Phnom Penh

Feb. 8/16…. 

Cambodia was French colony 1863-1953

Angkor Wat…religion symbol…Buddhist

Buddhism….peace in life

1953…gained independence

54-55… Communist party formed in south

1955.. Democracy by King Sihanouk….

1960-70.. Allied to Vietnam 

70-75… Was a republic ….Lo Nol leader….paid 25$ to kill VCs

270,000,000 tons of bombs were dropped during war up to ’75 by US

From ’76 to 79, Pol Pot was leader of country during which 2 million in Cambodia died up to 79. From 79-93… Another million died from starvation and as a result of the previous years.

Security office or prisons……198

Killing sites..388 with 20,000 bodies in mass graves

US helped save Pol Pot…Gerald Ford was president. 

Jimmy Carter saved 4,000,000 Cambodians….so said Visal our CEO

60,000 are hiv positive ..brought by others coming to help???

6 million land mines places….people still being killed by them. Still 1,000,000 mines.
Feb. 8th

20,000 killed at “The” Killing Field

17,000 killed at prison that was used to be a high school

1.7 million killed, others from starvation. Left only 4 from 7 million

Only 4% of population are over 65 cuz rest died.

They have some families with 20 in them but the average is 7-12 children in family…..they are now making up for loses.

Compulsory education

Pol Pot means political potential …he was a communist…teacher of history..Khmer Rouge

Called the country the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea when he was in power…a misnomer. 

Still don’t have freedom to talk freely cuz you never know who is a spy for govt. 

If the govt didn’t allow Viet Cong into the country then American forces would not have bombed Cambodia. 

Scared the people by saying that the there were spies in the city…..told to move out within 48 hours. They killed educated people.

In 1979 Vietnam overthrew Cambodia..year later world found out about mass killing.

They have had 20 years of civil war…

Corrupt govt now.

Training centres 167 prison…re-education centre, 343 killing fields. 342 field have been returned to parks or such. 

129 hills….burials at the “killing field” that we went to….. Is the only one left.

Killed everyone including generals and ministers of his, children, farmers, educated people

Angkar…..I think means revolutionary party …..those you have to bow to. If you don’t kill you will be killed….family, anyone not safe.
Omchamrouen… of our guide, could barely keep it together
2-6 m. Deep mass graves. 

Sleng Tree is totally poisonous … the prison’s name is Tuol Sleng…appropriate eh? 

The soldiers were ignorant and very young ….maybe 12 yrs., would kill and cut out the liver to make them strong and smart or the gallbladder to send to China … For Chinese medicine

The history of Pol Pot and the atrocities of that regime is not taught about in school because some members of that old regime are still in power.

Prisoners were brought to the fields blind folded, brought to edge, ordered to kneel, hit with iron or bamboo stick or anything that would not create noise… silent killing so as to not cause alarm and to save cost of bullets. Young women with babies were raped then told to give up their families and if they didn’t the soldiers would take the babies by the legs, swing them around and smash their heads against the tree. Awful, awful,a awful what they had to endure.

Made farmers grow rice for export to China for guns. Meanwhile those people were starving.

Only 15% educated people left at the end of regime. 

Our guide was only 6-10 yrs old. His whole family were separated.

His job was to be a scarecrow. Some children had to become beasts of burden to pull the poles and the like. They ate insects to survive. His father died. Not sure of the rest. Mother remarried had 20 children total.

Have to kill own parents, family. Brainwashed

Prime minister is former Khmer Rouge. King Sihanouk also. 

When Vietnam army arrived they found 14 dead in building A at the prison. 5 children survived.. 4 still alive 2 adopted., 7 men survived.. Only 2 still alive. 

All soldiers given amnesty but later 5 brought to trial. 

Gun bullet container used for toilet. Could dump once every 2 weeks. If spilled when taking out, they had to lick the floor with tongue. 

Second room prisoner had his stomach for the liver. Horrendous!  
 Just as we were leaving the restaurant in Phnom Penh at lunch today, one of our group got clipped by a motorcyclist. She got knocked over and the driver went into a skid and then into a tuktuk. The bike was a crotch rocket type and so shattered on impact. Annie has a very swollen lower calf but otherwise okay. The kid driving the bike that he did not own, got big road rash on his face and a big bill to replace all the plastic front end pieces. 
Later after visiting the King’s Palace and the Silver Palace, as part of our GAdventures tour, we all went on a cyclo tour. Before Pol Pot there were 50,000 cyclo peddlers in Cambodia. After, there were only 100(?). A cyclo has a chair for one being peddled in the rear. These guys wear shirts that say “support smoke free cyclo city tours”. BTW…there are tuk-tuks here in Phnom Penh but they use gas or diesel as opposed to compressed natural gas so smokey.

We are here for Tet …..Chinese New Year… A celebration that can last more than a week. Cambodian New Year is April 13. 
2.2 million population in Phnom Penh. There seems to be a prevailing stench of sewer here. Still no flies though. Strange!
Later we all went for a river cruise. As we were leaving a ferry was crossing the river. We we were told ride cost $.25 ea. way from one side to other. Veisal picked up lots of fruits, spring rolls, banana chips and some other dried veggies(sweet potatoes and beets), beers and pop, then a tuktuk ride back to hotel for US$12. Pretty cheap, eh? On the trail back up the river bank one of the other gals got a scratch from a rat that ran across her foot. Enough already!

2 thoughts on “Phnom Penh

  1. Rae

    wow girl, what a history lesson your group and us are having via your accounting. amazing, I’m glad it’s you and not me. I couldn’t do it. good to learn all this though. How is the lady who fell on her hip? Hope all is well with all. hugs



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