Refugee Narratives: Ten Stories of Cambodian Refugees

Entry 7 (Diplomatic Transcription)

A story from a poor boy who’s alive 

Cambodia, it was a good country under Prince Sihanouk and it had few problem too. There was no fighting and every one was happy. 

Then in 1970, Sihanouk was deposed by the anti communist group led by Marshal Lon Nol. This was the beginning of the country's problems according to us, for Sihanouk was a the popular Leader. Pressure rose as nationalists loyal to Sihanouk, along with the communist underground movement the Khmer rouge, continued to oppose the new government. Growing threats from Vietnamese forces along the Cambodian border helped to send the country is temperature even higher.

In 1972-73, fighting broke out between the Lon Nol government and students, several students were killed. As a student I was hurt by the Police force during the manifestation on the economic’s crisis. My younger brother died indeed. Very down!

In 1975. It was the Cambodian new year, April 13rd, and the people were happy with the celebration of the Newyear. They forgot everything and the Khmer rouge took over the country. In the morning in the 17th april 75 at 9 am, the Khmer Rouge occuped Phnom Penh, many peoples was enjoyed because they thought that the peace arrived. “That's the end of the corruption, the war” People said[.] But after at noon the hell was started as soon as a volcanic upheaval.  The Khmer rouge tried to push the people out of the cities. “The power is on the point of a gun.” _ _ _ _! [Page 30] In front of my house 5 soldiers armed with black cloth standing and shouted loudly “go out! Hurry up! the USAF will bombing us now!”. Hardly we might left from that time. “bang! bang!” two balls of their weapons was broken to the ceiling throught of my door. Frightened we took out quickly from the door house without food, garmentless for wearing. We walked along the road and suddenly we saw one chinese of others declared that he didn't to leave from his house, with angry, theya gorillas hauled His collar, pistol in hand, they they shot him down terribly before the crowd of people. Much more people bottled up along the street pressed to find the way out. First the first time for me we slept overground in the road when the night comes.

After that we were in Koki, a village located about 20 miles from the cities. There, it was near the Mekong river. The hungry started to us to find to search how to eat. At last we got fruit _ _ _.  That was difficult to get one can of rice per three persons but we might struggled and strived until we won.

Seven months ago, they burdened us to go to the other place, to take new life. They said = “You must contrive how to produce the rice,. If you can eat it, you can tact it _ _ _ _”.

It was 200 miles from Phnom Penh, during that my family walked along the forest, the horizon plain, across the river, the mountain_ _ _. Our strenght just tired to continue thise difficult and miserable trip. During 10 months, we found in the middle of a thick forest, a village called Kolad situed in the Eastest of the country near the border Vietnamese. There, it had only the forest man who was [Page 31] the ignorants, they don't know how are the civilisation life their f wild face look us like the lion. The Barbarous Polpot rather liked them them, he formed the his troop army from them. There was in the spring January 1976, they pushed us at first to contruct the barrage fielding. From morning at 4 am many unhappy peoples gots out from home to the field, it rested child only work too in the village. They worked hard till night and just comed camed back home at 10 pm. 

One day in the morning, when I woke up, to guard men of the devil called us to their office. In front of us, g a great thief standing and shouted = “Down on your knee!”. soon after He kicked me fall down ahead. “You! Imperialist! You soldier Hound!”. after after he make us in ko K.O. I thought that we were finished at that time_ _ _ _!. 

Gun pointed behind the back, they taked us away to the thick forest. In my mind I wondered, what wrong I was? Why Khmerand killed Khmer? 

In the cont concentration camp (prison), I saw much more thin peoples begin to died, wrist and feet were bounded. . . . !  they was cal all students, professor, officer, ingeneer, doctor, soldier and policer whom following died every day. During the killing was began, they hearded many crying of suffering, the painful-ness of hell. Before our th turn to died they drawed us to work always gun guarded behind. In their plan it's might cut down co eight big trees in a day to be ready. It's no time to lie. My life look like a lock in the middle of the sea. 

[page 32] Every In the eating time, we got lunch like the fox with water of porridge mixed with salt and someone else find some small animal like grass-hopper, lizard, snake for feeding. 

Such as some time, another victim who was too hungry went to search in the flesh of their friend in new tomb. 

That was so ugliness which was unfit. 

In January, 7, 1979 the Wraith Pol Pot was overthrow from the country. Ou upstarted to see light of life again.

But I thought that these Vietnamese was the same communist, The starving growed up all the country whatever that was why we tried to escape from death on search of life and freedom. We travelled accross the country from estEast to West border. It was 9 month, we walked in to misory, but we might be be patiently we arrived in the camp Khmer Serei the 6.12_79. We thought we had never had enought to eat. We thought we had it a lot of hope when we saw the committee of P.O.N.U. We was happy. Summary, the regime of wraith PolPot was the falsehood’s regim. He was taked a secret meeting to sign with Peking’s team to kill all people Kampuchean and put the they Chinese people indeed in this 1980. This secret was founded by Troop Hensamrin under Vietnamese entered Phnom Phen. 

Finally, I will thank a lot to you and your people to give us alive. I haven't How to thank like the prid Souvenir picture from Cambodia and me.

I wish you to get long life, properity, happiness, and may God [Page 33] protect you and help you good health forever after. See you again, I remain with the best wishes and kindest regards

your sincerely [P.T.N.] 

Students in high school Lycee Descartes Phnom Penh                           
  22 y. olds                                            =Cambodia=

(excuse me for writing)
May God go with you                           Thank you [signature]
God bless you
make a good travel for you
bring you happiness! 

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