Report of the Cambodian Genocide Program, 1997-1999

Prof. Ben Kiernan, Director 
A Report to the Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.
April 1999

I. Introduction
II. The CGP and the Luce Foundation Grant 
III. CGP Activities, 1997-1999

1. Research
2. Publications, 1997-99

a) Electronic: Web Site and CD-ROM
b) Books
c) Academic articles
d) Press publications
e) Other CGP staff publications
f) List of CGP Reports

3. Lectures, Seminars and Conference Presentations

IV. The CGP and the Documentation Center of Cambodia

After the Holocaust during World War Two, the ratification of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was motivated by the call, “Never Again!” However, the Convention was never enforced until the 1990s, following the Bosnian and Rwandan genocides. It has also now been cited in charges leveled against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

During the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, about 1.7 million people perished, of a population of eight million. It was one of the worst cases of mass murder this century. The Vietnamese army invaded and stopped it. Pol Pot, Prime Minister of ‘Democratic Kampuchea’ (DK), took his defeated Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) into the jungle. The Khmer Rouge began a twenty-year war to retake power, and none of their leaders were called to account for the atrocities they committed.

During the past three years, several events have kindled new interest in bringing the DK leadership to justice. First, the Khmer Rouge insurgency, which had continued in isolated parts of Cambodia with a hard-core group of adherents, finally fell apart. In 1996, the Cambodian government offered an amnesty to Ieng Sary, the former Foreign Minister of the genocidal regime. This divided the Khmer Rouge. Other leaders jockeyed for similar treatment. Fearing defections and betrayal, Pol Pot murdered Son Sen, his former security chief and Deputy Prime Minister. The Khmer Rouge army commander, Chhit Choeun (alias Mok), turned and arrested Pol Pot. Then the former deputy military commander, Ke Pauk, led a mutiny against Mok. Last April, as his former accomplices slugged it out, Pol Pot died. He may have committed suicide in order to evade capture.

In December 1998, the top surviving Khmer Rouge leaders – Nuon Chea, the CPK deputy chief, and Khieu Samphan, former DK head of state – abandoned Mok’s hideout on the Thai border and surrendered to the Cambodian government. They took up residence in the border town of Pailin, under Ieng Sary’s wing (joining Deuch, former chief of the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where 15,000 prisoners died under torture). The lone, one-legged Mok was captured by the Cambodian armed forces in March 1999. All of these men are now within reach of the law, given the political will to apprehend them.

Second, the report of a UN Commission of Experts has revived the issue of accountability for the Cambodian genocide. At the invitation of the Cambodian government, a team of three international jurists visited Phnom Penh in November 1998, and studied the evidence against the Khmer Rouge which the CGP had assembled at the Documentation Center of Cambodia. In February 1999, they recommended to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan the creation of an Ad Hoc International Criminal Tribunal to judge the crimes of the Khmer Rouge and of a truth commission to be held in Cambodia to assess the historical record. The Secretary-general accepted this recommendation and is currently negotiating with the Cambodian government to implement it.

Third, the documentary evidence is now voluminous. In 1996 the Cambodian Genocide Program acquired the archives of Son Sen’s secret security force, the Santebal. Hundreds of thousands of pages of Khmer-language documents record the decision-making at the very top of the regime. (Many of the documents can be viewed at the Program’s web site: Mok and Ke Pauk, as well as Nuon Chea, could now be indicted for specific arrests and murders. Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary also have cases to answer. They too knew and participated in what was happening in Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

Examples of the documentary evidence are complete copies of the minutes of 15 meetings of the most powerful and secretive body in DK – the Standing Committee of the CPK Central Committee. Khieu Samphan, for instance, is recorded in the minutes (under his pseudonym Hem) as having attended at least 12 of these 15 meetings. At its meeting of October 9, 1975, the Committee put Samphan “in charge of the Front and the Royal Government; (and of) the accountancy and pricing aspects of commerce.” He was appointed President of the State Presidium on March 30, 1976. In 1977-78, he also headed the powerful Office of the Central Committee (“Office 870”). In April 1977, soon after he assumed this post, Samphan declared publicly: “We must wipe out the enemy (and) suppress all stripes of enemy at all times.” 1

The diary of an aide to Ieng Sary reveals the prevailing view in his office: “In our country, one percent to five percent are traitors, boring in…the enemies are on our body, among the military, the workers, in the cooperatives and even in our ranks…These enemies must be progressively wiped out.” 2

These top Khmer Rouge leaders flouted international criminal law as well as Cambodian law. For two decades, Pol Pot escaped justice. The Cambodian Genocide Program has been working to ensure that the others do not.


Prof. Ben Kiernan of the Yale History Department established the Cambodian Genocide Program in 1994. The CGP was sponsored by the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, the Council on Southeast Asia Studies, and the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at the Yale Law School. The Program was funded from 1995 to 1997 with the support of a $531,000 grant from the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, for the purposes of documentation, research and training of Cambodians in the history and legal implications of the Cambodian genocide from 1975 to 1979.

In October 1996, as the scope of work of this grant neared completion, the Henry Luce Foundation Inc. awarded the CGP funding of $250,000 for core program needs over the period December 1996-December 1998. This assistance proved invaluable in keeping the program going during the period of its greatest funding need. During this period, the CGP was able to raise another $1.24 million from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and from the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, therefore assuring the continuation of the Program until September 2001. This funding has enabled the program to maintain its research and publications projects, to continue to support the critical work of the Documentation Center of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, and to render assistance as needed to any tribunal or truth commission that emerges. The CGP and Yale University are extremely grateful to the Luce Foundation for its timely and effective aid.

The Luce Foundation grant was made to support the core activities of the CGP, specifically its administrative office at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. Other work directed or coordinated by the CGP is carried out by its Documentation Project led by Associate Professor Helen Jarvis, Head of the School of Information, Library and Archive Studies at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia; and by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), headed by Mr. Youk Chhang. The Documentation Center is an archive founded by the CGP in Phnom Penh in 1995, and launched in 1997 as an independent Cambodian research institute on the genocide, funded by the CGP with the help of its grants from the Department of State and the Netherlands Foreign Ministry.

The core program staff at Yale comprises the CGP Director Ben Kiernan, Professor of History and Director of the Genocide Studies Program at YCIAS; Kristine Mooseker, Business Manager and Project Coordinator of the DC-Cam Subcontract; Barbara Papacoda, Administrative Associate; Dr. Toni Samantha Phim and Dr. Puangthong Rungswasdisab, Research Affiliates; Thavro Phim, Research Associate; Matthew Fladeland, cartographer; Joseph Rodrigue, programmer; Kalyanee Mam, research assistant; Scott Let Taing, website maintenance.

Other CGP administrative and research staff during 1997-99 included Craig Etcheson (Program Manager until 1997), Leslie Timko (Research Associate), Lorraine Paterson, Sorya Sim, Richard Ruth and Jens Iverson (Research Assistants), and Jodi Rowlands and Paul Boon (Cartographers).

III. CGP ACTIVITIES, 1997-1999.      

1. Research 
In January 1998, after the completion of most of its documentation and training tasks, the CGP significantly enhanced its research capabilities with the appointment of three new staff. At the same time, with the aid of a separate grant from the Mellon Foundation, Prof. Kiernan inaugurated the comparative Genocide Studies Program (GSP) at Yale, attracting other new researchers with similar interests. The CGP is now better equipped than any other institution to conduct research on the Cambodian genocide. Not only does it have a unique historical and personal relationship with the major archival institution, the Documentation Center of Cambodia, but the CGP has also assembled at Yale University the most highly qualified team of Khmer-speaking scholars ever to focus on a single period of Cambodian history – in this case, the Khmer Rouge period. From 1994 to 1999, the team has been led by Kiernan, author of How Pol Pot Came to Power (London, 1985) and The Pol Pot Regime (New Haven, 1996). These books are listed among six ‘well-regarded scholarly works on the Khmer Rouge period’ upon which the United Nations Group of Experts drew for its report to the UN Secretary-general in February 1999.3

The CGP also includes the following researchers: 

         Anthropologist Dr. Toni Samantha Phim (Ph.D. Cornell University, 1993) is author ofDance in Cambodia (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and of a pathbreaking study of the history of the Cambodian royal ballet corps and its fate under the Khmer Rouge regime. She is now turning her anthropological skill and attention to researching and writing an organizational study of the internal ‘biography’ of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, using the 18,000 individual Party members’ biographies found in the archives of the Documentation Center.

         Historian Dr. Puangthong Rungswasdisab (Ph.D. University of Wollongong, 1995), author of War and Trade: Siamese Interventions in Cambodia, 1767-1851, brings Thai as well as Khmer language skills to the Cambodian Genocide Program. Her work gives the CGP’s research a new regional dimension.

         Mr. Thavro Phim, Research Associate, a survivor of the genocide who was educated at the University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, is an expert linguist, artist, author, editor, and translator.

Yale’s University’s Sterling Memorial Library is now the leading US library in the acquisition of Cambodian-language materials. From 1990 to 1994 alone, the Library’s Southeast Asia Collection spent $5,200 on purchases in Cambodia (excluding cataloguing costs) and now administers a $2,300 per annum acquisition program for Cambodian newspapers, journals, and monographs. Yale has the country’s best English- and French-language collections on contemporary Cambodia, and extensive holdings in Khmer on Cambodian Buddhism, and in various languages on Cambodian politics and society. Additionally, the Sterling Library is now establishing and funding a $50,000 project to microfilm the entire collection of Khmer Rouge security (Santebal) archives at the Documentation Center of Cambodia by late 1999. Along with Prof. Kiernan’s unique personal archive of documents from the Khmer Rouge period, compiled during a quarter century of research, these collections make Yale University the most appropriate location outside Cambodia for research on the Pol Pot regime. In early 1998, Dr. Toni S. Phim began work on her study of the anthropology of the Khmer Rouge movement, and Dr. Rungswasdisab on a study of Thai sources on the Cambodian genocide and Thailand’s response to it. Thavro Phim started a series of translations of critical CPK security documents, and a research project on the nature and language of Cambodian nationalism, including Khmer Rouge ideology. Ms. Sok-Chea Ung, a Cambodian student from the University of Innsbruck, joined the CGP for the period June-October 1998 as a research intern, and completed a study project on Land Mines in Cambodia.

In the related Genocide Studies Program, funded by the Mellon Foundation, Dr. Edward Kissi arrived at Yale as the GSP Postdoctoral Fellow, with the task of completing a comparative historical study of the Khmer Rouge and the Ethiopian Dergue. Political scientist Mr. Philip Verwimp of the Catholic University of Leuven also joined the GSP as a Visiting Scholar for the academic year 1998-99.

In September 1998, CGP Documentation Consultant Dr. Helen Jarvis spent three weeks at Yale as a Visiting Scholar in the Genocide Studies Program. In January 1999, Assoc. Prof. Camille Riley, Law Librarian of the West Virginia University College of Law, joined the CGP as a Visiting Research Scholar for the spring semester. In April 1999, Ms. Nereida Cross, CGP database specialist at the University of New South Wales, visited the Program for two weeks of intensive consultations with CGP staff on the databases and website.

In the spring of 1998, the CGP began holding regular in-house seminars to create a structured but informal format for discussion of the Program’s various research projects. Thirteen CGP research seminars were held in 1998 and eight are so far planned for the spring of 1999. In the fall of 1998, the CGP sponsored another series of seven seminars on Cambodia at Yale in conjunction with the Yale Council on Southeast Asia Studies and the Genocide Studies Program at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. The full list of speakers at these Yale Cambodia research seminars follows, with the affiliations of the outside speakers:

CGP/Cambodia Seminars at Yale University, 1998-1999

16 June 1998
Puangthong Rungswasdisab
War and Trade: Siamese Intervention in Cambodia in the Early Nineteenth Century

23 June 1998
Susan E. Cook, Anthropology, Yale
Documenting Genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda

30 June 1998
Thavro Phim
Cambodian Arts and Culture

7 July 1998 Joanne Rudof, Fortunoff Holocaust Video Archive 
Video-Documentation of Genocide

14 July 1998
Kristine Mooseker
Woodstock and the Invasion of Cambodia

21 July 1998
Richard Ruth, Cornell University
The Chinese and the Free Thai Movement

28 July 1998
Jens Iverson
The CGP Databases

4 August 1998
Toni Samantha Phim
War, Rain, and Dance in Late 20th-Century Cambodia

18 August 1998 
Dr. Niti Pawakapan, YCIAS,
Almost a Love Story: Japanese Soldiers in Northwestern Thailand

25 August 1998 
Edward Kissi, GSP
Learning Khmer at SEASSI, 1998

1 September 1998
Ben Kiernan
Genocide, The Irish Famine, and the Great Leap Forward

8 September 1998
Sok-Chea Ung, University of Innsbrck
Land Mines in Cambodia

16 September 1998
Toni Samantha Phim
Writing an Anthropology of the Khmer Rouge

17 September 1998
D r. Alexander Laban Hinton, Rutgers University
A Reading of Human Liver-Eating in the Cambodian Genocide

23 September 1998
Lydia Breckon, Anthropology, Yale
On the Other Side: Alliances, Conflicts, and Transnational Connections for Cambodians in the US

24 September 1998 
Dr. Edward Kissi, GSP, 
Comparing the Ethiopian and Cambodian Revolutions

30 September 1998 
Prof. Eileen Blumenthal, Rutgers University
The Cambodian Court Ballet, 1925-1995

1 October 1998
Dr. Helen Jarvis, UNSW 
Managing Multi-Media Information on Genocide

4 November 1998 
Ben Kiernan (with Jonathan Spence, History, Yale)
From Mao Zedong to Pol Pot

8 December 1998 
Lorraine Paterson, History, Yale 
Pre- and Post-War Cambodian Literature

1 April 1999 
Susan E. Cook
Documenting Politics and the Politics of Documentation

5 April 1999
Nereida Cross, UNSW
Multimedia Presentation of Genocide Data

16 April 1999
Kalyanee Mam
Ties That Bind: The Khmer Rouge Regime and the Survival of the Family

23 April 1999
Philip Verwimp, Catholic University of Leuven
Economic Approaches to Dictatorship and Ethnicity

5 May 1999
Prof. Camille Riley, West Virginia University College of Law
Evaluating the CGP Databases:A Law ibrarian’s Viewpoint

12 May 1999
Dr. Toni Samantha Phim
‘Progress Report on Two Months’ Research in Cambodia, February-March 1999

19 May 1999
Dr. Puangthong Rungswasdisab, 
From Battleground to Marketplace: Thailand Doing Business with the Khmer Rouge

26 May 1999
Thavro Phim
Studying the Khmer Rouge Journal Tung Padevat (“Revolutionary Flags”)

2. CGP Publications, 1997-1999 

a) Electronic 
The CGP’s World Wide Website (, which was launched to public acclaim in January 1997, 4 was extensively updated in 1998 and again in January 1999. On December 4, 1998, the site received its third Internet honor when it was selected for inclusion in the ‘Scout Report’ by the National Science Foundation-sponsored Internet Scout Project at the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Scout Report is a current awareness publication that ‘highlights new and newly discovered Internet resources.’ The Project selects ‘only the most useful resources, considering the depth of content, the authority of the source, and how well the information is maintained and presented.’5

The website has been equally well received in the US press. The San Jose Mercury Newspraised the CGP and its website for having ‘extensively documented’ the case against Pol Pot (Editorial, June 27, 1997). Agence France Presse reported that the CGP ‘has collected and indexed thousands of documents chronicling massive human rights violations under the Khmer Rouge, including grim mug shots of their victims’ The San Diego Union Tribune described the CGP website as ‘a massive, meticulously documented archive of profoundly incriminating evidence collected over years’ (January 3, 1999).

On January 7, 1999, the twentieth anniversary of the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime, the CGP announced a major enhancement of its website, including significant expansion of the program’s Cambodian Genocide Data Base (CGDB). The CGP added more than 3,000 new detailed bilingual English-Khmer records to its Biographical Database, which now contains about 10,800 such records on individual members of the Khmer Rouge and some of their victims. Tying individuals to specific decisions, events, crimes, and victims, the CGP now offers the largest single collection of physical and electronic materials on the Pol Pot period in Cambodian history.

Also new are 900 descriptive records in the Bibliographic Database, which now includes more than 3,000 electronic records relating to documents on the Khmer Rouge period from 1975 to 1979. The new records are mostly bilingual, with summaries in both Khmer and English, including 100 documents from Thailand on the genocide then occurring in neighboring Cambodia. In many cases, the records are “hot-linked” to scanned images of the original Khmer documents.

The CGP also added a new “Translations” section to the website. This section features “The Pol Pot Files” and “The Son Sen Files”, translated confidential correspondence among the top Khmer Rouge leaders. It also includes the full 300-page text of Ieng Sary’s Regime, a confidential diary of the Khmer Rouge Foreign Ministry during the genocide, translated by Kiernan in collaboration with the Documentation Center of Cambodia. Another feature is the secret autobiography of Thiounn Prasith, who was the Khmer Rouge ambassador to the United Nations in New York. The autobiography was discovered in 1996 in the archive of hundreds of thousands of pages of Khmer-language documents collected by the Santebal, the Khmer Rouge secret police. Other Santebal documents translated by the CGP include a detailed description of the order of battle of the Khmer Rouge army during the period of the genocide, as well as the Khmer Rouge’s internal biographical questionnaire from the Santebal files. More than 10,000 members of the ultra-secret Communist Party of Kampuchea were required by the Khmer Rouge to fill out these questionnaires, the originals of which are now held by the Documentation Center. In collaboration with the Center, the biographical forms are being used to compile thousands of additional electronic records on Khmer Rouge officials.

Another new addition to the CGP site is a powerful interactive computerized map of the Killing Fields. The software, generously provided and mounted on the Web by the School of Geomatic Engineering at the University of New South Wales, permits users to search Cambodian provincial and local geography for hundreds of sites of former Khmer Rouge prisons and extermination camps, mass graves of the victims, and memorials.

The CGP will soon add “hot-linked” access to related documents and photographs for each genocide site, electronically recorded by the CGP in collaboration with the Documentation Center. Funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, and the Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies has allowed the CGP’s mapping project to complete four seasons in the field, with more than 380 sites recorded since 1995.

Other data available on the website include 50 computer-drawn maps of the killing fields at the provincial level, to which the CGP will soon add another 80-100 updated maps, and more than 5,000 photographs of victims taken by the Khmer Rouge prior to their execution. Since its enhancement on January 7, 1999, the CGP website has been receiving approximately 120 ‘hits’ per day, totalling 10,000 for the first quarter of 1999.

The CGP’s The Cambodian Genocide Data Bases was published in CD-ROM format in January 1998. It contains the bibliographic, biographic, and photographic databases developed by the CGP in collaboration with the School of Information, Library and Archive Studies at UNSW, and the DC-Cam. An expanded, updated, three-CD version is scheduled to be published in 1999.

b) Books
CGP Director Ben Kiernan published extensively on the Cambodian Genocide in particular and on genocide in general during 1997-99. A paperback edition of Kiernan’s book The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979 (Yale University Press, 1996), reached the Press’ best-seller list in the first half of 1998. 7  A French translation with a new final chapter bringing the story up to the 1990s was published by Gallimard in April 1998, in its prestigious Nrf Essais series, which includes works by Albert Camus, Jurgen Habermas, Octavio Paz, Jean-Paul Sartre, George Steiner, and leading Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg’s recent book Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933-1945. The translation of Kiernan’s book, Le Gnocide au Cambodge, 1975-1979: Race, idologie et pouvoir, was the work of Marie-France de Palomra, who also translated Hilberg’s book.

The book was well received in the French press. In a lengthy featured review, Le Mondepraised it as a ‘livre-somme’ (17 April), and subsequently recommended it for summer reading (26 June). In a full-page review, Le Figaro called Kiernan’s work ‘monumental’ (18 June), as did La Libre Belgique (Brussels, 25 April). The third major Paris daily, Libration, also devoted a page to an interview with Kiernan (9 May), and Tlrama began its special issue on the Cannes Film Festival (13 May) with a two-page story on the book. A two-page interview with Kiernan appeared in a special summer issue of L’Histoire devoted to the history of communism. 8

The Pol Pot Regime has also been favorably reviewed in other European countries. The Rome daily Il Giornale called the book ‘impressive’, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said: “Ben Kiernan’s book is the study, which delivers the facts, information and explanations of the background and development of one of the most secretive and murderous political movements of our time.” The London Review of Books described the book as ‘definitive.’ 9

A Khmer translation by the Documentation Center of Cambodia was serialized in the Cambodian daily Reaksmei Kampuchea throughout 1998. A Thailand/Indochina edition has been published by Silkworm Books in Chiengmai, and a Polish translation is being prepared.

c) Articles in Academic Publications (Kiernan)

  • ‘Introduction’ to Dith Pran, ed., Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1997), pp. ix-xvii.

  • ‘Cambodia’, and ‘Khmer Rouge’, in Microsoft Encarta ‘98 Encyclopedia.

  • ‘Gnocide au Cambodge,’ L’Histoire, no. 223, juillet-aot 1998, pp. 90-91.

  • ‘The Khmer Rouge Revolution in Cambodia, 1967-1979,’ Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions, Washington, D.C., Congressional Quarterly, 1998.

  • ‘Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing’ in Robert I. Wuthnow, ed., Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, Washington, DC, Congressional Quarterly, 1998, pp. 294-99.

  • ‘Ben Kiernan Replies to Sorpong Peou,’ Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 12:1, 1998.

  • ‘Enver Pasha and Pol Pot: A Comparison of the Cambodian and Armenian Genocides’, in Studies in Comparative Genocide, Levon Chorbajian and George Shirinian, eds., Macmillan, London, 1999.

  • ‘Sur la notion de gnocide,’ Le Dbat (Paris), no. 104, mars-avril 1999, pp. 179-192.

  • ‘Le communisme racial des Khmers rouges,’ L’Esprit (Paris), mai 1999, pp. 93-127. 

d) Press publications (Kiernan)

  • ‘Ieng Sary’s Role in the Pol Pot Regime,’ Phnom Penh Post, January 24, 1997.‘Pol Pot’s Brothers in Crime,’ New York Times, June 20, 1997. German translation in Die Ziet, July 4, 1997

  • ‘Son Sen: Genocide’s First Lieutenant,’ London Guardian, June 21, 1997.

  • ‘A Top Henchman of Pol Pot Lives and Dies by the Sword,’ Bangkok Nation, 25 June 1997.

  • ‘Pol Pot’, obituary in the London Independent, 17 April 1998.

  • ‘Pol Pot: Other leaders must face trial,’San Diego Union Tribune, April 26, 1998.

  • ‘Penser le gnocide au Cambodge,’ Le Monde (Paris), 28 mai 1998.

  • ‘Bloody Tourists in a Land of Skulls,’ London Guardian/Observer (with Dith Pran and Youk Chhang), 3 January 1999.

  • ‘Dsols pour le gnocide’, Le Monde (Paris), 5 janvier 1999 (with Dith Pran and Youk Chhang).

  • ‘Sorry About that Khmer Genocide’, Bangkok Nation, 13 January 1999 (with Dith Pran and Youk Chhang).

  • ‘Implication and Accountability’, Bangkok Post, 29 January 1999. Khmer translation in Reaksmei Kampuchea, 23 January 1999.

  • ‘Cambodia’s Terror Lords Must Not Evade Trial,’ San Jose Mercury News, 7 March 1999.

e) Other publications by CGP staff

CGP Documentation Consultant, Associate Professor Helen Jarvis, Head of the School of Information, Library and Archive Studies at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, published her Cambodia in the World Bibliography Series (Clio Press) in 1998. A US launch of the book was held in September 1998 during Prof. Jarvis’ visit to the CGP at Yale University. An expanded, updated, CD-ROM version is scheduled to be published by Clio Press in April 1999.

Jarvis also presented a paper to Yale’s Genocide Studies Program on October 1, 1998. The paper was published as No. 4 in the Genocide Studies Working Papers Series, under the title, Documenting the Cambodian Genocide in Multimedia. The paper is available from the Yale Center for International and Area Studies and is on the CGP’s website. Prof. Jarvis also published a lengthy interview with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in thePhnom Penh Post (vol. 8, no. 4, Feb 19-March 4, 1999, pp. 3ff.).

CGP Research Affiliate Dr. Toni Samantha Phim gave a presentation in the same series on September 16, 1998. Her paper, ‘Terror and Aesthetics,’ was also published in the Genocide Studies Program Working Papers Series (No. 6), in conjunction with another paper on Cambodia by Alexander Laban Hinton, under the title, Anthropologies of the Khmer Rouge. These papers are available from the CGP and the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

CGP Research Affiliate Dr. Puangthong Rungwasdisab published an article in the BangkokNation (Jan. 25, 1999), entitled, ‘Thailand Must Share Blame in Backing Khmer Genocide’. She is now completing a longer study on Thailand’s responses to the genocide.

CGP research consultant Sara Colm completed her 107-pp. study of the experiences of the ethnic minorities in Cambodia’s Northeast Zone during the Khmer Rouge period. Colm’s book, The Highland Minorities and the Khmer Rouge in Northeastern Cambodia, 1968-1979, is scheduled to be published jointly by the CGP and publishing firm White Lotus (Bangkok, Thailand) in 1999.

f) List of Previous CGP Reports

  • The Cambodian Genocide Program: First Progress Report. September 1995. 20 pp.

  • The Documentation Center of Cambodia: Achievements and Challenges. December 1997. 14 pp.

  • The Cambodian Genocide Program, 1994-1997. A Report to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of East Asia and Pacific, February 1998. 32 pp.

3. Lectures, Seminars and Conference Presentations 

a) Ben Kiernan

  • ‘Myth, Nationalism and Genocide in Cambodia,’ presentation on a panel on Nationalism and Citizenship, American Historical Association, 3 January 1997.

  • ‘The Cambodian Genocide Program,’ presentation to the conference on Reporting Human Rights, University of California, Berkeley, 11 April 1997.

  • ‘Denial and Suppression,’ Paper presented at the Montreal conference of the Association of Genocide Scholars, 12 June 1997.

  • ‘Differing Interpretations of the Pol Pot Regime,’ seminar to the History Department, Melbourne University, 23 July 1997.

  • ‘Differing Interpretations of the Pol Pot Regime,’ seminar to the History Department, University of New South Wales, 20 August 1997.

  • ‘The Cambodian Genocide,’ presentation to the Schell Center colloquium on ‘Cambodia: the Legacy of the Killing Fields’, Yale Law School, 9 October 1997.

  • ‘Pol Pot and the Killing Fields,’ paper to the Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide, Stuttgart, 29 November 1997.

  • ‘Comparative Genocide: The Armenian, Nazi and Cambodian Cases,’ presentation to the Oriental Club of New Haven, 5 March 1998.

  • ‘The Pol Pot Regime,’ lecture and book-signing at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, 15 March 1998.

  • ‘The Cambodian Genocide,’ presentation to McGill University Symposium on 20thCentury Genocides, Montreal, 23 March 1998.

  • ‘Genocide in Cambodia: Documentation and Conceptual Perspectives,’ presentation to the History Department, Concordia University, and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, 25 March 1998.

  • ‘Comparative Genocide: The Cambodian Case,’ paper presented to Institut de l’Histoire Contemporaine, Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques, Paris, 27 April 1998.

  • ‘The Ethnic Element in the Cambodian Genocide,’ paper presented to the joint Conference of the American and Canadian Psychological Associations on Ethnopolitical Warfare, Derry, Northern Ireland, July 1998.

  • ‘The Panorama of Southeast Asian History,’ series of eight lectures to the Yale University Women’s Organization, fall 1998.

  • Commentator, Schell Center conference panel on ‘Health and Human Rights’, Yale Law School, 9 October 1998.

  • ‘From Mao Zedong to Pot Pot,’ joint presentation with Prof. Jonathan Spence, co-sponsored by the Genocide Studies Program and the Millennial Studies Seminar, Yale University, 4 November 1998.

  • ‘Impunity for Genocide in Cambodia,’ presentation at the conference of the French Prime Minister’s Mission Interministrielle pour les droits de l’homme,

  • ‘Juger les criminels contre l’humanit,’ Strasbourg, 20 November 1998.

  • ‘The Cambodian Genocide,’ paper presented at the Conference of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, New York, 2 December 1998.

  • ‘A Cambodian Genocide Tribunal,’ lunchtime lecture sponsored by the Schell Center, Yale Law School, December 15, 1998.

  • ‘The Cambodian Genocide,’ presentation to the Department of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 22 January 1999.

  • ‘Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice’, presentation to the Genocide Studies Program seminar, Yale University, 4 February 1999.

  • Presentation to ‘An American Killing Field: A Round-Table Discussion of the Report of the Guatemalan Truth Commission,’ Yale University, April 7, 1999.

  • ‘A Cambodian Genocide Tribunal: Obstacles and Prospects,’ presentation to the Institute of Legal Studies, the Global Studies Program, and the Southeast Asia Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 12 April 1999.

b) Toni Samantha Phim

  • ‘Writing an Anthropology of the Khmer Rouge,’ presentation sponsored jointly by the Genocide Studies Program and the Southeast Asia Council, Yale University, 16 September 1998.

  • ‘Cambodian Arts and Culture,’ Germantown Academy, Philadelphia, Pa., 2 December 1998 (with Thavro Phim).

  • ‘Dance and Everyday Terror in Democratic Kampuchea,’ presentation to the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pa., 3 December 1998.

  • ‘Journeys of the Spirit of the Land,’ Rutgers University, Center for Global Change and Governance, Cambodia Colloquium, 12 April 1999.

  • ‘Water,’ presentation to the History of Art Department, Cornell University, 27 April 1999.

  • ‘The Extended Family of Pol Pot,’ presentation to the Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 29 April 1999.

c) Thavro Phim

  • ‘Cambodian Arts and Culture,’ Germantown Academy, Philadelphia, Pa., 2 December 1998 (with Toni Samantha Phim).

  • ‘Living Without a Shadow: Growing Up Without a History,’ Rutgers University, Center for Global Change and Governance, Cambodia Colloquium, 12 April 1999.

d) Edward Kissi

  • ‘The Ethiopian and Cambodian Revolutions: A Historical Comparison,’ presentation to the Genocide Studies Program seminar, 24 September 1998.

e) Helen Jarvis

  • ‘Managing Multi-Media Information on Genocide,’ presentation to the Genocide Studies Program seminar, 1 October 1998.

f) Susan E. Cook

  • ‘Documenting Politics and the Politics of Documentation,’ presentation to the Genocide Studies Program seminar, 1 April 1999.


In February 1999, the United Nations Group of Experts completed its report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on the legal ramifications of the Cambodian Genocide. On 16 March 1999, this report was published by the Secretary-General. It includes the following passage:

Over the last 20 years, various attempts have been made to gather evidence of Khmer Rouge atrocities to build a historical record of these acts. For nearly 20 years, scholars have been accumulating such evidence by talking with survivors and participants in the terror and reviewing documents, photographs, and gravesites. The most impressive and organized effort in this regard is the Documentation Center of Cambodia, located in Phnom Penh. Originally set up by Yale University through a grant from the Government of the United States of America, the Center now functions as an independent research institute with funding from several governments and foundations. It has conducted a documentation project to collect, catalogue and store documents of Democratic Kampuchea, as well as a mapping project to locate sites of execution centres and mass graves.10

The report goes on to recommend the creation of an international tribunal to judge the crimes of the Khmer Rouge leadership. The Documentation Center’s contribution to the search for justice for the victims of the Cambodian genocide could not have been made without the Luce Foundation’s grant to the Cambodian Genocide Program, which established the Center and continues to cover the bulk of its costs with the support of a subsequent grant to the CGP from the U.S. Department of State.

1 See Anthony Barnett, Chanthou Boua, and Ben Kiernan, ‘Bureaucracy of Death: Documents from Inside Pol Pot’s Torture Machine,’ New Statesman, 2 May 1980.

2 See Ieng Sary’s Regime: A Confidential Diary of the Khmer Rouge Foreign Ministry, 1976-79, full translation by Ben Kiernan and Phat Kosal, published on the CGP website (, 1999, pp. 30, 126.

3 United Nations, AS, General Assembly, Security Council, A/53/850, S/1999/231, 16 March 1999, Annex, Report of the Group of Experts for Cambodia established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 52/135, p. 59, note 1. Two of Kiernan’s other publications are also listed.

4 The CGP site received the Internet Site of the Day award from Academe Today, the online journal of the Chronicle of Higher Education (January 28, 1997), and was named History Site of the Week of March 16, 1997 by World History Compass. For press acclaim, see The Cambodian Genocide Program, 1994-1997, report to the United States Department of State, February 1998, p. 9.

5 Message from the Internet Scout Project to the CGP, ‘Your site has been chosen as a Scout Report selection,’ dated 24 February 1999. See The Scout Report, December 4, 1998.

6 ‘US Studying Chance to Arrest, Try Pol Pot,’ by Sarah Jackson-Han, AFP-Washington, April 9, 1998.

7 Endpapers, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999.

8 Ben Kiernan,‘Gnocide au Cambodge,’ L’Histoire, no. 223, juillet-aot 1998, pp. 90-91.

9 Il Giornale (7 June 1996), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (14 August 1996), London Review of Books(3 October 1996).

10 United Nations, AS, General Assembly, Security Council, A/53/850, S/1999/231, 16 March 1999, Annex, Report of the Group of Experts for Cambodia established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 52/135, p. 16.