Sunday, 13 March 2011
A Cambodian boy is carried by an elephant named Lucky, 12, during its weekend performance for visitors at a wildlife rescue center in Tro Pang Sap village, Takeo provice, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Phnom Penh Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
An elephant named Lucky, 12, entertains visitors during a show at a wildlife rescue center of Phnom Tamao zoo in Tro Pang Sap village, Takeo provice, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Phnom Penh Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Cambodian visitors watch an elephant named Lucky, 12, at a wildlife rescue center in Tro Pang Sap village, Takeo provice, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Phnom Penh Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
March 12, 2011
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday expressed a deep sympathy to Japan over the massive earthquake that struck Friday and donate 100,000 U.S. dollars as relief to the victims.
In a message to Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan on Saturday, Hun Sen wrote: "I feel extremely saddened to hear about the loss of hundreds of lives, many injuries and colossal damages in the most powerful earthquakes and Tsunami that struck your country in the afternoon of March 11."
Hun Sen further said, "On behalf of the government of Cambodia and Cambodian people, may I convey to Your Excellency and the people of Japan, particularly the victims and members of the bereaved families my deepest sympathy and profound condolences on the tragic losses and great suffering brought about by this natural disasters."
The government of Cambodia would also like to make a very modest contribution of 100,000 U.S. dollars for the relief of the victims, he said.
Meanwhile, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong also sent a message to his Japanese counterpart Takeaki Matsumoto to express his deepest sympathy and condolences to the people of Japan on their losses and suffering due to this natural disaster.
Hundreds of deaths and extensive devastation have been reported since the earthquake, measuring 8.8 magnitudes on the Richter scale, hit northeastern Japan on Friday afternoon and triggered a massive tsunami in the Pacific Ocean.
Web Editor: Sun
Authorities from Cambodia and Thailand decided to seek dialogue on protection of the disputed Preah Vihear Temple at a meeting in the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on May 25, UNESCO said on Friday.
The UN world heritage watchdog attributed the convergence to a mission by the UNESCO special envoy for Preah Vihear, Koichiro Matsuura, to Bangkok, capital of Thailand, and Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia at the end of February.
UNESCO Director-general Irina Bokova said Matsuura's mission helped to "open the way for further dialogue on the effective conservation of Preah Vihear," which will be the main purpose of the discussions in Paris.
Thailand and Cambodia have long had disputes over the sovereign authority of the temple, with both sides claiming actual control of the region.
In 1962, the Hague-based International Court of Justice ruled that Cambodia possessed the authority of Preah Vihear, which sparked outrage in Thailand. Since the UNESCO added the temple to its World Heritage List in 2008, the two countries' disputes have escalated into several bloody clashes, leaving part of the temple destroyed.
Bank employees count local currency at their office in Phnom Penh
PHNOM PENH — Cambodia will use the local currency for trading on its soon-to-be-launched stock exchange, officials said Saturday, in a bid to boost the use of the riel in the heavily dollarised country.
Stock quotations must be in riel only, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) said in a statement on its website, ending a debate about whether listings on the bourse, set to open in July, should be in riel, US dollars or a combination of both.
But for the first three years, "if buyers and sellers both agree, then they can arrange to settle payments in US dollars", Chan Narith, director of the SECC's securities market supervision department, told AFP.
Cambodia has a long-term goal to reduce reliance on the greenback, which according to the Asian Development Bank makes up more than 90 percent of all currency in circulation in Cambodia.
The country signed an agreement in 2008 with representatives from South Korea's stock exchange, the Korea Exchange (KRX), Asia's fourth-largest bourse operator, to establish a stock market in 2009 but the launch date has been pushed back twice.
While still among one of the world's poorest countries, Cambodia has emerged from decades of conflict as one of the region's rising economies.
Cambodia remains a largely cash-only economy and a high degree of mistrust means many people hoard their money at home instead of using banks.
By RANA MCDONALD
For The Canyon News
A trip to Cambodia marks West Texas A&M University’s fourth international sojourn as winners of the annual Readership WT essay contest departed Wednesday for Phnom Penh on a nine-day learning experience.
