Thursday, 20 January 2011

Man charged with rape of daughter

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:03 Phak Seangly

Stung Treng provincial court on Tuesday charged a 41-year-old man with raping his 16-year-old daughter, after a complaint was filed by the victim’s mother.

Pien Peuy, deputy chief of the provincial Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection office, said yesterday that Yoem Heng was first investigated on domestic abuse allegations filed to police by his wife on January 13. The alleged assault of the suspect’s daughter, said Pien Peuy, was “revealed during questioning”.

“After raping his daughter, the father would threaten her not to tell anyone, especially the mother,” he said.

According to Pien Peuy, the victim was assaulted on four separate occasions, during the last of which he was disturbed by his wife.

Hou Sam Ol, provincial monitor for the rights group Adhoc, said the victim’s mother was initially hesitant to file a complaint.

“The father is absolutely stupid ... and the mother does not want to reveal the scandal,” said Hou Sam Ol. “It’s bad for their reputation.”

Chea Pich, deputy provincial prosecutor, said the suspect was being detained in the provincial prison while investigations are ongoing.

KRT lawyers call for defendants' release

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:03 James O'Toole

Lawers for former Khmer Rouge Brother No 2 Nuon Chea and head of state Khieu Samphan have lodged bids for their clients’ release on bail ahead of the historic second case at Cambodia’s war crimes tribunal.

In applications dated Tuesday and filed to the court’s Trial Chamber, the lawyers charged that judges in the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber had misinterpreted the tribunal’s internal rules, causing Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan to be detained unlawfully.

The Khieu Samphan defence team argued that the maximum allowable period of pre-trial detention provided for under the court’s internal rules had expired; the Nuon Chea team, meanwhile, charged that the Pre-Trial Chamber judges had failed to issue a reasoned decision for rejecting the lawyers’ appeal against their client’s indictment, as they are required to do.

“This is a tribunal that tries to live up to international standards, and there are clear rules under which we must labour,” said Jasper Pauw, a legal consultant for Nuon Chea. “The judges are bending the rules in an attempt to keep Nuon Chea in provisional detention.”

Court rules state that defendants may be held in pre-trial detention for three years prior to being indicted, though this period may be extended for four months following an indictment at the discretion of the judges. Whether such an extension may be ordered only once, or in succession by the investigating judges and again by the Pre-Trial Chamber, is unclear, said Anne Heindel, a legal adviser at the Documentation Centre of Cambodia.

Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and their fellow defendants – former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary and social action minister Ieng Thirith – were arrested in 2007. The quartet were indicted in September of last year, just before the three-year limit on Nuon Chea’s pre-trial detention expired, and at that point, the tribunal’s Co-Investigating Judges ordered their detention extended an additional four months.

In decisions issued last week, the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber ruled on the defendants’ appeals against the indictment and ordered that they remain in detention until they appear before the Trial Chamber. This goes beyond the four-month extension provided for in September by the investigating judges, which expired on Sunday.

The Khieu Samphan defence argued, however, that any extension of the detention beyond this four-month period is unlawful.

“The decision of the Co-Investigating Judges to maintain Khieu Samphan in remand ceases to have effect,” the lawyers wrote. “The Trial Chamber must order the release of Mr Khieu Samphan immediately.”

Heindel said court rules stipulate that provisions open to interpretation be read in favour of Khieu Samphan and the other accused.

“If there’s ambiguity in the rule and rules should be interpreted in favor of the defence, I think they’re right,” she said.

The Nuon Chea team argued that because the Pre-Trial Chamber did not explain their decision on the appeal against the indictment – only revealing the ruling and saying reasoning would be provided “in due course” – they had not met the requirement for Nuon Chea to be kept in detention.

Pauw acknowledged that there would be “outrage” if the defendants were released, and Heindel said there would be “confusion and distress”.

“I think people wouldn’t understand that [a release on bail] wasn’t itself a judgment of innocence,” she said. “It would take some explaining.”

Timber charges in Siem Reap

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:03 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Siem Reap provincial court yesterday charged three people with the collection and transport of banned luxury hardwoods without licenses from the provincial Forestry Department, officials said.

Tea Kimsoth, chief of the department, said the three suspects were arrested on Monday at around 7:30am after they were discovered in Or-Akok village, in Svay Leu district’s Kantuot commune, driving a minibus filled with luxury timber stored in sacks.

Police, officers from the forest department, and court officials found a total of 58 pieces of wood, totalling 5.15 cubic metres. Both the car and wood were confiscated and are being held at the Forestry Department office as evidence.

Nhim Sila, deputy chief of the Siem Reap military police, said the transport of banned hardwoods continued to be a “major concern” in Siem Reap.

“Our authorities are working hard to prevent this and hope to better protect our forests from exploitation,” he said.

Suos Ra, 26, from Kampong Cham, Phoan Socheath, 32, from Siem Reap, and Dy Toun, 32, from Banteay Meanchey, were charged yesterday with luxury wood collection and the illegal transport of banned timber.

Court Prosecutor Ty Soveinthal said the three are currently being detained at the provincial prison in Siem Reap pending further investigations.

If found guilty under Articles 96 and 98 of Cambodia’s Law on Forestry, the three could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined between 10 million (US$2,475) and 100 million riel each.

Thai trial to begin on Feb 1

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Three Thai defendants speak to reporters following their release on bail on Tuesday.

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:02 Cheang Sokha

Seven Thai nationals, including a member of parliament, will be tried on February 1 in a controversial trespassing case that has drawn keen attention from leaders in both countries, court officials said yesterday.
Sok Roeun, deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, confirmed yesterday that the high-profile case had been scheduled, declining to provide further details.

The seven Thais, including Yellow Shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid and parliamentarian Panich Vikitsreth of Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party, were arrested in Banteay Meanchey province last month while reportedly on an expedition to investigate the contentious border demarcation process between Thailand and Cambodia.

Panich and another member of the group were released on bail last week, while four others were released on Tuesday. Only Veera remains in prison ahead of the trial.

