August, 2013

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 30, 2013

Cambodian diaspora and the political change in Cambodia

While the deadline for mass rally has been announced by the leadership of CNRP on September 7, 2013, one day prior to the NEC’s official announcement of the national election result, the debate and discussion are richly exposing through the media and meeting tables. Puzzling questions are coined on the CNRP’s leadership to choose between mass rally or diplomatic negotiation, or both are instrumental for the effort?

According to the press released and continual announcement of the CNRP’s leadership, both scenarios are clearly displayed to garner political progressive for a new update of political culture in Cambodia.

Responsiveness

One of the effective work is the responsiveness. The leadership of CNRP has worked well responsive to the demand of the supporters. It is part of the democratic principle that being a leader is not a divine power but a supportive energy from the supporters. 30% of Cambodian youths have been calling for change and genuine reform in Cambodia. The preliminary result of election doesn’t satisfy those youths, so the optional mass solidarity is not a mere or flimsy future. I think the announcement of mass rally is the preparedness to answer their demand for their bright future.

However, the locus of CNRP’s leadership are still mainly focusing on diplomatic solution. As we all know, this party is created by the people whose weapons are not guns or tanks, but two empty hands, two bear feet and one head. These equipments are the manifestation of non-violence and tolerance. If the negotiation results is in vain, just “let it go” like Nelson Mandela said for the mass rally but it must be non-violence and in the manner of very well organized. As a matter of fact, many Cambodian people especially youths are cheerfully and bravely to come out to the street to participate with any type of peaceful mass rally.

For Cambodian diapora, beside of coming out to the street everywhere around the world to join the rally, they have also petitioned their constituents to pay attention at the irregularities of Cambodian election.

Cambodian diaspora in Canada

Letter of Appealing to the Government of Canada 1To what I have known, the CNRP’s supporters in Canada has tirelessly worked to lobby its government about the Cambodian election and its result irregularities. Attached here is the letter to the Minister of Foreign Affair of Canada through local constituencies to support the request of CNRP’s quest for free and fair election in Cambodia by including civil society and the United Nations into the commission of investigation body on those vast election irregularities.

 

 

Further to this, there was a response from the government of Canada certifying that the Letter to Canadian Prime Minister by Pretty Ma
view of Sheila Copps on her capacity to the result of Cambodian election on the July 28th, 2013, is just her personal view, it doesn’t represent the view of the Canadian government at all.

 

 

 

 


Thy Prak Letter to Canada

 

These activities of Cambodian diaspora are very vivid and effective in utilizing the power of diplomacy and non-violence campaign responsive to the CNRP’s key leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 14, 2013

Political myth and the reality on the “return”

mythWhen I was young, I saw the best man (key actor) of the local opera always lost at the beginning but won at the end. The endurance during this loss-win intermittent is their exit trip by escaping from the palace to explore knowledge (ចំណេះដឹង) and authority (បារមី) from the jungle.

Cambodian political leaders have significantly accumulated their authority and galvanized their supporters from the sampling of this Khmer local opera. Remarkably, the historical myth of this story tells us following:

King Norodom Sihanouk returned immediately from his school “Lycée Chasseloup Laubat” in Saigon, Southern Vietnam, to accept the coronation in 10 days after the previous Crown (his maternal grandfather King Sisovath Munivong) passed away on 23 April 1941. He is known as enthusiastic young prince. His knowledge and experiences accumulated from outside Cambodia partly factored the popularity for his successful non-violence mass demonstration to free Cambodia from French colony. He succeeded the mission on 9 November 1953.

For Pol Pot, his attempt for revolution from inside the city likely yielded in vain. Pol Pot traveled to the jungle and built up his reputation from there. In this fact, once I heard ex-professor Keng Vansak made a joke among Khmer Rouge revolutionists that if they wished to succeed, they must accumulate power from the forest by an analogy comparing to key actor(s) of Khmer opera who can liberate the kingdom only after he returned back from the forest.

The myth of this story re-iterated in Cambodia again when Sam Rainsy, the key leader of opposition party (CNRP) returned back to Cambodia on 19 July 2013 after nearly 4 years of self-imposed exile in French. The return was remarked by the largest rally of supporters (majorly youths) in the history of Cambodia politics, to greet him.

At the moment, while the preliminary results of national election declared by NEC, the two key political parties are contesting on the free and fair, and the credible performance of the NEC, Sam Rainsy is on his trip to the US to participate with his daughter’s wedding including other permissible opportunities. 

Hence, the return of Sam Rainsy from this trip will surely surprise Cambodian people, if not little, it would be gigantic.

Peace,

Sophoan 

Posted by: | Posted on: August 13, 2013

Post National Election and The Challenges

The protest on the irregularities of the National Election in Cambodia on July 28, 2013 has become tense as the NEC has been distrusted by the people and international communities in conducting a free and fair election.

Analysts have been surprised by the huge crowd of Cambodian people especially youths participated in the political campaign, voting and observing their ballots.

From the stance of CNRP, the irregularities and NEC’s alone to handle complaints in the election is irrelevant. Third party such as civil society and United Nations are in need to ensure free and fair and possibly help the NEC to gain its credit as well. If NEC decide to solve problem by itself or participating only two key political parties, it will not assure the free and fair; and it undermines the will and rights of the electorates because NEC itself is the defendant and it can not play its role as the plaintiff at the same time.

Following are some evidences of competitive result, ballot protecting of those voters and recent gathering of the CNRP’s leaders to “thanks” the supporters.

Posted by: | Posted on: August 12, 2013

NEC is the bridge but plays its role towards destruction

If Cambodian leaders can put aside personal view, and put the interest of the nation first, the recommendation of Special Rapporteur Surya Subedi is the win win approach for this nation.

