Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 05 february 1999

The Gecko: 05 february 1999

The Gecko: 05 february 1999

How much did Ieng Sary know about Toul Sleng? New York Times corespondent

Henry Kamm asked the DNUM chief that question some years ago. In his recently published

book Cambodia: report from a stricken land, Kamm quotes Sary on the S-21 torture

center: "I thought it was a reeducation center, and after reeducation people

would be sent back. But later I noticed they didn't come back. I knew people were

accused there without justification. I don't know if Pol Pot knew. Only two people

knew for certain, because they must have been there: Nuon Chea, who was responsible

in the party for security, and Son Sen, who was responsible for state security."

What about starvation in the countryside? Kamm asked about that too and when did

Sary find out? He replied: "From my children, in 1976. All four lived in communes

around Phnom Penh and were often sent to the countryside to gather herbs for traditional

medicines. They came to me and said, 'Papa, people are dying of hunger. They are

eating gruel, not rice.' I confronted Pol Pot, not at a meeting but in tete-a-tete

and questioned him. He said I was against the regime. From then on, whenever I came

back from a foreign trip...I asked myself, 'Will I go home or to (S-21)?'"

** Was the US trade delegation visit a high-profile VIP affair? You

bet. They made a side trip to Siem Reap to check out the temples. With the size

and seriousness of the advance security party at Angkor Wat, local hawkers thought

the Prime Minister had come to town. Vendors were hustled out of the way and pesky

kids given a whack on the head to get them moving. The next morning two of the delegation

went for a jog, with a truckload of AK-toting security and four escort cars in tow.

** Burma still likes the idea of throttling the press and manages to

get away with it. The defections of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan made banner headlines

in the New Light of Myanmar and other media outlets. The arrest and detention of

General Pinochet in London didn't get a mention.

** If you like Jazz and Blues, guess what? There's a new club in town offering

both. Check out the Mata Hari Club just behind the Riverside Bistro.

MOST VIEWED

  • Gov’t not using EU aid for poor

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday refuted as “baseless”, claims that the government had used financial aid from the EU to implement the programme to identify and support poor and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. The prime minister was responding to Roth Sothy, a

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • ‘Single Portal’ integrated registration system welcomes nearly 50 firms

    Forty-seven companies have successfully registered via a newly-launched information technology e-business registration platform as of the end of the second week of this month, Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Phan Phalla said. Six ministries and state-run institutions have been integrated into a

  • Battambang artist brings giant animals to life

    The giant reptile’s gaping mouth appears ready to consume its latest victim. It stands taller than a person and is incredibly life-like with authentic colours, a long spiky tail and detailed scales adorning its entire body. If it wasn’t 13m long, you may