Wednesday, September 30, 2009

World Boxing Championship held in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Three of Cambodia’s experienced and well-known boxer, a universal boxer and two Kun Khmer kick-boxers will attend the World Boxing Championship which will be take place at the National Stadium on Sunday, 27th September 2009. The World Boxing Championship is jointly organized by the Information Media Consulting Group (IMS Consulting Group) and Television 3 Station, in collaboration with the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Association (CABA) in Cambodia.

Oum Yurann, President of the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Association (CABA), said that it was the second time Cambodia has organized the World Boxing Championship.

Yurann said that the main purpose of the world boxing tournament is to compete with foreign experienced boxers. Fighters from the Philippines, United of Kingdom, and Scotland are joining the competition. Yarunn further stated that the championship was an excellent opportunity to show the world more of Cambodia’s fighting abilities.

“I am happy because nowadays our boxers both universal boxers and Kun Khmer boxers are talented and experienced in international boxing. They have also won many medals from international boxing tournaments held all over the world. I strongly believe that with their experience and hard work, they will continue to win more medals in the future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview on September 23.

On 28th August 2008, three Cambodian Kun Khmer Kick-Boxers have attended the World Boxing Championship in Phnom Penh and as result, two Cambodian boxers won the International Sports Kick-Boxing Association (ISKA) Championships.

Relating to Sunday’s boxing competition, he said that three Cambodian boxers included Vy Savuth, 19, weight 55.50 kg, will compete and to gain the world-class universal boxing from Pol Apolinario, 21, weight 55.50 kg, from the Philippines; Berth Kham, weight 69 kg, from the Long Salavorn Boxing Club, will compete with Stepen Meikie, weight 69 kg, from Scotland; and Nuon Soriya, weight 64 kg, from the Ministry of Interior’s Boxing Club , will compete with Danny Taylor, weight 64 kg, from the United Kingdom.

In the local boxing competition, Les Teuk, weight 63.5 kg, from Koh Kong’s Boxing Association, will compete with Phon Sopheang, weight 63.5 kg, from Oddar Meanchey’s Boxing Association; and Nuon Phireak, weight 63.5 kg, from the Ministry of Interior’s Boxing Club, will compete with Sarim Vanthan, weight 63.5 kg, from the Ministry of National Defense’s Boxing Association in Cambodia.

Vy Savuth, 19, with 30 fighting recorded, 27 of them won and 3 lost, said that he was happy to compete with the World Boxing Champion, Pol Apolinario, on Sunday.

Savuth said that it is the first time for him to attend the World Boxing Competition and he will try his best to win for Cambodia.

“It is my first time to attend this World Boxing Championship in Cambodia. To prepare for this competition, I have been training very hard. I hope that with my extensive preparation and hard training, I will try my best to win a medal for my country,” he said.

Chea Ly, Marketing Executive of the IMS Consulting Group, said that the world Boxing Championship aimed to attract foreign tourists to Cambodia, in the future and so generate jobs for Cambodian people.

The competition will begin at 18:30 pm on 27th September at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The price of an entry tickets ranges from US$3 to US$5 and are available at the entrance of the National Stadium.

Mao Chi Channa Designs Temple-Website to Promote Buddhism

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of The University of Cambodia’s scholarship students, Mao Chi Channa, 27, has provided an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on September 24, in which he describe his endeavors to spread knowledge about Buddhism trough internet.

Mao Chi Channa was born in 1983 in Kampong Tayorng village, Puok district, Siem Reap Province. He is the oldest in the family and he has two brothers and two sisters. His father’s name is Mao Chhan and he is a farmer, his mother is named Bun Theavy and is a housewife. They are all living in Siem Reap province.

Currently, Chi Channa is a Buddhist monk at Unnalom pagoda in Phnom Penh. He now is also in the fourth year of Information Technology (IT) at The University of Cambodia (UC) in Phnom Penh. He got a direct scholarship from the University of Cambodia via the UC’s President Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Phnom Penh in 2005.

“I am most grateful to Excellency Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of The University of Cambodia for giving me a 100 percent scholarship to attend the college of Sciences and Technology with UC,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. “I never thought that I have a chance to study at a high level university like this. I wish the UC all the success in its pursuit of knowledge and wisdom and building the tomorrow's leaders,” he said.

Chi Channa said he had known UC since 2004 when he was invited by UC’s staff to pray at the New Year Celebration during the Khmer New Year at the UC. Because of the good heart of Excellency Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Chi Channa and six other Buddhist monks were allowed to study with UC free of charge.

He had begun to study FasTrax English Courses with the Center for English Studies in The University of Cambodia (UC) in early 2005, he started Information and Technology (IT) with UC at the end of 2005. He chooses IT as his major because he loves it and aspirers to become a future IT designer. “When I was 16 years old, and in mu first year of monkhood, an older monk gave me a keyboard. I loved it, and I practiced every day so I could type. In 1999 I moved to Siem Reap province to continue my study at Wat Rajabo Buddhist high school. I spent all my spare time studying computer skills. When I just learned how to browse the internet I tried to find website about Khmer Buddhism. But despite there being many websites dedicated to other religions, I could not find any about Khmer Buddhism,” Chi Channa said.

“I choose to study IT because I want to promote the Buddha’s teaching trough the World Wide Web. Also if I ever decide to stop being a monk I will have to have some skills that will allow me to provide for myself. When I stay a monk I will try my hardest to spread information about Khmer Buddhism trough new technologies. I would love to be a teacher at a Buddhist high school our university, so I can spread Buddha’s teachings all over the world,” he added.

Chi Channa is currently completing his Bachelor Degree at University of Cambodia in college of Sciencs and Technology in field of Information System (IS) and he is also completing his study at the Royal School of Administration (ERA). He will be receiving his Bachelor Degree in IT from UC in the end of this year.
“I am happy now, because my dream became true and I am able to promote Khmer Buddhism. In the future I want to teach so I can help others accomplish their dreams. By teaching Information Technology I believe that I can help Cambodia’s development,” he concluded.






International Workplace Safety Seminar Conducted

BY BUT H REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The 12th edition of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV) conference has been conducted during three days from the 22nd to the 24th of September in Phnom Penh to strengthen the communication and cooperation between different organizations in Asia.

A total of 17 countries from Asian and European origin have participated at the ANROAV conference which was jointly organized by the ANROA, Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MoLVT), the Asian Monitor Resource Centre, and Cambodian Labor Congress (CLC) in Cambodia.

It is the first time for the conference to be held in Cambodia. The main objective of the annual conference is to promote and strengthen the communications and cooperation of different organizations, in order to increase the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) of workers and law enforcements in Asia.

