Posts Tagged ‘State’

Sounding on Buddhism, April 13, 2011

In sounding on April 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I’m pushing forward with my new schedule for Sounding posts, where I collect a variety of links on a shared topic (“Cambodia, Buddhism, or Religion,” e.g.) and make a few comments about them.  Today is Buddhism day.

  • Aung San Suu Kyi’s son to temporarily ordain as a Buddhist monk
  • Meditation “Better than morphine?”
  • “New Books in Buddhist Studies” online service
  • Separation of Church and State, Equal Treatment, issues in Stupa on National Park Service land
  • Why Hollywood should just stop making movies about ‘other people’s’ religions as backdrop.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s son to temporarily ordain as a Buddhist monk

Did you hear that Aung San Suu Kyi’s son is going to ordain as a Buddhist Monk?  Apparently.  The son, whose heartthrob status will probably only be increased by this honorable, celibate, act (he is a heck of a good-looking young man), will ordain, but the explicit purpose of his ordination is unclear.  Very often, novitiate ordination is understood primarily as an act which makes merit for one’s mother, so it’s very clearly direct towards his mother.  But the act also dovetails with a sense of opening possibility for a renewed National League for Democracy political party (NLD).

Read the rest of this entry »

Developmental Nationalist Ventriloquism and Cui Bono?

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2008 at 10:07 am

David Lempert, whose distressingly hilarious and obviously self-authored wikipedia page is today’s must read, was mentioned in these pages briefly a few days ago, in which I characterized him as a person promoting a Cham homeland, and compared him to people who know better.

My qualifications on this discussion are extremely limited. I am a fluent Khmer speaker who conducted three years of fieldwork in Cambodia, one year of which was funded by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship, and some time of which was funded by the Center for Khmer Studies. I mention these sources of funding to indicate that I share some of Lempert’s funding. I received other funding as well, which is not apparently relevant to this discussion.

Some of my fieldwork included fieldwork in village Kompong Cham, a province inside of Cambodia (not, as Lempert implies, somehow a mixed border area with joint jurisdiction between Vietnam and Cambodia). I do not speak Cham, and although I teach in a religious studies department, my expertise does not include Islam. I do, however, have the capacity for critical thought, and have no dog in this fight. Read the rest of this entry »

Alt.Map.Cambodia Has New Map on Logging

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2007 at 1:16 pm
Alt.Map.Cambodia (AMC) just published a map documenting the area of Ratanakiri destined for logging wood to be used in the construction of the National Assembly, however as described in the Global Witness Report, the expected timber yield from such a cut would far surpasses any conceivable furnishing requirements.

Click here to view the AMC map of this logging area

[via KI-Media]

Excellent Al Jazeera Article on Cambodian Land Seizures

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2007 at 1:11 pm

A week ago these families had homes. Tonight they shelter in tents. They lived on “contested” property. The local government threw them off and the army destroyed what was left. Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Sakhorn is in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Disappeared monk is in fact currently jailed in Vietnam []

CCHR: The defrocking of Monk Tim Sakhorn is Political [rfa]

Missing monk detained in Vietnam, Embassy Official Confirms [voa]

All very strange, since Vietnam has denied that it ever issued a visa to Sakhorn, as I reported at the time. It is deeply unclear what jurisdiction Vietnam has over Sakhorn’s activities in Cambodia.

Phantasmatic Authority Redux

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2007 at 9:23 pm

In a post a few days ago, I noted that

Is this a case of botched terror or successful phantasmatic conjuring? The next few weeks might supply the answer, depending on the state’s response. Will they crackdown further on the Khmer Krom community? Will they blame the SRP or their non-existent ‘Army’ (another clear case of phantasmatic authority), or even Kem Sokha’s new Human Rights Party?

I regret that immediately following that posting, the very next day in fact, the stories began trickling out. It turns out that the bomb-planters were Khmer Krom people living in Cambodia as moto-dops and construction workers, and although the police are woefully incompetent at solving high-profile cases, they apprehended these culprits within hours. Perhaps this is because these culprits are ‘terrorists,’ and therefore legitimate targets in the eyes of the large foreign-aid providing donor nations. Oy, gevalt.

In other news, a SRP activist in Banteay Meanchey was assassinated.

Bombs and Phantasmatic Authority

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Well well. The news is all over the web, the papers, and in the rumor mills: three bombs were discovered and defused (read, ‘exploded’) at the base of the much-maligned Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument. [pics] Read the rest of this entry »

More Tim Sakhorn News

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2007 at 7:22 pm

With Ven. Tep Vong continuing to insist that the defrocking of Tim Sakhorn was done in accordance with Buddhist discipline, the location of the disappeared former monk remains an issue of grave concern. Although Vietnam denies that they have issued him with a visa, others claim to have knowledge that he is alive and being held in a Vietnamese prison, or in a Khmer prison in Takeo province.

Global Witness criticizes SGS

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2007 at 1:48 pm

SGS, which took over the job of monitoring adherence to forestry laws in Cambodia after the government kicked contentious Global Witness out of the country, has by all accounts done a lousy job. Most importantly, they don’t initiate their own investigations, but merely collect complaints and process data.

Weirdly, they’ve also started attacking the credibility of Global Witness’ complaints against the Cambodian Government’s complicity in the ongoing pillage of Cambodian forestland. When Global Witness’ last report came out, pointing out the deep connections between family business interests and deforestation in Cambodia, the report was banned in the entire country.

But instead of attacking the government’s illegal ban, SGS has decided to attack GWs report.

GW has responded.

What is land good for?

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2007 at 4:00 pm

It’s an old saw in Southeast Asian studies that since the dawn of time (by which academics really mean: since the rise of intensive agriculture), power in Southeast Asia has been dominated by concerns over labor power, not land. That is to say that in order to become – or stay – rich and powerful, you had to find a way to control people and get them to stay on the farm. Actually controlling land through ownership was relatively less important, and there was a sense that land was limitless.

That’s all changed.

Read the rest of this entry »


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