(Phnom Penh, Cambodia): On June 12, 2018, the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned Major General Hing Bun Heang for alleged criminal activities without concrete evidence. Why did the US treasury secretary do so when General Hing Bun Heang 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 destabilize Cambodia and to stir color revolution in a peaceful country. Cambodian people unite with state and military institutions in our overwhelming condemnation of this unjust sanction and criminal branding against one of our top generals.
Cambodian people love their military heroes as much as the US does toward their army which is why we have been working together recover prisoners of war and missing in action persons. General Hing Bun Heang is a Cambodian hero who have dedicated his life and career for the Cambodian people and make sure that our small nation is at peace. He has done so with no human cost. In fact he has provided many humanitarian assistance towards thousands of Cambodians over the years. We are wondering how many people have some politicians which the US is supporting saved?
We are clearly offended by the attack against him for alleged cases which are comparably light within the global conflicts where millions of people are maimed and killed extra-judicially. Cambodia is a country at peace, partly due to general Hing Bun Hieng’s efforts. He is a patriot who had to make hard choices for his country. He has done exceptionally well. We remember some US politicians namely Henry Kissinger along with his colleagues lied to the US public about secret bombings in Cambodia and Vietnam in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their justification was winning the war at all human costs for a larger purpose of preventing the spread of communism in Indochina. 300,000 people were killed. The Pol Pot gained power as a result and then killed three million more.
General Hing Bun Heang has no business interests and assets in the United States. Why would he? The treasury department knows this and still they placed a sanction against him for alleged crimes dating back into the 1990s which do not even register in Cambodian people’s mind. 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, for 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 Asia. It does not have to be a specific belief or political orientation. It appears that richness is glorious. But today’s glory has been built upon the sacrifices of the army including general Hing Bun Hieng.
US officials’ action is clearly unilateral. It does not respect national sovereignty of an independence country. It is attempting to renew and deepen conflict between the two countries, Cambodia and the United States, in an environment where President Donald Trump is attempting to build peace in the Korean Peninsula and Asia. This latest action has clearly damaged Cambodian people’s good sentiment toward the US and is putting people to people relations under severe strain. Let’s hope that Cambodian people do not hate the United States as much as the Middle Easterns. As such US officials should contribute to building the foundation of relations between the US and Cambodia for mutual respects and cooperation in culture, politics and economics.
Cambodians also publicly declare that the Kingdom of Cambodia is not under the US laws. The Cambodian people also remind that: “The United States owes its blood and lives to Cambodian people in wartime. It is the United States who has to repay the debt to the people of Cambodia.”
We, the Cambodian People!