A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Newsreels Provide Glimpses of Old Cambodia

BY  |the cambodia daily,  APRIL 19, 2014
The year is 1945 and Cambodian men are packed into traditional longboats, ready to race each other in an event that “has been going on for more than 1,000 years” at the annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh.
The scene, which appears in a short video clip called “Cambodian Paddle Champs,” was captured by a cameraperson from the British Pathé newsreel company. It is one of around a dozen Cambodia clips in a trove of 85,000 old newsreels that were uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé this week.
The footage titled "Cambodian Paddle Champs" (1945).
Alastair White, the general manager of British Pathé, said in a statement that the company wants everyone with computer access to be able to view and enjoy the historical clips.
“This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten,” he said.
The black-and-white “Paddle Champs” video is one of the few that has sound and narration.
“Not quite Oxford or Cambridge, but they certainly can move,” muses the clip’s British narrator over the roar of the crowd.
In the silent “Scenes Of Indo-China,” which was shot in 1931, the park in front of the Royal Palace is shown to be a leafy, quiet space, interrupted only by a passing horse and cart and a solitary pedestrian.
The clip is introduced as one of several taken during a visit to Phnom Penh by former French Colonial Minister Paul Reynaud.
Another scene in the same video shows men pulling rickshaws on Naga Bridge, with Wat Phnom clearly visible in the background.
A different video shows the elaborate 1956 coronation ceremony of King Norodom Suramarit, who took the throne when his son, Norodom Sihanouk, abdicated in order to pursue politics.
The 1956 coronation of Sihanouk's father, King Norodom Suramarit and Queen Sisowath Kossamak Nearirath.
Another royal, King Sisowath, appears in a 1922 video being carried around the temples of Angkor in a sedan chair.
Gen. Joffre pays a visit to King Sisowath in 1922.
Some of the accompanying written descriptions offer short, sharp insights into the scenes unfolding onscreen.

Courage and Persistence Key to Finding a Political Solution

By William E. Todd, U.S ambassador to Cambodia

Let me begin by saying that I hope everyone had a wonderful Khmer New Year holiday spending quality time with family and friends.  The start of anew year is always a time of renewed hope and optimism, when we focus on the potential of the future.  As we begin the Year of the Horse, like most Cambodians, I am hopeful thetwo political parties will soon come together to resolve the ongoing impasse.  Of coursesome of you were understandably disappointed that a deal was not struck before the holiday, with one reader even commenting, “I worry that the lack of a political agreement before the Khmer New Year is a bad omen.What can our leaders do to get negotiations back on track?”

It is essential to keep in mind that political negotiations are invariably complex and time consuming.  Although the working-level negotiations and high-level discussions between the ruling and opposition parties have yet to yield a final agreement, I remain optimistic that the two political parties will find a peaceful resolution to the longstanding political deadlock.  What’s important is arriving at a settlement that serves the best interests of the Cambodian people, so I encourage both the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party to focus their discussions on how to strengthen Cambodia’s democratic process.  Finding a resolution will require patience, thoughtfulness, and compromise; therefore, both sides must continue to engage in a productive dialogue that seeks to narrow their differences.

It has been encouraging these past few weeks to see the CPP and CNRP actively working to arrive at a compromise acceptable to both sides and finding much common ground.  Despite not reaching an agreement before the New Year, the discussions brought both parties closer together, laying the foundation for a future political resolution.As discussions continue, one principle that must not be forgotten is that constitutional rights, like the freedoms of assembly and expression, are indispensable for effective, democratic governance.  With this in mind, I continue to urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to reverse its current prohibition on peaceful demonstrations, a step that would also go far in creating a more conducive and productive environment for political negotiations.   

While the parties have yet to resolve the political impasse, I commend them for their efforts thus far.Settling differences through negotiation is never easy as it requires courage, persistence, and a willingness to see the situation from a differentviewpoint.  An indispensable element for an enduring democracy is the ability of opposing parties to sit across the table from one another to find the best solutions to their country’s challenges.Genuine dialogue between partiesstrengthens democratic developmentand benefits everyone, so the process of arriving at an agreement can be just as important as the end result.  I am confident that,once Cambodia’s current political standoff is settled, the process of negotiation that took place to reach a resolution will heavily influence the work of the National Assembly going forward.

