Friday, March 31, 2006

Suspicious lack of diplomacy

(xported from The Salon II)

The current, and long-standing, Prime Minister of the Asian nation of Cambodia, Hun Sen, is a former leader of the Khmer Rouge, albeit not the Polpot variety... more like the liberating variety, but very militant and authoritarian Khmer Rouge nevertheless. So one can expect some rough edges with him, especially considering how he has managed to maintain himself in power. But this was beyond... just read on:
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Cambodian PM denounces UN envoy

"Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has launched a scathing attack on a UN envoy who criticised the government's record on human rights.

Yash Ghai said on Tuesday that Cambodia's government was not committed to human rights, and power had been too centralised around 'one individual'.

Hun Sen said Mr Ghai was 'deranged' and should be sacked by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan."
But wait, it gets better:
"Mr Ghai said donor countries, on whom Cambodia relies for half its budget, should "put pressure on the government to use this opportunity to put laws and institutions in place".

The comments brought a furious reaction from Hun Sen.

"Kofi Annan should remove him. He knows nothing [about Cambodia], and came to talk like this. I will never meet with you [Yash Ghai]," he said.

"You don't even know about your own poor country, Kenya, in which over 50% of people live in poverty. You are lucky that this time a deputy prime minister met you. That won't happen next time." "
Now just who on earth does Lord Hun Sen think he is? First of all, he has just propped-up all my suspicions about his alleged human rights abuses - not that I wasn't already. By having such a pathetic outburst, he does nothing less than giving the UN more reasons to probe his nefarious practices.

But, as a proud African, what got to me even more, are the unnecessarily insulting references to Mr Ghai's country of origin, Kenya, and in my opinion Africa. Lord Hun Sen displays such a level of arrogance, and disdain towards Mr Ghai, that he sees it as beneath him to meet with an envoy of the UN Secretary General, simply because he dares to point out that the Cambodian regime is engaging in reprehensible practices of human rights abuses. And he finds nothing better to oppose to this, but to mock the guy's country of origin? I mean what has the world gone to? Hun Sen needs to go shove it, and clean up his act. And to use his own words, he should look at the problems - HE is creating - in his own country. The guy has done lost his mind!


Anonymous said...

I am Cambodian, but I don't support such a rude and baseless Mr. Hun Sen's comment.


Brian said...

People are fooled by Hun Sen. Make no mistake about it, he's a garden variety, cult of personality autocratic strongman. He is an apparently well-educated, smooth talking (well not this time) type and this fools people into thinking he's something else.

TheMalau said...

Wanna: It honors you to be able to point out the errors of one of your countrymen. I, myself, met Mu Sochua when she came to speak at my alma mater, Earlam College, a few weeks back, and she gave me a great deal of respect for the Cambodian people.

Brian: I agree (It seems we have been agreeing too much recently).

Donate to The Salon

Help us continue to do this important work of promoting freedom of expression about the Congo.

Explore The Salon