The Pol Pot Files, 1975-1977
The following documents translated by the CGP from the Santebal archives at the Documentation Center of Cambodia comprise selected 1975-77 correspondence to and from the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea and General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of Kampuchea, Pol Pot, alias Brother Pol, alias “Comrade Secretary”, alias 870, or Brother 87.
Telegram Nº 15
To Comrade Brother Pol with respect,
We’d like to report the withdrawal of people from the East [Eastern Zone] to the North [Northern Zone]. There are some disagreements, and [there is] disrespect for Angkar’s advice at the receiving points, as noted below:
On 30 November, both sides agreed on the acceptance of people whom the East will send to Stung Trang [District] and Preah (sic) [Prek] Prasap [District]. Preah Prasapv will take [people] from Chhlaung District, and Stung Trang will take [people] from Peam Chileang District and Kraoch Chhmar District. The Region and Districts have gathered adequate numbers of people as we wanted. They have to withdraw from Region 21. We have already transported them to the other side of the river. Both of the [receiving] points absolutely refuse to accept Islamic people. They take only pure Khmer people. So the people who were withdrawn on the 30th have big problems.
I immediately gave advice to the Region and Districts to stop this [action] temporarily and wait for advice from Brother and the Northern Zone. Comrade Pauk probably is not aware of these problems. I advised the Region and Districts to take the Islamic people back to their villages. According to the final decision of the meeting, we must not send the Islamic people to Kracheh [Province]. The Northwest and the North have to accept them, so that we can keep them away from the Mekong River to help ease the atmosphere. However, they do not accept them. Brother, please make a decision regarding this problem.
In principle, the Zone withdrew fifty thousand people to the North. More than one hundred thousand additional Islamic people remain in the Eastern Zone. We only withdrew the people in important places along the river and at the border. We did not withdraw the people from Tbaung Khmum. This withdrawal is the dispersal strategy according to the decision that you, Brother, had discussed with us before. But if the North refuses to accept them, we’ll continue to do our best to keep charge of the Islamic people. This is not a problem.
But we will not have enough people to reach the one hundred fifty thousand, if the Northern Zone will not accept the Islamic people.
Best wishes to [you] Brother, for good health and success.
copies sent to:
To Brother Pol with respect, All comrades who are based at the O Vay border have reported: 1. They met with us and warned us to withdraw from O Vay immediately. They claimed that it is their territory. But we did not withdraw. Since the meeting on 7 February, they announced that they will not meet with us anymore. They said that the agreement on 20 January has been unsuccessful. They will not recognize it anymore. 2. From 12 February to 15 February, yesterday, [they] came in to our temple(s) continuously. Our side tried to protect the line by fighting back. We did not allow them to cross into our land any further. Four of them got injured. One on our side was injured. We immediately advised our brothers: 1. O Vay has been our land since our ancestors’ time. We must stand firm to protect our land. 2. [We] must constantly raise awareness of the spirit of the revolution, understand the enemy situation clearly, spread the forces in small units and use guerrillar-war tactics to attack the enemy everywhere. Do not let them advance as they want. Establish a good reputation by destroying them in every place, to the greatest extent possible, if they dare to cross into our land. 3. Besides the military plans, we are keeping to our negotiations as planned because we want to solve the problems through politics not through bloodshed. We had noticed that they are very stubborn and uncouth. Because of that, settlement through politics is not yet possible. But we have decided to pursue it further. We request more advice from Angkar. About the connection with Teu Kam, if there is a possibility, please Angkar, do advise. We’ll try to do our own investigation. Best wishes for happiness + success. Ya
16 February 1976
Telegram Nº 21
676 characters [khtung]
To Comrade Brother Pol with respect, According to Comrade Chhouk’s report, Region 24, about the situation along the border, as noted below: 1- On 13 March 1976, Peam Chor District’s Unit ordered [their people] to search the forest and [they] caught five Vietnamese who were hiding there. They had mosquito nets, rice, and salt in Sambor Forest. We shot and killed two of them. Caught three alive, and jailed them at the security station. On 14 March 1976, we caught two more Vietnamese in the eastern forest of Peam Chor’s district office. And they also had rice, salt, and mosquito nets with them. On 16 March 1976, we caught three more Vietnamese in our territory, about one kilometer form the border. At the same time, the Vietnamese soldiers fired three 82 mm. cannon shells about five hundred meters into our territory at Tonle Tauch where our soldiers were staying. But nothing was destroyed. 2. About the situation of the grenade throwing at Sre Lvea, Preach Sdech District, on 7 March 1976, [which] caused the death of two of our soldiers, and four got injured. The person who threw the grenade was caught on the morning of the same day. He was a santisamphoan warrant officer. The purpose of throwing the grenade was to sabotage our plan to build the embankment system. This made people scared of sending their children to work (lek dei). We tortured him and found about twenty of his contacts in Preach Sdech district. The contacts are from South Vietnam. Situation in Region 23, Kampong Ro District: On 13 March, six Vietnamese drove two tractors into our territory, Samyaong Subdistrict. They drove over the mines that were buried underground to protect the border. One of the tractors was completely destroyed and all the people who rode in it were killed. The other tractor was heavily damaged. They dragged it back on 18 March 1976. They brought their soldiers to Kbal Cham across from Thna Thnang. There were some thunderous tanks over there. Looking at the situation, it seemed that they wanted to attack us. But nothing has happened yet.In Region 21: Tramoung District in Vietnam. They built the road across our land at the corner, South of Snuol. According to [our] map reading of that part of the territory, they built the road across our land hundreds of kilometers, crossing from North to South and straight into their territory. We have raised the issue of not letting them build the road across like that but we don’t know what the resolution will be. But if they won’t stop building it, [we] will take many 80mm cannons to attack and stop them from building it. [We’d] like to ask for advice from Brother on this issue. Warmest revolutionary solidarity date: 21/3 Chhon
Copies sent to: Brother Nuon, Brother Khieu, Brother Van,
the Office, Archives
Telegram Nº 94
1100 characters [khtung]
To Brother Pol with respect: I’d like to report to Brother about the enemy situation, the people’s situation and the situation regarding the increase of production, in the Northern Zone as noted below: 1. The enemy situation: In the Northern Zone as a whole, enemies haven’t taken any strong action that could have a bad influence on the people or on increasing production. In general, it is very calm. But at the same time there has been some action, such as the propaganda that the revolution is too strict. They propagandized against the cooperatives, against the construction of an embankment system, and propagandized about starvation. In reality, there were some conflicts which appeared in Chamkar Leu District. The enemies were former soldiers, in association with Chams and former chiefs of the Cooperatives. They took [Lon] Nol’s picture and his speech which was written on March 18, 1970, to place on trees near Trapeang Krabao village, Chamkar Leu District. As for other actions, they burned down forests, destroyed crops such as banana trees, jackfruit trees, etc. The Zone had advised the Regions to pay attention and investigate the enemy’s activities mentioned above. With the investigation, we caught some of the former chiefs of the Cooperatives. They also have infiltrators. We investigated and planned according to the situation. 2. The situation of the masses: In general the base people and the new people truly believe in the leadership in politics as well as in consciousness. In fact the people all over the Zone, old [base] and new, are very busy building a new embankment system according to the direction that Angkar had indicated. At the same time, they, in solidarity, are helping each other out with food as well as shelter. But the difficulty for the Northern Zone people, is a lot of fever and diarrhea. The problems came from working under the hot sun. People took cold baths instead of hot baths regularly. The plan indicated to shorten the work time as the Party had stated. Moreover, we encouraged people to use hot water. 3. The situation regarding the increase of production. In the Northern Zone as a whole: The plan of growing rice at the beginning of the year is very vigorous. Every Region is busy sowing the rice seed at the beginning of the year. And also, early this year [we] started to plant some rice-seedlings that were sown before. In Sting Trang District, Chamkar Leu District and Baray District [people] are busy transplanting rice. According to the report at the beginning of this year, rice that was sown and rice that was transplanted are growing very well. The embankment system: [people] are very busy building the embankment system. The number of [embankments] is the same as in the earlier report. And the later [embankments] haven’t yet been included. According to the estimation, 30 percent of the rice fields will be finished successfully. [We] are busy building water gates for every rice field. Some of the irrigation channels are made from concrete and some are made from wood. [People] are busy collecting fertilizer with the strong intention to follow the plan that the Party had stated. Also [people] are busy with ploughing and raking the rice fields that belong to the Cooperatives and the State. According to the situation regarding increased production, which is in full swing, I believe that it will be successful as in Angkar’s plan. The difficulty of increasing production as we examined it closely is that: Animals such as cows and water buffaloes that are used for production have cholera, scarlet fever and die in every Region. At Sre Veal Kraom a lot of them have died. These problems have a bad impact on the movement to increase production. More importantly, these problems also have a bad impact on the work of ploughing Sre Kraom’s rice fields. The plans have been arranged, ideals as well as viewpoint. [We] are gathering all the resources and equipment to work in each and every place, and trying to find medicine to cure the cows and the water buffaloes more efficiently. At the same time, our comrades in every region are being told to make clear lists of the water buffaloes and the cows so as to enable us to have some knowledge about them and make it easy for us to organize them for work. About arrangements for the leader: The Zone has organized the chief commanders of the production increase as in the above. The Zone’s Chief takes responsibility for politics and conscience, organizes and investigates every activity, arranges meetings to exchange experiences about those problems; the meetings should be held once every eight days. Regions also arrange for the chief commanders to lead the increase of production plan. Districts also arrange for the chief commanders to lead the increase of production plan. And detailed plans were made to guide the work efficiently. Today the Zone’s Chief has gone to regions and districts to organize the chief commanders of the increase of production. Whether [they are] right or wrong, I’ll report [about them] later. Please, Brother, give some comments on the above report. Best wishes to Brother for good health and success. Comrade Pauk. Date: 2 - 4 - 76 Copies sent to:
Brother Nuon, Brother Khieu, the Office, Archives
Telegram Nº 63
200 characters [khtung]
To Angkar 870 with respect,
Enemy situation along the border: On the night of 10 June and in the morning until noon of 11 June, the enemy launched eight 105 mm. cannon shells into the place where [incomprehensible text]. On 13 June, 8 Thai people crossed into our territory at Lakh 46, 20 kilometers from the border. Again in the same day, 30 [Thai people crossed into our territory] at Lakh 43. Both times, we shot at them and they ran back to their land. [Regarding] the thing that Comrade Pauk reported, we are impressed and have already started the investigation. We are putting pressure on some people who accused Comrade Number 2, who is already gone, of being the head of the imperialists with the American since 1972. So it becomes clearer about the basic element. To examine the element closely from 1977 and 1978, it is true. Wait until 17 June [when] I’ll go to meet [you], I’ll report one more time. With highest friendship Date: 15 June Nhim
Received on 15 June, at 22:00
Minutes of the Meeting,
Soldiers Duties in Kampong Saom.
Date: 3 - 8 - 76 ————- People who attended: Comrade Secretary, Comrade Von, Comrade Khieu, Comrade Mut, Comrade Nget, Comrade Dim, Comrade Touch took the minutes. I. Report about Army situation. Comrade Mut 1. arrangement of guarding forces: a. Weapons on the land in Kampong Saom: The City of Kampong Saom has four 105 mm cannons, one 40 mm. cannon, six 37 mm cannons and two of 12.7 mm. In Ream and Kang Keng there are six 105 mm cannons and 12.8 mm. cannons. b. Weapons on every island: Especially on the islands that are far away such as Wai Island, Tang Island, Pring Island, Rung Island and Seh Island, we placed many artillery pieces and air defence: 105 mm. and 106 mm. c. The forces: One Regiment (3 battalions) is based on Wai Island, Tang Island, and Rung Island. One Battalion is on Seh Island. Another Battalion is on the island close to the [Seh Island]. [They] have more then 100 hectares of land for cultivating rice. There are rubber plantations and coffee farms on Seh Island. 2. Production increase: On every island, our brothers cultivate rice, grow edible fruit trees such as coconuts, rambutan and durian. 3. Enemy situation: a. Thai side: There are motor–boats sneaking in to catch fish. Before, they came as one or two [boats]. Now they come as groups from 30 to 40 ships. b. Vietnamese side: Now we haven’t seen an activity. We floated a buoy 2 kilometers from Seh Island to mark the place to shoot them, but they stole it. 4. Number of ships: - [We] have five BCS ships. There are problems with the blow torches for the broken ships. The ships that carry goods don’t have oil for the steering wheel. The engines are also broken but the frames still look good. [We] have five BI ships for carrying goods: One is 500 horsepower, and another one is 400 horsepower and the other three are 250 horse power. The training ships do not have petroleum and #20 motor oil. II. Comrade Secretary’s advice: 1. About the enemy situation: At the present time nothing captivates our attention such as the acts of invasion [or] violation of one’s sovereignty. Reason: Firstly, we are able to sustain the protection militarily. They meet with us every time they come. They are afraid of our military strategy. Secondly, enemies are in difficult states, both West and East. Thirdly, because our foreign political relationships help to ease the situation. But, even with the situation like this, we have to have a standpoint as the foundation: Both enemies, the West and the East, try to find opportunities to attack us and to benefit from us. Through these, in the West are the American imperialists, Thailand and the traitors. They hold onto their plans to invade us. They attack us, especially at Koh Wai, Koh Tang, and Koh Pring. It is difficult for us because these islands are far away. If they come, they will take these three islands. They won’t take Koh Rung and Koh Kong. Now the situation is easier [than before]. Enemies have become greatly weakened. But, we have examined the situation and have noticed that their capabilities are the islands. And the violation of the fishing area is not an important problem. That is not an invasion of the territory. Their ambition is to fish. American imperialists want traitors to establish [bases] on the islands. It is difficult for them to come themselves. They won’t come. They could use [their] forces to assail us for one month or half a month in order to allow traitors to get onto the islands. But the American imperialists are also afraid of us. One thing that makes them afraid is we did not invite them. And the another thing is that they don’t have traitors to bring onto the islands. But ideally, we have to be careful. A way that they could destroy us is the airforce, such as in Siem Reap. They pay close attention especially to oil refineries, ports, warships, and railroads. 2. The defence stratagem: 1. raise the consciousness of having high security for both the armed forces and the economy; destroy the consciousness of pacifism and carelessness, 2. organization of the military strategy: We organized it already. But it needs to be strengthened and to be expanded. Especially on the distant islands. Strengthening and expanding human forces and weapons. Contacting and transporting supplies such as rice and salt. [We] constantly need to stock it for every year. So at least it can last for six months. And the drinking water also needs to be stocked for at least six months. [We] need to use cement to build basins. In the future [we] also must be careful. We have to transform Koh Wai and Koh Tang into military bases. We have to strengthen and expand [the idea] of transforming [those places] into edible fruit forests and vegetable farms. They are army bases and also economic bases, long-lasting, for many generations and for thousand of years. In the future, we will already have bases when we search for oil. So we must have plans to clear up the forests to destroy malaria and to protect the health of our soldiers. At the same time, we need to find natural appropriate place(s) to build wooden port(s) to protect against waves. In the future if we search for oil, we will also have airport(s) that can be used for economic and military purposes. If [we are] in war, we will use fighter planes for protection. We can organize more fishing areas; fishing and also holding guns for defence. Doing this will be more effective than using radars because [we] can investigate and get to know the situation. Every fishing group will have constant contact with our islands, and will perceive the situation regarding enemies’ ships. If the enemies threaten [us], we contact [our] patrols. Our fishing boats are the nets protecting the islands. So, we must organize according to the long term military stratagem. We will improve it every year. So, we will have fishing boats as safeguards – [we will] have artillery on the islands – and one fighter plane to help defend [the islands]. It won’t be important if we only have radars and patrol boat(s). The important things are the guards. In order to implement this plan we need: big warship(s). The biggest expenditure for defence is on ships. The expenditure on airplanes is smaller than on ships. Our implementing plans on the coast include: ships for defence, the places and planes for protecting the ships. We must know how to take care of our medium-sized ships. But those ships are not enough. We need to build small wooden speedboats for fighting along the coast so that planes and ships cannot attack us because we are small and fast.Plans: From 1977, [we] need to have shipyard(s) to build these types of small boats. [We] need lumber cutting shop(s). As military strategy, we cut lumber for the shipyard(s) to build speedboats. Military tactic: Don’t expose the big ship(s). We should find hiding places. Pull them out of the water. In wartime, we’ll put them [back] in the water. We should keep only one or two [ships in the water]. So we need to build rails to pull them out of the water. If [we] keep them in the sea, [they] will get rusty. We use them when we need them. Our warships need to be guarded. [We] keep only one or two [ships] at the port. [We] cannot keep the ships at the port because the enemies can attack us any time from now on to the year 1980. We should use only small boats for chasing and patrolling. We should build boats only 20 meters in length for chasing purposes. We can place DK-75s or DK-57s and 12.8 mm. [artillery on them], and [each] has a 400 horsepower [engine]. And [they] can go 30 kms. per hour. 1977: [we] will build from 10 to 20 boats. If [we] keep doing this until the year 1980 our nets will be thick. The enemy will be afraid of us because we will have many small speedboats all over the sea. Building [boats] ourselves is better than purchasing them from others. They are the constant patrol boats. [We] do not need helm oil or radars. [We] do this so that it can serve the demand of our movement. Plans for the artillery: [We] agree with the plans that have already been arranged. Suggest [we] pay more attention to shooting planes down. So, [we should] use many 12.7 mm. and 37 mm. artillery pieces as the groundwork. And [use] the American 20 mm. and 40 mm. as the support. At the same time [we should] use DK-75’s to shoot at ships. It will be more effective. And DK-82’s should be kept in the warehouses for the infantry to use. In the future we can start to use 85 mm. artillery. And the 105 mm. artillery are effective for now but they won’t be good for the future military stratagem. Suggest to the Artillery Unit to organize as noted below: Koh Kong needs to place 105 mm. and 75 mm. [artillery]. If [we] place only two B.C.S, it won’t be enough. Koh Smach or Choy Chobon need to place artillery at the projected spots. In the future we will place more 85 mm. artillery. If we have artillery to protect [us] this way, our fishing boats won’t be afraid of them [the enemies]. We can benefit more from using artillery than from using boats for defence purposes because it doesn’t demand gasoline, and enemies will be afraid of this. If we only use two B.C.S, they won’t be afraid. We have only this plan. If we keep our warships in the sea, five years later they will be damaged.Cargo ships: also need to be built – 100 ton capacity, 200 ton capacity and 300 ton capacity… etc. [We] need to build 4 to 10 of them per year for carrying [goods]. Oil refineries: need to put more artillery to defend the air space, 12.8 mm and 37 mm. artillery. Be prepared for their ground attacks. They won’t attack from the sea. 3. Matters of production increase, besides rice: [We] need to prepare any [crop] that is strategic, such as every kind of potato, edible fruits and every kind of beans. [We have] a lot of possiblity [to grow] mung beans. At the same time, [we] need to grow kapok trees. We increase production this way to provide for ourselves, help the people, and help to build the country. Rubber plantations: [We] can pull out [the rubber trees] because [we] no longer benefit from them. Use these lands to grow strategic crops as [mentioned] in the above. Plan them in hectares as in industrial style. Plan of [growing] kapok trees: In the year 1977, 100,000 trees [need to be planted]. Economically, kapok trees give more fruits than coconut trees – easy to plan and easy to take care of. 4. Equipment shortages: such as oil, screws and equipment for the navy. [You] must make a list and request to the higher authorities every year. If [you] don’t have oil, do not use plundered oil. It can damage the ships.
So, we should query Comrade Chinese about what kinds of oils [we] use for the ships. How much [do we] use per year? How do we use them?
Telegram Nº 85
310 characters [khtung]
To m. (Office) 870 with respect, We sent the report of the Eastern border, Region 20 with the Comrade who brought the Chinese to meet Brother Van, [and] had the meaning as below: 1. Region 20: On 10 - 5 - 77, in a village west of Tnaot Temple, the soldiers of Pornhea Krek heard the sound of the enemy cutting down trees and digging the ground to camp from 11 pm until 4 am. The enemy hit the tree as their signal from the north of Tnaot Temple to the south. On the morning of 11 - 5 - 77, five of them slithered closer to the base. Bombs exploded and killed water buffaloes, and we heard their trucks bringing in their soldiers or transporting equipment along the Route to Kampong Roteh and stopping at Veal Roam, southwest of Tnaot Temple. At 8pm, they shot guns into the air cotinuously. 2. Region 24: We received the news on 11 - 5 - 77, it said that the situation in Region 24 is calm. Best wishes for good health and success Morning of the 13 - 5 - 77 Comrade Lin
Received on the 13 - 5 - 77 at 18 : 30
Telegram Nº 54
274 characters [khtung]
To m. [Office] 870 with respect, 1. On 25 - 5 - 77, at the product-growing area, crushed one Vietnamese person to death on the spot. 2. On 18- 5 - 77, 2nd battalion caught 2 Vietnamese. They were caught at Kevseima line and Sre Preach. Those Vietnamese were on Thieu’s side. They were a warrant officer and a second lieutenant. They wanted to go to France. They said Vietnam is too difficult to live in. There is a lot of starvation and conflict and unrest. 3. On 13 - 5 - 77, Region’s Unit lost one life and had one person seriously injured. Enemy attacked near the Office Tochuoy and Tosra, 50 meters away from the Office. According to our investigation, there were not enemies from the outside. We suspected that the Unit is under Saom and Chhin orders. We already reported to San. Unit 920 still has activities but we continue to catch them. On 25 - 5 - 77, we sent comrade(s) to study the secret code. [We] received information about the creation of collectives. Adding: The Vietnamese problem has already been decided. Warmest revolutionary solidarity. date: 20 - 5 Chhan
Received on 21 - 5 - 77 at 21: 00
Telegram Nº 16
355 characters [khtung]
To Chief 870 with respect, I’d like to report the situation in Oudameanchey: 1. On 27-4-77 at 1 : 30 at night [in the morning], an enemy threw grenade(s) at the Ampil District office, at the place of Comrade …………? who was the secretary of Ampil District. [He] died there, and one district messenger was slightly injured. 2. On 25-4-77, bandits came down from the mountain at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. We shot and hit [some] of them, and they ran away. We followed their blood trail and saw 12 of them [hiding] in the stream. 3. On 26-4-77, the internal situation of the soldiers along the border: Two soldiers deserted and took two AKs with them. Strategy: 1. I ordered to advise Brother Sae’s section to observe the situation in Ampil District in order to examine the causes closely. If there is a cause, [I] will report to Angkar later. 2. I Advised Comrade Soeun to pay close attention to comprehend the enemy situation along the border in order to be self-reliant in demolishing them. 3. I advised him to have plans to educate both cadres and soldiers through politics and conscience, strengthen the order as always, and analyze the details about the cadres and soldier that deserted. For example: Until now [we] noted that 13 traitors have deserted and have taken 13 weapons, pistols and long guns. Through all the events, some of the deserters were within the platoon, some were in the unit and some were soldiers. For other issues, [I] will let Comrade Sy go to do the work later. Best wishes for good health and success. With the warmest revolutionary solidarity. Date: 30 - 4 - 77
Received on 1 - 5 - 77 at 12 : 50 Comrade Pauk
Telegram Nº 89
278 characters [khtung]
To m. 870 with respect, We ‘d like to ask how all the Brothers are doing. We’d like to report some of the plans involved with the Region. Lately, foreign visitors have constantly come in and out of Region 505. Those guests usually stayed and ate [there]. The Region took care of them constantly. According to the people’s reports, the hosts such as comrades who work at the airport section and the radar section have unpleasant feelings toward the Region. We still don’t know what side should take responsibility for that matter. Usually when the visitors flew in, comrades from those sections always come to ask for places, cooks and food for the guests. We always provided them and let the airport section be in charge. But this time was very unusual. Besides, the comrades who came with the guests demanded a lot of snacks and fresh fruits and food for the guests to eat. We didn’t understand about that at all. [We] didn’t know whether the guests were workers or cadres. [We] prepared food for them as usual. And [our food is] not abundant. Only coconuts that we always have. The other kinds of fruits we have according to the season. And we don’t have flour to make snacks. For the people based at the place, we provide them with 40 hectares of land, 7 to 8 pairs of oxen and water buffaloes. Besides, we provide them fish, meats and vegetables. We even went to villages to ask for vegetables, seeds for them with the thought that they are new to the place, they can’t solve everything by themselves. These things also cause some disappointments. Suggestion: We suggest that if there are visitors coming to our place, please Angkar let us know ahead of time. If it is possible, please let us know what kind of guests are coming. Please, M. 870, notice this. Happiness and success 1 - 5 - 77 Yi Received on 2 - 5 - 77 at 10 : 30
Copies sent to: Um Umnuon, Brother Van, Brother Von, Brother Khieu, the Office,