Material in this NEWSLETTER may be freely reproduced with due acknowledgement. Correspondence is welcome and contributions will be given sympathetic consideration. (All correspondence to The Editor, Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific Studies, ANU, PO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.)
The loss of civilian lives in the military action in Bangkok in May was shocking and unexpected. One had thought the Thai military were more mature. Even before the shooting it had become quite clear that a turning point had been reached in Thai political history. The civilian, student, middle-class determination to ensure that the Prime Minister in Parliament should be just that, an elected Member of Parliament, was a challenge to the long-held view that the Thai military had the final say in Thai politics and the composition of Thai governments. The forced resignation of General Suchinda was a further blow to that view. Even if the military were to engage in another adventure, it seems the trend for the future has been set control of Thai politics will pass to the people and parliament.
This is not to say that immense problems do not still remain. The coup and its aftermath have interfered with the economic fiesta which both Thailand and the world contemplated with awe. Whether this will be considered a serious impediment or a welcome respite from over-accelerated growth and its consequences only the future can tell. I would like however, to consider the more political aspects of the current situation. The popular explanatory or descriptive epithet of the protest movement has been 'middle-class'. It was a middle-class movement representing a middle-class desire for democracy and recognition of the changing class structure of Thailand. The views of General Chamlong Srimuang, who is visiting Australia at the time of writing, on the recent events and of Palang Tham and the immediate future are of great consequence. There is no doubt that many see him as a possible Prime Minister and this appears to be a view he shares. [This seems confirmed according to FEER of 16 July.] At a meeting at the ANU he was asked directly about the links of Palang Tham with Santi Asoke. His reply was that Palang Tham had members from many religions, Muslims and Christians as well as Buddhists. He had been associated with Santi Asoke as he was associated with many other wat, such as Suan Moke of Phra Buddhathat and that of Phra Yantra the latter was important because of his specific following in Australia. Chamlong said he and his wife had been associated with Santi Asoke for thirteen years.
The religious connection is one that he does not hide, but the implication is that the party is separate from the religious foundations. Nevertheless the ethical position of the party is paramount. Chamlong claims that not only does he have the support of the educated middle-class that is directly concerned with ethics in politics, but that there is increasing interest among businessmen as to how they may have an impact on the new ethicism of Thai politics. He is also rightly proud of the success the party has had in Bangkok. It is a victory for his twin goals of democracy and honesty.
With regard to rural Thailand, Chamlong said, in reply to a question which suggested that he may not have significant support in the countryside, that if we were to accompany him on his campaigns through rural Thailand we would see how the majority of the population assured him of their support but when it comes to voting they are constrained by their economic conditions or coercion to vote for someone else. This may strike one as being slightly naive. One can hardly imagine a Thai peasant saying to someone of Chamlong's standing anything else than to assure him of support. Despite the vote-buying and some suggestion of military coercion during the last election, there is little doubt that Thai society is remarkably free, as compared to most other countries of Asia, and that Thailand practises an electoral democracy which should be the envy of every other state in Southeast Asia. What has been patently undemocratic is the manner in which the military have been able to foist constitutions on the country all of which have allowed control through military dominance in the upper house and the direct involvement of the military in policy outside parliament. One of the major examples of this is the manner in which the military control relations with Thailand's neighbours, from diplomatic recognition to details of cross-border trade. The military consistently by-passed Prime Minister Chatichai's policy with regard to Cambodia and Burma.
Many voters, in rural areas in particular, may sell their votes and may not appear to vote wisely, but in the majority of cases what they do is their choice. Part of the choice they make is to give support to the military. We may think this is unwise, but most observers would agree that it is there, and with good reason; not only has the military taken a high profile in rural development, they have also long fostered the view that the army in particular is the protector of nation, religion and monarch. Chamlong, however, denied the close association of the military and rural Thailand when asked a direct question. At least, in public, he appears to believe that respect for the military is not a factor in the rural vote. Which view is the correct one should at least be partially demonstrated in the composition of the next parliament. Chamlong's belief appears to be that the forces of ethical middle-class politics can prevail, just as they have done in Bangkok.
But do we really know the nature of the total population of Bangkok? Because of the way in which household registers are maintained in Thailand, it is sometimes suggested that Bangkok may in fact have up to twice its stated population. Many individuals from other provinces, particularly the northeast, may live most of their lives in Bangkok, but never be registered there. If the actual population living in Bangkok were to vote would Palang Tham have the same kind of support? Were support for military-backed candidates to fall off in the northeast would there be a move to rationalize the Bangkok electoral rolls?
The coming election will give some answers to these questions, but long-term trends will remain problematic. The unbelievable stupidity of the leadership in ordering the violence has for the time being created a major set-back for the military. And most-recent reported statements by the Supreme Commander suggest they have not changed a great deal. But also dismaying was the violence shown by ordinary soldiers to the demonstrators pictures flashed across the world. Chamlong believes that most of the missing hundreds are also dead, but this time, unlike 1976, there were no Village Scouts to create public bonfires of the dead. Nevertheless the visible hatred needs explaining. When asked, Chamlong said the soldiers had been told by their officers that the demonstrators were communists and what we saw was the manifestation of hatred of communists. It is however also possible that a much more basic class antagonism was involved the hatred of peasant and working class youth, whose success in the new order has been limited, for the prosperous middle-class, particularly for students who may appear to be abusing the privileges bestowed on them.
The very success of the middle-class, in economic conditions and political influence, may create deeper and more dangerous divisions between them and the possibly disenfranchised masses of Bangkok and an alienated rural population. A symbolic manifestation of these divisions is seen in the attachment of General Chamlong and many members of this middle-class to such religious figures as Phra Buddhathat, Phra Phothirak and Phra Yantra. In his address at the ANU Chamlong expressed the opinion that most of the Thai people are not 'real Buddhists'. The association of Thai Buddhism with elaborate institutions of alms-giving and spirit propitiation are deprecated by the more ascetic religious leaders and sects. One must hope that the symbolic religious divisions between 'peasant Buddhism' and 'middle-class Buddhism' will always remain symbolic. Chamlong himself is an activist with great political skill as we all now know from his career as Governor of Bangkok. But perhaps not many now remember that in the early 1980s he was secretary to Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanond, a post from which he resigned, as he said, to allow him to fight the growing movement to liberalize abortion laws. There was, at the time, majority support in both house of parliament for a bill which would have done just that, but Colonel Chamlong, as he then was, in a display of great political skill, persuaded the majority of senators to absent themselves from the chamber when the bill was to be presented for voting, causing the legislation to lapse. How far will political intervention in ethical issues extend?
The political situation in Thailand has Asian parallels which may have lessons for the future. The students and the middle-class of the Republic of Korea also showed a growing distaste for military rule, but there came a point when their elders in that class turned on the students. How long can the current coalition be sustained in Thailand?
[This article consists of two large extracts from a 'samizdat' dated December 1991 and is reprinted with permission.]
On 23 October the Cambodian peace agreement was signed. In Phnom Penh, however, there were no grand celebrations, no dancing in the streets, no new official holiday. The text of the agreement was not immediately published in the local press, nor even reported in detail, and a week later when I left Cambodia it had only been disseminated among the top levels of the government, some vice-ministers claiming that they had not yet seen it. The apparent lack of enthusiasm may reflect reality. As one foreign economic expert with long experience in Cambodia remarked, 'Cambodia survived the war, American bombing, Lon Nol's incompetence, Pol Pot's brutality, and the poverty of the last 12 years, but it may not survive this peace'.
I do not think this is an unduly pessimistic view. I hope that he, and I, are wrong. But if we are not, it is important that someone will have said it now, not just as a second guess some years hence.
We must not forget that Cambodia has been victim of a crime against humanity. I do not mean the endlessly evoked 'Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge genocide' or 'Vietnamese aggression', which have too often been used as excuses to do nothing, or the wrong thing. I am speaking of an international crime against humanity consisting of the economic and political isolation of a country already at the lowest point of human existence in 1979, and the concomitant physical resuscitation, moral rehabilitation, and rearming of the political faction who bore most responsibility for the further destruction of their own country after the already disastrous war of 1970-1975. That is the 'Khmer Rouge', officially the Partie of Democratic Kampuchea led by the same persons who governed Cambodia from 17 April 1975 to 7 January 1979.
The greatest responsibility for this crime must be borne by the United States, for Americans, some official, had been loudest in condemnation of Democratic Kampuchea (the 'Khmer Rouge') during the life of their regime, yet as soon as they were overthrown official America became most active in their revival. Eager collusion in this crime was pursued by China and most of ASEAN, especially Thailand, and was followed with hardly a whimper of protest by the major capitalist countries, Japan, Australia, and Western Europe. Neither did the bureaucrats of international organizations protest to try to persuade their constituent members to allow normal intervention by those world bodies to alleviate the misery within Cambodia.
China's position has at least been one of principled consistency. They supported the Cambodian revolutionary movement when it first began moving against Sihanouk in the 1960s, continued this support during the period of Democratic Kampuchea rule, and maintained it after the DK overthrow.
Now that the new so-called peace agreement is opening the doors to normal foreign relations and international aid, it may be too late; and those shedding crocodile tears over the possibility of a Khmer Rouge return to power will all have some indelible blood on their hands if that occurs.
What do the new agreements mean politically? At worst the State of Cambodia (SOC, from 1979 to 1989 the Peoples Republic of Kampuchea, PRK) may have signed away its existence. If the agreement is read literally, and enforced in that interpretation, the UN will be able to control five key ministries: Interior, Defense, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Information, on the grounds that those ministries can influence the election, and the UN may also decide unilaterally that other ministries or departments must be taken under tutelage for the same reason.
Given the expected national origins of the UN personnel, and the anti-SOC propaganda which appears to have been accepted wholesale in their circles, UN control of those ministries may in fact mean international interference to load the vote against the SOC. Such an outcome is even more certain if Cambodians who have resettled abroad are brought in as interpreters, or as the up to 40,000 election watchers sometimes estimated as necessary to insure 'fair' polls.1 As a group the former refugees are strongly opposed to the PRK/SOC.
The first reported example of UN intervention in Cambodian affairs illustrates perfectly the confusion, and waste, ensuing from even the best-intentioned efforts by people who may be experts in their own fields, but ignorant of Cambodia.
Robert McKay, an American cartographer with the recent UN electoral survey team, charged with drawing up district boundaries for the planned elections, has said he could not find adequate maps ... 'until the final day, when [we] came across a French-made map showing the political boundaries of 1966. 'Eureka! This was precisely what we wanted. Well, really what we wanted was a current one, but there is no current map because no one's been doing cartography here for 25 years''.2
Incredible as it seems, the UN team apparently did not check the libraries of the Big Five governments, of which the French and Americans, at least, have complete sets of pre-1970 Cambodian maps. Even academic specialists working on Cambodia could have provided McKay's team with district boundaries. Moreover, as any NGO worker in Phnom Penh could have informed them, current maps, some with district boundaries, and in large 1:50,000 scale, were still being hawked daily in the major restaurants of central Phnom Penh at the time of McKay's visit. These maps are updates by the Vietnamese armed forces of maps made during the days of American-Khmer cooperation in the 1960s or early 1970s. Entirely new cartography may not have been undertaken, but reproduction of the best earlier cartography has been done during the last 10 years, and it is readily available in Phnom Penh.
They might also have asked the Phnom Penh authorities for maps, or records of district boundaries used for the 1981 elections, but it would seem that the UN electoral team may never have heard of that exercise.3
Read carefully, the new peace agreements seem designed to ensure further destabilization, rather than lasting peace. They have incorporated most of the anti-SOC provisions of the draft agreements devised by western states, which were designed to effect the dissolution of the Phnom Penh government, starting with the original Australian 'Redbook' of February 1990, whose authors thanked U.S. Congressman Stephen Solarz and Prince Norodom Sihanouk, and no one else, for inspiration. No more ardent enemies of Phnom Penh, outside of the Khmer Rouge leadership, could be imagined.4 In recompense Solarz has recommended Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans for the Nobel Peace Prize, however strange it may seem that a peace plan designed to force the Khmer Rouge back into the Cambodian government should qualify its author for that honor.5
The Australian Peace Proposal started with the assumption that the State of Cambodia government in Phnom Penh and the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK) were of equal stature and legitimacy, and its preferred options were for a Supreme National Council (SNC) consisting of 'representatives of the four parties [three of them within the CGDK], explicitly structured on a quadripartite basis', which would hold 'all government authority', and 'would irrevocably devolve all that government authority - legislative, executive and judicial - to the UN Secretary-General'.6 Most peculiarly, in its 'Working Paper II', which 'gives an account of the existing structure of the civil administrations in Cambodia', the 'National Government of Cambodia' (the CGDK) is given precedence and to the extent possible is described, like the State of Cambodia, as having a constitution, a ministerial structure, civil servants, and a provincial administration.7
The most reasonable draft proposal was the August 1990 UN 'Framework', which provided that '[t]he composition of the SNC, including the selection and number of its members, should be decided by the Cambodian parties through consultations'. No stipulations concerning membership in the SNC were made except that it 'should be composed of representative individuals with authority among the Cambodian people [and] ... [t]hey should be acceptable to each other'; and the SNC would 'delegate to the United Nations Transitional Authority ... all powers necessary to ensure the implementation of the comprehensive agreement'.8
This document was what its title said, a 'Framework', and it permitted joint discussions among all Cambodian factions concerning details of its implementation. This was probably why it was accepted by all. This may also have been why the Big Five, before there had been time to get intra-Cambodian discussions started, rushed through their November 1990 'Proposed Structure', with very detailed decisions about administration and election modalities imposed on the Cambodians, in particular imposed on the SOC which already had a functioning government.9 As has been pointed out, not only does it imply dissolution of the SOC, it also imposes a type of parliamentary representation which would inevitably favor the Khmer Rouge.10
In the final agreements the SOC managed to preserve its formal existence and avoid the dissolution which earlier drafts had envisaged. They also managed to secure Phnom Penh as the venue for the Supreme National Council (SNC), the supra-state body consisting of six representatives from Phnom Penh and two each from the three opposing factions, FUNCINPEC, originally led by Prince Sihanouk, the KPNLF nominally under Son Sann, and the Partie of Democratic Kampuchea, usually termed the 'Khmer Rouge', the group of Pol Pot, Ieng Sary, and Khieu Samphan.11
Under the new agreement the elections, tentatively scheduled for 1993, have been stacked, as far as possible, against the SOC. After much protest they signed for proportional representation by province, contrary to former Cambodian practice, a formula which will give the maximum chance to their existing enemies, in particular the Khmer Rouge, and to any other parties which may be formed. And there may be many. Another provision of the agreement says that any group of 5000 persons may be registered as a political party, and some cynics might argue that given local political propensities, the likely number of parties will be the adult population divided by 5000. The multi-party system which has been accepted, both in the agreements and in the new People's Party programme, will probably produce an incompetent legislature and an impotent government.
