Cambodia’s evolution as a country has seen more than its share of historic moments – and The Phnom Penh Post has been there for the past 25 years to document every cause, crisis and celebration. Here, we revisit the nation’s most significant events during The Post’s era.
The first edition of The Phnom Penh Post is published; all 6,000 copies of the eight-page newspaper are printed in Bangkok and lugged manually back to Phnom Penh because of the scarcity of printers in Cambodia.
UN civilian agencies and NGOs request a public meeting to discuss election progress and the misconduct of UN peacekeepers, in which the UN secretary-general’s special representative to Cambodia, Yasushi Akashi, sparked outrage when he said it was only “natural” for soldiers in the field to chase “young beautiful beings of the opposite sex”.
General election brings Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh as co-prime ministers into coalition government after Hun Sen and the CPP refuse to accept election results that favour the royalist Funcinpec party. Cambodia becomes a kingdom again under the new constitution.
UNTAC dissolved, and a new constitution is promulgated, establishing a multiparty liberal democracy in the framework of a constitutional monarchy. Funcinpec and the CPP share power in the new Royal Cambodian Government.
Two young Britons and an Australian are kidnapped and later killed by the Khmer Rouge after the British and Australian governments refused to pay £100,000 in ransom, offering instead to provide food and medical supplies.
Khmer Rouge holds hostage an Australian, a Briton and a Frenchman – all backpackers aboard a train towards Kampot province – and kills them in September in the belief they were “spies” for Vietnam. News of their murder trickles back into Phnom Penh only in October.
Mine clearance expert Christopher Howes, and his translator, are murdered by the Khmer Rouge on direct orders from Pol Pot, who claimed that all foreigners in the country were helping the Cambodian government.
Four grenades thrown into a crowd during a Sam Rainsy-led demonstration at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh kill 16, with 150 injured. Soldiers present allow grenade-throwing suspects to pass through to safe grounds, but block passersby from assisting the wounded.
Forces loyal to Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh clash in factional streetfighting. Ranariddh leaves Cambodia for France, accuses Hun Sen of staging a coup, while the latter claims that Ranariddh had been negotiating with the Khmer Rouge and trying to smuggle defectors into Phnom Penh.
Pol Pot dies, still defiant in death for refusing to atone for his four-year reign of terror that killed more than a million of his people.
Ranariddh is pardoned by King Sihanouk, returns to Cambodia.
The CPP triumphs over Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party in national elections, taking a majority of the seats in parliament despite controversies over irregularities and seat allocation.
Cambodia becomes the 10th member state of ASEAN.
First Mekong bridge opens in Cambodia.
Cambodia’s first commune elections held, with the CPP winning a vast majority.
Actress Angelina Jolie adopts a Cambodian child, prompting controversy in the United States when allegations were made that she had paid the child’s birth parents to give him up.
Rock star pedophile Gary Glitter is deported from Cambodia.
Military planes fly hundreds of Thais out of Phnom Penh after violent demonstrations over the control of Angkor Wat.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and his CPP again win general elections.
Labour leader Chea Vichea, affiliated with an opposition party, is shot dead in Phnom Penh. The killing is widely believed to be a political assassination, and Vichea’s true killer was never arrested.
Cambodia’s two main political parties announce a power-sharing deal, ending an 11-month political deadlock.
National Assembly ratifies agreement with the United Nations to establish a tribunal trying senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge.
Norodom Sihamoni becomes king.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy goes into self-exile after his parliamentary is stripped. Rainsy was facing multiple criminal defamation charges.
Twenty convicts killed escaping from jail in Kampong Cham.
Two-year-old Canadian boy killed at an international school in Siem Reap after gunmen takes dozens of pupils and teachers hostage.
Twenty-two people killed when a plane crashes near Bokor Mountain.
Michael Hayes sells The Phnom Penh Post to Ross Dunkley, Bill Clough, and Kevin Murphy.
The Phnom Penh Post upgrades from being a fortnightly publication and begins publishing daily.
UN-backed trials of senior Khmer Rouge leaders begin, with S-21 chief Duch the first to be tried.
The Phnom Penh Post starts its daily Khmer edition.
Overloaded ferry sinks on the Mekong, killing 17.
Comrade Duch found guilty of crimes against humanity.
War crimes tribunal indicts four former Khmer Rouge leaders.
Diamond Island tragedy – more than 350 people are stampeded to death on a crowded bridge during Water Festival celebrations.
Cambodia’s stock exchange opens.
Cambodia takes the chair of Asean.
Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority becomes the first company to list on the Cambodian Stock Exchange.
Environmental and anti-logging activist Chut Wutty shot dead.
The Phnom Penh Post celebrates 20 years.
The country’s two largest opposition parties, the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party, merge to form the Cambodia National Rescue Party.
King Father Norodom Sihanouk dies of a heart attack, aged 89, prompting a nationwide outpouring of grief.
Facing a unified opposition in national elections for the first time in decades, the CPP suffers heavy losses to the newly formed CNRP, but holds on to power. Allegations of irregularities prompt an opposition boycott of parliament.
As post-election protests continue, police forces open fire into a crowd of people during a roadblock clash at Kbal Thnal overpass, killing one bystander.
Maps released show Cambodia’s forests in a dire state, with more than three-fifths having been deforested.
Five killed and dozens wounded in garment factory protests after soldiers use automatic weapons on crowds of demonstrators.
A day after the garment protests were dispersed, an opposition sit-in at Freedom Park was brutally routed by masked thugs.
Migrant Cambodians facing rising hostility from Thais after Thailand’s May military coup results in 225,000 workers deported in caged government trucks.
After a year of boycotting, the opposition CNRP agree to join the National Assembly after a political deal is struck to reform the NEC and release several jailed opposition lawmakers.
Mass HIV outbreak in Battambang after unlicensed “doctor” admits to reusing needles.
Russian fugitive tycoon Sergei Polonsky is arrested and set to be deported after more than a year of dodging extradition requests from the Russian government for fraud and embezzlement.
Four Nauru refugees arrive on Cambodian soil as part of a controversial deal signed between the Kingdom and Australia in 2014.
Two CNRP lawmakers are brutally beaten outside the National Assembly by pro-government protesters – later revealed to be soldiers from the PM’s Bodyguard Unit, who were promoted upon their release from prison.
A series of leaked phone calls between CNRP leader Kem Sokha and an alleged mistress set off a legal firestorm, enthusiastically pursued by the ACU and anti-terror officials, that also engulfs five current and former rights workers, among others.
Global Witness report titled Hostile Takeover: The Corporate Empire of Cambodia’s Ruling Party lays bare the vast holdings of the Hun Sen clan rife with nepotism and massive fortunes.
Prominent political activist Kem Ley is shot dead in broad daylight at a Caltex station, shocking the nation and heightening political tension.
Cambodia graduates from low-income country to lower-middle income nation.
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who served in the Cabinet since 2004, dies in China, aged 66.
The CNRP, contesting its first commune elections, makes large gains, securing about 44 percent of the popular vote. The CPP, however, still wins the vast majority of communes.