The decision to set my next novel against the backdrop of Cambodia’s political situation today — as in today today, like now — is proving more and more fascinating all the time. I never know what will show up on my twitter feed while I’m eating my breakfast, although I can usually guess that The Phnom Penh Post will reveal something interesting.
In a country where freedom of speech is limited and human rights are being squeezed on a daily basis, The Phnom Penh Post remains an important voice. What it says on its website is true:
 A history that stretches back more than 20 years has made the Phnom Penh Post the ‘Newspaper of Record’.
           In fact the Phnom Penh Post is the oldest existing independent newspaper in any language in Cambodia.
And this week it presented an article which I know I will refer back to time and time again as I work on the next novel in my Cambodian series. The headline read, Nearly 850 protests this year: police, and the first line told the story:
Almost 850 demonstrations or strikes have occurred nationwide since the year began — a seemingly anarchic average of more than six a day…
The police blame politicians, NGO’s and trade unions. But human rights groups and the opposition party says that, the sheer number of protests proves discontent is widespread in the Kingdom and that instead of playing the blame game, the government should be doing more to address the root causes of dissatisfaction, such as poor labour conditions and rights abuses.
You can read the entire article here.
I love doing research, but clearly this is something completely different.