Friday, June 28, 2013

The Cambodian Royal Chronicle

92) King Norodom Sihanouk

(1st reign 1941--1955, Capital: Phnom Penh)
King Norodom Sihanouk was the son of Prince Norodom Suramarit and Princess Sisowath Kossamak. Both of his parents were third cousins. Thus, King Sihanouk was the great, great grandchild of King Ang Duong, the man who put Cambodia under the French protection and averted a possible Siam-Vietnamese elimination of the Khmer Kingdom.

After the death of King Sisowath Monivong, King Sihanouk’s grandfather, the royal council agreed to ascend King Sihanouk to the throne in 1941. At the time, Cambodia was still a French colony. However, the breakout of World War II in 1939 had traumatically changed the course of world history. The Germans had overtaken France, and, by 1945, the Japanese had also taken over the French colonies in Indochinese Peninsula. After the takeover, Japan had given independence to all the former French colony-countries. But the independence was short-lived. After the defeats of Germany and Japan, the main World War II’s antagonists, the French had returned to re-establish its colonies over Indochinese Peninsula. However, the taste of a short-lived independence had eventually made the colonized people increasingly resentful of the French rule. Thus, in 1949, the French was obliged to sign an agreement giving its former colonies quasi-independence by making them form a Federation of French Indochina with a common currency.

In 1953, King Norodom Sihanouk embarked on a royal crusade on the international arena in order to demand complete independence from France. After returning to Cambodia, he introduced a plan, appropriately called the Sihanouk Plan, by organizing non-violent mass struggle, similar to that of Mohandas Gandhi’s movement in India, against France’s rule. The crusade and the plan eventually pressured the French to grant complete independence to Cambodia in 1954.

King Sihanouk was a charismatic and populist leader. He was also a Machiavellian1 ruler who could be both benevolent and ruthless. To his supporters, he was Father of the Cambodian Independence, warrior, and champion of many causes. However, to his critics, King Sihanouk was nothing but a mercurial ruler, feisty leader, and a dictator who was ruthless to both his friends and foes who dared to voice their opinions against his.

Despite his political absolutism, King Sihanouk had made a number of noticeable accomplishments. During his reign, he had created a national welfare and relief systems to help alleviate the plight of poor people and those who suffered from natural disaster. He had also donated his personal finance to help build a number of schools such as Sihanouk High School in Kompong Cham, Suryavarman II Middle School in Siem Reap, and the Buddhist College in Phnom Penh. In addition to the building of national infrastructure, King Sihanouk had also encouraged the government to give scholarship to Cambodian students to study abroad. All in all, King Sihanouk had done an admirable job during his first reign. Perhaps most admirable of all was the introduction of a constitution giving limited democracy to the people of Cambodia who, for the first time in ages, had been exposed to the novelty of voting.

In 1955, after 13 years of ruling, King Sihanouk abdicated in favor of his father as he (Sihanouk) was preparing to lead a political party called the Sangkum Reastr Niyum in a national election.

93) King Norodom Suramarit
(1955--1960, Capital: Phnom Penh)
King Norodom Suramarit was the father of King Norodom Sihanouk. He succeeded the throne in 1955 after the abdication of his son. During his reign, Cambodia had enjoyed a relatively peaceful and tranquil existence.

After almost 100 years under French rule, the Khmer Kingdom was once again free from outside influence. However, the introduction of democracy and voting had nevertheless stirred tremendous political passion throughout the country. The students and former students who had been studying abroad and exposed to the concept of liberal democracy began to question and challenge the existing ruler, namely the monarch. Thus, throughout King Suramarit’s reign, Cambodia was mired in political struggle between the needs for greater freedom for the people and the monarch’s retaining of absolute power. King Norodom Suramarit died in 1960.

94) Prince Norodom Sihanouk/Queen Sisowath Kossamak
(Ruling as Chief of State, 1960--1970, Capital: Phnom Penh)
After King Suramarit’s death, Cambodia had fallen into what could be called a constitutional crisis. The problem derived largely from Prince Sihanouk’s unwillingness to name a successor to the throne, for he feared that it would jeopardize his consolidation of power in Cambodia.

Since the inception of a constitution in 1947, the center of governmental power in Cambodia began to move from the hands of the monarch to the National Assembly. The king would only reign but no longer rule. It was this shift that led to King Sihanouk’s abdication in 1955 in favor of his father, King Suramarit, so that he could free himself from the constraint of monarchy and be able to contest in the national elections which was, needless to say, farces that served his interests.

