Black-clad students yesterday reenacted the horrors of the Cambodian genocide at the “Killing Fields” to commemorate the 2 million people killed by the Khmer Rouge’s murderous Maoist regime.
Hundreds gathered at the notorious site in Phnom Penh to mark the annual Day of Remembrance with prayers and performances, including students wielding wooden rifles, knives and bamboo sticks in mock attacks.
“We performed these scenes in order to remember the genocidal Pol Pot regime and the cruelty that Cambodian people suffered,” said Chhaem Khleuong, a fine arts teacher who played a Khmer Rouge cadre.
A quarter of the nation’s population died under Pol Pot’s regime, culled in mass killings or of starvation, forced labor or torture.
His brutal reign came to an end in 1979, and the Khmer Rouge atrocities are still remembered at museums and sites dedicated to victims of the genocide.
The Day of Remembrance — more commonly called the “Day of Anger” in Cambodia — is held at the Choeung Ek “Killing Fields,” where about 15,000 people were confined and sent to their deaths from 1975 and 1979.
It was an emotional day for many attendees, with some crying as students pretended to slit victims’ throats, shoot them dead or subject them to waterboarding.
“These views brought my feeling back to the Pol Pot era; the killing was heinous,” said 62-year-old Chan Ren, who lost more than 10 relatives under the regime.
“Today, people attend the event to pray to the souls of people who were killed by the Khmer Rouge,” she added.
Several of the genocide’s chief orchestrators have been tried by a UN-backed court, though critics say prosecutions have been too slow and many of the accused have died before facing trial.
In November, Khmer Rouge’s former head of state Khieu Samphan and “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea were found guilty of genocide and sentenced to life in prison.
Pol Pot, nicknamed “Brother Number One,” died in 1998 before he was brought to trial.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and