This issue of the Phnom Penh Post marks our one year anniversary. We're not
quite sure why one year or any subsequent one is a reason for celebrating except
for conventions which cross many cultures, all of which for a variety of reasons
say making it around the sun once is a cause for revelry, renewal or introspection.
In any case the paper has survived 365 days, in spite of the odds, in spite of all
the people who laughed when the idea to start the paper was first raised.
The success of the Post is due to over several hundred people. I am grateful for
all their help. Thank you all for your support.
As a rookie what has been most surprising in starting a publication is how much people
wrangle over the printed word.
Here in Cambodia I can at least take some satisfaction that, so far, those who have
argued over words printed in the Post haven't taken it upon themselves to translate
these debates into physical violence.
I suppose I should be comforted that people who've written things and thrown sentences
back and forth in anger, and now can't be in the same room together, at least aren't
trying to kill each other. Certainly the environment this paper was started in has
been one permeated by inexcusable bloodletting. We're grateful that it hasn't spilled
over onto our front yard.
It's terribly exhausting to be surrounded by so much injustice. One would like to
believe that the perpetrators of these crimes would, after more than three decades,
get tired of such chaos and pain. Everyone else is.
If there's one fairly widespread sentiment that people could agree on in Cambodia
it's that it's time to put the guns down. I'm probably dreaming that this is the
case but it's not a bad dream. I know a few other people who share it, quite a few.
I met them here in Cambodia.
If the Post gets shut down in the future it will only be because we tried to be tell
the truth. Some of our readers aren't ready for the whole story to be told in print
and the Post has dealt with many unspoken limitations as a fact of daily life. On
the plus side we can say that we have never been overtly harassed by anyone.
We planned from the beginning to keep plugging away at it for many years more to
come so I guess one year isn't really a big deal after all. Well, what the hell.
Why not celebrate one year!