. . .
Exploitation and Disempowerment of Victims at the KRT
Issues of Reparations
Phnom Penh, 6 February 2012
On the advent of the Duch verdict on 23 July 2010, we, the Civil Parties of Orphans Class—a sub-group of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia (www.akrvictims.org)—launched a public campaign for the “ECCC Inventory and Provincial Learning Centers as Part of [our] Right to Reparations for All KR Victims”.
By way of reminder, we have periodically re-released the public statement. Excerpt:
“After initial review of the ECCC website and communications with ECCC officials, it is our understanding that the ECCC has at minimum these basic items of inventory for its 500 personnel (350 of these Cambodian):
On 26 July 2010, the ECCC Trial Chamber’s verdict offered in full this reparation: “to compile and post on the ECCC’s official website all statements of apology and acknowledgements of responsibility made by [Duch]” (our emphasis). Unsurprisingly, the hollowness and insensitivity of this reparation triggered a public outrage! (It raised the rhetorical questions of: How many victims own a computer? And of those who own a computer, how many have access to the internet?)
On 26 June 2011, we issued a similar demand with an open letter to the Lead Co-Lawyers and the 40 intermediary lawyers representing the civil parties to advocate at the ECCC hearings on reparations. We acknowledged the scope of our demands (excerpt):
“It is also our understanding that (i) the Chambers may award only “collective and moral reparations to Civil Parties”, (ii) Article 39 of the ECCC Law [promulgated 27 Oct. 2004] to “be awarded against, and be borne by convicted persons” not to exclude the Cambodian government and the United Nations, parties to the laws and agreements establishing the ECCC in the provision of this collective and moral reparation as owners of the inventory (see ECCC Law Art. 44.1, 44.2, 44.4 New; Internal Rules 9.3 New), and (iii) any sensitive materials and data can be easily removed and protected before the handing over of the inventory.
In addition, we demand that provincial Learning Centers-Memorials be established in each of the 24 provinces of Cambodia as part of our right to reparation and the legacy of memorializing and education. With all due respect, Phnom Penh was not the only crime scene; memorializing and resources need to include and respect the 85% of Cambodian victims who reside in the provinces.”
A few days after this open letter of 26 June 2011, the Elite Club of ECCC officials (civil party lawyers, administrators, judges) exclusively met—as presidents and representatives of victims associations do not matter in this high-minded discussion on reparations as we can’t possible know what we want (sic!), thus we were not invited—and decided to seal shut any possible interpretation of government and UN responsibility.
This Elite Club amended the above Article 39 of the ECCC Law, stripping it of the above quoted language, with the document falsely stating that it was last amended on 26 August 2007 (which opened up the possibility that I made up the above quoted language). As it stands now, the full Article 39 reads:
“Those who have committed any crime as provided in Articles 3 new, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 shall be sentenced to a prison term from five years to life imprisonment.
In addition to imprisonment, the Extraordinary Chamber of the trial court may order the confiscation of personal property, money, and real property acquired unlawfully or by criminal conduct.
The confiscated property shall be returned to the State.”
The vacuity of past discussions of the ECCC Elite Club on victims’ reparations was given the final seal of approval with the ECCC Supreme Court Chamber’s summary decision of 3 February 2012, in para. 67: “that awards are borne exclusively by convicted persons”, shielding the government and the UN of any responsibility.
Here, I will not go into the other serious concerns raised by the 3 Feb. 2012 final decision on Duch, except to say that: We the victims and we the larger Cambodian society have to pay an extremely high price for the life sentence given to Duch. The life sentence fits with the gravity of the crimes and should have been given at the first instance without the high drama for such a simple case as this one where the defendant confessed and cooperated, mounds of culpable documents existed and Tuol Sleng survivors testified; that’s not the point.
The price we have to pay comes in the serious consequences in the: (i) Supreme Court Chamber’s erasure of the illegality of Duch’s pre-trial detention at the Cambodian Military Court; (ii) SCC’s uneasy language on personal jurisdiction in light of the imbroglio of Cases 003/4, stating that “[w]hether an accused is a senior leader or one of the most responsible are exclusively policy decisions for which the Co-Investigating Judges and Co-Prosecutors, and not the Chambers, are accountable” where history, resources and power are not on our side; and (iii) making Duch the sole scapegoat of the Khmer Rouge regime and crimes.
