I was officially repressed today. Sort of. Election time is drawing closer every day here in Cambodia and peolpe are stepping up their efforts to campaign for their parties. And, with the return of self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy, things just got serious up in here. As to my “repression adventure,” I was riding in a tuk-tuk, on my way to a CKS lecture when the driver took a road past a group of CPP supporters. They started yelling and pointing at us, and some started to crowd the way so we couldn’t pass. I was a little freaked out – what had we done? Nothing. It was our driver who was sporting opposition gear on his tuk-tuk that caused them to surround us and forced us to turn around and go another way. I went back after the lecture with my friend, and we watched this same scene repeated time after time, no opposition party members were going down their street.
I’m not sure why I was so shocked, but I couldn’t believe this mob of CPP supporters could get away with that. Again, I’m not sure why this all surprised me. Maybe it was more about the feeling that neither I, nor the tuk-tuk driver, could have diverging opinions and still be equal in this system. Perhaps I’m naive to think we have this in the United States, but so be it; I can think and believe what I want, almost without fear, and its great! No member of the Republican or Democrat party is going to blockade State St in Orem because I have the wrong bumper sticker. Until Cambodia can learn to treat opposing views equally, politics will probably continue to be a one-sided event.