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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cambodian minister hospitalised

BANGKOK - CAMBODIA'S Defence Minister Tea Banh was hospitalised in Thailand on Saturday because of pains caused by gallstones, Thai officials said.

Mr Tea Banh is expected to stay at a Bangkok hospital for one or two days, Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon told AFP, adding that his condition was not serious.

He was in Thailand to attend a meeting on border relations in the coastal resort city of Pattaya, about a two-hour drive from Bangkok, at which the two nations agreed to boost cooperation on migration and landmine removal.

According to the Thai government-owned news website MCOT, Mr Tea Banh began suffering pain after playing a round of golf on Friday but continued with the meeting. -- AFP
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Benefit dinner to support Cambridge School in Cambodia Nov. 7

Cambridge — Coming up on Sunday, Nov. 7 is a benefit dinner to support the Cambridge School in Cambodia. The Cambridge School in Cambodia is a school near Phnom Penh in Cambodia that was built by the Cambridge for Cambodia organization, a volunteer group of Cambridge students and citizens. Three years ago, our community raised $24,000 to build a school in rural Cambodia. This number is made even more significant by the fact that this money came from the Cambridge community. Penny drives, bake sales, an online auction, a film benefit at Harvard, and benefit dinners at The Elephant Walk restaurant raised this large sum. And now, the Cambridge School in Cambodia exists in the village of Kauk Rovieng in Cambodia. Last February, 13 Cambridge citizens, including two teachers and eight students from our high school and middle schools (including myself) travelled to the school for the official dedication. We brought the students supplies – among them the ever-popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone translated into Khmer. We received a very big welcome by the entire village and learned a tremendous amount.

On Sunday Nov. 7, we will be holding another benefit dinner at The Cambridge Elephant Walk restaurant. All money raised from the ticket sales will go towards the funds needed each year to support the high tech education that includes instruction with two desktop computers that have internet access. The money is donated to our school through the American Assistance for Cambodia – the same non-profit organization that built our school and more than 450 other schools in Cambodia. The Cambridge for Cambodia organization also aims to raise enough funds to purchase two more computers for the Cambridge School, as well as the solar panels needed to power them. Our goal is to not only bring education to the village of Kauk Rovieng, but also technological advancements.

Last February during school break, a group of us travelled to Cambodia. We delivered medical supplies to local hospitals, visited the school, and met with local advocates working to address important social issues existing in Cambodia today. Among them was, Somaly Mam, known world-wide for her fight against the sex trade industry. Students from this trip, including myself will be there at the event on November 7th to share our stories with those who attend. We will also have a film and slide shows from our amazing journey.

It is our hope that people in the Cambridge community will join us again to support our school in Cambodia. Tickets for the event can be bought online at We are grateful to the many Cambridge businesses who have joined in our efforts to create this school in Cambodia. We’ve learned a lot from our travels and benefited along with the Cambodian students. If you want to learn more about our volunteer project, please visit our website: The Elephant Walk restaurant is providing a delicious traditional Cambodian meal for our benefit. We hope to see you there!

Lucy Flamm is currently senior at The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge.

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Cambodian bomb and landmine casualties up 11 per cent this year

Phnom Penh - The Cambodian authorities said 223 people have been killed or injured during the first nine months of this year by landmines and other explosives left over from war, an increase of 11 per cent from the same period last year.

Figures released by the Cambodia Mines/ERW Victim Information System showed landmines killed or injured 98 people, while 125 fell victim to other unexploded ordnance.

The organization distinguishes between landmines and other explosive remnants of war due to the different approaches required to deal with distinct types of weapons still present in the countryside.

Of the 223 victims, the report said 49 people died, another 39 lost limbs, with the remainder suffering other injuries.

In one of the worst incidents, a farmer and three friends were killed in August when a rocket-propelled grenade he was using as a comedy microphone exploded after he threw it to the floor at the end of his song. Three others were injured.

More than 60 per cent of casualties this year were men, most of whom were harmed by landmines. Boys comprise another quarter of victims, but most of them fell victim to unexploded ordnance used as toys.

Decades of conflict left unexploded ordnance that remains a serious risk in some areas of Cambodia, one of the most heavily mined nations in the world. More than half of this year's incidents took place in the far western region.

The latest figures raised to 63,743 the number of people killed or injured in Cambodia by ordnance since the ouster of the Khmer Rouge government in 1979
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