Now that the king was dead, the need to ascend a new king to the throne was paramount because it would make no sense for a kingdom without a king. As a requirement, once the king died, the Royal Council which was composed of a senior member of the royal family, the prime minister, the presidents of the two houses of the National Assembly, and the heads of the two Buddhist orders was to convene and name a successor. But the process was put to a halt when Prince Sihanouk, who was prime minister at the time, opposed to naming a successor. Thus, a special Bill was rushed through the National Assembly to create a Regency Council which was to represent the throne but to have no executive power.

After the creation of the Regency Council, Prince Sihanouk then resigned as prime minister and initiated a referendum to seek popular support for his idea of not naming a successor to the throne. In his campaign, he argued that the royal institution was full of corruption and decadence, which needed to be reformed. His proposal for reform was to have a popularly elected ruler who would be neither king, nor prime minister, nor president, but a leader who represented the general will of the people and the kingdom. With this proposed reform set in motion, a nationwide referendum was held and Prince Sihanouk was elected to become Cambodian ruler as chief of state. As chief of state, Sihanouk would neither be king, nor prime minister, nor president, but the combination of them all. He was to represent the throne as well as the government and everything else in between. In order to legitimize this new position, the National Assembly hastily added amendments to the constitution recognizing as chief of state a person who was “incontestably and expressly designated by the vote of the nation”. With this successful reform, Prince Sihanouk had accomplished what amounted to a constitutional coup d’etat. In a sense, he had established an absolute ruler behind the veil of democracy and without having to become a king. After accepting his new role as chief of state, Prince Sihanouk asked the ever-compliant National Assembly to recognize his mother, Queen Kossamak, as symbolic representative of the throne.

As chief of state, Prince Sihanouk’s rule was marred with political crises and violence. Domestically, political factionalism had created tremendous fracture within the government. Both right-wing conservative and left-wing communist inspired politicians were increasingly alienated toward his one-man policy and rule. Internationally, the pro-American governments of then South Vietnam and Thailand had also been increasingly critical of Sihanouk’s neutral policy, which appeared to be biased toward the communist camp. As a result, tensions and hostilities began to emerge and threaten Cambodia’s stability. In response to these crises, Prince Sihanouk embarked on a violent and ruthless campaign against anyone who opposed his rule or linked to the Thai-South Vietnamese-support Khmer Serei’s (Free Khmer) movement led by a man named Son Ngoc Thanh. As the tension grew, a rebellion broke out in 1967 at Samlaut village located at the northwestern corner of the kingdom in Battambang province. The rebellion was successfully quelled by Prince Sihanouk and his army, and a number of people who were suspected or believed to be rebels were mercilessly killed.

After the Samlaut Rebellion, Prince Sihanouk began to intensify his violent campaign against his opponents. Anyone who was suspected of rebellious activities or openly questioned and challenged his policy or rule was brutally persecuted or killed. This heavy-handed totalitarian policy eventually led to further deterioration within the government. Many left-wing communist-oriented politicians began to secretly go underground and form clandestine resistance to overthrow his government while a number of right-wing conservative politicians were planning to remove him from power in a coup d’etat. Thus, Prince Sihanouk’s fate as the chief of state was sealed when, in early 1970, his cousin, Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, colluded with his defense minister, General Lon Nol, to overthrow him in a mildly violent coup d’etat. Prince Sihanouk was on a routine trip to France for medical check up when the coup d’etat against him broke out. He was condemned to death by the coup’s instigators and, eventually, went into exile in China where he became a figurehead leader of the communist-oriented revolutionary movement led by a man named Pol Pot (a.k.a. Saloth Sar) who was waging war against the newly formed Lon Nol’s government.
(To be continued)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

WAR AND GENOCIDE

Prisoners of the Humanitarian

After my mother’s arrival in Site 2, I sent a letter to Heang informing him of our reunion. Heang was so happy to learn of our being together in a refugee camp. He said that he would try his best to sponsor us to live with him in the United States, which gave us some sense of hope, even though such hope for us was quite remote knowing what his life’s situation was. But it was nevertheless reassuring for us to know that we, at least, had some support while living in an isolated place fenced around with barbed wire. My other brother, Sokha, who at that point resided in the state of Ohio, had also provided us with some financial support.

