mercredi, novembre 28, 2007

News of Cambodia N° 0741-E


Khemara Jati
Montreal, Quebec
November 4th, 2007

For some time, the most important fact is that all the Cambodians, more particularly those living abroad, realizes the mortal danger of the Nation due to the military, human and, economic invasion of the Vietnamese. The crucial problem for the future of our Motherland lies in the possibility for Cambodia to become a vietnamese province. Some Cambodians predict that it will be done even in around ten coming years and maybe before.

As solution?

Some try to know what is saying in « Put Tom Neay », as for the westerner Nostradamus in some difficult times. For some others, they seek for “Preah Bath Thormeuk”, that is a “Superman” or an extraterrestrial to save Cambodia. All this because they do not believe any more in the promises never held by major powers. And also because they do not trust in the capacities of our people to take up this mortal (death) challenge. In Cambodia, our fellow countrymen know since from January 1979, that the objective of Hanoi is to transform Cambodia to another Kampuchea Krom. They distrust totally sweet words made by Hanoi, then after the signature of the Paris Agreements of October 23rd, 1991, promises never held by major powers and by the UNO.

It is necessary to remember some enthusiasm of the Cambodians abroad, in particular in France at the time when these famous Paris Agreements is signing. Cambodians fought for places (seat) to be shown in the banquet offered by Sihanouk, Son Sann, Khieu Samphan and Hun Sen. The same scenario happened in New York. Then the show setting by the French President Mitterrand executed by his Minister of the Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas while Sihanouk returned back to Phnom Penh in the Hanoi's cage carried out by its lackey Hun Sen. It is necessary to know the chronology of what takes place after this return which we shall diffuse some time, soon. Cambodian people knew perfectly that the Vietnamese troop’s withdrawal was only a farce accepted by major powers. Phnom Penh was tiredly controlled and strongly covered by the vietnamese police Dacon and the vietnamese servicemen disguised as civilian. The international community living in Phnom Penh closed eyes and ears. To show that they are not dupes of this sideshow setting up with big spectacle, the Cambodian people of Phnom Penh organize the big demonstrations, begun on December 17th, 1991 against the regime set up by the Vietnamese since 1979. This demonstration ends by the bloody massacre of December 23rd 1991, executed by the Vietnamese police who fired at point-blank range at the crowd, under the eyes and camera of the diplomats and western media. From Cambodian source, there would be hundreds of deaths. Since then no inquiry was ever made. Why this massacre in this date? It is necessarily that these demonstrations end up before December 25th, the thirteenth anniversary of the Vietnamese troops invasion in Cambodia.

Following this massacre, the UN was obliged to appoint hastily, on January 9th 1992, the Japanese Yasushi Akashi to form and steer UNTAC. Japan was obliged to pay out 3 billions of US dollars for this operation. Akashi applied the directives of Tokyo to defend the interests of Japan in Cambodia.

Other Cambodians abroad, wonder how the Jews were able to keep their cultural identities since more two thousand years, in spite of the multiple pogroms and massacre? The last one in date has just taken place during the last and second World War. To understand how the Jewish people are deeply cancel in the terrible undergone events, it would be necessary to read Simone Veil's book; « My Life », Ed. Stock, which has just publish in France. By reading of this book allows us to compare the industrial method of the massacres in concentration camp of Auschwitz, in Poland, with the medieval manner of Tuol Sleng, in Cambodia. Nazi Germany is a highly industrial society. Cambodia of the Khmer Rouge is a society of illiterate farmers. Auschwitz and Tuol Sleng illustrates perfectly these two social structures. Germany is now the third economic power of the world, Cambodia among the poorest. Germany: 0 % of illiterates, Cambodia 50 % of illiterates and 0 % of industry using the Cambodian grey cells. We wish that our fellow countrymen who have possibilities, go to visit Auschwitz and read Simone Veil's book.

