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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holy Jolie: Cambodian temple takes Angelina's name

It is regretable and sad to hear the name of Ta Prom Temple had changed to Angelina Jolie Temple. Ta Prom Temple were built by our Cambodian warior kings and heroes. The Ta Prom Temple is the thousand years history of Khmer Empire, the Temple is representing million Khmer people and culture. Agelina Jolie is just actress, she had no credit for this Temple or our ancestors. The Ta Prom Temple and Khmer cultures are not for Jokes and laughting at in any form.

Hindu leader says locals now call 12th-century site the 'Angelina Jolie Temple' following 2000 shooting of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Name drop ... the temple at Ta Prohm – now commonly referred to as the 'Angelina Jolie Temple', according to a local religious leader. Photograph: Alamy

filming location but the people of Cambodia, where she shot Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2000, are said to have renamed a temple after her.

Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, told the WENN news agency that the star is so beloved in Cambodia a world-famous Hindu religious site in Angkor has been renamed the "Angelina Jolie Temple".

"It's a 12th-century site called Ta Prohm; it is otherwise known as Old Brahma and was initially named Rajavihara or the royal monastery," he said. "Now it's popularly called the Angelina Jolie Temple."

The building was the setting for various scenes in Tomb Raider – in which Jolie, as Lara Croft, battled a secret society called the Illuminati for possession of an ancient talisman. Today, local restaurants sell a Tomb Raider cocktail (Cointreau, lime and soda – said to be Jolie's tipple of choice). Meanwhile, the actor's son Maddox was born in the Siem Reap province in which the temple complex is located.

Jolie's unofficial honour appeared to come with responsibilities, as Zed called on the actor to use her public profile and her status as "the patron saint of Cambodia" to help conserve the site. He added: "I'd urge Angelina Jolie to raise awareness about better preservation of this world heritage, as more needs to be done to safeguard the temple complex and its surroundings [and] save it from vandalism and looting."
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Valley business aids one of CNN's ‘Heroes'

And tonight when CNN televises its “Top 10 Heroes,” Debby Alexander, proprietor of Peabody's CafĂ© & Bar, will quietly celebrate the good works of Aki Ra and the role the Palm Springs restaurant played to help his cause.

Ra, a former child soldier for the Khmer Rouge, has dedicated his life to detonating and dismantling the landmines he once placed in Cambodia.

For Alexander's part, Peabody's held three separate fundraising events — at which Cambodian art and donated items from Palm Springs businesses and small hotels were sold — with longtime customer Bill Morse to raise $22,000 for the landmine relief fund.

When CNN taped its all-star annual tribute in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Alexander was one of 13 people to get an invitation from Ra and Morse to attend the red carpet event featuring Jessica Alba, Renee Zellweger, Marisa Tormei, Aaron Eckhart, Demi Moore and Halle Berry as presenters.

“It was a real thrill,'' she said.

“When Renee Zellweger came out and introduced Aki, he spoke before this big crowd with limited English,'' Alexander said.

“He spoke about his wife dying last year, and how much she had helped him. It got emotional.”

Alexander was able to see Morse for a few minutes as well.

He and his wife, Jill, moved to Siem Reap, Cambodia, last year to help Ra get international certification and a license from the Cambodian government to legally remove landmines that once were deactivated with a stick.

Morse also helped Ra get a $100,000 grant to buy a truck and assemble a rapid response team that can respond to villagers who find mines.

Ra, who sometimes placed up to 1,000 landmines a day in the 1980s, has not only cleared more than 50,000 of the estimated 6 million explosives the war left behind. Ra has also cared for dozens of children who have been maimed by mines.

“I got to see Bill for a minute before he and Aki Ra flew back to Cambodia,'' Alexander said.

“I got to meet other people who have helped the landmine relief fund. While at the taping, I also got to meet Richard Fatoussi, who is making a film about Ra.”

Alexander said that film, “The Perfect Soldier,'' has just been presented to judges of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The CNN show will be televised at 5 p.m. today.

Peabody's Cafe, 134 S. Palm Canyon Drive, will be closed tonight for the holiday and this simple reason: Alexander has a date with the TV.
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Questions Remain in Cambodia Crush

By Set Mydans

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — More than two days after hundreds of people died in a huge, tightly jammed crowd on the last night of a water festival, both the cause and the death toll remained unclear on Thursday.

Most of the victims were caught in a crush on a small bridge. Rather than being trampled, the victims suffocated or were crushed to death by a dense, immobile crowd in which some people were trapped for hours.

Various officials gave different counts of the death toll, whichmay not include victims who drowned or were taken from the scene.

On Wednesday, the government said at least 350 people had died and 400 were injured. But among other tallies on Thursday, the Phnom Penh Post newspaper, citing government sources, said the death toll had climbed to 456.

As grief and shock turned to demands for explanations, questions grew on Thursday over the cause of the crush, over the response by the police and over the city’s readiness to handle an influx of as many as 3 million people for the festival.

A preliminary government investigation reported that the mostly rural holiday-goers panicked when the suspension bridge began to sway slightly under the weight of the crowd.

This conformed with a report by a military police investigator, Sawannara Chendamirie, who said on the morning after the disaster that survivors told him there had been shouts that the bridge was collapsing.

There have been reports, beginning immediately after the disaster, that some people were electrocuted, possibly by strings of lights on the fretwork of the bridge. Some reports said the police fired water hoses at the crowd that might have contributed to this.But doctors at Calmette Hospital, the city’s main hospital, said they had seen no sign of electrocution among either the injured or the dead. They said this absence of evidence did not rule out the possibility, but they said most of the injured had suffered from the squeezing of the packed crowd. Some patients at the hospital said they had been unable to breathe and had passed out.

The police came under criticism for a failure of crowd management and for an inadequate and incompetent response to the disaster. One officer said only half the officially reported number of police were actually deployed. Badly injured survivors reported being dumped into vehicles together with the dead.

The government did quickly mobilize help for relatives of victims, many of whom traveled from distant provinces to claim the dead. Tables were set up near a makeshift morgue to confirm identities. Military trucks offered transportation home for coffins and family members. The morgue was all but cleared within a day, although some people wandered the hospital grounds holding snapshots of missing relatives.

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission issued a report that documented the questions and criticisms.

“While the exact cause of the stampede last night remains unclear, with contradictory reports indicating it may have been instigated by either crowd antics or poor construction of the bridge to Koh Pich island, the failure of the state to control the crowd and limit the damage from the stampede is clear,” the report said.

“It is clear, too, that Phnom Penh was unprepared for any large-scale disaster,” the report said. “Responses by police and military were lacking and may even have contributed to the stampede while hospitals were overwhelmed. Emergency and medical personnel resorted to piling bodies together, covering them with mats or sheets.”
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