Cambodia

Cambodia

Infobox Country
native_name = "Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea" "Royaume du Cambodge"
conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Cambodia
common_name = Cambodia





symbol_type = Royal Arms



national_motto = "Nation, Religion, King"
national_anthem = "Nokoreach"
official_languages = Khmer
usual_languages = Khmer, French
demonym = Cambodian
capital = Phnom Penh
latd=11 |latm=33 |latNS=N |longd=104 |longm=55 |longEW=E
largest_city = capital
government_type = Constitutional monarchy
leader_title1 = King
leader_name1 = Norodom Sihamoni
leader_title2 = Prime Minister
leader_name2 = Hun Sen
sovereignty_type = Independence
sovereignty_note =
established_event1 = from France
established_date1 = November 9, 1953
|area_rank = 88th
area_magnitude =
area_km2 = 181,035
area_sq_mi = 69,898
percent_water = 2.5
population_estimate = 14,241,640
population_estimate_year = July 2008
population_estimate_rank = 63rd
population_census = 11,437,656
population_census_year = 1998
population_density_km2 = 78
population_density_sq_mi = 201
population_density_rank = 112th
GDP_PPP_year = 2007
GDP_PPP = $26.064 billioncite web|url=http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2008/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2004&ey=2008&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=522&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=33&pr.y=16 |title=Cambodia|publisher=International Monetary Fund|accessdate=2008-10-09]
GDP_PPP_rank = 89th
GDP_PPP_per_capita = $1,817
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 133rd
GDP_nominal = $8.690 billion
GDP_nominal_year = 2007
GDP_nominal_per_capita = $606
HDI_year = 2007
HDI = increase 0.598
HDI_rank = 131st
HDI_category = medium
currency = Riel (៛)1
currency_code = KHR
time_zone =
utc_offset = +7
time_zone_DST =
utc_offset_DST = +7
cctld = .kh
calling_code = 855
footnote1 = Local currency, although US dollars are widely used.
The Kingdom of Cambodia (pron-en|kæmˈboʊdiə, formerly known as Kampuchea (IPAlink-en|kæmpuːˈtʃiːə), between the eleventh and fourteenth 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 river") and the Tonlé Sap ("the fresh water lake"), an important source of fish. Its culture is heavily influenced by Thailand and Laos.

Cambodia's main industries are garments, tourism, and construction. In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat numbered more than 4 million. [ [http://business.inquirer.net/money/breakingnews/view/20080530-139652/San-Miguel-eyes-projects-in-Laos-Cambodia-Myanmar San Miguel eyes projects in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar ] ] In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial water, and once commercial extraction begins in 2011, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy. [ [http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&storyID=2007-01-19T094720Z_01_BKK304046_RTRIDST_0_OIL-CAMBODIA.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna] Dead link|date=March 2008]

History

The first advanced civilizations in present-day Cambodia appeared in the 1st millennium AD. During the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries, the Indianised states of Funan and Chenla coalesced in what is now present-day Cambodia and southwestern Vietnam. These states, which are assumed by most scholars to have been Khmer,Country-Studies.com. [http://www.country-studies.com/cambodia/early-indianized-kingdom-of-funan.html "Country Studies Handbook";] information taken from US Dept of the Army. Accessed July 25, 2006.] had close relations with China and Thailand.Britannica.com. [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-52477 History of Cambodia.] Accessed July 25, 2006.] Their collapse was followed by the rise of the Khmer Empire, a civilization which flourished in the area from the 9th century to the 13th century.

The Khmer Empire declined yet remained powerful in the region until the 15th century. The empire's center of power was Angkor, where a series of capitals was constructed during the empire's zenith. Angkor Wat, the most famous and best-preserved religious temple at the site, is a reminder of Cambodia's past as a major regional power.

