Wednesday, October 26, 2005

UN Seeks Khmer Rouge Tribunal Spokesperson

Lee Berthiaume
Briefing
The Cambodia Daily
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The UN is looking for a spokesperson for the long awaited Khmer Rouge Tribunal, according to the UN’s Web site. Applicants have until Nov 15 to apply for the one-year contract, with a salary dependent on the person’s background, experience and family situation, the posting reads. The UN has already hired a deputy administrative coordinator and is compiling a list of international judges and prosecutors to preside over the tribunal. That list will be sent to the Supreme Council of Magistracy, which will make the final selections. Helen Jarvis, adviser to the government’s tribunal taskforce, said the UN is filling its positions and the government is doing the same, though no announcements form the government have been made yet. “The UN is moving on right now,” Youk Chhang, executive director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said Monday. “The other side has been very quiet.”

KR Commander Arrest Follows Chirac Request, KR Cafe Owner Says Closing Undemocratic

The Cambodia Daily

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

KR Cafe Owner Says Closing Undemocratic

Thet Sambath


The Khmer Rouge-theme restaurant –which shocked some visitors with its waitresses in black pajamas serving Pol Pot regime rice gruel-was officially shuttered by the Phnom Penh Municipal Tourism Department on Tuesday, its owner said.

L’histoire Cafe, located across the street from the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, was closed unofficially earlier this month after the Tourism Ministry announced that it did not have a proper license.

“I was denied to allow to reopen my restaurant Tuesday by municipal tourism officials,” restaurant owner Hakpry Sochivan said, adding that the officials told him he will not be issued a license.

The official said, however, that he would be allowed to reopen if he dropped the controversial Khmer Rouge theme.

“I never think about politics, and there is no law to prohibiting people from wearing black clothes and selling porridge,” he added.

Chin Samorn, chief of the tourism department, said a license was not granted because his superiors did not support the cafe.

“I can’t allow him to open this restaurant because it has no permission,” Chin Samorn said. “He was not doing right. We already have Tuol Sleng and other places for tourists.”

Chin Samorn added that it was not the tourism department’s aim to stifle free enterprise.

“We have tried to allow people to make business and to reduce poverty and attract more tourists into the country. He should open a simple restaurant as other people have done,” Chin Samorn said.

But Hakpry Sochivan asserted that his cafe differed little from the Apsara dancers who perform at restaurants in Siem Reap.

“Our country is following democracy and lets people do every business. I wonder why they do not allow me to do this one,” he said.

Thong Khon, Ministry of Tourism secretary of state, said he had questions about the restaurant that remained unanswered.

“I am waiting to see the report from the Municipal Tourism Department about the restaurant and their real purpose. We will question each other about this matter,” Thong Khon said.

“I don’t know [Hakpry Sochivan’s] real purpose. When we know it, we will consider what to do next.”

-End-

The Cambodia Daily

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

KR Commander Arrest Follows Chirac Request

Saing Soenthrith

Fugitive former Khmer Rouge commander Chhouk Rin was arrested on Tuesday near the Thai border in Oddar Meanchey province, National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha said.

Military police cooperated with Interior Ministry police in making the arrest, Sao Sokha said.

The arrest follows a request by French President Jacques Chirac for Chhouk Rin’s arrest during a Sept 21 meeting with Prime Minster Hun Sen in Paris.

Chhouk Rin has been on the run since February, when the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against a life sentence issued in 2002 for his role in the 1994 murders of three backpackers from Australia, Britain and France who were taken hostage following a train attack and later executed on Vine Mountain in Kampot province.

A cousin of Chhouk Rin, who asked not to be named, said from Kampot that he received information on Tuesday afternoon that Chhouk Rin was arrested by military police in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng, where Pol Pot died.

Chhouk Rin was arrested at 1 pm and was flown by helicopter to Phnom Penh, where he was sent directly to Prey Sar prison with the permission of the Supreme Court, said an Interior Ministry source who asked to remain anonymous.

“Chhouk Rin was arrested at his new house in Trapaing Prasat [district], where he wanted to become a farmer, while he was working on installing new windows,” said the cousin, who added that government forces handcuffed Chhouk Rin and then confiscated his motorbike.

While the arrest was taking place, Chhouk Rin threw his mobile phone into the grass, which a relative found after he was taken away, the cousin said. Relatives then contacted their kin in Kampot using the phone.

