The Weak and Desperate Strongman

My dear Kacvey,

By now, you must be extremely sick and tired of the word “strongman” or “strong man” that every media refers to the autocrat that is not only fighting the flood of the monsoon in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk but also has become demoniacally despotic against the opposition and its members, the media and the civil societies. Since Noteworthy News page has chronologically and extensively documented on what has been going on since 2 September 2017, let for our part talk about something else and try to answer some of the questions raised by your students, like why the strongman is weak and so desperate. Oxymoronical, isn’t it?!

Merriam-Webster provides two definitions to the word “strongman”:
– a politician or leader who uses violence or threats;
– a man who performs in a circus and who is very strong.

However, Thesaurus gives three definitions:
– a person who performs remarkable feats of strength, as in a circus;
– a political leader who controls by force; dictator;
– the most powerful or influential person in an organization or business, by reason of skill in the formulation and execution of plans, work, etc.

Merriam-Webster gives the definition of “weak” as: lacking strength, mentally or intellectually deficient, not factually grounded or logically presented, not able to function properly, deficient in the usual or required ingredients, not having or exerting authority or political power.

Merriam-Webster also defines “desperate” as: having lost hope, giving no ground for hope, involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration, suffering extreme need or anxiety, involving extreme danger or possible disaster.

The questionsthat your students have asked could be reformulated as follows:
– What motivates the autocrat to adopt current policy of dictatorial repression towards Cambodian people and institutions?
– How strong is the strongman in ruling Cambodia?

Before going forward, there is an unmovable and solid premise that has to be anchored in one’s mind: The autocrat was a revolutionary communist, a rebel Khmer Krâhâm and a full-fledged member of the genocidal Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. The fact that he betrayed his movement and sought political refuge and ideological mentorship in a foreign country changes nothing to his conviction and loyalty to what he had learned in his revolutionary youth: power, once acquired, must be preserved at any cost. Once a Khmer Rouge, always a Khmer Rouge.

In Noteworthy News page, your students can find plenty of views, opinions, information, analysis and comments by a plethora of pundits, writers, journalists and reporters to whom appreciation and gratitude are honorably extended because without them our knowledge would be blind of both eyes.

Now back to the above questions of motive and despair.

Kacvey, you may recall that in the past this subject has been touched upon in various letters e.g: Parsing an anguished statement, The CUP is empty, 2016: The Year of Mortal RepressionCan They Really Prevent “Color Revolution”?Generation “DEMOCRACY”If He Were Overthrown, What Does That Mean For The Country?

Fear is a new-born monster that haunts the autocrat since July 2013; that monster became bigger in July 2016. He can’t wipe out from his mind and eye the million of Cambodians flowing in the streets of the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk and also towards Takéo. Never in his lifetime has he ever been greeted similarly; never has he ever been acknowledged and received so warmly and wholeheartedly by the mass of million; never has he ever been solemnly and proudly respected by the mass of million. The ego was shot and wounded by an invisible arrow made of Khmer conscience and awakening, a mass of million of Khmer citizens that he refuses to acknowledge their true love for the country and the democracy that they have just been endowed. The message was clear and visible, but he can’t see or nor read due to optical deficiency, perhaps.

Then came the results of the 2017 communal elections. The “dot” on the “i”. The monster has grown up and played hard, but quietly. The fear has increased in intensity and there is no medical remedy available, even from Singapore! Paid consultants could not provide different mathematical and scientific projections. The trend is now known and unchangeable towards July 2018. The party base is stunt, quiet, shuts their mouth, shrinks and feels embarrassed. Higher up in the party echelon, same attitude of languor and lassitude. At Koh Pich, what he sees is rows and rows of uninterested, cold, incurious and insensible audience. Fear and uncertainty are all over their face as well. Garments workers are now cajoled day after day with promise of every sort including photo-ops of casual lunches “à la Khmère.” But the inconvincibles remain inconvincible; they know the difference between hypocrisy and sincerity, principle and baloney. Dignity is always behind their mask and the smile at the sewing machines.

Fear has been joined by two new companions: panic and despair.

10 months to go and the party is lethargic: no new ideas nor thinkers, no new platform, no perspective nor inspiration, and no road map to the future. Party, assembly, senate, government, justice are the same marionettes executing and marching to the order of the autocrat. On stage, marionettes look happy because they are brainless and manipulated; but when the show is over they are a pile of discarded and valueless puppets. What to do to escape the inevitable? Without power and with their marketable skills below zero, they would be reduced to the status of being ruled and governed; it would be too shameful to accept it. This is where the old Khmer Rouge devilish tactic resurrects and creeps out: dictatorship, repression, jail and guns. To hell with democracy! To hell with rule of law! To hell with respect of human rights and dignity. To hell with freedom of expression or association! To hell with whoever disagrees with me!

Fear in facing the 2018 elections and possibly losing it is the internal weakness of the man who lacks courage and prowess and who feels so insecure to be a real man in the battle of ideas, perspectives, programs and vision for the country and its people, in other words , the battle at the ballot box.
Where is his intestinal fortitude to face the challenge of a democratic, free and fair election? His heart and guts fail.
Does red revolutionary valor melt in the mass of accumulated corrupted wealth that he can’t enjoy in-or-out of the country? Fear of losing that wealth weakens the audacity and brazenness that he once had in poverty and rebellion time.
Does the man at the age of 65 still have the physical and intellectual daringness and intrepidity of his youth to contest the young democracy and the thirst for freedom aspired by new and different generations of Cambodians? No man is made of stone unless he’s a sculpted statue standing alone and decorated with pigeons droppings.
Can he, in his loneliness, picture lines of voters throughout the country dropping their ballot in the box? He can’t anymore when such image of possible reality gives him cold feet. A man or a chicken!?

If fear and despair are not the motive, let him prove that he can enter the electoral arena with all the contestants like in July 2017, that he is a man who is not afraid of another man in front of the ballot box where the people of Cambodia are the judges and arbiters. Mano a mano, with ballots as gloves. Once he’s in the arena, let close the gate and let the monster loose! Ave!

If he won fair and square, he would be able to restore his dignity and his ego recover its pride and vanity. If he lost, history may have nice words towards his legacy.

Not long ago – courtesy of The Phnom Penh reporting – he also publicly and ignominiously said to the garment workers that “the 1991 Paris Peace Accords .. was dead in the water.” He was showing off his ignorance to the local workers, but he has no courage to officially and diplomatically communicate his belief to the 18 State that were signatories to the said Peace Agreements.  A weak strongman talks the talk but never walks the walk. A fool has a big mouth and a very small brain.

It’s not yet too late to make a trajectory adjustment. Failing that, the presumed strongman is not only weak and desperate, but he turns himself into a coward dictator.And as the world has known, every dictator, past and present, on this planet, commands no respect and admiration from the people he rules, and only sycophants and flatterers shower him with false praise and approval. However, once he’s gone, it’s his descendants who have to live in shame and dishonor. Any memory about Pol Pot, his leader, once?

– Phnom Penh Post, 24 November 2017: PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio
– Asia Times, 27 November 2017: Is Hun Sen secretly insecure?
– BBC News, 4 December 2017: Hun Sen: Cambodia’s prime minister prays for good fortune

Archival Records

My dear Kacvey,

For ease and quick reference that your students and you might need in the future, this letter contains links that speak volume about difference when words were spoken and when the speakers change their attitude. Is this hypocrisy in Khmer politics, or are Khmer politicians are truly hypocritical?

The New York Times
8 January 1979
Henry Kamm: Hanoi Reports Cambodian Capital Conquered By ‘Insurgent’ Forces; Long Guerrilla Conflict Feared

Le Monde
26 janvier 1979
GÉRARD BRISSÉ: Le Cambodge au futur antérieur

The Washington Post
28 April 1979
Jay Matthews: Cambodia Faces Threat of Famine

Le Monde
8 janvier 1980
R.-P. PARINGAUX: UN AN APRÈS L’INTERVENTION DE SON CORPS EXPÉDITIONNAIRE Le Vietnam n’a toujours pas atteint les objectifs qu’il s’était fixés

Le Monde
8 janvier 1981
PATRICE DE BEER: Deux ans après la prise de Phnom-Penh par les Vietnamiens La solution du problème cambodgien n’est toujours pas en vue

Le Monde
28 mars 1981
JACQUES DE BARRIN: Sihanouk est un criminel et un traître nous déclare M. Hun Sen, ministre des affaires étrangères

Le Monde
21 mai 1981
PATRICE DE BEER: Phnom Penh annonce la réunion imminente du congrès du P.C. provietnamien

Le Monde
5 octobre 1981
Quarante années de conflits

Le Monde
9 janvier 1982
PATRICE DE BEER: Cambodge TROIS ANS APRÈS L’INTERVENTION VIETNAMIENNE Le régime de Phnom Penh demeure toujours aussi dépendant de Hanoi

The New York Review of Books
10 May 1984
William Shawcross: The Burial of Cambodia

The New York Review of Books
27 September 1984
An Exchange on Cambodia – Nayan Chanda and Ben Kiernan, reply by William Shawcross

Le Monde
15 janvier 1985
AFP: M. Hun Sen devient premier ministre

Le Monde
7 juin 1985
JACQUES BEKAERT: Visite à Phnom-Penh d’une importante délégation vietnamienne

Le Monde
5 décembre 1987
La fin des entretiens sur le Cambodge Le prince Sihanouk et M. Hun Sen se rencontreront à nouveau en France en janvier

Le Monde
19 décembre 1987
CAMBODGE: le dialogue Sihanouk-Hun Sen Phnom-Penh propose que la négociation reprenne le 27 janvier

The Washington Post
22 June 1989

Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine
September 1990

The Phnom Penh Post
19 May 1995
Matthew Grainger: Hun Sen: the power and the politics

The Economist
10 July 1997
A coup in Cambodia

The Phnom Penh Post
12 July 1997
Jason Barber: Democracy from the barrel of a gun

Newsweek (through KI Media site)
21 July 1997
Ron Moreau: A coup in Cambodia

Stratfor Worldview
4 December 1997
Hun Sen Losing Control of Cambodian Countryside

Journal of Democracy – Harvard University
2 April 2002
Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way: Elections Without Democracy – THE RISE OF COMPETITIVE AUTHORITARIANISM

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Cambodia)
18 February 2009
5th Publication: Rule of Law

The Cambodia Daily
12 October 2012
PAUL VRIEZE AND PHANN ANA: Hun Sen Marks 25 Years as Country’s Prime Minister

The Cambodia Daily
14 April 2013
COLIN MEYN: Cambodia’s Long Battle Against Terrorist Groups

Radio Radicale (Italie)
22 juillet 2014
Di Matteo Angioli: Interview with Saumura Tioulong on the deal between the government and the opposition in Cambodia

Nikkei Asian Review
23 October 2014
Sebastian Strangio: In Cambodia, everything is different but nothing has changed

Human Rights Watch
13 January 2015
Cambodia: 30 Years of Hun Sen Violence, Repression

Foreign Policy
13 January 2015
SEBASTIAN STRANGIO: The House That Hun Sen Built
The House That Hun Sen Built

The Cambodia Daily
14 January 2015
ALEX WILLEMYNS AND KUCH NAREN: For Hun Sen, 30 Turbulent Years as Prime Minister

Nikkei Asian Review
15 June 2015
SEBASTIAN STRANGIO: Death of ruling party veteran boosts authority of Hun Sen

Foreign Affairs
September/October 2015
Stéphanie Giry: Autopsy of a Cambodian Election – How Hun Sen Rules

The Guardian
7 July 2016
Oliver Holmes: ‘Stranglehold’: Hun Sen rules Cambodia and his family own it, says report

Griffith University – Griffith Asia Institute
25 Augst 2016
Lucy West: Rule of law in Cambodia – reflections from the field

ASEAN Studies Program
3 August 2016
Cheunboran Chanborey: The South China Sea and ASEAN Unity: A Cambodian Perspective

13 December 2016
US District Court Northern District of California: Case CV16 80258 MISC.

The Phnom Penh Post
23 June 2017
Q&A: Chris Kelly on A Cambodian Spring
20 September 2017
Cambodia: a hostile environment for rights defenders

Global Peacebuilding Association (Japan)
10 November 2017
Akashi explained how UNTAC brought about peace, national reconciliation and democracy in Cambodia.

The New York Times
12 December 2017
BRIAN CUDDY: Was It Legal for the U.S. to Bomb Cambodia?