By any interpretation, this is manipulation of victims. This is exploitation of our suffering. This is disempowerment whereby the tools of “justice” are used to perpetrate injustice.
The danger now is that it comes with UN insignia. It comes with Japanese Yens and high-minded rhetoric of western ambassadors for the vacuity. It doesn’t matter how many billions the western donors and Japan continue to spend on “rule of law” via the various aid agencies, because what they are embracing now at the KRT will undo any benefits they may have produced. We are talking about the embedding of dark mentalities by the KRT with UN insignia which will awash the larger society for years and decades to come, long after the KRT has closed its gates on its military-situated compound and the UN has left for another genocide-chasing mission.
Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia: www.akrvictims.org
Public Demand for ECCC Inventory, Provincial Learning Centers: http://www.thearyseng.com/component/content/article/104-campaign-for-eccc-inventory-provincial-learning-centers/242-campaign-for-closing-order-booklets-eccc-inventory-24-provincial-learning-centers-memorials
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Aleph Molinari: Let’s bridge the digital divide!
Through education and technology-focused community centers, Aleph Molinari empowers the 5 billion people who cannot access or use the Internet and other technologies.
Why you should listen to him:
Economist Aleph Molinari is working to close the digital divide and empower people by providing access to technology education. In 2008, he founded Fundación Proacceso, and in 2009 launched the Learning and Innovation network, which uses community centers to educate under-served communities about different technologies and tools. To date, the network has graduated 28,000 users through 42 educational centers throughout Mexico.
. . .
to Civil Party Co-Lead Lawyers ANG Pich, Elisabeth Simmoneau-Fort
re ECCC Inventory (Physical Assets),
Provincial Learning Centers-Memorials
Phnom Penh, 26 June 2011
. . . . .
Making Booklets of Closing Order of Case 002
Freely Available for Trial Hearings and High Schools
PHNOM PENH, 15 June 2011: The Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia would like to request that the Extraordinary Chambers (ECCC) makes freely available nicely-bound booklets of the Closing Order of Case 002 in the Khmer language for the victims and visitors to the ECCC for hearings of Case 002 beginning on June 27 against the four surviving most senior Khmer Rouge leaders of Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith., to victim associations, non-governmental organizations engaging victims, and high schools and public universities.
. . . . .
24 PROVINCIAL LEARNING CENTERS
. . . . .
We, the Civil Parties in the Extraordinary Chambers (ECCC or Khmer Rouge Tribunal), are laying a prior claim to the office equipment of the ECCC, worth in the millions of U.S. dollars, immediately after the Tribunal closes operations. We have learned the lessons of UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, the largest UN peacekeeping operations at US$2.5 Billion, unprecedented at that time, 1991) and the “disappearance” of expensive equipment into illegitimate possessions/hands after its operations, and thus will be sending out public announcements regularly, inter alia, on this matter of ECCC inventory.
ECCC Inventory Campaign launched at the 23 July 2010 Public Forum at Panasasstra University (PUC) "Transforming Killing Fields to Healing, Living Fields - Advent of Duch Verdict"
(HELLO VOA with Theary Seng, 27 Aug. 2010)
(HELLO VOA with Theary Seng, Chum Mey, 27 Jan. 2011)
. . . . .
Khmer Rouge Victims Demand
Tribunal's Office as Reparation
The Cambodia Daily (23 July 2010)
. . . . .
KI Media, 23 July 2010
KI Media, 5 Dec. 2010
Civil Party of Orphans Class Demands ECCC Inventory
and Provincial Learning Centers
as Part of Their Right to Reparations for All KR Victims
PHNOM PENH, 23 July 2010: The Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia (“Victims Association”)—the first Cambodia-based association to be officially registered with the Ministry of Interior and the first to be officially recognized by the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC”)—demands that the inventory of the ECCC be given to victims after it has closed operations and that Learning Centers in all 24 provinces of Cambodia be established and furnished with this inventory.
The Civil Party of Orphans Class, a sub-group within the Victims Association, has the right to reparations as a party to the ECCC criminal proceeding against the senior Khmer Rouge leaders, should they be found guilty.
