BANGKOK, Thailand — With the upcoming trials in Cambodia of two
leaders of the infamous Khmer Rouge, the United Nations inexplicably is
protecting the would-be assassin of current Cambodian Prime Minister Hun
Sen, who is demanding the attempted killer’s extradition from Thailand.
Along with reported inroads terror kingpin Osama bin Laden is making
in Southeast Asia and the region’s ever-increasing religious persecution
of Christians, signs are that the already-great troubles in this part of
the world are escalating.
Indeed, of all the world’s continents, Asia might be the one most
notorious for human misery. Japan raped and slaughtered its way from
Manchuria to Indonesia throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Beginning in the
1950s, Chairman Mao sent 90 million dissidents to his gulags. Today
China features everything from forced abortion to organ harvesting, as
well as the “gendercide” aborting of females — also common in South
In the mid 1970s, the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia slaughtered 1.7 million
of their own people in the infamous “Killing Fields.” North Korea
currently houses around 250,000 Christians in its gulag system. The
Pathet Lao has waged genocide against the right wing Christian Hmong
hilltribes, as have their communist allies in Vietnam. Today,
underscoring this legacy of persecution and death in Asia, recent events
in Indochina threaten to bring increased suffering to the region.
Anthony C. LoBaido in Cambodia
Terrorists in Thailand
In late December, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the main opposition leader
in Thailand’s parliament, claimed an associate of alleged Saudi
terrorist Osama bin Laden was then carrying out operations from a base
on Thai soil. The fact that Osama bin Laden has been seeking to set up
camps in Thailand was first reported by WorldNetDaily
on Dec. 14.
Chavalit, a former Thai prime minister and highly regarded ex-general
in the Thai army, spoke during a five-day “no confidence” debate on the
bin Laden issue.
“From decades of involvement with intelligence penetration
operations, I have obtained tapes. There is a group linked to
international terrorists, one member of which is in Thailand,” said
The former general also stated that this terrorist organization could
be linked to a recent explosion at an oil refinery in Thailand that
resulted in the death of seven people. The explosion of the factory is
currently under investigation.
Although reports of Osama bin Laden’s intention to set up terrorist
camps and cells in Thailand have been denied officially by the Thai
government, a number of Thai military, intelligence and police sources
interviewed by WorldNetDaily confirmed that the existence of such cells
is a growing concern within the Kingdom of Thailand.
Osama bin Laden is wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly
masterminding the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Kenya is a
home base for Christian groups attempting to aid the South Sudanese Christians,
two million of whom have been slaughtered in recent years in the face of
a violent Islamic jihad by the Arab-led Khartoum government.
The U.S. currently has Delta Force Special Forces soldiers stationed
in Pakistan attempting to capture bin Laden, who has a million dollar
reward on his head. While the Special Forces have not been able to
apprehend him, bin Laden has been accused of planning to blow up the
American, Indian and Russian embassies in Cambodia.
Although officials in Thailand are obviously justified in worrying
about the activities of bin Laden, another ghost from Indochina’s ugly
past has resurfaced recently inside the Kingdom.
On Christmas Day 1999, Thai Military Television’s “TV5″ — Thailand’s
own version of MTV — aired the confession of Sok Yoeun, a Cambodian
national, for planning and attempting to carry out the assassination of
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Sok Yoeun is an activist with the Sam Rainsy Party, the main
opposition party to Hun Sen’s Communist government in Cambodia.
The growing public controversy over Sok Yoeun is the result of his
attack on Hun Sen’s motorcade in September 1998. During a political
ceremony held at the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Sok Yoeun
fired a rocket-propelled grenade into the motorcade of Hun Sen and his
allies. The rocket barely missed Hun Sen, but did kill an innocent
Soon after, Sok Yoeun fled to Thailand to escape a warrant issued for
his arrest by the Cambodian government.
For the past year, Sok Yoeun had been hiding in Thailand under the
protection of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which has
even granted Sok Yoeun “protected person” status.
Embarrassed by this bizarre situation, Thailand’s Prime Minister
Chuan Leekpai has now publicly stated that the United Nations High
Commission for Refugees did not inform the Thai government that it has
given Sok Yoeun sanctuary in the Kingdom of Thailand.
The UNHCR representatives in Thailand have refused comment to
WorldNetDaily, stating it would be “inappropriate to comment on
Sok Yoeun’s protected status inside Thailand under the helping hand
of the United Nations was made known by conservatives in the Thai
parliament during the debate mentioned at the beginning of this report.
“It’s absurd that the Thai government allowed the United Nations to
send back the Hmong refugees to face certain death in Laos, but have
allowed the U.N. to protect the would-be assassin of Hun Sen,” said one
Western diplomat based in Bangkok.
Hun Sen has demanded that Sok Yoeun be extradited to Cambodia to face
trial. Thailand and Cambodia have signed an extradition treaty, but it
has yet to be ratified by the Thai parliament.
For his part, Sok Yoeun admitted in his televised confession that he
had been paid $10,000 for planning the assassination of Hun Sen, and
that he was to be paid an additional $400,000 if the attack was
As for who put up the bounty on Hun Sen — a former Khmer Rouge cadre
who defected to the Viet Cong side in 1979 when the Vietnamese invaded
Cambodia and overthrew the Khmer Rouge — Sok Yoeun pointed to four
Khmer Rouge generals. These generals control vast regions of western
Cambodia, rich in gems and timber. Cambodia is, in effect, a middle age
fiefdom where warlord-style Khmer Rouge generals control what are, in
effect, private armies.
The people’s court
The assassination attempt on Hun Sen, funded by Khmer Rouge
dissident warlords, and the current secret and protected status given to
the would-be assassin by the United Nations, provides a bizarre
connecting point to a quarter-century-old struggle aimed at bringing the
Khmer Rouge to justice.
Only last week, Hun Sen delivered a document to the United Nations in
which he announced he was putting two of the Khmer Rouge’s top leaders
on trial. These two men are Ta Mok, a one-legged 73-year-old man known
as “The Butcher,” and “Duch,” who although now claiming to have become a
born-again Christian, ran the Khmer Rouge death machine at the notorious
S-21 prison in Phnom Penh.
The United States and the U.N. have pressured Hun Sen — whose son
recently graduated from West Point — to put U.N. judges on the
Cambodian court that will try the two men. Hun Sen has refused, stating
that only Cambodians are fit to judge the terrors of the “Killing
Fields” initiated by Pol Pot’s “Year Zero” nightmare of ultra-Maoist
Hun Sen’s slap in the face of the U.S. and the U.N.’s desire for an
international genocide trial — complete with U.N. trial funds, lawyers
and judges — has angered leaders of Western international corporations.
After all, foreign businesses are less likely to invest and become
profitable in Cambodia until symbolic witch trials are held against the
While U.N. and U.S. officials seethe quietly on the sidelines, their
frustration is amplified by several active Khmer Rouge generals, who
still hope to retake power from the government.
Renson Samay, the lawyer for Ta Mok, told WorldNetDaily he will call
“Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter,
Ronald Reagan and George Bush” to testify at the trial.
“We are going to invite them to tell the world why they supported the
Khmer Rouge,” Samay said.
Calling Ta Mok a “prisoner of war,” Samay said his client would “not
spare any of his former comrades,” many of whom now hold top positions
in the current Cambodian government.
The West supported the Khmer Rouge after it was overthrown in 1979 by
the Viet Cong invasion, mainly because the Khmer Rouge were considered
the first line of defense to protect Thailand from an invasion by the
Vietnamese. China, Thailand and the U.S. all gave military aid to the
Khmer Rouge. China had been defeated by the Vietnamese in a border war
in 1979 and feared being encircled by “Soviet-style communist regimes”
on its southern flank.
For its part, the U.S. could not afford to allow the Viet Cong to
conquer Thailand, as the Cold War was still raging throughout the 1980s.
The West’s fear of the Viet Cong was so great that it even went so far
as to authorize the United Nations to give Pol Pot a “seat in exile” –
the only such seat ever given in the history of the U.N.
For now, observers of Indochina’s political scene can only wonder why
the U.N. has knowingly harbored a fugitive assassin on Thai soil — an
assassin who tried to take out the U.N.’s number one enemy in the region
– Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
This conflict of interest is sure to be examined during the upcoming
trials in Cambodia of the Khmer Rouge. It is but another odd twist to an
insane and dangerous endgame currently being played out in the shadowy
world of Indochina.