|Written by Christopher Shay|
| Tuesday, 30 September 2008 |
Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post
Two rights groups last week identified a worsening pattern of intimidation against activists in which the justice system is used as a tool of persecution
An intensifying pattern of intimidation among local human rights activists, in which the criminal justice system is used as a tool for the rich and powerful to threaten any who oppose them, was identified by two independent briefing papers released last week by local and international rights groups.
The government is failing to protect its citizens from such attacks despite the fact that in frequency and strength, the persecution is getting worse, both reports say.
In an attempt to draw attention to the mounting crisis, local rights group Licadho, in its report "Attacks and Threats Against Human Rights Defenders in Cambodia 2007", highlights some of the worst abuses against rights defenders.
They describe the plight of Khmer Krom monks, and in particular that of Tim Sokhorn, whose efforts to protest an ambiguous citizenship status at home and support of his ethnic counterparts in Vietnam led to his arrest and deportation to Vietnam where he remains under house arrest.
Not quite citizens
Jason Barber, an advocacy consultant at Licadho, told the Post: "Cambodia considers them [Khmer Krom] Cambodian citizens ... but they would certainly dispute they're treated the same as other Cambodian citizens."
Amnesty International's (AI) report "Cambodia: A Risky Business - Defending the Right to Housing" documents a growing trend in which the Kingdom's rich and the powerful are "increasingly using their leverage to silence their adversaries through the criminal justice system".
ARRESTING ONE MAN IS TO THREATEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
Nowhere is this more evident, according to AI, than in the issue of land rights, where some 150,000 Cambodians are currently at risk of forced eviction.
According to research from the local rights group Adhoc, arrests of land activists have almost doubled from 78 in 2006 to 149 in 2007.
"The rapid increase in the number of peaceful land activists in prison is a serious concern in its own right. But every imprisoned human rights defender becomes a tool for intimidation of other activists," Brittis Edman, AI's Cambodia researcher, said in a statement on Friday.
Rights organisations argue that cases like Chhea Ny's harsh imprisonment and Tim Sakhorn's deportation have an impact beyond the individuals and communities immediately involved.
Chhea Ny's wife, Oeun Sarim, told AI: "The case against Chhea Ny was an attack against the minds of people in all 21 provinces who share the same problems, to scare them. Arresting one man is to threaten hundreds of thousands of people, scaring them from struggling and advocating.... I see this as an injustice for the Cambodian people."
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008
Los Angeles-based Cambodian-American rock outfit Dengue Fever continues to heat up the road with a schedule that will see the band on stages in the U.S. and abroad through the end of the year.
The next phase of Dengue Fever's world domination plan launches October 1 at The Barn in Riverside, Calif., and includes shows up and down the West Coast, with stops scheduled at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco (October 17), Aladdin Theater in Portland, Ore. (October 20), Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver (October 22), and The Loft in La Jolla, Calif. (October 25).
In November, the band will head back overseas, where they've been wildly well-received at festivals and headlining gigs this year, for shows in Turkey, Ireland and the U.K., hitting Nottingham, Glasgow, Leicester, Salisbury, London and Windsor.
Finally, it's back to the States for a few more West Coast dates, including December 4 at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and December 24 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Tickets for a few shows are available at Ticketmaster.com.
When Ethan and Zac Holtzman came up with the idea for Dengue Fever in 2001, they encountered numerous obstacles, including finding a singer up to the task.
The brothers made a frantic phone call to friend Senon Williams, who'd been to Cambodia in 1995 and was familiar with the music.
"They said, 'Senon we have a bunch of Cambodian singers lined up. Can you figure out these songs and play bass?,'" Williams told Pollstar. "They had Paul [Smith] on drums, so they had guitar, keyboards and drums, but no bass player."
Williams stayed up all night learning songs from the CDs the siblings dropped off, with no real intention of becoming part of the band.
"The next day we go down to Long Beach and about six or seven singers are there," Williams said. "And it was a nightmare. None of the singers could sing. After that rehearsal, I was like 'I don't know guys. This is going to be pretty tough.'"
The Holtzmans had one more singer on their list, Chhom Nimol. Several of the other singers auditioning told them it was unlikely she'd show, since she was a star in her own right already in Cambodia, a fact unknown to the brothers.
"But when she showed up and started singing, we'd found our singer," Williams said. "All we had to do was convince her that we were a worthwhile bunch of scruffy American guys to hang out with."
Nimol wasn't the only one who needed convincing; the industry didn't exactly beat a path to Dengue Fever's door. That didn't deter Williams or the rest of the band, now complete with sax player David Ralicke.
Without an agent, manager or record, the group quickly gained a following on the strength of its live shows, which at first consisted mainly of Khmer covers sung in Cambodian.
With all the pieces in place, including an agent and a manager who started out as the band's publicist, things really took off for Dengue Fever, which has become a fixture not only on the festival scene and in indie rock clubs, but at more unusual venues like museums and cultural centers.
The most recent off-the-beaten-path place the group has showed up is the new HBO series "True Blood." Well, its music did anyway.
The September 28 episode of the Louisiana-based vampire drama not only used the title track from the band's sophomore release Escape From Dragon House in a key scene, it borrowed the title as well. - Jim Otey
King Sisowath's 1906 protest letter to the French colonial Governor regarding the illegal occupation of Khmer territories by Siam
Our sincere thanks to Bora Touch, Esq. for pointing out this important historic letter
to the French Colonial Governor in Cambodia
(5 November 1906)
Kingdom of Cambodia
Office of the King
H.M. Preah Bat Samdech Preah SISOWATH Cham-Chakrapong Hakrireach Barminthor Phuvanay Kraykeofa Soulalay Preah Chao Krong Kampuchea Thippadey, King of Cambodia
To the Governor of the French Republic in Cambodia,
At a time when France, our benefactor, is busy with the delimitation of the border of Cambodia with the former Cambodian provinces abducted by Siam, I believe that it is my duty to send you the following observations and reservations, and I am also asking you to please let these be known, at an opportune time, to the delimitation Commission which will start its works and submit them to the Government of the (French) Republic. My delegates within this Commission are also in charge of supporting the same demands in front of the Commission.
1- In reality and incontestably, the cession to Siam by France of the former Khmer provinces which have just been re-attached to Cambodia – such as Stung Treng, Tonle Ropov, M’lou Prey, Krat and Koh Kong – cannot provide legitimate satisfaction to Cambodians given the circumstances in which the Siamese occupied these territories by force and by hypocrisy during the time when Cambodia was at the mercy of Annam (Vietnam) and Siam. By returning back these provinces (to Cambodia), the Siamese are only divesting what they took and detained against all rights of the people [of Cambodia], and that they do not want to keep them much longer because the lack of importance of these districts cannot compensate their costs of their exploitation, administration and maintenance.
2- We insist on the former natural limits of the Khmer Kingdom which, prior to the Siamese invasion, included on Siam’s side the provinces of Battambang, Siem Reap, Stung Treng, Tonle Ropov, M’lou Prey, Kuckhan [currently known as Sisaket], Prey Sar, Soren [Surin], Sankeac [Sangka], Neang Rong, Nokoreach Seima (Korat), beyond the Phnom Dangrek Mountain, Koh Kong, Krat and Chantabor (Chantaboun [Chantaburi]) touching upon Bacnam and the Kingdom of Champassac (Passac).
All these provinces are still populated by Cambodians and they preserve their absolute Khmer patriotism.
3- The richest provinces of Cambodia are precisely Battambang and Siem Reap; in the latter province, (temple) ruins of our Kingdom old powerful capital still subsist, they are shining proof of the magnificence of our ancestors. These two provinces, just like the others, were never given to Siam by any of my predecessors, and our claims in view of their return back to Cambodia have never ceased and will never cease as long as we do not receive satisfaction in this regard. Our past numerous claims are testimonials to this effect.
Independently to all historical justifications which confirm our rights on these two provinces, the 15 July 1867 Treaty concluded between France and Siam mentioned that the December 1863 Treaty, allegedly concluded between the Kingdoms of Cambodia and Siam, was annulled and that Siam renounces forever all vassalage from the part of Cambodia. Therefore, this clause completely disengaged Siam from the Khmer Kingdom, which, by this treaty, should recover all her territorial integrity, and if the then-French diplomats – through Article 4 of this same 15 July 1867 treaty – consented, without consulting the Cambodian Government or the Cochinchina Governor, that the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap remained with Siam, they were absolutely being cheated by the Siamese in their persuasion of the existence of an alleged treaty unknown to the Cambodians, and within Siam’s rights and value of these territories. I am adding, that to my knowledge, this alleged treaty concluded on December 1863 between Cambodia and Siam never regularly existed and that it is only fair to provide us with satisfaction. In fact, in spite of our profound and sincere gratitude towards the protectorate Government, we cannot prevent ourselves from wondering whether such diplomatic action to get rid of our assets, behind our back and without our consent, could last.
In all cases and irrespective of the results of the works [accomplished] by the current Commission, and the ulterior diplomatic actions regarding our borders with Siam, not including the cession by Cambodia of her valuable provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap – along with all its dependences –, we are asking to reserve forever, for us and all our successors, the right to prevail our demands until full justice and satisfaction are given to us.
These are, Mr. Governor, the observations and the reservations that I make it as my duty to send to you, while assuring you that they perfectly represent the unanimous feelings of my Government and those of my people. Beyond our strong attachment to these provinces – the irregular detention of which is a real heartache for all the Cambodian people – you are aware of all the difficulties resulting from this detention that our neighbors are continuously creating through the encroachments of our territory, the robberies, the plundering actions and the daily crimes committed in our country by perpetrators who can easily find refuge on their side where they remained unpunished. These acts are actually taking place as they have been proven by the reports from your [French provincial] Governors and our provincial Governors. I believe that this situation which is absolutely prejudicial to all public security principle will become worst as long as the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap, the most contiguous ones to Cambodia, are not returned to us.
Please accept, Mr. Governor, the assurance of my highest regards.
Done in our Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on Monday, the 4th day of the waning moon of the 2nd month of the Cholasakrach 1268, of the year of the Momi (Horse) Atthasak, the third of the reign, i.e. the 5th of November 1906 of the Christian calendar.
Copy: The Cabinet Chief
| By Kong Sothanarith, VOA Khmer |
Original report from Oddar Meanchey province
29 September 2008
If one wants to visit two of the oldest Khmer temples in
The temples stand in the
Access difficulties to Ta Moan and Ta Krabey have left them abandoned by local tourists and, until recently, troops.
The temples, surrounded by thick, natural jungle, have been occupied by Thai troops and are a potential flashpoint in the military standoff that started at Preah Vihear temple, more than 100 kilometers to the east, in July.
From Anlong Veng, one must travel at least five hours by motorcycle over 130 kilometers of muddy road, to a crossroad that separates Ta Moan and Ta Krabey. The road is cut off by muddy streams in at least five places. To overcome these obstacles, entrepreneurs with four-wheeled tractors or hand-held walking tractors assist travelers, for a fee.
In one submerged stretch of road, a giant boulder protrudes. The engine driver takes 50 baht, or $1.25, to be a ferryman, and the tractors, which pull vehicles by chain, cost 100 baht, or $2.50.
“As long as it floods, we’ll earn more,” said Rean Reup, who operates a walking tractor. “But a few days ago, two walking tractors fell into very deep water, and each [driver] spent 3,000 baht to have them repaired.”
Until the town of
Teuk Pov, a taxi driver from Bantey Meanchey province, on a recent day last week had an engine problem. He stopped on the side of the road to repair it.
“I must pay at least 400 baht for a long route from Bantey Meanchey to Oddar Meanchey,” he said. “Because many roads have been cut off by water. And then I change the road that I’m used to, from Thmor Puok, Bantey Meanchey, by using the road from Kralanh district, in Siem Reap province.”
At least four places have been flooded from Kralanh to Samrong district, Oddar Meanchey, he said. Another four places are flooded from Samrong to Anlong Veng.
Twenty minutes from the crossroads toward Oddar Meanchey town, the road was completed flooded. Here, motorcycles had to be carried by four men, who wore only pants and waded into the stream above their waists—for 10,000 riel. Passengers are obliged to wade through the stream themselves.
Oddar Meanchey Governor Pich Sokhen recognized the difficulties for reaching the temples, saying that infrastructure work was planned for the dry season.
“The situation is not too crucial,” he said. “After the reconstruction of the roads, hopefully local tourists will try to visit there.”
| By Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer |
Original report from Washington
26 September 2008
Critics of a Cambodian government policy to continue bilateral talks with Thailand over disputed border areas and a 10-week military standoff in the northern provinces have planned a protest for Oct. 10.
Bilateral talks over Thai military incursions at Preah Vihear, Ta Moan and Ta Krabey temples have failed and international, multilateral solutions should be sought, according to a group of activists from the EU, US and Canada.
Cambodia and Thailand have been locked in a protracted standoff over the border temples, in Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces, since mid-July, following the inclusion of Preah Vihear temple on list of World Heritage sites.
Both sides maintain they are not encroaching, but the borders in the north have long been disputed, with Cambodia adhering to French cartography of the early 1900s and the Thais adhering to a more recent map.
Three rounds of bilateral talks have failed to solve the crisis, and officials worry that the longer the crisis is prolonged, the more likely an incident of military violence may occur.
Meanwhile, Thailand has become mired in a separate political crisis that has already led to the removal of one prime minister and two foreign ministers, putting border talks on hold.
“The Cambodian government should file suit with the International Court of Justice at the Hague, file suit with the co-chairman of the signatory countries of the Paris Peace Accords and push up the suit already filed to the UN Security Council,” the group of border activists said in a statement.
Ly Rotha, an activist from France, said there was no reason to wait for more Thai movement into Cambodian territory, a sentiment echoed by other activists.
But Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said people must follow the advise of Prime Minister Hun Sen and be patient.
Hun Sen has already spoken by phone with Thailand’s new prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, and both sides hope to meet soon, Phay Siphan said.
| By Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer |
Original report from Phnom Penh
25 September 2008
Khmer audio aired 25 September (81.00 MB) - Listen (MP3)
|Prime Minister Hun Sen addresses reporters following the National Assembly's approval of 26 Cambodian People's Party ministers.|
The entire cabinet was approved in a package vote that critics say defied the checks and balances of the National Assembly's right to singularly approve cabinet nominations.
"The fourth legislative government has a duty to push the development and push deeply and widely the implementation of reforms in all fields for prosperity and progress," Hun Sen told the assembled lawmakers.
Missing from the National Assembly's first session were 26 Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers, who attended a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday but boycotted the session Thursday.
Also absent Thursday were three Human Rights Party officials who were elected in July but refused to be sworn in Wednesday. The three officials have said they hope to request a separate swearing-in ceremony after the Pchum Ben festival, which ends Sept. 30.
Both parties have protested the election results from July, where the CPP won 90 of 123 National Assembly seats.
Thursday's appointments marked the formation of the largest cabinet for the government to date, with 248 positions. Some positions had to be added to the government to accommodate former opposition members who joined the CPP ahead of the elections.
"The Human Rights Party disagrees with the new government's composition, which has a bigger head than body," HRP President Kem Sokha said. "So the Human Rights Party did not join the National Assembly meeting."
No ministry positions were given to the Sam Rainsy, Human Rights, or Norodom Ranariddh parties.
But the Norodom Ranariddh Party had one cause to celebrate Thursday: King Norodom Sihamoni announced he would grant a royal pardon to the exiled leader of the party, Prince Ranariddh, following a request from Hun Sen. Prince Ranariddh left Cambodia in early 2007 and was found guilty in absentia of breach of trust, which carries a prison sentence of 18 months and a fine of $150,000.
In a letter to the king and prime minister, Prince Ranariddh said he planned to return Sept. 28, in time to participate in Pchum Ben festivities.
Nine deputy prime minister positions were approved, including one position for Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bunchhay, as well as 16 senior minister posts, 26 ministers and 196 secretaries of state.
The ministries of Rural Development, Transportation, Education, Health, Culture lost Funcinpec leaders.
Among those promoted, former Phnom Penh governor Chea Sophara, was given minister of Rural Development.
The 26 new CPP ministers follow: Council Minister, Sok An; Interior, Sar Kheng; Defense, Tea Banh; Foreign Affairs, Hor Namhong; Economy and Finance, Keat Chhon; Agriculture, Chan Sarun; Rural Development, Chea Sophara; Commerce, Cham Prasidh; Industry, Suy Sem; Planning, Chay Thon; Education, Em Sithy; Social Affairs, Ith Samheng; Urbanization, Em Chhun Lim; Environment, Mok Mareth; Water Resources, Lim Keanhor; Information, Khieu Kanharith; Justice, Ang Vong Vathana; Inspection, Som Kimsuor; Telecommunications, So Khun; Health, Mom Bunheng; Public Works and Transport, Trang Iv Tek; Culture and Fine Arts, Him Chem; Tourism, Thong Khon; Cults and Religion, Men Khin; Women's Affairs, Ing Kantha Thavy; Labor and Vocation, Vong Soth.
|Written by Post Staff|
| Monday, 29 September 2008 |
Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post
Prince Ranariddh has returned from 18 months of self-imposed exile in Malaysia, dodging his 2007 prison sentence for fraud
The Prince touched down at Siem Reap airport Sunday morning accompanied by his female companion Ouk Phalla, his son Norodom Sotheariddh and a group of close advisers.
"I'm happy to return to my homeland after 18 months of exile," the Prince told the Post at his royal residence in Siem Reap. "I wish to express my deep thanks to the King and Prime Minister Hun Sen for allowing my return."
Prince Ranariddh has been living in Malaysia since March 2007, when he was sentenced to 18 months in jail for embezzling funds from the sale of property belonging to his former party, Funcinpec. The King issued a royal amnesty for the Prince on Thursday on the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen, formerly Ranariddh's main political rival.
Despite past tensions between the two politicians, Prince Ranariddh struck a conciliatory note on Sunday, pledging his party's support for Hun Sen's new government. "I have served my nation for almost 25 years. But after the July election, the Norodom Ranariddh Party [NRP] is not an opposition party like other parties, and we are ready, on any occasion, to serve our nation," he said.
