Sam Rainsy: Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Start after the Death of Nuon Chea and a Number of Important Suspects

Posted by khmernews on June 7, 2007

Mr. Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition party in Cambodia, has expressed his dismay concerning the deadlock over the adoption of internal rules of the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia which has led the Khmer Rouge trial process to be delayed over and over again.

On the morning of the 17th of April 2007, Mr. Sam Rainsy, monks and lots of people attended a ceremony at Choeung Ek Killing Fields to pray for the souls of people who died during the Khmer Rouge regime. In the ceremony, Mr. Sam Rainsy sadly said, “They will wait until Nuon Chea and a number of important suspects pass away to start the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.”

He added, “I believed that they will wait until Nuon Chea dies. They are seeking a way to make Nuon Chea die soon since he has known a lot of things and was the second prominent [Khmer Rouge] leader after Pol Pot. Therefore, we should push for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to start soon or suspects will die one after another.”

Mr. Sam Rainsy’s statement has led the general public to think that if all prominent people responsible for the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime die, the trials set for them will be meaningless.

Mr. Sam Rainsy claimed, “They want suspects who were the former Khmer Rouge leader to die gradually according to their fate since they are now aging. So, we will not allow those plotters to deceive us.”

The opposition leader further said, “We must strongly urge the international community to place more pressure on the current government so that the tribunal proceeding will no longer be stalled.”

In the ceremony at Choeung Ek Killing Fields on the 17th of April 2007, Mr. Sam Rainsy raised that some current leaders were involved with the Khmer Rouge regime before they fled to Yuon [Vietnam] and asked Yuon [Vietnamese] to assist them to seize power from Pol Pot.

He went on to say that because of their involvement, they were afraid of the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been watched closely by the United Nations, and of disclosure of the reality that could affect their background and activities.

Mr. Sam Rainsy stressed, “That is why I have a little hope that our current Khmer leaders are willing to allow the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to proceed fairly. It means that only democrats and people who are not linked to the Khmer Rouge crimes and are not absorbed in Khmer Rouge ideologies can urge for the proceedings of the tribunal for the prosecution of the former Khmer Rouge leaders whose hands are stained with blood of Khmer citizens to move forward with transparency.”

Mr. Sam Rainsy, President of Sam Rainsy Party, continued by saying that only democrats and libertarians are people who always oppose communism (referring to communism in Chinese and Vietnamese styles). “Communism is a dictatorial regime which tends to use violence. Consequently, I do not believe that communists will prosecute communists, robbers will catch robbers and criminals will try criminals, due to the fact that they are from the same group,” he said.

Mr. Sam Rainsy described, “Why do we say that they are from the same group? Some Khmer Rouges already changed their black uniform to colorful clothes; however, their brains are still Khmer Rouge. And there is only Sam Rainsy Party that has urged for an end to be putted to the impunity and can find justice for victims.”

It should be noted that the April 17th, 1975, which the Khmer Rouge considered as a victory day on the imperial United States of America, is a tragic day for all Khmer citizens, especially for Phnom Penh dwellers who were forcefully evacuated by the Khmer Rouge soldiers from their houses to rural areas, on the ground that “Phnom Penh dwellers was just evacuated for only two or three days for fear that the US planes would bomb there.”

By contrast, the Khmer Rouge promise became a lie because the word “3 days” was replaced by “3 years, 8 months and 20 days,” a period which claimed nearly 2 million lives of innocent Cambodians.

All Khmer people have clearly remembered that while evacuating people from Phnom Penh on the 17th of April 1975, Khmer Rouge black-uniformed soldiers killed a lot of people both in their [people’s] houses, in hospitals and along the roads.

Moreover, because of the 17th of April 1975, every Khmer family has lost members until now. It has been questioned why the tribunal for the prosecution of the people most responsible for the genocidal regime have been obstructed again and again and whether or not people who have barricaded the proceedings of the tribunal are Khmer.

Seeing that, the opposition party leader Mr. Sam Rainsy strongly appealed, “We want the world to help put an end to impunity in Cambodia because Khmer people’s blood, tears and piles of bones should not be forgotten and history should not be buried.”

He highlighted, “Let’s look at those piles of skulls and bones and they are likely to look back at us and to ask us to help find justice for them. Therefore, we cannot forget the day of the 17th of April at all and we must keep trying to find justice for victims of the Khmer Rouge and their families who have been living throughout the country.”

(Informal translation)
-Extracted from: Moneasekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3136, Thursday 19 April 2007.


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