Pol Pot surrender is not confirmed


PHNOM PENH - Uncertainty over the fate of the Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, stoked new political tension in Cambodia yesterday as the First Prime Minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, said no surrender could be confirmed.

Khmer Rouge radio on Wednesday reported that the shadowy guerrilla leader had turned himself in to former comrades who had split from him and wanted to negotiate a peace agreement with the government. If confirmed, the surrender could provoke a deeper split in the uneasy coalition government under Prince Ranariddh and the Second Prime Minister, Mr Hun Sen. Their supporters have been fighting in the streets of the capital.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will go ahead as scheduled and admit Cambodia along with Burma and Laos next month, and the Thai Prime Minister, Mr Chaowalit Yongchaiyudh, is to visit at the end of this week, officials said. But the US Secretary of State, Ms Madeleine Albright, may cancel a visit scheduled for next week.