For the Cambodian Finland Friendship
News of Cambodia N° 0807-E
TO THE CAMBODIA-FINLAND FRIENDSHIP
January 20th, 2008
1/. The facts
For more than a decade, Finland agreed to welcome all the Cambodian accusing falsely of crimes which they never committed. Let us note that Cambodians refugees in Finland are intellectuals knowing perfectly at least two languages: the Cambodian, English and now probably Finnish. They are able of translating without dictionary from English into Cambodian.
A very important case is Heng Pov, a high dignitary police who reveals in Singapore, the low case of crimes committed by Phnom Penh regime, in particular on the massacre of March 30th, 1997 intended to kill Rainsy and who injured a citizen of the United States. It is interesting to note that the American government always refuses to publish the FBI report to the public in that case.
Heng Pov, took political refugee somewhere, would thus risking to make revelations which would collapse the regime settled in Phnom Penh by Hanoi since January, 1979. It is not thus in the interest of any major powers at all. The current regime of Phnom Penh holds so many secrets affairs which can tarnish the reputation of certain major powers.
In these conditions, Finland is the only country agrees to welcome Heng Pov as political refugee. Finally, “one” settles to bring Heng Pov back to the Phnom Penh prison, preventing him from making cumbersome revelations.
Few months ago, the Finnish national airline company, FinnAir, inaugurates the first direct connection between European capitals, in this particular, Stockholm in Sweden direct to Phnom Penh. Until now, from Europe to Cambodia, it is necessary to pass through Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tai Pei, even Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul. It is hard to understand this ostracism of Phnom Penh, capital of a country welcoming more than two million tourists a year. So Finland has just broken this exclusion in the destination towards Cambodia's capital. It is important to note also the incapacity of Phnom Penh regime to even manage a Cambodian airline company. We wish that our fellow countrymen use rather FinnAir to go to Phnom Penh.
Finally more recently Helsinki has just granted 5 million euro to improve the education system in Cambodia.
2/. Histoire de la Finlande (Suomi in Finn).
« In the XVIIIth century, the official language of current Finland was the Swedish. After the territorial union of 1809 with the tsarist empire, it was Russian. But in the 1820s, the interest « born » for Finnish and Finnish past, which has born at the end of the XVIIIth century by texts in Latin and in Swedish, more and more to the vernacular language. The leaders of the Finnish nationalist movement in full excitement were « peoples whose profession consisted widely in managing the language: writers, professors, ministers and lawyers. The folklore study but also the rediscovery and the compilation of grammars and dictionaries, and ended by the magazine publication to normalize Finnish literature [in other words, the printing office language], justifying in his turn stronger political demands. »
In « L’Imaginaire National Réflexions sur l’Origine et l’essor du nationalisme »
by Benedict Anderson, Ed. La Découverte, Paris 2002. pages 83, 84. Translated unofficially by Kjti.
a/. The recent history of Finland is still very complicated and painful.
Under the Russian domination, the 1st czar Alexander opens the diet of Porvoo in 1809. Finland serves repeatedly as battlefields and as stake between the Swedish and Russian empires. In the Napoleonic time, Sweden had to abandon Finland to the 1st czar Alexander by the treaty of Hamina or Frederikshamm of September 7th, 1809. Finland became then a grand duchy of the Russian empire. Helsinki becomes the capital of the Grand duchy in 1812 and from this date the influence of this city begins to grow. Contrary to the Swedish time, Finland is not a separate territory of the empire, but an autonomous region. The czars showed themselves more or less respectful of this autonomy, and especially tempted all, in the considerable exception of Alexander II, forcing this region to become Russian. It is this autonomy which was at the origin of the movement for the independence of the country from the XIXth century.
Alexandre II shown a remarkable generosity towards the Finnish people (as more generally of his other subjects) and favored the emergence of a national literature. It is then notably through the culture and intellectuals that Finland develops its movement for the independence. So a collection of thirty two songs published on February 28th, 1835 inspired by the traditional tales of Karelia under the name of Kalevala (the Country of the heroes) by a Finnish country doctor, Elias Lönnrot, became the foundation of the Finnish culture. Later on this work inspired the other great Finnish artists, as the painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931) and the composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), and on February 28th is still commemorated as a national holiday in Finland. The papers of Johan Ludvig Runeberg also instigated the movement for the independence. The gratitude of the Finns for the « czar liberator » is still lively, because his statue thrones always today on the place of the Senate.
b/. The entry in the independence [to modify]
July 20th 1906, Czar Nicolas II, props up in difficulties, grants liberties to the Finns (the right to vote for the women). Finland also obtained a symbolic international recognition, while it was authorized to participate, under its own colors and not those of Russia, in the Olympic Games of Stockholm in 1912. On December 6th 1917, taking advantage the disorder caused by the Bolshevik revolution, Finland declares its independence, recognized by the Soviet power on January 4th 1918. It is then the beginning of the Finnish civil war between the Red, allied in the Soviet Russia, and the White allies in Germany. An energetic Finnish general, a baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim commands the White governmental troops and takes advantage of the German troop’s reinforcement. These take him on the Bolshevik red troops in Vyborg on April 30th, 1918. The independence of Finland is henceforth declared.
