My dear Kacvey,

The song “Georgia on My Mind” composed by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell, and rendered a worldwide hit by Ray Charles, does it ring a bell?

Sure do,
“Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind”

but why the question? and why Georgia?

Dude, where were you during the week of 15-19 October 2018?

Brussels and Geneva.

O.K., too busy over there, that’s why you miss a social media news: Overseas CNRP leaders/representatives are planning a world conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on 1-2 December 2018.

So what?

Well, how about triangulating Brussels/Geneva/Atlanta?

Please elaborate.

Situations

  1. The weak strongman failed miserably to convince the European Union that his sham election was free and fair.
  2. A sham election tainted with flagrant abuse and violations of basic human rights and organized under autocratic procedure and process has no place in a democratic Europe.
  3. In Brussels, the European Union is “launching the process for the withdrawal of their Everything But Arms preferences. Without clear and evident improvements on the ground, this will lead to the suspending of the trade preferences that they currently enjoy.
  4. Simultaneously, in Geneva, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, at its 139th assembly session, adopted a set of very strong decisions against the weak strongman’s regime.
  5. The weak strongman returned to the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk not only empty-handed and lonely, but also without any assurance that, if EBA becomes effective, no other countries would come to pick up the slack.
  6. Meanwhile, on 17 October 2018, the overseas “leaders/representatives of CNRP” were planning to organize a world conference on 1-2 December 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

EQUATION

How can the above situations be put into an equation for a possible or probable solution that could be beneficial to Srok Khmer and the Khmer people?

So, let create a speculative scenario: What if the Atlanta world conference would like to invite the CNRP president who is now placed under house arrest to be the key note speaker?

Kacvey, you can argue upfront that this is such a crazy, insane and far-fetched idea that the weak strongman will never ever accept or allow the leader of the opposition to leave the country, because so doing would completely destroy what he has built up so far to support and sustain his autocratic rule, and he might encounter unexpected and unhappy consequences to his rule, fortune and his sycophantic and corrupt clan.

Quite and highly possible and true: however, any idea that’s never tested on the field is crazy; please remember that many crazy ideas are mothers of great invention! Here, it’s the weak strongman that has to address the concerns and decisions by the EU and IPU, and not the other way around. The ball is in his court as it showed when he took the plane to Brussels and Geneva to face head-on the conditions set up by both European institutions.

On the one hand, IPU “urges once again all Cambodian authorities to immediately release Mr. Kem Sokha and drop the charges, to allow him to resume his duties as president of the opposition without further delay and restriction and to reinstate the CNRP.”

On the other, during the Europe-Asia Meeting (ASEM) Summit, the EU High Representative and Vice-President said “that there is a lot of concern in Europe, but not only in Europe, about the dissolution in November last year of the main opposition party and in general terms the narrowed democratic space for political opposition and civil society.” She further added: “We discussed this. I cannot say that we found solutions to any of these issues

ONE POSSIBLE SOLUTION

The Atlanta world conference could be a possible “solution” to the deadlocked situation between the weak strongman and the EU/IPU: if the weak strongman is serious about Srok Khmer, serious about the fate and welfare of the garments workers, he could let the leader of the opposition go to Atlanta. So doing, he would show to EU/IPU his goodwill, if any, to attempt to break the stalemate.

But, Kacvey, you could argue that the leader of the opposition would not return to Cambodia like a jailed bird will never return to its cage. Again, quite highly possible, and if/when he returns he would be put back in jail. So, what’s good about all of that?
But the leader of the opposition already knows what Thbong Khmoum is, doesn’t he? If he is a leader with predestined national augury, why afraid of returning to Cambodia? Why would he, without dual nationality, be acting like his once co-president? His battlefield is in Cambodia next to and with the more than 3 millions constituents. On the contrary, his political courage and image would be multiplied 10 folds.

Again, Kacvey, you could argue that it would be such a big gamble for the weak strongman to bet against the banker, especially with massive supporters at Pochentong. Ah, if he is afraid of that visionary scene like during Mr. Kem Ley’s funerals procession, it would mean that he knows in his heart and mind that his political life is not far away to be ended.

Nothing would stop you from asking your students what would they say, or speculating what would be EU/IPU reactions? … Or fretting about unnecessary detail arrangements.

As Ben Franklin, once, said: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

Meanwhile, let close the triangulation Brussels/Geneva/Atlanta with the next 2 couplets of the song:
I said Georgia
Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines.

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you.