10 MAY 2013
Sam Rainsy Says Talks Under Way with CPP for Return
Cambodia’s exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy says his party is in negotiations with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party for his return to contest upcoming national elections, expressing optimism that a “political solution” would be reached. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/talks-05102013142715.html
9 MAY 2013
Cambodia’s economic opportunity
While significant obstacles remain, the success of the rice sector is a potentially crucial driver in Cambodia’s prosperous and equitable development. http://thediplomat.com/2013/05/09/cambodias-economic-opportunity/
Cambodian Opposition Rejects Claims of Internal Strife
Cambodia’s opposition National Rescue Party (NRP) has dismissed suggestions by Prime Minister Hun Sen that its delay in submitting a list of candidates for upcoming national elections underscores a split within the party. Kem Sokha, the NRP’s deputy president, said the party was holding back the candidates’ list in anticipation of election reforms urgently needed to ensure that the July 28 polls are free and fair http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/strife-05092013182255.html
6 MAY 2013
Cambodian PM vows to leave power ‘when I am 74′
Cambodia’s strongman leader Hun Sen offered a glimmer of hope to the country’s opposition on Monday – by saying he would stay in power for at least another decade. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130506-420715.html
3 MAY 2013
Cambodia unveils statue of slain union leader
Chea Vichea founded the Free Trade Union, which now boasts around 90,000 members mostly employed in Cambodia’s lucrative garment industry, which has been at the heart of labour disputes and media scandals over low wages and conditions. Campaigners say his murder is a symbol of the kingdom’s culture of impunity for powerful interest groups determined to muzzle dissent. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/05/20135453564127.html http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/chea-vichea-05032013190025.html
2 MAY 2013
Cambodia, Hong Kong Slip in Press Freedom Poll
Press freedom took a knock in Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Thailand while Burma chalked up the best gains for media reforms in Asia over the past year, says an annual global Survey http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/media-05012013234119.html
19 APRIL 2013
Hun Sen Warns of ‘War’ if He Loses Election
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen warned Friday that the country would plunge into civil war if the opposition National Rescue Party wins the election in July and follows through on pledges to prosecute former notorious Khmer Rouge members in his government. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/hun-sen-04192013173854.html
10 APRIL 2013
Cambodia Scores More Aid From China
China agreed to provide its ally Cambodia with aid and investments totaling more than U.S. $2 billion during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s five-day visit that wrapped up Wednesday. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/china-04102013151022.html
29 MARCH 2013
Cambodia’s Nuon Chea Ruled Fit for Trial
Judges at Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge tribunal ruled Friday that the most senior surviving member of the ultra-Maoist movement, 86-year-old Nuon Chea, is fit for trial. That decision comes days after a health hearing for the ailing defendant, and just two weeks after his co-accused, Ieng Sary, died. http://www.voanews.com/content/cambodia-court-rules-pol-pots-deputy-fit-for-trial/1630916.html
14 MARCH 2013
Khmer Rouge’s Ieng Sary dies during Cambodia trial
The Khmer Rouge’s former foreign minister, Ieng Sary, has died in Phnom Penh at age 87. He was one of three defendants in the genocide trial of the former leaders of the Khmer Rouge http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/201331454337915782.html http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/13/17303769-khmer-rouges-ieng-sary-dies-during-cambodia-trial?lite http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/14/ieng-sary
Cambodian appeals court frees activist Mam Sonando
A Cambodian appeals court has overturned the widely criticized conviction of a prominent government critic who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an alleged secessionist plot. http://asiancorrespondent.com/102092/cambodian-appeals-court-frees-activist-mam-sonando/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21781291
8 MARCH 2013
Hun Sen Defends Son’s Nomination
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has defended his ruling party’s decision to nominate his son and children of other party officials to run in upcoming national elections, rejecting suggestions he is laying the foundation for a dynasty. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/election-03072013191801.html
22 FEBRUARY 2013
Election List May Widen Divide in Hun Sen’s Party
By selecting their children to run in upcoming elections, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and other government leaders may be widening the gap between the rich and powerful and the grass-root members in the country’s ruling party, observers and rights groups say. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/election-02222013203358.html
6 FEBRUARY 2013
Departure of a king, death of an institution
To the boom of artillery and the crackle of fireworks, Cambodians bid a final farewell this week to their beloved King Father Norodom Sihanouk. Across the country, citizens paused for a moment of silence as Sihanouk’s embalmed body was cremated in a lavish new structure built on hallowed ground next to the walls of the Royal Palace. Dozens of foreign dignitaries, including French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Prince Akishino of Japan, were on hand to witness the passing of Cambodia’s last God-King, who died in Beijing on October 15, two weeks shy of his 90th birthday http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/OB07Ae01.html
5 FEBRUARY 2013
Long live the king?
