Foreign interference bought Hun Sen’s legitimacy

A report early this month in US media lent credence to rumors that for the last two decades Cambodia’s leader, Hun Sen, has been paying foreign diplomats who served in Cambodia as his advisers to “cooperate and engage” with the international community and the United Nations.

News that Doug Ericksen, a Washington state senator, had been put on Cambodia’s payroll, reportedly to the tune of US$500,000 annually, should cause international furore, particularly for foreign-aid donors like Australia, Japan and the European Union that continue to treat Cambodia as an impoverished nation worthy of their support.

As Cambodia receives foreign aid to help improve the lot of its impoverished people, the Hun Sen regime sees it as its right to pay foreigners to “give advice to improve” relations with the West for “peace and economic prosperity.”

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