Leng Thong, Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Department in the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training and also represented for the MoLVT Minister Vong Sauth welcomed the delegates. “Our workers are facing difficulties such as unemployment and being laid off; many workers encounter hardship in meeting their own needs because there are no job opportunities,” he said. “I strongly believe that with lessons and experiences of the ANROAV network will be able to help us address the difficulties of our workers. I believe that the efforts of Cambodia in hosting this annual meeting with coordination and support of Asian Monitor Resource Centre and Cambodian Labor Congress and other agencies will be an important contribution towards the promotion and development of the Occupational Safety and Health in the framework of ANROAV network,” The Director said during his opening remarks at the ANROAV’s Annual Conference on September 22.

Thong continued to say that hazardous materials like asbestosis which should be completely banned due to its toxic nature and the harm it inflicts on their lunges are still being widely used in the region with a very powerful industry lobbying to keep its use in Asia to serve the interest of a few and the cost of the lives and health of millions. Meanwhile workers are still being affected and are dying in large numbers due to silicosis which is a silent killer in the region where workers, families and communities are continue to die due to the impacts of these harmful materials.

Relating to the economic development and job opportunities in Cambodia, Thong said that Cambodian government has made a very active efforts in carrying out economic and social rehabilitation and development by setting out the rectangular strategy for growth, employment, equity and efficiency which is a crucial tool for sustaining the implementation of the government’s platform in order to achieve the most goals, namely poverty reduction, development, progress and happiness for Cambodian people.

In parallel with Cambodian government’s strategy, Thong said his Ministry now has been implementing its strategic plan 2006-2010 aiming at skill development, job creation, setting up a national social security system and ensuring better working conditions and safe workplaces for all workers in Cambodia.

To promote the safety and health of Cambodian workers, Thong said his ministry has developed the first OSH Master Plan 2009-2013 with the technical and financial support of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The plan contains the following 6 priority areas: strengthening national OSH systems; improving safety and health inspections and compliance; promoting OSH activities by employers’ and workers’ organizations; implementing special programs for hazardous occupations; extending OSH protection to small enterprises, and informal and rural workplaces; and promoting collaborative actions with hazardous child labor and HIV/AIDS projects and activities.

“We need to take a strategic approach towards workplace safety and health. In order to achieve significant improvement in safety standards and to sustain progress in our region,” he said. “We need to develop our knowledge as well as our expertise on safety and health in the workplace so that it goes in tandem with high-tech modern machinery.”

“Imaginary Park of the Arts” Awards

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Three teams of the 11 teams of Cambodian Architectural students who competed in the competition of the “Imaginary Park of the Arts”, have won the FCC’s Award in Cambodia, said Alain Arnaudet, Director of the French Cultural Centre (FCC).

Alain Arnaudet said that the competition of the “Imaginary Part of the Arts” was jointly organized by the French Cultural Centre (FCC), Kampuchea Institution of Architects (KIA), SCA, and French Embassy to Cambodia within the framework of the Our City Project, month of architecture in Cambodia.

The team which ended up in first place consists of three students from the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) Hour Kimhout, Tuch Mey and Khat Chhorvy. The team that ended up second was made up of Peou Ty, Sok Samnang, and Sour Nora, also from RUFA. The team in third place consists of Lay Ngeab Heang, Pheap Sophat, Thoeurn Bunthorn, Tuy Chanthoeurn, Meng Bunly, Phy Davuth, San Visuth, Say Rithy, and Soung Sophisey.

The FCC director said that the first team received a certificate each and a US$500 prize; the second team received one certificate each with a US$ 300 award; and the third team received one certificate each with a US$ 200 prize.

Relating to the competition, Alain said that it marked the first time that FCC has organized the Imaginary Park of Phnom Penh Arts competition in order to promote architecture and development in Cambodia. He added that the main purpose of the competition is to promote young architects, the development, architectural constructions and progress in Cambodia.

“The French Cultural Centre is pleased to organize the competition of the Imaginary Park of the Arts so we can promote young architects and architectural constructions in Cambodia. We hope that with this initiative, the young Cambodian people will learn about the importance of architectural constructions and buildings in Cambodia and then, they will continue these activities and will be able to design, develop and promote the development and progress in their country in future,” he said at the awarding ceremony on September 25.

Hour Kimhout, 25, fourth year student of Architectures of the Royal University of Fine Arts, said that he was happy to win the first class competition.

Kimhout said that his team has designed an imaginary park which displayed the development and architectural constructions in Phnom Penh for the competition. He and his team spent two months researching and exploring ideas before coming to the final product. “I cannot believe me and my team have won this competition. I will certainly keep going in this direction,” he told The Southeast Asia weekly after receiving his award on September 24.







“Imaginary Park of the Arts” Awards

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Three teams of the 11 teams of Cambodian Architectural students who competed in the competition of the “Imaginary Park of the Arts”, have won the FCC’s Award in Cambodia, said Alain Arnaudet, Director of the French Cultural Centre (FCC).

Alain Arnaudet said that the competition of the “Imaginary Part of the Arts” was jointly organized by the French Cultural Centre (FCC), Kampuchea Institution of Architects (KIA), SCA, and French Embassy to Cambodia within the framework of the Our City Project, month of architecture in Cambodia.

The team which ended up in first place consists of three students from the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) Hour Kimhout, Tuch Mey and Khat Chhorvy. The team that ended up second was made up of Peou Ty, Sok Samnang, and Sour Nora, also from RUFA. The team in third place consists of Lay Ngeab Heang, Pheap Sophat, Thoeurn Bunthorn, Tuy Chanthoeurn, Meng Bunly, Phy Davuth, San Visuth, Say Rithy, and Soung Sophisey.

The FCC director said that the first team received a certificate each and a US$500 prize; the second team received one certificate each with a US$ 300 award; and the third team received one certificate each with a US$ 200 prize.

Relating to the competition, Alain said that it marked the first time that FCC has organized the Imaginary Park of Phnom Penh Arts competition in order to promote architecture and development in Cambodia. He added that the main purpose of the competition is to promote young architects, the development, architectural constructions and progress in Cambodia.

“The French Cultural Centre is pleased to organize the competition of the Imaginary Park of the Arts so we can promote young architects and architectural constructions in Cambodia. We hope that with this initiative, the young Cambodian people will learn about the importance of architectural constructions and buildings in Cambodia and then, they will continue these activities and will be able to design, develop and promote the development and progress in their country in future,” he said at the awarding ceremony on September 25.

Hour Kimhout, 25, fourth year student of Architectures of the Royal University of Fine Arts, said that he was happy to win the first class competition.

Kimhout said that his team has designed an imaginary park which displayed the development and architectural constructions in Phnom Penh for the competition. He and his team spent two months researching and exploring ideas before coming to the final product. “I cannot believe me and my team have won this competition. I will certainly keep going in this direction,” he told The Southeast Asia weekly after receiving his award on September 24.







Vietnam Invests in the Agricultural Sector of Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has urged and promoted Cambodian agriculture sectors to accelerate more cooperation with Vietnamese’s investors during his meeting with a Vietnamese delegation led by Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Ieng Sophallet, Assistant to the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, said that Cao Duc Phat told the Prime Minister during the meeting that his visit to Cambodia aimed to urge and promote cooperation. “The Vietnamese delegation makes a great contribution to the development of the Cambodia agriculture sector,” said Sophallet.