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Cambodia)
December 2017
Armin Selbitschka: The Early Silk Road(s)

Senator John McCain
26 January 2018

Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence
13 February 2018
Statement of Record: The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the South East Asia Journalist Unions (SEAJU)
23 February 2018
Cambodia’s Media on Edge

This letter will be updated as researched records have become available.

Euripides’s Cyclops

My dear Kacvey,

To divert your mind a little bit from the political misery completely fabricated by the autocracy to murder for the nth time Cambodia’s democracy, freedom and human rights since the beginning of September, here is the story from the play “Cyclops” as written by Euripides.

Cyclops was gigantic, one-eyed monster (a single eye in the middle of his forehead) and considered cannibalistic in that he included humans in his diet, led a lawless life, possessing neither social manners nor fear for the gods. Cyclops was also the subject of stories by both Homer (Book Nine of “Odyssey”) and Virgil (Book Three of “The Aeneid”); in both stories, cyclops was named Polyphemus.

In Euripides’s Cyclops, Mount Aetna in the island of Sicily was the setting of the play. At the time the play was written and performed, Sicily was considered home to a sophisticated Hellenistic culture, but it also was seen as a place that contained Greek and non-Greek. In this play it was portrayed as a barbaric place that was hostile to both man’s laws and religion.

Here is the story line extracted from Wikipedia:
“It begins with an opening monologue by Silenus, who tells the tale of how he and his satyrs, who are his off-spring and followers, have been victimized by the giant cyclops (named Polyphemus in the Odyssey). The satyrs are now enslaved to work for the cyclops and shepherd his flock. The satyrs are prevented from their usual life as playful and lusty faun-like spirits of the woods, who sport and play while protected by Bacchus or Dionysus. Odysseus, who has lost his way on the voyage home from the Trojan War, arrives with his hungry sailors. They meet Silenus and offer to trade wine for food. Being a servant of Dionysus, Silenus cannot resist obtaining the wine despite the fact that the food is not his to trade. The Cyclops soon arrives and Silenus is quick to accuse Odysseus of stealing the food, swearing to many gods and the Satyrs’ lives (who are standing right beside him) that he is telling the truth. His son, a younger and more modern Satyr, tries to tell the truth to the Cyclops in an attempt to help Odysseus.

“Odysseus has a lively debate with the cyclops; he argues against his brutality, and in favor of morality, laws, justice, and hospitality. The cyclops debates in support of personal advantage and pleasure. The cyclops considers the idea of social justice a fraud created by the weak as protection against the mighty. The cyclops claims that the only thing worthy of worship is wealth. After this argument, the Cyclops brings Odysseus and his crew inside his cave and eats some of them. Odysseus manages to sneak out and is stunned by what he has witnessed. He hatches a scheme to get the Cyclops drunk and burn out his eye with a giant poker after the giant has passed out from inebriation.

“The Cyclops and Silenus drink together, with Silenus attempting to hog the wineskin for himself. When the Cyclops is drunk, he says he is seeing gods and begins to call Silenus Ganymede (the beautiful prince Zeus made his immortal cup bearer). The Cyclops then steals Silenus away into his cave, with the implication that he is about do something sexual to him. Odysseus decides to execute the next phase of his plan. The Satyrs initially offer to help, but later become afraid and offer a variety of absurd excuses when the time for action actually comes. The annoyed Odysseus gets his crew to help instead, and they burn out the Cyclops’ eye.

“He had told the Cyclops earlier that his name was ‘Noman’ or ‘Nobody’ (Greek outis or mētis), so when the Cyclops yells out who was responsible for blinding him, it sounds like he is saying “No man blinded me”. In addition to this pun, there is a less easily translated joke based on the fact that the form of “no man” (mētis) is identical to the word for cleverness or art. The Satyrs have some fun with him over it. Odysseus makes the mistake, however, of blurting out his true name as a result of his big ego. Although he successfully makes his escape, the rest of the troubles Odysseus faces on his voyage home are related to this act, as he then faces the wrath of Poseidon, the father of the Cyclops.”

Kacvey, by the way and once again, many thanks for your endless input in our twitter account!

On the bank of Sésane River

My dear Kacvey,

On the bank of Sésane River, while the people were having a nap, two neighboring friends met and were chatting nonchalantly and watching the water flowing and overflowing massively during the raining season.

Stôang: Do you miss your family?
Léav: Yeah, quite a bit. Since April, the 30 other soldiers and I are not allowed to take leave.
Stôang: I heard from the radio that your government has ordered all of you to withdraw immediately.
Léav: To withdraw is as easy as to come here and occupy this patch of your land. We can come in and go out anytime, you guys leave the border open all the times.
Stôang: Why did you come then?
Léav: Look, when you go out, do you lock your door or leave it open?
Stôang: I always lock the door, and hope to get back home before the burglar!
Léav: You’re smart. But at the borders your guys leave the door open.
Stôang: That’s very embarrassing: 30 soldiers could just walk in and occupy a patch of land without any resistance or opposition.
Léav: I’m just a soldier and follow my chief’s order. But, my guys and I, we know our national duties and understand our chief’s policy.
Stôang: How long did you plan to stay then?
Léav: As long as it takes until it becomes part of our land.
Stôang: Isn’t it then an invasion or a violation of our territorial sovereignty?
Léav: You can use those buzz words as long as you wish, but you have to know that sovereignty must be protected in order for it to be respected and not to be violated. Without actual and effective protection, sovereignty is purely naked.
Stôang: But you can’t just walk in and settle in and down?
Léav: Why not? You don’t lift your little finger to stop us! Your absence is a tacit invitation.
Stôang: And then, what do you plan to do on that patch of land?
LéaLéav: Personally, I don’t know because it’s not my domain; but I’ve seen guys in construction business coming around with their stuff.
Stôang: That’s why the guy from my capital flew in to see your guy at your capital and with an ultimatum in his hand.
Léav: You’re right! “Ultimatum,” after 5 months! Jello ultimatum, it is. Where has he been? Sleeping? Sick in Lion City?
Stôang: Well, communications are slow between the border and the city.
Léav: Look, between the two of us, who is in the position of strength: 30 soldiers and I, or ultimatum man?
Stôang: Guess it’s you; invader imposes his will.
Léav: The “invaded” flew to my capital to deliver an ultimatum five months after the occupation! Is there any joke more insane than this one?
Stôang: Don’t be too sarcastic.
Léav: Sorry, got carried away with all that nonsense.
Stôang: Nonsense? That many?
Léav: For example: in my capital, since the US left in 1973, we’ve had different PMs, and our leadership is renewed all the time. Look what’s going on in yours: same guy for 33 years. “Nonsense” is that we know in advance every move he’s going to make, even in the middle of the night!
Stôang: You spy!
Léav: No, it’s psychology 101! What can a man sitting on power for 33 years could invent as new tricks?!
Stôang: What else?
Léav: Oh, You move the troops from 500kms away to challenge us here with the ultimatum. Press, TV, Facebook, gossip, everybody knows it, sees it, records it. Did he read “Sunzi: The art of warfare”【孙子兵法】?
Stôang: Hope he has, he who makes war for his whole life from KR time to today.
Léav: My guess is he might have read it, but understands nada. He can fool you, but definitely can’t fool us.
Stôang: Wondering how much longer we could let ourselves be fooled by him. So, you must have other plans of invasion.
Léav: Don’t know. My boss decides. But with such an easiness that 30 soldiers could cross, occupy and settle, I don’t want to imagine how far down South could 30 multiplied by x times could go.
Stôang: Did you consult Noï before coming here?
Léav: The only thing I can tell you is that Noï is pissed off with the ultimatum man’s coziness with Northern Capital.
Stôang: Why?
Léav: There is a biblical saying: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Stôang: Are you not Buddhist?
Léav: I’m Budhhist, but I also read and learn other religions.
Stôang: Where’s that from?
Léav: Matthew 6:24
Stôang: Anything Asian for that matter?
Léav: The Chinese say: 一仆难事二主 (yī pú nán shì èr zhu). Same meaning: No man can serve two masters.
Stôang: OK, time is up. Have a safe return home.
Léav: Likewise! Oh, by the way, stop “bolting the stable door after the horse has been stolen.”

Parsing an anguished statement

My dear Kacvey,

There is no doubt that your students and you had already been well aware of the strongman’s speech, part of which was reported by Radio Free Asia (RFA) to which big thank and appreciation are hereby extended. On 3 August 2017, RFA’s website presented the article under the title: លោក ហ៊ុន សែន គំរាម​ពី​ការ​ស្លាប់​ខណៈ​បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​ថា​កម្ពុជា​ជា​របស់​ប្រជាជាតិ​ខ្មែរ​ទាំង​មូល

RFA’s article reproduced a long sentence pronounced by the strongman that contains his dim and gloomy view not only about himself but also about the situation ex-post his era. If what he said is what he meant, there is no doubt that the tone and the substance betray the strength and power that he is holding autocratically. Like the flattened Michelin tire man, the strongman is unplugged!

This is a segment of what RFA reported:

លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ដែល​កាន់​អំណាច​ជាង ៣០​ឆ្នាំ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា សង្កត់​ធ្ងន់​ថា ប្រសិនបើ​លោក​ស្លាប់​ភ្លាម នោះ​មន្ត្រី​នៅ​ក្នុង​ជួរ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ក្រោម​ការ​ដឹក​នាំ​របស់​លោក រាប់​តាំង​ពី​ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ទេសរដ្ឋមន្ត្រី រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី រហូត​ដល់​អនុ​រដ្ឋលេខាធិការ​ដែល​មាន​មុខងារ​នយោបាយ នឹង​ត្រូវ​រលាយ​ទៅ​តាម​លោក​ជា​ស្វ័យប្រវត្តិ​ភ្លាម​ដែរ។ ដូច្នេះ លោក​ថា គឺ​មាន​តែ​ក្រុម​យោធា និង​នគរបាល​ដែល​ឋិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​មុខងារ​សាធារណៈ​ទេ ដែល​ជា​អ្នក​គ្រប់គ្រង​សភាពការណ៍។

«នៅ​ទី​នេះ​មាន​អគ្គបញ្ជាការ ប៉ុល សារឿន អគ្គ​នគរបាល​ជាតិ នេត សាវឿន អគ្គបញ្ជាការ​រង និង​មេបញ្ជាការ​អាវុធហត្ថ​លើ​ផ្ទៃ​ប្រទេស សៅ សុខា ប៉ុន្តែ​នៅ​មាន​បណ្ដា​អង្គភាព​ដទៃ​ទៀត​ដែល​ពេល​ហ្នឹង​ជួនកាល​មាន​ការ​ញុះញង់ គឺ​វាយ​គ្រឹប​តែម្ដង ខ្មោច​មិន​អាច​ងើប​មក​ត្រួតត្រា​សភាពការណ៍​ទេ ហើយ ទៀ បាញ់ ក៏​អស់​តំណែង ស ខេង ក៏​អស់​តំណែង តើ​ទៅ​ត្រួត​ពី​ណា​ទៀត? អ៊ីចឹង​រឿង​ហ្នឹង ពេល​ខ្លះ​ត្រូវ​យល់ កុំ​ចង់​ឲ្យ ហ៊ុន សែន ងាប់ ទុក ហ៊ុន សែន ដើម្បី​នឹង​គ្រប់គ្រង»

Let focus on the above two paragraphs and parse themthrough and through.

  1. លោក ហ៊ុន សែន …សង្កត់​ធ្ងន់​ថា ប្រសិនបើ​លោក​ស្លាប់​ភ្លាម” and “ពេល​ខ្លះ​ត្រូវ​យល់ កុំ​ចង់​ឲ្យ ហ៊ុន សែន ងាប់

– Is this a self-premonition that, like in Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, forebodes “And now, the end is near”?
– Or is this an admission of his own vulnerability as a human nature with life and death?
– Or is this an acknowledgement that the erosion of power has not only sapped his autocratic regime but also affected his own health and governing capacity?
– Has the happiness in governing autocratically already died, been buried and instead embodied in Satan of madness, rage and delusion?
– What has happened to the idea and desire to rule the country until 90 years of age?
– Why all of a sudden talking about death by voluntarily omitting its cause?
– Why associating death with end of power, when power can be transferred or ended without death?
– Has self-doubt invaded the arrogant confidence?
– Has invincibility started to abandon the suit of armor and the metallic helmet that was donned for 33 years?
– No Buddhist of sincere faith and tenet wish nobody’s death, but they wish the destruction and death of autocracy.

