CPP Offers Blistering Defense Against US Senate Proposal

The CPP has strongly criticized a US Senate draft resolution demanding Second Prime Min­ister Hun Sen face trial for al­leged human rights abuses, according to an internal party memo.

“The CPP is of the view that draft Resolution 309…contains no truth at all,” the party stated. “And if it is passed, it will spell injustice for the CPP, for Hun Sen and for the Cambodian people as a whole,” the memorandum said.

The six-page document de­fended the party’s record since the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime of the 1970s, insisting the formerly-communist CPP had freed the country from genocide.

Much of the memorandum reiterated points previously published in party white papers.

“The accusation against Prime MInister Hun Sen for violations of international humanity law…is completely wrong,” the memo stated, adding the 1980s communist government provided “every right and freedom…particularly the right to live without threat.”

In addition, the memo said, the US should consider its own failure to save Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge.

The Senate draft resolution, by itself a non-binding measure, re­commends the US government compile information for a possible tribunal to indict Hun Sen for crimes against hu­manity. The Senate is not expected to debate the measure un­til after it convenes its next session in January.

The US House of Represent­atives earlier this month passed a similar resolution, which re­ceived a strong rebuke from the CPP. That resolution was sponsored by Dana Rohrabacher of the state of California.

The CPP party memo denied the party had seized power in a coup d’etat in July 1997 and rejected evidence from rights workers that 100 people had been killed since then. It referred to the reported deaths as “the alleged missing people.”

“Most of the cases were fabricated to put the blame” on the CPP, the memo stated. “The competent authorities have conducted the investigations and found a number of people who are still alive but allegedly reported missing.

“Attention should not only be paid to one side.”

However the UN and international watchdog groups have extensive evidence which they say implicate government forces in numerous killings last year.

The CPP document also reiterated previous claims Prince Nor­o­dom Rana­riddh engineered the fighting of July 1997 and said he  broke several laws in connection with military mobilization. Prince Rana­riddh was convicted in absentia last March but am­nestied a month later after pressure from the international community.

Later in the document, the CPP denied it intimidated the op­position during this year’s election campaign, insisting the vote took place in a “free, democratic and non-violent atmosphere.”

“[Although] a number of political parties conducted their campaign in an immoral and illegal manner…the CPP and Samdech Hun Sen have exercised their maximum self-restraint,” it read.

Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party insist the CPP used intimidation and fraudulent methods to win the election and are demanding further investigation into poll irregularities.

The internal document not only rebutted in detail the opposition allegations, but it blamed the opposition for creating anarchy by leading anti-government pro­tests last month denouncing the election results.

Hun Sen’s security forces cracked down on the protests, killing at least two and wounding dozens of others including Bud­dhist monks. The UN has been investigating the cases of more than 20 possible victims of the anti-government demonstrations.

“The leaders of illegal demonstrations are the ones who must bear responsibilities for the consequences deriving from this protest and must not blame Prime Minister Hun Sen who have exercised great restraint,” the party memo said.

It claimed that opposition members disguised themselves as monks, “an act which goes against the Buddhist principles and the law on political parties.”

“As for the allegations that this people or that people have violated laws, oppressed or used violence, it is necessary to have hard evidence to support these charges for trial,” the party memorandum said, charging this was a groundless attack against the leader of a sovereign state. The CPP has abided by the country’s Constitution created by the Paris Peace Accords, to which the US was a signatory, the memo said.

“The CPP would like to launch an appeal to all US senators to wisely and realistically consider this draft resolution and give justice to the CPP, to Samdech Hun Sen and the Cambodian people by not approving it,” the CPP memo said.


Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.