I am intrigued by the proposed discussion topic by Koun Khmer this week. Many comments and ideas are thought-provoking. Below is my extending comments from my previous inputs. Time is flying and I have to make sure that I have enough minutes to finish my comment. Neatee Koun Khmer should be continued and I really love the idea and scholastic writing of Koun Khmer. Please, keep moderating the discussion. In short, my responding comment below added more concept on sovereignty occuring in Cambodia by [the trend of divine sovereignty is taking over the rule of law sovereignty. This trend is also happening from the divine sovereignty ruled by the King to divine sovereignty ruled by the ordinary person. Cambodia has democracy in facade only as many events acted by our government is surely manipulative and against the rule of laws. This new event, I prefer to call it "hybridyzing divine sovereignty"].
Dear Koun Khmer,
I am reading your proposed topic with great privilege and enthusiasm. The term "sovereignty" has been loosely used by the mouthpiece of Cambodian government to intentionally manipulate the Cambodian people. In current Cambodia situation, I can say only one phrase to define the politics of sovereignty that "politics is about the ability to manipulate and frighten the people". So all means and public appearances of Cambodian leaders are to subserviently cheat the public to seeing from black to white, from rights to wrong. For instance, Somdech Decho Hun Sen has never been reluctant to utter his phrase that "the culture of sharing" by donating his own wealth as well as persuade (in some time force) others to donate their wealth to build schools, temples, bridges, roads and public parks etc. This acting is the best ability to cheat the Cambodians. Hun Sen has never (or some time might pay attention) to enforce the anti-corruption laws and lead by example by showing transparency to the public for genuine development and caring the people at all.
Many examples that I can see "sovereignty" in which government leaders/officers claimed has been intentionally manipulating the public. Whenever, Cambodian people have grown up, these types of leaders will be grown up too. From the legacy of KR, we don't see any Cambodian leaders have tried to bring genuine sovereignty to Cambodian people at all. They have lost in the arena of "divine sovereignty".
Thomas Hobbs had solemnly condemned the divine states of ancient Greece kingdom. I think Hobbs is the most influential scholar to diffusing the concept of popular sovereignty (like you called", but I prefer to call it "the rule of law sovereign state".
Cambodia has inherently been entangled by Devaraja Cult or "Khmer ancient divine kingdom". Centuries of political changes, current Cambodian leaders and their people are still eager to support this kind of cult or "Khmer divine state". Leaders should lead a change to change the people common-sense regarding this matter. If I put my hope on the Cambodian people to change their concept from divine state to "the rule of law state", I don't know when it will be happened?. If leaders do not change, Cambodia will be not independent or having genuine sovereignty at all.
China and Vietnam has switched their countries from "divine state" ruled by the kings to "divine state" ruled by the common people. However, Cambodia is ruled by both "king" and "common people". Hence, paradigm shift of current political movement of Cambodia has clearly illustrated the tendency of "common people" will take over the "King". This political shift displays Chinese and Vietnamese characteristic and Cambodia will fall into this trend in one day with expecting of negative result.
I am worrying that this stage of Cambodia transition, Cambodia sovereignty will be swallowed by Vietnamese and Chinese. While Chinese is acting like protecting Cambodia but internal Vietnamese movement inside the Cambodian organ can ensure the camouflage that Chinese cannot clearly see.
I have to rest this idea in here for a while and I will come back to talk more about this. But you can insert any concerns into mine.
----------------Continuing from above comment, I would like to firmly emphasize that "rule of law sovereignty" is more moderate and plausible. I think other democratic countries are not surely governed by "popular sovereignty" as no country can pursue political means by extremely top-down governance or bottom-up governance. The rule of law state is the middle between these two ends. The rule of laws and change of leaders frequently is on this "middle stage".
I hope my idea is enough today for the topic this week.