Genocide in Cambodia
WHAT IS THE CAMBODIAN GENOCIDE?
The Cambodian Genocide is the attempt of Khmer Rouge to nationalize (to cause something to be under control of an national government) and centralize (to bring under one control) the peasants of Cambodia. This resulted in 25% of the country's population to decrease in 3.
WHERE IT TOOK PLACE & A SHORT HISTORY
Cambodia is a country in South East Asia. In 1953 Cambodia gained independence after nearly 100 years of French rule. In the 1960's, Cambodia was under the rule of Prince Sihanouk. Cambodia had been caught up in Vietnam's war. During this, Cambodia had preserved neutrality during the Vietnamese civil war by giving a little to both sides. The Khmer Rouge guerrilla movement in 1970 was small. Their leader, Pol Pot, had been educated in France and was an admirer of Chinese communism. In 1975, North Vietnamese forces seized South Vietnam's capital, Saigon. It's estimated that 156,000 died in the civil war - half of them civilians.
WHEN DID IT TAKE PLACE?
The actions of the Khmer Rouge government began shortly after their seizure of power from the government of Lon Nol in 1975, until they were overthrown by the Vietnamese in 1978. The genocide originated from harsh political and social turmoil. The communal unrest arose during the French decolonization of South East Asia in the 1950's, and continued to devastate the area until the late 1980's.
The economy failed under the lead of Pol Pot. Cambodia had fallen under the Vietnamese control of communists with a democratic state unlikely to occur. Throughout the 1980s, the U.S. and U.K. instead offered financial and military support to the Khmer Rouge forces in exile, who had now sworn opposition to Vietnam and communism. The Vietnamese occupation and the continual threat of Khmer Rouge guerrilla forces preserved Cambodia in underdeveloped conditions- until Vietnam’s eventual withdrawal in 1989. In the following military conflicts of 1978-1989, about 14,000 Cambodian civilians died. In 1991, a peace agreement was finally reached, and Buddhism was reinstated as the official state religion. The nation’s first true democratic elections were held in 1993.
1) Pol Pot died of natural causes in 1998.
2) “To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.” -Khmer slogan
3) Survival in Khmer Rouge Cambodia was determined by one’s ability to work.
4) The country was occupied by Japan in World War II.
5) The official language of Cambodia is Khmer.