The cousin said Chhouk Rin is in good health and weighs 85kg, adding that before relocating to the Thai border, he had been hiding on Vine Mountain.


In killing field, Khmer memories for sale

By Seth Mydans International Herald Tribune
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2005

CHEUNG EK, Cambodia The people who live at the edges of the Khmer Rouge killing field here say it seems that the ghosts of the victims have finally departed and left them in peace.

"We used to see them, but now they have gone to another life,"
said Svay Phreung, a caretaker who lives in a small shack on the grounds
where 8,000 people were slaughtered three decades ago.

Over the decades, the pits that held the bones here have become the most venerated place of remembrance of the 1.7 million people who died during the brutal rule of the Communist Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979.

And so it came as a shock to many Cambodians when the government announced last spring that it had leased the Cheung Ek killing field to a Japanese company to manage for profit.

"It is commercializing the memories," Youk Chhang, director of the leading archive of Khmer Rouge materials, said when the lease was announced. "Memories cannot be sold, cannot be contracted."

But in fact the deal should have come as no surprise.

The market is hot now for government assets and prime real estate: universities, courts, hospitals, police stations, ministry buildings and even a piece of the palace, which are being sold or bartered as if the place were going out of business.

It is the latest wave in the corruption that, hand in hand with lawlessness and impunity, have crippled the country's emergence from the destruction of the Khmer Rouge years.

Cambodia has become a self-devouring nation in which just about everything seems to be for sale or lease: forests, fisheries, mining concessions, air routes, ship registrations, toxic dumps, weapons, women, girls, boys, babies.

Well before the deal for the killing field, the government gave a well-connected private company the concession to earn millions of dollars managing Cambodia's national symbol, Angkor Wat.

Land values in the capital, Phnom Penh, are estimated to have tripled over the past five years, and the market is so hot that small lakes are being filled to create more prime land to sell.

"There seems to be a frenzy, a momentum to grab up anything you can," said Miloon Kothari, the special rapporteur on adequate housing for the United Nations, on a visit here at the end of August. "The decisions seem to be dictated by money and political expediency."

Prime Minister Hun Sen brushed aside the criticism, saying, "one guy, a United Nations representative, gave a press interview. He came just for money. He regarded Cambodians as thieves."

The most prominent of the current deals are being accomplished in a burst of secret land swap agreements with a small number of well-connected private companies.

In these swaps, the developer promises to build a replacement structure on the outskirts or suburbs of the city where land is less valuable. Since the details are mostly hidden, it is impossible to verify or disprove the widespread public certainty that payments of large sums of
money are involved.

In one deal under way now, the Royal University of Fine Arts, near the French Embassy, is being swapped for a new building to be completed on reclaimed land at a far edge of the city.

In another, the municipal police headquarters near the central market has been given away in return for a new building on the outskirts. Similar deals have been made for police headquarters in Siem Reap and Battambang, according to Licadho, a human rights group.

The main prison, just in back of the Royal Palace, has been emptied for a developer who has built a new prison on the outskirts.

Even a plot of land adjacent to the palace and belonging to the royal family has been appropriated, apparently in return for the construction of government office buildings, according to local newspaper reports.

One developer has, in effect, acquired the justice system's buildings, according to a report in The Cambodia Daily. This company is building suburban replacements for the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, the Appeals Court and the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

There are unconfirmed reports that other government ministries are also being traded away. "The government sells schools, a hospital, and now a lake," Kek Galabru, who heads Licadho, said earlier this year. "One day they're going to sell the Mekong - they're going to sell the whole of Phnom Penh."

The Cheung Ek killing field, the main execution site for prisoners from Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh, 11 kilometers, or seven miles, distant, has been leased on a 30-year contract for $15,000 a year with graduated increases.

Based on figures from an official here, the company eventually will earn about $200,000 a year in entrance fees. The profits are to go to a fund that is half-owned by government officials.

The Japanese company, JC Royal, has agreed to clean up and organize the site, dulling the raw immediacy that still gives the area its haunted feel.

Kep Chuktema, the governor of Phnom Penh, who signed the contract, said the company would plant trees and flowers and improve the site while keeping the pits of the killing field intact.

The rising desire for cash, however, seems to have overcome the waning fear of ghosts. For a long time, the killing field has been surrounded by sellers of soft drinks and filled with the chants of child beggars: "One dollar, one dollar, one dollar," and, "You give me money."

