Bài về người Campuchia gốc Việt đăng trên báo Guardian 4/9/2013
Cambodia’s Vietnamese community finds voting is not necessarily a right Wednesday 4 September 2013
NGƯỜI CAMPUCHIA GỐC VIỆT-Không chỉ mất quyền bầu cử
Cuộc bầu cử QH tháng 7/2013 ở CPC một lần nữa lại làm nóng tệ phân biệt đối xử sắc tộc mà những người Việt sinh ra ở CPC thường phải gánh chịu.
Bà Ly Sieng, 60 tuổi, gốc Việt, sinh ra ở CPC trong một gia đình nhiều thế hệ sống ở CPC hàng thế kỷ; nói thành thạo tiếng Khmer. Bà sống ở một làng chài ngoại ô Phnom Penh.
Khi Bà bước vào nơi bỏ phiếu hôm 28/7 thì nghe một đám đông thanh niên la hét: Yuon! Yuon, cút đi, không để chúng nó bầu!”. Sau cơn sốc ban đầu,Bà mới vỡ lẽ họ cản đường bà tới bầu cử vì bà có gốc Việt Nam. Yuon là từ bị cho là có ý miệt thị sắc tộc, chỉ người Việt.
Bà Sieng, nói: “ đám thanh niên đối lập cản không cho chúng tôi bầu. Ba lần tôi nhờ cảnh sát giúp can thiệp để vào phòng phiếu nhưng đều không vào được. Trước kia tôi đã đi bầu nhiều lần, nhưng lần này lại không được, mặc dù tôi có đủ giấy tờ hợp pháp… khoảng 30 người chúng tôi không vào nơi bỏ phiếu được, vì bị đe doạ nên chúng tôi đành bỏ cuộc”.
Mặc dù sinh ra và sống ở CPC hàng thế kỷ qua nhiều thế hệ nhưng bà Sieng và những người khác trong cộng đồng sắc tộc VIệt không được đối xử như người gốc Campuchia. Khó biết chính xác số lượng của cộng đồng thiểu số gốc Việt tại CPC nhưng ước khoảng 5% của 15 triệu dân CPC.
Trải nghiệm của Bà Sieng trong cuộc bầu cử nhiều tranh cãi vừa qua chính là phụ phẩm bẩn thỉu của tư tưởng bài Việt đã ăn sâu vào xã hội Campuchia. Gắn liền với những mối bất hoà trong lịch sử, nền chính trị đa đảng, mối ác cảm nói trên đã từng dẫn tới bạo lực trong quá khứ không xa lắm.
Một tổ chức nhân quyền hàng đầu (của CPC) đã ghi lại hàng loạt sự kiện tương tự như trên đây về “việc tước quyền bầu cử mang động cơ sắc tộc” trong ngày bầu cử (xem thêm). Hành động đa nghi của những người ngăn cản bầu cử trên đây thường được biện minh bằng suy nghĩ rằng bất kể những người nào tới bầu cử có vẻ ngoài “lạ”, da sáng màu, giống người Việt, không sành tiếng Khmer đều bị cho là những người có căn cước tạm thời để bầu cử nhằm tăng phiếu cho đảng cầm quyền – theo cáo buộc khá phổ biến của những người ủng hộ cho đảng đối lập, nhưng không có chứng cứ đầy đủ.
Đảng Nhân dân của phe Thủ Tướng Hun Sen đi lên từ chính quyền do Việt Nam giúp thành lập vào những năm 80 được cho là thân Hà Nội. Mối quan hệ này làm nhiều người Campuchia ghen tức và lãnh tụ đối lập Sam Rainsy từ lâu đã khai thác tình trạng này để phục vụ mục đích chính trị. Sau thời gian dài lưu vong ở nước ngoài, được về nước trước ngày bầu cử (tháng 7.2013), Sam Rainsy đã một lần nữa dấy lên làn sóng phát biểu chống người Việt mang danh nghĩa đảng đối lập (trong dịp vận động bầu cử tháng 7/2013-ND).
Lyma Nguyen, luật sư bào chữa, đại diện cho nguyên đơn là những người bị hại gốc Việt tại toà án xét xử tội phạm Khmer Đỏ nói: " hàng loạt người gốc Việt có chứng minh thư Campuchia đã hoà nhập tốt vào xã hội – tuy nhiên thục tế còn có những người Việt khác tiếp tục sống bên lề xã hội và gặp nhiều khó khăn do không có được địa vị pháp lý… Nhà chức trách cần phân biệt những người đã sinh sống ở CPC qua nhiều thế hệ với những người mới nhập cư sau này vì lý do kinh tế." Nhiều người Việt cư trú ở CPC lâu năm đã được vào quốc tịch CPC hoặc được cư trú hợp pháp nhưng đã bị chính quyền Khmer Đỏ lên cầm quyền vào năm 1975 đuổi khỏi CPC. Khoảng 20 nghìn người còn ở CPC đã bị giết hàng loạt (xem thêm tài liệu Thuyền không bến).
Quân đội VIệt Nam sang CPC đánh đuổi chế độ (Pol-Pot-ND) năm 1979- nhiều người coi sự kiện này là sự xỉ nhục hơn là sự giải phóng (khỏi chế độ diệt chủng-ND) – nhưng hàng trăm nghìn người gốc Việt như Bà Sieng sau đó đã quay về quê quán (CPC-ND), thì chính họ lại bị đối xử như những người nhập cư và cho đến nay vẫn thế.
Bà Phàn Thy Ang, 62 tuổi, một người cũng bị cản không cho vào nơi bầu cử nói: " Chúng tôi nhớ quê hương [Campuchia], nên mới tìm cách bí mật trở về [những năm 80], nhưng thấy đã mất hết nhà cửa tài sản rồi. Chúng tôi phải tay trắng làm lại từ đầu."
Bản báo cáo mang tiêu đề: Thuyền Không bến (Boat Without Anchors ), là bản cáo trạng do Lyma Nguyen là đồng tác giả đã kết luận rằng nhiều người gốc Việt đã sinh sống lâu đời ở CPC lâm vào tình trạng không quốc tịch vì họ không được pháp luật VN hoặc CPC thừa nhận là công dân. Thêm vào đó, họ lại không hiểu biết về quyền, bị nhà chức trách phân biệt đối xử, tốn kém nhiều để làm giấy tờ [do tham
Do Luật Quốc tịch ở CPC thi hành yếu, quy trình nhập quốc tịch không rõ ràng minh bạch dẫn đến hậu quả nhiều người CPC gốc Việt lâm vào tình trạng địa vị pháp lý không rõ ràng, theo Ou Virak, chủ tịch Trung tâm Nhân quyền CPC. Ông Virak nói: " Nếu không có quy trình nhập quốc tịch thì không thể biết ai là ai …buộc phải đoán qua diện mạo và ngôn ngữ, cách phát âm. Cách làm này không thích hợp”
Cũng theo Lyma Nguyen, hệ luỵ của tình trạng trên vượt ngoài phạm vi của quyền bầu cử. Không có giấy tờ, nhiều người gốc Việt ở CPC không được tiếp cận các quyền cơ bản về kinh tế, chính trị và xã hội..Thêm vào đó những vấn đề này tác động trực tiếp tới sự phát triển của cộng đồng người CPC gốc Việt: “những vấn nạn này đẩy họ ra ngoài lề xã hội CPC”.
Vấn đề người Việt thường nổi lên vào kỳ bầu cử và năm nay lại được cuộc vận động bầu cử của phe đối lập thổi thêm dầu vào lửa. Ba ngày trước ngày bầu cử, Sam Rainsy đã phát biểu rằng: " Tôi lấy làm thương hại đồng bào Khmer. Họ mất đất canh tác vì Yuon tới, chính quyền không bảo vệ đồng bào Khmer nhưng lại đi bảo vệ người Yuon xâm lấn. Bây giờ họ lại đưa người Yuon sang để bầu cho Hun Sen, vì thế những người Khmer hãy bầu cho Sam Rainsy để bảo vệ lãnh thổ chúng ta."
Thế nhưng, trong một cuộc phỏng vấn sau bầu cử, Sam Rainsy lại cố tìm cách giữ khoảng cách với vấn đề Người Việt vốn đã từng là chủ đề nóng trong cuộc vận động bầu cử của ông ta " Chúng tôi không cho rằng việc người Việt sống ở CPC có vấn đề … bạn phải tư duy thoáng đạt hơn và lưu ý rằng [những người ủng
hộ] Đảng cứu quốc CPC đã ngăn cả những người Khmer đi bầu, không phân biệt họ thuộc sắc tộc nào.. nghiêm ngặt như vậy để phòng cử tri ma".
