via CAAI News Media
Posted on 21 February 2010.
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652
“Phnom Penh: Experts in youth problems said that according to their observation, public leisure time activity space for youth in the country is becoming smaller, but commercial entertainment space, such as night clubs and beer gardens, is increasing significantly.
“A civil society organization official, who asked not to be named, said early this week that youth at present lacks public space for leisure time, but they are enjoying the increasing number of night clubs, bars, Karaoke parlors, and beer gardens, where they can drink alcohol, use drugs, and find many other services.
“He emphasized, ‘When young people nowadays open their eyes, they see nothing but beer gardens and night clubs.’
“At present, Phnom Penh has 375 square kilometers, but besides around Wat Phnom, youth can hardly find other parks. Places where they can do some physical activities are the Olympic Stadium and some few small parks, but when it comes to beer gardens, night clubs, and other places providing terribly services, they can be found at every corner of the roads.
“Regarding this comment, an independent councilor and researcher of youth problems, Mr. Tong Soprach, said on 17 February 2010 that as he has noticed, the above comment seem to be true.
“According to him, present day youth problems, such as drug addiction, crimes, and sex trafficking, result from two factors: modernization and the surrounding environment. Modernization pushes youth to fall into bad habits due to the influx of other cultures, materialism, and peer pressure. That young people are easily impressed by their peers happens because of their environment. The environment for youth is formed, at present, by beer gardens, bars, and night clubs.
“He said, ‘They are easily attracted by their friends – when they open their eyes, they see such places.’
“There are hardly any places for playing sports, besides one or two, at universities and at the old stadium.
“He added, ‘There is not much public space for youth, but we see there are more beer gardens and night clubs.’
“Besides the two experts above, the coordinator of the Cambodian Youth Council, Ms. Mao Puthearoth, recognized that libraries, bookstores, places in the open air, and places for playing sports were not increased in recent years, but there are many places of entertainment attracting young people when they travel around town every day.
“She said, ‘I do not see that cinemas were changed into libraries, but several were changed into night clubs.’
“Responding to this issue, she said that the Cambodian Youth Council will ask the Ministry of Education to focus on this issue.
“She stressed, ‘We want the government to pay attention to these issues and establishl a youth policy on the national level, which is now still in the status of being drafted.
“Ms. Puthearoth said that the Cambodian Youth Council is encouraging the government to create places of entertainment for youth and take youth problems into consideration, before it decides to provide licenses for any commercial entertainment places to be operated, especially night clubs and other strange places for youth.”
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5131, 20.2.2010
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Saturday, 20 February 2010