Khmernews

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

Posted by khmernews on February 7, 2008

Pol Pot was interviewed. Pol Pot’s soldiers and people integrated into the government. Pol Pot died. Options for the Khmer Rouge trial.
Almost all the Khmer Rouge guerilla soldiers and people lived in struggling bases and hid everywhere in provinces and municipalities appeared to integrate with the royal government. Warfare was nearly over. The opportunity to find peace and national reconciliation seemed to be coming up and effective. This is mainly due to “Win Win Policy” of Prime Minister Hun Sen as well.

However, a handful of Khmer Rouge guerilla leaders, whom the government called “Stubborn Khmer Rouge” were still strongly struggling against the royal government to the last death.

From Anlong Veng, a former Khmer Rouge soldier who is a nephew of Ta Mok, known as Chhet Choeun, told Resmei Kampuchea on December 2, 2007 that in late 1998 it was the last stage that few remaining Khmer Rouge soldiers in Anlong Veng, Trapheang Prasat, and along Dongrek Mountain (Anlong Veng-Prasat Preah Vihear) were still fighting with hopelessness against the government That was because that those soldiers were close to the remaining top leaders of Khmer Rouge such as Pol Pot and Ta Mok.

Ta Mok’s nephew added, “even though, Chief Commanders or other senior leaders or those are close to top leaders were seeking any accesses to integrate with government if they could be far away a little bit and save their family first”.

Uncle Ol, born in Krang Dong Vay- Kompong Speu province, is now living in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district. He was a former Khmer Rouge guerilla soldier, stationing on road 56 till 1998 and then he went with other Khmer Rouge soldiers in order to defect to the government.

He told us in mid-December 2007 that, “Keeping struggling by weapon was only based on policy of the top leaders. Therefore, since 1996 Khmer Rouge leaders had disputes with each other and many leaders and the great majority of soldiers integrated with government. What did we have to fight for?” He added that even Khmer Rouge’s radio also broadcasted about the arguments between Khmer Rouge leaders. “Samdech Hun Sen’s Bayon and Voice of America radio station which we secretly listened to also broadcasted about those arguments and claimed that many Khmer Rouge soldiers went to unite with government. So we had to seek way to survive as well,” he said.

According to historical events toward the process of peace in Cambodia, on October 06, 1998, Pol Pot (Saloth Sar), second highest Khmer Rouge leader, who hid in his resident in Kbal Tonsoang, Anlong Veng district’s Trapangp commune, on the top of Dongrek mountain bordering Thailand, allowed a famous American journalist, Nate Thayer, working for Far Eastern Review, to interview and take his pictures.

Pol Pot briefly explained the process of his struggle to save the nation from foreign invaders and to rebuild the nation with independence and sovereignty.

Pol Pot did not acknowledge that he had massacred almost two million people during the reign of power in the period of 1975-1979, questioning the journalist, “Do I look like a chief killer?”  National and International communities thought that the interview with Pol Pot was to inform the world about the last stage of Khmer Rouge.

On February 8, 1998 Ieng Sary, who led Khmer Rouge soldiers and people to defect to the government in 1996, was accompanied with his wife to Phnom Penh for the second time. He was pardoned of genocide by the king and lived in Pailin since then. On October 29, 1997 it was the first time that he and his wife went to Phnom Penh, then to Sihanoukville and Siem Reap provinces.

On March 26, 1998, Pol Pot’s 1,549 armed forces and 4109 civilians integrated with the government.

On April 06, 1998, U.S. president Bill Clinton discussed with Thai government to capture Pol Pot.

On April 15, 1998, (the third day of Khmer New Year Festival) Pol Pot had died of a heart attack at his home in Kbal Tonsoang. His body was cremated near Cambodia-Thai border (at the present it is in Chhom border). The death of Pol Pot was also aired on Khmer Rouge’s radio on April 16, 1998.

On May 11, 1998, government forces, mostly the former Khmer Rouge soldiers, battled over the last military stronghold of Ta Mok.

On June 4, 1998, a special representative of U.N. Secretary General Tomas Hammaberg met Samdach Hun Sen for the first time at Ta Kmao town by raising three options for the trial of Khmer Rouge leaders. The first, the tribunal for genocide in Cambodia would be created in the same way as in Bosnia (Yugoslavia). The second, national court would be created by Cambodia, and the third, the UN experts would work with Cambodia, train Cambodian judges and make decision.

On June 05, 1998, there was the integration ceremony of 3,563 Khmer Rouge fighters held in Anlong Veng.

On June 11, 1998 five Khmer Rouge leaders, who lived in Thailand, were: (1) Chuon Choeun, a special health adviser, (2) Chan Youran, Deputy prime minister in charge of ministry of foreign affairs, (3) Mok Penn, Minister of finance, (4) In Sopheap, minister for immigrant, defected to the royal government.

Unofficial translation
Exacted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 1, # 4476, Sunday, Monday 30-31 December 2007.

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