Prime Minister Urges Training of Traditional Wisemen – Thursday, 23.7.2009

Posted on 24 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622


We would like to mirror an article originally written and published in Khmer in Deum Ampil – but two pages in English were also included there, which we mirror here. Even though the arrangement of the paragraphs of this article in Khmer and in English is a bit different, both articles still keep the same content. Below is the original English version of the article from Deum Ampil:

“Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday urged both the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Ministry of Cults and Religion to train traditional Khmer wisemen. These respected and revered semi-mystic figures are experts in Khmer culture and folklore, and are an integral part of the many religious ceremonies that form much of the practice of Khmer Buddhism.

“This is not the first time the premier has asked authorities to train Wisemen, known in Khmer as Ajar [ អាចារ្យ ]. He also raised the topic recently during a speech in Kandal province.

“‘The wiseman tradition is in deep crisis in our country so that training Wisemen should be arranged by having teachers,’ Hun Sen said at the close of the National Forum of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts at Chaktomuk Hall.

“‘This is not an insignificant issue we have to think about because in the future the number of wisemen in our country will decrease,’ the premier added. ‘Some say that Hun Sen thinks about small thinks like this wiseman crisis, but it is a big story so we all must rethink.’

“The premier urged both ministries to arrange programs of training wisemen.

“‘In one year, if we have 5,000 weddings, we also need 5,000 wisemen, so our need for these people is very crucial,’ the PM stated. Criticizing the influx of foreign influences into traditional Khmer ceremonies, the premier remarked that ‘the cake cutting ceremony held at wedding parties is not our traditional manner, it is foreign culture and manners.’

“At the same time, the premier urged Cambodian artists, especially writers, to hone their craft and to try to use more locally relevant themes. ‘If they are able to do so, copying foreign stories should not be allowed – like two stories shown on Bayon Television which were not Cambodian themes, they were foreign themes.’

“During his speech, the PM also called on the Ministry of Information and affiliated media agencies to better promote Cambodian culture. By Sorn Sopheak” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #243, 23.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 23 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #243, 23.7.2009

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen: Producers Should Stop Copying Foreign Films [reference mentioned is to two Thai films on Bayon Television, where Ms. Hun Mana is director general]
  • Prime Minister Urges Training of Traditional Wisemen
  • South Korea Promises to Provide US$40 Billion Aid to North Korea if They Agrees to Stop Their Nuclear Program

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2003, 23.7.2009

  • The [opposition] Sam Rainsy Party Plans to Hold a Candle Light Ceremony in Front of the Court [while former Minister of Women’s Affairs, now member of the National Assembly without immunity protection is facing defamation charges] to Seek Justice [Phnom Penh]
  • The 21st Century Eclipse Could Be Seen in Cambodia [on 22 July 2009] More Than 30%, which Is a Good Omen
  • 100 Citizens Went to Protest in Front of the Municipality after Police Arrested Their [two] Representatives [and accused them of attempting to murder a monk – Banteay Meanchey]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #452, 23.7.2009

  • Seng Theary [the publicly well known, active director of the Center for Social Development, recently dismissed in response to a request from a rival board, by a court decision, though the Ministry of Interior had confirmed that she is justified to hold her position] Calls the Ruling Power in Cambodia at Present a Dictatorships [in an interview with Radio Free Asia – see also the Note about the Center for Social Development in The Mirror of Friday, 10.7.2009]
  • Nine World Famous People Will Come to Cambodia, One by One, from October to April Next Year [responding to an invitation from the King and other Cambodian leaders; those people are:
    • Mr. Aaron Ciechanover, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry,

    • Mr. Jacky Chan, famous film star

    • Mr. Oliver Stone, film director and producer

    • Professor David J. Gross, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physics with H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek

    • Professor Eric S. Maskin, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics

    • Mr. Totin M. Visor [? phonetic ?], 1981 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences [the prize was actually given to Professor James Tobin]

    • Mr. Vladimir Askin [phonetic], famous violinist [unclear, maybe Vladimir Tsypin, violinist?, or Vladimir Ashkenazy, pianist?]

    • Ms. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine [together with Mr. Luc Montagnier], and
    • Mr. José Ramos-Horta, the President of East Timor and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6709, 23.7.2009

  • The National Policy for Ethnic Minority Tribespeople in Cambodia Was Published [the ethnic minorities of the eastern provinces constitute about 1% of the population – their habitat is under threat by “development” encroaching on their traditional land. The present document contains suggestions to the National Assembly, the Senate, and the Constitutional Council how their rights could be secured by future legislation, assuring sustainability and the protection and promotion of their cultural heritage]
  • 578 Families Living under Tents [in Phnom Penh] Prepare to Ask the Government to Get Land Assigned to Live along the Khmer-Siamese [Thai] Border [after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that poor people have the right to receive and own land at border regions]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4953, 23.7.2009

  • Law Permitting Foreigners to Owner Upper Floor Houses Has Been Drafted
  • China Needs from 40 to 50 Million Tonnes of Cassava per Year from Cambodia [according to an official of the Ministry of Agriculture]
  • Fourty-one People Were Killed and 263 Were Injured by Traffic Accidents in Takeo in the First Six Months of 2009
  • The National Road 5 from Banteay Meanchey to Battambang Begins to Get Damaged Gradually [it was built in 1996], Officials Said that This Road Is of Poor Quality [the damaged portions will be repaired]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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