Despite having been supplied with food and water, life in Site 2 was a bit depressing. One could not escape the feeling of being confined like a prisoner whenever one walked to the edge of camp and saw the barbed wire and the guard posts of Thai soldiers who kept watch over the camp’s residents day and night. However, the Thai authority which oversaw the camps seemed to sense that many camp’s residents had relatives living abroad and that they had money to spend. Therefore, to exploit the wealth that existed within Site 2, a sort of informal farmer’s market was set up on a strip of land within the premises of the camp where local Thai farmers and merchants could bring in produce, scrap meats, canned foods, dried goods, and clothes to sell to the refugees. The market was open only until noon time each day; and it was through this informal trade that we, refugees, could imagine what the outside world might look like.

For the rest of 1986, life for me was a bit less depressing after having been reunited with my mother and younger brother. Despite being confined within the premises of a refugee camp, we were able to establish some sense of normalcy living as a family unit. During this relative peace and comfort, I was able to devote much of my energy to educating myself as rigorously as possible. My plan was to skip one grade level every couple of years so that I could compensate for lost time. Everyday, I spent most of my spare time studying mathematics and other subjects with my friends who were one or two grade levels ahead of me. I would go to sit and listen to them while they were doing their homework and, if possible, ask them some questions. Though the subjects were sometimes beyond my grasp, I felt that I learned something in the process. This somewhat informal self-training eventually became the backbone of my educational background.

Toward the end of 1986, another life-changing event had befallen me. This time, it was another quest to reach yet another point of our journey. Om Ok’s son-in-law, Chantha, who had been working with the rebel’s intelligence services, learned that in order to be eligible to immigrate to another country we must be classified and recognized as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Those of us who lived in camps along the Thai-Cambodian border were not refugees; we were classified as displaced people. There was only one camp called Khao I Dang (KID) which was run by UNHCR. People could be recognized as refugees when they arrived and lived there for some time.

With this information, Chantha began to talk about the possibility of going to Khao I Dang to seek refugee status so that we would stand a better chance of immigrating to the United States. He said that it was pointless for us to leave everything behind and travel across so many perils to reach a place but stop short just as we were about to reach the end point. Khao I Dang was not that far and reaching it was not that dangerous compared to what we had faced leaving Cambodia for the border camp. Thus, with that powerful argument, Chantha had made a compelling case. Om Ok and Om Ky soon agreed with their son-in-law’s idea of moving to Khao I Dang camp. They began to make preparation and look for means to get there.

As soon as she learned that her only relatives in Site 2 were about to move to another camp, my mother began to worry about our fate. She, too, left Cambodia for the opportunity to go live with her sons in the United States of America, not to languish in a refugee or displaced people camp. Hence, my mother insisted that we, too, move to Khao I Dang. I was reluctant to go to Khao I Dang as it meant that my education would once again be interrupted and put on hold. After all of those painful and difficult efforts to gain a foothold in bringing myself back into schooling, the idea of letting it slip out of my life and future was too much for me to take. I initially refused to go along with my mother’s insistence to move to Khao I Dang camp. But, after seeing how sad and anxious she was, I relented.

Khao I Dang was located some 50 miles or so from Site 2. It was not within walking distance. But distance was not a problem for the human traffickers who would take us there. As long as we were willing to risk our lives and had the money to pay for our transport, the traffickers would take us anywhere we wanted to go in Thailand. It appeared that these human traffickers seemed to thrive wherever desperate people lived. In Site 2, it didn’t take long for Chantha to locate a small group of human traffickers who would take us to Khao I Dang for a fee. One morning in late December, 1986, we surreptitiously left our huts and went to a departure point where our traffickers arranged for their Thai counterparts to come pick us up and transport us to Khao I Dang. Vuthda, my good friend, and his family did not go with us as they were reluctant to take the risk of being trafficked in a foreign country.

The group of human traffickers with whom we entrusted our lives, were composed of three Cambodian refugees and several Thai nationals. Their operation was a classic case of caged birds and wild birds cooperating to exploit a common interest. Together, they created elaborate steps to bring us to Khao I Dang undetected, or maybe they already bribed the various officials for passages. Whatever they did, I was quite amazed to see that these human traffickers were very brazen in going about transporting us to Khao I Dang.

We slipped out of Site 2 at about five o’clock in the evening at a secluded area. There was a small gap in the barbed wire fence, made by either the human traffickers or smugglers for people to slip in and out of the camp. Two of the Cambodian guides led us through the forests while the third stayed behind inside the camp to give some sort of signals to their colleagues that it was safe to slip back into the camp. We walked on a rather well trodden path for about half a mile before coming to a stop under a thicket. Judging from the well-worn path, it appeared that we were not the only group of people who used that trail. There must be countless other people who went through that secret trail before us. From our hiding place, we could hear the sounds of automobiles traveling back and forth rather clearly. Hence, the road must be nearby. One of our guides went ahead to scout in the direction from which we heard the sounds of automobiles. About 15 minutes later, he returned and motioned for us to move forward. We walked for a couple hundred yards more and emerged at a small clearance on the edge of the forest where a pickup truck was waiting for us. The two Thai nationals who were driving the truck motioned for us to climb on board the truck’s bed quickly before we could be spotted by Thai border police. With fear and anxiety, we scrambled onto the truck’s bed in less than five minutes. Once we all packed into the pickup truck, the driver took off quickly. One of our Cambodian guides who spoke Thai came along with us while the other returned to the camp.

We traveled through several Thai villages disguised as farmers returning from their fields. To avoid suspicion from onlookers, all the children were seated in the middle of the truck’s bed while adults were sitting around them. At one point, our truck made a detour onto a dirt path where a man riding on a motorcycle was waiting to lead the way. A couple of miles later, we emerged back onto the paved road and continued on toward Khao I Dang camp. Our Cambodian guide told us that the detour was necessary to avoid a Thai police checkpoint. At about 7:30 p.m., we arrived at an isolated safe house located on a field adjacent to Khao I Dang camp. We spent the night in that house and remained there until four p.m. the next day, before preparation was made to get us into Khao I Dang. Through the house’s windows, we could see the light brown huts of Khao I Dang camp with our naked eyes. Located not far from our safe house was a small villa belonging to an affluent family who had a connection with the Thai monarch. During our stay in the safe house, we were invited to visit that villa, which some of us did. The owners gave us a tour of the house and we were quite impressed. Apparently, like Odom in Cambodia, the Thai human traffickers also had powerful people behind them. I presumed that the wealthy residents who had a connection with the Thai monarch must receive some payments from the traffickers for providing a protective umbrella for them.

At about 4:30 p.m. we made our way into Khao I Dang camp. After bribing a Thai taskforce who guarded a secluded area behind Khao I Dang camp’s hospital, our guides got a go-ahead signal to drop us off near a small bridge built over a dry creek. We walked along that dry creek and after passing under that small bridge for about a hundred yards, we reached the smuggling entry point where a wide gap in the barbed wire fence was made to enable people to walk in and out of the camp without hindrance. At this point, only our Cambodian guide remained with us to take us to another safe house in Khao I Dang camp, which belonged to a middle-aged couple known informally as the four aces family. The four aces were referred to their four beautiful daughters, one of whom was married to a Thai taskforce official in charge of guarding Khao I Dang camp. I had a glimpse of that Thai official and a couple of the beautiful daughters before being surreptitiously moved to hide in small group in different houses in the camp. At that point, I began to realize that life in Khao I Dang camp wasn’t what we had expected—a refugee camp with humanitarian protection.

(To be continued)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Cambodian Royal Chronicle

4) The Phnom Penh Period


89) King Norodom
(1860--1904, Capital: Oudong & Phnom Penh)
King Norodom was the oldest son of King Ang Duong. He succeeded the throne in 1860 after the death of his father. He also inherited the support or indirect rule from France which was establishing colonies over the Indochinese Peninsula.
In the first year of his reign, King Norodom faced a familiar royal crisis. His brother, prince Siwatha was envious of his leadership and enlisted two people named Snong So and Mano Keo to instigate a rebellion against the King. However, the rebels were defeated by the royal army and Mano Keo was captured and executed. As for Snong So, he escaped to Cochinchina’s territory (now Southern Vietnam). Prince Siwatha had also escaped. After this incident, King Norodom moved the Capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh which was to remain until today.
In 1865, two other people named Achar Sva and Po Kambo instigated another rebellion1. But, once again, the royal army had defeated , captured, and executed the two instigators. After these two rebellions, Cambodia had experienced a period of tranquility. During his reign, King Norodom had built a temple called Preah Keo Morakot on the southern flank of the Royal Palace’s compound in Phnom Penh. He died in 1904.

90) King Sisowath
(1904--1927, Capital: Phnom Penh)
King Sisowath was the younger brother of King Norodom. After King Norodom’s death, the royal council, the two leaders of the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist sects, and the French Resident Superieur agreed to ascend King Sisowath to the throne.
Soon after his succession, Siam, under pressure from the French, had returned the provinces of Stung Treng, Tonle Pov, and Mlu Prey to Cambodia. Later on in 1907, Siam had also signed a treaty with the French and returned the provinces of Battambang, Serey Sauphorn, and Siem Reap, in which the City of Angkor was located, to Cambodia. Thus, Cambodia regained some of its lost territories including its ancient city of Angkor at this point. During World War I (1914-18), King Sisowath sent the Khmer army volunteers to help France fight with Germany.
Throughout his reign, Cambodia had enjoyed a peaceful existence. King Sisowath had ordered the building of many institutions. Among these were the famed Lycee Sisowath, the Royal Library, the Pali School of Higher Learning, the School of Fine Arts, and the Royal School of Administration, etc. He also undertook the road building projects throughout the country.

91) King Sisowath Monivong
(1927--1941, Capital: Phnom Penh)
King Sisowath Monivong was the oldest son of King Sisowath. He succeeded the throne in 1927. During his reign, Cambodia had, in effect, become a French colony. The French gave little freedom to ordinary Khmer people, and the French exploitation of local economy was enormous. As a result, the Khmers were just as miserable under the French protection as they were under the protection/oppression of their two neighboring nemeses, Siam and Vietnam.
Using local labors, the French established one of the world’s largest rubber plantations in Me Muth, Kompong Cham. The plantation had an area of 6,000 hectares and contained some 550,000 rubber trees.
Though King Sisowath Monivong was, in effect, a French tutelage, his royal government had nevertheless made some progresses. In 1932, the government had completed the construction of a railroad running across several provinces and linking Phnom Penh to the Siamese (Thai) border. Also, a bridge was built across the Bassac River which gave the people who lived on the other side of the river easy access to the Capital. King Sisowath Monivong died in 1941.
(To be continued)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

WAR AND GENOCIDE

The Jungle of Refugees (cont.)
In a society where a child’s success became a bragging right of the parents, my success of becoming one of the top three students on test scores gave teachers at Nong Chan Primary School some senses of pride. To reward my good performance, the assistant principal allowed me to attend English courses taught by Father John Kennedy Bingham to the school staff, hoping that upon my completion of secondary school education I would return to teach at Nong Chan Primary School. To those who might wonder who Father John Kennedy Bingham was, he, as the name suggested, was related to the famous Kennedy family of America.


I started the first year of my secondary school education some time in December of 1985. As one of the top students who received high score on the entrance exam, I was chosen to become the classroom’s major. Because UNBRO did not provide support for secondary school education, the Cambodian camp administrators had to divert some of the building materials, mostly bamboo and thatch, from other building projects to construct several rudimentary classrooms for us. As for educational materials such as textbooks, notebooks, pens, and pencils, we had to rely on charity organizations. COERR, Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees, was one such organization which provided us with much needed support.

As students, we did not have the luxury of possessing textbooks. Only teachers were given textbooks for teaching. Hence, we had to write down our lessons, either copying them from the blackboard after our teacher, or writing them down onto our notebooks as our teacher dictated them to us. As the classroom’s major, I was frequently given the tasks of writing our lessons on the blackboard for my classmates to copy them down while our teacher was preparing other lessons.

Soon after I started my first year at the secondary school, my younger brother, Buntha arrived in the camp. Without dilly-dally, I arranged to have him attended school immediately. Buntha had already reached the seventh grade when he left Cambodia. Our secondary school had one seventh grade class, two sixth grade classes, and six fifth grade classes. However, Buntha was a bit reluctant to attend the seventh grade as I was lagging behind him in the fifth grade. Thus, he decided to enroll in the fifth grade with me. I should point out that the secondary school curricula in the refugee camp was somewhat more advanced than those being carried out in Cambodia, for they were modeled after the free world countries such as Thailand, Singapore, and the U.S.; whereas in Cambodia, they were restricted by Communist ideology. For instance, students in Cambodia at that time could not study unsanctioned foreign languages such as English or French, while their counterparts in the refugee camp could study any subject. That was why Buntha decided to roll back his grade level to fill in the gap.

After having his name registered, Buntha was placed in the same class with me. Hence, I had another competitor who was my younger brother. As a class major, I was expected to maintain good standing academically, which meant that I should score higher than my peers on the various subjects we studied. It was tough, given the fact that I had not had a solid basic educational background. As a result, I found myself frequently being beaten by my little brother, academically.

