Believe that KR Regime Was Cruel and Killed People, But Don’t Know Who the KR Leaders Are.

Posted by khmernews on February 1, 2008


Although young students acknowledge that almost 30 years ago Khmer Rouge regime was brutal and killed Cambodians, they do not know about the leadership system of the Democratic Kampuchea regime.
Men Sothavadh, born in 1992 and currently studying in grade 10H in Kompong Thom High School, said, “My parents have narrated the Khmer Rouge regime to me and told me about the sufferings at that time.” He believes that the Khmer Rouge had gathered people and forced them to work in the rice fields and do heavy tasks without enough food to eat and vigorously tortured people without trial, and law. “I believe it because I have not only listened to the narration but also seen it in the video,” he said. “But I do not know who the leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime are,” he said, adding that he only knew one, Pol Pot.

Born in 1988, Chean Makara, who is studying in grade 11A in Kompong Thom High School, said, “My parents have told me that during the Khmer Rouge regime although we tried to grow plants and raise animals by ourselves, [the Khmer Rouge] did not allow us to eat. If we “stole” it to eat, the Angkar would take our life by accusing us of being an enemy or of betraying the Angkar.”

He said that nowadays all teachers, excluding history and Khmer studies teachers, do not usually narrate the story of the Khmer Rouge regime to their students since they are busy with their subjects.  He believes that the acts of torture the Khmer Rouge committed on Cambodians such as hitting with hoe, nail pulling, ducking, throwing fish source on the face, or enabling poisonous insects to bite, did exist.  He said that he supported the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, but claimed that he did not know who the Khmer Rouge leaders were.

Chhay Makara, born in 1988 and also currently studying in grade 12A in Kompong Thom High School, said that he was very sympathetic towards Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge regime. His grandfather always tells him the miserable events. Although he has not witnessed it by himself, he believes it because he thinks his grandfather does not tell him a lie and also because he has seen some documents.

Duch Sarith, born in 1991 and currently a student in grade 10A in Kompong Thom High School, said that he believed the Khmer Rouge had been so cruel. Although there is no KR session in class, he believes it through his parents’ narration.

“When the Ministry of Education reformed the curriculum by excluding the lessons about the Khmer Rouge regime, teachers have no chance to tell the story to their students,” said Kompong Thom High School’s Deputy Director Lay Tith, adding that only history and Khmer studies teachers had some time to remind the students of the regime while teachers of other subjects hardly had time to tell their students.

“Older students believe that the Khmer Rouge regime was ruthless and the Khmer Rouge killed people, but young pupils whose parents rarely tell them about the Khmer Rouge regime do not believe it,” said Lay Tith, adding that sometimes they refused to believe that one can of rice had been eaten by 20 people at a mealtime [during the Khmer Rouge regime].

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 16, #4484, Wednesday, January 09, 2008


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