Following the death of royal patriarch King Father Norodom Sihanouk, what does the future hold for the royal family? Trude Jacobsen, assistant director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University gives her thoughts http://sea-globe.com/long-live-the-king/
4 FEBRUARY 2013
The cremation ceremony of Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihanouk http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9847986/The-cremation-ceremony-of-Cambodias-King-Norodom-Sihanouk.html#?frame=2470522 http://sea-globe.com/to-cremate-a-king/
2 FEBRUARY 2013
Sihanouk: Cambodia’s last true king
When the flames at the cremation ground are quenched and Cambodia’s former monarch Norodom Sihanouk’s ashes scattered on Phnom Penh’s riverfront, the mighty Mekong River may well carry away the country’s last true king, a towering figure in a procession of more than 100 monarchs stretching back 2,000 years. http://asiancorrespondent.com/96813/sihanouk-cambodias-last-true-king/
8 JANUARY 2013
Sam Rainsy Confident of Return
Cambodia’s exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Tuesday he is still confident of returning to Cambodia to participate in national elections in July, even though the government has disqualified him from standing or voting in the polls and has vowed to arrest and jail him if he returns http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/rainsy-01082013154916.html
4 JANUARY 2013
Cambodia Bars Opposition Leader From Running in Election
Cambodia’s National Election Committee has formally reaffirmed that exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy is ineligible to run for office or vote in the country’s upcoming elections http://www.voanews.com/content/cambodian-election-officials-block-rainsy-run/1577815.html
3 JANUARY 2013
Cambodia’s economic challenge
Even as the skyline of Phnom Penh grows with the symbols of modern architecture, Cambodia’s economy still faces a host of challenges. http://thediplomat.com/2013/01/03/cambodias-failed-trickle-down-economy/
21 DECEMBER 2012
Cambodia: Getting to the root of corruption
Transparency International published its 2012 Index on December 5. Cambodia is ranked 157th among 176 countries, above Burma and Laos in the region. Unsurprisingly, the government has rejected the report. For Preap Kol, executive director of the Cambodian Chapter for Transparency International, “it is understood that it is to save its face”.
13 NOVEMBER 2012
Obama urged to denounce rights abuses in Cambodia
A human rights group is urging President Barack Obama to address abuses in Cambodia during a visit this month to the Southeast Asian country, the first by a U.S. president. New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday that more than 300 people have been killed in politically motivated attacks in the past two decades under the rule of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
3 NOVEMBER 2012
Cambodia’s chance for summit success
Cambodia will fulfill its last major obligation as this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations chair from November 18-20 when it hosts the annual ASEAN Summit and seventh East Asia Summit (EAS). The EAS in particular will provide Cambodia with the opportunity to restore some of its credibility after the public embarrassment of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in July. On that occasion, Cambodia used its prerogative as ASEAN chair to block the inclusion of any mention of the South China Sea maritime disputes in the joint communiqu้ at the end of the meeting, resulting in the organization’s first-ever failure to release such a document. That failure cast significant doubt on ASEAN’s ability to evolve
31 OCTOBER 2012
Cambodian Opposition Leader Asks Obama to Cancel Visit
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy is urging U.S. President Barack Obama to cancel his visit to Phnom Penh next month for a regional summit, on the grounds that would provide legitimacy to the rule of longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen
22 OCTOBER 2012
Royal faux pas sparks Cambodian factory unrest
Police in Cambodia were called in on Monday to prevent a riot at a factory whose Chinese manager angered 1,000 workers by ripping up photos of recently deceased former king Norodom Sihanouk.
15 OCTOBER 2012
Cambodia former king Norodom Sihanouk dies aged 89
Norodom Sihanouk, who was 89, has died in a Beijing hospital. Cambodia’s Prime Minister and the current king, Sihanouk’s son, travelled to China to bring back the body
1 OCTOBER 2012
Cambodia jails journalist Mam Sonando over ‘plot’
A Cambodian court has jailed a prominent journalist and land rights campaigner for 20 years on charges of inciting rebellion
27 SEPTEMBER 2012
Street protest at government-donor meeting in Phnom Penh
Hundreds of activists and ordinary citizens protest against land grabs. Government and donors agree on development goals. More than 100 NGOs launch an appeal, asking that financial aid be used to improve human rights. They also call for reforms to the election law and legal system.
13 SEPTEMBER 2012
Cambodia to free Khmer Rouge ‘first lady’
Un-backed court rules Ieng Thirith, the Khmer Rouge regime’s highest-ranking woman, unfit to stand trial for genocid
18 JULY 2012
Cambodia, Thailand pull troops from temple flashpoint
Cambodia and Thailand pulled hundreds of soldiers out of a disputed border area on Wednesday, a year after a ruling by the UN’s highest court, replacing them with police and security guards.The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 18 last year ordered the neighbours to demilitarise a strip of land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple which was the scene of deadly clashes in 2011 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1214288/1/.html http://www.rfa.org/english/video?param=value&storyId=Cambodia-Preah-Vihear http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/07/201271845840265105.html
17 JULY 2012
Cambodian government critic faces trial
Human rights campaigners on Tuesday called for the release of a Cambodian radio station owner and prominent government critic who faces up to 30 years in prison for an alleged secessionist plot
14 JUNE 2012
Cambodian opposition seeks unity
Cambodia’s fragmented opposition parties are promising to work together rather than compete against each other for votes in the next election. All it took was another crushing victory at the polls by the country’s ruling party
31 MAY 2012
10,000 days of Hun Sen
“I not only weaken the opposition, I’m going to make them dead … and if anyone is strong enough to try to hold a demonstration, I will beat all those dogs and put them in a cage.”
24 MAY 2012
Cambodia jails 13 women land activists
Thirteen Cambodian women were jailed Thursday for fighting against a forced eviction, while an activist monk who supported them was detained and risks being defrocked, campaigners said. The women, including a 72-year-old, were sentenced to between 12 and 30 months for illegally occupying land, rights groups said, slamming their hastily arranged trial in the capital Phnom Penh that lasted mere hours
1 MAY 2012
Annus horribilis for Cambodian rights
On April 26, a prominent Cambodian anti-logging campaigner was shot and killed by military police in the Cardamom Mountains in the country’s southwest. Chut Wutty, the director of the Natural Resources Protection Group, was reportedly escorting two local journalists through a densely-forested part of Koh Kong province when his car was stopped by military police. An altercation broke out as the officers attempted to confiscate the memory card from the activist’s camera and shots were fired, leaving Wutty and In Rattana, a 32-year-old military policeman, dead
26 APRIL 2012
Cambodian environmental campaigner shot dead by police
Chut Wutty was shot dead while travelling in a threatened forest region in the south-west. Mr Wutty had been helping indigenous people organise protests against the exploitation of protected forests.
24 APRIL 2012
The strings in Hun Sen’s rhetorical bow
Between their anodyne pageantry and colorless mission statements about regional economic cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings are rarely known for their excitement. But on the last day of this month’s annual summit in Phnom Penh, the current chairman of the 10-country bloc, Cambodia’s long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen, did his best to inject some verve into the proceedings
15 APRIL 2012
Hun Sen attacked for ‘excess generosity’
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been criticised for being overly generous to red-shirt supporters of former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is in Cambodia this weekend.
