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Rasy responds

Dear Sir,

A s you probably know, I dislike to be involved into polemics by

press interposition. I prefer to be criticized about what I wrote instead of

about what I am supposed to say by press report. But, as someone took initiative

to engage a controversy, I would like to ask you to publish this short


All what I said to your reporter, before I left Phnom Penh on

March this year, was printed and attached as documents to the 28 February

Seminar on Human Rights and development in Phnom Penh. Any person who wants the

truth, may refer to it. For me, what is the most important, is evidence that

grounds all my remark. Without evidence, my readers can be mistaken. This

happens to your honorable reader on May 5th:

  1. I never said that Human Rights (HR) are luxury goods; I have always

    contested the way people presented them as if they were luxury goods. I always

    said that a man is born with genuine rights, if not he looks like animal which

    is always at its master's disposal. That what I said in many documents and there

    is no doubt on it. Perhaps a mistake was made by someone: the writer or the


  2. The honorable Ieng Mouly mixed up Experiment and Tradition and didn't

    understand what I said about democratic tradition. Then an explanation is

    needed: the experiment of self-determination or local democratic government

    initiated by French Protectorate (by establishing commune or Khum) in 1925 was

    not a success, even though this administrative category is still nominally

    alive. Then such an experiment was not part of our tradition. This fact allows

    to say that we have no tradition of democratic government. For an experiment

    which fails, cannot enter into a tradition. That is a result of mere logic,

    against which nothing can be done. As contrary proof, if we had a tradition of

    responsible democratic government, we would not call on a Strongman in case of

    needs, and would trust in common determinations.

  3. So I don't like to elaborate on what is going to be sterile polemics.

    Therefore, I must emphasize that all my ideas were expressed and disseminated

    (in Khmer and in English) to people at the-said Seminar, including your reporter

    and Cambodian delegates of some ministries. The only question I have received

    was: How to implement more deeply HR in our society. We were also asked not to

    close the meeting without making recommendation to whom it may concern.

  4. Finally, you made an allusion to an expat Khmer living comfortably in Paris.

    I must say that this expat would like very much to share the misfortune of other

    Khmer people; but he cannot because war and regime profiteers have seized his

    house (like others, including state properties) to their sole benefit; and then,

    life without a roof is not possible for him like for any other man beings. His

    comfort is more to share the misfortune of his countrymen than to live. Is it

    clear enough?

- Douc Rasy, Paris



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