The 11th Transdisciplinary (TD) Brown Bag Series

Language: English

Anyone who are interested in the topic are welcome. Please bring your own food and join us.



“Forty Years after the Khmer Rouge’s Fall and Singapore Prime Minister’s Remarks on Vietnam’s Invasion of Cambodia”

This year marks the 40th year anniversary of the collapse of the Khmer Rouge. It also marks the passing of two important figures: Noun Chea, who was the second most powerful leader of the Khmer Rouge government, and former Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda, who played a major role in the ongoing Cambodian conflict which broke out after Vietnam’s seizure of Phnom Penh on 7 January 1979. Interestingly, five days after Prem’s passing on 26 May, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong wrote a condolence letter recalling the years under Prem’s premiership during the 1980s, in which the five ASEAN countries opposed Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia. The remarks virally provoked a heated debate among the general public and regional top leaders of Singapore, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Drawing on Lee’s controversial remarks, this talk aims to achieve two goals. First, it discusses how the removal of the Khmer Rouge from power by Vietnamese troops forty years ago has been commemorated and discussed in Cambodia. Second, by presenting the Khmer Rouge’s fall as an interstate historic event, the talk aims to give a deeper understanding on a long-term geopolitical development between Cambodia and countries within the region and beyond.

Keywords: 40th year anniversary, Khmer Rouge, Vietnam’s invasion, Liberation Day, Lee’s statements

cambodiasingaporevietnam40th year anniversary, Khmer Rouge, Vietnam’s invasion, Liberation Day, Lee’s statements