Blast from the Past

The Khmer avenger wore flip-flops and a Britney Spears T shirt. He strode through the shattered glass doors of Thailand's embassy in Phnom Penh and made his way to a well-appointed interior office. There he joined a group of boys who had thrown a painting of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej to the floor. The boys didn't hesitate. The picture was torn and stomped on. "Thailand is no good," they shouted.

In the citywide anti-Thai riots that ripped through Cambodia's capital last week, far more destructive and dangerous acts were committed yet none were as freighted with symbolism. Apart...

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