Thursday, November 5, 2009

Extra-parliamentary Opposition

Many SRP followers hailed Sam Rainsy’s recent ‘publicity stunt’ as a great call of awakening. They see this as an overdue calling attention to the Eastern border problems, which, in their opinion, is just as grave as the problem with Thailand. Needless to say, this is a great misjudgment of the situation.

Sam Rainsy’s actions, however, are nothing less than outright ludicrous. One can only ask oneself, ‘What was he thinking?’ One can understand the local villagers that want to take matters in their own hands in the face of a possible border violation by probably Vietnamese villagers on the other side. Whether or not the border markers were inside Cambodian territory, it certainly is not appropriate for the leader of the opposition to pull the posts out. Perhaps he got carried away. Perhaps he thought this was a good opportunity to get back into the headlines as it had become a little quiet about him in recent weeks. After all, Hun Sen had one scoop after another recently, what with his invitation and now appointment of Thaksin.

The issue with the border markers would ordinarily have been rather insignificant had it not been for Sam Rainsy’s activism. An opposition leader’s place is in the National Assembly and at the helm of his party. These are the venues where he can make speeches, denounce the government, and lay out his proposals. As an MP he is a member of the legislative body, not the executive. Border disputes clearly are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of the government. As a man who constantly calls for the rule of law, he should be the first to abide by it.

He did the same as the Red or Yellow shirts in Thailand. But these are what’s generally called extra-parliamentary opposition. They can stage demonstrations, hold sit-ins, mass-rallys, or whatever else pleases them, in order to make their point of view known. They can also resort to civil disobedience. A member of parliament’s weapons are his or her voice, and his or her legislative actions. If they want to use the tools of the extra-parliamentary opposition, they should join them and resign from their seat in the National Assembly. That would be the right thing to do. Who knows, a career change might do wonders for his future.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
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wattanak said...


you are nothing more than a fly-by-night businessman trying to protect his turf by sucking up to the ruling regime. You claim to be a neutral observer of Cambodian affairs, but your comments and criticism of the opposition parties show you to be someone who wants the status quo to remain so that you can rake in as much money as you can and then piss off to under whichever rock you crawled out of. As I recall, you wrote a little while back that the American lawmakers were too busy to hold the Human Rights Commission. It was never going to happen you said. You checked it yourself. Your credibility was shredded. No apology was ever seen from you, and you claim to be a "neutral observer"?

Who has more Khmer interest at heart? A PM who lets his masters do whatever they want to his own flesh and blood, and then punishes his own whenever they dare complain, or a man who is prepared to claim back ancestral lands? Oh wait, I forgot, you don't care about Khmer lands or Viet lands do you? So long as whoever is in power allows you to have your rubber plantation then you are fine.

Anonymous said...

KJE-You make sense. There are a thousand ways to skin a cat. Rainsy's stunt gave the opportunity to Vietnam and Hun Sen to throw a "law" book at him. The oppositions have some activities called "creating an event" to stir up more supports to to keep themselves in a spotlight.

Many people have no doubt that Vietnam has encroached into Cambodian territory, but to give a weapon to Vietnam and Hun Sen so they can stab him- Rainsy is fighting a losing battle.

An immature stunt--out of place for a lawmaker to do.

KJE said...

I only now came across your comment. You are so wrong with your impressions. I will let your comment stand despite the insults you are hurling at me again. If you had bothered to read more of this blog you would have known that I came to Cambodia first in 1989, a year when you were probably still soiling your diapers. I have been doing business here, among other things, for 20 years, and as opposed to you, an obviously pitiful overseas Khmer who can only voice hateful words and insults from abroad, have chosen Cambodia as my home country.
I don't want to maintain the status quo. When I criticize the opposition, I don't criticize the party as such, but their two prominent leaders for their ineffectiveness, populism, and mismanagement of a political party. I do have inside knowledge, you know.
The human rights hearings do not warrant a reply. Just read the comments.
The way you address me in your comment clearly shows what mindset you have. Please stay away from my blog.

KJE said...

P. S.
So I guess you are the person who tries to overwhelm my site with hitting my site continuously. You do live in Washington, D.C., and use Voice of America ISP, right? How childish!