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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Learn how Asia is changing the world

January 2, 2007

CORDILLERA - What do Korea's broadband revolution, Singapore's massive investment in biotechnology and China's growing economic and military strength have in common? They are all evidence of how changes in Asia will transform the world as we know it, in ways we would not expect. The Vail Symposium's Hot Topic series kicks off Thursday presenting insights on these current events and explaining how Asia is changing the world.

Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl will lead the discussion from 5:30-7:15 p.m. at Chaparral, Cordillera Valley Club, in Edwards. Metzl is an expert on Asian history and politics. His government appointments have included deputy staff director and senior counselor of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, senior coordinator for international public information and director for multilateral and humanitarian affairs on the National Security Council. At the White House, he coordinated U.S. government international public-information campaigns for Iraq, Kosovo and other crises.

A Khmer speaker, he was a human rights officer for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia from 1991 to 1993, where he helped establish a nationwide human rights investigation and monitoring unit for Cambodia. Metzl has appeared widely on national media, including "Meet the Press" and the "Today" show.

He is the author of a book on human rights in Southeast Asia, as well as the novel "The Depths of the Sea." His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs and many other publications. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for a Secure America and a former White House Fellow.

He holds a doctorate in Southeast Asian history from Oxford University, a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, and is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. Metzl's presentation is the inaugural event of a new partnership between the Vail Symposium and the international organization the Asia Society.

The Asia Society is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States. The society provides a forum for building awareness of the more than 30 countries broadly defined as the Asia-Pacific region - the area from Japan to Iran - and from Central Asia to New Zealand and the Pacific islands.

The organization presents the uniqueness and diversity of Asia through art exhibitions and performances, films, lectures, seminars and conferences, publications and assistance to the media, and materials and programs for students and teachers.Metzl's presentation will take place Thursday at Chaparral, Cordillera Valley Club, in Edwards (near Singletree).

Admission to this event is $20 for Vail Symposium supporters and $25 for all others. Light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available from 5:30-6 p.m., followed by Metzl's lecture from 6-7:15 p.m.. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.vailsymposium.org or call (970) 476-0954. Read more!

Cambodian honour for Swaminathan

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Royal Government of Cambodia has awarded the Sahametrei Medal to M.S. Swaminathan, agriculture scientist, in recognition of his contributions to the revival of rice research and development in Cambodia in the 1980s.

The medal was also in recognition of Dr. Swaminathan's work that led to the establishment and strengthening of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
The presentation of the medal was to be held in Cambodia in the second week of January.

Dr. Swaminathan expressed his inability to receive the medal in view of his other preoccupations. Recalling his association with Cambodia, the agriculture scientist said he had trained a large number of Cambodians. Recently, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation prepared a food security atlas, which was adopted by the Cambodian Government as its official document.

Calling for strengthening ties with Cambodia, Dr. Swaminathan said there was a lot to share with such countries, considering the fact that Cambodia too was a rice-raising nation. Read more!

Tourist arrivals in Cambodia up 20 percent in 2006

Cambodia's tourist arrivals went up 20 percent in 2006 from 2005, recording a third straight year of increase for its tourism sector, the Cambodian Daily reported on Wednesday.

During 2006, some 1.7 million tourists visited Cambodia, pumping 1.4 billion U.S. dollars into the country's economy, equivalent to 12 percent of the kingdom's GDP, Tourism Ministry's Secretary of State Thong Khon told the newspaper on Tuesday.

In 2005 and 2004, 1.4 million and 1 million tourists respectively visited Cambodia, according to the Tourism Ministry. "This has been a good year because there were no obstacles [to tourism] such as SARS or bird flu," Khon said of 2006, adding that he expects the number of visitors in 2007 to increase by a further 20 percent.

The main Cambodian attraction in 2006 remained Angkor archeological complex in Siem Reap province, with Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville as well as Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces getting some visitors, he said.

By October 2006, more than 650,000 people had visited Siem Reap, accounting for nearly half of all tourist arrivals in Cambodia, according to Tourism Ministry statistics. However, the Ministry estimated that more than one fifth of tourism-sector revenue in 2006 went abroad due to remittances by foreign companies and consumption of imports such as gasoline and luxury foods, Thong Khon said.

Such revenue "leakage" was down by 30 percent from 2005 and was projected to continue dropping as Cambodia supplied more of the foods consumed by foreign visitors, he added.

Source: Xinhua Read more!