|The people march to UN office and other embassies|
|The rally at the Democracy Plaza|
By Khmer Wathanakam
After the third mass protest, the two main political parties will reckon a possible way to end a political impasse that has crippled the country over three months. The CPP has eked its rule as usual business without paying attention to what the mass of people are demanding for. The CNRP is still facing its dilemma: to stand firm with the CPP or to resort to some degree of flexibility in negotiation with the CPP in any future rendezvous. This fresh mass protest along with over two millions thumb prints petition to the UN and other signatory countries in the Paris Peace accord will add more leverages for the CNRP in the next negotiation. However, the CNRP's momentum gets a setback recently when some leaders of the key signatory and donor countries have openly congratulated Hun Sen for his dubious re-elected new term, namely France, Australia, and Japan. But these countries have also insisted that the two parties must continue negotiate to end the current crisis peacefully.
The CNRP has not much room to move besides staging a mass peaceful protest and boycotting the new legislature. To stand firm with the CPP in such a current strategy is unlikely to work in a long term, but according to Mr. Kem Sokha, a vice president of the CNRP, said that his party still has some unrevealed strategies to deploy in the future if needed. Now the party needs to demand the freedom space for the supporters first. And this primary step seems work, as Kim Sokha mentioned that there were no massive troop deployment, no road blocks, and no security forces' intimidation despite the number of protesters in the rally and march far exceeded the authority's limit. But based on the people's actions and will, they want to do more than just peaceful protest if their demand for justice is not considered by the ruling party. Most protesters openly demanded Hun Sen to step down and to proclaim Sam Rainsey as their sole prime minister. They have been perturbed by continuous repression and social injustice over the past 34 years under Hun Sen's rule, and another five year-term rule of the same old face is unbearable for them.
A petition to the UN and the signatories in the Paris Peace Accord with over two millions thumb prints along with more than one million thumb prints that the CNRP's activists are collecting will test the UN and signatories' obligation on the Paris Peace Accord. If the over three million thumb prints petition is rejected or ignored by the UN and the Signatories, the Paris Peace Accord may not valuable or reliable for Cambodia any more. Previously, Khmer Mchasrok Movement led by Dr. Chack Sokhon and People Power Movement led by Mr. Sourn Serey Ratha planned to collect the thumb prints of the people, the Khmer Mchasrok needed a half a million and the People Power needed one million thumb prints respectively--the numbers that they needed to petition the UN to review the Paris Peace Accord, but both movements have failed to reach those numbers they needed so far. Now the CNRP will bring over three millions total of the people's thumb prints to petition the UN and the signatories for reviewing the Accord, and if they still ignore it, it means that the Khmer Mchasrok and the People Power Movements' goals is over. And also the CNRP may shift its strategy to deal with the current regime in order seek justice for the people in other available means.
The signatory countries although they are obligated to the Paris Peace Accord that they signed in 1991, they still operate their foreign policies based on a conventional rule-- their international relations are guided by their own national interest or their national interest vs. the principle of democracy and justice. In such circumstance, no any country in the planet can afford to be a saint or a Bodhisattva but to place its own interest above everything. China, Vietnam, Thailand, and many countries in the region officially congratulated Hun Sen even before an official result announced by the bias NEC. undoubtedly, Hanoi and Beijing are the real masters of Hun Sen's regime; they not only support this defrauded result but even fear the CPP might lose. Hanoi spent thousands of its people's lives to conquer and to install the current regime to rule Cambodia according to its will, it may not give up Cambodia easily without a bloodshed. China spent billions of dollar on military aids to the Khmer Rouge from 1970 through 1991, needs to recoup its past investment. China and Vietnam are quietly sharing the prize and they will lose this prize if Hun Sen loses the power. Thailand under the Red Shirt leadership of Thacksin' clan, has seen Hun Sen 's Regime as its viable partner in dealing with border dispute and economic activities rather than a hostile regime as Thailand faced during the Democrat rule.
France, Australia, and Japan after pausing for awhile learned that the current regime is nowhere endangered as in Arab Spring, quickly sent congratulation notes to Hun Sen despite the people are protesting the election fraud and demanding independent inquiry. The three major democratic nations have clearly placed their own interest against the democratic principle that their own people have adhered at home. To maintain good relation with the current regime in Phnom Penh will benefit their country more than to harm it. These three countries have some economic stake in Cambodia--from airports, minerals, resorts, constructions, and other sectors. Albeit they openly congratulate Hun Sen, but they insist both parties must negotiate to end the current political deadlock. In contrast, the US and the EU excluding France, have supported the opposition's demand for independent probe into election fraud, but they also urged both parties to end the crisis through peaceful negotiation. The US has not much economic stake with Hun Sen's regime but much more security interest in fighting global terrorism. The US present in the region not only to uproot terrorist networks but also a counter balance of power to China's growing influence in the region when some countries such as Vietnam and Philippine are facing China's menace in a South China Sea disputes. The US military cooperation with Hun Sen's regime is quietly approved by Hanoi, a Hun Sen's direct master, which has seen the US present as a viable force against China's threat to its interest in Cambodia.
As Cambodian people continue demanding for their justice from the poll fraud, the international community also demand the two parties to negotiate to end the crisis quickly. The CNPR may face pressures from its supporters demanding to stand firm with the CPP while the international community even the US urging the party to continue negotiate with its rival. Meanwhile, Hun Sen also faces pressures from people demanding him to step down and the international community pushing him to negotiate with the opposition to end the crisis. Any move by Hun Sen to exclude the opposition from new legislature will throw himself into an unacceptable position on the eyes of the international community especially the US and the EU which have not recognized the recent election result yet. Ultimately, both party must capitulate to the demands from the people and the international community to resume negotiation based on a spirit of promoting true justice and Khmer interest. The more they talk to each other, the more compromise and solution they may find at the end. To converge an acceptable solution, each party must make some painful concessions and some degree of flexibility. So far, the CNRP has made its painful concession; if an independent election probe is impossible, the party may seek only a balance of power in the new legislature during this transitional period in order to oversight the government activities more effectively. In such a predicament, the CNRP supporters should allow the party leadership to exercise some degree of flexibility and secrecy in order to search for justice step by step in a tough and unforeseen battle. If you trust your parents, you will let them use all their abilities to save your life and your home from brutal robbers.