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Khmer Rouge doublespeak

Nowadays the Khmer Rouge leaders - such as Noun Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary

(and his wife, Ieng Thirith) - like to talk about forgetting the past. But when they

had power (1975-79), they did not want to forget the past; they remembered everyone

from the past society, and tried to kill them all.

The Khmer Rouge leaders like to talk about "national reconciliation", but

during the Khmer Rouge regime they did not want to reconcile with anyone; it was

obey, or die.

The Khmer Rouge leaders like to talk about how developing the economy is the only

priority; well, the reason the economy is so underdeveloped is because the Khmer

Rouge destroyed it instead of building it.

The Khmer Rouge leaders like to talk about how "stability" and "preserving

the peace" are the most important things, when what they are really doing is

threatening to resume their war in order to intimidate people from acting on their

hunger for justice.

So I think the Khmer Rouge leaders do not speak honestly, they do not speak the truth

from their hearts. Instead, they speak in code words, designed for their own interest,

rather than for the interests of the nation as a whole.


For real peace, for real national reconciliation, for real development, and for real

stability, Cambodia must confront the truth and find justice.

This can only be done if those responsible for the genocide and crimes against humanity

are brought before the court and are made to explain themselves, and defend their

actions before the people, if they can. Only then can Cambodians put their terrible

past behind them and begin to build a new future.

The Khmer Rouge genocide regime has been defeated in war, but it has not yet been

defeated by the law. Cambodia cannot become a nation with the rule of law until this

happens. And without the rule of law, Cambodia will not develop into a peaceful and

prosperous nation.

That is why my staff and I at the Documentation Center of Cambodia remain dedicated

to the cause of finding genocide justice in Cambodia.

It is not about revenge; it is about truth. It's not about the past; it's about today.

Help us put the perpetrators of one of the worst communist genocides in history where

they belong: in jail.

Youk Chhang Director, Documentation Centre of Cambodia



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