Ponchaud: 17 April 1975 was a bitter day for Cambodians

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Father François Ponchaud, catholic missionary in Phnom Penh (Photo: RFI)

17 April 2010

By Jean-François Tain
Radio France Internationale
Translated from French by Komping Puoy

Jean-François Tain’s weekly guest this Saturday is Father François Ponchaud, a catholic missionary. Father Ponchaud was in Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975 and he personally witnessed the arrival of the KR to Phnom Penh 35 years ago.
Quote from Father Ponchaud: "Currently, Cambodia is developing very quickly, but the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, there are land evictions and land confiscations from (the workers,) the farmers, there are land concessions given out to foreigners. The government must remember that the Khmer Rouge came about when the government of Samdech Sihanouk confiscated lands in Kampong Kol, Samlot [Battambang province], and the people revolted during that time. Then the Khmer Rouge took over the people’s demonstration to form its movement and started their first insurrection. Right now, the situation is the same, because the government confiscates lands belonging to farmers, demonstrations are starting to take shape, like the ones in Kampong Speu, in Oral Mountain, in Banteay Meanchey. Therefore, I am concerned about the future. I’m afraid that because of intense injustice, the people will start their insurrection and this will create havoc in Cambodia. Injustice breeds war. This is a normal outcome: it’s the law of politics."


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