Thai / Cambodia Border Refugee Camps 1975-1999
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Khao I Dang / Site II / 2 / Site B / Site 8 / Sok San / Site K / O'Trao
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By James F. Lynch
This report was prepared through the generous support of The Ford Foundation.
In addition to the assistance provided by Mary Pack and Tom Conroy, cooperation from many quarters made the collection of information for this study possible. The Royal Thai Government deserves, recognition for its efforts on behalf of Indochinese refugees and displaced persons, and its assistance to the international organizations and voluntary agencies working in the camps. The offices of the Royal Thai Army's Supreme Command and Displaced Person's Protection Unit (DPPU) provided considerable help throughout the preparation. of this study by providing access to the camps, and by permitting Khmer staff employed in the collection of data to travel to various sites on the border. The administrations of Site 2, Site B, and Site 8 also deserve special thanks.
Generous assistance was also provided by staff members of the international organizations working on behalf of refugees and displaced persons in Thailand. Personnel of the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Bangkok office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gave much valuable advice and assistance at all stages of preparation of this study, often taking time from busy schedules to discuss findings with the data collection team members and to offer useful suggestions and comments. Particular thanks in this regard are due to ICRC's Beat Schweizer for his support throughout the. course of this study. The author also wishes to thank Urs Boegli and Suzanna Landwehr-Zigg of ICRC; Toni Stadler, Gayle Miller, Robert Burrows, Patrick van de Velde, and Mitch Carlson of UNBRO; Pierre Jambor and Kasidis Rochanakorn of UNHCR, and Mr. S.A.M.S. Kibria, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
Khmer displaced persons resident on the border assisted with the data collection. The high levels of dedication, professionalism, patience, and attention to detail which they exhibited throughout the process deserve recognition. Special thanks are also due to Chhay Veasna and Sore Sophat, two very talented individuals whose contributions to the study were remarkable in many aspects.
Finally, the 15,525 respondents who participated in this survey deserve a special measure of thanks. The author alone is responsible for any errors or omissions which may remain.
Table of Contents
Site 2 / Site II
Site B (Green Hill)
All Respondents by Sex
Age of Respondents
Respondents' Education in Cambodia
Date of Arrival at Border
Date of Last Contact
Land Holdings during the Lon Nol Era
Site 2 / Site II
Site 2 / Site II
The Teacher: Kuch Phann
The Noodle Shop Owner: Kong Chum
The Seamstress: Chiem Sichoeurn
The Medic: Heng Bun Sieth
The Traditional Medicine Practitioner: Thong Sum
The Khmer from Vietnam: Duong My Song
The Section Leader: Yem Som
The House Wife: Ek Marian
The Farmer: Khen Soth
The Chinese Entrepreneur: Lim Meng
The Railway Man: Thim Run
The Widow and the Widower: Chhuy Samoeun. Hab Yus
Map of Cambodia by District
Map of Cambodia by Province
List of Tables
Table la. All Respondents by Sex: Site 2
Table 1b. All Respondents by Sex: Site B
Table 1c. All Respondents by Sex Site 8
Table 2. Comparative Ages of Respondents
Table 3a. Ages of Accompanying Relatives: Sites 2, B, and 8
Table 3b. Ages of Accompanying Relatives: Composite
Table 4. Projected Age and Sex Levels: Sites 2, B, and 8
Table 5. Projected Age and Sex Levels: Composite
Table 6. Marital Status
Table 7. Respondents Education in Cambodia
Table 8. Date of Arrival at the Border
Table 9. Date of Last Contact
Table 10. Land Holdings during the Lon Nol Era
Table 11. Return Preferences by District: Site 2
Table 12. Return Preferences by District: Site B
Table 13. Return Preferences by District: Site 8
Table 14. Return Preferences by District: Composite
Table 15. Occupations: Site 2
Table 16. Occupations: Site B
Table 17. Occupations: Site 8
Table 18. Ages of New Arrivals
Table 19. Age of Accompanying Relatives of New Arrivals
Table 20. Marital Status of New Arrivals
Table 21. Relatives in Cambodia of New Arrivals
Table 22. Educational Level of New Arrivals
Table 23. Return Preferences of New Arrivals
Table 24. Dates of Arrivals at the Border of Young Adults
Table 25. Occupation Preferences of Young Adults
Table 26. Education Levels of Young Adults
Table 27. Companions En Route to the Border: Young Adults
Table 28. Ages of Widows Site 2 and Site B
Table 29. Occupations of Widows
Table 30. Dates of Arrival at the Border of Widows
Table 31. Ages of Accompanying Relatives of Widows
Ten years ago, after one of the most wrenching national traumas in modern history, hundreds of thousands of hungry, emotionally exhausted people appeared at a number of locations along Cambodia's common border with Thailand. Among the clusters were peasants, Sine-Khmer small traders, onetime members of the Khmer middle class, disenfranchised civil servants of earlier governments and armed followers of the loosely structured anti-communist resistance. Also present were Khmer Rouge troops and cadre, smugglers, and would-be petty warlords. Victims and villains alike were thrown together by events into a single tableau that the outside world was seemingly at a loss to interpret.
