On October 24th and 25th a delegation of former Cambodian opposition parliamentarians of CNRP and of the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational Transparty (NRPTT), led by exiled leader Sam Rainsy, was in Italy for a series of meetings with members of both Houses of Parliament and with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the general media silence, with the exception of Radio Radicale, the Cambodian delegation, accompanied by Sen. Roberto Rampi and Matteo Angioli of NRPTT and GCRL, met the Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Hon. Fabio Rampelli, Hon. Zucconi, Sen. Verducci and Sen. Alfieri. Finally, he was auditioned by the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies, chaired by the Hon. Piero Fassino.
After a first hearing that resulted in a resolution of the Commission in December 2017 condemning the repression in Cambodia, Cambodian MPs described the new Cambodian scenario that had worsened since the legislative elections on 29 July. Thanks to this new initiative and the positive feedback recorded during the visit, Italy returns to make its voice heard in support of democracy in Cambodia and in favor of the resolution of the European Parliament of 13 September calling the European Commissione to suspend the preferential trade agreements with the Cambodia.
Thanks to all those who care about the rule of law – first of all Marco Pannella who has fought for decades on this issue – the democratic clause on the respect of human rights contained in the EU cooperation agreements with third countries can finally acquire political substance and brng about real consequences for the regimes that trample the fundamental rights of those who are supposed to be the recipients of aid, namely the poorest citizens.
Hopefully, as suggested by Sam Rainsy during the hearing, Italy will join the countries signatories of the Paris Peace Accords of 1991 which laid the foundations to draft the new Constitution of Cambodia under the UN aegis and to take the country to the path of liberal democracy, after the huge tragedy of the Khmer Rouge.