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Aisha Down


Shark Fin Trade Swims On, Despite Ban

As a signatory to an international treaty to protect endangered species, Cambodia has made the sale of shark fins completely illegal. In practice, however, fins are sold openly and without repercussions from authorities.

New Tax Exemptions to Raise Take-Home Wage for Workers

Certain non-salary allowances will no longer be included in calculating private-sector salary taxes, the Ministry of Finance decreed last week, in a move tax experts say is designed to help lower-income workers and increase tax compliance among employers.

Minister Says Timber Barons Agree to Stop Illegal Logging

Environment Minister Say Sam Al on Thursday identified three magnates involved in timber trafficking, including Prime Minister Hun Sen’s adviser Try Pheap, but said they had “agreed to stop” their illicit operations.

Number of Migrant Worker Repatriations Rising

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repatriated 578 Cambodian workers during the first nine months of this year, it said in a statement this week, already surpassing the 573 returned last year, which included 427 migrants enslaved on fishing boats in Indonesia.

Government Sets Deadline for Shutting Down Unregistered SIMs

All unregistered SIM cards in Cambodia will be deactivated by November 1, giving nearly 2 million phone users less than a month to meet rules the government claims are aimed at reducing criminal activity and protecting national security.

New App to Help Cambodians in Korea Send Money Home

A leading South Korean lender has opened a digital bank in Cambodia and created an application that will enable customers—especially Cambodians living and work­ing in South Korea—to more cheaply send and receive money from abroad.

Rice Body Stirs National Pride and Anti-Competitive Enforcement

In an effort to stir national pride and bolster the faltering rice sector, the Cambodian Rice Federation has created a seal emblazoned with the federation’s logo to identify rice that has been grown and milled in Cambodia.

Protesting Evictees Block Highway in Sihanoukville

Traffic came to a standstill on National Road 4 in Sihanoukville on Wednesday morning when dozens of people lined up across the highway to protest their eviction from a plot of state land earlier in the day, officials said on Thursday.

Cambodia Promises to Sign Climate Treaty by 2017

Thirty-one more nations have ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change, bringing the total to 60, the U.N. announced on Wednesday, while an environment official said Cambodia would do the same by year’s end.

Villagers Expecting Deputy Governor Met by Police and Soldiers

Dozens of indigenous Kuy villagers who gathered to meet the new deputy governor of Preah Vihear province on Monday morning, hoping to plead their case in an ongoing land dispute, were met instead by police and soldiers who drove silently by on motorbikes, witnesses said.

Users Loath to Shut Down Exploding Phones

Walking into the Samsung Service Center on Phnom Penh’s Mon­i­vong Boulevard on Wednesday, 22-year-old Long Pisal was skeptical of the recall of his month-old Galaxy Note 7.

With Mining License, Mesco Gold Set to Blast

The Ministry of Mines and En­ergy issued Cambodia’s first com­mercial underground mining li­cense to Mesco Gold on Monday, green-lighting the Indian company’s plans to dig some 200 meters into the granite bedrock of Rata­nakkiri province.

On Holy Day, a Gift of Cows to Cambodians

Ning Ganna eats meat so rarely that she has no idea what a kilogram of beef costs. The 28-year-old makes enough from her job at a garment factory to buy occasional scraps of chicken and fish for her family, but little more.

Buyers Worried as Housing Projects Scrutinized

As supply continues to outstrip demand in Phnom Penh's housing market, concerns that developers will be unable to finish proposed projects—or repay customers if they fall through—are mounting.

Debt and Drought

After a long dry spell, farming families struggle to stay afloat.

Indian Mining Firm Prepares to Dig Deep in Ratanakkiri

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is set to issue the country’s first commercial underground mining license to Indian company Mesco Gold in two weeks, despite opposition by residents of two villages concerned about compensation and environmental damage.

As Budget Drops, Commission Prepares for New Laos Dam

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is still reeling from the blowback over its handling of the consultation process around the Don Sahong and Xayaburi dams in Laos, both of which are expected to have severe environmental consequences on those living downstream.

Chinese Man Nabbed With Rhino Horn

A search of the luggage of a 31-year-old Chinese man arriving in Phnom Penh uncovered more than 4 kg of rhinoceros horns that a wildlife NGO valued at more than $400,000 on the Chinese market, where it is coveted as a status symbol, officials said.

A Modern Prayer Echoed on Angkor’s Walls

One of the first Khmer poems to be inscribed in stone—an ode to the Buddha’s enlightenment carved into the walls of Angkor Wat in 1702—it turns out, contains snippets of a traditional prayer, the “Lotus Flower Offer­ing,” which is still sung in Cambodia today.

Mass Cattle Deaths Scar Country’s Northeast

While two mass cattle deaths of over 45 cows each were reported in northeast Cambodia in April and May, smaller-scale livestock deaths have gone largely unreported in the region.