Country of the World Cambodia

About the country Cambodia, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Cambodia covers most of the lower Mekong River basin in the southwestern portion of Southeast Asia's Indochinese Peninsula. Most of the country is flat; half is covered with tropical hardwood forest.

The monsoonal variation in rainfall has created a geographic oddity--the large central lake, branching off from the Mekong, called Tonle Sap. During the dry season, December to May, Tonle Sap flows into the Mekong River toward the sea. However, during the rainy season the raging Mekong reverses the flow, filling Tonle Sap to several times its dry season size.

Size: 69,884 sq. mi. (181,000 sq. km.).

Population: 8.8 million.

Who Rules: The Democratic State of Kampuchea has an elective national legislature, the People's Representative Assembly, of 250 members; 150 of these represent farmers, 50 represent laborers, and 50 represent soldiers. The assembly meets once a year.

Who REALLY Rules: Government seems to be tightly in the hands of the top leadership of the Khmer Rouge Communist movement, known as the Angka ("organization"). As soon as the Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh in April, 1975, they evacuated the refugee-swollen urban areas and put city dwellers to work in the rice fields. The Western press and the U.S. government claim that the Khmer Rouge killed up to a million people after taking power, either directly through execution or by subjugating them to intense hardship. The Khmer Rouge, however, admit only that they executed a few people and that a few thousand died in the evacuation, plus a few thousand more in the first months of agricultural labor.

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