Editorial | Articles about Cambodia | Khmer

Friday, April 28, 2006

Will US Domino Effect Theory Works This Time?

Will US Domino Effect Theory Works This Time?
By Kok Sap

The enlightened Buddha Dhamma impermanency is all things master. It is universally proven. Once, Hun Sen was very proud and over confidence of his new found allies with neighboring countries leadership. He thought his rule will be unchallenged and permanent. But now it seems unconvincing as he is self concerned and sneakily maneuvering law to prevent the recurrence for his own head after witnessing his ally heads had dropped abruptly.

Thailand had just fired its popular tycoon Premier Thaksin Sinawatra at the blessing of its King. Last June 2005, Washington D.C was very cozy with Premier Phan Van Khai and pledged friendliness for Viet Nam new attitude. But then just days ago the little dragon, Viet Nam, had also sacked its Premier at the blessing of its VCP's Central Standing Committee. Cambodia has also pledged to support One China policy while it illegally occupied Tibet, a sovereign state, and both Korea relation. Any one can guess these moves tickle US geopolitical network as well.

Earlier in March, US Duck Dumbfelt and Candi Nouilles were frantic, after both embarrassingly failed to scrutinize China super mega budget for its military build up. Then last weeks US Congressional delegation made Hanoi visit then later in Summer Bush turn. Inadmissively US aimed to influence Viet Nam of new attitude as China horizon expanded. US has eyed North Korea TKO point for quite awhile but stalemate rests on China lap. That undoubtedly Viet Nam, with fifth largest army on planet can detract China in supporting US arm twisting maneuver.

In due necessity, US war fleet needs Viet Nam and Gulf of Siam open access as India and Pakistan may rear guard China while Afghanistan is already a land block to Russia in case of hell break lose over evil North Korea. Thus, Hanoi proved invaluable ally for US reentry to SE Asia. With that in mind Viet Nam yanked up its genius victor Vo Vien Giap who is much older instead of sacrificial Phan Van Khai to level with US. This proved correctly Yuon never abandoned its aged old hypocrisy, Khmer wise said.

Beside North Korea, Iran is also a lucrative client to China, France, and Russia nuclear technology. These three are main player in UN Permanent Security Council and yet rival of Iraq invasion and occupation. Also interestingly to note, now Iran is singled out as next testing ground for US war machines after Iraq. Its ambassador paid personal visit to Heng Samrin, in lieu of Hun Sen, with warmth near future state visit invitation.

As usual China is keen in its interest, thus it dispatched Hu JinTao personally to secure logistic check mate move with $600 million cash in advance to Nam Vang's Hun Sen. Before this trip, he had personally deliverance Khmer New Year well wishes to secure Mao long time pawn, Mr. Sihanouk, assurance already. At the same stroke, Hun Sen, still has key to arsenal of handheld missiles from USSR, and been an eminent ally to Myanmar Junta build up support and advocacy in ASEAN circle. Remember Myanmar has been and is a rogue state since its independence from England with strong leaning toward axis of evil Russia and the remaining communist nations.

In 60's Sihanouk was infatuated with Myanmar stoic and autocratic regime. He emulated Rangoon crab recipe once before for his own ruling too. Past time people thought Cambodia was a rotten carrot but time and recent history had changed its appearance drastically. Now, Hun Sen, is following such as path. With this, Cambodia may befallen in unpredictable saga once again after Sihanouk lonely the only war path to death once before.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Without Economic Freedom, There is No Freedom

Without Economic Freedom, There is No Freedom
By Kenneth T. So
April 12, 2006

Human rights are very important for the dignity of a human being. However, a person cannot subsist and prosper on human rights alone. It must be accompanied by an economic freedom. Without the government reform to ameliorate the living standard of Khmer people, the respect for human rights alone is unacceptable because it still puts Cambodia into the category of a Third World country that depends on foreign handouts for its existence. Without economic freedom, there is no freedom.

The dispute between Kem Sokha, the leader of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), and Sam Rainsy, the leader of the political party SRP, may be an exercise in futility because they do not address the issue of economic freedom. Both groups are positioning themselves as the champion for human rights and democracy.

Kem Sokha can play a vital role in Khmer society by educating people about their rights. As the leader and activist of the organization, it is his duty to speak out against human rights abuses. However, he may have stepped over a boundary when he started to verbally attack the SRP of “selling out” to the CPP and abandoning its democratic principles in a public forum.

