Interview: Milton Osborne, on Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Development

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Interview: Milton Osborne, on Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Development

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:33 am

Interview: Milton Osborne, on Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Development
11 September 2018
His latest work, “Pol Pot Solved the Leprosy Problem: Remembering Colonial and Post-Colonial Worlds”, is a memoir of his days as a young diplomat in Phnom Penh between 1959 and 1961.
WASHINGTON DC —

[Editor’s Note: Milton Osbourne is one of Australia’s leading authorities on Southeast Asia. His latest work, “Pol Pot Solved the Leprosy Problem: Remembering Colonial and Post-Colonial Worlds”, is a memoir of his days as a young diplomat in Phnom Penh between 1959 and 1961 and his later work as an academic and consultant to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Osborne has penned numerous other works over his career, including “Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness”, “The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future”, and “The French Presence in Cochinchina and Cambodia: Rule and Response”. He recently spoke to VOA’s Sotheary You.]

VOA: You wrote a book on how Pol Pot solved the leprosy problems. Can you please give us the big picture of your book?

Osborne: Well, the book is an effort to provide some background on my own experiences in Cambodia and Vietnam over the period from when I first went to Cambodia in 1959 until 1981. That’s some 20-plus years that I had an experience of living through some of Cambodia’s most interesting periods and tragic periods, too...
https://www.voacambodia.com/a/interview ... 66913.html
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Re: Interview: Milton Osborne, on Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Development

Post by k*rm*geddon » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:17 pm

Great find.
Osborne is someone to heed.

I recall him once telling how he came to be posted to Cambodia. He'd originally been lined up for the embassy in Paris, which had him in a tizzy of excitement.
Shortly before departure however, he got roped into a staff cricket game. The guy in charge of diplomatic postings was bowling, and Osborne was one of the fielders. The batsman hit the ball high to Osborne who got underneath it but completely fluffed the catch to the obvious rage of the bowler.

Consequently, a day or so later Osborne was informed that Paris was off and he'd be going instead to a Southeast Asian backwater he'd never heard of.
MY 99 CENT KINDLE: ... 1974 TRAVEL IN THAILAND, CAMBODIA AND SOUTH VIETNAM : http://www.amazon.co.uk/EXPLAINING-CAMB ... B00L0LC8TO
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Re: Interview: Milton Osborne, on Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Development

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:01 am

Cambodia’s genocide verdict: better late than never
By Milton Osborne
20 November 2018
The verdict of the Khmer Rouge tribunal (The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, ECCC) on 16 November that found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of genocide was scarcely surprising.

For all but the most sceptical of commentators, the evidence was clear. During the tyrannous rule of the Pol Pot regime, members of the ethnic Cham and Vietnamese communities in Cambodia suffered terribly as the result of deliberate policies of the government. Indeed, the death toll among the Cham, Cambodia’s Islamic minority, appears to have been of a higher order than was the case for the population at large.

The sprouting of more than 50 high-rise buildings in the capital and the evident presence of great prosperity among the elite cannot blot out the past.

The instant commentary that has followed the verdict has drawn attention to the glacial pace at which the ECCC has moved to bring down its verdict in this and previous cases ­– both of the accused had already been convicted of crimes against humanity.

Since the inauguration of the tribunal in 2006 ­– the date judges were sworn in – only three persons have been convicted: Duch, who was in charge of S-21, the Tuol Sleng Extermination Centre, and Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. Two other defendants died while in custody.

There are other reasons to be critical of the ECCC. It is far from clear that the hybrid character of the tribunal – with both Cambodian and international judges – served justice well. On contentious issues of procedure it was always possible for a majority of Cambodian judges, whose independence of the government was frequently questioned, to outvote their international colleagues. And even before the tribunal began its proceedings there was disturbing evidence of corrupt practices in the establishment of the tribunal. (I detailed some of these issues for the Lowy Institute in August 2007, “The Khmer Rouge Tribunal: An ambiguous good news story”.)

A key issue is what happens now. Will the tribunal continue to function and bring other individuals to trial?

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-inter ... late-never
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