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No Return To Year Zero


new internationalist
issue 242 - April 1993

Anxiety for the future in the eyes of the young.
ACTION: No return to Year Zero

Practical assistance:
The US-led embargo on development assistance for Cambodia following the Vietnamese invasion and the overthrow of Pol Pot in 1979 made it difficult for humanitarian groups – and particularly UN agencies – to come to the aid of the Cambodian people when they needed it most. Those who braved official displeasure were taking considerable risks. Here is a list of the main aid agencies that ignored the international authorities, have had ties with Cambodia since 1979 and remain helping Cambodia today:

Co-ordinating groups:
Trocaire, 169 Booterstown Avenue, Dublin, Ireland, acting as co-ordinator for Co-operation Internationale Pour le Development el la Solidarite (CIDSE), 1-2 Avenue des Aris, Bie 6 1040, Brussels, Belgium. This is an international working group of 13 national Catholic development agencies also supported by Christian Aid (UK) and Catholic Commission for Justice, Peace and Development (Aotearoa / New Zealand).

Partnership for Development in Kampuchea, c/o NOVIB, Amaliastraat 7, 2514 JC, The Hague, Netherlands; a consortium that emerged from the Oxfam-led group between 1979 and 1982 and includes Fund for Development (Belgium), NOVIB (Netherlands), Oxfam America, Oxfam Belgium and Oxfam Hong Kong.

Aotearoa / New Zealand
Catholic Commission for Justice, Peace and Development, PO Box 12193, Wellington.
Christian World Service, PO Box 22-652, Christchurch.
Corso, PO Box 1905, Christchurch.

Australian-Cambodian Support Committee, PO Box 3, Trades Hall, 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.
Australian Catholic Relief, 19 Mackenzie Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060.
Overseas Service Bureau, PO Box 350, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065.
Community Aid Abroad, 156 George St, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065

Cambodia Canada Development Program (CCDP), 180 Ste-Catherine est, 620, Montreal, PQ, H2X 1K9.
Mennonite Central Committee, Suite 803, 63 Sparks Street, Ottowa K1P 5A6.

United Kingdom
Oxfam UK and Ireland, 274 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7DZ.
Christian Aid, PO Box 100, London SE1 7RT [Secretariat of the International NGO Forum on Cambodia].

United States
American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Church World Service, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115-0050.
Mennonite Central Committee, Box M, 21 South 12th Street, Akron, PA 17501.

HEKS, Stampfembachstrasse 123, CH-8006, Zurich, Switzerland.
Lutheran World Service, Department for World Service, PO Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland.
Redd Barna – Cambodia, Grensesvingen 7, P Boks 6200 Etterstad, N-0602, Oslo 6, Norway.
Swedish Red Cross, Osthammarsgaten 70, Box 27316, S-10254, Stockholm, Sweden.
World Council of Churches, PO Box 66, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

Groups around the world are co-ordinating mass lobbies of political leaders on 28 April 1993. To help, contact:
Action Cambodia, 75 Highbury Hill, London N5 11SX.
The Campaign to Oppose the Return of the Khmer Rouge (CORKR), 318 4th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA: a coalition of 46 humanitarian relief, public policy and peace organizations.
Cambodia Solidarity Groups, c/o CONHLAMM, 55, Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland; grassroots organization to promote self-determination and oppose the return of the Khmer Rouge.

Letter writing:
When John Pilger and David Munro’s documentary Cambodia – Year Ten was screened on UK network TV in 1989 some 13,000 letters were received by the British Foreign Office questioning the UK Government’s role in Cambodia. The NI is helping to generate a worldwide campaign of support and solidarity for the Cambodian people which will prevent the return of the Khmer Rouge. We are asking readers to write letters to Parliamentary or Congressional representatives expressing concern. You might like to ask them to act on the following points:

[image, unknown] To secure the release of the full $880 million development aid promised to Cambodia by the UN at last year’s Tokyo Conference. Particular attention should be drawn to the moral duty of the international community to assist directly in the removal of mines. A separate and substantial budget and allocation of personnel should be provided for this.

[image, unknown] To press the International Court of Justice to establish a special commission to prosecute Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge leadership. And to press the UN Security Council to sanction a Cambodia war crimes tribunal – exactly as they have done with Yugoslavia.

[image, unknown] To urge the UN to retain a presence on an indefinite basis and in agreement with the duly elected government. In particular there should be a strengthened human-rights component and a Special Rapporteur resident in the country reporting directly to the UN General Assembly. The terms of reference of the Rapporteur should include past (genocidal) human-rights abuses as well as present ones.

[image, unknown] To give support (excluding personnel) and equipment to a newly constituted Cambodian National Army to resist any take-over by the Khmer Rouge.

[image, unknown]

Please write your letters, marked ‘Cambodia’ and with your name and address on the outside of the envelope, to your parliamentary or congressional representative, care of the following offices:

Aotearoa / New Zealand NI PO Box 1905, Christchurch.
Australia NI, 7 Hutt St, Adelaide, 5000.
Canada NI, 1011 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6H 1M1.
UK NI, PO Box 419, Oxford OX4 1BF.
US The Campaign to Oppose the Return of the Khmer Rouge (CORKR), 318 4th Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.
Ireland Cambodia Solidarity, c/o CONHLAMM, 55 Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland.

Also worth reading on Cambodia...
You’ll find more of John Pilger’s writing on Cambodia in his two collections, Heroes (Pan Books 1989) and Distant Voices (Vintage, 1992). The best authority on Cambodia is Ben Kiernan, whose works include How Pol Pot Came to Power (Verso, 1985); historical background is in his Peasants and Politics in Kampuchea 1942 to 1981 with Chantou Boua (Zed Press, 1982). If you'd like to keep up to date with the Cambodia story you can subscribe to Raoul Jennar’s Cambodian Chronicles, published by CEREO, BP 44, B1370, Jodoigne, Belgium. More details on the refugee situation from Josephine Reynell, Political Pawns: Refugees on the Thai-Kampuchean Border (Queen Elizabeth House Refugee Studies Programme, Oxford 1989). If you’re in any doubt about the Khmer Rouge genocide, read Kimmo Kiljunen (ed), Kampuchea: Decade of Genocide: a Finnish Inquiry Commission Report (Zed Press, 1984).

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