19 October 2009
By Sopheap Khmer Sthabna
Translated from Khmer by Socheata
Click here to read the article in Khmer
“We want peace in a lively society where people have a decent life, a decent livelihood, that is the peace we want, not the kind found in a cemetery. We want security for those who live in peace, security for the people who have full rights, we do not want to live as slaves” - Sam RainsyThe National Assembly (NA) debated on the draft law on peaceful demonstration on 19 October. MPs from all political parties – CPP, SRP, HRP and Funcinpec – were present during the session.
Diverging arguments were advanced by CPP MPs, SRP MPs and by government representatives.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said that he recognized the positive points that bring in comfort: “I recognize them and I praise those who drafted this law and who included the points that I talked about. The law is very good, but its application must be upheld properly.”
Sam Rainsy believes that the final decision [for the authorization for demonstrations] to be given to the minister of Interior is not proper because the latter is a representative of the government, and therefore the latter is involved with politics. If during a demonstration, demands are made that could affect the political outcome or political demands are made, and if the ruling party is allowed to, then it will clearly direct the ministry of Information to prevent such demonstration from taking place.
Sam Rainsy added that he listened to the comments from both sides and they are proper for the circumstances, but for his goals, he also wants to have peace, everybody wants to have peace in the society, but that such peace is not one that is found in a cemetery. “We want peace in a lively society where people have a decent life, a decent livelihood, that is the peace we want, not the kind found in a cemetery. We want security for those who live in peace, security for the people who have full rights, we do not want to live as slaves.”
Sam Rainsy’s statement earned a sharp rebuke from a CPP MP. Kampot CPP MP Som Chin, the deputy chairman of the NA 9th commission, reacted by saying: “Up to today, the [opposition] leader talked bad, we cannot accept that, you [Sam Rainsy] listen to your words, are they good? They hurt us, you cursed us as being dictatorial, as selling the nation, as betraying the nation. The betrayers of the nation are the ones who liberated the nation. And [the accusation of] selling the nation is very severe, then you [went on to] call the security of the dead as well.”
Som Chin stressed that Sam Rainsy looked down on the king and the people of Cambodia, and Som Chin is announcing to all the Cambodian people that “the SRP leader is insulting [the CPP], if [the CPP] betrays the nation, sells the nation, why would people vote for the CPP. [The SRP] cursed [the CPP] for several years already, they never have enough of it, at even at this hour, you insult and curse us of security for the dead, of slavery.”