Sat, Sep 23, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting: Cambodia 世界走透透-柬埔寨

Cambodia, the land of the Mekong River and the Khmer people, has seen its fair share of violence and tragedy. Today it is a country on the rise, nurturing its rich heritage and tradition in order to build a nation of peace and prosperity for its people.湄公河與高棉人的土地柬埔寨,在見證暴力與悲劇過後終於否極泰來。現今的柬埔寨是一個新興國家,孕育了豐富的遺產與傳統,為人民打造一個和平繁榮的國家。

A closer look: 論古說今

The country of Cambodia is mostly made up of the Khmer people, who at one time formed one of the most powerful empires in the region. Its history is mixed up with that of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos; what we see today as seperate countries were constantly changing groups of city states in centuries past.

As is true with most of the region, Cambodia has a violent history that has given its present-day economy some very serious challenges to overcome. The country was at one time under the protection of the French, changed hands during WWII and then endured a very rocky period after declaring its political independence.

Unfortunately, Cambodia is often known for the violent riod of time it was under the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979. No one is sure exactly how many people died, but most people believe it was at least a quarter of the country's population. The Khmer Rouge was an extreme communist movement. During its rule, you could be killed for as little as seeming too intellegent or educated. Starvation was widespread; farmers became so desperate for food that they ate the rice seeds they had saved to plant. Because of this, for decades after the Khmer Rouge's rule, the country which had once depended on rice for food had trouble making enough to feed its population. Today, the signs of Cambodia's ongoing recovery are still apparent. Thirty-five percent of the country's population is under the age of 15, and it is considered the third-most landmined country in the world.




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