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1975 Chronology Of Cambodia History

Abbreviations on this page

Jan. 1, 1975

Khmer Rouge launches final offensive against the capital, Phnom Penh.


Jan. 11, 1975


US steps up airlift to Phnom Penh in light of increased insurgent attacks on the Mekong River town of Neak Luong.


Jan. 14, 1975


Khmer Republic and the US exchanged notes amending the Agreement of Aug. 10, 1974 relating to the sale of agricultural commodities.

Jan. 26, 1975

Last Mekong convoy reach the besieged Phnom Penh, leaving city dependent on massive airlift.


Jan. 23, 1975


Under heavy enemy fire, two ammunition barges reach the blockaded Phnom Penh from South Vietnam.

Jan. 29, 1975

US Pres. Ford, in a cabinet meeting, stresses that "the Cabinet and Administration must pledge its total support to this bill". The Administration submits to Congress a supplemental aid bill of $300 million for Vietnam and $222 for Cambodia. "It is vital and it is right; and we will stand behind it 100%". [Minute of the meeting] ……….. Khmer Rouge sink two South Korean fuel tankers and set ablaze five miles from the Neak Luong naval base.


Feb. 2, 1975


Heavy Khmer Rouge attacks in and around Phnom Penh, killing 18.


Feb. 5, 1975

The Communists close the Mekong River, preventing any convoys of food, fuel or ammunition from reaching besieged Phnom Penh.


Feb. 6, 1975


US Members of Congress for Peace through law wrote a letter to Pres. Gerald R. Ford concerning the extent and direction of the continuing US involvement in Indochina……….Ambassador John Dean’s cable to the Department of State concerning the Cambodia settlement……… Eighteen schoolchildren are among 22 person killed when a rebel rocket strikes a school in downtown Phnom Penh.


Feb. 12, 1975


US doubles its arm and ammunitions airlift from Thailand to Phnom Penh because of an intensified rebel blockade of the Mekong.

Feb. 15, 1975


US airlift from Thailand to Phnom Penh is expanded with the use of C-130 cargo planes carrying 270 tones of ammunition.


Feb. 17, 1975


FANK retreat after failing to break the Khmer Rouge hold on several Mekong river points outside of Phnom Penh.

Feb. 20, 1975

Cambodia's last land link to the outside world was severed when the Khmer Rouge ambushes a govt. train near the Thai border, killing 31 soldiers and civilians and wounding some 40 others.

Feb. 21, 1975

Student anti-Chinese protesters rioted in Phnom Penh and Battambang City.

Feb. 22, 1975

Khmer Rouge attacked a refugee camp in Kompong Chhnang Province, killing 20 civilians and abducting 40 others.


Feb. 23, 1975


US Secretary of Defense Schlesinger, in an interview with ABC television program ‘Issues and Answers’, warned that Cambodia would fall without the assistance, and that the fall of Cambodia would be a US foreign policy disaster.


Feb. 24, 1975


FANK Brig. Gen. Hem Pao is killed in a rebel ambush 24 miles east of Phnom Penh……….An eight-members of US congressional fact-finding team visited South Vietnam and Cambodia at the request of Pres. Ford in order to assess his request of $522 million of supplemental economic and military aid for the two countries.

Feb. 25, 1975

Pres. Ford and senior Cabinet members warned Congress of the eminent collapse of Lon Nol's govt. if the Administration's request for $222 million in supplemental aid is not approved. In a letter to House Speaker Carl Albert, Pres. Ford said that an independent Cambodia would not survive unless Congress acted very soon to provide supplemental military and economic assistance.  The Cambodians, who had less than a month supply of ammunition, would have to surrender to the Khmer Rouge unless aid were forthcoming.

Feb. 26, 1975

PNLAFK (Khmer Rouge) recaptured Oudong……….US Sec. Of Def. Schlesinger, in testimony before the House Appropriation Committee, said the probability was extremely high that Cambodia could survive if more aid were forthcoming but added there was no such thing as guarantee.

Feb. 27, 1975

The US launched a 30-day emergency airlift of 17,500 tons of rice and kerosene from Saigon to Phnom Penh, a move to relieve the capital, which was under a tightening Khmer Rouge siege.


Feb. 28, 1975


Khmer Rouge overrun Toul Leap, 12 miles west of Phnom Penh and Prek Luong, less than five miles from the center of the city.


March 3, 1975


Khmer Rouge shell Phnom Penh, killing 19 and wounding 25………..The congressional fact-finding delegation, which just returned from a weeklong assessment trip to South Vietnam and Cambodia, recommended congressional approval of $75 million in emergency economic assistance to Cambodia and a still undetermined amount for medical aid.  The delegation, however, were divided on the granting of military assistance to Cambodia, with the majority endorsing a 75-days emergency supply of arm and ammunition to Phnom Penh.

March 5, 1975

PNLAFK advance brought Pochentong Airport into artillery range.


March 6, 1975


FANK evacuate a beachhead 10 miles south of Neak Loung, their last position on the Mekong river, running between Phnom Penh and South Vietnamese border.


March 10, 1975


US Senate passes a resolution S.RES.94 relating to food assistance for Cambodia.


March 11, 1975


Pres. Lon Nol orders PM Long Boret to form a new cabinet and eliminates the post commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

March 12, 1975

Gen. Sak Sutsakhan replaced Gen. Fernandez as FANK commander……….US Pres. Ford, in a cabinet meeting, asked Secretary Schlesinger for an update on the Southeast Asia situation. [Minute of the meeting]


March 15, 1975


FANK recapture Tuol Leap, five miles from Pochentong airport.


March 17, 1975


US Embassy staff begins the evacuation of international relief personnel from Phnom Penh……….Nearly the entire French Embassy staff leave Phnom Penh for Bangkok.


March 19, 1975


University students in Phnom Penh demonstrate against further US military assistance and call on the Lon Nol govt. to resign.


March 23, 1975


US indefinitely suspends its airlift of supplies to Phnom Penh after Khmer Rouge shelled the airport.


March 28, 1975


US National Security Council met to discuss the Middle East and Southeast Asia. [Minute of the meeting]

April 1, 1975

Lon Nol departed Cambodia; Saukham Khoy, the Senate Pres., became acting pres. of the Khmer Republic……….PNLAFK (Khmer Rouge) captured Neak Luong.

April 4-10, 1975

Fixed-wing aircraft began evacuation of US Embassy personnel from Pochentong airport.


April 7, 1975


Khmer Rouge overrun FANK outposts four miles north of Pochentong airport.

April 8, 1975

PM Long Boret held an unsuccessful peace talks with Khmer Rouge representatives in Bangkok.


April 9, 1975


US National Security Council meeting concerning Indochina. [Minute of the meeting]

April 12, 1975

Operation Eagle Pull evacuated the last US Embassy personnel and Acting Khmer Republic Pres. Saukham Khoy……….The Council of Ministers met at 8:30 am which decided to convoked a sort of general assembly that consist of the highest functionaries and military leaders, members of the Cabinet, the Pres. of the Senate par interim (Mr. Tep Hun), the Pres. of the National Assembly (Ung Bun Hor), the representative of the Republican Party (Op Kim Ang).  The Assembly voted unanimously at 11:00 pm to create a Supreme Committee to run the country.  The committee consist of (1) Lt. Gen. Sak Sutsakhan, (2) Maj. Gen. Thong Van Fanmuong, (3) Rear Adm. Vong Sarendy, (4) Brig. Gen. Ea Chhong, (5) Prime Minister Long Boret, (6) Vice-Premier Hang Thun Hak, and (6) Representative of the Republican Party Op Kim Ang.

April 13, 1975

Gen. Sak Sutsakhan was named Supreme Committee president; peace offer was made to Prince Sihanouk……….. US planes begin to drop supplies to FANK defending Phnom Penh.

April 14, 1975

Aerial assassination attempt against Khmer cabinet; a T-28 flew over FANK headquarters and dropped four 250-pound bombs. Two detonated about sixty feet from the office where Gen. Sak Sutsakhan was chairing a cabinet meeting. Seven soldiers were killed and twenty others were injured; the intended target was untouched.

April 15, 1975

PNLAFK (Khmer Rouge) overran Phnom Penh's last major defense lines, the town of Takhmau, the air base at Pochentong, and the dike running east/west to the north of Phnom Penh.

April 16, 1975

Khmer Republic govt. made final peace offer and prepared to move the govt. seat to northwestern Cambodia……….Secretary Jim Schlesinger reported to Pres. Ford, in a Cabinet meeting, that Operation Eagle Pull was very successful. However, the Operation had met some delay because of some last minute alterations in the plan and that many Cambodians decided at the last minute to stay behind even though they have been marked on the death list. [Minute of the Meeting]

April 17, 1975

Khmer Rouge captured the capital Phnom Penh and began the evacuation of its inhabitants.


April 22, 1975


Deputy PM Khieu Samphan declares Cambodia's neutrality and nonalignment.


April 23, 1975


Thailand reinforces its border with Cambodia to stem the tide of refugees and weapons into the country.


April 25, 1975


GRUNK announces that it will designate Prince Sihanouk as Chief of State for life.


April 29, 1975


French govt. reported that all foreigners, who had taken refuge in its embassy in Phnom Penh after the fall of the capital, had been ordered expelled.  There was a shortage of food, water and medical supplies at the embassy and many were ill.  Paris had insisted that a plane it held in Vientiane, Laos, for evacuation of the sick be allowed to land in Phnom Penh.  The Khmer Rouge ignored the request despite a French govt. protest sent to Prince Sihanouk, Chief of State, who still remained in Beijing.


April 30, 1975

North Vietnamese capture Saigon……….Overland evacuation of French Embassy occupants to Thailand begin.  The first group of 585 people, including 515 French citizens, left Phnom Penh in 25 open trucks and arrive at the Thai border town of Aranyaprathet three days later………Former Prime Minister Son Ngoc Thanh is arrested in Vietnamese.


May 1, 1975


Chau Seng, Prince Sihanouk’s Paris representative, accused France of harboring hundred of ‘war criminals’ including former Premier Siri Matak at its embassy in Phnom Penh.  In response, the French Foreign Ministry said that no Cambodians remained in its embassy when radio contact was broken the previous weekend.

May 4, 1975

Khmer Rouge attacked Vietnamese islands.


May 5, 1975


US State Dept. spokesman said it was believed the Phnom Penh’s entire two million residents had been forcibly moved out and that at least two other cities, Kompong Chhang and Siem Reap, were virtually emptied.  The Dept. also said it had “reliable information” that “orders were issued by the Khmer Rouge to their out lying commanders to kill top political and military leaders around the country” who had served in the previous govt..