Ba ngày sau, đảng của Sam Rainsy đưa ra lời tuyên bố, chủ yếu nhằm vào cộng đồng quốc tế, nói rằng đảng này chủ trương ” chống bạo lực, phân biệt chủng tộc, chủ nghĩa bài ngoại và phân biệt đối xử” và sẽ tuân thủ “ các tiêu chuẩn quốc tế về quyền con người “ trong giải quyết vấn đề nhập cư.
Đối với những người như Bà Sieng, người đã trực tiếp trải nghiệm và là nạn nhân tại chỗ của những lời phát biểu mang màu sắc chính trị dân tộc chủ nghĩa, thì những lời hứa suông này đã tới quá muộn.
" Chúng tôi muốn sinh sống [ở Campuchia] mãi mãi và chết ở đất này, rải tro xương ở đây vì cha mẹ chúng tôi cũng chết ở đây," Bà nói.
Cambodia’s Vietnamese community finds voting is not necessarily a right [The Khmer people
don't need foreigners to teach them how to speak the Khmer language!]
Wednesday 4 September 2013
July’s elections once again highlighted the discrimination that ethnic Vietnamese people born in Cambodia so often encounter.
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy greets supporters in Phnom Penh on the last day of campaigning before the July elections. Photograph: Demotix/Corbis
When Ly Sieng, 60, arrived at her local polling station in Cambodia on 28 July, she was shocked to find a mob of hundreds blocking her way.
"The opposition youth blocked us, yelling: ‘Yuon! Yuon! Go away! Don’t let them vote.’ I tried three times with help from police officers but couldn’t vote," says Sieng, a grandmother who lives in a fishing village outside the capital, Phnom Penh.
"I have voted in every past election, but this time could not, even though I have enough legal documents. [Perhaps
30] of us could not vote. We were so frightened. So we gave up."
Official numbers are hard to come by, but an estimated 5% of Cambodia’s 15 million-strong population is thought to be of Vietnamese ethnicity.
Sieng’s experience of Cambodia’s disputed poll is a nasty byproduct of an anti-Vietnamese sentiment that runs deep in Cambodian society. Bound with historical grievances, fears of uncontrolled immigration, and political populism, such antipathy has led to violence in the recent past.
Numerous similar incidents of "ethnically motivated disenfranchisement" on election day were catalogued (pdf) by a leading human rights group. This vigilante action was often based on the idea that "strange", pale-skinned, Vietnamese-looking voters unable to speak Khmer had been issued with temporary election IDs to cast ghost votes for the ruling party – a claim widely believed, but not thoroughly substantiated, by many opposition supporters.
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s party, which emerged out of a Vietnamese-installed regime in the 1980s, is seen as cosy with Hanoi. This relationship vexes many Cambodians and has long been exploited for political gain by opposition leader Sam Rainsy, whose pre-election return from self-exile was accompanied by a resurgence in his party’s anti-Vietnamese rhetoric.
"Numerous ethnic Vietnamese have Cambodian ID documentation and have integrated well into society – however, it is true that others continue to live at the margins of society and face difficulties substantiating their legal status," says Lyma Nguyen, an international civil party lawyer representing ethnic Vietnamese victims at the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
"Authorities need to distinguish between individuals who have resided for many generations in Cambodia and those who migrated to the country more recently, some for economic purposes."
Many long-term ethnic Vietnamese once possessed Cambodian citizenship or legal residence, but were kicked out of the country when the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975. The 20,000 or so that stayed behind were all systematically killed (pdf).
A Vietnamese invasion brought an end to the regime in 1979 – an intervention seen by many as a humiliation rather than a liberation – but hundreds of thousands of ethnic-Vietnamese who, like Sieng, returned to their homeland, were treated like immigrants. They still are.
"We missed our homeland [Cambodia]," says Phang Thy Ang, 62, who was also blocked on polling day, "so we secretly returned [in the 80s], but our properties were lost. We started our lives [again] with nothing but our bare hands."
Boat Without Anchors (pdf), a legal report co-authored by Nguyen, concludes that many long-term ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia could be considered stateless, as they are not recognised as citizens under either Cambodian or Vietnamese law.
This is compounded by a lack of knowledge about their rights, discrimination by the authorities, and the high costs (due to corruption) of obtaining legal documents, the report says.
