>The Ranariddh Syndrome

>Cartoon by Sacrava at: http://sacrava.blogspot.com

Opinion by Khmerization
13th August, 2008

“Prince Ranariddh’s behaviours can only be equated with the behaviours of a stray dog, running around with no sense of direction. His repeated betrayals of Mr. Sam Rainsy can only be termed “The Ranariddh Syndrome” – a term that should be coined permanently to refer to those who are obsessed with betraying his/her friends only to be repeatedly cheated, betrayed, used, abused and trashed by another friend. And Prince Ranariddh fits this description perfectly well.”

I was in the process of writing an editorial on how wonderful it was to hear the news of a possible merger between the three main opposition parties, including the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP), when the news came that Prince Ranariddh, President of the NRP, had taken an about face U-turn by declaring a withdrawal from the Sam Rainsy-led opposition coalition to join the Cambodian People’s Party-led coalition government. And so, I have to abandon that article, re-write it, change it and modify it significantly.

I wasn’t surprised of Prince Ranariddh’s betrayal because this is not the first time, and probably not the last time, that he had behaved in this erratic and mercurial manner. But I was shocked, shocked because I believe that, after being used, abused and trashed repeatedly in the past by Mr. Hun Sen, he had learned his lessons. Prince Ranariddh’s behaviours prove correctly the old saying that “a leopard never changes its spots”.

I dare to predict that, like in the past, Prince Ranariddh has been duped by Mr. Hun Sen to be used as a political tool and then abused and trashed like rubbish. Mr. Hun Sen, well known as a master of tactician and a master of deception, is interested only in achieving his political supremacy and his ultimate immortal iron fist rule, through a carefully planned strategy and deception. And as I said, Prince Ranariddh, like many times before, has been duped and deceived one more time.

The coalition of the disunited, as I would like to call the Sam Rainsy-led opposition, is being significantly weakened by these desertions. One by one, his coalition partners had chosen to betray him and their supporters by joining Mr. Hun Sen’s coalition of evils. First the Funcinpec Party, who had briefly joined the oppositions in rejecting the election results. Two days later it withdrew from the oppositions and declared that it will maintain its long term alliance with the Cambodian People’s Party. Now, Prince Ranariddh had chosen personal interests over the interests of Cambodia by deciding to join Mr. Hun Sen’s coalition of evils and abandoning Mr. Sam Rainsy for the fourth times. Next, it could be Mr. Kem Sokha of the Human Right Party. Mr. Kem Sokha’s commitment to the Sam Rainsy-led opposition coalition is not very re-assuring. Since the election on 27th July, he had only appeared briefly in the public. Since then he had taken a back seat and retreated into the political wilderness, preferring to send his lieutenants to appear in public on his behalf.

Mr. Sam Rainsy is a man of principle and has never betrayed his supporters and his principle. But with people around him are enticed and lured by a possible plum job with the Hun Sen government, he would have an uphill battle to rally them to his cause, and that is denying the Hun Sen government its legitimacy by boycotting the swearing in ceremony. Mr. Hun Sen will employ all strategies and tactics, including using money, coercions and even threats to break up the Sam Rainsy-led coalition and he will employ all tactics and strategy to thwart Rainsy’s political advancement. I hope that his upcoming trip to protest the election results to the UN and to the international community will be a fruitful trip and somehow succeeding in convincing them to re-appraise the election results. But, frankly, with the international election observers declaring the election results acceptable, I doubt that Mr. Sam Rainsy is able to convince them otherwise.

Prince Ranariddh and Mr. Sam Rainsy are not strange political bedfellows. They have had an on-again off-again political love affairs for more than 15 years. But they are strange political bedfellows in the sense that they are politically and ideologically incompatible. One is a non-principled royal lame duck politician and the other is a patrician republican politician with strong conviction and a sense of political directions. And so, their political union is poised to fail from the start.

Prince Ranariddh’s behaviours can only be equated with the behaviours of a stray dog, running around with no sense of direction. His repeated betrayals of Mr. Sam Rainsy can only be termed “The Ranariddh Syndrome” – a term that should be coined permanently to refer to those who are obsessed with betraying his/her friends only to be repeatedly cheated, betrayed, used, abused and trashed by another friend. And Prince Ranariddh fits this description perfectly well. Not only that he suffers from the Ranariddh Syndrome but he is certainly fit to be called the Downs Syndrome Ranariddh.

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6 Responses to >The Ranariddh Syndrome

  1. >Khmerization;You may remember my article “Dejas Vue Drama: Roadshow of Solidarity”, I beleived that I am on track again re my prediction on the issue.Prince has no other choice but to recognize the election result in order to save his political career from extingtion completely.By doing so [accepting the result] would pave way and open door for his return to Cambodia, then towards the royal pardon, and in no time he would be in full swing in his political venture again.This is not certainly not the 1st and surely not the last time either [road-show of solidairty] that Cambodian citizens would witness or hear.One thing that could be avoid is that Opposition Party shall, utmost if not priority on the agenda, propose amendment to the election law, the body govern the NEC.If SR himself think that it is the best choice ever to take the case to international community, I can say tell you right now that he would achieve nothing out from this kind of action.I recall Mrs. Mua statement – International observers might come and have a paid holiday during the election, this is purely an insult to the interntaional community.In statement by SRP “What Oberservers did not in rigged election” is another bad choice of statement. All diplomates and embassies in Cambodia, though that they have to mind their language and carefully say something about the RGC, I don’t think they failed short to give their straight forwards opinions to their superior in the foreign affairs department. I do beleived that observers have had pretty much ideas on most of the issues related to the elections – past and present. They were in Cambodia on request of the RGC and all political parties concerned, they would use their sense of judgement then a final statement. My comment would be in line with a former foreign deplomat in Cambodia who I am still much in contact with, and who knew SR pretty well.

