Monday, April 20, 2009

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.” ////

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