The United States is committed to supporting Cambodia’s transition to a strong democracy that respects human rights, encourages civic participation, and ensures government accountability.  We support a Cambodian solution to the political impasse that satisfies both parties and creates a brighter future for the Cambodian people.  As part of this effort, I encourage the Royal Government, the opposition, and civil society to work together to pursue reforms that advance human rights, strengthen democracy, and provide increased opportunities for all Cambodians.

Actor Sophorn Lary and Actor Virak Thorn calls on other actors to support democracy and the people in Cambodia

Kem Sokha in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA on 19/4/14 លោក​ កឹម សុខា នៅក្រុងឡូវ៉ែលនៃសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកថ្ងៃ 19/4/14

Mr. Keng Liss: Mr. Hun Sen has cheated and lied to me to serve him 30 years ago. Now he wants to cheat and lie to my children and grandchildren also in order to serve his sons. សូមស្តាប់ប្រសាសន៍របស់លោកអ៊ុំ កេង លីស អំពីសហភាពសហព័ន្ធយុវជន ហ៊ុន ម៉ានី។

MP-elect Mu Sochua was prevented from entering Freedom Park. She went there this morning 20/4/19 to raise the awareness of garment workers' demand for a $160 monthly salary and to keep up the spirit of democracy អ្នកស្រី មួរ សុខហួរ បានមកទីលានប្រជាធិបតេយ្យសារជាថ្មីដើម្បីបន្តនូវយុទ្ធនាការរបស់អ្នកស្រីក្នុងគោលបំណងទាមទារអោយរាជរដ្ផាភិបាលតំឡើងប្រាក់ខែ $160

តំណាងរាស្រ្តជាប់ឆ្នោតគណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិប្រចាំខេត្តបាត់ដំបង អ្នកស្រី មួរ សុខហួរ បានមកទីលានប្រជាធិបតេយ្យសារជាថ្មីដើម្បីបន្តនូវយុទ្ធនាការរបស់អ្នកស្រីក្នុងគោលបំណងទាមទារអោយរាជរដ្ផាភិបាលតំឡើងប្រាក់ខែ160$។
ភ្នំពេញ: នៅព្រឹកថ្ងៃទី20 ខែមេសា ឆ្នាំ2014 អ្នកស្រីមួរ សុខហួរ បានមកទីលានប្រជាធិបតេយ្យដើម្បីសម្តែងមតិ និងទាមទាររាជរដ្ផាភិបាលតំឡើងប្រាក់ខែ160$ជូនដល់កម្មករ បើទោះបីជាមានការរារាំងពីអាជ្ញាធរក៏ដោយ។

A white woman speaks to reporters after Mu Sochua was prevented from entering Freedom Park to address the plight to the garment workers.

MP-elect Mu Sochua travels on foot to Wat Phnom after she was prevented from entering Freedom Park.

Cambodian horrors confronted

See the picture at The Tasmanian Examiner

TWO men restrain her, tie her to a tree and then tell her to watch as they bury her baby daughter alive.
Khmer Rouge survivor Leakena Dixon would then wake up kicking and screaming until someone came to soothe and hold her.
The mother of two teenagers who moved to Devonport 15 years ago  said the nightmares were recurring.
``The other dream was always two men, and my father is in a canoe and they are screaming at me `watch it, watch it'.
``My father is kind of looking at me saying `Don't worry, I'm fine' and then I look back again and the men, they chop his head off.''
It is believed Ms Dixon was six when her pregnant mother, grandmother and three siblings were taken with thousands of Cambodians to Pol Pot's working farms, which later became known as the Killing Fields.
Between 1975 and  1979, people were subjected to daily hard labour with little food and water, and the constant threat of punishment and death.
The populations were consumed by fear,  told to forget their families and worked until death. 
More than 1 million people died.
Ms Dixon said she had never talked about her horrific experiences in detail until two years ago when she met Devonport couple Alwyn and Laurie Lewis.
An author, Mrs Lewis said she and her husband offered to help Ms Dixon talk about her time during Pol Pot's genocidal regime.
They sat with Ms Dixon over an 18-month period, with a tape recorder between them, and listened, talked, laughed  and cried.
At the end a novel,  Surviving the Killing Fields: Pol Pot stole my childhood,  was produced.
Her memories resurfaced, and the horrors of what happened were shared.
Punishments were extreme:
``Gagged and tied to the poles were the two teenagers we'd seen the night before,'' it reads.

Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia

Sunday, April 20th, 2014
THE ROYAL Princess is a candidate

Joe de Venecia, or JDV as people call him, is a man before his time. While many perceive JDV as a politician, those who know him outside of the political arena appraise him differently.
They see a learned, eloquent statesman who loves history and can give dates for every event, a man with a clear mind and a quick smile who keeps abreast of the times.
JDV has a genuine passion for his country. This became more evident to me when he invited my husband, former Ambassador to Spain Lani Bernardo, to be one of the international observers in the just-concluded Cambodian elections.
I came along for the ride, as Cambodia and the fabled Angkor Wat have, for some time, held a fascination for me. We visited Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, and then took a plane to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.
JDV was already in place and in charge of the entire contingent of international observers. As a former speaker of Congress and head of the Lower House, JDV has international recognition and stature. He is looked upon most favorably, and is deferred to with much respect.
He is the founding president of the Centrist Asia-Pacific Democrats International and the founding chair of the International Conference of Asia Political Parties. He single-handedly assembled 60 delegates in Cambodia from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
JDV meeting with other world parliamentarians and leaders
Offhand I can mention the former deputy premier of Nepal, the former Pakistan deputy prime minister, the former deputy prime minister of Canada, delegates from Turkey, the heads of the Christian Democrats from Spain, the former vice president of Indonesia and his delegation, Malaysian individuals all connected at some time to the Malaysian parliament and heads of the opposition in Uzbekistan, among others.
From the Philippines, aside from Ambassador Bernardo, respected journalist Bel Cunanan attended. Her husband was Ambassador to Cambodia in 1998 and reopened the Embassy in the Cambodian capital, which closed as a protest under former Ambassador Rogelio de la Rosa in the mid-’70s due to the genocidal Khmer Rouge government.
Francis Manglapus, as president of the Christian Democrats in the Philippines, actively participated, as did JDV’s wife Gina de Venecia. She is the congressional representative of her district in Pangasinan. All in all, the group was cohesive, cooperative and eagerly took to the task of unbiased observation.
There is a ruling party of Cambodia, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), headed by strongman and longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen (28 years in power, with intentions to stay for yet another decade). There was a clamor that the 5th Parliamentary elections be opened to observers to ensure that they be as clean and fair as possible.
There is an opposition figure in Cambodia today, a man who speaks against the present regime. He accuses them of being corrupt, staying too long in power and too close to China. It is no wonder this party is called the Cambodian National Rescue Party.
This party is the strongest contender against the CPP headed by Hun Sen. Embodying the opposition is a man called Sam Rainsy, a charismatic, ascetic-looking man with glasses, and a huge following. In exile for a long time, he was allowed to return, but due to a lack of residency he was disqualified from running.
Queen Monique with the late King Norodom Sihanouk and their son, the present king
Nonetheless, his party won additional seats in Parliament. They feel that they have been cheated, however. The CPP won 68 seats and the National Rescue Party 55 seats. But to the opposition, this was unacceptable. The opposition is describing a voter’s registration process in which more than a million people were unable to vote. Familiar?
Oh yes, there was an air of familiarity as we visited polling places. First, Cambodians and Filipinos look alike, so it was like visiting provincial polling places and seeing Filipinos. The classrooms look just like ours, and the lists on the walls and cries of disenfranchisement gave me a feeling of déjà vu. When the actual counting begun, it was just like home—manual and with sticks! I’m talking of elections prior to the present-day machines here.
Third party
There is a third party in Cambodia called the Funcinpec. The candidate they fielded was the youngest daughter of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, Princess Norodom Aru Ramsey. Prince Ranariddh, son of Norodom Sihanouk, was declared “co-Prime Minister” together with Hun Sen in the 1990s.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Rainsy courts Vietnamese [All the Vietnamese in Cambodia should be given Khmer citizenship, assimilate and integrate them into the mainstream Khmer society, then the door is shut to new illegal immigrants]

Many ethnic Vietnamese live in floating villages such as this one in Kandeang district, Pursat province
Many ethnic Vietnamese live in floating villages such as this one in Kandeang district, Pursat province. Heng Chivoan
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy yesterday said that up to a quarter of a million ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia could be granted full citizenship rights via the Nationality Law if his Cambodia National Rescue Party were to come to power.
The CNRP president has sought in recent months, through a flurry of letters to newspapers and online postings, to cast off what he calls a groundless “foreign-entertained allegation” of anti-Vietnamese sentiment levelled at him and his party.
His most recent comments regarding the citizenship rights of some ethnic Vietnamese come after the Cambodian People’s Party-led government announced the creation of two new departments in the Ministry of Interior to control immigration and the issuance of identity documents.
The CPP’s platform for next month’s councillor elections also promises to address problems related to immigration and make it easier for identity documents to be obtained by those who require them.
The moves have led analysts to conclude that the ruling party is trying to catch up with public opinion regarding long-term unchecked illegal immigration from Vietnam, a hot-button issue for many who voted for the CNRP – which has talked about the issue extensively, despite it not appearing on the party’s policy platform – at last July’s disputed national election.
Speaking with the Post yesterday on the phone from Europe, where he is due to attend a political party conference in the Netherlands next week, Rainsy said he believed there were around 500,000 people “of Vietnamese descent” living in Cambodia, half of whom were eligible for Cambodian citizenship via birth.
“According to me I think that up to half of these 500,000 people of Vietnamese descent fulfil the legal requirement to be considered as Cambodian citizens. So the CNRP, we must treat those who meet the requirement to be Cambodian citizens, as Cambodian citizens,” he said.

CNRP asks to launch its campaign for council election at the Freedom Park

Give our kids a better deal 
PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) -- The Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) has made a proposal to Phnom Penh governor for arranging their political campaign at the Freedom Park ahead of the upcoming second council election. 

The campaign for the council election will take place from 2nd to 16th May.

The second council election will be held on 18th May, 2014.

CNRP used to hold protests at the Freedom Park before the authorities cracked down on the protest in January.

Vietnamese illegally grabbed Cambodian lands along the border ព្រំដែនខ្មែរ-យួន ត្រូវបានយួនរំលោភយកដី ដោយខុសច្បាប់

Post by ខ្ញុំស្រលាញ់ខ្មែរ.

Leng Oudom: Cambodia can be like Ukraine ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាអាចនឹងដូចជាប្រទេសអ៊ុយក្រែន

Leng Oudom's analogy is that, like Hun Sen, the previous Ukrainian leadership, was strongly pro-Russia and  had allowed uncontrolled Russian immigration into the Ukraine. So, after the Ukraine tried to break free from Russia's rein and turns to Europe as its backbone, Russia sent troops into the Ukraine's Crimea using an excuse that they need to protect ethnic Russians from persecutions by the Ukrainian government and people. He said this scenario could happen to Cambodia as Hun Sen had allowed uncontrolled Vietnamese immigration into Cambodia, so when Cambodia try to free itself from Vietnam's yoke in the future, Vietnam could send the troops into Cambodia, using a pretext that they come to protect the ethnic Vietnamese from persecutions by the Cambodians.

This is Hun Neng's house: A gift from a tycoon ផ្ទះរបស ហ៊ុនណេង បងហ៊ុនសែនបានពីឧកញ្ញ៉ាម្នាក់កាដូរអោយ

មិត្តយើងម្នាក់អះអាងថា ផ្ទះនេះជាផ្ទះរបស ហ៊ុនណេង បងហ៊ុនសែនបានពីឧកញ្ញ៉ាម្នាក់កាដូរអោយ ។ Unconfirmed rumour: This house is Hun Neng's house, who is Hun Sen's brother, said to be a gift from a well-connected unnamed tycoon. One would wonder what will the tycoon get in return - a licence to log and export timber? 

