24 June, 2021

Death Of A Butcher

Pol Pot's reported death may be the end of the Khmer Rouge

Death Of A Butcher
THE reported death of the Butcher of Cambodia, Pol Pot, is as mysterious as his life was. But if indeed a fact, the death of the tyrannical Khmer Rouge leader, who killed nearly two million of his countrymen in the mid-1970s, signals the beginning of the end of the once-dreaded organisation. 

Just hours after a deputy commander of the Khmer Rouge said that Pol Pot had died of malaria on June 5, there were whispers that the 68-year-old guerrilla leader was still alive. The rumours were spurred by the fact that the clandestine Khmer Rouge radio made no mention of his death, and guerrilla commanders adopted a policy of neither confirming nor denying the report. 

"The Khmer Rouge are even more difficult to figure out than the former Soviet Union and the North Koreans. They gain mileage by playing their cards close to their chest," said a diplomat in Phnom Penh.

According to Ly Thuch, a top official in Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh's Cabinet: "If Pol Pot is confirmed dead, it will be good for Cambodia as it will divide the Khmer Rouge...

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