With reference to the letter in the Post July 12-25 "Asean visa free" written
by Mr Veak Rin Van.
I am a pure Khmer with nationalistic ideals but I totally disagree with the opinion
of the above writer. His comments do not conform to his background, schooled in a
Western country where the friendship and brotherhood of mankind is usually promoted
and thinking is broad minded.
I want to point out two topics he mentioned: to awaken our politicians in the National
Assembly; and his comments singling out Vietnamese nationals coming to Cambodia.
For his information the National Assembly is not sleeping. Does he not realize that
Cambodia was isolated from the international community for more than two decades,
and now an opportunity is being offered to us - but he wants to close Cambodia to
the world, without any friends or neighbors. Now is the best time to be friendly
with neigh-boring countries, enjoying the same opportunities they have when travelling.
Does he think that Cambodians now have to brave great difficulties just to get a
visitor's visa in any country? For him, maybe not, because he is educated in London.
Even the Parliamentary members find it easy to travel because they hold official
and diplomatic passports. To whom we are giving this rare opportunity to become a
member of Asean? It is for our ordinary citizens, so that at least they can see the
outside world, equally treated like any other nation in the world. For our children
and our future generations.
Secondly, Veak Rin Van singled out Vietnamese nationals. How about Malaysians, Thai,
Singaporeans etc. coming to Cambodia? Are they not also foreigners in our land? We
have suffered so much of isolation, now this guy, this Khmer from London, still wants
Cambodia isolated from our Asean neighbors. This is my advice to him, if he himself
wants solitude, or a solitary life, it is up to him, but do not include other Cambodian
citizens, especially the poor who cannot afford a London education. I hope you get
my point. I look forward to you publishing my comments to Veak Rin Van
- a Khmer from London - so that he can wake up to the reality of the brotherhood
of all men, regardless of creed, race, color or religion.
- Mr. Sam Sovanna, The National Assembly.