prek sabov village, Kompong Thom province – At least one Cambodian prayed for the soul of Pol Pot last month during Pchum Ben, the festival when thousands of Cambodians pay homage to deceased family members.
Saloth Nhep, the youngest of three surviving siblings of Pol Pot, said Saturday that he walked with family members to a nearby pagoda with fruit, flowers and incense to mark the Sept 20 holiday, five months after his brother died in northern Cambodia.
“He’s still my brother,” Saloth Nhep said in his wooden house adjacent to the Stung Sen River,
4 km from the provincial capital. “I must go to the pagoda for him. This is the tradition of all Cambodians on this day.”
Saloth Nhep, 71, said he suffered and was hungry like millions of Cambodians during the 1975-78 rule of Pol Pot.
“He studied and was clever when he was young,” Saloth Nhep said of his brother, who was born as Saloth Sar. “He tried to have a regime with freedom that could improve the people. But when he tried to carry out his plan, he had troubles.”
Saloth Nhep said he hadn’t spoken with his brother in more than 30 years. Two older siblings, a brother and a sister both in their 80s, live in the same province but are said to be in ill health.
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