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Archive for September, 2009

Deacon of Death

A Cambodian woman confronts the man whom she holds responsible for the death of her family and other villagers under Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime when she was a child.

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(Video hosted on Youtube.)
AlJazeera – Deacon of Death

he man has never been brought to trial and still lives in the same village. Once again he holds a prominent position, working at a pagoda as a healer and ‘Deacon of Death’, or leader of cremation ceremonies. She decides to collect evidence against him. He must stand trial. The Khmer Rouge was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, the totalitarian ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan.

This organization is remembered primarily for its policy of social engineering and the deaths this caused. Its attempts at agricultural reform led to widespread famine, while its insistence on absolute self-sufficiency, even in the supply of medicine, led to the deaths of thousands from treatable diseases (such as malaria). Brutal and arbitrary executions and torture carried out by its cadres against perceived subversive elements, or during purges of its own ranks between 1976 and 1978, are considered to have constituted a genocide.

Khmer Rouge means ‘Red Khmers’ in French, the administrative language of colonial-era Cambodia (the Khmer people are the major ethnic group in Cambodia). The term was originally coined by Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the Cambodian Head of State between 1955 and 1970, to describe the Cambodian left.

From: AlJazeera.

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