I am writing in response to a brief report published by the
Phnom Penh Post in the edition of 25 March 25 - 7 April 7 1994,on page 8, titled
"Cambodian ex-pats play major role".
During my conversations with your
staff reporter, John Brown, I expressed my feeling that the Overseas Cambodians
made a positive contribution to the NCRD/UNDP organized preparations for Icorc.
Every contribution in a process contributes to ultimate success. However, the
tone of the quote implicitly diminishes the far more important role of the
government participants as well as the long term assistance of the technical
advisors from UNDP.
The second clarification I would like to make is in
reference to the following misquote,
"A side from gathering and analyzing
data, Cambodian ex- pats took part in meetings outside the country, identifying
problem areas and having a direct input into the draft discussion
The Overseas Cambodians did not engage in meetings "outside the
country" during this process.
The third clarification concerns the
quote, "in a bid to entice Cambodians living abroad to return to aid in the
country's reconstruction, trips home were organized by the UN- Indochina
Reconciliation Project in New York".
The Overseas Cambodian participants
in this process worked on a volunteer basis, taking unpaid leave or vacation
time from their current jobs and having responsibility for some of the costs
during their stay.
A more accurate word to characterize the USIRP funding
role would have been "enable", not "entice".
- Kathy Taromina, Deputy
Coordinator/Program Associate, Cambodian Workshop on Reconstruction and
Development, US-Indochina Reconciliation Project
Concerning the second and third clarifications, the Post apologizes for the
misquotes which were editorial mistakes and not those of author John C.