The most dangerous joker, however, is the provision that anyone born in Cambodia, and their children, wherever born and aged 18, may vote in the elections. This implies that all refugees overseas aged 18, even if they have never seen Cambodia, do not speak the language, and are citizens of another country, may vote. Such practice would not be accepted anywhere in the world, and forcing it on Cambodia illustrates the malevolence of those members of the international community who have been responsible for the texts of the new agreements. Peculiarly, the text also implies that all the Vietnamese born in Cambodia and now resident in Vietnam, and their children, perhaps up to half a million persons, could also vote; and this may provide the SOC with a lever to force modification of this very peculiar provision. For Cambodians who have settled in the U.S. there is also the problem that voting in a foreign election may involve loss of U.S. citizenship.
Hardly was the ink dry when an attempt was made by a couple of visitors in Phnom Penh to use the new electoral provisions to discredit the Cambodian government.
On October 31 Vanna Om Strinko, a Khmer American citizen who left Cambodia in 1975, and her American husband, held a party in the Cambodiana Hotel to celebrate Sihanouk's birthday, and planned to announce the formation of a new political party. They were stopped by a large security force who threatened arrest if the announcement was made. They were, however, able to speak to journalists, and Mrs. Strinko was quoted as saying, 'the old political parties have deliberately betrayed the trust of the people ... They have entered into an unholy alliance to rob the people and this nation of its wealth and dignity ... a vote for them is a vote for abuse of power, injustice and corruption'; and 'My God, they're bringing in people who murdered three million people', blaming the SOC for what had been forced on them by the Big Five.12
Their action was premature, as they well knew. The Cambodian Government and Party have undertaken to establish a multi-party system, but no document stated that it had already been established. The constitution, for example, must be amended to make parties other than the Peoples Party legal. Then the modalities for registration of new parties must be established. At the very least it is to be expected that party members, and particularly party organizers, must be citizens and residents of Cambodia, and that current refugees who wish to become politically active within the country will have to apply for the dual citizenship which the government has announced will be granted.13 For non-citizen non-residents, as the Strinkos are in Cambodia, to attempt to establish a political party anywhere in the world would be seen as ridiculous.
The Strinkos made no pretence of having tried to follow, or even to determine, the proper procedures for forming a political party. On November 2 at the Saigon airport Mr Strinko told me that high-ranking government people had told them to go ahead, but he refused to name them, saying perhaps they were opposed to the SOC regime. This seems to mean that the Strinkos did not make any formal application. In answer to my remark that there were rules on forming a party, such as 5000 members, he said no one has 5000 members, and the application forms to register parties had not even been printed. This is no doubt true, but the reason is that formation of parties must await the modification of existing laws.
The Strinkos may be just an eccentric couple behaving erratically, but it is not unlikely that their effort had at least the encouragement of foreign agencies inimical to the SOC. Only someone with hostile intent would have engaged in such a manoeuver; and their hostile intent is proven by the background of Mrs Strinko as supplied in her own curriculum vitae.14 In 1978 she called on Lon Nol [sic!] as the 'only one at the time who could focus attention on the genocide in Cambodia'; and she makes the claim that until that date too little attention had been given to DK brutality in the United States. Later, in 1985 in Washington and Paris, she organized demonstrations against Soviet aid to Vietnam and Cambodia, and in 1987 or 1988 she demonstrated against the Vietnamese embassy in Paris. Those actions place her squarely within the milieu which has been working for the destruction of the Cambodian government since 1979.
An important part of the new peace agreement, as of any peace agreement, is the disposition of the armed forces which have been engaged in combat. Here too the cards have been stacked against the SOC. Superficially the terms seem fair. Seventy percent of each armed force will be demobilized. The largest force, however, is that of the SOC and simple demobilization will throw this mass of unemployed men onto an economy in which there is adequate remuneration for only a few and in which there are no prospects for useful employment.
The next most powerful group, the so-called 'Partie of Democratic Kampuchea', better known as the 'Khmer Rouge', do not face an equivalent problem. They have, thanks to the Thai and western aid which they have enjoyed, self-sufficient camps near the Thai border, in which 'demobilization' will be theoretical, where soldiers can be quickly converted to unpaid workers, with everyone supported by the DK 'state' out of funds accumulated through lucrative timber and precious stone trade with Thailand. Remarks by the chief of the Thai National Security Council suggest that Thailand will not only continue to collude in this masquerade, but, in spite of international protest, will tolerate the forced resettlement of the DK-controlled refugee population, permitting them to exaggerate the number of their military, thus preserving a larger number of real soldiers after the 'demobilization'.15
The other two armed forces, those of Son Sann's KPNLF and Sihanouk's ANC, although not considered militarily important, will probably follow their leaders into Cambodia, where their demobilization will increase the social and economic pressure of the SOC demobilization. In particular, the KPNLF could cause trouble because of its split into a civilian faction under Son Sann and a military wing under General Sak Sutsakhan, who does not respect Son Sann's authority, and who has said 'that since he had not signed the Paris agreement, he was not bound by its provisions'.16
The peace agreements, if their concern had been the peaceful and prosperous evolution of Cambodia, rather than just demobilization, should have stipulated the retention of these ex-soldiers as state workers, under continuing military discipline, with adequate remuneration from international aid, to be employed in the tasks of removal of military residue and infrastructural reconstruction which must be undertaken immediately. They could, for instance, be instructed and supervised by foreign military experts in mine detection and removal. They could be used in road construction. They could be trained as forest guards to prevent rapacious logging in Cambodia's already severely depleted forests. With adequate pay from international aid they might even prefer this to the scrounging and outlawry to which most of them may be condemned by 'demobilization'.
A related problem is that of repatriated refugees, some 3,000,000 in camps in Thailand. It is assumed that they will return to Cambodia. It is also assumed that most of them will be resettled as farmers in Cambodia's Northwest, the richest rice area, and where there is in theory still unused land. The latter assumption, I have heard, is based on a survey in which heads of families were asked their previous occupation and in which most answered 'farmer'. This neglects the circumstance that a very large percentage of the refugees, perhaps 30%-40%, are youth, who have spent most of their lives in refugee camps and who have never worked as farmers, or indeed in any useful occupation. It is almost certain that they will refuse to become farmers, and will insist on rushing to Phnom Penh where they will try to eke out a living by petty trading, adventure, and crime. Even their parents who may once have been farmers, may have been spoiled for useful work by too long a sojourn in refugee camps dreaming of emigration to the imagined paradise of the West; or if they do wish to become farmers this may have been made more difficult by the privatization of land now underway. Relatives to whom they might wish to return may not be able to receive them on their new, small plots, and heretofore unoccupied land may have been sold to agricultural entrepreneurs or speculators.
On top of this enormous social problem, only a fraction of the budget necessary for the repatriation has been pledged, the land intended for their resettlement in Cambodia has not been surveyed or certified clear of mines, and if they insist on returning on their own UNHCR has no means to receive them, protect them, or guarantee them the initial aid package which has been promised.
The new peace agreements not only menace political stability, but seem guaranteed to undermine the fragile economy already fragile in the best of times, then further weakened by the 1970-1975 war, the misconceived revolution of 1975-1979, the enforced isolation of 1979-1991, and now brought to shattering point by the new addiction to free market patent medicine, not to say snake oil, which is leading to a headlong rush into privatization of all economic activity.
Until 1989, in spite of all the objective difficulties, the economy showed grounds for optimism. According to a recent UN study, '[c]onsidering the devastation inherited from war and internal strife, the centrally directed system of economic management ... has attained unquestionable successes ... especially marked in restoring productive capacity to a level of normalcy and accelerating the pace of economic growth to a respectable per capita magnitude from the ruinously low level of the late 1970s'17 As another study put it, 'the economy has recovered well since the 1980s, in spite of the continuing need to focus on domestic security matters and protection of border areas'.18
Both the relative successes and the inherent fragility may be underscored by a look back at the 1960s, Cambodia's apparent good years. Cambodia then gained a misconceived reputation as a small country rich in natural resources which, left to itself, could enjoy infinite progress, and this view is still prevalent among Cambodians abroad and the new bureaucrats in Phnom Penh. As stated by a Cambodian expert with the Asian Development Bank, 'The Sihanouk era ... [was] a period of consolidation and growth ... development reached a level near the take-off stage of economic growth with diversified industries, infrastructure, social services'.19
In fact, Cambodian development in the 1960s was of the ersatz capitalist variety.20 There was little attempt by the state to mobilize domestic capital for development. Because the Cambodian population under the French had been oppressed by the highest taxes in Indochina, the government after independence did not even try to collect all the taxes which were legally due.21 Such wealth as was generated locally, from taxation, commerce, or exports, could be used entirely for elite consumption. Major projects, whether initiated by foreign aid or by the government, became appanages for Sihanouk's favorites who grew wealthy while the account books showed red.22
The lack of endogenous financing for the state was made up by large foreign aid contributions, in particular, until 1964, from the United States, which contributed 10% to over 20% of the budget.23 In this way the population was appeased, and such finance as could be generated locally could contribute directly to personal wealth of the ruling class without evoking dangerous popular discontent.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Cambodian rice agriculture, the largest sector, and the source of the most important export, was poor with little prospect for improvement. Yields were among the lowest in the world, and could not be improved without considerable investment in fertilizers, irrigation and new techniques. Peasants were only quiescent because of the relatively low taxes which enabled them to at least eat adequately from their own produce and income from its sale. Their incomes were not sufficient to permit them to invest in the improvements which might have increased rice yields, nor to attain a living standard, in terms of consumer goods, approximate to shopkeepers, mostly non-Khmer, or low-level bureaucrats, nearly all Khmer. The latter, in Cambodian society and economy, represented the first step out of the drudgery of peasant life. Rarely could rural youth move into the foreign-dominated commercial or urban artisanal (mechanic, carpenter) sectors, nor did they often wish to.24
Some gross economic indicators bear an astonishing similarity between the 1960s and 1990.
As one interesting comparison, 'take the large foreign aid programs of the 1960s. Even with that aid, Cambodia ran a large and throughout the 1950s and 1960s increasing trade deficit, and in the 1960s they ran budget deficits, not for productive investment, but for elite consumerism.25 Now Coady and Desai report that the sudden rapid inflation after 1988 has been due to printing-press inflation to pay new defense expenditures after the Vietnamese withdrawal, and that the budget deficit in 1989-1990 was 30% of total expenditure.
This is precisely the figure for the economic and political crisis year of 1963, when the proposed budget contained a new, large deficit 'representing approximately 30 percent of all expenditures'.26 The difference is that the 1989-90 deficit is for defense against external aggression, whereas the 1963 deficit was in large part for salaries of state employees who at that time were a privileged class consuming imported luxuries. Cambodia was not then under attack, and defense had since 1951 been financed by U.S. aid. In the 1980s state employees have been notoriously underpaid, and PRK policy has always been to avoid their becoming a privileged class as in the 1960s.27
Other telling comparisons with the 1960s are tax revenue as a percentage of GNP, less than 2% in 1989, and calculable as just over 5% of Net National Product in 1956; and trade deficit as percentage of GNP/NNP, 5.9% 1989, 5.8% 1956. The total burden was much higher for in both cases there were increasing deficits from year to year, none of which was paid off.28 To a surprising degree the description and analysis of two recent studies by independent economists, Cheriyan and FitzGerald, and Coady and Desai, are congruent with what Khieu Samphan wrote in 1959. Sihanouk's ersatz capitalist system, even in peacetime, showed results hardly better than the SOC after 12 years of war and international embargo, or conversely, the record of the SOC up to 1989 was as good as that of Sihanouk's best years, a comparison which should be borne in mind when considering likely scenarios for the next few years.
A dramatic change came in 1963-64 when Sihanouk rejected all forms of American aid; and attempts to obtain a compensatory budget cushion from other countries were only partly successful. Sihanouk proclaimed a policy of general austerity, but it could not be enforced on the elite who insisted on maintaining a lifestyle unsustainable in Cambodian conditions, with the result that the peasantry were increasingly squeezed for export rice and additional taxes. Thus began the rising tension between city and countryside and within the urban elite which led to Sihanouk's overthrow and the 1970-75 war.29
It must be emphasized that no Cambodian regime since independence in 1954, except the disastrous DK, has tried to live on its own resources. Foreign aid, increasing from year to year, supported the budgets of both Sihanouk's monarchy (1954-1970) and Lon Nol's Republic (1970-1975). One of the reasons was the addiction of the entire urban sector to foreign luxury commodities and lifestyle, a problem which the PRK once seemed intent on preventing through a policy of very low incomes, but which now seems to be emerging again as a result of the increasingly free market.
The structure of the PRK/SOC economy since 1979 is a subject which may have been obscured for the non-specialist by propaganda about 'communist dictatorship' or 'Vietnamese-inspired Stalinist model'. It was not true, as many commentators believed, that '[o]n the whole its model was a 'mainstream' socialist one in the tradition of its Vietnamese mentors'.30
In fact, in its economic organization Cambodia under the PRK was anything but a dictatorship or Stalinist. The new state was purportedly socialist, and three types of economic organization were constitutionally recognized - state, co-operative, and family. The first included land, real estate, industry, finance, transport, official foreign commerce and some large-scale agriculture, such as industrial crops and rubber. The last comprised most retail marketing, artisanal, handicraft, and repair work, some agriculture, and de facto much commodity import trade. The co-operative sector was semi-private/semi-state, and included certain urban enterprises such as the larger restaurants, and the two highest of the three levels of agricultural 'Solidarity Groups' organized with the goal of achieving large-scale collectivization in the highest level group.
