THE CAMBODIAN BOAT PEOPLE Seeking Asylum from War and Oppression July , 1990.
Prepared by: Dr Dennis Shoesmith Senior Lecturer in Politics Northern Territory University Copies available from: Jesuit Refugee Service (Australia ) PO Box 522 KINGS CROSS NSW 2011. 023563888 111111111111111111 1 DI ii iiiiiiumillmill11111iniiiiiiniiiiiii in mi 303820391T
A SUMMARY OF THE CASE FOR ASYLUM 1. The Argument for Collective Asylum The seventy-nine Cambodian boat people rescued from their sinking vessel and brought to Darwin by H.M.A.S.Townsville on 2 June, 1990, have a compelling case to be granted asylum in Australia . They risked a 3,500 km.sea journey in an unsafe fishing boat when other Cambodians have perished in that attempt. Some have said that they put to sea because they were more afraid of the war which has engulfed their country and of the return of the Khmer Rouge than of drowning. Almost, all of "them have lost family or friends to the Khmer Rouge and the war. All of them fear the Khmer Rouge and are terrified of coming under its control. What would be the consequences for these Cambodians if the Australian Government were to deny them asylum and to forcibly repatriate them to Cambodia? This Submission draws on the available evidence to detail conditions inside Cambodia today so as to offer the Determination of Refugee Status Committee an answer to that question. An understanding of the military and political crisis in Cambodia and the threat to the personal security and even the lives of the boat people if they are forced to return will help the Committee make an informed and just assessment of their claims for asylum.
The present situation within Cambodia is detailed within the body of this submission but in summary: If they were returned they would be at immediate risk of widespread internal war and persecution by the Kmer Rouge.
This is not orderly conscription but arbitrary press ganging of boys as young as fourteen or fifteen taken off the street or from their classrooms. They are at risk from the fighting and from the minefields which both sides have scattered throughout much of rural Cambodia. bridges and railway lines destroyed by the guerillas or to gather timber and forest products.351 issued in 1984. About a third of the group face persecution and discrimination because of their Chinese ethnic background. the young men who make up the majority of the group are at personal risk because they are liable for immediate conscription and with little or no training immediate deployment in the battle zone.Within Cambodia. If they survive the fighting they face capture by a victorious Khmer Rouge with its fearful reputation for the torture and execution of its opponents. the military situation within Cambodia is grave and the position of government forces chaotic in most of the countryside. Individually.
. hundreds of thousands of people have fled their villages to escape the Khmer Rouge in the past two months or are being relocated by the Hun Sen government. As this submission will show. Young men and women also face conscription into forced labour squads which are sent to repair roads. The popular perception in Phnom Penh that Chinese are associated with corruption and usury in the newly opened economy of the capital has aroused increasing hostility against this community in the past year. The Hun Sen government introduced harsh discriminatory regulations against ethnic Chinese through Ordinance No.
boatings and even death. they are terrified that they will be at immediate risk of imprisonment. In their view and the view of other Cambodians in Australia .. the government cannot guarantee their safety from war or the Khmer Rouge. Indeed. repressive measures to discipline the population under its control in the face of the Khmer Rouge threat. All 224 Cambodians who have arrived in Australia since November have exposed themselves to retaliation by a government which is increasingly resorting to.. as a group. or assignment to the forced labour squads working in the most dangerous areas. they are at real risk from the Hun Sen government itself. Despite assurances by the Hun Sen government that voluntary returnees will not be persecuted . Secretary of the Khmer Community in New South Wales has warned that "if they are sent back they will be treated as traitors by the Government . The Australian Government has no diplomatic relations with the Government of the State of Cambodia and cannot ensure appropriate measures by that government for their protection were they forcibly repatriated. all the Cambodians who fled illegally' to Australia are especially and specifically at risk. in the present military and political crisis. We urge the Committee to recognise the particular danger which these Cambodian arrivals face because of their special character as a group who have 'illegally' fled Cambodia and who are therefore marked for punishment and persecution if they return. the boat people themselves are very afraid. and will be jailed and shot". As their testimony quoted in the body of this submission reveals. Mr Chheng Chhor. (1) The asylum-seekers themselves believe that at least they will be listed and singled out for harsh treatment such as being sent to the areas of heaviest fighting.In addition to these real threats to individuals. especially if forced to return.
. They can expect to be singled out for harsh treatment if they are involuntarily returned.
It will be established in this submission that the one assurance the Hun Sen government can no longer give the Cambodians in Australia is security from the Khmer Rouge. They know that the Khmer Rouge are everywhere , and "wherever they are staying they will punish and kill people ... where Pol Pot is there will always be killing". 2. The issue of asylum and the search for a peaceful resolution of the Cambodian crisis are separate but linked issues The Determination of Refugee Status Committee has the responsibility to consider the case for asylum submitted by each applicant. But to do justice to the individual claims by the 224 Cambodians who have arrived in Australia since November , the Committee should take into account both the critical situation in Cambodia and the corroborative evidence of the urgency of their appeal for asylum offered by the actions of the Australian and United States Governments as recognition of the gravity of the Cambodian crisis and to stop the real possibility of a return to power of the Khmer Rouge. The claims for asylum submitted by the 224 Cambodians must be considered on their merits. Their case cannot be judged fairly unless the Committee assesses the situation in Cambodia. An assessment of that situation, we believe, will persuade the Committee to make a general recommendation to the Minister in support of the call for asylum of all 224 Cambodians given the real threat to their security and lives as individuals and as a group. At the same time, the decision on their appeal for asylum must not be influenced by any idea of using them as a warning to other potential asylum-seekers.
The correct response to the possibility of more Cambodians fleeing their homeland is for the Australian Government to address the root causes of the crisis itself by joining with the United States and others in'the international community in pushing for a comprehensive settlement which offers Cambodia a chance of peace. We need simultaneously to be true to the humanitarian principles which we espouse in our region and to seek a genuine and peaceful resolution to the Cambodian crisis which is the root cause of the refugee exodus. This will involve separate but complementary policies of granting asylum to those Cambodians in Australia while working in the international community to isolate the Khmer Rouge and help provide the necessary conditions for a return to political and economic stability in Cambodia.
I CAMBODIAN BOAT PEOPLE: THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM The Cambodians who have fled to Australia since November last year have a compelling case for asylum . The critical situation in their homeland forced them to risk the hazards of a 3,500 km.sea journey in frail craft. At least one other boat load of Cambodians have perished in that attempt. The Flight by Sea The third group of seventy-nine Cambodians to reach Australia , rescued from their sinking vessel on 2 June, left Cambodia's port city of Kompong Som on 6 May. The group was made up of core family, other relatives and friends and crew. The fishing boat, the Kraingsor was not built for long sea voyages but they decided to try to reach Singapore, fleeing a war which has now engulfed every province but the four in the north-east of their country. Moving down the through the Gulf of Siam and the South China Sea to the north coast of peninsula Malaysia, they were twice supplied with fuel and water by Singaporean navy vessels . On 13 May they arrived off the west coast of Kalimantan in Indonesia. The Indonesian authorities refused them permission to disembark although they begged for asylum because of the condition of their boat. One family told the lawyers interviewing them in Australia that they were beaten by Indonesian officials because they repeatedly pleaded to be accepted into an Indonesian refugee camp. The Indonesians did supply them with provisions and maps to navigate to Australia.
HMAS Townsville transferred them from their sinking boat and took them to the safety of Darwin. Given the reality of that threat. On 29 May they reached the Timor coast and the following day set out on the final leg to Australia . The Right to Asylum This submission argues that the deepening military and political crisis in Cambodia represents a direct and immediate threat to the safety of every one of the 224 Cambodians who have arrived in Australia if they were forced to return. At the very minimum. A supplementary option is for their status to be regulated by establishing a specific category for them granting them Temporary Entry Permits of a fixed four-year duration subject to review of country conditions at the expiration of that time-period. temporary asylum ought to be given until repatriation can occur with safety and dignity. However. This would represent a four-year period of residence with the possibility of longer-term residence in Australia . the Kraingsor began to founder. escorted by an Indonesian vessel .Forced back to sea. reasoning that these would be headed for the Australian coast. They used the flight paths of commercial aircraft as a guide. Its 79 passengers were lucky.
. those Cambodians who are not granted full refugee status should be offered humanitarian protection . When they reached Australian waters they did not know where they were. After 27 days at sea. they became lost for several days. Some of the Cambodians have told the lawyers advising them on their appeal for asylum that they would consider suicide rather than a forced return to Cambodia. "they made the crossing to Madura Island off Surabaya in Java where they were allowed to drop anchor for one day.
in fact. As this analysis of the situation in Cambodia is being written . so acute that the United States has dramatically reversed its policy towards that country and the contending factions. The initial unfriendly reaction by some Australian leaders to their plight may have been explicable in terms of an ignorance of the situation they had fled. The US decision confirms the Cambodian boat people's claim that they have fled a desperate situation . Washington is prepared to cooperate with Vietnam in an attempt to stave off the imminent return to power of the Khmer Rouge. An increasing number of reports from Cambodia in June and July reveal the rapid progress of the Khmer Rouge forces until today they hold the military balance in even those provinces surrounding the capital. the Australian Foreign Minister is urgently reviewing Australia 's Cambodia policy in response to the US change of position. The crisis in Cambodia is.international Recognition of the Present Crisis It was only well after the arrival of this third group of Cambodian boat people that even informed Australians began to understand just how desperate the military and political situation has become in Cambodia since the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops last September. (2) The resurgent Khmer Rouge now moves through rural Cambodia at will and is poised to overthrow a besieged and economically destitute Hun Sen government in Phnom Penh. International recognition that the
. There is no excuse for that ignorance now. For the first time in eleven years.
Khmer Rouge are close to retaking power substantiates their fear that they face a real threat of Khmer Rouge oppression if they are returned.
It is inappropriate to use the asylum-seekers now in Australia as examples' or a warning to deter others.we should treat with understanding and compassion those
. the breakdown of order under a besieged and destitute Hun Sen government. Many of them are youths who face arbitrary conscription into the civil war. Only in this way can the root causes of the refugee exodus be addressed. (3) In a larger sense. but also as a country of first and temporary asylum. Australia's Responsibility In signing the 1951 UN Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees. If they survive that war they face the real possibility of retribution from a reinstated Khmer Rouge which is even now able to impose its rule over much of rural Cambodia.Their individual fates are caught up in the widening internal war. They should be protected according to the humanitarian principles affirmed by Australia while the Australian Government works in the international community for a way to address the root causes for their flight from Cambodia. As a separate but linked policy. and the expanding power of the Khmer Rouge. Australia accepted the responsibility of protecting refugees and asylum seekers -not only through its role as a country of resettlement . We were involved in the Indochina war at the time it was extended to Cambodia. It is a humanitarian responsibility and in our national interest to do everything we can to support a just and peaceful resolution of the Cambodian crisis. Their flight has marked them for probable political persecution both by a desperate Hun Sen government and by the Khmer Rouge if they were to come under its control. (4) We have been involved since 1979 in efforts to seek a peaceful resolution of the continuing conflict there. Since November. the Cambodian tragedy is one in which Australians carry some responsibility . we have become a country of first asylum.
Cambodian^who have landed in Australia.
occupation of the eastern provinces by the North Vietnamese . The revolt begun by the Khmer Rouge in the 1960s. the Vietnamese invasion in December. the saturation B-52 bombing and invasion by American and South Vietnamese armies in the early 1970s. the reimposition of Khmer Rouge rule and terror throughout the countryside . the economic collapse of the Phnom Penh government and the signs of panic and new repressive measures within that government. 1978.II CAMBODIA 1990 WAR AND OPPRESSION The flight of the 224 Cambodians who reached Australia between November 1989 and June 1990 can only be understood and their claim to asylum can only be assessed in terms of the desperate situation confronting their country. the breakdown of order. None of them can be guaranteed his or her safety and dignity if forced to return. (5) The 224 Cambodian boat people have fled a country again in the convulsions of war. The individual fate of each of the Cambodian boat people is caught up in the internal war being won by the Khmer Rouge. There is a real possibility that the Khmer Rouge will regain power and disturbing evidence is now coming out of rural Cambodia of the harshness and cruelty of Khmer Rouge treatment of
. The Context: 30 Years of War The Cambodian people have suffered three decades of almost continuous internal war and external invasion. the mass executions and starvation of the Pol Pot years. and the present conflict have led to the deaths of millions of Cambodians and sent more millions fleeing for their lives.
1990. The withdrawal of Vietnamese troops by 26 September. suddenly announced a reversal in its Cambodian policy. removed an obstacle to a political settlement. provide humanitarian assistance to the State of Cambodia based in Phnom Penh. The US in mid-July. resume relations on this issue with the old enemy. 1989. many towards the Thai border to escape the fighting . The Thai government still provides it with sanctuary and acts as a conduit for Chinese military aid. have recently fled Khmer Rouge control to Site 2 on the Thai-Cambodian border. and. or as part of Phnom Penh's forced relocation program to shift population away from the Khmer Rouge. most significantly. China has not given any indication that it will withdraw support from the Khmer Rouge-led tripartite coalition. Some 26. But even as the possibility of outside disentanglement from the conflict becomes a possibility . The achievement of a better relationship between the Soviet Union. declaring its intention to drop support for the tripartite coalition . 000 Cambodians have either fled their villages. fought out not only between rival Cambodian factions but between regional and superpower rivals. the People's Republic of China and the United States in the late 1980s has provided at least the opportunity for Cambodia to be disentangled from superpower rivalries. (6) The Political Situation: Irreconcilable Opponents For the past three deacdes the Cambodian conflict has been in an essential sense a proxy war. an estimated further ISOISO. Vietnam. halfstarved and ill.000 Cambodians.
. the confrontation between the Cambodian actors themselves has reached its crisis.In the past month .
(7) Led by President Heng Samrin and Foreign Minister and now Prime Minister. Apart from the Soviet Union and its former Eastern European satellites . The United Front for an Independent. driving the Pol Pot Government of Democratic Kampuchea to the Thai border. The Coalition Government of Cambodia is a contrived and tactical alliance of the Khmer Rouge and the two non-communist factions. 1979.The People's Republic of Kampuchea (renamed -the State of Cambodia on 30 April. former President of Cambodia until a 1970 coup. 1990. Neutral. Son Sann. with Vietnamese encouragement . The US decision to press for the Cambodian seat at the UN to be declared vacant could change this situation for the first time since 1979. A majority of the UN member countries have continued to reject its claim to be the legal government of Cambodia and have instead recognised the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea. Hun Sen. Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC)is led by Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Libya and India. Whatever else. this rival faction formed. 1989)was created in January. a few weeks after Vietnam launched a large-scale invasion of Cambodia. the Phnom Penh government has been recognised only by a few countries including Cuba. a former Prime Minister under Sihanouk -an experience that has left them anything but friends -is the civilian leader of the Khmer People's National Liberation
.the Vietnamese invasion ended the Pol Pot terror during which at least a million Cambodians died and the entire country was turned into a forced labour camp. Angola. Nicaragua. the National Government of Cambodia. renamed in February. and now nominal President of the Khmer Rouge-dominated coalition. nominal head of Khmer Rouge government in 1975. the State of Cambodia has relied until now on Vietnamese and Eastern bloc support. In 1978. The new regime was led by former elements of the Khmer Rouge who escaped the Pol Pot purges of 1978 in eastern Cambodia by fleeing to Cambodia. Mozambique. the Khmer National United Front for National Salvation (KNUFNS) and took over government under Vietnamese tutelage.
Front (KPNLF) but exercises little authority over his own senior military officers.
(9) Singapore has supplied small arms and other support to the noncommunist groups. 1978. It has been more important politically than militarily. Borai and Site K in Thailand. (8) With the US announcement ending support for the tripartite coalition . the Khmer Rouge controls five main camp areas along the border: Trao. providing a figleaf of legitimacy for US and ASEAN support for the Khmer Rouge. some of it approved by Congress . Site 8. The US decision should mean this will stop. ' Today. Considerable US lethal and non-lethal'aid has been directed to the non-communist members of the coalition since the early 1980s. and the areas around Pailin and Phnom Malai inside Cambodia. Pol Pot's revolutionary movement which ruled Cambodia as the Government of Democratic Kampuchea from April. the United States and Thailand as the price of military and diplomatic support. By 1988. if Thailand closed the border. The coalition was forced on the two noncommunist factions in 1982 by China. the Khmer Rouge retains crucial Chinese support and are probably able to continue the war to its conclusion against an isolated Phnom Penh even without its coalition partners or. Thailand continues to provide all three factions with sanctuary and camps for their captive populations. China played the central role in persuading its defeated Cambodian ally and the two reluctant non-communist groups to form the Coalition Government. The UN through its United Nations Border Relief Organisation (UNBRO)has provided humanitarian assistance to people in camps controlled by the Khmer Rouge as well as the Siahnoukists and the KPNLF and thus has unwillingly contributed to the Khmer Rouge's survival. some of it covert CIA support. this arrangement to sanitise international military support for the Khmer Rouge is finished but the PRC has given no indication of dropping Pol Pot.
. without sanctuary in Thailand. 1975 until December.The third faction is the Khmer Rouge.
Prince Sihanouk. is the party
. 65. It has suited the Khmer Rouge leadership to cooperate with the Sihanoukists and the KPNLF since last September to lessen international alarm at the prospect that Pol Pot may soon again rule Cambodia. is still the effective party leader. His brother-in-law. Khieu Samphan. who briefly served as a Khmer Rouge cabinet member in a Sihanouk government . they expected the Khmer Rouge to turn on them and devour them. former party second-in-command is heavily involved in political and economic planning.The Khmer Rouge has always been the dominant faction. (11) He remains commander-inchief of the Khmer Rouge guerilla force. long Sary (through his first wife now in a mental hospital) remains Khmer Rouge foreign minister. seasoned fighters skilled in military tactics and in propaganda work perfected over three decades of warfare. Leaders of the KPNLF at Site 2 told me in 1987 that they expected that if the coalition were to oust the Hun Sen regime. has recently acknowledged that Pol Pot "still controls everything ". although he formally stepped aside as general secretary . Khmer Rouge units have turned on their coalition partners in the field and destroyed KPNLF units to assert their control of Cambodian territory .000 regulars are strictly disciplined . But it is not on the Khmer Rouge political agenda to share power with anyone. commanding his troops from a jungle base at Bong Nam Ron in Thailand 's eastern Chanthaburi province. Nuon Chea. His 30-40. His coalition partner. (10) The Khmer Rouge operate in the so-called 'liberated zones' of the other two factions and in effect retain control of all occupied areas.militarily and politically. In the past. since 1982. The Intractable Problem of the Khmer Rouge The Khmer Rouge under the same leadership responsible for the extremist and murderous policies of the 1970s presents an intractable problem for a peaceful resolution of the Cambodian crisis. Pol Pot.
ideologue but although presented as party leader is believed to be only number five in the party hierarchy. close to his old killing grounds. (12) Despite cosmetic changes in its public image.
. All the camps are run on military lines with strict discipline and instant obedience. lost a leg when he stepped on a Chinese mine planted by his own soldiers. the Khmer Rouge is demonstrating inside Cambodia today that its political and military agenda is to reimpose absolute control over the country and with it the 'ultimate revolution " ideology of the 1975-78 years. Beyond actual combat. Camp administrators make little distinction between civilians and combatants: all able-bodied single men and some married men are fighters ? single women and some men carry ammunition or war materiel into Cambodia. the notorious "Butcher of Cambodia" who killed tens of thousands of civilians in the south-west during the 'Year Zero'period. The Thais and international support have provided the Khmer Rouge with a sanctuary and a controlled population in the border camps such as Site K and Site 8. The land mines are a constant danger. The Khmer Rouge uses a combination of terror and political indoctrination through a 'hearts and minds' program to extend its mass base inside Cambodia. the most difficult and dangerous task is carrying heavy loads deep into Cambodia on trips that can last up to a month. Camp residents are mobilised for the war effort through a combination of extortation and appeals to patriotism and compulsion. General Ta Mok. Children as young as 10 years old are required to porter across the border. commands the Battambang area around Pailin. one of the highest-ranking Khmer Rouge commanders. (13) Over the past four or five years Khmer Rouge units have silently extended control over village communities throughout west and north Cambodia extending an even more severe regime over their populations. Ta Mok. There the party recruits fighters and porters and rests its troops.
obedience to the Khmer Rouge is based on compulsion. Outside these liberated zones'. (15) They are reported to even pay the salaries of local police and collect taxes in villages with permanent Khmer Rouge cadres. blankets and supplies provided by their Chinese allies. The operative rule is 'no work. The main base has been in Battambang province but other base areas are being built up in the western and northern provinces. Camp residents have no choice but to accept Khmer Rouge rule and to carry out their tasks. (14) Their fighters pay for food and help villagers with civil projects . Ranking Khmer Rouge leaders following Pol Pot's recent example. immediately north and south of the capital. have instructed their subordinates that the Khmer Rouge image must be improved both domestically and abroad. Since 1989. But even in the camps within Thailand.Since the Vietnamese withdrawal completed in September. They conduct propaganda programs and educational campaigns using the techniques of the 'mass line' developed as a strategy of 'people's war' by Mao Zedong in China in the 1930s. Despite the shift in tactics since last year. They bring with them gifts of clothing. Khmer Rouge maintain de facto control through periodic visits to villages as far as Kompong Thornand Kompong Speu provinces . the evidence of Cambodians who have escaped Khmer Rouge control within Cambodia stresses the continued use of terror to obtain obedience. even for the ordinary
. The Cambodian who offers less than full support for the Khmer Rouge. no food'. the Khmer Rouge has made a conscious effort to restrain its cadres and 'soften ' its treatment of civilians under its control. the Khmer Rouge have moved rapidly to establish larger 'liberated zones' with a growing population under their direct military and political control.
. is 'punishment'.
At the same time. For international political reasons. the Khmer Rouge has made an effort to project a fresh image. Government soldiers are marked for automatic execution even when not with their units. this tightens their grip on the rural population and the rural economy.Two high-level defectors have recently revealed the Pol Pot strategy through the 'hearts and minds' campaign and the use of terror to position the Khmer Rouge to muster mass support for an election campaign should the international efforts to hold elections in Cambodia succeed. (18) But they are evidently as ready as ever to use al'-out terror against uncooperative Cambodians or against whole sectors of people marked out as ideological enemies. The Khmer Rouge has a deliberate policy of not permanently occupying urban areas outside their western bases and of limiting heavy civilian casualties. cutting of Phnom Penh from the 88 percent of Cambodians who live and work in the rural areas. In recent lectures. and denying that they are any longer communists or even socialists . (19)
. Pol Pot has argued that time is on the side of the Khmer Rouge. that Cambodia is actually already controlled by the Khmer Rouge. (17) '» They are also able to call on deep-rooted Khmer patriotism and historical antagonism towards the Vietnamese whom the Khmer Rouge have fought since 1978 and earlier while the Vietnamese installed the present government in Phnom Penh. Their object is to demonstrate that Phnom Penh is incapable of protecting its people. admitting past 'mistakes '. He has instructed Khieu Samphan to spin out the peace negotiations to allow the Hun Sen government to be further weakened.
The 26.000 half-starved Cambodians who recently fled a Khmer Rouge zone to the KPNLF-controlled Site 2 are evidence that their concessions to world opinion are insincere. But. the general policy was correct: Democratic Kampuchea is truly nationalistic . In early 1988. (20) The evidence from the 'liberated zones' confirms the bascially unchanged character of the Khmer Rouge program. It dares to sacrifice everything'. In the document. It fervently and always loves the people. The Khmer Rouge methods of indoctrination linked with terror are those of the 1970s. but there is convincing evidence that the Khmer Rouge's ideological agenda remains the same. (21) Their appalling condition is disturbing evidence of 41ife under Khmer Rouge rule in the 'liberated zones'of western Cambodia. [emphasis added] The document attacks not only the Hun Sen regime but also the Sihanoukists and the KPNLF accusing them of plotting to exclude the Khmer Rouge from a settlement.The Same Khmer Rouge The leadership remains the same. a Khmer Rouge defector formerly under Ta Mok's command handed over an army manual distributed to Khmer Rouge soldiers in 1988. the Khmer Rouge admitted to somewhat excessive ' efforts to mobilise the Cambodian population into a Ibour force and in getting rid of enemies 'inside and outside'. An alarming number of refugees who recently returned from within Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge-controlled Site 8 inside Thailand were suffering from malaria and cholera. after summarily shooting dead two militiamen on the train. A survivor of the massacre told how. the Khmer Rouge systematically divided the passengers into two groups: 'civilians' and 'government employees'. The execution of passengers after er Rouge to ambushed a train travelling between Phnom Penh and Kompong Som on 1 July was also characteristic of the 'killing fields' of the 1970s.
as in 1978. Each of the 79 Cambodians who reached Darwin on June 2. they are cruel.A Phnom Penh official later put the number of those killed at 26 with 52 wounded and 10 missing. In 1978 it was suddently to create a "prosperous nation with happy people". the Khmer Rouge official objective is a "peaceful" and "noncommunist" Cambodia. while defending the Khmer Rouge as anti-Vietnamese patriots. the guerillas strafed the passenger carriages killing at least 30 civilians. (26) Today.told interviewers of their own and their families experiences with the Khmer Rouge and of their desperate fear of a Khmer Rouge return to power. They do not want to return to a future
. Their leader continues to see the world as a vast conspiracy against his heroic fighters who will triumph whatever the coalition of forces against him. Armed with rockets and automatic rifles. food and motorcycles taken from the train to a base camp eleven km.For more than half an hour the survivor heard continuous firing as they executed those in the government employees'group. acknowledged "they are vicious. away. Other Khmer Rouge herded the 'civilians' into a work party to porter the cigarettes . but the actual casualty rate was probably much higher. Prince Sihanouk. they are murderers .. as now. (25) Threatened with the loss of power. or seeking to attract international support.. the leadership has announced sudden shifts in strategy . this time 60 km. Two weeks later. between 200 and 300 Khmer Rouge attacked another train. Hospitals in the rpovince could not take all the victims and more than 120 dead and wounded were brought to Phnom Penh." (24) The pattern of ideologically determined executions is the same pattern imposed on Cambodia by Pol Pot in 1975. north of the capital in Kompong Chhnang province . (23) Interviewed in May. (22) This incident is particularly revealing because of the systematic and ideologically conditioned manner in which people were classified for execution reflecting the characteristic mentality of the Khmer Rouge revolutionary program in the 1970s.
.which matches the horrors endured by their parents'generation in the 1970s.
(27) The Sihanoukist forces in the ANS are estimated at possibly 20.000 fighters has made tremendous gains in territory in the past months and is "now tightening the noose around Phnom Penh". It has recently extended its military operations into Kompong Cham. Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces east of the capital on the Vietnamese border. (28) Following the Vietnamese withdrawal . north and south of Phnom Penh. Its 30-40.000 but they have had a poor fighting reputation in the past and are possibly only gaining some successes now on Khmer Rouge sufferance.000 have also been active this year but again they are far inferior to the Khmer Rouge. they could turn on their present allies and eliminate them as well.000 ANS and KPNLF
. the 30 40. If they defeat the Hun Sen army. There is little doubt that the Khmer Rouge forces are capable of pursuing the war against Phnom Penh alone.Intensifying Civil War The Khmer Rouge commands the largest and the most effective armed force within the Coalition.000 Khmer Rouge and the 30. The KPNLF forces at around 10. It can deploy units at battalion strength in almost every province west.
the opposing forces are nearer one-to-one with the Khmer Rouge enjoying a demonstrated superiority in military capacity. But the Khmer Rouge gains this wet season may have wiped out this advantage. With fuel supplies and military aid exhausted . In Cambodia.troops confront the 45-50. Their forces are
. The Phnom Penh forces once have an advantage in artillery and air power when they can use it during the dry season. The conventional wisdom is that government forces need to outnumber guerillas by about five to one to achieve a military stalemate. the Phnom Penh army may be unable to recover in time to press any advantage in the coming dry season.000 regulars in the army of the State of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge are well equipped by China with modern weapons.
1989. and unable "to match the Khmer Rouge in the field. The countryside is infested with land mines which account for scores of mutilations and deaths each month. The Hun Sen government has resorted to desperate measures . They face a seasoned and ruthless enemy. and with the new 'liberated zones' opened north and south of Phnom Penh.classic guerilla advantage of mobility and initiative . In provincial towns. staff of schools and hospitals must join other civilians to form night patrols against guerilla attacks. conscripting teenagers and throwing them into battle with little or no training. poorly trained. (30) From their secure base areas in the remote Cardamom Mountains of southwest Cambodia and around Pailin in Battambang province. Morale within the Hun Sen forces is low. The village militia is more vulnerable: poorly armed. giving the Khmer Rouge an extra tactical advantage. These soldiers know that their army has lost the initiative to the Khmer Rouge. but that effort has clearly failed. (32)
. (31) It is a chilling rerun of 1975. well armed and well trained in commando and sabotage techniques. badly paid and fed. The Vietnamese made an effort to build up and train Cambodian army capable of taking over from Vietnamese forces after their withdrawal by September. (29) The Khmer Rouge have the. fragmented bands of civilians defenceless against professional Khmer Rouge units even of platoon size. They are further demoralised by inadequate supplies and little or no pay. the Khmer Rouge are now waging the "strategic offensive" phase of the guerilla war. The government's troops are rigidly organised in provincial commands under semi-autonomous provincial chiefs. choosing when and where to concentrate their forces.increasingly demoralised and ramshackle . the phase which encircles the enemy capital until it falls into the revolutionary 's hands.
