C O-PRIME MINISTER Prince Norodom Ranariddh said he was very happy with the
process in the National Assembly which resulted in the passing of legislation to
outlaw the Khmer Rouge.
In an interview with journalists on July 7
outside parliament he said: "I am very happy because it was the first time that
a proposal has come from the National Assembly and been accepted
"I think that it is a victory for the democracy too because
the proposal came from one of the members of the parliament.
three days [of debate], in the framework of the National Assembly, it was a
very, very good implementation of the pluralism of a liberal democracy without
any pressure from anywhere."
He said the law provided guarantees to the
people and would not be used to accuse, suppress or oppress them thanks to the
members of parliament who have, through a liberal and free debate, improved the
He said the law keeps the door open for a national
reconciliation with the KR by providing a six month amnesty period for KR
He added the law empowered the King at any time, not just
during the next six months, to grant amnesty to anybody from the top to the
bottom in the KR if he so desires.
When asked if King Sihanouk would
sign the draft into law Prince Ranariddh said: "This is not a problem. His
Majesty the King has been [informed] about all the options [in the draft]. And
secondly an interim Head of State [National Assembly Chairman Chea Sim] will
sign it, and his Majesty the King therefore will stay beyond all Cambodian
"Finally, I think that we have a very good law according to the
very urgent need coming from people."
When asked about the international
ramifications of the law the Prince said: "Now all the countries which used to
allow the Khmer Rouge to go through up till now, the Royal Government will ask
those countries not to allow any Khmer Rouge to go through or across the
territories, and not to recognize any other passports than that one delivered by
the Royal Government."
He said the Royal government "would ask all the
countries around the world to arrest the terrorists and outlaws [who were not
using Royal Government passports to travel internationally]. I think the
situation will be very strict ..... I think this is just one among many other
means to weaken the Khmer Rouge."
He said he felt one of the implications
of the law was that people would be drawn back into the national community, and
would no longer be attracted to the KR in the belief that one day they may be
leading the country.
Finance Minister Sam Rainsy, who had expressed
reservations that the law may be used to abuse human rights, said an hour before
the unanimous vote he was now satisfied the law had safeguards which would
protect the human rights of innocent people.
He said he was happy about
the debate and the MPs' efforts in the spirit of national reconciliation.
Earlier Rainsy unsuccessfully tried to move a motion suspending the law
to provide a chance for a cease-fire to be negotiated with the KR without
Chairman of the human rights commission of the National
Assembly Kem Sokha said the amnesty period would only apply to rank-and-file KR
and not to key leaders, though he declined to name who the amnesty would not
He said after the amnesty period was over all KR would be
arrested regardless of whether they wanted to rejoin the national community.