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

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors