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Senseless murder

Senseless murder


I returned from my holiday to be informed that our Australian

colleague's fiance, a Khmer, had been murdered because he didn't surrender his

motorbike at gun point. She was with him on the night of Dec. 28 when they went

down by the river to check out the full moon; she was there when he was shot by

two well-to-do males who'd been sitting next to them on the


Even in my short acquaintance with him, I could see that

Keavuth's determination and dedication would contribute significantly to the

eventual solution of Cambodia's rural development predicament.

It seems

that security is worse now than it was before UNTAC's arrival. The world is

weary of hearing about the warring factions in this country, and about the 2.5

billion dollar price-tag of Cambodia's "reconciliation". It seems the only

lesson to have come to Cambodia from the UNTAC effort is that guns are even more

the opiate of the people and that without them, there can be no life, liberty,

or pursuit of expensive material goods.

So, the UN came, oversaw the

general elections, spent lots of money in the process, created a short-lived

booming economy for a while, then left, Meanwhile, the world thinks it saved


But what seems to have actually occurred is that "The Killing

Fields" are increasingly being replaced by "The Mean Streets". What's the point

of sprucing up the river front if only thugs can go there? What was the point of

Keavuth's surviving the Pol Pot era if he was to be murdered at exactly the time

the country most desperately needs his skills?

I write this out of sheer

anger: I greatly miss Elisabeth in our office (she's returned to Australia) and

I know that LWS misses Keavuth's initiative and enthusiasm. What's it going to

take for this beleaguered country to put an end to the sacrifice of its human


- Nancy E. Richardson, Phnom Penh


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