19 November 2008

Thai's Incursion Into Cambodia Soil

The current standoff between my Cambodia and the neigbour to the west, Thailand at our Khmer Preah Vihear temple is in no way at peace any time sooner. The Thais were mad because we erected 3 flags: UNESCO flag, World Heritage flag and Cambodian flag on top of our Preah Vihear temple. They said that we did things without consulted them first. I think this is totally absurd. The areas are clearly Cambodia soil. The Thais have to get over with it and adhere to rule of international laws and treaties that were made between our two countries.

With all the tensions between our troops and the Thai intruders, we must be vigilant as ever. Just yesterday in Khmer soil near Phnom Trob, which is about 3km from Preah Vihear Temple, a Thai soldier stepped on the landmine and was killed instantly. The Thais have no reason to come down from Phnom Dongrek into our Cambodia. The area Phnom Trob, that these Thai invaders patrolling are Cambodia soil because only in our Khmer soil that is littered with landmines when they were laid during the civil war from 1970 to the mid 1990's.

I read the news there will be a joint de-mining effort to de-mine the areas before the border is demarcated. This really bothers me a lot. I just want to shout: IT'S CAMBODIA SOIL !! CAMBODIA WILL DO THE DE-MINING ALONE. If we let the Thai de-mining with us on our land, they will lay claim to our land after the landmines are cleared. Let me repeat only Cambodia soil -- Cambodia side of the border has the landmines.

The border demarcation is TOTALLY SEPARATE from the de-mining task. It should go first before the de-mining take place. It's simple. After we know the border, if the landmines are on the Thai side, the Thai can de-mining on their side. They can do anything they please on their side. If the mines are on Cambodia side, Cambodia alone will de-mining on our side. But again, I guarantee only the side of Cambodia soil would have the landmines. To demarcate the border, Thailand and us must stick the the agreement of the maps in 1904-1907 treaties. I couldn't have said any better than our Khmer compatriot, Chan Veasna where wrote his editorial to Phnom Penh Post that "If the 1904, 1907 maps are not used, it would be a betrayal of the treaties and a tragedy, as it will set a precedent that triggers future violations of subsequent [border] treaties".

On the other hand, Thailand are continually to live in the state of denial in their confused generations. Each of their school children is teached from falsified history and indotrinated to hate Khmer (Cambodian)at early age. What gain has they profitted from this kind of mentality is yet I still don't know.

Western scholars widely published Thai culture and tradition were derived from Khmer. I think this is very true. Many Thais are continuing to deny the facts. When I come to think of it, all Thai achitectural structures were modeled after Khmer's Angkor Wat -- this include the Royal Palace in Bangkok. Thai writing are modified from Khmer. Thai "Ratcha Sap" "Rea-chea Sap" royal language is typically Khmer language. Furthermore, there's a history book written by a Thai historian implicating that the Thai royal(king) may have been a descendant of Khmer commoner from the present day province of Takeo, Cambodia. I have to read more to confirm this fact.

Taken this into account, Thai King Mongkut (reigned 1851-1868) have ordered our Angkor Wat to be disassembled stone by stone and moved to Bangkok. When the task was so massive and impossible to do it. He ordered the smaller temple Prasat Ta Prohm to be disasembled instead.

I can see here, the descendant of the Thai King was a renegade from Khmer that's why he was so obsessed of everything Khmer's that he wanted to reestablish his identity by wanted to move Angkor Wat to Bangkok. Wanted to move Angkor Wat to Bangkok ? This truly was insane. I know the Thais cannot accept their king is a descendant of Khmer commoner from Takeo province. So my advice to them is to be open minded. That's all I can say.

Please continue to read below research on how Thai and Khmer languages derived from. The materials were published by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in America.

Phnom Penh

The Thai, who originated in China, migrated into the Indochina peninsula before the current era. Initially dominated by the Mon and then later, beginning in the tenth century, by the Khmer,

the Thai gained their own independence in the mid-thirteenth century. Shortly thereafter, the first script--known as the Sukhotai and distinct from that used by the Khmer--was developed for Thai.

The script now in use is a more or less modified variant of this and other intervening scripts used during the reign of other monarchs.

Thai uses a script that is basically alphabetic in nature with some elements of a syllabic system. In origin it derives from an Indic script which was adapted first by the Khmer and then the Thai.

There is a fairly good approximation between the scriptand pronunciation.

Thai has borrowed heavily from Mon and Khmer.

The history of the language is distinguished into several periods: Old Khmer (the seventh to eighth century), Angkor period (the ninth to fifteenth century), Middle Khmer (the sixteenth to eighteenth century), and Modern Khmer. The language is attested from the earliest periods by numerous inscriptions, and then during the Middle Khmer period by extensive writings on palm leaf manuscripts, including the Khmer version of the Ramayana, a well-known Hindu epic about Rama.

During the Angkor period, Khmer influenced the surrounding languages, especially the unrelated languages of Lao and Thai, and they borrowed heavily from Khmer.

Campbell, G. L. 1991. Compendium of the World's Languages, Vol. 1 -2. London and New York: Routledge.

Diffloth, G. 1992. "Khmer." In W. Bright, ed. International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, Vol. 2:271-275. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grimes, B. F., ed. 1992. Ethnologue, Languages of the World. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Linguistic Society of America. 1992. Directory of Programs in Linguistics in the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Linguistic Society of America.

Ruhlen, M. 1987. A Guide to the World's Languages, Vol. 1: Classification. London: Edward Arnold.

Smyth, D. A. 1994. "Cambodia: Language Situation." In R. E. Asher, ed. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Vol. 2:440. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

_____. 1994. "Cambodian." In R. E. Asher, ed. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Vol. 2:440-441. Oxford: Pergamon Press

11 November 2008

Hok Lundy Is Dead

Hok Lundy , 51, the gold four stars general, head of our national police since he was 37 years old has met a tragic death in the helicopter crash on Sunday night of 9 Nov 2008.

