CHOENG EK :: SITE OF THE
INFAMOUS KHMER ROUGE KILLING FIELDS
Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia
was devastated by the reign of the Khmer Rouge, a rural communist guerrilla
movement. During the Pol Pot Regime, millions of Cambodians were killed
or died, a monumental tragedy from which the country still suffers.
A visit to Choeung Ek will take
you through the attrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge during the systematic
anhilation of their own people-- one of the worst acts of Genocide in history.
There are over 300 of these killing fields all over Cambodia, but this
one is the most famous one. Only half of mass graveyards have been examined,
The site is basically a huge
field where the remains of mass graves are roped off. There are descriptive
markers that guide visitors through the grounds. Stepping on bone and tooth
fragments, as well as on clothing from the victims, is not pleasant, but
drives home the horrors of the place. It is often hard to imagine that
this somewhat scenic place, flourishing with lush vegetation, flying birds
and butterflies, is home to such a massive tragedy. However, the numerous
buzzards roaming and feeding in the fields certainly lend an ominous touch.
The first shock at the start
of the tour is the huge Memorial Tower displaying hundreds of human skulls.
This is followed by a walk through plots with evidence of human remains
which have been washed up by rain water. There are fenced off areas with
horrific signs indicating the variety of atrocities.
See Page 2 for examples.