The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Notorous red dog,barking defending China

China have been raising lots of red dogs to bark and bits, sometime they hunted to feed the bigh China; but the old dog is used to hunt for years until its sharpe teeth fell off, it now could only barking.

Cambodia dog have been serving its owner china to get gifts of rice without attachement, it is not quite right yet, it is in the chinese interest of politic and power creeping. Which is called soft power of The Chinese Tai chi Chuan with full of power stroke killing without notice (example: the Killing Field of Cambodia).

Cambodia has condemned Taiwan's temptations to join the United Nations, saying the move threatens regional stability.

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian told a visiting US delegation last month that he planned to hold a referendum next year on joining the UN.

Cambodia's foreign ministry has issued a statement calling the plans hazardous and an act of provocation against China, which is one of Cambodia's strongest allies.

Beijing gives hundreds of millions of US dollars in aid to the impoverished country. So, Cambodia keep barking and hunting for China. Cambodian government is also a Mafia government who had been playing in a very big role for China.

China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has pledged to recover it, by force if necessary.
Phnom Penh has repeatedly backed Beijing's "one-China" policy.
Read more!

i-to-i Launches Fund Raising Biking Tour in Cambodia

The new two week tour will give travellers the opportunity to explore Cambodia’s beautiful countryside and bustling cities by bike, as well as some of its most famed sights such as the temples of Angkor Wat, the infamous Killing Fields and the largest lake in South East Asia, Tonle Sap. Travellers will also explore the local culture and have the opportunity to learn about efforts to protect the environment and develop eco-tourism.

As well as having the opportunity to explore the country and immerse themselves in Cambodian culture, travellers also have the opportunity to make a real impact on development projects around the world, with all profits from the new tour being donated to i-to-i’s charity arm - the i-to-i Foundation.

The i-to-i Foundation, established in 2003 by i-to-i founder Deirdre Bounds, aims to support some of the most disadvantaged projects overseas by providing much needed resources direct to the projects that need them the most. The charity provides resources that will help the projects to move towards self-sufficiency and in the long term, help them stand on their own.

Over the last year the i-to-i Foundation has made significant donations to a number of projects including renovating and refurbishing a medical clinic in Tanzania, constructing a community centre in Brazil and installing 20 toilets at a school in India.

Deirdre Bounds comments: “Many of the projects that we work with are extremely under-resourced but don’t have the structures in place to use direct funding effectively which is where the i-to-i Foundation comes in. Simply dishing out cash is not the answer - it’s about empowering people to control their own futures and providing them with the resources they need to do this. We have huge plans for the Foundation over the coming year and hope that projects and tours like this one will play a big part in giving the Foundation pot a much needed boost so that it can continue making an impact.”

The two week tour costs £1795 including all transfers, guides, accommodation and meals. For more information about this tour or the i-to-i Foundation visit i-to-ifoundation.org or call 0906 218 1055. To find out about other travel options available through i-to-i website.

i-to-i Foundation Registered Charity: 1099482

1. i-to-i is a volunteer travel and TEFL training organisation based in Leeds, UK; Denver, USA; Melbourne, Australia and Co. Waterford, Ireland. Each year it sends around 5,000 volunteers to work on 500 projects in over 30 countries worldwide and trains a further 15,000 people to teach English as a foreign language.

2. i-to-i is a founding member of the Year Out Group, associate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ‘Know Before You Go’ Campaign, member of the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations and has training accreditation from the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council.
Read more!

China Southern extends services to Cambodia

China Southern Airlines, the country's biggest airline, opened direct flights from Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong Province, to Siem Reap in Cambodia on Thursday.

The company also runs direct flights from Guangzhou to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.

Earlier in July, China Southern set up three new routes linking Guangzhou with Myanmar's capital Yangon, Phuket in Thailand and Laos' capital city Vientiane.

The airline intends to open direct flights from Guangzhou to Delhi in September.

Source: Xinhua.
Read more!

Michael Richards finds inner solace in Cambodia

'I'm taking time off to feel myself out,' says the actor, who came under fire for a racist outburst last year.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia -- Actor Michael Richards, whose career nosedived after he shouted racial slurs at hecklers in a West Hollywood comedy club, has been seeking some spiritual healing here with his fiancée.

Richards, best known for his portrayal of the eccentric Cosmo Kramer on the popular television series "Seinfeld," said he has quit stand-up comedy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version of this article said followers referred to Hindu monk Nithyananda as "Swami G." The correct term is "swamiji."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"That night, when I was insulted and disrupted, I lost my heart; I lost my sense of humor. I've retired from that. I'm taking time off to feel myself out, get to know myself and appreciate other people," Richards said in an interview here.

Richards, 57, and actress Beth Skipp traveled to remote temples before visiting Angkor Wat on a tour sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Nithyananda Foundation. The sect adheres to the teachings of 29-year-old Hindu monk Nithyananda — an avowed "enlightened Master and modern mystic" who's referred to by his followers as "swamiji."

