Internet is expanding. What does it mean for us?
News is very important for people — it keeps them updated with what’s happening or going to happen in their area and around the world. These days Cambodians can get their news on the internet, which provides both local and international news.
They can get a variety of news on the internet, some of it written by professionals and some by those who simply created a website or blog. If you cannot read English, don’t worry. You can still follow the daily news on the internet through an increasing number of Khmer websites and blogs. The news varies from lifestyle to political discussion, and everyone can have their voice heard.
Most people think that the internet is a totally free world since anyone can write or post something for others to read. However, it is not free when a government tries to censor the internet and restrict the information. In Burma, according to the Wikipedia website, the military government restricts internet access through software-based censorship which limits the material citizens can access and it blocks some websites.
Will this happen in Cambodia?
As far as I know, there aren’t any websites blocked by the Cambodian government, so we are able to read things critical of the government like KI-media. However, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights said on December 17 that it was concerned government officials were going to start censoring websites after a report by Radio Free Asia that Var Kimhong, Cambodia’s senior minister in charge of border affairs, had spoken out against KI-media: “I asked the government to shut down this website on December 31,” he said.
If the government starts censoring internet content, it would.By: Dara Saoyuth This article was publish on LIFT, Issue 52 published on January 5, 2010
- Meeting Cambodian politicians on the internet (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Saoyuth gives voice to BarCamp Phnom Penh 2010 (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
Easy way to get free subscription from the Phnom Penh Post
This is a 3 month subscription to the Phnom Penh Post Khmer language edition and “EVERYONE” has the possibility of winning.
- The first thing you must have is your account in Angkorone website. Don’t worry! You can register it for free.
- LIFT offers every week discussions. Go to the discussions address (angkorone.com/lift) and then share your comments in any topic you interested in.
- LIFT/The Phnom Penh Post staffs will judge who should become our member of the week and the result will be release in the next issue of LIFT published every Wednesday.
- When you see your name in LIFT magazine, email: lift@phnompenhpost to start getting the best news in Khmer language for free.
“We’ll see you at angkorone.com/lift”Dara Saoyuth 14/12/2010
5 Cool things by Dara Saoyuth
To the more literary among us, it’s a problem that arises constantly during our waking hours. It’s time for you to go to school or finish your chores around the house, but you are in the middle of an amazing book and you just can’t stand to put it down. Now you can relax, letter-loving friends. It’s possible to stay stuck in a book while fulfilling your duties away from the page. Audio books might take a little getting used to, but, after a few listens you will be locked in. You will still have to deal with situations not conducive to continuing your bookish journey, but it will happen less often. My favourite sites for downloading audio books are http://h33t.com and http://www.mininova.org.
How many of you have your own blog? Chances are there will be a lot more of you once the word spreads through 5 cool things. That’s a good thing, since blogs are an awesome way to develop your writing and thinking skills, while making friends and expanding your exposure to people, news and events around the world. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to start a blog. In fact, once you set it up the only thing you really need to know how to do is type. Even my 95-year-old grandmother has a blog. That’s not true, however, it would illustrate how simple blogging can be. From now on, put your ideas online and let other people help you make them better.
What time do to you wake up and go to school? What do you do when you get home? What time do you go to bed? There are an infinite number of questions that you must answer throughout the day and you probably make most of them without much thought or consideration of how to best organise your time. Living a reactionary life might seem like the best path, but when you plan your day before it begins you can be sure not to forget things that tend to slip your mind. The only part of my day that I don’t plan in advance is grabbing my scheduler in the morning to map out the day ahead.
If you are anything like me, you and your computer have a pretty special relationship. Take it to a new level by making use of your computer’s ability to talk with you or, more specifically, to talk like you. Any fairly new computer has a built-in sound recorder and accompanying software that allows you to record your voice, play it back and possibly edit it as well. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in mic you can buy an external microphone or, better yet, a pair of headphones with a microphone attached. Once everything is set up you can use the simple but versatile technology for a bunch of different things. I usually use it to listen to my pronunciation and improve my spoken English. So ditch your outdated tape recorder and make the most of your computer’s capabilities.
