Animals and Plants as National Symbols of Cambodia
December 12, 2008 by Chanroeun Pa
1- គោព្រៃ= Kouprey (Bos sauveli): The National Mammal of the Kingdom of Cambodia
The Kouprey, an original Khmer species, has been recognized worldwide and named in Khmer version by international biologists even though English, Spanish and French call it Kouprey. Its scientific name is “Bos sauveli” with a size: HB: 2100mm-2300mm; H: 1700mm-1900mm and W: 700-900 kg. The Kouprey is similar to the gaur or banteng but they are unique in having a very long dewlap hanging from the neck, in old males almost reaching the ground. The bull and cow horns are distinctly different. In the bull Kouprey, the horns have cores which are closer together and considerably larger; the horns form a convex curve for the basal half of the horns, dropping below the base, then rising upward and forward, extending slightly above the head with split at the tips. The horns in the female are lyre-shaped, corkscrewing upward, the tips are never shredded, and the cores are thinner and farther apart than in the male. The lower legs of the Kouprey are white or grayish and dark grayish at old age. In the pre-war period, hunting of the Kouprey was prohibited by declaration No. 191 dated January 20, 1960. After the Pol Pot regime, hunting was again prohibited by declaration No. 359 dated August 01, 1994, issued by Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries. Kouprey was classified as a critical endangered species according to the IUCN Red List. International Trade of this species is banned, following Appendix I of the CITES Convention and Migratory Species Convention.
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Thailand’s king and its crisis
A right royal mess
Dec 4th 2008 | BANGKOK
From The Economist print edition
Thailand’s interminable political conflict has much to do with the taboo subject of its monarchy. That is why the taboo must be broken
EVEN the most revered of kings, worshipped by his people as a demigod, is not immortal. Thais were reminded of this last month when six days of ornate cremation ceremonies, with gilded carriages and armies of extras in traditional costumes, were held for Princess Galyani, the elder sister of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej (pictured above). There was talk in Bangkok of the princess’s funeral being a “dress rehearsal” for the end of Bhumibol’s reign, 62 years long so far. Making one of few public appearances this year, shortly before his 81st birthday on December 5th, the king did indeed look his age.
The funeral only briefly calmed a political conflict that has raged for three years between supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister ousted by royalist generals in the 2006 coup, and an opposition movement backed by much of Bangkok’s traditional elite, apparently including Queen Sirikit. But the day after the ceremonies ended a grenade exploded among anti-Thaksin protesters, killing one. The anti-government protesters, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who had been occupying Government House since August, then seized Bangkok’s main airports, causing chaos. The siege was lifted only eight days later, after a court dissolved the main parties in the pro-Thaksin coalition government.
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Looking back to the history, Cambodia-China has longest tied relationship with each other. It is in both historical and contemporary co-operation. The name of Funan, an ancient Cambodian capital city, was literally coined by Chinese trader, and many other names of Khmer Kings during Funan period were entirely Chinese vernacular. The most significant notion is the Chinese Ambassador Chau Takuan who visited Cambodia Empire of Angkor. He inscribed the situation there vivaciously. His thesis becomes important historical manuscript for students and researchers to understand the culture of Khmer Empire in that time prior to its declination and seizing by the Siam eventually.
Recently, many Chinese top officers came to Cambodia with the same intention is to strengthen the relationship and boost the economic co-operation between two countries. There are several reflections to this tie and its future trend.
After the cold war, the tie with China was promoted in both economic development and political bloc rivalry. China provided aids to build Cambodia infrastructure and other industrial development tools. During Songkum Reastr Niyum led by King Norodom Sihanouk, there were concrete legacies of China’s support left in many fields. But when the aura of American war spread out in the region, China became the leading supporter to the Khmer Rouge to rally against America. American imperialistic war and China’s hard line resistance to the influence of America in the region resulted intractable conflicts and catastrophe in Cambodia. China and America were very keen proportion of peace and war in Cambodia in that time.
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I appreciate the appealing for thorough investigation of the UN representatives to the death of Heng Touch (PPP: UN representatives call for investigation into prison death). This case is considerably not the first one of impunity happened in Cambodia. The legal frailty has strongly rooted in Cambodia and it has gradually become the “culture of impunity”.
Since 1993, administrative and judicial reform is one of the priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to achieve its “National Programme to Rehabilitate and Develop Cambodia”. After the UNTAC-sponsored election, the UNs and other international stakeholders have utilized both carrot and stick tactic to speed up the reforms in Cambodia. In one hand, they urged the RGC to accelerate reforms with soft and hard pressure, while in another hand they still keep providing funds to develop various projects run by the government. But we can see only the good writing law has become the result of their effort while the implementation and legal enforcement are still slack. Ronald Bruce in his article “The Political Economy of the Royal Government of Cambodia” emphasised that the political culture of Cambodia strongly embedded in the political leadership of “the familism, cupidity, narrow horizons and reluctance to absorb or tolerate opposing point of views”. With the administrative system of “the clans and clients”, Ronald articulated his example said that the architect of the nation’s economic reformist Sam Rainsy was once ousted from position because of his hard line resistance to this culture. Judicial reform, among other national reforms have frequently undercut by the continuity of malfeasance, corruption, and violence, Ronald observed.
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