Some Cambodians wonder: « why the Jews are so résilients? ». To answer this question:

1/. It is necessary to know that there is no single illiterate Jew in the world. The very young 15-year-old Jew must know how to comment the Torah, the sacred text of the Jews, in the Synagogue, in front of rabbis, in Hebrew. Also the women and the Jewish girls are oblige to know the Hebrew to be able to educate it to the sons and boys. Now in certain Jewish communities, the 15-year-old girls also must be able to do it as the boys of the same age. It is what explains that of any time, there are scholars and learned Jews, like Newton and Einstein, among the most known. Nowadays there are also numerous Jews among the best scholars, the artists, the musicians and the other intellectuals of the world. There is no Jewish worker in factories, as we were able to notice the number of Cambodian workers. We recommend reading the book “1492” of Jacques Attali, now available in small format. This book is also the history summarizing of how Europe is taken up in power from the moment when the printing office is invented in 1450. Attali summarizes this history at the beginning of his book as follow:

« Europe is this giant: trained by multiple scholars when the Roman Empire of the West gets rid, she slumbers during almost a millennium. Then at a moment of fate and necessity, she pushes aside those who are surround her and dashes in the universe's conquest, massacring the peoples of all around, appropriating their wealth, stealing their names, their past, their history. »
Jaques Attali, in « 1492 », Ed. Fayard, Paris 1991, page 9.

Can Cambodia's history be written without taking into account interventions of the Europeans in Southeast Asia and in East Asia from the Portuguese’s arrival at Malacca in 1511? Of nowadays can we understand or exclude what is taking place in Cambodia without taking into account conflicts of the geostrategic interests of major powers?

2/. After Hitler's defeat the surviving Jews got back their real estates and almost all the personal properties. They are honored and helped by their native countries. The young Jew people were able to begin or to benefit their studies with scholarships while families are deprived. Some even obtained Nobel prizes.

3/. The Jews people show strong solidarity between them. Many in the United States are very rich and help their families in Europe and also societies of helps. Nowadays the Jews in the world send billions of US dollars to the Israel government. It is very rare practically none Jew attacks another Jew in politics.

4/. The Jews are deeply attached to their history. Nowadays many Jews make researches trying to confirm or to counter certain passages of their written history, by archaeological proofs. These researches are often financed by the State of Israel and the rich Jews.

5/. The Jews have owed great respect for their deaths. For example, in « 1492 », they are chased away by Spain in abominable conditions considered nowadays, to read the book of J. Attali « 1492 ». They abandoned everything, in particular their real estates. But before leaving, they asked the Spanish authorities to protect and maintain their cemeteries. During the Second World War, the Spanish power of Franco had not participated in Jews' extermination in Europe. On the other hand, for four centuries, the Spanish cities are expanding and the Jewish cemeteries are in the middle of almost in the center of cities in the XXth century. In sign of gratitude, the Jews accepted that their cemeteries are moved. So the Spanish authorities held their promise during four centuries. The Jews have never accepted that Jewish bones are exposed to tourists.

We wish that our fellow countrymen study and meditate seriously on the Jew’s history then try to find means to unite and gather us together in order to fight against the vietnamese domination.

All the experiences of the world show that the history and the culture are the fundamental bases of the Unity of a Nation. Their perpetuity lies in their written support. Any culture based on the oral way is condemned to disappear. The experience in Africa, where the peoples are obliged to learn another language than that of their ancestors, is not it there to illustrate the fact ? In Latin America, some countries are setting back to honor the languages of their ancestors. They invent or adapt new words to be able to teach them in universities. It is the only solution to be able to teach, read and write, in one word, it is the best way to quickly learn to the whole people and make her known the knowledge of the contemporary world. It is the only solution allowing the farmers and the intellectuals to speak and write in the same language. It is important that the abstract languages in sciences, techniques, philosophy etc., become common use in city as well as in the village. Why do not try to understand France fighting with force for the world French-speaking (francophonie) ? Because the defense of the French language crosses by publishing the knowledge and books in French then distributing all over the world. Cambodia is the only country of our region that her national language is neglected. Why? The Cambodians in the eastern area of the country are learning the vietnamese language and on the Western the thai language. The languages of our neighbors are richer in vocabulary than ours ? So the invasion of our neighbors begins with the linguistic invasion. Are we capable of understanding it in time?

Some of our fellow countrymen, especially those living abroad, looks for excuses to take action in fighting against the vietnamese domination, but refuse to make slightest effort to help our fellow countrymen in Cambodia to develop our language and to use it in the universities, as in other countries of our area. The education of universities in national language is the only means to form quickly a big number of scientists, technicians of all levels, archaeologists, philosophers, historians etc. And at the same time bring up of knowledge’s level within the people by books of popularizations in any kind, including the books on the religion especially the Buddhism.

Once again, we publish below a long extract of the Conference made by Louis Malleret in 1946, diffused first time on Thursday, February 23rd 2004, and in 2006, because it remains always of current events even nowadays, especially in Cambodia of today. We would like to mention that this text was translated into Cambodian by Eng Sereiboth, distributed by Angkor Borei News (Long Beach in California) in 2004 and also by Ku Srahsrey magazine (Part 1), Year 2, No. 24 November on 2007 (pp 55-61) :

The vietnamisation of Cochinchina during colonial period and
Cambodia nowadays
(Unofficial translation from french by Khemara Jati)

Extract of the Conference given by L. Malleret on « The Minority of Cambodian in Cochinchina published in the Bulletin of the Société des Etudes Indochinoises, volume XXI 1st half of year 1946.

« It is happened to me, by crossing the provinces of Cochinchina, some times by walk, on horseback, in cart or in sampan, to accept the frank hospitality of the Cambodian pagodae. One in a hurried to bring me some coconuts to quench my thirst, whereas I offered in return incenses or a package of tea. In the rest hall of the hosts, a mat is widened and, when the air is pure and light, I do not know any feeling more serene than that to extend over the sieves of bamboo of these houses on pilotis, whereas the monks dressing in saffron pass silently in the classes and although a roguish wind murmurs in the high bundles of coconut palms.

« But often, I arrived at the time when the pagoda’s school loudly of the rustle of the young children and it drives me quite naturally to evoke here the problem of the education which settles under a grave aspect, for the Cambodian minority of Cochinchina. This forms a homogeneous group, by her language, her religion, her customs, her tradition. Attached to protect her manners, she feels reluctant to send her children to the French-annamite school and has only very rarely of French-Khmer schools.

« We tried up to here to solve the difficulty by favoring the development of the traditional education in the pagodae’s schools. These are three types. Some are independent and, therefore, escape completely of our control. We counted 95 in 1944, gathering 1 038 pupils. Others are subsidized. There was 20 at the beginning of 1945, with 571 pupils. Finally, for fifteen years, we attempted to multiply the number of the pagoda's schools called “renewed”, where the education is given by monks, who followed a training of perfection, in Phnom Penh, at Tra-vinh or at Soc-trang and that we try hard to advise as much as allowing the right of glance that we can appropriate on establishments of almost exclusively religious. The number of the schools of this type started from 37 in 1930, to 90 in 1936, and to 209 in 1944, among which we counted 1 093 girls, up to here traditionally pushed away from the education profit. In the same time, the number of official French-Khmer schools did not exceed 19 with only 30 teachers.

« Here, there is a problem which draws attention. Whatever the care which we brought to the training of the monk-teachers, the creation of the pagoda's schools, even though “renewed”, is only a means of fortune, which would not know how to replace an education of normal type for two cycles : the one elementary, where the vehicle of the education can remain into the Cambodian, the other one additional with initiation into the French's knowledge. But we collide with the difficult question to recruit the teachers and all the begun efforts, for the school penetration, in the Cambodian countries, are paralyzed by this numeric and qualitative lack of staff. Then I shall still move here a wish in favor of Cambodians of Cochinchina. It is because the number of the elementary and primary French-Khmer's schools is quickly greater. So as to form people provided with basic school-leaving qualification, capable, some to become auxiliary teachers, the others to receive a first contingent of pupils-teachers, in teachers-training colleges, in which it will be necessary to avoid, if we certainly intend to break down the policy of primary education with discount, which was followed in Indochina, since the economic crisis of 1929-1933.

« This problem affects not only in the obligation to grant to the Cambodian children of Cochinchina the primary academic standard of which they entitled. It contains also the serious question of an elite's recruitment. In the Cambodian minority of the Low-Mekong, as well as in the whole of Cambodia, the fact to be observed is that this society is totally deprived really of ruling class except the clergy. In the old Khmer kingdom, it is often Annamites who supply the contingent of the civil servants of the administration
[1] or who occupy the liberal occupations, and this situation, the Cambodians of whom are the first ones in alarming, without much reacting, seems having very long previous history. It is remarkable, indeed, that the decline of this country coincided with the time when Moslem invasions occurred in India. From the moment when Cambodia was deprived of the frame brought by brahmanes, it seems that its decay began[2]. There are some reasons indeed which causing the dried up of an elite's recruitment that happended at the same effects, in the former Fou-nan, when the Siameses opposed recently to the Cambodian nation's recovery, by massacring ruling classes or by taking them in captivity during their raids.

« What ever how it may, the urgent work, the necessary work, is to grant to the Cambodian minority of Cochinchina the means to protect her personality, while creating for her, schools and especially by breaking from the congrue's portion way which is consisting to pay to Cambodian municipal teachers derisory salaries, as it was the case in Cochinchina, in 1943, when the teachers recruited in a difficult moment, received for the price of their professional activity, included reparations, twenty one piastre a month

« The problem of the school penetration, in this minority, is not the only one who deserves to require our willingness, but it is of a major importance, because all the others derive from the ignorance where the Cambodian farmer found of her rights. Very attached to her land, she is not armed to defend her patrimony, and often becomes the victim of incredible despoliations. Her monks who are her natural guardians and who maintained them in the way of a magnificent high moral remain strictly attached to the tradition and without cares on the obligations and the rigors of the modern existence. The “ achars”, respected old men whom one seek advices in difficult occasions, are, them either, no other than of very nice people attached to the non-written custom, and divested of resources, in front of the merciless necessities of a social organization, where the good faith of the weak is exposed to hard assaults.

« The contact of two populations, the one active and enterprising, the other apathetic person and the traditionalist, consumes daily abuses, which our country would not know how to cover with their indifference, and seems raising of federal arbitrage mission which is devolved to the responsible in Indochina. I know a conglomeration of Long-xuyen province, where the fusion of the Cambodian village with an annamite village, decision made without precaution by the authority, result to the complete dispossession of her municipal lands from the first one (Cambodian village) for the benefit of the second (village annamite) which was poor, in the way that the school of this one (village annamite) became prosperous, whereas the school of the other one (Cambodian village) vegetates henceforth for lacking of resources
[4]. I shall also quote, a Cambodian hamlet of the province of Rach-gia, located far from roads and canals, one day the inhabitants of that place knew, by me, with bewilderment, that they were not any more owners of their lands where they are born. Their house having been incorporated into the Public domain, because having no regular title or not having been informed about the direction of the demarcation's operations, they had not appeared in front of the cadastral commissions[5].

« It is necessary to wonder if, in front of what they consider as arbitrary measures, the Cambodians abandon, sometimes en masse, certain villages, to flee the injustice and the despoliation. Creditors, annamites or Chinese, make illiterate Khmer farmers sign leonine acts which succeed, in brief term, in the total dispossession of the debtor. The evil had become so obvious and the wear very usual of similar expropriations that the French administration had to become alarming of it. In 1937, the visa of the recording was declared compulsory for the tickets of debts, with joint signature of the debtor and the creditor. At Tra-vinh, it seemed even necessary to require their presence during the registration of the mortgages on land registers.

« It would be wished, in another respect, that those were widened or strengthened some measures taken on the eve of the war by the French authority notably who prescribed that, in the mixed villages, the Khmer element is represented by a number of notables, proportional to her importance, or still, the one who established an auxiliary officer of marriage certificate, in the villages where Cambodian are in majority. But these measures could become completely effective, only if the appointed notables be part of it, under certain conditions and according to the numeric importance of the minority, among the most considerable of municipal council members.

« It is important also that the Cambodian element has the place from where she comes in the body of the elected members, whatever level they are established. We had proposed, about twenty years back, that the autonomous cantons, recovering directly from the superior authority, were organized, there where the minority appear in trainings enough compact to justify this measure. But we can conceive also that the name of leaders of Khmer cantons is compulsory declared, in the regions where the ethnic group is dominating, with cantons sub-commanders, there where it does not in the majority. Anyway, it is necessary that the Cambodians recover from civil servants or from councilors whom speaking their language and that, in the administrative competitions, certain number of places is reserved for the candidates for the public services, with temporarily, the special conditions. It seems indispensable that the Cambodian language is officially authorized, in the staff editorial of the requests or the administrative correspondence. Finally, we can only wish the development of the office of the Cambodian cases, which had been created on the eve of the war, with the cabinet of the Governor.

« More and more Cambodians became a certain important in Cochinchina in term of numbers. Far from being in recession, their number increases in every census. In 1888, they were 150 000 on 1 600 000 inhabitants. In 1925, they had become 300 000. On the eve of the war, we counted approximately 350 000, on a global population of less than 5 million inhabitants. Remarkable fact, their relations with the Chinese are excellent, and numerous Sino-Cambodian half-bloods who adopt gladly the customs of the mother which is rarely for the case of the half-bloods sino-annamites. The Khmers of Cochinchina maintain generally with Annamites the relations divested of sympathy. They (Annamites) call them with condescension, «Tho », which means the « people of the land », but they make contempt for contempt, by treating the others (Annamites) of «Yun », from the sanskrit « Yuvana », which means « Barbarian of the North »
[6]. It is certain that these hostilities, based on incompatibilities of customs, language, religion and also, on all the bitterness of old dispossessions, have the effect of maintaining a state of latent friction, harmful to the social peace, and which requires the control of an arbitrator.

« In this case, Cochinchina appears par excellence, as a federal land, where pathetic France in weak and generous to loyal subjects, has to make prevail solutions of justice and to restore the balance which tends to destroy in the world, coarse selection of the strongest. It is up to her to award to the Cambodian minority of the Low-Mekong, a political status which again was never defined clearly, to protect her rights by administrative measures, to maintain her cultural originality, to protect especially her real-estate fortune, patrimony which diminishes a little by little every day, by the effect of incredible abuses. I add that our country would not know how to lose interest either, of the moral condition of these populations. The Cambodian minority of Cochinchina traditionally leaned on the Buddhism of the South, whereas Annam adopted the Buddhism of the North. It belongs to France, old Christian and liberal nation, to become for the Southeast Asia a Buddhist metropolis like by Africa a Moslem metropolis. It is not any more the secret, that Japan had tried to organize in its profit, the sects of the Buddhism in Indochina, and that Siam pursued for a long time in Cambodia, the same purposes, for reasons of territorial expansion. The Cambodian monks of Cochinchina are placed in the brilliance of the Phnom Penh Buddhist Institute, also having ties with Laos, institute of federal chatered, the development of which is desirable and the importance would not know how to be underestimated. »


Nowadays in Cambodia, does not Vietnam is vietnamising Cambodia by making everything to hinder the development of the Cambodian language by all means and with major powers interested supports? China thinks only of developing the education in Chinese language, the United States and the others think only of developing the education in English language, France thinks only of developing the education in French language, Japan thinks only of developing the education in Japanese language.

Now Cambodia needs to form as fast as possible thousands, even thousands of thousand high-level engineers, thousands of thousands well formed technicians of any level. It is thus necessary to be able to select them most widely possible. It is thus necessary to take a particular care in the education in national language of primary classes to the high-level universities while favoring the learning of a foreign language as the second language. It is what takes place in all the developed countries of the world and also at our eastern as western neighbors.

We talk about the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) creation. It is curious to notice that this SEZ is granted in favor of private or foreign investments. On the other hand why some of these SEZ are curiously on our borders? This SEZ will need a big number of high-level engineers, high-level of administrators, technicians of all levels. Are not these SEZ responsibles going to take excuse of Cambodian lack of qualified personnel in order to recruit the Vietnamese staff in the East and the Thai staff on the West? Already the Cambodians in the East learn the vietnamese and the thai on the West? Is not Cambodia becoming another Cochinchina? Vietnam using the same strategy as France of colonial period for vietnamising Cochinchina?

In fact does not the President or Prime Minister of major powers are the great commercial or trade representative traveling all around the globe seeking to sell the products of their country ? Do not major powers dedicate enormous capital investing to develop the research and the high-technology industries? The policy does not consist in making only politics. The perpetuity of a nation lies in the development of its enriched written culture constantly in exchange with the other cultures and also by the development of its economy which cannot be managed by her own citizens. In brief, educated people are the base of the perpetuity of a nation. One call educated People when 10 % of the population are at university level and 50 % of the adult people buy at least one book per years. When will it be the case of Cambodia?

Are we so blind at the point of flowing in Kampuchea Krom experience, in Thailand and now in Cambodia? Are we capable of lighting or switching on a small candle instead of spending time complaining each other, accusing the past and cursing the darkness of our future ?

Note : Remarks are provided by Khemara Jati.

Le dimanche 4 novembre 2007
[1] It is about the colonial administration in Cambodia.
[2] Regretably, Malleret refers to the theses of Coedes. Thesis refuted by B.-P. Groslier.
[3] We would wish that Malleret also gives us informations on the annamites teacher’s salary.
[4] It is necessary to underline that the French administration of Cochinchina was in the hands of Annamites. The decision of fusion of both villages was thus intended to come to the result noticed by Malleret. The text of Malleret is of 1946. How many such decisions were taken since the beginning of the colonization, since 1860? There is still no research to know if Cambodians were minority in Cochinchina at the time when the Frenchmen arrived. Can we totally rely on the censuses made by the colonial authorities which were in the Annamite's hands? On the other hand the Cochinchina's borders moved westward in the Cambodia lost. We have witnesses who say that there was few Annamites in Saigon and none on Koh Tral's Island at the beginning of the XXth century. Mak Phœun in his article « The border between Cambodia and Vietnam of the XVIIth century during the French protectorate insitution, presented through the Khmer Royal chronicles », in « The Borders of Vietnam », supervised by P.B. Lafont, Ed. Harmattan, Paris 1989, pages 136 - 155.
[5] The demarcation's operations and the cadastral commissions made by the non-French agents and the other technical services, were 100 % annamites, in Cochinchina as well as in Cambodia.
[6] Unfortunately Malleret does not give the reference of his assertion. Until this day, there is no serious historic research on the previous history of the words Youn and Cochinchina for example. Nevertheless Youn comes from Yué or Viet. Vietnam = Yué of the South (nan = the South in chinese). The Chinese always name their neighbour of the South: Youan-nan. The term " Cochinchina " appeared the first time on the Indo-Chinese peninsula map drawn up by an unknown Portuguese by 1580; also on the "Oriental India" map according to the Mercator map (1613). These two maps are in " Indochina " in 2 volumes of Georges Maspéro, Ed. G. Van Oest, on 1929; also in the China map, in the Atlas of Mercator published by Jocondus Hondius, Amsterdam, on 1606, The Stapleton Collection. On these three maps Cochinchina is in China of the South, in the North of Champa and Camboia.