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Saturday, December 26, 1998 Published at 10:24 GMT


World: Asia-Pacific

Letters of surrender - full text

Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot leads his troops in a photo obtained in 1979

Two top Khmer Rouge leaders sent messages to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday asking permission to return to the country as "ordinary citizens" .

The messages from Khieu Samphan, former head of state of Democratic Kampuchea (DK), and Nuon Chea, former chairman of the DK's National Assembly, were read out on government-run National Radio of Cambodia on Saturday.

The radio also broadcast the text of Hun Sen's reply to the two men, in which he welcomed their requests as a reflection of the will to end internal conflicts and work towards rebuilding Cambodia.

The text of the three messages follows.

Message from His Excellency Khieu Samphan, former DK head of state, to His Excellency Hun Sen, Royal Government of Cambodia [RGC] prime minister:

Respected Excellency, first of all, I would like to thank you for welcoming me when I talked to you on the telephone on the evening of 25 December 1998. I would also like to thank you for informing the king of this news. Through you, I would like to express profound gratitude to the king for welcoming me.


[ image: Flag of the Khmer Rouge]
Flag of the Khmer Rouge
As I informed you on the telephone, my request is to return to live as an ordinary citizen. There are no other requests.

As an ordinary citizen, I would like to voice support and assistance for the political platform of the new Royal Government you read to the assembly during the recent establishment of the Royal Government.

This political platform is that of the three political parties present in the assembly. It also reflects the profound aspiration of all strata of the Cambodian nation and people and that of all friendly countries the world over.

I wish Your Excellency success in implementing this political platform because it is the implementation of this political platform that will strengthen and expand national reconciliation, peace, and stability in our Cambodia within the subsequent framework of liberal multiparty democracy.

Finally, I would like to solemnly declare the following:

1. I would like to express profound respect for His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk of the Kingdom of Cambodia for his relentless efforts to achieve national reconciliation;

2. I recognise and respect the kingdom of Cambodia's constitution;

3. I respect and recognise the Royal Government set up by the kingdom of Cambodia's constitution.

Please ignore any improprieties.

Pailin, 25 December 1998
[signed] Khieu Samphan

Statement by His Excellency Nuon Chea, former chairman of DK's National Assembly, to Samdech Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia:

Respected Samdech, I have the honour to inform the Royal Government of my personal request to return to society and the nation to live as an ordinary citizen to contribute to consolidating peace, stability, and national reconciliation, and also to develop our beloved Cambodia.

I would also like to solemnly declare the following:

1. I recognise and respect the kingdom of Cambodia's constitution;

2. I respect and recognise the RGC with Samdech Hun Sen as prime minister and support all aspects of the Royal Government's political platform;

3. I most highly elevate the role of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, king of Cambodia, as the father of the nation and as the cool shade of our nation.

Therefore, I would like to ask the Royal Government to accede to my single request of wanting to return to society and the nation as an ordinary citizen.

Samdech Prime Minister, please accept my high respect and consideration.

Completed in Pailin, 25 December 1998
[signed] Nuon Chea

Prime Minister Hun Sen's reply to messages from Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, dated 25 December in Phnom Penh:

His Excellency Khieu Samphan, former head of state of Democratic Kampuchea; His Excellency Nuon Chea, former chairman of the DK's National Assembly:

On behalf of the RGC and the commander in chief of the Cambodian National Armed Forces [CNAF], and in my own name, I would like to express my warmest welcome to both of you who have returned to society and the nation and have recognised the constitution of the kingdom of Cambodia, the current RGC, and the role of the revered His Majesty the King, who is the cool shade of our nation.

The goodwill and gestures of both of you show the precious will to end the war, to search for peace, national reconciliation, and national union, and to end internal rift in the nation in order to pool forces to restore and build our unfortunate country after our nation had been plunged into decades of war and internal conflicts.

As the decision by both of you was made after the establishment of the new Royal Government and ahead of the new international year, it has contributed to creating success for the pacification policy of the new Royal Government in the old year in order to move into the new international year, 1999, with honour and peace for the entire Cambodian nation and people.

I hope that from now on, due to the awakening spirit and mutual consideration of political personalities in all national circles, our unfortunate motherland will have full peace and the solidarity of the entire national force to work together to restore and rebuild our country to enable it to achieve harmony and glory and to step into the new century, that is the 21st century.

Once again, on behalf of the RGC, CNAF commander-in-chief, and in my own name and that of my wife, I would like to wish you both and your families the five Buddhist blessings of longevity, social prestige, happiness, strength, and enlightenment.

Phnom Penh, 25 December 1998
Prime Minister and CNAF commander-in-chief
[signed] Hun Sen




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