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Kingdom of Cambodia 2008 census Density 13,388,910 74/km2 (125th) 192/sq mi 2008 estimate $28.239 billion[2] $2,066 [2] 2008 estimate $11.182 billion[2] $818[2] ▲ 0.598 (medium) (131st) Riel (?)1 (KHR) (UTC+7) (UTC+7) right .kh 855

Preăh Réachéa Anachâk Kâmpŭchea

GDP (PPP) Total Per capita GDP (nominal) Total Per capita


Coat of arms

HDI (2007) Currency

"Nation, Religion, King"

Anthem: Nokoreach

Time zone Summer (DST) Drives on the Internet TLD Calling code

Local currency, although US dollars are widely used.

Capital (and largest city) Official languages Demonym Government

Phnom Penh
11°33′N 104°55′E / 11.55°N 104.917°E / 11.55; 104.917

The Kingdom of Cambodia (pronounced /kæmˈboʊdiə/, formerly known as Kampuchea (/kæmpuːˈtʃiːə/), , transliterated: Preăh Réachéa Anachâk Kâmpŭchea) is a country in South East Asia with a population of over 14 million people.[3] The kingdom’s capital and largest city is Phnom Penh. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries. A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as "Cambodian" or "Khmer," though the latter strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham, as well as ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and small animist hill tribes. The country borders Thailand to its west and northwest, Laos to its northeast and Vietnam to its east and southeast. In the south it faces the Gulf of Thailand. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong River (colloquial Khmer: Tonle Thom or "the great

Khmer Khmer or Cambodian Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary representative democracy HM Norodom Sihamoni Hun Sen 802 1863 November 9, 1953 May 1993


King Prime Minister

Formation Khmer empire French colonization Independence from France Monarchy restored Area Total Water (%)

181,035 km2 (88th) 69,898 sq mi 2.5 14,241,640[1] (67th)

Population 2008 estimate


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river") and the Tonlé Sap ("the fresh water lake"), an important source of fish. Agriculture has long been the most important sector of the Cambodian economy, with around 59% of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihood (with rice the principal crop)[4]. Garments, tourism, and construction are also important. In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat numbered more than 4 million.[5] In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia’s territorial waters, and once commercial extraction begins in 2011, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia’s economy.[6] Observers fear much of the revenue could end up in the hands of the political elites if not monitored correctly.[7][8]

The Khmer Empire declined yet remained powerful in the region until the 15th century. The empire’s centre of power was Angkor, where a series of capitals was constructed during the empire’s zenith. Angkor could have supported a population of up to one million people.[14] Angkor, the world’s largest pre-industrial civilization, and Angkor Wat, the most famous and best-preserved religious temple at the site, are reminders of Cambodia’s past as a major regional power.


A Khmer army going to war against the Cham, from a relief on the Bayon The first evidence of an advanced civilization in present day Cambodia are artificial circular earthworks estimated to be from the 1st millennium BC.[9] During the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries, the Indianised states of Funan and Chenla coalesced in what is now presentday Cambodia and southwestern Vietnam. These states are assumed by most scholars to have been Khmer.[10] For more than 2,000 years, Cambodia absorbed influences from China and India, passing them on to other Southeast Asian civilisations that are now Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.[11] The Khmer Empire flourished in the area from the 9th to the 13th century.[12] Around the 13th century, Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the area through monks from Sri Lanka.[13] From then on Theravada Buddhism grew and eventually became the most popular religion.

Southeast Asia circa 1100 AD. Khmer Empire lands in blue After a long series of wars with neighbouring kingdoms, Angkor was sacked by the Thai and abandoned in 1432 because of ecological failure and infrastructure breakdown.[15][16] After Angkor was abandoned, the buildings were swallowed up by jungle creating a myth of a hidden lost civilization. The court moved the capital to Lovek where the kingdom sought to regain its glory through maritime trade. The attempt was short-lived, however, as continued wars with the Thai and Vietnamese resulted in the loss of more territory and Lovek was conquered in 1594. During


