Aftermath: 48 days later:The Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation

Today, I like to touch on the aftermaths of January 7th, 1979 after 48 days. As you know, in the beginning there was a Declaration of Victory, followed by the Annual Celebrations in the capital of Phnom Penh, and later in the CPP Headquarters in Chamkar Mon, which was the site of the High School of Sangkum Reastr Niyum (former campus of the National School of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, and Veterinary). The events marked the successful support of the mighty army of Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) helping the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Army  in overthrow the army of Democratic Kampuchea (DK) of the Khmer Rouge regime. As we know during the Khmer Rouge regime, the entire population suffered so much with broken families, starvation, homeless, harsh imprisonment, torture, rape, beaten, and killings.

Chum Mey, a prisoner at Tuol Sleng S-21 said he had been formidably sentenced in the way as described above. He did not expect to survive, but only waiting for the day of death. However good luck came with the contingent of Vietnamese liberation army to enter Phnom Penh on January 7th, 1979; he survived; and he thought it was his second birthday. He thanked Vietnam for being rescuer and life saver, and he was so grateful since then. Some Cambodians think it is okay with Chum Mey’s declaration. This is about his deep suffering.

There were large controversy around “January 7th”, which caused heavy arguments, protests, and boycott among friends, family members, and news media. Besides, the SRV claimed that the invasion was based on the ground that the “DK attacked the SRV first.”  This justification is just a means to throw hatred to the DK, and at the same time hold friendship firmer with the SRV. The propaganda message enhances the national disunity, as the controversy grows larger.  This has been a psychological publicity.

However, majority of Cambodian has expressed that the SRV must not invade the DK in any way. If the SRV was friendly and nice enough, the SRV shall quickly ask or alert the world body, such as the United Nations, to prevent the crime from happening, ever since.  Scholars and experts said that Vietnam told the world that it did not intend to invade the Democratic Kampuchea (DK), but to help rescue the Khmer from the killings. This is just a publicity to conceal its bad intention. For clarification, you will see the new development in the period of “48 days”, from January 7th, 1979 to February 18th, 1979.

Since the old time, Vietnamese (Dai Viet) maintain their belief in ancestry; those are “predecessor and follower.” Senior leaders have initiated strategy and tactics; then followers apply them. This system has been found in Cambodia since January 7th, 1979 as follows:

  1. 1. Military Conquest: The Dai Viet (Vietnam) had used farmer and guerilla forces to expand its territory since the 10th century. Then, Ho Chi Minh gave advice to take care of Indochina left behind by France. Younger leaders had followed the teachings of Ho Chi Minh. Then, January 7th, 1979, the SRV had successfully invaded the DK, and occupied the country until the Paris Peace Conference in 1991.
  2. 2. Administrative Arrangement: Starting with the establishment of new state of “People’s Republic of Kampuchea” (PRK), with its Kampuchea People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA) in three echelons. That was organized with the help of the SRV while occupying the country. Administratively, village, commune, districts, and provinces were organized.
  3. 3. Diplomacy arrangement: -Traditionally, Vietnam has strong skill in diplomacy in Vietnam War. Vietnamese females make deal with person of authority to carry out important task. The SRV’s pro-Soviet-oriented political tactics had the ability to contain China from reaching the Indochinese area, a goal that is similar to that of the United States in Vietnam War’s period. With the same target, the Soviet Union was satisfied with the plan to contain China in Cambodia, and then supported the SRV plan to invade the Pol Pot regime of the DK.
  4. Legal tactics: – While the new state of People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) was very busy with all kinds of needs, the SRV leadership took the opportunity to prepare a special treaty. That is the first bilateral treaty known as the “Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation”, using sweet and attractive words of comfort and great relief. On February 18, 1979, representative of the “People’s Republic of Kampuchea” Heng Samrin was invited to sign the treaty, as counterpart of SRV’s leader Phan Van Dong.

The treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation is the leading treaty that covers any other treaties or agreements in regard to both politics and administration between the SRV (Vietnam) and the PRK. The SRV’s counterpart had introduced the treaty surely had more authority than that of the PRK, who initiated the term of the treaty to 25 years. Upon expiration of the 25-year period, the treaty will continue by itself for every 10 years, unless no other party applies for its termination, one year prior to the end of its last period. Up to 40 years, as the CNRP’s popularity grows much stronger in 2017’s election, Hun Sen was afraid of being a loser. Then, the ruling party CPP Hun Sen has used legal procedure to curb the CNRP’s popularity, starting in 2016, including the arrest of CNRP’s Kem Sokha on September 9, 2017 (3:00AM), and the dissolution of the CNRP on November 16, 2017, etc… Now, the incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen who has been head of the CPP‘s ruling party has used the national court to serve his own party only. This is a very biased behavior; it not right at all. It is a serious violation of the Cambodian constitution.

In 40 years period of contract (1979 – 2019), great deals of national wealth and public property have been heavily deteriorated, depleted through the application of the treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation.

