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The flower on the Sangke River: Tracing the history of creativity in Battambang

Romcheik 5 collective artist Bo Hak works with wood in his outdoor workspace behind the gallery.

For well over a century, Battambang has stood out in Cambodia as a cradle of culture, producing renowned artists, writers, poets, musicians and thinkers. Why this provincial city is a hotbed for creativity is somewhat of a mystery – but the answer may lie in a fortuitous combination of history, politics and geography. The stable of artists and eccentrics includes golden age singer Ros Sereysothea, writer and poet Kong Bunchhoeun, master mason Tan Veut, painter and writer Vann Nath, and more recently acclaimed sculptor Sopheap Pich, among many others. Singer Sinn Sisamouth, despite hailing from Stung Treng, made Battambang his home, and composed countless songs referencing the town and its relation to the arts. Perhaps most famously, the song Flower on the Sangke River – which describes a beautiful woman – has become a moniker for ...

PM doles out cash, caution to capital garment workers

Prime Minister Hun Sen hands out white envelopes containing $2.50 to 7NG factory workers in Kandal province yesterday.

On the same day Cambodia’s highest court dissolved the main opposition party, Prime Minister Hun Sen was busy campaigning at several garment factories, urging some 10,000 workers to vote for his ruling Cambodian People’s Party and doling out cash to more than 700 pregnant women. During his speech, he reminded workers that he planned to remain in power for at least 10 more years and repeated lavish promises of additional benefits for garment workers beginning in 2018, including free health care, a higher minimum wage and a $100 bonus to mothers for every newborn child. The premier also warned workers not to let anybody incite them to protest, and told them not to bow their heads to foreigners – an apparent dig at the foreign powers the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party was accused of colluding with to topple his government.

New arrest over leaflets

Tan Tong Hy photographed after his arrest on Monday for distributing ‘inciting’ pamphlets.

A woman was charged with incitement yesterday for distributing leaflets in the capital urging against the dissolution of the opposition CNRP. Morng Chanthorn, a 47-year-old farmer, was taken into custody by the Chaktomuk commune police. “When we arrested her, she was distributing [leaflets], throwing them into the road and sharing those leaflets with moto drivers. She was immediately arrested and sent to district police,” said Commune Police Chief Choub Sokong. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party, the country’s largest opposition party, in a case widely decried as politically motivated. Though freedom of expression and the right to peacefully demonstrate are both enshrined in Cambodian law, authorities ahead of yesterday’s hearing made it clear that no displays of protest would be tolerated.

US review of GSP scheme expected to be smooth

Workers stitch clothes at a garment factory in Sihanoukville’s Special Economic Zone.

With the recent launch of a new US initiative to ensure that developing countries benefiting from duty-free access are in compliance with the eligibility requirements of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, a representative of the industry body representing Cambodia’s garment sector said yesterday improvements in working conditions should keep the Kingdom above scrutiny. This comes after a recent announcement by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the Trump administration would first target countries in Asia by examining 15 criteria that include combating child labour, respecting internationally recognised worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the US with equitable and reasonable market access.

Latest Video

Behind the scenes of Bird Monster Battle

The Post visited the Lakhon Khol Youth of Cambodia dance group as they practised at the Royal University of Fine Arts in preparation for a performance on Sunday at Beltei International University.

Senate passes amendments allowing seat redistribution

Following last week's events, when Prime Minister Hun Sen proposed redistributing the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s National Assembly seats among minor opposition parties, the controversial amendments were passed a

Life with the indigenous communities of Mondulkiri

The Indigenous People's Lodge in the lush highlands of Mondulkiri, one of the Kingdom's most sparsely populated provinces, offers of a taste of traditional life.

Watch our video to find out more.

‘Why hold a trial if you’re not going to summon the accused?’

Cambodia National Rescue Party supporters gathered outside the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh early this morning in support of imprisoned party leader Kem Sokha.


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