It is disingenuous on the part of Kem Sokha to claim the moral virtue while refusing to denounce the CPP with the same intensity as he had done to SRP. By engaging in a verbal attack on SRP, is CCHR essentially doing an indirect bidding for the CPP? CCHR prefers to attack SRP because it is easy and safe to do so since it carries no consequence for a punishment. It cannot be said the same if CCHR were to attack the CPP. After P.M. Hun Sen let Kem Sokha out of prison, it was therefore normal for this latter to take his anger on a high profile person or political party like the SRP.

Equally important it was a very clumsy move on the part of the SRP to withdraw its participation from the CCHR forums. If it was a misunderstanding between these two organizations, they must work things out quietly to everybody’s satisfaction instead of doing it in public.

Initially I thought that Kem Sokha may have the upper hand for the public opinion's support, but upon much reflection I believe he may have won the battle against Sam Rainsy but not the war. If Kem Sokha's attack and accusation of SRP as "selling out" to the CPP and abandoning its principles do not pan out as he has claimed, then in the long run he may lose his credibility. Additionally, Kem Sokha has to be very careful himself because his own words may one day come back to bite him if he is not careful of what he says. I take Kem Sokha at his own word and believe that he will not start a political party. I also give him the benefit of the doubt that he will not compromise with the CPP concerning his stance on human rights. For SRP, the best advice I can give is to remain above the fray and be honorable by not quarrelling in public in such a clumsy fashion. For SRP to capture the minds and hearts of freedom loving people, they must talk the talk and walk the walk.

Like many Cambodians, I am very disheartened by the dispute between SRP and CCHR. It is important that these two organizations talk to each other again, then kiss and make up. Both, Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha are equally important for the continuing process of Cambodia's march toward democracy. These two men need each other because "L'Union fait la force." It is fallacious to think that one organization will become stronger at the expense of the other. SRP and CCHR are like the two faces of a coin that complement each other.

The dispute between SRP and CCHR may be due to some misunderstandings. Both, Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha are very courageous and principled men. I truly believe both of them want to help Cambodia to achieve the goal of a democratic country. Kem Sokha can contribute to human rights reform while Sam Rainsy can push the agenda for the government to reform its economy as well as its judicial system. Democracy without economic freedom is only a half-baked bread.

I applaud Sam Rainsy for taking the initiative to talk to P.M. Hun Sen, which in my opinion is a sign of incoming Khmer political maturity. One must remember that Hun Sen is still the Prime Minister of Cambodia and it is necessary for Sam Rainsy, as a protocol and as a good politician, to make the first move to extend an olive branch to P.M. Hun Sen. The fact that two former bitter enemies were able to sit down across each other and carry a discussion is to me a sign of trying to apply democracy to resolve any lingering issues with civility.

One can still be an opposition party without being very confrontational. There are many ways to oppose the policy of the government, but being confrontational to the point of becoming enemies is not the best solution to solve any problems. We are all Khmers and we must learn to respect each other. We must not use vocabularies that are detrimental to our Khmer heritage. We were a civilized society and I still believe that we are honorable people that still have traditional values. The key to the rebirth of our Khmer civilized society will come in steps, and the most important one right now is to respect each other and learn to accept the difference.

The fact that P.M. Hun Sen agreed to sit down with Sam Rainsy for a 3-hours conversation after this latter came back to Cambodia showed to me that the Prime Minister respected Sam Rainsy as a person, which was in complete contrast to the Prime Minister’s action toward Norodom Ranariddh.

The Prime Minister may have an ulterior motive toward Sam Rainsy because unlike Norodom Ranariddh who makes himself enemy of the US, Sam Rainsy on the other hand is a good friend of the US and especially to US Senator John McCain who may possibly be the next president of the United States of America.

For Kem Sokha to criticize or condemn Sam Rainsy’s gesture of reconciliation with P.M. Hun Sen is a sign of immaturity and intolerance on his part. Sam Rainsy’s meeting with P.M. Hun Sen is comparable to US Senator John McCain’s delivering a commencement address next month to the Liberty University that is headed by the Christian conservative founder Reverend Jerry Falwell. The Republican senator who is not a darling of the religious conservatives had once denounced Reverend Falwell an “agent of intolerance.” Senator Mc Cain now stated, and correctly so, that he could speak at the university without embracing all of its values. In the same manner, Sam Rainsy can speak to P.M. Hun Sen without abandoning all his principles.

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

The principles that we must espouse are the defense of human rights and the elimination (or alleviation) of corruption in Khmer society.

SRP is a political and opposition party that plays an important role in Khmer politics. CCHR is a human rights organization that complements SRP by educating people about their rights. However, CCHR does not have the monopoly on human rights advocacy because political parties like SRP can also play that role too. The radio station Sambok Khmaum of Mam Sonando also plays a vital role in educating people about human rights. There are also many NGO organizations that contribute in the field of human rights.

It is therefore dangerous for Kem Sokha to think that he is the only human rights voice for Cambodia. A tree does not make a forest. Sam Rainsy, Kem Sokha, and Mam Sonando just to name a few, need each other to be a strong voice and eye for our Khmer society. As a sign of maturity, it is important that Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha extend an olive branch to each other. Why is it always easier for Khmer to talk to foreigners than to talk to our own kind?

Human rights without reform to Cambodia's economic system are only a false promise. It is therefore necessary for CCHR and SRP to cooperate as a uniting force to demand reforms from the government.

The new spirits of cooperation give the current government of P.M. Hun Sen and the opposition leader Sam Rainsy a window of opportunity to solve and resolve Cambodia's problems in a more practical manner that hopefully will benefit Cambodian people.

What are the problems in Cambodia and how should we prioritize them? Currently Cambodia's survival depends on the generosity of foreign aids. This is not the way to run a country. Cambodia’s main goal is to be self-sufficient in the very near future. The other problem facing Cambodia is the culture of rampant corruption that permeates through all levels of the society. There is also the problem of crimes committed with impunities. Cambodia's education system is still in its infancy and lacking far behind that of our neighbors. Some people may say that the immigration policy needs to be revised and Cambodia's frontiers with the neighbors still remain an issue. Others consider democracy to be the most important issue.

All the above are legitimate issues. Because of the lack of resources, it is therefore necessary that the current government of P.M. Hun Sen and the opposition party of Sam Rainsy as well as the Funcinpec party work together to come to a consensus on how to prioritize the problems and then take a practical approach on how to solve or mitigate them.

I am not an expert in policy making but as a trained engineer in systems management I like to break the problems into a manageable solution without losing sight of the holistic approach to the problems.

Cambodia has come a long way since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime. As an observer from far away I am very often frustrated with the pace on how Cambodia has made its stride toward democracy. However, democracy cannot come or succeed before people have achieved a certain level of education or a basic understanding of democratic principles. It is therefore very important that the government allows people like Kem Sokha to continue to do his work on human rights and educate people on democracy unhindered. Freedom of the press and the media must be preserved and people like Mam Sonando, the general manager of the Beehive radio station, must not be persecuted without proper cause.

The most important problem facing Cambodia right now is the lack of economic growth. In order for the economy to prosper we must be able to attract foreign investments to our country. For investments to take place, the investors must have confidence in our country that can provide a stable government and an abundant skilled and efficient labor force. Therefore, we must have a stable government coupled with spirits of cooperation between different parties and continued improvements in getting rid of corruptions, in reforming our educational system, in ameliorating human rights, in improving our judicial system, and in reforming some laws. All of these will take time but as long as we keep on improving the systems and moving forward it will then be acceptable to everybody. We are all impatient because that is the nature of human beings, but if we provide good planning we can achieve our goal.

Right now Cambodia can only provide low skilled labors. If Cambodia were to succeed in economic growth we must produce more medium and high skilled labors, both in the manufacturing and service sectors.

Cambodia must reform its educational system by having competent teachers in order to produce first rate students. We must set up an exchange program to send good students to the other countries for higher education.

Systematic corruption in the public as well as in the private sectors hampered or scared away potential investors in Cambodia. Doing business in Cambodia with the current culture of corruption is too expensive and risky.

The keys to our success will be based mainly on the following criteria:

1.Clean up corruption
2.Raise the level of education
3.Hire qualified workers
4.Stop practicing nepotism and cronyism
5.Streamline bureaucracy for efficiency and accountability
6.Eliminate duplicate functions and waste in government
7.Teach and implement code of ethics, both in school and in workplace
8.Provide a stable government based on the rule of laws

Nowadays Cambodia is so entrenched in corruptions that it becomes a new culture permeating in all levels of our society. Taking bribes are new habits that are very hard to break. No one person can solve this disease. It requires a strong will and resolves to take care of this problem. We are now at a cross road on how we want Cambodia to move forward.

We cannot fix everything all at once. We have to be realistic in our goals and approaches to the problems. Some may suggest that the problem of our frontiers is the most important thing facing the crisis in Cambodia right now.

I don't know how serious is P.M. Hun Sen in wanting to clean up corruptions, but I hope he meant what he said. He is the only person that may be able to do it if he is really sincere in his conviction to clean up corruption. Our system for corruption is so entrenched right now that it is hard for anybody to do it alone. It requires everybody’s cooperation to get the job done.

Let's hope that P.M. Hun Sen is sincere about his latest overture with Sam Rainsy. There are some signs showing that P.M. Hun Sen may be changing if one analyzes his speech carefully. At least he seems to try to denounce corruption and incompetence in the government. These topics were off limits for discussions before but now P.M. Hun Sen has allowed it to be brought up to the forefront. Hopefully people in Cambodia are more encouraged to do something about it.

True intention for reform accompanied by a genuine action is the best gift that the government of P.M. Hun Sen can give to Cambodia for the New Year.

Human rights and democracy are important but without economic freedom, there is no freedom.

John Kennedy once said, "A rising tide lifts all boats." If Cambodia becomes prosperous, then all Cambodians will also profit from it.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Number ONE BIG Brother, Keng Van Sak

March 10, 2006
Number ONE BIG Brother, Keng Van Sak
By Kok Sap

Amidst false pluralism of flamboyant King Sihanouk and cronies such as Nhiek Tioulong,Sam Sary,Lon Nol's Renovation Party, and Khim Tit's National Union Party efforts, the dynamic Democrats Party defeated Sihanouk schematic pants down.Thus de Paris opportunistic Marxists be a Roman in Rome in order to gain credibility. Not a co-incident the future Democratic Kampuchea Saloth Sar and his mentors, Keng Van Sak and Thioun Mumm, affiliated themselves with Democrats Party. This most secretive mild manner of soft words aliased Pol Pot, later became horrific Brother One, the boss of Kampuchea Communist Party, openly in late 1977. His name is synonymous of Killing Fields.

From historians recounts Brother One was mentored by other Big Brothers in communist movement back in Paris. One of them was no one else but the philogician Keng Van Sak who was nicknamed as King Van Sak by the demagogue leader Sihanouk because of their indifference in political logics. In his youth, Keng Van Sak was one of the staunchest anti-American agitators beside Polytechnicien Thioun Mumm, the early ultra left leader of Communists in France in the mid 1940's.There were several accounts noted Thioun family and siblings intimate involvement in the revolution. But for time being, the topical focus here is Professeur Keng Van Sak.

Post Geneva Conference Sihanouk primary rival was Democrats Party. In spite of its weakness due to internal quarrels after three years away from power but it still viewed as the best organized political party. Many younger Democrats opposed the apparently pro-US policies Sihanouk had been following since Geneva and argued that Cambodia should be neutral in its alignments. They shared this line with the pro-communist party that had just taken shape in Cambodia, known as Krom Pracheachon or People's Group. Cambodia hard core communist party, founded in 1951, remained concealed from view.

Younger Democrats move their own party to the left in 1954, pushing such stalwarts as Sim Var and Son Sann aside and replacing them with anti monarchic neutralists like Keng Vannsak and Svay So and with even more radical figures, including Thiounn Mumm, then a member of the French Communist Party. Leftists Keng Van Sak and Thioun Mumm (Big Brother II), former students in France, who had decided to infiltrate a legal party that was, at least, already sympathetic to republican ideas and opposed to Cambodia's developing links with the United States, Milton Osborne Sihanouk Prince of Light Prince of Darkness, and p.88. Mumm cooperated with Saloth Sar, who had spent some months in the Vietnamese marquis in 1953-54, to coordinate the Democrats tactics with those of Pracheachon. p.188 D Chandler, A History of Cambodia, 2nd edition

Students in the capital, infected with what later French called the virus of independence, including such Cambodia future radicals Keng Vannsak, Rath Samoeun, and Ieng Sary as well as more conservative figures like Douc Rasy, Norodom Kantol, and Long Boret. D. Chandler, the Tragedy of Cambodian History Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945, p.36. Keng Vannsak a student of Cambodian philology was three years older than Saloth Sar. Having arrived in Paris in 1946, fresh from his baccalauréat, he was to play a key role among Cambodian students. Like Cambodia's only polytechnicien, Thiounn Mumm, who had preceded him to France by several months, Vannsak acted as an older brother (BIG Brother) for students from Cambodia, many of whom he had known in the 1940 at the Lycée Sisowath.

As a linguist and scholar of Cambodian literature, he gained an intellectual reputation similar to the one Thiounn Mumm enjoyed among scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. In his philological work, Vannsak tried to uncover pre-Buddhist, pre-Sanskrit layers of Cambodian vocabulary and cultures. The idea that Cambodia could and should be cut off from other cultures persisted in many Cambodian regimes and resurfaced not only in the Khmer Republic, but also among some Vannsak's disciples of Democratic Republic Kampuchea.

The pace of radicalization among Cambodians in France quickened when two students from Lycée Sisowath, Rath Samoeun and Ieng Sary, arrived in October 1950.Soon after their arrival, they began to participate in an informal Marxist studies circle that met at Vannsak's apartment in the 15th arrondissement(in Paris). The circle and others like it were associated with the groupes des langues set up in 1949 by the CPF among foreign students and workers. Vannsak group had no formal links with the CPF party according to author D. Chandler, the Tragedy of Cambodian History Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945, p.52.

In conclusion his doctrine and ideology Esprit de Khmer influenced many of emerging intellectual class of Cambodia post colonial rule. His anecdotal analysis turned a trendy movement that contributed destitution to Cambodia in later years. Many of them are in late 60 and early 70 in age now who either served DRK or later PRK regime. Also he was known as the perverse provocateur that had feuded with both Cambodia home grown linguistic researcher and scholar Abbot Chuon Nath and former King Sihanouk.

In traditional saying those can't learn teach. Infatuatedly he seemed to boast his Khmerlogy in French cuisine. What he says and does is two different things. Intuitively his home life seemed hypocritical to his love Khmer teaching. Today included those; never had formal relations with him; profess to eulogize his hidden extreme radicalism. After all Democratic Kampuchea leadership might not exist if it wasn't for King Van Sak groupe de langue sessions en Karl Marx early years in Paris. Khmer saying chress mauk pee daek therefore, history must grant the honorific Number One BIG Brother to teacher as well as Brother One title to his devoted apostle.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Open Letter to the Honorable Norodom Sihanouk

Open Letter to the Honorable Norodom Sihanouk
Official Residence,
15 Dong Jiao Min Xiang
Beijing 100006, China

Dear Sir:

As you are well informed, for almost two full centuries ago Khmer people and nation had been dispirited and disunited at the foreign subjugations. Subsequently during your years at the helm, governments had failed to defend and protect national sovereignty and territory as well. It is undesirably painful and intolerable to learn miles and miles of west and east regions of present Khmer land had been illegally ceded and transferred to neighboring nation’s ownership as a tribute for the abatements of the previous ruling regime political in fights. Up to present, Cambodia governments had violated own integrity and dignity. They had cheated Cambodia citizen justice and righteousness. However, history seems to impress upon our cognizance you are the person responsible for all undue justice and fate of our fallen loved ones and generations.

Per your regular claims, Cambodia current government commanded no respect and dignity from others.Routinely you have consistently reminded people of shame which each of us bear as a beggar nation that allowed abuses and misuses other nations' generosity. Also you were made aware the serious violation of human rights and international mandates set by UN at your very signature in Paris 1991. Yet you have arbitrarily indulged merits to ensure such government legitimacy and wrongdoings. Therefore, our nation and people are held hostage and impeded at your very guaranty.

In the pursuance of the promulgated Kingdom II 1993 Constitution Chapter III-articles 31, 39, 41, and 49; as a citizen and ruler; hereby personally you owe opportunity to resolve all Khmer suffering, injustice and particularly very assurance of monarchy mutuality and continuation of your remaining time. Equally on behalf of heritage, as a son and a citizen of the nation, I am morally obligated to express my true concerns as follow for your consideration:

1 - Cambodia government shall be honorably to fulfill own budgetary contribution to implement Khmer Rouge Tribunal expenditures,

2 - Proclamation April 17, 1975 as a day of national mourning and commemoration day for victims of Cold war and Viet Nam transgression,

3 - Demand UN intervention and world court rule over Cambodia dispute boundary with neighbors.

