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As Hun Sen walked out from the Senate Building, he spontaneously told the waiting reporters that “victory, let together help applaud”. Cambodian people and supporters have posited doubt on what “victory” he mean? The agreement both parties signed seem show clear road-map bringing into implementation, but sympathizers see this as “output” not the “outcome” at all. On the other hand, some articles on the agreement are still vague and need more time to realistically articulate them. The victory might be plausible for Hun Sen as he will lead this government legitimately for another 5 years while Sam Rainsy is feeling relaxed as his 7 MPs-elect and one activist can walk out the prison as a bail from their unjust pre-trial detention. The two phenomenon is very dichotomous.
The doubtful theme of the agreement to breakthrough the deadlock:
Beside of clear numbers, roles and responsibility for power sharing within the parliament, the important agendas on National Election Committee (NEC) in-dept reform and the rescheduling of early election date caused by recent protests of election flaws, both are not yet written. The agreement just said they will anticipate with the task force of both parties to work on it. According to the publicized agreement (in Khmer and translated into English by KEEN Languages Interpreter), the current NEC that CNRP has fought vehemently, is still having full authority to conduct their tasks, and the agreed statement on 4 members of the NEC selected by the CNRP must go through this current NEC’s mission as usual before the new NEC body is created. The 9 members of the NEC or the formula of 4+4+1 will be deliberately applying to all levels such as provincial and district NEC, or just the top NINE? For the new date of early election is not mentioned exactly within the agreement as it will depend on the task force from both sides.
For the power sharing within the parliament, CNRP is expecting to build rule of law from within the parliament on their insisting demand of “check and balance” governance by having separate power between Legislative and Executive. Hence, the agreement doesn’t say anything about Judiciary. Further more, there are loopholes on those 10 committees especially the possible inefficient work interaction. For instance, the “investigation, cleaning-up and anti-corruption” is led by CNRP including many other committees but not the “Finance”, or “Interior”, or “Public Services” etc. that will posit difficulty for CNRP to operate their task smoothly. The most challenging thing for CNRP is probably the limit of human resources.
The CNRP Leadership:
The agreement is lacking to mention the proper party name as “The Cambodia National Rescue Party” by writing only “National Rescue Party” which is a sign I would like to link to that CNRP cannot isolate itself from their people (supporters). Thus, the leaders of all levels must work hard to explain the reasons to join the parliament this time to the people (their supporters) before those supporters are confused by others. Sam Rainsy who is the president of the party is seen likely unhappy from this deal. His first word to the public is we have no option, national reconciliation and compromise is the most important thing. His speech posited many invisible meaning for all of us.
He might foresee the long run consequences after CNRP joint the parliament. He has hugely gained experiences in Cambodian politics especially in handling with his everlasting rival, Hun Sen.
During this recent decades, I can say Sam Rainsy is a great Khmer leader who is projecting his new vital leadership to pave a new strong social fabric of Cambodia. Observers have simultaneously said that Cambodian social fabric has been so fragile. Violence, corruption and abusing of power etc. are easily happened by this post-Khmer Rouge society pattern. Visionary and long-sighted leader is a leader who comprehend this fragility and he is pragmatically staying in focus to bring about candid social fabric for Cambodian people.
As the challenges, Cambodian social fabric is not only referring to the whole nation, but the biggest fractions such as CNRP party and CPP party. For Sam Rainsy, CNRP has many thing falling behind especially good flows of bureaucratic leadership and capable merit-based candidates appointment. While the party is emerged as the role model for Cambodian people especially the new aspiration of younger generation, the party-based candidates and staffs selection is seen not different from the CPP’s. By unparalleled on finance base and armed forces, the CNRP must ensure that the party can recruit the best candidates as their agents and can maintain the increasing people popularity.
By Sophoan Seng
Dear Friends of Democrats and Justice Lovers;
I am interested to read more books on “violence” in Cambodia. Since, I was born I can say violence is everywhere and it is man made. The trauma of Cambodian people caused by violence is very tremendous. The victim of the violence is the weak, not the strong. In contrast, the strong gain benefit from violence embroilment as this projected violence is systematic.
