Without Borders released its Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2005. Of the 167 countries
surveyed, Cambodia is ranked 90th, tied with Burundi, Qatar, Venezuela and Zambia.
According to the ranking, Cambodia has a freer press than many of its neighbors,
including Indonesia (102), Thailand (107), Malaysia (113), the Philippines (139),
Singapore (140), Laos (155), Vietnam (158), and Burma (163).
Denmark is ranked Number 1. For the fourth year in a row, North Korea, described
as "a black hole for news", comes in last.
The list also includes "the United States of America (in Iraq)" ranked
** The United Nations is convening a workshop called "The UN's role in peace-building
and the development of democratic governance in Cambodia" to be held in New
York November 1-3. Many senior officials have been invited including former UNTAC
chief Yasushi Akashi, UNDP's Douglas Gardner, Thomas Hammarberg, Peter Leuprecht,
Margo Picken, former UNTAC Human Rights Director Dennis McNamara, Human Rights Watch's
Asia Division Director Brad Adams, and former UNDP Cambodia ResReps Paul Matthews
and Eduard Wattez.
Only one Cambodian has been invited.
** For those who didn't notice, October 23, the day the Paris Peace Accords were
signed in 1991, is no longer an official public holiday. The government decided there
were too many holidays so that one was dropped.
** Andy Pendleton has resurfaced. He now works for UNHCR in Darfur, Sudan. But he
and 11,000 other aid workers working in the region are having a rough time as bandits
are attacking food convoys.
According to a Reuters news story, Andy says "They are punched, beaten-aid workers
have been whipped by these bandits, intimidated. So of course you give them anything
** Former Cambodge Soir reporter Gregoire Rochigneux has produced a new publication
titled Cambodge Soir: Chroniques socials d'un pays au quotidien that chronicles the
last ten years of Cambodian history. If you can read French, check it out.
** One hotel in Siem Reap is having such a problem with its water supply that it
has had to buy bottled water to use for washing customers' clothes.
** Tourists can be a bit skittish about their diets when visiting the Kingdom. One
recent visitor to Siem Reap panicked when she thought she had been served rat meat.
She bottled the meat and then raced around the city trying to find a clinic that
would test it to make sure it was chicken. It was.