KR Victims Want Mass Grave for Regime Leaders

Victims of the Khmer Rouge regime participating in the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Case 002 voiced their opinions on reparations during a meeting in Phnom Penh on Monday, suggesting that remains of deceased former leaders should be buried together as a potential tourist attraction.

The meeting, which was held at Phnom Penh’s Ecumenical Diakonia Center, gave about 200 victim participants in the trial, known as civil parties, the opportunity to discuss with their lawyers the reparations they hope to receive.

So Sarin, a civil party from Kompong Cham province, said he would like to see the remains of top-ranking Khmer Rouge leaders buried together after death.

“I want the bodies of all the convicted leaders like Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Duch to be buried together, maybe at Choeung Ek or Kraing Ta Chan,” said Mr. Sarin to loud applause from the other civil parties attending the event.

“There should be one gravesite to remind people of what they did, and the younger generation can learn,” he added.

Saren Keng from Kratie province echoed Mr. Sarin’s wish, arguing that a mass grave of regime leaders could also help boost tourism.

“I want a place at Choeung Ek to bury Ieng Sary or Khieu Samphan for national tourism and for Cambodians to see the bones of Khmer Rouge leaders together,” said Mr. Keng.

Ieng Sary, who served as foreign minister for the Khmer Rouge, died last year and was cremated in an elaborate Buddhist ceremony.

Pich Ang, the co-lead lawyer representing civil parties in court, said burying the former Khmer Rouge leaders together was unlikely to happen.

“By law I don’t think we can do that, because the law doesn’t govern the dead,” he said.

Civil parties at the meeting also said they would like to receive memorial stupas in every province and more school textbooks on Khmer Rouge history.

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