Monday, October 19, 2009

Nationwide Archery Competition 2009 in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

About 100 archers, of which 10 female archers from 12 Archery Clubs and associations have attended the Nationwide Archery Competitions held during five days from the 13th to the 17th of October 2009 at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

The competition was organized by The Cambodian Archery Federation (CAF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS).

Kong Diep, CAF’s Deputy Secretary General, said that this year’s competition marked the 9th time that the best of Cambodia’s archers demonstrated their progress to compete in a nationwide archery competition.

The main purpose of the competition is selected the most qualified archers for archery champions and prepare for the future international competitions. Another objective of the competition is to promote and preserve the noble art of archery which is a Cambodian sport described in the “Rajamanak or Ream Ke Story” for the future generations.

Im Vannara, a Competing Archery organizer and Technical Committee of the Cambodian Archery Federation, said the competition is divided into two categories. The first category is “Male Archery Shooting Competition” for 60 meters, 50 meters and 30 meter distances; the second category is “Female Archery Shooting Competition” for 50 meters and 30 meters distances. The prizes will be provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

Vannara added that those who will win the gold in this year’s competition will become part of the national archery team. They will be also train with the CAF and MoEYS’s financial support in preparation for future international competitions abroad.

Vann Bunny, 23, has been training the Archery sport since 2005 and is a participant of the competition.

“I am happy to attend the archery competition again this year in Phnom Penh. This year’s competition is my fourth time. Last year, I won a silver medal, along with other prizes from MoEYS. With my hard training and shooting experience, I hope that I will be able to win another a medal after this competition,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on October 13.

Bunny is training with Thnou Sar Chey Club in Phnom Penh. He said that he decided to train in archery because he wanted to improve his health and to promote and preserve the archery sport in Cambodia.

He added that since he has started competing in archery, he attended a total of four nationwide archery competitions. As a result, he won three medals the 2006 silver medal, the 2007 gold medal and the 2008 silver medal.

Kong Diep said that CAF will be sending three Cambodian qualified archery competitors for the 25th SEA Games which will take place on the 18th of December 2009 in Vientiane, Lao. He said that with Cambodian archers’ talent, hard works and shooting experiences, they will be able to win the medal from international competitions in future.

According to Kong Diep, the Cambodian Archery Federation was established by His Excellency Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, in 1999 in order to develop and promote the “Cambodian Archery” in Cambodia.


Louis Braille Exhibition Opened in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The French Cultural Center (FCC) has organized the Louis Braille Exhibition, and Dance (Roam) festival in Phnom Penh to promote good relations and cooperation between Cambodia and France. The Louis Braille Exhibition was opened on the 15th of October at the FCC, and the Dance Festival was organized from October 16-17, at Chenla Theatre in Phnom Penh.

Alain Arnaudet, Director of the French Cultural Center, said the exhibition has been curate by Erin Gleeson and Roam is jointly organized by the FCC and Amrita Performing Arts in order to promote the traditional culture and cooperation between the two countries in the future.

“These exhibitions show to people that we can be creative and make art using objects of daily life like plastic bottles. We can create art out of everything,” he said.

The FCC director pointed out that dancers and Visual Artist are very creative in the country and this is the FCC duty to give Cambodian people the opportunity to show their talent. He also said that with these projects, the French Cultural Centre wants to promote the artistic works and help the new generation of artists in Cambodia.

To promote traditional culture and artistic works in Cambodia, the French Cultural Centre planed to organize more events in Phnom Penh the end of December 2009, including conferences, exhibitions, screenings, shows and the Photo Phnom Penh festival.

Erin Gleeson, Curator and Organizer of the Accumulations, said that this is the first time for her to work with French Cultural Center. She said this exhibition is aiming to address Cambodian people about current Cambodian markets which are stocked with materials that served both traditional and changing lifestyles in Cambodia.

“This is the first time for me to work with the French Culture Center and I am happy to work in this space because there are work galleries, the only four galleries in Cambodia. The main purpose of the accumulations is to reflect about the social and environmental conditions of contemporary Cambodia. I think that showing works like this exhibition will benefit the audiences in Cambodian because the work all have something common and this is the habit of everyone in Cambodia as well as other countries in the world,” she told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a personal interview on October 15.

She said that the four artists are from Reyum Institute and they graduated together at the Reyum Institute in 2005 and they continued working in art.

Chin Prasith, Communication Officer of Krousar Thmey, said his organization has also displayed his organization’s activities at the FCC. He said that the objective of the exhibitions is for public to discover the unknown world of Braille writing and more generally the education of the young blind in Cambodia. He added that another objective of the exhibitions is to mark the bicentenary of Louis Braille’s birthday, a brilliant French blind man who has created writing and reading system with raised dots for blind people in the world.

“I hope that through my organization’s exhibition here, many people will be aware about my organization’s hard work in working to improve and promote the condition-condition of blind people and their education opportunities in Cambodia,” he said.

According to Krousar Thmey’s report, nowadays there are over 8,000 blind children under the age of 15 in Cambodia.



Bun Theng Tells about his Hard Learning Experience to Win Three Scholarship Exams

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen – Handa National Scholarships 2008”students, Keo Bun Theng, 19, has provided an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly, telling about his learning experience to winning three scholarship. Bun Theng is the oldest son of four brothers in the family, and they are now living in Lovea Em district, Kandal province where he was born in 1991.

His father is working as Director with the Hun Sen Lovea Em High School located in Lovea Em district and his mother is a grocery vendor.

Bun Theng is now studying International Relations (IR) at The University of Cambodia (UC), studying Laws at the Royal University of LAW and Economic Sciences (RULE) and studying English Literature at the Cambodian Mekong University (CMU) in Phnom Penh. He passed the scholarships exams offered by UC, RULE and CMU in 2008.

“I am very happy because I won three scholarship exams offered by the UC, RULE and CMU in 2008,” he said. “I think that I am very lucky that I passed three scholarship exams in the same academic year and to study at UC, RULE and CMU.”

He added: “I think that I passed the UC exams because of my hard studies and hard works and this is a good opportunity for me to study at the UC, RULE and CMU in Cambodia. Nowadays, although I am now very busy with my studies but I am really overjoyed and enjoy my studies very much. I will try my best to study to complete my Bachelor Degrees with these universities in future.”

Keo Bun Theng pointed out that he studied at the Sunthor Mok High School in Phnom Penh, earning a Baccalaureate in 2008. He applied to study International Relations at UC following the introduction of the “Samdech Hun Sen – Handa National Scholarships” in 2008. He said he decided to apply for study the International Relations with UC because his friends recommended that UC was the best university in Cambodia. They will help him became the further young Cambodian leader, diplomat or laws Expert in Cambodia, in the future.

“I decided to study International Relations with The University of Cambodia because I wanted to be a governor, diplomat or laws expert working with the Royal Government of Cambodia in the future and I prefer to study at UC because this university has qualified professors, excellent teaching method and most updated curriculum,” he said.

Bun Theng said to achieve his goal, he now studies very hard and reads many books related to his studies every day. Other research sources include the internet, emails, websites, foreign newspapers and magazines. He said that when he completed his Bachelor’s Degree, he will then continue to study for Master’s Degrees in Administration with the Royal Administration School in Phnom Penh. He added that after he completed his Master Degree he will apply for Doctoral Degree in Administration with the Royal Academy of Cambodia in the future.

“When I complete my Bachelor Degrees with UC, RULE and CMU I will then continue to study my advanced degree with the Royal Administration School and the Royal Academy of Cambodia in future,” he said. “I decided to choose my advanced studies with theses schools because I think that nowadays the quality of teaching and education in Cambodia are developed and qualified like other universities abroad.”

Bun Theng said that besides his studies with UC, RULE and CMU, he now is also studying French Literature at the Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) in Phnom Penh. He added that he decided to study French Literature because French is the priority major that related to his studying fields in the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences, the Royal Administration School and the Royal Academy of Cambodia in the future.

