S: Trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia
FC: My Trip to Cambodia
1: I got to meet some of the children | They were all very friendly but it seems their lives are very hard.
2: They live in terribly built homes and are expected to strive and grow up in terrible conditions
3: Their parents have the most unusual jobs such as tending to the rice fields just to keep food on the table.
4: We met with some monks and had a chat about the lifestyle of those in the temple.
5: We later met with therm in the temple and they offered us food and places to sleep | They were very nice
6: Dear Mom, I’m sitting here in the Angkor Wat also known as the Angkor Temple. It’s the oldest temple in the country not to mention seen as a national landmark simply because it was made in the 12th century. This part of the country isn’t so riddled with war as the others, maybe it’s because of the temple here and even the rebels respect the monks. They are very peaceful people and as me and my team arrived we were welcomed with open arms. They fed us and gave us places to sleep, I only wanted to take a look at the temple itself since it’s so old. Tomorrow we go to the grit of the war riddled country and try not to get caught by the Khmer Rouge. Wish me luck I miss you and the family pray for me. Much Love, Corsair C. Layton
7: Dear Micheal, I know you and I have always had different views on life but I think even you would love it out here. Right now I am in the greatest tourist spot in Cambodia, Battambang. We are their greatest and most prestigious beach resort relaxing. After many days of trekking through mud, and the jungle we decided to relax a little before we went off to work again. We leave the resort in two days to go to the Angkor Wat or Angkor Temple where we talk to the Angkor monks about the living conditions with the terrorism and death surrounding the country. I hope they are nice because I’d rather this mission be as peaceful as possible. But, anyway how are my niece and nephew? I hope they are doing great I sent them some toys along with this letter from the gift shop I hope you all got everything okay. I miss you all including mother and the rest of the family. You’ll hear from me soon hopefully. Much Love, Your brother Corsair C. Layton
9: As i looked at the newspapers i read some very interesting articles.
10: Dear Wife, Today I walked into Phnom Penh and was greeted by a little Cambodian boy, he gave me his toy elephant and left me to go play with his friends. He was tired from playing and went home. The people here are so friendly, but the worst part of it all, is that boy died along with his father and the rest of his family. The Khmer Rouge is big in this area. I wrote mother a letter telling her I was headed here to try and settle things with the rebellion. I’m only able to write one letter this time so I decided to write to you since it’s some time since we talked. These dangerous things have me thinking about adopting a child from here, it won’t be easy but no child should have to suffer like this. Right now we are huddled together in the bunker because they are bombing the area now trying to gather the Khmer Rouge. If I make it out of here I will write you another letter. I love you and remember that. Sincerely, Corsair C. Layton
12: I walked around and saw what they have as posters for movies. It was interesting because it's a huge poster on the side of a delivery truck.
13: Phnom Penh Hotel July 25, 2007 Excellencies Senior Minister Men Sam An and Chheng Saroeun from MoNASRI; Members of Parliament and the Senate and other RGC officials; Mr. Kurt MacLeod, Country Representative for Pact; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. Good morning. Only one month ago, on June 21, I had the honour of serving as a witness to the signing of the Action Memorandum between USAID and MoNASRI. That Memorandum provided for USAID’s support for developing the Royal Government of Cambodia’s policy framework for an Access to Information Law. It is a great pleasure to be with you again today, to see the remarkable progress that has been made in this short time, and to emphasize once again, the importance of this work. The inter-ministerial drafting team has produced a high-quality Draft Policy Paper that will be discussed here today.
14: This is a significant achievement, for which MoNASRI deserves much credit. I want to highlight in particular, the collaborative nature of this effort, which also includes representatives of the Ministries of Defense, Interior, Information, Justice and the Council of Ministers – all of whom have provided comments that have contributed to the relevance of the Draft Policy Paper. I was particularly pleased to learn that the drafting team has focused on coming up with a Policy Framework that is relevant to the Cambodian context. I understand that the team has identified and addressed issues such as: The present capacity of Cambodia’s civil service to support access to information, for example, records management and retrieval; The cost of providing access to information versus people’s ability to pay; What information should be protected; and How disputes should be resolved.
15: Today, as we review the Draft Policy Paper, we will have the additional benefit of input not only from a broader group of Cambodian Government officials, but also from other aid donors and from representatives of Cambodian civil society such as Non-government Organizations. Finalizing the Policy Paper will be a very important achievement, but it is also important to start thinking ahead now, about the next steps - that is, moving from a Policy Paper to getting an Access to Information Law drafted and approved. USAID hopes that, after the Policy Paper is finalized, the process of reviewing it can proceed quickly. It will be important to also involve, at this stage, a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the relevance and acceptability of the final Policy Framework, and the legislation that will flow from this. We are optimistic that the process of drafting Access to Information legislation can start sometime in 2008. USAID is ready to provide additional support and technical expertise through Pact’s Good Governance Program, to assist in drafting of the Law.
16: . In closing, I commend you all, on behalf of USAID, for the excellent work that you are doing. I also commend you for your commitment to ensuring that the people of Cambodia have the access to public information necessary for them to feel confident that governance is transparent and responsible. I wish you all an informative and productive time today. Thank you.