Sometime, violence has been shaped itself from time to time. For instance, the Khmer Rouge leaders were great in using violence to control others and enhance their power. But their extremism ended their career faster than expect. The same Khmer Rouge comrades have likely maintained their power base but changed the images of violence, at least academics see this as changing from “direct” to “indirect” violence embroilment. With this synthesis, well-known authors on Cambodia such as David Chandler, Penny Edwards, Gafar Peang-meth, Sorpong Peou, John Tully, and Sebestian Strango have simultaneously theorized Cambodia politics as lineage political culture of violence built by violence leadership.
While the UNTAC-sponsored election in 1993 was not violence free, the post-established government was violently divorced from each other through a deadly coup detat. Subsequently, many protesters were injured, amputated and killed by the grenade attack and security guards deployed by the government; and many movie stars and journalists are day-light shooting including extrajudicial killing. Those perpetrators have never been brought to justice. Sebestian observed that the repression on opposition party through violence orchestration and court-ordered charges have been traditionally trumped-up by the CPP under Hun Sen leadership.
Now, look at the two groups within Cambodian’s People Party (CPP) such as the revolutionists leadership and pragmatists leadership: the revolutionists groups have always taken over the agenda and their tools are guns, batons and judiciary manipulation visibly.
Dear Fellow Friends and Readers;
When each team is lining up into the ring, each player is tossing hand of a kid. It is a great symbol of building up younger generation to take turn everything elders have accomplished. Cambodian political culture has richly embedded by this concept. Sometime, Khmer proverb said “children are the young bamboo seed of the decayed bamboo” or “Tompeang Snorng Russey”; some time, Khmer proverb said “youths are the backbone of the future nation” etc.
But in contrast, those nicely verbally said proverb is placed in context only, not in implementation, or it is only the rhetoric, not a realistic one. Observing from parents who like to dominate children in all things rather than listening the idea or demand of the children, the educators and government leaders are in position of personal conceit of power rather than using that power to build or create or innovate new things towards their students or citizens for long-run development. Cambodian educational curriculum and teaching pedagogy are strongly embedded by vertical approach, not horizontal approach at all. Political leaders of Cambodia are indulged only in personal, family and relative corruption, or strongly embedded by patronage system, not the institutional system or rule of law at all.
For Honduras and Bosnia, these two countries have shared poverty line and civil war like Cambodia but these two countries can rise up to this international stage because of their leadership who have utilized the time frame of around 28 to 30 years like Cambodia. Their population well-being is likely well off than Cambodia. Their foreign debts is likely paid off than Cambodia. Their leadership has been clearly reshuffled in the expectation of receiving more progressive and democratization etc. Cambodia is in contrast, the incumbents are afraid of open society policy by closing its people mouth through public media, or placing restrictions to those internal power cells not to freely express their leadership, and maintain clientele-patronage-based governance regardless of fearing unavoidable backfire. The Prime Minister has been so proud of his two achievements: stability and getting rid of genocidal through frequent public speech and televisation. In reality, he has closed his leadership by ignoring the demand of Cambodian youths who are representing 70% of total Cambodian population, or he still cannot see the leadership deficit through the recent national election result. Those youths are demanding social justice, political change, savvy economic development, freedom of expression, information and technology (IT), quality of education, decent living with minimum wage jobs, and much more…etc They are enough and enough for the political propaganda of national stability and the absence of civil war.
Today is July 1, 2014 and it is the Canada Day which Canadian government and its people are celebrating the 147th anniversary of the past but glancing at the future on how Canadian people can enrich the multiculturalism society, greater shared responsibility of nation-building within a liberal democracy processes, modernization of both social justice and economic equity, and boost itself to the international stage by providing more aids to poorer countries, reduce foreign loans and increase peace safeguard staffs to the world etc. The national and private media which are source of public education have collectively shouldered to educate the wrong-doers but admire the right-doers without censor or fear of political reprisal.
