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
Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith sat on the floor
with their hands clasped as the monks blessed them with water.
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
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.
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
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