Editorial | Articles about Cambodia | Khmer
Cambodia Circular Dance
By Kok Sap
Usual spat sarcasms from Sihanouk critics then, reastr ott bai a chhkuot lung chorl madai ram thaun hoy dei,kaen reastr pee sraer paerlaer lok thei, partisans choeung dei aing wai Baraing. I recalled back then, the unrepentant Cambodia's Father of Art and Culture had boasted over radio Phnom Penh and made it his culture proper campaign back in the 60's right after he staged, the invincible bare feet mixed outfits Chivapol (involuntary militia) armed with riffle made of Kapok , grand march on every known national routes. It was a false nostalgia.
For some reasons it was more entertaining for men group play. Especially, for those notable mighty Chivipol officers who had fell in deeply in Sihanouk war game scheme, would pay from own pocket to hire Chinese tailors to supply the black or light sage color outfits donned French male foreskin like beret in green or light red to impress upon fellows who barely could not afford daily meal. Some of these self important officers ego burst out his clothing seams as they were god sent comparable to Nazi SS officers toward fellows.
At the same stroke, his Majesty ordered every young woman, even in far remote hamlets, to learn the dog chasing its tail dance known as Ram Wong, in case of his Majesty visit region. Not every parent was crazy about it but their silent protest did not stop the ex-Chivipol officers who sometimes behaved worst than the Nazi Gestapo. The other few had secret wishes while enthusiastically allowed their blooming daughters to participate in such royal campaign to redeem Khmer art.
Well surely, in every of his royal visitation in the country, the National Radio Band of Manila Spaniard influenced tunes traveled with him at all times. Occasionally, the Pudgy Prince got off stage and led the dance with the hosting delegates own daughters and wives. The Pillsbury dough boy like ruler was beaming under the steaming heat.
Other hand, the poor and the resistant were chastised and fined for not involving in such daily game. My father happened to be one who refused to give in such silly royal games. The argument went what made the entrepreneurial Chinese or lineage so immune from not enlisted for post independence royal force show case? They lived off Cambodia for generation why special treatment still applied to them? My father said he had paid for the corruptive colonial government and Issarak Choar Puth Chhay extortion then, and now the kingdom government officials after Siam and French withdrawal. And now Sihanouk humiliated people with scandalous game ? The chief of village police squad went ahead to fine my father who had scolded the chief of police of his junior for such blindly support of the emotional heightened nonsense ploys of Sihanouk.
Every body seems to think the circular dance was actually the Khmer proper folk dance. Funny later, I had learned from friends from the respective region Laos, Siam, Dai of south China and regional Burma that such proper Khmer dance was also used in social gathering for those ethnic folks entertainment in every important annual event. That alone had confirmed how confused Sihanouk back then in term of national art. The man had no clue of such thing. This may not be important to some, but as ruler of the recovering nation, morally Sihanouk had not been so honest with himself all along. He was and still is the man who is responsible for the Cambodia endless woe. Seemingly his circular dance soon catches up with his hypocrisy.
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By Kok Sap
Victim of Cambodia Heinous Crimes
Hail the Exile National Coalition of Government of the Union of Burma and the Exile Government of Khmer Krom! It is an encouraging sign for Myanmar that we all grown to know it was the formally hermit Burma. In the 60's, it was an aspiration for Sihanouk, the stud Head of State of the Kingdom of Cambodia called the island of Pieces, who wanted himself to model after such a nation that has isolated its socialistic endeavor in the Buddhist saffron robes from outside world influences. It has been transformed slowly into the most absolute chaos and anarchy as the other federation member states such Shan or Mon declared own autonomy against the control of the federation dictatorial military junta organs death grip rule.
Look closely Cambodia had liberated itself from the destructive regime called monarchy once in 1970 but failed to sustain itself as its original culprit returned in April 1975 with massive murderous force to wipe out most of the progressive democratic Republic leaders and followers. Post1979 the remainder of the Republic idealists or fighters reemerged as one of the resistance factions with considerable human resource and number under Son Sann leadership to jointly resist Yuan occupation.
How misfortune to the surviving Republic fighters who had mistakenly joined force at the hypocrite lures of the others so called resistant fronts until most killed off before the demagogue monarch stood triumphantly proclaiming his second kingdom over millions of skull. Actually, Son Sann heart and head was Sihanoukist from the get going. He was the King's snake in the grass. Most of the aspired Republic fighters mistook him as the Republic rescuer. During the 80's, Son Sann secretively ordered the hardcore Republic idealists to be removed from becoming too strong. Eventually in 1993, Son Sann reversed his politic and later sold out the remainder of the Republic fighters to Sihanouk disposal again.
Fortunately some had chances to resettle in the third countries but the Republic network was sporadically and idly inactive. Presently most of the idealist movement leaders are in retiring age and some had died without seeing the dream realizing. It is frightening to think about it, as Cambodia returned to its second time round as monarchic regime at the whims of neo imperialist Hanoi, which the Republic had spilled blood from March 1970 to fend it off up to April 1975.
The handful Republic diehard idealists scattered around the globe, in hope, to reconnect one day soon. Momentarily our kin, from formally Preah Nokor known as Cochin China which was illegally ceded to Yuan Emperor Bao Dai as war trophy from French humiliated defeat in Dien Bien Phu, have courageously formed the Khmer Krom Exile Government as the legitimate voice to defend fellows from Viet suppression since the Cambodia Kingdom ignored their plight for too long of time.
To the surprise of the geopolitical pundits, the Phnom Penh dictatorial regime with its 26 members of Parliament at hand had denounced and demanded the Myanmar present regime in supporting of Dame Suu Kyi true democratic elected government to free people and nation from the despotic militant leaders. Remember not too long ago, the Cambodia own dictator Hun Sen was rubbing elbows with the Myanmar illegal junta Premier, General Soe Win, in his back yard. How could this abrupt reversal be credible since the ruler in Phnom Penh is still the same one who hugged and kissed the Yangoon-Myanmar tyrant?
To the reasonable doubt, suddenly the whirlwind is taking effect on the dictatorial regimes in Southeast Asia at the economic twist of ASEAN club. Seemingly it still has considerable clout and influence to abet the regional opposition legitimate and popular demand. From the courageous examples of Burma of Non Violent Dame Aung San Suu Kyi dream and Elderly Gentleman Thach Chan Khmer Krom of no choice is better to die free than to live the Yuan enslavement. Considering its swinging paradigm momentum, why the Khmer Republic idealists and enthusiasts aren't doing something?
The Cambodia situation is in dire need of reformation and systemic overhaul after Yuan influenced party ruled it for the last 27 years. The world can help but can't do the change for us. Time is essentially running forward as our respected Khmer Republic personalities are aging and yet the duty as the only alternative hope for the Cambodia majority is still dormant. The former Khmer Republic idealists and fighters alike shall join force in forming the exile government of ours to see to the unfinished task for the Cambodia alternative with hope, fraternity, justice, liberty and equality. Who knows may be this is the move that the Republic former ally, the US, is expecting to see happening. Over 30 years is too long enough of rest, the call to reconnect and reconvene for the sake of national respect and dignity for later generations is now. My dearly friends, wake up and listen to your inner calling.
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August 20, 2006
The Cambodia Untouchable Crimes
By Kok Sap
Present Cambodia is at the curse of its revision of proletariat revolutionary henchmen and despotic rulers. People life and hope is no value as highly profitable land at the foreign speculation. What a predicament, Yuan grabbed Khmer country land at its government willful endorsement while ruler Hun Sen agents unruly grabbed poor Khmer only survival patch for the rich foreign investors expansion.
No one seemed to know for certain how the few extra-ordinaires became so rapidly rich after the 1975 proletarian revolution swept Cambodia into apocalypse. Sihanoukâ€™s DRK had abolished and destroyed everything then. 3 out of 7 people were killed during the Great Leap Movement under the Victorious Flag of Red Blood Revolution. Thatâ€™s Sihanouk Victory. Thatâ€™s Sihanoukâ€™s pay back to those who dared to face his Viet Cong sponsored Marquis tyrants.
During the vacuum era from 1949 to 1979, the emerging few had wheeled tremendous power to put Cambodia in its present predicament. Seemingly they originated from two distinctive breed: criminal geniuses and dictatorial prodigies. Each seems to belong to one another. Above all, the miniature of Napoleonic complex, Sihanouk has had emerged supremely.
For almost 3/4 of century, all disastrous events weathered Cambodia at the ingenuity of a singular architect who seems to believe he is the indispensable multi faÃ§ade demi-god. His lifelong Dracula agenda is to wipe out all the remains of his kills while insinuating the International sponsored Tribunal Chamber is a wasteful endeavor. He has portrayed the Tribunal Chamber as so despicably inhumane and atheistic to have kept on seeking justice for the unfortunate ones upon their evidential skeletons. He is totally beside himself when comes to people justice.
While he sings ,wines and dines comfortably in his holy like harem in plush quarter of Phnom Penh, thousands of his DRK survivors and offspring who lived nearby on underdeveloped patch lands are molested and chastised, killed, and robbed by his ultra loyal Marquis DRK clique hero namely Hun Sen henchmen. He is supporting the entire regime that is full of DRK atheistic and barbaric. In fact he could not careless but kept boasting and encouraging the hoodlum regime to sustain and suppress the survivors. How heinous and cruelest of a man of such stature.
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The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia
I invoke the genius of Constitution. (William Pitt, Earl of
Chatham - 1777)
Despite present image and discriminatory merits have made Cambodia one of the most stigmatized international actors in the world, this sovereign state still boasts one foundation for her general functioning.
The addressed one foundation for general functioning of the state is the Constitution. The all-out purpose of this article is to analyze the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia; whether it addresses the Constitutional pioneer’s theory and other democratically valid eligibilities.
Constitution is not just about listing from preamble and oath to the final provision, but there must be one or many absolute cores to convert a piece of writing, made by very few, into the Municipal God (Constitution) that the entire population must unconditionally abide by. This article will compare the common elements of the generally accepted Constitution to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The principle of sovereignty has made the Constitution of every world countries not definitively identical, but to be generally accepted, the
Constitution must fulfill all the below criteria (with exception to few countries).
Comparing to education, preamble is like an orientation to urge the reader continue to the next page. Administrative functioning, political stance, civil rights and other statesmanship are not addressed in the preamble. Robert L. Maddex states that however, in the case of some Constitutions of communist countries, the preamble may reveal the motives for the document, which otherwise bears little resemblance to how the national political power structure actually operates (Robert L. Maddex, 1995, Constitutions of the World, p. xi).
Preamble of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia states: ... awakened, stood up with a resolute determination to strengthen the national unity, to preserve and defend Cambodia’s territory and its precious sovereignty and the prestige of Angkor civilization, and to restore Cambodia into an Island of Peace ... we inscribe the following as the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The selected paragraphs of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia are to orient the readers to the next page. As we can see, the political system and other state of affairs are not mentioned in the Preamble contained in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Cambodia has now achieved the first common element of what I call the generally accepted Constitution.
II. Fundamental rights:
Most of the written Constitutions reiterate the list of fundamental rights, obligations and responsibilities of wrongdoing of any citizen, permanent inhabitants or anyone paying sojourn within the territory.
Fundamental right is analogous to the U.S. bill of rights (Maddex).
Fundamental rights and civil rights are usually deployed interchangeably.
The list of fundamental rights is mostly surrounding freedom of expression, faith, assembly, association-establishment, private properties, compensation, economic perspiration and accountabilities.
Referring to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia; Chapter III, from Article 31 to 50, the rights and obligations of the Cambodian citizens are tabulated. In these articles, from the most basic (physiological) rights to responsibilities before the state of the Cambodian citizens are listed. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia does now fill the second criteria of the theory of generally accepted Constitution. And the last common element of Constitution is the structure of the government.
III. Structure of the government:
In the democratic or democracy-oriented countries, the government is usually divided into three separate branches: executive, legislative and judicial. To be precise, structure of government is the path on which the public affairs of one state is operated.
Structure of government is also different between parliamentary system and presidential-style parliamentary system.
In the case of Cambodia, the three branches of government is, according to the Constitution, separated (Article 51, paragraph 4). Chapter VII, VIII and IX of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia are all about the structure of the government.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia now reaches the final eligibility to be authentically accepted as the valid Constitution as per the theory of our Constitutional pioneer.
There are still many debates and argument on whether the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia is truly democratic or not. Those interested in public affairs are making the public opinions get confused. Whether the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia is democratic or not, is the matters of politics, not the matters of law. We are doing legal analysis, but our mentality is focusing on politics; this has made the new interested individuals get even more confused and complicated.
I do not dare to say that whether the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia is democratic or not, because I am not doing political analysis, but I dare to say that Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia does possess adequate criteria to be regarded as a generally accepted Constitution.
Constitutional council of the Kingdom of Cambodia is the sole institution responsible for interpreting any law passed by the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The Author of this article recommends those concerned to use the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia for any occasion.
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One Difference between Law and Politics
By Lay Vicheka
To me, education is not just the matter of financial livelihood and social status, but why education is needed? Whether the provided education is authentic, what the lacks or loopholes of education are and to the final stage: would education make the absorbers immortal? These are some of the questions and rhetoric that make me view education very differently from those of my peers and even my parents and lecturers.
Law and Politics are usually confused with one another and cannot be meticulously separated from each other; as we usually hear the Faculty of Law and Politics, Center for Political and Legal Tuition, Professor of Law and Politics, etc. These are the facts that initiate me an idea to bring the core difference between Law and Politics and put it on a public display. The core difference would help the student to deeper understand the subject matters.
Do you have such the wonder? If no, start to make yourself curious about the core difference between Law and Politics to initiate your mental vocation and if yes, this is an article to unveil you a unique difference between Law and Politics to make you deeply understand.
As a student of Law, newspaper columnist, expert author, media liaison officer, legal and political assistant, I have found one complete differences between Law and Politics. This difference is the interpretation.
Most students of Law and Politics do not know that the most important theme of their education is the interpretation. Why I dare to say this? Up to the present, we have billions of sources ranking from books and international media publication to the abstract sources, but these so-called information will not make us a true political analyst or lawyer.
What we are seeing on these sources is just plain information, so what are these information are. If information is just all about information, University is not needed, because most of these sources are available everywhere and even free. The things that we have not found on these sources are the interpretation or the path to interpretational secretes. Let’s now jump up to the very core of our article.
Legal interpretation must be within: in interpreting the law, the lawyer of any party or the conflicting parties themselves cannot interpret the law out of the law being enforced in the country where the trial is being heard. This may seem very vague and let us bring an example to clarify. If you commit or are accused of committing a crime in the country in which you are residing in, you or your lawyer are not entitled to interpret the law out of the laws being enforced in your residing country. To a stricter extent, the laws being used for interpretation must circumnavigate the crime that you did or are accused of committing.
This case is different from political interpretation.
Law and Politics may be equally broad, but interpretation in politics is much broader than in legal one. Have you ever noticed that a political analyst for a university in America would use approach in political interpretation by drawing examples from any country, any sources and any celebrities in the world. Political interpretation (analysis) is not as within as in law.
Politics is much more flexible and so much softer than law. Other merits why politics allow much broader interpretation, because we even see a huge similarities between socialist and capitalist states (similar political application), but the laws in these two separate kinds of state are totally different. I know the last one sentence is too vague for you, but let’s start the legal and political interpretation.
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Cambodian Song is Contributing to Discrimination
It is exactly our desires to entertain and such the right is stipulated in many internal and international legal instruments. To me, entertainment is not just entertainment, but it does enrich our lives, physically and psychologically.
However, converting into the world of materialism, I have noticed that one evilly negative element which is indirectly and subconsciously stipulated in such the daily entertainment and this bad impact would spread into greater extend if appropriate measure is not taken.
Song, I would say, is the most brainwashed kind of entertainment that we even need before our nightly sleep. And just because it is absolutely ubiquitous, the negative element contained in the song can easily be inserted into our psycho factors. So what is the negative element contained that I am referring to?
Here is the answer: discrimination is widely spreading in most of Cambodian songs. Though most of the discrimination is not of great level and apparent, but such the negative element would spread into the society in particular, youth’s mentality, if sound measure is not timely taken by all of us and the concerned state entities.
Discriminations, as I have noticed, are largely based on ground of family status, skin complexion, gender, appearances and other related social status. Most of the time, the poor, the disabled, the unfit is weak, and they are almost always the losers and the ones who is most likely to fail in competition with another who is better in term of finance and appearance. As I have noticed, the poor, disabled are unlikely to have loyal love and they are likely deprived from social participation. But most of the Cambodian youths can not see this essence and would not agree with my stated idea.
Not only about discrimination, most of Cambodian songs are just plainly about entertainment, and there are nearly no song to contribute to psychological purification. I do not mean that all songs should be about philosophy and other educational favor, but I do need some songs and singers contribute to such the field of the society. I do need entertainment too!!!
Because of the negative points I raised above, Cambodian song has not potential to gain its fame in the national, regional and international stage; the writer and singer should reconsider about this. Another essence of the song is to surprise and make the listeners feel respectful to the singer and author.
As I would like to make this essay short and brief, I would not bring many examples to defense my argument, but I want you, the readers, to observe the matters of fact by yourselves, and see whether my opinion is of value or not.
I am not criticizing Cambodian song alone, this problem is also occurring in other countries around the world, but I just want all of us to take notice before we do analysis or before it is too late.
No matter how the world has developed, discrimination is still ubiquitous and maybe more serious than the bygone past, because it is contained in even our playful element (coined by Lay Vicheka, 2005)
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One Form of Right to Self-Expression Shall be Obstructed
Submitted by Vicheka Lay
Since the world has reached an era of humanity, all persuasion of human rights; the right to life, physiological adequacy, equal pay for equal work, religion, assembly and opinion are protected by the local government with profound encouragement from the international or regional organizations. However, there is one defect found in such the right. This defect is â€œself-expression through national flag-burning.
National flag-burning has become one of or probably the most common strategies of one group of people to express their views which totally contravene another country's foreign policy. It is because this group of people who burn the national flag of another country, think that another country whose national flag is being burned, is criminal or will take advantage from their own country or making any foreign policy that negatively impacts their country, so burning that country's national flag is the ensign of total contravention.
Indeed, it is not wrong at all, because until today, we do not have any national, regional or even international legal instrument to prohibit national flag-burning in the public yet, but this is a message to the world that We Should Have International Law to Prohibit National Flag Burning in any Circumstance, with No Exception.
From the author's point of view and analysis, national flag-burning shall not be an authorized or be an acceptable form of self-expression. The author's rationales behind this concept are arisen from two tendencies:
1. Generalization: National flag-burning is the direct generalization that everything; living and material, exist in the country whose national flag is being burned, are totally wrong or criminal. But the generalization conceptâ€ is not acceptable in this world; one person found guilty of any crime, only he or she is guilty of that crime, but his or her family members are totally innocent.
