Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Website "Cambo-ASEAN Media"

Dear Readers! Every thing has been fixed. Now you can enjoy pure news in Cambodia and the region. You also can express your opinions using anonymous option or others as desired, an you don't need to verify letters before posting just save your time and reduce frustration that I have experienced too. And some readers asked me why I need to create this site. The answer is to make it pure news site and different from it looks like face book page; Nothing to compete with our brother KI and Khmerization sites since those two look same; this one a bid different taste and feel as you see it.
Now enjoy your news in " "
We are glad to receive all feedback, comments and advice from you.
Khmer Wathanakam

Friday, January 24, 2014

Are Khmer Leaders Able to Seek China Help?

By ខែ្មរវឌ្ឍនកម្ម

Cambodian Main Opposition Leader Sam Rainsey
As a threat of Vietnam neocolonization and deep meddling into Cambodian politics via its proxy power (CPP) has become more evidently, Sam Rainsey-- a true Khmer leader-- has desperately called for China to exert its political power to end the crisis in Cambodia.  He has regarded China as a Cambodian ally, and he has openly supported China's policy over South China Sea dispute with Vietnam and other countries while Hun Sen publicly stays neutral on this issue but secretly supported Vietnam which has covertly helped him to maintain power in Cambodia.

What Sam Rainsey has pleaded for help from China, echoes King Ang Duong's desperate appeal to France and other European powers to help Khmer from imminent threat of its two powerful neighbors--Vietnam and Thailand in the past.  Almost 200 years later, today Cambodia has faced the same threat from the same enemies though Thailand's influence had totally wiped out since the French colonial time, instead Vietnam's influence has been rapidly growing especially from 1979 when it sent troops to invade Cambodia and installed its puppet regime to rule the country until today.
Chinese President Xing Jiping

Historically, Thailand patronage system in Cambodia over a century had encountered Vietnam's threat effectively.  Khmer kings usually used Thailand's influence against Vietnam or vice versa.  Now since Thailand is no longer a power player in Cambodia, Khmer leaders should seek a counter balance of power to thwart the Vietnamese neocolonizer.  Now  China is more likely the best match against the Vietnamese growing power over Indochina and Southeast Asia.  This time is probably the final conquest of Hanoi if Khmer leaders can't find helpers on time, for Vietnam has its effective collaborator, Hun Sen, to coordinate its modus operandi of colonization.

What Sam Rainsey has called for help from China is a legitimate appeal since Cambodia is facing an imminent threat on her independence and sovereignty.  Currently, Cambodia looks as if a drowned person, she must struggle to catch whatever that can lift her from drowning.  Albeit Sam Rainsey has different political ideology from Chinese leaders, the main point is when the two countries share a common interest.  President Franklin Roosevelt  made an alliance with Stalin to defeat Hitler in WWII when he saw Hitler more dangerous than Stalin.  Now Sam Rainsey may seek alliance with China, for it looks less dangerous than Vietnam.
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang
Nevertheless, a lot of works and efforts must be done since it is very unusual when a political party in any country seeks help from outside powers, but it's usually best fit during war time.  Currently, even the U.S. or E.U. never publicly declare their direct support for CNRP, but they openly support democracy, human rights, and a rule of law in Cambodia.  During war time 1970-90, China openly declared its support for the Khmer Rouge and Sihanouk leadership.  Now a stake is high for China to veer from Hun Sen regime though it perceived that Hun Sen might be not its faithful friend; Beijing has to balance its interest: to stay with its current course with Hun Sen or to gradually shift its policy in order to find a faithful and stable friendship with Cambodia.

Hun Sen's superficial alliance with China has politically benefited Vietnam too, for it can manipulate international community that Hun Sen is independent and free from Hanoi's pressure to exercise his own foreign policy, therefore Vietnam has nothing to do with what has been going on in Cambodia.  Most foreign media as well as some diplomats regarded Hun Sen as if China's stooge rather than Hanoi's when he had brazenly deleted a South China Sea dispute issue from ASEAN's summit agenda in 2012 to appease China.  Although Philippines strongly criticized Hun Sen's action, Vietnam--a fierce rival with China--refrained from criticizing Hun Sen publicly because it had struck a deal with Hun Sen behind a scene.  Yet, Hun Sen kept China happy for a while when there is no guarantee in the future.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Queen Ang Mey and Vietnamization in Cambodia

 signs of current Vietnamization in Cambodia
By ខែ្មរវឌ្ឍនកម្ម

Queen Ang Mey
Khmer history during Oudong Era (1620-1863) --from a reign of King Chey Chettha II to King Norodom-- is known as a dark age when her two rival neighbors--Thailand and Vietnam--had wrestled to control Cambodia.  As Vietnam gained upper hand over Thailand on the three wars, Vietnamization program was imposed by Vietnamese Emperor during Queen Ang Mey's reign (r.1834-1841).  Although  Khmer kings during this period were groomed and brought to the throne by Thailand, frequent dispute over succession of the throne had brought outside power interventions, and  those interventions also created occupations over Cambodia.

