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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Manulife expands into Cambodia's life insurance market

TORONTO / CAMBODIA / HONG KONG , Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Manulife Financial today announces that it has received "approval in principle" from Cambodia's Ministry of Economy and Finance to set up a wholly foreign-owned life insurance operation. Cambodia expands Manulife Asia's operations to an 11th territory.

David Wong , Senior Vice President, ASEAN Operations, said: "We are grateful for the Cambodian Government's support. This expansion demonstrates our commitment to Asia and our success as a forward-thinking leading insurance company that offers strong and reliable risk protection products and services to our customers.

"I am very excited to see Manulife expanding its footprint into Cambodia . Manulife's last new entry was Vietnam , in 1999. We hope that in Cambodia we can match the achievements of Manulife in other ASEAN markets and help develop Cambodia's life insurance industry to better serve the emerging life insurance needs of its population."

In entering the market, Manulife has agreed to support the Cambodian government's efforts to develop the insurance profession and build confidence in the industry, including through improved consumer education. The company is currently working closely with the government to expedite the final stages of the license approval. In the meantime, it is now actively in the process of establishing its operation in Cambodia , with its head office to be located in Phnom Penh .

With a population of 14.4 million, Cambodia is a World Trade Organization member experiencing rapid economic growth and significant foreign investment. Most importantly, Cambodia's commitment to aligning its growth with the wider development of the Greater Mekong region has unlocked great potential and given confidence to investors.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada -based financial services group operating in 21 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$492billion ( US$473 billion ) as at September 30, 2011 . The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States . Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
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Leading Civil Party Withdraws Complaint from Tribunal

The withdrawal would “send a message to the court” that could lead to “more victims who will withdraw their participation in court processes.”

David J. Schefer, an U.S. Professor of Law of Northwestern University, right, and Cambodian genocide victim Theary Seng, front left, walk through a gate at the U.N.-backed tribunal court hall, file photo.



Seng Theary, a Cambodian-American lawyer whose family members were killed by the Khmer Rouge, had one word for the UN-backed tribunal when she withdrew her case from the court on Tuesday: “Enough.”

Seng Theary, who is the president of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims, representing more than 3,800 complainants at the court, submitted her withdrawal because she felt the court “cannot provide justice to victims,” she told reporters later. She called the court “a farce.”

Seng Theary had been a civil party complainant in cases 003 and 004, which have come under intense scrutiny for alleged political interference and mishandling by investigating judges.

She blamed the UN for “complicity” in the poor handling of the cases, which would require five more indictments at the court, a move Prime Minister Hun Sen opposes on the grounds it would destabilize the country. She called on the government and international observers to work toward more independence at the court and further investigation into both cases.

Tribunal spokesman Huy Vannak said the UN and the government were committed to letting the court functional independently.

However, Long Panhavuth, a court monitor for the Cambodia Justice Initiative, said the withdrawal would “send a message to the court” that could lead to “more victims who will withdraw their participation in court processes.”
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To err is human, to correct is only right and proper



In the eye of the Storm.....David Harley. Photo: Andrew Meares
 On Friday, smh.com.au posted ''Australian sailor dies in Cambodia'', a story about a woman who had been found dead in a hotel room in Sihanoukville while on shore leave from HMAS Warramunga. It had a time stamp of 12.35pm. The story said her family had been informed.

But the sailor was not a woman - he was later identified as Leading Seaman Boatswain's Mate Bradley William Livingstone - and on Friday evening I got a call from an irate chief petty officer, who said parents of every woman sailor on the Warramunga would be ''out of their minds with worry''. He was explicit in his opinion of journalists, including - when I said reporters would not have made it up - ''They do make it up! They do!''

They don't, of course, and the error was tracked back to an AAP report, picked up by news organisations which take copy from it.

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, was quoted as telling Macquarie Radio: ''She was doing port visits after the exercise. We don't know any more …'' Someone who was unaware ships are referred to as ''she'' by the navy presumed the sailor was the ''she''. AAP sent a correction at 1.27pm, but by then the story had been posted on websites around the country. Yesterday they were still up on many, including smh.com.au and theage.com.au. (The Herald's national security correspondent, Dylan Welch, filed at 12.31pm on Friday a story with the line ''who was originally incorrectly reported as a woman''.)

It was an easy mistake for an inexperienced journalist to make but, as the chief petty officer said, heart-chilling for parents.

The Heralds make mistakes - as do all newspapers, news agencies and news organisations. It would be impossible to get it right every time. A weekday Herald is the equivalent of an average-size book, which can take a year to write, publish and distribute.

Journalists are only human - but I have not met one whose goal was anything other than perfection. They often do not meet that goal, and that can be put down to inexperience, a looming deadline, crossed wires or plain old sloppiness - and sometimes a combination.

Recently the Herald published errors of historical fact - Governor Phillip was alive and well more than 50 years after his death and Kaiser Bill was ahead of his time in being married to his mother. These are easily checked but were not. Embarrassing, very, but I am glad the Herald's editors believe what is wrong must be corrected.

Over the years editors have worried corrections would lead readers to the conclusion the paper is always making mistakes. I hold the opposite view. As the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, said in a recent speech: ''The truth, as all honest journalists know, is that newspapers are full of errors. Not just errors, but crude over-simplifications, mistakes of emphasis, contestable interpretations and things which should simply have been phrased differently. It seems silly to pretend otherwise. Journalism is an imperfect art … And yet many newspapers do persist in pretending they are largely infallible.''

Corrections should be in a prominent and regular position so readers know where to find them. (There are Herald readers who turn to page two even before they start on page one.) And when published online they should be attached conspicuously to the story. That does not always happen, but I have been assured steps are being taken to fix that. Soon, I hope.

Many believe an error should be attributed to the journalist who made it. I do not. A mistake made in a newspaper's name should be corrected in its name. Journalists work for the newspapers; they represent them. Although reporters' names are on the story, those stories appear under a masthead which we hope will be around a lot longer than the reporters.

Who made the mistake is of no consequence to the reader; what is of consequence is that it is corrected as quickly as possible. The pain caused by the story about the dead sailor is a perfect example of why.
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