Australia silent as Cambodia’s Hun Sen deals final blow to democracy

Australia silent as Cambodia’s Hun Sen deals final blow to democracy

By Lindsay Murdoch

Comment: 22 February 2017

Op-Ed: TheAge.Com

Prime Minister Hun Sen has remained in power beyond the time of any of the world’s democratic leaders through use of politically motivated violence, control of security forces and the courts, and massive corruption.

Still to this day, I am haunted by the image of a pretty young girl sitting in shock amid the blood and debris of a grenade attack on an anti-government rally in a park across from the Royal Palace on March 30, 1997, in which 16 people were killed and 120 injured.

Bangkok: Twenty per cent of Cambodians live in poverty. Forty-two per cent of children under five years old are malnourished and stunted. More than half of Cambodians lack access to toilets and sanitation.

For three decades Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia with the tacit backing of foreign countries sympathetic to the leader of a nation emerging from genocide and civil war.

Australia has long being at the forefront of a donor-nation generosity that has seen billions of dollars pour in to help Cambodia’s 16 million people.

Since 2014 in particular Australia has showered diplomatic praise and an additional $40 million on Hun Sen and his ministers in return for Cambodia accepting what has turned out to be only a handful of refugees from Nauru.

Canberra is sending $90 million of taxpayers’ money to the country this financial year alone to contribute to what the Department of Foreign Affairs claims will be the country’s “greater prosperity”.

But the reality is very different.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has remained in power beyond the time of any of the world’s democratic leaders through use of politically motivated violence, control of security forces and the courts, and massive corruption.

Still to this day, I am haunted by the image of a pretty young girl sitting in shock amid the blood and debris of a grenade attack on an anti-government rally in a park across from the Royal Palace on March 30, 1997, in which 16 people were killed and 120 injured.

The girl was smiling, unaware of the calamity around her.

I looked down and saw she had no legs. She died on the way to hospital.

The level of corruption in the country that Australia’s Coalition government has made one of its closet allies in Asia – for political gain at home – is staggering.

Continue reading “Australia silent as Cambodia’s Hun Sen deals final blow to democracy”

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Past democracy and dictatorship leadership of Cambodia have embedded in Cambodia

Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 78

This part (78), Mr. Sophan is reflecting on the article of Cambodia Daily written on history of democracy

Courtesy: Reuters
Courtesy: Reuters

and dictatorship evolution in Cambodia. First time, Cambodian voters were lining up to cast their ballots on September 1st, 1946 or 70 years ago; also current Cambodia Constitution that bestows Monarch’s rule under constitution was born in 1947.

At the end, and as we are witnessing nowadays, the dictatorship leadership has taken place over and over again. The corruption has been pervasive, and brave men who have stood up to against the corruption have been dismissed and discarded from leadership ring by the most powerful leader(s) or by their groups of autocrats.

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