Trial on 15 January 2020

My dear Kacvey,

You might recall our communication on 23 October 2017 titled “A Plausible Case – 莫须有冤狱

On the 1st month of the new decade, the ex-KR-turned-autocrat has decided to show the ECCC (that has been trying his comrades-in-arms of the Pol Pot era) that his own justice machinery also works for him. He then instructed his kangaroos to try Oppo Nr.1 on 15 January 2020 on charge of treason. But whereas the ECCC proceeded with massive evidence, the ex-KR-turned-autocrat’s kangaroos will try with trumped charges and fictitious evidence.

The scripted judicial farce has been subject to multiple projections, one of which is that the kangaroos will find Oppo Nr.1 guilty of whatever the prosecution said. Kangaroo court executes its master’s order and has no surprise.

But that will not stop your students from reflecting and pondering on future consequences of such a shameless theatrical show of Khmer politics. Autocracy is afraid of challenge against its intellectual power that has none and uses raw forces to oppress any idea and thinking that defy its cruelty, antipathy, callousness and inhumanness.

If your students wish to witness the trial of the decade with a sense of social and political justice and fairness, let them arm their knowledge and awareness with three academic spears: The story of Yue Fei, “J’accuse” and Franz Kafka’s “The Trial“.

Let hope the fire in Australia would scare the kangaroos to run away from their court  master.

What Would 2020 Bring?

My dear Kacvey,

The cosmic second has just passed, carrying all of us to 2020!
Happy New Year 2020 to you, your students and everybody inside and outside our Circle!
Happy New Year 2020 to all Khmer who are:
– free, not valet of foreigners,
– loving and working towards true democracy, and not past-KR affiliated,
– respecting human rights, not abusers, oppressors or authoritarians,
– serving the country and its people, not a party or a person,
– honest, not corrupt and hypocrite,
– working hard to earn a living with their own blood, sweat and tears, not bought out by the ugly color of unqualified money, and
– agents of CHANGE for a better future of the country and its people.

Honestly, will Cambodia be “Happy” as wishes for happiness would mean to be? As crystal ball is in short supply among people who think, the probability that the country under the direction of the ex-KR-turned-autocrat would worsen is rather high:
– How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat return the country to the democratic arrangement before he dissolved the opposition party and subsequently organized a sham election?
– How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat to get rid of the fear of being treated like Najib Razak of Malaysia, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan or Omar al-Bashir of Sudan?
– How much longer the ex-KR-turned-autocrat can walk the tight rope and balance himself between China and Vietnam to which he has ceded everything that is Khmer, just for the sake of him staying in absolute and uncontested power?
– How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat to undo and to unshackle himself from the excessive and continuing plethora of Chinese, masters of the Dara Sakor project, the hundreds of casinos, condominiums, triads, dams …
– How is it possible for the Khmer to breath some air of freedom and liberty when the ex-KR-turned-autocrat used missiles, machine guns and thousands of policemen and soldiers to intimidate and threaten Khmer civilians walking with bare hands?
– Similarly, it will all come down to this: How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat to recover his lost eyesight?

But nothing is seemingly and totally lost yet, as history tells us, again and again, that everything has an end, and contemporary history will also have an end: Colonialism, Francoism in Spain, Salazarism in Portugal, Apartheid in South Africa, the USSR, The Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Sihanouk, Lon Nol, Pol Pot …

For our part, let continue to do what we, you, your students and us, have been doing with more determination and better knowledge. An effective individual cell, no matter how small it is, can contribute to cure the Khmer body and kill the virus infected by the ex-KR-turned-autocrat.

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said: “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

Happy New Year 2020, and throughout!

What Had “CHANGED” in 2019?

My dear Kacvey,

Hope, during the last class before winter break, you had lengthily go over the main events that occurred during 2019 in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk with your students and drawn important lessons for their future thinking.

There is only one spatial or cosmic second that separates the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Therefore, everything will continue as it has been continuing with or without changes. Autocracy by the ex-Khmer Rouge will also continue, but with or without changes. For our part, let have a look at what had CHANGED throughout 2019:

The Mekong
The level of water in the Mekong is the the lowest ever registered since the existence of time. The Khmer lifeline has CHANGED downwards to change the Khmer living downward.

The lands
The lands of Srok Khmer have CHANGED from being a fertile rice fields to become the lands of Chinese casinos, gambling dens and condominium, and possible military base for the Chinese to freely come and settle in Srok Khmer to CHANGE the landscape of Khmer culture and history.

The forests
The forests have CHANGED from being thick to become a horizon of treeless flatland or mountains, and the corrupt trees fellers have CHANGED their tactics to pretend to burn the motorcycles or trucks that illegally transported felled trees to foreign countries.

The people
The sycophantic people around the ex-KR-turned-autocrat CHANGED so much in displaying openly their corrupt wealth inside and outside the country. Before UNTAC, they were less than worms that now CHANGED to full-fledged acanthovalva inconspicuaria.
The Chinafication of Srok Khmer CHANGES the population landscape that had already CHANGED since the military Vietnamese intervention in January 1979 and its aftermath.

The institutions
The four institutional branches have CHANGED into the Vishnu-like four-arms of the ex-KR-turned-autocrat.

The police and military
The police and military have CHANGED from having nothing of their own to become 100% consumers of Chinese and Vietnamese war machines and apparatuses to oppress Khmer people.
They CHANGED from being unable to handle a dozen of Lao soldiers at the border to become ex-KR-turned-autocrat’s mercenaries to oppress opposition members.

The economy
The economy has CHANGED to become indebted to the Chinese of more than $7 billion that has also CHANGED into a death trap for Srok Khmer’s future.
The European Union had CHANGED their policies not only with regards to import of Khmer rice to European countries but also to warning of the future withdrawal of preferential tariffs if the ex-KR-turned-autocrat continued to abuse the human rights of the Khmer people.

The opposition
The status of the opposition has CHANGED from being dissolved by the ex-KR-turned-autocrat’s kangaroo court to still being recognized by the ex-KR-turned-autocrat as the sole party that permanently threatens him.
Oppo No.1 status has CHANGED from house arrest to partially free. Foreign ambassadors have CHANGED from being met at their embassy to paying personal visit to him at his residence.
Oppo No.2 status has CHANGED to become interim president who CHANGED his strategies to try to actually enter Cambodia directly from Thailand on 9 November.
Opposition supporters have CHANGED from being 2-clans to becoming conscientious that being 2-clanists would not advance the party cause.

The ex-KR-turned-autocrat
The ex-KR-turned-autocrat CHANGED to have “shoulder pain” that needed to be medevac to a hospital in Singapore for a 2.00 am treatment.
He has CHANGED from playing golf to lonely biking in his golden lair, from being among the people to becoming lethargic, fat face and a silly soliloquist behind a bunch of yellow flowers on Koh Pich.
He has CHANGED his walking pace to becoming slower, heavier and burdensome.
His popularity has CHANGED downwards as he CHANGED his walkabout habit to being in solitary manner in front of the screen of his facebook account.
He has CHANGED from talking incessantly about oppo No.2 to becoming quiet on the subject and letting hiss chained dogs barking instead.
He has CHANGED from eating នំបញ្ចុក at the table to devouring it standing up while in Europe.
Some of his relatives and sycophants have CHANGED their status from Cambodian to becoming European (wondering why not Chinese!), others to becoming “sanctioned” by the United States.
His party, driven by massive and unqualified money, Chinese or otherwise, seems to CHANGE its revolutionary ideology from communism to becoming corrupt people party.

So, Kacvey, your students know that CHANGE is a constant phenomenon that happens to everybody from Heraclitus who said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” to President Barack Obama who stated: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”.

He who doesn’t realize that CHANGE happens in every second of his live and around his live is he who will be victim of his own silent self-CHANGE. Or as Confucius, once, said: “Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”

The Corrupt, The Dirty, The Sanctioned

My dear Kacvey,

Do you recall our communication The Dirty Dozen + Others a year and a half ago? Well, since then a lot of things have happened with corruption getting worst and worst every passing day involving more or less the same persons in the corrupt leadership circle and their family members.

But it is very important for your students to remember, at the outset, what Norodom Sihanouk had said as reported in an article penned by Maurice Eisenbruch in The International Journal of Human Rights titled: “The cloak of impunity in Cambodia I: cultural foundations” in which Sihanouk was quoted as follows: “In today’s Cambodia, the God of Impunity reigns side by side with the King of Corruption.”

Let inventory them so that your students could have a comprehensive information on the extent of the corruption and their authors in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk.

Human Rights Watch
1. Cambodia’s Dirty Dozen – A Long History of Rights Abuses by Hun Sen’s Generals
2. នាយឧត្តមសេនីយ៍បាតដៃកខ្វក់ ១២ រូប – ប្រវត្តិរំលោភសិទ្ធិមនុស្សដ៏យូរអង្វែងរបស់នាយឧត្តមសេនីយ៍នៃលោក ហ៊ុន សែន

Global Witness
1. HOSTILE TAKEOVER – How Cambodia’s ruling family are pulling the strings on the economy and amassing vast personal fortunes with extreme consequences for the population.
2. FROM THE DEATH OF CAMBODIA’S DEMOCRACY? – As Cambodians head to the polls, Global Witness exposes an elusive club of politically exposed tycoons set to profit from the country’s sham election

1. Special Report: Khmer Riche – How relatives and allies of Cambodia’s leader amassed wealth overseas
2. Cyprus opposition wants to know how Cambodian elite got passports
3. in-cyprus: Interior Minister to carry out additional probe into Cambodia elite passports
4. Cyprus plans to strip citizenships after uproar over passports
5. Cyprus Mail: Names of those on passports to be revoked made public

U.S. Department of Treasury
1. Treasury Sanctions Corruption and Material Support Networks
2. United States Takes Action Against Corruption and Serious Human Rights Abuse – PRESS STATEMENT by MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE
3. American Shipper: US sanctions aim to topple Cambodian timber magnate

Radio Free Asia
1. How Did Cambodia’s First Family Afford Their Long Island Home?
3. Foreign Homes of Cambodia’s Top Officials and Family Reflect Tenuous Grip at Home
6. អចលនទ្រព្យ​នៅ​ក្រៅ​ប្រទេស​របស់​ក្រុម​អភិជន​ខ្មែរ
7. មុខមាត់បុគ្គលដែលជួយអ្នកមានអំណាចខ្មែរឲ្យលួចលុយជាតិ
8. The ‘Respectable’ Faces that Help Cambodia’s Elite Loot the Country

Transparency International
1. Corruption and Cambodia’s – Governance System – The Need for Reform – National Integrity System Assessment 2014
2. For 2018, Transparency International ranked Cambodia the 161st out of 180 countries worldwide.
3. For 2019, Transparency International ranked Cambodia the 162nd out of 183 countries worldwide.
4. SEA GLOBE of 23 January 2020 reported: Cambodia once again ranked Southeast Asia’s most corrupt country
6. Cambodian PM Hun Sen’s Niece Buys Cypriot Villas For €2.5 Million

This file will be updated with new developments as they happen in the future, bearing in mind what Ovid once said: “All things can corrupt when minds are prone to evil” to which George Bernard Shaw added: Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.

Post scriptum: Maurice Eisenbruch’s “The cloak of impunity in Cambodia II: justice

It’s 9 November 2019!