Nevertheless, in 1979 the new authorities, whatever their inspiration or theoretical guidance, recognized that certain activities, in the prevailing Cambodian conditions, of which the non-existent, later very weak, state and primitive bureaucracy were the most critical, must be left for better or worse to private initiative. These private areas were the supply, through import or local manufacture, of most consumer goods, small-scale services, repair work, small-scale food preparation and sale, artisanal manufacture, and trading in the large markets which developed in all towns. Within a few years some of the so-called handicraft producers had become true small-scale industries.
Moreover, until 1983 taxes were unknown, and after that date low and poorly collected. The scope of near total laissez-faire was greater than in any developed capitalist country. Indeed it appears as economic suicide in a country where the first need was reconstruction of a state center to manage further development.
We may suppose that in addition to the objective circumstances of a non-existent state and scattered traumatized population after the DK experience, the early PRK was influenced by pre-1975 political traditions of the economically weak Sihanoukist and Lon Nol states, and the total absence of social consciousness and civic cohesion or civic morality in Cambodian culture.
As wealth accumulated in this private sector its activities broadened until foreign trade included import of motorcycles, cars, electronic goods, and other luxuries, and the establishment of larger shops, of which the most obvious are the plethora of gold traders, pharmacies in Phnom Penh, far more than needed, and souvenir shops dealing in cloth, silver, and handicrafts. A Deputy Minister in one of the economy ministries confirmed for me the gossip that there may be 100 dollar millionaires within Phnom Penh.
Private urban wealth received unexpected encouragement in 1989 when ownership of the residences in which they had squatted or to which they had been assigned was granted to the Phnom Penh population (see further discussion below).31
In agriculture as well, where the intention in 1979 was to develop large-scale cooperative units, farmers until 1984 were allowed freedom in disposal or consumption of their produce, and only gradually were deliveries to the state and taxation imposed. The unsuitability of socialist cooperatives in Cambodian conditions was gradually accepted, and by 1984 about 90 percent of farming was being carried out by family units engaged in a minimum of cooperative work, although the land itself was still state property.
For eight years, 1980-88, Cambodian money supply, price level, and inflation rate were rather well managed, and state salaries, although extremely low, were not entirely meaningless. In 1979 before a new currency had been established, state employees administrators, teachers, doctors, factory workers were paid in allowances of rice and other essentials, were encouraged, even forced by circumstances, to grow part of their own food in home gardens, and were housed or allowed to squat in Phnom Penh's empty real estate. Family members not in state employ sought extra income in the private market and handicraft work which freely proliferated. Within this sphere gold, Thai baht, Vietnamese dong, dollars, and rice served as currency. The free market rate for the riel in 1981 was around 50=1$US; and by early 1986 it was 155-160=1$US; and the official rate had been lowered 149, which probably undercut any new inflationary tendencies. Even when the riel went down in 1989 to 180-190 to the dollar, it was not out of line with the reported economic growth in the same period, and still a far better record than the Vietnamese experience.32
This proved, first, that the Cambodian economy was not tied to, and managed by, Vietnam, as anti-PRK from somewhere, although the source has never been revealed, and in my experience Cambodian officials have refused to discuss it. It is intriguing to speculate that Soviet reformers, before they were able to put their ideas into effect at home, had an opportunity to try them out on the tabula rasa of post-DK Cambodia, at a time when even Vietnam was unwilling to make such rapid change.33
If the PRK/SOC 'would like to see itself as having been on the reform path ever since it got into power in 1979', there is some justification.34
Two subsequent stages of formal reorganization, and liberalization, of the economy have been carried out.
After the Fifth Party Congress in 1985 a fourth economic sector was recognized, the private sector, to permit investment of local capital in light manufacturing. This in fact meant state recognition of activities which had existed since 1979, and which were called artisanal or handicraft production, noted above. When in 1988 I visited two private factories making household utensils from scrap metal one owner told me he had set up shop in 1979, and he proudly displayed certificates of achievement awarded to his factory by the state since 1982.
By 1989 there was further movement away from a formally socialist system. The new constitution of that year recognizes five economic sectors state, mixed state-private, co-operative, family, and private, including private ownership and inheritance rights to land; and by 1991 there was a headlong rush into privatization in all sectors. [Major discussion of agriculture, forestry and industry has been omitted.]
The Khmer Rouge Danger
Everyone, except the Partie of Democratic Kampuchea themselves, pretend to view the return of the Khmer Rouge to power with horror, but only the PRK/SOC, Vietnam, and those few other countries, mostly of the former socialist bloc, who have recognized the Phnom Penh government, have tried to take effective military, political, and propaganda measures to prevent their return. Everyone else, The U.S., China, ASEAN, Western Europe, international bodies, even while paying lip service to the view that the DK regime was a horrible failure which should never recur, have exerted all efforts to force the Khmer Rouge, leaders and followers, onto the back of the Phnom Penh government. Every so-called peace proposal has started with the presupposition that the Khmer Rouge must participate in a new regime.35
The argument advanced to justify this political aberration is that the Khmer Rouge are too strong to keep out, and that their influence may be diluted in a coalition with Phnom Penh and Sihanouk. Now that inclusion of the Khmer Rouge is a fait accompli we may hope that the latter proves true, even if it is obvious that the purpose was to dilute the SOC, not the KR.
The first part of the argument is probably not true. Surely no one will believe that the Partie of Democratic Kampuchea could prevail against united opposition by Thailand, China, and the United States, which could take the form of economic and political strangulation with little risk of military conflict.
It is nevertheless true that the Khmer Rouge are strong in comparison to other Cambodian forces, but how did they get that way? All observers and students of the question agree that by the autumn of 1979 they were virtually destroyed, their troops decimated and lacking arms and their supporting population suffering from disease and starvation. They could have been left that way until they sued for peace or disappeared. As Prince Sihanouk told a journalist, 'To save Cambodia ... all you had to do [in 1979] was to let Pol Pot die. Pol Pot was dying and you brought him back to life'.36
Instead, the Thai army, contravening international law, permitted DK armed forces, carrying their weapons, to cross Thai territory from a point in Cambodia where they were in danger to a safer place; at U.S. and Chinese insistence, at that time over ASEAN objections, the DK seat in the U.N. was maintained; and a massive rescue and rehabilitation campaign was mounted, both directly, and through the refugee camp system on the Thai border.37
It is well established that the rearming of the Khmer Rouge has only been possible via Thailand; and it is accepted that most of the weapons have come from China. Thus other countries, in particular the United States, have been able to claim that the revival of the KR was beyond their control, that they could not pressure China, nor intervene in the affairs of a friendly country such as Thailand. U.S. spokesmen endlessly beat their breasts over the 'horrors of KR rule', vowing that it should never occur again, and claiming that they have had no power to influence the outcome.
The U.S. position does not stand up to examination. The U.S. did not have to support the Chinese, rather than the ASEAN, position in 1981; earlier, U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski did not have to 'concoct [original 'concocted'] the idea of persuading Thailand to cooperate fully with China in its efforts to rebuild the Khmer Rouge'.38 Still earlier the CIA did not have to concoct a phoney report on Cambodian demography which whitewashed the worst DK massacre in order to try to paint the first PRK year in worse colors than the Pol Pot regime. Later, Secretary of State George Schultz did not have to warn ASEAN not to make peace proposals which Vietnam might accept.39 And most recently U.S. Ambassador-designate to Thailand David Lambertson, since confirmed and accredited, did not have to state in his Senate confirmation hearings that 'there was no evidence that the Thai military was involved in drug trafficking or in channeling Chinese arms to Cambodia's Khmer Rouge'.40 That statement, assuming he was accurately quoted, shows either a level of navet which should immediately have disqualified him from diplomatic service, or proves that he was lying to Congress, something which in the American system is also supposed to disqualify a federal appointee. Besides the reams of credible published reports of Chinese arms via Thailand, Kavi Chongkittavorn's recent interview with former Thai Foreign Minister ACM Siddhi Savetsila unequivocally gives the lie to Lambertson. Paraphrasing Siddhi, Kavi wrote, '[s]ince the outbreak of the Cambodian conflict, China was behind Thailand's move on Cambodia. Chinese arms went through Thailand before they reached the hands of the resistance groups, especially the Khmer Rouge'.41
There is, however, an outside chance that Lambertson was not lying, that in a strict sense the Thai military were not involved 'in channeling Chinese arms to Cambodia's Khmer Rouge'; and if Lambertson or any other official U.S. source acknowledges the alternative scenario which I shall now present, I shall retract what I have written above.
In 1984 a former foreign military officer with long experience in Thailand working with the Thai military told me that some of his Thai colleagues had been astonished to learn that a Thai army weapons factory was producing Chinese arms, and they wondered what the purpose could be. Without attention focussed on the KR, the purpose seems obvious, and these were not strictly 'Chinese arms', but Thai replicas of Chinese arms.
A couple of years later media and scholarly attention was caught for a short time by a U.S. Strategic Arms Reserve to be established in Thailand. Although it was never proven, and the subject was soon dropped both by scholars and journalists, the potential connection with the war in Cambodia was obvious.
When Chinese tanks were reported as having been sent to the KR, few remembered that some years earlier the Thai army had bought Chinese tanks, but had then replaced them with American tanks. If in fact the KR were given Chinese tanks, they did not have to be shipped all the way from China. This possibility acquires added significance from the determination by a foreign military attach in Bangkok that the ships which were believed to have brought the tanks for the KR did not have adequate crane capacity to lift them.42
It may be impossible to demonstrate direct U.S. support to the Khmer Rouge, although a document listing dollar amounts of U.S. support for them during 1979-1986 is in circulation.43 Other likely channels which have not been dredged from that angle are the Iran-Contra affair, aid via refugee camps, and the B.C.C.I. bank caper.44
Certainly there is no doubt about indirect support as seen in U.S. relations with Thailand. In spite of heavy-handed U.S. pressure on Thailand with respect to patents, intellectual property, drugs, and forcing American tobacco into the lungs of Thai youth, there has never been the slightest U.S. pressure to prevent the military aid, whether from China via Thailand or just from Thailand, that flows to the Khmer Rouge. This is not due to reluctance to interfere in another nation's internal affairs, given the interference in other areas.
Equally intriguing is the Khmer Rouge attitude to the United States. The author of the latest, and most thorough, investigation into the Khmer Rouge, their organization, and their policies, reports that the Voice of America is, in addition to the Khmer Rouge's own radio, a source of news which the population in some areas under their control are not forbidden to receive, in contrast to the broadcasts of Phnom Penh, the KPNLF, and the Sihanoukists. The Voice of America, unlike the others 'is not considered a worm in our flesh'.45
This is reminiscent of the report in 1980 that Khmer Rouge cadres were calling U.S. diplomats 'comrade' and were welcoming the election of president Reagan as beneficial for their cause.46
Particularly piquant is a photograph taken in a communal hall in eastern Cambodia in 1978 by Hedda Eckerwald, one of a Swedish delegation visiting Cambodia. Across the wall was painted a slogan which originally read, in bright red or orange letters, 'sweep and cleanse away absolutely the C.I.A. and its running dog agents who have wormed their way into our midst'. By 1978 when the photograph was taken the characters spelling C.I.A., in Khmer, had been blackened, though not so much that they are invisible.47 It is known from study of the Tuol Sleng confessions that between 1976 and 1978 the favorite accusation against alleged traitors had changed from C.I.A. agent to agent for Vietnam, but the alteration of a slogan in a communal hall suggests a real revision of policy by the central DK command. At the very least they seem to have been aware of what I have outlined earlier, a change of attitude, at some level of the U.S. government, a realization that Democratic Kampuchea could be a useful weapon against Vietnam.48
What the unconvinced might dismiss as DK fantasies does not of course prove direct American collusion with them. They may be using American obsessions with Vietnam just as they once used Sihanouk to advance their cause and attract support from the Cambodian population. It is peculiar, however, that the DK leadership seems convinced of official American benevolence in spite of the loud public professions of distaste which U.S. leaders have proclaimed since 1975, and which they still maintain.49 Clearly the Khmer Rouge do not believe them.
The latest example of peculiar U.S. behavior was their obvious foot-dragging when it was clear that everyone else, from Phnom Penh to Peking, except possibly the Khmer Rouge, had found a formula which could become a signed peace agreement. Even though Phnom Penh had been forced to give away almost everything but their formal existence, the U.S. objected that it was not the 'comprehensive' solution which had been sought, to the extent that Hun Sen, Sihanouk, and other parties complained about the U.S. attitude.
It was reported that 'Phnom Penh government officials increasingly view China ... as the best hope for ending 12 years of war ... '; 'China has been doing its best'; and 'the officials said they viewed China's softening stance toward them as part of a changing world political order'. No such 'softening stance' was perceived on the part of the U.S. 'Phnom Penh fears the United States could impede Cambodian peace efforts by insisting that a United Nations peace plan be followed to the letter'. Sihanouk also feared this, urging 'Washington to be 'realistic' and 'flexible' taking into account the true situation in Cambodia', and the fact that, according to him, 'France, China and Thailand have been supportive of the 'compromise solution''. Hun Sen also expressed worries, saying ''some foreign countries' might slow down progress', apparently 'directing his comments at the United States, which is reluctant to accept ... amendments', although China and France ... have joined Thailand in saying they are prepared to accept any compromise solution adopted by the Cambodians'. The journalists' ubiquitous favorite, the 'Bangkok-based diplomat' also fretted about 'the remarkably slow speed taken by ... especially the United States ... [and] 'this kind of attitude could impede the peace process''; while a colleague thought 'the US reluctant to see the Cambodian conflict resolved outside the lines it has drawn ... [because] Washington has raised a comprehensive settlement in Cambodia as one condition for full normalization of ties with Vietnam'. Even 'a Cambodian resistance source said it seemed the Americans 'are digging their own grave ... if it [the United States] remain the only one ... to oppose the Cambodian approach to find their own solutions, it could be viewed as trying to infringe upon a small nations' sovereignty''.50
Finally it was clear to all that the U.S. claim over the past ten years to be following ASEAN on Cambodia was a smokescreen. The U.S., as already shown in 1985 by George Schultz's remark quoted above, has been pushing ASEAN, perhaps even China, not following.
As I have suggested before, it was not, in the end, China's support for the Khmer Rouge which held back a Cambodian peace agreement, but the U.S. position;51 and now that the Chinese are freed from U.S. pressure by the peace agreement they are eager to develop good relations with Phnom Penh and provide generous aid, while the U.S. still grumbles about its 'road map'. Chinese diplomats have returned to their old embassy in Phnom Penh, have offered a token payment to the SOC for taking care of it, have pledged humanitarian aid, and are believed to be planning 'technical and financial resources to reactivate Cambodia's discarded [sic] industries ... [of which] five ... were built with aid from Beijing in the past ... While other countries ... build up their presence ... slowly and cautiously, Sino-Cambodian ties have already begun to flourish'. This is not, moreover, a sudden reversal of position imposed on China by the peace agreement. It appears that the 'Chinese reappearance on the scene ... was the result of calculated diplomatic moves begun in September 1990 during peace talks in Jakarta, where representatives of Phnom Penh and Beijing met for the first time'.52
An intriguing piece of evidence about the nature of U.S. involvement in the peace process was published after the Pattaya conference by the well-connected Thai journalist Kavi Chongkittavorn, '[a]t the end of May 1990, one of Gen Chatichai Choonhavan's policy advisers, Pansak Vinyarat, secretly flew to Rome to meet with a senior US official to work out a linkage between the setting up of a Supreme National Council in Cambodia and a ceasefire agreement'.53 What role did the U.S. have in that discussion? For whom was the U.S. speaking? Whose ceasing of fire could they influence? The Khmer faction on whom the U.S. is believed to have had the most leverage, Son Sann's KPNLF, was of so little significance that they could be ignored. Gen Chatichai's adviser could only have been concerned about U.S. pressure on Thailand, or U.S. influence, direct or indirect, on the Khmer Rouge, perhaps via U.S. connections with China.
Equally intriguing was the timing of a visit to Thailand by 'deputy assistant for public relations to the US president Sichan Siv', who was feted by Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Arsa Sarasin rather than by a Thai public relations official, and whose visit was announced only on the 'Society' page of the Bangkok Post, without comment in the general news or political pages. Sichan Siv is a former U.S.-based official of the KPNLF, and his visit occurred just before the Pattaya conference.54 What special instructions from President Bush to the Thai government with respect to Cambodia was Sichan Siv transmitting? Was it related to Son Sann's last-minute efforts to delay the settlement, or to ways of using the split between Son San and the military wing of the KPNLF under General Sak Sutsakhan, one of the Cambodian military who was close to the U.S. during 1970-75, and who now appears unhappy with the peace agreements and the exclusion of his faction from the SNC?55
In view of their record since 1975, the alleged concern of 'a few Western nations with high human rights values ... getting alarmed with the strong possibility of a return of the genocidal Khmer Rouge ... [and] the United States, Britain and Australia ... at the forefront in warning the delegates of the Paris International Conference on Cambodia', or pious 'statements before the signing ceremony [when] the foreign ministers of the US, Britain, and Australia underscored the brutality of the Khmer Rouge rule', or 'Bush express[ing] our on-going concern about the possibility that the murderous Khmer Rouge might once again dominate Cambodian politics' seem hardly worth the newsprint on which they appear.56
An argument that the U.S. position on the Khmer Rouge is based on the hope that they will be diluted in a coalition cannot be sustained. The U.S. has been most active in weakening the most sincere and effective enemies of the KR, the government in Phnom Penh; and now, having helped force the Khmer Rouge back into Phnom Penh, their presence is being evoked in Congress as a reason not to support the new government. Phnom Penh is being blamed implicitly for what the U.S. has wrought.
Sihanouk, another recipient of U.S. favor, is untrustworthy, and may as easily throw his weight against the SOC as he now seems to support them if it suits his own program.57 Indeed, together with his well-publicized warning to the new U.S. envoy in Phnom Penh not to 'interfere in disputes of Cambodians', Sihanouk seems to have given him covert signals to subvert the SOC, saying, 'Since you are rich you can help the Cambodian people who are so poor ... Your money should not go into the pockets of our officials or our civil servants ... You should go directly to the people'. He asked for US help to rebuild roads built with US aid in 1960s. 'But the United States should manage the funds and hire workers itself rather than trust the government, he said ... '"We cannot avoid corruption ... Please don't give directly money to them [the SOC] or even materials - even cars, because they may use the cars for their families ... Asia is Asia, eh"'. Thus, Sihanouk was inviting the U.S. to undermine, not himself as they did in the 1960s, but the existing government in Phnom Penh.58
A multi-party system which involves the dissolution of the now ruling Peoples Party into several other parties will further weaken what is now the SOC. Under the new political arrangements the KR can only gain.
Why has the U.S. insisted on this outcome? One obvious reason is the Vietnam Syndrome of sick old men in Washington nursing wounds to their pride. This is not an adequate explanation for it assumes U.S. policy to be entirely irrational, which it is not. There is indeed an anti-Vietnam basis in the support for the KR, but it is a rational one in terms of U.S. global policy to secure hegemony over any region deemed to be of strategic or economic significance.59
Vietnam has shown great skill in managing its society and economy in the face of the most brutal aggression and enforced isolation. It has shown far greater skill than some of the capitalist regimes of Southeast Asia, particularly those in which American influence is most salient. There is no doubt that had Vietnam been able to live for the past 20 years in normal international circumstances it would be a regional leader, and one which would not submit to foreign hegemony.
This is the crux of the U.S.-KR relationship. The latter are incorrigible enemies of Vietnam, and if they share any part of a Cambodian regime, Vietnam must worry, as in the past, that Cambodia will be a source of subversion, certainly not a partner in development. Whatever the KR do at home does not affect American interests, and their policies, however brutal, may be ignored, just as the brutalities of U.S. client regimes in Central America are ignored. The internal policies which they followed in 1975-78, and which they show no signs of abandoning in areas which they control, will not be a success undermining American interests in Southeast Asia. They may be expected to continue the primitive capitalist timber and gem deals which favor Thai business, at least until the Cambodian environment is exhausted, and they will be a continuing threat to the development of Vietnam.
That is, assuming, as most do, that it will be the poor peasant revolution tendency associated with Pol Pot and Ta Mok which prevails as KR policy and which they will follow if they regain power in Cambodia. There is possibly, however, another wing within the KR leadership, though it can be identified with only one person, who may, of course, have renounced his earlier ideas. That person is Khieu Samphan whose economic plan for Cambodia, written in 1959 as a doctoral dissertation, bears many features in common with recent recommendations by western economists on Cambodian reconstruction. Khieu Samphan then advocated a state-dominated free market system to direct local wealth into productive sectors until a strong, independent capitalism was realized.
The early PRK also saw the potential utility in coopting Khieu Samphan. In their genocide trial of 1979 only Pol Pot and Ieng Sary were accused and convicted, and for a time the DK group were treated in PRK statements as the 'Pol Pot-Ieng Sary clique', without invidious mention of Khieu Samphan.
So far as I recall, no one among western specialists of Cambodia accepted that distinction, for it was clear that whatever his earlier plans, Khieu Samphan had been a loyal follower and collaborator of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. it is thus intriguing that only now has it been considered important to specifically discredit Khieu Samphan for a western audience, as Stephen Heder did in his 'Khieu Samphan and Pol Pot: Moloch's Poodle', where he not only emphasized Samphan's apparent political loyalty to DK, but also, without any evidence, denigrated the intellectual qualities which all who knew Khieu Samphan in the 1960s and 1970s considered outstanding.60
Heder may be right that Samphan's economic expertise has faded, and Samphan may have converted to Pol Pot's poor peasantism. These are matters which we cannot yet know. We do know what Samphan once believed about his country's future, and it would not at all fit into Washington's plans for Cambodia. Although Samphan may be anti-Vietnam, his project, as expressed in 1959, for an independent semi-capitalist economy would not threaten Vietnam as much as would Pol Pot-ism, and it would meet with sympathy among many Phnom Penh technocrats. A Cambodia reconstructed according to Khieu Samphan's economic plan would not be anyone's client state and could not be counted on either to harass Vietnam or to sell off all its resources to Thailand.
The brutality of Pol Pot and Ta Mok are no threat to the 'New World Order' projected from Washington, but Khieu Samphan's economics, even if not directed by himself, but by a reformed State of Cambodia, might be.
On the last day of a recent visit to Cambodia, 1 November 1991, I was surprised and intrigued by the remark of an American who has lived in Cambodia for two years and who claims to have a wide circle of acquaintances among young men in their 20s. He had discovered that many of them admired Khieu Samphan and thought that he might provide good leadership in days to come. This is surprising, not only because of Samphan's role as a DK leader, but also because persons of that age would not have known Khieu Samphan, nor would his writings have been available to them in the years since they have been able to read. If this report is at all accurate, it means that admiration for Khieu Samphan persists among an older generation of Cambodians in Phnom Penh, probably some of the new group of officials without any pre-1975 communist background who now predominate in deputy-ministerial and lower levels of the administration. Their renewed interest in Samphan, if such it is, could be related to disgust at the explosive corruption of the past year and Samphan's reputation from the 1960s for incorruptibility.
The assault on Khieu Samphan when he returned to Phnom Penh on 27 November took everyone, or at least outside observers, by surprise, first because it was so much in the interest of the Phnom Penh government to guarantee his safety, and because there was no such exhibition of violence against Son Sen when he returned a week earlier, even though he had been 'revealed' some years ago by western Cambodia specialists as responsible for the DK security apparatus, and ultimately, for the Tuol Sleng torture and execution center.61 Even though, according to Jacques Bekaert, 'in the past two weeks ... the ruling party has increased its anti-Khmer Rouge propaganda', it was the Son Sen angle which was emphasized by journalists covering the Khmer Rouge return to Phnom Penh, and who claimed to be in contact with Cambodian public opinion.62 Because ofthe lack of information about Khieu Samphan among the Phnom Penh populace, who unless they have been informed of western research on Democratic Kampuchea during 1975-1979 know nothing of Samphan's responsibilities then, the lack of attention given to him in PRK/SOC propaganda, and the reported positive interest in him among some of the Phnom Penh youth, the assault on Khieu Samphan may have a significance not generally perceived. It is unlikely that it was entirely spontaneous, a wild outburst of popular hatred.
The attack served the interests of at least three types of groups which certainly exist, even if in inchoate form and even if precise identities of individuals may not be determined. They are (1) those who wish, for whatever reason to discredit the Phnom Penh government, particularly the Hun Sen faction, (2) those who were opposed to convening the SNC in Phnom Penh and who would like to see it moved to Thailand, and (3) those who fear that Khieu Samphan, or what he represented in the past, could become a rallying point for young Cambodians who will react against the revival of Sihanouk-Lon Nolism implied in the peace agreements. Two groups may be absolved a priori of any responsibility for instigating the assault, the Hun Sen-Chea Sim faction(s) of the Phnom Penh government, and the Vietnamese.63 The possibility that outside sources, radio broadcasts or visiting refugees, may have brought in word of the latest academic 'discoveries' and primed the attack merits attention.64 The Phnom Penh government may have been worried about this possibility, for on 2 December they ordered two Cambodian emigrs, Dr Haing Ngor and Dith Pran, to cancel a 'news conference calling for the trial of senior Khmer Rouge leaders for genocide'.65
What are the chances of a Khmer Rouge takeover under the new peace agreement?
The expressed concern of Cambodians in official position is that the KR have no hope of winning an election because of the universal hostility to them among the population. They profess to worry about immediate violence by the Khmer Rouge after they are free to come to Phnom Penh, and by an eventual military coup using weapons they have hidden after the other factions have disarmed.
I doubt very much that this is a correct assessment, and I believe that the Khmer Rouge will be very careful to avoid anything that could provoke action against them. I expect that they will try to be model citizens and workers until the election now planned for 1993, believing that their rivals, in the new multi-party free-market environment, will administer the country so badly that considerable electoral support will accrue to the Partie of Democratic Kampuchea. They are not at all insincere when they say they now favor free-market capitalism for Cambodia. They consider it the fastest route to the type of destabilization which will most favor their return to power.
People in Phnom Penh seem to have convinced themselves that the evil of the Khmer Rouge was due to the personality of a single person, or at most a small group of leaders, together with the encouragement of a foreign power, China. This, it seems, has caused them to forget that the Khmer Rouge won the first time, in 1975, with overwhelming popular support, which they gained then from the incompetent, eventually brutal, administration of two regimes which preceded them, Sihanouk's and Lon Nol's. By 1979 they had lost most of that support, and in an immediate election today their showing might be insignificant, which is why the SOC, in negotiating the peace agreement, argued for early elections, to which the Big Five objected. They could, however, regain much of that support if Cambodia during the next years proceeds along some of the paths which are already being traced.
In contrast to some others who have written about potential Khmer Rouge success, I have never considered that it was a reason why they had to be included in a new coalition as they are under the recent peace agreement. Isolation, instead of the international support they have enjoyed, even removal of that support as late as this year and refusal to countenance their return, would probably have kept them out of the new political process. They were included, not because they had to be, but because their inclusion suits the policies of the United States, China, and Thailand in particular, followed without protest by most of the rest of the world.
Acharn Kraisri was born on 24 December 1912 in Chiangmai, in the house on Wichayanon Street, now the office of the Anusarn Trust and his place of work until his death.
Kraisri was proud of, and valued, his ancestry. In the volume issued to honour the completion of his sixth cycle (72 years) there is a section over twenty pages long which gives details of his family the lines which came to Chiangmai from Lamphun, from Sipsongpanna and from China. His best-known ancestor was Luang Anusarn Sunthorn, the Chiangmai entrepreneur and philanthropist who was ennobled by King Chulalongkorn. Luang Anusarn was the father of Acharn Kraisri's mother, but there was also a connection on his father's side as Luang Anusarn's sister was the mother of Acharn Kraisri's father. Such inter-marriages were not unusual among the powerful trading families of the period. Luang Anusarn's wife was Nang Khamthiang whose family home now stands in the compound of the Siam Society under the name of the Khamthiang House. She belonged to the ruling family of Muang Chae in Sipsongpanna and was a refugee from the many wars that plagued 19th century Sipsongpanna. In the latter part of his life Acharn Kraisri made many visits to Sipsongpanna and gave much help in the rebuilding of Buddhist monasteries which had been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
Luang Anusarn is a cultural and historical phenomenon in Chiangmai. Not only did he lay the foundation of a vast financial empire, with the main Chiangmai market as its centrepiece, but he has entered folklore in a most intriguing manner. He was largely responsible for the foundation of Wat Uppakut which lies not far from the Anusarn Trust building, and this association has gone into legend. It is a belief that Phra Uppakut walks the streets of Chiangmai on the full moon of the ninth month as a monk seeking alms. The first one to make an offering is blessed with good fortune. There is a story in Chiangmai that the future Luang Anusarn had walked overland to Chiangmai from China and was earning his living as a pedlar on the streets of Chiangmai. He had the good fortune to tag bat uppakut (place alms in Uppakut's bowl) which was the start of his successful trading career. The story goes on to say that the now jewel-encrusted pedlar's pole which he used is enshrined in the uposata of Wat Uppakut.
Unfortunately the truth is more prosaic, though not without its own excitement. Luang Anusarn's father was a successful businessman in neighbouring Lamphun who fell foul of the ruler, the Caw Mang, and fled with his young family to the protection of the Chiangmai Prince. He was wounded during his flight and Kraisri used to tell of his being treated by the wife of the Presbyterian missionary, Dr McGilvary.
Luang Anusarn's name is associated with the initiation of numerous commercial activities in Chiangmai: the bus system, caravans, shipping down the Mae Ping, the first photographers and the consolidation of the markets. It is clear that Kraisri saw himself as following in his footsteps, as the murals in his office in the Anusarn Trust building show, as does his long career as banker and entrepreneur.
To us academics, however, it is his pursuit of scholarship and learning, his never-failing encouragement to many scholars and his goodwill and hospitality that we will remember above all else. Most of his writings are available in both Thai and English. The exceptions are some of the more ephemeral pieces he wrote for the Chiangmai newspaper Khon Muang and his last major work, the epic poem on Chamathevi and Khun Vilanka. His experience as a scholar and entrepreneur was also put to national advantage in his service on the Committee for Thai History in the Office of the Prime Minister.
The first major work which was brought to the notice of the international academic community was Sankampaeng Glazed Pottery, the text of a lecture published in 1960, published in commemoration of the completion of the sixth cycle of his father, Ki Nimmanahaeminda. The main thesis of this work was that the kilns found near Chiangmai pointed to an industry which operated in Chiangmai between the mid-16th and mid-17th centuries coming to an end when the Burmese conquerors removed Chiangmai's craftsmen, artists and artisans, along with a large part of the population. This work had a great influence on Kraisri, so much so that he took as his family emblem the yin-yang fish symbol which figures prominently in Sankampaeng glazed ware.
A selection of his papers was published to mark his award as Distinguished Man of the Year by the National Council of the Office of the Prime Minister in 1981. A quick glance through this book establishes the range of his interest in his home Chiangmai and northern Thailand: 'The irrigation laws of King Mengrai', 'The Lawa guardian spirits of Chiengmai' and 'Ham Yon: the magic testicles' the last a study of the lintel designs which traditionally marked the bedrooms of northern Thai houses.
Perhaps one of the most influential of his papers was that entitled in English 'Put vegetables into baskets, and people into towns' (Kep phak sai sa, kep kha sai mang); it has certainly come to construct the way in which I see northern Thai history and the history of northern Thai society. The thesis is a simple one, and as Kraisri wrote he restricted its application to a period which was essentially the 19th century. He points out that at a period when territory needed repopulation and industry needed revitalization one of the major aims of political activity and warfare was to capture populations that were resettled in areas benefiting rulers and conquerors. It may be argued that this thesis could be extended to the whole span of Southeast Asian history.
The Khamthiang House which was gifted to the Siam Society about twenty years ago is thought to be over 125 years old. The caption in the photograph in the 1985 volume celebrating his sixth cycle says his mother and at least five female generations were born in the house. It is now maintained as a museum of northern Thai culture. One of Acharn Kraisri's last enterprises was the reconstruction of such a traditional house in the grounds of Chiang Mai Teachers College. He paid almost daily visits to the site overseeing the work. I believe it is now near completion.
In recent years his major work was the writing of Kap Cia Camathevi lae Virangkha, a two-thousand-stanza epic relating a much loved Lanna legend, but also including in it comment on much of northern life. It was published five years ago and remains a fitting memorial to a man who will be respectfully and fondly remembered by many across the world.
More than seven centuries have passed since the time when Marco Polo (1254-1324) undertook, as a high dignitary at the court of the Great Khan Qubilai, his journey of inspection to Burma. This inspection also took him through the territory of the modern province of Yunnan which he reached in about 1287. Marco Polo became the first European to come into contact with the ancestors of contemporary Tibeto-Burman, Tai and Miao-Yao ethnic groups living in the mentioned territory. In his book of travels, he describes Yunnan in five chapters in all1:
1. Political situation in Yunnan in the 13th/14th centuries
In the meantime, Qubilai founded the Dynasty of Great Origin (Da Yuan, 1271-1368). In 1273, the province of Yunnan was established in the territory of the former state of Dali. Its first governor (pingzhang zhengshi) became, in 1274, Saiyid Ajall Shams al-DO(i,)n (1211-1279; his other name was 'Umar) who came from Bukhara.6 His family gradually became one of the most powerful families among the Muslim Hui in China. After his death, he was succeeded by his eldest son Nasir al-DO(i,)n ( 1292) who was the governor of Yunnan from 1280-1284. He was mentioned by Marco Polo, in Chapter CXXII, in connection with the war against Burma (the kingdom of Pagan) for the region of Jinchi in 1272 (in some editions of Marco Polo's book, the year is given in error as 1262). He was followed by his brother Husain ( 1310) who was succeeded by Esen-buka, the governor of Yunnan in 1286-1298, followed by Nasir al-DO(i,)n's son Saiyid Ajall Bayam ( 1307).
II. Yunnan in the time of Marco Polo
During the Yuan period, the territory of Yunnan was named QaraO(j,)ang (officially QaraO(j,)ang qingO(s,)ing = Yunnan xing-sheng, i.e. the province of Yunnan). The origin of this name might lie in the Mongolian name of the Black Cuan (quara = black, O(j,)ang = Cuan?), the ancestors of modern Yi. The name QaraO(j,)ang was used not only for the province of Yunnan but also, in a narrower sense, for the region and town of Dali in the west of Yunnan.7 Marco Polo mentions this name (in the form of Caragian or Carayam, Caraiam, Caraian, Carazan) in two chapters of his book: in Chapter CXIX it is used as the name for the whole province of Yunnan, and in Chapter CXX it indicates Dali, both the region and its seat.8
In the first period of Mongolian rule, the territory of Yunnan was divided into five border regions (wu cheng): YaO(c,)i, QaraO(j,)ang, CaqanO(j,)ang, Jinchi, and Citeker.9 After the establishment of the province of Yunnan, it was divided into lu, fu, zhou, xian and other administrative units. Marco Polo mentions, in Chapter CXIX, the following division of Yunnan: "Quant l'en a pas cest flum, adons treuve l'en et entre en la provence de Caragian, qui est si grant que bien hi a VII roiames ..." (When you have crossed this river [i.e. Jinsha Jiang] you have entered the province of Caragian which is so large that there are seven kingdoms...).10
What were these "VII roiames"? In the text related to Yunnan, we can read about la provence and la cit de Caragian and la reigne and la cit de Iaci (Chapters CXIX and CXX), la provence de Cardandan (Chapter CXXI), la provence de Aniu (Chapter CXXIX) and la provence de Toloman (Chapter CXXX). If we add the names of CaqanO(j,)ang and Citeker, which are not mentioned explicitly by Marco Polo, we have that very number of seven kingdoms. But this is only a speculation.
Caragian and Iaci
Reading Chapters CXIX and CXX of Marco Polo's book, we find a contradiction in the location of Caragian. As evident from the text, both Caragian and Iaci were used in the meaning of the province (or kingdom) and its seat: "la provence de Caragian" and "le reigne, que est apells Iaci" (chapter CXIX); "la cit de Iaci" and "la mestre cit dou reigne appell Caragian" (chapter CXX). From the histories of the Yuan period, we know that QaraO(j,)ang originally was the name for Dali, both the state and its capital, and later it was extended to the whole of Yunnan.11 So far as Iaci (or Iacy, Xacy) is concerned, in that time it was the name (in Mongolian as YaO(c,)i) for modern Kunming and its area. It seems that this name has its origin in aboriginal languages, namely Naxi and Yi. In Naxi, for example, Kunming is named Yichi, "the southern territory".12
Cardandan and Vocian
Cardandan (or Ardandam, Zardandan) was the Persian translation (correctly written ZardandO(a,)n) of the Chinese name for the region of Jinchi (the Golden Teeth; see below) the predecessors of modern Tai people living in western Yunnan, which occurs in Rashid alDO(i,)n's JO(a,)mi al-TawO(a,)rO(i,)kh (Collection of Histories) in the beginning of the 14th century. (Chapter CXXI) "Quant l'en s'en part de Caragian, il ala por ponent V jornee; adonc treuve l'en une provence que s'apelle Cardandan... La mestre cit de ceste province est apell Vocian." (When you go west for five days, then you will find yourselves in the province named Cardandan... The capital of this province is named Vocian.)
Marco Polo's Vocian (or Uncian, Ursiam, Nocian) may be identified with Yongchang (now Baoshan), the old seat of Jinchi, and since 1285 the seat of Dali Jinchi xuanfusi (see below).
Aniu and Toloman
Neither CaqanO(j,)ang nor Citeker (see above) are mentioned in Marco Polo's text. But he has added, in Chapters CXXIX and CXXX, a description of two other parts of Yunnan: Aniu and Toloman, the provinces lying to the east (ver levant). It is probable that Aniu was the prefecture of Anning near Kunming which was inhabited by the White Cuan. The name Toloman was derived from the Mongolian name for Tulao Man, the ancestors of some modern Tai ethnic groups in the very northwest of Yunnan. Therefore, Marco Polo might have described here the region of Wumeng (now Zhaotong) and the adjacent Yunnan-Sichuan borderland.
III. The Tai territory in Marco Polo's book
In the mid-13th century, the Tai of the middle reaches of the Mekong River (Lancang Jiang in China) and Song Hong migrated to the north to the upper reaches of the Song Hong River (Yuan Jiang in China) and the Nanpan Jiang. In addition, they settled in the middle reaches of the Salween River (Nu Jiang in China).13 In the Yuan period, the Tai, Zhuang, Thai, Lao and other Tai people living now in southwest China, northern Burma, Thailand and Laos were named Jinchi and Baiyi in Chinese written sources. Before the Mongolian conquest of their territory they had their own administrative structure within the territory of today's China (see Appendix).
In his book, Marco Polo describes the western part of the Tai territory in modern Yunnan, the territory of Dali and Jinchi (now the prefectures of Dali [Dali Baizu zizhizhou] Baoshan [Baoshan diqu], Dehong [Dehong Daizu Jingpozu zizhizhou] and neighbouring borderland of northeast and central Burma), i.e. the Nu Jiang and Lancang Jiang basin.
Jinchi and Dali (QaraO(j,)ang)
In 1261, in the territory of the modern prefectures of Baoshan and Dehong, the Mongolian government founded a new administrative unit, Jinchi anfusi.14 The name Jinchi was originally the ethnonym for an ethnic group, the ancestors of the modern Dehong Daizu, who have lived in the territory of southwest Yunnan since the Tang.15 In the Yuan period, they were mostly known as Jinchi Baiyi (Barbarians with the Golden Teeth). Their custom was to cover their teeth with slices of gold. The Tang author Fan Chao (9th century) had already written in his Yunnan zhi: "Jinchi Man with thin pieces of gold cover their teeth..."16 This habit was also described by Marco Polo in his book: (Chapter CXXI) "Les jens ont tous les dens d'or: ce est que chascun dens est covert d'or. Car il font une forme d'or, faite a la mainere de sez dens, et covrent les dens desout come cel desoure. Et ce font les homes et nen les dames..." (People have their teeth of gold: it means that all teeth are covered with gold. They have a mould for gold made in the shape of their teeth, and cover their teeth up and down. And this is done by men not women...).
In order to establish political power over the territory of Jinchi, the Mongolian government appointed, in 1268, Aru (1226-1288), the bodyguard of QukeO(c,)i, for Jinchi anfushi. After that Aru lead expeditions several times against Jinchi (1268, 1269, 1270, 1271).17 In 1271 (or 1273), Jinchi anfusi was divided into two new administrative units, Xilu anfusi and Donglu anfusi, with the Nu Jiang as the border. In 1275 or 1276, after the establishment of the province of Yunnan, the two anfusi were transferred into two lu, Jianning and Zhenkang. In 1276 (or 1278), the former Jinchi anfusi was raised to Jinchi xuanfusi with the division into six lu and songguanfu (see below).18 Besides, there was a special administrative unit dan (from Tai "?"), Nandan.19
For a better understanding of the changes in the administrative division of Jinchi see the following chart:
Jinchi anfusi Xilu anfusi Jianning lu20
Jinchi xuanfusi: 1) Zhenkang lu 2) Mangshi lu 3) Zhenxi lu (1276/1278-1285) 4) Pingmian lu 5) Rouyuan lu 6) Luchuan lu 7) Nandan
In 1270, in the northwestern part of former state of Dali, the Mongolian government established Dali lu which was later raised to Dali (QaraO(j,)ang) xuanfusi. In 1285/1286, Jinchi and Dali were joined to become one administrative unit Dali Jinchi xuanfusi with Yongchang as its seat. Five years later, in 1291, the xuanfusi was promoted to Dali Jinchi xuanweisi (the complete title of the administrative unit was Dali Jinchi dengchu xuanweisi duyuanshuai fu, the Pacification Office and Chief Military Command in the Regions of all Ranges of Dali and Jinchi).21 After wars against the Kingdom of Pagan in the 1270s to 1290s, a large territory in modern northeast Burma was annexed to the Yuan empire and placed under the administration of Dali Jinchi xuanweisi.22 In this way, in the space of the 13th and 14th centuries, large areas inhabited by the Tai tribes in western Yunnan and northeastern Burma came under one jurisdiction.
