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Jakarta Post

Mu Sochua: One of Cambodia's precious gems

  • Sara Veal, Contributor

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 2 2009   /  09:37 am

Photo by Lucia De Giovanni When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly insulted an unspecified female politician recently, he got more than he bargained for: His implied target turned around and sued him.

The prime minister’s insult might be considered typical in a country with continuing gender inequality, but that didn’t mean Mu Sochua was going to take it lying down. For 20 years, Mu Sochua has been a voice for exploited Cambodians. As the Vietnam War spread to Cambodia in 1972, the then 18-year-old was exiled, with no chance to say goodbye to her parents, who later vanished under the Khmer Rouge regime. She spent 18 years overseas, studying and working in Paris, the US and Italy and in refugee camps along the Thai–Cambodian border. Since her return in 1989, she has been hands-on in rebuilding her homeland, first as an activist and now as a po...