The deputy administrator of the memorial, Ros Sophea Ravi, said that even before the Japanese company raised the entrance fee to $2 from 50 cents, the ghosts seemed to have departed. The children, too, said their parents had begun to let them out of their houses at night, feeling less
threatened by the wandering souls of the victims.

The caretaker, Svay Phreung, 70, who lives in a palm-leaf lean-to, said that like a caterpillar that takes time to mature, the souls of the dead must wait until the time comes for their departure and rebirth. Now that they are gone, he said, the spirit world has become quieter,
reverting to the control of the local guardian spirit, which has made its home here since long before the Khmer Rouge came.

Asked whether local spirits had been able to save any of the victims here, Svay Phreung replied: "How could they help? The Khmer Rouge banned religion."

KR Commander Arrest Follows Chirac Request

By Saing Soenthrith
The Cambodia Daily
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fugitive former Khmer Rouge commander Chhouk Rin was arrested on Tuesday near the Thai border in Oddar Meanchey province, National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha said.

Military police cooperated with Interior Ministry police in making the arrest, Sao Sokha said.

The arrest follows a request by French President Jacques Chirac for Chhouk Rin’s arrest during a Sept 21 meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Paris.

Chhouk Rin has been on the run since February, when the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against a life sentence issued in 2002 for his role in the 1994 murders of three backpackers from Australia, Britain and France who were taken hostage following a train attack and later executed on Vine Mountain in Kampot province.

A cousin of Chhouk Rin, who asked not to be named, said from Kampot that he received information on Tuesday afternoon that Chhouk Rin was arrested by military police in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng, where Pol Pot died.

Chhouk Rin was arrested at 1pm and was flown by helicopter to Phnom Penh, where he was sent directly to Prey Sar prison with the permission of the Supreme Court, said an Interior Ministry source who asked to remain anonymous.

“Chhouk Rin ws arrested at his new house in Trapaing Prasat [district], where he wanted to become a farmer, while he was working on installing new windows,” said the cousin, who added that government forces handcuffed Chhouk Rin and then confiscated his motorbike.

While the arrest was taking place, Chhouk Rin threw his mobile phone into the grass, which a relative found after he was taken away, the cousin said. Relatives then contacted their kin in Kampot using the phone.

The cousin said Chhouk Rin is in good health and weighs 85 kg, adding that before relocating to the Thai border, he had been hiding on Vine Mountain.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

UN Seeks Khmer Rouge Tribunal Spokesperson

The Cambodia Daily

Volume 32 Issue 90

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lee Berthiaume


The UN is looking for a spokesperson for the long awaited Khmer Rouge Tribunal, according to the UN’s Web site. Applicants have until Nov 15 to apply for the one year contract, with a salary dependent on the person’s background, experience and family situation, the posting reads. The UN has already hired a deputy administrative coordinator and is compiling a list of international judges and prosecutors to preside over the tribunal. That list will be sent to the Supreme Council of Magistracy, which will make the final selections. Helen Javis, adviser to the government’s tribunal taskforce, said the UN is filling its positions and the government is doing the same, though no announcements from the government have been made yet. “The UN is moving on right now,” Youk Chhang, executive director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said Monday. “The other side has been very quiet.”



Monday, October 24, 2005

Veteran Producer Tony Adams Dies of Stroke at 52

October 23, 2005 - by BWW News Desk
Tony Adams, the veteran film and stage producer whose credits include Blake Edwards' Pink Panther hits, S.O.B. "10," and the film and stage versions of Victor/Victoria died Saturday, October 22nd, of a stroke at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. He was surrounded by family and friends. He was 52 years old. A Funeral Service is planned for Tuesday, October 25 at 2PM at the Holy Name of Jesus Church (96th Street and Amsterdam).

Prior to his untimely death, Mr. Adams was a Senior Managing Member of Hello Entertainment, a theatre producing company actively developing and producing Broadway shows.

Reached by phone while traveling overseas, Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews said, "We have known Tony for so many years; we felt he was our second son. He was a beloved, dear, trusted and talented friend. We are devastated at this sudden loss and we will miss him, his kindness and his wonderful sense of humour. Our thoughts go out to his family at this time."