The Tai territory in Yunnan in the 13th century, after the Mongolian conquest23
The term Miao was first used by the Chinese in pre-Qin times, i.e. before 221 B.C., for designating non-Chinese groups in the south. It was often used in the combinations 'miaomin', 'youmiao' and 'sanmiao'. At that time the people lived in the Yangtze valley, but later they were forced by the Chinese to move further southwards. During the Tang (613-907 A.D.) and Song dynasties (960-1279 A.C.) the term 'nanman' was used for the same peoples. However, the name 'miao' reappeared in Fan Chuo's book on the southern tribes, Manshu (862 A.D.). During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911) 'miao' and 'man' were both used, the second possibly to designate the Yao people.1
Western researchers do not treat the terminological problems in a uniform way. Early writers used Chinese-based names in various transcriptions: Miao, Miao-tse, Miao-tsze, Meau, Meo, mo, miao-tseu etc., but due to the influence of the Hmong of Laos (a sub-group of the Miao people) some contemporary researchers have adopted another terminology. Judith Wheaton Fuller, in her Ph.D. dissertation, defines the Miao language as 'the hmongic (Miao) branch of the Miao-Yao language family'.2 William A. Smalley uses the term Miao for the Miao of China, while using the term Hmong (1) as a general term for the entire people, and (2) as a specific term for the speakers of the Hmong dialect spoken by one part of the Miao in China and by almost all Miao outside China.3 This results in statements like 'In the eighteenth century antagonism between the Miao peoples and ethnic Chinese came to a head as some Hmong revolted against steady Chinese incursion into the areas where they lived,...'. I, at least, find this a bit confusing.
The Miao themselves use various self-designations and the Chinese traditionally classified them according to the most characteristic colour of the women's clothes. The list below contains the self-designations, the colour designations and the main regions inhabited by the four major groups of Miao in China:
In China, however, the situation is different for two main reasons. The Miao groups have different self-designations and only a small proportion use the word Hmong. The rest have no feeling that Hmong is in any way preferable to Miao as a common designator. Since the official classification of the minorities in the 1950s some minority groups have complained about the word used in Chinese to designate them and have asked for the government to change the official usage. The Miao groups of China have, to my knowledge, voiced no such concern. The second reason is purely pragmatic: it is impossible to introduce the word 'hmong' into Chinese as this syllable does not exist in the Chinese language. As a matter of fact, this is also the case for the English language, as few speakers are able to pronounce an unvoiced nasal. However, in English, unlike Chinese, it is at least possible to write the word Hmong.
Many Hmong living in the West believe that every people should have the right to choose their own self-designation in other languages. At first this policy might seem reasonable, but it would result in numerous problems of spelling and pronunciation if implemented universally. What about 'Kartveli' for 'Georgian', 'Shqiptar' for 'Albanian', 'Euskaldun' for 'Basque', 'Deutsch' for 'German' etc. etc.?
I propose that the term Hmong be used only for designating the Miao groups speaking the Hmong dialect in China and for the Miao outside China. This usage is by now well established in Western literature. However, I think that it is best to use Miao as a general term, especially as this is in accord with tradition and is also practical for making the situation clear to persons not specialising in Miaology. Many persons have already been confused by the present terminological state and see no connection between the Hmong and the Miao. There is perhaps not much that can be done about this now, but I hope that some people will understand the relation between the words Miao and Hmong better, if they are used in a more logical way.
To my Miao friends I just want to say that the basic meaning of the word 'miao' in Chinese is 'young plant', which in an agrarian culture is certainly a more positive concept than that of a 'swede' in the western world.
Because of its encyclopaedic treatment of contemporary Burmese history, I believe it will largely be used as a book of reference, and it is this that leads me to the only criticism that I would want to make of the book. It has no bibliography and the index is not always as helpful as one could hope. For example, Hanson Kyadoe, the Karen leader associated with the Parliamentary Democracy Party and in 1990 appointed to the five member civilian election commission, is indexed under 'Hanson' only, but is referred to throughout the book as 'Kyadoe'. Even more exasperating is the case of the army Chief-of-Staff, General Smith Dun, also a Karen, who is similarly indexed and cited in the notes, but I can nowhere find the publication details of his book The four foot colonel. There remains the question of what could be done with acronyms. There are some 150 of these listed in the front pages and Smith uses them freely throughout the book. Perhaps this was the only reasonable solution though it does mean the reader has to continually keep flipping back and forth to keep track of the narrative. For the convenience of readers let me give here a brief outline of contemporary Burmese political history as it is detailed by Smith.
1 August 1943 Independence declared by the Thirty Comrades and the Burmese Independence Army. This proved to be illusory and in March 1945 the Army, renamed the Burmese National Army, turned on the Japanese, which was a decisive factor in the swift end to the war. The Communist Party of Burma played a decisive part in this decision and in the fighting that followed.
February 1947. The second Panglong conference at which Aung San promised equality between Burman and 'frontier peoples'. One clause read 'Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas is accepted in principle'. Constitution actually adopted in September was 'lopsided and riddled with inconsistencies'. 'The most remarkable omission of all from the 1947 Constitution was a Karen state'.
July 1947 Aung San and cabinet assassinated.
4 January 1948 Burma declared an independent republic with U Nu as Prime Minister.
March 1948 Communist Party armed struggle begins. In August, within eight months of independence. Most of Arakan in hands of Communist and other guerrillas, as were areas of central and lower Burma, and Karen and Mon dissidence makes itself felt.
1949 The Kachin and Karen, who had remained largely loyal to the British during the war, went into insurrection against the Burmese government. Crucial hesitation by the Second Karen Rifles (who did not know that General Smith Dun had been replaced as Chief-of-Staff) prevented the march on Rangoon. The Kachin, under Naw Seng, join the rebellion. The State of Kawthoolei declared with Saw Ba U Gyi established as Prime Minister at Toungoo. Naw Seng could not persuade the bulk of Kachin in the Burma Army to defect, and he goes into exile in China where he remained for twenty years.
Communists form the Peoples Democratic Front, a name the CPB continued to use in their propaganda, but which effectively died in 1950, when fighting within the front, allowed Tatmadaw to capture the town of Prome.
Kuomintang incursion into Shan State at end of the year. By the end of 1951 it had grown to a force of 12,000 and was threatening to enter Karenni State. Karen leaders reached an agreement with the KMT with the intention of creating joint access to the sea at Moulmein. The agreement did not last and had the effect of bringing the Tatmadaw to show greater interest in eastern Burma.
During the early 1950s U Nu managed to keep his AFPFL government alive, heading off defections by the Socialists and the People's Volunteer Organization and, internationally, being accepted as part of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In 1950 Saw Ba U Gyi attempted to reorganize the Karen National Union and the first full Congress after the outbreak of fighting was held. He was killed shortly after which created a crisis in Karen leadership which lasted many years.
1953 The Karen launch the second phase of their insurgency, with much disguised Maoism in their organizational principles. CPB's ambiguous attitude to minorities, particularly its characterization of Karen leadership as 'reactionary feudal' prevented an effective ceasefire between communist and Karen until 1952. In 1949, Thakin Soe, the Red Flag leader, had organized a rival Karen organization, the Karen New Land Party. This was finally destroyed by the KNU in 1955.
Joint CPB/KNU operations continued to occur and in 1959 the National Democratic United Front was formed, the basis of a formal military alliance. This was signed by the KNUP (Karen National United Party) but not by the KNU itself. This later led to a split in the KNU.
1956 election in which the Burma Workers and Peasants Party led a united front with the blessing of the CPB. It won 35% of the votes but only a small number of seats.
1958-60 Ne Win's military caretaker administration. Growth of the power of Tatmadaw, the Burma Army. [Smith writes, 'international analysts and observers have described as the most orderly and best-run government in Burma since independence' Well, well!]
1958 amnesty offer (U Nu's 'arms for democracy') had wide success among most insurgent groups except the Karen.
1958-9 Shan rebellion breaks out.
1960 Ne Win-Zhou Enlai border agreement signed. Joint action against KMT positions was followed the next year by evacuation of more KMT to Taiwan with American help.
U Nu wins election of 1960. Conditions deteriorate with floods, economic disasters and a revived insurgency.
1961 The agreement proposed by U Nu was not satisfactory to the largely Christian Kachin, and U Nu's attempt to make Buddhism the state religion sparked off the rebellion by the Kachin Independence Organization.
1962 Ne Win coup, Burma Socialist Program Party and Burmese Way to Socialism based on 'stunningly simplistic' The system of correlation of man and his environment. Suggestion that coup may have been brought on by the Federal Movement, apparently a discussion group formed in Shan State in 1960. One coup leader is reported as saying 'Federalism is impossible. It will destroy the Union'.
Student Union blown up by army in action against students. Many hundreds missing, believed killed, though government claimed only sixteen. The building had been the focal point of the independence movement of the 1930s.
1968 U Nu released from gaol to form Internal Unity Advisory Body which restated the case for federalism and return to 1947 Constitution. These were summarily rejected and U Nu fled the country.
1963-4 Peace talks with various insurrectionary groups. Mostly failed, and renewed insurrection broke out, particularly in the northeast. However, one Karen faction surrendered in 1964. This was related to the division of the Karen movement into pro-CPB and anti-communist factions. Among new insurrectionary parties formed in that year was Khun Sa's Shan United Army. The three largest Shan organizations and the Kokang Resistance Force under Jimmy Yang united under the name of Shan State Army.
Burma Army initiates the Four Cuts policy which aimed to 'cut the four main links (food, funds, intelligence and recruits) between insurgents, their families and local villagers'. Within eight years the CPB had virtually disintegrated as a military force in central Burma.
1966 Bo Mya, effectively stages a coup against the KNUP leaders and achieves dominance of the Karen eastern command.
1967 Ne Win concerned at the possibility of an alliance of insurrectionary forces, allowed any insurgent or bandit groups to police and control trade in their areas as government defence militias, the KKY. There were many defections, including 'Khun Sa's SUA, Kokang and Wa units. These now engaged in the burgeoning narcotics and arms trade.
1967 The Cultural Revolution hits both the CPB and the Chinese population of Rangoon. The People's Army was divided in two in the central region they were under heavy pressure from the Burma Army, while the North East Command, supported by China, grew rapidly. The Kachin Naw Seng, who had returned from exile in China, was associated with much of the CPB's victories. After his death in 1972, the party began a slow period of decline.
1968 Negotiations between CPB and KIO break down and begins an eight-year war between them.
1970 U Nu's CIA-backed Parliamentary Democratic Party (PDP) began operations and had immediate success. The CPB refused to make any arrangement with the PDP. National United Liberation Front formed by PDP, the Karen National Union and New Mon State Party.
1973 Burmese government had to abandon KKY policy, because of international criticism of their involvement in opium trafficking. Lahu National Organization revolt begins. U Nu goes into retirement. NULF practically finished in 1978.
Referendum and introduction of new constitution the next year.
1974 Demonstrations at U Thant's funeral sees the massacre of large numbers of student demonstrators.
1976 National Democratic Front created at Manerplaw originally with nine ethnic organizations.
1980 Government offers amnesty. KIO and CPB engage in peace talks with government.
1983 KIO returns to the National Democratic Front. This coincides with intensification of Burma Army attacks on the Karen and the Kachin.
1986 CPB and NDF forge an alliance.
1988 CPB makes its last reorganization of operational areas in northeast Burma.
Official trading begins between Burma and Yunnan Province and a consequent movement of trade away from the Thai border. Suggestion that this is partly responsible for Thai government's desire to remain on good terms with the government in Rangoon.
Democracy movement, Rangoon massacres and Saw Maung 'coup' and establishment of the State Law and Order Restoration Council.
Democratic Alliance of Burma formed on Karen territory, the major parties being the NDF and the All Burma Students Democratic Front. The National League for Democracy is now a member of the Alliance.
1989 Largest and most senior Tatmadaw delegation to China. CPB collapses. Kokang and Wa troops sieze the Party's northern region headquarters.
SLORC makes arrangements with many of the ethnic organizations which emerged on the break-up of the CPB
1990 Victory of National League for Democracy in May elections.
This brief outline does no justice to the detailed discussions which themselves are not constrained by chronology. For instance, in three consecutive chapters he takes up the topics of 'the Cultural Revolution', the North East Command of the Communist Party and the Burma Army's scorched earth policy and the Parliamentary Democracy Party's military campaign. Though the first two follow chronologically, the history of the North East Command overlaps considerably with U Nu's ultimately disastrous military involvement.
One of the virtues of the book is that it attempts to give coverage to the entire territory of that complex country. It therefore contains very welcome discussion of the history of insurgency in Arakan State, as well as coverage of the better-known insurrections of Karen, Shan and Kachin. Despite the fact that Smith's greatest contacts appear to be with the Karen he is treated with great respect and affection in Manerplaw the book devotes major attention to the Communist Party of Burma: five full chapters as well as lengthy consideration in more general ones. The failure of the party to fully use its advantages will remain one of the controversies of modern Burmese history. It could claim to be the one true multi-ethnic organization but the leadership remained largely Burman to the very end. Though Smith is cautious in his judgments, there is a strong suggestion that the 'Cultural Revolution' line adopted by the leadership played a major part in its final collapse. There is some suggestion that Marxism could revive among contemporary dissident and student groups.
It is now more urgent than ever that the international community understands what is happening in this tortured country. There is no better place to start than with Martin Smith's book.
I stated that the population of Burma is "70% ethnic Burman, and the other 30% divided between about 200 diverse ethnic groups". It turns out those are the SLORC's figures, and although the true figures are very hard to pin down, these are generally considered as false. Two tactics of the SLORC in doing this are 1) registering all Buddhists as ethnic Burman, regardless of their true nationality. This is especially true with, for example, the Mon; as the SLORC say "There are no more Mon". All are registered as Burmans. 2) The SLORC greatly exaggerated the number of number of existing minorities, "so how could we give them all autonomy fairly".
It would be best to replace that sentence with something like "the population is estimated to be about 60% ethnic Burman and 40% made up of about 15 main ethnic nationalities and and several subgroups; although unreliable census data and the successive regimes' deliberate falsification of data made this hard to judge, and some estimate the the ethnic Burman proportion to be as low as 35%".
