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Reply to Sikoeun

The Editor,

Out of regard for the readers of the Phnom Penh Post and for all those who have

given me their warm support, I feel it is my duty to use my right of reply and to

shed some light on Suong Sikœun's open letter.

I certainly did go to Cambodia after [having made] a choice which I have explained

numerous times, and which to this day seems honorable to me, with Ieng Sary's verbal

assurance that decent living conditions would be guaranteed, for my daughters and

for myself.

In point of fact, Naren and Sokha were ill-treated, humiliated, deprived of water,

food and elementary care, they were beaten and locked up in sordid places for days

and nights on end. This has left a mark on them which they will keep for their entire

life. As for their brother, deprived of care and food, he died. What should also

be mentioned is that after Béng's death, Ieng Sary sought by many means to

make us die, intending to ascribe responsibility for our death to this or that other

person. He makes no secret that he could have done without what he calls the Laurence

Picq affair.

Ieng Sary does not sign his commitments, and it is therefore very easy for him later

to deny them. He has always done this and he is still doing it by denying his responsibilities

during the Khmer Rouge regime.

As for the living allowance and a certain sum in dollars, it is untrue. This is obvious

when you see the extremely modest conditions under which we are living.

The second point in the letter concerns Ieng Sary's statements according to which

he is innocent in the matter of the eliminations, and is justifying himself by saying

that he saved numerous people. I wish to draw attention to the fact that several

of the people mentioned were precisely among the suspects in the last purge which

Ieng Sary was conducting when the Vietnamese took Phnom Penh. One is bound to admit

that the list of survivors is short, compared to that of the disappeared. And I would

like to say that Toch Kam Doeun [sic] and his wife were denounced as traitors by

Ieng Sary until 1983 at seminars he was still conducting.

Many more things would need to be mentioned but I will only touch on one. Suong Sikœun's

letter , when you analyse it closely, contains repetitions and tributes to Ieng Sary

every fifty words. Such a discourse isn't a proper discourse any more, it is the

delirious discourse of a disciple who blindly goes to the aid of his master, whom

he takes for a brother, a father, a guru.

Ieng Sary is not telling the truth [or: Ieng Sary does not tell the truth].

When a liar says that he is a liar, some people smile and say that if he is a liar,

how can he without lying state that he is a liar. However, you can be aware of what

you're dealing with.

It is an entirely different matter when the liar does not come forward. He is undoubtedly

of the worst [the French has pis instead of pire] sort.

Let us hope that Khmer opinion and international opinion will show proper judgment.

- Laurence Picq, France.

(Italicized passages are manuscript additions to the typed original. Passages

between square brackets are comments by the translator, who has tried to keep as

close as possible to the original. Translated by Philippe Hunt.)

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