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.
One of the most mythic and potent journeys of our time, up the Mekong River through the exquisite, complicated terrain of Vietnam and Cambodia to the great ruins at Angkor – the magnificent Khmer temples built from the 9th-13th centuries AD that are being painstakingly restored deep in the Cambodian jungle. Director Les Guthman travels by boat up a river whose raw beauty and power were celebrated by Marguerite Duras in the 1920s. But in our time it became known as “the river of evil memory” as it coursed through Southeast Asia in the second half of the 20th century.
Today, the river in Vietnam is filled with the vibrant life of a young nation free of a century of war. In Cambodia the past weighs far heavier. We travel up the Mekong passed Phnom Penh, once called “the beguiling beauty of SE Asia,” toward the Laotian border in search of the almost-extinct fresh water dolphins of the Mekong; then return back to the capital and head northwest up one of the world’s unique natural wonders, the Tonle Sap River, and across the great Tonle Sap Lake, one of the planet’s most abundant fisheries.
In Angkor, World Monuments Fund experts describe their 15-year restoration of one of the jewels of a city called “the eighth wonder of the world,” the 12th century palace complex of Preah Khan. And as they take us on an insider’s tour of Preah Khan, along with the other major sites of Angkor Wat, Bayon and Banteay Srei, we learn that the story of their work in Angkor is not only a story of the rebirth of Angkor after the horrors of the Khmer Rouge Era, but it is also a story of the rebirth of Cambodia.
A stunningly filmed high definition odyssey up a river far distanced in time from the corridor into the heart of darkness portrayed in Francis Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.”
rajna Earth offers up the mesmerizing beauty and ineffable power of places most of us will never see.” – TRICYCLE Narrated by Sharon Stone Prajna is a Sanskrit word for radiant wisdom. This Yatra, or pilgrimage, explores the lost civilization of Angkor in Cambodia including the largest temple in the world – the magnificent Angkor Wat. The journey continues on to the sacred nature sites of Hindu Bali, to trance dancers in the jungles of Java, and finally to discover the gigantic seven level mandala wonder of Buddhist Borobudur. This yatra visits spiritual intersections where Buddhist and Hindu wisdom traditions merged with the animist worship of nature. This revealed a profound understanding of sacred nature existing both in the environment and within all living beings. From ‘Prajna Earth’, 85 Min, Sacred Journey 2 on DVD – A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE • 85 MINUTES • YATRA 2 • $19.95, To order DVDs and see more visit www.directpictures.com.
Prajna Earth: Journey into Sacred Nature by John Bush (2004, 85 min.). Filmed entirely on location in Southeast Asia, the second film of the Yatra Trilogy is a stunning cinematic journey to the legendary temples of Angkor in Cambodia, the spiritual sites of Bali, and finally the marvel of Buddhist Borobudur in Java. Prajna Earth is a pilgrimage to sacred intersections where Buddhist and Hindu wisdom traditions merge with the animist worship of nature. Monks and nuns travel on foot for days to reach a full moon gathering near Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world. The dance of the Devatas celebrates the rebirth of this classic art form within the cultural healing of war torn Cambodia. As the journey moves to Bali, gamelan music, Ramayana dance, and lively street processions echo through the hill town of Ubud. In Java, a night of animist trance dance and spirit possession is followed by a golden dawn and ascent up the startling seven level stupa of Borobudur.
nd almost of us Khmer victims who are terribly misled that Yuon troops came here to rescue us from their Angkar Leur/Cap Tren and Party. Then we all thank Yuon troops to invade our country. And very few people at the UN headquarter in New York condemned Yuon invasion of Cambodia. There is no other race on earth can commit crimes like Yuon can and then they can conceal their One Million Super-Dirty-Demonic Genocidal Plans very well in the eyes of the world and Cambodian people.
Khmer Rouge deployed huge troops for reprisal but Khmer Rouge didn’t know that Vietnamese had hidden so many thousand troops in Cambodia for a long time since the French colonial period living brightly under the Vietnamese associations. Vietnamese Associations were in these areas had procreated many children with the indigenous minorities…. Vietnamese migrants lived here, total numbers were about 350,000 from villages to others like the villages of Kaneukanghot, Phnom Vay Chap, Phnom Sampeou to the Kvak, along the bank of Kvak in Battambang.
The Kvak was a big base of secret Yuon soldiers. Ong Thouy, a Yuon political commander-in-chief, and under-Commander Ta Chich and Nguyen Son, the chief of Army to Battambang, Siemreap, Kompong Thom since the French colonial period. Nguyen Son, knows Khmer, Siamese and French, was ordained as a Buddhist monk and was a witch. And then Yuon Vietminh formed a puppet organization “Khmer-Vietminh” as hands-legs to control our Khmer country. Thap Ngieng, was the general of Army, Khmer-Vietminh, to Battambang, Siemreap, Kompong Thom since the French colonial period, positioned in the village of Khnachromeas.
We would like to tell that Thap Ngieng, the leader of Khmer-Vietminh, who appointed Pol Pot (Salot Sar) to be in charge of 3000 men in 1957. At that time, Thap Ngieng ordered Tea Banh (the present minister of national defence) who was the secret messenger to guide 60 men to study the Army’s technics in Laos for helping Vietnamese attack Laos during Laos was having unrest of coup d’etat.
nlike the major sites at Angkor, Banteay Srei was not a royal temple. It was built by one of Rajendravarman’s counsellors, Yajnavaraha, who was also the guru of the future king Jayavarman V. Yajnavaraha was granted this land on the banks of the upper Siem Reap river by the king. He and his younger brother commissioned the temple, which was finished just a year before King Rajendravarman died. As usual, a settlement surrounded the temple; in this case, the name of the small city was Isvarapura. Routinely described in gushing terms as the ‘Jewel of Khmer Art’, Banteay Srei is nevertheless a temple of great beauty, and compares with little else in Angkor. Its miniature scale almost always surprises visitors, and the near-total decoration of its surfaces is exceptional. Discovered by the French only in 1914 (it escaped the attention of both Aymonier and Lunet de la Jonquiere), it achieved an early notoriety when Andre Malraux, who later wrote Man’s Fate and was Minister of Culture under the de Gaulle administration, removed four apsaras in 1923. He was caught almost immediately and the pieces recovered. The restoration of the temple between 1931 and 1936 by Marchal was notable for the first significant use at Angkor of the technique of anastylosis, adopted from the Dutch work in the East Indies.
Facing east, Banteay Srei is arranged in three concentric enclosures, each offset slightly towards the W. These are approached, from the E, by a 67m-long causeway, but there is no trace of the usual earth bank that would have marked the limits of the town around the temple -only one spacious outer gopura opening onto the causeway marks the the eastern boundary. Possibly, a wooden palisade formed the outer enclosure, which would probably have been about 500m square.
The outermost (third) enclosure measures 95 x 110m, with a laterite wall and gopuras on the E and W. Inside this is a moat divided by two causeways on the E and W. The two inner enclosures are much closer together, measuring 38 x 42m and 24 x 24m, and the space between them taken up almost completely by six ‘long galleries’, two longer ones on the N and S sides, four shorter flanking the gopuras on the E and W.
The innermost (first) enclosure had a brick wall, with a single gopura on the E and on the W. However, the central entrance of the latter was closed to create a shrine and entry was on either side. A raised terrace at its centre carries the three sanctuary towers, arranged in a N-S line, and a mandapa connected to the central tower by an antarala. Two ‘libraries’ in the NE and SE corners complete the ensemble.