Monday 10 Dec 2018 | 13:13 | SYDNEY
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Cambodia

International justice: tackling impunity in Asia

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, high ranking officials of the Pol Pot regime, have been sentenced to life imprisonment twice over for their role in the genocide of the Cham Muslim and ethnic Vietnamese minorities during the Khmer Rouge era. The landmark judgment delivered this month by the

Cambodia’s genocide verdict: better late than never

The verdict of the Khmer Rouge tribunal (The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, ECCC) on 16 November that found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of genocide was scarcely surprising. For all but the most sceptical of commentators, the evidence was clear. During the tyrannous rule

Hun Sen at the UN: a strategic appearance

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last week spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His presence at this year was highly strategic following the country’s recent general election, which saw his party, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) secure its mandate extended for

The James Ricketson trial

In the early days of his landmark espionage trial, Australian filmmaker James Ricketson carried a book – “The Faithful Spy” – into the courtroom. It left Cambodian reporters shaking their heads, but it was a nod to Ricketson’s ironic sense of humour – a trait that endured throughout his

Cambodia’s election: where the numbers lie

There’s a quirk on Cambodian social media that initially stumps the uninitiated – comments on articles that comprise simply a string of 7777s or 4444s.  Until recently, a rousing speech posted to Facebook by former opposition leaders Sam Rainsy or Kem Sokha – the first in exile,

What has gone wrong in Cambodia?

Concerns ahead of Cambodia’s elections on 29 July centre on the judgement that under Prime Minister Hun Sen the country has become increasingly authoritarian in political character while the government – through a range of parliamentary and judicial actions, and backed by absolute control of the

Why Japan is supporting Cambodia’s election

Japan has remained steadfast in its support of the upcoming Cambodian general election on 29 July amid growing pressure by its citizens, civil society organisations, and supporters of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) – Cambodia’s former main opposition party. 

Cambodia: dispelling the Malaysia illusion

Cambodia is headed for national elections on 29 July in which, although there are 20 parties contending, there is only one possible victor: the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Despite the lack of suspense, everyone involved (apart from, perhaps, the electorate) seem to care a lot about

Hun Sen and his personality cult

A fiercely loyal armed force is essential to cementing a dictatorship, and the sheer military might of Cambodia’s Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 33 years, should come as a surprise to no one. Yet many of Cambodia’s top military men are

Cambodia: the unfree press

The Cambodian government has continued tightening the screws on its already crippled free press, introducing severe prohibitions on election reporting ahead of the ballot in July, and establishing a taskforce to monitor social media posts. Guidelines issued by the National Election

Cambodia: to vote or not to vote?

In less than three months’ time, Cambodians will head to the polls to cast their ballot in the national election. Already faced with the difficult choice of which party and candidate to vote for, Cambodians now have to decide whether they should vote at all. Cambodia’s former opposition and

Courageous voice for truth silenced in Cambodia

The sale of The Phnom Penh Post to Malaysian interests with clear links to the Hun Sen government in Cambodia, and the subsequent sackings and resignations of journalists, is already recognised as a sad, even bitter, end to the Post’s admired role as a newspaper that continued

Mourning Cambodia’s press freedom

Tears flowed freely in the offices of The Phnom Penh Post on Monday. Some of Cambodia’s most hardened reporters embraced their colleagues as their faces crumpled. Journalists want to report the news, not become it. But the editorial gutting of the last independent media outlet in Cambodia saw

The awkward case of the Australian “spy” in Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s Supreme Court has denied bail to Australian film-maker James Ricketson in an espionage case that is fast becoming an embarrassing headache for both countries involved. In laying espionage charges against Mr Ricketson – a messianic crusader of the poor – Cambodia has inadvertently

Donor scramble as Cambodia hits undo on democracy

After 32 years at the helm, Cambodia’s Hun Sen will effectively be running uncontested at next year’s elections. The world’s longest reigning prime minister has abolished the opposition in his country and realised a dream to do away with a UN imposed democratic system he has long despised.

Quick comment: Milton Osborne on Cambodia’s crackdown

In the middle of the night on Saturday, hundreds of police surrounded Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha's house. Despite his parliamentary immunity, they arrested him and took him to the notorious Correctional Center 3 on the border with Vietnam. On Monday, prosecutors announced that they had

Cambodia’s dying democracy

On Monday, the highly respected English language newspaper The Cambodia Daily, under pressure from the government to shut down, published its last edition. The front page led with a photo of Cambodia’s opposition leader, Kem Sokha, being escorted into detention by police after his arrest on Sunday

Hun Sen prepares for next year’s national elections

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen often criticises those he sees as his political enemies but even seasoned observers have been puzzled by his recent attack on English-language newspaper the Cambodia Daily, which he claims owes the government a tax bill of US$6.3million.Once published with the quiet

A dam at Sambor: Another Mekong domino teeters

Almost exactly 57 years ago, as a junior Australian diplomat, I accompanied a Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme engineer to what was then the remote town of Kratie in northeastern Cambodia. His brief was to undertake a preliminary survey of the Sambor region - just to the north of Kratie town -&