Things have quietened down here the rainy season is just about upon us, and the Burmese have gone off the offensive to wait for next season's offensive, which promises to be at least as bad if the political situation doesn't improve in the meantime. Although Than Shwe has taken over as SLORC figurehead, token political prisoners have been released and a National Convention promised, these are just ploys to distract world attention, and possibly the initial step in setting up a SLORC puppet government. In real terms nothing has changed.
I've heard a bit of good news, though. Apparently the German NGO that supported Federal University is going to try again to get students overseas namely sending the top 20 (based on some tests they wrote) to universities in India or the Philippines (it's cheaper than Germany). All costs would be covered for 3 years, starting as early as July. I'm not sure if anything will come of this though the NGO must solve the problems of passports and visas which still exist, and most of the students have dispersed all over the place, and some have new commitments. Still, hopefully some will get the opportunity.
Funding for Federal University itself has continued to be held back due to the uncertainty of the situation in Manerplaw, but is expected to come through soon. NDF's revised new plan 6-monthly courses of intensive political science, constitutional law, economics (I think), geography, English, etc. ie skills useful to future leaders in establishing the kind of country they want. I am not sure if students would be limited to one term, but that would be the basic unit of study. Sounds like a good plan to me, taking into account the circumstances.
Apology from Gehan Wijeyewardene:
In my translation of Thawi Swangpanyang-koon's paper 'Kengtung: past and present' I was guilty of an error which should have been corrected but was not. Acharn Tawi clearly states that his preferred spelling of the name in English should be 'Kentung' and not 'Chiangtung'. Throughout the paper I use the latter, on the grounds that this is the transliteration of the Thai. I should have respected Acharn Thawi's preference. My excuse is that this and the translation of Acharn Aroonrut's paper were both done 'on the run', recovering from a bout of 'flu and travelling in Thailand and Sri Lanka'.
The Mekong is one of the great rivers of the world. It flows through six countries China, Burma, Laos, Thailand Cambodia and Vietnam and affects the fortunes of millions of people. The purpose of UMRP is to enhance understanding of some of these people, and explore the policies that affect them.
The 'Upper Mekong' includes the main river and its tributaries in and area bounded in the north by the boundary between Yunnan and Tibet, and in the south by the Laotian capital of Vientiane. UMRP thus includes areas of China, Laos and Thailand. It may be possible to ultimately include Burma.
The project is interdisciplinary within the human sciences. It was established in 1991 when the co-directors of the project, E.C. Chapman of the Department of Geography, Australian National University, and Peter Hinton of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney, were awarded a major research grant by the Australian Research Council. This grant assures basic funding for the project for the next three years, that is 1992-94.
The Upper Mekong
The Upper Mekong regional focus was selected for three main reasons:
The valley of the Mekong and its tributaries will provide a conduit for this emerging regional trade. At present there is a complex network of land and river routes which will be developed as the trade expands.
It is expected that the UMRP will not only provide socio-economic documentation for a little known area, but will yield information of value to planners and policy makers.
Progress to Date
The research grant enabling the project was awarded in October 1991. Since then the basis for long term collaboration with the research Centre for Rural Economy (RCRE) of the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing has been established. In January and February of 1992 a five week survey of communities, townships and enterprises along the Mekong River from Weixi, in the far north west of Yunnan, to Mengla, on the Laotian border in the far south was carried out by a team comprising Chapman, Hinton and two researchers from RCRE, Ms Tan Jingrong (an economist) and Mr Wu Quhui (a sociologist).
Initial surveys have been conducted by Hinton and Chapman on the Mekong in Thailand near Nongkhai, which is an important entrepot town on the Laotian border and the site of the first bridge across the Mekong south of the Chinese frontier which is currently being constructed with Australian assistance. Papers and reports on this initial work are in preparation.
Plans for the Future
Research will continue in China, Laos and Thailand, with an anticipated major period of field research in China from February 1993. Work will also commence in Laos. Also planned are exchange visits of Chinese, Laotian and Thai researchers between their respective countries. Further funding is being sought for these exchanges.
Other researchers from Australia and elsewhere will be attached to the project as the opportunities arise. Three priority areas of research have been identified: economic consequences of land degradation; the impact of projected dams, and road and water-borne transport networks.
Enquiries can be addressed to either of the directors of the project:
Mr E.C. Chapman, Department of Geography, Australian National University, PO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. Phone (06) 2492706. Fax (06) 2493770.
Dr Peter Hinton, Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia. Phone (02) 6922360. Fax (02) 6924203.
International Conference on Hani Culture, 28 February-5 March 1993. Information from Mr Li Zi-xian, The Centre for South-West Chinese Border Area Minority Economic and Cultural Research, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091. Tel. O871-51311 Ext. 3049 or 3770. Fax (0871) 53832 YUT.
Former members of the project
Cholthira Satyawadhna was awarded the PhD for her thesis on 'The Dispossessed: an anthropological reconstruction of Lawa ethnohistory in the light of their relationship with the Tai'.
Jiang Ren was awarded the degree of Master of International Law.
Computer Access to Thai-Yunnan Project Data
Materials available through INTERNET, WAIS and TELNET
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The COOMBSPAPERS files are fully mirrored (on daily basis) by wuarchive.wustle.edu site located at Washington University, St Louis, USA [sub-directory/doc/coombspapers].
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These arrangements allow people in North America and Europe to fetch copies of articles without having to traverse the overloaded trans-pacific link.
Documents in the COOMBSPAPERS Data Bank are kept as ASCII (plain text) files. Some of the larger documents are in a compressed form. All materials are freely available for non-commercial use by individual scholars, computer conferences and libraries linked to the AARNET/INTERNET and other academic networks and can be acquired world-wide from a sub-directory /coombspapers via anonymous FTP on the node coombs.anu.edu.au.
[Some readers may be as bewildered as I am. Please consult your nearest computer advisers, the procedure is in fact quite simple.
We have had enquiries about these materials and have not yet replied to some of these as we were waiting to have them made available on the network, which makes life much simpler for the now unstaffed Thai-Yunnan Project. If you still have difficulty please let us know. G.W. ]
'The University of Washington Libraries (Seattle, Washington 98195) is currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of Southeast Asia Catataloger. Under the direction of the Assistant Head, Cataloging Divisions, catalogs, classifies and provides subject analysis for monographs and serials in Thai and other Southeast Asian languages, chiefly those written in non-roman scripts. Under the Head, Southeast Asia Section, assists with collection development activities and collection maintenance.'
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1 The number '40,000' was mentioned in 'Polls no guarantee of Cambodia democracy', by Mark Dodd of Reuter, The Nation (Bangkok), 31 October 1991, quoting Canadian expert Ronald Gould, 'head of a UN electoral survey team'. All further reference to The Nation is to the Bangkok publication of that name.
2 'Experts starting from scratch for Cambodia polls', Bangkok Post, 30 October 1991.
3 Ibid. Ron Gould, Canadian elections expert and UN mission leader, 'UN specialists will have to draft a complete election law and code of conduct for all participants, draw district boundaries, register voters, print ballots, teach people how to vote and train Cambodians to run their own elections'.
4 The Australian paper is, Cambodia: an Australian Peace Proposal, 'Working Papers prepared for the Informal Meeting on Cambodia, Jakarta, 26-28 February 1990', Canberra, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, February 1990. Note the prescient remark by Michael Field and Michael Vatikiotsis, 'Jaw and peace', Far Eastern Economic Review, 6 December 1990, 'The UN settlement [i.e., the November 1990 Big-5 plan], which has grown from an acorn planted originally by the Australian foreign Minister Gareth Evans at the suggestion [my emphasisMV] of US Congressman Stephen Solarz'.
5 'US Congressman Stephen Solarz said this week that he has recommended that Evans be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Cambodian crisis' (The Nation, 30 October 1991, 'Evans: Pol Pot could be tried for war crimes'). Of course the prize itself was thoroughly devalued when it was given to Henry Kissinger. The innocent must not imagine that the prominent place of Australian NGOs in the PRK/SOC, or the official aid which they squeezed out of their government, gives any special credit to Evans. He only followed their lead, and he was under constant criticism from the NGOs for Australia's refusal to recognize the PRK ('Aust reaffirms Cambodia policy', The Nation, 19 July 1991). Had Australia, as the first 'western' capitalist country, recognized the PRK before 1991, it would really have opened the doors to peace, and Evans might deserve the prize for which he is now being undeservedly recommended, no doubt because he faithfully followed Washington's lead. Now that the peace agreement, a grandchild of Australia's Washington-induced draft, has made it 'okay' for Australia to recognize a government in Phnom Penh, Evans will probably try to cash in on the credit built up there by the NGOs.
We should also pay heed to the argument of Geoffrey C. Gunn and Jefferson Lee, Cambodia Watching Down Under, that all moves by Australian politicians regarding Cambodia have been conditioned by domestic politics.
6 Cambodia: An Australian Peace Proposal, pp. 12, 15.
7 Cambodia: An Australian Peace Proposal, pp. 21-24.
8 'Framework for a Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict', United Nations A/45/472, S/21689, 31 August 1990, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 668 and General Assembly Resolution 45/3, pp. 7-8.
9 'Proposed Structure for the Agreements on a Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict', Draft Text. This is not a UN document.
10 See Michael Haas, 'Who will govern Cambodia next?', The Nation, 13 March 1991; Raoul Jennar, 'Blueprint for more conflict', Far Eastern Economic Review, 9 May 1991, pp. 26-28.
12 'Cambodia's first new opposition party formed', The Nation, 1 November 1991. 13 This is a provision in the new party Programme, according to an 'Interview with Comrade Im Chhun Lim [First Vice President of the Party Central Office, and a member of the SNC] with the newspaper Pracheachun', in Pracheachun (newspaper of the Cambodian People's Party), Special Number, 17 October 1991, p. 2.
14 This was distributed at the press conference.
15 Protests were reported in The Nation and Bangkok Post 13 and 14 October respectively, and New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur), 25 October 1991; and response by General Charan Kullavanijaya in 'West has got it wrong on Burma, Cambodia', The Nation, 24 October 1991. When asked about the Khmer Rouge plan to forcibly repatriate its population, contrary to UNHCR policy, General Charan said 'western thinking is different from ours'; and 'the Khmer Rouge's move reflected the Cambodian thinking on the election'. It seemed that if General Charan has his way, Thailand will not cooperate in preventing the Khmer Rouge from increasing their forces within Cambodia in this manner. Two weeks later, however, General Charan was reported as saying Thailand would stop the Khmer Rouge and other groups if they try to force refugees back to Cambodia outside of a UN repatriation plan. Cryptically, he said 'We don't need to send Thai troops to enforce this stoppage ... We shall stop it our way, but we shall stop it', and he seemed to link Thai actions to the implementation of the UN plan ('Thai security chief to stop forced Khmer repatriation', Bangkok Post, 8 November 1991).
16 'Moves made to patch up rift within Cambodian faction', Bangkok Post, 5 September 1991; and 'Angry Hun Sen takes Son Sann to task', Bangkok Post, 18 November 1991. See further comment below.
17 See 'Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Present Structures and Practices of Administration in Cambodia, 24 April-9 May 1990', Part C, pp. 136-202, 'The Economic System', p. 138. New York, The United Nations.
18 David Coady and Meghnad Desai, 'Fiscal Reform in Cambodia', November 1990, second draft of a consultancy undertaken for the Cambodia Trust, p. 4.
19Someth Suos, 'Regional Development Experiences and Proposed Ingredients for Cambodia's Growth', in 'Cambodian Workshop on Reconstruction and Development, Penang 18-25 August 1991, Proceedings', pp. 35-38.
20 For the concept of 'erzatz capitalism', rent-seeking rather than productive, see Yoshihara Kunio, The Rise of Erzatz Capitalism in South-East Asia, Singapore. Oxford University Press, 1988.
21 See Vickery, Cambodia 1975-1982, Boston, South End Press, p. 264 and n.24.
22 See Vickery, Cambodia, p. 22 and n. 65.
23 This is based on statistics in 'U.S. foreign Assistance and Assistance from International Organizations', 'Obligations and Loan Authorizations', July 1, 1945-June 30, 1962, issued by Agency for International Development, Statistics and Reports Division, [Washington, D.C.]; and 'Aide conomique amricaine au Cambodge 1963', issued by the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, which indicate that in 1962 U.S. aid covered about 26% of the budget deficit and in 1963 12%.
24 Commerce was dominated by Chinese, and at the highest levels by French; and before 1970 most urban artisans in Phnom Penh were Vietnamese. Vietnamese are again taking over their traditional economic niches, and now it is clear that they are able to move into those occupations because too few Cambodians are interested in them.
25 For a critical description of the Cambodian economy in the 1950s-1960s see, Khieu Samphan, Cambodia's Economy and Industrial Development, translated by Laura Summers, Data Paper: Number 111, Southeast Asia Program, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University (March 1979). It must be emphasized that, contrary to irresponsible press comment since 1979, this doctoral thesis by Khieu Samphan was in no way a plan, or even a hint, of the DK policies of 1975-1979. Khieu Samphan at that time was searching for a way to surmount 'feudalism' and erzatz capitalism and achieve progressive, ie independent capitalism. For a recent example of the erroneous view see David Brunnstrom, Reuter, 'How the patriot became a killer', The Nation, and 'A killer but a patriot' returns home', New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur), 28 November 1991, Khieu Samphan was 'theoretician behind the harsh economic policies' of Democratic Kampuchea, and in 1962 he tried to promote 'his socialist economic programme'.
26 See Khieu Samphan, op. cit., p. 15.
27 Coady and Desai, pp. 4-5, 12; Khieu Samphan, pp. 14-15.
28 Respectively Coady and Desai, p. 12; Khieu Samphan pp. 94 (inland revenue) and 29 (NNP); and Coady and Desai, pp. 12-13 and Table 7, quoting Dr K.C. Cheriyan and Prof. Dr. E.V.K. FitzGerald, 'Development Planning in the State of Cambodia', Report of a Mission organized by the NGO forum on Cambodia, Phnom Penh and The Hague, November 1989, for GNP figure of $1.6 billion; Khieu Samphan, pp. 60, 29. Calculations are mine.
