T HE fall of Pailin has reversed the situation for a negotiated settlement
between the Royal government and Khmer Rouge, increasing the strength of the
government to bargain for peace according to the Co-Prime Minister Prince
Asked if the government is gaining advantage over the KR,
Prince Ranariddh said: "We don't need to say much now, nothing is left for them,
there is no territory controlled by the KR."
He told reporters on April 5
that the government stance of leaving the door open for the KR remained
He added: "The situation is different from a few months ago
since the KR have lost their positions in Anlong Veng and Pailin, now if we talk
with them the conversation will be different."
The Prince complained that
it was very disgraceful the lack of respect KR leader Khieu Samphan showed him
at several failed secret peace talks:
" Samphan seemed heedless to the fact
that I was the first prime minister, he said to me "I will not stop fighting
because the yuon (Vietnamese) still attack me"."
KR fighters have
reportedly sought to set up a new base in Phnom Malay in north-west Cambodia on
the border with Thailand.
When asked if setting up the new base was a KR
tactic to maintain the balance in negotiations with the government, Prince
Ranariddh said: " Phnom Malay is only a few square kilometers and not an issue
for negotiating. There is only one issue - how can we heal the
Meanwhile, government forces are increasing operations to flush
out the rebels in the mountain areas surrounding Pailin, including Phnom
Tea Banh, minister of defense, refused to give a direct answer
about the start of the offensive on Phnom Malay.
However he hinted that
government forces were going to capture it soon, he said: "It is just a matter
Prince Ranariddh said that he would show pictures of KR leader
Pol Pot, who is held responsible for the death of more than one million
Cambodians, escaping during the government offensive on Pailin.
"I must show you pictures of Pol Pot, pictures of his house being attacked and
pictures of him escaping with cars and convoy of trucks on tarmac road inside
territory of the Kingdom of Thailand."
When asked if it was during the
attack on Pailin, the prime minister agreed, stressing "Pailin!"
"I'd like to inform that it was not inside Cambodia because I also want to have
such a road. Such a road, tarmac road, does not yet exist in our region."