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Country Study By Russell R. RossPosted: 2009-09-24 09:41:47   Replies: 0
Khmer History (71)

THE KUFNCD

The ruling KPRP grew slowly in membership over the years and was supported by a mass organization from which it drew its applicants and support. This organization, known as the KNUFNS, had been formed in late 1978 with Vietnamese backing, as a common front against the Pol Pot regime in Phnom Penh. The organization underwent various name changes, emerging eventually in late 1981 as the Kampuchean (or Khmer) United Front for National Construction and Defense (KUFNCD). In the meantime, its role in the political life of the nation had been officially established in the Constitution, which states in Article 3 that "The Kampuchean Front for National Construction and the revolutionary mass organizations constitute a solid support base of the state, encouraging the people to fulfill their revolutionary tasks."

The KUFNCD's specific missions were to transmit party policies to the masses, to act as an ombudsman, and to mobilize the people around the regime's efforts to consolidate the so-called "workerpeasant alliance." The front's cadres were required to stay in close touch with the people, to report their needs and problems to authorities, and to conduct mass campaigns to generate support for the regime, or to lead "emulation" drives to spur the population to greater efforts in pursuit of specific goals. The cadres were also responsible for organizing networks of KUFNCD activists in villages and in communes and for coordinating their functions with cadres of various mass organizations.

The KUFNCD also was responsible for conducting "activities of friendship," which were aimed at improving the climate for close cooperation with "the Vietnamese people and the Vietnamese army and experts." Another major function of the front was to reeducate Buddhist monks so that they would "discard the narrow-minded views of dividing themselves into groups and factions" and would participate more actively in the revolutionary endeavors of the KUFNCD.

Among the more important mass organizations affiliated with the KUFNCD were the Kampuchean Federation of Trade Unions (KFTU--62,000 members in December 1983), officially described as "the training school of the working class for economic and administrative management"; and the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Youth Union (KPRYU), an important reservoir of candidate members for the KPRP and "a school of Marxism" for people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-six. As of March 1987, when the Youth Union held its Second National Congress, there were more than 50,000 members in villages, factories, enterprises, hospitals, schools, public offices, and the armed forces. Other mass organizations included the Kampuchean Revolutionary Youth Association (KRYA), an 800,000- member group for children (aged 9 to 16); the Kampuchean Young Pioneers Organization (KYPO), a 450,000-member group for preschoolers under the general guidance of the KPRYU and the KRYA; and the Kampuchean Revolutionary Women's Association (KRWA), which claimed 923,000 members as of October 1983. All these organizations held rallies to arouse public awareness on national commemorative occasions such as the Kampuchea-Vietnam Solidarity Day on February 18, the Day of Hatred ("against the genocidal Pol Pot-Ieng SaryKhieu Samphan clique and the Sihanouk-Son Sann reactionary groups") observed on May 20, and the day of solidarity between the people and the army on June 19.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

In 1987 the two Cambodian regimes continued to compete for respect and for legitimacy, and they both continued to proclaim a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence, neutrality, and nonalignment. The CGDK, however, had the major share of international recognition as de jure representative of Cambodia, even though it did not possess supreme authority within the borders of Cambodia. De facto control of national territory was in the hands of the PRK, but, because the PRK had originated during the Vietnamese invasion and occupation of Cambodia, it was unable to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the United Nations. The United Nations would not validate an illegal act consummated by force of arms. Recognizing the PRK regime would be contrary to the UN Charter, which calls for peaceful settlement of all conflicts and for nonintervention in the internal affairs of sovereign and independent nations. In July 1982, the Phnom Penh regime, recognizing the futility of challenging the legality of the CGDK, announced that "in the immediate future" it would not seek "to reclaim the Kampuchean seat at the United Nations."

The Coalition's Strategy

The CGDK had formal diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, and Yugoslavia (as of late 1987). Chinese and North Korean relations with the coalition occasionally were in the limelight in the 1980s--Chinese relations because of China's role as the principal donor of material and military assistance to the CGDK, and North Korean relations because Sihanouk maintained his "private" residence in Pyongyang (a palace built for him by the president of North Korean, Kim Il Sung, in the early 1970s). Bangkok also was mentioned frequently in Cambodian foreign affairs because it had hosted meetings of CGDK leaders with Chinese and Thai officials regarding events in Indochina. Bangkok was also the site for the Office of Samdech Norodom Sihanouk's Personal Representative for Cambodia and Asia, which was headed by Sihanouk's son Prince Norodom Ranariddh. This office was Sihanouk's informal embassy.

The CGDK had a permanent mission--consisting of representatives from all three of the CGDK partners--to the United Nations in New York. In formal debates in the UN General Assembly, however, the chief delegate of the Khmer Rouge group represented the CGDK because the coalition's June 1982 agreement said that the diplomatic envoys of Democratic Kampuchea who were in office at that time would remain in their posts. The permanent mission became active each September during the UN General Assembly's opening session. Mission representatives sought to obtain reaffirmation of the General Assembly's September 1979 resolution calling for an unconditional withdrawal of "foreign" (Vietnamese) troops from Cambodia and for Cambodian self-determination free of external constraints. In 1979 ninety-one nations backed the resolution, twenty-one nations opposed it, and twenty-nine abstained. In 1987 although 117 nations reaffirmed the same resolution, the number of countries which opposed it remained essentially unchanged. Some countries, such as the United States, supported resolutions but did not recognize Democratic Kampuchea, the CGDK, or the PRK. Britain and Australia withdrew recognition of Democratic Kampuchea in December 1979, and in October 1980, respectively, but both supported the CGDK's effort to get the Vietnamese troops out of Cambodia and to determine its future freely under UN supervision.

Phnom Penh and Its Allies

Following its establishment, the primary foreign relationships of the PRK were those with Vietnam, Laos, the Soviet Union, and the countries of Eastern Europe. The PRK had only one resident mission in a noncommunist state, the one in India. The PRK also maintained diplomatic relations with about twenty other Third World nations, including Afghanistan, Angola, the Congo, Ethiopia, Libya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Panama. In 1980 about thirty countries recognized the PRK; seven years later, that number had not changed. In 1987 nearly eighty countries recognized Democratic Kampuchea.

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