Cambodia – the Killing Fields

Last month, 35 years after the events, 2 members of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime were convicted of crimes against humanity.

In total, only 3 of the Khmer Rouge leaders have been brought to justice.IMG_4408 uc12

During the period 1975-79, the Khmer Rouge tried to create an agrarian Marxist state in Cambodia.

They were responsible for the deaths of approximately 2 million of their own people – one fifth of the population of Cambodia.  Most were executed and many others died of starvation.IMG_4383

Choeung Ek, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, is one of a number of sites known as the Killing Fields, where mass-killings took place.IMG_4392


Originally an orchard, at Choeung Ek alone, 17,000 people are believed to have been killed.IMG_4396

The remains of 9,000 bodies of men, women and children, have been found in mass graves here.IMG_4388

Today, this is a memorial site.  A multi-level Buddhist stupa has been built, containing several thousand human skulls found.

Despite the sad facts and horrific evidence, the visitor experience is serene, presented sensitively and respectfully.  You can take a tuk-tuk from Phnom Penh and spend a thought-provoking and memorable couple of hours here.

IMG_4403 mu

Clothing unearthed from mass graves or exposed by rainy weather…..

IMG_4407 u

However, perhaps a Buddhist outlook, but most Cambodians now seem to rather look to the future, not seek justice for the past. IMG_4648 Soppeak


2 thoughts on “Cambodia – the Killing Fields

    • hi giorge – yes, sad, no question, but informative, serene.
      However we passed on visiting the Tuol Sleng prison & Genocidal Museum in Phnom Penh…that would have been too depressing.
      The Cambodians are lovely, respectful folk.
      Thanks for commenting.

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