Born on February 15th in 1953 in Dublin Ireland, Adams got his start in the film business as movie director John Boorman's personal assistant on the film Deliverance, which was shot in the forests of northern Georgia. Lucky breaks followed for the teen-aged Adams when the star of the picture, Burt Reynolds, heard that Tony wanted to stay in the U.S., he offered him a job on his Florida ranch, which paid for Tony's tuition at Atlantic College in Palm Beach. Reynolds and friend, Dinah Shore, spoke to Blake Edwards and the next stop was Hollywood, where he worked with Blake and Blake's wife Julie Andrews, and attended Pepperdine University.

In 1975, Edwards went to London to shoot The Return of the Pink Panther starring Peter Sellers and Christopher Plummer, and gave the youthful Adams the responsibility of associate producer. He later became president of Blake Edwards Entertainment and produced along with Edwards the following motion pictures: The Pink Panther Strikes Again with Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom, Revenge of the Pink Panther with Peter Sellers, and Burt Kwouk, "10" with Dudley Moore and Bo Derek, S.O.B. with William Holden and Shelly Winters, Victor/Victoria with Robert Preston, Julie Andrews and James Garner, Trail of the Pink Panther with Joanna Lumley and Robert Wagner, Curse of the Pink Panther with David Niven and Ted Wass, The Man Who Loved Women with Burt Reynolds and Kim Basinger, Micki and Maude with Dudley Moore and Amy Irving, A Fine Mess with Ted Dansen and Howie Mandel, That's Life! with Jack Lemmon and Julie Andrews, Blind Date with Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger, Sunset with James Garner and Bruce Willis, Skin Deep with John Ritter and Chelsea Field, Switch with Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits, and Son of the Pink Panther with Roberto Begnini and Claudia Cardinale. He also produced the films Millie with James Farrentino and Julie Andrews, and Peter Gunn with Peter Strauss and Chaz Palmenteri.

The Broadway musical version of Victor/Victoria starring Julie Andrews brought Adams to New York in 1995. In addition to Victor/Victoria he produced the Off-Broadway productions of The Immigrant and Minor Demons. For PBS he produced the Lullaby of Broadway: Opening Night on 42nd Street, Julie Andrews: Back on Broadway and the acclaimed television series My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies and My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs. He also consulted and developed theatre, film and television projects for a broad base of domestic and international companies such as Walt Disney Theatrical Productions, Endemol/Stage Holding, Blake Edwards Entertainment and Ogden (Metropolitan Entertainment).

Mr. Adams had many television specials, concerts and recordings to his producing credits including: Dudley Moore: A Man for All Seasons, a live concert saluting the great entertainer, hosted by Barbara Walters and starring Robin Williams, John Cleese and Chevy Chase; Julie Andrews Live in Las Vegas, London and Tokyo; Sounds of Orchestra with Andre Previn and Julie Andrews in Tokyo for NHK broadcast; Liza in Tokyo with Liza Minnelli for worldwide broadcast and video release; Frank, Julie, Placido and John starring Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Placido Domingo and John Denver; One Night Only with Robin Williams, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett; Because We Care, a CBS Television special with Danny Kaye, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Billy Crystal, Jane Fonda and John Travolta; An Olympic Evening with Cary Grant, Tom Jones and Anthony Newley; and Life in a Looking Glass, a music video starring Tony Bennett.

In addition to Adams' busy professional career, he had a passion for charitable causes. He was a founding board member of the world relief organization Operation USA, a charity that has won many accolades, most notably a share of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its part in the International Campaign To Ban Landmines and the 1983 President's Volunteer Action Award, which Adams accepted from President Reagan on behalf of the charity. He traveled extensively with the group and was among the first assembly of Westerners back into Cambodia after the reign of terror by the Khmer Rouge (1979), where he delivered medicines and photographed victims of the Khmer Rouge which were published worldwide. He was a co-founder of Show
Coalition, a Hollywood political action committee and spearheaded fundraising drives for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

Over Mr. Adams' prestigious career, his projects were honored with12 Academy Award Nominations, 1 Academy Award, 23 Golden Globe Nominations, 13 Golden Globe Awards, 4 Evening Standard Awards, 1 Cesar Award (French Academy Award), 2 David di Donatello Awards, 3 Grammy Award nominations, and 1 Outer Critics Circle Award.

Always an Irishman at heart, Mr. Adams married three wonderful women and loved his children immensely. His first marriage to Avril Adams and his second marriage to Debrah Farentino ended in divorce. His survivors include his third wife, the Broadway actress Anne Runolfsson; two daughters Molly Adams of Santa Monica, California and Tess Adams of New York City; two sons Andrew Hopewell of Malibu, California and Alister Adams of Toronto, Canada; four sisters Anne Adams, Joan Paybody, Teresa Deane, and Maeve Gallagher of Ireland; and four brothers John Adams of Ireland, Richard Adams of Los Angeles and Seamus Adams of England.

"First They Killed My Father" Author will speak at SLCC.

By Quentin Wells
Globe Link - News
Issue: 10/21/05

Loung Ung, story teller, activist, writer, and survivor of the genocide of the Khmer Rouge in her native Cambodia will be the featured speaker in the Salt lake Community College 2005 Tanner Forum on Social Ethics. Her presentation will be presented November 9 at noon in the Grand Theater on South City Campus and will include a lecture drawn from her personal experiences and writings and a forum discussion.

At the age of 5, Ms. Ung and her family were forced to flee their home in
Phnom Penh by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army. To survive, the family split
up. Both of Ms. Ung's parents were later murdered and it was only years later, after the Khmer Rouge government was finally deposed, that she was reunited with her surviving siblings.

Her memoir of her family's incredible struggle through the genocidal agony of her homeland, "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers," published by HarperCollins in 2000, is a national bestseller and recipient of the 2001 Asian/Pacific American Librariansl Association Award for Excelience in Adult Non-fiction Literature: Her second book, "Lucky Child," was published by HarperCollins in April 2005.

In 1975, Ung was the five-year-old child of a large, affluent family living in Phnom Penh, the cosmopolitan Cambodian capital. As extraordinarily well-educated Chinese-Cambodians, with the father a government agent, her family was in great danger when the Khmer Rouge took over the country and throughout Pol Pot's barbaric regime. Her parents' strength and her father's knowledge of Khmer Rouge ideology enabled the family to survive together for a while, posing as illiterate peasants, moving first between villages, and then from one work camp to another. The father was honest with the children, explaining dangers and how to avoid them, and this, along with clear sight, intelligence and the pragmatism of a young child, helped Ung to survive the war.

Her restrained, unsentimental account of the four years she spent surviving the regime before escaping with a brother to Thailand and eventually the United States is astonishing--not just because of the tragedies, but also because of the immense love for her family that Ung holds onto, no matter how she is brutalized. She describes the physical devastation she is surrounded by but always returns to her memories and hopes for those she loves. These remain with her as, one after another, both parents and two of her six siblings are murdered in the camps.

Ms. Ung has spoken widely to universities, schools, and corporations on Cambodia, child soldiers, women and war, domestic violence, and land mines. She has worked for the Vietnam Veterans' of America Foundation/s (VVAF) Campaign for a Landmine-Free World from 1997-2003. Ms. Ung continues to serve as National Spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine-Free World.

The Tanner Forum on Social Ethics brings nationally and internationally recognized speakers in the area of social ethics to Salt Lake Community College annually. The Tanner Forum enhances the College's mission as a community-based learning institution by providing opportunities
for students, faculty, staff and the wider community to come together for the thoughtful examination of critical issues in contemporary social ethics.

Previous Tanner Forum Lecturers include such distinguished scholars as Chris Hedges, Carolyn Merchant, Carlos E. Cortez and Stephen Lewis. The Tanner Forum on Social Ethics is funded by the O.c. Tanner Company, the entity that funds the Tanner Charitable Trust, and co-sponsored by the SLCC Fine Arts and Lectures Fee Committee.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Government Is Doing Its Part For KR Tribunal

Letter To Editor

The Cambodia Daily

Monday, October 17, 2005

Volume 32, Issue 84

The recent contribution of $1 million from India to the Khmer Rouge trials was extremely welcome and deeply appreciated by the Cambodian Gov­ernment Task Force, as reported in your article "India Pledges $1 Million for KR Tribunal (Oct 10, page 1).

Regarding the Cambodian gov­ernment contribution to the Extraordinary Chambers, the article stated: "The government was to cover the re­maining $13.3 million, but it announced in March that it could only afford to pay $1.5 million."

This is inaccurate.