I have long been a fan of trips to the sea for a weekend of frolicking by the ocean, swimming, however, has recently been climbing up my list of favourite pastimes in the city. Aquatic exercising has countless benefits for your health and body, but it is also enjoyable, a rare combination as far as workouts go. You can ramp up the fun and hang out poolside with your friends. But I have observed that each person you add to a swimming outing inevitably leads to a drop in the likelihood you will actually work out. With some exercises you feel sore and strained the next day, but after a couple of weeks swimming you will feel refreshed. The more time you spend in the water the better you will feel. So next time you are hot and bothered, sort yourself out with a swim.by: Dara Saoyuth This article was published on Lift, Issue 44 published on November 10, 2010
Observations from the Field
Four students from RUA (the Royal University of Agriculture) tell Lift why they chose to study agriculture and give us their thoughts on what needs to be done to improve the sector.
Why did you choose to study agriculture? What do you plan to do when you get out?
Dara: I decided to study agriculture because I saw the possibilities within the job market in Cambodia’s agriculture sector. Because of the size of the industry, agriculture offers more opportunities than majors like accounting, business and economics.
Seyha: I chose to study agriculture because my parents are farmers. I can apply what I’ve learned in school to the real world by working with farmers through companies or organisations that focus on agriculture. I can introduce new techniques to the farmers living in rural areas, who are still using traditional techniques, and help them improve their lives by producing a higher-quality grain. If agriculture doesn’t develop, the county won’t develop either.
Do you think that you can get a good job with good pay when you graduate? What sort of job do you want to get?
Seyha: Most students graduating from RUA, especially in rural development, are working for NGOs. Students who study agronomy can work for companies such as those owned by Mong Reththy and Ly Yong Phat.
Nika: We can also work in the government or, for those who like teaching, they can work in the University of Agriculture.
Dara: If students have relatives or friends who can help them find jobs with the government, they will be able to get the high pay and a high position. However, when working with the government, we don’t work directly with the people like we would with an NGO.
What changes need to be made within Cambodia’s agriculture sector to improve it?
Dara: The first change should start with the farmers themselves. It’s their responsibility to improve themselves. They should not just wait for another person to help them. They need to learn the techniques from the good farmers around them.
Seyha: Firstly, we have to improve equipment like irrigation systems. Then farmers won’t have to spend money on pumping water into their fields. Secondly, farmers often don’t know how to find a market for their goods because there is a middleman who buys their products and sells them at the market. The farmers gets a bad price while the middleman takes a hefty portion of the profits. I want people to form communities, and when they buy something, buy it together. For example, if a village wants to buy 50 bags of fertiliser, they can do it together and save time and money. They can also sell their products together so the buyers cannot pay them a low price. The third thing we need is more processing companies in our country. That way we can transform our goods from raw materials to finished products, which we can export to foreign countries for more money.
Many organisations say farmers are resistant to changing their methods. What are the difficulties and what did you do to convince these people that the new practice is the best?
Dara: If we just go to the farmers and tell them to change they have no reason to believe us. We need to set up a demonstration plot to show farmers or choose a model farmer who wants to improve his or her techniques. When it proves that it is the best technique and beneficial to their production, other farmers will start to follow.
Do you think that cash crops such as rubber and cassava are a good choice for the use of Cambodian land?
Dara: I think for businesspeople, they don’t think about how to use soil sustainably. They think that rubber is planted for business and sale, but they don’t think of how the soil will be ruined. When we plant only one kind of crop, it will take out all of the nutrients.
Nika: Many companies are growing cassava, which takes a lot of nutrients from the land and doesn’t give any back so the soil will be destroyed one day.
Do you think that there will be problems with many people growing commercial crops and not enough food crops?
Dara: I think there will be problems with more people growing commercial crops to get power.
Nika: Commercial crops are usually grown on concession land in places like Kratie, Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri, while food crops are mostly grown in Battambang, Pursat and Takeo. Therefore, I don’t think it causes problems.
Dara: However, now that rubber from Vietnam has been introduced and can be grown in any kinds of soil it will likely impact the food security in Cambodia.
Do you know what the value chain is? Do you know that many times rice has been sent to Vietnam and Thailand, who return it to Cambodia for sale after it has been processed? I want to know what you think of processing in Cambodia.
Dara: I think the government is paying more attention to investment. I believe that in the future Cambodia will improve since there are more and more investments in the Kingdom. Moreover, many students have had a chance to study abroad, so that they can bring knowledge of processing to Cambodia. With this, Cambodia will be able to process more of its agriculture products on its own.
by: Dara Saoyuth and Koam Tivea
This article was published on Lift, Issue 28, July 21, 2010
Student of the Week : Theng Tith Maria
Theng Tith Maria knows exactly what she wants to do with her life – a rare trait in anyone, let alone a 20-year-old student. “I want to be a lawyer,” she told Lift, explaining that by working in law she won’t be beholden to government or private institutions and she can “help the Cambodian people; my clients”.
The Cambodian legal system is often criticised for its lack of transparency. But if Theng Tith Maria is any indication of what the future generation of jurists could contribute, then there are young legal minds ready to use their expertise to improve their country through its courts.
The Cambodian Client Counseling Competition brings together legal teams comprised of students from various universities from around the country and tests their ability to provide on-the-spot legal advice to hypothetical clients. For two of the last three years, Theng Tith Maria, who is part of one of the teams representing the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), has taken first place honours.
After graduating from Wat Koh High School in 2006, Theng Tith Maria won a scholarship to study English literature at Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) and enrolled at RULE. Although she is one of the top students in her programme at IFL, she admits that her main focus is law.
“I have accepted that I cannot give everything to both majors at the same time,” she said, advising others to recognise their strengths and pursue success in that field.
Theng Tith Maria’s success in domestic client counseling competitions have won her trips around the world, including to last year’s Louis M Brown International Client Counselling Competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and most recently to Hong Kong. She was also part of a group of five students who represented Cambodia to join The Philip C Jessup International Moot Court Competition held in Washington DC, in March.
There is no secret to her success – besides hard work – but there are a few strategies that Theng Tith Maria employs to make her studying more efficient. She explained that while some people try to isolate themselves when they study, thinking they will focus better, she prefers to engage in discussion, which makes things easier to remember. “If I have to memorise lessons for exam, I join a group discussion and we all share different information,” she said. “Learning through action always works the best for me.”
Theng Marith, Maria’s proud father, said that, if anything, his daughter needs to study less. “I don’t have to worry about her being lazy,” he said. “But sometimes I worry that she is trying too hard.”
By: Dara Saoyuth & LIFT Staffs
This article was published on Lift, Issue 27, July 14, 2010
LIFT homepage Click Here
Water and Energy for The Poor
Many Cambodians rely on the forest and fisheries of Cambodia for their livelihoods, but oftentimes their activities are harmful to the environment. The Cambodia Rural Development team (CRDT) is one of a number of organisations trying to halt deforestation and the destruction of natural resources. What makes CRDT different from other groups is that it was created by four university graduates from different provinces and backgrounds who share the same concerns about environmental problems.
CRDT was established in 2001 by Or Channy, Hean Pheap, Hang Vong and Sun Mao, who were seniors in the rural development department at Maharashi Vedic University. CRDT’s first project was launched in Kampong Cham province, where they built five water pumps and 15 biodigesters.
Hean Pheap said the idea of establishing this organisation came during a visit to Or Channy’s house in Kampong Cham when they saw that villagers were having problems finding firewood to cook and water to drink. “People in Channy’s village had to go 30 kilometers from their homes to find firewood for cooking and clean water to use in thier daily lives,” said Hean Pheap. “I knew how to make biogas cookers and water pumps. We talked together and decided to solve water and firewood shortage problem for the villagers,” he proudly explained.
CRDT’s vision is for “a Cambodia free of poverty and environmental degradation,” and to achieve this vision its mission is “to improve food security, incomes and living standards of subsistence rural communities while supporting environmental conservation throughout Cambodia.
Written by: Dara Saoyuth
This article was published on Lift, Issue 21, June 2, 2010