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the next three centuries, the Khmer kingdom alternated as a vassal state of the Thai and Vietnamese kings, with short-lived periods of relative independence between. In 1863, King Norodom, who had been installed by Thailand,[17] sought the protection of France from the Thai and Vietnamese, after tensions grew between them. In 1867, the Thai king signed a treaty with France, renouncing suzerainty over Cambodia in exchange for the control of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces which officially became part of Thailand. The provinces were ceded back to Cambodia by a border treaty between France and Thailand in 1906. Cambodia continued as a protectorate of France from 1863 to 1953, administered as part of the colony of French Indochina, though occupied by the Japanese empire from 1941 to 1945. Cambodia gained independence from France on November 9, 1953. It became a constitutional monarchy under King Norodom Sihanouk. When French Indochina was given independence, Cambodia lost official control over the Mekong Delta as it was awarded to Vietnam. In 1955, Sihanouk abdicated in favour of his father in order to be elected Prime Minister. Upon his father’s death in 1960, Sihanouk again became head of state, taking the title of Prince. As the Vietnam War progressed, Sihanouk adopted an official policy of neutrality in the Cold War. However, Cambodians began to take sides, and he was ousted in 1970 by a military coup led by Prime Minister General Lon Nol and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, while on a trip abroad. From Beijing, Sihanouk realigned himself with the communist Khmer Rouge rebels who had been slowly gaining territory in the remote mountain regions and urged his followers to help in overthrowing the pro-United States government of Lon Nol, hastening the onset of civil war.[18] Between 1969 and 1973, U.S. forces bombed and briefly invaded Cambodia in an effort to disrupt the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge.[19] Some two million Cambodians were made refugees by the war and fled to Phnom Penh. Estimates of the number of Cambodians killed during the bombing campaigns vary widely, as do views of the effects of the bombing. The US Seventh Air Force argued that the bombing prevented the fall of Phnom Penh in 1973 by killing 16,000 of 25,500 Khmer Rouge fighters besieging the

city.[20] However, journalist William Shawcross and Cambodia specialists Milton Osborne, David P. Chandler and Ben Kiernan argued that the bombing drove peasants to join the Khmer Rouge.[21] Cambodia specialist Craig Etcheson argued that the Khmer Rouge "would have won anyway", even without US intervention driving recruitment.[22] As the war ended, a draft US AID report observed that the country faced famine in 1975, with 75% of its draft animals destroyed, and that rice planting for the next harvest would have to be done "by the hard labour of seriously malnourished people". The report predicted that without large-scale external food and equipment assistance there will be widespread starvation between now and next February ... Slave labour and starvation rations for half the nation’s people (probably heaviest among those who supported the republic) will be a cruel necessity for this year, and general deprivation and suffering will stretch over the next two or three years before Cambodia can get back to rice selfsufficiency.[23] The Khmer Rouge reached Phnom Penh and took power in 1975. The regime, led by Pol Pot, changed the official name of the country to Democratic Kampuchea, and was heavily influenced and backed by China. They immediately evacuated the cities and sent the entire population on forced marches to rural work projects. They attempted to rebuild the country’s agriculture on the model of the 11th century, discarded Western medicine, and destroyed temples, libraries, and anything considered Western. Over a million Cambodians, out of a total population of 8 million, died from executions, overwork, starvation and disease.[24] Estimates as to how many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge regime range from approximately one to three million.[25][26] This era gave rise to the term Killing Fields, and the prison Tuol Sleng became as notorious as Auschwitz in the history of mass killing. Hundreds of thousands fled across the border into neighbouring Thailand. The regime disproportionately targeted ethnic minority groups. The Cham Muslims


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travel by land and river was still precarious.[30] The stability established following the conflict was shaken in 1997 by a coup d’état,[31] but has otherwise remained in place. Cambodia has been aided by a number of more developed nations like Japan, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, the United States and Great Britain. Cambodia is moving past its war torn history and focusing on national reconstruction. In recent years, the country has seen double digit economic growth, and seeks foreign business investment to modernize the nation and eliminate poverty. Especially since Thailand is in political chaos, Cambodia is an alternative for business investments.

Politics and government

Stupa which houses the skulls of those killed at Choeung Ek suffered serious purges with as much as half of their population exterminated.[27] The professions, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers, were also targeted. According to Robert D. Kaplan, "eyeglasses were as deadly as the yellow star" as they were seen as a sign of intellectualism.[24] In November 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia to stop Khmer Rouge incursions across the border and the genocide in Cambodia.[28] Violent occupation and warfare between the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge holdouts continued throughout the 1980s. Peace efforts began in Paris in 1989, culminating two years later in October 1991 in a comprehensive peace settlement. The United Nations was given a mandate to enforce a ceasefire, and deal with refugees and disarmament.[29] In recent years, reconstruction efforts have progressed and some political stability has finally returned. However, Cambodia’s natural resources, particularly its valuable timber, are still being exploited by interests from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Until 1999, the Khmer Rouge were still active in some areas, often supporting illegal timber operations. At that time,

King Norodom Sihamoni The politics of Cambodia formally take place, according to the nation’s constitution of 1993, in the framework of a constitutional monarchy operated as a parliamentary representative democracy. The Prime Minister of Cambodia is the head of government, and of