In August. Khmer Rouge units intensified a campaign against the provincial centres in western Cambodia and mounted attacks around Phnom Penh itself in an effort to secure the northern and western gateways to the capital. 1989. the Khmer Rouge mounted major offensives in Battambang.The KImer Rouge are Winning the War Since the Vietnamese withdrawal in September. As both Phnom Penh and its Khmer Rouge opponents contend for control of territory and population . the Khmer Rouge began a wide-ranging offensive which has now almost engulfed Cambodia. 450 Khmer Rouge encircled Pailin. but also in Kompong Thorn
. On the eve of the Vietnamese withdrawal . southwest of Battambang . the Khmer Rouge announced they would take control of the province. Cambodia's second largest city. In November-December. both sides are liable to use coercion against those villagers caught between them. By mid-1990. In October . the American ClA's assessment was that Khmer Rouge strength was growing daily and the balance of power had finally tipped in its favour. they attacked four government garrisons in Battambang province forcing them to abandon their positions.000 special forces to help government troops defend the provincial capital. 1989. the 'coercive balance'has dramatically shifted towards the Khmer Rouge. (33) It is precisely in this situation where the coercive balance is moving from a government to its enemies that the level of political violence against civilians typically intensifies. (34) Between September and December. (36) The Vietnamese sent in 3. (35)General Ta Mok has since made Pailin his command centre. pounding the town with mortar and heavy artillery fire and taking it from government forces on 24 October. In September-October.
only 48 km.deep inside Cambodia. the crucial link with Cambodia's port city of Kornpong Som.south of Phnom Penh on Highway Four. By the end of 1989. Highway Five
. and in Kornpong Speu.
of territory in western and northwestern Cambodia. claimed in December that the Khmer Rouge's "real intention is not to keep the cities. Battambang. (39) By February .000 sq. was attacked on January. Reports from foreign journalists within Cambodia in June and July reveal that fighting has reached its worse level since 1979. (37) The provincial capital. (38) Having proved their point. many of whom were relocated against their will. as well as several command posts of the key 5th military region northwest of the city.Son Sann.km. The KPNLF leader. Khmer Rouge radio claimed the resistance had taken over parts of the city. The Khmer Rouge embarked on a program of shifting their Thai border populations back into the 'liberated zones'. Two reports which reached the Jesuit Refugee Service in July suggest that the Phnom Penh government is in real peril:
. assaulting the regional military headquarters and the airfield at Bek Chan.linking the capital with its western provinces . the Khmer Rouge and their resistance allies were in occupation of an estimated 1. (40) The Military Situation in nid-1990 The current second wave of large-scale offensives was launched in June partly to demonstrate the Khmer Rouge's capacity to wage the war regardless of its allies and international attempts to patch together a peace proposal. Highway Six linking the north.'denying the capital access at least temporarily to three quarters of its people and territory. and Highway Four south to Kompong Som were all subject to Khmer Rouge interdiction . They could do what they want but they want to keep a low profile". they withdrew but Battambang has been subjected to further serious attacks in May and June.
but are winning the so-called psychological war. He said that they could probably take Phnom Penh tomorrow . 700 km. The Khmer Rouge threatens the nearby temples of Angkor .. But still they aren't concentrating on the major cities .. Another journalist who has been watching the situation for years -been in Bangkok since 1979 -last week told me that he feels it is just a matter of time until the Khmer Rouge come back.. being nice to widoes. (41) Nate Thayer... buying rice with American dollars. of roads and supply routes which carry convoys of Chinese trucks . and were paying the police . an Associated Press journalist. They control thousands of km. Khmer Rouge
. he says. if they wanted to. They are now in the camps. So much so that he feels people are resigned to their return to power . They are winning hearts and minds everywhere . We also heard that even in the KPNLF/ANS 'liberated zones' they found that the Khmer Rouge had already been through.trek in June-July..One wild American journalist just came back from a long trip inside with the Sihanoukists and he said he's never seen the fighting so bad. The resistance now controls much of the north and are shelling and launching commando raids against the provincial capitals of Kompong Thorn and Siem Reap which is completely surrounded. Just everywhere . set up networks . forcing government troops to retreat to the provincial capitals -which the guerillas are confident they can take. oxcarts and civilian porters ferrying supplies to frontline troops. without much opposition .. During a five-week. the ancient symbol of Khmer identity.. or big military victories . has also reported extensive fighting across north and northwestern Cambodia. Some Khmer intelligence people (working with the USA)who've been around for years (but sent their families to the States earlier)now have come out from Cambodia and want to stop. feeling it's too dangerous for them to stay in. etc. he saw Khmer Rouge units seize hundreds of villages and military positions .
.field commanders boast that they can take Phnom Penh in an encircling strategy the way the Khmer Rouge captured the city in April.
Over the past three years the Khmer Rouge have stockpiled Chinese weapons and ammunition and can sustain its war. This more subtle strategy seems to have been dropped since June. long Sary has represented the diplomatic strategy which has been endorsed by Pol Pot. Until June. So far the Chinese leadership has shown no sign of abandoning them but further direct aid would be difficult if the Thai government decided to close the frontier.Prince Sihanouk as formal leader of the Coalition Government of Cambodia and Hun Sen as Prime Minister of the State of Cambodia signed the Tokyo Communique calling for a ceasefire and the creation of a transitional supreme national council. the Khmer Rouge displayed some caution in their military strategy. Rural resources in the western provinces is being diverted away from Phnom Penh and to the resistance and this could provide them with the income purchase arms. At the Tokyo meeting the Khmer Rouge delegation walked out of the conference room 25 minutes after it opened. partly to reassure international opinion mainly in Washington that they were not going to embarrass their supporters by taking power prematurely and partly because they believed that time was on their side. There has been a more aggressive position taken by some of the military leaders represented by Ta Mok who has urged a fight-to-the-death campaign against Phnom Penh. (43) If the Khmer Rouge do take the port of Kompong Thorn. It is significant that the resistance now has a source of income available to it from the timber resources and gemstones of the territory in western and northern Cambodia it now rules. Early in that month. keeping the military pressure on the Hun Sen government but leaving open the opportunity of a more respectable return to power through international negotiations . effort without immediate resupply. the Chinese could ship military supplies to them there rather than across the Thai landbridge.
Raiders have concentrated on kidnapping and terrorising government employees although all civilians are at risk. moved 1. the Khmer Rouge commander.000 massed guerillas stepped up attacks against civilian centres sending 20.000 refugees fleeing to Phnom Penh. In June. (45) In mid-July. Reported deaths and maimings from mines increased by 20-25 percent after November. Khieu Samphan.of Highway Five and in February. the guerillas claimed they briefly occupied Sisophon and the town of Banteay Meanchey. the Khmer Rouge took over direct control of several districts.500 of his best troops into the western province of Pursat and into Kompong Speu. Khmer Rouge radio claimed they laucnhed a five-pronged attack on 14 July against Battambang destroying an aircraft and other facilities at the airfield which they held overnight and firing 107 mm rockets into the city itself. and 1. identified Kompong Thorn. they again closed the highway. Khmer Rouge leader. On 10 July.Within two weeks the Khmer Rouge showed their contempt for the communique (which was also rejected by China) when 1.450 Khmer Rouge and ANS fighters occupied the provincial capital of Kompong Thonorth of Phnom Penh. Battambang. Khmer Rouge activity in the central province of Kompong Speu immediately to the west of the capital intensified in October-November 1989 when Ta Mok. Siem Reap and Sisophon and the Khmer Rouge controlled the surrounding countryside. in north and west Cambodia Hun Sen forces were isolated in the provincial centres. the resistance took control of twenty km. (46)
. Battambang and Kompong Speu as the "hottest battlefields ". (44) By early July. central Pursat . rn They withdrew and government troops later reclaimed Kompong Thorn. But they are surrounded by the Khrner Rouge who are active throughout the province. Pursat. In November. The guerillas claim to control Highway Six cutting off Phnom Penh from northern Cambodia.
Svay Rieng and Takeo east and south of Phnom Penh and so completely encircling the capital. In July. take villages. (47) In the adjoining province of Kompong Chhang. the Khmer Rouge were active inside the port city.Fighting has intensified in Kampot. (48) They have also taken the fighting to the Vietnamese border. Khmer Rouge attacks sent more thousands fleeing to the capital. the scene of Cambodian-Vietnamese battles in 1977 and 1978. Attacks on villages in May and June. northern and southwestern and southeastern Cambodia.
