We are the end of the Khmer New Year holidays, a time of happiness and good wishes for all Cambodians and their friends. 40 years ago, on April 17, 1975, there was also a Khmer New Year celebration. But that new year, the one of the rabbit, was going to be under the Khmer Rouge social utopia: the start of the most extreme communist experiment on earth: the Democratic Kampuchea of Pol Pot.
Let us make speculations of this news of the verdict of Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea by ECCC this week. Let us suppose that it was not ECCC but a Khmer Rouge tribunal to investigate their cases leaded by… Duch, for example: first both seniors would endured long sessions of torture. Why to take the fatigue to look for witnesses and ask experts when you have all those S-21 practical machines to make Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea to confess their crimes? Even more, such tribunal would be delighted to make them confess others’ crimes, so a good method to reduce more papers. It is the way they dealt during their time as leaders of Kampuchea Democratic. Even more, both would be condemned to execution and an awful execution as they were at the killing fields. Continue reading →
The official opening of a residence for young women studying at the Don Bosco Vocational Center in Kep City was the opportunity to remember that the tiniest Cambodian province was few decades ago a scenery of violence under the action of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla. ‘Our province was sadly a place of violence. We remember for example the regrettable fate of three foreign young men kidnapped and murdered by people without mercy in 1994, not far from this place, where now we see the growing of this technical school for a more peaceful and progressive future of our nation,’ said Kep Province‘s governor Ken Satha during a ceremony at the school last Wednesday 7th November. Continue reading →
King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The government expected more than 10 thousand persons to wait the funeral convoy bringing the body of late King Norodom Sihanouk to Cambodia. It is possible to say that almost all the Phnom Penh inhabitants, a city of near 2 million people, went out to the streets, under the tropical sun and wait for their king’s remains to make his last journey to the Royal Palace. Continue reading →
Exactly here there is one of those old French abandoned houses to see in Kep Province. When I have visitors to Kep, the tiniest and amazing Cambodian province, I bring them to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island), the Crab Market, the hills, Kampong Trach District (although located in the Kampot territory), the Vietnamese border to Hatien and the Ramoh Caves (also in the limit with Kampot.) But there is something I enjoy to show: the old French abandoned houses. Continue reading →
A Cambodian ad in a female students’ resident. Khmer ads with English translations are becoming a part of the urban views of Cambodia.
If we have to make an updated evaluation on the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC, 1992-1993) legacy to modern Cambodia, researchers probably will conclude that English language is one of them. Saloth Sar (alias Pol Pot) was educated in Paris where he set the conditions to evolve the Khmer Rouge movement. However he was fluent in French language, as many of the middle and high class Cambodians of the French Protectorate of Kampuchea, the eradication of foreign languages was included in the extreme policies of the Khmer Rouge Era (1975-1979). Thus French language became one of the deadly victims of the regime. Although French was widely used during the UNTAC time, it is true that English was used as the official language. It creates the need of several Cambodians to serve as interpreters to UNTAC officials. Continue reading →
Is a Cambodia a novel inspiration country? Evidently yes, with its troublesome past as a victim of the domino theory during the Cold War. Devastation, nightmares, terror and… Pol Pot. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia did not see an end to an even more complicated conflict, once more touched by internal and external interests, elements that molded what is Cambodia now. This political novel of William MacDonalds mixes many elements of that legacy of conflicts in a modern context. An imaginary story that touches reality in several points.
‘Guilt swarms over Cambodia. It is in the billions of dollars of aid that flow into Cambodia’s struggling economy, in the thousands of foreign aid workers that labor in its tiny capital, in the countless charity offices in its provincial towns, in the endless efforts to improve its medieval politics. Emily has come as part of the guilt,’ – After Pol Pot, a Modern Historical Novel.