Cambodia 2003

Cambodia Border Map

In 2003, Cambodia was a small Southeast Asian nation located between Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. It had a population of approximately 13 million people and its economy was mainly based on agriculture and tourism. Infrastructure throughout the country had improved significantly since gaining independence from France in 1953 but still lagged behind other Asian countries. Unemployment had decreased since the 1990s but still remained relatively high due to a lack of investment in infrastructure and technology. According to computergees, the government at this time was led by Prime Minister Hun Sen who had implemented a number of economic reforms including increased investment in infrastructure and social programs to reduce poverty. Foreign investment had increased significantly in recent years due to Cambodia’s favorable business climate and proximity to major markets such as Thailand and Vietnam. Tourism also played a major role in driving economic growth due to its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and abundance of attractions such as Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake. Phnom Penh had become one of the most important cities in Southeast Asia at this time and had attracted many international businesses looking for a base of operations within the region.

Yearbook 2003

Cambodia. The year began with a deep diplomatic crisis between Cambodia and Thailand. The developments began with a Thai TV star in an interview saying that she demanded that Cambodia’s national monument Angkor Vat, a Buddhist temple complex from the 8th century, “be returned to Thailand”. Angkor Vat was conquered and plundered by the Thais in the 15th century and then fell into oblivion for centuries.

The actress denied the statement, but the incident angered Cambodia, where irritation over Thai dominance in the country’s business grew. The Phnom Penh government was accused of inflicting anger. Demonstrations were held and the situation became acute as new rumors spread about a group of Thais attacking the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok and killing ten diplomats. The false rumor led to a public mob on January 29 setting the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh on fire and vandalizing Thai hotels and businesses.

According to, Cambodia Independence Day is November 9. Thailand’s reaction was strong. The next day the government closed the border with Cambodia and several hundred Thais were evacuated in military flights from the neighboring country. The diplomatic contacts were kept to a minimum and joint arrangements were canceled. Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen apologized the same day Thailand and more than 150 people were arrested for the attack on the embassy. However, of 58 defendants in connection with the incident, 56 were acquitted during the year. In March, the border was opened and Cambodia paid damages for the vandalism. A month later, the Thai ambassador returned to Phnom Penh.

In June, Cambodia and the UN signed an agreement on a joint tribunal to bring high-ranking leaders of the Red Khmer to justice for crimes committed under the guerrilla rule 1975-79. Behind the agreement were six years of tough negotiations between the parties.

In the July 27 parliamentary elections, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won with just over 47% of the vote over Liberal Sam Rainsy’s party (PSR), which gained just under 22% and the royalist FUNCINPEC who won just 21% of the vote. The opposition accused CPP of electoral fraud, but independent judges stated that the election was relatively calm and free, even though voting was common. Prime Minister Hun Sen and his party CPP did not get their own majority in parliament but were forced to seek a coalition partner. The two major opposition parties refused to form a coalition with the CPP in protest of the election result. Only in November was a government with the three parties formed since the 82-year-old King Norodom Sihanouk mediated. In September, Cambodia was approved as a new member of the WTO. Formal entry is likely to take place in 2004.

1979 Heng Samrin takes power with the support of Vietnam

In 1978, there was a split in the Khmer Rouge. A Pro-Vietnamese faction led by General Heng Samrin broke out and formed the United Front for Kampuchea’s Salvation. In January 1979, forces from this front, supported by Vietnam Phnom Penh, proclaimed the creation of the Kampuchea People’s Republic. A Revolutionary People’s Council was set up to oversee the country’s reconstruction. In a matter of weeks, the entire country was under the control of the front and the Khmer Rouge chased away. In this situation, Pol Pot turned to Sihanouk, who had otherwise been in house arrest for 3 years, and asked him to speak Cambodia’s case to the UN. On his way to New York, Sihanouk traveled across China where he received an overwhelming reception, but at the same time took the opportunity to vehemently condemn the Khmer Rouge. It suggests,

Pol Pot was prosecuted and sentenced in absentia by the new powers of war crimes. He, in turn, launched a guerrilla war against the new government. With support from the US and China, Pol Pot retained his position as a representative of Cambodia in the UN in the following years. Still, the two superpowers preferred the mass murderer Pol Pot over the new Vietnamese-backed government in Phnom Penh. In 1982, under the leadership of Son Sann, Sihanouk and Khmer Serei joined Khmer Rouge in the exile government, the Democratic Kampuchea.

In Phnom Penh, the new government designed a program to reactivate industry, agriculture and the transport sector. The Soviet Union and other socialist countries supported the re-establishment of the energy supply and the construction of a minimal industry. At the 1981 parliamentary and municipal elections, many candidates were nominated for each post. Yet, at its New Delhi meeting, the Alliance Free Movement decided to leave Cambodia’s place in the movement empty. They were unable to take a position between the country’s two warring factions.

Cambodia Border Map

The Kingdom of Cambodia Brief Guide

According to AbbreviationFinder, Cambodia is a state in Southeast Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Cambodia has more than 13 million inhabitants, mostly Theravada Buddhists. Cambodia is the successor state of the Khmer Empire, which ruled Indochina in the 11th and 14th centuries. Cambodia’s geography is dominated by the Mekong River (in Khmer, Tonle Thom, the “Great River”) and Tonle Sap Lake. From 1975 to 1979, the country’s official name was Democratic Cambodia.

Custom culture 
The sole of the shoe must not point to another person or in any case, for example, to a religious statue. The foot is also not placed on top of the other. The soles of the shoes are thus held against the floor. The finger should never point at anything, not even direction. Stay calm and talk calmly even when things are not going well. Losing a malt is a loss of face and means a decline in value. Touching the head of a small child is not desirable. The statues of the gods are sacred, they should be treated accordingly. Also, the praying person should be respected and not the noise of filming around. Respect local customs and culture.

Food & Beverage
Cambodia uses a lot of fresh vegetables, noodles and rice. Breakfast is often served as a full hot meal, which is a noodle soup that includes tasty broth, noodles or rice, vegetables and, optionally, meat. For people with fish allergies, it is good to note that almost all servings use fish sauce. Like Asian cuisine, a variety of curries are also available. Chopsticks and spoons are used as cutlery, sometimes also spoons and forks. Sweet dishes are also made from rice, which is often colored and glazed with palm sugar broth. However, eating dessert is not very typical among the locals.

Tap water is not drinkable even in large cities. It is potentially contaminated with viruses, bacteria and parasites. Take special care with water and drink only bottled water and eat only peeled fruits and vegetables. Salads and vegetables should also be rinsed with bottled water. The food should be heated or cooked. Reheated foods and poorly cooked seafood should be avoided.