Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - FUNSK anniversary honoured

FUNSK anniversary honoured

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A performance is held depicting the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime. MInistry of environment

FUNSK anniversary honoured

A performance depicting the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime was held on December 2, marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, which was known by its French acronym FUNSK.

Named Blood and Tears, the performance – held in Snuol district, Kratie province – depicted the years of the Khmer Rouge regime prior to the founding of the FUNSK in 1978, with actors recreating massacres in moving scenes portraying stabbings, suffocations and beatings.

“The performance reminds the Cambodian people about the tragedy conducted by the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime,” said Pankhem Bunthan, adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“If there was no December 2, there would have been no January 7,” he continued, referring to the toppling of the Khmer Rouge regime by a military coalition that included FUNSK forces in January 1979.

“The Cambodian people will always remember the heroic sacrifices of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation on December 2,” he said.

Speaking to the 20,000 in attendance that included students, government officials and members of the armed forces, National Assembly president Heng Samrin said the 40th anniversary served as a reminder of the heroism of FUNSK and Vietnamese troops who overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime.

“The genocidal regime of Pol Pot transformed Cambodia into a prison without walls, a hell, a brutal killing field. The whole national structure was completely destroyed. But on December 2, 1978, Cambodia began to move away from destruction and pain, and this date serves as an important historical reminder for Cambodia to avoid falling into this hell once again,” he said.

Heng Samrin also emphasised the role of the Cambodia People’s Party in keeping peace and stability in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia, citing their instrumental role in reconstructing the country.

“We built Cambodia from scratch, with one hand building the country and another hand preventing the reoccurrence of the genocide regime,” he said.

The Khmer Rouge ruled Democratic Kampuchea between 1975 and 1979 under a brutal Pol Pot led regime, with the death toll estimated at between 1.5 and three million people. During the period, Cambodians were slaughtered on a large scale, forcefully displaced, subjected to forced labour, and deprived of basic necessities like food and medicine.

A history lecturer at Pannasastra University, Sambo Mannara, also heralded the impact of the December 2 movement, saying that the current government must continue to strengthen political institutions and preserve the memory of the period to prevent a recurrence of similar crimes in the future.

“They were heroic in liberating the Cambodian people from death and destitution. As a country, we value all the efforts and struggles . . . But we must learn and make an effort by ourselves to solidify our future, and prevent all such crimes from happening again,” he said.

Also marking the anniversary was the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), who organised a 40km walk from Memot district, Tbong Khmum province to the December 2 monument in Snuol district, Kratie province.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 foreigners in Cambodia, the bulk being from the UK, have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly them out of the Kingdom. The petition is targeted at 15,000 foreigners. Among them are nearly 200 Europeans, the majority

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • China sends more test kits

    The Ministry of Health has ramped up its preparation to stem the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease in the Kingdom thanks to help from the Jack Ma and Alibaba foundations which donated 20,000 test kits to the Kingdom. On March 28, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang