Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pailin residents view KRouge sites with civil society group tour

Pailin residents view KRouge sites with civil society group tour

Pailin residents view KRouge sites with civil society group tour

Delays at Cambodia's genocide court are disillusioning many, but a local NGO is trying to facilitate dialogue and keep people interested

HOPES for justice are rising as the first public trial of former Khmer Rouge torture chief Duch draws closer, but some remain baffled by the role of Cambodia's genocide tribunal  and delays in the court are starting to irritate many. 

"The trial process is being intentionally delayed. I don't understand why the money donated is not adequate," said 58-year-old Hem Saroeun, a Pailin resident who took part in a recent Center for Social Development (CSD) visit to Phnom Penh to visit the court.

"I have heard Reach Sambath, the court spokesman, say that the tribunal won't succeed if it doesn't have more money," he said, his face wrinkled with concern.

As part of its ongoing program to help people like Hem Saroeun understand Cambodia's genocide tribunal, the CSD  on Tuesday escorted Pailin residents to the court and genocide sites in the capital.

The CSD's public forum unit's activities aim to give Cambodians an insight into the  Extraordinary Chamber's efforts to bring former Khmer Rouge leaders to justice, said Theary Seng, executive director of CSD and a civil party to the trials.

An expensive trip

"We spent over US$100,000 dollars on each round of the forums," she said.

"We have been taking villagers to see the Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek museums and the [Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia]."

Tuesday's trip was a prequel to the Pailin public forum which is to be held October 17.

This is the third forum of its kind held in former Khmer Rouge stronghold, and the 18th forum held nationwide since 2007.

"CSD invited 50 villagers from Pailin to visit Tuol Sleng, Choeung Ek and the ECCC so that they may be able to engage more meaningfully in the discussions at the October 17 public forum," Theary Seng said.

For her, the most important thing about the public forums and tours is that it "enable[s] participants to discuss their experiences under the Khmer Rouge regime with others."

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • 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

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group