“My dream is to be a future governor, diplomat or law expert in Cambodia. I think that if I am successful in my studies and able to be a governor or diplomat in future I will be working hard to help the poor and work to develop my country to be a developed country like others in region,” he said.

Keo Veasna, Director of the Hun Sen Lovea Em High School in Kandal province, and is Keo Bun Theng’s father, is very happy with his son’s efforts. He said that he has five sons and Keo Bun Theng is the oldest son in his family. He continued that Bun Theng is also the only son who has studied at the University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

Veasna pointed out that Bun Theng went to the school while he was at five years old and studied at the Lovea Em Primary School. Many years later, he was sent to study at the Sunthor Mouk Junior High School in Phnom Penh.

Bun Theng was the primary and high school in Phnom Penh, he studied very hard every day and night and as a result, he was classified as first ranking student on a monthly or yearly basis, said Veasna, adding that he has also received many “appraisal letters as good at student” from his school directors every month and year.

He continued to say that Keo Bun Theng has also received as the most outstanding student award from Phnom Penh Municipality in 2007, and won the first class of the nationwide most outstanding student award in 2008.

“I am very proud and honored that I have a good son like Bun Theng. As a father and on behalf of my family, I will support and encourage him to continue his studies for Master’s or Doctoral degrees in future. I hope that with his hard studies, hard works, and strong commitment, he will realize his dream and became a good leader in Cambodia in future. I wish him all the best of luck and success with his studies,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

Russian Week of Cinema Celebrated in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Russian Week of Cinema will be conducted for five days from the 20th to the 24th of October 2009 in Phnom Penh, aiming to exchange and promote the culture and good relation between the two countries.

The Russian Week of Cinema is organized by the Russian Ministry of Culture and Stellar Film Company, in collaboration with Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Cambodia and Russian Correspondent Office in charge of International Humanitarian Cooperation for Cambodia. The cinema festival will be presided over by the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Him Chhem and Russian Ambassador to Cambodia.

Dilyara Ravilova Borovik, First Secretary of the Russian Federation Embassy in Cambodia, said that it is the second time that the Embassy of the Russian Federation has organized the cinema festival in Cambodia. She said the purpose of the festival is to promote good friendship and exchange the cultures between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Russian Federation in the future.

“The Embassy of the Russian Federation is very proud to organize the Russian Cinema Festival for the people in Cambodia. This cinema festival aims to exchange traditional culture and arts between Cambodia and Russia. We do hope that many Cambodian people will be enjoyed it and through these cultural event, we will able to promote good relations and friendship between our two countries in future,” she told reporters at a press conference on October 14.

The First Secretary emphasized that to promote cultural exchange between the two countries; Russia will continue to organize this event every year in Cambodia. She added that to improve Cambodian’s cinema industry, the Russian Federation will be providing Russian technical assistance and financial support to the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in future.

Kolesor Sergeiy, Director of the Russian Center for Cinema and Culture, said that the Russian cinema festival also aimed to mark the 65th Anniversary of the World War II, the Russian Historical Day and World Humanity Day, which will be held in Russia in 2010. He said that the festival will also help Cambodian government in developing and improving Cambodian films industry in future.

According to schedule, there are a total of five stories will be playing at the Russian Cultural Center and Chaktomuk Theatre in Phnom Penh from the 20th to the 24th of October 2009. The five Russian stories included: Back in Time, Fatherland or Death, Franz and Polina, Four Taxi Drivers and a Dog, and the Star. All stories describe the feeling of humanity, loves, sincerity, and the generosity of Russian soldiers. The cinema will start at 6:00 pm and entry is free for all Cambodian people and foreign nationals living in Cambodia.

Sin Chan Saya, Director of the Films Department in the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), appreciated with the celebration of Russian Week of Cinema in Cambodia. He said the Russia is a former friend of Cambodia. In 1980s, Russia helped Cambodia a lot in all sectors including culture and film industry. He continued to say that in 1990s, the relationship between Cambodia and Russia have been declined due to the cold war and financial crisis in Russia.

“As a Cambodian filmmaker I am very happy with the Russian Week of Cinema in Cambodia. I think that this festival is a re-starting of cooperation and friendship between the Kingdom of Cambodian and the Russian Federation in Future,” he said.

Chan Saya added that to promote cooperation and friendship especially cultural exchange between the two countries, his film department will produce joint Cambodian-Russian film productions in Cambodia in future.

IBM Introduces Technical Solutions to Cambodian Banks

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

IBM, American international Company has introduced the latest technologies and business solutions to help organizations in Cambodia to build a smarter business in the current economic downturn. The solutions bases on continuous innovations of IBM systems X, Blade center, Storage, and best global industry frameworks from IBM Software to support Cambodia’s growing business.

The introduction of the IBM’s latest technologies and business solutions was made during a press conference on October 14, organized by the IBM at the Naga World Hotel in Phnom Penh.

Leon Wee, Country Manager of Software Group, IBM Vietnam, said that it was the first time his company entered the Cambodian market.

“The global market place is reshaping; and organizations around the world are changing accordingly to play in their new roles. This gives a great opportunity for sectors and business to move ahead by using the most advanced technologies and the best business solutions, which IT now plays an integral part,” he said in the press conference.

The Country Director Leon said the key attributes of IBM software offering to Cambodia included IBM Banking framework in which there is Custom Care and Insight which aims to help banks build a foundation for creating a single view of customers and enabling more effective and efficient sales and services; Core Banking Transformation which is to allow banks to modernize and renovate legacy application that support core banking functions while aligning with the changing needs of the business; Payments framework which helps banks progressively transform their payments operations to become more flexible and efficient as well as showcase how it could leverage industry standards, business partners applications; and IBM Smart SOA foundation with payments extensions to speed time to value for banks; and Integrated Risk Management which enables banks to better understand their full set of risks and opportunities in order to make informed decisions as well as a holistic approach to managing financial risks, financial crimes, operational and IT risk, and compliance.

Leon continued to say that other new products are IBM Telecommunication framework, IBM government framework, IBM blade center, IBM System Storage, and IBM advanced power virtualization. He added that in the past few years, Cambodian sectors and businesses have adopted some IT solutions to modernize their operations. Today, IBM aims to lift IT adoption in the country to a higher level, creating a platform for them to compete in the domestic and global markets.


Vince Leat said that furthermore, the banking industry will be able comply with national and international regulations and practices, creating favored conditions for other economic sectors and industry to do business globally. He added that Telco and government sectors can also benefit from frameworks and solutions designed for their specific operations. Adopting IBM’s Telco framework will help operators bring important communications services to the remaining 82 percent of the population in Cambodia yet to be taped. Government projects such as Government administration information system can now leapfrog by using IBM solutions to manage and service their citizens better.

“As a geo-expansion strategy to new market and a vision of building a Smart Planet, IBM brings its latest solutions from deep business insight, global experience and successful cases studies to Cambodian business sector and industries. IBM integrated solutions will help them to meet business challenges and to position for sustainable growth, industry leadership and gaining market share,” he said.

Final Report on Policy and Strategy of Rural Development in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has presented their “Final Report on the Policy and Strategy for Rural Development for Cambodia”, aiming to promote development and progress in Cambodia in rural areas.

The presentation of the report was held at the Ministry of Rural Development, under the presidency of Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhayly, and Chea Sophara, Minister of Rural Development, and Lee Kyung-Soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister Chhayly said this final report is very important because it will enhance rural development, contributing poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for rural people in Cambodia in future.

He said the Royal Government of Cambodia in the fourth mandate under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has the main duties in continuing and carrying out the Cambodian government’s third mandate to respond and implement the first phase and second phase of the government’s rectangular strategy successfully.

To reach this goal, the Ministry of Rural Development as well as the government committed to work hard in order to construct roads, bridges and other rehabilitations for the people in Cambodia, said Chhayly.

“The Ministry of Rural Development is one of the main ministries that can bridge the needs of the people in the course of supporting the socio economic development in Cambodia. I would like to appeal for the Ministry of Rural Development to take KOICA’s policy and strategy of rural development and implemented it successfully, along with other Cambodian government’s policies and strategies to develop Cambodia and to reduce poverty in our country,” he said at the presentation of the report on October 14.

Chhayly added that to reach the Millennium Development Goals 2015, the Royal Government of Cambodia committed to work hard in reforming all targeted sectors including poverty reduction, the gaps between poor and rich people, and guaranteeing and increasing of economic growth in Cambodia.

Lee Kyung-Soo, Korean Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Cambodia, said his country is one of the poorest countries in the world in 1960s and the agriculture sector was the main industry of the nation. Along with starting a new economic development plan in 1960’s, the Korean government launched Saemaul Movement (New Village Movement) in rural communities to inspire and lead the people into the improvement of rural communities.

He said that with the leadership of the government, Korean people have made great efforts towards economic and rural development, and have achieved great successes in various fields including rural development.

“Now that Korea has become a front runner among developing countries, we take it as our responsibility, as well as a great privilege, to join the international drive to support other developing nations. In addition, Korea would like to share the valuable lessons learned through our development experience, especially in the field of rural development with partner countries,” he said.

He continued to say that with this understanding in mind, the government of Korea through KOICA has provided a great deal of support in Cambodia in the areas of agricultural development, water resources management, health care, capacity building and the infrastructure such as roads and geodetic control points.

Korean government has named rural development as a top priority because in Cambodia, whose main industry is agriculture and which has around 80 percent of its population living in rural areas, without development of rural areas, any kinds of national economic development could not be achieved successfully.

He pointed out that the government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA has provided the Project of “Formulation of Rural Development Policy and Strategy”, aimed at formulating policies and strategy on rural development; contributing to poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for the rural people; and strengthening the relationship and cooperation in the field of rural development between the two countries through the successful implementation of this project.

“I hope that this final report is very meaningful in sharing knowledge and information about the development issues in search of ideas and policy directions in the field of rural development and will help the Ministry’s staff to perform their duties more effectively and to strengthen their capacity. This will lead to improve and enhance works in the Ministry of Rural Development,” he said.

Korea has a strong commitment to the economic development of Cambodia and the prosperity of Cambodian people despite the worldwide financial crisis and Korea’s economic downturn, he said, adding that Korean government, also, will continue to be a good cooperation partner for Cambodia’s development and especially, for rural development.

According to KOICA report, the Korean government, since 1991 until now, has been providing US$ 156 millions with grant aids, technical assistance and loans to the Cambodia government, and addressed continuously to expand its ODA programs in the years to come.

Final Report on Policy and Strategy of Rural Development in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has presented their “Final Report on the Policy and Strategy for Rural Development for Cambodia”, aiming to promote development and progress in Cambodia in rural areas.

The presentation of the report was held at the Ministry of Rural Development, under the presidency of Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhayly, and Chea Sophara, Minister of Rural Development, and Lee Kyung-Soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister Chhayly said this final report is very important because it will enhance rural development, contributing poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for rural people in Cambodia in future.

He said the Royal Government of Cambodia in the fourth mandate under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has the main duties in continuing and carrying out the Cambodian government’s third mandate to respond and implement the first phase and second phase of the government’s rectangular strategy successfully.

To reach this goal, the Ministry of Rural Development as well as the government committed to work hard in order to construct roads, bridges and other rehabilitations for the people in Cambodia, said Chhayly.

“The Ministry of Rural Development is one of the main ministries that can bridge the needs of the people in the course of supporting the socio economic development in Cambodia. I would like to appeal for the Ministry of Rural Development to take KOICA’s policy and strategy of rural development and implemented it successfully, along with other Cambodian government’s policies and strategies to develop Cambodia and to reduce poverty in our country,” he said at the presentation of the report on October 14.

Chhayly added that to reach the Millennium Development Goals 2015, the Royal Government of Cambodia committed to work hard in reforming all targeted sectors including poverty reduction, the gaps between poor and rich people, and guaranteeing and increasing of economic growth in Cambodia.

Lee Kyung-Soo, Korean Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Cambodia, said his country is one of the poorest countries in the world in 1960s and the agriculture sector was the main industry of the nation. Along with starting a new economic development plan in 1960’s, the Korean government launched Saemaul Movement (New Village Movement) in rural communities to inspire and lead the people into the improvement of rural communities.

He said that with the leadership of the government, Korean people have made great efforts towards economic and rural development, and have achieved great successes in various fields including rural development.

“Now that Korea has become a front runner among developing countries, we take it as our responsibility, as well as a great privilege, to join the international drive to support other developing nations. In addition, Korea would like to share the valuable lessons learned through our development experience, especially in the field of rural development with partner countries,” he said.

He continued to say that with this understanding in mind, the government of Korea through KOICA has provided a great deal of support in Cambodia in the areas of agricultural development, water resources management, health care, capacity building and the infrastructure such as roads and geodetic control points.

Korean government has named rural development as a top priority because in Cambodia, whose main industry is agriculture and which has around 80 percent of its population living in rural areas, without development of rural areas, any kinds of national economic development could not be achieved successfully.

He pointed out that the government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA has provided the Project of “Formulation of Rural Development Policy and Strategy”, aimed at formulating policies and strategy on rural development; contributing to poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for the rural people; and strengthening the relationship and cooperation in the field of rural development between the two countries through the successful implementation of this project.

“I hope that this final report is very meaningful in sharing knowledge and information about the development issues in search of ideas and policy directions in the field of rural development and will help the Ministry’s staff to perform their duties more effectively and to strengthen their capacity. This will lead to improve and enhance works in the Ministry of Rural Development,” he said.

Korea has a strong commitment to the economic development of Cambodia and the prosperity of Cambodian people despite the worldwide financial crisis and Korea’s economic downturn, he said, adding that Korean government, also, will continue to be a good cooperation partner for Cambodia’s development and especially, for rural development.

According to KOICA report, the Korean government, since 1991 until now, has been providing US$ 156 millions with grant aids, technical assistance and loans to the Cambodia government, and addressed continuously to expand its ODA programs in the years to come.

Final Report on Policy and Strategy of Rural Development in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has presented their “Final Report on the Policy and Strategy for Rural Development for Cambodia”, aiming to promote development and progress in Cambodia in rural areas.

The presentation of the report was held at the Ministry of Rural Development, under the presidency of Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhayly, and Chea Sophara, Minister of Rural Development, and Lee Kyung-Soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister Chhayly said this final report is very important because it will enhance rural development, contributing poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for rural people in Cambodia in future.

He said the Royal Government of Cambodia in the fourth mandate under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has the main duties in continuing and carrying out the Cambodian government’s third mandate to respond and implement the first phase and second phase of the government’s rectangular strategy successfully.

To reach this goal, the Ministry of Rural Development as well as the government committed to work hard in order to construct roads, bridges and other rehabilitations for the people in Cambodia, said Chhayly.

“The Ministry of Rural Development is one of the main ministries that can bridge the needs of the people in the course of supporting the socio economic development in Cambodia. I would like to appeal for the Ministry of Rural Development to take KOICA’s policy and strategy of rural development and implemented it successfully, along with other Cambodian government’s policies and strategies to develop Cambodia and to reduce poverty in our country,” he said at the presentation of the report on October 14.

Chhayly added that to reach the Millennium Development Goals 2015, the Royal Government of Cambodia committed to work hard in reforming all targeted sectors including poverty reduction, the gaps between poor and rich people, and guaranteeing and increasing of economic growth in Cambodia.

Lee Kyung-Soo, Korean Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Cambodia, said his country is one of the poorest countries in the world in 1960s and the agriculture sector was the main industry of the nation. Along with starting a new economic development plan in 1960’s, the Korean government launched Saemaul Movement (New Village Movement) in rural communities to inspire and lead the people into the improvement of rural communities.

He said that with the leadership of the government, Korean people have made great efforts towards economic and rural development, and have achieved great successes in various fields including rural development.

“Now that Korea has become a front runner among developing countries, we take it as our responsibility, as well as a great privilege, to join the international drive to support other developing nations. In addition, Korea would like to share the valuable lessons learned through our development experience, especially in the field of rural development with partner countries,” he said.

He continued to say that with this understanding in mind, the government of Korea through KOICA has provided a great deal of support in Cambodia in the areas of agricultural development, water resources management, health care, capacity building and the infrastructure such as roads and geodetic control points.

Korean government has named rural development as a top priority because in Cambodia, whose main industry is agriculture and which has around 80 percent of its population living in rural areas, without development of rural areas, any kinds of national economic development could not be achieved successfully.

He pointed out that the government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA has provided the Project of “Formulation of Rural Development Policy and Strategy”, aimed at formulating policies and strategy on rural development; contributing to poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for the rural people; and strengthening the relationship and cooperation in the field of rural development between the two countries through the successful implementation of this project.

“I hope that this final report is very meaningful in sharing knowledge and information about the development issues in search of ideas and policy directions in the field of rural development and will help the Ministry’s staff to perform their duties more effectively and to strengthen their capacity. This will lead to improve and enhance works in the Ministry of Rural Development,” he said.

Korea has a strong commitment to the economic development of Cambodia and the prosperity of Cambodian people despite the worldwide financial crisis and Korea’s economic downturn, he said, adding that Korean government, also, will continue to be a good cooperation partner for Cambodia’s development and especially, for rural development.

According to KOICA report, the Korean government, since 1991 until now, has been providing US$ 156 millions with grant aids, technical assistance and loans to the Cambodia government, and addressed continuously to expand its ODA programs in the years to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sok Sopheak Attends the World Bodybuilding Championship in Dubai

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia is going to send Sok Sopheak, to the First World Bodybuilding and Physiques Sports Education (WBPF) Men’s World Body Building Championship. The world competition will be organized by WBPF and scheduled to be held from the 3rd to the 8th of November in Dubai, in UAE. There are over 30 countries in the world will send contestants to the competition.

“This is the first time for CBBF to send Sok Sopheak to join the World Bodybuilding Championship,” said Kong Phalla, Executive Member of the Cambodian Body Building Federation (CBBF).

Phalla said the main purpose of his participation is competing with other participated athletes from other countries in order to win a medal for the Kingdom of Cambodia.

He pointed out that Sok Sopheak is the only qualified lower weight body building trainee and capable young Cambodian in Cambodia. He has attended many competitions, both local and international tournaments, and as result, he won many medals.

“I think that Sok Sopheak is the only qualified and capable lower weight bodybuilding man for the WBPF Men’s World Bodybuilding Championship. I believe that with his hard training, hard work and previous competing experiences, he will be able to win a medal in international competitions in the future,” he said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on October 8.

Phalla pointed out that last month, Sopheak has attended the international body building tournament in Pathaya in Thailand, along with other athletes from over 30 countries in the world where he won the fourth class from the competition.

“I am very proud at Sok Sopheak’s hard work and I hope that with his talent and experience he will gain good results at the competition in Dubai,” he said.

Sopheak, 60 kg, was born in Kandal province in 1980. He has two brothers and one sister. He is the only body builder in his family. He now is training with Rama Fitness Center in Phnom Penh. He started training Bodybuilding in Phnom Penh in 2003 to improve his health and to promote this sport.

“I like training because I wanted to improve my health and to be a strong man in my country,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. “It has always been my dream to reach the top ten of bodybuilding in Cambodia.”

Sopheak said that since he has been training the bodybuilding in 2003, he has been attended many national and international bodybuilding competitions in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand, as results, he won a total of four medals from the these competitions.

He received a silver medal in 2005; he won the first class of Cambodian-Thai Friendship Bodybuilding tournament in 2006; he won the second class of the Cambodian-Thai Friendship body building tournament in 2007; and he won the fourth class in Thailand in September 2009.

“I am happy that I was selected again for the World Bodybuilding Championship in Dubai,” he said. “I am now training very hard and I will try my best to get a medal and honor for my country in competitions in the future.”

To prepare for the future international tournaments, Sok Sopheak said that he now is training four hours per day. Besides training, Sok Sopeak now is also working as a bodybuilding coach with Parkway Gyms in Phnom Penh. He used also to work as a bodybuilding coach with Sunway Hotel’s training club in 2006 and Cambodiana Hotel’s training club in 2007.

Government Keeps Increasing Salaries for Civil Servants

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has confirmed that civil servants’ salaries, especially for teachers, have been steadily increasing every year. This announcement was made publicly by Ngo Hongly, Secretary General of the Council for Administrative Reforms in the Council of Ministers during a press conference at his office on October 5.

The Secretary General Hongly said that since 2001, the government has increased civil servants’ salaries five times with five percent each year in order to improve their living-conditions. He said that the Royal Government of Cambodia has also increased the salary of all government’s staffs including teachers, police men and military forces with 20 percent.

“The government has a clear responsibility to increase salaries for civil servants. In early October 2001, the basic salary of a Cambodian civil servant was only 81,100 riel (about US$19.5) per month but in early July 2009, the salary has been increased up to 339,040 riel (about US$81.5) per month. This shows that the basic salaries for civil servants have been increased over four times and more than 400 percent during the past seven years,” he said at the press conference.

Hongly added that the increasing of the civil servants’ salaries has shown the government’s hard work, strong efforts, and high responsibility in preparing and taking care of the living-conditions of the government’s civil servants in Cambodia.

Relating to teachers’ salaries, Hongly emphasized that in 2001, the primary school teachers’ salary was 90,900 riel (about $21.85) while the highest salaries for teachers at high schools or universities was 136,250 riel per month (about $32.75), in July 2009, the lowest salaries of teachers was 210,800 riel (US$50.67) per month while the highest salary of teachers is 680,120 riel (about US$163.49) per month excluding other benefits.

Thong Borann, Director General of the Staff Department in Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), said that to promote the quality of education and improve the teachers’ work and living-conditions, MoEYS as well as the Royal Government of Cambodia have been working hard.

Since October 2002, MoEYS has been providing 40,000 riel (about US$10) for teachers who teach in a rural or disadvantaged area, in addition to their basic salaries; 50,000 riel (about US$12) for education staff who have been working in remote or disadvantaged areas in North-East areas, in addition to their basic salaries; and 60,000 riel (about US$14.42) for education staff who works outside districts and provinces across the country.

On October 5, about 50 teachers from 17 cities and provinces gathered at the office of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh and protested for the increase in salary. The meeting was organized by Rong Chhun, President of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh. Rong Chhun said at the gathering that currently salaries of Cambodian teachers are very low and not fitted the price of goods in markets and teachers’ living-conditions in Cambodia. He has called on Cambodian government to increase salaries by least one million rile (about US$250) for each teacher so that he and she is able to effectively works and to support their families.

The Secretary General Ngo Hongly said that the Royal Government of Cambodia cannot accepted the request which was made by Rong Chhun because the government has a limited budget and has no ability to do so. He said that last year, Rong Chhun had asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase salary to US$100 for teachers and now he protested to the government again for an increase to US$250 for this year.

He accused Rong Chhun and his association of politics aiming to disturb the government’s political stability in Cambodia.

“Cambodian government has a clear responsibility and objective in increasing salaries for its civil servants. We cannot do like Rong Chhun who made his statement baseless and without thinking about the consequences of the world economic crisis,” he said.

Government Keeps Increasing Salaries for Civil Servants

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has confirmed that civil servants’ salaries, especially for teachers, have been steadily increasing every year. This announcement was made publicly by Ngo Hongly, Secretary General of the Council for Administrative Reforms in the Council of Ministers during a press conference at his office on October 5.

The Secretary General Hongly said that since 2001, the government has increased civil servants’ salaries five times with five percent each year in order to improve their living-conditions. He said that the Royal Government of Cambodia has also increased the salary of all government’s staffs including teachers, police men and military forces with 20 percent.

