Photographer's Note

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This picture has been shot two years ago on Pokambor Avenue, just outside Neak Krorhorm Old Market (Psah Chas). The title "I need your help!" is for me, not for the boy.

In Cambodia cities you can easily see amputated children on many streets, but to attempt to photograph the actions of the people who demine over the fields is not. On Dec 31, 2006, I sent out the following message and so far I dont hear anything.



Mr. Heng Ratana, Deputy Director General
Cambodia Mine Action Center
CMAC Building, Road Duong Ngeap,
Chaomchao Commune, Dongkor District,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
PO Box 116, Phnom Penh 12202
Tel: (855) 23-995.437/ 8


Dear Sir:

I am living in Houston, Texas. During the Vietnam War, I was a combat-photographer for the Associated Press. Currently, I work as a warehouse worker for a medical manufacturing company. From time to time, while on vacation, I still maintain my photographic hobby.

I planned to visit Siem Riep for a few days in mid-2007.

Please advise me if you can arrange for me to visit your Demining Unit 6 in Siem Reap and photograph their performance so I can post the pictures online for people to be aware of your humanitarian work.

Please let me know at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Thanh Nguyen



---------------
Cc:
CMAC Demining Unit 6 in Siem Reap
PO Box 17
Trang Village, Slor Kram Commune
Siem Reap District, Siem Reap Province
Tel: (855) 63 963 489 / (855) 63 380 046







3 weeks after my above email, there are two incidents in the area:

ANTI-TANK MINE KILLS 7 CAMBODIAN DEMINERS

PHNOM PENH, Jan 19 (Reuters) - At least one anti-tank mine in a former Khmer Rouge stronghold in northwest Cambodia blew up on Friday, killing seven de-miners, three of whom were women.
It was the worst incident to hit mine clearing agencies since they started work in the war-scarred southeast Asian nation in 1993, said Leng Sochea, a spokesman for the Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC).
Initial investigations suggested a mine-clearing team near the town of Battambang came upon two anti-tank mines placed on top of each other. The mines detonated before they could be defused or blown up safely.
"It could have been because of a technical fault," Leng Sochea said.
The areas around Cambodia's border with Thailand are littered with landmines planted by Pol Pot's ultra-Maoist guerrillas and the Vietnamese army, which invaded Cambodia in 1979 to topple the Khmer Rouge.
Mine clearing teams have destroyed an estimated 1.6 million landmines in the last 10 years, but aid agencies and the government say at least 5 million more remain. They are responsible for hundreds of deaths and injuries every year.
(Source)

5 KIDS INJURED IN CAMBODIA MINE BLAST

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 21 (Xinhua): The explosion of two mines wounded five children on Saturday in Thmor Pouk district, Battambang province, some 250 km northwest of the capital city, police source told Xinhua by phone.
Two of them were heavily injured, while the other three slightly over the blast in Sre Laor village, said Yort Rai, Deputy Police Chief of the district.
"They found the two mines in a black plastic bag behind their village and thought that it was make-up powder boxes. They hit them with a stick in order to take off the shells and sell them to waste-pickers. They then exploded," he said.
The two injured seriously were sent to a children's hospital in Battambang provincial town, he added.
"The girl suffered from injuries on face, hands and chest. Both children may become blind and lose their hands," he said, adding that the four boys and one girl were from four to seven-years-old.
Earlier on Friday, seven mine cleaners died over the blast of three anti-tank mines in Komrieng district, Battambang province.
According to the Cambodia Mine Action Center, there were more than 400 human casualties over mine and UXO (unexploded ordnance) explosions in 2006 in Cambodia, or 50 per cent decrease over the average number of the previous six years.
Due to 30 years of armed conflicts, Cambodia has become one of the world's most heavily mined countries with an estimated four to six million of such "hidden killers" buried underground in areas as extensive as 2,900 square kilometers.
All the mines and UXO may take another 150 years for the kingdom to clear out, statistics say.
(Source)

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I have posted my request for help in Lonely Planet Forum but I hope to get more tips here in TrekEarth. Please give me your advice.

Thanks.




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miuky, zips, TRASH, Richard1, NickVu has marked this note useful

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