Referring to the term and conditions of the Paris Peace Agreements of October 23, 1991 on Cambodia, all bilateral treaties and agreements with the SRV (Vietnam) should have been ended. However, the Chef of Cambodian Government in the period of 1993 to present refused to abolish it. In 2000, in response to then King Norodom Sihanouk’s request, Prime Minister Hun Sen argued that as the relations between the two countries (Cambodia and Vietnam) have been excellent, Cambodia shall not terminate that treaty.

Mr. Hun Sen, who has been in power for 34 years, has been locked in the treaty of February 18, 1979. There are compound problems, and Hun Sen could not get unlocked. As a result, Cambodia has encountered tricky problems with the SRV (Vietnam) regarding big issues, such as territorial integrity, human rights, land concession, and economic issue. The problems of border demarcation have piled up high, and Prime Minister Hun Sen could not find solution. This problem causes social protest from the public, because there is so much phony application of the February 18, 1979 treaty: Cambodia has been “tricked and trapped” in the said treaty.

Recommendations: – First, Prime Minister has held power in Cambodia too long, 34 years. During those years, he has grabbed power in his own hands: “power grab”.  Then, he takes totalitarian style that is not compatible with Paris Peace Agreement (PPA). To avoid dangers and chaos leader must respect national and international national treaties, staying on path of democracy with the PPA’s spirit. All leaders must adhere to the oaths of office, and oaths of allegiance to the country.

  • Government leaders must terminate the treaty of February 18th, 1979, by sending a request letter to the SRV counterpart right on due dated of February 18th, 2023.
  • Generally, Cambodians need to be united on national interest, especially sovereignty, national unity, and human rights issues.
  • Up to present day, Cambodia necessary needs a new leader who respects the rule of laws, principle of democracy, and human rights in the current crisis. It is an easy way to live together as Khmer in a bright future.

– Marith Chhang

On National Reconciliation

For 2 decades, from the 1970s through to the 1980s, Cambodia was engulfed in a war that was the by- product of a regional geopolitical conflict between East and West. The Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in late 1970s became known as the Third Indochinese War and the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia lasted until the late 1980s. The end of the Cold War around 1990, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, opened a new chapter in Cambodian politics when the great powers, namely the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (most notably China, Russia and the United States) agreed on the need to find a long-lasting solution to the war in Cambodia. As a result, the Paris Peace Agreements were presented to the warring Cambodian factions who then accepted and signed the peace accord on October 31, 1991, and invited the United Nations to intervene in Cambodia.

The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) was established to help Cambodia move toward peace, democracy, and development. UNTAC was an unprecedented multi-faceted mission the United Nations had ever sent to a war-torn nation. The most important responsibilities UNTAC had were peacekeeping, organizing and holding a free and fair national election. The election was held in July 1993. The late US Congressman Stephen Solarz, a great supporter of the Cambodian resistance to the Vietnamese invasion, hailed the 1993 election as a Miracle of the Mekong. The Agreements were implemented in great part because of the fine leadership of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, who never grew tired of making his best effort to promote national reconciliation.

Still, many critics were dissatisfied with the implementation of the Paris Peace Agreements, especially when the winner of the 1993 election, namely FUNCINPEC, shared power with the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Moreover, they became even more critical of the CPP when its leader, Second Prime Minister Hun Sen, used force to remove First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh (FUNCINPEC) from power by staging a violent coup on July 5-6, 1997.

It was no secret that the CPP is the new name of the Khmer People Revolutionary Party, an offspring of the Indochina Communist Party organized by the Vietnamese communists in the 1930s, with no history of power sharing. After the coup in 1997, the CPP began to tighten its control over the state, especially the armed forces and the judiciary, and became the dominant party winning the subsequent elections. The only time that the opposition proved to be a credible power contender was when the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) took 55 out of 123 seats in the 2013 election. The CPP took this growing challenge very seriously and was determined to make sure that the 2013 election results would not be repeated.

The CPP then took action to prevent the CNRP from winning enough seats to form a new government. It accused the CNRP President of treason, put pressure on the Supreme Court to dissolve his party, and banned 118 CNRP leaders from politics. Predictably, the CPP captured all 125 seats in the 2018 election, leaving 19 other minor parties without a seat.

Many democratic states in the West, most notably Canada, the European Union and the United States, were displeased with the election results and threatened to impose sanctions on Cambodia. The EU threatened to end its Everything-But-Arms (EBA) agreement with Cambodia and the United States threatened to end its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Cambodia has become more divided. The ruling party and the opposition have blamed each other for what has transpired in the country in recent years.  The new round of political conflict appears to be protracted with no end in sight. Each side has turned to foreign countries for support.  The CPP has evidently moved closer to China and Russia, whereas the CNRP still counts on Western democracies for intervention. Each side continues to claim legitimacy through the support of Cambodian people. A mini ‘cold war’ is in the making.

From our perspective, there seems to be no way out for Cambodia. Without King Norodom Sihanouk, famous for his nationalist spirit and known as the father of independence, there is no one else who can remain above the fray, command respect from political leaders on all sides, and lead them on the path of national reconciliation. Even our current King, Norodom Sihamoni, one of King Sihanouk’s sons, appears to be limited in his ability to move the ruling party and the opposition closer to the much-needed process of reconciliation.

In the meantime, Cambodia now appears to become once again a victim of neo-colonialism, as it is subject to the growing influence of more powerful foreign countries in the region, namely China and Vietnam, known for their rivalry over the past 1,000 years or so.

The big question for all Cambodians to answer is this: What type of country do we want Cambodia to be? Most Cambodians would agree that we want their country to be independent, democratic, and prosperous. But getting there would not be easy because it would require that the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements be fully implemented. And this can only be done when all Cambodians learn to trust each other, agree to engage in the process of dialogue, allow the king to intervene in national affairs effectively, make sure that foreign powers do not pursue their interests at our expense, and invite the United Nations to stay engaged.

  • VPS

Cambodia and the Cult of Personality

Way back, I was thinking of writing an article on “The Cult of Personality” that is the root causes of many tragedies suffered by the Cambodian people. The January 30, 2019 op-ed in the Cambodia Opinion section of the Asia Time “Hun Manet, Cambdia’s Western-educated dictator-in-waiting” by Siwathey Ek pushed me not to delay.

I began by going to Wikipedia to look for a definition of this concept that I had come across many times before. It says: “A Cult of Personality arises when a country’s regime – or, more rarely, an individual – uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. A cult of personality is similar to apotheosis, except that it is established by modern social engineering techniques, usually by the state or the party in one-party states. It is often seen in totalitarian or authoritarian countries.”

For Cambodia, the “cult of personality” stems from the long history of absolute monarchy when the people put all their trust and fate in the hands and the head of a Chieftain, a King or a God King, or an Emperor. It was only on May 6th, 1947 that the Kingdom adopted a constitution  that changed the regime to a constitutional monarchy,  a byproduct of the post-World War II new world order. Even then, it seemed that both the King, then Norodom Sihanouk, and the people were not accustomed to that.  After the Royal Crusade for Independence, Norodom Sihanouk chose to abdicate the throne in favor of his father, Norodom Suramarit, and launched himself into politics by creating and leading the political movement-cum-party, the Sangkum Reastr Niyum. His personal attributes and his success in securing the nation’s independence made him a national hero of no equal, known and recognized nationally and worldwide. It was a perfect case of the cult of personality, promoted by the Cambodian people, comparable to Lenin for the Russian people or Mao Tse Tung for the Chinese.

After the elections of 1955 when the Sangkum Reastr Niyum won all the seats in the National Assembly, all the other political parties, including the lead contender, the Democratic Party, dissolved themselves one after another, and Cambodia became a one- party kingdom, ruled unopposed by Sihanouk, sometime as President of the Council of Ministers, and sometime as Head of State. People trusted his wisdom, and those who dared to have divergent opinions were forced to lead a guerilla war deep from the border jungle. Instead of being fully neutral, Sihanouk favored and accepted to help the communist Vietnamese during the Vietnam War that led to his deposition on March 18, 1970.

In the same manner, though to a lesser degree, General Lon Nol, was faithfully promoted by his soldiers, but could not sustain the war for long. Then came the cult of Angkar, the secret leadership of the Khmer Rouge with its bloody rule, and now Hun Sen, a self-made leader who commanded respect and obedience, a strong man claiming indispensability who believes that it is OK to be feared and not loved: a cult of his own.

And now Hun Sen has made preparations, with the destruction of Cambodia’s rich natural resources, for his three children- first the elder Manet, then Manit, and Many- and his extended family, i.e. the Hun Dynasty, to stay in power.

Forget about the Cambodian National Rescue Party that is supported by more than half of the nation population, and the fate of the FUNCINPEC that were essentially killed off in the July 5-6 1997 coup. Forget about the people who were killed for their opposition to Hun Sen’s rule such as Chea Vichea, Thuch Vuthy and Kem Ley, and people like Piseth Pilikar, the star singer who made the mistake of falling in love with Hun Sen and was killed by a killer hired by someone in the prime minister’s circle according to the French magazine, L’Express, and Touch Sunnix, another star singer, who was shot and left paralyzed for singing in memory and love of Kampuchea Krom…

Dear compatriots, it is about time to ban for good that cult of personality. The longer these personalities stay in power, the more corrupt they become. The only gains are for themselves and their family. They made our nation dependent, and sooner or later our beloved Kampuchea will be the battleground for cold war adversaries and ruled by stronger neighbors.

As for Hun Manet, please remember the French saying “Tel père, tel fils” or “Like father, like son” in English. If the father is the tyrant, so is the son. People accused Sam Rainsy of being the son of the “Traitor Sam Sary.” No, Sam Sary was not a traitor; the communist Vietnamese blamed and hate him because he fought successfully at the Geneva Conference in 1954 against the communist Vietnamese who wanted to divide Cambodia and gave the Eastern part to their protégé, the “Khmer Vietminh.” That was confirmed by King Sihanouk.