NEC reform
At the moment, we can see clearly that the powerful ruling party is playing procrastinating game and no political will of reform or following the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur at all. 
 
This election is a gross loss at its legitimacy as NEC has been increasingly summing up bad credit among the electorates and international communities. Hence, this body has been fully protected by the ruling party. We can see the mass and the will of the Cambodian electorates are the winner over this loser system. With this imbalanced existing scenario sufficiently create fragile bottom up power and can lead to destruction and instability of this nation. Political scientists can not pre-calculate on the magnitude of crisis caused by this ineffective bridge: the strong bottom up power with the upper ineffective system. If crisis occurred, the CNRP is not the responsible party while this party is working hard to accommodate itself with the bottom up power and to organize their spirit within an order movement. But if the institution power and its system is continuing to ignore this power, or without comprehending this power, or working to cope this power by force; the unprecedented crisis is tangibly intolerable.
 
By national and international law, CNRP has relevant demand on the creation of a credential commission to investigate the election irregularities as well as to pave way for future confidence of this national bridging committee. There is a professional move by changing from proposing UNs as the referee to be an investigative member. I think this is a provision to avoid tension which I don’t see from another side. In contrast, the mobilization of the military with heavy ammunition is a sign of doing a job that is not described in the job description and it is a sign of tension.
 
At the meantime, Cambodian people are learning the value of democracy and we can testify this by the ballots they voted on July 28, 2013; but the ruling party is still delivering the same messages, the messages of using armed force for national security, unity and sovereignty. This message is again stated by government spokesperson with Hello VOA today (August 12, 2013). While NEC was heavily criticized since its inception and it is requested for reform by both Cambodian people and the international communities, the ruling party is not only being so protective to the NEC but also exposing itself as the secure shield to protect this body at all cost.
 
It is time for the ruling party to use the armed force in the way of democracy principle and stop protecting the rotten fish in order to freshen the whole fish and embark Cambodia in a safe haven. 
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Posted by: | Posted on: August 3, 2013

Analysis of Political Landscape of Cambodia during Post Election

strategies-for-changeWhen I was a Buddhist monk, first I believe that Nibbana is a perfectionist state of mind and matter. But after I perceived on the teaching of moderation and middle path, Nibbana is just a by-product of middle path, neither materialism extreme nor self-indulgence of austerity extreme can lead us to Nibbana.
 
As we were at the American university, liberal democracy and egalitarian concept, draw us a lot of attention. I can see that this country has applied middle part for their ongoing success of serving the people (serving both material and spiritual need). 
 
Free and fair election is the concept of building spiritual or emotional need for the people. According to Buddha, when people have obtained well-materialized freedom, they are rich with wisdom and emotional satisfaction. I believe in this case as Cambodian people especially youths must be able to receive some level of freedom, fairness and confidence.
 
From what I saw the sea of people particularly youths came out from their nests to the public street for change is phenomenal in Cambodia. Those youths were distorted by mainstream atmosphere in building their confidence, but now they come out by themselves to explore self-oriented confidence.
 
CPP has likely carried the policy of censorship, but those youths are struggling to seek freedom by exposing support to the CNRP. This is the myth of social science.
 
Until now, I can say NEC and CPP, from their previous policy and performance, have lost credential among those young voters. If I take election outcome as my scientific assessment, NEC needs to build their credential and CPP must do at the same effort. But I don’t think CPP will arrive a stage of party dissolution. However, leadership within the party must be re-arranged or reshuffled. My only one intention for this proposal is to build “credential” and “confidence” back.
 
For CNRP, this party has gained momentum from at least four scenarios:
– Social myth among youths who are crying for change for a better dream and goal of life
– The unification of two meritocratic leaders
– 7 key points and concise policy
– Build up strong and sound voice of nationalism in which CPP has long time neglected it especially about the illegal immigrants and border scheme solution with Vietnam.
 
What is next?
 
There are pros and cons for CNRP to be a coalition or independent. If CNRP will win the 63 seats or up as demanding on the irregularities of the election, it is pragmatically to have CPP to join for coalition government. But if CNRP can retain only 55-56 seats while CPP is still maintaining the same 67-68 seats as publicly announced, the coalition government is not pragmatic for the CNRP. Hence, the opposition CNRP must be able to ensure that arm force is independent, court is independent, NEC is reliable and credible, TVK is neutral, corruption must be effectively implemented, law on immigration and the citizen application must be enforced, the 7 key points of economic development must be practical, and the unity of internal CNRP must be strong etc. in order to take a lead for 2018 election and able to build its own government.
 
One of the above factors, CNRP is a party of arm-less group and they are backed by the force of civil people. Political scientists have always balanced civility and the militia at the same importance on advancing political progress. As we all know, Cambodia at present is well-known for partial arm forces. If the current election result is assaulted by the heavy mobilization of the military, how could we know that the 2018 election will be a free lunch from that?
 
Peace,
Sophoan
Posted by: | Posted on: August 3, 2013

Secretary-General welcomes Cambodian elections

Secretary-General welcomes Cambodian elections

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefs the press. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

3 August 2013 – United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the peaceful conduct of elections in Cambodia and encouraged the competent authorities to deal fairly and transparently with any complaints of irregularities.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the peaceful conduct of the elections in Cambodia on 28 July,” said a statement issued last evening by the office of the UN chief’s spokesperson.

UN Statement“Amid reports of irregularities, the United Nations encourages the competent authorities to adjudicate complaints fairly and transparently, with the ultimate aim of ensuring the accurate determination of, and respect for, the will of the Cambodian people,” the statement said, adding that Mr. Ban continues to follow the situation in the country closely.

Source: UN RFI