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Trial funding

Members of the international community have recently pledged a total amount of $38.48

million towards the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers for the prosecution

under Cambodian law of crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge. Although it is about

$4.52 million short of the $43 million to be solicited from UN member states, the

shortfall in financial contribution is not a big issue.

The victims and survivors of those horrific crimes have waited for far too long for

justice. It has taken almost three decades for us to arrive at the current moment,

and there is only one small financial hurdle to jump before the establishment of

the Extraordinary Chambers. After 30 years of waiting, the long-delayed process of

achieving justice for the people of Cambodia would at last be implemented, assuming

that both the UN member states and the RGC remain committed to their pledges.

Both the UN, including its member states, and the RGC should be praised for their

political and moral courage to tackle this bitter issue, the KR tribunal. It is long

over due and it is better late than never. Those who survived the KR killing fields,

including myself, have not given up the hope that however late, and however imperfect,

impunity will not remain unchallenged, and a measure of justice will be achieved

in the end. This part, at least, will be a precious and important gift to Cambodia

and its still-traumatized people.

As an American, I am saddened and disappointed that the United States Legislative

branch restraints made it impossible to pledge moneys towards the Tribunal. As a

survivor of the killing fields I am personally disgusted with China - the main backer

of the KR regime - which chose to place more barriers instead of doing the right

thing by supporting the tribunal, including financial support.

The murder of my family by a KR death squad in December 1977 was not simply a statistic.

My dead family is entitled to basic human rights that have thoroughly been denied.

Although I personally do not expect much from this exercise (the tribunal), it is

better than nothing at all. To remain silent in face of such evil is no different

than condoning the atrocities committed by the KR. Therefore, on behalf of my dead

family members and millions of my fellow Khmer, I want to express my sincere appreciation

to the donor countries, especially Japan, for their generosity, moral courage, and

for doing the responsible thing by pledging moneys and supporting the Tribunal.

Ronnie Yimsut

Oregon, USA

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