This week sees a reunion in Phnom Penh of some two dozen surviving veteran journalists, photographers and cameramen who covered the conflict in Cambodia and Vietnam in the 60s and 70s. After a few days in the city they will continue their reunion in Saigon. Part of the Phnom Penh activities will be to dedicate a memorial to journalists killed in war. Among those expected to attend are author Elizabeth Becker, Tim Page, Kurt Volkert, Jacques Leslie, Martin Stuart Fox, Perry Deane Young, Don Kirk and Al Rockoff. A total of 37 international and Cambodian journalists were killed or went missing-in-action in Cambodia between April 1970 and April 1975. The largest number were from Japan (10), France (8) and USA (7). The most famous of the MIA are Sean Flynn and Dana Stone who disappeared at Chi Phou on 6 April 1970. One rather less well-known story is that of Khmer journo Ly Eng who hid in the Monorom Hotel for two or three weeks after the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975. He came out of his hiding place, found his old red convertible sports car and drove down Monivong Boulevard towards the bridge, breaking through a few Khmer Rouge barricades. He reached the bridge but a group of Khmer Rouge guards sprayed him with bullets and he plunged into the river with his car.
As part of the activities a panel discussion with 4 of the journalists who covered the conflict, will take place at the Himawari Hotel this Thursday, 22 April, at 7.30pm (free admission). The panel includes Sunday Times correspondent, Jon Swain
, author of one of my favourite books, A River of Time, chronicling his experiences in Indochina, including the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975. Also T Jeff Williams is on the panel, he co-authored the book, A Cambodian Odyssey and the Deaths of 25 Journalists with Kurt Volkert.
A panel discussion is set for this Thursday, 22 April at 7.30pm
Labels: Jon Swain, River of Time