World

Cambodians remember Khmer Rouge victims on annual Day of Anger

PHNOM PENH Black-clad students re-enacted the horrors of the Cambodian genocide at the Killing Fields yesterday to commemorate the two million people killed.

Hundreds gathered at the notorious site in Phnom Penh to mark the annual event with prayers and performances, including students performing mock attacks.

"We performed these scenes to remember the genocidal Pol Pot regime and the cruelty that the Cambodian people suffered," fine arts teacher Chhaem Khleuong, who played a Khmer Rouge cadre, said.

A quarter of Cambodia's population died under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime.

His brutal reign came to an end in 1979, and the atrocities are still remembered today.

The Day of Remembrance, more commonly called the Day of Anger in Cambodia, is held at the Choeung Ek Killing Fields, where some 15,000 people were confined and sent to their deaths between 1975 and 1979.

It was an emotional day for many, some who cried as students pretended to slit victims' throats or shoot them dead.

"These views brought my feeling back to the Pol Pot era, the killing was heinous," said 62-year-old Chan Ren, who lost more than 10 relatives under the regime.

"Today, people attend the event to pray to the souls of people who were killed by the Khmer Rouge," she added.

Pol Pot died in 1998 before he was brought to trial. - AFP

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