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Offline V-Unit

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« on: October 23, 2021, 08:16:45 AM »
Jan 1990   
Nayan Chanda of the Far Eastern Economic Review in an op-Ed in the New York Times traces the root cause of the recent ethnic strife in Kampuchea. During the 19-nation Paris Conference on Cambodia in the summer of 1989, the Representatives of the US, France, the UK, and the Soviet Union were disconcerted by China's insistent claim that thousands of Vietnamese were still in Cambodia. The US Defense Intelligence Agency reported that all the Vietnamese troops have been withdrawn from Cambodia. Chanda writes that what the Chinese had in mind is not so much the troops as Vietnamese civilians living in Cambodia (01/19/90). Hanoi and Phnom Penh fought hard, if unsuccessfully, to replace the formulation of "foreign forces" with "foreign military forces", precisely to avoid having China and the Khmer Rouge (KR) try to lump the citizens of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia together with the troops. The Khmer Rouge claims that the Vietnamese `settlers' in Cambodia are spies and soldiers in mufti. The Statement released from the Paris Conference called for the "verified withdrawal of foreign forces" from Cambodia. Chanda is of the opinion that by accepting the notion that ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia are agents of Hanoi, even when they have lived for centuries in Cambodia, the Big Five have opened the door to potentially bloody ethnic strife in Cambodia (01/19/90). Chanda might be right about the intentions of China and the KR, but anti-Vietnamese feelings among Cambodians are centuries old. These were manifest most violently in the 1970s and are again revealing themselves in the 1990s in the form of an "ethnic cleansing" drive.

Oct 1990   
The four factions -- the incumbent Hun Sen government, the Khmer Rouge, led by Khieu Samphan, the KPNLF, led by Son Sann and the Royalist Sihanouk group -- signed the Paris Peace agreement to form the Supreme National Council to govern Cambodia until UN-supervised multi-party elections in mid-1993.

Mar 1992   
The first contingent of the 16,000 member UN peacekeeping force arrived in Phnom Penh. This is the largest peace-keeping force in UN history. The Cambodia peace accord calls for an 18-month deployment, culminating in free elections in the spring of 1993. UN troops will monitor the cease-fire, repatriate between 350,000 and 400,000 refugees, demobilize 70 percent of the factions' fighters and help clear millions of mines. They are also charged with monitoring the Hun Sen government's administration of defense and other key areas.
Jul 1992   Royalist Sihanoukists and the leaders of the anti-communist KPNLF called for the Vietnamese question to be dealt with ahead of the UN-supervised election, planned to be held in mid-1993.

Aug 1992   
Under the newly-revised rules for the upcoming election, foreign-born voters must have at least one parent and one grandparent born in the territory of present-day Cambodia. In a letter to Mr. Akashi, the head of the UN force (UNTAC), Khieu Samphan, the nominal leader of the KR, justified the use of the derogatory word "youn" in reference to the Vietnamese in Cambodia.

Oct 1992   
Eleven ethnic Vietnamese have been killed by the Khmer Rouge. The government of Vietnam condemned the massacre.

Dec 1992   
Prince Sihanouk calls for ethnic Khmers from Vietnam to vote in the coming elections. He said that the Khmers born in Kampuchea Krom -- now southern Vietnam -- should be considered as Cambodians. Most of Vietnam's fertile Mekong Delta, which Cambodians still call Kampuchea Krom, used to belong to the Khmer Kingdom up to the 18th century. On the other hand, the Prince asserted that non-Khmers -- mainly the Vietnamese and Chinese -- "remain foreigners, even if their parents, grandparents and ancestors were born in Cambodia". UNTAC estimates that there are at least 200,000 ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia; the Khmer Rouge says the number is more than one million, including many soldiers posing as civilians.

Mar 1993   
In a single incident, about 50 Vietnamese were killed in a fishing village along the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) by Khmer Rouge guerrillas. Anti-Vietnamese violence hits the capital, with grenade attacks against Vietnamese shops and places frequented by them. It is estimated that over 100 ethnic Vietnamese have been murdered since the Paris Peace Pact was signed in October 1991.

Apr 1993   
The Khmer Rouge leave the capital to operate from their base in western Cambodia, leaving the UN peace plan hanging in the balance. The UN warns that the Khmer Rouge could be outlawed if it continues the massacre of the Vietnamese and the disruption of the election process. Leaders of Vietnam and Laos in a Communiqué issued in Hanoi urged the UN to stop the murders of Vietnamese in Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen accused the KR of killing Vietnamese Cambodians and eight UNTAC peace keepers. While visiting Hanoi Prince Chakkrapong, son of Prince Sihanouk and Vice-Premier of the incumbent government, assured Vietnamese leaders of steps to protect the ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia. BBC quotes a Vietnamese official as saying: "In their reply to Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, Prince Sihanouk, UNTAC Chief Yasushi Akashi and SOC Prime Minister Hun Sen all reaffirmed determination to protect ethnic Vietnamese... In his recent visit to Vietnam, [the] UN Secretary General... underlined responsibility of UN to prevent massacres of Vietnamese in Cambodia".

May 1993   
UN officials state that about 21,000 ethnic Vietnamese have fled Cambodia, mostly by boat, since the March massacre. A report in the CSM dated 4/29/93 estimates the number to be 30,000 to 40,000. Vietnam expresses concern that the number may swell to 100,000 in a very short time. The government daily Raesmay Kampuchea estimates that about 60 percent of Vietnamese have left the capital. Reuters reports that the Vietnamese flight has negatively impacted upon the Cambodian economy: "The exodus of Vietnamese from Cambodia hurt the fishing community, halted construction in the capital and robbed the economy of skilled workers and artisans. The hardest hit is the fishing industry, which was dominated by the Vietnamese along the Mekong Delta and where the greatest number of them lived, many for generations. The Vietnamese sector in the well-known Red-Light District in the capital has also become empty, with the increasing exodus of urban Vietnamese, mostly into southern Vietnam". Vietnam and Vietnamese-bashing runs deep among all political parties trying to get votes in the election. For example, Prince Ranaridh, head of the royalist FUNCINPEC stated that Vietnam should return the land `stolen' from Cambodia in the past; Son Sann, leader of the Buddhist LDP, asserted in a rally that Kampuchea Krom should be "peacefully returned" to Cambodia. Most of the 20 parties participating in the election promised to send the ethnic Vietnamese back home after they won. Prince Sihanouk advises the ethnic Vietnamese to go to Vietnam for their own safety. The Khmer Rouge largely boycotted the UN-supervised election, initially trying to disrupt the election through sabotage and intimidating voters. In June 1992 when the deadline came to place its troops in military encampments, the KR refused to go along, thus violating the agreement. Parliamentary elections with the participation of 20 political parties were held from May 23-28.

Jun 1993   
The lack of a clear majority by any single party in a 120-seat parliament foreshadows uncertainty for post-election stability in Cambodia: Prince Ranaridh's royalist FUNCINPEC won the most seats, 58, in the parliament; Hun Sen's CPP captured 51 seats, followed by 3 seats for Son Sann's BLDP. With initial charges of voting fraud and attempts to split the country into two, the CPP finally agreed to a power-sharing arrangement in the 120-member constituent assembly which is charged with framing a constitution by September 1. Once this is done, the constituent assembly will transform into a national assembly and a new government. In the intervening period, the assembly will hold only interim authority. A feud between the compromising father, Prince Sihanouk, and Prince Ranaridh, unwilling to go for any compromise with other parties, tends to unsettle the prospect of forming a government, headed by Prince Sihanouk. Finally, after much effort and intense negotiations, a newly-formed interim government merges the three major parties -- the FUNCINPEC, the CPP and the BLDP -- that participated in the election. The Khmer Rouge which boycotted the election has been left out.

Jul 1993   
Reuters reports that since the refugee exodus that followed the March massacre, about 2,500 ethnic Vietnamese have returned to Cambodia. Prince Sihanouk continues his efforts to bring the Khmer Rouge into the national mainstream; the KR still controls about 15 percent of the country's territory, mostly in western Cambodia, with a command of about 10,000-15,000 guerrillas. KR leader Khieu Samphan recently met Prince Sihanouk to discuss ways through which the KR can participate in the government and the formation of a national army. Some arrangement might be made under which the KR may relinquish its territorial control in exchange for its inclusion in the new government and army. The US and other western governments continue to voice their objections to any kind of inclusion of the Khmer Rouge in the new government.

