Nuon Chea

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Voat Kor,
Birth Sign
Voat Kor,

Nuon Chea is the most senior Khmer Rouge leader still alive. He used to be a communist politician in Cambodia. During the Cambodian Genocide, he was second in command to only Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge. Because of this, he was called “Brother Number Two.” He was a very secretive and cruel man who played a major role in inciting violent crimes against humanity that caused serious violations of human rights. In 2014, he was caught and given a life sentence in prison. Even though the verdict came decades after the Khmer Rouge had been defeated, many Cambodians who lost everything during the genocide still remember the pain of the past. He is the oldest of the Khmer Rouge leaders who are still alive. His arrest brought little comfort to the families of the people who died because of him. He was born into a poor family and had a normal upbringing. As a young man, he went to a well-known university to study law. But his life took a very different turn when he joined the Thai Communist Party and had a big change in his beliefs. He became close to Pol Pot and quickly rose to become one of the most powerful Khmer Rouge leaders.

Table of Contents

Early years and childhood

Nuon Chea was born as Lau Kim Lorn on July 7, 1926, at the home of Lao Liv and Dos Peanh in Voat Kor, Battambang. His father was a farmer who bought and sold corn, and his mother was a tailor.

He was raised with both Chinese and Khmer customs because his mother was the daughter of a Chinese immigrant. He learned Thai, French, and Khmer when he was young. In the 1940s, he went to Bangkok’s Thammasat University to study law.

In 1947, he joined the Thai Youth Organization, which was on the left. Many of the people in this group were already members of the Thai communist party, but he didn’t become a member until 1950.

In January 1950, he joined the Thai communist party and started working part-time at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Around this time, something took over him, and he quit school and his job to join the fight against colonialism in Cambodia.

Nuon Chea’s Career

In September 1960, the Workers Party of Kampuchea chose him to be their Deputy General Secretary (later renamed the Communist Party of Kampuchea). He was second in command after the leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, and was known as “Brother Number Two” because of this.

In 1970, he was a key part of the talks that led to the invasion of Cambodia by North Vietnam. The Khmer Rouge tried to bring down the government of Lon Nol, who was Prime Minister of Cambodia at the time.

North Vietnamese forces came into Cambodia in large numbers in April and May 1970 because Nuon Chea had asked them for help. In just ten days, five provinces of Cambodia were freed with the help of the North Vietnamese.
In 1970, the Vietnamese forces took over a large part of Cambodia, almost a quarter of the country. During this time, communist control over the area grew a lot.

Pol Pot and Nuon Chea got along very well with the leaders of North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese trusted Chea more, even though he always lied to them and misled them about what the real goals of the Khmer Rouge were.

On January 5, 1976, the Kampuchean People’s Representative Assembly, which has 250 members, became the country’s official government. It’s first meeting of the whole group was in April 1976, and Chea was chosen to be President of the Standing Committee.

Chea was also Prime Minister for a short time after Pol Pot quit for a month because of his health. At that time, the Vietnamese still thought that Chea was on their side and would lead an uprising against Pol Pot.

In 1978, there was a revolt, and So Phim, who had been the first secretary of the Eastern Zone and liked Vietnam, was killed in it. But Chea did not switch sides and join the Vietnamese, as some people thought he would. On the contrary, he became one of Pol Pot’s most loyal followers.
In January 1979, the Vietnamese took over Phnom Penh, and he had to step down as President of the Assembly.

From 1975 to 1979, he is thought to have planned, ordered, instigated, and helped commit crimes against humanity, such as murder, torture, enslavement, and other horrible things. Under the regime, up to two million Cambodians died from being killed, overworking, or going hungry, and millions more were severely hurt or got sick.

Personal History and Legacies

He is married to Ly Kimseng, and Nuon Say is one of his three children.
On September 19, 2007, he was taken from his home in Pailin to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh.

He was charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. In August 2014, an UN-backed court in Cambodia found him guilty and sent him to prison for the rest of his life.

Estimated Net worth

Nuon is one of the wealthiest politicians and is on the list of the most popular ones. Based on what we know and what Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider say, Nuon Chea has a net worth of about $6 million.