Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A buffet of news

All a bit hectic right now. Had a quick trip out to Kompong Speu yesterday afternoon for work reasons and followed that with a business dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel to launch the new national flag carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, to selected tour operators from both Cambodia and Vietnam. Apsaras, folk dances, pinpeat orchestra, singers, the works, not to mention a gorgeous buffet from which I stuffed my face. There was also a presentation and a lucky draw as is the norm with these events. The Vietnamese presence was pretty overwhelming, with all of the carrier's executive committee coming from over the border, as well as a fam trip of Vietnam tour companies who'd made the trip over too. Nice people. It didn't leave me time to make another fruitless attempt at getting into the Lakhaon Festival at Chenla and I'll wait until Friday's Khmer Arts Ensemble performance, before risking another bout of frustration.
I don't tend to do much news reporting on here but worth a mention is the flooding around Kampot and Sihanoukville which has resulted in some lost lives. The heavy rain is expected for the rest of this week. I hope it calms down next week as I'm due to get up to Siem Reap for a few days, with some important work clients, and am planning on spending a few days in Kompong Cham and Kratie during the Pchum Ben festival in the latter part of next week. Not definite but it'll be nice to have a break and do some nosing around the countryside. This Saturday my schedule is a busy one, with the start of the football Super 4 play-offs at Olympic Stadium as well as a morning tour of the old French district of Phnom Penh with the Heritage Mission, who are promoting architecture month under the banner of Our City. Further ahead in October, my brother Tim is planning a visit and I've tentatively pencilled in my first-ever visit to Northeast Thailand to take in the Khmer temples in Isaan - something I've wanted to do for many years. Finally, on the news front, fresh investigations have been mooted at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal with the possibility of indicting another five suspects, despite a dire warning from the PM here, who is dead set against such moves. Five are already in the dock - the Duch trial is progressing and the other 4 are expected to be tried in the new year - and this would take the total up to ten if it goes ahead, though that IF word is a big one.

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