The 32nd Anniversary of Victory Day was organized by the Royal Government of Cambodia, and under the presidency of Samdech Chea Sim, President of the Senate, Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly, and Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Yesterday over 10,000 Cambodian government officials, teachers and student gathered in Phnom Penh on January 7 to mark the 32nd Anniversary Celebration of Victory Day over Genocide and to remember those who were killed and died of starvation in the Khmer Rouge’s terror regime.
Victory Day or Victory from Genocide Day is a yearly celebration in Cambodia. The holiday commemorates the fall of Khmer Rouge’s regime on January 7, 1979. Cambodia celebrates Victory Day with cultural shows and exhibitions which mainly remember the dark history of Cambodia during Khmer Rouge’s regime. A gathering is held in Phnom Penh to mark the momentous event of the fall of the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. (Khmer Rouge). Thousands of people participate in this yearly event to remember those who perished in the genocide.
The Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot, led Cambodia from 1975 and effectively changed the name of Cambodia to Democratic Kampuchea. The ruling party was said to have been responsible for the shocking genocide or death of more than one to three million Cambodians due to starvation, overwork, diseases, and mass executions.
Tuol Sleng, loosely translated as ‘Hill of the Poisonous Trees’ was a high school institution that is an infamous ground for mass killing during the Khmer Rouge era. The Cham Muslims were the ones who suffered the great mass extermination with more than half of their total population perished during the reign of the communist party. Also, approximately 14% of the Chinese population remained in Cambodia out of the 425,000 which were present before the reign of the Khmer Rouge. In a similar manner, professionals such as teachers, doctors, and lawyers suffered a great loss due to their potential of igniting revolutionary movement.
Cambodia’s dark past only stopped when Vietnam invaded the country to put an end to Khmer Rouge violent acts against the locals. The latter’s power ended in 1979 but it did not stop the infighting until the United Nations meddled in the situation culminating in Paris Peace Accords in 1991. The three dark years, eight dark months, and twenty dark nights of the Khmer Rouge reign of terror took the lives of over two million Cambodian people’s souls and those who were killed and died of starvation during the former Khmer Rouge leaders in their rule of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.