Hardly one month before the German defeat, has the Finns chosen German prince, Frédéric Charles de Hesse as king. This one quickly disappeared and Mannerheim becomes regent before giving up the place in his turn with the proclamation of the Republic on July 17th, 1919.
c/. The Second World War
In November 1939, by virtue of the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Soviet Union puts an ultimatum to Finland, and then attacks it in front of the refusal of this one to grant the basic « loan », against the Hanko peninsula. It was the winter war of 1939-1940. The Finnishline of defense, namely Mannerheim lines in reference to the line Maginot in France, is supposed to resist one-two weeks to the aggressor according to the marshal Mannerheim.
In spite of the Finnish soldiers success (they invented then the famous become « cocktail Molotov »), a lot short in term of number than the Soviet citizens, Finland bows by the treaty of Moscow of March 12th 1940, and gives up to Stalin 10 % of its territory (the oriental province of the country, Karelia, which still belongs in Russia today), but remain independent, contrary to Baltic States.
In 1941, when Germany attacks the USSR (Barbarossa operation), Finland revenges and joins its troops to those of Nazi Germany to attack the USSR and get back the lost territories or more if possible. However the offensive stops in the Onega Lake, and never cut the railroad line of Murmansk or attacked Leningrad, in spite of Hitler's pressing demands.
In 1944, the red Army drills the front, and the Finnish army curls up until the ancient border. She signs then an armistice with the USSR, stipulating the departure of the German armed force stand in the North of Finland. The failed evacuation leads to the war of Lapland against the Germans. Finland escapes then from annexation by the USSR. By the treaty of Paris of February 10th 1947, she recovers her independence, amputated not only by Karelia but also by supplementary territories (the region of Petsamo and the isthmus of Karelia), pay a heavy levy to the Soviet citizens and has to resign to subordinate her foreign policy to the USSR in exchange for the conservation of her democratic institutions (what we called till the end of the Cold War the « finlandisation »). The paradox of this debt is because it becomes a source of prosperity for the country. The obligation to pay repairs to Soviet Union, forced Finland to become industrialized country. Finland, main western partner of the USSR, is going to move in a rich state with one of the best levels of life to the world.
3/. Contemporary Finland
During the Cold war, the Paasikivi line of strict neutrality makes of Finland a moving plate of the East-west relations. She cannot indeed line up in the one or the other block by virtue of the agreements crossed at the conclusion of the Second World War. Contrary to ideas sometimes spread in France, Finland was not communist, but actually could not join the western block at the risk of annoying her powerful neighbor. The Finland policy turns so determinedly to the neutrality allowing her to cross this delicate period without block excess. Today still, the Finns hesitate to adhere to the NATO by respecting their political neutrality.
Finland becomes quickly a very prosperous country. The development undergoes nevertheless a major crisis in the 1980s and 1990, while the unemployment gets 20 % of the active population. During this period, Finland concentrates all its efforts in training engineers and high-level scientists. It is the policy of picking up the new technologies sector (Nokia, F-Secure and of biotechnology laboratories for example). Finland reties with the growth and reaches an unemployment rate lower than the average of the European Union. Finally, Finland adheres to EU in 1995 and participates in the euro zone in which its notes represent only approximately 2 % of the total put in circulation.
In this short history of Finland, there are of course involuntary errors or missing. We wish that the Finnish government finances the writing of a history of Finland in Cambodian with the cooperation of the Cambodians living in Finland and on Finnish historians. It is the history which looks like to a certain extent of the Cambodia history obliging to fight for protecting independence and sovereign power, between the two powerful neighbors, in the situation of the conflicts of the geostrategic interests of major powers. Does not the policy of Cambodian neutrality call back the policy of Finnish neutrality?
We wish that the Finnish government finances translations and the publication of the European literary works and in particular, Finnish literary, into Cambodian. We also wish the translation and the publication of the school, university, scientific books and the popularization Finnish into Cambodian allowing the Cambodian young people to have documents accessible of openings themselves towards the outside world in fast evolution.
As the Finnish people experience, the culture and its support of the language are the solid and long-lasting bases of the national unity.
By the last word, we express our very profound gratitude between the people and between the Finnish government for their demonstrations of helps and supports to the Cambodian people.
Le 20 janvier 2008
Note : Cet article est disponible en français sur demande.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
P.O.Box 17600161 Helsinki
Tel: +358 9 160 05 or 578 15
Ambassade de Finlande
55 Metcalfe Street, suite 850
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 6L5
Télécopieur: +1-613-288 2244
Consulat honoraire de Finlande,
1010 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 602,
Montréal, Québec, H3A 2R7, Canada
Tél. +1-514-282 9798
Télécopieur: +1-514-282 9899
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