tasks, the Cambodian government will continue to maintain peace, political stability, security, and social and public order for all the people who live in cities and the countryside to encourage peaceful living and social development,” Chhun Lim said.

The Minister said that for 2009, MLMUPC will produce a “White Book” that describes about the land, cadastres, land data, land maps, and the topography on the land within the administrative geography of provinces and cities in Cambodia. He said that his ministry will also prepare a sub-decree for the governance of foreign companies or investors who wish to buy houses or land.

He said when this sub-decree is issued at the end of this year, foreigners will be allowed to buy the second floor of houses in Cambodia. He added MLMUPC will study and prepare the master plan to manage land for construction, the use of land, and integration of gender into the land and construction sectors and industrialized zones in Phnom Penh and outlying provinces.

“I would like to call on all concerned ministries and authorities to cooperate and provide their land management data for their own ministries’ master plans to achieve the plan above,” Chhun Lim said. “The government strongly hopes that with this action and hard work, it will help to promote foreign investment and business opportunities in Cambodia. At the same time, it can provide more jobs for Cambodian people and reduce poverty in Cambodia.”

According to a report which was released at the annual congress by the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction, there are 214 communes and sangkats in 14 cities and provinces registered as part of the systematic registration; 590,238 people registered as the package registration; 27 land concession companies with 13,978 hectares of land registered; 157 private companies with 2,156 construction projects and 10,339,642 m2 worth US$3.19 million registered; 737 private companies including 589 local companies and 148 foreign companies licensed and registered with the Ministry in 2008. ////

Monday, April 27, 2009

Government Drafts Master Plan for Land Management

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia plans to draft a master plan for land management of all cities and provinces provide opportunities for local and foreign investors, announced Im Chhun Lim, Senior Minister in the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC).

Chhun Lim said the government is committed to promoting local and foreign investments and generating jobs and will set up a master plan for general land management in order to control land, forestry areas, seas and islands throughout the country’s 24 provinces and in major cities.

Chhun Lim said MLMUPC, in collaboration the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, development partners and local authorities, has been working to measure and calculate land topography within the administrative geography.

“Land management is very important for the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting and developing investment, business opportunities and progress in Cambodia,” Chhun Lim said during his opening remarks of the 2008-2009 Annual Congress, held April 23 in Phnom Penh.

He said the government will make an effort to provide more efficient public services and encourage national centralization and decentralization in coordinating business activities of local and international investors, opening the base of economic growth by focusing on the agricultural sector, land sector and industrial sector.

“To reach these tasks, the Cambodian government will continue to maintain peace, political stability, security, and social and public order for all the people who live in cities and the countryside to encourage peaceful living and social development,” Chhun Lim said.

The Minister said that for 2009, MLMUPC will produce a “White Book” that describes about the land, cadastres, land data, land maps, and the topography on the land within the administrative geography of provinces and cities in Cambodia. He said that his ministry will also prepare a sub-decree for the governance of foreign companies or investors who wish to buy houses or land.

He said when this sub-decree is issued at the end of this year, foreigners will be allowed to buy the second floor of houses in Cambodia. He added MLMUPC will study and prepare the master plan to manage land for construction, the use of land, and integration of gender into the land and construction sectors and industrialized zones in Phnom Penh and outlying provinces.

“I would like to call on all concerned ministries and authorities to cooperate and provide their land management data for their own ministries’ master plans to achieve the plan above,” Chhun Lim said. “The government strongly hopes that with this action and hard work, it will help to promote foreign investment and business opportunities in Cambodia. At the same time, it can provide more jobs for Cambodian people and reduce poverty in Cambodia.”

According to a report which was released at the annual congress by the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction, there are 214 communes and sangkats in 14 cities and provinces registered as part of the systematic registration; 590,238 people registered as the package registration; 27 land concession companies with 13,978 hectares of land registered; 157 private companies with 2,156 construction projects and 10,339,642 m2 worth US$3.19 million registered; 737 private companies including 589 local companies and 148 foreign companies licensed and registered with the Ministry in 2008. ////

Government Drafts Master Plan for Land Management

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia plans to draft a master plan for land management of all cities and provinces provide opportunities for local and foreign investors, announced Im Chhun Lim, Senior Minister in the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC).

Chhun Lim said the government is committed to promoting local and foreign investments and generating jobs and will set up a master plan for general land management in order to control land, forestry areas, seas and islands throughout the country’s 24 provinces and in major cities.

Chhun Lim said MLMUPC, in collaboration the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, development partners and local authorities, has been working to measure and calculate land topography within the administrative geography.

“Land management is very important for the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting and developing investment, business opportunities and progress in Cambodia,” Chhun Lim said during his opening remarks of the 2008-2009 Annual Congress, held April 23 in Phnom Penh.

He said the government will make an effort to provide more efficient public services and encourage national centralization and decentralization in coordinating business activities of local and international investors, opening the base of economic growth by focusing on the agricultural sector, land sector and industrial sector.

“To reach these tasks, the Cambodian government will continue to maintain peace, political stability, security, and social and public order for all the people who live in cities and the countryside to encourage peaceful living and social development,” Chhun Lim said.

The Minister said that for 2009, MLMUPC will produce a “White Book” that describes about the land, cadastres, land data, land maps, and the topography on the land within the administrative geography of provinces and cities in Cambodia. He said that his ministry will also prepare a sub-decree for the governance of foreign companies or investors who wish to buy houses or land.

He said when this sub-decree is issued at the end of this year, foreigners will be allowed to buy the second floor of houses in Cambodia. He added MLMUPC will study and prepare the master plan to manage land for construction, the use of land, and integration of gender into the land and construction sectors and industrialized zones in Phnom Penh and outlying provinces.

“I would like to call on all concerned ministries and authorities to cooperate and provide their land management data for their own ministries’ master plans to achieve the plan above,” Chhun Lim said. “The government strongly hopes that with this action and hard work, it will help to promote foreign investment and business opportunities in Cambodia. At the same time, it can provide more jobs for Cambodian people and reduce poverty in Cambodia.”

According to a report which was released at the annual congress by the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction, there are 214 communes and sangkats in 14 cities and provinces registered as part of the systematic registration; 590,238 people registered as the package registration; 27 land concession companies with 13,978 hectares of land registered; 157 private companies with 2,156 construction projects and 10,339,642 m2 worth US$3.19 million registered; 737 private companies including 589 local companies and 148 foreign companies licensed and registered with the Ministry in 2008. ////

Government Drafts Master Plan for Land Management

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia plans to draft a master plan for land management of all cities and provinces provide opportunities for local and foreign investors, announced Im Chhun Lim, Senior Minister in the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC).

Chhun Lim said the government is committed to promoting local and foreign investments and generating jobs and will set up a master plan for general land management in order to control land, forestry areas, seas and islands throughout the country’s 24 provinces and in major cities.

Chhun Lim said MLMUPC, in collaboration the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, development partners and local authorities, has been working to measure and calculate land topography within the administrative geography.

