News / Asia

    Cambodia Tensions Escalate Amid Protest Ban

    Cambodia Tensions Escalate Amid Protest Bani
    X
    January 08, 2014 8:47 PM
    Cambodia has banned anti-government demonstrators from holding protests after last week’s deadly clashes with police that left four people dead. But as striking garment workers vow to continue their vigil, and the political opposition keeps up its campaign against the government, many worry more conflict is likely. Rick Valenzuela reports on the political situation in the Cambodia capital.
    Cambodia has banned anti-government demonstrators from holding protests after last week’s deadly clashes with police that left four people dead. But as striking garment workers vow to continue their vigil, and the political opposition keeps up its campaign against the government, many worry more conflict is likely.

    With increasing frequency since July’s election, masses of protesters have publicly voiced dissent in Cambodia. Garment workers demand a doubling of the minimum wage. The opposition says the government rigged the last election. In each case, demonstrators are notably uncowed by state security forces.
     
    “You see that people now, they are no longer afraid," said Sam Rainsy, chief of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. "Of course, when they kill people, after a few days there's still some fear. But they cannot kill everybody, everywhere, all the time.”

    Rights advocate Ou Virak says the dramatic change is partly due to age. Cambodia’s once war-weary public has been replaced by a younger generation more eager to assert and defend its rights.

    “Well for one, it's just demographic shift," Virak said. "We have the post-Khmer Rouge generation. These are people who were born in the 1980s, who haven't lived much through the communist days. Many of these young people are more willing to challenge authority, willing to speak their mind. And young people are more ambitious.”

    Amid the demographic changes, many of the country’s political players are older and criticized for being out of touch. Virak says that has led to a leadership gap for the government as well as the opposition.

    “The two parties bring back all of the politics to things that they know, and therefore are comfortable with," he said. "But when they're looking at politics of the future, they're not comfortable with it. And they're not going to be happy in actually looking forward, where they're always happy to look backward.”

    For the most part, the government had shown unusual restraint in dealing with the varied protests. That changed earlier this month when a mixture of garment strikes and opposition protests brought a heavy-handed reaction.

    “This government, particularly Hun Sen, has been in power for decades," Virak said. "He knows how to fight wars, he knows how to be in armed battles, but he doesn't…  They're not ready to deal with peaceful movements. And the sad reality of that part is that they only respond the way they know how, and that is turn it back into a warzone.”

    For now, with the ban on protests, the capital city is quiet. But the opposition is regrouping in the provinces and says it's planning to hold rallies here once again.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora