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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

OCTOBER 22, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 42

Newsmakers:
Murder Claim

French accusations fly in Cambodia
Down But Not Out
Final Days
Passage

    ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Television: Why Are You So Strange?
A show provides Japanese viewers with a crash course in what foreigners think about them and their ways

People: Glamor Girl in Trouble
An Anwar accuser falls on hard times

Books: Children of the Killing Fields
A timely look behind Khmer Rouge terror

Newsmakers
French accusations fly in Cambodia

Health
Why older people benefit from some extra weight

  RELATED STORIES
Newsmakers: Pressing Ahead
James Soong is riding a post-Quake wave (10/15/99)

Newsmakers: Donald Tsang gets lost in Las Vegas
The Financial Secretary's trip inspires fear and loathing in Hong Kong (10/08/99)

Newsmakers: Paper Wars
Accusations fly as Hong Kong's Print media do battle (10/01/99)

The mystery surrounding the death of Cambodia's favorite movie star has taken a bizarre twist - if a story in the French magazine L'Express is to be believed. It alleges Bun Rany, the wife of Prime Minister Hun Sen, ordered the murder of Piseth Pilika in anger over a supposed love affair between her husband and the actress. Claiming access to Pilika's diary (though diaries are extremely rare in Cambodia) and interviews with relatives who were present when she was fatally attacked, the publication reckons the affair began in August 1998 and ended abruptly in April after Bun Rany discovered the liaison. According to the magazine, Pilika was then warned of the murder plot, first by the powerful police chief, Hok Longdy, then by a hit team who had refused to take the contract on her life. A second hit team allegedly went through with the deal. Hok Longdy vehemently denies the magazine's account, which notably fails to explain why he couldn't protect someone he allegedly cared enough about to warn. The government dismisses the whole story as a lie fabricated by opposition forces and Bun Rany is already considering a defamation suit in Paris. L'Express is normally well regarded. Its staff includes an in-law of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, Hun Sen's political nemesis.  

Down But Not Out
Thailand's embattled abbot Phra Dhammachayo temporarily stepped down from his duties, citing poor health. But for now the door is open for his return when he feels like it. His immediate supervisor has ruled there is "no immediate reason to remove the abbot." The verdict will rile critics of the Dhammakaya Temple's controversial leader, who is charged with fraud and embezzlement and is free on bail. Adversaries include traditionalists upset by his brash solicitations for donations, an aggressive press and what followers call "dark and powerful forces." They want the monastic ruling body, the Sangha Council, to oust him. Dhammachayo's huge following sees him as a modernizer of Thai Buddhism. The 55-year-old monk appears intent on lying low for a while and is waiting for the Council to approve his decision to hand over duties to his deputy.  

Final Days
He is a well-known workaholic. But Daewoo Group chairman Kim Woo Choong may finally take a rest soon. The 63-year-old tycoon bowed out of his post as head of the Federation of Korean Industries, a lobby for South Korea's chaebol, saying he does not want to "cause trouble to FKI member companies due to Daewoo's troubles." The move is a step toward his retirement from the country's second-largest conglomerate, which nearly collapsed this summer under debts of $50 billion. Kim, Daewoo's founder, is blamed for recklessly expanding the business even during South Korea's 1997 currency crisis. He has been under pressure to resign since the company's 12 subsidiaries were placed under emergency debt restructuring programs in August. He was allowed to stay on but creditors are likely to take him up on his offer to step down.  

Passage
 • DIED Dading Kalbuadi, 68, retired Indonesian lieutenant-general, of liver cancer on Oct. 10. Gen. Kalbuadi commanded Operation Seroja in 1975, the invasion that led to the annexation of East Timor and resulted in thousands of deaths. His adopted East Timorese son, Francisco Kalbuadi, is an aide to Nobel laureate and independence advocate Bishop Carlos Belo.

 • SWORN IN Adrienne Clarkson, née Poy, 60, as Canada's 26th governor-general, on Oct. 7. Clarkson, who became a Canadian citizen in 1949, is the first immigrant to serve as the Queen's representative in Canada.

 • JAILED Muhammad Nuzaihan Kamal Luddin, 17, on Oct. 7, for computer hacking in Singapore. The High Court replaced his original probation sentence with four months' imprisonment. It argued probation encourages computer criminals to offend again. The ruling could affect several upcoming cases.

 • FREED Murray Hiebert, 50, Malaysia bureau chief for the Far Eastern Economic Review, on Oct. 11. He served four weeks of a six-week sentence for contempt of court, imposed for an article he wrote in 1997. The story highlighted a suit brought by a judge's wife against a school that dropped her son from its debating team.

 • EXECUTED Chen Chin-hsing, 40, by firing squad at Taipei prison on Oct. 6. Chen and two accomplices kidnapped and killed the daughter of celebrity Pai Ping-ping in April 1997, beginning a spree of abductions, rapes and murders that ended eight months later with his capture. Chen received a total of five death sentences, two life terms and nearly 60 years in prison for his crimes.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home

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TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

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