Phnom Pros, Phnom Srei, Killing Fields During Pol Pot’s Regime

Posted by khmernews on October 2, 2007

Kompong Cham Province: Pol Pol’s Khmer Rouge reign of terror started from April 17, 1975. Around the country, the people who lived in cities and towns were evacuated to remote area to live in co-operatives and work as slaves of the Angkar of Democratic Kampuchea.

During Democratic Kampuchea regime, Khmer Rouge militiamen and guards killed so many people regardless their age in order to purge all Cambodians.

Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei are mountains located along National Road Number 7 in KraLa, Kompong Siem, Kompong Cham. They were killings fields during the Khmer Rouge regime. Bone skulls of 8,300 victims have been gathered by authorities and people who live there.

In 2004, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife, Bunrany Hun Sen, as well as Oknha Sim Vanna donated money to build a stupa to maintain those bones of innocent victims killed between Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei from 1975 to 1979 by the Khmer Rouge.

“Between Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei, there are 17 mass graves. Each grave is 3×4 square metres and is 3 metres deep. In the compound of the stupa, there are also some graves,” said 68-year-old Suon Leng, a villager living in Andoung chraoh, Ampil, Kompong Siem, Kompong Cham.

Suon Leng said that after the liberation on January 7, 1979, many putrid dead bodies were seen scattering around the area where later on some villagers dug up to find valuables.

“There were 7,300 bone skulls in the immediate vicinity of Prom Pros and Phnom Srei. Around one kilometre far away in Sralau, Ampil, there were 1,000 bone skulls found,” said Lang Nguon Heng, a librarian in Hun Sen Bunrany Prom Vihear Buddhist Institute Library.

49-year-old Vong Sophany is a villager living in Trapeang Russey, Krala, Kompong Siem, Kompong Cham. She is a teacher in Angkunh Dei Primary School. She is a survivor of mass killings at Prom Pros and Phnom Srei. Her family members were killed at Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei.

Her father’s name was Vong Ben, teacher. He was killed in 1977. One month after that, her mother, named Cheum You Seng, was killed too.

There were 10 children in her family, 4 sons and 6 daughters, including her. After the killings of her parents, Khmer Rouge messengers and militiamen called for her younger siblings to be killed.

Vong Sophany paused here. Her eyes were filled with tears. She seemed not want to recall this bitter past experience.

After a while she continued, “In late 1978, I fell ill and was brought to Angkunh Dei Hospital.”

“In the hospital, there were people I knew. They told me that my siblings had been killed and wanted me to run away. They told me to escape to Comrade Choeun at Phnom Pros,” she said, adding that she then fled the hospital to meet Comrade Choeun who was a Khmer Rouge soldier stationed on the top of Phnom Pros. He was in charge of burying dead bodies, she said.

After meeting with Comrade Choeun, she was asked by Comrade Choeun to carry bricks from pagoda’s roof for two days. Then, Comrade Choeun run away with her to Spueu, Spueu, Chamkar Leu. They became man and wife until present.

All Cambodians who used to live under the Democratic Kampuchea regime are suffered from losing family members.

It is a great devastation that millions of innocent Cambodians died during the Khmer Rouge regime due to disease, starvation, and mass killings.

Therefore, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has recently been established in order to seek justice for Cambodian victims and survivors, who have been looking forwards to this long-awaited justice.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Kampuchea Thmey, Vol. 06, #1452, Sunday-Monday, September 23-24, 2007.


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