Saturday, January 05, 2008
The New York Times reported the first National Day of Hatred back in May 1984 was the scene of a mass gathering held in Phnom Penh. It said the Day of Hatred was called to allow people to vent their anger against Mr. Pol Pot and other enemies of the nation, including the ''American imperialists'' and the ''Chinese expansionists.'' The Cambodian press agency said May 20, 1975, ''was the day the Pol Pot gang began to implement its systematic, overt and savage genocidal policy against the Kampuchean people throughout the country.'' Throughout the '80s, “the radio played lugubrious music punctuated by crying to recall the horrors of the Khmer Rouge; theatrical productions reminded audiences of the massacres [by the Khmer Rouge] in detail,” while the '90s saw "officials and schoolchildren…summoned to ceremonies at which they heard speeches and burned paper effigies of Pol Pot.”
Whichever date is chosen, 29 years after the expulsion of the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh, I think it's still vitally important that Cambodia remembers those that died, and equally those that lived, scarred forever by their experiences, with a suitable remembrance service.
Posted by Andy at 5:21 pm