|Then 18-year-old CNRP youth darling Thy Sovantha, CIVICUS president Theary, CIVICUS manager Laura (Phnom Penh, Feb. 2014)|
"in spite of Kem Sokha..."
Theary C. Seng
The virtual omnipresence of the legitimate opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, officially exiled by Hun Sen's CPP, permeates the hearts and minds of the Cambodian people and instills fear in the autocrats and democracy spoilers alike, so much so that even Kem Sokha, aided and abetted by Hun Sen in an internal coup to "president" of the CNRP, had to offer a rhetorical promise to the voters that if the CNRP wins, Sam Rainsy can return. Duh!
It is immeasurable, incalculable how much Kem Sokha and his daughter Mona have retarded the progress of the democracy movement and put in jeopardy the lives of human rights and political activists as a consequence of their recklessness and insatiable appetite in feeding their political ambitions, and in more recent time, how they have put the youth vote at risk. Think Mona and the breathtaking dismissal of then-CNRP youth activist, the insanely popular, 18-year old Thy Sovantha and the unthinkable measure of using Yim Sovann's signature stamp without his knowledge and permission on a CNRP letterhead to kick Thy Sovantha out of CNRP out of envy of her popularity and Kem Sokha's subsequent approval of his daughter's brazen, incredible act of sabotage with the simple, imperial because "I AM THE acting president." Thy Sovantha told me that Yim Sovann called her to apologize. Related, Thy Sovantha's transformation took some months, with all the venom initially directed only at Kem Sokha. It was not till she was already too deep in the CPP camp that she included Sam Rainsy as a target.
Yes, this is the same Yim Sovann who is one of the original founders with Sam Rainsy of the democracy movement in 1995. And yes, this is Mona a political novice of mediocre educational background, no work experience, whose father propelled her all at once to member of CNRP (1) executive committee, (2) standing committee, (3) permanent committee and (4) deputy director of public affairs at times elbowing the veteran, highly respected Mu Sochua, (whose immense loyalty to Sam Rainsy Mona cannot fathom except that "she is deeply in love with him", as Mona told me on several occasions, an infantile spin that could work with others in an infantile environment and with ears already willing to believe). Up till then and some days after, all she can think to have on her Facebook cover and profile is simply, "Daughter of Kem Sokha".
Millions of viewers and listeners tuned in and continue to tune in to Sam Rainsy's content-rich messages, strategically timed and honed in for maximum effect. With many other "Sam Rainsys" defiantly singing his praises across all the provinces, what's a physical presence before a crowd of several thousands at a time in comparison to an audience of millions at your fingertip, feeding on a constant flow of rich fare not confined to location and autocratic strictures?