The international relief organisation, Oxfam, has warned that another two million Kampucheans could die of starvation by the end of the year -- unless a more direct route for emergency supplies is opened.
SV PAN: Kampuchean troops' guard of honour and present arms for Prince Norodom Soriavong (phonetic) and Prince raises his arm.
SV: Guard of honour, and Prince and soldiers walk away. (2 shots)
SV: Children chapping
CU: Prince waves arms as he is cheered by supporters carrying banners. (2 shots)
SV: ABC reporter Nigel Starke talking in front of flag of new Nationalist Party.
CU: Graves of nine Kampuchea soldiers. (2 shots)
GV PAN: Troops standing near captured Soviet and Chinese weapons (2 shots)
GV: Hospital building.
CU: Man with infected leg and other patients. (3 shots)
CU: Hospital sign, and women and children suffering from malaria on floor, with doctor in attendance. (6 shots
CU PAN: Refugees in canvas tents eating and cooking food. (8 shots)
CU: Child suffering from malnutrition. (3 shots)
STRAKE:"The Kampuchean province of Batdambang, where a guard of honour was assembled for Prince Norodom Soriavong (phonetic) as he led us to his headquarters. The Prince is Party President and Foreign Minister in the newly-proclaimed National Liberation Government of Cambodia. Prince Soriavong (phonetic) is a cousin of Kampuchea's deposed leader, Prince Sihanouk. He refused to use the term 'Kampuchea'. He describes this stronghold -- in the West of the country as 'liberated Cambodia.
"The military authorities estimate the total number of following of this movement at about twenty-five thousand. Politically, the so-called Liberation government is right-wing. In fact, some of the banners on display said, 'communists of the World, go home'.
"This is the flag of the new nationalist Party - a green Cambodian symbol is eating the red communist 'menace' which is Vietnam. These people say, that given arms, ammunition, food, and medicine, they can take the capital -- Phnom Penh -- in two months"
"We were shown the graves of nine cambodian Liberation soldiers who, were told, had been killed in a clash with Vietnamese forces. Also on display were Soviet and chinese machine guns -- said to to have been captured in that same engagement. The Prince says sixty-six Vietnamese were killed and there were no prisoners.
"At the makeshift hospital we saw men with gunshot and shrapnel wounds. This man will probably die. his wounds have become infected and supplies of drugs in 'liberated Cambodia' are pathetically small. This man said he'd been shot through the leg in the fight with the Vietnamese.
Malaria is taking its toll. About ninety per cent of the people here are subject to regular bouts of debilitating fever. Again, drugs are desperately needed. Because the self-proclaimed National Liberation Government of Cambodia is so military in character, international aid organisations are reluctant to commit themselves to open assistance. Sadly, this also means that civilian followers of the movement go without proper medical attention. Refugees from all parts of the country are gathering here to escape the two warring Communist armies -- the Vietnamese and the Khmer rouge.
"Food is scarce. Most of it has to be bought at inflated prices from Thai traders operating along the border. But the people of 'liberated Cambodia' are now running out of gold, precious stones, and cash to buy that food. The irony of this situation is that in times of peace Batdambang Province was known as the rice-bowl of Cambodia.
"Today, malnutrition is widespread. Its effect on the children is appalling. The very existence of a proud race, an ancient culture, is at risk."
REPORTER: NIGEL STARKE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The international relief organisation, Oxfam, has warned that another two million Kampucheans could die of starvation by the end of the year -- unless a more direct route for emergency supplies is opened. United Nations relief efforts have been stalled y a debate over how aid to the stricken country should be administered. Oxfam has dispatched a barge the size of a football field from Singapore, bound for the Kampuchean port of Kompong Som. It is laden with 1,5000 tons of foodstuffs -- including ground maize, wholemeal flour, sugar and rice. In the west of Kampuchea, meanwhile, a new freedom movement is calling for aid in the form of arms, food and medical supplies -- so that it can march on the capital Phnom Penh. The movement is known as MACT -- or the National Liberation Government of Cambodia. Australian Broadcasting Commission reporter, Nigel Starke, visited one of their camps not far from the border with Thailand.