My dear Kacvey,

On 9 November 1953, Cambodia became independent from the French colonial rule and this year is its 61st anniversary.

You, Kacvey, who was born under the colonial administration had paraded in front of the Royal Palace on the same day during the few succeeding years. How fast has flown the time, even faster than Rama’s arrow!

What a difficult and tumultuous voyage for Cambodia from that era to the present one! But we will keep the discussion about that voyage for another occasion.

Since then, the Khmer flag has been proudly flown in replacement of the “Drapeau Tricolore”, and even the “phéasar barang” has disappeared from every classroom blackboard.

Chéy yo Khmer èkkaréach!

But looking back over those 61 years and looking forward into the indefinite future, you may ask yourself or around whether being independent from France has really made nowadays Cambodia truly independent?

– Is Cambodia independent when the country depends on electricity supplied by a neighboring countries?

– Is Cambodia independent when the green dollar bill is the officially favored currency over the national Riel?

– Is Cambodia independent when some “Frenchmen” and “Americans” or possibly other nationalities are not only part of the national leadership but also sitting in the legislative bodies as parliamentarians?

– Is Cambodia independent when some portions of its territories are violated and occupied by its frontier neighbors, and even in total disrespect of the decisions by the ICJ?

– Is Cambodia independent when the lifeline of its economy is initiated and financed by international and foreign capitals and interests?

– Is Cambodia independent when international and foreign attitudes repeatedly set the marching orders for Cambodia to abide by?

Well, here are few words of wisdom for you to ponder in your moment of reflection:

“If your mouth is in someone else’s kitchen it cannot get its independence.” – An African proverb

“Without moral and intellectual independence, there is no anchor for national independence.” – David Ben-Gurion