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No justice, no peace? National reconciliation and local conflict resolution in Cambodia

Gellman, Mneesha
June 4, 2015

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


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