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Analysis: Abhisit Vejjajiva

By: Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun - June 8, 2011

Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun is a Lead researcher, Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. There are four post-election scenarios and Abhisit’s Democrat Party has a 50% chance of returning to power. One is the Democrat will win a landslide election (unlikely). This will satisfy both the old power and the military and more importantly it will


Abhisit: Analysis, CJ Hinke

By: CJ Hinke - June 8, 2011

Abhisit’s early promises in office were that his government would not use the Computer Crimes Act for political prosecutions and that he would curtail the use of the lèse majesté laws. The reality is that there are now over 200 such cases before Thai courts, with the accused facing up to 70 years in prison.


Fallen Forests

By: Charlie Lancaster - May 17, 2011

Corporate greed and weak government have left Cambodia’s protected areas defenceless Chow Chart sat staring vacantly. Lost for words, he occasionally shook his head. The roar of heavy machinery in the distance broke the silence. When another truck laden with timber trembled by, he got up and walked away. The 56-year-old and his family have


Soaring ambition

By: Philippe Beco - March 22, 2011

After years of spearheading the Cambodian operations, Thai Airways’ Narinthorn Purnagupta is to pilot the airline’s Vietnamese operations As he gets ready to leave for new pastures Narinthorn Purnagupta is light hearted. He will pass the baton to a successor who, he is happy to say, will inherit a profitable Bangkok-Phnom Penh route. The general


The Mandalay Spirit

By: Charlie Lancaster - October 13, 2010

It’s midnight in Yangon and a businessman is singing into his now empty bottle of rum. He mumbles incoherently to no one in particular and stumbles off into the night. Little did he know that for the last hour he had been sitting next to the man behind the bottle. Ajay Advani is the driving


Stones of contention: the fight for Preah Vihear

By: Charlie Lancaster - September 28, 2010

Built at the height of the Khmer empire, the 900-year-old temple of Preah Vihear now lies at the heart of a vicious border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. For decades, Preah Vihear has been witness to a war of words and sporadic fights between Cambodian and Thai troops over territorial claims. The 11th century cultural


Beer wars

By: Adam Miller - July 31, 2010

‘Pouring’ over details of the overly-competitive Cambodian beer industry, the covert smuggling ring that keeps brewers on their toes and the newcomers to a battle-hardened market. Welcome to the beer industry in Cambodia – a competitive market so shrouded in secrecy that it is next to impossible to give an in-depth look. Yet with two


A new history

By: Steve Finch and Yos Katank - July 13, 2010

Cambodians have mostly heard about Khmer Rouge atrocities from each other. Now schools are addressing the tragedy. Khieu Maly was sitting quietly, ashen-faced during his Khmer Rouge history lesson in 2003, says Song Malet, her grade nine teacher. When younger brother Khieu Vordeth took the same class a year later, his behaviour was little different.


Mineral resourcefulness

By: Steve Finch - July 6, 2010

Cambodia is looking to emulate its northern neighbour Laos in making millions of dollars from minerals, but first foreign mining firms will have to navigate the country’s myriad pitfalls. As official events go, a state tax ceremony in a small, socialist country would hardly be expected to get pulses racing. But in this case at


Searching for truth in the Kingdom of lies: an interview with Chuwit Kamolvisit

By: Tom Vater - July 2, 2010

Former massage parlour kingpin Chuwit Kamolvisit says the country’s political establishment remains as hypocritical and divided as ever. But that doesn’t mean he wants out. “In the morning, when I wake up, I drink a coffee and I read the paper. What is today’s bullshit, today’s lie? I never believe anything that’s written in the