The Vietnamese domination of Cambodia
News from Cambodia N° 0733-E
Son Chhay and the vietnamese domination
We publish below declarations of the Deputy Son Chhay on the vietnamese domination in Cambodia under the kind of exploitation of the Rubber plant on 100 000 hectares of our lands.
We would like first of all to congratulate Son Chhay on his intervention which answers to the fundamental concerns of our fellow countrymen where ever they are. However, we like to underline that Son Chhay did not clarify about these former officers and soldiers of the Popular Army of Vietnam who come to settle definitively on our home with their family, women and children. It is a part of Hanoi plan to transform our country into vietnamese province. They are real colonies of populating as during colonial period. It is necessary to clarify also that the rubber production will be exported by the port of Prey Nokor as vietnamese rubber, as it is, already, the case for a million tons of Cambodian rice every year. This rice produces mainly in the eastern part of our country.
On this subject of the vietnamese colonization / settlers, we wish to add that the Vietnamese are widely profitable, even before the exploitation of these 100 000 hectares of our lands, by the sale of the pluri-hundred-years-old precious wood productions by plundering of our forests only.
On the other hand, let us call back that the vietnamese Sokimex company already owns immense lands in the big cities of Cambodia, in particular in Phnom Penh and at Sihanouk-ville and their province in the neighborhood; that the Vietnamese yeay Phu alone already swallows about 8 % of our territory?
We wish that Son Chhay or / and the other numerous patriotic personalities give us or express their opinion to the public onto a certain number of the other problems, unfortunately regrettably not exhaustive, which make that our country is becoming gradually to a vietnamese province very soon.
1 / For the independence of a country, the independence of energy is one of the fundamental factors, like the other country around the world.
a / Why attributing to the vietnamese companies of two hydroelectric dams construction in our provinces of the Northeast ? We know on the other hand that in order to build these dams, the Vietnamese are going to come to settle down definitively with their family including women, children and friends. Like already the case for the other constructions for examples of roads coming from Vietnam which continuing on our territory to drain our wealth towards the port of Prey Nokor? More, this electricity will be sold to Cambodians, by the vietnamese company, with big profit, because of the monopoly situation. The electricity on the West, up to Siem Reap is from Thailand. During the conflict with Thailand concerning the tourist exploitation of Preah Vihear Temple, Thailand threatened to cut its electricity. So to depending our energy especially electricity of our neighbors is to take place under the constant threat to be deprived of it. Why voluntarily put ourselves under the energy dependence of our neighbors? Why voluntarily put the independence of Cambodia under the energy dependence of our neighbors?
b / We know now that we have an important quantity of petroleum and natural gas. Why not, from now on, envisaging the construction of an oil refinery? A refinery of petroleum produces the other numerous products beside the gasoline. Let us remind that before 1970, Cambodia has an oil refinery near our first seaport Sihanouk-ville. All the independent countries have access to the sea, possess at least a port. Most of the seaports in the world are among most big cities of the planet. Some are even capitals of the country like London, Bangkok and Tokyo for example. Why, from now on, not envisaging projects to build electric thermal power stations to supply the electricity to the whole country? Instead of building networks lines with high tensions from our neighbors, in particular from Laos and from Vietnam, supplying electricity to our provinces of the North, the Northeast and East? Up to the neighborhood of Phnom Penh?
c / Why does the vietnamese Sokimex company continue to enjoy certain monopolies by importing the gasoline bought from Vietnam? Why, in Cambodia, the gas cost 50 % more expensive than at our neighbors? By plundering our wealth since its creation in 1979, Sokimex has a war treasure of several billions of US dollars, even dozens billions of US dollars! Now it is a State in the State and enjoys a total impunity.
d / Why contracts with foreign companies concerning the research and the exploitation of our wealth in hydrocarbons, remain always secret even for the Members of Parliament ? Is Sokimex associated in the exploitation of our wealth in hydrocarbons? Are there engineers, technicians and Cambodian administrators in the investigations, the exploitations of our petroleum and our gas?
In fact, why placing Cambodia under the total dependence of our neighbors, in particular in the energy matter : electricity and gasoline, while we have all the means for, not only to protect our energy independent but to sell more our energy wealth to our neighbors and in the world?
2 / The political independence depends largely on the economic independence. The economic independence passes by the importance of the national scientific and technical staff for all levels and in all subjects, capable of producing and of managing the whole economic device of the country.
Why for example, nowadays, does the French-Vietnamese Hospital of Prey Nokor outstrip by far the French-Cambodian Hospital in Phnom Penh? Why are we obliged to go to make analyze report in Vietnam the DNA of Cambodian Ko Prey ? Let us remind that during colonial period, in Cambodia, the Vietnamese had almost the same statutes as the Frenchmen. The Cambodians pay more tax per capita than the Vietnamese in Vietnam. Let us remind also that the Vietnamese in Cambodia did pay almost no tax! Because likened to Frenchmen! So the Vietnamese pupils at the secondary school Sisowath, in Phnom Penh, different from the Cambodian pupils, did not pay tax! It was the reason of the first strike of the Cambodian pupils in 1936! That, during colonial period, the best hospitals, the best secondary schools, all the scientific establishments as Institutes Ministers and the University are all in Vietnam! Built with the cooperation of the taxes raised in Cambodia. During the Japanese occupation, in the countryside, a Cambodian family had only a single dress to go out! Other members of the family, had to cloister themselves at home quite nude! Cambodia had no right to make some salt from their own sea water! Cambodia had to buy the salt produced in Vietnam. All the business of Cambodia was run by Prey Nokor! Why do major powers continue to impose us the same policies as during colonial period?
On the other hand, should not we revise profoundly our education system? Besides, to increase the salary of the teachers and professors? Should not we send a delegation, including high-level Cambodian specialists, to investigate on this subject in Vietnam, in Thailand, in Malaysia and in Finland? These countries which, as Malaysia and Finland, are spent within thirty years from poor countries to become rich countries with full employment? Let us remind that our neighbors already get ready to build nuclear power stations to produce some electricity. In when our turn?
An independent country passes first of all by the existing of the industries of high professional skill, means the industries with high added value, which requires the training of the engineers and the high-level scientists in great number. In Vietnam every year, more than 30 000 engineers of very high level are formed, without adding the technicians of all levels. Proportionally to the populations, it would be necessary to form in Cambodia at least 6 000 engineers of very high level yearly! When will be the case? How can we form quickly these engineers and scientists if the education in university is ruling all in foreign languages? English, French and Chinese? Is it the case to the countries which we have just quoted earlier? And in all other independent country? Comparing our country to Singapore and to India it is to underestimate totally the history and the education situation of these two countries! Why does Japan help Vietnam to develop the Vietnamese scientific and technical language?
3 / To develop the countryside, all independent countries develop the internal roads to facilitate the communications of peoples and the circulation of goods. It is the case of the countries that we have just quoted above ? When important projects to remedy this backward situation of our land communications, in particular towards our cities and villages in our borders? How to defend our borders if the best roads start from our borders towards our neighbors? Already the business at the border is ruling mainly towards our neighbors? For lack of being able to make it in Cambodia!
4 / The independence of a country is above all the territorial and maritime integrity of the country. Why Son Chhay or / and the other patriotic personalities are not going any more visiting our fellow countrymen living on our borders? Why not encouraging the national and international tourism towards Angkor Borei, capital of Fou Nan, one of the cradles of our civilization and our history? Angkor Borei, close to the Vietnamese border, is not it already vietnamized ? Why not asking official questions to delay concerning the installation of border points with Vietnam? Is it the asphalted road towards Preah Vihear is in construction? Otherwise in when? This road is going to irrigate at the same time our provinces of the North, already largely absorbing by the business with Thailand.
5 / The tourism develops very fruitfully. Angkor is the main engine of the development of the tourism in our region. This tourism influx benefits mainly our neighbors. Tourists coming from Vietnam, say that there is nothing as tourist in this country. So all the tourists coming in our region want to come to Angkor. So our neighbors and in particular Vietnam is obliged to include Angkor in the tourist journeys to visit Vietnam. Why Cambodia is the only country of the region without any airline company of international capacity? Before 1970, we had « Royal Air Cambodia » which was run well.
6 / To protect our territorial waters, it would be needed a navy capable of protecting it. We have military aids from the United States and China. On the other hand American and French warships come to cast anchor at Sihanouk-ville. Why does Cambodia remain, still incapable to prevent our neighbors from coming to plunder freely our halieutic wealth? Who will guarantee of offshore oil installations security? The navies of our neighbors? What are the necessity of having the good military relations with Washington, Paris and Beijing?
We wish that our fellow countrymen mobilize and gather on these questions concerning the future of our country and thus on the future of our children. Even only by the paper or / and by the public meetings.
How can we appreciate the helps value of major powers, if we do not know primarily what we need to defend long-term of our national independence? Our neighbors know very well what they need, of this fact they have good relations at the same time with the United States and China. In Vietnam, the Chinese heavy industries and the giant of the data processing Intel build in Prey Nokor a factory of a billion of US dollars to produce chips. Bill Gates is forming 15 000 vietnamese computer specialists of very high level. Why in Cambodia, there are only factories using, mainly, only the muscular forces and the Cambodian workers? Can Cambodia become, one day, an independent country without high-level industries technique ?
Below the full text of the declaration of Son Chhay in RFA:
The “secret” 100,000 hectares
of Cambodian rubber plantation
granted for Viet soldiers
Summary of the declarations made by SON CHHAY, SRP MP, Chairman of the Commission of Foreign Affairs and the International Cooperation of the National Assembly, interviewed by Kem Sos, RFA Program of 25/09/2007Summary and unofficial translation from Cambodian by Khemara JatiKem Sos (KS): - I knew that the Royal Government of Cambodia granted to Vietnam a concession of 100 000 ha of lands for the plantation of rubber trees, where are these lands?Son Chhay (SC): - We also know it and I went with a delegation of the National Assembly to make an inspection on the land, in the region of Mondulkiri and even in the vietnamese provinces of Dac Lak and Dac Nong. What worries us is our neighbors country obtains concessions of our lands then come to cultivate its fields in our country. In fact, it is Vietnamese soldiers who having been partially evacuated of Cambodia (in 1989), formed military movements for the plantations of rubber trees or coffee trees ... and who settling now in very big number in front of our border provinces, with any kinds of equipments, and took place under the orders of their generals and officers - forming a real military staff.KS: - Our fellow countrymen are very worried about of the Vietnamese schemes. In particular, in this affair of land concessions, what would be the profits for the Cambodians (Khmers)?SC: - According to a report of the Committee for the Development, an organ of the Royal Government, Vietnam would have promised to create employments for our fellow countrymen of the ethnic minorities in the region, as it has already did the same thing in Laos.Now, we went to see a rubber plantation by Vietnamese soldiers, on a Laotian concession of 10 000 ha, of 50 years, in the province of Champassak (of Laos) and learnt that really the Vietnamese promises were not held on the ground. First, the plantation is steered by 176 colonels and captains of the Vietnamese army, who called the "experts"; then, for 10 000 ha of plantation, one use approximately 1 000 Laotian workers, next to more than 3 000 Vietnamese workers. So, for our concessions of 100 000 ha for the same plantations, would be needed ten times more of these "experts" and workers (who form) the Vietnamese power (in our land). Besides, there is a problem affecting our environment. Our forests were destroyed by these companies without repairs and without compensation.KS: - Where are these 100 000 ha granted to the Vietnamese?SC: - Almost everywhere. There would be 20 000 ha in Mondulkiri, others 20 000 ha in Kratié, 10 or 20 000 in Stung Trèng, 30 000 in Kompong Thom and in Preah Vihear. The concessions of Kompong Thom are under the control of the Cambodian military, not under of the royal Government.KS: - The Cambodians (Khmers) cannot obtain these concessions?SC: - Many of our fellow countrymen invested a lot into the rubber tree plantation. During the last five years, Khmer entrepreneurs have already planted on at least 50 000 ha of lands. We would not even need foreigners for this fields; (I do not understand) why we grant no big concessions to our own fellow countrymen?We have to ask also questions on our national sovereignty and on our security. No country has ever allowed to the armed forces of a neighbor country the possibility of coming to settle down on its territory and to administer it.We should grant these concessions only to our national first; then, to the foreign companies (but) of not neighbor countries, and under certain precise conditions, especially on the duration - not too long - of these concessions, and the obligation to employ Cambodians (Khmers) first as workers.KS: - Why do not we grant these concessions to the Cambodians (Khmers)?SC: - We (the Parliament Members) do not understand. Of course, we wish of the transparency on these concessions and of course explain that to us the causes (decisions of the Government). But, the MP can ask no question there (to the Government, because) these concessions and all the documents related to that are all secrets (of the Government)!KS: - Have you an explanation of these secrets?SC: - I think it is because of the Vietnam influence on our country, on our leaders, to the point that these last ones have to give to any vietnamese demands ; the corruption is also another cause ; and, maybe as it is also believed that the foreigners have important financial and technical means for these things...KS: - Does our country gain anything from it?SC: - Cambodia loses a lot in this land. The concessions are made without any call for public tender. In the case of the tourist management of Angkor site, for example, our State receives hardly 10 % of the receipts of the tourist visits - at the rate of $50 - 60 US a person, a week. Every year, there is at least 30 million $US who do not go into the boxes of the State.With all this (destructions of the environment and these losses for the State), these concessions destroyed the appropriate interests of our local populations, in their daily life. We should thus stop these concessions.
(Summarized and unofficial translated from cambodian by Khemara Jati). Please click the following link to listen the whole interview :