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>Cambodia welcomes visa exemption agreement with Vietnam


November 13, 2008 by pna

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 13 – Cambodia has welcomed the visa exemption agreement with Vietnam which was signed during a visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Hun Sen early this month.

The agreement, expected to come into effect early next year, will create an important impetus for the non-smoking industry’s development as well as other services of both countries, Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khun told reporters on November 12.

The agreement will also help increase the number of those who travel cross Cambodia-Vietnam border gates for tourism, trade and health treatment, according to the Cambodian official.

In addition, the agreement contributes to facilitating other services like transport, restaurants and hotels, generating more jobs for people of both countries, particularly in tourist sites and common border areas. (PNA/VNA)

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>Romania Has Worse Roads than Bulgaria, Albania and Even Cambodia


13 November 2008 | The quality of roads in Romania puts the country in 123rd place in the world, behind some less developed African and Asian countries, according to a recently released rank list by the World Economic Forum.

Romania is far behind Hungary (in 64th place) and about 20 spots after Bulgaria (105th position), according to the Romanian online media. Even the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, at 104th place, has better roads than the EU’s two newest member states.

To add insult to injury, also preceding Romania in road quality are Albania, the African states of Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia and Cambodia in South East Asia, noted.

Despite the grim assessment, great strides in Romania’s road infrastructure are being promised as part of the campaign preceding the parliamentary elections, scheduled to take place in the country on November 30. Political parties propose that an average of 250 kilometres of motorways per year be built until 2012, which seems like a stretch considering that only five kilometres of motorways were opened in 2008.

The two important motorways in question now, according to the publication, are the stretches Bucharest – Braşov and Braşov – Cluj – Bors. The deadline for the completion of the former is 2012 and 2013 for the latter.

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>ASEAN-UN study finds migrants vulnerable to AIDS


Filipina women pass red balloons and the red ribbon emblem, that symbolizes the worldwide crusade against the HIV/AIDS

JAKARTA (AFP) — Millions of migrants across Southeast Asia are vulnerable to HIV infection as they lack access to AIDS-related services and legal or social protection, an joint ASEAN-UN report said Thursday.

In Thailand, which has more comprehensive data, migrant fishermen showed HIV infection rates of up to 9.0 percent, according to the report published here by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations.

In the Philippines, 35 percent of registered people living with HIV were returning migrants. In Laos, the figure reached 30 percent.

“Migrant workers are a vital force to national economies in Southeast Asia, yet when it comes to protecting their rights and ensuring HIV prevention and treatment, they are often among the forgotten,” United Nations Development Programme regional director Ajay Chhibber said.

More than 1.5 million people are living with HIV in the region and most of them are of working age, the report said.

Risk behaviour and HIV infection rates were considerably higher among migrants than in the general population.

“While migrants and their sexual partners are included as a vulnerable group in the national strategic plans of ASEAN countries, comprehensive programmes to address their needs have yet to be developed, funded and implemented,” UNAIDS regional director JVR Prasada Rao said.

The report included for the first time an analysis of current migration patterns along with HIV infection in ASEAN’s 10 member countries

In some of ASEAN’s worst affected countries, such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, over 1.5 percent of the adult population had been infected with HIV.

Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam have developed pre-departure training on HIV prevention for outbound, documented migrant workers.

However, many of the training sessions were ineffective, the report found.

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>Perfect ending to a life-changing trip


Cambodia has the highest percentage of handicapped people in the world. It is common and normal to see people with only one leg hobbling along the roadway. We assisted with the distribution of 1,000 wheelchairs donated by the Latter-Day Saints Church to handicapped individuals. It was a very moving experience to witness the emotions of the many recipients.

Cambodia has the highest percentage of handicapped people in the world. It is common and normal to see people with only one leg hobbling along the roadway. We assisted with the distribution of 1,000 wheelchairs donated by the Latter-Day Saints Church to handicapped individuals. It was a very moving experience to witness the emotions of the many recipients. (Contributed)

Mike Morgan
Guest Columnist
November 13, 2008

I am writing my final article from Cambodia and wondering where the last year and a half has gone. Time seems to have flown by. We have had many wonderful experiences and made many wonderful friends while serving here.