Only true democracy with truly free and fair elections and term limits for leaders, can save our motherland. And No to the Cult of Personality!

  • Khemarak Botrey 

For Cambodia Survival: – Is Neutrality a Good Choice?

In this world where competition among nations for fame, superiority, supremacy or simply survival is flaring everywhere, small countries like Cambodia need to make smart choices in foreign policy. Because of her strategic location in the South East Asian Peninsula, Cambodia is prey to neighboring countries with threats coming from overland and from the sea, from near and far.

Historically, during the period of Angkor, the Khmer Empire had reigned supreme, commanding respect and obeisance, due obviously to the proven strength of their kings and subjects, both in temple palaces and on the battlefields. But when their power faded as a result of climate change, internal problems, and external pressure, resulting in the abandonment of Angkor, so did their strength. Cambodia was left to be a protectorate, thanks to the French intervention in 1863. By then, Cambodia had lost Kampuchea Krom to Vietnam and the territories North of Phnom Dangrek to Thailand where the temples of Phimai and Phnom Roung stand today as living proofs of Cambodia’s rule. Cambodia also lost the Khmer temple of Wat Phu, presently in Champasak, Laos. While the loss to Thailand and Laos dated back to the early 1900, the loss of Kampuchea Krom in 1947was a more recent memory.

Cambodia regained her independence from France in 1953 – on November 9 to be exact- after a “Royal Crusade” led by then King Norodom Sihanouk, but the communist Vietnamese known as Vietminh who claimed they were in Cambodia to help fight the French colonialists were still in the country. It was only with the resolutions of the Geneva Conference in 1964 that they accepted to move out of Cambodia taking with them some of their young sympathizers, among them Pen Sovann. At that Conference, with the Western nations led by the US and England and the Eastern bloc led by China and the Soviet Union, the communist countries agreed to endorse the accords in exchange for Cambodia’s full neutrality.  In his book “Cambodia: A country Study” by Russell B. Ross, for the US Library of Congress (1987) noted:

In the final agreement, Cambodia accepted a watered-down neutrality, vowing not to join any military alliance ”not in conformity with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” or to allow the basing of foreign military forces in its territory “as long as its security is not threatened.”

Cambodia did not respect the clauses of its agreement when she ignored the presence within her borders of communist Vietnamese troops who were fighting the American armies during the Vietnam War.

That led to developments in 1970 that, in turn, contributed to the Khmer Rouge victory in 1975. Had Cambodia stayed fully neutral during that period, she may not have experienced all that tragedy.

Thereafter, Cambodia experienced one tragedy after another, from the Khmer Rouge regime to the Vietnamese occupation. It took another decade before a reprieve was secured through the Paris Paris Peace Agreements on Cambodia that were signed on October 23rd, 1991. These agreements were intended to ensure Cambodia’s survival. Article 18 of the AGREEMENT ON A COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL SETTLEMENT OF THE CAMBODIA CONFLICT, PART IV:  INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEES, stated:

Cambodia undertakes to maintain, preserve and defend, and the other Signatories undertake to recognize and respect, the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability, neutrality and unity of Cambodia, as set forth in a separate Agreement.

The importance of Cambodia neutrality was reinforced in Article 23 “PRINCIPLES FOR A NEW CONSTITUTION FOR CAMBODIA” that reads:

Basic principles, including those regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as regarding Cambodia’s status of neutrality, which the new Cambodian Constitution will incorporate, are set forth in annex 5.

Cambodia had fulfilled this obligation by stating in Chapter I “Sovereignty” of the new Cambodian Constitution, Article 1:

Cambodia is a Kingdom in which the King shall rule according to the Constitution and the principles of liberal multi-party democracy.

The Kingdom of Cambodia shall be an independent, sovereign, peaceful, permanently neutral and non-aligned country.

It is tragic that Cambodia is in turmoil now because the spirit of the Paris Peace Agreements of October 23rd, 1991 and of the Constitution of September 21st, 1993 were not implemented in both the country’s internal and external policies.

The country’s internal policies have led to the demise of multi-party democracy that have prompted the European Union to consider lifting of tax preferential treatment on “Everything But Arms“ or EBA. The US is considering similar action with the Generalized System of Preferences (GPS) schemes.

In turn, by bypassing neutrality, and siding with communist countries, Cambodia’s foreign policies may threaten her security by turning her into a battlefield in the Cold war between the East and the West.

Remember, ignoring the neutrality agreement of the 1954 Geneva Accords led to the Killing Fields in the mid-1970s. Ignoring neutrality now as stated in the Paris Peace Conference of 1991 may lead to a more deadly battlefield. Cambodian people are suffering perhaps not physically, but mentally … and their country may not survive. In conclusion, Neutrality is not only a good choice, but a best choice!

– Ta Prum Kel

 Note: On Neutrality, please refer to Google, key word: Neutrality, political.

Another Opinion: On January 7th

The Cambodian People Party claimed victory on January 7, 1979 over the Khmer Rouge. Many people said that it is not so.

