Heng Samrin played an outsized and often overlooked role in Cambodia’s history and politics. Arguably one of the twentieth century’s greatest guerrilla commanders, he defected from the Khmer Rouge and fled to Vietnam, where he plotted his return with Hanoi as part of a military force that ousted a genocidal regime led by Pol Pot. He then helped lay the foundation for Cambodia as we know it today.
Heng Samrin remains a senior figure in the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) till today, and his book, A People’s Struggle: Cambodia Reborn, has been translated and updated into an English edition following years of hard work, published by EDM in Singapore.
Peter Starr, a journalist and author who has lived in Asia since 1986, was the chief editor responsible for the final publication. He spoke with Luke Hunt about the project as well as broader reflections about Heng Samrin and Cambodia’s historical evolution.
Luke Hunt can be followed on Twitter @lukeanthonyhunt