May 6, 1975


The second group of French Embassy occupants left Phnom Penh in a convoy of 28 trucks, carrying about 550 people, including 230 French citizens and some 220 Pakistanis.

May 12-15, 1975


Mayaguez incident. Khmer Rough captured US freighter Mayaguez on May 12 in the Gulf of Thailand with 39 crewmen. US Marines launched a rescue operation May 14 with planes from aircraft carriers sinking three Khmer Rouge gunboats. Three US helicopters were lost when Marines landed on Tang Island and came under heavy small-arms fire from a small group of Khmer Rouge stationed on the island. | Chronology of the event | Khmer Rouge communiqué | Pres. Ford's letter to US Congress | ……… Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement in support of US military action to rescue the Mayaguez as "a just action for the rescue of Americans from piracy." Opposition political parties and newspapers, however, are critical of the US action………. US National Security meeting concerning the seizure of Mayaguez. | May 12 minute of the meeting | May 13 minute (in the morning) | May 13 minute (in the evening) | May 14 minute | May 15 minute |………. US House of Representatives, on May 14, 1975, passed a resolution H.RES.462 considering bill H.R.6894 making appropriations for special assistance to refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975………. Japanese Dep. Foreign Minister Fumihiko Togo, in a statement on May 15 regarding to the Mayaguez incident, said the US operation was ‘a just action for the rescue of Americans from piracy.’  Opposition political parties and medias, however, were critical of the US action………… Great Britain reacted favorably to the US operation, but some officials had privately expressed disquiet over what they characterized as a precipitate use of force……….. The Soviet Union withheld comment on the incident, which was reported in the Soviet press on May 15 without criticism.  Tass, the official press agency, however, noted complaints by a number of US senators about the US handling of the operation………. A West German Foreign Ministry official noted May 15 that Bonn had “a certain interest in seeing the American trend to dejection and discouragement in foreign affairs come to an end.”


May 16, 1975

Communist China accuses the US of piracy in retaking the Mayaguez, which had been seized in Cambodian territorial waters………The Indian govt. did not comment on the US action, but Indian newspapers attacked the operation and condemned the US firing on Cambodian ships.


May 19, 1975


Henry Kissinger sends Pres. Ford a memo concerning the debriefing of the Mayaguez captain and crew.


May 20, 1975


US Defense Dept. announces that a US-made Cambodian sub-chaser with its 40 crewmen turned itself over to Thai authorities.


May 23, 1975


James M Frey, Assistant Director for Legislative Reference in the Office of Management and Budget wrote a memo to Pres. Ford concerning House of Representative bill 6755 – Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975.


June 11, 1975


US Rep. Harrington introduces H.RES.529

June 12, 1975

Vietnamese occupies Cambodian islands; Pol Pot was in Hanoi on an unpublicized visit……….
Cambodian refugees arriving in Thailand report that the forced evacuation of inhabitants from the capital and other cities to the countryside is complete.


June 20, 1975


James T. Lynn’s memo to Pres. Ford concerning a status reports on the Indochina Refugee Resettlement Program.

June 21, 1975

Mao Zedong and Pol Pot meet in Peking.  Pol Pot is told, " You should not completely copy China's experience, and should think for yourself.  According to Marx, his theory is a guideline for action but not a doctrine."
[25] ………. US govt. reports fighting between North and South Vietnamese troops and Cambodians at a number of border areas.


June 25, 1975


UPI reports that thousand of Cambodians may have died on the roads after they were forced to leave the cities for the countryside.


July 11, 1975


Julia V. Taft, Director of the Interagency Task Force for Indochina, sends memo to Pres. Ford concerning the Status Report on the Indochina Refugee Resettlement Program.


July 20, 1975


AP reports that during the past two months Khmer Rouge soldiers have shot nearly 300 persons attempting to flee Cambodia into Thailand.


July 21, 1975


Letter from Robert W. Straus, Governor of the State of Oregon, to Pres. Ford concerning the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975.


July 31, 1975


Letter from George Wallace, Governor of the State of Alabama, to Pres. Ford concerning the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975.

Aug. 18, 1975

China pledged massive economic aid to a visiting Cambodian delegation.

Sept. 1975

Vietnamese embassy was reopened in Phnom Penh; Mr. Pham Van Bar was ambassador.

Sept. 9, 1975

Prince Sihanouk and his wife returned to Phnom Penh after a five-year absence.


Sept. 13, 1975


Letter from Edwin Edwards, Governor of the State of Louisiana, to Pres. Ford concerning the Indochina refugee resettlement program.

Sept. 22, 1975

Khmer Rouge revealed its policy for strengthening the revolutionary party: no classes - all should be farmer, no religion, bring all party members abroad home, gather as many as possible those intellectuals and former govt. servants from western Europe and America. [Document in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]


Sept. 26, 1975


US State Dept. announces that US passports are no longer valid in South Vietnam and Cambodia unless approved by the secretary of state.


Oct. 12, 1975


Prince Sihanouk's aids in Peking confirm the killing of the Khmer Republic officials by the Khmer Rouge following their victory on April 17.


Oct. 17, 1975


Prince Sihanouk, in an interview in the Far East Economic Review, states that he was "double-crossed" by the Khmer Rouge.

