The US continues to expel long-term legal residents (from Cambodia, and elsewhere), for crimes that were misdemeanors when they were committed, but reclassified as felonies after the fact. Even as felonies, these young men and the occasional woman have almost no memory or connection to contemporary Cambodia, and have an immensely difficult time reacclimating. One of the great success stories has been Tiny Toones (warning: auto-start music soundtrack), but the deportations are inhumane, serve the US population not at all, and are a waste of time and money. From the Phnom Penh Post.
As always, Rice production (‘farming’), processing (‘milling’), marketing (‘selling’ and ‘buying’), and exports (‘leaving’) is an issue of continually underexamined importance outside of Cambodia. Here is the full text of PM Hun Sen’s recent address about a new policy document on Rice farming and leaving in Cambodia. I link here to the “Hun Sen Blog,” without further comment.
And “Igor Prawn” of the SEA-focused blog “BANG!” has been writing a few short book reviews lately, which I appreciate in my quest for non-academic fare to consume about Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
- Do a search for Mekong and Naga lately – lots of news. Here’s a review in the Nation (Thailand) of a new book relating the Mekong and the Naga. Good stuff, want to read.
- I’ve got a couple of students who are writing a grant to go work and study with the awesome group in Cambodia Tiny Toones. Tiny Toones is an organization founded by Cambodian Deportee K.K., who was one of those young Khmer Americans forcibly deported from the US (usually the only home and dominant culture they’ve ever known) because he never applied for citizenship and got into trouble with the law. Sounds like he had a pretty rough life, but he’s making a seriously positive difference in Phnom Penh, where he teaches breakdancing, life skills, and literacy to street children. Here are a couple of mass-media articles about the group. Time Magazine | NYT
And oh yes, this is what this web site sounds like if it were music.