There's a saying "Don't speak ill of the dead". I agree with the saying so I won't go there. Though I have nothing good to speak about the guy either. I am no God to pass on the judgment so I don't care whether Hok Lundy's soul is resting in peace or forever tormented in constant agony .

But, for our generation I do care when another police chief is replaced. I hope and pray the new chief will uphold the law, selflessly protect our citizen and serve the public interests not of Vietnam but wholeheartedly for my beloved Cambodia.

Phnom Penh

16 October 2008

My Heart Goes Out For Our Slained Soldiers

I am very sad at the moment for two of our soldiers heroically fought and lost their lives for defending our homeland against the Thai invaders.

A Cambodian soldier guards a pagoda near Preah Vihear temple. Thailand and Cambodia exchanged fire in a clash over disputed land which left two soldiers dead and several wounded. (AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy)

08 August 2008

Blogger or Wordpress ?

Our clogger (Cambodian Blogger) Vutha posted his entry asking fellow bloggers: "Which one (wordpress or blogger) do you like to use for your blog? I got used to start with blogsport or blogger platform for a short time and then I stopped using it. I have started using wordpress software. I now got accustomed to wordpress. Therefore, I like using wordpress rather than blogger. How about you? " End-quote.

Here's the response I left at Vutha's site :

Soosdey Vutha!

I am one of your regular visitors to this great site of yours! I read a lot ! This is the very topic I wanted to do the story about. I'm glad since you brought this up. Now I can abandon my thought of the doing the story. But instead leaving my comment here! :)

When I started my blog I thought the same: Wordpress or Blogger(Blogspot)? They both are good. However, from what I read on the internet, Blogger has major advantage over Wordpress in term of search engine. For example, if you're to blog your entry on "Prasat Ta Moan Thom" or "Bun Rani Hun Sen" . Google search will show your post less than 4 hours after your entry posted. It's fast. This is because Google owns Blogger (Blogspot). Where as Wordpress has to carry their search engine through a different companies like Google or Yahoo. Perhaps Wordpress has to pay Google or Yahoo for this search engine service. So your entry on "Prasat Ta Moan Thom" or "Bun Rani Hun Sen" would take longer in the search if you're to compose on Wordpress.

Another thing I like Blogger because it's simple to use. I can easily put any code of HTML/XML linking to any servers. I don't have IT knowlege. But, I did it easily on Blogger. At my blog on the left side, I have link to poems and LibraryThing (books I read. They all are at different servers. Also, I always keep in mind Blogger is Google ! So it's big. It will never gone out of business.

I think it doesn't matter Wordpress or Blogger. They both are good. Most importantly we must keep on blogging. Write out our feeling and idea so openly. I am sure both Wordpress and Blogger are proponents of free speech. Just very recently on 5 August 2008 Google Spokesman, Adam Kovacevich assured "... it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression."

Phnom Penh


07 August 2008


Last week I saw this​ Khmer documentary មេដឹកនាំ ជាតិខ្មែរ ភាគ​​ ១ ឯកសារសម្ងាត់​ "Leaders of Khmer Nation, Part 1- Secret Document" circulating on the internet. I tried to download from the site but I couldn't. It was so popular too many people downloaded that the site has the shut down. I now have a copy. I am putting on the internet. It is a
is a must read for all Khmer children who wants to know the truth about our leaders and leadership.

The documentary is written by former professor Sar Thommak Raingsy ស ធម្មរង្សី . When I first started to read អារម្ភកថា( Introduction​ ) I got hooked. My conscience shakes ព្រឺសាច់ for truth of leaders of our Cambodia. Every single point Professor Sar Thommak Raingsy mentioned is a wakeup call for all of us.

I would like to invite you to download the file and read the introduction អារម្ភកថា first. I am sure you will want to read more.

I 've put up the file to two different servers.

Download PDF file មេដឹកនាំ ជាតិខ្មែរ ភាគ​​ ១ ឯកសារសម្ងាត់

Download PDF file មេដឹកនាំ ជាតិខ្មែរ ភាគ​​ ១ ឯកសារសម្ងាត់ (Alternate Site)

​​ Vanak

26 July 2008



Friday, 25 July 2008
Op-Ed by Chanda Chhay

There are many ways to deal with a thug. But, there is only one proper way to deal with a misbehaving, neighboring nation. That is to stand firm and be fair with it, and, if necessary, deprive it of what it wanted most.

It is as clear as daylight that the 4.6 square kilometer of so-called disputed land around the Khmer Temple of Preah Vihear was not what Thailand wanted. What it really wanted is a guaranteed access to Prasat Preah Vihear—the main attraction and an economic lifeline for the arid Si Saket province of Thailand. Without Preah Vihear, the surrounding areas would be just like any other part of the Dangrek Mountain ranges—rocks and trees.

The flagrant incursion of Thai armed forces onto the sacred ground of Preah Vihear has been going on long enough. The Thai government should know better by now that it could only defy words of condemnation or warning, but it could not defy international norms and laws. By the same token, the Cambodian government should know that the muddled head Thai leaders wanted to turn every legal and internationally-recognized document pertaining to the sovereignty of Cambodia upside down and subject Cambodia to the whim of their myopic thoughts.

So, what is Cambodia to do in order to deal with the situation? One very simple and effective solution to this problem is to publicly announce to the international community and to Thailand, in particular, that the access to Preah Vihear from Thailand is no longer open due to the difficulty in preventing illegal trespassing and thefts to the temple’s artifacts, which is now a World Heritage site. As proprietor of the temple, Cambodia has an obligation and a right to safeguard it. If Thailand, as a good neighbor, wanted to offer assistance and collaboration in protecting this World Heritage site, it MUST recognize and respect the treaties of 1904 and 1907 regarding the common border of Cambodia and Thailand. Period!

Preah Vihear is not a political football to be kicked around and see who will win or lose. It has suffered neglect and abuses by humans long enough. It is now time for us to restore and preserve it for posterity. This current crisis is perhaps the best opportunity for us to look beyond the tourist dollars and to give Preah Vihear what it deserves most: Restoration and research on the site, so that humankind could have a better understanding of its history and functionality.

Chanda Chhay
Washington, DC (USA)

25 July 2008

Letter to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

There are so many good writings lately on the internet about our Khmer built Temple Preah Vihear. I am collecting these writings. We all should keep writing ! I know the Thai newspapers, The Nation and The Bangkok Post kept printing so much bias news and editorials. Us Khmer should write more not only to counter the bias, but also to expose truths that the Thais hate to hear.

Here's the letter to Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand a.k.a "The King That Never Smile" . The letter was forwarded to my mailbox this morning. Although it's not my kind of language in writing, but I agree the content is very good coming from our irate compatriot.

Thai King Bhubmibol wearing old fashion English hat. He is trying to copy the English royal. In my opionion, the hat is too big for his royal head.

Phnom Penh

23 July 2008

Preah Vihear of Cambodia

Nationalism is Good; Blind Nationalism is Bad

Opinion-Editorial by Chanda Chhay

This is a very good article I found from KI-Media. Click on the picture will link to the source. Thank you Chanda Chhay. I hope reading more of your writing.

Ignorance of history is a sad fact. But, twisting history to satisfy a political goal is a foolish act. With utmost due respect to Thai people in general, it is unbelievable and outright disgusting to see and hear Thai politicians and political activists barking all kind of nonsense concerning the Khmer Temple of Preah Vihear.

Without listing every detail of who is accusing whom of violating whose national sovereignty, the entire conflict over a parcel of land near Preah Vihear Temple could be summed up as a case of a grown man trying to steal a candy from a kid and accusing the kid of stealing the candy from him. What is so repulsive about this affair is that the whole world knew that the candy is rightfully belonged to the innocent kid.

It is unfortunate and truly sad to see some Thai politicians and leaders behaving like thugs. The whole country should seriously re-examine itself whether it is worth it to lose its honor and integrity within the international community over a desperately hopeless campaign to grab a piece of land which should belong to the sacred ground of Preah Vihear. In this information age, people are much better informed than anyone could have guessed. Along with information, the factual truth will always come out regardless of the efforts to twist or hide it.

Based on the often neglected historical facts, the majority of Thai and Cambodian people have many things in common, culturally. For example, the Thai language, as we know it, is a derivative of the Khmer, the Mon, and the Sanskrit languages. The royal court etiquettes, which are the grace of the Thai nation, are a replica of the Cambodian tradition. These are some of the factual realities. Whether we like them or not, they are here to stay with us for as long as we care to learn the truth. As for those Thais, who continue to fabricate facts with fictions, this myopic action will lead to nothing but humiliation. The fiasco of Thai’s objection over the Preah Vihear’s registration as World Heritage site should serve as a good lesson for moving beyond irrational nationalism.

When King Rama Kamhaeng, and some of his successors, adapted and modified the Khmer language and customs to bestow upon his subjects, the idea of seeing the descendants of his beloved subjects behaving like ingrates toward their cultural benefactor was probably beyond his wildest imagination. Unfortunately, animal behaviors in human beings always prevail when rational thinking is being replaced by blind ambition.

The images of a Thai woman lying in the middle of the road to block a convoy of Thai trouble-makers and a man whose face was cover in blood after an altercation with the trouble-makers spoke volumes of how the local people think: People on both sides of the borders want to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. Any government or politician that fails to see this simple truth is a disgrace to the nation.

Prasat Preah Vihear and the Buddhist temple in its premise are, first and foremost, the sanctuary of the gods. Second, they are the cultural sanctuary of humankind. For armed soldiers to trample on these sacred sites is not only an affront to humankind but also a disgrace and a despicable act on the part of the instigator.

Chanda Chhay
Washington, DC (USA)

16 July 2008

Updates from Phnom Penh Cambodia

Journalist and son were shot dead:
The reason I haven't been coming to internet as frequently is because I've got a chance to part-time joining the writing force for major newspaper here in Phnom Penh. I'm mainly covering the election story. My director kept emphasised all articles I write, must be non-bias-- which is kind of hard for me to follow because I'm a very opinionated kind of person.

Body of the slain victims, Khim Sambo and his son Khath Sarin Pheata. Click on the picture to read more.

Sorry, I can't reveal the place I work for. I'm afraid some assassin would shoot me dead IN MY BACK while I'm riding my moto on our Phnom Penh street. This has happened to Khim Sambo, the journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer News (Khmer Conscience Newspaper) . Khim Sambo, 47, and his son Khath Sarin Pheata, 21, were shot dead, in assassination style while they were riding their moto scooter. Khim was shot from behind. Multiple bullets went through from his back and killed him instantly. To shoot people from the back, make this hired assassin a coward what the Khmer word called កំសាក "Komsak". To the master who hired the assassin is truly the worst kind of killer. He's 10 times more coward than this killer. Silencing the truth by killing, no matter how much money and power this master has, I hope the conscience will haunt him for the rest of his miserable life.

Preah Vihear:

I still can't understand what's up with the Thais. What the Thai claims the "overlapsed" of 4.6KM, is actually Cambodia's land. There's no "joint communiqe". Sorry. Us Khmers want to manage our property by ourselves. Hello ? Don't you Thai get it ? The world members have voted UNANIMOUSLY to have our Preah Vihear on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. All 21 members voted for it -- not even one was against the listing. This ought to send Thailand a clear message that the world recognises Preah Vihear and land surrounding belong to Cambodia. Always have and forever will be.

Satire As Satire Can be:
OK, I admit I keep myself up with news from all over the world. One most notable news is from America where the magazine The New Yorker has a cartoon drawing of their presidential candidate Mr. Barak Obamah and his wife Michelle Obama on the magazine cover page. The cartoonist portrayed Mr. Obama and his wife as Islamic terrorists residing in the American capitol "The Whitehouse" -- assuming the role Mr. Obama as the president of the United States. As you can see from the picture, Mrs. Obamah is carrying the terrorist weapon of choice, the AK47 automatic assault weapon and Mr. Obama with a Muslim sandals and headdress. Behind their backs, the American flag was tossed and burned onto the fireplace. I wish I could find a copy of this issue in our Phnom Penh bookseller here, so I could learn from the writings. Clearly as I can think, there's no defamation. This is purely satire and satire at best.

សួស្តី ស្រុកខ្មែរ ! Hello Cambodia ? Mr. Hor Namhong, David Meas the atorney and Mr. Hun Sen, I would like to repeat political satire (cartoon) is freely express in every modern part of the world.

Gloating Over Preah Vihear Events:
In more than a week time, on 27 July 2008, we're having the national election. Our government ruling party CPP of PM Hun Sen is taking the credit of Preah Vihear UNESCO listing. I think it's great to have our temple officially listed. But still, PM Hun Sen shouldn't taking the advantage to poplicise for votes. I saw on TV broadcasting kept on praising the CPP. I'm just tired of it. Lately, I saw the of picture posters of PM HUN Sen at our Phnom Penh central stadium on the Preah Vihear rallying event.

This is wrong for PM HUN SEN and his CPP party to hijack at the rally for his political gain for the 27 July up comming election. No matter what parties you're belong to, Preah Vihear and land surrounding is our Khmer national assets. I am sure any opposition party, beside CPP party, would just have done the same, if not better than the CPP party, to protect our Cambodia national heritage. Sorry PM Hun Sen. Your CPP party is still corrupt, sir, you haven't convinced me that I should vote for you. And sir, your time is running out.

ខ្ញុំបាទ ធំ វណ្ណះ
ពីរាជធានី​ ​ភ្នំពេញ
From Phnom Penh
Thom Vanak

27 June 2008

Khmer Poem - ប្រាង្គព្រះវិហារ​ The Pillars of Preah Vihear

Here's another great Cambodian poem written by Mr. Sourn Sereyratha -- a real Khmer patriot. I really admire Mr. Sourn's works. The title of this poem is called ប្រាង្គព្រះវិហារ​ -- I translated to English as "The Pillars of Preah Vihear Temple".


The Thai so-called Watchdog Group Spying on Cambodia ?

On Preah Vihear issue, there's somewhat a hot issue among the radical Thais because they think our Khmer temple belongs to theirs. Thai is clearly encroaching into Cambodia soil. To these Thai, they should educate themselves more.

Then there a Thai web forum that took my blog writings on our Khmer Preah Vihear temple and posted at their website. Since Thai writings is derived from our Khmer alphabets, I can read their writings little bit, but I can't really know what this forum is about. I think the forum is translated the news that was put out by our Khmer compatriot group "Cambodia Watchdog Council International (CWC)". I would appreciate if readers who is well versed in Thai could briefly tell what are the Thai posting about. You don't have to translate all word by word.

To the Thais, they got to chill down for they have no course. Stay away from Khmer land. Preah Vihear is always belonged to Khmer.

Click on the LABELS "PREAH VIHEAR" --below the POSTED BY BLOG BY KHMER line to read all my postings on our Preah Vihear.

ពីខ្ញុំ វណ្ណះ
រាជធានី Phnom Penh


19 June 2008

ឱសីលធម៌ខ្មែរ​ O ! Where's Our Khmer Ethic ?

(Click on the image for larger font)

When us younger generation reading these kind poems, we could not help but think why there 's such a poem written ? It is written because everything has happened reflects true condition that exist in our society. This type of poems will last through time.

Thank you​ to the poet who composed this poem !

18 June 2008

The Vietnamese's excuse to come to Cambodia

I know in nearly every our election the Vietnamese finds excuses to come to our Cambodia during this critical time. In the last election time, I remember t they sent their soldiers to come in Cambodia to look for their death comrades during their 1979 invasion into our country.

Now the election is coming near. Our Cambodia will have the general election in 27 July 2008. Again, the Viets find the reason or excuse to send their soldiers into Cambodia. According to Khmer Radio Free Asia (RFA) 16 Jul 2008 stated from Vietnam Net (News) that Vietnam is strengthening the friendship between the two countries. They are creating the opportunity for the Vietnamese veteran soldiers to visit Khmer veteran "friends" in Cambodia .

Vietnamese has no reason to come into Cambodia during ​this critical time of ours. Are they spying our election process ? Are they intimidating the opposing parties ? Whatever Vietnamese reason is, they are not welcome here. Vietnamese must stay on their side of the border.

My Opionion,
រាជធានី ភ្នំពេញ

17 May 2008

David Meas, An Unscrupulous Lawyer ?

I thought I could get away without commenting news that was happening this week. ខ្ញុំទ្រាំមិនបាន​ -- I couldn’t help it. So here, seeking dry shelter from the gathering storm, I am near our ផ្សារចាស់ Psa Chas (Old Market) at an internet Café. I’m glad to be back on the PC keyboard again.

As the news occurred there’s a French-Cambodian attorney by the name David Meas who emailed letters to at least two Khmer bloggers threatened to sue them for defamation of the current foreign minister Hor Nam Hong. The letters and comments can be read at:
Sacravatoon ,
CAAI News Media , and KI Media .

What my thought about David Meas threatening emails ?
There’s no basis for the lawsuit. Political (satire) cartoons are as old as the founding of democracy of the great civilised nations. It’s nothing new. People are making fun of top leaders. For example, France PM François Fillon, President Nicolas Sarkozy, US President George Bush, UK PM Gordon Brown, Australia PM Kevin Rudd…and etc. I am sure these top leaders haven’t escaped from not being portrayed in the political cartoons at all. Now do you think Hor Nam Hong or even PM Hun Sen is holier than the mentioned top world leaders? Insanity! I am tired of thinking that our Khmer leaders cannot be criticised. It seems like if anything we say or express (do caricature drawings) to their dislike, we will be slapped with a “defamation” lawsuit. We’re too childish. Cambodia , grow out from this infancy. កុំធ្វើដូចក្មេង បៀមដៃទៀត!. Don’t act like a child sucking thumb anymore. Freedom of expression as I wrote in my earlier post is very fundamental for us. So, please suppress us no more.

