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Context & Connections

Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it’s rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties. But if you have the destination in sight you’ll be more likely to arrive at it. If you know you can love work, you’re in the home stretch, and if you know what work you love, you’re practically there.
by Thul Rithy posted on his blog

Khmer New Year celebrations have wrapped up and the year 2555 is officially underway. Hopefully the Kingdom’s fortunes this year will be better than the last. The most memorable moments from last year will evoke sadness and regret for years to come.

The death of more than 300 people at last year’s water festival shocked the nation, and although the country came together for the victims and their families, no one was held accountable in the end. Clashes between Thai and Cambodian forces over Preah Vihear did not match the human toll, but, the threat posed by Thailand continues to loom as Cambodia’s combative neighbours still refuse talks to settle the long-running border dispute.

While the new year is supposed to be a time to celebrate the past and reign in new beginnings, there was nothing upbeat about Sam Rainsy’s speech over the holiday weekend, which brought to a climax the criticisms that have been launched by numerous groups against the ruling Cambodian People’s Party over their poor human rights record and continued support, in and outside the courtroom, of powerful business interests over groups of citizens, from lower economic classes, in numerous land disputes and cases of alleged natural resource exploitation .

In its annual human rights report, the US last week raised concerns over the state of politics and the balance of power in Cambodian society. “Human rights monitors reported... a weak judiciary and denial of the right to a fair trial. Land disputes and forced evictions, sometimes violent, continued.

But, it is still a brand new year and we can refocus our own efforts for personal improvement and progress toward academic and career goals. To help you out, our cover feature this week looks at new platforms for self-promotion and the most effective ways to convince others of what you already know: that you are awesome! (PAGE 10)

Even if you do get the job, scholarship or grant that you desire, it doesn’t guarantee wealth. Therefore, our other feature this week is about loans, which can be a tool to kick-start your financial independence or bury you in debt. To make sure your loan helps your situation, we give you a guide to borrowing money responsibly. (PAGE 12)

While you can do many things to prepare and protect yourself as you enter adulthood, it is also an unfortunate reality that Cambodia does not have the academic resources to enter the workforce as a world-class professional. This week’s constructive Cambodian column looks at the current failures of the higher education in the Kingdom and the crippling impact it is having on all graduates, regardless of their ambition or work ethic.

Although uprisings in the Middle East aren’t getting the international coverage they have in week’s past, the situations of citizen’s in countries including Syria, Yemen and Libya are just as dire as they have ever been, and our thoughts are still with the courageous young men and women who are risking their lives for what they think is right.

As in Cambodia, youth in these countries youth are quickly becoming the majority of the workforce, and as invariably happens with such a shift, the voice of the youth will rise along with societies demand for our skills, specialties and manpower. So, make your voice heard and comment on the topics in this issue, or let us know what you think of our magazine, by joining the Lift community online at or sending an email to



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