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Planned Theme Park Poses Risks to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, Culture: Residents, NGOs

A theme park project to be built outside of Siem Reap in Cambodia by a Hong Kong-listed casino operator poses risks to the nearby iconic Angkor Wat temple complex and the local culture, residents and civil society groups warned as the plan was unveiled.

Last week, NagaCorp, which is registered in the Cayman Islands and operates NagaWorld casinos in the capital Phnom Penh under an exclusive license from the government, revealed plans to construct a 75-hectare (185-acre) “Angkor Lake of Wonder” theme park it has compared to California’s Disneyland.

The resort—the first phase of which is expected to cost some U.S. $350 million and be completed in 2025—will include a “China Town” and water park, as well as an indoor theme park, and will be built by an as-of-yet unnamed Chinese state-owned enterprise, the company said in a press release.

According to last week’s announcement, Cambodia’s government in May granted NagaCorp a 50-year lease on land around 500 meters (one-third of a mile) south of the Angkor Wat complex, which drew some 5 million visitors annually before the coronavirus pandemic. Under the terms of the deal, NagaCorp will not pay any rent in the first seven to 10 years and around U.S. $450,000 each year after, with a five percent increase every five years.

While NagaCorp said that the “non-gambling” project will help to increase the number of visitors to Siem Reap and more generally promote tourism in Cambodia, residents and civil society groups expressed skepticism about the benefits it would bring to the local community and called for more transparency from the government.

Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service, Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said he fears that the value of artifacts in the 12th century Angkor complex—designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992—will depreciate if the project goes ahead.

“I am not against development, but any development should be appropriate according to the culture in the area,” he said.

“I think it is better to develop and preserve the Angkor area as a tourist site, not as an entertainment zone that could impact the culture heritage sites of our ancestry.”

​Calls by RFA seeking comment from Siem Reap governor Tith Seyha, who is the son of Defense Minister Tea Banh, and Long Kosal, spokesman for the APSARA Authority that manages the Angkor Archaeological Park, went unanswered.

RFA was also unable to contact government spokesman Phay Siphan, although he told the Voice of Democracy last week that the project was approved because NagaCorp has been a long-term investor in Cambodia and earned the country’s trust. He added that the project would bring jobs to the region.

Call for transparency

Cambodians appeared generally supportive of the project during a call-in show with RFA’s Khmer Service, provided it does not negatively impact the country.

Phnom Penh resident Leng Chentha told RFA that if the theme park provides jobs and other benefits to people in Siem Reap she would support it, but not if it leads to the loss of jobs for Cambodians and “destroys the beauty of Angkor Wat.”

“If the investment, in the long run, diminishes Angkor Wat’s identity, I would not support it,” she said, calling on the government to provide additional information about the project.

Siem Reap tour guide Puy Leng told RFA that if the project “brings more tourists to Angkor Wat, I’m fine with it.”

Ty Leng, a villager from Siem Reap, said the theme park is a good thing for the area, “but we don’t want a casino” to end up being part of the project.

“If they create more facilities for tourists, like hotels and entertainment parks, to draw them to the area, that would be beneficial to us.”

But Hay Vanna, a Cambodian migrant worker in Japan, warned that “the government often says one thing and does another,” and called for a better explanation of what NagaCorp’s plans include.

“I’m afraid they won’t do as they say,” he said.

Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, the founder of domestic environmental watchdog Mother Nature, said the building of a “China Town” in Siem Reap will “destroy the value of this cultural heritage site.”

“The Cambodian government said it will not build casino facilities in Siem Reap—will it dare to swear to that?” he asked, warning Cambodians not to be “fooled” by what Prime Minister Hun Sen promises.

“Why don’t they build this somewhere else? A referendum should be held to see if people support project investments in Siem Reap. I believe the majority of Cambodian people would not support this. They might end up holding demonstrations.”

China has stepped in to wield significant influence in Cambodia as relations between Phnom Penh and Western governments have waned amid concerns over the country’s human rights situation and political environment.

Concerns about the project in Siem Reap follow several years of Chinese investment into Cambodia’s port city of Sihanoukville, where Cambodians regularly chafe at what they call unscrupulous business practices and unbecoming behavior by Chinese businessmen and residents.

Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Sok Ry Sum. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org

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April 11, 2021
India Coronavirus Cases: 13,205,926 Deaths:168,436

How to identify Fake News or Messages on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they a.re developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+916289017966

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