What's my thought about foreign minister Hor Nam Hong ?
I never like him for he has a shady past linking to his former position as Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge chief of Boeng Trawbek prison . He should resign from the foreign ministry post. Some other person could have been much better qualified to serve the foreign minister post than this old man.

What's my thought about David Meas ?
I have no respect for Mr. David Meas . It seems he truly is an unscrupulous type of attorney. The French law board of licensing should investigate David Meas . Perhaps, he shouldn’t be writing letters to harass and intimidate people all over the internet. If he’s to be found guilty of misconduct violating the ethic of a lawyer, abusing his attorney privilege, the board should strip away his license, barring David Meas to practice and penalize him to the fullest extent of the law.

ផ្សារចាស់ ក្រុង​ភ្នំពេញ
Psa Chas, Phnom Penh

29 April 2008

Q&A on Blogging in Cambodia

Questions & Answers (Q&A):

Nearly two weeks ago I was asked from one news publication here in Phnom Penh. The reporter of that news services wanted to write on "Blogging in Cambodia" so he sent a serie of questions. I responded right away. Here's my cut-n-paste from the email of my response to him :

Flag: courtesy of http://www.mir.com.my/leofoo/Cambodia2005/index.htm

Why do you think most Cambodian bloggers avoid talking about politics and political leaders?

It's true. The majority of Khmer bloggers write about poetries, stories and their normal everyday activities. There's nothing wrong with that. As long as we write something that would take a lot of effort already. Yes, most of our bloggers avoid the issues that matter the most for our country direction; that is politics and the country's leadership. For the very reason I feel we're still feared of being persecuted on anything we say about our leaders. I don't like to think like this. Our leaders' mentalities are that they are inviolable. No one can criticise them. Anything we said to offend them we could be the next target for a roadside accident or shot at. The assailants will always never been found.

On the other hand, what gives you the confidence to write about these issues? (I can see from your blog that you have written extensively about political issues that many others avoid.)

Yes, I do have some confidence to write. My confidence based from part of our Kingdom's constitution Chapter III, Article 41 guarantees that "Khmer citizens shall have freedom of expression, press, publication and assembly. No one shall exercise this right to infringe upon the rights of others, to affect the good traditions of the society, to violate public law and order and national security. The regime of the media shall be determined by law."

My writings are of my own opinion, feeling and curiosity based from what I read from our local news sources. I feel I've done nothing wrong. I have links to the sources where I got the news and I just write what I feel. Some issues I am skeptical. For example where PM Hun Sen get the money to build the parks and bridges and named them after himself. What rights has he got to do this? Who elected Madame Bun Rany Hun Sen for president of Cambodia Red Cross? Then there come my feeling: Must I write about it or should I remain suppressed forever?

I feel freedom of expression as stated in our constitution Chapter III-41 is very fundamental in our democracy. Our leaders, public officials must be opened to criticism or else our kingdom is no different from communist Cuba , North Korea or the Junta of Myanmar. Unless they're not dictators, sensible leaders do take heed from voices of our people and they would change accordingly for the better.

Has anyone ever cautioned you to be more careful in what you write about? Have you ever been threatened or reprimanded in any way?

My closest friends always cautioned me to be careful on my writings. They told me to stay 'low profile'. One major news agency wanted to meet me in person to interview me on the article of blogging in Cambodia . After consulted with my friends, I humbly declined to meet with the chief correspondent of that news agency. Oftentimes, I would like to attend the Cambodia Blogger (Clogger) summit or some Cambodia bloggers' meet ups. I would wanted to sit at these events anonymously. The event organizers wouldn't know who I am. I wanted to socialise with my fellow bloggers. On all of the occasions my friends strongly advised me not to go, but to stay low. It seems my friends feared more for me than myself of my own writing! Beside my friends' precautionary advises, so far no one has ever threatened or reprimanded me. And if I ever hear it from any of our officials I would like to see it in writing; I surely will post it on my blog.

Do you feel you have complete freedom of speech when you blog?

I want to think I have complete freedom in my writing. I don't want to feel bullied by the officials that they are untouchables, inviolable and above the rule of laws. Again, I feel it's nothing wrong to express our feelings as long as all of our writings are based from facts and references. As you see in my blog I always have screen captures and links to other sources where I got the news.

I've mentioned above from our constitution that it guarantees my rights to free speech as Khmer citizens. Do I really have complete freedom of speech ? Here's what I think that Chapter III, article 41 doesn't really clearly guarantee our full freedom of speech. It's sort of contradicting of what is stated in the premises: "Khmer citizens shall have freedom of expression, press, publication and assembly [...]" Then the last clause stated: "The regime of the media shall be determined by law." I feel our constitution is flawed. It is not really much of a guarantee if the premises stated we can do so then at the end it would say whatever I write "shall be determined by the law". Now we need to put capable heads together to rewrite and eliminate these 'double talks' in our constitution.

I occasionally read some of our bloggers express politics in their writings. I've noticed other blogs criticise pubic officials too. I am hoping the trend continues and would see more our bloggers write what are affecting them the most, socially. The freedom to express in our forms of speeches without fear of being persecuted is very fundamental on all of us Khmer citizens. Let say allow us to write on topics such as the bribery in judges, freedom of religions, the idiocy of the prime minister, corruption and illegal land grabbing, the kowtowing of our government to Hanoi government, illegal Vietnamese settlers…etc. If there are issues that are affecting our Cambodia interests, we should and must be able to address them freely.

