Saturday, September 30, 2006

Who is to Blame?

The KR Tribunal is a national court, so I guess it makes sense that they are not allowed to put countries on trial. But that is not very satisfying to a lot of people in Cambodia. The folks about to be put on trial are already pointing fingers of responsibility at the US and China while the local farmers still can’t quite believe that one of their own could have killed so many.

But with stories like this coming out, its going to be hard to convince the population here that the United States ought to be one of the first to face justice….
From the Cambodia Daily, 25 September: The total weight of bombs that the US dropped on Cambodia during its war with Vietnam may have been five times greater than previously thought, according to a new academic study.

The bombing of Cambodia also began in 1965, more than three years earlier than is widely believed, according to historians Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan whose analysis of US Air Force data released in 2000 appear in the October issue of Canada's The Walrus magazine.

Air Force data indicates that 2,756,941 tons of bombs were dropped in 230,516 sorties over 113,716 sites between 1965 and 1973, the authors say.

This surpasses the bomb weight dropped by the allied forces on all combat theaters during the whole of World War II, which totaled 2 million tons, they write.

...Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said the bombing encouraged rural Cambodians to join the Khmer Rouge. But he said he was not concerned with the numbers of bombs dropped. "We are we try to forgive and forget," he said.

US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

No place for a King

Post anything about the Khmer Rouge Trials and you are like to be faced with an onslaught from the online community. There are bloggers out there who hate the idea because it involves the NGO and International community- and therefore must be bad. There are those who think that the whole KR period was nothing more than a US/Chinese/Vietnamese conspiracy and is focused on the wrong people. And there are those who think that the whole thing is nothing more than a money pit which will deliver nothing to anyone in the end. Publish an open blog and even if you are the King of the country, you may find yourself under attack from self appointed cyber warriors.

King-Father to stop publication of news articles

22 Sept 2006
By Pov Ponlok
Radio Free Asia

For monarch, King Norodom Sihanouk, had decided anew to stop the publication of all news articles detailing the last days of the Khmer Republic regime collected from news agencies such as AFP, UPI, AP, and Reuters, as well as daily articles regarding history, funny stories, etc…

In a message dated 21 Sept, the former monarch indicated that his decision was made because he received shames, threats, verbal attacks, and accusations, as well as numerous other graphical injustices.

The former monarch said that he has decided to permanently stop several other activities, such as the writing of movie scripts and other singing and dancing in order for him to live a normal life as a retired and old person.

Nevertheless, King Norodom Sihanouk said that he reserves the right to write and publish corrections and clarifications in order to preserve the truth when his honor forced him to do so.