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Cambodia

Cambodia’s Death Tourism: Ex-King’s Passing Exposes Spectacular Grief Ritual
Feb 06, 2013
Photo: Image from the public mass for the late ex-king Sihanouk in Phnom Penh. (Photograph courtesy Bishan Samaddar from his album “Mourning Sihanouk.”)PHNOM PEHN, Cambodia--The manager at the hotel in Phnom Penh was deeply apologetic. Norodom Sihanouk, the former king...
More casinos licensed in Vietnam: should they be off-limits to Vietnamese?
Aug 22, 2012
 With several large and small casinos being licensed and more awaiting approval, the question has again cropped up: should Vietnamese be allowed into casinos in Vietnam?Since gambling is considered a “social ill” and legalizing it is seen as opening a...
Arms Race May Lead to Democratic Reforms in Vietnam
Jul 20, 2012
Interestingly, Vietnam’s urgent need to modernize its army in face of Chinese threats may spur political reforms in the country. By a strange twist of fate, Hanoi - which received its supply of increasingly sophisticated weaponry from Russia and China...
The Empire Returns: U.S. in Southeast Asia
Jul 17, 2012
The headline from Bloomberg was a bleep in last month’s news cycle: “Cam Ranh Bay Lures Panetta Seeking Return To Vietnam Port.” But that bleep has become something of a Yellow Alert in Southeast Asia, with this new headline—“Clinton Landmark...
Chinese FM meets Clinton in Cambodia
Jul 12, 2012
China hopes the United States will respect the interests and concerns of China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Thursday.Yang made the remarks as he met US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton...
Less Than Half of 3K Detained in ICE Sweeps Convicted of Felonies
Apr 10, 2012
 For nearly a year now, the Obama Administration has promised to streamline the immigration enforcement system, focusing on serious criminals. Last week and weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a massive national sweep that that shook immigrant communities across the...
Dharun Ravi’s Biggest Liability: He Was Indian
Mar 17, 2012
 It’s not because there was bias against Indians that came out in the courtroom. It was not because his ethnicity was put on trial, that he became some kind of Exhibit A for an affluent but socially conservative immigrant community.Dharun...
Human Trafficking a Growing Global Scourge
Feb 24, 2012
On the 900-mile trek of mostly desert that stretches between Eritrea and Egypt, hunting for humans has become routine.Eritrean refugees who have fled their homeland fall prey to Bedouin or Egyptian traffickers. The refugees are held for ransom. Those with...
The American Dream has Emigrated to Europe
Jan 19, 2012
To anyone who grew up in the Cold War, the rhetoric of the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential candidates is strangely familiar. The United States, they warn, is threatened by an alien ideology. What’s startling is that the bogeyman this time...
Pakistan Has Always Been a Negative Identity: Aatish Taseer
Jan 11, 2012
 The place is full of gangs, kidnappings, parricides, rapes, murders, you name it. So when someone says Islamic revolution, it brings to mind something terribly organised. But nothing as organised as that can come out of this chaos. Islam hides...
Q&A: Bay Area Cambodians and the Khmer Rouge Trials
Jan 08, 2012
Editor’s Note: Nearly 2 million Cambodians lost their lives in the infamous killing fields in their homeland between 1974 and 1979. Two months ago, a U.N.-backed tribunal began a trial for three of the accused architects of the genocide. Stanford...
Coming Out Twice
Dec 30, 2011
Inspired by the recently released film "Pariah," Salon teamed up with New America Media to run a series of coming out stories by minority and immigrant LGBT youth. A new story has been published each day this week. This is...
After Iraq -- US Abandons Engagement for War on Tyrants
Dec 20, 2011
The Iraq War may well never be over since its objective of regime change continues to dictate U.S. foreign policy and spawn endless conflicts. Nine years after the second intervention against Baghdad, it is abundantly clear that Saddam Hussein’s prophetic...
How You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking in Vietnam
New America Media, Blog , Andrew Lam, Sep 27, 2011
Human trafficking has become a scourge in Vietnam.