PP Cambodia
21 April 2008

Constition: http://www.embassy.org/cambodia/cambodia/constitu.htm
Cambodia flag: http://www.mir.com.my/leofoo/Cambodia2005/index.htm

10 April 2008

The 'Strongman' PM Hun Sen Comparision Logic

Our Prime Minister Hun Sen was bloviating nonsense in his logic of comparing himself to the main opposition party Sam Rainsy. From Banteay Meanchey provice, PM Hun Sen critised that “If [Sam Rainsy] is still the opposition leader then I am continuing to be the prime minister….I congratulate you and you congratulate me. […] there’s nothing wrong. Don’t you ever say ‘Prime Minister has the same old face’ then what about opposition leader? [He too has the same old face] What do you have to say on that?[…] Don’t ever say ‘Prime Minister is the same old face and should be changed and changes we must’. What about yourself as the opposition leader. You’re the same face too. Why do you never mention it? “
I feel PM Hun Sen‘s childish comments was so low and sounded very desperate for him to have come up with this comparison. He needs to work on his logic a little bit or the schools who gave him the degrees might strip away even those honorary PhD’s that they have awarded him.

Mr. Sam Rainsy was never a prime minister. On the other hand among the world leaders, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Than Shwe of Myanmar, Fidel Castro of Cuba, our Cambodia PM Hun Sen, is already known the world’s longest record holder in clinging on to power.

ខ្ញុំ វណ្ណះ
ពី ក្រុង​ ភ្នំពេញ សួរស្តី ឆ្នាំថ្មី​ !!

08 April 2008

Gen Tea Banh -- Just a simple question to a Yes or No answer.

If I meet General Tea Banh I would like to ask just a simple question in which I would expect a simple answer in return: Sir, on 25 March 2008 did you ask the Vietnamese for their soldiers to come in to Cambodia to maintain security and public order in our coming July general election ? [Yes or No]. Could you please clarify on this a little bit ?

Vietnam newspaper published that you did ask for help. But then our Khmer government has denied the allegation. That's why I would like to hear from you, General.

Source: Cambodia declares it did not seek security assistance

04 April 2008

Job Opening at Radio Free Asia Khmer Service វិទ្យុអាស៊ីសេរី ជ្រើសរើសបុគ្គលិក

Here in Phnom Penh I listen to Radio Free Asia (RFA) almost every day. It is broadcast from Washington USA. I found out that RFA Khmer service is hiring reporter for a temporary job position. Since the deadline of applying is 13 April 2008 I have about 10 more days to think about in submitting my Curriculum Vitae to Khmer RFA director in Washington America. Although I don't know how much the pay will be for this position, but I thought it would be great to work for RFA. Since RFA is an American organisation, for me that would be my dream job of getting some experience. I would learn the American way of reporting. I once read that news reporting in western worlds is 'non-bias fair and balance on all angles'. To be eligible there are six qualifications RFA is looking for in the potential candidate:

1) HAVE EXPERIENCE IN JOURNALISM, PREFERABLE IN RADIO JOURNALISM: I have no experience in this field whatsoever. I never know what journalism is all about. Here in Srok Khmer I only know one thing about the news. News over hear are all bias. Most news media from newspapers, radios and all TV's stations are controlled by the PM Hun Sen party CPP. So obviously the media are incessantly praising how good PM Hun Sen and the rest of his CCP members are. Furthermore, what I know about journalism here is that if you report anything to make the ruling government not liking you, you could be a target on the government hit list. That's all I know about journalism.

2) HAVE A DEGREE FROM A CREDIBLE UNIVERSITY: I have none. I've never gone to any higher learning schools in all my life. I know university degrees look like. I've seen some from my friends who graduated from NUM, IFL and Panasastra here in Phnom Penh. They look very nice. My self-taught style of the English reading/writing couldn't amount to anything, let alone from a university! I wish I have a university degree. I want a real one though.
Not like the ones PM Hun Sen have got. He got a lot of PhD's . Often time I wonder how many more PhD's Dr. Hun Sen will get for rest of his life time ? With so many degrees he earned already without going to school, his wife Mrs. Bun Rany Hun Sen probably very, very proud of him. Sorry, I'm a little veered off the subject to talk about PM Hun Sen degrees. You see? Now you can tell the writings of a non-university degree is like. Onto the next qualification.

3) SPEAK KHMER AS A MOTHER TONGUE. Yes! This one I qualified. My native tongue is Khmer. I am Khmer 100% in heart and brain! I am very proud to be a Khmer born to Khmer parents from Svay Rieng Province. I can read and write Khmer fluently. In my brain, I think in Khmer then translate to English whatever I want to say. Although my birth Svay Rieng province in bordered right next to Vietnam, I know no 'Tieng Viet'. I don't know Thai either. The only two languages I know are Khmer and English.

4) KNOW KHMER UNICODE. Yes. ខ្ញុំចេះយូនីខូដខ្មែរ ខ្ញុំអាចវាយ word​​ processing ជាភាសា របស់យើង តែមិនអាច វាយ អោយបាន លឿនរហ័ស ណាស់ណា​ទេ. I know and could type our language Unicode. I maybe not a fast typist, but I could improve this skill very quickly.

5) BE COMPUTER LITERATE. Yes, Windows, word processing and internet including blog publishing. I love MS Word ! I write with MS Word - it automatically check my spelling. That's why you probably notice I don't have much of misspelled words. I don't claimed myself as expert at computer, but I do comfortably know my way around the PC.

6) BE PROFICIENT ESPECIALLY IN READING AND WRITING ENGLISH: Humm….huhhh... I wouldn't say am "proficient", but think myself as "literate" in the English reading and writing. Again, my English is self-styled learned from many English novels. I've learned new vocabulary, grammar and style of writing from these readings. What keeps me going everyday is my passion in readings. I remembered one time during my elementary schooling I didn't read or write for about 2 months during the holiday vacation. When school resumed, I started picking up a pen to write, I couldn't believe my hand was so stiff and slow in writing just simple words. From this experience on, I practice reading and writing regularly. Both of these skills have expanded my way of thinking dramatically.

Now you know where I stand on the qualifications. If you're the RFA director would you hire me? If not, it's OK, I won't feel bad. I would be continuing to write freely as I am right now. But if I am hired, I have one condition to ask. I'd request to send me straight away to my first assignment coverage on PM Hun Sen getting many of his bogus PhD degrees.


30 March 2008

Hanoi Vietnam Stay out of Cambodia !

Mr. Defense Minister Tea Banh was 'kissing up" to Vietnam. Hanoi responded with "good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive and long-term co-opporation".

