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Politics of power

Dear Editor,

Hun Sen's vision of sharing power "till 2010" is a cause for concern

(Phnom Penh Post Oct 6-19, 1995). This proves that Hun Sen is trying to cling to

power no matter what.

We must not forget that after the elections in 1993, Hun Sen was preparing to fight

UNTAC forces if he had to in order to stay in power. This sounds like his political

dictum: use violence to achieve political ambition.

In 1993, the Khmer people and the world had high hopes of a democracy being born

in Cambodia. That hope is dashed today with Hun Sen's vision. The continuing arrangement

for power-sharing between CPP and FUNCINPEC was revealed by a high-ranking FUNCINPEC

official to some of his closest political allies in Australia in December 1994. He

said that CPP and FUNCINPEC already had a discussion to pre-arrange, even before

'98 election results, to a power-share. According to him, elections will not take

place as hoped by the international community.

At that time I had some reservations. But with Hun Sen's comments I have no doubt

that the democratic process is increasingly under threat. The international community

should not stand and watch. It must do something to make the Cambodian leadership

realize that the world is watching. The way Hun Sen dubbed government's opponents

as "animals" reflects on true intellectual stigma and his uneducated character.

In fact, his comments should be labeled as such.

Many analysts foresaw that the government would label any political opponent as being

Khmer Rouge. Now it has come to realization that the CPP is effectively using the

outlawing of the Khmer Rouge as a pretext to clamp down on political dissent. This

is a damage as it could force political dissidents to go underground and take up

arms like in the late 1960s.

In showing that he has not lost his political expediency, Hun Sen has effectively,

for political gains, accused anyone who criticizes the government's policies as being

a Khmer Rouge Pol Potist - including Sam Rainsy, who is respected by many Cambodians

from different political persuasions. He said that foreign countries "...need

to help ten million people, not one person". Let me remind you, Mr Hun Sen,

that the ten million people are not with you, they are against you.

- Sareth Souk NSW, Australia.



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