My dear Kacvey,

Are your students celebrating the 66th Anniversary of Khmer Independence at home or with the people who want Cambodia to be independent from the yoke of the ex-Khmer Rouge who transformed himself into a vulgar dictator in the same mold as his once-mentor, Pol Pot?

Oh, sorry for the interruption, just received a message from swallow Phkaï Mphéy that reads as follows: “Chheu Smaa getting further bogged down in its stubbornness has solicited Cha Cha assistance not to allow the exiled from landing in Bangkok. Chheu Smaa admits that to let the exiled be in Thailand is the prelude to its political end. Cha Cha seems to understand that if the exiled appeared at the borders, Chheu Smaa could not control its rogue elements and this would force Cha Cha to respond accordingly. Bloodbath would be inevitable at the border. Therefore Cha Cha gambled big by rescuing Chheu Smaa that will forever owe a big debt to Cha Cha until its death. Chheu Smaa is really afraid of letting the exiled landed in Pochentong. Cheeu Smaa doesn’t want the exiled to arrive in the City of Tonle Buon Mouk because it’s always been haunted by the image and aura of million of Khmer greeting the exiled in 2013 and the funerals procession of Mr. Kem Ley in July 2016. Chheu Smaa doesn’t want the exiled to be in Bangkok because from there the exiled could gather a massive column of followers to the border. In sum, Chheu Smaa doesn’t want the exiled to come to Cambodia at all: the stake is too high for Chheu Smaa if the exiled is in Cambodia or nearby Cambodia. Chheu Smaa’s concept of win-win turns out to be shamefully loose-loose. Therefore, Chheu Smaa has decided to kowtow to Cha Cha to save its feathers the same way it did to Vietnam 42 years ago in Kg Cham. Chheu Smaa prefers to do its best to maintain the status quo of its power and will see what emerges in the future. The connection between Chheu Smaa and the real people is totally severed and Chheu Smaa knows it and he also knows that it can never be restored. Chheu Smaa, from its nest in Old Man Khmau fortress is trying very hard not to fall into the 4 quicksands that bubble in his backyard. Chheu Smaa is flapping its wings stronger and stronger against the quicksands magnetism that attracts harder and harder every passing day. For now, Cha Cha has sent Chheu Smaa a lifeline, but like any lifeline, it is a temporary measure. End of message

Hope your students will greet and join the Khmer without arms including their grandfathers and grandmothers, parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces, neighbors, friends an acquaintances in their awakening on 9 November 2019. Together, on that auspicious day, they plan the seed of CHANGE and will look after it patiently, vigilantly and bravely until Chheu Smaa succumbs under the weight of the people’s will and thirst for democracy, freedom, and INDEPENDENCE.

My dear Kacvey,
Swallow Phkaï Mphéy has returned from Poipet where the police and military on both sides of the frontier sensed that somebody had stood them up. They were, however, excused by the population for just trying to do their job without knowing what sort of job it was about.
Meanwhile, Cha Cha seemed not too happy as the exiled was more ore less welcomed in Kuala Lumpur instead. On top of that, he has been officially invited by a parliamentarian from Penang and daughter of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, to a meeting at the Parliament building of Malaysia on Tuesday 12 November 2019. When it wakes up from the so-so ceremony of Independence, would Chheu Smaa be trying to convince Dr. M to change his mind or to instruct its envoy in Kuala Lumpur to play imbecile like the one in Jakarta? Other swallow will update us accordingly. But it’s safe to say that Chheu Smaa has so far been outsmarted by voodoo props set up in Old Man Khmau, Poipet and Pochentong.

Three Days To Go

My dear Kacvey,

After receiving a signal from Chheu Smaa, Phkaï Mphéy flew strait to the roof of Albert Sarrault Museum. They met and perched on a horn overlooking a garuda on the other side of the street.

