Having been informed of the Hun Sen government’s promised physical violence against me (a la Khieu Samphan, who was beaten by a mob organized by the government in 1991), there is no point of me returning to Cambodia to fulfill their criminal intent—“Warning Banned Politician, General Cites Khieu Samphan Beating” (October 11).
—Letter to the Editor—
This threat of violence and physical harm against me truly defines the violent nature, brutal modus operandi and entrenched culture of impunity that have come to characterize this heinous regime’s 30 years of destructive rule.
The contradictory interpretations of my citizenship status by different government officials reflects the miserable incompetence of Mr. Hun Sen’s administration. CPP spokesman Sok Eysan claimed that I have lost my citizenship because I have relinquished my Cambodian citizenship, and therefore have forfeited the rights to comment on Cambodian affairs. I have never renounced my Cambodian citizenship. As a State member of parliament (MP) in Victoria, Australia, I am not required to do so. Only federal MPs are obligated to do so.
Cambodia belongs to all Cambodians inside and outside the country. My right to participate in Cambodian national affairs is guaranteed by the country’s constitution, which Mr. Hun Sen’s government appears to be violating on a daily basis.
General Khieu Sopheak of the Interior Ministry has said that I am “still a legal citizen,” but I have abandoned my nationality by criticizing the ruling party. Accordingly, the granting or withdrawing of citizenship is at the whim and mouth of a power-to-be. The question for General Sopheak: Is his government going to break the heads and revoke the citizenship of the millions of people who came out onto the streets in Phnom Penh after the 2013 election in protest of the stealing of the national election by the CPP, screaming their hearts out for seven months demanding that Mr. Hun Sen step down? And would he do the same to the 2 million mourners along the 35 km march for Dr. Kem Ley’s funeral procession in July, who have internalized their hatred and criticism of this national martyr’s cowardly assassination?
Of course it bothers me not being able to go to Cambodia. But not because of being banned as such (because in so doing, they knowingly have violated the country’s Constitution and the UN’s charters on human rights and freedom of movement), but because of not being able to enjoy everything I love about my homeland, especially the food.
State Member of Parliament,