Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

26 March 2015

Seoung Sarat survived several bloody Cambodian regimes and civil wars. But only when his country was at peace was he shot and lost a leg.

The indigenous Tompuon man, now living in a borrowed home in the forest of Ratanakiri province, says he lost his right leg in 2009 because of a conflict with a company that was granted his land by the government to use for large-scale farming.

“When I stood up to protest, they said they had already given the land to the company. So that’s why the company ordered their soldiers to shoot me," he said.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Courage Needed To Fight Corruption, Advocate Says

18 March 2014

Preap Kol, head of Transparency International Cambodia.
PHNOM PENH — Cambodians need to be more courageous in challenging endemic corruption, a development expert says.

Preap Kol, head of Transparency International Cambodia, told “Hello VOA” last week that the more people challenge corruption, the more likely it is they will free themselves from it.

“We also help change our society and prevent others from falling victim to corruption,” he said.

Friday, March 14, 2014

For Cambodian Kids, a Tinseltown Legacy

14 March 2014

VIDEO: After visiting an infamous Cambodian garbage dump, former Hollywood executive started helping poor children fulfill dreams of a better future. Colin Lovett narrates this report by Say Mony in Phnom Penh.

PHNOM PENH — He spent decades selling Hollywood magic on screens across the globe, until a brief visit to Phnom Penh's infamous Stung Meanchey garbage dump gave former CEO Scott Neeson the wake up call of a lifetime.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Professionalism Best Mechanism to Protect Journalists, Expert Says

11 March 2014
Som Ratana, acting director of the department of media and communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, told “Hello VOA” on Monday.
PHNOM PENH — Journalists need to be more professional in their reporting, which is the best way to protect themselves, a media educator says.

“Like any other profession, journalism can be risky, but if journalists follow their professional codes of conduct and ethics and work with responsibility, there should be no problems for them,” .
Som Ratana, acting director of the department of media and communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, told “Hello VOA” on Monday

In fact, Cambodia can be quite dangerous for reporters, and nearly a dozen murders of journalists over the years have gone unsolved. In recent labor demonstration crackdowns, several journalists were injured.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Former Hollywood Executive Builds Legacy for Cambodian Children

04 March 2014
Scott Neeson , left, the Executive Director of The Cambodian Children's Fund, a safe house for Cambodia's orphaned and abused children accepts the inaugural Q prize award from Quincy Jones, right, in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007
PHNOM PENH — For the past decade, a former Hollywood film CEO has made a difference for thousands of Cambodia's disadvantaged children and their families, helping in education, nutrition and health.

Scott Neeson, who left his 26-year career in the film business, said he founded the Cambodian Children’s Fund after seeing children scavenge at a dump when he came to Cambodia as a tourist in 2003
“That was a real wake-up call, because prior to that I was living a very privileged life in the West,” he told VOA Khmer in a recent interview. “As I was living in Hollywood as a single guy, lots of beautiful women, boats, cars, movie stars—and all of the sudden, you’re confronted with the other extreme. And it’s very hard to turn your back once you’ve seen it.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Political Parties Agree on Way Forward for Political Reform

19 February 2014
Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy meet for the first time after election on Sept 14, 2013. (Photo by Heng Reaksmey VOA Khmer)
PHNOM PENH — Cambodia’s ruling and opposition parties reopened negotiations on Tuesday, seeking to end a political deadlock that has been in place since July’s national elections.

Negotiators from the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party spoke for more than two hours at the Senate building in Phnom Penh, agreeing to look for ways to reform Cambodia’s political process.
The two sides said in a joint statement they hoped to organize a national forum that would draw from the international community, local NGOs and other interested parties to work on reform.

Cambodians Becoming Less Likely Tolerate Corruption: Advocate

19 February 2014

Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, on “Hello VOA” last week.
PHNOM PENH — An anti-corruption advocate says Cambodias no longer regard corruption as an everyday occurrent they must tolerate.

“Cambodian people today have changed their attitude of ignorance to paying attention to corruption because they now understand its impacts more than before,” Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, told “Hello VOA” last week.
Cambodia was listed as the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia last year, according to Transparency International’s annual index, which measures perceived corruption. And a recently released survey by the US-based International Republican Institute found that nearly 50 percent of Cambodians view corruption and nepotism as serious problems facing the country.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Families Want ‘Justice’ for Slain Workers

06 February 2014

PHNOM PENH — Families of garments workers shot dead in Phnom Penh early last month say they are appealing for justice for their loved ones.

At least four people were killed when police fired on demonstrators during the Jan. 3 crackdown. No one has been arrested or reprimanded in the wake of the shootings.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Filmmaker Sees Work Banned at Cambodia Film Festival

23 December 2013

Filmmaker Sees Work Banned at Cambodia Film Festival ​​
While the newly-appointed minister of Culture and Fine Arts Pheoung Sakona was on stage praising Cambodian filmmakers for their efforts to bring fame back to Cambodian cinema industry at the launch of Cambodia International Film Festival held in Phnom Penh last weekend, renowned filmmaker Chhay Bora was listening quietly and clapping his hands at the end of her speech. This despite his latest feature film "3.50," which he co-produced with a Singaporean filmmaker, being banned at cinemas in the country. "I hope the new minister who has been in office recently will probably consider opening up more for the art arena especially the film industry." (Say Mony, Phnom Penh)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Expert Touts Rise of Citizen Journalists

14 December 2013

A journalist takes a photo using a smart phone during a press conference, file photo.
PHNOM PENH — Citizens can be journalists, and they can help Cambodia face ongoing issues like illegal logging, rights abuses and corruption, a communications technology expert says.

Ngeth Moses, ICT coordinator for the Community Legal Education Center, told “Hello VOA” Monday that new tools are making it easier for so-called citizen journalists to emerge.

“They can get audio and video from the field where those problems occur, and share them quickly on social media,” he said.