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US officials should cease unjust attacks on Cambodia

Alexander Johnson / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Former employees of the U.S Embassy and their families hold a U.S flag, signs and portraits of Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and U.S President Donald Trump during a protest in front of the U.S Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

On June 12, the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned Major General Hing Bun Hieng for alleged criminal activities without concrete evidence. Why did the US treasury secretary do so when Gen Bun Hieng has no money in the US? Why are Treasury officials doing it now, just before the national elections in Cambodia? Are the US treasury officials creating political battles to benefit someone?

We, the Cambodian people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, already know in advance the trick of this political game. This will not serve the purpose of the US officials, but it reflects another failure to destabilise Cambodia and to stir a colour revolution in a peaceful country. The Cambodian people are united with the state and military institutions in our overwhelming condemnation of these unjust sanctions and criminal branding against one of our top generals.

The Cambodian people love their military heroes as much as the US does towards their army. This is why we have been working together to recover prisoners of war and missing servicemen in action. Gen Bun Hieng is a Cambodian hero who has dedicated his life and career for the Cambodian people to ensure that our small nation remains at peace. He has done so with no human cost. In fact, he has led many humanitarian missions to provide aid to thousands of Cambodians over the years. We just wonder how many American lives have the US politicians, which constantly criticise Cambodia, saved?

Cambodia is a country at peace, partly due to Gen Bun Hieng’s efforts. He is a patriot who had to make hard choices for his country and he has done exceptionally well.

Gen Bun Hieng has no business interests and assets in the US. Why would he? The US Treasury Department knows this and still they placed financial sanctions against him for alleged crimes dating back into the 1990s which do not even register in Cambodian people’s mind.

The Cambodian people are looking forward to growth and prosperity under the abled leadership of our Prime Minister Hun Sen. We are happy for the wealth, the freedom and the opportunities being provided in our society today. In the end, what matters the most for the people is prosperity which is the same in many countries in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia. It does not have to be a specific belief or political orientation. Much of what we are enjoying in Cambodia has also been due to sacrifices made by the army including Gen Bun Hieng.

The US officials’ actions are clearly unilateral. They do not respect the national sovereignty of an independent country. It’s high time they cease bullying Cambodia.

Alexander Johnson, Volunteer, Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia

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