Posts Tagged ‘Thailand aided KR in forcing refugees into KR zones’
By Kok Sap 21/01/2009
Comment: Indeed,it’s 30 or so year late for Bangkok Post to mention how justice was ignored. All these times, I remebered then Thailand had first hand evidences and accounts from fleeing victims between 1976-1979. But for unknown reasons,why Thailand undisclosed such crimes to UNHCR investigatives.
To my recollection, Bangkok Post editorial failed to account hatred and genocidal crimes that took toll on Kambuja refugees under Thailand jurisdiction.
Also I am unconvinced that the paper did not know about 1977 Thai undeclared war and excursions under General Vajiralongkorn (Mahidol Prince) supervision along Chantha Buri , Surin,Sirisakesh and Prachin Buri borderlines with Kambuja . Consequently this war had triggered Thai hatred and vengeance to get even with Kambuja on the fleeing and destitute refugees from 1976 onward.
The end results, thousands of fleeing Kambujian were massacred, robbed, raped, and dumped to be killed in hot battle zones between invaders, Yuon, and Democratic Kambuja. Some were imprisoned on charges of illegal entering Thailand without proper documents. The prisoners were asked to pay in US dollar or gold to the detaining officials in exchange for release or admittance to transit camps for third country resettlement.
Other thousands,against their will,Thai armed forces turned them over to Democratic Kambuja controlled zones. Then under General Kriangsak government,Thailand turned other cheek and refused refugees rights to safety. The editorial seemed to remind me how prejudice and selective Thailand was from then and now.
Let the victims of KR decide
Published: 21/01/2009 at 12:00 AM
The wheels of justice have turned ever so slowly in the 30 years since invading Vietnamese troops brought to a close the terrible reign of the Khmer Rouge (KR) in Cambodia, and the world got a first glimpse of the magnitude of the carnage they left behind. Revisiting those horrors is sure to be painful, but it is a necessary part of closing that sad chapter in Cambodia’s long and proud history.
It was announced this week that a UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia has set Feb 17 as the starting date for the trial of Kaing Guek Eav – Comrade Duch – for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
After years of haggling between Cambodian and international prosecutors over procedural details, Duch will be the first Khmer Rouge leader to face justice for the horrors the regime unleashed on the Cambodian people, unless one counts the impromptu trial of Comrade No. 1, Pol Pot, in 1997 carried out by his former comrades, which did nothing to further the healing process. Pol Pot was sentenced to house arrest and died unrepentant a year later.
Duch probably has the highest profile of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders, partly because of the popularity with tourists of the gruesome prison, now a museum, that he ran in the centre of Phnom Penh. At his instructions, detailed notes were kept on the torture of prisoners.
Besides Duch, Nuon Chea known as Brother No.2; Ieng Sary, former Khmer Rouge deputy prime minister and foreign minister; his wife Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan, former chairman of the Khmer Rouge state presidium, are currently detained and awaiting trial.
There is much debate over how extensively the tribunal should now seek out the guilty. With the blood of an estimated two million people on their hands, from 1975 to 1979, the list of potential Khmer Rouge defendants is a very long one.
For the time being at least the tribunal, formally known as the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia and overseen jointly by the Cambodian government and the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (Unakart), is only going after those who were at the very top.
According to a report in the Phnom Penh Post, Robert Petit, the international prosecutor at the tribunal, filed a “statement of disagreement” last month after he failed to enlist support from Chea Leang, the Cambodian prosecutor, for his proposal to submit more suspects for investigation.
Ms. Leang says she is opposed to expanding the list of defendants beyond the five currently detained because she feels it could be counter-productive to national reconciliation, as well as prohibitively expensive.
Fittingly, there is an effort under way to allow surviving victims a say in the decision on whether to expand the prosecutions list. A survey commissioned by the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) will ask ordinary Cambodians to answer the question: Should additional suspects be brought to trial?
Survey respondents will also weigh in on whether the cost of the trials should be an important factor; if they expect additional prosecutions would lead to “public disorder or violence”; and whether the trials of the current detainees should be completed before issuing fresh indictments. Time is running out and the age and health of those facing trial rule out lengthy delays.
There is a lot of wisdom in this approach. DC-Cam director Youk Chhang has promised the survey would be conducted professionally and promptly. As Mr. Chhang said, “Victims are not only witnesses of history; they are also judges.”