Khmernews

Judgment of Local People For 25 years: Key Solution To Justice and Reconciliation (Cont.)

Posted by khmernews on December 28, 2007

Layum

In 1996-1997 Khmer Rouge leaders, soldiers and people of the Khmer Rouge militia were increasingly confronting each others. At the same time military officials and politicians of the Cambodian People’s Party and Funcinpec Party in the coalition government were competing with each others to get Khmer Rouge both who had already been integrated with the government and who had not been integrated and were being persuaded to integrate. 
In Anlong Veng, Pol Pot commanded Ta Mok to kill Democratic Kampuchea National Army’s General Commander Son Sen, his wife Yon Yat and his body guards since they were trying to make contact with Phnom Penh to integrate with the government. At that time the light of bringing Khmer Rouge leaders started since Co-Prime Ministers Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Samdech Hun Sen had sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to appeal for funds to bring Khmer Rouge leaders to justice.

Military generals in the Ministry of National Defence and in Divisions which were once under the Khmer Rouge told Rasmei Kampuchea that since early 1996 the secret team for Espionage and Politics Affairs of the Royal Coalition Government in Phnom Penh and of the Khmer Rouge secretly met each other to talk about the integration of former Khmer Rouge leaders, after Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, who were appointed as the head of the Democratic National Union Movement by General Sok Pheap and General Iy Chheang, brought [Khmer Rouge] armed force and people to integrate with the royal government.

Those generals said that at that time military officials and politicians of the CPP and FUNCINPEC Parties in the coalition government were competing with each other to influence them (the Khmer Rouge) in order that the Khmer Rouge would join their party. However, thanks to influence and previous aspects of the CPP, most of the integrated Khmer Rouge joined the CPP.

Meanwhile, the negotiation between Funcinpec’s officials and the Khmer Rouge military in Anlong Veng of the Preah Vihear Province failed since the Khmer Rouge opened fire on two helicopters, which killed 6 officials on board. Because of the event and the confrontation between the forces and officials of the two big parties in the coalition government, they accused each other of communicating with the Khmer Rouge, as the Khmer Rouge had been outlawed by the National Assembly.

According to the events of the peace process and bringing Khmer Rouge leaders to justice, Pon Pheap, a Khmer Rouge soldier in Anlong Veng (some believed he was Pol Pot’s body guard), said in a press conference in June 1997 that Nhik Bunchay, Funcinpec’s Royal Cambodian Armed Force commander, had brought with him 500 soldiers into “Tang Krasang” garrison. However, Nhik Bunchay denied the allegation.

Officials were still sent to negotiate secretly with Khmer Rouge officials. Son Sen, general commander of Democratic Kampuchea National Army and former minister of National Defence and his wife Yon Yat, former Culture and Education minister, were trying to contact secretly with the Royal Government’s officials in Phnom Penh in order to integrate with the government, since at the time more than half of the Khmer Rouge soldiers had already been integrated. Pol Pot, top commander of the Democratic Kampuchea Army, and Ta Mok, commander stationed in Anlong Veng of the Preah Vihear Province said the time had not arrived yet. Son Sen and Yon Yat were still trying to contact the government. On 10 June 1997, Pol Pot ordered his soldiers to shoot dead Son Sen, his wife Yon Yat and other 10 body guards. Their bodies were taken to Srah Chhuk village, Trapeang Prey commune, Anlong Veng district where they were made run over by a ten-wheel truck. 

“Son Sen and his wife had been secretly contacting with officials in Phnom Penh since 1996, almost at the same time that Iy Chheang had contacted with the government, but since then Pol Pot and Ta Mok might have known,” said Chov Tao, a former Khmer Rouge soldier who knows the event, adding that Son Sen’s and Yon Yat’s family were brought to the top of Dang Raek Mount and put under observation from Pol Pot’s and Ta Mok’s soldiers. “Therefore, because of their family, Son Sen and his wife could not go down to join the government,” he said.

“Son Sen, Yon Yat, and their soldiers were ambushed and shot dead on road on the mountain leading to Kbal Tonsoang before their bodies were taken to Srah Chhuk village,” said former Khmer Rouge soldier Sou Nat, currently Trapeang Prey’s commune chief in Anlong Veng district.

When the Khmer Rouge were toppled, Co-Prime Ministers Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Samdech Hun Sen of the Royal Government of Cambodia sent a letter dated on 21 June 1997 to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to ask for funds for the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders. The United Nations welcomed the request, but needed more negotiation.

On 28 June 1997, it was announced that 1,500 Khmer Rouge soldiers were secretly sent to Phnom Penh to continue the fighting.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, #4470, Sunday-Monday, December 23-24, 2007.

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