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10 Dec 2001


Today is International Human Rights Day, declared a public holiday in Cambodia. The two are only loosely connected however, and it seems to be just another reason for a day off. In a country that has suffered such gross human rights abuses you might have thought it would have had more significance. Anyway, by coincidence or otherwise, today was the "big" day for the computer project with the handing-over ceremony being held at Army HQ. About two hundred people attended, including senior army personnel, government ministers from Cambodia and Singapore, the whole Singapore Project INitiate contingent and all the bosses of Yung Wah Industrial who are the main sponsors over here. Speeches were made, medals handed out, gifts exchanged and then it was all over. A group of soldiers had been drafted in to pretend to be our students and before the end of the ceremony they were ushered out to await a visit from the VIPs in the training room. Ming and I were then asked to pretend to teach them, but we politely refused, suggesting it would be better if the Singapore group did that...we draw the line at pretending to teach fake students!!