Ambassador William A. Heidt
Embassy of the United States of America
#1 Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh
September 12, 2017
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
We share our condolence with American people for the tragedy that Americans faced sixteen years ago, on September 11, 2001, under terrorist attacks against America which three thousands innocent lives were taken. Cambodia remains America’s key ally against the spread of terrorism in Southeast Asia and around the world. Indeed the two countries have continued to work together since 2001 on anti-terrorist measures.
We would like to emphasize just three points concerning your open statement to the media at a press conference today which we think you did not elaborate clearly and honestly yet again.
First, your five-page statement is like a late undergraduate essay with no real substance. To be a good friend of Cambodians and enjoy the warm hospitality that you have received since arrival to Cambodia, please continue to be a neutral, honest and high level diplomat rather than acting like a provocative civic activist. We want to see your programs which support healthy democracy, economic development and prosperity. Help us develop rather than scare away tourists and investors. Be an equal partner, not a “judge in American Idol TV series.” (sic)
Second, you should not be deaf and blind toward Kem Sokha’s traitorous statement claiming emphatically “America providing financial support and strategic roadmap to overthrow current legitimate government.” If you were not involved with Kem Sokha you should deny the audiovisual statement. Being a third party observer to Cambodian society, you do not ask for immediate release of Kem Sokha who is being charged with treason by the court. You love the rule of law and in this case you should refrain yourself from making any statement that interferes with judicial process. We wish you to remain calm, supportive and patient in observing Cambodian development in peace time, rather than supporting wrongful and extremist individuals.
Third, we would like to see you acting more balanced in disclosing the good things that America has done to Cambodia since 1994 and the destruction of Cambodia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. You simply “acknowledged Vietnam War era legacy,” but do you have the courage to say it out loud and tell Cambodian people about the immoral carpet bombings, Agent Orange, the loss of lives the bombings caused and the coup in March 1970 turning peace to war? We notice American pain resulted from alleged Russian interference in your election. The same goes to Cambodian people who do not want to receive pain resulting from your inference. By pointing one finger at someone you point three fingers at yourself.
We can simply repeat what you said: “Cambodia is not complicated to work with. Treat us fairly, speak to us honestly (not secretly supporting the minority against the interest of the majority) and you will receive the same treatment.” Cambodian people have commitment to work with American people in goodwill for our mutual interests. We welcome American assistance programs and companies and are ready to strengthen cozy relationship for many more years to come.
We, The Cambodian People!