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a pluriform multi-party system, while the king is the head of state. The Prime Minister is appointed by the King, on the advice and with the approval of the National Assembly; the Prime Minister and his or her ministerial appointees exercise executive power in government. Legislative power is vested in both the executive and the two chambers of parliament, the National Assembly of Cambodia and the Senate. On October 14, 2004, King Norodom Sihamoni was selected by a special nine-member throne council, part of a selection process that was quickly put in place after the surprise abdication of King Norodom Sihanouk a week before. Sihamoni’s selection was endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly Speaker Prince Norodom Ranariddh (the king’s half brother and current chief advisor), both members of the throne council. He was crowned in Phnom Penh on October 29, 2004. In 2006, Transparency International’s rating of corrupt countries rated Cambodia as 151st of 163 countries of their Corruption Perceptions Index.[32] The 2007 edition of the same list placed Cambodia at 162nd out of 179 countries.[33] According to this same list, Cambodia is the 3rd most corrupt nation in the South-East Asia area, behind Laos, at 168th, and Myanmar, at joint 179th. The BBC reports that corruption is rampant in the Cambodian political arena[34] with international aid from the U.S. and other countries being illegally transferred into private accounts.[35] Corruption has also added to the wide income disparity within the population.[36] Huge issues that plague contemporary Cambodia include human trafficking, deforestation and forced evictions.

departments responsible for logistics and finance, materials and technical services, and defence services. The High Command Headquarters (HCHQ) was left unchanged, but the general staff was dismantled and the former will assume responsibility over three autonomous infantry divisions. A joint staff was also formed, responsible for inter-service co-ordination and staff management within HCHQ. The minister of National Defence is General Tea Banh. Banh has served as defence minister since 1979. The Secretaries of State for Defence are Chay Saing Yun and Por Bun Sreu. In Janury 2009, General Ke Kim Yan was removed from his post as Commander-inChief of the RCAF and was replaced by his deputy, Gen. Pol Saroeun, the new Commander-in-Chief of the RCAF, who is a long time loyalist of Prime Minister Hun Sen. There were rumours that Prime Minister Hun Sen had plans to remove Ke Kim Yan from commander of RCAF because of an internal dispute in the CPP. Days later after the news broke out that Yan was being removed, members of the CPP Party said it was a regular reshuffle of the Kingdom’s military leadership and that there are no internal problems within the CPP party. It is expected that Ke Kim Yan will be promoted to Deputy Prime Minister by Hun Sen and will be in charge of anti-drugs trafficking. The Army Commander is General Meas Sophea and the Army Chief of Staff is Chea Saran.

Armed forces
The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces consists of the Royal Cambodian Army, the Royal Cambodian Navy, and the Royal Cambodian Air Force. The king is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and the country’s prime minister effectively holds the position of commander-in-chief. The introduction of a revised command structure early in 2000 was a key prelude to the reorganisation of the RCAF. This saw the ministry of national defence form three subordinate general Cambodian island of Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)

Cambodia has an area of 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 sq mi) and lies entirely within the tropics. It borders Thailand to the north and west, Laos to the northeast, and


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21 22 23 24 24 24 24 26 average temperatures in °C precipitation totals in mm source: BBC Weather Imperial conversion J F M A M J J A

25 24 23 22




0.3 0.4 1.6 3

5.3 6.1 6.7 6.3 8.8 10 5


Monsoon season in Kampong Speu Province Vietnam to the east and southeast. It has a 443-kilometer (275 mi) coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. The most distinctive geographical feature is the lacustrine plain, formed by the inundations of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake), measuring about 2,590 square kilometers (1,000 sq mi) during the dry season and expanding to about 24,605 square kilometers (9,500 sq mi) during the rainy season. This densely populated plain, which is devoted to wet rice cultivation, is the heartland of Cambodia. Much of this area has been designated as a biosphere reserve. Most (about 75%) of the country lies at elevations of less than 100 metres (330 ft) above sea level, the exceptions being the Cardamom Mountains (highest elevation 1,813 m / 5,948 ft) and their southeast extension the Dâmrei Mountains ("Elephant Mountains") (elevation range 500–1,000 m or 1,640–3,280 ft), as well the steep escarpment of the Dângrêk Mountains (average elevation 500 m / 1,640 ft) along the border with Thailand’s Isan region. The highest elevation of Cambodia is Phnom Aoral, near Pursat in the centre of the country, at 1,813 metres (5,948 ft).