Just little thing, all Cambodians should consider to practice, please teach your kids or others the best things as you are the actors of role model. Below is a simple example of a kid whose parents are Khmer Kampuchea Krom-born and she said from her heart in which inspired all attendants during the 65th anniversary of the loss of this rich land.
My name’s Kathy Dao. I am very honored today to express some of my opinion on who am I, how could I share Khmer identity with others and my thought on the birth place of my parents, Khmer Kampuchea Krom.
Firstly, I was born in Canada but my first language is Khmer. At school, English is my second language. Of course, I spoke Khmer since I learnt how to speak as a toodler. Although, I havebeen growing up among Canadian children at school, but I have used Khmer language, eaten Khmer food and dressed Khmer cloths most of the time.
Secondly, I have informed my teachers and friends at school that I am Khmer. My parents are Khmer. My grand parents are Khmer. I have shared with them about Khmer culture, food, cloths and temples.
Thirdly, I must try to speak Khmer and learn how to write Khmer alphabets so that I can be a bilingual person living in this bilingual country. More than this, when I visit my parents’ birth place at Kampuchea Krom, I can speak Khmer with all those Khmer people without using English a word.
I think the future of Khmer Kampuchea Krom will depend on how Khmer Krom children know their own roots, their culture, their language and their freedom. I would like to urge all Khmer parents to use their little time to educate their children to speak Khmer language as well as to write Khmer alphabets so that they can receive both ability to speak Khmer fluently and to preserve their roots.
Thank you very much,
As the summary, you can learn many good points the author elaborated during the interviewing of this part. He articulated clearly that good leader must obtain the mindset to respect the rule of law, be a democratic principle person, sacrifice personal gain for the interest of the nation, and be honest to himself and the nation etc.
The virtue of good leader should fully obtain 4 sublime states of the mind in according to Buddha’s teaching such as Metta (compassion), Karuna (Loving-Kindness), Mudita (Sympathetic joy), and Upekkha (Equanimity). This quality reservation need comprehension to be able to apply in real time situation, not just parroting them.
At the end, the author intellectually bestowed Cambodian leadership style which move beyond the current democratic development by criticising GDP materialistic measure by inserting mental happiness into the agenda. The well-being of the people must accomplish through the balance of physical and mental needs. Comparing to the theory of Rouse and Aristotle the world has implemented, the author suggested Cambodian leadership to endorse Cambodian home-made leadership skills paralleling with Cambodian culture and Buddhism he has ever articulated.
Constitution for Living is a manual for life. It is idealistic to own this book as a guide to understand the meaning of life, the purposes of life, the daily living challenges, happiness and achievement of individuals. The book describes the teaching of Buddha from Tipitaka scripture in the way that ordinary people can comprehend and practice. The book is very accurate and applicable for our modern changing world.
Author: Sophan Seng,Year Published: 2003
It contains 128 pages, Khmer language, beautiful Bayon Smile cover. You donate only $19.99 US as the shipping fee per book, so you can have it for yourself, a gift for a friend or for a library!
Sophan SengYear Published: 2004
It has 130 pages, English and Khmer language page by page, beautiful Naga Buddha art of Bayon cover. You donate only $19.99 US as the shipping fee per book, so you can have it for yourself, a gift for a friend or for a library!
Fundamental Thought of Buddhism is a popular book in Cambodia. It elaborates in details of scientific findings of Buddhist meditation. Scientists don’t need other tangible tools to measure happiness and capture genuine happiness for human beings, meditation through practicing under the guidance of Lord Buddha, practitioners can experience genuine happiness. The book also includes analysis of Economy in Buddhism, Sociology in Buddhism, and the Virtue of Parents etc. It is a food of thought to owning this book in your shelf!
Author: Sophan Seng, Year Published: 2008
It has 90 pages, Khmer language, hardcover stylized by photo taken in Banff National Park of Canada by author. You donate only $19.99 US as the shipping fee per book, so you can have it for yourself, a gift for a friend or for a library!