Source: (2008) Asian Perspective. 32(2): pg. 37-57

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is expected by many in the international community to bring a sense of reconciliation to a nation still grappling with the aftermath of more than thirty years of civil war. Yet the gap between national and local reconciliation initiatives tests post-conflict reconstruction efforts to meet the needs of Cambodian citizens who feel unconnected to the tribunal. This article inquires into the interrelationship between national reconciliation processes and grassroots peacebuilding in the form of conflict resolution trainings. Noting that retributive justice processes cannot take the place of restorative justice, genuine reconciliation in Cambodia will need to incorporate culturally-based ritual derived from Buddhism in order to be relevant to local people. The Khmer Institute of Democracy (KID), a Cambodian NGO, serves as a case study for the successes and obstacles to local peacebuilding initiatives.