According to Sophallet the Premier said in response that the agriculture sector in Cambodia is the first priority of the Cambodian government. During the meeting the Premier urged the both Cambodia and Vietnam’s Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to help fight viruses that threaten harvest in both countries.

Sophallet said that Prime Minister Hun Sen told the delegation that the provision of raw materials by the Vietnamese to Cambodia through two provinces, Kandal and Takeo, resulted in a high yield of rice products.

Furthermore the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have signed an agreement on rubber investment cooperation to plant a total of 100,000 hectares of rubber plantations in five provinces in Cambodia. The agreement was signed on September 22 by Chan Sarun, Minister of Cambodia’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Cao Duc Phat, Minister of the Vietnam’s Ministry of Rural Development.

The Minister Chan Sarun said that the agreement is very important because it will create jobs for Cambodian people, alleviate the poverty and promote the development and progress in Cambodia. He added that the agreement will also strengthen solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two countries in future.

“The rubber investment will generate more jobs for our Cambodian people in rural areas who up till now mostly depended on forests and farming activities, to become rubber processors in. It will also help to reduce the poverty and promote the development and progress in Cambodia,” the Minister Chan Sarun told reporters after the signing ceremony at his office in Phnom Penh.

According to bilateral agreement, Vietnamese companies will plant rubber crops on a total of 100,000 hectares of land in five provinces in Cambodia. Five provinces included Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear provinces, he said, adding that so far, about 400 Vietnamese companies have already invested in rubber plantations and other agricultural activities in Cambodia, but through this agreement, they will be able to increase their productivity.

The Vietnam’s Minister Cao Duc Phat said that the agreement will also strengthen the bilateral cooperation on other fields such as disease prevention and encourage more investments on other agro-industrial crops in Cambodia.

Cao Duc Phat continued to say that this investment will also help to promote human resources, economic development and social affairs in Cambodia. He said currently, Vietnamese companies have also planted a total 10,000 hectares in Cambodia this year. The companies planed to plant another 20,000 hectares in 2010; 30,000 hectares in 2011; and 40,000 hectares in 2012. He added that the Vietnamese companies also planed to build a refinery factory of rubber products in Cambodia by 2012 in Cambodia.

To promote human resources as well as development and progress in Cambodia, Cao Duc Phat said that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam will continue to help Cambodian people in human resources and technical skills training in future. Vietnam will also send more Vietnamese businessmen to invest and work in Cambodia.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lach Vuthy Experiences as a Judo Coach

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Lach Vuthy, 41, one of the Cambodian Judo Federation (CJF) coaches in Cambodia, has told about his experiences as a coach while providing an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on September 16. Vuthy was born in 1968 in Phnom Penh and has three brothers and four sisters. He is only one son of his family who is involved in Judo. He is married and the father of a son and a daughter. His wife, Chan Chean, 37, and all of their children are trainee of the Judo coach. Chan Chean obtained a third Dan black belt and teaches the national Judo team with Vuthy at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Vuthy had received fourth- level Dan black belt from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan in 2008 and currently the trainer and coach of the national Judo team of Cambodia. He started his training with a veteran Judo coach in Phnom Penh in 1974 under Lon Nol’s regime and later resumed his training in 1983 after he survived the Khmer Rouge regime.

“I started training Judo when I was 7 years old. I decided to study Judo because I wanted to become a professional Judo boxer or Judo coach in Cambodia. I am now happy because my dream became true and I am able to work with Cambodian people and promote the people’s health and sport in Cambodia,” he said.

Nowadays, Vuthy is very busy, he teaches over a 100 trainees per day for CJF and other private schools in Phnom Penh. He has competed in many nationwide Judo competitions and he won the National Judo Championships in 1984, 1985 and 1993.

Vuthy continued to say that in order to improve his Judo skills, he went to Japan three times. The first time in 1998 he went to past the exam for his second Dan; in 2004, he gained the third Dan and 2008, he mastered the fourth Dan at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan.

He added that he attended the International Judo Federation Continental Referee competition in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and gained an IJF Continental Referee Certification in 2003. Since he began teaching in 1995 over 600 students so far have trained with him. Vuthy wants to continue his own training and attend Karatedo competitions in Japan so he can compete with foreign fighters and gain the five-level Dan.

Chim Keo, 18, is a trainee of Lach Vuthy in Phnom Penh. Keo has trained Judo since 2008. He said he decided to train Judo because he wanted to become a future professional Judo boxer and Judo coach in Cambodia. “I will continue my hard training with Vuthy in the future. I hope that after several years of Judo training with him, my Judo skills will be so improved that I can work as a Judo coach in future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

Nicoletta Alcidi, 20, is another of Lach Vuthy’s trainees. She also started training with Lach Vuthy in 2008. She is also a third year Architects student at the Norton University in Phnom Penh. She decided to train Judo with Lach Vuthy because she wanted to improve her health as well as gain some self-protection skills. “I began training with Master Lach Vuhty over a year ago. I like training Judo with him because he is a good trainer. He is strong, capable, friendly and gentle coach. He is strict but is the only qualified and experienced Judo coach in Cambodia,” she said. She has already attended two national Judo competitions in Phnom Penh and as result, she won a bronze medal in 2008 and won a gold medal in 2009. ////





S.21 Documents Included on Tentative World Heritage List

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Toul Sleng National Museum also known as S.21 and its documents have been included on the tentative World Heritage List, announced the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) and the Cambodian National Committee for UNESCO during a seminar called “Remembrance of the World” in Phnom Penh on September 14.

The inclusion of the tentative World Heritage List was announced publicly by the Som Sokun, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, he said that Cambodia is proud and honored to put the Toul Sleng National Museum (S.21) for the UNESCO’s heritage list in order to conserve it for the next generation.

“If Toul Sleng National Museum will be added to the list that means that all documents will be officially recognized as a valued heritage for the entire world. It is also our opportunity to receive the technical and financial assistance from UNESCO and international communities for strengthening of the human resources, documents preservation and capacity building governance perfectly and sustainability,” he said during his opening remarks of the seminar.

The Secretary of State continued to say that this is one of the MoCAF’s actions that they have taken to ensure that the UNESCO’s remembrance is fully implemented and that Cambodia will succeeded to conserve its heritage in the form of the Toul Sleng documents.

Yos Eang, Secretary General of the Cambodian National Committee for UNESCO, said that the “Remembrance of the World” is a relative new issue for Cambodia, but UNESCO has been active since 1992. He said the main objective of putting the Toul Sleng Museum in the UNESCO’s Heritage List is to get international funding and to ensure the use of heritage documents globally so that the lesson learned from the civil war will not be forgotten.

