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Transcript of Cambodia Genocide
The Butcher of Cambodia
A bit of a History
Peace settlements/ UN action
The Agreements on a Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict were signed in Paris on 23 October 1991. Giving the UN full authority
to supervise a ceasefire
repatriate the displaced Khmer along the border with Thailand
disarm and demobilize the factional armies
to prepare the country for free and fair elections.
- a Cambodian communist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until 1997.
- he oversaw an unprecedented and extremely brutal attempt to remove Cambodia from the modern world and establish an agrarian utopia.
Rights and freedom destroyed
Pol Pot(leader of Cambodian Communist Party by 1962) visited China during the Communist Revolution and was inspired by Chinese program that “purified” China and purged “class enemies.”
One of many goals: institute a new calendar starting at Year Zero, thus making Cambodian history before Year Zero irrelevant.
Dith Pran, 65, a journalist and human rights advocate who became a public face of the horrors in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and whose life was portrayed in the influential movie “The Killing Field”. For much of the early 1970s, Mr. Dith was a resourceful guide and interpreter in Cambodia for Sydney H. Schanberg of the New York Times, whose reporting on the country's civil war and the rise of the Khmer Rouge won a Pulitzer Prize
"I’ve been involved with VI-C since 1997 and cannot say enough about the lives our programs have changed and altered"
GOAL: support victims of war and poverty who are often living on the margins of society. Giving them the tools to help build better lives for themselves and their families, empowering them to become productive members of their communities
Voice from the survivor
- After WWII, Cambodia declare independence from the rule of France.
- Pol Pot wished to see an independent Cambodia which was strong enough to defend itself against its powerful neighbors
- AGRARIAN UTOPIA: rejected the policies pursued by Soviet Communists, which placed a priority on technology, factories, and urbanization. Instead, inspired partly by Mao, he saw Cambodia’s development as being rooted in the development of agriculture.
- CLASSLESS: wished to see a country of equals – equals that is apart from the ruling elite. He wished to eliminate the huge disparities that existed in wealth and living standards between Cambodia’s cities and the rural peasantry. And he believed that he alone had the grand design that, when enacted, would achieve these goals.
Techniques of authoritarian government
- They forced confessions from thousands of torture victims, in which they used tactics such as draining their blood until death, or victim's wrists are tied behind their back and then being hung from a rope hooked to a ceiling or wooden structure
- Children were not allowed to go to school or to play, they were expected to work, and would be summarily killed if they balked.
- Among the activities utterly banned were music-making, prayer, using money and reading. Anyone who disobeyed these restrictions ended up in an extermination center, or got a swift axe-blow to the head in one of the Killing Fields.
- People lost the right of fair trial as
they were killed for whatever they were accused of, without considering any evidence
- Love, sex and romance were outlawed, and the state had to approve marriages. Anyone caught being in love or
having sex without official permission was executed.
- Children were brainwashed and forced into violent training
- Religion was abolished, ethnic groups forbidden to speak their language or follow their customs, the family unit ended, and political dissent ruthlessly eliminated.
Principles of liberalism rejected
: The government confiscated all consumer goods, piling vehicles, refrigerators, radios and air conditioners up in the streets and burning them. Among the activities utterly banned were music-making, prayer, using money and reading.
Rule of law
: People were executed according to Pol Pot's will. When party leader Hou Youn objected to the emptying of Phnom Penh, Pol Pot labeled him a traitor; Hou Youn disappeared.
: Pol Pot forced large groups of people from their homes and into collective farms and labor projects. Pol Pot believed in state owned properties
- Prince Norodom Sihanouk ruled the newly independent Cambodia, who was shortly overthrown by Lon Nol (who was anti-communist, ally of United States)
- Led by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge exploited the U.S. aerial bombardment as a means of propaganda, which proved extremely crucial for their rapid growth to power.
I strongly oppose to the actions involving slaughter and inhumane acts. After Sihanouk had aligned himself with the Khmer Rouge, their ranks grew from 6,000 to 50,000. Many of these new recruits were peasants who fought in support of the king, not of communism. In fact, the majority of the people in Cambodia who were fighting for the Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol’s government believed they were fighting for the restoration of Sihanouk. The combination of the Khmer Rouge’s Constitution, Sihanouk’s support for the party and the failure of Lon Nol was what convinced the majority of Cambodia’s population that the Khmer Rouge were the right people to govern Cambodia. With the threat of Civil War looming, the Khmer Rouge gained support by posing as a "party for peace".
While the Khmer Rouge was in power, they set up policies that disregarded human rights and produced repression and massacres on a massive scale. They turned the country into a huge detention center, which later became a graveyard for nearly two million people, including their own members and even some senior leaders. Pol Pot believed that by eliminating the elites from the society, Cambodia can be one step closer to his version of Utopia. He was to focused on the results that he would sacrifice everything for his vision.