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Sunday, June 08, 2008

U.S. pays to rebuild temple in Cambodia

restoration - A sacred temple in the historic Cambodian city of Angkor has received a $978,700 US grant to undergo the second phase of a restoration project.

The World Monuments Fund received the grant from the U.S. State Department and will use the money to rebuild and stabilize the severely damaged east elevation at Phnom Bakheng, the oldest temple in the city, fund spokeswoman Holly Evarts said in a telephone interview.

The temple, built by Khmer King Yasyovarman I in 907 AD, represents Mount Mehru, the mythical home of Hindu gods. Perched on the highest point of the Angkor alluvial plain, its stunning sunsets attract hundreds of tourists daily.

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Cambodia sends off third batch of UN peacekeeping deminers to Sudan

PHNOM PENH, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia sent off its third batch of deminers here Sunday at the Bochentong Air Base to take part in the UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan.

"Today's send-off is evidence of the willingness of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Cambodian people to provide essential security and support to those in conflict," said Douglas Broderick, UN resident coordinator in the kingdom.

The third batch consists of 139 staff members, 15 of whom had left on June 2 for camping work, said a military press release.

Ke Kim Yan, Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), told the send-off ceremony that Cambodia has participated in "the UN peacekeeping operation on humanitarian mine clearance in Sudan for the third consecutive year."

So far, Cambodian deminers have cleared 57,542,488 square meters of areas in Sudan, he added.

RCAF Lt. Gen. Sem Sovanny said that the third batch of deminers will replace the second one, who will return from Sudan to Cambodia Tuesday.

Along with consistent economic growth, Cambodia has also been seeking to enlarge its international military presence. It has joined two multinational military exercises respectively in Mongolia and Bangladesh, since peace was established in the kingdom in 1997.
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