Brief discussion paper
March 18, 2012
After being back yesterday from a business trip in Singapore, I am outraged to see few of Cambodians consider other Cambodians who denounce Vietnam’s growing influence and intrusion in Cambodia as “racist”.
What shocks me even more is that the use of the term “racism” comes from a few people who are supposed to have a certain level of intelligence which is high enough to help them fully appreciate the consequences of such a statement addressed to the Cambodian and foreign public.
I invite you all to review the definition of “racism” and the conditions under which it was used and is still used today. Being unable to further develop my views, due to the lack of time, on this topic, I just would like to raise one and only one question that could help us put our mind in order.
During my stay in Singapore, I met few of Australian, French and British diplomats. In talking with them about everything, I sympathized with them. And one of them told me the follwing fact:
“In all ministerial departments and at every level of the Cambodian government, Cambodians only have a role of facade. The political backstage is led with a strong grip by Vietnamese politicians, holding Cambodian citizenship and officially act as advisors but who have the real political and military power”.
The question I ask myself which surely and certainly could help people to assess if the use of the term “racism” is appropriate regarding the current situation of Cambodia or is just a way to “give a weapon” to “criminals” to then stab us in the chest.
Can we call them “racist” when:
- Tibetans denounce the annexation of Tibet by China and Chinese oppression?
- the people of East Timor denounced the colonization of their country and the bloody repression perpetrated by Indonesia?
- Martin Luther King denounced segregation practiced by the “White” against “people of color”?
- Laotians who denounce the transformation of Laos by Hanoi into a mere Vietnamese province?