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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clare pharmacist to volunteer in Cambodia

Clare pharmacist Tim Siv will spend six weeks in Cambodia working in orphanages and schools during the Christmas holidays.


Mr Siv, whose parents fled Cambodia when he was three years old, will return to the town of his birth to give back to his former community where he also plans to build a playground for local children.

And he won’t be travelling light - planning to pack his suitcases with toothbrushes, tooth paste, tennis balls and other useful items which are normally in short supply in that country.

“It’s something I have always wanted to do (return to Cambodia) in terms of giving back,” Mr Siv said.

This is where my heritage is and it will be a big experience for me. The house I was born in is still there,” Mr Siv said.

Although this will be a personal visit for Mr Siv he will participating in local aid work, teaching English and undertaking other community work.

“I just hope to make an impact on someone’s life while I am over there,” he said.

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Cambodia opens 17th annual Congress of Religion

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia on Wednesday opened the two-day 17th annual Congress of Religion in Phnom Penh to monitor the improvement of morality and behavior in the religious field and its role for reducing poverty.

"The religion field has contributed strongly to the social and political stability of the country and helped the society improve its morality, environment and poverty reduction," said Senate President Chea Sim at the opening ceremony.

"From now on, there is a good chance for us that we all join together to keep the peace and harmony of the country and stick to non-violent way to advance the society," he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Cults and Religious Affairs Min Khin said that Cambodia not only takes care of Buddhism which is the major religion of the country, but also other sects.

Cambodia has 4,307 Buddhist pagodas with 55,583 monks, 4 Buddhist universities and 12 Buddhist high schools, he said.

The kingdom also has 320,167 Muslims with 244 mosques and 333 Islamist schools, some 800,000 Christians and about 20,000 people with other religious believes, he added.

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Cambodia kills 320 fowl after bird flu outbreak

Cambodian authorities killed some 320 ducks and chickens Wednesday southeast of the capital where a man last week became the country's eighth human case of the disease.

The Agriculture Ministry sent 30 veterinarians to kill the fowl after laboratory tests Tuesday showed that three ducks and one chicken had contracted the deadly H5N1 virus in the village where a man fell sick, said Kao Phal, the ministry's director of animal health and food production.
A 19-year-old man in Kandal province, 18 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Phnom Penh, tested positive for bird flu last Thursday. The man fell ill after touching a dead chicken, said Ly Sovann, a health ministry expert on bird flu.

The man remained hospitalized in the capital. The seven previous Cambodian victims of the disease died.

"His health is getting better day by day, but we need him to remain in the hospital for monitoring," Ly Sovann said.

Bird flu remains hard for people to catch, but health experts worry the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily among humans, sparking a pandemic. So far, most human cases have been linked to direct contact with infected birds.

At least 246 people have died worldwide from the virus since 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

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