88 90 93 95 93 91 90 90 88 86 86 86 70 72 73 75 75 75 75 79 77 75 73 72 average temperatures in °F precipitation totals in inches Cambodia’s temperatures range from 21° to 35°C (69° to 95°F) and experiences tropical monsoons. Southwest monsoons blow inland bringing moisture-laden winds from the Gulf of Thailand and Indian Ocean from May to October. The northeast monsoon ushers in the dry season, which lasts from November to March. The country experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February. It has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22 °C and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can raise up to 40 °C around April. The best months to visit Cambodia are November to January when temperatures and humidity are lower.

Administrative divisions
Provinces (khaet) and municipalities (krong) are Cambodia’s first-level administrative divisions. Rural areas are divided among Cambodia’s twenty provinces, and urban areas are divided among Cambodia’s four municipalities.

Climate chart for Phnom Penh J F M A M J J A S O N

City and province sizes

Foreign relations


Cambodia is a member of the United Nations, 10 40 77 134 155 171 160 224 257 127 the World Bank and the International Monet45 ary Fund. It is an Asian Development Bank 31 32 34 35 34 33 32 32 31 30 30 (ADB) member, a member of ASEAN, and 30 joined the WTO on October 13, 2004. In 2005 7


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No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 City or province City of Phnom Penh Kandal Province Takeo Province Kampong Cham Province Kampong Thom Province Siem Reap Province Preah Vihear Province Oddar Meancheay Province Banteay Meanchey Province Battambang Province City of Pailin Pursat Province Kampong Chhnang Province Kampong Speu Province Koh Kong Province City of Sihanoukville Kampot Province City of Kep Prey Veng Province Svay Rieng Province Kratie Province Stung Treng Province Ratanakiri Province Mondulkiri Province Tonlé Sap Area km² 290 3,568 3,563 9,799 13,814 10,299 13,788 6,158 6,679 11,072 803 12,692 5,521 7,017 11,160 868 4,873.2 335.8 4,883 2,966 11,094 11,092 10,782 14,288 3,000 181,035 112


sq mi 1,378 1,376 3,783 5,334 3,976 5,324 2,378 2,579 4,275 310 4,900 2,132 2,709 4,309 335 1,881.6 129.7 1,885 1,145 4,283 4,283 4,163 5,517 1,158 69,898


Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh Cambodia attended the inaugural East Asia Summit.

Cambodia has established diplomatic relations with numerous countries; the government reports twenty embassies in the country[37] including many of its Asian neighbours and those of important players during the Paris peace negotiations, including the US, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), Japan, and Russia.[38] While the violent ruptures of the 1970s and 80s have passed, several border disputes between Cambodia and its neighbours persist. There are disagreements over some offshore islands and sections of the boundary with Vietnam, and undefined maritime boundaries and border areas with Thailand. In January 2003, there were anti-Thai riots in Phnom Penh prompted by rumoured


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Cambodia’s ambassador to Russia Khieu Thavika presents his letter of credentials to former President Vladimir Putin.

A fishing boat in Koh Rung Samleom Island

Preah Vihear temple is one of the main factors of the current Cambodia-Thai dispute quoted by Prime Minister Hun Sen.[39] The Thai government sent military aircraft to evacuate Thai nationals and closed its border with Cambodia to Thais and Cambodians (at no time was the border ever closed to foreigners or Western tourists) while Thais demonstrated outside the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok. The border was re-opened on March 21, after the Cambodian government paid $6 million USD in compensation for the destruction of the Thai embassy and agreed to compensate individual Thai businesses for their losses. The "comments" that had sparked the riots turned out to be false. More problems came between Cambodia and Thailand in mid 2008 when Cambodia wanted to list Prasat Preah Vihear as a UNESCO World heritage site, which later resulted in a stand-off in which both countries deployed their soldiers near the border and around the disputed territory between the two countries. Conflict restarted in April 2009, where 2 Thai soldiers died as a result of a recent clash.[40]

A view of the top of a mosque in Phnom Penh comments about Angkor Wat allegedly made by a Thai actress and printed in Reaksmei Angkor, a Cambodian newspaper, and later

Wildlife of Cambodia
See also: Deforestation in Cambodia Cambodia has a wide variety of plants and animals. There are 212 mammal species, 536


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25,000 square kilometres (9,700 sq mi) of forest between 1990 and 2005—3,340 km2 (1,290 sq mi) of which was primary forest. As of 2007, less than 3,220 km2 (1,243 sq mi) of primary forest remain with the result that the future sustainability of the forest reserves of Cambodia is under severe threat, with illegal loggers looking to generate revenue.[43]


