It is always very difficult to be "civilized" when dealing with the
issue of the "uncivilized" Khmer Rouge (KR). It is especially difficult
when he or she, as a Khmer, has been victimized by this genocidal group in the past.
Nonetheless, having been a Khmer Rouge victim, I will try very, very hard to be as
"civilized" as possible in order to make my tiny voice be heard in the
Phnom Penh Post.
I recently read the argument between Mr Suong Sikoeun and Laurence Picq, the former
husband and wife, with great interest. If one is to follow their comments or arguments
closely, one can easily and clearly draw a conclusion about their involvement with
Mr Ieng Sary, as well as the connection to other KR leadership.
Since both were at one time or another deeply involved with the KR organization,
their current conflict or disagreement can shed some light about Mr Ieng Sary's responsibility
for genocide in Cambodia. The more these two publicly argue their opposing views,
the more the truth can come out in the open about the KR in general. They, having
been so close to the KR, probably know a great deal about the group especially during
those dark years. Such insider's information about the KR and its leadership can
be exposed and quite useful to all Khmer who have been victimized and suffered under
the KR regime. We'll have to wait and see how far they will go on this matter.
Personally, I found their argument very helpful to understand a little more about
the group that was responsible for the death of nearly my entire family and millions
of my fellow countrymen during their reign of terror. I have no doubt about Mr Suong
Sikoeun's boss (Mr Ieng Sary's) responsibility and guilt for the senseless cold-blooded
murder of my family members and millions other Khmer. Sadly, I was unfortunate enough
to have witnessed the entire ordeal some 18 years ago. The tragic event still vividly
replays in my memory on a daily basis.
There is no denying one simple fact. People, such as Mr Ieng Sary can run, but they
can not hide from their responsibility for crimes against my family, against the
Khmer people, and against humanity. I only wish that I could personally bring them
all to justice on behalf of the millions of dead Khmer and my dead family members.
Can anyone blame Mr Suong Sikoeun for defending Mr Ieng Sary after their 40 year
association? His loyalty to his boss is like that of a dog being loyal to his master,
the one who fed and cared for him through all those difficult years. Mr Suong Sikoeun
was even compelled to leave his wife and children behind in order to serve under
Mr Ieng Sary and the KR organization. He would probably even kill for Mr Ieng Sary
and the KR's behalf, if he was asked. After more than 30 years of being a proud KR
cadre and having Mr Pol Pot as his "hero", I am most certain that both
he and Mr Ieng Sary had their hands stained with gallons of innocent Khmer blood.
Their guilt is just as much as other KR leaders. Without a doubt, there is no such
a thing as a "good" KR as Mr Suong Sikoeun is now trying to portray Mr
Ieng Sary to the world. Mr Suong Sikoeun's former wife, Laurence Picq, can very well
testify to this fact.
Let's assume that KR, such as Mr Ieng Sary or Mr Suong Sikoeun for that matter, did
not actually do the killing. We must give them both the benefit of the doubt since
we don't have yet "tangible proof", or the "smoking gun", needed
to prove their guilt. Yet, after more than 30 years of being KR, after holding top
positions in the KR regime, with millions of dead Khmer under their noses, how could
they not be responsible? How could they show no remorse? No apology? No responsibility?
No regret whatsoever? How dare they deny these facts? Have they no shame? No conscience
As the saying goes, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." The KR
rank-and-file may have been the ones who did the actual killing, but they are simply
the "gun" of which others pull the trigger. They are in fact under direct
order or control of the top KR leadership. People such as Ieng Sary and perhaps even
Soung Sikoeun himself were part of this KR leadership. They are in fact the "people
who kill the millions of innocent Khmer." Innocent people such as my family
and others who were tragically killed in a ditch at the hands of the KR. I was there!
I survived the massacre. I am here only to bare witness to this massacre some 18
years ago. Am I to forgive and forgot all that happened? Why should KR's victims,
such as myself, be so forgiving of mass murder? How could the Royal Government now
be so forgiving of the serial killers? No, there is no denying it. All the KR top
leadership, including Mr Ieng Sary, should get whatever they deserve. Their victims,
dead or alive, simply deserve full justice.
I have already forgiven the KR rank-and-file simply because they were "just
doing their job". They were simply "brain-washed" not to value human
life, especially Khmer life. However, the top leadership, such as Mr Ieng Sary, should
not escape from their crime(s) against humanity. I, in my own way, will try to make
sure that the KR atrocities will not be forgotten. It is the last thing that I do
in my life. Make no mistake about this, I live only for such a purpose.
Mr Suong Sikoeun and Laurence Picq's quarrel could be a great asset as we could learn
so much from them. It is especially true for the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC).
Why? Simply because this case is similar to that of the communist KR (the hardliners)
and the capitalist KR (DNUM/Ieng Sary). Both were comrades once, but now they hate
each other's guts and will fight against each other until death. They will eventually
self-destruct or at the very least be weakened considerably. Let them fight each
other for a while. The RGC could just simply wait and reap the benefit. It is simple
and very easy with just a little patience. It is a better move than trying the forced
"integration." Does the RGC realistically think that these mass murderers
can be "integrated" or "reformed?" Can the RGC trust their loyalty?
Some of them have had over 30 years to reform themselves and they have failed miserably.
What about "Peace and reconciliation?" It will come, be a little patient.
Cambodia has been at war before the time of Jesus Christ, not to mention the past
26 years; surely the Khmer can last another few years.
By the way, the two Royal Governments of Cambodia (CPP and FUNCIPEC) better stop
fighting with each other or the KR will instead "reap the benefit" without
having to do anything at all. They are waiting and encouraging the two parties' quarrel.
Leave other opposition parties alone. Remember that they are harmless compared to
the KR. Cambodia desperately wants and needs "peace," but certainly not
- Ranachith (Ronnie) Yimsut, Oregon, USA.