Cambodia’s Capital City Reaches for the Sky

Cambodia’s Capital City Reaches for the SkyPhnom Penh -- the city the Khmer Rouge emptied in 1975 – is now a sprawling urban center of 1.7 million people whose skyline could soon be unrecognizable as a slate of skyscrapers are either planned or under construction – and possibly just in time for a rude property shock in a market characterized by…

Cambodia’s Illegal Logging Crisis

Cambodia’s Illegal Logging CrisisTree cover loss in Cambodia has accelerated faster than in any other country in the world since 2001, so fast that Prey Lang, one of Southeast Asia's last great forests, is disappearing. Supposedly that has alarmed Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, who in February threatened to fire rockets at illegal loggers. Environment Minister Say Samal…

Illegal Viet Rice Floods Cambodia Market

Illegal Viet Rice Floods Cambodia MarketAn estimated of 800,000 tonnes of low-quality Vietnamese milled rice has been imported illegally into Cambodia since 2015, flooding the domestic market with cheap rice driving small domestic millers out of business because they have been unable to compete. After being a net exporter of milled rice, Cambodia became a net importer   2015 with these…

Cambodia Goes After Opposition Well in Advance of Elections

Cambodia Goes After Opposition Well in Advance of ElectionsAfter taking a relative drubbing during 2013 elections, when the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) won only 68 of the 123-member parliament’s seats, the government headed by Hun Sen, is now trying to silence the opposition. Fearing a worse election result, Hun Sen is determined to intimidate the oppositon stay in power after community and…

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…

Analyst’s Murder Highlights Cambodian Misrule

Analyst’s Murder Highlights Cambodian MisruleMinutes after prominent Cambodian independent political analyst Kem Ley was gunned down in broad daylight, police arrested a “suspect” who had “confessed” to the assassination. Within hours, a video of the suspect’s interrogation—the man bleeding from the head and scared witless—was released to the TV Station BTV, which is 100 percent owned by the daughter…

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…

Cambodian Parliamentary Immunity in Danger

Cambodian Parliamentary Immunity in DangerParliamentary immunity is enshrined in Article 80 of the 1993 Cambodian Constitution, which states that members of the National Assembly can only be prosecuted, arrested or detained with the approval of two-thirds of the National Assembly. The constitution provides one narrow exception to this rule: negating the necessity for a vote if a parliamentarian is…

Opinion: Cambodian Rice Industry Endangered by Bad Policy

Opinion: Cambodian Rice Industry Endangered by Bad PolicyIt may be only a matter of time before Cambodia’s rice industry disintegrates, partly as a result of a weak Cambodian Rice Federation and partly because of misguided government policies. It is an industry fraught with deep problems since the 1970s, when it was largely destroyed from the depredations of the Khmer Rouge. As a…

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,…
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