Monday, October 10, 2011

Tits up

It's all gone tits up in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal with one of the co-investigating judges, Siegfried Blunk, resigning and throwing the spotlight firmly on interference from the Cambodia government as the key reason behind his decision. The reason doesn't come as a surprise but the judge's resignation does, as to the layman he appeared to be in sympathy with the government's position that cases 003 and 004 were not destined to ever take place. In April, the judge closed the file on case 003 without even interviewing the two main suspects, key witnesses or visiting the crime scenes. Last week Human Rights Watch called for his resignation. Today he did just that. Now it remains to be seen how this impacts on case 002, which will soon begin, and the other cases, which may never see the light of day.
I'm gutted to report that the flooding in Cambodia has now claimed the lives of more than 200 people, more than half are children, in the worst of its kind for a decade, with the local papers here suggesting that relief efforts for the one million people affected have been far too slow. In addition, there has been no request yet by the Cambodian government for international assistance even though foreign donors have been lining up to offer help. It's not affecting me in my first floor flat in the middle of Phnom Penh (otherwise known as my expat bubble) but elsewhere in the countryside, either side of the Mekong river or in places like Kompong Thom province, the worst hit, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are living with this nightmare day in, day out for the past month.
There was more BIDC Cup football this afternoon, but I didn't attend as I was working. However, the rain didn't relent and deluged the pitch around half-time in the first match. I saw the second game on television and the playing surface looked like a quagmire, which doesn't bode well for the remaining half a dozen games that will be played on the same pitch in the next few days. Whilst watching the tv, I noticed that adverts from the competition's main sponsors, the BIDC Bank were repeated countless times though I was left scratching my head at the Bank's key slogan, BIDC - Be Your Side, By Your Hand. I had absolutely no idea what that meant and even went on the Bank's website to see if that could enlighten me. It didn't. Is it a case of something lost in translation, or is it just me?

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