Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Genocide program

Genocide program

Genocide program

The Editor,

I am writing in reference to the very interesting commentary

piece by Professor Michael Vickery, "The Debate to Apportion Blame" (August 11,

1995). I am concerned that readers of Professor Vickery's article may

incorrectly construe that the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University is

involved in organizing a genocide trial in Cambodia. For the record, we are

not.

The purpose of the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University is

to catalog all available evidence bearing on the question of whether or not it

can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that the leadership of Democratic

Kampuchea (DK) violated international criminal laws concerning genocide, war

crimes and crimes against humanity. The question of eventual trials for any

violations we may uncover lies outside the scope of our mandate. The question of

a trial or a tribunal can only be resolved by signatories of the Genocide

Convention and other relevant international instruments, most prominently by the

duly constituted authorities of Cambodia itself.

Moreover, the thrust of

our work is not to "intervene in Cambodian affairs" but rather to work with

Cambodians so that they themselves may make informed and effective decisions

concerning these matters of crucial national import. All three of the primary

projects in the Cambodian Genocide Program - documentation, training and

research - involve Cambodians at every level.

The Documentation Project

depends critically upon the willingness of Cambodians to provide documents and

evidence pertaining to what happened during the DK regime, and the vast majority

of those involved in collecting and compiling this information with us are

Cambodians.

The Training Project involves providing social scientific and

legal education to Cambodians so that they can better understand the issues

which would be involved in any decision concerning whether, and how, to hold a

trial.

The Research Project is focused on encouraging and assisting

Cambodians themselves to produce scholarly works on events in Democratic

Kampuchea, in the Khmer language. In the past, the vast majority of readings in

Cambodian history have been produced by foreign scholars such as Professor

Vickery and myself, in languages other than Khmer.

Cambodians should

describe their own past, and must choose their own future.

- Craig Etcheson, Manager, Cambodia Genocide Program.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on