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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Open Letter To All Signatory Countries of Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia

Kong Korm, former Foreign Minister and SRP Senator (2nd Legislature) (Photo: SRP)

Open Letter
To All Signatory Countries of Paris Peace
Agreement on Cambodia

As former Foreign Minister of the State of Cambodia, and currently Senator of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I, Kong Korm, would like to make a particular remark on ‘23 October 2006’ as the 15th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia, that so far the Cambodia’s ruling party tried to degrade and forget by removing the anniversary date as the national holiday from calendar, as planned. However, the 7 January 1979 and Vietnamese-installed leadership structure have been permanently maintained.

In the name of majority of Cambodians within the framework of 1991 Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia and under the 1993 UNTAC-run election mission, let me re-affirm that we have successfully changed for new power and leaders, but the leaders and leadership structure of the country, which is one of the agreement signatories, have continuously provoked and disturbed the processes of democracy and reconstruction projects of all fields of Cambodia.

During 13 years (1993-2006), national and international communities have recorded, with serious dismay and painfulness, the 1993 secession event, 1997 coup d’état, bloodshed oppression on 1997 lawful demonstration and 1998 non-violent demonstration, 2004 constitution coup with additional constitutional law, and the destiny of the political partner of the 3-term coalition government. The coalition partner has followed the orders and suffered constant destruction. Moreover, the political party of majority in parliament has recently proposed and adopted the law on the Statute of Members of Parliament with a view to restricting the parliamentary immunity in terms of debate and confrontation against corrupt people and policies, degradation of good tradition, act of disturbing public order, instability and national security committed by powerful people and unfair businessmen, who are controlling the country in a way of most dictatorship, violence, and corruption.

In other words, during 15 years (1991-2006), following the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia, all events mentioned above indicate that Cambodia has set one step forward, but two steps backward in strengthening peace and reconstructing Cambodia on the way of democracy and development.

At the annual meeting held in Singapore on 15 September 2006 , the World Bank stated that national and international communities voiced on the constant deterioration of Cambodian governance in 2005. Although the World Bank’s representative to Cambodia said in favor of Cambodia that Cambodia was precisely committed to making some major reforms in order to quit the list of ‘Fragile States’ in the region and the world, but in reality there has been nothing positive.

As a matter of fact, in September 2006, five outstanding international organizations, whose role is to watch human rights in the world, issued their statement in London, England, to request the Cambodia’s donor countries and international organizations to urge Cambodia to fulfill its commitments on reform of all faults made last decade so that they could be actually improved immediately.

Overall, in his report, Yash Ghai, representative of UN Secretary General, said the Cambodia ’s power belongs totally to the Prime Minister, and that the Cambodian People’s Party, National Election Commission, and the government have manipulated the democratic process lawfully detrimental to political opposition, and used the State power to accumulate private property. This could be seen that Cambodia is the one-ruling party State as before the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia . Actually, the 1985 Treaty on Cambodian-Vietnamese Border, later called the ‘Additional Treaty’, is not merely contrary to the spirit of the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia, but also contrary to history, and violating the 1993 Cambodian Constitution, especially article 2 of the Constitution stipulating: “The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1/100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969”.

As evidence, police general Heng Pov, adviser to Prime Minister, deputy Secretary of State of Interior and Phnom Penh municipality police commissioner, is convicted of involvement in murder, abduction and corruption, and in his report, he said other top leaders of the country would also be held responsible for other similar crimes. By this, the public may see Cambodia as the State of Terror .

Acts of land grabbing, by lethally shooting, imprisoning, and coercively removing people from their residential land areas, where they have lived over five years without any opposition, in many places in Phnom Penh and provinces throughout the country, have adversely affected the people’s right to live peacefully.

The economic outrage, which privatizes national property and adversely increases the gap between powerful, rich people and clean, low-ranking public servants as well as ordinary people to date, has shown Cambodia is a fragile state that needs an urgent help.

I and Cambodian people, who have strongly and voluntarily agreed on the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia, and firmly supported peace, liberal democracy, good governance, fight against corruption to alleviate poverty, would like the signatory countries to strongly and effectively continue to promote all principles and goals so that Cambodia may have stability and more advance with justice and equity, and may be free from the unfortunate incidents and mass destruction committed by its consecutive leaders and their dictatorship behaviors.

May the spirit of Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia “23 October” permanently exist in volition of all signatory countries and all Cambodian people.

Phnom Penh, 21 October, 2006

(Signed) Kong Korm

Former Foreign Minister
Senator, 2nd Legislature

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