Cambodia. During the summer, an old conflict flared up
again between K. and Thailand over the right to the area
around the Preah Vihear temple at the border between the two
neighboring countries. The triggering factor was the UN
agency UNESCO's decision in July to place the old Khmer
temple on the organization's World Heritage List. Already in
1962, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled
that Preah Vihear is Cambodian, but the border demarcation
in the area remained unclear and Thai nationalists have
found it difficult to accept the verdict. When the Cambodian
military in July seized three Thai protesters who crossed
the border, a military escalation began on both sides. At
the same time, military leaders and politicians met to
resolve the emergency situation. Only in August were most
soldiers withdrawn after talks at political and military
In October, the tensions at Preah Vihear rose again when
three Cambodian soldiers and one Thai soldier were killed in
a gunfire across the border. At the end of the same month,
the two countries agreed to resolve the border conflict
peacefully "for the sake of the neighbor."
Countryaah reports, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People's
Party (CPP) won a confident victory in the general elections
held in July. Independent international election observers,
including the EU, said that while the electoral process was
deficient and did not meet international standards, the
election was still much calmer and more free and fairer than
before. In addition, the CPP's victory was so great that
these shortcomings could not change the fact that the ruling
party won the election.
The CPP received 58 percent of the vote (90 of the 123
seats), while opposition party Sam Rainsy's party received
22 percent (26 seats). Then came the Human Rights Party with
6 percent (3 seats), Norodom Ranariddh's party with 5
percent (2 seats) and FUNCINPEC also with 5 percent (2
seats). The turnout was 75 percent.
Hun Sens's victory was believed to be due to the
country's good economic development in recent years as well
as CPP's tight control over both the media and the state
administration. In addition, Hun Sens's way of handling the
conflict over Preah Vihear benefited him in the election.
Hun Sen and CPP have won all elections since 1993.
The legal proceedings against five representatives of the
Red Khmer regime (1975-78) continued during the year at the
UN-supported tribunal in Phnom Penh, but no judgments fell.
The tribunal, which was affected by major delays in its work
as well as by suspicions of corruption, was reported to be
in short supply of financial resources. The donor countries
were reportedly hesitant to give more money because of the
The July 2008 parliamentary elections were won by
Cambodia's People's Party, which received 58% of the vote.
FUNCINPEC had to settle for 5%, while the second largest
party was Sam Rainsy with 22%.
It came to a diplomatic crisis between Thailand and
Cambodia in mid-2008, when Cambodia wanted the Preah Vihear
temple area on UNESCO's list of conservation-worthy
buildings. It was a Khmer temple built 1000 years ago, but
located in northern Thailand. After another conflict over
the temple in 1962, the International Court of Justice in
The Hague ruled that the area should belong to Cambodia, but
the verdict was never enforced. UNESCO included the area on
its list, but both countries drew troops to the border. The
conflict flared up again in April 2009, when two Thai
soldiers died following a clash at the border. In 2011, it
came to new military meetings. The International Court of
Justice issued a ruling in July stating that both countries
should withdraw their military forces from the area, but
that was only partially done.
Cambodia had one of the world's highest economic growth
rates in 2000-10 with 7.7% annual growth. Part of this was
due to tourism, which in 1997-2007 doubled to more than DKK
2 million. annual tourists. Another was due to extensive
Chinese investment in the country. In the first seven months
alone, China planned to invest $ 8 billion. US $ in 360
different projects. A third is due to the rapid development
of the textile industry, which in 2012 accounted for 80% of
the country's exports. In 2013, the factories employed
335,400 workers and were almost exclusively owned by people
from other Southeast Asian countries. Finally, the country
has significant potential for oil and gas extraction.
However, the recovery is curbed by territorial disputes with
Thailand over the right to the sea area in the Gulf of Siam.
The biggest impediment to continued economic growth is the
low level of education.
In August 2011, the World Bank announced that it had
ceased lending to Cambodia since December 2010, as no
agreement had yet been reached with the remaining residents
of Boeung Kak Lake in Phnom Penh. Since 2008, nearly 4,000
families had been displaced from the area.
In October, the government issued a temporary ban on
women leaving for work in Malaysia, after numerous attacks
against Cambodian women and girls who had traveled to
Malaysia to work as maids were revealed. 40-50,000 Cambodian
women and girls have since 2008 traveled to Malaysia to work
In May 2013, Hun Sen stated that he wanted to continue to
lead the country for another 13 years. He had already been
prime minister for 28 years.