Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Three 'lost' villagers return to Pailin

Three 'lost' villagers return to Pailin

Three 'lost' villagers return to Pailin

THREE of the more than 30 villagers who were suspected by the Cambodian rights group Adhoc of having been forced into joining the army in Preah Vihear have returned home to Pailin, saying they had volunteered for military service. But some, including one of the young soldiers' mothers, suspects the three men are not telling the whole truth.

"When we arrived in Preah Vihear, I and the other villagers were told to register for the army, but we were not forced. We volunteered to join the army," said Yoeut Vet, 17, who said he changed his name to Yoeut Rattana while he was in Preah Vihear.

But Sok Chea, 36, Yoeut Vet's mother, said that she remains sceptical of her son's claims.

"I don't believe my son 100 percent, because if he was forced to be in the army why would he change his name. I think that he was told to say this," she said.

Vanna Long, an army commander in Pailin, said that it was unlikely that the villagers were coerced into joining the military, as there are already many soldiers posted along Cambodia's border areas.

"Today, no one is forced to join the army," he said. "There is no war."

Meanwhile, Nun Boren, 45, a mother of two villagers who have yet to return, demanded help from the government locating her missing son and daughter.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all