Ros Aun, a Cambodian lawyer hired to help represent the group, said yesterday that he had yet to receive official information from the court on the trial.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong told reporters yesterday that he had met this week with his Thai counterpart, Kasit Piromya, during the ASEAN foreign ministers’ retreat in Lombok, Indonesia to discuss the case.

“I have reaffirmed to him that Cambodia is handling the case based on court procedure,” Hor Namhong said. “There is no intention whatsoever to treat the Thais badly or attempt revenge. The case is proceeding in accordance with the immigration law of Cambodia.”

The foreign minister added that Kasit had thanked Cambodia for granting the release of the six Thais given bail so far.

All seven members of the group have been charged with illegal entry and unlawfully entering a military base, charges that carry a maximum combined sentence of 18 months in prison. In addition, Veera and a woman who is reportedly his secretary, Ratree Taiputana Taiboon, have been charged with espionage, which carries a maximum of ten years in prison.

Veera and the nationalist Yellow Shirts have staged repeated rallies along the border to protest against alleged Cambodian encroachment on Thai territory. The activist leader angrily vowed on Tuesday to appeal his bail rejection as he was led out of court.

Hush money: Journalists charged with extortion

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:02 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Hush money

Kampong Cham provincial court yesterday charged two Cambodian journalists with extortion following their arrest in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.

“These two journalists were charged with the criminal act of extortion ... just a few hours after being interrogated,” said court prosecutor Huoth Vuthy. “They are now detained at the Kampong Cham provincial court awaiting further investigation and hearings.”

Kang Arun, vice-president of the Press Council of Cambodia, and Prum San, a reporter for the Kampuchea Sachak Newspaper, have been accused of demanding US$300 each from Leng Horm, the chief of Pram Yam commune in Kampong Cham’s Srei Santhor district, in exchange for not publishing critical stories about him.

PCC President Sok Sovann said yesterday that entrapment was used in order to make the arrests, adding that he had written to the governor of Kampong Cham, asking him to secure the release of his vice-president, Kang Arun, on bail while the court conducts further investigations.

Release of jailed official illegal: State

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:02 Tep Nimol

Initial investigations indicate that officials at Ratanakkiri provincial prison acted illegally in temporarily releasing a jailed ex-police chief on Friday night, an Interior Ministry official said yesterday.

Disgraced former Ratanakkiri police chief Yoeung Baloung – who was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006 after being convicted of involvement in illegal logging – allegedly injured three people in a drunken car accident on his way back from a party.

Reports have varied as to the reasons for Yoeung Baloung’s release, but Liv Mauv, deputy director of the Department of Prisons at the Ministry of Interior, said there was “no clear evidence” a court had granted permission for the release.

“It was against the law, which states that the release of an offender must be made according to a court’s judgment,” he said.

Pen Bonnar, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, has claimed that Yoeung Baloung was released from prison so he could attend a party in O’Chum district.


The release of an offender must be made according to a court’s judgement.


Liv Mauv said provincial prison officials had sent his department a report claiming that Yoeung Baloung was granted permission to leave the prison for two hours on Friday at the request of his family.

According to provincial prison officials, Liv Mauv said, Yoeung Baloung was ill and his family wished to hold a healing ceremony for him.

Claims have been made that, during his release on Friday, Yoeung Baloung drunkenly crashed into three people on a motorbike who were rushed to a hospital in Vietnam with serious injuries.

Provincial traffic police have denied Yoeung Baloung caused the accident, claiming that the driver involved was Katreng Lounh, the 33-year-old husband of Yoeung Baloung’s niece.

Sok Vuthy, an uncle of the victims, said yesterday that the police reports were inaccurate.

“Yeoun Balung was driving alone when the accident took place and his family promised to pay us compensation within three days,” he said.

Sok Vuthy called for the dismissal of provincial prison Director Ngen Nel, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Pen Bonnar also called for the dismissal of other prison officials involved with the release, as well as traffic police who he accused of “producing a false report” about the identity of the driver involved in the accident.

Liv Mauv said he did not know if officials at the provincial prison would be punished, citing ongoing investigations.

Provincial prosecutor Leav Sreng said yesterday that he was also investigating the case.

“We are not calling only prison officials for questioning but all involved parties,” he said.

Fingers pointed in fire's aftermath

Photo by: Sovan Philong
Residents clean up following a blaze in Russei Keo district on Tuesday.

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:02 Khouth Sophakchakrya

Initial investigations have revealed that a fire that destroyed more than 60 homes in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district on Tuesday was caused by an electrical malfunction, officials said yesterday, though some local residents are claiming the blaze was started deliberately.

Russei Keo district police chief Som Buny said that the fire began at a café at 1:25pm, before a strong wind blew the flames into nearby homes.

“We can conclude that an electrical malfunction triggered the fire, but we are continuing our investigations,” he said.

The blaze destroyed 69 homes in Chraing Chamreh II commune’s Kor village, but caused no deaths or injuries.

Rumours are circulating among some villagers who witnessed the fire that it was started deliberately by a Vietnamese man known only as ‘Nang’, who rents a house behind the café where police believe the fire started.

Som Buny said that he intended to question Nang about the fire.

“I got information from many people who live near the home where the fire started,” Som Buny said. “The people said they suspect Mr Nang burned the home”.

San Sophat, a traffic police officer who lost his home and many of his personal effects in the fire, said the owner of the building where the blaze origniated should be held accountable by the government.

“I ask the authorities to make the home owner responsible for some of my burnt property,” San Sophat said.

District governor Klaing Huot said officials were pressing on with investigations, while providing food, equipment and medicines to the victims.

City court hears case of 'rape accomplice'

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:02 Chrann Chamroeun

Phnom Penh Municipal Court held a hearing yesterday in the case of a 20-year-old woman accused of acting as an accomplice in the attempted rape of another woman.

The suspect allegedly spiked the 20-year-old victim’s drink in June 2009, before luring her to a guesthouse in Preak Leap commune, in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district.

The accused, Chet Sokheng, is alleged to have physically restrained the other woman while a 50-year-old man attempted to rape her.

Chet Sokheng admitted yesterday to renting a room with the victim, and being present for the incident, but denied poisoning or physically restraining her.

“I neither poisoned her Coke with sleeping pills nor shut her mouth or slapped her face … to let the man rape her,” she told the court yesterday. “I just saw the man kiss and embrace her closely.”

The male suspect has not yet been arrested by city police.

A court clerk read a complaint filed to police by the victim three days after the alleged incident.

The statement said the accused went to the bathroom with a soft drink, which she then poured in the victim’s glass upon her return. Later at the guesthouse, the victim threatened to kill herself if the man raped her, causing him to he halt his advances.

In yesterday’s hearing, the court clerk read another statement, in which the victim withdrew her complaint, saying the 50-year-old man had promised to get engaged to her.

Court prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth requested the charges against Chet Sokheng be upheld, despite the new statement from the victim.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy said a verdict will be announced on February 7.

Police Blotter: 20 Jan 2011

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 Sen David

‘Cruel’ drunkard sets fire to relative’s home
A 49-year-old man has been arrested and detained after allegedly setting fire to his sister-in-law’s house in Kratie province’s Sambor district on Sunday. Police said the house was “completely damaged” and described the suspect as a “cruel person” who was “always drunk”. They noted that “no one in the village likes him”. Police said the suspect had confessed to setting fire to the house and went on to say that he “didn’t know why” he did it since he was “completely drunk” at the time.

Five detained after man beaten to death
Police have arrested five “gangsters” accused of beating to death the son of a karaoke bar owner in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Rieng town on Saturday. Police said a fight broke out after the owner of the karaoke bar accused one of the five suspects of attempting to steal a motorbike parked near his establishment. The victim was beaten to death after he tried to intervene in the fight, police said. The suspects have been sent to court.

Police investigate cash grab-and-dash
Police are investigating reports that an unidentified male smashed a glass stall in front of the home of a money changer, and fled with 5 million riel (US$1,238) in cash in Kampong Thom province’s Stung Sen district. The victim said she ran out of her home after hearing the glass of her stall smash, and gave chase to a boy who was wearing a uniform and carrying a hammer. She said she gave up the chase, however, because no one else was at home at the time of the robbery and she didn’t want to leave her home unattended.

Car vandal arrested in Kampong Chhnang
A 24-year-old man has been arrested and detained on suspicion of vandalizing a car in Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Chhnang town on Sunday. Police said the owner of the vehicle, who had left his car parked outside a coffee shop, had filed a complaint demanding compensation after finding that the mirrors on his car had been broken. Police said a suspect later confessed to having broken the mirrors for the simple reason that he had been “so drunk”, but claimed he could not pay compensation to the car owner because he was “so poor”.

Dead body found on potato plantation
Police are investigating after a man was found dead in a potato plantation in Kampong Cham province’s Stung Trang district on Sunday. Police have not ruled out foul play, but said the death was likely to have been from natural causes.

Telcos warned over prices

Photo by: Wesley Monts
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, So Khun, speaks during a press conference in Phnom Penh yesterday.


If companies charge below the minimum pricing prakas, the ministry will discipline them


via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 Samoeurn Sambath and Jeremy Mullins

Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun warned telecommunications companies yesterday to respect government-imposed minimum pricing on calls or face action – including having their licences revoked.

“If companies charge below the minimum pricing prakas, the ministry will discipline them,” he said, according to a translation.

The Ministry imposed a prakas in late 2009 that set a pricing floor for calls within and between networks, though industry insiders say several of the Kingdom’s eight mobile operators routinely flout the directive.

Although several private-sector officials declined to discuss the situation yesterday, one industry insider has told The Post that many operators advertise a prakas-compliant tariff, but then send SMS messages to subscribers to “migrate them to a better tariff plan” which was non-compliant.

Under the terms of the prakas, certain temporary promotional pricing schemes are allowed, provided prior MPTC approval is granted. Otherwise, on-network calls are restricted to $0.045 per minute, while off-net calls are afforded a slightly higher rate.

Non-complaint mobile phone operators could even risk having their licences revoked if they do not adhere to the pricing rules, said So Khun, at a press conference held at the ministry to discuss an ASEAN Information and Communication Technology Masterplan

The minimum pricing kept some users from clogging the phone companies’ network by making long calls facilitated by low tariffs, he said.

So Khun added that further mergers in the mobile phone sector would prove beneficial to the sector.

Smart Mobile and Star-Cell merged this month to create what they claim is the Kingdom’s third largest provider.

Still, the Cambodian telecoms sector is generally considered to be overcrowded, with eight companies operating in a market than many say should hold at most four or five operators.

“I would be very happy if other mergers happen this year,” said So Khun, adding that merged companies would have an easier time turning a profit.

The minister also claimed that mobile penetration had reached more than 60 percent of the Cambodian population, with 9.8 million subscribers in the Kingdom.

A copy of the November’s active SIM card numbers revealed Metfone had become the largest mobile phone company with 2.84 million users, more than Mobitel’s 2.73 million.

Garment sector sews success

Photo by: Will Baxter
A garment factory worker stitches children’s pyjamas at a factory in Phnom Penh.

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 Chun Sophal

The Kingdom’s garment exports increased 26 percent in 2010, over the year previous, according to figures received from the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia.

Garment exports were worth a total of US$2.99 billion in 2010, compared with $2.38 billion for 2009, the figures show.

The Kingdom was picking up business that had previously been sourced to China, as many workers in the China had pushed for higher wages, according to GMAC president Van Sou Ieng.

“This year garment exports will continue to increase, because many international buyers are interested in the quality and stable pricing of Cambodian garments,” he said.

Some two thirds of Cambodia’s total garment production, worth about $2 billion, was exported to the United States, while shipments to Europe consisted more than $750 million.

Van Sou Ieng said that labour actions in the garment sector were likely to decrease with the continuing global economic recovery, adding that increased stability would assist Cambodia in attracting orders from abroad this year.Japan was one market that was opening up to Cambodian garment exports, having placed orders worth as much as $200 million for the coming year.

“We are seeing growing demand for Cambodian garment products, so we hope that this year exports will increase from a year earlier,” Van Sou Ieng said.

Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Uk Boung said garment exports to the United States were likely to remain stable in 2011, but exports to nations such as Japan and ASEAN members may increase, as the government has increased business agreements made with these countries.

“I think Cambodian garment exports in 2011 will remain positive – however, it will require extra effort,” he said yesterday.

PM claims GDP saw 5.5pc rise last year

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 May Kunmakara

Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that Cambodia’s GDP grew by 5.5 percent in 2010, an 0.5 percent rise compared to a projection he made earlier last year.

The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Economic Institute of Cambodia, have projected the economy grew by 4.8 percent, 4.9 percent, 5 percent and 6.5 percent respectively last year.

“2010 was a good year for Cambodian economy, with a significant growth of approximately 5.5 percent, attributed to the growth in tourism, agriculture and garments,” said the premier, during the official opening of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, held in Phnom Penh on Tuesday night.

In March, the prime minister predicted 2010 GDP would rise by 5 percent.

At the ceremony on Tuesday, which saw fireworks light up Diamond Island, Hun Sen said that Cambodia achieved tourism growth of 16 percent year on year, with international tourist arrivals of around 2.5 million.

The Economic Institute of Cambodia, which released its projection this month, said that last year the garment sector grew 14.5 percent, the agro-industry grew 13.3 percent and tourism 9.3 percent.It hoped the sectors would continue to grow this year.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance, ADB, and World Bank have projected GDP growth at 6 percent, with IMF predicting 6.8 percent and EIC at 7 percent, for 2011.

ASEAN tourism: Diamond Island hosts travel fair

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 Soeun Say

Asean tourism

The Asean Travex trade fair kicked off yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island, with 511 booths set up in a bid to boost business and spread awareness of regional tourism.

Firms from the ten-nation bloc have stationed themselves on the island’s exhibition centre to take part in the annual leisure travel trade fair, which runs until Friday and is proving a showcase for regional travel products.

“Hopefully, we will be successful together by exchanging experiences and knowledge from the ASEAN travel exhibition,” Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism Thong Khon told reporters at a press conference.

He said that the fair would provide a good opportunity for those who work in tourism to garner new experiences and knowledge to help prepare strategic plans.

He also highlighted the need to develop the tourism sector in a sustainable way.

“We hope that we will have some new experiences to better develop Cambodian tourism,” said Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, who added the conference was a chance for suppliers and buyers to meet.

Clinic set to introduce kids to golf, creating future stars

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:00 Craig Miles

Siem Reap

The search is on for a new generation of golfers, thanks to organisers of a children’s golf clinic scheduled for March.

The Kingdom’s first official clinic will be held for free at the Sofitel Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap, and will be jointly run by golf operations manager Jack Hedges and Angkor Palace driving range golf coach David Maxwell.

According to Hedges, the clinic will welcome 50 boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 16, to be split into two groups of 25.

Which schools and orphanages that the Children will be chosen from in Siem Reap is yet to be decided.

Hedges noted that the children would need to be taught more than just the basic golfing skills such as swinging, chipping and putting.

“Many kids here don’t even know what golf is,” he said. “So we will give them an introduction into what golf is, [as well as] the rules of golf and etiquette. We will take them around the course, and there will be games and competitions.”

Hedges also revealed that at the end of the day-long clinic, he would choose a handful of children who showed potential to sponsor them for a year to learn golf.

“We will speak to the children and their parents. We will allow them to use the courses facilities, provide coaching and golf clubs.”

Local 17-year-old amateur golfer Seng Vanseiha is slated to attend the clinic as a role model for the children. Seiha has competed as an amateur in the last three Johnnie Walker Cambodian Opens, with a best finish of 105th in the 2009 event.

Hedges said despite there being several good golfers in the Kingdom, there was a lack of professional golfers. No Cambodians currently play on a Tour.

He added that there were already plans for future clinics, with the potential long-term goal of starting a golfing academy for local children.

The clinic is backed by the Cambodian Golf Federation and discussions are almost complete with the R&A, golf’s worldwide governing body, to provide equipment for the sessions.

National team squad train for two qualifiers

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:00 Ung Chamroeun

Cambodian national team coach Lee Tae Hoon of South Korea has announced the list of 24 players that will attend training at the National Football Center ahead of their first 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification game against Macao at Olympic Stadium on February 9.

Training started yesterday with a busy schedule for players who are also involved with their own clubs in the ongoing 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup competition, which starts its round of last 16 matches this Saturday.

Vann Ly, Cambodian team leader, says history is on their side against their regional opponents. “Macao never beat us, so I believe that we can repeat our good result against this team,” he said. “On the other hand, the squad is selected by the coach himself, not like the SEA Games side that he inherited when he was recruited.”

According to Vann Ly, the team list will be cut down to 18 players for the Macau fixtures (home and away) and coach Lee still reserves the right to change his mind about current squad members while he closely observes upcoming Hun Sen Cup games.

Seven premier league teams contribute players to the current 24-man national squad – Phnom Penh Crown, Preah Khan Reach, Build Bright United, National Defence Ministry, Naga Corp, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey and newly promoted National Police Commissary.

Local pair primed for event

Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
National tennis team coach Braen Aneiros gives shot advice to Cambodia’s No 1 ranked player Bun Kenny at the National Training Centre ahead of this weekend’s start of the first ITF Men’s Futures event.

via CAAI
Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:00 H S Manjunath

Contrasting styles and diverse attributes make Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan an odd pair on the tennis court. But what unites them is the single-minded devotion to raising the Kingdom’s profile on an international stage.

They could not have hoped for a better opportunity to accomplish their mission than at the two back-to-back Men’s Futures events to be played on courts that they know like the back of their hands.

Both Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan figure in the main draw next week as wild cards and carry the aspirations of Cambodian tennis with them.

“The weight of expectation is quite huge on them, and we have to see how well they shoulder it,” National head coach Braen Aneiros told The Post yesterday morning after a practice session at the National Training Centre.

“Both have been working very hard on court and both have more muscle on their games,” added Aneiros.

“They are far more confident than they were before and it is a question of producing their best on a given day.”

However, the coach recognised the high standard of the field that will be attracted for the two US$15,000 events.

“It is a tough bunch to deal with and they know that. It is not easy for someone outside of the 1,000 rankings like Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan to beat one within that. But both are capable of causing flutters.”
The coach noted the pros and cons of playing at home.

“The home advantage could work in different ways for Bun Kenny and Tan Nysan. Kenny puts a lot of pressure on himself quite often, especially when he is surrounded by an expectant home crowd. He is the sort of a guy who is more relaxed when there is less attention on him, and he also gets thoughtful on the calibre of his opponents.

“Nysan on the other hand loves attention and he absolutely knows no pressure.”

Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Double SEA Games bronze medal winner Tan Nysan is Cambodia’s strongest hope for success at the Futures event next week.

Bun Kenny, who picked up his first ATP point a couple of months ago in Laos, admitted that he gets a bit edgy especially at the start of a match, but is working hard to get over it. “With Braen and Nysan helping me along I think I can work this problem out,” he said.

“I am hitting much better now and Nysan as a sparring partner has been a great inspiration. I can feel that change since I started knocking with him nearly a month ago.

Tan Nysan, meanwhile, exerted his trademark confidence ahead of his first return to competitive tennis since March of last year.

“I am ready for it. I have never felt better with myself and my game,” he said.

“It has taken me a while to get back to shape and regain my touch after nursing an ankle injury for months. I am happy with the way things are right now.”

Nysan’s flamboyance goes well with his known aggression on court to make him a fearless opponent. His typical robust approach and disregard for the reputation of his opponents has earned him plaudits at the two previous SEA Games held in Thailand and Laos. Against all odds and expectation, Nysan netted a bronze medal at each tournament.

“Nysan was a revelation then; he is our ray of hope now,” said Tennis Federation of Cambodia secretary General Tep Rithivit.

“It is as much their [Nysan and Kenny’s] best chance as it is ours to make a mark on the international stage.”

It will come as a relief to both local stars that they will go directly into the Main draw rather than face the rigours of qualifying rounds.

“Here in the main draw they know that they have to win just one match to pick up a [world ranking] point, but they need to win three if they have to go through the qualifiers, and they are never easy,” said coach Aneiros.

The countdown for the two US$15,000 events has already begun, and by 8:30pm Cambodian time today the list of direct entries for the main draw will be finalised at the London headquarters of the International Tennis Federation.

The first round of the qualifiers will be played on Sunday with the eight qualifiers to be identified the following day. The first round of the main draw will be spread over Monday and Tuesday.

CNVLD unveil Cup logo

Photo by: Photo Supplied
A poster released by the CNVLD shows the new 2011 WOVD Standing Volleyball World Cup logo ahead of the event this July.

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:00 H S Manjunath

The Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled) has launched a new logo for the 2011 WOVD Standing Volleyball World Cup to be staged at the Olympic Stadium from July 21 to 26.

The design by graphic artist Keith Kelly features representations of Preah Vihear, one of the Kingdom’s world heritage sites, and a lotus flower, which is an important symbol in Buddhism.

CNVLD Secretary General Christopher Minko told The Post yesterday that preparations to host an unprecedented third successive World Cup in Phnom Penh had been proceeding at a “brisk pace”.

“We are determined to make this event the best ever and no effort will be spared to achieve this,” he said.

“As of now, Malaysia, Slovakia, Germany, Egypt, India, Poland and Sri Lanka have confirmed their participation. We are still awaiting word from USA, China, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Korea, Australia and Laos.

“Uzbekistan could be here as an exhibition team only,” Minko added.

Fresh noodles to celebrate rice harvest festival

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Dough is passed through a sieve into the boiling water to create noodles

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:00 Roth Meas

Harvest celebration preparations are underway in one Takeo province village. Rice noodles are being made from freshly gathered rice in an ancient tradition said to date back to pre-Angkor times.

Known as nom banh chok, the noodles are made by village elder Thorng Moul, who learned the techniques from her parents and grandparents.

For two days before the Dar Lean ceremony in Tropang Chhouk village last week, Thorng Moul began preparations to make the rice noodles – about 170 kilograms of them.

She soaks the rice for two days before pounding it with an ancient press to make the dough. This is then pressed through a sieve over boiling water to separate the dough into the characteristic noodle strands.

“Every Dar Lean festival, we usually make noodles in our village. Just as our parents did, we keep making them specially for the ceremony,” she said.

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Thorng Moul makes dough from rice paste in Topang Chhouk village, Takeo province.

The noodles are then doled out for the morning ceremony and served alongside samlor broher, a kind of soup, and spicy chicken curry.

Village Buddhist priest Sor Nhai, 81, said families sent at least one member every year to take part in the Dar Lean ceremony, during which they thanked the spirits for a bountiful harvest.

“We habitually follow our ancestors, who hosted the ceremony to thank the spirits that provide us with good rain, good sunshine and good weather to grow any crops.”

He said the festival, which took about a day and a half, was also known as Bon Phum in some parts of the country. Food and incense is also offered to the spirits.

Mind, Buddha and soul

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 Sovan Philong

Son Chanthorn, a 24-year-old Buddhist monk from Prey Veng province, studies English beside the Tonle Sap river in Phnom Penh. Son Chanthron is in his first year of English Literature studies at Preah Sihanouk Reach Buddhist University in Phnom Penh.

