Editorial

Escaping the present

This week, under the gloom of COVID-19, we've largely focused our attention away from the present and have taken a look at several significant events past and future. Among these is arguably Cambodia's most consequential occurrence, the 1970 coup d'etat that would change the course of the Kingdom's history

Alastair McCready
March 20, 2020
Escaping the present

March 18 saw us mark perhaps the most consequential day in Cambodia’s modern history, the 50th anniversary of the Lon Nol ‘coup d’etat’ that saw Prince Norodom Sihanouk toppled, settling off a string of events that would result in tragedy throughout the 1970s.

We also looked ahead to the (hopefully) upcoming ASEM 2020 summit that is set to be held in Phnom Penh come November 16, with Robert Hör of think tank KAS explaining why he believes the meet could be crucial in setting Cambodia back on track on the global stage. We also marked the anniversary of the death of Cambodian rock n’ roll star and former lead singer of the Cambodian Space Project Kak Channthy, who died two years ago at the age of 38.

Inevitably, we also touched upon one of the lesser-reported aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, looking to the situation in Rohingya refugee camps where health professionals are concerned that they are a disaster waiting to happen should there be an outbreak. 


With Cambodia set to host the high-profile Europe-Asia cooperation summit ASEM 2020 come November, Robert Hör of think tank KAS explains why he believes the meet could be crucial in setting Cambodia back on track on the global stage.

In 2014, an unlicensed medic infected almost 300 people with HIV in Battambang’s Roka village. In 2017, we visited the residents of the village, who were still picking up the pieces three years on. [Top Print Read]

50 years ago on March 18 1970, Cambodia’s Prince Norodom Sihanouk was overthrown in what is widely regarded a bloodless coup by military general Lon Nol. The tragic events that befell Cambodia in the decade after would go on to shape the Kingdom for generations, with the effects still visible to this day. 

As the world locks down and social distancing goes into full effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Rohingya refugees living in squalid camps in Bangladesh don’t hold such a luxury. What happens if the virus takes hold in the world’s most vulnerable communities?

On March 20, 2018 Cambodia lost one of its great musicians. The life and legacy of Kak Channthy, the enigmatic front woman of the Cambodian Space Project and her impact on Cambodian music and women’s empowerment.



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