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Monday, August 24, 2009

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scales of Justice

Courting TV audiences
Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:01 Roth Meas, The Phnom Penh Post

The third series of a televised courtroom drama hits screens this weekend with hopes that its messages will educate viewers about the legal process

Dramatic tension: The WMC production crew prepare to shoot a scene for Scales of Justice. PHOTO SUPPLIED. We hope that making a law-based drama will make it easier for cambodians to engage with the subject.

LIFE imitates art. At least that is what the people behind Scales of Justice, a television courtroom drama produced by the Women's Media Centre of Cambodia(WMC), hope will occur as audiences tune in to the ongoing saga of lawyer Pich Sotheary and police official Meas Chamnan, which begins its third instalment this weekend.

Wary of its notorious corruption, impenetrable language and labyrinth of procedures, Cambodians often find their own judiciary inaccessible - something WMC hopes to change by presenting the courts as entertainment, said 29-year-old production manager Uch Thavy."This story details court procedure, which many people find difficult to understand," she said.

"We hope that making a law-based drama will make it easier for Cambodians to engage with the subject," Uch Thavy added.The original Scales of Justice, which is supported by USAID and AUSAID, was shot last year and gained widespread popularity.

Uch Thavy hopes this third instalment will continue in the same vein - presenting viewers with situations that they might encounter in real life.Several of the six, 30-minute episodes delve into the realm of domestic discord that may be familiar to audience members who have ever battled their brethren over money.

One episode follows characters as they try desperately to gain control of an inheritance following the death of the family patriarch.The second also features a family fight over money, but this time the characters are faced with dividing an inheritance after a messy divorce.

The producers of Scales of Justice focused on these scenarios because they are the most common to come before the Kingdom's courts, Uch Thavy said. "People should pay a lot of attention to their childrens' birth certificates, which are often used to clear up disputes in the event of a death," she said.

The same holds true when marriages fall apart and families begin squabbling over who gets what."The judges often consider dividing some of the inheritance, even though the parents may have been divorced," Uch Thavy added.The third episode is driven by the classic whodunit: a dead body and a murderer somewhere on the lose.

Leading man: Famed Cambodian actor Tep Rindaro adds kudos and star power to the production. PHOTO SUPPLIED Producers admit that they diverged from the more complex but common civil disputes as a way to keep the audiences interested in their message.

"The entertainment aspect is there to keep people watching it, but our main intention is to put across the messages of law that are woven into the story," Uch Thavy said. Uch Thavy said court officials from Phnom Penh and Kandal province were consulted before the scripts were penned to lend an air of credibility to the drama.The often contrived movie sets of traditional dramas were also abandoned for real courtrooms, judges' chambers and prosecutors' offices in an attempt to bring a level of gritty realism to the series, Uch Thavy said. The series was shot in Kandal, Kampong Cham and Kampong Chhnang provinces, she added.Star powerAlso keeping audiences tuned in should be the return of Cambodian actor Tep Rindaro as policeman Meas Chamnan.Along with dedicated young lawyer Pich Sotheary, played by Keo Sereyrath, Tep Rindaro's honest cop Meas Chamnan will "work hand-in-hand to fight for the victims and even find romance along the way", according to the WMC's Web site.

Though the pair will feature less prominently in the third instalment - the action will instead centre on Meas Chamnan's sister - they still remain the soul of the programme, producers said. Uch Thavy said she was reluctant to guess how the latest episodes would fare among Cambodian viewers. But she said that a test screening won rave reviews from Women's Media Centre presidents, donors and the Ministry of Culture's Film Art Department.Copies of previous instalments were also requested by the Senate, Uch Thavy said.The first episodes, which cost US$122,845 to produce, will be screened Saturday on TVK and Sunday on TV3, at 6pm and noon, respectively.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HIV and AIDS, the Killers of the World

HIV remains a concern of the world, and many countries have tried its best to fight against HIV epidemic transmission. Numbers of population are increased, and most of people know what HIV&AIDS is, but numbers of HIV infected people are not cut down. Cambodia is one of the few countries that has the highest prevalence of HIV&AIDS in Asia and has seen declining HIV prevalence.

