By SUN Narin
I was really curious to hear about the announcement of Cambodian Khmer Rouge Tribunal Fellowship of GIZ since I have prepared for it for a long time. Now it is time for me to tell you why a young generation like me who has been playing a role as a young journalism student and journalist should be provided with this golden opportunity to participate in your beneficial program which has impacted Cambodian society and the issue of Khmer Rouge.
Khmer Rouge issue has become my strong interest since I was young when I started getting to know more about it after I was told by my grandmother, parents and old people in my hometown who experienced the regime during the period of 1975-1979. My grandmother told me that my grandfather died of the starvation during the regime. My tear and sad feeling came out. I said to myself that what about other people who have lost their families or who have been separated and could not find their members until now. Even though the Maoist regime has passed for more than 3 decades, Cambodian people have still remembered what happened to them and the brutal time has outgrown Cambodia until now.
I have committed to myself that I will try to do something to get involved with the regime-related issue. A lot of questions come to my mind regarding the mass killings and the destruction left by the regime in the country. Some people are resilent from the regime. However, the regime has lead some people to live with psychological condition as I met with people how were strongly affected by the regime. All the people across the country have been waiting for justice and the factual reasons from Khmer Rouge leaders who have been in the trial for case 002 in KRT. Reconciliation has become the common and best way for people to get over the past. A lot of related organizations have been doing work to make people live peacefully without any retaliation towards the former Khmer Rouge people. Now Cambodians are happy that the court sentenced Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, former S21 chief, to life imprisonment on February 3. It is the wish of Khmer Rouge survivors including Chum Mey and Bou Meng and other people who experienced being tortured during the imprisonment at Toul Sleng. However, they have been still anxiously waiting for the trial of case 002 on the other main leaders who are now with the complex issue the trial.
You may be wondering to what extent that I have contributed to Khmer Rouge. My strong interest has lead me to try to get more insights pertaining to Khmer Rouge. As the media student of the Department of Media and Communication (DMC) which falls under Royal University of Phnom Penh, with roles to play in outreaching the issue of Khmer Rouge, I have produced one around-9-minute documentary film on former Khmer Rouge converted to Christianity for the project sponsored by GTZ and lead by lecturer Andreas Grigro (attached video in the folder or you can view it on http://untilnowkhmerrouge.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/former-kr-convert-to-christianity). I went to Samlot, the redoubt of former Khmer Rogue people, to do interview with them. I met a lot of former Khmer Rouge people over there and got to know them more and more and understood more about the regime. Some hate former Khmer Rouge people since they consider them as the perpetrator, but we have to understand that they are also the victims of the regime since they were coerced to commit something bad by their superior.
Besides being a journalism student, I am also a young journalist for Lift magazine, the supplement to the Phnom Penh Post. As a young journalist, I have also contributed to the issue of Khmer Rouge. I have jointly produced one documentary film for the Phnom Penh Post newspaper website in 2010 during the announcement of Duch’s verdict. I went to Kampong Thom, where Pol Pot was born, and shot video on the reaction of people regarding the verdict (as I put as my reference or you can view link for video:
Not only videos, but I, in order to contribute more to Khmer Rouge, have produced some articles for print media relevant to Khmer Rouge too as I put in the folder as my reference. This has made me learn and aware more of Khmer Rouge issue. However, this is just a small part of my contribution. I have a lot of things to contribute more for the issue of Khmer Rouge.
Due to the fact that I want more people to know about Khmer Rouge, especially the young generation who has not experienced the regime and keep it in their memory, I have created a blog (www.untilnowkhmerrouge.wordpress.com) after I have done video project for GIZ at my school. The blog is to gather the documentary films that my friends and I have produced and it is also the place to share my pieces and comment pertaining to Khmer Rouge and other articles recently published on the newspaper as the compilation of the print articles with regard to Khmer Rouge.
Also, I volunteered at DC-Cam and my responsibility was to note the document left by the Khmer Rouge. I learnt more about Khmer Rouge during my work. DC-Cam has been initiating a program called “Resilence” and it will be broadcast on Cambodian Television Network (CTN) soon. Therefore, I am hopeful that I will have a chance to contribute to this program since I am media students who have some insights on Khmer Rouge.
Therefore, participating in your program will make me more knowledgeable of the regime in term of legal aspects and the other issues around the Khmer Rouge in addition to my understanding, so I will be able to transfer my project both at DC-Cam for “Resilence” program or something else for ECCC. I have my plan after I join the project already. I am planning to produce a multimedia package on the theme of Khmer Rouge including documentary video and some feature stories on Khmer Rouge. Another plan is that I am planning to produce a packaged newsletter or newspaper consisting of feature stories, profiles of former Khmer Rouge people, and photo stories of the former Khmer Rouge people. I am pretty sure that I will be able to produce a documentary film or news package regarding Khmer Rouge after joining your program owing to my experienced in video and working as a journalist. I am adequately confident that I will be able to do it after I finish the program.
To reiterate, this is just a small part for me as a young generation to know about Khmer Rouge and to contribute to the society. Now we have the court which has been finding the justice for the people. However, some people criticize that the country wastes a lot of money and they do not value the court at all. I think it is not true since it is the only way to find justice for Cambodian people and to make people experienced the regime be able to live peacefully after the collapse of the regime. It seems recently a lot of things happening to the court including the corruption, political influence, the lack of fund to support the working staffs over there. I am still wondering about the possible trial for case 002 since the main Khmer Rouge leaders are old and they do not want to talk much about the regime.
I am pretty sure that your program will enlighten me and provide me with a wide range of knowledge related to Khmer Rouge in addition to what I have known. Therefore, I will be able to do something with what I will get from your program.
With my strong interest in Khmer Rouge, commitment with Khmer Rouge Tribunal program and some other achievements in conjunction with Khmer Rouge pieces, I hope you kindly consider me for this program. As a young journalist and Cambodian, I will be able to learn and contribute more to Khmer Rouge issue in Cambodia. I am looking forwards to telling you more in the interview.