Nuon Chea Admonishes Khmers To Stop Making Enemy With Each Other And Not To Be Greedy

Posted by khmernews on July 31, 2007

Phnom Svay

Sala Krao-Pailin: While the Co-Prosecutors of the Khmer Rouge (KR) Tribunal had already filed the Introductory Submission against 5 former KR leaders, Nuon Chea, former president of the National Assembly of the Democratic Kampuchea Regime, said—when he met us last week—that Khmers should stop making enemy with each other in order that Khmers would not be separated and the nation and the people would not be devastated. He, moreover, asked the present Khmers and the future Khmers not to be “too” greedy.

Nuon Chea, 82, was sitting with his wife and descendants in a small wooden house near the Cambodian-Thai border in Psar Prum, Stung Kach, Sala Krau, Pailin. At one side of his house was a thick bamboo forest while another side was the path with an insecure bamboo wall where policemen in plain clothes were assigned to guard the place. However, the patrol was not as strict as before.

Plants and green views were all around his house since this was the rainy season. Inside his house, the feeling was even fresher. The people in the house were friendly and in good mood towards guests, who frequently visited their house.

Holding a Buddhist doctrine entitled “48 Thoamatuoh” [a Buddhist textbook], compiled by Agga Pandit Buth Savong, Nuon Chea, who was coming out of the house and welcoming us and who saw us glance at the book, smiled and said, “Everyone who sticks to the five moral principles of Buddha is very superb and we shouldn’t be greedy or let the properties and money sway us.” He said the doctrine he was reading had been written in an easy-to-read language, but had an in-depth meaning for people.

The chatting went on to various topics including the case the KR Tribunal’s Co-Prosecutors had filed the Introductory Submission against 5 former KR leaders on July 18, 2007. However, we didn’t talk about the names of any former KR leader, neither had the Co-Prosecutors mentioned.

Concerning the problem, Nuon Chea said if he was indicted, he would be happy and not be afraid at all to tell the truth. “It is the truth that I have to tell Khmers,” he said. He called the hybrid Khmer Rouge court the fighting battle field for him. But he was not afraid of it. 

“I’ll tell who friends and enemies are,” Nuon Chea said. “Can the Cambodian-international hybrid court find justice for Khmers? But it doesn’t mean I have no confidence in it,” he said.

Regarding his responsibility on the Killing Fields regime in which he served as the president of the National Assembly, Nuon Chea (foreigners usually call him brother number 2) explained and recalled, “The National Assembly during that (Khmer Rouge) regime was powerless, and I didn’t have rights like a member in the Standing Committee of the party. I didn’t hold power and was “far” from the power of the party, state, and each zone. As a result, could it be possible that when I said something they listened to me? And was it possible that I could lead soldiers to battle fields and evacuated or starved people?”

“For example, when I asked them to stop fighting and negotiate with Vietnam along the border, no one listened to me. Soldiers didn’t know me,” he said.

According to a history of the Khmer Rouge, both the Central Committee of the Khmer Rouge and Le Yun, secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, appraised Nuon Chea and Son Sen, deputy prime minister for the national defense, to have “sympathy” toward Vietnamese and generally they were easier to talk with compared to Pol Pot and Ieng Sary.

Regarding the development of the people’s living standard at present, Nuon Chea admired that, “These are what they have done for people.”

When asked why his living standard seemed to be relatively deficient compared to other former Khmer Rouge leaders or other Khmer Rouge people, Nuon Chea said, “Don’t be thrilled. We had nothing but a set of clothes with us when we were struggling to liberate the country from the Feudalism and slavery of the foreigners. My living now shows that I was a leader who was struggling for the people. So, the living with tranquility is the happiness.”

“It’s good to have money and properties. But it isn’t always good. Some people were overjoyed and infected by HIV because of the properties. As a result, the only good way for people is to make our mind tranquil and stick to the Dharma,” Noun Chea said.

Informal Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4346, Thursday, July 26, 2007 .


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