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No platform for Khmer Rouge ‘apologists’

Dear Editor,

I am stunned your paper would eagerly quote Laura Summers as a Cambodia expert to be taken seriously (“Ieng Thirith charged with genocide at KRT”, December 22). She, Noam Chomsky and other former Khmer Rouge apologist Western scholars share an agenda to protect their own discredited perspectives and ignore or downplay the facts of the Khmer Rouge regime as they exist.

Of all the important implications that are tied to the long-awaited charging of Ieng Thirith and other Khmer Rouge clique leaders with genocide that could be part of your story, you chose to quote a controversial scholar as part of the story?

Amazing. How disheartening to your Cambodian readers must be Summers’s words, “that evidence of serious criminal action or intent on the part of Mrs Ieng Thirith … might be especially weak”.

Are you, as an editorial staff, aware of Summers’s past “expertise” on Cambodia as an apologist for the Khmer Rouge? Why is she the expert of choice here? Is there no other expert to quote on the matter?

I would think the Post would be more responsible to the Cambodian people than to revive the agenda of a minority of discredited scholars.

I would argue her credentials for commenting on this event are “especially weak”.

Why not quote a Cambodian who is a scholar of the Khmer Rouge period, or at least a mainstream scholar at the Yale Genocide Project about the culpability of those now standing accused?

Robert Dayley
The College of Idaho, USA

Send letters to: or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.



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