Saturday, 3 July 2010

Bothell teen is helping save girls in need, one stitch at a time

via Khmer NZ News Media


Posted on July 2, 2010

BOTHELL, Wash. - A Bothell teen is spending her summer vacation trying to save the world, one stitch at a time. But she's not using ordinary supplies.

16-year-old Whitney Carter is salvaging recyclable material to make accessories that she can sell on line. The proceeds will be donated directly to the Rapha House, an American organization that helps save young Cambodian girls from the underground sex slave industry.

"I want to feel like I'm making a difference", says Carter. "I've met these girls, being a sex slave is all they know." Carter was inspired to help after visiting Cambodia with her family four times over the past several years. The Carters were traveling as missionaries. Whitney was invited to play soccer and met other Cambodian girls on an opposite team.

So far, Carter has three handmade items up for sale on her new website . A necklace made from torn up magazines and scratch paper sells for about $13.

"Hopefully I can keep making these things", she says. "It's the least I can do".

Cambodia Ratifies the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism

via Khmer NZ News Media

The region’s efforts in fighting against terrorism have received another boost with the ratification of the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism (ACCT) by Cambodia.

Cambodia’s Instrument of Ratification of the Convention was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hor Namhong on 14 June 2010. It was then deposited with the Secretary-General of ASEAN on 28 June 2010.

Cambodia is the fourth ASEAN Member State to ratify the Convention, after Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

The ACCT was signed by the ASEAN Leaders in Cebu, Philippines on 13 January 2007 during the 12th ASEAN Summit. The Convention aims to enhance the region’s capacity to confront terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to deepen counter-terrorism cooperation among the region’s law enforcement and other relevant authorities. It would be elevated to become a regional treaty once it has received ratification from at least six ASEAN Member States.

The ACCT’s entry into force signifies effective compliance to all relevant UN Conventions and Protocols regarding Counter-Terrorism.

Singapore sand demand damaging Cambodia environment

via Khmer NZ News Media

July 3rd, 2010
Author: Moderator

London-based Global Witness said that Cambodia’s sand-dredging industry threatened endangered species, fish stocks and local livelihoods, despite the government’s May 2009 ban on sand-dredging.

“This situation highlights the continued failure of Cambodia’s international donors to use their leverage to hold the small elite surrounding the Prime Minister to account,” said George Boden, campaigner at Global Witness.

“Cambodia’s natural resource wealth should be lifting its population out of poverty.”

Koy Koung, the spokesman and undersecretary of state at Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said he was unable to comment as the government had not seen the Global Witness report.

The report said Singapore was the world’s largest importer of sand in 2008 and has used sand imports to increase its landmass by 22 per cent since the 1960s.

It said this development has wreaked havoc on the region’s coastlines, with Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia having all announced bans on sand dredging for export due to environmental concerns.

Global Witness said it had tracked boats being loaded with sand in Cambodia to their destinations in Singapore, a regional base for manufacturers and banks that is expanding its financial centre and leisure attractions onto reclaimed land.

The Singapore government said sand imports for reclamation were done on a commercial basis by a government entity, with sand concession holders determining the source locations.

“We are committed to the protection of the global environment, and we do not condone the illegal export or smuggling of sand, or any extraction of sand that is in breach of the source countries’ laws and rules on environmental protection,” Singapore’s Ministry of national Development said.

“The policing and enforcement of sand extraction licenses is ultimately the responsibility of the source country,” it added.

“Singapore says that the import of sand is a purely commercial activity but it also presents itself as a regional leader on environmental issues,” said Global Witness’ Boden.

“If Singapore wants its environmental stance to be taken seriously, monitoring where the sand is sourced and what is being done to obtain it would be an obvious place to start.”

By Neil Chatterjee

Source: Reuters

Cambodian seniors growing a little taste of home

via Khmer NZ News Media

By Greg Mellen, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/02/2010

Phannakka Sou churns the soil on a plant in the garden at Ernest McBride Park. The garden tended by Cambodian senior citizens was recently relocated from the Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. The group received an award from Corner Bakery Cafe restaurant to improve and upgrade the garden. (Brittany Murray / Press Telegram)

Chili peppers flourishing at the garden at Ernest McBride Park. (Brittany Murray / Press Telegram)

LONG BEACH - It's not quite like the old farming days in Cambodia. The soil is different. The seeds and vegetables aren't quite the same. Farming from pots can't equal a plot of land. And yet, the Cambodian seniors who tend to the Sokpheap Community Garden are thrilled for a chance to till the soil.

