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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A Cobra Without Venom

A Cobra Without Venom

The creation of the Human Rights Association in Cambodia by a group of the Cambodian

intellectuals and activists can help save Cambodia from being colonized by foreigners

or by any Cambodian dictatorship regime.

Cambodians have lived in fear for many years, but if the human rights advocates are

strong, people's rights can be protected, the Cambodia peace will be safe, and Cambodia

will have a good future. The business people and developers around the world will

join together in helping rebuild Cambodia. The Cambodian people pray for the Cambodian

politicians from all sides to agree not only on paper but also in allowing the public

to have freedom of speech, and to live their lives according to United Nations human

rights convention. They are looking forward to seeing how the newly elected government

will promote democracy and human rights.

Mr. Thun Saray, President of the Cambodian Human Rights Association has said in an

interview with the Bangkok Post, "The Khmer Rouge will find all means to get

more and more concessions because if they adhere to all the provisions of the Paris

peace agreement, they will lose out. That's why they are behaving this way."

The Cambodian people and others watching the Cambodian situation agree with him.

The well-educated top leaders of the Khmer Rouge know how to shake the peace process.

They refuse to give up their guns because without guns, they are a cobra without

venom. They harass and arrest the United Nations teams because they learned that

the United Nations are not here to fight.

The Khmer Rouge know that ballots are not going to work for them, because the majority

of the people will not allow the Khmer Rouge to dominate the government. Cambodians

are still angry, distrustful and fearful. Most cannot forget the past. Reconciliation

and shaking hands are politicians' jobs, people say, but we the people will not tolerate

the top Khmer Rouge leaders. The Cambodian people would like to see the other factions

who still have weapons protecting the people instead of killing or harming them like

the Khmer Rouge have.

For a long time the Cambodian people have suffered war, a holocaust, foreign occupation,

and the violation of their rights. They hope that some day they can live in peace

and freedom.

- Dith Pran is a photographer for the New York Times whose story was

told in the 1985 film

"The Killing Fields."



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