Khmernews

Judgment of Local People For 25 years: Key Solution To Justice and Reconciliation (Cont.)

Posted by khmernews on September 18, 2007

Prince Sihanouk was warmly welcomed whereas Khieu Samphan was protested against, when they returned to Phnom Penh.

After the establishment of the Supreme National Council (SNC) and meeting of its 12 members in Paris, France, the United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (MIPRENUC) started to work in Cambodia. Leaders of the Cambodian parties and members and officials of the SNC started to return to Cambodia.  Cambodian people are most delighted with the peace and reconciliation process.
Teav Roeun, 60, villager in Keab, Teuk Tla, Serei Sorphorn, said August 31 when senior Cambodian leaders reunited and returned to Cambodia, the country would be peaceful and prosperous again, especially the return of King Father.

Hol Kimthon, chief of Teuk Cho’s commune council in Preah Net Preah district, said that when leaders of the Cambodian arguing parties returned to Cambodia, they would, at least, understand each other, feel pity on the people and find ways to justice and national reconciliation.

According to peace and national reconciliation process in Cambodia, events occurred in 1991 are as following:

On November 11, Hun Sen, president of the Minister Council of the People’s Republic of Cambodia or the representative of Phnom Penh government in Cambodia, went to invite exiled Prince Norodom Sihanouk, president of the National Government of Cambodia, from Beijing, China.

On November 14, Hun Sen accompanied Prince Norodom Sihanouk to return to Phnom Penh. Tens of thousands of government officials, students, workers, and ordinary people were allowed to welcome the prince.

On November 16, Prince Norodom Sihanouk gave his first speech in front of the royal palace to Cambodians for the first time after he had been ousted in a coup on March 18, 1970 by Field Marshal Lon Nol, who then created Republic of Cambodia.

Prince Norodom Sihanouk talked to the people and showed his nostalgic feeling and deep affections towards the people. In response, the people, especially the elderly, requested the prince “to stay in Cambodia and not to go away again”. A lot nuns and monks who were also welcoming the prince’s return told him that: “please don’t run away from us again”.

“King Father didn’t intend to run away from his people, but they didn’t allow him to stay and meet his people,” said Prince Norodom Sihanouk on November 16. “During Democratic Kampuchea regime, for example, I and my wife were made to stay in the palace in Phnom Penh, in a place with leak roof and warped windows which couldn’t be closed and opened. We received only an egg each for a meal time.”

On November 17, a Democratic Kampuchea’s delegation led by Son Sen arrived at Phnom Penh. On the same date, Hun Sen held a press conference to announce that he did not disagree with the re-establishment of the of the royalty and that Cambodian People’s Party and FUNCINPEC Party were having the same stance on the issue.

On November 22, the first meeting of the Supreme National Council was held in Phnom Penh, but Khieu Samphan and Son Sen of Democratic Kampuchea didn’t attend.

On November 23, Prince Norodom Sihanouk announced the establishment of the FUNCINPEC and Cambodian People’s Party coalition government. However, Son San said that there had to be only one government, Supreme National Council.

On November 27, Khieu Samphan and Son Sen arrived at Phnom Penh. Along Russian Boulevard from Pochentong Airport (present Phnom Penh International Airport) to the capital city, some people were placed to welcome them. Among those people, some protested against the two Khmer Rouge leaders, however. When they arrived at their office near Olympics Stadium, there was a large scale protest against them. The protestors destroyed their office, swore and threw stones at them. Although Khieu Samphan and Son Sen were protected by a lot of forces, Khieu Samphan’s head was injured with a piece of stone thrown at him. It sparked the suspicion that the protest was a plan by the Cambodian People’s Party but then it couldn’t control the situation. Eventually, Hun Sen’s intervention force and troops of State of Cambodia fled Khieu Samphan, Son Sen and their delegation in tanks away to the airport. They then flew back to Bangkok.

On that night of November 27, the state-run TVK broadcast the event of the arrival of and protest against Khieu Samphan and Son Sen. This issue was also published in international media.

Thanks to the event occurred to Khieu Samphan and Son Sen, the Supreme National Council with other five representatives of the UN Security Council held a meeting to take protective actions to protect the members of the Supreme National Council on December 3 in Pattaya, Chon Bori province, Thailand.

Concerning the protest, most of the people thought that between 1975 and 1991 people hated the Khmer Rouge so much since the Khmer Rouge had killed many people and devastated the country. Moreover, upon his arrival at the airport, Khieu Samphan scornfully said to a press interview: “When the water is not clear yet, you cannot see fish. People who died during the Khmer Rouge regime were listed, but how many people died in K-5 mobilization? And so on”

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng said August 28, 2007 in Preah Net Preah, Banteay Meanchey: “The wrong decision of leaders can lead to great devastation. Khmer Rouge Pol Pot, for example, made a wrong decision which led to the mass killings of the people and great devastation to the country.”

“When Pol Pot was holding the power, he was exceptionally powerful. When he had no more power, he was sentenced by the People’s Court on Dongrek Mountains in Anlong Veng. He couldn’t say anything, but stared at the people. It was the genocide. People cannot accept it, so they must be angry,” he said.

On December 25, [1991], there was a meeting of the 5 ambassadors of the powerful counties in Phnom Penh. It was held one after another. It was called “core group meeting”. On December 28, the first meeting of Military Task Force in Phnom Penh participated by the military contingents of the four parties made a ceasefire agreement and agreed on the air traffic of MIPRENUC’s planes and helicopters.

On December 30, the second meeting of the Supreme National Council was held in Phnom Penh. Representatives of the four parties attended the meeting and appealed to UNTAC force to come to Cambodia as soon as possible.

In the end of 1991 and early 1992, the Cabinet of Cambodia changed some of its components as some members of the government secretly established a party called “Democratic Open Society”  in Phnom Penh.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, #4379, Sunday-Monday, September 2-3, 2007.

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