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Stars shine to brighten lives

Stars shine to brighten lives

S INGERS, films stars, beauty queens, dancers and bands performed at a cultural show at the Olympic Stadium between Nov 8 to 10 to help raise money for orphans, the poor and schools.

Organized by Youth Congress of Angkor, the show was presided over by First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

A group of singers and film stars kicked off the show singing "Khmers Don't Forget Khmer Blood."

The "Miss Cambodia 1993" winner and runner up and the top three girls in this year's "Miss Konica Cambodia", wearing traditional violet and white costumes, greeted Prince Ranariddh.

Diplomats, politicians and thousands of sightseers noisily applauded each act.

Ranariddh gave a speech, saying the Royal Government was trying to attract foreign investment into the country to create jobs and opportunities.

Congress president Ly Tuch said that foreign investment had quickly reached around $200 million, giving hope in the next few years for students and the unemployed.

Ranariddh said that the Education Ministry's goal was to focus on education reform, to ensure students had the opportunity for jobs and promotions when they leave school.

He also appealed to the assembled ambassadors to look at providing scholarships abroad. So far there had been few overseas scholarships granted to Cambodian students, he added.

He said that donor countries could help with scholarships and school materials "but students also had to help themselves", not only studying to get employment but also to study overseas.

Meanwhile, 14 Cambodian artists including film stars and singers left for the United States on Nov15 for a nine-day cultural art performance attended by 26 countries. It is being organized by the Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical School.

Romantic film star Tep Rindaro, 31, one of those chosen, had been invited by the Khmer Association in Australia last year.

He said: "I hope my singing in America will be better than in Australia because I hadn't any practice before I went to Australia, but now I practice everyday."

Another of those chosen, actor and kareoke singer Om Sovanny, said: "I can't say I am a good singer because I have never sung before, I just sing for pleasure.

"But when I go to America I hope to learn and exchange ideas with foreign cultures," Chea Sanara, representative of the Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical School, said the school would provide bureaucratic papers, accommodation and incentive rewards to the artists.

The selection of the Cambodian artists was made by the Universe Video and Travel Agency and the Cambodian Women's Development Association.

The Cambodian Travel Group is sponsoring air tickets for the artists to fly to the United States.

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