New hope for Kampuchea

What seemed next to impossible just a few months ago finally comes true with the formation of a Kampuchean coalition government under the leadership of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, with the participation of Khieu Samphan as vice-president and Son Sann as prime minister - in opposition to the regime of Vietnam's puppet, Heng Samrin.

This most significant political event augurs well for Kampuchea (Cambodia) and all of Southeast Asia. The Kampuchean coalition government has several strongholds in Kampuchea itself. These bases, at the present time limited mostly to western Kampuchea, will rapidly expand to the rest of Kampuchea, cities as well as villages, around and behind the lines of Hanoi's invaders.

Kampuchea's seat in the UN will be firmly secured. Stronger armed resistance will be supported by much more efficient political and diplomatic activities. Part of the coalition government will have to operate abroad handling diplomatic activities, caring for Khmer refugees, and coordinating overseas Kampucheans. There should be many nations willing to offer Prince Sihanouk a site for conducting such activities.

It is high time for Hanoi to withdraw from Kampuchea, thereby restoring independence and peace to the highly civilized and peace-loving Khmer people, and, in its own interest, reducing its extravagant military expenditures and salvaging to some extent its bankrupt economy. Should Hanoi persist in its criminal obstinacy to occupy Kampuchea, strong political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions should be taken to force it out. There are, on the other hand , multiple warning signs that Hanoi's invasion of Kampuchea is growing increasingly unpopular in Vietnam, and among Hanoi's troops themselves who might soon rebel, desert, and go back to their home villages in Vietnam.

The free Vietnamese wholeheartedly welcome the Kampuchean coalition government and are convinced that it will succeed in its noble mission of restoring independence and peace to the Khmer people.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.