My dear Kacvey,

It looks like 2015 will be ending on a very sour note with troubles voluntarily created by the ruling party with no other purposes than to preserve its grip on power at any cost to democracy and Cambodia. So long they feel threatened by the unseen forces of Cambodian mind and willingness to no longer accept the more than 30-year of status quo of injustice, corruption, abuse and illegal and dishonest accumulation of wealth in the hands of the autocrats and their acolytes, the ruling party will have no shame to obliterate and annihilate anyone or anything that stands in their way by using any means in their political or non-political possession.

Cambodia being a whole and one, somber last days of December 2015 will not augur brighter days in January 2016.

Thank you, Kacvey, for forwarding questions from your students who seem to perceive the situation in Cambodia with pessimism, apprehension and uncertain future. Because they are young and put a lot of thinking into the future of the country, it reflects then that they are responsible citizens living in a time that is totally different from the era of their parents and grand-parents when Cambodian politicians made wars and killed each other. The future of Cambodia is theirs, therefore they are entitled to have a say in it.

As you have already given some answers to some of the questions that were touched upon among the previous 115 letters, let just focus for now on questions that are pertinent to the spade of political and non-political violence conducted by the ruling party. By the way, no question is ever difficult if lesson is studied and learned and home work done diligently.

Question: Where is the mass of reaction of the opposition?

Because the mass was caught unprepared, kept uninformed and not interactive. When things are fine, the leaders are all smile, lei of jasmine around their neck and getting very cozy with the autocrats, and blindly believing that the wolves have been already tamed. But these wolves are not wolves in sheep’s clothing, they are wolves in wolves’ clothing. Only when the wolves had already attacked them that they started to seek comfort with the unprepared mass. At the same time, the mass that is only reactive and passive is a mass that is not truthful to its rights enshrined in democracy.

Question: Why the discussion among the mass turned to be about being “heroic” or “coward”, “jail” or “runaway”?

Because it is easy to attribute “adjective” in the absence of informed political credo, conviction and studied information. To apply a color on a person has always been an art adroitly professed and exploited by the clueless or the uninformed. On the other hand, what else could the mass discuss about, all being “fait déjà accompli!”

Question: Has the opposition retained any lawyers to represent them and speak on their behalf?

It is a mind boggling situation. As you know, in Cambodia, all lawyers (and also a number of pseudo-lawyers!) are registered in BAKC. How about raising a question in contrario: is there or is there not one lawyer among the 650+ registered in BAKC who has the professional quality and capability to represent the victims in that kangaroo court? A court, kangaroo or otherwise, is triangular: prosecution/accusation, defense and bench.

Question: Could the opposition mass do something to “band-aid” democracy?

Kacvey, could you forward this question to your acquaintances in the opposition, please! Well, in liberal democracy, often the mass uses its constitutional rights and takes initiative on its own; the constituents write all kind of petitions; elected representatives submit motions; debates are open and facilitated… It all comes down to the flow of information and inter-connectivity, and the understanding of the issues between leaders and mass.

Question: What fate would be reserved for the culture of dialog?

Ah, that famous fish “cod!” As the roe was defective, the creature was therefore stillborn. Besides, the dialog is a conversation between 2 or more people, be it intelligently or otherwise. When one talks by himself about a dialog without the other person in front of him, it is called a monologue: one talks in his corner, the other in his own’s. It can now be characterized as a “com” (as in: dot com!) or “culture of monologue.”

Question: How and when will this end?

Kacvey, the trouble originator and the victim are the ones who could provide some prospective answers as they are the two pugilists in the ring; others are just spectators, voluntary or otherwise. One is down, the other has not been declared winner. The match is suspended, and the referee is nowhere to be seen. Would the spectators/fans leave the arena as the fight is no longer interesting or worthwhile?

One thing seems though unshakable: the trouble originator does not give a hoot to what everybody says or reacts: be it the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Australian Parliament, the 16 US Congressmen (Democrats and Republicans) who directly addressed a very strong letter to the nabob through the office of his ambassador in Washington. The autocrats will not flinch, because if they flinched they would no longer be capable of being autocrats. But never forget what Virgil, once, said: “It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be.”

It is the independent mind of your students that hold the secret key to the resolution.

If in time of trouble, leaders seek the support of the mass, it is in time of peace that leaders must oblige the mass instead of their own glory.