NRP spokesman Suth Dina told the Post that Prince Ranariddh spoke with Prime Minister Hun Sen on the telephone shortly after his arrival in Siem Reap and that they exchanged words of reconciliation. "They told each other that they were like brothers," he said.
Suth Dina added that while Ranariddh was not retiring from political life altogether, he had no immediate plans for a political comeback. "Upon his return, he wishes only to spend time with his family, friends and colleagues and participate in the P'Chum Ben festival. He has no immediate political agenda," he said, adding that the Prince plans to formally address the Cambodian press on October 2.
Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Sunday that the Prince's return was a symbol of national reconciliation.
"When Prince Ranariddh arrives back and asks the CPP leaders to meet, the Prince will be welcomed. The CPP doesn't care about Ranariddh's politics, whether he continues to be involved in politics or not," he said.
|Written by Hor Hab and Chun Sophal|
| Monday, 29 September 2008 |
Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post
New gaming and casino technology went on display for the first time in Phnom Penh last week
A CASINO gaming exhibition held in Phnom Penh last week produced mixed reactions from the government and opposition over the future of gaming in the Kingdom.
The event, hosted by Macau-based Well Entertainment Ltd to showcase new gaming and casino technology, was the first of its kind in Cambodia.
"We can see a potential market in Cambodia because the gaming industry here is improving," Antonio Fong, managing director for Well Entertainment, told the Post Thursday.
"We are targeting the Southeast Asian sector, and in particular the Indochina region. Cambodia stands at the centre of markets in Singapore, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand," Fong said.
The company aims to bring its products, which are designed in the United States and manufactured in China, to Cambodia to meet the growing demands of the gaming industry in the Kingdom, Fong said.
Phu Kok An, a Cambodian People's Party senator with substantial holdings in the Kingdom's burgeoning gaming industry, said the local sale of Well Entertainment's products would generate much needed tax revenue for the government
"Generally, we need governmental approval for the import of casino equipment, and we usually buy from the United State or Australia, accounting for hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said.
"I think the casino industry [in Cambodia] shows every sign of strengthening in the future," Phu Kok An said, adding that he expects to earn nearly US$1 million from his interests in the gaming sector in 2008.
"I expect to get even more profits in the future," he said. "[Many] people are crossing the Thai border into Cambodia to visit casinos, even though tensions have been high on the border."
Chhea Peng Chheang, secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said he was not aware of the exhibition but acknowledged that the gaming industry in Cambodia has boosted national revenues.
"The government expects to earn $18 million in national income in 2008. This is up from $16 million in 2007," Chea Peng Chheang told the Post last week.
"Cambodia currently has about 29 casinos, mostly along our borders with Thailand and Vietnam, which employ more than 15,000 people," said Chea Peng Chheang. "We expect more casinos in the future, particularly near the Vietnamese border."
Opposition parliamentarians criticized the industry's growth, saying the social costs outweigh the economic benefits. "I want Cambodia to be famous for its rich culture and traditions," Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovann told the Post Thursday. "I would feel sorry if we were to become well-known only for our casinos."
Cambodia's gaming industry has seen strong growth with Naga Corp, the country's largest gaming company, reporting 68.5 percent revenue growth for the first half of 2008.
With hydropower and coal capacity expected to peak in the next decade, the government says nuclear energy is the best option for the country, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
"Cambodia has a long way to go before meeting electricity demand. After 10 years, we will not have enough hydropower capacity," Sat Samy, a secretary of state for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, was quoted as saying.
He said Cambodia's nuclear plans are in line with efforts by ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) to promote atomic energy among member states.
ASEAN energy ministers reached a joint agreement last year in Bangkok to pursue new sources of power for the region's growing electricity needs.
Singapore is heading the ASEAN plan to study nuclear policy and develop new strategies for the region, said Sat Samy.
He said the announcement is only a first step and that hydropower remains the focus of Cambodia's short- and medium-term energy strategies.
|Editor: Xia Xiaopeng|
Thousands of Cambodians have converged on a northeastern village for an annual water buffalo race
VIHEAR SUOR, Cambodia (AFP) — Thousands of Cambodians converged on a village northeast of the capital Monday for annual water buffalo races which bring the country's festival for the dead to a close.
The races mark the last day of Pchum Ben, a three-day festival in which Cambodians believe their dead ancestors emerge to walk the earth. Prayers at Buddhist pagodas and offerings are made to ease the suffering of the spirits.
"I've been joining this race since I was 15 years old. I enjoy the thrill of riding the buffalo in front of so many people like this," said Chorn Khein, a 30-year-old farmer.
The 35 contestants took part to commemorate the Neakta Preah Srok pagoda spirit, said San Sem, 55, a farmer and one of three race judges.
"We want Neakta to look after our village and take care of our cattle so they don't get ill," San Sem said.
"Another reason for the celebration is that the villagers want to show off their own buffaloes," he said.
Vihear Sour village about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Phnom Penh began holding the race more than 70 years ago. It is followed by a traditional wrestling match.
|Written by Nguon Sovan|
| Monday, 29 September 2008 |
Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post
Trade delegation meets with officials
A DELEGATION consisting of 18 representatives of large companies from the Hong Kong general chamber of commerce met with Hann Khieng, vice president of the Cambodia chamber of commerce, to eye investment opportunities in Cambodia.
The meeting took place on Friday and the delegation was headed by Neville Shroff, vice chairman of the Hong Kong chamber's Asia/Africa committee.
"Those business people are interested in investing in the garment and textile sectors in Cambodia. Their visit was meant to look for local partners for their investment," said Nguon Meng Tech, director general of the Cambodia chamber of commerce, on Sunday.
"Those investors look firmly and eagerly to invest in the sectors. We hope they will put their investment here soon."
"This is a good sign for the start of the new government, showing confidence among foreign investors," he said.
The delegation arrived in Cambodia after eying investment opportunities in Laos.
Kong Sang, vice president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said he welcomes new investment in garments and textiles.
However, Kong Sang said that competition from Vietnam and China has meant that many of the trade delegations end up investing outside of the country.
"They just came and looked, but didn't make a firm decision," he said.