The Beauty of Leadership: UK, Prime Minister David Cameron failed to find a seat on the train នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីនៃប្រទេសអង់គ្លេសជិះរថភ្លើងឈរព្រោះគ្មានអ្នកណាឲ្យកន្លែងលោកអង្គុយ (Can Mr. Hun Sen do like this? តើលោកហ៊ុន សែន ហ៊ានធ្ចើដូច្នេះទេ?)

UK, Prime Minister David Cameron failed to find a seat on public transport (Train). That's called Beauty of Leadership. នាយករដ្ឋមន្រីអង់គ្លេសឈរអានកាសែតលើរថភ្លើងព្រោះគ្មានកន្លែងអង្គុយ។

This is how Hun Sen would like his people to treat him - like a god-king. នេះគឺជារបៀបដែលោកហ៊ុន សែនចង់ឲ្យប្រជាជនរបស់លោកប្រណិបត្តិមកលើរូបលោក គឺ់៎៝ឱនលំទោនដូចជាព្រះអទិទេពអញ្ចឹង។
Cambodian PM Hun Sen Visits A Construction Site In Phnom Penh : News Photo

7 Die in Shooting at China-Vietnam Border

HANOI, Vietnam April 18, 2014 (AP)

A Chinese man who was being repatriated from Vietnam along with 15 other migrants seized a gun from a border guard on Friday, triggering a gunfight and standoff in which five Chinese and two Vietnamese guards died, Vietnam's government said.
Vietnamese authorities detained the 16 Chinese — 10 men, four women and two children — after they entered the country illegally in Quang Ninh province, the regional government said in a statement.
As guards checked their papers in a room at the Bac Phong Sinh border crossing, one of the Chinese grabbed an automatic weapon from a guard and began firing, the statement said. A standoff ensued as some of the men then holed up in the office, it said.
Vietnamese and Chinese authorities urged the group to surrender, but it refused. The statement said some of the victims jumped to their death from the office. Several other people were injured. It didn't say whether the Chinese fatalities included women or children.
No other details were available. Independent media reporting is not allowed in the town.
Quang Ninh is opposite China's Guangxi province. Many Chinese traders and tourists enter Vietnam through the province.

Minisub dives deeper in hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Operators prepare the Bluefin 21 sub for a new mission in the search for MH370.
Operators prepare the Bluefin 21 sub for a new mission in the search for MH370. Source: Getty Images
THE minisub searching for missing flight MH370 has reached record depths well beyond its normal operating limits, officials said, as it dove on its fifth seabed mission.
With no results to show since the Boeing 777 carrying 239 people disappeared on March 8, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says there’ll soon be a rethink in the mission to locate the plane, which is believed to have crashed in a remote area of the Indian Ocean west of Perth.
Searchers have extended the hunt beyond the normal 4,500 metre depth range of the US Navy's Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), called Bluefin-21.
“The AUV reached a record depth of 4,695 metres during mission four,” the US Navy said. “This is the first time the Bluefin-21 has descended to this depth.
“Diving to such depths does carry with it some residual risk to the equipment and this is being carefully monitored,” a statement said.
Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre said the minisub had been deployed on a new mission as operations run round the clock.
“Data analysis from the fourth mission did not provide any contacts of interest,” it added.
The unmanned Bluefin-21 which maps the sea floor by sonar, has searched 110 square kilometres to date, JACC said.
The minisub, which hit a technical snag on Tuesday had also resurfaced Monday after breaching a pre-programmed maximum depth of 4.5 kilometres.
JACC said last night that the US manufacturer of the AUV, Phoenix International, had advised the risk was “acceptable”.
“This expansion of the operating parameters allows the Bluefin-21 to search the sea floor within the predicted limits of the current search area,” it said.
The Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to have crashed in the ocean after mysteriously vanishing while en route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

Ukraine crisis: US raises pressure on Russia over deal

A masked pro-Russian activist guard looks through a window of the regional administration building seized in Donetsk (18 April 2014)
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have refused to leave official buildings despite the Geneva deal
The US has threatened tougher economic sanctions if Russia fails to abide by a new international agreement to help de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.
The Kremlin responded by accusing the White House of treating Moscow like a "guilty schoolboy" over the deal.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's foreign minister said "anti-terrorist" operations in the east would be put on hold over Easter.
Pro-Russian separatists in several cities are refusing to leave buildings, defying a key term of the accord.
Russia, Ukraine, the EU and US had agreed during talks in Geneva that illegal military groups in Ukraine must be dissolved, and that those occupying government premises must be disarmed and leave.
The sides also decided there would be an amnesty for all anti-government protesters.
But the separatists' spokesman in the city of Donetsk said that the Kiev government was "illegal", and vowed they would not go until it stepped down.
The protesters also insisted that pro-European Union demonstrators in Kiev's Maidan Square - the vanguard of the protest movement that toppled President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Moscow - had to pack up their camp first.
'Utterly sickening'
After cautiously welcoming the deal struck on Thursday, the White House has now stepped up pressure on Russia to use its influence over separatists occupying the buildings in nine cities and towns in eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, 18 Apr 14
The "Donetsk People's Republic" refuses to recognise the Kiev authorities
Armed men in military uniforms during a pro-Russian rally, in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk (18 April 2014)
Armed men show a sticker with text reading "Donetsk don't listen to Kiev", in the eastern city of Sloviansk
East Ukraine map
On Friday, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned that if Moscow failed to uphold the deal a new round of sanctions would focus on what she called "very significant sectors of the Russian economy".
"We believe that Russia has considerable influence over the actions of those who have been engaged in destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine," she told reporters at a news briefing in Washington.
"If we don't see action commensurate with the commitments that Russia has made yesterday (Thursday) in Geneva... we and our European partners remain ready to impose additional costs on Russia."
She added that the US had identified close associates of the Russian leadership as potential targets for new sanctions.
US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov by telephone on Friday.
A senior US state department official said Mr Kerry had made it clear "that the next few days would be a pivotal period for all sides to implement the statement's provisions".
However, the US government would not confirm a report in the Washington Post quoting Poland's Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak as saying that the US would soon announce the deployment of US ground forces to Poland in response to the Ukraine crisis.

South Korean ferry sinking: Text messages from trapped students tell tales of love, fear

April 18, 2014 18 
By Malcolm Moore 
Watch the video here.