This similarly implies that not everyone or everything in the country whose national flag is being burned, are totally wrong or criminal, but may be only the government or any institution is totally wrong or criminal. National flag-burning is the form of generalization which only swells up the problem from a very small scaled problem into a protracted or even uncontrollable crisis.
So please use another form of self-expression against another country, but never deploy self-expression through national flag burning.
2. State is innately perfect in itself: To be short and precise, State is meticulously clean and is totally equal to one another. This means that only individual or a group of people have that Stateâ€™s nationality are wrong or criminal, but they are just the very small portion of that State. State is always right, enlightened, sovereign, immortal, innocent and perfect, so please burn only the individual or group of people, but not the State.
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Letter Concerning Israeli and Lebanese Crisis to Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dear Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia,
I am writing you in relation to the events in Lebanon. Today and luckily for humanity the world is increasingly connected and forming a global village. So, despite biased media reports for the benefit of Israel, we as citizens of the world have a clear idea of what is happening in that part of the world and Cambodia.
Israel is destroying Lebanon and any economic viability that it has been struggling to build over the past 16 years. Before that it was unleashing its terror and destruction on the people of Gaza. They are killing children, women and innocent civilians. Israel has been displacing families from their homes in villages ever since its establishment in 1948. In six days since July 12, 2006, it displaced over 700,000 people in Lebanon alone. It also pounded to the ground Lebanese peopleâ€™s homes and infrastructure: roads, bridges, airports, ports, highways, energy plants and communication networks. These are all structures that we may have paid for with our tax money through international aid projects as we know that Lebanonâ€™s post-war reconstruction was partly possible because of foreign aid to the then war-torn country. Israel has torn it away again, an entire country. It has no right to do so. Israel is carrying out the same, if not worse, collective punishment that some of its people suffered during the first half of the 20th century.
We are constantly being told that we should appreciate the fact that we live in democracies, in the free world, where freedom of speech and expression are not an issue. We are also being told that our governments are waging a war against terror to protect us. But today we wonder whether such violent actions carried out by states, which use unrestrained and disproportionate force, clearly breaching international law and justice, are not but exasperating the problem by creating more angry people who are willing to bomb themselves in train stations and skyscrapers in an attempt to turn attention to the injustice they are enduring.
Based on our concern for our own security and based on the fact that we live in democracies where an individualâ€™s freedom of expression holds the power to change and improve, we write to you today requesting the following:
Mobilize all diplomatic efforts to:
1. Stop the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza
2. Pressure the United Nations Security Council to meet immediately and issue a Chapter 7 Resolution condemning the Israeli attacks and imposing sanctions on the Jewish state in an attempt to prevent it from repeating these attacks in the future. The international communityâ€™s failure to treat Israel like any other belligerent state has led to its recurrent resorting to violence. Ten years ago, it committed the Qana Massacre in South Lebanon at a UN base. As it remained unpunished for its unlawful acts in Qana, Jenin, Sabra and Shatila etc. Israel allowed itself to commit the mass genocide in Gaza and Lebanon in 2006 using the same argument and justification â€œself-defense,â€ â€œfighting against terrorâ€ etc. But killing children and innocent is far from self-defense and fighting against terror unless it is the intention. Israel should face the same treatment as Saddam did when he invaded Kuwait and if it does not, we as citizens of Cambodia need to understand clearly why. Our country pays membership fees to be part of the UN, I presume it is our tax money. We expect and we have the right to request that this money is used effectively. No nation should enjoy the privilege over others to kill and the UN should be able to implement its charter the first article of which is â€œto Maintain Peace and Security.â€
3. Pressure Israel through the UN or any other effective means to pay compensation for all the destruction it has caused at least since July 12, 2006.
I as a citizen of Cambodia, and the free world, the policies of which supposedly rest on the sum of individual votes of choice, count on you to take my request into consideration and forward to action. Together officials and citizens can make this a better world for all races to enjoy.
Thank you in advance.
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