2. “មន្ត្រី​នៅ​ក្នុង​ជួរ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ក្រោម​ការ​ដឹក​នាំ​របស់​លោក រាប់​តាំង​ពី​ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ទេសរដ្ឋមន្ត្រី រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី រហូត​ដល់​អនុ​រដ្ឋលេខាធិការ​ដែល​មាន​មុខងារ​នយោបាយ នឹង​ត្រូវ​រលាយ​ទៅ​តាម​លោក​ជា​ស្វ័យប្រវត្តិ​ភ្លាម​ដែរ”

This is where nonsense meets sheer lunacy.
– If he disappeared, why his ministers and minions have to disappear concomitantly or simultaneously?
– If he disappeared, would his progenies who also happen to be ministers or “èk odom” melt away like wax in the heat?
– What magical force does he have to drag his ministers and minions to the same end as his?
– Is he a guru that can order his disciples to jump into the fire when he says “jump”?
– Are these the words of a madman in trance or delirium?
– On the contrary, what would his ministers and minions and their families think when they hear such foolishness and madness?

3. “គឺ​មាន​តែ​ក្រុម​យោធា និង​នគរបាល​ដែល​ឋិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​មុខងារ​សាធារណៈ​ទេ ដែល​ជា​អ្នក​គ្រប់គ្រង​សភាពការណ៍។”
«នៅ​ទី​នេះ​មាន​អគ្គបញ្ជាការ ប៉ុល សារឿន អគ្គ​នគរបាល​ជាតិ នេត សាវឿន អគ្គបញ្ជាការ​រង និង​មេបញ្ជាការ​អាវុធហត្ថ​លើ​ផ្ទៃ​ប្រទេស សៅ សុខា
So, three names are presented to the public; three names to carry the flag of repression and dictatorship; three names forming a triumvirate. If it comes true, who would be triumvir Julius Caesar, who Pompeius Magnus and who Marcus Crassus?
Assuming the designated triumvirate would take place, this would be the first time in Khmer history that three men would share power.
– Well, well, well: three Khmer sharing power? Three armed factions sharing power? Only fools fool themselves; fools can’t fool Khmer. Anybody still remember “the trio” on political campaign billboards throughout the country, one already gone, now only two still present?
– What are the national doctrine and political philosophy that bind these three triumvirs together?
– Would the soldiers, policemen and bodyguards be willing to continue part of the army of repression after the final departure of the autocrat?
– Why does the autocrat omit to mention the role that he has been nurturing for his progenies? Aren’t they good enough that daddy has to exclude them from leadership? Or are they rather be part of a plan “to go abroad”? SOS – Save Our Souls!

4. “ប៉ុន្តែ​នៅ​មាន​បណ្ដា​អង្គភាព​ដទៃ​ទៀត​ដែល​ពេល​ហ្នឹង​ជួនកាល​មាន​ការ​ញុះញង់ គឺ​វាយ​គ្រឹប​តែម្ដង”
Now the real secret is finally revealed! So a secret force is hidden somewhere and even unknown to the triumvirate’s forces. Is it the fishing boats in the waterways across the country? Among the car mechanics along major arteries or the worshipers in Bokor? The leftovers from 9 January 1979 and 1985?
The mentor has become master, and the mentee is bonded for life to the mentor whose eyes are sharper than Cyclops.

5. “ទៀ បាញ់ ក៏​អស់​តំណែង ស ខេង ក៏​អស់​តំណែង តើ​ទៅ​ត្រួត​ពី​ណា​ទៀត?
Oh, Kacvey, these two individuals must feel betrayed by the man they have been serving through thick and thin for decades. Politics has no gratitude or loyalty. Especially, ex-KR politics. Once a KR, always a KR. KR’s wheel of power always remains bloody and soulless.
So, while still alive, he’s openly pitting the triumvirate against his two vice-premier “samdachs”, and at the same time sacrificing them in plain daylight to the altar of his self-destructive ego.
Sooner or later, the public will know whether or not these two vice-premiers are real “men” with principle and self-esteem, or are they just disposable “pawns” on the autocratic chess board.

6. “ទុក ហ៊ុន សែន ដើម្បី​នឹង​គ្រប់គ្រង
How desperate it sounds of him to plead for his own status quo! A desperate man creates his own despair in his own desperate situation. In a state of despair, he not only oxymoronizes but also does double talking in order to confuse the public: at the beginning he created a hypothetical situation of his departure “ប្រសិនបើ​លោក​ស្លាប់​ភ្លាម“, but at the end he pleads for remaining in power “កុំ​ចង់​ឲ្យ ហ៊ុន សែន ងាប់ ទុក ហ៊ុន សែន ដើម្បី​នឹង​គ្រប់គ្រង
It’s against any religious beliefs and virtuous principles to abandon a sick man or a desperate one. Let the experts in medical filed take care of the illness, but let Cambodians of all walks of life wish him well in his battle against his health trouble. Nobody ​”ចង់​ឲ្យ ហ៊ុន សែន ងាប់“, but nobody wants to “ទុក ហ៊ុន សែន ដើម្បី​នឹង​គ្រប់គ្រង” for ever.

Cambodians want him to respect, in a civilized and democratic manner, their voice and their concerns towards the elections on 22 July 2018 and thereafter:
– No cheating.
– No killing 100 to 200 people.
– No smashing teeth.
– No beating with bamboo sticks.

– RFA, 4 December 2017: សុខភាព​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ទ្រុឌទ្រោម​ខណៈ​លោក​ថា​អាច​កាន់​អំណាច​៣០ឆ្នាំ​ទៀត

The CUP is empty

My dear Kacvey,

This letter is the continuation of the previous one “Will the one-man show go on forever” where CUP abbreviates a triad: Crisis, Uncertainty and Paralysis.

Let elaborate:


Since 9 January 1979, the ex-KRs have been in power for 38 years in The City of Tonlé Buon Mouk, and for 33 years one-man autocratically dominates the land that he pretends to liberate from his old comrades. Well, that land is now in a latent political and institutional crisis, and anybody that sees that nation as being on stable political and social ground is fooling him/herself.

