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Rewriting Cambodian History to ‘Adapt’ it to a New Political Context: The Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party's Historiography (1979–1991)

  • K. Viviane Frings


In the midst of Pol Pot's struggle for the control of the Cambodian Communist Party in the 1970s, the subject of the Party's history came to assume a crucial importance. In 1976, the date of the foundation of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) became so important an issue that veteran Party members who remembered that the Party had been founded at a date previous to that claimed by Pol Pot, were tortured and killed for that reason. History was rewritten to suit the interests of Pol Pot's faction and the political circumstances of the time. A particularly sensitive subject was the role played by the Vietnamese in the formation of the Khmer People's Revolutionary Party, the predecessor of the CPK in the 1950s. After the relations between the Vietnamese and Cambodian Parties turned sour in the mid-1970s, the CPK deleted all allusions to the Vietnamese role from its official Party History.



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1 See Chandler, David P., ‘Revising the Past in Democratic Kampuchea: When was the Birthday of the Party?’, in Pacific Affairs, vol. 56, n.2 (Summer 1983), pp. 288300.

2 For a comparison between a 1973 and a 1974 Party Histories, see Kiernan, Ben, How Pol Pot Came to Power: A History of Communism in Kampuchea, 1930–1915 (London/New York: Verso, 1985), pp. 364–7.

3 The author is grateful to Michael Vickery for giving her access to his collection of Cambodian newspapers and journals, and to David Chandler for lending her other important documents. Also, she wishes to thank both of them for their comments on a previous draft of the present paper.

4 This report was not published in full in the PRK newspapers, but a summary was given in the Army paper, Kong toap padevat (Revolutionary Army) (27 06 1981), p. 3. Some excerpts were translated in Foreign Broadcasts Information Service, East Asia [henceforth quoted as FBIS] on 28 May 1981.

5 ‘Seckdei songkhep ompi pak pracheachon padevat kampuchea’ (‘Summary on the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party’), in Kampuchea, n.145 (24 06 1982), pp. 56.

6 ‘Provattesa songkhep robos pak’ (‘Summary of Party History’), in Kampuchea, n.353–4 (3 07 1986), pp. 3, 9;‘Provattesa songkhep robos pak pracheachon padevat kampuchea’ (‘Summary of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party's History’), in Kampuchea, n. 404–5 (20 06 1987), p. 3.The text published in Kampuchea in 1987 claims to be a summary of an article published in Neak khosna (The Informant), vol. 6, 1986. As it is very similar to the one published in Kampuchea in 1986, I suspect that the latter was also based on the article published in Neak khosna. Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain a copy of that issue of Neak khosna. It would have provided a valuable comparison because Neak khosna which was published by the Ministry of Education and Information was a journal of more limited diffusion than Kampuchea, the organ of the Front.

7 Both were published in Pracheachon (The People), the Party newspaper: Ompi moha sonnibat robos pak pracheachon padevat kampuchea‘ (‘On the Congresses of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party’), in Pracheachon, n.415 (15 07 1989), pp. 1, 4;and ‘Pak pracheachon padevat kampuchea chea neak chat tang noeung doeuk noam padevat kampuchea’ (‘The Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party is the Organizer and the Guide of the Kampuchean Revolution’), in Pracheachon, n.781 to 785 (25 to 29 06 1991).The last one was also published in Neak khosna, n.6–7 (June–July 1991), pp. 45–67. I did not notice any difference between the two texts published in 1991.

8 In 1979, Chey Saphon became Director General of SPK, the Kampuchean newsagency, and Chairman of the Kampuchean Journalists Association, and in 1980 Editor in Chief of Kampuchea. In 1981, he was mentioned as a member of the Party Central Committee and of the Propaganda and Education Commission, and as Vice-Chairman of the Organization Commission. However, he was not re-elected as a member of the Central Committee in October 1985see ‘State of Cambodia List of Officials’, JPRS-SEA (24 10 1990), p. 7;and Vickery, Michael, Kampuchea: Politics, Economics and Society (London: Pinter Publishers, 1986), pp. 74, 81). Saphon is one of the CPP candidates who ‘resigned’ their candidature after the May 1993 elections.

