Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Cambodian America

Institute Seeks To Reconnect With Khmer Rouge Survivors in US

The first meeting in its series will kick off this Saturday in Lowell, Mass., and continue to Philadelphia and the Virginia-Maryland area later this year.

Nou Leakhena, a Cambodian-American sociologist and professor, spends much of her free time helping other Cambodians in the US.Nou Leakhena, a Cambodian-American sociologist and professor, spends much of her free time helping other Cambodians in the US.
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Nou Leakhena, a Cambodian-American sociologist and professor, spends much of her free time helping other Cambodians in the US.
Nou Leakhena, a Cambodian-American sociologist and professor, spends much of her free time helping other Cambodians in the US.
VOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - The US-based Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia and the Center for Justice and Accountability will launch a campaign on the east coast to reconnect Khmer Rouge survivors in the US, following disappointment with the UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia.

“What we are trying to do is to reconnect with them on a human level,” Nou Leakhena, ASRIC director, told VOA Khmer.

The first meeting in its series will kick off this Saturday in Lowell, Mass., and continue to Philadelphia and the Virginia-Maryland area later this year.

The meetings are hoped to bring some reconciliation to Khmer Rouge survivors that has not come from the tribunal being held in Phnom Penh.

“The court is a very abstract process,” Nou Leakhena said. The ASRIC meetings, however, should help people feel like they are more than just numbers, she said. “We are trying our best to make sure that their voices are not forgotten and that their search for justice means something.”

ASRIC helped 174 complainants and civil parties file at the court. The upcoming meetings will include updates from the tribunal, which is currently trying three former Khmer Rouge leaders for atrocity crimes, in only its second case.

A fourth leader, Ieng Thirith, the former social affairs minister, was released earlier this month after she was found mentally unfit to partake in her own defense.

And while some survivors in the US believe her mental illness is the result of karma, others have been disappointed she escaped her day in court, Nou Leakhena said. “By excluding her, one part of the truth goes away with her that we will never know now,” she said.
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Cambodia Foreign Minister UN Speech Touches More on World Issues, Less on Cambodiai
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29 September 2014
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong's speech to the UN’s General Assembly on Monday in New York touches more on world issues and less on Cambodia. Before delivering his speech at UNGA, Hor Namhong told VOA Khmer that Cambodia was now enjoying peace and political stability after the two winning political parties in 2013 election had agreed to work together. His speech comes as Cambodia’s profile on the world stage has expanded in recent years. Cambodia has and improved economy and a growing participation in UN missions around the world. But Hor Namhong’s speech also comes amid deep criticism of Cambodia’s human rights record and a controversial agreement with Australia to help it resettle refuges in exchange for aid money. (VOA Khmer's Pin Sisovann, Washington)

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29 September 2014
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