The crisis seems to stem from two concurring circumstances or situations:

Consequences of the June 2017 communes elections – The massive defection of the electorate from the ruling party to the opposition shook up the ruling party confidence and confined the autocracy into a state of embarrassment and shame. The ruling party has reached the end of the rope and the message that the electorate had sent to them was: “We don’t believe in and we don’t trust you anymore.” Their holding of a slim majority of communes was not translated in exploded enjoyment or exaltation in the street as it did happen during the 2 weeks preceding the day of the elections. They did not win by TKO nor unanimous decision, but rather by split decisions among the referees. A victory in defeat is sour, bitter and indignant. Topping that, they know for certain that the lost votes will be forever, and there is no possibility to win them back even by pouring millions of US dollars in charm offensive and buying favors. After 38 years, people are not only sick and tired of seeing same faces and hearing same voices of corruption, abuse of power, absolutism, and tyranny but also frustrated with the widening gap between their economic and social living conditions and the conditions of those leaders and their relatives that enrich themselves through dishonest enrichment schemes to the detriment of the country as a whole.

Aging and sick leaders – In the circle of autocracy, and in defiance of all natural laws of life and existence, there seems to be a running belief that the autocrat has a healthy and perpetual life that does not know what illness and death are. They seem to pretend, perhaps by mere ignorance, that they are “there” forever despite the facts (1) of frequent visits to foreign medical institutes for “check-up and observations” and (2) that how many times, in the recent past, they have already attended the funerals of their comrades-in-arms, both in time of war as KRs and in time of prosperity through extensive and expansive corruption. Denying one’s own sickness is lying to his self that is suffering. Sickness hampers mental judgement capacity and physical strength and ability, and why egoistically dragging the entire country into one’s own marasmic state? As Archibald MacLeish, an American poet, once said: “A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.” Well, let the autocrat extend his short arms to reach the stars for whatever reason he thinks, and let idiots cheer and clap. There however remains a fundamental question which is: Is the country prepared for a change of leadership to replace the sick man?


Crisis creates uncertainty in both: the perception by the people and the three branches of power in the country, albeit these three branches are practically in the grip of one man’s hand. However, nobody can stop people from asking the perennial questions:
– What would happen if the autocrat for one reason or another is incapacitated?
– Since the country is under one-man’s rule, would there be another or a “2nd” one-man to take over?
– If that one-man goes, will everything be for grab by everybody else?
– Has the country ever prepared itself for such an emergency situation?
– Without the autocrat, are state institutions solid enough to sustain the political turmoil?

The ruling party whose victory in the June 2017 commune elections was crippled by more than 2 millions who supported the opposition is marching towards the legislative elections of July 2018 with uncertainty of its own. Such uncertainty is the result of its own actions that so far are devoid of philosophy, principles and fundamental commitment to service the nation as a whole:
– What are the perspectives for the betterment of people’s life with regards to freedom of expression, respect of human dignity and rights?
– What are the perspectives of the country to work harder for its own welfare and to be less independent from foreign aids?
– What are the perspectives to balance economic development with the preservation of natural resources?
– What are the perspectives of laws abiding by all citizens including the ruling tribe itself?

Instead, as during the campaign of the commune elections, it recycled the KR tactical threat of “smashing the teeth” and “killing 100 to 200 people.” Khmer electorate is more intelligent in the appreciation of what is right and good; they reserve a special corner for all political savagery, verbally or rhetorically, in their waste basket.


Crisis and uncertainty at the highest level of government paralyze the dynamic functioning of state institutions. Who doesn’t notice the consecutive postponement of meetings of council of ministers? the absence of public speeches and endless orations at Koh Pich? the silence of the television? the non participation in debates and votes at the national assembly? the decrease in tonality and intensity of war of words with the “exiled”? the increase, on the contrary, in the same war of words through a third-party? the absence of headlines or photographs exalting every step or move of his? the quietness of politics or on-the-spur-decisions through FB account?

The thick curtain that has been down over the whereabouts of the autocrat or his state of health adds extra weight to the question: “Is there really someone at the helm of the country?” Fools will accept any type of answer or explanation, but nobody can fool the conscious, informed and learned public anymore.

If one is paralyzed by fear, do not expect fear to walk away so soon because time compounds fear. Can he now conquer or autocratically rule his own fear?

The CUP is empty because the noria of time can no longer fill it with magic potion; it has served its time for 33 years for power and wealth.

Let close the letter with Hippocrates’s words to ponder: “Ars longa, vita brevis.”
Art is long, life is short.
La vie est courte, l’art est long.

David and Goliath

My dear Kacvey,

This letter is intended for your students who wish to know the original story of David and Goliath. This is how the Romano-Jewish scholar and historian Flavius Josephus (37-circa 100) narrated in Book VI (ix) of his “Jewish Antiquities”, and translated by H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus.

The story goes:

(ix. 1) Not long afterwords the Philistines again assembled and mustered a great force, and marched against the Israelites; occupying the ground between Sochus and Azekus they established their camp there. Saul, on his side, let out his army against them, and, having pitched his camp on a certain mountain, forced the Philistines to abandon their first camp and to take up a similar position on another mountain over against that which he had occupied himself. The two camps were separated by a valley between the hills on which they lay. And now there came down from the camp of the Philistines one by name Goliath, of the city of Gitta, a man of gigantic stature. For he measured four cubits and a span , and was clad in armour proportioned to his frame. He wore a breastplate weighing 5000 shekels, with a helmet and greaves of bronze such as were meet to protect the limbs of a man of such prodigious size. His spear was not light enough to be borne in the right hand, but he carried it elevated on his shoulders; he had also a spear weighing 600 shekels, and many followed him, carrying his armour. Standing, then, between the opposing forces, this Goliath gave a mighty shout and said to Saul and the Hebrews, “I hereby deliver you from battle and its perils. For what need is there for your troop to join arms and to suffer heavy losses? Give me one of your men to fight with me, and the issue of the war shall be decided by the single victor, and to the people of the victor the other side shall be slaves. It is far better, I think, and more prudent to attain your end by the hazard of one man’s life rather than all.” Having so spoken he retired to his own camp. On the morrow he came again and delivered the same speech, and so, for forty days, he did not cease to challenge his enemies in these same terms, to the utter dismay both of Saul and his army. And though they remained drawn up as for battle, they never came to close quarters.

