Friday, June 19, 2009

On the wires

As a rule, I don't cover too much of the 'news' coming out of Cambodia as most of it is negative and consistently fails to expose the things about this country that I love. I generally leave the bad news to the newswires and newspapers who seem to revel in negative Cambodia stories. However, I can't be ultra positive all the time, especially now, as my own medical problems are weighing heavily on my every waking moment. So, here's a few stories that caught my eye yesterday and today.
  • The King-Father, Norodom Sihanouk, has had his own website up and running for a while now and some of the stuff he posts on it is frankly, weird. However I feel for him today when I heard that his website has been hijacked, his content removed and is being sold online for $4,350. I was gutted when my own blog was hijacked and my sympathies are with him on this occasion, normally they are not.
  • The Phnom Penh Post today reveals that 17 Nigerians have been arrested by police in the city in a drugs bust. Apparently its the tip of an iceberg. Living in Phnom Penh I hear many fanciful tales about the large African community that is here, from internet/email/telephone scamming to drug dealing and more. I have no idea whether the rumours are true or not but the police obviously think there's something in it. Anyway, it's about time we heard some positive stories from the African community here.
  • New Zealand Olympic rower Rob Hamill, whose brother Kerry was murdered by the Khmer Rouge at Tuol Sleng, has said he will confront the former S-21 head Duch at the Khmer Rouge Trial before November. "I'm one of only a dozen people taking the stand and possibly the only foreigner. The process of grieving hasn't taken its course and this is a part of that. I feel hatred. I want to try and forgive but I'm finding that hard at the moment,' says Hamill. Duch this week confirmed that four foreigners including Kerry were tortured and then burned after their execution.
  • Other stories include; from WWF that the dophin population is in severe danger of pollution, which was immediately rebuked by the government; the eviction of HIV-positive residents in Borei Keila to a site outside the city unfit for human habitation; more Preah Vihear rhetoric from the Thai PM now that he's back in Bangkok; the murder of a news reporter and his neice in the army-infested area at the base of Preah Vihear; and finally, more than 100 people have died already this year from lightning strikes.
Also in today's Phnom Penh Post is a Sports Brief by yours truly.
O'Donell shares vision
Cambodian national football coach Scott O'Donell called together head coaches of Cambodian Premier league (CPL) clubs Monday at the National Sports Centre on the outskirts of Phnom Penh with the aim of seeking their cooperation and support for his plans to improve the country's standing in world football. Cambodia are currently placed 179th in the FIFA rankings, sandwiched between Samoa and Seychelles. The meeting was deemed a success by the Australian-born coach, with nine out of the ten CPL clubs represented. O'Donell views the buy-in from the CPL coaches as an important step on the road to improvement, especially with the upcoming SEA Games in Laos in December. The national coach has now run the rule over each of the CPL teams in order to identify the pool of talented Khmer players at his disposal for the national team. With the SEA Games age limit set at 23, O'Donell feels that the U23 squad will form the nucleus of the Cambodia team for the forseeable future. Link: PPP.

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Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Update on these stories:
The King father has rescued his website from the hijackers according to the newspapers. Try it yourself at

There were 23 Nigerians arrested in total during the drugs bust. No word on their fate as yet.

The reporter and his niece who were killed in Preah Vihear, were robbed of their car and $100. 4 soldiers from Brigade 8 have been arrested. Preah Vihear is literally awash with thousands of army troops at the moment, and after the Thai PM's speech last week, we could see a further increase of numbers at Preah Vihear.

June 22, 2009 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

high Andhy,
why ur sympathiess are not with Our King, if u live in the reign?!?!? - Hu

June 22, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds alarming! what precisely went on at Preah Vihear? We'd planned to visit it next week, after reading so many of your enthusiastic blogs on the site... should we skip it for the time being? --- Constanza & Nestor

June 22, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi folks.
Hu - I won't go into the why's and wherefore's of my views on the King Father here, suffice to say that his chequered history has decisions and associations in it that I totally opposed at the time, and still do. However, anyone who gets their website hijacked by internet thieves has my sympathy.

Constanza & Nestor - the robbery I hope was a 1-off. Soldiers with not much to do seem to be the culprits of last week's murders though at the moment, its still not clear what happened. However, don't be alarmed, the last thing anyone would do is harm a foreigner. And the troops on top of Preah Vihear itself will welcome you with open arms, as the number of daily visitors can be counted on one hand. Its a wonderful temple in an amazing location and to see it without hordes of Thai tourists is a blessing - go now, you won't regret it.

June 22, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

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