South Korean ferry captain questioned

The captain of a ferry that sunk of South Korea's coast is being questioned by authorities as hopes fade for any remaining survivors.
Jindo Port, South Korea: The parents stood vigil on the jetty, wrapped in disposable cagoules, clutching at what hope they could find as the wind and rain swirled around them. Nineteen kilometres away, more than 287 people were underwater, almost certainly dead, trapped inside the Sewol, the 6350-tonne Korean ferry which had been carrying them to the holiday island of Jeju when it sank on Wednesday morning.
The 69-year-old captain, Lee Joon-seok, was facing uncomfortable questions at the investigation headquarters in Mokpo, on the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula,  on Thursday about why he had been among the first to evacuate the sinking ship, leaving his post while high school students were drowning below.
On the second day of the rescue mission, visibility underwater was less than a foot and vicious seas left navy divers unable even to enter the submerged hull of the ship, the coastguard said. All efforts were abandoned in the early afternoon.
A relative of a missing ferry passenger at Jindo.
A relative of a missing ferry passenger at Jindo. Photo: Reuters
''There are 160 divers from the special forces but the current is so strong that they are being swept away when they enter the water,'' said Kim Dohyun, a 52-year-old veteran of the Korean Special Forces, who was acting as a liaison with the parents. ''Right now, the teams are tapping on the outside of the ship with hammers to listen for any survivors inside. When they can go in, only two divers at a time can fit because the corridors are so narrow.''
Officials, who asked not to be named, said the chance of finding any passengers alive were ''close to zero''.
Almost 500 people, hundreds of them high school students, were aboard the ferry. As the tragedy grew dire on Wednesday, some aboard the vessel sent farewell messages to friends and loved ones. South Korean news outlets released some of the conversations, and some have been translated to English.
Rescue team members next to the capsized  ferry.
Rescue team members next to the capsized ferry. Photo: AP
America's ABC News, citing Korean TV, reported this one: ''Dad, don't worry. I've got a life vest on and we're huddled together,'' a student identified as Shin, 18, texted her father.
Dad's reply: ''I know the rescue is underway but make your way out if you can.''
''Dad, I can't walk out,'' she replied. ''The corridor is full of kids, and it's too tilted.''
Relatives wait for news of missing passengers of the sunken ferry at a Jindo gymnasium.
Relatives wait for news of missing passengers of the sunken ferry at a Jindo gymnasium. Photo: Getty Images
Shin was among those still missing.
Some parents were able to stay in touch with their kids on the phone until mobile contact was lost. Many were holding on to the hope that their children remained alive and lashed out at what they said was official inertia and a government cover-up.
''We have received at least 20 text messages from children on the boat who are still alive,'' said one 42-year-old mother on the jetty, who gave her name as Mrs Jung. Mobile phone signals were weak at the time of the sinking, apparently preventing spoken communication in most instances.
A relative of a passenger aboard the sunken ferry.
A relative of a passenger aboard the sunken ferry. Photo: AP
One message, circulating around the parents, was allegedly a list of survivors organised by their class number sent from inside the ship.
''The government is blocking the news from getting out and there is no rescue mission for them,'' Mrs Jung cried.
However, all of the messages shown by parents to  the newspaper were second or third-hand, passed from phone to phone, and it was not possible to date them or to find anyone who had made direct contact.
Danwon High School students hold papers with messages such as "miss you", "love you" and "don't lose your hope" for their friends who are missing.
Danwon High School students hold papers with messages such as "miss you", "love you" and "don't lose your hope" for their friends who are missing. Photo: AP
As their anger grew, some parents tried to attack coastguard officials on the jetty and had to be held back by the crowd.
''Children are dying! They sent messages! What do you mean bad weather has stopped you!'' screamed one father.

Cambodian Communities in Exile

Robb Klassen
Santa Barbara Residents Document Land Disputes and Violent Evictions in Phnom Penh

Friday, April 18, 2014
Our journey into the culture of Southeast Asia began long before we actually left the comfort of our home here in Santa Barbara last September. As a graduate of UCSB’s global studies program, and Robb a past student of Brooks Institute of Photography, we had spent the previous year making coffee at the French Press while spending our evenings dreaming up a four-month documentary trip that would combine my passion for writing and social development with his love for photography.
Click to enlarge photo
Robb Klassen
As initial research for our nonprofit project, Global Populace, Robb and I developed a plan that would envelop us in the inner workings of grassroots organizations throughout the countrysides of Myanmar and Thailand. Yet, before the end of our trip, our documentation work would eventually intertwine us within the social and political depths of Cambodia’s development struggles.
Global Populace — a Santa Barbara–based organization nearly two years in the making — aims to bridge the gap between international communities and grassroots organizations to create an opportunity for people around the world to connect to and support initiatives through volunteerism and funding. After completing a three month fundraiser through the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, with the immense support from our Santa Barbara community, we successfully raised enough money to finance our trip. However, while visiting numerous organizations and conducting hours’ worth of interviews, we ended up working with one particular community — Borei Keila — whose immense struggle has been nearly forgotten within the hustle and bustle of Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh.
Click to enlarge photo
Robb Klassen
We had been in Phnom Penh for only three days when we were first introduced to a group of representatives from Borei Keila while documenting an organization calledCLEC, the Community Legal Education Center. The representatives — six middle-aged women with fierce dispositions — were there seeking food and water for their branch of the Borei Keila community that had been evicted to the rural countryside 45 kilometers away from the nearest city.
After introducing ourselves and our documentary project, the women promptly asked us if we’d like to hear their story and help them spread the word about their struggles. This is their story: