Second Prime Minister Hun Sen refused to say on Sunday whether he believed Pol Pot was dead. Instead, he said the most important issue was whether the Khmer Rouge would continue to survive as a political force.
“I hope that the second killing fields will not emerge again in Cambodia,” Hun Sen said in a speech in Kompong Cham province broadcast on Bayon Radio.
“Whether Pol Pot is dead or alive is one problem,” he added. “But is the military and appointed organization of Pol Pot finished or what?”
It was the second prime minister’s first public remark about Pol Pot since the former Khmer Rouge leader died of a purported heart attack April 15.
In a veiled reference to deposed first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Hun Sen asked, “Are those who want to use Pol Pot as a political force gone or what? Regarding these issues, we have to continue to be cautious of a situation in which the already weakened forces of Pol Pot could survive.”
Before last July’s factional fighting, Hun Sen accused the prince of trying to form an alliance with the hard-line Khmer Rouge in Anlong Veng.