Khmer Rouge and Killing Fields: Pol Pot on the docks and it’s Mahinda Inc. next

If Mohamed cannot go the mountain, the mountain will have to come to Mohamed.
by Pearl Thevanayagam

(June 28, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Thirty years on, Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot mass murderers (the ruling regime at the time) are standing trial in one of the most expensive and prolonged tribunals convened by the UN and democratic West against war crimes in Cambodia today.

An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians, almost a quarter of Cambodia & apos’s population were wiped out under in The Killing Fields revolution the ultra Maoist Pol Pot regime through torture, execution, starvation and exhaustion between 1975 and 1979. Practically every Cambodian alive today lost family members and the tribunal should give answers.

Ironically there is no death penalty in Cambodia and neither there is in the modern Killing Fields location Sri Lanka. But the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a hybrid international led tribunal created in 2005 would spend a whopping US $ 150,000 by the year’s end on the inquiry.

Reuters Pictures :- 
Combination photo shows four former Khmer Rouge leaders during their trial at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on the outskirts of Phnom Penh June 27, 2011. The four most senior surviving members of Cambodia's murderous Khmer Rouge regime went on trial for war crimes on Monday, three decades after its "year zero" revolution marked one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century. From L-R: Former President Khieu Samphan, ex-Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, former Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith and "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea.
Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, Former President Khieu Samphan, ex-Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and Leng Thirith, a former social affairs minister are charged with genocide and committing crimes against humanity and scores of charges of crimes under both international and Cambodian laws. including murder, enslavement, religious and political persecution, inhumane treatment and unlawful imprisonment. Since most who are facing trial are old and infirmed Cambodians feel justice delayed is justice denied and that they had managed to avert war crimes trial during the best part of their lives and lived in relative comfort assisted by the regime.

In the 21st century Killing Fields of Wanni, those who surrendered at the behest of the advancing army were shot point-bank, women denuded, raped and killed, and youth and even the elderly taken captive and held incommunicado to this day and without trial are not internal matters. Internal machinations to bring justice to the vanquished have failed but the fight in doing so with the co-operation of the West is accelerating with each emerging evidence.

If Mohamed cannot go the mountain, the mountain will have to come to Mohamed. And the time and opportunity is certainly appropriate and ripe for the war crimes investigations to begin. Mahinda Inc. can puff up its chest and proclaim, `Nothing is going to touch this Royal Family where it’s predecessors failed; they pussy-footed and look where it got us. We wiped out terrorism and made this place safe for all the ethnic communities of this blessed isle’.

This is akin to the cry of the stubborn old chain-smoker who when all attempts by the doctors prescribing antibiotics and anti-carcinogenic drugs failed to cure him of his lung disease says, `nothing can touch this old Albert; not even modern science.’ The fool was only deluding himself not unlike President Mahinda Rajapakse. And he is running out of ammo to sustain his popularity with the Sinhalese masses barring a few local sycophantic media and his close confidantes in the government as well as those he despatched abroad to beat the tom-toms of his war on terror.

By the sound of things the last category is doing sod-all except to enjoy the sudden diplomatic perks as long as they will last.

The UN and the international community can descend on Sri Lanka and demand justification for its brutal onslaught on innocent Tamil civilians and they have mechanisms in place to do so. The crux of the matter is that the aftermath of the war is reflected on the exodus of refugees and their impact on western economy which is taking a heavy beating from the current global financial crisis and refugees are increasingly draining the economy of the West although think-tanks and human rights organisations may beg to differ.

Their mortal fear of not surfacing alive once taken into custody on arrival on Sri Lanka is real and hence their refusal to go back to their homeland where they are bound to be ostracised and ear-marked for further humilities and incarceration not to mention eventual murders.

UNSG Ban Ki Moon so far seen as a Western puppet by his critics is flexing his muscle to bring justice to the war victims of Cambodia and his election to a second term in office should give him that extra confidence to forge ahead with carrying out the UN resolutions pertaining to war crimes without being intimidated by nations who committed such war crimes on their own population.

Can he do the same for Sri Lanka’s Tamils?

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