Khmernews

Mass grave with dark shirt not containing gold

Posted by khmernews on March 10, 2009

By : O’ka

Ex-Khmer Rouge cadres separately killed from ordinary people

Baray – Kompong Thom province: “In spite of bad smell, we did not dare to say what the smell was,” says Tan Lak whose house is next to gateway of Baray Chean Dek’s security office in Balunk commune, Baray district during Pol Pot’s rise to power of 1975-79’s Democratic Kampuchea (DK).

Tan Lak says Khmer Rouges turned temple and houses of Baray pagoda into ‘security office’ and the pagoda complex was used as grave for burying victims they killed. He heard victims screaming out, making him and his children and wife frightened and thought that one day his family would meet such as bad luck. The bad smell from the grave made him difficult to take a breath. The grave was not filled in unless it is full of bodies. He occasionally passed the grave because Khmer Rouge comrades had known him but almost did not dare to keep his eyes on it completely. He says hundreds of thousands of people were estimated to be killed in the Baray Chean Dek pagoda because people were taken in everyday but never taken out.

Tan Lack is a committee of Baray Chean Dek pagoda. His house is still next to the pagoda gateway. He says there were two departments of the security office for torturing victims. The first was for ordinary people and 17 April people and the other was for Khmer Rouge cadres being accused of betraying Angkar or betrayal lines. The two departments were not put together. Graves were also separated.

Tan Lak continues he remembers that Comrade ‘Sen’ was the first security chief in the Baray Chean Dek. They did not dare have connection often because security guards there were very strict. They worked from morning and returned at night and then went to sleep.

He continues there were numerous graves in the pagoda compound especially in front of the temple. He knew clearly that in late 1979 and earlier 1980, when gold diggers found dark shirt bodies, they stop digging it because the graves were used for burying only Khmer Rouge cadres. They knew that the graves did not contain gold.

But if any graves were dug with color shirts, the graves must be dug to the bottom because the graves are believed to contain gold. Base people and 17 April people were buried in the graves in which some of them hid gold in hem of shirts and in pant waists. Some found golden crystals.

Unofficial Translation
Extract from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol17, #4840, Sunday-Monday, 08-09 March 2009.

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