Editorial | Articles about Cambodia | Khmer

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

How Long the Lotus Kingdom II Continues its Senseless Dances?

March 22,2005
How Long the Lotus Kingdom II Continues its Senseless Dances?
By Prak Hap


The eminent abuse of power and corruption are Cambodia facts of life. If we look at its political dominos in term of overly representation of 13 millions versus 20 provinces which interpreted Senatorial (3.05) or half of the Assembly (6.15) per province in performance and results. Cambodia does not safeguard millions whose life still depend on sun, moon,land free of the neighboring countries encroachment, or corporates and officials illegal take over of rightful ownership, and mercy of unpredictable disastrous climates.

According to 2003 US Department of State report “Cambodia GDP was approximately $4,000,000,000 and Khmer ( not immigrants) family income was approximately $282 annually or $0.78 per day.” Technically average Khmer works year round in order to barely live with no paid days off. The national awesome budgetary still relies on foreign donations. The extraordinaire legislative branches took a lumpsome out of its donation annual budget accordingly: Assembly $2,000 x123 x 12=$2,952,000 and Senate $2,000 x 61 x 12=$1,464,000.

Comparatively, it takes common folk 91 days to catch up with one day of an average senatorial earning based on the average less than $1 per day out of 365 days vs individual Senatorial earning $90.90 per day out of 22 work days excluding all perks and extensive privileges. Legislative session may last from 2 to 6 months per year and the remaining time the elected individuals can float and do nothing but still entitles to full $2,000 allowance likely without income tax. Most of these guys can afford abroad trips and foreign health services or education for their kids. No ethical and moral examplary in the governance from top to bottom.

Contrarily, average folk has no access to very basic health care services, or basic education for their children, or daily movement, or ability to use land without interference or inadequate constitutional guaranty of endowed rights to life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

How this senate came into existence? Why exactly Cambodia needs such senate to begin with?

No one knows exactly the real reason behind this quickly put together Senate post the anarchic riot in July 1997. The present Senate is non democratic. It is comprised of appointees by dominant political parties or institution of power excluded the independent or DK cliques. Many are either the cliques or remnants of previous regimes such as Khmer Republic or DK turned royalists, Vietnamists then opportunists. These guys did not have to earn people vote but yet have the audacity to legislate laws.

If the voters determined to do away with the senate whose primary job is to obediently echo the Royalty endeavour anyway, the predicament is the current Assembly setting may have to expand from 123 to 184 in total. And at the convenience, the King and the leadership of the Assembly can adjust another or two year if the senate office 5 year term expired with technical mishap. This is the most privilege and lucrative job on Angkor land out of the labourous and systemic enslavement of simple Khmers.

It appears that Cambodia has no longer trusted its own sense of responsibility unless the foreigners said something first. This is the time the Constitutional Council does its job in reviewing what is not needed. Please for the sake of Cambodia people survival, enough extra government of no performance and let people have their say so as stately in the Constitution.


SUBMITTED BY: Prak Hap Email: prak....@hotmail.com Tue, 22 Mar 2005


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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Live the Dream of Democracy

March 14,2005
Live the Dream of Democracy
By Prak Hap

Synonymously, Cambodia is Sihanouk Killing Fields and treachery. People of Khmer descents, your land had changed from names to names but the truth remains that you are Khmer who Siam or Annam categorically wished to extinct forever. With clear conscience and pre-meditated intent, Sihanouk committed heinous crime against Khmer Republic people to fulfill his ancestral lineage dream.

Out of cowardness and servitude, the wanna-be enlightened Dhammik former King Sihanouk, has illegally spent people money to aid Khmer hereditary enemies in finishing off the braves who had stood to denounce his un-constitutional and treacherous acts in 50, 60, and 70’s. He personally plundered taxation and national treasury to bankruptcy in serving own erotic and unworthy endeavours. Furthermore his families lived off Khmer blood and toils yet claimed to be divine supreme Buddhists.

For centuries, the royalties are the pedigrees of the ruling Siam or Annam clans with French’s motto diviser peuple Khmer pour regner. In the 1930 French built houses modeled after the Siam’s Chakry dynasty grand palaces of Bangkok to make Siam emisary of Nay Duong royalty brand felt at home. French elevated cultural image of glorious Siam political and diplomatic conquest of Khmer nationalism in the heart of Phnom Penh. To balance out,French ceded more Khmer territories to Annam before colonial departure. Then French entrusted royalty of own incested lines to breathe and behave as French remnants.

