Cambodia. According to COUNTRYAAH, Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia which is located in Southeastern Asia. Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen noted in January that he held the post for 30 years. The 62-year-old showed no signs of wanting to step down. On the anniversary, he highlighted the country’s strong economic growth and that he had made peace. It was in response to criticism from the opposition and human rights groups against his authoritarian rule.
In June, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CCP) elected Hun Sen as party leader since longtime party leader Chea Sim passed away. Chea Sim was also President of the Senate.
Relations between CCP and opposition party CNRP (Cambodia’s National Rescue Party) deteriorated after thawing in 2014. Eleven CNRP activists were sentenced in July to long prison sentences for “rioting”, almost a year after participating in a demonstration against the disputed 2013 election results. received 20 years in prison.
In October, a large crowd gathered outside Parliament demanding that one of the Deputy Speaker of the House, CNRP’s Kem Sokha, be dismissed. Hun Sen had condemned him since he claimed that CNRP would win the next election. Two of the CNRP’s MPs were beaten when they arrived at the scene without police intervention. Shortly thereafter, Kem Sokha was dismissed from the post.
The following month, a special parliamentary committee decided that CNRP leader Sam Rainsy would lose his freedom of charge. A court had requested him detained since he was sentenced in 2011 in his absence for slander by a leading CPP politician. The verdict was considered politically motivated.
The UN special envoy for Cambodia, Rhona Smith, as well as UN chief Ban Ki Moon criticized the development and urged the parties to dialogue.
Other examples of the government’s pressure on critical votes were that Parliament passed a law that forces individual organizations to be politically neutral and that they can be fined or banned if they offend politicians. Critics fear that the law intends to silence activists who pay attention to abuse or theft.
Minimum wages were raised by almost 10% in the economically important textile industry, which employs approximately 700,000 people. The unions had demanded higher increases. There were continued reports of serious malfunctions in some factories.
During the year, Cambodia received five refugees in accordance with a contentious refugee program concluded in 2014 with Australia. The refugees were transferred from a camp on the Pacific island of Nauru.
In March, the UN-backed tribunal charged two leaders in the Red Khmer for murder and slavery during the 1975-79 terrorist violence. In August, former Minister of Social Affairs Ieng Thirith, who was married to late Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, passed away. She was considered to be the most influential woman in the leadership of the Red Khmer. Ieng Thirith was charged with, among other things, genocide but in 2011 had been declared too dementia-sick to be brought to justice.
Border dispute with Thailand
She Sen has also strengthened her popularity with appeals to nationalist sentiments, especially when an old border dispute with Thailand flared up again in 2008. The controversy was about the Preah Vihear Temple.
The background was Cambodia’s application for a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for the 800-year-old temple. The disputed area of 4.6 square kilometers had been allocated to Cambodia by a ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1962. However, UNESCO’s announcement that Preah Vihear was granted World Heritage status, aroused nationalist sentiment in Thailand as well. Both countries sent soldiers to the area after Thai nationalists flocked to Preah Vihear to claim the temple back. Military personnel from both countries have since sporadically been in armed confrontation, with fallen and wounded on both sides.
Cambodia also has unresolved border disputes with Vietnam.
In 1986, the provincial government embarked on an economic reform line that encouraged private business. In 1994, new export privileges and expanded tax exemption for foreign companies came. In the cities a prosperous class of businessmen grew. Economic growth in the 1990s was very unevenly distributed between different industries and social groups, and concentrated mainly in the cities. Millions of land mines, guerrillas, weak administrative structures and a shortage of skilled labor created problems.
Cambodia was admitted in 1999 as a member of the Southeast Asian ASEAN Association, and in 2003 as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The demand for free trade has been problematic since a large part of the state’s revenue comes from customs duties.
At the turn of the millennium, the production of rice and other agricultural products was still below the level of the 1960s. The fastest growing sector has been the textile industry producing for export; in the early 2000s, it accounted for more than half of exports, but with a declining trend. Cambodia continued to depend on foreign aid; 40-50 percent of government spending is covered by loans and assistance.
Cambodia has in recent years experienced relatively solid economic growth, but is still among the world’s poorest countries where about 35 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The government gives priority to agriculture, agricultural-related industry and tourism in its industrial policy. The textile industry is still important, but is facing increasing competition from other low-cost countries such as India and China. The tourism industry has been expanding since the turn of the millennium, centering on Angkor, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
Chinese investment and influence in the country is increasing significantly. In 2008, China was the largest aid donor with US $ 256.7 million, while the EU and Japan accounted for 214 and 112.3 million respectively. China makes no special demands, while Western donor countries have often been in dispute with the Hun Sen regime over human rights violations.