9 PRK, Provattevitya kampuchea, thnak 8 (History of Kampuchea, level 8) (Phnom Penh: Ministry of Education, 1987).

10 When Heng Samrin read the text of this Party History during the meeting organized on 28 June 1982 to celebrate the Party's 31st birthday, he said that the Third Party Congress had been held in ‘early January 1979’ (Voice of the People of Kampuchea [henceforth quoted as VoPK for broadcasts in Khmer] and Saporamean Kampuchea [henceforth quoted as SPK for broadcasts in foreign languages], 28 June 1982; FBIS, 2 July 1982, p. H4). However, I cannot believe that Kampuchea would have carried a printing mistake of that importance. Therefore, the printed date must reflect the official Party thinking of the time.

11 Kong toap padevat, 27 June 1981, p. 3. Kathleen Gough reported having seen a photograph of forty-four members ‘sitting at desks in a classroom at the Third Party Congress early in 1979’ (‘Interviews in Kampuchea’, in Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, vol. 14, n.4 (1982), p. 57, n.2).

12 Fourth Congress Resolutions, SPK, 29 05 1981;FBIS, 29 05 1981, p. H16.

13 Op. cit. (italics in the text).

14 Ibid, (emphasis added).

15 Op. cit., pp. 20, 75, 87.

16 VoPK, 28 06 1982;FBIS, 2 07 1982, p. H2.

17 VoPK, 28 06 1983;FBIS, 1 07 1983, p. H2.

18 See, for example, the ‘Summary of Annotated Party History’ written by the Eastern Zone Military Political Service in 1973, published in Cambodia 1975–1978 Rendezvous with Death, ed. by Jackson, Karl D. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), p. 254.

19 1986 Party History, op. cit.

20 The 1973 Party History mentioned the same anti-French movements and commented that they were defeated because they lacked a ‘just and scientific class policy’ (op. cit., p. 252).Pol Pot had made the same point in his 29 September 1977 Speech which publicly revealed the existence of the CPK, although he did not give the name of any anti-French hero (‘Long Live the 17th Anniversary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea’ (New York, n.d.), pp. 14–17).

21 Taboulet, Georges, La Geste française en Indochine (Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1956), vol. 2, pp. 645–6;and Osborne, Milton, The French Presence in Cochinchina and Cambodia: Rule and Response (1859–1905) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969), p. 187.See also Kiernan, Ben, ‘Introduction’, in Peasants and Politics in Kampuchea, 1942–1981, ed. by Kiernan, Ben and Boua, Chanthou (London: Zed Press, 1982), p. 2.Interestingly, PRK sources, making of ‘Achar Sva’ an anti-colonial hero, gave him the honorary title of achar, or former monk, while French colonial sources always referred to him as Assoa, or A-sva, with the pejorative prefix a- marking his origins as a slave. As far as I know, there is no evidence that Sva had effectively been an achar. But an anti-colonial hero could not decently be called by a derogatory name by revolutionary historians. In their eyes, he deserved an honorary name.

22 Osborne, The French Presence, p. 215.

23 Ibid., p. 228.

24 See Osborne, Milton, ‘Peasant Politics in Cambodia: The 1916 Affair’, in Modern Asian Studies, vol. 12, n.2 (1978), pp. 217–43.

25 Osborne, The French Presence, pp. 187, 332. Interestingly, none of t h e P R K documents mentions that Pokambor was not an ethnic Khmer but a Kuy.

26 Taboulet, La Geste française, p. 645. The 1987 textbook mentions Achar Sva and Pokambor's cooperation with Vietnamese. However, it concedes that at that time: ‘the internationalist ideal of the patriots of the three countries was not strong yet’ (op. cit., p. 21).

27 See Governor Thomson's ‘Note sur le Cambodge’, 20 01 1886, quoted in Osborne, The French Presence, p. 214.

28 Ibid., p. 222.

29 See Porter, Gareth, ‘Vietnamese Communist Policy Toward Kampuchea, 1930–1970’, in Revolution and its Aftermath in Kampuchea: Eight Essays, ed. by Chandler, David P. and Kiernan, Ben (New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, Monograph Series No. 25, 1983), pp. 5860.See also Englebert, Thomas & Goscha, Christopher E., ‘Falling Out of Touch: A Study on Vietnamese Communist Policy Towards an Emerging Cambodian Communist Movement, 1930–1975 (Clayton: Monash University, Monash Asia Institute, Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, 1995), pp. 59.An history of the ICP published in Pracheachon on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the foundation of the ICP, on 3 February 1987, notes that the ICP had been previously called Vietnamese Communist Party and was transformed into an Indochinese Communist Party after ‘the Communist International set out the principle that there should be a united party organization to lead the working class of the three peoples of Indochina to fight the common enemy’. However, this text adopts the date of 3 February 1930 for the foundation of the ICP and does not say when the change of name occurred: in February 1930 or later?(‘Kalappavat somkhan somkhan knong provattesa ney pak kommuynis endochen’ [‘Important moments in the history of the Indochinese Communist Party’], in Pracheachon, n.136 (3 02 1987), p. 3).

30 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 9.

31 Op. cit., p. 22.

32 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 13.The 1987 textbook admits that before World War II, the Cambodian working class was weak and few in numbers, and that only Vietnamese workers played an important role in the creation of the revolutionary movement (op. cit., p. 22).

33 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 17.

34 See Englebert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, p. 9.

35Tim Hieu ve Dang CPC (Du Thao)’ [‘A Study of the Kampuchean Party (Draft Form)’], quoted in ibid., p. 10.

36 French Sûreté 1930–1931 Annual Report mentioned that in March–April 1931, after a worker at the Russei Keo Electricity Plant had been killed in an industrial accident, leaflets appeared at work-sites calling for an electricity workers' strike, improved conditions and higher wages (Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 11)

37 Op. cit., p. 48.

38 Tim Hieu Dat Huoc Campuchia Anh Hung, Hanoi, 1979, pp. 69–70;quoted in Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 22–3.

39 Op. cit., p. 48.

40 On this Congress, see Khanh, Huynh Kim, Vietnamese Communism, 1925–1945 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982), pp. 186–8, which gives a list of the Congress participants.

41 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 12–13.See also Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, p. 10.

42 Op. cit., pp. 49, 67.

43 Engelbert & Goscha (Falling Out of Touch, p. 13) give the names of the three bodies in Vietnamese.

44 See Chandler, David P., The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945 (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1991), p. 32. The 1987 textbook also associates Hem Chieu with the Association of the Black Star and blames Sihanouk for arresting him, forcing him out of the priesthood and declaring him a traitor (op. cit., pp. 41–2).

45 1982 Party History, op. cit.

46 Kiernan noted that this attack took place on 7 August and that the Khmer—Vietnamese forces were commanded by Dap Chhuon, Prince Norodom Chantaraingsey, a woman called Leath Muon, and Son Ngoc Minh (How Pol Pot, p. 53).

47 Op. cit., pp. 51–2.

48 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 82.

49 On this conference, see ibid., p. 79.

50 Op. cit., pp. 52–3.

51 Ibid., pp. 53, 67. Pracheachon, n.782 (26 06 1991), p. 3.

52 See Vickery, Kampuchea, p. 61.

53 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 80. Kiernan also reports that the Viet Minh radio station celebrated the second anniversary of Son Ngoc Minh's proclamation on 19 June 1952 (ibid., p. 94)

54 Ibid., p. 79. See also Chandler, David P., Brother Number One: A Political Biography of Pol Pot (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1993), p. 32;and The Tragedy, pp. 47–9.

55 ‘Khmer Armed Resistance’, pamphlet of the Khmer Peace Committee, 10 1952;summarized as ‘The Anti-Imperialist Struggle in Cambodia: The Early Years’, in Conflict in Indochina, ed. by Marvin, and Gettleman, Susan, and Lawrence, and Kaplan, Carol (New York: Random House, 1970), pp. 5764;see also Vickery, Kampuchea, p. 175, n.8, and pp. 182–3, n.10.

56 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 79–80. Kiernan calls the two committees: National Central Executive Committee of the Khmer Issarak Association, and Provisional People's Liberation Central Committee (kana mouta keaha mochhoeum bondo asan).

57 Ibid., pp. 81–2.

58 VoPK, 18 06 1981;FBIS, 23 06 1981, pp. H3–H4 (emphasis added).

59 VoPK, 19 06 1982;FBIS, 24 06 1982, pp. H4–H8.

60 No public meeting was organized, but an ‘army emulation conference’ was held in the Ministry of Defense from 11 to 19 June.

61 VoPK, 19 06 1985;FBIS, 21 06 1985, p. H1.Interestingly, the Party's leadership over the Army was not mentioned in the report of Bou Thang's speech broadcast on the same day by SPK in English (FBIS, 21 06 1985, p. H2), whereas the Army paper's editorial devoted to the KPRAF's anniversary also stressed that: ‘The heroic Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Army was founded on 19 June 1951 under the leadership of the Khmer People's Revolutionary Party […] in a state of uprising and valiant struggle against the enemies of all stripes for the noble cause of national independence, freedom and socialism’ (‘We are proud of our army's current progress’, Kong toap padevat editorial, VoPK, 19 June 1985; FBIS, 21 June 1985, p. H4).

62 Op. cit., p. 76.

63 1991 Party History, op. cit., p. 53;Defense Minister Tie Banh's ‘interview’ on the occasion of the Cambodian People's Armed Forces' 40th anniversary, VoPC, 18 06 1991;FBIS, 19 06 1991, p. 28.

64 This date is also mentioned in Chea Sim's opening speech and in the Congress Resolutions. See Vickery, Kampuchea, p. 62 and Kong toap padevat, 27 06 1981.

65 See Vickery, Kampuchea, pp. 60–2, 65–7.

66 The 1973 Party History starts with the following note: ‘On the occasion of our […] anniversary, it is good to take note of the following points: —Subsequent to the 1966–1967 decision of the Central Committee and the Committee of Liberation, we took 30 September 1951 as the Party's date of founding. The reasons were as follows: —30 09 1951 was the date of opening of the first conference during which the decision to form the Party was made justifiedly and decisively. —Also, 1951 was the year organization of central committees was begun; the mission of these committees was to set up the Party’ (op. cit., p. 251). However, when further in the text it speaks of the Party's creation, this Party History notes that: ‘…we held a conference in 1951 and decided to organize a committee to teach Marxism—Leninism in the revolutionary movement to our people (the farmers)’ and that ‘in 1951 a Party propagation and formation committee was set up’ (p. 254) without giving any precise date, which suggests that there was some incertitude or controversy on the exact date and that the introduction was later added to the text to conform to the political line of the time.

67 Keo Meas' Confession, 30 09 1976. Keo Meas was the head of the committee in charge of writing the first Party History. He asserted in his ‘confession’ written under torture at Tuol Sleng that the date of 30 September 1951 was a compromise to unify the comrades of 1951, like himself, close to the Vietnamese, and those who joined the Party after 1960 and were suspicious of Hanoi.See also Becker, Elizabeth, When the War Was Over (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), pp. 157–9. 278–9.

68 See Chandler, ‘Revising the Past in Democratic Kampuchea’, op. cit.

69 Tim hiêu dât nu'o'c Campuchia anh húng, Hanoi, 1979;quoted in Vickery, Kampuchea, p. 61.

70 Direction des Services de Sécurité du Haut Commissariat en Indochine, Note sur l'organisation politique et administrative du Viet-Minh au Cambodge, 12 1952, p. 19, quoted in Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 82;see also Vickery, Kampuchea, n.25, p. 184.

71 The Second National [sic] Congress of the ICP was held from 11 to 19 02 1951;see Rousset, Pierre, Le Parti communiste vietnamien (Paris: Maspero, 1975), p. 154;and Fall, Bernard, Le Viet-Minh: La République Démocratique du Viet-Nam, 1945–1960 (Paris: Cahiers de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Armand Colin, 1960), p. 149.

72 1989 Party History, op. cit.; 1991 Party History, p. 54.This is in line with the 1973 Party Hisory (op. cit., p. 254).

73 Quoted in Porter, ‘Vietnamese Communist Policy Toward Kampuchea’, p. 90, n.43.See also Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 83–5.

74 See Vickery, Michael, ‘Looking Back at Cambodia, 1942–1976’, in Peasants and Politics in Kampuchea, 1942–1981, pp. 98–9;Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 49–51, and p. 204, n.16;The Tragedy, p. 85;and Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 158–64.

75 ‘The Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party is the Vanguard of the Cambodian Working Class and People’, VoPK, 23 06 1989;FBIS, 29 06 1989, p. 43.

76 On this Congress, see Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 190–3;Chandler, The Tragedy, pp. 113–15;and Brother Number One, pp. 61–2.

77 An article published in the Vietnam Courier in 1981 asserts that: ‘At the [Second] Congress Pol Pot tried to change the Party's name with a view to repudiating the line of the Party and its old-time leaders in the previous period of the Kampuchean revolution, but failed in this attempt since his faction was still a minority’(‘The Three Previous Congresses of the People's Revolutionary Party of Kampuchea’, in Vietnam Courier, vol. 19, n.7 (07 1981), p. 7).A documentary article from the Propaganda and Education Commission made the same point in 06 1989 (‘The KPRP is the Vanguard of the Cambodian Working Class and People’, VoPK, 23 June 1989; FBIS, 29 June 1989, p. 43).

78 Keo Meas' Confession, ‘Talking about […] 1951 and 1960’, pp. 3ff; quoted in Chandler, The Tragedy, p. 336, n.80.

79 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 220.It is unlikely that Pol Pot suggested the name of Communist Party before he went to China. See also Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, p. 67.

80 SPK, 28 05 1981;FBIS, 29 05 1981, p. H6.

81 Op. cit., p. 259.

82 See Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 63–4, and p. 206, n.37;The Tragedy, pp. 120–1;and Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 241–2, n.135.

83 Op. cit., p. 111.

84 Chandler, Brother Number One, p. 64.Heder cites a Vietnamese source which concurs that Tou Samouth was killed by Sihanouk's police (Heder, Stephen, ‘Kampuchea's Armed Struggle: The Origins of an Independent Revolution’, in Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars,. vol. 11, n.1 (1979), p. 21, n.5).

85 See the indictment report presented on 15 August 1979 at the People's Revolutionary Tribunal in Phnom Penh; SPK, 15 08 1979; FBIS, 17 August 1979, p. H2; and SPK, 19 August 1979; FBIS, 20 August 1979, p. H5.See also Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 360.

86 On this congress, see Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 200–2;Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 66–7;The Tragedy, p. 338, n.8;and Vickery, Kampuchea, p. 17.

87 Op. cit., p. 259.

88 The 1987 textbook asserts that the participants to this conference were mostly members of Pol Pot's clique, and comments that: ‘This way of convening a conference is contrary to the principle of building the Party’ (op. cit., pp. 111–12).

89 On this trip, see Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 70, 75–7;The Tragedy, pp. 148–50;Heder, ‘Kampuchea's Armed Struggle’, pp. 4–7;and Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 220–3.

90 A captured CPK document entitled: ‘A short guide for Application of Party Statutes’ affirms that: ‘Our party is called “The Communist Party of Kampuchea” in accordance with the recommendations passed by the Central Committee in September 1966’ (in Carney, Timothy M., Communist Party Power in Kampuchea (Cambodia): Documents and Discussion (Ithaca: Cornell University, Southeast Asia Program, Data Paper n.106, 01 1977), p. 56).On the 09 1966 meeting, see Chandler, The Tragedy, p. 149;and Brother Number One, p. 79.

91 Op. cit., p. 57.

92 Ibid., p. 90. On Operation Samakki, see Chandler, The Tragedy, p. 71, and p. 328, n.59.

93 Op. cit., pp. 90, 96, 98.

94 See for example p. 105.

95 Ibid., p. 75.

96 On the ambiguous meaning of 17 04 1975 in the PRK, see Viviane Frings, ‘The 17 April 1975 Commemoration in the People's Republic of Kampuchea’ (unpublished paper).

97 Develop the Spirit of 17 April 1975: Solidarity of All the People to Fight the Enemy’, Neak khosna article, VoPK, 17 04 1986;FBIS, 22 04 1986, p. H1;also published in Pracheachon, 13 04 1986, pp. 1, 6.This sounds like the sensationalist description made in the late 1970s by Barron, and Paul, (Murder of a Gentle Land, New York, Reader's Digest Press, 1977)and other partisans of the ‘standard total view’ denounced by Vickery's, Cambodia 1975–1982 (Sydney/Hempstead, Allen & Unwin, 1984).

98 See Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 368–70.

99 On the importance accorded to the 17 04 1975 victory by the PRK Government, see ‘The 17 April 1975 Commemoration in the PRK’.

100 Kampuchean National United Front for National Construction and Defense.

101 SPK, 18 08 1983; FBIS, 21 August 1983, p. H5.

102 Chandler, Brother Number One, p. 216, n.30, and David Chandler, personal communication.

103 In their August 1979 ‘trial‘, Pol Pot and Ieng Sary were charged with having ‘usurped the party leadership and set up the Angkar, a dictatorial and fascist organization to serve their own ambitions’ (SPK, 15 August 1979; FBIS, 18 August 1979, p. H6). This may refer to Pol Pot's by-passing of Party Deputy Secretary Nuon Chea after he had circulated rumours according to which Chea would have received money from his cousin Sieu Heng (see Chandler, Brother Number One, p. 66; and Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, pp. 63–4).

104 ‘Chey chumneah thorn theng 17 mesa koeu chea kdei mouteaneapheap robos pracheachon yoeung’ (‘The great iy April victory is the pride of our people’), in Pracheachon, n.156, 13 04 1987, p. 2. Similarly, the 1982 Party History writes that: ‘Their clique profited by the loyal assistance of Vietnam in the struggle against America and Lon Nol, but at the same time they had stratagems to fight against Vietnam’.

105 Vietnamese sources also make Pol Pot's betrayal start from 1960. They note that a new line was passed during the September 1960 Congress, although they assert that Pol Pot's desire for significant change was mitigated by the ‘widespread influence of the ICP in the [KhPRP]’ and the links the Vietnamese still had with veteran Khmer allies in the KhPRP (Tim Hieu ve Dang CPC [Du Thao] [A Study of the Kampuchean Party (Draft Form)], quoted in Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, p. 58).

106 Smaradei thnay 17 mesa 1975…’, p. 6. The 1991 Party History does not mention Chinese help to Pol Pot and defines his ideology as extra-leftist without saying that he had been influenced by Maoism (op. cit., p. 59). This is obviously due to the change in international circumstances caused by the Chinese starting to distance themselves from the Khmer Rouge, but it is also a better rendering of Pol Pot's chauvinist and independent ideology.

107 1982 Party Hisory, op. cit. (emphasis added).

108 Op. cit., p. 111. (Parentheses are in the original).

109 An indication for this is that when assessing the personal liability of Ieng Sary, the indictment presented to the People's Revolutionary Tribunal on 15 August 1979 pointed out that Sary ‘deceived a thousand or so students, intellectuals and highranking civil servants, inducing them to return home supposedly to help rebuild the motherland, then had them killed’. The latter particular is not true, since they were not all killed. But, in any case, this is a minor part of the tragedy which engulfed Cambodia in 1975–1978. Yet, it touches more international opinion than the death of hundreds of thousands of illiterate peasants.

110 Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 71–3. On Pol Pot's trip to Vietnam, see ibid., pp. 72–5; The Tragedy, pp. 147–8;Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 219–20;and Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, p. 67–77.

111 Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, p. 66.

112 Livre noir: Fails et preuves des actes d'agression et d'annexion du Vietnam conlre le Kampuchea (Paris, 1978), p. 28. This book is attributed to Pol Pot.

113 Quoted in Fall, Bernard B., The Two Vietnams: A Political and Military Analysis (revised ed., New York/London, Praeger, 1966), p. 181.

114 Quoted in Porter, ‘Vietnamese Communist Policy Toward Kampuchea’, p. 68.

115 See Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 84–5;and Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 32–3.

116 On this very important trip, see Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, which gives a detailed analysis based on the translation of contemporary Vietnamese and Cambodian documents.

117 Pol Pot, ‘Long Live the 17th Anniversary’, p. 38.

118 See, for example, Nuon Chea's speech at the meeting to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the foundation of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army on 16 01 1977; Phnom Penh radio, 17 January 1977; FBIS, 19 January 1977, pp. H1–H6.See also Chandler, Brother Number One, p. 84.

119 According to Vietnamese translation of a document captured by the Vietnamese in Cambodia in 1979, during informal talks held in August 1977, Pol Pot explained to the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Thailand that the Chinese approved his analysis of class in society, his determination of classes, and the division between friends and foes in Cambodia in the context of the democratic revolution, and that it is only at that time that he became sure that his political line was fundamentally correct (‘Pol Pot Presents the Kampuchean Party's Experiences to Khamtan, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Thailand’, translated from the Vietnamese by T. Engelbert & C. Goscha), quoted in Falling Out of Touch, p. 79). Despite its provenance, this document seems authentic.

120 See ibid., p. 87, which refers to Vietnamese sources.

121 A captured Khmer Rouge document dated February 1992 and apparently dictated by Pol Pot reports that in China Pol Pot met P'eng Chen and Li Fu-chun. Michael Vickery points out that it is unlikely that these men would have encouraged Pol Pot's ideology of extreme chauvinism (Vickery, personal communication, 01 1994).

122 Similarly, the 1987 history book asserts that: ‘Because of Pol Pot's incorrect leadership [in 1967–1969], the infrastructure and the development of the Kampuchean revolution suffered losses and Sihanouk's Government gave up its policy of peace and neutrality to side with American imperialism […] in order to protect the interests of his class’. As an illustration of this new policy, the book notes that in December 1968, Sihanouk changed the economic line of the country and joined the IMF, thenceforth ‘putting the Kampuchean economy under the dependency of the United States’ (op. cit., pp. 117, 120).

123 SPK, 5 12 1978; Summary of World Broadcasts, Part 3: ‘The Far East’, published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (henceforth quoted as SWB), 6 December 1978, p. A3/1–2, and 7 December 1978, p. A3/5.

124 Ibid.

125 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 257–8, 278.

126 See, for example, Chanda, Nayan, ‘The Two Voices of Kampuchea’, in Far Eastern Economic Review, 22 06 1979, p. 10.

127 Kiernan, How Pol Pot, p. 254.Kiernan declined to comment on this contradiction. See also Vickery, Michael, ‘The Campaign Against Cambodia: 1990–1991’, in Indochina Issues, n.93 (08 1991), p. 11, n.g;and Heder, Stephen R., ‘Recent Developments in Cambodian Polities’, in Reflections on Cambodian Political History: Background to Recent Developments (Canberra, Australian National University, Research School of Pacific Studies, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Working Paper No. 239, 1991), pp. 1415.

128 Heng Samrin, Chea Sim and Hun Sen are the only members of the Politburo elected in 1981 who were not Vietnam veterans. The same comment is true for the other members of the 1981 Central Committee who had joined the revolution at the time of the independence struggle against the French and did not go to Hanoi in 1954, and for Heng Samrin's older brother, Sam Kay, who is said to have joined the revolution in 1955. No details are given on the activities of Mat Ly, Rong Chream Kaysan and Chan Seng in the 1960s in their official biographies.See Vickery, Kampuchea, pp. 73–84;and Chanda, Nayan, ‘The PRPK Line-up’, in Far Eastern Economic Review, 12 06 1981, pp. 23–4.

129 Engelbert & Goscha, Falling Out of Touch, pp. 82–3.

130 Livre noir, p. 47, n.i.

131 Chandler, The Tragedy, p. 176.On the launching of the CPK's armed struggle, see also Heder, ‘Kampuchea's Armed Struggle’, pp. 9–12;and Porter, ‘Vietnamese Communist Policy Toward Kampuchea’, pp. 78–82.Porter notes that Sihanouk himself did not believe in 1968 that the North Vietnamese wanted to overthrow his regime in the short run since he believed that his cooperation against the Americans was too valuable for them (p. 79, and p. 95, n.93).

132 ‘Khuop ti 10(23 meakara 1973–23 meakara 1983) ney kech prom prieng krong paris’ (‘Ten years [23 January 1973–23 January 1983] of the Paris Agreement’), in Kampuchea, n.177, 3 02 1983, p. 11.

133 On the consequences of the 1973 bombardments, see Kiernan, How Pol Pot, pp. 390–3.

134 See Livre noir, pp. 66–9.

135 ‘The Significance of the Victory of the Historic Agreement’, station commentary, VoPK, 30 01 1983; FBIS, 1 February 1983, p. H1.

136 See Chandler, Brother Number One, pp. 98–101.

137 Tumneak tumnong chea provattesa thnay ti 30 khae mesa chhnam 1975 robos Vietnam noeung padevat kampuchea’, in Kampuchea, n.191, 12 05 1983, p. 2.

138 1982 Party History, op. cit.

139 Livre noir, p. 13;see also Thion, Serge, ‘L'Ingratitude des Crocodiles’, in Les Temps Modernes, vol. 35, n.402 (01 1980), p. 1293.

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