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Friday, December 01, 2006


Connection with Sita

One of my friends who teaches at Mahasarakham University has a home in Khon Kaen. She suggested that if I caught a bus to Khon Kaen she would take me the rest of the way to Mahasarakham.

It sounded like a reasonable offer and I had no deadlines so I decided to go with it. What I didn't know was that her husband is an army officer and they had booked me into accommodation at the army camp.

I guess an army camp is the last place you would expect me to be looking for accommodation but it turned out to be an interesting visit.

You may be aware that I have an interest in Cambodian history and the Pol Pot era. I am interested in anything that helps me understand the way the human mind works. So the fact that Pol Pot fathered a daughter in his later years interests me.

I discovered that my friend's husband, Met, had worked in Cambodia for seven years during the 90s. His job was to liaise with the armies of the three Cambodian factions working towards democracy.

During that time Pol Pot died. Met was responsible for leading a press photographer to the Khmer Rouge hideout in the mountains behind Anlong Ven near the Thai border. The photograph of the dead man that resulted was published worldwide.

I asked him if he saw the daughter, Sita. He said he had and that he thought she was very strong. People were filing in to pay their last respects to her dead father. Met never once observed her crying.

He is an interesting guy. I'm glad I took that detour and had the opportunity to meet Met.

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