VEAL VENG RECONCILIATION CENTER
Veal Veng Reconciliation Center (VVRC) is a field office of Documentation Center of Cambodia. It’s headquarter office is situated in Veal Veng district, Pursat Province which was a former Khmer Rouge stronghold. Veal Veng is the central part of Cardamom Mountains which is located in the northwest of Cambodia. In Cambodia, if people mention about Cardamom Mountains they prefer to the mountain in Pursat province where is the homeland of ethnic minority group, Por and Chorng that have the best known as Traditional Dancing Pick Cardamom fruit which grow on Cardamom Mountains within Veal Veng district of Pursat province. Currently, ethnic minority, Por and Chorng live in O-Saom commune, Veal Veng district Pursat province. Veal Veng district is approximately 320 kilometers from Phnom Penh in northwest part of Cambodia nearby Cambodia-Thailand border (Thma Da border checkpoint), and it around 120 kilometers from Pursat provincial town. The district can be reached by Road Number 56 which links Pursat and Veal Veng across the Kavanh district. During Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979), Veal Veng area was within sector 6 of Northwestern Zone which was one among the places the Khmer Rouge forced transfer people from Phnom Penh and most of the people died because of starvation, overwork; and execution. In 1979, after the Vietnamese troops arrived in Cambodia, a majority of upper level Khmer Rouge cadres, top military leaders, workers from Phnom Penh, cadres from various zones, and regional cadres escaped to the Khmer-Thai border.
Veal Veng is a former place where the Khmer Rouge soldiers took shelter and used guerrilla tactics to ambush the Vietnamese troops and People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) troops who were stationed near the area. There were two Khmer Rouge divisions, the second and third divisions, stationing along Khmer-Thai border, starting from the Koh Kong to the Thma Da of Veal Veng area. Tim Ren, Ta Mok’s son-in-law, led the second division. Tim Ren’s wife is Krou, Ta Mok’s daughter, and that Tim Seng, former deputy chief of division 164 based in Kampong Som between 1975 and 1979, led the third division. Meas Mut, a former division 164 chief and former son-in-law of Ta Mok, served as a commander in chief along the border of Koh Kong province, Thma Da and Samlot district, Battambong province. After the integration of the Khmer Rouge forces by the Cambodian government in 1996, Veal Veng was created as a new district in Pursat province. Veal Veng comprises of five communes: Pramoy, Anlong Reap, O Ta Som, Kra Peu Pi, and Thma Da. Veal Veng has a population of 13,822 people—3,197 families; and more than 50 percent of the population in Veal Veng constitutes former Khmer Rouge cadres. Aside from this subgroup, there are those who come from different provinces to make a living, attracted to the huge space of land which makes it easier for them to farm. Furthermore, Veal Veng covers thousands of valuable forest land consisting of mountains and wildlife animals, including but not limited to, elephants, tigers, wild oxen, wild buffalos, deers, and boas.