Khmernews

U.S. Creates Endowment for Cambodia Group

Posted by khmernews on November 17, 2006

By Associated Press

September 2, 2005, 8:02 AM EDT
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The United States has established a $2 million endowment to assist a Cambodian group researching crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge government in the late 1970s, the U.S. Embassy said Friday.

The fund will provide annual funding for the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which also tries to raise awareness about Khmer Rouge atrocities, embassy Charge d’Affaires Mark Storella said.

The radical communist policies of the Khmer Rouge, which ruled Cambodia in 1975-79, led to the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution. But none of its top leaders has faced trial.

Youk Chhang, the group’s director, signed an agreement establishing the permanent endowment with a representative of the United States Agency for International Development on Aug. 30, the statement said.

Youk Chhang said Friday that interest from the endowment will help sustain his institute — also known as DC-Cam — which is in the process of turning itself into a permanent center for new generations of Cambodians to learn about the genocide.

“In that way, we have a secured foundation,” he said. “The center will become a place where genocide survivors’ children can reconnect to the past while trying to move on with their lives into a better future.”

DC-Cam is an independent research institute that originated in the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University in 1995 with a grant from the State Department.

It holds a large quantity of documents and evidence of Khmer Rouge crimes.

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