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Taylor O'Connell


The Cycle of Rice: Full Circle

After a devestating dry spell, rice farmers in Kep province sow their fields and brace for the year ahead. This is the last in a 12-part series on Cambodia's rice cycle.

The Cycle of Rice: Urban Traders

For nearly three decades, a block in Phnom Penh has served as a distribution hub for the rice that feeds the city.

With Asylum Hope Over, 16 Montagnards Return to Vietnam

A group of 16 Montagnard asylum-seekers who fled to Cambodia from Vietnam over the past two years returned to their home country on Tuesday after failing to secure refugee status in Phnom Penh, an Interior Ministry official said on Wednesday.

Disgraced Official Will Face No Legal Action for Embezzlement

The disgraced former director of Koh Kong’s provincial agriculture department will not be prosecuted despite admitting to profiting from the illegal sale of state land, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said on Monday.

Internet to Be Introduced at 5,000 Schools

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday announced an ambitious five-year plan with Metfone to provide internet access to 5,000 state education institutions across the country.

Hit With Complaint, Judge Delays Fraud Case

A long-running case involving four U.S. citizens accused of defrauding a well-connected dentist out of $1 million stalled on Monday, with a planned hearing called off after the plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that a witness had a personal relationship with the judge and one of the accused.

Thanks to Legal Loophole, Convicted Child Abusers Remain Free

Two men sentenced to more than a year in prison this month for sexually assaulting children in Siem Reap last year have been allowed to remain free, with the provincial court using a legal loophole to justify its decision.

National Deadline for Orphanage Registration Extended—Again

The deadline for the country’s orphanages to register with the Ministry of Social Affairs has been extended once again as the government continues its monthslong efforts to begin regulating the residential child care system.

For Abusive Monk, Past Remains a Mystery

Vong Chet raped at least 10 young boys in his care as the chief monk of a rural pagoda in Siem Reap province, but court officials and senior members of the clergy said on Tuesday there were no plans to investigate his past postings for more potential victims.

Pagoda Chief Gets 15 Years for Rape of Boys

The Siem Reap Provincial Court sentenced a former pagoda chief to 15 years in prison on Thursday for raping at least 10 young boys in a case that has become a lightning rod for criticism of the monkhood.

The Cycle of Rice: Life After Death

In Kampot province, residents who built a reservoir under the Khmer Rouge are still using it—for their own farms. This is the tenth in a 12-part series on Cambodia’s rice cycle, to be published monthly.

Justice Eludes Chinese Killed in Cambodia

When Yang Liqing’s body was found on the sprawling cassava plantation he managed in Pursat province in late 2014, police suspected he had been murdered by coworkers jealous about his recent promotion.

Fryett Accuses Prosecutor of Kidnap and Torture

The deputy prosecutor in the grueling fraud trial of British businessman Gregg Fryett recused himself on Tuesday as a result of a criminal complaint submitted by the accused, who alleged that the court’s pursuit of the case constituted “kidnap” and “torture.”

Experts Tout Cheap Robots for Explosives Removal

U.S.-based scientists say a relatively inexpensive robot designed to retrieve explosive devices could be ready to use in Cambodia within a year, while another robot meant to make demining work more efficient is in the works.

Government Failing Women and Children at Local Level, Report Says

On the eve of International Child Protection Day, Prime Minister Hun Sen used a speech on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich island to praise his government for making the rights and needs of children a priority since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.

Half of Nation’s Orphanages Fail to Register

Nearly half of the known orphanages in Cambodia missed on Tuesday’s deadline for registering with the government, further delaying attempts to reform the country’s wayward residential child care sector, an official said on Tuesday.

UN Statement Slammed for ‘Stunning’ Timidity

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over the fractious political situation in Cambodia on Sunday, in a two-sentence statement issued through his press office that rights activists on Monday blasted for its timidity and brevity.

City Hall Plans Penalty for Pet Poop in Parks

Beginning Tuesday, dog owners who let their pooches relieve themselves in Phnom Penh’s most popular parks will be discouraged by signs, with fines to follow for those who fail to heed the warnings, according to City Hall.

PM’s Bodyguards Get One Year for Beating

Three members of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit were found guilty of aggravated intentional violence on Friday for sa­vagely beating two opposition lawmakers last year but were handed suspended sentences that will see them walk free in less than six months.

Royal Oxen Inspire Optimism Amid Drought

The country may still be feeling the effects of the worst drought in recent memory, but farmers of rice, beans and corn can be assured of a bountiful harvest in the coming year, according to Royal Palace astrologer and Brahmin priest Kong Keng.