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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unification Needed or Cambodia Will Fall Again

Unification Needed or Cambodia Will Fall Again

The Cambodian people believe the UN peacekeepers will defend and protect them from

being bombarded by dictatorship and genocide. They went through hell under the Khmer

Rouge leadership of the Pol Pot and Khieu Samphan which killed millions of people

and transformed Cambodia into the poorest country in Asia.

The Khmer Rouge leaders are ultra nationalist, more Maoist than Mao Tse-tung, and

more communist than the former Soviet Union and Red China, but the world has ignored

their reign of terror. The Cambodian people know Pol Pot and Khieu Samphan are worse

than Hitler but the world refused to believe there was a holocaust in Cambodia. Thank

God right now people are beginning to pay some respect to the Cambodian holocaust

victims by writing about the tragedies of the past.

In the last day of 1992, the Khmer Rouge succeeded in forcing UN peacekeepers to

evacuate from a post in northwestern Cambodia because they refuse to disarm and continue

to disrupt voter registration. The Cambodian people understand the Khmer Rouge strategy

well and know this faction only survives because the leadership has guns and money.

UN peacekeepers arrived to help Cambodia become safer and democratic. Why, then are

the Khmer Rouge leaders allowed to retain their weapons? People want Khmer Rouge

soldiers to join the UN teams. Cambodians want the UN to play not only a defensive

position in helping the country but also an aggressive one towards the Cambodian

political leaders. I believe the UN should be the boss in this peace process, instead

of playing a cat and mouse game with the Khmer Rouge. It seems that the Khmer Rouge

are becoming more and more the cat.

The world must find a new solution to deal with the Khmer Rouge leadership and bring

them back to the table without bloodshed. The continuing human rights violations

and the killing is tiring. Right now Cambodians must work together in rebuilding

a peaceful, democratic Cambodia.

- Dith Pran is a New York Times photographer whose story was told in the 1985


"The Killing Fields."



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