22 January 2008

Sandals sold in Vietnamese market .

Pairs of sandals (flip flops) having our national symbol Angkor Wat are sold at Vietnamese market in Vietnam. And now I'm wondering our King Sihamoni or Prime Minister Hun Sen has anything to say at all regarding this. Perhaps they pretend to hear nothing.

Even if our king or PM don't come out to say something, I feel this is wrong and very distasteful for Vietnam to market our national pride and symbol. This would be equal to having Vietnamese flag or picture of Ho Chi Minh on rolls of toilet paper. ---Vanak

Sources (please click on the pictures):

10 January 2008

Don't be dumb or you'll be duped ! . កុំល្ងីល្ងើ ពកថ្ងាស

No joke. This is real. Here in Phnom Penh when we first heard the news my friends and I just shook our heads and laughed so hard. We now came to the point of not laughing but feel more pity for our Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Back in 10 April 2004 our prime minister Hun Sen received an honorary doctor degree from an institution called Irish International University of the European Union (IIU) based in Dublin, Ireland. In front the backdrop curtain banner of the ceremonial event, our PM was beaming with pride when the executive president of the university Hardeep Singh Sandhu conferred the honorary degree in Political Science upon him. He was wearing a graduation gown and hat then shook hand with Mr. Sandhu while showing off his instantly earned doctorate.

According to the news it turned out IIU institution is not Irish, and it's not even a university. The university has no physical address but only listed of post office box (PO Box). Its web pages claimed that its degrees are supported by the "Quality Assurance Commission" where it was traced to an office in North London to a woman who was answering phones on behalf of various companies. There was no such commission ever existed. Futhermore, this bogus university has an honorary chancellor who called himself "His Excellency Baron Knowth". The BBC London tracked H.E. Baron Knowth to an accountant Herbert Jeffrey Wooller, where he owns multi-million pounds (dollars) of homes in both Monte Carlo/Monaco and London.

Flashing back to 10 April 2004, in Phnom Penh, our Prime Minister Hun Sen gave a lengthy conferment speech when receiving the degree from this so-call university. Now we all knew he made a fool of himself and the joke was laughed upon the rest of us Cambodians to have a prime minister like him leading our country.

If I am the Prime Minister Hun Sen personal adviser, I would advise him that this is a lesson he should learned. Find out first if the university has history and well established as a reputable institution. And finally, including universities from Vietnam, don't ever desperately eager to accept any honorary degrees.

So, I interpreted the moral from this news : Get your real education. Don't be dumb ! -- this might as well be my advise too. កុំល្ងីល្ងើ ពកថ្ងាស.

-- - - - -- - - -
A Degree of Deception
Shhh... Don't tell PM Hun Sen he was duped
Hun Sen Conferment Speech

04 January 2008

Spratly Islands and Koh Tral កោះត្រល់

The Spratly islands are 800km from Ho Chi Minh City, 1300km from Hong Kong. This archipelago comprised of more than 600 smalls rocks and corral reefs located in the South China Sea. It is hotly in dispute between China and Vietnam which both staked claims to the islands. Lately in 08 December, 2007 Vietnamese organised a demontration protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City. They rallied by shouted slogans against China to "stop invading" their territory.

When this news first came out I didn't have time to write it right away for I was extremely busy helping my mother at the village. Nevertheless, the high tension on high sea between China and Vietnam is still there; hence, it really piqued my interest in region of South China Sea even more. I then began to think the issue in parallel to my Camobodia's Koh Tral island.

Separately in comparison to the incident with the Spratly islands, Cambodia's biggest Koh Tral island is so close to our coastline. It is just 15km from Kampot province. Koh Tral sits right in Cambodia waters. Each time of day when the wind clears away the fog, we can see peaks of our Koh Tral from our coastline Kep or from Mount Bokor in Kampot province.

Yet, the distance of Koh Tral to Vietnam is 3 times more than it is to Cambodia. It's 45km to the closest southern tip Ha Tien province of Vietnam.

Vietnam took our island as 'under their administration'. Vietnam has the tendency to eliminate any trace of Cambodian origin, so they changed the original name Koh Tral to Phu Quoc . The term that the island is 'under Vietnamese administration' are just flowery words to cover up from the international community. I know at the present day there is no direct access to Koh Tral from our Cambodia side. Our Khmer fishermen will be arrested or shot by Vietnamese soldiers if we're straying in waters closer to the island.

So when the Vietnamese shouted to China "stop invading" on the Spratly islands, I was wondering if those demonstrators have any conscience of what they or their government did to our Cambodia Koh Tral island.

To me, Koh Tral is always ours. I am so sad for the lost of this island at this present time. As Vietnam always claimed they are friends of Cambodia. Friends don't take personal properties from one another. So I hope one day and soon, Vietnam would relinquish Koh Tral administration duty and hand it back to us wholeheartedly.

ពីខ្ញុំ​ វណ្ណះ,
ក្រុងរាជធានី ភ្នំពេញ
០៤ មករា ២០០៨