THE father of a young man said to have been killed Friday by Thai troops near the border at Oddar Meanchey province said he has no doubts his son was deliberately burned to death and wishes for revenge against those responsible for the murder.
In a conversation with the Post on Monday, Saing Yon said he had visited the scene of the killing and was devastated by what he saw there.
“It is difficult for me to tell you in detail about my son’s suffering before he died because I saw my son’s body and it is very tragic,” said the father of 16-year-old Yon Rith, who was found dead after reportedly being arrested by Thai forces on Friday.
“They burned my son to death. I will remember this, and I want revenge on the Thai soldiers, but I won’t tell anyone what I will do to them.”
Saing Yon said that, judging from his son’s remains, he was lashed to an ox cart with ropes before being set alight by the soldiers. “I saw ropes holding his arm bones and the many footsteps he made at the site as he tried to escape from the flames,” he said.
He added that he planned to build a small Buddhist stupa at the site to commemorate his son and to mark what he termed the “cruel” deeds of those responsible.
“Please, other people, tell your children and relatives not to do anything along the border to avoid my son’s fate.”
Meanwhile, officials have vowed to get to the bottom of the incident, comparing the reported killing to the cruelties of Cambodia’s recent past.
“The Thais’ action was similar to the Khmer Rouge,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong. “Their actions make them seem like wild and inhuman people.”
Koy Kuong said that government officials received a report of the incident from provincial authorities on Monday and would make a formal request for an explanation from the Thai government.
“We will send a diplomatic note to the Thais to get their explanation for burning the Cambodian man alive,” he said. “The ministry was very disturbed to get this report.”
Officials at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment on Monday.