4 - Rescind treaties that infringed determination of national territory and sovereignty.

5 - Restore human rights with guaranty from government in accordance with UN suffrage.

Sir, this may seem selfish and profane but there is no better way in frankness between fellow citizens. The shallowness and hypocrisy is mere unnatural and disrespectful. As you may know; in any unforeseen circumstances; your hard fought reconciliation and unification will be only a waste done by none of foe but your own especially those of FUNC and comparable monarchists. Worst the innocent generations will bear the unforgivable brunt and shame. That considers unkindly burden left by underachieving father of yours.

I trust you will use your utmost love and conscionable judgment to safeguard the innocents and the less fortunate people in Cambodia. May good health, peace, and love indulge you and yours in the up coming Khmer New Year celebration and thereafter.

Kok Sap

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Letter to The Honorable Chea Sim

March 31, 2006
The Honorable Chea Sim
Executive President of
Pact Pracheachon Kampuchea

Dear Sir,

For the longest, you have placed confidence and duty in Mr. Hun Sen as the sole decision maker upon million lives. For your information, thing may seem acceptable but the reality is Cambodia is no less than a leech that lives off someone else blood. Other nations laughed and insinuated Khmers are lazy and irresponsible. I find it unsettling and contemptible of such statement. It is my deep pain and concern to apprize you. According to press, Mr. Hun Sen breaches 1991 Paris Accord wishes at the regular basis when comes to his own failures. This has not gone unnoticed; therefore, I wish to raise this matter to your attention for immediate intervention.

Sir, this letter is an open communication between fellow citizens and leader such yourself. As you may know, Cambodia regained respect and recognition from the other nations through UN relentless effort and vast financial assurance. This is very important for our country survival and respect. I am certain that you wish no less for Cambodia; however; Mr. Hun Sen long overdue leadership is indicative of despicable regress among other nations evaluation.

Through his leadership, Cambodia is seen as a primitive and backward nation. Among many world leaders and respected presses, Mr. Hun Sen shouldn't have brought Cambodia the least respect to its most generous supporter such as UN. Habitually, he is evermore vocally undiplomatic and uncivil. This is important that you, as his immediate superior, call upon his immediate attention before the world sanctioned our needy nation privilege and survivability.

Sir, you can't agree less, Cambodia is mild manner nation with strong tradition of unassertiveness but fatal passive aggression. This introvert self destruction attitude got to halt at your command. You may have been informed already of Mr. Hun Sen unreasonable and to the extent of ungrateful gestures toward world diplomats. Many critics and donors are at caveat of Mr. Hun Sen personal and crony rapid wealth. Thus his morality and integrity is in question too.

Lately, Mr. Hun Sen behaves abrasively and crudely. This is essentially unbecoming as a nation leader dignity and integrity. This is critically insensitive and overbearing of a leader conduct. It is dangerous to people and nation. He has brought embarrassment and disrespect upon nation. Please reflect on this and do not allow one person incivility destroying culture of respect for millions.

No body knows the agony and pain that each poor citizen bears as misfortune in life is stagnant under his short sight leadership.Also many know your struggle and spirit is not just for one person or family happiness but shall be the entire population. Evidently twenty years is too long of time under Mr. Hun Sen stewardship, but poverty and injustice is increasing in folds every step out of the way. People lost land to powerful and riches. Human rights is sham turned magnetic force for unwanted attention from the world. Yet Mr. Hun Sen continues to do just that. Certainly it is a paramount responsibility in your behalf to risk Cambodia fragile peace and slight prosperity at one person negligence. But it does not make sense to allow it to go on unchecked.

Please let me close with our Khmer saying Som dei sar cheat marayiat sar pouch, which I find it rings true in all human. Our nation dignity and respect is reflected upon its leader conduct, but unfortunately not in Mr. Hun Sen case. The man possesses poor taste in civil culture and protocol, which down grade esteem of your personal and party discretion. This must not be condoned and tolerated accordingly.

Sir, therefore, your action and consideration is vital to our nation future; please consider an alternate and sensible person to be at the helm in 2008 if your CPP will be successful in election. Mr.Hun Sen is too unbecoming and irrational anymore. May I wish you good health and longevity as Khmer New Year celebration is approaching .

I thank you kindly for your time and consideration.

Kok Sap

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April 17,1975 Memory


Can you taste it? Can you taste it in the air,
The unforgettable bitterness of which we call despair.
As millions were murdered in the land of the Khmer.
A genocide, which sits in history gathering dust.
Most can't recall the battle's deathly must.
As my people lay unremembered a drop in the ocean.
It seems that mass murder causes little commotion.
In a world desensitized by everyday death,
Can you smell it? Can you smell the dying's last breath?
Skulls scattered in ponds and sown in the soil,
And from the world was little recoil.
For years people suffered in the fields of the killing,
Just another body, just some more blood spilling.
Blood on the hands of he who dare grip mortality;
His name Pol Pot the man with the greatest audacity.
The brother who killed hundreds of his own kin,
He has no remorse morbid signs of a grin.
To claim he works for the good of a nation
Lives just a minor consequence in his “brilliant" reformation.
People just eggs who will inevitably be broken,
Each killing is just natural like words being spoken.
Groups, no crowds, lined up to be murdered,
Eight people with one shot so less bullets need be ordered.
Drowning them in puddles and beating them with batons,
His soldiers, children of death and pitiless drones.
Young boys killing women as old as their mother,
Blinded by loyalty not realizing it's each other.
Killing children and babies and mothers and fathers.
My sister. Your brother. Their sons. Our daughters.
Undiscriminating murder and ropes and beatings were common
And if they tried to plea for mercy it would be no problem.
Just sit them in a pond and tie a bag over their head.
And you can't talk now if you're dead.
Imagine a mother watching the death of her children,
Tied up with flesh burning rope and skinny with malnutrition.
Their toes being salted and cut open with a dirty knife.
Picture when the four letter word P-A-I-N becomes your life.
Can you see it? Can you comprehend being tortured as they laugh?
Now imagine walking through a paddy and hearing a jagged crack.
You lift your foot to find your brother's broken bones,
Didn't even know he had died and to find out in this tone.
You were just talking with him, ago, it was not long.
He was obviously killed while you were gone.
You shut his eyelids and untie a cord from around his neck,
You hold back the tears so the soldiers won't come check.
So they won't see and kill you too.
You ask him for forgiveness then rip out a gold tooth. ,
The gold will help you feed your very sick mom,
Giving her strength to run away with you
From the land that you call home.
She's too old as it is too work under these conditions,
suffering from arthritis a debilitating position.
You work and think about the Nixon Breakfast Operation, which dropped
tons of napalm shells,
In fact they're probably the reason for the war itself.
Can you hear it? The screams of children and infants as you run through
the jungle.
Sneaking out at night and this time the trouble's double.
You're reassured for a second not hearing a thing,
But then it fires out an explosive ring.
A mine, a souvenir from the Vietnam war,
Killing two infants and a boy, mutilated remains splashed on the floor.
A mother runs to the children and lifts her babies heads;
Frantically yelling and screaming trying to wake them from dead.
Her tears stream down as she cradles them next to her chin.
Later killing herself to join her babies again.
On the way, your mother dies of pneumonia and of cold,
Now you look back on the story that your life has told.
You lived a life of hell, burning, agonizing, and rotten,
To only wake up to see the genocidal horror has been forgotten.
How does that feel?


Author: Virak Prak, 13
Genre: M
School: Bay Point Middle School, St. Petersburg, Florida
Teacher: Renee O'Brien
Award: American Voices Award Medal
Category: Poetry
Ceremony: Kennedy Performance Art Center in Washington D.C
Date: March,2000

Note: This is for informational and educational purpose.

Author was born to Cambodia killing fields survivor family.
His poem was dedicated to his family and Cambodia Killing Fields /US
Bombardment victims and survivors memory.
The author voiced out his pains and agony over how lesser human of
Cambodia to US.In reality US Justice was far more reserved than he thought.
Not a coincident, US denied Cambodia humanity and justice.
In a child eyes, it saddened to see injustice in US Justice was shied
away under the veil of color preference and prejudice.

Sumitted by - kok...@yahoo.com Wed, 5 Apr 2006 06:59:38 -0700

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