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Cambodia is among the poorest countries in the world due to years of civil war. While Cambodia is well known for the temples of Angkor, the Khmer Rouge has placed a remarkable history for the country. The Khmer Rouge and the ensuing civil war are not frequently spoken about in modern day Cambodia, but the trauma still in living memory for much of the population. Between 1975 and 1979, more than 2 million people (approximately a quarter of Cambodia’s population) were killed from overwork, starvation, disease or execution, while many of them were Cambodian intellectuals, city residents, ethnic Vietnamese, civil servants and religious leaders. While the Khmer Rouge in attempted to socially engineer a classless communist society, the entire infrastructure of the country was either massively compromised or destroy.


One of the detention center, S-21 in Phnom Penh was so notorious that only 7 of the roughly 20,000 people imprisoned there are known to have survived. Millions of people living in Cambodia were killed during the brutal regime of the Khmer Rough and their bodies were buried in mass graves which are known as the “Killing Fields”.  Killing Field is a memorial, marked by a Buddhist stupa with acrylic glass sides and is filled with more than 5,000 human skulls.


Yet the Khmer Rough regime is known as the one of the most barbaric and murderous in recent history and it is a history that people would never forget. By destroying property, disrupting economic activity, damaging health services, and breaking up families, civil wars during 1975-1992 have resulted in deprivations, inhumane living conditions, and severe distress; the effects are widespread and linger long.

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