November 3, 2012 |
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Moy Da hasn't seen his sister in nearly 40 years. Like countless Cambodian families, they were separated during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. The brutal communist regime made it official policy to dismantle the nuclear family, which it considered a capitalist relic, and divided much of the population into slave labor camps. In 1975, Moy Da, then 5 years old, and his parents, who died three years later, lost track of 15-year-old Pheap when the Khmer Rouge emptied Phnom Penh and marched residents to the countryside.
April 29, 2012 |
Never Fall Down A Novel Patricia McCormick Balzer + Bray: 224 pp., $17.99, ages 14 and up When it comes to genocide, Hitler is obviously well covered. There are countless titles for young readers about the atrocities he inspired. The Khmer Rouge, which seized control of Cambodia in 1975 and, in its attempts to create an agrarian form of communism, killed millions of its own people, is less familiar territory, especially for young readers. "Never Fall Down" offers a detailed look at what it was like to live under such a cruel government from the perspective of one of its best-known survivors, Arn Chorn Pond.
April 25, 2012 |
During the Cambodian civil war from 1970 to 1998, the Khmer Rouge and other paramilitary groups began decimating that country's ancient sites in search of treasures to sell on the international art market. Along with arms dealing and drug smuggling, the looting and trafficking of artifacts became organized industries, which helped finance one of the 20th century's most notorious regimes. My colleagues and I have documented the painful scars from this plunder - desecrated tombs, beheaded statues and ransacked temples - at archaeological sites throughout Cambodia.
November 21, 2011 |
Three top Khmer Rouge leaders accused of helping mastermind Cambodia's "killing fields" in the 1970s went on trial in Phnom Penh on Monday as hundreds of victims and curious onlookers arrived at the court from around the country to witness the proceedings. The U.N.-backed trial is expected to take months. Furthermore, there's often been a significant delay in past tribunals between the end of testimony and the verdict. This reflects in part the highly political nature of these proceedings in a nation where feelings about that brutal period of history are still raw and many of those who served in the Khmer Rouge remain prominent in society.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2011 |
The Cambodian men gather near a parking lot hunched over chessboards, some contemplating their next move, others squeezed in closely, offering strategy. Some tease opponents or cheer on players. The ages range wildly from 18 to 70, but all share an obsession with Cambodian chess, which varies subtly from the game commonly played in the U.S. They come together every day on a sidewalk on the eastern cusp of Long Beach's Cambodia Town. The smell of tobacco hangs heavy over the group, and a small heap of sunflower seeds sits within spitting distance.
June 27, 2011 |
As a U.N.-backed Cambodian tribunal opens Monday to try former Khmer Rouge leaders charged with genocide, critics accuse the Cambodian government of meddling and the United Nations of failing to uphold the court's independence. Standing trial are the four highest-ranking surviving former Khmer Rouge leaders: head of state Khieu Samphan, 79; Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, 85; his wife, Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith, 79; and the revolution's chief ideologue, Nuon Chea, 84. They face multiple charges that include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.