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A Former Cambodian’s Senior Official origined from Indigenous Peoples

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Ratanakiri is considered one of the most beautiful province in part of Northeastern Cambodia. This province was created in 1959 from land that had been the eastern area of Stung Treng province. Ratanakiri is the homeland of diverse Indigenous Peoples who have been living there for many centuries.

Landscape of Banlung town, capital of Ratanakiri province [Image by Guidetrip]
A former Cambodia’s Senior Official also from Indigenous community in Ratanakiri province. This man was Bou Thang belongs to Tampuan Indigenous who was born in a small village of Ratanakiri province, part of Northeastern Cambodia. He was born on 15 August 1938 in Kachon village, Kachon commune, Vern Sai district, Rattanakiri province, Cambodia. Unfortunately, he passed away in the morning of 12 September 2019 (aged 82) due to his illness at Calmette Hospital, Phnom Penh.

Bou Thang died at aged 82 in Phnom Penh [Image by MFAIC]
General Bou Thang completed a bachelor’s degree in social science in Phnom Penh. He was former Chairman of the 4th Committee of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia and one of the prominent figures who liberated Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge. 

Bou Thang had five children such as Thang Savon who is the current Provincial Governor of Modulkiri province. 

Bou Thang and his son, Thang Savonn, currently Governor of Mondulkiri province [Image by Thang Savonn]
Bou Thang had transited the soldier and political training session from 1954-1970 in Vietnam. In 1974, he to Vietnam to join with the National Salvation Front to fight Khmer Rouge Genocide well known as Pol Pot Regime. Later on, he was the first Indigenous person who became a Member of the Standing Committee of Cambodian People’s Party’s Central until his death.

Thang was a former Deputy Minister, Minister of the Ministry of National Defense between 1992-1996 with Star fourth 4 Golden Stars General. After the election, he became a Lawmaker of Parliament for Ratanakiri province from 1993 to 2012. Afterward, he served as Chairman of the Fourth Committee Interior and became a Defense of the Senate from 2012 till 2016. 


Thang was also promoted as Deputy Prime Minister and was an advisor to Senate President Say Chhum since 2016. 

Thang was fluent in three foreign languages, Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai, before he joined the Cambodian government in 1970. He also can speak his native language like Tampuan and 10 Indigenous languages in the Northeastern of Cambodia. 

Bou Thang was not only fluent in foreign languages, but he also wrote The History Journey Never Forget, which describes his journey during the Cambodian Civil War. 

Bou Thang (left side) and his Dignitaries [No source]
Samech Hun Sen added that Gen Thang also actively contributed to the rehabilitation and development of the nation across all sectors. Hun Sen continued, Gen Thang also sought to promote the rights of ethnic minorities, transformed the northeastern parts of the Kingdom into a fast-developing region, and left a legacy of service in the Senate that contributed to the strengthening of democracy and rule of law in the Kingdom.

President Chhum, “Gen Thang was a hero who will be remembered for his fight in liberating the country, preventing the return of Pol Pot’s regime, and developing the nation toward economic and social prosperity, as well as maintaining peace and stability in the Kingdom.”

“The mentor Bou Thang had contributed through his whole life for the sake of the national defense, rehabilitation and reconstruction for the survival of Cambodian people and the maintenance of peace and prosperity for the country. He used to be my bss in the Ministry of National Defense,” Prak Sokhon said.