Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Entry two: A delivery of true Cambodian craft (beer)

New Globe reporter Alexi Demetriadi is nearing the halfway mark of his two-week hotel holiday-cum-quarantine in Phnom Penh, and while Amazon doesn't deliver to room 416, the Globe’s publisher does a home delivery service with a twist.

Entry one: Down and Out in Sydney and Phnom Penh

Globe reporter Alexi is stuck in quarantine for two-weeks in the outskirts of Phnom Penh after his flight returned a positive case of Covid-19. In his first diary entry from isolation, he talks swabs, Russian Boulevard and Avicii.

Travel during the pandemic: Chicago/Sydney > Seoul > Phnom Penh

Globe staff members Andrew and Alexi made the trip back to Phnom Penh this week, in an aviation industry far different than before. Socially distanced boarding, face masks and dreaded swab tests, they recount the process of returning to Cambodia.

A year since Sihanoukville collapse, has Cambodia reformed its building sector?

Cambodia has enacted a sweeping new legal approach to construction since the deadly Sihanoukville building collapse that killed 28 workers and their family members. But with legislation in hand, has anything changed for the labourers building the Kingdom a year on?

Minus the tourists, ancient Angkor returns to a state of tranquility

The shutdown of world travel has hit tourist-reliant Siem Reap hard, with visitors to Angkor Wat dropping dramatically. But inside the park it's Cambodian visitors who are the beneficiaries, as they enjoy a brief moment of tranquility at this sacred cultural heritage site.

In the furnace: Why is Cambodia’s brick kiln child labour persisting?

Last year, the Cambodian government set out to put a permanent end to child labour in the country’s brick kilns by 2020. But as the problem persists, experts believe the remedy will have to tackle the systemic issues causing children to head to the furnaces.

Card swapping: The Mekong countries’ problem with activist kidnapping

When Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit was bundled into a car in Phnom Penh on June 4, he became merely the latest in a string of forced disappearances in the region. With several authoritarian governments coexisting in close proximity, the peculiarly Mekong country issue of activist kidnapping shows no sign of abating

Cambodian police refuse probe into Thai activist ‘disappearance’

Human Rights Watch reported on June 5 that self-exiled Thai dissident Wanchalearm Satsaksit was snatched off the street in Phnom Penh the day before. Cambodian police have ruled out a probe into his alleged disappearance.

From colonial emblem to refugee camp: A brief history of Hotel Le Royal

As Phnom Penh’s landscape has changed beyond recognition in recent years, one hotel has remained a constant feature. As Le Royal traverses its 90th year, Jonathan Evans looks back over the rich but turbulent history of this iconic colonial structure.

A Cambodian student’s account of the virus emerging in Wuhan

Like many, Cambodian student Soun Phannaroat didn't think much of December reports of a new virus spreading in Wuhan, the city in which she was studying. But as the weeks ticked on, the gravity of the situation became apparent, and she knew she needed to leave.

‘Cambodia’s agricultural sector is in dire need of revitalisation’

With the stalwarts of the Cambodian economy, tourism and garments, set to be decimated by the economic downturn, Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on agriculture to step in and pick up the slack. A badly neglected sector struggling to survive with outdated methods, technology and extreme weather events, how can this be done?

Upcycling: Growing sustainability and diversity in Cambodia’s garment sector

Upcycling is a seemingly win-win initiative bringing old adversaries the environment and profitability together. While in its nascent stages in Cambodia, does a circular economy offer potential for the badly hit garment sector to diversify and increase sustainability?

Amnesty International: Cambodia’s war on drugs an ‘unmitigated disaster’

The Cambodian “war on drugs” launched in 2017 has offered little help to addicts while adding to overcrowded prisons and ongoing human rights abuses, according to a newly released report from human rights group Amnesty International.

Pandemic perspectives from the US

The US has soared ahead to become the world leader in both Covid-19 cases and deaths. We hear from Cambodian diaspora living across the country about the multitude of ways the virus is impacting their lives.

In Phnom Penh, Nagaworld lockdown means casino workers are suffering

On Labour Day 2020, NagaWorld union President Chhim Sithar says employees are financially struggling while waiting for Phnom Penh's sole gambling operator to reopen. But even during the Covid-19 shutdown, Sithar says the global fight for labour rights will go on.

‘Government support for workers during Covid-19 insufficient’

With the halt of global tourism, and the mass cancellation of orders from the West, the global pandemic has hit the Cambodian economy especially hard. While the government has instituted support measures for workers, Cambodian labour rights organisation CENTRAL marks Labour Day 2020 with the message that it's not nearly enough.

Cambodian rum distillery puts hand sanitiser on the menu

With the price of hand sanitiser skyrocketing since the pandemic, Phnom Penh’s Samai Distillery has thought outside the box to help the local community by producing affordable bottles of cleansing alcohol using leftovers from rum production.

Hunkering down in tourist-free Siem Reap

Cambodia's Siem Reap thrives and survives on its tourist industry, with millions flocking to the ancient Angkor Wat temple each year. But as Covid-19 halts global travel, writer Jonathan Evans describes life minus the tourists in this once-again sleepy little town.

‘Us’ vs ‘them’: The politics dictating the rise and fall of the Mekong

Dams, economic interests and political power are just some of the factors contributing to the over-exploitation of the mighty Mekong. With several competing transnational bodies established to oversee its development, will any of them halt the river’s decline?

Cambodia’s emergency powers: Combating Covid-19 or human rights?

In Cambodia, a recently passed bill has handed the government the ability to enact sweeping emergency powers during times of crisis. Is this simply a necessary move to combat the pandemic, or are fundamental human rights under threat?