"I don't think it is corruption or bribery; it is a case of understanding each
other about difficult living conditions." - Sath Sophal of government-owned
Agence Khmer Press, who admits receiving handouts from Government officials at media
"I was ordered to attack the train but I did not kill the foreigners."
- Former Khmer Rouge military commander Chhouk Rin justifies his role in the 1994
train attack that killed 16 people, including three foreigners.
"They took off their robes to go dancing and invited girls back to the pagoda."
- An elderly monk at Pailin's "party pagoda", Wat Kong Kang, describes
the conduct of colleagues which lead to the wat's closure and the expulsion of more
than 20 monks.
"I would have done anything I could to avoid being beaten." - Victim of
a police violent interrogation.
"Pol Pot liked meat from wild animals such as deer and wild boar, and Ieng Sary
wanted Chinese food." - Ta Mok's personal cook from 1983-93, Van Ra, who fed
the Khmer Rouge top brass.
"Victims of the Khmer Rouge regime ... almost always say something along the
line of 'I want to know what happened, who ordered the killings, and why'."
- Documentation Center of Cambodia Director Youk Chhang explains the need for its
new magazine aimed at detailed coverage of the Khmer Rouge trials.
"We are trying to help the monks inside because Pali is a very difficult subject."
- Monks at Phnom Penh's Norodom School explain why they are climbing nearby trees
and throwing exam answers wrapped around stones into classrooms.
"When bat droppings land on a table or near a player we just wipe it up and
in five seconds it's gone." - Women's Table Tennis World Cup organizer Zlatko
Cordas explains that Olympic Stadium is still somewhat dilapidated despite improvements
made in time for the international competition.
"The tourist ministry should not use their brains for thinking about how to
feed the animals." - Hun Sen reminds the Ministry of Tourism of its purpose
at the opening of the Phnom Tamao Zoo in January.
"These people are worse than Pol Pot." - A woman forced to leave her home
on public land near Wat Stoeung Meanchey without her belongings accuses police and
municipal authorities of behaving like the Khmer Rouge.
"I'm not trying to destroy CMAC, I'm just trying to fulfill my duty as a Canadian
military officer." - Lieutenant Colonel Michel Verrault explains his decision
to restrict Canadian technical advisors from inspecting minefields after claims are
made that CMAC site managers have been declaring mine-laden areas as demined.
"If you are the son of the King, can you just say whatever you want?" -
The former Secretary-General of Funcinpec, Loy Sim Chheang, questions Prince Ranariddh's
right to call him a traitor.
"I was in Bosnia when it was being shelled, and it is worse here." - Rita
Reddy, director of the Cambodian office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
comments on the climate of violence in Cambodia.
"You can be the son of a scientist. But if you live in the forest with the monkeys,
you will always remain a monkey." - Kann Kall, whose son Tan Sokun shot to the
top of the class after winning a scholarship to the Northbridge International School
"They act like ... rich kids compared to the rest of the Cambodian Government."
- Sam Sotha, Royal Advisor on CMAC, accuses the organization of wasteful spending.
"History remains history and cannot be changed" - Prime Minister Hun
Sen, when asked for a statement on the 25th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh.
"We don't want to grab or seize the land of a friendly, good neighbor country"
- Thai military attaché Colonel Weerasak Lomwong denies Thai troops are carrying
out a land grab in April.
"The only use for this stuff is as toilet paper." - An Arab businessman
dismisses the value of Iraqi dinar supposedly floating around Phnom Penh.
"Even animals would not sell their children." - A resident of Chrey Koang
village rejects claims that poverty forces people into selling their children for
"Cambodia is a society that has lost any sense of morality, driven by violence
and injustice." - Kong Bunchoeun, author of a fictionalized account of the life
and times of his niece, acid attack victim Tat Samarina.
"If the Government allows us to work freely, this country will one day become
completely Christian." - The Rev Billy Voeun of the New Apostolic Church is
confident he can convert Cambodians to Christianity.
"The lack of an air law means that if some [domestic airline] wants to do shortcuts,
the door is wide open." - Anthony Sandford, the senior Operations Manager for
Royal Air Cambodia is critical of current civil aviation laws.
"I hope RAC goes bankrupt tomorrow." - Hun Sen has harsh words for Royal
Air Cambodge at a Private Sector Forum meeting in July.
"The bravest, the coolest one, the one who would fight the hardest and kill
the most for the organization." - A member of the Taiwanese Bamboo Union gang
pays homage to his leader, Chen Chi-li, arrested on July 9 on weapons charges.
"The police would rather take care of the grass than the victims of the floods."
- Sam Rainsy is upset by a police decision to eject his supporters from a park near
the National Assembly, where he began a protest against distribution of flood relief
"Buddha said that violence is not allowed , but in the present men must make
their own decisions." - Abbot Men Chan Ponleu takes a pragmatic approach to
allegations of violence and torture at Wat Vongkot Borei.
"Torture? What is that? I don't know what it is." - Om Yienteng, head of
the Government's Human Rights Commission, in July when a reporter phoned to get his
views on a Licadho report on torture.
"I don't speak English." - Om Yienteng a little later, after chatting in
English for 15 minutes to a second reporter who phoned to get him to elaborate on
his professed ignorance of torture.
"I'm too old, too weak and too tired to work." - Demobilized Cambodian
soldier Khieu Eum is disappointed by the lack of Government assistance to
"I don't think I can face another three days in here, let alone three months
or three years." - John Keeler, British former headmaster begins a hunger strike
after a three-year conviction for debauchery.