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President Hun Sen Pledges $100,000 Annual Support to Khmer Artists Association

Phnom Penh, May 28, 2024 - On the morning of Tuesday, May 28, 2024, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, President of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia, formally received a delegation from the Khmer Artists Association at the 7 Makara Palace in Phnom Penh. The delegation, led by Duke Mao Chamnan, newly elected President of the Khmer Artists Association, paid a courtesy call to discuss the association's future and the broader scope of Cambodian arts.

During this auspicious meeting, President Hun Sen extended his heartfelt congratulations to Duke Mao Chamnan on her election and warmly welcomed the members of the Board of Directors of the Khmer Artists Association. Duke Mao Chamnan eloquently articulated the association's primary objectives, which encompass the conservation and promotion of national arts and culture, the protection of members' rights, the solicitation of philanthropic support, the mobilization of artist resources, and the enhancement of social morality and professional ethics among artists.

Duke Mao Chamnan also brought to the forefront the significant challenges faced by the association. These include the influx of both professional and non-professional artists seeking membership benefits, issues with artists' public conduct, and a notable deficiency in human resources and cultural knowledge. She proposed strategic solutions, such as the establishment of a committee to evaluate artists' qualifications and the integration of modern technology while steadfastly preserving the Khmer identity.

In his response, President Hun Sen lauded the organizational structure of the association and underscored the critical importance of sustainability. He reminisced about the revival of Cambodian arts commencing on January 7, 1979, and the relentless efforts to restore the country's cultural heritage post-conflict. President Hun Sen accentuated the necessity of protecting intellectual property in the rapidly evolving digital age and the emerging challenges posed by artificial intelligence.

He emphasized the vital importance of sustaining Cambodia's cultural identity, recalling the historical role of monasteries and palaces in preserving cultural heritage. He advised that the association should not be perceived merely as a charitable entity but rather as a robust institution capable of training and supporting young artists, thereby ensuring the continuity of cultural traditions.

President Hun Sen recommended several strategic measures to reinforce the long-term role of artists. These measures include organizing short training sessions on various skills and professional ethics, reviewing conditions to maintain the intrinsic value of artists, and establishing a comprehensive legal framework for the association. He called upon the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to take an active role in these endeavors and suggested the promotion of Khmer clothing fashion according to generational styles.

To further support the association, President Hun Sen urged local media to actively promote the association's activities and announced a significant financial commitment of $100,000 per year for the next five years, commencing in 2024.

This pivotal meeting signifies a substantial advancement in the ongoing efforts to preserve and promote Cambodia's rich cultural heritage, ensuring its continuity and evolution in the modern era.

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