Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Killers Captured, Khmer-language Software and Phnom Penhers

Khmer Rouge killers have been captured after three foreign tourists were murdered a decade ago. Tan and Trev wrote that “an Englishman, and Australian and a Frenchman board a train… Before political correctness took hold, some jokes might start with a set-up involving three nationalities. However in 1994, this circumstance was far from a laughing matter. This mix of three tourists, along with 13 Cambodians, were killed when ransom negotiations with the government failed. A decade later, their Khmer Rouge killer has been brought to justice.”

De-mining and victim assistance was included in Cambodia Millenium Development Goals, to be achieved in 2015. A scientific discovery, aland-mine detecting plant, has been made by Danish scientists and will probably benefit the efforts to make the war-torn nation safe from unexploded mines. “AsiaPundit is amazed by this latest piece of bio-technology news, while not specifically Asia related, could have great applications in Cambodia and, eventually, in a unified Korea…. a plant that can detect landmines.”

An alternative to Microsoft proprietary commercial software, Free Open Source Software is making its inroad in Cambodia by efforts of the National Information Communications Technology Development Authority of Cambodia and KhmerOS project of Open Forum of Cambodia, a local non-government organization that hope to foster and facilitate communications in Cambodia. Beth Kanter, a non-profit technology consultant, believes that Open Source is a power, and imagines Cambodia as a Microsoft free zone. “The country’s free software movement is a good way to speed development and computer proliferation in the country.” Santepheap, the Cambodia Weblog, commented. Also, AsiaMedia reported that

” staving off a possible Microsoft monopoly and promoting Khmer-language computing are the driving ideas behind a Cambodian government project that promises to bring free Khmer software to Cambodian computers by next year…A copy of the government's master plan for promoting open source shows the government hopes to install a Khmer-language Linux open source operating system, which would run in place of the Microsoft Windows operating system, by next year. Government computers would then be completely free of Microsoft.”

Khmer-language software has increased the number of Khmer-language weblogs in the Cambodian blogosphere in recent months as more Cambodian computer users find it easier to communicate in their local language. Inside the Cambodian blogosphere, Cambodia webloggers have converted the name of Khmer-language weblog to Klog and Cambodian weblog to Clog.

PR, a Cambodian-American in the United States, wondered which is the right term to represent people who originally come from Phnom Penh: Phnom Penher or Phnom Penhoi? Provincial people usually call them ‘city citizen’ — Nak Krong, or Nak Phnom Penh in Khmer language. Phnom Penhoi is a French term. It sounds interesting to say New Yorker and Hong Konger, so why not Phnom Penher? This distinguishes them from provincial people, for whom electricity, and many other modern facilities are not comparable to the city. PR also posted an interview of Juliette Binoche with Rithy Panh from a post of message board. Rithy Panh, a director and film maker, talked about his work on memories and identity in a post-genocidal society marked by the ravages of post-colonialism.

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