20 Dec 2011


From a period of increasing corruption and instability that lasted until 1970, when Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk was deposed by dictator Lon Nol, to the domination of the capital Phnom Penh by the revolutionary movement Khmer Rouge in 1975, situation in the country has developed to brutal social restructurings and civil war.
Aiming to transform Cambodia into an agrarian cooperative, the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot's leadership, forced the entire population of the capital and provincial towns – including the sick, elderly and infirm – to march out to the countryside and undertake forced labor for 12 to 15 hours a day. Tortures, humiliations, isolation and starvation of the people during the regime challenge the limits of imagination. Leaders, intellectuals, executives and those who opposed the movement were systematically killed. The massacre – which lasted until 1979, when the Vietnamese invasion forced the Khmer Rouge to leave Phnom Penh – resulted in the execution of approximately 2 million people.
The implications of this atrocity still exist today and will continue to impact the country for a long time to come. The segment of the population necessary for the carrying forward of the society and development of Cambodia was wiped out leaving the country to illiterates and less educated people to take over after the Khmer Rouge era.