“Land management is very important for the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting and developing investment, business opportunities and progress in Cambodia,” Chhun Lim said during his opening remarks of the 2008-2009 Annual Congress, held April 23 in Phnom Penh.

He said the government will make an effort to provide more efficient public services and encourage national centralization and decentralization in coordinating business activities of local and international investors, opening the base of economic growth by focusing on the agricultural sector, land sector and industrial sector.

“To reach these tasks, the Cambodian government will continue to maintain peace, political stability, security, and social and public order for all the people who live in cities and the countryside to encourage peaceful living and social development,” Chhun Lim said.

The Minister said that for 2009, MLMUPC will produce a “White Book” that describes about the land, cadastres, land data, land maps, and the topography on the land within the administrative geography of provinces and cities in Cambodia. He said that his ministry will also prepare a sub-decree for the governance of foreign companies or investors who wish to buy houses or land.

He said when this sub-decree is issued at the end of this year, foreigners will be allowed to buy the second floor of houses in Cambodia. He added MLMUPC will study and prepare the master plan to manage land for construction, the use of land, and integration of gender into the land and construction sectors and industrialized zones in Phnom Penh and outlying provinces.

“I would like to call on all concerned ministries and authorities to cooperate and provide their land management data for their own ministries’ master plans to achieve the plan above,” Chhun Lim said. “The government strongly hopes that with this action and hard work, it will help to promote foreign investment and business opportunities in Cambodia. At the same time, it can provide more jobs for Cambodian people and reduce poverty in Cambodia.”

According to a report which was released at the annual congress by the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction, there are 214 communes and sangkats in 14 cities and provinces registered as part of the systematic registration; 590,238 people registered as the package registration; 27 land concession companies with 13,978 hectares of land registered; 157 private companies with 2,156 construction projects and 10,339,642 m2 worth US$3.19 million registered; 737 private companies including 589 local companies and 148 foreign companies licensed and registered with the Ministry in 2008. ////

Monday, April 20, 2009

FFC Schedules to organize Cambodia Premier League 2009

By BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) announced the Cambodia Football Premier League will hold its 2009 games from May 2 to September 28 in Phnom Penh. The plan was announced by Ouk Sethycheat, Director of the National Sport Training Center and General Secretary of FFC in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS).

Sethycheat said 10 football teams from cities and provinces across the country will participate in the league this year, with competitions held at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

While the purpose of the league is to gather the best Cambodian football players together to compete, he said the best players from this leagues will be selected to play in the 2009 SEA games, which will take place at the end of November 2009 in Vientiane, Laos. He said the FFC also aims to attract the youth to the sport and encourage them to have good health and become strong pillars for the development of Cambodia.

There 18 games during this year’s season. The competitions will take place every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast live by the National Television Kampuchea (TVK). According to Sethycheat, the first round competition will take place on May 2, the second round competition will take place on September 9, and the final will take place on September 28 at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Premier League’s winning football team will receive a gold medal and a cash prize of US$10,000 in addition to receiving the honor of being Cambodia’s supreme champions for 2009. The defeated finalists will receive a silver medal with $US7,000 in cash while one bronze medal and $US5,000 awaits the third place team. He said that FFC will also provide a “Fair Player Award” and a “Best Goal Players Award” for gentlemanly conduct on the pitch and for the hardest working player. This high accolade carried a purse of 6 million riel.

“I strongly hope that through these competition activities, we will able to select the most qualified football players for the 2009 SEA Games. I also hope that with their hard work, hard training and previous experience, they will bring the honor and medals for our nation in future,” he said.

Keo Sarin, FFC Deputy General Secretary, said FFC has been organizing the “Cambodia Football Premier League” competitions since 2006. He said since then, nine Cambodian football teams have placed in the top 10 Cambodian sports.

He added that the nine top 10 teams include Phnom Penh Crown Club, Postel Football Team, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Football Club, the Build Bright University (BBU) Football Club, Kirivong-Sok An Football Club, Preah Khan Reach Football Club, Renger Football Club, Phuchong Neak Football Club and Moha Krudh Football Club.

According to FFC, there are over 30 football clubs in Cambodia.

The league competition is organized by the Football Federation of Cambodia and sponsored by Korean Technology Cable Co., LTD (KTC), KTH-Thong Huot Telecom Co., LTD, The Hello 015 016 company and the Societe Concessionaire De’ Aeroport (SCA).

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Wild Honey Committed Sustainable Management in Mondulkiri

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The World Wide Fund for the Nature (WWF), in cooperation with the Non-Timber Forest Products - Exchange Program (NTFP-EP) released fresh wild honey products in Sen Monorom district, Mondulkiri province on April 7. The launching ceremony was also joined and organized by representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations, local villagers and provincial authorities as well as the minority ethnic Phnong communities in Krang Teh and Pou Chrey.

Seng Teak, WWF Country Director, said this event marked WWF’s commitment to protecting forest resources and promote developments in non-timber forest products in Mondulkiri province. He said Mondulkiri Wild Honey is the result of a forest-based livelihood project the two communities of Krang Raton and Prey Rodang began in 2007 to operate enterprises raising the value of forest resources as an important means for improving their living standard.

Teak said such an achievement is also motivated by the communities’ understanding of their roles and that participation in natural resource management is key to successfully protecting the surrounding plains and wildlife.

“Honey is one of the important forest-based livelihoods that communities living in and around the protected areas of Mondulkiri are dependent upon. By motivating the communities in the processing of wild honey, the intimate relations between people, forests and non-timber forest products are promoted,” he said.

He said that the launch of the honey product was organized to coincide with celebrations of community networking and marketing campaigns as his organization promotes Non-Timber Forest Products based community enterprises in other parts of the country including Phnom Penh, Ratanakiri as part of the April Festival on Forests, People and NTFPs and later in the year in Siem Reap and Koh Kong provinces.

“WWF, government and NGO partners are working actively with local communities in the Eastern Plains Landscape to encourage their involvement in forest conservation while promoting livelihood opportunities,” Teak added.

Amy Maling, WWF Community Extension Technical Advisor, said forest honey from the wild bees living in protected areas and community forests can potentially attract domestic and international markets if it meets standard requirements with regards to quality, quantity, price, packaging and product use.

To ensure that forest honey collection is a sustainable community livelihood, honey collectors follow proper methods of harvesting, adopt hygienic and standardized practices and package products with attractive labeling, Maling said.

She added that WWF works with NTFP-EP to promote and support NTFP-based community processing activities by organizing them in groups, providing capacity building, inviting them in processes of forest management and helping them to promote their achievement among the public.

Tep Asnarith, WWF Senior Communications Officer, said in partnership with communities, government and the NTFP Working Group, the WWF is implementing forest-based livelihood projects in the Mondulkiri’s Eastern Plains Landscape and Kampot province with the goals to maintain the forests ecosystem and reinforce the sustainable use of natural resources for Cambodia’s next generations.

WWF’s Eastern Pains Landscape Project works with the Cambodian government on protecting the Cambodia’s dry forests complex and the globally significant wildlife it harbours. The project focused on two conservation areas, Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, covering a total area of approximately 6,000 square kilometres. The project’s goal is to keep the last wilderness of Cambodia intact and connected, helping people protect their wildlife and sustain their livelihood.

Asnarith said that WWF Cambodia’s mission is to ensure that there will be strong participation and support from all people to conserve the country’s rich biological diversity. He said through encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources, WWF Cambodia will promote new opportunities for the benefit of all people, enhancing local livelihoods and contributing to poverty reduction throughout the country.

The development of the honey enterprise brings change into the situation of local honey trade in Mondulkiri province, according to Asnarith.

He said the fresh wild honey is sold only to local buyers who offer a low and unstable price. In 2007, for example, honey was sold for 10,000 riel (US$2.5) per litre. But with the increased market in the province and capital of Phnom Penh, the Phnong collectors sold an average of 18,000 riel (US$4.5) per litre in 2008.

Pich Phony, 45, a Phnong community member, was happy to have completed a series of trainings for proper honey collection techniques and witnessed good results.

"Rather than just collecting one lot of honey from a nest, with the new technique I can collect up to three times during a 25-day period,” Phony said. “This is very important to me because it gives me more income to support my family.”

He said before, the price of honey was not stable because it depended on brokers to set it. The price for selling in the village was 10,000 to 12,000 riel per litre, but if sold directly to tourists, the price could reach as high as between 18,000 to 20,000 riel per litre.

To promote the sustainable honey products and forests in Cambodia, WWF will continue to promote the eco-friendly honey harvesting tradition and sustainable collection method that respect the biodiversity and maintain the intimate relationships and harmony between people, forest and NTFP, said Asnarith.

“We are working to promote the sustainable harvest and production to other villages across Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary,” Asnarith said. “It includes 16 villages living in and around these protected areas and the objective is also to promote and increase community awareness of livelihoods development based on non-timber forest products.”

To find the market for the sale of local honey products, WWF and its NTFP-EP partner will work with communities on building their capacity for planning and handling marketing techniques and aspects, he said.

“We also continue to promote and involve community participation in the process of natural resource management to enable protection of plains and wildlife for the next generations,” he added.

He also said that WWF will continue to train the communities’ members to effectively deal with retail outlets in Mondulkiri and properly manage the honey product. WWF also plans to find and work with other partners for a wider distribution of the Mondulkiri Wild Honey and other business opportunities.

A UC Scholarship Student Wishes to be a Law Maker

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Yoeurng Sotheara, 25, one of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2007” recipients, began Law at UC after passing the university’s scholarship exams in August 2007.

A Buddhist monk born in 1984 in Kampong Thom province, he currently lives at Unalom pagoda in Phnom Penh.

“I became a Buddhist monk in 1999 when I was 16 years old. I decided to be a monk as firstly, I wanted to thank for my parents who had given birth to me, and secondly, I wanted to study and following the teachings of Dharma to promote the Buddhist religion and peace in Cambodia,” he said.

Sotheara said that when he was become a monk in Kampong Thom province, he stayed at the Serei Mongkul pagoda, better known as “Wat Kampong Chvea,” later moved to the Taing Krasaing pagoda.

“I think that if I did not receive my scholarship, I would not be able to study at The University of Cambodia,” Sotheara said. “To thank for scholarship owners and The University of Cambodia, I will try to study hard to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Law and I will then continue to study for a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree with UC in the future.”

In 2001, Sotheara moved to the Kampong Krasaing pagoda in Pursat province and studied at the Um Em Buddhist High School. He later moved to Unalom pagoda in Phnom Penh in 2004 to continue his studies at Preah Soramarith Buddhist High School, where he earned his Baccalaureate in 2007.

He applied to study Law at UC following the introduction of the “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” in 2007.

He said he heard about the university in 2006 through the UC’s leaflets and an announcement Southeast Asia Radio FM 106 announcement. He decided to apply to UC because he noted it is the best university in Cambodia, where he can learn to be a future leader or lawmaker.

“I want to be a law professor or a lawmaker in Cambodia in the future, and I prefer to study at UC because the university has qualified professors and excellent teaching. I hope that it can help me to become a good leader in Cambodia,” he said.

Besides his studies, Sotheara works at the Buddhism Education for Peace Center (BEPC), a non-governmental organizations in Phnom Penh, as a Project Manager and English Teacher.

He said he works with BEPC because he wants to help poor people and promote peace, social morality and development in Cambodia through the teachings of Buddha.

“I am now happy because I have achieved success in my studies and career in Phnom Penh,” Sotheara said. “I will try to study hard to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Law at The University of Cambodia in the next two years in order to reach my goal.”

Leng Tin, a Buddhist monk at the Saravorn pagoda in Phnom Penh, and a close friend of Sotheara, said he appreciates Sotheara’s capacity to work hard.

Tin said he met Sotheara when he was staying with him in Kampong Thom province in 1999. He said that although Sotheara’s family was poor, he studied hard and was one of the most outstanding monks in pagoda.

He remembered that when Sotheara first moved to Phnom Penh to study, he had no house and his living conditions were bad. Tin supported his friend by giving him rice, fish sauces, food, clothes and accommodation.

In early January 2009, Sotheara also passed scholarship exams given by the Singaporean government to study on English Literature at the Buddhism College of Singapore for five years, said Tin, adding that due to his studies at UC, Sotheara turned down the offer in Singapore.

“I think that it is my honor to have a good friend like Sotheara,” Tin said. “I hope that he will realize his dreams and become a leader in Cambodia in the future.” ////

Cambodia Cracks Down on Human Trafficking

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has taken strong measures to crack down on children exploitation and human trafficking in Cambodia, according to Oum Mean, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MoLVT).

Mean said MoLVT, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and related local authorities, recently introduced a requirement for all registered foreign labor companies in Cambodia that recruit Khmer workers for employment abroad to obey Cambodian labor laws.

He said the ministry also asked involved ministries and local authorities to increase cooperative action against child exploitation and human trafficking, as it occurs in Phnom Penh and provinces along the borders throughout the country.

Recently, MoLVT organized a five-day workshop for police and military police in 24 cities and province, aiming to increase the awareness of human trafficking, according to Mean. It also recently established information networks to provide awareness on the competent police telephone number and address, and emergency calls to all people, and involved government institutions in Cambodia.

In addition, ministry also posted “human trafficking banners and information on major roads and in the 24 cities and province and also provided information to the Cambodian embassies around the world so they can call or report incase they have cheated in trafficking during working abroad, said Oum Mean.

“The government works hard to stop the child exploitation and human trafficking activities,” he said. “We hope with good organization and cooperation from involved ministries and authorities, we can reduce the activity of the child exploitation and human trafficking in Cambodia.”

Brigadier General Mok Bun Chheang, Deputy Director of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department in the Ministry of Interior, said child exploitation and human trafficking has been a problem of concern for Cambodia and other counties in the region.

“We all know that the Khmer Rough regime and its killing fields was bad for Cambodian people, but I think that Cambodian workers who are trafficked and sold into sexual slavery or sold to foreign countries in the region have bad living conditions and their situation are very bad and dangerous,” Bun Chheang said. “To protect our Cambodian people from being trafficked or sold in future, we have to take strict actions and measures against the dealers.”

To crack down on human trafficking, the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with involved ministries and local authorities have been worked hard, said Bun Chheang, adding that as result, one Cambodian was arrested last month and sent to the Phnom Penh court and charged as a human trafficking dealer.

He said the Ministry of Interior has identified 72 human trafficking dealers in Cambodia who are under investigation. The authorities plan to arrest and charge them in connection with the human trafficking activities soon.

“I would like to appeal for all people who know information on the child exploitation and human trafficking leaders to please to report to the police station so that police can take immediate action to rescue the victims,” he said.

At least 500 Cambodian workers in the previous year, including children and women, have been lured into labor exploitation in Cambodia and other countries in the region, according to a report which was released in 2008 by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (UNIAP).

Lim Tith, Project Coordinator of UNIAP, said women and children were trafficked from rural to urban areas. He hinted that most destinations are: Phnom Penh (for commercial sexual exploitation, begging, domestic work, and labor exploitations); and other provinces such as Koh Kong (for fishing industry and commercial sexual exploitation), Sihanouk (for commercial sexual exploitations), Siem Reap (commercial sexual exploiltation), Poipet (commercial sexual exploitation) and Battambang (commercial sexual exploitation).

Domestic trafficking usually takes place in highly populated rural areas, he said, especially those in areas of severe drought or flooding that are susceptible to the economic downturn.

Cambodia Cracks Down on Human Trafficking

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has taken strong measures to crack down on children exploitation and human trafficking in Cambodia, according to Oum Mean, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MoLVT).

Mean said MoLVT, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and related local authorities, recently introduced a requirement for all registered foreign labor companies in Cambodia that recruit Khmer workers for employment abroad to obey Cambodian labor laws.

He said the ministry also asked involved ministries and local authorities to increase cooperative action against child exploitation and human trafficking, as it occurs in Phnom Penh and provinces along the borders throughout the country.

Recently, MoLVT organized a five-day workshop for police and military police in 24 cities and province, aiming to increase the awareness of human trafficking, according to Mean. It also recently established information networks to provide awareness on the competent police telephone number and address, and emergency calls to all people, and involved government institutions in Cambodia.

In addition, ministry also posted “human trafficking banners and information on major roads and in the 24 cities and province and also provided information to the Cambodian embassies around the world so they can call or report incase they have cheated in trafficking during working abroad, said Oum Mean.

“The government works hard to stop the child exploitation and human trafficking activities,” he said. “We hope with good organization and cooperation from involved ministries and authorities, we can reduce the activity of the child exploitation and human trafficking in Cambodia.”

Brigadier General Mok Bun Chheang, Deputy Director of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department in the Ministry of Interior, said child exploitation and human trafficking has been a problem of concern for Cambodia and other counties in the region.

“We all know that the Khmer Rough regime and its killing fields was bad for Cambodian people, but I think that Cambodian workers who are trafficked and sold into sexual slavery or sold to foreign countries in the region have bad living conditions and their situation are very bad and dangerous,” Bun Chheang said. “To protect our Cambodian people from being trafficked or sold in future, we have to take strict actions and measures against the dealers.”

To crack down on human trafficking, the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with involved ministries and local authorities have been worked hard, said Bun Chheang, adding that as result, one Cambodian was arrested last month and sent to the Phnom Penh court and charged as a human trafficking dealer.

He said the Ministry of Interior has identified 72 human trafficking dealers in Cambodia who are under investigation. The authorities plan to arrest and charge them in connection with the human trafficking activities soon.

“I would like to appeal for all people who know information on the child exploitation and human trafficking leaders to please to report to the police station so that police can take immediate action to rescue the victims,” he said.

At least 500 Cambodian workers in the previous year, including children and women, have been lured into labor exploitation in Cambodia and other countries in the region, according to a report which was released in 2008 by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (UNIAP).

Lim Tith, Project Coordinator of UNIAP, said women and children were trafficked from rural to urban areas. He hinted that most destinations are: Phnom Penh (for commercial sexual exploitation, begging, domestic work, and labor exploitations); and other provinces such as Koh Kong (for fishing industry and commercial sexual exploitation), Sihanouk (for commercial sexual exploitations), Siem Reap (commercial sexual exploiltation), Poipet (commercial sexual exploitation) and Battambang (commercial sexual exploitation).

Domestic trafficking usually takes place in highly populated rural areas, he said, especially those in areas of severe drought or flooding that are susceptible to the economic downturn.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

UNIAP Trains Local Journalists on Human Trafficking Reporting

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

About 50 Cambodian journalists from different national newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations attended the “Training on Ethnical Standard for Interviewing Victims of Human Trafficking” in Phnom Penh on April 9.

The training was conducted by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (UNIAP) and supported by the Cambodia’s Ministry of Information, Ministry of Interiorand the Press Council of Cambodia.

Kem Gunawadh, Government Delegate in Charge and Director General of the National Television Kampuchea (TVK) in the Ministry of Information, said the training was important for Cambodian journalists to learn about the ethnical standard for interviewing victims of human trafficking.

“I appreciated UNIAP’s training activities and I think that the training really helped the Ministry of Information strengthen the quality and build the capacity of journalists in Cambodia,” Gunawadh said during the training session’s opening remarks on April 9. “I hope that through this training activity, Cambodian journalists will use their new skills regarding ethnical standards for interviewing victims of human trafficking and will be able to perform their duties well and report the accurate news about human trafficking issues in Cambodia.”

He encouraged all journalists to continue to work according to Cambodia’s press law and media code of conduct.

“I want our reporters to continue to work hard and write more reports about human trafficking to combat human trafficking and reduce the child exploitation in Cambodia,” he said.

Gunawadh said UNIAP’s training activities helped the Ministry of Information and the Royal Government of Cambodia promote and strengthen journalists’ professional skills.

Mok Bun Chheang, Deputy Director of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department in the Ministry of Interior, said human trafficking has been a main concern for Cambodia as well as countries throughout the region.

Bun Chheang said that so far, the Ministry of Interior has not been able to collect all the information about human trafficking activities due to the lack of information and reporting and poor cooperation from involved agencies, including media groups.

“I hope through UNIAP’s training activities, it will help to encourage and strengthen good cooperation between the media and the Ministry of Interior in the future,” Chheang said. “I hope that from now on, media will become a new partner of the ministry in reporting and fighting against human trafficking activities and reducing poverty in Cambodia.”
Lim Tith, UNIAP National Project Coordinator, said this is the first time as UNIAP has organized such a training for journalists in the Kingdom of Cambodia. He said the main purpose of the training is to build capacity in writing skills for Cambodian journalists. UNIAP will continue to conduct more trainings on this subject and others in the future.

Mey Vath, Editor-in-Chief of the Neang Khao newspaper in Phnom Penh, said that he was so happy to attend the training offered by UNIAP, which he attended for the first time. Through the training, he learned new skills for newspaper interviewing and writing.

“I hope I will have the opportunity to attend the UNIAP’s training in future and I appeal the UNIAP to continue providing more training for Cambodian journalists in future,” Vath said after the training course finished.



ICT Expo Showcases New High-Tech Products

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

About 30,000 local visitors and delegates from the United States of America, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea gathered on April 3 at NagaWorld Hotel in Phnom Penh to attend the 5th Cambodia ICT and Telecom World Expo 2009.

The three-day event was co-organized by the National Information Communications Technology Development Authority (NiDA) and International Data Group (IDG), and supported by the Council of Minters, Ministry of Information, Post and Telecommunication, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Phnom Penh Municipality.

Phu Leewood, NiDA’s Secretary General, said this year’s event was biggest yet. He said the expo has seen remarkable growth and gained strength from year to year since its inception in 2005.

The organizers marked the fifth anniversary by holding the event at a new venue and launching interactive and concurrent activities for the first time. Activities included best of 10 ICT products awards and the e-government symposium.

The expo centered on the theme “Building a Robust ICT Industry.” According to Leewood, he main objective was to speed up the country’s ICT industry development by calling the government, companies and individual specialists to share their experiences and for local and international companies to showcases the latest ICT products, services and technologies.

“The topic covers e-government, e-learning, and application; e-library and e-sport zone to attract the youngsters who are the vanguard of high technology,” Leewood said. “The event introduces to the market state-of-the-art technologies for e-commerce, e-signature and e-report and filing, which will help businesses improve productivity, adapt and integrate into the world economy.”

He said the technologies, products and services showcased at the exhibition will focus on benefits to business sectors, public services and the young generation in Cambodia.

Le Thanh Tam, General Director of IDG, said that the 2009 event also marked the fifth year of continuous participation by ICT giants in the market.

He said that as the event has grown, so have the business and fortunes of these loyal participating companies. Ninety percent of this year’s 3,000 square meters of booth was occupied by 50 companies from more than 10 countries.

At the expo, 40 percent of vendors specialized in hardware and software, 32 percent were internet services providers, 12 percent were mobile services providers, 6 percent were telecom services providers, 5 percent were electronics vendors and the remaining 5 percent were application solutions vendors.

“The conference program focused on developing e-government in Cambodia and brought together ministers and senior officials responsible for e-government in Cambodia,” Thanh Tam said. “There will also be leading academics, advisors and practitioners from the public sector and international and local partners and suppliers to discuss the directions and challenges of deploying e-administration in Cambodia.”

He said the show floor featured participants representing the full spectrum of the ICT industry, from learning global names to new markets entrants. The event format combined a major technology exhibition with a strategic conference, giving a mix of high-level content with face-to-face meeting opportunities for the industry.

Vong Kimlong, 18, a student from Royal University of Phnom Penh, who attended the expo, said that he was happy to attend the event and see the new technological products that were exhibited.

“I think that if I had not attended this event today, I would probably not be aware about the development of ICT and Telecommunications in the world,” he said. “I think that to follow up on the development and updates of ICT and telecommunications in the future, I will try to study hard, read more newspapers or magazines and research.”






UNESCO Experts Assess Damage at Preah Vihear Temple

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

A group of technical delegations from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) visited Preah Vihear temple to examine and study how to protect and conserve it for the future. The three-day visit, from March 31 to April 2, was led by Professor Azedine Beschaouch and accompanied by the Cambodian National Committee for UNESCO.

Phay Siphan, Secretary of State and Spokesman to the Council of Ministers, said the main purpose of the UNESCO visit was to directly examine and study the possibility to develop and preserve Preah Vihear temple in accordance to the agreement signed by the Royal Government of Cambodia and UNESCO in Quebec, Canada, on July 15, 2008, after the temple had officially been included into the World’s Heritage.

“The main purpose of the UNESCO’s visit is to examine the temple’s status and staircases which were damaged by Thai rockets during the clashes on October 15, 2008,” Siphan said. “Another objective of the visit is to see the real things happening at Preah Vihear temple, which is world property, to verify and evaluate how UNESCO will take actions and measures to preserve and protect the temple from being damaged in the future,” he said.

Hang Soth, Director General of the Preah Vihear Authority, said the authority has reported and asked the UNESCO to make an examination after Thai soldiers shot into the temple during a border clash with the Cambodian troops in October 2008.

Soth said the authority also submitted a project proposal for temple’s conservation to the UNESCO headquarters, based in France, through the Cambodian National Committee for UNESCO last year.

He said to create a protection zone around the World Heritage site, the authority also posted three UNESCO and World Heritage signs around the temple on November 7, 2008, to prevent further damage of the site. He added that the new signs have demarcated a new protection zone to deter fighting in the area at the Preah Vihear temple site.

“We hope that with the strong helpful support from the Royal Government of Cambodia and UNSESCO, we will be able to protect and preserve the Preah Vihear temple for the next generation,” Soth said.

The temple is one of the most striking to have been built during the 600-year-long Khmer empire and it was mainly built over a 100 to 150 year period during the reigns of the kings Suryavarman (1002-1050) and Suryavarman II (1113-1150), according to the Cambodian documents and historical books.

The historical books said its main architectural features are Khmer in origin but signs of earlier influences, particularly the Banteay Srei style, is noticeable in the earlier buildings.

The Preah Vihear temple’s carved friezes one is of particular interest as it shows King Suryavarman II going about his devotions and presenting gifts of white parasols, gold bowls and elephants to his spiritual leader. It is just one example of the outstanding carvings to be found at the temple.

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Vietnamese Goods Fair Hosted in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce provided support for a five-day Vietnamese exhibition of 170 companies with 330 booths on April 1-5 in Phnom Penh.

The “Trade Fair of High Quality Vietnamese Goods 2009” was organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Vietnamese Embassy and the Vietnamese Commerce Affairs for the Kingdom of Cambodia. It featured household appliances, food, garments, textiles and leather, arts and handcrafts, chemicals, cosmetics, construction materials, stationery and cultural products, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products.

Mao Thora, Secretary of State for Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce, said this is the eighth exhibition in Phnom Penh organized in collaboration between the two countries.

He said through successful Vietnamese trade fairs in Cambodia, especially the past High Quality Vietnamese Goods Fairs, the Cambodia-Vietnam trade relations have made remarkably progress. The total trade figures as recorded by the customs and exercise authorities of the both countries have increased steadily year by year.

The total trade figures in 2006 amounted to about US$935 million and in 2007, the number increased to more than US$1.19 billion an increase of 27.5 percent. In 2008, the total export-import figures of the two countries reached around US$1.64 billion, an increase of 37.4 percent if compared to 2007, in which the imports from Vietnam into Cambodia were worth US$1.43 billion and the export from Cambodia to Vietnam were worth about US$210 million, according to Thora.

“Both countries have goodwill and the same goal to highlight and develop the field of trade more widely, especially the bilateral cooperation in the region,” Thora said during his opening remarks at the Inauguration of the Trade Fair of High Quality Vietnamese Goods 2009 on April 1.

Thora emphasized that the total increase of the trade figures in 2008 amounted to nearly US$500 million is a proud result of the two countries, obtained from good cooperation and joint efforts under the leadership both countries in promoting bilateral trade cooperation. The goal for 2010 is to achieve a total trade figure of US$ 2 billion.

“I believe that this trade fair will further broaden and strengthen the Cambodia-Vietnam bilateral economic and trade cooperation. We hope following the completion of this trade event, the Vietnamese traders will be able to establish partnerships with the Cambodian traders to improve their businesses and it will also serve as a part to further promote the bilateral trade relations for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” he said.

Thora said to promote the bilateral trade and cooperation between the two countries in future, Cambodia and Vietnam recently held a second meeting in Phnom Penh on trade cooperation development along the Cambodia-Vietnam border under the guidance of the two countries’ trade ministers. He added that the meeting dealt with mutual interests relating to trade development.

“I would like to appeal for all traders in the two countries to jointly cooperate and seek to understand and seize these golden opportunities for their own businesses,” he said.

Nguyen Thanh Bien, Vice Minister of the Commerce and Industry of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, said that Cambodia and Vietnam signed an agreement on economic and commercial relations in 1994, and since then, the two countries’ bonds of friendships and relations have improved.

Thanh Bien said the trade fairs will become a bridge to connect, encourage and improve trade and investment between the two countries in the future. He added they agreed that from January 2008 till 2010, the two-way trades of Cambodia and Vietnam would amount US$ 2.3 billion.

“I strongly believe that these trade fairs will help to promote solidarity, friendship and bilateral trade cooperation between the two countries in future,” he said. ////



TV5 Selects Freshie Girls and Boys 2009

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Ten Cambodian teenagers, five girls and five boys, were selected as “Cambodian Freshie Girls and Boys” for 2009. The “Freshie Girls and Boys” competition took place on March 30 at the TV5’s station in Phnom Penh and was organized by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Television Channel 5 (TV5).

Bun Kert, Director of the “Freshie Girls and Boys Organizational Committee” of the TV5, said more than 1,000 Cambodian youth applied for the competition, but through many different phases of the competition, only 20 girls and boys who reached the final round on March 30.

He said the main objective of the competition is to promote and encourage Cambodian young people to show their personal abilities and skills and knowledge in order to become a future leader, good speaker or TV hosts in Cambodia.

“This is the eighth “Freshie Girls and Boys” competition organized by TV5 in Phnom Penh. The main purpose of the competition is to select the freshie girls and boys for Cambodia in 2009,” Kert said.

Before the 10 contestants were selected, they worked and lived together for three months under the financial supports of TV5, he said. During their stay together, they studied about morality, society, real life, Cambodian traditions and culture, artistic works and life skills.

Through the training, they gained work experience and life skills, said Kert.

The winner of “Freshie Boys 2009” was Pen Chanseth, 19, a student from Bak Touk High School. The runners up were Yin Suon, 19, a student from Preah Sisawath High School in second place, Leng Sovannareth, a student from Bak Touk High School in third place, Nguon Rithy, 20, a student from the Norton University in forth place, and Kao Kimlin, 20, a student from Intradevi High School in fifth place.

The winner “Freshie Girls 2009” was Sorn Sothy, 18, a student from Preah Sisowath High School. The runners up were Kidaneth Maneth, 19, a student from the Royal university of Law and Economic Sciences in second place, Chroeung Vichhara, 18, a student from Hun Sen-Wat Phnom High School in third place, Mean Sonita, 20, a student from the University of Panhasastra in fourth place, and Yim Daranita, 18, a student from the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences in fifth place.

Chanseth, who won first place in the boys competition, said he was happy to become one of TV5’s “freshie” boys.

“To maintain the value of Cambodian Freshie Girls and Boys, I will try all my best to study hard and to work for the advantage of the Cambodian people and as well as my country,” he said. ///

UC Scholar Pursues a Career in Journalism

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” recipients, Chea Chakrya, 18, said she wants to be a journalist after gradation. Chakrya passed the UC scholarship exams in 2008 in Phnom Penh.

“I am happy and honored that I passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia in 2008. Since I was at the primary and high schools, I never thought that I have a chance to study at The University of Cambodia,” Chakrya said.

Chakrya was born in 1989 in Phnom Penh and she has two brothers. She is the youngest in the family. She received a Baccalaureate in 2008 from Bak Touk High School in Phnom Penh. Shortly after, she applied to study English Literature following an introduction to UC’s scholarship program in September 2008.

She decided to apply for studies of the English Literature because she wants to speak English well and pursue a career as a professional journalist in Cambodia.

“I am lucky to be studying English Literature at The University of Cambodia, which is one of the top ten universities in Cambodia,” Chakrya said. “I will try to study hard to complete my Bachelor’s degree, and I will then apply to work as reporter with local or international media outlet in Cambodia in order to make money to support my family.”

She continued to say that she prefers to study at UC because of its qualified professors, excellent instruction and up-to-date curriculum.

“My dream is to obtain a higher degree in English Literature in the future because I have realized learning never stops and I want to update myself with new knowledge and experiences, as only these can make me academically strong,” she said.

Chakrya said she intends to study Journalism through the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Media and Communication Department next year. Her final goal is to study English Literature or Journalism in Australia.

“I think that nowadays there are only few Cambodian women working as reporters,” Chakrya said. “I would learn much more information about Cambodia and other countries in the world, especially media freedoms in writing and researching to bring the accurate news to readers.”

She added she now studies very hard and reads many books related to her studies every day. She uses other resources such as the Internet and international newspapers and magazines to conduct research.

Chakrya’s brother Chea Socheat, who received a Master’s degree in Economy and Society from France in 2008 and is a professor at the Royal University of Law and Economic Science in Phnom Penh, expressed his satisfaction with his youngest sister’s efforts.

Socheat said since primary school, his sister has studied hard every day. As a result, she became one of the top ten students in her high school class.

“I am very proud because I have a good sister. I think that her scholarship will encourage her to study harder and to reach her goals,” he said. “I will encourage and support her to obtain higher degrees in the future and I wish her all the best of luck and success. I also hope that she will realize her dreams to speak English fluently and become a good leader or professional journalist in Cambodia.” ////

3rd Road Safety Week Raises Awareness of Traffic-Related Deaths

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior celebrated “Road Safety Week” April 7 at Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh as part of Global Road Safety Week.

Yim Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister and High Representative of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, said this is third Road Safety Week celebrated in Cambodia due to the suggestion the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The global event, which is organized by many nations in the Asia Pacific and around the world, is scheduled to take place April 23-29.

