People From Two Districts Mobilised to Build a 15 Km Dyke in 6 months
Posted by khmernews on November 12, 2007
Evidence to prove torture against people during the Democratic Kampuchea regime has been left until present. For nearly 30 years, the September-30 Dyke, located in Stoung, Kompong Svay and Prasat Balangk districts, has been repaired and reconstructed. However, the water ways which once were ordered to build by the Khmer Rouge [during the Khmer Rouge regime] have been kept.
Hak Puthy, acting head of Kompong Thom’s Water Resource and Meteorology Department, said that nowadays the September-30 dyke had been reconstructed in conform to its original structure that the Khmer Rouge forced the people to build in 1977. “The dyke stretches 15 kilometres from Prohut village, Phan Nheum commune, Prasat Balangk district through Smoanh village to Kandaol village, Preah Damrei commune, Stoung district, and to Krabau village, Doung commune, Prasat Balangk district and ends in Doung village,” he said.
The dyke has a “U” shape. During the Khmer Rouge regime, the dyke had only two water ways. On each water way, it was carved on the stone there, “September-30 Dyke. Built in 6 months”.
The acting head said that the dyke was 15 kilometres long and 10 metres wide…. “It was built by only human labour without any machinery,” he said.
Witnesses said that people from two districts, Stoung and Kompong Svay, were mobilised to shoulder land to build the dyke. The management in building the dyke was that they shared they assigned tasks to each village, group or commune. All the people had to eat and sleep cooperatively and worked day and night.
No witnesses can estimate the number of people building the 15 kilometres dyke in 6 months. However, Thai Vorn, Kraya’s commune chief of Prasat Balangk district, who also took part in building the dyke, said that he had not known for clear how many people were building the dyke. He only vaguely knew that more than 10,000 people in Stoung district became involved in the construction. For the people in Kompong Svay, he did not know the number.
Thai Vorn said that there had been forced labour and not enough food to eat. The killings were not active, but he could remember that around 12 people were trapped in a hole when it caved in while they were digging land for the dyke.
Although there are no witnesses who could claim about the killings during the construction of the September-20 Dyke, it is believed that there were killings at the time as they wanted to threaten those who did not work hard for the Angkar.
“At the construction site of the September-20 dyke, only strong young men and women were selected to work since the [Angkar] considered it as ‘hot battle’,” Thai Vorn said, “however, the eating was restricted in order to reduce the expense of the Angkar.”
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, #4428, Sunday-Monday, November 4-5, 2007.