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Positive... or nothing

To the Editor,

As an avid reader of newspapers, I always take notice of

each author's articles and opinions. They have their own different ideas of

writing. Most of them - the foreign journalists - give a balanced coverage of

what is going on in Cambodia.

Nate Thayer has been a very vociferous

writer on Cambodia. All he has written, from my observation, is the worst

news.

I, along with other Cambodians, understand that constructive

criticism is vital for ruling government officials to reflect on their misdeeds

and wrongdoings. I have read a lot of Thayer's articles in the Phnom Penh Post

and the Far Eastern Economic Review, and I understand that some of his thoughts

are appreciated, but most parts are vitriolic. He tries as much as possible to

give savage remarks about Cambodia. I know that what he writes is, partially,

true. But why does he think that people perform rightfully at all times?

Everyone commits mistakes deliberately or unintentionally. What does he want

Cambodia to be?

He witnessed Cambodia's legitimate Royal government is

just making its way toward fully-fledged democracy and has only been in office

for two years. How can you eliminate all the negative aspects? Lets imagine you

were ruling the country. Will you be able to gain national reconciliation with

all parties including the outlawed Khmer Rouge in Pailin? Can you make enough

revenue by levying taxes and duties from the long-time, famine-stricken people

to pay for the military, police and civil servants and rehabilitate the

infrastructure of the country by not accepting international aid?

We are

fully aware that you never like this country's ruling system because of some

elements from the former communist State of Cambodia regime. If you have such

ideas, please Mr Thayer, don't care about Cambodia. Just let it be isolated and

let its leaders rule with support from all the constructive critics to make

Cambodia more prosperous and do not always try your best to look into the "bad

image" of the government.

I'm not a government servant, only a Cambodian

citizen living here. I hate communism, authoritarianism, corruption, human

rights violations and the forbidding of free speech, but I appreciate the

present performance of the government. I spent almost half a century living in

Cambodia, I know what Cambodia has been through from 1970 up till the present

time. To restore the country from what was "nothing and oppression" to its

present status has been far from easy. You have been here a long time so you

should understand the actual situation in this pitiful country. If you cannot

help it then please do not try to block its development.

Our democracy is

very young and fragile, we need assistance from the world to stand on our own

two feet. I don't know if the United States - a powerful and rich country -

could have had a good democracy after only one or two years.

But for

sure, even if you have a very experienced and powerful Prime Minister, you can't

turn an impoverished, war-torn country into what you dream is democracy in the

West.

We would appreciate if your opposition opinion is helpful to our

social, economic and political development and not used to prevent the outside

world from aiding Cambodia. Do not look for the worst things in Cambodia to

write about, or say that Cambodia is a very bad country as you always have in

your coverage in many famous newspapers and magazines.

In the Review you

wrote: "... is it worthwhile to pour more money into a country of little

strategic and economic interest if its government is not interested in

democracy?" Do you mean by this to tell the international community to halt all

further progress in Cambodia?

Please Mr Thayer be kind enough to help

Cambodians reconstruct their beloved Cambodia and you would be a good friend to

all of us.

- Sao Volak, Phnom Penh

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