Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Petition to the U. S. President

The PPP reports that Md. Mu Sochua, SRP MP, is traveling to the U. S. carrying with her a petition to the President Obama.

The petition asks the President to condemn the Cambodian government and Supreme Court for their lack of accountability, fairness in the judicial process, etc. We by now know the list of grievances human rights activists and the opposition have. A ‘whopping’ 2,000 people, mostly online, will sign that petition.

The one baffling thing about Mu Sochua, who is also a U. S. citizen, is that she spends a lot of time away from Cambodia. She is now traveling there for a documentary film on human trafficking. No doubt, this is a noble cause, and Md. Mu Sochua is well known as a fighter for women and children’s rights. Her proponents never tire of pointing out that she was once a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Normally, that information is withheld from the public, but in this case her supporters believe it surely enhances her stature. I am sure it is an honor to be put forward for the nomination, but let’s not forget that initial list can comprise 500 or more nominees.

I am just not sure what the initiators of that petition are trying to accomplish with it. First, Md. Sochua won’t be able to hand it over personally. It might just as well be sent by mail. Second, the petition asks a head of state to condemn another country’s institutions. It doesn’t matter whether or not this is a dictatorship, democracy, or anything in between, foreign governments usually do not interfere in another nation’s domestic affairs, legal or otherwise. Even the extradition of the Uyghurs to China provoked only luke-warm criticism from an Under Secretary of State.

The main question, however, is why Md. Mu Sochua and Sam Rainsy always try to raise the international community to aid in their cause. A cause they obviously are not able to propagate with their own means. Observers have stated that the international community hardly listens any more to the same grievances over and over again. They have simply tired of that litany. Equally as obviously, they cannot find any resonance for their cause in Cambodia itself. But it is there that they need to find broader support in order to further their agenda. By being abroad so much they remove themselves more and more from the people they are supposed to work for.

Under normal circumstances Md. Mu Sochua seems to be a very sensible person - with the exception of her ill-fated lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen. Why don’t they organize a grass roots organization instead of spending all that money on expensive travels abroad? Of course, they use those travels as fund-raisers at the same time, which is all good, but why not put the money to better use in Cambodia.
If she wants to be an international celebrity, she should maybe return to the U. S. There is a greater chance to get into the limelight there.

This petition as well as many of the SRP’s endeavors seem pointless and wasted efforts.

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