Phuket News – Thais ask: Who owns the jeep?

The Phuket News
Friday, 19th Aug 2011 

The jeeb hand position was inscribed on the wall of the Cambodian ancient temples since the 8th century, long before the Thai kingdom came into being in the 13th century. 
PHUKET: With troops withdrawing as tensions have eased between Thailand and Cambodia over the disputed Preah Vihear temple, a new irritant stirring nationalist sentiments is the ownership of the jeep, a graceful hand position that is part of traditional dance and shadow plays of both countries: Who owns the jeep?The United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganisation (UNESCO) is likely to consider the origins of the jeeb – a hand position where the thumb touches the index finger and the three other fingers are fanned out, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

New Thai Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome has made ownership of the jeeb a priority.

In 2008 Cambodia listed Khmer shadow theatre on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, along with the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, also known as Khmer Classical Dance. The list included Khmer hand gestures, including the jeeb.  Read more of this post

Sofitel evokes the memories of Mouhot


Photo by: Michael Sloan Clearance work underway at Preah Ko in this 1932 photograph included as part of the Archaeologists at Angkor exhibition.

Friday, 19 August 2011 
Michael Sloan 
Phnom Penh Post 

More than 150 years since French explorer and naturist Henri Mouhot hacked his way through the dense foliage surrounding Angkor Wat and published a breathless account of uncovering “the ruins of a lost civilisation”, a new exhibition of some of the earliest sketches and photographs of the temples gives visitors the chance to see them through his eyes.

Fifty stunning, black and white photographs and sketches by Mouhot and latergenerations of archaeologists from the École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), spanning the period between 1860 and 1960, are on display in the ballroom of the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resortuntil December.

The photos are part of an exhibition celebrating the completion of over 60 years ofrestoration work on Baphuon TempleRead more of this post

Hun Sen calls for exam of ‘terrorist’ aircraft

Friday, 19 August 2011 
Kim Yuthana 
Phnom Penh Post 

Pieces of wreckage collected from the crash site. 
Prime Minister Hun Sen requestedassistance from the United States, Australia and other countries with expertise in fighting terrorism yesterday as he called for an investigation into fragments of an alleged “unmanned reconnaissance aircraft” found in Preah Vihear province.

Speaking at a meeting at the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said that after Thailand denied that the aircraft was its own, he wanted to investigate terrorism-related possibilities.

“I would focus on terrorist activities because we cannot skip looking for terrorists. They might use this method as a test for the purpose of attacking Cambodia or Thailand or other destinations in other countries,” Hun Sen said, claiming further that terrorists may be inclined to attach bombs on the next aircraft if their test proved successful.  Read more of this post

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

By Derek Ray | Published Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011

Angkor Wat - the main temple

Angkor Wat - the main temple

One hundred and fifty years ago, a French naturalist wandering the jungles of Cambodia stumbled upon an archaeological gold mine.

Hidden in the jungle were several temples built by a succession of rulers of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 12th centuries. King Jayavarman II laid the foundations for the empire in the 9th century, and Angkor remained the capital of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia for the next 400 years. Read more of this post

Can Yingluck Fix Cambodia Ties?

August 19, 2011
By James O’Toole

The election of Yingluck Shinawatra has raised hopes that Thailand can improve its prickly ties with Cambodia. But will the Thai Army get in the way?

Yingluck Shinawatra spent much of the month following herlandmark victory in Thailand’s national elections in July traveling the country, meeting with adoring supporters and enjoying a well-earned victory lap. But with all the problems that await her now that she has taken over as prime minister – opposition to her populist economic policies, a simmering insurgency in southern Thailand, and above all, the immense task of national reconciliation following the political violence in Bangkok last year – it’s a lap few could blame her for wanting to extend.

Amid all these challenges, though, there’s hope that the charismatic 44-year-old may be well-positioned to address one of the region’s thorniest disputes: the border standoff between Thailand and Cambodia. Read more of this post

Learning how countries develop

August 21, 2011

Why on earth would you go there?’’ That’s the question posed to most people who want to visit Cambodia, says Kristen Paonessa, a senior at Northeastern University majoring in international affairs and economics. Paonessa, who aims to pursue a career in international development, fulfilled an experiential learning requirement by interning in Phnom Penh for the Harpswell Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit that provides housing and education to children and women in Cambodia, with the goal of empowering a new generation of female leaders. She lived in a dormitory with 45 Khmer women from rural provinces as they pursued their studies at their respective universities. She taught them English and leadership skills and fostered critical thinking discussions on current events and also took Khmer language lessons. “I believe it is crucial to expose myself to life in a developing country,’’ Paonessa says. “In order to be able to fix global issues, one must see and feel the problems on the ground.’’

LASTING IMPACT: “The Harpswell Foundation appealed to me because it is striving to give local Cambodian women the opportunity to develop the necessary skills in order to become leaders in their country, region, and perhaps the world. I believe in the empowerment of women worldwide.’’

NEW DAY: “At the Harpswell dormitory the lifestyle is ‘early to rise and late to bed.’ The girls have regular cooking and cleaning duties that must be completed before their university classes begin around 7 or 8 a.m. They typically wake up and begin their duties around 5, even if they went to bed around midnight having stayed up late to do all of their homework assignments. I am not accustomed to a group of people regularly waking up so early in the morning . . . and with so much enthusiasm to start the day.’’ Read more of this post

UN envoy urges Thailand to tackle trafficking

Friday, Aug 19, 2011

BANGKOK – Thailand must do more to combat widespread human trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation, including addressing “deeply-rooted” corruption, a UN envoy said on Friday.

“The implementation of policy and legal framework on human trafficking and the law enforcement are weak and fragmented,” said the United Nations special rapporteur on people trafficking Joy Ngozi Ezeilo. Read more of this post

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