Defecting To A Market Economy In Cambodia

The Khmer Rouge split eases life on an embattled trade route

Until recently, communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas at a mountaintop base in Cambodia were firing 85mm shells at the town of Poipet, where rickety, thatch-roofed stalls offer beer, instant noodles, and household goods from across the border in Thailand. Now, with a key group of guerrillas suddenly defecting to the government side, it's a different story. There's a shuttle service to take them into town, where they can buy the goods they once tried to destroy and toast their former enemies with glasses of Singha beer at the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Restaurant.

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