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Rebel technocrats

Rebel technocrats


SURGEON Thiounn Thioeunn, 78, is one of the longest serving Khmer Rouge leaders

and has been in charge of public health since 1971.

He received his medical training in France. Historians say Thioeunn was a member

of one of the richest and most influential families in Cambodia. He and his three

brothers, Chum, Mumm and Prasith all studied in Paris. They all developed left-wing

contacts and were reputed to be fiercely nationalistic.

Thioeunn was a former professor of surgery at the Phnom Penh medical school and was

later dean.

Thioeunn's answer to any question about politics: "I am a medical doctor that

is all - I know nothing, I know nothing."


Chan Youran, 62, a lawyer and public administrator, is a graduate in law and

holds a doctorate in public administration.

Youran held positions in the Cambodian government prior to 1971 including: Chief

of Bureau of Administrative and Social Affairs at the Council of Ministers; Under-director

for human resources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; first secretary of the Cambodian

Embassy in Paris.

Positions within the KR include: Minister of Popular Education and Youth 1971-1975;

Ambassador to China; Ambassador to Pakistan; Ambassador to Beijing for the National

Supreme National Council until December 1993; Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign

Affairs and Minister in charge of Traditions, Culture and Khmer Literature in the

government of national solidarity and national salvation, July 1994.

"We never shared those views, never, never. Cambodia is composed of many people

not just farmers." - Youran on whether the defectors are finding it hard to

abandon the old KR peasant philosophy.


Mak Ben, 54, holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris. He

is a graduate from the Institute of Enterprise Management and also the International

Institute of Public Administration in Paris.

He served as: Chargé d'Affaires for the embassy of the coalition government

in Beijing, 1985; Chargé d'Affaires in the Cambodian embassy in Yugoslavia,

1987; member of the Secretariat of the Supreme National Council 1992-93; named Minister

of Rural Affairs, Agriculture and Water July 1994 .

"Don't ask me I don't know." - Mak Ben on how much money the KR has and

where it is.


In Sopheap, 55, an engineer, graduated from the Ecole Centrale in Paris. He left

Paris in 1972 to go to the control zone of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. Later

he served as: a counselor at the Beijing Embassy;

member of the DK delegation to the general assembly of the United Nations in 1981;

Ambassador to Egypt, Somalia and Sudan, 1985 - 1986; a member of the KR government

since July 1994.

"We are reintergrated in the national community. What the national community

asks we should follow." - Sopheap on what they would do if asked to testify

against Ta Mok and Nuon Chea.


Kor Bun Heng, 52, was the rebel's spokesman and adviser. In the 1980s he was

a ministerial adviser for Democratic Kampuchea at the United Nations. He was reportedly

close to Khieu Samphan. Given the title "Ambassador" from May 1991, he

was the first spokesman of the KR in Phnom Penh in 1992.

"We think like the old people so we live like the old people." - Heng on

his plans for the future.

-Biographical details were obtained from Raoul Jennar's book Les Cles du Cambodge,

David Chandler's Brother Number One and interviews.

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