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Authorities Request Villages in Anlong Veng

Officials from the ex-Khmer Rouge region of Anlong Veng said Thursday they are awaiting approval from the national government to build two villages along the Thai border, near the site of Pol Pot’s cremation.

Anglong Veng District Chief Peov Sareoun said the request for the construction of the villages, to serve as landmarks, has been awaiting approval for nearly a year.

The villages could also help establish a “market route,” said Nhem En, the deputy chief of the district, which is in Odar Meanchey province.

The villages could be established in the Cardamom Mountains, about 3 kilometers from the site where, in 1998, Pol Pot’s body was cremated on a pyre of tires, a mattress and wooden furniture.

“It’s good to form villages, because, first, we can mark our border there,” said Khem Sophoan, director of the Cambodia Mines Action Center, whose deminers have worked in the area. “If we have villages, they serve as landmarks that cannot be destroyed.”