Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Akashi's Response Not Enough




Akashi's Response Not Enough

Akashi's Response Not Enough

Editors:

At first I could hardly believe that Mr. Akashi would ever make such a statement

as your paper quoted him as saying (Phnom Penh Post, Oct. 11, 1992). However, in

light of the highly responsible journalism that the Phnom Penh Post has displayed

in the past, I must accept it as true.

At one time Mr. Akashi's highly irresponsible statement might have been excusable

as some sexual bias, or perhaps even some cultural anomaly peculiar to the Japanese.

Those times have passed. One would think that Mr. Akashi would have been aware of

the changes in the world. Is he not from the country that is still reeling from the

shame and disgrace caused by the Japanese military's use of enslaved "comfort

women" during World War II? Are the Cambodian women somehow less human than

the "comfort women"? Is Mr. Akashi somehow completely ignorant of the AIDS

epidemic?

This "boys will be boys" mentality is inexcusable. The arrogance and insensitivity

of many of the UNTAC personnel certainly does not need the further inducement caused

by the UNTAC leader effectively giving permission to their antics. In all frankness,

how much do you have to pay a "hot blooded young soldier" to stay sober

and keep his britches on?

UNTAC's response so far has been a farce. The establishment of a special "Community

Relations Office" staffed by one inexperienced (albeit highly motivated and

dedicated) young woman to deal with the issue of sexual harassment and abuse is further

evidence of Mr. Akashi's complete failure to grasp the scope of the issue.

I had expected a much louder cry of protest from fellow UNTAC staff, especially from

United Nations Volunteers who are certainly not paid enough to keep their mouths

shut. I trust that somewhere, someone is collecting signatures calling for the resignation

of Mr. Akashi. Kindly add my name to the petition.

- Bert Hoak, United Nations Volunteer

MOST VIEWED

  • Sneaky simians mob man, snatch Covid-19 samples

    Monkeys mobbed an Indian health worker and made off with coronavirus test blood samples, spreading fears that the stealing simians could spread the pandemic in the local area. Indian authorities often have to grapple with primates snatching food and even mobile phones. After making off

  • Public warned of dengue risks amid rainy season

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has issued an eight-point plan to destroy mosquitoes carrying dengue fever amid the rainy season. In a four-page directive, Bun Heng warned that while the number of dengue cases has dropped sharply compared to last year, it could increase

  • Thirteen charged in UK migrant lorry tragedy

    Thirdteen suspects arrested by French police over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a refrigerated lorry in Britain have been charged with people trafficking, a judicial source said on Saturday. Six of the group – mainly Vietnamese and French nationals – were held on Tuesday in the

  • Cambodian Blue Helmet dies of virus

    The last rites for Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeeper Sar Savy, who died on Friday at 63 from Covid-19 while on a mission in the Republic of Mali, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the UN base there. Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces

  • World Bank donates $15 million in aid

    The World Bank on Friday approved $15 million for a medical training system to help Cambodia equip doctors with more skills before they start work. The budget, which was granted by the International Development Association (IDA), is intended to improve health care services. The World Bank

  • Ministry signs MoU to develop ICT training

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IT Academy STEP Cambodia (STEP) to further develop the Sisters of Code project. The project trains female students in computer programming, and enhances information and communication technology (ICT) textbooks