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Boy who fled K.Rouge returns to Cambodia a US navy commander

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

By Michelle Fitzpatrick (AFP)

Michael Misiewicz was just a child when he was wrenched from his family and Cambodian homeland 37 years ago

PHNOM PENH — When the destroyer USS Mustin docks in Cambodia next week it will be more than just a routine mission for the ship’s commander.

Michael Misiewicz is Cambodian by birth and was just a child when he was wrenched from his family and homeland 37 years ago, to be sent away from the country to escape the civil war with the Khmer Rouge.

He has not set foot on Cambodian soil since.

“I have been fighting a lot of emotions about coming back to my native country,” said Misiewicz, who was born Vannak Khem, of his impending return.

“To know that I’ve got relatives there that have wanted to see me for decades… I don’t know if I will be able to hold back the tears,” he told AFP by telephone aboard the US warship.

The 43-year-old was a small boy in the early 1970s when Cambodia was engulfed in a civil war between government troops and communist Khmer Rouge fighters.

In 1973, his father arranged for him to be adopted by an American woman who worked at the US embassy and was preparing to leave the increasingly dangerous country.

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Categories: Country events

Film Boss Leaves Hollywood to Help Cambodia’s Poor

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Former Hollywood film executive Scott Neeson is seen with local children who scavenge at the Steung Meanchey trash dump outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in this January 2007 photo provided by the subject to Reuters on November 19, 2010. REUTERS/Norman Neeson/Handout

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) – Seven years ago a chance encounter with a poor, young girl during a backpacking trip through Cambodia changed the life of Hollywood film executive Scott Neeson.

He was on a holiday from his pampered life in California and eating at an outdoor restaurant when a 9-year-old girl came begging for money. The next night she came back, and he knew she would be there the next day and the day after that.

The studio boss asked where she came from and he was directed to the Steung Meanchey trash dump, outside the country’s capital, Phnom Penh, where young kids scavenge for food or items to sell to help them survive.

In no way would the kids ever thrive, he thought, and so Neeson did something to help. He met with the girl’s parents, as well another girl and her parents. He got the kids enrolled in school and provided better housing for their families.

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Categories: Country events

Cambodian-American Destroyer CO to Return to Birth Country after 37 Years

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz serves as commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89).

The first Cambodian-born commander of a U.S warship USS Mustin (DDG 89) will sail to Cambodia and dock at Sihanoukville Seaport in December.

Commodore Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz (pictured) serves as commanding officer of the guided-missile destroy USS Mustin (DDG 89). He was born in rural Cambodia in 1960 with the birth name of Vannak Khem. He escaped to America in 1973. He enrolled in the U.S Navy and became an officer upon graduation in 1992.
He is the first Cambodian-born commander of a U.S destroyer, the Mustin. The Mustin is scheduled to visit Cambodia in December. The visit will mark the first time in 37 years that Misiewicz has returned to the land of his birth. Mustin is forward-deployed to Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan.
Categories: Country events

Activist beaten unconscious

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment
A local activist attempting to deliver a petition to Ban Ki-moon was beaten unconscious and arrested by police and military police, as the United Nations secretary general concluded his three-day visit to the Kingdom. 

Suong Sophorn, 23, was dragged into a police car before being treated at Daun Penh district referral hospital following an incident in which six others were injured.

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Categories: Country events

Another sequel for porn-films monk

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment
PHNOM PENH Municipal Court yesterday heard the case stemming from the fourth complaint against a monk accused of surreptitiously filming hundreds of naked women as they bathed at a pagoda in Daun Penh district.
Neth Kai, 35, was arrested on June 26 on suspicion of using a mobile phone to film the women, and the clips were then widely distributed.
Categories: Country events

The Great Khmer Empire Movie

October 22, 2010 10 comments

A NEW production company has begun pre-production on a feature film to be shot in Cambodia with an estimated budget of US$70 million.

Thomas Magyar, the film’s executive producer, said yesterday that the movie, The Great Khmer Empire, would be set in the Angkorian period and aim to rival historic epics such as Hollywood films Troy and Alexander.

“This is a big movie. The estimated budget is $70 million,” he said.

Categories: Country events