(17 Jun 1997) English/Nat
The U-S State Department, responding to reports that Cambodia is close to capturing guerrilla leader Pol Pot, said he deserves no sympathy from anybody on Monday.
Calling him a mass murder, U-S State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns said he was unable to confirm reports that Pol Pot’s own forces have turned against him.
Speculation has been mounting over the fate of Pol Pot, who led the ruthless Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979.
Khmer Rouge guerillas are reported to be attempting to capture their former leader and kill him.
It has been claimed the 69 year-old has been forced to flee with just 250 die-hard fighters to protect him.
On Monday State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said he could cast no light on Pol Pot’s fate.
But, he said the State Department would not be sorry if rumours of Pot’s fall from grace turned out to be true.
“We do believe that the leaders of the Khmer Rouge are massive human rights violators, among the worst in this long, bloody, century and we believe they ought to be brought to justice. There are no tears being shed in the State Department about Pol Pot, believe me. He’s a mass murderer. He doesn’t deserve one ounce of sympathy from anybody.”
SUPER CAPTION: Nicholas Burns, State Department Spokesman
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will promise to help Cambodians embrace a brighter future when she visits Cambodia in about a week.
A State Department spokesman said that she will tell the Cambodians that they have come a long way since the killing fields of 25 years ago.
As many as two (m) million Cambodians died under Pol Pot’s regime.
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