Monday, July 15, 2013

The Return of Sam Rainsey, The New Open Political Battle Field

     By ខែ្មរវឌ្ឃនកម្ម

        Mr. Sam Rainsey was convicted for uprooting a temporary border post with Vietnam and falsifying the map. However, his conviction was seen as a political motivation by Hun Sen's government because this government is believed to be run by  Hanoi behind the scene.
      The court under Hun Sen control convicted Mr.Rainsey in absentia to 11 years in prison. Mr. Rainsey was in France since then. He would face arrest if he return to Cambodia. But he chose self-exile and continued to lead his party from a distance. After disappointed communal election result for his party. He decided to merge his party with the smaller Human Rights Party in order to create the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). After the CNRP was created in early 2013, this party was gained more and more support from all over the country.

     Now the balance of power has changed. Most of the people are tired of the CPP long rule since 1979, and this party manipulated to survive its lost election in 1993 which was organized by the UN. The fifth national election will take place on this July 28, The Vietnamese backed CPP is well prepared to win this election again. They predict their victory easily because the CPP has controlled every thing in the country: from military, police, courts, media network, and even the National Election Committee (NEC). The CPP run the country in Communist style; the party inserts its power from grass root to top levels of the government. any body has a hard time to differentiate between the CPP and Hun Sen's government. If you work for the government, you are automatically a supporter of the CPP. Your job will not be safe if they knew you are the other party supporter. People fear to express their political view.
      Today, as technology advances, Hun Sen lost control his grip on the media especially the social network. More and more youths are using Facebook everyday. The way to communicate among them is ways faster than before. In the past two weeks of the election campaign, we have seen more and more youths participate in the political rally especially for the CNRP which attracted most support from the youths. All these young people have demanded change for their government. Because since they were born, they have seen only one leader, Hun Sen, has ruled the country.
       After heavy pressure from international communities, especially the US Congress some of them used the strongest tone for Hun Sen, demanding him to step down from power immediately ,and will put Hun Sen in the Black List as the worse leader in the world if he dares to arrest Mr. Rainsey at the air port. Numerous reactions from the Hun Sen's government to the international communities but produced no good result because they know who he is already. The situation has quickly changed, Hun Sen agreed to let Sam Rainsey return from excile free without arrest. Hun Sen saw two sides of pressure: the international communities and the fast growing support for the CNRP from youths across the country.

    For Mr. Rainsey, his free return to the country is just the beginning of his other new struggle for true democracy and true independence from Hanoi domination. He is expected to receive a great welcome home from huge crowd of his supporters after almost 4 years in political exile. As election is near, more support for his party is growing too. The arrival and present of Sam Rainsey at this time will boost morale and political support even more for the CNRP. For Hun Sen, the free return of Sam Rainsey will help reduce political pressure from both inside and outside the country, at least for now. However, both Hun Sen and Sam Rainsey will face the political reality in the next few weeks.


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