The Indian Elephant is the main type of Asian elephant found in Cambodia bird species, 240 reptile species, 850 freshwater fish species (Tonle Sap Lake area), and 435 marine fish species. Much of this biodiversity is contained around the Tonle Sap Lake and the surrounding biosphere.[41] The Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve is a unique ecological phenomenon surrounding the Tonle Sap. It encompasses the lake and nine provinces: Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Banteay Meanchey, Krong Pailin, Otdar Meanchey and Preah Vihear. In 1997, it was successfully nominated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.[42] Other key habitats include the dry forest of Mondolkiri and Ratanakiri provinces and the Cardamom Mountains ecosystem, including Bokor National Park, Botum Sakor National Park, and the Phnom Aural and Phnom Samkos wildlife sanctuaries. The country has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. Since 1970, Cambodia’s primary rainforest cover fell dramatically from over 70 percent in 1970 to just 3.1 percent in 2007. In total, Cambodia lost

The OCIC Tower, under construction in Phnom Penh, will be the tallest building in Cambodia when it is completed in 2009 Final economic indicators for 2007 are not yet available. 2006 GDP was $7.265 billion (per capita GDP $513), with annual growth of 10.8%. Estimates for 2007 are for a GDP of $8.251 billion (per capita $571) and annual growth of 8.5%). Inflation for 2006 was 2.6%, and the current estimate for final 2007 inflation is 6.2%.[44] Per capita income is rapidly increasing, but is low compared with other countries in the region. Most rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Rice, fish, timber, garments and rubber are Cambodia’s major exports. The International Rice


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Rice cropping plays an important role in the economy Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines.[45] These varieties had been collected in the 1960s. In 1987, the Australian government funded IRRI to assist Cambodia to improve its rice production. By 2000, Cambodia was once again self-sufficient in rice. [46] However, few Cambodian farmers grow other crops leaving them vulnerable to crop failure. In recent years, various international aid organisations have begun crop diversification programs to encourage farmers to grow other crops. The recovery of Cambodia’s economy slowed dramatically in 1997–98, due to the regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting. Foreign investment and tourism also fell off drastically. Since then however, growth has been steady. In 1999, the first full year of peace in 30 years, progress was made on economic reforms and growth resumed at 5.0%. Despite severe flooding, GDP grew at 5.0% in 2000, 6.3% in 2001, and 5.2% in 2002. Tourism was Cambodia’s fastest growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219,000 in 1997 to 1,055,000 in 2004. During 2003 and 2004 the growth rate remained steady at 5.0%, while in 2004 inflation was at 1.7% and exports at $1.6 billion USD. As of 2005, GDP per capita in PPP terms was $2,200, which ranked 178th (out of 233) countries.[47] The older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid, although there has been significant assistance

Prasat Angkor Wat, the biggest tourist draw of Cambodia from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004,[48] while the Asian Development Bank alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance.[49] The tourism industry is the country’s second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry.[29] Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations.[50] Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south east which has several popular beaches, and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station.


Cham Muslims of Cambodia More than 90% of its population is of Khmer origin and speaks the Khmer language, the country’s official language. The remainder


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include Chinese, Vietnamese, Cham and Khmer Loeu. The Khmer language is a member of the Mon-Khmer subfamily of the Austroasiatic language group. French, once the language of government in Indochina, is still spoken by some older Cambodians. French is also the language of instruction in some schools and universities that are funded by the government of France. Cambodian French, a remnant of the country’s colonial past, is a dialect found in Cambodia and is sometimes used in government. However, in recent decades, many younger Cambodians and those in the business-class have favoured learning English. In the major cities and tourist centers, English is widely spoken and taught at a large number of schools due to the overwhelming number of tourists from Englishspeaking countries. Even in the most rural outposts, however, most young people speak at least some English, as it is often taught by monks at the local pagodas where many children are educated.

Mekong Subregion [52]. In the Cambodian population over 65, the female to male ratio is 1.6:1.[48] UNICEF has designated Cambodia the third most landmined country in the world,[53] attributing over 60,000 civilian deaths and thousands more maimed or injured since 1970 to the unexploded land mines left behind in rural areas.[54] The majority of the victims are children herding animals or playing in the fields.[53] Adults that survive landmines often require amputation of one or more limbs and have to resort to begging for survival.[54] In 2006, the number of landmine casualties in Cambodia took a sharp decrease of more than 50% compared to 2005, with the number of landmine victims down from 800 in 2005 to less than 400 in 2006. The reduced casualty rate continued in 2007, with 208 casualties (38 killed and 170 injured).[55]

Cambodia’s infant mortality rate has decreased from 115 in 1993 to 89.4 per 1000 live births in 1998. In the same period, the under-five mortality rate decreased from 181 to 115 per 1000 live births.[56] In the province with worst health indicators, Ratanakiri, 22.9% of children die before the age of five.[57]

