A Change of Guard

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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

[Hor Namhong sues Khmerization, Ki-media and Sacrava, while] Vietnam's Prime Minister welcomed even by the opposition

16 November 2010

Vietnam's Prime Minister welcomed even by the opposition (1)
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung who is currently on an official three-day visit in Cambodia, has been welcomed by opposition leader Sam Rainsy in a 14 November 2010 open letter. A year ago, following a border incident, Mr. Dung publicly "proposed that the Cambodian government take due measures to deal with Sam Rainsy's acts of sabotage and not permit similar cases to occur, as they negatively affect the fine relations between the two nations." In light of the Cambodian government mea culpa on the circumstances surrounding this incident (see following news "Hun Sen admits mistake in localization of controversial border markers"), Sam Rainsy wrote, "I would be grateful if you would acknowledge that you actually overreacted to my pulling out a few wooden poles in Svay Rieng province and possibly encouraged some unnecessary fallout from that insignificant incident." Read full text of Sam Rainsy's letter at http://tinyurl.com/2a3ppln.

Hun Sen admits mistake in localization of controversial border markers (1)
In a 8 November 2010 letter responding to opposition Members of Parliament, Prime Minister Hun Sen admits, at least by implication, that the government has made some mistake in the localization of some "tentative" or "temporary" border markers in provinces bordering Vietnam. « In the area of the tentative post # 185 [uprooted by Sam Rainsy on 25 October 2009], in particular posts # 184 to 187 along the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, the joint technical group from the two countries is continuing their study on the ground in order to search for material evidence/reference points necessary for the determination of the real location of those border posts. Because the joint technical group from the two countries has not planted any border post # 185 yet, the border demarcation work -- which is the work of the joint technical group to be conducted after the planting of those posts -- has not started yet either. » Therefore Sam Rainsy, who has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for "crimes" stemming from "destruction of public property," could not cause any damage to anything that does not exist and could not create any problem to any work that "has not started yet." Read Hun Sen's letter in Khmer at http://tinyurl.com/25ulw7c.

Reasons for the government to prohibit visits to eastern border areas (2)
The Hun Sen government is adamant that no Members of Parliament, no journalists, no diplomats, no NGO workers, no civil society representatives and no independent observers are allowed to visit areas near the border with Vietnam. There is a two-fold reason for this strict prohibition:
1- Nobody must be given the opportunity and possibility to do what Sam Rainsy did last year with the "tentative" border post # 185 in Svay Rieng province, i.e. collect the precise geographic coordinates of any border post with a GPS device, find out the location of that post on any official French-made or US-made map using appropriate computer programs, and see that the corresponding post is actually on Cambodian territory.
2- Nobody must meet with, and talk to, any Cambodian farmers living along the border who have been victims of land grabbing associated with border encroachment. Those farmers, whose number keeps increasing, are living evidence that is a denial to the government assertion that "not a single Cambodian farmer has lost his/her rice field in the ongoing border demarcation process." Read Hun Sen, Chea Sim and Heng Samrin's 16 November 2009 deceitful letter to King-Father Norodom Sihanouk at http://tinyurl.com/2uozunz.
The strategy of the Vietnam-backed Hun Sen government is to prevent any form of border protest so that all currently "tentative" or "temporary" border posts will become, by 2012, permanent border posts, with the Cambodian people being placed before a fait accompli.

Sam Rainsy in Australia (1)
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy will be visiting Australia from 18 to 30 November 2010. He will meet with Cambodian communities, the press, government officials and NGOs in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide.

A single "royalist" party under CPP control (2)
Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party is pushing hard for the merger of the two small and discredited "royalist" parties: Funcinpec and the Nationalist Party (formally Norodom Ranariddh Party). The CPP is desperate to give more credibility to the crumbling democratic façade of a two-party coalition government between former communists and present "royalists" in what is in fact a one-party system where all decisions are made by the CPP.

French court dismisses Hor Namhong's complaints (2)
The French court in Paris has recently dismissed legal complaints for defamation lodged by Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong against three Web sites particularly critical of the Hun Sen government: KI-media, Khmerisation and Sacrava, which can be visited at http://ki-media.blogspot.com/ , http://khmerization.blogspot.com/ and http://sacrava.blogspot.com/ respectively.

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