A ccording to your report "Phnom Penh set to revive ties with
Rangoon," (Phnom Penh Post Feb11-24) the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)
seems very eager to re-establish diplomatic relations with Burma. It is
obviously a very good thing for the RGC and for the Kingdom of Cambodia to have
diplomatic relations with as many countries in the world as possible. And it is
a matter of course for the Kingdom of Cambodia and Burma which used to have
friendly relations in the past to resume such ties.
establishment of diplomatic relations with Burma at this particular juncture is
inappropriate to say the least. It would mean the approval of the military junta
in Rangoon who has shamelessly broken its promises to relinquish power to any
democratically elected party, and imposed its repressive rule on the Burmese
people. In order to cling on to power it has put under house arrest Aung San Su
Kyi, the leader of the party that had won the elections and now a Nobel Peace
Prize Winner, and thrown in jail others who dare oppose its rule.
Burmese people are denied all freedom and are persecuted. many have fled their
country. Some who have the chance to be outside the country cannot speak freely
about the true situation of their country lest the military junta would deny
them the right to return to their homeland and/or take punitive actions against
their relatives. Records of the violations of human rights by the military junta
in Rangoon abound and that junta's name stinks around the world.
Cambodian people know very well what living under oppression is like.
Fortunately, thanks to their own efforts and to the help of the international
community they have gained freedom, human rights and democracy. The Kingdom of
Cambodia now fully and unreservedly commit itself to these values. It has signed
all international instruments on human rights, and has truly and proudly become
a champion, if not the champion, of human rights in the world. Furthermore, it
has established a government department to promote the rights of
How could a nation who had broken the heart of humankind because
of its tragedy now turn heartless towards the Burmese nation and intend to
recognize and establish diplomatic ties with the military junta who is
repressing it? The Cambodia people ought to extend its sympathy if not
assistance to their suffering Burmese brothers and sisters. They must not reward
their oppressors in Rangoon. The democratically elected RGC should not establish
diplomatic ties with the military junta. Any such establishment would run
counter to the Kingdom's newly regained status.
- Tam Navabotr