Nov. 2, 1975

The Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met to discuss the visit to Thailand, border problems and many other issues. Cambodia sent a delegation to Thailand in seeking for security, recognition of the border, and to show the world community of the new Phnom Penh regime's openness. The Committee also discusses Cambodian eastern border problem.  Many Vietnamese had come to live or station on the Cambodian side of the border, in which many complaints were issued to both the north and south Vietnam. [Document in Cambodian Page 1 - 9] ……..
Thailand and Cambodia establish full diplomatic relations.


Nov. 11, 1975


Chhun (Zone 23) sent telegram to Pol Pot, reporting on the eastern border situation; Vietnamese violations were reported and measure to protect it was taken. [Text in Cambodian Page 1 2 3 4 5]


Dec. 16, 1975


US Rep. Matsunaga introduces H.RES.934

1976 Chronology Of Cambodia History

Abbreviations on this page

Jan. 4, 1976


Serious fighting erupts on Tral Island or Phu Quoc (according to a month report by Khmer Rouge soldier on Seh Island to Son Sen - Dep. PM and Defense Minister alias Brother 89 or Khieu).  Plans, helicopters and cannons are used.  Ships carried red flags with pictures of Angkor Wat temple and white flags are shot at by people on Tral Island. [26]


Jan. 5, 1976

New constitution (the country's third since independent in 1953) was promulgated. The country was officially renamed Democratic Kampuchea (DK). The DK constitution provided a 250-seat Assembly to be called the "People's Representative Assembly". 150 members represent the peasants, 50 the laborers and other working people, and 50 the revolutionary army.


Jan. 9, 1976


Khmer Rouge Standing Committee convened a meeting (attendees: comrade Secretary, comrade Deputy-Secretary, comrade Doeun, comrade Art, comrade Pheas and comrade Tuch) to discuss the party propaganda and educational plan for 1976 and the future. [Minute of the meeting in Cambodian page 1-9]


Jan. 19, 1976


The New York Times reports that the Khmer Rouge are again forcibly transferring hundreds of thousands of people from the cities to rural areas.

Jan. 23, 1976


Khmer Rouge soldier reports to Son Sen that on the night of Jan. 22, the Vietnamese attacked their force.  The Khmer Rouges who were one Kilometer from Pou Nhek mountain were ordered to withdraw by the Vietnamese, who claim that it is their land. [26]


Feb. 4, 1976


The Phnom Penh govt. announces that nationwide elections will be held March 20 for the newly established People's Representative Assembly.


Feb. 6, 1976


Khmer Rouge soldier seize Thai boat (s) and brought to Rung Island but later release. [26] ……… China sign secret military aid agreement with Cambodia.


Feb. 8, 1976


Khmer Rouge soldier reports to Son Sen about the border problem with Vietnam and seeks the minister's advise: " I'd like to report to Brother about the border problem in which the Vietnamese established their base (s) in our territory: Our soldiers met with Teu Dic who is in charge of the planting section.  They camped along the Huch Stream in Pou Trakk Village.  The info that the Region's soldier gave is that they move 1 Kilometer into our territory.  We went to inspect all together.  The Vietnamese did not recognize this borderline.  They said that our map is not correct.  Our Soldiers ordered them to withdraw from that place completely by they did not withdraw…Does Brother have any comment on the above issues?" [26]

Feb. 22, 1976

Chhin, Khmer Rouge commander, reports to Son Sen about situation with Vietnamese and requests more ammunition.


Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met (attendees: comrade Secretary, comrade Dep.-Secretary, comrade Van, comrade Von, comrade Khieu, comrade Nuch, comrade Hem, comrade Doeun) to discuss the country defense issues, including the Vietnamese's activities on Cambodia eastern border, Chinese aid, delivery of ammunition from Vietnam, and military hospital. [Minute of the meeting in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4]  On the same day, the Committee, without Nuch but replaced by comrade Thun and Tuch, also discussed the economic issues.

Feb. 25, 1976

Three unidentified planes were reported to have bombed the town of Siem Reap, causing a number of casualties. The report blames American for the bombing. [Report in Cambodian page 1 2]

Feb. 28, 1976

Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met to discuss the aid from Sweden and Yugoslavia. Swedish govt. planned to provide around $5 million in unconditional aid to Cambodia and Yugoslavia would provide $4 million. [Minute of the meeting in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4]


Feb. 29, 1976


Commander Chhin sends report of border situation to Brother 89.


March 8, 1976


Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met to discuss announcement of the election due to be held on March 20, 1976 and the monitoring of news. [Minute in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4]

March 9, 1976


Report of the situation at the Cambodia-Vietnam border is sent to Son Sen.


March 11, 1976

Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met (attendees: comrade Secretary, comrade Dep.-Secretary, comrade Von, Comrade Khieu, comrade Hem, comrade Douen, comrade Toum and comrade Tuch) to discuss Prince Norodom Sihanouk's resignation request. [Minute in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4 5]  On the same day, the Committee also discussed the eastern border situation. [Minute in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4]

March 20, 1976


With about 98 percent of eligible voters participating, Cambodians elect 250 members to a newly formed People's Representative Assembly.


April 2, 1976

Govt. of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge) issued a statement regarding Prince Sihanouk's resignation as Cambodia Head of State. [Statement in Cambodian page 1 2]

April 4, 1976


Khieu Samphan becomes Prime Minister (04/04/76-05/13/76).


April 7, 1976


Prince Sihanouk and his cabinet resign; Khieu Samphan replaces Prince Sihanouk as Chief of State.


April 14, 1976


People's Representative Assembly approves the new government head by Khieu Samphan.


April 22, 1976

Govt. of Democratic Kampuchea held its first cabinet meeting, chaired by Comrade Secretary (Pol Pot). 

May 7, 1976

Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met to discuss trade issues. [Minute in Cambodian page 1 2]


May 10, 1976


Brent Scowcroft, US National Security Adviser, sent a memo to Pres. Ford concerning a comprehensive report on ‘the life inside Cambodia’ prepared by the US Embassy in Bangkok.


May 13, 1976


Pol Pot becomes Prime Minister (05/13/76-01/07/79).

May 15, 1976


Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met (attendees: comrade Secretary, comrade Deputy, comrade Khieu, comrade Hem, comrade Douen and comrade Tuch) to discuss defense issues, factory, and airport. [Minute in Cambodian page 1 2]


May 18, 1976


Vietnam Deputy FM Phan Nguyen and delegation visited Cambodia.

May 19, 1976

DK Deputy Prime Minister Ieng Sary met with visiting Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Phan Nuyeng and his delegation.


May 30, 1976


Khmer Rouge Standing Committee met (attendees: comrade Secretary, comrade Deputy, comrade Von, comrade Khieu, comrade Hem and comrade Tuch) to discuss duties of the armed forces. [Minute in Cambodian page 1 2 3 4 5]


June 11, 1976


Telegram is sent to Brother 89 to report about the interception of a letter hat has " significant meaning".  [Read more]


June 12, 1976


Son Sen is informed about an expected shipment of Chinese military equipment to Cambodia.


June 16, 1976


A working session was convened, attending by comrade Secretary, comrade Deputy, comrade Hem, comrade Phea, comrade Su, comrade Si and Social and Health administrators, to discuss social and health issues.

July 20, 1976

Pol Pot received a Vietnamese journalist delegation in Phnom Penh.


Aug. 12, 1976


Khmer Rouge and Thai fishing fleet, protected by Thai navy, crash near Koh Kong for nearly 4 hours; one Thai fishing boat is captured. [26]


Aug. 24, 1976


Brother 89 is informed about the Chinese Embassy's request. [Read more]


Nov. 23, 1976


Thai govt. returns 26 Cambodian refugees to Cambodia, saying they are a threat to Thai national security.

1977 Chronology Of Cambodia History

Abbreviations on this page

Jan. 28, 1977

A force of about 200-400 Khmer Rouge soldiers crossed the Thai border and attacked four Thai villages, killing 30 civilians. Two policemen and five Khmer Rouge soldiers were killed in the fighting that continued through Jan. 29.

Jan. 30, 1977

Thailand closed its border with Cambodia and delivered protest to the Phnom Penh govt. for the cross-border attack. Thai armed forces were put on alert.

April 30, 1977

Khmer Rouge launched attacks on Vietnamese villages.

May 1977

Heavy fighting had raged along the Cambodia-Vietnam border in May, forcing the Vietnamese to temporarily evacuate two of their southern border towns. The fighting erupted when Khmer Rouge troops crossed into Vietnam and burned villages, forcing most of the inhabitants to flee to Chau Doc, a provincial capital, which was evacuated on May 17 after it was struck by gunfire that caused 40 casualties.


May 2, 1977


The New York Times reports harsh conditions plaguing Cambodia, including crop failure, hunger, and disease.  The Khmer Rouge's program to evacuate cities has culminated in enforced collectivization of farms into village-wide cooperatives.

May 16, 1977

Ha Tien, Vietnamese province, was evacuated after a shelling and a ground attack launched by the Khmer Rouge.  And a number of villages northwest of Ha Tien was said to have been captured by the Khmer Rouge and was still in the hands of the invaders when the refugees left.

May 17, 1977

Chau Doc, Vietnamese province, was also evacuated after it was struck by gunfire that caused some 40 casualties.

June 14, 1977


US Rep. Fish introduces H.R.7769


June 30, 1977

SEATO terminated.


July 8, 1977


Former Prime Minister Son Ngoc Thanh died.


July 19, 1977


Heavy Cambodia-Thai border fighting leaves 17 Thais and 50 Cambodians dead.

July 23, 1977

About 50 Khmer Rouge soldiers raided a Thai outpost in northeast of the country, killing 4 Thai policemen.


July 26, 1977


A US State Dept. official, Richard Holbrooke, reports that an estimated 1.2 million Cambodians may have perished since the Khmer Rouge seized power in April 1975 and charges the Khmer Rouge with flagrant and systematic violations of human rights.  He cites, among other offenses, their forcible relocation of urban populations and brutal treatment of political opponents.


July 28, 1977


A large Khmer Rouge force crossed into Thailand but withdrew after clashing with Thai police and military forces.


Aug. 3, 1977


Khmer Rouge soldiers kill 28 Thai civilians and one policeman in an attack on Ta Phraya district of Thailand.


Aug. 6, 1977


Thai PM Thanin Kraivichien confirms reports of Khmer Rouge attacks on Vietnam and Thailand, as well as raids on Laos.


Sept. 12, 1977


Exiled former Pres. Lon Nol says more than 2.5 million people have met violent deaths in Cambodia since the Khmer Rouge came to power.


Sept. 24, 1977


Khmer Rouge forces launch attacks against a number of Vietnamese villages.


Sept. 25, 1977


DK govt. announced for the first time that PM Pol Pot had been named to the additional post of secretary general of the Communist Party, apparently making him Cambodia’s top leader, and that he would lead a party and govt. delegation to China for official visit.


Sept. 27, 1977


US House of Representatives passed a resolution H.RES.724 expressing concern over human rights violation in Cambodia.

Sept. 28, 1977

Pol Pot began his state visit to China; he was greeted at Peking's airport by Communist Party Chairman and PM Hua Guofeng and other top Chinese leaders. A crowd of 100,000 cheered Pol Pot and his delegation as they were driven through the city's main square.  At a banquet given in his honor later of the day, Pol Pot said conditions in his country “excellent” and he made references to his country’s recent border clashes with Vietnam and Thailand.


Sept. 29, 1977


Pol Pot meets with PRC PM Hua Guofen.  Pol Pot tells the Chinese PM that the Soviet, Vietnam and Cuba are cooperating to attack Cambodia.  [Memo of conversation]

Oct. 2, 1977

At a news conference in Beijing, Pol Pot said that the evacuation of millions of Cambodian from the cities to the countryside was to break up an "enemy spy organization". He said the evacuation decision had been made three months before the end of the war.


Oct. 19, 1977


Hanoi reports that over 60,000 Cambodian refugees have been granted asylum in Vietnam over the past two year.

Nov. 11, 1977

DK Foreign Ministry issued a statement reaffirming the country stand on the border issues. [Statement in Cambodian page 1 2 3]

Dec. 3, 1977

Chinese Vice-Premier Chen Yonggui visited Cambodia.

Dec. 21-22, 1977

The fighting erupted again along the Cambodia-Thai border.

Dec. 22, 1977

Thai premier Kriangsak Chamanand, who touring the region that Khmer Rouge attack, warned of heavy military retaliation unless Cambodia halted its attacks……….
Cambodians are reported carrying out major attacks during Nov. into Vietnam's Tay Ninh province.


Dec. 25, 1977

Vietnam, using warplanes and artillery, launched a major retaliatory attack on Cambodia, capturing the Parrot’s Beak area of Svay Rieng Province.

Dec. 31, 1977

Cambodia severed diplomatic relations with Vietnam and ordered Vietnamese diplomats in Phnom Penh to leave before Jan. 7, 1978. Hanoi earlier had withdrawn its ambassador from Phnom Penh, an action described by the DK Foreign Ministry as “unfriendly.”



1978 Chronology Of Cambodia History

Abbreviations on this page

Jan. 3, 1978

The Khmer Rouge again refused to negotiate peace with Vietnam until all Vietnamese troops had withdrawn from Cambodian territory. About 60,000 Vietnamese troops were in Cambodia at the time.


Jan. 16, 1978


Vietnam criticizes US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski's remark that Cambodian-Vietnamese fighting is a "proxy war" between the Soviet and China.

Jan. 18, 1978

Madame Deng Yingchao visited Cambodia……….
Hanoi radio charges that the Khmer Rouge has shelled all eight Vietnamese provinces along the border since Jan. 9.


Jan. 23, 1978


Phnom Penh is described as a ghost city by envoy from Denmark, Sweden and Finland after they return from a two-weeks visit to Cambodia.


Jan. 25, 1978


Hanoi radio reports that the Khmer Rouge have driven into the southwestern Vietnamese provincial capital of Ha Tien.


Feb. 2, 1978


Following four days of talks, Cambodia and Thailand announce that they will exchange ambassadors in a renewal of diplomatic relations.

Feb. 5, 1978

Hanoi proposed cease-fire and negotiation with Cambodia.


Feb. 8, 1978


Cambodia rejects Vietnamese's truce offer.


Feb. 9, 1978


Hanoi accuses Cambodia of responding to its peace proposal by launching new incursions into Vietnam.


Feb. 21, 1978


Vietnam accuses China of arming the Khmer Rouge and encourage Phnom Penh to refuse negotiation.


March 14, 1978


Khmer Rouge troops, assisted by naval forces, cross into Vietnam and occupy a small strip of land on the Gulf of Siam.


March 7, 1978


Poland registered with UN its objection to the reservation made by the Democratic Kampuchea concerning Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.


March 16, 1978


Cambodia calls for negotiations with Vietnam to end their conflict……… Canada registered with UN its objection to the reservation made by the Democratic Kampuchea concerning Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.


March 19, 1978


PM Pol Pot reiterates his opposition to Vietnam's alleged plan for an Indochinese federation of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.


April 12, 1978


Cambodia reports that it have repulsed a Vietnamese attack into its territory the previous week and has killed 560 of the invaders.


April 19, 1978


Former Information Minister Chhang Song charges, in a Washington news conference, that a Holocaust is occurring in Cambodia, claiming that 1 millions Cambodians have been slaughtered and another million appear to have perished from disease and starvation.


April 21, 1978


US Pres. Carter charges that the Phnom Penh govt. is the worst violator of human rights in the world today.

April 22, 1978

First Khmer resistant brigade formed in Vietnam.

April 24, 1978


US. Rep. Zablocki introduces H.Con.Res.573 denouncing the govt. of Cambodia for its disregard of basic human rights.


May 1978

Phnom Penh reached an agreement in May with Singapore to resume economic and trade links after a three-year break.

May 24, 1978

Pol Pot launched a purge of his cadres in the Eastern Zone.

May 24, 1978


US Senator Byrd (W.Va) introduces S.RES.469 concerning the inhuman acts of the govt. of Cambodian against the people of Cambodia.


June 6, 1978


Vietnam proposes a cease-fire in its border conflict with Cambodia.


June 27, 1978


Hanoi radio reports 160 casualties in border fighting with the Khmer Rouge on June 20 and 23.  Vietnam also denies a Khmer Rouge claim that it had collaborated with the US CIA to try to overthrow the Phnom Penh govt. in May.


July 3, 1978


Cambodia claims that tens of thousands of Vietnamese have been killed or wounded in fighting between the two countries.


July 15, 1978


Thailand and Cambodia agree in principle to settle their long standing border dispute and to exchange ambassadors.


July 17, 1978


Dep. PM Ieng Sary embarrasses his Thai hosts by publicly assailing Vietnam while he is visiting Thailand.  He also denies reports that his govt. carried out large-scale massacres of Cambodia.


July 28, 1978


Dep. PM Ieng Sary tells foreign ministers meeting at the nonaligned nations conference that Cambodia closed its borders and emptied its cities after the Khmer Rouge victory in 1975 to prevent a civil war.


Aug. 1, 1978


US intelligence reports that Vietnam is conducting heavy air strikes in support of its troops fighting inside Cambodia.


Aug. 8, 1978


A new wave of Cambodia refugees are reported moving into Thailand following another govt. purge in Battambang province.


Sept. 7, 1978


US Rep. Solarz introduces H.CON.RES.706.


Sept. 21, 1978


Former pres. Lon Nol says that more than three millions Cambodians have been killed since the Communists seized power in 1975.


Oct. 13, 1978


FM Ieng Sary invites Western observers to visit Cambodia and see for themselves whether the govt. has murdered thousands of its people.


Oct. 18, 1978


Phnom Penh radio reports new fighting between invading Vietnamese forces and Khmer Rouge soldiers in the Parrot's Beak area.


Dec. 2, 1978

The establishment of Kampuchea United Front for National Salvation (
KUFNS) was announced by Hanoi. The KUFNS dedicated to overthrow Pol Pot's regime.


Dec. 4, 1978


Hanoi radio broadcasts a KUFNS statement assailing the Khmer Rouge govt. as dictatorial, militarist, and fascist and echoing genocide charges brought by Cambodian refugee.


Dec. 11, 1978


Vietnamese military advance into southern Cambodia reportedly stops about 25 miles from the strategic Mekong river port of Kratie.

Dec. 25, 1978


Invasion of Cambodia. Some 100,000 Vietnamese with 20,000 KUFNS troops, under the direction of Gen. Van Tien Dung, launch an invasion of Cambodia.

1979 Chronology Of Cambodia History

Abbreviations on this page

Jan. 1, 1979


KUFNS make their first victory statement, claiming capture of the town of Kratie.


Jan. 2, 1979


Dep. PM Ieng Sary and Pres. Khieu Samphan appeal to the UN to condemn what they call Vietnamese and Soviet aggression against Cambodia and to seek aid to counter the Vietnamese offensive.


Jan. 3, 1979

Vietnamese and KUFNS troops moved rapidly toward the capital Phnom Penh and the vital seaport of Kompong Som.  Khmer Rouge officials conceded that the invading forces had already gained control of a fourth of the country.


Jan. 5, 1979


Chinese Dep. PM Teng Hsiao-ping says that China does not intend to send actual troops or military advisers to Cambodia.

Jan. 7, 1979

Vietnamese and KUFNS troops capture Phnom Penh, ending the murderous regime of Pol Pot in which more than one million Cambodians perished.

Jan. 8, 1979

The Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Council (
KPRC), head by Heng Samrin was set up as a provisional govt. to run the country.

Jan. 10, 1979

The People's Republic of Kampuchea (
PRK) was established to replace the Khmer Rouge's Democratic Kampuchea.

Jan. 11, 1979

The UN Security Council agreed, over the objections of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, to let Prince Norodom Sihanouk present a demand for the withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia.


Jan. 12, 1979


Vietnamese columns are said to have advanced as far west as Battambang.

Jan. 15, 1979

Khmer Rouge troops recapture port of Kompong Som from Vietnamese soldiers, inflicting the first major defeat of the war on Hanoi's invading forces……… The Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia voted against a resolution calling for the withdrawal of "all foreign forces" from Cambodia. The other 13 members of the Security Council vote in favor.

Jan. 14, 1979

Thai and Chinese held a secret meeting to support a guerrilla war against the Vietnamese's occupation of Cambodia.

Jan. 18, 1979


Prince Sihanouk says he will not return to Cambodia.


Jan. 25, 1979


PRCK Pres. Heng Samrin accuses leaders of ousted Pol Pot's govt. of genocide policies since they took control in 1975.


Feb. 17, 1979

"Teaching a lesson". Some 170,000 Chinese troops with 700 warplanes, and 250-300 tanks launched an invasion of Vietnam to punish it for invading of Cambodia.


Feb. 18, 1979


The PRK and Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) signed in Phnom Penh a 25 years friendship treaty.  Heng Samrin, Pres. of the People’s Revolutionary Council, signed for Cambodia and Pham Van Dong, Premier of the SRV, for Vietnam.


Feb. 21, 1979


China and ousted Khmer Rouge DK govt. officials denounce the Cambodian-Vietnamese treaty signed on Feb. 18.

April 24, 1979

Cambodians poured into Thailand. About 80,000 Cambodian civilians and soldiers were reported to have crossed the border into Thailand.


April 28, 1979


Washington Post reports that military confiscation of food as well as the disruption caused by the fighting raises the possibility of widespread famine in Cambodia.


April 29, 1979


Thai officials reports that most of an estimated 50,000-80,000 Cambodian civilians and soldiers of the ousted regimes who fled across the border into Thailand have been returned to Cambodia.


May 13, 1979


UN Secy. Gen. Kurt Waldheim visits Cambodian refugee camps near the Thai border town of Aranyaprathet.


June 11, 1979


Thailand is reported turning back 30,000 Cambodian refugees in the past four days.

July 15, 1979

KPRC issued a decree (Kret) condemning Pol Pot and Ieng Sary for crime of genocide, which was committed during their reign of terror from 1975-1979, and that a court would be established to try the two.

Aug. 19, 1979

The People Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced Pol Pot and Ieng Sary, in absentia, to death for the crime of genocide and to confiscate all of their properties. [Accusation and judgment in Cambodian]

Sept. 19, 1979

Khmer Rouge kept UN seat. The nine members of the UN Credentials Committee refused to replace the Cambodian delegate representing the ousted Khmer Rouge govt. with the one representing the PRK (Phnom Penh govt.). Belgium, China, Ecuador, Pakistan, Senegal, and the US voted against the replacement, which was urged by Vietnam; voting for the replacement were Congo, Panama, and the Soviet Union.

Sept. 21, 1979

The UN General Assembly endorsed the decision of the Credentials Committee by a vote of 71-35 with 34 abstentions and 12 absentees, allowing the Khmer Rouge delegate represent Cambodia in the UN.


Sept. 27, 1979


US House of Rep. passes a resolution H.RES.431 expressing the sense of the House that the Pres. should direct US United Nations Ambassador to seek an emergency agenda item concerning an emergency food and medical relief program for the people of Cambodia.


Oct. 24, 1979


US Pres. Jimmy Carter participated in a meeting to discuss private and public efforts to aid refugees fleeing from Kampuchea to Thailand.


Oct. 27, 1979


Phnom Penh govt. rejects a proposal by three US senators to truck food from Thailand to starving Cambodians, calling the bid a maneuver by the imperialists to get assistance to the Pol Potist forces fighting the govt.

Nov. 14, 1979

The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution A/RES/34/22 calling for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cambodia. The vote is 91-21 with 29 abstentions.


Nov. 8, 1979


US Senator Javits introduces S.RES.277 a resolution relating to the commitment to ease the human suffering in Cambodia.


Nov. 16, 1979


US Senate passes a resolution S.RES.277 expressing the sense of the Senate that (1) all countries and all people be urged to respond generously to Cambodian relief efforts; (2) Cambodian authorities be encouraged to allow the use of all possible avenues for delivering food and medical supplies; and (3) the US and the U.N. should express their expectation that the great power supporters of the factions in Cambodia share in international responsibility for averting famine.


Dec. 2, 1979


Vietnam News Agency reports Phnom Penh govt. denials of reports that it is blocking Western relief shipments for starving Cambodians.


Dec. 5, 1979


An international relief official at the Cambodian border says an estimated 80-90 percent of relief supplies sent to Cambodia's starving population remain in Phnom Penh warehouses and at the port of Kompong Som………. US Rep. Solarz introduces H.CON.RES.219 a concurrent resolution calling for an international conference on Cambodia.


Dec. 13, 1979


UN relief official Henry Labouisse refutes a CIA report that charges the Soviet with blocking distribution of food and medicine in Cambodia, and says that supplies pile up in Cambodian centers because of a lack of transport……….. US Rep. Leach, J. introduces H.RES.507 a resolution condemning the use of chemical agents in Indochina.


Dec. 17, 1979


A two-day party congress held in Cambodia replace ousted PM Pol Pot with Khieu Samphan, who also keeps his post as president.  Pol Pot is named commander-in-chief of guerrilla forces fighting the Vietnamese-supported govt. of Heng Samrin……….. US Sen. Glenn introduces S.RES.316 an original resolution concerning Thailand's assistance to Kampuchean refugees.


Dec. 18, 1979


US House of Representatives passes a resolution H.RES.509 commenting Thailand for assist Indochinese refugees and declaring that the US should seek to insure the survival of the Cambodian people.


Dec. 19, 1979


US Senate passes a resolution H.CON.RES.219 requesting the Pres. to work with the Secretary General of the UN and with other nations to convene an international conference on Cambodia.


Dec. 20, 1979


US House of Representatives pass a resolution H.RES.512 (by roll call#754 – 378-1) condemning the use of lethal chemical agents against the Hmong tribe-people in Laos and any such use in Cambodia.


US Senate passes a resolution S.RES.316 (by roll call#505 – 90-0) commanding Thai govt. for assisting Indochinese refugees, pledging continued US support for Thailand in its effort to assist such refugees, and declaring that the US seek to insure the survival of the Cambodian people.


Dec. 24, 1979


Phnom Penh govt. denounces a report by Red Cross operations director Jean-Pierre Hocke that very little food and medical aid sent by the Red Cross had been distributed to the people.


Other events happened in 1979

Former Prime Minister Son Sann formed a resistant force, Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF), to fight against Vietnamese's occupation of Cambodia.




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