Summary of 21st Anniversary of Paris Peace Agreement
This year is the third year Khmer-Canadian Youth Association celebrated the anniversary of Paris Peace Agreement (PPA). This year, the theme focused on “How peace mean to us? And how we can build peace?”
Many speakers who come from various disciplines and different backgrounds shed us light and gave us great input on this Peace Commemoration.
Sophan who is the president of the Youth Association and chair of the PPA Commemoration committee stressed on the importance of PPA comparing to the great civilization of the Angkor Era. He also valued the PPA as the renaissance of Cambodia. Further to his statement, the Youth will keep organize the Peace Commemoration annually to provide public with right understanding and help build peace together collectively. This concerted effort will not only ensure that Cambodia can get fruition from the PPA, the world will also share this peace process.
MP Wayne Cao who is the member of parliament of Alberta government gave us a great importance on the decline of two countries who signed the PPA but Cambodia is still alive. The Russia union and Yugoslavia have been split, but he observed that Cambodia has been stronger by the PPA. He emphasized that the cold war has been died while the connectivity of people in the world has become more visible. On his sight back home of birth in Vietnam, Mr. Wayne Cao reflected on his life and his friend which both have born in the same location but made a living in different situation of political circumstance and economic development. Mr. Wayne highly appreciated the Peace Commemoration and he will join this celebration in years to come.
Ms. Janyce Konkin who has extensively worked in Cambodia for “Initiative for Change” described the importance of building peace within individual first before expanding it to others such as family, community, nation and the world. In this context, Janyce shed us insight on both practical knowledge and academic theory. As her MA major focused on peace research, her conclusion wholly rests on individuals who must initiate peace within themselves first before outreaching to others. But she accepted the original interdependent of inside peace affects outside peace, and outside peace also affects inside peace. Her theory is not different from that of Lord Buddha and late Cambodian monk Maha Ghosananda. For the PPA, according to Janyce, it is a good instrument for peace development in Cambodia.
For Lynda whose profession is a teacher especially her experiences in South East Asian countries, the social media will play important role in this region. Observing from what has been happening in the Middle East or Arab Springs, social media will inevitably drive force for change in countries such as Burma and Cambodia. She highly commenced on the following up news easily received by internet through computer or cell phone as the step stone to advance social change. Her moving philosophy on powerful leaders only who are afraid of their own crimes, corrupted mind, violence, killing, threatening and their secrecy that will be one day disclosed…not us who are afraid nothing and we must not afraid them.
For Mr. Pol who is the recipient in Master’s Degree of Social Work and Psychology from the University of Calgary, PPA has brought many things to Cambodia and her people. Huge aids have been annually transferred to this country. Not only the country and her people have benefited from the PPA, the Cambodian government led by the Cambodian People Party has tremendously benefited from this PPA. However, he viewed that the government is still falling short on implementing the PPA. Special Rapporteur of the United Nations has recently recommended Cambodia to reform NEC or National Election Committee to ensure that election is fair and neutral. Poverty and injustice have become a key point of failure of the government in abiding by the PPA. More than this, the killing of environmentalist Chhut Vutthy and the humiliating of Ven. Luon Sovath have been an outstanding case current government is losing its face at the international arena.
All members who participated the commemoration this year have highly admitted that PPA is the pillar of this country. Without PPA, Cambodia might not be able to exist today. Mr. Roeung like Mr. Pol and Mr. Sophan as well see the PPA is the legacy of King Norodom Sihanouk who passed away at the age of 90 years old on 15 October 2012 at Beijing. Millions of Cambodians including Buddhist monks mourned and shared condolence in last few weeks. Mr. Chan Voeun highly appreciated the effort of Youth who can make this commemoration successful today.
In conclusion, PPA or Paris Peace Agreement this year has been celebrated by Cambodian people worldwide such as Canada, United States of America, Australia, Cambodia, French, Switzerland and many other countries. There are Cambodian people demonstrated in front of the United Nations in New York, and at the headquarter of the UNs in Switzerland. This commemoration has been seen as the public education, unification and peace building for all people regardless of their political tendency, color, age or social status. The participants and organizers have expected to build lasting peace and sustainable development for Cambodia. All participants and organizers got off home to the union or street to commemorate this day in order to stop all culture of pointing finger and coloring on each others.
May all being experience Peace, Progressive and Justice!!