Archive

Cambodian Opposition Leader Blasts Tribunal Interference

Cambodia's opposition leader in exile Sam Rainsy (file photo).
Cambodia's opposition leader in exile Sam Rainsy (file photo).
VOA News

Cambodia's opposition leader in exile is criticizing the country's government, accusing it of blatantly interfering with attempts to prosecute crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge.

Sam Rainsy told VOA's Khmer service Thursday that officials in the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen "fear a serious investigation."

"Any serious and in-depth investigation would show that several members of the current government were involved in the Khmer Rouge crimes," said Sam Rainsy. "It is why several members of the current government have refused to testify to respond to summons."

Khmer Rouge tribunal judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet quit in protest earlier this week, citing repeated challenges to his authority by his Cambodian counterpart on the tribunal.  Kasper-Ansermet's predecessor, Swiss Judge Siegfried Blunt, quit the tribunal earlier this year after complaining of similar interference from You Bunleng.

Sam Rainsy said unless such interference ends, the tribunal's legacy will be one of continued violence.

"If all the people who are, who were responsible for the death of millions of people are not duly prosecuted, then subsequent leaders will feel free to kill other people like the current government is doing," he said.

The tribunal has already sentenced one former Khmer Rouge official to life in prison, and is currently hearing a second case against the group's three top surviving leaders.  The trio face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the deaths of some 1.7 million Cambodians who died under Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970s.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself a former Khmer Rouge member, has repeatedly said there should be no further prosecutions.  He and other Cambodian officials have voiced fear that further cases could spark civil war in the tiny Southeast Asian nation.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy is in the United States meeting with officials from both the U.S. and United Nations.

He says many U.S. and U.N. officials compare Cambodia and Burma, but that unlike Burma, Cambodia is going in the wrong direction.

"The leader of the opposition is not allowed to go back to Cambodia, is not allowed to take part in any election because of a politically subservient court that has sentenced the opposition leader, preventing him to go back and preventing him from running," said Rainsy.

Sam Rainsy called on the U.S. and the U.N. to push for free and fair elections in Cambodia, saying corruption and incompetence are eroding the standard of living for many Cambodians.

Last year, a Cambodian court sentenced Sam Rainsy in absentia to two years in prison on charges of defaming Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

Sam Rainsy, who is living in exile in France, already faced 12 years in prison on two previous convictions which his supporters charge are politically motivated.

Sam Rainsy supporters charge the cases were brought to prevent him from leading his party into elections expected in 2013.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hunting for Wild Honey in Cambodia's Forestsi
X
17 December 2014
Cambodia is thought to produce the best wild honey in Southeast Asia, mainly due to its climate and topography. Most of it is harvested informally and sold cheaply at local village markets. Now, one company is helping some of the country's poorest people by employing them to hunt for honey, then selling it commercially. (AP, Koh Kong)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)i
X
01 December 2014
You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
See more >>>