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Recalling a classic text in Cambodia’s long struggle for democracy

Say Tola / Khmer Times Share:
‘Krou Bangrean Srok Sre’ is a classic of Khmer literature. KT/Srey Kumneth

Krou Bangrean Srok Sre was first published in February 1957. It describes the efforts made up until that time by democratic and socialist movements in Cambodia, analysing their messages and profiling their main political figures.

The book was inspired by the struggle against discrimination and exploitation of rural people as a result of French, Japanese and US imperialism, which the author had witnessed.

The ideas of socialism spread to all people in every class, with workers, farmers, and teachers becoming conscious of their rights and coming together to fight injustice. Although those in power used various forms of violence to try and thwart them, the people never gave up the struggle.

Not limiting his account to men, the author also profiles various women who courageously fought to liberate themselves and society. When their husbands were imprisoned, these women would fight for democracy. Women learned to read and write and started to liberate themselves by thinking critically about the political situation.

More importantly, the author showed that in many cases, women were in fact the main actors, encouraging husbands and friends, and trying to find solutions to problems and ways to achieve their goals.

The author also points out that one of the most active groups in the struggle for independence and democracy was teachers. They were united behind the goals of achieving peace, respect for all humanity, and freedom. Politically, their main goal was ending imperialism and building a fair society.

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