Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Letter: Statement of concern

Letter: Statement of concern

Letter: Statement of concern

Dear Editor,

We have read with astonishment and concern a transcript of an interview with Ms.

Rita Reddy, the new director of UNCHR, in the English-language newspaper Phnom Penh

Post (Vol.9, No.6, dated March 17-30 2000, page 9), in which she made a worrisome

allusion to a so-called "genetic" proclivity of Cambodians for violence.

The "genetic" explanation for violence, within a society or among groups,

has been mentioned in many different contexts in the world by extremists of all kinds

without any sound basis. Surely a person of Ms. Rita Reddy's position and background

is aware of the Seville Statement on Violence refuting on scientific evidence this

level of allegations (UNESCO and a Culture of Peace, page 29-30).

In the specific situation of Cambodia, such a statement appears as an anachronistic

and disparaging view of its recent history, and is an insult to all the Cambodians

who are long committed to the nation's reconstruction. Naturally, the fact that such

a comment has been made by the highest representative in Cambodia of the United Nations

organization responsible for human rights reinforces our strongest concern.

Having given such an explanation for the social problems which cross-cut Cambodian

society after 30 years of armed conflict, isolation, and massive destruction, and

only 14 short months of peace, the UNCHR representative should reconsider her commitment

and ability to effectively fill her role and responsibility to the people of this

country.

We are sincerely outraged by this unacceptable declaration which undermines and discredits

the progress achieved by the common efforts of the national authorities and the civil

societies, including the expatriate community.

We are expecting due explanation from Ms. Rita Reddy.

Signed by the Representatives of the following organizations:

Cambodia Trust

Enfants et Developpement

Hellen Keller International

Medecins Sans Frontiers Belgium/Holland

New Humanity

PADEK

Partners for Development

and by 32 concerned Cambodian and foreign individuals.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused