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Comic relief from Cambodian embassy

There is this funny letter in today’s Nation, from charge d’affaires at the Cambodian embassy. Apparently there’s an endless supply of idiots in their diplomatic circles to replace the much missed Madam Ambassador who amused Thai public by putting her foot in her mouth on several occasions. Here it is in its entirety, there isn’t a sentence I’d want to omit from this masterpiece:

I wish to reply to the editorial published in your newspaper, on December 29, 2009, “Hun Sen’s vanity is a danger to the region’s unity”. While this editorial is completely absurd and vulgar, it has shown how your newspaper has become a political propaganda tool of a government in power, with a complete lack of decent politeness, professional journalism, and truth. Undoubtedly, this editorial has greatly contributed to the deterioration of relations and exacerbating the tensions between the two countries.

First, I think if you call a foreign leader highly respected in his country “a halfwit”, then you are more than a halfwit yourself, and imbecile. This is a finger-pointing rule, which fully applies in this case.

Second, to say that “Hun Sen may be riding on Thailand’s back to boost his popularity‚Ķ” means that you are completely ignorant. Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, does not need any popularity at all, based either on Thailand’s or The Nation’s popularity, because he is vice-chairman of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) which has won a landslide victory in the elections and now has more than two-thirds of the seats in the parliament. He also had been elevated to the dignity of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo, highly bestowed upon him by His Majesty the King of Cambodia.

Third, Cambodia did not extradite Thaksin Shinawatra, former prime minister of Thailand, because he was overthrown by a coup d’etat. Cambodia does not expect or want anything in return. It is just a question of justice for a leader who was overwhelmingly elected by the Thai people.

Fourth, with regard to the spirit of good neighbourliness, it is important for neighbouring states to respect each other, especially national integrity and sovereignty. Today, there is no good neighbourliness with Thailand because the Thai Government opposed Cambodia’s inscription of the Preah Vihear Temple on the World Heritage List, despite the fact that the Temple belongs to Cambodia and its location is on Cambodian soil; refused to recognise the name of the Preah Vihear Temple, although the whole world, including the International Court of Justice, had recognised and used it; invaded Cambodia by sending its troops inside Cambodian territory first on July 15, 2008 and subsequently thereafter.

The Nation runs a clarification under the letter, quoting from original editorial on the use of “halfwit”:

Only a halfwit would believe the comments concocted by Pheu Thai MP Jatuporn Promphan.

To be fair, the editorial earlier said about Hun Sen: “He cited an alleged confidential briefing paper from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs…” and that document was released by Jatuporn, though later the editorial specifically mentions Jatuporn’s comments and it was Cambodians own assumption that “halfwits” might include Hun Sen, too.

Let’s see again how Ouk Sophoin replied to that, it’s a real gem: “..if you call a foreign leader highly respected in his country “a halfwit”, then you are more than a halfwit yourself, and imbecile.”

Don’t know what to say. More than a halfwit sound better than a halfwit, so it could have been a hidden compliment, but then again, to make sure, Ouk added “and imbecile”.

They obviously don’t have proofreaders for their outgoing correspondence, and it’s probably for the better – the wording and occasional mistakes only add a certain cartoonish charm, as if it was scribbled by Calvin from the comic strip. The letter itself might have Ovaltine stains and a dried boogie stuck to the back side.

Another bombshell:

Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, does not need any popularity at all..

Did they put the clarification of what they really mean at the end of the sentence (“..based either on Thailand’s or The Nation’s popularity”) intentionally, to create “we are unbelievable” effect?

Then there are other, relatively minor points, like saying that they didn’t extradite Thaksin because he was overthrown in a coup, ignoring that Thaksin spent nearly half a year in Thailand after the coup without any problems. What they should have said is that they don’t recognize the court verdict against him, but they are not the ones to appear reasonable and intelligent, not their style.

Why do they staff their embassy with these obviously unqualified people? Is it because of Saddam Hun Sen’s recruitment policies, or have their genetic pool been depleted under Pol Pot?

There’s this fairly articulate“Son of the Khmer Empire” dude, as chauvinistic as he is, at least he doesn’t make a fool out of himself. He is totally anti Saddam Hun Sen, though, no chance of the govt employing his services, or the ones like him.

Perhaps all intelligent Cambodians stick with Sam Rainsy and so are left excluded from contributing to their country. “Son of the Empire” says so himself here.

Anyway, in just two days I’ve got “politics through shopping” PhD thesis, which I think could be “Snakes on a plane” equivalent among Thai studies, and now this Cambodian contribution. Are they competing or something?


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