The military situation may be tense, but Khmer Rouge radio was loose last week, broadcasting a fictional account of a telephone conversation between Second Prime Minister Hun Sen and a military commander.
The unexpected dose of comic relief portrayed the imaginary panicked reaction of Hun Sen to his commander wanting to abandon Anlong Veng, the former rebel base seized with help of defectors. Despite the Khmer Rouge radio account, the government maintains it controls Anlong Veng.
Excerpts of the fictional conversation between Hun Sen and Kao Thy, a military commander in Region 4, follow:
“Hello! Hello! Hello!…Why is it quiet?” Hun Sen asks. “Why is nobody answering?”
Kao Thy breathlessly replies that he is near Anlong Veng.
“Ah, why are you breathless?” Hun Sen asks.
“Samdech, we are being routed. My group is running,” Kao Thy says.
“Failure! Failure! Failure!…You make me extremely ashamed….How can I have something to oppress Samdech [King Norodom] Sihanouk…Kao Thy! If we have Anlong Veng, nobody can do anything, not Samdech Sihanouk, Norodom Ranariddh, Sam Rainsy nor the white-skinned, long-nosed group [Europeans]. We can prepare for the election [in any way] we want. Do you understand, Kao Thy?”
“Yes! Samdech, I understand, we’re not fighting in Anlong Veng for military reasons…we’re fighting only to serve political and diplomatic interests….But, but…”
“But what? Kao Thy….I trust you [to win Anlong Veng].”
“Yes, yes, Samdech, I am happy that you believe in me. But I cannot bear it anymore….Now I’m afraid of the Khmer Rouge.”
“Don’t speak roughly. I am, do you know, co-commander-in-chief, ah!…If you are defeated before I meet Samdech Sihanouk, I will die.”
“I understand, Samdech. But as I said, nobody can fight anymore….You can speak from your villas with air conditioners, but I am staying in mine and spike fields, under mortar attack….All our new soldiers have run away.”
At this point, the phone is cut.
“Hello! Hello! Hello! Kao Thy! Where are you going? Stop. Kao Thy…I die! I die! How can I threaten Samdech Sihanouk if I’m completely defeated? I will lose everything.”