Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Don't call it 'Liberation'

Don't call it 'Liberation'

Don't call it 'Liberation'

Dear Editor

I would like to congratulate your esteemed newspaper for starting to raise the very

important and sensitive issues of Vietnam in Cambodia. I studied with great interest

the article on this subject entitled "Vietnam: the View from Cambodia"

which appeared in your paper dated December 24 - January 6, 2000. In that article

the following paragraph caught my attention:

"From the period of Vietnamese colonization in the 1830s, right through to Vietnam's

liberation of Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge oppression in 1978, Cambodian attitudes

to their eastern neighbor have been mixed at best."

It seems inappropriate to me for your paper to use the word "liberation"

in that article, for two reasons.

First, it is difficult for me to reconcile in my mind that a former colonizer (your

own word) would want to liberate a country that it once colonized and on which it

continues to have hegemonic designs.

Second, how can Vietnam be a "liberator" when that country continues to

enslave its own people.

Having said that, Cambodia must do everything possible to protect all Vietnamese

(legal or illegal) from any physical or psychological harm until such time as the

issues of Vietnamese encroachment on Cambodian territories, as your paper so well

described, be res olved legally and peacefully.

Naranhkiri Tith, Ph.D. Prof. of International Economics and Asian Studies

Johns Hopkins University Washington, DC

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being

  • EU agrees VN trade deal despite rights concerns

    The EU on Wednesday agreed to a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, a country described as having a “major rights-abusing government”. This comes amid the 28-nation bloc preparing the procedure for a possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade agreement on