In December 2003 the UN technical assistance mission proposed a divided budget, with one part to be sought in multilateral contributions via the UN ($43 million), and the other to be sought by the Cambodian gov­ernment ($13.3 million).

From the very beginning the Cambodian government clearly indicated that it would be well beyond it’s means to contribute the full amount in the "Cambo­dian" part, but would be seeking bilateral contributions.

It was by no means reneging on a previous commitment which the Cambodian government launched an appeal for bilateral contributions and pledged to con­tribute $1.5 million from its own national budget.

In addition to this cash compo­nent. Cambodia will also provide $5.2 million in indirect costs--in­cluding provision of premises for the court, water, electricity, con­struction and running of deten­tion facilities, medical care and security arrangements--which are not included in the $13.3 million budget

Cambodia's total contribution of $6.7 million--cash and indirect expenses--represents over 10 percent of the estimated cost of the Khmer Rouge trials and is a substantial amount, certainly well beyond that contributed by the affected state in any other mixed or international criminal tribunal.

Dr Helen Jarvis,

Advisor,

Secretariat of the Task Force,

Office of the Council of Ministers

CONTRIBUTION FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA TO THE CAMBODIAN SIDE OF THE BUDGET FOR THE KHMER ROUGE TRIALS

The Government of India has today announced a contribution of $1 million US dollars to the Cambodian side of the budget for the forthcoming Khmer Rouge trials.

Today His Excellency Mr Aloke Sen, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Cambodia, informed His Excellency Mr Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Royal Government Task Force for the Khmer Rouge Trials, of this contribution.

The Deputy Prime Minister expressed the sincere appreciation of the Cambodian government for this significant contribution. “This once again demonstrates the friendship of India towards Cambodia, a constant feature of our relationship from ancient times and more recently. India was the only country outside the socialist bloc to have an embassy in Phnom Penh and to support Cambodia’s reconstruction in the difficult days after our liberation from the horrors of the Pol Pot regime. We also remember with appreciation the assistance given to us by the Indian legal experts in 1999 at the beginning of drafting the Law on the Extraordinary Chambers.”

The Ambassador responded by saying: “If we were friends in those difficult times, then we are friends forever”. He went on to explain that the Government of India had decided to change its previously announced intention to contribute only in kind, because it realised that a cash contribution would respond more directly to Cambodia’s pressing need to meet the deficit on its side of the budget.

His Excellency Mr Sean Visoth, Executive Secretary of the Task Force commented: “This significant contribution from India is most welcome, and we hope that others will follow this example, as several other countries are now considering the amount and form of their own contribution to the Cambodian side. I would like to emphasise that both sides of the budget are of equal importance to the challenging task of establishing a sound process that meets international standards.”

While the international side of the budget ($43 million) has already been almost fully subscribed, the Cambodian side is still appealing for bilateral assistance to help meet its allocated share of the budget, amounting to $13.3 million.

The Royal Government of Cambodia will itself contribute $6.7 million (consisting of $1.5 million in cash, and an estimated $5.2 million in kind expenses which lie outside the budget itself). This pledge from Cambodia amounts to over 10% of the total costs of the Extraordinary Chambers ($61.5 million – $56.3 in the budget plus the $5.2million extra-budgetary expenses).

Once again, we appeal to all those who care about justice to help us achieve the remaining funds so that the Extraordinary Chambers may begin to function in the very near future, and that they may attain the level of international standards that we have all agreed on to address the needs for justice of the Cambodian people and all humanity.

Phnom Penh

7 October 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cuban Embassy Calls US Embargo 'Genocide

The Cambodia Daily
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Charles McDermid

The Cuban Embassy in Phnom Penh played its part in a worldwide Cuban media offensive on Wednesday by blasting US President George W Bush's foreign policy and calling a long-standing US trade embargo against the communist nation "an act of genocide."

The news conference at the embassy was held in preparation for a Nov 8 UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for the US to lift its decades-old economic embargo of Cuba.

"Everybody in the world should be aware of this attack on the Cuban people," said Cuban Embassy Counselor Waldo Reyes Sardinas. "We need to have more voices calling for the lifting of this policy."

Cuban Ambassador Nirsia Castro Guevara called the US trade embargo "the longest and most cruel blockade known to the history of mankind."

"The most aggressive US administration ever against Cuba is the present Bush administration," Castro Guevara said.

