Few things shocked me about Cambodia – having previously visited countries such as Fiji (between coups), New Caledonia, Sri Lanka (during a civil war), Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – however what I did find confronting (and prior to the trip not considered) was the political system and the level of endemic corruption. Confronting, because there is no easy solution (to such corruption), yet while it continues the poor are further disadvantaged.
Two items caught my attention recently:
- ABC Radio National - Asia Pacific: Racist attacks on the rise in Cambodia (27/2/14)
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen continues to face his toughest opposition since coming to power almost 30-years-ago. Anti-government activists face fierce police resistance, and now a lockdown on protests is creating a pressure-cooker environment. But among the chaos, another victim has emerged: people of Vietnamese heritage. A rise in racist attacks has caused alarm from human rights groups and even the United Nations, and many are pointing the finger at the country's opposition leader.
- Gareth Evans calls for Cambodian leaders to be 'investigated and sanctioned' (3/3/14)
A former Australian foreign minister says Cambodia's political leaders should be "named, shamed, investigated and sanctioned" by the international community over human rights abuses.
Stephen Ingrouille, Principal, Going Solar Pty Ltd