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SIEU HENG (1922–1975)

Leader of the Khmer People’s Revolutionary Party during the Indochina War. He grew up in Battambang province in the 1930s. He was fluent in Vietnamese, thanks no doubt to the fact that his parents had come from colonial Cochinchina. When the Thais annexed Battambang province at the start of World War II, Sieu Heng joined the Thai-backed Khmer Issarak movement. In 1946, the Thais returned the province to Cambodia. Sieu Heng continued his anti-colonialist activities but shifted his alliance to the Vietnamese. In 1946, he allegedly joined the Indochinese Communist Party. He certainly gained the trust of the Vietnamese communists in charge of Cambodia, most importantly Nguyen Thanh Son. In 1951, Sieu Heng joined up with Son Ngoc Minh to be the two leading Cambodian radicals of the time and the closest allies of the Vietnamese communists. See also KHMER KROM; PARTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE; CAMBODIAN RESISTANCE GOVERNMENT.