Biography of Ta Mok, Former (5th Bong Thom) in Pol Pot Regime

Ta Mok, his real name was called Chhit Choeun, as a former of an influencing Khmer rouge leader, who was acknowledged that (Fifth Bong Thom). Ta mok was born in 1962 in Takeo province in the Chinese-Khmer family with proper livelihood. In 1930, Ta Mok became a monkhood for many years and then he got married to his cousin, namely Ouk Khim and had got 4 children. During the 1940s, Ta mok joined in aresistancemovement against with French colonial protectorate, and then against with Japan. In 1949, Ta mok became a leader of district Khmer Issarak movement, Takeo province. After that, he leaved from Phom Penh and became a member of communist group in 1963. Later on, he became an influencing person in the party, especially in the southwest zone. From 1968 to 1978, Ta mok held position as secretary of southwest zone, or zone 405. In according to Mrs. Elizabeth Becker, the southwest zone was a largest zone with the poorest people, but there were the strongest troops. The southwest zone secretary Chhit Choeun called Ta mok. This zone was included: Kampot province and the entire Takeo province, two districts in Kampong Speu province were Samrong Tong and Kong Pisey districts, and five districts in Kandal province were Kandal Steung, Saang, Koh Thom, Kien Svay and Leuk Dek districts. This zone was divided into 4 areas: 13, 33, 35, and area 25. Ta Mok was believed to have planned several massacres in the areas he controlled. In a fight in 1970, he lost his one leg. On November 1978, Ta mok was appointed as second vice – secretary of Cambodian Communist Party. In accordance with constitution, promulgated by Democratic Kampuchea regime, on 05 January 1976, the people’s assembly was the legislative power of Democratic Kampuchea. 250 national assembly members were selected through the direct and secret election for the term of 5 years. Noun Chea was the president and Chhit Choeun was the first president. The presidency held the title of head of state of Democratic Kampuchea. The King Norodom Sihanouk, who was head of the Royal Government of National Unity of Cambodia, continued to hold position as head of state of the Democratic Kampuchea until April 1976. After he had resigned from the position, Khieu Samphan held this position. Following the collapse of Democratic Kampuchea regime (Khmer Rouge), Ta Mok had never asked for amnesty and never intended to join with the government. Ta Mok still had power in governing the northern zone of the remaining territory which was under the control of Khmer rouge was his stronghold in Anlong Veng of Dangrek mountain range. It was estimated that there were about 3.000 to 5.000 of fighters who remained faithful with Ta Mok were led by Ta Mok. At that time, Ta Mok said a phrase that “above Mok has hat; above hat has sky!!!” Anlong Veng zone was known that was the former of the last stronghold for Khmer rouge resistance forces. The former of senior Khmer rouge leaders such as Pol Pot, and Noun Chea used to reside there. At there, Ta Mok and the people who were royalty to Khmer rouge and over 300, 000 people who were gathered by Khmer rouge camped with plastic and thatch as roof in the deep forest. Ta Mok ordered the people to build a dam containing water covering over surface of 440 hectares. Nowadays, the lake was called “Boeng Ta Mok”, which the lake locates behind his house. Together with this, Ta Mok started extending his zone requiring the men to serve as troops hiding in the forest near the front battle. While the women and children were at home sitting making bamboo to make weapons for use in resistance with the government armies. In the gap of 1996 to 1998, there were major integrations into the Cambodian royal government by leaders of Khmer rouge in the areas of Phnom Vale, Oral, Pailin, Malay, Samlot, and Phnom Chhat. In January 1998, the government armies reopened attacking campaign to put pressure on the remaining Khmer rouge armies in Anlong Veng area, which had been still stubborn not to join with the government. In May 1999, Ta Mok was arrested by the armies of the Cambodian royal government at near Cambodia – Thailand border and he was taken to be imprisoned in custody of military court. With old age, and weak health, especially he had a matter of respiratory problems; Ta Mok got died in the military hospital in the capital of Phnom Penh on 21 July 2006 in the age of 80 years. His corpse was permitted to be taken for Buddhist traditional celebration in Anlong Veng district, distancing about 100 km at the east of Oddar Meanchey Province, the last stronghold of the former Khmer rouge leader. Mentioning about a war warrior stupa of Khmer rouge leader Ta Mok, we travel leaving from the gathering of Anlong Veng district toward to Sangam border crossing about 13 km, we will see a big rock consisting statues of broken warriors and if looking at the stone surface, below it there are many incenses, and rice at the middle of road to the border, and there would be the passengers packed for praying for happiness. When having suffering, or need to go far way, or climb up the hills for logging and finding fruits, the people in Anlong Veng district, those residing in Khmer – Thai border, and those residing in the provincial town have always come here for help, as here is believed to have magical prestige. Please express in addition that Anlong Veng area had been under the administration of Khmer rouge from 1979 to 1998, and after the regime had already been integrated, the royal government of Cambodia set out 14 points in Anlong Veng district, and has been kept as historical tourism sit for attracting tourists to visit. Today, the residence and Ta Mok war warrior stupa, and bows of the former Khmer rouge leaders in Anlong Veng area have become worship places for believers and become a popular tourism resort. As Ta Mok house, using big wood pillars to build, while the common people are not able to build such house like him, and the house was built for trench and meeting hall as well, with on the wall there are paintings of Preah Vihea temple, and it is becoming an attractive site for national and international tourists coming to see and take action photos of the remaining Khmer rouge. In the surrounding areas of Ta Mok house, there is scenery of lake and the government determined the land size of over 400 hectares as conservation sites of the last stronghold of the former Khmer rouge armies.