Vestiges of a Friendship Between North Korea and Cambodia

Vestiges of a Friendship Between North Korea and CambodiaWith its white walls shimmering under the tropical sun and its yellow roof pointing towards the sky, the Angkor Panorama Museum could be an awkward shopping mall stranded on the outskirts of Siem Reap, the provincial city on Tonle Sap, 320 km from the capital Phnom Penh. Instead, it is a brick-and-mortar testament to the…

Cambodia’s Stateless Vietnamese

Cambodia’s Stateless VietnameseUp to 750,000 Vietnamese people are believed to be living in Cambodia, about 5 percent of the country's population, but no one knows for sure. They are almost universally stateless. Few qualify for Cambodian citizenship. Since land can’t be purchased without proper documents, most have settled in floating hamlets scattered on Cambodia's large rivers, where…

Southeast Asia’s Rivers Run Dry

Southeast Asia’s Rivers Run DryThe dry months before the monsoon rains arrive are often tough for Cambodian fishermen and farmers. But with rivers drying up and drinking water running out, conditions have rarely been as bad as they are now.  The current drought is linked to El Niño, which has been disrupting weather patterns around the world. But the harsh…

Khmer Rouge vs. Islamic State (IS) – which is more evil?

Khmer Rouge vs. Islamic State (IS) – which is more evil?Two days ago, an elderly Cambodian father told the Khmer Rouge tribunal here – yes, it is still in existence – of how his son from the boy’s Vietnamese mother had been thrown in the air, then fatally impaled on a Khmer Rouge bayonet as he fell.  That happened to other children, including girls.  Meanwhile,…

UN Credibility on Trial in Cambodia

UN Credibility on Trial in CambodiaThe United Nations faces a credibility test. For more than a decade, it has supported the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, or ECCC, a hybrid tribunal with national and international sides created to try “senior leaders” and others “most responsible” for atrocities of the Pol Pot regime, which enjoyed Chinese support. The ECCC…

Former Official Recalls Cambodian Collapse

Former Official Recalls Cambodian CollapseOn April 10, John Gunther Dean, the US ambassador to Cambodia at the fall of Phnom Penh, gave a startling interview to Denis D. Gray of the Associated Press, in which Dean accused the US of abandoning the country and “handing it over to the butcher.” Dean left on one of the last helicopters out.…

Cambodia’s Preah Vihear: Development Still on Hold

Cambodia’s Preah Vihear: Development Still on HoldPictures of ancient Preah Vihear Temple are heavenly. When talking about the temple, many Cambodians become just as mystical. Though not too many have made the trek yet, they do have opinions.  “I hear it is so beautiful,” said a tourism worker in Siem Reap. Of course he had been to his city’s famous temples…

Malaria Parasite Feared to be Mutating

Malaria Parasite Feared to be MutatingAs was probably inevitable, the parasites carried by mosquitos in Southeast Asia are mutating genetically to become resistant to the most popular drug used to combat malaria, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, causing deep concern that heretofore-effective malaria treatment programs could be endangered, both in Asia and Africa. The…

Western Fashions Still Run on Exploited Asian Labor

Western Fashions Still Run on Exploited Asian LaborVietnam’s foreign factory burnings gripped the news headlines last week as a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment was sparked by a Chinese drilling rig’s encroachment in the South China Seas, but it can’t be hard to enrage impoverished factory workers struggling to feed themselves on wages that don’t meet their basic needs. Similarly, labor activists in…

Concern rises Over Drug-resistant Malaria in SE Asia

Concern rises Over Drug-resistant Malaria in SE AsiaDespite intensive efforts to stem the spread of malaria across Southeast Asia, concerns are rising that new strains of the malady are resistant to the drugs developed to fight it. “The emergence of resistance… threatens worldwide malaria control and treatment since there is no alternative to this drug if its efficacy decreases further and the…