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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rock Band Dengue Fever And Wildlife Alliance Partner To Preserve Cambodia's Natural Heritage

WASHINGTON, DC & LOS ANGELES, CA (Top40 Charts/ It's Alive! Media) - Acclaimed Cambodian-American rock band Dengue Fever ( and the non-profit environmental organization Wildlife Alliance ( are pleased to announce the launch of a partnership to preserve Cambodia's natural heritage, including threatened populations of tigers, Asian elephants, and some of the largest tracts of rainforest remaining in Asia.

'We share a common vision,' said Dengue Fever guitarist Zac Holtzman. 'We want to preserve Cambodia's rich cultural heritage, just like Wildlife Alliance is working to protect Cambodia's wildlife species and forests.
By rescuing and caring for wildlife species victimized by illegal trade, preserving habitat and educating and creating jobs for Cambodians, Wildlife Alliance's work is vital to preserving Cambodia's natural legacy for future generations.'

'We hope that this partnership will help all of us who strive to save Cambodia's unique heritage,' said Wildlife Alliance's Director of U.S. Operations, Michael Zwirn. 'Fans of Dengue Fever are naturally drawn to the artistic history of Cambodia, and we want to inform them how they can be involved in saving the country's wildlife and forests alongside its cultural treasures.'

The partnership officially kicks off at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA on Friday, April 17, 2009 during Dengue Fever's North American spring tour. While Dengue Fever perform, Wildlife Alliance will work a booth set up at the venue and educate and inform fans about Cambodian conservation.

Future goals of the partnership include benefit concerts, charity remixes, online commercials, and cross marketing on social networking sites and websites.

Dengue Fever began when keyboardist Ethan Holtzman discovered the traditional Cambodian pop music of the 60's on a trip to Cambodia. Along with lead singer Chhom Nimol, bassist Senon Williams, drummer Paul Smith and David Ralicke on horns, the band perform updated versions of classic Cambodian pop songs as well as a wide variety of new compositions. Since forming in Los Angeles, Dengue Fever has released three acclaimed albums, toured around the globe, and seen increasing attention from Pitchfork Media, the New York Times, National Public Radio and other media. The band's third release, Venus On Earth, was selected as one of the best world music records of 2008 by the iTunes Store while Escape From Dragon House was named Amazon's Best International Release of 2005.

In the documentary film Sleepwalking Through the Mekong, out April 14 on DVD/CD soundtrack via M80 Music, Dengue Fever performs their music in Cambodia as the first Western band to perform Cambodian Khmer rock since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.

Dengue Fever ( is Chhom Nimol - who sang regularly for the King and Queen of Cambodia, Ethan Holtzman (keyboards), Zac Holtzman (guitar), David Ralicke (horns), Senon Williams (bass) and Paul Smith (drums). The band's music has been featured in film and television shows including CITY OF GHOSTS, MUST LOVE DOGS, BROKEN FLOWERS, HBO's hit series TRUE BLOOD and twice on Showtime's WEEDS. They have released three albums: Dengue Fever, Escape From Dragon House, and Venus On Earth; and are set to release their DVD/CD soundtrack to the documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong on April 14, 2009.

Wildlife Alliance is an international non-profit conservation and wildlife protection organization headquartered in Washington, D.C with field offices and partnerships in Cambodia, Thailand and the Russian Far East. Our field staff trains park rangers to prevent poaching and deforestation in protected areas and works with regional law enforcement officials to stop wildlife trafficking and put an end to the illegal wildlife trade. Wildlife Alliance also raises public awareness about environmental issues and supports local communities through sustainable development and alternative livelihoods.
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Scathing media cartoon burns sensitive nerve of Cambodia about ties with Thailand

By Xia Lin

PHNOM PENH, A scathing political cartoon has angered the Cambodian government at this sensitive time of the Cambodian-Thai ties, and pushed the publisher into an awkward situation.

The government is demanding a written explanation for the recently-printed newspaper cartoon depicting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra playing golf together, claiming that it could seriously affect the Cambodian-Thai relations.

"I need (a) written explanation. It's all. But if I don't have any response, then I will decide another step," English-language newspaper the Cambodia Daily on Wednesday quoted Information Minister Khieu Kanharith as saying.

In the hand-drawn picture published by another English-languagedaily newspaper the Phnom Penh Post on April 10, Thaksin shot a mine instead of a ball with his golf pole into the territory of Thailand, saying that "YES, IT'S MINE!!! THEREFORE I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANTN WITH IT..."

Hun Sen, beside Thaksin right outside the borderline of Thailand, said that "BUT... WHAT ARE YOU DOING? IT IS YOUR COUNTRY..."

Khieu Kanharith said that "it is not a problem of offending, but this cartoon came at the time Thailand accused Cambodia of harboring Thaksin."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information issued a press release last week, saying that this cartoon was politically-oriented and would make readers misunderstand the political stance of Cambodia.

Cambodia already spiked the rumor that Thaksin was hidden here, but the cartoon obviously told readers that he was temporarily living in Cambodia, Khieu Kanharith said in the release.

"This came at the most sensitive time, and it is not a joke at all," he said, adding that the Phnom Penh Post should submit its evidence for Thaksin's stay in Cambodia.

By publishing the cartoon, the newspaper had violated an article of the press law prohibiting publication of information inciting discrimination, according to the press release.

Any media should be objective and neutral in its reporting, it added.

In the mean time, Michel Dauguet, CEO of the Post Media Co. which started to publish the Phnom Penh Post as daily paper last year, issued a statement to clarify that "our editorial cartoon does not imply that Mr. Thaksin is living or has taken residence in Cambodia."

Thaksin was represented in unspecified space outside Thailand, symbolizing his exile, and exacerbating tensions at home, he said.

"The fact that some people may have interpreted that this editorial cartoon gives credit to the absurd theory of Thaksin's presence in Cambodia is an unfortunate misunderstanding," he added.

In early April, spokesman of the Cambodian Council of Ministers Phay Siphan told reporters that "Thaksin actually didn't have any presence in our country."

For anything that he did, Thaksin could observe his own country's law and the international law, he added.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya once told reporters that the bilateral ties between Thailand and Cambodia could be affected adversely, if the ousted former premier were allowed to launch political attacks from Cambodia.

Days of demonstrations by the opposition force have led to serious instability in Thailand. The Thai criminal court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for 14 protest leaders including ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Besides, Cambodia and Thailand still have decades-old border disputes to settle. However, two heavy armed clashes between both troops in early April just have aggravated the tension at the border area.
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