Nithyananda members here say Richards began attending foundation events in March, about three months after launching into a racist tirade from the stage of the Laugh Factory. He later apologized for the outburst.

In the interview here, Richards said he was just a tourist and not a full-fledged devotee of the Nithyananda group.

"I don't wear club jackets or belong to organizations of this nature. I do my own personal work. We came to see this amazing country," said Richards, who left Cambodia for neighboring Thailand on July 7.

"I listened in, but often my fiancée and I went on our own, to feel the temples in our own way. They're magnificent structures. It's great to just be in them and watch time go by. We'll probably be back."

The tour, officially a fundraiser for an Internet university, featured daily spiritual seminars by Nithyananda at the hotel, followed by visits to the nearby Angkor Archaeological Park, where the leader discussed depictions of Hindu cosmology. Swamiji is described in the group's literature as "on a mission to re-establish the science of inner bliss on planet Earth."

Richards, born in Culver City, spoke candidly about the Nov. 17 racist rant, which ended up on the Internet after an audience member recorded video on a cellphone. He said his Cambodia trip was not any kind of "karmic rehab."

"No, I've been doing other personal work since [the incident]," he said. "I'm trying to learn to enjoy myself."

Richards and Skipp, who appeared in the 2006 L.A. production of "Me, My Guitar &Don Henley," checked into a $380 per-night deluxe spa suite at Siem Reap's Hotel De La Paix on June 29. They joined the Nithyananda tour after several days of sightseeing independently at ancient sites including Preah Vihear, a famously difficult-to-reach mountaintop temple overlooking the Thai border.

"We went way out into the country. Preah Vihear was unbelievable. And the way we got there: We went up this crazy road in a funky pickup and when we got to the top there's this magnificent temple," Richards said. "We did it all old-school."

Richards said the couple planned to proceed to Chaing Mai, Thailand, and eventually the ancient city of Luang Prabang.

"At first, I was a little bit struck by the poverty, but when I leaned in I could see how open-hearted the Cambodian people are, and I was touched by it," Richards said. "I'd always wanted to take a trip to the Far East. It's a place I'd never been. I knew of Angkor Wat and I'd seen pictures, so we decided, 'Let's go for this.' It's amazing: You can walk around and it's all hands-on in the temples, it's not roped off. Seeing spirituality in stone is inspiring."

A spokesman for the Nithyananda Foundation said swamiji has gathered 1.2 million initiated disciples in 21 countries, after "going public" in 2003. The foundation's headquarters, located in Duarte, is described in the group's brochure as "a grand meditation hall pulsating with cosmic energy." The movement began as the Nithyananda Meditation Academy in Bangalore, India. The brochure describes the Bangalore facility as "exuding mysticism and equipped with modern amenities, this is a space where mere existence is meditation!"

"It's not a cult, it's a culture," said Nithyananda follower David Herold, president of a drug and alcohol testing company headquartered in Redlands. "I call it the enlightenment express."

Herold began to study Nithyananda's meditation techniques just four months ago at a 12-person beginner's program also attended by Richards.

"Swamiji helps you to reconnect to the self," Herold said. "His teachings are a tool to cleanse and relieve stress, addiction and negative energy."

By the end of the tour, Nithyananda members said Richards was not seen at morning seminars and often went on his own.

"I'm not a part of the group. I'm not a devotee. Like I said, I don't wear club jackets, but I honor all the clubs," Richards said. "Life is not always about us or making people laugh. I'm trying to understand the humanity that I am, that I belong to. So, in that sense, I'm part of a group: humanity."

Still, he was open with his views on spirituality.

"What constitutes spirituality is heart," Richards said. "Making people laugh is something else — I did 'Seinfeld' for 10 years — it lightens things up, helps people enjoy the world they live in more. I've had people call me from hospital beds and tell me, 'That Kramer character got me through it. Thanks.' It's pretty simple, you know, the feeling of opening yourself up to others.

"You go through a country like this and see the people close to the land. I see the heart they put into their homes and their lives. I see their children: open-eyed and cheery. You're in the middle of the country and they're waving at you from a motorcycle. When you're right there at that living connection, that's spiritual."
Read more!

Cambodia's cowboy capitalism

By Shawn W Crispin

BANGKOK - Despite his rough and ready reputation, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has presided over an extraordinary transformation of the country's once war-torn, now booming local economy, marking Southeast Asia's latest successful transition from a centrally planned to market-driven economy.

But as Cambodia's capitalist reforms enter a crucial new phase - one where multilateral organization economists say that to sustain fast growth, economic benefits must be more equitablydistributed - it's altogether unclear whether Hun Sen and his Cambodian People's Party-led government are up to the egalitarian task.

