PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodia said on Wednesday it was saddened and shocked by a “disrespectful” U.S. decision to rein back aid programmes because of perceived democratic setbacks and defended its record on democracy.
Cambodia’s national flags are seen as labourers work at a construction site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
The White House said on Tuesday it was suspending or curtailing several Treasury, USAID and military assistance programmes that support Cambodia’s military, taxation department and local authorities – all of which, it said, shared blame for recent instability.
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – With U.S.-Cambodian relations at a low and Chinese influence growing, Washington is trying a new way to win hearts and minds: sponsoring a well-known Cambodian musician to sing positive songs about America.
Singer Yorn Young poses for a picture before a news conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
“When there is tension, countries seek ways to ease it so arts and culture can help,” said 37-year-old Yorn Young, who launched his “Lovin’ USA” album in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. He was not worried if people thought it was propaganda, he added.
Field Notes — Tonle Sap Lake
Stimson Southeast Asia program director Brian Eyler recently visited Plov Tuok, a community of 800 floating homes atop of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake — the largest lake in Southeast Asia and the world’s largest inland fishery. The visit was facilitated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Brian witnessed first-hand the progress of fish conversation zones that were established by local villagers and IUCN in 2014.
Click to read his Field Notes.
China’s deepening economic presence is bringing progress — but at what cost?
KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei deputy editor
HONG KONG/PHNOM PENH Just a few blocks from the Royal Palace, in the traditional heart of downtown Phnom Penh, sits one of Cambodia’s most renowned Chinese schools. Over the past century, the Tuan Hoa School has witnessed the many ups and downs of the capital. Today, it has front-row seats to an unprecedented boom.
Run by a local ethnic Chinese organization, the school is one of the largest Mandarin-speaking elementary and junior high schools outside China and Taiwan. It currently has more than 11,000 students, including those at its branch campus. Continue reading “The ‘Chinazation’ of Cambodia”
Cambodia’s Supreme Court has dissolved the country’s main opposition party, leaving the government with no significant competitor ahead of elections next year.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is accused of plotting to topple the government – charges it denies, and describes as politically motivated.
More than 100 party members are now banned from politics for five years.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has ruled for 32 years.
The one-time commander in Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge has long been accused of using the courts and security forces to intimidate opponents and crush dissent, but has for years allowed some measure of political opposition to his Cambodian People’s Party. Continue reading “Cambodia top court dissolves main opposition CNRP party”
Cambodia has long wooed visitors with its ancient temples and Phnom Penh’s chaotic charms, but next week the southern coastal town of Kampot will be in the spotlight as it hosts the Kampot Readers and Writers Festival (running from 1-5 November). Continue reading “Kampot literary festival hopes to revive Cambodia’s lost art of storytelling”
channelnewsasia – The Cambodian government is threatening to deport any “newcomers” unable to produce correct and legal documentation.
Many Vietnamese communities exist around the Tonle Sap. (Photo: Pichayada Promchertchoo) Jack Board @JackBoardCNA
PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian government has illegal Vietnamese migrants in its sights, threatening to deport any “newcomers” unable to produce correct and legal documentation.
The Ministry of Interior earlier this month reiterated plans to revoke documentation from about 70,000 individuals on the basis that they were incorrectly issued. Continue reading “Vietnamese migrants could be on borrowed time in Cambodia”
“Robam kbach boran,” or the art of Khmer classical dance, is more than 1,000 years old. It was developed as a prayer in movement for rain and fertility, and a prosperity that this meant for an agricultural society. Dancers who were both men and women were offered to temples where they served as living bridges between heaven and earth. Their dancing bodies carried the prayers of the people up to the gods, and the will of the deities was delivered back through them to the people and the land.
About half the country’s opposition members of parliament have left as government vows more arrests over alleged coup.
Half of Cambodia‘s opposition members of parliament have fled the country in fear of a crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government after allegations of a US-backed coup attempt. Continue reading “Cambodian opposition MPs flee from crackdown”
globalwitness – Press release / Oct. 26, 2015
Rubber giant Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) has been expelled from the world’s leading forest certification body, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), following an investigation into illegal land and forest clearance in Cambodia. Responding to a complaint submitted by Global Witness last November, the FSC found that the state-owned company had illegally destroyed at least 50,000 hectares of forest for its rubber plantations in Cambodia alone, including wildlife sanctuaries and protected areas.
“The FSC investigation provides further evidence that VRG has destroyed some of South East Asia’s most important remaining forests, with indigenous communities forcibly displaced in the process, and is forcibly taking land from its rightful owners and destroying livelihoods – with untold and irreversible effects,” said Patrick Alley, a Founding Director of Global Witness. “The FSC has done the right thing by dropping them from its certification scheme. Now VRG needs to urgently take action to address the damage it has caused.” Continue reading “Vietnam Rubber Group stripped of Forest Stewardship Council certification for forest destruction, illegal land grabs and human rights abuses”
Much was hidden from the tourists visiting Sinet Chan in her rundown Cambodian orphanage.
When they returned to their hotels, cameras full and best intentions sated, they remained oblivious to the reality of what they had just supported.
Chan, the nine-year-old who sang and danced for them, was being starved. She and the other children hunted and ate mice to survive. Continue reading “The race to rescue Cambodian children from orphanages exploiting them for profit”
The prosecution of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha is a message from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government for the United States, one that says “stop interfering with Cambodia’s internal affairs”.
“We’re not a slave but, like them, an independent country. We want to stand on our own feet. We don’t need someone to tell us to do this or do that,” said Cambodian government spokesperson Phay Siphan. Continue reading “Cambodia tells US to back off after charging opposition leader”
Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha was arrested in Phnom Penh early on Sunday and the government of veteran Prime Minister Hun Sen said he was accused of treason.
The government said in a statement it had a video clip and other evidence that pointed to “secret plans of conspiracy between Kem Sokha, others and foreigners to harm the Kingdom of Cambodia”. Continue reading “Kem Sokha detained during Cambodia police raid”
The government of Cambodia has shut down two independent radio stations and ordered the foreign staff of an American NGO to leave the country in the latest move against critics ahead of a general election next year.
The orders on Wednesday came a day after long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened the Cambodia Daily, one of the country’s few remaining critical newspapers, with closure over an alleged unpaid tax bill of more than $6m, calling them “thieves”. Continue reading “Cambodia shutters radio stations, expels US NGO”