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.
7 October 2005