My dear Kacvey,

As the whole world celebrates the International Human Rights Day (10 December 2015), you and your students are engaged in an intellectual and academic discussion about human rights in Cambodia within the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

In order to assist your students to have an unrestricted global view on the meaning of this event on the international stage, here are 2 links:

http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2011/

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/HRDay2015/Pages/HRD2015.aspx

This year celebration, however, is particularly important as it is the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of 2 Human Rights Covenants, namely: the “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. The full texts of these 2 Covenants are in these 2 links:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CESCR.aspx

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx

Hope that some of the people in the leadership of the country would attend the discussion and take heed of what are human rights as, in principle, recognized by Cambodia in its quality as a State Party that has signed to the UDHR, including the above 2 Covenants.

It is common knowledge that Cambodia has never been a country where human rights of their citizens are respected and protected. The worst period was under the KR and the  years prior to UNTAC intervention. Therefore, if your students understand the virtue behind the UDHR and those Covenants and apply it towards their relationship with other citizens, it would be a first step that will break away from the way the current autocracy has been doing to promote their own power regardless of whatever international rules and conduct are required.

The violation and abuse of human rights are the source of social injustice as well as corruption. Therefore, the change of political mindset and conduct is primordial if the students wanted to restore human dignity and self-respect for their generation. Do not let their generation be like their parent’s or grandparent’s that were ruled by warmongers, brutes and corrupted souls.

Kacvey, it would be very worthwhile that you also direct the focus of the 2 Covenants to one aspect of Cambodian politics starting when the KR emptied Phnom Penh in April 1975 until the present day, with the 1991 Paris Agreement as a historical corner-stone and reference. In that Agreement, 4 Cambodians representing 4 warring factions were signatories. As of today, 2 had passed away along with their party, the leader of the KR is being tried at the ECCC and the leader of the PRK/SOC, who was an ex-KR, is the current autocrat. The irony here is that the 1991 Paris Agreement opened the way for the abusers of human rights to become official leaders of Cambodia. It is then no surprise at all that 22 years after UNTAC elections, human rights situation in Cambodia still remains abysmal and truly deceptive.

Why so? Because Cambodia leaders still do not understand or recognize that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable right of all members of the human Khmer family are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace. If they do, their grip on power would no longer have a justification for existence.