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Friday, January 19, 2007

Letter Exchange between Pen Sovann and NaranhKiri Tith

February 2, 2001
By Professor NaranhKiri Tith
Posted Online

Dear Mr. Pen Sovann:

I came across your web site through Radio Cambodia International. I also just read your declaration on the anniversary of the so-called Vietnamese "liberation" of Cambodia on the 7th of January 1979, as well as your interview in the most recent edition of the Phnom Penh Post on that anniversary celebration by the CPP.

Before going any further, let me introduce myself and tell you what I am doing with the information that I hope you will be able to provide me on your background and role in the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia until you were removed from the power by the Vietnamese Political Bureau after your trip to Moscow in the early 1980s.

I am presently a professor of International Economics and Asian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, here in Washington, DC. I have never belonged a member of any political parties. I am every much involved in trying to bring democracy, society and real freedom to the Cambodian people by working very closely with the US Congress, the academic community, and the NGOs, local and international. I am 67 years old, and a citizen of the United States of America. I have no political ambition except to see real freedom, peace, justice, and moral and material decency to all Cambodians. I am not a Vietnamese hater, nor am I naive and expedient to thank Vietnam for the so-called liberation. I sincerely think that Vietnam has been committing genocidal against the Cambodian people, especially against Khmer Krom people, as they did against the Chams a few centuries ago.

I also read a recent book written by Colonel Bui Tin former editor of the Nhan Dan Newspaper of the Vietnamese army. From these readings, I would like to ask you the following questions:

(1) Acceding to Bui Tin you were serving with the Vietnamese army with the rank of major until you were appointed to be the defense minister, Secretary General of the Cambodian Communist Party, and Prime Minister, after the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia.

(2) What motivated you to be member of the Vietnamese Communist Party and a member of the Vietnamese army?

(3) Did you know that Vietnam has always been using Cambodian kings and other traitors to take over Cambodia land and committing genocidal policy against the Cambodian people, and the Chams before that?

(4) Did you really believe that the Vietnamese were sincere in coming to "liberate" Cambodia without conditions attached?

(5) Who else were with your group that came with the Vietnamese tanks to invade Cambodia, besides Chan Si, and Say Pouthong?

(6) Do you believe that Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, and Chea Sim are still serving Vietnamese national interest at the expense of Cambodian interests? Please, tell me why if you agree with this assessment?

(7) You still seem to praise Vietnam as the liberator of the Cambodian people, but you only objected to their insincerity How do you justify your position in this regard?

(8) What is your judgment on King Sihanouk's role during the Khmer Rouge regime? During the Vietnamese occupation? And since the 1997 coup d' etat by Hun Sen? Is he guilty at all in all these activities with all these events in Cambodia? Is he the God father of the Khmer Rouge and Hun Sen?

Please, elaborate for the so - Kov5 Plan? What is it how was it organized? who led it? And what were the objectives of that plan? What kind and extent of damage did the plan cause the Cambodian people and where?

(9) What is your strategy and policy to reverse the tragic course history that you personally brought about to make the Vietnamese master of Cambodia's

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and kind answers. With best regards.

N. Tith,

The School of Advanced International Studies,
The Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.


Dear Mr. N. Tith,

I am very happy that you have asked me nine questions, dated Feb. 2, 2001. I am Pen Sovann and my answers to your questions are the following:


(1) I was sent by the Khmer People¹s Revolutionary Party to continue my study in Vietnam from 1955 to 1970. I studied at the "Modern Infantry Institute". I did not belong to any Vietnamese army, but I participated in the hand-on training requirements given through the Vietnamese armed forces to build my technical military experiences so that I could eventually use it to serve my own country.

(2) I have never been a member of the Vietnamese Communist Party nor was I ever a soldier of any Vietnamese armed forces. I was just a Cambodian designated to go and fulfill my study in a foreign country with the intention of returning to serve my country.

(3) According to history, I knew that Vietnam had used Cambodian kings and other group of traitors as a mean to seize Cambodian territories and to implement their genocidal policy to swallow Cambodian land. Kampuchea Krom, was another example of what they implemented to absorb the territories belonging to Champa.

(4) I have clearly expressed in my statement as of Jan. 1, 2001, regarding the cooperation to free Cambodia from the genocidal regime but the party of Vietnam violated the cooperative contract and instead jailed me for over ten years when I rebelled and chose to serve the interests of my own country.

(5) There were indeed a lot of people that I am not able to explain everything, but you will soon see everything in my book to be published in the near future.

(6) It is true that they still serve the interests of Vietnam as they receive perks, power, and protection in return. Because of these benefits they never acted on problems such as illegal Vietnamese immigrants or border encroachments, etc.

(7) Yes, as for me and other Cambodians who survived the massacre, it is appropriate to say that Vietnam timely saved Cambodians from the genocidal regime. Contrary to this, Vietnam held intentions to inappropriately colonize Cambodia. They illegally sent their people into Cambodia in order to seize Cambodian land.

(8) As for this question, let's not judge it yet as there are many angles that we cannot address. And as for the KOR 5 PLAN, you will see and understand it when my history book is published in the near future.

(9) My strategies and policies are to destroy dictatorship, family and clan interests by using nonviolent means based on real democratic principles.

Pen Sovann
Phnom Penh Feb. 8, 2001

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