ing: Cambodia’s Social Problems to Worsen

King Norodom Sihanouk gave a bleak view of the country’s future Saturday, saying that pov­erty and unemployment continue to worsen.

The gap between the country’s rich and poor “widens and deepens every day…and the number of our extremely poor compatriots keeps on growing inexorably,” King Sihanouk wrote in a message posted on his Web site.

Taking particular aim at the prevalence of prostitution in Cambodia, King Sihanouk la­mented that mothers were forced to sell children into prostitution.

“The problem of extreme poverty of countless families and in which mothers end up being forced to sell their children…is not about to be resolved,” he wrote.

Poverty here will only be alleviated if the rich and powerful restore citizens’ “ancestral rights” to the country’s natural re­­sour­ces, including land, forests and bodies of water, “which had been taken away from them so unjustly,” he said.

The King added: “The problem of unemployment is and will be­come more and more terrible for the future of an ever-increas­ing…segment of our youth. And [as a result] (some of) our daughters are and will become prostitutes, and our sons are and will become, in part, gangsters, robbers, pirates and killers.”


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