In an Indo-China roiled by post-colonial disputes and the shoving of the great powers, he wanted a dignified neutrality, and spent his career struggling to achieve it.
In 1975 the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia and began a four-year experiment in social reordering. To destroy traditional bonds of authority, they forcefully split families apart. Now, a Cambodian reality show is reconnecting estranged family members – and televising their dramatic reunions.
Harnessing the emotional trauma of one of the 20th century’s most tragic episodes — a nearly four-year ultracommunist revolution that left a quarter of Cambodia’s population dead — the reality TV show “It’s Not a Dream” is jarringly raw.
All of The Messenger Band’s young female singers are former workers in Cambodia’s sizeable garment industry. Their songs are about toiling factory workers, farmers who can’t make payments to middle men, and female laborers who turn to prostitution because their factory wages are insufficient to make ends meet.
To increasing numbers of chefs, restaurateurs and foodies, ordinary pepper bears as much resemblance to Kampot pepper as vin de table does to fine Bordeaux. They say that the delicacy and sweetness of Kampot pepper put it in a class of its own.
Hydropower dams slated for the Mekong pit electricity rewards against the river's tremendous but vulnerable ecosystem, leaving the mighty river's fate in question.
They are now aged and frail, but by historians' accounts, they once conducted themselves with fervor: presiding over this Southeast Asian country's holocaust as leading members of the ultra-communist Khmer Rouge and aggressively purging other regime officials to maintain their grip on power.
These are pictures taken in and around Kratie, a town along the Mekong River in northeastern Cambodia. One of Cambodia’s proposed mainstream dams lies not far to the north and is controversial for the impact it could have on the river’s ecosystem.
The Phnom Srok reservoir in northwest Cambodia spreads nearly as far as the eye can see, providing water year-round for agriculture, fishing and swimming. But the human bones that, according to locals, still lie on the floor of the reservoir tell a different story.
Vann Nath, a Cambodian who painted to stay alive, died on September 5th, aged 65.
Monk Forest is one of 13 community forests totaling more than 250 square miles in Odder Meanchey province whose value in fighting climate change is being marketed in an international exchange of what are called avoided deforestation carbon credits.
The old and withered man, adorned in what looked like an oversize tea-cosy and sunglasses, seemed an unlikely mass-murderer when he appeared in court for the first time on June 27th. That is often the way with people brought to justice long after their alleged crimes were committed.
Four former Khmer Rouge leaders accused of genocide go on trial in Cambodia on Monday before a U.N.-backed tribunal amid charges of political meddling in the investigation of other cases.
Sorng Rukavorn forest became a prized prayer ground at the turn of the century, when a senior Buddhist monk sought an undisturbed location for his disciples. Instead of living in peaceful isolation, however, the monks have had to fend off illegal loggers and corrupt local officials.
The video game Undercover UXO is a new tool aimed at educating young Cambodians about the dangers of land mines and other explosives across the war-pocked Southeast Asian country.
Cambodian and Thai troops squared-off for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, the latest in a series of deadly clashes over small but symbolically valued sections of territory along the Southeast Asian countries' shared border.
The Dutch artist thinks some people recognized the iconic faces he had rendered: Those of prisoners tortured in the Khmer Rouge’s infamous S-21 prison. Memories of this death machine and its victims remain among the most indelible images of Cambodia’s nightmare revolution in the late 1970s, in which an estimated 1.7 million people perished.
The Cambodian government announced last month that foreign men who are older than 50 or who earn less than $2,550 per month are henceforth to be banned from marrying Cambodian women. Rights groups say the rule is an ineffective, and potentially illegal, solution to ongoing concerns about the welfare of Cambodian women.
It’s late evening outside Phnom Penh’s O’Russei Market, and Anthony Bourdain is sitting at a foldout table on the street, slurping a bowl of beef noodle soup. Around him, food stalls hawk everything from the obvious to the exotic, from pork buns to bird fetuses.
Cambodia's new national curriculum requires students to learn about their country's brutal history. Former Khmer Rouge cadres who are now parents would rather not talk about it.
I had traveled to Ratanakiri — a sparsely populated province of hills, forests and plantations in the northeastern corner of Cambodia — to witness Muslim and Christian missionaries proselytizing among the indigenous hill tribes, who, traditionally, are animists.
Rewind a decade, and disgraced British glam rocker Gary Glitter led a cast of foreign pedophiles whose presence in Cambodia made it infamous as a refuge for child-sex offenders. A campaign has made strides in fighting Western -- but not local -- offenders.
The term genocide has been used freely by Cambodians and foreign observers alike in reference to the atrocities committed during the Khmers Rouges’ ultra-Maoist revolution. But the tribunal, started in 2007, only introduced this monumental charge at the end of last year.
Encouraged by labor agitation in the region, tens of thousands of workers stage a walkout. It nets only a government proposal to discuss benefits in the future, but organizers call the strike a success.
Rights groups and former detainees say it's rife with unlawful detention and physical abuse that masquerades as rehabilitation. The government denies the charges.
