The standing committee of the was the secretive group that ran Democratic Kampuchea and the Khmer Rouge directly following their removal from power.
Its origins lay in a group of French educated Cambodians and its leadership remained largely unchanged from the 1960’s until things started to fall apart in the 1990’s.
Who were the 8 members of the standing committee of the Communist party of Kampuchea?
The brother system of the Khmer Rouge
The system of the Khmer Rouge was another uniquely Khmer Rouge thing. These technically designated the hierarchal role within the leadership. Pol Pot being leader as Brother Number 1, and Nuom Chea his deputy as Brother Number 2.
It is noteworthy that in the 8 member standing committee there were 6 “brothers”. Technically Son Sen was also known as Brother 89, whilst Yun Yat was the wife of Son Sen. Hu Nim who she replaced was purged, tortured and executed in S-21 prison.
After Democratic Kampuchea
Whilst roles would periodically change, for example Pol Pot would technically step down in 1985, nothing really changed within in the inner-workings of the Khmer Rouge until the defections of 1996 onwards.
The last Khmer Rouge leader
Following the defections of Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary Pol Pot ordered the exceptions of Son Sen and Ta Mok. Son Sen and his whole family were shot, ran over by a truck and buried in a mass grave. The killing of Ta Mok failed and he assumed of the Khmer Rouge until its demise.
Pol Pot was put under house arrest, from where he died of old age, although there is some scholarly debate about if he committed suicide, or not.