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Posted by: | Posted on: January 27, 2009

Some visions from some scholars on post-war Cambodia

“Cambodia’s future is bleak. Democratic forces in opposition to Hun Sen have been impeded by the emerging norm of avoiding conflicts to maintain stability even if stability undermines the development of improved human and civil rights…” — Abdulgaffar Peang-Meth 1997

Sorpong Peou, 2001. “The International Library of Social Change in Asia Pacific: Cambodia”. Ashgate Publishing pp.341. Article appeared in Contemporary Southeast Asia on “Understanding Cambodia’s Political Development”. 19, pp.286-308

“Even in the rosiest scenario, democracy will take a long time to put down firm roots in Cambodia. If it is to have a real chance, however, the country’s political elites must begin respecting norms of accountability and transparency, and must get serious about fulfilling the mandate for democratization that they received from the voters in May 1993”. — Julio A. Jeldres, 1996

Sorpong Peou, 2001. “The International Library of Social Change in Asia Pacific: Cambodia”. Ashgate Publishing pp.349. Article appeared in Journal of Democracy, Volume 7, Number 1, January 1996 on “Cambodia’s Fading Hopes”. 19

“A preliminary assessment of the political economy of the Royal Government of Cambodia evokes a sense of deja vu . Twin themes of continuity and transformation emerge from the analysis, with attempts to transform the economy frequently undercut by the continuity of malfeasance, corruption, and violence. The Cambodian proclivity for violence in the post-Khmer Rouge period is especially disheartening…” —Ronald Bruce St John, 1995

Sorpong Peou, 2001. “The International Library of Social Change in Asia Pacific: Cambodia”. Ashgate Publishing pp.539. Article appeared in Contemporary Southeast Asia, Volume 17, Number 3, December 1995 on “The Political Economy of the Royal Government of Cambodia”.

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 2, 2009

Change can’t occur without action

PACIFIC DAILY NEWS
December 31, 2008

Change can’t occur without action

A. Gaffar Peang-Meth, Ph.D.

The year’s last day. Tomorrow we will awaken to the new year, 2009!

There were many things “wrong” with 2008. But no amount of money, no volume of words, no mountain of compassion can change what has occurred. We can learn from the past, but we mustn’t live there. A Sanskrit proverb says, “Yesterday is but a dream” and “tomorrow is only a vision.”

Tomorrow, the first day of the new, and hopefully with heaven’s help, improved 2009, will be upon us. It is we, with our qualities and frailties, who will or won’t make 2009 a different year. We can only ask God for help.

Many of us have compiled the annual list of New Year’s resolutions. Most of those are probably familiar commitments, recycled from past years’ versions.

The French say, “Man proposes, God disposes.” But humans tend to talk the talk but not walk the talk, to want something but not make steps to attain it with serious commitment, consistency and perseverance.

German-born American physicist Albert Einstein reminded, “Information is not knowledge,” and German playwright Johann von Goethe posited, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

And Asia’s great thinker, Confucius, said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance,” and “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find some time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

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