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Cambodian Monk Pursuing Leadership Skills at Harvard

He hopes to use the skills he takes from the Kennedy School to restructure the management of Cambodian Buddhism.

Bhikkhu Hoeurn Somnieng receives a degree in business management from St. Ambrose University in Iowa, USA.Bhikkhu Hoeurn Somnieng receives a degree in business management from St. Ambrose University in Iowa, USA.
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Bhikkhu Hoeurn Somnieng receives a degree in business management from St. Ambrose University in Iowa, USA.
Bhikkhu Hoeurn Somnieng receives a degree in business management from St. Ambrose University in Iowa, USA.
Im SothearithVOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - Because public management in Cambodia is still week, venerable monk Hoeurn Somnieng, is pursuing a graduate degree at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

He told VOA Khmer on Monday that Cambodia’s Buddhism in particular lacks leadership and management from the monastery to the national level. Hoeurn Somnieng said everyone needs to carefully utilize their knowledge so that it benefits the nation as a whole.

“If we serve individuals, it benefits individuals, but if we use our knowledge to serve the nation, it benefits the nation,” he said.

Hoeurn Somnieng is the founder of the Life and Hope Association and chairs a number of NGO networks based in Siem Reap province. He hopes to use the skills he takes from the Kennedy School to restructure the management of Cambodian Buddhism.

“I believe that I can help contribute to strengthening our Buddhist sector, if not for the whole country, at least the ones I am responsible for,” he said. “I cannot say I am able to reform Cambodia’s public sector, but I can say I will try to help strengthen our national institutions. I can see that the government has been trying to reform the public sector, but it is questionable whether it is effective.”

Cambodian Monk Pursuing Leadership Skills at Harvard
Cambodian Monk Pursuing Leadership Skills at Harvardi
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Hoeurn Somnieng said strengthening Cambodia’s Buddhist sector will require a high level of capacity and genuine systematic reform. It has to start from leadership at the monasterial level. People are influenced by their social environment, he said, wherein the rule of law and the effectiveness of law enforcement have to be taken into account.
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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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