My Understanding About Pol Pot And Khmer Rouge

I was born in 1977. My mum told me it was hard to find food for me. They forced people to work on the rice field but they didn’t allow people to eat anything but just a bow of porridge.

It was the Pol Pot regime.

I didn’t remember anything about what happened in that period. I was too young to keep those memories. I started to remember things just after the regime fell down on 1979.

But my parents, my brothers, sisters and other people did remember everything. They was forced to work from early morning till late at night. My mum used to tell me also that sometime they were forced to work at night as well.

One of my uncle was killed. He was an educated man. When he arrived at his hometown, people brought him to a place where there was no return. We got no more news from him. He is one of those that were killed without knowing the reason why.

Why there are so much people were killed during that period?

I have watched the documentary The Enemies Of The People. The film is the result of very hard work from Bong SAMBATH, a Phnom Penh Post journalist, that spent 10 years of his free time to go to see Nuon Chea to ask him why the top leaders of Khmer Rouge ordered to kill innocent people.

Nuon Chea didn’t tell him anything during the first few years. Bong Sambath tried to explained to Nuon Chea that what he is doing is very important. None of Khmer Rouge leaders accepted there’s killing in their regime. From the few excerpts of the interview, Nuon Chea accepted there were what they called the enemies of the people. Nuon Chea mentioned only Vietnamese and American.

How about those 1.7 millions Cambodian innocent people? Are they also the enemies of the people? Does my uncle was the enemy of the people? Does others intellectual and educated people are also the enemies of the people? Does Sin Sisamuth and other artists were also the enemies of the people?

Pol Pot, himself, until his last breath, he didn’t accept there’s such much killing in him regime. He and other Khmer Rouges did so many mistake. Why they don’t accept and be responsible for their own doing?

Pol Pot and other Khmer Rouge leaders know already that the people won’t listen and follow them. How could they build country when they close the cities, schools and communication to other countries? They need to use the forces and other uneducated people to continue their crazy and nightmare plan. So they already had in mind to create S-21 to execute the educated people and others that they think they would stop their revolution.

S-21 is not created by hazard. Killing the educated people and those who flight against their revolution is not an hazard. I was too sad to see Pot Pot smile from the footage of the interview. There’s no regret inside this man. He admitted he made mistake but he didn’t say any sorry to those that were killed or to their relatives.

Pol Pot made excuses that he was too busy to protect invasion from Vietnamese. He didn’t have enough time to control his own regime. I believed he was too busy to identify who are his enemies because a certain members of his leaders didn’t follow his order. he started to see everyone as the enemies. Those who have been killed in his regime are not the enemies of the people but they are for sure the enemies of Pol Pot and his revolution.

He finally saw his old friend 40 years Son Sen as an enemies and ordered to execute his whole family. They finally killed each others. We saw this in many Chinese movies.

I am not too fan of Cambodian history because each time I read, I feel sad. All Cambodian leaders are made themselves for their own power only. When they cannot get the power, they always ask the neighbor to fight for them. Why we cannot understand each other and resolve the country’s problem within the country and nation?

7 January 1979 is a new birthday to all Cambodian people. It stopped the killing and Khmer Rouge regime. That was the main point. Some people called it as an invasion of the Vietnamese. I don’t care what you would call it but it saved people from the genocide. Of course we need to pay back. There’s nothing free in this world. I wanted to ask people stop thinking it in a negative way of that event. Look at the reality and don’t live in delirium, a false dream like Pol Pot.

It is not an easy task to lead a country from the genocide. It would take sometime to be totally independent. We need to think and be careful for the future of our children. We should think of what we should do today to preserve the territory, increase business and economy for our country. Don’t just think of our own good. I think today we are too ignore of what is happening. I would say we don’t care about anything. That’s also a bad point and influences from the Pol Pot regime.

We would need the participation from all the people to rebuild our country. Each individual need to think that Cambodia belong to all of us, not only to the leaders. Each individual need to play role in order to speed up the process. When each individual understand their role and know what they need to do, there’s nothing can stop us to rebuild the country. I always feel optimist for this point.

The film “The Enemies Of The People” has help me to see clearly from the insider of Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge leader. Special thanks to Bong Sambat and ROB LEMKIN to make this film. During the interview at the Meta house, they informed us that they are working on the second film that would allow us to see more clearly about Pot Pot and Khmer Rouge regime.

Good luck to them for the 2nd film.

បើ​លោក​អ្នក​ពេញ​ចិត្តអត្ថបទ​នេះ សូម​ជួយ​ចុច LIKE ដើម្បី​ផ្សព្វ​ផ្សាយ​បន្ត!



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  1. KD says

    I lived the worse 4 years of my life in Pol Pot regime. I lost both of my parents and other relatives under Pol Pot’s rule. I bet no one of the remainder Khmer Rouge leaders will ever be punished not to mention those who are now serving in the Cambodian goverment. I do not think history of Pol Pot’s crime against Cambodian people whose 1.7 million of lives were lost during his reign of terror are well informed or taught in Cambodian schools. None of my relatives’ kids in Cambodia did not appear to have a full grasp of the Khmer Rouge history and The Khmer Rouge trial keeps dragging on and by the time the trial is completed, these Khmer Rouge leaders will die of old age. I do not know how this would serve anything to the victims. I personally do not look back on KR thing anymore for it is just too sad to think about it and also it is not fair that other high profile KR leaders are still working in the government and feel good about themselves.

  2. Joaquin says

    Hi Santel

    I like to read and watch movies about history. It is certainly sad what happened in Cambodia in those years.

    Let me ask you where can I find a DVD of the movie “The Enemies Of The People”? I am interested to watch it.

    Thanks in advance.


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