Theary Seng

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 11, 2012

January 7 and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

January 7 and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Ms. Theary Seng, Dec. 2011

January 11, 2012
By Theary Seng
Letter to The Phnom Penh Post

Dear Editor,
January 7 is indeed a significant day for survivors of the Khmer Rouge. It arrested the macabre convulsions that would have swallowed all of us into a hellish hole if the Vietnamese military had not intervened.
It is a bittersweet day of commemoration through invasion.
And now, unfortunately, it is a day propagandised to be solely the Day of Liberation, neatly sweeping away the equally important fact of it being simultaneously the inaugurating day of an occupation that would last for the next decade.
That occupation began with the barricading of Phnom Penh to facilitate the plundering of its wealth by convoys of trucks heading to Vietnam and the mass crimes of the K5 plan.
My hairdresser remembers returning from Battambang to his home in Boeung Keng Kang I on February 3, 1979, only to find that all the wealthy neighbourhoods of villas and jewellery stores were still barricaded off.
It was an occupation cut short only by the meltdown of the Cold War – specifically, the break-up of the Soviet Union, which funded the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia.

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