Friday, May 21, 2010

Not forgotten

The memorial at Wat Snguon Pech in March 2008
The genocide memorial that was in a dire state of disrepair when I stumbled across it in March 2008 at Wat Snguon Pech, just 500 metres off Route 4 between Phnom Penh and Ang Snuol at the point where the road toll begins, has been moved. A new memorial has now been built with donations from the local community and the remains of the deceased were moved to the new stupa to coincide with yesterday's Day of Anger remembrance of the Khmer Rouge years. I found the original memorial on a moto trip one Sunday to a series of villages and sites west of Phnom Penh. I was searching for some sculpture fragments in the pagoda grounds and instead found a genocide memorial that had a sign saying the structure was dangerous and was in an imminent state of collapse. The pagoda and nearby school had been used as a prison and killing site during the Khmer Rouge years in the late 1970s and around 700 victims had been found in the burial pits and canal nearby. The prison was then known as security center 103 and the pagoda is just 2km down the road from the ECCC, where the former leaders of the Khmer Rouge are now being tried.
The outside of the old genocide memorial in the grounds of the pagoda
The old memorial was in such a bad state of disrepair in 2008
A lot of the remains had been swallowed up by two termite mounds inside the memorial



Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

The DC-Cam website has lots of pictures from the ceremony at:

May 24, 2010 at 4:14 PM  

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