Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Links to news stories

Nick Meo reports in The Sunday Herald on the grave robbers destroying Cambodia's past. In the past six years there has been an epidemic of looting in Cambodia, so much that archaeologists fear knowledge of a key period in Asia's history is being lost forever. Ancient artefacts are being sold as amulets on eBay and Meo tells us more here.

The Nation in Bangkok has another feature on the Living Angkor Road Project which has been receiving lots of publicity in recent months. On the road to Angkor - a bilateral project seeks and preserves 12th-century trade route built by the ancient Khmer; read the full story here.

Another snippet; Funcinpec lawmaker and Senior Minister, Veng Sereyvuth has been appointed Minister of Culture in Cambodia, replacing an ailing Prince Sisowath Sirivuth, who suffered a debilitating stroke a few months ago. Sereyvuth was previously the Minister of Tourism and was a great advocate for the development of his country's tourism infrastructure. Lets hope he will do the same for the management of his country's cultural heritage.

One news story that won't go away is the increasing prevalence of bag-snatching that is taking place in Phnom Penh. This is the ugly side of Cambodia and one which the police need to crack down on smartish. There are well-known hotspots for this, especially around Wat Phnom after dark and this is exactly what happened to one of my friends at the weekend. Sitting on the back of a moto, she was the victim of such a robbery and has only just been released from hospital, nursing her wounds, which include substantial grazing on her legs, arms and shoulders and a deep, open wound on her hip bone. Her bag was slung across her shoulder so when the thieves grabbed it and pulled, she was yanked off the moto and onto the road. Thank goodness she didn't hit her head, but its a reminder that these bag thefts do happen, especially in the run-up to the holiday festivals of Pchum Ben and the Water Festival. As the Lonely Planet guidebook points out, Cambodians need money to buy gifts for relatives or to pay off debts, and for some individuals theft is the quick way to get this money. So be vigilant and don't take out your valuables unnecessarily.


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