After initial review of the ECCC website and communications with ECCC officials, it is our understanding that the ECCC has at minimum these basic items of inventory for its 500 personnel (350 of these Cambodian):
It is also our understanding that (i) the Chambers may award only “collective and moral reparations to Civil Parties”, (ii) Article 39 of the ECCC Law to “be awarded against, and be borne by convicted persons” not to exclude the Cambodian government and the United Nations, parties to the laws and agreements establishing the ECCC in the provision of this collective and moral reparation as owners of the inventory (see ECCC Law Art. 44.1, 44.2, 44.4 New; Internal Rules 9.3 New), and (iii) any sensitive materials and data can be easily removed and protected before the handing over of the inventory.
Here, we would like to draw the attention of HE SOK An, Mr. Sean Visoth and his replacement Mr. Tony Kranh for the Cambodian government; Mr. Douglas Broderick and Mr. Knut Rosandhaug for the United Nations; and the donor states who are Friends of the ECCC.
In addition, we demand that provincial Learning Centers be established in each of the 24 provinces of Cambodia as part of our right to reparation and the legacy of memorializing and education. With all due respect, Phnom Penh was not the only crime scene; memorializing and resources need to include and respect the 85% of Cambodian victims who reside in the provinces.
These provincial Learning Centers must be the joint efforts of local and national government with civil society and all the victims associations. Local government can donate land and office space while civil society and victims associations work to maintain and operate these Learning Centers. The Learning Center being established at Wat Samroung in Battambang with the involvement of the local community, assisted by the Center for Justice & Reconciliation and funded by the Australian Embassy is one existing example. The ECCC documents, the Virtual Tribunal, public forums and outreach materials produced by civil society and victims associations, art works are but some of the materials which can be made available at these provincial Learning Centers. These provincial Learning Centers would be furnished with the above-mentioned equipment and inventory.
Our demand for the ECCC inventory does not burden the ECCC with a new budget as they are items already financed and purchased. No one else has a greater moral and legal right to these equipment and inventory than the civil parties for the welfare of all the victims, including the new generation born after the Khmer Rouge who lost grandparents and other loved ones in addition to limited opportunities produced by the genocide.
Moreover, the provincial Learning Centers do not pose a heavy financial burden, if at all, a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the national budget which can easily be legislated by the National Assembly. The benefits which these reparations of inventory and provincial Learning Centers impart toward reconciliation and legacy for the current and future generation are priceless.
We would like to thank the Center for Justice & Reconciliation (“CJR”) for facilitating our establishment and involvement in these public forums, CIVICUS Cambodia for co-organizing this particular forum, as well as the donors The Asia Foundation, the German Development Service and the Australian Embassy of these public forums, victims participation and the Battambang Learning Center.
For further information, please contact:
For more information about:
The Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia—the first association based in Cambodia to be registered with the Ministry of Interior and the first to be recognized by the ECCC Victims Support Section and independent of any political or religious affiliation—is a network of survivors of the 1975-79 killing fields who are joined in the fellowship of suffering, in the demand for justice, and in the work for a just peace. The members of the Victims Association are from overseas and spread across the provinces and capital of Cambodia, coming together as a result of the public forums conducted by its Founder, and now its president Ms. Theary C. SENG since 2007. They include widows and orphans; former child soldiers and former prisoners; hard-working farmers and middle-class city-dwellers; well-known actresses playwrights, authors and journalists; as well as teachers, translators, security guards, taxi drivers, inter alia. Among the other members of the Victims Association is the Civil Party of Orphans Class, a special grouping pre-dating the AKRVC founding when introduced officially in the Pre-Trial Chamber hearing of Nuon Chea in Feb. 2008, and since officially recognized by the ECCC Victims Support Section and a party to the Extraordinary Chambers Case File No. 002 against the senior Khmer Rouge leaders.
The Center for Justice & Reconciliation, a non-profit non-governmental organization registered with the Ministry of Interior, is founded by Ms. Theary C. SENG and senior staff to continue the work of the Center for Social Development on victims outreach, psycho-social support, court monitoring and radio broadcasting with seed funding and consultants from the German Development Service. Over the last year, CJR has conducted public forums in former Khmer Rouge strongholds to give a more concrete meaning to the term “reconciliation”. www.cjr-cam.org. CJR is now incorporated as a major component of CIVICUS Cambodia (below).
CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education (CIVICUS Cambodia) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational, non-governmental organization registered with the Ministry of Interior dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy and reconciliation in Cambodia and the larger, globalized world. Up to now, Cambodia has had only a society of “survivors”, not of “representatives” or “citizens”. Cambodians as survivors are either “survivor-authoritarian” if the person is in a position of power or “survivor-subject” if an average person. The principal goals of CIVICUS Cambodia are to help Cambodian citizens develop (i) an increased understanding of the institutions of Cambodian constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (ii) dialogue as a norm of communication, (iii) the skills necessary to participate as effective and responsible citizens, and (iv) the willingness and ease to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict. In its engagement of citizens, CIVICUS Cambodia gives a special emphasis to (i) students—from elementary to university level—and the generation born after the Khmer Rouge era, (ii) female (both girls and women) participation, and (iii) elected representatives. CIVICUS Cambodia has an official Memorandum of Understanding of partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
See also Victims Association
. . . . .
What is JUSTICE?
We contextualized the JUSTICE conversation within the larger week-long discussion of RECONCILIATION and reparations, which was succinctly summarized for us by Graeme Simpson in the
6Rs of REPARATIONS:
Reconciling Peace with Justice in Cambodia
TEDxPhnomPenh, 3 Feb. 2011
. . .
Dr. Mark STROM on
(craft + community)
. . .
Power at its best is love
implementing the demands of justice.
Justice at its best is love
correcting everything that stands against love.
. . .
Who do you see? A beautiful young woman, or a not-so-beautiful, old woman?
"Oppression and Justice"
(Chapter V of Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf)
"Conflicting parties need to practice what Hannah Arendt calls an 'enlarged way of thinking'"... (p. 212)
"or, as I will call it 'double vision'... we enlarge our thinking by letting the voices and perspectives of others, especially those with whom we may be in conflict, resonate within ourselves, by allowing them to help us see them, as well as ourselves, from their perspectives. Nothing can guarantee in advance that the perspectives will ultimately merge and agreement be reached. We may find that we must reject the perspective of the other. Yet we should seek to see things from their perspective in the hope that competing justices may become converging justices and eventually issue in agreement." (p. 213)
"Stricken with the sense of sinfulness, should we withdraw from making judgments and working for justice? Abdication of responsibility will be tempting to those who only know how to live in a world neatly divided into territories of pure light and of utter darkness. But no such world exists, except in the imagination of the self-righteous; the construction of such a world is itself an act of injustice. In a world shot through with injustice, the struggle for justice must be carried on by people inescapably tainted by injustice. Hence the importance of 'double vision.' We need to see our judgments about justice and our struggle against injustice through the eyes of the other--even the manifestly 'unjust other'--and be willing to readjust our understanding of justice and repent of acts of injustice." (p. 218)
. . . . .
A Virtual Tour of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
for Kerry Kennedy, Michaela Kennedy, John Heffernan (22 Feb. 2011); psychologist/author Dr. Ervin Staub and psycho-therapist Dr. Luann Warren-Sohlberg, trustee of the Headington Institute (7 March 2011)
. . .
"Revolution of Conscience"
by USC Shoah Foundation Institute executive director Stephen D. Smith
. . .
The feature documentary Acting Together on the World Stage highlights courageous and creative artists and peacebuilders working in conflict zones. It features theatrical works and rituals that reach beneath people’s defenses in respectful ways that support communities to configure new patterns of meaning and relationships. Feature a segment on Cambodia of works by playwright and librettist Catherine Filloux.
"... remembering as a revolutionary act... "
- Catherine Filloux
. . .
Julian Treasure: 5 Ways to Listen Better
making meaning from sound
a mental process, a process of extraction
"... sound has time embedded in it... our listening is the main way we experienced the flow of time from past to future... Sonority is time and meaning... Listening is our access to our understanding... conscious listening creates understanding"
1. 3-minutes a day of SILENCE (alternatively, QUIET)
2. Mixture: how many channels of sound do I hear?
3. SAVORING - enjoying mundane sound
4. LISTENING POSITIONS
5. RASA (sanskrit for "essence"): Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask
. . .
The happy secret to better work
Small Changes Ripple Outward
Creating Lasting Positive Change:
- RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
|Reform NEC now!; VN Rubber Barons; Miss Khmer-Hawaii in Krama; Sanction CPP!; Suffering (Augustine); Boycott The Village!; Mourning with Pastor Paul Ng; Nick Vujicic; Hasten slowly; Season of Cambodia; When I Supported KRT|