By about mid 1986, my mother had finally made it to one of the rebel’s military camps, which located about 70 miles from where we were. Despite the isolation of Site 2, where all civilian refugee camps under the control of a rebel group called the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KPNLF) were relocated, people inside Cambodia, who had troubles with the Cambodian communist government, still trickled into those rebel military camps to escape persecution. The rebel forces periodically made arrangements to transport those civilian people to Site 2 in their military trucks, which brought soldiers every month or so to visit their families who lived in Site 2 camp complex.

Upon learning of my mother’s arrival in the rebel’s military camp, we immediately tried to find ways to get her to Site 2 as soon as possible. Om Ok’s son-in-law, Chantha, at that point, had joined the rebel’s intelligence services called KISA, Khmer Intelligence Services Agency, as a desk officer. Using his connections, Chantha asked the rebel officers at the frontline to help send my mother to Site 2 as soon as possible. However, before the officers could locate my mother, she had been robbed by some foot soldiers who guarded the camp. According to a witness, from whom we learned afterward, the rebel robbers took my mother aside and ordered her to take off her clothes to see if she hid any valuable in the private areas. It must have been a humiliating experience for my mother. But she said nothing to us about the incident.

In an attempt to right the wrong and punish the culprits, their officer summoned those who guarded the area where my mother was robbed to stand in line and had my mother pointed out the ones who robbed her. But, my mother was too smart to make enemies in the jungle where only jungle law prevailed. She told the officer that it was rather dark, and she couldn’t recognize the faces of the people who robbed her. To amend the misdeed of their soldiers, the officials in charge of the military camp put my Mom in a special car and brought her to Site 2 immediately.

(To be continued)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ចំណីខួរក្បាល (ប្រចាំសប្តាហ៍)

"ព្រុសខុសដើមឈើ"
នៅក្នុងភាសាអង់គ្លេស មានពាក្យអត្ថប្បដិរូបមួយឃ្លាពោលថា៖
"Barking up the wrong tree." ពាក្យនេះមានន័យថា "រកខុសកន្លែង"
ឬក៏ ធ្វើកិច្ចការខុសគោលដៅ ។ ប៉ុន្តែ បើយើងបកប្រែពាក្យនេះ
តាមន័យត្រង់ យើងអាចប្រៀបធៀបពាក្យនេះទៅនឹងសត្វឆ្កែ
ប្រមាញ់ដែលព្រុសកោះរកសត្វមិនត្រូវចំដើមឈើដែលសត្វព្រៃ
កំពុងពួន ។ ឆ្កែប្រមាញ់គឺជាឆ្កែដែលគេចិញ្ចឹមសម្រាប់ស្វែងរក
និងដេញខាំសត្វព្រៃ ។ កាលខ្ញុំរស់នៅក្នុងតំបន់ចុងកាត់មាត់ញក
មួយនាសម័យខ្មែរក្រហមគ្រប់គ្រងប្រទេសកម្ពុជានៅអំឡុងចុង
ទសវត្សរ៍ឆ្នាំ ១៩៧០ ខ្ញុំធ្លាប់ឃើញក្មេងៗដែលជាកូនកម្មាភិបាល
ខ្មែរក្រហមនាំឆ្កែដើរម្រមាញ់សត្វព្រៃ ។ ជារឿយៗ ខ្ញុំសង្កេតឃើញ
ថា នៅពេលដែលហ្វូងឆ្កែប្រមាញ់ហិតប្រទះក្លិនសត្វសំពោចក្រអូប
ពួកវាហាក់ដូចជាវង្វេងវង្វាន់ ហើយនាំគ្នាទៅព្រុសសំដៅដើមឈើ
ឬគុម្ពោតព្រៃ ដែលមិនមែនជាទីដែលសត្វសំពោចកំពុងលាក់ខ្លួន
ទៅវិញ ។ ជាលទ្ធផល ទាំងឆ្កែទាំងម្ចាស់ គឺបានត្រឹមតែរុករកហត់
អត់អំពើ ។
ថ្មីៗនេះ រដ្ឋសភានៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រ កម្ពុជា បានធ្វើច្បាប់មួយ
ដើម្បីផ្តន្ទាទោសដល់បុគ្គលណាដែលនិយាយថា គ្មានអំពើប្រល័យ
ពូជសាសន៍នៅក្នុងសម័យខ្មែរក្រហម ឬថាគុកទួលស្លែងជាគុក
សិប្បនិម្មិត ។ ក្នុងនាមយើងជាអតីតជនរងគ្រោះនៃរបបខ្មែរ
ក្រហម យើងសូមស្វាគមនិងគាំទ្រច្បាប់នេះយ៉ាងពេញទំហឹង ។
ប៉ុន្តែ អ្វីដែលគួរឲ្យសោកស្តាយ គឺថា ការធ្វើច្បាប់សម្រាប់ដាក់
ទណ្ឌកម្មអ្នកនិយាយមិនពិតអំពីរបបប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍ខ្មែរ
ក្រហមនោះ គឺមិនខុសអ្វីអំពីសត្វឆ្កែប្រមាញ់ ដែលព្រុសខុសដើម
ឈើឡើយ ។ និយាយឲ្យងាយគិត ទោសនិយាយមិនពិត គឺមាន
ស្ថានទម្ងន់មិនដូចទោសដែលបានប្រព្រឹត្តិនោះទេ ។ ដូច្នេះ រដ្ឋ
សភាកម្ពុជាគួរណាស់តែយកពេលវេលាដ៏មានតម្លៃរបស់ខ្លួន ទៅ
ធ្វើច្បាប់បញ្ជាក់វែកញែកឲ្យបានច្បាស់ នូវទម្ងន់ទោសឧក្រិដ្ឋ
សម្រាប់អ្នកដែលបានប្រព្រឹត្តិអំពើឧក្រិដ្ឋ មកលើពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្នុង
សម័យខ្មែរក្រហមគ្រប់គ្រងរដ្ឋអំណាចនោះវិញ ទើបប្រសើរ ។
បច្ចុប្បន្ន តុលាការកូនកាត់មួយដែលមនុស្សទូទៅហៅកាត់ថា "តុលាការខ្មែរក្រហម" ត្រូវបានរាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជាសហការជា
មួយនឹងអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិបង្កើតឡើង ដើម្បីកាត់ទោសអតីត
មេដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រហម ។ មកទល់នឹងថ្ងៃនេះ ដំណើរការកាត់ទោស
អតីតមេដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រហម បាននិងកំពុងតែប្រឈមនឹងភាពចម្រូង
ចម្រាសយ៉ាងខ្លាំង រហូតដល់ចៅក្រមអន្តរជាតិមួយចំនួនលាឈប់
ពីដំណែង ដោយសារតែការខ្វែងគំនិតគ្នារវាងសហចៅក្រមជាតិ
ខ្មែរនិងអន្តរជាតិ ។ យោងតាមពត៌មានចេញមកពីតុលាការខ្មែរ
ក្រហម ចំណុចចម្រូងចម្រាសដែលនាំឲ្យមានការខ្វែងមតិគ្នារវាង
ចៅក្រមខ្មែរនិងចៅក្រមអន្តរជាតិនោះ គឺស្ថិតនៅត្រង់មាត្រាមួយ
នៃច្បាប់កាត់ទោសអតីតមេដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រហម ដែលតម្រូវឲ្យផ្តន្ទា
ទោសតែបុគ្គលណាដែលទទួលខុសត្រូវខ្ពស់បំផុត (Most Responsible
Persons) ។
សម្រាប់អ្នកដែលធ្លាប់បានសិក្សា​ ឬក៏ធ្លាប់រស់នៅក្នុងរបបខ្មែរក្រហម
បុគ្គលដែលទទួលខុសត្រូវខ្ពស់បំផុតនោះ គឺគ្មាននរណាដឹងឬអាច
សន្មត់បានទេ ។ យើងគ្រាន់តែដឹងថា អង្គការជាអ្នកទទួលខុសត្រូវ
ខ្ពស់បំផុត ក្នុងការកាប់សម្លាប់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរទូទាំងប្រទេសនាសម័យ
នោះ ។ ហើយនៅពីក្រោយអង្គការគឺថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រហម ដែល
គេហៅថា៖ គណមជ្ឈឹម គណភូមិភាគ គណតំបន់ គណស្រុក
គណឃុំ គណសហករណ៍ និង​ ពួកឈ្លបនិងយោធា ដែលទទួល
ខុសត្រូវផ្នែកសន្តិសុខជាតិ ។ នៅក្នុងចំណោមថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រ
ហមទាំងនេះ មានបុគ្គលមួយចំនួនធំបានប្រព្រឹត្តិឧក្រិដ្ឋកម្មយ៉ាង
ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ ។ ដូច្នេះ បុគ្គលដែលធ្លាប់ធ្វើជាតំណាងអង្គការខ្មែរក្រហម
ទាំងនេះវិញទេ ដែលរដ្ឋសភាខ្មែរគួរតែធ្វើច្បាប់ដាក់ស្ថានទម្ងន់
ទោសឲ្យបានច្បាស់សាល់ និងឲ្យបានឆាប់ ដើម្បីជួយសម្រួល
ដល់តុលាការខ្មែរក្រហម ចាត់វិធានការទៅតាមនិតិវិធីរបស់ខ្លួន
ក្នុងការវិនិច្ឆ័យទោសឧក្រិដ្ឋជនទាំងនេះ ឲ្យបានសមរម្យ ។ ចំ
ណែកឯអ្នកដែលនិយាយមិនពិត ឬក៏បដិសេធថា គ្មានអំពើប្រ
ល័យពូជសាសន៍នៅក្នុងសម័យខ្មែរក្រហមនោះ វាមិនចាំបាច់អ្វី
នឹងតម្រូវឲ្យរដ្ឋសភាជាតិខ្មែរ ធ្វើច្បាប់ដើម្បីដាក់ទោសទណ្ឌនោះ
ទេ ព្រោះថា ពាក្យសម្តីដែលមិនពិត មិនអាចកែប្រែរឿងពិតបាន
ឡើយ ។ មូលហេតុដែលយើងហ៊ានអះអាងដូច្នេះ ព្រោះយើងធ្លាប់
បានឮលោក ខៀវ សំផន ដែលជាអតីតប្រមុខរដ្ឋខ្មែរក្រហមនោះ និយាយបដិសេធថាគ្មានអំពើប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍នៅក្នុងសម័យ
ខ្មែរក្រហម អស់រយៈពេលជាង ៣០ឆ្នាំមកហើយ ។ ប៉ុន្តែ សម្តី
ប្រាសចាកការពិតរបស់គាត់ មិនបានធ្វើឲ្យប្រវិត្តិសាស្ត្រខ្មែរក្រហម
កែប្រែទេ ។ ផ្ទុយទៅវិញ វាបានធ្វើឲ្យសាធារណមតិនៅលើសកល
លោក រឹតតែមានជំនឿនិងឆន្ទៈ ក្នុងការសិក្សា និងរក្សាប្រវត្តិ
សាស្ត្រ នៃអំពើប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍របស់ពួកខ្មែរក្រហម យ៉ាងមុត
មាំថែមទៀត ។ ការអូសក្បាលលោក ខៀវ សំផន មកកាត់ទោស
នៅក្នុងតុលាការខ្មែរក្រហម គឺជាតឹកតាងដ៏ប្រត្យក្សមួយ ។
ការធ្វើច្បាប់ផ្តន្ទាទោសអ្នកនិយាយប្រឌិត ជាជាងធ្វើច្បាប់បញ្ជាក់
លម្អិត ក្នុងការវិនិច្ឆ័យទោសឧក្រិដ្ឋដែលត្រូវបានប្រព្រឹត្តិដោយអតីត
ថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំខ្មែរក្រហមនោះ គឺមិនខុសអ្វីអំពីឆ្កែប្រមាញ់ ដែលទៅ
ព្រុសកោះខុសដើមឈើដែលសត្វសំពោចក្រអូប កំពុងតែលាក់
ខ្លួនពួនអាត្មានោះទេ ។ បើយើងធ្វើការប្រៀបធៀបវិភាគឲ្យបាន
ល្អិតល្អន់ យើងនឹងមើលឃើញថា អ្នកដែលនិយាយប្រាសចាកការ
ពិតអំពីអំពើប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍នៅក្នុងរបបខ្មែរក្រហម គឺគ្រាន់តែ
ជាខ្លិនសត្វសំពោចក្រអូបតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ វាគ្មានប្រយោជន៍អ្វីនឹងទៅ
រុករកចាប់សត្វសំពោចនៅក្នុងទីកន្លែងដែលយើងគ្រាន់តែធំខ្លិន
របស់វានោះទេ ។ បើបំណាច់នឹងចំណាយពេលវេលា ដើម្បីរុករក
ចាប់សត្វសំពោចក្រអូបនោះ យើងគួរតែទៅរុករក នៅក្នុងគុម្ពោត
ឈើណា ដែលវាកំពុងពួន ៕