Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR civilians tell of life on Phnom Vour




KR civilians tell of life on Phnom Vour

KR civilians tell of life on Phnom Vour

P HNOM LAO, Kampong Trach - Kampot. Dragging pigs, bullocks and dogs, with radio cassettes and televisions in their wooden carts, hundred of Khmer Rouge civilians came down from their mountain stronghold.

They didn't talk about war and terrorism - they talked about a peaceful life growing rice and corn and bananas.

Civilians who lived for years under General Noun Paet smiled for cameras and talked to journalists for the first time.

They defected and left their villages in droves when government forces, with the crucial help of rebel soldiers, captured their base - which even the Vietnamese couldn't capture when they invaded in 1979.

"I have to come down the mountain to surrender to the government... it was heavy shelling from Saturday early morning to night," said Seb Rith, a Khmer Rouge civilian.

On Wednesday morning Oct 26, two days after the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) took the base, 216 families clambered down from the mountain.

The defectors were coy about talking of their military and terrorist activities to reporters at the RCAF base. But they were more forthcoming about their everyday lifestyle.

Lam Kol, a Khmer Rouge resident, described his life and experience on the mountain.

He said he lived for 14 years in Prey Vi village about two kilometers southeast of Phnom Vour with his wife and three children.

He said led a peaceful life of rural bliss under the guerrillas and had not taken up arms for them.

" My family has lived in happiness. I grew rice, corns, sesames, soybeans, bananas , papayas and green beans to support my family," Kol said.

He said every day during the past year he sold his products to villagers living under Royal Government control in Kampong Trach district.

Those villagers always came to Prey Pi to buy my products, he said.

He said that on the mountain there were small, simple markets.

"In each store, I saw flashlight batteries, flip-flops, shoes, boots, sausages, dried fish, smoked fish, fish paste, salt, garlic, chili, pepper, soy sauce, cigarettes and sugar on sale."

"These things were sold in Kampong Trach for money."

He said most families on the mountain had cassettes, radios and televisions - brought from government-controlled villagers - that could receive IBC and TVK broadcasts.

MOST VIEWED

  • CDRI poll: Most happy but disappointments still exist

    A survey has found that over 70 per cent of Cambodian youths and adults approve of the direction the country is headed in, with the majority of respondents saying they had been doing better financially over the past five years. However, more than half said they

  • Drugs raid on Miami Night Club, 50 held

    Anti-drugs police raided a club in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune in Phnom Penh early on Thursday, arresting some 50 people and confiscating drug-producing equipment and suspected illegal substances. Deputy National Police chief Mok Chito said on Thursday that police conducted the raid

  • Phnom Penh: The street food you adore, but given a refined twist

    There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking. This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in. With the concept of

  • Battambang court releases minor who shot boy

    The Battambang provincial court on Thursday released a 14-year-old boy who had been detained for accidentally firing a home-made gun and killing a nine-year-old boy in Samlot district on Tuesday, provincial court spokesman Tieng Sambor said. Sambor told The Post on Thursday that following the