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Assignment 2 Cambodia Killing Fields
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Assignment 2 Cambodia Killing Fields


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Assignment 2 for World Isues: Singapore's Perspective.

Assignment 2 for World Isues: Singapore's Perspective.

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  • 1. World Issues: A Singapore Perspective
  • 2. Questions
    • Provide a summary of the Cambodian Killing Fields. It may be useful to include things such as historical time lines, a profile of the main players in the conflict and its impact on the country.
    • Using what you had learnt from your group's research, present the KEY reasons that led to the conflict becoming full-blown.
    • What do you think were the most important reason OTHER THAN RACE in this conflict.
    • What were your group's thoughts/opinions after having done this research. You can also comment on any thing/point that you had unearth that you can link to your understanding of our society here in Singapore.
  • 3. Short Video
    • Cambodia Khmer Rouge 1975 to 1979
  • 4. Towards Year Zero
    • 1953 – Cambodia gains independence from 90 years of French colonisation
    • 1965 – King Sihanouk of Cambodia “breaks off relations” with US
      • Sihanouk kept a small army to prevent coups and could not defend Cambodia against North Vietnamese
      • Allows North Vietnamese guerillas (Communist) to set up bases on Cambodian soil against US-backed government in South Vietnam (Capitalist)
  • 5. Towards Year Zero
    • 1969 – The US bombs North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia
    • 1970 – Sihanouk was deposed in a coup and General Lon Nol assumed power
      • His government assumed Pro-Western and Anti-Communist stance
      • Lon Nol sends army to fight North Vietnamese in Cambodia, supporting American military involvement
  • 6. Towards Year Zero
    • 1975 – Lon Nol was overthrown
      • facing a 2-way attack from Khmer Rouge and North Vietnamese
      • Supported by the Chinese, North Vietnamese Communists and Sihanouk.
    • April 17, 1975 – Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh unopposed
      • Implement plans for utopian communist society
      • Day Zero where 2000 years of Khmer history became meaningless
  • 7. Khmer Rouge Years
    • To create Utopian Communist Society
      • Phnom Penh was evacuated to the countryside
        • Khmer Rouge believes cities are tools of capitalism
        • All should live and work in the countryside as peasants
  • 8. Khmer Rouge Years
      • Isolate country from foreign influence
      • Close schools, hospitals and factories
      • Abolished banking, finance and currency
      • Outlawed all religions
      • Confiscated all private properties
  • 9. Khmer Rouge Years
      • Government arrested, tortured and executed
        • Anyone connected to former government
        • Professionals and intellectuals (bespectacled)
        • Ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodia Christians, Muslims and Buddhist Monks
        • Homosexuals
        • Former urban dwellers who were incapable of farming
          • “ To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss”
  • 10.  
  • 11. Khmer Rouge Years - Numbers
    • Estimated of 850,000 to 3 million deaths
      • Commonly between 1.4m to 2.2m deaths
      • 20% - 30% of population then
      • By execution, starvation and forced labour
    • 158 prisons
    • 209 mass-grave sites, with 19,000 grave pits
    • 10 m mines left, one for each Cambodian
  • 12.  
  • 13. Khmer Rouge Years - Numbers
    • Tuol Sleng (S-21 Prison)
      • Highest single day execution
        • 582 persons
        • May 27, 1978
      • At least 14,000 imprisoned
        • 7 known survivors
        • Many women
        • 2,000 children
  • 14. Key Reasons
    • Capitalism vs Communism (Cold War)
    • Vietnam War spillover
    • Rise of Khmer Rouge
      • US secret bombing of Vietnamese communists in Cambodian land on March 18, 1969
      • Peasants’ detest for Lon Nol and American campaign
      • Support from China, Vietnamese communists and Sihanuok
    • Khmer Rouge’s idealistic Communist rule
  • 15. Other than Race, what?
    • Politics
      • Make sure no opposition/uprising
        • Kill educated people
        • Destroy past political powers
        • Terrorise the people through torture and execution
        • Eradicate religions to prevent gatherings
    • Ideology
      • Extreme insistence on Communist utopia
        • Equality within the people
        • All people work on the fields
  • 16. Thoughts & Opinions
    • Strong and able leadership
      • Push progress into the country
        • Comparing Singapore and Cambodia’s progress after gaining their independence
      • Maintain neutrality
        • Unlike Sihanuok who balanced between Vietcong and the US
        • However, neutrality only theoretically possible
      • Ability to look far
        • Make policies accordingly to build country economically and socially
  • 17. Thoughts & Opinions
    • Protect country’s sovereignty
      • Prevent similar situations where Sihanuok could not fend himself from Viet Commies setting bases on Cambodian soils and maintaining Cambodia’s neutrality
      • Maintaining strong armed forces like NS
    • Regional instability can spill over easily
      • How Vietnam War got into Cambodia
      • Unrest in East Asia can affect Singapore
      • We live in a Interdependent World
  • 18. Thoughts & Opinions
    • Power to the People
      • The people of the country can choose its fate
        • Cambodians chose Khmer Rouge
        • Singaporeans chose PAP
      • The people can prevent the rise of tyrants through their support
        • Shows the importance of each vote during Elections
    • Learn from history
      • Racial Harmony Day – Racial Riots
      • Total Defence Day – Japanese Occupation
  • 19. Short Video
    • Cambodian Genocide
    • Little walk through S21 Prison
  • 20. References