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Archive for April 28th, 2007

Take that, you saffron-covered fool!
“Where Elephants Weep” the very first modern Cambodian opera, premiered in Lowell, Massachusetts, and will eventually travel to Phnom Penh where it will open in January 2008.

Sung in English and Khmer, the music features a 12th century pin peat ensemble, traditional Cambodian instruments, a string quartet and a rock band, and the story is of Cambodians returning to their country after the Khmer Rouge years and civil war.

While Cambodian music comes to the West, one big-name star is going the other direction. Former Boyzone babe-and-a-half, Ronan Keating, will soon be playing PP’s Olympic stadium. Cam officials are thinking this will boost tourism. Okay. I suppose, “Come to Cambodia to hear an Irish guy sing” is as good a come-on as some.

This from the Boston Globe gives more on the opera and the people involved. Very cool.

And speaking of cool …

how about this story about Cambodian rangers being trained to protect the country’s bear population?

The Australian-based organization Free the Bears has set up a program to train 2 dozen park rangers in efforts to save the Asiatic black bears and Sun bears that live in Cambodia from poachers who go after them for their bile … a component in Chinese traditional medicine.

And while we’re on wildlife, there’s a crocodile alert in effect in villages along the Mekong. Officials are guessing these are escapees from one of the croc farms in the area. Makes doing the laundry a bit dodgy.

Quality may be on the way up in Cambodia with the passage of a new Law of Standard that is supposed to, ” … ‘urge our local enterprises and producers to produce commodities of unified standard,’ said Ith Prang, secretary of state at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy.”

The ramifications for bootlegging the “mark of Standard of Cambodia” will be 6 days to one month in jail and a fine of $125 to $500. Why do I suspect this won’t be stopping anyone?

For a look at investment opportunities in Cambodia, here’s an article that talks about the boom in progress and who’s putting big money into the country.

Prime Minister Hun Sen is giving his that oil money will be put to good use, saying it will mainly go to the education and health sectors.

Okay.

I suppose they can always count on the legions of Buddhist religious leaders in the country to make sure everything is above-board … or not.

A monk melee broke out on the streets of Phnom Penh the other day, apparently over religious freedom for Cambodian Buddhists in Viet Nam.

Sheesh.

And that all, folks …

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