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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Awards spotlight businesses in VN, Laos and Cambodia

HA NOI — An awards programme for outstanding enterprises and businesses in Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam will be held in Ha Noi early next year.

The event is jointly organised by the Viet Nam Association for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise, the Ministry of Defence’s Economic Department and the Association for Economic Development of Viet Nam-Laos-Cambodia.

Prizes will be given to outstanding enterprises and business people who run their business effectively and have been active in social charity work.

"Prizes will also be given to enterprises and business people earning outstanding achievements and investing in economic development in the three countries," said organisers.

Eligibility for the competition requires enterprises and business people to have actively contributed to the friendship between the three countries; earned high growth rates from high-quality products; have strong and attractive trade-marks as well as a good business culture while obeying laws and protecting the environment.

Judges for the competition will include representatives from relevant ministries, the embassies of Laos and Cambodia in Viet Nam and Vietnamese embassies in Laos and Cambodia.

Representative from friendship associations between the three countries will also be on the judging panel.

Applications can be submitted from now until November 30, 2008. — VNS
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Local film takes its viewers to war-torn 1970s Cambodia

TV & Media Editor

"Residue," a locally produced short dramatic film about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in Cambodia in 1970, will be screened Sunday in Mobile.

Made by filmmakers Nathaniel Nuon, Jared Davis and Wade Miller under their Sothea Pictures banner, the film soon will be showcased as well at three film festivals in southern California. It is an official selection of the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the San Diego Film Festival.

In Mobile on Sunday, the film will be shown at The Wine Loft at 9 Du Rhu Dr. Admission is free, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the screening beginning at 7:30 p.m.

"Residue," which was largely shot at a pre-renovation historic home in Fort Conde Village and in other Mobile locations, was directed by Nuon from a script written by Davis and Nuon.

Miller, producer of the film, described the story it tells as "controversial and intriguing" as it deals with the CIA's involvement in Cambodia and then picks up six years later for "the chilling aftermath."

"Residue" is fiction based on history, Miller said. Providing backdrops for the story are the Lon Nol coup d'etat of 1970 and the rule of the Khmer Rouge in 1976.

"We are shedding some light on a part of history that is not taught much, especially in the United States," Miller told the Press-Register.

When the film begins, the war in Vietnam has begun to spread across that country's border with neutral Cambodia. Fearing the spread of communism, Miller explained, the CIA targeted Cambodia for clandestine operations.

The story focuses on a group of 12 secret army Cambodian soldiers trained by the CIA to take out communist Vietnamese targets inside Cambodia in order to make way for a new pro-American government.

But once the coup is successfully executed, one by one each member of this secret team is killed.

Partway through the film, the scene shifts forward six years, with the Khmer Rouge in power and thousands of people dying daily. One young man escapes capture and sets out on his own personal war against those he feels are responsible for what is happening in his country.

"When your country is in peril, what would you do?" asks screenwriter Davis in a media release supporting the film. "How far would you take it? Sometimes you have to do what is best for your country. Sometimes people do terrible, horrific things like fight wars, and take human lives, not because they are necessarily evil people, but because they believe with all their conviction and soul that they are doing the right thing for their families, themselves and for their country."

Director Nuon said the two time periods depicted in "Residue" were "crucial years" when Cambodians hoped and strove for peace only to find their country engulfed in civil war and then genocide.

The director made reference to The Killing Fields, a collective name for a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979.

Nuon said that in the film "the Khmer genocide is like a character in itself, always present, and always looming over the characters haunting them every step of the way."

Miller said that while "Residue" was shortened to meet the submission criteria of the festivals, those who attend the screening in Mobile Sunday may be treated to a longer, 23-minute cut. It is possible, too, that the film will be shown more than once at The Wine Loft on Sunday to accommodate whatever size crowd turns out, the producer said.

"We took some behind-the-scenes footage and pictures," he said. "We'll be showing that, too."

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Cambodia's population approaches 14 million

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's population is approaching 14 million people, more than half of whom are women, according to preliminary results from the first general census, local media reported Thursday.

"According to the preliminary results, the population of Cambodia stood at 13,388,910 at midnight on March 3, 2008, consisting of 6,495,512 males and 6,893,398 females," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who also chairs the National Census Committee, was quoted as saying in the Phnom Penh Post.

The provisional figures at the national level indicate that the total fertility rate and growth rate of the population has slowed down as predicted, he added.

The census also found that while Cambodia remains a largely rural country, more people were living in cities, the newspaper said.

The average household contained 4.7 people, according to census figures.

The projected annual growth rate in 2010 is expected to be 1.54percent, still higher than that of East Asia, which stands at 1.3 percent.
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