We will leave Cambodia with very mixed emotions and many fond memories. We have met some of the finest people in the world. Their ways are different from ours in the United States, but, in many respects, they are the same. Many of the people have the same wants and desires as ours; we are all truly “Children of God.” We would like to feel we have made a difference in the lives of some people, but the question is how much difference? Our purpose has been to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ and self-reliance. We are very careful not to continue the “give away” programs that are very prevalent in this third world country. There is a lot of money from many organizations and countries donated here, and it is questionable how much of the money actually reaches the people.

I have worked in the International University Dental School both instructing and supervising the students with their treatments. The fees the university charges are minimal (extraction is $3, amalgam filling $3, denture $50, root canal $13), but they are still often difficult for the people to manage financially. We have supplemented the expenses for many, but we try to have some small investment from the patient. We try to have them pay something for the services and we pay the difference.

Occasionally there are individuals who, through no fault of their own, are left severely handicapped due to accidents. We assisted with a wheelchair distribution of 1,000 wheelchairs donated by the Latter-Day Saints Church to handicapped individuals. It was a very moving experience to witness the emotions of the many recipients. Cambodia has the highest percentage of handicapped people in the world. It is common and normal to see people with only one leg hobbling along the roadway. There is a long history of war in this part of the world, and there have been a large number of landmines placed throughout the country by many countries and enemies. Even today, there are hundreds of people a year killed by residual landmines and many more injured. The heavily-mined borders of the country during the Vietnam War and during the Khmer Rouge massacre that followed have left many dangerous landmines. The landmines and fear was quite successful in keeping the people confined within the country borders. The Khmer Rouge killed 25 percent (2 million people) of the population during the rein (1970-75) following the removal of troops from Vietnam by the United States.

We have been very thrilled to work with the young people in this land of Cambodia. We feel certain this next generation will be much stronger in their faith and confidence than the “shell-shocked” generation of the Khmer Rouge experience. Almost everyone we meet had someone from his or her family killed by the regime. The current generation has, for the most part, put the KR behind them and they are ready to move on.

Education is important to them and they seem to have a desire to improve their skills and knowledge. Almost all of the young people speak English to some degree. They know learning English is very important in assisting them to obtain good employment and financial success. There are many private schools and universities throughout Phnom Penh. The public schools are quite weak and, as a result, many private schools have emerged to educate the young people.

We will be happy to return home to our comfortable surroundings, family and friends, but this experience in Cambodia has been life changing. We are grateful to the Lord for allowing us to serve in this part of His vineyard.

Mike and Mary Lee Morgan are on an 18-month assignment in the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They have been assigned to do both proselyting and humanitarian services for the Cambodian people. Dr. Morgan retired from his dental practice in Zanesville, after 41 years of practice. He will periodically write about their adventures.

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>Cambodian TV star saved in Vietnam


13th November, 2008

VietNamNet Bridge – The French-Vietnamese (FV) Hospital on Wednesday confirmed that Cambodian television star DJ Ano had been saved and left the hospital.

Cambodian TV star DJ Ano

DJ Ano or Suon Pheakdei, 26, is the host of channel TV3, Phnom Penh TV. She is a famous TV host, actress and model in Cambodia.

Ano was the victim of a brutal jealousy case which has stirred up the Cambodian public the past two weeks.

According to some Cambodian newspapers, DJ Ano’s entire body was lacerated by tens of dozens of cuts from razor blades and she lost a lot of blood. The hit-men had been hired by the wife of a senior police officer.

The FV Hospital said that DJ Ano had been hospitalised in very serious condition but the hospital refused to provide further information.

DJ Ano was taken to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh for first aid but she was flown to Vietnam subsequently. At first, doctors said her survival was doubtful.

After one week of treatment at FV Hospital, DJ Ano recovered and left the hospital. With the injuries to her body, it has been said DJ Ano will be unable to continue her career on TV.

DJ Ano’s going to and leaving the FV hospital was kept secret. According to Cambodian newspapers, the information released by the hospital was the first accurate information about DJ Ano. Even TV3 channel hadn’t had any information about their staff in nearly three weeks.

Nobody knows whether DJ Ano has returned to Cambodia or not.

DJ Ano is the second entertainment star in Cambodia to be treated at a Vietnamese hospital. In February 2007, Cambodia’s number-one pop star Pov Panhapic was saved by doctors at HCM City-based Cho Ray Hospital after she was shot, also in a jealousy case. She is now living in Vietnam.

(Source: PLTPHCM)

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