The Golden Voice returns and gold diplomacy has better results than foreign relations

The Globe details a golden singer’s life story is told in a graphic novel, a gold mining agreement, two examples of failed diplomacy and two environmental activists moving ahead after jail

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December 25, 2021
The Golden Voice returns and gold diplomacy has better results than foreign relations

Hello Globe readers!

Next week the Globe staff will take a break for the holidays, but we will close out 2021 by offering some insight into our aspirations for the coming year next week. We will also share some of our top articles from last year. 

The editorial has one final round of 2021 features for your perusal, including an article I co-reported with Thy Rath and Sreynat Sarum about an agreement between Canadian gold mining company Angkor Resources and an indigenous Jarai community in northeast Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province following years of bad relations. The article explains how indigenous communities in Cambodia lack strong legal protections and are at a huge disadvantage when dealing with corporations. 

Working with my colleague, Samphors Sao, I also interviewed two activists from environmental group Mother Nature Cambodia who were released in November after being imprisoned on charges related to their advocacy work. The women discussed their incarceration, future plans and the necessity of outspoken environmental activism in Cambodia.

A feature you should not miss by Globe reporter Anton L. Delgado relates the story of a new graphic novel detailing the life of one of Cambodia’s most famous singers, Ros Serey Sothea. Anton interviewed the artistic team behind the novel and travelled to Battambang to speak with her surviving sister, Saboeun, capturing stunning images of her house filled with memorabilia of the singer’s life. 

We also gave readers two exceptional pieces of analysis from contributors this week.

On Monday, historian Stein Tønnesson argued the Indochina Wars in the second half of the 20th century were partly the result of mixed messaging and missed diplomatic opportunities between French leaders and Democratic Republic of Vietnam president Hồ Chí Minh in 1946.

In a discussion of more recent failed diplomacy, on Thursday Globe columnist Mark S. Cogan outlined how the Biden administration’s relations with Thailand were marred by inconsistencies in 2021. Cogan noted the US needs to step up efforts to engage strategic partners in Southeast Asia in the second year of Biden’s presidency. 

As always, thanks for reading the Globe. If you are not already a subscriber, we have a great holiday deal available until 15 January: a year-long membership for only $28. We hope you consider subscribing to support our work and we look forward to sharing more stories with you in 2022.

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