Apr 1994   
13 Vietnamese residents in Cambodia were killed and 27 others wounded in an attack by Khmer Rouge guerrillas, southeast of Phnom Penh. Among the dead were 9 children and one woman. The government of Vietnam called the killing a "savage act" by the Khmers.

Sep 1994   
Vietnam says it has asked the UN to help protect the rights of ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia after an immigration law was passed last month. Cambodians claim that the majority of ethnic Vietnamese are "economic migrants" who came on the heels of the Vietnamese invasion of their country in 1979. Cambodian King Sihanouk has given his consent to the controversial immigration law which has been criticized by international organizations and neighboring Vietnam. However, the King, responding to international concerns, has called on the national assembly to amend parts of the legislation. (Reuters, 09/26/94).

Oct 1994   
In a letter, the Cambodian government has assured the UN Secretary General that it will not carry out a mass expulsion of ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia under the new immigration law. "The law could be the instrument for the mass deportation of non-Khmers...This is the public expectation and there is no provision in the law to stop this", says the UNHCR Mission Chief in Cambodia (IPS, 10/19/94). The Vietnamese government has condemned the "barbaric massacre" of 7 Vietnamese in Cambodia. The latest killings in a floating fishing village took the death toll in attacks on ethnic Vietnamese to 18 in past months.

Nov 1994   
Vietnam and Cambodia held talks in Hanoi aimed at resolving the issue of Vietnam's blocking of foreign cargo ships bound for Phnom Penh on the Mekong river shared by both countries. Diplomatic sources say there is a connection between this act and Vietnamese displeasure over the new Cambodian immigration law, which it considers discriminatory against the ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia. (Reuters, 11/07/94).

Nov 7, 1994   
Three westerners along with more than a dozen Vietnamese and Cambodians held hostage by the Khmer Rouge were killed last week (Inter Press Service, 11/07/94).
Nov 9, 1994   Vietnam states that it has stopped ships traveling on the Mekong river with goods bound for Cambodia because that country broke a bilateral agreement. A Vietnamese official denied that Cambodia's proposed immigration law was a factor (Reuters, 11/09/94).

Dec 1994   
Cambodia is now reported to be the most effective transit route for drug smugglers in the Golden Triangle. It is also reported that there is a burgeoning trade in providing drug injections in Phnom Penh and that the business is mostly run by and caters to ethnic Vietnamese (BBC, 12/08/94).
Dec 9, 1994   Vietnam has protested to Cambodia over the killing of two Vietnamese and the wounding of two others in Kandal province, south of Phnom Penh. At least 20 Vietnamese have been murdered during the past six months (Reuters, 12/09/94).

Dec 12, 1994   
One of Cambodia's most influential human rights groups, the Khmer Institute of Democracy, has condemned the recent killings of two Vietnamese. It also appealed to the government to ensure that the rights of the Vietnamese are fully protected (Reuters, 12/12/94).

Jan 1995   
King Norodom Sihanouk accused Vietnam of annexing large parts of Cambodian territory during its occupation in the 1980s. Sihanouk asserts that borders markers were "unlawfully" moved far inside Cambodia (Japan Economic Newswire, 0115/95).
Jan 17, 1995   The Cambodian government has vowed to make every effort to protect the Vietnamese in its country who feel threatened by a new immigration law. The pledge follows two days of meetings between Cambodia's First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Vietnamese Premier Vo Van Kiet. Ranariddh also stated that those Vietnamese that had been given residential permits by previous Khmer governments would be allowed to remain in Cambodia. The residency applications of the others would be considered on a case-by-case basis. A committee of experts was also set up to discuss and settle the issue of the legal status of the Vietnamese settlers (Reuters, 01/17/95; Reuter Textline: Bangkok Post, 01/18/95).

Jan 21, 1995   
Cambodia has stated that any Vietnamese who fled to the Cambodia-Vietnamese border in 1993 will not be allowed to return to Cambodia unless they have pre-1970 identification papers. In 1993, over three thousand Vietnamese fled to Chrey Thom on the border following massacres by the Khmer Rouge that resulted in the deaths of over 100 Vietnamese. They remain stranded as Vietnam refuses to accept them (UPI, 01/21/95).
Jan 22, 1995   The UN special representative on human rights in Cambodia, Michael Kirby, states that several hundred Vietnamese at Chrey Thom will soon be allowed to return home. The vast majority hold Cambodian identity papers (Reuters, 01/22/95).