After the long cruel and destructive rules of colonials, Khmer generations strive for changes. Many died to fight off the ruling and taxing of European colonials then yet submitted to the spoiled and destituted aristocratic rules which in turn shown no gratitude or credits for Khmers.

March 18,1970 was the precursor day for the courageous patriots and informed generations inspired by the self-determination and democracy vision.The unprecedent democratic process had removed the despots and corrupted god like palace occupants. But unfortunately it did not last long. Some of the braves survived or ended up living abroad or bannished from entering the birthland politic for life unless repent.

Out of personal vengeance, the self proclaimed divine former King Sihanouk of such pedigree turned worldly tyrant atheist Mao–Ho (Nguyen) worshiper who coldheartedly exterminated thousands to millions aspired idealists on April 17,1975. To this day he is profusively in denials of crimes.

No matter how you look at it, Khmer people is still under the foreign lineage and nemesis ruling anyhow as long as the Constitution did not do justice to vote out monarchy for good. Therefore the 35th anniversary of the Dream of Republic will be just another unscripted matter for Khmer history.

The lament will be, if and only if, the Khmer will need not to realize own dream of ideal democracy with self rule of justice, liberty, fraternity, amicably, national integrity, and sovereignity soon enough.


SUBMITTED BY: Prak Hap Email: prak....@hotmail.com Mon, 14 Mar 2005


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Monday, March 07, 2005

Cambodia's continuing crisis

The Straits Times, Singapore
March 5, 2005

Cambodia's continuing crisis

By Verghese Mathews
For The Straits Times



IF THERE is one lesson neighbours in the region should learn from contemporary Cambodia, it is to never ever end up as a donor-funded country. Should some outrageous fortune result in that happening, one should expect to see within that country a collective nationalistic fervour bent on quickly redressing the situation.

This is unfortunately not so in Phnom Penh where once again political infighting is preoccupying decision-makers instead of nation-building and working towards self-reliance.

Politicking, it would appear, is in the blood, bones, hair and finger nails of Cambodian politicians who practise it with great enthusiasm and blatant impunity.

The melodrama is at the expense of the poor, the weak and the marginalised who are becoming increasingly frustrated.

Worse, there is also a tiresome pattern of the political discord in Phnom Penh invariably becoming externalised, resulting in strident condemnation of the government by the usual 'democratic' sources - and, as happened not too long ago, a shrill call for a 'regime change'.

The latest upping of the political ante is essentially the continuation of inter- and intra-political party intrigues that have been going on since the last general election in July 2003 - obscenely delaying for more than a year the eventual coalition government between the dominant Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and the royalist Funcinpec party (FCP).

Tension moved up several notches on Feb 3 when the Cambodian National Assembly voted to remove the parliamentary immunity of Mr Sam Rainsy and two other members of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) so the courts could charge them with defamation. Prime Minister Hun Sen and FCP president Prince Norodom Ranarridh, who had earlier lodged the defamation charges, argued that no parliamentarian should be allowed to malign others under cover of parliamentary immunity.

Mr Rainsy 'fled' the country the same day. He had similarly fled or sought refuge at some embassy on previous occasions.

He was soon in Washington, Brussels and Paris to externalise the problem. Here, he must be given credit - he has used his excellent outreach to identify powerful people and groups that are against Mr Hun Sen and the CPP.

Mr Rainsy scored on Feb 17 when long-time Hun Sen critic, US Senator Mitch McConnell, and Senator Sam Brownback tabled Resolution 65 at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee calling on the Cambodian National Assembly to reverse its decision to strip the three SRP members' parliamentary immunity.

It also urged donor countries to impose 'appropriate sanctions' against the Cambodian government and assembly until the decision was reversed.

The resolution further demanded that US visas not be issued to any parliamentarian who had voted in favour of the decision and all his family members.

For good measure, the resolution urged the State Department, the United Nations Secretary-General, international financial institutions and 'democrats all around the world to continue publicly to condemn the actions of the Cambodian Assembly'.

It is interesting that international financial institutions are specifically mentioned. The SRP has been highly critical of them for releasing funds to the Cambodian government for various development programmes.

Mr Rainsy also appeared on the BBC's Hardtalk. To criticisms from his detractors that he did not fare too well and was on the defensive, the SRP retorted that the interviewer, Zeinab Badawi, was overly aggressive and 'would have made an excellent interrogator at a concentration camp'!

