The People's Struggle - Cambodia Reborn


By Heng Samrin, Edited by Peter Starr and Timothy Auger
176 pp, 225 mm x 150 mm

ISBN: 978-981-4610-49-0
RRP USD25.00 buy from amazon

Category: Biography & Autobiography
Theme: Rest of World

This book is a vivid first-hand account of the career of one of the 20th century’s great guerrilla commanders, Samdech Heng Samrin, who after his years as a soldier played an important role in the political and economic rebirth of Cambodia.
     Born into a rural village community, and working as a farmer, Heng Samrin campaigned and then fought for the Khmer People’s Revolutionary Party. He led a double life – both as a member of the government militia and working for the party. In due course he went fully underground. He describes in detail the experience of coming under attack by US and South Vietnamese aircraft. There followed the guerrilla conflict against military leader Lon Nol, who after a coup declared a republic and allied the country with the US at war with Vietnam. The author was appointed company commander in the People’s Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea, and rose to be a regimental and then divisional commander. Heng Samrin describes the schisms that arose within the revolutionary movement, and how he, his Cambodian comrades and his Vietnamese allies ended up fighting, and defeating, the forces of Pol Pot and what had become a viciously cruel Khmer Rouge régime. Thereafter, Heng Samrin played an important part in laying the foundations for the new Kingdom of Cambodia. He served as both Head of State and as secretary-general of the ruling Khmer People’s Revolutionary Party, since renamed as the Cambodian People’s Party, of which he still serves as honorary chairman. In 2006 he became president of the National Assembly.
     Few books capture as powerfully the experience of guerrilla war as seen by its participants. What drove Heng Samrin to persist in fighting for the freedom of Cambodians in the face of extreme danger? How did he outwit the Khmer Rouge and their traps? In this book, he shares his insights, and describes his efforts to help rebuild his country after decades of war.

Heng Samrin served as a revolutionary soldier in eastern Cambodia for 11 years before founding the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea in 1978 to overthrow the genocidal régime of Pol Pot. He emerged as head of state of the new People’s Republic of Kampuchea founded in 1979. Between 1981 and 1991, he also served as secretary-general of the Khmer People’s Revolutionary Party, now known as the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Heng Samrin was elected president of the Cambodian National Assembly in 2006 and has been honorary chairman of the CPP since 1991.


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