Letter to the Editor: Is Cambodia Going Down the Road to Elimination Again?

On 25 May Prime Minister Hun Sen addressed a congregation of more than 4,000 Christians, covered in “Hun Sen Goes on Tirade Against Opponents” (May 26).

—Letter to the Editor—

I have some knowledge of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, and have embraced some moral and ethical values from each of these religions. This has made me wonder how those Christians gathered in that huge conference hall really felt and what they thought about such a “tirade” or “a mammoth three hour rant” as the Daily saw that address.

I have further wondered how they felt when they heard our prime minister saying, “To ensure the lives of millions of people, we are willing to eliminate 100 to 200 people because we have seen bitter past experiences.”

I feel it was, in the first place, utterly inappropriate to rant at such length at such a function held by and for people of religious faith, at a place that ought to be thought of as a house of God for the duration of the function, and from a rostrum that ought to be seen as a pulpit.

I also feel it was abominable, horrible and abhorrent to think of being “willing” to kill people, to sacrifice some human beings, for the sake of the lives of other and more numerous fellow human beings, and boast about such a thought.

This thought reminds me of the human sacrifices to please God or Gods practiced among primitive peoples in the long gone past, a practice that Christianity was instrumental in eliminating. And those “millions of people” are not gods, and nor is our prime minister.

Besides I am almost sure that, unless they are Khmer Rouge, those whose lives the elimination of 100 to 200 people is meant to secure, would not be pleased with or condone such carnage.

This same thought has sent shivers down my spine when it reminds me of similar thoughts in the past when they materialized: Hitler’s elimination of the Jewish minority, those “sub-humans” as the Nazis called them, to ensure the welfare and advancement of tens of millions of Aryan German people; and Pol Pot’s elimination of an oppressing bourgeois minority to liberate millions of oppressed proletarians and improve their lives.

As facts have starkly shown, in both Germany and Cambodia, their respective tyrants’ thoughts ended up in holocaust.

Has this thought of eliminating people now returned? If so, it would be definitely contrary to the pledge of our prime minister and the other eleven members of the Supreme National Council of Cambodia when they signed the Paris Peace Agreements in 1991 to end the war in the country.

They then pledged for Cambodia, among other things, ‘[to] take effective measures to ensure that the policies and practices of the past shall never be allowed to return.”

The same thought is also contrary to our Constitution, which guarantees our right to presumption of innocence and due process of law, and abolishes capital punishment.

To Buddhists, when it is willful, such a thought is contrary to their first precept of abstaining from killing.

Lao Mong Hay, Phnom Penh. 

Related Stories

Latest News