“I hope that after the inclusion of former Khmer Rouge’s Toul Sleng prison documents on the world heritage list, we will then be able to maintain and preserve our historical documents for the next generation. By this way, all people in the world will know about killing fields and the atrocities committed in Cambodia and finally, they will protect stop this from happening in the future,” he said.

The document admitted consist of 6,000 picture of Khmer Rouge comrades and prisoners, over 5,000 pictures of torture crimes being committed and 5,000 issues of “The Revolution Magazine” among other documents. Eang described the documents as witnesses to the terror and mass killings committed by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war.

‘I Study Hard to Complete Bachelor Degree in Economics’

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Rath Virakneary, 18, one of The University of Cambodia’s (UC) “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students, has provided an interview to The Southeast Asia Weekly on September 14, telling about her study and her ambitions to become an economist in the future.

“I think that I am lucky and honored that I have passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia, sponsored by Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen in 2008. To show my gratitude to the Prime Minister as well as UC’s President, I am committed to my study and the completion of my Bachelor Degree in economics in the future,” she said.

Virakneary was born in 1991 in Phnom Penh. She is the oldest of the family and has one sister and one brother. Her father is a Custom Officer working with the Ministry of Finance and Economy and her mother is a house wife living in Phnom Penh.

She studied at Toul Tumpong High School in Phnom Penh and completed a baccalaureate in 2008. Currently she is studying Economics with The University of Cambodia (UC) and studying English Literature at the Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) in Phnom Penh. Virakneary passed the UC’s exams after introduction of the UC’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” and “Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s vision 100 scholarship” in 2008.

Virakneary emphasized that she decided to study the Economics because she wants to become a future economist and help increase the social and economic development in Cambodia.
“My dream is to become a future economist -working in Cambodia. I decided to study the Economics because I am good at the Mathematics and I am very interesting in the subject. I want to have a job like my father who is now a custom officer,” she said.

Besides studying with UC, Rath Virakneary is also studying the English Literature with the Institute of Foreign Language in Phnom Penh. She decided to study English Literature because he wants to speak and write English fluently so that she will be able to communicate with foreign people. “I decided to study English literature because I think that it is the first my basic knowledge to communicate and to work with foreign companies or international organizations in Cambodia or abroad in future. I like studying Economics because I wish to be a future economist or banking manager in Cambodia,” she said.

Virakneary continued that to reach her goals, she now studies very hard, does her home works, conducts researches and reads many books related to her studies every day. She is also studying accounting and other short courses related to her Economics major with a local non-governmental organization in Phnom Penh.

She said that when she completes her graduation with UC, she will apply for a scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Economics in Australia or United Sates of America. She added that when she completes her Master Degree in Economics she will then apply for new scholarship to study at the United States of America.

Him Thavirak, 40, Rath Virakneary’s mother, is proud of Virakneary’s hard studies and hard work. She continued to say that Virakneary went to school since she was at 5 years of age. When Viraknerary was at the primary school and high school, she studied very hard every day and was always top of her class. “I am honored because I have a good daughter like Virakneary. I think that with her hard work and strong commitments, she will realize her dream and become a future woman leader in the future,” she said. “I strongly support her in her advanced studies. I hope that she will realize her dream and I wish her all the best to get success and good luck with her studies in the future.”



Government Takes Actions Against Overloaded Trucks

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has called on the Ministers of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Commerce and other relevant ministries, to work together and take strict action against to heavily loaded trucks which to maintain and protect roads from damage.

Overloaded trucks, sometimes with a cargo load of up to 100 tons, have been a common site on Cambodian roads. Especially the roads from the border into Phnom Penh had to endure a lot of over packed truck carrying building materials into the capital. Because of this many roads and bridges have suffered damage, endangering the road safety.

The Prime Minister stated: “I would like to warn the entire public that the destruction of our roads and bridges due to overloading must stop straight away. Trucks that will continue to overload will be confiscated and their companies will be put on suspension or shut down. Hun Sen made these statements at the opening of the Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge in Prek Kdam commune, Kandal province on September 14.

To prevent corruption the Prime Minister stated that controls should not only take place on the roads, but should be implemented at the companies, warehouses and points of loading. Hun Sen compared the crack down on overloading to the measurements taken against illegal gambling in the past few months. The Prime Minister stated: “I think that the best way to resolve the problem with the overloaded truck is not to just sit en blow smoke, but to put out the fire immediately. Much like we have down when we put a hold on illegal gambling activities. With the example of that action in mind, we have to work effectively together to prevent road damage.

Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Public Work and Transport, said that according his ministry’s report, since the establishment of Royal Government of Cambodia in 1993, many roads, water irrigation systems, dams, infrastructure and bridges, have been constructed in Cambodia. He continued to say that there has been made a lot of infrastructural improvements. “To maintain these roads and bridges as well as promoting the road safety in Cambodia, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant ministries and institutes will be educating people to take care of roads and bridges,” he said.

He added that his ministry in collaboration with local authorities in cities and provinces will stop the heavy trucks or overloaded trucks from driving around in Cambodia.








Cambodia Demands Thailand To Find Criminals for Prosecution

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONBGKEA AND SOY SOPHEA


The Royal Government of Cambodia has demanded the Thai government to explain why the Thai black uniform soldiers in Surin province fired at a group of Cambodian villagers and burned Cambodian teenager alive while they were allegedly lodging at the border areas in Oddar Meanchey province on September 11. The demand was announced during a press conference on September 16, which was made by Ouch Borith, Secretary of State in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Secretary of State said that the Cambodian government has also demanded the Thai government to take full responsibility for the seriously injured Cambodian villagers and the death of one. The government further requested the Thai government to arrest the criminals and bring them to justice.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already presented its complaint to the Thai government through the Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, regarding the shooting of Cambodian villagers resulting in bad injuries and the death of a 16-year old boy who was burned alive,” he said. “We are now waiting for a diplomatic response from the Thai government prior then we have another next step action against Thai. We will receive the response from Thai soon.”

The Secretary of State continued to say that the Cambodian government has also requested the Thai concerned authorities to take appropriate measures to prevent such atrocities from happening again and conduct investigation into this unfortunate incident to bring to justice those who committed the above acts of cruelly to Cambodian villagers.

“We think that if there is no response, we will not stop our actions in protesting and demanding justice from Thais. We will continue this through diplomatic means and international laws,” he told reporters at the press conference.

He continued: “As a Cambodian citizen, I am shocked by the terrible death of a 16-year old boy who was arrested and burned alive by the Thai black uniform soldiers. I think that this act of Thai soldiers is very cruel and inhuman. Therefore, to find justice for our Cambodian villagers, we will not stop our demand and we will continue to do it until there is appreciate resolution for the Thai government.”

The Cambodian Thai relationship endured many problems relating to the borders issue, Preah Vihear temple and the Cambodian workers who crossed the border into Thailand, he said, adding that the Thai authorities have been oppressing their rights, employments opportunities and arresting them without legal basis.

