Ambassadors: Arrests and Trials of Khmer Rouge leaders Won’t Affect Political Stability

Posted by khmernews on October 2, 2007

Phnom Penh: Ambassadors of three powerful countries have said that the recent arrest of Nuon Chea and process of trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders will not affect the political stability in Cambodia. It will, in contrast, help to generate long-term stability although it might create tension and disappointment for a short time.
On September 21, Rasmei Kampuchea interviewed the ambassadors of the US, Japan, and Korea about their opinions regarding the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, especially the recent arrest of former senior Khmer Rouge cadre Nuon Chea.

Concerning the question about political instability the process might produce, Joseph A. Mussomeli, ambassador of the US to Cambodia, said he thought in a different way. “The proceedings of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will be a good gift for long-term stability in Cambodia and will help reunite the country,” he said. “In a short term, it might cause some tensions. Some people might be disappointed. However, the truth and justice always bring about good effects to long-term stability.”

Shin Hyum Suk, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia, told Rasmei Kampuchea that he didn’t think the arrest of Nuon Chea and trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders would affect political stability in Cambodia, adding that it was an important process to find stability in the future.

“The Cambodian economy has been growing up since 1993,” he continued. “Cambodia has got very strong political stability compared to that of 3 years ago. Cambodians at the present are more confident in their future and fates than before.”

Meanwhile, Shinohara, ambassador of Japan to Cambodia, said that since his first mission in Cambodia, he had seen many hardships Cambodia had undergone through. “Therefore, I am happy that Cambodia is shining and becomes a stable nation state,” he said. He hopes Cambodia will maintain the stability all Cambodians has been waiting for so long.

The Japanese ambassador said Japan considered the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders crucially important in the progress of the rule of law and good governance in Cambodia. He believes the proceedings will move forward fairly and quickly.

As the Khmer Rouge had been completely filled with extreme communist ideology, it leads to a question: “Will the loyalties of former Khmer Rouge soldiers towards their leaders create friction after their leader arrests?”

According to the opinions of the three senior diplomats, the arrests of Khmer Rouge leaders and coming trials would not threaten political stability in Cambodia.

Political analysts point out similarly that at the present time the former Khmer Rouge and ordinary Cambodians have benefited from the economic boom and peace. Therefore, the return to the past hard time may not be possible.

Nuon Chea has become the second Khmer Rouge leader who has been detained at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal after Duch, former chief of Tuol Sleng prison, was the first. As the Khmer Rouge Tribunal stated in the Introductory Submission that there were 5 Khmer Rouge suspects to be brought to the tribunal, speculations are prompted on the third target of the tribunal.

It’s generally believed that Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary will be charged by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Unofficial Translation

-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, #4397, Sunday-Monday, September 23-24, 2007.


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