The weak application of the nationality law and the lack of a clear naturalisation process leaves many ethnic Vietnamese Cambodians in a legal grey area, according to Ou Virak, president at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights.
"If you don’t have a process to citizenship then you don’t know who is what … you have to tell from the look and the language, the accent. And that’s not appropriate," says Virak.
The consequences of this go beyond the right to vote. Without documentation, some ethnic Vietnamese people do not have access to many basic economic, political and social rights, says Nguyen. She adds that some of these problems directly affect development in ethnic-Vietnamese communities. "Much of this appears to be connected to [their] existence at the margins of Cambodian society."
The Vietnamese issue has long reared its head at election time, a trend reinforced by the opposition’s campaign this year.
"I pity Khmers very much," Rainsy was reported as saying three days before the election. "They have lost their farmland, because Yuons are always coming in, and the authorities do not protect their fellow Khmers at all, but protect the invading Yuons. Now they have brought Yuons to vote for Hun Sen, so Khmers should vote for Sam Rainsy to protect our territory."
In a post-election interview, Rainsy distanced himself from the Vietnamese issue that has long been a feature of his campaign rhetoric. "We do not think that the Vietnamese living in Cambodia is a problem," he said. "You have to open your mind and note that the Cambodia National Rescue Party [supporters] have blocked people from voting, including Khmer people, regardless of their ethnic group because … they want to be stringent in order to prevent ghost voters."
Three days later, Rainsy’s party released a statement, aimed at the international community, saying it "opposes violence, racism, xenophobia and discrimination" and would comply with "international human rights standards" in addressing immigration issues.
For those who, like Sieng, have experienced first-hand the local consequences of nationalist political rhetoric, such lofty promises may have come too late.
"We wish to live [in Cambodia] for ever and die here and scatter our ashes here, because our parents died here too," she says
You have to be such a shallow thinker to think that Viet are somehow related to Mon-Khmer. Let me make it clear about the Vietnamese origin. Vietnamese people are only as old as Vietnam. And Vietnam in historical time period is a young nation, however Vietnam has its root since Dai Viet. Modern day Vietnamese people are a cross-breed of the Dai people, Tai(Thai?)people, Chinese, and Cham. After Annam(Vietnam) conquered Champa kingdom, Cham people gone through force-assimilation to become Vietnamese, similar to Khmer Krom currently being force to become Vietnamese in south Vietnam. This is why some Vietnamese have dark skin. So just because some Vietnamese have dark skin do not mean they were Mon-Khmer.
Khmer or Cambodia is as old as the founding kingdom of Khmer by Jayavarman 2 in 6th century, however; Khmer has our root since Funan(Kampuchea Krom, now south Vietnam) kingdom and Chenla(Laos and Cambodia), that’s over 2000 years of history. Modern Khmer are the descendent of the people of Funan and Chenla or Mon-Khmer(pre-Khmer)We are the orginal inhabitant of the land of Indochina.
Vietnamese are invaders that came from the north and slowly pushing south into Champa kingdom, and later into Khmer(Cambodia). So if you’re Vietnamese, you know the truth. Don’t try to confuse people who know little or nothing about this part of the region. Your country Vietnam are made up of stolen lands from Champa and Khmer. This is why we call you thieves
Wed, 4 September 2013
Phnom Penh Post
I was utterly surprised and distressed by the extent to which some foreign nationals residing or working in Cambodia criticised or even condemned the usage of the word “yuon” as pejorative during last month’s legislative elections. Such unmerited condemnation clearly showed the lack of understanding toward the host country and its people. [Read the definition of the word "Yuon" as defined by
During my childhood, I heard my grandparents, parents and neighbours alike routinely referred to Vietnamese ethnic living in my district as “yuon”. Was that word abrasive, offensive or disrespectful? Absolutely not.
The word “yuon” has always been an integral part of the rich Khmer vocabulary as it can be found everywhere, whether in common spoken language or ancient textbooks and literature.
We have been using that word without passion or prejudice for centuries, just as we have been using the words “barang”, “chen”, “cham”, “kloeng”, “leav” and “siam”, to refer to the French, Chinese, Muslim, Indian, Laotian and Thai nationals respectively.
After the Vietnamese army took over Cambodia in 1979, people in my village were pointedly told by the authority not to call Vietnamese soldiers “yuon”. For the few who dared to ask why, they never got straight answers. For many home-grown nationalists, however, there was little doubt or secret about the real motives behind prohibiting the usage of the word “yuon” then.