To help Cambodian workers, the government always helped them by diplomatic ways such as negotiating and presenting its compliments to the Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh and Cambodian Embassy based in Thailand. And as result, they were released and protected by Cambodian government, according to Borith. To avoid the future unfortunate incidents, he appealed to Cambodian people who lived along Cambodian-Thai borders not to pass or traveling illegally to Thailand so that they will no be arrested or tortured by the Thai authorities, he said.

The Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) recently issued a diplomatic note to condemn Thailand for killing Cambodian citizens, who were accusing of illegally entering Thailand’s territory for logging.

The Cambodia MoFAIC added that the Royal government of Cambodia considers these reported acts, as a serious breach of internationally accepted humanitarian principle, which should be committed by any agent a civilized State in official capacity and in contrary to the spirit of Point 77 of the Record of Discussion of the 6th Meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia on the 4th and the 5th of August 2009, in Bangkok.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia requests the Authorities concerned of Thailand to take appropriate measures to prevent such atrocity from happening again and conduct a thorough investigation into investigation into this unfortunate incident to bring to justice those who committed the above acts of cruelly,” the ministry added.






Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cambodian Joined International Petanque Championship in Vietnam

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Six male and six female Cambodian Petanque national selected players have left Cambodia on the 9th of September to compete in the international Petanque Championship competition in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The international competition was held for three days from September 10-12, organized by the National Olympic Committee of Vietnam.

Sok Mong, National Coach of the Cambodian Petanque and Sport Boules Federation in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS). He said that four countries including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have participated in the competition in Vietnam.
“It is my pleasure and honor to lead our Cambodian national team to attend the international Petanque championship,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview at the National Stadium on September 8.

The main purpose of the participation is to compete with foreign Petanque players from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam in order to win medals for our country, he said, adding that the competition will also improve and develop our Cambodian Petanque players’ skills and experiences with participated countries prior to attending the 25th SEA Games in Laos which will take place in the end of this year.

Cambodian Petanque recently became one of the MoEYS’s potential participants in the international competitions to bring medals and honor to Cambodia, according to Sok Mong. In 2005, the Cambodian Petanque team had attended the 23rd SEA Games in Manila, in Philippines as a result, they won four medals, two silvers and two bronzes.
In 2007, the Cambodian Petanque team participated in the 24th SEA Games in Chiang Mai, Thailand and as a result, they won six medals, two gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

“I strongly hope that with our Cambodian Petanque players’ hard training, strong commitment and playing experience, they will continue to more medals from international Petanque championship in Vietnam as well as SEA Games in future,” Sok Mong said.

He stated that besides attending the international Petanque championship in Ho Chi Minh City, the Cambodian Petanque and Sport Boules Federation planed to send a total of four Cambodian Petanque players to attend the Asian Indoor Games Tournaments in Hanoi, in Vietnam which will take place from 31st October to 5th November 2009. He added that his federation also planed to send a total of 24 Petanque players to the 25th SEA Games which will take place by the end of December in Vientiane, Laos.

Sok Chanmean, 27, attended the international Petanque championship in Vietnam and is a member of the Cambodian national Petanque team. He has been training Petanque with the Cambodian Petanque and Sport Boules Federation for over 10 years in Phnom Penh.
“I am happy to be selected again for the international Petanque championship in Vietnam. I have started training for this competition about four moths ago. I will give it my all to bring at least one medal from the competition to Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

Chanmean said that since he trained with the Cambodian Petanque and Sport Boules Federation, he has attended many competitions both national and international. As a result, he won 19 medals 6 of them were gold medals, 10 silver and 3 bronze.

‘My dream is to help the underprivileged’

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

“My dream is to become a lawyer or law professor working in Cambodia. I want to become a lawyer because I think that this work enables me to help the underprivileged and contribute to the strengthening and promote the law enforcement and democracy in my country. It is also my responsibility to make money to support my family in future,” Sam Phalla, a 20-year-old “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2007” student states during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on September 10.

Phalla now is studying Law at The University of Cambodia (UC) and studying Economic Information at the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences (RULE) in Phnom Penh.
“I am happy that I passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia in 2007 and have a chance to study the Law at the University of Cambodia because it is an outstanding university in Cambodia,” he said.

Phalla stated that since he studied with UC in 2007, his English and understanding of Law have been improving with great strides. He can read, write and speak English well as well as understand the basic principles of law, both local and international laws which have been implemented in Cambodia. “I noted that since I studied Law at UC, I became familiar with many issues relating to laws, constitutions and human rights as practicing in Cambodia,” he said. “I hope that my understanding of law skills will be even more improved after the completion of my graduation with UC in the future.”

Besides studying with UC, Phalla is also studying the Economic Information with the Royal University of Laws and Economic Sciences in Phnom Penh. He decided to study Economic Information because he wants to improve his economic knowledge addition to his Law study.
“I like studying both Law and Economics Major. I like studying Law because I wish to be a future lawyer or law professor in Cambodia. I decided to study Economic Information because I wanted to know and understand about new economic technology and economic situation in Cambodia as well as in the world in addition to my law career,” he said.

Phalla continued that to reach his goals, he now studies very hard, does his home works and reads many books related to his studies on a daily basis. He emphasized that when he completes his graduation with UC, he will apply for a scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Law in Japan or South Korea. He added that when he completes his Master degree in Law and he will then apply for new scholarship to study at the United States of America.

Phalla is now looking for internship or part-time work with national and international Non-Governmental Organizations in Cambodia. He wants to work as internship so that he can gain working experience and other office skills and gain useful experience prior to graduation. And he hopes to make some money to support his own study and family.

Rath Virak Neary, 18, a first year Economic student with The University of Cambodia and an English Literature student of the Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) in Phnom Penh, and personal friend to Sam Phalla, said that she admired Phalla’s hard works and study.
Vireak Neary said that she has knows Sam Phalla since 2008 when she was studying English with him at The University of Cambodia. She said that Sam Phalla is a hard leaner, gentle, helpful and honest student in her class. “I have felt honored to be Sam Phalla’s friend. I hope that he will realize his dream and I wish him all the best to get success and good luck with his studies in the future,” she said.



Cambodia Plans to Use Sports in Boosting Tourism

BY BUHT REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Cambodian government is putting continuously effort in increasing tourism in the country. The latest weapon in attracting international visitors is going to be sport events. Thong Khon, Minister for the Ministry of Tourism, announced this during his closing remarks at the General Assembly on the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) in Phnom Penh on September 9.

The Minister Thong Khon, who is also the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said that the government was preparing sport events, both national and international in order to promote Cambodia. Cambodian sports and athletes are going to be used to bring Cambodia under the international spotlight. “The tourism is one of Cambodia’s four pillars in generating income and development in Cambodia,” he said. Sport is the delegation of peace in the world. They both are linked together and are potential sources in developing and reducing the poverty in Cambodia.”

Thong Khon said his Ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport has planned to host several events in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap this year. The organized events include: international half-marathon competitions, international triathlon and Kun Khmer Boxing competitions, the 3rd Johny Walker Cambodia Open Championship, Water festival among others. All these events will take place before the end of this year, he added.

