Khmernews

Khmer Rouge Killed My Parents in Baray District

Posted by khmernews on March 15, 2007

“My two young siblings and I were orphaned in 1978 because the Khmer Rouge killed my parents,” said sadly Soeng Choeurng Polin, 38.

She added, “there is a pile of bones of victims killed by the Khmer Rouge at memorial statue of Wat Tuol pagoda, situated in Baray commune of Baray district, I do not know which my parents’ bones are. However, I regularly go to the pagoda during the Pchum Ben festival [a religious ceremony to feed ancestors’ spirits] and other big traditional ceremonies to offer food to monks and to pray for my parents.”

Because she felt very sorry and sad, losing her parents and her youngest sisters, she said , “I want the court to give the death sentence to the Khmer Rouge leaders just like they killed my parents.” She stressed that she will be a witness if the court needs it and that she will file a complaint against the Khmer Rouge leaders if the court publicly allows her to.

She continued that her father name’s was Soeng Choeurng. He worked as a tax collector for vendors at Kompong Thom market and then moved to live in Phnom Penh where he worked at Pochentong Airport. Her house in Phnom Penh was located on the north of Olympic Stadium. On April 17, 1975, when the Khmer Rouge occupied Phnom Penh, her parents, her three siblings and herself, like other Cambodian people, were evacuated from Phnom Penh. There were six members in her family and her youngest sister was just a few months old. Her family traveled on foot from Phnom Penh to Kompong Thom province by the national road 6. Along the road, her youngest sister was seriously ill and there were a lot of people. It took them many days to reach Baray district of Kompong Thom province where her father met his old friend who was the chief of Prasat village in Chhuk Khsach commune in Baray district. And then her father decided to live in that village.

She further said that her mother’s name was Top Kimpa. After living in Prasat village cooperative for one year, her youngest sister died of illness due to the fact that she had not enough food to eat and there was no medical attention available. She went on to say that now she has had only two siblings left and she is the eldest sister. As she was so young at that time, she barely remembered that in 1976, her father’s friend, who was the chief of the Prasat village cooperative, was killed by Angkar and there was no one looking after his family. After two or three months of the cooperative chief’s disappearance, Angkar asked her father to pack his clothes and to go to study [a Khmer Rouge word which means to be killed]. Since her father left, she had no more information about him.

Her mother seemed to know but she did not tell the children and just worked harder and harder. Her siblings kept waiting for the return of their father. Since then, her family has had only four members. She remembered that one morning in 1978, a chief of Khmer Rouge guards arrived at her house and told her mother to pack her clothes and to move to live in a new village. Her mother knew in advance what woud happen and told her to look after the smaller children, however, Polin asked her mother to bring Thea with her because he was so young. Her mother refused and told her not to leave her siblings alone. Her mother left them sadly. After that, they lived alone without being taken care from anyone. They went to work in the morning and they ate and slept together at night. After the disappearance of her mother for one month of, the cooperative chief came to her house again and said, “My nephews! Please pack your clothes and then I will send you all to live with your mother.” “I will not go anywhere but I will if my mother returns home,” said Polin. Nonetheless, their mother no longer returned home.

Polin said that she had a foster sister there. Her foster sister looked after her and her siblings. In 1979, when the Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia, her grandfather drove an ox-cart to pick up her siblings and her to live in Tnaot village, Kompong Svay commune of Kompong Svay district. Until 1981, her grandfather, herself and her siblings moved to live in Kompong Thom village in Kompong Roteh in Stung Saen district, where she has lived until now.

Extracted from: Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4215, Sunday-Monday, 18-19 February 2007.

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