Good neighbour ? Yes.

Friends ? Sure. Certainly no countries want to have enemies with the neighbours .

Comprehensive and long-term corporation ? --huh...hum.. it's so vague, yet deceptive. Like if Vietnam wants to take over Cambodia, Laos under Hanoi centralise leadership as "Indochinese peninsular", do we have to cooperate ?

I feel Hanoi has to stop involving with Cambodia affairs. Whatever Vietnam said, it is appeared to be so friendly toward Cambodia, but the world is watching Vietnam to stay away from our country.

រាជធានី​ Phnom Penh

26 March 2008

Oh, Mr. Prime Minister Hun Sen – you don’t fool me

Just a little more than four months time, in July 2008 we Cambodians will be voting general election for the party that will lead our country for the better. The voice of the people will be heard. In the mean time our Prime Minister Hun Sen is still holding absolute power and centralised all power of running the country to himself. From building roads, schools, naming gardens and bridges, to judicial making processes and deciding who should be in or out of prison, PM Hun Sen involves with all of the final says. At Phnom Penh ’s roadside café, I remember one of my closest friends has once just casually mentioned “នៅប្រទេសកម្ពុជា យើង គឺយើងឥតមាន ត្រូវការ ច្បាប់អីទេ ពីព្រោះនាយករដ្ធមន្រី្តហុន សែន​ ផ្ទាល់ គឺជាឪ​ ជា​ ម៉ែ នៃច្បាប់ទាំងអស់ We don’t need the rule of laws in Cambodia because PM Hun Sen himself is the mother of all rule of laws”.

In the current event at Kompong Som (Sihanuokville) there was a clash between villagers and the local authority protecting the interest of the private company Thai Bun Rong. For generations there were 125 families who were living on the premises of this 13 hectares plot of land. The clash resulted one villager was shot by bullets to his leg and both of his arms were broken. Also four other villagers were arrested and were tossed in prison.

With the election time is coming closer, there would never be any better opportunity for PM Hun Sen to give more promises, hand out gifts and appeasing to the villagers for the purpose to win or buy their votes. Yesterday he flew to Kompong Som and gave a decree to immediately release those four villagers from prison. He compensated $750 to the injured man and $300 to each of the four who were in prison. It’s so ironic that the plot of land was originally belong to the people’s ownership. PM Hun Sen then awarded the 13 hectares of VILLAGERS’OWN LAND back to the villagers.

PM Hun Sen gave the publicity of a speech to propagandise his cause: [my translation] “When something like this has happened, I must apologise to the people. I must apologise for the injured and I must apologise for those that were tossed into the prison. What has happened here, now I must give the state’s land to the people. The land is belonged to the state and the state partitions and gives it to the people. I have nothing to fear when partitioning the land for the people. What I fear is if I partition the land and give it to other countries. I fear if I partition our frontier and ceded to other countries. I, Hun Sen, has no reasons to fear for partitioning the land to our people! “

As usual, our prime minister speech is very macho as one would have expected if he truly is a dictator. PM Hun Sen’s apology may have appeared lowly, modest and so wholeheartedly, which I know only happen for the purpose to have the people’s hearts to vote for his party. He may have won the hearts of 4 villagers that he just released from prison. But to me, especially during the election time, I know this very same trick well. For more than 28 years PM Hun Sen and his CPP cronies have led our Cambodia to deeper dept poverty and corruption. Sorry, Mr. Prime Minister, not again you don’t fool me. And sir, you still lose my vote.

រាជធានី ភ្នំពេញ

11 March 2008

Khmer Poem -- កំណាព្យ : ខ្មែរមិនត្រូវឆោត ខ្មែរមិនត្រូវចាញ់

​ This is a great Khmer poem I found on the internet. We all should read this before we're going to vote in the our election this coming July 2008.

Click on the image will enlarge the text. If you want to download the poem in PDF format, please click on the poem title on the left column of the screen.


12 February 2008

Although voting is secret, I know the party I WILL NOT vote for

Cambodia general election is coming up. Every time I visit my mother at my home village, I kept on telling family and friends to make sure we have our names registered ចុះឈ្មោះso we could vote on the election day. We must think carefully for we don’t want to waste our vote. We must vote for the party we believe that could lead for a better Cambodia .

Voting is secret. Nobody knows what party we're voting for. One thing for sure is that I will not vote for the CPP party. This is the Prime Minister Hun Sen Party. From what I've seen, this party does even more harm for our Cambodia . I feel PM Hun Sen is bowing down too much to Hanoi Communist government. For 29 years since 1979 when Vietnam invaded my country, the same CPP party is still dictating the power.

I believe there are a lot of smart people than PM Hun Sen who could lead our Cambodia . PM Hun Sen is not a good leader at all. Cambodia hasn't prospered under his centralised leadership.

Although PM Hun Sen has boasted our Cambodia has advanced so much. His rationale is that we have more cars these days as compare during Pol Pot years, therefore the country has prospered. I would say it is prospering to the elite few who has connection to the powerful people holding the government positions or related to PM Hun Sen himself. (See Global Witness Report) . Such scenarios are evident as in land eviction where military were sent to burn down villager houses and forced them to give up their lands. In this case I think the current government helps support the plundering from the poor and give to the rich.

Definitely, Cambodians must vote for our country’s direction. All Vietnamese nationals must stay out from Cambodia . Vietnamese cannot vote for Cambodia . Vietnamese has to stop involving with Cambodia affair. Let Cambodians vote for our own fate.

Thank you.


05 February 2008

សុំ​បេះ​ដូង​មួយ​ចំណែក -- Give me a portion of your heart

"Som Besdoang Muy Chomnek " -- Give me a portion of your heart. This song was first released at least 5 years ago. And now song is banned by Mrs. Bun Rany Hun Sen . Read the news and comments here . When the song is banned, that would make it even more popular. Here's Khmer lyrics of the song and the video I found on Youtube.

ស្រី​ណា​ក៏​តែង​តែ លង់​ស្នេហ៍​វៀង​ចិត្ត​មិន​រួច។

ក្នុង​ស្រី​ទាំង​ហ្វូង អូន​សុំ​បេះ​ដូង​មួយ​ចំណែក
ដូច​ដុំ​ពេជ្រ​ច្នៃ គ្មាន​តម្លៃ​ទិញ​ដល់
សារភាព​ទាំង​ខ្វល់ សុំ​តែ​មួយ​ចំណែក។

ស្ដេច​គ្រង​បេះ​ដូង មាន​អំណាច​ស្នេហ៍​អនេក
នារី​សោកា​សង្វេគ ព្រោះ​ប្រាថ្នា​ពេក​ហាក់​បី​ដូច​ជា​មាន​កម្ម។

សុំ​តែ​មួយ​ផ្នែក ចែក​អូន​គេង​ញញឹម
ធ្វើ​ម្ដេច​មាន​កម្ម​ ឲ្យ​លង់​ចិត្ត​លើ​បង។

--ពីខ្្ញុំ Vanak
Phnom Penh.

22 January 2008

Sandals sold in Vietnamese market .

Pairs of sandals (flip flops) having our national symbol Angkor Wat are sold at Vietnamese market in Vietnam. And now I'm wondering our King Sihamoni or Prime Minister Hun Sen has anything to say at all regarding this. Perhaps they pretend to hear nothing.

Even if our king or PM don't come out to say something, I feel this is wrong and very distasteful for Vietnam to market our national pride and symbol. This would be equal to having Vietnamese flag or picture of Ho Chi Minh on rolls of toilet paper. ---Vanak

Sources (please click on the pictures):

10 January 2008

Don't be dumb or you'll be duped ! . កុំល្ងីល្ងើ ពកថ្ងាស

No joke. This is real. Here in Phnom Penh when we first heard the news my friends and I just shook our heads and laughed so hard. We now came to the point of not laughing but feel more pity for our Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Back in 10 April 2004 our prime minister Hun Sen received an honorary doctor degree from an institution called Irish International University of the European Union (IIU) based in Dublin, Ireland. In front the backdrop curtain banner of the ceremonial event, our PM was beaming with pride when the executive president of the university Hardeep Singh Sandhu conferred the honorary degree in Political Science upon him. He was wearing a graduation gown and hat then shook hand with Mr. Sandhu while showing off his instantly earned doctorate.

According to the news it turned out IIU institution is not Irish, and it's not even a university. The university has no physical address but only listed of post office box (PO Box). Its web pages claimed that its degrees are supported by the "Quality Assurance Commission" where it was traced to an office in North London to a woman who was answering phones on behalf of various companies. There was no such commission ever existed. Futhermore, this bogus university has an honorary chancellor who called himself "His Excellency Baron Knowth". The BBC London tracked H.E. Baron Knowth to an accountant Herbert Jeffrey Wooller, where he owns multi-million pounds (dollars) of homes in both Monte Carlo/Monaco and London.

Flashing back to 10 April 2004, in Phnom Penh, our Prime Minister Hun Sen gave a lengthy conferment speech when receiving the degree from this so-call university. Now we all knew he made a fool of himself and the joke was laughed upon the rest of us Cambodians to have a prime minister like him leading our country.

If I am the Prime Minister Hun Sen personal adviser, I would advise him that this is a lesson he should learned. Find out first if the university has history and well established as a reputable institution. And finally, including universities from Vietnam, don't ever desperately eager to accept any honorary degrees.

So, I interpreted the moral from this news : Get your real education. Don't be dumb ! -- this might as well be my advise too. កុំល្ងីល្ងើ ពកថ្ងាស.

-- - - - -- - - -
A Degree of Deception
Shhh... Don't tell PM Hun Sen he was duped
Hun Sen Conferment Speech

04 January 2008

Spratly Islands and Koh Tral កោះត្រល់

The Spratly islands are 800km from Ho Chi Minh City, 1300km from Hong Kong. This archipelago comprised of more than 600 smalls rocks and corral reefs located in the South China Sea. It is hotly in dispute between China and Vietnam which both staked claims to the islands. Lately in 08 December, 2007 Vietnamese organised a demontration protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City. They rallied by shouted slogans against China to "stop invading" their territory.

When this news first came out I didn't have time to write it right away for I was extremely busy helping my mother at the village. Nevertheless, the high tension on high sea between China and Vietnam is still there; hence, it really piqued my interest in region of South China Sea even more. I then began to think the issue in parallel to my Camobodia's Koh Tral island.

Separately in comparison to the incident with the Spratly islands, Cambodia's biggest Koh Tral island is so close to our coastline. It is just 15km from Kampot province. Koh Tral sits right in Cambodia waters. Each time of day when the wind clears away the fog, we can see peaks of our Koh Tral from our coastline Kep or from Mount Bokor in Kampot province.

Yet, the distance of Koh Tral to Vietnam is 3 times more than it is to Cambodia. It's 45km to the closest southern tip Ha Tien province of Vietnam.

Vietnam took our island as 'under their administration'. Vietnam has the tendency to eliminate any trace of Cambodian origin, so they changed the original name Koh Tral to Phu Quoc . The term that the island is 'under Vietnamese administration' are just flowery words to cover up from the international community. I know at the present day there is no direct access to Koh Tral from our Cambodia side. Our Khmer fishermen will be arrested or shot by Vietnamese soldiers if we're straying in waters closer to the island.

So when the Vietnamese shouted to China "stop invading" on the Spratly islands, I was wondering if those demonstrators have any conscience of what they or their government did to our Cambodia Koh Tral island.

To me, Koh Tral is always ours. I am so sad for the lost of this island at this present time. As Vietnam always claimed they are friends of Cambodia. Friends don't take personal properties from one another. So I hope one day and soon, Vietnam would relinquish Koh Tral administration duty and hand it back to us wholeheartedly.

ពីខ្ញុំ​ វណ្ណះ,
ក្រុងរាជធានី ភ្នំពេញ
០៤ មករា ២០០៨