The CambODIa DaIly
All the News Without Fear or Favor
Volume 60 Issue 97
Saturday-Sunday, April 4-5, 2015
2,000 riel/50 cents
Obama Hails
‘Historic’ Iran
switzerland - Iranians
celebrated in the streets after negotiators reached a framework for a
nuclear deal that could bring their
country in from the cold, hailed by
u.s. President Barack Obama as
an “historic understanding” with an
old adversary.
The tentative agreement, struck
on Thursday after eight days of
talks in switzerland, clears the way
for negotiations on a settlement
aimed at allaying Western fears
that Iran was seeking to build an
atomic bomb and in return lift economic sanctions on the Islamic
It marks the most significant step
toward rapprochement between
Iran and the u.s. since they became enemies with the 1979 Iranian revolution. But the deal still requires experts to work out difficult
details over three months.
Obama and Iranian President
Hasan Rouhani, who both took
risks to open the dialogue, will
each have to sell the deal to skeptical conservatives at home.
With many details still up in the
air, France cautioned on Friday
against overoptimism. Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin netanyahu,
who has the ear of u.s. opposition
Republicans, fumed against an
Continued on page 6
Supporters of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic organization protest Friday in support of Saudi Arabia over its
intervention in Yemen during a demonstration in Peshawar, Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
said on Friday that they will stand by Saudi Arabia as it leads a campaign against Houthi rebels there.
NGO: Role in Child Sex Abuse Case Distorted
B y S iMon h enderSon
and K hy S oVuthy
the cambodIa daIly
Child protection nGO Friends
International said this week it will
contest being officially cited as the
originator of allegations of sexual
misconduct at Our Home orphanage that led to the center’s closure
last month and to the imprisonment of its director, Hang Vibol, on
suspicion of sexually abusing boys
in his care.
Mr. Vibol, a former director of
anti-pedophile nGO action Pour
les enfants (aPle), ran the Our
Home orphanage and school from
1999 until it was shut down by the
Ministry of social affairs on March
5 following his arrest two days earlier. The Phnom Penh Municipal
Court charged him with indecently
assaulting a number of the children
under his care and he remains in
prison awaiting trial.
Following Mr. Vibol’s arrest,
aPle stated that its investigation
into its former director, which be-
gan in June 2014, was done at the
request of the Ministry of social affairs, which had received reports of
possible abuse at Our Home by
Friends International and First
step Cambodia. a statement released by aPle on March 9 clarified that Friends International reported the case based on information provided by two unnamed
French individuals.
Friends International quickly
distanced itself from the case,
Continued on page 4
Graphic Novel Depicts the Years Before Zero
B y M ichelle V achon
the cambodIa daIly
An excerpt from an upcoming
graphic novel by Sera
Special Weekend Insert
Civil war was the backdrop to
the final years of Ing Phousera’s
“I will never forget the evenings
around the camp fire when [this
soldier] would tell me and my
brother about his battles, his injuries,” he said. “But the people
dying in the streets or the piles of
bodies blackened by fire, this, I
saw myself.”
What had happened to turn
Cambodia into a land where cadavers were a familiar sight for
This is what Mr. Phousera, an
artist who goes by the name sera,
sought to explain in his graphic
novel entitled “Bitter Cucumbers,”
an excerpt of which is featured in
this weekend’s edition of The
Cambodia Daily.
The work, which will be more
than 100 pages once completed,
will depict the events that led to
Cambodia being taken over by the
The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993
Khmer Rouge forces in april 1975
—40 years ago this month.
“It speaks of the moment in history when everything tumbled,”
sera said. “Because I realized that,
in fact, people hardly know or
have misconceptions as to the
chain of events and history.”
“If you ask [Cambodians] around
you why war spread through Cambodia in 1970...whether they are
young or old, I have noticed that
nearly everyone will answer that it
Continued on page 2
The CambODIa DaIly
saturday-sunday, aprIl 4-5, 2015
aNd also
Man Comes Down From High
- a Colorado man who
wrecked his car, fled from police
and climbed a tree atop a mountain
cliff, has been arrested after negotiators spent three hours talking him
down from his precarious perch,
authorities said on Wednesday.
Richard Poula Jr., 32, ultimately
surrendered and was arrested on
suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and a host of other
was due to the u.s. bombardments,” he said. “Granted, the secret american bombardments
were a reality, but those bombings
were not in themselves the cause
of the war...but rather one of the
“and so I spent these years rereading and working on [outlining] this history through the vehicle of a graphic novel,” he said.
In 1965, then-Prince norodom
sihanouk had secretly authorized
the communist forces of north Vietnam—the Viet Cong—to set up
camps along the Cambodian border and receive military supplies
sent by China through the port of
sihanoukville, with some of the
supplies going to the Cambodian
as historians note, Prince sihanouk did not really have a choice,
considering the strength of north
Vietnam. still, in 1969 he tacitly
agreed to shut his eyes if u.s.
forces supporting south Vietnam
were to pursue the Viet Cong in
sparsely habited parts of Cambodia. This led to a massive u.s.
bombing campaign along the
Cambodian border.
so Prince sihanouk’s attempt to
keep Cambodia out of the war
actually plunged the country into
the conflict, sera noted.
Born in 1961, sera clearly remembers those bombardments
and the civil war that tore Cambodia apart in the early 1970s until
the Khmer Rouge victory of april
sera and his family were among
the people who took refuge at the
French embassy when the Khmer
Rouge seized Phnom Penh on
april 17, 1975. His father, Ing
Phourin—a businessman with
French university degrees who
spoke four or five languages—had
to leave the embassy when the
Khmer Rouge ordered Cambodian
nationals out.
