Bomborra Media

Heydays with Hayes

Published on Jul 7, 2022 by Luke Hunt

Thirty years ago Michael Hayes arrived in Cambodia with his life savings of about US$50,000 and his then-wife Kathleen just as the United Nations began pouring into the Southeast Asian nation to oversee elections and hopefully end decades of war. Luke Hunt writes for the Phnom Penh Post.Armed with a royal seal from King Norodom Sihanouk Hayes founded the Phnom Penh Post from scratch, and for the next 16 years was responsible for a newspaper that enjoyed a reputation for telling the truth while maintaining a sympathetic ear for this country’s plight and its tragic history.But this reputation came at a price. Several Khmer contemporaries were assassinated and there were many sleepless nights from the top floor of his home....

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Ashes from Annam

Published on Mar 14, 2022 by Luke Hunt

Author Thierry de Roland Peel, revisits the slaughter of French Catholics is Saigon as WWII drew to a close, and how the Japanese gave rise to the Khmer Rouge, Viet Cong and Pathet Laoby LUKE HUNT / Phnom PenhFor decades author Thierry de Roland Peel was spell-bound by the stories his grandparents told of how their family, and their dog named Mephisto, had survived the slaughter in Saigon as World War II was drawing to its close in 1945, when the Japanese realized they had lost.Hitler had been defeated and in Japanese occupied Southeast Asia local communists were attempting to assert independence with Tokyo’s encouragement before the inevitable arrival of the British and French.“Before the Japanese surrendered it was total....

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Sri Lanka's Easter Bombings

Published on May 5, 2019 by Luke Hunt

Luke Hunt examines Islamic militancy in the wake of the 2019 Easter bombings in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which claimed 269 lives. The story was initially published by La Croix and UCA News before syndication. Ever since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) emerged as a ruthless, rampaging force to be reckoned with more than five years ago, the question that has haunted intelligence circles has been: If home is an option for foreign jihadists, what will they do if they return?IS has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that left more than *250 people dead and hundreds more wounded, confirming what many had feared.IS, al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and affiliates such as Jemaah....

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A Chinese Takeaway

Published on Oct 3, 2018 by Luke Hunt

Rarely have Beijing and its minions been seen in such a dreadful light. The arrival of mainland Chinese in Cambodia as developers, financiers, restaurateurs, boiler room operators, gamblers, construction workers and tourists is sorely testing the patience of locals in Cambodia. This story was originally published by La Croix after syndication by UCA LUKE HUNT / Phnom PenhEven Cambodia's government-compliant press is picking up the baton. 'Chinese behaving badly' is the stuff of daily headlines, particularly in the southern port town of Sihanoukville where Beijing's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are investing heavily.Pristine beaches and rainforests are being carved up by big business, driving up property prices that locals can ill afford, amid stories of Cambodians being denied access to their....

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The Killing Fields; the Search for Justice

Published on Mar 26, 2014 by Luke Hunt

For eight years, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has attempted to find some kind of justice for those who died under Pol Pot’s ruthless regime, with some success, and at times fought a difficult battle against its detractors.As Communications Officer for the Extraordinary Chambers for the Courts in Cambodia (ECCC), Lars Olsen is charged with disseminating information and handling perceptions of the proceedings. He spoke with The Edge Review’s correspondent Luke Hunt.The Edge Review: Your native Norway is a long way from Cambodia. Why did you decide to move here and take-up the position as Communications Officer with the ECCC?Olsen: All over the world people have heard about the killing fields in Cambodia. When you get a chance to participate in....

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A Good Lord Returns

Published on Mar 7, 2014 by Luke Hunt

Three decades after the release of his movie The Killing Fields, producer David Puttnam returned to a much different Cambodia, where he was feted by local filmmakers and a contingent of foreign diplomats and academics for a seminal work that redefined genocide in the public conscience.This column was written by Luke Hunt for The Diplomat.Among the more amazing aspects associated with the legacy of the movie, Puttnam said, was how the title had become synonymous with genocides around the world – although there were earlier indications that the film would leave its mark.Shortly before its release in 1984, a special screening was organized for the families of Dith Pran, who worked with Sydney Schanberg at The New York Times and....

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Surfers and a Boat Load of Pot

Published on Jan 16, 2014 by Luke Hunt

American academic and author Peter Maguire is best known for his work on war crimes and legal issues surrounding conflict. Weighty issues of state like the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Cambodia are more his fare and stand in stark contrast to the drug smuggling days of the 1960s, 70s and 80s that feature in his latest book, Thai Stick – Surfers, Scammers and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade.This article first appeared in The Edge ReviewBy Luke HuntThat business thrived on the antics of young surfers from California, Hawaii, Australia and elsewhere — men and women who dreamed of perfect waves in exotic locations like Bali, access to cheap pot and deep pockets. For many, smuggling would become a....

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People Smugglers: Doing it Tough

Published on Dec 17, 2013 by Luke Hunt

Afghanistan and the long road out — This article first appeared in The Edge ReviewBy LUKE HUNT / KabulPeople smugglers are feeling the pinch. Escalating costs, government crackdowns and a less than compliant cargo is making life difficult for the likes of Abu Saleh, Captain Bram, Abu Visam and Sayed Abbas – perhaps Asia’s most notorious illegal importers of human beings.All four have plied their trade from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka through the Middle East to Europe or via Southeast Asia and into Australia, making small fortunes out of illegal immigrants, political asylum seekers, economic refugees and ordinary people desperate for a peaceful life.Much of that business begins here around the jewelry shops of Chicken Street in Kabul,....

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Getting the Free Syrian Army on Message

Published on Nov 9, 2013 by Luke Hunt

By LUKE HUNT / IstanbulIn an up-market hotel tucked away in Cihangir, the bohemian quarter of Istanbul, sits a barrel-chested American known to a few in media circles for his work in 30 countries. His name is a guarded secret and his job as a media advisor has included senior brass in the United States military, militants and jihadists.He knows his business and avoids industry cliché’s and buzz words while opting for a minimalist approach. His clients are not journalists nor are they media savvy. Nearly all are difficult, activists in some shape or form and his latest mission is no exception, it’s the Free Syrian Army (FSA).“It is about communications and messages,” he said after a brisk early morning....

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