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Letter: It's not in our genes

Dear Editor,

We are gravely disappointed by the transcription of interview of Ms. Rita Reddy,

new director of the United Nations Cambodia office of the High Commissioner for Human

Rights (UNCHR), on violence in Cambodia (Phnom Penh Post, 17-30 March 2000). This

is a critical insult to the Cambodian People, especially to Cambodian women as mothers

and sisters for the future of Cambodia.

Ms. Rita has said of violence that "maybe it has become incorporated into their

genes." This is not true at all, and it really looks down on our society, our

culture and our nation and this judgement is unfairly estimated.

The violence in Cambodia has occurred because of the war lasting more than 2 decades,

internal conflicts, genocidal regime, the criminal violence that has never been brought

to court, and other impact influenced by the cultural globalization and furthermore

a few foreign countries should take responsibility on violence in Cambodian society.

In our history, Cambodian people love each other, work hard, have good cooperation

and solidarity and live peacefully. In fact, we do not deny any kind of violence

that has happened, but it is really not related to the Cambodian genetics.

We are calling for an immediate response correction from Rita Reddy.

Ros Sopheap

Executive Director, Gender and Development Programme for Cambodia

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