All is Forgiven

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: In what may require the biggest leap of faith so far this year, Cambodian leader Hun Sen is asking members of parliament who fled his bloody coup to return and endorse his choice for a new co-prime minister. The offer comes just weeks after Hun Sen took power from former co-prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh in a bloody action in which 40 of Ranariddh's supporters were killed in custody, according to the U.N. Human Rights Center. For Hun Sen, the push is a move to legitimize his government in the face of his violent overthrow that made a shambles of the UN's landmark 1992 power sharing agreement that ended decades of civil war. "I would like to appeal to all members of parliament to return as soon as possible to take part in selecting the new first prime minister," Hun Sen said. "I would like to firmly assure security, safety and freedom for them to carry out political activities." So far, cautious parliament members say only that they might be willing to return if some outside force would guarantee their safety.