Eng Chhai Eang
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Reading this latest article by Elizabeth Becker, a well-known journalist and author on Cambodia, Mu Sochua is considered the most outspoken woman for Cambodian women. With her decades of social activism and politician professional, Madame Sochua has sharply faced off with patriarchal society of Cambodia under dictatorship leadership so-called “strongman Hun Sen”. The plight of Cambodia has been known to the outside world by the Angkor the Great and the Pol Pot the Genocidal, while the in-between this two dichotomy is the flip-flip, deceitful, tactical, corrupt, dictatorial, and irrational leadership of Hun Sen.
Madame Sochua is among those survivals from the killing field of Pol Pot who have been embedded by the strongest mindset and determination to bring about hopes and smiles to Cambodians and their children through the pathway of democracy and human rights. She is determined to follow struggling model of Burmeses civic rights Aung San Suu Kyi. Once, she was proposed for Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Cambodian people and many journalists had keenly named her “Cambodian Aung San Suu Kyi”.
Aung San Suu Kyi accepted to stay in house arrest by rejecting Burmese junta suppressed her to living in self-exile. Her optimism and pragmatism have resulted in power sharing with the Junta through a model the Western world called “gradual but pragmatic democratization of Myanmar”. First, she was a Nobel Peace Prize candidate, but it has been discarded later when she is blamed for joining hand with the Junta to discriminate against Rohingya muslim minority; and she has been named “from peace icon to pariah”. Thus, her recent victory over the Junta under her leadership of National League for Democracy (NLD) party, is a testimony of her “optimism and pragmatism” yielding through her decades of judicial struggle against the Junta. During her time under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi devoted herself to Buddhist meditation practices and to studying Buddhist thought. This deeper interest in Buddhism is reflected in her writings as more emphasis is put on love and compassion.
According to Elizabeth Becker “Sochua is a reminder of the unbearable personal sacrifices required to protect and promote democracy in this age of brutal tyrants, especially for women” and her devotion to return back to Cambodia in November 9, 2019 of Cambodia Independence Day, was a reality. She has never given up to return back to Cambodia. Her age is rolling up with her strength in determination, devotion, and dedication. Her bogus charges by the Deputy Persecutor Seng Heang of “inciting to commit a felony and plotting” was set to trial this November 26, 2020 but adjourned to January and March, 2021, among those 150 people as en mass trial by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Mu Sochua has determined to go back on time but due to entering ban by Hun Sen government, she missed this first trial while a lawyer worked on her behalf. But the next hearing, she is certainly present at the Court.
She is loyal to Sam Rainsy and all CNRP leaders who have fresh and collective mindset to “make Cambodia better” through pathway of genuine democracy, the rule of laws, social justice, and human rights. She and her colleagues shall be in Cambodia this January the latest the world must keep eyes on!