According to the Cambodia Gender Assessment, MoWA 2008, HIV transmission from husbands to wives accounts for 42 percent and peri-natal transmission from mother to child account for 35 percent of all new infections. HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 to 49 decreased to 0.9% in 2006 from a revised estimate of 1.2% in 2003 the new estimate was showed by the 2006 HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) and the 2005 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS). HIV prevalence among persons in the general population aged 15-49 years living in urban areas remains higher than among those living in rural areas, also there is higher HIV prevalence among women; 43% of new infections are occurring in married women, most of whom are believed to have been infected by their husbands. In addition, the HIV epidemic in Cambodia is concentrated in high-risk groups and is primarily driven by the sex industry, although there are indications of rising prevalence amongst injecting drug using populations and amongst men having sex with men (MSM). The increasing trend in HIV prevalence was stopped, reversed and has since steadily declined. A multi-sectoral collaboration led by the government with significant contributions from NGOs, donors, and other institutions has contributed to the reduction in HIV prevalence. Various prevention strategies tailored for different population groups included promotion of consistent use and social incorporation of HIV&AIDS in school curricula, community discussion, needle/syringe exchange, and use of media.

Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia (WMC) is one of organization, but it is known as the premier media organization working to improve status of women in Cambodia via producing TV and radio programs which are broadcast on Radio FM102, local TV channels, Contact provinces, and Mobile Broadcasting Units (MBUs). HIV&AIDS, Domestic Violence, rape, trafficking and so on are the main issues WMC has raised to contribute to the reduction of HIV/AIDS infection and to promoting the positive social change in Cambodia. In short, we hope the concern of the world will be relieved with the participation of people and the contribution of global donors as the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP9) did in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Empowering people, Strengthening Network


Empowering people, Strengthening Network is the main theme of the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP9), which was held on 9th-13th August 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. The main focuses in the community forum to be discussed were Youth Forum, People living with HIV (PLHIV) Forum, Injecting Drug User (IDU) Forum, Women’s Forum, LGBT/IQ Forum, Men who have sex with men (MSM) Forum, Sex Workers’ Forum, Interfaith Forum, and Women’s Court. At the closing ceremony, the chair of ICAAP9 has reported that there were 5,547 participants (included 3,824 registered delegates, 2,234 abstracts, 138 abstract reviewers, 262 media delegates, 122 exhibitions, 218 volunteers, 291 security staff, and 589 technical staff) from 78 countries from around the Asia and the Pacific. 5 plenary sessions, 24 symposiums, and 2,334 abstracts were received and presented in the ICAAP9. Cambodia was one of the 10 top countries which most applicants were selected ranging as from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Philippines. There were 487 participants receiving scholarship from the ICAAP9 included 130 full scholarships, 90 partial scholarships, and 267 free registrations.

The numbers of participants will be increased in the ICAAP10 which was supposed to be held in Busan, Korea, ASAP President Myung Hwan Cho, Min-Ki Kim of the 10th ICAAP Local Organizing Committee said at the media conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. Busan, South Korea’s second largest city will be the next host for the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific with the main theme Different Voices-United Action. The 10th ICAAP will strive to bring together people of various backgrounds in the region to unite their action against HIV and AIDS. The website is being standby at
www.icaap10.org . Please stay tune to visit the update information of ICAAP10.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 9th ICAAP on the move toward an HIV free society

Today, I’m proud to be one of the ICAAP participants amongst others from the around the world. The 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) is being held from 9th-13th August 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. This ICAAP IX is attended by more than 4,000 people from 65 countries, not only in Asia and the Pacific region but also in Africa, Europe and the Americas. The main theme is “Empowering People, Strengthening Network. The largest regional events on HIV and AIDS, ICAAP, bright together people from different countries, religions, and different spheres of life working on HIV of one platform to discuss AIDS which is connected to many aspects of life. The events of ICAAP is an opportunity to fill the gaps of lacking network, low capacity and weaker links between the society and the government and looking for more collaborative future approaches. Thus, ICAAP is an important milestone to reenergize, revitalize –for what could be a long way toward an HIV free society.

At last, I hope that through this even, ICAAP will also be a chance to share experiences, wealth of knowledge and resources, and most importantly to empower people and strengthen network around the globe.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Scales of Justice-Promote

Scales of Justice were produced in addition 6 episodes more for the year 2009

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