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

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • No word on state of emergency

    The National Assembly (NA) said it will postpone all unnecessary meetings in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it did not say when or how it will debate the “state of emergency”

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid