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48–476 CC








FEBRUARY 26, 1998

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

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BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
JAY KIM, California
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
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SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
PAT DANNER, Missouri
BRAD SHERMAN, California
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff

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Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska, Chairman
JAY KIM, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
MIKE ENNIS, Subcommittee Staff Director
RICHARD KESSLER, Democratic Professional Staff Member
DAN MARTZ, Counsel
HEIDI L. HENNIG, Staff Associate

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    The Honorable Stanley Roth, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
    Mr. Frederick Z. Brown, Johns Hopkins University
    Ms. Catharin E. Dalpino, Brookings Institution
    Mr. Eric Bjornlund, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
    Mr. Paul Grove, International Republican Institute
Prepared statements:
The Honorable Doug Bereuter, a Representative in Congress from Nebraska
The Honorable Stanley O. Roth
Mr. Frederick Z. Brown
Ms. Catharin E. Dalpino
Mr. Eric Bjornlund
Mr. Paul Grove, plus attachments
Additional material submitted for the record:
Opening statement submitted by The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, a Representative in Congress from California
Letter sent to the Bureau of Narcotics submitted by Mr. Rohrabacher
Letter from Prince Norodom Ranariddh submitted by Mr. Rohrabacher
List of Kmer Rouge military leaders submitted by Mr. Rohrabacher

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House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.
    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:07 p.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Doug Bereuter (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
    Mr. BEREUTER. [presiding] The Subcommittee will come to order. Good afternoon.
    The Ranking Minority Member will be with us shortly. He is finishing up a markup in the Judiciary Committee.
    The Subcommittee meets today in open session to assess the situation in Cambodia as it approaches elections scheduled for the summer, and to consider what steps the United States and other nations should take to ensure that the election results reflect the desires of the Cambodian people. Without question, the people of Cambodia have suffered enormously in the past decades. They have suffered through colonial rule, civil war, the genocidal horror of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and then the Vietnamese invasion.
    Prolonged negotiations among the various political factions finally led to the Paris Peace Accords of 1991. The Paris Accords were intended to be a blueprint for disarming the warring parties and for establishing what participants hoped would be the country's first representative democracy. Through the United Nations, the international community invested over $3 billion in U.N.-led peacekeeping and development efforts and in preparation for the 1993 elections. Participation by nearly 90 percent of the eligible electorate clearly demonstrated the strong desire of the Cambodian people to have a voice in shaping their own future.
    Through the election, the Cambodian people roundly rejected Hun Sen and the formerly Communist Cambodian People's Party (CPP), elected instead Prince Ranariddh and his United National Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC). Hun Sen, however, did not accept the results of this election and threatened a coup if not allowed a major role in the new government. Hun Sen's threats resulted in an unnatural and eventually unworkable coalition government in which the two sides shared dual positions. Tension between the coalition partners grew in late 1996 and early 1997, with each side maneuvering with factions of the politically marginalized Khmer Rouge to maximize its own position.
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    Maneuvering peaked in July 1997. Hun Sen ousted his democratically elected political rival, First Prime Minister Ranariddh, through a violent bloody coup d'etat. Credible human rights groups reported that in the days following the coup, a minimum of 40 FUNCINPEC officials were killed. In the aftermath of the coup, Hun Sen consolidated his power by disarming nearly all of the military and intelligence forces loyal to Prince Ranariddh. Even more ominously, he dismantled the political infrastructure of parties opposed to his own CPP. This coup and Hun Sen's subsequent actions dealt a body blow to the fragile democratic institutions which had slowly been taking root in the long-suffering country. In the weeks and months since the coup, nearly all political activity except that of Hun Sen's CCP has come to a halt. Most prominent opposition politicians, including Prince Ranariddh, fled into exile.
    To demonstrate its condemnation of Hun Sen's action, the United States and other major donor countries halted direct foreign aid assistance to the Hun Sen regime. Likewise, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, postponed Cambodia's admission into that organization, and the U.N. credentialing committee left Cambodia's seat empty rather than recognize the legitimacy of the Hun Sen regime.
    Today, nearly 7 months after the coup, the Hun Sen Government has yet to investigate the extrajudicial killings which took place immediately following the coup despite repeated calls for investigations by local human rights organizations and the international community, including the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. The political opposition remains cowed by fear and intimidation. Little political activity is taking place, particularly in the countryside, other than that of the CPP.
    In the face of this intimidation, and often at the risk of their lives, courageous Cambodian human rights workers persevere in their very difficult mission. Meanwhile, nearly 60,000 Cambodian refugees from the ongoing civil conflict remain across the border in Thailand, unwilling or unable to return. Admittedly the political situation has improved somewhat since last summer. Many of the politicians who fled into exile, with the notable exception of Prince Ranariddh, have now returned under guarantees negotiated by the United Nations. The rump national assembly drafted and passed a new election law and established a national election commission. Critics, however, point to the flaws in both the law and the commission. I'm sure our witnesses today will address these shortcomings.
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    Despite these discouraging signs, various informal international groups continue their efforts to ensure Hun Sen's compliance with this pledge to hold free elections this year. Both the ASEAN Troika and the Friends of Cambodia donors group have endorsed the recent Tokyo Initiative which would allow Prince Ranariddh's return to Cambodia and participation in the upcoming election.
    I also note that the EU has contributed over $10 million equivalent to the Hun Sen Government to help conduct the election. However, many Cambodians and foreign critics argue that Hun Sen already has the cards stacked in his favor, and that a truly fair and free election is highly unlikely, if not impossible. Some of these critics argue that direct election assistance will simply serve to legitimatize what will be a sham election.
    I believe the critics are probably right in all of those comments. What is happening in Cambodia in the run-up to the elections is very disturbing. We need an action plan, I believe, to avert the perversion of a democratic process. With the elections looming in exactly 5 months, it is, to say the very least, time to examine U.S. interests in the process and its outcome.
    I wish to welcome our witnesses today, to what, if we face reality, will undoubtedly be a sobering hearing. I recognize there are no easy answers to our questions. There are no angels involved here. There are no simple blacks and whites. Nonetheless, it's important that we seek the right course. One question to ask, for example, is what role, if any, should the United States play in the elections? How can we urge our friends and our allies to play a more constructive role? What role should King Sihanouk play? Realistically, what leverage do we have to influence Hun Sen's actions? What outcome is at least tolerable and consistent with our democratic principles? If we conclude that the conditions for a truly fair election cannot be met in July, should we push for a postponement? More broadly, what are our interests in Cambodia? What are the Administration's short- and long-term foreign policy and security goals with respect to Cambodia?
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    These are among the questions that I now ask our witnesses to address. Joining us today is Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Stanley Roth. Secretary Roth is well known to the Committee as a long-time staff director of the Asia Pacific Subcommittee. I might say a very able one, under our former chairman, Steve Solarz. I would tell the Subcommittee that Assistant Secretary Roth made a very special effort to testify before us today, delaying important travel commitments in order to do it.
    Mr. Secretary, it's a pleasure to see you here today.
    Our second panel will begin with Mr. Frederick Brown, who is Associate Director of the Southeast Asian Studies Program at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Brown has extensive experience dealing with Southeast Asia, first as a foreign service officer, and then as a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and now as an academic. Mr. Brown is also the author of Second Chance, the United States and Indonesia in the 1990's. We welcome you here today, sir.
    Our next witness is Catharin Dalpino. Ms. Dalpino is currently a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and co-director of the Cambodia Policy Study Group. She recently completed 4 years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where she had responsibility for Cambodian affairs. Ms. Dalpino also brings broad experience living and working in Southeast Asia to our hearing. Welcome.
    Also joining us today is Mr. Eric Bjornlund, Senior Associate and Director of Asia Programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He has developed and directed international domestic election monitoring, civic education, political party building, and parliamentary development programs in more than 25 countries. He has directed NDI's program supporting democracy in Cambodia since 1994, and he has visited the country on a number of occasions in the recent past. We look forward to his comments.
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    Our final witness today is Mr. Paul Grove, Deputy Director of Asian programs at the International Republican Institute. Mr. Grove has served as a long-time director of IRI's Cambodia program, where he worked extensively on party development. He recently returned from Cambodia. I am certain he'll have pertinent remarks. The Subcommittee welcomes him as well.
    Thank you all for coming today. I know we'll benefit from your insights and your advice. Your entire statements will be made a part of the record. I would ask that you try to summarize your comments in approximately 10 minutes so we can have a maximum time available for Members' questions.
    With the prerogative of the Chair being exercised, before I turn to the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee, I would note that Cambodia is not the only Southeast Asian country where the United States has human rights concerns. A grave instance of religious rights abuse in Cambodia's neighbor, Laos, was recently brought to my attention. In late January, 44 Christians, including three Americans, were arrested and jailed in that Communist country. Technically they are charged with the crime of illegal assembly. It appears, however, that their real crime was related to the practice of their Christian faith. The three Americans and a number of Lao Christians were subsequently released. But as of today, nearly 1 month after the incident, six Lao Christians remain in custody.
    I find the situation deeply distressing. Laos is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of religion. So does Lao's own constitution. Yet the Lao Government has flagrantly ignored their government's commitment to guarantee human rights, in this case, religious liberty.
    Religious liberty is without question among the cornerstones of our basic freedoms and a basic human right. I hope the Administration will take every opportunity to press the Lao Government to comply with its own stated commitment to this precious principle. I intend to speak on the floor on this subject next week.
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    I now turn to the ranking Democrat, the distinguished gentleman from California, Mr. Berman.
    Mr. BERMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased that we are holding this hearing. It's easy to ignore the problems of other countries when so much of our attention has been focused in recent weeks on Iraq. But Cambodia remains a major interest to the Congress.
    Cambodia was the so-called side show to the war in Vietnam. Some have argued that we paid a price during that war for our failure to pay sufficient attention or to be sufficiently sensitive to the historical and cultural nuances of Cambodian politics. That price was paid with both American and Cambodian lives, especially after the Khmer Rouge took control.
    In the late 1980's, congressional concern over American efforts to provide military assistance to Cambodian factions fighting on the Thai-Cambodian border led first to efforts to prohibit any American aid to Cambodia that either directly or indirectly aided the Khmer Rouge, and second to the Paris Peace talks, which resulted in the U.N.-sponsored political settlement in Cambodia.
    Today's hearing may well demonstrate how little has changed in Cambodia despite international efforts. Cambodian politics, as the chairman has mentioned, remain dominated by the Cambodian People's Party led by Prime Minister Hun Sen. He drove his primary political opponent, Prince Ranariddh from the country in a successful coup last July. This followed a grenade attack on a political rally on March 30, 1997, which was sponsored by another political opponent, Sam Rainsy, which resulted in several deaths. The FBI investigated that attack and its report has not yet been made public, but many suspect Hun Sen's security forces being responsible.
    Cambodia is a country with little experience in democracy, one which most of the world has found convenient to forget. The international community, including the United States and all of us, were eager to claim a success after the last elections sponsored by the United Nations in 1993, although the result was a coalition government between Ranariddh and Hun Sen, despite Ranariddh's narrow victory. Ranariddh had a mandate, but Hun Sen had the guns. We appear to be engaged in a similar face-saving solution now with the international community aiding directly or indirectly the election process, while paying little attention to the content of the elections. The European Union, in particular, appears to be taking solace from the formation of an election commission and the registration of new voters. As NDI and IRI point out in their report, ''if one party controls the administration of the entire electoral process, few people have confidence in the integrity of the ballot.''
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    I have several questions about our policy. Do we believe there is a level electoral playing field now? If it is not level, what do we intend to do to make it so? If we can't accomplish these reforms, when will we determine that the elections are not free and fair? The elections are in July. Are we prepared to state in advance of the elections that the process is fatally flawed and withdraw all support, and encourage our allies to withdraw support? Are our policy objectives in Cambodia dependent upon free and fair elections or are elections window dressing? But there is an even more basic question. What are our policy objectives in Cambodia, and how do we intend to achieve them?
    Mr. Chairman, I share with you the regard for our Assistant Secretary, who we all know from his many years of service here on the Hill. He has the wonderful assignment of developing and explaining the policy in one of the most complicated regions of the world, not an easy job. But if anyone is up to it, he is. So I look forward to the hearing and to the other witnesses as well.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Berman. I am pleased to see we share some of the same questions.
    I now would like to turn to our colleague from California, Mr. Rohrabacher, who probably has spent more time in the region than any Member of the Subcommittee. I welcome his comments.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Stanley is going to find out that it's much easier to ask questions than it is to give answers. So we sympathize with you.
    But, Mr. Chairman, the ongoing events in Cambodia, including the so-called Japanese plan for elections next July, is tragically moving in the wrong direction. All of these are moving in the wrong direction. It is foolhardy to continue to encourage the Cambodian democrats to accept an election commission under Hun Sen's control without any real guarantee for their security.
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    These elected democrats, including elected Prime Minister Ranariddh and opposition leader Sam Rainsy and others, are in peril, and will be in peril if they return to Cambodia.
    This morning the U.N. human rights team in Phnom Penh publicized the murder of—and it's a murder that occurred last week of supporters of Prince Ranariddh and their families, the previous week a leader of Rainsy's party and his 5-year old daughter were gunned down in their home. More disturbing, not only has Hun Sen solidified his alliance with others, but he has also solidified his alliance with Gang Sary, a former No. 2 leader of the Khmer Rouge. He now has a military alliance with this very lieutenant of Pol Pot who he had accused Ranariddh of having a relationship with. That was one of his excuses for the coup d'etat. Hun Sen is thumbing his nose at democracy. He is thumbing his nose at the West. Basically, he is daring us to do anything we can do to stop him. Frankly, if we don't, nobody around the world is going to believe America's commitment to democracy is anything more than verbiage.
    It may be time for the U.S. Government to end relations with the illegal Hun Sen regime, and to recognize a Cambodian Government in exile. It is long overdue that the United States end its Generalized Special Preferences for Cambodia, and to formally decertify Cambodia on non-drug anti-drug cooperation. It is also time for Most Favored Nation status, which I originally advocated and was originally someone who helped push that through, to be suspended until democracy is restored in Cambodia.
    I am submitting for the record a letter of February 13th sent to the State Department's Bureau of Narcotics by Chairman Ben Gilman and myself requesting that the President consider decertification of Cambodia under section 490 of the Foreign Assistance Act because of drug proliferation. I am also including a letter I received from Prince Ranariddh dated February 23, 1998, expressing his reservations about the Japanese plan and a lack of security for democrats in the upcoming election. I am submitting a list of hard-core Khmer Rouge military leaders whom Hun Sen has formed an alliance with in recent weeks. This is probably the most disturbing thing that I have had to say in this testimony, which was disturbing as it is in his opening statement; during the July 5 coup when Hun Sen and his Khmer Rouge allies such as Keo Pong and others overthrew an elected government, the U.S. Embassy assured Hun Sen and his military gang that ''We are not taking sides.''
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    This was the statement of our representatives in Phnom Penh to the thugs who were involved with overthrowing a democratic government. This was amoral, and basically it encouraged Hun Sen to continue what was in process, which was a bloody takeover and a bloody overthrow of a democratic government.
    The United States should always be on the side of people who are in charge of an elected government. If we want changes in elected governments, we should ask the people. We should tell the people of a country we don't like this government, please elect somebody else. But we should never ever be in a situation where we are not taking sides when people who were elected to office are being overthrown by others who are seeking power. It took us, I might add, a long time to get from the State Department the cables that were sent to the State Department so we could find out exactly what we were saying during that coup. It took months, at least 5 months to get these cables. It was obviously an effort to stonewall so that we would not know what position our ambassador was taking.
    Well, I'm afraid our ambassador was not doing right by the United States of America during that coup. But now it's time for us to do right by the cause of democracy, and us to do right to the people of Cambodia by standing up for democracy and being uncompromising in this because otherwise they have no hope and no one around the world has any hope. I thank you very much.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher. I think it's interesting to note that all three of us have used the term ''coup,'' I think advisedly, although our government has not recognized a coup there because to do so would trigger certain events that apparently they don't want to see happen.
    Mr. Secretary, we have entitled this hearing ''Shattered Dreams: The Uncertain State of Democracy in Cambodia,'' which I think pretty well conveys our concerns at this point. You have got great comments from my colleagues and myself. We look forward to your abilities and to your testimony. You may proceed as you wish.
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    Mr. ROTH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I will take advantage of the offer in your statement to enter the testimony in full for the record, and to try to summarize it so that we can get to the question and answer period more expeditiously.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. That will be the order.
    Mr. ROTH. And in addition, many of the points that I make in my testimony were covered in your opening statement as well, so there is no need to go over a lot of history.
    Let me begin by commending the Subcommittee for holding this hearing to show that there is still intense congressional interest in this issue at a time when there are many other Asian foreign policy issues, such as the financial crisis, as well as many other generic foreign policy issues all over the world. It's all too easy to forget about a small country like Cambodia. We have not done that in the Administration, and you have not done that in the Congress. I commend you for it. I want to say that the Administration supports the resolution which you introduced in the recent past, and hope to see it come to the floor. I hope I can talk to your staff about one or two language changes, but they're not fundamental. We support the resolution. I commend you for taking the lead on that.
    I think the timing of this hearing will be helpful as we make preparations for the next ASEAN Troika, Friends of Cambodia meeting, which will take place in Manila a week from tomorrow. It will certainly help my hand to be able to tell the other countries exactly where the Congress stands or at least the House, on a bipartisan fashion on some of the key issues. So I welcome the views. I hope we'll have more changes on some of the specific issues such as electoral assistance and the terms under which it should be or should not be provided as we proceed.
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    Let me first, before I turn to Cambodia, make a brief comment about the situation you raised in Laos. I want to make it very clear for the record that we agree with you. I wouldn't want to stay silent on this issue. I also want to make it very clear that
we have been very active both on the ground through our embassy in Vientiane and also here in the department in trying to persuade the Laotian Government to release all of their citizens. Of course we are pleased that the American citizens were released expeditiously, but that's not enough. We do not think these people should have been arrested under Laotian law for what does not appear to us to be good reason. We are pushing very hard. The Ambassador has gone in four times, as far as I can tell, in addition to what we have done here. Many of the people have been released. It's gone from 44 I think to 13, but we're not finished. We'll continue to work on that. I thank you for calling that to public attention.
    Let me now turn to the situation in Cambodia itself. Let me begin with an assessment of the current situation. What I would like to say and what I said in my prepared statement, is that the political situation in Cambodia is grim. Admittedly, there has been some movement toward creating the enabling framework for parliamentary elections, now scheduled for July 26. Many political exiles, roughly two-thirds of them, have returned without incident against them. However, we are deeply concerned by the persistence of political intimidation by continued fighting that has displaced thousands of Cambodians, and by impunity for human rights violations.
    Moreover, a central issue of the participation of a real opposition movement remains unresolved. Prince Ranariddh, whose party received the most votes in the 1993 elections, still can not return to Cambodia without facing the threats of imprisonment and trial. So let me get to the bottom line before going back to some of the details. Unless there is a fundamental change in Cambodia's political environment, the Administration has serious doubts whether the July elections can be free, fair, and credible. If conditions for truly democratic elections are not established, there is a real danger that the country will continue its slide toward authoritarian one-party rule. So I don't think there is very much difference in assessment between the opinions expressed on the podium and the opinion expressed here.
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    I think the question we all want to address is what are we going to do about it. Where do we go from here? I think we have a shared objective, the immediate objective, because obviously we have many objectives with respect to Cambodia. But our immediate priority is to create conditions for free, fair, and credible elections. We have worked with the international community, you have mentioned the two institutions, the ASEAN Troika, and the Friends of Cambodia, which was established at Secretary Albright's initiative this past July.
    We have encouraged and worked with the international community to coordinate and use three principle sources of leverage in order to try to affect change and get events back on track. These three levers are of course foreign assistance. Cambodia is abnormally dependent, as an impoverished country, on foreign aid. Usually we hear the figure somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of its budget comes from foreign aid. That is a source of leverage.
    The U.N. seat, this should not be under-estimated. By denying the credentials I think the international community certainly got Hun Sen's attention last fall. He still does not have credentials at the United Nations, which undermines his legitimacy.
    And the issue of ASEAN membership. As you know, ASEAN took the unusual step, despite its desire in the abstract to move toward a Southeast Asia–10 organization, not to admit Cambodia last year, and to defer that, and to further indicate that they would not decide this issue until after the election. So the international community is not bereft of tools in order to try to influence the behavior of all of the key parties.
    Let me give you an update on where we are at this precise moment. I think the most recent event has been the last meeting of the ASEAN Troika and the Friends of Cambodia, which I attended in Manila on February 15. At that meeting, we reached agreement that the key issue at this time for the credibility of the electoral process, is participation by all of the Cambodian political opposition, including ideally Prince Ranariddh. I think quite significantly, if the issue of participation is not resolved, the Friends of Cambodia agreed in their written statement, which I would be happy to provide to you for the record, that they would individually review their plans for assistance for the electoral process, a clear message to Hun Sen.
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    Let me indicate why I talk about a key step at this time as participation. There are many other issues involving the conduct of free and fair elections other than just the participation of all parties, including the political atmosphere in the country, including the procedures themselves, whether there is access to media and so forth. So merely resolving the participation issue is not in and of itself sufficient for free and fair election. But we are approaching it with the priority first of all that it has to be what the ASEAN Troika has come to call a credible election. You could have perfect electoral procedures, you know, access to the media, lack of intimidation, good ballot box procedures, counting of the vote. Everything could be perfect, and if you didn't have a legitimate opposition party, the most credible opposition leader not running because that person had been barred arbitrarily from participating, it wouldn't matter how good the procedures were because you wouldn't have credibility.
    So we are focused first on the credibility issue, knowing that if we resolve that, we have a host of additional issues to work on and make progress on prior to the election itself. It's a question of what are your immediate priorities.
    At the ASEAN Troika/Friends of Cambodia meeting, we worked to try to facilitate the conditions which permit free, fair, and credible elections to go forward. We tried to focus on getting all of the parties to take the appropriate steps. We are encouraging King Sihanouk, who left Cambodia on January 4, after coming under heavy criticism from Hun Sen for his willingness to grant an unconditional amnesty to Prince Ranariddh, to return from Beijing to exercise the moderating and unifying influence of the monarchy. This is a role he has played in the past, and we would like to see him play in the future.
    We also encouraged both Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen to effect a cease-fire and for both of them to sever ties to the Khmer Rouge. I think that is a very important fact.
    With respect to Hun Sen, we continue to press him to create an environment that is free from fear and intimidation, and allows all the Cambodian political opposition, including Prince Ranariddh, to take part in the elections. We have also urged Hun Sen to provide a firm commitment that he is prepared to accept the results of these elections. He has, you are probably aware, made a public statement to that effect during his most recent trip to Japan.
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    In our judgment, the King, Hun Sen, and Prince Ranariddh, all bear responsibility for reaching a solution to the immediate issue of Prince Ranariddh's participation in the elections. Therefore, we believe all three should agree to take the steps needed to break the political stalemate. Although both Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh have made public statements suggesting they accept the Japanese four-pillar proposal that would enable Prince Ranariddh to participate in the election, Hun Sen continues to resist this internationally supported initiative.
    The Japanese proposal, just for the record, rests on the following principles: a cease-fire, the reintegration of resistance forces into the Cambodian armed forces, renunciation by all parties of any ties with the Khmer Rouge, that's a modification of the original plan, a prompt conclusion of a trial in absentia of Prince Ranariddh on charges brought by Hun Sen, and a royal amnesty granted by King Sihanouk that would allow Ranariddh to participate in the elections. We believe that if the parties were serious in their commitment to abiding by these principles that that would help enormously getting the elections off the ground.
    While Hun Sen has said he supports this proposal, he has yet to make a clear commitment to complete the judicial process in time for Prince Ranariddh to return before the late March deadline for candidate registration. Although a Cambodian military court is scheduled to hear charges of illegal weapons importation on March 4, no date has been set for consideration of the other charges involving alleged collaboration with the Khmer Rouge. It appears unlikely that subsequent trials on these charges could be completed by the registration deadline of late March.
    To address the issue of the elections and Prince Ranariddh's participation prior to the deadline, the ASEAN Troika and the Friends will meet again on March 6, as I mentioned in my opening, a week from tomorrow, to review what progress has been made, and to very pointedly capture the attention of Hun Sen, that we are watching his actions and that there is not unlimited time before aid donors make their decisions on any further electoral assistance. We will have to evaluate donor strategy accordingly, and we have made sure that Hun Sen understands what the Troika/Friends did. Ambassador Quinn went in yesterday to go over the events of the last meeting to bring the next meeting to his attention. Other people have gone in as well, I believe the French today. The ASEAN's went in last week.
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    I want to at least briefly touch upon issues that we see besides participation that will influence the situation in the election. I think we would probably agree on them: the continuing fighting between government and resistance forces, the pervasive climate of intimidation, of genuine opposition and of civil society, and impunity for human rights violators. In my testimony, I go through this in some detail. I will shorten it in the interest of time so that we can get to the questions.
    The point I am trying to make is there are a number of issues left to be resolved. We are not presenting you with a Pollyanna-ish approach. We are trying to come with a prioritized sequence on which we are attacking the problems in conjunction with other interested parties.
    But I do want to emphasize at least one point at greater length. That concerns the impunity for human rights violations. We believe that it is a major source of concern that the Cambodian Government has failed to investigate the extrajudicial killings which took place last July and which have continued since then. We have repeatedly called for the Cambodian Government to provide a full accounting of all those killed, arrested, or missing. Despite Hun Sen's assurances, including to former Congressman Solarz when he went there as an envoy and on a subsequent trip, these killings have not been investigated. There have been no prosecutions.
    The U.N. Center for Human Rights has documented some 40 politically motivated killings related to the events of last July and several subsequent to that. Furthermore, Hun Sen has so far refused to meet with the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia, Thomas Hammarberg, which we think is a serious mistake. We urge him to meet with him in the near future.
    Given this difficult situation, where do we go from here? I think we are obviously going to put our priority, as I mentioned, at the next meeting in trying to make progress on the participation issue so that Prince Ranariddh can return expeditiously in time to compete with the election.
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    We also want to take some steps to address the human rights situation on the ground. In that regard, I would like to call your attention to the fact that the U.S. Government through the Agency for International Development has been providing funding to increase U.N. staff monitoring for human rights monitoring. Some of this is related specifically to monitoring the security of returning politicians. I would point out that the majority of the parliamentarians who are in exile have returned. Most of the rest who haven't are associated with Prince Ranariddh. Some of them have indicated their desire to return as well.
    But in addition to just the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative in Phnom Penh, which is monitoring the return of these politicians, there is also the human rights representative. We have provided a donation of approximately $192,000 through AID to the U.N. Center for Human Rights in Cambodia, and now we have committed an additional $200,000 to expand further the human rights monitoring capability of the U.N. Center in Phnom Penh. So we are trying to physically increase the international presence on the ground in an effort to diminish the ability of these human rights abuses to be committed with impunity.
    There is a lot of work to go, but I'm trying to assure you that we are working on it and not being passive in our response. We are in addition encouraging domestic Cambodia non-governmental organizations, supported by their international counterparts, some of whom are sitting behind me, to increase monitoring of the political environment, again with particular emphasis on human rights. While the U.N. monitoring team is in place and most of the exile politicians back in Cambodia, we will soon consider whether to increase our support to NGO's monitoring human rights.
    But up until now, I want to emphasize that our support has been limited to civic education, human rights monitoring, and preliminary planning for election monitoring. We have the mechanisms in place to expand these programs to include activities that strengthen the capacity of Cambodia's civil society to observe the electoral process from political party and voter registration through to ballot counting. Independent domestic observers can reinforce public confidence in the political process by documenting and drawing domestic and international attention to violations of law or other activities that undermine the freedom or fairness of the electoral process.
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    There is unfortunately a dilemma, Mr. Chairman, that we would seek your advice about. On the one hand we believe, as do many of the other donors, that if there is not significant international support and if it doesn't start flowing soon for the electoral process, it's going to be very difficult to pull off the elections either by the scheduled deadline or even thereafter. At the same time, to send a signal that you are going to support the electoral process before it's been established that it's credible or that there's the level playing field that you referred to before, could give the signal to Hun Sen unintended, that no matter what he does, we are going to support the electoral process.
    We need to get your response and we need to calibrate at what point do we either not go forward or condition our electoral assistance so as not to send the wrong message. I hope to get your views on that point as we continue this hearing.
    In my testimony just briefly I then go through to talk a little bit about our aid program, those provisions that we provide consistent with U.S. law which allows humanitarian aid, de-mining assistance, and assistance for elections. Then I also mention that there have been a few bright points of light in this otherwise dismal picture in terms of Cambodian Government behavior, the area of POW/MIA cooperation, for example, which is going reasonably well in Cambodia, and some positive developments in one aspect of law enforcement relating to counterfeit currency. I do not want to overstate these points, but I think that one should illustrate that it's not all a negative stream.
    So in conclusion, it is our view that free, fair, and credible elections in Cambodia would go a long way to facilitate Cambodia's return to a stable relationship with its regional neighbors. Cambodia would then be positioned to normalize its relations with the broader international community, including ASEAN, and assume its seat in the United Nations. On the other hand, the absence of positive actions will continue to keep Cambodia isolated from sources of international support and legitimacy. Time is short, and the next few weeks will be critical. We remain committed to achieving a real political reconciliation in Cambodia. When I return to Manila for the March 6 meeting, I look forward to taking with me the concerns and ideas of this Subcommittee. I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that we will continue to exert every effort to secure the fundamental changes in the political and security environment necessary to try to achieve a peaceful and democratic Cambodia. Thank you.
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    [The prepared statement of Mr. Roth appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. BEREUTER. I thank you, Mr. Secretary. I would say to my colleagues we're without the normal red, green, and yellow light system. We'll try to give each Member at least 5 minutes, twice if necessary, so that we can engage the Secretary in conversation and questioning.
    I guess I would start this questioning, Mr. Secretary, by asking you a question about the EU's assistance to the election process. I understand that they have offered over $11 million equivalent to support the Cambodian elections for various activities. King Sihanouk criticized the EU for providing assistance without requiring the participation of his son. What specific conditions did the EU attach, and what is your reaction? What is our government's reaction to the EU's assistance at this point and as it relates to conditioned aid?
    Mr. ROTH. I very much regret, first of all, that when they announced this electoral assistance, the EU didn't manage to educate people about the conditionality that was built into the contract, which in fact was signed with the Cambodian Government. Meaning that, first of all, there were some fire breaks built into this, I think it's $9.5 million ECUs, so the exact U.S. dollar amount fluctuates. It's around $10.5 million. But the EU indicates that most of the money would not even be dispersed until April, which is after the deadline for candidate registration. That they would periodically assess the situation, and that if at any point they decided there was not this level playing field, the contract doesn't say ''level playing field'' but has the equivalent, that they maintain and reserve the right to suspend their support.
    The impression was created, and many people, not just King Sihanouk, reacted that this was an unconditional grant that was sending a signal that the EU was going ahead with electoral assistance no matter what. My understanding is there is a representative from the EU in Phnom Penh today to explain the conditionality aspect of this assistance to the government. So a lot depends, I think, on how the EU plays its cards, and whether in fact it implements this conditionality, which remains to be seen.
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    Mr. BEREUTER. Do we approve in general of the conditionality? Do we think it's adequate, given the situation that seems to be unfolding?
    Mr. ROTH. I think the question is whether it's implemented. I mean if they reserve the right to pull the plug on the program if they think there isn't a level playing field, that's a very tough condition. The question is, are they willing to do it. We are talking. One of the things we do at the Friends of Cambodia meeting is try to coordinate the donor responses so that we all try to speak with the same voice.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Secretary, I have another question which I suppose could best be addressed to Treasury officials, but perhaps you are knowledgeable about this. Cambodia receives Asian Development Bank funds, World Bank funds, IMF funds, and enhanced structural adjustment facility funds. What is the position of the United States on that type of assistance to Cambodia? In other words, are we suggesting that some of it should be withheld, or that we should begin to exercise a veto? We do have a veto in some of those areas. What are the current instructions, if you know, to the executive directors who are Treasury officials?
    Mr. ROTH. I will let my Treasury colleague speak more in a statement for the record. But my understanding of U.S. law is that this issue has been defined for us by the Congress, that it is a requirement of law that we could only support basic human needs lending and nothing else. So that is what we do. But I'll be happy to get you a more detailed answer from my colleagues.
    [The answer below was supplied following the hearing.]

    U.S. Executive Directors of the international financial institutions will use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose loans to the Government of Cambodia, except loans to support basic human needs.

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    Mr. BEREUTER. But to your knowledge, that is being respected?
    Mr. ROTH. Yes.
    Mr. BEREUTER. One more question and then I'll turn to my colleagues. How dependent is the Cambodian Government on international assistance?
    Mr. ROTH. Extremely. As I tried to indicate in my statement, this is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has an abnormally large percentage of its budget that comes from foreign aid, somewhere between 50 and 60 percent. Obviously that's a huge chunk. So I think quite dependent.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Do we have an adequate international NGO structure there through which aid could be given to the Cambodian people for basic human needs, and bypass the Cambodian Government itself, if we wanted to bring international pressure through withholding of funds to the government?
    Mr. ROTH. No. Leaving aside the political issue of whether you want to do that and whether that sends the wrong signal of supporting the government——
    Mr. BEREUTER. I am just asking you if the structure is there.
    Mr. ROTH. The technical aspect is I think there is an NGO community. It is somewhat impoverished in Cambodia, as all other sectors of that society. But nevertheless, there are quite a large number of NGO's. I think there's certainly a lot of room to work with them. I am not fully confident that you could have an entire large-scale development program, if you are talking about doing things like infrastructure and some of the other things you do in such poor countries, through NGO's. With your permission, I will ask the Agency for International Development to get you a much more detailed sectoral breakdown of which areas NGO's could absorb more assistance.
    [The answer below was supplied following the hearing.]

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    The NGO community in Cambodia is capable of administering a substantial assistance program without going through the government. Although integrated programs in partnership with government lead to more sustainable long-term results, the international and local NGOs in Cambodia have already demonstrated their capability to implement assistance programs on their own.

    Mr. BEREUTER. I should have asked you one more question following my previous one. That is, to ask you if you are aware of the fact that the fiscal year 1999 150 budget request includes a million dollars for a new environmental program, which would seem to be outside the existing prohibition of assistance, which is limited to democracy building and basic humanitarian activities. Are you aware of that fact and do you agree that it is outside the area that is permitted?
    Mr. ROTH. I am very aware of that fact. When we put together a budget for fiscal year 1999, we put together in the expectation that we'll be able to go ahead with an aid program. If the conditions don't bear out, we're obviously going to obey U.S. law. We're going to make a judgment closer to that time. You will find lots of things as you go through a congressional presentation document and budget for future years that don't always get spent. We've reserved a much larger sum, $7 million we have for electoral assistance if the conditions are determined to be suitable for it.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Do you agree that this is under the prohibited activities if, in fact, the conditions are not met?
    Mr. ROTH. I haven't looked at it in enough detail to give you that answer. I will give you a written answer.
    [The answer below was supplied following the hearing.]

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    All USAID environmental assistance is currently suspended. A modest resumption of priority environmental assistance, specifically targeting forests and global warming, was included in the FY 1999 budget to indicate that this would be a priority sector to resume if, and only if, the present suspension is lifted or amended to allow such assistance after elections scheduled for July 1998.

    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you.
    Mr. Berman.
    Mr. BERMAN. It's an interesting theory. We should probably appropriate some money for the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure on the ground that if the conditions become such, we can then go ahead and do it. There's nothing wrong with an optimistic approach to these issues, if we just don't forget the conditions at the time it comes to spend the money.
    On the issue of the aid cutoff, the aid for the elections, do you think there is a consensus between—with the different donors, including us, on I guess the Friends of Cambodia group that you have been speaking about that—what will occasion a cutoff of the funds or a stopping of the flow of funds that are set forth I guess by the European Union? In other words, are we and them on the same wavelength here?
    Mr. ROTH. There is not consensus on that point. There are many donors. It's not just us and the EU. What we're trying to do is use the Friends of Cambodia mechanism to establish as much of a consensus as we can. I don't know if we'll reach a perfect consensus, but I think we are rapidly approaching a majority opinion. I think that most of the donors believe that if it's clear that Prince Ranariddh is being barred from running in the election, not that he has chosen not to run, but rather that he is being barred by various procedural maneuvers by Hun Sen, that that would not be a credible election. That then I think a number of the donors would be prepared to reconsider their assistance. But I can't tell you that's a consensus.
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    Mr. BERMAN. Not even that is a consensus?
    Mr. ROTH. No. Not yet.
    Mr. BERMAN. In the different issues that we are focused on in raising, is the grenade attack on Sam Rainsy one of the issues that we keep in our litany of concerns that we have?
    Mr. ROTH. Certainly. I mean one of the things we are trying to do is get some accountability for past actions.
    Mr. BERMAN. We're not just talking about the matters involving the ''coup.'' We're going back to the earlier grenade attack as well?
    Mr. ROTH. Certainly.
    Mr. BERMAN. OK.
    Mr. ROTH. I mean it's interesting, however, that Rainsy has gone back. He has been one of the rather courageous politicians who despite the fact that that issue was not resolved and despite his clear sense that this was aimed at him and a desire to kill him, that he has gone back, worked with the U.N. monitors, worked closely with the U.N. Embassy in terms of coordinating his movements, but he is back there. He is campaigning. He has organized demonstrations. He is operating quite effectively.
    Mr. BERMAN. Right. The people who have perpetuated that act though have not been, as you mentioned earlier, brought to justice?
    Mr. ROTH. Right.
    Mr. BERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you.
    Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Rainsy is back?
    Mr. ROTH. Yes. He comes in and out.
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    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Wasn't there a threat on his life a couple weeks ago?
    Mr. ROTH. Yes. But he conducted the demonstration anyway, despite that. He's a quite courageous individual. We appreciate the information that was brought to our attention. We acted on it.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. I think he is courageous. I think these folks who are having to confront Hun Sen are courageous people. Some of them are incompetent. Some of them are corrupt. Some of them are very competent and very honest. We have a wide range of people. But one thing we do know is Hun Sen is a thug and a murderer. What I don't understand is all of this verbiage and rhetoric about asking him to investigate this murder and that murder that went on, when we know that it is likely that his people were the ones responsible for the violence. What is that all about?
    I mean your testimony today, you were talking about we were asking him to give us these reports. I mean you are asking Al Capone to give us a report on illegal alcohol in Chicago, for Pete's sakes.
    Mr. ROTH. Well, one has the problem of, as you say, it's not what you assume, but it's what you know and how you prove it legally. What we are trying to do is hold his feet to the fire on what he said he would do, including investigate these incidents, including investigate that attack. Obviously it doesn't bear well, doesn't inspire confidence that he has not done these things.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Secretary, to be candid, I can't speak for everybody in the audience, but a long time ago my threshold was reached in terms of having to know that Hun Sen is the bad guy. I mean I don't understand. Correct me if I'm wrong. We don't want to officially recognize Hun Sen as the bad guy because there is still some hope that we're going to lure him back into the realm of civility with all kinds of incentives to be a good guy.
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    Mr. ROTH. That is certainly not the policy. I mean the policy——
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. It seems like——
    Mr. ROTH. The policy is simply to try to get a free and fair election so the people of Cambodia can choose their own leaders.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. I was there during the last election. I went there as an observer. I have been in and out of the country several times. More power to those people who laid down the strategy of let's try to ease Hun Sen and his group that were basically associated with the Vietnamese collaboration or whatever you want to call it, their occupation. Lure them into a situation where they will participate in an election and then they will respect an election process. Then we will establish some sort of a tradition that can be carried. I thought that was a good strategy, but it has not worked. It's time for the United States just to admit it has not worked because Hun Sen was not going to accept democracy because he is a thug. He doesn't believe in democracy. He believes in power.
    The more that we run around, and especially the more in the middle of a crisis situation in which lives are being lost, the more our embassy puts out the word that we're not taking sides in this, the more the thugs of the world and the people like Hun Sen will take advantage of it and think that we are weak.
    The tanks that we helped buy for Cambodia, I remember 3 years ago when there was a debate about these tanks. I remember opposing that—and this is before our current ambassador was ambassador—and receiving some admonition from the State Department about, I think it was Czech tanks, that we bought for the Cambodians. They are Eastern European tanks anyway. They were such a deal. It was such a deal, why not let them. Those tanks now are being used I am sure by Hun Sen not to put down some outside threat, but instead to consolidate his own power. It seemed clear to me at that time that that was going to just provide an instrument of repression rather than a tool of defense.
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    I think what we have got here, Mr. Roth, with all due respect because you used to be over here as well, I mean it just seems to me that we have got our State Department in total denial. Denial because we think that if we deny that this is the reality, deny that Adolf Hitler really is as bad as he really looks, then maybe we can make a democrat out of him by treating him in a civil way. It's not working. When do we draw the line? Is this election the time that we are going to draw the line? If it comes around and he is just making a total sham out of this election, which it looks like we're headed toward that direction, are we at that point going to cut off all of these economic ties? Are we going to recognize a government in exile? Are we going to have this type of forceful approach to Hun Sen? Or are we just going to say Cambodia will have this leader for the next 20 years and it's none of our business.
    Mr. ROTH. I think it's quite clear that if the election is incredible, there is going to be a response both by the United States and by the many others in the international community. I would not expect electoral assistance to go forward if the conditions are not there for credible elections. We will have to consult with the Congress, and I don't mean that as a dodge on the other assistance because we have gotten different indications from different individuals, many of whom want to see humanitarian aid and de-mining assistance go forward provided it's through NGO's, and others of whom believe all assistance should be cut off. We'll have to judge that at the time.
    Certainly we have already, as you know, cut off all government assistance to the regime following the events of last July. So it's not as if we are passively supporting the Hun Sen regime. I think when I was talking about leverage and the end tools that the international community has, that's the same thing as when you are talking about power. No one is talking about having a passive response or being in denial. There has been a calculated strategy by the Troika and the Friends of Cambodia that the best means of effecting the change that we want to see is through the electoral process. I think the lengths to which Hun Sen has gone to keep Prince Ranariddh out suggests that he fears what the results of a free and fair election might be, and suggests that it might work.
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    I remind you that there were many people who said that the previous election could never happen, that Hun Sen was going to win because he had the control for 10 years, backing of Vietnam, the most money, the most troops, controlled the police, and look what happened. He didn't win.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Democracy. Look what happened. He still has power. We went through the election and look what happened. Hun Sen still has all the power in his hands. It was all a big game. We sent all those troops over there, spent billions of dollars, and now we still sit here accepting Hun Sen in power.
    I would say this. I'm with you. We're all with you. You represent the executive branch now. We're going to work with you to try to have influence in the next couple months to have a free and fair election, and to bring democracy to Cambodia. After that, we're going to have a real donnybrook if action is not taken against this regime if it is indeed kept on the course it appears to be on right now.
    One last thought. When we talk about people severing their ties to the Khmer Rouge, let's be very clear now. Hun Sen was a Khmer Rouge brigade commander. Hun Sen was a trigger man for Pol Pot. Am I incorrect in that? I believe that I am accurate in that. While all this mass murder was going on, Hun Sen was one of the guys dragging the people into the rice fields and blowing their heads off. That's the type of person we're dealing with. We're not dealing with someone who has some sort of relationship with someone else who was in the Khmer Rouge. He was the Khmer Rouge. He lost the election and he's in power today. Our goal is to have democracy and to have better people there. So let's work together. I wish you success.
    Mr. ROTH. Let me simply explain the remark because I think it's important to note that both sides unfortunately have had ties to the Khmer Rouge that we regret. Unfortunately, if you go to the border area now where the fighting is, you will find that almost all the forces associated with Prince Ranariddh's forces are Khmer Rouge. So you are quite right not to let Hun Sen suggest that this is a Ranariddh-only phenomenon, when in fact he has cut his own cynical deal and he started out with them. At the same time, we have some obligation to the truth in terms of Ranariddh as well, who is unfortunately now cooperating with Khmer Rouge forces. So we're calling on both of them to cease and desist because we find it repugnant in both cases.
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    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Secretary, I want to go back to your statement. On page 8 you said that so far, Hun Sen has refused to meet with the U.N. Secretary General Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia, Thomas Hammarberg. What kind of pressure, if any, can the United Nations bring? What can we push the United Nations to do in the way of condemnation, unless, in fact, he respects the initiative of the United Nations?
    Mr. ROTH. I think that since one of the things that Hun Sen wants is his U.N. credentials back, I think the United Nations can make it very clear that if your representatives of the Secretary General are being snubbed, you are not even being afforded meetings, that this is going to certainly not facilitate their achieving that goal. I think the United Nations has considerable leverage in that regard.
    In the meantime, I think we have an obligation to make sure that they are adequately funded. In fact, we are trying to expand the different U.N. offices in Phnom Penh to make sure that there are more monitoring teams out there so that we can carry out the mission.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Secretary, would you convey to our former colleague and my former traveling partner, Mr. Richardson, that I think that's an initiative he should take, if he hasn't already?
    Mr. ROTH. Certainly.
    Mr. BEREUTER. With respect to your very difficult question—the dilemma that you seek our advice on—I don't have an easy answer for the dilemma of whether we withhold assistance, and thus help—or seem to be helping—make the election fail, or if we proceed for a period of time. You have a meeting upcoming on March 6 with the Friends of Cambodia. If, in fact, there is no consensus on a position to which the United States can agree, then I think we ought to act independently. You reach the conclusion whether or not you think it's appropriate to stop all assistance at that point. Aim for that consensus, if you have it, whatever the direction, and if it's consistent with your own thinking, or at least not inconsistent. That should be the objective.
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    Failing to get that, my own assessment is that you can stop the aid. Because it seems to me we're headed for a very undemocratic election. That's my own judgment at this point. It's an important dilemma that you point out.
    Mr. ROTH. On humanitarian aid, if it goes through NGO's, what would your thoughts be?
    Mr. BEREUTER. I think it ought to continue to flow. I think the American people would want it to flow.
    Mr. ROTH. OK. Thank you.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Final question. Is Hun Sen's son a student at West Point?
    Mr. ROTH. I believe so.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I appreciate your testimony today on this important and difficult subject. I appreciate the fact you have taken time from your travel schedule to be here.
    Mr. ROTH. My pleasure. Thank you for holding the hearing.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Now I would like to call the second panel. I have given their names previously. We'll call upon them for testimony, I guess, in the order printed. Mr. Fred Brown, Associate Director, Southeast Asian Studies Program at the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Catharin Dalpino, Co-Director, Cambodia Policy Study Group at the Brookings Institution. Eric Bjornlund, Director of Asia Programs, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and Mr. Paul Grove, Deputy Regional Programs Director for Asia and the Middle East, International Republican Institute.
    As I mentioned before, your statements in their entirety will be made a part of our record. You may summarize, and try to keep your comments, if you can, no longer than 10 minutes each.
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    So, Mr. Brown, you may proceed as you wish.
    Mr. BROWN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to offer my views on the current situation in Cambodia, and to suggest some guidelines for U.S. policy as we look toward the Cambodian national elections in July, 1998. I think there are ways to improve the chances of a civil society eventually emerging in Cambodia. But I think we should recognize that our capabilities to see a genuinely free, fair, and open election in July are limited.
    The strong international community consensus that existed in 1991 has been greatly diminished. The members of ASEAN and Japan are perhaps understandably more concerned with their current economic problems than with Cambodia. For the United States, Cambodia is no longer the crossroads of a cold war. American interests in Cambodia are both political and humanitarian in nature: to give the Cambodian people the greatest chance possible to improve their standard of living and to realize the objectives of the 1991 Paris agreements and of the 1993 Cambodian constitution which stipulates quite clearly ''the kingdom of Cambodia adopts a policy of democracy and pluralism.''
    Since the July 1997 coup, Hun Sen has consolidated his power internally. At this moment, it is very difficult for me to imagine an electoral process that will produce free, fair, and open elections in July. The political opposition to Hun Sen is weak, it is harassed, and it is not well organized. How to bring the opposition politicians who have returned to Cambodia into the political life of the country effectively in the few months remaining before July 1998 is an immense task, as Secretary Roth has described.
    Let me take the liberty of making four recommendations for U.S. policy. Although the scope of American capabilities quite frankly is limited, there are nonetheless specific actions that we can take. Perhaps more important, there are certain principles that American policy should follow over the long-term, well beyond the 1998 elections. First and most obvious, we must continue to press the Hun Sen regime hard for changes in the electoral process and the political environment. Between now and July, the Administration will be engaged in a complex political chessgame on a range of issues in an effort to oblige the Phnom Penh regime to modify its script and move toward an election where opposition parties are able to campaign freely and voters are allowed to cast their ballots without coercion. For example, it is imperative that the opposition parties have access to radio and TV time across the country. But I would like to stress that the conditions of the 1993 U.N. election can not be replicated. We should not delude ourselves on this point.
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    My second recommendation. We must support the Cambodian nongovernmental organization movement. NGO's can be a significant influence in promoting a fair election. Despite a zero sum, politically intolerant climate, in 1993, Cambodians seemed to accept the basic concepts of the democratic process as embodied in the U.N. elections. The surprise victory of FUNCINPEC demonstrated the attractiveness of open elections to rural Cambodians. One of the important legacies of the U.N. presence was the growth of mass participation in human rights organizations and NGO's. More than 200 now exist. The indigenous NGO's are fragile elements of Cambodian society. The Cambodian People's Party tends to see them as a threatening rather than positive forces, for the most part. But the early signs of a Cambodian civil society, represented by the NGO movement, provides a foundation on which the U.S. and other international assistance programs can build.
    My third recommendation. We should keep the July 1998 election in perspective. It is possible that the elections scheduled for July actually will be postponed. In any event, U.S. policy with regard to Cambodia should play for the long haul. Progress in Cambodia should not be measured by the fiscal year. ASEAN and several other countries seem inclined to see the July elections as the defining act with regard to the regime's legitimacy. I think this is very unwise. It would be a mistake for the Administration to make a ''free, fair, and open election'' in July 1998 the sole criterion for the success or failure of policy. One election does not a democracy make. Nor does it necessarily ensure an eventual peaceful stable transition to democracy. Elections alone will not solve Cambodia's deep-seated problems. They can only be one step in the process of political maturation. Without broad sustained supporting measures over a long period of time, elections by themselves can not promote a liberal political system in a Cambodia that is so historically conflicted. We should not expect elections to do so.
    USAID's support for the Asia Foundation and other NGO's with long involvement in Cambodia should be continued. Support for the NGO committees coordinating preparations for the elections is particularly important to be carried out through our own NGO's.
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    My fourth recommendation. The United States must stay involved. It is tempting to recommend that the United States should refuse to support elections in a country where a minimum standard of fairness is not present. By April, perhaps sooner, it may be clear that these minimum standards for the July election have not been and will not be met by the Hun Sen regime. The Administration may decide not to contribute to financial support for the electoral process. Whatever the decision on financial support for the elections, however, it is imperative that the United States play an energetic and widespread role in the observation of the campaign period and of the elections themselves. If an American presence is helpful to a free and fair environment, that is a clear plus, as it was in the 1993 UNTAC election. If the elections are a total farce, a charade, this fact must be thoroughly documented.
    Equally important, we must stay involved after the elections have taken place, even if the results are a tainted CPP landslide. What happens after July 1998, in my view, is really more important than the election itself. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Brown appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Brown.
    Ms. Dalpino.
    Ms. DALPINO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your invitation to appear before you today to discuss these issues. As my colleague Fred Brown has just said, one election will not make a secure established democracy. Neither will two. In addition to assessing whether the July elections will be free and fair, to the extent that that will be possible, I think we need also ask what impact and implications those elections will have. We need as well to think about the morning after. I would like therefore to mention some issues that bear upon the elections, but also stand alone to influence the short-term aspects and prospects for permitting democracy in Cambodia.
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    Mr. Chairman, political events since 1993 gave us fair warning that the first post-UNTAC election, the first one to be managed by Cambodians, would be problematic. Problematic is of course too mild a word to describe the July events in the de facto one-party state that currently exists in Cambodia. Indeed, the current political environment is so uncertain that we can't be sure as others have said that elections really can go forward in July.
    In my view, however, if elections do go forward, whether or not they are free and fair, there is considerable possibility that they will result in a coalition government. The mathematical odds favor that since the constitution requires that the government be formed by the party or parties that receive 75 percent of the national assembly seats. The 1993 election was run on a first-past-the-post basis. Had the 1993 elections been held under the present constitution, they would have served up a coalition between FUNCINPEC and the CCP, as was later of course formed under other means, since FUNCINPEC had won 58 seats in the 120 parliament, and CPP had won 51.
    There are public relations aspects as well that make me believe that a coalition government is possible out of this election, including the support of the international community. Some opposition politicians have speculated publicly at this point about going into a coalition with CPP as well. I mention this because I think that what happens after the election and the form and the substance of a coalition will be very important. It is something that the international community should watch quite closely.
    But I think that there are four factors in the Cambodian political situation today that will affect the short-run. First, and this is hardly a unique view, but I do believe it bears repeating, is the condition of civil society in Cambodia and the need to continue supporting this no matter what, particularly those nongovernmental Cambodian organizations which perform an advocacy or watch dog function.
    One clear success story in Cambodia's democratization process this far, and quite possibly the only one, is the development of the nongovernmental sector. Cambodian NGO's now cover a range of issues and functions, from delivery of social services to the provinces to human rights monitoring, to training in democratic values and processes. I don't believe it would be an exaggeration to say that the Cambodian nongovernmental sector outshines that of several other Asian societies, even a few which have had an easier road to democratization.
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    Support for Cambodian civil society has been one focus of U.S. assistance for a considerable amount of time. It even precedes the UNTAC period, when in the late 1980's, the Asia Foundation using its congressional appropriation, provided training in the function and management of nongovernmental organizations in the non-Communist Cambodian camps on the Thai-Cambodian border. Some participants in those programs went on to establish NGO's in Cambodia, including Dr. Lao Hay, who is one of the country's most prominent democracy activists.
    Cambodian NGO's have provided data on human rights rules and abuses in the wake of the July coup, at considerable risk to themselves. Their monitoring and education activities will be crucial in this election. In recent months, however, there have been warning signs that the CPP is attempting to monitor them, especially the democracy and human rights NGO's. Some Cambodians believe that the CPP is courting smaller organizations.
    At this point, and continuing through the election and after the election, it is crucial that the United States continue support because I do believe that the real entry point for promoting democracy in Cambodia is to build up the demand in society for it.
    Second is the need to complete Cambodia's formal political system with particular attention to those institutions which provide checks and balances. It's probably no accident that the establishment of the system stopped before the checks and balances could be put into place. Cambodia has had a long history of centralized, even monopolized power. The present constitution was intended in part to correct that problem. However, some key institutions such as the Constitutional Council, have yet to be established. They are however, before the Assembly for debate before the Assembly expires in September. Many Cambodians fear that if a Constitutional Council were created in this political environment, it would be a rubber stamp institution for the CPP. That is a very valid concern. It is a dilemma whether one should defer establishing these institutions until there is a more favorable climate or simply get them in place so they can be important place markers, if only categorically.
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    Third is the need to address at the earliest opportunity the politicized nature of the Cambodian armed forces. The greatest shortcoming of the UNTAC period was the failure to demobilize and depoliticize the military. After 1993, two actively partisan forces existed under the veneer of a national military. In addition, the local militia groups which were formed to guard against the Khmer Rouge remained under CPP control. The government has recently embarked upon a program to curtail the militia and to demobilize it, with as yet, no substantial results. I think that the United States should press the government to continue with this program.
    The danger to elections of a factionalized personalized military is obvious. It's equally a danger to democratic governance if Cambodia can achieve a free and fair election. This aspect has largely been a blindspot in the democracy programs of the international community for Cambodia thus far. I have no particular hope that it can be addressed immediately, but it is one that at the first opportunity we should certainly look to.
    I would also say that I think the situation, which is primarily a political problem, should not be handed over entirely to the military-to-military relationship because it goes beyond their purview in some instances. It is a deeply political problem.
    Last, there is a need to press future coalition partners to share power more meaningfully after the elections. Assuming the election results require a coalition, the international community should press the new government to share power in substance as well as in form. In the FUNCINPEC/CPP coalition, the bureaucracy was as politicized or more as the military. It was a peculiar Noah's Ark approach to government, with each ministry having two ministers, one from FUNCINPEC and one from CPP. That arrangement increased the possibility for corruption and made decisionmaking much more difficult. Worst of all, it institutionalized the fault lines. The worst case scenario for that arrangement was played out, which was a forcible overthrow of part of the coalition.
    Mr. Chairman, to say that we should view these elections as part of a continuum is not to say that we should give the government a pass if they aren't free and fair. In my opinion, however, Cambodian democracy and U.S. interests are best served if we don't permit this election to represent the long-term prospects for progressive change in Cambodia or the final judgment on our efforts to promote such change. Thank you.
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    [The prepared statement of Ms. Dalpino appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. I see you enlarged on your conclusion.
    Mr. Bjornlund, please proceed.
    Mr. BJORNLUND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here today. Many of the points that I have made in my prepared statement, particularly about the political environment, have been made. So in my oral remarks, I would like to focus in particular on the prospects for meaningful elections, the critical role of domestic and international monitoring, and some specific recommendations for the international community.
    Given the existing political environment, we can ask what are the prospects for meaningful elections. The 1993 U.N.-administered elections set important precedents, both positive and negative. One positive precedent is that many Cambodians, as has been mentioned, with the support and backing of the international community actively promoted human rights and educated citizens. A second important precedent is that, again in large part because of the international presence, the vast majority of Cambodians were willing to risk personal danger to vote. The plurality voted against the entrenched Hun Sen regime.
    The 1993 experience established two unfortunate precedents as well. One is that Hun Sen did not accept the outcome and threatened renewed civil war. The second is that the election did not resolve the competition for power between Cambodia's rival factions and merely transferred it to an unstable power-sharing arrangement that eventually broke down, of course, in 1997.
    But 1998 will differ from 1993. First, the 1998 elections will in almost all respects be the first elections actually administered by Cambodians. The 1993 elections were carried out by the United Nations. Little physical or administrative infrastructure was left. Cambodians have no other experience in administering elections. And importantly of course for the upcoming elections, there will be no presence comparable to the United Nations, which was so critical into minimizing election-related violence and giving Cambodians confidence in the process.
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    Second, there is less time and much less in the way of resources to organize the elections. With only 5 months to go before the scheduled election date, the CPP Government must still procure funds to organize the elections, and the recently established national election committee (NEC) must train more than 5,000 election officials and register several million voters.
    The European Union is providing funding and technical assistance to this NEC. Under the circumstances, this funding sends an unfortunate signal about the international community's ability to maintain consensus about the importance of democracy in Cambodia.
    Third, the legal and institutional framework for the elections is fundamentally flawed. The way the members of the NEC were selected raises serious questions about its independence and credibility. Under the new election law to ensure broad participation, the 11-member NEC was to include representatives from each of the parties represented in the national assembly and from the NGO sector. But party seats were given to CPP-backed factions of FUNCINPEC and BLDP, and the selection of the NGO representative was seriously flawed.
    The Constitutional Council, which is supposed to function as the final arbiter of constitutional and election-related issues, has never been convened. The absence of this body, provided for in the constitution, makes it impossible to resolve disputes about who controls existing political party names and resources.
    Moreover, the election law includes problematic provisions on voter registration.
    Because of these three differences from 1993, first the absence of a large-scale international presence, second, the lack of time and other resources, and third, an inadequate election legal and institutional framework, the Cambodian public and political parties lack confidence in the election process.
    I agree with my colleagues about the significance of the emergence of NGO's in civil society in Cambodia since 1993. Many of these nongovernmental organizations now seek to monitor the upcoming elections. In 1995, with assistance from the Asia Foundation and the National Democratic Institute, two coalitions of Cambodian civic organizations were formed to monitor elections. But the current political space in which civic groups operate is extremely limited. These organizations face significant harassment. They have found it difficult to proceed with their activities in the current environment.
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    It is critical that the international community support the efforts of domestic civic organizations to resume monitoring activities. This is not, as is sometimes said, to build confidence in the elections themselves. Rather, even in a flawed environment, election and political monitoring can help groups committed to democratic and peaceful political reform remain viable. If a more credible process should emerge, such groups are positioned to engage in more traditional monitoring activities, such as voter education, poll watching, vote count verification, and promoting public confidence. More broadly, the monitoring activities of independent NGO's reinforces the importance of civil society, provides citizens with skills useful for active and effective participation in the political process, and contributes to the development of democracy and pluralism.
    Existing international monitoring is modest. Despite sharp criticism from Hun Sen, the U.N. Human Rights Center in Phnom Penh has continued to document human rights violations. The United Nations has also sent a few representatives to monitor the safe return and political participation of leaders coming back from exile. The United Nations is currently considering whether to organize monitors for the elections itself. But much more is needed to address not just individual human rights violations, but the larger political environment as well.
    Notwithstanding the fact that the elections seem destined to be seriously flawed, many Cambodian NGO's and political leaders have asked for international monitoring and other assistance. Not surprisingly, they have expressed their desire for as large and engaged international presence as possible.
    Permit me, Mr. Chairman, to conclude with some general observations and recommendations.
    First, it must be remembered that the signatories of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords and the international community in general have a special responsibility to ensure that Cambodians can participate in a peaceful and democratic political process. It is therefore critical that the international community continue to support the Cambodian people's struggle for democracy and help reconstruct a political environment and electoral process that is conducive to meaningful elections.
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    Second, in the wake of the violent overthrow of democratically elected first Prime Minister in July and the subsequent executions and intimidation of party supporters, conditions for democratic elections do not exist in Cambodia. Extraordinary steps are therefore required to establish a more normal secure political environment for Cambodian citizens, political leaders, and political parties.
    Third, U.S. assistance has helped build civil society in Cambodia since 1993. U.S. leadership has played a major role in denying Hun Sen the international legitimacy he has sought since the July coup. The United States therefore should not relegate itself to the sidelines. It should take the lead in establishing clear and meaningful benchmarks for the elections, and in securing international agreement on and support for those benchmarks. It should make clear to the authorities in Phnom Penh the consequences of a non-competitive election. The United States should build support for a unified international response in the event that the election is seriously flawed or that the results are once again rejected. But the United States should be prepared to maintain a genuine commitment to democracy, even if some parts of the international community are not.
    Fourth, we need to be wary of narrowly legalistic or technical assessments of the electoral environment in Cambodia. We should also not accept the proposition that if Prince Ranariddh returns, the elections are then competitive. Instead, we should watch to see if all elements of Cambodia's political spectrum are able and willing to actively campaign, if unfettered domestic and international monitoring is possible, and if the average Cambodian feels secure enough to vote his or her conscience.
    Fifth, it is important to remember the extent to which Hun Sen has coopted, coerced, and intimidated his political opponents. Since the July coup, opposition political parties have been eviscerated, and competing shadow factions of pre-existing parties have been formed. Therefore, in the run-up to the elections, particular attention needs to be paid to the extent to which the regime's opponents are able to build or rebuild their parties and campaign actively.
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    Sixth, international domestic monitoring must be stepped up immediately. Traditional human rights monitoring is essential. But equally critical is the monitoring of the political environment, including the public essense of personal security and the freedom of party activists to participate in the political process. Monitoring groups must also make their findings public for the benefit both of the Cambodian people and the world community. Outside experts can help Cambodian NGO's to increase their own efforts to monitor the political environment.
    Finally, elections in Cambodia remain a critically important goal. But unfortunately it's unrealistic to expect that elections by themselves can bring peace and stability to the country. We all need to recognize that there are no quick fixes in Cambodia, including elections. Building democracy is a long-term process, of course, that requires a long-term commitment. Credible elections could move the democratic process forward, but acquiescence in the face of seriously flawed elections will not only contribute to the further deterioration of the political environment, but will also send a dangerous signal in the region and beyond.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Bjornlund appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you very much.
    Now, Mr. Grove, we'll be happy to hear from you.
    Mr. GROVE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of the International Republican Institute, I am pleased to have the opportunity to share my views on the prospects for free and fair elections in Cambodia. In the interest of time, I would ask that my prepared remarks be entered into the record. I will summarize my comments.
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    Mr. BEREUTER. That will be the order.
    Mr. GROVE. Let me begin by discussing very briefly key conditions which I believe are dependent upon free and fair elections. First, no election can be legitimate without a firm multilateral cease-fire between Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh's forces. An election distracted by battlefield maneuvers would be meaningless.
    Second, the elections will not be free and fair unless a neutral political environment is secured well in advance of the scheduled election day. In my prepared remarks, I outline specific points that must be met.
    Finally, no election can be credible without a sound legal framework and neutral election institutions. I think on that third point, we know exactly where Cambodia is today.
    My colleagues have discussed the bias of the NEC. They have discussed the problems with the law, and the Constitutional Council. I would like to raise the question of whether or not the NEC has enough time to organize elections.
    When I was in Phnom Penh 3 weeks ago, I met with an NEC member. The topic of discussion was not how to achieve the goals established by a timetable for elections, which I will also ask to be inserted in the record, but about the installation of electrical cables in the commission's office within the Ministry of the Interior. While I am not belittling necessary administrative tasks, I do wonder whether such an inexperienced body can make all required logistical decisions and arrangements in a timely and professional manner.
    I would like to discuss briefly the political environment. As you know, IRI has been working with Cambodian political parties since 1992. We have a unique perspective on what they face today. Most exiled politicians have returned to Phnom Penh, but to what exactly have they returned? The answer is not much. For many, personal and party property was looted or destroyed during the coup. Some estimates place the overall damage as high as $75 million. KNP president Sam Rainsy estimates that his party and its members lost a minimum of $200,000 in equipment and personal property last July.
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    While the loss of property is significant, a greater casualty of the coup was the destruction of FUNCINPEC, BLDP/Son Sann, and KNP organizations. The U.N. Center for Human Rights documented well the political killings that took place during the coup.
    Three weeks ago, I traveled to four provinces and attempted to meet with FUNCINPEC, CPP, and BLDP/Son Sann party activists I had trained from 1994 to 1996. Finding and meeting CPP provincial chiefs was easy. Locating FUNCINPEC and BLDP/Son Sann party activists was like hunting snipe.
    The UNHCR also reports continued politically motivated killings in the post-coup period. According to human rights officials, the targets tend to be senior FUNCINPEC military and police personnel or their subordinates. Again, while I was in Cambodia 3 weeks ago, a KNP activist and his young child were tragically murdered in Preah S'Dak district, Prey Veng Province. According to the police investigating the crime, the motive was robbery. Given the known incompetence of Cambodian police, the extremely high profile of the KNP activist and his poor living condition, a political motivation can not be discounted.
    Beginning in October 1997, one KNP activist per month has been murdered in separate provinces, Takeo, Kompong Speu, Kompong Cham, and Prey Veng, respectively. A disturbing pattern is present which suggests systematic and possibly organized targeting of provincial KNP party members. The Chinese have a saying which may best describe the rationale behind these murders. ''Kill a chicken to teach the monkeys.'' Opposition politician Sam Rainsy may even be a target of assassination. He recently uncovered information on a plot to kill him, which he has shared with the U.S. Embassy and the United Nations in Phnom Penh.
    I spoke with Sam Rainsy last night. He still fears for his life and he raised a very important question, of when they start shooting at me, what exactly is the United Nations going to do? This is a question that all politicians returning to Cambodia ask themselves.
    No one in Cambodia realistically expects the elections to be free from violence, and the challenge throughout the election as described to me by one member of the NEC, was to convince CPP to ''kill less.'' More subtle intimidation greets exiled politicians upon their return to Phnom Penh. We all know Son Soubert is being attacked in the national assembly for calling a coup a coup. CPP radio and television have aired broadcasts identifying anyone calling the coup a coup as traitors. Members of parliament have called for his resignation. Much is left to the imagination on the reception outspoken Prince Ranariddh will receive if and when he returns to Cambodia. My colleagues have discussed other forms of harassment such as pirating of opposition party names and logos by CPP-aligned parties.
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    Let me highlight the electorate for a moment. The electorate is all too familiar with senseless violence, and has again been traumatized by the coup and subsequent fighting in the northwest. Over 60,000 refugees have fled into Thailand, afraid of being caught in the crossfire. A survey conducted last year found up to 40 percent of Cambodians with trauma-related mental illnesses. As many as 15 percent are completely incapacitated by their conditions. Given these circumstances, we can assume that should Rainsy or Son Soubert hold a political rally in the provinces, nobody is going to come.
    People have talked about the Japanese proposal and some of the pessimism surrounding it. In my statement I outlined some factors that could derail that peacetrain fairly easily.
    I would like to conclude by talking very briefly on U.S. policy. Given the countless uncertainties in Cambodia, America's policy must be principled, coordinated, targeted, and realistic. In Cambodia, politics is personality-based. It's easy to confuse support for principles with backing a particular individual. The international community's support for Prince Ranariddh after the coup has nothing to do with his political affiliation, but everything to do with his being a democratically elected leader. Should we the United States compromise on principles by not requiring the current government to afford Prince Ranariddh an opportunity to return to Phnom Penh or not demanding prosecution of human rights violators, for example, a great disservice is done to American taxpayers who have already invested millions of dollars in Cambodia's political development. A similar disservice is done to the Cambodian people.
    We can not solve Cambodia's political troubles alone. We must coordinate our activities with other countries. Coordinating engagement with Hun Sen's Government is perhaps the best means to further prospects for political reform.
    I would like to talk a moment about targeting our assistance. In last year's foreign operations appropriations bill Congress required U.S. funds be only given to ''humanitarian programs or other activities administered by nongovernmental organizations.'' There should be no change in this policy. A review of direct assistance to the Cambodian Government should be conducted only after elections are held and the outcome is known. Any and all future assistance should be linked to Cambodia's progress on issues important to America's national interest, including democracy, human rights, and drug interdiction.
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    The NEC should not be a recipient of direct U.S. assistance. The commission is partisan. The Constitutional Council does not exist. There is no check on the NEC. At this point, it's senseless to waste money that way.
    USAID has set aside $7 million for election-related assistance. IRI, NDI, and Asia Foundation, all have long histories and are according to the law, eligible to receive funding for election-related activities.
    The EU has already donated money, as has been noted. This may be a good opportunity for us to observe how preparations proceed. Let us not obligate any of our funds to any election-related activities, non-official assistance until perhaps the end of next month when the party registration date closes and we know exactly the progress that has been made.
    Unofficial election-related assistance should be conditioned on the ability of Prince Ranariddh to return, parties to register without harassment and intimidation, and the press to freely report on the progress and shortfalls of the Cambodian Government vis a vis the election.
    I am of the belief that non-election-related assistance to nongovernmental organizations engaged in human rights development, humanitarian relief, and legal reform should continue regardless of the quality or the outcome of the elections. Cambodian mine victims and people whose human rights are being abused need assistance.
    Finally, America's policy must be realistic. Even if we do have a free and fair election, it may create new problems that we will have to deal with in the future. A long-term guaranteed constant in Cambodian politics is second Prime Minister, Hun Sen. In complete control of the government and the military, one wonders if there is any outcome of an election that he can't or won't influence. It is conceivable that should opposition parties win seats in the July election a coalition will again become a political necessity. As long as there is rule of man in Cambodia, U.S. policymakers should anticipate future crises.
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    In conclusion, the deck is already stacked against credible, free and fair elections in Cambodia. IRI intends to continue to talk to the political parties, to observe the political situation, to assess it, and to report its findings to the Congress, the Administration, and other interested parties. I would urge the Committee to continue its interest in other issues surrounding Cambodia, in particular, narcotics trafficking and illegal logging.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Grove appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Grove, thank you very much. Thanks to all of you for your testimony. Without objection, the supplemental material that you referenced, Mr. Grove, will be made a part of the record. That will be the order.
    I'll turn first to Mr. Rohrabacher for questions that he might have for the panel.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. I would like to commend the Democratic Institute and the Republican Institute for what they have done in Cambodia. I mean your organizations have played an important role in this country. If this country ever does end up to be a free and democratic country, it will have a lot to do with the seriousness with which your institutes have taken their job. I am very proud of both of you and your organizations. I think the National Endowment for Democracy gets its share of criticism, but they have been playing a good role and a very positive role here. The Democratic Institute and the Republican Institute have stepped forward like good Americans and made us proud. So that's the first thing I want to make sure that we put on the record here. I don't know if we are going to succeed or not. But when I was in Cambodia, I saw the work that you folks were doing and it was tremendous.
    I don't think that what we're talking about here is a lack of democratic institutions. I don't think what is preventing Cambodia from moving forward is the fact that they haven't had free elections in the past and there isn't this tradition. You know, we keep hearing certain peoples have a tradition and other people don't, that's a democratic tradition. I think that what is happening today is simply an act of cowardice. You have a tough guy. People are afraid to stand up to him. I don't care what neighborhood that's in. I don't care if it's in Chicago or in California or wherever it is, if you have got tough guys and they are going to tell you who walks down your street and nobody confronts them, the people on that street are not going to be free. They are going to be living in terror and I am afraid that's what is happening. In Cambodia we have a tough guy. We have just been unwilling to confront it face on.
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    I would like to first of all, each one of you just give me a 30-second summary of what you really believe, what you think is going to happen; if you could say this is my prediction exactly what is going to happen in the next 3 or 4 months, in the next 6 months I should say, in Cambodia.
    Mr. BROWN. Looking into my cloudy crystal ball, I think there will be an election whose ground rules are probably somewhat better than what they are now. They will be by no means what we would like or what IRI or NDI and their good work have laid out as the essential elements. But I suspect when 120 members of the national assembly are elected, partly because Hun Sen needs an opposition frankly, I suspect the CPP could well get somewhere between 70 or 80, maybe 90 votes in that assembly. A collection of other parties, I'm not sure whether it will be FUNCINPEC, but I think the KNP and conceivably the BLDP, but certainly the KNP will get some votes in that assembly. And that will be an arrangement that will be considered helpful to the regime in terms of establishing its so-called legitimacy. That's my prediction.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. I don't know if that's an optimistic assessment or not.
    Ms. DALPINO. I have some doubt within the next 3 or 4 months that things will proceed a pace to see July elections, for managerial as well as political reasons. I think as others have said, that the Japanese formula could break down at any time from any side.
    That said, there are two swords of Damocles hanging over Cambodia to have this election. One of them is the possible entry of the country into ASEAN. The second is the fact that the National Assembly's term expires in September, and no one is quite sure what would happen if it expires without having a replacement.
    That said, I tend to agree, and I have said before, I think that a coalition government is probably in the cards if an election is held, not the least of the reasons being for public relations reasons. I don't think that the CPP would get a 75-percent majority because that's sure to invite the perception of voter fraud.
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    Mr. ROHRABACHER. And you are not going to give us a prediction whether that's going to happen, this coalition government will emerge or it's going to fall apart?
    Ms. DALPINO. I think either through the ballot box or through backroom dealings there will be a coalition.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. All right. That's an optimistic assessment, I guess.
    Ms. DALPINO. Or not, as the case may be.
    Mr. BJORNLUND. The first thing to watch for is whether Prince Ranariddh returns in the next few weeks. If he does not, that will be a strong indication that there's not a competitive election that's going forward. If he does, it does not mean that there is a competitive election or that meaningful elections are possible. In fact, one of the fears that all of us have is that while the international community may be able to agree on the need for Ranariddh to be able to participate in the process at some level—and Secretary Roth said they may not agree even on that—they may think that that's a sufficient condition. It's a necessary one, but it's not a sufficient one.
    I fear that the process will not get better. The election will happen at some point. It seems probably more likely than not that it will be delayed from July to sometime later in the year. But at some point presumably an election will happen. The international community will be in disarray on how to respond to it. That's the problem from the outside, that the election is going to be flawed, is not going to be a meaningful election. It's unfortunate that people are talking about what is minimally acceptable, how many people would have to be killed or how prominent they would have to be before the international community would truly get upset about it. It looks like what's going to happen is that the international community in some way will acquiesce and accept what goes forward.
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    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Is that what you are predicting?
    Mr. BJORNLUND. I think that's the most likely scenario.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. All right. Is your prediction the election will be put off and that the international community is going to accept some sort of situation that is far less than what we would consider acceptable?
    Mr. BJORNLUND. I think the international community is not likely to respond uniformly to that situation.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. OK. Paul.
    Mr. GROVE. I can think of two scenarios. One is that the election will be postponed for technical reasons. The NEC will realize that it has no idea what it's doing, and that the obstacles to having elections in July are insurmountable. Or on the other hand, Prince Ranariddh's trial will be delayed. Hun Sen will string that out as long as possible. It's in Hun Sen's interest to have Prince Ranariddh back in the country at the latest possible moments before the election. Hun Sen's objective is to have technical elections that he can say were good and get the legitimacy he so craves. That's the first scenario.
    The second scenario is there will be a boycott of the election. Rainsy, Soubert, Ranariddh and others who are in exile will realize that the political situation is such that absolutely no campaigning can be conducted. It was my assessment when I was there 3 weeks ago that there is little IRI can do to help these parties prepare for elections. We would need millions of dollars and months more.
    So those are my two scenarios. Regardless of what happens, Hun Sen is going to continue to string the international community along.
    Mr. BJORNLUND. Mr. Rohrabacher, both Sam Rainsy and members of FUNCINPEC have talked about the possibility of boycotting the elections.
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, my prediction. My prediction in the upcoming meeting of the Friends of Cambodia, that the United States will finally make it clear to our allies and our friends in the Pacific that we mean business, and that they will rally behind our efforts to insist on a democratic election. Hun Sen will see that there is no chance at all for him to succeed and to lead Cambodia because his country will be economically demolished by a unified front of the democratic countries of Asia and the rest of the world. So Hun Sen will give in and permit free elections, and will voluntarily step down from power, and permit the winner of those free elections after having gone through an election with freedom of speech and complete honesty and giving his opponents the chance to have fair balloting. After he loses, he will step down and he will retire, probably to a home some place, I would say probably in Florida. It will be a nice house, I'm sure. He'll have lots of money to have a nice house there. People of Cambodia will at last be given what they are due, which is a chance at a decent life and to control their own destinies, and to live in prosperity and peace after all of these many decades. That's my prediction. Some people may think I'm unrealistic. Say a few prayers for that as well.
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    Mr. BEREUTER. The Rohrabacher scenario. We'll wait and hope, and maybe it will sound attractive to Hun Sen.
    I think you have asked the right question earlier. I guess I would just conclude by seeing if we can have a clear answer. We have had a partial answer at least from several of you to the dilemma that was proposed by Secretary Roth concerning if we fund elections, and if so, for how long we proceed, or do we stop funding at this point, and then be seen as having a negative effect upon the outcome.
    Mr. Brown, I think you were part way to the answer and most of the way, before. But if you understand the dilemma as posed by Secretary Roth to me and to the Committee, what do you think we ought to do?
    Mr. BROWN. At this point I don't think we can use taxpayers' money to fund the electoral process and then the actual conduct of elections unless there are major changes in the scenario.
    Mr. BEREUTER. How long do we fund if we start, or do we start?
    Mr. BROWN. Well, I think we'll have to see what the Friends of Cambodia are going to say to Mr. Roth on March 6. I think you have to complete all the other consultations that go on. But I think we should not exclude the possibility of funding, donating some kind of money, not a great deal, to the electoral process. The reason I say that is because we must have the capability to observe what is going on. I think that's very very important to document the flaws in the election and where it's going badly. If it takes a million or two dollars to do that, then I think it probably would be a good investment.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Ms. Dalpino, what is your view?
    Ms. DALPINO. I am afraid there is not much daylight between my view and Mr. Brown's. Certainly as conditions exist today and my understanding of them, I don't think that U.S. Government assistance to the Government of Cambodia for the conduct of elections is warranted.
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    I would just reiterate what many of us have said, which is that assistance to the nongovernmental sector is crucial and should not be construed as a wink-and-a-nod to the government or the election itself.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Bjornlund.
    Mr. BJORNLUND. I should say that at NDI we consider our area of expertise to be democratization overseas, not the nuances of U.S. policy and what levers will work best.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Would you like to answer on a personal basis?
    Mr. BJORNLUND. Yes. I would say that I would repeat what I said earlier in my remarks, which is very similar to what my colleagues have said, that the emphasis should be on the nongovernmental sector, and monitoring and documenting what is going on in the country, and that that kind of engagement provides support for people on the ground. I think that the U.S. Government should be very careful about engaging with the government, and particularly on an election exercise that doesn't look likely to be valuable.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. Mr. Grove.
    Mr. GROVE. I'll stick with what I said, which is no direct assistance to the government, not now, not until after the elections until we see what is going on. I think we need to wait before we make a decision on whether or not to proceed with unofficial assistance. I think a deciding factor in that should be whether the political parties, in particular the exiled parties and Prince Ranariddh, decide to play. If they decide to play, we should decide if we want to pay for it.
    Mr. BEREUTER. Ms. Dalpino and gentlemen, thank you very much for your participation today. We appreciate the fact you have given this time to us and presented your views and expertise to us. We appreciate it. Thank you.
    I'll say to Mr. Rohrabacher, thank you very much for your participation, especially after the House is adjourned. I appreciate that.
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    The Subcommittee is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]


    Insert "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."