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Sunday, Sep 26, 2021
Outlook.com

The Red Challenge

A split in the Khmer Rouge threatens the new-found peace

The Red Challenge
The Red Challenge
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

LUCKY for you," remarks Bin Vanna over his shoulder to a visitor riding in the back seat of his four-wheel-drive vehicle. "Security better now." Along the 188 km of bumpy road between Phnom Penh and this scruffy provincial capital there are invisible landmarks. Here, one is told, is where that German lady lost a leg from a Khmer Rouge attack earlier this year. And there is the site of a robbery by the Khmer Rouge who emerged from those hills over there to ambush travellers, about three months ago.

Bin, now chief of police for Krakor district of Pursat province, was 17 in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took power. Is he glad that Ieng Sary—Pol Pot’s foreign minister and second in command of the regime under which two million Cambodians perished—has defected to the government? Yes, he replies, "but not 100 per cent. If Ieng Sary does not surrender, I think the war will go on for a long time." "We should kill him," says a motorcycle taxi driver in Phnom Penh, also a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime. "But we have no choice."

Ieng Sary...

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