My dear Kacvey,

On this date of 9 November 2017, let wish Cambodia a Happy 64th Anniversary of Independence!

For the last 2 years, 2016 and 2015, many questions were raised by your students with the purpose to search for some sort of solutions in order to enable Cambodians to carry Cambodia forward and towards a true and real independence. Your students must feel very sad as Independence that politicians have promised to future generations, theirs included, turn out to be pure illusion and smoke. They have learned of Independence from France, but they have also learned that Cambodia has never been independent from:
– Effect of foreign wars and military conflicts: Vietnam War, war under Lon Nol regime, genocidal war under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, war between Khmer factions from 1979 to 1993;
– Endless trivial, personal and vulgar political wars between Khmer political parties since UNTAC’s, in total absence of philosophy, vision and wisdom for the future of the society and country;
– Violent political domination by the ruling party composed of remnants of ex-Khmer Rouge dressed in suits and ties, and riding in super luxurious cars – instead of black pants/shirts, tyre sandals and red kramars – since January 1979;
– Severe political oppression exercised by the ruling party with crushing blows on freedom of expression, press, opinion and congregation, arrest, jailing and trial of opposition figures on trumped charges, creation of bogus laws with the sole objective of annihilating the democratic opposition and the preservation of its political survival against the tidal waves of popular rejection and rebuff of its policies after more than 30 years in power;
– Free and fair elections where democratic voice and political choice of the people is not fully respected and in flagrant violation with the spirit of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements that was the seed of democracy, freedom, respect of human rights, and respect of law for Cambodia when the international community had the goodwill and determination to end the killing of Cambodians after a multi-year and arduous negotiation process both intra-Cambodians and internationally; and
– Autocracy engineered by the same ruling party since 1997, autocracy that is led by one man and one man only through absolute nepotism and corruption. The whole country looks like a dictatorship under the disguise of fake democracy.

Why does one man shackle Cambodia’s democracy and freedom and colonize the country for his personal ambition and greed for power?
Why does one man subject the independence of Cambodian citizenry and institutions to the submission to his hunger for eternal power or as long as he lives?

The answer is simple and straightforward: the man is no longer sure of himself that he can survive the democratic political battle through ballots; he has outlived his era; his ideas and strategies are outmoded and obsolete; he is “passé” that refuses to acknowledge that “tomorrow” will soon reserve a place for him somewhere else. Therefore, he makes the “Independence” of Cambodia into a state of servility and obedience to his autocratic conceit.

Kacvey, your students’ understanding of the current political situation and their firm conviction and belief that “no man can live forever” are the force of action-oriented willpower that drives and propels Cambodia towards a true Independence.