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Samdech Techo Hun Sen: A Suffering Unforgettable

On 2 November 2015, on Facebook, Samdech Techo recalled a memory on his first child who died on 10 November 1976 after birth in the Khmer Rouge’s hospital located in what was formerly the secondary school of Mehmot, Kompong Cham province. CNV unofficially translates and publishes the whole text here followed:

I recalled and wrote about my memory of a historical fact of my pitiful son on my flight from Beijing to Cambodia after I finished my participation to a number of important meetings held in China on 11 October 2015.

My pitiful son, in a few days time, it will be the 39th anniversary of your horrible death under the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime (10 November 1976 – 10 November 2015). Your mother and I never forget tragedy that happened on you, and on us. We have written songs “A Pitiful Son, An Ill-Fated Mother,” “A Call of Pity, A History of Secondary School,” “Soul of Kamsat)” to keep our memory of your soul and our sufferings in those days.

Dad remembers well that after 6am of 10 November 1976, as you left your mother’s womb, you slipped off nurse’s hands and hit the bed. It broke your spine before falling to the ground. Coincidentally, I travelled from the village of Kdol, Tonlong commune to the regional hospital that located in the secondary school of Mehmot. Your mom gave birth to you without my presence. I failed to fulfill my duty as husband and father. It was not only I even people in the whole country at the time had rights even less than animal. Animals had more rights to protect their offspring. It was as if arranged by deity, I had to travel with then my superior commander to the district of Tbong Khmom, when I had a chance to visit your mother in the hospital.

It was to my shock when I stepped in the hospital and other patients said to me “Rany gave already birth, but her child died.” I rushed in and saw you dead with blood coming out of your mouth. I screamed for help to save your life, while your mother was not conscientious and unaware of your death. You two were in two different rooms. I did not know what to do. I asked permission from my superior commander to bury you properly and to look after your mother’s after her labor. Not only I was denied but also I was insulted seriously – “You have too much sentiment,” “You are no physician! Comrade,” “Your son would not come to life even if you stayed,” “Medical staff will give him a burial, you do not have to,” “Works of Angkar (organization) are more important.”

It was a suffering too much to bear. However, I had to keep my patience because what I needed to do was to liberate people in the whole country from this merciless regime. Dad had nothing but a scarf from my neck to wrap you dead body around. I rushed to your mother who just regained conscience and told her you were dead and I named you “Kamsat.” This name stays always in my mind and I felt that this pitiful son has always kept us safe all the time.

They forced dad to leave your mother and your dead body with suffering unable to describe and millions of drops of tear. Three days later, dad got a permission to see your mother, who felt ill for what they called “retained placenta.” I had to get your mother to see a traditional midwife and remove the retained placenta to save her life. I seek your apology that I did not have the chance to find out where they buried you or abandoned you as my urgency was for your mother’s life. I did not have chance to search for you and I hope that you understand and (your soul) will come to rest in the tomb that your mother and I built for you in 1980s.

Every time I thought of this suffering, tears came into my eyes. As I am writing this, dad’s tears felt on the phone. It was tears thinking of my pitiful son, of suffering unbearable for human being and for millions of Cambodian killed and maltreated by Pol Pot like our family. Kamsat, my son, may your soul continue to protect us./.