  2. khmerization says:

    >Mediawatch,Very rational and sensible comments. Ranariddh took an about face U-turn to save his political career, hoping for Hun Sen’s royal pardon so he can re-enter the political arena. But mark my words, it won’t be long before he will run into trouble with Hun Sen again. The deal that Hun Sen struck with Ranariddh this time, as like any other times before, was aimed at weakening Sam Rainsy’s opposition to the election results. I believe that, with the international observers declaring the election results acceptable, Rainsy will have an uphill battle to convince them otherwise. But Rainsy is entitled to bring his complaints to the international community because they are part of the Paris Peace signatories in 1991 and also the CPP-controlled NEC and the Constitutional Council rejected all his complaints without thoroughly investigating the complaints first.

  3. >Khmerization;It is not the 1st time that Prince is in trouble with PM Hun Sen and it will not be the last either.Prince was in toruble in 1997, 2003 and this election. During political campaign on those occasions in 1998, 2003 and 2008, Prince personall attacked the PM, citing the government was corrupted, but Prince forgot that he was in the same boat – junior partner of the RGC.Prince has no match for PM but SR does. He has plenty of ideas but failed to hit it on the spot.I am not an expert in voting process in Cambodia but I would say I am familiar with it.In each voting station, there were ample of observers from NGO, international and local, members of the political parties. I am not suggest that SRP shall accept the result, but to accept the result is a better choice not only his political party but the nationa as whole.What I meant is SRP, once in the parliament, shall push for the amendment of elction law and the structure of NEC to avoid furture post election drama. At the same time, SRP shall push for the amendment of the long over-due anti-corruption law which desperately refresh even though UNTAC anti-corruption law is enforceable – many country in the world always amend their law in accordance to circumstances.I can tell you that SRP will soon accept the result.Other thing I would want to see that SRP and HRP shall work along each other but not Merging – similar to the coalition of the federal Liberal & National party of Australia.

  4. khmerization says:

    >Mediawatch,I agree with your assessment here. I also agree that the election process is unfair but it would be very hard for SR to turn the table because international observers accept the results. About RS pushing for approval of anti-corruption laws, I don’t think the CPP will budge because CPP had only 73 seats in previous parliament but CPP does not care. Now it has 90 seats, it will never care. If CPP enacts anti-corruption laws, it means they are making the laws to kill themselves because corruption is their livelihood and a mean to solidify their powers.

  5. >Khmerization;I do believed that CPP will enact the anti-corruption law, however, the definition of “Corruption” would be the sticky point and all related laws [civil and criminal law] to punish both – who is said to bribe the official and official who is said to receive/demand bribe are remained the biggest issues. Corruption in Cambodia has been a cancerous disease for a long time, even if the former King Norodom Sihanouk recognized that it existed during his era. People of Cambodia has actually accustomed to this particluar disease and its sydrom – everyone has it price, and that is not only applied to official but even the ordinary citizen. For instance, the gament wokers. There are many middle men and women who actually act in a disgraceful way and manner which they benefit from people who desperately need a job whether or not it is a secure job.The best describe word for such an action is “Everyone has a life to live and a family to feed, everyone has its interest, everyone would do everything possible to protect its interest and territory”. I am not trying to put all blame on Pol Pot era which I personally think that our social fabric “Help each other, respect and live with other as a good neigbour” has gone out the door. It is sad but this is the truth in real situation in Cambodia these days [from what I have seen during my 8 years stay in Cambodia from 1996 – 2004].

  6. >Khmerization;Talking of election and voting process, Cambodia has had only 4 democratic and multi-political parties so far [1 sponsored by the UN and 3 self managed]. If one expected that the process will be in par with all key international standard as many domocratic countries around the do then we are having trouble with our perception.I have the chance to witness the 2003 general election, based in Siem Reap for good 10 days [before the election and after the counting of ballots].In each individual polling station [a polling station consisted of 4 – 5 many rooms depending on the numbers of size of contituency], there were representatives from respective political party, local and internation observers, representative from NGO. I found that the representatives/activists from SRP were indeed most alert, serious about the process, outspoken if there was any issue needed action, while CPP representatives/activists remained at low key and FUNCIPEC representatives/activists were indifferent [my personal level and point ofview], Provincial Election Commission personel. Etc… I had toruble with one American guy whoc is said he was from International Republican Institute. He complained bitterly about the present of polices who guarded the polling station who stayed afar as as the allowed promiximaty to the station. I read the poster in Khmer then interpreted to that American guy. Do you know what he say to me?I will consult with my live dictionary – referring to another Cambodian-American who accompanied him. This is an insult to me personally. So here we are. Election in Cambodia is not only a point of interest for Cambodia people within the country but all the Cambodians abroad and foreigners alike, however, there one thing in common in all points of view: political stability, democracy, economy and development, decent standard of living for all Cambodians. I strongly beleived that in years to come Cambodia election will eventually be the same way we have had here in Australia. What Cambodia doesn’t have now is “Political Will” from all side of the equation to resolve the issue of Post Election Drama.If time permitted, I would like to write an article [based on my personal level and view], A Look Back At Election – since 1993 or What Went Wrong in political campaign 2008.Have a wonderful Friday

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