Pol Pot


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Related to Pol Pot: Khmer Rouge, Stalin

Pol Pot,

1925–98, Cambodian political leader, originally named Saloth Sar. Paris-educated, and a Khmer Communist leader from 1960, he led Khmer RougeKhmer Rouge
, name given to native Cambodian Communists. Khmer Rouge soldiers, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, began a large-scale insurgency against government forces in 1970, quickly gaining control over more than two thirds of the country.
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 guerrillas against the government of Lon NolLon Nol
, 1913–85, Cambodian general and political leader. He became defense minister and army chief of staff in 1955 in Norodom Sihanouk's government. He served as premier (1966–67) under Sihanouk.
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 after 1970. In 1975 he proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea and served as its premier (1976–79). The systematic murder of members of various groups; the complete destruction of individual rights; forced labor, disease, and starvation in Cambodia's "killing fields"; the transformation of a developing country into a xenophobic agrarian society; and other horrors that can be ascribed to the cruelty or ineptitude of Pol Pot made him one of the most infamous leaders in modern history. Some 1.5 million out of a total population of about 7 million died during his rule, which ended with an invasion by the Vietnamese in late 1979. Although he retired officially in 1985, Pol Pot continued to control his guerrillas, the strongest antigovernment force, in western jungle areas of Cambodia until factional collapse shortly before his death.

Bibliography

See biographies by D. Chandler (1992, rev. ed. 1999) and P. Short (2005); study by B. Kiernan (2d ed. 2002).

Pol Pot

original name Kompong Thom. 1925--98, Cambodian Communist statesman; prime minister of Kampuchea (1976; 1977--79); his policies led to the deaths of thousands in labour camps before he was overthrown by Vietnamese forces; in 1997 his former supporters in the Khmer Rouge captured him and claimed to have tried and sentenced him to life imprisonment
References in periodicals archive ?
He and Pol Pot met for the first time while Ieng Sary was still a student in France.
Inspired by Chinese communism and schooled in leftist politics in France, Pol Pot, whose birth name was Saloth Sar, orchestrated one of the most violent revolutions of the 20th Century.
The Cambodian government has been working together with the United Nations to try the ex-Khmer Rouge, many of which surrendered in what was a final blow to the Pol Pot regime and given royal amnesty.
Pol Pot died in 1998 but four other Khmer Rouge leaders, all said to be more senior than Duch, are in custody awaiting trial.
Former Conservative chairman Lord Tebbit will compare new leader David Cameron to communist tyrant Pol Pot in a speech this week, it was reported yesterday.
There, with the legacy of the Pol Pot regime, I found myself asking, 'If my legs were blown off by a landmine, would life still be a gift?
In Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, he has drawn on hundreds of hours of interviews with former Khmer Rouge leaders, as well as documents in Khmer, Chinese, Russian, French, and Vietnamese, to produce what is certainly one of the most important--and thoroughly readable--works on Pol Pot and modern Cambodian history.
The only way to make any sense of what happened is to follow individual lives, especially that of Pol Pot, and to set them against the frustrations of many in the country's Francophone intelligentsia and against Cambodia's own history with its disregard for the value of human life.
The anguishing but rather rearguard horror of Bhopal (though, yes, it must be acknowledged that evil, like rust, never sleeps) gives way to a visit to Angkor Wat and an upsetting replay of the demonic Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
In the past year, hundreds of former followers of Pol Pot have converted.
Delgado's film focuses on four Cambodians, including a man who was in high school when Pol Pot came into power and now works to remove land mines left over from the war.