Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Killing Fields, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is 6 hours from Siam Reap. It's a poverty stricken, polluted, congested mess. Besides the Royal Palace and Sillver Pagoda there is not much pleasing on the eyes. It looks like a huge shanty town and given the number of kids begging for money it's not far off.

A visit to the killing fields of Choeung Ek 16kms outside the city is a stark reminder of just how brutal the Khymer Rouge really were under Pol Pot. If that doesn't depress you then a visit to Tuol Sleng, a school turned it a torture and execution prison surely will.The Kymer Rouge were responsible for some 2 million deaths.

They eliminated the use of money and closed most hospitals and schools.They systematically killed educated people who they deemed dangerous and even people who wore spectacles became targets. They ruled by extreme fear and are regarded as more brutal than the Nazis.

Inexplicably, the UN allowed the Khymer Rouge to occupy the Cambodian seat at the UN General Assembly until 1991?

Tags: ..Killing Fields, Phnom Penh, Cambodia..

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nick July 22, 2009 3:27 am  

It's always weird when sickening brutality and inhumanity can co-exist with breathtaking architecture and landscapes. The skulls and discarded clothes really bring home the awful reality.

TCL July 22, 2009 3:22 pm  

It definitely looks far more gruesome than some of the Berlin museums and memorials to victims of Nazi crimes. The only thing I can think of that is as bad as the killing fields is the concentration camps in Poland or the Japanese experimental labs in Manchuria during WWII.

Baino July 24, 2009 6:31 pm  

We always said we'd never let it happen again but it does, over and over. I wonder if the Cambodians were wealthy, western, or had resources worthy of plunder would the west have put up with Pol Pot and his cruelty . shits me frankly how we turn a blind eye to Zimbabwe, Somalia and poorer countries who practice genocide because they have no 'worth' to the west. It's good to 'see' these things tho Quicky, they shouldn't be forgotten.

Quickroute July 25, 2009 12:28 am  

@ Nick: It's incredible how cruel man be and a shame it continues in other countries to this day

@ Ted: It reminded me of Krakow in Poland and I got the same sickly feeling in my stomach

@ Baino: Good point Baino - Why do we have a UN which takes way too long to respond to these things?

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