samedi, mars 22, 2008

Cambodia - Preah Vihear - Thailande

News of Cambodia N° 0817-E


Khemara Jati
Montreal, Quebec
March 20th, 2008

Forces in presence

Before raising the current situation on Preah Vihear, let us focus on the forces entangling the area including the temple itself.

From the Thai side :

1/. The Thai people are educated, united by the language from the day care center up to universities, by the history written by Thai historians and by economic prosperity.

2/. The Thai army, including the navy and the aviation outstrip hundred times our arm forces.

3/. The provinces of Cambodia on the western side, including Siem Reap city, is living depending on the thai electricity. In the monopoly position, this thai electricity is sold in Cambodia with the price 50 % more expensive than in Thailand.

From the Cambodian side :

1/. The Cambodian people still remain in deep ignorant. Only a little more than 50 % of Cambodians knows how to read and write. Even though we are still divided on the way of using our language as current language in universities. There are still neither articles nor popular works in scientific or technic.

2/. Still our history is almost exclusively written by foreigners. These Cambodia histories are not written to unite us, on the contrary.

3/. Cambodia has no aviation in the army. The Cambodian army composes only of generals and officers among whom many of them are Vietnamese. A ceremonial army able of repressing the people only.

4/. The Cambodian navy is not even capable of protecting effectively our territorial waters.

5/. The problem surrounding the media of the major powers are because they are not on our side. As said Kenneth So it is about using the word « Yuon » the word used usually by Cambodians since a millennium, but considered abruptly pejorative by the international media. We reproduce below the arguments made by Kenneth So:

« Reason #2
I believe the misunderstanding on the meaning of the word “Yuon” was caused by foreign advisors to Yasushi Akashi when he was the head of UNTAC in Cambodia. Those so-called foreign experts in Khmer language told Akashi that the word “Yuon” was a derogatory word. This misunderstanding then spread out like a wildfire. Now it is impossible to convince Westerners otherwise. We would have spent too much energy defending the usage of the word “Yuon” and reaching only a small percentage of the western population for our explanation. Do we have to defend our usage of the word “Yuon” every time a Westerner questions our intention? Can our valuable time be put to better use instead ? »
« Reason #4
There are more Westerners and international newspapers and media in the world than in Cambodia. The international newspapers can reach a greater number of audiences in the world than we can. If western newspapers print out in their articles that we are racist because we use the word “Yuon” to label the Vietnamese, it will then reach a very large numbers of readers in the world. It is therefore impossible for us, Khmers, to target that many numbers of readers to counterbalance our view. Additionally, it is very hard to justify our usage of the word “Yuon” or “Chen” to the Westerners when there are acceptable replacements for those words in French or English that are used internationally by every country. »

6/. On the Eastern side of Cambodia, Vietnam is nibbling at our lands. It is necessary to go to the border on the RN 1, at Bavet to see how the Vietnamese use the front door to flow toward Cambodia. Open another doors is to facilitate the vietnamisation advancement on our lands. It is necessary to note that certain major powers finance the construction of the roads in better condition leading from Saigon to different check points at our borders. While the roads from Phnom Penh to our borders remain generally in the very bad condition. Below, the president of the vietnamese company Sokimex, Sok Kong, does not hide any more and announces publicly in vietnamese language that he is proud to be a Vietnamese. In when the other Vietnamese in the political, military or economic power will announce, in their turn, that they are Vietnamese?

From KI Média
« Hun Sen's crony and associate Sok Kong: "I am a Vietnamese. I'm proud of that"
Sok Kong: I am a Vietnamese
20 March 2008
Translated from Vietnamese by Wanna
Originally posted at:
Original article in Vietnamese: “Tôi là người Việt Nam!"

May be some people are still skeptical about who is Sok Kong ? Now, believe me and believe him (Sok Kong)! Oknha Sok Kong said...

Tôi sinh ra ở Prey Veng. Ba mẹ tôi là người VN, tôi được sinh ra ở CPC. Năm 1975 sang VN làm ruộng ở Đồng Tháp. Lúc đó tôi 23 tuổi. Năm 1979 tôi trở lại CPC.
Translation: I was born in Prey Veng. My parents are Vietnamese, I was born in Cambodia. In 1975, I backed to VN and do farming at Don Thap province. I was then 23. In 1979, I returned to Cambodia.

Tôi giàu con lắm, có đến sáu đứa: ba trai, ba gái. Con trai đầu làm việc ở TP.HCM, con trai thứ hai quản lý khách sạn và xí nghiệp may số 1, con trai thứ ba quản lý xí nghiệp may 2, ba đứa con gái còn đi học ở Úc.
Translation: I have many children, including 6: 3 sons, 3 daughters. My eldest son works at HCM (Ho Chi Minh) city; My second son is a manager of a hotel and garment factory Number 01; My third son is a manager of garment factory Number 02; My three daughters are all studying in Australia.

Trước đây vì một số lý do tôi không muốn ai biết mình là người VN. Còn bây giờ thì không. Tôi là người VN. Tôi vinh dự về điều đó!
Translation: In the past, from some reasons, I don't want anyone to know that I am a Vietnamese. Now, it's NOT. I am a Vietnamese. I'm proud of that.

7/. In one word, our unique force resides only in our unity and in the struggle. For the moment our force on the international level lies fundamentally on the Cambodian public opinion, in particular from our intellectuals. Still, this opinion remains very divided as we will see below. But when this opinion manages to unite, it becomes a force. It is the case for example to defend Preah Vihear.

The negotiations about Preah Vihear

Recently Thailand recognizes officially that Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia according to the decisions of the International Court of the Hague and to the whole will expressed by the Cambodian people, in particular the intellectuals. It shows that the public opinion and in particular that of the politicians and the intellectuals, is a force. But what are the concessions of the current regime?

1/. The land around Preah Vihear monument belongs to Cambodia and to Thailand. According to the principle imposed by the strongest: « what is mine is mine says Thailand. But what belongs to you we share it together. Waiting for the favorable moment to appropriate it totally.

2/. Neglecting to build asphalted roads from Phnom Penh to Preah Vihear and from Angkor to Preah Vihear. Chea Sophara has tried to build one. He was suddently dismissed on February 11th, 2003, on Hoc Lundy order and replaced by the current mayor of Phnom Penh, Kep Chuktema that we all know. Nowadays, with a good car 4X4 all wheel drive, it needs a day to go there and other one day for return. Those who tried it consider this road of hellish or of dancing road according to the travelers humor. It is clear that only Thailand can exploit the tourism in Preah Vihear. It is likely Thailand comes to occupy our house. On pressure of our public opinion, Thailand agrees to declare publicly that Preah Vihear monument belongs to Cambodia. But for the moment only Thailand which occupies it and exploits it as one pleases. A group of Cambodians, who defied the infernal road, with a good car all wheel drive was able to notice that even by coming from Cambodia side, it is necessary to pay in "bath" to be able to visit "our" Preah Vihear monument. They gave up paying and returned back. But they were able to notice the misery of our fellow countrymen who are obliged to live next to the thai prosperity. They cannot do anything. According to Chea Sophara's project, besides one safe asphalted road to reach Preah Vihear from the Cambodian side, he was there planned to build a railway cable for those who cannot or do not want to reach Preah Vihear by the stair. It is necessary also to build good roads to open up all this region the North of Cambodia as well as for the tourism for the economic development of this region along the border. It is the most important solution to defend our borders.

In the latest news, it seems that the construction of a safe road to Preah Vihear is in the agenda. Finally! But for how long?

3/. The important angkorian monument Ta Mean is now occupied militarily by the thai army and is a place of tourist of the thai side. Thailand claims one-sidedly that the French and Cambodian maps had made a mistake by including Ta Mean on the Cambodia side. Might is right says the proverb.

4/. Banning to build an asphalted road of Sisophon to Siem Reap Ville, so that the Thai Airway airline company can keep the monopoly of Bangkok-Siem Reap Ville and practicing the exaggerated rate which we all know.

5/. In August 1997, one month after the coup d'état of July 5th 1997, Vietnam and Thailand agreed to share more than a half of our continental shelf then signed a treaty on the back of Cambodian. According to this treaty, Vietnam occupies our island called Way. Now the American company Chevron finds petroleum and natural gas under our continental shelf a part of which claimed by Thailand in the name of the above treaty. Thus Thailand says again : « what belongs to you let us share together ». Because it has just been signed by the power settled by Hanoi since January 1979.

6/.Thailand wants to build a very big central power fed with the coal or more exactly with brown coal, a kind of fuel ten times more polluted than the coal. This central was refused by the thai people. Then the current regime installed in Phnom Penh curved the head then accepts this project, with in addition, a superpollution, unacceptable and refused by the thai people. It is necessary to clarify that this electricity will be used, first and foremost in Thailand then sold to Cambodians 50 % more expensive. Not only the pollution is for Cambodians but more the Cambodian people is obliged to pay this electricity 50 % more expensive than in Thailand. More this dependence in electrical energy, does not it become an enormous means of unacceptable political pressure for any power to defend the national interests? Why certain major powers do prefer to finance the construction of the electric lines with high tension to feed our country in electricity, paid 50 % more expensive ? In the Eastern part from Vietnam and on the Western part from Thailand ?

7/. Soon our country produces some petroleum and some natural gas. It is inadmissible that the current regime in Phnom Penh still has no projects to build an oil refinery and central powers fed by our gas and the fuel oil produces by our refinery. Why continue to pay oil productions as essence for example 50 % more expensive than in Vietnam ? Is it also as another condition for the gratitude that Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia?

8/. Is not in the name of the treaty of August 1997, Vietnam is going, also, to ask its part in sharing of our wealth in hydrocarbons under our continental shelf, but claimed also by Hanoi? As it has just obtained by Thailand ? It is not still: « What belongs to me it belongs to me, what belongs to you we share it together »?


In any negotiation with Vietnam and Thailand, the current regime installed by Hanoi since January 1979 and with the complicity of certain major powers, is always in a position of weakness. Informations say that there is an economic development in Cambodia, but the great majority of Cambodians are still living in the ignorance, the disease and the misery. Announcement speaks about the increase of our business with our neighbours. But it never said what is the balance of this business. How much is our exports towards our neighbours? In the exportation equation what we sell and their value? Similarly in importation program what we buy and their value? Is it not true that our economy based only on the tourism and the textile industry ? Do we know that it is extremely vulnerable ?

Our only force relaying on the public opinion, as we have just seen it about Preah Vihear and maybe about the construction of one safe asphalted road to reach easily Preah Vihear from the Cambodian side. Why this deafening silence on the numerous subjects that we have just mentionned? Do not we smell that our sisters, brothers and fellow countrymen of Thailand and Kampuchea Krom count on our struggle to be able to protect their cultural identity based on our writing? Does not the current generation is responsible for the future of our children?

Pour lire l'article en français ou :

lundi, mars 10, 2008

The Minority of Cambodian in Cochinchina

News from Cambodia

The vietnamisation of Cochinchina during colonial period and Cambodia nowadays
(The Minority of Cambodian in Cochinchina)

(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[3].

« 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. »

Published by Khemara Jati