First, family and friends joined with WTAMU faculty and staff members just outside the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport’s security gates to wish the travelers farewell. The group includes the 12 students whose essay-writing skills won them the all-expense paid trip to Cambodia, plus a member of the university faculty, two WTAMU staff members and two student peer leaders. The students also will join student essay winners from Texas A&M International University in Laredo.
The essay contest was based on the 2010 Readership WT book The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam, and the trip will expose the WTAMU and TAMIU students to a new culture and encourage them to become global citizens. The trip will be documented by Tyler Sweeney, a senior mass communication/broadcasting student from Corpus Christi, who is traveling with the group as a peer leader.
The university’s international expeditions for winners of Readership WT essay contests have proven to be life changing experiences for the students, and this year’s trip is no exception.
The 12 freshmen are excited and have been preparing for the trip for several weeks. They have been attending classes to learn about Cambodia, its culture and its people. They will post blogs about the trip and their experiences at http://readershipwtcambodia.wordpress.com.
The nine-day trip will introduce the students to the Cambodian culture through home stays with local Cambodian families. They will visit local markets and experience the country’s foods and spices, including an opportunity to try fried spiders. They will hike and learn about the country’s nature and wildlife and visit with local university students about Cambodia’s educational system. Visits to various temples, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields also are on the trip itinerary. The travelers will depart from Phnom Penh International Airport on March 19 for Amarillo.
John Lubker, associate dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is joining Kendra Campbell, director of the First Year Experience, as a sponsor on the trip. Johnny Story, multimedia developer for athletics, who helped document the Readership WT Africa trip in 2009, also will join the group along with peer leaders Sweeney and Ashton Paetzold, a senior social work major from Hereford. Among students traveling to Cambodia are Sabrina Meck, Meagan Price and Audra Thurman of Canyon and Thomas Wieck of Umbarger.
Sunday, 13 March 2011, 12:24 pm
Press Release: UNESCO
UNESCO Press Release Nº 33-2011
Cambodian and Thai authorities to meet at UNESCO on 25 May to discuss Preah Vihear
Paris, 9 March – Authorities from Cambodia and Thailand will meet at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 25 May to explore ways of safeguarding the Preah Vihear Temple.
This development follows a mission to Bangkok and Phnom Penh by the Special Envoy of UNESCO for Preah Vihear, Koichiro Matsuura.
During the mission, the Special Envoy met with the Prime Ministers and other senior officials from both countries to discuss the situation at the 11th century temple.
“I am very pleased with the success of Mr Matsuura’s mission, and I am very encouraged by his talks with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand and Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, which have helped open the way for further dialogue on the effective conservation of Preah Vihear” Irina Bokova said. “This will be the main aim of discussions in Paris on 25 May.”
The Director-General is also in regular contact with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on developments.
The temple of Preah Vihear was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.
Cambodia, Thailand To Meet in Paris over Preah Vihear Temple Conservation
Phnom Penh, March 12, 2011 AKP – Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to a United Nations-sponsored meeting at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on May 25 to discuss ways to safeguard the Preah Vihear Temple, a World Heritage List site damaged during border clashes between the two neighboring countries, according to a UNESCO press release.
The agreement follows a recent mission to Cambodia and Thailand by Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Preah Vihear, who met with the prime ministers of the two nations and other senior officials, it pointed out.
Cambodia is preparing documents to submit to the meeting, said here today Cambodian Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts H.E. Chuch Phoeun, adding that Cambodia has already reported the damages of Preah Vihear Temple, but in the upcoming meeting we will focus only on important points such as how big the damages are and how to rehabilitate [the temple].
For his part, H.E. Phay Siphan, secretary of state and spokesman of the Council of Ministers said the meeting is made because the Thai side has mixed Preah Vihear Temple issue with its internal political issue.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement that the main aim of the discussions on May 25 will be “further dialogue on the effective conservation of Preah Vihear,” the press release said.
An 11th-century Hindu temple, Preah Vihear was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008 in recognition of its outstanding universal value. Considered an outstanding example of Khmer architecture, it consists of a complex of sanctuaries linked by pavements and staircases on an 800-metre-long axis. –AKP
Article in Khmer by OUK Saphan
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
Cambodian Prime Minister ‘s Letter of Condolences Over Earthquake in Japan
Phnom Penh, March 12,2011,AKP–Cambodian Prime Minister ‘s Letter of Condolences Over Earthquake in Japan .
Cambodian Foreign Minister Expressed Condolences Over Earthquake in Japan
Phnom Penh, March 12,2011, AKP–Cambodian Foreign Minister Expressed Condolences Over Earthquake in Japan.
PM Receives VOV General Director
Phnom Penh, March 12, 2011 AKP – Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen received here yesterday a visiting delegation of the Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) led by its General Director Mr. Vu Van Hien.
In the meeting, the VOV general director told Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen of his visit, the purpose of which he said is to expand the cooperation with the Cambodian Ministry of Information, particularly the National Radio Kampuchea (RNK), Ieng Sophalet, assistant to the Cambodian premier told reporters after the meeting.
Mr. Vu Van Hien said on Thursday, he handed over equipment and radio transmitter to RNK in Siem Reap province. VOV is ready to assist RNK, especially in human resource training, he affirmed.
In reply, the Cambodian prime minister thanked VOV for its assistance to RNK, both in terms of techniques and human resources training. Samdech Techo Hun Sen further encouraged VOV to further consolidate and expand its cooperation with RNK and recommended RNK to do its best to take the lead in broadcasting news related to road traffic law, meteorology, etc.
Earlier, Mr. Vu Van Hien held a bilateral talk with Cambodian Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith and attended the ceremony to launch the official operation of Nokor Phnom National Radio FM 102.90 MHz in Siem Reap province. –AKP
By SOKMOM Nimul
AIPA Seminar on Accelerating the Achievement of MDG-5 Ends Successfully
Phnom Penh, March 12, 2011 AKP – The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Seminar on “Accelerating the Achievement of MDG-5 through the Role of Women Parliamentarians” was wrapped up here on Friday under the presidency of First Vice President of the National Assembly H.E. Nguon Nhel.
On behalf of National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the 32nd AIPA, H.E. Nguon Nhel praised for the success of the two-day seminar and profoundly thanked the AIPA women parliamentarian delegations for their participation in the event.
This seminar reflected the AIPA’s attention to regional and global joint concerns, said H.E. Nguon Nhel, adding that we all agreed that “investment in women is the investment in the whole society and women and children’s health is the basic human rights.”
Women living in developing countries experience with challenges or life’s threats during pregnancy or delivery 100 times more than women living in developed countries. Every year, there are over 500,000 women in the world lost their lives due to these issues, which is an important lost for labor force, he quoted a UN report.
He further stressed that the MDG-5 can not be achieved if other MDGs are ignored. We need to double our commitment and effort on practical activities as well as on partnership strengthening in the region, particularly among the AIPA members in addition to the financial, technical and spiritual supports from the UN and international community, he said.
H.E. Nguon Nhel also called for more support from the UN and all development partners in order to strengthen the capacity of parliamentarians so that they can effectively fulfill their roles.
The Seminar on “Accelerating the Achievement of MDG-5 through the Role of Women Parliamentarians”, which is to rescue lives of women and children, was attended by AIPA women parliamentarians, members of the Cambodian Senate, National Assembly and government, local authority, diplomatic corps, UN’s agencies’ representatives, Asian Forum of Parliament for Population and Development (AFPPD) and civil society organizations. It is being held under the framework of the 32nd General Assembly of AIPA to be held in September 2011 and hosted by Cambodian Parliament.
Cambodia has so far achieved the MDG-6 in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and the country could possibly achieve her MDG-4 in 2015 too. At the same time, poliomyelitis has come to an end since 2000 and now Cambodia is implementing the program to eliminate infant’s tetanus and measles with the prospect to eliminate them in the near future. –AKP
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
Cambodia, RoK Ink Green Growth Cooperation
Phnom Penh, March 12, 2011 AKP – Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment has signed here a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Green Growth Cooperation with Global Green Growth Institute of the Republic of Korea (GGGI).
The MoU was inked on Mar. 10 by Environment Minister H.E. Mok Mareth and GGGI’s Chairman Han Seung-soo, who is also a special envoy of the President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak, under the witness of Deputy Prime Minster H.E. Yim Chhay Ly.
Through the MoU, South Korea will help build capacity for Cambodian environment officials, increase their knowledge, provide technical assistance, and mobilize financial supports to implement the roadmap for green growth in Cambodia, according to a press release on green growth process in Cambodia.
The MoU will also help ensure environmental sustainability for socio-economic development and economic growth, it added.
Cambodia adopted the roadmap for green growth in February last year. –AKP
By SOKMOM Nimul
Online news: Local News
The yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) will not put to an end to its rally at Makkhawan Rangsan bridge rally site even though the prime minister had made known the House dissolution timeframe, PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongpan said on Saturday.
“The yellow-shirts will not disperse because Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s announcement on early house dissolution and election had nothing to do with the PAD’s demand for the protection of the country’s sovereignty,” said Mr Panthep.
He said since there will be a joint parliamentary sitting on March 22 to consider approving the memorandums of understanding made by the Thailand-Cambodia Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), PAD will hand over its warning letter to all MPs and senators before that day.
The letter will warn MPs and senators that if they give approval to thy MOU, Thailand will definitely lose its territory. If the MOU is approved, PAD will take legal action against all MPs and senators who voted in support of the MOU for violating the Articles 119 and 120 of the Criminal Code, the spokesman added.
Published on Saturday 12 March 2011 21:00
AN EASTBOURNE man is appealing for clothes and toys for Cambodian children who suffer sexual abuse and extreme poverty.
Ricky Burgess, a 39-year-old shop owner, has already enlisted the help of British Airways to carry donations over to Cambodia.
Kind donations can be dropped off to The Polish Shop in Cavendish Place and will be given to charity Action Pour Les Enfants.
Mr Burgess visited the country in November and sponsored a few children through English school to get them off the streets. For more information about the charity visit http://www.aplecambodia.org/
As an election looms, the ruling party sets its sights on an area where it traditionally has low popularity / Thai reporters and their Cambodian counterparts agree border spat is politically motivated / Initiative under way to make motorway 'comfort breaks' a bit less odorous
Published: 12/03/2011 at 12:00 AM
The prime minister will soon blow the whistle heralding the start of the general election race _ and competition in four constituencies in northern Bangkok promises to be nothing less than intense.
Thankhun: Actor faces real-life challenge
Political parties have begun in earnest to gear up for the poll as indications point to the big day being held in June.
The ruling Democrat Party raised more than 700 million baht in election funds at its recent banquet. The dinner came hot on the heels of its rival Puea Thai Party's unveiling of poll candidates in the constituency and list systems.
The most credible sign of an election came when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared himself ready to lead the Democrat Party in the election battle no later than the middle of the year.
The premier repeated what had been taken by many as his tacit commitment to a snap election.
However, obstacles lie in the way of dissolving the House, a mandatory step preceding a general election.
The Election Commission has strongly urged the government to do its utmost to complete the passage of organic laws on revised election methods.
The commission has suggested the bills to amend election laws be scrutinised through three straight readings in parliament to expedite the process. The amendments, once put into effect, will see the number of national constituencies reduced from 400 to 375.
In Bangkok, where there are currently 36 MP seats on offer, there will be three fewer seats when the new election rules kick in.
The Democrats have dominated most constituencies in the capital except the ''red zones'' in the north. The four districts of Lak Si, Bang Khen, Don Muang and Sai Mai have been tough nuts to crack for the Democrats in past polls.
Democrat MP Boonyod Sukthinthai, now representing Lak Si and Bang Khen, will likely be up against Puea Thai and the major coalition partner, Bhumjaithai.
The two districts have been a stronghold of Supamart Issarapakdi, the former Puea Thai MP who has defected to Bhumjaithai.
Mr Boonyod and Ms Supamart will be battling for votes against Puea Thai's Surachart Thienthong, the son of Pracharaj Party leader Sanoh Thienthong.
Back in the 2007 general election, Mr Surachart applied to be a candidate for the Democrats. However, the candidacy slot for Lak Si and Bang Khen had already been filled by Mr Boonyod and his team.
This time round, Mr Surachart has secured his place in the Puea Thai Party's colours.
It looks certain Mr Boonyod won't breathe easy defending his constituency.
The heat will also be on in Don Muang and Sai Mai districts, where Puea Thai has long retained a strong electoral grip. The districts represented by Karun Hosakul are expected to be a two-horse race between Puea Thai and the Democrats.
Originally, the Democrats were planning to field Himalai Piewphan, a former army lieutenant colonel and an influential figure in the districts. The party was devising a strategy to ''match heavy-handedness with heavy-handedness''.
However, the party rescinded its plan out of concern for its reputation. It decided to send Thankhun Jitissara, the former actor and anchorman, to stand in the constituency and give Mr Karun a run for his money.
'Enemy' journalists work together
Alongkorn: Facilitated media meeting
As Thailand and Cambodia drift apart following border clashes, journalists from both countries are trying to find common ground to connect with each other.
Media representatives from the squabbling nations met recently in Sa Kaeo, where they agreed their roles were more important than ever in efforts to soothe tensions.
The three-day meeting, which wrapped up on Tuesday, was made possible by collaboration between Burapha University, the Burapha Task Force and Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot.
Mr Alongkorn helped put the meeting together through his connections with local businesses as Sa Kaeo is one of the prime commercial centres of Thai-Cambodian border trade.
The session was organised with private sponsorship from local businesses, who provided lodging and food to participants. The meeting was held in a convention hall inside the Burapha Task Force's headquarters.
The Thai-Cambodian military conflict was not on the agenda, as that would have been irrelevant to other participants, who included journalists from Burma and Laos.
The meeting, held following Thai-Cambodian border skirmishes that flared up last month, provided for healthy exchanges of views from journalists as well as academics and administrative officials.
The Cambodian delegation comprised 200 journalists, cabinet members and high-ranking officials. The Thai side was headed by Sa Kaeo governor Sanit Naksuksri.
While the Thai-Cambodian dispute might not have been on the agenda, the subject was brought up at a question-and-answer session.
Participants examined how they should conduct themselves and how they should balance their journalistic roles given the sensitive nature of a conflict involving a high degree of nationalist feeling on both sides.
The discussions were amicable and a consensus was reached by both countries that the border row over territorial demarcation had been politicised.
The journalists believed the two governments were quite clearly intent on outmanoeuvring each other in a political game where the pawns _ the people on the ground _ stand to lose the most.
As far as people-to-people relations and cross-border trade is concerned, everything is proceeding as normal.
However, journalists were worried that if the conflict persisted much longer, ties between the countries could sour, and that is when the problem could spin out of control.
''We are neighbours. We just can't just physically break our countries off from each other. We should mend fences and achieve prosperity together,'' one participant said.
Then the journalists took turns firing questions. The Cambodian reporters first asked their Thai counterparts what impression they had of Cambodian premier Hun Sen.
For a small group of Thai reporters, the answer was unanimous. ''Aggressive'' was their reply.
The question back from the Cambodian journalists dealt with the issue of nationalistic sentiment being whipped up by a protest group _ a reference to the People's Alliance for Democracy _ and the group's continued verbal attacks on Phnom Penh.
A Cambodian journalist said the PAD's unrelenting attacks were not helpful as they had ignited ill feeling between the two countries, but he believed the PAD did not speak for the whole Thai population.
One suggestion was put forth: there ought to be a coordination committee tasked with arranging to have reporters cover news in each other's countries. Participants voiced confidence the swap would help reduce misinformation from the news being editorialised.
The journalists have pledged closer ties by meeting more often.
PHNOM PENH, March 12 | Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:19am EST
PHNOM PENH, March 12 (Reuters) - Cambodia's new stock exchange will quote share prices in the local riel currency , despite pleas from foreign investors who want the dollar used on the long-delayed bourse.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) said all stock quotations on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) must be in riel only. It is due to commence trading in July, but investors are braced for more bureaucratic delays.
The bulk of Cambodia's financial transactions are in dollars, which make up 90 percent of deposits and credits in the banking system in what is one of Asia's poorest countries.
The SECC says the government and central bank want Cambodia to be more independent in terms of its currency and is seeking to increase its use.
Foreign investors have urged the SECC to use dollars, at least in the beginning, because use of the riel would make risk harder to assess.
The commission said, however, that although riel would be quoted in the primary and secondary markets, dollar transactions would be permitted initially to settle payments, with the consent of the parties involved.
"The resettlement in dollar is permitted for use for the first three years when the securities market is formed," the SECC said in a statement, adding that the decision to use the riel followed a two-year study in which private companies, international financial institutions, academics and the public were consulted.
At least 10 private sector companies want to list on Cambodia's long-awaited bourse. Three state-owned companies, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Telecom Cambodia and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, are also expected to list.
The SECC has granted licences to 15 securities firms to operate on the CSX -- seven underwriters, four brokers, two investment advisers and two dealers -- most of which are either partly or wholly owned by Malaysian, Vietnamese, Japanese, South Korean or U.S. companies.
Finance Minister Keat Chhon last week urged more private companies to seek a listing so they could raise funds to expand. The government is also considering tax incentives for firms that issue public shares. (Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty)
11 March 2011 – Representatives of Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to a United Nations-sponsored meeting to discuss ways to safeguard the Preah Vihear Temple, a World Heritage List site that was damaged during border clashes between the South-East Asian neighbours earlier this year.
The two sides will meet at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 25 May, the agency reported this week.
The agreement follows a recent mission to Cambodia and Thailand by Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Preah Vihear, who met with the prime ministers of the two nations and other senior officials.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement that the main aim of the discussions on 25 May will be “further dialogue on the effective conservation of Preah Vihear.”
An 11th-century Hindu temple, Preah Vihear was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008 in recognition of its outstanding universal value. Considered an outstanding example of Khmer architecture, it consists of a complex of sanctuaries linked by pavements and staircases on an 800-metre-long axis.
Ms. Bokova said she has also been briefing both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the latest developments.
The Straits Times (Singapore)
March 12, 2011
INSPIRED by Singapore's innovative efforts towards achieving self-sufficiency in water, an Insead student here set about helping rural Cambodian households obtain clean drinking water.
Not only that, Mr Victor Ferre Pellicer, a Spaniard with a degree in industrial engineering but who is working towards an MBA at Insead, also rallied 13 other foreigners here to the cause.
Barely three months later, the Water For Life initiative had installed 61 biosand filters (BSFs) and built another 40 in homes in Siem Reap.
As some homes house more than one family, the lives of 115 rural Cambodian families have been raised a notch as they now have access to water that is 98 per cent free of faecal bacteria, reducing their exposure to diseases like diarrhoea by half, he said.
Mr Pellicer, 31, said pulling off the project was 'dead easy': 'By sending an e-mail to the 500-strong Insead student community, I was pretty sure of generating a wave of interest in minutes.'
The first one on board was Ms Patricia Colard, a French lawyer who organised the trip for the group to Siem Reap; the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) helped identify the villagers in need of clean water.
Mr Pellicer told The Straits Times that he felt providing drinking water to villages was a worthy cause, and running the project fit into the group's 'intense' MBA programme.
'At the same time, discovering the real faces of Cambodia beyond Angkor Wat's ruins appealed to us,' he said.
He said that last November, he and about 20 other MBA students from Insead had attended the first instalment of Singapore Insights, a series of thematic study visits and dialogues to clue foreigners in to Singapore's strategies, innovations and way of life.
The half-day programme included visits to the Marina Barrage and the Bedok NEWater Visitor Centre.
'The visits showcased Singapore's amazing capability to transform the living environment for the better, using state-of-the-art technology and a good deal of education,' he said.
After the group was assembled, it raised funds for the project by baking and selling cookies and coffee on the Insead campus; with contributions from the dean and the rest of the faculty, they put together more than $5,000, which covered the cost of building the BSFs.
Each simple but effective water-treatment device, which can run without electricity for 15 years, comprises a column of sand and layers of gravel.
Water to be treated is put through the filter, which is kept permanently wet to develop a biological layer on top of the sand. The biofilm degrades the pollutants and keeps the filter clean.
The filters' blueprints were developed and donated by Rotary International and Deutsche Bank to the Water for Cambodia project.
Mr Pellicer said the toughest part of the project was raising awareness of the need of filters among the rural folk, and convincing them to pay for the maintenance of the filters.
Now that the work is done, he said: 'We're hopeful that Cambodia will keep growing and that the Insead community will stay involved in helping it to.'
Published : March 12, 2011
Following the Thailand-Cambodia dispute, villagers from Thailand border, petitioned to sue Cambodian government for the damages caused by the cannon and Missile-BM21 fires from Cambodia, requesting over 2 Billion Baht in compensation.
Srisaket, 10th March 2011 [PDN]: Mr. Weerayut Duangkaew, Sub-district Chief of Saothongchai, Kantaralak, Srisaket stated that villagers from 7 sub-districts, including Poomsaron village, have united together to sign a petition for the damages caused by the Thailand-Cambodia dispute. The village people planned to sue Cambodia reaching various levels of authority – first to the World Court or ICJ, proceeding through to the District Chief Officer of Kantaralak, forwarding to the Governor of Srisaket, then to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Prime Minister respectively.
About 50,000 villagers joined together and calculated the requested compensation amount. The costs were the multiple of the people by their daily income (100 Baht/day) by 30 days. The estimated reimbursement was a grand total of 150 million Baht. Furthermore, farming total damage costs for 600 Rai were around 9,000,000 Baht at 15,000 Baht per Rai.
Personal compensation was also evaluated. 1 million Baht compensation was requested for each of the 7 houses burnt. Partial house damages was priced at 300,000 Baht per house. One dead person was worth around 1,500,000 Baht. The compensation amount was a grand total of approximately 2,239,905,000 Baht.
Men Kimseng, VOA Khmer
Washington, DC Friday, 11 March 2011
Washington, DC Friday, 11 March 2011
Photo: Courtesy of SRP
Sam Rainsy meets with Dr. Norbert Lambert, president of Parliament of Germany.
“Once people are frustrated, the only way out for them is through popular uprisings."
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy made a two-day visit to Germany this week in search of support for a return to Cambodia.
Sam Rainsy is facing 12 years in prison if he returns to Cambodia, on a series of charges stemming from his contention that Cambodia is losing land to Vietnamese encroachment.
Observers say it is increasingly unlikely a legal resolution will allow him to return ahead of elections in 2012 and 2013 and that a political solution must be found instead.
Sam Rainsy met with several senior officials, including the president of German’s parliament, Norbert Lammert.
Sam Rainsy told VOA Khmer he had raised the issues of land grabbing and fraudulent elections as areas of concern for Germany.
“Once an election is filled with fraud and voters cannot change their leaders because their dictatorial leaders have stolen the election results…this leads to a loss of trust in the elections,” he said in a phone interview. “Once people are frustrated, the only way out for them is through popular uprisings. This is what [German officials] don’t want to see.”
Sam Rainsy, who visited the US on a similar trip last month, has warned that social injustice like poverty, corruption, land grabs and the restriction of freedoms has the potential to cause unrest similar to that which Arab states are currently facing.
However, Cambodia’s ambassador to the US, Hem Heng, told VOA Khmer this was a “bad intention.”
“Right now Cambodia has achieved national unity, peace and security for economic development,” he said. “If we wants Cambodia to be like some countries in the Middle East, it means he wants Cambodia to plunge into Hell again.”
Hem Heng said Cambodians are tired of war, and he characterized popular uprisings as “undemocratic.”