Khmernews

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

Posted by khmernews on October 8, 2007

Layum

•    UNTAC promulgated election law despite Khmer Rouge’s boycott

The forces and civil officials of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) were sent to all the 3 areas of Cambodia except regions controlled by the Khmer Rouge. In order to urge its process, UNTAC promulgated the law on the election and disarmament of the Cambodian forces despite the Khmer Rouge’s boycott.
54-year-old Vann, former Khmer Rouge soldier of Ta Mok in Anlong Veng, said he had heard through UNTAC’s radio station and the Voice of America in late 1992 about the process of UNTAC and other Cambodian parties to find peace for Cambodia. However, he and other Khmer Rouge soldiers were not allowed to meet face to face with UNTAC’s staff since the Khmer Rouge didn’t trust and support UNTAC to find peace for Cambodia and to lead the reconstruction of Cambodia.

“The most important people who could decide whether or not the Khmer Rouge should join in the election were Pol Pot and Ta Mok. The Khmer Rouge also established a political party called “Democratic National Solidarity”,” said the former soldier. “I wanted the Khmer Rouge… to work with the other 3 parties and UNTAC for the election in order to reunite the country, find peace and build up the living standard, but who was I to say what I wanted at that time,” said Vann.

According to the Cambodian reconciliation chronicle, in the meeting of Supreme National Council (SNC) on August 5, 1992 in Siem Reap, the president of UNTAC Yasushi Akashi promulgated the election law for the four parties of Cambodia and newly other founded parties to be ready for the election. The Khmer Rouge side, however, boycotted the election.

On August 22, Japan and Thailand requested Cambodia to create affairs of state under the control of the SNC. On August 27, Japanese and Thai officials met Khieu Samphan, representative of the Khmer Rouge, again to talk about the chance that the Khmer Rouge could take part in checking the affairs of state. Having seen that UNTAC still promulgated the election law despite the absentee Khmer Rouge, ASEAN foreign ministers on September 4 gathered to announce that they did not approve the election in Cambodia without the Khmer Rouge side. In response to the reaction, on October 20, UNTAC’s President Yasushi Akashi told the SNC that the UN Security Council was sorry for the intervention of Japan and Thailand into the SNC.

“That UNTAC is arranging the coming election would put Cambodia under the colonization of Vietnam,” said Khieu Samphan on the same date. In the meeting of the SNC on November 8, the Khmer Rouge still announced before the SNC, co-presidents of Paris Conference, and UNTAC’s President Yasushi Akashi that they would not participate in the election.

On November 19, Yasushi Akashi accepted that in contrast to the Paris Peace Agreement, the disarmament of each party in Cambodia could not be done before the election. Therefore, the efforts to create neutral political atmosphere were very important for a free and fair election because members of various political parties had been threatened. On December 24, Dennis McNamara, president of UNTAC Human Rights, said that [he] could observe that there had been all kinds of violence occurred, especially threatening and political violence.

Present political parties’ officials recall that the military and political controversies at the time had been as tough as those of the war time. The political competitors used all kinds of strategies to win over their opponents. They were all preparing for the election, except the Khmer Rouge, who viewed the election pessimistically and refused to participate.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, #4399, Wednesday, September 26, 2007.

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