The radical Khmer Rouge (KR) guerrilla faction should not be trusted with an
advisory government role and should be crushed on the battlefield, veteran
Cambodian politician and former communist leader, Pen Sovann said on Jan
"We offer many concessions to the KR but still they refuse to join
us-concerning their hard-line, we should crush them," said Sovann, adding,
"Yes-military action in favor of political negotiation."
Pen Sovann, a
veteran Cambodian politician, was appointed communist party chief following the
defeat of Pol Pot's brutal KR regime by an invading Vietnamese army in
His posts included the positions of General Secretary of the PRK
(Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kampuchea), Prime Minister and Defense
But in December 1981, in circumstances that are still unclear,
Sovann was purged and replaced by President Heng Samrin.
KR demands for an advisory role by appointing their senior leaders into cabinet
positions would lead to the resumption of hostilities, he warned.
the KR regime all their top leaders hands are soaked with peoples' blood so
should we ask the people to welcome them?" he replied.
coalition government has offered cabinet position to "acceptable" KR officials
in exchange for an immediate cease-fire, an opening of their zones of control
and demobilization of the insurgent army.
Nominal KR chief, Khieu Samphan
said, there should be no preconditions and accused the former Phnom Penh
government of trying to hijack the peace negotiations.
After he was
ousted in 1981, Sovann said, he was held under house arrest in Hanoi for 10
years and 20 days before being freed and allowed to return to Cambodia in
The 59 year-old politician has since led a quiet life in
semi-retirement in the southern province of Takeo but has recently indicated he
would like to return to the limelight of national politics.
reporters that he was removed from office by his Vietnamese sponsors for
advocating free market reforms and "betraying communist doctrine."
90 minute free-ranging question and answer session, he warned of the dangers of
Thai culture and economic power subverting war-battered Cambodia.
to tell you this is a most serious problem for Cambodia-it is more dangerous
than (war) weapons," he said.
He also admitted that he had sought to join
the Cambodian People Party-the political wing of the former Vietnamese-installed
government but his application had been refused.
Reviewing the period
that he had passed since the United Nations-organized the May elections, Sovann
noted dryly that some politicians had "failed to deliver their
Asked to clarify the remark, he replied: "They (politicians)
promised to have national reconciliation, peace and prosperity."
questioned whether all politicians and government officials were following their
orders from First Prime Minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
advised politicians not to become arrogant and usurp power for their own
"The government is like a boat and the people are the water-if there
is no water then the boat can't move."-Reuters