Book Review: Hun Sen’s Cambodia

Book Review: Hun Sen’s CambodiaIn the western mind, as Sebastian Strangio so eloquently writes, Cambodia remains “nearly synonymous with the terror and mass murder that engulfed the country in the mid-1970s, when the Khmer Rouge seized power and embarked on a radical experiment in communism.” The country has struggled on from that period, modernizing and tearing down its forests,…

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…

Cambodia in Peril from Mekong Dams

Cambodia in Peril from Mekong DamsThe planned construction of 88 hydroelectric dams in the lower Mekong basin by 2030 means Cambodia will pay the region’s highest price for dam development, analysts say. The proliferating dams could affectg the food security of its 80 percent rural population, said Eric Baran, a specialist with the WorldFish Center, an international research NGO based…

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…

‘Killing Fields’ Producer Turned Trade Rep Backs Hun Sen

‘Killing Fields’ Producer Turned Trade Rep Backs Hun SenDavid Puttnam, the once-brilliant film-maker who is best known for producing the amazing movie of Khmer Rouge terror, “The Killing Fields” has stunned journalists, diplomats and others, by praising the current Khmer government and its leader Hun Sen, for “its commitment to ending corruption.” The current member of Britain’s House of Lords, speaking in one…

Cambodia Realigns Its Foreign Relations

Cambodia Realigns Its Foreign RelationsCambodia’s foreign relations map has undergone dramatic shifts in the past six months. In the aftermath of Cambodia’s elections in July 2013, Beijing promptly recognized the results and congratulated Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party for their victory. However, as anti-government protests led by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party grew…

Cambodia’s Day of Hatred

Cambodia’s Day of HatredReeling from recent violence and the suppression and killing of five young striking textile workers, and the harassing of opposition politicians, Cambodia is looking more and more like something from George Orwell's 1949 masterpiece, '1984.'    The country's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), the former Communist Party, was today celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 7th January, 1979, ousting…

Crackdown in Cambodia

Crackdown in CambodiaThe iron fist of Cambodia's long-ruling Communist Party has smashed into its political foes in the past few days, ending a confused and discordant state of affairs during which an opposition party seemed to write the agenda by calling on Prime Minister Hun Sein to resign or call a fresh election, after an allegedly flawed…

Cambodians Refuse to Accept Rigged Elections

Cambodians Refuse to Accept Rigged ElectionsCambodia’s parliamentary elections were supposed to be another boring and tainted exercise to ensure that the party of Prime Minister Hun Sen, already in office for 28 years, remained in power for another five years. Instead, the flagrant vote rigging failed, and the opposition may even have won. Officially, Hun Sen’s party won 68 of…

Guppies Vs. Dengue

The lowly guppy, unassuming inhabitant of many a child's fishbowl, could become an unlikely combatant to slow the spread of dengue, an agonizing, mosquito-borne illness giving rise to hundreds of thousands of severe cases every year, including up to 20,000 deaths worldwide. A trial study conducted by the governments of Cambodia and the World Health…