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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Confidence in neighbors

Confidence in neighbors

The Editor,

I write to reply to the letter from Mr Sam Sovanna about his criticism of my view

concerning Cambodia's membership into the Asean group.

I am glad that a member of the Cambodian National Assembly has replied to this subject

of the Cambodian entry to this Asean grouping, that at least shows that our National

Assembly is "not sleeping", according to Mr. Sam Sovanna's own distincive

words, as published, in his letter to you (Post, Sept 6).

I am also very impressed with Mr. Sam Sovanna's confidence in the Vietnamese people's

brotherly love for the Cambodian people - so much love for us that they want to come

to live with us permanently.

At the present time, none of the existing Asean members have common borders touching

Vietnam's, only Cambodia has. Cambodians can walk over to the border with Vietnam,

thus Vietnamese people can walk over to the border with Cambodia, therefore without

visa requirement from either side.

There is no border between our two nations as far as the people are concerned, this

shall be the same for Thailand.

I am very indecisive about all these free movements between our neighbor nations,

when there are common land borders touching each other, although I must admit I am

very impressed with Mr Sam Sovanna's concept with his " The brotherhood of all

men, regardless of creed, race, color or religion."

The Malays and the Indonesians love their Vietnamese brothers so much that those

two Asean members forced the Vietnamese boat people back to Vietnam.

I have a half brother in Vietnam, one year older than I am. He is Vietnamese but

born in Cambodia and he has both nationalities. He just walks across the border every

time he comes back to visit us, visa free. My brother whom my father loved very much

because his mother was my father's first Vietnamese true love, that is why they gave

birth to my half brother.

On the western front, Cambodians can go to work in Bangkok, but why does the Thai

government insist that Cambodian refugees along our common border with the Thai nation

must return to Cambodian territory to find a living?

I would like to see our National Assembly openly discuss this question of our entry

into the Asean grouping, because we have common land border with Vietnam, other members

of the Asean grouping don't have this geographical situation, we are the buffer zone

between the Asean nations and Vietnam.

- Veak Rin Van, Phnom Penh.



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