“The government has a clear responsibility to increase salaries for civil servants. In early October 2001, the basic salary of a Cambodian civil servant was only 81,100 riel (about US$19.5) per month but in early July 2009, the salary has been increased up to 339,040 riel (about US$81.5) per month. This shows that the basic salaries for civil servants have been increased over four times and more than 400 percent during the past seven years,” he said at the press conference.

Hongly added that the increasing of the civil servants’ salaries has shown the government’s hard work, strong efforts, and high responsibility in preparing and taking care of the living-conditions of the government’s civil servants in Cambodia.

Relating to teachers’ salaries, Hongly emphasized that in 2001, the primary school teachers’ salary was 90,900 riel (about $21.85) while the highest salaries for teachers at high schools or universities was 136,250 riel per month (about $32.75), in July 2009, the lowest salaries of teachers was 210,800 riel (US$50.67) per month while the highest salary of teachers is 680,120 riel (about US$163.49) per month excluding other benefits.

Thong Borann, Director General of the Staff Department in Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), said that to promote the quality of education and improve the teachers’ work and living-conditions, MoEYS as well as the Royal Government of Cambodia have been working hard.

Since October 2002, MoEYS has been providing 40,000 riel (about US$10) for teachers who teach in a rural or disadvantaged area, in addition to their basic salaries; 50,000 riel (about US$12) for education staff who have been working in remote or disadvantaged areas in North-East areas, in addition to their basic salaries; and 60,000 riel (about US$14.42) for education staff who works outside districts and provinces across the country.

On October 5, about 50 teachers from 17 cities and provinces gathered at the office of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh and protested for the increase in salary. The meeting was organized by Rong Chhun, President of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh. Rong Chhun said at the gathering that currently salaries of Cambodian teachers are very low and not fitted the price of goods in markets and teachers’ living-conditions in Cambodia. He has called on Cambodian government to increase salaries by least one million rile (about US$250) for each teacher so that he and she is able to effectively works and to support their families.

The Secretary General Ngo Hongly said that the Royal Government of Cambodia cannot accepted the request which was made by Rong Chhun because the government has a limited budget and has no ability to do so. He said that last year, Rong Chhun had asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase salary to US$100 for teachers and now he protested to the government again for an increase to US$250 for this year.

He accused Rong Chhun and his association of politics aiming to disturb the government’s political stability in Cambodia.

“Cambodian government has a clear responsibility and objective in increasing salaries for its civil servants. We cannot do like Rong Chhun who made his statement baseless and without thinking about the consequences of the world economic crisis,” he said.

Government Keeps Increasing Salaries for Civil Servants

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has confirmed that civil servants’ salaries, especially for teachers, have been steadily increasing every year. This announcement was made publicly by Ngo Hongly, Secretary General of the Council for Administrative Reforms in the Council of Ministers during a press conference at his office on October 5.

The Secretary General Hongly said that since 2001, the government has increased civil servants’ salaries five times with five percent each year in order to improve their living-conditions. He said that the Royal Government of Cambodia has also increased the salary of all government’s staffs including teachers, police men and military forces with 20 percent.

“The government has a clear responsibility to increase salaries for civil servants. In early October 2001, the basic salary of a Cambodian civil servant was only 81,100 riel (about US$19.5) per month but in early July 2009, the salary has been increased up to 339,040 riel (about US$81.5) per month. This shows that the basic salaries for civil servants have been increased over four times and more than 400 percent during the past seven years,” he said at the press conference.

Hongly added that the increasing of the civil servants’ salaries has shown the government’s hard work, strong efforts, and high responsibility in preparing and taking care of the living-conditions of the government’s civil servants in Cambodia.

Relating to teachers’ salaries, Hongly emphasized that in 2001, the primary school teachers’ salary was 90,900 riel (about $21.85) while the highest salaries for teachers at high schools or universities was 136,250 riel per month (about $32.75), in July 2009, the lowest salaries of teachers was 210,800 riel (US$50.67) per month while the highest salary of teachers is 680,120 riel (about US$163.49) per month excluding other benefits.

Thong Borann, Director General of the Staff Department in Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), said that to promote the quality of education and improve the teachers’ work and living-conditions, MoEYS as well as the Royal Government of Cambodia have been working hard.

Since October 2002, MoEYS has been providing 40,000 riel (about US$10) for teachers who teach in a rural or disadvantaged area, in addition to their basic salaries; 50,000 riel (about US$12) for education staff who have been working in remote or disadvantaged areas in North-East areas, in addition to their basic salaries; and 60,000 riel (about US$14.42) for education staff who works outside districts and provinces across the country.

On October 5, about 50 teachers from 17 cities and provinces gathered at the office of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh and protested for the increase in salary. The meeting was organized by Rong Chhun, President of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh. Rong Chhun said at the gathering that currently salaries of Cambodian teachers are very low and not fitted the price of goods in markets and teachers’ living-conditions in Cambodia. He has called on Cambodian government to increase salaries by least one million rile (about US$250) for each teacher so that he and she is able to effectively works and to support their families.

The Secretary General Ngo Hongly said that the Royal Government of Cambodia cannot accepted the request which was made by Rong Chhun because the government has a limited budget and has no ability to do so. He said that last year, Rong Chhun had asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase salary to US$100 for teachers and now he protested to the government again for an increase to US$250 for this year.

He accused Rong Chhun and his association of politics aiming to disturb the government’s political stability in Cambodia.

“Cambodian government has a clear responsibility and objective in increasing salaries for its civil servants. We cannot do like Rong Chhun who made his statement baseless and without thinking about the consequences of the world economic crisis,” he said.

German Week of Film in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REWAKSMEY KONGKEA

The German Embassy in collaboration with the Goethe Institute and Meta House have organized the German Week of Film from the 5th to the 11th of October 2009. The Week consists of screenings at Lux Cinema and Meta House in Phnom Penh.

A total of 10 German films will be showed. The movies screened at Lux Cinema will be subtitled in Khmer. It will be the first time ever for German movies to be showed in Khmer. Toyland The Lives of Others and The Educators are all subtitled so that all Cambodians will be able to enjoy the German films.

The film week marks the 60th Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany. On the 3rd of October, German celebrated its National Day, on the 9th of November the fall of the Berlin Wall is celebrated. This event paved the way for the peaceful unification of East and West Germany. Frank M. Mann, German Ambassador said during his opening speech: “These are events which we would like to celebrate with our friends all over the world and the film festival which we are about to open today, is part of our efforts to reach out to you, our friends in Cambodia.”

Mann continued to say that 60 years of the Federal Republic of Germany represented 60 creative years of German film production as well. The topics of these films reflect the development of a democratic society which after the Second World War had to overcome many challenges.

“They are films which show the reconstruction of Germany, which had been destroyed in a devastating war that brought on so much grieve and destruction to all of Europe. They are films about formation of a new democratic society and the sometimes bitter discussion between the young and the old generation in Germany over the best way to progress,” the Ambassador said.

Nicolaus Mesterharm, Director of the Meta House, said that for Germany and for German citizens all around the world, 2009 is a very special year. He added that as part of the films celebration, the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute, and Meta House want to invite the Cambodian public to see ten cinema highlights from this period, in the German Week of Film.

“We have invited young Cambodian filmmakers to attend this event. Some of them are trained at the Meta House in the framework of the M.E.T.A. (Media Education and Training Academy) film school, which is also funded by the Goethe Institute,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a separate interview on October 6.

“If you want to become a good filmmaker, you have to watch films. This is how Meta House and the German Week of Films contribute directly to the development of the Cambodian film scene,” he added.

Som Sokun, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), was happy to see the German Week of Film in Cambodia. He said that so far, the Federal Republic of Germany has been assisting Cambodian government in two key important sectors, rural development and the reduction of poverty in Cambodia. He added that the celebration of the German Week of Film will promote and develop film industry in Cambodia in future.

