Monday, February 9, 2015

The Killing Fields

We had only one full day in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh before our flight the next day back to Malaysia. We planned to spend part of the day visiting the Killing Fields at nearby at Choeung Ek.
It is reckoned that 1 in 4 people were killed during the Pol Pot regime. There are Killing Fields all over Cambodia where people were starved, tortured and beaten to death by Khmer Rouge soldiers and as part of a programme of ethnic cleansing. 17000 men, women and children were killed at the Choeung Ek site and buried in 129 communal graves, 49 of which have been left intact. Bone fragments and pices of clothing can still be seen. A large tree, named the Killing Tree remains standing and is where babies were flung and killed, held by their ankles whilst mothers watched on in horror.
8000 skulls have are displayed in a glass case within a pavilion erected as a place of remembrance.
It is not easy to visit the Killing Fields but we felt that we should go as many Cambodians are prepared to talk about those awful years and their loss quite openly. They encourage you to visit in the hope that this type of genocide will never occur again.  It was a sombre and sobering visit the memories of which will stay with us for some time.

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