I am writing in response to your article “Congressmen fear for speakers’ fate”, written by Meas Sokchea and James O’Toole (September 17). Cambodia has an elected government that was voted in by the majority of the people of Cambodia. For both men to listen to a one-sided camp (opposition groups whose interest is to win the next election) and come back with such a suggestion as stated in this article is unacceptable. What are the agendas of these opposition groups?
James Moran and Frank Wolf have obviously abused their own power on this issue. As outsiders, both congressmen should not dictate change by helping to create an assumption that Cambodia is a fear state, such as to say that if you have spoken out against the Cambodian government, you should seek protection. It sounds to me like an infant’s game in politics.
I am a man who lives in Canada, but Cambodia is my birth country. It is still my home. I am aware of the situation there, its cultural, social and political situation. Any changes, whether they be cultural, social or political development, should be given time and addressed with constructive criticism, not with fear.
Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Mu Sochua, Licadho rights group president Kek Galabru and Community Legal Education Centre labour programme head Moeun Tola, who testified in front of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, are all doing things to serve their personal interests, endeavours and/or goals.
They are not necessarily doing what is best for the majority of the people and the good of the country.
It is obvious that in the business of politics, they have the political knowledge to use the Western media and mobilise international friends to support their causes.
But one should not give them full credit for what they do and should not make them be seen as stars.
Finally, I would like to remind both congressmen that it is because Cambodia is a monarchist liberal democratic country that the people whom they met can speak out and are free to travel to where they wish and perform their roles as opposition parties and groups similar to where we live in the West. This is the democratic way.
To be noted also, Canada is an educated and well-developed country with no history of genocide; and yet, large-scale corruption by banks and governments is a daily occurrence, and the human rights of our First Nations people and other minority groups are being violated daily. How is this a fair game?
Vancouver, BC, Canada
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The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.