Let me add further (to what I had to say in my prepared text) that in just a week we have three jobs to do with the French assistance – the French Ambassador and I were here to preside over the graduation of the trainees from the Royal School of Administration, at the Cambodian National Institute of Technology and today at the SRA once again to preside over the graduation of judges and court officials, which is partly funded by the French assistance. Not long after this we will have a three-floor building, built with the assistance of Japan, to inaugurate.
Please allow me to give some comments on the fact that being a judge, a prosecutor is not a simple matter because his judgment of what is wrong and right is indeed separated by a thin line. Any issue brought to court would be judged to be justice or injustice. A win-win situation could be achieved only through reconciling outside the courtroom. The one judged to lose the case would never accept to have committed guilt and tend to conclude the court decision is unjust on them. Whereas those who win the case would indeed conclude the court decision a just one. But what is important here as I am speaking to you is to base your judgment on law.
What I want to say here is that you all must be aware of possible unconstructive criticism on your works and you all must be strong and basing your judgment on law. What concerns me most though has been the fact that the poor could not afford a good lawyer, and for that matter they tend to lose the case very often. We should be aware and ready to cope with the issue of negligence. Blame was put on lack of proper building for the slow speed of processing the cases. An order was issued to allow renting private buildings so as to speed up the processing of the case. Then, there arises this problem of lacking lawyer. I wish you all take note on this.
I have one more thing to recall here that the completion of training today is another new progress in addition to progress made earlier. I am saying this because the process does not start right here in 2006, but from the time when Cambodia was liberated from the genocide. Yesterday there was a meeting to brief the diplomatic corps in relation to the trial of the Khmer Rouge. According to the report I have here from HE Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, some people have called themselves lawyers while acting as if they are the ones to control the Supreme Council of Magistracy by rights. In relation to this, we should look into the source of power in Cambodia. It comes from the people who cast their votes. It is the power from the people. It is ridiculous that some people who designate themselves a non-governmental organization while proving their intention to control the power of the Supreme Council of Magistracy, the National Assembly, the Royal Government…etc.
One should not confuse between monitoring and controlling – so to speak. I have written a letter to HE Kofi Annan and we have come to an understanding that we have to give the process more time so that foreign judges could recruit their assistants and so any further delay should not be blamed on part of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
In the process of integrating areas formerly under the control of the Khmer Rouge, some people were shocked with what I did. My mother and father were stunt that I decided to go the strongholds of Khmer Rouge in Pailin. I told my mother and father that if I were to die only some people of my entourage were to die with me but if I were to succeed, the whole country will be at peace. If I were to not go, it would have been a difficult moment of distrust and war would have continued to today. It was a total risk.
According to materials left from the Cambodian history, Cambodia used to be divided into three or more parts. After the French colony, Khmers were grouped into Blue, Red or White. In between 1979 and 1993, Cambodia was ruled by four groups and between the Royal Government in Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge on the border. The win-win solution in 1996 expanded from Oral Muntain of Kompong Speu to Anlong Veng in Preah Vihear province. The three elements of the win-win solution have been 1) guarantee to their lives, while Chhouk Rin, Ta Mok and Sam Bit have been a different case, 2) guarantee for their positions and functions, and 3) guarantee for their properties. In all, we have come to a unity.
As we are to try the Khmer Rouge, again some people are judgmental on issue of guaranteeing justice. As I said the trial has been a new progress on the foundation achieved from the previous stage – the source of the current achievement. If one neglects its source one would not be any different from animals that do not know where they are from and where they are going. This comment is probably hard to take but I am saying this to keep the honor of the people – who have survived destruction, death etc. from being under-estimated or devalued. The same is true that before trying to control the Supreme Council of Magistracy one should know from where the power of the Council is coming.
I wish to give my comments here that whether the Rectangular Strategy will be successful or unsuccessful depends on good governance which is the backbone of the strategy – 1) counter-corruption 2) legal reform 3) public reform and 4) the armed forces reform. Last week we have adopted a policy on public service which will be incorporated into the curriculum of the Royal School of Administration in consideration of services to be performed. With regards to the legal system we have more to do for instance the civil procedural code.
Cambodians have to know their own history, if not from long before, at least from the 1970s. We get to be ourselves. Take for instance, in my meeting with the IMF delegation, I disagree with them on the prediction of the economic growth of Cambodia and I noted that when agriculture had a bad problem, they would pick up issue of governance as a causing factor, and when we have a good harvest – as this year – they tend to say it was because of good weather condition./.