19 MARCH 2012
UN judge quits Cambodia war crimes tribunal
An international judge has resigned from the UN-backed Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal, citing political interference by Cambodia’s government after he tried to investigate more suspects. Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, the Swiss co-investigator, whose predecessor Siegfried Blunk quit for similar reasons in October, said he had been constantly undermined by his Cambodian counterpart, You Bunleng
9 FEBRUARY 2012
Khmer Rouge tribunal judge reopens court’s third case
A judge at Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge tribunal has reopened investigations into the court’s controversial third case, after an earlier probe was deemed ‘defective,’ according to documents released Thursday
3 FEBRUAY 2012
Life term for Cambodia Khmer Rouge jailer Duch
Cambodia’s UN-backed genocide court has rejected an appeal by Khmer Rouge jailer Duch and increased his sentence to life imprisonment
25 JANUARY 2012
UN expert: Khmer Rouge Tribunal judge can investigate
A United Nations expert on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal said Wednesday 25 that a judge can investigate upcoming cases at the court, despite Cambodia’s decision not to endorse his appointment
7 JANUARY 2012
Cambodia vows to finalise Asean human rights declaration this year
Cambodia aims to finalise the drafting of an Asean Human Rights Declaration this year as it chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Cambodian Human Rights Committee chairman Om Yin Tieng said
5 DECEMBER 2011
Nuon Chea: Khmer Rouge ‘were not bad people’
Pol Pot’s deputy has told a court the Khmer Rouge were not « bad people », blaming deaths of Cambodians under the Maoist regime on
21 NOVEMBER 2011
Cambodia begins trial of Khmer Rouge leaders
Three former Khmer Rouge senior officials (Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary) accused of orchestrating Cambodia’s « killing fields »
massacres have gone on trial before a UN-backed tribunal, more than three decades after some of the 20th century’s worst atrocities
17 NOVEMBER 2011
Cambodian genocide defendant Ieng Thirith ruled unfit for trial
Cambodia’s U.N.-backed tribunal on Thursday ruled a former senior Khmer Rouge leader unfit to stand trial for genocide and other crimes because she has Alzheimer’s disease. The tribunal said the illness diminishes Ieng
Thirith’s mental capacity and ordered the 79-year-old defendant freed from detention. She behaved erratically at earlier court appearances, and her lawyers had requested the medical exams.
10 OCTOBER 2011
Cambodia war crimes tribunal judge quits
Siegfried Blunk, who was responsible for indicting suspects at Cambodia’s UN-backed tribunal, said on Monday he had quit because of « repeated statements which will be perceived as attempted interference by government officials ».
15 SEPTEMBER 2011
Thailand has agreed to a July ruling by the International Court of Justice calling for Thailand and to remove troops from a disputed flashpoint zone on their common border, Cambodia said
5 SEPTEMBER 2011
Vann Nath, a Cambodian painter whose life and art were powerful symbols of the county’s struggle to overcome the horrors of the Khmer
Rouge era, has died at a private hospital in Phnom Penh.
18 JULY 2011
The UN’s highest court on Monday ordered Thailand and Cambodia to immediately withdraw their troops from a disputed area around an
ancient temple on the border between the two Asian neighbours
27 JUNE 2011
Four former senior Khmer Rouge leaders, including « Brother No. 2″ Nuon Chea (pictured), appeared at a UN-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh on Monday to face war crimes charges for atrocities committed during the 1975-1979 reign of terror.
29 MAY 2011
Cambodia’s king a ‘prisoner’ in his palace
King Norodom Sihamoni may be heir to a royal line trailing back some 2,000 years, but he always seemed more suited to the arts scene in Europe, where he was a ballet dancer, than the rough and tumble politics of his homeland. Now, close aides and experts say, he has become
figuratively, and more, a prisoner in his own palace.