Culture and society

Local women at a market in Battambang

Cambodia religiosity
religion Buddhism Islam Christianity percent 95% 3% 2%

The dominant religion, a form of Theravada Buddhism (95%), was suppressed by the Khmer Rouge but has since experienced a revival. Islam (3%) and Christianity (2%) are also practiced.[51] Civil war and its aftermath have had a marked effect on the Cambodian population. The median age is 20.6 years, with more than 50% of the population younger than 25. At 0.95 males/female, Cambodia has the most female-biased sex ratio in the Greater

Buddhist art at Phnom Santuk, Kompong Thom. Various factors contribute to Cambodian culture including Theravada Buddhism, French Colonialism, Hinduism, Angkor era culture, and modern globalization. The Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is responsible for promoting and developing


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Cambodian culture. Cambodian culture not only includes the culture of the lowland ethnic majority, the Khmer, but of also some 20 culturally distinct hill tribes colloquially known as the Khmer Loeu, a term coined by Norodom Sihanouk to generate unity between the highlanders and lowlanders. Rural Cambodians wear a krama scarf which is a unique aspect of Cambodian clothing. Khmer culture, as developed and spread by the Khmer empire, has distinctive styles of dance, architecture and sculpture, which have been exchanged with neighbouring Laos and Thailand through the history. Angkor Wat (Angkor means "city" and Wat "temple") is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture from the Angkorian era and hundreds of other temples have been discovered in and around the region. Traditionally, the Khmer people have a unique method of recording info on Tra leaf. Tra leaf books record information on legends of the Khmer people, the Ramayana, the origin of Buddhism and other prayer book series. They are greatly taken care of and wrap in cloth as to protect from moisture and the jungle climate. [58] Bonn Om Teuk (Festival of Boat Racing), the annual boat rowing contest, is the most attended Cambodian national festival. Held at the end of the rainy season when the Mekong river begins to sink back to its normal levels allowing the Tonle Sap River to reverse flow, approximately 10% of Cambodia’s population attends this event each year to play games, give thanks to the moon, watch fireworks, and attend the boat race in a carnival-type atmosphere.[59] Popular games include cockfighting, soccer, and kicking a sey, which is similar to a footbag. Based on Theravada Buddhism, the Cambodian New Year is a major holiday that takes place in April. Recent artistic figures include singers Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea (and later Meng Keo Pichenda), who introduced new musical styles to the country. Rice, as in other Southeast Asian countries, is the staple grain, while fish from the Mekong and Tonle Sap also form an important part of the diet. The Cambodian per capita supply of fish and fish products for food and trade in 2000 was 20 kilograms of fish per year or 2 ounces per day per person.[60] Some of the fish can be made into prahok for longer storage. The cuisine of Cambodia contains tropical fruits, soups and noodles. Key


Phnom Penh Style Noodle Soup (Ka Tieu Phnom Penh) ingredients in Cambodian cuisine are kaffir lime, lemon grass, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, curry, tamarind, ginger, oyster sauce, coconut milk and black pepper. An example of French influence on Cambodian cuisine, is Cambodian red curry with toasted baguette bread. The toasted baguette pieces are dipped in the curry and eaten. Cambodian red curry is also eaten with rice and rice vermicelli noodles. Probably the most popular dine out dish, ka tieu, is a pork broth rice noodle soup with fried garlic, scallions, green onions that may also contain various toppings such as beef balls, shrimp, pork liver or lettuce. The cuisine is relatively unknown to the world compared to that of its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam. Football is one of the more popular sports, although professional organized sports are not as prevalent in Cambodia as in western countries due to the economic conditions. Football was brought to Cambodia by the French and became popular with the locals. [61] The Cambodia national football team managed fourth in the 1972 Asian Cup but development has slowed since the civil war. Western sports such as volleyball, bodybuilding, field hockey, rugby union, golf, and baseball are gaining popularity. Native sports include traditional boat racing, buffalo racing, Pradal Serey , Khmer traditional wrestling and Bokator. Cambodia first participated in the Olympics during the 1956 Summer Olympic Games sending Equestrian riders.

