Sunday, 11 May 2008

Organizations seek to mark national day of 1962 Preah Vihear


The meeting was hold Friday to make discussion amongst travel agencies, government officials, academics, and others in order to seek permission to mark national day celebration of June 15, 1962 Preah Vihear which belongs to Cambodia, ruled by the International Court of Justice
“We will celebrate the 47th Preah Vihear anniversary that clarified Cambodia’s claims to Preah Vihear,” Moeung Sonn, president of the National Association of Tourism Enterprises, was quoted by the Cambodia Daily.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that such a celebration shouldn’t affect relation with Thailand. He added that “it is our heritage, it is important for Cambodian people to know about Preah Vihear,” reported Daily.

Senior government officials plan to travel to Thailand in coming month in order to make discussion about un-demarcated borders at Preah Vihear with Thai government officials.

Woman attached acid by unidentified men in Phnom Penh

Victim of acid attack in Cambodia
Picture from;


A woman sustained badly acid attach by unidentified men on Tuesday morning at 10:30 am on May 08 in Tuol Tompoung I commune, Chamkar Mon district. Two unknown male assailants escaped on motorbike, local newspapers reported.

The female acid victim, Ya Soknim, 35, suffered burn to the right side of body from her eye, shoulder, breast, hand and neck. The victim had been sent to be treated at Calmet Hospital.

“The acid attackers are at large, but our district police are investigating this case. This is a revenge case, it is not a love triangle,” district police Chief Outh Sokhon was quoted by the Cambodia Daily as saying.

Oung Vibo, who is the victim’s husband, said that his wife’s acid burn is worsening more than the first day because acid doused on his wife’s body is reacting. He added that her right eye cannot open and it is swollen, reported newspaper.

Victim’s elder sister, Ya Sydeth, said that her sister received a telephone threat several days from senior official prior to the acid attack

The family of acid attacker appealed to the government officials to protect their family from the attackers.

The victim is the aunt of In Sokinda who was former International Tourist Miss among 35 countries. But the present time, no one knows that where she is hiding.

Until now, no evidence has been revealed the involvement with the senior official, the investigation is under way, police official said.

This Phnom Penh is a Wonderful Sight!!


Oh Dear! This Phnom Penh is a Wonderful Sight!! And it offers you paid pillion riding!!! The city also has the most amazing boulevards. And it has great Indian restaurants. If you feel let down and want to recharge those battered cells to take on the rough and tumble of the world, this got to be one of the best cities for you. It is one of those cities that give you the feel of monasteries while you are still in business. The city has survived some tough times, and is a living inspiration.

In the mid – 70s, when the CPK ruled Cambodia, if locals are to be believed, all college graduates were executed. Towns were evacuated and people were forced to go to rural areas and work in collective farms. In many areas of the country people were rounded up and executed for speaking a foreign language, wearing glasses, scavenging for food, and even crying for dead loved ones.

The serenity that one finds in the country now owes quite a bit to the international community which has helped in rebuilding the country. The Cambodian economy is small but vibrant with a lot of smiling faces driving it. And Phnom Penh indeed signifies resurrection.PS: If you want to withdraw from the world for a while to reconnect with your spiritual self, I strongly recommend Cambodia.

Self-censoring Thai PM threatens to sue newspapers
Agence France-Presse

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who has a notoriously combative relationship with his country's press, threatened on Sunday to sue two local newspapers.

Speaking on his weekly "Talking Samak Style" television show, the prime minister took two unnamed papers to task over their reporting of disputes over a temple on the Thai-Cambodia border.

Samak, who is known for his gruff, straight-talking style, recently cancelled his twice-weekly press briefings because he said he was worried he would publicly utter "rude words."

In his latest attack on the media, he said the newspapers had accused him of trading claims over the temple -- which is on Cambodian soil but to which Thailand has historically laid claim -- for financial gain over oil deals.

"That is absolutely unacceptable," he told viewers. "Tomorrow (Monday) my lawyer will certainly have a job to do. The only way out is through the court."

Samak did not give any details of the offending newspapers, or specifics of the allegations.

Thailand and Cambodia have historically both laid claim to the Preah Vihear temple, an ancient Hindu site perched on a mountaintop on the Thai-Cambodia border. The World Court in 1962 ruled that the temple belonged to Cambodia.

The United Nations culture organization UNESCO last year decided against granting the temple coveted World Heritage status.

Rumors swirled that Thailand had blocked Cambodia's efforts to have Preah Vihear listed, but Cambodian officials denied this, and Samak has said he will not hamper attempts by Cambodia to try once again to have the site listed.

A former TV chef and self-styled "man of the people", Samak led the People Power Party (PPP) to an election victory last December and often uses his Sunday television show to complain about the Thai media.

When he announced he would no longer give his press briefings, he said that the public believed he used impolite words. "So to solve this problem and so that I do not utter such rude words, I must not talk," he explained.

A chance to make a difference overseas
By Victoria Cheng
Globe Correspondent / May 11, 2008

Four letters may not be a lot, but it's enough to underpin a $20,000 fund-raising effort to build a school in rural Cambodia. Calling itself the Cambridge School for Cambodia (and Camb-Camb for short), the campaign brings together students, businesses, and several groups across the city, some with deep ties to Cambodia and some who have always called Cambridge home.

Rachael Harkavy, a fifth-grade student at the King Open School, started learning about Cambodia in January when she and her peers in the school's fifth through eighth grades joined the effort by hosting weekly penny drives. She reels off statistics about the country. "It's about the size of Oklahoma and has the population of Pennsylvania," she began.

Camb-Camb is raising money to send to American Assistance for Cambodia, a nonprofit organization run by former Newsweek journalist Bernie Krisher, that has built more than 400 schools across the country.

"We'll be the 405th school, but it's not enough," Harkavy added. "Massachusetts is about half the size of Cambodia and has about 1,000 schools, so that just brings into perspective how many schools Cambodia needs."
The planned Camb-Camb school will be 40 miles north of Phnom Penh and accommodate between 200 and 400 students. Krisher started the initiative in 1993 and negotiated a memorandum of understanding with the World Bank that called for it to match whatever money he raised. The cost of a school, Krisher said, "is actually about $30,000, and the donor only pays about $13,000." By contributing an extra $7,000, the Cambridge School for Cambodia will be able to equip its school with an English teacher, solar panels for a computer, and Internet access.

Longteine de Monteiro owns the Elephant Walk restaurants, which feature French and Cambodian cuisine at locations in Cambridge, Boston, and Waltham. The Cambodian native explained that outside assistance is sorely needed in the country, which was devastated first by the spillover effects of the Vietnam War and then by genocide during the brutal rule of the communist Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.

"The government now doesn't really do much to help education," she said, "so all the foundations from outside of the country who go there and build whatever the country needs, especially schools and hospitals, are very important."

When Camb-Camb contacted de Monteiro, she agreed to host a benefit dinner at her North Cambridge restaurant early last month.

"We served chicken curry, Salade Cambodgienne, and beef short ribs with green coconut juice," said Monteiro. The event bumped Camb-Camb's funds to the $13,300 mark.

The event also gave de Monteiro an opportunity to showcase a prominent part of Cambodian culture - its cuisine - and the desire to teach Cantabrigians about this small country perched on the southeastern peninsula of Asia.

At the King Open School, Rachael and fellow fifth-grader Eliza Klein have made it their goal to involve younger students.

Before classes one day earlier this month, the girls helped set up an origami table at the school entrance, along with an empty water jug inviting donations of spare change. Sixth-grader Brianna Lavelle patiently guided the younger students through the steps of folding a colorful square of paper into the shape of a crane.

"What is this for?" asked 6-year-old Bianca Byfield, as she handed over her crane to be placed on a large branch of a tree that will eventually hold 400.

"Every crane represents one child who will go to school in Cambodia," said Lavelle's mother, Risa. "And all of Cambridge is helping raise money."

Cambodia: Khemara Keila Get Off To Winning Start

Recently crowned Hun Sen Cup champ Khemara Keila got off to a bright start against Kirivong in the first game of the Cambodia Premier League 2008 while Moha Garuda suffered an unlikely home loss to newly-promoted Intry Kraham

Khemara Keila FC, buoyed by their recent win of the Hun Sen Cup crown, did not seem to flinch even though they fell behind as early as the fourth minute to Lam Thanh Giang strike for Kirivong Sok Sen Chey FC.

But Khemara bid their time well and they were quick to grab the equalizer in the 33rd minute off Sok Phal Odom for both teams to be on par at the break.

A goal at the hour mark from Ty Bun Vichitr and then another from Sok Phal (73rd minute) made sure that Khemara win their first three points of the season.

For Moha Garuda, they just failed to find the momentum after conceding the first goal to Intry Kraham-Post FC when San Sovannak slammed home a 23rd minute lead.

And even though Intry did manage to nail the equalizer off Joshep three minutes later, there was no stopping Sovannak from grabbing his second goal and that off Intry five minutes after the restart.

Em Sovannarith then wrapped up the full points for Intry with the third goal on 65th minute.

re : Sacravatoons : "The Great Hero-King & The Traitors "

Courtesy of Sacravatoon at

Questions About Aid Plague Myanmar Cyclone

Myanmar's military regime allowed in the first major international aid shipment Thursday, but it snubbed a U.S. offer to help cyclone victims struggling to recover from a tragedy of unimaginable scale. (May 8)

Junta releases aid supplies
From correspondents in Bangkok
May 11, 2008

THE UN food agency says Burma's military regime has released a plane-load of cyclone aid into its custody, but that two previous shipments remain impounded.

"The supplies are in our hands, they've been handed over to us," said Marcus Prior, a spokesman for the World Food Program (WFP), about the shipment which came on a flight from Cambodia.

He said there had been a "misunderstanding" regarding earlier comments about the status of goods that landed in Burma's main city of Rangoon on two UN aid flights today.

Mr Prior said he was not aware of the status of the cargo on today's second plane, a UN refugee agency flight from Dubai carrying high-energy biscuits.

The Bangkok-based spokesman said that two initial shipments which were seized yesterday were still in the hands of the government, and that the WFP was in talks with the Burmese regime to have them cleared.

"They were impounded and we are hopeful ... they will be released," he said.

The WFP flight from Cambodia included shelter materials as well as communications and office equipment intended to set up a relief headquarters.

The junta has refused to allow in foreign aid experts to direct the relief effort and said that, although it will accept money and aid, it must distribute all supplies itself.

That stance has been sharply criticised by aid organisations and foreign governments, which have urged it to open its doors to a full-scale foreign relief effort, with time running out for the storm's neediest survivors.

Pledges for Cyclone Relief Reach $77 million

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The United Nations said on Friday $77 million has now been pledged to provide humanitarian relief to storm-stricken Burma.

Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, earlier issued an appeal for $187 million to carry out relief operations in Burma, where an estimated 1.5 million people are homeless and the number of dead is approaching 100,000 or more.

Holmes said the money pledged so far would cover the needs of at least 1.5 million homeless people for the next six months. The lead donors were Japan and Britain, which pledged $10 million each.

A total of $20 million was immediately allocated to build up relief supplies to be shipped to the country in the coming weeks.

In all, representatives of more than two dozen donor countries spoke on the cyclone disaster, reelecting a global consensus on the need to distribute aid as quickly as possible.

Responding to the issues of access and cooperation, the Burmese Ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Tint Swe, said his country is ready to cooperate with the international community and receive aid from all quarters. He said it must be orderly. Burmese officials have said that it will not allow foreign aid workers to distribute relief supplies.

UN officials said the cyclone’s death toll could be between 63,000 and 100,000. Officially, the Burmese government has put the figure at around 23,000.

UN officials said the challenge is not just to get the aid and trained relief workers to the airport in Rangoon, but to get material into the Irrawaddy delta, an area that is now flooded and without electricity, communications, safe drinking water, food and medicine.

Homes said it was disappointing that Myanmar authorities were not ready to receive foreign aid workers. Being optimistic, he said he hoped it meant they were not ready at present, but would be in the future.

Referring to the few visas that have been issued to aid workers by the Burmese authorities, he said it was obviously not a blanket ban.

Authorities should have an "open house" for international humanitarian aid workers, whether from the United Nations, individual countries or private groups, he said.

Responding to a question, he said it is not impossible or unusual for a government to be involved in the distribution of humanitarian assistance.

"There is no absolute blanket principle that the UN does not allow governments to be involved in distribution," he said.

Medical aid from the World Health Organization and UNICEF is currently being distributed by the Myanmar Ministry of Health through its health system, and that is perfectly normal, he said.

The current issue is about the degree of control and monitoring possible for the distribution, he said. Earlier, the Japanese ambassador to the UN, Yukio Takasu, urged Burma to accept aid workers and relief supplies as soon as possible.

"Speed is essential,” he said. “This will definitely help the government save people who are desperately in need of help."

The Chinese Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN said China urges member nations not to politicize the disaster relief process. Chinese relief efforts have had no problems with the junta with regard to visas and customs, he said. Blaming the Burmese government for blocking aid is not justified, he said.

"They have enough people to carry on relief operation,” he said. “I see the local government has been effective. They are doing decent distribution."

Speaking on behalf of Asean, the Singapore Ambassador, Gopala Menon, said the humanitarian disaster requires an unprecedented humanitarian response.

Menon said Singapore has contributed $200,000 in emergency supplies; Thailand and Indonesia have dispatched plane loads of supplies valued at $1 million each and the Philippines is preparing to send a 15-man medical mission.

Vietnam has provided $90,000 in donations; Cambodia $50,000; and Malaysia $350,000.

Asean has established an emergency humanitarian relief fund, which recently received its first donation of $100,000 from the Nippon Foundation.

Cambodia: People's complaints need prompt responses

Ch. Narendra

Since the end of the communist regime in the early 90s, the Cambodian people have dared to make complaints and vent their grievances against injustices even though they are still very much gripped by a fear psychosis.

There are several venues for such complaints and grievances; they can go directly to the police, the courts, concerned authorities, human rights and complaints committees of the government or the Parliament. Many complainants use one such venue after another, or all at the same time, depending upon the gravity of those injustices, the number of people involved and their resources.

However, due to bureaucracy, officialdom, corruption or mere lack of concern on the part of these institutions, the people rarely have their complaints addressed without giving some sort of incentive to concerned officials otherwise they have to wait for an indeterminate period of time before getting any responses what-so-ever, if those concerned officials have ever cared to provide such responses at all.

Because of such a lack of purpose, the public does not have any confidence in those institutions at all. Many people, though they still make their complaints to them, have now related their stories to the media to publicise their case with a view to getting their messages across to top leaders, especially to Prime Minister Hun Sen, known as the strongman of Cambodia, to seek their direct attention to find justice for them.

According of a newspaper report dated May 8 2008, five representatives of 150 Tumpuon indigenous families living in three adjacent villages in Lomphat district, Rattakakiri in the northeast, went to relate the story of the grabbing of their 250 hectares of communal land by the deputy governor of that district to the Reaksmei Kampuchea newspaper in Phnom Penh.

These five representatives affirmed to the newspaper that all the 150 families would soon go to stage a protest in front of the Parliament and then in front of the Office of Prime Minister Hun Sen “to seek his help to find justice” for them.

Five days earlier, a news report on Radio Free Asia said that representatives of 776 families protested against Amy Unit 331 for grabbing of over 800 hectares of their paddy fields in Taken commune, Chhouk district, Kampot province.

This radio station also reported on May 7, in a case of land grabbing in the same province, that the provincial governor named Chey Sayoun allegedly prevented owners of the affected plots of land from having any say in a meeting with those owners on April 26. Furthermore, he threatened to “bulldoze away” their houses and crops to clear the land for the construction of an airport to silence their protest.

The same radio station has reported numerous cases of people’s protests, especially against land grabbing, and invariably, those victims have sought direct intervention from Hun Sen to find justice for them.

The people also have other grievances to relate to the media. The Koh Santepheap newspaper dated May 5 reported that unnamed rice traders complained that they had to pay the police in Angkor Borei district, Takeo province in the south a bribe of 130000 riels (US$32.5) per truckload to transport rice from that boarder district across to Vietnam.

The same newspaper also reported a complaint from a man named Nop Phirum against a deputy police chief named Heng Chantho in Ta-Kream commune, Banan district, Battambang province, after he had requested Heng’s intervention to stop a gang’s cruel assault on Nop’s younger brother-in-law. Heng was then busy with his drinks at a place at foot of a hill nearby and did not bother even to send his subordinates to stop the assault.

The above are just a few of the cases reported in the media. There are many others. They all call for responses from all concerned authorities, responses which are the constitutional duties of the government and the rights of citizens under articles 35 and 39 of the country’s Constitution.

The Cambodian government must ensure that such responses are provided promptly and, in cases of alleged corruption or negligence on the part of public authorities mentioned above, conduct prompt investigations and take appropriate action to prevent their repeat in future.

Rhu villagers do their bit for Cambodia

CASHING IN: Ladies do their bit for charity.

Helensburgh Advertiser
Saturday, 10th May, 2008

Bargain hunters picked up the latest trends and raised cash for a good cause at a “nearly new” clothes sale in Rhu Church Hall recently.

The event, held in aid of Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CSC), raised nearly £400 which will help fund free surgical treatment and rehabilitation for victims of the after effects of war.

Joan Walshe decided to hold the fundraiser after speaking to a friend whose son, Professor Michael Irwin, trains doctors and health workers in Cambodia.

She organised the event with the help of Jane Nicholson.

She said: “There is no state medicine in Cambodia and treatment for large sections of the population is prohibitively expensive, so we decided to do something to help those caught up in the legacy of the war against the Khmer Rouge. The sale was very popular and proved a huge success.

She added: “We received donations of beautiful clothing and had help from so many volunteers and we would like to thank all who supported this event.”

The charity aims to improve the quality of life for Cambodia’s disabled children and poor people by developing sustainable health services.

Many patients are the victims of landmines left after the war, cleft palates, cataracts and acid attacks.

To find out more about the charity and the work they do, or to make an online donation, visit Cheques made out to the Children’s Surgical Centre can also be sent to P.O. Box 1060, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.