Fruitful meeting

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:01 Heng Chivoan

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong shakes hands with his Colombian counterpart María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar following talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Cataloguing the Kingdom

Photo by: Wesley Monts
A woman conducts research at the National Archives of Cambodia in central Phnom Penh. Astoundingly, most of the archive collection survived the brutal 1975-1979 rule of the Khmer Rouge. The archives sustained their largest damage during the anarchic period that followed the collapse of the regime.

via CAAI

Thursday, 20 January 2011 13:08 Denise Hruby

When the former workers of the National Archives of Cambodia set foot in the building after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, they were staggered to find that most of the documents were still in their original places.
Aside from giving one of the building’s three floors over to a storage area for pig feed, the Khmer Rouge – notorious for their nihilistic rejection of the ancien regime – had left the Kingdom’s historical records barely untouched.

“It’s astonishing that Pol Pot didn’t destroy the archives,” says Ky Lim, the NAC’s current deputy director.

“I have no explanation why he didn’t do it.”

Though the Khmer Rouge revolution took a hard line against the educated classes and those with knowledge of foreign languages, the only documents which were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge were those that were yet to be archived – primarily government documents from the 1960-75 period that were being stored at ministry buildings.

In fact, the archives sustained their largest damage during the anarchic period that followed the collapse of the regime, when around a fifth of its documents were destroyed or stolen.

“People were poor at that time: they used the books and documents to make fire, or they just stole the ones they liked,” Ky Lim says.

Today, the NAC – housed in a colonial-era building next to the National Library in central Phnom Penh – contains more than 4,000 catalogued boxes filled to the brim with historic maps, photographs and newspapers dating back to establishment of the French protectorate over Cambodia in 1863.

Jean-Michel Filippi, a Corsican linguist who teaches and conducts research in Phnom Penh, said that the Khmer Rouge – contrary to popular perception – destroyed few books or documents, and also preserved the contents of the National Library.

As a result, the NAC remains a valuable resource for those conducting research into modern Cambodian history.

“No matter what you want to find about Cambodia’s history, you can find it at the National Archives,” says Filippi, who has used the NAC for his research into the history of Phnom Penh and Kampot province.

The majority of the documents – around 80 percent – are written in French, and the archives are mostly visited by researchers from Japan or France, writing theses on one of the lesser-known aspects of Cambodia’s colonial history.

But the collection also includes a trove of records from then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime of the 1950s and 1960s, the Pol Pot regime and other official journals relating to Indochina and Cambodia.

Researchers can also browse the records of the August 1979 genocide trial conducted against Pol Pot and former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary.

Treasure trove

On the second floor of the NAC, a yellowing pencil portrait of its founder, Frenchman Paul Boudet, hangs from the wall.

Boudet, a one-time assistant to the governor general of Indochina, opened the National Archives in 1926, as a repository for the large volume of documents then being churned out by the colonial bureaucracy.

“Over the years of their protectorate, the French created many administrative documents, and they had no place to keep them,” Ky Lim says.

“So Paul Boudet came up with the idea of creating the National Archives: one in Hanoi, one in Saigon, one in Vientiane and one in Phnom Penh.”

Though the archives have managed to survive decades of war and upheaval, they today face more mundane – but no less threatening – challenges.

The NAC, which is under the Council of Ministers, does not have its own budget, and the 17 staff employed by the NAC are constantly scrimping funds to maintain the collections.

“Whenever we need money, we have to ask for it. But we try to work closely with NGOs and the UNESCO, and besides them, some of the embassies and private donors are also a big help,” Ky Lim says.

Finances are not the only the obstacle the NAC faces: preserving century-old documents in Cambodia’s hot and humid climate would be a major challenge for any institution – no matter how well resourced.

From a dusty cardboard box, Ky Lim removes a small booklet, its pages torn at the edges, but otherwise well-preserved – a copy of a colonial law on gambling, dated 1891.

“We have to use special paper imported from Japan to make the already-existing paper thicker. This process takes a very long time and is very expensive,” she says.

One small piece of the archival paper costs around US$3 – a significant sum given the NAC’s tight resources.

NAC preservationists also receive special training. Before beginning work, they attend six-month training programmes either in Malaysia or the United States, where they are taught how to treat old documents and other aspects of managing the archives.

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, says the National Archives are a “true treasure”, but worries about the lack of young Cambodian faces among those conducting research in the institution.

“Young Cambodians don’t know how to do research. No one teaches them research in school, although it is something you would have to learn at a very young age,” he says.

“So the Archives are isolated in a way and don’t reach their real target group. If the young generation doesn’t know how to do research, the documents in the NAC are just dead pieces of paper.”

In any event, the archives remain open to all, and Youk Chhang says that if more young Cambodians learn to immerse themselves in its wide range of historical documents, it could help them better grasp their country’s past.

“If they understand the past”, he adds, “it can help them … get a better perspective on their future.”

Humanitarian mission is planned

Nurses Leanne Shepherd, Greg Coulson, CQU midwifery lecturer Anne Eaton and Sarina Hospital nurse Sue Murray fry up a snag to raise some money for a humanitarian trip to Cambodia.

via CAAI

20th January 2011

QUEENSLAND Health volunteers and other health workers are making their final plans for a humanitarian mission to Cambodia.

Six months in the planning, the trip was organised by CQUniversity as part of a community development initiative.

Mackay Base Hospital nurse Greg Coulson will lead the 11-member team which flies out on February 4, returning on February


Efforts are focused on fundraising to buy medical supplies in Cambodia for villages near Siem Reap.

Rather than take bulk supplies, the group has opted to buy in Cambodia where possible, also benefiting the local economy.

A sausage sizzle was held yesterday at the Mackay Base Hospital to help fundraise for the trip.

The joint mission involves volunteers from hospitals in Mackay, Sarina and Brisbane and from the private nursing sector.

Mr Coulson said each volunteer had an area of nursing speciality.

“We’ve been busy obtaining supplies such as birthing kits, dressings and suture sets,” Mr Coulson said.

CQU midwifery lecturer Anne Eaton and nursing lecturer Maureen Chapman developed an itinerary to support a new community based clinic in Cambodia.

The team has attended workshops at the university on adult education and teaching in a culturally appropriate manner.

“It is a pilot project and if successful may be repeated in other Queensland areas.

“The willingness of medical professionals to donate their holiday time and finances to support an

outreach such as this has been amazing,” Ms Eaton said.

