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    Book Launch: A Tiger Rules the Mountain - Cambodia's Pursuit of Democracy

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    Event description

    A special conversation event to launch A Tiger Rules the Mountain by Gordon Conochie 

    Host: Jewel Topsfield (The Age)


    Gordon Conochie (the author)

    Gareth Evans AC KC (former Australian Foreign Minister)

    Dr Thida Keang (Cambodian researcher)

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    Not in Melbourne and can't make it? Register and watch live on Facebook, starts 6:30pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

    About A Tiger Rules the Mountain

    Cambodia’s Hun Sen is the world’s longest-serving prime minister, in power since 1985. In 2013, Sen’s rule came under threat when the exiled opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, unexpectedly returned just before a national election. One hundred thousand supporters hailed him at the airport as protests swept the country. On election day, millions voted for change. A Tiger Rules the Mountain tells the story of that election and the subsequent multi-year wrestle for power, right through to the dramatic events of the present day.

    This is modern Cambodia as revealed by government officials, journalists, factory workers and opposition politicians. Cambodia’s history is riven with trauma yet there is a swelling appetite for change. Conochie explores whether that change, as the West and China vie for influence, will be one of greater democracy or ever-tightening authoritarianism.

    Praise for A Tiger Rules the Mountain - Cambodia's Pursuit of Democracy

    "An intriguing kaleidoscope of Cambodian voices, giving enriching insights into why the country is still so far from becoming the true democracy its long-suffering people need and deserve." (Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister

    "Rich with the voices of ordinary people and keenly attuned to the country’s cultural and social dynamics, A Tiger Rules the Mountain is vital reading for anyone wanting to understand where Cambodia has come from, and where it might be going.” (Sebastian Strangio, journalist and author)

    "A gritty, from-the-ground-up view of recent Cambodian politics, which privileges the voices of ordinary Cambodians. Meticulously researched and spun into a gripping story by Conochie, this is a vital piece of narrative non-fiction and social history." (Tom Doig, award winning author)

    "A must-read, at times gripping and remarkable ringside view of the last decade of Cambodia’s fight for the survival of democracy under a Leviathan Prime Minister who no longer brooks dissent." (Prof. Sophal Ear, Arizona State University)

    "A tour de force. Conochie skillfully weaves together a remarkable array of individual voices to reveal the complicated landscape of Cambodia today. He probes all sides of the political divide to show the nuances in a riveting, vital contribution to our understanding of Cambodia's recent history." (Sue Coffey, author of Seeking Justice in Cambodia)

    "An extraordinarily compelling tale of the courage it takes to stand up to one of the world’s most repressive and corrupt regimes and why the “little” people of Cambodia need the support of the international community more than ever." (Mary Ann Jolley, Reporter, Al Jazeera)

    About the Speakers 

    Gordon Conochie

    An adjunct research fellow at La Trobe University and a former journalist. Born in Scotland, he has masters’ degrees in politics and international relations. In Cambodia, he worked on education policy with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and the World Bank and now works in Aboriginal health policy in Australia.

    Gareth Evans

    A Cabinet minister throughout the Hawke–Keating governments, including as foreign minister from 1988 to 1996. In his 21-year parliamentary career, he served as both leader of the government in the Senate and deputy leader of the Opposition. After leaving politics, he was president of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group and chancellor of the Australian National University. He has received a number of national and international awards, including the Roosevelt Institute Freedom from Fear prize for his pioneering work on mass atrocity crimes, conflict prevention and resolution, and arms control and disarmament.

    Dr. Thida Keang

    A Melbourne-based researcher working for the social research and consultancy firm Ipsos and a research consultant to various projects in Cambodia. His vast experiences abroad include having worked for UNESCO Phnom Penh (Cambodia), where he was involved in a number of education projects including the formulation of national teacher policy, higher education and technical & vocational education policy. He has also worked in Myanmar and Thailand with the SEAMEO Secretariat (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation)

    Jewel Topsfield

    Formerly the Indonesia correspondent of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and in 2016 she won the prestigious Lowy Institute Media Award, which recognises journalists who have deepened and enriched the discussion of global issues in Australia. She led the team that won a Walkley Award for its reportage on claims Australian officials paid people smugglers to return a boat of asylum seekers to Indonesia which led to a Senate Inquiry.

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