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Friday, November 09, 2007

EA donates SimCity to OLPC project

Electronic Arts (EA) is donating the original 1989 version of SimCity to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

The games developer said that SimCity would provide children with a fun and educational program on the new machines.

"By gifting SimCity onto each OLPC laptop, EA is providing users with an entertaining way to engage with computers as well as help develop decision-making skills while honing creativity," an EA statement said.

Players of SimCity take on the role of mayor in a new city, with responsibility for building and maintaining essentials such as housing, transport, schools, factories and shops.

The idea to connect SimCity with the OLPC foundation came from internet pioneer, activist and OLPC advisor John Gilmore, who knew the game's history and recognised its potential relevance.

Steve Seabolt, vice president of global brand development for The Sims Label, added: "SimCity is entertainment that's unintentionally educational.

"There are choices and consequences, but in the end, it's a creativity tool limited only by the player's imagination."

OLPC is a not-for-profit humanitarian effort to design, manufacture and distribute inexpensive laptops with the goal of giving every child in the world access to modern education.

The first machines went into production this week and will be distributed in countries such as Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia and India by the end of 2007.

All Computer Games.
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Cambodia toasts diplomatic ties with nation Crocodile

The forty years of diplomatic is a friend and war with Vietnam, Cambodia had been a snack for Vietnam for grabbing Cambodia's land and all kinds of natural resources. They say a friend in need is a friend in deed robbing and killing his friend(Communist Vietcong is a covert who keep taking land from Cambodia.

On the occasion of Cambodia’s National Day today, the country’s ambassador, Vann Phal, spoke to Viet Nam News.

As Viet Nam and Cambodia are celebrating their 40th year of diplomatic ties, what do you think is the most important aspect of the two countries’ relationship?

Viet Nam and Cambodia are two neighbouring countries who have maintained a long history of close bonds and deep attachments. Their diplomatic relationship was officially established on June 24, 1967. This event was of great significance to the fight for independence, unification and development of each country. Our two peoples have made significant progress in their endeavours to promote economy, trade and cultural exchanges between our countries.

The frequent exchanges of high level visits, particularly in recent years, has not only deepened personal ties between the leaders of our countries, but has also encouraged progress and co-operation in all fields, serving the mutual interests of our peoples as well as contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The co-operation between the two foreign affairs ministries has strengthened exchanges and mutual understanding. The two sides have also exchanged the ratification of the consular agreement, thus facilitating the implementation of consular co-operation between the two countries.

Last year, the volume of imports and exports for products increased by roughly 30 per cent while the value of Cambodia’s goods exported to the Vietnamese market reached US$200 million and its imports from Viet Nam reached $800 million. The future target will be to increase the volume of goods exchanged between the two countries, up to $2 billion by 2010.

What areas should the two countries focus on, when working on trade co-operations in the future to reach the target of $2 billion in bilateral trade turnover by 2010 ?

Bilateral relations have deeply and broadly burgeoned in all fields over the past few years. Along with the prosperous development of the countries’ political relationships, bilateral co-operation in economics, trade and investment has been increasingly important and promoted. In the future, in order to strongly elevate co-operation in trade ties to a new height in bilateral trade turnover by 2010, the two sides have actively worked together as follows: The focal point of diplomacy for economic development is to help promote bilateral trade and to protect and aid Cambodian investors and entrepreneurs who have been doing business in this country. Also we will work on tax incentives on a variety of commodities, to make life easier. Products made in one country with the investment of another country in the triangle of development are transported with the simplest of procedures. There is also the increased effectiveness of economic, trade and investment co-operation, with deepened co-operation in some concrete fields such as agriculture, transportation, hydropower, mineral and oil exploitation, rubber plantation, health care and tourism.

It is also necessary to educate and raise people’s awareness in both countries about the excellent traditional friendship Cambodia and Viet Nam share.

How would you evaluate the progress of border demarcations between Viet Nam and Cambodia? Do you think the demarcation and landmark planning can be finished by next year, as agreed upon by both countries?

The Supplementary Treaty to the 1985 Viet Nam-Cambodia Treaty on Border Delimitation and the current process of landmark plantation between the two countries, signed by the Vietnamese and Cambodian prime ministers in Ha Noi on October 10, 2005, created a legal foundation for a definite and sustainable resolution of borderline issues between the two countries, helping boost peace, co-operation and friendship. According to the Viet Nam-Cambodia Committee for Land Border Demarcation and Marker Planting, 374 landmarks are to be planted along the 1,137km border that straddles Viet Nam and Cambodia.

From September 2006 to June 2008, the countries will implement work on demarcating and planting landmark pillars on the sites. And in December 2008, both countries will complete the documents and prepare the protocol on demarcating and planting land markers.

The year 2007 is an important transitional year to achieve completion of the border demarcation and the planting of border markers. But border demarcating faces many difficulties that stem not only from technical issues such as how to accurately match landmarks on the real site from the locations on the maps, but also from the difficulties of location and poor weather.

I am firmly convinced that the two sides agreed to complete preparatory work as soon as possible to pave the way for demarcating the border and planting the markers, which has been scheduled for completion by the two governments prior to the end of 2008.

What are the potentials for tourism co-operation between Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia?

Tourism has been chosen as a forerunner in contributing to Cambodia’s economic growth and social development, indeed, to the well being of the population as a whole.

The open sky policy, which was adopted by the Royal Government of Cambodia in 1997, bore fruitful results when the number of tourist arrivals increased year on year.

Convenient border crossings by water, land and air facilitate extensive tourism services which connect Cambodia to the rest of the world. The uniqueness of Cambodian culture and her astonishing natural beauty will thrill tourists. The Angkor complex, the largest monumental site in the world, is the crown jewel of our treasures; it truly embodies Cambodian tourism potential.

Indeed, Cambodia’s coastal area also has great potential as a major tourist destination with its pristine beaches, underwater treasures and wide range of aquatic activities. Cambodia’s eco-tourism sites offer visitors exquisite landscapes, waterfalls, wildlife, tribal villages and rare species of birds, flora and fauna that have fascinated explorers, naturalists and bird watches for centuries.

What developments have you seen in Viet Nam since you took your post as ambassador here, compared with your previous stay?

As the Cambodian Ambassador to Viet Nam, I appreciate the policy of the Vietnamese Party and State to ensure stability, security and socio-economic development in Viet Nam.

After Viet Nam became an official member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), its diplomatic relations expanded. Also, on this occasion, I would like to express my congratulations to the Party, State and Government of Viet Nam on the occasion that Viet Nam has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 tenure and as a member of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU).

On the basis of traditional friendship and good co-operation, the high-ranking leaders of Cambodia and Viet Nam have often exchanged views based on mutual understandings and have signed many Agreements on co-operation in all fields.

Looking back at 2007, we can see that high-ranking Vietnamese leaders such as President Nguyen Minh Triet and Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Phu Trong both made visits to Cambodia. And many Cambodian delegations from different ministries and branches also came to Viet Nam to consolidate and strengthen our co-operation and relationships.

I would like to thank Viet Nam News for publishing these issues, and I hope the co-operation between our embassy and Viet Nam News will continue to develop for the benefit of both our peoples. — VNS
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Cambodia celebrates 54th Independence Day

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni ignited the torch inside the Independence Monument to symbolize the country's liberation from 90 years' colonial rule by France, while hosting the national ceremony to mark the 54th Independence Day here on Friday.

"The victorious torch stands for our freedom and the soul of our nation," said Min Khin, secretary general of the National Committee for Organizing National and International Festivals, adding that the torch fire will remain burning for three days.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Chea Sim, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and other senior country leaders, together with more than 20,000 students, civil servants, armed forces, government officials and foreign diplomats, also attended the ceremony.

"Today we celebrate our Independence Day. We now have freedom and we manage the country by ourselves," said Min Khin.

"We have always remembered the achievements of retired king Norodom Sihanouk, who did his crusade to win independence from France in 1953. Our people can sacrifice their lives for the independence of the country," he added.

At the ceremony, a number of large size file photos of Sihanouk and Sihamoni could be seen at the hands of the audience.

Meanwhile, Cambodian-language newspaper the Rasmey Kampuchea on Friday printed a lengthy editorial, praising the kingdom for its economic prosperity and politic stability and reviewing its history after the independence was won.

"Now, Cambodia is led by Prime Minister Hun Sen. We have political stability for nearly ten years. We are walking on the right track of development and multi-party system in the process of democracy," it said.
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Royal Messages For Cambodia

Bandar Seri Begawan - His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send congratulatory messages to His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on the occasion of the Independence Day of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

His Majesty expressed his satisfaction with the warm and friendly relations and deep understanding that had so long been established between Brunei Darussalam and the Kingdom of Cambodia, especially at the Asean level.

His Majesty hoped that this would be maintained and enhanced in the future for the good of the two countries and peoples. His Majesty hoped that the King and Prime Minister of Cambodia would remain in good health and happiness, and for the people of Cambodia to enjoy continued progress and prosperity.

Meanwhile, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, sent a congratulatory message to HorNamhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

His Royal Highness said, "It gives me great pleasure to send my congratulations and best wishes to you and the government and people of the Kingdom of Cambodia on your 54th Independence Day.

"It has been a pleasure working with you over the past year and I look forward to continuing our work together to enhance the warm friendship and close cooperation our countries share both bilaterally and as Asean partners." -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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M’sia bidding for oil and gas in Cambodia

Indo-Chinese nation expected to begin oil production in 2011

PHNOM PENH: Malaysia is among dozens of countries vying for a share of oil and gas reserves in Cambodia.

The Indo-Chinese nation is expected to begin oil production in 2011, with an initial estimate of 700 million barrels in Block A.

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said other bidders include China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

They have shown interest to drill oil and gas at Block A located 200km southwest of Sihanoukville, encompassing 6,278 sq km in total size area.

Currently, the US’ Chevron is assessing the amount of commercial reserves, while there are also 27 more potential wells, he said.

Chevron discovered oil in 2005 off the Cambodian coast, southwest of Sihanoukville.

“We can only start production in the next decade as the processes from exploration to production take time.

“We need more studies to determine how to come out with the best formula between the companies and the government,” he told the Cambodia Investment, Trade and Infrastructure conference here yesterday.

Sok An also said there are several other potential areas, including an area of 27,000 sq km in the Gulf of Thailand, where Cambodia was involved in an overlapping claim with Thailand, as well as in Ton Sap Lake.

He said Cambodia is likely to opt for a 50-50 sharing agreement with Thailand to resolve the overlapping claim.

According to energy industry officials, the Cambodian Government is highly expected to back Chinese and American companies to undertake oil and gas productions, than regional players like Petronas and Thailand’s PTT.

Petronas is currently operating two petrol stations in Cambodia.

Sok An said Cambodia was excited over the oil discovery as the country was now a net importer and was feeling the pinch of the high oil price, which was close to US$100 per barrel, with retail price above US$1 a litre here.

Besides oil and gas, Cambodia is also rich in minerals, among them are bauxite, gemstones, coal, gold and limestone.

Among companies engaged in the mining sector are world-class players like BHP Billiton and Oxiana.

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