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Celebration for Ieng Sary

Celebration for Ieng Sary

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LIKE many Cambodian ceremonies, the third anniversary of Ieng Sary's defection

began with a Buddhist ceremony and classical dancing.

Celebration for Ieng Sary

Some of the people

who tried to destroy these traditions 25 years ago received blessings and

clapped politely.

Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith sat on the floor

with their hands clasped as the monks blessed them with water.

Sary,

pictured left, became so uncomfortable after 10 minutes that former Democratic

Kampuchea Olympic Committee chairman, Long Norin, had to help him slump into a

plastic armchair - Sary's handgun nearly falling out of his waist band in the

process. He appeared genuinely frail.

The turnout for the ceremony was

small compared to three years ago. About 100 people attended including Im

Sopheap, former ambassador to Egypt for the Coalition Government of Democratic

Kampuchea in the 1980s. Also there was Prum Su former KR division 519 deputy

commander from Banteay Meanchey (the one armed Su split in 1996 from the one

eyed Duol Saroeun who remained loyal to the one legged Ta Mok in Anlong

Veng).

Mey Man, who went to France with Pol Pot on the SS Jamaique and is

now a monitor for the UNHCHR, and his wife were also there. Pailin governor Ee

Chien made a cameo appearance but disappeared after the ceremony.

Khieu

Samphan and Nuon Chea reportedly came into Pailin from their enclave on the Thai

border but did not partake of the festivities.

Ieng Sary told reporters

they did not attend because it was not the anniversary of their

defections.

There were quite a few women heroes of the revolution there

dressed in their Sunday best. Many had not seen each other for some time and a

surprising number greeted and chatted in French.

During the event, Sary

and Thirith looked at the cameras more than at the monks or dancers. Sary did

not even move his lips during the chanting - he appeared to have forgotten the

words.

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