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The "Master of the Land": cult activities around Pol Pot's tomb

Abstract : In April 1998, Pol Pot, the dictator who had been overthrown by his own movement one year earlier, died on the forest plateau of Anlong Veng, near the Thai border, to which the Khmer Rouge had gradually retreated in the 1990s. A modest tomb was erected there, on the very spot where he was cremated. Drawing on fieldwork carried out in October-November 2011, this contribution describes the strange aura which surrounds Pol Pot's tomb. The latter is the focus of funerary practices unusual in Cambodia, the historical reasons for which are examined in detail. It will be shown that the perpetrator continues to exert an almost supernatural hold over this last bastion of the Khmer Rouge, influencing the ideological and the military, the ritual and the religious spheres alike.
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Contributor : Anne Yvonne Guillou <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 3, 2020 - 10:45:46 PM
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Anne Yvonne Guillou. The "Master of the Land": cult activities around Pol Pot's tomb. Journal of Genocide Research, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2018, The Death of the Perpetrator: Interdisciplinary refelctions on the dead body of mass criminals, 20 (2), pp.275-289. ⟨10.1080/14623528.2018.1459169⟩. ⟨halshs-02531875⟩

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