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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Should We Postpone?

Should We Postpone?

Translated by Moeun Chhean Narridh from the Apr. 5 issue of Samleng Apyeakred

(The Neutral Voice)

The date of the election is drawing nearer and nearer, but the situation in Cambodia

is still very complicated.

The Khmer Rouge soldiers and their allies are still staging skirmishes everywhere.

As for the security issue, terrorists have created lots of terrifying problems, for

example the throwing of bombs into brothels and restaurants. And the phenomena of

merchants not accepting the 50 riel notes is also attributed to the security problem.

According to the Phnom Penh government, the purpose of the terrorism is to cause

instability during the pre-election period, and therefore to delay the polls.

In my opinion, we should not postpone the elections, because as the election day

approaches, problems are also increasing, which causes people alarm and trepidation.

So, if we postponed the elections, it would be like prolonging the people's alarm

and trepidation. Some people, noticing the mounting obstacles to the May poll, fear

that there might be fighting on the election day. If so, they think they would blame


Concerning the external situation, according to reliable sources, Thailand and Vietnam

have already prepared their strength to cope with any possible controversial situation

in Cambodia. Thailand has confirmed that the joint US-Thai military exercise was

done in case the peace agreement fails. Vietnam has also expressed its concern over

Thailand's activity.

It should be recalled that, there were 20,000 US troops in this military exercise

and no sources have affirmed the withdrawal of those soldiers back to America. So,

the situation in Cambodia is not only related to the Khmers, but it also concerns

our neighboring countries and even the great powers.

From 1970-75, when Cambodia fell into the hands of the U.S. (Lon Nol), China and

the Soviet Union (Khmer Rouge and Viet Kong) jointly fought with the US.

1975-79, the Soviet Union and America (the Free Khmers stayed quiet and allowed Vietnam

to fight the Khmer Rouge) fought with China when Cambodia fell into China's hand.

1979-90, when Cambodia was in Soviet hands (Vietnam), China and America (Khmer Rouge

and Free Khmers) joined hands and fought with Vietnam.

Now, the Soviet Union has collapsed, so Vietnam has no backer. However, it should

be noted that Vietnam and China are both communists. Hun Sen, Heng Samrin and Chea

Sim are ex-communists and the Khmer Rouge are also communist. For example, when a

party only criticized the communists, by saying "communist is evil", the

"Peace Bulletin" of the government immediately expressed its dissatisfaction.

But, we are pinning our hope on UNTAC, which includes both the free and the communists.



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