This Week In Cambodian History- September 10-16

On September 10, 1990, the Cambodian factions, meeting in Jakarta, finally established the 12-member Supreme National Council (SNC). Debates over its makeup continued.  The Communist Khmer Rouge, Sihanouk’s group and another non-Communist group accepted a formula that would place on the council six representatives from the rebel coalition and six from the Phnom Penh government, plus a “chairman,” who at the time was likely to be Sihanouk. The Khmer Rouge, previously had demanded an equal number of seats for each of the four factions, while Phnom Penh officials said they were reluctant to accept the “chairman” as a 13th member, insisting on only 12 members.

On September 10, 1973, The Defense Department acknowledged today that United States fighter‐bombers flew air strikes in support of the Cambodian Government in 1970 and 1971, with the attacks kept secret through a system of dual reports.

At the time, the Administration was announcing that tactical air strikes, flown by fighter‐bombers, were directed against North Vietnamese troops and supplies moving through Cambodia into South Vietnam.

The Defense Department had previously acknowledged that Air Force B‐52 heavy bombers were secretly attacking Communist sanctuaries inside Cambodia in 1969 and 1970. At the time the raids were officially said to have been directed against targets in South Vietnam.

The Pentagon statement came in a 32‐page white paper prepared in response to a request from the Senate Armed Services Committee for a “simple, concise account” of air and ground operations in Cambodia and Laos over the years.

On September 10, 2018, opposition leader Kem Sokha was released from prison- where he had been for over a year on treason charges- and placed under house arrest.

On September 11, 1955, parliamentary elections were held , and the PSC (Sangkum Reastr Niyum) won 82 percent of the vote and 91 out of 91 seats in the National Assembly. The Democratic Party (DP) won 12 percent of the vote and no seats in the National Assembly. 

On September 11, 1966. parliamentary elections were held, which right wingers won 75% of the vote.  General Lon Nol formed a government as prime minister on October 18, 1966.

On September 11, 2003, World Trade Organization ministers approved Cambodia’s membership agreements, and invited the country to become the 147th member. 

On September 12, 1973, FANK claimed victory in the embattled provincial capital of Kampong Cham. For a week Communist forces occupied much of the city and intense fighting and shelling caused hundreds of casualties on both sides. Pockets of resistance remained around the university, airport and a Chinese textile factory.

On September 11, 2012, Hang Serei Oudom’s body was found in the trunk of his abandoned car near a cashew nut plantation in Ratanakiri province. Oudom covered environmental issues for Vorakchun Khmer Daily. Human rights groups including ADHOC were not satisfied with the investigation, which was twice closed by the investigating judge at Ratanakirri Provincial Court despite strong evidence linking a local military police official, who was implicated in one of Oudom’s articles detailing illegal logging published a few days before the murder occurred.

On September 12, 2017, Ambassador William A. Heidt made a press statement as the US-Cambodia relationship further soured.

On September 13, 1955, the following telegram was sent by the US Ambassador to Washington:

On first day following 100 percent sweep by Prince Sihanouk’s “Sangkum” of yesterday’s (11th) National elections, in addition to considerations advanced Embtel 319,2 I have had conversations with Prime Minister Leng Ngeth, with Senior Royal Councillor Penn Nouth (who is de facto Prime Minister of this Kingdom), and with Prince Sirik Matak, Minister National Defense. Following salient points emerge:

1.Prince Sihanouk and his entourage, although elated by complete sweep of Parliamentary seats, have sober second thoughts as to measure of responsibility which they will now bear. Penn Nouth told me that opposition parties will carefully store up any evidence which might be used later on to confound Sihanouk and his Sangkum. When I asked what leadership, other than Prime Minister, yet to be appointed, would direct new Parliament, he said Prince Sihanouk and Royal Councillors were carefully studying list of elected delegates with this much in mind.

2.Penn Nouth said it was probable that opposition parties, although badly splintered, would go underground and some danger existed they might become more available to Communist influence. This, however, he was presently inclined to discount as he interpreted victory of Sangkum as reaffirmation by Cambodian people of their profound hatred of Commies.

3.Penn Nouth said Democratic Party had made two fundamental mistakes. First was to permit themselves to be taken over by young intelligentsia recently returned from France who were largely pro-Commie in sympathy, but had made error getting out of touch with the Cambodian peasant who was fundamentally attached to church and throne. Second great mistake of Democratic Party was to attack royal family, which enraged simple and loyal peasants with results which were now obvious.

From other elements in these conversations I gained impression that Sangkum Government which will be formed within next fortnight will be more resolutely anti-Commie and thus by indirection more pro-US than might have been supposed a short while ago. Promising line for VOA and other media to take would be to interpret Sangkum victory as triumph over Commies in SEA with Sihanouk as a champion in this good fight.

There is yet no indication who will be called by King to form new Government. McClintock

On September 13, 1979 British-Australian journalist John Pilger published ‘Death of a Nation‘ in the Daily Mirror- claiming the Khmer Rouge had killed as many as two million Cambodians.

On 13 September 2007. the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly The Declaration affirms the basic rights of indigenous peoples in a number of areas of special concern under the framework of the general principle or right to self-determination, including the right to equality and non-discrimination; the right to cultural integrity; the rights over lands, territories, and natural resources; the right to self-government and autonomy; the right to free, prior, and informed consent, and others.

On September 13, 2012, the ECCC ordered the release of Ieng Thirith, wife of Ieng Sary, on the grounds she was unfit to stand trial.

On September 13, 2018, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha.

On September 14, 1998, Amnesty International condemned the killings of four ethnic Vietnamese traders in Phnom Penh, apparently carried out for racist motives by angry mobs that reportedly beat them to death in the street. The organization also expressed concern at the incitement to racial hatred against the Vietnamese minority contained in some speeches recently made by opposition politicians campaigning against alleged electoral irregularities. Amnesty International campaigned for many years to ensure protection of the rights of ethnic Vietnamese, reminding the government of its obligation to prevent and punish human rights abuses against them.

On September 14, 2016, US Ambassador the the UN Keith Harper delivered a Joint Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Cambodia in Geneva.

Mr. President,

I have the honor to read this statement on behalf of a group of 36 states including: Albania, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina*, Canada, Japan, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Liechtenstein*, Norway, Switzerland, the 28 EU member states, Ukraine*,  and the United States.  [ The * denotes States which signed after the statement was delivered bringing the total number supporting the statement to 39] READ FULL

On September 14, 1953, Ambassador Heath and Sen. William Knowland met with Prime Minister Penn Nouth. The meeting is described here.

On September 14, 1987, CNE’s idol & crush, Aok Sokunkanha was born.

On September 14, 1996, King Norodom Sihanouk granted amnesty to former Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary. Sary served as foreign minister under Pol Pot and was known as Brother Number Three. He lived in Phnom Penh until 2007, when he was arrested alongside his wife on charges of genocide. He died on 14 March 2013 at the age of 87, before the case against him could be brought to a verdict.

On September 14, 2017, Angelina Jolie’s ‘First They killed My Father’ was released simultaneously in cinemas and Netflix. It was an adaptation of Loung Ung’s memoir published in 2000.

On September 15, 1956, Prince Sihanouk formed a government as prime minister. He had last been PM from March 1-March 30, 1956, when he resigned.

From September 15 to 19, 1993, the new constitution draft was debated by the Constituent Assembly in Phnom Penh.

On September 15, 2008. the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) was formed by Sub-decree 134. The GDCE is a public administration under the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

On September 15, 2010, the Co-Investigating Judges at the ECCC indicted Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Thirith for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and violations of the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code. The four accused, who had been in pre-trial detention since 2007, were the surviving senior members of the CPK and the DK government. Among the many positions they held, Nuon Chea was the Deputy Secretary of the CPK, Ieng Sary Minister for Foreign Affairs, Khieu Samphan the Chairman of the State Presidium, and Ieng Thirith the Minister for Social Affairs.

On September 15, 2013, opposition supporters clashed with security forces in the streets of Phnom Penh, leaving at least one person dead and several injured. The violence came during a day of mass protests in the capital of Phnom Penh led by Sam Rainsy.

On September 16, 1968, Japan answered positively to Cambodian request by offering recognition of “Territory Integrity within the Present Border”.

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