The court has no actions like over reactions, and in Cambodia a Chinese factory supervisor was nailed for innocently ripping up the photos that two of her employees were carrying about, shirking their work. She didn’t notice that the photos were of the late King Norodom Sihanouk. Lese Majeste laws were called into place, giving the 43-year-old woman a one-year jail sentence and a 2.5 million riel ($620) in fine, with an additional 2 million riel ($500) due to the factory worker who demanded she be punished.
But there was a whole army of angry factory workers from the garment factory complex in Phnom Penh; 1,000 of them marched to the palace on Monday, demanding she be condemned.
She says she didn’t know it was the king. “If I knew, I would not have ripped them up.” Nevertheless, she lost her job, and is being deported.
Such overreaction as this, screaming bloody murder over an accidentally ripped up picture, is almost tantamount to those Muslim fundamentalists who execute people who accidentally throw away or destroy a copy of the Quran. But part of the heat might come from racial tensions. The growing textile market in Cambodia sets 400,000 Cambodians to work, often under foreign owners of their company and foreign managers.