“The volunteers will also gain an insight into the health issues faced by resource-challenged countries and will learn to adapt and use their skills in a culturally different environment, hopefully gaining a life changing experience.”

One of the people heading to Cambodia is Leanne Shepherd, an experienced nurse currently working for Dr Rod Kirkwood, an ophthalmologist.

“I personally have always had an interest in working in third world countries,” she said.

“There is no doctor in residence and the nearest hospital is one and a half hours away and most of the villagers do not have access to transport to get to the hospital in Siem Reap.

“I am very much looking forward to this experience.

“I think one of the biggest challenges is going to be seeing first-hand the morbidity costs to the community,” she said.

Santi Asoke sect flexes its muscle

via CAAI

PAD-allied group predicts govt will bend to its will over Cambodia dispute
Published: 20/01/2011

Samana Photirak, leader of the Santi Asoke sect, has vowed to lead a "neo protest" to press the government to change the way it handles the Cambodian issue.

Samana Photirak, leader of the Santi Asoke sect, talks yesterday to supporters and members of the Thai Patriots Network at their rally site outside Government House, where they have gathered to pressure the government to have Veera Somkwankid, the network’s coordinator, who is in jail in Cambodia, brought home. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Speaking in an exclusive interview, Photirak yesterday predicted the sect's strength of commitment would be enough to force the government to review its handling of territorial disputes with the neighbouring country.

The sect, which has close affiliations with the yellow shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), recently joined the Thai Patriots Network rally in front of Government House to pressure the government to help bring home seven Thai nationals being held in Cambodia on illegal entry charges.

The group has hundreds of bare-footed faithful camped at Government House and says it can call on the support of thousands more for what could be a prolonged campaign.

The sect's cause encompasses not just the fate of the Thai seven but the thornier issue of Thai-Cambodia border demarcation.

The seven were arrested in Cambodia in late December. All but one, Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkwamkid, are now free on bail.

Photirak said the sect's call for the release of the seven detained Thais was based on compassion for those who share similar fates.

Some members of the sect had been affected by the border disputes. They are scattered in northeastern and eastern provinces bordering Cambodia.

Santi Asoke also has a branch called the Sisa Asoke Buddhist community in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket, which borders Cambodia.

But Photirak stressed the mission was now bigger than that.

"At issue is the loss of territory," he said.

"It is a national problem. We cannot accept the ways the government is managing things. The Santi Asoke followers cannot allow the government to continue what it has been doing and see Thai territory being gradually occupied."

Photirak said the rally was a "neo protest" using a non-violent and knowledge-based approach.

"It is not a 'mob' thing. It is chaste and pure. It is peaceful and polite. It sticks to objectives, presents truth and shares knowledge. It doesn't focus on quantity."

He insisted the Santi Asoke's rally was justified given the government's management of the border issues.

"We gave them enough time. The [year] 2000 memorandum of understanding [on the demarcation of the border] is still in place. We have the Joint Border Commission and the longer this drags on the more territory we lose. If we let this carry on, we'll lose all [of the disputed areas]."

Photirak admitted his movement might not be able to achieve the expected results but said he would do his best to make the public understand the issue better.

"Our protest will be different from that of other groups," he said.

Photirak said it took work to mount a protracted protest but it was necessary when the government was not doing what it was mandated to do.

He said taking on the Abhisit administration was challenging as the government seemed to have the media and academics on its side.

He also said the rally was not driven by politics, apparently referring to the New Politics Party which was formed by PAD leaders.

Photirak said his group would camp in front of Government House and wait for a PAD rally on Jan 25.

The PAD postponed its rally from Dec 11 last year to next Tuesday.

The campaign is to protest against possible parliamentary endorsement of minutes from previous meetings of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission.

The minutes are based on the 2000 memorandum of understanding that governs the survey and demarcation of the land boundary between the two countries.

The PAD claims the memorandum, which recognises a French map of 1:200,000 scale, puts Thailand at a disadvantage.

It filed a complaint with the Administrative Court yesterday, accusing the government of putting Thai territory at risk by its observance of the memorandum.

Photirak said it was just hearsay that the Santi Asoke sect was difficult and obstinate.

"We stand for the public interest and never quit. Would you consider this being stubborn?"

Red and yellow activity stokes investor fear

via CAAI

Renewed protests dent foreign appeal

Published: 20/01/2011

Foreign chamber executives say escalating activity by red-shirt protesters and tensions over the Thai-Cambodian border stoked by yellow-shirt sympathisers are renewing foreign investors' fears regarding making commitments in this country.

The Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustCham Thailand) said recent negative incidents could prevent Thailand from cashing in on expected further investment from Australia following the current review of the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (Tafta), especially if the service sector can be opened up.

Despite greater optimism about political stability these past six months, Australian companies remain very cautious about Thailand, said Andrew Durieux, the president of AustCham.

"[Anti-government] protesters have started to come back, the Thai-Cambodian issues are getting bigger, and we all know that the election is coming up. These make [Australian firms] feel a little bit nervous and start to worry about the future," he said.

Threats by the Thai Patriots Network to close the border with Cambodia along with similar pronouncements from the Cambodian side have shaken investor confidence and raised new fears about doing business in Thailand, said Mr Durieux.

"We've learned from past experience that these protests can escalate, and things are going to get worse. This is not a good environment for business," he said, recalling the red shirts camping out at the Ratchaprasong intersection last year and the People's Alliance for Democracy shutting down Suvarnabhumi airport in late 2008.

To date, no Australian company that was affected by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship's rallies at Ratchaprasong has received any compensation from the government for the 40 days of disrupted business operations, nor have those affected by the airport closure, said Mr Durieux.

Junichi Mizonoue, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC), said the Thai and Cambodian governments should hold talks to find mutually constructive solutions.

The border disagreements with Cambodia are coincident with the red-shirt protests and should be resolved shortly, he said.

"The JCC is more concerned about Thai politics," said Mr Mizonoue.

Protesters should try to avoid disrupting normal business and scaring shoppers or diners as in the past, he added.

