Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Letter: Rights boss is wrong



Letter: Rights boss is wrong

Letter: Rights boss is wrong

Dear Editor,

The frequent reports of violence among Cambodians may be bewildering to foreigners

new to the country, leading one prominent newcomer to allegedly quip "maybe

it has become incorporated into their genes." (Phnom Penh Post, March 17-30.)

There is, of course, no scientific justification for the racist notion that violence

in Cambodia may have genetic origins. The prevalence of violence has much more complex

reasons. Foreign nations should share the blame for their part in Cambodia's recent

history of war, genocide, and internal conflict. NGOs working with communities throughout

Cambodia are aware of the deep social and psychological scars that this history has

produced, but are also impressed by the perseverance and spirit of the Cambodian

people in overcoming these obstacles. Strengthening the rule of law is a necessary

ingredient in reducing the level of violence, and Cambodia's government has been

courageous in accepting foreign assistance for this purpose. Foreigners can be effective

partners in Cambodia's reconstruction only if we respect the Cambodian people and

recognise our common humanity.

NGOs note that violence is a world-wide phenomenon, and is a chief cause of poverty

and misery in many countries. And I am sure that many foreigners here would agree

with me that to "travel after 6pm" is no more dangerous in Phnom Penh than

in many Western capitals.

Russell Peterson

Representative

NGO Forum on Cambodia

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a