Cambodia to Request for Registration of Her ‘Sankranta’ on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2025

Cambodia will request UNESCO to register her ‘Sankranta’ on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List next year, announced this morning Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia

At the inauguration ceremony of a stupa of Buddha’s relics at Moniratanaram Pagoda in Pursat province, the Premier asked the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to prepare necessary documents to apply for the registration of “Sankranta in Cambodia” as a UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage by 2025 in order to avoid any further worries of the Cambodians.

Samdech Thipadei Hun Manet said that the people’s concern over the issue is right in the spirit of protecting the national culture.

The Prime Minister also called on his compatriots to organise ‘Sankranta’ event everywhere in the country this year to celebrate the Khmer New Year happily because ‘we have not lost our ‘Sankranta’.’

At the same time, Samdech Thipadei Hun Manet underlined that the Royal Government (RGC) is also preparing to inscribe
seven other cultural heritages on the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and this year, the RGC is ready to request for the registration of Krama (Cambodian scarf) on the list.

The term ‘Sankranta’ stems from Sanskrit and means moving from old to new year.

This year, Cambodian people are going to celebrate their traditional New Year, one of the biggest festivals, particularly for family gathering in the country, from April 13 to 16.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse

Some 40 Cambodian Officers Attending Training Programme on Public Policy and Governance in India

A total of 39 Cambodian officers -19 from the Ministry of Inspection and 20 others from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports – have been attending the two-week-long 4th Training Programme on Public Policy and Governance at the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) in India.

Organised by the NCGG in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs of India (MEA) from Mar. 26 to April 6 at Mussoorie and New Delhi, the capacity building programme focuses on providing a rich cross country experience and a platform for policy dialogue and sharing of best practices on good governance and public policy. This will result in the officers gaining valuable insights into the manner in which institutions are being transformed and people are getting closer to the government.

According to the Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh, the programme was graced by Shri V. Srinivas, Director General of NCGG and Secretary of Department of Administrative Reform and Public Grievances (DARPG). Speaking on the occasion, he spoke
about the historical relations between the two civilisations. He elaborated on the India’s governance model and how it has changed in scope, scale, and size.

He also highlighted how the digital technology has been embraced in India to ensure better policy making, service delivery, transform institutions and bring citizens closer to government. Also, digitisation of institutions is necessary to bring transparency and accountability and ensure good governance.

He discussed in detail the Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism, Pensions Welfare under the DARPG, NESDA and the Khelo India Programme. He also encouraged the officers to work in groups and make presentations on key policies and programmes being undertaken.

Dr. BS Bisht, Associate Professor and Course Coordinator, gave detailed information about NCGG and the milestones achieved by the centre so far. He further gave a brief introduction about the topics of the course that includes the Changing Paradigm in Governance, Viksit Bharat @2047, Industrial Deve
lopment and Economic Growth, Smart and Sustainable Cities, Approach to Achieve SDG by 2030, Public Policy and Implementation, Skill India: Policy and Practices, Digital Governance, Ethics in Administration, Leadership and Communication, Education: Policies and Practices, Financial Inclusion, Public Private Partnership, Sanitation, Hygiene and Public Behaviour, Gender and Development, Vigilance Administration and Anti-Corruption Strategies among others.

The programme also includes exposure visits to prominent institutions such as Smart School in Dehradun, Common Service Centre (CSC), Information Technology Development Agency, Forest Research Institute Dehradun, District Administration and National Institute of Sports in Patiala, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya and a visit to Taj Mahal to give a hands on experience of the administration, best practices and the culture and history of the country.

In partnership with MEA, NCGG has imparted training to civil servants of 17 count
ries viz. Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Seychelles, Gambia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Eretria and Cambodia.

A total of 156 Cambodian Civil Servants have so far attended capacity building programmes at the NCGG, an autonomous institution under the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India. NCGG’s efforts align with Government of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, which emphasises strengthening bilateral ties and fostering regional cooperation with neighbouring countries.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse

PM: Diplomats Protect and Enhance National Values

Diplomats are the ones who determine, implement the diplomatic vision and mission, represent the nation and the people, communicate and negotiate with partners, protect and promote national values and solve problems.

The remarks were highlighted by Prime Minister Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet, while presiding over here at the Peace Palace this afternoon the closing ceremony of the annual meeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) to review its work achievements in 2023 and set forth new goals for 2024.

The Premier praised the achievements attained by the MFAIC in the past year with the high sense of responsibility of the leaders, diplomats and all staff who have worked hard to carry out Cambodian foreign policy in the spirit of patriotism by maintaining the national honour and interests.

Samdech Thipadei Prime Minister thanked the relevant ministries and institutions for their support in making the Cambodian diplomatic activities a success.

Source: Agence K
ampuchea Presse

A Sandstone Statue in Front of Southern Library of Phnom Bakheng Temple Being Restored

Stone conservation experts of the Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology of the APSARA National Authority have been restoring a sandstone statue in front of the southern library of Phnom Bakheng Temple, the authority said in a news release on Mar. 29.

Mr. Soy Sophearin, a stone conservation expert, said that the statue had been severely damaged, such as the head, arms, and right leg, making it impossible for the experts to identify the statue.

‘As for the time and cause of the statue’s collapse, we do not know for sure. However, based on the remaining cement traces, we know that this statue was once restored by the EFEO,’ he added.

Currently, the news release pointed out, the experts of APSARA National Authority are renovating many parts, such as studying the foundation, checking the pedestal, and repairing the cracked foot on the right side with stainless steel to reconnect the foot.

To restore this ancient sandstone statue, the experts also have to carve new stones to replac
e the missing ones, the same source added.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse

Cambodia Records Sharp Rise in Digital Payments in 2023: NBC

Cambodia has seen a significant rise in mobile payments thanks to digital transaction options allowing more people transition from cash-based to digital transactions, the National Bank of Cambodia said on Friday.

The deployment of modern payment systems, the development of apps for QR code-scanning payment, and Internet usage have facilitated the digital payments in a secure and fast manner, the NBC said in a press statement.

‘Digital payment transactions in Cambodia are growing rapidly through the use of credit cards, debit cards, money transfers, in particular QR code scanning payment, ranging from small to large shops, covering almost everywhere across the country,’ it said.

The total number of mobile payment transactions in KHR and US$ rose to 1,100 million in 2023, with a total amount of US$492 billion, equal to 16 times gross domestic product (GDP), read the statement.

Among the payment systems, the use of Bakong system has increased significantly, with a total of 27.6 million accounts, available f
or payment with more than 2.9 million shops and services throughout the country by the end of 2023.

Developed by NBC in partnership with Japanese tech firm Soramitsu, Bakong allows Cambodians to transfer and receive digital funds using their smartphones without traditional bank accounts.

In the context of technology progress, the NBC has grabbed the opportunity to develop a payment system, enabling payment transactions easier, safer, and faster, particularly solving obstacles in inter-bank payment transactions, NBC Governor H.E. Dr. Chea Serey said recently.

‘Efficiency of the payment transaction system has actively contributed to boosting trading of goods and services, financial inclusion, and promoting Khmer Riel uses, which support the target of the government’s digital socio-economic development,’ she underlined.

The NBC’s report was made to reject a result of a survey by digital payment service provider VISA stating that the use of digital payment methods in Cambodia is declining and still low, and t
hat the use of cash continues to increase, contrary to regional trends.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse