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Editorials that stirred govt

T HE following are translations of two Samleng Yuvachun Khmer editorials which caused murdered editor Non Chan to be summoned to the Ministry of Information.

Volume 8, Friday 3 June, 1994, Samdech Krom Preah Has Started to Reject Democracy and Turn to Dictatorship

They must not file complaints to the court because of expressing political views contrary to the Royal Government's Wish!

Samdech Krom Preah the First Prime Minister said at Pochentong Airport on the morning of May 31 that "I will file complaints to the court if any newspapers say the Royal Government is the war monger. The newspapers have the rights to write. I respect the freedom of the press. But if they write nonsense, I will sue them."

This remark has been criticized by some political analysts to be completely inappropriate that a newspaper will be sued in the court because it has expressed political views contrary to the policy of the government.

This action of Samdech Krom Preah adequately means it is a target towards violating the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Constitution [Article 31] recognizes the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Conventions as well as other treaties of the United Nations concerning human rights. These conventions clearly give a definition regarding political rights. A citizen should not be arrested, detained or sent to court because he/she has expressed a political view against a party or a government.

The government's attempt to stage a war is a political line that the Royal Government or two major parties have chosen to solve and find the way out, which solution is involved with the lives and deaths of the entire nation. Therefore, both the journalists and other people who are of the Khmer nationality are also citizens who can express their political views for their nation, so why are they accused of "writing nonsense"? What if the newspapers or the people say "the Royal Government has done nonsense and the newspapers propose the government should hold a referendum, and when there is not an absolute majority in favor the Royal Government change its position?

Such threats of Samdech Krom Preah over the journalists suggests that Samdech Krom Preah may lack the ability to solve the problem democratically and peacefully and turns to choose dictatorship which is the remnant of the communists.

Samdech Krom Preah should have clearly distinguished the rights of the private benefits from the political rights of a citizen.

The people would like to absolutely oppose such threats and if the Royal Government will stage a war without being adopted by the National Assembly nor being agreed and declared by the King [Article 24 of the Constitution] the people will say the Royal Government is the warmonger again! Please the world see it! Sorry!

Do not forget that the people have voted for Funcinpec because they have expected Funcipec to comply with its promise that it will be able to stop the civil war by peaceful means!- The Swallow

Volume 8, Friday 31 June, 1994, Samdech Krom Preah angry with HE Khieu Samphan and spreads to the people!

In a press conference on the morning of May 31, at Pochentong Airport, Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh, the First Prime Minister of the Royal Government, said that "if anybody says the government is war ambitious and support the Khmer Rouge, they should go to live with the Khmer Rouge in the jungle!"

Absolutely stuck! Such a behavior is seen by the people to be of no savoir vivre, not even a bit of it.

While disappointed or opposed against his own policy, he accuses the others of being the Khmer Rouge or supporting the Khmer Rouge. Every time the Khmer Rouge, while the people express a bit of their views, they are accused of being the Khmer Rouge.....! Or does he want to shut the people's mouths or kill the people who will die without their eyes closed?

Nobody has the rights to drive the people out of their homes! Even the Constitution [Article 40] respects the freedom of legal settlement of the citizens.

A supreme politician should not be so sensitive and overwhelmingly angry as this. He was angry at not having reached the agreement with the Khmer Rouge at the Chhang Sou Un pavilion [in Pyongyang] and came to blame the people and drive them out of their unfortunate homes.

Disgracefully, on May 23-24, 1993, a great number of people, intellectuals, students and state employees left their homes to queue in the rain, thunder, and in the hot noon at various polling stations throughout the country in order to vote for Funcinpec, with Prince Norodom Ranariddh as its President. The people had a hope that Funcinpec would be able to seek an end to the war by peaceful means for peace and happiness of the people, which was promised by the Funcinpec.

But now... they are driven to live in the jungle, leaving their homes behind...Oh! The very far away hope...!-Veasna

- Translation by Moeun Chhean Nariddh

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