Beware of globalisation

Written by Sophan Seng
Thursday, 09 October 2008

Dear Editor,

It’s just the same song with different melodies. The change of world politics from barbarianism, to colonialism and to contemporary neo-liberal globalism lie on the same latitude: the strong exploit the weak. The change is just moving from explicit exploitation to implicit exploitation.

Civil society has become institutionalised; many rich countries have created their aid agencies to support other poorer countries.

Some aid has strings attached, some does not; but both are for the benefits of the donors primarily.
Aid is good for Cambodia. It is also good for donors because they can earn respect and business profits.
Japan’s aid to build bridges or pave roads is good for Cambodian people to commute easily, and it is also good for Japanese automobile companies to increase their sales of vehicles.

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Buddhism is the basis of the rule of law

Written by Moeun Chhean Nariddh
Tuesday, 07 October 2008

Dear Editor,

As Cambodian people are returning from P’Chum Ben, they might have fulfilled their traditional obligation to appease the ghosts of their ancestors who have been roaming different pagodas in search of food offered by their living relatives during the two-week-long festival.

However, probably very few people apart from the Buddhist monks and lay people have been able to please the gods by fully following the panca-sila, or the Five Precepts, they have repeatedly chanted during the ceremonies.
The panca-sila, or the Five Precepts in Buddhism, include:

1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures).

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New world, new leadership

Written by Vicente Salas
Friday, 03 October 2008
COMMENT

BY VICENTE SALAS

New global challenges call for different leadership styles

8-story-1.jpg

VANDY RATTANA

Voters display evidence of casting their ballots.

“Leaders do not have to be heroes, but they must not be afraid to face reality.”

If globalisation means anything, it means that local events have international consequences.
For better or worse, we are compelled to embrace change and accept that the uncertainties of the global political economy are part and parcel of living in such an interdependent world.

What happens at home doesn’t stay at home. East Asian economies prospered miraculously in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, before disaster struck with the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.

No one could have predicted that such a crisis could hit at the epicentre of a major emerging economic bloc.
The result was widespread political instability and a downgrading of human security.
The crisis taught us to be conscious of global uncertainties.

And then came SARS and bird flu-another aspect of globalisation that demonstrated our global vulnerability to disease. Global migration moves much faster today and remains beyond the control of nation-state institutionalism.
Natural disasters have global impacts: the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005, Cyclone Nargis in Burma in May 2008 and the Sichuan earthquake in China 10 days later.

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Cambodia’s higher education dreams confront reality

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — She has two years to go until graduation, but already Cambodian student Chhum Savorn is filled with a sense of dread.

The 21-year-old decided to major in finance, hoping she would acquire skills to help develop her country, which is one of the poorest in the world.

Instead, she thinks her education is nearly worthless — classes are mostly packed with indifferent, cheating students and led by under-qualified professors.

“The low quality of my studies means that I can’t help the country, and I’ll even have a hard time getting a job that pays enough to help my family,” she says.

A growing number of eager young Cambodians are finding themselves duped into a higher education system that suffers from weak management and teaching because it is geared more toward profit than learning.

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