Housing rights activist Tep Vanny and other international rights advocates were awarded in a gala event at the Kennedy Center in Washington Tuesday night, sharing the stage with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. The event was held by Vital Voices, an organization established by Clinton in 1997. Tep Vanny accepted a global leadership award, calling it a sign that the Cambodian struggle for housing and land in the face of forced evictions had earned international recognition. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemera reports from Washington.
The award-winning documentary on Cambodian development, "A River Changes Course," screened in Washington last month for an environmental film festival. The festival examined the impacts of globalization and environmental destruction. VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng spoke with filmmaker Mam Kalyanee to discuss how these issues are addressed by activists and decision-makers.
Though the government has approved the Lower Sesan 2 Dam project, affected villagers in Stung Treng province continue to rally against it. They want authorities to reconsider plans for the hydropower dam. VOA Khmer's Say Mony reports from northern Cambodia in Stung Treng province. The villagers living along the Sesan river in Stung Treng province say they do not want to see the Lower Sesan 2 dam erected on the river, where generations of Cambodians have supported families by fishing and rice farming. Noy Phut is a fisherman here in Srek Kor village of Sesan district. He says if built, the dam would disrupt his ability to support his family by fishing. “Of course, there will be nothing,’’ Noy Phut said.
Kem Sokha, head of the opposition Human Rights Party, is seeking support from Cambodian workers in South Korea ahead of July's national polls. More than 1,000 workers welcomed Kem Sokha to Soul last weekend, providing financial support as the opposition prepares for the parliamentary elections. In a Skype interview with VOA Khmer Sok Khemara, Kem Sokha said he hoped to update the thousands of Cambodian workers in South Korea on Cambodian politics.
A new exhibition of photographs at the Bophana Center in Phnom Penh illustrates the lives of Cambodians after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. Australian photographer Paul Cummings, whose works on are display, began traveling to Cambodia in 1983. He recently spoke to VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng about post-Khmer Rouge reconstruction and how he captured it in pictures.
Social injustice, impunity and the abuse of Cambodian women will be featured in a new graphic novel, “The Beauty Curse." Veteran journalist Eric Pape has taken the case of Tat Marina, a former karaoke star and victim of an acid attack, as the subject of the illustrated novel, finding a new way to examine acid attacks, which continue to plague modern Cambodia. Pape told VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng that the graphic novel, which is seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign, will tell her story to a wider audience, adding to the media coverage and a documentary on the attack.