May 20, 2009
More than a thousand Cambodians gathered today to remember those who died during the reign of terror of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime. As students from the Royal University of Fine Arts re-enacted killing scenes, some 270 monks took in food offerings from relatives of those who died.
[Chea La, Survived Khmer Rouges Persecution]:
"I pray and ask those who died to rest in peace and ask Cambodians do not let this killing regime happen again in the future."
Vietnam invaded Cambodia on December 25, 1978, and installed a government that put an end to the murderous regime.
Now every year on May 20, Cambodia commemorates this painful past as a "Day of Hatred". On this day people are allowed to vent their anger against the Pol Pot regime and it is hoped that these ceremonies will help keep everyone aware of the past so as not to allow such killings to happen again.
[Kep Chutema, Phnom Penh Mayor]:
"We are doing this for those who were killed and we remember and remind the world not to let this regime happen again and those who commit the crime must be punished."
The architect of the regime, Pol Pot, died in 1998.
The U.N.-backed tribunal for his chief jailer began on March 30.
At least 1.7 million people are estimated to have died from 1975 to 1979 at Chheung Ek, one of the infamous 'killing fields' of Cambodia.