8 MAY 2011
South-East Asian leaders end their summit in Jakarta, pledging to raise the bloc’s global role, but an unsolved border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia clouded the gathering.
30 APRIL 2011
Cambodia asks the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to clarify its 1962 ruling over the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear as its military clashes with Thailand continued after a truce
24 APRIL 2011
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon call on Cambodia and Thailand to halt fighting along their disputed jungle border as troops exchanged fire for a third day. At least 10 soldiers have been killed and thousands of civilians forced to flee the area since fighting broke out on Friday, shattering a tense two-month ceasefire
23 APRIL 2011
Thailand strongly rejects accusations it used chemical weapons against Cambodian troops in fighting that extended into a second day Saturday and has killed 10 soldiers and forced thousands of civilians from their homes.
22 APRIL 2011
Cambodian and Thai troops in border clash. Several soldiers reported dead as fighting shatters two-month lull in long-standing tensions between the two nations.
14 APRIL 2011
How Bad Are Things in Cambodia?
Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley. Public Affairs. US$27.99. Available on Amazon.
1 MARCH 2011
Cambodia’s exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy losts a final appeal against a two-year jail term imposed in absentia – a sentence his lawyer denounced as politically motivated
22 FEBRUARY 2011
Thailand and Cambodia agree to accept Indonesian observers and avoid further clashes over a border dispute that has claimed at least 10 lives and displaced thousands. The agreement came during a meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia, which holds the current chair of the 10-member block
7 FEBRUARY 2011
Thai and Cambodian troops clashed for a fourth day over a disputed border area surrounding a 900-year-old Khmer temple, which both sides claim as their own. Thai nationalists are calling on their government to « reclaim » the area.
4 FEBRUARY 2011
Border skirmish between Thai and Cambodian troops broke out at the disputed area in Si Sa Ket province near the 900-year-old Hindu temple of Preah Vihear
1 FEBRUARY 2011
Thailand’s nationalist activists, Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, are given lengthy prison sentences in Phnom Penh over
charges of illegal entry and espionage in a case that could worsen ties between Thailand and Cambodia.
22 NOVEMBER 2010
At least 380 people are reported dead and hundreds more injured in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, as a deadly stampede during a concert on Koh Pich brought a tragic end to a three-day water festival.
12 OCTOBER 2010
Thailand’s top investigative agency alleges that anti-government ‘red shirts’ received training in neighboring Cambodia to assassinate top leaders such as Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
23 SEPTEMBER 20110
In Cambodia, Sam Rainsy, leader of opposition to Hun Sen, is sentenced to 10 years in prison. Rainsy is in voluntary exile in France. According to the opposition party Cambodia is ceding its territory to Vietnam, offending Khmer nationalism. The sentence is seen as a way to eliminate opposition
16 SEPTEMBER 2010
Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes tribunal indicts four former Khmer Rouge leaders. Nuon Chea, deputy to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, will stand trial next year, along with former head of state Khieu Samphan, former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith.
23 AUGUST 2011
Thailand says it will resume diplomatic ties with Cambodia after Phnom Penh announced the resignation of ousted Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra as its economic advisor. The two countries recalled their ambassadors in November 2009 amid a row over the controversial appointment.
11 AUGUST 2010
Cambodia slams Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, saying he was incapable of leading a government or being a member of Asean or even the United Nations.
10 JULY 2010
William Burns, US Under-Secretary of State for political affairs, said military aid from the United States to Cambodia was intended to boost a civil-military relationship that was essential to a « healthy political system ».
8 MARCH 2010
Cambodian premier Hun Sen on Monday said the head of Southeast Asia’s regional body was unsuitable for the job, accusing him of « crazy work » for reportedly questioning a recent rocket drill.
6 FEBRUARY 2010
Cambodia’s Premier Hun Sen visits the area close to the ancient Preah Vihear temple at the centre of the land dispute with Thailand by opening a school and giving supplies to villagers caught up in violence last year between the two countries’ troops