The civil war and neglect severely damaged Cambodia’s transport system, but with


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Organisation Heritage Foundation Reporters Without Borders Transparency International United Nations Development Programme World Economic Forum Index of Economic Freedom Worldwide Press Freedom Index Corruption Perceptions Index Human Development Index Global Competitiveness Report


100 out of 157 126 out of 173 162 out of 179 136 out of 177 110 out of 131

Siem Reap International Airport assistance and equipment from other countries Cambodia has been upgrading the main highways to international standards and most are vastly improved from 2006. Most main roads are now paved. Cambodia has two rail lines, totalling about 612 kilometers (380 mi) of single, one meter gauge track.[62] The lines run from the capital to Sihanoukville on the southern coast, and from Phnom Penh to Sisophon (although trains often run only as far as Battambang). Currently only one passenger train per week operates, between Phnom Penh and Battambang. Besides the main interprovincial traffic artery connecting the capital Phnom Penh with Sihanoukville, resurfacing a former dirt road with concrete / asphalt and implementation of 5 major river crossings by means of bridges have now permanently connected Phnom Penh with Koh Kong and hence there is now uninterrupted road access to neighboring Thailand and their vast road system. The nation’s extensive inland waterways were important historically in international trade. The Mekong and the Tonle Sap River, their numerous tributaries, and the Tonle Sap provided avenues of considerable length, including 3,700 kilometers (2,300 mi) navigable all year by craft drawing 0.6 meters (2 ft) and another 282 kilometers (175 mi) navigable to craft drawing 1.8 meters (6 ft).

National Highway 4
[62] Cambodia has two major ports, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, and five minor ones. Phnom Penh, located at the junction of the Bassac, the Mekong, and the Tonle Sap rivers, is the only river port capable of receiving 8,000-ton ships during the wet season and 5,000-ton ships during the dry season. With increasing economic activity has come an increase in automobile and motorcycle use, though bicycles still predominate; as often in developing countries, an associated rise in traffic deaths and injuries is occurring.[63] Cycle rickshaws are an additional option often used by visitors. The country has four commercial airports. Phnom Penh International Airport (Pochentong) in Phnom Penh is the second largest in Cambodia. Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is the largest and serves the most international flights in and out of Cambodia. The other airports are in Sihanoukville and Battambang.

International rankings See also


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Dept of the Army. Accessed July 25, 2006. [1] "The World Factbook; Cambodia". [11] History of Cambodia. Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed July 25, 2006. [12] Khmer Empire Map the-world-factbook/geos/cb.html. [13] Windows on Asia Retrieved on March 7, 2009. [14] Metropolis: Angkor, the world’s first [2] ^ "Cambodia". International Monetary mega-city, The Independent, August 15, Fund. 2007 ft/weo/2009/01/weodata/ [15] Chandler, David P. "The Land and the weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=522&s=NGDPD% People of Cambodia". 1991. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. HarperCollins. New York, NY. p 77 [3] "General Population Census of Cambodia [16] Scientists dig and fly over Angkor in 2008 - Provisional population totals" search of answers to golden city’s fall, (pdf). National Institute of Statistics, The Associated Press, June 13, 2004 Ministry of Planning. September 3, 2008. [17] Chandler, D.P. (1993). A history of Cambodia (2nd ed.). Boulder, CO: meetings/cambodia/pdf/pre_rep1.pdf. Westview Press. [4] [18] Sihanouk, Norodom (1973). My War with INTCAMBODIA/Resources/ the CIA, The Memoirs of Prince Norodom 293755-1181597132695/ Sihanouk as related to Wilfred Burchett. kh_growth_report2009part1.pdf Pantheon Books. [5] Elizabeth Sanchez-Lacson (May 30, [19] Shawcross, William (1987). Sideshow: 2008). "San Miguel eyes projects in Laos, Kissinger, Nixon and the destruction of Cambodia, Myanmar". Philippine Daily Cambodia. United States: Touchstone. Inquirer. [20] Shawcross, Sideshow p. 298. money/breakingnews/view/ [21] e.g. Chandler, David P. Pacific Affairs, 20080530-139652/San-Miguel-eyesvol. 56, no. 2, Summer 1983, p. 295. projects-in-Laos-Cambodia-Myanmar. [22] Etcheson, Craig, The Rise and Demise of Retrieved on 2009-03-03. Democratic Kampuchea, Westview Press, [6] Ek Madra (January 19, 2007). "Cambodia 1984, p. 97 hopes to start oil production in 2009". [23] Shawcross, Sideshow pp. 374-375. Reuters. [24] ^ Kaplan, Robert D., The Ends of the companyNewsAndPR/ Earth, Vintage, 1996, p. 406. idUSBKK30404620070119. Retrieved on [25] Shawcross, William, The Quality of 2009-03-06. Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust and [7] Claire Truscott (February 5, 2009). Modern Conscience, Touchstone, 1985, "Cambodia’s oil and mineral wealth sold pp. 115-116. to corrupt elites: watchdog". AFP [26] Vickery, Michael, Correspondence, through Yahoo! News. Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, vol. 20, no. 1, January-March 1988, p. 73. sc_afp/ [27] The Cambodian Genocide and cambodiaoilminingcorruption_20090205090130. International Law, By Dr. Gregory H. Retrieved on 2009-03-03. Stanton, Presented February 22, 1992 at [8] "Cambodia’s oil resources: Blessing or Yale Law School curse?". The Economist. February 26, [28] Brief History 2009. of the Cambodian Genocide. Accessed asia/ July 25, 2006. displaystory.cfm?story_id=13184945. [29] ^ US Department of State. Country Retrieved on 2009-03-03. Profile of Cambodia. Accessed July 26, [9] Gerd Albrecht: Circular Earthwork Krek 2006. 52/62: Recent Research of the Prehistory [30] Kaplan, p. 415 of CambodiaPDF link [31] UN OHCHR Cambodia [1]PDF (10.3 KiB) [10] Country Studies [32] 2006/cpi/surveys_indices/policy_research Handbook; information taken from US [33] 2007/cpi/surveys_indices/policy_research


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[34] BBC Asia-Pacific News (September 19, 2005). Corruption dents Cambodia democracy. Accessed July 24, 2006. [35] World Bank threatens to suspend millions of dollars in aid for Cambodia AP Worldstream 01-16-2005. [2]. Accessed December 29, 2008. [36] BBC News (May 29, 2006). ’Corruption’ curbs Cambodia cash. Accessed July 24, 2006. [37] Royal Government of Cambodia.Foreign Embassies. [38] Catharin E. Dalpino and David G. Timberman. "Cambodia’s Political Future: Issues for U.S. Policy," Asia Society, March 26, 1998. [39] Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the US Department of State.Report to the Congress on the Anti-Thai Riots in Cambodia on January 29, 2003. [40] Cambodia, Thai troops on alert.Straits Times. [41] Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve: perspective 2000, Mekong River Commission (MRC), Mar 1 2003. Retrieved from TSBR website, 29/12/ 2008 [3] [42] Complete list of biosphere reserves in pdf, Publication Date: 03-11-2008, retrieved from UNESCO website, 29/12/ 2008 [4] [43] Planet Ark : Logging threatens Cambodian tragedy - UN [44] Economic Institute of Cambodia. [45] Jahn 2006,2007 [46] Puckridge 2004, Fredenburg and Hill 1978 [47] CIA Factbook. GDP per Capita rankings. Accessed July 24, 2006. [48] ^ CIA FactBook. Accessed September 9, 2006. [49] A Fact Sheet: Cambodia and ADB, Asian Development Bank. Accessed September 9, 2006. [50] Ministry of Tourism.[5] Accessed December 29, 2008. [51] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour of the US Department of State. International Religious Freedom Report 2005. Accessed July 24, 2006. [52] CIA World Factbook [6] [53] ^ UNICEF. "The Legacy of Landmines". Accessed July 25, 2006. [54] ^ (July 25, 2003). Cambodia Land Mines. Accessed July 24, 2006.

[55] Cambodia, Landmine Monitor Report 2007 [56] "WHO country cooperation strategy". World Health Organization. April 2001. cooperation_strategy/ccs_khm_en.pdf. [57] "National Child Mortality and Malnutrition (Food Insecurity Outcome) Maps". United Nations World Food Programme. Accessed 2008-05-04. [58] VietNam Net, 09/805123/; accessed January 31, 2009 [59] Government of Cambodia Webpage, Bonn Om Touk, the Water and Moon Festivals; accessed July 24, 2006 [60] Cambodia Country ProfilePDF [61] AFF- The official site of the ASEAN Football Federation; accessed February 20, 2009 [62] ^ [63] "Picking Up Speed: As Cambodia’s Traffic Levels Increase, So Too Does the Road Death Toll," The Cambodia Daily, Saturday, March 9–10, 2002."

External links
Government • Global Integrity Report: Cambodia has reporting on anti-corruption (or lack thereof) in Cambodia • King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk Official Website of former King Norodom Sihanouk • Official Royal Government of Cambodia Website (English Version) • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation • Cambodia e-Visa, Applying Travel Visa Online • Chief of State and Cabinet Members General information • Cambodia entry at The World Factbook • Cambodia from UCB Libraries GovPubs • Cambodia at the Open Directory Project • Wikimedia Atlas of Cambodia • Cambodia travel guide from Wikitravel Other • Cambodia Country Factsheet from The Common Language Project • The largest environmental website relating to the Tonle Sap Biosphere and Cambodia


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• Cambodia Tribunal Monitor • Cambodia Program of the United Nations Development Programme



Retrieved from "" Categories: Cambodia, Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, Member states of La Francophonie, Kambojas, Constitutional monarchies, Least Developed Countries, States and territories established in 1953, States and territories established in 802 This page was last modified on 19 May 2009, at 04:19 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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