The Cambodian government permitted the National Road Safety Week to be held April 7-14 to be in alignment with the Khmer New Year, according to Chhay Ly.

He pointed out that the main purpose of the event is to wake up the people at all levels to work hand in hand to prevent and reduce road clashes. Cambodia, he said, is working to keep fatalities under five per 10,000 registered vehicles by 2010 and under two fatalities by 2020, figures determined by ASEAN nations.

“We have less than two years to achieve the plan,” Chhay Ly said. “Therefore, I hereby suggest all relevant ministries, particularly Ministry of Interior, which plays the role of the enforcement agency, should try to figure out ways to accomplish the national road safety policy.”

During the last five years, road fatality doubled to 14.87 fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles, he said.

“Traffic police must enforce laws and regulations and make sure that the enforcement remains an effective tool to minimize road crashes toward a lowest level, leading to social development and poverty reduction, which is in line with the Rectangle Strategy made by the government,” Chhay Ly said during the event’s opening remarks.

He said the event will contribute to national economic development, and consequently, create more jobs, promote equity and strengthen transport sector.

“I suggest all relevant ministries and authorities at all levels, especially all drivers, enforce and comply with the law and respect the traffic law in a consistent manner,” Chhay Ly said. “I fully support the implementation of road safety action plan, and hereby appeal for involvement and financial and material support from relevant ministries, authorities at all levels and private sector in order to fruitfully achieve road safety.”

Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Public Works and Transport and Chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, said the implementation of Road Safety Week coincided with the traffic law signed by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni on February 8, 2007.

The Minister said that of all ASEAN nations, Cambodia is currently contributing the highest rate of road accidents compared to its population density and traffic volume. On average, four people are killed and 30 are injured per day, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

The ministry’s data, which is collected yearly, showed road crashes have increased by 15 percent each year while the number of vehicle increased by 10 percent. In 2008, the road fatalities accounted for 14.84 percent, with 10 fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles in some ASEAN countries.

Iv Tek said in Cambodia, motorbike crashes account for 70 percent of all traffic accidents. In these crashes, 86 percent suffer from head injuries, which lead to death. In 2003, Asian Development Bank (ADB) found that road crashes caused 824 fatalities and cost Cambodia US$116 million or 3 percent of the GDP.

To reduce current road crash fatalities in Cambodia, the National Road Safety Committee developed a policy and 15-point action plan to prevent and minimize crashes, aiming at save lives and ensure an orderly and safe environment, said Iv Tek.

He said the primary action disseminate information and educate the public on new traffic laws. The second action is to encourage motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The third action is to issue penalties for speeding and drunk driving.

Dr. Michel Thieren, Representative of World Health Organization (WHO), said traffic injuries are a major public health problem globally. He said every year, 1.3 million people are known to die in road accidents worldwide.

“We appreciate the Cambodian government’s commitment to recognizing the seriousness of this preventable epidemic by implementing mandatory road traffic law enforcement, in particular helmet enforcement which took effect January 1, 2009,” Thieren said. “We are sure that the involvement of government agencies, international agencies, NGOs, private sectors and citizens will play a crucial role to encourage road users to obey the road traffic law and in crease self-protection from road accidents.”

Thieren continued to say that road traffic accidents place a heavy burden, not only on global and national economies but also on individual household’s finances. Many families are driven deeply into poverty by the loss of breadwinners and the added burden of caring for family members disabled by road traffic injuries.

According to UNESCAP, road crashes around the globe are ever increasing, causing about 1.2 million fatalities and 15 million causalities every year. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 70 percent of the above fatalities and causalities.

Motorcycle riders and pedestrians account for 65 percent of transport volume. On the other hand, ASEAN report shows that there are 75,000 people were killed by road crash, and caused another 4.7 percent injured every year, costing US$15 Billion or 2.2 percent of GDP.

“We strongly believe that the traffic law enforcement, together with effective education, public awareness raising campaigns and strong coordination of respective ministries, stakeholders and partners under the leadership of the National Road Safety Committee, will lead to a successful results in reducing road accidents and promote national prestige in Cambodia,” Thieren said.

Wild Honey Committed Sustainable Management in Mondulkiri

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The World Wide Fund for the Nature (WWF), in cooperation with the Non-Timber Forest Products - Exchange Program (NTFP-EP) released fresh wild honey products in Sen Monorom district, Mondulkiri province on April 7. The launching ceremony was also joined and organized by representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations, local villagers and provincial authorities as well as the minority ethnic Phnong communities in Krang Teh and Pou Chrey.

Seng Teak, WWF Country Director, said this event marked WWF’s commitment to protecting forest resources and promote developments in non-timber forest products in Mondulkiri province. He said Mondulkiri Wild Honey is the result of a forest-based livelihood project the two communities of Krang Raton and Prey Rodang began in 2007 to operate enterprises raising the value of forest resources as an important means for improving their living standard.

Teak said such an achievement is also motivated by the communities’ understanding of their roles and that participation in natural resource management is key to successfully protecting the surrounding plains and wildlife.

“Honey is one of the important forest-based livelihoods that communities living in and around the protected areas of Mondulkiri are dependent upon. By motivating the communities in the processing of wild honey, the intimate relations between people, forests and non-timber forest products are promoted,” he said.

He said that the launch of the honey product was organized to coincide with celebrations of community networking and marketing campaigns as his organization promotes Non-Timber Forest Products based community enterprises in other parts of the country including Phnom Penh, Ratanakiri as part of the April Festival on Forests, People and NTFPs and later in the year in Siem Reap and Koh Kong provinces.

“WWF, government and NGO partners are working actively with local communities in the Eastern Plains Landscape to encourage their involvement in forest conservation while promoting livelihood opportunities,” Teak added.

Amy Maling, WWF Community Extension Technical Advisor, said forest honey from the wild bees living in protected areas and community forests can potentially attract domestic and international markets if it meets standard requirements with regards to quality, quantity, price, packaging and product use.

To ensure that forest honey collection is a sustainable community livelihood, honey collectors follow proper methods of harvesting, adopt hygienic and standardized practices and package products with attractive labeling, Maling said.

She added that WWF works with NTFP-EP to promote and support NTFP-based community processing activities by organizing them in groups, providing capacity building, inviting them in processes of forest management and helping them to promote their achievement among the public.

Tep Asnarith, WWF Senior Communications Officer, said in partnership with communities, government and the NTFP Working Group, the WWF is implementing forest-based livelihood projects in the Mondulkiri’s Eastern Plains Landscape and Kampot province with the goals to maintain the forests ecosystem and reinforce the sustainable use of natural resources for Cambodia’s next generations.

WWF’s Eastern Pains Landscape Project works with the Cambodian government on protecting the Cambodia’s dry forests complex and the globally significant wildlife it harbours. The project focused on two conservation areas, Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, covering a total area of approximately 6,000 square kilometres. The project’s goal is to keep the last wilderness of Cambodia intact and connected, helping people protect their wildlife and sustain their livelihood.

Asnarith said that WWF Cambodia’s mission is to ensure that there will be strong participation and support from all people to conserve the country’s rich biological diversity. He said through encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources, WWF Cambodia will promote new opportunities for the benefit of all people, enhancing local livelihoods and contributing to poverty reduction throughout the country.

The development of the honey enterprise brings change into the situation of local honey trade in Mondulkiri province, according to Asnarith.

He said the fresh wild honey is sold only to local buyers who offer a low and unstable price. In 2007, for example, honey was sold for 10,000 riel (US$2.5) per litre. But with the increased market in the province and capital of Phnom Penh, the Phnong collectors sold an average of 18,000 riel (US$4.5) per litre in 2008.

Pich Phony, 45, a Phnong community member, was happy to have completed a series of trainings for proper honey collection techniques and witnessed good results.

"Rather than just collecting one lot of honey from a nest, with the new technique I can collect up to three times during a 25-day period,” Phony said. “This is very important to me because it gives me more income to support my family.”

He said before, the price of honey was not stable because it depended on brokers to set it. The price for selling in the village was 10,000 to 12,000 riel per litre, but if sold directly to tourists, the price could reach as high as between 18,000 to 20,000 riel per litre.

To promote the sustainable honey products and forests in Cambodia, WWF will continue to promote the eco-friendly honey harvesting tradition and sustainable collection method that respect the biodiversity and maintain the intimate relationships and harmony between people, forest and NTFP, said Asnarith.

“We are working to promote the sustainable harvest and production to other villages across Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary,” Phony said. “It includes 16 villages living in and around these protected areas and the objective is also to promote and increase community awareness of livelihoods development based on non-timber forest products.”

To find the market for the sale of local honey products, WWF and its NTFP-EP partner will work with communities on building their capacity for planning and handling marketing techniques and aspects, he said.

“We also continue to promote and involve community participation in the process of natural resource management to enable protection of plains and wildlife for the next generations,” he added.

He also said that WWF will continue to train the communities’ members to effectively deal with retail outlets in Mondulkiri and properly manage the honey product. WWF also plans to find and work with other partners for a wider distribution of the Mondulkiri Wild Honey and other business opportunities

Top Ten of the Motocross Champion

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Vong Khan Pove, 35, one of the top 10 motocross riders who competed in the “Total International Motocross Championship” in Cambodia on March 7, 2009.

Born in Kampong Cham province, he became a Motocross Champion in 2006 after receiving motorcycle training from his friend, Pierre Yves Catry, a motocross expert from France.

“I started training in motorcycle driving with Mr. Pierre Yves Catry in 1995 and I attended the International Motocross Championship Competitions in Cambodia in 1997,” he said.

Since he started training for the motorcycle driving in 1995, he has participated in all International Motocross Championships organized by the Mild Seven Company and Total Cambodge, which take place every year in Cambodia.

“I decided to train in motorcycle driving in Phnom Penh because I want to improve my motocross riding abilities,” Khan Pove said. “I also wanted to improve my driving skills and stay in good health.”

Khan Pove first participated in international motocross competitions in Phnom Penh in 1997. Since 2006, he left Total Cambodge competitions with a medal in the Novice Class.

He said last month he participated in the “Total International Motocross Championship 2009” along with other 50 famous motorcyclists from eight countries – Cambodia, Canada, France, Indonesia, Iceland, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Thailand. The competition took place at the Prek Leap racetrack on the National Road Number 6A on the outskirt of Phnom Penh.

Khan Pove won the second place in the competition.

“I am happy with this honor because I have become to an International Motocross Champion in Cambodia,” he said. “I will continue to train hard and will be driving to promote motocross riding in Cambodia into the next generation until I am retired.”

Khan Pove said besides his motocross training, he has recently conducted training for 20 young Cambodia and international motorcyclists at his personal racetrack in Prek Leap commune in the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

The training is free of charge and takes place every Saturday and Sunday, Khan Pove said. Also to encourage the sports of the motocross and football in Cambodia, he created the “Flying Bikes Shop” and the “Flying Bikes Shop’s Football Team.”

He established Flying Bikes Shop in 1996 in Phnom Penh, aiming to sell the motocross, clothes, motocross gear to cyclists. He sells mainly off-road and road bikes imported from Japan and the United States of America.

He said the shop’s football team was established in 2005 and now there 22 players. It is one of the top ten football clubs in Cambodia.

Yim Vibol, Marketing and Communication Manager of the Total Cambodge, said he appreciates Khan Pove’s dedication to motocross. He said that Vong Khan Pove and his older brother, Vong Ching Chove, actively promote motocross in Cambodia.


“I hope that they will continue their hard works in promoting the sport in Cambodia, and participate in Total’s motocross competitions in the future,” Vibol said.

Young Cambodian Artists Exhibit Creations in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Eight students from Phare Ponleu Selpak, a local non-governmental organization based in Battambang province, revealed their “Sarong and Krama” exhibition for their first time in Phnom Penh on April 9.

The “Sarong and Krama” exhibition was organized by French Cultural Center (CCF) and took place at the CCF in Phnom Penh. The entry is free of charge for all Cambodian people and internationals.

Alain Arnaudet, CCF Director, said the main purpose of the event was to provide young Cambodian artists the opportunity to create works of art and show off their abilities in designing and painting the traditional pictures or activities. The event also aimed to promote and preserve Cambodian traditions and culture for future generations.

“I am very appreciative and proud of the young Cambodian artists from the Phare Ponleu Selpak who have painted and integrated the collages of sarong and krama in their works at the CCF. I noted that all paintings have very good designs and are attractive to visitors,” he said.

Bo Rithy, 20, one of the exhibition’s artists, said that he was happy to take part in the event at CCF.

“I hope that through these activities, they will continue their painting in future and in this way, it will also help promote the artistic works and preserve the traditions and cultures in Cambodian,” he said.

Rithy said he has a total of 11 images on display at the exhibition. All of his paintings are integrate sarong and karma, which show about the parity between the sexes and the love and sexuality in Cambodia.

“I am very pleased to organize the exhibition in Phnom Penh. It is the second time I have organized it,” he said.

The paintings show the public the parity between the sexes, male and female, and serve as a metaphor for love and sexuality in Cambodia.

Sin Rithy, 19, another artist who took part in the exhibition, displayed 10 works of art. He said his images described about Cambodians daily activities. He had spent one month creating the works.

“I hope that my images will attract more visitors, especially the young people in Cambodia,” he said. “I will continue my hard work and attend the other events in the near future to promote artistic works.”

Vong Vibol, an official from Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), who attended event, said he appreciated the young artists. He said the eight artists’ works and CCF’s activities helped MoCFA to promote and preserve the artistic works – both traditional and contemporary arts and culture in Cambodia.

“I think that this event is very important for Cambodian people so that they can discover about their culture and reflect on real things happening in different places in Cambodia,” he said. “It is also encourages young Cambodian artists to carry out their works more professionally and better in the future and conserve the artistic works and Khmer culture for the next generation.” /////