Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Day of Remembrance on the Road to the Overthrow of the Pol Pot Genocidal Regime, June 20, 1977-2023 [Unofficial Translation]


(1) Propose to study with a lawyer on the establishment of military history law

I would like to address the five requests of Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh. In principle, I agree, but the third point regarding the proposed law on military history, I suggest studying with lawyers to see if we can get on with it. Issuing a sub-decree on the establishment of military historical sites is possible. Request for the construction of the win-win monument – should any provinces wishes to, we can do it and each province should do it because it is going to be a place where people can rest and relax, more importantly, it is not too expensive. We can do it. (It will be) a place where people can exercise and bring their children to relax […]

(2) Organize the military history zone 1, zone 2; study from beginning to end about military history

The organization of military historical sites in Zone 1 and Zone 2 is also possible. We can study a little more broadly. Our country’s military situation is not just about fighting the Khmer Rouge. The military history of our country began after the coup of March 18, 1970. Should we expand the study to cover the whole aspect of the war? All of this leaves the possibility for the Commission to continue. We want to talk from beginning to end about the military situation in Cambodia, and the history of the emergence of the armed forces, which is the core of the current force, that began on May 12, 1978, which this year marks the 45th anniversary. All points require agreement with all studies. (Historic) framework (of the Armed Forces in) our country is rarely a match to others. Cambodia was a country with a many control areas and different armed forces, after which we have united them […]

(3) Should I not get out to find a way to liberate the nation, what would happen?

The question to ask is, if I did not decide to do this (escape to Vietnam to organize forces to fight the genocide) then what would happen next? […] I can only confirm two points. First, if I did not decide to do so – (revolting, escaping, organizing forces against the Pol Pot regime), I do not know what will happen next, because I could have been really dead. We cannot ask for survival or for the rights and freedoms from the Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot. I have no way of knowing whether everything that I have told you about was going to happen or not? Or whether there was going to be another Hun Sen characters? […] secondly, I can say that from June 20, 1977 to the present, I have been present in every event, big or small. I have been in all (national) events […]

(4) The answer of the commander at Koh Samraong/Koh Chrouk, September 1974, raised suspicions

I began to have doubts about the Khmer Rouge (ideology and policy) in September 1974. The suspicion arose when my forces were sent to defend Koh Samraong in the upper part (of the city) of Kampong Cham. I brought my concern to the commander (regarding the shelling from the Lon Nol force that caused destruction to the people’s houses). His answer took me by surprise and cast doubt (about the regime’s intentions). He replied to me, “well, that is a good thing. After the liberation, there will be no rich, no poor, no big house, no small house.” I was thinking, what would happen? […] I have doubts whether this is a mistake which comes from upper or lower class [..] we were all hostages of war. We cannot go anywhere. At that time, in Cambodia as a whole, everyone was the hostage of the war […]

(5) September 1975 – started a weak network at P2 Hospital

We have no third choice. We began to suspect the name 870 or the number 870. We also had doubts about who Pol was […] I had my eyes operated in September 1975. At that time, I was in putting together the secret forces at P2 Hospital (among those who) were in the hospital together. Some of my friends who used to be soldiers in the same place and all of them are close friends went to the hospital together. We could organize but not yet a strong network […] I have 4 options. First, I might use the military force at hand. This regiment had more than 2,000 men and was very strong. From that generation, it was said that good forces were mostly in the district armies. The regional forces were well armed, but the soldiers were not so good. The second option was to withdraw and reorganize the resistance. The third option was to do nothing, and let the Khmer Rouge do whatever they wanted. The fourth option is to commit suicide. Eventually I took the second option – leaving […]

(6) The decision to leave made at Wat Tambe while studying politics on June 18, 1977

The decision to leave (the regime to organize struggle) was made at Wat Tambe when I went to a political course on June 18, 1977 […] the person who taught the course was the present day HE Ouk Bun Chhoeun. Let me address His Excellency Ouk Bun Chhoeun by name because the movie has been released too. Those who asked the question who was the one asking (me) “if I have the ability to build my wife to become a proletariat – a working class?” It is the present His Excellency Ouk Bun Chhoeun. It’s time to reveal […] someone asked, “whether he was dead or is still alive?” I said, “he lives and I let him (work) in the time of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea and the State of Cambodia. I had him as the Minister of Justice. Now he is the chairman of the National Assembly’s legislative committee.”

(7) Was there a connection between the question on the wedding day to my wife’s labor in the field

In the film, I only addressed him the deputy district chief, but the real character is HE Ouk Bun Chhoeun […] I got married on January 5. On the 6th (of January), we left and on January 08 we arrived at my work place. On the 12th (of January), my wife was separated from me. A medical staff, she had to work on rice field levees. Is this a response to the question, “can comrade build your wife into a working class?” I had the taste of separation from my parents, grandparents, siblings, and on January 12, 1976, the separation from the newly married wife. I kept wondering if there was a connection between the question on the wedding day and the way they discipline my wife […]

(8) Those rebelled before 25 May 1978 were regarded traitors to the revolution

The day before, HE Ouk Bun Chhoeun attended the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the Cambodian National Salvation Army. I did not know he was there. I was talking up to the year 1978 after the Eastern Zone uprising. The Eastern Zone rebelled and fled to take refuge in the areas that my force occupied – Memot and Snuol districts, especially Memot district. Until then, I was still defined as a traitor to the revolution. They regarded insurgents by May 25, 1978 as patriots or revolutionary. As for those who escaped before that date were regarded as traitors […] as for the historical factors that existed in the past – the story of Viet Minh or Issara force, I had no idea. I was very young. But what I was sure of was that in the 1970s, responding to the appeal of the Kampuchean National United Front, the Vietnamese army came together to attack the Americans, the South Vietnamese and Lon Nol soldiers. On that note, where could I go? to Thailand? to Laos? or to Vietnam? […]

(9) Memories of events from 1977 to 2005 go public in ten years I said that (the cause of national liberation) came to me when I had my eye surgery in September 1975. Although my network was small and some were captured, I did not become a murderer. I recognized myself as an aggressive person, but when it came to political decision, I am the most serious person […] we cannot talk about the past and go to the past to change it. It is a matter of whether we dare to reveal those pasts or not? This book (- the transcript of my audio notes would probably take about 10 years) to release. (What is recorded) here (indicated things that) are complicated. I recorded my memories of events from 1977 until 2005, which included additional constitutional issues of package elections, what had happened? It is not yet time to publish this book […]./.