Even then, the fact that the border encampments were inhabited by people with strikingly different backgrounds and political loyalties did not augur well for an early end to the disruptions that had already scarred so many lives. The passing of a decade, it seems, has not eliminated, or even diminished, those critical distinctions. Furthermore, the underlying political connotations associated with the term 'border Khmer' all too often obscure the human element, much like the roots of jungle foliage snaking around the bases of the twelfth century laterite and sandstone me marvels of Angkor Wat.
As is evident from a quick scan of the daily newspaper, the fortunes of nations do wax and wane, sometimes in breathtakingly short order. The figure of fourteen million refugees, largely displaced by famine and war, in the world today testifies to the truth behind that maxim. In the case of Cambodia, after years of little or no progress, a fundamental change now seems invitingly within reach. Though serious problems remain, and the possibility of continuing fighting must be acknowledged, it no longer seems hopelessly naive to envision a Cambodia at peace. In fact, in light of recent developments, prudence demands that preparations on a wide range of related issues continue apace to ensure that should the need for action suddenly arise.
One of the most welcome by-products of the international communities search for a lasting solution to the Khmer conflict is a renewed focus on the difficult question of repatriation of the more than one-quarter million remaining border Khmer. Now, thankfully, the abundance of complexities underlying the political context are no longer used as an excuse for lack of a contingency plan, to facilitate the return of this population.
It should be clear to anyone who has ever visited one or more of the encampments along the Thai-Cambodian border that organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Border Relief Organization (UNBRO) have done a superb job over the years in providing assistance to the border Khmer. At the same time, the voluntary agencies operating in the camps have made impressive contributions in support of that effort.
It must now he equally indisputable that the time has come to draw a sharper focus on the planning necessary for the eventual repatriation of the border Khmer. The UNHCR must certainly take the lead role in that effort, but the full cooperation of all concerned parties will be no less important than it has been in the past. This study is one attempt to provide additional information to those key officials charged with the planning and implementation of a repatriation program.
The idea for a demographic study of the border Khmer sprang quite simply from the same question that must have occurred at one time or another to each of the thousands of non-Khmer workers or visitors to the camps: Who are these people? Of course, one question inevitably leads to another. What part of the country are the people from? Given the horrors of the killing fields, are there far less adult men than women in the camps? What percentage of the heads of families are widows? Is there a difference in educational backgrounds between the populations in the non-communist camps and the inhabitants of the Khmer Rouge civilian camp of Site 8? Are expatriate workers correct when they say that one of every three Khmer in the camps are under the age of five? What is the size of the average family? What kind of work did the people do before the advent of the Khmer Rouge era? Have people more or less entered border camps at the same level year after year, or did most of them arrive in 1979?
When a visitor to a border camp wants an answer to one of the' aforementioned questions;, he or she usually turn to an UNBRO official, an ICRC delegate, an expatriate volunteer, or perhaps a representative of one of the Khmer administrations. While most of these sources are as well informed as one could possibly imagine, it would be unreasonable to expect anything more than an educated guess. That's all right for the briefing of a touring dignitary, and entirely acceptable to bolster one's position in a friendly argument on an issue concerning the border Khmer, but inadequate in all respects when it comes down to the actual planning of the return of a quarter of a million people.
No sooner does one try to be more methodical in formulating questions relating to the identity of the border Khmer than a second side to the inquiry becomes more apparent. Once the past is filled in that leaves much of the future a blank. For example, even if one knows with absolute certainty that X percent of the people are from Y district of X province, who could possibly feel safe in predicting that thus the same X percent intend to return to Y district of Z province? Given the events of the past twenty years, one would be on far more solid ground to expect that a number of people will likely prefer any place but the one they abandoned to come to the border. What percentage would that be? Are there places which, for some reason, will draw people originally from other locations? Do most people want to go back to the places of their birth? Have they been in touch with relatives or friends in their home districts? Did they own land one time? How much? Finally, how do the collective statistics of the inhabitants of one camp measure up against those of the other two camps surveyed?
It soon became obvious that the best way to find out the answers to any of these questions would be to ask the people living in the camps. For some reason, the task had never been undertaken. There was much to do even before attempting the step of putting together a proper questionnaire. Key officials of international organizations had to be tapped for advice. .A number of people with years of experience in Khmer border camps had to be consulted as well. When that had been done, however, several pieces of the puzzle were stilt missing. A large sample of a population numbering a quarter of a million would certainly be revealing of the entire group, but what of key sub-groups like young adults and widows? More questions come to mind, or rather, one wants to know specifically what their responses would be, and how they would compare to those of the population in general. New arrivals fell into the same category.
The prospect of having by the end of the study a data base replete with dozens of information fields on the border population was inspiring, but it was also daunting. The challenge was to avoid, to whatever extent possible, reducing a quarter of a million Khmer to mere figures in tables. Accompanying notes and analysis help to some degree, but the problem remains. The course decided upon was the addition of representative profiles, short summaries of the personal biographies of twelve individuals whose experiences could serve to breath life into the statistics.
Anyone who has spent time in the camps would have little trouble recalling dozens of individuals whose stories are worth telling. The aim of these profiles, however, is not to inspire -- though some of the stories do inspire -- but to give the reader an idea of the kinds of people likely to be found among the population. The subjects of the profiles are therefore not the twelve most interesting people in the camps, but were selected for their representativeness from among the fifteen thousand five hundred and twenty-five respondents interviewed during the survey. Most of those who appear in the set of profiles are referred to by one of their former occupations. A noodle shop owner, entrepreneur, farmer, traditional medicine practitioner, and railway man find their way onto these pages. Others who are included, like the teacher, seamstress, and housewife, have more or less remained in the same line of work. Still others, the medic and the section leader, have embarked on a new course since arriving at the border. The Khmer from Vietnam, as well as the widow and widower, were chosen more for their inclusion in a group than for an occupation.
Each of the twelve: stories could easily have been the subject of a much longer treatment, but an attempt was made to keep the profiles as brief as possible while still conveying the spirit of the individual experiences. The goal was to provide material to accompany the statistics, rather than produce stories able to stand alone.
In fact, there are undoubtedly hundreds of women in the camps with stories like the seamstress, for example. While that is small consolation to Chiem Sichoeurn, the subject of the profile, it may serve to give readers a better feel for the kinds of people likely to be involved in a repatriation program.
Finally, the statistics presented on the general population of Site 2 / Site II, Site B, and Site 8, together with the profiles and the focus on the three target groups represent one attempt to learn more about the border Khmer. One can only hope that in a few years this study can be seen along with other similar efforts as part of a history fast receding into the past. By then, hopefully, the seamstress Chiem Sichoeurn will have returned home along with the teacher, the railway man, and the rest of the quarter million border Khmer.
