Anlong Veng Demands Its Leaders Face Justice

anlong veng, Oddar Meanchey province – Residents of this re­mote former rebel stronghold on Wednesday said they support a trial for Khmer Rouge leaders.

Dom Chunny, the Anlong Veng district chief who was wearing a blue-denim shirt that said “Made in Thailand,” said the en­tire leadership of the movement should be tried.

Phoeun Thoeun, 56, said the poverty-stricken people of Anlong Veng need two things: food and a trial.

Kim Siyon, 41, a Khmer Rouge-trained medical officer who has lived in the area since 1979, was not sure who would be tried if a tribunal was formed.

“What leaders? Pol Pot is dead,” Kim Siyon said.

However, asked if there were any other leaders who should be tried, people gathered around began calling out the names of Democratic Kampuchea deputy prime minister Ieng Sary and Ta Mok, the movement’s military chief believed to be hunkered down somewhere near the Thai border north of here.

“Ta Mok is the biggest problem,” said Kim Siyon, pointing around his parched land and house. “Ask the people here. They really hate Ta Mok. Ta Mok has so much money. If he used that money to develop the country, then how prosperous would the country be?”

Kim Siyon then recalled how at a meeting in Phnom Penh in 1976, Pol Pot asked the attendees which province was the poorest.

While answers of Mondolkiri and Siem Reap filtered in, Pol Pot answered himself: “Takeo prov­ince is the poorest,” Kim Siyon quoted the Khmer Rouge supremo as saying.

Pol Pot then proceeded to choose people in Takeo and in­stall them as leaders of villages, communes, districts and prov­inces, Kim Siyon said. It was Ta Mok, he said, who carried out the order to install the Takeo people in positions of power. And it eventually became people from the Southwest Zone, which includes Takeo, who carried out the most killings, Kim Siyon said.

They were quick to kill people who did not follow their orders, he said. “The Cambodian people really hated the Khmer Rouge from the Southwest,” Kim Siyon concluded.


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