To promote traditional culture and arts in Cambodia, Nicolaus Mesterharm said that his organization planed to organize a cinema tour through other cities in Cambodia with a selection of German films in Khmer language in 2010.

“We promote the friendship between Cambodia and Germany with many cultural events (films, concerts, art exhibitions) in Phnom Penh. We love Cambodia and the Khmer people. Besides all the work it is fun to work especially with the young generation, who want to learn about arts and culture from Germany. We ask everybody to visit Meta House and get to know us and our interesting activities. Don't be shy - we can all learn from each other. And it’s for free,” he said.





Japan Provides Humanitarian Aid for CMAC and JMAS

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Under Japan’s Economic Cooperation Framework, the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security “KUSANONE” and the Grand Assistance for Japanese NGOs projects, the Government of Japan have provided US$1,481,740 to Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) and Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS).

The ceremony was held at the Embassy of Japan in Phnom Penh on October 8, signed by Kuroki Masafumi, Ambassador of Japan to Cambodia and Heng Rattana, Director General of the CMAC, and Koga Hidemastsu, Resident Representative of JMAS.

Masafumi said the humanitarian assistance aimed to protect vulnerable individuals from such factors as poverty and misfortunes that directly threaten their lives, livelihood, and dignity, as well as at the promoting self-reliance of local communities.

“I believe that these two projects will contribute to reduce mines casualties as well as to clear all mines and other UXOs in Cambodia,” he said.

Heng Ratana, CMAC’s Director-General, said that the contracts marked another important cooperation between the Embassy of Japan and CMAC in the spirit of supporting landmine and ERW clearance efforts to rid this country of this killer.

The Director-General said that so far Japan has already provided over US$62 million since 1998 to support CMAC’s demining activities in Cambodia. This support has covered operational costs, equipments, and technical assistance.

He said that since 1992 to September 2009, CMAC has been cleared over 250 kilo square meters, and found and destroyed more than 1.8 million mines and UXO in Cambodia. This represents around 50 percent of the total national clearance achievements and around 70 percent of the total number of mines and UXO destroyed in Cambodia by all operators.

“We fully acknowledge that these achievement and progress would have been impossible without the generous support from our donors, especially Japan,” he said.

According to the Project for Supporting Humanitarian Mine Clearance in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces which are the heavily mine affected provinces in Cambodia.

This project costs US$652,549 and CMAC will this take money to clear minefields with 5 brushes cutters teams, 3 long and 1 short leash mine detection do teams, 3 mobile platoons, 2 community mine clearance teams, 2 mines risk education and reduction team, a technical survey team and an explosive ordnance team. Once demining operations are completed, the land will be handed over to the communities to undertake development activities.

The Project for Supporting Explosive Ordnance Disposal in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu and Kandal provinces costs US$829,191. Under this project, JMAC will operate 8 explosive ordnance disposal teams in collaboration with CMAC in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, and Kandal provinces, where people are still suffering from a large number of remaining UXO. The project will also support community based UXO Risk Education to collect and provide information on UXO accidents and its locations through the village network. It is expected that the project will reduce the number of UXO-related accidents in Cambodia.

Japan Provides Humanitarian Aid for CMAC and JMAS

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Under Japan’s Economic Cooperation Framework, the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security “KUSANONE” and the Grand Assistance for Japanese NGOs projects, the Government of Japan have provided US$1,481,740 to Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) and Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS).

The ceremony was held at the Embassy of Japan in Phnom Penh on October 8, signed by Kuroki Masafumi, Ambassador of Japan to Cambodia and Heng Rattana, Director General of the CMAC, and Koga Hidemastsu, Resident Representative of JMAS.

Masafumi said the humanitarian assistance aimed to protect vulnerable individuals from such factors as poverty and misfortunes that directly threaten their lives, livelihood, and dignity, as well as at the promoting self-reliance of local communities.

“I believe that these two projects will contribute to reduce mines casualties as well as to clear all mines and other UXOs in Cambodia,” he said.

Heng Ratana, CMAC’s Director-General, said that the contracts marked another important cooperation between the Embassy of Japan and CMAC in the spirit of supporting landmine and ERW clearance efforts to rid this country of this killer.

The Director-General said that so far Japan has already provided over US$62 million since 1998 to support CMAC’s demining activities in Cambodia. This support has covered operational costs, equipments, and technical assistance.

He said that since 1992 to September 2009, CMAC has been cleared over 250 kilo square meters, and found and destroyed more than 1.8 million mines and UXO in Cambodia. This represents around 50 percent of the total national clearance achievements and around 70 percent of the total number of mines and UXO destroyed in Cambodia by all operators.

“We fully acknowledge that these achievement and progress would have been impossible without the generous support from our donors, especially Japan,” he said.

According to the Project for Supporting Humanitarian Mine Clearance in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces which are the heavily mine affected provinces in Cambodia.

This project costs US$652,549 and CMAC will this take money to clear minefields with 5 brushes cutters teams, 3 long and 1 short leash mine detection do teams, 3 mobile platoons, 2 community mine clearance teams, 2 mines risk education and reduction team, a technical survey team and an explosive ordnance team. Once demining operations are completed, the land will be handed over to the communities to undertake development activities.

The Project for Supporting Explosive Ordnance Disposal in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu and Kandal provinces costs US$829,191. Under this project, JMAC will operate 8 explosive ordnance disposal teams in collaboration with CMAC in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, and Kandal provinces, where people are still suffering from a large number of remaining UXO. The project will also support community based UXO Risk Education to collect and provide information on UXO accidents and its locations through the village network. It is expected that the project will reduce the number of UXO-related accidents in Cambodia.

UC Celebrates 5th Year of Graduates

BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The University of Cambodia (UC) has handed over certificates for the UC’s 5th student promotion for student who have successful completed their studies in the 2008-2009 academic year. The ceremony was held on October 9, presided over by Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Advisor to the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, President and Foundation of International Foundation for Arts and Culture in Tokyo, Japan, and Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Personal Advisor to the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and President of UC, Prum Sokha, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Interior; Ly Somony, Under Secretary of State of Ministry of Education Youth and Sport.

A total of 111 UC students , 43 of them female have received certificates. They are 19 Masters graduated, 87 Bachelor Degree graduated including 34 female graduated, and 5 associated degree graduated including 2 female graduated.

Dr. Haruhisa Handa said that currently, The University of Cambodia has been consisted in building up a reputation as a leading university by focusing on quality of education like the Harvard University in USA, the Oxford University or the Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He said that to promote its education quality, The University of Cambodia will commit to work hard to put the top priority to academic excellent scholarships and quality of academic programs.

He added that to help the poor Cambodian students especially those who just completed the high schools, The University of Cambodia will continue to offer 500 “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” for Cambodian students every year in Cambodia

Dr. Kao Kim Hourn said that the 2009 students who have received these certificates are the new input of the UC in working to contribute to higher education and human resources development, and the quality of education and development in Cambodia. He added that these 2009 graduates are the best of the best UC’s graduates and will become the new human resources for Cambodia in future.

“This year is another input of UC for building the human resources in Cambodia. Although this year, we don’t have large size, meaning a large number of graduates, but every graduate we have are the best product and are the best of the best of UC’s graduates. Therefore, we hope that they all will become to be new human resources for helping to work to develop our country in future,” he said during opening speech delivered to certificates handing over ceremony.

Dr. Kim Hour pointed out that The University of Cambodia was officially established and inaugurated by Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia on the 9th October 2003. Until today, there are a total of 4,494 students have been graduated with UC in Cambodia. He said that UC has also offered a total of 500 scholarships for Cambodian students who completed their high school through “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” per year in Cambodia.

“The University of Cambodia has its main strategy and long vision in promoting the higher quality education, education and human resources development in Cambodia. To reach this strategic objective, UC now is working hard in preparing and designing its academic curriculums with gathering on technical and scientific subjects. The knowledge is very important intelligence for studies, research and publishing which are necessary to build and develop the country in future,” he said.

