IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


25th July, 2023 Geography

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  • An election will be held in Cambodia to elect members of the National Assembly.
  • The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) led by Prime Minister Hun Sen is almost certain to win, extending its nearly four-decade grip on power.

About Cambodia

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  • Located in Southeast Asia, Cambodia shares borders with Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
  • The country's total land area is approximately 181,035 square kilometers.
  • Cambodia has a population of around 16 million people.
  • The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh.

History and Ancient Civilizations

  • Cambodia has a fascinating history dating back to ancient times.
  • The Khmer Empire, which reached its peak in the 12th century, was a powerful and influential civilization in Southeast Asia.
  • Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a famous temple complex built during the Khmer Empire and remains an iconic symbol of Cambodia's ancient glory.

Colonial Period

  • Cambodia fell under French colonial rule in the 19th century and was known as French Indochina, along with Vietnam and Laos.
  • The country gained independence from France in 1953.

Khmer Rouge Regime

  • Cambodia experienced a dark period from 1975 to 1979 when the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, came to power. The regime aimed to create an agrarian communist society, resulting in widespread atrocities, mass killings, and the death of approximately 1.7 million people due to executions, starvation, and forced labor.
  • The fall of the Khmer Rouge came in 1979 when Vietnam invaded Cambodia, toppling the regime.

Rebuilding and Modern Cambodia

  • After the Khmer Rouge era, Cambodia faced significant challenges in rebuilding the country and healing from the trauma of the past.
  • In the 1990s, Cambodia began its path to recovery with international support, transitioning to a constitutional monarchy with a multi-party system.

Culture and Heritage

  • Cambodia boasts a vibrant cultural heritage, deeply influenced by the Khmer civilization and Theravada Buddhism.
  • Traditional arts, dance, music, and architecture, such as the majestic temples, are integral to Cambodian identity.

Economy and Development

  • Cambodia's economy has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by sectors like garment manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, and construction.
  • The country has made progress in reducing poverty and improving healthcare and education.

Challenges and Human Rights

  • Cambodia faces challenges concerning human rights, governance, and political freedom.
  • There have been concerns about the restriction of media, civil society, and political opposition.

Tourism and Natural Beauty

  • Cambodia's natural beauty and historical sites, including the Angkor Archaeological Park, attract tourists from all over the world.
  • Coastal areas like Sihanoukville and the idyllic islands in the Gulf of Thailand are popular beach destinations.

Environmental Concerns

  • Cambodia faces environmental challenges, including deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, and water pollution, affecting biodiversity and natural ecosystems

Regional and International Relations

  • Cambodia maintains diplomatic relations with various countries and is a member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and other international organizations.


Q) Consider the following statements about Cambodia:

  1. Cambodia is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
  2. The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia resulted in widespread atrocities and mass killings during the late 20th century.

Select the correct statements using the codes below:

(a)    1 only

(b)    2 only

(c)     Both 1 and 2

(d)    Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B