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Cambodia Kingdom

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Cambodia's SRP can't be partner for CPP in government: Hun Sen

The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) can' t become a partner for the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) in the government for its performance at the local election was not good enough, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday.

The CPP won about 3.1 million votes out of 5.1 million that were cast during Sunday's balloting to choose leaders for the kingdom's commune councils, and the next winner, namely SRP, only won about 1.3 million, the national TV quoted him as saying.

"Therefore SRP can't share power in the central government," he told the 3rd Asia Economic Forum held in Phnom Penh.

"CPP still needs the Funcinpec Party in the present co-ruling government to have political and macro-economic stability," he said.

"We were also happy to work with other parties to have prosperity for our country. I am very proud of the people who still support CPP and we believe in the general election in 2008, we will still have the majority of votes," he added. .

According to the preliminary results of Sunday's local election polling, the CPP continued to control 98 percent of the kingdom's 1,621 communes and urban sub-districts known as sangkats, while the SRP surpassed Funcinpec for the first time to become the kingdom's second largest party in terms of its control of communes and sangkats.

Official results of the polling will be declared on April 24.

Altogether 102,266 candidates from 12 political parties competed for 11,353 seats in 1,621 councils in the second ever commune councils election since the Kingdom of Cambodia was established in 1993. Its results lay the groundwork for the general election in 2008, which will elect the fourth ever government of the country.

Source: Xinhua . Read more!

Australia helps clear landmines in Cambodia

The Australian government will provide 12 million Australian dollars (9.7 million U.S. dollars) to help clear landmines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia.

Announcing the major funding to mark International Mine Action Day, Australia's Special Representative on Mine Action and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Greg Hunt said Wednesday the funding would help to clear explosives from millions of square km of land across affected areas in Cambodia.

"Cambodia is one of the world's most heavily mined countries with up to 6 million landmines estimated to be scattered throughout the country," Hunt said in a statement.

According to the United Nations, close to 6 million of Cambodia's rural poor are affected by mines.

Australia's funding to be disbursed over four years will help to continue the already good work of the landmine clearance program in Cambodia and allow de-mining teams to continue their clearance work, Hunt said. .

Australia has committed around 50 million dollars (40 million U. S. dollars) to mine action-related activities in Cambodia since 1996, according to Hunt.

Meanwhile, Australia has pledged 75 million dollars (60 million U.S. dollars) over five years to 2010 for global mine action activities, he said.

Source: Xinhua . Read more!

Amsterdam High School student goes to Cambodia

"You take things for granted a lot of the time. And you don't realize that other people are just happy with what they have. And just be appreciative that you're born with a nice smile and everything," said Michela Catena, Amsterdam High School Student.

At just 17-years-old, Catena is trying to change the world one smile at a time. Michela is one of three students in the country to be chosen to participate on a mission with Operation Smile. They returned from a two week trip to Cambodia just last week, helping young children born with cleft lips and palates with corrective surgery.

"A lot of the times the kids are so withdrawn, they don't like to leave the home a lot because they are embarrassed about their face," said Catena.

But thanks to the help of Catena and others, these kids will smile proudly. While trained professionals performed the surgeries, Catena concentrated more on education.

"We did presentation for kids on dental hygiene, gurn care prevention, good nutrition," said Catena.

In order to go to Cambodia, Catena had to be sponsored by an Operation Smile club right here at home. The high school didn't have one. So she took the initiative and started the club herself, having more than 100 students attend the first meeting.

"I thought it would be amazing to be able to help people out that are in this situation and other countries," said Heather Graff, Amsterdam High School student.

Now other students are following Catena's lead, training to also attend missions with Operation Smile. Catena said she's proud and hopes that they each learn the same valuable lesson that she did.
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