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Obedience a problem

Obedience a problem

Dear Editor,

Civil disobedience in Cambodia is not our real problem. Our real problem is civil

obedience.   

Our problem is that the majority of Cambodians have obeyed the dictates of the powerful

leaders of the government and for this have suffered endlessly from injustice, corruption

and nepotism.  Many have been killed because of this obedience. It is dangerous

to be right when the government is wrong.

Our problem is that people all over Cambodia are obedient in the face of poverty,

hunger, starvation and cruelty and do not question why this has happened and continues

to happen. The rights to earn one's rice bowl, to get health care when sick and to

be able to send one's children to school have deteriorated. The path to sustainable

economic growth seems lost to all of us and the culture of impunity persists. Yet,

we can be the change we wish to see in Cambodia. Whenever we are in doubt just recall

and look deep at the face of the poorest and the weakest person we may have seen

and ask ourselves if the step we contemplate is going to be of any use to them.  

It is time and up for all of us, as Cambodians, to begin to search our souls for

the answer to Cambodia's real problems and to face the truth.  We must demand

and expect that things are done for the best interest of the weakest and poorest

members of society. 

We must demand that our leaders and politicians act in the best interest of the country. 

This style of action will demand that we become truly  "obedient"

to the Nation, the Constitution, Buddhism and the Monarchy (Nation, Religion, King)

and not obedient to self-interest over national interest.

- Sovachana Pou, Phnom Penh

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