The Minister continued to say that besides organizing sport events, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia also planned to send Cambodian sport teams abroad to join international sports competitions including the Asian Games, the Olympic Games and the SEA this year as well as in the future. “I hope that through these sports events we can promote our country and attract more international tourists to visit our country and through this, we will be able to generate jobs for Cambodians and to develop the Kingdom of Cambodia in the future,” he said.

The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia is trying to find financial supports from private sponsors in order to support the athletes and coaches, he said, adding that NOCC also planned to build capacity by providing training for athletes, coaches, and referees so they are able to improve their techniques and experiences for future competitions.

Relating to tourism promotion in Cambodia, Thong Khon said that besides sports events, his ministry will continue to market and publish Cambodian tourism in the region as well as in the world. He added that his ministry will also prepare eco-tourism, generate and develop the based-tourism communities, facilitate passengers’ traveling, reduce prices of tourist packages, and strengthening security and safety for foreign tourists.

In the line of the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’ campaign, the will organize a yearly competition titled “Clean City, Attractive Places, and Good Services,” for cities and provinces. The winning cities or provinces will receive an award from the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen.

Sokun Theara, Operation Manager of the Cambodia Express Tour Ltd, which is a joint Cambodian-Japanese tourist company created in 1993, applauded the Ministry of Tourism’s plans. He said that Cambodia has a lot of potential natural sources which can be used and developed in promoting local and foreign tourism. “I totally agreed with our Tourism Minister’s ideas in promoting tourism in Cambodia,” he said. “I think that if the government is able to prepare and develop all eco-tourism zones, national resources and ancient temples, and organize more sport events, they can attract more international tourists to visit our country in the future.”

Cambodia-Korea Strengthen Bonds Trough Seminar

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Cambodia-Korea Alumni Association (CAMKAA) have organized a seminar called “Exchange Experiences of the Cambodia Korea Alumni Association” in order to share experiences among former students and from one ministry to another and so establish a multilateral network. A large number of KOICA Alumni members belonging to different Korean and Cambodian government ministries have participated in the workshop.

Kim Byung-Gwan, Representative of KOICA, said that the workshop was important way for developing social-economy to focus on human resources development in Cambodia. “The main purpose of the seminar is to renew our acquaintances, to share our value experiences and knowledge in Korea among KOICA fellows and Cambodian officials and to promote mutual and friendly relationship and partnerships between Korea and Cambodia and to establish a mutual network of specialists from many disciplines, professional fields, institutions and agencies who have been beneficiaries of KOICA-sponsored scholarship and training program,” he said.

Kim Byun-Gwan said that the KOICA’s development cooperation program have made a significant contribution in this regard, with a total of 1,306 Cambodian participants invited to Korea from 1994 to 2008 for various training and study courses.

The representative said that all of KOICA fellows presented in this workshop are witnesses to the value of these cooperation programs and human resources development, having visited Korea and shared Korea’s economic, industrial, technological and management experiences and expertise, as well as having has the opportunity to glimpse into the history and culture of the country and its people.

“You have all become dear friends of Korea by playing an invisible but important role in linking our two countries closer together. I believe that I this is a clear indication of the warm support and interest of the members toward the association and its activities. I hope that every member of CAMKAA will continue to contribute to the development of the Cambodian economy, and also strengthen ties between our two countries. KOICA will continue its support of CAMKA,” he said.

Seng Setha, Vice-President of the CAMKAA, said that the workshop marked the 2nd year of the association in exchanging experiences of the Cambodia-Korea Alumni Association in Cambodia. He said that CAMKAA is the alumni association of the participants to academic and training courses, workshops, seminars, and other activities sponsored by the Korea International Cooperation Agency in Cambodia.

He continued that CAMKAA was established in 2007 aiming to further institutionalize the cooperation the two countries. CAMKAA would assure that the valuable lesions gained from KOICA training experiences could be sustained by the participants or trainees and applied to the advantage of their respective organizations.

KOICA was established in Cambodia in 1991 and since then the organization has been providing many grant aids such infrastructures, economy, society, health and policy in order to develop the Kingdom of Cambodia. So far, the organization has also been funding and sending over 1,500 Cambodian officials to train in Korea, according to its report.


Cambodia Is Ready To Take On The Floods

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Recently the South West of Cambodia has been struck by flooding. The floods are caused by storms coming from the South region of Asia. This state of emergency is going to last until September 15, according to Dr. Seth Vannareth, Director of Meteorology Department in the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MoWRAM).

By order of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, all ministries and local authorities will assist the people in the flooded cities and provinces. The Prime Minister asked all provincial and district and commune council members to prepare and take measurements in helping the people affected by the flood and help them to avoid danger. He also appealed to Cambodian Red Cross and other concerned international organizations to prepare humanitarian aids, food supplies, medicines and other materials to help the affected people incase if there will be more floods.

“Although we cannot prevent natural disasters or the floods, the Royal Government of Cambodia will not allow any people to die from floods. To protect our people from this, we now must take the necessary measures and actions in helping and rescuing the people. Therefore, I would like to appeal to all concerned ministries, authorities and local authorities to take actions and work hard together to help our people in Cambodia,” the Premier said when visiting the flooded situations in Kampot province on September 7.

Ly Touch, Senior Minister and Vice-President of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said that to prepare and prevent the possibility of flooding, the Royal Government under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen is now working very hard in preparing and sending materials, medical supplies and humanitarian aid in helping the people affected by the floods throughout the country.

Ly Touch said that the government now is also preparing and deploying hundred thousands of forces including armed forces, police forces, military police forces, air forces, and civilian officers to position at the flooded areas in cities and provinces in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
He said continued that the government now has also prepared the boats, vehicles and other supplies for rescuing the victims and animals from flooding and affected areas.

“To rescue our people from the flooding, the government now has already prepared and taking measures and actions to help our affected people. We hope that due to our preparations, hard work and strong commitment, we will able help and rescue our people from flooding,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview on September 10.

Ly Touch said that according to a report provinces that are currently flooded included Kratie, Stung Treng, Kampong Thom, Chi Kreng district in Siem Reap, Serey Sophorn district in Banteay Meanchey with over 20,000 people and 10,000 hectares of rice affected by flooding.

Uy Samath, Director of the Disaster Management of Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), said that to help the victims and people affected by flood, the Cambodia Red Cross has been distributing over 10 tones of rice, noodles and other supplies in Kampot province.

He said that CRC now is also working hard in preparing and sending the humanitarian assistances including foods, rice, noodle, medicines, and other materials for helping the affected people at all affected areas or provinces. He said that so far, Cambodian Red Cross has donated over 10 tones of rice, foods and other materials for people affected by floods in Kampot province. He added that the Cambodian Red Cross will continuing to send humanitarian assistance for other affected people in Kampong Thom, Stung Treng, Kratie and other affected flooded provinces in Cambodia.

