|Daran Kravanh (Center)|
Opinion by Kravan Issara
The 1997 coup d’état by forces loyal to Hun Sen and the CPP that overthrew Prime Minister Ranariddh of the Funcinpec Party made Hun Sen the Prime Minister and the CPP the sole political party in Cambodia.
Since then, there has been no political party able to bring hope to the Khmer people of unseating Hun Sen and the CPP. During the dictatorship of the last 30 years, Cambodia has seen more and more Vietnamese settlers in Cambodia, from Bavet (on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border) to Poipet (on the Cambodian-Thai border).
Where are the other political parties – the Funcinpec party, the NRP, and the Sam Rainsy party? They are dying out due to internal problems.
Recently, a new political party was born, the “Khmer Anti-Poverty Party” (with the acronyme KAPP). Daran Kravanh is the President and Sophin Ourn is the Vice-President of the KAPP.
Who is Daran Kravanh? He is a young, energetic nationalist. He has dedicated his life to making Cambodia a free country and to bringing democracy and justice to Cambodia in less than two years. He is a candidate for Prime Minister and hopes to replace Hun Sen in 2013, or before the election. He has been campaigning and holding fundraisers in many cities such as Long Beach, San Diego, Boston, and Fresno. His campaign strategy is a strong one: showing that his political party stands out from other parties because his party has several American consultants who are advising him and the other leaders of the KAPP.
Daran Kravanh has promised his supporters and the Khmer communities that, “We will replace Hun Sen without an election before 2013.” He always mentions Cathy Allen (CEO of the Connection Group in Seattle), Barbara Shotwell, Dr. Stanley Tsao, Bree (Daran’s wife?), and about other countries such as Japan, Canada, Germany etc.that are supporting him to be the next Cambodian Prime Minister without an election. In addition, in May 2011, in Portland, Oregon, during a small group meeting, Daran has stated with certainty that the United States is going to remove Hun Sen and replace him and his ruling party in Cambodia. He has gone so far as to inform a few of his leadership team that he has had several meetings with the US secret team (under the code name “Black Glasses”) to discuss plans to remove Hun Sen from power (as Gaddafi is being removed in Libya), and to replace him with Daran as the future Cambodian Prime Minister without an election. He has drawn up a plan for the structure of his future government, members of Parliament (MPs), and members of the Senate. He has stated that his future government will abolish the “Royal Kingdom” and make important changes to the “République.”
In reality, what Daran is telling his group and the Khmer communities is not true. If we listened carefully to the speech made by Cathy Allen at the fundraising in Long Beach, California in 2010, we are aware that Cathy Allen NEVER confirmed what Daran has been claiming. In her speech, Cathy Allen said, “I have the best job in the whole world. My job is to find new world leaders and get them ELECTED.” As this statement implies, the so-called “American consultants” are helping Daran and his group by training them in strategies that will be effective in the election campaign heading to the 2013 elections. They have organized leadership training classes for his group, so they can learn how to run successful campaigns for the elections in the hope that the KAPP will win.
The reality is that Daran has misquoted Cathy Allen, and this could cause big trouble for her. On several occasions, Daran has told his supporters that Cathy Allen is Hillary Clinton’s Advisor, and that she can arrange for Daran to meet with Mrs. Clinton in March 2011 to discuss plans. But it never happend about the meeting. We are sure that Mrs Clinton never heard about Daran Kravanh whatsoever. Daran has stated that Cathy Allen has repeatedly told the KAPP group, “You do your job and we’ll do our job – no questions asked.” All along, he has maintained that this is a top secret plan.
Few times, Daran has even told us that a US secret team has taken him to an unidentified place and shown him the secret plans of the covered operations to remove Hun Sen.
Why has he made up this kind of misinformation? We know that he has wanted to attract more Khmer people to his party. Now, every individual in his leadership group is under the false impression that the KAPP has the backing of the US to remove Hun Sen without holding an election. This brings up the following questions:
- Does Daran know what the consequences are of misleading and misinforming the public?
- Does Daran know the relevant international law regarding what he has said to misinform the public? The bombing operations in Libya that were carried out by NATO forces were backed by a resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council. Without any international resolutions, the US cannot remove Hun Sen by force. This would be a violation of the international law.
- Libyan affairs are different from Cambodian problems. Cambodia is not an independent country. Hun Sen takes orders from the Vietnamese (Dey khmer thaoke YOUN)
Therefore, it is incumbent upon Daran to stop making these false statements to the Khmer people inside and outside of Cambodia immediately. In reality, there has been no such promise from Cathy Allen or from the US that they are going to remove Hun Sen and replace him with Daran without having elections.
It is because of Daran’s false statements that we see so many Cambodian people coming to his fundraisings. They believe that the US will remove Hun Sen and will make Daran the next Cambodian Prime Minister. I am very sorry that our compatriots have been misled into believing in this dream. All of the top leaders in Daran’s party are dreaming about obtaining positions in a future Cambodian government led by Prime Minister Daran Kravanh.
Mr. Daran Kravanh, please be honest with your people, and especially with yourself. You can lie to others, but you cannot lie to yourself.
(Former UDT/SEAL team class of 74
Coronado Amphibious Base, San Diego, CA)