. highly disciplined and ruthless. In late June their troops mounted sustained attacks against military posts and population centres in the provinces of Kompong Cham. planting mines near government offices and exploding grenades in the central district . cutting the vital supply link between Kompong Som and Phnom Penh. They are highly trained. Their units attacked villages on the very boundary of the port. resulted in high civilian casualties including eleven orphans in avillage on the outskirts of Kompong Som. the Khroer Rouge are militarily active in every province in northwestern . In the rest of Cambodia. In February. They are winning the war. towns and provincial capitals and control the major communications and supply links to the besieged capital. Khmer Rouge bombed bridges on Highway Four. the southern coastal province with the crucial port of Kompong Som. the Khmer Rouge move freely in force. 1990. The only provinces where heavy fighting has not been reported are the four northeastern provinces bordered by Laos and Vietnam. 1990. In mid-1989.
. The Khmer Rouge is now demanding of the Phnom Penh government a bilateral truce. Nominal leader Khieu Samphan referred to the Paris talks as "very important" and revealed that "we may liberate one or two provincial towns to force the hand of the other side in negotiations ". When the 'Big Five' in the Security Council -the US. Soviet Union. If they are isolated from these negotiations they will become more dangerous because the military option will appear the easy way out. China. The timing of the June-July Khmer Rouge assault is linked to the UN negotiations.Diplomatic and Military Pressure Prince Sihanouk and others have warned in recent weeks that the Khmer Rouge cannot be left out of negotiations for a political settlement. President Heng Samrin of the State of Cambodia government on 17 July described the widespread attacks as intended to sabotage the country's interior and this was designed partly to gain the upper hand in negotiations . France and Britain -met in Paris on 16 July. The Khmer Rouge appear to be pursuing a double-track policy of military domination of the countryside and consequent pressure on Phnom Penh to capitulate diplomatically (and therefore politically)on the key issue of Khmer Rouge involvement in the proposed Supreme National Council. Rather than simply marching into the capital. it would be a political coup for Pol Pot if he could force the Hun Sen leadership to treat with him and to agree to a 'peace ' formula irrespective of the international negotiations involving the UN Security Council. threatening the capital itself. (49) This is either naive or disingenuous. The sharp rise in Khmer Rouge activity may signal a new strategy. the Khmer Rouge demonstrated its military strength in the provinces closest to Phnom Penh.
(53) The Khmer Rouge are now able to deny the government access to a rural economy which is also disrupted by constant fighting.The Khmer Rouge view of diplomatic negotiations is nevertheless peculiar. (51) Economic Collapse The Cambodian boat people have been dismissed as economic refugees '. the danger of arbitrary conscription into the government army or forced labour squads. The economy was destroyed in the 1970s by internal war and invasion and US bombing and by the millennarian collectivisation experiment conducted during the Pol Pot years. But the economic crisis is part of the larger context of the collapse of order within Cambodia. not on economic hardship. A recent paper produced by the Ministry of Agriculture on the present crisis describes the consequences of war and the Pol Pot years:
. the fighting. It is because the government in Phnom Penh has to direct up to 40 percent of its dwindling income to the war effort that it can no longer maintain essential services. (52) The Cambodian economy is certainly in a state of collapse but this crisis is fundamentally linked to the escalating war and the political crisis caused by the resurgent Khmer Rouge. The government installed by the Vietnamese inherited a country in ruins. In early July. the threat of Khmer Rouge terrorism . they presented Phnom Penh with a demand for equal power-sharing but that the Hun Sen leadership were guilty of "acts of treason" and should be put to death. The boat people's stories of the situation which they fled fix on violence.
Nearly half are under 16 years of age. (55) Given the absolute devastation of Cambodia in 1979 the achievement since then are remarkable but they have been wiped out by the last eleven months of fighting.The genocidal regime of Pol Pot (1975-1979) further destroyed the infrastructures . and may be much wider in some places. A further consequence of these events is the large number of families which are headed by widows or otherwise single women . By 1979 the economy of Cambodia was in ruins. many of the surviving [draft] animals and much of the stock of rice seed was consumed as food in the first months of 1979.
. Most of the skilled personnel died or fled abroad and production ground to a halt. The effects of the war and famine took a greater toll on the men than on the women. malnourished population was left without the means of production . Meagre revenues from rubber. In 1979 a decimated . There had been no currency or markets for four years and no collection of tax for nearly a decade. An estimated 88 percent live in the countryside dependent upon rice cultivation. which emphasises the need to establish social programmes that will provide a safety net for these people.600. raw materials.000 live births). with the result that the ratio of the population of women to men is of the order of 57:43.000. fish. (54) The Ministry places Cambodia's population at 8. timber and gem exports are swallowed up by the war budget or are denied by the resistance. and skilled manpower. Social services remain rudimentary and health problems are reflected in the extremely high rates of infant and child mortality (210 per 1. Industrial facilities were rendered inoperable by indiscriminate scavenging of machinery as well as through lack of spare parts.
. This aid will formally cut off from January. almost all outside aid has stopped. 1991 but. in fact. Cambodia has depended upon COMCECON aid for up to 80 percent of the country 's annual income.Most destructive has been the conjunction of widespread war and the collapse of external aid from the Soviets and their former partners from the eastern bloc in COMECON.
Spiralling inflation. forbidding the use of Chinese language or
.the Soviets maintain an aid presence in Cambodia but they now demand hard currency for armaments and other goods.56( The Council of Ministers announced in June the sacking of 56. This has provoked anti-Chinese feeling among some Khmers and has sharpened the feeling expressed in the restrictive Ordinance 351 issued in 1984. The economy has also suffered from the decision in April. 25 percent of its workforce. (58) The privatisation of the economy while allowing some Cambodians in the capital to accumulate personal wealth has opened a new gap between rich and poor which in the tense situation in Phnom Penh has aroused popular resentment. The state does not have the material or human resources to manage such a transition even in a period of peace. to dismantle the the collectivised and planned economy without providing the necessary administrative and managerial arrangements to support the system to more liberalised system. working in other jobs or in the blackmarket . a currency devalued by 100-150 per cent. 1989. ). (57) Essential supplies such as petrol and diesel fuel previously provided from socialist countries are now severely rationed. the reappearance of petty corruption and usury are all symptoms of a political and economic system disintegrating from internal loss of direction and external threat . Government salaries have fallen to where they only meet a fraction of a family's minimum living costs and civil servants are forced to find other sources of income. There are now no restrictions on usury and Chinese money lenders have reappeared. Some government factories have simply closed down. hard currency which Cambodia does not have .000 government employees.
.customs even within the family.
The Costs of War: A Country in Disarray In the past eleven months. (61) External threat and internal collapse provide the context for a series of political crises within the Hun Sen administration. Transport and Posts. The alleged reactionary coup' of June. There is no safety net for the growing numbers of injured and maimed soldiers and civilians . The efforts of the Hun Sen government to rebuild the country after the Pol Pot years were substantial but they have now collapsed. the reappearance of social inequalities and failure to provide minimum living standards have disillusioned many ordinary Cambodians including many soldiers. the families which have lost their most productive members. Cambodia has regressed into a situation of acute political . (60) Stories of corruption . Two colonels and a number of civil servants were arrested and accused of forming an opposition Liberal Social Democratic Party or Democratic
. This is the larger context within which we can begin to understand the distress and fear which provoked the 224 Cambodians to flee their country and risk their lives at sea. 1990. Badly paid soldiers are turning to looting or are deserting their units. The civilian population is demoralised as young people as young as fourteen or fifteen are press ganged into the armed forces. The military effort saps scarce resources from essential areas such as agriculture and health care. The war is imposing an intolerable human and financial burden on the state and its people. was used to justify a purge of senior civilian and military officials including the Minister for Communications. military and economic crisis.
