By Peter Church
The good fortune of the 1st 4 variants indicates that this booklet fills a vacuum for readers who desire to know about the nations of South-East Asia. fresh years have visible a few very important advancements all of that are lined right here. With the worldwide weather changing into extra doubtful and the specter of terrorism spilling over, this ebook will reduction readers' wisdom of this quarter through addressing its heritage and political destiny.
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Extra info for A Short History of South-East Asia
The French role in the evolution of Cambodian nationalism was mixed, however. Recognising the need to deflect popular fascination with Japanese power, the French launched a quasi-nationalist movement for young Cambodians, glorifying Cambodia’s past and its future ‘‘in partnership’’ with France. They also took steps to raise the status and salaries of Cambodians in government service. Unwittingly, in 1943 they fuelled developing nationalist feelings further by launching a programme to replace Cambodia’s Indian-derived form of writing with a roman alphabet.
Sihanouk, though technically no longer king, now truly seemed to be monarch of all he surveyed. For over a decade after 1955 he continued to show great adroitness and energy. He personally oversaw all facets of government, controlled news and information, and regularly addressed the people. His rhetoric of ‘‘Buddhist Socialism’’, coming from the lips of a man who retained the aura of a semi-divine king, seemed to offer something for everyone. He bemused his critics of both the left and the right, leaving them unsure where he, or they, stood.
Angkar dictated people’s movements, activities, food allowances and dress. Former upper- and middle-class people, former government employees, most professionals and most educated people were treated as expendable labour in the countryside. Many died. Pol Pot’s government glorified ancient Angkor but otherwise almost wholly repudiated Cambodia’s past. A totally new ‘‘Kampuchea’’ was going to be built, starting in 1975—‘‘Year Zero’’. The origins of this apocalyptic programme have been much debated by commentators.