Site 2 / Site II
With a population of over One hundred and forty thousand, Site 2 / Site II is the largest of the Khmer evacuation sites on the Thai-Kampuchea border. It is approximately eighty kilometers north of the town of Aranyaprathet in Ta Praya district of Prachinburi province. Actually composed of five separate camps, each with its own administrative structure, Site 2 was established following the Khmer border camp evacuations which resulted from the Vietnamese offensive of 1984 to 1986. It is divided into northern and southern sections by a road.
When data collection for this study began, Site 2 / Site II North included Dong Rek camp, Nong Chan / Nam Yuen camps, Ampil (Ban Sa Ngae) camp, and San Ro camp. Dong Rek was subsequently moved to Site 2 South. In addition to each camp's individual administration, Site 2 North has a central administrative structure. Site 2 / Site II South includes Nong Samet camp, O'Bok camp, and Dong Rek camp. Although O'Bok camp has a population of less than two thousand, it is separately administered.
Politically, Site 2 is affiliated with the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF) faction of the Coalition Government of Kampuchea (CGDK). The KPNLF was founded in October 1979 by its current leader, Son Sann, who served in a number of ministerial level positions in the Cambodian government between 1935 and 1968. The KPNLF appoints the leader of each camp, although the degree of its direct political involvement varies. Administratively, the camps are divided into sections containing between one thousand and three thousand individuals. There are four to eight ilots per section, each comprised of four or five groups of houses. All leaders of sections and ilots are similarly appointed by CGDK's administrative apparatus.
The sheer size of the sprawling camp contributes to the observer's impression of an almost urban flurry of activity in Site 2 / Site II. In contrast to the other major border camps, Site 2 / Site II has fairly busy roads, and a high degree of entrepreneurial activity, evidenced by the sizable markets and number of restaurants. Not surprisingly, especially considering the numbers of people packed into such tight quarters, a higher level of domestic violence and criminal activity has been noted in Site 2 during the past few years. This has led to efforts to strengthen the level of civil responsibility among the camp leadership, and to establish a reliable police apparatus and judicial structure.
The Displaced Persons Protection Unit (DPPU) is a special unit of the Royal Thai Government's Supreme Command. Its primary function is to maintain the security of the civilian border camps. DPPU activities are largely restricted to the camps' perimeter areas, although it provides assistance to the camps' internal Khmer police units. DPPU staff, both male and female, are recruited from Royal Thai Army and reserve personnel and undergo continuous training for their role. The I)PPU was established in 1988, replacing the Royal Thai Army's Task Force 80, which had previously been responsible for camp security.
Protection from military activity remains an important issue. In the course of data collection for this report, Site 2 / Site II was subjected to shelling on several occasions, effectively closing the camp to all but essential relief personnel. The constant threat posed by the fighting has led to an increasing emphasis on precautionary measures throughout the camp. Household bunkers, for example, are seen everywhere.
Extensive relief services are available at Site 2 / Site II. Services include primary schools, technical schools, sanitation services, supplementary feeding programs, some secondary education (including cultural training in traditional Khmer music and dance) and vocational training. Each sub-camp also has an active Khmer Women's Association (KWA) providing training in weaving and sewing, adult literacy programs, supplementary feeding programs, social counseling, and nutritional education. It should be noted that a Khmer Women's Association is found in each of the major border camps, and an impressive level of community services are generally offered. Site 2 has three hospitals, a number of out-patient clinics, leprosy clinics, and dental clinics. Finally, there is a blood bank and tracing services to assist in searches for lost relatives.
Lacking an internal water supply, Site 2 / Site II is almost entirely dependent on a delivery system that relies on water trucks. The camp is situated on a flat, dry landscape with few trees. Single-family housing is constructed in a grid pattern using local materials (bamboo and thatch) and plastic sheeting supplied by the United Nations Border Relief Organization (UNBRO). Brief descriptions of the individual camps follow.
Ampil (Site 2 / Site II North)
Also known as Ban Sa Ngae, Ampil camp was established en the Thai-Cambodian border in 1980 with an original population of six thousand. The number increased steadily, albeit slightly, until 1984, when military offensives caused the population to be scattered. A series of evacuations led to Ampil's incorporation into Site 2 / Site II in 1986. UNBRO statistical reports (Aug. 29, 1989) place the current population at 24,658, making Ampil the second largest camp in Site 2 / Site II.
Ampil's fourteen sections are administered by section leaders appointed by the camp leader. Not all of the sections have individual section offices. While the camp's administration had little direct involvement in the collection of data for this report, they were generally cooperative and notified section leaders of the data collection teams presence in camp. Although like most of Site 2 / Site II North, the camp was somewhat overcrowded, security and discipline seemed fairly representative of Site 2 generally. The physical layout of the camp is a series of contiguous segments rather than one central grouping. The inhabitants are primarily from the western provinces of Cambodia and most have originated in rural areas or provincial towns.
Dong Rek (Site 2 / Site II South)
Dong Rek camp was first established on the border in mid-1983 with a population of under twenty thousand the camp's original population lived previously at Nong Samet and Nong Chun camps, although some were new arrivals from Cambodia. Dong Rek was incorporated into Site 2 / Site II in March 1985. The current population of the camp is 19,062 (29 August 1989).
Although Dong Rek is unique armong the border camps in that its eighteen sections are divided into rows, rather than ilots, in appearance it is generally typical of the camps in Site 2 / Site II North. During the period data for this report was being collected, overcrowding in Site 2 / Site II North necessitated relocating Dong Rek's population to Site 2 South. Although the confusion associated with a move of this type made data collection more difficult, section leaders were very cooperative despite the demands on their time made by the relocation.
At one time Dong Rek camp included an area known as the Vietnamese Platform, a section where Vietnamese refugees traveling overland through Cambodia were housed. Most of the former residents of the Platform were resettled abroad, but a small residual remains. This group was not included in the survey conducted for this report. Most of this small population are Khmer Krom, ethnic Khmer from the southern border area of Vietnam.
Except for the aforementioned Khmer Krom and a very small concentration of ethnic Cham living in one section of the camp, Dong Rek' s population is homogeneous, with origins in rural areas of western Cambodia.
Nong Chan (Site 2 / Site II North)
The population of Nong Chan camp has fluctuated from between ten thousand and forty-eight thousand since its inception in 1979. Current figures (29 August 1989) place the camp's population at 22,256. Existing in relative stability on the border during the early 1980s, the population was dispersed to various sites along the border (Ang Sila camp, Sites 3 and 6, and Chanmeh camp) during the military offensives of 1983, later re-established as Nong Chan camp in 1984, and finally incorporated into Site 2 in 1986.
The camp's administration is very closely aligned with the KPNLF leader Son Sann. The camp's thirteen sections are administered by leaders appointed by the central administration. While gathering data for this report the survey team noted that administrative control of the camp seemed rather tenuous and fragmented. Shortly afterwards, the central administration of Site 2 North moved to replace the senior Nong Chan leaders in order to restore administrative authority and deal with the increasing corruption and fragmentation. In spite of the anxiety surrounding this administrative shake-up, the data collection team experienced a high level of cooperation from individual section leaders, and from the camp's population generally.
A small percentage of Nong Chan's population are said to be amongst the very first arrivals on the border. As in the case of Nong Samet the majority of its residents are from the provinces adjacent to the Thai border. Accommodations are more crowded than in other camps, but there are plans for expansion now that the population of nearby Don Rek camp has been moved to Site 2 South. Two sections of Nong Chan are composed entirely of the population of Nam Yuen camp, which was evacuated to Site 2 from a distant location on the northwestern Cambodian border in 1986. Characterized by a homogeneous from the same part of Cambodia, Nam Yuen retains a separate administrative structure, although it is physically considered part of Nong Chan.
Nong Samet / Rithysen (Site 2 / Site II South)
With a population of 66,546 (29 Aug. 1989), including the population of O'Bok, Nong Samet is the largest of the camps located at Site 2 / Site II.
The camp was originally established in 1979 on the border not far from the area where Khao I Dang camp is currently located. Over half the population arrived on the border before 1980. Nong Samet camp existed in relative stability - functioning more as a small town than a refugee camp - until the military offensives of late 1984 led to the evacuation of the civilian population. The camp is made up of former residents of several camps, which no longer exist (notably Camp 007 and Mak Mun camp) and is sometimes known by the name Rithysen camp.
