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Cambodia wipes its tears

For the first time in 20 years, the Cambodian People's Party is seriously challenged now for the elections in early June.

In both the capital and rural areas, a democratic public deficit in democratic rights has begun to demand influence on both destination and route in Cambodia's long journey from war to peace.

Battambang, Phnom Penh, Kratie Province. «Wipe your tears; continue your journey, ”it says on a poster in one of Battambang's central Buddhist temples. The message appears quietly like the temple cats resting in the noon – and the monks whose walk around the shrines go silently. Battambang is, on the whole, a seemingly quiet place. The provincial city of western Cambodia escaped – relatively – cheaply from both the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge. Now it is also a haven for artistic excuses and critical thinking.

The poster, which is hung above the entrance to the monks' residences, is in its own way a quite loud marking. The message is accompanied by a portrait of Kem Ley (1970–2016), a political analyst known for his scathing comments about the ruling Cambodian People. . .

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Nina Trige Andersen
Trige Andersen is a freelance journalist and historian.

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