Garment sector growth has slowed this year, mainly due to declining US demand.
|Written by Meas Sokchea|
| Monday, 29 September 2008 |
Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post
Heang Rithy says his criticism of government policies and senior leaders could have led to the incident last week in Phnom Penh
Heang Rithy, president of the Cambodian National Research Organization and the Committee for Strict Law Enforcement for Human Rights in Cambodia, said the incident happened while he was driving to his office on September 25 at about 10:20pm.
"A man drove his car against the traffic and pulled in front of my car. He told me to get out and then said he would shoot me and my adviser," Heang Ritthy told the Post Sunday.
In a formal complaint filed with Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, Heang Rithy said the unidentified man drove a black Toyota Hilux Vigo with Royal Cambodian Air Force tags and the plate number 2-9916.
The incident occurred on Street 488 in Phsa Deumthov commune in Phnom Penh, according to the complaint.
Heang Rithy said he called the chief of the municipal military police for assistance during the incident. Ten minutes later, the commander of military police arrived with two other armed soldiers.
The assailant fled as soon as police arrived, the complaint states, and he remains at large.
Heang Rithy said he has never received such threats before and that the incident may be the result of criticisms he has made against government activities or specific high-ranking officials.
"I criticise the government when they fail to meet the needs of the people. I draw attention to injustice in society. I've even complained about Tep Vong, the head of Cambodia's monks, for his involvement in the 2003 elections, and Sam Rainsy, who I called ignorant," he said.
"I criticise because I want a better society that seeks justice for all people," he said.
Ya Kim I, commander of Phnom Penh's municipal military police, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Touch Naroth, chief of municipal police, told the Post he did not know the details of the incident and had not yet received Heang Rithy's complaint.
Thouen Van, left, and his brother Sam, await word of their mother's condition Sunday at Mercy San Juan Medical Center. A collision with a wrong-way driver on Interstate 5 killed their father, Youen Sum, 56, and seriously injured their mother, Sokpov Van, 55. Randall Benton / email@example.com
Firefighters work early Sunday to free occupants of a Toyota hit head-on by a car going the wrong way on I-5. Travis Hammond / Special to The Bee
Donald Vanness, 57, of Woodbridge, died in this BMW, which was traveling north on southbound I-5 Sunday before the collision. Officials said there would be a DUI investigation.
Youen Sum, 56, died at the crash scene, officials said.
Sokpov Van suffered a concussion and broken bones.
Family mourns father who saved wife, sons from Cambodian genocide to settle in U.S.
By Melissa Nix - firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, September 29, 2008
A man who managed to escape Cambodia's killing fields, bringing his young family to the United States for a new life, was killed early Sunday by a motorist who authorities said was heading the wrong way on Interstate 5.
Yoeun Sum, 56, of Stockton, was driving his wife, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter home from a family wedding in Willits when a BMW sedan hit his Toyota Camry head-on, the California Highway Patrol said Sunday.
Donald Vanness, 57, of Woodbridge, was driving the BMW north in the southbound lanes of I-5 and also died in the collision at Hood Franklin Road at 2:49 a.m.
Sum had escaped Cambodia nearly 30 years ago, fleeing with his wife and two young sons to avoid the genocide that took the lives of 1.7 million people.
But Sunday, Sum couldn't avoid the BMW hurtling at his family. His daughter and grandson, traveling in a car ahead of his, had a narrow escape when her husband swerved at the last moment.
"I saw a car come out of nowhere, and my husband barely dodged it," said Monyan Van, 22. "It then hit the other car," carrying her parents.
Van and other family members sat in an intensive-care waiting room while their mother, Sokpov Van, 55, was in surgery at Mercy San Juan Medical Center off Coyle Avenue in Carmichael.
She had a concussion, a broken rib and a broken leg, and was later listed in serious but stable condition. She didn't know that her husband had died in the crash, according to their son, Thoeun Van, 26, of Stockton.
Sum's Camry burned after the crash. The fire was put out, and the victims were removed from the vehicle by firefighters from the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department.
Sum died at the crash scene, officials said. Four other family members in the car were taken to different hospitals.
Thoeun Van said Sunday that his sister's 5-month-old daughter, Tyana Kylie Youen-Chanhkhiao, his brother, Chandra Van, 21, and his sister-in-law Chao Yang, 20, had been transported to UC Davis Medical Center.
The infant was released from the hospital late Sunday morning. Chao Yang remained on life support, while her husband Chandra Van was in stable condition, he said.
Vanness was pronounced dead at UC Davis Medical Center.
Officer Michael Bradley, a spokesman, said the CHP has launched a DUI investigation.
Officials said an off-duty police officer saw the BMW going north in the southbound lanes moments before the crash, and he tried to warn motorists by flashing his lights.
He also assisted victims, along with the Fire Department, which sent six ambulances and five engines. Firefighters had to pry open both vehicles to get the victims out, said fire spokesman Steve Capps.
Thoeun Van said his parents escaped from Cambodia to Thailand with him and his brother Sam, now 28.
"They tried to kill my mom," he said, referring to Khmer Rouge revolutionaries.
But in what he described as a close call, his mother fainted. When the Khmer Rouge left her for dead, the family made its escape.
All of their mother's relatives were killed, said Monyan Van, Thoeun's sister.
From Thailand, the family made its way to Vietnam, where Sum worked as a refugee camp leader, according to a document his son showed Sunday.
The family eventually settled in Alabama. Sum worked as a sanitation worker, and his wife worked in a factory until each sustained injuries and became disabled, the son said.
In 1984, the family moved to Stockton. Sum and his wife had more children, and later, grandchildren.
The couple were a study in contrasts, according to their children. "He's the quiet one," Thoeun said of his father. "He really didn't talk unless it was important."
His sister said their mother "talks a little bit loud, but she's really funny and loving."
When asked what she would do when she got to see her mother, Monyan said she wouldn't be able to hug Sokpov Van, because of her injuries, but would tell her mother that she loved her.
"And I wish I could tell that to my dad," Monyan said, her voice catching.
Thoeun Van said he had planned to take his parents back to Cambodia next year for the first time since they left. His dad still had family there.
Instead, Thoeun will focus on what his father would want the son to do in his absence.
"To take care of everybody," he said.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Published on September 29, 2008
New Foreign Minister Sompong Amornwiwat has his work cut out today when he chairs an informal meeting of Asean ministers here to discuss restructuring the regional grouping and preparing for the summit later this year.
The ministers arrived in New York on Saturday for the United Nations General Meeting but their task at the UN will be confined to delivering a speech this afternoon.
The foreign minister's speech would basically dwell on the global food and fuel crisis as well as the UN Millennium Goal, said R Don Pramudwinai, Representative to the UN.
The political turmoil at home would not be mentioned during the speech as well as in other formal meetings, he said.
Sompong, who has no experience in foreign affairs, took office only a few days before the UN meeting. As the chairman of Asean, he will be presiding over the informal meeting of the regional grouping on the sidelines of the UN summit.
Key issues in the 180-minute meeting of Asean foreign ministers would focus on the coming Asean summit due in December and the group's restructuring.
Asean needs to be restructured as the new charter would change the 40-year-old regional grouping from an ad-hoc body to a rule-based international organisation.
The charter will enhance the role of secretary-general. Former Thai foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan is the current secretary-general. Thailand's legal instrument for ratification was passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago. The charter would also give birth to the Asean human rights body. The terms of reference for its establishment have not been finished yet.
Thailand and Cambodia would brief the Asean meeting on their border problem that has seen both countries lock horns for months.
The two neighbours have clashed over the areas near the Hindu temples of Preah Vihear, Ta Muen Thom and Ta Kwai (Ta Krabey). Foreign ministers from both sides held two meetings to settle the dispute but Sompong will need to follow up as many issues remain unresolved.
The border problem with Cambodia might not be discussed bilaterally here as his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong is not attending the UN meeting. His deputy Kao Kim Hourn will lead the Cambodian delegation to the UN and Asean meetings.
Besides the Asean informal meeting, Sompong would lead the other nine ministers of the grouping to meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss Asean-UN relations as well as the Asean-UN summit due back-to-back with the Asean summit in Bangkok.
September 28, 2008
by Paulene Hinds
Looking to build excitement for the 13th season premiere of the globe-trotting Emmy winning show, Amazing Race, CBS has for the first time ever revealed the entire 23-day route the 11 teams will travel to.
The teams will start off in Los Angelas and will make stops in Brazil, Bolivia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, India and Russia before returning to the U.S.A to wrap up the race in Portland, Oregan.
The teams will travel more than 30,000 miles this season. The show will be hosted again by Phil Keoghan.
Watch the premiere tonight at 8 PM ET on CBS.
Photo Credit: CBS
The Phnom Penh Municipal court has heard the 19 defendants used forged documents in their attempt to sell the Fisheries Administration offices in the capital.
The Phnom Penh Post reports the attempted fraud highlights a growing problem of illegal land speculation in the country.
Monday, 29 September 2008
One of the world's rarest reptiles, the critically-endangered Siamese crocodile, is gravely threatened by a proposed dam in an unspoilt region of Cambodia, British conservationists warn.
Construction of the Chay Areng dam in the Cardamom mountains will wipe out a fifth or more of the remaining population of the crocodiles, which stands at fewer than 200 individuals in the wild, according to Fauna and Flora International (FFI), which is based in Cambridge.
It will displace hundreds of indigenous people from their homes, and do enormous damage to the wildlife in a valley which alone holds more than 30 globally threatened species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians, ranging from tigers, Asian elephants and pileated gibbons to the white-winged duck, the yellow-headed temple turtle and one of the world's rarest and most prized freshwater fish, the Asian arowana.
Furthermore, says FFI, an economic assessment showed that the 120ft dam, which is being promoted by a Chinese power company, is not necessary for Cambodia's future electricity demand and is in effect surplus to requirements. FFI is calling on the Cambodian government to cancel the scheme.
Were it to go ahead, the Siamese crocodiles would be the most notable casualties of the project in wildlife terms. The stocky, 10ft-long reptile, which feeds largely on fish and snakes, is extinct over 99 per cent of its original range, with tiny remaining groups in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam apart from Cambodia, where the Areng river habitat is the most secure and significant breeding site in the world, harbouring between 40 and 50 individuals.
If the Areng river is dammed, says FFI, this fragile population will be seriously reduced or wiped out. The inundation will destroy vital lakeside nesting areas, shallow feeding zones, sandy basking areas along the river, and essential lakeside burrows used for shelter. The organisation also fears that the 1,000-plus Chinese workers who will be brought in to build the dam will begin poaching the other wildlife in the valley, saying that this has happened in similar schemes elsewhere.
The whole range of the Cardamom mountains in western Cambodia has hitherto been one of the best unspoilt areas of montane rainforest in South-east Asia, having been protected from exploitation for decades by the region's wars. FFI says it is "the untouched jewel in the crown of Asian biodiversity".
But now it is being opened up, especially by the Chinese, who are offering to build hydropower and other generating infrastructure for the Cambodians in exchange for a future share in the country's untapped natural resources, which include oil and gas. Many of the rivers of the Cardamom range have dams proposed for them, and one, at O'Som, is already going ahead.
FFI says its recognises that Cambodia needs more electricity and some of it will come from hydropower. But it says that a 2007 report, the Master Plan Study of Hydropower Development in Cambodia, commissioned by the Japan International Co-operation Agency and the Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy, identified 10 priority sites that would be sufficient to meet the projected national demand – and significantly, these did not include the Chay Areng.
"The Areng dam is unnecessary and surplus to requirements," said Jenny Daltry, a senior conservation biologist with FFI. "Hundreds of households of an indigenous people, the Khmer Daeum, will be displaced and have to move. These are people who have been there for hundreds of years and who really do live in harmony with nature and have set up their own protected areas in the forest, and six villages of them will go, and possibly seven.
"In wildlife terms, it will be a disaster. The crocodiles, which represent at least a fifth of the world's population in the wild, will disappear and there will be catastrophic damage to other wildlife.
"It is still up to the Cambodian government to approve or reject the proposal from the Chinese company and we strongly feel it should be rejected."
