A Khmer Rouge reference repository opens in Takeo

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The Khmer Rouge research office will raise awareness of regime atrocities. DC-Cam

A Khmer Rouge Research Office and Library opened in Takeo Province on Monday to promote research and raise awareness about the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

The project was officially inaugurated on the campus of the Takeo Regional Teacher Training Centre by its backers, the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport with support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

DC-Cam said in a press release that the centre welcomes researchers and the public, as well as documents related to the Khmer Rouge regime. The focus is on Takeo, which is part of the Southwest Zone in the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

Pheng Pong Rasy, the director of the Prey Veng Documentation Centre and Genocide Research and Education in Cambodia, told The Post that more than one million documents, including paper, photographs, film, audiotapes and actual documents (grave documents) will be kept in the Khmer Rouge Research Office and Library in Takeo.

“These documents provide plenty of information on the history of the Khmer Rouge and a research resource for teachers, government officials, students and people living in Takeo and neighbouring provinces,” he said.

The Khmer Rouge Research Office and Library in Takeo province is DC-Cam’s fourth representative centre along with the Anlong Veng Peace Centre in Oddar Meanchey province, the Khmer Rouge Research office and Library in Prey Veng and the Koh Thmor Documentation Centre in Tbong Khmum province.

Pong Rasy said the establishment of the office is part of the Judicial Compensation Project within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in 2013.

ECCC’s mission is to “restore the honour, dignity, emotional and social well-being of civil parties, commemorate those who lost their lives, raise awareness and understanding of Khmer Rouge history, and ensure that the Khmer Rouge will not happen again in Cambodian society in the future”.

The establishment of the Takeo centre is in line with the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ministry and DC-Cam for 2018-2022 to create new education programmes.

Pong Rasy said this particular education programme about the Cambodian genocide aims to teach the Khmer Rouge history to a younger generation and teachers to better understand their country’s past.

“Through the presence of these provincial offices, DC-Cam can expand its document distribution activities to people in the less developed provinces or areas outside of Phnom Penh.

“Despite Covid-19, DC-Cam will continue to share information to increase public awareness of the Khmer Rouge history. Even staying at home, people can use DC-Cam’s comprehensive database online to search for documents with the help of staff if needed,” Pong Rasy said.