After three years of paying social visits, Cambodian journalist Thet Sambath finally gets what he wants from his secretive companion: a sign that the old man will discuss his past as second-in-command of the Khmer Rouge.
On July 26th the ex-teacher, Kaing Guek Eav, became the first Khmer Rouge official to pay for his part in the genocide of 1975-79, when some 2m people died: a UN-backed tribunal convicted him of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and jailed him for 35 years.
The tribunal has suffered from delays, weary donors, and claims of grave corruption and political meddling. But human-rights groups say Duch’s sentence represents a measure of hope: he is the first, but hopefully not the last, to be punished for the genocide.
The math teacher-turned-revolutionary betrayed little emotion as a judge read a statement saying that the coercive climate in which he followed orders, matched by his expression of remorse and cooperation with the tribunal, warranted a lesser sentence than life in prison. Victims and their families are dismayed.
Ta Mok was the ultra-Maoist regime's top military commander. In Anlong Veng, an isolated district of mostly wooden homes and crop fields north of Siem Reap, the name still conjures a mixture of worship and fear.
Dengue Fever is a Los Angeles-based band that features a glamorous Cambodian-born singer and five American alt-rockers. Their sound is as unique as their partnership is incongruous—a mix of Cambodia’s psychedelic rock, Ethiopian groove and Bollywood beats.
A land dispute in March between a sugar-plantation developer and a small community in the province of Kampong Speu motivated military police stationed nearby to spring into action, ostensibly in order to prevent an eruption of violence. It didn't take long, though, for the villagers to view the supposed peacekeepers as intimidators.
For years, efforts to recover the body of Hollywood swashbuckler icon Errol Flynn's son have come up empty-handed. Now, 40 years after Sean Flynn's abduction, two men say they uncovered a grave site in the Cambodian countryside that is likely his — generating a flurry of excitement, skepticism and resentment.
Journalists gather in Phnom Penh 35 years after the conflict to remember their wild nights and fallen comrades. The front lines in Cambodia’s war were even more vague than in Vietnam, the rules of engagement less defined, and there were no U.S. helicopters to extract distressed reporters from harm's way.
Cambodia hastily deported 20 ethnic Uighur asylum-seekers back to China over the strong objections of Western nations. Two days later, Beijing followed through on a planned $1.2 billion infrastructure investment in Cambodia. The two governments denied any quid pro quo.
At night in Cambodia’s capital, parks once populated by sex workers fell silent. Streets and abandoned lots in the center of Phnom Penh where drug addicts and homeless slept lay empty. The city’s underbelly had been washed away.
Almost 16 years after Australian backpacker David Wilson was kidnapped and killed in Cambodia by a Khmer Rouge militia, the Australian government is resisting fresh demands for full disclosure of the case file on his death.
A Cambodian court on Jan. 27 sentenced the country's main opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, in absentia to two years in jail, in a closed-door trial. When and if Mr. Rainsy returns, the promise of the opposition movement appears bleaker than ever—and his leadership is partly to blame.
The term genocide is often used reflexively to describe the Khmer Rouge's rule of terror that led to the deaths of at least 1.7 million Cambodians from overwork, starvation, and murder from 1975 to 1979. It was not, however, one of the charges former Khmer Rouge leaders had faced in the three-year-old U.N.-backed war crimes...
Two days after Cambodia repatriated 20 Uighur asylum-seekers fleeing China, the two countries signed trade agreements worth more than $1 billion, bringing significant investment, loans and grants to the impoverished Southeast Asian nation. Both countries deny a deal was struck.
Access to the police state of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea may be prohibitively difficult, but in Phnom Penh, diners can sample an elaborate combination of North Korean food, culture and dance at one of its state-controlled restaurants.
Human rights workers fear the group face prison or execution in China, where nine Uighurs have been to death over July protests. Some say China's aid to the poor nation played a role in the decision.
The trial of Khmer Rouge prison commander Comrade Duch underscores the difficulties of such an endeavor in a country with a reputation for corruption and a compromised judiciary.
A former Khmer Rouge prison chief who presided over the torture of about 15,000 prisoners who were later executed astonished observers of Cambodia's first genocide trial Friday by asking judges to release him because he had already served enough prison time and arguing that he shouldn't have been prosecuted in the first place.
While there is no substitute for Brother Number One, as Pol Pot was called, Cambodians may yet find some closure this week as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia hears closing arguments in the trial of the Khmer Rouge's top jailer — a blank-faced former math teacher who now wants to formally apologize...
A new TV show is rapidly extending the reach of the Khmer Rouge war crimes court to Cambodian households. Every Monday afternoon, along with fellow Cambodian journalist, Ung Chan Sophea, host Neth Pheaktra provides a sober summary and analysis of court testimony and the legal framework in which it is heard.
On the occasion of Imam San's birthday, the sect that emerged from his early followers gathers in the former royal city of Udong to honor his memory through prayer and offerings. The colorful mawlut ceremony reaffirms the sect's privileged heritage and its continued isolation from the rest of the country's Islamic community.