Friday, November 13, 2009

Depiction Of The Khmer Rouge

By Kevin Meas

The followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea were given the name of the Khmer Rouge. This reign in Cambodia is considered as the worst disasters in modern history.

The Khmer Rouge had thousands of followers and an insurgency had begun against the government in the year'70. With the aid of the Viet Cong troops and the North Vietnamese, the Khmer Rouge gained control over a large part of Cambodia. It grew very popular in a short time and increased from 3,000 to 30,000 in strength in just three years, from'70 to'73, sending back the Viet Cong troops and Vietnamese whose help was no longer needed.

The year'75 saw everything changing for the Cambodians. Their government was overthrown by the now extremely powerful Pol Pot with thousands of followers. He created the Democratic Kampuchea in'75. Then he showed his monstrous nature by reaching into each and every Cambodian home and destroying it. Millions of people were assassinated, made homeless, left to starve and turned farmers. They hardly had any time to react as it all happened suddenly. Those who were spared their lives or survived the horrors turned to slaves from self sufficient Cambodians. The country was nothing more than a nation of slaves.

In'79, because of a strained relationship, the Vietnamese troops invaded and helped the local factions in getting rid of the Khmer Rouge government. Unfazed by this, the Khmer Rouge continued its activities near the Thai border, with its 30,000 strong army. The United Nations recognized it as the official government of Cambodia.

This government formed a coalition in'82, with Norodom Sihanouk, the former premier and the non-Communist leader, Son Sann. Pol Pot gave up his leadership for Khieu Samphan, but it was said to Pol Pot who continued to call the shots. On the request of the different factions in Cambodia, who signed a treaty, the United Nations assumed administration of the government in'91 and help elections in'92. Around that time, the Khmer Rouge withdrew itself from the peace process did not accept the results of the elections which led to the formation of a coalition government in Cambodia, and began fighting again.

Internal disputes and disagreements led the Khmer Rouge to its own destruction in'97, with the imprisonment of Pol Pot, leading to his death within a year. Some of the members of this disturbed communist party surrendered, while others were captured and by'99 it all came to an end.

The extent of the mass assassinations in Cambodia was not known to the world until'79, when Vietnam overthrew the Khmer Rouge. It was only then that the actual atrocities came to light.

A chill runs down the spine of every Cambodian when they think back on the Khmer Rouge. It shocked the world with the atrocities that were considered to be the worst ever the world had to face. The wounds of the rule remain raw even today, as they changed the lives of the population of Cambodia, like nothing else has before.

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