CHUM KIRI, JULY 17, 2001
TO: YOUK CHHANG, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF SEARCHING
FOR THE TRUTH MAGAZINE, WITH HIGH RESPECT:
My name is Tong
Ra; I am a teacher at Chum Kiri Junior High School in Chum Kiri District, Kampot
After seeing and
reading Searching for the truth, which clearly describes and narrates historical
facts, and has printed distressing, unbearable pictures taken during the Pol Pot
regime, my heart and soul suffer so much. Nothing can ever be compared to the
suffering [under the regime] because the murderous, inhumane acts of the regime
were so barbarous that no one could ever have imagined them.
Under the pressure
of this mighty fascist dictatorship, I myself lost an uncle and a brother who
were both schoolteachers. They were killed and thrown into a grave at Srei
Pagoda, called Po Vong. My remaining uncles and older siblings still do not know
exactly where they were executed. To his day, I am in pain whenever I think
about the past tragedies because of what we call “prosecuting perpetrators in a
true and just tribunal.” This tribunal has been a desire of both victims and
their surviving relatives. These people have been waiting anxiously for this
moment for many years, and will never let it be forgotten, even though the
tragedy occurred twenty years ago and the perpetrators are getting older and
older. Today I feel both glad and sad, and these feelings linger in my mind.
I am glad because the National
Assembly has passed a law to form a tribunal to bring the Khmer Rouge to trial.
I am sad because the tribunal might be delayed even longer, and I want it to
happen in the very near future.
Being confident in
justice, I hope your records will become indispensable evidence in solving and
revealing the truth hidden in the
regime of the “killing fields,” through the tribunals, which will put top Khmer
Rouge leaders on trial in the future. Please bring justice to the victims and
put an end to their long-unsolvable suffering as quickly as possible.
In the end, I wish
the editor-in-chief and your colleagues continuous accomplishments in your
historic missions for Cambodian citizens and our lovely homeland of today and
accept my sincere respect.