This Week In Cambodian History: March 5-11

On March 5, 1978, Khmer Rouge defector Penn Sovann was appointed the head movement to fight against the Khmer Rouge based in Vietnam.  He was formally an aide and bodyguard to Ta Mok before fleeing across the border during a purge.

On March 5 (or 6) 1999, the notorious Khmer Rouge general Ta Mok “The Butcher” was captured by the Cambodian army near the Thai border and brought by helicopter to Phnom Penh.

On March 7, 2020, a 38-year-old man in Siem Reap became the first Cambodian national to contract COVID-19 in the country.

On March 8, 1975: Khmer Rouge rocket attacks force the suspension of all civilian flights in and out of Phnom Penh airport.

On March 8, 1999, the second amendment to the Cambodian constitution was promulgated by Preah Reach Kram No. NS/RKM/0399/01, aiming to create the Senate.

On March 8, 2013 government spokesman Ek Tha addressed the strike that translators at the ECCC had begun over unpaid salaries- which the international donors said were the responsibility of Cambodia. He said that donors had paid local salaries at the court since its inception in 2006, and the government saw no reason why that should change. So why had donors stopped funding salaries?

On March 9 1945, during the closing stages of the war, Japan overthrew the French rule in Indochina. The French colonial administrators were relieved of their positions, and French military forces were ordered to disarm. The aim was to revive the flagging support of local populations for Tokyo’s war effort by encouraging indigenous rulers to proclaim independence.

On March 10, 1958:

  • Chinese Communist Aid to Cambodia

Attached is Despatch (sic) No. 278, dated March 10, 1958, from Phnom Penh on the above subject. This is an excellent Despatch, and contains information on the Communist Aid Programs to Cambodia to date, together with possible repercussions on the United States aid program to Cambodia and United States policy toward Cambodia.

We have prepared a summary of this Despatch, which is also attached. You may find this summary useful in forthcoming hearings before Congressional Committees.……..

“The Communist Chinese apparently consider the $22.9 million program as a cheap price to pay for a “good neighbor” reputation. All techniques of the Communist Chinese aid program appear to be devoted to pleasing the Cambodians, to flattering them, and to greasing the skids in preparation for the day the “good neighbor” wishes to push Cambodia actively into the satellite orbit.” READ HERE

On March 10, 1972, Lon Nol officially became head of state.

On March 10, 1992, human rights organization ADHOC was officially recognized and approved by Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk when he was the Head of State and Chairman of the National Council of Cambodia.

On March 10, 1993, members of an NADK (Khmer Rouge) unit attacked a floating village in Siem Reap province, killing 33 people, including 12 children, and injuring 24. The village was inhabited primarily by Cambodian-born persons of Vietnamese descent. 

On March 11, 1964, protesters attacked the US Embassy in Phnom Penh. The mob later went on to attack the British Embassy

Embassy under heavy demonstration and rock throwing attack from 9 am this morning and attack still going on at time this message being sent. First signs impending demonstration noted 0820. Informed presences crowds arriving given instructions by older men, report reached Embassy thru local employee. Demonstration scheduled for 10 am.

Actual demonstration started 9:00 a.m. led by group bearing placards indicating it was from Ministry Information of Cambodian Government. Just before demonstration began, men carrying red paint tins and brushes painted sign “US go home” on Embassy and USIS buildings. Police who were standing by in increased numbers made no effort interfere with them. SecState for Agriculture Chau Seng observed directing traffic of procession two blocks away from Embassy. SecState for Information Tim Dong observed taking prominent part in organization of procession, which included pre-printed placards and banderolles. After about twenty minutes of peaceful procession past Embassy, violence began with rock throwing. Within twenty minutes, violence had increased to point where virtually every window in Embassy and USIS broken, and at least one official vehicle completely destroyed. At time drafting this, no one has yet been able to venture out of building attempt assess total extent of damage. FULL TELEGRAM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *