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Khmer Rouge commander dies while fishing

Anlong Veng

The Khmer Rouge and explosive fishing, not necessarily a headline you’d expect to hear, but well apparently its a thing.

A few days ago Srey Chien, 66, a farmer.and former Khmer Rouge commander and de-miner blew himself up whilst trying to do “explosive fishing”. We will get onto explosive fishing in a bit, but lets give a bit of background.

Anlong Veng the last bastion of the Khmer Rouge

Anlong Veng was the last holdout of the Khmer Rouge and where their last “state” was.You can drive here in about 7 hours from Phnom Penh, although you will need an international driving permit to do so. By 1998 most all former members had been reintegrated into the Cambodian military, or civilian life. This was part of the win-win policy of the CPP,  which although controversial to some, essentially brought peace to Cambodia.

To read about Anlong Veng click here.

To read about the win-win policy click here.

For many that did not join the military they became farmers, one of these was Srey Chiev.

Explosive fishing

Explosive fishing is exactly what it sounds like. You throw explosives into a river, the explosion kills fish (who float to the top) and you get a great meal. If you think this sounds bat-shit crazy then my goodness you are correct. Apart from the very obvious affects to the environment theres the fact that unixloded ordinance has a bad habit of killing people.

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Anlong Veng

Srey Chien would use all kinds of unexploded stuff, from ordinance to bullets and then as the Khmer Times put “recycle it”.  AKA use it blow shit up. Apparently the police warned him against it, but would the little tyke listen?

When explosive fishing goes wrong

On the day of the accident, Chiev tried to recycle a 60 millimetre bullet he had found to go fishing. The local police chief stated the following;

“The explosive exploded and caused him to immediately die,” he said. “The explosion caused him to lose his right leg and hands, while his head and face became bruised.”

He added;

“During the Pol Pot’s regime, he was a former Khmer Rouge military commander and had a career as a mine planter and a deminer. He was the most experienced in planting mines,” he added. Mines that still ravage the Cambodian countryside and kill many innocent people every year.

Fate it would appear is not without a sense of irony.

The police finished by saying “ not to play with or produce UXOs or home-made-guns to catch fish”.

Wise words indeed….

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