Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution which serves as yet another reminder of the haunting words inscribed in the Holocaust Museum: "Never again."
The Khmer Rouge-led slaughter of over 1 million innocent people took place more than three decades after the Holocaust ended. Yet the world was again largely silent and indifferent to this tragedy. There was no one person who more embodied the tragic and horrific story of this genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia than Dith Pran. His harrowing personal story of courage, abandonment, struggle, escape and ultimate survival was recorded for all time in the gripping Academy Award-winning film "The Killing Fields."
After escaping from the Khmer Rouge and making his way across a treacherous border laden with mines, Dith Pran reached a refugee camp in Thailand and ultimately came to the United States. Here while continuing his career as a photojournalist, Dith Pran was a firm and clear voice appealing to the world's conscience to remember the genocide which occurred in his homeland. He worked tirelessly to achieve the establishment of an Office of Cambodian Genocide. It was officially called the Office of Cambodian Genocide Investigation in the Department of State.
It is a note of some consolation that Dith Pran lived to see the start of the genocide trial last November of surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sadly, it took almost 30 years to bring these architects of the killing fields to justice. There is thankfully no statute of limitations for those who carry out world genocide.
Without Dith Pran's steadfast determination, however, this aging Khmer Rouge cadre may have escaped their final hour of judgment. This trial now taking place in the Cambodian capital should give solace to Dith Pran's family and his friends at his passing. It also represents his greatest legacy as an advocate on human rights.
The current trial should also remind us to redouble our efforts to ensure that the words "Never Again" are finally realized. The best final tribute for Dith Pran would be for the world community to work together for a swift end to the current genocide in Darfur and the killing fields in North Korea.
I urge my colleagues to give their whole-hearted support to this resolution.
I reserve the balance of my time.
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