Khmernews

The First Dyke and Canal Construction Site in Stoung During Khmer Rouge regime

Posted by khmernews on February 7, 2008

A witness claimed that the commencement of collecting collective working, eating and sleeping happened, while the Khmer Rouge evacuated people from Stoung district town to far forest areas before it was fought to take over by Lon Nol’s soldiers, who were known as National Salvation Army of government.
Nuo Kim Hie, 45, said that “Before Lon Nol’s government was defeated during 1974, Kompong Thom province’s Stoung district had been controlled and ruled by the Khmer Rough regime. While National Salvation Army were struggling to occupy Stoung district, from where the Khmer Rough removed thousands of families into forest regions in Kop Rous commune about 10 kilometers from the district capital. At that time young men and women with strong labor force were gathered in Unit to work in the work site.”

He added that the first work site established in Stuong district was Prey Neak Ta Ro Meart, located in Baray village, Kroy commune, Stuong district but now the district has been separated and included as part of Prasat Balang district. The opening ceremony of the dam construction was not held officially, and only a small ceremony was held by chief of a region and district chief.

Prey Neak Ta Ro Meart dam construction site was kilometers long and it was that time the so-called “collective eating” regime began. However, having meal together was offered to young men and women working in the construction site only while local villagers were still eating in their individual house.

During the period, Angkar started agitating for movement of people to work in the construction site in order to temper and build themselves step by step but not hard. In 1974, Khmer Rouge began to build security departments in the forest, but the killing was not yet in serious conditions.

Those security departments were only used to detain those who behaved “moral offenses and complicity with Lon Nol’s soldiers.”

Lon Nol’s troops occupied the centre of Stoung district for a very short time and then withdrew to occupy the Kompong Thom provincial town, so the Khmer Rouge went back to control Stoung district one again. Some evicted people went back home, and some continued to live in the remote village until present.

After April 17, 1975 Khmer Rouge planed to continuously construct new dams and canals. The biggest dam in Stoung district was “30 September Dyke”. It was 15 kilometers long and a water gate building by Khmer Rouge rule remains till now. Not only water gate was built but also there was a written sentence engraved that “30 September 1977 dam built for 6 months.”

The water gate building and engraved sentence are still kept until today for visitors and ordinary people to see, and remind about the sufferings during the Khmer Rouge regime that cannot be forgotten.

Unofficial translation
Exacted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, # 4464, Sunday-Monday,  December 16-17, 2007.

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