In the history of Cambodia and Vietnam’s often-complicated relations, Cambodia was for most of the time an occupied country. Some scholars and historians even assert that had France not placed the Kingdom under its colonial empire between 1887 and 1953, Cambodia would have disappeared from the world map for good.
Regrettably, when it comes to judging Cambodians’ attitude toward fellow Vietnamese, certain outsiders and media harshly accuse Cambodians of excessive Vietnamophobia – unjustly perceiving Cambodians as an agitator or troublemaker while conveniently downplaying or ignoring altogether relevant history and the repeated misfortunes to which Cambodians had been constantly subjected to.
Many Cambodians, myself included, are totally at a loss with such uncharacteristic perceptions that defy all logic. It is one-sided justice that Cambodians – who are outnumbered by almost ten to one, economically and population-wise, and who have seen the size of their country shrinking to the verge of extinction – be singled out as a troublemaker.
This selective form of justice does not help to heal the bitter wounds of the past. Instead, it only serves to encourage some cunning political leaders to continue pushing forward their hidden expansionist agenda.
Cambodia definitely has an incredibly tough job ahead for balancing its “reasonable accommodation” policy toward foreign settlers and its badly needed “self-preservation” policy to safeguard its future.
In the meantime, to suggest, let alone condemn, the customary usage of the word “yuon” as pejorative or anything of that nature is to overstretch the limit of political correctness at best, and to live in a state of invincible ignorance at worst.
04 September 2013
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s opposition party has called on the nation’s king to resolve a festering dispute over elections in July which saw strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen retain power.
Preliminary official poll results handed incumbent Hun Sen’s long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) victory, dismaying the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who allege massive vote-rigging.
The CNRP, which has so far unsuccessfully demanded an independent probe into the election, has said thousands of its supporters will protest peacefully on Saturday in the one of the largest opposition demonstrations for a decade.
Final poll results are expected to be announced by September 8 after which there will be no further legal challenges available to the CNRP.
With time running out, its leader Sam Rainsy (pictured) on Monday sent a letter to Cambodia’s constitutional monarch King Norodom Sihamoni urging him to step-in and break the political impasse.
“I request your majesty to intervene in order to find a resolution for the irregularities in the election with transparency and justice that the Cambodian people want,” Rainsy said in the letter which emerged Wednesday.
Cambodia’s king is the official head of state but analysts say the office no longer exercises political power, giving Hun Sen — who has been in power for nearly three decades — full control.
The opposition has planned a non-violent protest on Saturday, urging supporters to avoid unleashing “chaos” that could deepen the country’s political divide.
Security forces and armoured vehicles have been deployed around the capital since the July 28 poll, in a move the opposition decried as intimidation.
The CNRP has also said it plans to file a criminal lawsuit against election authorities over the vote, which the CPP said it won with 68 seats in the lower house, to the opposition’s 55.
THURSDAY, 29 AUGUST 2013
The CPP’s Political Ideologies are in Question
|The CPP in 1979|
|The CPP in 2013|
Cambodian People Party (CPP), the oldest political party in Cambodia, is a remnant of the Khmer People Revolutionary Communist party and the Khmer Rouge Regime. The CPP was revitalized and empowered by the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 allowing them to rule the country since then without clear political ideologies beside being faithful to Hanoi. So far, they have won the fifth election with controversial results showing no sign of any less than winning this election no matter what, for the CPP have had no clear political ideologies and the vision for the country but their personal power and wealth.
In most democratic countries the political parties have been created based on their core values, political ideologies, and what the people and the country have needed. For instances, in the US, the Republican Party is more conservative in social issues and foreign policies: less welfare, lower taxes, less government regulation, protestant faith, more military spending, and so on, and the Democrat is more liberal in social issues and foreign policies: more welfare, more spending on social programs but less on military, more government regulations on economy, higher taxes and so on. In France the Socialist Party of President Aulance has similar policies to the Obama’s Administration while the Conservative Party of former President Sacozy’s policies are well parallel to the Republican Party. Whereas Thailand, the Democrat is more conservative and more pro-monarchy while the ruling party, the Peu Thai or the Red Shirts is more liberal and socialist.
