ECCC ensure history will not be forgotten

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Students participate in a Khmer Rouge study tour on May 24. ECCC

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) organised a field trip for 150 students from Hun Sen Khchao High School in Kampong Cham province’s Kang Meas district last week to give young people a clearer understanding of the tragedy that befell the people of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and of the path to finding justice for its victims.

The students were welcomed by the public affairs office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which delivered a presentation on the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders and the achievements of the ECCC. The students visited the Win-Win Memorial, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Genocide Centre, according to an ECCC press release.

John Socheat, a teacher leading the group, said the subject was crucial for all students, so they have a better awareness of what the older generations experienced, and would understand how such a tragedy could be prevented in the future.

She added that the programme also gave students a chance to see how the government had secured peace, prosperity and development for all Cambodians.

Socheat expressed her gratitude to the government for steering the Kingdom towards peace and to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for organising the educational tour.

The ECCC added that it organised the outreach study tours to provide students with a deeper understanding of the atrocities committed during the brutal rule of Pol Pot and to commemorate the victims of that regime.

The ECCC arranges tours for students and the general public each week, in order to give them a clearer understanding of the regime and of the importance of preventing its return.

Since 2009, over half a million Cambodians and foreigners have taken part in the tribunal’s educational programmes, through the public affairs office.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has often reiterated the need for everyone to participate in maintaining the Kingdom’s hard-won peace, in order to allow its continued development.

He noted that the implementation of the win-win policy had ended the civil war and unified the nation, bringing peace, stability and opportunities for all.

“Everyone enjoys the same peace. Without it, we would still be dodging the bomb and bullets of war. Do not call me an angry person. I am angered by those who threaten the Kingdom’s hard-won peace, but I do not kill people. All that I do, I do to protect the precious peace. If it is lost, there will be no point crying for it,” he said.