By Gary Crosse
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Abandoned as a child in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge's murderous reign, Somaly Mam (pictured) has no memory of her family and doesn't know her true age or name. But she recalls when she was sold to a brothel.
She traces a dramatic and haunting journey from sex slave to crusader against forced prostitution in her newly released memoir, "The Road of Lost Innocence," which reads like a Dickensian tale of triumph over adversity.
Remarkably, she does not see her path from a remote mountain region of Cambodia to an international campaigner as awe-inspiring.
"I never feel that way, I'm still Somaly. I used to work in the fields and now I help victims," she told Reuters in an interview.
Born in the early 1970s, she fleetingly recalls the Khmer Rouge's rule, when an estimated 1.7 million people were executed or died of torture, starvation or disease during a disastrous four-year agrarian revolution in the late 1970s.
Set adrift, she was taken in by an elderly man whom she called "grandfather," an honorific title that belied his cruel character. When she was about 16 years old, he sold her to a brothel to pay off his debts.
FIRST HOT SHOWER
Laws to prevent abuse against women are poorly enforced.
With the help of a Swiss patron employed by a nongovernmental organization, Mam paid the brothel owner $100 to let her go, one of the few ways women can leave safely.
At his hotel, she experienced her first hot shower. "He ... turned on a shiny thing, like a snake, and it flashed to life, spitting at me ... That was the first time I ever used proper soap, and I remember how good it smelled, like a flower," she writes.
Mam eventually married and lived in France for a time before returning to Cambodia determined to help "the girls" in whatever way she could. She started by distributing condoms and soap -- both of which were rarely available in Cambodia's brothels.
Shunned in their home villages, Mam and others formed a shelter for women and girls, the Agir pour les Femmes En Situation Precaire -- Acting for Women in Distressing Situations (AFESIP).
The largely Spanish-funded grass-roots group expanded to neighboring Thailand and Laos, providing counseling, shelter and education on AIDS prevention. Its members also speak to men on the perils facing girls in the sex trade.
'WOMEN ARE NOT TOYS'
Future Group, a nongovernmental organization that combats human trafficking, estimates the number of prostitutes and sex slaves in Cambodia at up to 50,000, with at least 1 in 40 girls born in Cambodia expected to be sold into sex slavery.
Legalization of prostitution is not the answer, she said, at least not in Cambodia.
"Women are not toys," she said. "All of us, we need equality. If you want to live with dignity, it is without prostitution, without this violence."
Fighting to close notorious brothels made her enemies in Cambodia. Shelters run by her group have come under armed attack and women have been abducted.
In 2006, Mam's teen-age daughter was kidnapped. She was eventually rescued, but Mam still faces threats in her battle against underworld figures who control the trade. Undaunted, she says the work is too important to walk away from.
"You know, these victims and me -- we have the same heart, the same body, the same pain," she said. "It's not just Cambodia. If I can help around the world, I'll do it."
(Editing by Jason Szep and Xavier Briand)
PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Prince Norodom Ranariddh arrived back home in Cambodia on Sunday, ending his self-imposed exile after receiving a royal pardon for his fraud conviction.
Ranariddh, who had been living in Malaysia, was pardoned by his half-brother King Norodom Sihamoni on Thursday after being sentenced in absentia last year to 18 months in jail for a 3.6 million dollar illegal property scheme.
The court ruled he improperly sold his former political party headquarters and used proceeds from the sale to purchase another property in his own name, but he was pardoned last week upon the order of premier Hun Sen hours after the prime minister was re-elected for another five-year-term.
The smiling prince arrived at his residence in northwestern tourist hub Siem Reap on Sunday and made a speech showing "his deep gratitude to King Norodom Sihamoni for the royal pardon and Prime Minister Hun Sen for finding a solution to help him return to the country," said the prince's spokesman Suth Dina.
"The prince also said that he had served the country with former King Norodom Sihanouk for nearly 25 years but was still happy to further serve the country and his people if the (new) government needs him," Suth Dina added.
Ranariddh faced jail once before in 1998 but was spared by a royal pardon from his father, former king Norodom Sihanouk.
He had been sentenced to 35 years in prison for allegedly plotting a coup with the Khmer Rouge a year earlier while he was co-prime minister with Hun Sen.
Published: September 28, 2008
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Cambodia's Prince Norodom Ranariddh ended 18 months in exile Sunday after his brother the king pardoned him for an embezzlement conviction.
In July, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that found the prince guilty of breach of trust and sentenced him in absentia to 18 months in prison.
The prince returned home from Malaysia following the royal pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni on Thursday.
A lawsuit was filed by his former supporters in the royalist Funcinpec party which Ranariddh led before being ousted from the party in October 2006. The Funcinpec party sued the prince for allegedly embezzling US$3.6 million from the sale of the party's headquarters in August that year.
The prince formed a new political party, the Norodom Ranariddh Party, which won two parliamentary seats in July general elections without him being present.
Over 100 supporters met the prince at the airport in Siem Reap province, home to Cambodia's famed Angkor temples, where he arrived from Malaysia, said party spokesman Suth Dina.
The spokesman said the prince planned to keep a low profile as he contemplates his next political activities.
Ranariddh and Sihamoni are sons of former King Norodom Sihanouk.
The Cambodian national team are currently in South Korea as they gear up to prepare a strong team for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 qualifiers next month.
The team has been in training and playing several friendly matches in South Korea since early this month and has been making significant progress.
“We have played a total of eight matches against mostly university teams. It is more of training games and looking at the different possibilities in terms of combination and tactical play,” said head coach Prak Sovannara.
“We win some matches and we lose some but on the whole, the team has been showing a lot of improvement and I’m quite positive that they will be able to perform well for the qualifiers.”
As hosts, Cambodia will be eyeing one of only two available slots for the tournament proper which will be held in December.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
|Courtesy of Cambodge Soir |
|25th Sept., 2008 |
The new government, with about 200 members, will hold its first council under the supervision of Hun Sen who was once more re-elected Prime Minister.
Friday 26 September, some traffic jams are to be expected around the Bassac area. The first Council of Ministers of the new legislature will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pending the completion of the construction works of the new building donated by China.