He added that as its future strategy, the University of Cambodia has a clear purpose in working to combine its policies with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s policies on education sector relating to the development of knowledge, professional consciences, and the future intellectual human building through the capacity building training on sciences and technical developments.



Government Prevents Boys and Men from Gender Based Violence

BY BUT H REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The East and Southeast Asia Regional Consultation on Working with Boys and Men for Gender-Based Violence Prevention have conducted a three day seminar from the 28th to the 30th of September in Phnom Penh. The regional gender-based-violence was organized by the Gender and Development for Cambodia (GAD), Partners for Prevention and MenEngage to share promising practices and lesson learn on the engagement in gender equality and gender-based-violence prevention in the region.

James Lang, Program Coordinator of the Partners for Prevention, said that globally as many as one in every three women is beaten, coerced into sex or bused in some way during their lifetimes. Most often, violence and abuse is perpetrated by a spouse of a male family member.

Lang continued to say that gender-based-violence remains one of the most pervasive yet least recognized human-rights abuses in the world. He continued to say that the gender-based violence is present across all cultures and socio economic divides. It exists in the private and public spheres, and occurs in times of peace and conflict.

“We have seen that every country in the world, especially Southeast Asia still has a high level of domestic violence, children and men engaged, so we are now trying to find a new way to stop violence,” he said. “One of the new way is working to prevent the violence before starting and changing the mindset of young children, boys and men to end the violence against women in helping to give idea as using the violence and the connection with the men to find a way to be a man in a peaceful and respectful manner,” James Lang stated.

Chhay Kim Sore, Community Outreach Program Manager of the Gender and Development for Cambodia, said that it marked the first time as the GAD in collaboration with Partners for Prevention and Men Engage have organized this regional consultation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The main purpose of the regional consultation is to explore the concepts of masculinities, gender relations, and gender-based-violence prevention and how they are connected. Another objective of the meeting is to share promising practices and lesson learn on the engagement of boys and men in gender equity and gender-based-violence prevention; and explore next steps for collaboration across the region to engage boys and men in work toward gender equality and gender-based-violence prevention in region.

“The consultation has provided a space for learning about key issues related to working with boys and men for gender equality and Gender-based-violence prevention in region. This will include reflection on causes of gender-based-violence, and how a deeper analysis of masculinities and gender relations can enhance politics and practices for gender-based-violence prevention,” he said.

Kim Sore said that promising practices and intervention have also shared from the region and linked with learning sessions. Thematic lessons included the themes of research and monitoring and evaluation, communications and campaigning, advocacy and prevention policy, and working with youth, among others.

The participants also mapped the status of capacities, intervention, resources and policies related to the gender-based-violence prevention in the region to understand where there are strengths and gaps with this work, he said, adding that the consultation also concluded with discussions around the potential next steps for working together to enhance gender equality and gender-based-violence prevention work at the regional and national levels.

About 80 participants from 12 countries in East and Southeast Asia as well as some members of the Cambodia Men’s network and Cambodian government’s officers have also attended the meeting in Phnom Penh.


Scholar Student Wishes to be a Computer Scientist

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Taing Kim Srun, 23, is one of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students. He was born in 1986 in Tbong Khmum district, Kampong Cham province. As the youngest of the family with three older sisters he is living with his parents in Phnom Penh.

Kim Srun is now studying Computer Sciences at The University of Cambodia (UC) and also studying English Literature at the Cambodian Mekong University (CMU) in Phnom Penh. He passed the scholarship exams offered by The University of Cambodia in 2008. Before applying for study with UC, he studied at the Hun Sen Takhmau High School in Kandal province and he earned a Baccalaureate in 2008.

“I am very happy that I passed the scholarship of the University of Cambodia in 2008. Before the result was released I thought that I did not pass the scholarship and I that I had to pay for my bachelor degree study with UC,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on September 30.

He added: “I applied for study with The University of Cambodia because I know that it is one of the best universities in Cambodia. I decided to study Computer Sciences because I am very interested in this major and I want to become a well-known computer technician or computer expert in the future.”

To achieve his goal of becoming a computer sienctist, Kim Srun is studying very hard and reading many books related to his studies on a daily basis. He continued that when he completed his Bachelor’s Degree he will then continue to study for Master’s and Doctoral degrees with The University of Cambodia. However, if he gets the opportunity to get a scholarship for a study abroad he will take that.

He added that he decided to study English Literature because English is the major that related to all studying fields and would help him researching documents, in addition to his computer skills.

Keo Bun Then, 19, is a second year international relation student with The University of Cambodia and also second year law student with Royal University of Cambodia (RULE) in Phnom Penh. He is a close friend of Taing Kim Srun. He has known Kim Srun when he was studying English Course with him at The University of Cambodia in 2008. He said that Kim Srun was a hard learner and was one of the most outstanding students in his class. He added that Taing Kim Srun is also friendly, gentle and helpful student in his class.

“I think that it is having a good friend like Taing Kim Srun. I hope that with his hard study and hard works, he will get successfully obtain his Bachelor Degree and will pass other scholarships in the future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly on October 1.

Scholar Student Wishes to be a Computer Scientist

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Taing Kim Srun, 23, is one of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students. He was born in 1986 in Tbong Khmum district, Kampong Cham province. As the youngest of the family with three older sisters he is living with his parents in Phnom Penh.

Kim Srun is now studying Computer Sciences at The University of Cambodia (UC) and also studying English Literature at the Cambodian Mekong University (CMU) in Phnom Penh. He passed the scholarship exams offered by The University of Cambodia in 2008. Before applying for study with UC, he studied at the Hun Sen Takhmau High School in Kandal province and he earned a Baccalaureate in 2008.

“I am very happy that I passed the scholarship of the University of Cambodia in 2008. Before the result was released I thought that I did not pass the scholarship and I that I had to pay for my bachelor degree study with UC,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on September 30.

He added: “I applied for study with The University of Cambodia because I know that it is one of the best universities in Cambodia. I decided to study Computer Sciences because I am very interested in this major and I want to become a well-known computer technician or computer expert in the future.”

To achieve his goal of becoming a computer sienctist, Kim Srun is studying very hard and reading many books related to his studies on a daily basis. He continued that when he completed his Bachelor’s Degree he will then continue to study for Master’s and Doctoral degrees with The University of Cambodia. However, if he gets the opportunity to get a scholarship for a study abroad he will take that.

He added that he decided to study English Literature because English is the major that related to all studying fields and would help him researching documents, in addition to his computer skills.

Keo Bun Then, 19, is a second year international relation student with The University of Cambodia and also second year law student with Royal University of Cambodia (RULE) in Phnom Penh. He is a close friend of Taing Kim Srun. He has known Kim Srun when he was studying English Course with him at The University of Cambodia in 2008. He said that Kim Srun was a hard learner and was one of the most outstanding students in his class. He added that Taing Kim Srun is also friendly, gentle and helpful student in his class.

“I think that it is having a good friend like Taing Kim Srun. I hope that with his hard study and hard works, he will get successfully obtain his Bachelor Degree and will pass other scholarships in the future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly on October 1.

Cambodia Launches Policy for Protection Against Human Trafficking

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) has held a workshop, aiming to promulgate the policy and minimum standards for the protection of the rights of the victims of human trafficking in Cambodia. The workshop was held on September 28, sponsored by the Counter Trafficking in Person Project of The Asia Foundation (TAF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Ith Sam Heng, Minister of MoSVY, said that the main purpose of the establishment of the policy and the minimum standard for protection of the rights of human trafficking victims is to combat human trafficking, smuggling, labor and sex exploitation of women and children in Cambodia. He said that this policy will become the basic measure for all levels of Cambodian authorities in carrying out their duties.

“This is the first step of the MoSVY’s basic policies for all Cambodian authorities in implementing their duties to ensure the people’s safety and security especially women and children from being trafficked in Cambodia,” he said at the workshop. “I hope that after the official launch of this policy and minimum standard, the policy will be exercised nationwide and finally, our Cambodian people especially women and children will be freed from all kinds of human trafficking activities in future.”