Vannareth said that the storms will be causing more rain, lightening, thunders in Rattanakiri, Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Battambang, Siem Reap, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom provinces and in Kravanh Mountain areas, and urges in inhabitants to be careful.

According to a report of the National Committee for Disaster Management, there have been a total of six Cambodians casualties from recent floods in Kampot and Sihanouk provinces.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cambodian Boxers Win 12 Medals in Vovinam Championship

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Eight Cambodian boxers have won 12 medals after the six-day World Vovinam Championship in Vietnam. The Cambodian team brought home two gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals. Cambodia had sent one coach and 9 Vovinam boxers including two female boxers to attend the World Vovinam Championship in Ho Chi Minh City. The tournament was held from the 26th to the 31st of July 2009.

There were a total of 14 countries participating in the competition, namely Cambodia, Australia, Peru, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Romania, India, Thailand, Iran, Ukraine, Poland and Vietnam.

Tep Chiveaksokhom, 30, weight 60 kg, was one of the boxers who attended the World Vovinam Championship and Vovinam competition in Vietnam. Chiveaksokhom started training in Vovinam with the Cambodian Vovinam Federation in Phnom Penh in 2006. He won two gold medals and two silver medals. “This is my first time to attend the World Vovinam Championship. I am happy with my results, as I have won four medals. I think that I won the world championship because of my hard training and hard work,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. He said that he now is planning to attend the Asian Indoor Games Tournament which will hold on the 31st of October in Hanoi, Vietnam. He hopes that with continues training and previous competing experience, he will be able to win medals at the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.

Rat Sokhorn is President of the Cambodian Vovinam Federation (CVF) and Vice-President of the World Vovinam Federation (WVF). “I’m very proud and honored at our Cambodian Vovinam boxers for winning so many medals at the tournament. I think that this victory gives credit to Cambodian sport men and women, and will put Cambodia sport endeavors on the map in the future,” Sokhorn told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on August 31.

The President continued to say that it is was the first time for Cambodian Vovinam fighters to win medals since the Cambodian Vovinam Federation was established at the end of December 2008. The success of the fighter shows the high capacities of Cambodian boxers, according to Sokhorn.

Meas Sarin, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) praised Rat Sokhorn during a celebration ceremony. “I would like to praise His Excellency Rat Sokhorn who has used his own money to support and sponsor the Cambodian boxer team for the world championship,” he said. “Although the Cambodian Vovinam team in new, it gained great result at the championship. On behalf of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport I can say that Cambodia is proud of the result the team has achieved. I strongly support the Cambodian Vovinam Federation in promoting the further development of the sport in Cambodia,” he further said.

According to Rat Sokhorn, Vovinam was introduced to Cambodia in 2005 and currently, there are about 10 clubs with other 100 trainees in Cambodia. He said that to promote the Vovinam in Cambodia, his federation planed to organize Vovinam trainings for high school students, policemen, military police and the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces so that they can use it for self protection and country protection in the future. He added that his federation also planned to send a total of 12 boxers to the Asian Indoor Games Tournament which will be take place from the 31st of October to the 5th of November 2009 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Conference on Mathematics and Technology in Mathematics Education

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The First Cambodia International Conference on “Mathematics and Technology in Mathematics Education” has been conducted. The conference took place for four days from the 2nd to the 5th September in Phnom Penh. The conference was a joint effort of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS), the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), and the Cambodian Mathematical Society (CMS) in Cambodia.

Dr. Neth Barom, Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that it was the first time that Cambodia has organized an international conference on this subject in Cambodia. He said the main purpose of the conference is to promote development of mathematics and technology in mathematics education in Cambodia.

Teruo Jinnai, UNESCO Representative to Cambodia, said that science and technological literacy has been flagged by member countries of UNESCO as an essential reinforcement of human development. Sustainable development and an improved quality of life are to a large extent dependent on our ability to understand and utilize science and technology. He added in this competitive globalizing society, lacking policy attention to and how level of mathematics and science education hampers economic developments.
“UNESCO education programs aim to expand basic education in order to improve our quality of live, we have to make the best use of the present technology to advance mathematics and science in Cambodian education systems.”

Dr. Neth Barom pointed out that nowadays, experts and scholars all over the world are facing a rapid growth of technology and great social and educational changes in the era of globalization. And therefore the goals, concepts and practices of education should be redefined by integrating high technology, basic science and math in the curriculum. Times are changing, technology is changing, and education is changing, too. As educators and students of today, we are different from those of yesterday.







Cambodian-French Artists Jointly Perform Play

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The French Cultural Centre (FCC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) has organized a “Joint Lakhaon Festival” on September 4 at the Chenla Theatre in Phnom Penh, aiming to promote tradition and culture between the two countries.

The play performed is titled, “The Young Girl, the Devil, and the Mill” adapted by Olivier Py from the tale by the brothers Grimm, was performed by a group of 15 artists including French and Cambodian artists.

Alain Arnaudet, Director of French Cultural Centre, said that the French director Franck Manzoni worked during 2 months with Cambodian actors and musicians in order to set up the performance. “The main objective of the Lakhaon Festival is to participate in the renaissance of various theatrical forms in Cambodian and also to promote contemporary theatre and exchange among artists from different cultural horizons in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia, Khmer Action Arts, Khmer Art Ensemble, the Department of Fine Arts, and the School of Fine Arts will all work together on this reenactment of the classical story. All performances will be conducted in Khmer with French as well as English subtitles.

“The girl without hands’ written by the Grim brothers is a very popular story in Europe and we thought this “legend” could be a good link with Cambodian culture. As far as I see during the rehearsals the Cambodian actors and the public have a very good contact with the text,” he said. “I think that it’s a very romantic story and also very funny. There is a very good rhythm in the play.”

To promote and develop Cambodian and French traditional cultures, Alain said that FCC will organize more events next months including a contest of architecture involving the students in architecture of Cambodia, a contemporary dance creation in October with Cambodian dancers, a photo festival with many events in town and particularly at the Royal University of Fine Arts (UFA) in Phnom Penh.

Proeung Chhieng, Vice-Dean of the Royal University of Fine Arts, said that he was content with the performing of the Lakhaon Festival in Phnom Penh. He said that the “Joint Lakhaon Festival” performance will help develop and promoting the contemporary arts and traditional culture between the two countries in future. “I think that through this joint theatre performance, Cambodian artists and French artists can gain a deeper insight into the importance and values of both countries. They will hopefully continue the exchange of their cultures and traditional art in future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

EU Provides US$16 Million to Improve Food Security

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The European Union (EU) has provided 11.2 million euros equivalent to US$15.7 millions for Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MoAFF) through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to improve food security for the rural population in Cambodia.
50,000 families will benefit directly from this project. They will receive training on enhancing their production techniques for the harvest of divers’ agricultural products. The FAO will also import fertilizers, seeds and other farming tools to boost revenue from the farmland. “We expect that this project will positively influence 620 villages with 99,820 families in nine target provinces. The content of this project implementation plays a key role in dealing with the negative impacts of the instable food market that can be witnessed in Cambodia every day,” said Chan Sarun, Minister of MoAFF.

Rafael Dachao Moreno, EU Charge’d’ Affaires of the European Commission Delegation to Cambodia, said that the decrease of food prices in 2007 and 2008 has put numerous developing countries and their populations in a dramatic situation. This food crisis, accompanied by a financial and energy crisis and environmental deterioration, risks putting additional hundreds of millions of people in extreme poverty, and in circumstances of hunger and malnutrition. He called on all nations for increased solidarity with those populations.

The agreement for the project, which is called “Improve Food Security of Farming Families Affected by the Volatile Food Prices” was signed in Phnom Penh on September 2 by Chan Sarun, MAFF’s Minister and Rafael Dachao Moreno, EU Charge’d’ Affaires a. i. of the European Commission Delegation to Cambodia, and Ajay Markanday, FAO Representative to Cambodia.
The Minister Chan Sarun said “I am very proud of the cooperation and the support the FAO provides in response to the needs and concerted efforts of the Cambodian government with assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries it will enhance productivity and agriculture diversification, and improve product quality and food security for people in Cambodia. All relevant units under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall make certain commitments and improve close relationships with cooperation partners in order to achieve the expected goals.”

The three-year project, which started in May will run to June 2011. The Minister stated during the signing ceremony that he was optimistic about resolving the food problem. The project combined with the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia will enhance the food security and reduce the influence or adverse impact of fluctuating food prices for some of the most vulnerable people. “I strongly believe that this project will be crucial in implementing modern agricultural technologies. The support of the EU is a major contribution to the energetic efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to ensure that continues growth and employment for all Cambodians is archived,” he said.

Ajay Markanday, FAO Representative to Cambodia, said that last year after the decades of stables and even low food prices, the world experienced a very rapid increase in agricultural commodity prices, especially cereals. This was triggered by a combination of factors which determined both the international supply and demand of commodities. Foremost among these factors are reductions in supplies due to adverse weather in major exporting countries, severely depleted global food stock, high energy prices and the growing diversion of agriculture commodities for bio-fuels. “The EU Food Facility, which made an additional one billion euros available for agriculture and food security in developing countries, shows that the European Union is committed to the global food security situation. It’s a clear indication that the European Union, even in times of severe economic difficulties, remains strongly committed to poverty reduction in developing countries,” said Rafael Dacho.

He added that the increased EU support underlined the importance of the European Union in improving the food security across the globe. He further stated that the FAO believes that the assistance will come at a most opportune moment. The unfolding global financing crisis and economic slowdown have decreased the availability of capital at a time when accelerated investment in agriculture is urgently needed. Against the background of the global economic recession, world hunger and malnutrition are likely to get worse in the next months. “We need to counter that trend by all means possible,” he added.

The Minister said this relief support to alleviate the burdens on farmers shall be partly reserved for immediate assistance for communities who are struck by natural disasters as droughts or floods.


Government Takes Measurement Against Mexican Flu

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

To prevent the spread of the A/H1N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as the Mexican flu, Cambodian officials have announced to install thermal scanners at international entry points to Cambodia. On September 1 the new scanner was put to use at the airport of Phnom Penh. The Royal Government of Cambodia plans to install more thermal scanners at all important international checkpoints along Cambodian borders with Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

In response to the request of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia), an Information-communications company, has donated the Infrared Fever Screening System (IFss). The IFss, which cost approximately US$75,000, uses a cutting edge electro-optics technology for rapid real-time mass screening. To equip the Cambodian officials to operate the system, ST Telemedia has arranged for two engineers from the equipment manufacturer to fly from Singapore to Phnom Penh to provide on-site training.
The IFss will provide vital support to the Cambodian Government’s ongoing actions to contain the spread of the Influenza A/H1N1 in Cambodia.

The donation was made possible by the Singapore Embassy in Cambodia. Tan Yee Woan, Singaporean Ambassador to Cambodia stated that a combined global effort is needed to combat challenges as pandemics. She stressed that it the responsibility of the entire international community to fight the spread of the Mexican flu, all governments should join together. “As we tap into the benefits that globalization brings, the global community must also learn to deal with the challenges that it poses.”

The donation reflects the solidarity among countries in the region to contain the spread of the A/H1N1 virus and to prevent the pandemic as the measures currently undertaken by all countries around the world, said Dr. Mam Bunheng. The Minister continued to say that this valuable donation also inspires senior health officials and Ministry of Health staff of all levels to help tighten the precautionary measures in addition to the existing measures being in forces such as dissemination of warning, individual hygiene when exposed to the public. “We hope that with our preparation, continues vigilance and new technologies as the thermal scanners, we will be able to prevent an epidemic of the virus in Cambodia.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all continents now are affected by the H1N1 pandemic. Cambodia is relatively unaffected by the disease, there are only 31 diagnosed cases in the whole of Cambodia, and there have been no fatalities. “Fortunately, the current spread of H1N1 in Cambodia is not a cause for serious concern,” said Singaporean Ambassador Tan Yee Woan. This is why the main method of preventing further spread is aimed at keeping the disease outside the country.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Bunheng announces a further installation of three other thermal scanners at Poi Pet International Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province, Cham Yeam International Checkpoint in Koh Kong province, and Bavit International Checkpoint in Svay Rieng province next to the Vietnam’s border in the near future. He added that the government has also deployed a total of 1,200 medical officers and staffs, specifically trained to deal with the disease, across the nation.

In addition to using these state of the art technologies to ban the disease from Cambodia, The Royal Government of Cambodia has asked US$2 million in grant aid from the World Bank (WB) to prevent and deal with the possibly appearance of influenza A/H1N1 in Cambodia. This was announced by Sok Touch, Director of the Communicable Disease Control Department in the Ministry of Health.

The Director Sok Touch said that the financial request is made to allow the government to pay for the vaccines, medicines, medical supplies, equipments to preventing and combat the spread of A/H1N1 virus in Cambodia. “I would like to confirm that my Ministry is seeking financial support from the World Bank in order to stop the spread of this disease. I hope that with the assistance we will be able to put a stop to the spread of the disease,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview on September 4.

To prevent the spread of influenza A/H1N1 in Cambodia, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the National Committee for Disaster Management, the World Health Organization, and other related ministries and UN agencies have been taking a large amount of measurements, he said, adding that the Ministry of Health prepared 157, 500 doses of medicines, along with other medical supplies and equipments, and distributed this material to all the public hospitals and health centers throughout the country.

The Director continued to say that the World Health Organization has also donated a total of 154, 000 doses of medicines to the Ministry of Health in preparing to prevent the spread of A/H1N1 influenza in Cambodia. According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) report, so far in a 180 countries there have been confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1m worldwide the death toll has amounted to 1,799.