SOME 3,000 people – including Buddhist monks and municipal officials – gathered at the Choeung Ek killing fields on Thursday to mark the annual “Day of Anger”, which featured grisly reenactments of some of the Khmer Rouge regime’s most notorious crimes.
Participants dramatised the bludgeoning, strangling and evisceration of bound victims during the ceremony, which also included offerings to monks.
Meav Kong, 81, said he attends the ceremony every year to pray for the souls of relatives who died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and that he believes all of them were killed at Choeung Ek.
“I was the only one who survived the killing fields. All of my relatives are gone,” he said. “I will never forget the Pol Pot regime until I die.”
Chea Tov, 63, said she still harboured “much anger towards the regime”, but that she took some comfort in the fact that some senior leaders face the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
“Justice is near. But I want all bad Khmer Rouge leaders to be sentenced to death,” she said, adding that the Khmer Rouge killed her husband and 15 relatives.
Nob Chin, 72, also said that prosecutions at the tribunal could further national reconciliation.“I am speechless about Khmer Rouge crimes,” Nob Chin said. “I hope justice will be rendered very soon, so that sadness will fade away from the people’s hearts.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP