Despite the late politician’s chequered relationship with the CPP, leading officials praise his contributions to the country
Mourners hold a photo of Sin Pinsen at his funeral Friday.
ABOUT 500 police and government officials gathered last Thursday at Wat Lanka to mourn the death of Sin Pinsen, a 62-year-old newly elected secretary of state in the Ministry of Interior who died of a stomach illness October 20.
Sar Kheng, deputy prime minister and Minister of the Interior, presided over the funeral and lit Sin Pinsen's cremation fire as a gesture of respect to his former colleague.
"Sin Pinsen was a brilliant general of the Cambodian national police," Kheng said, "Sin Pinsen was a brave soldier involved in toppling Pol Pot's regime and rescuing the Cambodian people from genocide."
Sin Pinsen, also known as Sin Sen, participated in a coup that set up an autonomous zone near the Mekong River just one year after the 1993 elections.
Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information, said that though Sin Pinsen was involved in the coup, he should be forgiven for his great mistake.
"I think that Pinsen believed the 1993 election was not free and fair," he said.
Cheam Yeap, a CPP lawmaker who was present at the funeral, told the Post that Sin Pinsen left the Cambodian People's Party after the 1993 election to launch a coup and shortly afterwards defected to Funcinpec, holding positions as a member of the National Assembly and the Senate. Sin Pinsen returned to the CPP in early 2008 following Funcinpec‘s loss of popularity.
"I regret losing Pinsen, because he used to be my student, and he was a CPP loyalist," Cheam Yeap said.
I regret losing pinsen, because he used to be my student, and a cpp loyalist.
Sen Sopheap, Sin Pinsen's son, said Sunday that he was honoured to have such high-ranking officials participate in his father's funeral.
"I and my family are very happy with the presentation of the Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng ," Sen Sopheap said, adding that he hoped to build a memorial stupa for his father.
But Cheam Yeap said he had no knowledge of any plans to build the stupa.