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An artist rises from the ashes


Srey Bandaul has come a long way since he first picked up a paint brush at the SiteTwo Refugee camp on the Thai border. Spooked by personal experience of fleeing the murderous Khmer Rouge, the 38-year-old has turned memories of a traumatic past into a promising artistic future.

Christie’s to hold first art auction in Cambodia


One of the world’s most esteemed auction houses is poised to stage its first ever event in Cambodia.
Christie’s, founded in London in 1766, is synonymous with fine art and today boasts offices around the world, including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, and Hong Kong.

Council of Ministers and UN Special Expert - continued

Norbert Klein

The following items are added as follow-up to the previous posting here: Council of Ministers Spokesperson Censured UN Special Expert on 26 January 2012.

On Friday, 27 January 2012, The Cambodia Daily reported:

In a letter addressed to Mr. Scheffer dated yesterday, Mr. Siphan said his comments on the meeting were misinterpreted. According to Mr. Siphan, he had only said that Mr. Scheffer "understood" Mr. Sok An's position "that the Royal Government of Cambodia cannot overturn the decision of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy."

Music scene opens up to next generation of listeners


Family friendly gigs “a big part of cultural education”, says host

Finding something to keep the kids entertained in a concrete jungle such as Phnom Penh can prove challenging. It’s precisely this that prompted Philippe, of Le Jardin, to organise an unprecedented series of ‘family friendly gigs’.

Kiss kiss, bang bang

Phoenix J

The Tommy gun roars into life in my grip, spitting bullets at a paper gangster pinned to a wall of sandbags 50 metres in front of where I sit, hunched over a desk, cold metal cradled against my cheek. It will be 24 hours before my hearing fully returns.
Billed as the ultimate anti-bandit gun in Prohibition-era America, ‘the gun that made the ‘20s roar’ was also the weapon of choice for Chicago mob boss Al Capone, whose first use of the Thompson in 1926 killed a bootlegger, a politician and an assistant state attorney. Today, however, it is mine.

Council of Ministers Spokesperson Censured UN Special Expert

Norbert Klein

Some readers may remember that on 20 October 2011, I documented three quite different press statements – all issued on the same day, all related the Khmer Rouge Trial, from the following sources:

  • The Office of the Council of Ministers, Royal Government of Cambodia, Press and Quick Reaction Unit
  • Lars Olsen, Legal Communications Officer, Public Affairs Section, United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials
  • United Nations Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Ms. Patricia O’Brien

Now we have a similar, though different case. The Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers distributed a press release on 24 January 2012, publishing the same text also on their website:

Animated film festival to draw cartoon-loving crowds


Traditional animation, far from dying a death with the advance of its high-tech counterpart, is experiencing something of a renaissance. In 1995, when Pixar launched the first ever feature film made entirely with computer-generated imagery (CGI), sceptics were quick to sound the death knell for its predecessor. But in recent years, often with the support of CGI animators, hand-drawn works by the likes of Japanese manga artist Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away; Howl’s Moving Castle) and French director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville; The Illusionist) have gained critical acclaim and, even more notably, been given nods at the Oscars.

Review: Top Cat in the Alley

Charley Bolding-Smith

Part diner, part dive bar, joints like Alley Cat simply don’t exist elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The fact that they celebrated their sixth anniversary last year is significant in a town where bars close quicker than a speeding motodop. It’s a cafe with character – and characters. Step forward owner Mark Eastty and lugubrious front man Dallas, responsible for the trademark Top Cat mural and Tex-Mex desert landscape. They give the venue a sense of drama and permanence. The diner booths are wonderfully flexible – the largest can accommodate 10, or two sprawled flat-out at quiet times.

Retirement Plans

Infinity Financial Solutions

Retirement is a word that many of my clients tell me they cannot relate to. They can’t relate to it because they cannot envision themselves in a “traditional” retirement mode of perpetual golf, naps on the beach, and no more work. But to a person, they want financial independence at some point in their future; financial independence defined as the ability to make choices regarding their personal path because they have accumulated sufficient assets with which to replace the income currently provided by their business, their employer or both.

About Law Enorcement

Norbert Klein

There is some follow-up news to the last blog here, from 1 January 2012, on Royal pardons. I had quoted a report saying that Foreign Minister Hor Namhong had stated on 29 December 2011: “There is the law and only prisoners who have served two thirds of their jail term can get a royal pardon from the King.”

But contrary to this law, a Russian citizen was set free, a man with enormous financial resources, who had been convicted for sexual abuses affecting young girls from the age of 6 to 16, more girls than in any other court case in Cambodia so far.


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