Son Sen With Ta Mok and Kae Pok Caused the Massacre In the “East Zone”
Posted by khmernews on July 31, 2007
Concerning the history of important Khmer Rouge (KR) leaders, “proprietors” of the “Killing Fields” regime, it is noticed that Son Sen was also a person whose hands were stained with Cambodian people’s bloods although during the KR regime he was the deputy-prime minister in charge of national defense.
According to a document, between May and June, 1978, Son Sen cooperated with Ta Mok and Kae Pok to exterminate as many as 100,000 people in the East Zone controlled by Sor Pim. However, Sor Pim was also killed by the revolutionary Angkar since he was accused of betraying the Angkar.
After the KR received victory over Field Marshal Lon Nol’s regime and took control Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, Son Sen became the fifth most important person in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) and the fourth most important person in the Office of Army.
On April 14, 1976, when the new Cabinet of the Khmer Rouge was installed, Son Sen was appointed as deputy-prime minister and minister in charge of national defense of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime.
Son Sen didn’t only lead the revolutionary army, navy and air force, but also headed the security force of the CPK.
Son Sen was the boss of Kaing Khek Iev, known as Duch, former chief of the infamous Bureau S-21 or Tuol Sleng prison, and Son Sen always reported all information regarding the prisoners in Tuol Sleng prison to Nuon Chea, deputy-Secretary General of the CPK from mid-1975 to 1978.
A document shows in detail the various activities of Son Sen, an important leader of the brutal Killing Fields regime. It says, “Noun Chea was a Khmer Krom and born on June 12, 1930 in Tra Vinh province.
In 1946, Son Sen left Kampuchea Krom and studied in a high school in Phnom Penh. Having finished high school in 1953, Son Sen received a scholarship to study philosophy in Sorbonne in France. However, Son Sen was more interested in Politics rather than the subject he was doing.
Son Son later joined the Communist Party of France when he met Ieng Sary. He also became a member of a Marxist group of Cambodian students in France. In 1955, Son Sen’s scholarship was discontinued since he protested against the leadership of Samdech Norodom Sihanouk, the head of state of the government of Sangkum Reastr Niyum.
Son Sen returned to Cambodia in 1956 without finishing his study. Although he had no degree, Son Sen was accepted as a teacher at Sisovath High School where he met a female teacher named Yun Yat. One year later, after making a visit to Siem Reap together with Yun Yat, Son Sen married Yun Yat
After that, Son Sen became a technical deputy director in the National Institute of Pedagogy. It was at that time that Son Sen started to persuade students and teachers in the institute to work against the “royalist regime”. Those people who were actively participating with Son Sen included Long Narin and Kaing Khek Iev, known as Duch.
As the protesting movement led by Son Sen was getting stronger and stronger, Son Sen was demoted in 1963 and sent to Takeo province. Being a member of Workers Party of Kampuchea since 1960, Son Sen was not afraid of the actions taken by the police of the Songkum Reastr Niyum, and instead fought even stronger against Samdech Norodom Sihanouk regardless the police searching for him.
Son Sen fled to Phnom Penh and spent several months there before he run into the jungle in 1964 to struggle against the government. He was responsible for leading committees and politics of the Workers Party of Kampuchea (which later on became the Communist Party of Kampuchea). He spent 3 years in the South-West Zone before he left to control the North East Zone.
There, Son Sen served as the deputy-secretary of the zone after Ieng Sary. 3 years later, Son Sen received a number of positions such as the Supreme Commander of People Armed Force for National Liberation of Kampuchea and the secretary f the South-West Zone in a very short time.
Son Sen became the secretary of the South-West in 1970 before Pol Pot appointed him to be the commander of Military Division No. 13 responsible for protecting new “Special Zone” which was created by regional secretary Vorn Veth.
In 1972, Son Sen appointed Kaing Khek Iev as the chief of political police of the Standing Committee of Communist Party of Kampuchea in Zone 33 and in Thmor Kub detention center. The center was then moved to Tuol Sleng after the Khmer Rouge took control Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975.
The history of former KR leaders who were related to Son Sen can serve as evidence for the multi-national tribunal in order to find justice for victims since the document also shows that 100,000 innocent Cambodian people in the East Zone as well as Sor Pim were led by Son Sen, Ta Mok and Kae Pok to be slaughtered in 1978.
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3206, Tuesday, July 10, 2007.