Political myth and the reality on the “return”

Posted by: | Posted on: August 14, 2013

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