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Chronology for Vietnamese in Cambodia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Vietnamese in Cambodia, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38741e.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
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 The US Defense Intelligence Agency reported that all the Vietnamese troops have been withdrawn from Cambodia.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)
Jul 15, 1998 Opposition electoral rallies sparked widespread fear among Vietnamese as leaders exploited politics of racial hatred to win votes in the forthcoming elections. The Vietnam government warned that propaganda directed against the ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia could disrupt relations between the two neighboring countries.(South China Morning Star)
Jul 15, 1998 Ethnic Vietnamese reported problems registering to vote. The situation was complicated by the lack of a nationality law. Prince Ranariddh called for Vietnamese to be struck from the voting registers.(South China Morning Star)
Jul 16, 1998 Voicing concern over Cambodian opposition leaders' stance on ethnic Vietnamese, a foreign ministry spokesmen of Vietnam said his country will send a team of eight observers to monitor the July 26 elections in Cambodia.(Agence France Presse)
Jul 16, 1998 Prince Ranariddh of Cambodia said that "if Vietnam wants to have good relations with Cambodia, Vietnam has to respect Cambodian independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and has to stop sending their citizen's to live in Cambodia."(Agence France Presse)
Jul 17, 1998 Vietnamese officials condemned as barbarous the murders of four ethnic Vietnamese villagers in a remote Cambodian province. The four, a 67-year-old who had lived in Cambodia since 1980, his 21-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter and 40-year-old son-in-law died when assailants sprayed their home with bullets as they slept at night. Nou Phoung, Governor of Kratie province on the border with Vietnam, said: "This is a clear case of terrorism aimed at intimidating ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia". According to authorities violence was intended to disrupt the July 26 election and was directed against the Cambodian People's Party of strongman Hun Sen. The killings followed the massacre of 23 men, women and children in a Vietnamese village on the banks of the Tonle Sap lake in April. The killings were the first of Vietnamese reported during the election campaign. Vietnamese Embassy spokesman Dinh Vanh Thanh said that if the report was correct, Hanoi would ask local authorities and the United Nations Human Rights Centre to investigate. (South China Morning Star)
Jul 17, 1998 Opposition parties complained that thousands of illegal ethnic Vietnamese have been registered to vote. (Agence France Presse)
Jul 20, 1998 Vietnam slammed Cambodian "extremists" for waging "terrorist attacks" on ethnic Vietnamese amid campaigning ahead of the July 26 elections in neighboring Cambodia. "A number of extremists continued their terrorist attacks and murders of the Vietnamese community in Cambodia to threaten them and cause tension before the polls," said the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in a lengthy commentary. "It is regrettable that while running for the elections to the National Assembly, a number of opposition parties and politicians in Cambodia resorted to hostile speeches against Vietnam," VNA said, quoting the communist party daily Nhan Dan. The paper's commentary said opposition campaigners in Cambodia called for outlawing Vietnamese nationals who had lived in Cambodia for generations. Violence against ethnic Vietnamese is seen as directed against the Cambodian People's Party of strongman Hun Sen, which ran Cambodia's Hanoi-backed government in the 1980s. The elections are seen as key to refurbishing Cambodia's image dented by the coup of July last year and to smooth its bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Vietnam is a member.(Agence France Presse)
Jul 22, 1998 Animosity toward ethnic Vietnamese reached a boiling point during Cambodia's election campaign, with many legal immigrants too scared to vote faced with xenophobic political rhetoric. The campaign rhetoric prompted United Nations human rights officials in Cambodia, as well as the Vietnamese government, to warn that ethnic vilification could lead to more violence in an election already marred by allegations of intimidation and politically motivated murders. The UN investigated reported attacks against Vietnamese but found no evidence to suggest they were motivated by ethnic hatred.(Agence France Presse)
Jul 22, 1998 Prince Ranariddh vowed to protect the border province of Kampong Cham from Vietnamese encroachment. "I will take the matter of the border disputes and the land that Cambodia has lost to an international court," he said to loud cheers from the crowd. After the speech he said he felt "hurt" the international community had made so much of his anti-Vietnamese statements.(Agence France Presse)
Jul 29, 1998 The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry voiced support for Cambodia's bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the group's summit to be held in Hanoi later this year. ASEAN, which currently groups Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, postponed the admission of Cambodia after violence broke out between factions of Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh last July leading to the ouster of Prince Ranariddh as co-premier.(Japan Economic Newswire)
Jul 29, 1998 General elections were held in Cambodia to elect a new National Assembly. Vietnam joined other countries and international organizations in describing the conduct of the elections as peaceful, free and fair.(Japan Economic Newswire)
Jul 29, 1998 Opposition leaders in Cambodia, in their election campaigns, said they would expel all Vietnamese living in the country if they win the election.(Japan Economic Newswire)
Jul 30, 1998 United Nations human rights envoy Thomas Hammarberg urged foreign nations not to walk away from Cambodia in the wake of a relatively successful national election earlier this week. Hammarberg said the current government had made little progress in addressing human rights problems, noting that it had not seriously investigated approximately 100 extra-judicial killings after Hun Sen ousted rival co-Premier Prince Norodom Ranariddh in a bloody coup one year ago. Hammarberg urged whatever new coalition government emerged from post-election negotiations to consider a complete overhaul of Cambodia's justice system.(Central European Time)
Jul 30, 1998 Strongman Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) appeared set to retain power after unofficial results show them winning 58 of parliament's 122 seats. United Nations human rights envoy Thomas Hammarberg said accusations of election fraud by opposition parties has overshadowed other problems such as their incitement against ethnic Vietnamese during the campaign.(Central European Time)
Sep 5, 1998 A press communiqué issued by a spokesman of the Royal Cambodian Government in Phnom Penh said that the Royal Cambodian Government (RCG) was sorry and disappointed at the irresponsibility of opposition parties, especially the Sam Rangsi Party SRP, who turned the implementation of democracy into a movement for igniting and inciting violence to create excessive anarchy, division in the national society, and racial discrimination. The communiqué was issued on the occasion of the incidents of violence and derogatory propaganda of the opposition during the electoral campaign, and especially on the occasion of the march organized in Phnom Penh on 4th September. It was alleged that the ongoing illegal demonstrations and marches were actually organized with the purpose to overthrow the current legitimate government, which was born from the process of democracy. The communiqué said that RCG vehemently denounced the barbaric, inhuman actions and wished to proclaim that it would hunt down the criminals and their ringleaders and send them to the tribunal to be tried and punished according to the law. The RCG also expressed its most solemn condolences to the bereaved families.(BBC)
Sep 7, 1998 At least four Vietnamese were beaten or stoned to death and seven seriously injured on public streets by an unruly mob inspired by continuing anti- Vietnamese rhetoric from opposition leaders." We strongly denounce these barbarous and racially discriminative acts," an unidentified spokesperson from the foreign ministry of Vietnam told the Vietnam News Agency at the weekend. Hanoi demanded that Phnom Penh authorities investigate the murders and bring the criminals to trial and take immediate action to release what may be as many as 10 Vietnamese being detained illegally. Vietnam's ambassador to Phnom Penh lodged an official protest with the Cambodian foreign and interior ministries, as well as the U.N. Human Rights Centre in the Cambodian capital, admonishing the "miscreants connected to opposition political parties" who may be responsible for the attacks.(Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Sep 7, 1998 Unprecedented sit-in protests were held to contest the results of the July election which was won by Hun Sen.(Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Sep 7, 1998 Diplomatic reports out of Phnom Penh said two Vietnamese, both women, were killed outside the French embassy when they were caught by a hysterical crowd accusing them of possessing containers of chemicals used to poison locally brewed rice wine. Dozens of Cambodians died last week after drinking rice wine tainted with insecticide.(Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Sep 11, 1998 Japan expressed concern over the escalation of violence in Phnom Penh between government riot police and opposition supporters following Cambodia's July general election. At least one antigovernment protester was reportedly killed in the Cambodian capital, following the reported death of at least two Buddhist monks in a crackdown on antigovernment demonstrations by opposition supporters in the past week. Cambodia's two main opposition parties, Prince Norodom Ranariddh's FUNCINPEC and the Sam Rainsy Party, have rejected the official results of the election, which gave most parliamentary seats to the Cambodian People's Party led by Second Prime Minister Hun Sen.(Japan Economic Newswire)
Sep 14, 1998 Amnesty International condemned the killings of four ethnic Vietnamese traders in Phnom Penh, apparently carried out for racist motives by angry mobs that reportedly beat them to death in the street. The organization also expressed concern at the incitement to racial hatred against the Vietnamese minority contained in some speeches recently made by opposition politicians campaigning against alleged electoral irregularities. Amnesty International has campaigned for many years to ensure protection of the rights of ethnic Vietnamese, reminding the government of its obligation to prevent and punish human rights abuses against them.(M2 Presswire)
Sep 29, 1998 Three Cambodian opposition leaders were summoned to face questions in court over unprecedented protests this month against strongman Hun Sen's controversial victory in a July election, judicial authorities said. The summonses came as Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) was due to begin talks with opposition parties aimed at breaking a post-election deadlock and forming a coalition government. Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha and activist Por Thydei were ordered to appear for questioning on allegations of inciting racial discrimination against ethnic Vietnamese, destroying state cultural property and inciting criminal activity. Hun Sen has also blamed the opposition for a September 7 grenade attack on his rarely-used Phnom Penh home and a rocket explosion last week ahead of the opening of parliament. Rainsy and opposition co-leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh fled to the Thai capital Bangkok after police initially accused them of ordering the rocket explosion, which Hun Sen claimed was an assassination attempt against him. The opposition leaders said Hun Sen was using the courts to blackmail them into joining a coalition government.(Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Oct 2, 1998 The chief foreign observer of Cambodia's July general election defended the international community's early ruling that the poll was credible but criticized as inadequate the appeals process.(Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Nov 4, 1998 In his annual human rights report to the 185-nation assembly UN special representative Thomas Hammerberg called for improved legal protection against discrimination and racial hatred, pointing to opposition attacks on ethnic Vietnamese during the campaign ahead of July elections.(Agence France Presse)
Nov 5, 1998 ASEAN decided to include Cambodia as its 10th member during a ceremony in Hanoi after delaying its accession since July 1997 because of political troubles in the country. Other ASEAN members are Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.(M2 Presswire)

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