Friday, January 02, 2009
Sam Rainsy's letter published in
The Cambodia Daily, January 1, 2009
JANUARY 7, 1979, IS FRANKENSTEIN OF APRIL 17, 1975
On January 7, 1979, I was living in France and publishing a monthly anti-Khmer Rouge bulletin named Sereika (meaning Liberation).
When the Vietnamese communist army invaded Cambodia to "free" us from the Khmer Rouge, we quickly realized that we were caught between Scylla and Charybdis.
We remembered what happened to most Eastern and Central European countries after Staline's Red Army had invaded them to "free" them from the Nazis.
According to the Vietnamese-installed regime's propaganda, without January 7, 1979 we would not have been able to achieve anything that we have achieved since. Or, in other words, nothing would have grown around us without our salvation by Vietnam and its (mainly symbolic) auxiliary forces led by the CPP's current leaders.
But it is worth realizing that without April 17, 1975 (the date of the Khmer Rouge takeover and the beginning of the Cambodian genocide), there would be no need for January 7, 1979. And without the Vietnamese and Chinese communist massive intervention in the early 1970s to help the Khmer Rouge, the latter would not have been able to seize power and there would be no April 17, 1975.
Therefore April 17 and January 7 are inextricably associated: both of them are communist Frankensteins. Celebrating January 7 without having in mind a broader historical perspective, is playing into the hands of the current Phnom Penh regime whose only raison d'être was to "free" the Cambodian people from the Khmer Rouge with communist Vietnam's decisive but not unselfish help.
It is sad to see most former leaders of the anti-Vietnamese Resistance in the 1980s, especially from Funcinpec, give up their ideal to fight for a free, democratic and independent Cambodia.
It is heartbreaking to see them sell out to the CPP, thus forgetting the memories of all those who have died for this ideal.