After a long series of wars with neighbouring kingdoms, Angkor was sacked by the Thai and abandoned in 1432.Chandler, David P. "The Land and the People of Cambodia". 1991. HarperCollins. New York, NY. p 77] 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 the conquering of Lovek in 1594. During 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,cite book | last = Chandler | first = D.P. | author-link = David P. Chandler | title = A history of Cambodia (2nd ed.) | publisher = Westview Press | year = 1993 | location = Boulder, CO ] 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. After war-time occupation 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.

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 until Cambodians began to take sides, and 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.cite book | last = Sihanouk | first = Norodom | authorlink = Norodom Sihanouk | title = My War with the CIA, The Memoirs of Prince Norodom Sihanouk as related to Wilfred Burchett | publisher = Pantheon Books | year = 1973]

Operation Menu, a series of secret B-52 bombing raids by the United States on alleged Viet Cong bases and supply routes inside Cambodia, was acknowledged after Lon Nol assumed power; U.S. forces briefly invaded Cambodia in a further effort to disrupt the Viet Cong. The bombing continued and, as the Cambodian communists began gaining ground, eventually included strikes on suspected Khmer Rouge sites until halted in 1973.cite book
last = Shawcross
first = William
authorlink = William Shawcross
title = Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the destruction of Cambodia
publisher = Touchstone
year = 1987
location = United States
]

Some two million Cambodians were made refugees by the bombing and fighting and fled to Phnom Penh. Estimates of the number of Cambodians killed during the bombing campaigns vary widely. Views of the effects of the bombing also vary widely. 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. [Ibid., p. 298.] 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. Chandler writes that the bombing provided "the psychological ingredients of a violent, vengeful and unrelenting social revolution." ["Pacific Affairs", vol. 56, no. 2, Summer 1983, p. 295.] Cambodia specialist Craig Etcheson argued that it is "untenable" to assert that the Khmer Rouge would not have won but for US intervention, and that while the bombing did help Khmer Rouge recruitment, they "would have won anyway." [Etcheson, Craig, "The Rise and Demise of Democratic Kampuchea", Westview Press, 1984, p. 97]

As the war ended, a draft US AID report observed that the country faced famine in 1975, with 75% of its draft animals destroyed by the war, and that rice planting for the next harvest would have to be done "by the hard labor 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 labor 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 self-sufficiency. [Shawcross, William, "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia", Touchstone, 1987, pp374-375]
The Khmer Rouge reached Phnom Penh and took power in 1975, changing the official name of the country to Democratic Kampuchea, led by Pol Pot. The Regime, heavily influenced and backed by China, 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. They discarded Western medicine, destroyed temples, libraries, and anything considered western. Any person with trained skills, doctors, lawyers, teachers, were especially targeted. With that result, hundreds of thousands died from starvation and disease there were almost no drugs in the country. [Ibid.]

Estimates vary as to how many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge regime, ranging from approximately one to three million. [Shawcross, William, "The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust and Modern Conscience", Touchstone, 1985, pp. 115-116.] [Vickery, Michael, Correspondence, "Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars", vol. 20, no. 1, January-March 1988, p. 73.] This era has given 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 more fled across the border into neighbouring Thailand.

In November 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia to stop Khmer Rouge incursions across the border and the genocide in Cambodia.CambodianGenocide.org. [http://www.cambodiangenocide.org/genocide.htm "A Brief History of the Cambodian Genocide".] Accessed July 25, 2006.] 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.US Department of State. [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2732.htm Country Profile of Cambodia.] Accessed July 26, 2006.]

After the brutality of the 1970s and the 1980s, and the destruction of the cultural, economic, social and political life of Cambodia, it is only in recent years that reconstruction efforts have begun and some political stability has finally returned to Cambodia. The stability established following the conflict was shaken in 1997 during a coup d'état,UN OHCHR Cambodia PDFlink| [http://cambodia.ohchr.org/Documents/Statements%20and%20Speeches/English/40.pdf] |10.3 KiB ] but has otherwise remained in place. Cambodia has been aided by a number of more developed nations like Japan, France, West Germany, Canada, and Australia. The United States and Great Britain were reluctant to provide aid due to its relationship with China, one of its greatest trading partners.

Politics and government

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 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 new king's brother), both members of the throne council. He was crowned in Phnom Penh on October 29. Norodom Sihamoni was trained in Cambodian classical dance. Due to his long stay in the Czech Republic (then part of Czechoslovakia) Norodom Sihamoni is fluent in the Czech language.

In 2006, Transparency International's rating of corrupt countries rated Cambodia as 151st of 163 countries of their Corruption Perceptions Index. [ [http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2006 2006/cpi/surveys_indices/policy_research ] ] The 2007 edition of the same list placed Cambodia at 162nd out of 179 countries. [ [http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2007 2007/cpi/surveys_indices/policy_research ] ] 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 arenaBBC Asia-Pacific News (September 19, 2005). [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4183606.stm "Corruption dents Cambodia democracy".] Accessed July 24, 2006.] with international aid from the U.S. and other countries being illegally transferred into private accounts.Reuters AlertNet (May 29, 2006). [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/BKK237403.htm "World Bank threatens $64 mln Cambodia aid freeze"] . Accessed July 24, 2006.] Corruption has also added to the wide income disparity within the population.BBC News (May 29, 2006). [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5027168.stm 'Corruption' curbs Cambodia cash.] Accessed July 24, 2006.]

Military

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 reorganization of the RCAF. This saw the ministry of national defense form three subordinate general departments responsible for logistics and finance, materials and technical services, and defense 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 Defense is Tea Banh. Tea Banh has served as defense minister since 1979. The Secretaries of State for Defense are Chay Saing Yun and Por Bun Sreu.

Ke Kim Yan is the current commander of the RCAF. The Army Commander is Meas Sophea and the Army Chief of Staff is Chea Saran.

Geography

Cambodia has an area of 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 sq mi), sharing an 800 kilometer (500 mi) border with Thailand in the north and west, a 541 kilometer (336 mi) border with Laos in the northeast, and a 1,228 kilometer (763 mi) border with Vietnam in the east and southeast. It has 443 kilometers (275 mi) of 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. 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).

Climate

climate chart|Phnom Penh
21|31|7
22|32|10
23|34|40
24|35|77
24|34|134
24|33|155
24|32|171
26|32|160
25|31|224
24|30|257
23|30|127
22|30|45
float=right
source= [http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT002520 BBC Weather]
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.

City and province sizes

Foreign relations

Cambodia is a member of the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) member, a member of ASEAN, and joined the WTO on October 13, 2004. In 2005 Cambodia attended the inaugural East Asia Summit.

Cambodia has established diplomatic relations with numerous countries; the government reports twenty embassies in the country [ Royal Government of Cambodia. [http://www.cambodia.gov.kh/unisql1/egov/english/country.foreign_embassy.html Foreign Embassies] .] 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. [Catharin E. Dalpino and David G. Timberman. " [http://www.asiasociety.org/publications/cambodia_policy.html Cambodia's Political Future: Issues for U.S. Policy] ," "Asia Society," March 26, 1998.]

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 comments about Angkor Wat allegedly made by a Thai actress and printed in "Reaksmei Angkor", a Cambodian newspaper, and later quoted by Prime Minister Hun Sen.Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the US Department of State. [http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rpt/20565.htm "Report to the Congress on the Anti-Thai Riots in Cambodia on January 29, 2003".] ] 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 its soldiers near the border, and around the disputed territory between the two countries.

Wildlife of Cambodia

Cambodia has a wide variety of plants and animals. There are 212 mammal species, 536 bird species, 240 reptile species, 850 freshwater fish species (Tonle Sap Lake area), and 435 marine fish species.

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 convert|25000|km2|sqmi|-2 of forest between 1990 and 2005—convert|3340|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on of which was primary forest. As of 2007, less than convert|3220|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on 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. [ [http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20049/story.htm Planet Ark : Logging threatens Cambodian tragedy - UN ] ]

Economy

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%. [ [http://www.eicambodia.org/ Economic Institute of Cambodia.] ]

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 Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines "(Jahn 2006, [http://www.irri.org/publications/today/pdfs/6-2/RiceToday%206-2.pdf 2007] )". 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 "(Puckridge 2004, Fredenburg and Hill 1978)".

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.CIA Factbook. [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html GDP per Capita rankings] . Accessed July 24, 2006.]

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 from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004, [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cb.html CIA FactBook.] Accessed September 9, 2006.] while the Asian Development Bank alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance. [http://www.adb.org/Documents/Fact_Sheets/CAM.asp A Fact Sheet: Cambodia and ADB] , Asian Development Bank. Accessed September 9, 2006.]

The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. 50% of visitor arrivals are to Angkor, and most of the remainder to Phnom Penh.Royal Government of Cambodia. [http://www.mot.gov.kh/statistic.asp Tourist statistics.] Accessed July 24, 2006.] Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the southeast which has several popular beaches, and the nearby area around Kampot including the Bokor Hill Station.

Demographics

More than 90% of its population is of Khmer origin and speaks the Khmer language, the country's official language. The remainder include Chinese, Vietnamese, Cham, Khmer Loeu and Indians.

The Khmer language is a member of the Mon-Khmer subfamily of the Austroasiatic language group. French, once the lingua franca of Indochina and still spoken by some, mostly older Cambodians as a second language, remains the language of instruction in various schools and universities that are often funded by the government of France. Cambodian French, a remnant of the country's colonial past, is a dialect found in Cambodia and is frequently 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 English-speaking 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.bar box
title=Cambodia religiosity
titlebar=#ddd
left1=religion
right1=percent
float=right
bars=

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.Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour of the US Department of State. [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2005/51507.htm "International Religious Freedom Report 2005".] Accessed July 24, 2006.]

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 Mekong Subregion [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html] . In the Cambodian population over 65, the female to male ratio is 1.6:1. UNICEF has designated Cambodia the third most mined country in the world,UNICEF. [http://www.unicef.org/sowc96/9ldmines.htm "The Legacy of Landmines"] . Accessed July 25, 2006.] attributing over 60,000 civilian deaths and thousands more maimed or injured since 1970 to the unexploded land mines left behind in rural areas.PBS.org (July 25, 2003). [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week647/cover.html "Cambodia Land Mines".] Accessed July 24, 2006.] The majority of the victims are children herding animals or playing in the fields. Adults that survive landmines often require amputation of one or more limbs and have to resort to begging for survival. In 2006, the number of landmines casualties in Cambodia took a sharp decrease of more than 50% compared to 2005, with the number of landmines 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). [ [http://www.icbl.org/lm/2007/cambodia.html Cambodia, Landmine Monitor Report 2007 ] ]

Culture and society

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. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the infamous prison of the Khmer Rouge, and Choeung Ek, one of the main Killing Fields are other important historic sites.

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. [http://www.cambodia.gov.kh/unisql1/egov/english/news.view.html?doc_oid=@140%7C1%7C1 Government of Cambodia Webpage, "Bonn Om Touk, the Water and Moon Festivals"; accessed July 24, 2006] ] Popular games include cockfighting, soccer, and kicking a "sey," which is similar to a footbag. 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.PDFlink| [http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/Coa_cou_116.pdf Earthtrends.org Cambodia Country Profile] ] Some of the fish can be made into prahok for longer storage. Overall, the cuisine of Cambodia is similar to that of its Southeast Asian neighbours. 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. 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.

Transport

The civil war and wildlife severely damaged Cambodia's transport system, but with 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. [http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-2187.html CountryData.com] ] 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.

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. ["Picking Up Speed: As Cambodia's Traffic Levels Increase, So Too Does the Road "Death Toll"," "The Cambodia Daily", Saturday, March 9–10, 2002."] Cycle rickshaws ("IPA |pʰʊt-pʰʊts"dubious) 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

ee also

Notes

* [http://www.business-in-asia.com/airports_cambodia.html Business in Asia] report on airports. Accessed November 13, 2005
* [http://www.parish-without-borders.net/cditt/cambodia/khculture.htm Cambodian Culture website] Accessed December 11, 2004
* [http://www.classbrain.com/art_cr/publish/cambodia_economy.shtml Cambodian Economy Information] Accessed January 19, 2005
* CIA World Factbook U.S. Department of State website
* [http://www.britannica.com/nations/Cambodia Encyclopaedia Britannica's Cambodia Country Page]
* Fredenburg, P. and B. Hill. 2006. Sharing Rice for Peace and Prosperity in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Sid Harta Publishers, Victoria. ISBN 1-921206-08-X. pp271
* [http://www.ifes.org/eguide/resultsum/cambodia_par03.htm IFES] Summary of 2003 legislative election results. Accessed January 27, 2005
* Jahn GC. 2006. The Dream is not yet over. In: P. Fredenburg P, Hill B, editors. Sharing rice for peace and prosperity in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Victoria, (Australia): Sid Harta Publishers. ISBN 1-921206-08-X. p 237–240
* Jahn, GC 2007. Rice and life along the Mekong River. [http://www.irri.org/publications/today/pdfs/6-2/RiceToday%206-2.pdf Rice Today 6(2)] :4.
* Kerlogue, Fiona "Arts of Southeast Asia". Thames and Hudson 2004. ISBN 0-500-20381-4
* [http://www.mot.gov.kh/statistic.php Ministry of Tourism] statistics on tourism. Accessed January 27, 2005
* [http://www.ngoforum.org.kh/index.htm NGO Forum on Cambodia] report on 2003 legislative elections. Accessed January 27, 2005
* Puckridge, D. 2004. The Burning of the Rice. Sid Harta Publishers, Victoria. ISBN 1-877059-73-0. pp326
* [http://www.dxing.info/articles/cambodia.dx Radio Broadcasting in Cambodia] Accessed January 23, 2005

External links

;Official
* [http://www.norodomsihanouk.info King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk] Official Website of former King Norodom Sihanouk
* [http://www.cambodia.gov.kh/unisql1/egov/english/home.frame.html Cambodia.gov.kh] Official Royal Government of Cambodia Website (English Version)
* [http://www.mfaic.gov.kh Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation]
* [http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh Cambodia e-Visa, Applying Travel Visa Online]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAdhjKglM3A] [>> Flooding of urban areas due to Monsoon showers, Phnom Penh - Cambodia > Video attachment]

;Overviews
*
* [http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/search.tkl?q=cambodia&search_crit=fulltext&search=Search&date1=Anytime&date2=Anytime&type=form Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding Cambodia]
* [http://vrkhmer.com V.R.Khmer] - What you should know before you go to Cambodia.
* [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/EASTASIAPACIFICEXT/CAMBODIAEXTN/0,,contentMDK:21369013~menuPK:293861~pagePK:64027988~piPK:64027986~theSitePK:293856,00.html Sharing Growth: Equity and Development in Cambodia] - a report by the World Bank, launched on June 12, 2007 at the Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum (CDCF)
* [http://www.commonlanguageproject.net/?page_id=41#Cambodia Cambodia Country Factsheet] from The Common Language Project

;Other
* [http://www.cambodiatribunal.org/ Cambodia Tribunal Monitor]
* [http://www.cambodgesoir.info] - Cambodia Online news, in French, English and Khmer
* [http://cambodianschoolproject.org CambodianSchoolProject.org] - School Building Project planned for commencement April 2009
* [http://www.preah-vihear.com Preah-Vihear.com] - Preah Vihear Temple and the Thai's Misunderstanding of the World Court Judgment of June 15, 1962
* [http://www.un.org.kh/undp/?url=/undp/cmdgs/cmdgs CMDGs] - Cambodia Millennium Development Goals
* [http://seecambodia.blogspot.com/ - Cambodia Properties News]
*
*
* [http://ka-set.info/kh/khmer.html Ka-set] - Ka-set.info, news about Cambodia and Cambodians in the world in khmer language

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