Meanwhile, Australia and Thailand are reviewing the bilateral Tafta that took effect six years ago. The review is expected to be finished in another two months.

Mr Durieux said AustCham had provided some input, recommending further tariff reductions and an opening up of the service industry.

Foods, especially dairy products, medical equipment, coal and gas should enjoy deeper tariff cuts, possibly even eliminated for some items, he said.

For the service sector, regulations should be loosened to allow Australian firms a greater presence.

Given the competitive labour costs, investment incentives offered and geographical advantages, more Australian companies are keen to invest in Thailand, but some are put off by Thailand's long-standing domestic issues, especially politics, said Mr Durieux.

Holocaust legacy drives ‘Enemies’ genocide film

via CAAI

January 19, 2011
By Naomi Pfefferman

Nuon Chea, above, Pol Pot’s second-in-command, confesses his involvement in the 1970s Cambodian genocide in the documentary film “Enemies of the People,” directed and produced by Rob Lemkin.

Filmmaker Rob Lemkin’s most famous relative is the late Raphael Lemkin, a Polish attorney who spent his life crusading against mass murder and who invented the term “genocide” to describe what the Nazis had done to the Jews, including 40 members of his family.

Rob Lemkin never knew Raphael Lemkin, a distant cousin. But the elder Lemkin’s legacy has proved a motivation for the filmmaker’s work, notably his documentary “Enemies of the People,” an exposé on the Cambodian genocide that claimed 2 million lives during the Pol Pot regime of the 1970s. Co-authored with Thet Sambath, the groundbreaking film — which culminates with a confession by Pol Pot’s second-in-command, Nuon Chea — is short-listed for the Academy Award and has received a Writers Guild Award nomination.

“We went from village to village looking for individuals,” Lemkin said of his search with Sambath for lower-level peasant executioners. “I felt I was with people who had repeatedly looked into the faces of people they were killing. It was utterly chilling, but also inspiring that they were willing to be so open about their deeds.”

The movie is also the personal story of Sambath, whose father was stabbed to death in the Killing Fields and whose mother died in childbirth after being forced to marry a Khmer Rouge leader. An orphan by 9, Sambath became a journalist specifically so he could seek out and query the kinds of people who had destroyed his family. His most fervent mission was to gain the confidence of Nuon Chea by repeatedly visiting the octogenarian in order to elicit a confession. Sambath was so obsessive about his work that his newspaper career languished, and his wife and children were sometimes left without money for food.

Lemkin’s dedication to the project was also obsessive, stemming from his own family’s experience, he said during an interview in Los Angeles. The conversation turned back to Raphael Lemkin, who put everything else in his life on hold in order to convince the United Nations to declare genocide an international crime. The work took years and proved exhausting: Just three days after the U.N. finally voted to adopt the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948, Raphael Lemkin became gravely ill and collapsed. When hospital doctors queried him about his malady, he said his condition was “genocide-itis.” When he died in poverty in the late 1950s, only seven people attended his funeral.

“My grandmother was very active in the Kindertransport,” Rob Lemkin continued of his connection to the Holocaust. “And my father was very much haunted throughout his life that another holocaust could happen in Britain — a nightmare that lurked in the shadows for him as a sort of brooding threat. I, myself, was very frightened by photographs of concentration camps as a child. There are images in ‘Enemies of the People’ of dead bodies and piled bones that are similar to the images I saw through the keyhole when my parents were watching late-night films about the Nazis. I think that was definitely a motor to keep me going on ‘Enemies of the People,’ because the work was quite tedious and grueling.”

Director and producer Rob Lemkin

Lemkin met Sambath in September 2006 when Lemkin traveled to Phnom Penh to make a film on Cambodian genocide following news that a United Nations-backed war tribunal was preparing cases against Nuon Chea and others. Initially, he hired Sambath as a translator and “fixer” to help him secure interviews, but when he discovered that the Cambodian journalist already had access to Nuon Chea, the two men decided to collaborate.

Their goal, according to Lemkin, was to “peel back the so-called ‘mask of evil’ to reveal the human beings who committed these terrible crimes.” The resulting interviews are both chilling and heartbreaking: One peasant demonstrates with a plastic knife how he pulled back the heads of prisoners – in such a manner that they were unable to scream – and slit so many throats at once that his arm ached, and he had to switch to stabbing victims in the throat.

An elderly woman recalls how the swollen, piled-up bodies made hissing sounds as they decomposed in mass graves, causing rainwater to “bubble as if it were boiling.” Several executioners admit to drinking the liquid from human gall bladders, which they believed was a medical elixir. Echoing the language of the Nazis, they say they were only carrying out orders, and would have been killed had they refused.

When the Cambodian war crimes tribunal got word of the confessions, officials demanded that Lemkin and Sambath turn over their hundreds of hours of videotapes. “We refused,” Lemkin said. The two had promised interviewees their testimony would be used only for historical purposes. And a promise is a promise, even to a mass murderer. As a result, former executioners are continuing to speak to them, and, last year, a historic teleconference took place among several perpetrators and survivors now living in Long Beach, Calif. The plan is for another such conference to take place at the Museum of Tolerance in 2011.

The film has been described as a Cambodian “Shoah,” albeit without the hidden cameras. “But I see Sambath as quite different from [a figure like Nazi hunter Simon] Wiesenthal,” Lemkin said, “because Sambath believes reconciliation is not only desirable but possible, and every action is dedicated to that end.”

Lemkin does see parallels between Sambath and his famous cousin. “Raphael Lemkin waged an incredibly lonely, one-man campaign to get the word ‘genocide’ enshrined into international law, and in fact after that finally happened, he was found [exhausted] in the basement of the United Nations building, having about given up on the idea that the world would take it seriously,” Rob Lemkin said. “He was fighting a solitary campaign against world indifference, which is very similar to what I found in Sambath. The echoes are very real, because Sambath has been fighting alone for a kind of truth and reconciliation commission in his country, and to come to terms with the trauma of Cambodia.”

Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 25.