The camp is divided into seventeen sections administered by section leaders appointed by Nong Samet's central administration. Unlike some of camps in Site 2 North each section in Nong Samet has an administrative office. As in most of the border camps, sections are administratively divided into ilots, which are groupings of houses. The houses in Nong Samet are slightly larger and farther apart than those found in camps in Site 2 North.
The camp administration was actively supportive of efforts to gather data for this report. A liaison official was assigned to the data collection team to assist with arrangements for interviews. The camp administration offered much helpful background information concerning the camp's history.
Most residents are from the western provinces bordering Thailand. Nong Samet has the largest concentrated ethnic Chinese minority in Site 2 and one of the few concentrations of ethnic Cham. It should be noted that the Chinese minority did not participate in the survey conducted for this report. The leadership of the camp's Chinese Association felt their membership should not consider repatriation to Cambodia under that country's regime as an option because of the Heng Samrin regime's persecution of Cambodia's Chinese minority.
The two sections, which comprise O'Bok camp, are administratively distinct from Nong Samet, although figures on O'Bok's population are usually included in those for Nong Samet.
San Ro (Site 2 / Site II North)
Although San Ro camp was not established until 1984, most of its population were previously resident in Ampil and other border camps. The encampments became a part of Site 2 in 1985. At 10,692 (29 August 1989) its current population is at its highest level in the camp's history.
Although San Ro is administratively similar to other camps in Site 2 it should be noted that the camp leader, Lay Khec, also heads Site 2 North's central administration and at the time of the survey was also acting as Nong Chan's camp leader. In discussions with the data collection team, the camp leadership in San Ro seemed very conscious of their political role.
The camp is divided administratively into to nine sections. Security, services, and organization are typical of other camps in Site 2. San Ro is the most homogeneous of the border camps. Most of the residents are from a few districts in Battambang province, which gives the impression that the population has been moving as a group. This homogeneity is often cited as one reason for the low level of domestic violence in the camp. Residents are rumored to maintain close ties to relatives remaining in Cambodia, which may also contribute to a sense of emotional well being.
Site B (Green Hill)
Located nine kilometers from the Cambodian border in Thailand's Surin Province, approximately five hundred kilometers northeast of Bangkok, Site B is the northern most of the three locations surveyed. Its population was first consolidated into a recognizable camp in 1981. The conglomeration changed name and location (1983 O'Smach camp, later Tatum camp; 1984: Camp David and Ban Baranae camp) several times, growing steadily from an original population of eight hundred and fifty. There are some 63,535 (29 August 1989) residents in the camp, which has occupied its present location since June 1985. Strangers from other border encampments appear to be largely responsible for the continuing growth of this camp over the years.
The camp is politically affiliated with Prince Norodom Sihanouk's faction of the Coalition Government of Kampuchea (CGDK). This faction is known as FUNCINPEC, Front Uni National pour un Cambodge Indpendant, Neutre, Pacifique, et Cooperatif (National United Front, for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia), which was formed in March of 1981. Its military component is the ANS, Armee Nationale Sihanoukienne (National Army of Sihanouk), formed in June of 1981.
Administratively, the camp is divided into twenty-eight sections of approximately five hundred families each. The camp's central administration appoints the section leaders, and directs, with assistance from UNBRO, all internal security, primary educational programs, and services. The administration appeared to be extremely well organized, operating as a cohesive unit. Most administrative personnel spoke at least one Western language, and it is worth noting that the bureaucracy included a number of Cambodian expatriates who had returned to work -- usually first with FUNCINPEC in Bangkok and later in the camp -- after resettling abroad. Those in positions of responsibility seemed loyal and politically motivated, while the administration operated on well-defined lines of authority. The administration seemed genuinely interested in the survey, providing a high level of support in the data collection. Workspace and lunch regularly supplied by the administration, which also assisted by having respondents ready for interview at the start of each day.
Physically the camp is distinguished by its environment. Set among heavily jungled hills, with plentiful shade provided by an abundance of trees, Site B is a relatively attractive border encampment. Medical, educational, rehabilitative and social services are available to the camp population. The atmosphere is that of a large, yet relaxed rural setting, undisturbed by a small amount of entrepreneurial activity. Wells dug throughout the camp eliminate the need for the truck delivery system, which characterizes Site 2. Residents live in single-family dwellings constructed of bamboo and thatch, with plastic sheeting also provided by UNBRO.
Since the evacuation to the present site in June 1985, no shellings or other incidents of military violence have occurred. The camp appears secure, and there is little evidence of defensive fortifications such as bunkers.
As the results of the demographic survey will illustrate, over eighty-nine per cent of the respondents in Site B were women. This can be explained by the high level of military involvement among the adult male population of the camp. The women surveyed frequently list their husband's occupation as "soldier". The majority of male respondents residing in the camp were employed in civil or administrative capacities. The population of Site B is relatively homogeneous, with most residents originating from Battambang and SiemReap provinces. A large proportion of the population, relative to the other camps surveyed, is from Oddar Meanchey province. This is not surprising, given that province's proximity to the camp. As was the case at other camps surveyed, more than half of the respondents in Site B had been on the border since 1979.
Khmer Evacuation Site 8 is located in Khlong Haad district of Thailand's Prachinburi province, it south of the town of Aranyaprathet and just two kilometers from the Cambodian border. In early 1985, Site 8 was set up following the evacuation of a number of border camps, including Nong Pru, O'Sralau, Tap Prik, Klong Wah / Bung Beng and Khao Din. The camp's thirteen sections are centrally administered; each section is divided into ilots, which are further divided into smaller groups of houses. Section leaders are appointed by the camp administration. UNBRO figures as of August 29,1989 put the camp's population at 40,501.
The camp is administered by the DK (Democratic Kampuchea, the name of the government of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, proclaimed in January 1976) faction of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK). This faction is more widely known by the name Khmer Rouge. It was in interesting to note that unlike the other camps surveyed, permission to collect data could not be granted by the central administration, but had to be referred to higher levels of authority in the DK hierarchy. The administration's attitude toward collection of data for this survey was never the less very cooperative, and it should perhaps be stressed that there was no evidence of manipulation or attempts to influence the rest of the data collection.
Organization, discipline, and internal security did not differ noticeably from other border camps. Site 8's proximity to military camps in the area, however, has frequently led to retaliatory shelling, so there was a great deal of defensive fortifications throughout. the camp. Each house had its own bunker, and the entire population appeared to be in a constant state of readiness.
Repeated shelling of the camp occurred in July of this year, when twenty-nine shells landed inside the camp. The resultant evacuation of the population delayed data collection for three weeks, and the survey team was later informed that a number of residents had declined to return to their homes choosing instead to remain on the perimeter under the protective shelter of the steep mountain wall adjacent to the camp.
Once characterized by its inaccessibility, the past few years have seen a number of changes in the level of access to the camp which is granted to foreigners, as well as in the operation of the camp generally. Residents are permitted to work outside the camps as agricultural laborers; this is not permitted at all camps. Services are now similar to those in other camps. Although there is no regular secondary school system, there are a number of programs offering "post-primary education". Concern in the past over the level of military activity in the camp has led to a regulation, which requires that weapons be surrendered upon entry to the camp. This has reduced, if not entirely eliminated, the number of accidental security incidents occurring in the camp.
Set against a scenic backdrop of limestone mountains, the camp is characterized by its single family dwellings on stilts. Drainage throughout the camp compares favorably with the other border camps. Many residents engage in gardening, and there is a small, but growing, evidence of entrepreneurial activity. As in the case of Site B, wells in the camp eliminate the need for water to be brought in by truck.
The results of the survey indicate that the geographical origins of the population are fairly diverse. The largest group was from Battambang, but there were also substantial numbers of people from the southern Cambodian provinces of Takeo, Kompong Speu, and Kampot.
Scanned Pages from Khmer Border Report including all tables:
Border Khmer Report - page 55
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