p-Ed by Jaya Khmer
Recently, a barrage of posts of HM Norodom Sihanouk published on KI Media. From the contents of these posts, it appears that that the relentless and pernicious attacks by those who hate the former king finally get under his skin.
The fight between the former king and some Khmer Republicans may go on for perpetuity.
Please keep on fighting because both sides are free to do so but understand that this fight won't do a thing for those who are suffering from social, political, and economic injustice that go on in Cambodia right now. What an excellent way to exercise your freedom!!!
In the final analysis, ordinary people normally ended up as the biggest losers.
I am dumbfounded over the fact that both sides are more than eager to duke it out over these retroactive issues.
The decades of tensions:
In 1955, when the former monarch desired to be a legitimate leader of the nation due to his kingship was given by the French in 1941 by abdicating the thrown and creating Sangkum Reastr Niyum, he did it despite by those who were closed to him pleaded not to so. The former king did and won the election handedly. Not to mention, the fact the oppositions were intimidated, harassed, and threatened to the point that many did not go out to vote to be safe.
In March of 1970, the table was turned. Khmer Republican put an end to Sangkum Reastr Niyum. Sangkum Reastr Niyum to Norodom Sihanouk's credit gave Khmer people a glimpse of what Cambodia could be as a self-sustained and independent nation. By the time Khmer Republic decided on what new government structure to adopt, the country by now was deeply mired in the Indochina War that was too enormous for Cambodia to handle. Ordinary people could not wait for the war to end hoping that the country would return to peace and tranquility. They could not be further from the truth.
The former king joined the Khmer Rouge, I surmise, because he wanted to win the Khmer Republican much more than he loved the communists. In order to restore his honor, the Khmer Rouge with the supports from China gave him the best chance to achieve that end. The content of his recent posts clearly reflected the former king's on going bitterness with the Khmer Republican.
In 1975, the former king again returned to Cambodia as a victor along with the Khmer Rouge. Except the Khmer Rouge once seized the power had a different agenda. Consequently, ordinary people were the biggest losers. From 1975 to 1979, nearly 3 million Khmer died during this worst regime in world's history among modern governments.
In 1993 after a long peace process, Cambodia held its first UN sponsored election. If there was any question or any doubt about the former king popularity and legitimacy, the election unequivocally answered the question and erased all doubts. Norodom Sihanouk was once again ascended to the thrown as King of Cambodia when the Khmer people voted for change and by giving FUNCINPEC the most votes in the national assembly.
What his majesty the former king and FUNCINPEC did with the victory was quite a different story. Some may argue and perhaps rightly so that 1993 could have been the golden opportunity to build a true democratic foundation for Cambodia. But that is entirely a different topic.
The funny thing is while the battle between the former king and Khmer Republican continues until each side no longer exists; the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) continues to win election after election.
It is nice for the victor to claim moral victory over this peripheral issue, but winning while the country goes down the drain, is this worth winning?