The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Second group of suspects in fraud case set to arrive

A group of 100 Taiwanese suspected of fraud will be flown home from Indonesia today in a second round of repatriations following a massive cross-border criminal crackdown, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said yesterday.

The 100 suspects, who were rounded up in Indonesia during the past three months in a massive six-country operation against telecommunications and Internet scams, will be repatriated on a China Airlines chartered plane, the bureau said.

On Saturday, a group of 122 Taiwanese fraud suspects was returned to Taipei from Macau on a private EVA Airways flight.

This second group of suspects was arrested in Cambodia in a joint regional crime-fighting operation, code named “0310,” in which a total of 598 suspects, including 410 Taiwanese and 181 Chinese nationals, were arrested.

Saturday’s repatriations marked the first time in Taiwan’s crime-fighting history that a chartered plane was used to transport suspected criminals.

The bureau sent 60 detectives to escort the 122 suspects from Macau. After the suspects arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Saturday, another 40 police officers were dispatched to escort them to Greater Taichung for questioning.

In the “0310” operation, launched on March 10, Taiwanese and Chinese suspects who allegedly used “call centers” to exploit their compatriots were tracked and arrested.

The fraud rings were originally based in coastal cities in Taiwan and China, but they moved their operations to Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia after law enforcement authorities from both sides of the Taiwan Strait strengthened their efforts during the past two years to track them down.

Taiwan mobilized more than 800 police officers to join the regional crackdown on the scams.
Read more!

Cambodia child labor campaign draws hundreds

Young Cambodian girls collect recyclable bottles and cans yesterday on a street in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Hundreds of Cambodian school children marched through the country’s capital yesterday to mark the World Day Against Child Labor, waving banners calling for an end to the widespread practice.

The demonstration was organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Cambodian government, who have set a goal of ending the worst forms of child labor in the country by 2016.

They also announced the launch of an ambitious program to rid Phnom Penh’s popular riverside area of child workers by this time next year.

Menacherry Paul Joseph, head of the ILO’s anti-child labor program in Cambodia, said it was “a shame” that young children could be seen begging or selling books and souvenirs to tourists until late at night.

“Cambodia is truly a kingdom of wonder. Let us make it a kingdom without child labor,” he said at the rally, where demonstrators waved banners saying: “Warning! Children in hazardous work — End child labor.”

According to the ILO, about 1.5 million Cambodians under the age of 18 are forced to work, more than 310,000 of them in hazardous jobs such as spraying pesticides or working in brick factories.

Ten-year-old child worker Soth Ousphea, watching the rally, said his mother could not afford to send him to school, and instead he earned about US$0.50 a day collecting plastic bottles and cans.

“I want to go to school,” he said.

Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries, with around a third of its 14 million people living on less than US$1 a day.
Read more!

Temples treasured by Cambodian Saints

By Kristine Frederickson, For Mormon Times

Seiha sat in his rented house in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, eager to talk with fellow LDS Church members, Chelsea and Tiffany, who were in Cambodia from Utah for one month to work in orphanages teaching English and helping the people in any way they could.

Seiha, his mother, older sister, her husband, their son and Seiha’s cousin/adopted sister, all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, share a small, wooden-planked, one-room house that sits on stilts over murky water filled with refuse in a poor part of the capital of Cambodia. A Third-World country, Cambodia is recovering from the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge — the Communist party of Kampuchea — in power from 1975-1979, responsible for a genocide that left 1.7 to 2.5 million people dead and depleted the nation’s population by 21 percent.

A guide for Global Outreach Foundation, an organization that sponsors Americans who go to Third-World countries to help improve people’s lives, Seiha, his sister and brother-in-law are all returned missionaries. Once young people convert, it is their hearts' desire to serve missions, and without fail every LDS young woman Chelsea and Tiffany met was a returned missionary.

This day, as always, Seiha was eager to talk about the church and especially about temples. In Cambodia today, the LDS Church is seeing great success. In Phnom Penh alone there are four branches, and missionaries are not only baptizing individuals, but they are seeing whole families join the church. There are about 10 baptisms per week in the capital, and each ward has three sets of busy missionaries.

Tiffany and Chelsea noted that the Cambodian people, since Pol Pot, innately care for one another. The brutality of the Khmer Rouge left the nation shattered. And while there are still individuals who were part of the regime and remain brutal and callous to human misery and suffering — sexual trafficking in women and children is a serious problem in Cambodia — the majority of the people were victims of the Communists. As society rebounded from the horrors perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge, the way people treated each other changed. They are more caring; they cherish relationships and look out for one another.

It's no surprise that when Seiha talked to Tiffany and Chelsea, he wanted to learn all he could about the Mormon church in the United States and to talk about temples. Seiha explained the sacrifice required for a person to attend the temple, as the closest temples are in Korea (1,100 miles away) and the Philippines (2,256 miles). On average, it takes three years to save the $600 to go to the temple, and many never have the privilege. Yet the desire is great because so many long to make eternal covenants and to do work for loved ones who died under the Khmer Rouge.

When someone is able to go, upon returning, virtually the entire three-hour block of Sunday meetings is altered so temple attendees can share their experiences. A recently returned Cambodian sister described the temple as the “most peaceful place on earth.” Often overcome with emotion, she explained that for three days she was in the Philippines doing baptisms, initiatory work, sealings and endowments. She eagerly entered the temple when the doors were first unlocked and stayed until they shut, never taking time from her precious experience to eat until the temple closed. She expressed the joy she felt when sealed to relatives who lost their lives under the Khmer Rouge. Seiha stated that every general conference the Cambodian Saints eagerly listen to the announcement of new temples, hoping that someday soon one will be built in Southeast Asia.

It is hard for Seiha to believe that in Utah there are so many temples, yet “not everyone who is Mormon acts Mormon.” Aware that temples dot the Wasatch Front, he told Chelsea and Tiffany, “Sisters, I don’t understand that some people do bad. Don’t they see temples all around them? How could they do bad?”

Chelsea and Tiffany were also struck by the fact that although the Cambodian people have little, and the orphanages are packed with children who have virtually nothing, the people are happy. They smile and laugh and appreciate what they have.

Being a member of an international church, it is lovely to observe the faith of converts throughout the world who do not take their membership in Christ’s church lightly. In Cambodia, the Saints appreciate their baptismal covenants, treasure temples and understand that true joy lies in knowing Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. They understand that it is a great privilege to make covenants with God and to worship in the temple.
Read more!