Hun Sen ‘win-win’ legacy debated on Khmer Rouge fall anniversary

Twenty years since collapse of ultra-communist movement, policy hailed by Cambodia PM for ending war back in spotlight.

In late 1998, Peng Samonn, a war-weary Khmer Rouge cadre who had spent decades fighting in the jungles on the Thai border, got wind of a secret plot to desert the notorious ultra-communists and join Cambodia’s government forces.

“A Khmer Rouge commander told me about divisions and that there would be a defection soon, so to spread the news,” 70-year-old Samonn said earlier this month, sitting outside the same home he lived in under the Khmer Rouge.

“But if another faction had found out, I would have been killed. I shared it with 10 families and we all fled.”

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