Prak Chan Thouern, Director General of Technical Affairs of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, said the establishment of the policy and minimum standards protection are part of the implementation of the rectangular strategy-phase 2 of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, and the six strategies of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.

The creation of the policy manifests the implementation of the protocol to prevent, suppress, and prosecute human trafficking in women and children, said Chan Thouern.
The Director pointed out that the development of policy and minimum standards on protection of the rights of victim of human rights crimes was done in cooperation with TAF.

He added that the policy is a base to develop a draft policy. The TAF cooperates with the MoSVY’s Technical Affairs Department to organize the consultation workshops in Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Svay Rieng, and Preah Sihanouk province with the presence of official and staff of the MoSVY and other representatives of institutions and organizations with a total of 280 participants in Cambodia.

“The efforts of MoSVY and TAF with support and attention from the leaders of MoSVY have resulted in development of the documents. Today, the documents are officially launched,” Chan Thouern said. “I would like to thank TAF and USAID for their cooperation with the technical department to develop the policy and minimum standards for the protection of the rights of victims of human trafficking in Cambodia.”


Energy Development in Greater Mekong Subregion

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Conference on Energy Development in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) has been conducted for two days on the 29th and the 30th of September in Phnom Penh. The two-day conference was organized by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and American Embassy to Cambodia, aiming to share ideas, expanding the GMS Market, and finding solutions for the development of the GMS energy sector.

Carol A. Rodley, American Ambassador to Cambodia, said that the two-day conference included speakers from public and private sectors in the United States, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. She said the main objective of the conference will range from understanding energy policies and opportunities in member countries to a case study of energy trading in relationship to the expanding GMS market in the region as well as in the world.

“I am pleased to be hosting the conference on energy development in the Greater Mekong Subregion fresh on the heels of Secretary Clinton’s participation in the first ever Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting in Thailand. It gives me additional satisfaction to know that after the workshop we have this regional conference on energy in Cambodia,” she said at her opening remarks of the conference. “The energy prices in Cambodia are amongst the highest in Asia and connectivity is one of the lowest, but the government has ambitious plans to expand the country’s electrical production and connectivity,” the Ambassador stated.

She continued to say that the steady supplies of energy will be a critical element of future GMS trade and growth. The GMS-EC (the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation) program envisions regional production and distribution of energy, creating new opportunities for energy related technology producers, distributors, and traders. She added that priorities of the GMS-EC Program include cooperation on developing energy, transportation, telecommunications, tourism, environment, and human resources for expanded business opportunities.

Energy development and climate change are in different stages of development, with some possessing more advanced infrastructure than others, she said, adding that one advantage developing countries have over more developed countries is that they can develop their infrastructure anew, without transitioning through more primitive technologies as the developed countries once did.

“In developing energy infrastructure today, countries must assess a myriad of economic, social, and political factors that were never considered in the past, such as environmental damage and climate change,” Rodley said.

Rodley emphasized that that under the GMS Economic Cooperation program, development of the energy sector in one country will be able to benefit the development of all countries through the most efficient use of the natural resources within the region.

She said that the GMS economies are undergoing multiple transitions: from agriculture to industry and services, and rural to urban migration. These transitions will drive energy demand growth in coming decades. She added that the challenges facing the GMS in the energy sector are not unique: high economic growth of the region is driving the demand for energy whereas almost 50 million people in the GMS lack access to electricity.

She added that GMS energy infrastructure will require billions of dollars of investment if energy supply is to keep pace with energy demand. The good news for GMS countries is that the companies and individuals we have gathered together day have the skills, technologies, and resources to transform the GMS energy sector.

“Almost every country in the world has large-scale domestic sources of renewable energy, the GMS region is no exception. The next generation of electricity is likely to be much cleaner because it must and we will see new technologies redirecting the energy sector into newer, more sustainable directions, through the use of wind, biogas, biomass, geothermal, solar, ocean currents, and other forms of renewable energy,” she said.

She added that to develop and promote the Energy Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion in future, the U.S. Department of State in conjunction with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency will host a Conference on Clean Energy at a still undetermined location in Southeast Asia in early next year. The next conference is intended to look more closely at how the U.S. and ASEAN member countries can work together to expand this new energy revolution in Southeast Asia.

Representatives from some of the world’s most well-known publicly traded American companies such as Chevron, GE, AES, Shlumberger, Conoco Phillips, Dupont, and Rockwell Automation as well as scores of other American, Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Chinese, and other energy companies have also attended the conference in Cambodia.

Government Affirms Good Relation With United States

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has affirmed that the diplomatic relation and cooperation between Cambodia and the United States of America has been progressing. America has been providing aid to help every field in Cambodia but a major problem is that the Royal Government of Cambodia asked for America to cancel a debt, owed by the Government led by Lon Nol during 1970s.

The Deputy Prime Minister Namhong made his statements while arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport on October 1, returning from the participation of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States, where he met with Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs.

During a meeting with Her Excellency Hillary Clinton, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong said that the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised and applauded the development and the growth of democracy and human rights in Cambodia especially the increasingly good relations between Cambodian government and the United States of America.

Namhong raised topics like Cambodia’s gratitude to the United States of America for their provided aid concerning social affairs, the Trade Act for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP); and the strengthening of the relationship between ASEAN and the United States as well as Cambodia’s debt owed to the United States acquired during the Lon Nol regime during his meeting with Hillary Clinton.

According to Cheam Yeap, Lawmaker and Chairman of the Committee of Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit in the National Assembly of Cambodia, the debt was over 100 million USD in 1972, and now the total amount increased over US$300 million included the interests.

“I have talked about Cambodia’s debt owed to the United States during the Lon Nol regime. I told Her Excellency Hillary Clinton that this debt owed was made by the Lon Nol’s government which is a government established through a coup d’├ętat on the 18th of March 1970,” he told reporters while arrival at the airport.

He continued to say that this money owed was used for buying of weapon materials in Lon Nol regime in order to set up the war only. “Therefore, I ask the American government through Her Excellency Hillary Clinton to eliminate this debt for Cambodia. I also requested that if the American government can not do so, the US should take a big part of these moneys to use for the developmental assistances in Cambodia in future.”


The Deputy Prime Minister continued to say that during this meeting, Her Excellency Hillary Clinton has also talked about her meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tea Ban, Minister of National Defense. She praised the good relations between the Cambodian and the American military. He added that Madam Clinton mentioned that the U.S. will help Cambodian military in providing training for United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in the future.

Relating to American humanitarian assistance, Namhong said so far, the United States of America has been providing a lot of financial and humanitarian assistance for Cambodia. Recently, the US has also donated over US$6 million to Cambodia. He added that most of the American financial assistance was donated for mine clearing activities, military training, health, education, and other social affairs in Cambodia.

“I noted that so far, the relations and diplomatic tie between Cambodia and USA has been improved and strengthened in all sectors, military as well as civilian,” he said. “With this cooperation, I am optimistic that the relation between the two countries will be more improved and strengthened even further and the US will continue to provide more aid to Cambodia in future.”

Relating to the practice of democracy, The Deputy Prime Minister stated that there are over 100 NGOs working with human rights to help the Cambodian government in promoting the development and democracy in Cambodia. He added that the growth of these local and international NGOs’ activities have shown that Cambodia now have a full freedom and democracy. Cambodia now is practicing the doctrine of democracy and rule of law.

Besides talking about Cambodian issues, he has also addressed Her Excellency Hillary Clinton about Myanmar’s economic sanction which has recently put by the US recent year and the Mekong River Developments in future, according to Namhong.

He added that concerning the Myanmar’s economic sanction, Madam Hillary Clinton said that the U.S now is considering to release or reduce the economic sanction on the Myanmar government. She added that the U.S now is implementing its integration policy with Myanmar in order to work and improve the implementation of democracy and human rights in Myanmar in the future.