A pamphlet given to reporters by the Cuban Embassy alleged that the US embargo has resulted in direct economic suffering to Cuba and put the total cost to the nation at $82 billion, with an annual average of $1.7 billion.

US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said that he was unaware of the exact content of the Cuban embassy news conference, but he added that he was not surprised by its vehemence.

"The US remains committed to promoting democracy in Cuba," Daigle said. "We hope that one day the Cuban people will have the freedom to express themselves."

Castro Guevara supported the charge of genocide by citing its definition in the Geneva Convention.

"If you looked up the definition of genocide in the Geneva Convention, it is a measure used to eliminate a group of people," she said.

"Depriving food from the Cuban people will lead to starvation, desperation and the overthrow of the government."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

KR Restaurant Should Be Free To Reopen

THE CAMBODIA DAILY

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Volume 32 Issue 81


Kyheng Ea, Phnom Penh


Recently, I was quite impressed to sense the word freedom again.

But then I learned that the L’histoire Cafe was closed due to some stated reasons I seriously doubt. (“Khmer Rouge Cafe close by government,” Oct 3, page 12).

As a child, I heard much about hardship in the Khmer Rouge regime from my parents.

I understood so little.

“You are lucky to be born after the KR regime ended,” they usually said.

Particularly, I noticed when they pointed out what they were not allowed to do, and this enable me to grasp the word “freedom” fully.

In order for the younger generation to more or less become aware of people’s endurance during regime, I personally feel that the Khmer Rouge cafe, like the Cambodian marketplace generally, should be free to reopen as soon as it gets its license. This would keep the KR history alive.

Moreover, the authentic food at L’histoire Cafe would serve as a valuable experience, helping to sharpen and broaden peoples’ knowledge of the Khmer Rouge government. This would also guarantee that under no circumstances should Cambodians ever take their freedom for granted.



Monday, October 10, 2005

Intentions of Khmer Rouge Fund Misunderstood

THE CAMBODIA DAILY

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Bandol Lim, Assistant director,

Institute of Research and Advanced Studies

University of Cambodia

This letter is to notify you about the problem I have with the article “Japanese Businessman Announces KR Fund” (Tuesday, page 16).

Your narrow-minded article has led other people, such as Youk Chhang, Chey Sopheara, Lim Srey Phalla, and readers who did not attend the news conference, which we organized, down a wrong path that focuses too much on money. How capitalistic of you!

I feel that you missed the whole point as to why “Dr Handa Compensation and Memorial Fund for Victims of the Khmer Rouge Genocide” was established and the benefit of having a Center for Genocidal Studies.

The objective of the fund is “to pay tribute to the millions of victims and survivors of the Khmer Rouge Regime.” The aim is “to console the victim families, particularly those who have lost the heads of the family or those who have been facing psychological, physical and economical difficulties caused by the Khmer Rouge regime.”

Dr Kao Kim Hourn, president of the University of Cambodia, stated that the “aim is to help those families, mainly headed by widows, and particularly those who have a lot of kids.”

There is a mutual understanding that the fund cannot possibly be enough to compensate for the lives lost, and the emotional distress and economic deprivation.

Dr Haruhisa Handa emphatically reiterated this point “that there is no way in what ever terms that we can fully compensate anyone for the tremendous loss of many lives, as well as those who have survived the Khmer Rouge regime.”

Where were these above statements in your article? All just to get a reaction from the public to sell your story, how low can you sink? Why don’t you look at the news article by Kyodo News?

You miss the whole point of why the fund was established and the benefit of having a Center for Genocidal Studies, the first of its kind in Cambodia, if I might add.

The center will be designed to conduct research, teach courses on genocide and democide studies, and educate the younger Cambodian generation on genocide and democide worldwide.

I ask that you write the complete story to fully educate those who did not take the initiative to attend the news conference. Ignorance is bliss and for a journal magazine to spread ignorance to sell a story: How pathetic!


Compensation Project Could Have Variety of Consequences

THE CAMBODIA DAILY

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Meng-Try Ea is a PhD student at Rutgers,

the State University of New Jersey, USA.

I am skeptical about Haruhisa Handa’s compensation project of $100 per family for the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime (“Japanese Businessman Announces KR Fund,” Tuesday, page 16).

The compensation will have major impacts on Cambodia: First, it will possibly impact public participation with the KR trial and encourage the culture of impunity. Second, it will possibly impact the history of the KR regime.

I am concerned that this project could discourage the public from participating in the KR trial because once they receive a compensation, they may be no longer interested in working towards fighting for justice and establishing the truth.

The project could also weaken human rights by creating an impression that the life of a Cambodian victim of the KR regime is only worth $100.

Finally, the project will encourage the culture of impunity in Cambodia as victims of any crime will be calling for compensation, rather than fighting for justice.

There have been debates regarding the actual number of victims killed during the KR regime.

For example, most of Cambodian students learn from their school textbooks that the number killed during the KR regime was 3.3 million. For these students, the estimate of 1.7 million claimed by researchers and foreign scholars on Cambodia is incorrect.

At the same time, some people do not accept the number introduced in the school textbooks. They question the credibility of the study done by the government of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, seeing it as politically motivated.

The donation could also destroy the history of the Khmer Rouge regime as some poor people will rush to provide a new number of the victims for the sake of money.

By then, the history of the KR regime will be more blurred and further from fact. For this reason, any records from this reparation project must be classified, let alone to teach the young Cambodian students about the history of the KR regime.

I personally think that a better idea for the compensation project for the victim of the KR regime is to focus on the future by building infrastructure including schools, hospitals and roads for every victim of the KR regime rather than compensating victims of the KR regime as individuals.

Victims of KR Need Symbolic Compensation

THE CAMBODIA DAILY

Friday, August 5, 2005

Terith Chi, Graduate Student, Royal University of Law and Economics


The Japanese businessman Haruhisha Handa recently announced that he would be establishing a $1.3 million-dollar Memorial Fund or victims of the Khmer Rouge (“Japanese Businessman Announces KR Fund,” Tuesday, page 16).

His project aims to “compensate” $100 to 10,000 families, especially those headed by widows and those with many children.

As far as I am concerned, I really appreciate this effort to help the victims of genocide-it does not matter who they are-and no doubt see and understand the generosity and good purpose demonstrated by the Japanese people towards this impoverished nation.

However, despite these fine intentions, the plan itself is flawed. It is likely that people from all parts of the country will step forward and claim this money.

Considering that nearly two million Cambodians died during the Khmer Rouge regime, the number of families seeking compensation will of course exceed 10,000, which is all the project can afford.

Or perhaps it is a way for the project to collect additional funds? Is it fair to give money to some but not others?

To judge which families have suffered the most and are thus, most deserving of being compensated? Pain and suffering can no way and no time be compared.

In the end, it is likely that many families will be burdened in traveling a long way to claim this money, only to not be compensated.

It seems to me that a collective symbolic compensation is a better idea.


Trainees To Spread Word About KR Tribunal

THE CAMBODIA DAILY

Monday, August 8, 2005

By Lee Berthiaume and Kuch Naren

When Thol Dina saw the advertisement asking for volunteers to participate and help out with the Khmer Rouge tribunal, the university student knew he had to apply.

For four months, he and about 200 other students from across the country trained at the Documentation Center of Cambodia, learning the history of the Khmer Rouge regime and the ins and outs of the tribunal.

Now Thol Dina and his colleagues have returned to their home villages to teach their neighbors how the tribunal will work, why it’s important and to collect survivors’ stories in what may be the largest attempt to document the regime’s horrific history from the perspective of its survivors.

“I thought this was very important,” Thol Dina said Thursday, the day before he and other students left on their 10-day mission. “We have to let the young generations know about this.”

The students will be distributing four documents, including the Khmer Rouge tribunal law, and a pamphlet produced by the government entitled “Introduction to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal,” said DC-Cam Executive Director Youk Chhang.

They will also be interviewing survivors and recording their answers for a book planned for publication in 2006, Youk Chhang said.

Thol Dina said the majority of Cambodians don’t know how the tribunal will work and many young people don’t know the history of the regime.

“Almost 90 percent of us were affected by the Khmer Rouge regime,” he said, “so it is important to get the information.”

Youk Chhang said the students, with official permission from the Interior Ministry, will be going door to-door and are expected to interview eight to 10 people per day, meaning as many as 20,000 interviews will be conducted.

Thol Dina and other students said they weren’t worried about getting people angry, especially former Khmer Rouge members, and Youk Chhang said he gave them some advice if they do run into former members.

“My advice is they are your neighbors, they are your compatriots and they are human beings,” he said.