Over the past three years, Cambodia's gross domestic product has expanded at double-digit growth rates, averaging a breakneck 11.4% per annum. Garment exports, the economy's top foreign-currency earner, accounting for nearly 14% of total GDP, grew by 20% last year, despite predictions that Cambodian producers would start to lose a substantial market share to China and Vietnam.

Foreign direct investment touched a record high US$475 million last year and, in a show of fiscal confidence last weekend, the government unveiled a new $26 million parliament building, which is about 10 times the size of the previous complex. Meanwhile, hopes are running high that recent discoveries of big new oil and gas deposits will translate into a multibillion-dollar boon and by as early as 2010 transform the country into a net fuel exporter - potentially one of Asia's largest.

Monetary authorities have successfully reined in inflation, which on average galloped well over 50% per annum throughout the 1990s, to less than 3% last year, and policymakers are now feeling emboldened enough to talk about "de-dollarizing" the economy in a nationalistic bid to shore up the local currency, the riel. International credit-rating agencies, including Standard & Poor's and Moody's, recently issued their first sovereign ratings for the country, in anticipation of new stock- and bond-market launches in 2009.

Hun Sen, a former communist guerrilla and currently Southeast Asia's longest-serving elected leader, deserves a fair measure of credit for the progress. In the state-sanctioned press, he's frequently seen presiding over the opening of new roads, bridges and schools, putting his personal populist mark on public-funded investments.

His deputies have recently taken to portraying him as one of the region's vanguard economic reformers, who began dumping communism for capitalism through limited land-ownership reforms in the mid-1980s. In advance of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement, which ushered in United Nations-sponsored elections and a new power-sharing government, Hun Sen introduced full-scale land reforms, slashed price controls, privatized state enterprises and, to a degree, liberalized foreign investments.

More recently, Hun Sen has in the main stayed the course of a World Bank-designed market-reform strategy, which aims to boost the private sector and move the economy away from its age-old reliance on subsistence agriculture. That has included substantial policy reforms aimed at improving the investment climate and trade facilitation, including recent automation of traditionally corruption-prone customs-related services.

Rich man, poor man
Still, there are contrary indicators that Cambodia's emerging brand of wild and wooly capitalism is unevenly - and in instances perhaps illegally - benefiting the politically connected few at the great expense of the indigent masses.

A recent World Bank research report shows that robust economic growth over the past decade has helped to reduce the national poverty rate from 47% to 35% over the 10-year period spanning 1994-2004. Over that same period, however, average consumption per capita rose a mere 8% for the bottom fifth of the wage-earning population, while rising a whopping 45% for the top tier.

Where land ownership was seen as equitable after the 1989 land reforms, now levels of inequality in landholding and landlessness are among the highest in Asia, due to recent government policies in favor of large-scale land concessions - not to mention increasing state-backed land grabs from the poor. Lightly populated Cambodia, remarkably, now ranks worse than Malthusian dread-ridden India in this category.

The World Bank report also warned that, in general, high levels of inequality contribute to market failures and reduced investment, give rise to institutions that favor the rich over the poor and, over prolonged periods, often result in social and political instability. Those dire predictions are arguably already coming due, seen in the recent rash of land grabbling, where international rights groups such as Human Rights Watch estimate that tens of thousands of people have been forcibly evicted to make way for state projects and big plantation agriculture.

More damaging, however, were the allegations in a recent investigative report titled "Cambodia's Family Trees" issued by UK-based environmental watchdog Global Witness. The globally respected outfit alleged that senior army, police and government officials, many close to Hun Sen, including the head of his personal bodyguard unit, had profited hugely from illegal logging activities.

The report also claimed that a "kleptocratic elite" - including members of Hun Sen's direct family - were complicit in exploiting large swaths of officially protected forest lands. The report notably mentioned by name Hun Sen's wife as benefiting from the alleged illicit trade. For its part, the government banned the publication, issued a blanket denial, and threatened journalists who followed up the allegations.

One Radio Free Asia reporter was forced to flee the country after he received an anonymous death threat related to his reports, which corroborated some of Global Witness' findings. He was the second RFA reporter to flee the country this year because of concerns about possible government reprisals over critical news coverage. Further, Hun Sen refused in May to meet with the UN special representative on human rights for Cambodia, Yash Ghai, who had conducted investigations into allegations of state-backed land grabs.

Such statistical and investigative findings explain why - despite Hun Sen's recent consolidation of political power and his pivotal role in accelerating economic growth - foreign and local observers still have big doubts about his style of governance. For instance, last year international corruption monitoring group Transparency International rated Cambodia 151 out of 163 nations it ranked in its global government corruption index.

A more recent Indochina Research Limited public-opinion poll found that 88% of Cambodians feel that growing inequality in wealth is a pressing issue, while a World Bank survey released this week found that perceptions of Cambodia's government effectiveness, regulatory quality and control of corruption all declined from 2005 to 2006. Cambodia is no doubt growing, and growing fast, but increasingly the perception is that the benefits are only gushing up and not trickling down.
Read more!