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Context & Connections

“Fighting started at 03:40 am, the world
is so blind. Thai is invading into Cambodia.
Will the world let this happen?” >>
-Posted by Satel Phin on his twitter feed @khmerbird

The failure of  Cambodia and Thailand’s governments, along with international intermediaries, to agree to terms on a ceasefire at the border area near Preah Vihear came to a traumatic head this past weekend when at least five soldiers were killed in gunfire that broke out in a nearby jungle, patrolled by forces on both sides. In the latest round of negotiations Cambodia welcomed third party negotiations to settle
the dispute while Thailand insisted that mechanisms were in place for bilateral talks and rejected outside assistance.

Along with a swift end to fighting, we hope that the latest violence will motivate both sides to work together in ensuring that Preah Vihear temple, a symbol of the historical achievements of Southeast Asian civilizations, no longer represents the broken relations of Southeast Asian states today.

The debate over the Xayaburi damn, another issue which threatens to further divide regional countries, showed the possibility of regional cooperation, at least temporarily, when Laos agreed to delay their decision on the expansive power-producing infrastructure project and engage in discussions with other Mekong countries.

Although daily blood shed is still occurring in many countries in the Middle East, the end of a 40-year emergency law in Syria and the agreement from Yemen’s President Abdul Saleh to step down within one month can be counted among the victories of the thousands of protesters who continue to risk their lives for democratic change in that region.

Our cover story this week focuses on economic questions within Cambodia’s unique economic climate, but the importance of being a world-wise person is highlighted in our Constructive Cambodian column, which discusses lessons that can only be learned by travelling, whether within the Kingdom or abroad.

In our featured story, Sun Narin looks at the risks involved in taking out a loan, especially as a young person with an uncertain financial future. Loans are not necessarily bad, or good, we just want to make sure you consider the consequences of going into debt before you agree to borrow money from a bank, micro-finance institution or anyone offering similar services.

As you will see, our second feature may not be relevant to the lives of most of our readers, but we thought the story about a young man who turns to prostitution to get by is rather interesting, regardless of who you are.

Although we know our readers can no longer be called “kids”, our What’s new? review this week is proof that it is still fun to kick back and feel like a child every once in a while. Two of our reporters went to Dreamland, the new amusement park near Nagaworld, to find out if the attractions were really one-of-a-kind in Cambodia, as advertised, and to determine who might find it worthwhile to make the trip to the brand new, multi-colored establishment.

We are always anxious for reader response to our articles, or even reader submissions if you think you have a story, review or subject that you think our readers would find engaging. Send us an email at lift@phnompenhpost.com or visit our Facebook site to post ideas, photographs or comments. Enjoy issue 68 and come back next week for more of the smartest reporting, commentary, analysis and opinions by Cambodian youth today!

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