The government yesterday marked the annual Day of Remembrance, commemorating the victims of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime.
Hundreds of people and government officials yesterday gathered at the Choeung Ek killing fields on the outskirts of the capital to honour the victims who died during the Pol Pot regime.
The government set May 20 as a National Day of Remembrance, an official national holiday to commemorate the victims and suffering that occurred during the Democratic Kampuchea regime.
Pa Socheatevong, a member of the CPP’s Central Committee and the former Phnom Penh governor, said yesterday that the genocidal regime remained in Cambodian people’s hearts although it had occurred three decades ago.
“The CPP, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen as the government head, is the only founder to prevent this genocidal regime from coming back for a second time,” Mr Socheatevong said.
“We are all here together to prevent tricks by ill-intent people who intend to plunge the country back into the grave,” he added, referring to the Khmer Rouge regime, under which an estimated 1.7 million people died of overwork, starvation, disease and execution.
Mr Socheatevong also appealed to all Cambodian people to exercise their rights as stipulated in the constitution to cast ballots to elect their leader on July 29.
Chum Mey, 87, a survivor of the S-21 Prison, attended the ceremony and said that he cannot forget the suffering and pain he experienced when he was jailed and tortured.
“They tortured us; they electrocuted us, beat us, our nails were removed with pincers and we were starved,” Mr Mey said. “So, our young generation must remember that brutal regime and prevent it from returning.”
Sok Eysan, spokesman for the ruling CPP, said the day was to remember the souls that perished under the Pol Pot regime and to maintain peace, political stability and development.
“May 20 means a lot to our Cambodian people,” Mr Eysan said.