The Khmer Rouge split families apart in a ruthless bid to remake society. Decades later, many families are still searching for missing loved ones, unsure if they are alive or dead. For Khoem Sarom and others like him, a reality television programme offers a last chance at a reunion after years of uncertainty.
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Migration and aging in one of Asia’s youngest countries. A modest shelter for destitute senior citizens in the Cambodian countryside is an indicator of a looming crisis facing Southeast Asia.
There was a time when Khmer people with Chinese roots in Cambodia used to hide their ethnicity. These days, many young people are just as eager to learn about Chinese culture as China is to export it. In a street-front Chinese classroom, students step around parked motorbikes and fill the seats. The school is one of many in the capital that have profited from a surge in demand because of China's conspicuous investment boom in Cambodia.
As senior ministers in Southeast Asia met for a high-level summit in Cambodia in July, some observers were looking ahead to 2014. That’s when Burma, known as Myanmar, will be taking its place as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
It will be an important year for Burma itself--but also for ASEAN, which has its credibility at stake should Burma's unprecedented reforms stumble. ASEAN is eager for the international community to completely remove sanctions on Burma. But some nations' reluctance to axe sanctions altogether is a point of frustration for the regional bloc.
“ASEAN wants the sanctions against Burma removed, because it discriminates against one of its members," one observer says.
But economic sanctions may be harder to remove than they were to impose in the first place.
Cambodia’s fragmented opposition parties are promising to work together, rather than compete against each other for votes. All it took was another crushing victory at the polls for the country’s ruling party.
Few expected the governing Cambodian People’s Party, with Prime Minister Hun Sen at its helm, to lose in nationwide local elections held here June 3. Yet the way in which it won—securing a commanding 97 percent of commune chief seats nationwide—was particularly decisive.
If the election was a barometer to gauge the political climate ahead of key parliamentary elections scheduled for 2013, then it showed that a great deal of work lies ahead for what is still a divided opposition.