Freedom Party. (62)
have expanded . the repressive agencies of the Interior Ministry . This is one of the most acute fears of many of the young Cambodians who fled to Australia. There they face a seasoned enemy notorious for treating captured opponents with savagery. Civil war and the real danger of infiltration by the Khmer Rouge within the administration have meant that the powers of the Stasi or the Securitate. (64) The government is increasingly nervous and suspicious of its citizens . Earlier this year (1990) the Cambodian government announced that any sixteen year-old boy or girl
. One of the older men in the group of 79 boat people now in the detention centre south of Darwin. The worsening military and political situation is persuading the Hun Sen government to adopt more coercive measures against its own population. the Phnom Penh government is showing signs of abandoning the human rights and political reforms of last year. in movie houses. an ethnic Chinese who survived the labour camps of the Pol Pot years. The most blatant infringement of individual rights. (63) Violence against the citizen:Conscription Not surprisingly in the critical situation which has developed over recent months . is the widespread forced and arbitrary conscription into the armed forces.Divisions have appeared in the Phnom Penh leadership.year has isolated him from an influential group of party hardliners led by Chea Sim who has been able to tighten his grip on the party and key government positions since the crackdown on the alleged coup makers. Prime Minister Hun Sen's failure to reverse the military tide and the reform experiments of last. Youths as young as fourteen or fifteen have been seized in classrooms. directly linked to the Khmer Rouge threat. was concerned to save his children from conscription . or on the streets and thrust into combat zones only after perfunctory training.
They warned the children not to leave or he and his wife would be punished. It is not only the family with me in Australia that will be punished so will the rest of the family in Cambodia. Once conscripted they must remain in the army indefinitely. the last year of Pol Pot rule. (65) The experience of one of the young men now in the detention centre is not unusual. I am scared of Pol Pot. If we return to Cambodia the whole of our family will be punished by death because we left illegally and because we escaped the army. He fled Kompong Thorn in late April as Khrner
. Punishment is by death.(or any child who looked big and strong)would have to join the army. His main reason for leaving Cambodia was because of the war: am scared of death. They were shot when they refused to work. His father. that has been the rule in Cambodia since 1979. a teacher. He completed first year high school in 1985 but the war interrupted his studies and he had been unemployed since then. Between 1979-1981 his uncles and aunt on his father's side were among those taken to perform forced labour for the Khmer Rouge. died in 1978. Soon after. some government people came to his house and took the names of his son and daughter . This has happened to others already. He was born in Kompong Thorn. the province subjected to heavy Khmer Rouge attacks this year.
war and Pol Pot: these are three immediate threats to their lives that they have fled. He had no confidence in the Hun Sen government and he fled conscription as well as the Khmer Rouge. He was convinced that the Khmer Rouge. Some of his own school friends had been taken.
. whom he had seen casually strolling through the provincial capital and eating in its restaurants . would return to power. (66) Conscription.Rouge units ranged through local villages kidnapping some and killing others.
If I go back to Cambodia I will be imprisoned because I left Cambodia. (67) Ateenage boy's experience earlier this year: have seen the soldiers shoot young men running away from being put into the army. The other reason I am frightened is because come from the city and Pol Pot does not like people who live in the city. I went with my sister that day. Now Pol Pot has returned to Cambodia. I couldn't see the shooting at first.A 33 year-old man who was among those evacuated from Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and spent the next three years in daily fear for his life. The story will never end. I was very frightened and I cried when this happened. I think that I would be imprisoned immediately and would not know how long I would have to stay in prison. Some were killed and some were injured. (68)
. my name was listed to be a soldier for Heng Samrin. the shooting started. The main reason I am frightened is because I have been a teacher and before Pol Pot always killed teachers. was in the cinema. I am very frightened that if Pol Pot comes back I will be killed... Wherever they are staying they will punish and kill people... Just before I left.. He cannot face this fear again: The reason I left Cambodia was because of Pol Pot. Where Pol Pot is there will always be killing. I was in Phnom Penh when this happened -during a school holiday. I also left because I am sick and tired of war and I am frightened of the new war. When the men ran outside. I looked through a small hole in the wall and could see some men shot and injured. they like the old Khmer people who live in the country. watching a picture when everyone heard the soldiers were coming for the young men.. all of the people in Cambodia will be killed. I saw the young men being beaten and shot. There are no Vietnamese now and Pol Pot can take over very easily. My sister went and hid in someone else's house and I was left in the cinema. I do not know if I will have a trial or not.
The largest ethnic minority is the Muslim Cham community. Racial Conflict Over a third of the Cambodians who have fled to Australia have an additional reason to fear return. The Chinese Cambodians among the boat people are acutely conscious of these discriminatory regulations.000) are forbidden to use Chinese names. In the freer economic conditions introduced in 1989. They are ethnic Chinese and the Chinese in Cambodia are becoming a vulnerable minority. But. It is evident that these people haye fled immediate danger and would face immediate danger if they were returned. the government enacted tough anti-Chinese regulations through Ordinance 351 issued in 1984. Cambodian Christians have also enjoyed some recognition. some ethnic Chinese have reemerged as money lenders and black market traders. They
. and the Phnom Penh government moved to protect this groups rights in the 1980s. (69) The penalties are severe and include lengthy imprisonment. perhaps under pressure from the Vietnamese advisers. Chinese language even within the family. Citizens identified by government officials as ethnic Chinese (estimated at up to 500. or to maintain Chinese cultural and religious traditions.These stories are entirely consistent with the reports coming out of Cambodia.
are popularly believed to be involved in petty corruption with officials and are becoming a resented and vulnerable target for angry and frightened Khmers aware of widening income disparities in Phnom Penh. relations between Khmers and local Vietnamese have sharply deteriorated . (70) Many of them were settlers in Cambodia before the Pol Pot years and returned after 1979. Formed in acenturies-long history of conflict.000. The other ethnic group at risk is the Vietnamese . One estimate puts their number in Cambodia at 200. It is no coincidence that 35-40 percent of the boat people are of Chinese background. Under the pressure of war. Cambodians
The Khmer Rouge demands that Vietnamese settlers be expelled.have a traditional hostility to their Vietnamese neighbours.
. Anti-Vietnamese feeling today has reached dangerous levels. 1989. a reinvolvement in the Cambodian war. despite the problems in Vietnam . The People's Republic of China has claimed that there are 'over one million illegal Vietnamese ' in Cambodia. (71) If the Khmer Rouge begins to expel Vietnamese from Cambodia or subject them. this is the issue which conceivably could provoke Hanoi into military retaliation and. as is likely. to persecution . *** *** *** The conditions prevailing in Cambodia detailed in this submission are life-threatening and support the application for asylum in Australia presented by the 224 Cambodians who have reached here since November. As a group they are at particular risk of persecution and even death if they are forcibly returned. among whom are hidden Hanoi's 'special agents'. All of them are terrified of the war which has engulfed their country and of the power of the Khmer Rouge. As individuals. They must be allowed to stay in Australia at least until they are able to return to their homeland with security and dignity. most of them have additional compelling reasons to fear return.
In March the US launched covert bombing attacks on communist sanctuaries within Cambodia.Weekend Australian . pp.. 1990. new ed. Sideshow.91-92. The unrealistic element in this proposal is indicated by the idea that 'all Party forces [including the Khmer Rouge] will observe weapons custody measures under their own command [emphasis added]and control measures and store arms and ordinance in accordance with a previously agreed timetable'. Australian Government Publishing Service. The Australian proposal for a Comprehensive Settlement is detailed in Cambodia. 5. Kissinger. February. The United States Senate Refugee Subcommittee reported in February. 2. London: The Hogarth Press. Canberra: Foreign Affairs and Trade. 1990. 1986. Colorado: Westview
. 'Baker's Hanoi shift nasty shock for ASEAN'. President Nixon used the Australian Government to reassure Prince Sihanouk in February 1969 that the US would respect Cambodia's borders. Boulder. 16 July. An Australian Peace Proposal. 1990.NOTES 1. 1972. The Rise and Demise of Democratic Kampuchea. M G G Pillai. Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia. 21-22 July. that US bombing and civil war had left two million Cambodians homeless ? Craig Etcheson .Working Papers. 3. William Shawcross. 4. Quoted in the Telegraph.
5 July. 6.9. p. p. 1984. Far Eastern Economic Review. and see 'Refugee Flood'. Information supplied by the Phnom Penh authorities to overseas voluntary organisation workers . 1990.Press.239.
cit. Rouge attacks lead to new exodus '.Australian. 1990. 1990. Alan Boyd. no. News from Asia Watch . ' 9. News from Asia Watch . January . 28 June.270. op. April . Mary Kay Magistad . The Australian Magazine . T D Allman . Asian Survey. and see Alan Boyd. March . 8. cit. 'The Khmer Rouge: A Profile '. When the War Was Over. April . 'The Sihanouk Sideshow '. 26-27 May. 1986. 19 April .3. Bangkok Post. Elizabeth Becker . Far Eastern Economic Review . 1990. op.
. Magistad . 13. 1987. 1990. 1990. 'Guerillas give credit for win to Sihanouk '. 1990. Western Australian . 12. p. 16. Vietnam . 'Pol Pot quietly collects as the West fingers its bankroll '.7. Interviews conducted in Site 2. Charles McGregor .. Ibid.20 June. and the Cambodian Conflict .9. 11. 14-15 July. 'K. p. Violation of the Rules of War by the Khmer Rouge '. 15 Interview with General Dien Del. ' Keep the Enemy Talking '. 10. New York: Simon and Schuster . 14. 17. 1990. January . 1990. Indochina Issues 86. vol. Beijing 's End Game Strategy '. 'China. News from Asia Watch .XXX. December 1988. 1987.
Nation. A Cambodian refugee now in Sydney witnessed Khmer Rouge soldiers arrest a government soldier in civilian clothes when during a routine search of a boat. 1990. 'Khmer Rouge and future noir '.3. According to a diplomat in Bangkok quoted in Bangkok Post. See the interview with him reported in Becker .. 29.22. 1990. 1989 .. 23.18 July. Sunday Age.22. Far Eastern Economic Review . He was marched off and later his bag was thrown back into the boat with the soldiers head inside. p. 19. 7 September . 20. Weekend Australian. Russell Skelton .cit. 27. Information from Jesuit Refugee Service . Terry McCarthy . 28. 14-15 July. 12 July. 'Testimony from the killing carriages '. 24. Ibid.cit. they found his uniform wrapped in a bag . ' Khmer Rouge kills 30 in train assault '.432. op. 26. Skelton .8. 1990. 15 July. p.18. p. p.. op. p.
. 22. 25. Diseases of liberation '. 1990. op. 2 July. cit. 1990. 14-15 July. T D Allman article .p. 21. Weekend Australian . Magistad . 1990. Far Eastern Economic Review .328.
Far Eastern Economic Review. 39. 36. but they have borrowed from Maoist China. 1989. pp. 1990. 21 June.11. 31.30. Rodney Tasker. Sydney Morning Herald.p. 2 February. 1971. 10 August. 1989. pp. 26 October. 'Forced march home'. Far Eastern Economic Review. Sydney Morning Herald. 1989. see 'Problems of Strategy in Guerrilla War Against Japan'.27. 27 October. 'Pol Pot quietly collects as the West fingers its bankroll '. Ted Robert Gurr. Far Eastern Economic Review. 40. 14 December. 3 August 1989. 9 January. p. 33. The Khmer Rouge are unique. 32. 29 October. Asiaweek. Far Eastern Economic Review. 14-15 July. 15 February. 'Hitting the highways '. 37. 27. 38. Murray Hiebert . McGregor .
. 1989. Weekend Australian . The Nation. vol. in Selected Works of Mao TseTung..Why Men Rebel.33. Asiaweek.p. 1938. May. 1990. 1990. 14 December .33. Sydney Morning Herald. Peking: Foreign Languages Press. Princeton . Mew Jersey: Princeton University Press. 29 June. 1990. 1990. 1965. 1989. and 'On Protracted War'. Bangkok Post. p.275-76. Far Eastern Economic Review. 6 October.May. adapting the strategy if People's War. 1990. 35. cit. 34.234.79ff. op. 1989. Alan Boyd. 1938.
Bangkok Post. 1990. 5 July. 1990. February . 49.7 July. 6 July. 5 October and 14 December . Far Eastern Economic Review . 'Guerillas to attack national symbol '. 1990 . 47. 29 June.cit. 1990. Australian. 1990. pp. 1990 ? Bangkok Post. 1990. 1990. 29 and 30 June. Report from the Thai-Cambodian border . 1990 . ' Phnom Penh rejects KR peace proposal '. 19 July. 46. 51. 48. 6 July. resistance claims Battambang Raid '. 43. The Guardian . 19 July 1990. 'KR claims successful attack on govt town '. 20 October . 1990. Bangkok Post. 12 July. 19 July. 3 July. 1990. Sydney Morning Herald . 1989 . Bangkok Post. 42. 11 July . Nation . Refugee reports . op. 1990. 50. Asiaweek . Alan Boyd . N T News .
. Asiaweek. AP despatch . 1990. 17 July. Asiaweek . Nate Thayer . Nation . 'KR"seizes " Sisophon '. 2 February . 1989 . 45. 1990. 'City threatened '. Nation .. 11 July . Bangkok Post . Sydney Morning Herald . 1990. Sydney Morning Herald. 21 November . 1990. 44. 3 July. McGregor . 29 and 30 June. 1990.275-76.41. 1989 . 'Phnom Penh forces retake Stoung .
cit. Weekend Australian . 56.. 60. 54. 'Khmer Rouge ignore ceasefire to advance on capital '. 1990. 11 July. 1990. p. Ministry of Agriculture . ' Cambodian coup bid "crushed "'. 21-22 July.cit. Perplexingly . 53. op. 57. 1990.. 1990. Jennar. 14-15 July. 55. Information from an Australian aid worker in Phnom Penh. 22 June. op. McGregor . Raoul M Jennar. Cambodian Mission Report.52. Australian. Glenn Milne and Tracey Aubin . Jennar. and see Jennar. Nicholas Cumming-Bruce. So-Khun. ibid.
. p.. p. PM tells boat people '.281. p.cit.4. 'The Attitude of the West Contributes to the Return of Pol Pot'.. p.3. 61. p. Bob Hawke. 1990. p. Vice-Minister . op. 58. Russell Skelton .22. 59. 'Problems of Agriculture and Food Production in Cambodia '. Ibid. 62. Weekend Australian. NGO Forum on Cambodia . 1990. State of Cambodia.4.3. Guardian Weekly. 19th April -10th May 1990. 'Khmer Rouge and future noir'. Ibid. 'Bob's not your uncle. 20 June. the Prime Minister . p.. 63. repeated this chrage as late as 20 July.4.5.
June-July 1990 .Far Eastern Economic Review. 1989. Jennar . McGregor .. op.cit. Jennar . op. 69. June-July 1990 . 67. Interview with JRS lawyer. Interview with JRS lawyer . 66. 70.64. op. 1990 .
.. 68.cit. June-July. Interview with JRS lawyer . Far Eastern Economic Review. 65. op. Jennar..5. 1989 . p. cit. cit.7 September . Interview with JRS lawyer . 71. 1990. 7 September . June-July.