No less than 196 Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers of State, Ministers, Secretaries of State, without counting Deputy Secretaries of State who’ll be nominated at a later date by Hun Sen, will join, after the approval of the new government by the National Assembly on Thursday 25`September.
Hun Sen, Prime Minister, was re-elected for a fourth mandate of five years. This time he’ll be surrounded by nine Deputy Prime Ministers, 16 Ministers of State and 34 Ministers, amongst which eight delegates of the Prime Minister, joined by 119 Secretaries of State. Soon, about 200 Deputy Secretaries of State will join the list.
All the ministers who are member of the CPP have kept their position, with the exception of Men Sam An, former Minister of Relations with Parliament and Inspection, who will become Permanent Deputy Prime Minister. She is being replaced by Som Kim Sour, former CPP deputy.
Concerning Funcinpec, only Ing Kantha Phavy, Minister of Women’s Affairs, could save her position by opportunistically joining the CPP. Her colleagues have all been dismissed. Nut Sokhom, Head of the Ministry of Health, is being replaced by Mam Bunheng, former Secretary of State. Lu Lay Sreng is succeeded by former Phnom Penh Governor, Chea Sophara, at the Department of Rural Development. Finally, Veng Sereivuth passes on his position as Minister of Culture to Him Chhen, CPP member and former Secretary of State. Hun Sen will explain the outlines of his program to his new team on the occasion of the start of the new government.
Courtesy of Cambodge Soir
|21st Sept., 2008 |
While confirming the sovereignty of his country over the temple of Ta Krabey, despite the military and diplomatic attempts from the neighbouring Kingdom to take control, Ung Sean condemns these Thai intrusions.
Tit for tat. “On the geographic maps, the temple of Ta Krabey, known under the name of Ta Kwai in Thailand, is located on Cambodia’s territory”. This small clarification, using very diplomatic terms, was written in a mail sent by the Cambodian Ambassador to Bangkok to the Foreign Minister of the neighbouring Kingdom. “This action is a violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Cambodia”, wrote the Ambassador.
Yet, on 16 September, the Permanent Secretary of the Thai Foreign Minister had sent a “reminder” to the Cambodian Ambassador, in which he accused Cambodia of having “violated its territory” by sending military on the site. According to him, the temple indeed belongs to the Thai province of Surin. As a consequence of the Preah Vihear dispute, Thai soldiers are increasing the number of incursions on Cambodian territory, under the pretext that the outline of the border remains vague.
Ung Sean reminds that, at 6pm on 10 September, about one hundred military from the neighbouring country invaded and occupied the temple, despite the repeated protests from the local Cambodian authorities, before leaving the next day.
These tensions go on since last July’s registration of the temple of Preah Vihear on the Unesco World Heritage list. Because of the Thai crisis, the border issue is dragging on.
TRAT : A border village in Cambodia's Koh Kong province has become economically self-reliant after Thai authorities introduced the sufficiency economy philosophy to its community.
Koh Kong governor Yuth Puthong and Trat deputy governor Somsak Yonokphan on Thursday jointly presided over a ceremony to launch the self-sufficient village at Bang Khayak in Monthon Sima district in Koh Kong.
Ban Khayak was chosen under a pilot project to make a village self-reliant. The project, carried out by the Foreign Ministry and the Community Development Department last year, introduced His Majesty the King's concept of the sufficiency economy.
The project provided occupational training, showed residents how to make development plans, urged local people to cut spending and showed them how to increase their incomes, said a source involved in the project.
Village head Seng Sinard said that before the concept was introduced, residents had illegally encroached on mangrove forests, causing environmental problems.
Many residents had faced financial problems as natural resources depleted.
Koh Kong is the Cambodian border province across from Khlong Yai district in Trat.
|Submitted photo (click to enlarge)|
|A team of 31 volunteers from New Life Center Foursquare Church in Everett recently traveled to Cambodia, where they helped set up and operate a weeklong medical clinic near Pursat.|
The volunteers recently returned from a two-week trip to Cambodia, where they and others from four states set up and ran a weeklong medical clinic near Pursat, a city in western Cambodia, said Rick Sawczuk, New Life Center's missions pastor.
The team was comprised of students, adults, doctors and dentists who traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capitol, before making the five-hour trip to the medical clinic site west of Pursat. In Pursat, volunteers helped set up a temporary clinic including a pharmacy, an emergency room, an operating room and a wound care clinic.
During the week, volunteers treated medical conditions including skin infections, dehydration, malaria, dengue fever, stomach pain, bacterial infections, scabies and wounds. The team performed surgeries from dawn until dusk each day, including numerous tumor removals, and tended to a young man who had severed the fingers of his right hand, said Dr. Fred Hawley, a medical doctor in private practice in Arlington who was part of the New Life team.
One patient's fractured wrist was reset. More than 500 people were tested for tropical diseases and more than 400 were treated at the dental area. Volunteers gave out more than 1,000 pairs of reading glasses to people older than 50. In the wound care area, children were bathed with medicated shampoos and given new sets of clean clothes. Those with wounds received bandages and medicine to treat infections. The most serious cases were taken to the emergency or operating rooms for treatment, where Hawley performed a number of minor procedures.
Volunteers shared their faith with the patients as they entered and left the clinic. Ted Olbrich, a Foursquare missionary to Cambodia, said he hopes up to 30 village churches and at least one or two new orphan homes will be established as a result of the weeklong clinic, Sawczuk said.
New director at Prince of Peace preschool
Michelle Nilsen had big shoes to fill when she recently became director of Prince of Peace preschool in Everett.
Nilsen recently took the helm when Sue Baxter retired from the preschool after 30 years.
Nilsen's first day as director was in August and she was honored at an installation service in September. She has military, business and teaching experience.
Prince of Peace operates preschool ministries at various congregation sites in Snohomish County including Advent, Mill Creek; Christ the King, Snohomish; Holy Cross, Lake Stevens; Light of the Cross, Bothell and May's Pond and North Creek Presbyterian, Mill Creek.
Roughly 500 children ages 3 to 5 are served by the ministry that began in 1973 at Prince of Peace in the Eastmont neighborhood.
Herald staff reports