An article published in Khmer Times on August 7, 2014 titled “Why Did Vietnam Overthrow the Khmer Rouge in 1978?” sheds additional light on this history.

The following excerpt of an interview with the German Historian Bernd Schaefer reveals a different picture of that historical chapter:


Why did Vietnam invade Cambodia in December 1978?

“From the East German files I have seen, from early 1978 on, the Vietnamese were committed to replace him, to get rid of Pol Pot, and to get a sympathetic government in Phnom Penh,” said Schaefer. “In Hanoi’s eyes, a government friendly to Vietnam was absolutely essential to the security of Vietnam.”


Through 1978, the Khmer Rouge continued to attack Vietnamese border towns, and the Vietnamese plotted the timing of a full scale invasion. They chose a time when China’s leadership was distracted.

The Vietnamese invaded on Dec. 25, 1978, right after a highly divisive Chinese Communist Party plenary session in Beijing. In addition to this distraction, China’s paramount leader of the time, Deng Xiaoping, was preparing to normalize China’s relations with the United States on Jan. 1, 1979, and to make a groundbreaking trip to the United States on Jan. 29. Hanoi seized this window. Its troops reached Phnom Penh in 13 days, on Jan. 7. The West was largely distracted with Christmas and New Year’s holidays.


The article reveals Vietnam’s critical role in the overthrown of the Khmer Rouge regime and the significance of January 7th in its strategic thinking. Reinforcing the argument is the fact that the first Prime Minister in the new Government in Phnom Penh was Pen Sovann, a Viet Minh cadre, educated and trained in Hanoi since the Geneva Accords in 1954. A few years later, Pen Sovann, who had become less than friendly toward Vietnam, was sacked and jailed in Hanoi. His replacement, Chan Si, worked for a short time and died mysteriously. Hun Sen, his successor, “friendly to Vietnam”, remains in power after 30 years…

And Cambodia is paying the price, losing her pride and independence, not only to Communist Viet Nam, but also to Communist China.

For a brief moment, Cambodia had a chance for survival with the Paris Peace Agreements signed on October 23, 1991. Sadly, the accords were ignored, and Cambodia is once again a pawn in the Superpowers’ Chess Board, potentially becoming a battlefield in a new undeclared Cold War between the East and the West.

True Democracy and the spirit of the Paris Peace Agreements can still save Cambodia, but Hun Sen with his administrative apparatus, the security forces and the judicial power under his command, will not allow that to happen. Can peace loving people including scholars, journalists, and advocates get together to find ideas to help put Cambodia back on tract?

The Cambodian people suffered too much and too long, they deserve better.

  • Khem Sovann

Opinion: On January 7th

ប្រធានបទ:  អ្វីដែលអ្នកគួដឹងអំពីថ្ងៃ​“៧​មករា​​ ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៩” ​

តាមការស្រាវជ្រាវ យើងបានកត់ត្រាថា ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា​តែងតែមានគ្រោះថ្នាក់ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរក្នុងប្រទេសមួយចំនួន ម្ដងហើយ ម្ដងទៀត ក្នុងសតវត្សរ៍កន្លងទៅ។​ នៅក្នុងរបប កម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ មានព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ និងហេតុការណ៍ជាច្រើន បានកើតមានឡើង ។ ដើម្បីបានយល់ច្បាស់ សូមអញ្ជើញតាមដានព្រឹត្តិការណ៍សង្ខេប ដូចតទៅ ។ 

. នៅថ្ងៃទី១៧ មេសា ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៥ សាធារណ:រដ្ឋខ្មែរបានចុះចាញ់ ហើយធ្លាក់ចូលក្នុងកណ្ដាប់ដៃរបបកុម្មុយនីស្តខ្មែរក្រហម ដែលគេហៅថា “កម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ” ។​  .

. នៅថ្ងៃទី២ ខែមិថុនា ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៥ ប៉ុល ពត (សាឡុត សរ) បានទៅជួប ង្វៀង វាន់ លិញ (មេកុម្មុយនីស្តវៀតណាម) ដើម្បីបង្កើតគណកម្មការចំរុះ ក្នុងបញ្ហាព្រុំដែនកម្ពុជា-វៀតណាម ។ និយាយមិនចុះសំរុងគ្នា កងទ័ពវៀតណាមចូលវាយលុកកាន់កាប់កោះខ្មែរ គឺកោះប៉ូឡូវៃ ។​  រីឯជំលោះព្រុំដែនឯទៀត​ បានកើតមានឡើងនៅតាមព្រុំ ដែនគោកខ្មែរ នៅទឹសខាងកើត ​ពីឆ្នាំ១៩៧៥​ -១៩៧៦ ដែលជាពេលមានចិនធ្វើការនៅក្នុងកម្ពុជា ។ រឿងដើមគឺមកពីបញ្ហាព្រុំដែន (សម្ភាសលោក ខៀវ សំផន អំពីការចរចាក្នា ភាគ​១៣) ។ ..

