Hun Sen

Cambodia’s Economic Challenges Amid The Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has severely affected livelihoods, local industries and the economy in general. Nevertheless, compared to North America and Europe – Southeast Asia does not seem to have been hit as hard by the pandemic in terms of total deaths and confirmed cases. To date, cases across ASEAN member states are inching towards the 200,000 mark with over 4,500 fatalities.

10 July 2020

Hun Sen Calls For Foreign Military Drills, Aid

Cambodia's prime minister invited foreign powers Monday to conduct military drills in the country as he called for overseas funding to build a pier and relocate an army training centre.But the strongman premier insisted that the country would not allow a foreign "military base on its territory".The Wall Street Journal reported last year on a draft deal allowing China to dock warships and store weapons at the Ream naval base near the coastal city of Sihanoukville.Hun Sen - a sta

2 June 2020

How China changed Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville used to be a sleepy coastal town in south Cambodia. Its beaches were known for their quiet, cosy – albeit a little seedy – atmosphere that attracted mostly families, individual travellers and backpackers. Aside from the goings-on of the tourists and those connected with the country’s sole deep-water port, nothing much had changed over the years.

1 June 2020

COVID-19 and Cambodia’s human rights concerns

In late January, Cambodia's Prime Minister, Hun Sen, made a televised statement about the spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 virus outbreak originating from Wuhan, China. He also threatened to “kick out” reporters or officials seen wearing a face mask.He said that the real illness was the fear they faced from inaccurate information spreading on social media.

2 April 2020

Virus hammers Southeast Asia’s garment industries

Cambodia's multi-billion-dollar garment industry is at risk of chain disruption from the deadly coronavirus, its strongman premier said Monday, as the outbreak cripples Southeast Asia's key industries, bringing border trade to a trickle. The death toll from the virus, which emerged from Wuhan in central China, has reached over 3,000 worldwide - the bulk of the fatalities in the mainland.Beijing issued unprecedented lockdowns for cities and provinces most affected, bringing

3 March 2020

What is Hun Sen planning for Cambodia’s media?

On 14 January, during his fourth annual meeting with the press, Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen announced legal-aid support for the country’s journalists. The meeting was attended by nearly 6,000 members of the media and the press.Recent news from government press agency, Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) also quoted Cambodian Lawyers’ Council president, Ky Tech as saying that Hun Sen’s legal aid team will be offering its services to defend journalists deemed ethical.

24 January 2020

Cambodia is criminalising democracy

The sham trial of Kem Sokha, the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), is underway in Phnom Penh. How the international community responds will send a powerful signal to Hun Sen, the world’s longest-serving prime minister, about his ability to continue to trample on Cambodia’s democracy and its people’s human rights.After Kem Sokha and I founded the CNRP, Cambodia’s first united democratic opposition party, in 2012, we quickly gained strong public support.

18 January 2020

Cambodia collapse: 36 dead, rescue called off

The search for victims in the rubble of a collapsed building in southern Cambodia drew to a close Sunday with the final death toll at 36 - the latest tragedy in a string of deadly construction accidents. Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, said 23 people had been pulled alive from the rubble of the seven-storey hotel, which crumpled to the ground in seaside Kep on Friday afternoon.On Sunday rescuers also managed to free a dog trapped in the debris."This is yet another tragedy,&quot

6 January 2020

Cambodia’s Hun Sen urges media to tell the truth

Last week, in a letter to the Cambodian Editor Forum, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote a statement which seems to counter his alleged actions in the lead up to the country’s controversial July 2018 general election: “News media should dare to speak the truth.”Hun Sen, however, has been accused of not only jailing his opponents – making the July election a supposed farce – but in May 2018, his administration had also purportedly clamped down on media freedom. In that mo

12 December 2019

Is pressure growing on Hun Sen?

Cambodia’s self-exiled opposition figurehead Sam Rainsy said Tuesday he had not given up on getting home after an initial bid to return was thwarted, and external pressure on strongman Hun Sen would force him to change course.Rainsy spoke to media in Malaysia after flying in at the weekend from France, where he has lived since 2015, as he sought to fulfil a vow to return home by Independence Day on Saturday.Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia since 1985, had denounced efforts by arch-rival Rainsy

13 November 2019

Kem Sokha freed from house arrest

Cambodia has freed a prominent opposition figure from house arrest more than two years after he was charged with treason, a court spokesperson told media on Sunday, after attempts by his colleagues to return to the country were thwarted.Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 and accused of plotting to overthrow the government of strongman Hun Sen, who has ruled since 1985.He was sent to a remote prison, then confined to his house and the surrounding block and prohibited from talking to the m

11 November 2019

Exiled Cambodian opposition figurehead in Malaysia

Cambodia’s exiled opposition figurehead Sam Rainsy arrived in Malaysia Saturday as he sought to get home to rally his supporters against strongman Hun Sen, while security was ramped up at the kingdom’s borders and in Phnom Penh.Rainsy, who has lived in France since 2015 to avoid jail for convictions he says are politically motivated, had promised a dramatic return on 9 November, Cambodia’s Independence Day. But Hun Sen, who has ruled the poor Southeast Asian country since 1985, has r

10 November 2019