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Nasty and neglected diseases



Exports increase 10 per cent

Successful People Read The Post



4000 RIEL

Dozens sentenced for clearing state-protected mangrove forest

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Ethnic groups becoming media-savvy Joe Freeman and Sen David

ONE hot day in June, 2009, Ven Samin, a member of the ethnic Suoy minority in Kampong Speu province, grabbed her digital camera and headed out of the house. The 44-year-old arrived at a collection of damaged rice paddies in Oral district and began taking photos. There are not many photographers or tourists in this part of the country, so local authorities quickly took notice of the woman with the fancy camera who was shooting pictures of empty fields. Not long afterwards, Samin said, officials acting as representatives for an agricultural company with which the ethnic Suoy villagers had been feuding told her she was not permitted to photograph the sites because she didn’t belong to an accredited news outlet. “They threatened me and told me to stop. They said I wasn’t a journalist, so I couldn’t take photos,” she said. Unimpressed, Samin continued shooting, before arranging to send the snaps to the Indigenous Community Support Organization, based in Phnom Penh. Companies embroiled in land disputes with ethnic minorities will likely find themselves dealing with more Samins before long. Her actions represent changing attitudes among members of indigenous ethnic minorities in Cambodia. Once cut off from society and relegated to their remote Continues on page 6

Siem Reap blaze Workers clear up the charred remains of a bakery, the result of a fire that broke out early yesterday in Siem Reap town’s Svay Dangkum commune. The bakery, a travel agency, a pharmacy and the homes of dozens of people were destroyed in the blaze. ALISTAIR WALSH


Long road to recovery Abby Seiff


WO US Marines injured in a demining accident on Tuesday that wounded four were still in the intensive-care unit last night following a series of harrowing operations. A source at the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok said both men were in a stable condition, but stressed it was too early to say whether they would

Two deminers remain in ICU after surgery require further surgery or to predict when they might be released. Sergeant David Crouse was “recovering OK” after two operations on Wednesday — one to remove shrapnel from wounds in both arms, the other to insert a prosthetic left eye. “He’s in good condition now,” the source said.

Sergeant Phillip McGill, the second, and more severely injured, of the two, remained on a respirator yesterday after a six-hour abdominal and vascular surgery that began on Wednesday night and dragged into early yesterday morning. As of yesterday afternoon, McGill was conscious and his condition was

listed as stable. Two other men, Lieutenant Matthew Schaefer and Len Austin, deputy director of field operations for the demining NGO Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, were doing well and expected to make full recoveries after smaller operations on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the expert deminers

were injured when a UXO exploded as they attempted to disarm it. Once disabled, the 23-millimetre anti-aircraft ammunition was to have been used as part of a training course the Marines were running at the Cambodian Mine Action Centre’s Kampong Chhnang province facility. CMAC has already begun an ongoing investigation, and both the Marines Continues on page 4




Another blaze in Siem Reap Alistair Walsh and Thik Kaliyann Siem Reap


Sergeant Phillip McGill, left, shows a fellow marine how to detonate TNT during a 2011 training session in the US. SAMUEL A. NASSO/US MARINES

Two US deminers still in ICU after surgeries Continued from page 1

and Golden West are launching inquiries of their own, confirmed US Embassy spokesman John Simmons. Speaking from Bangkok, a colleague visiting Austin said he appeared to be “doing well and is expected to make a full recovery”. “He’s walking around, he’s chatting,” said the colleague, who asked that his name not be used, because he is not a spokesperson for Golden West. “I can confirm that Len is expected to make a full re-

covery. Generally, [his injuries] won’t cause permanent damage,” he said, adding that Austin had sustained burns and shrapnel wounds. Asked whether Austin – who has worked with the foundation for seven years and has over two decades of demining experience – intended to return to the dangerous line of work, his colleague responded without pause. “Yes.” CHECK THE POST WEBSITE FOR BREAKING NEWS

HREEbuildingsburned to the ground in the early hours yesterday in Siem Reap town’s Svay Dangkum commune, less than 200 metres from December’s fatal night market fire. Flames destroyed a bakery, a travel agency and a pharmacy as well as the homes of dozens of people who lived in the buildings, but no one was killed or injured, said Siem Reap deputy police chief Thoeung Chendarith. Witnesses said the fire started at about 1:30am due to an electrical problem in the pharmacy before spreading to the rest of the building – which housed two families – and the travel agency next door. It then engulfed a third building, the site of a bakery and the residence of more than 30 people. “I saw the fire, and I woke my family up,” said Met Mun, the owner of Stung Thmei Bread. “When I saw the fire starting to spread, I moved all my motorbikes, cars and property out of the house.” Tel Piseth, owner of the pharmacy’s building, also said he managed to evacuate the

Siem Reap resident Met Mun lost his home and bakery in a blaze that started early yesterday.

house before the flames injured anyone. “They woke us up and said there was a fire burning,” said Christopher Ostrowski, a guest at the Siem Reap Sky Inn, where flames damaged the façade but did not spread inside. “I opened the curtains and all you could see was flames. “It was hectic on the street. Everyone was in panic, saying it might explode.”

The fire brigade arrived an hour after the fire began, said Mun. “They came too late to save much,” Piseth said. “They hosed the building down but didn’t put it completely out until around 4am.” Siem Reap Provincial Deputy Governor Bun Narith said residents needed to be particularly mindful of electrical malfunctions during this


year’s dry season, reiterating authorities’ warnings after last month’s night market fire, which left eight people dead and two seriously injured. Narith added that the province is looking to add more fire trucks to its current stock of nine. Last week, a fire from a gas explosion burned down a 15-room house in Siem Reap town’s Slakram commune.

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