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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!