Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Step by step: the road to a riot

Step by step: the road to a riot

Step by step: the road to a riot

January 18: Story appears in Rasmei Angkor newspaper stating that an interview

with Thai actress Suwanan Kongying, known as Morning Star, had proved she looked

down on Cambodia and its people. The article said that any Cambodian official wanting

her to perform in Cambodia would first have to return Angkor Wat to her. The Cambodian

government later acknowledges the article is entirely bogus and no such interview

took place. The editor later tells the Post that he based the story on what someone

had told him and had not checked its veracity.

January 27: Prime Minister Hun Sen, while opening a school for blind and deaf

children in Kampong Cham town, tells the public that he recently heard that people

were angered by Morning Star's comments. He said the people's reaction to her looking

down on them had loomed large. He says: "The price of Miss Morning Star is not

equal to some patch of the grass at Angkor Wat." At the end of his speech he

asks TV5 not to broadcast the soap opera she is appearing in that is being broadcast

in Cambodia. His comments were carried on the news that night, including his description

of her as 'Theft Star'.

January 27: First student protests: around 40 youths on motorbikes race around

the city throwing bricks and tearing up and burning posters of the actress.

January 28: Suwanan Kongying denies making any such statements.

January 29: Early morning: yet more protests outside the Thai Embassy. Later

in the day students return and eventually break in and loot the building then set

it on fire. Students say they are angered at a radio broadcast that stated the Cambodian

Embassy in Bangkok had been looted and 20 Cambodians killed and set on fire. That

story too is not true. Keen observers wonder just who is behind the stories, and

the Thais are convinced the entire episode is a setup. The protesters then traverse

the city trashing and burning at least a dozen Thai businesses. The army is called

out and sporadic shooting lasts through the night.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided