Documentation Center of
Cambodia Catalogue Number: D7562
[Unofficial translation by Bunsou Sour; edited by Prof. David
MINUTE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE
11 March 1976
PARTICIPANTS: COMRADE SECRETARY GENERAL [Pol Pot]
DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL [Noun Chea]
COMRADE VORN [Vorn Vet]
COMRADE HEM [Khieu Samphan]
AGENDA: SIHANOUK'S RESIGNATION FROM HIS POST
Report on the Resignation of Sihanouk
HEM reported to the Standing Committee on the resignation of Sihanouk. Sihanouk
has sent two letters written in French:
- The first letter conveys his
resignation and explains the important reason for which he is resigning. In
particular, he emphasizes his various health problems, which do not allow him to
continue his work.
- The second letter is a statement addressed to the
people of Democratic Kampuchea informing them that he wishes to resign from his
post before the 20th March 1976.
During his meeting respectively
with the Ambassadors of Mauritania and Senegal, Sihanouk has also indicated that
he categorically resigns. But during his meeting with the Chinese Economic
Delegation he grumbled about his illnesses...
Reason for his Resignation.
are two: in the long term and in the short term.
the Long Term: it is the difference of "classes", the difference between the
grass roots of the Revolution and his own person and family. He cannot live with
us. If in the past he was able to remain with us, it was simply because of his
strategy. As we no longer go along with his strategy, he can onlyremain
provisionally with us. It is not the first time that Sihanouk has resigned. He
did that in 1971 already.
B. In the Short Term: It is a strategic
difference together with the grass roots difference. An example was the case
when we dispatched our Ambassadors abroad without consulting him. The incident
has no importance but he would have thought that we no longer have any need for
him. Thus the wrangle over position continues.
But the situation has
evolved more thoroughly than before. Outside the country, Sihanouk can work with
us. While inside the country he feels completely lost without any future.
He is very frustrated. He lacks work, he is bored and the environment that
surrounds him, in particular his wife who cries constantly, pushes him to the
point that he cannot endure any longer. In the case that he decides to
remain with us, that cannot last either, at the most l or 2 years. As he wishes
to leave, his leaving now is the best.
2. POSITIVE and Negative
aspects of his Resignation
A. Positive Aspects for our Revolution :
the people of Kampuchea will feel a huge surge of relief. The same applies to
all our cadres and military. As far as the world is concerned, there won't be
- We can resolve the problem of the nomination in our State
Organisation easily. And under these conditions we can work peacefully without
- Our work in External Affairs will thus be improved
because henceforth we will make the decisions ourselves, we will express our
position by ourselves. Without Sihanouk we are clean-cut.
Negative Aspects for our Revolution
- On the one hand, Vietnam attacks us
and treats us as being too far to the left. Sihanouk has helped us, so why
should we drop him? Vietnam will point out to others, saying
something bad about us, but good about themselves. But it is a provisional
problem only. If in the final analysis we remain very close to them, we
shall certainly have no problem.
- On the other hand, the enemy is about
to attack us, but we should let them be for say half a month. But even if
Sihanouk had not resigned the enemy will always attacks us, their spies still
exist. If the enemy does not cease attacking us, are we going to suffer? No,
because they cannot isolate us.
3. MEASURES to be Taken: two
A. First directive: We don't reject him. We ask him to remain
in the same
position. If he wishes to remain with us, he could remain for 5
months, l or
3 years, as long he would like. If he cannot resist, it is
not because of us, it
is not our fault. In fact he won't be able to remain
with us. He and his family can see very well that they won't have
well-being We don't give him any choice, if he does not wish to remain,
too bad for him.
Thus we must go and see him and ask him to excuse us for
being unable to pay him visits as often as we would like, because we were very
busy. We SHOULD acknowledge reception of his letter. That is why we come
together to see him. The Situation of our country is very difficult, very poor,
the country must face tremendous difficulties. We must resolve all the problems
national dignity. It is in this way that we can be truly independent.
Our position, including that of the government, is of always recognizing his
noble contribution, HIS deeds and efforts for the country, in particular in the
The [Khmer] Nation owes him its gratitude for his
highly patriotic contribution, something which our Assembly has already noted in
its resolutions. We respect a lot [our] collective decisions once they have been
adopted. But we request that he remains with the people. The people
preserve his nationalist undertakings and we also will congratulate him
and will do our utmost to implement the resolution of our extraordinary session
of the National Assembly.
B. Second Directive: in the event that he
insists on resigning. We thank him. In the recent past we fought together,
shoulder to shoulder. We very much regret his resignation. We shall convoke a
meeting of the Council of Ministers to take a decision. If he resigns we won't
allow him to leave the country. His departure will render the situation
complicated to China. The enemy does not cease to condemn and criticize us. If
we refuse to allow him to leave, the enemy can criticize us at least for one
reasonable attitudes of Sihanouk show a patriotic spirit, but his wife has no
patriotic spirit at all. Consequently, if we are not clear in solving this
problem, it is possible that unresolved questions will complicate our tasks
later on. Thus we should go for the first solution and if that does not work,
adopt the second one.
III. ANGKAR'S OPINION (meeting of 13 March
Comrade HEM made several reports to the Standing Committee on the
Sihanouk problem. He has made a categorical decision to resign. He asks Angkar
that it TAKE PITY ON him. HE lowers and humbles himself only
requesting Angkar that it accepts his resignation. This resignation is not
Secretary General pointed out that it is an important question to be decided by
the Central Committee of the Party. But Comrade Secretary General has already
prepared a number of ideas, which WERE supported by the Standing
1. To forbid Sihanouk from leaving the country is the first
measure to be taken.
2. It is necessary to call a meeting of the Council
of Ministers to submit to it reports on the matter, in order for the latter to
make a decision and, then, to meet Sihanouk once again, with the presence of
It is necessary that arrangements be made to record the
conversation with Sihanouk. It is necessary to speak to him in such a way
for him to keep UP his hopes and allow the recording of his
conversation. It is for our documentation.
3. To dispatch telegrams to
the sons of Sihanouk asking them to return as soon as possible, pointing out
that they must come for the New Year and the National Day celebration. We must
solve this problem once and for all. We must also solve it for the interests of
4. Is Our Decision TRUE TO Revolutionary
the morality of the Revolution or the interests of the Revolution. The morality
of the revolution must be based on the interests of the revolution. It is a gain
for the revolution. To allow Sihanouk to leave is a loss for the
Revolution. In reality, Sihanouk is a meek tiger, which only has its skin and
bones left, without claws and the fangs. HIS beard has also been shaven.
Thus all that remains is to wait for the day of his death. But if this old tiger
is freed in the street, all the children would certainly be afraid of it.
Certain old men that did not know this meek tiger would also be
b. Sihanouk participated with us in our Revolution despite his
differences with us. That is the reason why our Party decided that Sihanouk
should become President of Democratic Kampuchea. But Sihanouk refuses. Thus it
is up to him, he can remain or not, it is his problem.
We consider him as
a Senior Personality. We shall not kill him. But vis-a-vis the people and the
Nation, Sihanouk must also be punished for his fault of having massacred the
Thus our decision is reasonably taken in every respect. We shall
not change it. But if he continues to resist us, we shall take measures to
5. Direction of the Evolution of our Revolution:
Consequently, it is necessary to put an end to feudalism. We have
reached this stage. The whole feudal regime has been destroyed and definitively
dismantled by the Revolution. The Monarchy existing for over 2000 years has
finally been dismantled. We do not have any other alternatives. Reactions will
certainly take place, but we must follow the path of the Revolution in order to
6. Another Measure to be Taken:
Henceforth, Sihanouk shall
not be allowed to meet foreign diplomats. We shall give them valid reasons to
explain the situation.