HE Khmer Rouge hard-liners' clandestine radio has been staying true to form - proclaiming
victory and spouting hatred against "enemies" - as the guerrilla group
splinters into pieces.
In an apparent bid to offer reassurance to forces loyal to Pol Pot, the radio has
embraced "talk shows", or panel discussions, by senior leaders to serve
up exceedingly optimistic views of recent events for the rank-and-file.
"These guys have been dealt serious blows," Mak Ben, the KR's "Minister
of Finance", said of the government army in a radio show broadcast Oct 4.
In the show, Ben joined Democratic Kampuchea's nominal Prime Minister Khieu Samphan
and "Minister of National Defense" Kev Yan in a discussion on the theme
of "Who is surrounding who?"
Referring to KR defections in Battambang and Pursat provinces, Ben claimed they were
all staged by the government.
"They arrested fishermen in the Tonle Sap who are fishermen living along the
Sangke River, staged a ceremony with the fishermen wearing uniforms to integrate
them into the puppet Cambodian Royal Armed forces, and then sent them back to their
original place. This was a complete farce," he declared.
Ben claimed a similar situation with the collapse of the hard-liners' base of Samlot.
"They claimed in their propaganda that they have seized Malai and Pailin and
Samlot; only rotten elements have been seized, those who are spies and who are corrupt
and who have embezzled the army's money, such as Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith,
Chhean, Pheap... the masses, the people, the troops and their dependents hate these
guys more than shit."
In the same show, Kev Yan outlined Democratic Kampuchea's position on the national
"We have divided the country into two large zones: the northern zone and the
southern zone. The first zone is in the north," he began.
He noted that the northern zone was an area "belonging to us and the enemy.
"We can operate, launch guerrilla attacks, cut roads and attack enemy administration.
Some villages have been liberated, some others are in dispute between the enemy and
"We are the masters on this battlefield," he declared. "There is no
problem, meaning that we can attack the enemy, the enemy attacks us and we attack
the enemy in return - the way it has been for the past 17-18 years."
It was much the same situation in the southern zone, according to Yan, who proceeded
to list the names of more than a dozen districts where "we can attack the enemy
and the enemy attacks us."
Khieu Samphan, summing up, declared that it was clear that "no one inside or
outside the country will follow communist Vietnam's lackeys such as Hun Sen, Chea
Sim, Sar Kheng, Tea Banh, Ieng Mouly, You Hockry and so on."
In the same broadcast, a brief statement was read by an unidentified announcer denying
reports of the collapse of Samlot and the escape of KR leaders Nuon Chea and Son
Sen to Thailand.
"Because of their serious setbacks and because they are at an impasse in their
psychological warfare, the communist Vietnam aggressors, the villainous [government]
alliance and their puppets and lackeys have spread crude lies saying that some Democratic
Kampuchea leaders in western Cambodia have fled abroad," the statement began.
"The National Army of Democratic Kampuchea firmly, categorically and completely
denies this deceitful propaganda and crude lies."
The statement went to declare that all the "liberated bases in western Cambodia"
were still in "the hands of the people", controlled by the leadership supported
by "one hundred percent of the masses, cadres, troops and their families."
It continued that it was "the handful of traitors" such as Ieng Sary and
Y Chhean and Sok Pheap who had really lost control of their bases.
Another talk radio show was held Oct 5 - this time with "Special Adviser"
Chuon Choeun, "Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister" Chan Youran",
"Territorial Integrity Minister" Tep Khanal and "Interior Minister"
Yim Phan - and a week later "Minister of Public Works" Kor Bun Heng was
produced to tell listeners: "We have to share times of safety and difficulty
together, and die together."