Phkaï Mphéy: So, Cha Cha has just thrown you a lifeline, ha!
Chheu Smaa: I have no choice. They are carrying their plan through.
Phkaï Mphéy: Why did you suspect that?
Chheu Smaa: I misread his intention. And I tried to catch up, but it was too late.
Phkaï Mphéy: So you decided to deploy tanks, missiles, machine guns and all that shit to impress.
Chheu Smaa: It didn’t work to the level I expected.
Phkaï Mphéy: You knew from your guerrilla life experience that military force without population participation is pure BS. And then you played the civil aviation, the posters, the embassy in Jakarta, the statements by some of those idiots around you.
Chheu Smaa: It was a turmoil and then so many meetings outside the country. And the EU/EBA dateline …
Phkaï Mphéy: What did they whisper in the back door of Nonthaburi building?
Chheu Smaa: They know what’s going on, but they didn’t seem to be behind me all the way, except the usual two.
Phkaï Mphéy: Not a good sign for you in the long run.
Chheu Smaa: We’ll see, but for now there won’t be split screens on 9 November: Independence Monument on the left and Poipet on the right.
Phkaï Mphéy: Cha Cha sent you a life line. You now owe him a big one.
Chheu Smaa: I guess!
Phkaï Mphéy: Cha Cha must hate to see you on trial for masterminding bloodbath at his border; that’s why he said “he probably won’t get in”
Chheu Smaa: Got to call Cha Cha’s ambassador when I’ll get back.
Phkaï Mphéy: What are you going to do with “him” from now on? He also scored a big one against you: he did what he promised to his supporters, until Cha Cha stopped him. He shook you up badly to a point that Cha Cha threw you a life support 3 days before the promised date.
Chheu Smaa: I’m out of steam right now and hope I can recover a little bit once the Independence Day parade and the Om Touk are over. The well of ideas is totally dry.
Phkaï Mphéy: Didn’t Cha Cha send you a secret message inside his “he probably won’t get in”?
Chheu Smaa: What do you mean?
Phkaï Mphéy: Did you read the Bangkok Post Editorial?
Chheu Smaa: That also seems to be the whispers in Nonthaburi.
Phkaï Mphéy: Are you going to think about that now?
Chheu Smaa: Let me breathe for a few days and we’ll talk again after 9/11.

Then, the two swallows parted and flew off: Phkaï Mphéy towards Poipet for an on-the-spot update after releasing few droppings here and there, Chheu Smaa heading South.

Two Editorials

My dear Kacvey,

Please share the full text of two editorials with your students and hope they would further share them with their parents, relatives and friends.

1) Bangkok Post of 26 October 2019: Hun Sen must compromise

As a result of his brutal political purge against the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and its senior members over the past few years, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has got what he wanted. His ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won a “fake”, uncontested election last year and he has prolonged his stay in power. But he has left the future of his country and its people in disarray.

Since the court dissolved the CNRP and banned its 118 members from politics for five years in 2017, Cambodia has become a de facto one-party state, and democracy is practically dead there. The country is facing the prospect of trade sanctions by the West which could put its economy in jeopardy.

Now opposition leaders are calling for a fresh election and reinstatement to their political roles. Their return could help rebalance power in politics, a good thing for the country. Hun Sen should have compromised to let it happen as he has done in the past.

But asking for political pluralism in Cambodia nowadays has proven to be a request too far for the strongman. Since the CNRP’s acting president, Sam Rainsy, and other exiled opposition leaders pledged in August to re-enter the country by land on Nov 9, the country’s Independence Day, Hun Sen has had dozens of CNRP supporters and leaders arrested and threatened to deploy the armed forces against those who dare to return.

The Thai government, for its part, has signalled that it will not allow the opposition leaders to execute their plan to lead Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand on a march back into their homeland as part of a “people’s movement” against Hun Sen. Last Sunday, Mu Sochua, the CNRP deputy leader, was denied entry to Thailand at Suvarnabhumi airport and has returned to the US where she is also a citizen.

While some doubt whether Sam Rainsy’s plan could succeed, it does not supersede the fact that Cambodia and its people would be better off if the opposition party were reinstated and its members allowed to participate in politics again.

For Hun Sen, he cannot overlook the fact that his political crackdown and the flawed election could cost his country trade benefits from the EU and the US. The EU is considering whether to scrap trade preferences — duty-free access for all exports to the EU, except arms — which are vital to Cambodia’s economy, while the US has already begun introducing diplomatic sanctions and reviewing its preferential trade scheme with the country.

Hun Sen may have banked on investment from China over the past few years, but there has been growing unease among many Cambodians regarding Chinese influence, especially given that the benefits of these deals have not been widely shared with local people.

Some may hail Cambodia’s “political stability” as a boon that has helped spur economic growth, but such stability was the result of Hun Sen’s ruthless crackdown on his rivals. Deep down, there must have been resentment among many Cambodians.

Hun Sen should stop gambling on his reliance on investment from, and trade with, China. There is no need to risk losing trade benefits with the West.

To most outsiders, as well as many Cambodians, the political purge against the CNRP is politically motivated and unjustified. Hun Sen should start letting the opposition leaders reenter politics before sympathy towards them grows further — not just among their supporters but also from within the ruling CPP and among the military top brass. A return to democracy will benefit his country politically, socially and economically.

2) The Washington Post of 27 October 2019: Cambodia’s strongman wants ‘democracy’ without competition

HUN SEN, the authoritarian prime minister of Cambodia, is worried, and is using every trick in the book to threaten Sam Rainsy of the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, who plans to return to Cambodia from exile on Nov. 9. Mr. Hun Sen dominates parliament and politics — his ruling party won all 125 seats in parliament in the 2018 election — but still shows signs of insecurity over the return of Mr. Rainsy, an exponent of democracy, returning for the first time in four years.

Mr. Rainsy’s supporters have been flashing a nine-fingers sign to mark the date. The prime minister told students during remarks at a recent graduation ceremony, “Don’t ever join the nine-fingers campaign. If you dare do it, you should have one of your remaining fingers cut off.” Speaking of Mr. Rainsy, he added, “It is a plot to carry out a coup d’etat, for regime change! Millions of people and armed forces are waiting for you on November 9. Your head is not made from iron.”

Mr. Rainsy, who led his party to large gains in the 2013 and 2017 elections, has also been blunt about his intentions, telling Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service that the goal of his return is to lead a “tsunami” of his followers to restore democracy and arrest Mr. Hun Sen. He also vowed to “liberate” Kem Sokha, a co-founder of the banned party, who has been under house arrest since 2017 on fabricated charges of treason.

Since Mr. Rainsy’s return was announced in August, Cambodian authorities have launched a fresh crackdown on members of the outlawed party. More than 50 have been charged with crimes, and 31 have been jailed, according to Human Rights Watch. All the charges “appear to be baseless and politically motivated,” Human Rights Watch said. Ideally, Mr. Rainsy’s return should be an opportunity to breathe some competition into the political scene. Mr. Hun Sen prefers “democracy” in which voters have only one choice.

Not surprisingly, the prime minister would also prefer to be unbothered by independent journalism. A trial of two journalists has moved from being unjust to being just farce. Espionage charges should never have been brought against Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, who worked for Radio Free Asia. Their trial concluded Aug. 9. Instead of a verdict, the judge ordered a new investigation. The case stems from Radio Free Asia’s closing of its bureau in Phnom Penh in September 2017, following threats from the government. Three days after the bureau’s closure, the reporters filed one more story, which was published. Nevertheless, the Cambodian government warned that any journalists still working for Radio Free Asia would be treated as spies. In November 2017, the journalists were charged with “illegally collecting information for a foreign source,” and a charge of producing pornography was later added. The journalists say they are innocent and have appealed. The case is a travesty of justice and should be dismissed.

Dirtier-Than-Dirt Hypocrites

My dear Kacvey,

Hope your students have now learned where Cyprus is, its history that dated back eon years BC, its present relationship with Greece and Turkey, its difference between the Northern part under Turkey administration and the Southern part Cypriot etc …

If they don’t, this Special Report from Reuters will give them a hint how Cyprus has become a heaven for the dirtier-than-dirt hypocrites that pretend to serve the country under the weak strongman ex-KR-turned-autocrat.

In fact the Reuters Special Report complement the 2 previous reports by Global Witness and Human Rights Watch. The 3 reports are now put together for your students to have a comprehensive picture of the magnitude of corruption and deceitfulness that “those dirty guys” are destroying Cambodia and maximizing their personal interests immorally and devilishly. One can wonder are these guys openly betray the hands that feed them with corrupt wealth and power and the corrupter is so blind that he doesn’t feel that the rugs have been pulled away from under his feet? Autocracy also has big corruption problems inside its cancerous body.

Just wondering if some of your students might be related one way or another to these dirtier-than-dirt hypocrites!

1. Reuters
Special Report: Khmer Riche – How relatives and allies of Cambodia’s leader amassed wealth overseas

2. Global Witness
HOSTILE TAKEOVERHow Cambodia’s ruling family are pulling the strings on the economy and amassing vast personal fortunes with extreme consequences for the population.

3. Human Rights Watch
Cambodia’s Dirty Dozen

To paraphrase Mike Quigley, Cyprus has now a reputation as a laundromat for the corrupt group of Cambodians who are betraying and trying to escape the autocratic rule of their own corrupt leader.

One Month To Go

(continued from Two Months To Go)

The two swallows met again on the roof of Albert Sarrault Museum to chat. Both seem anxious and nervous.
Phkaï Mphéy: How did you hold it up with the trip to Inner River?
Chheu Smaa: Not great but OK. They were not as warm as before.
Phkaï Mphéy: No surprise. NXP is the 7th while you’re the same since ever; the other one is not that “sTrong” either.
Chheu Smaa: Not fun anymore. 1977 in the jungle was better than last week’s stiffness in the state buldings of the capital.
Phkaï Mphéy: Did you get their full support for 9 November issue?
Chheu Smaa: Not really. They implied that it’s my business; I’ve to handle it alone.
Phkaï Mphéy: Bad news, then?
Chheu Smaa: Not an encouragement.
Phkaï Mphéy: That’s why you started swinging like a mad man as soon as you got off the plane or as we talked last time about your « plan ».
Chheu Smaa: I don’t have many alternatives. Neither Duck nor White can assure that their men are all in the game.
Phkaï Mphéy: Your game?
Chheu Smaa: Yes, my game plan.
Phkaï Mphéy: Didn’t I warn you, did I?
Chheu Smaa: Yeah, that’s why I now have to use tough war language.
Phkaï Mphéy: Do you think that your words now have more salt than before?
Chheu Smaa: I know they don’t, that’s why I’m doubling down with the arrests.
Phkaï Mphéy: How are the judges are going to handle those cases without evidence?
Chheu Smaa: Look, arrest them first “chap veer sen” and will see after 9/11.
Phkaï Mphéy: That’s a dead game plan! Don’t put a nook around your neck!
Chheu Smaa: I’ve been very patient since 2013, and there it is: my patience has been burnt out.
Phkaï Mphéy: So, you think that bringing out big guns against EWA is the only answer to your solo stratagem!
Chheu Smaa: Who or what is EWA?
Phkaï Mphéy: “Everybody Without Arms”
Chheu Smaa: Look, Pol Pot did it, and nobody can tell me I can’t do it. Who rules the ECCC?
Phkaï Mphéy: Yes, so far nobody yet, but how certain are you that soldiers or policemen will press the triggers?
Chheu Smaa: Get to check it again with the intelligence son.
Phkaï Mphéy: You know what: you have not thought through yet. You let your emotion run your fear of defeat and your thirst for blind vengeance.
Chheu Smaa: I have thought through, and that’s what I’m going to do.
Phkaï Mphéy: One simple question: What if you can’t catch him but he is inside the country?
Chheu Smaa: He can’t enter the country without being detected.
Phkaï Mphéy: How did Yingluck flee Thailand?
Chheu Smaa: He can’t hide as I have eyes everywhere.
Phkaï Mphéy: Are you sure what your “eyes” could truly see or they would only see what you want them to see? If so, what have they seen?
Chheu Smaa: Nothing critical yet.
Phkaï Mphéy: You still haven’t t thought through and your “eyes” need serious amounts of eye-drops. What if thousands of EWA spontaneously and simultaneously showed up like mushrooms throughout the country and marched towards one specific destination?
Chheu Smaa: That’s a different equation. What is your own plan?
Phkaï Mphéy: My kids will skip classes and will fly to join them. My wife and few relatives will do shopping in neighboring capitals. I’ll be near Poipet with multiple-entry visa to Espace Schengen, and the stars on my shoulders will be at Psar Thméy pawn shop. I have enough for the family to hang around in Espace Schengen for a few Years and waiting to see how the future of the country will turn to be.
Chheu Smaa: You’re deserting me.
Phkaï Mphéy: Not deserting you, but you isolate yourself from your true people that have been with you through thick and thin, and you seem to be totally lost in your own new universe with unprincipled sycophants.
Chheu Smaa: I don’t have my universe.
Phkaï Mphéy: Because nobody dare talk to you the way I do. You own them. Outside of your universe, it’s EWA that owes you nothing.
Chheu Smaa: Time for physical therapy and I will send you a signal for our next chat.

One flew back to its nest in Old Man Khmao, the other to join the swarm of conscientious swallows near the bank of Tonlé Buon Mouk.

Three Songs, One Of Which Is Khmer

My dear Kacvey,

Your students might already and surely heard or known about these 3 anti-oppression songs; they were all written by young and contemporary composers to express their thirst for true democracy and freedom that they want to liberate from the yoke of autocracy, military or otherwise.

Smart phones with headsets are good devices for your students to listen again to these songs at their time and leisure, regardless whether they are banned by the authorities. The songs are from three different countries but the music can travel beyond the controlled borders the same way the idea and value of democracy and freedom do.

Let play the music of freedom and democracy through the links below:

The Guardian
‘Gun at your throat’: viral rap song tests freedom of speech in Thailand

Voice of America
In Cambodia, Politics Push Musicians Into Self-Censorship

The Guardian
‘Glory to Hong Kong’: pro-democracy anthem embraced by protesters


何以  土这地  泪再流
何以  令众人  亦憤恨
昂首  拒默沈  吶喊声  响透
盼自由   归于  这里

何以  这恐惧  抹不走
何以 为信念 从没退后
何解  血在流  但迈进声 响透
建自由  光辉  香港

在晚星  坠落 彷徨午夜
迷雾里  最远处吹来  号角声
捍自由  来齐集这里  来全力抗对
勇气  智慧  也永不灭

黎明来到  要光复  这香港
同行儿女  为正义  時代革命
祈求  民主与自由  万世都不朽

We pledge: No more tears on this land.
In wrath, doubts dispelled, we make our stand.
Arise! ye who will not be slaves again;
For Hong Kong, may freedom reign!

Though deep is the dread that lies ahead,
Yet still, with our faith, on we tread.
Let blood rage afield! Our voice grows ever more:
For Hong Kong, may glory reign!

Stars may fade, as darkness fills the air;
Through the mist, a solitary trumpet flares:
Now to arms! For freedom we fight! With all might we strike!
With valor and wisdom both, we stride!

Break now the dawn, liberate our Hong Kong,
In common breath: “Revolution of our time!”
May people reign, proud and free, now and ever more;
Glory be to thee, Hong Kong!

As Plato, once, said: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”