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Saturday, August 28, 2010

President Triet meets Cambodia’s King Norodom in Phnom Penh

VietNamNet Bridge - President Nguyen Minh Triet and Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday agreed that the two countries should continue holding high-ranking meetings to further foster the expansion of multi-faceted co-operation.

They also applauded efforts by the two Governments to effectively implement previously signed agreements.

The two leaders met in Phnom Penh during Triet’s official visit to Cambodia which began on Thursday and ends today.

Welcoming Triet and his wife to Cambodia, King Norodom Sihamoni said the visit was an important event that would create strong motivation to bolster traditional ties and comprehensive co-operation between Viet Nam and Cambodia in the coming time.

He expressed his gratitude for the support given by Viet Nam’s leaders and people to Cambodia in the past as well as to the country’s current recovery and development.

The King said he was impressed with Viet Nam’s achievements in building and developing the country and highly valued Viet Nam’s position in the region and in the world.

While affirming that Cambodia would always be a good neighbour to Viet Nam, he asserted his determination to cultivate the fine traditional and comprehensive relations between the two countries.

He also wished that Viet Nam, under the leadership of the Communist Party and State, would continue to gain more achievements in its national construction and development.

President Nguyen Minh Triet thanked the King for his warm welcome, saying that he highly valued the achievements gained by Cambodia under the King’s rule and the leadership of the Royal Government. Triet applauded Cambodia’s increasingly higher position in the region and in the world.

He also expressed his deep gratitude to Cambodia for its support to Viet Nam during the country’s struggle for liberation and unification in the past and construction and defence at present, and for the support the government gives to Vietnamese people who are living in Cambodia.

Triet affirmed Viet Nam’s policy to prioritise building and developing relations with Cambodia and conveyed his greetings to former King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Mother Norodom Moninieth Sihanouk.

Triet donated VND8 billion (US$410,000) and 50 computers to King Norodom Sihamoni for the Cambodian Royal Fund.

Building achievements

Also on the same day, Triet met separately with Samdech Sisowath Chivanmoniral, first vice president of the senate of Cambodia; Ngoun Nhel, acting president of the Cambodian National Assembly; and Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

At the meetings, Triet said Viet Nam was always willing to share its experience and co-operate with Cambodia for mutual interest and benefit. Viet Nam would do its best to ensure the fine co-operation between the two countries could contribute to ASEAN unity.

In the coming period, he said, the two countries needed to strengthen co-operation mechanisms between policy-making and executive bodies, organisations and especially bordering provinces.

Triet suggested the two sides foster ties in specific industries, including national security and defence, trade and commerce, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture, transport, mineral exploitation, oil and gas, education, healthcare, and tourism.

He also said the Royal Government should instruct relevant bodies to foster land border demarcation works to be completed by the end of 2010 as agreed.

Leaders of Cambodian Senate, NA and Royal Government expressed their deep gratitude for Viet Nam’s support, particularly in saving Cambodia from genocide.

Triet also visited Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong at Wat Ounalom and Great Supreme Patriarch Bou Kry at Wat Botum.

Source: VNS
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Cambodian girl with swollen arm arrives in Taiwan for operation

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) A two-year-old Cambodian girl suffering from massive swelling in her right arm arrived at Taichung Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) in central Taiwan Saturday for treatment.

Reachny Mich, whose condition has been described as having an "elephant arm, " was discovered by a Taiwanese medical team when it was in Cambodia in April to provide local residents free medical services.

She then obtained the promise of Taiwan government's to treat her after Yu Tsi-hsun, a volunteer on the medical team, made repeated appeals on her behalf.

Following the hospital's initial examination of the girl Saturday, pediatric hematologist Chang Teh-kao said Mich's blood pressure, heartbeat and body temperature all appeared normal, but he feared that her disorder was far more "complicated" than originally thought.

Chang said Mich's right arm appears to be four to five times bigger than her left arm, possibly caused by the abnormal growth of blood vessels or bones.

"It is rare to see such a deformation of blood vessels, " he said.

Earlier in the day after the girl, her mother and Yu arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Yu said Mich's mother was worried about the operation facing her daughter but also trusted Taiwan's doctors and felt grateful for their help.

A special team of pediatricians from different departments convened by Lee San-kang, deputy superintendent of the hospital, has been assembled to perform the surgery. (By Lee Chun-chin, Hau Hsue-chin and Elizabeth Hsu) enditem/ls
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Group including former refugees take part in mission trip to Cambodia

From left, Mary Hensley, Pastor Sam Duong with his son, Calvin, Vanny S. Sap and Docnga Sap talk about their trip to Cambodia.

By Kim Kimzey

Docnga Sap of Wellford fled Cambodia’s “killing fields” more than 30 years ago.

For five months, he sought refuge at a camp in Thailand. Sap noticed that hundreds of children in the camp received meals each morning.

“I ask somebody, ‘Who is the rich man to feed the children every day?’ ”

The person responded “Jesus.”

Sap noticed how some people treated the refugees with kindness. He questioned why they were kind. Someone told him “Jesus.”

Sap converted to Christianity in that refugee camp. He also lived at a camp in the Philippines before he and his wife, Vanny, arrived in the United States in 1980. They lived in California for 16 years before moving here.

Sap had not walked on Cambodian soil in 31 years. And it had been 40 years since he last saw his home village of Pong Tuk. Sap longed to return there, help the villagers and share the gospel.

Sap was able to realize his vision last month. He and Vanny journeyed to Cambodia with a small mission team organized by the Rev. Sam Duong, pastor of the Cambodian Ministry in Spartanburg.

Duong also survived the Khmer Rough regime. He fled Cambodia to Vietnam. He returned to Cambodia, but later left for Thailand and eventually the Philippines. Like Sap, Duong converted to Christianity in a Thai refugee camp.

Duong now lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is pastor of two churches, including a church in Greensboro, N.C., and the Cambodian Ministry sponsored by United Baptist Church in Spartanburg. The Cambodian Ministry is the only Cambodian-language Southern Baptist church in South Carolina.

Both churches collected money and assisted the mission team in their trek to Cambodia.

The team consisted of Duong, Docnga and Vanny Sap, Chenda Mroek, a member of the church in Greensboro, and Mary Hensley of Spartanburg.

They left for Cambodia on July 8 and flew into Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. They spent 14 days in Cambodia, visiting congregations (including a church outside Phnom Penh that Duong helped establish several years ago), and leading worship services, baptizing believers and helping poor villagers.

It took six hours for the mission team to travel from Phnom Penh to Siemreab and another three hours on bumpy, dusty roads from Siemreab to Sap’s home village.

They were overwhelmed by the reception they received. More than 100 villagers gathered to welcome them. Sap was moved to tears and unable to speak.

“The whole town welcomed us,” Sap recalled. “But one lady ask me, ‘What do you bring with you?’ ” He replied, “I bring the good news from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Weeks before the trip, Sap learned his son Putheavy, who lives in Cambodia, had converted to Christianity. Sap considers this a miracle.

Putheavy and six others were baptized during one service while the mission team was in Cambodia. More than 100 people also were baptized at a mass baptism. Because of limited transportation, Duong had to limit the number of baptisms. The converted crowded into beds and atop roofs of pickup trucks before setting out for a lake to be baptized. Hensley counted 27 people on a van for 15 passengers. Duong, with assistance from several other pastors, performed baptisms.

Duong said it was very hard to be separated from his wife and three young children. It brought a greater realization to the sacrifices made by missionaries like those who introduced him to his faith in a Thai refugee camp all those years ago.

The mission team’s days were long. Members were so busy making plans and working that they often fell asleep after midnight and arose at 6 a.m.

Money raised by the team’s churches was used to dig a pond to provide water to villagers in Pong Tuk. Property was donated for a church site, and 15 Bibles and five hymnals were purchased. Pigs and chickens were bought for the village. One Cambodian church received rice to feed hungry families. Gate City Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., also bought a farm tractor for a Cambodian church.

United Baptist Church members collected vitamins and over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers, distributed to Cambodians on the mission trip.

Mary Hensley coordinates the Cambodian Ministry at United Baptist Church. She has been involved with the ministry since it began 15 years ago.

“We started by having fellowships once a year where we would invite the people to come,” Hensley said.

In 1999, a lay pastor from Atlanta began coming twice a month to lead the Cambodian congregation in worship. Hensley said they had about 11 members when that pastor left in 2005. Duong became pastor in October 2007. The Cambodian Ministry has grown since Duong’s arrival. Duong baptized about 70 people in less than a year and more are awaiting baptism, Hensley said.

Hensley said the Spartanburg church has more than 70 members. Average attendance was 35 to 40 but declined during their absence on the mission trip.

Members of the mission team hope to return to Cambodia in November 2011.
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Vietnam to release more than 17,000 prisoners

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam's president has ordered more than 17,000 prisoners freed as part of the country's annual National Day amnesty, officials said Saturday.

Twenty of those to be released have been charged with national security crimes, but no high-profile pro-democracy dissidents were included. Several were ethnic minorities from the restive Central Highlands bordering Cambodia.

Vietnam has been criticized by the United States and European Union for jailing political and religious dissidents. The Communist county does not tolerate any form of protest and often uses national security laws to convict those deemed a threat.

Of the 17,210 inmates being freed, 37 are foreigners from a number of countries, including France, the United States and Canada. The release will begin Sunday to commemorate National Day on Sept. 2. Read more!