Forum discusses future of Cambodia

Issue 

Forum discusses future of Cambodia

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Aid to Cambodia and solidarity with its people are now crucial if the brutal Khmer Rouge forces are to be defeated, Dr Helen Jarvis told a public forum at the Resistance Centre here on May 31.

Jarvis, a member of CORKR (the Campaign to Oppose the Return of the Khmer Rouge) and frequent visitor to Cambodia, said she was now more optimistic than she was a year ago that the Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge could be pushed back.

"The Cambodian government has survived, the KR is now weaker, and pressure is mounting on the Thai regime to end links with the Khmer Rouge", she said.

"The United Nations peace plan was difficult, dangerous and an extremely damaging experience for the people of Cambodia", Jarvis said.

"The essential aim of UNTAC (the UN transitional authority) was to get rid of the previous Cambodian government, led by Hun Sen." During the UNTAC period, the KR quadrupled its area of operation and control.

Now, despite its problems, the newly elected Cambodian government is making some headway.

Jarvis is involved with a project funded by the US Congress and headed by Australian academic Ben Kiernan to document the crimes of KR rule in 1975-79.

CORKR can be contacted at PO Box 132, Yagoona NSW 2199.