Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brother No 2 Nuon Chea’s body taken to Pailin

Brother No 2 Nuon Chea’s body taken to Pailin

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mourners visit Nuon Chea’s body in Pailin province on Monday. Hong Menea

Brother No 2 Nuon Chea’s body taken to Pailin

The body of the Khmer Rouge’s former Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, who died on Sunday evening, will be kept for seven days at Pailin province’s Prom Kiri Morakat pagoda before being cremated in Sala Krao district in line with Buddhist practice.

More than 100 people, including Chea’s relatives, attended the commencement of funeral rites on Monday.

Lao Chealinda, Chea’s third daughter, told The Post while preparing for the funeral on Monday that the plan was to keep his body in an ice-cooled coffin until it is cremated according to Buddhist tradition.

Chealinda said when Chea became seriously ill in early July and was sent to Phnom Penh’s Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, she went to look after him until he died.

“As the end came, he was exhausted, his throat was producing mucus and his entire system was weak – especially his kidney and liver as he also had diabetes,” she said.

Chealinda said just before he died, Chea gave final advice to all his children and grandchildren – to look after their health, study hard and stick together.

“I’m very proud of my father as an individual, no matter how he is regarded by other people. For me, he is a well respected father who was good to his children. He was a strong man who never showed his children any weakness,” she said.

Chealinda said her father had three daughters and a son who all looked after him in his final days, but none showed much sorrow when he died because he was 93 years old and his death wasn’t unexpected.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mourners visit Nuon Chea’s body in Pailin province on Monday. Hong Menea

As funeral rites began on Monday, more than 100 people expressed remorse over Chea’s passing and helped to organise ceremonies at Prom Kiri Morakat pagoda, with some highlighting that he was an elderly man who had become an adherent of Buddhism.

Almost 10 media outlets arrived at the pagoda to take photographs and report on the funeral preparations, but local villagers and Chea’s relatives tried to prevent any pictures being taken of his body.

An elderly woman at the pagoda who was helping to move Chea’s body so it could be bathed before being put into a coffin shouted loudly that no one was allowed to take photographs.

The other villagers declined to comment to reporters about Chea’s notorious background.

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) spokesman Neth Pheaktra announced on Sunday that the former Khmer Rouge deputy leader had died after receiving treatment in hospital since July 2.

“We can confirm that Nuon Chea, 93, passed away on Sunday evening at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital. He had been treated at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia’s detention centre before being transferred to the hospital for medical treatment on July 2,” he said.

Pheaktra said he could not reveal what Chea, who was second-in-command only to Pol Pot, had died of as information on his health was confidential.

Chea was the president of the Khmer Rouge’s state legislature and was sentenced to life in prison by the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Case 002/02, along with Khieu Samphan, the ultra-Maoist regime’s head of state.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the