Some books are nice to have; others are a must. In the latter category add the recently
published Historical Dictionary of Cambodia by Justin Corfield and Laura Summers.
For those whose job description includes trying to figure out who's who in Cambodia-like
journalists, diplomats, NGO chiefs, consultants, international bankers, academics,
and parachutist wannabees--the book is a must. Its 560 pages are packed with a wealth
of accessible information on most of the key players, both living and dead, who add
color and drama to affairs Cambodian.
At $90 a pop, keep your eye open for who has a real one on their shelves and who
decides to go for the knock-off edition one would expect to see hit the streets real
ïï Another publication hot off the presses, for those who want to understand the
links between members of the Royal Family, is a book by Julio Jeldres called The
Royal House of Cambodia. Jeldres, King Sihanouk's official biographer, has been piecing
the puzzle together for more than 20 years, and his proximity to the Norodom clan
has resulted in the unearthing of some amazing historical photos of the Monarchy
going back to the early 1900s.
ïï There has been a lot of debate and discussion over what's the proper name of the
country located between Thailand and India. You know, the one whose most famous citizen
was just moved from one jail to another.
The people in power there call it 'Myanmar', while many dissidents, historians, shaving
cream companies and others still prefer the older name 'Burma'.
Given the recent behavior of the government in Rangoon (or 'Yangon' as they prefer
to call it), the Concerned Committee of Experts (CCE) has determined after exhaustive
consultations that the best name for the country really would be-Yup, you guessed
On June 30, one month after Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested and almost two weeks after
the rest of Asean unanimously criticized 'Myanmar' for her detention, the Junta came
out with a statement accusing the West of "interfering".
A CCE spokesman said: "These guys are really way out there. If you took a motodup
to Pluto you might get an idea of just how far removed from reality we're talking
ïï Funcinpec seems to be taking a page out of the Sam Rainsy campaign manual, from
the chapter called "Promise the Moon". A recent press release says if Funcinpec
"wins" they will raise the minimum wage for garment factory workers to
$70 a month.