Questions over Rainsy’s Cambodia return after deputy turned back

NEWS /THAILAND

“That Thai wall obstructing his return could enhance further Sam Rainsy’s stature and popularity just as Iranian political and cleric Ayatollah Khomeini gained while in exile in France before returning triumphantly in 1979,” Mong Hay said, adding that Rainsy remained a “phenomenon” and a “force to reckon with” for Hun Sen.

Questions over Rainsy’s Cambodia return after deputy turned back

Thailand denied entry to Mu Sochua, raising doubts about plan for opposition leaders to take land route back home.by Andrew Nachemson19 hours ag

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The deputy leader of Cambodia’s opposition party has been denied entry to Thailand, casting doubt on party leader Sam Rainsy’s pledge to return from exile in Paris in early November.

Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Vice-President Mu Sochua was denied entry in Bangkok on October 20 and sent back to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. From there, she headed to the United States, where she is also a citizen.

“I made it all the way to the biometrics, the fingerprint. The guy looked at the screen, then looked at me and pushed a button. And I knew that was it,” Sochua said in an interview with Al Jazeera. 

Sochua said the immigration officials who detained her were “extremely polite”.

Thai immigration authorities did not respond to requests for comment, but a document viewed by Al Jazeera showed that Sochua was rejected for “having behaviour which (was) possibly harmful” to Thai society.

CNRP President Kem Sokha was arrested for treason in September 2017, and Sochua fled the country the following month. By November the party was dissolved entirely, allowing long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen to claim all 125 parliament seats in last year’s election. 

Cambodia’s exiled former opposition leader calls for uprising

Sochua and CNRP co-founder Sam Rainsy – who has remained abroad since 2015 to avoid charges – pledged to return to Cambodia by land on November 9. They said they would rally thousands of supportive Cambodian migrant workers to come from Thailand with them. 

It is the third time this year Rainsy has set a deadline for his return, and the government has responded by arresting dozens of supporters across the country, accusing them of plotting a coup. Hun Sen has also threatened to deploy the armed forces. 

‘Thai wall’

A spokesman for Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told pro-government media Sochua was “blacklisted” from Thailand after the Cambodian government claimed it would issue arrest warrants to all ASEAN countries. 

Veteran political analyst Lao Mong Hay said that with Sochua denied entry, Rainsy risked arrest and extradition if he tried to enter Thailand.

Mong Hay said Rainsy’s pledge to involve Thai-based migrant workers may have forced the Thai government’s hand.

“Hun Sen would be satisfied by that much cooperation from Thailand while it can ensure no disruption to Cambodian labour employed in its economy,” Mong Hay said. 

However, Mong Hay said Rainsy’s inability to enter the country could actually help him.

“That Thai wall obstructing his return could enhance further Sam Rainsy’s stature and popularity just as Iranian political and cleric Ayatollah Khomeini gained while in exile in France before returning triumphantly in 1979,” Mong Hay said, adding that Rainsy remained a “phenomenon” and a “force to reckon with” for Hun Sen.

Ear Sophal, a Cambodian-American associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, agreed that any reputational damage to Rainsy would be minimised if he genuinely tried to return. 

“He’s got to get close and he gets an A for effort at least,” Sophal said via email. 

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RCAF role is to protect the Cambodian people

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

RCAF Deputy Commander in Chief Chea Dara speaks at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh last week during a forum on cooperation between the national military and private businesses. Hong Menea

RCAF role is to protect the Cambodian people

Mon, 3 August 2015

In all democratic nations, military expenditures, which include current and capital expenditures for the armed forces, derive from the national budget for the central government.

Such budget is approved by parliament for the national institution in charge of defending the nation’s territory and sovereignty – the Ministry of Defence.

In all democratic nations, the national armed forces serve the people.

The full allegiance of the armed forces goes to the nation, not to a group, a political, party nor a person.

The men and women who serve the armed forces of a democratic nation are well equipped, fit, paid and trained for military operations.

Their well being and the well being of their family members during the time of service and their pensions for retirement or disability and medical care should be the responsibility of the government in honour of their service to the nation.

That honour is also bestowed upon the service men and women by the people.

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) is the only army to defend the Kingdom of Cambodia with His Majesty the King as its Supreme Commander according to Article 23 of the Constitution.

For these reasons, it is not acceptable for the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Cambodia to solicit private donations from companies to support the armed forces’ increased salaries, food and military supplies.

It is truly alarming to hear the Minister of Defence announce at a workshop recently held at the Council of Ministers that past private donations were spent on purchases of arms.

It should also be noted that at the same meeting, the deputy commander of RCAF, four-star General Chea Dara claimed that “ the army belongs to the Cambodian People’s Party”.

Continue reading “RCAF role is to protect the Cambodian people”

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Comment from MP Mu Sochua and the following healing processes

After publishing the article “40 years of memoir, story telling, healing, and moving forward for all Cambodians“, we wish to share the comment from MP Mu Sochua and the comment from the author, Mr. Soph0an Seng as following:

Dear Soph0an,
A Lotus FlowerYou have my deepest appreciation and respect for your invaluable compilations and your own articles of all the painful memories relived and told by those who can not forget and forgive. I read them all with the vivid images of my own parents and blind grand-mother among the millions who believed in the lies of the Khmer Rouge and left the city as they were told. I did not live with the Khmer Rouge regime but as a Khmer woman, the suffering of not saying goodbye to my beloved parents and to my grand-mother with whom I shared my adolescent years have been with me for the past 40 years. 
When my husband and I returned to Phnom Penh with our two toddlers in 1989, we saw uncovered mass graves everywhere. The bones were almost fresh. Our daughters learned the painful truth of genocide. Now all these mass graves are covered up and the bones have desappeared except in some places such as in Cheung Ek, the genocide museum or at Ou Doung. 
I think the mass graves and the bones should have been kept untouched. I think that the uncovered mass graves could have been a way for our people to learn the truth, in particular our youths. A comprehensive and engaging reconciliation process parrallel with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal would be more significant, a healing process, teaching us to reject violence. Unfortunately, the violence is still part of us. Every day men, women, teenagers and even children committ the most hineous act of violence such as gang killings with samurai swords, decapitating in cases of domestic violence and rape. That is not healing. 
It is for this reason that i think we should embark with Lauk Prathean Sam Rainsy and Mr. Hun Sen in this new culture of dialogue. They are willing to put aside their personal differences and even to hold themselves respondible to the nation should their political and personal commitment fail. It is the moment our people and our beloved nation have waited for all these 40 years. 
All we are saying is give peace a chance.
This begins with each and everyone of us.
Mu Sochua, MP

Sent from my iPad

***********************************
Dear Neak Bong MP Sochua;

Master Degree in POLS, May 2008I am greatly complimented by partnering healing processes through telling my story and hearing your story: I do believe in “story telling” to accumulate fresh first hand information and to heal Khmer’s mental illness and PTSD. 
First, the “Culture of Dialogue” is an opened door to access to friendship, understanding each other, and collaborating with one another. There are some theorists have theorized that to stop Khmer painful past or to break the silence of Khmer inner suffering, is to stop repeating the old haunting stories or bury them deeply under the ground. But I have disagreed with this “burying” theory because in general Cambodian victims have learnt to Forgive, but they could not Forget and experience difficulty in moving Forwards. The “Culture of Dialogue” adopted by HE Sam Rainsy with an embrace supported by his counterpart PM Hun Sen, is a new modernized and pragmatic tool to remedy Cambodian suffering and to instill long term development of Cambodia.
Without verbalizing and having honest communication, culture of dialogue would not exist; in the meantime, without “story telling” or “revealing” the bitter past, the healing processes would not be achieved.
Second, my tears dropped down unconsciously while reading and hearing those painful stories. I am fully affected by social conscience of those Cambodian brothers and sisters in which no one is free of this tumultuous past. It has helped me to develop a step of self-effort and compassion towards them all as well as the ability to discover more on Cambodian suffering and to help them all at my utmost capacity.
This personal embodiment of mine has encouraged me to think of many Cambodian younger children to develop positively for the responsibility of their future as they have heard more “story telling” from their parents, schools, and siblings etc. But it might be not always like that like what you said it has also produced negativity and irresponsibility among youths who visibly have committed hideous act of violence in society if Cambodia has no proper policy to handle with it or culture of dialogue doesn’t take place in this land.
With my humblest respect and sincerity,
Peace,
Sophoan Seng

 

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Personal life and Cambodia politics through story telling

Mu SochuaReading The Advisor Cambodia today on “Mu Sochua: Protesting with poise”, it has triggered sadness, empathy, leadership and realization. Passing through the upheaval political landscape of Cambodia, the story telling of Mu Sochua has shaped new perspectives for Cambodians. The war and national division during these decades have absolutely embedded within all Cambodian memory regardless of farmers, labors, officials and politicians. Her story has encouraged all youths to continue their struggle for social change, justice and freedom.

All words and phrases mentioned in the interview, are thought-provoking. From her breastfeeding childhood to the latest injustice Prey Sor jailing, has simultaneously mixed the feeling of sadness and enjoyment. Life is like that, sometime we cried because of separation and pain, but sometime we cried because we are over-joyful. Sometime life is shaped by our own action (Kamma), but sometime life is shaped by circumstance or environment. However, the impact on life and its future shape wholly depends on our own inner strength and willpower. This reflects invaluable LEADERSHIP style we all should renew!

I would like invite all of you to read this outstanding life’s story telling: http://theadvisorcambodia.com/2014/08/mu-sochua-protesting-with-poise/

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