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Belinda’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 Feb 2005

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

MapYesterday was an emotionally draining day. We first visited Tuol Sleng Museum, also known as S21, a High School that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and turned into a prison. It was used as a detention and torture centre, and most people held here were eventually executed at The Killing Fields, a rural area about 14km from Phnom Penh.
We then went to see The Killing Fields. There are bones, skulls and clothing casually displayed here, and the remains of 8985 have been exhumed since 1980. Most people were blindfolded and then bludgeoned to death in order to conserve precious bullets.
Stu and I were both deeply moved by the experience.
It was such a recent event (1975-79). It's estimated that almost 2 million Cambodians were killed, with a focus on eliminating anyone seen to be intelligent. Pol Pot's plan was to take the country back to "Year Zero". I feel ignorant living in a free and democratic country like Australia.
How do we stop this happening again?