July 1, 2011
By Sam Sotha
When I was a senior student at the 13th grade of a high school in 1970 (those times of the year students prepared for exam to get high school diploma –BACII) in the provincial town of Battambang, Cambodia, my teacher of philosophy asked me: are there one or more morals?
My answer was wrong and he said in this world of universe there is only one moral, ‘the moral for all man-kind irrespective of rich or poor, big or small. Of course there are principles in the moral law, among them: live and let live, do not steal, love your neighbors as you love yourself, do not tell the lie, etc.
Those days, I recalled people of the two neighboring countries, Cambodia and Thailand, could travel to Aranyaprathet (border of Battambang and Sa Kaeo provinces) and Bangkok freely, and back and forth. People of both nations were living peacefully with each other and doing local trade freely with each other.
But nowadays things have changed, particularly since Mr. Abhisit regime took power in Thailand.
I am not a fortune teller, nor a political analyst who could predict Mr. Abhisit’s fate, whether he could win the up coming election on July 3 or would lose the race, though the latest opinion polls revealed that Democrats would lose the election and even Abhisit himself admitted that Democrats could lose. But, it doesn’t matter. Some world political leaders were successful by abiding by at least few moral principles such as: live and let live, do not steal and love your neighbors as you love yourself, etc. In today’s world, no country can be absolutely independent of another. Only with coexistence can there be any existence.
Yesterday, June 30, 2011, The Nation Thai newspaper article headed: PM [Abhisit] blames Thaksin, Hun Sen for conflict, stated that “The dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over Preah Vihear Temple is spreading into wider political arenas as Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjajiva shifts blame on the Peua Thai Party and its de-facto leader Thaksin Shinawatra, as well as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has personal relations with Thaksin.”
Indeed it does not reflect good character of a leader.
Mr. Abhisit who was born in England in 1964, graduated from Eton College and Oxford University, returned to Thailand and suddenly elected to Thai Parliament, and quickly became the man at the helm of the Thai government.
Under his low moral leadership, Abhisit always points his accusing finger at others for his failures in politics. In this episode of drama it proves that knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreaful.
Unlike Mr. Abhisit, Samdech Techo Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia was not born great. He achieved greatness through learning lessons from his experiences and not submitting before evil, injustice and falsehood. In other words, he became great by firm faith and clean moral character and nobility.
On the contrary, Abhisit and his top brass have committed crimes against humanity by waging a declared war of aggression against Cambodia causing untold sufferings to Cambodian innocent villagers, women and children. Of course he did not care about violating the principles of international law, nor did he care for the principles of moral law.
Unless the narrow chains of nationalism have to be broken and unless you understand the lesson of ‘live and let live’, you stand on your last legs.
Realizing that hatred breeds hatred, greed and violence would inevitably lead to one’s own ruin, all great Saints and Prophets, particularly Lord Buddha have preached the lessons of love and brotherhood. This is the only way by which you can go along the road to peace and success!
Author: Sam Sotha, former Ambassador to Mine Action, Explosive Remnants of War, Cluster Munitions and Disarmament.