Sunday, 9 August 2009

Cambodian culture in Chicago

August 9

During the genocide in Cambodia that killed 1.2 million people between 1975 and 1979 thousands of Cambodians fled for their lives. Around 5,000 Cambodians currently live in Illinois and many live in the Albany Park and Uptown areas of Chicago.

The Cambodian culture is alive in Chicago through its’ music, food, dance and religion. April is the month of the Cambodian New Year which is celebrated during a three-day festival.

One place for Cambodians to celebrate and join together is the Kampuchean Buddhist Society in Chicago.
Kampuchean Buddhist Society in Chicago.

Immigrant Connect Chicago published a video entitled, Sampling Cambodian Culture in Chicago. Check out the video to see the highlights on how Cambodians maintain their culture while living in America.

Photo by: Albeiror24 / Wikimedia Commons

Cambodia: Naga Corp Go Fourth

The action is getting hot in South-East Asia...

9 Aug 2009

Naga Corp FC moved up to fourth in the Cambodia Premier League when they scored a 4-2win over Kirivong Sok Sen Chey FC at the National Olympic Stadium.

A goal apiece from Chin Chum after 15 minutes and then from Pich Sina eight minutes later gave Naga a 2-0 lead at the half.

J. Chukwumeka pulled a goal back for Kirivong at the hour mark before Naga then stretched their advantage to 4-1 with goals off Sun Sovanrithy in the 72nd minute and Kim Chanbunrith six minutes later.

Kirivong’s second and final goal of the afternoon came from Vin Nhuc Truong a minute to the end.

Standings:1: Phnom Penh Crown 29 2: Khemara Keila 27 3: Preah Khan Reach 27 4: Naga Corp 21

UNC Professor Analyzes Khmer Rouge

By Matt Stradley
WCHL Reporter

A human rights tribunal in Cambodia is questioning several leaders from the Khmer Rouge regime almost 25 years after their rule came to an end.

Dr. Jeffrey Sonis, associate professor in the departments of Social Medicine and Family Medicine, at UNC says the trials offer a unique opportunity to gauge the psychological effect of war trials on a society.

Sonis, the lead author in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, says the rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, in Cambodians estimated at 11% of the population is five times higher than the United States.

Accounts of the genocide estimate between one and two million people were killed to create an “agrarian collectivism” a communist concept for an ideal society.

Sonis says the study showed a quandary between feelings of justice and fears of rehashing past memories.

Sonis and his colleagues are now conducting a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to measure the effects of the trials on Cambodians over time.

ASEAN commemorates 42nd anniversary with environment issue

Surin Pitsuwan, secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), delivers a speech during a commemoration activity in Jarkata, Indonesia, on Aug. 8, 2009. The ASEAN on Saturday marked the 42nd anniversary of its founding with the theme of "Green Asia" to reflect its care about environment. (Xinhua/Li Xiaoyu)

JAKARTA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) commemorated its 42nd anniversary with theme of "Green Asia" to reflect its care about environment that has been deteriorated by climate change, the association's chief said here on Saturday.

"Today, we commemorate our 42nd anniversary, to commemorate achievements of we made to our people and the world's, just what our founding fathers wanted," said Surin Pitsuwan, the association's secretary general in his opening speech.

He said that climate change has been the top agenda of many countries, governmental bodies, inter-governmental summits et cetera.

"That's why we choose the topic for our commemorations' theme today," he said.

According to Surin, ASEAN is the home for so many species of flora and fauna that do not exist in other part of the world.

"ASEAN is just 3 percent part of the Earth but we have 20 percent of plants, animals, and marine species of the world's total," Surin said, adding that ASEAN contributed so much oxygen even though it emits much carbon dioxide too.

He said that making more comfortable and more livable Earth is the world's responsibility by preserving green environment.

According to Surin, all across ASEAN and the world that have ASEAN committee is commemorating the anniversary on Saturday.

"In London, Tokyo, Beijing, Brazil, for example, they are commemorating this anniversary. In fact, I just received messages from Moscow and Washington that they are commemorating this event, even though it's still early there," he said.

ASEAN consists of countries located in the Southeast Asia region, namely Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the association's data in 2007, ASEAN has 576 million populations who lived on 4.5 million square meters. The countries have combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 1,282 trillion U.S. dollars with total trade of 1.616 trillion dollars.

Editor: Li Shuncheng

Sex slavery victim visits Central New York, speaks out against child sex trafficking

Submitted photograph
Somaly Mam, an advocate against sex trafficking and slavery, talks with supporters at a recent gathering. She was at Carousel Center Thursday at The Body Shop. That company The Body Shop has launched a fund-raiser for Somaly Mam and ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes). Somaly was a victim of child sex trafficking

by Nina Wegner / The Post-Standard
Friday August 07, 2009

Somaly Mam, an international spokeswoman for ending child sex trafficking, paid a visit to the Carousel Center on this week to help promote an anti-trafficking campaign launched by The Body Shop.

More than 1.8 million children and young people are trafficked in the global sex trade each year, even within the United States, according to a 2002 report by the International Labor Organization.

Human trafficking is the globe's second largest organized crime, generating $9.5 billion a year, according to the U.S. State Department. However, sex trafficking remains an underexposed issue in America.

With the sale of several $10 body care products, The Body Shop will donate $6 to the organization End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes and the Somaly Mam Foundation.

"The Body Shop (campaign) has given us hope, because so many people (who are sold into sexual slavery) are so isolated, and alone, they feel nobody understands," said Mam. "It means a lot for us, it means a lot for the lives you save."

Mam, who was sold into sexual slavery as a child in Cambodia, was able to escape captivity and in 1996 started an advocacy group, AFESIP (an acronym in French for "Acting for Women in Distressing Situations").

Mam traveled from Cambodia to support the campaign's launch. In Syracuse, Mam greeted and thanked the staff of The Body Shop.

"Our late founder, Dame Anita Roddick, was dedicated to the issue of human trafficking. When she passed away in September 2007, we felt it was a fitting tribute to Anita to launch something as powerful as this," said Shelley Simmons, director of communications and values for The Body Shop.

Angkor Wat International Half Marathon 2009

Run for a good cause while discovering one of the most amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cambodia!

Saturday, December 05, 2009
Run to bring artificial limbs for mine survivors
save youth from HIV/AIDS
The next event will be on December 6th, 2009

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Be more enrolled in the AWHM 2009!

2009's Angkor Wat International Half Marathon will be held on 6th December, and other relevant events on 5th Dec.

2008's Angkor Wat International Half Marathon held on 7th December was a great success with 2,593 runners from 43 countries! Check out the record of 2008 here.

Donation & Pledge

Thank you very much for your warm hearted donation with our pledge system in 2008! Pledge supporters are shown here. Accurated amount of donation can be seen here.

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Typhoon Morakot batters Taiwan - 7 Aug 09


Taiwan has closed offices and schools and grounded flights as the strongest typhoon of the year closes in on the island.

Heavy rains and strong winds caused by Typhoon Morakot have already triggered floods and mudslides across the region.

Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports from Taipei, Taiwan's capital.

6 dead, missing in typhoon

A pedestrian falls down during strong winds brought by typhoon Morakot in Taipei. --PHOTO: REUTERS

A woman is helped by rescuers in floodwater in Linbian. --PHOTO: AFP

It was expected to hit southern China late Saturday or early Sunday. --PHOTO: REUTERS

The Straits Times

Aug 8, 2009

TAIPEI - TYPHOON Morakot slammed into Taiwan overnight, flooding villages, cutting power lines and leaving at least six people dead or missing, officials and media reported Saturday.

Separately, rescuers were searching for some 10 sailors lost in rough seas off Hainan Island in southern China as Tropical Storm Goni approached.

Morakot hit Taiwan late Friday but by 2pm Saturday had traversed the island and weakened to a tropical storm in the Taiwan Strait.

It was expected to hit southern China late Saturday or early Sunday. Morakot had smashed into the northern Philippines early Friday, triggering floods and landslides that killed at least 12 people.

Morakot dumped up to 1,651 millimeters of rain on parts of southern and eastern Taiwan on Friday and Saturday, leaving villages in Taitung, Pingtung and Kaohsiung counties partially submerged.

A 67-year-old woman died late Friday when she drove her motorcycle into a ditch during heavy rain in Kaohsiung in the south, the National Fire Agency said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The Apple Daily newspaper said a 47-year-old man slammed his car into a train in torrential rain in eastern Yilan county late Friday and died on the spot. The newspaper did not provide a source and local authorities could not immediately confirm the report.

Another five people were missing and feared dead, the National Fire Agency said. Two were fishermen whose boat capsized off the coast of Pingtung county in the south, the agency said.

One man fell into the sea in eastern Taitung county and a 50-year-old woman fell into a river in Kaohsiung, the agency said.

A villager, also in Taitung, set off on a fishing expedition early Friday as the storm approached the island but no one has been able to contact him since, it said. It did not provide any more details.

The agency said at least 17 people were injured in the storm.

Government Officials Rejected a Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations on Mu Sochua’s Case – Saturday, 8.8.2009

Posted on 8 August 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 624

“After the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a verdict on 4 August 2009, announcing that the Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general and parliamentarian from Kampot, Ms. Mu Sochua, lost the defamation case where the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, had sued her, there was a strong reaction from civil society organizations against this verdict. However, the government totally rejects this joint statement where they had expressed their reaction.

“The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, told Deum Ampil by phone on Friday, ‘I have no reaction, but I regret that these civil society organizations do not accept for themselves a the state of law, because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided already and the civil society’s statement is clearly political.’

“Mr. Phay Siphan added, ‘If Ms. Mu Sochua does not agree with the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, she has the right to appeal. No country has issued statement against this court verdict.

“The Human Rights Action Committee, which is a league of 21 non-government organizations, and the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, released a joint statement on 5 August 2009, saying that they regret the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in the morning of 4 August 2009, ordering Ms. Mu Sochua to pay a fine and to compensate Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen.

“In the statement, they noted, ‘The Phnom Penh Municipal Court did not talk and ask in detail about facts, but just mentioned the complaint of the prime minister as the basis for its hearing, and in reality, the hearing did not pay attention on Ms. Mu Sochua’s case, especially to the reason why Ms. Mu Sochua held a press conference at [the Sam Rainsy Party] headquarters [which was used as the basis for the defamation suit against her].

“Civil society organizations ask the court to be independent, neutral, and non-biased in holding its hearings, and to reform itself soon, so that it does not become a tool of the powerful, and they requested the Cambodian courts to pay more attention to the rights and freedoms, as stated in the Constitution and other human rights treaties.

“It should be remembered that a judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court ordered Ms. Mu Sochua on 4 August 2009 to pay Riel 8.5 million [approx. US$2,100] to the state, and to pay a compensation of Riel 8 million [approx. US$2,000] to the Prime Minister for defamation, a court case which had extended over almost 4 months. After the verdict was issued, Ms. Mu Sochua appealed on 5 August 2009.”

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #257, 8.8.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Indonesian police officers regroup following a raid on a house where suspected terrorists were holed up in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009. Indonesian police hunting the terrorists behind last month's attacks on hotels in the capital raided one house and besieged another Saturday, killing two suspected militants, arresting five and seizing explosives and a car bomb, a senior officer said.
(AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

By IRWAN FIRDAUS, Associated Press Writer
Sat Aug 8

BEJI, Indonesia – Police reportedly killed the self-proclaimed Southeast Asian commander of al-Qaida on Saturday in a 16-hour siege of a village hide-out, but authorities said they could not confirm that a recovered body was that of the militant leader without DNA tests.

Local TV stations reported that alleged terror mastermind Noordin Mohammad Top was killed in the lengthy bomb and gunbattle at a house in central Java. Noordin is suspected in last month's suicide bomb attacks on two American hotels in the capital, Jakarta, as well as the deaths of more than 220 people in bomb blasts on the resort island of Bali in 2002 and 2005.

Together the bombings linked to Noordin and the Southeast Asian-based Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network killed 250 people, many of them Western tourists.

The remains of a man believed to be Noordin were flown from central Java to Jakarta for an autopsy, but police "cannot yet confirm that this is Noordin Top," national police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri said.

Police don't want to say that Noordin is assumed dead and any announcement will have to wait until next week after a DNA examination is complete, Hendarso told a nationally televised news conference. It was unclear if police have any samples on file that can be used for the DNA test.

The July attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta killed seven people, all but one of them foreigners, and ended a four-year pause in terror strikes in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Noordin is also believed to have orchestrated an earlier attack on the J.W. Marriott Hotel in 2003 and a blast outside the Australian Embassy in 2004, together killing dozens and wounding hundreds in the Indonesian capital.

Those early attacks were blamed on the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network and were believed to be funded by al-Qaida, but Noordin later reportedly broke away from the Southeast Asian group to form a more violent offshoot and his foreign ties became uncertain. It is unknown how the recent suicide blasts on the Jakarta hotels were funded.

Noordin emerged as the region's most prominent suspected terrorist leader and is known as a skilled bomb maker who has eluded capture for around seven years, despite a massive crackdown launched by Indonesian authorities following the first Bali bombing.

A Malaysian citizen, Noordin claimed in a video in 2005 to be al-Qaida's representative in Southeast Asia and to be carrying out attacks on Western civilians to avenge Muslim deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Killing or capturing him would be a major victory in Indonesia's fight against militants and could significantly weaken the chances of more attacks, given the key planning, financial and motivational role he is believed to have played in terror networks.

Minutes after Saturday's raid, witnesses said officers outside the house took off their helmets and were shaking hands with each other, suggesting all those inside had either been killed or captured. The firing ceased.

A police officer at the scene said a body was found in the bathroom of the house and authorities brought a coffin there. After about an hour, three ambulances left the home.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters he had been briefed on an ongoing operation "to uphold law and to eradicate terrorism," but made no mention of Noordin. Still, he praised police.

"I extend my highest gratitude and respect to the police for their brilliant achievement in this operation," he said.

Earlier Saturday, officers raided a second house close to Jakarta where they killed two suspected militants and seized bombs and a car rigged to carry them, police Chief Danuri said.

The house was about three miles (five kilometers) from the president's residence. The Web site, quoting an unidentified police source, said officers believed they were planning to attack Yudhoyono's house.

Officers circled the house in central Java province late Friday afternoon after making arrests in a nearby town. At one point, they sent remote-controlled robots into the isolated building to search for bombs.

Not long before they stormed the red-tiled building, officers dressed in black hid behind a shield and fired into the house from close range, while others fired repeated volleys from a hill behind it.

Police have arrested more than 200 militants linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network since 2002, including many with suspected ties to Noordin.

Java, home to more than half of Indonesia's 235 million people, has long been the focus in the hunt for Noordin and his associates.

In November 2005, Azahari bin Husin, a top Jemaah Islamiyah bomb maker, was fatally shot by counterterrorism forces in east Java. Sariyah Jabir, another explosives expert, was killed in April 2006 during a raid on a militant hide-out in central Java.


AP reporter Niniek Karmini in Jakarta contributed to this article.