. នៅថ្ងៃទី២ ខែធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៧ ក្រុមខ្មែរក្រហមនៅទឹសឦសាន្ត និងខាងកើតទន្លមេកុងបានធ្វើអបគមន៍បង្កើតរណ:សីរ្ស៍ប្រឆាំងក្រុម ប៉ុល ពត នៅស្រុកស្នួល​ ខេត្តក្រចេះ ហើយរត់ចូលទៅពឹងវៀតណាម ។​

. នៅថ្ងៃទី១៦ធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៧ យួនបានវាយលុក​ ចូលកម្ពុជា ជាលើកដំបូង ដោយប្រើយោធា៥កងពលធំ (ទាហាន​៦០,០០០នាក់) នៅតាមព្រុំដែនខ្មែរ ក្នុងខេត្ត គំពត តាកែវ ស្វាយរៀង និងព្រៃវែង ។​   .

. នៅថ្ងៃទី៣១ ធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៧ លោកប្រមុខរដ្ឋ ខៀវ សំផន ​ក៏បានប្រកាសប្រាប់ពិភពលោក ‘”អំពីការឈ្លានពានរបស់វៀតណាមមកលើកម្ពុជា” និងការសំរេចចិត្ត “ផ្ដាច់ចំណងទូតជាមួយវៀតណាម” ។  .

. នៅថ្ងៃ​ ទី៦ មករា ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៨ កងទ័ពកម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ​បានវាយប្រហារដេញទ័ពវៀតណាម ឲ្យដកថយទៅវិញចូលដល់ក្នុងដែនដីវៀតណាម ។​  ជនជាតិខ្មែរចំនួនប្រមាន១០ ទៅ ២០​ម៉ឺននាក់រត់ភៀសខ្លួន ចូលទៅវៀតណាម​មានលោក ហ៊ុន សែន, ជា ស៊ីម, និងហេង សំរិន ជាដើម ។

៨​. វៀតណាមបានរៀបចំការទូតជាមួយសូវៀត ហើយបានចូលជាសមាជិក ទីផ្សាររួមមួយ ហៅថា កូមេកុម (COMECOM) ហើយបានចុះហត្ថលេខា ជាមួយក្រុងមូស្គូ លើសន្ធិសញ្ញាសន្តិភាព និង សហប្រតិបត្តិការ ដែលត្រៀមល័ក្ខណ: ជួយអន្តរាគមន៍វៀតណាម  ក្នុងករណីយដែលចិនកុម្មុយនីស្តជួយខ្មែរក្រហម ។

. នៅថ្ងៃទី ២១​ ខែមិថុនា ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៨​ វិទ្យុក្រុងហាណូយបាន​ស្រែកស្ដីបន្ទោស មេដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រហម ជាលើកដំបូងបំផុត អំពីរឿងកាប់សម្លាប់ប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍ឯង ជាប្រព័ន្ធ ។​.

១០​. នៅក្នុងខែកក្កដា​​ ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៨ គ្រឿងសព្វាវុធ និងសម្ភារ:សឹក បានហូរចូលពីសូវៀតមកវៀតណាមយ៉ាងច្រើនសន្ធឹកសន្ធាប់ ។ ..

១១. នៅខែវិច្ឆិកា​ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៨ លោកង្វៀង កូ ថាច់ (Nguyen Co Thach បាន​ជុំរាប និងពិភាក្សាជាមួយ លោក Richard Holbrook ជាមន្ត្រីការទូតអាមេរិកាំង និងលោក Robert Oakley ជាមន្ត្រីការទូតរង អំពីសង្គ្រាម វៀតណាម-កម្ពុជា និងការសំរេចចិត្តរបស់ក្រុងហាណូយ ថានឹងវាយលុកចូលកម្ពុជា មិនបាច់ធ្វើការដោះស្រាយតាមយានការ អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ ដូចដែលបានស្នើរឡើងដោយមន្ត្រីការទូតអាមេរិកាំងទាំងពីរនោះឡើយ ។​.

១២. នៅថ្ងៃទី២៥ ខែធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៨ កងទ័ពវៀតណាមដ៏ខ្លាំងពូកែ ចំនួនពីររយពាន់នាក់(២០០,០០០) បានវាយលុករបបខ្មែរក្រហម នៃកម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ ហើយបានប្រកាស់​ជោគជ័យនៅថ្ងៃទី “៧ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ១៩៧៩ ” ។  វៀតណាមបានលើកបន្តុប រដ្ឋាភិបាលខ្មែរមួយ មានគ្រប់ជាន់ថ្នាក់ ឲ្យកាន់កាប់​ ត្រួតត្រាកម្ពុជាពេញទាំងផ្ទៃប្រទេស ហើយនៅជាមួយយូអង្វែងជាអាណានិគម ។​ ចំណែកឯកងទ័ពខ្មែក្រហម ប៉ុល ពត បានចុះចាញ់ ហើយនាំគ្នារត់ចូលព្រៃ នៅតាមព្រុំដែនខ្មែរ-ថៃ នា​ភាគខាងលិច និងខាងជើង នៃប្រទេស ។  

មានពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ មួយចំនួនតែងតែប្រារពធ្វើបុណ្រខួបប្រចាំឆ្នាំ ដឹងគុណ និងថ្លែងអំណរអរគុណចំពោះវៀតណាមតាំងពីឆ្នាំ១៩៧៩ ជារៀងរហូតមកដល់ថ្ងៃនេះ ជិត​៤០ឆ្នាំហើយ។ ​រីឯវៀតណាមវិញ សប្បាយចិត្ត​ ដែល​បានឃើញថាខ្មែរ ដឺងគុណវៀតណាម​ ។ ដូច្នេះ វៀតណាមមានសិទ្ធិ ប្រមូលយកទ្រព្យសម្បត្តិខ្មែរ​ជាជ័យភ័ណ្ឌ យកទៅស្រុកគេ ។  ហើយមកដល់សព្វថ្ងៃ វៀតណាមកំពុងតែប្រមូលយកធនធានធម្មជាតិថែមទៀត មិនដែលឆ្អែត ដូចជាដីធ្លី តាមរបៀបដីសម្បទានសេដ្ឋកិច្ច ប្រ​មូលយកធនធានលើដី និងក្រោមដី ព្រមទាំងមច្ឆាជាតិក្នុងទឹកជាដើម ។ ម្យ៉ាងទៀត វៀតណាមនៅតែរំពឹងគិតថា ជនជាតិខ្មែរនៅជំពាក់គុណបំណាច់ជាច្រើនទៀត ។​ – ដូច្នេះ យើងសុំសួរថាះ តើបងប្ងូនខ្មែរខ្លះដែលដឹងគុណបំណាច់វៀតណាមនោះ គិតយ៉ាងណា?

ធ្វើនៅ ស.រ.អា (USA), ថ្ងៃទី២ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៩

DMC in Lexington, WA

2018: Reflection

As 2018 is coming to a close there were many events in the year past we need to reflect on, most importantly the degradation of Democracy and Human Rights, and the increase of foreign interference, namely the Chinese and the Vietnamese. All of these were the causes and effects born out of the Cambodian People Party (CPP) that ruled over Cambodia lead by Prime Minister over three decades ago. And he is doing and will do what it is needed to maintain power, not only for him but also for his children. A dynasty in the making!

But the CPP was not confident of their predominance after the 2013 general elections with the increased popularity of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), the merger of the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha that was sealed the year before in Manila. This was confirmed by the CNRP success of the Communes elections of 2017 with about 3 million popular votes, just a few percentage points below the CPP. The CPP was worried and need to take drastic action to get the CNRP out of the way.

Sam Rainsy was facing multiple law suits and convictions was forced to exile and Kem Sokha was arrested on conspiracy charge in September 2017 and their CRNP was dissolved 3 months by the Supreme Court whose President is member of the CPP. That’s it, no way for appeal. As the consequences, the 55 CNRP elected representatives were losing their seat at the National Assembly, and the 5007 elected commune officials were losing their positions unless they choose to enroll in the CPP. And worse than that, the 118 members of the CNRP Central Committee were banned from politics for 5 years.

There were other problems to the opposition and the independent media. No protests on elections results, it is the law, and the 2018 saw the CPP winning at 100%, 125 seats over 125 seats! Even though there were 21 political parties competing, without the main opposition CNRP, the results were known in advance. The pluralism was having no sense.

The reactions from the Western nations were swift: the US used their existing Magnisky Law against some top CPP leaders barring them to get entry visa to the US, etc. The European Union after repeated warning, initiated the suspension of the tax preferential treatment of “Everything But Arms” (EBA), the equivalent of around $700 million per year.

But Hun Sen remains defiant, even though his administration, his legislative and his judicial branches took some good will initiatives, such as the release of political prisoners, the ease to house arrest from prison cell for Kem Sokha, and the amendment of law allowing the Prime minister to request pardon from the king for politicians banned from politics. But only for politicians who do not dare to challenge Hun Sen, it is a farce!

And Hun Sen is betting his success on the backing of 2 communist nations: the neighboring Vietnam and the Vietnamese Communist Party, and China and the Chinese Communist Party. He has also the support of neighboring countries that are prone to authoritarian rules and care less on human rights.

But Cambodia lost a lot to the China and Vietnam, even though they got billions in grants, loans and investments. Cambodia was losing her forest resources and mines, and millions of hectares in land concessions, and mines exploitations. It was a silent invasion of Vietnamese illegal immigrant, the same as what happened to Kampuchea Krom in the 17th Century. The Chinese came to Sihanoukville and Koh Kong in great number and for grand venture in deep water seaport and industrial parks that may change to military bases that make the West to worry. But without good local industrialization program, the young population was forced to migrate out of the country to find work abroad.

With the undeclared economic war between China and the United States and the less than amiable sentiment between Cambodia and America, it is clear that Cambodia is the battleground of the new undeclared cold war between the East and the West.

The Cambodian people deserve better. They want Peace, their leaders failed them. Cambodia had the Paris Peace Agreements of October 23, 1991 to help her, but their leaders ignore them. We wish that 2019 will be a Year of Awakening for Cambodia and her people, politicians and what’s not. Only true Democracy and Justice for all may come to their rescue.

Please help give Peace a Chance, and remember “No Justice, No Peace”.

  • Prum Kel

Cambodia 2017: The Demise of Democracy

It is now 70 year since Cambodia was introduced to the modern concept of Democracy.

On May 6, 1947 the first ever Constitution was promulgated allowing the then Kingdom to have political parties running for office. The Absolute Monarchy was replaced by the constitutional monarchy with the government running under the watch of a national assembly.

The country was then governed by the elected Democratic Party until 1952 when the Huy Kanthul government was dismantled by King Norodom Sihanouk on June 16 1952. That was the beginning of the then democracy. It was the time when the King launched the Crusade for Independence that was acquired and celebrated on November 9, 1953.

Thereafter, it was a period of transition for the King to prepare for his move into politics with the creation of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum that he led after his abdication in 1955. There were elections but technically it was one party rule under Sihanouk until the event of March 18, 1970 when he was discharged from his position of Chief of State.

With the war spread out after the change democracy was in the name only, elections were symbolic and dominated by the military under Marshall Lon Nol, the new ruler. The Khmer Republic forces were defeated and the country was governed after April 17, 1975 by the Khmer Rouge that took the new name of Democratic Kampuchea. There was no democracy under its absolute harsh rule for 3 years 8 months and 20 days, “Democratic” by the name only. After that they were chased out of power by a band of rebels under the lead of communist Vietnam army.

The invasion started on the Christmas night of 1978 and on January 7, 1979 the blitzkrieg was over, a government was installed and run by the Khmer People Revolutionary Party Secretary, Mr. Pen Sovann, changing hand to Chan Si, and later, from 1985, to Hun Sen, as Prime Minister. There were apparently to elections and no democracy. For nearly 10 years, the war of resistance by a government in exile led by the then Prince Sihanouk was culminated to the signing with the Paris Peace Agreement on October 23, 1991.

The Agreement among others, did bring back Peace and Democracy to Cambodia, and Cambodia became Kingdom again, the second time, with Sihanouk back to the Throne. The elections of 1993 was proclaimed as free and fair, but the winner, the FUNCINPEC did not take all. Prince Norodom Ranariddh was forced to share power with Hun Sen, and with shrewd maneuver the later was able to over the whole administration after a military coup of 1997. And the winner took all. That was, again, the beginning of the end of democracy.

The following of 1998 and there after were run by an administration of Hun Sen’s Cambodian People Party (CPP), and again the Democracy was on the facade only, with the CPP controlling the administration, the security forces (Army and Police) and the finances. Never the less the opposition continued to fight a non violent campaign in the name of democracy to get people recognition. It was until the elections of 2013 that Hun Sen felt the threat from the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and started to worry about the future of the CPP, with 55 seats over 123 at the national Assembly. More than that, the communes elections with impressive votes for CNRP provided the CPP leadership with more reasons to worry, more and more.

The schemes were in place: Objective: Get rid of the CPP. First, banning Sam Reangsy from CNRP leadership, but no result as expected. Then, on September 3, Kem Sokha, CNRP President, was arrested for treason for conspiring with foreign power (the USA), and the 16 November, the CNRP was dissolved with a verdict rendered by the Supreme Court. More than that the court ruling ordered a five-year political ban for the top leaders of the CNRP. Technically the CNRP was simply and purely decapitated.

Hun Sen said that democracy is still here to stay with many other parties competing. But what democracy is it without a true opposition? The world was watching and there is now a cold war between good and evil, for the cause of Democracy. Hopefully the demise is temporary, and the good cause will triumph.

Ta P. Kel


November: The good, the bad, and the ugly

November 9: It is good for Cambodia to commemorate the Independence Day since 1953, but it is bad now, because Cambodia nowadays, depends on communist Vietnam for its security, and depends on communist China for its cash. Debt keeps increasing … And debt is a threat to its national security, it is the ugly thing to have. From now Independence is void of its meaning … The only person responsible for this is PM Hun Sen.

November 16: The Cambodian Democracy was killed by its strong man PM Hun Sen, with the dissolution of the sole credible opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party or the CNRP. But the Death Certificate was signed by the 9 members of the Supreme Court that was presided over by Dith Munty, Hun Sen trusted man. It is ugly. 118 leaders of the CNRP were also banned from politics for 5 years. The ruling Cambodian People Party (CPP) were sure to win big at the next July 2018 elections over the newly revived FUNCINPEC. It is the ugliest thing in Cambodia since Democracy was proclaimed on May 6, 1947. The western world rise up in protest, and too bad that only China and Russia were backing the strong man.

The Cambodian People Must Resist to dictatorship!

– Neak Ta Khleang Moeung