"Sabay chet, sabay chet," or "happy, happy" the seniors say when asked how it makes them feel to be able to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits that remind them of home.

Every weekday morning, Kea Cheng, Bun Gnuon, Saruot Mien and Phannakka Sou turn the soil at the garden's current home behind the gym at Ernest McBride Park.

There they grow dragon fruit, lemon grass, peppers and spices. They also grow eggplant, beans, tomatoes and so forth.

The farmers say they would like to find seeds from Cambodia to plant and tend, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

The garden was chosen by the Corner Bakery Cafe restaurant chain as one of 20 nationwide community gardens it is supporting with grants for the summer.

The restaurant says it will donate a portion of proceeds from sales this summer from their "Get Fresh" menu items. There is a restaurant in Lakewood at 5312 Clark Ave.

The restaurant group gave the group a $500 award last year and an equal grant this year.

The funds are used to buy fertilizer, soil and tools for the project.

The Cambodian elders who work in the garden are members of the Asian and Pacific Islander Older Adults Task Force. The four gardeners are paid a stipend from a grant from the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging.

The project originated at the Mt. Carmel Cambodian Center, a Catholic church near Martin Luther King Jr. Park, and was overseen by Mary Blatz, the pastoral director there.

A portion of the church's grounds were provided for the garden.

However, Blatz left the church in April and the Cambodians were forced to find a new home for the garden. They uprooted what plants they could and placed them in buckets.

Serey Hong, who works with the elders, said the new home for the garden is only about half to a third of the size of the original and many plants did not survive the transfer.

Through translation Gnoun, one of the gardeners, said "the plants over here are smaller. If we had a big field we'd be happy."

The gardeners say they wish they could could plant tamarind trees, which produce a fruit used to flavor many Cambodian soups, banana and palm trees, but lack the space.

Experiments to grow certain other Cambodian delicacies, such as types of mushrooms, have been unsuccessful.

Still, on an early summer morning, several tomatoes were starting to grow on one plant, eggplants were taking shape, other plants were in flower and some incendiary looking peppers were sprouting.

Aaron Va, community specialist for the group, says the garden "promotes happy, healthy lifestyle."

He said the hope is that the group can find a permanent plot of land for the garden.

"We'd like to expand and make a little money (selling produce,)" Va said. "The problem is we need land and the funds."

He added that a larger garden would also enable more members of the task force to join in on the gardening.

There has been discussion of opening a plot in a garden slated for Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews said he may also explore the idea of setting land aside at McBride Park after the upcoming expansion is completed.

And Blatz, who is running a nonprofit organization called Friends of Mt. Carmel, says her group is looking for ways to create funds to expand the project.

Whether or when any of that will occur is unknown.

For the time being, however, the gardeners are making do as best they can. Occasionally they are able to sell small amounts of produce to group members and on occasion the food will be used for larger gatherings of the elder Asians.

In addition to food, the fledgling garden also helps promote community, the members say.

"Sometimes when we plant, we all get together and talk," an elder said.

And those are moments that make all involved "sabay chet."

Kea Cheng waters the plants in the garden at Ernest McBride Park. (Brittany Murray / Press Telegram)

Big Life, Big Heart

via Khmer NZ News Media

Denise Carter
Saturday, July 3, 2010
© The Cairns Post

Geraldine Cox has squeezed more lives into her one lifetime than we could ever count.

She's known as "big mum" by the children of her Sunrise orphanages in Cambodia.

And why?

"Because I'm big," Geraldine Cox says, then chuckles. "When I get bigger, they call me Big, Big Mum."

In truth, everything is big about this woman.

Her autobiography, Home is where the Heart is, could easily have been called Big Life, Big Heart because Geraldine has lived many lives thus far, and her all-encompassing love for the 200 children in her care is extraordinary.

She was born in Adelaide, and co-founded The Australia Cambodia Foundation in 1993 after seeing the suffering of the children of Phnom Penh as a result of war and famine.

The SBS documentary, My Khmer Heart, about her work, won the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary of the Year Award in 2000 and in the same year her efforts were recognised when she became a Member of the Order of Australia.

When I first speak with Geraldine, it is by phone.

Her voice catches when she tells me she has had to return to Cambodia for the cremation of a boy whom she had known and raised since he was just four years old, who was killed in a motorbike accident.

"He was very special," she says.

Later, after the Cairns Business Women's Lunch on Tuesday, part of one of her many fundraising missions to Australia, she tells me of Prak Kirirak's appalling story, one that is indicative of the conditions in which some children live in Cambodia.

"He was found in a refugee camp eating soap," Geraldine says. "He had no living memory of any family or anyone looking after him."

When he was brought back to the Sunrise village, he was found to have "a ring of cigarette burns on his scrotum".

"Later on, he had disciplinary problems and he was a bit lost, but he had so much talent."

Prak Kirirak was a budding artist and Geraldine had just sold some of his paintings for $1500.

Enough, she says, for the 22-year-old to live on for a year. But he died before realising his success.

He is the 10th child she has lost among the children she has nurtured over 15 years. I

It's a heartache that would make most people claim burnout and head back to the comforts of Australian life.

But Geraldine says her work is well worth her life's toil because of the rewards of seeing the children grow up and find a place in the world.

"I have one boy studying law in Sydney University, another studying arts-media at Queensland University, a boy at Flinders studying film, one doing hotel management in Sydney and two girls going to private school doing Grade 12."

These achievements would seem pretty average for an Australian child but for a Cambodian child, one of whom, for example, is the son of a third generation rice farmer who never held a pen, they are gargantuan.

In the majority of cases, however, Geraldine just makes sure her children find good jobs.

In what could be described as a self-created society, her children have grown up to work as dental nurses, real estate brokers, hospitality workers, car mechanics, and IT workers.

It must seem a far cry from Geraldine's first effort, which was to raise $13,000 to start up the initial orphanage in Phnom Penh, and eons away from her first posting in Cambodia with the Department of Foreign Affairs in the early 70s when the Vietnam War was still in full swing.

It was then, despite the enticing distractions of great dinner parties and hot lovers, she discovered the living conditions of children and the struggles of the Cambodian people, which she was unable to get out of her mind.

Geraldine saw many horrors on her subsequent postings between Cambodia, Iran, the Philippines and Thailand, including human heads mounted on stools and soldiers suffering from mustard gas poisoning.

Many years later, she was still in the midst of danger when she was in Cambodia during a coup in 1997, but she probably coped better than most because she thrives on action.

"A lot of my boyfriends have said I'm masculine in a lot of ways," she says.

"I must have more testosterone because I like taking risks.

In fact if I go a whole six months and no-one mugs me, I think what, does no-one love me any more?'," she says, laughing.

The coup turned out to be fortunate for Geraldine because the international media interest in her testimony made her realise she could do more for her orphans if she could just tell her story.

She moved to Cambodia full-time in 1998, having quit her corporate job in Sydney, and became a permanent citizen of the country.

By 2000, her story became known with the release of My Khmer Heart and the publication of Home is where the Heart is.

The book details her extraordinary love of children and her fight to build and maintain two orphanages.

It also covers more personal details of her life, such as her desire to have children of her own from the age of 23, and the extraordinary lengths to which she went to have a child, even resorting to having unprotected sex with prostitutes.
Such personal information is in her book for practical reasons.

"I was starting to get a profile, and I thought, if I don't say everything, someone will cut me down," she says.

That's probably one of the most endearing qualities in Geraldine: despite her incredible work she certainly doesn't portray herself as a saint.

She is a red-blooded woman who has been married, divorced, has had many lovers, who admits her flaws, and who divulges her most painful and darkest moments, such as when she considered killing herself and a child she adopted with severe cerebral palsy out of pure desperation because she couldn't help the child.

And she is far from a shrinking violet.

There's a part of her book where she writes about disrobing after a night out, standing naked atop a table in front of her husband-to-be, and saying; "I'm already 39 darling. I want you to understand that my body is never going to be better than it is tonight".

It will make a great scene if her story ever becomes a movie, highly likely considering she is writing a script in the coming year.

Has she any regrets? Would she not have had a more comfortable life living in Australia and, say, being a suburban housewife?

"No, no," Geraldine says. "You couldn't have a partner and do what I do. I'd like a man for weddings, funerals and tours like this, and for the rest of the time he can bugger off."

Despite the bravado, the past few months have been difficult. Geraldine had a double mastectomy in November and is now recovering from breast cancer with a course of hormones.

"I'm not as sprightly as I used to be," she says. "I get physically tired, especially after the operation, but I never get tired talking about the kids."

In April, her 95-year-old mother died, and now she has been further heartbroken by the death of Prak Kirirak.
"Even my dog died in May," she says.

"I miss the dog more than I missed my husband after our divorce."

Yet she does not stop. There's the planned third home in Cambodia, this time for 180 children with AIDS. "We start building in July," Geraldine says.

"They are children who have been abandoned in hospitals because they have been born with AIDS."

The home will provide medical care for the children, some of whom also suffer from tuberculosis, with the drugs provided by The Clinton Foundation.

Then there's that movie script.

In 2000, following the publication of her autobiography, Matt Damon and Danny Glover wanted the rights to make her story into a movie. She declined because they would change her story too much. Yes, she had the gall to turn down Matt Damon.

"I am writing it in my spare time and it will take about a year," she says.

Does she have spare time?

She smiles. "No, I don't."

But I doubt this will stop her. You just can't keep a strong woman down.

New UNHRC president asked to demand for end of emergency decree in Thailand

via Khmer NZ News Media

July 02, 2010

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Friday called on the new president of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Thai ambassador to Geneva Sihasak Phuangketkeow, to demand the Thai government to end enforcement of the emergency decree, the Bangkok Post's website reported.

Basil Fernando, the Director of Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission, said in an open letter to the council president that renewing the decree would effectively violate Thailand's obligations under Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Thailand's concerned authorities will assess the situation before the state of emergency will complete its 3-month term of the enforcement on July 7.

Though the anti-government protests ended on May 19, the Thai government maintained its enforcement of the state of emergency in order to ensure security for the public.

The state of emergency has been imposed from April 7, 2010, in capital Bangkok and 23 provinces of Thailand's 76 provinces, empowering police and army to control the then anti-government protests.


Focus on local development could aid Cambodia overall, says UN report

Achieving universal primary education by 2015 is Goal 2 of the MDGs

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2 July 2010 – A national strategy for local development in Cambodia could bridge the rural-urban divide and bring the Southeast Asian country closer to achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to a report released today by the United Nations.
Beyond the Midpoint: Achieving the MDGs and by the Local Development Outlook on Cambodia, produced by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), is the first publication of its kind to provide a comprehensive overview of local development trends in Cambodia.

It shows that decentralization would allow local governments to respond more appropriately to the needs of local communities.

“A strong consensus is emerging that a new policy approach is needed, one that builds on local knowledge to tailor public policy to specific circumstances,” UN Resident Coordinator Douglas Broderick told some 340 people who attended the launch of the report.

Such an approach would help guide Cambodian decision-makers “harness local potential and exploit opportunities for economic diversification and development,” he said at the gathering, which drew Government officials, representatives of academia and civil society, and development partners.

The report’s release comes two months ahead of the MDG Summit to be convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September in New York.

With the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs looming, Mr. Ban has been urging world leaders to try to accelerate progress towards achieving the eight development goals, which include targets for slashing poverty, boosting school enrolment rates, improving maternal health and increasing access to clean water and decent sanitation.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Institute Ponders the Value and Costs of Aid

Sok khemara, VOA Khmer | Washington, DC
Friday, 02 July 2010

via Khmer NZ News Media

Photo: by Chun Sakada
Donors meet with Cambodian government officials in Phnom Penh, in June.

“They next generation of Cambodian children, they want to know too, because they don’t want to be born and then owe debt to someone or to pay that.”

A leading Cambodian organization met with US policymakers in Washington last week to discuss more effective use of aid money for rights and democracy.

Hang Chhaya, executive director of the Khmer Institute for Democracy, said he met with US officials and the international organization Oxfam America to demonstrate how aid can be used between governments and civil society.

KID has worked to promote grassroots awareness of basic rights, while maintaining a neutral political position, he said. Aid can be used to bolster people’s understanding of their rights, he said.

“If people understand their rights, they can participate and develop, and that’s important,” he said. “In the past, we saw a great lack on human rights awareness in various local areas.”

More awareness among people means more accountability within the government, something that civil society can help with and should be funded for, he said.

“So Cambodia is an example among the countries receiving aid from the US government, and they want to focus on what can be possible here, because people participate in governance and the development of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s development landscape is shifting, especially with the influx of Chinese aid, which typically lacks the overt conditions applied to Western money, Hang Chhaya said.

“That’s dangerous for what civil society, and our entire Cambodian society, wants, which is effective development that anybody can participate in and that reduces poverty,” he said.

“If we receive aid from foreign countries, we want to see whether this aid is attached with any interests, or how much needs to be paid back,” he said. “They next generation of Cambodian children, they want to know too, because they don’t want to be born and then owe debt to someone or to pay that.”

‘Golden Age’ Actress Dy Saveth on Success

Nuch Sarita, VOA Khmer | Washington, DC
Thursday, 01 July 2010

via Khmer NZ News Media

Dy Saveth on the cover of a Cambodian magazine.

“I have performed with Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean and Taiwanese actors.”

Now 66 years old, actress Dy Saveth still retains much of the charm that made her one of the greats of Cambodia’s Golden Age of cinema.

The film star, who won her first beauty pageant in 1959, told “Hello VOA” Monday she had no idea how to act when she got started—but once she began she was determined to succeed.

She first starred in “Raft Life” in 1962 and went on to be featured in more than 100 films, although she said she lost count after the Khmer Rouge rose to power.

“I have performed with Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean and Taiwanese actors,” she said. “I also sang a duet with Sin Sisamouth in Khmer and Thai, in the film that I acted in with Thai actors.”

After the takeover, Dy Saveth moved to France with her husband, whom she would later divorce, and her two children. She returned to Cambodia in 1993. Asked how she said looking so young, she said, “I don’t want to be unhappy. I take care of myself and do things that I like, just to make my life happy. I watch what I eat.”

As for aspiring actresses, she said, “I usually tell my students to focus on concentrating and practicing.”

Food, Dance and More at US Folklife Festival

Nuch Sarita, VOA Khmer | Washington, DC
Friday, 02 July 2010

via Khmer NZ News Media

Photo: VOA Cantonese - Raymond Yam
2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC.

"It is going to be a wonderful example of the Asia Pacific American experience from the past 400 years.”

Cambodian cultural groups are taking part in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington this week, in the 44th annual Folklife Festival.

Cambodians are among nearly 1,000 participants in the 10-day festival that represent 30 different Asian countries.

Local chefs prepared Indian and Vietnamese curries, Filipino rice dishes and Thai spring rolls.

“Today I made Phnom Penh noodle, nom banh-chok Kampot, fish amok and two tradition deserts,” said Sam-Oeun Tes, a fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts and a master dancer.

Celebrants demonstrated martial arts, handicrafts, children’s games and dance.

Suon Bun Rith, the cultural coordinator for Amrita Performing Arts in Phnom Penh and an organizer in the 2007 Folklife Festival, said he was impressed with student artists of the Cambodian Buddhist Society, among others, who performed onstage this year.

“They looked very professional, like real artists,” he said.

This year’s festival focused on Asian Pacific Americans specifically for the first time since its inception, Phil Tajitsu Nash, the program curator, told VOA Khmer.

“We want to look at the microcosm of our community that is here,” he said.

“We have 30 different Asian countries represented and 25 from Pacific Islander countries and regions represented. It is going to be a wonderful example of the Asia Pacific American experience from the past 400 years.”

Each day of the 10-day festival has a theme, from “Homes, Jobs and Dreams” to “Religious Diversity.”

The audiences and groups were both filled with young people, and what Mark Puryear, of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, called, “people who are essentially American but are very much aware of their heritage and are trying to preserve their heritage.”

Courts Suffer From Political Structure: Legal Experts

Sok khemara, VOA Khmer | Washington, DC
Friday, 02 July 2010

via Khmer NZ News Media

Photo: AP
Armed Cambodian police officers stand guarding outside the municipal court in Phnom Penh.

“They know what the problem is, because their choice in daily life is to be corrupt and commit injustices, or abandon their lives and their families.”

Cambodia’s judicial system remains a political structure with little hope for reform unless the leadership and the system changes, leading democracy advocates said Thursday.

“If the leader wants to hold the position of leader, there needs to be a change to his policy regarding the court system in providing independence to the courts,” said Seng Theary, head of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, as a guest on “Hello VOA.” “Otherwise, we as citizens need to mobilize to express a peaceful voice and our right to vote.”

The courts have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as they’ve shouldered criticism for political bias and corruption. Rights groups say many people have lost faith in the judiciary, where decisions often lean toward the rich or powerful.

A change in structure is needed, Seng Theary said.

“The leader now, he does not have the willingness to reform the court system, because the court system is a political tool,” she said. “So why would he need to reform it?”

Seng Theary, who is also a lawyer, said the judges she meets are good people but are limited in the work they can do, even if they want things to change.

“They know what the problem is, because their choice in daily life is to be corrupt and commit injustices, or abandon their lives and their families,” she said.

Am Sam Ath, a rights monitor for Licadho who also joined “Hello VOA” Thursday, said judges and prosecutors are appointed by royal decree, but they are nominated by the government, so they can be fired, putting them under political pressure.

“So when they work as appointed from power in politics…what do they consider?” he said. “That’s why we now see the court system under pressure of politicians, and that’s why it’s very hard to drag the court to independence.”

Cambodia's capital flooded by heavy rain hit

via Khmer NZ News Media

July 02, 2010

Heavy rain hit Cambodia's capital city of Phnom Penh on Friday afternoon that has struck the flow of traffics.

Noeu Saroeun, chief of sewage system department of Phnom Penh Municipality said the several hours long heavy rain had caused many parts and major roads and boulevards in the city flooded.

He said the level of the flood was measured between 300 to 600 millimeters depending on places and spots.

However, he said, the flood was later released and traffic flow returned to normal despite certain places remained digested with flood as of late afternoon.

Cambodia has two seasons: rainy season starts from May through October and dry season starts from November through April. In rainy season, rain sometimes could last whole week.


Japan injects $2.25 mil. for budget shortfall of Khmer Rouge trial

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PHNOM PENH, July 2 (AP) - (Kyodo)—The Japanese government on Friday injected an additional $2.25 million to cover costs of the ongoing U.N.-backed Cambodian war crimes court.
The latest injection was made at the request of Cambodia, which said 294 local staffers of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have not been paid for two and a half months.

Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masafumi Kuroki said the contribution will cover the shortfall of the national component of the ECCC operational costs from mid-April to September 2010.

Kuroki said the Japanese government attaches importance to the Khmer Rouge tribunal for the main purposes of "preventing the recurrence of atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime, delivering justice to the victims and strengthening the rule of law in Cambodia."

Since the start of the court, Japan has provided financial assistance to the ECCC of about $50.4 million, or about 48 percent of the total budgetary contributions.

The ECCC had spent about $78.4 million by the end of 2009 since the preparation period of 2005, but it so far has concluded the hearing of only one case, that against Kaing Geuk Eau, who headed a torture center in Phnom Penh.

Cases are now proceeding against Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge regime's chief ideologue, Ieng Sary, its foreign minister, Khieu Samphan, its nominal leader, and Ieng Sary's spouse Ieng Thirith, who was minister of social affairs.

The Khmer Rouge leadership is blamed for the deaths of at least 1.7 million people during its rule in the late 1970s.

Brought low in Siem Reap

Photo by: Rann Reuy

via Khmer NZ News Media

Friday, 02 July 2010 15:00 Rann Reuy

Police keep watch over a miniature helicopter that American tourist Matthew Hayduk was forced to land in a rice field in Siem Reap province’s Toek Vil commune on Thursday. Bun Ratha, director of Siem Reap International Airport, said the pilot was forced to land “because of mechanical problems”, and reported that no one was injured.

Democrats divided

Photo by: AFP

via Khmer NZ News Media

Friday, 02 July 2010 15:03 AFP

Police intercede as rival pro-democracy protesters, including members of the Democratic Party, dressed in red, face off at a rally in Hong Kong yesterday. Thousands of people massed in the city’s sweltering streets as the rally began on the 13th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China.