Senior reporter and editor Andrew Haffner is known for his deep-dives into some of the region’s lesser-covered stories. This week was no different as he produced the most comprehensive run-down on the Cambodian sand mining industry seen yet. A murky multi-million dollar industry with grand ecological and economic implications, the sector has run rampant in recent years, unchecked as it tears up the Kingdom’s river beds in pursuit of profit.
During her term, UN human rights expert Rhona Smith has faced backlash from the Cambodian government for her ‘biased’ assessments, while she has been rejected as too soft by rights defenders. As she enters the last six months of her six-year term, Andrew and I spoke with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia via video chat, hearing her reflections on how human rights and democracy has evolved in Cambodia under her watch.
Another week goes by, and there’s little sign that Thailand’s pro-democracy movement is going anywhere. As part of his bi-monthly column for the Globe, Professor Mark S. Cogan of Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan offers his thoughts on the use of non-lethal – but far from non-violent – force by Thai authorities to suppress protests in recent weeks.
As the world marks World AIDS Day 2020 amidst a novel pandemic, health consultant David Wilkinson warns against complacency as Cambodia’s successful fight against HIV/AIDS in recent decades risks coming undone as healthcare is stretched and the economy slows.
Attempts have been made to sell the idea of Bhasan Char, the remote flood-prone island that looks set to become home to thousands of Rohingya refugees, as a paradise of sorts. But documentary filmmaker Shafiur Rahman sees more sinister forces at play in the plan.
In the Cambodian frontier city of Poipet, many families who depended on cross-border trade with Thailand to earn a living are facing destitution as land crossings remain closed and Covid-19 shuts down much of the global economy.