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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A "racist" replies...

A "racist" replies...

Response to "No crocodile tears for Scott" (Letters, PPP, Oct 20).

Dear Mr/Ms Anonymous,

As one of the "racists" you refer to in your assault on people concerned

with legal due process in Cambodia, I feel I must respond to your astounding declaration.

Need it be pointed out to any thinking person that the (English-language) Phnom Penh

Post inherently emphasizes stories concerning Westerners living in Cambodia, who

constitute the bulk of its readership? Are newspapers in Nigeria "racist"

when they give more coverage to the Nigerians arrested here than to Dr Scott?

While you are quite right that Dr Scott has been treated "in the same shoddy

manner as every Cambodian who is arrested" and that "the system absolutely

has to be improved for everyone", just how is that supposed to happen? By remaining

silent while obvious violations of a defendant's rights are happening before our

very eyes? Or by weakly hiding behind anonymous op-ed letters, criticizing people

for engaging in healthy, serious and open debate? By labeling us racists for doing

what few Cambodian citizens feel they are in a realistic position to do for themselves,

namely to speak out publicly and call a spade a spade? If the ex-pat community, being

in the privileged position of being able to publicly debate these crucial issues,

fails to stand up and speak out, who will? How then will there be the slighest hope

of change?

Do you really need it explained to you why foreigners don't "raise a hue and

cry" about every Cambodian drug smuggling and street crime that happens? Because

it doesn't immediately affect their lives or interests, just like in the West where

ex-pats there don't care about it either, unless they become a victim of it, that's

why. And quite frankly, it is Western foreigners doing most of the "crying",

not to mention financing, for the anti-drug operations in this country. Might I remind

you of our good friends, the DEA and Interpol, both active here and paid for entirely

by our "racist" foreign tax dollars? Without the presence of these organizations

in Cambodia, there would be near zero drug intervention currently happening.

And might you also suggest to me how publicly asking simple, pointed questions about

this case and the way it was handled is a "morally indefensible position"?

Or how I, or anyone else in the public, could have possibly come upon this information

you seem to possess regarding the suffering of the victims, when not even the totality

of their identities, let alone comprehensive information about the facts in the case,

were revealed to the defence, press or otherwise for months, if at all, following

Dr Scott's arrest?

What is your point, Sir/Madam? And for that matter, what is your name? Speaking for

myself, and I'm sure a large part of the ex-pat communty, I must say I am deeply

offended by your publicly labeling us racists. However, I shall not give you the

satisfaction of subsequently labeling you an ignorant, cowardly slanderer. It hardly

seems necessary.

- Phillip Sykes, Phnom Penh.

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