Independence or Paris?

Posted by: | Posted on: October 27, 2008
Written by Sophan Seng
Monday, 27 October 2008

Dear Editor,

I am dismayed by the government’s rehearsal for the national independence celebration (‘Bigger and better’ Independence Day, October 23). Of course, Cambodia’s Independence Day on November 9 is important as Cambodia gained full freedom from the French on that day, but I believe the Paris Peace Agreement on October 23 is equally important.

October 23 is considered a renaissance for Cambodia in both economic and political terms. Though Cambodia has encountered problems in terms of fully implementing the chapters of the treaty, the path to democracy in Cambodia lies in the treaty’s stipulations.

While we already have full independence, Cambodia’s political upheavals will end and its democracy will become genuine when it fully adheres to the October 23 Paris Peace Agreement. I would like to suggest that all Cambodian people and political parties remember the significance of this very important day. Political dogmas aside, October 23 should be celebrated and commemorated equally to national Independence Day on November 9.

Sophan Seng
PhD student in political science
University of Hawaii at Manoa

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