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Why are international indices often flatly rejected in Cambodia?

By: Norbert Klein Posted: July-27-2011 in
Norbert Klein

The World Justice Project published its Rule Of Law Index in early June 2011 – placing Cambodia towards the end in this 66 countries observations on governments and the rule of law. One “>comment says about the Asia-Pacific region:

“New Zealand got the highest marks in Asia, followed by Japan. The lowest scores were in Cambodia and Pakistan, which ranked at the bottom on nearly every measure.”

12 March: World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

By: Norbert Klein Posted: March-14-2011 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 15, No. 707

The Mirror had the following reports in the past, all concerned with access to information and freedom of expression:

Word HCMC's Woman of the Year: Sophie Hughes

By: Duncan Forgan Posted: January-22-2011 in
Duncan Forgan

With its cutting-edge line-up of mini movies from Vietnam and elsewhere, Future Shorts has established itself as one of city’s coolest events. Duncan Forgan talks to Sophie Hughes, the driving force behind the Saigon installment of the global film festival, about a momentous twelve months.

“Can we go inside where it’s cooler?” asks a flushed looking Sophie Hughes as she pulls up outside the restaurant in Binh Thanh District that both of us call our local. “I’ve been running around like a madwoman all day.”

Word HCMC's Man of the Year: Ngo Bau Chau

By: Duncan Forgan Posted: January-22-2011 in
Duncan Forgan

Ngo Bau Chau’s groundbreaking work in the field of mathematics has elevated him to hero status in Vietnam this year. Duncan Forgan casts an admiring, if uncomprehending, eye over the academic’s achievements.

With his rimless glasses, standard issue haircut and quiet and meek demeanor, he is the antithesis of the glamour figures venerated by many young Vietnamese. Nevertheless, the elevation this year of Ngo Bau Chau to national hero is a heartening reminder that substance can still triumph over style.

Christmas – Related to Social Action?

By: Norbert Klein Posted: December-30-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 697

Similar to the season of Valentine’s Day, Christmas is also an annual occasion for some discussion – whether Valentine’s Day is a danger for Khmer culture because it is becoming popular among young people, or whether participating in the gift-giving at Christmas time is against Buddhism. But most such discussions seem to stay quite at the surface.

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia declares Nation, Religion, King to be the national motto, which is everywhere on documents and papers. The meaning, significance, and role of the motto is hardly discussed.

“Human Rights is just a ‘by-product’ of Western Imperialism”

By: Norbert Klein Posted: December-13-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 694

During the last week, there was one of the fiercest public debate going on globally, in the media, and in the form of government statements, and in the form of certain symbolic actions: participating or not participating in the award ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize in the Norwegian capital Oslo. The fact that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on the International Human Rights day – a remembrance day established and recommended by the member countries of the United Nations, commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – provided an additional challenging context. That this happened one day after the International Anti-Corruption Day, provides a very complex background for looking back.

Therefore, first a background reminder about the Nobel Prizes.

Children of Bassac - a joy to watch

By: Andy Brouwer Posted: November-09-2010 in
Andy Brouwer

Vibrant, energetic, with boundless vitality, the Children of Bassac were a joy to watch recently at the National Museum for the first of their weekly performances during the tourist high season.

Reflections on Cambodia in the United Nations, Returning to Cambodia after Six Weeks

By: Norbert Klein Posted: October-25-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 687

I have never been absent from Cambodia for such a long time since my arrival at the end of May 1990. There were many personal challenges during these weeks – starting with a meeting with some high-school time classmates who graduated with me in 1953. Some are no more – no surprise, considering the years passed since.

Then, as I had reported also in The Mirror, I became inevitably aware that the population pyramids in Cambodia and in Germany are so different. But it is not yet clear what this will mean for the future of employment possibilities in Cambodia, where most available job positions are already occupied for years to come – but a large number of new graduates are looking forward to jobs.

Living Together with Different Backgrounds

By: Norbert Klein Posted: October-19-2010 in
Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 686

My time in Germany – longer, for medical reasons, than originally intended – provides me with interesting insights into German society; I tried to bring some of them into The Mirror, as far as there are references possible.

One debate which, more than ever before, is in the media almost every day, relates to migration and migrants: the fact that a about 10 percent of the people in Germany are immigrants, and there is another group of people born in Germany, but with immigrant background. A special emphasis is on the role of people from Turkey – more than 4 million persons among the total population – of Germans and foreigners – of 82 million living in the country.

Is Angkor Wat a 12th-century Facebook?

By: Andrew Buncombe reports from Asia for the UK Independent Posted: October-01-2010 in
Andrew Buncombe reports from Asia for the UK Independent

Identities of the mysterious Asian women carved into the 12th century Cambodian temple may finally be revealed.

Angkor Wat contains 12th century portraits of 1,796 individual women. They were clearly part of a "social network". American researcher Kent Davis asks "Was this temple an ancient Facebook"?


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