In Cambodia, the opposition parties seem have more clearly political ideologies than the ruling party, the CPP. The CNRP political ideologies are pro-democracy, nationalism, and liberalism, and the Forncinpec are the monarchists and somewhat of nationalists. But for the CPP, it’s too hard for us to ponder for their political ideologies even it is the oldest political party in the country and has ruled the country over 34 years. Are the CPP Communists? Royalists? Capitalists? Conservatives or Liberals? Albeit they originated from Khmer Communist Party and a remnants of the Khmer Rouge Regime, but they are not pure or real communists because there are no signs of their allegiance to their Communist core values. When suitable time had come, they just quickly abandoned their ideology as if they changed their clothes. Distinctly, in most Eastern European Countries and former Soviet States even though the Communist power system had collapsed since1989, but many Communist Parties in those countries have still survived as the opposition parties in the new governments, and some of them made a comeback through democratic election such as in Poland and Belarus. inconceivably, In Cambodia ,the Communist Party had transformed themselves to the so-called Cambodian People Party overnight after the Paris Peace Accord 1991. Naturally, it can’t be happened overnight if they are the real Communists but only the opportunists.
After the Paris Peace Accord, the CPP cursorily recognized and proclaimed former King Sihanouk as their Head of State, the action seen by many political analysts as their first strike to neutralize their future potential opponent. Then, they wanted to merge with the Royalist Forncinpec but unsuccessful; and after losing the first free election supervised by the UN, the CPP had manipulated with the Royalists to share the power equally on the papers, but in practices, the CPP had firmly clung to the power that led to the bloody coup against the Royalists. Although the CPP left no touch with the throne, but the backbone of the power for the monarchy had already destroyed. When the King had refused to sign the unfair border treaty with Vietnam, Hun Sen roared, "I don’t have the rights to be the King, but I have the rights to create the King." When the King Father had passed away, Hun Sen apparently pretended to cry and to swear in front the King’s coffin to protect and defense the monarchy,but in reality, the monarchy in Cambodia is nothing more than the legitimate shield that Hun Sen and his CPP have used to cover up their political tricks to serve their power and Hanoi’s interest.
At the end of the Cold War 1991, many Westerns analysts had called Hun Sen a reformed leader among the other hardliner CPP members–Chea Sim, Heng Samrin, Say Chume and so on. The country’s economy reform has put in place from planing economy to free market economy or capitalism. Privatization that had transferred numerous state ownerships to private owned properties created lucrative opportunity for the top CPP officials who had controlled those business sectors during the Communist planning economy. Many state owned properties–from factories, banks, hotels, market places, government offices— were sold to private investors in lump sum cashes without transparencies. As the economy has fully transformed itself into capitalism at least on the papers, few people have quickly amassed with enormous wealth by connecting themselves as cronies with the top CPP officials especially with Hun Sen in order to gain their privilege access for doing businesses. And most of those Hun Sen’s cronies have been implicated in many illegal business activities from drug smuggling, illegal logging, land crabbing, and tax evasions, and so on. Such a black market economy has quickly created a few top millionaires on the heavy expend from the millions of the poor. Based on these illegal business practices, the CPP and their cronies are not the real capitalists.
Unofficially, the CPP has been run by the two camps, namely the Chea Sim and the Hun Sen’s camps. Previously some Western Political Analysts have branded the Chea Sim’s Camps are more conservative than the Hun Sen’s group. But, virtually none of these two groups are conservative or liberal, for we have not seen them adhered to any specific different doctrine or core value except they both have been faithful to Hanoi probably in different degree. The Chea Sim’s Camp have shown nothing more conservative than the Hun Sen’s, but they may be quieter and take softer stand against the oppositions than the Hun Sen’s. They may weaker and less wealthy than the Hun Sen’s Camp. For Hun Sen, he has been salient to the West as a reformed leader in the whole CPP’s Camp, but the time has already justified if he is a true reformed leader or just a culprit. Over 20 years since the Paris Peace Accord, no body has thought that the democracy has dwindled as in the current situation. The country has gradually fallen into the quasi one party-system rule; all national institutions–military, police, court, the NEC and all others– have been under Hun Sen and his party’s control. In fact, he has reformed the country from democratic government implanted by the UN in 1993 to the current de facto authoritarian regime.
The CPP, the oldest political party in Cambodia, have ruled the country over three decades without their clear political ideologies or core values. Because,covertly, they have run the country as the proxy of Hanoi. We have clearly seen that their real political ideologies have strictly adhered to the faith and trust with Hanoi, and their core values have been nothing more than power, corruption, violence, and tricks as we have witnessed over the past three decades. The current heavy troop deployments in the vicinities of the Capital City and the other cities to subdue or to crack down on the possible peaceful mass protests against the election fraud have explicitly proven that the CPP is the violent prone party . It’s very flagrant and unacceptable when the political parties have run the country without their core value and clear vision for the country, instead they have been used by the outside powers to serve their political ambition.
Theravada Buddhism is one of the three denominations of Buddhism–Mahayana, Hinayana or Theravada, and Lamaism–has survived and prospered for centuries in only a few countries in the world: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Separately, Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia has prospered and practised by Khmer since the Angkor Era until today. But it has been endangered when The Khmer Rouge Regime had completely eradicated all religions during their rule followed by strictly controlled and interfered by the Vietnamese backed regime until today. Khmer Buddhism today has lost value and dignity, for this institution has been directly controlled by the ruling party (CPP), installing Tep Vong, an ignorance monk, as the Great Supreme Patriarch of the Khmer Buddhism for which he has absolutely not qualified or deserved based on his religious adept and merit.
Theoretically, the Communists have not endorsed or valued any kind of religions, for it is against their political ideologies; nonetheless, most Communist regimes in the world have not eliminated the religions but severely restricted and discouraged people to adhere them. The Russian Revolution under Starlin’s rule and the Chinese Cultural Revolution introduced by Mao Se Tong had almost wiped out the religions from their countries before reviving by the new reform governments. Similarly, the Pol Pot Regime had persecuted and eliminated all forms of religion, especially Buddhism in which more than 95 percent of the people have adhered over centuries. After the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, the Communist Vietnamese while were persecuting their own religions at home, saw the revival of the religions from Pol Pot’s eradication in Cambodia, namely Buddhism and Islam would provide them more political gain in their new land. Vietnam brought in a set up group of Khmer Buddhist monks and Khmer Islams to work along with the new Communist puppet regime in Cambodia including the current so-called Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia, Tep Vong– an unscrupulous and uneducated monk– to propagandize for the new Communist regime as a savior of Khmer lives and Buddhism.
In fact, Buddhism under the new Communist regime was not prosperous but sternly restricted and neglected under a supervision of Tep Vong. The number of Buddhist monks were restricted to less than ten in each temple (Wat), and only the older people (at least 50 years old or older) were allowed to ordain. And in some places, the monks were ordered to grow vegetables and rice to support themselves. There were no formal Buddhist teaching schools allowed, and some Wat and parts of their vicinities were used as the Vietnamese military bases especially in Battambang and the other provinces along the Thai borders. Furthermore, Buddhist monks were ordered to preach politics as Buddhist sermon, narrating about killings, persecution, and starvation during the Pol Pot Regime, and the salvation from the Vietnamese Volunteer troops. Of course, the new Communist regime did not eradicated the religions as Pol Pot had done, but they let them slowly perished. Without teaching schools and new young ordained monks, the Buddhism would gradually decease. This is how the Communists have treated Buddhism.
After the Paris Peace Accord 1991, all religions in the country have freely allowed to practised; many religious schools, new temples (Wat), Mosques, and churches have sprung up across the country. But Buddhism, a state religion, has been dangerously interfered by the ruling party, the CPP. In the first mandate of the coalition government between the Forncinpec an the CPP with the two prime ministers sharing the power, the religious power was also shared between the two parties. The CPP appointed their own candidate, Tep Vong, as the Supreme Patriarch of the Mohanikaya Sect (the larger group) while the Royalists appointed Venerable Bou Kry as the Supreme Patriarch of the Dhamayuttika Sect (the much smaller group) which has a close tie with the Royal Palace. But when the Forncinpec power had vanished, the CPP elevated Tep Vong to his top position as the Great Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhism in the country, meaning that he has the power to rule over both sects. Eventually, the religious practices from the Royal palace to the ordinary practices in the countrysides has been fully controlled by Tep Vong.
The culture of sharing power and promoting the title and status without substantial merit and knowledge base have created the corrupted and disgraceful society in the country because there is no standard measure that has qualified the candidates to hold the title or status in the society. We have just wondered for Hun Sen, his wife, and many top CPP officials who have held the highest titles and status in the society based on what standard measure: educational degree, life experiences, community or social services, field expertise, and any other merit? For Tep Vong to hold the title of the Great Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism in the country is much higher than our two previous prominent and highly respected Supreme Patriarchs, Venerable Chuon Nath and Huot Tard, the former professors of Pali and Sanskrit at the Buddhist University. Exclusively,Venerable Chuon Nath was not only adept in Buddhist Scriptures, but he was also a very salient Khmer Language scholar who had worked tirelessly even in his old age to create the first Khmer Dictionary put in use for generations. On the contrary, Tep Vong has received no any formal education degree in Buddhism and merit that have qualified him to receive such a highest title in the Buddhism institution. Instead, he was installed by the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 as the head of Buddhist monks for the new Communist regime, and his title and position have been elevated since then, probably not based on his merit and religious adept but on his faith and commitment to Hanoi’s interest.
Frankly speaking, Tep Vong has not been prominent by his title as the Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism but well-known as the monk of 7 January or Hochimonk, the nickname used by many media because he seems know nothing about Buddhist Dhama but the imprinted ideology from Hanoi. The pictures above have clearly shown us about his eerie and clumsy gesture as a Buddhist monk rarely seen in this world. Lacking of Buddhism’s knowledge and principle, he has persistently forbidden monks to vote, to participate in any political activities, and even to help the poor and the victims of land grabbing, for he has absurdly claimed that those activities are not compatible to Lord Buddha’s teaching or simply against the Buddhist laws. For those who did not fallow his order were forcibly disrobed or expelled from Wat permanently such as Ven. Tim Sakorn, Ven. Luon Savath, and recently three novices were beaten up by their Abbott for joining the peaceful rally of the CNRP while the other monk was threatened by his Abbott to kick him out of Wat if he dares to participate the CNRP’s rally again. These are only few examples that help us to understand who Tep Vong is, why he condones violence, for what purpose, and whether he is a true Buddhist monk or not, and are all his actions compatible with the Buddhism principle?
Since the fall of Khmer Republic in 1975, Buddhism in the country had been destroyed by the Pol Pot Regime, and fallowing the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, Buddhism has been used by Hanoi and their subordinate regime as a political mechanism to achieve their political ambitions. The Vietnamese have well apprehended that the most majority of Khmer people are Buddhists, so they need to pervade in such a highly respected institution by installing their brainwashed monks such as Tep Vong and Noun Nget as the supreme leaders to control and to persecute our faithful and true Buddhist monks. They have set up administrative control over Wat throughout the country to watch and to spy over the monks who have passion to search for social justices or have different political views. The Buddhism in Cambodia will never be prosperous and well preserved as in the past if Tep Vong has held the position as the Great Supreme Patriarch along with his partner, Noun Nget who have worked to serve Hanoi’s interest by destroying their own religion, Theravada Buddhism which has been preserved and venerated by our Khmer people for centuries. 10-9
CPP finds room for PM’s son
Mon, 9 September 2013
Phnom Penh Post
Of eight “dynasty candidates” put forth by the Cambodian People’s Party earlier this year, only two will take seats as lawmakers once the National Assembly sits, according to final results released yesterday. The rest, however, will be given government positions, a spokesman told the Post.
With the ruling party having dropped from 90 to 68 seats in the July 28 vote, none of the eight won seats outright. But parties typically adjust their candidate list following the vote – and recognisable officials are often ranked far up on the list with the intention of later standing down.
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son Hun Many was given a seat in Kampong Speu. At 31, he will be the youngest of 123 lawmakers to take a position at the National Assembly.
Sar Sokha, the son of Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, was moved into a seat in Prey Veng province.
But the rest of the group, which includes the sons of a deputy prime minister, RCAF deputy commander-in-chief and the Supreme Court president, will not be moved up.
Though they will not serve as lawmakers, however, the party has not dropped its commitment to injecting youth into its ranks.
“The others will take job[s] in the government,” CPP spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said yesterday, adding that information on what positions they would be given would be forthcoming.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has previously sung the virtues of bringing young and well-connected blood into the party.
“It is not about nepotism and partisanship, but there must be resumption [from
their parents to children],” he said in April.
Political analyst Kem Ley said the party would be wise to focus on the practice.
“This is the first time they’ve appointed young people – Hun Many, Sar Sokha, for example, are the youngest among others. But there’s still very few. We need more like this – educated people, academic people holding degrees from outside and with different experiences.”
TUESDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2013
CPP to reform gov’t by replacing certain ministers: CPP official
PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald)