General Prum Su, former deputy commander of Khmer Rouge Div 519 in Banteay Meanchey,
was among the rebels who defected to the government with Ieng Sary last year. Uncle
of Funcinpec resistance leader Nhek Bun Chhay, Prum Su is now the Banteay Meanchey
deputy governor, and due to become governor of Stung Treng. He spoke to Elizabeth
Moorthy and Bou Saroeun in Pailin Nov 8, day of a ceremony marking its
new muncipality status.
Q: What has changed here in Pailin since the visit to Phnom Penh by Ieng Sary?
A: Before, we stayed outside the government. But after he went to Phnom
Penh... the Cambodian people congratulated him and they want to reconcile to end
Will people here be happy to vote in the next election? Do they care about politics
in Phnom Penh?
Now my side supports democracy, and the people will be happy to vote in the next
election. We will not challenge with the gun, we will challenge with the vote.
Do you think the 5th and 6th of July was a coup d'état?
The people in Pailin didn't want the 5-6 July event to happen. But this event
involved both sides. I cannot say it is a coup d'état.
If people in Pailin support democracy, do they care about Prince Ranariddh returning?
Now it is up to the Royal government, the Second Prime Minister and the United
Nations. For us, we want national reconciliation to finish the bloody war.
So if Pailin is now under government control, will the Royal government be permitted
to send troops through here to fight in Samlot?
Yes, now we are a part of the Royal government, so we must respect the Royal government.
How do you feel now that the Pailin armed forces must listen to the Phnom Penh
I think that the Royal government ... policy is reconciliation and to finish the
war. So the Royal government doesn't want to fight either. As First Prime Minister
Ung Huot said ... first, national reconciliation for peace and stability; second,
development; and third is democracy. So I think that the government does not have
a bad policy.
If the Royal Government orders Pailin's troops to fight against Nhek Bun Chhay's
forces, will they agree?
The armed forces outlook is that they understand about politics and reconciliation
... about eighty percent of them don't want to fight. So all the leaders have to
find a good solution together.
Does the ceremony today mean there will no longer be contact between Nhek Bun
Chhay and Pailin?
At the time of Pailin's breakaway from the Khmer Rouge hard-liners, Nhek Bun Chhay
was a deputy of general staff, so he had relations with Pailin, but now after the
July 5-6 fighting, he has no involvement with Pailin anymore.
You are Nhek Bun Chhay's uncle. Have you received any threats since the fighting?
Nobody threatened me.
Have you personally met Nhek Bun Chhay since July?
No, not since the fighting. But before I met him.
Do you want him to reunite with the Royal government?
I want him to come back. I don't want him to continue fighting.
What do you think about Pol Pot's recent interview?
I believe that Pol Pot did not kill the people personally, but the route the Pol
Pot regime took killed the people.