Khieu Kanharith: They Must Not Exploit the Bones of the Victims of the Khmer Rouge Regime
Posted by khmernews on February 1, 2008
Phnom Penh: An effort to scatter flowers at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in relation to the case of Darfur has been claimed by the government’s spokesman. “The victims of the Democratic Kampuchea regime should not be exploited. If they want to work against Sudan, they should do it in Sudan,” he said.
In the morning of the 20th of January, 2008, the Center for Social Development (CSD), co-hosted by Seng Theary, and Hollywood actress Mia Farrow, along with the activists of “Dream for Darfur” in Sudan were trying to deliver flowers at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to commemorate victims who died during the Khmer Rouge regime and to oppose the mass killings in Sudan. However, the attempt failed because of armed police since the government did not allow taking Cambodia as a location to oppose any country. Another purpose of the group is to urge China to stop supporting Sudan, in which mass killings are taking place.
“The purpose of delivering flowers at Tuol Sleng center is only for the humanitarian acts,” said CSD Director Seng Theary in a press conference on Sunday, January 20, adding that the ceremony was also joined by civil society organizations from Sudan and a U.S. Hollywood film star, however.
“Why does this multi-national group march in Cambodia? Everything is happening in Sudan, why do they relate it to Cambodia which is peaceful?” said City Hall’s cabinet official.
“All civil society organizations always say that the country which is democratic and fair always comply with law, but now they are doing what Cambodian law prohibits,” said the official. “In the letter sent to the City Hall, the delivery of flowers was not mentioned, but they asked to light a symbolic Olympic torch. However, it was not allowed, so they used flowers instead. If they had firstly requested to delivery flowers, they would have been allowed. The City Hall does not allow the march to work against any other country,” the official added.
Khieu Kanharith, Information Minister and Government Spokesman, told Kampuchea Thmey that they should have thought that they would not exploit the tragedies at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. “Their purpose is not for Cambodia, but for their country. Why do they relate peaceful Cambodia to their country? For the mass killings during the Democratic Kampuchea regime or the Khmer Rouge regime which killed millions of Cambodians, we have a tribunal to try those former Khmer Rouge leaders amongst whom five are being detained. For Khmer’s problem, Khmers can sort it out. If they want to talk about Sudan or do something against Sudan, they should do it in Sudan, since this is Cambodia, not Sudan,” said Khieu Kanharith.
Khieu Kanharith also requested that those organizations not exploit the bones of the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.
-Extracted from Kampuchea Thmey, Vol. 07, #1551, Tuesday, January 22, 2008.