Escaping a Cambodian Brothel: One Young Woman's Story
New America Media, Interview, Andrew Lam, Apr 07, 2010
Editors Note: Human trafficking has become a scourge in Vietnam. It is estimated that each year several thousands of women and children are trafficked from Vietnam to other countries, mainly through Cambodia and China, for commercial sexual exploitation. Some 50 percent of them come from An Giang province in the Mekong Delta. Bong Nguyen managed to escape the brothel where she was captive and return to Vietnam. She is now under the care of Pacific Links, which provides shelter and education to at risks young women in Vietnam. She told her story to NAM editor Andrew Lam. AN GIANG PROVINCE, Vietnam - My name is Bong Nguyen. I am 21 years old. My parents work in the rice fields. We have enough to eat and enough to wear. I have two brothers, one older, one younger. In 2008, I went to Cambodia and ended being stuck there for over one year. I was in school, and after I finished exams, I was browsing on the Internet, and this guy kept trying to chat with me. I didnt know him, but he kept asking to chat, and so we talked. Theres a coffee shop in Cambodia, he said. I could make money over there. At that time, I kept fighting with my mother, and she kicked me out of the house. I was very sad. In the neighborhood, theres a person who wanted to marry me, but I didnt want to get married. My mother said, You better marry him, and I was so sad. So another girl and I, we decided to go to Ha Tien province just for a few days but we planned to come back. But the guy that I met on the Internet called again and said that we should go to Cambodia to work and make money. There was another friend I knew from school, and he just failed his school exams so the three of us we said, Why dont we go? We went by motorcycle taxi, and we went to this mans house and two men and a woman showed up and they ended up taking us via country roads through rice fields [to avoid the police] and soon we were in Cambodia without papers. When we got to this house where this man was supposed to be, he wasnt there. He was in Malaysia. But his sister was there, running the place, and she kept me and my friends there. They were also Vietnamese. They asked where we were from and we told them. The woman said shed buy me new clothes, and we were there for a month. I didnt know anything about getting paid. I wasnt thinking about money at that point. I soon realized the place was a way station for trafficking. It was a place that sold girls overseas. It was also selling lots of drugs. The white powder kind and the kind that you inject. I saw several girls who came and went. The woman was providing them drugs as well. She was waiting for more girls to show up to ship us to Malaysia. She collected money from the girls who were working, and she sold white drugs to them to smoke. She called me her girl. She told me she also owned brothels in Thailand and Malaysia. The boy I came to Cambodia with ended up smoking the white powder. I dont know what happened to him. The drugs were to keep the girls in line. It was a big operation, and there were quite a few people running the operation, but I met only four to five of them. At first I wanted to escape but couldnt. I didnt want to know what happened if I were caught, so I didnt really try. But I begged: Let us go home. We still have to go to school. And the woman there said, You wont do well in school. And you have no money. She said she was preparing a fake passport for me to go to Malaysia. But I was really lucky. One of the drug buyers was a boyfriend of the womans adopted daughter- she was selling herself at 13 but somehow was adopted by this woman and that guy was kicked out of the place for smoking drugs on the balcony. There was a big argument, and he said, After I leave, in three days this place will be raided. The next day the police came and they took everybody. I ended up in a shelter in Phnom Penh for over a year. They wouldnt let me go home because I didnt have any papers. Someone who knew about my situation back in Vietnam contacted my family, and eventually I was sent home. I was told that the woman who ran the brothel paid $100,000 to get out of jail. When I was in the shelter in Cambodia I met a lot of girls who suffered really horribly. I met 33 girls there, and many were Vietnamese, but the majority was born in Cambodia. This one girl, she was pretty, she sold herself into prostitution to help save her grandmother when she was 13. She told me how she had to serve dozens of men a day and then how she was taken out to be gang raped by 20 men. She begged them to stop, but they kept raping her. She was saved when her brothel was raided This other girl, she was a big girl, but she suffers seizures because of the beatings shes gotten. She said she resisted her customers and was beaten so badly. Now, she cant do anything without shaking horribly. She was raped and beaten so regularly that she became half crazed. There were a few women suffering mental illness. There were several girls in the shelter dying of AIDS. Who were their customers? All kind of foreigners. Americans. Thai. Vietnamese. Cambodian. I listened to their stories, and thats when I realized I needed to find a profession and education in order to survive. Now, I look back and I realize how stupid I was to listen to my friends when I went to Cambodia. I am extremely lucky. I feel so sorry for those who suffered in those terrible conditions. Most of my friends in Vietnam dont know whats going on. They dont experience it so they dont believe the news about human trafficking. Sometimes they said, Well, who told them to do that? But they dont understand how that could happen to them. I would like to tell them not listen to strangers, and to not just decide to do whatever you want on your own. To be careful. But I know my friends. They want freedom. I dont think I can convince them. In the future, I want to become a lawyer. I want to be able to help those who suffered in those situations or if they want to go trial to demand justice, I would volunteer and help them. Going back to school will be difficult, but I know with discipline and will power and faith I can do it. I will let everyone see how determined I am. I have high grades right now, but I am two years behind in school. Andrew Lam is the author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora. His next book is "East Eats West: Writing in two Hemispheres" due out in September, 2010. Those who want to help can send donation to http://pacificlinks.org/. The organization is dedicated to fighting trafficking in Vietnam, with focus on the Mekong Delta. Vietnamese version: Trốn thot khỏi nh chứa ở Cambodia: chuyện của một c gi Related stories In the World of Human Trafficking, Vietnam Remains a 'Supply Country' Stopping an 'Epidemic' -- Vietnamese Priest Reaches Out to Sex Trafficking Victims Human Trafficking - Food for Thought?
Escaping a Cambodian Brothel: One Woman's Story
New America Media, Interview, Andrew Lam, Apr 06, 2010
A young Vietnamese woman's chance Internet encounter led to a year of captivity in a Cambodian brothel. She escaped, but thousands of young women and children like her are ensnared every year in a thriving sex trafficking network. Here is her story.
Trốn thot khỏi nh chứa ở Cambodia: chuyện của một c gi
New America Media, Interview, Andrew Lam, Apr 03, 2010

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