Mar 1995   
In its 100-page report titled "Cambodia At War", Human Rights Watch argues that international financial institutions and aid donors should hold the Cambodian government and military accountable for its human rights abuses. The organization blames the Khmer Rouge for kidnapping and murdering civilians (including ethnic Vietnamese) and razing villages (Agence France Presse, 03/13/95).

May 1995   
The Khmer Rouge has issued a new land ownership policy which would strip foreigners of any rights. Under the policy, all land owned by farmers would be returned to Cambodians, including land owned by Vietnamese living in Cambodia. Analysts indicate that the policy's aim is to discourage foreign investment which is being actively sought by the Phnom Penh government (Agence France Presse, 05/09/95).
Jul 1995   A high-ranking team of UN officials and diplomats have been refused permission to meet with the Vietnamese stranded on the Mekong river border between Vietnam and Cambodia. A UNHCR official stated that the refusal violates a government agreement that allows for free access to the Vietnamese refugees (Reuters, 07/01/95).

Jul 28, 1995   
After two years of being stranded at Chrey Thom on the Mekong river, around 13 Vietnamese families have been allowed to legally move back into Cambodia (Agence France Presse, 07/28/95).

Jul 31, 1995   
The Cambodian government is undertaking a census of illegal immigrants. It plans to deport any illegal aliens and foreigners who abuse the law within ten days (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 07/31/95).

Oct 1, 1995   
A key Cambodian army official states that the Khmer Rouge massacred 17 Cambodians and 11 Vietnamese on the shores of Tonle Sap Lake last month. The Governor of Siem Reap where the incident reportedly occurred indicates that only two civilians were killed (Reuters, 10/06/95).
Oct 26, 1995   Over 2500 Vietnamese refugees stranded at Chrey Thom for over two years will be allowed to return to Cambodia. However, UN officials state that the security of the group is at risk as many Vietnamese have been harassed as they traveled home along the Mekong river (UPI, 10/26/95).

Nov 1995   
A senior Cambodian government source asserts that at least one small group of anti-communist Vietnamese have established themselves in Phnom Penh with plans to overthrow the Hanoi government. The group is reported to be known as Free Vietnam and consists of several hundred members who lack both weapons and a significant organizational structure. The unidentified source's comments appear to partly confirm a recent report in the Phnom Penh Post newspaper. The newspaper stated that former South Vietnamese government officials and Vietnamese Americans, funded by ethnic Vietnamese and others in the US, had established a network of "front" businesses in Phnom Penh. It was reported to have around 2000 members. Meanwhile, the Cambodian government has asked the US to remove six Vietnamese-Americans who are alleged to be the leaders of the Free Vietnam movement (Agence France Presse, 04/04/95).

Nov 14, 1995   
Cambodian police officials are searching for two Vietnamese Americans alleged to be involved in a plot to overthrow the Vietnam government. Originally, the police were searching for four men, reported to be leaders of the Free Vietnam movement; however, the police believe that two of the men have already returned to the US (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/14/95).

Dec 1995   
Six American citizens, including five ethnic Vietnamese, who are alleged to be involved in a plot to overthrow the Vietnamese government, have been given one week to leave Cambodia. Thirty-two other Vietnamese have been questioned by police authorities. Cambodia states that Vietnam will be asked to arrange for the repatriation of these Vietnamese (Reuters, 12/02/95).

Dec 8, 1995   
A Nationality Law which defines Cambodian citizenship will be sent to the National Assembly next week. The law states that anybody applying for naturalization must have a paper which certifies that they have been living in the country continuously for five years since receiving a residential card which was granted under the framework of last year's Immigration Law. Further, the law stipulates that the nationality of naturalized Cambodians can be removed for "insulting and contemptuous behavior towards the Khmer people". Observers believe that the Nationality Law creates two classes of citizens while decreasing the chances that many Vietnamese will be granted citizenship until 2001 (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 12/08/95).

Feb 1997   
The U.S. State Department reported that in 1996 many ethnic Vietnamese who fled to Vietnam-Cambodia border following the massacres in early 1993 were returning to their homes. The State Department also reported the continuation of the Khmer Rouge's ethnic cleansing campaign, as well as of politics of ethnic hatred adopted by the opposition.(US Department of State)

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