Long before arriving in Cambodia, I was reading whatever I could find from the journalist Luke Hunt, the Southeast Asian Correspondent and author who has covered so many of the challenging issues and events in the area. Hailing from Australia, Hunt has been frequently living in Cambodia since 2000. He began his Khmer encounters in the early 1990s as a reporter in Saigon following the Khmer Rouge’s kidnapping and murder of three Western backpackers.
On Hong Kong Heritage this weekend… As a student, longtime Hongkonger and Australian veteran journalist Luke Hunt first learned about Pham Xuan An, a South Vietnamese who spied for the Communist north during the Vietnam War. An worked as a journalist for Time and Reuters and through propaganda this spy for north Vietnam helped convince the Americans that it was time for their troops to go home. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, Pham Xuan An became disenchanted with the Communist government but continued to live in Vietnam until his death in 2006. He told Luke that he could write a book about his life, once he was dead. On Hong Kong Heritage this weekend, Luke tells me about his book Punji Trap, Pham Xuan An: The Spy Who Didn’t Love Us. Listen here.
Indonesian-based security analyst Keith Loveard reads his copy of the Punji Trap at his home in Keramas, Indonesia. ©Toby Loveard
Thida Keo, manager of the Back Street Bar in Phnom Penh, where the Punji Trap, now on its second print run, is available. It’s also a great place for a beer and chat!
“Luke Hunt has produced an excellent piece of journalism that is a must read for anyone interested in Asia.”
Michael Parer — Churchill, Victoria, Australia.
Senior lecturer Leo Fernando from the University of Madras with author Luke Hunt and senior journalist Deepa Alexander of The Hindu during a recent a recent lecture series in Chennai.
SPY vs SPY — Pardoned in Cambodia of espionage Australian film maker James Ricketson with a copy of the Punji Trap in Sydney.
“A ripping good yarn (about real spy 😊) told by top notch journalist Luke Hunt. Contact Luke to buy a copy. Strongly recommended.”
Pub intellectuals and a chat in Melbourne. From left to Right; Rod McKinnon, Bernie Esser, John Dooley and Rodney Riley with copies of the Punji Trap.