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Why are international indices often flatly rejected in Cambodia?

By: Norbert Klein Posted: July-27-2011 in
Norbert Klein

The World Justice Project published its Rule Of Law Index in early June 2011 – placing Cambodia towards the end in this 66 countries observations on governments and the rule of law. One “>comment says about the Asia-Pacific region:

“New Zealand got the highest marks in Asia, followed by Japan. The lowest scores were in Cambodia and Pakistan, which ranked at the bottom on nearly every measure.”

Word HCMC's Woman of the Year: Sophie Hughes

By: Duncan Forgan Posted: January-22-2011 in
Duncan Forgan

With its cutting-edge line-up of mini movies from Vietnam and elsewhere, Future Shorts has established itself as one of city’s coolest events. Duncan Forgan talks to Sophie Hughes, the driving force behind the Saigon installment of the global film festival, about a momentous twelve months.

“Can we go inside where it’s cooler?” asks a flushed looking Sophie Hughes as she pulls up outside the restaurant in Binh Thanh District that both of us call our local. “I’ve been running around like a madwoman all day.”

Word HCMC's Man of the Year: Ngo Bau Chau

By: Duncan Forgan Posted: January-22-2011 in
Duncan Forgan

Ngo Bau Chau’s groundbreaking work in the field of mathematics has elevated him to hero status in Vietnam this year. Duncan Forgan casts an admiring, if uncomprehending, eye over the academic’s achievements.

With his rimless glasses, standard issue haircut and quiet and meek demeanor, he is the antithesis of the glamour figures venerated by many young Vietnamese. Nevertheless, the elevation this year of Ngo Bau Chau to national hero is a heartening reminder that substance can still triumph over style.

Christmas – Related to Social Action?

By: Norbert Klein Posted: December-30-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 697

Similar to the season of Valentine’s Day, Christmas is also an annual occasion for some discussion – whether Valentine’s Day is a danger for Khmer culture because it is becoming popular among young people, or whether participating in the gift-giving at Christmas time is against Buddhism. But most such discussions seem to stay quite at the surface.

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia declares Nation, Religion, King to be the national motto, which is everywhere on documents and papers. The meaning, significance, and role of the motto is hardly discussed.

“Human Rights is just a ‘by-product’ of Western Imperialism”

By: Norbert Klein Posted: December-13-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 694

During the last week, there was one of the fiercest public debate going on globally, in the media, and in the form of government statements, and in the form of certain symbolic actions: participating or not participating in the award ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize in the Norwegian capital Oslo. The fact that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on the International Human Rights day – a remembrance day established and recommended by the member countries of the United Nations, commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – provided an additional challenging context. That this happened one day after the International Anti-Corruption Day, provides a very complex background for looking back.

Therefore, first a background reminder about the Nobel Prizes.

Dealing with the Past

By: Norbert Klein Posted: September-20-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 682

As I live in Cambodia already since 1990, I am no more constantly aware of what is different in Cambodia from what I knew or experienced before coming to Cambodia. But when I have visitors from abroad, meeting them is often a reminder. One regularly repeated experience with visitors is that they want to visit the genocide memorials of Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh and Choeung Ek about 15 km out of town. Mostly this led to a surprise and subject of discussions, as the visitors observe that there are hardly

SLIDESHOW: Asia’s Fragile Corners

By: Asia Foundation Posted: August-07-2010 in
Asia Foundation

Conflict and fragile governance present enormous challenges for development and security in Asia. In places where violence is widespread and government ceases to function, the pace of development falls dramatically and conditions can deteriorate to extreme levels. Conflicts often include disaffected minorities or marginalized populations at odds with the central government and political establishment. Other elements that can heighten conflicts include limitations on local identity and culture, a lack of accounting for past abuses, and poor access to justice and security.

The Order of Hun Sen to Prohibit Khmer Citizens from Gambling in Casinos Is Not Applied by the Owner of the Naga Casino

By: The Mirror Posted: March-18-2010 in
The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 656

“The Naga Casino, located in Phnom Penh, is operating to extract money from people addicted to gambling in Cambodia, earning colossal profits, while small casinos had been shut down by the Cambodian government, and those addicted to gambling include some officials, and even parliamentarians who frequently appear there.

Violence against Women Becomes More Cruel

By: The Mirror Posted: March-15-2010 in
The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 655

“Reports presented by women’s organizations show that violence against women appears more cruel, where even fathers rape their daughters.

“In the morning of 12 March 2010, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, in collaboration with the Open Institute, organized a consultative meeting about wider participation to develop the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women, and many women’s organizations attended the meeting, presided over by a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Sy Define.

The CRAIC is Mighty

By: Elaine Walsh Posted: September-05-2009 in
Elaine Walsh

The Irish keep talking about craic – but have a tough time defining it.

First things first: It’s pronounced “crack.”

“Let’s go have some craic” is the youthful cry each Saturday evening the length and breadth of the Emerald Isle.

“The craic was ninety on the Isle of Man,” warbles Christy Moore in a well-known ditty (ninety = mighty).

"What is this craic and why is everybody having it or looking for it?” visitors to Ireland often ask with raised eyebrows (their tone suggesting that the entire Irish population should get to a detox clinic as soon as possible).


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