Who was Son Ngoc Minh?

Who was Son Ngoc Minh

Son Ngoc Minh was one of the first communist revolutionaries in Cambodia. As a founder of the Kampuchean Peoples Revolutionary Party, a forerunner to the Communist Party of Kampuchea he can be considered the father of the Khmer Rouge.

Son was born in 1920 to a Khmer Krom father and a Vietnamese mother. Before entering politics, he was a Buddhist lay preacher and was known as Phạm Văn Hua among his colleagues.

His first political role came when he was recruited by the Viet Minh to serve as President of a newly formed Cambodian People’s Liberation Committee (CPLC). His revolutionary name was choses to the banished revolutionary Son Ngoc Thanh – who ironically would become and ardent nationalist and anti communist.

He was the leader of the first nationwide congress of the leftist Khmer Isaarak Group, which founded the United Issarak Front.

In 1950 with the group claiming to control 1/3 of Cambodia he declared her independence, but this was not recognized. In 1951 he was to co-found the Kampuchean Peoples Revolutionary Party alongside later leader Tou Sanmouth. The group then fled to the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).

Leadership and later life

During this period he remained in North Vietnam with a number of other communists and duly became estranged from the cause. The party had by this point created a front party to take part elections, namely Pracheachon, which received little success.

In 1960 the party split along rural and urban lines and was renamed the Workers Party of Kampuchea, the forerunner of the Communist Party of Kampuchea – AKA the Khmer Rouge.

He remained technically at least a senior figure in the party from his base in Hanoi until 1972 when at the request Ieng Sary he was sent to Beijing for blood pressure treatment. He would die there in December of that year.

He is one of the ew figures to be popular among CPK and KPRP cadres.