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Letter: Funcinpec needs unity

Dear Editor,

The 1993 elections were won because of party unity and the strength of years of working

together for a common goal. We need to return to this unity for the sake of the Cambodian

people who have supported and sacrificed for us and for the sake of bringing true

peace and democracy to Cambodia. A unified Funcinpec will have the strength and capability

to accomplish this. But unity cannot come with mere words and hollow gestures; it

must come with commitment, honor, and dignity. Only in this manner can true reconciliation

happen. For reconciliation and unity to succeed there must be no misunderstandings,

no lingering doubts, and no issues left unresolved or buried. We must speak frankly

and honestly with each other.

If Funcinpec is to survive as a viable political party, and it must survive to insure

peace, prosperity, and democracy for the Cambodian people, there are certain terms

and conditions to which we as senior party members must adhere. The first is commitment

to the charter and ideals of Funcinpec . The next is the courage to stand firm for

these values. We must also be honest and open with each other, there can be no hidden

agendas. Debate must be candid and straightforward. We must have a sense of loyalty

to not only the party but to each other. We hold the future of freedom and democracy

in Cambodia. We cannot let down the people who have struggled beside us for freedom

and democracy.

The road ahead is not going to be easy, we must focus on our work, and not let the

events of the past interfere with our objective - the survival of peace and democracy

and the Funcinpec party. We need to unify the party and consolidate the party's position.

We need to strengthen the administrative and organizational apparatus. We need to

strengthen our grassroots support from the commune to the district level. And, we

need to prepare for the district and commune election, not only to run but also to


We do not need to spend time analyzing the political situation that led to this split

within Funcinpec but to focus on what I consider the real issues - how do we serve

the national interest, maintain and strengthen democracy, and restore hope in the

hearts of the Cambodian people - and perhaps most important end the suffering that

Cambodians have endured for far too long.

In my opinion the leadership that emerges from this confrontation must center on

the national interest. The leadership of the party and the nation must work on uniting

us all in the common cause of rebuilding this nation and maintaining peace. Certainly,

we can have our differences, but we must join together to achieve our common goal.

If this country is to survive the leadership must serve all the people in pursuit

of peace, prosperity, and social justice. Whatever sacrifices on all our parts are

needed must be made.

Pou Sothirak



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