However, because sera’s moth-
continued froM page
charges related to the incident.
according to the local sheriff’s
office, police outside the city of
longmont took a call Tuesday
from a person who reported that a
motorist was stopped in the middle of a road and was beating on a
car with a pipe wrench.
“The person reporting this
strange behavior decided to follow
the vehicle until deputies were able
to catch up,” the sheriff’s office said.
er was French, he and his siblings
were allowed to leave the country
with her when the Khmer Rouge
evacuated the embassy a few
weeks later.
sera never saw his father again.
He eventually learned that he had
been living in a village near siem
Reap City prior to the Khmer
Rouge defeat. “In December 1978,
he was killed by [Khmer Rouge
leader] Ta Mok’s troops, who had
been sent to ‘clean up’ the siem
Reap area,” he said.
While living in Paris, where he
teaches at the universite Paris 1,
Pantheon-sorbonne, sera has
made countless trips to Cambodia
and conducted numerous workshops in the country since 1993.
“This is my country,” he said.
sera had hoped to complete his
book this month to mark the 40th
anniversary of the Khmer Rouge
takeover, but he was delayed by
another major project: a monument to the victims of the Khmer
Rouge genocide.
This began in 2011 while he was
conducting research on memorials
in Cambodia as part of a project
funded by international research
“What struck me was that nowhere in Cambodia is there on
public grounds something to mark
this tragedy,” he said. For example, there is not even a plaque at
the sites of the dam projects in
Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces to indicate that
thousands of people died there of
forced labor during the Khmer
Rouge, he said.
While the Tuol sleng Genocide
Museum and the Choeung ek
Genocidal Center have been set up
to acknowledge those killed there,
these were specific places where
the Khmer Rouge executed political prisoners and especially other
Khmer Rouge, sera said.
These victims differ from the
tens of thousands who died of starvation, forced labor or casual execution by the Khmer Rouge, he
said. “and I believe that Phnom
■ Vanilla ice has cut a deal in his south Florida burglary case, which
means he’s looking at community service and restitution instead of the
potential for a felony conviction. “I never had any criminal intent,” the
rapper-turned-TV personality told the Palm Beach Post on Thursday.
“It’s just unfortunate, but here we are. I’m moving forward.” Robert Van
Winkle—that’s his real name—would be “moving forward” from a February arrest on suspicion of felony home burglary and grand theft after
he allegedly entered an abandoned home near one he was renovating
for his DIY network series and took items including furniture, bicycles
and a pool heater. The 47-year-old “Ice Ice Baby” singer told police at
the time that the missing items police found in his possession had been
out on the sidewalk, but according to TMZ a witness told them the stuff
came from inside the dwelling. (LAT)
Penh deserves, for the young generation as well as those who have
known that period, something to
evoke that drama.”
at first, sera conceived of a
sculpture that clearly suggested
suffering—people dying, bodies
without limbs. But after discussing
the design with the Phnom Penh
authorities, he agreed to change
his approach. “Indeed, on public
grounds one cannot display something that overly disturbs. so I
came up with a much more soothing form.”
“It is a figure that invites appeasement and contemplation...
meant not so much to recall but to
evoke, providing a place for people to reflect and pay homage to
those who are no longer here,” he
The monument, which is now in
the process of being cast in bronze
in Phnom Penh, will consist of the
figure of a man falling backwards,
supported by only one pillar touching his shoulders. The bronze figure will stand over a square water
basin with a wall made of Cambodian earth as a backdrop.
France is providing most of the
funding for the monument, which
was granted as one of the official
reparations approved by the extraordinary Chambers in the Courts
of Cambodia to civil parties in the
eCCC’s Case 002/01.
The French embassy and sera
are now in talks with City Hall
about the best location for the
monument and hope to see it installed in Phnom Penh within the
next few months. sera also intends
to complete his graphic novel this
He named the book “Bitter Cucumbers” in reference to a Cambodian tale.
as the story goes, a king who
loved a particular gardener’s sweet
cucumbers—trasak pha’em in
Khmer—told him to grow them
exclusively for him and gave the
gardener a spear to kill anyone trying to steal them.
so when the king came without
warning to take the cucumbers,
the gardener killed him, taking
him for a thief. after looking into
the incident, government officials
named the gardener king Ta
Trasak Pha’em. according to historian alain Forest, the story legitimized a change of royal dynasty
and a king named by human dignitaries rather than the gods.
as the title of sera’s book indicates, heirs of this gardener king
brought plague to the land in the
1960s and 1970s: The sweet cucumbers turned bitter.
National Brief ------
Vietnamese Jailed for Dealing Ice in Bavet Casinos
a Vietnamese couple charged over small-scale dealing of methamphetamine in Bavet City casinos was sent to svay Rieng Provincial Prison on Friday, police said, just a day after Interior Minister sar Kheng implored authorities to target ringleaders rather than their underlings. Bavet City police chief Kao Horn said that Yiv Bavhong and his wife lu Thiha, both 34, were arrested at about 9 p.m. Wednesday after undercover
officers received a tip-off. He said the pair confessed to their crimes.
“During questioning with...a Vietnamese [interpreter] who can speak
Khmer, they said that they had planned to sell the drugs at casinos,” Mr.
Horn said. “It was very difficult to get an answer from them because the
interpretation was not so clear and they were resistant to our questions,”
he added. Kan Ken, provincial anti-drug police chief, said that the couple
was sent to the provincial prison Friday evening to await trial after being
found in possession of 3.3 grams of the drug. In a speech to close the annual meeting of the national authority to Combat Drugs on Thursday,
Mr. Kheng said that a pattern of arresting only low-level traffickers was
“a problem.” (Kang Sothear)