Documentation Center of Cambodia
Prey Veng Documentation Center
Location: Chrey Commune, Kampong Trabek District, Prey Veng Province
Date: August 16-20, 2021
Staff & volunteers: Pheng Pong-Rasy, Phea Raksmey, So Hann, Soeun Marina, Thon Srey Pich
Thon Srey Pich, volunteer of Prey Veng Documentation Center
Staff and volunteers of Prey Veng Documentation Center organized a Home Visit’s activity to meet with 11 Khmer Rouge survivors living in Chrey village, Dakk Por village and Phneou village of Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district, Prey Veng province. As plan, this activity was a five-day trip. Before meeting with them, all the 11 KR survivors were informed in advance about the project purpose, activities and working processes. First, in the field, staff and volunteers interviewed, listened to their experiences and took notes of the important life experience. Second, the survivors were discussed their health issues, using a set of questions prepared by the Documentation Center of Cambodia. The discussion was to improve their well-being health conditions. Finally, each survivor received a gift box (souvenir box). This process is consent with all survivors in the meeting, requesting a recording during the interview and taking photos.
BACKGROUND OF CHREY COMMUNE
Summary: So Hann and Pheng Pong Rasy
Chrey commune is about 100 kilometers from Phnom Penh. This commune has a total of 1,850.97 hectares and consists of 9 villages: Phneou village, Chrey village, Samrong village, Svay Pak village, Doung village, Chambok village, Dakk Por village, Trapeang Re village and Traok village. The Commune is bordered on the north by Pratheat and Thkov commune, on the east by Svay Thom commune, Svay Chrum district, Svay Rieng province, on the south by Prey Poan commune, and on the west by Prey Poan and Thkov commune. According to the 2021 census, Chrey commune has a total population of 7,768 people and about 95% of the population is engaged in agriculture. The current roads to Chrey commune are still difficult, with deep potholes and slippery conditions when raining. Under French colonization of Cambodia before 1953, many villagers in Chrey commune died of infectious diseases because of lacking medical treatment and being paid less attention by the local authorities. At the same time, some villagers were asked by the French to work on constructing the long line of dams, which is now called Kampong Snae Dam.
After Cambodia got independence from France, villagers in Chrey commune were given rights, privileges, and freedoms. Villagers were able to do business and trade by their own strength. Every villager satisfied with the leadership of King Norodom Sihanouk. In 1965, two manual water pumps donated by a US humanitarian organization were installed in Chrey commune, at Wat Chrey and Chrey Primary School, to facilitate the living condition of villagers in the commune. Both manual water pumps were dismantled under Khmer Rouge Regime. In 1967, North Vietnamese soldiers entered Chrey commune and stayed in the homes of some villagers in the commune in order to prepare their forces to fight against the South Vietnamese troops. Many weapons and ammunitions, banknotes, medicines, and other equipment, belonging to the North Vietnamese troops, were buried, and hidden in some places in Kampong Trabek’s Chrey and Cham communes, and Svay Rieng’s Svay Chrum communes. As evidenced by villagers whose ages are above 60 years old, North Vietnamese’s forces carried and buried the supplies/equipment at night. The presence of this group was not only undisturbed the lives of the Cambodian people in the village and Chrey commune, but also facilitated the daily working of the people living in commune. The villagers appreciated this.
In 1970, the presence of Thivki (South Vietnamese) forces appeared in Chrey commune, and they had been seen to carry out many vicious acts, all of which frightened and disrupted the daily lives of the villagers. Some of beautiful villagers’ daughter were raped. Villagers’ animals and livestock were trapped and taken away for foods without fear. Gold, silver, money, and villagers’ valuables were robbed. Many small attacks (between Viet Cong and Thivki) were happened many times in Chrey and Preah Theat Commune, and in Svay Thom communes of Svay Chrum district. These fights were sporadic and stopped when one or two people died.
In 1971, some 105-mm artillery, lots of carbines, many boxes of AK-59 ammunitions as well as DK-72 and DK-82 ammunitions, and grenades, were found and took from the ground at adjacent places by the villagers under the direct command of the Thivki. According to Un Sareth, “there were several Thivki forces traveled by few helicopters and trucks, arrived north of Wat Prey Vier in Phneou village to search for Viet Cong’s hidden weapons and ammunitions. The event took place at around 2pm (I do not remember the month)”. The Thivki used minesweepers machine to find guns and ammunitions that buried in a forested area in Phneou village. Sareth said that the Thivki forced people who were staying in Wat Prey Vire, especially the young men and women, to dig the surfaces. After they found, the Thivki
collected and sent all the weapons and ammunitions to keep on the helicopters and trucks, and they went away from the village. Sareth said that all weapons and ammunitions were shipped to Vietnam. After the excavation, the Thivki forced the young men and women who had dug the surfaces to go back to Prey Vire pagoda and strictly forbade them to leave the pagoda surroundings.
In 1972, the Thivki and Lon Nol solders built a military base inside Prey Poun pagoda, about 2 km from Phneou village. The presence of these two groups made villagers scared and left their homeland. This event further encouraged villagers in Chrey commune to join the Khmer Liberation Movement that had backbone by Viet Cong, and to flee to Phnom Penh. At the end of 1972, Lon Nol’s soldiers withdrew from Prey Poun pagoda after having several attacks with Khmer Liberation and Viet Cong. In 1973, the Thivki disappeared from Chrey and Prey Poun communes. Lon Nol soldiers moved its Military Base to Kar Andaek of Kampong Trabek district. Raiding between Liberated Khmer Forces and Lon Nol soldiers continued unabated.
In 1974, some Viet Cong soldiers were killed and arrested by the Liberated Khmer forces. Narin, chief of
Khmer Liberation Movement in Kampong Trabek, was reported to have killed many Viet Cong soldiers.
At the end of 1974, the Viet Cong presence had disappeared from Kampong Trabek district.
On April 17, 1975, the liberated Khmer in Chrey commune celebrated the victory day with great joy and
commemorated the lost-life liberated Khmer members in the war with Thivki and Lon Nol soldiers.
Local authorities were restructured. Vorn was assigned to be Chrey commune chief (he was arrested in
mid-1976, and, and he is still missing nowadays). Koam was the deputy chief (he disappeared from his
position and village in late 1976). In Phnom Penh, Khmer Rouge cadres started evacuating people from
the city immediately after the victory on April 17, 1975. Some of the evacuees, originally from Chrey
commune, have returned to their homelands, where they were classified, discriminated, and
considered as newcomer or new people, or the 17-April people. They were forced to work harder,
tortured, and killed at several locations in Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces, such Tuol Mrenh (is
located in Kansomak commune), Prey Phnea Chakk (in Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district), and
in Tuol Po Cham (in Svay Thom commune, Svay Chrum district). In the late 1977, Khmer Rouge soldiers
came from the Southwest Zone took control of villages in Chrey commune. Most of the people were
forced evacuation to Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang provinces, and some were sent to be
killed at Krasaing Tong village, Preah Sdach commune, Koh Chey district (now Preah Sdach district),
Prey Veng province.
Immediately after January 7, 1979, there was a small number of evacuated people survived and
returned to live at their homeland in Chrey commune. Each family has lost family members during the
Khmer Rouge regime. The villagers have found ways to support their daily lives, using the personal
belongings valuables things left over from the Khmer Rouge regime to buy and sell materials and leave
out their villages for business on the border. Since 1982, the living standards of the people have
improved, and pagodas and schools have been restored. To this day, Chrey commune has roads, canals
and fields, and people’s living standards are improving day by day.
Most of the interviewed survivors were retired teachers. Under the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime,
everyone was educated at the primary and secondary levels. After March 18, 1970, most of them moved
to Phnom Penh to continue their education and escape from wars between the Thivki and Viet Cong
and the wars between Lon Nol and liberated Khmer. After April 17, 1975, they were discriminated and
regularly monitored by the local Khmer Rouge cadres. Many Lon Nol soldiers and government officials
living in Chrey commune were arrested by Khmer Rouge cadres and sent to Tuol Mrenh Security Office,
where they were killed. From 1976 to 1977, most of the newcomers or 17-April people were arrested
after being known to have betrayed the revolution and sent to two killing sites is Tuol Po Cham and Prey
Phnea Chakk. During the same year, villagers from several communes in Svay Chrum district, Svay Rieng
province, who were sent by the Khmer Rouge to live in villages in Chrey commune, were killed by the
Khmer Rouge in both locations after being detained. In 1978, Khmer Rouge cadres from the Southwest
Zone took control of villages in Chrey commune, and many villagers were evacuated to the west of the
country. At the end of 1978, the villagers remaining from evacuated was also forced to leave and go to
one village in Preah Sdach commune, Koh Chey district (Preah Sdach district), Prey Veng province, in
order to be killed. But they returned home after meeting with Vietnamese armies and knew of the
fighting between Vietnamese solider and Khmer Rouge solider.
Hiev Sarun, 66, male, lives in Chrey Village, Chrey Commune, Kampong Trabek District
– Interview on August 16, 2021
– Summary by: Pheng Pong Rasy
Sarun was a student before the Khmer Rouge regime. He learned a
lot and had the knowledge to solve problems. Sarun is the son of a
wealthy man in Chrey village. Sarun’s family used to work for
Sangkum Reastr Niyum and Khmer Republic regimes. During the
Khmer Rouge regime, Sarun worked very hard to show the Khmer
Rouge cadres that he could do all kinds of work and endure all kinds
of hardships. Sarun never complaint about hard work. Even though
he never got enough food to eat every day, Sarun was able to solve
these problems using his intelligence, because he knew how to lie to
the Khmer Rouge cadres.
Hiev Sarun was born in 1955 in Chrey village, Chrey commune,
Kampong Trabek district, Prey Veng province, in a wealthy family in
the village. He attended Chrey Primary School in 1961 and
continued his education at Samaki Prey Poun Secondary School, Prey Poun Commune, Kampong
Trabek District, before moving to Phnom Penh in June 1970. Sarun and his mother left their birthplace
to live with their brother, name Heav Sovanna, he was a Major of Khmer Republic’s Police Department
in Phnom Penh. Sarun’s father did not come with him. Sarun said that he and his mother decided to
move to Phnom Penh because his family was discriminated against as having relatives working with the
Khmer Republic. In Phnom Penh, Sarun continued his studies at Chak Angre Secondary School, which
is currently the Ministry of Interior. In May 1973, Sarun’s father died of a mental illness in his homeland.
Sarun and his siblings and mother were unable to join father’s funeral.
On April 17, 1975, Sarun joined a large crowd to celebrate the arrival of the Khmer Rouge soldier
in Phnom Penh. In the early morning of April 18, the Khmer Rouge shouted at Sarun and his brother and
their families to leave their homes in Phnom Penh. Sarun, his brother, and few family members left the
city in a jeep and a Mobilet motorbike. On the way from Phnom Penh, Khmer Rouge cadres pointed the
gun at Sarun and his family and stopped them from traveling by car. Arriving at Prek Pneou Bridge,
Sarun’s motorbike was also confiscated by the Khmer Rouge. Traveling on foot for several days, Sarun
and his family arrived home. On the way home Sarun observed that, many people were shot and killed
on the streets while the others were digging the canals and detaining in the security office. In his
hometown, Sarun and his family were classified as new people and required to be observed regularly
by the Khmer Rouge. Two of Sarun’s brothers, including their wives and children, were taken away to
be killed. From 1975 to 1978, Sarun never had enough foods to eat. His works were planting potatoes,
clearing rice fields, plowing, and district mobile units. In early 1978, Sarun and others were moved
relocate to Cham commune, Kampong Trabek district. Sarun’s homeland was used as a temporary
detention center for people from Svay Rieng province before they were brought to be killed at Prey
Phnea Chakk in Chrey commune.
In March 1979, Sarun was selected to be Youth Chief of Chrey Commune. In 1980, Sarun was assigned
to be member of Chrey Revolutionary Committee, and later a Commerce Office chief of
Kampong Trabek district. In 1987, Sarun was the Office Deputy director of Kampong Trabek District
office and became the Kampong Trabek District Office director in 2009. Today, Sarun is a retired man.
Preng Sim, 78, female, lives in Chrey village, Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district
– Interview on August 16th, 2021
– Summary by: So Hann
Sim has been a widow since the Khmer Rouge regime. Her
husband died in 1978.
Sim got married before 1970 after graduated from high
school. On the first day of the Khmer New Year in 1970, Sim
and her husband decided to move to live in Phnom Penh.
Sim said that she was afraid of the presence of Viet Cong
troops, who were always carrying guns in the village. In
Phnom Penh, Sim’s husband enlisted as soldier in Pochentong Fortress. She also enlisted in the MF Commando as female solder. Despite shootings in
some cities, their work continued as usual until April 17, 1975. On April 18, 1975, Sim and her husband
left their home in Phnom Penh at the behest of the Khmer Rouge and returned to their homeland
without bringing their own car and other valuables with them. A few days later, Sim arrived at her
husband’s hometown in Kampong Prasat commune, Peam Ro district, Prey Veng province, where her
husband was arrested by Khmer Rouge cadres and sent away without notice. Later, sim heard the news
that her husband had been used by the Khmer Rouge as a cow to plow the fields in Tuol Mrenh, and he
later died of starvation and torture in 1978. Shortly afterwards, Sim was evacuated again to Battambang
province, staying overnight in Neak Leung, before she had to continue by ferry from Neak Leung to
Phnom Penh, and leave Phnom Penh at night by train to Battambang. Sim arrived at Lor village in Mong
Russey district, Battambang province, where she saw many dead people in the forest. In Battambang,
Sim did a lot of work related to growing rice seeds. Soon, a fighting was happened. Everyone left work
and went home. Sim returned home and continues to live as a widow until today. Sim said that she
found her life very hard to support his family. In October 1999, Sim became a teacher at Chrey Primary
School, and she retired from work in 2007.
Keo Som, 79, male, lives in Dakk Por Village, Chrey Commune, Kampong Trabek District
– Interview on August 17th, 2021
– Summary by: Pheng Pong Rasy
Keo Som lives with his wife and a few grandchildren in
a remote house in Dakk Por village. His wife has ears
problem that makes it difficult for her to communicate
with others. Som is an elder in Dak Por village today. He
was born at a time when Cambodia was under French
rule. As a child, Som often stood watching the Khmer
Issarak group in the village carrying guns, patrolling the
sidewalks near his house. Som knew that they were
Khmer Issarak because his mother told him. But Som
did not know what the Khmer Issarak in his village did,
just only that they were very strong and thorough.
Som graduated with a diploma in 1968. In the same year, due to the war in his village, Som decided to
leave his homeland to live in Phnom Penh, where he worked as a Cyclo driver until mid-April 1975.
During that time, Som did not think about anything other than his business. Som did not know any
events that took place in Phnom Penh before April 17, 1975. Som returned to his homeland shortly after
April 17, 1975. In July 1975, Som married his wife, Hem Sorn.
Som did not say much about his life under Khmer Rouge regime because he said he had a lot of
forgetfulness. He kept saying that things had happened to him many years ago and his memory was
almost gone. Som just remembers that the Khmer Rouge announced that they were looking for people
who had worked in the Khmer Republic to be brought back to Phnom Penh to study more and prepare
for new jobs. He remembered that his brother-in-law, who had been a doctor during the Khmer
Republic, did not only disobey the proclamation, but also acted insanely to avoid the Khmer Rouge’s
attention. Som said that many Lon Nol soldiers died at Tuol Mrenh under a control of Nin, chief of the
Tuol Mren security center.
Chan Sary, 69, male, lives in Phneou Village, Chrey Commune, Kampong Trabek District
– Interview on August 17, 2021
– Summary by: So Hann
Sary first attended Prey Vire Primary School in
1960 and continued at Kampong Trabek
Secondary School in 1968. After March 18, 1970,
Sary stayed in Phnom Penh and became a monk
at Wat Niroth Rainsy, where he could continue
his studies at Poutthikak Preah Suramarit High
School until 1975. In 1974, Sary held a passport
for the purpose of a study visit to the United
On April 17, 1975, Sary escaped into the US Embassy in Phnom Penh to deported, but he was forced to
flee Phnom Penh to his homeland by Khmer Rouge. Sary walked for 28 days to arriving at his homeland
in Phneou village. Four or five days later, local Khmer Rouge cadres forced him to leave monkhood and
go to work plowing the fields, clearing the fields, and harvesting rice like the others. Sary was classified
as a group of new people or evacuated people.
In 1976, all private property was confiscated as collective property. Eating halls in each village began to
be set up. There are 4 eating halls in Phneou village. Private eating is prohibited. All the villagers were
required to come to get their food twice a day at the eating hall, and each one can get only one bowl of
liquid porridge and banana-tree soup. Sary worked hard and never complaint about the foods or works.
When people committed mistakes, they, especially evacuees and some Phneou villagers, were taken by
Khmer Rouge cadres to be killed at Tuol Po Cham in Svay Thom commune, Svay Chrum district, Svay
Rieng province, and in Prey Phnea Chakk in Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district, Prey Veng
In 1978, Sary was forced by the Angkar to marry his wife, Samrith Chheng. That time there have 30
couples. Sary added that, people living without free. At the end of 1978, Sary and other villagers were
evacuated from the village to Preah Sdach district. On the way, all the evacuees saw Vietnamese tanks
and also aware of the fighting against the Khmer Rouge regime. Sary and the others returned to their
homeland. Sary remarried his wife and worked as a teacher at Prey Vire Primary School until his
retirement in 2012. Now Sary is a abbot that working in Prey Vire pagoda and he can earn a little money
from this work.
Nhim Phan, 57, male, lives in Dakk Por village, Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district
– Interview on August 18th, 2021
– Summary by: Pheng Pong Rasy
Phan grew up during the Khmer Rouge regime. He started his education in 1975 with other children in
the village. beside learning, Phan was asked by Khmer Rouge cadres to look after the cow, build dams,
dig canals, and produce fertilize. Phan said that he could get enough food only in 1975, and his
education was reduced from 1976.
In 1977, Phan and his parents as well as all the villagers in
Dakk Por Village were evacuated to Chi Peay village, Prey
Poun commune, Kampong Trabek district. Reason of this
evacuation was told that Khmer Rouge kept the place for
a temporary stay of people from Chantrea and Bavet
districts of Svay Rieng province before they were sent to
be killed. In Chi Peay, Phan and his family were asked to
live with eight other families in one house until 1978.
After 1979, Phan attended Chrey Primary School and continued to Prey Poun Secondary School. He
finished his study at the seventh grade. Later on, Phan got marriage and started a business as a
salesman until now.
Phin Samyeng, 68, female, lives in Dakk Por Village, Chrey Commune Kampong Trabek District
– Interview on August 18th, 2021
– Summary by: Pheng Pong-Rasy
She is a retired teacher who still wants to come back to
teaching students again in the schools, and she has asked the
principal of CHREY Primary School to return teaching. At
home, she usually teaches her grandchildren.
On 18th March 1970, she traveled Phnom Penh to continue
his education, and she found a job there. She lived in
SANGKAT 6th and began her career as a worker in 1972. On
April 17th, 1975, she left Phnom Penh after being evacuated
by the Khmer Rouge to her homeland. She arrived at Wat champa and stayed one night there. From
Phnom Penh to Wat champa, about ten-thousands of people left Phnom Penh city and traffic was
crowded. During the break, she heard an announcement which was to encourage the Lon Nol soldier
and government officials to return to Phnom Penh city and take up new positions. One of her cousins
returned as announced, and he is still missing. She continued her journey to Dei Eth commune, Kien
Svay district, and she was asked to take rest again before continuing by a truck to stay in a pagoda
(forgot the name of the pagoda) in Preah Sdech district. In the compound of pagoda, she saw many
Arriving at her homeland, Samyeng saw that her home was destroyed. Villagers came and told her that
her home was destroyed by bombing. In 1976, she married and moved to live with her husband’s house
in Svay Pak commune of Kampong Trabek district. In 1977, she had a miscarriage due to her hard work.
It was not until 1978 that she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son.
She used to tell her experience to students and others because she thought that she would be relieved
some of his thoughts on what had happened to her. She was always angry with children who did not
believe that the Khmer Rouge regime was truly happened.
UN Sareth, 71, male, lives in Phnoeu Village, Chrey Commune Kampong Trabek District
– Interviewed on August 18th, 2021
– Summary by: Pheng Pong-Rasy
He works for Prey Vear pagoda today. He has a very good
memory. He remembers his experience very well.
When he was young, he studied with teacher Kong Sam, the
abbot of Prey Vear pagoda. After that he went to study at Prey
Poun Secondary School. In 1969 he continued his study at
Kampong Trabek High School. In the same year, he returned to
his homeland for a purpose of staying in the family during
bombing. From 1970 to 1975, he did not leave his homeland for somewhere and did not join the Khmer
Liberation Movement. On June 26th, 1976, he was asked to marry his wife, Chan Sarim, at Wat Prey Vear.
Other nine couples were also forced to get marriage on the same day as him. Before getting marriage,
he worked for Commune Mobile Unit. On the wedding day, his parents were allowed to attend the event,
but not to meet him. Few days after marriage, he returned to work at the Mobile Unit, and since then,
he rarely came to stay with his wife.
From 1976, he and all people in the village had never received enough foold to eat, except for only the
17th of April anniversary each year. Private property was forbidden, and the private eating was also
banned. He had seen Khmer Rouge cadres sent villagers who had committed wrongdoing to the Toul
Mrenh Security Center.
At the end of 1978, he was forced to leave his homeland for Krasang Tong village, Preah Sdach
commune, Koh Chey district by Khmer Rouge soldiers in the Southwest Zone. On the way to reach their
destination, he and many people were told by the Vietnamese soldiers to return to their homeland.
In 1980, he served as Youth team leader of Chrey commune. In 1982, he passed the examination and
came to study at Pedagogy School in Prey Veng. In 1983, he became a teacher at Wat Samrong Primary
School in Chrey commune. Later, he moved to teach at Prey Vear school until his retirement in 2010.
Meas Dy, Male, 71, male, lives in Chrey Village, Chrey Commune, Kampong Trabek District
– Interview on August 19th, 2021
– Sumamry by: Phear Reaksmey
As a child, he studied at Chrey Primary School and continued at Samaki Prey Poun Secondary School.
After two years of studying there, Dy decided to stop studying due to coup d’état in March 18, 1970. Dy
said, schools in the commune had been suspended due to fighting and frequent clashes between the
Thivki and Viet Cong. In 1975, Dy was arrested of betray the Angkar
and sent to the prison for a year imprisonment. Put, the prison
chief, interrogated Dy about the accomplices. In mid- year of 1976,
the Angkar released Dy, and the chief of the cooperative asked him
to build Chrey Dam at Boeng Khyang. Later, Dy had been being
used by the chief of cooperative to work in Kampong Cham
province for 3 months. In Kampong Cham, Dy worked harder, but
the food was better than in the Chrey Cooperative.
In late 1977, after he got out from the hospital, Dy was asked by the Khmer Rouge to work in the rice
fields and to bring natural fertilizer to the fields. In late 1978, the Angkar ordered all Chrey villagers to
leave the village. Dy also left. On the way, Dy and others met with the Vietnamese soldiers, and they
were told to return home. In 1979, local authorities’ system was reconstructed. A few Vietnamese
experts came and assigned new village and commune chiefs. The markets, schools, and pagodas have
also been restored.
Sanh Sam Un, 57, Male, lives in Chrey village, Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district
– Interviewed on August 19, 2021
– Summary by: So Hann
Sam Un studied at Boeung Keng Keng High School in 1970 after
attending Prey Vire Primary School and Prey Poun Secondary
School. Sam Un was forced to leave Phnom Penh on April 17,
1975, to his homeland in Chrey village, Chrey commune.
Arriving in his homeland, Sam Un was classified as a new people
group and was required to work harder than the local
population. Sam Un’s tasks included digging canals, raising rice
lighting systems, and digging (dams), splitting, dragging and
carrying water. Sam Un did not get enough food. In 1976, Sam Un got marriage his wife with 16 other
couples. Sam Un’s parents also attended the ceremony, but not allowed to meet each other. After the
marriage, Khmer Rouge cadres allowed Sam Un to stay with his wife for a week. In 1977, Sam Un was
evacuated by the Khmer Rouge to live in Chi Peay village, Prey Poun commune, and in late 1977, Sam
Un was evacuated to Pursat province. Sam Un said that working in Pursat was very hard. After the
liberation on January 7th, 1979, Sam Un returned to his homeland and became a teacher in October
1979. Ten years later, Sam Un changed the teaching from Prey Vire Primary School to Chrey Primary
School. Sam Un retired from his work in 2017.
Mam Kiet, 62, Male, lives in Dakk Por village, Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district
– Interviewed on August 20, 2021
– Summary by: Phea Reaksmey
He lives with his wife and children in Dak Por village, Chrey commune, Kampong Trabek district, Prey
Veng province. He loves his business. He carved and zeroed in on cattle and other animals, which are
now displaying in his own lot. On the walls of his home, he
draws a huge statue of Angkor Wat that anyone can easily see
while traveling on the sidewalk in front of his house. “It is a
lesson to teach children about the Khmer heritage,” Kiet said.
After March 18, 1970, Kiet moved to live and study in Phnom
Penh. The moving was from that his homeland was subjected
to frequent clashes between the Thivki and Viet Cong and
threats to lure villagers into joining the Khmer Liberation
Movement. Kiet continued his studies in Phnom Penh until April 17, 1975. Later, he was forced
evacuation to his homeland.
Under Khmer Rouge regime, Keit was 16 years old. He worked in a mobile work brigade, where he
received not enough food to eat. In late 1978, Khmer Rouge cadres forced Kiet and his family to leave
their homeland for Preah Sdach with many others, but he returned home after Vietnamese troops
barred him from moving forward. He later married and had six children. Now all his children got
Nhim Vansao, 65, male, lives in Dakk Por Village, Chrey Commune, Kampong Trabek District
– Interview on August 20, 2021
– Summary by: Thon Srey Pich
Sao’s mother died of disease since he was a baby. Sao was
taken care by his father’s parents. In 1970, Sao returned to live
with his father for his study. Sao’s father brought him to school.
Due to the chaos in the country, Sao was unable to continue
studying at school. He dropped out of school only in grade
nine. Sao’s father, a police officer in the Khmer Republic, died
of disease in 1976.
In 1973, there were bombings in Sao’s village. He fled to temporary live in Kansom ork commune to
escape the bombing. Later that same year, Sao joined the resistance movement in the Maki forests to
fight against the Lon Nol regime. After the Khmer Rouge victory on April 17, 1975, Sao went to live in
Chy Peay village for a year. In Chy Peay, he served as deputy chief of the mobile work brigade,
overseeing the collection of fertilizer, raising cow dungs, and herding cattle. He later returned to his
homeland, and his work was in the transport until the day the Khmer Rouge collapse.
Sao married his wife after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. After getting marriage, his work was to
buy and sell pigs, cows, and buffaloes from his village to Svay Rieng province. Sao later gave up the
business. Sometimes later, Sao joined a political party, the FUNCINPEC Party, and for the rest of his
career, Sao took up farming. Sao can earn money by selling vegetables, rice, and animals he raises. But
recently, his income has declined due to the spread of COVID-19.