(2) Now, on the outbreak of the war between the Hebrews and the Philistines, Saul had sent David away to his father Jesse, being content with the latter’s three sons whom he had sent to share the dangers of the campaign. David then returned at first to his flocks and cattle-pastures, but before long visited the camp of the Hebrews, being sent by his fathers to carry provisions to his brothers and to learn how they fared. Now when Goliath came again, challenging and taunting the Hebrews with not having among them a man brave enough to venture down to fight with him, David was talking with his brothers about the matters wherewith his father had charged him, and hearing the Philistine reviling and abusing their army, he became indignant and said to his brothers that he was ready to meet this adversary in single combat. Thereat the eldest of his brothers, Eliab, rebuked him, telling him that he was bolder than became his years and ignorant of what was fitting, and bade him be off to the flock and to his father. Out of respect for his father David withdrew, but gave out to some of the soldiers that he wished to fight with the challenger. As they straightway reported the lad’s resolve to Saul, the king sent for him; and David, when asked by him what he wished, said, “Let not thy spirit be downcast nor fearful, O King, for I will bring down the presumption of the foe by joining battle with him and throwing this mighty giant down before me. Thus would he be made a laughing-stock, and thine army have the more glory, should he be slain, not by a grown man fit for war and entrusted with the command of battles, but by one to all appearance and in truth no older than a boy.”

(3) Saul admired the lad’s daring and courage, but could not place full confidence in him by reason of his years, because of which, he said, he was too feeble to fight with a skilled warrior. “These promises,” replied David, “I make in the assurance that God is with me; for I have already had proof of His aid. Once when a lion attacked my flocks and carried off a lamb, I pursued and caught him and snatched the lamb from the beast’s jaws, and, when he sprang up upon me, lifted him by the tail and killed him by dashing him upon the ground. And I did the very same thing in battle with the bear. Let this enemy then be reckoned even as one of those wild beasts, so long has he insulted our army and blasphemed our God, who will deliver him into my hands.”

(4) So then Saul, praying that the lad’s zeal and hardihood might be rewarded by God with a like success, said, “Go forth to battle.” And he clad him in his own breastplate, girt his sword about him, fitted a helmet upon his head and so sent him out. But David was weighed down by this armour, for he had not been trained nor taught to wear armour, and said, ” Let this fine apparel be for thee, O King, for thou indeed art able to wear it, but suffer me, as thy servant, to fight just as I will.” Accordingly he laid down the armour and, taking up his staff, he put five stones from the brook into his shepherd’s wallet, and with a sling in his right hand advanced against Goliath. The enemy, seeing him approaching in this manner, showed his scorn, and derided him for coming to fight, not with such weapons as men are accustomed to use against other men, but with those wherewith we drive away and keep off dogs. Or did he perhaps take him for a dog, and not a man? “No,” replied David, “not even for a dog, but something still worse.” This roused Goliath’s anger, and he called down curses upon him in his god’s name and threatened to give his flesh to the beasts of earth and the birds of heaven to rend asunder. But David answered him, “Thou comest against me with sword, spear and breastplate, but I, in coming against thee, have God for my armour, who will destroy both thee and all your host by our hands, For I will this day cut off thine head and fling thy carcase to the dogs, thy fellows, and all men shall learn that Hebrews have the Deity for their protection, and that He in His care for us is our armour and strength, and that all other armament and force are unavailing where God is not.” And now the Philistine, impeded by the wight of his armour from running more swiftly, came on toward David at a slow pace, contemptuous and confident of slaying without any trouble an adversary at once unarmed and of an age so youthful.

(5) But the youth advanced to the encounter, accompanied by an ally invisible to the foe, and this was God. Drawing from his wallet one of the stones from the brook which he put therein, and fitting it to his sling, he shot it at Goliath, catching him in the forehead, and the missile penetrated to the brain, so that Goliath was instantly stunned and fell upon his face. Then, running forward, David stood over his prostrate foe and with the other’s broadsword, having no sword of his own, he cut off his head. Goliath’s fall caused the defeat and rout the Philistines; for, seeing their best warrior laid low and fearing a complete disaster, they resolved to remain no longer, but sought to save themselves from danger by ignominious and disorderly flight. But Saul and the whole Hebrew army, with shouts of battle, sprang upon them and with great carnage pursued them to the borders of Gitta and to the gates of Ascalon. Of the Philistines 30,000 were slain and twice as many wounded. Saul then returning to their camp destroyed the palisade and set fire to it; while David carried the head of Goliath to his own tent and dedicated his sword to God.

Malcolm Gladwell, a Canadian author, once, said: “That term, ‘David and Goliath,’ has entered our language as a metaphor for improbable victories by some weak party over someone far stronger.”

Will the one-man show go on forever?

My dear Kacvey,

In the entertainment world, a one-man show is not rare on theaters row. Unfortunately, when the performer falls sick, for example, the show has to be cancelled because no understudy can substitute the star. If sickness persisted and the star could not return to the stage for a long period of time, the promoter or producer has to close the show and bear the ensuing financial consequences.

In the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk, a one-man show has been on for 32 years on the politico-theatrical stage. The star writes the script, performs, rules the actors guild, dictates tickets cost, threatens potential artist or competitor who wishes to set up similar show, blasts any critics that do not give him a rave review, and believes that his one-man show is the only show that will be “there” forever. The business of this one-man show has made not only the star but also those associated with him extremely wealthy. Radio and television stations never stop praising his acts with the same old and outdated rhetoric repeated day-in-day-out.

Kacvey, how many times have your students seen that show “live”, heard it on the radio, seen it on television screen or FB? Poor students, they ought to be sick and tired of it and must wish that the show be ended one day, once and for all. Performing art is not the exclusivity of one man, never was and never will. Which of us do not know Charlie Chaplin, Lawrence Olivier, Richard Burton, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Mel Brooks, Carol Channing, Sid Caesar etc …?

Well, the star of the one-man show in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk is now 65 years of age and the City is abuzz with news, rumors and speculations about the state of his health and his whereabouts. While he keeps on proclaiming that he is going to perform for another 10 years, let leave the natural matter to nature, and the star to his star. But it is fair to ask what would happen to the show and the theater if the star is no longer available or capable of performing on stage, as it is briefly discussed in the opening paragraph of this letter? Has he ever asked himself what would happen to the stage the first day after the end of the 10th year or during the 11th year following his departure, as expected or unexpectedly?

Therefore, three words should be borne in mind: Chaos, Uncertainty and Paralysis. Or the CUP.

Which of us in the world do not know Franco, Pinochet, Duvalier, Idi Amin, Haile Mariam, Saddam Hussein etc … and Pol Pot and their criminal and murderous “acts” against their own people.?

Two pals: Nal and Ngog

My dear Kacvey,

Imaginatively, in a luxurious antechamber of a hospital in the Lion City, two old pals would meet and chat, discreetly and secretively:

Ngog: Hey old pal, you look terrible!
Nal: My health is playing dirty trick on me.
Ngog: What’s going on then?
Nal: What do you expect: chain-smoking, don’t know what is sport, blood pressure, diabetes, constant pressure on one eye. The whole enchilada of not getting younger anymore.
Ngog: But you play golf, though!
Nal: Golf! If it’s that good, why am I here? In fact, just to impress Westerners that I belong to their league. On the course, I just swing the club, putt and walk from cart to ball, and ball to cart; don’t even need to find or pick up balls.
Ngog: So, then, what did Doc say?
Nal: He locks me up for multiple tests and diagnoses for the hell I don’t know how long it will take.
Ngog: Oh boy, you’re in for a long haul!
Nal: Guess so, if that what it takes.
Ngog: But you can’t get the kitchen unattended while the stove is on?
Nal: I have guys on the watch and my iPad handy to give orders.
Ngog: How much do you trust those guys and how much do you expect your FB orders to be executed while you’re on a hospital bed a thousand kilometers away?
Nal: Look, I took the power through chaos, I might lose it through chaos. Karma. Ying and Yang.
Ngog: You sound contemplative and philosophical.
Nal: You see those tubes, needles, wires all around my body, and I’m tugged in a white blanket, it scares the hell out of anybody.
Ngog: You become uncertain and also seem afraid of something.
Not the same guts and physical strength from younger years anymore.
Ngog: How about your 3M? Is there anyone trustworthy to carry the torch?
Nal: What 3M?
Ngog: Your 3 male progenies.
Nal: Not promising. I want them to carry on my legacy and prepare them for that. But they don’t prepare themselves. Ah, modern kids, born and raised with silver spoons!
Ngog: So, they are out of contention, if I guess it right.
Nal: Sort of. Without me, they will be eaten alive by “White” and “Duck Shooting.”
Ngog: But have you really prepared at least one of them?
Nal: Yes I did, M1, but he screwed himself up with his trip to the US. M2 and M3 are way below par for such high objectives and stakes.
Ngog: Meanwhile, who’s in charge of the kitchen?
Nal: “White” and “Duck Shooting.” Hope that they are not “Lon Nol” re-incarnated.
Ngog: If “Lon Nol” re-appeared, you’re always welcome to Noï. What would your bodyguards be doing then?
Nal: Bodyguards defend me if I’m in the kitchen. When I’m not there anymore, they will sell themselves to the highest bidder or new master. Bodyguards are like mercenaries driven by big money.
Ngog: What about policemen and soldiers? Will they listen to your voice or order from your hospital bed?
Nal: Doubt it. They are government policemen and soldiers; they are not “comrades.” They never fight a single enemy or war. Like in 1974, they will unconditionally welcome any new leader.
Ngog: That’s your “domestic” paradigm. If so, “my comrades” of 1979 who did not return home but stay in your kitchen could be useful to you, couldn’t they?
Nal: They have all been “unmasked” and again, it’s all about whether or not I’m healthy and standing.
Ngog: How about your million fans and supporters from Facebook?
Nal: You’re mixing up social media and reality, because FB doesn’t vote. FB is shadow and hollow; I play it because not only it’s a fad, but also I can see what they feel or write about me.
Ngog: But you’re on it every single day!
Nal: True, but look at the crowd at Freedom Park after July 2013 and the funerals cortege from Wat Chass in Chruoy Chanvar to Takeo on 24 July 2016; I will never be able to mobilize such a massive crowd and sympathizers, no matter what I say or do. It’s FB versus reality, my pal.
Ngog: And you also mean the 3 millions that walked away from you on 4 June 2017, right?
Nal: Absolutely. These are incredible numbers that won’t stop of getting bigger and bigger in the future.
Ngog: Bottom line now is: your health and the 2018 elections, is it not?
Nal: As of now, my health cannot handle the elections. I give it one to two more months to recoup, but Doc might see it differently. I’ve slowed down quite a bit since Davos, but it ain’t getting any better.
Ngog: Without you at the forefront energetically and with gusto, 2018 elections wouldn’t be in the pocket …
Nal: Unless I play dirty like in 2013 again…
Ngog: Provided you could still be walking!
Nal: Are you wishing me something?
Ngog: Just following through on your line of thinking. Can’t still gather how come for 32 years you can’t have a person or a team to take over when your mandate and time are up.
Nal: I’ve always been stuck with the notion of political superiority and immortality. I beat them all the times and never think that time is the enemy of immortality. Man, time is beating me hard, clinically and medically.
Ngog: Never expect to see you in such a fatalistic and depressed state of mind and matter.
Nal: Wish me luck like you did on 9 January 1979.
Ngog: Wish you a quick recovery.
Nal: Recovery, probably; but unlike car or airplane engine that can be overhauled or replaced, human engine is what it is, from birth to dirt.
Ngog: Thanks for the chat. I will share your thoughts with Noï.
Nal: Tell Noï that he had made my 32 years in the kitchen the best time of my life. cảm ơn. Tạm biệt.

Death is 1-year old

My dear Kacvey,

On 10 July 2016, you and your students mourned the death of Mr. Kem Ley through cold-blooded assassination. On 10 July 2017, all of you pay respect to his disappearance, his honor of being an honest Khmer, a Khmer for all Khmer.

His death is now a year-old, and so is the awakening of Khmer conscience. Time will make his death deeper into the political history of Cambodia, and will also make the Khmer conscience stronger and more determined for change.

Mr. Kem Ley’s last born son will never feel his heartbeat nor his touch, but time will reveal to him and teach him how a man of national character was his father!

The “presumed assassin” is purging his jail term sentenced by a sham kangaroo court that takes the laws into its own hands to protect the “schemer of the assassination” rather than investigate and find the TRUTH. The plot to assassinate Mr. Kem Ley is text-book Khmer Rouge, whether it is for the past, present or future. Khmer Rouge of past is always Khmer Rouge of present and future. Dark scheme to spill Khmer blood has always been their political and autocratic trademark.

A clean and un-corrupt politician was murdered, the presumed murderer in jail: perfect crime. The “schemer” smiles as he wraps himself in a cape of the demon of darkness before entering his cache like Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.

Kacvey, your students should be assured that Mr. Kem Ley will never be forgotten.