29 See Vickery, Cambodia 1975-1982, chapter 1; Vickery, 'Looking Back at Cambodia, 1942-76', in Ben Kiernan and Chantou Boua, eds., Peasants and Politics in Kampuchea 1942-1981, pp. 89-113; Ben Kiernan How Pol Pot Came to Power, Chapters 6-7.
30 Deputy Director General of the Swedish International Development Authority Brje Ljunggren, 'Market economies Under Communist Regimes: Reform in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia', Final Version for Publication as DDP, 9 August 1991, Harvard Institute for International Development, pp. 5-6. Copy supplied by the author.
31 'Constitution of the State of Cambodia' [in Khmer], Phnom Penh, April 1989, articles 12, 14, 15, 17.
32 Michael Vickery, 'Notes on the Political Economy of the People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK)', Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 20, No. 4 (1990), pp. 445-446.
33 On 1 November 1991, the Director of the Cambodian National Bank, Mr Cha Rieng, revealed to a group of journalists in my presence that all Cambodian currency since 1980 had been printed in the Soviet Union, implying perhaps some Soviet control over the money supply.
34 Ljunggren, loc. cit., p. 5 Ljunggren, however, disagreed with the PRK/SOC view on this point.
35 See Michael Vickery, 'The Campaign Against Cambodia: 1990-1991', Indochina Issues 93, August 1991.
36 T.D. Allman, Vanity Fair Magazine, April 1990, also cited in Christophe Peschoux, 'Enquete sur les 'nouveaux' Khmers Rouges (1979-1990), Essai de dbroussaillage', Paris, unpublished 1990, photocopy supplied by the author, p. 17.
37 The safe passage for DK forces was reported by Michael Battye, Reuter, New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur), 2 May 1979, and in Far Eastern Economic Review Yearbook, 1980, p. 293. For a description of the refugee camp system, as of 1982, see Michael Vickery, 'Refugee Politics: the Khmer Camp System in Thailand', in David A. Ablin & Marlowe Hood, editors, The Cambodian Agony, Armonk, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 1987, pp. 293-331.
38 Elizabeth Becker, When the War Was Over, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1986. p. 440. 'Brzezinski said: 'I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. I encouraged the Thai to help the D.K.'. Given what was known about DK administration during 1975-1978, it requires a twisted mentality to continue, as Brzezinski did, 'The question was how to help the Cambodian people'. Admitting that 'Pol Pot was an abomination', Brzezinski claims, 'We could never support him but China could'; but by Brzezinski's own admission the U.S., in its arm-twisting of China and Thailand, did support Pol Pot.
39 Reported in Bangkok Post 13 July 1985.
40 The Nation, 11 April, 1991.
41 'Cambodia's wasted years bear fruit', The Nation (Bangkok), 22 October 1991.
42 I was given this information in October 1991 by a journalist from the same country as the attach in question. I admit that in using these anonymous sources I am committing what I have treated as an intellectual offence in the writings of others; but these stories need wider public airing to determine their accuracy, and I see no other way to do it.
43 Letter of Jonathan Winer, counsel to Senator John Kerry, dated 22 October 1986, 'In the years from 1980-86 they [KR] received ... in FY 87 dollars: 1980 $54.55 million ... 1981 $18.29 million'. See Michael Vickery, 'Cambodia (Kampuchea): History, Tragedy, and Uncertain Future', Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 21, Nos. 2-4 (1989), p. 35, note 1.
44 On the last see 'Too Many Questions', by Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, Time, 11-11-91, pp. 34-36, who remarked on the bank's extensive U.S. intelligence connections, such as the Pakistan-based supply to Afghan rebels, supplies to the Nicaraguan contras, and the sale of arms to Iran, and noted ... an attempt to buy favor with the White House and the U.S. Justice Department's reluctance to investigate B.C.C.I.'.
45 Christophe Peschoux, 'Enquete sur les 'nouveaux' Khmers Rouges (1979-1990), Essai de dbroussaillage', Paris, unpublished 1990, photocopy supplied by the author, p. 77. Peschoux notes that there is considerable variation in policy among the Khmer Rouge sectors. In some all radio programs other than their own and that from China are forbidden.
46 Vickery, 'Democratic Kampuchea CIA to the Rescue', note 34.
47 I wish to thank Hedda Eckerwald for the photograph.
48 Vickery, 'Democratic Kampuchea CIA to the Rescue'.
49 The new U.S. special representative in Phnom Penh, Charles Twining, has reportedly announced that 'the United States will reject all contacts with the Khmer Rouge', 'We don't shake hands, we don't smile, we don't have any dealings with the Khmer Rouge and that is not going to change'. See 'US envoy promises snub for K. Rouge', Bangkok Post, 15 November 1991.
50 See respectively, 'Phnom Penh: Peace depends on China', The Nation, 11 July 1991; 'US could impede peace efforts', Bangkok Post, 2 August 1991; 'US opposes compromise solution for Cambodia', The Nation, 23 August 1991; 'Hun Sen: Outsiders may hinder Pattaya meeting', The Nation, 26 August 1991; 'Pattaya II: Another try at peace', The Nation, 26 August 1991.
51 See Michael Vickery, 'The Campaign Against Cambodia: 1990-1991', Indochina Issues 93, August 1991.
52 Kavi Chongkittavorn, 'Rapid Sino-Khmer normalization', The Nation, 20 November 1991.
53 Kavi Chongkittavorn, 'Conundrum translates to peace', The Nation, 23 October 1991.
54 Bangkok Post, 12 August 1991, 'Outlook' section, p. 29, 'Society', a picture of a seven-person group at a party 'recently hosted' by Foreign Minister Arsa Sarasin, and including, besides the Foreign Minister and Sichan Siv, the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Vittaya Vejjajiva, 'Director-General of the Foreign Ministry's Information Department Sakthip Krairiksh, and 'US Minister's Counsellor' Victor Tomseth. On Sichan Siv see Michael Vickery, 'Cambodia (Kampuchea): History, Tragedy, and Uncertain Future', Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 21, Nos. 2-4 (1989), p. 57, n. 65, in 1985 'Sichan Siv identified himself as 'KPNLF Representative to the United Nations''.
55 'Moves made to patch up rift within Cambodian faction', Bangkok Post, 5 September 1991, 'In an attempt to patch up long-standing differences, the military arm of the [KPNLF] ... asked to be represented in the Cambodian Supreme National Council'. General Sak Sutsakhan's memorandum 'said reconciliation within the KPNLF could occur' in that way. See also note 16 above and associated text.
56 Quotations respectively from The Nation (Bangkok), 25 October 1991; Bangkok Post, 29 October 1991; and Los Angeles Times, 25 September 1991.
57 This comment was written in mid-December 1991.
59 See the various eloquent treatments of this subject by Noam Chomsky, in particular the latest, Deterring Democracy, London New York, Verso, 1991.
60 This paper was prepared by Heder along with, 'Khmer Rouge Opposition to Pol Pot: 'Pro-Vietnamese' or 'Pro-Chinese'', and 'Recent Developments in Cambodia', talks given at the Australian National University on 18 August and 5 September 1990 respectively, distributed in photocopied typescript by Campaign to Oppose the Return of the Khmer Rouge, 318 Fourth Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20002. In 'Moloch's Poodle' Heder described Samphan as a 'diligent if somewhat mediocre intellectual' with 'faded economic expertise'. I have criticized some details of the first two papers in 'The Campaign Against Cambodia: 1990-1991', Indochina Issues 93, August 1991.
61 This was also first of all research by Stephen Heder related to the Malcolm Caldwell murder case.
62 Jacques Bekaert, 'Peace pact now at stake', Bangkok Post, 29 November 1991; Jane Macartney, 'Son Sen a man of mystery and murder'; and 'Hatred, tears of rage greet return of Khmer Rouge', Bangkok Post, 18 November 1991.
63 The Democratic Kampuchea reaction, 'Khmer Rouge blames V[iet]N[am] for Khieu attack', The Nation, 3 December 1991, was predictable and immediately dismissable.
64 One news service reported that the return of Son Sen had not been advertised in Phnom Penh and 'People in the crowd said they had heard about Son Sen's return by listening to Voice of America radio broadcasts' (Reuter dispatch, 'Angry crowd gathers outside KR leaders' residence', The Nation, 18 November 1991). Aside from any question of journalistic or radio coverage, it is obvious that the U.S. is one of the parties eager to discredit the Phnom Penh government.
65 'Khmer Rouge blames V[iet]N[am] for Khieu attack', final section, 'Reuter adds:', The Nation, 3 December 1991.
1 All references to Marco Polo's book refer to the edition of the oldest preserved manuscript of the early 14th century. The manuscript held by Bibliothque Nationale in Paris was written in Old French with many italicisms and published in Luigi Foscolo Benedetto (ed.), Marco Polo, il Milione, prima edizione integrale. Firenze: Leo S: Olschki 1928. ccxxi, 281 p. The presumed original title of Marco Polo's book was Le Divisament dou monde.
2 Shanchan was established in the mid-9th century as the seat of one of the Nanzhao administrative units. During the Dali rule it was the seat of one of the eight fu in the territory of modern Kunming and neighbouring countries. In 1255, the administrative unit wanhufu was established in this territory being replaced by lu in 1270. In 1276, former Shanchan became Zhongqing lu. In the Yuan documents, Shanchan is known under the name of YaO(c,)i (see below).
3 Cf. Yuan shi. Ben ji; Fang Guoyu, Zhongguo xinan lishi dili kaoshi [Examination and explanation of historical geography of southwest China]. Vol. 2. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju 1987, pp. 784-793.
4 L. F. Benedetto, op. cit., p. 116.
5 Ibid., p. 115.
6 About him and his descendants see Yuan shi, juan 125, Sai-dianqi Shansiding zhuan.
7 Cf. Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 786-788. The counterpart of the name Qarajang was Caqanjang which originally was the name for the White Cuan (O(c,)aqan = white) and was transferred to the region. See ibid., pp. 788-789.
8 Cf. L.F. Benedetto, op. cit., pp. 115-118.
9 See Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 784-793.
10 L.F. Benedetto, op. cit., p. 115.
11 Cf. Yuan shi, juan 123, 134, 135, 156; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 786-787.
12 See Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 786.
13 See Jiang Yingliang, Daizu shi [History of the Tai]. Cheng-du: Sichuan minzu chubanshe 1983, pp. 121-128, 183.
14 Yuan shi. Dili zhi; Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 184; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 853.
15 Cf. You Zhong. Zhongguo xinan minzu shi [History of southwest China]. Kunming: Yunnan renmin chubanshe 1985, pp. 228-234, 622-624.
16 Fan Chao. Man shu. Yunnan zhi. Quoted according to Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 790-791.
17 Yuan shi. Ailu zhuan; Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., pp. 184-185.
18 Cf. Yuan shi and Xin Yuan shi. Dili zhi; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 790-791.
19 Now the northwest of the county of Yingjiang in the prefecture of Dehong.
21 Cf. Yuan shi. Ben ji; Li Tai. Yunnan zhi; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 853.
22 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., pp. 187-192; Herold J. Wiens. Han Chinese expansion in south China. Hamden: The Shoe String Press, Inc. 1967, p. 297.
23 According to Jiang Yingliang, op cit., pp. 205-213; Tan Xixiang (ed.). Zhongguo lishi dituji/The historical atlas of China. Vol. VII. Yuan. Ming shiqi/The Yuan Dynasty period. The Ming Dynasty period. Shanghai: Ditu chubanshe 1982, mp. 23-24, 25-26.
24 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., pp. 205-206; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 649-656, vol. 2, pp. 883-886.
25 Junmin zongguanfu - Tribal Command, one type of the agencies for administration of southwestern aborigines. Cf. Charles O. Hucker. A dictionary of official titles in Imperial China. Stanford: Stanford University Press 1985, p. 202 (No. 1777).
26 Xuanfusi - Pacification Commission, one type of the tribal administration in southwest China. Cf. Ch. O. Hucker, op. cit., p. 250 (No. 2661).
27 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 206; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 864-865.
28 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 206; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 871-872.
29 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 206; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 872-873.
30 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 206; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 865.
31 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 206; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 868.
32 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 206-207; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 868-870.
33 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 207; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 888-889.
34 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 207; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 1003-1004.
35 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 207; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 867.
36 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 207-208; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 994-995.
37 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 208; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 995.
38 Dian was a kind of lower administrative units in the south-western borderland Gedian junminguan, Tribal Office of all dian, one type of administration for southwestern aborigines.
39 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 208; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 873-874.
40 Tribal office for dian of all classes, one type of administration of southwestern aborigines.
41 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 209; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 873-874.
42 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 209; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 990-992.
43 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 209; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 992.
44 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 209-210; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 898-901; Song Enchang, Xishuangbanna lidai shezhi de Hanwen wenxian jilu [Compilation of Chinese texts on the administration in Sipsongpanna during history]. In: Xishuangbanna Daizu shehui zonghe diaocha [Comprehensive investigations in Tai society of Sipsongpanna]. Kunming: Yunnan minzu chubanshe, 1983, vol. 1, pp. 154-155; idem, Xishuangbanna lidai shezhi. In: ibid., pp. 70-71.
45 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 210; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 901.
46 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 210; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 901.
47 Cf. Jiang Yingliang, op. cit., p. 210; Fang Guoyu, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 996.
1 For a detailed discussion on the terminology see Ruey Yih-fu, 'A Study of the Miao People', in Historical, Archaeological and Linguistic Studies on Southern China, South-East Asia and the Hong Kong Region, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 1967, (p. 49-58) [Chinese in original omitted.ed.]
2 Fuller, Judith Wheaton, Topic and Comment in Hmong, Indiana University Linguistics Club, May 1988 [Ph.D. diss. 1985]. This usage also appears in David Strecker's preface to vol. 10.2 of Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Fall 1987, a volume dedicated entirely to the Hmong-Mien (Miao-Yao) language family.
3 Smalley, William A., Chia Koua Vang and Gnia Yee Yang, Mother of Writing, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1990. (p.3).
4 Yang Dao, personal communication.
5 Yang Dao, 'Why did the Hmong Leave Laos?' in: Bruce T. Downing and Douglas P. Olney (eds.), The Hmong in the West, University of Minnesota, 1982. (p.6).
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