Opinion

The recent CPP and CNRP’s approach towards resolving Cambodia’s month-long post-election political im­passe through both open and behind-the-scenes negotiations has brought a new round of mixed reactions among Cam­bodian people, in particular those who are voters.

April 16, 2014

On April 4, the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Trial Chamber defined the scope of the trial in the next phase of the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Case 002/2. Although I was relieved this decision was finally made, I was also somewhat disappointed by the selection of “alleged crime sites and factual allegations” chosen from among sites and policies identified in the closing order.

April 15, 2014

I first visited Phnom Penh 64 years ago, when Cambodia was still a French Protectorate represented by the noble King Norodom Sihanouk. His Majesty graciously granted an interview to my husband, Seymour Topping, a correspondent for the Associated Press. “Top” was the first American journalist to be stationed in Saigon to cover France’s Indochina war. I was the only Canadian. Our mission in May 1950 was to report His Majesty’s view of Indochinese affairs.

April 9, 2014

U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War stirs great passions on both ends of the political spectrum, but one critical lesson of that era is that we must not let the politics of war detract from our support for those who wage it. As President Barack Obama has said, “Patriots can support a war. Patriots can oppose a war. And whatever our view, let us always stand united in support of our troops, who we placed in harm’s way. That is our solemn obligation.”

April 6, 2014

With reference to the recently released Limbo on Earth: The Situation of Stateless Ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia. A Case Study from Kampong Chhnang, by the Minority Rights Organization (“Lack of ID ‘Root Cause’ of Ethnic Vietnamese Problems,” March 19, 2014), the lack of access to education is highlighted.

April 4, 2014

Two weeks ago, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen highlighted the nation’s wage inequalities and stated that current teachers should be grateful for their current situation in comparison to their counterparts back in the Khmer Rouge era, 35 years ago. But last week, speaking at a graduation ceremony, he stressed the need to boost education in the country. He either needs to find a new speech writer—I am desperately looking for an internship—or his stunt double seriously messed up. Nonetheless, the reluctance to provide resources for this domain puts in the limelight at least two political practices.

April 4, 2014

Land grabbing is not simply a human rights issue. It is a commercial law issue with powerful international implications. While the guarantee of land rights to all citizens has real human rights significance, international commercial courts and commercial attorneys remain far more available to litigate disputes. And the sooner attorneys reframe the issues, the more available remedies will become.

April 3, 2014

The 1st of April is often referred to as April Fool’s Day. It’s expected that someone will be fooling someone else. What is providential for me is that April Fool’s Day of this year fell on a Tuesday. In 1975, Tuesday April 1 was the date I left Cambodia with President Lon Nol as the Khmer Rouge pressed their ferocious attacks against Phnom Penh from all directions. It was some 15 years before I could return to Phnom Penh. During that time, more than two million people in Cambodia died.

April 2, 2014

The government’s on-again off-again ban on rallies at Freedom Park did not stop CNRP leader Sam Rainsy from planning Sunday’s rally of some 3,000 supporters to advise the party on its position regarding the continuing political impasse with the ruling CPP.

March 31, 2014

The March 18, 1970, overthrow of Cambodia’s head of state, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, continues to be on my mind to this day and has kept me busy sorting out information for the past 45 years.

March 27, 2014
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