Radio UNTAC’s show “Letters from Listeners” encouraged the Cambodian people to send in questions about the peace process. As the letter writers were allowed to remain anonymous, many chose to use this forum to raise their concerns about oppressive tactics of the authorities in the provinces.
From the accompanying letter:
I am just a student with very limited knowledge, but, in my heart, I dislike the inhumane actions committed by a small number of police who can potentially ruin the reputation of all police across the country. Therefore, I ask the new government to crack down on them and give instructions to the police who behave like the mafia in Khmer society. In the future, I hope the Cambodian police will be forces that protect the Khmer nation and the Khmer people, unlike what is happening nowadays. These are poetic phrases which I try to describe previous actions of the [bad] police for all the listeners to be aware of and to be reminded of this small number of people who have used their power to abuse other human beings.
ខ្ញុំគ្រាន់តែជាសិស្សម្នាក់ដែលមានចំនេះតិចតួចដែរទេ ប៉ុន្តែជានិស័្សយស្អប់ខ្ពើមនៅអំពើអមនុស្សធម៌របស់ប៉ូលីសមួយចំនួនតូច ដែលវាអាចធ្វើអោយខូចកិត្តិយសរបស់ប៉ូលីលទូទាំងប្រទេសបាន ហេតុនេះសូមរដ្ឋាភិបាលថ្មី មេត្តាជួយបង្ក្រាបនិងធ្វើការណែនាំជាបណ្តើរៗដល់ជនជាប៉ូលីសដែលតាំងខ្លួនជាជនយៀកកូម
អនាគតប៉ូលីសខ្មែរ ពិតជាជនការពារជាតិខ្មែរ ការពារប្រជាជនខ្មែរ មិនដូចពេលបច្ចុប្បន្ននោះទេ។ តទៅនេះជាពាក្យកាព្យខ្លះៗ ដែលរូបខ្ញុំសាកពណ៌នានៃមហិទ្ធិរិទ្ធប៉ូលីសដែលមានកន្លងមកជូនអស់លោកអ្នកស្តាប់ទុកជា
ការកែកំសាន្ត និងដាស់សតិអារម្មណ៍ ជនមួយក្តាប់តូចដែលយកអំនាចទៅបំពានលើមនុស្សដូចគ្នា
Excerpts from the poem
Verse 3: Police can do everything
And everyone has to endorse their actions
Regardless whether good or bad
No one dares say a word because they are afraid.
Verse 6: Even though there is an existing law
They ignore it
And manipulate it for their own use
They only follow the jungle law
Verse 9: This world is full of injustice
I have often seen unfortunate incidents
There were police who shouted
With rough words at a student.
Verse 10: The student replied to the police
“Please show some mercy
I spoke bad words
Due to my silly thoughts.”
Verse 18: I beg you, the police
You should think critically
[You] should have more mercy and kindness
For those who want to live.
Text, selection, and summaries of poems: Katrin Travouillon
Translation of selected passages: Thun Theara