I am writing in response to your commentary section, PPP 8/22, "Cambodian lawyers
united for UN Trial", dated October 29,1999.
I certainly agree with many of the points made by the writer on issues of accountability
of the Cambodian Court, especially on the process of selecting, appointing, and/or
protecting candidates like judges, prosecuters, and witnesses, who will be involved
in the trial.
Although I support and believe that it is an absolute nescessity for the United Nation
to be a major player on this trial, I would be concerned if they were entirely responsible
for the processes outlined in the article.
We are all aware that the UN's Mission to Cambodia in 1993 was not without controversy.
We must also remember that the United Nation is not immune from corruption.
One small example, during their mission or prior to their leaving Cambodia, UN Officers
left or arranged for their Toyota Land Crusers to be stolen, and then, got paid for
them later by way of an arrangement with the thieves.
Yes, we must recognize and appreciate the contribution that the United Nation has
made, of late, in the reconstruction of Cambodia.
Nevertheless, if the United Nations which once ignored the killing in Cambodia in
the late 1970s and was once a major supporter of the Khmer Rouge's seat at the UN
in the 1980s, what does that tell us? Who should we trust? Exclusiveness does not
make democratic sense in this case. I believe that all sides should be included in
the consultation process in order to avoid radical or misjudgemental decision making.
If there shall be a constructive opposition, it is, in itself, democracy. Whereas,
isolation can lead to totalitarianism.
Chansokhy Anhaouy, Vancouver, B.C. Canada