19 Jan 2008 01:15:08
Mia Farrow plans to hold a ceremony at Tuol Sleng prison.Cambodia threatens to expel activists who plan a ceremony at a Khmer Rouge prison to increase pressure on China over the crisis in Darfur.
Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith condemned the event, led by American actress Mia Farrow, as 'insulting' to victims of the communist regime which devastated Cambodia during the late 1970s.
"They want to use Tuol Sleng Prison to attack China, not to commemorate the souls of Cambodian people," said Khieu Kanharith, threatening to expel those who insist on holding the ceremony.
The group of activists, Dream for Darfur, has started a torch relay through nations that have suffered genocide to draw attention to China's close ties with Sudan, while Beijing is to host the Olympic Games in August.
Farrow's group had planned to hold a ceremony Sunday outside Tuol Sleng, formerly a torture center turned into a genocide museum.
The government on Wednesday said it would not allow the event, accusing the group of attempts to politicize the Olympic Games.
But organizers said on Friday that they would still rally at the prison despite the ban.
China--which has been under pressure to use its economic ties with Sudan to stop the violence in Darfur-- was also a close ally of the communist Khmer Rouge, which accounted for up to two million Cambodians' deaths between 1975-79.
China absorbs almost two thirds of Sudan's oil output and is the most influential ally of the African country where violence has claimed thousands of lives since it erupted in volatile Darfur region in 2003.