The Vietnamese victory over three wars with Thailand on Cambodian territory (1811-1812, 1831-34, and 1841-45) had maintained Vietnam influence and occupation over Cambodia nearly a half a century, from 1806 to 1848.  When King Ang Chan II (r. 1806-1834) died in 1834, there was no heir apparent to the throne, for he had no son but four daughters.  Though his brothers Ang Duong and Ang Im immediately laid claim to the throne, the Vietnamese emperor did not approve.  Also, Ang Chan's eldest daughter Princess Baen was passed over due to her being sympathetic to Thai and her refusal to marry Emperor Gia Long's son.  Finally, Princess Ang Mey was an alternative to her sister, Princess Baen.

In May 1835, Princess Ang Mey was crowned by Vietnamese Emperor Minh Mang; she faced north toward the emperor's letter authorizing her to reign.  The ceremony bore no resemblance to traditional Khmer coronation.  Then, the emperor provided Queen Mey at least 100 body guards ostensibly to protect her safety.  In fact, the body guards were assigned to ensure that she stayed faithful to the emperor and did not defect.  On the other hand, a Thai source claimed that the Vietnamese had also tried to persuade Queen Mey to marry the son of emperor Gia Long, but they dropped that proposal when they had learned strong objection from many Khmer noblemen.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

After Angkor Era: Cambodia has Faced her Demise

Cambodia after Angkor Era
By Khmer Wathanakam

Khmer King Ang Duong
Through her over 2,000 year-history, Cambodia has experienced with both flourished and dark ages.  Before her downfall, Cambodia had stood as a great empire for over 600 years according to most scholars and records--from 802 to 1431.  Angkor Empire reached its zenith during King Jayavaraman VII's reign (1181-1218) when it had stretched over most part of inland Southeast Asia compared with a newer Mongol Empire.  But after Angkor Era, Cambodia has steadily declined and become a prey of her two growing powerful neighbors--Vietnam and Thailand.

The collapse of Angkor Empire was visibly caused by Khmer internal conflicts and fast growing power of her two neighbors especially Thailand in that time when Vietnam was busy to conquer Champa Kingdom.  Thailand did not exist prior to Angkor Empire, but several small kingdoms had gradually merged into a great powerful nation under a leadership of Ayutthya Kingdom along Chaos Phraya Valley.  Thailand had ruled most part of Laos and western part of Cambodia until French colonial period.  Vietnam though has much older history than Thailand, a small kingdom of Dai Viet or Anam was continuously under Chinese suzerainty over 1,000 years.  But after it had got rid of Chinese yoke in 10th century, Vietnamese Emperor Le Dai Hanh relentlessly expanded southward, conquering Champa Kingdom through military power and smooth political marriage.  By 14th century, Vietnam completely took over Champa when a Vietnamese Princess Huyen Tran was married to Cham King to cement its conquest.
After a successful conquest over Champa, the Vietnamese dynasty eyed on Kampuchea Krom.  Unlike Champa, the Nguyen Lord did not attack Kampuchea Krom by forces but through political marriage with Khmer King Chey Chettha II who had escaped Phnom Penh from Thai invasion, requesting Vietnamese Emperor to restore his throne.  Then King Chey Chetta II was married to a Vietnamese Princess Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van in 1618.  In return, Chey Chettha granted settlement rights and land lease to Vietnamese settlers in Prey Nokor and Mekong Delta area.  By 1690, Khmer people in the area found themselves as a minority group when the Vietnamese settlers outnumbered them in their homeland.  Then the Vietnamese declared Kampuchea Krom as their land, and they no longer obeyed Khmer laws and paid taxes to Khmer King.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Is Hun Sen a Real Strongman?

By Khmer Wathanakam

Politically, a word "strongman" has been used by many foreign media, referring to a leader who rules a country by forces or military strength. And most of strongmen have a common sentiment of nationalism.  Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and Muamar Qaddafi of Libya are just few leaders who were well known as the strongmen and nationalists.  At the same time, Hun Sen is also flagrant as a strongman in many foreign media, but most Cambodian people are not familiar to use a word "strongman" to describe Hun Sen since the word strongman if it translates into Khmer, it doesn't mean correctly as a word dictator to name Hun Sen though the two words dictator and strongman are interchangeable in English. 

Hun Sen has shared most common ruling style with those strongmen, but what he is so different from them is he has lost sense of nationalism.  Most strongmen from the past to present no matter what style of rule they have chosen--Communism, socialism, fascism, authoritarianism, and junta--they have a strong bond to nationalism such as Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, and so on.  Castro, who had ruled Cuba from 1959 revolution until his retirement 2008, has brought Communism to practice in Cuba until today without bending to foreign pressure though Communism has brought miserable lives and poverty to his country, Cuba still stands as a full sovereign and independent nation. in 1961, Castro defeated a U.S backed military invasion to overthrow his Communist regime, and he has stood firm against the U.S. domination in the region.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cambodian Community Memmbers in MN Raised $17,100 for CNRP

 Fund raising organizers

Reported by Khmer Wathanakam

Minneapolis/St. Paul, ( Khmer Wathanakam)-- At least 200 Cambodian community members came to commemorate the dead of four protesters whom were brutally killed by Hun Sen's security forces and to attend fund raising for CNRP on January 11, 2014.  They also came to show their support and to express their sympathy to all fellow Khmer who are persistently struggling for true justice and democracy in Cambodian.  During a ceremony, Abott Moeung Sang gave sermon about the Buddhist five-precepts, appealing all Khmer leaders to adhere it in order to lead the country toward true peace and prosperity.  He also added that no matter where we live, we are still parts of Khmer Nation and share the same feeling and suffering that our fellow Khmer have experienced in the country.

Many community members came to share their pain and grief with all victim families, and their sympathy had expressed in their will and actions.  According to the organizers, Venerable Chum Vichet and Mr. Somnang Kong, they raised the total money $ 17,100 to support CNRP and victims.  Due to cold weather at this time of the year, many people could not come, but their donations kept pouring in with their friends or relatives who were able to attend.  And they plan to do fund raising again during the CNRP elected member Mr. Yim Sovann's visit to Minnesota on February 15, 2014.  After that Ven. Chum Vichet said he would organize a monthly fund raising to support the CNPR until its mission of saving Khmer Nation is succeeded.

Since the July election last year, most Cambodians living abroad  have shown their unity more than ever before though they still adhere to different political views and ideologies.  Now they no longer talk about different political parties or other movements, but they speak only one word "Sang Kroh Cheat" or " Rescue the Nation."  This word has sent a powerful message to all Cambodian people inside and outside the country to put aside all their differences and to focus on a sacred mission to save Khmer Nation first.  " If we have our nation and our land, we have every thing."

The Minnesota community members' fund raising is neither the first time nor the last one for them, but they keep doing so as their contribution to save Khmer Nation.  Minnesota's fund raising is just a small fraction of fund raising activities that we have seen from Cambodian communities around the world from Sidney to Paris, Montreal to LA.  Over the past three decades, oversea Cambodians have become the strong political and financial supporters to their fellow Cambodians inside the country, who have struggled to bring true justice, democracy, and independence for their motherland.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Probability of Hun Sen Facing ICC

Hun Sen's security forces killed and tortured civilians

By Khmer Wathanakam

 After tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which were established to try crimes committed only in specific time-frame and conflict, there was a general agreement that an independent, permanent criminal court was needed.  An International Criminal Court (ICC) also known as a "Rome Statute" was created in 1998 and opened its door to business on July 1, 2002, marking an historic milestone toward ending impunity around the world.

ICC which has 121 state party members is not part of UN system like International Court of Justice (ICJ) which was created in 1945 to settle legal dispute between states and to provide legal advisory referred by UN and special agencies.  Unlike, the ICJ, the ICC deals with individual person's crime referred by any state party or UN Security Council. In addition, prosecutor can initiate investigation on the basis of information on crime received for individual or organization.  Currently, the ICC has issued 22 arrest warrants in 16 cases with seven ongoing investigations.  As a state party member, Cambodia can refer or bring criminal case to try in the ICC based on substantial evidences, a nature, and scope of crime.
In the past few years two organizations, People Power Movement (PPM) led by Sourn Serey Ratha and  Khmer Liberation Front (KLF) led by Sam Serey filed two separate criminal cases against Hun Sen at ICC though the cases were pending for more evidences, it is the first time that Cambodian people have tried to search for justice beyond their national jurisdiction since Cambodian court system is unreliable.  Now CNRP is preparing another stronger and bigger criminal case against Hun Sen based on his fresh brutal crackdown on protesters since a start of election dispute from August last year, which caused at least six people dead and over 100 severe injured along with his past crimes.  At this time it looks more promising since more evidences have been collected by numerous human right groups and more cruel violence have been committed by Hun Sen's security forces against unarmed civilians.  If we count all crimes from 1993 UN organized election until today, we have large enough scope of crimes and evidences to bring Hun Sen to the ICC.

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 7, 1979, a Military Intervention by Hanoi

Unchecked Vietnamese troops' withdrawal from Cambodia 1989

By Khmer Wathanakam

 Gen. Le Duc Anh, an architect of a brutal K-5 Plan
When nations send their military forces into other nations' territory, it is rarely [if ever] for "humanitarian" purpose.  They typically pursue their national interest--colonizing, gaining military and economic strategic advantages, seizing natural resources, and so on and so forth.  But publicly, those nations try to justify their actions in term of high moral purposes--bring peace, justice, and save lives from genocide or other humanitarian purposes.  Accordingly, Vietnam has publicly claimed that it came to save Khmer lives from Pol Pot's killing field on January 7, 1979.  Based on Khmer history and a conventional rule of individual nation's foreign policy, January 7, 1979 is not a humanitarian intervention but a military invasion by Hanoi.

January 7, 1979 has become the most controversial date in Khmer history when the current regime was installed by Hanoi on this date declaring it a national holiday to commemorate its victory over Pol Pot regime which turned the country into a killing field.  The regime even goes further to call this date as a second birthday of Cambodian people, but according to a school of International Relations, every country on this planet always places its narrow national interest above everything in conducting its own foreign policy.  No any country can afford to become a Saint or Bodhisattva in this material world.  Thus, what Vietnam has claimed; first it contradicts to a conventional rule of individual nation's foreign policy, and second it contradicts to Khmer history that has proved that Vietnam is a true Khmer traditional enemy and invader--Kampuchea Krom and Koh Tral are the living proofs.

 Historically, after conquering Kampuchea Krom, Vietnam repeatedly failed to conquer a proper Cambodia at least three times: During a reign of Emperor Thieu Tri, in late 1841, General Truong Minh Giang (in compared with General Le Duc Anh in the 1980s) when he withdrew his defeated troops from Cambodia, he sent his letter to Hue in which he took the blame for losing Cambodia, to which he referred as "the emperor's rightful property."  Then he took his own life by poisoning.  After Geneva Conference 1954, again Ho Chi Minh failed to cut Cambodia into pieces by creating a autonomous zone for the Communist Khmer Vietminh--a predecessor of the current CPP.  And after 1970's bloodless coup against Sihanouk, at least 70,000 Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia under a slogan to reinstate Sihanouk to the power.  Fortunately for Khmer, those Vietnamese troops were expelled from Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge at the end of 1973 after they had helped the Khmer Rouge to gain control nearly 70 percent of the country from the Khmer Republic.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Innocent People Fell into Hun Sen's Preys

A ruthless leader

Cruel treatment on protesters by Hun Sen's security forces

By Khmer Wathanakam

The worse violent crackdown by Hun Sen regime since 1998, which killed at least four and severely injured 37 garment factory workers has sent a shock wave of grief and sorrow to all Khmer people inside and outside the country, who have witnessed such horrendous events repeatedly over the past 35 years under a notorious leader Hun Sen's iron fist rule. A brutal response and cruel treatment of Hun Sen's security forces on empty hand protesters at Freedom Park and Veng Sreng Road just happened less than a week after Hun Sen returned from Hanoi has clearly demonstrated that Hun Sen had set a well coordinated plan to crush protesters by using Hanoi's tactic as we predicted in our previous article. Hun Sen has deployed his two Vietnamese taught tactics--to lure his enemies into his trap and to launch preemptive strike. 

As our intuition in a previous article a few days before this brutal crackdown, an absence of Hun Sen's security forces on the streets did not mean Hun Sen feared the protest, but he just tricked his opponents into his trap and ambushed.  Now his plan has succeeded again when garment factory workers chose some forms of defiance and violence by closing roads and throwing objects at security forces, they completely pushed themselves into Hun Sen's trap.  Then Hun Sen used heavy hands to smash them at free will by accusing protesters as anarchists who destroyed public and private properties and created instability in society and subjected to be severely punished.  And what Hun Sen had responded to empty hand protesters is very brutal and cruel in front of Khmer people and international community.  If Hun Sen is a true Khmer leader, he will be regretful for what he has done to those young innocent people who had just demanded for their better living.