It is now a month since Mr Rainsy has been away on his campaign. But it is unlikely that the international community will be persuaded to impose sanctions or blanket travel restrictions - there are those who are not taken in by the SRP's choreographed campaign or who argue that Mr Rainsy is no less guilty than those he has accused of authoritarian tendencies and of undermining the country's democratic credentials.

While Mr Rainsy is right that much more needs to be done - fighting endemic corruption, reforming the judiciary, promoting financial and administrative transparency, and ensuring good governance - it is important to view these in perspective.

For a post-conflict country, Cambodia has done well and it is a fair comment that for Cambodia, every year since the Paris Peace Agreement of 1991 has been better than the preceding one. In the latest Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Cambodia is ranked 63 out of more than 155. Cambodia was termed 'mostly free', higher than Thailand in the same category at 71, while Vietnam at 137 was 'mostly unfree' and Laos at 150 was 'repressed'.

Mr Rainsy knows that sooner or later he has to return to Phnom Penh and is now making arrangements. His latest stand is that he will return to Cambodia as soon as he receives a 'legitimate court summons with specific charges'. He has also written to the King to help resolve the crisis and ensure that the court's decisions are more consistent and equitable.

Some think Mr Rainsy overplayed his hand this time but his supporters at home remain mostly faithful and that is his plus factor.


The writer, a former Singapore ambassador to Cambodia, is a visiting fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

SUBMITTED BY: Verghese Mathews Email: math...@iseas.edu.sg Sun, 6 Mar 2005


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Friday, March 04, 2005

TO DO vs TO DO NOT?

March 3,2005
TO DO vs TO DO NOT?
By Prak Hap-FLUS


The newly packaged extra size government reportedly of 300 cream of the crops was bound in agreement to abide the top 72 priorities as its plan for this term? Unfortunately, February 3,2005 event took precedence over the real hot problems. Cambodia Constitution states Assembly is the people therefore does the real people know about the real problem yet?

Framework of Constitution is farcically convenient for self-serving agenda. Executive Branch or the so called Administration is still absent of transparency and moral duty. Members of the government continue to abuse code of ethics and duly sworn accountability.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal Opening: in less than six weeks will be the 30th anniversary of the Killing Fields. It is apparent the melodramatic Democracy and Human Rights are still repressively melancholy. What are the remedies?

Territorial integrity: Viet Nam still violates Cambodia border, matters are the future and guaranty of people who live on their ancestral land. According to one of the lead citizen advocates, Mr.Sean Peng Se, on behalf of Committee of Cambodia Border based in Europe and those interested in abroad, many treaties are supposed to be rescinded by the Assembly with his Majesty seals and signatories. Therefore the government and the monarch alike duly task is to see to it promptly. What’s the progress on this?

Corruption and Poverty Reduction: World lending bodies and donors alike made insults and demands in the face of this esteemed extra extraordinaire extra large government many times over. Reported acknowledgement of the rampant corruptions including governmental self-destructive conducts are overwhelmingly present. Needless to say more upon years passed and found no evidence of corrective. Where is the Assembly good faith and responsibility to meet the obligation. Who is responsible in the corrective action to ensure friendly lending banks demands? When will it start on these?

Sympathetic countries warn to lift sanction and embargo on trade against Cambodia as a whole. Economy and Commerce are servitude of foreign unscupulous investors. Taxation vs extortion, illegal logging, and smuggling are still usual means of the low governmental posts to discover nouveau riches. Who’s accountable for the officials unscrupulous conducts?

Good sounding Education is impetus to the human resource and capital needs but
the long overdue ineptness and unaccountability still perpetuate the disparity gap of the great majority needs. No innovation,descipline, and self-reliance spirit to assure population competency to compete with world standard labor and market.It has to take responsibility to lead people to depend not the donation but own ernest resilience. Who’is to blame for uncontrolable unemployment and anti social behaviors in the real society?

List can go on and on but let just pause here momentarily and allow the worldly esteemed Assembly time to forge its altruistic nationalism.Since some of the long time top echelon officials felt there was nothing give them more ecstacy but to serve the people. Let’s all agree and re-entrust the task which is clearly conscientionable on the Assembly part now. Be mindful, there is no excuse to turn on people demands of action.We are watching and so are the donors.

Momentary as the result of ”To Do orTo Do Not” the world is impatiently working against people hence Assembly.

Khmer land withstands the snake in the grass from the west and the rancorous beast from the east.

SUBMITTED BY: Prak Hap Email: prak....@hotmail.com Thursday, 3 March 2005


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