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 Cambodian 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

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol